16 Items or Less

by Lowetide

I’m not sure of the exact number of additional actual NHL players Edmonton needs next season, but it’s more than nine.

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.

A CONVERSATION

  1. You never call. I’ve been busy.
  2. It’s been a busy year for realtors. Haha funny.
  3. When is the last time the Oilers were this bad? Incredibly, this is shaping up as one of the more successful seasons in the cap era. If this year’s team makes 82 points, it would be the second best year (2016-17) since MacT’s last year coaching in 2008-09.
  4. Is this about McDavid ON/OFF again? I think you mean still.
  5. How bad is it? At 5-on-5, the team is 51-46 (+5) with McDavid in 934 minutes. In the 1,729 minutes without 97, the team is being outscored 46-71 (-25).
  6. Are they any better anywhere? Bakersfield Condors are miles ahead of last year and the success is being driven by prospects.
  7. Big whoop! That’s important, not this instant but for next year and beyond. Quality recall options are something the Oilers haven’t enjoyed in many years.
  8. What does a strong recall season look like? In 2009-10, Edmonton recalled Devan Dubnyk, Theo Peckham, Taylor Chorney, Marc Pouliot, Liam Reddox.
  9. What does a strong recall season look like? The most you’re going to get from a single minor league team is maybe four players (01-02 Hamilton Bulldogs produced Fernando Pisani, Jason Chimera, Ty Conklin and Marc-Andre Bergeron).
  10. Who will make it from this year’s Condors? We’ve already talked about that during the Farm Workers post.
  11. Don’t you ever get tired of it all? I still cheer for the Expos and they’re dead. When I was 12, I collected Winston Churchill stamps. I’ve been to hell and back, man.
  12. Seriously man, this has been like 12 years of awful. That’s like 10 percent of your life! When I was a child, my family would go to Jehovah’s Witness conventions. Friday 6-midnight; Saturday 9a-7p; Sunday 8a-4p. I used to do play by play of Expos games in my head to keep from going insane. I’m here for the long haul. Besides the heart wants what it wants.
  13. Sekera is almost ready. Yeah, they might have to hobble him if he doesn’t get hurt in the third rehab game.
  14. How will they make room? Matt Benning trade is my guess, or they demote Manning, plus trade the Gryba cap hit and the first-round pick for a nice chianti.
  15. What do you hope to get from Sekera? If he can return to anything resembling the 2016-17 edition, I expect impressive top-4 minutes on defense and brilliant overtime performances.
  16. Where would you play him? To start, third pairing with Benning, but I’d like to see the Oilers fix that second pairing. So, Sekera with the best partner among Darnell Nurse and Kris Russell.
  17. What do you expect from the deadline? I think the Oilers will trade Cam Talbot and Alex Chiasson, but the trades of players with term remaining is the thing to watch. Matt Benning, Zack Kassian, Kyle Brodziak and Brandon Manning need to be shopped if only to ease the cap issue for summer.
  18. Cap problems are overblown. Right now the Oilers have 16 NHL players signed at $71,191,300. That leaves $11,808,700 for seven players. Trading Benning and Kassian frees up close to $4 million and allows Edmonton to address needs higher on the depth chart with the savings. The new general manager is going to have to be ruthless.
  19. Who should they buyout? I would buyout Ryan Spooner and Brandon Manning plus Andrej Sekera if he can’t be traded, which saves about $7 million.
  20. What about Lucic? I would attempt to trade him. Travis Yost was on twitter last night talking about the Senators needing cap in order to get to the floor if Stone and Duchene go at the deadline.
  21. Giddyup! Might cost you the first-round pick though, and that pick could get you a scoring winger.
  22. What will happen with the prospects? Same as always. Orphans be orphans. If Keith Gretzky becomes general manager, the 2017 and 2018 picks (Yamamoto, Bouchard groups) are safe. I imagine Bob Green’s connections to names like Tyler Benson and Ethan Bear give those men cover, and Caleb Jones has shown enough to be considered a prospect of value.
  23. Jesse Puljujarvi? It’s an ill wind she blows.
  24. What would you do? I’ve already mentioned the buyout stuff and my article at the The Athletic today gives what I’m hoping will be the template the new general manager adopts. I would target one younger player in free agency who could impact next season. That might include Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Ryan Dzingel. I would also overpay Brandon Pirri, who I think is an example of MoneyPuck and could deliver value even if given a ridiculous raise. That gets me two wingers to add to Leon inside the top six forwards, and we’ll have to see if one of the youngsters can grab the other spot (or perhaps a trade gets it done).
  25. What about defence?  It is going to be difficult to fix over one summer. The Klefbom-Larsson pairing works and Nurse-someone who can outlet the puck should settle in as a good second duo. The third pair could be Caleb Jones-Tim Heed and Edmonton could offload Kris Russell in order to pay for the second goaltender. Something like that.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

CFL free agency kicks off this morning, we’ll be balls out on coverage with lots of time to talk Oilers. Starting at 10, TSN1260:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Oilers trade deadline and the new general manager.
  • Darrin Bauming, TSN1290 Winnipeg. Blue Bombers making moves.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. We’ll chat NFL offseason and the Cleveland Browns early transactions.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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OriginalPouzar

Will be interesting to see what happens after the Condors’ game tonight and Sekera’s third game. I know the team wants Sekera back as soon as possible but have informally talked to the league about the 2 game extension. I would think they would formally file after the game for the 2 game extension – I assume the league will grant it but, given the intent of the section being a determination of fitness to play, if Reggie plays another 20 plus minutes with no set-back or pain, the league may not.

Excited to watch both the Oilers and the Condors tonight.

who

OmJo: Russell has the 2RD for two reasons: 1) he’s being paid too much to be a 3LD, and 2) he’s a cowboy. In your opinion, is Russell twice as good as Benning? If you had to choose one of them to be 3RD next season, which would you pick, keeping in mind their respective cap hits?

I’m going to take a page out of Woodguy’s book, brace yourselves because this is probably gonna be bad….

Player A: CF% 45.52, Rel CF% -4.85, GF% 50%

Player B: CF% 48.25, Rel CF% -0.47, GF% 59.18

One of those is the Oilers $4M 2RD, one of them is the Oilers $2M 3RD.

Personally I’d rather the team invest in Benning over Russell if they had to choose. But their choice seems pretty obvious so that doesn’t even matter.

1) What OP said
2) I’m not picking a player to be 3RD. I’m picking a player to play 2RD. And I am willing to pay Russell 2 million more because he has proven he can handle it. I am fine with trading Russell, but not until there is a better, proven option at 2RD. I think he’s here for at least 1 more year.
3) What do you have against cowboys?

OriginalPouzar

Zelepukin: LOL. No, it’s the fact the rest of the team is garbage. There is nothing Hitch can do to increase McD’s points other than the ridiculousness of double shifting him the entire game and putting him with Nuge and Drai.

I don’t agree with this – there are things that Hitch can and cannot do – for once, he cannot force Alex Chiasson on to McDavid’s wing for over 250 5 on 5 minutes – the stats meet the eye test (McDavid has a negative Corsi% and a negative goal share when playing with Chiasson).

Professor Q

Crazy Pedestrian:
Kucherov now has 88 points in 57 games (same amount of points as the team), and He’s currently on a 127 point pace.That’s rediculous. It’s almost unfair that Tampa has already locked him in for 8 years at $9.5M staring next season at the rate everyone else is signing. Tampa Bay would make the playoffs in the west this season with 25 games to spare.

McDavid has 81 points and is on a 121 point pace right now. I’m not sure he will catch Kucherov this time, especially since Hitchcock hockey has seemed to have a negative impact on his overall play.

He was literally only 1 point back a game ago. Now is not the time to panic about McDavid.

GordieHoweHatTrick

godot10: I’m not buying out Lucic.He can sit in the pressbox, and pick up practise pucks for 4 years.And spend half the year away from home.He will be well paid to do that.

A buyout makes no sense.It gains nothing, and only extends the pain of his contract.

Yes!!
New chant for new management:
No more buyouts! No more bleed outs!

GordieHoweHatTrick

OriginalPouzar: That one is on the coach – 100%.

Actually a series of events.
TMac clearly did not like Strome. While “vanilla” he was a serviceable 3RC that could penalty kill and also produce at RW. My feeling is TMac pushed chia et al. For a trade. Poor trade. Coach fired pretty much next game. Then Hitch comes in and Spooner doesn’t play the way Hitch wants. Doesn’t see top 6 minutes doesn’t produce in bottom 6 out of the lineup.
As posted above Spooner’s play has dropped huge this year on both teams. If they can’t grt a decent return in trade, then bring him to camp next year with coach #9.
Do not buy Spooner out. Quit bleeding out.

Wilde

Woodguy v2.0

Lowetide

Thanks folks!!

I’m just getting through this piece at the Athletic by one of their Vancouver guys on a microstat of ‘passes off the rush’ and it’s really exciting stuff for someone who’s doing some tracking + I’ll definitely be adding it to the stable, but it’s also just a very good article on its own:

https://theathletic.com/813442/2019/02/12/what-the-predictive-power-of-passes-off-the-rush-means-for-jake-virtanens-top-six-potential/

These would fall through the cracks in my project before, because passes that don’t result in shots didn’t get recorded.

Zelepukin

Crazy Pedestrian: Hitchcock hockey has seemed to have a negative impact on his overall play.

LOL. No, it’s the fact the rest of the team is garbage. There is nothing Hitch can do to increase McD’s points other than the ridiculousness of double shifting him the entire game and putting him with Nuge and Drai.

OriginalPouzar

OmJo: Russell has the 2RD for two reasons: 1) he’s being paid too much to be a 3LD, and 2) he’s a cowboy. In your opinion, is Russell twice as good as Benning? If you had to choose one of them to be 3RD next season, which would you pick, keeping in mind their respective cap hits?

I’m going to take a page out of Woodguy’s book, brace yourselves because this is probably gonna be bad….

Player A: CF% 45.52, Rel CF% -4.85, GF% 50%

Player B: CF% 48.25, Rel CF% -0.47, GF% 59.18

One of those is the Oilers $4M 2RD, one of them is the Oilers $2M 3RD.

Personally I’d rather the team invest in Benning over Russell if they had to choose. But their choice seems pretty obvious so that doesn’t even matter.

I don’t agree that Russell is playing above Benning in the lineup due to cap hit. Russell started the year on the 3rd pairing and Benning on the 2nd pairing (two years in a row now) and Benning was not able to handle the 2RD spot, two years in a row.

Russell moved up to fill the spot that Benning couldn’t – Russell was actually doing a very good job at 2RD early in the year, even defending the gap aggressively, but has long since regressed to historical norms.

I have posited for two years that the biggest hole on this team is 2RD and that, if Russell is filling that hole, the team is not good enough. I maintain that view but, at the same time, acknowledge that, over the last few years, Russell has done a better job there than Benning.

I like Matt Benning, much more than most Oiler fans, however, he has failed up the lineup each and every time. The book is not closed on his development but, so far, he has’t been able to play above the third pairing but has been very good on the third pairing.

I don’t think those numbers are an honest comparison as they provide Russell’s numbers in top 4 minutes with top 4 comp and Benning’s numbers in 3rd pairing minutes with 3rd pairing comp (generally).

OriginalPouzar

Glovjuice: He’s maybe a six D with a plus lefty five but that is it. And, that’s a stretch (short little strides and
lack of D zone corner retrieval speed and all ).

and at the same age Gustaffson wasn’t even an NHL d-man but an AHL guy.

The point is simply that the developmental book is not closed on many of the young players we have (Benning, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Nurse

flea

Wasn’t the whole deal with the Russell contract is that it was tradeable after the 2nd year? He submits a trade list correct?

Team up the highway might be interested in him, maybe as soon as this deadline.

The Oilers are pretty skilled at using LTIR after this season.

Russell for Michael Stone?

OmJo

who: Russell is better than Benning. Benning has been gifted the 2RD spot for 2 years in a row and lost it both times to Russell.

Russell has the 2RD for two reasons: 1) he’s being paid too much to be a 3LD, and 2) he’s a cowboy. In your opinion, is Russell twice as good as Benning? If you had to choose one of them to be 3RD next season, which would you pick, keeping in mind their respective cap hits?

I’m going to take a page out of Woodguy’s book, brace yourselves because this is probably gonna be bad….

Player A: CF% 45.52, Rel CF% -4.85, GF% 50%

Player B: CF% 48.25, Rel CF% -0.47, GF% 59.18

One of those is the Oilers $4M 2RD, one of them is the Oilers $2M 3RD.

Personally I’d rather the team invest in Benning over Russell if they had to choose. But their choice seems pretty obvious so that doesn’t even matter.

Crazy Pedestrian

Kucherov now has 88 points in 57 games (same amount of points as the team), and He’s currently on a 127 point pace.That’s rediculous. It’s almost unfair that Tampa has already locked him in for 8 years at $9.5M staring next season at the rate everyone else is signing. Tampa Bay would make the playoffs in the west this season with 25 games to spare.

McDavid has 81 points and is on a 121 point pace right now. I’m not sure he will catch Kucherov this time, especially since Hitchcock hockey has seemed to have a negative impact on his overall play.

who

OmJo: $1.9M for a 3RD isn’t bad. $4M for a 3LD is a lot worse. And Benning is only 24/25 years old. Still young enough to become a player.

I’d rather Benning be here and Jones et al. have to compete with him for that roster spot instead of leaving 3RD open and letting 5 rookies fight for it. If they beat him out, you waive him and free up $1M in cap space or trade him. It encourages all of them to get better over the summer and at training camp.

Russell is better than Benning. Benning has been gifted the 2RD spot for 2 years in a row and lost it both times to Russell.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar: Most will say that, given his age, he is what he will be, however, we just saw a great example of how different players can develop at such different paces – Erik Gustafsson just established himself this year as an NHL d-man and is looking like a legit top 4 guy.He turns 27 in a month.At Benning’s age, he had been a failure at the NHL level and was toiling in the minor leagues.

I don’t see Benning materially improving his play, however, it is definitely not out of the question – as we see.

Yes, yes, Glovejuice, slow boots….

He’s maybe a six D with a plus lefty five but that is it. And, that’s a stretch (short little strides and
lack of D zone corner retrieval speed and all ?).

flea

Good night for the Oil on the out of town scoreboard. St L wins but the Wild, Hawks and Avs all lose in regulation. Hope the Knights can take down the Yotes

Incredible the Oilers are still very much alive in this race. But they’ll need a 5 or 6 game win streak minimum at some point to have a shot. They haven’t shown that ability yet this year.

Flames are hitting their late season swoon here too. I think the Knights and Sharks both would beat them in a 7 game series.

Oilers wouldn’t stand much of a chance with either of those teams either.

OmJo

OriginalPouzar:
I really can’t believe that intelligent fans get bent out of shape, even a little, bit when Nicholson and then Gretzky say things they think the team is good, clearly need to make some changes and some moves, but they like the team – of course that is what they are going to say.

Does anyone expect management and senior management to get in front of the press and say this team is rotten, he have 5 keepable players and need to make major changes?

There’d be infinite more outrage if they said that, too. Idk what fans are expecting… obvious PR is obvious. The team still has a statistical chance at making the playoffs so expecting them to come out and say they’re going to be sellers at this point in the season isn’t reasonable. They still have to fill seats with butts.

OmJo

pts2pndr: Paying a first rounder is absolutel idocy in my opinion! We need value contracts going forward. This years first rounder will be in all probability a top 10 and if that is the case giving it away to get rid of lucic is throwing good money after bad!

I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here, even though I’m also mostly against trading the 1st rounder for the sole purpose of getting rid of Lucic.

I agree that we need value contract, but 6 million reasons why we need value contracts is because of the Lucic contract. If you can shed that and sign 2-3 players with that cap hit, you theoretically make the team better right now.

I’d be okay with trading this years first conditionally to remove Lucic from the team – with no salary retention, on the condition that if the pick moves up in the draft lottery, it changes to next years 1st and 4th. If an Oilers GM could pull that off that would be something else.

Glovjuice

Cassandra:
I’ll play the who is better than Lucic game.

The obvious guys are all better (the keepers)

I think Ty Rattie is better.He scores better.How much does he give back on D comparedto Lucic?It can’t be much since Lucic is bad at defensive coverage.I much prefer Rattie and Rattie is on his way out of the NHL.

Reider has 0 goals. Even with that his track record of scoring is better than Lucic.He can also kill penalties.I prefer Reider and Reider is playing his way out of the NHL.

Khaira and Kassian are obviously better than Lucic.As is Chiasson.

Brodziak is old and slow and may be done.Call that one a tossup.I’d rather have Brodziak.

That leaves Malone and Cave.Two AHL players who aren’t really on the team.

This is where we are.Lucic is the worst forward on the team with the worst forward depth in the NHL.That makes Lucic the worst player in the NHL.The logic is inescapable.I don’t see any argument for not buying him out.

Which prescient being from this fine place proclaimed that Lucic is not worth a 7th pick ? So funny that they were so fucking correct.

OriginalPouzar

YKOil: Bruins have a fair number of these, I like Forsbacka Karlsson (22 – RH – C/RW – drafted 2/45) but guessing we get Senyshyn (who is not doing well).

Not a fan of Fitzgerald (but just on spec so it isn’t like I know anything) and Cehlarik, Frederic and Studnicka are too high up the food chain for Chiasson.

Wonder if Spooner might be the get; albeit the wrong wing.As noted, if Spooner, pretty much anything is a win.

Thanks for the info on the Bruins’ prospects – I know nothing about their system. Chiasson has but one goal in the last couple of months – the return won’t be great – B- prospect at best I would think. Hopefully its at least a player with some waiver exemption time left.

I would really like the org to give Spooner a legit chance to succeed, however, if that isn’t going to happen this year then, yes, a disposition that has no penalty (no retention, no buyout, no bad contract back) would be fine.

If they can’t dispose of the contract clean, lets allow the player a fresh start at camp with the new coach.

OriginalPouzar

Oilman99: Spooner was given chances on various lines, and did Didely Sqat, his defensive play was poor, his play making was no better, hence waivers,and a trip to the Bake. No other team thought enough of him, it seems Oiler fans over rate the value of marginal players, which I would you are doing Spooner. Maybe his confidence will be restored playing in the AHL,but a recall does not seem warranted unless he improves markedly.

33 minutes with Drai and 25 with McDavid – positive numbers with both in the small sample.

He has not been given the opportunity in the top 6 with either of the team’s top 2 offensive players.

Nope, no team claimed him for the $3.1M – but there is a big difference between adding that cap commitment and already having it and putting the player in a position to succeed – that is a job of a coach and Hitchcock has failed, utterly and completely.

The organization needs to at the very least give it a chance – the team is in desperate need of wingers to provide secondary scoring and they have a player under contract for next year, at 27 years old, with a career history of doing exactly that.

As an aside, he has looked very good at the AHL level – elite – too good for that level.

YKOil

OriginalPouzar: Oilers scouts are at the Bruins’ game tonight and have been to watch Providence – Pastrnak is out for a few weeks now and their top natural RW is Backes – I think they will be looking to rent Chiasson and the Oilers are likely to get a B- level prospect from the AHL back.

Bruins have a fair number of these, I like Forsbacka Karlsson (22 – RH – C/RW – drafted 2/45) but guessing we get Senyshyn (who is not doing well).

Not a fan of Fitzgerald (but just on spec so it isn’t like I know anything) and Cehlarik, Frederic and Studnicka are too high up the food chain for Chiasson.

Wonder if Spooner might be the get; albeit the wrong wing. As noted, if Spooner, pretty much anything is a win.

flyfish1168

OriginalPouzar:
Rittich starting to leak bad goals.

I hope this continues.

Its becoming the norm after he signs a big fat contract

Chief Inspector

OriginalPouzar:
Rittich starting to leak bad goals.

I hope this continues.

+1

OriginalPouzar

Sierra: What are Spooner’s GF% over those seasons?

Actually – pretty damn sparkling for the most part.

2013/14 – 60% and a GF% of 7.62

2014/15 – 50% and a GF% of 4.24

2015/16 – 50.67% and a GF% of – 0.43

2016/17 – 52.5% and a GF% of 5.81

2017/18 (Boston) – 66.67% and a GF% of 5.21

2017/18 (Boston) – 44.83% and a GF% of -3.25

Ryan

LMHF#1: I would never claim that Connor McDavid’s wingers are easy to find. That’s a moronic approach.

Sather absolutely changed out players on a group renowned for its togetherness.

That was also before the FA+cap era.

There are zero good teams hauling around a multi-year bottom 1/3 of players. It costs too much.

Agreed with keeping the entire 4rth line and 3rd line wingers preferably young and cheap.

Offense peaks at 24… why pay money and term to old vets on the decline?

GMB3

Tampa is outrageously good to watch

OriginalPouzar

Rittich starting to leak bad goals.

I hope this continues.

Oilman99

OriginalPouzar: The coach not giving this player any opportunity to actually do the job he was acquired to do have been baffling to me.If they dispose of this player by buyout, retained salary transaction or bad contract back without giving him a chance to do what he does (which is what this team needs), I will side-eye glare Hitchock for eternity.

Spooner was given chances on various lines, and did Didely Sqat, his defensive play was poor, his play making was no better, hence waivers,and a trip to the Bake. No other team thought enough of him, it seems Oiler fans over rate the value of marginal players, which I would you are doing Spooner. Maybe his confidence will be restored playing in the AHL,but a recall does not seem warranted unless he improves markedly.

LMHF#1

digger50: I must disagree. You are speaking like a business GM, not a team builder. The best teams, the best players of any skill level – get attached to each other. They work together, sacrifice together. You cant simple swap up out folks as if they are just contracts. Its a people game.

Peter “wingers are easy to find”………. he swapped out many, hit on zero and now we have jobs for 6 NHL wingers. How did we get here?

I would never claim that Connor McDavid’s wingers are easy to find. That’s a moronic approach.

Sather absolutely changed out players on a group renowned for its togetherness.

That was also before the FA+cap era.

There are zero good teams hauling around a multi-year bottom 1/3 of players. It costs too much.

leadfarmer

Rittich has not been good lately. Looks like goalering is hurting the
Flames again

Sierra

OriginalPouzar: Exactly!Aside from this year and his rookie year, he’s produced at levels that would be very welcome on this team.

I know he had some solid linemates in Boston, however, I would be shocked if he does’t produce well about 1.5, if not 2.0 with Drai or McDavid – if given the real chance.

Why is the coach wasting this asset?

Did he pull an Aberg?

What are Spooner’s GF% over those seasons?

godot10

Cassandra: If Lucic is a subreplacement level player (which in my opinion he clearly is) then the buyout is an easy call.

You buy him out because he saves you a roster space.Even in those players an AHL player at league minimum is worth the small additional cost to having Lucic on the team.

He’s the worst player on the team.If you disagree I would love to hear a list of players you think contribute less than him.And if he is the worst player on the team you have to buy him out no matter the price.

I’m not buying out Lucic. He can sit in the pressbox, and pick up practise pucks for 4 years. And spend half the year away from home. He will be well paid to do that.

A buyout makes no sense. It gains nothing, and only extends the pain of his contract.

JimmyV1965

oilinthepeg:
So…
If Gretzky thinks that the team is ‘good’.
Like… what do you even do with that?
I can’t even with these people.
Clean house.
All of it.
Please hire some intelligent humans to run this franchise.

Honestly, what else can he say? The team sucks. I’m sure that would resonate well with the players.

OriginalPouzar

Glovjuice: Yup, I still hate the Spooner trade but not givhim a shot with 97 and buying him out is massively egregious for sure. Oilers are a total joke. The fact that we even are talking about this is fucked. Totally fucked.

That one is on the coach – 100%.

OriginalPouzar

I really can’t believe that intelligent fans get bent out of shape, even a little, bit when Nicholson and then Gretzky say things they think the team is good, clearly need to make some changes and some moves, but they like the team – of course that is what they are going to say.

Does anyone expect management and senior management to get in front of the press and say this team is rotten, he have 5 keepable players and need to make major changes?

pts2pndr

Washingtron:
May all these things come to pass! (Especially that Looch one, even if you lose the first rounder you can pay someone who is already at least mostly developed for the McD cluster)

Paying a first rounder is absolutel idocy in my opinion! We need value contracts going forward. This years first rounder will be in all probability a top 10 and if that is the case giving it away to get rid of lucic is throwing good money after bad!

--hudson--

Scungilli Slushy: Someone posted a link (apologies can’t remember) to a piece saying hockey is an elite player driven game.

So yes focusing on impact players is the key (best player wins the trade from long ago) and that the Oilers have been awful at finding the easiest players to acquire shouldn’t make that idea unpalatable.

Deep teams that lack top end talent are President Cup contenders, not Stanley Cup contenders, usually.

I read that link yesterday and not sure it would hold up under any scrutiny. The residuals on all the plots were so poor I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from them.

Regardless maximizing the “strong link” players is the same as minimizing the “weak link” players so long as you consider caphits. I liked the approach Cassandra put forth though. Reminiscent of what the Rangers tried a couple years ago.

JimmyV1965

jtblack: ” Bringing kids into this lineup is a damn fine way to make sure they fail once they get here. I don’t understand why making trades is automatically bad. ”

Why is bringing kids into the lineup automatically bad?

I not saying RUSH kids into the lineup.I am saying full time JP.KY if ready. Bouchard and Benson full time or as earned.The REASON to bring kids in is that they are on ELC’s and are cheap labor.

I have no problem with a good trade. But they are hard to execute. We have had multiple GM’s give up value or give away talent.It’s not easy to say to other GM’s “Take my crap, while giving me a Top 6 F in return.”

We have exactly one line capable of supporting a prospect. Put a kid with McDavid and Drai and they are set up for success. Put a kid on a line with RNH and Lucic, or whatever plug you insert, is not setting them up for success.

Just because the Oilers have failed miserably at trading does not mean this a bad strategy. It means the Oiler mngt group has been incompetent. Bob Mackenzie remarked in a tweet a couple weeks ago that he has never seen a GM lose so many trades. The Oilers are the outlier.

godot10

Kinger_Oil.redux: – In a subsequent response to OP, I went through this, but you ask a good question.

– The hope is that Jones, Bear, Lagesson, Bouchard, Peersoon, etc will eventually be better than him, but they aren’t now

– If you trade Benning, your gifting his slot to one of them.And if Sek is not 100%, gifting another spot to one of them.I’m not enamoured with Russell or Benning per se, but they are better than anything in our system still IMO.We want a better D corps next year than this year, not develop D in the NHL next year.So bring up one of them max.

– If you knew that Sek was healthy, I could see breaking in one of them and trading Benning

Brandon Manning is under contract and has played right D in his career. The Oilers don’t have to trade Benning, but if they get a good offer, they should.

Scungilli Slushy

godot10: If one gets a decent offer for Benning, the Oilers should trade him.The Oilers have Manning signed for next year, and Persson, and Bouchard, and Bear, and Jones, and probably Berglund.#3RD has a lot of cover for the position if Benning is traded.

Mathematically, it makes absolutely zero sense to buyout Manning.His buyout cap hit is about $750K over two years, vs $1.1 million for one year buried in the minors.

Extending his cap impact to two year would be just plain dumb.

#6 or #7 D, a trade with $1 million retained, or buried in the minors are all significantly better options.

Buyouts should be last chance Texaco. A good coach can get enough out of decent players to make it work, a good GM can move players with NHL experience that aren’t ancient or can’t skate.

I ‘expect ‘ a Good New Shiny GM, and Coach. We all deserve it.

JimmyV1965

hunter1909: Of course Oilers management is serious when it comes to stupid. Given your baseless optimism re the Oilers management making trades that aren’t crippling the team, made because the Oilers management have proven incompetence. Therefore, of course you’re right because teams(Islanders, Bruins, Devils) all made themselves significantly better with trading with the committee of the dumbest, most ignorant, fake hockey minds this side of Alpha Centauri.

If the next Oilers GM is as incompetent as the previous GMs it really doesn’t matter if they make trades or not. The team will continue to be a shit show either way.

Scungilli Slushy

Oilpower:
This year’s second and next year’s first should both be in play, as long as your getting back player with term. Both picks are probably 4 years away from helping the team if they ever do help it. The core is young and in its prime. The goal should be compete next year not piss away prime core years

Yes and that the core is so young I think there is a window to trade a first sensibly, but given this season and this draft this year’s has to bring a significant acquisition.

When thinking about wingers one thing that must be kept in mind is that Connor and Leon are young centres and not defensively responsible.

Whoever they acquire needs to complement the existing players, not need to be babysat.

Connor and Leon don’t need to be doing the dirty work, it should be opposite. Stone is a two way player so he’s a no brainer. Nuge can do it for one of them.

With two lines with a solid base who fills the third hole is not as critical. The same problem is at 2RD. There is no reasonable player to fill that hole.

LT says 9, I say 2 key players and the rest are what should be a lot easier and cheaper for a competent org, including good farm options for non key roles.

godot10

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Trading Benning at the deadline because he’stradeable would be a mistake IMO:

– Only Larsson is better RHD (and russell).Jones, Bouchard, Persson etc aren’t better

– Why don’t they play Nurse-Benning more?

– But they probably do trade him, and slot in one of the shiny things who will go through the same learning curve as Benning did.

– Healthy Sek solves a lot of trouble.

If one gets a decent offer for Benning, the Oilers should trade him. The Oilers have Manning signed for next year, and Persson, and Bouchard, and Bear, and Jones, and probably Berglund. #3RD has a lot of cover for the position if Benning is traded.

Mathematically, it makes absolutely zero sense to buyout Manning. His buyout cap hit is about $750K over two years, vs $1.1 million for one year buried in the minors.

Extending his cap impact to two year would be just plain dumb.

#6 or #7 D, a trade with $1 million retained, or buried in the minors are all significantly better options.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
Buyout Spooner and Manning – no, no, no, no, no.

Why extend cap hits beyond the one season of term they have left?

I’d prefer to place Manning in the AHL with a cap savings of $1,075,000 next season – if nothing else it provides a veteran presence for the kids (the Stanton) and some injury cover for call-ups.Or else retain up to $1M and trade him for cap space.

Spooner is an NHL player and needs to be given a real shot in the top 6 with the Oilers so management can ascertain if he can provide exactly what this team needs and exactly what he has brought through his career – top 6 production as a complementary player on a scoring line.

He has done that year after year after year but he has been given no chance to do that as an Oiler – 2 games with Nuge where they got caved and then, boom, relegated to the bottom 6 and often the 4th line.

He’s not a “line driver” but he can produce as a complimentary player with talented linemates.

The coach is failing the organization by not giving this player a chance.

Buyouts are bad business to start with.Buyouts for players that could help if put in a position to succeed are egregious.

Yup, I still hate the Spooner trade but not givhim a shot with 97 and buying him out is massively egregious for sure. Oilers are a total joke. The fact that we even are talking about this is fucked. Totally fucked.

oilinthepeg

So…
If Gretzky thinks that the team is ‘good’.
Like… what do you even do with that?
I can’t even with these people.
Clean house.
All of it.
Please hire some intelligent humans to run this franchise.

OriginalPouzar

OmJo: $1.9M for a 3RD isn’t bad. $4M for a 3LD is a lot worse. And Benning is only 24/25 years old. Still young enough to become a player.

Most will say that, given his age, he is what he will be, however, we just saw a great example of how different players can develop at such different paces – Erik Gustafsson just established himself this year as an NHL d-man and is looking like a legit top 4 guy. He turns 27 in a month. At Benning’s age, he had been a failure at the NHL level and was toiling in the minor leagues.

I don’t see Benning materially improving his play, however, it is definitely not out of the question – as we see.

Yes, yes, Glovejuice, slow boots….

OriginalPouzar

russ99: Say the cap goes up a million each year due to profits with Seattle coming into the league , how bad is it then? There’s also no indication that there will be an amnesty buyout in the next CBA, IMO that was specific to that CBA where the cap was corrected. I’d think there’s a better chance that the cap remains or moves up in the next CBA.

I’d try to trade him first, sure, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have our next GM live closer to the vest for a few years, then have a big chunk of cap open up to add a major contributor towards hopefully by then a contending team.

I wasn’t suggesting that there would be amnesty buyouts as part of the new CBA – I was stating that buying him out without them is a non-starter for me.

The buyout doesn’t even open up cap space – it opens up about $2.5M in years 1 and 3 (a massive cap hit of apx $3.5M stays) but, in years 2 and 4, the cap savings is apx $500K and there is a dead cap hit of apx $5.5M.

The less than 50% cap savings in years 1 and 3 can’t even really be spend given they go away in subsequent years.

jtblack

JimmyV1965: Bringing kids into this lineup is a damn fine way to make sure they fail once they get here. I don’t understand why making trades is automatically bad.

” Bringing kids into this lineup is a damn fine way to make sure they fail once they get here. I don’t understand why making trades is automatically bad. ”

Why is bringing kids into the lineup automatically bad?

I not saying RUSH kids into the lineup. I am saying full time JP. KY if ready. Bouchard and Benson full time or as earned. The REASON to bring kids in is that they are on ELC’s and are cheap labor.

I have no problem with a good trade. But they are hard to execute. We have had multiple GM’s give up value or give away talent. It’s not easy to say to other GM’s “Take my crap, while giving me a Top 6 F in return.”

OriginalPouzar

Cassandra: If Lucic is a subreplacement level player (which in my opinion he clearly is) then the buyout is an easy call.

You buy him out because he saves you a roster space.Even in those players an AHL player at league minimum is worth the small additional cost to having Lucic on the team.

He’s the worst player on the team.If you disagree I would love to hear a list of players you think contribute less than him.And if he is the worst player on the team you have to buy him out no matter the price.

I am going to disagree – i would say that, in the 2019 calendar year, he he has provided more than Rieder, Brodziak, Cave, Khaira on some nights.