Farm Workers 2019

Barring a massive set of trades by the new general manager, Edmonton fans are about to see a fairly productive pipeline of young players heading to Edmonton. From this year’s AHL team, it’s a good bet Caleb Jones, Cooper Marody and Tyler Benson will see significant NHL time in 2019-20. Players like Ethan Bear, William Lagesson, Kailer Yamamoto, Shane Starrett and Joe Gambardella could also chime in.

This is Farm Workers, 2019.

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 Milan Lucic saga rolls into Year 4 for Oilers with no easy answers
  • New Jonathan Willis: Who stays and who goes? An early projection of which players will remain on the Oilers’ roster in 2019-20
  • LowetideHow high can these Condors fly?
  • Lowetide: Ron Hextall’s patient approach as GM would be shock to Oilers’ system
  • Jonathan Willis: Michael Futa’s success at the NHL Draft makes him a credible GM candidate for the Oilers
  • Lowetide: The Oilers possible summer trade pieces, and which longtime players might be saying goodbye.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick.
  • 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?
  • 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 Mark Hunter’s draft record in Toronto means for his Oilers GM candidacy.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers, the republic of Finland and the 2019 draft.
  • 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.

FUTURE NHLERS, FARM WORKERS EDITION

It’s been a fun ride over many years, choosing ‘farm workers’ to emerge as NHL players and play 100 or more NHL games. Here are my picks by season, and NHL games played (players listed only once, in the first season I named them).

  • 2009-10: Devan Dubnyk (490).
  • 2010-11: Jeff Petry (609), Linus Omark (79), and Teemu Hartikainen (52).
  • 2011-12: Magnus Paajarvi (467) and Tyler Pitlick (185).
  • 2012-13: Anton Lander (215) and Martin Marincin (201).
  • 2013-14: Oscar Klefbom (316) and Mark Arcobello (139).
  • 2014-15: Jordan Oesterle (151), Iiro Pakarinen (134).
  • 2015-16: Jujhar Khaira (154) and Anton Slepyshev (102), Griffin Reinhart (37).
  • 2016-17: Jesse Puljujarvi (139) and Laurent Brossoit (49).
  • 2017-18: Ethan Bear (18).
  • 2018-19: Kailer Yamamoto (26); Caleb Jones (17); Cooper Marody (6); Tyler Benson.

Men over 30 who establish (or re-establish) themselves in the NHL are pretty much a thing of the past.

  • Brad Malone was 29 this season and that’s pretty close to 30. However, his 16 NHL games in 2019-20 is shy of establishing an NHL presence. The rule remains.

If a prospect can establish himself as an AHL regular at age 20, it bodes well for an NHL career, but does not guarantee it.

  • Tyler Benson covered this bet, he’s the personification of the rule. He didn’t scoot to the NHL like Leon Draisaitl or Darnell Nurse, but he did deliver at or above the level of Benoit Pouliot and Patrick Maroon when they were 20 in the AHL. It’s a good arrow.
  • Benson is the tenth real prospect since 2010 to play as a regular at 20 (Teemu Hartikainen, Tyler Pitlick, Magnus Paajarvi, Martin Marincin, Martin Gernat, Bogdan Yakimov, Jujhar Khaira, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones) and we’ll see how many men have substantial careers.
  • Paajarvi is over 400 games, he would have to be considered the most successful prospect among the group.
  • Caleb Jones is the new star of this little corner of our study. Although he wasn’t outstanding at 20, he was a regular in the lineup. Jones emerged as a top drawer defenseman age 21.
  • I’m not counting Jesse Puljujarvi as an AHL player this year for these purposes. Kailer Yamamoto, Stuart Skinner and Dylan Wells are also 20 and played for Bakersfield in 2018-19. You could make a case for Yamamoto and Wells but I think they’re shy of ‘establishing themselves’ based on lack of games.

Pretty much every player who is in the AHL past (say) 21 is having some issues and may spend time meandering.

  • Cooper Marody, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and Cameron Hebig are 21, William Lagesson is 22.
  • Marody, Bear and Jones have already played in the NHL, the team stacking and racking while also creating competition. This is how things are supposed to work.
  • All of these players have something that keeps them from the NHL at this time. For Jones, it’s strength of depth chart (Klefbom, Nurse, Sekera) and for the other two it’s experience and possibly foot speed. There’s the potential to meander, save (I believe) Jones.

If you haven’t established yourself as a prospect of interest by 22 you are in trouble. The players who will graduate to successful NHL careers have at least played some NHL games by the end of their entry deals.

  • Players 22+ who made inroads at the last chance Texaco include Josh Currie, Joe Gambardella and Patrick Russell. Each of them saw NHL action and that gets them into the conversation for NHL work as role players. Important.
  • Players who were in this spot recently: Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev, Griffin Reinhart, Jordan Oesterle, Iiro Pakarinen, Laurent Brossoit. Not everyone makes it.
  • Players who have already cleared the bar currently in Bakersfield: Jones, Bear, Marody.
  • Player who has yet to play in NHL games during entry deal but likely will: William Lagesson. All reports on the young Swede are positive. He may push his way into the lineup sooner than later.

Exceptions are college men. Playing 4 NCAA seasons means turning pro at 22. That’s a late start.

  • Lots of college men, including Cooper Marody who qualifies in several categories in our farm report. Also college: Joe Gambardella, Tyler Vesel, Shane Starrett. I think this is a promising group.
  • Marody is the best player in the group, I believe he’ll have an NHL career. Whether that’s 110 games or 500, or beyond? Don’t know.
  • Both Gambardella and Starrett showed well this year.
  • Logan Day was a revelation this season. He’s without an NHL contract, one hopes the Oilers take care of that over the summer. Dave Gust and Luke Esposito also showed well (both men also without NHL deals).

A large group of players on the current team could be described as “tweeners” meaning they’re going to spend their pro careers in that purgatory between the AHL and NHL. Call them 4A (one step beyond AAA, baseball’s highest minor league).

  • The truth is that ‘tweeners’ are the biggest AHL category and point totals can fool you. Rob Schremp was a tweener, he scored 53 points in 69 AHL games at age 20 ( not quite Benson levels).
  • Anton Lander was a tweener, Ty Rattie is a tweener.
  • Maybe Kailer Yamamoto will be a tweener. I don’t think he will, but this blog thought Marc Pouliot, Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark would make it. There’s luck, good and bad, in making it from the tweener division. Part of luck is injury. Ask Pouliot.

If we make a list of minor league rfa’s each summer, we can probably pick the cuts and be pretty close.

  • Oilers have very few RFA’s for 2019 summer, but will have to make decisions on Tyler Vesel, Joe Gambardella, Patrick Russell, Colin Larkin, Robin Norell and Shane Starrett.
  • I’ll pick Gambardella, Russell and Starrett as keepers.
  • A note here about new general managers. They have no connection to any of these players, so don’t be shocked if they’re all declined.

Daniel Cleary, Fernando Pisani and Jason Chimera became productive players in the toughest league on the planet. THEY are the stars in this study.

  • This is important and it might offer us some advice on a player like Marody. A real talent, but he isn’t a bullet train. He might make it via his impressive passing and vision, but if that isn’t enough he may not be as well-suited to an NHL future as a two-way player. Same could apply for Yamamoto or Benson.
  • That role may fall to Gambardella. The older player is a good forechecker, has plus speed and can learn to iron the wrinkles out of his defensive game.
  • Marody probably spent most of his pre-AHL career being able to get the puck whenever he wanted, and the adjustment may take time.
  • AHL grads don’t arrive in the NHL and apply for the scoring role on McDavid’s line (or Nuge, or Leon), but rather land on a support line and try to carve out a role. That’s the deal. Josh Currie and Patrick Russell also qualify here, possibly Lagesson.

Pure offensive players can succeed after prolonged AHL time but it’s rarely with their drafting team.

  • This is my Marty Reasoner rule. Reasoner was a first-round pick who scored at will for Boston College and was too good for the AHL from the opening faceoff. Still, he shuttled between Worcester and St. Louis (and then Edmonton) before adding dimension to his game after Kevin Lowe waived him. He developed into a helluva player and mentor.
  • Marody might qualify in this category.

The future NHL players are

  • The 2018 additions to the list above are Cooper Marody, Tyler Benson, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones. I think they’ll all play 100+ games. Of course, the real hope is one or more play 500.

BRIAN CONACHER

I write this piece every year because of Brian Conacher. He wasn’t a great hockey player but he was a good one, and over 35 years ago he wrote a tremendous book called “Hockey In Canada: The Way It Is”.Conacher’s book is very hard to find (library might have one) but if you haven’t read it it’s worth looking for if you like your hockey books intelligent and with a point.

He made many strong arguments in the book (and predicted much of what has happened since) but the one that has importance here is what he wrote about the Maple Leafs minor league team (Rochester Americans) of 65-66:

As in other areas of modern society, hockey teams too have their generation gaps. This situation stood out on the Rochester team in 1965 which consisted of three groups: the veterans (had all resigned themselves to making the best of their minor league hockey careers), the young ones (who have stars in their eyes and are in the AHL for just a little time, or so they think) and the group somewhere in between (these players kept hoping that a break would come their way and they might get their chance in the “big tent”).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

What an amazing NHL playoffs, breaking news every night! We’ll have a lash at the latest and look forward to tonight. At 10 this morning, TSN1260:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. Bruce’s take on the NHL playoffs, and how many current Condors will make the NHL in the coming years.
  • Jon Campbell, OddsShark. What does a betting man do with this crazy playoff spring?
  • Tom Reed, The Athletic Columbus. It took almost 20 years, but the Blue Jackets won a playoff round. And it was incredible.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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116 Responses to "Farm Workers 2019"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Barring some material regression, Benson, Marody and Jones are all but locks to play in the NHL this year with Jones and at least one of the forwards very likely to break camp with the team.

    I think Lagesson and Bear are highly likely to get NHL games this season.

    Yamamoto likely as well.

    Currie and Joe G. likely but I would posit neither are long term pieces and more like plug and play stop gaps.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hebig was never a “real prospect” with a real chance at NHL games.

    A nice signing who will have a solid AHL career and may earn a contract in Europe but his big season last year was as an over-ager and not many that play overage seasons in junior make the NHL.

    Yes, he is making up for lost development time but it’s not quite the same as a high end prospect like Benson.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    I would also add Lagesson as a victim of “strength of depth chart” – I have full faith that he’d perform just fine in a 3rd pairing role with. Solid NHL partner – likely establish himself as a fan fav shortly.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    You nailed the RFA signings I believe.

    Joe G and Starrett are no-brainers and P. Russell likely – need some AHL vets and Malone and Callahan will almost certainly not be re-signed.

  5. Andy Dufresne says:

    Musings from an addled brain.

    A member of my nuclear family had business dealings with Glen Sather. He was VERY frugal.
    Perhaps the first question they should ask GM candidates is “What kind of car do you drive?”

    In terms of Junior hockey career and stats, what differentiated Matt Barzal from Kailer Yamamoto ?
    How does the difference relate to Peyton Krebs?

  6. Woogie63 says:

    Hoffman type winger – McDavid- Kassian
    Nuge -Driasaitl- Puljarjavi
    Lucic-Khaira-Chiasson
    Benson-Marody-Gagner
    Gamberdella- Cave

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Nurse
    Jones-Benning
    Lagesson

    Koskinen
    1B type goalie (Talbot/Starlett)

    High Draft pick no need for grooming in the minors – 5
    FA or trades -10
    +50 games on OUR minor league team – 8 (with Starlett)

    imo we need to have +10 players play +50 games in our system

  7. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Barring some material regression, Benson, Marody and Jones are all but locks to play in the NHL this year with Jones and at least one of the forwards very likely to break camp with the team.

    I think Lagesson and Bear are highly likely to get NHL games this season.

    Yamamoto likely as well.

    Currie and Joe G. likely but I would posit neither are long term pieces and more like plug and play stop gaps.

    Without the Oilers moving a current D where do you see Jones fitting in? He is at best number 5 on the left side and depending on how they shuffle the deck number 4 on the right side. As it stands either 7th D or on the farm. This is not even taking into consideration the challengers such as Bouchard and Persson.

  8. knighttown says:

    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey? I wonder what everyone thought of that theory. I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random. If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is? And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story. But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

  9. jtblack says:

    Woogie63:
    Hoffman type winger – McDavid- Kassian
    Nuge -Driasaitl- Puljarjavi
    Lucic-Khaira-Chiasson
    Benson-Marody-Gagner
    Gamberdella- Cave

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Nurse
    Jones-Benning
    Lagesson

    Koskinen
    1B type goalie (Talbot/Starlett)

    High Draft pick no need for grooming in the minors – 5
    FA or trades -10
    +50 games on OUR minor league team – 8 (with Starlett)

    imo we need to have +10 players play +50 games in our system

    I look at that lineup and don’t see much improvement over this years edition. That lineup missing the playoffs 9 out of 10 times. For the same reasons this years team did.

  10. Andy Dufresne says:

    Never trade first round picks. They are your life blood.

    Picks 2 through 7 are, in horse racing terms, boxing your bets, meaning you pick any number of horses in the hope they cross the finish line first in any order.

    IMO picks 2 through 7 should be thought of as currency. Trade them if the return is something beyond their face value.

    I don’t know what the numbers look like historically, but I wonder if trading first round picks is (typically) a sign of either a desperate or poorly run organization?

  11. jtblack says:

    knighttown:
    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?I wonder what everyone thought of that theory.I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random.If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is?And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story.But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

    huge upsets happen every decade in hockey. have been happening since the game began .. Tampa’s certainly was a BIG Surprise, but there have been bigger point upsets in the past.

    Getting into the playoffs has always been the “lotto ticket”. That has and never will change. If a team gets into the dance, they have a chance.

    Tampa prob wrecked every person’s bracket … But the Isles were the higher seed of the Penguins (can’t believe Jack Johnson and Erik Gidbrandson didn’t help Pitt) … Wash is leading CBJ. Nash is leading Dal.

    If you subsribe to “Bet on Goalies”; then the COL and VGS series are not a surprise. Most ppl had VGS as the favorite over SJ anyway ..

    I think more to your point. When teams play all year and then you have 102 point teams playing 101 point teams, can you really predict the winner? That’s the beauty of the playoffs. You never know what will happen.

  12. SwedishPoster says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Musings from an addled brain.

    A member of my nuclear family had business dealings with Glen Sather. He was VERY frugal.
    Perhaps the first question they should ask GM candidates is “What kind of car do you drive?”

    In terms of Junior hockey career and stats, what differentiated Matt Barzal from Kailer Yamamoto ?
    How does the difference relate to Peyton Krebs?

    “And how much did you pay for it?”
    Don’t want the guy who overpays for an old Toyota where they’ve tampered with the milage.

  13. Cassandra says:

    knighttown:
    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?I wonder what everyone thought of that theory.I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random.If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is?And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story.But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

    I completely agree. And the narrative is wrong about Columbus. At even strength the LIghtning out shot and out chanced Columbus in 3 of the 4 games. This is true for raw scores and it is still true with score effects.

    The difference was that was Columbus’ chances went in, and then a big advantage on special teams. Regarding the last, this is another area where luck/randomness plays a significant factor. The Lightning played had no powerplays in game 3, and only 1 in game 4 (which they scored on). Only 6 power plays over the 4 games. Columbus had 10 opportunities and scored 5 goals.

    That’s the series right there. The puck didn’t go in and the Lightning didn’t get any calls. While not as dominant as they should have been, they didn’t play badly and were extraordinarily unlucky to get swept.

  14. p2e2l says:

    How long until Jay Woodcroft leaves to join Todd McLellan in LA?

  15. JustWatt says:

    Woogie63,

    I love that 4th line. Not much speed but piles of talent. One big problem with this lineup is who will kill penalties? Nowhere near enough of those in there.

  16. Bruce McCurdy says:

    p2e2l:
    How long until Jay Woodcroft leaves to join Todd McLellan in LA?

    Why would he do that?

  17. JimmyV1965 says:

    knighttown:
    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?I wonder what everyone thought of that theory.I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random.If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is?And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story.But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

    Interesting post. Hockey has always been random, but maybe so more then ever. Basketball has the opposite issue. There’s only a handful of teams legit contenders. Baseball has maybe the biggest issues. A third of the teams are actively trying to field bad teams. Only about a third are even trying to be good. Every sport had its issues I guess.

  18. Primetime says:

    p2e2l:
    How long until Jay Woodcroft leaves to join Todd McLellan in LA?

    I think Woodcroft is happy to have unhitched his wagon from McLellan. He will want to continue to establish himself as a head coach (and doing a pretty good job of it right now)

    I’m more interested to see if Todd brings back Johnson…I’m sure he was “forced” to fire him by Chia for the illusion of change when he brought in the new assistants this year. Will be interesting to see if Todd goes back to his comfortable place….

  19. JimmyV1965 says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Never trade first round picks. They are your life blood.

    Picks 2 through 7 are, in horse racing terms,boxing your bets, meaning you pick any number of horses in the hope they cross the finish line first in any order.

    IMO picks 2 through 7 should be thought of as currency. Trade them if the return is something beyond their face value.

    I don’t know what the numbers look like historically, but I wonder if trading first round picks is (typically) a sign of either a desperate or poorly run organization?

    I don’t think you can pigeon hole first round trades like this. I think the most you can say is that good GMs generally make good trades. Bad GMs generally make bad trades. St. Louis just traded their first rounder + for Ryan O’Reilly. I think you can argue that the trade helped them. That’s probably the most recent off season trade of a first round pick.

  20. jtblack says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    “Never trade first round picks. They are your life blood.”

    Couldn’t disagree more. For clarity, a 3rd overall pick is not the same as a 28th overall pick. So are you saying never trade the 28th overall pick? ever?

    Also, like a business, all teams have “Life Cycles”. Winnipeg kept all their 1st rounders, developed them and stayed patient for about 8 years. They were in the early stages of building a winning team, so they would not consider trading a 1st round pick.

    Fast Forward and Winnipeg is a top team in the League, has great depth and is a true contender come playoff time. Guess what? The last 2 years they have traded their 1st round pick in the hope the acquisition can get them to the promised land.

    VGS has moved 1st rounders for quality players, who are currently ripping apart the Sharks.

    So I think 2 factors have to be considered:

    1) What # is the pick in the 1st round
    2) Where is the team at in it’s life cycle

  21. Greenberg says:

    Geewhiz Knighttown. If you are going to weep for Tampa Bay, why watch the Cup playoffs? Let all the favorites lose. Fact is, there’s some pretty good hockey being played these two weeks. And if the Bolts stars can be held to less than three points each in four games, then someone is playing possibly exciting defence (thank you Torts). You cheering for the Flames, the Sharks? It’s pretty exciting watching the highlights of their losses. The Cinderella factor is one thing, but coming to play for Stanley is another. Phooey on the phavorites.

  22. dustrock says:

    The Lightning got swept.

    Last year, a bunch of cast-offs 30 other teams didn’t want landed in Las Vegas, and using a system set up by Gallant, made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    That’s what I asked last year: how are this many teams wrong about their players? is it the system being suited for that particular set of players? Did McPhee and Gallant sit down, set up a system, and then get only players who would be a fit in the system?

    Was it motivation? Was it that these cast-offs had a collective chip on the shoulder that got them to gel as a group very quickly?

    If I’m Nicholson, that’s what I’m asking new GM candidates:

    (1) What can we learn from Las Vegas’ success;
    (2) What can we learn from Tampa Bay’s collapse

  23. Little Johnny Frostbite says:

    Just want to tip my hat to Wilde for killing it in the last thread. Very insightful.

    Wilde:
    I don’t mean to excuse bigotry, I’m interested in fighting it – and I think this is the best way to beat it. I think the best way to beat it is by keeping the world warmer, with less people fearing for their job security, their retirement, their health, and their children and grandchildren’s health. It’s harder to play to people’s fear if there’s less to fear in the first place.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: Without the Oilers moving a current D where do you see Jones fitting in? He is at best number 5 on the left side and depending on how they shuffle the deck number 4 on the right side. As it stands either 7th D or on the farm. This is not even taking into consideration the challengers such as Bouchard and Persson.

    1) I do see them moving at least one of Russell, Sekera and Benning this off-season

    2) he has the added benefit of being able to play both sides and, in fact, has played almost exclusively on the right side as a pro.

    3) Bouchard shouldn’t be an NHL option in October unless he proven to be upper echelon as a Condor during an extended playoff run – verbal from the org agrees.

    4) likely to have at least one “established D” banged up/hurt coming in to the season.

  25. Oilman99 says:

    Cassandra: I completely agree.And the narrative is wrong about Columbus.At even strength the LIghtning out shot and out chanced Columbus in 3 of the 4 games.This is true for raw scores and it is still true with score effects.

    The difference was that was Columbus’ chances went in, and then a big advantage on special teams.Regarding the last, this is another area where luck/randomness plays a significant factor.The Lightning played had no powerplays in game 3, and only 1 in game 4 (which they scored on).Only 6 power plays over the 4 games.Columbus had 10 opportunities and scored 5 goals.

    That’s the series right there.The puck didn’t go in and the Lightning didn’t get any calls.While not as dominant as they should have been, they didn’t play badly and were extraordinarily unlucky to get swept.

    A hot goalie can be a great equalizer, Bob made a lot of great saves,and Columbus was able to prevent TBay from free wheeling by clogging up the middle of the ice.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    p2e2l:
    How long until Jay Woodcroft leaves to join Todd McLellan in LA?

    Head coaching in the AHL is a better path to head coaching in the NHL than going back to being an assistant in the NHL.

  27. Oilman99 says:

    p2e2l:
    How long until Jay Woodcroft leaves to join Todd McLellan in LA?

    Woodcroft currently has the opportunity to establish himself as a legitimate head coach,i would think he won’t waste that chance. Another year as an AHL coach could meet a chance at a NHL position.

  28. Alpine says:

    dustrock:
    The Lightning got swept.

    Last year, a bunch of cast-offs 30 other teams didn’t want landed in Las Vegas, and using a system set up by Gallant, made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    That’s what I asked last year: how are this many teams wrong about their players?is it the system being suited for that particular set of players?Did McPhee and Gallant sit down, set up a system, and then get only players who would be a fit in the system?

    Was it motivation?Was it that these cast-offs had a collective chip on the shoulder that got them to gel as a group very quickly?

    If I’m Nicholson, that’s what I’m asking new GM candidates:

    (1) What can we learn from Las Vegas’ success;
    (2) What can we learn from Tampa Bay’s collapse

    The draft rules set it up so teams would have to give up a good player. I think characterizing those players as nobody wanted is incorrect. The Oilers, for example, could have used most of the guys Vegas drafted, they just didn’t have a chance to get any of them because they weren’t an expansion team who was being given a free player from each team.

    What did Vegas do right? I think they look advantage of teams panicking to protect a player or dump a bad contract to get two players out of the transaction. Dale Tallon panicked about moving Reilly Smith’s contract and he did not want to lose Petrovic so McPhee just took Smith’s contract in a trade so that he could select Marchessault.

    Minnesota left Dumba unprotected so that they could protect Brodin. They moved Tuch so that Vegas wouldn’t pick Dumba and then Vegas selected Haula. I think Minny were in a tough spot regardless. Had they protected all their top four D, they may have lost someone like Zucker. I think the smart move was just to unprotect Brodin.

    Vegas got Theodore because Anaheim wanted to move Stoner’s deal and they wanted to protect Vatanen. The common pattern is that they made sure they got a good player or two out of a deal where a team was desperate to keep another.

  29. Psyche says:

    SwedishPoster: “And how much did you pay for it?”
    Don’t want the guy who overpays for an old Toyota where they’ve tampered with the milage.

    I wonder how much Chiarelli paid for his vehicle? Sticker price plus 10%?

    The man has never wanted for anything in his life. I’d be asking management candidates to share a story of struggle they’ve experienced in their life – and how they bounced back. Resiliency is something I look for in the people I hire.

  30. Andy Dufresne says:

    knighttown:
    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?I wonder what everyone thought of that theory.I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random.If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is?And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story.But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

    GREAT POST.

    With Parity, Analytics, Sports Science, and Sports Litigation, are we over-engineering sports?

    Are we being “Woke” to the realities of modern day sport?

    Apparently not.

    There exists a so-called “talent-luck theory,” which attributes the appeal of a sport to how well it balances skill and randomness.

    AND,

    In terms of our everyday analysis of sports, almost all of it is guesswork, narrative simplification that underlies a more complex reality.

    BORING WALL OF TEXT ALERT!

    In a 2014 Columbia Journalism Review article, written by Eric Simons:

    “Psychologists … who have tried to zero in on why people love sports have settled on, at the most reducible level, eight different motivations. Some of them are more common, but none is any more significant than any of the others. People like sports because they get self-esteem benefits from it. People like sports because they have money on it. People like sports because their boyfriend or girlfriend or family member likes sports. People like sports because it’s exciting. People like sports because it’s aesthetically pleasing. People like sports because, like the theater, it is a venue for emotional expression. People like sports because they need an escape from real-world troubles. People like sports because it provides a sense of belonging, a connection to a wider world.”

    It’s entirely possible, that the narrative of sports fans while resonating somewhere with someone, is utterly ungrounded in math or reality.

    “Mirror neurons can explain why you put yourself in the shoes of the players on the field; they cannot explain why you put yourself only in the shoes of precisely half the players on the field—your favorite team.”

    “We connect to our teams, to the players on our teams, to the other fans of our teams. We bask in reflected glory because there is some actual point of contact, at the neural level, between a team’s performance and our own self-esteem.”

    “Athletes reflect us, and occasionally provide insight into the human condition, and their work is judged by the response to it as much as by its quantitative character. Their work inspires, suggests, provokes. But the science also says that sports speak a different truth to each observer. Each of us puts our self into the story, incorporates the event and its ups and downs into our own narrative.

    Sometimes, tens of millions of individuals care very much about the same event, and their individual stories collide to create something larger. Whether that collision occurs over Van Goghs Starry Night in the Museum of Modern Art or Michigan football in the Big House, some people thrive on swirls of pure, violent energy and some people just like blue. Assigning them a collective narrative obscures rather than defines the nature of their fandom.”

  31. dolenator says:

    For all the comments on the Tampa Columbus series. Yrs huge upset but give credit where due. Columbus doubled down at the trade deadline and started to find chemistry down the stretch. Also having Victor Headman go down after the first 2 games doesn’t hurt either.

  32. Andy Dufresne says:

    jtblack: If you subsribe to “Bet on Goalies”; then the COL and VGS series are not a surprise. Most ppl had VGS as the favorite over SJ anyway ..

    Goalies

    AND

    Who is entering the playoffs on a high note, hitting on all cylinders.

    AND always give the reigning champs thier proper due.

    Also interesting to look at who won and lost based on second half additions. CBJ and St Louis and Vegas all prospering from additions. San Jose and Calgary not so much.

  33. godot10 says:

    //Men over 30 who establish or reestablish themselves in the NHL are a thing of the past.//

    Taylor Fedun to Lowetide: Hold my beer.

    It would be an ex-Oiler, because the OIlers have been so lousy at evaluating talent for the last decade.

  34. Ben says:

    Lots of talk about the importance of first round picks, particularly higher ones, and I agree that they may be undervalued currency.

    Which is why it’s so painful to contemplate the very real possibility that both JP and Yamo end up being misses, with the team parched to replace offensive talent lost in previous deals.

    Neither were reach picks. It’s not all bad luck. This team has just been an unmitigated disaster on the development side.

  35. godot10 says:

    knighttown:
    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?I wonder what everyone thought of that theory.I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random.If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is?And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story.But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

    Parity (the variance in team quality decreasing) increases the impact of good fortune on the results in the playoffs.

    Columbus had a lot of bad luck in losing to Washington last year. They made the playoffs this year, even though they had internal discord because of expiring contract issues with their two best players. They loaded up at the deadline. The contract issues are over. The UFA’s are playing for contracts, particularly Bobrovsky and Panarin, who are looking to impress Florida, whose biggest rival is Tampa. By going for it, Kekelainen put the entire onus on the players.

    As for Tampa, Hedman got hurt at the wrong time.

  36. jtblack says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    “Who is entering the playoffs on a high note, hitting on all cylinders.”

    disagree on this point. I find it has little bearing year after year.

    Tampa came into the playoffs 7 – 3. Swept 4 straight.

    Pittsburgh came in 5-2-3. Isles were 6-4. but Isles swept them.

    Toronto limped in 3-4-3 and is up 2-1 against Boston (6-4).

    Wpg came in 4-5-1 and is tied with St. Louis (8-1-1)

    Vgs came in 3-5-2.

    Honestly, over the years I have looked at who’s hot coming and find very little correlation. For every hot team that keeps rolling, there are hot teams that lose out in the 1st round.

  37. ArmchairGM says:

    Rondo:
    EliteProspects Top 93 Skaters 2019 NHL Draft Ranking

    https://www.eprinkside.com/2019/4/17/exclusive-eliteprospects-top-93-skaters-2019-nhl-draft-ranking

    The more I read about Turcotte, the more I’m convinced he will be one of the too 3 players out of this draft.

  38. Andy Dufresne says:

    Rondo:
    EliteProspects Top 93 Skaters 2019 NHL Draft Ranking

    https://www.eprinkside.com/2019/4/17/exclusive-eliteprospects-top-93-skaters-2019-nhl-draft-ranking

    Thank you for this.

    One small cut and paste of Krebs:

    “Scouts rave about Krebs’ work ethic. It jumps off of the screen in every viewing. Playing with Kootenay, Krebs had 64 opportunities to quit last season, and he just kept going, at full-speed, fighting for every puck, getting in shooting lanes, playing at full-speed, no matter the score.”

    This speaks to what Ken Holland calls “Motor”

    “The floor for this player is exceptionally high.”

    This suggests that the risk quotient for this player being a bust is exceptionally low.

  39. godot10 says:

    p2e2l:
    How long until Jay Woodcroft leaves to join Todd McLellan in LA?

    The head coaching drug is powerful. Especially after the season he had. Head coaching pay is a lot better than assistant coaching pay. I doubt he decides to take a step backward. He needs more head coaching experience to get an NHL head coaching gig, where the big money is.

  40. godot10 says:

    Little Johnny Frostbite:
    Just want to tip my hat to Wilde for killing it in the last thread.Very insightful.

    Wilde:
    I don’t mean to excuse bigotry, I’m interested in fighting it – and I think this is the best way to beat it. I think the best way to beat it is by keeping the world warmer, with less people fearing for their job security, their retirement, their health, and their children and grandchildren’s health. It’s harder to play to people’s fear if there’s less to fear in the first place.

    The elites from left to right around the world don’t want that. They want neofeudalism. They want 90% of the population to be debt serfs.

  41. Rondo says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    Interesting ranking regarding Trevor Zegras at # 21

    “I remain unconvinced of this player’s upside. My concern is that Zegras, like Oliver Wahlstrom this year, will find that creating offence without Jack Hughes on your line is considerably more difficult at the NCAA level. Zegras’ physical tools are undeniable, but the lack of offensive creativity concerns me. In my viewings, I’ve seen a player that attacks offensively as if by chainsaw where the precision of a scalpel would suffice; I’d like to see Zegras change speeds when he attacks to throw off defencemen and create space, for one example.”

  42. Woogie63 says:

    jtblack: I look at that lineup and don’t see much improvement over this years edition.That lineup missing the playoffs 9 out of 10 times. For the same reasons this years team did.

    The Avs were the last wild card team to make the play-offs they had 11 more points than the Oilers. Four of which came from the Oilers vs Avs games.

    This team needs to win 6 more games, to make the play-offs

    Replacing Reider, Brodziak, Rattie, Russell, Gravel, Manning, Petrovic
    With a Hoffman type, Benson, Marody, Jones, Lagesson and a better 1B goalie

    Cam Talbot finished with a .892 Sv% that improvement alone is worth more wins next year

    will get us more wins next year.

  43. Andy Dufresne says:

    From 2017,

    ” Yamamoto is a very good skater, able to weave in and out of traffic with the puck and avoid almost all contact with opposing players. Moreover, his mere presence on the ice with the puck is able to elevate the offensive chances of all of his teammates because his ability with the puck earns him a lot of attention from the other team (and leaves his teammates open).

    Spokane wasn’t a great team this season, but four players – the Yamamoto brothers, Hudson Elynuik and draft eligible forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan – carried their offense and kept them in a lot of games.”

    That last line about playing on a not so good team is a little scary. Is Krebs in the same boat?

  44. Andy Dufresne says:

    jtblack:
    Andy Dufresne,

    “Who is entering the playoffs on a high note, hitting on all cylinders.”

    disagree on this point.I find it has little bearing year after year.

    Tampa came into the playoffs 7 – 3. Swept 4 straight.

    Pittsburgh came in 5-2-3. Isles were 6-4. but Isles swept them.

    Toronto limped in 3-4-3 and is up 2-1 against Boston (6-4).

    Wpg came in 4-5-1 and is tied with St. Louis (8-1-1)

    Vgs came in 3-5-2.

    Honestly, over the years I have looked at who’s hot coming and find very little correlation. For every hot team that keeps rolling, there are hot teams that lose out in the 1st round.

    Well said. Its seems to be fairly random, as you point out. Another myth busted?

  45. judgedrude says:

    p2e2l:
    How long until Jay Woodcroft leaves to join Todd McLellan in LA?

    Does anybody else see a scenario where we get 2 more years of Hitch, and then Woodcroft gets promoted?

  46. jtblack says:

    Andy Dufresne: Well said. Its seems to be fairly random, as you point out. Another myth busted?

    I think if you look over the last decade you will see exactly that, myth busted.

    When teams roll on like CBJ, every media jumps on the narrative they were hot coming in.

    Then when a team like St.Loius loses (might), they will say they burned out cause they had to play “palyoff hockey” for the last 3 months to get in. St. Loiuis was the hottest team going into the playoffs (they still might win series) .

    Vegas came in at 3-5-2. They look like they could go back to the Cup …

    Also, almost all of the wildcard teams are playing well because they had to in order to get in ..But a team like Toronto or Tampa or Boston, they have know their seed for 2 months …. really just going though the motions … so I don’t put much stock into the “coming in hot” narrative

    Anyone, that’s my 2 cents.

    cheers,

  47. Cassandra says:

    How random is it?

    Leafs–Boston: the better team 5 on 5 has won every game.
    Blues–Jets: The series “should” be 3-1 Jets, the Blues stole one game, the rest played it straight
    Flames–Avalanche: the better team 5 on 5 has won every game
    Predators–Stars: The Predators stole game 3.
    Capitals–Hurricanes: The Hurricanes have been the better team in each game, very unlucky to be down.
    Islanders–Penguins: The Islanders stole the first game, the second was a toss-up and full value for games 3 and 4.
    Blue Jackets–Lightning: Columbus stole games 1 and 3, game 4 was a toss-up.

    The better team has a 14-7 record so far this playoffs.

  48. flyfish1168 says:

    I wonder if Jon Cooper maybe looking for a new job

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    judgedrude: Does anybody else see a scenario where we get 2 more years of Hitch, and then Woodcroft gets promoted?

    I doubt it, I think Hitchcock is done. The new GM will want to bring in his own guy anyhow.

  50. fishman says:

    MY Lucic opinion. (No I haven’t read LT’s new article in Athletic). If there is any possibilty to move Milan you do it!!!! Retain salary, add a sweetener whatever. My thoughts are he is unmovable even with max salary retained. Who wants a $3mil/season plug with hands of stone. He kills offence no matter who he plays with. His only value left is throw some hits and a menacing scowl. Even these attributes will decline over next 4 years. Milans agent bent Chia over the barrel big time.

    The only real option (again in my humble opinion) is to perhaps play him 5 min a game on the 4 th line for 5 min a game for 15-20 games a year and press box the rest . Real shame to have to treat him that way but what else do you do considering best for the team! Ideally there is a buyout possibility in the future or perhaps it makes sense to buy him out after another 2 years.

    He has very little value left on the ice.

  51. Bag of Pucks says:

    judgedrude: Does anybody else see a scenario where we get 2 more years of Hitch, and then Woodcroft gets promoted?

    There’s a very real possibility that if Burgers takes too long to pull his thumb out on the GM hire, the new GM could be last in the musical chairs HC hiring race.

    This would leave him Hitchcock, Woodcroft, last year’s assistants, MacTavish and Krueger as his best options. Oh, and Walter Gretzky too. I would imagine he’d be OBC approved.

    Despite the roster deficiencies, I remained convinced MacLellan was/is a mediocre coach and I’m pleased the Kings hitched their wagon to him. If I was LA GM, interview question #1 would’ve been, “Why was Deboer able to take your team to the Finals right after you left?” And for references, I’d call every starting netminder he ever coached.

  52. PinkSocks says:

    flyfish1168:
    I wonder if Jon Cooper maybe looking for a new job

    His contract extension before the playoffs would suggest otherwise. No way will Tampa dump a top tier HC because their Norris D got hurt, their Hart F made a dumb play to get suspended, their Vezina G shit the bed, and all of the UFAs CBJ mortgaged their future for all clicked at the right time.

  53. PinkSocks says:

    judgedrude: Does anybody else see a scenario where we get 2 more years of Hitch, and then Woodcroft gets promoted?

    That would be very Oilery, but there is no chance this happens. Woodcroft I am convinced hit lightning in a bottle this season and I’m very interested to see how he pulls it off next year if Benson, Marody, and Gambardella are with the NHL team in October.

  54. PinkSocks says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    From 2017,

    ” Yamamoto is a very good skater, able to weave in and out of traffic with the puck and avoid almost all contact with opposing players. Moreover, his mere presence on the ice with the puck is able to elevate the offensive chances of all of his teammates because his ability with the puck earns him a lot of attention from the other team (and leaves his teammates open).

    Spokane wasn’t a great team this season, but four players – the Yamamoto brothers, Hudson Elynuik and draft eligible forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan – carried their offense and kept them in a lot of games.”

    That last line about playing on a not so good team is a little scary. Is Krebs in the same boat?

    I don’t think so. Yamamoto had the aforementioned help to generate offense, Krebs had zero assistance. And while the Chiefs weren’t great in Yamamoto’s draft year, they were 27-33-12 with 235GF. Krebs’ Kootenay team was a horrendous 13-45-10 with only 181 goals.

  55. McDavidMyMuse says:

    knighttown,

    I picked CBJ to beat TB. Or, rather, my computer did.

    I’ve been using machine learning to identify what a Stanley Cup winner “looks like” based solely on regular season data. The goal is to answer the question “Can you predict the eventual Stanley Cup winner before the playoffs begin?”

    This is obviously not a trivial question, and I’m sure the way I go about answering it isn’t the best way to do it. We’ll see how the other predictions pan out, but making this pick is an arrow toward there *might* being something here.

    For transparency here are all the Round 1 picks I made based on the results:
    Flames, Sharks, Stars, Blues
    Jackets, Bruins, Canes, Islanders

    Now that Woodguy et al. have PuckIQ up and running (thanks Woodguy, you and G rock) I’m looking forward to the potential of improvement.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    judgedrude: Does anybody else see a scenario where we get 2 more years of Hitch, and then Woodcroft gets promoted?

    No. I don’t imagine Hitchcock will be head coaching in Edmonton next year – just don’t see it.

  57. Fuge Udvar says:

    Ben:
    Lots of talk about the importance of first round picks, particularly higher ones, and I agree that they may be undervalued currency.

    Which is why it’s so painful to contemplate the very real possibility that both JP and Yamo end up being misses, with the team parched to replace offensive talent lost in previous deals.

    Neither were reach picks. It’s not all bad luck. This team has just been an unmitigated disaster on the development side.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Yamamoto just completed his injury riddled draft+2 season. Gaudreau didn’t break into the league until his draft+4 season. Even if Yamamoto spends the entire next year in Bakersfield and only becomes 2/3 the player Gaudreau is that is still a big win. The arrows are down on Puljujarvi but he is still very young. The Oilers can still break this cycle. The last thing I want them to do is give up on them and watch them flourish somewhere else. We have seen that too many times.

  58. Primetime says:

    Bag of Pucks: There’s a very real possibility that if Burgers takes too long to pull his thumb out on the GM hire, the new GM could be last in the musical chairs HC hiring race.

    I would think the interview process is hopefully now ready to go in full swing? If they are on the list then both Guerin (Pitt) and Verbeek (TB) should be free to talk? Hopefully Gilman(TO) is soon on the list, but McCrimmon (LV) could be a while….

  59. Alpine says:

    Bag of Pucks: There’s a very real possibility that if Burgers takes too long to pull his thumb out on the GM hire, the new GM could be last in the musical chairs HC hiring race.

    This would leave him Hitchcock, Woodcroft, last year’s assistants, MacTavish and Krueger as his best options. Oh, and Walter Gretzky too. I would imagine he’d be OBC approved.

    Despite the roster deficiencies, I remained convinced MacLellan was/is a mediocre coach and I’m pleased the Kings hitched their wagon to him. If I was LA GM, interview question #1 would’ve been, “Why was Deboer able to take your team to the Finals right after you left?” And for references, I’d call every starting netminder he ever coached.

    There’s not even any big name coaches available now, not that we necessarily needed the ones available that badly. Waiting shouldn’t be a huge deal.

    Boudreau is likely sticking around in Minny anyways. Doubt Cooper and Sullivan get sacked so soon but it’s not impossible either.

    Don’t know why internal options would be the only ones. Every team in the league has an AHL head coach and some experienced assistants. I’m sure some of those are good candidates. There’s college coaches too.

    Even if we down the OBC-approved Road, it’s not like Lowe and MacTavish never got creative with their hirings.

    The weird thing about coaches in this league is that most of us don’t really know how to evaluate them. Retreads are pretty popular with NHL GMs, but who knew Mike Sullivan would be so good 9 years after his last head coach job. Gerard Gallant had around a .400 winning % when he coached Columbus.

    It’s almost like the Oilers should be looking at a retread coach but not the ones everyone talks about.

  60. Primetime says:

    Alpine,

    The Oilers “new” head coach may already be here now. If Katz does what everyone wants and wipes the slate of management clean, he is going to be paying out a lot of money. Chia’s remaining contract as well as other management/scouts etc. Then add all the new hires on top and the price tag starts to get hefty. If he is forced to eat salary/signing bonus on Lucic that is even more…

    He may mandate that a new GM gets the management side gets things straightened out this year, and leave Gulutzan, Yawney and Viveros to run the show this year on existing contracts (No more dead money). Saving a year of McLellan’s contract was probably a god send for him…

  61. judgedrude says:

    PinkSocks: That would be very Oilery, but there is no chance this happens.Woodcroft I am convinced hit lightning in a bottle this season and I’m very interested to see how he pulls it off next year if Benson, Marody, and Gambardella are with the NHL team in October.

    I think this is the key. If Woodcroft is this good and shiney, how much would the Oilers want him not to go? The question may not be about hiring Hitch, it is about keeping Woodcroft. If so, they need to install a coach that only has a 1 or 2 year shelf life. As well, they will want to avoid the “McDavid has had X coaches in Y years” that we heard with the Hall cluster. If they believe that after this past year, Woodcroft is the goal, Hitch may be the natural option.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodcroft is on the Gregor show in an hour.

    I’ll be travelling to Hakone but can someone who is able to listen provide some info on what he says and any possible plan for Maksimov or Bouchard to get playoff games?

  63. Alpine says:

    Primetime,

    I’ve actually got time for Gulutzan as an head coach option.

    There’s a weird amount of negativity around him for some reason because he threw a stick once and the Flames had a poor finish last season.

    He had a pretty weak roster in Dallas and had them at 89 points in his first season. The season after they lost Brad Richards in free agency. The next season wasn’t great but again poor roster, and his record was better than Saint Ralph’s record, with better underlying numbers too.

    He made the playoffs his first year in Calgary. Missed the next season but they had some injuries to key players towards the end of the season, and they had a bad powerplay which was usually credited to Dave Cameron.

    Of all the possible NHL head coach retread options, there’s probably not too many guys with much better records. They’re retreads for a reason. As for AHL head coaches, Gulutzan went to the Calder Cup finals in 2011, so they’ll have to beat him out there too.

    Any head coach hire is basically a shot in the dark or a hope that a guy at the end of his career like Hitch isn’t past his shelf life. A guy with a few jobs under his belt like Gulutzan might be the right type to target.

  64. Munny says:

    Little Johnny Frostbite: Just want to tip my hat to Wilde for killing it in the last thread. Very insightful.

    I actually thought he was the least insightful poster in the last thread. And demonstrated the poorest understanding of economic history. Love his work on the hockey though. He’s a tremendous resource in this area..

  65. Munny says:

    With TBL being swept, I hope to Gord that TLBOH is getting interviewed early next week.

  66. Bag of Pucks says:

    Primetime: I would think the interview process is hopefully now ready to go in full swing?If they are on the list then both Guerin (Pitt) and Verbeek (TB) should be free to talk?Hopefully Gilman(TO) is soon on the list, but McCrimmon (LV) could be a while….

    Let’s hope they’re well underway.

  67. SwedishPoster says:

    Don’t know if it’s been mentioned here yet but Adam Larsson will play in the WHCs. Not official yet but it’s all but confirmed.

    On another note there was a great interview with Robin Lehner in one of the biggest swedish papers today. Apparently after writing the article later published on the Athletic he and his co-writer approached the NHL and asked if they would like to publish the story on nhl.com but they wanted nothing to do with it so they moved on to the Athletic.

    When talking to teams during the summer he had interest from 7-8 clubs, he and his agent had decided to be very open about him going to rehab which made them all back out, one club was so harsh in their talks he almost fell off the wagon on his way home but his wife and friends talked him out of the bar and into the plane home. Islanders came in at a later stage and showed great awareness of the situation and along with Lehner and his support system came up with a very good strategy for him going forward, so not just a contract and a let’s see what you can do.

    He also mentioned that he’s only told 5-10% of his story, that there’s a lot more he doesn’t feel comfortable telling atm but probably have to down the line to come to peace with it but also to help others which was the biggest part in coming clean publicly. My sense is that he’ll eventually release some sort of biography about his life story.

    I had heard some rumours around his background even before the article but seems like it’s way worse than you could imagine.

    Sounds like he’s in a good place right now, hope it stays that way.

  68. pts2pndr says:

    knighttown:
    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?I wonder what everyone thought of that theory.I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random.If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is?And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story.But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

    The officiating changes in the post season! It’s that simple.

  69. Bag of Pucks says:

    Munny: I actually thought he was the least insightful poster in the last thread.And demonstrated the poorest understanding of economic history.Love his work on the hockey though.He’s a tremendous resource in this area..

    Even moreso than hockey, politics is all just opinion that is heavily biased by life circumstances and cultural influences.

    A twenty something single Mom and a fifty plus ex Oil exec are going to have fundamental differences in what they expect from their leaders and tax dollars. Why would we expect any different?

    It’s inexplicable to me why people argue so stridently about this stuff on social media. Do they honestly think they can change hearts and minds or is it just so much pointless venting?

    To quote The Dude, “yeah, well, that’s just like your opinion man.”

  70. Professor Q says:

    SwedishPoster,

    I’ve been rooting for an Islanders-Jets Finals, mostly due to him (you all thought I’d say Eberle, didn’t you?) and the Tavares scenario.

    It sucks that he’s been through a lot, but I’m glad that he’s finding his skates now.

  71. Professor Q says:

    Bag of Pucks: Even moreso than hockey, politics is all just opinion that is heavily biased by life circumstances and cultural influences.

    A twenty something single Mom and a fifty plus ex Oil exec are going to have fundamental differences in what they expect from their leaders and tax dollars. Why would we expect any different?

    It’s inexplicable to me why people argue so stridently about this stuff on social media. Do they honestly think they can change hearts and minds or is it just so much pointless venting?

    To quote The Dude, “yeah, well, that’s just like your opinion man.”

    We all just need to chill over a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie, and cold cider (non-alcoholic versions for those who wish).

  72. ArmchairGM says:

    PinkSocks: His contract extension before the playoffs would suggest otherwise.No way will Tampa dump a top tier HC because their Norris D got hurt, their Hart F made a dumb play to get suspended, their Vezina G shit the bed, and all of the UFAs CBJ mortgaged their future for all clicked at the right time.

    And Stamkos disappeared… but I guess that’s normal in the playoffs.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodcroft confirms we’ll see:

    Benson/Marody/Currie
    Russell/Malone/Joe G.

    Bottom 6 will be fluid.

    —————————

    Kind of skirted the question about Bouchard getting games – said “he’s a great option”.

    Confirmed Bear is healthy and ready for playoffs.

    Yamamoto is a “day to day situation and we’ll leave it there” – that didn’t sound great as far as his availability to me.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gregor specifically asked Jay about his interest in going back to NHL as an assistant or prefers his current head coaching job – he said he’s loving his current experience but skirted the question and stares his entire focus is in game 1.

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Both Struds and Gregor think that Bouch will not be in the lineup for Game 1 and that’s what I’ve suspected as well.

    Struds stated that, at this point in the year, it’s not about development but it’s about wins. I only agree with him partially on that. As I’ve stated, they’ve got 6 incumbent and two extras they have battled all year and deserve their playoff games. At the same time, this is a real opportunity to see Bouch at the pro level and to gain some important intel going on to camp. I’m cool with him not playing game 1 or 2 but I do feel it’s important to get him a few games. Getting him a dozen would provide the org with a ton of info but it may not happen. With that said, when he does get in, he could show to be one of the top guys and stick for the entirety of their run.

  76. Bulging Twine says:

    Rondo:
    Andy Dufresne,

    Interesting rankingregarding Trevor Zegras at # 21

    “I remain unconvinced of this player’s upside. My concern is that Zegras, like Oliver Wahlstrom this year, will find that creating offence without Jack Hughes on your line is considerably more difficult at the NCAA level. Zegras’ physical tools are undeniable, but the lack of offensive creativity concerns me. In my viewings, I’ve seen a player that attacks offensively as if by chainsaw where the precision of a scalpel would suffice; I’d like to see Zegras change speeds when he attacks to throw off defencemen and create space, for one example.”

    21- that’s the lowest I’ve seen him ranked. He’s all over the place.
    Button and The Draft Analyst, Steve Kornianos have him at 4!
    4 and 21 that is quite the variance.
    Our LT has him 8
    McKeens 7
    Constentino 5
    Future Considerations 10
    Hockey Prospect 10
    Scott Wheeler 9
    ISS 9
    Prospect Pipeline 14

  77. Andy Dufresne says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Don’t know if it’s been mentioned here yet but Adam Larsson will play in the WHCs. Not official yet but it’s all but confirmed.

    On another note there was a great interview with Robin Lehner in one of the biggest swedish papers today. Apparently after writing the article later published on the Athletic he and his co-writer approached the NHL and asked if they would like to publish the story on nhl.com but they wanted nothing to do with it so they moved on to the Athletic.

    When talking to teams during the summer he had interest from 7-8 clubs, he and his agent had decided to be very open about him going to rehab which made them all back out, one club was so harsh in their talks he almost fell off the wagon on his way home but his wife and friends talked him out of the bar and into the plane home. Islanders came in at a later stage and showed great awareness of the situation and along with Lehner and his support system came up with a very good strategy for him going forward, so not just a contract and a let’s see what you can do.

    He also mentioned that he’s only told 5-10% of his story, that there’s a lot more he doesn’t feel comfortable telling atm but probably have to down the line to come to peace with it but also to help others which was the biggest part in coming clean publicly. My sense is that he’ll eventually release some sort of biography about his life story.

    I had heard some rumours around his background even before the article but seems like it’s way worse than you could imagine.

    Sounds like he’s in a good place right now, hope it stays that way.

    Nice post. Thank You.

  78. Andy Dufresne says:

    Professor Q:
    SwedishPoster,

    I’ve been rooting for an Islanders-Jets Finals, mostly due to him (you all thought I’d say Eberle, didn’t you?) and the Tavares scenario.

    It sucks that he’s been through a lot, but I’m glad that he’s finding his skates now.

    I think its possible for the NYI and the Leafs to meet in the Conference Finals. No? That would be something to see.

  79. pts2pndr says:

    dustrock:
    The Lightning got swept.

    Last year, a bunch of cast-offs 30 other teams didn’t want landed in Las Vegas, and using a system set up by Gallant, made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    That’s what I asked last year: how are this many teams wrong about their players?is it the system being suited for that particular set of players?Did McPhee and Gallant sit down, set up a system, and then get only players who would be a fit in the system?

    Was it motivation?Was it that these cast-offs had a collective chip on the shoulder that got them to gel as a group very quickly?

    If I’m Nicholson, that’s what I’m asking new GM candidates:

    (1) What can we learn from Las Vegas’ success;
    (2) What can we learn from Tampa Bay’s collapse

    And what are you looking for as answers? If you don’t know going in you are actually interviewing for a car salesman position!

  80. digger50 says:

    Alpine:
    Primetime,

    I’ve actually got time for Gulutzan as an head coach option.

    There’s a weird amount of negativity around him for some reason because he threw a stick once and the Flames had a poor finish last season.

    He had a pretty weak roster in Dallas and had them at 89 points in his first season. The season after they lost Brad Richards in free agency. The next season wasn’t great but again poor roster, and his record was better than Saint Ralph’s record, with better underlying numbers too.

    He made the playoffs his first year in Calgary. Missed the next season but they had some injuries to key players towards the end of the season, and they had a bad powerplay which was usually credited to Dave Cameron.

    Of all the possible NHL head coach retread options, there’s probably not too many guys with much better records. They’re retreads for a reason. As for AHL head coaches, Gulutzan went to the Calder Cup finals in 2011, so they’ll have to beat him out there too.

    Any head coach hire is basically a shot in the dark or a hope that a guy at the end of his career like Hitch isn’t past his shelf life. A guy with a few jobs under his belt like Gulutzan might be the right type to target.

    I like Gulutzan as well, I think its very, very likely hes next head coach. If he is not it is because of very valid reasons that have come to light during his time here.

    The stick throwing is old news.

    Thank you for all the background on his resume.

  81. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Cassandra: I completely agree.And the narrative is wrong about Columbus.At even strength the LIghtning out shot and out chanced Columbus in 3 of the 4 games.This is true for raw scores and it is still true with score effects.

    The difference was that was Columbus’ chances went in, and then a big advantage on special teams.Regarding the last, this is another area where luck/randomness plays a significant factor.The Lightning played had no powerplays in game 3, and only 1 in game 4 (which they scored on).Only 6 power plays over the 4 games.Columbus had 10 opportunities and scored 5 goals.

    That’s the series right there.The puck didn’t go in and the Lightning didn’t get any calls.While not as dominant as they should have been, they didn’t play badly and were extraordinarily unlucky to get swept.

    That’s not entirely true.

    CBJ shut TBY out of the slot as per Micah Blake McCurdy:

    https://twitter.com/IneffectiveMath/status/1118487936675270657?s=19

    It is true that Vasilesvky shit the bed and Bob was great after the 2nd period of game 2.

    Hockey should be called “Mostly Goalie”

    Also,

    Alison Lukan is a great hockey writer and she writes about CBJ for The Athletic.

    She outlines how their 1-2-2 forecheck worked well here:

    https://theathletic.com/927069/2019/04/16/analysis-blue-jackets-forecheck-a-difference-maker-as-it-stymies-lightning-offense/

    Minimizing their rush chances shows up in Micah’s data for sure.

    Also,

    Expected Goals over rates shot volume as its largest input is shot volume.

  82. Nit64 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Hockey should be called “Mostly Goalie”

    ~ Sure hope Hayden Hockey is ALL Goalie ~

  83. PinkSocks says:

    dustrock:

    (1) What can we learn from Las Vegas’ success;
    (2) What can we learn from Tampa Bay’s collapse

    (1) Hire the right coach, a positive & forward thinking individual
    (2) Even the mighty can choke, despite an ugly exit, they’re still the best and will come back better from such a disappointment

  84. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Columbus added. Duchenne, Dzingel and Texier at the end of the season for the playoffs
    While the Bolts lost Stralman and Hedman to injuries
    So while they were seeded 1 and 8 they were not effectively a 1 v 8 seed

  85. Primetime says:

    Bag of Pucks: Let’s hope they’re well underway.

    I hope so too, but of the most often reported candidates, most are still in the playoffs and unable to speak to them about the position until they are out. Maybe they have talked to Mike Futa (LA), not sure who else was on the list that wasn’t in the playoffs (except of course for top candidates Kretzky, MacT and Howson….I kid, I kid!)

  86. blainer says:

    dustrock:
    The Lightning got swept.

    Last year, a bunch of cast-offs 30 other teams didn’t want landed in Las Vegas, and using a system set up by Gallant, made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    That’s what I asked last year: how are this many teams wrong about their players?is it the system being suited for that particular set of players?Did McPhee and Gallant sit down, set up a system, and then get only players who would be a fit in the system?

    Was it motivation?Was it that these cast-offs had a collective chip on the shoulder that got them to gel as a group very quickly?

    If I’m Nicholson, that’s what I’m asking new GM candidates:

    (1) What can we learn from Las Vegas’ success;
    (2) What can we learn from Tampa Bay’s collapse

    Get a goaltender who stops pucks.

  87. Lowetide says:

    Nit64: ~ Sure hope Hayden Hockey is ALL Goalie ~

    We’ll know when they don’t sign him.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    Doesn’t sound like they plan on signing him which makes one wonder why they gave up the 4th or 5th to MTL to acquire him.

  89. Melman says:

    digger50,

    Gulutzan makes sense on a number of levels: he has HC experience, it provides continuity which the team needs, there isn’t an obvious “Quennville” who will magically turn them into world beaters, and he’s already on the payroll. I don;t know how long Gulutzan, Yawney and Vivs contracts are for, but a new HC with his own assistants and more dead $ can’t be all that appealing to Katz. It’l be tough for the Oilers to make the playoffs next year, unless the GM’s name is Houdini, so if they miss and Jay has another good year in the Bake that keeps that possibility open.

  90. Melman says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Doesn’t sound like they plan on signing him which makes one wonder why they gave up the 4th or 5th to MTL to acquire him.

    OP you’ve been here too long to pose that question!!

  91. Glovjuice says:

    knighttown:
    Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?I wonder what everyone thought of that theory.I’m buying.

    The basic concept is that hockey has gotten too random.If the best team in 30 years can be swept by an 8 seed then (assuming this isn’t some crazy one-off based on goalering or puck luck) then how does one know what a good team actually is?And if you don’t know what a good team actually looks like then how do you build one?

    Are we at the point that making the playoffs is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket?

    With the exception of Dallas, EVERY SINGLE “consensus” “better” team is losing (or now tied Winnipeg) in their series.

    The chiche answer is that CBus was playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks or wanted it more but those seem like narratives applied retroactively to fit what we see.

    The common answer is that no one wants a Golden State-like foregone conclusion and that everyone loves a good Cinderella story.But if every damned weekend Cinderella goes home with a new prince does the charm and excitement of that story diminish?

    Agreed, excellence breeds legends. That’s how baseball is and why it’s a better sport. Not so high school-ish.

  92. Reja says:

    Glovjuice: Agreed, excellence breeds legends. That’s how baseball is and why it’s a better sport. Not so high school-ish.

    You do realize that baseball had a major steroid problem that will damage the history books.

  93. David says:

    I don’t know about you guys but I want my team to always have a shot at going on a run (see 2006). The beauty of sports is that you actually have to play the games. The paper matchup does not determine the hardware.

  94. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I’m not sure it matters who is coach or GM as much as what their style is and if the are strong in appropriate skill sets.

    McLellan isn’t a bad coach, he just wants what the Oilers do (hopefully DID) and I don’t think sat well with a younger team. He’ll probably look a lot better in LA with an experienced grinder team.

    PC was weak where it counted especially for the Oilers. Any GM that can analyze pro talent, and not get hosed in deals and contracts will make any team better. Amateur scouting is a crap shoot, as long as you value skill and speed and can spot it, good enough. The GM doesn’t do that anymore.

    As to the point above about retread coaches, given the right tactics and personality given the team and a decent roster, lots of coaches can succeed.

    For the Oilers they need their young Sather – innovative, liked, strong leader.

  95. v4ance says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    No way McLellan gets “better” in LA. Kopitar is 31, Brown is 33, Doughty is 28, Kovalchuk is 35, Toffoli is 26. Their top 5 scorers are all outside their prime years and only going to get worse. They may grind but they’ll be on the losing end of lots of 2-1 games from now on…

  96. Professor Q says:

    Reja: You do realize that baseball had a major steroid problem that will damage the history books.

    Baseball has also had notorious eras of bigotry, elitism, and playboy cultures. It is a very political sport, as well.

  97. Scungilli Slushy says:

    v4ance:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    No way McLellan gets “better” in LA.Kopitar is 31, Brown is 33, Doughty is 28, Kovalchuk is 35, Toffoli is 26.Their top 5 scorers are all outside their prime years and only going to get worse.They may grind but they’ll be on the losing end of lots of 2-1 games from now on…

    We will see, the GM will have a lot to do with it like the Oilers

  98. Glovjuice says:

    Reja: You do realize that baseball had a major steroid problem that will damage the history books.

    I should have said legendary teams like NY, the Cubs winning finally etc. multigenerational stuff. Very romantic, really. But. Yeah. I’ll stop posting for the rest of the night before I start getting annoying while a drink my three stiff bourbons before crashing.

  99. Ben says:

    So, how’s everyone feeling about this upcoming Larsson for W. Nylander deal?

  100. Reja says:

    David:
    I don’t know about you guys but I want my team to always have a shot at going on a run (see 2006). The beauty of sports is that you actually have to play the games. The paper matchup does not determine the hardware.

    Not surprised jackets won more so in 4 straight NHL is a parity league a hot goalie power play or vice versa especially in round one. For me the biggest upset in hockey was Lake Placid seeing that talent for CCCP lose to a bunch of inexperienced College kids was a complete and utter shock to any hockey fan at the time.

  101. flyfish1168 says:

    v4ance:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    No way McLellan gets “better” in LA.Kopitar is 31, Brown is 33, Doughty is 28, Kovalchuk is 35, Toffoli is 26.Their top 5 scorers are all outside their prime years and only going to get worse.They may grind but they’ll be on the losing end of lots of 2-1 games from now on…

    If Toffoli is past his prime years at 26, I would like lowball Blake and hope we can get him dirt cheap.

    I just want to reiterate how much I HATE the phlegms.

  102. Bulging Twine says:

    watching this avs game….man….McDavid has to play in the playoffs. I want to see McDavid in the playoffs again.

  103. Glovjuice says:

    Bulging Twine:
    watching this avs game….man….McDavid has to play in the playoffs.I want to see McDavid in the playoffs again.

    He wasn’t great last time. Average, actually.

  104. Melvis says:

    Woot!

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    Atta boy Mikko (Rantanan style, unfortunately).

  106. Rebillled says:

    This Gio payback series is great!

    Mike Smith was right after losing game 2.

    Nobody expected you to sweep this team.

    #kissofdeath

  107. judgedrude says:

    Ben:
    So, how’s everyone feeling about this upcoming Larsson for W. Nylander deal?

    Why would we trade Hall for Nylander?

  108. CMcD4PM says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Musings from an addled brain.

    A member of my nuclear family had business dealings with Glen Sather. He was VERY frugal.
    Perhaps the first question they should ask GM candidates is “What kind of car do you drive?”

    Friend had a story from the oldey timey days. He worked summers painting houses, and was working in Slats’s neighborhood. Sather comes over, they chat a bit, and work out a deal that Slats’s house gets painted in exchange for Grant Fuhr’s used goalie pads (friend was beer league goalie). Sather gets house painted for free and friend gets what he called the best leg pads he every owned.

  109. jp says:

    judgedrude: Why would we trade Hall for Nylander?

    Hall is 1 year out from UFA, so that’s not such a terrible trade at this point.

  110. v4ance says:

    flyfish1168,

    Compare Toffoli’s career box scores to Gagner’s remembering that he’s basically been a Top 6 fixture in LA for a number of years. Granted, LA is a low scoring team but Toffoli looks no more than a 3rd liner going forward. I’ll grant that Toffoli is a better player but his reputation is much higher than his actual value.

  111. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: If Bob Nicholson could hire Glen Sather, the one who arrived in Edmonton in the late 1970’s, what tools would he use to make this Oilers team a SC contender?

    https://theathletic.com/928229/2019/04/18/lowetide-what-would-glen-sather-do-with-these-oilers/

  112. flyfish1168 says:

    v4ance:
    flyfish1168,

    Compare Toffoli’s career box scores to Gagner’s remembering that he’s basically been a Top 6 fixture in LA for a number of years.Granted, LA is a low scoring team but Toffoli looks no more than a 3rd liner going forward.I’ll grant that Toffoli is a better player but his reputation is much higher than his actual value.

    Change in scenery maybe what helps rejuvenate him

  113. New Improved Darkness says:

    knighttown: Hey LT and others, did anyone see Down Goes Brown’s recent post about Tampa losing being bad for hockey?

    Revenues in the NHL are 80% tribal and 20% merit. If it were the other way around, the loser point and the SO could not exist.

    A big part of tribalism is attributing more to merit than reason justifies. (If reason was the driving force, would you be seeking a tribe in the first place?)

    Tribalism works best when the false merit story has the fewest leaks. The Tampa situation is a conspicuous leak in the merit story. So it goes.

    How one frames this as “bad for the NHL” is beyond me. I suppose it’s similar to the rationale that a minor market crash is bad for the market, as opposed to, say, the radical, anti-tribal view that a minor market crash is a bubble letting off gas.

    We also used to regard forest fires as bad for business. This was before we discovered fire ecology. Why hadn’t we discovered this in the first place? Because the tribal consensus dictated directing our mental energies elsewhere. It wasn’t in any way a hard thing to figure out. Someone had to come along who thought the story was worth telling (easy part), as funded by vested interests who also thought this story was worth telling (hard part). Vested interests prefer stories about unbridled success; stories about systemic limitations are decidedly second tier.

    Markets that don’t self-correct are good for every team player in the short term, and bad for nearly everyone in the long term. (Team players don’t short Tesla with curmudgeonly malice.) Corrections aren’t bad for the market; corrections are bad for irrational market exuberance.

    The league’s goal is to maximize revenue. To a certain extent, the Stanley Cup is just a means to an end. Calling it a means to an end actively sabotages its value as a means to an end—so shush your wagon! (Tribalism tends to involve a fair amount of “shushing” behaviour.)

    What Scrooge McDuck would like to do is schedule the playoff matchups to maximum playoff revenue. This would involve taking into account market size, rivalry windfalls, and matching teams as closely as possible (so as to have fewer 4-game sweeps, and 5-game sweepettes). You definitely want the small markets to fall by the wayside efficiently enough that the final four contains three large-market franchises in an average year. If you have two excellent teams from small markets (say Calgary plus Winnipeg), you’re definitely going to pit them against each other in the first round. A mediocre large-market team will be matched against the softest opponent available (with the least suited style of play).

    Under this system, the revenue model would completely control the playoff matchups, and the regular season results would merely be fodder for the algorithm.

    I point this out, so that we can talk about the opposite system: designed to maximize merit, rather than revenue (and implicitly, tribalism).

    For our purposes here, we’ll keep the east/west divide, because sensible teams won’t elect to travel three time zones in the first round in any case.

    Now you set it up like this: the top team in each division gets first pick of its first-round foe (within division). Then the top remaining team in each division picks. Then the top remaining team in each division picks. Then the top remaining team in each division picks the only other team left in the division without a dance partner (also known as the consolation shag). All eight first-round matches are now decided.

    This would increase merit, but there are so many problems with this—from the tribal perspective—I barely even know where to start.

    How much would the “offense factor” wind up the select underdog? No-one likes to be picked first for sucking the hindest banana.

    Injuries would play a major part. Oh look, Crosby got capsized into a goal post at high speed in the final game of the regular season. Move up two rungs in the Ugly Duckling meet-swap. (A similar example closer to home would only have confirmed that an ugly ducklings on an especially bad hair day is still just an ugly duckling.) Of course, from the perspective of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey (very tribal) this would reek of preying on random misfortune (as it would be—a delectable privilege bought and paid for in blood in the regular season).

    There are reasons why no league ever has a choice structure of this fashion, despite it making the regular season actually worth something more than merely coming out on the right side of the bright line (and that tired quantum of solace, home-ice advantage).

    The main reason concerns potential kick-backs. If the top team has two available opponents they regard as equally easy to defeat (no direct margin of advantage), for what price can they sell this choice behind closed doors (to obtain an indirect margin of advantage)? This choice will affect every other team, and how those matches fall out. It will affect the NHL’s revenue bottom line. Small future favours won from the Big Cheese in the Big Smoke are not to sneeze at. Remember that one time, in band camp, where the Oilers had to pay a pick to compensate for a hire, and then that whole shit-show was gone shortly thereafter, for everyone else? Head office would potentially smile favourably if Tampa makes their selection consistent with NYI likely enjoying another home game (or two) in the first round.

    So you can’t do this. But if you could (and it didn’t instantly become corrupt), it would increase merit over tribalism (and money) as the determining factor in which team ultimately gets its sweet mitts (and greasy paws) on the Stanley Cup.

    The second factor to increase merit would be to set the playoffs up less like demolition derby. Small problem: demolition derby is Joseph Campbell’s catnip midichlorians. The highest macho drama is gutting out insult, agony, and injury. Small problem: injury lives on a Pareto distribution (as anyone knows who recently burned the midnight oil—muttering “oh, god, not this darkness upon an already dark hour”—on the “minor” all in the L-family difference between a short nick or a loud pop in the ACL, PCL, LCL, or MCL). Unless you receive a scary neck injury from a dirty, dirty elbow in low earth orbit, you’re less use to the cause from the sidelines than you were on the ice.

    Narrative: heroes triumph over random slings and arrows (except when they don’t, which for an L-family injury is hardly ever).

    Half the point of tribalism, anthropologically, is to induce the collective opinion that your elite tribe rose to the top by being good, not lucky, though there are hazards on both sides.

    Legolas at Helms Deep (not enough faith):

    I was wrong to despair.

    The French at Agincourt (too much faith):

    Hark how our steeds for present service neigh. Mount them and make incision in their hides … that their hot blood may spin in English eyes. Do but behold yon poor and starved band. Your fair show shall suck away their souls, leaving them but the shales and husks of men. There is not work enough for all our hands. … They have said their prayers, and they stay for death. A very little little let us do, and all is done. Then let the trumpets sound the tucket sonance and the note to mount … for our approach will so much dare the field … that England shall crouch down in fear … and yield!

    This one time, on the playground, some strutting jackanapes gave me the hairy nyah nyah, so I sarcastically told him to stow his tucket sonance—and that never happened again. Original 1st rule of Fight Club: don’t ever mention the tucket sonance. Eventually this was so widely and universally obeyed, it no longer needed to be numbered among the unwritten rules (truth be told, the officiously numbered rules lie fairly far down the list). Lesson learned.

    In that spirit, the primal, unnumbered statistical physics of the Hero’s Journey:

    In the fragile reality of Discworld, and with the gods who like to play games, a million-to-one chance succeeds nine times out of ten.

    Traditionally, one has to say “it’s a million-to-one chance, but it might just work!” to invoke this rule. It also has to be exactly a million to one — none of this fiddly “995,351 to 1” business, or whatever other number you might end up with.

    So while the list of things that people have accomplished with million to one chances is quite impressive, the list of things they have failed to accomplish with odds a few percentage points off in either direction is probably a lot longer and involves a lot more fatalities.

    Though I’m sure merit does finally enter into this formulation, often at my advanced age, I have to blink to see it.

    When a goon or two rode around for an entire playoff series so deep in Connor’s hip pocket they could have been arrested for indecency on a Tokyo subway train, heading away from Fukushima, during rush hour, of a leap year, on the first Monday morning of September, somehow I just couldn’t blink often enough. Better eye drops won’t fix this. Whereas more glaucoma might.

  114. CallighenMan says:

    Munny: I actually thought he was the least insightful poster in the last thread.And demonstrated the poorest understanding of economic history.Love his work on the hockey though.He’s a tremendous resource in this area..

    I think you need to stop watching FOX news for your education on things economic and social …

  115. CallighenMan says:

    New Improved Darkness: Revenues in the NHL are 80% tribal and 20% merit.If it were the other way around, the loser point and the SO could not exist.

    A big part of tribalism is attributing more to merit than reason justifies. (If reason was the driving force, would you be seeking a tribe in the first place?)

    Tribalism works best when the false merit story has the fewest leaks. The Tampa situation is a conspicuous leak in the merit story. So it goes.

    How one frames this as “bad for the NHL” is beyond me. I suppose it’s similar to the rationale that a minor market crash is bad for the market, as opposed to, say, the radical, anti-tribal view that a minor market crash is a bubble letting off gas.

    We also used to regard forest fires as bad for business. This was before we discovered fire ecology. Why hadn’t we discovered this in the first place? Because the tribal consensus dictated directing our mental energies elsewhere. It wasn’t in any way a hard thing to figure out. Someone had to come along who thought the story was worth telling (easy part), as funded by vested interests who also thought this story was worth telling (hard part). Vested interests prefer stories about unbridled success; stories about systemic limitations are decidedly second tier.

    Markets that don’t self-correct are good for every team player in the short term, and bad for nearly everyone in the long term. (Team players don’t short Tesla with curmudgeonly malice.)Corrections aren’t bad for the market; corrections are bad for irrational market exuberance.

    The league’s goal is to maximize revenue. To a certain extent, the Stanley Cup is just a means to an end. Calling it a means to an end actively sabotages its value as a means to an end—so shush your wagon! (Tribalism tends to involve a fair amount of “shushing” behaviour.)

    What Scrooge McDuck would like to do is schedule the playoff matchups to maximum playoff revenue. This would involve taking into account market size, rivalry windfalls, and matching teams as closely as possible (so as to have fewer 4-game sweeps, and 5-game sweepettes).You definitely want the small markets to fall by the wayside efficiently enough that the final four contains three large-market franchises in an average year.If you have two excellent teams from small markets (say Calgary plus Winnipeg), you’re definitely going to pit them against each other in the first round.A mediocre large-market team will be matched against the softest opponent available (with the least suited style of play).

    Under this system, the revenue model would completely control the playoff matchups, and the regular season results would merely be fodder for the algorithm.

    I point this out, so that we can talk about the opposite system: designed to maximize merit, rather than revenue (and implicitly, tribalism).

    For our purposes here, we’ll keep the east/west divide, because sensible teams won’t elect to travel three time zones in the first round in any case.

    Now you set it up like this: the top team in each division gets first pick of its first-round foe (within division).Then the top remaining team in each division picks. Then the top remaining team in each division picks. Then the top remaining team in each division picks the only other team left in the division without a dance partner (also known as the consolation shag). All eight first-round matches are now decided.

    This would increase merit, but there are so many problems with this—from the tribal perspective—I barely even know where to start.

    How much would the “offense factor” wind up the select underdog? No-one likes to be picked first for sucking the hindest banana.

    Injuries would play a major part. Oh look, Crosby got capsized into a goal post at high speed in the final game of the regular season. Move up two rungs in the Ugly Duckling meet-swap.(A similar example closer to home would only have confirmed that an ugly ducklings on an especially bad hair day is still just an ugly duckling.)Of course, from the perspective of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey (very tribal) this would reek of preying on random misfortune (as it would be—a delectable privilege bought and paid for in blood in the regular season).

    There are reasons why no league ever has a choice structure of this fashion, despite it making the regular season actually worth something more than merely coming out on the right side of the bright line (and that tired quantum of solace, home-ice advantage).

    The main reason concerns potential kick-backs. If the top team has two available opponents they regard as equally easy to defeat (no direct margin of advantage), for what price can they sell this choice behind closed doors (to obtain an indirect margin of advantage)? This choice will affect every other team, and how those matches fall out. It will affect the NHL’s revenue bottom line. Small future favours won from the Big Cheese in the Big Smoke are not to sneeze at. Remember that one time, in band camp, where the Oilers had to pay a pick to compensate for a hire, and then that whole shit-show was gone shortly thereafter, for everyone else?Head office would potentially smile favourably if Tampa makes their selection consistent with NYI likely enjoying another home game (or two) in the first round.

    So you can’t do this. But if you could (and it didn’t instantly become corrupt), it would increase merit over tribalism (and money) as the determining factor in which team ultimately gets its sweet mitts (and greasy paws) on the Stanley Cup.

    The second factor to increase merit would be to set the playoffs up less like demolition derby. Small problem: demolition derby is Joseph Campbell’s catnip midichlorians. The highest macho drama is gutting out insult, agony, and injury. Small problem: injury lives on a Pareto distribution (as anyone knows who recently burned the midnight oil—muttering “oh, god, not this darkness upon an already dark hour”—on the “minor” all in the L-family difference between a short nick or a loud pop in the ACL, PCL, LCL, or MCL).Unless you receive a scary neck injury from a dirty, dirty elbow in low earth orbit, you’re less use to the cause from the sidelines than you were on the ice.

    Narrative: heroes triumph over random slings and arrows (except when they don’t, which for an L-family injury is hardly ever).

    Half the point of tribalism, anthropologically, is to induce the collective opinion that your elite tribe rose to the top by being good, not lucky, though there are hazards on both sides.

    Legolas at Helms Deep (not enough faith):

    The French at Agincourt (too much faith):

    This one time, on the playground, some strutting jackanapes gave me the hairy nyah nyah, so I sarcastically told him to stow his tucket sonance—and that never happened again. Original 1st rule of Fight Club: don’t ever mention the tucket sonance.Eventually this was so widely and universally obeyed, it no longer needed to be numbered among the unwritten rules (truth be told, the officiously numbered rules lie fairly far down the list). Lesson learned.

    In that spirit, the primal, unnumbered statistical physics of the Hero’s Journey:

    Though I’m sure merit does finally enter into this formulation, often at my advanced age, I have to blink to see it.

    When a goon or two rode around for an entire playoff series so deep in Connor’s hip pocket they could have been arrested for indecency on a Tokyo subway train, heading away from Fukushima, during rush hour, of a leap year, on the first Monday morning of September, somehow I just couldn’t blink often enough. Better eye drops won’t fix this. Whereas more glaucoma might.

    I never ever thought I’d see a reference to Agincourt on a hockey blog!! Well done 👍

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