Grow Some Funk of Your Own

One of the things I’ve kept track of over the years is the size and quality of the Connor McDavid cluster. I’m not sure how much appeal this idea holds but for me it’s a key element for the eventual Stanley run. The organization needs McDavid-Leon and then a large group of support players and value deals. Here’s another key: Evan Bouchard might be the final first-round pick that can be included in the 97 cluster. How is that group 18-22 doing?

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. Outstanding offer is here.

THE MCDAVID CLUSTER

Bouchard is technically part of a new cluster but he was an older draft pick in 2018, so I’ve placed him here. One of the legacy gifts left by PC is a large number of kids who couldn’t grow with the group. I’ll name Nail Yakupov, Griffin Reinhart, Anton Slepyshev and Puljujarvi is a strong candidate to miss the boat. One of the things I do every year is count the contribution of each cluster (McDavid, Prime, Veteran) by year to see who is growing.

  • 2015-16: 411 games, 63-125-136 .331 points-per-game; .153 goals-per-game
  • 2016-17: 409 games, 80-170-250 .611 points, .196 goals
  • 2017-18: 334 games, 85-146-231 .692 points, .254 goals (!!)
  • 2018-19: 200 games, 70-94-164 .820 points, .350 goals (!!)

Based on current progress, the McDavid cluster should account for 298 games and 104 goals. That’s enormous production from a very small percentage of the roster (measured by total games). This is championship calibre based on production-per-game.

The worry is that there are just two main contributors and both of them are already getting paid. You need Yanni Gourde and then another Yanni Gourde (Brayden Point) coming up behind. Edmonton badly needs names like Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson, Ryan McLeod, Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear to work out. Plus a goalie.

THE PRIME CLUSTER

This is the second most important category, led by Nuge, and three feature defensemen. Oilers need a couple of 20-goal wingers to flush out the group. Here’s the history:

  • 2015-16: 485 games, 68-96-164 .338 points and .140 goals
  • 2016-17: 515 games, 72-123-195 .379 points and .140 goals
  • 2017-18: 717 games, 101-133-234 .325 points and .141 goals
  • 2018-19: 497 games, 48-125-173 .348 points and .097 goals

Extrapolated over 82 games, the totals are 741 games and 72 goals. What’s missing? Well you can see it in the 2015-16 “prime” group that included Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. The failed auditions since 2012 and the poor returns on trades are really evident here. There’s no winger in his prime to push the river. Important for the Oilers to have a few more pieces by the time the McDavid cluster becomes the prime cluster.

It’s also important to note the falloff from last season. The prime cluster will be 30 goals behind the 2017-18 group. That’s substantial.

THE VETERAN CLUSTER

This is the group of players who have been paid very well since 2015 and have not delivered enough to warrant continued employment. Here are the numbers:

  • 2015-16: 667 games, 68-122-190 .285 points and .102 goals
  • 2016-17: 640 games, 91-117-208 .325 points and .142 goals
  • 2017-18: 515 games, 43-105-148 .287 points and .083 goals
  • 2018-19: 349 games, 38-37-75 .215 points and .109 goals

Projected to 520 games and 57 goals, not enough to warrant the money. If the Oilers could magically erase the entire cluster, life would be a dream for the new general manager.

THE SUMMER

Ideally the McDavid cluster takes on a greater role in 2019-20. McDavid and Draisaitl are the heart of the order, but if one or two of JP, KY, Tyler Benson, Evan Bouchard, Ethan Bear or Caleb Jones emerge as useful regulars, that would represent real progress. It is not guaranteed—Peter Chiarelli bet on Puljujarvi three times and lost his job in part because of it—but there’s real talent in the McDavid cluster.

The “prime” group has Nuge and three defensemen (Klefbom, Larsson and Nurse), I keep looking around for a Nikolaj Ehlers who could jumpstart a second scoring line.

The veteran group is the hole where the money goes and Edmonton isn’t getting value. I hope you enjoyed this look at the three clusters of this Oilers team, for me it has value. You have expressed in the past that this isn’t beneficial, so consider this a personal indulgence.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. This is going to be a huge week for the Oilers and Eskimos and we have you covered. Scheduled to appear:

  • Derek Taylor, #CFLDetails on TSN. Free agency gone wild tomorrow in the CFL. Quarterbacks, rush ends, wideouts, holy smokes it’s big.
  • Eric Stephens, The Athletic Anaheim. We’ll chat about Randy Carlyle out with the Ducks, Bob Murray interim and Dallas Eakins waiting.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. St. Louis is giving the Oilers the Blues, is it all over? Plus Eskimos and free agency.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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293 Responses to "Grow Some Funk of Your Own"

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  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bob McKenzie nailed it on Dustin Neilson’s show this morning.

    His verbal was summarized by @nicholsonhockey here:

    Here’s what Bob said: https://www.nicholsonhockey.com/archives/2019/2/11/mckenzie-i-guess-anybody-can-understand-hitchcocks-frustration

    Here’s what he said:

    “I guess anybody can understand Hitchcock’s frustration there,” supposed McKenzie. “But the flip side of it is I guess that you can ascribe a lot of things to character or not wanting it enough or what have you, but maybe talent – or lack of depth of talent – is the greater issue.

    “Hitch would know better than us because he’s there on the front lines, but if he’s telling us that there’s players on this team that don’t care or they’re not giving it their all or they’re whatever, then that’s even worse because I think in a lot of instances where you’ve got a team that’s not as talented as the other team, sometimes players shut down a little bit because they are overwhelmed – because they’re overmatched – and they realize they can’t compete.

    “So is it a function of that – is the greater issue a talent issue or is it a greater issue that players don’t care enough. I don’t know. I could be wrong, but I think a lot of times players get accused of not caring enough; but I think in those instances maybe those players are just ill-suited in the roles that they’re at and that they get overwhelmed with the circumstance.

    “So then it’s on management to try to bring in a better group of players that aren’t overwhelmed by their circumstance.”

    Amen Mr. McKenzie.

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Western Conference Playoff Standings using Points Percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

    Pacific
    CGY 19
    SJS 17
    VGK 9

    Central
    WPG 17
    NSH 13
    DAL 6

    Wildcard
    STL 5
    MIN 3

    Out of playoffs
    VAN 1
    COL 0
    CHI -1
    ARI -2
    EDM -2
    LAK -4
    ANA -5

    Relevant games tonight:

    LAK at WSH (WSH -200)
    SJS at VAN (SJS -165)

  3. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bob McKenzie nailed it on Dustin Neilson’s show this morning.

    His verbal was summarized by @nicholsonhockey here:

    Here’s what Bob said: https://www.nicholsonhockey.com/archives/2019/2/11/mckenzie-i-guess-anybody-can-understand-hitchcocks-frustration

    Here’s what he said:

    “I guess anybody can understand Hitchcock’s frustration there,” supposed McKenzie. “But the flip side of it is I guess that you can ascribe a lot of things to character or not wanting it enough or what have you, but maybe talent – or lack of depth of talent – is the greater issue.


    “Hitch would know better than us because he’s there on the front lines, but if he’s telling us that there’s players on this team that don’t care or they’re not giving it their all or they’re whatever, then that’s even worse because I think in a lot of instances where you’ve got a team that’s not as talented as the other team, sometimes players shut down a little bit because they are overwhelmed – because they’re overmatched – and they realize they can’t compete.

    “So is it a function of that – is the greater issue a talent issue or is it a greater issue that players don’t care enough. I don’t know. I could be wrong, but I think a lot of times players get accused of not caring enough; but I think in those instances maybe those players are just ill-suited in the roles that they’re at and that they get overwhelmed with the circumstance.

    “So then it’s on management to try to bring in a better group of players that aren’t overwhelmed by their circumstance.”

    Amen Mr. McKenzie.

    The two biggest influences who had the say in what we see as todays roster built around the assets that were here on April 18, 2015 have both been loaded into the cannon and fired into the sun.

    Now can Nicholson hire the proper POHO, GM moving forward?

    Only if he can recognize the mistakes that McKenizie alluded to, but I have not heard much of that yet.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Setting out the clusters like you have, LT, for me, makes my preferred plan continue to look like the right path for me.

    Of course, over the next two years, starting at this year’s deadline and continuing over the spring, a job of our general manager is to try and shed some anchor contracts to open up some cap space to fill some of the glarring holes – true 2RD, top 6 winger, etc.

    Of course, as I’ve posted (at nauseum for some, I’m sure), I am NOT in favor of management trying to press the issue taking penalties to open up the cap space (i.e. paying with assets for teams to take contract or buying out contracts leading to immediate cap savings (of various degrees) but also dead cap hits and extension of contracts).

    Except for Lucic, all the anchor contracts fall away within two more years (the really dead space contracts fall away within one year – Manning, Spooner if the coach won’t play him, etc.).

    Anyways, I don’t believe the organization has the asset base to froce the issue and pay a tax for contract removal and buyouts are terrible for cap management and these contracts will fall away.

    Even without disposing of contracts, if no egregious trades are made for high picks or material prospects out, within two years, the organization should have:

    – tons of cap space

    – a considerable amount of assets acquisition currency

    – elite centers entering their primes – McDavid and Drai

    – other core players entering their primes – Nurse

    – other core players in their primes – Klefbom, Larsson, Nuge (re-signed as he will see its about to get real good)

    – one (or may even both) of Yamamoto or Puljujarvi could solidify himself as a top 6 winger or at least a middle six winger

    – Bouchard could/should be ready to start to provide material minutes and play (one year in AHL and one year sheltered in NHL complete).

    – the swarth of prospects that are on the verge of NHL readiness should lead to one or two value contracts at the bottom of the lineup (one or a couple of Jones, Bear, Persson, Laggesson, Benson, Marody)

    – the continues drafting and development should have more prospects peculating and developing and the organization should have a great amount of NHL ready depth and injury cover

    Anyways, there is current cap hell and little acquisition currency (i.e. coveted assets are assets that need to be kept), however, within a few years that will all change and the core of this team will remain very young, signed and in their primes (some mid prime, some just entering).

    The way out is clear to me, unfortunately, management, whoever it may be, likely sees it differently and will be looking for more immediate marked improvements..

  5. dustrock says:

    The look at the clusters is very instructive because it reveals a giant cluster****

    The veteran cluster is a dumpster fire and I”d say 2/3 of the prime cluster is a dumpster fire.

    Hall
    Eberle
    Pouliot
    Petry
    16 & 33

    Add those players back in and suddenly you’re looking at a team, maybe not elite, but a team where you could squint and look at Stanley.

  6. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: The two biggest influences who had the say in what we see as todays roster built around the assets that were here on April 18, 2015 have both been loaded into the cannon and fired into the sun.

    Now can Nicholson hire the proper POHO, GM moving forward?

    Only if he can recognize the mistakes that McKenizie alluded to, but I have not heard much of that yet.

    During his “I fired Pete” avail Bob said he thought the roster could make the playoffs today.

    Don’t know why he’d fire Pete if he *actually* thought that though.

    We’ll see.

    This is probably Bob’s last hire as an OEG exec.

    Hope he makes it a good one.

  7. Ben says:

    Had a tough time logging on to the site today. Not sure if due to my lack of character or skill (I blame the coach).

    Looking at the Oilers’ cap woes, there is some light:

    Out: Talbot $4, Russell $4, Kassian $2, Rieder $2, Brodziak $0.8 (after buyout), Rattie $0.8, Petrovic $2

    So about $16M leaving, cap going up about $3.5M.

    The team could pretty easily have $20M to fill out the roster, with Khaira and Pujuljarvi the only players due marginal raises.

    You spend half of that on two top-six wingers, add a couple of Benson/Marody/Yamo to the middle six, an ok backup, Bouchard/Jones on the back end…

    What I guess I’m saying is: the path to over-playing rookies to mediocrity is open!

    EDIT: Missed that Losskinen will eat Talbot’s $.

  8. Dicky94 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    This is the right way to do it for sure, but can the fans that buy the seasons tickets and box seats wait three years?

  9. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Setting out the clusters like you have, LT, for me, makes my preferred plan continue to look like the right path for me.

    The way out is clear to me, unfortunately, management, whoever it may be, likely sees it differently and will be looking for more immediate marked improvements..

    OP you’re spot on if you wanted to invest in this team and its assets in a logical approach that set the team up for future success.

    The problem with sports in cities like Edmonton is that many fans aren’t willing to buy into a mini-rebuild, particularly when we’ve been rebuilding for 10 years.

    Or that might be what Katz and the organization think about the fans – live in the eternal now, don’t look ahead to the future, just make the playoffs nowwwwwwwwwwwww the winters are long and cold

  10. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    Huberdeau (#20) and Chiasson (#26) both just popped up on TSN’s TradeBait board. Huberdeau would be a great fit here..

  11. Munny says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    That’s a fine piece of speculation by Mr. McKenzie. Reasonable chance he’s correct.

    However I cannot let the players off the hook for their performance this year, whether they “feel overwhelmed” or not.

  12. BONE207 says:

    LT…I for one enjoyed this article. A real insight into the team construction & where this disorganization needs work.

    As for Bob…I’m with him that the leaders are beaten down. Single events, such as Leon vs Kane the other night, while important, are not an explanation for seasons worth of failure.

    That cannon…does have room for those vets? Gord I hope so…

  13. rbjork says:

    I saw Evan Bouchard play in person yesterday, I’m no scout, but I would say he is as advertised. Good with the puck, and strong on the passes, made a real nice stretch pass at one point. Did a pretty good job getting shots to the net on the PP.

    He did pretty well defensively, but not his strength for sure.

    Picked up a couple of points on his way to a 6-3 loss to the Greyhounds. 🙂

  14. smellyglove says:

    LT tech issues persist. Bad gateway. New posts continue not to display until login.

  15. Munny says:

    Thank Gord for Vancouver fans that the Canucks don’t “feel overwhelmed” game in and game out.

  16. Lowetide says:

    smellyglove:
    LT tech issues persist. Bad gateway. New posts continue not to display until login.

    I will call GoDaddy on the gateway, but have no been able to find a workaround for not logging in. You have to log in

  17. Jordan says:

    Ben:
    Had a tough time logging on to the site today. Not sure if due to my lack of character or skill (I blame the coach).

    Had similar issues accessing the site today. Connection was reset multiple times just to get to today’s post,and then more times trying to get logged in to post.

    Is Danny still working on the backend? If so, any assistance he can provide would be appreciated.

    ——————————————-

    I’m really happy that Bob and others in the MSM are very delicately (or in Gregor’s case, blatantly) calling bullshit on this character narrative.

    Its really encouraging to have media telling the Oilers fanbase that this isn’t just on the players.

    I’m not going to blame Bob lying through his teeth about the team not being good enough. I understand that he’s doing his best to manage a craptastic situation. He doesn’t want to look like he hasn’t been doing his job, so he says it’s a character issue and presumes that will deflect blame.

    But anyone who’s watching the situation can see that’s not what’s going on. The Oilers are missing 3-4 top 6 wingers, and everyone else is playing over their head. They’re missing at least 1 top 4 dman, and very few players have any chemistry with their linemates because they change every 10 minutes in-game..

    This team has been over-coached and over-gm’d this year so badly. The team would be better off if they had kept the team they opened the season with. Maybe even the same coach. The good news is that we know it wasn’t just the coach (although I think he’s not helping). It might be the players but it is definitely management and the roster construction.

    Or, we just blame a certain Anaheim Duck who cost Reggie the last two seasons. Somehow the NHL or the NHLPA didn’t do anything about it either. Go figure.

  18. GMB3 says:

    You know what’s going to be amazing for this team?

    Drafting one of Podkolzin, Cozens, Dach, or Turcotte this summer. Giving them a year or two as per the new organizational mandate of letting prospects develop in a more realistic timeline.

    Clear out some dead cap, make room to resign RNH at a reasonable price (7.5 sound fair? Maybe 7?). Continued development from the farm. Benson, Marody ready and on affordable contracts. Potential impact forward on their ELC. Bouchard breaking out. Possibly cap for a trade or FA signing.

    The spillers didn’t play yesterday and I’m in a great mood this morning

  19. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Munny:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    That’s a fine piece of speculation by Mr. McKenzie.Reasonable chance he’s correct.

    However I cannot let the players off the hook for their performance this year, whether they “feel overwhelmed” or not.

    Everyone who is slotted at their “actual NHL ability” is doing ok.

    Everyone who is slotted above their “actual NHL ability” is not.

    I will not blame a player for being who he is, rather will blame the org for mis-evaluating him.

    The perfect example was Pete saying he was disappointed in Strome’s results halfway through 17/18 when Strome was scoring *exactly* at the same rate he had for 2 of the last 3 years.

    You can’t write this stuff.

  20. JimmyV1965 says:

    Hemsky is a gangsta:
    Huberdeau (#20) and Chiasson (#26) both just popped up on TSN’s TradeBait board. Huberdeau would be a great fit here..

    Would love to get Huberdeau. Long term deal st 5.9 mill. Would be a big mistake if Panthers traded him.

  21. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Larsson had to play vs the best with Rookie Jones just like Rej had to play the best with rookie Nurse in 15/16.

    Larsson was beating himself up and he’s playing vs the Monahans of the world with a rookie.

    Man.

  22. Side says:

    Lowetide: I will call GoDaddy on the gateway, but have no been able to find a workaround for not logging in. You have to log in

    Is this a feature that you have to log in to see the most recent article?

    I have seen a variety of issues that are rather inconsistent.

    When I am not logged on:

    – there are times I come to the website and see the most recent article with all of the comments

    – there are times where I can see the most recent article but see no comments

    – there are times I don’t see the most recent article and can see the previous day’s article with all of the comments

    – there are times I don’t see the most recent article and can see the previous day’s article but with some/none of the comments

    Logging in definitely solves these issues, but the ‘Remember Me’ feature doesn’t seem to stick. I’m constantly logging back in on my desktop/mobile device.

  23. JimmyV1965 says:

    GMB3:
    You know what’s going to be amazing for this team?

    Drafting one of Podkolzin, Cozens, Dach, or Turcotte this summer. Giving them a year or two as per the new organizational mandate of letting prospects develop in a more realistic timeline.

    Clear out some dead cap, make room to resign RNH at a reasonable price (7.5 sound fair? Maybe 7?). Continued development from the farm. Benson, Marody ready and on affordable contracts. Potential impact forward on their ELC. Bouchard breaking out. Possibly cap for a trade or FA signing.

    The spillers didn’t play yesterday and I’m in a great mood this morning

    Sorry to spoil your mood, but if Oilers don’t make a serious attempt to improve the team for next year, they need to trade RNH over the summer. I see no reason other than blind loyalty that he would consider resigning here. You simply can’t let him walk and his trade value diminishes greatly if you move him with only one year left on his contract.

  24. Oddspell says:

    JimmyV1965: Would love to get Huberdeau. Long term deal st 5.9 mill. Would be a big mistake if Panthers traded him.

    Huberdeau, Ehlers, two guys who (if truly available) we need to shell out for in my opinion. Don’t sell the future for now, but definitely trade the future for a future that begins now.

    If whoever the GM is can acquire Huberdeau in a reasonable deal then I’d begin to gain some faith in the org.

  25. anjinsan says:

    McLellan and then Hitch have been overskating the stars. If you overskate them, then at some point you exhaust them and results over time regress downward.

    Let’s say for any team, relative to competition, this holds: (talent * effort * smarts) = results.

    If the other team matches you on (effort * smarts) and you lack the talent, how do you expect to win? Scream and demand > 100% effort? Okay then you run into exhaustion across the board (physical and emotional) and results regress downward.

    Naming the game right now: Chiarelli’s incompetence set this stage and Katz is under financial and good will pressure.

    After years of being given the benefit of the doubt, Katz should not be allowed to mollify and placate. Frankly, he has proven to be an incompetent owner at serving his market, but he has proven competent at serving himself. In Europe, incompetent owners get their teams relegated. In North America, owners get captive markets. I wonder if it’s possible to petition for a better owner? Such a mechanism should exist.

  26. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    I think the oilers will pick a top 10 (maybe even top 5!) overall (a skilled forward!) in this year‘s draft and that player will eventually enter the McDavid cluster…

  27. Cassandra says:

    Have you notice that those who are quickest to blame the supposed red wine crew for this travesty are the same ones that defended Chiarelli the hardest and longest?

    The fact is that there is surprisingly little evidence that the OBC does anything, for better or for worse. To wit:

    First, all of the reporting, whether it is employed by the Oilers (Stauffer), local guy (Rishaug), or National and respected (Friedman) insist that Chiarelli had full autonomy.

    Second, each of the general managers over this time, Tambelli and his do nothing style, MacT’s abbreviated term, and then Chiarelli each had very distinctive styles, making different kinds of moves. There is not a common, dominant, thread between them besides it not working out.

    Third, there is past precedent in Boston for almost all of Chiarelli’s flagship moves.

    While not as headling grabbing as the other disastrous moves, what Chiarelli did this year reached a new level of strange and incompetent. In short succession the Spooner, Manning, Petrovic, and Koskinen might be unprecedented. Each of them awful and so without justification that it beggars the mind.

    Under these circumstances my question is why didn’t anyone stop these things from happening. MY conclusion, terrifying as it may be, is not that the OBC have too much power, but that they had too little.

    Before this year Chiarelli was already on the short list for worst general managers of all time. But what he did this season deserves a whole new category. The problem isn’t that they interfered with Chiarelli too much, but that they didn’t know how terrible he was at his job and hence didn’t interfere enough. That’s the story.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Side: Is this a feature that you have to log in to see the most recent article?

    I have seen a variety of issues that are rather inconsistent.

    When I am not logged on:

    – there are times I come to the website and see the most recent article with all of the comments

    – there are times where I can see the most recent article but see no comments

    – there are times I don’t see the most recent article and can see the previous day’s article with all of the comments

    – there are times I don’t see the most recent article and can see the previous day’s article but with some/none of the comments

    Logging in definitely solves these issues, but the ‘Remember Me’ feature doesn’t seem to stick. I’m constantly logging back in on my desktop/mobile device.

    I have to login each time.

  29. Oddspell says:

    Cassandra: Second, each of the general managers over this time, Tambelli and his do nothing style, MacT’s abbreviated term, and then Chiarelli each had very distinctive styles, making different kinds of moves. There is not a common, dominant, thread between them besides it not working out.

    This is why I’ve never really blamed the OBC all that much. I’m sure they have their input, but MacT was a complete departure from Tambo, and Chia was a major departure from MacT.

    I think maybe you can blame the OBC for hiring (arguably) the wrong guy three times, but I don’t see how you can blame Kevin Lowe for Hall for Larsson, when reports are that MacT was fervently against trading any of the 2011 core.

  30. Dicky94 says:

    Cassandra,

    This is so true. How the rest of the organization could just sit there and think he was doing a good job this year is unbelievable. What pisses me off even more is that everyone was on board with the Koski signing knowing full well he was going to be fired at any moment. Everyone down from Katz to the players has to go. Bobby Nick has as much to blame as Chiarelli and he should not be in charge to find a new GM.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dicky94:
    OriginalPouzar,

    This is the right way to do it for sure, but can the fans that buy the seasons tickets and box seats wait three years?

    dustrock: OP you’re spot on if you wanted to invest in this team and its assets in a logical approach that set the team up for future success.

    The problem with sports in cities like Edmonton is that many fans aren’t willing to buy into a mini-rebuild, particularly when we’ve been rebuilding for 10 years.

    Or that might be what Katz and the organization think about the fans – live in the eternal now, don’t look ahead to the future, just make the playoffs nowwwwwwwwwwwww the winters are long and cold

    I don’t disagree with either of you. I ended my post with an express acknowledgement that management may not see it the same way and will likely look for marked improvement for next season.

    I understand that “patience” is a dirty word in Oil Country and, fair enough, however mistakes made in the past should not cloud the path forward. Just because the wallowing has been going on for so long does not mean the path forward should be fast-tracked as, to me, that runs a very high risk of leading to the wallowing continuing for a longer period of time.

    I don’t imagine new management will go two years without making major moves in the name of improvement – I understand why, I just don’t agree with it and am afraid it will end bad and lead to further pain.

  32. Dicky94 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Scary times indeed.

  33. godot10 says:

    I have one complaint about Hitchcock. He doesn’t seem to understand that he has a generational talent, and generational talents mean the normal rules of Hitch hockey are probably not optimal.

    A half court offense when McDavid is on the ice is not the right strategy. That will not maximize McDavid.

    Also start as you mean to go on.

    McDavid and Draisaitl as centres.

  34. Oddspell says:

    OriginalPouzar: Just because the wallowing has been going on for so long does not mean the path forward should be fast-tracked as, to me, that runs a very high risk of leading to the wallowing continuing for a longer period of time.

    You’re not wrong, but at the same time I think (like Toronto after the Tavares signing) you have to be able to react to the market and if a chance to expedite the process comes along, you shift course.

    I can’t imagine anyone looking Captain Connor in the eye and telling him “We need to be patient, and if all goes right, in 3 more years you could be playing meaningful games.”

  35. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Glass half-full thought, re: Spooner.
    Massive disappointment this year. Should not have been acquired, but here we are. Healthy scratch did not get him going, cleared waivers (would that be an awakening moment for him??), now riding the bus.
    How is he playing in Bake? Points look “okay”. Maybe, just maybe, if they can’t unload him for an appropriate asset, he comes to camp next year more determined to play in the best hockey league in the world and for his “next contract”. Performance near previous years would be “helpful” to our beleaguered comrades and would also have Benson pushing to get in as a LW in top 6, rather than “just getting in” because of gaping holes in the roster…

    How do I remain this hopeful?

  36. Richard S.S. says:

    Todd McLelland will be a hot comodity this Offseason. Still don’t understand why he was fired. 0-2 to start the Season says more about the Team than it does about the Coach. The winning period that followed was more good luck than skill. The loosing streak was a lack of skill, some bad luck, but too much expecting to win everything (not 100% effort). More the Players fault than the Coach.

  37. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Lowetide,

    As has been mentioned previously, is there any chance to have a log in button on the home page? It’s a bit clunky to have to go to the previous day’s post, scroll to the bottom and then finally log in. Especially on a phone.

    If not, I suppose those are some heavy chores I’m willing to do in between chopping wood and carrying water for the team. Thanks LT, this place is the best.

    PS

    Posting the relative cluster production provides insight. Love when you do that, think it would be valuable as a check-in three or four times a year.

  38. DocFan says:

    Lowetide,

    If you don’t want to log in, Go to “Contact” at top of page –> Select Recent Tab on Right. You should see the most recent post there. This worked for me. Or just log in.

  39. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Oddspell: This is why I’ve never really blamed the OBC all that much. I’m sure they have their input, but MacT was a complete departure from Tambo, and Chia was a major departure from MacT.

    I think maybe you can blame the OBC for hiring (arguably) the wrong guy three times, but I don’t see how you can blame Kevin Lowe for Hall for Larsson, when reports are that MacT was fervently against trading any of the 2011 core.

    Do you seriously think that Chia traded Hall for Larsson without any discussion with the committee?
    They discussed much smaller moves. At least this is one thing Bob N has stated – unless he was lying to avoid looking like complete ass-idiots.

  40. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    JimmyV1965,

    So you’re saying there’s a chance??

    Problem is what’s the acquisition cost?

  41. Oddspell says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Do you seriously think that Chia traded Hall for Larsson without any discussion with the committee?
    They discussed much smaller moves. At least this is one thing Bob N has stated – unless he was lying to avoid looking like complete ass-idiots.

    I’m not saying he didn’t discuss it, but when we’re looking at what is literally a signature Chiarelli move, and an out of character OBC move, why would we default to putting the blame on the OBC. I bet members of the OBC were advocates for the trade, I bet others were against it. But trading a guy like Hall for a guy like Larsson is signature Chia, and I’m not confident that trade gets made if we had MacT as GM that year.

    I’m all for holding the OBC accountable, I just think we should also try to suss out exactly what to hold them accountable for.

  42. Bag of Pucks says:

    Cassandra,

    The OBC is the common denominator in this 13 years of suck. The reason there’s speculation on this is they’re STILL here, still feeding the media narratives on ‘character issues,’ still working the ‘process’ and telling new hires they’ll need to ‘fit with the culture,’ still involved as a ‘group’ on decisions like the Koskinen extension. There is no defensible position for people like Howson, MacT and Green having the jobs they do. The broom swept out the designated scapegoat when what’s needed is a full housecleaning. The idiots that are left still think JP not in Bakersfield is a good idea. Just as they thought sink or swim was the best development model for Schultz, Yakupov, etc.

    The OBC doesn’t get a free pass on this failure of an organization

  43. Jordan says:

    Cassandra:
    Have you notice that those who are quickest to blame the supposed red wine crew for this travesty are the same ones that defended Chiarelli the hardest and longest?

    Has anyone noticed that no one was talking about the “red wine crew” until this poster brought them up?

    Has anyone noticed that this poster is generalizing about a large and diverse segment of Oilers fandom and what they think?

    Me too.

    ———————————————-

    Would be interested to see Huberdeau on a second line with Nuge.

    Actually, I’d be quite happy with the team pursuing the rest of the 2011 top 10 first rounders.

    1 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C) – Got him
    2 Gabriel Landeskog (LW) – Want him
    3 Jonathan Huberdeau (C) – Want him
    4 Adam Larsson (D) – Got Him
    5 Ryan Strome (C) – Had him
    6 Mika Zibanejad (C) – Want him
    7 Mark Scheifele (C) – Want him
    8 Sean Couturier (C) – Want him
    9 Dougie Hamilton (D) – Want him
    10 Jonas Brodin (D) – Want him

  44. ArmchairGM says:

    “The “prime” group has Nuge and three defensemen (Klefbom, Larsson and Nurse), I keep looking around for a Nikolaj Ehlers who could jumpstart a second scoring line.”

    Ehlers is younger than Draisaitl and thus would be in the McDavid group.

  45. texmex says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    Picks and prospects I suspect. They need to free up money to sign Bob the goalie and the breadman for 20 million per season I suspect.

  46. dustrock says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Cassandra,

    The OBC is the common denominator in this 13 years of suck. The reason there’s speculation on this is they’re STILL here, still feeding the media narratives on ‘character issues,’ still working the ‘process’ and telling new hires they’ll need to ‘fit with the culture,’ still involved as a ‘group’ on decisions like the Koskinen extension. There is no defensible position for people like Howson, MacT and Green having the jobs they do. The broom swept out the designated scapegoat when what’s needed is a full housecleaning. The idiots that are left still think JP not in Bakersfield is a good idea. Just as they thought sink or swim was the best development model for Schultz, Yakupov, etc.

    The OBC doesn’t get a free pass on this failure of an organization

    It’s also just the constant celebrating of the 80s dynasty team, Lowe and Mac T staying, Gretzky coming back, Coffey coming in for a quick look, Messier involved in some unknown capacity.

    Then it’s the non-OBC guys who are removed from the organization.

    Whether their crimes are of commission or omission doesn’t really matter at this point.

  47. Cassandra says:

    Nuges Bank Account: WITH all due respect, if you go back in time, you will find that:
    1. Larsson
    2. Reinhart
    3. Lucic
    Where all itches the OBC HAD to scratch. Just go back to said player’s draft year. Larson in particular, was a strong contender to be drafted by the Oilers. The anecdotal evidence is in this very blog’s archives is there. To contend that the OBC has “nothing to do” with the Chiarelli fiasco is to focus on a donut’s hole and not the entire donut.

    This is either nonsense or sloppy thinking. In any case, the reporting is that MacT, for one, was against the Hall trade, which accounts for two of your three bits of “evidence.”

    The urge to blame the OBC in this town is pathological.

  48. Cassandra says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Cassandra,

    The OBC is the common denominator in this 13 years of suck. The reason there’s speculation on this is they’re STILL here, still feeding the media narratives on ‘character issues,’ still working the ‘process’ and telling new hires they’ll need to ‘fit with the culture,’ still involved as a ‘group’ on decisions like the Koskinen extension. There is no defensible position for people like Howson, MacT and Green having the jobs they do. The broom swept out the designated scapegoat when what’s needed is a full housecleaning. The idiots that are left still think JP not in Bakersfield is a good idea. Just as they thought sink or swim was the best development model for Schultz, Yakupov, etc.

    The OBC doesn’t get a free pass on this failure of an organization

    Case in point. All of your quotes are from Bob Nicholson, the guy who was brought in to replace the OBC. This is all very disconnected from reality.

  49. Cassandra says:

    Jordan: Has anyone noticed that no one was talking about the “red wine crew” until this poster brought them up?

    Has anyone noticed that this poster is generalizing about a large and diverse segment of Oilers fandom and what they think?

    Me too.

    It was the main topic of conversation in last night’s thread. It is pretty funny that you think Oilers fandom is diverse.

    Blaming the OBC is not productive. It is conspiracy theory stuff that makes it difficult to suss out the real problems behind the oddities.

  50. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Oddspell: I’m not saying he didn’t discuss it, but when we’re looking at what is literally a signature Chiarelli move, and an out of character OBC move, why would we default to putting the blame on the OBC. I bet members of the OBC were advocates for the trade, I bet others were against it. But trading a guy like Hall for a guy like Larsson is signature Chia, and I’m not confident that trade gets made if we had MacT as GM that year.

    I’m all for holding the OBC accountable, I just think we should also try to suss out exactly what to hold them accountable for.

    Hold the OBC & Katz accountable for complete incompetence and gross negligence for mismanaging the Oilers franchise for the past ~10 years. I am not propping Chia *spits*, btw…

    The tweet or whatever it was from Rishaug posted on this site yesterday is also damage control/spin/propaganda. Maybe the OBC are hoping Katz has forgotten already the roles they have played in this gong-show so they can keep their jobs. They should be worried about that now…one would think (hope!)…

  51. Side says:

    Cassandra: Case in point.All of your quotes are from Bob Nicholson, the guy who was brought in to replace the OBC. This is all very disconnected from reality.

    So how do you explain the Pre-Bob, Decade of Darkness?

    Bob came in and I believe zero of the OBC were fired, just shifted around and are still part of making decisions around structuring a team/player acquisitions.

    You have an organization where your staff failed at creating a winning team, and then you add a GM who also fails at putting together a winning team.

    Both can be to blame. It doesn’t have to just be one.

  52. hunter1909 says:

    Cassandra: The urge to blame the OBC in this town is pathological.

    The incompetence of the OBC, proven beyond any reasonable doubt is generational.

    Defending the OBC, when they’re 100% behind the stupidity of Oilers management ever since Sather left is akin to neoconservatives spinning how bombing innocent Iraqis to death is justified, as destroying their ancient culture is in keeping with their extremely narrow viewpoint of reality.

  53. Yeti says:

    Lowetide: I will call GoDaddy on the gateway, but have no been able to find a workaround for not logging in. You have to log in

    Without wanting to intrude (and understanding that this is a likely ongoing source of frustration for you), might it be good to state that somewhere clearly on the top of the page so that new viewers understand that they are seeing only a fraction of the posts if they don’t create an account and login? I know a number of people who don’t realize this. Added to which, sometimes the most recent post itself doesn’t show up if you are not logged in.

  54. StixMalone says:

    My only question is if Chiarelli had full controll who in this organization is giving him his intel on these player acquisitions? Why are some of these people still here? Surely Chia uses these so called scouts info does he not? Start by getting rid of the scouts that called for these players……

  55. Side says:

    Cassandra: It was the main topic of conversation in last night’s thread.It is pretty funny that you think Oilers fandom is diverse.

    Blaming the OBC is not productive.It is conspiracy theory stuff that makes it difficult to suss out the real problems behind the oddities.

    You’re right, thanks to the last 3-4 years of Bob and Chiarelli, it’s safe to say that they are to blame for the last 13 years of failure in the Oilers org.

    Suggesting otherwise is just total conspiracy theory.

  56. Drew says:

    Cassandra: Case in point.All of your quotes are from Bob Nicholson, the guy who was brought in to replace the OBC. This is all very disconnected from reality.

    KLowe was actually a pretty good GM before he had a big budget. I think his downfall was communications. He was much better than Tambi and Chia.

  57. Munny says:

    Drew,

    I would trust Kevin Lowe to evaluate a defenseman any day of the week.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Stauffer:

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Khaira-RNH-Puljujarvi
    Lucic-Malone-Chiasson
    Rieder-Cave-Brodziak

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Manning-Gravel/Petrovic

    Rattie/Benning not on the ice

    I like the look of the second line.

    Can’t wait to see it on Wed if coach goes with it.

  59. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    Cassandra: This is either nonsense or sloppy thinking.In any case, the reporting is that MacT, for one, was against the Hall trade, which accounts for two of your three bits of “evidence.”

    The urge to blame the OBC in this town is pathological.

    The problem is that they’re still involved with the team. They are the only constant through this entire decade-plus run of being the worst organization in the league. Every major position has been turned over more than once, yet these guys keep dodging the axe! MacT is scouting, Howson is sitting with Hitch during practice….. It’s comical!!! How is it that they have never been held accountable for any part of this failure? Hell, they even bring them back if they try to leave.

    If for no other reason than to remove the perception, the OBC club needs to be removed from any role in any part of the organization. There is zero argument not to do this based on the results while they’ve been there.

  60. Cassandra says:

    Side: You’re right, thanks to the last 3-4 years of Bob and Chiarelli, it’s safe to say that they are to blame for the last 13 years of failure in the Oilers org.

    Suggesting otherwise is just total conspiracy theory.

    And this is exactly what I mean. Blaming things on the OBC makes it seems like this has been a unified failure, all of one piece. Our responsibility, if we choose to think, is to distinguish between this and that, and to do so for reasons.

    Otherwise we live in the night in which all cows are black.

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hopefully Rattie doesn’t need to go on IR as needing to recall a player without sending out a body would cause the impending Sekera activation to be a bit more complicated – right now they would need to clear apx $1.2M but adding a $700K to $1M cap hit would likely result in a real trade being made.

  62. Cassandra says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR: The problem is that they’re still involved with the team.They are the only constant through this entire decade-plus run of being the worst organization in the league.Every major position has been turned over more than once, yet these guys keep dodging the axe!MacT is scouting, Howson is sitting with Hitch during practice…..It’s comical!!!How is it that they have never been held accountable for any part of this failure?Hell, they even bring them back if they try to leave.

    If for no other reason than to remove the perception, the OBC club needs to be removed from any role in any part of the organization.There is zero argument not to do this based on the results while they’ve been there.

    And yet even this isn’t true. They are not a constant through those years. Indeed, there is no evidence there is a “they.” You talk about them as if they are the Borg. People come and go, they say different things and probably change their mind, and yet the BorgOBC is eternal in our collective imagination.

  63. Bag of Pucks says:

    Munny:
    Drew,

    I would trust Kevin Lowe to evaluate a defenseman any day of the week.

    But how useful are his ‘saw him good’ evaluations actually? This is one of the massive issues with this club. They’re still making decisions based on gut and ‘rings’ instead of data and objectivity.

  64. OmJo says:

    Drew: KLowe was actually a pretty good GM before he had a big budget. I think his downfall was communications. He was much better than Tambi and Chia.

    And he’s the OBC not involved in hockey operations according to Nicholson.

  65. Drew says:

    Bag of Pucks: But how useful are his ‘saw him good’ evaluations actually? This is one of the massive issues with this club. They’re still making decisions based on gut and ‘rings’ instead of data and objectivity.

    And we know this how? MacT was OK with Dellow on staff and Chia was not.

  66. Bag of Pucks says:

    Cassandra trolling. Like the OBC, some things never change.

  67. Side says:

    Cassandra: And this is exactly what I mean.Blaming things on the OBC makes it seems like this has been a unified failure, all of one piece.Our responsibility, if we choose to think, is to distinguish between this and that, and to do so for reasons.

    Otherwise we live in the night in which all cows are black.

    I choose to think, and I can see that both the OBC and Chiarelli are to blame. I truly do not know how you can think the OBC are not a problem, or don’t deserve to be blamed in the slightest. The sample size of failure linked to the OBC is much larger than the Nicholson/Chiarelli era at the Oilers.

    If you were Darryl Katz, would you have kept the OBC employed from 2007-2019?

    If so, why?

    Any other functional organization would and should have canned them.

  68. pts2pndr says:

    Cassandra: Case in point.All of your quotes are from Bob Nicholson, the guy who was brought in to replace the OBC. This is all very disconnected from reality.

    The same people who failed are now the advisers! It is incomprehensable to me how you can not see the obvious in that since Kevin Lowe we have all the same players in management just changing chairs on the hockey club that could aptly be named the Titanic!

  69. Bag of Pucks says:

    Drew: And we know this how? MacT was OK with Dellow on staff and Chia was not.

    Didn’t Eakins want him? And wasn’t he gone shortly after Dallas left? Hardly seems like a strong endorsement from MacT.

    I always felt part of the reason they hired Dellow was to muzzle him which is why his site got taken down. He had done an excellent job exposing their management ineptititde.

  70. anjinsan says:

    Cassandra,

    Completely agree…+++.

  71. Munny says:

    Bag of Pucks: But how useful are his ‘saw him good’ evaluations actually? This is one of the massive issues with this club. They’re still making decisions based on gut and ‘rings’ instead of data and objectivity.

    Very. Stats tell you the what not the how. Eye can give you the how. There are no perfect players out there, so the how is key when team-building, creating lines and pairings etc.

  72. hunter1909 says:

    Cassandra: Our responsibility, if we choose to think

    Trolling, pure and simple.

  73. barry.moore23 says:

    “Now these fine ladies, they had plans. They was out to meet the boys in the band. They said ‘ C’mon dudes, let’s get it on.’ And we proceeded to tear that hotel down …..”

    Oh sorry. Wrong Funk 😂

  74. Bag of Pucks says:

    Munny: Very.Stats tell you the what not the how.Eye can give you the how.There are no perfect players out there, so the how is key when team-building, creating lines and pairings etc.

    Would you still feel this way if it was revealed that he was a driving force in the Reinhart trade?

  75. OilFire says:

    Lowetide: I will call GoDaddy on the gateway, but have no been able to find a workaround for not logging in. You have to log in

    LT, could you put a big ol’, fat ol’ login button on your home page?

    Since login is required, I generally have to (1) Load home page (2) load yesterday’s post (as today’s often doesn’t show before logging in) (3) Scroll down through a very long list of comments–good job on that BTW (4) click login button (5) Type in credentials and get returned to yesterday’s page (6) Click your logon on the top left or re-type your address to get back to your home page that now shows the correct post (7) Click on today’s post. (8) Yell at Woodguy’s phone.

  76. Cassandra says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Cassandra trolling. Like the OBC, some things never change.

    And yet in this very thread there are multiple people who agree with me. As always, there are two camps. There are those that think and those that call people trolls. Those that think won’t always agree but people in your camp are always going to be wrong because they don’t stop long enough to understand what is being said.

  77. Side says:

    hunter1909: Trolling, pure and simple.

    I thought Cassandra would have been satisfied that Chiarelli was canned.

    Instead it doesn’t seem like he will be satisfied until he can convince everyone that the OBC are in no way responsible for the Decade of Darkness and that it’s actually…

    Bob Nicholson and Peter Chiarelli’s fault.

    If you choose to think about it, it makes complete sense.

  78. Ryan says:

    Drew: And we know this how? MacT was OK with Dellow on staff and Chia was not.

    I’m not sure about the that.

    There wasn’t much clarity in terms of Dellow’s role within the org at the time.

    Dellow would certainly be the guy you’d want to consult when valuing contacts, trade proposals, UFA’s, etc.

    I don’t think there’s any evidence they had him doing that sort of stuff. Maybe they didn’t like his imposing intellect.

    My impression was that he was pushed aside on the hockey ops and basically working with Eakins.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rattie’s foot is not broken but he’ll be off for a few days.

    I think that’s good news.

  80. Side says:

    Cassandra: And yet in this very thread there are multiple people who agree with me.As always, there are two camps.There are those that think and those that call people trolls.Those that think won’t always agree but people in your camp are always going to be wrong because they don’t stop long enough to understand what is being said.

    You forgot the camp that says they will troll anything Chiarelli related for as long as he lives:

    “It’s the dreaded 1 for 3 deal without the 3

    I hate being right. I’ve disliked Chiarelli since the beginning and he’s only gotten worse.

    I make this vow. I will poison this board with hatred for Chiarelli for as long as he lives. I don’t care if the Oilers make the playoffs. It they do, they would have made it anyway. It they don’t, it is his fault.

    I don’t even care if they win the Stanley Cup. If they do, it is in spite of this move.

    Anyone who defends Chiarelli from here until the end of time will be trolled mercilessly. Begone traitors. Your attitude has aided and abetted the ruination.”

  81. ArmchairGM says:

    Lowetide: I will call GoDaddy on the gateway, but have no been able to find a workaround for not logging in. You have to log in

    Can you put a login button on the homepage though? That would be a luxury.

    While we’re on the subject of website improvements, I’d like to see a link to your show on each and every post, for those of us that aren’t local but can occasionally find time to listen to a podcast. Is that doable?

  82. OmJo says:

    ArmchairGM: Can you put a login button on the homepage though? That would be a luxury.

    While we’re on the subject of website improvements, I’d like to see a link to your show on each and every post, for those of us that aren’t local but can occasionally find time to listen to a podcast. Is that doable?

    I recommend following LT on Soundcloud for that

  83. Bag of Pucks says:

    Cassandra: And yet in this very thread there are multiple people who agree with me.As always, there are two camps.There are those that think and those that call people trolls.Those that think won’t always agree but people in your camp are always going to be wrong because they don’t stop long enough to understand what is being said.

    You get called a troll because you have a long documented history of trolling on this site, for which you’ve been called on many many times.

    In failing to acknowledge that, perhaps it’s you who is struggling with objective reality?

    The Cassandra delusion. It’s real and it’s spectacular.

  84. Munny says:

    Bag of Pucks: Would you still feel this way if it was revealed that he was a driving force in the Reinhart trade?

    It would certainly mitigate my thinking, but I find that to be an unlikely scenario given Bob Green is part of the Braintrust and Lowe had already been kicked sideways. Would need some strong evidence of “driving”. And I do mean mitigate… ie body of work not samples of one player.

  85. russ99 says:

    1. MacT is our assistant GM, after being demoted from GM (who in the real world does this?)

    His run as GM can be attributed of being particulary wasteful of cap space, the Gagner arbitraton cave, the Schultz ELC with NHL promises, the Fayne and Pouliot signings. And our supposed “capologist” reported directly to MacT until recently.

    From a 2017 capture of the Oilers Management page:

    “He will work closely with President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Peter Chiarelli and Assistant General Manager, Bill Scott on the daily operations of the Edmonton Oilers”

    So how much of our cap problems are Chia and how many are MacT?

    2. Howson’s blurb from the same capture:

    “In his role, Howson will work closely with Director of Player Personnel Bob Green and will help oversee scouting and development of the club’s minor league affiliates and prospects.”

    So who’s to blame that Jesse didn’t get the support he needed in his first season and why our minor league system was a debacle the last few years (I atttibute this year’s resurgance to K. Gretzky and Woodcroft)

    Yeah, the OBC is blameless. LOL

  86. Ryan says:

    Bag of Pucks: Would you still feel this way if it was revealed that he was a driving force in the Reinhart trade?

    I’m not pinning this on Kevin Lowe, but the Oilers, in general, don’t have much time for the modern NHL defenseman. I’m not sure where this comes from, but their tastes have been slow to evolve with the times. Defend with grit… transition the puck optional defenseman have been the prevailing preference.

  87. OmJo says:

    Chiarelli wasn’t just some rookie GM making his NHL debut when he came here. He had a reputation. He won a cup. He was a veteran GM with some level of authority. Hence why he was named GM and POHO. In a way, his own boss. From my understanding, he was the sole negotiator for contracts and trades. Not MacTavish. Not Howson. Not Lowe.

    If MacTavish comes to you, Peter Chiarelli, and says “hey, you should totally trade for Griffin Reinhart!” that doesn’t mean you call Garth Snow and offer the world for him. If Howson comes to you and say “hey, we need better defencemen!” that doesn’t mean you offer Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson or Cody Ceci. If both of them go to you, Peter Chiarelli, and says “Hey, Kris Russell is a really swell guy!” that doesn’t mean you trade Eberle for Strome to clear up cap space to give Russell a 4-year, $16M contract with a modified NMC.

    Should they be here? No. There are definitely better options out there to replace both MacTavish and Howson. But ultimately Peter Chiarelli did the heavy lifting that put the team in this situation today. He should have brought his own advisors, maybe. But that wouldn’t have made him any less of a poor negotiator.

    See his work in Boston, which he did without the aide of Howson and MacTavish.

  88. Cassandra says:

    I did not say that the OBC was blameless. I said that using the OBC as a trope is a poor heuristic.

  89. GMB3 says:

    JimmyV1965: Sorry to spoil your mood, but if Oilers don’t make a serious attempt to improve the team for next year, they need to trade RNH over the summer. I see no reason other than blind loyalty that he would consider resigning here. You simply can’t let him walk and his trade value diminishes greatly if you move him with only one year left on his contract.

    Oh I’m well aware of that. I was thinking positively.

    The fattie I smoked on the way home from work was the catalyst behind this post

  90. Cassandra says:

    Bag of Pucks: You get called a troll because you have a long documented history of trolling on this site, for which you’ve been called on many many times.

    In failing to acknowledge that, perhaps it’s you who is struggling with objective reality?

    The Cassandra delusion. It’s real and it’s spectacular.

    Whatever. I have a long and established record of being right on these issues. Everything I said has proven true and yet you somehow still seem unable to acknowledge it. Which of us is cursed?

  91. OmJo says:

    russ99: So how much of our cap problems are Chia and how many are MacT?

    Ask the Boston Bruins.

  92. Side says:

    Cassandra:
    I did not say that the OBC was blameless.I said that using the OBC as a trope is a poor heuristic.

    If you have a cancerous tumor, you don’t remove half of it and call the other half a trope.

  93. GMB3 says:

    Ryan: I’m not pinning this on Kevin Lowe, but the Oilers, in general, don’t have much time for the modern NHL defenseman. I’m not sure where this comes from, but their tastes have been slow to evolve with the times. Defend with grit… transition the puck optional defenseman have been the prevailingpreference.

    Weird from an organization that reaped the benefits of Paul Coffeys skill set

  94. Side says:

    Cassandra: Whatever.I have along and established record of being right on these issues.Everything I said has proven true and yet you somehow still seem unable to acknowledge it.Which of us is cursed?

    Incredible. Even more evidence to support the Cassandra Delusion theory.

  95. Bag of Pucks says:

    OmJo,

    An argument against the OBC doesn’t have to be an argumemt for Chiarelli. As many posters have pointed out today, it can be both. Idiocy begats idiocy and it continues.

    They single sourced the Chiarelli hire and all indications are they’re going to do the same with McCrimmon.

    A smart org without hubris would interview lots of candidates and ask each of them, what are we doing wrong from your pov?

  96. Bag of Pucks says:

    Cassandra: Whatever.I have along and established record of being right on these issues.Everything I said has proven true and yet you somehow still seem unable to acknowledge it.Which of us is cursed?

    All Oiler fans are cursed. Oh that’s right, you’re a Canucks fan. I forgot for a second. 0 Cups is always worse than 5.

  97. OmJo says:

    The Oilers Twitter account tweeted this yesterday:

    “Gretzky is now an Oiler!” read the front page of @EdmontonJournal’s sports section on Nov. 3, 1978. One day prior, Wayne, Eddie Mio & Peter Driscoll boarded a small private plane from Indianapolis unsure of their destination.

    IN DEPTH ➜ https://t.co/WuBvtdW0Un https://t.co/ZKO3bL7Gpq

    As somebody who wasn’t born until 15 years later, it was a great read. It’s a shame the responses by fans have almost unanimously been “stop trying to live in the past” because it’s honestly well worth the read on how Gretzky, a nobody at the time, almost ended up a Winnipeg Jet instead of an Edmonton Oiler.

  98. OriginalPouzar says:

    We may see Sekera activated for Friday’s game against Carolina if the league doesn’t agree to the 2 game extension.

    Of course, the team could send Reggie to the Bake on a real conditioning stint (not the current assigned which is to determine “fitness to play”) but, for that, they would need to officially activate him and clear the cap space and, while he’s in Bakersfield, he takes up one of the 23 spots on the NHL roster.

    Either way, if the league doesn’t approve the two game extension, we are likely to see some transactions prior to Friday:

    ——————————-

    Jason Gregor

    Verified account

    @JasonGregor
    10m10 minutes ago
    More
    Sekera will play his 3rd AHL game on Wednesday. Then league will listen to Oilers appeal for two more games. League is very rigid on this. They don’t want teams “hiding” players. Need to see clear reasons why vet would need two more games.

  99. JimmyV1965 says:

    Oddspell: You’re not wrong, but at the same time I think (like Toronto after the Tavares signing) you have to be able to react to the market and if a chance to expedite the process comes along, you shift course.

    I can’t imagine anyone looking Captain Connor in the eye and telling him “We need to be patient, and if all goes right, in 3 more years you could be playing meaningful games.”

    If the team decides not to make significant improvements this summer, I would be much more worried about losing RNH. If they decide to go for the slow rebuild, you have to trade RNH over the summer while there’s still two years left on his deal. I see no reason why RNH would want to resign here in two years.

  100. OmJo says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    OmJo,

    An argument against the OBC doesn’t have to be an argumemt for Chiarelli. As many posters have pointed out today, it can be both. Idiocy begats idiocy and it continues.

    They single sourced the Chiarelli hire and all indications are they’re going to do the same with McCrimmon.

    A smart org without hubris would interview lots of candidates and ask each of them, what are we doing wrong from your pov?

    I agree and I’m in that camp too. That is, fire the mall.

    That said, I genuinely don’t think the OBC had much influence on the… for lack of a better word, “degree” of Chiarelli’s decisions and actions.

    I want them gone because I don’t think they’re the best people for the job, not because I attribute Chiarelli’s failures to them. They have their own failures to reap the consequences for. To me, this mess is a Chiarellian mess and I base it on his actions in Boston as well.

  101. Alpine says:

    My interpretation of the OBC-Chia freeway of ideas was that Chia had full control of the operations. Except Kevin Lowe, when vanquishing his POHO role, likely went to bat for his underlings, that being MacT and Howson, to be kept around by the new boss.

    That’s likely what happened. Maybe Chia saw two former (and failed GMs) as guys he could use for insight. I don’t get the impression Chia was ruthless when filling out his hockey ops, he changed a few scouts out and brought Keith around in 2016, and got rid of Dellow right around the same time. Oh, Stu MacGregor was removed and/or left in 2015.

    So not a lot of turnover. Can’t really conclude who Chia was allowed to keep or dismiss or hire. The end result was Blind Leading the Blind Approach. An initially overrated GM who actively regressed in his ability to acquire and maintain value being consulted by two failed GMs plus some holdovers from the Tambellini era (Sutter, Scott, Carriere). Plus a head scout who heavily overrated a defenseman from his junior team.

    A recipe for success there. Not squarely on Chia or the OBC but very influenced by the former, and sufficiently influenced by a portion of the latter. Chia called MacT the “Number 2 guy” in 2015 so let’s not let Craig off the hook.

  102. Ben says:

    Guys, I have the ultimate reponse to the Cassandra/OBC/trolling debate!:

    We don’t, and can’t know in any meaningful detail what the internal dynamics of management have been over the past decade (other than having delivered historically poor results).

    From Katz calling the Yakupov pick to whatever pre-work might have been done on Reinhart, we can’t *really* know where the buck has stopped, who has previously handled the buck, who whispered about the buck, and who is ultimately responsible for trading the buck for a nickel.

    #FireTheMall sounds fine to me, based purely on results. But let’s not pretend we have any clear sense of how the decisions have been made or by whom–other than ‘badly’, and by poorly-spoken old white guys.

  103. GMB3 says:

    I’ll never understand feeling the need to absolve Chiarelli of blame for this catastrophe of a roster. Unless the ObC was pulling the strings in Boston with the mismanagement of the cap and value.

    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    They say past behaviours are great indicators of future behaviours.

  104. frjohnk says:

    Cassandra:
    I did not say that the OBC was blameless.I said that using the OBC as a trope is a poor heuristic.

    dellowhockey
    ‏Verified account @dellowhockey
    Jan 23
    I’m writing about the Oilers and the future and this doesn’t really fit but blaming the presence of Oiler old boys for their struggles kind of seems incorrect to me.

    Dellow was with the Oilers for over a year of Chia and McClellan. I believe Dellow and the Oilers parted ways in July of 16. A few weeks after the Hall trade. He would have insight on what was going on behind the scenes that few would have access to. Dellows credibility would take a major hit if he was lying here.

    Chia was the one pulling the trigger, and from what I can gather, McClellan was a big provider of the ammunition ( who he wanted out, type of player he wanted in)

    OBC had input for sure. After those picks in 2015 were turned down by Boston ( for Hamilton) and Florida ( Gudbranson) Reinhart was targeted. Interesting that VOR has mentioned that MacT wanted to use those picks to draft after the failed Hamilton trade.

  105. Oddspell says:

    JimmyV1965: If the team decides not to make significant improvements this summer, I would be much more worried about losing RNH. If they decide to go for the slow rebuild, you have to trade RNH over the summer while there’s still two years left on his deal. I see no reason why RNH would want to resign here in two years.

    Definitely, not to mention that in two years you’re talking about re-signing Larsson, Nuge, (and probably PJ coming off a bridge), Yamo and Benson and have already re-signed Nurse.

    Would be nice to be playing competitive games before our good deals come off the books.

  106. Bag of Pucks says:

    OmJo: I agree and I’m in that camp too. That is, fire the mall.

    That said, I genuinely don’t think the OBC had much influence on the… for lack of a better word, “degree” of Chiarelli’s decisions and actions.

    I want them gone because I don’t think they’re the best people for the job, not because I attribute Chiarelli’s failures to them. They have their own failures to reap the consequences for. To me, this mess is a Chiarellian mess and I base it on his actions in Boston as well.

    Fans want to blame someone but it really doesn’t change the spot they’re in now. What matters is what they do going forward. And for me, leaving the rot intact and letting Bobby Burgers fail at another hire would simply compound the debacle.

    Katz has to ask the most pertinent question of all. Why would I believe any of the jokers left standing in this tire fire. Who has any credibility at this point?

  107. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Setting out the clusters like you have, LT, for me, makes my preferred plan continue to look like the right path for me.

    Of course, over the next two years, starting at this year’s deadline and continuing over the spring, a job of our general manager is to try and shed some anchor contracts to open up some cap space to fill some of the glarring holes – true 2RD, top 6 winger, etc.

    Of course, as I’ve posted (at nauseum for some, I’m sure), I am NOT in favor of management trying to press the issue taking penalties to open up the cap space (i.e. paying with assets for teams to take contract or buying out contracts leading to immediate cap savings (of various degrees) but also dead cap hits and extension of contracts).

    Except for Lucic, all the anchor contracts fall away within two more years (the really dead space contracts fall away within one year – Manning, Spooner if the coach won’t play him, etc.).

    Anyways, I don’t believe the organization has the asset base to froce the issue and pay a tax for contract removal and buyouts are terrible for cap management and these contracts will fall away.

    Even without disposing of contracts, if no egregious trades are made for high picks or material prospects out, within two years, the organization should have:

    – tons of cap space

    – a considerable amount of assets acquisition currency

    – elite centers entering their primes – McDavid and Drai

    – other core players entering their primes – Nurse

    – other core players in their primes – Klefbom, Larsson, Nuge (re-signed as he will see its about to get real good)

    – one (or may even both) of Yamamoto or Puljujarvi could solidify himself as a top 6 winger or at least a middle six winger

    – Bouchard could/should be ready to start to provide material minutes and play (one year in AHL and one year sheltered in NHL complete).

    – the swarth of prospects that are on the verge of NHL readiness should lead to one or two value contracts at the bottom of the lineup (one or a couple of Jones, Bear, Persson, Laggesson, Benson, Marody)

    – the continues drafting and development should have more prospects peculating and developing and the organization should have a great amount of NHL ready depth and injury cover

    Anyways, there is current cap hell and little acquisition currency (i.e. coveted assets are assets that need to be kept), however, within a few years that will all change and the core of this team will remain very young, signed and in their primes (some mid prime, some just entering).

    The way out is clear to me, unfortunately, management, whoever it may be, likely sees it differently and will be looking for more immediate marked improvements..

    Agreed for the most part. Many of this teams problems were created due to impatience. Trying to do too many trades, transaction, signings in a short period of time.

    Focus on drafting, development and amature scouting.

    Most good teams these days fill most of their roster internally and maybe sign or trade for a quality UFA or player here or there.

    The market for skill players with short statures is getting saturated courtesy of the Bolts.

    I think there’s still an opportunity with Euro scouting and drafted/unsigned players to find a few good players out there, but I don’t like the idea of paying a bunch of aged UFA’s or overpriced UFA’s that are not difference makers.

  108. Cassandra says:

    The Oilers problem is obvious.

    1) They undervalue skill and overvalue reputation and consequently employ veterans with NHL credibility instead of freely available guys caught between the AHL and NHL. How much better would this team be if it’s top two lines were Pirri-McDavid–Draisatl, Spooner–Hopkins–Leivo? The answer is much better.

    2) They make short term moves rather than long term moves in the attempt to win-now. They need to think longer term.

    But the most interesting question, a question that is not answered by the nattering about the hivemind in control of the Oilers, is what the hell was going on with the Spooner, Manning, Petrovic, and Koskinen contracts? That sequence of events is very strange and very troublesome. Firing everyone doesn’t answer that question.

    The OBC trope speaks to a collective mindset for which there is no evidence. Indeed, what seems to be happening is the distinct lack of a collective vision which has led to the hole being dug deeper and deeper. This is what needs to be figured out and talking about the OBC does not help.

  109. Alpine says:

    Fire the mall is definitely the best option here and probably supported by 99% of the fanbase. It’s never happened in Oilers history to this point. Leafs did it. Hawks did it. Would assume other successful teams did it too to some degree.

  110. Ben says:

    frjohnk: dellowhockey
    ‏Verified account @dellowhockey
    Jan 23
    I’m writing about the Oilers and the future and this doesn’t really fit but blaming the presence of Oiler old boys for their struggles kind of seems incorrect to me.

    Dellow refreshing his Linkedin page like it’s Space Invaders.

  111. Bag of Pucks says:

    Cassandra:
    The Oilers problem is obvious.

    1) They undervalue skill and overvalue reputation and consequently employ veterans with NHL credibility instead of freely available guys caught between the AHL and NHL.How much better would this team be if it’s top two lines were Pirri-McDavid–Draisatl, Spooner–Hopkins–Leivo?The answer is much better.

    2) They make short term moves rather than long term moves in the attempt to win-now.They need to think longer term.

    But the most interesting question, a question that is not answered by the nattering about the hivemind in control of the Oilers, is what the hell was going on with the Spooner, Manning, Petrovic, and Koskinen contracts?That sequence of events is very strange and very troublesome.Firing everyone doesn’t answer that question.

    The OBC trope speaks to a collective mindset for which there is no evidence.Indeed, what seems to be happening is the distinct lack of a collective vision which has led to the hole being dug deeper and deeper.This is what needs to be figured out and talking about the OBC does not help.

    The evidence is their past failures and their continued employment and involvement. History is the best predictor of the future. Everything out of Nicholson’s mouth reinforces that everything is discussed as a group which effectively marginalizes insight to consensus groupthink. Durr. Size good. Lucic scary.

    The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate how people actively employed in hockey Ops are somehow this ‘silent majority?’

  112. Bank Shot says:

    Ben: Dellow refreshing his Linkedin page like it’s Space Invaders.

    Cassandra all over Lowetide at the same time…..

    Anyone ever seen them in the same room together? 😉

  113. v4ance says:

    List of Oiler GMs

    2000-2008 Kevin Lowe
    Years of cash strapped teams that tried to become contenders on a budget. Couldn’t compete against big money teams to buy best available talent until salary cap. Always ended up in the mushy middle; not dropping low enough for great draft picks, not building high enough to be a real contender.

    2008-2013 Steve Tambellini
    Organization finally came to realization that they weren’t good enough managers or talent evaluators to slowly build up incrementally. Had to bottom out and maximize player procurement via draft picks like #1 overalls. After acquiring the talent, didn’t surround them with enough veterans to support and develop the younger players in a sheltered fashion. Sink or swim and many newcomers sank.

    2013-2015 Craig MacTavish
    Caretaker GM who kept adding a few more pieces via draft. Biggest mistakes were not recognizing Petry’s value and sewering Dubnyk’s confidence unnecessarily. A mid career Top 4RHD and starting goalie are consistently missing from this organization because of his mistakes. Biggest wins were signing Hall, Eberle and RNH to matching $6 million/6 year deals coming out of ELC.

    2015-2019 Peter Chiarelli
    Patterns of behavior in Boston: Traded talent for less talent looking for the “perfect fit”. Overpaid in term & NMC/NTC clauses to complimentary players.
    Patterns of behavior in Edmonton: Same as Boston. Acquired a lot of familiar players from teams that he was formerly employed by (Chris Kelly OTT-BOS-EDM, Lucic, Spooner Benning Cave BOS-EDM)

    ***

    Each GM made his own types of mistakes. The OBC were around as advisors not puppetmasters. Part of Chiarelli’s failure was not recognizing that the OBC weren’t great talent evaluators. If he relied on their advice as “old school hockey guys” then it was Chiarelli’s fault for not using the best and most comprehensive player evaluation tools instead of just “saw him good” measures.

    ***

    The one constant failure that links ALL these eras isn’t the presence of the OBC. It’s the inability to make correct player evaluations. That’s on the scouts both pro and amateur. That’s on the GMs. That’s on the coaches too. That’s also on the resistance to looking at new ways of player evaluation via analytics to find outliers and patterns.

    If you can’t determine what is gold and what is shit, you’ll keep trading your gold for shit. That applies to managers just as well as players.

  114. Side says:

    Cassandra:
    what seems to be happening is the distinct lack of a collective vision which has led to the hole being dug deeper and deeper.This is what needs to be figured out and talking about the OBC does not help.

    Distinct lack of collective vision is an organizational failure.

    Who has been employed as part of the organization for the last 13 or so years?

    I wonder indeed.

    If you choose to think about it, it makes sense to want a stronger organization as a whole instead of trying to pin all of the blame on one of many faulty parts within the organization.

    But I guess 13 + years of deciding who fits into which role via duck, duck goose or musical chairs is not enough to convince some that the organization is rotten, and the blame instead lands at the feet of a GM who’s tenure occupied 4 of those years.

    The OBC Oilers had 10 years to think long term and failed. They hired a GM who also failed.

    But the GM is fired, and those running the organization for the 10 previous years have not been fired.

    If you’re interested in longer term planning, buckle up. Maybe the OBC will help accomplish it in another 13 years.

  115. Jordan says:

    Serious Question:

    Dellow for GM?

    Could it happen?

    Asking for a friend…

  116. dustrock says:

    Cassandra:
    The Oilers problem is obvious.

    But the most interesting question, a question that is not answered by the nattering about the hivemind in control of the Oilers, is what the hell was going on with the Spooner, Manning, Petrovic, and Koskinen contracts?That sequence of events is very strange and very troublesome.Firing everyone doesn’t answer that question.

    The OBC trope speaks to a collective mindset for which there is no evidence.Indeed, what seems to be happening is the distinct lack of a collective vision which has led to the hole being dug deeper and deeper.This is what needs to be figured out and talking about the OBC does not help.

    Agreed on (1) a vastly confusing series of obviously terrible trades, and (2) yes we don’t know what we don’t know about the OBC.

    We know they are in the organization. We know they very rarely are interviewed. We don’t know, for example, what Messier does.

    Do they drag these guys out to excite/placate the fans? Are they really involved in any way with the Oilers?

    What’s the reality of their day-to-day involvement? Is it just Red Wine Summits and grousing at Chiarelli?

    Friedman suggested they operated by committee.

    I think about Chiarelli trading Seguin and the meeting about that, it sure looked like a consensus, even if Chia was the one pulling the trigger.

    The fear that Nicholson is correct in saying that the organization approved of the Manning/Petro/Koskinen moves is the terrifying spectre for the average fan.

  117. hunter1909 says:

    Ben: #FireTheMall sounds fine to me, based purely on results. But let’s not pretend we have any clear sense of how the decisions have been made or by whom–other than ‘badly’, and by poorly-spoken old white guys.

    Racist.

  118. smellyglove says:

    Anyone else following the Ryan Lambert, Mark Spector, Ryan Rishaug Twitter blow-up on media subservience to the OBC?

    https://twitter.com/twolinepass/status/1094703439681146884?s=19

  119. Bank Shot says:

    v4ance:
    The one constant failure that links ALL these eras isn’t the presence of the OBC.It’s the inability to make correct player evaluations.That’s on the scouts both pro and amateur. That’s on the GMs.That’s on the coaches too.That’s also on the resistance to looking at new ways of player evaluation via analytics to find outliers and patterns.

    If you can’t determine what is gold and what is shit, you’ll keep trading your gold for shit.That applies to managers just as well as players.

    The problem to me is that the OBC has been in charge of hiring everyone that makes player evaluations. So they bring in liked minded individuals.

    Nicholson was a buddy of Lowe. MacT is still a pro scout with a big voice in the room. Howson as the director of player personnel.

    To say these guys aren’t dominating the conversation when it comes to player evaluation is a stretch to me.

  120. Ben says:

    hunter1909: Racist.

    Haha. Right. You left out sexist and ageist. Enjoy the Jordan B. Peterson convention.

  121. hunter1909 says:

    OBC apologists are currently experiencing their own version of Last Stand Hill.

  122. hunter1909 says:

    Ben: Haha. Right. You left out sexist and ageist. Enjoy the Jordan B. Peterson convention.

    When the Chinese take over I can offer my martial arts experience to help them kick types like you into shape.

  123. Pescador says:

    smellyglove:
    Anyone else following the Ryan Lambert, Mark Spector, Ryan Rishaug Twitter blow-up on media subservience to the OBC?

    https://twitter.com/twolinepass/status/1094703439681146884?s=19

    Shaug & Spec need to ‘helmet-glove fight’
    They just do
    I think that octagon is still up af the Sylvan Lake elks club

  124. Cassandra says:

    frjohnk: dellowhockey
    ‏Verified account @dellowhockey
    Jan 23
    I’m writing about the Oilers and the future and this doesn’t really fit but blaming the presence of Oiler old boys for their struggles kind of seems incorrect to me.

    Dellow was with the Oilers for over a year of Chia and McClellan.I believe Dellow and the Oilers parted ways in July of 16. A few weeks after the Hall trade.He would have insight on what was going on behind the scenes that few would have access to.Dellows credibility would take a major hit if he was lying here.

    Chia was the one pulling the trigger, and from what I can gather, McClellan was a big provider of the ammunition ( who he wanted out, type of player he wanted in)

    OBC had input for sure.After those picks in 2015 were turned down by Boston ( for Hamilton) and Florida ( Gudbranson) Reinhart was targeted.Interesting that VOR has mentioned that MacT wanted to use those picks to draft after the failed Hamilton trade.

    Interesting. So now I’ve heard second hand that MacT didn’t want to trade the picks for Reinhart and MacT didn’t want to trade Hall.

    I wish Kyle Dubas was the general manager of the Oilers. Firing everyone doesn’t make that more likely and it doesn’t help us understand what happened.

    But let us note that every single person with knowledge of the Oilers has said publicly that Chiarelli had autonomy for his decisions. That should be the starting point, not this sad attempt to shift the blame from people who were unwilling to see what was right in front of their faces for so long.

  125. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OmJo:
    Chiarelli wasn’t just some rookie GM making his NHL debut when he came here. He had a reputation. He won a cup. He was a veteran GM with some level of authority. Hence why he was named GM and POHO. In a way, his own boss. From my understanding, he was the sole negotiator for contracts and trades. Not MacTavish. Not Howson. Not Lowe.

    If MacTavish comes to you, Peter Chiarelli, and says “hey, you should totally trade for Griffin Reinhart!” that doesn’t mean you call Garth Snow and offer the world for him. If Howson comes to you and say “hey, we need better defencemen!” that doesn’t mean you offer Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson or Cody Ceci. If both of them go to you, Peter Chiarelli, and says “Hey, Kris Russell is a really swell guy!” that doesn’t mean you trade Eberle for Strome to clear up cap space to give Russell a 4-year, $16M contract with a modified NMC.

    Should they be here? No. There are definitely better options out there to replace both MacTavish and Howson. But ultimately Peter Chiarelli did the heavy lifting that put the team in this situation today. He should have brought his own advisors, maybe. But that wouldn’t have made him any less of a poor negotiator.

    See his work in Boston, which he did without the aide of Howson and MacTavish.

    I’d call it heavy digging:)

  126. YKOil says:

    OilFire: LT, could you put a big ol’, fat ol’ login button on your home page?

    Since login is required, I generally have to (1) Load home page (2) load yesterday’s post (as today’s often doesn’t show before logging in) (3) Scroll down through a very long list of comments–good job on that BTW (4) click login button (5) Type in credentials and get returned to yesterday’s page (6) Click your logon on the top left or re-type your address to get back to your home page that now shows the correct post (7) Click on today’s post.(8) Yell at Woodguy’s phone.

    This. Please.

  127. Ben says:

    hunter1909: When the Chinese take over I can offer my martial arts experience to help them kick types like you into shape.

    Whoa, stand down, Napoleon Dynamite 🙂

    EDIT: By the way, how’s my 50/50 guess on Yak goals/Oiler points looking?

  128. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    We may see Sekera activated for Friday’s game against Carolina if the league doesn’t agree to the 2 game extension.

    Of course, the team could send Reggie to the Bake on a real conditioning stint (not the current assigned which is to determine “fitness to play”) but, for that, they would need to officially activate him and clear the cap space and, while he’s in Bakersfield, he takes up one of the 23 spots on the NHL roster.

    Either way, if the league doesn’t approve the two game extension, we are likely to see some transactions prior to Friday:

    ——————————-

    Jason Gregor

    Verified account

    @JasonGregor10m10 minutes ago
    More
    Sekera will play his 3rd AHL game on Wednesday. Then league will listen to Oilers appeal for two more games. League is very rigid on this. They don’t want teams “hiding” players. Need to see clear reasons why vet would need two more games.

    Almost two seasons on the IR should be reason enough,can’t get much clearer than that.

  129. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pescador: Shaug & Spec need to ‘helmet-glove fight’
    They just do
    I think that octagon is still up af the Sylvan Lake elks club

    Ha ha

  130. Side says:

    Nepotism is one of the biggest problems within the Oilers organization. You should not get a job just because you played for the Oilers in the 80s, but that seems to be partly how Katz has made some of his hiring decisions. If the OBC were all good at their jobs, then how do we explain the Decade of Darkness? V4NCE posts a list of GMs and 3/4 of them are former Oilers and the same 3/4 are STILL within the Oilers organization even though the most recent, non-former Oiler GM was fired. If Chiarelli were a former Oiler, I imagine he would have been moved to another role within the organization by now where he would still be providing input in some capacity.

    The fact that Chiarelli was canned (and is actually leaving the organization) just kind of proves that the organization runs itself via nepotism. Which is enough reason, in my opinion, to fire all of the OBC and clean house.

    Even if they hire Superb GM, Perfect Fit GM, it won’t change the fact that he will be surrounded by people who contributed to this organization’s losing for the last 13+ years.

    Chiarelli is to blame for his decisions and he was fired for it.

    When OBC members were GM, they were to blame for their decisions and they were “fired” for it as well but still put in positions to provide input to the organization.

    Now if Chiarelli was “fired” like the OBC and was put in a different position, would we give Chiarelli the same kind of immunity as the OBC? Where the next GM makes a dumb decision and they fall on their sword for it but Chiarelli, also known for making similar, poor decisions and is in a role that provides input or advice on the shitty decision the new GM made, should not be blamed either?

    Fire the mall.

  131. Lowetide says:

    Talked to GoDaddy, we went through what they control and it’s fine from their end. I have some work in the back to do and will update. We might have to shut this thing down for a little while and re-establish, as one of the problems is this thing is a fracking mountain. Will keep updating.

  132. Ben says:

    Lowetide: shut this thing down for a little while and re-establish

    With respect, “turning it off and on again” is the first thing you should have tried.

  133. Side says:

    Cassandra: Interesting.So now I’ve heard second hand that MacT didn’t want to trade the picks for Reinhart and MacT didn’t want to trade Hall.

    I wish Kyle Dubas was the general manager of the Oilers.Firing everyone doesn’t make that more likely and it doesn’t help us understand what happened.

    But let us note that every single person with knowledge of the Oilers has said publicly that Chiarelli had autonomy for his decisions.That should be the starting point, not this sad attempt to shift the blame from people who were unwilling to see what was right in front of their faces for so long.

    My mind is at ease knowing that the man who said Schultz would be a Norris winner, who wanted Petry gone, who thought Fayne and Ference and Nikitin were the solutions to his D is still in the organization to help steer this ship in the right direction.

  134. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I think there are so many people with some kind of gravity in the org walking the halls (employed, or glory era etc) they probably don’t even know what has happened or who did it, the verbal when it comes seems to support it. The lines are unclear and tangled.

    I’m coming to the opinion the OBC have been trying and changing things up. But they can’t get out of their own way. It’s because of an unprofessional way of doing things I suppose.

    They try to appease the fans by bringing in someone with rep and a likeable guy and not OBC. But they still knew him well and hired him because of his rep and that is Bob.

    But Bob had no NHL experience. And Bob being like them which is why they hired him hired a guy he knew, great guy with a Cup! He knows what it takes to win. Everyone took a step back and let him at it. Autonomy.

    If Bob was more experienced, spoke to more people, maybe he would have seen that Chiarelli was exactly wrong for a young team loaded with assets and cap space, and talent that was acquired with the tears and destroyed livers of the loyal.

    He did exactly as before and got rid of the best players that had been around, made bad trades and equally bad signings. Nobody stepped in until it was impossible to keep him, but after the first few fails there was enough to pipe him – but the shiny bauble of the playoffs distracted them.

    This is at Bob’s feet. He shouldn’t get a pass and should not be hiring.

    One thing that is clear is whoever is pro scouting sucks, and that should be clear to them. Keep all the boys if it feels better, but move a few more out of hockey decisions and look for the best available.

    It is also really poor thinking to hire a GM before POHO. They have asked for permission to talk to AGMs so it makes no sense to let that person have two titles they are in first time. It needs to be two people for two roles. Bob has enough to do.

  135. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Lowetide:
    We might have to shut this thing down for a little while and re-establish, as one of the problems is this thing is a fracking mountain. Will keep updating.

    Send this to Kingsway.

  136. hunter1909 says:

    Ben: EDIT: By the way, how’s my 50/50 guess on Yak goals/Oiler points looking?

    Honestly I wish I had information but these days am more wandering around like I just got hit over the head with a hammer. What exactly was your Oilers points prediction? What exactly was your Yak goals prediction(I think he’s got 20 right now).

  137. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: I have some work in the back to do

    When you come back to the front, bring some cold beers and pretzels, running low in both staples.

    Also, Woodguy is requesting those little pizzas from the Schwans truck.

    Thanks

  138. hunter1909 says:

    Final Word on OBC:

    They have been playing the “Old Shell Game” with the fans, with Katz, with the media, everyone.

    Is Katz honestly this desperate for these clowns to love him? From what I’m seeing is they’re laughing at him.

  139. OmJo says:

    hunter1909: Honestly I wish I had information but these days am more wandering around like I just got hit over the head with a hammer. What exactly was your Oilers points prediction? What exactly was your Yak goals prediction(I think he’s got 20 right now).

    20 goals, 29pts in 42 games.

    Sure could use a goal scoring winger right about now.

    I’m still bitter.

  140. treevojo says:

    Side: My mind is at ease knowing that the man who said Schultz would be a Norris winner, who wanted Petry gone, who thought Fayne and Ference and Nikitin were the solutions to his D is still in the organization to help steer this ship in the right direction.

    Don’t forget

    “ if you have to ask the question”

  141. Bag of Pucks says:

    What Katz needs for this OBC conundrum is Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue. Nobody helps you fire your parasitical pals better than that guy.

    This mgmt team hasnt been the same since Pinkys Show Palace was across the street from their offices.

  142. OriginalPouzar says:

    To paraphrase Jay W. on Sekera – Reg is a poised, confident puck mover. He showed some signs of rust as to be expected. He was a big factor in our PK and was strong in our own zone. He Jumped up in the play when there was the opportunity. Joined the cycle a few times. He was effective in both games

    This lines up with my eye test (I watched 4 of the 6 periods) and from pretty much all accounts I’ve read from those that watched including Ryan Holt and the Condors’ beat reporter (his name escapes me at the moment).

  143. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bear will be coming back in the Condors’ lineup this weak – great news.

  144. Material Elvis says:

    Lowetide:
    Talked to GoDaddy, we went through what they control and it’s fine from their end. I have some work in the back to do and will update. We might have to shut this thing down for a little while and re-establish, as one of the problems is this thing is a fracking mountain. Will keep updating.

    Sounds like GoDaddy needs more character.

  145. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of note, Lagesson has been playing the right side with Sekera.

  146. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Of note, Lagesson has been playing the right side with Sekera.

    And doing well per Woodcroft.

  147. OriginalPouzar says:

    When asked about Logan Day, Jay W. gave kudos to the work of Dave Manson for Day’s improved play in his own zone through the year.

    As we’ve talked about, Day was a tire fire for the first part of the year and he has become generally serviceable away from the puck.

  148. Darth Tu says:

    OmJo: 20 goals, 29pts in 42 games.

    Sure could use a goal scoring winger right about now.

    I’m still bitter.

    I see Franson (some people were a fan of trying to acquire him for the past few seasons) is also performing reasonably well. 27 points in 50 games, +14.

  149. Ben says:

    hunter1909: Honestly I wish I had information but these days am more wandering around like I just got hit over the head with a hammer. What exactly was your Oilers points prediction? What exactly was your Yak goals prediction(I think he’s got 20 right now).

    It was literally 50 goals and 50 points. (I’m closer to both than I thought I’d be!)

  150. Darth Tu says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Of note, Lagesson has been playing the right side with Sekera.

    Is this to get Sek back up to speed with playing with a Left shot on his starboard side? Pair him with Nurse or Russel when he comes back to the NHL?

    I really, really hope Sekera can get back to even 70% of where he was in 16-17.

  151. OmJo says:

    Darth Tu: I see Franson (some people were a fan of trying to acquire him for the past few seasons) is also performing reasonably well.27 points in 50 games, +14.

    Was one of those people lol.

    I think his downfall was his skating though.

  152. Dicky94 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Then get Mike Holmes to come busting through the wall with a sledgehammer saying it’s time to tear it down and start over. Would love to see Tapper rip into Katz though. That guy would make me cry like a baby.

  153. Bank Shot says:

    Side: My mind is at ease knowing that the man who said Schultz would be a Norris winner, who wanted Petry gone, who thought Fayne and Ference and Nikitin were the solutions to his D is still in the organization to help steer this ship in the right direction.

    Remember when he was a coach and everyone said he would be hired in an instant if let go?

    Well he did get hired. In the AHL.

    MacT is probably a great guy. Heck he took a picture with my niece and was very accommodating about it.

    There’s no reason to believe that he should still be in an NHL management group though.

  154. LMHF#1 says:

    Jordan:
    Serious Question:

    Dellow for GM?

    Could it happen?

    Asking for a friend…

    Let’s hope not.

    I mean…the Oilers love themselves a good debacle…but going from one type to another doesn’t sound like fun…it sounds like every other move they’ve made since Sather.

  155. Dicky94 says:

    Dicky94,

    Taffer not Tapper.

  156. texmex says:

    Just watched the highlights from Saturdays game. Talbot let in some shitty goals.

    If he stays on his feet longer, he probably saves 2 or 3 of those goals IMO.

    Is he coached to go down so early?

  157. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Everyone who is slotted at their “actual NHL ability” is doing ok.

    Everyone who is slotted above their “actual NHL ability” is not.

    I will not blame a player for being who he is, rather will blame the org for mis-evaluating him.

    The perfect example was Pete saying he was disappointed in Strome’s results halfway through 17/18 when Strome was scoring *exactly* at the same rate he had for 2 of the last 3 years.

    You can’t write this stuff.

    Come on, he was given a whole 56 minutes at 5 on 5 with McDavid that season…….

  158. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Darth Tu: I see Franson (some people were a fan of trying to acquire him for the past few seasons) is also performing reasonably well.27 points in 50 games, +14.

    I think he’s too slow for the NHL. There’s nowhere to hide anymore, good skating is the baseline now for all players except a very few who are that smart, most aren’t. Great or better skating is best.

    Before huge guys like him could obstruct to get by, or slash etc.

  159. OmJo says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I think he’s too slow for the NHL. There’s nowhere to hide anymore, good skating is the baseline now for all players except a very few who are that smart, most aren’t. Great or better skating is best.

    Before huge guys like him could obstruct to get by, or slash etc.

    Well they still can if they’re playing against McDavid in todays NHL.

  160. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    I have one complaint about Hitchcock.He doesn’t seem to understand that he has a generational talent, and generational talents mean the normal rules of Hitch hockey are probably not optimal.

    A half court offense when McDavid is on the ice is not the right strategy.That will not maximize McDavid.

    Also start as you mean to go on.

    McDavid and Draisaitl as centres.

    Hitch has expressed many times in his tenure that McDavid and Drai are “allowed” to play outside of his system and that none of the other players are. He realizes what he has with those two. There are MANY other things this coach is doing that isn’t leading to success.

  161. OriginalPouzar says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick:
    Glass half-full thought, re: Spooner.
    Massive disappointment this year. Should not have been acquired, but here we are. Healthy scratch did not get him going, cleared waivers (would that be an awakening moment for him??), now riding the bus.
    How is he playing in Bake? Points look “okay”. Maybe, just maybe, if they can’t unload him for an appropriate asset, he comes to camp next year more determined to play in the best hockey league in the world and for his “next contract”. Performance near previous years would be “helpful” to our beleaguered comrades and would also have Benson pushing to get in as a LW in top 6, rather than “just getting in” because of gaping holes in the roster…

    How do I remain this hopeful?

    Firstly, Spooner is too good for the AHL – he’s been a dominant offensive player since he’s been a Condor.

    Secondly, I have been preaching for him to be given a good stretch in the top 6 for a long time now. He has not been given the opportunity to succeed by the coach.

    He got a few games with Nuge when first acquired and then banished to the bottom 6, even playing multiple games with Brodz and Joe G.

    He’s not a “line driver” so how is he supposed to do what he does in that situation? What he does, year after year after year, including last year, is provide top 6 production as a complementary player on a scoring line.

    Seems like that is exactly what the team needs.

    He needs to be given the chance and, right now, he is another fail by the current coach.

  162. hunter1909 says:

    Ben: It was literally 50 goals and 50 points. (I’m closer to both than I thought I’d be!)

    OriginalPouzar: There are MANY other things this coach is doing that isn’t leading to success.

    Given year after year of bad management coming from the rotten fish heads at the top, it’s filtered right into the team since the MacT era where Horcoff was handed a 6 million contract on a miniscule playing sample and captaincy and here we are.

    Pathologically it all points to MacT wanting to elevate himself(Horcoff) to Gretzky like accolades, that fool.

  163. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Cassandra trolling. Like the OBC, some things never change.

    How is a minority opinion trolling?

    Cassandra is not the only one that thinks the OBC blame is severely over-stated.

  164. YKOil says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Of course, over the next two years, starting at this year’s deadline and continuing over the spring, a job of our general manager is to try and shed some anchor contracts to open up some cap space to fill some of the glarring holes – true 2RD, top 6 winger, etc.

    Except for Lucic, all the anchor contracts fall away within two more years (the really dead space contracts fall away within one year – Manning, Spooner if the coach won’t play him, etc.).

    Anyways, I don’t believe the organization has the asset base to force the issue and pay a tax for contract removal and buyouts are terrible for cap management and these contracts will fall away.

    Anyways, there is current cap hell and little acquisition currency (i.e. coveted assets are assets that need to be kept), however, within a few years that will all change and the core of this team will remain very young, signed and in their primes (some mid prime, some just entering).

    The way out is clear to me, unfortunately, management, whoever it may be, likely sees it differently and will be looking for more immediate marked improvements..

    I am mostly in agreement with this. Where we differ is that I am a huge fan of:

    – using retained salary to ensure contract disposal and, where possible, enhanced asset return
    – using pick flips to ensure contract disposal and enhanced asset return.

    If $1.075 million is the value of burying a player in the minors next year then that is the start for our retained salary adventure (in all cases we save a roster spot are letting our AHL guys play):

    Manning – retain $1.075 million and pair with a 6th round pick if needed
    — will only cost another team $1.175 million next year
    — decent price for a 7th/3rd pair guy and if it gets us a 5th or 6th rounder on its own – good
    — if paired draft pick gets us a 4th or ensures the 5th then that is what we do
    — our cap hit next year is $1.075 million… well, at least the cash budget is a little happier

    Spooner – retain a further $1.1 million (drops overall salary to 50%) and pair with a 5th
    — will only cost another team $2 million next year
    — decent price for a depth scoring forward and if it gets us a 4th or 5th on its own – good
    — if paired draft pick gets us a 3rd or ensures the 4th then that is what we do
    — our cap hit next year is $1.1 million… cap savings is $925,000

    Brodziak…. okay, so there is a limit to retained salary use but the pick flip is in play
    — pair with any late pick to get a slightly better late pick
    — cap savings come with using Malone or Cave in that 4th C spot

    Last time we made the play-offs we had a healthy Sekera and Klefbom so I keep Sekera.

    I believe a team can only have 3 retained salary transactions on the books at any one time so my goal would be to keep one slot open. That slot is saved for Lucic.

    If there is a legit chance to trade Lucic, and there will be imo, it will probably come after the July 1 bonus. That $3 million will bring his remaining ‘paid’ salary to $16 million over 4 years and his Cap will be $24 million over those 4 years.

    — for a budget team that is a legit $2 million a year spread and I think that can net a couple of 4th round picks and a mid-to-low tier prospect all on its own
    — if not, then retaining salary (say $1 million /yr) or bringing back a Manning/Spooner type salary (read: shorter term) should get it done
    — if retaining $2 to $3 million a yr gets it done then the return should be better

    Any Cap savings of $2+ million a year gained on Lucic is a win really and should be sought after with zeal. Any Cap savings in terms of shorter years is also a win. Hell, if LA was open to a one-for-one swap on Phaneuf I would be all over it (no idea why LA would do this).

    Retained salary and pick flips are the grease that gets some deals done. I would be using a whack of grease if it helps boost this roster and minimize the negative impact of bad contracts. Huberdeau just popped on the trade list and Myers is an UFA and opportunities are out there but we can’t even make proper bids because those contracts (well, maybe JP gets us in on Huberdeau because the Panthers want to eat the Blue Jackets lunch but I’m not sure I like that idea).

  165. Darth Tu says:

    OmJo: Well they still can if they’re playing against McDavid in todays NHL.

    Ouch lol!

    For the new GM role, I hope the job description includes: Has good relationship with NHL referees – or at least, will challenge non-calls on McDavid.

  166. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    OriginalPouzar: Firstly, Spooner is too good for the AHL – he’s been a dominant offensive player since he’s been a Condor.

    Secondly, I have been preaching for him to be given a good stretch in the top 6 for a long time now.He has not been given the opportunity to succeed by the coach.

    He got a few games with Nuge when first acquired and then banished to the bottom 6, even playing multiple games with Brodz and Joe G.

    He’s not a “line driver” so how is he supposed to do what he does in that situation? What he does, year after year after year, including last year, is provide top 6 production as a complementary player on a scoring line.

    Seems like that is exactly what the team needs.

    He needs to be given the chance and, right now, he is another fail by the current coach.

    Agree. Is a complementary player for top 6, but didn’t have a lot of love here for that. I have also previously suggested he should be given a good go with McD…
    So you are saying, bring him back now? Or as I was suggesting – keep him down a bit longer to let him appreciate the opportunity of being in the NHL so he comes prepared and motivated for next year?

  167. Side says:

    OriginalPouzar: How is a minority opinion trolling?

    Cassandra is not the only one that thinks the OBC blame is severely over-stated.

    Minority opinion may not be trolling, but this certainly is:

    “Whatever. I have a long and established record of being right on these issues. Everything I said has proven true and yet you somehow still seem unable to acknowledge it. “

  168. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3: Oh I’m well aware of that. I was thinking positively.

    The fattie I smoked on the way home from work was the catalyst behind this post

    Why are you running over the obese?

  169. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OmJo: Well they still can if they’re playing against McDavid in todays NHL.

    Ouch!

  170. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Alpine:
    My interpretation of the OBC-Chia freeway of ideas was that Chia had full control of the operations. Except Kevin Lowe, when vanquishing his POHO role, likely went to bat for his underlings, that being MacT and Howson, to be kept around by the new boss.

    That’s likely what happened. Maybe Chia saw two former (and failed GMs) as guys he could use for insight. I don’t get the impression Chia was ruthless when filling out his hockey ops, he changed a few scouts out and brought Keith around in 2016, and got rid of Dellow right around the same time. Oh, Stu MacGregor was removed and/or left in 2015.

    So not a lot of turnover. Can’t really conclude who Chia was allowed to keep or dismiss or hire. The end result was Blind Leading the Blind Approach. An initially overrated GM who actively regressed in his ability to acquire and maintain value being consulted by two failed GMs plus some holdovers from the Tambellini era (Sutter, Scott, Carriere). Plus a head scout who heavily overrated a defenseman from his junior team.

    A recipe for success there. Not squarely on Chia or the OBC but very influenced by the former, and sufficiently influenced by a portion of the latter. Chia called MacT the “Number 2 guy” in 2015 so let’s not let Craig off the hook.

    I think this is the most reasonable take and one that matches with what I hear.

    The only quibble is that it doesn’t mention Duane Sutter.

    From EDM’s website:

    Duane Sutter, 58, enters his ninth season with the Oilers and third season as the Vice President of Player Personnel. Sutter was promoted to the position on July 2, 2016.

    Pete elevated him to VP Player Personnel and he’s basically the head of the pro player department.

    Apparently you can lay more of the mess at his feet than that of MacT and Howson.

    Most of it is Pete’s, but I hear the next biggest chuck is Duane’s.

  171. OriginalPouzar says:

    Was excited to check in during my regular afternoon time while eating my favorite snack of the day for the first time since Wednesday but, alas 80% of the comments about the “OBC” and their “power” when noone, not a single person who is posting here, actually knows with any sort of certainty.

    I’m excited to see the Khria/Nuge/JP line on Wed – hopefully its gets more than 2 shifts.

    I’m very curious to find out what the league decides on the Oilers application to to extend Sekera’s fitness trial assignment but two games and what the team does if its not approved.

  172. OriginalPouzar says:

    Option 1 – League grants the Oilers application for a two game extension for the “deemed fit to play” determination assignment – he gets two more games with no changes

    Option 2 – League denies application – Oilers send Sekera to AHL on a true conditioning stint pursuant to Section 13.9 for some more games – Sekera would need to be activated and the team cap compliant and he would count against the 23 man roster while in the AHL. Sekera would need to consent to this – likely would

    Option 3 – League denies application and the Oilers activate Sekera who waives his NMC and is put on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the AHL – in this case, he is, once again, activated and the team would need to get cap compliant. $1.050,000 of his cap hit would be buried in the minors and he would NOT take up a roster spot

    Option 4 – Oilers activate Sekera and he is on the NHL roster, plays Friday. Of course, cap compliance and a roster spot.

    Option 5 – Sekera remains on LTIR.

    I don’t think option 5 is a viable option – he played 20 and 21 minutes this weekend, looked mobile in both games, has had no set-back and has zero pain. He’s essentially ready.

    I don’t think option 3 is viable either and it is a risk – its probably unlikely but he could get claimed. I would hate to lose Sekera on waivers – ya, ya, ya, $5.5M but he’s looked good in two AHL games (granted AHL games) and he very well could be a material player for this team once again for the next few years. He is an excellent d-man.

    I’m looking forward to him playing for the Oilers – may be as early as this weekend.

  173. Ben says:

    OriginalPouzar: Option 1 – League grants the Oilers application for a two game extension for the “deemed fit to play” determination assignment – he gets two more games with no changes

    I believe the NHLPA can apply directly to keep its players away from the Oilers on humanitarian grounds.

  174. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Hitch has expressed many times in his tenure that McDavid and Drai are “allowed” to play outside of his system and that none of the other players are. He realizes what he has with those two.There are MANY other things this coach is doing that isn’t leading to success.

    Nah…Hitch hockey is half-couirt hockey. The opposing team has 11 defenders in the box, and Hitch wants to run McDavid into the belly of the beast in a pile of dust, instead of spreading out the defense.

    Hitch with his lines and strategy isn’t helping Connor get open ice. It is beginning to show up in the statistics. In a half court game, McDavid is particularly exceptional.

  175. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Firstly, Spooner is too good for the AHL – he’s been a dominant offensive player since he’s been a Condor.

    Secondly, I have been preaching for him to be given a good stretch in the top 6 for a long time now.He has not been given the opportunity to succeed by the coach.

    He got a few games with Nuge when first acquired and then banished to the bottom 6, even playing multiple games with Brodz and Joe G.

    He’s not a “line driver” so how is he supposed to do what he does in that situation? What he does, year after year after year, including last year, is provide top 6 production as a complementary player on a scoring line.

    Seems like that is exactly what the team needs.

    He needs to be given the chance and, right now, he is another fail by the current coach.

    This is where the right coach makes lemonade. Spooner has issues, but he is fast and skilled and not a complete check avoiding perimeter player.

    He is likely in the org next year unless the team grabs a brain and gets a proper GM. He is not expensive at his regular production, he’s in prime.

    Being absolutely committed to one style of hockey means unless the GM can provide exactly what the coach wants when the roster needs it the sparks fly.

    I go on about Q because I feel he rolled with what Bowman provided and did well at it – a lot of D other teams couldn’t use in the NHL tread water at least under him. Revolving door of players after that first purge after a Cup.

    It seems Bowman trading Hjarm was the straw there. I don’t see Kruger as teh answer to anything as some do, but I’d bet he handle now better than what we’ve seen.

  176. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: Almost two seasons on the IR should be reason enough,can’t get much clearer than that.

    He played 20 and 21 minutes on back to back nights with no set-backs and no pain.

    Assuming the same on Wed, one could make the argument an extension is not required. This is not a conditioning assignment (Section 13.8) its an assignment to asset “fitness to play”

  177. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    IIRC Hitch tried Nuge and Spooner early on. That line got its teeth kicked in really badly.

  178. Side says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Was excited to check in during my regular afternoon time while eating my favorite snack of the day for the first time since Wednesday but, alas 80% of the comments about the “OBC” and their “power” when noone, not a single person who is posting here, actually knows with any sort of certainty.

    Do you suggest we don’t discuss topics that we don’t have any certainty about?

    That would eliminate a lotttt of discussion on this blog.

  179. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    We might have to shut this thing down for a little while and re-establish, as one of the problems is this thing is a fracking mountain. Will keep updating.

    OriginalPouzar does not like that….

  180. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    We might have to shut this thing down for a little while and re-establish, as one of the problems is this thing is a fracking mountain. Will keep updating.

    OriginalPouzar does not like that…. (while, of course, also acknowledging that it is what it is).

  181. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darth Tu: Is this to get Sek back up to speed with playing with a Left shot on his starboard side? Pair him with Nurse or Russel when he comes back to the NHL?

    I really, really hope Sekera can get back to even 70% of where he was in 16-17.

    The stated reason by coach was so that he could start playing games on his natural side.

    A bonus is Lagesson doing very well on his off-side.

    As an aside, I do see lots of posts re: Sekera at 2RD and, frankly, I recall him being much less effective on the right side (granted much of that time was spent with a raw Darnell Nurse in top pairing minutes….).

  182. ArmchairGM says:

    Question for the group: what do you think Huberdeau will cost in a trade? What about Ehlers? Chris Kreider? Which of these would you target, or would it be someone else?

  183. Ben says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Question for the group: what do you think Huberdeau will cost in a trade? What about Ehlers? Chris Kreider? Which of these would you target, or would it be someone else?

    Problem with Huberdeau and Ehlers is that they’d both be traded to make cap space (the thought being that Huberdeau goes to make room for one/both of the CBJ guys).

    But I’d do something like JP, 1st, Lagesson, Russell for Huberdeau in a heartbeat.

  184. Cassandra says:

    I can’t believe I am saying this but I think Strudwick is making a lot of sense. I would approve of Ron Hextall as the general manager. It will never happen of course.

  185. Darth Tu says:

    OriginalPouzar: The stated reason by coach was so that he could start playing games on his natural side.

    A bonus is Lagesson doing very well on his off-side.

    As an aside, I do see lots of posts re: Sekera at 2RD and, frankly, I recall him being much less effective on the right side (granted much of that time was spent with a raw Darnell Nurse in top pairing minutes….).

    Excellent. I have a similar memory of the Nurse-Sek pairing.

    I’d rather see Sek-Russell again if it is to be two left shots together. The Nurse-Russell pairing could be doing with some time apart, they’ve been getting caved for most of the past month.

  186. Material Elvis says:

    Cassandra:
    I can’t believe I am saying this but I think Strudwick is making a lot of sense.I would approve of Ron Hextall as the general manager.

    I’m not thrilled about hiring another former hockey player as GM. Hextall has had some success on the draft and development side but has made enough blunders to get a ‘no’ from me. Hire a lawyer, perhaps a former player agent who knows how to negotiate contracts….., er, wait a minute.

  187. commonfan29 says:

    Speaking of the McDavid-Drai cluster, here’s an idea I don’t like at all but fear might be true.

    If there’s one lesson from the last nine years of Oiler hockey, it’s that it doesn’t matter how good your best players are when your worst players are terrible.

    As good as McDavid is, he’s only on the ice for 1/3 of the game (if you’re trying to kill him) and it might actually be a terrible idea to pay one player that much of your cap.

    It’s entirely possible that concentrating on making your worst player as good as possible is a better approach than ensuring your best player is as elite as possible.

    MacT famously said they couldn’t have a bunch of $4 million D, but that might just be one more thing he got wrong.

    That would certainly seem to be the lesson of the Golden Knights, but nobody seems interested in learning it. Instead, it’s been the complete opposite – with the current salary explosion for top-end talent happening right on the heels of Vegas almost winning the Cup with their collection of 2nd and 3rd liners and #4 D-men.

    That the current top-end salary trend was started by the Oilers should be enough to give everyone pause, and yet we’ve instead seen it embraced as the wise way of the future by hockey men and media alike.

    I wonder just how far out of the box the OIlers would have to look to find a new GM willing to re-consider that collective wisdom. Since I love watching McD and Drai play so much, I guess I’m okay with the fact that the Oil would never think of going that route.

    But I do think someone will eventually. And then we might see that it’s a lot easier to build a winner when the end result is the Cup being passed off from one $4 million player to another as far as the eye can see.

  188. OmJo says:

    Side: Minority opinion may not be trolling, but this certainly is:

    “Whatever. I have a long and established record of being right on these issues. Everything I said has proven true and yet you somehow still seem unable to acknowledge it. ”

    I mean they are kinda right though 😛

  189. Bank Shot says:

    Material Elvis: I’m not thrilled about hiring another former hockey player as GM.Hextall has had some success on the draft and development side but has made enough blunders to get a ‘no’ from me.Hire a lawyer, perhaps a former player agent who knows how to negotiate contracts….., er, wait a minute.

    A lawyer would run circles around a jock meathead like Hextall. 😛

  190. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    texmex:
    Just watched the highlights from Saturdays game. Talbot let in some shitty goals.

    If he stays on his feet longer, he probably saves 2 or 3 of those goals IMO.

    Is he coached to go down so early?

    – Watched the game with some LTers here in Toronto on Saturday night- we had a blast

    – We all commented the same thing: he let in a few softies.

    – That goal in the third. Not that there was much chance but down3-1 first shot of period night night.

    – he seems to far in net and down too much

    – great convo today. I have nothing to add. A new GM being hired to great fanfare and shuffling of the existing personel: Plus ca change….

  191. Dustylegnd says:

    Side: My mind is at ease knowing that the man who said Schultz would be a Norris winner, who wanted Petry gone, who thought Fayne and Ference and Nikitin were the solutions to his D is still in the organization to help steer this ship in the right direction.

    If this weren’t so pathetically true, it would be funny good Lord have mercy

  192. Jethro Tull says:

    Hextall and Carlyle next season, book it!

  193. Bank Shot says:

    commonfan29:
    Speaking of the McDavid-Drai cluster, here’s an idea I don’t like at all but fear might be true.

    If there’s one lesson from the last nine years of Oiler hockey, it’s that it doesn’t matter how good your best players are when your worst players are terrible.

    As good as McDavid is, he’s only on the ice for 1/3 of the game (if you’re trying to kill him) and it might actually be a terrible idea to pay one player that much of your cap.

    It’s entirely possible that concentrating on making your worst player as good as possible is a better approach than ensuring your best player is as elite as possible.

    MacT famously said they couldn’t have a bunch of $4 million D, but that might just be one more thing he got wrong.

    That would certainly seem to be the lesson of the Golden Knights, but nobody seems interested in learning it. Instead, it’s been the complete opposite – with the current salary explosion for top-end talent happening right on the heels of Vegas almost winning the Cup with their collection of 2nd and 3rd liners and #4 D-men.

    That the current top-end salary trend was started by the Oilers should be enough to give everyone pause, and yet we’ve instead seen it embraced as the wise way of the future by hockey men and media alike.

    I wonder just how far out of the box the OIlers would have to look to find a new GM willing to re-consider that collective wisdom. Since I love watching McD and Drai play so much, I guess I’m okay with the fact that the Oil would never think of going that route.

    But I do think someone will eventually. And then we might see that it’s a lot easier to build a winner when the end result is the Cup being passed off from one $4 million player to another as far as the eye can see.

    The Vegas situation was pretty unique though. Their pro scouting group did a great job of acquiring underutilized players from other teams.

    I get what you are saying, but to organically build a team of a bunch of good but not great payers would be very difficult to pull off.

    Most teams don’t want to give up their young, cost controlled players with promise so you would have a hard time trading for players to fill up the ranks. You can only draft and develop so many of your own at any one time.

    Generally championship teams have a tight core of 3-5 great players surrounded by maybe 7-8 good players and then a bunch of support guys. I mean Colin Fraser has 3 Stanley Cups. He wasn’t good enough to play on the Oilers though. Great teams have fringe players at the edges as well.

    The problem with the current Oilers wasn’t that Caggiula was holding them back. It was that he was in the convo for being the 4th best forward.

    Oilers are still short on having the necessary number of great players and good players required to be a good club.

    You can marginally improve the fringe players until the cows come home, but if you don’t have a bedrock of talent to place them around, I’m not sure you can make any headway.

  194. Dr. Taboggan says:

    commonfan29,

    The current top-end salary trend was not started by the Oilers and it is also not why the Oilers are not competitive. The top-end salary trend was started by Pittsburgh and Chicago. The problem for the Oilers, which has been discussed ad nauseam, is that they have over-payed for AHL level players (Russell, Lucic, Manning etc.). The league is also filled with good and even great players on cheap contracts. So no, the McDavid and Drai contracts are obviously not the problem. The problem is signing poor players to lots of $$. It is very possible to be successful in the NHL with 3-4 big contract star players surrounded by cheap and effective role-players.

  195. Alpine says:

    commonfan29,

    Vegas didn’t have to give up assets for those guys. They had the most favourable expansion rules ever, took advantage of some dumb GMs, and some dumb luck whereby someone like William Karlsson could triple their scoring rates.

    How do you build a team like that in any other way than through an expansion draft? And look, they’re paying guys like Pacioretty and Stastny and Fleury 6-7 mil so they’re not quite following the 4 million dollar rule. They also have a tax advantage that northern teams won’t have.

    There’s no real formula for winning the Cup outside having lots of good talent through your lineup. If Washington can win with Ovechkin making 9.5 then a team can win less 3 mil in cap space with McDavid makes. Just don’t waste money, it’s that simple.

  196. Buddy says:

    Serious question for those of you who watch Bakersfield a lot and have a sense of the overall level of the AHL.

    If you took the Oilers, removed the actual contributing players (let’s say McDavid, Drai, Nuge; Klef, Larsson, Nurse), replaced them with players of the same level as the rest of the roster (e.g. Strome, Caggiula, Wideman, whoever), and then dropped the whole team into the AHL, how would they do?

  197. YKOil says:

    “Montreal Canadiens have acquired forward Nate Thompson and a 2019 fifth-round pick from the Los Angeles Kings for a 2019 fourth-round selection. Thompson, 34, has four goals and six points in 53 games with the Kings this season. He carries a $1.65 million cap hit this season and is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in July.” – TSN

    And there it is. A pick flip helps things along/improves the return.

  198. leadfarmer says:

    When does Horcoff get to be GM?

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