On the Road to Zihuatanejo

In the 43 games Zack Kassian played between January 1 and the end of the season, he scored (5-on-5) 1.84 per 60. That ranks No. 143 among NHL forwards who played 250 or more 5-on-5 minutes during that time. There are 31 teams in the NHL, each of them deploying three first-line forwards, meaning there are exactly (at any given time) 93 top-line forwards. Kassian is shy of those lofty heights, but he did score at an impressive rate for half a season. What are we to do with that?

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: Tyler Benson’s comparables offer Oilers fans plenty of hope for the future.
  • New Lowetide: Making the call on the Oilers’ RFAs with a new general manager on the way.
  • Lowetide: Red Wings front office shuffle could impact Oilers’ future.
  • Jonathan Willis: Potential coaching candidates and why the Oilers don’t need to rush the GM search to get one
  • Lowetide: What would Glen Sather do with these Oilers?
  • Jonathan Willis: Some creative solutions to address the Oilers’ goalie problem
  • Lowetide: The Milan Lucic saga rolls into Year 4 for Oilers with no easy answers
  • 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: 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.

OILERS FORWARDS 5-ON-5 SCORING JAN. 1 TO END OF SEASON

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are 33 percent of the Oilers top-six forward group and (despite the Jan+ numbers) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is part of it. That makes it 50 percent.

After that, a smart team would run Zack Kassian, Sam Gagner and Milan Lucic outside the top two lines. Great depth in case of injury and a veteran setup (we’re not talking cap here). So, how do these six men perform against elite competition?

What does it all mean? Hell if I know. It is interesting to see how these men performed last season. I believe the Oilers have three bona fide top-six forwards on the roster and that Kassian is best deployed as a fourth-line winger who can move up as required. DFF via Puck IQ.

We don’t have all of the names, but Hunter’s being mentioned publicly could be perceived as a trial balloon by management to see reaction. I imagine Nicholson has a few other candidates (Hextall? Guerin?) but I’m going to guess Mark Hunter has the inside track. We’ll see. I wrote about his draft record here.

Happy Easter!! I woke up early this morning, we’ve been leaving the window open lately and the damn birds were making a helluva noise around 5:30. I don’t mind, gives me an excuse to have a nap later when the turkey is in the oven.

We’re all fine. My son is off to NAIT in the fall, he’s taking the radio and television course. He’s very much into sound, I can see him being a producer but he’ll find his own way. Kind of cool to see him get excited about the career path I chose, have to say.

My daughter is well, retail appears to be her preference and all that artistic talent (she can draw and write so well) will have to find a way out at some later date. She’s like her Dad, if you push, the train stops moving. Gentle nudges are the way to go. She’s way smarter than me, it’s always been a major disadvantage.

Jo and I are in a good place, we’re coming up on 36 years in May. I outkicked my coverage my a mile, but she’s kind enough not to mention it. She’s the one person I know who is thrilled that the Saturday show isn’t on anymore. We go shopping for groceries and go for walks and bike rides (although Ziggy can’t go for those, so it’s not an every day thing).

The dog. Well, she’s 7 now, and even though the motor on these little ones goes forever there are changes as she gets older. We don’t wrestle as much, and she growls more, but she’s a sweetheart. The kids say I spoil her but what do they know. I’m going to be a mess when we lose her, can’t even think about it.

I hope you are well. I hope you are in a good place. You know, 36 years down the line the things I value most are the things that didn’t come easy. The struggle is the challenge, but it is also the reward. I didn’t always know that, but I do know.

I expect there will be more challenges in the coming year, that seems to be the way of things. I think the trick is to be there for each other and to remember kindness does not equal weakness. I think Brooks was right. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.

CONDORS DROP GAME TWO

After two games of the AHL playoffs, it’s veterans like Brad Malone and Patrick Russell (two points each) who are leading the way on the scoreboard.

Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody aren’t posting boxcar numbers, but the possession (5-on-5) numbers below shine like a diamond. They’re dominating, the pucks will go in. Benson is 43-23 (65.1 percent) in possession through two games 5-on-5. Home ice will also give Jay Woodcroft a chance to wheel.

Caleb Jones and William Lagesson have two points and both have been quality, while Ethan Bear and Logan Day have one point each. Shane Starrett has a 2.56 GAA and an .896 SP, but he was splendid in the opener. Game Three is in Bakersfield Tuesday.

Thanks to Wilde for these numbers. Wow. That’s an attractive set of possession stats (5-on-5) and the final score was 4-1 for the other guys. Hockey can be a flummoxing game. Quoting Wilde: ”
I don’t think I have a game on record of their Polei-Vesel-Gust line that’s half as strong as this one in terms of possession.”

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157 Responses to "On the Road to Zihuatanejo"

  1. Ben says:

    Sick of the groupthink around over-brining our prospects.

    Not thrilled about the Hunter idea, partly because of reasons outlined in LT’s Athletic piece, partly because his junior team has, uh, procurement advantages that muddy the water.

  2. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Mark Hunter looks vaguely like Chiarelli in the photo. He also played 3 seasons for the Flames.

  3. Darryl8843 says:

    Personally not big on Hunter. With so little info coming out I think Bob has already made up his mind.
    Happy Easter Al and I’m happy to see your family is doing great. After all at the end of each day that’s the most important thing.

  4. Glovjuice says:

    Agreed, prospects need to be managed correctly for the individual. Simple as that. It’s called thinking.

    Oh, and Hummer by The Smashing Pumpkins 🎃 is a glorious song for Easter. You can totally hear where Deafheaven got some of their ideas from for their latest brilliant album.

    Oh, and, I have never worked in a commercial kitchen (actually one week but was too dumb and slow) but lots at home (but have worked in food research and development and food safety my entire career). Did up a pork hock stock yesterday for my pork gravy to go with ham and my famous ham “stuffing”. Brined bird is fine on a smoker bit not oven at all in my opinion (takes the richness out of the meat). JT- hardly anyone has a $30,000 k two channel stereo – not groupthink at all.

  5. geowal says:

    Ben:
    Sick of the groupthink around over-brining our prospects.

    Not thrilled about the Hunter idea, partly because of reasons outlined in LT’s Athletic piece, partly because his junior team has, uh, procurement advantages that muddy the water.

    Sure a lot of talk about groupthink and brine around here lately, ha.

    Lt, love the personal summary. I can’t help but feel reflective as I read this on my honeymoon, looking forward to my own 36 years with my lovely wife. Happy Easter to all!

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Don’t care as much about Hunter’s drafting. Drafting has been much improved. I care about how Hunter sees the game now and in the future and how he plans to build the team to reflect this.

    I’d want to know how he plans to alleviate cap pressure with one eye on the expansion. I want to know his ideas on develop who we draft. I’d like to hear how he’d integrate analytics to take the bias out of the by eye approach.

    I do not want to know if he prefers cab sav to merlot. I do not want to hear of him fitting the Oilers culture, or coming in as a hard ass to shake up the players. I still have a niggling feeling the OBC and Bob think it’s not them….

    I would prefer a much more progressive thinker. Someone who recognises patterns early and adapts plans on the fly. But if not, he just needs to be mediocre. He has McDavid.

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    geowal: Sure a lot of talk about groupthink and brine around here lately, ha.

    Lt, love the personal summary. I can’t help but feel reflective as I read this on my honeymoon, looking forward to my own 36 years with my lovely wife. Happy Easter to all!

    I’m the briny limey.

  8. Philosophil says:

    Thanks LT, Always enjoy the updates. I’ve found the same thing with my teenagers- they need to find their own way, pushing them just results in an equal and opposite reaction =zero sum game.
    I lived and breathed hockey and baseball with and for my boys, and of course years later they play…rugby. Its a great sport but i hardly know it. Its the learning that comes from the challenge, as you’ve stated. I believe some call that wisdom. As my friend Gord sang, its a good life if you don’t weaken.
    Happy Easter to the Fam and all the LT community.

  9. Ben says:

    Jethro Tull: he just needs to be mediocre

    Three years ago I would have agreed with this.

    But improving the roster today will require some very savvy problem solving, strategic acumen and some large, brassy ones. Thorough course correction. A status-quo guy won’t cut it.

  10. Wilde says:

    That was a very frustrating game last night.

    There were 14 penalties called but it still felt like the game got out of hand, this Eagles team is just gross below their own goal line. They were like that in the regular season but the standard of infraction that’s been set so far is amazing, even for them.

    also

    Lowetide:

    retail appears to be her preference

    ?!

    This is a thing? That can be?

  11. Jethro Tull says:

    Ben: Three years ago I would have agreed with this.

    But improving the roster today will require some very savvy problem solving, strategic acumen and some large, brassy ones. Thorough course correction. A status-quo guy won’t cut it.

    Very true. Do you believe they will hire someone capable of this? Or someone who will do what they would do?

  12. Lowetide says:

    Wilde:
    That was a very frustrating game last night.

    There were 14 penalties called but it still felt like the game got out of hand, this Eagles team is just gross below their own goal line. They were like that in the regular season but the standard of infraction that’s been set so far is amazing, even for them.

    also

    ?!

    This is a thing? That can be?

    I KNOW! I keep saying “you tried the toughest job first, try another” but she loves it.

  13. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    After years of being treated to amazing turkey feasts for years, I did my first turkey 3 years ago. I am in a great relationship with an amazing Chinese lady and she requested I make turkey for Thanksgiving. Consequently this led to us hosting a bunch of people (talk about pressure, lol) but Google was good to me and I came up with a very interesting menu and made 5 additional dishes I’d never had before. As well, I made a chorizo-cherry cornbeard stuffing from scratch. I didn’t,t even know what chorizo was before I did it. It is now my go-to.

    I impressed myself that I pulled it all off and the reaction from everyone (every guest having seconds & thirds and wanting to take left-overs) confirmed my success. After years of eating dry turkey prepared by who I considering to fabulous cooks (grandma, ma in-law, spouse) I was shocked that just from diligent basting and following instructions, my turkey was super-moist. This past year I did brining and I feel like it was slightly better, so I will do it again. But I honestly didn’t think it took the turkey to “another level” or anything like that.

  14. Ben says:

    Jethro Tull: Very true. Do you believe they will hire someone capable of this? Or someone who will do what they would do?

    We can only take dismal guesses, but my impression is that the things that will impress Nicholson in these interviews might not be the things that would impress the average member of this community.

    I also suspect that he has a pretty transparent list of “things he wants to hear” garnered from his previous survey chats with The Good Hockey Men that won’t be hard for an average candidate to identify and speak to.

    Until I’m given any new reason to be optimistic about the organization’s decision making habits (I say “habits” because “processes” would imply self-awareness), I feel it’s reasonable to expect they’ll continue to make the same kinds of choices that have gotten them where they are today.

  15. Bryan says:

    Happy Easter LT. It’s great to hear that all is well in your domain. Ziggy should have many great years left still but I understand your worry about that. A pet can wiggle its way into a secret place in our heart that is very hard for another person to access. Only an animal lover can understand what it’s like when their four legged friend leaves them. On the GM front I am quite luke warm on Mark Hunter as well. I just hope that Bob really is casting a wide net and listening to sage advice about what a modern NHL administration should look like.

  16. Jethro Tull says:

    Maoriduvpoojt,

    Good for you! The stuffing sounds amazing, a new twist on an olde timey thing. Stuffing used to be meat, of course. I’m going to look that up!

  17. Bryan says:

    Ben: We can only take dismal guesses, but my impression is that the things that will impress Nicholson in these interviews might not be the things that would impress the average member of this community.

    I also suspect that he has a pretty transparent list of “things he wants to hear” garnered from his previous survey chats with The Good Hockey Men that won’t be hard for an average candidate to identify and speak to.

    Until I’m given any new reason to be optimistic about the organization’s decision making habits (I say “habits” because “processes” would imply self-awareness), I feel it’s reasonable to expect they’ll continue to make the same kinds of choices that have gotten them where they are today.

    I was flabbergasted when I heard Nicholson say that Katz hadn’t asked who he was interviewing for the GM job. After so many years of ineptitude you would think a businessman would want to make sure that proper corrective steps were being taken. I am all for hands off ownership but like any business the man who pays the bills should want to know he has the right person overseeing the operation. I don’t think Nicholson has demonstrated that he is the one to put your faith in.

  18. Bad Seed says:

    Glovjuice,

    $30,000 barely gets you a decent turntable setup.

  19. Pouzar says:

    So “That Guy” has Hunter as GM and DJ Smith as HC. E5.

    So I wonder who the Oilers GM/HC is gonna be?

  20. flyfish1168 says:

    Pouzar:
    So “That Guy” has Hunter as GM and DJ Smith as HC. E5.

    So I wonder who the Oilers GM/HC is gonna be?

    googled dj smith and found this article.

    https://www.diebytheblade.com/2019/4/20/18508563/buffalo-sabres-toronto-maple-leafs-d-j-smith-checks-a-lot-of-boxes-in-the-coaching-search

  21. godot10 says:

    //In the 43 games Zack Kassian played between January 1 and the end of the season, he scored (5-on-5) 1.84 per 60. That ranks No. 143 among NHL forwards who played 250 or more 5-on-5 minutes during that time. There are 31 teams in the NHL, each of them deploying three first-line forwards, meaning there are exactly (at any given time) 93 top-line forwards. Kassian is shy of those lofty heights, but he did score at an impressive rate for half a season. What are we to do with that?//

    McDavid and Draisaitl can get water out of a stone. They did it with Maroon also. Gretzky and Lemieux worked this trick also. Blair McDonald. Dave Lumley. Rob Brown. Warren Young.

    Kassian is a three dressed up as a nine. It is delusional to think anything else. McDonald and Lumley didn’t stop Sather from dumping them when he found the real thing in Kurri.

    Rob Brown and Warren Young also went the way of the dinosaure when Stevens, Recchi, and Jagr showed up.

  22. Wilde says:

    Also, some additional context for the Condors corgis last night – because of all the special teams, the forward lines were blended heavily from the 2nd period on, which is very rare for Woodcroft.

    To be precise, past the first penalties in the 2nd, exactly half of the shifts that resulted in shot attempts were played with makeshift combinations.

  23. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    Philosophil:
    Thanks LT, Always enjoy the updates. I’ve found the same thing with my teenagers- they need to find their own way, pushing them just results in an equal and opposite reaction =zero sum game.
    I lived and breathed hockey and baseball with and for my boys, and of course years later they play…rugby. Its a great sport but i hardly know it. Its the learning that comes from the challenge, as you’ve stated. I believe some call that wisdom.As my friend Gord sang, its a good life if you don’t weaken.
    Happy Easter to the Fam and all the LT community.

    My son is 24, he is brilliant and talented in many ways. When he was 12 I encouraged him to get into animation and tried to get him to script write and work towards creating our own little cartoon. I wrote a short script and drew up some characters (I am neither an artist, nor a writer, just thought this was the direction he was headed and wanted to encourage him with a nudge). It never went beyond the concept on paper I presented to him.

    When he was sixteen, he used Google to train himself to be an artist (sketches in pencil and then comics) and a year later he created animated music videos on his YouTube channel. While in high school he started writing stories online on a fan art website I forget the name of, but he would write a few chapters an not finish the story. His writing, though, was impressive IMO.

    3 years ago he decided to learn how to edit anime and started dabbling in voice acting. He created one on his channel (they call it Abridging) and then he entered a Major contest, taking his 6 months of experience to compete against some people who’d been doing this for more than a decade. He ended up 6th, but the oldest judge deemed his entry the best and in his comments said, “in fairness to the other submissions he couldn’t watch another one that day”. They received more than 500 submissions. I thought he would end up top 3, but the other judges got wrapped up in story-line and concept. Kind of daft considering the 5 minute time limit. But certainly his editing was top-notch. He has made a ton of friends across the globe, getting involved in dozens of projects as an editor and/or voice actor or writer. As well, for the last 2 years he has presented an Abridgement session on his own initiative all by himself at OtaFest in Calgary.

    Today he is completing his first year at SAIT in film production and while he is finding it stressful, he appears to be a successful student thus far, hopefully he is encouraged by his results and continues to forge ahead. I have kept my distance and am cheering from the sidelines.

    At his age I was 3 years into a 20-year career and was married with a 4 yr old (adopted) daughter.

    The point, like LT says, is that they will find their way on their own time.

  24. godot10 says:

    Dubas was certainly as responsible as Hunter for the Toronto drafts. The stats nerd (Dubas effect) can be seen in all the overagers drafted in later rounds.

  25. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Maoriduvpoojt,

    Good for you! The stuffing sounds amazing, a new twist on an olde timey thing. Stuffing used to be meat, of course. I’m going to look that up!

    I love it, reduced the sugar in the cornbread recipe Not soggy like the bread stuffing I grew up with.

    I did not know stuffing was originally meat, interesting.

  26. Pouzar says:

    flyfish1168: googled dj smith and found this article.

    https://www.diebytheblade.com/2019/4/20/18508563/buffalo-sabres-toronto-maple-leafs-d-j-smith-checks-a-lot-of-boxes-in-the-coaching-search

    Seems to hit on a lot of what people want here as well. I never heard of him. Interesting.

  27. flyfish1168 says:

    godot10:
    //In the 43 games Zack Kassian played between January 1 and the end of the season, he scored (5-on-5) 1.84 per 60. That ranks No. 143 among NHL forwards who played 250 or more 5-on-5 minutes during that time. There are 31 teams in the NHL, each of them deploying three first-line forwards, meaning there are exactly (at any given time) 93 top-line forwards. Kassian is shy of those lofty heights, but he did score at an impressive rate for half a season. What are we to do with that?//

    McDavid and Draisaitl can get water out of a stone.They did it with Maroon also.Gretzky and Lemieux worked this trick also.Blair McDonald.Dave Lumley.Rob Brown.Warren Young.

    Kassian is a three dressed up as a nine.It is delusional to think anything else.McDonald and Lumley didn’t stop Sather from dumping them when he found the real thing in Kurri.

    It is ok to have a little crazy to keep the other teams honest. He was a former 1st round pick and know his role without whining. It a good way to keep a good team player happy.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    For the first few weeks on the top line, Zack was a passenger, only getting points because of his linemates and being generally ineffective on the cycle and on the boards, not helping with possession.

    He was constantly bobbling the puck and not able to make the simple plays to keep the play alive.

    The last month or so was totally different. He found some hands and made smart plays, consistently. He turned in to a contributor.

    He has previously been able to do that in short stints but consistency was always an issue. This time, he played plus hockey for a good month plus. A real sample of plus skill play.

    Is this the new Zack or will he regress?

    Contract year.

  29. flyfish1168 says:

    Pouzar: Seems to hit on a lot of what people want here as well. I never heard of him. Interesting.

    My only worry is it the leaf over hyped like anyone involved with the leafs. It was a disaster last time with eakins

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    Was it Scott Cullen on Sat Sports Extra with LT a few months ago that went through Hunter’s work as a Leaf and it was far from flattering? Their draft record with him involved looked like the pre PC/KG Oilers draft record with a focus on the Mitch Moroz type pick.

    That’s really all I know about him and it painted a bleak picture.

    Based off that solely, I hope they go a different direction.

  31. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    For the first few weeks on the top line, Zack was a passenger, only getting points because of his linemates and being generally ineffective on the cycle and on the boards, not helping with possession.

    He was constantly bobbling the puck and not able to make the simple plays to keep the play alive.

    The last month or so was totally different. He found some hands and made smart plays, consistently. He turned in to a contributor.

    He has previously been able to do that in short stints but consistency was always an issue.This time, he played plus hockey for a good month plus. A real sample of plus skill play.

    Is this the new Zack or will he regress?

    Contract year.

    I have faith. I just hope he realizes how and why he has success. Like the previous great one, the saying was ” even a fire hydrate can score 20 “

  32. Ben says:

    A year old, but a good reflection on Hunter leaving post-Dubas hire and a bunch of draft philosophy tidbits: http://faceoffcircle.ca/2018/05/23/examining-what-the-leafs-gained-and-subsequently-lost-in-mark-hunter/

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Eagles did a great defensive job in the 1st yesterday (all I saw before I had to travel).

    There was little room out there and the Condor kids started to press and make poor decisions – in particular Marody.

    I’m confident the kids will start to produce at home.

  34. Paulie says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    OP: Yesterday, you asked who would press 220 lb dumbbells. Answer: old time power lifter Pat Casey. Scroll down a bit to see the evidence: https://startingstrength.com/article/pat_casey_gallagher

  35. Wilde says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    WE HAVE DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF ‘DEFENSIVE’ MR.OP

  36. Pouzar says:

    I was shocked at the ineptitude of the officiating in the one BAK game I saw live. I swear at one point one of the refs invented a new infraction on the fly. It made NHL officiating look competent. Ryan Holt’s twitter account will back that up.

  37. Fiveinatrailer says:

    I think it’s part of Burgers strategy to just hire the guy who most looks like Chiarelli. That way the OBC at the red wine summits won’t get too confused. So far Hunter is the lead candidate!

  38. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    I have a friend who turned her retail job, which she started in Edmonton, into being a director for the company and she now lives in socal.

    There are worthwhile paths in any industry if you want to pursue it.

  39. geowal says:

    Jethro Tull: I’m the briny limey.

    Must be the Peace country living!

  40. Bruce McCurdy says:

    At 7 Ziggy is just entering middle age, that time when you might start looking for a different type of dog food, better dubbed “mature” than “senior”.

    My dog & cat are both 17 this year, both small & gradually shrivelling up to nothing but still living good lives with short bursts of energy & much longer ones of sleeping. Both the schnoodle & the Tonkinese were adopted in mid-life, the mutt 10 years ago when she was the age Ziggy is now, the cat 5 years ago when she was already entering her golden years. I know there are a couple of sad times stacking up in the relatively near future but that’s the deal & totally worth it. My life has been greatly enriched by these two & their predecessors.

  41. Westchester Oil says:

    Happy Easter LT,, thanks for sharing your family stories.

    I hesitate to say this, because I know it doesn’t paint the full picture, but Lucic doesn’t look so bad with the stats presented here. Maybe we can creatively use selective stats to sell Lucic to another team?

  42. flyfish1168 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    At 7 Ziggy is just entering middle age, that time when you might start looking for a different type of dog food, better dubbed “mature” than “senior”.

    My dog & cat are both 17 this year, both small & gradually shrivelling up to nothing but still living good lives with short bursts of energy & much longer ones of sleeping. Both the schnoodle & the Tonkinese were adopted in mid-life, the mutt 10 years ago when she was the age Ziggy is now, the cat 5 years ago when she was already entering her golden years. I know there are a couple of sad times stacking up in the relatively near future but that’s the deal & totally worth it. My life has been greatly enriched by these two & their predecessors.

    +1

    We just lost our dog of 15 years. Come to the realization Vets have very little accountability. Would have been better off to pass at home versus take her into the vet and to perform negligences

  43. Dipsy Doodle Dandy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Was it Scott Cullen on Sat Sports Extra with LT a few months ago that went through Hunter’s work as a Leaf and it was far from flattering?Their draft record with him involved looked like the pre PC/KG Oilers draft record with a focus on the Mitch Moroz type pick.

    That’s really all I know about him and it painted a bleak picture.

    Based off that solely, I hope they go a different direction.

    You are going to base your decision on one article? A little narrow minded don’t you think. Hunter has developed one of the strongest CHL programs with appearances in the Memorial Cup in 2016, 2012-14. List of London Knights in the NHL are: Tavares, Kane, Perry, Marner, Kadri, Maroon, Tkachuk, Josh Anderson, Domi, Horvat, Zadorov, Maata, Methot, and Gagner. By far more than any other CHL team.

  44. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10:
    //In the 43 games Zack Kassian played between January 1 and the end of the season, he scored (5-on-5) 1.84 per 60. That ranks No. 143 among NHL forwards who played 250 or more 5-on-5 minutes during that time. There are 31 teams in the NHL, each of them deploying three first-line forwards, meaning there are exactly (at any given time) 93 top-line forwards. Kassian is shy of those lofty heights, but he did score at an impressive rate for half a season. What are we to do with that?//

    McDavid and Draisaitl can get water out of a stone.They did it with Maroon also.Gretzky and Lemieux worked this trick also.Blair McDonald.Dave Lumley.Rob Brown.Warren Young.

    Kassian is a three dressed up as a nine.It is delusional to think anything else.McDonald and Lumley didn’t stop Sather from dumping them when he found the real thing in Kurri.

    Rob Brown and Warren Young also went the way of the dinosaure when Stevens, Recchi, and Jagr showed up.

    Of all the players on the team, I think Kassian has the most inflated trade value on the team. With 15 goals on the season and a relatively low cap hit, we might be able to trade him for a top 6 winger. Maybe the Bolts trade JT Miller for Kassian and a possible sweetener. I think those types of deals might be possible with Kassian.

  45. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    flyfish1168: +1

    We just lost our dog of 15 years. Come to the realization Vets have very little accountability. Would have been better off to pass at home versus take her into the vet and to perform negligences

    The day of McDavid’s draft I drove to Victoria from Calgary and met up with my sister at a Sports bar to watch the draft. I was confused by the Reinhart deal, but I was distracted and tired by the travel and having McDavid in the fold obscured all else.

    When we got back to her place her old boy, a 15 yr old black lab mix was suffering noticably, so we took him to a vet. The vet said his intestines were twisted and surgery, which he might not survive, was $3,000.00. My sister has no money, so instead of surgery I paid to have him put him down .

    That was one crazy emotional day I’ll never forget….

  46. Bling says:

    Dipsy Doodle Dandy: You are going to base your decision on one article? A little narrow minded don’t you think. Hunter has developed one of the strongest CHL programs with appearances in the Memorial Cup in 2016, 2012-14. List of London Knights in the NHL are: Tavares, Kane, Perry, Marner, Kadri, Maroon, Tkachuk, Josh Anderson, Domi, Horvat, Zadorov, Maata, Methot, and Gagner. By far more than any other CHL team.

    The one thing that Hunter has on all the other candidates is that he has actually ran an entire hockey operations that was/is probably the best junior factory in the world.

    Blending development and winning the way the Hunters have in London means something and is exactly what Edmonton needs to emulate. As impressive as Verbeek, McCrimmon, and Guerin are, the only two people in the field who have built outstanding organizations are Hunter and Gillis, and only Hunter has done it over an extended period of time.

    I like Hunter because he built a powerhouse in London and has been in the room with Lou and Dubas, two guys who are highly respected in the game (maybe amongst THE most respected). He already has an intimate working knowledge of what elite franchises look like. We can potentially critique his draft record, but with all those overagers the Leafs drafted, there is no doubt Dubas had some influence as well. For all the folks claiming that Hunter is old-timey, well he was a huge believer in Mitch Marner. A lot of smaller, skilled players have passed through London and gone on to great success.

    My second choice (really 1B) is Gillis, because he has had success as an NHL executive before and he has shown an interest in learning what elite franchises in Europe are doing.

    Another thing, and perhaps most importantly: both Hunter and Gillis have the gumption/balls/courage/conviction to stare down the idiots in the room, which unfortunately are as populous within the Oilers braintrust as vermin in your average lower east side Manhattan apartment. Both are also aware of the types of people they will need to surround themselves with. Not just analytics — I’m talking about bioscience, sleep science, skills coaches, building a A/AA/AAA type development cycle for non-elite draft picks.

    I’m not interested in the others. For me, this is really a two horse race.

  47. Alpine says:

    Think I called Hunter being hired by Oilers in some capacity last summer during Kinger’s offseason questionnaire. I thought they would make him some sort of VP with a handshake deal of being GM once Chia was removed seeing how the latter was on very thin ice.

    Hunter is the exact type of Hockey Man the Oilers like. They’ve hired a few CHL management types in the past like Stu Mac, Rick Carriere, Bob Green. Now Nicholson isn’t the same guy as Lowe who hired the others but I’m sure he sees some of himself in Hunter who built up an organization in London over a couple decades much like Bob himself did with Hockey Canada.

    Probably a 40% chance it’s Hunter since he’s the one we’re getting information on so soon. Maybe a 25% chance it’s Kretzky, 15% for Verbeek, and 20% chance for the field. I’m pulling these numbers out of my ass though.

  48. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bling: The one thing that Hunter has on all the other candidates is that he has actually ran an entire hockey operations that was/is probably the best junior factory in the world.

    Blending development and winning the way the Hunters have in London means something and is exactly what Edmonton needs to emulate. As impressive as Verbeek, McCrimmon, and Guerin are, the only two people in the field who have built outstanding organizations are Hunter and Gillis, and only Hunter has done it over an extended period of time.

    I like Hunter because he built a powerhouse in London and been in the room with Lou and Dubas, two guys who are highly respected in the game (maybe amongst THE most respected). He already has an intimate working knowledge of what elite franchises look like. We can potentially critique his draft record, but with all those overagers the Leafs drafted, there is no doubt Dubas had some influence as well. For all the folks claiming that Hunter is old-timey, well he was a huge believer in Mitch Marner. A lot of smaller, skilled players have passed through London and gone on to great success.

    My second choice (really 1B) is Gillis, because he has had success as an NHL executive before and he has shown an interest in learning what elite franchises in Europe are doing.

    Another thing, and perhaps most importantly: both Hunter and Gillis have the gumption/balls/courage/conviction to stare down the idiots in the room, which unfortunately are as populous within the Oilers braintrust as vermin in your average lower east side Manhattan apartment. Both are also aware of the types of people they will need to surround themselves with. Not just analytics — I’m talking about bioscience, sleep science, skills coaches, building a A/AA/AAA type development cycle for non-elite draft picks.

    I’m not interested in the others. For me, this is really a two horse race.

    Good post. Like others, I was wary of Hunter based on the Leafs draft record. Definitely make a great case for Hunter. There is probably no candidate that has the connections he does at the junior level. But being an effective GM is much more involved than simply drafting. I feel better reading this.

  49. Ryan says:

    godot10:
    //In the 43 games Zack Kassian played between January 1 and the end of the season, he scored (5-on-5) 1.84 per 60. That ranks No. 143 among NHL forwards who played 250 or more 5-on-5 minutes during that time. There are 31 teams in the NHL, each of them deploying three first-line forwards, meaning there are exactly (at any given time) 93 top-line forwards. Kassian is shy of those lofty heights, but he did score at an impressive rate for half a season. What are we to do with that?//

    McDavid and Draisaitl can get water out of a stone.They did it with Maroon also.Gretzky and Lemieux worked this trick also.Blair McDonald.Dave Lumley.Rob Brown.Warren Young.

    Kassian is a three dressed up as a nine.It is delusional to think anything else.McDonald and Lumley didn’t stop Sather from dumping them when he found the real thing in Kurri.

    Rob Brown and Warren Young also went the way of the dinosaure when Stevens, Recchi, and Jagr showed up.

    I don’t disagree with you very often…

    I’m not disagreeing with you now.

    Yes, the next GM would do well to flip Kassian while his value is high.

    Prior to the season, I had posited that Chaser could produce similar offense for less money though I won’t claim to have known he’d score 22 goals.

  50. Bling says:

    godot10:
    Dubas was certainly as responsibleas Hunter for the Toronto drafts.The stats nerd (Dubas effect) can be seen in all the overagers drafted in later rounds.

    I would go even further and suggest that we should give Hunter more slack given Dubas’ penchant for experimentation. I just don’t see a junior hockey guru like Hunter advocating for the selection of 20 year olds in the entry draft.

    Look at LT’s article again. He mentions that Hunter’s 2015 draft could have been even better had Dubas not dealt away their later first round pick, which was eventually used to select Travis Konecky.

    A lot is made of Shanahan passing on Hunter in favour of Dubas, but here’s a newsflash: ageism exists*. The young, good-looking, well-spoken, hipster/whipper snapper getting the job over the guy with decades more experience (and good experience at that) is new to hockey, maybe, but old hat in the tech industry. Dubas was supposed to know a lot about the cap, but so far he looks like he’s been outdone by *shudder* Chiarelli when it comes to signing his superstars.

    The subversive thing to do, for the Oilers, right now, might actually be to hire the old guy who has actually shown he can run the show. Having worked with Dubas, one can reasonably hope that he is open-minded to the prospect of hiring some promising younger people to head some of the other branches of hockey ops.

    * I say ageism exists as someone in their early 30s who has no particular axe to grind, and is not at all eager to spark any kind of debate on the topic *

  51. Glovjuice says:

    The “guitar” solo at 5:17 from Mercury Revs Frittering is a mindbendingly glorious juxtaposition of melody and noise. Stunning.

  52. SwedishPoster says:

    Glad påsk LT and all lowetidians!

    Stockholm has showed itself from it’s best spring side this week which is also my first week out of ten months of parental leave so I guess you can say life is good in my part of the world.

  53. v4ance says:

    It’s been strongly rumored that the London Knights have paid money under the table to draw *star* players to join their organization from the NCAA. The OHL doesn’t want to look too closely at their star franchise, so most of the leaks get swept under the rug.

    So while Hunter might have “built” the Knights, the organizational recipe for success won’t translate to the NHL if Hunter can’t bend the rules like he did in the OHL…

  54. Ancient Oilers Fan says:

    An interesting review of game1 Condors vs. Eagles. He hasn’t posted game 2 yet but its fun to see the perspective of an opposition fan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oKhdjojAUk

  55. Bling says:

    Ryan: I don’t disagree with you very often…

    I’m not disagreeing with you now.

    Yes, the next GM would do well to flip Kassian while his value is high.

    Prior to the season, I had posited that Chaser could produce similar offense for less money though I won’t claim to have known he’d score 22 goals.

    I have flip-flopped on Kassian. I was very down on him earlier in the season because I saw a guy who played on the periphery and did stupid button hooks all the time followed by a patented (for him) pass to nowhere. I also did not like that his agent asked management for a more prominent role while said display was occurring.

    Now that my bias is out of the way: the last half of the season, and in particular the last quarter, he was something else. Digging pucks out for Drai and McDavid allowed those guys to be fresher physically and put crooked numbers on the board without putting themselves in harm’s way as often. I don’t necessarily see him absolutely having to fill that role to be successful — how good would he look as a foil to Marody and Benson on a soft-opp third line?

    Kassian has the pedigree, physical tools, and AHL scoring record (47 points in 59 games, including 23 goals) of someone who should be able to score at (much) higher than a 4th line rate. The league is littered with bigger guys like him who develop their scoring late — Bertuzzi, Wilson, Franzen, just off the top of my head.

    Fact: if the Oilers are a serious playoff contender next season (I believe they will be), if you trade Kassian this off-season you will be looking for a Kassian at the trade deadline, and the price will be dear.

    Keep him!

  56. Jethro Tull says:

    Glovjuice:
    The “guitar” solo at 5:17 from Mercury Revs Frittering is a mindbendingly glorious juxtaposition of melody and noise. Stunning.

    Always liked those guys.

  57. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Ben:
    A year old, but a good reflection on Hunter leaving post-Dubas hire and a bunch of draft philosophy tidbits: http://faceoffcircle.ca/2018/05/23/examining-what-the-leafs-gained-and-subsequently-lost-in-mark-hunter/

    I’m sure Hunter would be great on the amateur side where all of his experience is.

    Other than not repeatedly trashing prospects that isn’t where the oilers currently hurt. It’s that they can’t find an existing pro player if their lives depended on it and can’t sign decent contracts or make trades that help anyone but the other parties.

    They need a deal maker that knows what an NHL player looks like, and can read the roster and see what would enhance it. The core is in place, they just need tweaks, and a goalie.

  58. Glovjuice says:

    Bad Seed:
    Glovjuice,

    $30,000 barely gets you a decent turntable setup.

    Ha, well, in the world of ultra-hi end, you are correct. I’m not well off though (well, salary wise).

  59. Ben says:

    A major problem with old-school player evaluation approaches is they don’t consider emerging tactical approaches to the pro game.

    It’s not just about being able to “find players”, it’s about finding players with the specific skills to succeed in particular styles of play.

    Part of what’s so frustrating about the Oilers is they’re always behind on competitive trends. They got big and heavy just in time for speed and skill to take over. They’ll probably have speed and skill just as the game shifts to something else.

    What I LOVED about Dellow’s work was that he wasn’t just looking at how players performed game over game, he was asking questions about new tactical (coaching) advantages, and identifying very particular player skills that could slot into systems.

    The Oilers are so far behind on this stuff it seems a near-impossible mountain to climb.

  60. ArmchairGM says:

    So, with Winnipeg eliminated, that makes Toronto Canada’s team.

    Ha! Same as it always was.

  61. Fiveinatrailer says:

    v4ance:
    It’s been strongly rumored that the London Knights have paid money under the table to draw *star* players to join their organization from the NCAA.The OHL doesn’t want to look too closely at their star franchise, so most of the leaks get swept under the rug.

    So while Hunter might have “built” the Knights, the organizational recipe for success won’t translate to the NHL if Hunter can’t bend the rules like he did in the OHL…

    Not necessarily true- although I get your premise.
    If he’s bent those sets of rules, he’s good at bending rules in general. It’s about damn time somebody played as hard at upper management as we ask the players to on the ice.

    Can we deflate the oppositions pucks?…

  62. leadfarmer says:

    Spring is finally here
    Nothing like 6 am wake ups from my wild turkeys outside my bedroom window
    Although at they are not fighting like they used to.
    There’s a clear Tom and took down two challengers at this time last year. He’s trying to pick fights but no takers
    He’s the turkey equivalent of the 220 lb dumbell lifter

  63. Washingtron says:

    Sidebar!
    If a team has a regular power play killed off, but then scores twice during a five-minute major, are they 1/2 or 2/2 on the power play?
    A friend i’ve been teaching the game to had that question and I got stumped.

  64. godot10 says:

    Washingtron:
    Sidebar!
    If a team has a regular power play killed off, but then scores twice during a five-minute major, are they 1/2 or 2/2 on the power play?
    A friend i’ve been teaching the game to had that question and I got stumped.

    maybe 2/4. That would be my guess.

  65. Ben says:

    Washingtron:
    Sidebar!
    If a team has a regular power play killed off, but then scores twice during a five-minute major, are they 1/2 or 2/2 on the power play?
    A friend i’ve been teaching the game to had that question and I got stumped.

    “if a Club has an advantage due to a five-minute major or match penalty, that Club is always credited with having one more advantage than the number of power-play goals it scores during that advantage, because the penalty does not expire. A new advantage begins after each power-play goal. For example, if Team A scores three goals during a major penalty, it is credited with four advantages.”

    So Monsieur Godot is correct.

  66. Professor Q says:

    They now track and display the length of time between icing being called and the drop of the puck.

    For what reason, I have no idea.

  67. jjmclean says:

    Is trade too far out there? Sekera (retain half), Bear and a second for Justin Faulk in Carolina? Correction

  68. Washingtron says:

    Ben,

    Thankee!

  69. Ben says:

    jjmclean:
    Is trade too far out there? Sekera (retain half), Bear and a second for Kevin Faulk in Carolina?

    I would have taken Kevin Faulk in his prime, but not at age 42. Also, he’s a running back. In football. But otherwise, it’s a thumbs up from me!

  70. jjmclean says:

    Ben,

    That was funny. Thanks for pointing out my error

  71. leadfarmer says:

    jjmclean:
    Is trade too far out there? Sekera (retain half), Bear and a second for Justin Faulk in Carolina? Correction

    Don’t see this interesting the Canes much

  72. Lowetide says:

    jjmclean:
    Is trade too far out there? Sekera (retain half), Bear and a second for Justin Faulk in Carolina? Correction

    Faulk worries me. I use Corsi Rel and he doesn’t look good compared to his mates.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bryan: I was flabbergasted when I heard Nicholson say that Katz hadn’t asked who he was interviewing for the GM job.After so many years of ineptitude you would think a businessman would want to make sure that proper corrective steps were being taken.I am all for hands off ownership but like any business the man who pays the bills should want to know he has the right person overseeing the operation.I don’t think Nicholson has demonstrated that he is the one to put your faith in.

    I’ll have to disagree on this. Daryl Katz is not a hockey guy, he is a business man who knows he needs to stay away from all hockey decisions (Yakupov draft rumors notwithstanding).

    He has hired Nicholson as the guy to make the decisions at the highest level. Now we can all have our thoughts on if Nicholson is the right guy but Katz has him in that position and it seems Katz thinks he’s the right guy – Katz needs to be able to fully trust his man with regard to these hockey ops decisions and should have zero input or sway other than compensation.

  74. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Tyler Benson’s comparables offer Oilers fans plenty of hope for the future

    https://theathletic.com/936795/2019/04/21/tyler-bensons-comparables-offer-oilers-fans-plenty-of-hope-for-the-future/

  75. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide: Faulk worries me. I use Corsi Rel and he doesn’t look good compared to his mates.

    If you can get a pp qb for that cheap you better do it
    Who are you using for comparisons? Pesce? Don’t think any of our D compare to Pesce either

  76. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer: If you can get a pp qb for that cheap you better do it
    Who are you using for comparisons? Pesce? Don’t think any of our D compare to Pesce either

    Slavin, Hamilton and Pesce are both positive Rel players against Elite competition according to PuckIQ. That’s the cream of the crop. They’re all either close to over over 500 minutes against the best.

    Van Riesmdyk is a negative but he doesn’t play elites as often (300 minutes). Faulk is 600 minutes and in the ditch. So is de Haan. He was a negative last year in Rel, although not as severe.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dipsy Doodle Dandy: You are going to base your decision on one article? A little narrow minded don’t you think. Hunter has developed one of the strongest CHL programs with appearances in the Memorial Cup in 2016, 2012-14. List of London Knights in the NHL are: Tavares, Kane, Perry, Marner, Kadri, Maroon, Tkachuk, Josh Anderson, Domi, Horvat, Zadorov, Maata, Methot, and Gagner. By far more than any other CHL team.

    It wasn’t an article, it was a 15 minute spot on the radio that went very in depth in to how the Leafs drafted and were managed when Hunter was involved.

    Personally I prefer to see success at the pro level, even at the assistant level (McCrimmon, Verbeek, Guerin) than success at the junior level (Hunter).

    At the same time, I personally have no idea how integral these guys have been to the success of their incumbent teams – I don’t know how involved they were in scouting (both amateur and pro), drafting, cap analysis and management, other CBA matters, contract negotiation, trade negotiation, etc. Were they given primary responsibility for any of these? Were they simply another voice in the GM’s ear?

    I’m not sure if any layman really knows the answer to these questions. I sure don’t and, in that regard, can’t really have too much of an informed opinion on these guys. I do know a bit more about the old school type of guys who have long track records (Gillis, Holland, etc.)

    What I do know is that management decisions made by the Leafs when Hunter was involved were, on the whole, not successful.

    I don’t equate developing players at the junior level in to high potential NHL players a skill that is something useful to an NHL GM.

    There is no denying Hunter’s success at the junior level. At the same time, there has been no success at the NHL level, that I know of.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: Of all the players on the team, I think Kassian has the most inflated trade value on the team. With 15 goals on the season and a relatively low cap hit, we might be able to trade him for a top 6 winger. Maybe the Bolts trade JT Miller for Kassian and a possible sweetener. I think those types of deals might be possible with Kassian.

    I don’t think that’s a reasonable proposition.

    We are talking about a 28 year old winger who has been a bottom 6 winger his entire career and just set a career high for goals which were almost predominately scored while played with the best due in the world (McDavid/Drai) and, importantly, he is one year from being a UFA.

    He is not established as a top 6 winger so I’m not sure why he would warrant a top six winger as a return, especially one with more control (i.e. not a UFA in a year) – even if it saves the other team a bit of cap.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    It seems some here saw an uptick in Kassian’s game in the secnod half of the year and not just zooming by his linemates. Of course, we all saw this with Drai – his overall game just took off in the 2nd half.

    Now, I in no way want Hitchcock back as a coach, however, at the same time, I won’t deny him credit in connection with tangible improvements in the play of certain players.

  80. Bling says:

    Lowetide:
    For The Athletic: Tyler Benson’s comparables offer Oilers fans plenty of hope for the future

    https://theathletic.com/936795/2019/04/21/tyler-bensons-comparables-offer-oilers-fans-plenty-of-hope-for-the-future/

    Good article.

    Minor quibble: Barbashev turned 20 in December of 2015, and put up 28 points in 65 games that season. I know you were going by age 20 at the start of the season for your comps, but I think that it’s worth pointing out that Barbashev only approached Benson’s first season totals in his second AHL season.

    Pedigree-wise, Benson was supposed to be a mid first rounder before injuries derailed him.

    My probably too optimistic take is that we have a guy who will be between Tuch and Strome, which is a very, very good player.

  81. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bling: I have flip-flopped on Kassian. I was very down on him earlier in the season because I saw a guy who played on the periphery and did stupid button hooks all the time followed by a patented (for him) pass to nowhere. I also did not like that his agent asked management for a more prominent role while said display was occurring.

    Now that my bias is out of the way: the last half of the season, and in particular the last quarter, he was something else. Digging pucks out for Drai and McDavid allowed those guys to be fresher physically and put crooked numbers on the board without putting themselves in harm’s way as often. I don’t necessarily see him absolutely having to fill that role to be successful — how good would he look as a foil to Marody and Benson on a soft-opp third line?

    Kassian has the pedigree, physical tools, and AHL scoring record (47 points in 59 games, including 23 goals) of someone who should be able to score at (much) higher than a 4th line rate. The league is littered with bigger guys like him who develop their scoring late — Bertuzzi, Wilson, Franzen, just off the top of my head.

    Fact: if the Oilers are a serious playoff contender next season (I believe they will be), if you trade Kassian this off-season you will be looking for a Kassian at the trade deadline, and the price will be dear.

    Keep him!

    I agree with this take. If the Oilers are a serious playoff contender they should not trade Kassian. However, I strongly disagree that we are a playoff contender. If we do nothing and simply graduate some prospects the team will be better, but I seriously doubt it’s a playoff contender. To make the improvements necessary, the team has to move assets to acquire good players. That leaves us with limited options.
    1. Trade the core players of McDavid, Drai, RNH, Klef, Nurse or Larsson
    2. Trade secondary players who actually have value. The only two I see are Kassian and Benning.
    3. Trade the 8OV
    4. Trade picks 2-7
    5. Trade prospects like Benson, Yama, JP, Bouchard, Jones, Samaroukov etc.

    Every one of the options brings about a certain amount of pain. The least painful is trading picks 2-7. Is this enough? Possibly, but not likely. The next best options are trading either real prospects or trading secondary players with value. Pick your poison.

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    jjmclean:
    Is trade too far out there? Sekera (retain half), Bear and a second for Justin Faulk in Carolina? Correction

    I am definitely against the trade:

    1) While I am OK with a Faulk acquisition, he has one year left until UFA status and is going to require a bit term, big cap hit UFA contract for his 30s. I have zero desire to sign him to that contract and any acquisition of Faulk needs to be a one-year rental and the acquisition cost needs to represent that.

    2) Any disposition of Sekera is in the name of cap space and retaining is not an option>

    3) Sekera does not have a boat anchor contract. He is a valuable player. Yes, he played sheltered third pairing minutes for the most part but look at the effect he had on Benning in that period. Similar to the effect he had on Russell a few years back.

    Sekera performed well with, essentially 2 years of rust, no training camp and joining the league 5 months or so behind every other player. With a full camp next year and up to speed he will undoubtedly be even better. I have little hesitation in professing that this is indeed a top 4 d-man next year and value needs to be returend in a trade (not the opposite, salary retention).

  83. Lowetide says:

    Watching the Bruins trying to hang on against Toronto to force a game 7. I’ll say this about Chiarelli: Every Bruins season in memory that wasn’t 1970-72 usually involved a quality regular season team, significant expectations in the playoffs, and a first or second round exit.

    That Stanley, and the trip to the Final, were so sweet.

  84. Lowetide says:

    Bling: Good article.

    Minor quibble: Barbashev turned 20 in December of 2015, and put up 28 points in 65 games that season. I know you were going by age 20 at the start of the season for your comps, but I think that it’s worth pointing out that Barbashev only approached Benson’s first season totals in his second AHL season.

    Pedigree-wise, Benson was supposed to be a mid first rounder before injuries derailed him.

    My probably too optimistic take is that we have a guy who will be between Tuch and Strome, which is a very, very good player.

    Yes, I mentioned that in the article. Still, Barbashev was the most comfortable comp.

  85. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide: Slavin, Hamilton and Pesce are both positive Rel players against Elite competition according to PuckIQ. That’s the cream of the crop. They’re all either close to over over 500 minutes against the best.

    Van Riesmdyk is a negative but he doesn’t play elites as often (300 minutes). Faulk is 600 minutes and in the ditch. So is de Haan. He was a negative last year in Rel, although not as severe.

    Do we have anyone that compares with Slavin Hamilton or Pesce?
    If we can get a stopgap pp RHD qb for cheap I do it

  86. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’ll have to disagree on this. Daryl Katz is not a hockey guy, he is a business man who knows he needs to stay away from all hockey decisions (Yakupov draft rumors notwithstanding).

    He has hired Nicholson as the guy to make the decisions at the highest level.Now we can all have our thoughts on if Nicholson is the right guy but Katz has him in that position and it seems Katz thinks he’s the right guy – Katz needs to be able to fully trust his man with regard to these hockey ops decisions and should have zero input or sway other than compensation.

    OriginalPouzar: I’ll have to disagree on this. Daryl Katz is not a hockey guy, he is a business man who knows he needs to stay away from all hockey decisions (Yakupov draft rumors notwithstanding).

    He has hired Nicholson as the guy to make the decisions at the highest level.Now we can all have our thoughts on if Nicholson is the right guy but Katz has him in that position and it seems Katz thinks he’s the right guy – Katz needs to be able to fully trust his man with regard to these hockey ops decisions and should have zero input or sway other than compensation.

    OriginalPouzar: I’ll have to disagree on this. Daryl Katz is not a hockey guy, he is a business man who knows he needs to stay away from all hockey decisions (Yakupov draft rumors notwithstanding).

    He has hired Nicholson as the guy to make the decisions at the highest level.Now we can all have our thoughts on if Nicholson is the right guy but Katz has him in that position and it seems Katz thinks he’s the right guy – Katz needs to be able to fully trust his man with regard to these hockey ops decisions and should have zero input or sway other than compensation.

    +100

  87. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t think that’s a reasonable proposition.

    We are talking about a 28 year old winger who has been a bottom 6 winger his entire career and just set a career high for goals which were almost predominately scored while played with the best due in the world (McDavid/Drai) and, importantly, he is one year from being a UFA.

    He is not established as a top 6 winger so I’m not sure why he would warrant a top six winger as a return, especially one with more control (i.e. not a UFA in a year) – even if it saves the other team a bit of cap.

    You could be right. Maybe I’m too optimistic about Kassian‘s trade value. I do think my contention that Kassian has inflated trade value is correct though. And I think you can make a strong case that Kassian at $2 mill has more value to a playoff team like Tampa than Miller at $5 mill.

  88. RonnieB says:

    OriginalPouzar: I am definitely against the trade:

    1) While I am OK with a Faulk acquisition, he has one year left until UFA status and is going to require a bit term, big cap hit UFA contract for his 30s.I have zero desire to sign him to that contract and any acquisition of Faulk needs to be a one-year rental and the acquisition cost needs to represent that.

    2) Any disposition of Sekera is in the name of cap space and retaining is not an option>

    3) Sekera does not have a boat anchor contract.He is a valuable player.Yes, he played sheltered third pairing minutes for the most part but look at the effect he had on Benning in that period.Similar to the effect he had on Russell a few years back.

    Sekera performed well with, essentially 2 years of rust, no training camp and joining the league 5 months or so behind every other player. With a full camp next year and up to speed he will undoubtedly be even better. I have little hesitation in professing that this is indeed a top 4 d-man next year and value needs to be returend in a trade (not the opposite, salary retention).

    To which i would add that Faulk is owed $6 million next year; retaining 50% of the $4.5 due to Sekera next year would result in cash savings of $3.75 million for Carolina’s owner. Throwing in a prospect of Bear’s calibre plus an early 2nd round pick for 1 year of Faulk would be a horrendous overpay.

  89. jjmclean says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Good points. Sekera played off side with Chara do you make him do that with Nurse??
    They have to trade a Dman for cap space and to make room. Russell would be great. Maybe instead of Sekera you do Russell or Benning?

  90. Ben says:

    I’m not confident that Sekera will outperform his contract, but no way the Oilers have six better defensemen than him–and they likely have zero defensemen smarter than him.

    Love the idea of him on the other side of of Persson/Jones/Bouchard/Bear should one of them make the team, even if he’s off-side.

  91. YKOil says:

    Bling:
    Fact: if the Oilers are a serious playoff contender next season (I believe they will be), if you trade Kassian this off-season you will be looking for a Kassian at the trade deadline, and the price will be dear. Keep him!

    I changed my stance on Kassian a while ago. Basically, if a player can:

    – give me solid 3rd/4th line play;
    – meets the tactical requirements – speed and some skill;
    – supplies other benefits – toughness, play-off toughness, fighting *; and
    – supplies other benefits not found elsewhere, in quantity, on the roster – move up and down the line-up, RH

    Then I keep them until I find something better OR I am at a decision point that allows me to maximize the asset (like the trade deadline – although, if I have to flip Kassian at the 2019-20 trade deadline then I have failed in other ways).

    My price on that is in the $1.25m to $1.75m range. Kassian is priced higher but, as you note, if I don’t have a Kassian… I will need one.

    * face-offs, penalty killing, power play are other examples

    I find we play with the “readily available replacement player” concept a little too loosely. Posters here seem to approach the Chiassons and Kassians of the world like they are readily swapped out pieces that any old idiot can pick up any old place.

    I prefer not to overpay such players but also recognize that a) I need some of the traits these players bring and b) roster turn-over requires I keep some of them around.

    If I want to break in Benson, give Pulju another, honest, shot at making it, bring Cave up full time and give Marody extra roster time, then I am quite happy to overpay Kassian by $200,000 or so (to my own scale admittedly).

    Now, that said, if trading Kassian represents a shot at a real upgrade then, yeah, I look at that.

  92. Bryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’ll have to disagree on this. Daryl Katz is not a hockey guy, he is a business man who knows he needs to stay away from all hockey decisions (Yakupov draft rumors notwithstanding).

    He has hired Nicholson as the guy to make the decisions at the highest level.Now we can all have our thoughts on if Nicholson is the right guy but Katz has him in that position and it seems Katz thinks he’s the right guy – Katz needs to be able to fully trust his man with regard to these hockey ops decisions and should have zero input or sway other than compensation.

    I fully agree with this for the initial hiring of Chiarelli. Now that it has been a dumpster fire ever since and you are hiring the man who will make or break the Mcdavid years, as the owner I would want to know something about who is being considered. Perhaps Katz has more faith in Nicholson than I do but I would want to have some idea about what his thought process is for finding a new leader for my team.

  93. John Chambers says:

    It will be absolute misery for The Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans if they once again lose to the Bruins.

    Back to Boston for game seven. I think the Leafs have barely a hope to win.

  94. Bryan says:

    John Chambers:
    It will be absolute misery for The Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans if they once again lose to the Bruins.

    Back to Boston for game seven. I think the Leafs have barely a hope to win.

    Difficult for Leaf fans but a kindness for the rest of Canada if they aren’t the torch bearer for the nation.

  95. Bling says:

    One thing that bodes well for this Oiler team is that, so far in this playoffs, it looks like a dominant first line with passable depth elsewhere and good tending can win a series.

    I’m not so sure about our goalie situation — might have to get a bit lucky there — but I think the rest will be rectified this off-season.

  96. smellyglove says:

    A poster was critical that Katz isn’t in on the hiring process for GM:

    Good. Stay the F away from such management decisions. I want a hands off owner who simply demands competency and success.

  97. pts2pndr says:

    leadfarmer: If you can get a pp qb for that cheap you better do it
    Who are you using for comparisons? Pesce? Don’t think any of our D compare to Pesce either

    Explain how adding a 8 million a year right D for Bear and a second is good value.

  98. Jethro Tull says:

    I think Kassian could be LT’s Pisani. Albeit he came from a different direction. Still, lemonade from lemons.

  99. pts2pndr says:

    John Chambers:
    It will be absolute misery for The Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans if they once again lose to the Bruins.

    Back to Boston for game seven. I think the Leafs have barely a hope to win.

    Given the trashing the Toronto media do on the Oilers on a regular basis it will be very difficult to sympathise when they have to eat some humble pie.

  100. YKOil says:

    Nice Benson article, I have him penciled in on my line-up card for 2019-20. Benson and Jones followed by Marody and Cave with an outside shot given to Persson.

    That’s enough rookie for me. Making the 2019-20 Cup tourney will be touch and go barring a scorching-year by Koskinen.

  101. leadfarmer says:

    RonnieB: To which i would add that Faulk is owed $6 million next year; retaining 50% of the $4.5 due to Sekera next year would result in cash savings of $3.75 million for Carolina’s owner. Throwing in a prospect of Bear’s calibre plus an early 2nd round pick for 1 year of Faulk would be a horrendous overpay.

    Except you can sell Faulk at the deadline for more than a 2nd round pick and b-c level prospect. And you get out of Sekera who is probably as likely to spend the two years injured again than the turd polisher he was

  102. Reja says:

    leadfarmer: ’t sign decent contracts or make trades that help anyone but the other parties.

    Bouchard

  103. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    Watching the Bruins trying to hang on against Toronto to force a game 7. I’ll say this about Chiarelli: Every Bruins season in memory that wasn’t 1970-72 usually involved a quality regular season team, significant expectations in the playoffs, and a first or second round exit.

    That Stanley, and the trip to the Final, were so sweet.

    They were in the finals (and lost) against Philly in 74, Montreal in 77 and 78, the OIlers in 88 and 90, and Chicaog in 2013. Your memory is failing you.

  104. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: Slavin, Hamilton and Pesce are both positive Rel players against Elite competition according to PuckIQ. That’s the cream of the crop. They’re all either close to over over 500 minutes against the best.

    Van Riesmdyk is a negative but he doesn’t play elites as often (300 minutes). Faulk is 600 minutes and in the ditch. So is de Haan. He was a negative last year in Rel, although not as severe.

    You’re grading on a tough curve.

    Slavin and Hamilton are both the goods. Certainly miles better than anyone on our roster

    As much as I like Woodmoney, danger fenwick, and all manner of advanced stats, one of my favorite measures of a dman is all game states Toi/60. .

    Faulk was second on the Canes this year averaging 22:25 per game behind only Slavin.

    Still number one in the PP at 2:56 per game.

    I’d love to see a Nurse Faulk pairing.

  105. Reja says:

    pts2pndr: Given the trashing the Toronto media do on the Oilers on a regular basis it will be very difficult to sympathise when they have to eat some humble pie.

    They all bash on the Oilers it’s just to easy then the fans eat it up which leads to dumb trades and signings need a GM that knows how to squash nonsense ( SATHER) the mandate this year will be make the playoffs and every year we have Mcdavid and Leon which it should be. Hopefully Keith are whoever becomes GM has the smarts tradewise,cap implications and can dish it out when necessary.

  106. Ryan says:

    Ryan,

    Aside from the Woodmoney Elite rels…

    I think with these Elite rels anyway, you get a Matt Benning type at the top—likely due to OTF shifts then sometimes a Nurse or Vlassic at hind banana… sometimes an obvious choice like a Jack Johnson or a surprising PK Suban.

    Of course, who each d play with makes a big difference.

    For the regular rels, Faulk is

    #1 gf %
    #2 cf %
    #3 FF %
    #2 SF %

    I think Faulk plays mostly with De Haan for a little over half the season, then Pesce.. Pesce and De Haak are both at the bottom of the totem pole on regular rels.

    Slavin and Hamilton mostly play together. That’s a nice pairing to have available.

  107. leadfarmer says:

    pts2pndr: Explain how adding a 8 million a year right D for Bear and a second is good value.

    Explain your math
    Cause how does 4.8 – 2.75 = 8 mil

    Advanced stats is a piece of the puzzle but one of the pieces not the only one. I get a kick how people completely disregard how coaches and coaching staff use a player.
    Faulk is not perfect
    If we start next season with Sekera or Russell as #2 RHD the season is dead in the water
    We need more help on the pp
    Puck moving defenseman do not get traded often and the price is high
    The question isn’t would I trade Bear and second and offload half of Sekeras contract
    The question is why would Carolina do that
    They will ask for more

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: You could be right. Maybe I’m too optimistic about Kassian‘s trade value. I do think my contention that Kassian has inflated trade value is correct though. And I think you can make a strong case that Kassian at $2 mill has more value to a playoff team like Tampa than Miller at $5 mill.

    Perhaps – at the same time, Kassian at just under $2M likely also has more value to the Oilers than JT Miller at $5M.

    Lets not forget, this team is in no position to take advantage of cap strapped teams – it is also a cap strapped team.

    In a couple of years, if they don’t make large commitments to UFA type players, they should be in a position to take advantage of these situation but, for another off-season, for the forward group, I still think smart bets are the right approach (Carr, Pirri, Panik, etc.).

  109. leadfarmer says:

    Puck moving D dont move often but this offseason Ristolainen Faulk and Brodie may all move and Karlsson gets a new home

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    jjmclean:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Good points. Sekera played off side with Chara do you make him do that with Nurse??
    They have to trade a Dman for cap space and to make room. Russell would be great. Maybe instead of Sekera you do Russell or Benning?

    My priority for the off-season is a clean disposition of Russell (don’t care about anything in return as long as there is no retainment) and the cap space used to help with a true 2RD stop-gap. Stralman is a target but I don’t imagine we can get him to Edmonton without an overpay in term or cap (neither are acceptable). Faulk is an option for me but only with a rental acquisition cost (probably doesn’t work for Carolina). Collin Miller is another option – not sure what that would cost.

    If we can’t fill the 2RD with an external stop-gap acquisition then, yes, Sekera at 2RD is an option – Many of us were clamoring for Hitch to try Nurse/Sekera for the last month of the regular season but, alas, Hitch wouldn’t budge from Nurse/Russell.

    I don’t put too much stock in to Sekera with a closer to his prime Chara – Chara can shine Sekera just like Sekera has shined Benning and Russell. In a small sample size in Edmonton, Sekera wasn’t great on the right side, however, that was with a rookie Darnell Nurse and they were the first pairing – that’s a tough gig.

    I’m sure Sekera wouldn’t be as effective at 2RD as he would be at 2LD, however, I am confident he would be superior to Russell in that spot and would have a material positive effect on Nurse.

    If we can’t get a true 2RD stop-gap, something along the lines of the following looks decent to me:

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Sekera
    Jones (Lagesson)/Benning

    Jones could be Persson or Bear depending on how camp goes – although all three of those d-men are right side guys (Jones a leftie who has played the right side almost exclusively over his two pro years).

    I really think Lagesson is as ready as Jones is for the NHL – he has really gotten better every month through the year and is a force out there. He is not just a defensive d-man but can skate, move the puck and make plays.

    In this case, we use the Russell $4M for the established 1B goalie and/or a forward.

  111. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ben:
    I’m not confident that Sekera will outperform his contract, but no way the Oilers have six better defensemen than him–and they likely have zero defensemen smarter than him.

    Love the idea of him on the other side of of Persson/Jones/Bouchard/Bear should one of them make the team, even if he’s off-side.

    Yes, if we can get a clean disposition of Russell and actually add a real 2RD (short term) then Sekera would be a great third pairing mentor for whichever rookie is on that pairing and I’m comfortable with Reggie on either side on the third pairing. Yes, expensive as a 3rd pairing mentor but its an important position nonetheless.

  112. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I think for next year the goal should be to move Russell and Sekera with no retention
    We don’t know if Sekera can recover and even if he does we still need a RHD pp qb D. We need space on left side for one of the young kids coming up and need that cap space to be used elsewhere
    We don’t need Sekera at 5.5 million as 3rd pair LHD and one more injury and we are stuck with him for the rest of the contract

  113. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bryan: I fully agree with this for the initial hiring of Chiarelli.Now that it has been a dumpster fire ever since and you are hiring the man who will make or break the Mcdavid years, as the owner I would want to know something about who is being considered.Perhaps Katz has more faith in Nicholson than I do but I would want to have some idea about what his thought process is for finding a new leader for my team.

    I think the key is that, yes, Katz has more faith in Nicholson than you do (and more faith than almost all Oiler fans do).

    Katz has to have complete faith in the guy that is in that position or else he needs to replace him with a guy he does have complete faith in. Reason being, Katz should have zero input on the decisions made by that person (except compensation).

    Sure, that person could (or maybe even should) apprise the owner/boss of their process and thinking but, at the end of the day, that should just be an information only type discourse as opposed to an ownership sign-off (again, except compensation type matters).

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bling:
    One thing that bodes well for this Oiler team is that, so far in this playoffs, it looks like a dominant first line with passable depth elsewhere and good tending can win a series.

    I’m not so sure about our goalie situation — might have to get a bit lucky there — but I think the rest will be rectified this off-season.

    The goalie issue is likely the biggest gating issue for this team over the next 3 years.

    I know I’ve railed hard on Koskinen, and I still feel its deserved, however, we are in the off-season and he will indeed be the starter come Game 1 in October so I’m going be very cautiously optimistic that he will simply be better and, importantly, more consistent next season.

    Its unfortunate that the organization committed solid money to a player for three years and the position is not even close to solidified but, we are where we are, and I’m cheering like hell for Mikko.

  115. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull:
    I think Kassian could be LT’s Pisani. Albeit he came from a different direction. Still, lemonade from lemons.

    LT is pumping Joe G. for that role – he’s almost exactly the same age that Pisani was when he broke in to the NHL.

    Last year at this time, I have no thought of Joe G having an NHL career but did he ever have a spike in his game this year – a very good overall and offensive season at the AHL level. Didn’t embarrass himself at the NHL level but will now be in the conversation at camp for a bottom six role.

    Tenacity on the forecheck and PK is something this team does need. Can’t be a black hole offensively though.

  116. OriginalPouzar says:

    YKOil:
    Nice Benson article, I have him penciled in on my line-up card for 2019-20.Benson and Jones followed by Marody and Cave with an outside shot given to Persson.

    That’s enough rookie for me.Making the 2019-20 Cup tourney will be touch and go barring a scorching-year by Koskinen.

    Lagesson likely remains a sleeper but I don’t know if he’ll let the organization sleep on him much longer – he is developing month over month and has an overall skillset that is prime for the new NHL.

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Except you can sell Faulk at the deadline for more than a 2nd round pick and b-c level prospect.And you get out of Sekera who is probably as likely to spend the two years injured again than the turd polisher he was

    Sure, if that’s the value of Sekera then, yes, that trade would be fine, however, I would disagree on the value of Sekera.

    I believe he is just as likely to be a solid 2nd pairing guy as he is to spend the next two years injured.

    He already showed in his return this past year he can still polish and I don’t imagine he won’t be materially better without 2 years of rust, no training camp and not being 5 months of games behind the rest of the league.

    Reggie is going to be a very important part of this team next year if management doesn’t panic and move him – that’s my prediction.

  118. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    So where are you playing Lagesson then?
    He’s not waiting for Reggie to go away in 2 years
    You need to make room for these guys
    So yes Reggie may help the team and no doubt he will be better after a full training camp
    But he’s still expensive and uncertain if he helps you in the spot you need help in 2 RHD pp qb

  119. who says:

    You guys are really overthinking this.
    The first dman you trade is Benning. I can think of 5 guys who are ready to challenge for his spot next fall. They would all be 1 million dollars cheaper with almost no risk of a drop off in play.
    That’s the easy trade.
    Now you can look at trading Sekera or Russell. But only if you have a 2RD, stopgap at least, in your back pocket. If you don’t, just hang on to both of them for 1 more year. By that time there is a pretty good chance that 1 of your rookie dmen, probably Jones or Bouchard, will be ready for a bigger role.

  120. Ben says:

    who,

    Having trouble understanding how anyone would move Benning before Russell, based on cost, age, position and performance. (I don’t think Benning’s untouchable, but nothing about Russell’s game tells me he’s a bonafide top-4 D either).

    But yeah, those are the two guys I’d look at perhaps moving. Of course, moving Benning because Bouchard has a good training camp would be the Oilerest of all holy Oilernesses.

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I think for next year the goal should be to move Russell and Sekera with no retention
    We don’t know if Sekera can recover and even if he does we still need a RHD pp qb D.We need space on left side for one of the young kids coming up and need that cap space to be used elsewhere
    We don’t need Sekera at 5.5 million as 3rd pair LHD and one more injury and we are stuck with him for the rest of the contract

    I agree on Russell but not on Sekera – I’m not as down on his 2nd pairing abilities as you and am not going to predict future injuries.

    If a real 2RD stop gap can be acquired to replace Russell then, yes, he is slated to start on the 3rd pairing. Yes, very expensive but I can’t think of a better mentor for a rookie and, of course, if Benning is in, they form an elite 3rd pairing.

    Of course, there will be injuries to the top 4 and Sekera will be fantastic cover in that regard.

    Lets say Russell gets swapped for Collin Miller (no, not one transaction but the aggregate effect) and Sekera is slated to start on the 3rd pairing – how much time in the 3rd pairing will he end up playing? Chances are one of the starting top 4 will be out of the lineup for most of the year – nature of the game.

    If we can dispose of Russell but can’t acquire a replacement 2RD then Sekera is a candidate and I would posit he will be more effective than Russell has been and will be a much better partner for Nurse.

    Russell for cap space should be do-able but finding a legit 2RD that fits our depth chart (short term) will not be easy.

  122. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    OriginalPouzar,

    So where are you playing Lagesson then?
    He’s not waiting for Reggie to go away in 2 years
    You need to make room for these guys
    So yes Reggie may help the team and no doubt he will be better after a full training camp
    But he’s still expensive and uncertain if he helps you in the spot you need help in 2 RHD pp qb

    Assuming full health out of training camp, I only have one rookie on the opening night roster – it may be Jones, Lagesson, Bear or Persson – I don’t know.

    I disagree that you make room for these guys at this point – not a single one of them has proven to be NHL ready yet – they have to earn that spot, then you make room, from a position of power and leverage.

    I think Jones and Lagesson are ready, however, lets look at how dominant guys like Malone, Joe G, Currie, P. Russell are at the AHL level only to be tweeners at the NHL level. We think these guys are ready based on their AHL play but, until they prove it, I don’t make room for them by selling good players for pennies (and retaining salary in order to make room).

  123. OriginalPouzar says:

    For fear of arguing against myself regarding “making room” for the hopefully NHL ready prospects, I believe each of Lagesson, Jones and Bear lose their waiver exemptions after this season so it is important that the organization get a look at each of them (subject to major regression).

    With that said, it would be rare for an NHL team to not use at least 10 d-men through the year so I don’t think this should be an issue.

    If I recall correctly, in 2015/16, the playoff year when the D group was relatively healthy, I think the team still have 12 or so d-men play NHL games.

  124. who says:

    Ben:
    who,

    Having trouble understanding how anyone would move Benning before Russell, based on cost, age, position and performance. (I don’t think Benning’s untouchable, but nothing about Russell’s game tells me he’s a bonafide top-4 D either).

    But yeah, those are the two guys I’d look at perhaps moving. Of course, moving Benning because Bouchard has a good training camp would be the Oilerest of all holy Oilernesses.

    My reasoning is pretty simple.
    I know that a lot of posters here hate Russell at 2RD, but he has at
    least shown the ability to survive those minutes. Benning has not. For all his warts, most coaches still seem to prefer Russell.
    You make a good point about salary. But that extra 2 million, plus the partial NMC, makes it a lot tougher to trade Russell.
    Also, it’s a good bet that at least one of the rookies can handle Bennings minutes at 3RD. It’s a lot thinner bet that one of them is ready to step up to 2RD.

  125. jp says:

    leadfarmer:

    Advanced stats is a piece of the puzzle but one of the pieces not the only one.I get a kick how people completely disregard how coaches and coaching staff use a player.
    Faulk is not perfect
    If we start next season with Sekera or Russell as #2 RHD the season is dead in the water
    We need more help on the pp

    The coaches trusting a player as evidenced by TOI is a fair argument, but it goes both ways. Last year Russell played 18:14/game at even strength. Faulk only 17:45. So we already have the better player. I don’t believe that, but the TOI argument has its flaws too.

    In terms of PP help, it’s not clear Faulk is a big asset there either (any more?). Last 3 seasons among D with 240+ PP minutes Faulk was 47th of 75 in P/60 (3.77) and 29th of 75 in GFon/60 (7.36). Klefbom was 52/75 in P/60 (3.60) and 18/75 in GFon/60 (7.74). Both were better than their team in GFon/60, 6.45 for Carolina and 7.09 for the Oilers.

    This season among D with 100+ min Faulk was 62/69 in PP P/60 (2.49), 23/69 in GFon/60 (7.71) on a team that scored 6.54 GF/60. Klefbom was 32/69 in P/60 (4.09) and 22/69 in GFon/60 (7.72) while Nurse was 40/69 (3.57) and 10/69 (9.12) on a team that scored 7.85/60. Is Faulk notably better than Klefbom/Nurse/Sekera with the man advantage?

    The problem with paying those kinds of assets for a 1 year Faulk addition is it’s not clear he’ll even be better than the Sekera part of the trade. I’d take the bet if it was 1 for 1, but don’t think I’d add Bear and a 2nd for him.

  126. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: LT is pumping Joe G. for that role – he’s almost exactly the same age that Pisani was when he broke in to the NHL.

    Last year at this time, I have no thought of Joe G having an NHL career but did he ever have a spike in his game this year – a very good overall and offensive season at the AHL level. Didn’t embarrass himself at the NHL level but will now be in the conversation at camp for a bottom six role.

    Tenacity on the forecheck and PK is something this team does need.Can’t be a black hole offensively though.

    He strikes me as a throwback to some of the late 90’s/early 200’s 4th line Oilers. I have time for him in Edmonton to start the season next year. He has some intriguing aspects to his game.

  127. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    So anyway you cut it he’s here for 2 years or less

  128. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: LT is pumping Joe G. for that role – he’s almost exactly the same age that Pisani was when he broke in to the NHL.

    Last year at this time, I have no thought of Joe G having an NHL career but did he ever have a spike in his game this year – a very good overall and offensive season at the AHL level. Didn’t embarrass himself at the NHL level but will now be in the conversation at camp for a bottom six role.

    Tenacity on the forecheck and PK is something this team does need.Can’t be a black hole offensively though.

    You bet, but we could have both! I don’t count on Kass keeping up on the 1st line but I think he’s better than the 4th….

    Joe G? If he can contribute, then music!

  129. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar: The goalie issue is likely the biggest gating issue for this team over the next 3 years.

    I know I’ve railed hard on Koskinen, and I still feel its deserved, however, we are in the off-season and he will indeed be the starter come Game 1 in October so I’m going be very cautiously optimistic that he will simply be better and, importantly, more consistent next season.

    Its unfortunate that the organization committed solid money to a player for three years and the position is not even close to solidified but, we are where we are, and I’m cheering like hell for Mikko.

    I think you cheer for him but you absolutely find a 1A/1B option for next season.

    I wouldn’t mind bringing Brossoit back, or someone of that ilk. Young and cheap.

  130. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Perhaps – at the same time, Kassian at just under $2M likely also has more value to the Oilers than JT Miller at $5M.

    Lets not forget, this team is in no position to take advantage of cap strapped teams – it is also a cap strapped team.

    In a couple of years, if they don’t make large commitments to UFA type players, they should be in a position to take advantage of these situation but, for another off-season, for the forward group, I still think smart bets are the right approach (Carr, Pirri, Panik, etc.).

    OriginalPouzar: Perhaps – at the same time, Kassian at just under $2M likely also has more value to the Oilers than JT Miller at $5M.

    Lets not forget, this team is in no position to take advantage of cap strapped teams – it is also a cap strapped team.

    In a couple of years, if they don’t make large commitments to UFA type players, they should be in a position to take advantage of these situation but, for another off-season, for the forward group, I still think smart bets are the right approach (Carr, Pirri, Panik, etc.).

    IMO on non-playoff team has much more need of a skilled player like Miller than a playoff team like Tampa. Kassian is a luxury. I hope we can keep him, but we have to do something to move forward. The cap hit is a bit of a red herring. If the new GM can’t come up with $3 mill in cap space he’s doing something wrong. We need to get more skill on this team and there’s only so many ways to do it. We can’t trade the 8OV, we can’t trade the very few secondary players with any value. At some point you have to be willing to move an asset that has value to other teams. I hope the GM can improve the team by simply trading picks 2-7. I’m not sure it’s realistic.

  131. Bling says:

    jp,

    Good post.

    I’m on record as not being a huge fan of Faulk. I suppose you can do worse, but I have seen him bad a few times at evens and can’t imagine him being a good counterpoint to Nurse, who I believe needs a partner that can settle things down.

  132. leadfarmer says:

    Bling,

    Nurse needs someone who can play defense but also pass the puck and qb a pp
    I don’t see this player being not only available but also us being able to afford
    We need to patch things together next season
    What we can’t do is count on Russell or Sekera being our 2nd pairing RHD

  133. jp says:

    who: My reasoning is pretty simple.
    I know that a lot of posters here hate Russell at 2RD, but he has at least shown the ability to survive those minutes. Benning has not. For all his warts, most coaches still seem to prefer Russell.

    Zero question that at least 2 coaches prefer Russell.

    In terms of Benning surviving 2RD minutes though, I think he has.

    In the past 2 seasons Benning has played 933 min (5on5) with one of Klefbom, Nurse or Russell as his partner. Since Sekera has been injured or recovering all of the last 2 yrs (and has not been given top 4 minutes), the above Benning minutes should have been as 2RD. If not, who the hell was playing 2nd pairing?

    In those 933 minutes (about 45% of his total TOI) Benning had positive corsi, shot and scoring chance metrics, as well as a 56% GF% (49GF-38GA).

    I really think we’re selling Benning short as a dime a dozen 3rd pairing D.

  134. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    OriginalPouzar,

    So anyway you cut it he’s here for 2 years or less

    Who, Sekera? Quite possibly and quite probably.

    With that said, for this coming year, I would posit he provides the most valuable on ice and off ice performance – we don’t know if any of the prospect D are ready and I’m pretty sure we don’t want to count on any of them being injury fill-ins in the top 4.

    Further, I would posit that Sekera’s trade value is much higher next off-season than this one – obviously I’m predicting solid play from him.

    Yes, this team needs to find some cap space and I’m not positing that Sekera is untradeable in that regard – he is down on my list though at number 4 or so and I simply can’t get on board with trading this player without receiving some value back and definitely not “paying” to get rid of him (in the sense of retaining a dead cap hit).

  135. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bling: I think you cheer for him but you absolutely find a 1A/1B option for next season.

    I wouldn’t mind bringing Brossoit back, or someone of that ilk. Young and cheap.

    Oh, 100% – an established veteran back-up goalie with recent starters success is a must – a Mike Smith or Ryan Miller – maybe trade for Greiss or think about Mrazek.

    Someone that can reasonably take over, at least for stints.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    Bling,

    Nurse needs someone who can play defense but also pass the puck and qb a pp
    I don’t see this player being not only available but also us being able to afford
    We need to patch things together next season
    What we can’t do is count on Russell or Sekera being our 2nd pairing RHD

    We likely have that player, he’s just a few years away from that top 4 role.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if someone like Persson came out of nowhere and proved that ability or someone like Jones “pops”? Happens to other organizations….

  137. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oh, 100% – an established veteran back-up goalie with recent starters success is a must – a Mike Smith or Ryan Miller – maybe trade for Greiss or think about Mrazek.

    Someone that can reasonably take over, at least for stints.

    See if our brain trust is smart enough to do that
    I could see them not addressing the issue in offseason and then doing something like JP for Halak when they are desperate

  138. David says:

    OriginalPouzar: It wasn’t an article, it was a 15 minute spot on the radio that went very in depth in to how the Leafs drafted and were managed when Hunter was involved.

    Personally I prefer to see success at the pro level, even at the assistant level (McCrimmon, Verbeek, Guerin) than success at the junior level (Hunter).

    At the same time, I personally have no idea how integral these guys have been to the success of their incumbent teams – I don’t know how involved they were in scouting (both amateur and pro), drafting, cap analysis and management, other CBA matters, contract negotiation, trade negotiation, etc. Were they given primary responsibility for any of these? Were they simply another voice in the GM’s ear?

    I’m not sure if any layman really knows the answer to these questions. I sure don’t and, in that regard, can’t really have too much of an informed opinion on these guys. I do know a bit more about the old school type of guys who have long track records (Gillis, Holland, etc.)

    What I do know is that management decisions made by the Leafs when Hunter was involved were, on the whole, not successful.

    I don’t equate developing players at the junior level in to high potential NHL players a skill that is something useful to an NHL GM.

    There is no denying Hunter’s success at the junior level.At the same time, there has been no success at the NHL level, that I know of.

    He was part of the management team that built the leafs into the strong team that they are now. When he joined, they were quite bad and had two seasons of 68 and 69 points. Under the management team that he was an assistant GM, they have playoffs three years in a row and back to back 100 point seasons, primed to be strong for many years. Isn’t that success at the NHL level?

  139. leadfarmer says:

    Fleury pretty soft goal
    Game 7 to look forward to

  140. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: See if our brain trust is smart enough to do that
    I could see them not addressing the issue in offseason and then doing something like JP for Halak when they are desperate

    A Halak level tender would be perfect – one of the targets I mentioned last year when they went off the board on the Koskinen signing (I mentioned I’d prefer any of Halak, Lehner, Bernier, Mzarek) – of course, trading JP for this 1B is not an ideal approach.

  141. Old Timer says:

    Ryan,

    You state that Dougie Hamilton is the goods. Did you see him chicken out in the last game versus the Capitals when Ovechkin skated into his area? He basically gave the Caps a goal because he was either afraid or apathetic.

    He is the type of D man the Oilers can do without.

  142. Johnny skid says:

    leadfarmer:
    Fleury pretty soft goal
    Game 7 to look forward to

    if that would have been koskinen in net op would have lost his mind!

  143. YKOil says:

    OriginalPouzar: Lagesson likely remains a sleeper but I don’t know if he’ll let the organization sleep on him much longer – he is developing month over month and has an overall skillset that is prime for the new NHL.

    I really like Lagesson. Seattle will get a hell of a good young d-man off of us.

  144. pts2pndr says:

    leadfarmer: Explain your math
    Cause how does 4.8 – 2.75 = 8 mil

    Advanced stats is a piece of the puzzle but one of the pieces not the only one.I get a kick how people completely disregard how coaches and coaching staff use a player.
    Faulk is not perfect
    If we start next season with Sekera or Russell as #2 RHD the season is dead in the water
    We need more help on the pp
    Puck moving defenseman do not get traded often and the price is high
    The question isn’t would I trade Bear and second and offload half of Sekeras contract
    The question is why would Carolina do that
    They will ask for more

    The cost for Faulk salary wise is his current 5.5 plus the 2.75 salary retained on Sekera. For the priviledge you give up Bear and a second round draft choice. When Faulk goes to ufa you once again have the hole on 2nd pairing right D. There has got to be a better way.

  145. OriginalPouzar says:

    YKOil: I really like Lagesson.Seattle will get a hell of a good young d-man off of us.

    That’s what its looking like – with protecting Klef, Nurse and Larsson (assuming we are re-signing him to a 3-4 year term), that leaves each of Benning, Jones, Bear, Lagesson available. Even if we go 4 and 4 then 3 of those guys are available.

    If we did acquire a material 2RD with term (or re-sign with term), then we are looking to expose all of them.

  146. Jaxon says:

    Lavoie Update:

    This is now a 13 game playoff heater that has vaulted him to the top. He scored a hat trick and an assist last night to tie the series 1-1. He didn’t score in the first game so I wondered if this team had him figured out. I guess not.

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

    Lavoie’s 16 goals in 13 games (along with 8 assists) in the middle of the 3rd round of playoffs (series tied 1-1) is special. Since 2004-05 (Crosby’s draft year), these are the top under-19-year-old goal scorers in the Q playoffs:
    ’08 – Paul Byron – 19GP – 21G (draft+1)
    ’19 – Raphael Lavoie – 13GP – 16G (draft season)
    ’07 – Brad Marchand – 20GP – 16G (draft+1)
    ’11 – Jonathan Huberdeau – 19GP – 16G (draft season)
    ’16 – Anthony Beauvillier – 21GP – 15G (draft+1)
    ’05 – Sidney Crosby – 13GP – 14G (draft season)
    ’14 – Jonathan Drouin – 16GP – 13G (draft+1)
    ’12 – Nathan MacKinnon – 17GP – 13G (draft-1)
    ’11 – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 24GP – 13G (draft season)

    Everyone on that list has scored at least 19 goals in a season.

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

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

  147. YKOil says:

    OriginalPouzar: That’s what its looking like – with protecting Klef, Nurse and Larsson (assuming we are re-signing him to a 3-4 year term), that leaves each of Benning, Jones, Bear, Lagesson available.Even if we go 4 and 4 then 3 of those guys are available.

    If we did acquire a material 2RD with term (or re-sign with term), then we are looking to expose all of them.

    lol, yep. That is my only worry with going after a difference making 2RHD in the nearer term; not sure I want to expend the assets it takes to get someone who will cost even more assets to keeps.

    That said, fortune favours the bold and all that. If a player like Pesce or Trouba comes available for a decent cost then your job as GM is to get them and figure out the next steps as needed.

  148. Jaxon says:

    Is it not possible to leave Nuge and Larsson without a new contract until late June so they don’t have to protect them. Seattle would get a crack at signing them but Nuge and Larsson don’t have to say yes and they can simply sign after the draft. I’m sure their agents wouldn’t be too thrilled with anything like that. Too much risk? Not sure if the Oilers could maneuver a gentleman’s agreement, but it sure would set up the team nicely to wait and retain more talent.

    Trade Russell summer of 2019, spend money/assets on 2RD.
    Trade Sekera next summer (2019) or in 2021 if Jones, Lagesson, or Samorukov prove to be dependable as 3LD who can jump into top 4 in case of injury.
    Trade Lucic 50% Retained un June 1, 2021.

    Protect:
    FORWARDS: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Cooper Marody (2021 RFA), Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto (2021 RFA), Tyler Benson (2021 RFA), Jujhar Khaira. If any of those players aren’t working out by then then they can protect their replacement.

    DEFENSEMEN: Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, and one of (a Parayko, Pesce, Myers, etc), Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Matt Benning or Joel Persson.

    Re-Sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in late June after the expansion draft.
    Re-Sign Adam Larsson in late June after the expansion draft.

  149. v4ance says:

    Brendan Shanahan had 3 choices for the Leafs’ GM position.

    Lou Lamoriello, the old school type who had built a winning NHL organization in the past and, while wise, would not be a strong proponent of analytics.

    Mark Hunter, an experienced hockey man but not one who had built an NHL organization, just an OHL powerhouse. He’d probably be familiar with analytics but his claim to fame is a relentless work ethic to drive miles and miles each season to personally scout countless players. That fact makes me think he’d lean towards being an “eyes tell me the truth” instead of an analytics believer.

    Kyle Dubas, a young aggressive cutting edge manager who would incorporate analytics into the organizational philosophy, similar to how he transformed the Soo Greyhounds from second tier team into a top contender in a short period of time.

    I think it’s telling that when push came to shove, Shanahan shoved both Lamoriello and Hunter out and kept Dubas to run the Leafs.

  150. v4ance says:

    Old Timer:
    Ryan,

    You state that Dougie Hamilton is the goods. Did you see him chicken out in the last game versus the Capitals when Ovechkin skated into his area? He basically gave the Caps a goal because he was either afraid or apathetic.

    He is the type of D man the Oilers can do without.

    Isn’t this the exact same mindset that drove Eberle out of town?

  151. Jaxon says:

    Verbeek, please.

  152. ArmchairGM says:

    John Chambers:
    It will be absolute misery for The Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans if they once again lose to the Bruins.

    Back to Boston for game seven. I think the Leafs have barely a hope to win.

    Well, I don’t know. They’re 2-1 in beantown in the series so far, I’d say that their odds are at least even to win G7.

  153. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: That’s what its looking like – with protecting Klef, Nurse and Larsson (assuming we are re-signing him to a 3-4 year term), that leaves each of Benning, Jones, Bear, Lagesson available.Even if we go 4 and 4 then 3 of those guys are available.

    If we did acquire a material 2RD with term (or re-sign with term), then we are looking to expose all of them.

    Larsson will be a UFA, no need to protect him.

  154. ArmchairGM says:

    leadfarmer:
    Fleury pretty soft goal
    Game 7 to look forward to

    That goal is on Theodore IMO. He had several seconds to execute a poke check and just decided to let Hertl shoot instead.

  155. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Larsson will be a UFA, no need to protect him.

    To the extent they want him back and the plan is to re-sign him then, yes there is (as I pointed out in my post).

  156. Jethro Tull says:

    Old Timer:
    Ryan,

    You state that Dougie Hamilton is the goods. Did you see him chicken out in the last game versus the Capitals when Ovechkin skated into his area? He basically gave the Caps a goal because he was either afraid or apathetic.

    He is the type of D man the Oilers can do without.

    That play was weird……almost as if he thought he heard the goalie or ref call icing. Or maybe a little gamesmanship from the Caps forward?

  157. Munny says:

    Old Timer: Did you see him chicken out in the last game versus the Capitals when Ovechkin skated into his area? He basically gave the Caps a goal because he was either afraid or apathetic.

    I did. Just awful. Patrick O’Sullivan awful. He’s long been referred to as a “Gentle Giant”… Which is frustrating as hell for his coaches. I would pass if he’s available. At that sticker price I need some fortitude for my Franklins.

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