WATERLOO SUNSET

So, I had this old car, it was a 1965 Chevy Bel Air Supersport. Red paint, white hard top roof. I loved it. I put more oil than gas in that baby, and you couldn’t drive it 50 feet without getting pulled over in this era, but I loved that money pit. My Dad used to tell me to get a better car, but I’d still have it if not for a sleepy driver at Kavanagh, Alberta in the early hours of a Saturday in spring 1980. I would have been listening to Get Happy by Elvis Costello or Argybargy by Squeeze, on cassette, at a guess. The car cost me so much money because it was always something. Something worn, something broken, something that didn’t fit. So it is with the Chiarelli Oilers.

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. INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Lowetide: Oilers’ prospect Tyler Benson’s rookie AHL season a revelation.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
  • Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how much the Oilers should be willing to spend on pending free agent Alex Chiasson.
  • Lowetide: Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers’ history of 50-goal seasons
  • Jonathan Willis: Keith Gretzky is a legitimate Oilers GM candidate, but would be a hard sell in Edmonton
  • Lowetide: How the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime.
  • Lowetide: How the emergence of William Lagesson in Bakersfield complicates Edmonton’s 2019-20 depth chart.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers aren’t good, but this group has more potential than teams from the decade of darkness
  • Lowetide: Bob Nicholson’s search continues for the Oilers new tomorrow, but at a leisurely pace.
  • Jonathan Willis: Potential GM candidates and why Edmonton needs to consider those with varied experiences
  • Lowetide: Identifying Oilers roster needs reveals a familiar list
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
  • Lowetide: How many future NHL goal scorers are playing for the Bakersfield Condors this season?
  • Lowetide: The career destination for Oilers phenom Jesse Puljujarvi remains unknown.
  • Jonathan Willis: Learning from a flawed argument I made about Leon Draisaitl in 2016.
  • Black Dog Pat: How the Oilers can emerge from the Bob Pulford-like era they’re stuck in.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ deadline decisions inform what may come in spring and summer
  • Jonathan Willis: From Mikko Koskinen to Bakersfield, the next two months will reveal a lot about the Oilers
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.

OILERS AFTER 72

  • Oilers in 2015: 27-38-7, 61 points; goal differential -37
  • Oilers in 2016: 39-24-9, 87 points; goal differential +23
  • Oilers in 2017: 31-36-5, 67 points; goal differential -38
  • Oilers in 2018: 32-33-7, 71 points; goal differential -25

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 4-4-0, eight points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in March 2017: 5-2-1, 11 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in March 2018: 4-3-1, nine points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in March 2019: 5-3-0, 10 points; goal differential +1

WHAT TO EXPECT IN MARCH

  • On the road to: Columbus, Buffalo (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Toronto, NY Rangers, NJD (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 2-2-0)
  • On the road to: Arizona, Vegas, St. Louis (Expected: 0-2-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Columbus, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Dallas, Anaheim (Expected: 3-1-1) (Actual)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-4, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 5-3-0, 10 points in eight games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson were 10-17 in 16:08, 6-11 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-4 HDSC. Klefbom was the best defenseman on the night but Larsson lost a battle on the first GA and later sent a suicide pass to Leon that could have been devastating.
  • Nurse-Russell went 13-20 in 19:04, 3-9 shots, 2-3 goals and 3-5 HDSC. So high event and that’s the story with this duo really. Russell shot himself out of a cannon to get out of position on the Eakin goal, and Nuge needed new lumber so the entire play was chaos. That’s what this pairing brought last night and honestly it’s time for a shuffle.
  • Sekera-Benning were 5-19 in 13:49, 3-11 shots, 0-2 goals and 1-8 HDSC. That’s a ghastly line. I will say Sekera made some nice moves with the puck.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 28 of 34, .824.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian were 3-8 in 9:54, 2-2 shots, 1-1 goals and 1-1 HDSC. That’s the top line, the rest isn’t pretty.
  • Khaira-Nuge-Gagner went 2-4 in 5:01, 0-3 shots and 0-2 HDSC. All three men posted some offense, I’m not sure this line is going to be effective as a trio.
  • Gambardella-Cave-Currie were 3-5 in 4:12, 1-2 shots and 0-1 HDSC. I love the forechecking of this line, specifically Gambardella.
  • Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson went 5-5 in 3:49, 4-3 shots and 1-1 HDSC. An effective line by the numbers, the key for next year is better offensive options for 29 when he’s a pivot.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Kassian were 3-8 in 3:39, 1-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-3 HDSC. Hitch tried it, didn’t work. Time to move on.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Chiasson went 1-4 in 2:49, 0-2 shots and 0-2 HDSC. Not good.

IT’S THE ROSTER, STUPID

  • Ken Hitchcock: “We looked tired in the 3rd period & they amped it up to another level. We were right there after 2. They forced us into a lot of errors (in the 3rd).”

I would add the fact that Vegas is built on speed, aggressiveness and skating a straight line. “Let’s all meet at the Edmonton net” seems to be the motto, and it’s a very effective one. Now, for your enjoyment, here are the 2018-19 boxcars for all wingers involved in last night’s game.

  1. Mark Stone 68, 31-38-69
  2. Jonathan Marchessault 72, 22-27-49
  3. Alex Tuch 64, 19-30-49
  4. Reilly Smith 65, 14-30-44
  5. Max Pacioretty 59, 22-16-38
  6. ALEX CHIASSON 63, 20-13-33
  7. ZACK KASSIAN 69, 12-9-21
  8. Ryan Reaves 71, 9-10-19
  9. JUJHAR KHAIRA 59, 3-15-18
  10. Ryan Carpenter 58, 5-12-17
  11. MILAN LUCIC 70, 5-12-17
  12. Tomas Nosek 59, 7-9-16
  13. TOBIAS RIEDER 58, 0-11-11
  14. SAM GAGNER 21, 5-5-10
  15. JOSH CURRIE 14, 2-2-4
  16. JOE GAMBARDELLA 6, 0-0-0

GAME OVER

The CHL season has concluded, and it’s a chance for us to have a look at the boxcars for Edmonton’s rising group of prospects. I have to say it was a fun group to follow this season. Here are the numbers.

  1. R Kirill Maksimov 63, 40-39-79 (NHLE: 33.2)
  2. RD Evan Bouchard 45, 16-37-53 (NHLE: 31.2)
  3. LC Ryan McLeod 63, 19-43-62 (NHLE: 26.1)
  4. LD Dmitri Samorukov 59, 10-35-45 (NHLE: 20.2)
  5. R Ostap Safin 15, 3-8-11 (NHLE: 17.1)

That’s an impressive graduating class. I’ll suggest the two defensemen are the cream of the crop, Maksimov impressive despite running in place offensively year over year (you like to see a spike). His on-ice goal differential improved, that’s a good sign.

Ryan McLeod hasn’t signed yet, he may not enjoy the new “slow play” template Edmonton is currently adopting in real time. Safin had a tough season, but he did come back and play a little. How many of these kids see action in Bakersfield? We wait.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we kick the week off with a great guest list, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andrew Peard, Oil Kings PBP. Oil Kings win their division!
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers down the stretch, Koskinen’s glove.
  • John Horn, Tennis Insider. The amazing story of Bianca Andreescu and her thrilling victory this weekend.

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

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192 Responses to "WATERLOO SUNSET"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    There were points in the game last night where the Oilers were able to match the effort and effectiveness of the Knights but there were other points where the Knights’ speed, effort, tenacity, skill and depth just overwhelmed the Oilers (for example the first few minutes of the game).

    The Oilers will get there over the next few years (subject to management not making high risk moves) but are simply not there yet.

    How much better would Nurse be if he had a legit 2RD partner with puck moving ability? I hope we find out in October but I don’t imagine we will.

  2. leadfarmer says:

    Mark Stone was an excellent addition and insured that Vegas will make the playoffs their first 5 years in the league.
    Hes a piss cutter
    Good to see a team start of competent

  3. Jethro Tull says:

    Nice post LT.

    Waterloo Sunset? Strong choice. I was hoping for Bright Eyes, but there you go.

    Liked your Toby Reider – Worked Hard. I’ve never doubted his work ethic. But the boy ain’t right, Peg.

    So there we have it. Load up that top line and get McDavid the scoring title again and the devil take the hindmost.

    We are now a Norwegian Blue.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    There were points in the game last night where the Oilers were able to match the effort and effectiveness of the Knights but there were other points where the Knights’ speed, effort, tenacity, skill and depth just overwhelmed the Oilers (for example the first few minutes of the game).

    The Oilers will get there over the next few years (subject to management not making high risk moves) but are simply not there yet.

    How much better would Nurse be if he had a legit 2RD partner with puck moving ability?I hope we find out in October but I don’t imagine we will.

    Nurse is a poor passer so putting him with an even poorer passer is nonsensical.

  5. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: The Oilers will get there over the next few years (subject to management not making high risk moves) but are simply not there yet.

    Nice caveat. May I ask what in the last 14yrs has led you to believe that it will ever happen?

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    One key to note on Maksimov “running in place” is that Niagara got an influx of offensive talent and, from accounts, Maksimov somewhat volunteered to take a step back offensively and focus on the 2-way game. From accounts, he is a very good defensive player and developed in to a plus penalty killer. He has a high work ethic. This is NOT just an offensive only player – he is a guy with a complete game and I’m looking forward to seeing how it translates to pro in Bakersfield next year.

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    How much better would Nurse be if we traded him for Taylor Hall?

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    I imagine each of Bouchard, Samorukov, Maksimov and McLeod will head to Bakersfield once their club playoff seasons are done (unless they make it to the Memorial Cup). Halifax is hosting this year so we won’t see Safin in Bakersfield this year.

    I have been contemplating whether I should cheer for these guys to go far in the OHL playoffs or to get eliminated so they can get some AHL time in.

    What is better for their development?

    Would they even play in the AHL or just get a taste of pro?

    Bouchard and Samorukov, the higher end prospects right now, could be in tough with the really strong defensive depth chart in Bakersfield.

    On the other hand, with Yamamoto out (back next week) and Russell out (longer term) along with Currie, Malone and Joe G. up in the NHL, there is currently room for forwards – they had Logan Day play forward last game. That could change by the time the players are done in the OHL.

    Personally, its easier for me to watch them if they were assigned to the AHL – the early round OHL playoffs are not televised and I have my AHL TV account.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Nice caveat.May I ask what in the last 14yrs has led you to believe that it will ever happen?

    I will deflect that question and respond with the last 14 years not being relevant given new management coming in…….. yes, I will ignore the OBC “issue” as I really have no idea their interplay with the actual GM and generally avoid that verbal.

  10. dessert1111 says:

    If you’re not going to play Stolarz on the second night of a back to back on the road, I don’t know when you will. I assume the plan is to not re-sign him at this point.

    You can normally tell if Koskinen is going to have a good game within the first five minutes or so. He looked shaky all night. It goes against convention but I’d be tempted to pull him after the first stinker he lets in instead of waiting for the game to get out of hand.

  11. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Pacific
    CGY 23
    SJS 22
    VGK 13

    Central
    WPG 17
    NSH 14
    STL 10

    Wildcard
    DAL 8
    ARI 6

    Out of playoffs
    MIN 4
    COL 2
    CHI 2
    EDM -1
    VAN -2
    ANA -5
    LAK -13

    Wildcard Relevant games today:

    ARI at TBY (TBY -280)
    VAN at CHI (CHI -245)

  12. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Atlantic
    TBY 42
    BOS 23
    TOR 19

    Metropolitan
    NYI 19
    WSH 19
    PIT 15

    Wildcard
    CAR 14
    CBJ 12

    Out of playoffs
    MTL 9
    PHI 6
    FLA 4
    BUF -1
    NYR -3
    NJD -10
    DET -12
    OTT -16

    Wildcard Relevant games today: None

  13. Oilin4 says:

    Last night is why you don’t play goalies back-to-back. When will these dinosaurs ever learn?

  14. Rafa Nadal says:

    Mark Stone had 13 shots for and 1 shot against (!!!!!!) last night 5v5. Incredible player.

  15. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Stone is a great player. Next year is his 27 YO season. 6’4″ 220 lbs, not your elite skating extended career type usually but we don’t know for sure.

    8 year contract starting next season. I love the player, but we’ve been down this road. They also have a 31 YO Patches for 4 @ 7M as well.

    If the Oiler get a winger he needs to be young. The top 2 contracts need less costly support, and productive support. High priced ageing UFA’s won’t work.

  16. geowal says:

    I’ve never heard of Alex Tuch until just now. And he’d be our best winger. Sigh.

  17. Durag says:

    Jethro Tull:
    How much better would Nurse be if we traded him for Taylor Hall?

    I know you’re joking about the return, but I have been thinking a lot about the possibility of trading Nurse this summer.

    -He may be riding an all time high trade value in terms of boxcars, ice time and salary.
    -He and Larsson are oil and water as a 2nd pairing, and I’m not confident slotting either of them on the top pair.
    -He will never supplant Klefbom as our top LD.
    -We have a lot of potential internal replacements.

    Now, I hesitate because he is shy of 300 games and it may be another Petry situation where we develop a very solid NHL d-man for another team. On the other hand, I don’t really see the glaring warts in his game getting better (passing, decision making). I think he will be an above average, fast, physical, 3-4 defenceman for many years, but some teams may value him as something much more than that.

  18. dustrock says:

    Hey guys check out the article from Mirtle complaining about the Maple Leafs, boy this sounds similar, I thought Babcock was supposed to be the greatest coach of all time or something?

    https://theathletic.com/873301/2019/03/18/mirtle-its-time-to-ask-some-tough-questions-about-these-maple-leafs/

    1. Could management have done more to address this during the season, given they knew Gardiner was struggling with his ailing back and the team’s defensive issues were present long before the trade deadline?

    2. Has a significant disconnect between management and the coaching staff led to how players such as Jake Muzzin, Justin Holl, Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey have been used on the blue line this season?

    3. How influential was Mike Babcock in the Marleau and Zaitsev signings and is that why they continue to have such significant roles?

    4. Why are they still using Hainsey on the top pair and a similar penalty-kill scheme when both were victimized in the postseason a year ago against Boston? (Hainsey had a 38.8 percent possession mark in the playoffs last year. The PK killed off only 66.7 percent of chances over the seven games.)

    5. Why are so many indicators tied to team systems headed in the wrong direction with the playoffs three weeks away?

    TSN had an interesting poll recently which asked who is under the most pressure to perform in the postseason for Toronto. The four choices were Andersen, Babcock, Matthews and John Tavares.

    I look over that list of five questions above, and at how many relate to similar themes, and it really feels like Babcock is the right answer. Four years into his tenure here, there are finally real expectations on this staff to get the most out of what should be a top-five roster.

  19. Durag says:

    A hearty LOL at Reaves outscoring Lucic.

    YoU hAvE tO pAy a pREmIuM fOR touGHNesS!

  20. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jethro Tull: Load up that top line and get McDavid the scoring title again and the devil take the hindmost.

    I’d say they owe it to him, but there is the pretend playoff making run as the priority.

  21. JimmyV1965 says:

    geowal:
    I’ve never heard of Alex Tuch until just now. And he’d be our best winger. Sigh.

    He would easily be our fourth best forward and it isn’t even close.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    dustrock:
    Hey guys check out the article from Mirtle complaining about the Maple Leafs, boy this sounds similar, I thought Babcock was supposed to be the greatest coach of all time or something?

    https://theathletic.com/873301/2019/03/18/mirtle-its-time-to-ask-some-tough-questions-about-these-maple-leafs/

    1. Could management have done more to address this during the season, given they knew Gardiner was struggling with his ailing back and the team’s defensive issues were present long before the trade deadline?

    2. Has a significant disconnect between management and the coaching staff led to how players such as Jake Muzzin, Justin Holl, Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey have been used on the blue line this season?

    3. How influential was Mike Babcock in the Marleau and Zaitsev signings and is that why they continue to have such significant roles?

    4. Why are they still using Hainsey on the top pair and a similar penalty-kill scheme when both were victimized in the postseason a year ago against Boston? (Hainsey had a 38.8 percent possession mark in the playoffs last year. The PK killed off only 66.7 percent of chances over the seven games.)

    5. Why are so many indicators tied to team systems headed in the wrong direction with the playoffs three weeks away?

    TSN had an interesting poll recently which asked who is under the most pressure to perform in the postseason for Toronto. The four choices were Andersen, Babcock, Matthews and John Tavares.

    I look over that list of five questions above, and at how many relate to similar themes, and it really feels like Babcock is the right answer. Four years into his tenure here, there are finally real expectations on this staff to get the most out of what should be a top-five roster.

    Very familiar sounding. They are right where the Oilers have been, lots of young offensive forwards, a very suspect D group, ageing vets, riding a hot goalie at times. Babcock old timey blender coach (although the best of them IMO).

    Unless Dubas works a few miracles, they will all be shocked next year after the cap cull that they aren’t as good. ‘Where’s the offense gone”?

  23. godot10 says:

    dessert1111:
    If you’re not going to play Stolarz on the second night of a back to back on the road, I don’t know when you will. I assume the plan is to not re-sign him at this point.

    You can normally tell if Koskinen is going to have a good game within the first five minutes or so. He looked shaky all night. It goes against convention but I’d be tempted to pull him after the first stinker he lets in instead of waiting for the game to get out of hand.

    It is more important to see what kind of workload Koskinen can handle, and for Koskinen to experience it so he knows what he has to work on this summer.

    Whether Stolarz is a UFA or RFA really doesn’t matter, particularly since the Oilers should bring in a veteran backup next year for Koskinen.

  24. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    dustrock,

    – Leafs poor play has coincided with Gardiner going down: tough to be good in this league without 6 bona-fide D: as we know well…

    – It will be an interesting off-season for the Leafs regardless of what they do these playoffs

  25. JimmyV1965 says:

    Watching the Oil play a team like Vegas slaps you upside the head when it comes to roster construction. Almost every game we trot out the two best players on the ice and we still get caved. I’m not sure Vegas has a better set of dmen either. It’s probably pretty close. But our fourth best forward might not even make their team. A bit of hyperbole here, but it’s mind blowing how bad our forwards are.

  26. doritogrande says:

    Given how well they’ve been performing as a duo in the AHL this year, I think it’s more than reasonable to keep Benson and Marody together at the NHL level next year with one of our good Cs. If the two of them can become a soft-minutes line with, say Draisaitl, wouldn’t that be playing with house money!

    Still allows to load up 97 and 29 from time to time, as Marody can move over and play center.

  27. jake70 says:

    Vegas is all “middle class”. No rich, no poor – starting to change however. Like Burke said, they had/have a bunch of “8th best” players. Not saddled with bottom of roster filler.

  28. Oilman99 says:

    dessert1111:
    If you’re not going to play Stolarz on the second night of a back to back on the road, I don’t know when you will. I assume the plan is to not re-sign him at this point.

    You can normally tell if Koskinen is going to have a good game within the first five minutes or so. He looked shaky all night. It goes against convention but I’d be tempted to pull him after the first stinker he lets in instead of waiting for the game to get out of hand.

    Stolarz needs to get a string of starts to see if he has any chance of being a starter. Koskinen is not a legit starter, his glove hand is useless,and the rest the teams know top left side is the honey pot. Three years at over $4mil is ridiculous.

  29. Oilman99 says:

    jake70:
    Vegas is all “middle class”. No rich, no poor – starting to change however. Like Burke said, they had/have a bunch of “8th best” players. Not saddled with bottom of roster filler.

    Stone,Patch,Stasney,and a hall of fame goalie,are not 8th best players.

  30. Oilman99 says:

    godot10: It is more important to see what kind of workload Koskinen can handle, and for Koskinen to experience it so he knows what he has to work on this summer.

    Whether Stolarz is a UFA or RFA really doesn’t matter, particularly since the Oilers should bring in a veteran backup next year for Koskinen.

    BACKUP? They need to bring in a starter,not sure Koskinen is a legit backup unless he develops a glove hand.

  31. GBandQ says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Beautiful plumage!

  32. Darth Tu says:

    Oilman99: Stone,Patch,Stasney,and a hall of fame goalie,are not 8th best players.

    I think he was meaning more that last year they were largely constructed with 8th best players (Fleury excluded). Patches, Statsny and Stone represent the change. They gave up a bunch between Patches and Statsny to acquire those players, Vegas still has that solid depth and hasn’t had to pull up the AHL plugs yet.

    I haven’t seen Subban play all that much this year, and boy does he still look shaky in goals for the Knights. They better pray that Fleury stays healthy heading into the playoffs.

  33. Oilin4 says:

    Oilin4:
    Last night is why you don’t play goalies back-to-back. When will these dinosaurs ever learn?

    Follow up: Koski looked like he was playing his “First day after my first night in Vegas” game. My guess is that Vegas will pretty much never miss the playoffs because they’re probably gifted 10-20 points a year because players are often playing this game.

    Edit: In all seriousness, if I ran a hockey team, we’d be flying in to Vegas every game morning. These are 20-30 year-old young men with money to burn. What could possibly go wrong?

  34. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: I will deflect that question and respond with the last 14 years not being relevant given new management coming in…….. yes, I will ignore the OBC “issue” as I really have no idea their interplay with the actual GM and generally avoid that verbal.

    Fair enough, OP. But I have been having trouble trying to marry “Pete was a lone wolf, all decisions were his,” with “three ex-GMs and what do they all do, exactly……”

  35. ArmchairGM says:

    Jethro Tull: So there we have it. Load up that top line and get McDavid the scoring title again and the devil take the hindmost.

    So Nuge – McDavid – Draisaitl?

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Durag:
    A hearty LOL at Reaves outscoring Lucic.

    YoU hAvE tO pAy a pREmIuM fOR touGHNesS!

    Reaves is getting paid a premium. 2 years, $2.75 million per. Many scoffed when the deal was signed as a massive overpay.

    It’s less than half of Lucic’s AAV, & for less than a third of the term, but it still is a premium.

    Sigh.

  37. giddy says:

    geowal:
    I’ve never heard of Alex Tuch until just now. And he’d be our best winger. Sigh.

    I liked watching Tuch last year for the Knights in the ‘yoffs.

    Was shocked to find out the guy was only born in ’96. We all joke how Bouchard looks old but this dude flat out looks 32 going on 23.

  38. giddy says:

    Oilin4: Follow up: Koski looked like he was playing his “First day after my first night in Vegas” game. My guess is that Vegas will pretty much never miss the playoffs because they’re probably gifted 10-20 points a year because players are often playing this game.

    Edit: In all seriousness, if I ran a hockey team, we’d be flying in to Vegas every game morning. These are 20-30 year-old young men with money to burn. What could possibly go wrong?

    I was thinking about this while watching the game yesterday lol. I’d have every Vegas casino offering top level treatment to any and all non-VGK NHL players during the regular season. Like straight up hounding them with VIP treatment. Free best tickets to best shows, bottle service at the best clubs, hot women, you name it.

    When Vegas makes the playoffs, the strip makes more money.

  39. barry.moore23 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I will deflect that question and respond with the last 14 years not being relevant given new management coming in…….. yes, I will ignore the OBC “issue” as I really have no idea their interplay with the actual GM and generally avoid that verbal.

    That was funny when you said ‘new management is coming in’. Love the optimism though history shows it’s more irrational banter. I hope I’m wrong.

  40. Pescador says:

    Darth Tu: I think he was meaning more that last year they were largely constructed with 8th best players (Fleury excluded).
    Vegas still has that solid depth and hasn’t had to pull up the AHL plugs yet.

    LOL
    Edmonton Oilers: leading the league in pulling their plugs since 2006

  41. Reja says:

    godot10: It is more important to see what kind of workload Koskinen can handle, and for Koskinen to experience it so he knows what he has to work on this summer.

    Whether Stolarz is a UFA or RFA really doesn’t matter, particularly since the Oilers should bring in a veteran backup next year for Koskinen.

    Kosh was spotted after the game being Tarred and Feathered by a few unruly Oiler fans. Update-Still no word on his whereabouts more to come later on this developing story.

  42. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Report from Vegas, Fun event, the tailgate party was booming for 2 hours before game time. (Easier to do in +23 C than -23, mind). Pregame stuff was tacky but harmless, anthem singer (P.A. Guy referred to him as “Golden Pipes”) was seriously great, he sang straight up with no ornamentation other than when he went “they flew through the …” and the crowds roared “KNIGHTS!!”

    Then the game started and Oilers were under the gun right form the start. We had fantastic seats, top row of the lower bowl directly behind Koskinen, and we sure saw the puck in our end a lot for 2 of the 3 periods. Vegas had 9 shots before the first TV timeout, & while Koskinen made some big stops there was a time or two he didn’t seem to know exactly where the puck was. His weaknesses on the glove side have been duly noted elsewhere, let’s just say neither goalie had a good game & while a great performance might have stolen a point or even a win, when the shots on net are 34-19 it seems disingenuous to point the first finger at the netminder.

    I’ll be less charitable towards the defence, whose inability to make a decent first pass was a fatal flaw all night long. The only time all game I remember a forward getting a pass with speed in the neutral zone was when Draisaitl sent an aerial beauty to McDavid on the PK, but there was nothing remotely close to that from any d-man, ever. Lots of deliberate D-to-D passes across their own zone, several of which were in danger of getting picked off, but when it finally came the outlet was too soft or in the skates or forced the forward to turn around and reach for it or stop and reach for it or it whistled by him for an icing or — in the notable case of Larsson to Draisaitl — put the forward’s life in clear and present danger. And at that I have not listed the most common form of “pass” which is to ring the puck around the wall, hope the forward (a.k.a. “an Oilers winger, any Oilers winger”) is there, hope the forward wins the inevitable puck battle and hope the forward is himself make a good pass to another forward. The Nurse-Russell pairing was especially egregious for this but while they led the pack in ring-arounds to nobody they were far from alone. A team wide flaw, and a big reason the Oil only got 19 shots. They never had the damn puck with flow.

    Case in point, the third period which the Oil entered with a chance at 3-2 down, but spent the entirety of the first 2:15 on their own side of centre (save for one icing which technically went over centre), allowing the killer 4-2 goal which turned out to be the winner. That time it was Kassian with the ugly cross-ice pass just outside his own blueline that did get picked off for the deadly counterstrike.

    One last gasp by Russell of all people but the 5-3 goal on what seemed fairly obvious goalie interference was the finishing blow and after that the Oilers couldn’t get to the finishing line fast enough.

    Bright points: the Oilers’ (ahem) ONE powerplay was good, the penalty kill was solid, yet another multipoint game for McDavid, Drai scored a nifty one and made a breathtaking aerial stretch pass to McD on the PK, but both of Edmonton’s stars looked tired and had just 1 shot each, which is death to this team that has so little depth.

    Vegas on the other hand has all kinds of depth, kept bringing the heat with all 4 lines. As an expansion team their biggest advantage was entering the league with a cap hit of $0 and no brutal contracts on the books (unlike virtually every pre-existing team), a set of draft rules that didn’t force them to take on junk contracts, and all kinds of room to manoeuvre. Leave aside their impressive run to the SCF last year, the fact was they still had enough cap space to take on a fantastic line of expensive veterans in Pacioretti-Stastny-Stone this season to complement the Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault trio they stole from the expansion process, and their top six is cooking with gas. Bottom six played an effective pressure game, and the six on defence may be fairly nondescript but they moved the puck north a whole hell of a lot more effectively than their counterparts in white could. Even without their star netminder they had way more than enough to handle an Oilers club that by all appearances was running on fumes.

  43. New Improved Darkness says:

    Oilman99: Koskinen is not a legit starter, his glove hand is useless,and the rest the teams know top left side is the honey pot. Three years at over $4mil is ridiculous.

    Small sample size cuts both ways. Koskinen has already said the NHL surprised him not with shot quality, but with shot diversity, especially more shots from ugly angles that somehow trickle in. He’s been adjusting to that all season (with some apparent success in better defending his posts from the lateral sneak-shot).

    For sure he’s going to need to work on his glove hand in the off season, in combination with all the other adjustments he’s already made during a pretty good debut season in a very different league.

    Small sample size says it’s far too soon to predict he won’t be successful in his off-season recalibration. Also, we know he’s a highly disciplined professional, who stays on an even keel, and thinks the game pretty well in the big picture. For this we have large sample size, his short stint in the NHL plus his long stint in the KHL.

    Goalies are voodoo, so it’s not unlikely that fixing a leak in one place springs a new leak (or two) somewhere else. At 6’7″ there are fewer somewhere else’s to worry about, so there’s that.

    Bottom line: it’s an anxious contract, but not a terrible contract—not yet. Yet again we wait.

    ———

    Personally, I’m more interested in picking up the signal that something has changed, and that the results of this aren’t obvious yet. So I don’t factor into my equations the previous 14 years, because that’s guaranteed to swamp the something-is-finally-changing signal.

    Your options boil down like this:

    1) moan about the 14 years and be mostly right, almost always (no real thinking required)
    2) filter out the 14 years, and be the first to notice that the grand collective moan has finally subsided into terminal decay

    You can treat a bottle half-full like a pipe organ and make it emit a low groan by blowing into its neck.

    Or you can grab a straw and blow into the bottom half and turn it a frothy cauldron of fascinating free-foam.

    The one-note groan soon becomes tired and tiring and tiresome, but the undulating foam is like a origami pop-up snowflake on cellulose steroids, and never, ever, ever completely repeats itself. If you’re extra lucky, you’ll laugh so hard that you get your wind in a pretzel, and the murky delight will bubble out from a nostril, or two, too.

    [*] It’s now 100% clear how Jakob Two-Two originally earned his awesome nickname. Contrary to playground rumours later on, it wasn’t showing up for hockey practice one day wearing his older sister’s pink pick skates.

    Shucks. Would you look at that? My bottle’s not even half full any more, but I sure had a blast—and I’m not the least bit tired, or ready for bed yet, either.

    Now where’s that stupid tiger? It’s his turn to learn to huff and puff and lavage his snout like a baby dragon who has just constructed his first play fortress out of twentynineteen pallets of Grape Nehi he nicked from a passing train. (Mommy dragon is going to be so pissed while she coughs up that juvenile, still terribly hard-to-chew Shai-Hulud sandworm she’s busy fetching to better sharpen baby’s fangs.)

  44. leadfarmer says:

    godot10: It is more important to see what kind of workload Koskinen can handle, and for Koskinen to experience it so he knows what he has to work on this summer.

    Whether Stolarz is a UFA or RFA really doesn’t matter, particularly since the Oilers should bring in a veteran backup next year for Koskinen.

    IT is important to never play a goalie on a back to back game. Goalies do not play well the next day and you are better off playing the other guy than your starter. Even very good goalies.
    The fault lies with GM for not having a backup the coach can trust and the coach for playing the same guy on two back to back games.
    Being a starter has nothing to do with playing back to back games

  45. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    New Improved Darkness,

    – Anyone who manages to fit in Jacob 2-2 meets the Hooded Fang (an all time great: god Bless Mordechi), gets insta-kudos: its funny to read that allusion: hadn’t thought about the book in years and years, yet as soon as I saw those words: tons flooded back: what an excellent start to day, thanks for this. (and I went off my post once a day during week for this!)

  46. OmJo says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I’d say they owe it to him, but there is the pretend playoff making run as the priority.

    Increases McDavid’s chances at winning the Art Ross increases the Oilers chances of making the playoffs though.

  47. New Improved Darkness says:

    I just figured something else out: young girl dragons celebrate Bat Mitzvah the moment their wings become strong enough to airlift an entire standardized cargo container (along with any attached rolling stock), no matter what’s inside. Standardized cargo containers, welcome to standardized dragon puberty.

    ———

    The boy dragons have to wait until they can pluck an entire locomotive.

    ———

    Back in the steam era, sometimes a clumsy Ben Stiller dragon would return home with his prize, black and pink in the tenders. Everybody in dragon town could see this coming a mile away, from the terrain-hugging nature of the inbound flight, capped off with a perilously steep final ascent, all the better to keep the radiant undercarriage concealed from public view (so you’d think)—if only the laden buck salmon-spurs the crumbling outcrop from a discrete sixty feet under without cargo and self tumbling Jimbo akimbo into a less-than-balmy Danish-island volcanic void.

    [*] This explains how Puffy—later known as the Little Engine Who Could—learned, through much practice, how to stick a rigid gainer into a pleasantly silty estuary. (Not shown in the film, the Berkers had but one mine, served by one engine, much recovered.)

    Statler Slytherin and Waldorf Worm miss many things, but they miss the bungled steam-train right of passage more than everything else put together. Those were the days my friend, of the soot-bellied pink-nad flamingo.

  48. Bruce McCurdy says:

    PS: Just noticed via Natural Stat Trick that the Patches – Statstny – Stone line had Corsi of +21/ -2 as a trio, with a Fenwick of +17/ -0. Oilers didn’t muster a single unblocked shot attempt in those 13 minutes. Wow.

  49. russ99 says:

    We forget that all of Vegas’ forwards are in the prime age group, where very few of our players are.

    So as much as you can point at skill being the gap, skill only goes so far when playing against fully developed players.

    Maybe we should keep that in mind before promoting the AHL roster and extending our run of youngest roster in the league another year.

  50. dustrock says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    hoo boy.

    Thanks for the detailed game summary.

    Once again, is the issue with the D or the coaches? We have had McLellan and Hitchcock both be unable to provide a consistent breakout/transition game.

    Is that an issue with coaching or is it solely on the players?

    My fear is that we may be more than 1 solid RHD away from a competent D corps.

    And as craptastic as the forward corpse has been this year, one wonders how much the wingers suffer from a terrible D transition game.

  51. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I’ll be less charitable towards the defence, whose inability to make a decent first pass was a fatal flaw all night long. The only time all game I remember a forward getting a pass with speed in the neutral zone was when Draisaitl sent an aerial beauty to McDavid on the PK, but there was nothing remotely close to that from any d-man, ever. Lots of deliberate D-to-D passes across their own zone, several of which were in danger of getting picked off, but when it finally came the outlet was too soft or in the skates or forced the forward to turn around and reach for it or stop and reach for it or it whistled by him for an icing or — in the notable case of Larsson to Draisaitl — put the forward’s life in clear and present danger. And at that I have not listed the most common form of “pass” which is to ring the puck around the wall, hope the forward (a.k.a. “an Oilers winger, any Oilers winger”) is there, hope the forward wins the inevitable puck battle and hope the forward is himself make a good pass to another forward. The Nurse-Russell pairing was especially egregious for this but while they led the pack in ring-arounds to nobody they were far from alone. A team wide flaw, and a big reason the Oil only got 19 shots. They never had the damn puck with flow.

    Indeed.

    Fatal flaw of the team with lack of scoring depth a close 2nd.

    Doesn’t matter who your forwards are if they never get the puck.

  52. hunter1909 says:

    Durag: I know you’re joking about the return, but I have been thinking a lot about the possibility of trading Nurse this summer.

    -He may be riding an all time high trade value in terms of boxcars, ice time and salary.
    -He and Larsson are oil and water as a2nd pairing, and I’m not confident slotting either of them on the top pair.
    -He will never supplant Klefbom as our top LD.
    -We have a lot of potential internal replacements.

    Now, I hesitate because he is shy of 300 games and it may be another Petry situation where we develop a very solid NHL d-man for another team. On the other hand, I don’t really see the glaring warts in his game getting better (passing, decision making). I think he will be an above average, fast, physical, 3-4 defenceman for many years, but some teams may value him as something much more than that.

    Trading Nurse could bite the Oilers where the sun doesn’t shine unless he busts which isn’t very likely the kid’s made of rock he never gets hurt either(cough Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera cough)…

    The horror if he were to break out in a big way is incalculable.

  53. leadfarmer says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    PS: Just noticed via Natural Stat Trick that the Patches – Statstny – Stone line had Corsi of +21/ -2 as a trio, with a Fenwick of +17/ -0. Oilers didn’t muster a single unblocked shot attempt in those 13 minutes. Wow.

    Mark Stone had a +13 on the abysmal Ottawa Sens this year. (I know +/- is out of style but that is a crazy number)
    He has grown to be a top notch 2 way forward in this league
    He is a premier two way forward in this league

  54. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    russ99:
    We forget that all of Vegas’ forwards are in the prime age group, where very few of our players are.

    So as much as you can point at skill being the gap, skill only goes so far when playing against fully developed players.

    Maybe we should keep that in mind before promoting the AHL roster and extending our run of youngest roster in the league another year.

    Want do you consider “prime age” ?

  55. hunter1909 says:

    leadfarmer: IT is important to never play a goalie on a back to back game.Goalies do not play well the next day and you are better off playing the other guy than your starter.Even very good goalies.
    The fault lies with GM for not having a backup the coach can trust and the coach for playing the same guy on two back to back games.
    Being a starter has nothing to do with playing back to back games

    Oilers didn’t get to the depths by being useless in a few areas.

    Oilers useless goalie management being only one of them.

  56. leadfarmer says:

    hunter1909: Trading Nurse could bite the Oilers where the sun doesn’t shine unless he busts which isn’t very likely the kid’s made of rock he never gets hurt either(cough Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera cough)…

    The horror if he were to break out in a big way is incalculable.

    Define break out? Some people are calling him a 50 point defensemen. For a guy that cant pass well. Its a serious flaw.
    We need to get him a Brandon Montour stat

  57. jtblack says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Report from Vegas, Fun event, the tailgate party was booming for 2 hours before game time. (Easier to do in +23 C than -23, mind). Pregame stuff was tacky but harmless, anthem singer (P.A. Guy referred to him as “Golden Pipes”) was seriously great, he sang straight up with no ornamentation other than when he went “they flew through the …” and the crowds roared “KNIGHTS!!”

    Then the game started and Oilers were under the gun right form the start. We had fantastic seats, top row of the lower bowl directly behind Koskinen, and we sure saw the puck in our end a lot for 2 of the 3 periods. Vegas had 9 shots before the first TV timeout, & while Koskinen made some big stops there was a time or two he didn’t seem to know exactly where the puck was. His weaknesses on the glove side have been duly noted elsewhere, let’s just say neither goalie had a good game & while a great performance might have stolen a point or even a win, when the shots on net are 34-19 it seems disingenuous to point the first finger at the netminder.

    I’ll be less charitable towards the defence, whose inability to make a decent first pass was a fatal flaw all night long. The only time all game I remember a forward getting a pass with speed in the neutral zone was when Draisaitl sent an aerial beauty to McDavid on the PK, but there was nothing remotely close to that from any d-man, ever. Lots of deliberate D-to-D passes across their own zone, several of which were in danger of getting picked off, but when it finally came the outlet was too soft or in the skates or forced the forward to turn around and reach for it or stop and reach for it or it whistled by him for an icing or — in the notable case of Larsson to Draisaitl — put the forward’s life in clear and present danger. And at that I have not listed the most common form of “pass” which is to ring the puck around the wall, hope the forward (a.k.a. “an Oilers winger, any Oilers winger”) is there, hope the forward wins the inevitable puck battle and hope the forward is himself make a good pass to another forward. The Nurse-Russell pairing was especially egregious for this but while they led the pack in ring-arounds to nobody they were far from alone. A team wide flaw, and a big reason the Oil only got 19 shots. They never had the damn puck with flow.

    Case in point, the third period which the Oil entered with a chance at 3-2 down, but spent the entirety of the first 2:15 on their own side of centre (save for one icing which technically went over centre), allowing the killer 4-2 goal which turned out to be the winner. That time it was Kassian with the ugly cross-ice pass just outside his own blueline that did get picked off for the deadly counterstrike.

    One last gasp by Russell of all people but the 5-3 goal on what seemed fairly obvious goalie interference was the finishing blow and after that the Oilers couldn’t get to the finishing line fast enough.

    Bright points: the Oilers’ (ahem) ONE powerplay was good, the penalty kill was solid, yet another multipoint game for McDavid, Drai scored a nifty one and made a breathtaking aerial stretch pass to McD on the PK, but both of Edmonton’s stars looked tired and had just 1 shot each, which is death to this team that has so little depth.

    Vegas on the other hand has all kinds of depth, kept bringing the heat with all 4 lines. As an expansion team their biggest advantage was entering the league with a cap hit of $0 and no brutal contracts on the books (unlike virtually every pre-existing team), a set of draft rules that didn’t force them to take on junk contracts, and all kinds of room to manoeuvre. Leave aside their impressive run to the SCF last year, the fact was they still had enough cap space to take on a fantastic line of expensive veterans in Pacioretti-Stastny-Stone this season to complement the Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault trio they stole from the expansion process, and their top six is cooking with gas. Bottom six played an effective pressure game, and the six on defence may be fairly nondescript but they moved the puck north a whole hell of a lot more effectively than their counterparts in white could. Even without their star netminder they had way more than enough to handle an Oilers club that by all appearances was running on fumes.

    +1. Great recap. VEGAS is a great place to watch a game!

    I think you nailed Edmonton’s flaws …. poor d passing and lack of depth …

    “Pacioretti-Stastny-Stone this season to complement the Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault”

    Add Tuch, Pirri when up and some decent bottom 6 types and Vegas has a quality Forward Group.

  58. pts2pndr says:

    New Improved Darkness: Small sample size cuts both ways. Koskinen has already said the NHL surprised him not with shot quality, but with shot diversity, especially more shots from ugly angles that somehow trickle in. He’s been adjusting to that all season (with some apparent success in better defending his posts from the lateral sneak-shot).

    For sure he’s going to need to work on his glove hand in the off season, in combination with all the other adjustments he’s already made during a pretty good debut season in a very different league.

    Small sample size says it’s far too soon to predict he won’t be successful in his off-season recalibration. Also, we know he’s a highly disciplined professional, who stays on an even keel, and thinks the game pretty well in the big picture. For this we have large sample size, his short stint in the NHL plus his long stint in the KHL.

    Goalies are voodoo, so it’s not unlikely that fixing a leak in one place springs a new leak (or two) somewhere else.At 6’7″ there are fewer somewhere else’s to worry about, so there’s that.

    Bottom line: it’s an anxious contract, but not a terrible contract—not yet. Yet again we wait.

    ———

    Personally, I’m more interested in picking up the signal that something has changed, and that the results of this aren’t obvious yet. So I don’t factor into my equations the previous 14 years, because that’s guaranteed to swamp the something-is-finally-changing signal.

    Your options boil down like this:

    1) moan about the 14 years and be mostly right, almost always (no real thinking required)
    2) filter out the 14 years, and be the first to notice that the grand collective moan has finally subsided into terminal decay

    You can treat a bottle half-full like a pipe organ and make it emit a low groan by blowing into its neck.

    Or you can grab a straw and blow into the bottom half and turn it a frothy cauldron of fascinating free-foam.

    The one-note groan soon becomes tired and tiring and tiresome, but the undulating foam is like a origami pop-up snowflake on cellulose steroids, and never, ever, ever completely repeats itself. If you’re extra lucky, you’ll laugh so hard that you get your wind in a pretzel, and the murky delight will bubble out from a nostril, or two, too.

    [*] It’s now 100% clear how Jakob Two-Two originally earned his awesome nickname. Contrary to playground rumours later on, it wasn’t showing up for hockey practice one day wearing his older sister’s pink pick skates.

    Shucks. Would you look at that? My bottle’s not even half full any more, but I sure had a blast—and I’m not the least bit tired, or ready for bed yet, either.

    Now where’s that stupid tiger?It’s his turn to learn to huff and puff and lavage his snout like a baby dragon who has just constructed his first play fortress out of twentynineteen pallets of Grape Nehi he nicked from a passing train. (Mommy dragon is going to be so pissed while she coughs up that juvenile, still terribly hard-to-chew Shai-Hulud sandworm she’s busy fetching to better sharpen baby’s fangs.)

    Thank You. Great post!

  59. dustrock says:

    Do they have any stats available on “transition/counter” goals vs. goals scored in the 5v5 “half-court offence”?

    McDavid and Drai are such great NZ/transition players that it would be interesting to look at the Oilers in a non-counter situation vis-a-vis the average NHL team.

  60. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: Mark Stone had a +13 on the abysmal Ottawa Sens this year.(I know +/- is out of style but that is a crazy number)
    He has grown to be a top notch 2 way forward in this league
    He is a premier two way forward in this league

    Yeah, he’s in the Hall/Benn/Seguin/Marchand level of players.

    One rung below the best but still elite.

  61. Alpine says:

    hunter1909: Trading Nurse could bite the Oilers where the sun doesn’t shine unless he busts which isn’t very likely the kid’s made of rock he never gets hurt either(cough Klefbom, Larsson,Sekera cough)…

    Yeah, that last bit is kind of why I’m not so sold on moving Nurse. Just give him a different partner and see how he does. I don’t think he isn’t a top four guy, and of the Oilers’ current top four quality D, he is the youngest.

    Trading him means you have do a whole other deal for a top 4 D, and probably a RH one at that. Which isn’t always easy, as we know. I want to trade for a RHD regardless but my sights aren’t set as high as they would be if I was moving Nurse.

  62. Reja says:

    russ99:
    We forget that all of Vegas’ forwards are in the prime age group, where very few of our players are.

    So as much as you can point at skill being the gap, skill only goes so far when playing against fully developed players.

    Maybe we should keep that in mind before promoting the AHL roster and extending our run of youngest roster in the league another year.

    Most of the Vegas team last year were cast-offs that never recieved a honest chance or were buried in their respective clubs system. If Vegas didn’t receive a team last year some of these players might very well have been washed out of the league already.

  63. Louis Levasseur says:

    Love the Nuge, but why oh why is he ever allowed to take a defensive zone faceoff, especially on the PK? It boggles my mind that a guy who is clearly skilled hasn’t become even an average faceoff guy after all of these years.

  64. Woogie63 says:

    Last night we had 4 players that have come through our develop system;

    Klefbom
    Khaira
    Gambardella
    Currie

    The best teams (Tbay, Boston, Calgary, Winnipeg, Nashville) have 10 or more players from within there develop system.

  65. Reja says:

    Just spitballing who has more trade value this spring a 3.2 Darnell for one year then a hefty raise or a often injury riddled Kelbom at 4.2 for the next 4 years?

  66. Durag says:

    Reja:
    Just spitballing who has more trade value this spring a 3.2 Darnell for one year then a hefty raise or a often injury riddled Kelbom at 4.2 for the next 4 years?

    Klefbom by a country mile.

  67. jp says:

    Durag: A hearty LOL at Reaves outscoring Lucic.

    YoU hAvE tO pAy a pREmIuM fOR touGHNesS!

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Reaves is getting paid a premium. 2 years, $2.75 million per. Many scoffed when the deal was signed as a massive overpay.

    It’s less than half of Lucic’s AAV, & for less than a third of the term, but it still is a premium.

    Sigh.

    This is also the best season of Reaves’ career, age 32. 569 NHL games, previous career high 80-7-6-13. And 3 AHL seasons before that with 17, 11 and 10 points.

    I’m not defending the Lucic deal, but he was a very well established top 6 winger when he signed. Everyone knew the tail of that deal would be painful, but I’m not aware of any predictions that he’d fall off to replacement level at age 29/30.

  68. jp says:

    Durag: Klefbom by a country mile.

    I’m not a GM, but I highly doubt that’s true.

    Edit:
    Nurse is close to 2 years younger, has missed 0 games over the past 2 yrs to injury (37 for Klefbom), plus physical/intimidating.

    2 yr totals:
    Klefbom 117-10-33-43 -16
    Nurse 154-14-47-61 +4

    It’s tough to make an argument for Klefbom here.

  69. ArmchairGM says:

    Alpine: Yeah, that last bit is kind of why I’m not so sold on moving Nurse. Just give him a different partner and see how he does. I don’t think he isn’t a top four guy, and of the Oilers’ current top four quality D, he is the youngest.

    Trading him means you have do a whole other deal for a top 4 D, and probably a RH one at that. Which isn’t always easy, as we know. I want to trade for a RHD regardless but my sights aren’t set as high as they would be if I was moving Nurse.

    Yeah, I don’t understand this Trade Nurse movement. If and when one of the prospects displaces him at 2LD then by all means, but to make the move this summer seems counterproductive.

  70. Reja says:

    jp: I’m not a GM, but I highly doubt that’s true.

    I think some Gm’s Might pay more for Nurse due to being rawer (higher ceiling) more durability and toughness. I believe these are the only two Oilers on the squad where we might actually win a trade.

  71. hunter1909 says:

    Reja: I think some Gm’s Might pay more for Nurse due to being rawer (higher ceiling) more durability and toughness.

    Picayune stuff.

  72. jp says:

    Reja: I think some Gm’s Might pay more for Nurse due to being rawer (higher ceiling) more durability and toughness. I believe these are the only two Oilers on the squad where we might actually win a trade.

    I’d be very surprised if Nurse’s value around the league isn’t higher.

    It would be very difficult to stomach moving either guy, but yeah there may be potential to win a trade there, in particular if it’s for a good RD. Maybe something around Nurse for Pesce makes sense?

  73. Durag says:

    jp: I’m not a GM, but I highly doubt that’s true.

    Edit:
    Nurse is close to 2 years younger, has missed 0 games over the past 2 yrs to injury (37 for Klefbom), plus physical/intimidating.

    2 yr totals:
    Klefbom 117-10-33-43 -16
    Nurse 154-14-47-61 +4

    It’s tough to make an argument for Klefbom here.

    I think cost and control play a big, big part in Klefbom’s value. 4 more years at ~$4M is a steal for a guy who is at worst a #3 defenceman. I don’t really buy the “injury-prone” narrative on him either. Things like staph infections and a broken finger on a blocked shot are one-off things. It’s not like he’s going down with the same knee or back issue every time.

    ArmchairGM: Yeah, I don’t understand this Trade Nurse movement. If and when one of the prospects displaces him at 2LD then by all means, but to make the move this summer seems counterproductive.

    I’m certainly in no hurry to get rid of Nurse, but you need to get creative to shore up this putrid roster. If Nurse+ nets you a first pairing RD, or an under 28 winger who is a lock for 25+ goals I would be sorely tempted to pull the trigger. Nurse is doing a good job of playing the #2 LD role, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think a healthy Sekera could fill that role, or an emerging Jones/Lagesson, or failing that a reasonably priced FA.

    For the record I like Nurse more than Larsson, but Larsson being a right shot and having long term cost certainty makes him a better fit.

    edit: I thought Larsson had 3 more years left, not 2, but I still think Nurse is looking for a big payday on his next contract.

  74. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I’ll be less charitable towards the defence, whose inability to make a decent first pass was a fatal flaw all night long. The only time all game I remember a forward getting a pass with speed in the neutral zone was when Draisaitl sent an aerial beauty to McDavid on the PK, but there was nothing remotely close to that from any d-man, ever. Lots of deliberate D-to-D passes across their own zone, several of which were in danger of getting picked off, but when it finally came the outlet was too soft or in the skates or forced the forward to turn around and reach for it or stop and reach for it or it whistled by him for an icing or — in the notable case of Larsson to Draisaitl — put the forward’s life in clear and present danger. And at that I have not listed the most common form of “pass” which is to ring the puck around the wall, hope the forward (a.k.a. “an Oilers winger, any Oilers winger”) is there, hope the forward wins the inevitable puck battle and hope the forward is himself make a good pass to another forward. The Nurse-Russell pairing was especially egregious for this but while they led the pack in ring-arounds to nobody they were far from alone. A team wide flaw, and a big reason the Oil only got 19 shots. They never had the damn puck with flow.

    Indeed.

    Fatal flaw of the team with lack of scoring depth a close 2nd.

    Doesn’t matter who your forwards are if they never get the puck.

    An easy rebuttal would be, “the wingers need to come and help more.”

    But I maintain what I’ve always said: If you have players like Hall, Eberle, etc, grinding and digging for the puck behind your own net, you’ve got bigger problems.

  75. jp says:

    Durag: I think cost and control play a big, big part in Klefbom’s value. 4 more years at ~$4M is a steal for a guy who is at worst a #3 defenceman. I don’t really buy the “injury-prone” narrative on him either. Things like staph infections and a broken finger on a blocked shot are one-off things. It’s not like he’s going down with the same knee or back issue every time.

    Well, we’re talking about other GM’s opinions on the players, so who knows.

    I don’t disagree with your points, but Nurse is younger, toolsier, tougher and has better numbers (points, GF/GA, PTS/game to a lesser degree) than Klefbom. And Klefbom has been injured more, had more PP time and better partners.

    IMO Nurse would have more value, even taking current/future contracts into account, but I could also be wrong.

  76. Bruce McCurdy says:

    leadfarmer: Mark Stone had a +13 on the abysmal Ottawa Sens this year.(I know +/- is out of style but that is a crazy number)
    He has grown to be a top notch 2 way forward in this league
    He is a premier two way forward in this league

    Stone is fantastic. No matter how out of style the stat is, it’s tough to get to plus double digits on a shit team like OTT or EDM. Not a one-off either, he is a career +59. He is a great 2 way guy as you say, reads the play like a champ & his stick is a lethal weapon. A 6th round pick for the ages.

  77. godot10 says:

    Reja:
    Just spitballing who has more trade value this spring a 3.2 Darnell for one year then a hefty raise or a often injury riddled Kelbom at 4.2 for the next 4 years?

    One way to ruin all twelve years of McDavid’s tenure in Edmonton is to trade Klefbom or Nurse. Stop trading NHL players entering their prime. Neither is perfect, but the guys you replace them with won’t be either and will almost certainly have the additional flaw of being too old or too young.

    It is time to see a Sekera Nurse pairing with Nurse on the right side.

  78. Jethro Tull says:

    godot10: One way to ruin all twelve years of McDavid’s tenure in Edmonton is to trade Klefbom or Nurse.Stop trading NHL players entering their prime.Neither is perfect, but the guys you replace them with won’g be either and will almost certainly have the additional flaw of being too old or too young.

    It is time to see a Sekera Nurse pairing with Nurse on the right side.

    If Nurse is entering his prime, then we should trade him ASAP. The question is, is he likely to get any better? I keep hearing about “high ceilings”, but that’s a big problem when you have to change light bulbs.

  79. giddy says:

    godot10: One way to ruin all twelve years of McDavid’s tenure in Edmonton is to trade Klefbom or Nurse.Stop trading NHL players entering their prime.Neither is perfect, but the guys you replace them with won’t be either and will almost certainly have the additional flaw of being too old or too young.

    It is time to see a Sekera Nurse pairing with Nurse on the right side.

    Agreed. Too focused on ridding imperfect players coming into their prime, with little to no realization/explanation of what perfect player the Oilers would somehow be getting in return.

  80. Reja says:

    Jethro Tull: An easy rebuttal would be, “the wingers need to come and help more.”

    But I maintain what I’ve always said:If you have players like Hall, Eberle, etc, grinding and digging for the puck behind your own net, you’ve got bigger problems.

    How many times in a Oiler broadcast do you hear a Oiler D headman’s the puck to a streaking player X especially the fastest player on two skates. Bouchard is our best passer on D and he’s in Junior hockey.

  81. ArmchairGM says:

    Jethro Tull: If Nurse is entering his prime, then we should trade him ASAP.

    This makes zero sense. Sarcasm?

  82. giddy says:

    Jethro Tull: If Nurse is entering his prime, then we should trade him ASAP.The question is, is he likely to get any better?I keep hearing about “high ceilings”, but that’s a big problem when you have to change light bulbs.

    If the Oilers traded Nurse now, what do you honestly expect the return to be? Who is coming back in return that is going to improve the team not only short term, but long term as well?

    I don’t know if Nurse will ever have a good first pass, or if the occasional d’oh moments will ever fully disappear, but I do realize he is still young and has shown year-on-year improvement, hard to deny that.

    I mean hell, look at Petry as the perfect example–I know some like to tout how they always thought Petry was a future stud but he got waaay more flack than Nurse does now and people called nightly for him to be traded. Low and behold, MacT pulls the trigger on trading him and within three seasons after everyone is lamenting how we could only dream of having a 40 pt RHD like Petry on the Oil.

    Only way I’d trade Nurse is if we’re getting a near equivalent age RHD who is putting up 30+ pts a season who is making <5m, ideally $4.5m or less. Don't see where we're getting that.

  83. jp says:

    Jethro Tull: If Nurse is entering his prime, then we should trade him ASAP.The question is, is he likely to get any better?I keep hearing about “high ceilings”, but that’s a big problem when you have to change light bulbs.

    That’s the key. Find a GM who’ll correctly identify whether the light bulb is about to come on or whether it needs changing. And if it needs changing whether this light bulb has more value than that light bulb.

    We get to complain regardless what they do.

  84. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: This makes zero sense. Sarcasm?

    “If this is what Nurse is, then trade him ASAP”, I believe.

  85. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: “If this is what Nurse is, then trade him ASAP”, I believe.

    And why would you want to do that? Are the Oilers the league’s development program for defensemen or something? Trade the guy when he’s just about to leave his prime, not when he’s just entering it.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    dessert1111:
    If you’re not going to play Stolarz on the second night of a back to back on the road, I don’t know when you will. I assume the plan is to not re-sign him at this point.

    You can normally tell if Koskinen is going to have a good game within the first five minutes or so. He looked shaky all night. It goes against convention but I’d be tempted to pull him after the first stinker he lets in instead of waiting for the game to get out of hand.

    I originally wanted to see “what we have” in Stolarz but then switched to the more important need to see “what he have” in Koskinen – see how he does with a solid workload. The results were looking good for a bit but have regressed – we still need to find out more about this guy and his ability to take on a starters’ workload and be consistent – so far, he has not proven to do so.

    I don’t think we should sign Stolarz at this point because, given Koskinen is simply not an established starter in the NHL, notwithstanding his contract, we need a more established back-up who can be relied on for 30 games – preferably with recent starters’ experience – last year Halak, Lehner, etc. This year Brian Elliot comes to mind.

    Your second point is bang on and I posited, after he lost sight of the rebound on his very first shot last night, that it might be one of those nights where he doesn’t have it – it was met with disdain by a few on here.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Durag: I know you’re joking about the return, but I have been thinking a lot about the possibility of trading Nurse this summer.

    -He may be riding an all time high trade value in terms of boxcars, ice time and salary.
    -He and Larsson are oil and water as a2nd pairing, and I’m not confident slotting either of them on the top pair.

    Just to respond to the details:

    1) I believe his 5 on 5 boxcars are in line with last year’s production and the addition numbers are due to the PP time he got this year. At some point, I think we might need to acknowledge that this is the level he produces at when 5 on 5. He may not look like he deserves that production, however, if it keeps happening….

    2) Nurse and Larsson had a poor showing when paired together this year, however they played ALOT of top pairing minutes last year and excelled, if I remember correctly.

  88. russ99 says:

    Reja,

    Then how come Connor still gets a ton of breakaways, and excepting last night, we still get plenty of shots a night?

    Passing is an issue but it’s way low on the totem pole pushed to the top by those who prefer rush offense.

    Players who can get a shot on net rather than to the back boards and players who can cash on high danger chances is a massively larger need than to make pretty passes to spring the rush.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal:
    I’ve never heard of Alex Tuch until just now. And he’d be our best winger. Sigh.

    JimmyV1965: He would easily be our fourth best forward and it isn’t even close.

    Why is this so surprising? He was a former 1st round pick (18th overall) that is about to turn 23 and enter his prime.

    To think about it, one could commend the Oilers for having 3 forwards better than him…. he’s get pedigree.

  90. jtblack says:

    it’s simple. 1 game under .500 with 10 remaining. 8 -2 gets us to 5 games over .500.

    So you’re telling me there’s a Chance !!

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: It is more important to see what kind of workload Koskinen can handle, and for Koskinen to experience it so he knows what he has to work on this summer.

    Whether Stolarz is a UFA or RFA really doesn’t matter, particularly since the Oilers should bring in a veteran backup next year for Koskinen.

    As per my earlier post(s) – absolutely agree.

  92. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: And why would you want to do that? Are the Oilers the league’s development program for defensemen or something? Trade the guy when he’s just about to leave his prime, not when he’s just entering it.

    If you believe Nurse has reached his prime while others think he’ll continue to improve, that’s an opportunity that could theoretically be exploited to gain value.

    I think that’s most of what the “trade Nurse” crew are saying (I don’t think most actually WANT to trade Nurse per se, just that he might be a sell high candidate).

    Personally I’d be OK with a Nurse trade for the right return, which would have to be a similarly aged player under control (IMO preferably a RHD). I agree that trading Nurse for someone 2 yrs from UFA wouldn’t be sound.

    Opinions on Nurse seem to vary wildly though.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: Stolarz needs to get a string of starts to see if he has any chance of being a starter. Koskinen is not a legit starter, his glove hand is useless,and the rest the teams know top left side is the honey pot. Three years at over $4mil is ridiculous.

    You may be right but the commitment has been made to Koskinen and i don’t imagine there is any way he won’t be between the pipes on opening night (subject, of course, to injury, etc.).

    The organization has committed to him so decision going forward should be made with that knowledge.

  94. jtblack says:

    LUCIC has 65 shots in 70 games. Is that Good? 🙂

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilin4: Follow up: Koski looked like he was playing his “First day after my first night in Vegas” game. My guess is that Vegas will pretty much never miss the playoffs because they’re probably gifted 10-20 points a year because players are often playing this game.

    Edit: In all seriousness, if I ran a hockey team, we’d be flying in to Vegas every game morning. These are 20-30 year-old young men with money to burn. What could possibly go wrong?

    To my knowledge, team curfews on game nights are real and absolutely adhered to by the team.

    I could be wrong but that is my understanding (of the current situation, not “back in the day”).

    Also, if the guys want to party, I’m pretty sure they could have just as much fun in LA, NYC, CHI, etc. as Vegas.

  96. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    EDM needs to stop dealing from the top of their deck.

    They dealt their 1LW, 1RW, 1RD, and got a 1RD back.

    They have 3 Actual Top 4 NHL Dmen: Klef, Larsson and Nurse.

    Larsson is having a tough year, but his previous 3 were quality.

    Russell is a 4/5 and the jury is out on Sekera as he’s only played 13% of his time vs Elite Forwards since he returned. He’s being heavily sheltered.

    EDM needs to add another Actual Top 4 Dman, and he should be RH.

    They need to deal Russell to get out of that contract and might have to add a Bear, Jones or Laggeson to get rid of Lucic.

    It’s shitty but since EDM’s area of abundance is young D you bite the bullet and do it.

    The Dcorps is a big issue and dealing any one of 77, 6 or 25 will just make it a bigger issue.

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909: Trading Nurse could bite the Oilers where the sun doesn’t shine unless he busts which isn’t very likely the kid’s made of rock he never gets hurt either(cough Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera cough)…

    The horror if he were to break out in a big way is incalculable.

    Nurse missed almost half a season with injury in his second season.

    How is Larsson “always injured” – combined back injury and bereavement (which was more games than the back injury), led to missing 19 games last year.

    He’s played: 82, 79, 63 and 72 (so far) games as an Oiler.

    In fact, that man is a physical specimen of health considering his style.

  98. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    “Also, if the guys want to party, I’m pretty sure they could have just as much fun in LA, NYC, CHI, etc. as Vegas.”

    +1. The Vegas thing gets overplayed as a Narrative.. Just as much trouble in Most major cities ..

  99. jtblack says:

    ART ROSS DREAMIN’

    My guess is that Connor will need 25 points in his last 10 games. That would get him to 130 points.

    Kucherov gets 13 in his last 10 games, he ends at 130 points. I am hoping the cut back on Kucherov’s icetime and maybe even rest him 1 or 2 games down the stretch.

    The odds are stacked against Connor, but given that he is SUPER HUMAN and that Edm has a lot of home games, there is a outside chance he can do it ..or at least make it a close race

  100. 106 and 106 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Dcorps or Wingers – it’s gotta be the wingers as #1 priority?

  101. Reja says:

    godot10: One way to ruin all twelve years of McDavid’s tenure in Edmonton is to trade Klefbom or Nurse.Stop trading NHL players entering their prime.Neither is perfect, but the guys you replace them with won’t be either and will almost certainly have the additional flaw of being too old or too young.

    It is time to see a Sekera Nurse pairing with Nurse on the right side.

    How do you know what the return for Nurse or Kelbom is. When is the last time we sold high and not low? Have we made the playoffs with two more years of development for Nurse and Kelbom? If we can win a trade for either one I do it yesterday.Calgary changed their team overnight by winning a trade.

  102. fifthcartel says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree, but isn’t the issue more with Larsson’s free agency in two seasons? Maybe I’m looking too far into the future, but I’d be particularly concerned about re-signing a 29-year-old Larsson given his skillset and potential injury issues (back?).

    Is there a trade where you get another D with more control? I’d explore that, though it might not exist.

  103. Jethro Tull says:

    ArmchairGM: This makes zero sense. Sarcasm?

    If he’s entering his prime, this is the player he’s always going to be. Ergo, trade him before any other GM figures this out.

  104. Jethro Tull says:

    jp: “If this is what Nurse is, then trade him ASAP”, I believe.

    Bingo! You win another year’s membership as an Oiler’s fan!

  105. Jethro Tull says:

    I feel we’re coming full circle in the “compelting” story arc.

    Russell’s and Lucic’s contracts are so horrible, I doubt even a sweetener like a prospect gets it done. The only viable option would be alike for like and hope beyond hope it works for both teams.

    Those other pesky GM’s are figuring out that;

    a) They don’t want our dross, even for cents on the dollar.

    b) Why should they help turn the Oilers into legit contenders, with Connor and Drai going super-nova?

    There are a few strategies. If you can’t make yourself stronger, at least keep someone else weak is one.

  106. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jtblack:
    OriginalPouzar,

    “Also, if the guys want to party, I’m pretty sure they could have just as much fun in LA, NYC, CHI, etc. as Vegas.”

    +1.The Vegas thing gets overplayed as a Narrative.. Just as much trouble in Most major cities ..

    A poll in the Athletic recently showed that NHLers loooooooove Vegas and that the Vegas Flu is probably real.

    Yeah you can get into trouble anywhere and NYC, CHI etc are great cities, but Vegas is Vegas.

    It’s always going on, it’s everywhere, you don’t have to go looking for it.

  107. bendelson says:

    Jethro Tull:
    I feel we’re coming full circle in the “compelting” story arc.

    Russell’s and Lucic’s contracts are so horrible, I doubt even a sweetener like a prospect gets it done.The only viable option would be alike for like and hope beyond hope it works for both teams.

    Those other pesky GM’s are figuring out that;

    a) They don’t want our dross, even for cents on the dollar.

    b) Why should they help turn the Oilers into legit contenders, with Connor and Drai going super-nova?

    There are a few strategies. If you can’t make yourself stronger, at least keep someone else weak is one.

    Russell for Frolik in the summer? 1M retained?
    Lucic and JP to Carolina for… something? I’d say Necas… but that’s not happening!

    Regardless, those two better not be back in Edmonton come October…

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    This is from Patrick C (Chunklets Hockey) who I do trust a bit for KHL news.

    Any interest in Yak who I presume would be cheap and had a solid offensive season in Russia?

    Reports today that the Arizona Coyotes and “two other Western Conference teams” in the #NHL are interested in signing Nail Yakupov this summer. #KHL

  109. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jtblack:
    OriginalPouzar,

    “Also, if the guys want to party, I’m pretty sure they could have just as much fun in LA, NYC, CHI, etc. as Vegas.”

    +1.The Vegas thing gets overplayed as a Narrative.. Just as much trouble in Most major cities ..

    A poll in the Athletic recently showed that NHLers loooooooove Vegas and that the Vegas Flu is probably real.

    Yeah you can get into trouble anywhere and NYC, CHI etc are great cities, but Vegas is Vegas.

    It’s always going on, it’s everywhere, you don’t have to go looking for it.

    106 and 106:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Dcorps or Wingers – it’s gotta be the wingers as #1 priority?

    If I ran the team my priorities are:

    1) move Lucic and Russell to help me do 2-6
    2) 2RD
    3) 1LW or RW
    4) 1 A/B goalie
    5) 3C
    6) 2nd top 6 forward

  110. godot10 says:

    Reja: How do you know what the return for Nurse or Kelbom is. When is the last time we sold high and not low? Have we made the playoffs with two more years of development for Nurse and Kelbom? If we can win a trade for either one I do it yesterday.Calgary changed their team overnight by winning a trade.

    Carolina’s making the playoffs for the first time in a long time. They did not exactly lose the trade. And they got an expansion draft exempt asset, a high quality one, in Adam Fox, pretty much ready to step in as Justin Faulk departs.

  111. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    fifthcartel:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree, but isn’t the issue more with Larsson’s free agency in two seasons? Maybe I’m looking too far into the future, but I’d be particularly concerned about re-signing a 29-year-old Larsson given his skillset and potential injury issues (back?).

    Is there a trade where you get another D with more control? I’d explore that, though it might not exist.

    I’d worry more about filling the pipe with players who can replace him in the future and making sure if you re-sign him that it’s not long term.

    Good teams don’t churn the players at the top of their deck.

    I”d watch him closely though….

  112. Reja says:

    The new GM will have his own vision for this team. If anybody thinks he’s not making a few changes that might be unpopular to some I’ll take that bet. Should be a interesting offseason coming our way.

  113. Jethro Tull says:

    bendelson: Russell for Frolik in the summer? 1M retained?

    All day, every day. But Frolik is still a very useful NHL player and would be one of our best wingers straight away.

  114. godot10 says:

    106 and 106:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Dcorps or Wingers – it’s gotta be the wingers as #1 priority?

    #1 priority is getting rid of Russell and getting a legit 2nd pairing RD.

    See if Sekera with Nurse at right D might be able to do the job (as a one year stop gap) by playing that combo for the rest of this season.

  115. who says:

    Reja: How do you know what the return for Nurse or Kelbom is. When is the last time we sold high and not low? Have we made the playoffs with two more years of development for Nurse and Kelbom? If we can win a trade for either one I do it yesterday.Calgary changed their team overnight by winning a trade.

    If winning a trade is your main formula for improving the Oilers I think you are going to be dissapointed.
    Good teams are built on drafting and development. This is going to take a year or two. If you try and fix everything by next fall with 3 or 4 major trades odds are you are going to bleed more talent than you acquire.

  116. Reja says:

    godot10: Carolina’s making the playoffs for the first time in a long time.They did not exactly lose the trade.And they got an expansion draft exempt asset, a high quality one, in Adam Fox, pretty much ready to step in as Justin Faulk departs.

    If your the Calgary GM and the cap hits you got for hannifan and lindholm do you reverse that trade today.

  117. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Reja: I think some Gm’s Might pay more for Nurse due to being rawer (higher ceiling) more durability and toughness. I believe these are the only two Oilers on the squad where we might actually win a trade.

    Too bad we wouldn’t be able to fit “the win” into the cap space😜

  118. Reja says:

    godot10: Carolina’s making the playoffs for the first time in a long time.They did not exactly lose the trade.And they got an expansion draft exempt asset, a high quality one, in Adam Fox, pretty much ready to step in as Justin Faulk departs.

    Sometimes both teams can make their team better.

  119. Pescador says:

    Reja:
    The new GM will have his own vision for this team. If anybody thinks he’s not making a few changes that might be unpopular to some I’ll take that bet. Should be a interesting offseason coming our way.

    The real changes that need to be made are to the pro scouting dept. Especially whoever is in charge of scouting other NHL teams & their pipelines.
    When was the last time the Oilers won a trade for a Dman or top 6 winger?
    That would be a very popular move by the new GM.

  120. leadfarmer says:

    fifthcartel:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree, but isn’t the issue more with Larsson’s free agency in two seasons? Maybe I’m looking too far into the future, but I’d be particularly concerned about re-signing a 29-year-old Larsson given his skillset and potential injury issues (back?).

    Is there a trade where you get another D with more control? I’d explore that, though it might not exist.

    Larsson is not going to age gracefully. I would move on from him while his value is still high. He will probably want a long term extension and will not provide fair value for at least half of it

  121. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0: A poll in the Athletic recently showed that NHLers loooooooove Vegas and that the Vegas Flu is probably real.

    Yeah you can get into trouble anywhere and NYC, CHI etc are great cities, but Vegas is Vegas.

    It’s always going on, it’s everywhere, you don’t have to go looking for it.

    the ROXY flu is suppposed to be a thing in Vancouver ..

    Having been to almost every major city in North America; I still think New York and Chicago are crazier .. Vegas is easy for sure. Miami? anyway, young guys with millions of dollars can find trouble in any city (except Winnipeg) …

    and sure, Vegas may be easier to find the trouble ..

  122. jake70 says:

    Darth Tu: I think he was meaning more that last year they were largely constructed with 8th best players (Fleury excluded).Patches, Statsny and Stone represent the change.They gave up a bunch between Patches and Statsny to acquire those players, Vegas still has that solid depth and hasn’t had to pull up the AHL plugs yet.

    I haven’t seen Subban play all that much this year, and boy does he still look shaky in goals for the Knights.They better pray that Fleury stays healthy heading into the playoffs.

    Exactly what I was trying to say…..thanks.

  123. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jtblack: the ROXY flu is suppposed to be a thing in Vancouver ..

    Having been to almost every major city in North America; I still think New York and Chicago are crazier .. Vegas is easy for sure.Miami?anyway, young guys with millions of dollars can find trouble in any city (except Winnipeg) …

    and sure, Vegas may be easier to find the trouble ..

    I disagee that it’s “trouble”

    I’d characterize it as “fun”

  124. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0: A poll in the Athletic recently showed that NHLers loooooooove Vegas and that the Vegas Flu is probably real.

    Yeah you can get into trouble anywhere and NYC, CHI etc are great cities, but Vegas is Vegas.

    It’s always going on, it’s everywhere, you don’t have to go looking for it.

    If I ran the team my priorities are:

    1) move Lucic and Russell to help me do 2-6
    2) 2RD
    3) 1LW or RW
    4) 1 A/B goalie
    5) 3C
    6) 2nd top 6 forward

    I like your list.
    I would spend most of my energies on the top 3 tasks but would prioritize a winger before a righty dman. I say this because the organization has much greater depth, and probably higher ceilings, with their dman prospects. I think Jones, Bouchard and Samarukov all have higher ceilings than any forward that is not on the NHL roster.
    Moving Lucic would be job 1. I’m just not sure it’s possible. If you were an NHL GM would you take Lucic at 3 million if a prospect like Bear or Lagesson was included?
    Moving Russell is no slam dunk either. Only 10 teams to choose from. I bet you have to add a sweetener. Or retain salary.

  125. pts2pndr says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    EDM needs to stop dealing from the top of their deck.

    They dealt their 1LW, 1RW, 1RD,and got a 1RD back.

    They have 3 Actual Top 4 NHL Dmen: Klef, Larsson and Nurse.

    Larsson is having a tough year, but his previous 3 were quality.

    Russell is a 4/5 and the jury is out on Sekera as he’s only played 13% of his time vs Elite Forwards since he returned. He’s being heavily sheltered.

    EDM needs to add another Actual Top 4 Dman, and he should be RH.

    They need to deal Russell to get out of that contract and might have to add a Bear, Jones or Laggeson to get rid of Lucic.

    It’s shitty but since EDM’s area of abundance is young D you bite the bullet and do it.

    The Dcorps is a big issue and dealing any one of 77, 6 or 25 will just make it a bigger issue.

    Would it not be wiser if necessary to get rid of the lucic contract to offer a 2020 high end draft choice ie a second or third. The D you mentioned would carry a greater value to aquire a winger in the now,than would a draft choice. Also Sekera has shown at least in my eyes to have a lost a step. This may be the warning signal of the beginning of a decrease in his effectiveness and he also comes with a 5.5 cap hit. If so moving Lagesson could realy hurt.

  126. SwedishPoster says:

    godot10: One way to ruin all twelve years of McDavid’s tenure in Edmonton is to trade Klefbom or Nurse.Stop trading NHL players entering their prime.Neither is perfect, but the guys you replace them with won’t be either and will almost certainly have the additional flaw of being too old or too young.

    It is time to see a Sekera Nurse pairing with Nurse on the right side.

    Woodguy v2.0:
    EDM needs to stop dealing from the top of their deck.

    They dealt their 1LW, 1RW, 1RD,and got a 1RD back.

    They have 3 Actual Top 4 NHL Dmen: Klef, Larsson and Nurse.

    Larsson is having a tough year, but his previous 3 were quality.

    Russell is a 4/5 and the jury is out on Sekera as he’s only played 13% of his time vs Elite Forwards since he returned. He’s being heavily sheltered.

    EDM needs to add another Actual Top 4 Dman, and he should be RH.

    They need to deal Russell to get out of that contract and might have to add a Bear, Jones or Laggeson to get rid of Lucic.

    It’s shitty but since EDM’s area of abundance is young D you bite the bullet and do it.

    The Dcorps is a big issue and dealing any one of 77, 6 or 25 will just make it a bigger issue.

    This and this. At some point you just have to decide on a core group and run with them, despite them being slightly imperfect. Which means you hang on to them through stretches of lesser play, like Larsson for the last while and tbh Nuge for a bunch of games now where his overall game has been pretty damn lackning despite potting some points. Or risk a bit of an overpay which could be the case with Nurse. Or live with Klefbom getting a weird injury every year, hell the guy plays ok to good first pairing minutes for a shade over 4 M for the next four years, even if he plays only 60 games a year for the rest of his contract it’s pretty much worth the money.

    You obviously don’t keep the non McDrai’s around at all cost, if someone gives a crazy good trade offer or Nurse is looking for bigly big money you have to say goodbye but otherwise imo you play out the string with them and try to add around them and hopefully above them in the lineup.

    This team has thrown so much money and talent away in search of veteran presence and leadership in the room that it seems stupid to get rid of guys who are just now entering the age and experience where they can add this element from within while being of top 6 fwd and top 4 D quality.

    Also, don’t trade top 4 D for top 6 forwards until you have at least five guys who can play top 4 D well on your roster. We have three atm, if Sekera gets his pre injury groove back in full four, it’s not the time.

    The lack of forward depth is real and spectacular but the solution has to be better and more creative than losing what little we have on D. If Jones, Bouchard, Samoroukov et al comes in guns blazing and pushes everyone down the depth chart by outplaying them for a solid stretch of time we’re in a different situation but as of now that’s a pipe dream set in the future.

  127. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I have a hard time imagining a group arriving in Vegas at 2 a.m. after a hard fought overtime game followed by a flight would be too likely to be looking for a lot of action. I’d be more concerned if the team had a day or two in Vegas than no time at all. Although you are correct one doesn’t have to go far to find it.

    More concerned about that in 2 weeks when the Oil play the front end of a back to back, followed by @COL the next night. If they are out of it for sure by then, it could be messy.

    Btw, for those who care about this sort of thing, Oilers reportedly stayed at the now-infamous Mandalay Bay hotel.

  128. Durag says:

    The problem is that Edmonton’s core is so small and the periphery is so expensive that maintaining the core means sitting on your hands waiting for bad contracts to expire, and god-willing, an amnesty buyout, and having another 75-85 point season next year.

  129. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Serious question: if the NHL allowed one amnesty buyout, how many teams would jump at the chance? 20? 25? 30? 31?

    Most teams have 1 or more garbage pacts to work around. Waiting for them to expire is not the answer.

  130. Reja says:

    jtblack: the ROXY flu is suppposed to be a thing in Vancouver ..

    Having been to almost every major city in North America; I still think New York and Chicago are crazier .. Vegas is easy for sure.Miami?anyway, young guys with millions of dollars can find trouble in any city (except Winnipeg) …

    and sure, Vegas may be easier to find the trouble ..

    Didn’t stop the BOTB from slaughtering teams.

  131. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    If I ran the team my priorities are:

    1) move Lucic and Russell to help me do 2-6
    2) 2RD
    3) 1LW or RW
    4) 1 A/B goalie
    5) 3C
    6) 2nd top 6 forward

    Yes. Very sound path forward! What are you willing to pay and/or which players would you be willing to lose to get (1) done?

  132. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    This is from Patrick C (Chunklets Hockey) who I do trust a bit for KHL news.

    Any interest in Yak who I presume would be cheap and had a solid offensive season in Russia?

    Reports today that the Arizona Coyotes and “two other Western Conference teams” in the #NHL are interested in signing Nail Yakupov this summer.#KHL

    Arizona has Galchenyuk.

    Could be a good match.

    I know it’s not likely, but hoping one of those other Western conference teams are Edmonton.

    A man can dream.

  133. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    pts2pndr: Would it not be wiser if necessary to get rid of the lucic contract to offer a 2020 high end draft choice iea second or third. The D you mentioned would carry a greater value to aquire a winger in the now,than would a draft choice. Also Sekera has shown at least in my eyes to have a lost a step. This may be the warning signal of the beginning of a decrease in his effectiveness and he also comes with a 5.5 cap hit. If so moving Lagesson could realy hurt.

    I’m all for moving 2020 1st to move Lucic.

    If I’m a GM I want something closer to helping my team and EDMs AHL Dmen on ELCs have some value.

    Pick might have more cache with some, bit not most imo.

  134. godot10 says:

    Reja: If your the Calgary GM and the cap hits you got for hannifan and lindholm do you reverse that trade today.

    Calgary got great cap hits on Lindholm and Hanifin. Fox wasn’t going to come. Hamilton is signed for fewer years. And Ferland will be an UFA this summer.

    I doubt either team reverses the trade. Carolina doesn’t lose the trade if Fox turns into a legit top 4 NHL D.

  135. OmJo says:

    Reja: Didn’t stop the BOTB from slaughtering teams.

    “Cocaine is a hell of a drug” – Rick James

  136. Reja says:

    We need a real winger next year maybe two. How about Katz signs Tambo for one day then retires his number after we get a top 3 pick or better then parlay it with a bad contract for a scoring winger.

  137. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who,

    If you were an NHL GM would you take Lucic at 3 million if a prospect like Bear or Lagesson was included?

    Yes if I have a young team and a need on D and I have to get to the cap.

    Especially after July 1 when his remaining 16MM costs 12MM and EDM is retaining some of the 12, which means he’ll be, at most $3MM in actual salary per year and maybe less.

  138. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SwedishPoster:
    This and this. At some point you just have to decide on a core group and run with them, despite them being slightly imperfect. Which means you hang on to them through stretches of lesser play, like Larsson for the last while and tbh Nuge for a bunch of games now where his overall game has been pretty damn lackning despite potting some points. Or risk a bit of an overpay which could be the case with Nurse. Or live with Klefbom getting a weird injury every year, hell the guy plays ok to good first pairing minutes for a shade over 4 M for the next four years, even if he plays only 60 games a year for the rest of his contract it’s pretty much worth the money.

    You obviously don’t keep the non McDrai’s around at all cost, if someone gives a crazy good trade offer or Nurse is looking for bigly big money you have to say goodbye but otherwise imo you play out the string with them and try to add around them and hopefully above them in the lineup.

    This team has thrown so much money and talent away in search of veteran presence and leadership in the room that it seems stupid to get rid of guys who are just now entering the age and experience where they can add this element from within while being of top 6 fwd and top 4 D quality.

    Also, don’t trade top 4 D for top 6 forwards until you have at least five guys who can play top 4 D well on your roster. We have three atm, if Sekera gets his pre injury groove back in full four, it’s not the time.

    The lack of forward depth is real and spectacular but the solution has to be better and more creative than losing what little we have on D. If Jones, Bouchard, Samoroukov et al comes in guns blazing and pushes everyone down the depth chart by outplaying them for a solid stretch of time we’re in a different situation but as of now that’s a pipe dream set in the future.

    Truth.

  139. Reja says:

    OmJo: “Cocaine is a hell of a drug” – Rick James

    And woman crawling all over you is pretty good for the ego as well.

  140. OmJo says:

    With regards to Lucic, I like the idea (I think Jimmy first suggested it – apologies if I’m wrong) of trading Lucic to Ottawa and then having Ottawa trade him to Boston (or LA?) at a reduced cap hit.

    Surely he’d waive for that.

  141. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Yes. Very sound path forward! What are you willing to pay and/or which players would you be willing to lose to get (1) done?

    I’d need to write a book to answer your question properly with all the permutations that could happen.

  142. Pescador says:

    Reja: And woman crawling all over you is pretty good for the ego as well.

    Just because you’re on the bottom doesn’t mean you’re losing

  143. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    who,

    If you were an NHL GM would you take Lucic at 3 million if a prospect like Bear or Lagesson was included?

    Yes if I have a young team and a need on D and I have to get to the cap.

    Especially after July 1 when his remaining16MM costs 12MM and EDM is retaining some of the 12, which means he’ll be, at most $3MM in actual salary per year and maybe less.

    Well I hope you’re right.
    Any teams in mind that fit your description? Montreal? Rangers? Canucks?

  144. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Reja: Didn’t stop the BOTB from slaughtering teams.

    Mind you, the ROXY flu was always coupled with a date with the 1986 Canucks. Not exactly the Broad Street Bullies.

  145. OriginalPouzar says:

    Durag: I think cost and control play a big, big part in Klefbom’s value. 4 more years at ~$4M is a steal for a guy who is at worst a #3 defenceman. I don’t really buy the “injury-prone” narrative on him either. Things like staph infections and a broken finger on a blocked shot are one-off things. It’s not like he’s going down with the same knee or back issue every time.

    I’m certainly in no hurry to get rid of Nurse, but you need to get creative to shore up this putrid roster. If Nurse+ nets you a first pairing RD, or an under 28 winger who is a lock for 25+ goals I would be sorely tempted to pull the trigger. Nurse is doing a good job of playing the #2 LD role, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think a healthy Sekera could fill that role, or an emerging Jones/Lagesson, or failing that a reasonably priced FA.

    For the record I like Nurse more than Larsson, but Larsson being a right shot and having long term cost certainty makes him a better fit.

    edit: I thought Larsson had 3 more years left, not 2, but I still think Nurse is looking for a big payday on his next contract.

    You first point is a good one and quite valid. We already know from this summer’s negotiations that Nurse is likely not going to be an easy re-sign and is going to want to get paid.

    Further, his box cars this year essentially represent a continuation of last year. If I’m not mistaken, its similar 5 on 5 production/rates with the numbers spike coming via the new PP time.

    If Nurse, once again, posts 40 plus points next year, he is going to demand $6M plus I would think.

    Many don’t think that his offensive production matches his actual offensive skill, however, its two years running now and, if there is a third, that simply cannot be ignored – he will be legit and established “40 point d-man” who is an elite skater, big, mean, physical, dedicated, etc. and will be entering his prime.

    Whether he “looks good” producing or not, whether he still looks lost offensively off the rush, whether his numbers are zoomed by McDavid, etc. 3 years of production will be 3 years of production.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating trading him based off of likely future contract issues but just saying.

    Not to mention, imagine how much better he’d be with a partner that could help transition the puck and that would defend zone entries and that would be somewhat predictable in the defensive zone positioning?

  146. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: One way to ruin all twelve years of McDavid’s tenure in Edmonton is to trade Klefbom or Nurse.Stop trading NHL players entering their prime.Neither is perfect, but the guys you replace them with won’t be either and will almost certainly have the additional flaw of being too old or too young.

    It is time to see a Sekera Nurse pairing with Nurse on the right side.

    Agreed on all points again!

    Of course, the current coaching staff is simply not going to split up the Nurse/Russell pairing that they’ve praised so mightily – if this we can be almost certain – sigh.

  147. Reja says:

    Oilers 21st in the league in scoring our stellar D is 24th. Connor at 2 and Leon at 5 in scoring where would they be if they had a defenseman that could hit them on the fly and a winger that can keep up and finish. McDavid and Leon are in their scoring prime get them a finisher. Bouchard can’t get here fast enough.

  148. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Durag: I know you’re joking about the return, but I have been thinking a lot about the possibility of trading Nurse this summer.

    -He may be riding an all time high trade value in terms of boxcars, ice time and salary.
    -He and Larsson are oil and water as a2nd pairing, and I’m not confident slotting either of them on the top pair.
    -He will never supplant Klefbom as our top LD.
    -We have a lot of potential internal replacements.

    Now, I hesitate because he is shy of 300 games and it may be another Petry situation where we develop a very solid NHL d-man for another team. On the other hand, I don’t really see the glaring warts in his game getting better (passing, decision making). I think he will be an above average, fast, physical, 3-4 defenceman for many years, but some teams may value him as something much more than that.

    I don’t think Nurse will be a league top D, but he has not had the chance to play with the type of partner that could allow him to grow in the areas he needs.

    He is also suited to the way things are currently, great mobility and endurance, and he offers that while being huge and mean.

    I’m in the ‘anybody can be traded except McDavid’ which rhymes so you can see how my raps go down. 😀

    If we’re thinking long term, the left side has quality coming along in Lagesson and Samurokov. Jones showed really well, mobile 2 way players so far.

    The right has quality but all of the prospects and Benning are more offensive types.

    IF you could get a player like Parayko for Nurse you’d have to consider it IMO. It would mean Larsson would be moved at some point.

    Klefbom Parayko
    Samurokov Bouchard
    Lagesson X

    I do think that window has closed though. One problem with being capped out, thin at the NHL level and bad, is when teams get in distress and are open to changing and sometimes not wisely you need room to move.

    Down the road left D will be moving if the prospects hit their potential, but a few years from now.

  149. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Oilman99: Stone,Patch,Stasney,and a hall of fame goalie,are not 8th best players.

    The cap catches all.

  150. OriginalPouzar says:

    fifthcartel:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree, but isn’t the issue more with Larsson’s free agency in two seasons? Maybe I’m looking too far into the future, but I’d be particularly concerned about re-signing a 29-year-old Larsson given his skillset and potential injury issues (back?).

    Is there a trade where you get another D with more control? I’d explore that, though it might not exist.

    This narrative on Larsson’s back really bothers me for some reason.

    There simply isn’t any history too it. He missed like 5-8 games last year with a back injury (most of his 9 games missed were due to bereavement). Other than that he left a training camp practice early with tightness – that’s it.

    He had one minor back injury and it seems 100% isolated, not chronic, and there is nothing to indicate otherwise.

    ————————

    With that said, I do agree that re-signing a 29 year old Adam Larsson, give the type of game he plays, may not be the best use of $4M=$5M in a few years – part of this will depend on the progression of guys like Bouchard, Persson, Bear and if an actuall top 4 RD has been acquired externally.

    Bottom line, a Larsson re-signing isn’t a no-brainer to me.

  151. Reja says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Mind you, the ROXY flu was always coupled with a date with the 1986 Canucks. Not exactly the Broad Street Bullies.

    Don’t be Dishing on Stan Smyl. Did you know Taylor Hall played on that 1986 team for a short time.

  152. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OmJo: Increases McDavid’s chances at winning the Art Ross increases the Oilers chances of making the playoffs though.

    Yes, I was being sarcastic. Sometimes throwing players in the deep end sparks them, them being the rest of the forwards. Probably not with our guys, but being needed and tasked raises motivation.

  153. Biggus Dickus says:

    We’ve won 6 playoff rounds since 1992, and 3 of those came in 1 year. #sadfactmondays

  154. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Calgary got great cap hits on Lindholm and Hanifin.Fox wasn’t going to come.Hamilton is signed for fewer years.And Ferland will be an UFA this summer.

    I doubt either team reverses the trade.Carolina doesn’t lose the trade if Fox turns into a legit top 4 NHL D.

    Fox has had a hell of year for Harvard.

    I was very happy he was thrown in to the trade (due to not being willing to sign with the flames).

  155. Scungilli Slushy says:

    dustrock:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    hoo boy.

    Thanks for the detailed game summary.

    Once again, is the issue with the D or the coaches?We have had McLellan and Hitchcock both be unable to provide a consistent breakout/transition game.

    Is that an issue with coaching or is it solely on the players?

    My fear is that we may be more than 1 solid RHD away from a competent D corps.

    And as craptastic as the forward corpse has been this year, one wonders how much the wingers suffer from a terrible D transition game.

    Thing is that the team keeps choosing the same thing repeatedly hoping different coach and manager humans will make it work.

    Players get the blame, those players if they survive the Oiler scurge go play normal hockey at a reasonable level elsewhere.

    They brought in a motivational coach and PP wizard, don’t use him much apparently. Brought in a D coach we all coveted, zero changes in D play.

    The org is obsessed with a certain way, it is always the same on the ice no matter who is involved below Red Wine.

    Every variable has been controlled except three of four.

    It is possible to retain your posse and let someone else run things. Jobs away from decision making, every team has hangers on chirping in ears, it’s a matter of who is in control and what/who the owner supports.

    I don’t think Katz has the wealth to keep dumping cash into a sinking ship because he sold his nest egg Rexall. I know the Oilers are lucrative, but there are troubling signs.

    Unless he starts killing it in movies and the ice district he might get motivated.

  156. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: The cap catches all.

    They have a hell of a team and they’re going for it the next 5 years. Wouldn’t surprise me if they make it to final or win it all.

  157. silasbengtsson says:

    OmJo:
    With regards to Lucic, I like the idea (I think Jimmy first suggested it – apologies if I’m wrong) of trading Lucic to Ottawa and then having Ottawa trade him to Boston (or LA?) at a reduced cap hit.

    Surely he’d waive for that.

    Can’t say I know if Jimmy has said it before me, but I’ve been pushing that pretty hard for that here and in other forums. If we retain 1.5mil and Ottawa retains the max possible (2.25), then Boston (or another team) gets Lucic at 2.25mil. We give Ottawa a pick (2021 2nd at most, ideally a 2020 3rd or something) and Boston maybe gives em a low pick.

    It takes some creative thinking that I’m not confident exists in the Oilers upper management, but that seems like the best of both worlds.

    Another possibility is to retain 2mil, Ottawa retains 2mil and then the acquiring team buys Lucic out and splits the cost three ways. Breaks down to around 1.2, 1.8, 1.4, 1.8 and 4 x ~210k each. Issue there being it would require us to send picks to both teams.

  158. jtblack says:

    Biggus Dickus:
    We’ve won 6 playoff rounds since 1992, and 3 of those came in 1 year. #sadfactmondays

    1997 – 1
    1998 – 1
    2006 – 3
    2017 – 1

    That’s a tough 25 years.

  159. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    This is from Patrick C (Chunklets Hockey) who I do trust a bit for KHL news.

    Any interest in Yak who I presume would be cheap and had a solid offensive season in Russia?

    Reports today that the Arizona Coyotes and “two other Western Conference teams” in the #NHL are interested in signing Nail Yakupov this summer.#KHL

    They don’t need another limited one way player. Chiasson will score as much given the usage and do as little elsewhere for far less, and at least he’s got size and understands his place in the world.

    Rattie, Currie, marody, Benson, Gagner all do what Yak does, only Gagner is pricey. Interesting human, limited NHL player.

  160. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jethro Tull: All day, every day. But Frolik is still a very useful NHL player and would be one of our best wingers straight away.

    Would he be? Or would he suddenly cave below norms and struggle like everyone else?

    This is the repeating pattern. There is something that causes decent players to flounder in Edmonton.

    I think it is an obsession with certain objectives. They want big, mean players, they want macho efforts to the point of self defeating.

    To me who has seen the whole Oiler NHL ride it seems like an attempt to recreate what once was in exactly the same way. This is the fundamental flaw that keeps repeating.

    Understand what it takes, so it in a way that fits what’s going on now. Obviously other teams get it, they win Cups too, it’s not like the Oilers hold the secret, but they behave that way.

  161. Yeti says:

    Scungilli Slushy: There is something that causes decent players to flounder in Edmonton.

    It’s called a defence that struggles to make good outlet passes, no?

  162. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Reja: Don’t be Dishing on Stan Smyl. Did you know Taylor Hall played on that 1986 team for a short time.

    I loved Stan Smyl, had him & his running mate Thomas Gradin on my keeper league team for years. They were very reliable producers.

    Right from geographic realignment in 1981 & for years thereafter, the Smythe Division had a talented power forward at 1RW on every team other than Edmonton. “Stanley Steamer” in VanCity, Lanny McDonald in Cowtown, Paul MacLean in the ‘Peg & Dave Taylor in Tinseltown. Kevin Lowe had a long standing personal rivalry with all 4 of them, any division game & the fur would be flying right from the outset.

  163. texmex says:

    Yeti,

    X100

  164. Ryan says:

    Who’s Drake Batherson?

    Drafted a year after Benson and in the fourth round of Yamamoto’s draft, he leads the AHL in scoring?

  165. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Yeti: It’s called a defence that struggles to make good outlet passes, no?

    Is it? Or no one to pass to?

    I think given it never changes it’s a coach/ system thing.

    It Toronto’s the Pens and Vegas’ D can pass….

    They aren’t good either.

  166. Professor Q says:

    Ryan:
    Who’s Drake Batherson?

    Drafted a year after Benson and in the fourth round of Yamamoto’s draft, he leads the AHL in scoring?

    Seems as though he has quite the hockey family. His sister might get drafted into the NWHL or CWHL, and is playing for Syracuse as an 18-yo. His father and uncle played in the AHL, with one or both winning a Calder Cup. Also played in Europe.

    Had 9 points in 20 games with the Senators this year. 6’1, 190ish lbs. RH player.

  167. Georgexs says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    “… let’s just say neither goalie had a good game & while a great performance might have stolen a point or even a win, when the shots on net are 34-19 it seems disingenuous to point the first finger at the netminder.”

    6 GA is an awful high number whatever the SA. 4 of those were shooters beating him from distance with wristers. Granted, they were clear one-one-one looks. I think he stopped Stastny once when he tried glove side. Don’t remember any others. Do goalies have a .200 sv% against shooters with clean looks?

    I don’t like running down our goalies. Bad karma. Koski has to get in the shooters’ heads. Last night, sadly, it was the other way around. 2 saves and the game is 4-3 and the story is Koski held us in. That 5-3 puck that trickled through (although disgustingly not called interference) should simply not have trickled through. Killer. I think a couple of years ago 70% of games with 30+ SA had 3 or fewer GA. Probably more high scoring now but can’t see it being that much lower and definitely not below 50%. An average performance last night would have been welcome.

    But he really shouldn’t have been playing the back-to-back so what the hey.

    “I’ll be less charitable towards the defence, whose inability to make a decent first pass was a fatal flaw all night long.”

    I was watching the VGK forecheck. They were fast and worked as a single evil entity. Sticks everywhere. Hard to find a first pass much less make one. It felt like they had one extra guy on the ice. I hope these guys play the Flames in the 1st round. Promises to be a spectacle. Please play the Flames in the first round.

  168. Ryan says:

    Professor Q: Seems as though he has quite the hockey family. His sister might get drafted into the NWHL or CWHL, and is playing for Syracuse as an 18-yo. Father uncle played in the AHL, with one or both winning a Calder Cup. Also played in Europe.

    Had 9 points in 20 games with the Senators this year. 6’1, 190ish lbs. RH player.

    Nice pick by the Sens in 4rth round, 2017.

    Handily outproducing our 2016 2nd and 2017 1st round picks.

  169. Georgexs says:

    If I ran the team my priorities are:

    1) Hire someone other than McLellan to coach the team.

    2) Knowing I can’t fix the skating side anytime soon, put whatever shrinking Katz resources I have into goaltending. Bring on meditation, yoga, visualization, those Tretiak Shumka dancing drills Gretzky did…

  170. VanIsleOil says:

    Georgexs,

    Lets just say Wayne’s hockey skills are far superior to his dancing skills…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DaAQHhpYIo

  171. Reja says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I loved Stan Smyl, had him & his running mate Thomas Gradin on my keeper league team for years. They were very reliable producers.

    Right from geographic realignment in 1981 & for years thereafter, the Smythe Division had a talented power forward at 1RW on every team other than Edmonton. “Stanley Steamer” in VanCity, Lanny McDonald in Cowtown, Paul MacLean in the ‘Peg & Dave Taylor in Tinseltown. Kevin Lowe had a long standing personal rivalry with all 4 of them, any division game & the fur would be flying right from the outset.

    Those were talented tough hombres we faced back then l miss those days and the style of hockey being played at the time. Lowe was a rock on the backend tough as nails played injured, fought when he had to. We had a tough D back then with a couple of not bad passers as well.

  172. Pescador says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Thing is that the team keeps choosing the same thing repeatedly hoping different coach and manager humans will make it work.

    Players get the blame, those players if they survive the Oiler scurge go play normal hockey at a reasonable level elsewhere.

    What’s a reasonable level?
    Thing is Edmonton has been an NHL career killer since 07,
    If players go on to play well in Europe the following season I don’t think you can measure that as success.
    The org has been broken for quite some time regarding defensive awareness and puck moving.
    No quarrel there,
    I do see signs of progress though, look no further than Draisaitl, the message is getting through.
    Need to add better players and have an established D system.
    Our core is under 24 (Average age)
    there is still time

  173. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’d need to write a book to answer your question properly with all the permutations that could happen.

    Basically paraphrasing here but based on other posts, for Lucic something approximately equivalent to (i) 2020 1st round, or (ii) 3M retained + a d-prospect (e.g., Bear).

    I could live with that. It would be nice to retain less and maybe forgo an additional lesser valued lamb, if necessary to get to 2M retained.

  174. jp says:

    OmJo: Arizona has Galchenyuk.

    Could be a good match.

    I know it’s not likely, but hoping one of those other Western conference teams are Edmonton.

    A man can dream.

    I do wonder how much better he actually is than when we last saw him. He scored some goals – tied for 6th in the KHL. But his 33 points were 6th on his team and 57th in the league (40th in PPG). His NHLe is 43 (using 0.75). He’s definitely not a shoo in to move the needle.

    It might be worse to see him fail again than anything else.

    As a potentially better option I wonder about Mikhail Grigorenko. 24, led CSKA with 52 points, 10th overall. 7th in the KHL in +/- playing for a team that allowed 75 goals in 62 games.

    Another guy who caught my eye was Darren Deitz, top scoring D in the league and led his team. Top 10 overall in Pts and +/-. 25 yrs old, RH, 6’1″, 210. Kinda came out of nowhere.

    Both are UFAs (in terms of NHL affiliation)

  175. Glovjuice says:

    Alpine: Yeah, that last bit is kind of why I’m not so sold on moving Nurse. Just give him a different partner and see how he does. I don’t think he isn’t a top four guy, and of the Oilers’ current top four quality D, he is the youngest.

    Trading him means you have do a whole other deal for a top 4 D, and probably a RH one at that. Which isn’t always easy, as we know. I want to trade for a RHD regardless but my sights aren’t set as high as they would be if I was moving Nurse.

    The issue is (and this is with ALL D healthy) the Soilers have a 2-3, a 4-5, and 6-7, at best, playing 1-6 roles. maybe even downgrade all that by another half-rung.

  176. JimmyV1965 says:

    SwedishPoster:
    This and this. At some point you just have to decide on a core group and run with them, despite them being slightly imperfect. Which means you hang on to them through stretches of lesser play, like Larsson for the last while and tbh Nuge for a bunch of games now where his overall game has been pretty damn lackning despite potting some points. Or risk a bit of an overpay which could be the case with Nurse. Or live with Klefbom getting a weird injury every year, hell the guy plays ok to good first pairing minutes for a shade over 4 M for the next four years, even if he plays only 60 games a year for the rest of his contract it’s pretty much worth the money.

    You obviously don’t keep the non McDrai’s around at all cost, if someone gives a crazy good trade offer or Nurse is looking for bigly big money you have to say goodbye but otherwise imo you play out the string with them and try to add around them and hopefully above them in the lineup.

    This team has thrown so much money and talent away in search of veteran presence and leadership in the room that it seems stupid to get rid of guys who are just now entering the age and experience where they can add this element from within while being of top 6 fwd and top 4 D quality.

    Also, don’t trade top 4 D for top 6 forwards until you have at least five guys who can play top 4 D well on your roster. We have three atm, if Sekera gets his pre injury groove back in full four, it’s not the time.

    The lack of forward depth is real and spectacular but the solution has to be better and more creative than losing what little we have on D. If Jones, Bouchard, Samoroukov et al comes in guns blazing and pushes everyone down the depth chart by outplaying them for a solid stretch of time we’re in a different situation but as of now that’s a pipe dream set in the future.

    +1000

  177. Glovjuice says:

    jtblack:
    OriginalPouzar,

    “Also, if the guys want to party, I’m pretty sure they could have just as much fun in LA, NYC, CHI, etc. as Vegas.”

    +1.The Vegas thing gets overplayed as a Narrative.. Just as much trouble in Most major cities ..

    Nope. For cultured, well read, and well traveled guys like you two, yes. But not for 20-25 year old sports star males. Vegas is the Disney land of that demographic. Perspective fellas, perspective. I expect more for you two from an analysis perspective.

  178. Ben says:

    The Lightning are exactly lapping the Kings, 116 points to 58. That is pretty impressive/awful.

  179. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Pescador: What’s a reasonable level?
    Thing is Edmonton has been an NHL career killer since 07,
    If players go on to play well in Europe the following season I don’t think you can measure that as success.
    The org has been broken for quite some time regarding defensive awareness and puck moving.
    No quarrel there,
    I do see signs of progress though, look no further than Draisaitl, the message is getting through.
    Need to add better players and have an established D system.
    Our core is under 24 (Average age)
    there is still time

    Agreed in concept, not sure what you’re getting at in terms of my comment though. I meant that I believe there is a directive from on high that leads to the same thinking people being hired to execute the same mandate.

    Some pushed back and got canned via skype, or Rennie’d. Some mouthed off and got Red Wined because they’re on the in. Some did what was asked and got enough time for the mandate to cause more damage.

    We need all new hockey from Poho down, no red stained teeth allowed, or retired coaches coaching to the 00’s.

    Katz needs to throw money at current modern pro sports things when they make the playoffs next season, and he’s not shitting the exec chair wondering if the master plan is going to fail, and the houses have to go, embarrassingly.

  180. YKOil says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m all for moving 2020 1st to move Lucic.

    I only look at the 2020 1st, for this type of trade, if retained salary is close to $0. Would be fine with paying the bonus. Would trade one of the young ‘D’ not named Bouchard, Lagesson, or Samorukov, instead of 1st to achieve same effect. If Jones… would have to think hard re: Jones.

    I still think Lucic can be traded without the massive sweetener however. Some sweetness required of course, of course, but not to the extent of a 1st. I expect a pick flip though (our 2nd, their 5th type of thing and a ‘B’ level prospect).

    Fine with a re-sign of Larsson but believe we need a new #1 RHD so Larsson’s minutes go down as he ages but he still plays high-quality in those minutes.

  181. ArmchairGM says:

    The Sharks goaltending will be their undoing this spring. They should’ve traded for Talbot like I suggested.

  182. OriginalPouzar says:

    Talbot does have a .918 in a game and a half (2.57 GAA) since the trade.

    Elite back-up tending.

    Maybe the Oilers should explore brining him back at $2M?

    Not that he’d sign for that.

  183. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    who,

    If you were an NHL GM would you take Lucic at 3 million if a prospect like Bear or Lagesson was included?

    Yes if I have a young team and a need on D and I have to get to the cap.

    Especially after July 1 when his remaining16MM costs 12MM and EDM is retaining some of the 12, which means he’ll be, at most $3MM in actual salary per year and maybe less.

    Maybe I’m not following your point, but after July 1st Lucic has $24M cap hit remaining ($6M x 4 years), but just $16M of salary/bonuses to pay (an average of $4M per year). I agree that this is the window for a trade… with 50% retained the receiving team would have him for a $3M cap hit and $2M salary. I’m fairly certain that we wouldn’t have to add a sweetener to that, nor take a bad contract in return.

  184. jp says:

    Glovjuice: The issue is (and this is with ALL D healthy) the Soilers have a 2-3, a 4-5, and6-7, at best, playing 1-6 roles. maybe even downgrade all that by another half-rung.

    It sounds like you’re saying the Oilers have 3 top 7 defensemen, at best. Could you clarify? And maybe fill in the names?

  185. jp says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Basically paraphrasing here but based on other posts, for Lucic something approximately equivalent to (i) 2020 1st round, or (ii) 3M retained + a d-prospect (e.g., Bear).

    I could live with that. It would be nice to retain less and maybe forgo an additional lesser valued lamb, if necessary to get to 2M retained.

    I’d be leery about sending out a prospect AND retaining money. Primarily because the possibility of getting dinged on a buyout doesn’t go away. The acquiring team can still buy Lucic out if his play deteriorates further, and we’d still be on the hook for the retained portion.

    It would be pretty ugly to send away Bear and still get stuck with a 2Mx8 buyout hit.

    Edit: the actual number would be less than that, but still not cool.

  186. Glovjuice says:

    There current 1-2 is a 2-3 level; 3-4 a 4-5 and the 5-6 a 6-6.5/7.

  187. jp says:

    Glovjuice:
    There current 1-2 is a 2-3 level; 3-4 a 4-5 and the 5-6 a 6-6.5/7.

    Fair. So just missing 1 guy 🙂

  188. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: Fair. So just missing 1 guy

    Yeah, Chris Pronger in his prime. But with no cap hit because Chiarelli.

  189. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    jp: I’d be leery about sending out a prospect AND retaining money. Primarily because the possibility of getting dinged on a buyout doesn’t go away. The acquiring team can still buy Lucic out if his play deteriorates further, and we’d still be on the hook for the retained portion.

    It would be pretty ugly to send away Bear and still get stuck with a 2Mx8 buyout hit.

    Edit: the actual number would be less than that, but still not cool.

    good points!
    Maybe LT can pose a question on the blog:
    “What should the Oilers be willing to do to move Russell and Lucic”?
    And then we can get creative!
    Cheers!

  190. jp says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: good points!
    Maybe LT can pose a question on the blog:
    “What should the Oilers be willing to do to move Russell and Lucic”?
    And then we can get creative!
    Cheers!

    Yeah I’d be interested to hear people’s valuations on that.

    FWIW, if the Oilers retained 3M on Lucic, then he was bought out this summer (very unlikely it would be that soon), their actual portion would be:

    1.81M
    2.81M
    2.06M
    2.81M
    312K X 4 yrs.

    That’s still damned ugly.

  191. Lowetide says:

    For @TheAthleticEDM Identifying the risk and the right price if the Oilers were to trade Adam Larsson. Includes updated @PuckIQ metrics against elites from 2018-19 you’ll want to see

    https://theathletic.com/873265/2019/03/19/lowetide-identifying-the-risk-and-the-right-price-if-the-oilers-were-to-trade-adam-larsson-to-toronto/

  192. Andy Dufresne says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Report from Vegas, Fun event, the tailgate party was booming for 2 hours before game time. (Easier to do in +23 C than -23, mind). Pregame stuff was tacky but harmless, anthem singer (P.A. Guy referred to him as “Golden Pipes”) was seriously great, he sang straight up with no ornamentation other than when he went “they flew through the …” and the crowds roared “KNIGHTS!!”

    Then the game started and Oilers were under the gun right form the start. We had fantastic seats, top row of the lower bowl directly behind Koskinen, and we sure saw the puck in our end a lot for 2 of the 3 periods. Vegas had 9 shots before the first TV timeout, & while Koskinen made some big stops there was a time or two he didn’t seem to know exactly where the puck was. His weaknesses on the glove side have been duly noted elsewhere, let’s just say neither goalie had a good game & while a great performance might have stolen a point or even a win, when the shots on net are 34-19 it seems disingenuous to point the first finger at the netminder.

    I’ll be less charitable towards the defence, whose inability to make a decent first pass was a fatal flaw all night long. The only time all game I remember a forward getting a pass with speed in the neutral zone was when Draisaitl sent an aerial beauty to McDavid on the PK, but there was nothing remotely close to that from any d-man, ever. Lots of deliberate D-to-D passes across their own zone, several of which were in danger of getting picked off, but when it finally came the outlet was too soft or in the skates or forced the forward to turn around and reach for it or stop and reach for it or it whistled by him for an icing or — in the notable case of Larsson to Draisaitl — put the forward’s life in clear and present danger. And at that I have not listed the most common form of “pass” which is to ring the puck around the wall, hope the forward (a.k.a. “an Oilers winger, any Oilers winger”) is there, hope the forward wins the inevitable puck battle and hope the forward is himself make a good pass to another forward. The Nurse-Russell pairing was especially egregious for this but while they led the pack in ring-arounds to nobody they were far from alone. A team wide flaw, and a big reason the Oil only got 19 shots. They never had the damn puck with flow.

    Case in point, the third period which the Oil entered with a chance at 3-2 down, but spent the entirety of the first 2:15 on their own side of centre (save for one icing which technically went over centre), allowing the killer 4-2 goal which turned out to be the winner. That time it was Kassian with the ugly cross-ice pass just outside his own blueline that did get picked off for the deadly counterstrike.

    One last gasp by Russell of all people but the 5-3 goal on what seemed fairly obvious goalie interference was the finishing blow and after that the Oilers couldn’t get to the finishing line fast enough.

    Bright points: the Oilers’ (ahem) ONE powerplay was good, the penalty kill was solid, yet another multipoint game for McDavid, Drai scored a nifty one and made a breathtaking aerial stretch pass to McD on the PK, but both of Edmonton’s stars looked tired and had just 1 shot each, which is death to this team that has so little depth.

    Vegas on the other hand has all kinds of depth, kept bringing the heat with all 4 lines. As an expansion team their biggest advantage was entering the league with a cap hit of $0 and no brutal contracts on the books (unlike virtually every pre-existing team), a set of draft rules that didn’t force them to take on junk contracts, and all kinds of room to manoeuvre. Leave aside their impressive run to the SCF last year, the fact was they still had enough cap space to take on a fantastic line of expensive veterans in Pacioretti-Stastny-Stone this season to complement the Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault trio they stole from the expansion process, and their top six is cooking with gas. Bottom six played an effective pressure game, and the six on defence may be fairly nondescript but they moved the puck north a whole hell of a lot more effectively than their counterparts in white could. Even without their star netminder they had way more than enough to handle an Oilers club that by all appearances was running on fumes.

    Awesome Update. Fair and balanced. It describes the game I watched to a T. Thank You.

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