Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town

by Lowetide

At the end of the 2003-04 AHL season, Doug Lynch of the Toronto Roadrunners was named to the league’s All-rookie team. It’s a prestigious award, and many quality future NHL players used it as a stepping off point over the last 20 years.

It took 15 years, but fans finally have two more names to celebrate. Winger Tyler Benson and goalie Shane Starrett were named to the team yesterday. Cooper Marody surely was strongly considered. It’s been an outstanding season in Bakersfield. How many AHL rookies who performed this well go straight to the NHL the following season?

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: The Oilers possible summer trade pieces, and which longtime players might be saying goodbye.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick.
  • New Corey Pronman: The Athletic’s 2019 NHL Mock Draft (lottery edition): Devils get the No. 1 pick.
  • New Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson mostly says the right things, but stalls on making changes to the Oilers.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The pressure’s squarely on Bob Nicholson to make right GM hire for Oilers.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Report Cards: Few passing grades remain in season full of failure.
  • Lowetide: How winning the draft lottery and drafting Jack Hughes could transform the Oilers.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers have a trio of Condors blue pushing and all three are tracking well. How does this group compare to the Petry, Chorney, Wild college men from a decade ago?
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers, the republic of Finland and the 2019 draft.
  • 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.
  • 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.

REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

Tyler Benson’s numbers (66, 14-51-65) are impressive, but have recent all-stars with similar numbers moved up to the NHL in the following season? I’m looking at forwards, age 20, who made the list.

  • Dylan Strome made the 2017-18 list and played 78 NHL games the following season. Clearly not a match in terms of draft pedigree.
  • Daniel Sprong made the 2017-18 list and played 63 NHL games the following season. A second-round pick (like Benson) and I believe a match (Sprong went 63, 14-9-23 in the NHL at 21).
  • Charles Hudon made the 2014-15 list and played three NHL games the following season. Not a match for a few reasons, including a lower AHL point total (57 points in 75 games) and lower draft number (fifth round).
  • Connor Brown made the 2014-15 list and played seven NHL games the following season. Not a clear match for the same reasons as Hudon.
  • Ryan Strome made the 2013-14 list and played 81 NHL games the following season. Not a match due to draft pedigree (similar to his brother).
  • Ryan Spooner made the 2012-13 list and played 23 NHL games the following season. He’s a match in terms of AHL points at 20 and draft pedigree.
  • Jason Zucker made the 2012-13 list and played 21 NHL games the following season. He’s a match in the same way as Spooner.
  • Tyler Toffoli made the 2012-13 list and played 62 NHL games the following season. He’s a match like Spooner and Zucker, although this was the lockout season.

Uncertain about using Spooner, Zucker and Toffoli as comparables due to the lockout and increased quality of the AHL in that season. Also, these men might never have played in the AHL without the lockout.

I’ll suggest the only pure comp is Sprong. Fair? Sprong is 18-10-28 after 89 NHL games.

Shane Starrett’s save percentage is .919, that’s No. 4 in the AHL and No. 1 among rookies. He is 24.

  • Ville Husso had a .922 SP and made the 2017-18 AS team. He spent this season in the AHL.
  • Casey DeSmith had a .926 SP and made the 2016-17 AS. He spent 14 games in the NHL the following season (injury).
  • Joni Ortio had a .926 SO in 2013-14 and spent six games in the NHL the following season.

Starrett may have an NHL career, but I expect he’ll need to build on his impressive season with another one in Bakersfield.

ALL THOSE BLUE

There are a growing number of young defencemen pushing for NHL employment in the Oilers pipeline. A good guess would have Caleb Jones and Joel Persson making the grade at the start of the 2018-19 campaign, with Evan Bouchard, William Lagesson and Ethan Bear trying to get to the NHL a-sap. Poor Lagesson not only has Jones ahead of him, but Dmitri Samorukov pushing from behind.

How many of these kids will emerge as NHL regulars? How many will play the heart of their careers in Edmonton? History suggests very few. The Oilers become impatient with their own defensemen at around the time when they need to be paid $4 million or more. We’ll call it the Jeff Petry Challenge rule.

A coach has to be careful on this stuff, too many young blue and he’s out on his ass. I will never forget Punch Imlach trying to move out a ridiculously strong group of aged blue (Tim Horton, Allan Stanley, Bob Baun, Marcel Pronovost) in favor of youth. Here’s how Imlach tried to do it:

  • 1966-67 (final Stanley team): Jim McKenny six games, Duane Rupp three games. McKenny was a pretty good Orr knockoff with defensive issues, and Rupp was (according to my Dad) a career minor leaguer only in the NHL because of expansion.
  • 1967-68: Duane Rupp played 71 games, Mike Pelyk 24, Darryl Sly 17 and poor McKenny just 5. Pelyk was a jewel in Toronto’s crown, Sly a minor league player who did get some time due to expansion.
  • 1968-69: Jim Dorey (61 games) was my favorite Leafs defenseman from the moment he stepped on the ice. He had talent and was also a half bubble off plumb. You would have loved him. Pat Quinn played 40, Rick Ley 37 and poor old McKenny 5. Quinn was an experienced minor leaguer but he could play and had a career. Ley was an undersized but physical two-way defender who would also have a career. Imlach got his ass fired, partly because he was rebuilding on the fly (and partly because he told Stafford Smythe to shove it. Imlach wasn’t all bad).
  • 1969-70: Brian Glennie played 52 games. He was a tough shutdown defender and the master of the hipcheck. A bunch of kids (Randy Murray, Gordie Nelson, Chris Evans, Ken Murray, Larry McIntyre) would also get a cup of coffee.
  • 1970-71: Brad Selwood would play 28 games, he was a solid offensive player who had his moments defensively. Ken Murray got four more games.
  • 1971-72: None.
  • 1972-73: Joe Lundrigan and John Grisdale played 49 games, Larry McIntyre 40 and Dave Fortier 23. The Leafs were forced to play so many rookies because Ballard was too cheap and got raided by the WHA. Stupid Stupid Stupid.
  • 1973-74: Borje Salming played 76 and Ian Turnbull 78 games. Salming was a watershed addition, I cannot possibly communicate how important he would be to the Leafs in the 1970’s. Turnbull was an adventure with the puck and without, my Dad called him a double agent.

I think there’s more than a chance this happens. The new general manager will be pushed to trade JP, and there may be a market for him. However, by the time the new GM is named Puljujarvi may have already decided on his immediate future. I sincerely hope the player does what is best for him.

I’m not doubting Dustin’s sources or his credibility here, I’m certain both are solid. There are a couple of things that make me wonder if this is an organizational ‘counter trey’ (I describe that as an attempt to deflect).

First, if Keith Gretzky has been told he isn’t getting the job, then why bother with the charade at the media avail? Surely you remember Nicholson’s kind words and KG saying he had a plan but wasn’t going to share it? No, I think Gretzky is proceeding as if he is a candidate and that an interview is forthcoming.

Second, the organization needs Gretzky for the draft and possibly beyond. Why would they run the risk of having him bolt the organization? Makes zero sense to me. If the Oilers don’t hire Gretzky as general manager, after what I think we can agree is teasing the possibility, one would expect KG to resign on the spot. I would. You can’t allow anyone to run over you like that, especially in a situation so public.

My opinion is this: Nicholson is between a rock and a hard place. There’s a percentage of the fan base who would like to see Gretzky as the new general manager. The verbal (planted by the team) that Chiarelli went rogue on those bastage fargin’ trades has resonated with many, and those same people believe KG has done a good job building the prospect pipeline and Bakersfield. If Nicholson doesn’t hire him, and KG quits, there’s a portion of the fan base who will balk.

On the other hand, Nicholson is going to interview many qualified candidates. These men aren’t coming for a cup of tea, they’re going to discuss an important career change and are going to want control. If all of the quality candidates insist on control of what the front office looks like, I doubt the conversations go deep. If one of these men is willing to step into what is clearly a flawed management structure, is this the person you want to hire?

I think Keith Gretzky showed well the other day. I also think that complicates Bob Nicholson’s job. If I’m Nicholson, I’m cheering like hell for a San Jose sweep. If he can get Kelly McCrimmon as general manager, the fans will be pleased, the new GM will have long relationships with all of the hockey ops people, and an eye for pro scouting (as seen during the expansion draft). If McCrimmon wants to see change, it can be massaged as opposed to being a public shift. That’s the Oilers way.

Failing that, it’s a sea of grey and several miles of active candidates. I believe that list includes Keith Gretzky.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Thursday already, we have a sweet guest list and a lot to talk about. TSN1260, 10 this morning, scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. Who is leaving? How many new faces in the fall?
  • Andrew Peard, Oil Kings play by play. The EOK roll over Calgary and now I’m wondering how far they can go?
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Opening night playoffs and oh my GOD were there some surprises.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. I have 90 minutes to shower, shave, shampoo, dress, prep, drive, arrive. Will I make it?

198 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
198 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alpine

Gretzky should be happy to stay on. Is he gonna get a promotion in any other organization? If his brother wasn’t immortal and next in line to the owner then he would have been thrown out around the same time as Chia.

nvan97

Alpine,

This is what I was thinking. If the new GM was willing to take him on as the AGM and some sort of leadership role in amateur scouting that seems like his best opportunity right now.

Jaxon

I want to repost this from late last night to show some interesting stats on two players. Raphael Lavoie and Arthur Kaliyev and their impressive seasons.

Raphael Lavoie 6’4″ – 198lbs.Right-handed C/RW
A few scouts have him ranked in the 9-12 range but consensus has him around #21. This playoff heater may have him climb significantly.

Lavoie’s 13 goals in 11 games going into the 3rd round of playoffs (they won their series tonight so he’s guaranteed 4 more games) is special. Since 2004-05 (Crosby’s draft year), these are the top under-19-year-old goal scorers in the Q playoffs:
’08 – Paul Byron – 19GP – 21G (draft+1)
’07 – Brad Marchand – 20GP – 16G (draft+1)
’11 – Jonathan Huberdeau – 19GP – 16G (draft season)
’16 – Anthony Beauvillier – 21GP – 15G (draft+1)
’05 – Sidney Crosby – 13GP – 14G (draft season)
’19 – Raphael Lavoie – 10GP – 13G
’14 – Jonathan Drouin – 16GP – 13G (draft+1)
’12 – Nathan MacKinnon – 17GP – 13G (draft-1)
’11 – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 24GP – 13G (draft season)

Even if he slows down a bit there is a good chance he ends up 2nd on this list. Everyone on that list has scored at least 19 goals in a season.

EDIT: I was filtering by age and realized it included draft+1 seasons. I’ve indicated draft+1, Draft, and draft-1 (MacKinnon). Now the list looks more like this for draft or draft-1 players:

’11 – Jonathan Huberdeau – 19GP – 16G (draft season)
’05 – Sidney Crosby – 13GP – 14G (draft season)
’19 – Raphael Lavoie – 10GP – 13G
’12 – Nathan MacKinnon – 17GP – 13G (draft-1)
’11 – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 24GP – 13G (draft season)

Scouts on Lavoie:
Sam Conentino – SportsNetFeb. 13th: “One of the biggest enigmas in this draft class, his matter-of-fact attitude is displayed on and off the ice. It always comes back to skill and he has a lot of that to offer.”

Steve Kournianos – Sporting NewsJan. 31st: “Few bigger forwards in the 2019 group can motor and handle the puck as well as Lavoie, who plays with confidence while controlling the puck. He’s a sound decision maker and can score goals from just about anywhere in the offensive zone.”

Hannah Stuart – theScoreJan. 9th: “The projected power forward has an accurate and heavy shot, while he’s good at protecting the puck.”

Sam Cosentino – Sportsnet – Dec. 12th: “A full array of tools from which to draw and all of them are NHL calibre. Playing with the full toolbox every night is a challenge.”

Sam Cosentino – SportsNet – Nov. 7th: “Great hands with the ability to work in tight spaces. Combined with acute shooting ability, he is a threat every time he crosses the blue line.”

Steve Kournianos – The Draft Analyst – Nov. 5th: “Big-bodied goal scorer with very good speed and can stickhandle his way around any jam.”

______________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Kaliyev – 6’2″ – 190lbs, left-handed, LW
A few scouts have him ranked in the 7-9 range but consensus has him around #16

A similar exercise for Arthur Kaliyev’s regular season goal total of 51. It puts him in some pretty special company in the O since the 2005 draft season eligible players:

’07 – John Tavares – 67GP – 72G (draft-2!!!)
’07 – Patrick Kane – 58GP – 62G
’08 – Steve Stamkos – 61GP – 58G
’09 – John Tavares – 56GP – 58G
’16 – Alex Debrincat – 60GP – 51G
’19 – Arthur Kaliyev – 67GP – 51G
’15 – Alex Debrincat – 68GP – 51G (draft-1)
’10 – Jeff Skinner – 64GP – 50G

’15 – Connor McDavid – 47GP – 44G
’10 – Taylor Hall – 57GP – 40G

Those numbers should be hard to ignore no matter how divisive he is. His coaches say he has great character and is very coachable.

From Pronman’s article about how divisive Kaliyev is with scouts:
“Arthur is one of the most dynamic players I’ve coached in the OHL in my six years here. I coached Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat. In my opinion, Arthur is just as good a player as either of those two,” said Vince Laise, the acting coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Laise was formerly an assistant coach with Erie.

“Arthur has the ability to find the back of the net just as those two did at the same age,” Laise said. “They differ in play styles but all achieve what NHL organizations look for. Arthur is more than just a power play producer, his underlying value is his ability to produce at even strength and his playmaking. He’s been as coachable as they come and a pleasure to work with.”

Scouts on Kaliyev:
Sam Conentino – SportsNetFeb. 13th: “Masterful performance at the Top Prospects Game, and while it’s only one game, he showed just how good he can be when he’s at his best.”

Cam Robinson – Dobber ProspectsFeb. 6th: “A shoot-first winger who knows how to find the back of the net. Somewhat one-dimensional but that dimension has produced 35 goals in 48 games this season. Changes the release point and angle to exploit netminders. Protects the puck well but lacks engagement and pace far too often”

Steve Kournianos – Sporting NewsJan. 31st: “Owner of one of the deadliest shots you’ll find in this draft class, the Staten Island-born Kaliyev has developed into a well-rounded scorer and is starting to use his thick frame to his advantage. ”

Hannah Stuart – theScoreJan. 9th: “He’s always dangerous thanks to his excellent release. He protects the puck well and isn’t afraid to get into difficult spots.”

Sam Cosentino – SportsNet – Nov. 7th: “The goal scoring has always been there. He has shown other parts of his game that make you think the sky’s the limit. Finding consistency in those other areas will cement him inside the top-15.”

Scott Wheeler – The Athletic – Nov. 6th: “He was great at Hlinka this summer and he can score with the best of them in the OHL. There’s a real case to be made for Kaliyev as having the best release in the class. That will get a lot of teams really excited and will likely result in Kaliyev as a top-10 pick.””

p3rsonman

I’m not sure I agree with your take on KG, Lowetide. If Dusty’s info is correct, I think they’ve heard loud and clear that hiring Keith Gretzky is not going to sit well with the majority of fans because it’s seen as the “same old”.

Perhaps it’s naive to think they’ve learned anything, but the threat of cancelled season tickets might be forcing their hand.

However, the flip side is that if Dusty’s info is correct they’ve now got a man without a GM future handling their draft and that doesn’t seem like a good scenario.

Woogie63

Wait a Finnish hockey team wants a Finnish kid to play for them? Is this news?

Why would a 20 year leave to NHL to play in the Finnish league?

The new coach is going to want JP on his wing. Why because he is a coach.

Alpine

Lowetide,

Is he gonna get a better job than assistant GM? I agree it’s stupid to parade him around but he also is the interim general manager until further notice.

I’m sure there’s a handshake deal where he has immunity if a new GM wants to clear people out. They could use someone who knows the team to help the new GM.

Keith has got to be self aware enough that it’s a bumpy road for assistant GMs who were hired by a recently fired GM.

dustrock

p3rsonman:

However, the flip side is that if Dusty’s info is correct they’ve now got a man without a GM future handling their draft and that doesn’t seem like a good scenario.

He’s currently the top management employee for the Oilers and is still employed with the team. He has a duty to handle whatever managerial duties come up, including the draft.

If KG blows off the draft, or somehow sabotages the draft (not sure what you’re implying), he’ll never work in the NHL again.

it is in Gretzky’s best interests, either to become GM of the Oilers, or for career prospects on another team, to absolutely nail this draft.

commonfan29

Lowetide: It doesn’t work that way. If Gretzky is truly valued by the organization, I doubt they’d do this to him.

You don’t think talking him up as a “very legitimate candidate” for the job as much as they have will be good for his career long-term?

From the start, I’ve thought all the talk was probably a favour to him to help get him into the conversation for other positions in the future.

JimmyV1965

Lowetide: It doesn’t work that way. If Gretzky is truly valued by the organization, I doubt they’d do this to him. If they do, then he surrenders, KG is doomed to live out his life as an underling. I suspect he’s more ambitious.

But the whole process is curious. Why would you have this entire dog and pony show, travelling the four corners of the earth, interviewing a dozen candidates, if you’re simply going to hire the guy down the hall?

Jaxon

I’m pretty bullish on Benson’s potential.
The remarkable thing to consider with Benson is that this is only his 20 year old, draft+3 season, which is great, but if you consider lost development time due to injury, it may align more with the development curve of a 19 year old, draft+2 season. If we consider his development delayed by 1 year when he missed 2 half seasons and probably played much of those seasons while not 100% without any summers to work on strength, endurance and skills, and we then consider this year akin to his 19 year old season, how does that compare to 19 year old seasons in the AHL going back to the 2005-06 season via 5v5 P1/60?

5v5 P1/60 (min. 30GP)
W Nylander 2.47
M Rantanen 2.44
D Brassard 2.34
T Benson 2.32
N Kadri 2.32
J Vrana 2.24
K Palmieri 2.23
N Filatov 2.23
E Poirier 2.2
T Tatar 2.18
L Caputi 2.14
M D’Agostini 2.00
T Meier 1.92

I’m sure there are many statistical reasons not to do this, but I was curious to see how his 20 year old season lined up against recent 19 year old seasons. They may have a hell of a player on their hands.

Note: All numbers from prospect-stats.com
Prospect Stats marks birthdays such that Benson is 20.504 years old this season (September 15th?), so the players included above could be as old as only 6 months younger than Benson.

If we look at just overall points (source: Elite Prospects) then he has some pretty impressive company there as well. Players who have scored at that kind of pace as 20 year olds in the AHL in the last 20 years:
Artem Anisimov, Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, David Krecji, Kris Versteeg, Tomas Vanek. We’d kill to have one of those guys in their prime playing on McDavid’s or Draisaitl’s wing.

Patrice Bergeron, Miko Rantanen, and Jason Spezza put up similar numbers in their 19 year old season, which is maybe where we should be drawing comparisons as mentioned above.

Caribbeerman

Hoping for a Sharks series win for this very same reason – McCrimmon!

russ99

I thought KG was quoted when he was named interim GM that he wasn’t interested in the job permanently.

IMO all this bluster is Nicholson a) running it up the flagpole and b) looking dumb in the press, something he’s wont to do.

All those fans who want KG as GM (which can’t be many) and solely blaming Chiarelli as scapegoat can’t deny his involvement with the Koskinen extension and the post-Hitchcock trades.

We all see him as a good drafter, from his track record with the Bruins and Oilers. That doesn’t qualify him for GM and doesn’t absolve him from being part of the groupthink for many of our poor moves, not to mention that hiring him as GM is the best way for the groupthink to continue, while an outside GM hire would bring in different voices and techniques, something that is sorely needed.

As for Jesse, a year in the KHL or SEL would be a smart move by the player and the Oilers. We’re never going to get close to sunk costs in a trade this summer, and only Hitchcock thinks he’s ready for a regular NHL role. The Oilers get to kick the RFA can down the road a year and the player gets more time to develop.

Coiler

I feel for Gretzky. The organization is saying that if no one else wants to come, not all of the names mentioned, not the office cleaner, not the guy who plows the sidewalk, or the zamboni driver, then he’ll get the position. BUT only if none of those other guys want it.

What a bunch of muppets.

If the rumours of Nicholson’s departure are true, and there are no reasons to think that they aren’t, then why in the name of baby jesus is he leading the search for the position of GM?

JJS

There is a common practice in business whereby we promote people to a level of incompetence. Really good front end staff do not make great managers. Great managers don’t make great directors and so on.

There is nothing wrong with being a really good assistant GM in the NHL. And staying there.

Professor Q

Coiler,

Well, because he was the only one willing to query rival organizations on what to look for in a good POHO and GM, so they needed him to do one last act before leaving for the IIHF.

Professor Q

Lowetide: It doesn’t work that way. If Gretzky is truly valued by the organization, I doubt they’d do this to him. If they do, then he surrenders, KG is doomed to live out his life as an underling. I suspect he’s more ambitious.

Didn’t he in his own words say that he’d be willing to stay as AGM depending on who was hired?

I know things change and he did say that he wanted the job more recently, but maybe he does like AGM more. He seems a bit too static and lackadaisical to be a GM at this time.

knighttown

We struggle with this type of thinking in our organization as well. If we lose a middle manager people go through mental gymnastics to try and find a positive about someone a few rungs below who might be able to do the job, I’m constantly pushing to go through a process with inside and outside talent and if person X (from inside) is the best candidate it will become clear. If an internal candidate is insulted they are being asked to interview then I don’t want them anyway because they’ll only perpetuate this cycle when they are doing the hiring.

LIke any other career, you build a resume. For an AGM, your resume is pretty obvious as you are directly competing against your peers. Keith Gretzky is the AGM for one of the worst teams in the NHL. That’s there in black-and-white. If he wasn’t an internal candidate, no one would be the least bit interested. Because he IS an internal candidate he probably gets an interview and a real shot because hiring from within makes good corporate culture.

Heading into the interview he should be miles behind McCrimmon or Pat Verbeek based on their respective AGM resumes. Now, if in the interview he can make up this gap then by all means, he can have the job.

And let me promise you this. As a business owner threats of someone leaving if they don’t get the job concern me not at all. Our organization tries to grow and groom talent and if someone leaves for an awesome opportunity I take it as a compliment and shake their hand on the way out.

If Gretzky gets a fair shake and then bails before the draft (for a lateral move) he may damage his reputation beyond repair.

The Oilers don’t know this yet but no one is bigger than the organization. Take your time, go through the process and out of the immense pool of talent out there pick the very best person for the job.

sean w

LT, why do you feel a new GM would be pushed to trade Puljujärvi? Just curious.

dustrock

Jaxon,

Yeah, I brought up Lavoie a week or two ago.

He’s a guy who was an early season top 10 pick, his draft-1 season last year was great and with his body and skill set, he was expected to dominate.

The season didn’t start out so well for him and that’s why he was dropped in the early and mid-season projections.

He has been absolutely killing it in the last third of the season and the playoffs though.

I don’t think the Oilers would pick him at #8 but I think you could make a pretty convincing case for it.

Bos8

Hitch lied about Jessie. He gave him the same short shrift that McLelland did.

What was the best situation for Jessie and with that the Oilers? Play him with the two Condors. If it works try him at center.

They play two games a week for God’s sake. The Oilers are screwing around with a generational talent. The don’t know what’s wrong but they did screw up. Make up your mind and follow through. At least your conscience will be clean. Give it your best shot.

The Oilers are terribly prone to the dispatch disease. “He jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions”.

“Each day a new new concept, each day a new direction”

Woodguy v2.0

I think there’s more than a chance this happens. The new general manager will be pushed to trade JP, and there may be a market for him. However, by the time the new GM is named Puljujarvi may have already decided on his immediate future. I sincerely hope the player does what is best for him.

Neilson said this morning that JP's agent came out and said 100% that JP was in the NHL next year.

Woogie63

p3rsonman:
I’m not sure I agree with your take on KG, Lowetide. If Dusty’s info is correct, I think they’ve heard loud and clear that hiring Keith Gretzky is not going to sit well with the majority of fans because it’s seen as the “same old”.

Perhaps it’s naive to think they’ve learned anything, but the threat of cancelled season tickets might be forcing their hand.

However, the flip side is that if Dusty’s info is correct they’ve now got a man without a GM future handling their draft and that doesn’t seem like a good scenario.

Hiring the new GM will have nothing to do with a fan poll run by Dusty or fan reaction to a Kretzky. He was second in charge for a bad team, that means you don’t get promoted. AND this is not the first time he has been a manager on a bad team.

Bos8

dustrock:
Jaxon,

Yeah, I brought up Lavoie a week or two ago.

He’s a guy who was an early season top 10 pick, his draft-1 season last year was great and with his body and skill set, he was expected to dominate.

The season didn’tstart out so well for him and that’s why he was dropped in the early and mid-season projections.

He has been absolutely killing it in the last third of the season and the playoffs though.

I don’t think the Oilers would pick him at #8 but I think you could make a pretty convincing case for it.

Lavoie seems destined for Montreal or Ottawa.

Jaxon

dustrock:
Jaxon,

Yeah, I brought up Lavoie a week or two ago.

He’s a guy who was an early season top 10 pick, his draft-1 season last year was great and with his body and skill set, he was expected to dominate.

The season didn’t start out so well for him and that’s why he was dropped in the early and mid-season projections.

He has been absolutely killing it in the last third of the season and the playoffs though.

I don’t think the Oilers would pick him at #8 but I think you could make a pretty convincing case for it.

Reminds me of the heater that Vitali Kravtsov went on in the KHL playoffs last year. He ended up going 9th overall and climbed a lot after that playoff run. I’ll be following his playoffs, cheering for him to pass others on that list of great NHLers. I really liked the Rangers picks last year with Kravtsov (historic numbers for a draft age player in KHL playoffs), K’Andre Miller (one of my favs last year), Nils Lundkvist, Olof Lindbom (maybe the top goalie), and Jacob Ragnarsson. I believe their scouts must have been leaning heavily on stats. And they have 3 picks in the 1st round again this year. Jeff Gorton should teach a course on rebuilding a team quickly. Oh yeah, Gorton is also the guy that built the Bruin Cup winners and then Chiarelli got all the credit. Sather hires Gorton and he builds them a future contender in 2 years. And then he stole Strome from Chia for spooner. Huh.

Durag

Jaxon,

I’d also argue that Benson’s draft pedigree took a hit because of his injury history. If he had a healthier couple of years prior to his draft year he probably would have gone mid-first round or higher.

godot10

A heater is a heater. It means little. Who is going to change their draft ratings significantly on a heater?

Especially on perhaps the oldest prospect in the draft.

Jaxon

godot10:
A heater is a heater.It means little.Who is going to change their draft ratings significantly on a heater?

Especially on perhaps the oldest prospect in the draft.

Kravtsov was ranked typically in the 15 to 20 range and as low as 36 on one ranking. Even right before the draft only one scout had him at 6th and the next highest was 14th. He ended up going 9th largely due to his playoff heater.

YKOil

on KG.

IF Keith Gretzky has been heavily involved in Cap and contract discussions and exhibited a strong, and demonstrable, belief in analytics as he develops his scouting lists, THEN I am amenable to moving him up.

I do not believe that to be the case therefore I cannot, in good conscience, recommend him for the GM chair.

That said.

No organization should shit on success. Unless one can demonstrate that the good is wholly intertwined with the bad then it is more damaging than good to cut out the ALL the good with the bad.

So, my approach would be this.

– incoming GM is, barring a Chiarelli style meltdown, guaranteed his job (this is important given what comes next)
– incoming GM is keeping Keith Gretzky and team and may augment as needed but there is not to be any no poisoning of the well
– other than the amateur scouting group the new GM has full authority to change as needed (which represents the vast majority of the operation)
– Keith Gretzky will, himself, be incorporated into the business, Cap, contract, professional scouting and minor league development discussion and decision making parts of the job
– it is understood that the GM’s duty to this matter, is to mentor and train KG to be a GM/budding-AGM somewhere
– at the end of two years the new GM can do as he wishes, keep KG on or send him on his way
– at the end of the same two years KG can move on if he so desires but it is not his decision to ‘just stay’, that is up to the GM and the relationship the two have forged

In this way the Oilers stay true to rewarding excellence without cutting the feet out from under the new GM, the new GM also retains full future flexibility and, in the meantime, hasn’t been hamstrung by having to retain a poor scouting unit.

Requirement for this to work – a strong president. Which Nicholson may or may not be.

That is my read, and approach, on it.

Durag

I don’t know if this has been discussed, but I’m not sure why Vegas won’t allow McCrimmon to interview until they’re eliminated from the playoffs. What does an AGM do for the team once they’re in the playoffs? If it’s about draft work, why would it make a difference if they’re still playing playoff games or not?

McNuge93

Question for you guys. Who was seen as Chia’s assistant GM or was there any clear 2IC. Was it MacT or KGretz?

I think there are ways to tell a guy in a positive way that you are not likely to get the promotion but you have the potential to get there with more and broader experience so I hope this has happened. Maybe you hire a new GM and he keeps KGretz and gives him added responsibility. Really, is any other team going to hire him as GM today. No chance.

npanciroli

Jaxon, great posts today – I enjoyed reading them all and loved the insight on some prospects.

frjohnk

Looking at Cooper Marodys comparables points per game and same age

Marody put up 1.125 pts/game

1.351 Seth Griffith
1.326 Teemu Pulkkinen
1.25 Matt D’Agostini
1.239 Teddy Purcell
1.185 Max Pacioretty
1.133 Alexander Khokhlachev
1.13 Anton Lander
1.125 Dustin Jeffrey
1.116 Linden Vey
1.105 Nick Shore
1.067 Cory Conacher
1.058 Christopher Bourque
1.054 Jerome Samson
1.036 Gustav Nyquist
1.03 Cal O’Reilly
1.029 Vladislav Namestnikov
1.029 Mathieu Perreault
1.027 Brock Trotter
1 Nick Cousins
1 Jeremy Morin
1 Brandon Pirri
1 Aaron Palushaj
0.98 Brett MacLean
0.958 Carter Ashton
0.955 Emerson Etem
0.953 Martins Karsums
0.95 Tim Erixon
0.945 Jordan Weal
0.941 Josh Leivo
0.941 Reid Boucher
0.939 Rhett Rakhshani
0.918 Tim Kennedy
0.909 Johan Larsson
0.903 Shane Prince
0.9 Nick Bonino
0.889 Matt Beleskey
0.885 Sven Andrighetto
0.882 Matt Puempel
0.875 Charles Hudon
0.871 Erik Haula
0.867 Curtis McKenzie
0.864 Nathan Gerbe
0.863 Cam Atkinson
0.862 Benn Ferriero
0.857 Alan Quine
0.857 Joshua Winquist
0.855 Jason Akeson
0.854 Tom Pyatt
0.849 Michal Repik
0.848 Patrick Maroon
0.846 Mark Arcobello

A few notable Oiler connections here, Purcell, Lander, Winquist, Maroon, Arcobello

About 12 players ( out of this list of 50 )who became more than NHLers have played more than 4th line in the NHL. Most are tweeners, some end up overseas.

Marody has his own story to write, but it was interesting looking at these numbers.

ArmchairGM

frjohnk,

So… you’re saying we get another chance with Anton Lander?

Dee Dee

JimmyV1965,

JimmyV1965: Lowetide: It doesn’t work that way. If Gretzky is truly valued by the organization, I doubt they’d do this to him. If they do, then he surrenders, KG is doomed to live out his life as an underling. I suspect he’s more ambitious.

But the whole process is curious. Why would you have this entire dog and pony show, travelling the four corners of the earth, interviewing a dozen candidates, if you’re simply going to hire the guy down the hall?

Cause it’s in the Script, we searched the entire world and what do you know, we had the right guy all along!

It would be nice to find a way for a Win/Win situation where a new outside hire comes in and Keith retains an important role and is allowed to grow into the job.

OriginalPouzar

I read that article yesterday on Jesse and there was zero of substance in there. Nothing from Jesse’s camp or Karpat – just a writer’s thoughts that it’s something that should happen(and the writer himself acknowledges it’s unlikely).

Todd Macallan

My humble submission for future title for AHL post:

Space to Bakersfield
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhWMS9PdUtY

by Black Mountain, fantastic throwback/psychedelic rock from Vancouver

frjohnk

ArmchairGM:
frjohnk,

So… you’re saying we get another chance with Anton Lander?

We still have his rights dont we?

ArmchairGM

Eighth overall picks from the past 8 drafts, and their career stats:

2011: Couterier 578, 134-209-343
2012: Pouliot 200, 8-40-48
2013: Ristolainen 424, 36-158-194
2014: W Nylander 239, 55-107-162
2015: Werenski 237, 38-90-128
2016: A Nylander 19, 3-3-6
2017: Mittelstadt 83, 13-17-30
2018: Boqvist

Pretty decent list, if you ask me. The one “miss” still played 200 games – and counting. The jury is still out on the last 3, although there’s more certainty with Mittelstadt than with Nylander.

Could do with a few more of these players. Too bad this is the last time we’ll be picking this high.

ArmchairGM

frjohnk: We still have his rights dont we?

I don’t believe so.

Melman

If they hire a GM from outside, that person will have very little time before the draft and July 1 and, as we all know, there is a looaaaaad of work to do to fix this mess. I get that new GMs like to rebuild their staff, but it’s not feasible to prepare for the draft, make trades, do the UFA dance at the end of June, be active July 1 and fire/hire anywhere from 3-8 people in senior hockey positions. Not all of the people you want to bring in will be readily or willingly available. So what would a smart GM do? A smart GM would start by culling the least performing hockey ops areas, which for the Oilers is pro scouting, lack of analytics, and cap management. Right now amateur scouting and development is an organizational positive which is KG, and I believe MacTs, domain along with the fine work done by Woodcroft and his staff (does anyone know what Howson does? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?). As a new GM coming in, you will need some existing hockey ops people and a smart one would keep the guys that are performing well, which includes KG and getting those guys to buy into being an integral part of the solution.

Having said all that, if the new GM coming in is giving a list by the owner of untouchables and a set of handcuffs on his authority, then we can question whether he is a smart GM because a smart GM would not take a job with those restrictions.

Reja

commonfan29: You don’t think talking him up as a “very legitimate candidate” for the job as much as they have will be good for his career long-term?

From the start, I’ve thought all the talk was probably a favour to him to help get him into the conversation for other positions in the future.

Drive for show putt for dough.

godot10

frjohnk: We still have his rights dont we?

Nope. Anton Lander turned 27 last year.

LMHF#1

People seem to be really, really worried about losing a few shiny nickels in the trash bag that is the hockey side of this organization.

Take it to the damn curb already. Finding slightly-above-marginal is neither difficult nor a desirable standard.

Also – it’s not as if a new GM can’t be doing work right now…in fact the sort of person they hire should already have a first 100 days in mind…this “I need some time” stuff is, was and has always been crap.

bendelson

ArmchairGM: Too bad this is the last time we’ll be picking this high.

Comedy!
Tragedy!
Good stuff AGM.

frjohnk

ArmchairGM: Too bad this is the last time we’ll be picking this high

Never been said on this blog before

Halfwise

YKOil:
on KG.

IF Keith Gretzky has been heavily involved in Cap and contract discussions and exhibited a strong, and demonstrable, belief in analytics as he develops his scouting lists, THEN I am amenable to moving him up.

I do not believe that to be the case therefore I cannot, in good conscience, recommend him for the GM chair.

That said.

No organization should shit on success.Unless one can demonstrate that the good is wholly intertwined with the bad then it is more damaging than good to cut out the ALL the good with the bad.

So, my approach would be this.

– incoming GM is, barring a Chiarelli style meltdown, guaranteed his job (this is important given what comes next)
– incoming GM is keeping Keith Gretzky and team and may augment as needed but there is not to be any no poisoning of the well
– other than the amateur scouting group the new GM has full authority to change as needed (whichrepresents the vast majority of the operation)
– Keith Gretzky will, himself, be incorporated into the business, Cap, contract, professional scouting and minor league development discussion and decision making parts of the job
– it is understood that the GM’s duty to this matter, is to mentor and train KG to be a GM/budding-AGM somewhere
– at the end of two years the new GM can do as he wishes, keep KG on or send him on his way
– at the end of the same two years KG can move on if he so desires but it is not his decision to ‘just stay’, that is up to the GM and the relationship the two have forged

In this way the Oilers stay true to rewarding excellence without cutting the feet out from under the new GM, the new GM also retains full future flexibility and, in the meantime, hasn’t been hamstrung by having to retain a poor scouting unit.

Requirement for this to work – a strong president.Which Nicholson may or may not be.

That is my read, and approach, on it.

If you’d invited me to an interview and laid this out, I would ask “If you’re this smart, why do you need me? And why isn’t your team better?”

Durag

Melman:
If they hire a GM from outside, that person will have very little time before the draft and July 1 and, as we all know, there is a looaaaaad of work to do to fix this mess. I get that new GMs like to rebuild their staff, but it’s not feasible to prepare for the draft, make trades, do the UFA dance at the end of June, be active July 1 and fire/hire anywhere from 3-8 people in senior hockey positions. Not all of the people you want to bring in will be readily or willingly available.So what would a smart GM do? A smart GM would start by culling the least performing hockey ops areas, which for the Oilers is pro scouting, lack of analytics, and cap management. Right now amateur scouting and development is an organizational positive which is KG, and I believe MacTs, domain along with the fine work done by Woodcroft and his staff (does anyone know what Howson does? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?).As a new GM coming in, you will need some existing hockey ops people and a smart one would keep the guys that are performing well, which includes KG and getting those guys to buy into being an integral part of the solution.

Having said all that, if the new GM coming in is giving a list by the owner of untouchables and a set of handcuffs on his authority, then we can question whether he is a smart GM because a smart GM would not take a job with those restrictions.

I would assume that any work the amateur scouting staff does is property of the Oilers and doesn’t go out the door with them if they get turfed. Also, any new hires in amateur scouting should have done a lot of thinking about the upcoming draft and won’t be starting from scratch.

It’s not ideal, but I don’t think that it’s impossible for a new GM to gut the amateur scouting department and still go into the draft reasonably prepared.

OriginalPouzar

It the Oilers had a legit and established #1 goalie that they know they could rely on then Shane Starrett could potentially have a real shot at the back-up NHL job next season, however, given what we’ve seen from Koskinen, we all know that the team needs an established veteran back-up tender with some recent starter’s experience (and success) so Starrett will need to peculate for another year.

Hopefully Haweye signs soon and they have to try and figure out how to give all four pro goalies time in the AHL next year.

OriginalPouzar

Nothing like being up at 1:45 am on vacation, yet again.

Damn work commitments – had to take a call and now I can’t get back to sleep because I’m trying to figure out how to logistically do the call I have at 4:30am with the gym (that’s the time I usually head to the gym and I can’t delay it as we have a Kyoto bamboo gardens and area bike tour we need to leave for at 7).

Positives: lets me catch on up Lowetide earlier than normal so I feel good about being in the know.