There’s a little something for everyone tonight. Fans who still believe there’s a hint of playoff hope can cheer for a win, while selloff fans can talk about seeing specific players for the last time. One thing we can all agree on: The new management group has a lot of work to do, beginning in June.
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.
- New Lowetide: Are the 2018-19 Bakersfield Condors the best Edmonton Oilers affiliate ever?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘One of the best hockey games ever’: An oral history of the 2014 women’s Olympic gold-medal game.
- Lowetide: How can the Oilers successfully sell the new regime to a fan base that is openly angry?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers trade deadline primer: Focus should be on moves that make life easier for the next GM
- Lowetide: Cam Talbot’s Oilers career a disappointment save one beautiful spring.
- Jonathan Willis: Edmonton’s trade for Sam Gagner is a gamble well worth making.
- Jonathan Willis: Inside the success of the Bakersfield Condors, and what it means for Edmonton
- Lowetide: The Oilers sure have a lot of problems, but there is a simple solution.
- Jonathan Willis: Taking stock of Oilers positives as they enter the final third of a dismal 2018-19 season.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Keith Gretzky on the Oilers trade deadline plan, Andrej Sekera’s return and Jesse Puljujarvi’s season
- Lowetide: Oilers’ potential roster upheaval might set a record for summer activity
- Jonathan Willis: Teams should beware of these players at the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
- Lowetide: It’s time for Oilers owner Daryl Katz to stand and deliver a winning organization.
- Lowetide: Entry deal AHL forwards give the Oilers an excellent trade pool.
- Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
- Corey Pronman: 2019 NHL Draft midseason rankings
- Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
- Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
OILERS AFTER 60
- Oilers in 2015: 22-32-6, 50 points; goal differential -31
- Oilers in 2016: 32-20-8, 72 points; goal differential +12
- Oilers in 2017: 25-31-4, 54 points; goal differential -33
- Oilers in 2018: 24-29-6, 54 points; goal differential -25
Last year’s team can catch this year if Edmonton loses tonight, that’s a depressing place to be. If you drew these seasons on a line, the playoff team would tower over the rest of the pack. HOW does Edmonton get back there?
OILERS IN FEBRUARY
- Oilers in February 2016: 2-8-0, four points; goal differential -19
- Oilers in February 2017: 5-5-0, 10 points; goal differential -1
- Oilers in February 2018: 2-7-1, five points; goal differential -5
- Oilers in February 2019: 1-5-3, five points; goal differential -12
This team has been horrible in February. Leading up to trade deadlines, the club gives it away like motel matches. Exception? The playoff team.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY
- On the road to: Philadelphia, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-2)
- At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
- At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Pittsburgh, Carolina, NY Islanders (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-3-0)
- At home to: Arizona, NY Islanders, Anaheim (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-1)
- On the road to: Nashville, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
- Current results: 1-5-3, five points in nine games
I used to have a boss who said you know you’ve made a good deal when both sides are unhappy. I’ve never bought into that idea, and I’m also not sure many hockey deals are “good” for both sides. In this century, the top 10 trade deadline deals by Edmonton are dominated by general manager Kevin Lowe and his work in 2006.
Things were set up nicely for Peter Chiarelli at the 2017 deadline, but he did just one deal (Brandon Davidson for David Desharnais) and didn’t get another chance to be a buyer (perhaps that’s a blessing).
Frank Seravalli (who will be a guest on the Lowdown this morning) and the TSN insiders have been tweaking the trade list daily. Edmonton currently has three men on the list: No. 27 Alex Chiasson; No. 44 Jesse Puljujarvi and No. 46 Tobias Rieder. What does that tell us? Quiet deadline, I expect.
I think the Oilers should make many more players available, and it’s possible one or more of those names might generate interest. Here, let’s start with current roster players we can agree are ‘keepers’ at the deadline.
HEART OF THE ORDER
The new general manager may decide to move someone on this list (Nuge and Larsson are two years from free agency) but for the deadline I believe we’re safe in saying no one on the list is going anywhere.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
I know what you’re thinking but you never know. There might be a team up against the cap and interested in Kevin Gravel. Matt Benning has value (I would prefer to keep him) and Kris Russell is averaging 20:27 a night, I bet there aren’t many available blue with that kind of NHL workload.
The Oilers should be playing the hell out of him on the McDavid line now through season’s end:
- JP 5-on-5 with 97 2016-17: 0-4-4 in 84:01 (2.86)
- JP 5-on-5 with 97 2017-18: 5-3-8 in 256:57 (1.87)
- JP 5-on-5 with 97 2018-19: 1-1-2 in 66:46 (1.80)
- JP 5-on-5 with 97 total: 6-8-14 in 407:44 (2.06)
It looks like the Oilers will send him down around the weekend, and there’s the possibility of a trade. I would keep him in Edmonton. If they’re going to send him to Bakersfield, keep him there, play him 20 minutes a night. Absolutely hammer him into offensive situations.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun, busy day as we get closer to the trade deadline. It all starts at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. The trade deadline is heating up.
- Julian Edlow, Draft Kings. NBA gets back to work.
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. NFL combine and draft straight ahead.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!