Game 81 2018-19: Sharks at Oilers

by Lowetide

Edmonton’s next general manager is going to get a massive headache not long after taking the job. When the new man does the calculations on cap issues, duplicate (movable) assets, keepers who can slot into feature roles, that migraine is going to move from a whisper to a scream. What can be done in one summer? Well, the road to balance can begin and that would be wildly encouraging.

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: Will the new GM continue the Oilers aggressive pursuit of college free agents?
  • New Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid’s frustration should be seen by the Oilers as a warning of possible disaster.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers have another problem to solve: Lifting the cloud over a clearly frustrated Connor McDavid
  • Lowetide: What’s going on with Connor McDavid’s with or without you numbers?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The four blows that set up the knockout of the Oilers from playoff contention.
  • New Jonathan Willis: The Oilers’ failures of 2018-19 will cost people their careers.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Chipped teeth, playing DJ and lots of Game of Thrones: A week in the life of Darnell Nurse.
  • New Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto’s first pro season a cause for concern.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the giant talent pool that is the USHL.
  • Lowetide: How the Oilers can shop for a big bang on a small budget
  • Jonathan Willis: How the Oilers can turn their prospect depth into the blueline of a contender.
  • Lowetide: What Mark Hunter’s draft record in Toronto means for his Oilers GM candidacy.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers made a rare move and shopped the QMJHL at the 2018 draft. It could happen again.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.

OILERS AFTER 81

  • Oilers in 2015: 31-43-7, 69 points; goal differential -38
  • Oilers in 2016: 46-26-9, 101 points; goal differential +33
  • Oilers in 2017: 35-40-6, 76 points; goal differential -38
  • Oilers in 2018: 34-37-9, 77 points; goal differential -32

OILERS IN APRIL

  • Oilers in April 2016: 1-1-1, three points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in April 2017: 1-2-0, two points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in April 2018: 2-1-0, four points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in April 2019: 0-2-0, zero points; goal differential -6

WHAT TO EXPECT IN APRIL

  • On the road to: Vegas, Colorado (Expected 0-2-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 1-2-1, three points in 4 games
  • Current results: 0-2-0, zero points in 2 games

OILERS FEATURE POSITIONS

  • I was talking with Bruce McCurdy yesterday about this model for an NHL team. We couldn’t remember where we saw it first (Pearn? Howson? MacT?) but we both agreed it made all kinds of sense.
  • The key for any roster is to deliver in full at the most important positions. This model has the top two lines, No. 3 center, the top two pairings and a starting goalie as being central to success. That’s 12 of 23 positions, or about 50 percent of the roster. The vital 50 percent.
  • I have nine of the 12 slots filled, with only No. 2 LW, No. 3 C and No. 2 RD open.
  • That’s not reality of course. I think McDavid, Nuge, Leon, Oscar, Darnell and Larsson are all qualified. After that, not so much.
  • Andrej Sekera should be on the list, but the Oilers have too much depth at the position. Perhaps that’s an area of depth where a trade can be managed. Question: Who is leaving?

FORWARDS (5-ON-5 PER 60 SCORING)

Kassian’s 5-on-5 offense has increased, but only slightly. The big winger has shown he can play on the top line for periods, you’ll want to add a 20-goal man if you’re the new GM. That said, it might be an area where you have to punt it to summer 2020 and hope for the best. I’d sign Brett Connolly.

Gagner’s offense is more reliable and I do think he could help on a strong power play. Like Kassian, I think Samwise is more valuable starting as a bottom six forward and then stepping up as needed.

Jesse Puljujarvi is the guy I would spend a lot of time finding room for on the roster.

SUMMER 2017 PROSPECT UPDATE

  • We’re two years past this ranking and no one on the list has emerged at one of those 12 key roster positions. That’s basically the problem facing Edmonton’s new general manager. Should he be patient on JP and KY? Chiarelli rushed both and that decision contributed to his demise.
  • Edmonton has had far better results than this in the past. Here’s 2010’s list two seasons after a draft:
  • You can’t expect it every summer, but the 2010 list gave Edmonton a large number who filled one of the ’12’ slots.
  • Hall, Eberle, Dubnyk, Petry all play productively in feature roles, all play for other organizations. There’s a lesson there, too.
  • How many from the current list are locks for one of the ’12’ slots? None right now. I’d be patient on all of them, especially Puljujarvi.

Yes. It’s also reasonable to consider dealing Darnell Nurse, Adam Larsson and Andrej Sekera with money retained. The problem, and this has been an issue for several years, is that Edmonton’s management and scouting staff seems incapable of winning a deal. Or even getting even value on a trade.

The Nuge trade would be complicated, because you need to get someone back who is a sure fire ’12’ solution, plus another player who can be one of the 12. How might that work? Well, there’s performance and there is cap and Nuge posted a big season. His value will be high. The contract is $6 million for two more years (matching cap), so the Oilers could cast about for a RHD who could move the puck and who is under control for several more years. Ivan Provorov if he were right handed, that kind of thing.

The danger is trading the last of the Steve Austins for disappointing return. Other teams know Edmonton is desperate. That will write its own story in the coming days.

WHO WILL GO?

My guess is Larsson. I’m not in favor of it, but the new GM is going to want to get faster. Larsson has real value and could be cashed for a scoring forward this summer. What would the defense look like? A big old mess.

Beyond a long shot, my guess is somewhere close to Manhattan. That said, if you were looking to add a bona fide offensive piece for only money, Palve would be near the top of this year’s list.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have terrific guests and lately plenty of breaking news. Scheduled to appear:

  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman, The Athletic. We’ll chat about Daniel’s article this week about Connor McDavid and the ripple effect of his comments.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Revisiting Humboldt one year later, the McDavid comments and more.

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

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CallighenMan

Andy Dufresne: If Im St Louis, the opening ask for a 25 year old cost controlled (3 more years) RHD of Parayko’s calibre is Nurse and Bouchard.

Gross overpay on our part.

G Money

BONE207,
ArmchairGM,

When you’ve been watching this team for as long as I have, developing cap troubles is inevitable.

PinkSocks

Woodguy v2.0: Before TBY trades anyone they buyout Callahan.

Before they trade Point or Stamkos they trade Palat and/or Johnson for a nice bag of futures to keep re-loading.

TBY doesn’t have a cap problem.

Except both Palat and Johnson have full NTCs. So does Gourde starting July 1.

$8.5-$9m for Point and they have ~$4m to sign a 4,5,6 and 7 D.

Buying out Callahan only saves them $3m and adds cap to next season when they have open the wallet for their 25 year old Vezina goaltender, and Sergachev.

If that’s not a cap problem then neither is Edmonton’s.

russ99

Here’s Nurse’s boxcars:

Age 21 – 44gp – 5-6-11
Age 22 – 82gp – 6-20-26
Age 23 – 81gp – 9-31-40

Klefbom’s at the same age:

Age 21 – 60gp – 2-18-20
Age 22 – 30gp – 4-8-12
Age 23 – 82gp – 12-26-38

Why are we trading Darnell again?

Not to mention he’s got a year left at a $3.2M hit and then is still an RFA next summer.

BONE207

ArmchairGM:
I’m looking forward to the lottery. Does that make me a bad person?

Well I think it makes us the backers of a poor team/organization.

Does that reflect our Fan IQ?

ArmchairGM

BONE207: Dach Cozens & Byram are listed as 4,5,6 & like Ben mentioned, Turcotte at 7. However, the top 3 I believe will change just like in Poolparty’s draft. No consensus & no slam dunk Nhl player for the start of next season. We could be on the cusp of getting Cozens & then of course factor in the lottery, it might work out. Be patient…Tuesday will enlighten all of us.

?
I’m looking forward to the lottery. Does that make me a bad person?

ArmchairGM

G Money: I HAVE DOUBLED THE RAM IN MY LAPTOP. ALL MY POSTS WILL NOW BE TWICE AS VERBOSE.

I’ve heard that typing in ALL CAPS makes every internet argument stronger. ?

Glovjuice

BONE207: Your communication was loud & clear. Depending on Lovjuice’s chemical enhancement for the evening, the interpretation app in her pretty little mind dances among the stars in no particular pattern just like the Aurora borealis…

Well, it was fine communication. Mine was poor. It should be obvious the 97 will change his game to get Drai 50. Point point is it should be expected.

BONE207

ArmchairGM: Any chance Cozens drops this far?

Dach Cozens & Byram are listed as 4,5,6 & like Ben mentioned, Turcotte at 7. However, the top 3 I believe will change just like in Poolparty’s draft. No consensus & no slam dunk Nhl player for the start of next season. We could be on the cusp of getting Cozens & then of course factor in the lottery, it might work out. Be patient…Tuesday will enlighten all of us.

ArmchairGM

Ben:
“Worst” they can do is 8th-last, Rangers need 3 of 4 remaining points for Oilers to move “up” to 6th.

7th looks pretty likely. That’s Turcotte on LT’s list.

Bring on the lottery (fart-cheer)!

Any chance Cozens drops this far?

ArmchairGM

Glovjuice: One more top six winger could have been the difference

Nope. Not even close.

hunter1909

godot10: The Oilers have that skill in Nurse who has other tools as well.

Trading Nurse basically means the management have no interest in contending, ever.

OriginalPouzar

Second round of the OHL and QMJHL playoffs go tonight and all Oiler prospects in action (subject to Maksimov’s health – he missed the first round).

I’m actually quite bummed that, aside from tonight, I’m going to miss the entire round – will stream the Guelph/London game tonight – really wish I was able to watch the entire series – should be a good one. My money is on Guelph.

BONE207

G Money:
I HAVE DOUBLED THE RAM IN MY LAPTOP. ALL MY POSTS WILL NOW BE TWICE AS VERBOSE.

leadfarmer,

I’m of the opinion that McDavid has that old school mentality when it comes to hockey loyalty.

As long as there is a (n actual not a Chiarelli) plan, and they show real progress vs that plan year on year, I think the Oilers have the 3 yearish window they are likely to need to build back to true contention.

And even just with Mc and Drai and a bunch of cardboard cutouts in the rest of the roster, I think we’re always one super hot goalie season away from squeaking into the post season anyway.

HEY…what’s with the yelling at this time of night???

With all that memory you’d think you’d know that.

Goalies are always voodoo or perhaps like a box of chocolates?

Kinger_Oil.redux

G Money,

– I like the cut of your jib

– I get we are at the fantasy part of the season but only luck and development change our situation. Maybe those are the same thing. But trading real players to get back net better players- hockey doesn’t work that way.

– There is not one contending team that is there by making wicked trades. They are all draft and development teams augmented by some trades. Not the other way around

JimmyV1965

You guys killed it with these last three posts. And I really don’t mean you killed something or someone.

G Money

I HAVE DOUBLED THE RAM IN MY LAPTOP. ALL MY POSTS WILL NOW BE TWICE AS VERBOSE.

leadfarmer,

I’m of the opinion that McDavid has that old school mentality when it comes to hockey loyalty.

As long as there is a (n actual not a Chiarelli) plan, and they show real progress vs that plan year on year, I think the Oilers have the 3 yearish window they are likely to need to build back to true contention.

And even just with Mc and Drai and a bunch of cardboard cutouts in the rest of the roster, I think we’re always one super hot goalie season away from squeaking into the post season anyway.

godot10

I can believe I’m going to be over in the death march contest. I think I picked Hemsky 83, or maybe 81.

Krueger with his g$dawful team managed a 77 point pace. Hall >> McDavid.

I like Hitch’s press conferences. I don’t know if I like Hitch hockey.

Dallas made the playoffs with no secondary scoring, missing Klingberg for about as long as Klefbom, Polak on the 2nd pair, and Taylor Fedun rocking the 3rd. That team tracks back as hard as any team in the league. They had great goaltending. But Montgomery, Nelson, and Bowness made a fantastic coaching team. Zuccarello is finally playing. if he can trigger some secondary scoring, that team could surprise.

One mauler on D is useful. Polak is that for Dallas. The Oilers have that skill in Nurse who has other tools as well. Nurse is also able to munch minutes. If I were decision maker, he would be a keeper. Like Petry, he is not perfect, but the moment you trade him, you will miss him.

Klefbom is similar.

BONE207

JimmyV1965: Maybe communication is an issue. By changing his game I simply meant forcing passes to Drai where there really wasn’t a clear pass and giving up his own shots to pass to Drai. I didn’t mean he was revamping his game on the second last night of the season.

Your communication was loud & clear. Depending on Lovjuice’s chemical enhancement for the evening, the interpretation app in her pretty little mind dances among the stars in no particular pattern just like the Aurora borealis…?

JimmyV1965

Glovjuice: 2nd last game of the year in another failed season and we are discussing a player changing his game. Only in a few places in the world and we are one.

Maybe communication is an issue. By changing his game I simply meant forcing passes to Drai where there really wasn’t a clear pass and giving up his own shots to pass to Drai. I didn’t mean he was revamping his game on the second last night of the season.

BONE207

hunter1909: This is sublime.

I would like to nominate this Ben quote as the greatest single thing ever posted on Lowetide, ever.

Ha…my last post I wrote before I saw your post. I knew it would catch your eye. You must be getting sentimental or nostalgic in your old age. You are taking to heart a lot of postings these days.

If the Oilers make the playoffs one year, you might even cry…?

BONE207

Ben: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We’re just along for the particularly long and shitty ride while the darkness slowly trespasses across the borders of whatever time we have left.

Now if I were Hunter, I would say that this is what they found written inside one of the cattle cars during the world war 2.

It’s a gentler kind of fire these days…

Glovjuice

JimmyV1965: Ya. I think McDavid was pressing a bit there. Probably best not to change his game. Easier said than done though.

2nd last game of the year in another failed season and we are discussing a player changing his game. Only in a few places in the world and we are one.

JimmyV1965

OriginalPouzar:
McDavid pressing so hard to try and get the puck to Drai at every opportunity – even making poor decisions in that regard a few times.Then there is Rattie passing up decent looks to Drai and shooting at every opportunity (not that he can be faulted for shooting).

Ya. I think McDavid was pressing a bit there. Probably best not to change his game. Easier said than done though.

digger50

Good game for fans. Two goals for Leon. Gain a spot in the draft.

Good result tonight.

Ben

“Worst” they can do is 8th-last, Rangers need 3 of 4 remaining points for Oilers to move “up” to 6th.

7th looks pretty likely. That’s Turcotte on LT’s list.

Bring on the lottery (fart-cheer)!

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Glovjuice: You mean yappy. So, you don’t think Lucic is a joke at $6 large for that type of 1995 play?

He chips in where he can … it’s just about the only play he can make now.

YKOil

Pending lotto results, no higher than 6th and no lower than 8th.

For me, I love thinking about the draft this time of year. For my team to be thinking about this, I hate it. I hate it for them as well.

BONE207

Dell wins the game. He was a time zone or two further down the list of goalies this season.

Does that mean it’s not the goalie so much but the shooters?
I know…because Oilers

Drai gets #50 against the fLames

€√¥£€^$

Professor Q:
Should that have been a penalty shot?

Technically no, but I thought the same thing.

IMO a play like that with under 1 minute left and a team down by 1 should be awarded a penalty shot.

Professor Q

Should that have been a penalty shot?

OriginalPouzar

What a fun game – ignoring the pressing to get the puck to Drai, that was a heck of a third period.

Younger Oil

Of course that’s the one time in the last 10 minutes when the ref raises his arm.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
That’s nice – that has nothing to do with the post you made mind you.

That’s funny. Someone should do a thesis on this blog. Lots of human communication dynamics to study. Someone else can say what I’m trying to say here smarter than me but you all get my drift RE the thesis thing.

Gerta Rauss

I like Drai in OT

JonyPro

Reider has ZERO offensive vision lol poor guy

Gerta Rauss

Leon has had a couple good looks this period

Professor Q

Someone got really mad on the ice.

Mic caught “Oh come on, f*@k off!”.

OriginalPouzar

That’s nice – that has nothing to do with the post you made mind you.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
I’m highly confident that not a single one of Lucic’s teammates had any issue with his actions and that each and every one of them were happy with them.

I won’t even bother with a retort………..but, I’m sure his teammates would like more from a $6 million dollar player. I’m sure 97 would like to be in the playoffs. One more top six winger could have been the difference. Ok, that’s a retort.

OriginalPouzar

McDavid pressing so hard to try and get the puck to Drai at every opportunity – even making poor decisions in that regard a few times. Then there is Rattie passing up decent looks to Drai and shooting at every opportunity (not that he can be faulted for shooting).

OriginalPouzar

I’m highly confident that not a single one of Lucic’s teammates had any issue with his actions and that each and every one of them were happy with them.

Chief Inspector

Let’s go Leon!

Reja

Glovjuice: You mean yappy. So, you don’t think Lucic is a joke at $6 large for that type of 1995 play?

I think the Oilers will trade him this offseason it will sting but it’s best for both parties.If I’m correct you only have 4 periods to enjoy Milan.

€√¥£€^$

ArmchairGM:
Apropos of nothing,I think Evan Bouchard’s ceiling is Brent Burns. Not a 5-tool guy, but really, really good at what he does.

He will be a point producer for sure.

He is an untouchable in my books.

OriginalPouzar

Fun game to watch!

€√¥£€^$

leadfarmer:
Maybe we can get Granlund from the Preds
That trade looked like highway robbery for them but it’s turned into a complete dud

Love me some Granlund, but he may be a beast in the playoffs

€√¥£€^$

Oil2Oilers:
As it is unlikely the Oilers will manage to solve the ‘2RD’ problem over the summer or the D who can make a pass problem. I posit the following bridging strategy.

Benning has struggled to play effectively above 3RD but does have puck moving skills. Sekera has the skill and track record but is getting long in the tooth.

But, building off the Dellow sheltering examination and the Woodmoney comp bins, a hard matching coach could staple Sekera-Benning to the McDavid-Draisaitl line at home giving them secondary modern quality of competition and near first pairings minutes. Backing off the minutes and comp on the road for a safer pair off hands that square off the puck.

Nope Nurse-Russell occupy that position

*later this evening someone counters 25’s Wowy Stats with 97

ArmchairGM

Apropos of nothing, I think Evan Bouchard’s ceiling is Brent Burns. Not a 5-tool guy, but really, really good at what he does.