Strong in Reason

Evan Bouchard made his AHL debut last night, picking up a goal and two assists in helping the Condors to a 2-1 lead in the series. Bouchard is a key element of the 2019-20 team, we just don’t know if it’s Edmonton or Bakersfield. His progression will impact the careers of Matt Benning, Joel Persson, Ethan Bear and others. How close is he? I suspect he’s close.

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 Jonathan Willis: Top Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard stars in his first AHL game as Condors dominate.
  • New Lowetide: Adam Larsson’s importance to the Oilers and why trading him is a bad idea.
  • Lowetide: Tyler Benson’s comparables offer Oilers fans plenty of hope for the future.
  • 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: 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.

BOUCHARD AS AN NHL PLAYER

He has calm feet, too calm for an inexperienced defenseman. Recovery is going to be an issue in his early NHL career. I love his outlet passing and his AHL debut is a fabulous story. I mentioned this with Tyler Benson a few days ago, but Edmonton isn’t going to be able to keep these kids on the farm for long, or maybe at all, if they perform well. These prospects will tell us who they are in September and October, but Bouchard is a top-10 overall pick and he’s 20 just before Halloween. It’s go time, or damned close.

BOUCHARD’S REP

One of the weird things about Bouchard since he was drafted is the verbal surrounding him. Craig Button left him off a list of prospects during the winter, and that set fire to all conversations involving the player. It’s almost like people decided that he isn’t Cale Makar so he had no value. Let’s all calm our tits. Let’s go back to the beginning, the draft, and see what everyone thought at the time.

Bouchard wasn’t ranked inside the top 10 on all lists, but McKenzie and Button had him there. I ranked him No. 1 among Oilers prospects in January (complete list here) but the truth is he had a meandering start to his season.

Peter Chiarelli said after the draft there was no certainty about Bouchard making the team (“I know he wants to play in the league next year, we’ll see. Hockey sense is terrific”) but we know the Oilers way. He did have some success in his brief NHL stint. New management and coaching staff need to bring him to training camp, give him a chance to succeed, and make the call at that time. It’s my opinion the organization can safely shop Ethan Bear (another RH blue looking for work) but should keep Matt Benning around for another season.

TRADE PIECES

The reason Bouchard’s being NHL-ready is important now is that it gives the new general manager some room to make trades. Back a few days (“Pet Sounds”) I gave my list of possible assets out:

1 Adam Larsson
2 No. 8 overall 2019
3 Jesse Puljujarvi
4 First-round pick 2020
5 Jujhar Khaira
6 Matt Benning
7 Buyout/Retain

I think we can add Ethan Bear to that list, because there’s enough cover on RH defense behind Adam Larsson (Kris Russell, Bouchard, Joel Persson). It’s also possible to move Benning up the list. Now, the big question is how much value does Bear have? Enough to list him, I think.

What about Larsson? I wrote about the insanity of trading him over at The Athletic, he’s been money for two years and then among the best defensemen on the team in his down year. Still, his name was out there at the deadline, so I’m going to include him in my updated ranking (from most to least valuable this time). Here’s my new ‘assets out’ list:

1 Adam Larsson—As I mentioned yesterday, extreme insanity to deal Larsson, no one on the team can replace him. However, if the plan involves a more mobile blue, it might happen. Larsson would fetch quality.

2 No. 8 overall 2019—Another unpopular idea, but if (say) Mark Hunter has a chance to grab a scoring winger who can help this year and is under control for the next five? You have to look at it.

3 First-round pick 2020—Perhaps the most attractive (for fans) of the major assets that could be sent out, it’s too distant a bell to have the kind of impact the new GM will need in his first summer.

4 Jesse Puljujarvi —I think he’ll be dealt, a case of getting a second opinion. Tyler Yaremchuk suggested yesterday on the Lowdown a straight swap for fellow struggling prospect Eeli Tolvanen and that’s an interesting idea. I remain convinced keeping JP is the right call.

5 Kris Russell—The presence of Sekera allows Edmonton to shop Russell, and this might be the summer to send him away. A RH depth chart of Larsson, Benning and Bouchard isn’t strong, but getting Russell off the roster frees $4 million to sign a forward like Brett Connolly in free agency. It’s at least a consideration.

6 Matt Benning—His name was mentioned in deadline trade rumours, Connor Brown among those who were thought to be heading back. A depth chart opening night RH side of Larsson, Russell and Bouchard or Persson may better fit the new GM’s eye.

7 Jujhar Khaira—He’s one of the young players with value higher than the boxcars. I think Edmonton could acquire a valuable piece by trading a value contract like Khaira. I wouldn’t do it.

8 Ethan Bear—The change from “Pet Sounds” in my mind is that Bouchard is likely to get the push over Bear. I could be wrong, Bouchard would benefit from time in Bakersfield, but if Bear can be dealt to acquire a young forward, the new GM has enough cover at RHD to deal away this player. Sucks, because he’s a personal favourite.

9 Buyout/retain—Sekera is the easiest buyout, Gagner is another to consider. I hope any thought of a Lucic buyout has been flushed.

The smoke from a distant fire over Mark Hunter is getting closer to the outskirts of the city. Although there are over one million souls within easy driving distance of Rogers, it’s really about 20 communities of 50,000 people. Things go from a whisper to a scream in a quick hurry. If Kelly McCrimmon tells Bob Nicholson he isn’t interested, suspect Mark Hunter is announced in the next seven days, possibly as early as Friday.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We have a great show this morning, kicks off at 10 on TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey will talk Evan Bouchard, the Condors and the apparent choice between Kelly McCrimmon and Mark Hunter.

Andrew Beaton from Wall Street Journal Sports will drop in to talk NFL draft and Jon Campbell from OddsShark will tackle NHL & NBA playoffs, plus I have a Kentucky Derby question.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Crack the mic in 90 minutes!

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225 Responses to "Strong in Reason"

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  1. LMHF#1 says:

    I sure hope the Leafs take leave of their senses and fire Babcock.

    Right the wrong from several years ago. Give him the keys and this team with #s 97 and 29 will win.

  2. v4ance says:

    Information packed Twiiter thread from this morning:

    Prashanth Iyer @iyer_prashanth
    I think if we reflect on Babcock’s perception from 2015, he was perceived as unquestionably one of the 2 best coaches in the league (with Quenneville). With the clamoring for his firing now, I think it’s important to realize that he’s still likely a top-10 coach

    (4-0) (3-3) Josh (garik16) @garik16
    Yet another reminder that for all the best coaches in the league – and I think my old team has one of them – their impact isn’t as large as people think on the positive spectrum. (On the negative side, awful coaches can do a lot of damage)

    Prashanth Iyer @iyer_prashanth
    I just think it’s extraordinarily difficult to isolate coaching impact. I think there are instances where a coach has a substantial impact for a short period of time that isn’t sustainable and that the “average” impact isn’t substantial

    (4-0) (3-3) Josh (garik16) @garik16
    I think this is right. I’m doing work for a post on Trotz and his teams having allegedly xG#s better than their corsi ones, and the difference over 10 years is 0.8 percentage points, which seems about what I’d expect for a “large” coaching difference. Players still matter most

    Prashanth Iyer @iyer_prashanth
    Yup. I think we see isolated 40-50 game stretches where everything clicks and the puck luck is there and the team is at it’s *peak* but when you average it out, i think value above replacement is relatively small

    Ryan Stimson @RK_Stimp
    I remember Dawson finding the coach mattered more than qot. Think that post is gone now though. Even if it’s not that big, would we expect it to be considering many coaches are so similar?

    (4-0) (3-3) Josh (garik16) @garik16
    Not so much, no. This idea also would explain why the impact of awful coaches (Carlyle etc.) is so much higher seemingly than good ones – the good ones are very much imitated so the gap from average isn’t large.

    Prashanth Iyer @iyer_prashanth
    Replying to @garik16 @RK_Stimp
    This from Sloan found that coaches had a larger impact on goals against compared to goals for which is interesting and makes a lot of sense to me after reading: http://www.sloansportsconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Do-Coaches-Matter.pdf

    ***

    Selected quotes from the Sloan paper “Do Coaches Matter.”:

    Coaches of professional sports teams are often credited or blamed for the success or failure of their teams, and they are compensated as if they are one of the most important features of a franchise. Although we have anecdotal evidence that coaches matter, the sports analytics literature has generally concluded that they do not…

    ” Our estimates generally imply that coaches explain about 20-30 percent of the variation in a team’s success, although coaching effects vary notably across settings and across various outcomes”

    ***

    Lastly, Table 6 shows results from NHL coaches from 1918 through 2017. As with the other sports, coaches matter and the results are statistically significant, although coaches appear to matter much more for goals allowed than for goals scored. We do not have a clear explanation for this result as we do in the case of baseball, and we defer to hockey experts who might have a good explanation for this and might also suggest additional outcomes of interest in this context.

    ***

    So TL;DR:
    SO, DO Coaches Matter? For the NHL, coaches, especially bad ones, affect GA (negatively).

    My own thoughts… this leads to the implication that GF would be mostly affected by the roster talent which is a direct reflection of the GM’s ability.

    ***

    Gallant rolled out a 6 forward deployment with the goalie pulled to tie the game in last night’s decisive game. It’s nice to see someone trying to innovate in real time with such high stakes. Balls man! balls!

  3. russ99 says:

    I’m gunshy with the Oilers handling of prospects the last few years.

    It would be prudent to give Bouchard roughly 30-40 games at the AHL level to adjust to defending pros, many top prospects are so far ahead of the competition at junior, that they don’t get this wake-up call until they hit the pros. Defensemen take longer too.

    And as we see with Benning, there’s no amount of clean exit passes or point shots to make up for glaring, force the goalie into a difficult save deficiencies at defense. We need that goals against number to go down and we are already looking at questions in the crease, we can’t also run with only 3-4 defenders who can defend against NHL oppoisition.

    Not to mention that Woodcroft is obviously sheltering him and using him in specific situations as the #7 D, the Oilers don’t have that luxury.

    I’d give Bear or Jones first shot at NHL playing time, they’ve had the NHL cup of coffee and put in the requisite AHL development time.

  4. Lowetide says:

    russ99:
    I’m gunshy with the Oilers handling of prospects the last few years.

    It would be prudent to give Bouchard a 30-40 games at the AHL level to adjust to defending pros, many top prospects are so far ahead of the competition at junior, that they don’t get this wake-up call until they hit the pros. Defensemen take longer too.

    And as we see with Benning, there’s no amount of clean exit passes or point shots to make up for glaring, force the goalie into a difficult save deficiencies at defense. We need that goals against number to go down.

    Not to mention that Woodcroft is obviously sheltering him and using him in specific situations as the #7 D, the Oilers don’t have that luxury.

    I’d give Bear or Jones first shot at NHL playing time, they’ve had the NHL cup of coffee and put in the requisite AHL development time.

    Bouchard was used sparingly last night and had tremendous impact. He’s going to get more playing time as this series rolls along. Woodcroft won’t dress seven D every night and Bouchard will play more in the coming games. If the coach has to use Bouchard as a 7D in the AHL, all is lost. That isn’t the case here.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    It was important that Bouchard get in to the game last night and have a plus performance which will keep him in the lineup. If the Condors can go on a run and Bouchard can play a good 12 plus games, that will give the organization alot of information on him heading in to camp – it would provide more information on NHL readiness than anything he could do in camp or exhibition (which we know is essentially meaningless as far as determining NHL readiness of young talented players).

  6. leadfarmer says:

    Pronman didn’t like Bouchard so he has that going for him.
    I hope we can give him enough cover to develop in the Ahl for a year

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bouch had a strong game last night but a couple of thing:

    – at least through the first two periods (which I saw), his minutes were extremely sheltered – I don’t think he had an even strength shift until close to 5 minutes left in the 1st.

    – the game last night didn’t provide much information on his game from the redline back to his own zone – defensive zone coverage, battles, angles, puck retrieval, etc. – reason being is that the Condors simply dominated play and possession – they were in the Eagles zone shift after shift. There wasn’t the opportunity to defend.

  8. tileguy says:

    Can somebody explain “pet sounds” and what I am to think of when reading that phrase. Thank you in advance.

  9. Jaxon says:

    D:
    Kris Russell trade would be number one for me. First, to get his contract off the books. Second, to get rid of an overvalued player. Third, he has perceived value around the league and could fetch something in return. Larsson is top 3 D on this team and there may be nobody available for the foreseeable future to move into a definite top 4RD position. You keep Benning if Russell is traded until you have a bonified, proven 2RD. You try to keep Jones and Bear to move into 3LD & 3RD as Benning and Sekera age out or are sent out and Bouchard matures to 1RD or 2RD.

    Forwards:
    Keep Puljujarvi. He is still only 20!! He is fast and skilled and his fancy stats are actually quite good, so he doesn’t hurt the team in any way. There is still lots of time for his production to turn a corner. Keep Khaira, he is big, fast, skilled. I love watching him play. He plays hard, and he is quite calm when cycling down low and I find he makes good decisions with the puck. They’ll both be cheap, so getting rid of them is a bad idea. Khaira has amazing numbers with Draisaitl and Puljujarvi has great numbers with McDavid. Keep them!

    Draft Picks:
    You keep first round picks as they are cheap, will age with McDavid’s peak years and won’t get drafted in expansion. You keep 2nd round picks as well, as they are more likely to be potential gems.

    Buyouts:
    Don’t buy anyone out. Trade them and retain if needed, but buyouts just linger and hurt the team going forward as contracts get bigger. Also, wait on the next CBA to see if there is a chance at a compliance buyout for Lucic, otherwise, retain 50% and package with a fringe prospect or a 3rd or later round pick(s).

  10. Alpine says:

    So if Hunter or McCrimmon get the job, I suppose we can probably start talking about Misha Donskov as assistant GM? He’s worked in both London and Vegas. Seems like he would be an astute hire.

    https://www.si.com/nhl/2016/11/17/misha-donskov-las-vegas-expansion-team-front-office

    From the article:

    For Hockey Canada, Donskov became what VP of hockey operations Scott Salmond calls “our Swiss army knife.” He developed the organization’s analytics portal, created an in-house app so everyone can stay in touch during the NHL regular season, and twice won gold at the IIHF World Championships.

    “We hired him in video and analytics, and by the end I thought he could’ve been a GM of our teams and still helped in other areas,” Salmond says. “I relied on him as a sounding board. We did everything hand in hand, from coach prep to management to player evaluation.

    Donskov’s responsibilities will be similar in Vegas. He had been prepping to leave for a Team Canada coaching staff retreat when McPhee called, formally asking him to come aboard, and leapt at the “once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to start at ground zero.” Since then, he’s designed their scouting software, vetted outside analytics firms, and organized their video platform, logistical matters required before the coaching staff gets hired and the team gets on the ice next year. No wonder McPhee calls his hiring “automatic.”

  11. RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!! says:

    Me: Leafs are out!

    Wife: Why can’t other Canadian teams win just because your stoopid team is out?

    Me: Can’t I just have this moment?

  12. Nit64 says:

    tileguy:
    Can somebody explain “pet sounds” and what I am to think of when reading that phrase. Thank you in advance.

    A new way of doing things.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_Sounds

    Pet Sounds is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the field of music production, introducing non-standard harmonies and timbres and incorporating elements of pop, jazz, exotica, classical, and the avant-garde. The album could not be replicated live and was the first time a group departed from the usual small-ensemble electric rock band format for a whole LP.

  13. Nit64 says:

    Good night for interviewing. McCrimmon and Gilman knocked out of the playoffs in one evening.

  14. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Jaxon:
    D:
    Kris Russell trade would be number one for me. First, to get his contract off the books. Second, to get rid of an overvalued player. Third, he has perceived value around the league and could fetch something in return. Larsson is top 3 D on this team and there may be nobody available for the foreseeable future to move into a definite top 4RD position. You keep Benning if Russell is traded until you have a bonified, proven 2RD. You try to keep Jones and Bear to move into 3LD & 3RD as Benning and Sekera age out or are sent out and Bouchard matures to 1RD or 2RD.

    Forwards:
    Keep Puljujarvi. He is still only 20!! He is fast and skilled and his fancy stats are actually quite good, so he doesn’t hurt the team in any way. There is still lots of time for his production to turn a corner. Keep Khaira, he is big, fast, skilled. I love watching him play. He plays hard, and he is quite calm when cycling down low and I find he makes good decisions with the puck. They’ll both be cheap, so getting rid of them is a bad idea. Khaira has amazing numbers with Draisaitl and Puljujarvi has great numbers with McDavid. Keep them!

    Draft Picks:
    You keep first round picks as they are cheap, will age with McDavid’s peak years and won’t get drafted in expansion. You keep 2nd round picks as well, as they are more likely to be potential gems.

    Buyouts:
    Don’t buy anyone out. Trade them and retain if needed, but buyouts just linger and hurt the team going forward as contracts get bigger. Also, wait on the next CBA to see if there is a chance at a compliance buyout for Lucic, otherwise, retain 50% and package with a fringe prospect or a 3rd or later round pick(s).

    Yes!

  15. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bear has some nice attributes, unfortunately skating and defending at the NHL aren’t a part of that. At least not that we’ve seen.

    Bouchard is probably the best option if someone is going straight to the bigs, unless Persson is able to make a rapid adjustment to smaller ice and bigger more aggressive forwards.

    The real issue is all of the prospects are best suited for third pair including Benning. Benning, Bear, Persson are smaller players relative to average NHL D, and the mentor options at 3 LD are also smaller in Sekera and Russell. It matters in that somebody has to be able to defend the net front with physicality, none of these gents are Lidstrom with stick and positioning.

    Rutherford according to TSN seems to think he’ll move a D this summer, easily, because do many teams are looking. A competent GM should be able to balance the Oilers D corp with all of the available assets and actually knowing what a helpful pro player looks like.

    I think we’re all scarred because Chiarelli’s idea of helpful was big and tough, or just tough, skating and puck skills optional. Or going opposite and getting Wideman who with defending was optional.

    It is possible to get better without gutting the team again. It starts with clearing cap and not getting jammed at the limit again. Katz spending isn’t the same as leaving no room to move. What a frustrating team.

  16. Wilde says:

    i can shed a little light on the specifics of Bouchard’s 5v5 situation last night-

    – he played a total of eight shifts where a shot attempt occurred

    – they ended up with counts of +9 / -4 (+5)

    – he played every shift with either Stanton or Lowe

    – he was a primary contributor on seven of the nine CF he was on the ice for (!)

    – he made one pretty bad mistake with the puck but was otherwise smart

    – the eagles are simultaneously a trash, unentertaining team AND tediously dirty during and between play

  17. LadiesloveSmid says:

    In Top 10 pick Werenski’s draft+1 he played 17 of Lake Erie’s playoff games after his sophomore college season. Played the next season firmly in CBJ’s top 4, averaging nearly 21 minutes a night.

    Not saying Bouchard will have the same impact, but there’s a spectrum of where he might land on the depth chart.

    We wait! Godspeed Evan!

  18. Andy Dufresne says:

    tileguy:
    Can somebody explain “pet sounds” and what I am to think of when reading that phrase. Thank you in advance.

    Pet Sounds is the eleventh studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on May 16, 1966. … For Pet Sounds, the goal was to create “the greatest rock album ever made”—a personalized work with no filler tracks.

    P.S Just picked this album up last month at a thrift store for $2 without really knowing what I was buying.

    P.S.S if you get a chance, check out the movie/ Brian Wilson biopick “Love and Mercy”. Very well done.

  19. Wilde says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t think he had an even strength shift until close to 5 minutes left in the 1st.

    i can verify this as correct

  20. Jaxon says:

    I’m still hoping for Verbeek. He’s been in the room with some amazing mentors/hockey minds and has been a pretty integral part of building possibly the best team in the cap era in Tampa.

    He’s either played with was coached by, managed by, or worked with:
    Scotty Bowman, Lou Lamiorello, Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Ken Hitchcock, Joel Quenneville, Mike Babcock, Brad McCrimmon, Bob Gainey, Steve Yzerman, Kevin Lowe, Brendan Shanahan, John Cooper.

    If the main job is acquiring players then the man with the title of Director of Player Personnel and Assistant GM since 2012, and Dir. of Professional Scouting for 2 years prior to that in Tampa and 4 years as a Red Wing scout going back to the summer of 2006 looks pretty damn good. Hedman and Stamkos were the only 2 current players on the roster when he started with Tampa.

    A quick look at how Tampa Bay acquired their current roster mostly outside of trades:
    Player – Draft Position
    Stamkos – 1
    Hedman – 2
    —————–
    Erne – 33
    Cernak – 43
    Kucherov – 58!!!!!
    Cirelli – 72!
    Killorn – 77!
    Point – 79!!!
    Paquette – 101
    Joseph – 120
    Palat – 207!!
    Gourde – undrafted!!
    Johnson – undrafted!!

    Good finds they mistakenly let go:
    Connolly – 6 (in their defense, it took him way too long to arrive)
    Gudas – 66
    Marchessault – undrafted!!

    They turned Drouin – 3, into Sergachaev – 9

    I have no idea how much involvement Verbeek had on any of these transactions but as Director of Player Personnel and Assistant GM for all those years you’d have to think it would be substantial. He’d at least have a seat at the table and have a voice in these decisions and witness people often making the right decision on picks, trades, and signings. They’ve built one of the, if not the, best team in the cap era starting with just two core high draft picks.

  21. Andy Dufresne says:

    Alpine,

    Very informative post. Thank You.

  22. Ben says:

    There’s gotta be at least a 1% chance that Nicholson holds a press conference to announce Hunter as GM and brings out the mascot, right?

  23. Andy Dufresne says:

    RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!!:
    Me: Leafs are out!

    Wife: Why can’t other Canadian teams win just because your stoopid team is out?

    Me: Can’t I just have this moment?

    lol. Nice. This reads like a Dilbert cartoon strip. Love it.

  24. JimmyV1965 says:

    Curious LT. Why do you not have Kassian on your list? IMO he has more trade value than any other Oiler on the team outside the core six. On the Sportsnet broadcast last night they were talking about the Leafs’ need to add toughness. Heard the same thing about Pittsburgh and Tampa and Calgary.

  25. Andy Dufresne says:

    Jaxon,

    Agree with everything you said.

    Curious, Do you think a GM candidate that proposes all of this in his interview gets hired?

  26. Andy Dufresne says:

    Wilde:
    i can shed a little light on the specifics of Bouchard’s 5v5 situation last night-

    – he played a total of eight shifts where a shot attempt occurred

    – they ended up with counts of +9 / -4 (+5)

    – he played every shift with either Stanton or Lowe

    – he was a primary contributor on seven of the nine CF he was on the ice for (!)

    – he made one pretty bad mistake with the puck but was otherwise smart

    – the eagles are simultaneously a trash, unentertaining team AND tediously dirty during and between play

    Very concise. Paints a clear picture. Thank you.

  27. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jaxon:
    D:
    Kris Russell trade would be number one for me. First, to get his contract off the books. Second, to get rid of an overvalued player. Third, he has perceived value around the league and could fetch something in return. Larsson is top 3 D on this team and there may be nobody available for the foreseeable future to move into a definite top 4RD position. You keep Benning if Russell is traded until you have a bonified, proven 2RD. You try to keep Jones and Bear to move into 3LD & 3RD as Benning and Sekera age out or are sent out and Bouchard matures to 1RD or 2RD.

    Forwards:
    Keep Puljujarvi. He is still only 20!! He is fast and skilled and his fancy stats are actually quite good, so he doesn’t hurt the team in any way. There is still lots of time for his production to turn a corner. Keep Khaira, he is big, fast, skilled. I love watching him play. He plays hard, and he is quite calm when cycling down low and I find he makes good decisions with the puck. They’ll both be cheap, so getting rid of them is a bad idea. Khaira has amazing numbers with Draisaitl and Puljujarvi has great numbers with McDavid. Keep them!

    Draft Picks:
    You keep first round picks as they are cheap, will age with McDavid’s peak years and won’t get drafted in expansion. You keep 2nd round picks as well, as they are more likely to be potential gems.

    Buyouts:
    Don’t buy anyone out. Trade them and retain if needed, but buyouts just linger and hurt the team going forward as contracts get bigger. Also, wait on the next CBA to see if there is a chance at a compliance buyout for Lucic, otherwise, retain 50% and package with a fringe prospect or a 3rd or later round pick(s).

    Not trying to pick a fight here, but how would you improve the team? Seems like you’ve ruled out a bunch of options here.

  28. Nit64 says:

    Ben:
    There’s gotta be at least a 1% chance that Nicholson holds a press conference to announce Hunter as GM and brings out the mascot, right?

    And our Hunter as POHO! Scare the kids and the grownups.

  29. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    So a couple of thoughts

    1) Toronto flamed out as expected, now they enter the offseason with a whole whack of questions: what do we do about Babs, no defense, no backup, forwards needing raises and potentially three guys making +10 million.

    Everyone keeps saying Dubas is the future, well we’ll find out in the next couple of months whether that is true or whether he’s a kid that got lucky and sunk the ship the second those ELCs ran out. Myself, I think he screwed up royally last year when he tossed a brinks truck at Tavares. Not only was it a goofy expenditure at a position the leafs already had depth it showed straight up to his three homegrown forward RFAs “we care more about this FA than we do locking you guys up,” (both Lou and Hunter remarked about this after they left MLSE so this isn’t tilting at windmills) and it gave Babcock a known he could promote over that flashy kid from San Ramon.. Matthews with 18 minutes in a Game 7 while on a three game scoring streak, ok Babs whatever you think will work.

    It pleases me to see the Islanders advance while the Leafs hit the links. The schadenfreude out of Nassau at the beginning of the next series is going to be something else.

    2) Calgary needs MOAR GRIT! Wilted as per usual against a one line team. Neal collapsing, Tkachuk quite as a mouse and the Dynamic Duo (MonaGaudeau) up-font unable to find the twine. That was a fun series.

    3) Intrigued by the post yesterday suggesting that deep AI analytics were behind Columbus strategy against Tampa. Basically been hockey strategy forever that when you have a fast skating, smallish rush opponent, you clog up the middle on their breakouts and hammer them on the fore-check as they get frustrated, but throw AI in front and everyone assumes you’ve discovered something new. Not sure I buy it, probably just added numbers to something that Torts has run since coaching his PeeWee teams back in the day.

    Good on Columbus, they threw the kitchen sink at this playoff run at the deadline and on paper they matched up incredibly well with Tampa. Glad to see them get it together. That injury to Hedman was huge.

    4) Vegas got robbed. I mean you still can’t let in 4 goals on the same PK but that call was an abject travesty. I hope Pavelski is ok but the NHL should be ashamed of itself, that was Saints in the NFC title game level bad.

  30. tileguy says:

    The reason Bouchard’s being NHL-ready is important now is that it gives the new general manager some room to make trades. Back a few days (“Pet Sounds”) I gave my list of possible assets out:

    Ugh, I just can not make a connection.

    Back a few days (the beach boys put out something totally different, trying to be the best ever) I gave my list of possible assets out.
    So is LT trying to say he thought his idea was great but is backtracking?

    I’ll go back to silent running mode now.

  31. Andy Dufresne says:

    I’ll take “Radom thought from an addled mind.” Alex:

    In hiring a new GM, how important is it that the small group of elite coaches would want to, or consider, working for him?

    IF you’ve set your sights on a specific small set of coaches, Quennville etc, does this affect your choice of GM?

    If for example Quennville is interested, but has no interest in working under Hunter, is that a consideration and by what process is this determined?

  32. OilSafety says:

    I lean towards moving Russel if it can be done without retention as well as Bear and the 2020 first rounder.

    Not sure if that thins up the right side too much though. But maybe they bring in help there. Then again, they probably need all those assets to just try and shore up the wingers on this team.

    As much as I want something to happen, I hope they take the time to do it right. From the GM selection to player movement and beyond. Just. Get. It. Right. This. Time.

  33. dustrock says:

    Are there any good coaches now? Trotz?

    McLellan is bad
    Babcock is bad
    Laviolette is bad
    I thought Torts was bad but he destroyed Tampa Bay

  34. Nit64 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: 4) Vegas got robbed. I mean you still can’t let in 4 goals on the same PK but that call was an abject travesty. I hope Pavelski is ok but the NHL should be ashamed of itself, that was Saints in the NFC title game level bad

    4 goals allowed tied the NHL record. Set the playoff record. The call right or wrong absolutely let the Sharks back in the game. But did not outright win the game like some others.

  35. RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!! says:

    Andy Dufresne: lol.Nice.This reads like a Dilbert cartoon strip. Love it.

    She doesn’t follow hockey at all. She’s just been able to make random “Oiler’s are terrible” jokes and hack on me for the past 10+ years. What’s scary is that her cracks are purely made up, but so often on the nose. That’s the part that hurts.

  36. Side says:

    dustrock:
    Are there any good coaches now?Trotz?

    McLellan is bad
    Babcock is bad
    Laviolette is bad
    I thought Torts was bad but he destroyed Tampa Bay

    I remember when Torts was coaching the US team and they got destroyed.

    People were saying he would never get hired again.

    This isn’t an endorsement of Torts, just funny to think about how quickly things change.

  37. Nit64 says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    I’ll take “Radom thought from an addled mind.” Alex:

    In hiring a new GM, how important is it that the small group of elite coaches would want to, or consider, working for him?

    IF you’ve set your sights on a specific small set of coaches, Quenville etc, does this affect your choice of GM?

    If for example Quenville is interested, but has no interest in working under Hunter, is that a consideration and by what process is this determined?

    Would be interesting to see a POHO, GM and coach team up and put themselves forward as a new management group for a backwards franchise. If you give me a few minutes I can probably find a backwards franchise. TIME.

  38. OilSafety says:

    Jaxon,

    I like waiting for expansion for Luc as well, but more so to add a sweetener for Seattle to select him in the expansion draft. Say a second?

    Luc’s roots are Vancouver and LA, whats in between…. Seattle.

    Seattle needs a recognizable franchise name and character guy for first Captain….. Lucic.

  39. Alpine says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I still think the Tavares contract was smart because it gives the Leafs the ability to move Nylander or someone else for a defenseman. He gives them a bird in hand, and hey he’s a local too.

    Trading for a guy like that usually costs too much in assets so even if he’s overpaid through free agency, most of his comparables are making close to the same money anyways.

    They could even do the unthinkable and move Matthews and still could probably come out on top since they have an elite C and another elite F so they don’t really have to try that hard to replace him.

  40. Alpine says:

    dustrock:
    Are there any good coaches now?Trotz?

    McLellan is bad
    Babcock is bad
    Laviolette is bad
    I thought Torts was bad but he destroyed Tampa Bay

    Quenneville is the only good coach. Uh, forget he missed the playoffs last year.

  41. Andy Dufresne says:

    tileguy: Ugh, I just can not make a connection.

    Back a few days (the beach boys put out something totally different, trying to be the best ever) I gave my list of possible assets out.

    I could be wrong, but I think the “Pet Sounds” reference is more of a motif, a running theme, of constructing something special (no filler tracks / no superfluous players) and thereby balanced, with a variety of sounds (role players). It is less specific to this post than it is to the general theme.

    Or Im comletely out to lunch, and as John Lennon explained to a mentally challenged man who once rang his doorbell and asked about the hidden meaning of the song “I am the Walrus”….it has no meaning, it just words, it has whatever meaning you give it.

    Edit: on another occasion Lennon described it this way:

    “The words didn’t mean a lot. People draw so many conclusions, and it’s ridiculous. I’ve had tongue in cheek all along–all of them had tongue in cheek. Just because other people see depths of whatever in it…What does it really mean, ‘I am the Eggman?’ It could have been ‘The pudding Basin’ for all I care. It’s not that serious.” 🙂

  42. Scungilli Slushy says:

    So much of success is timing. Tampa had a great season but had it’s best player hurt and out, and the goalie that drives a lot of their success wasn’t sharp.

    They are also quite an unbalanced team in having a very small forward group, and a lot of the D core is older. Hedman not at 100% was a huge kick in the junk.

    They were ripe for the picking for a team that clogged the ice and could grind in the O zone, which Columbus did.

    Whether that works against Boston is a different kettle of fish.

  43. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    FUN FACTS

    – Habs missed playoffs for 2nd year in a row for only the 2nd time since 1920!

    – They also had highest non playoff points ever.

    – At Bisons game to watch Vlaad in his likely last games in minors

    – Tim Tebow playing.

    – Devo White one of my all times is bisons first base coach

    – Cold as heck here.

  44. Andy Dufresne says:

    OilSafety:
    Jaxon,

    I like waiting for expansion for Luc as well, but more so to add a sweetener for Seattle to select him in the expansion draft. Say a second?

    Luc’s roots are Vancouver and LA, whats in between…. Seattle.

    Seattle needs a recognizable franchise name and character guy for first Captain….. Lucic.

    Kind of like Las Vegas choosing Deryk Engelland, who everyone thought was a slow footed, past his prime, anchor of a contract.

  45. Andy Dufresne says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Whether that works against Boston is a different kettle of fish.

    Second Round matchups this year seem to be pitting alot of teams with similar styles to another up against each other.

    Boston and CBJ play a similar style of game

    St Louis and Dallas play a similar style of game

    San Jose and Colorado

    NYI and ???

  46. Reja says:

    JimmyV1965: Not trying to pick a fight here, but how would you improve the team? Seems like you’ve ruled out a bunch of options here.

    As a unspecified amount of woman have spoken these words. You Have To Give To Get

  47. DBO says:

    Target the truly “disappointed teams” in trades. Vegas is not one of them. They were screwed.

    Toronto, Nashville, Pittsburgh may be more succeptable to making panic type deals to change the makeup of their teams. Possibly Winnipeg as well (although it may be more of a cap crunch thing)

    Nylander form Toronto
    Ehlers from Winnipeg
    One of the Dmen from Nashville

    Means a bunch of salary out for us from somewhere, but capitalizing on their need to change would be huge.

    As for GM, hoping for McCrimmon. Success building and running a whole team in major junior. Big part of Vegas (reports were he was the one pushing for Stone). And with his experience don’t expect the Old Boys would hold much sway.

  48. Nit64 says:

    DBO: As for GM, hoping for McCrimmon.

    You’d think he’s the perfect match for Seattle and vice versa. But would be nice.

  49. Melman says:

    Flames out
    Leafs out
    McCrimmon available for an interview after round 1

    Bob is having a terrific off-season!!

  50. Lowetide says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Curious LT. Why do you not have Kassian on your list? IMO he has more trade value than any other Oiler on the team outside the core six. On the Sportsnet broadcast last night they were talking about the Leafs’ need to add toughness. Heard the same thing about Pittsburgh and Tampa and Calgary.

    Most of the names I have on my list have been mentioned in the last while as possible exits. I haven’t heard anything about Kassian, so he’s not on the list. That said, he could be the piece heading out for sure.

  51. Melman says:

    DBO,

    Does anyone have an appetite for a Kadri for Russell swap (with salary retained by TO to make it even)?

    He’s suspension in back to back seasons must have punched his ticket out

  52. Reja says:

    Andy Dufresne: Second Round matchups this year seem to be pitting alot of teams with similar styles to another up against each other.

    Boston and CBJplay a similar style of game

    St Louis and Dallas play a similar style of game

    San Jose and Colorado

    NYI and ???

    The Blues make it to the final and get swept in 68 69 70 not a sniff since and with many really good teams in between now and then their flying under the radar is this the year this poor franchise finally wins a cup.

  53. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    DBO,

    Melman,

    I’d circle back to Toronto but Nylander may be a bit too rich cap wise while not being nearly as much as a sure thing as far as scoring wingers go. I’d adjust my sights here and try to fill a different need, making more of a hockey trade with TO and trying to fleece a winger out of Winnipeg for the scorer.

    I’d try and go Connor Brown + Kadri for Russell + Benning and I’d be willing to part with Jujhar to make it work.

    This would give the Leafs two legit NHL defensemen which they sorely need while filling a gaping hole in the Oilers bottom 6 with both Brown and Kadri being able to play up if needed. Jujhar as the toss in gives the Leafs MOAR GRIT!!!!! and would be useful to balance the overall cap hit.

    Kadri is annoying as sin to play against, can score and would remove an obstacle to the Oilers pummeling the Leafs for the next several years. This may be one of those weird windows where the Leafs may want out for reasons other than winning.

    I suspect my deal might be a little light for the Leafs though and would anticipate they’d like to see JP as part of that deal and i have reservations about that… But given TOs very very real needs on defense maybe the Oil could make this work

  54. Marc says:

    DBO:
    Target the truly “disappointed teams” in trades. Vegas is not one of them. They were screwed.

    Toronto, Nashville, Pittsburgh may be more succeptable to making panic type deals to change the makeup of their teams. Possibly Winnipeg as well (although it may be more of a cap crunch thing)

    Nylander form Toronto
    Ehlers from Winnipeg
    One of the Dmen from Nashville

    Means a bunch of salary out for us from somewhere, but capitalizing on their need to change would be huge.

    As for GM, hoping for McCrimmon. Success building and running a whole team in major junior. Big part of Vegas (reports were he was the one pushing for Stone). And with his experience don’t expect the Old Boys would hold much sway.

    Completely agree.

    Another player in Winnipeg I wonder about is Trouba. He was their best D last season but has only two more RFA years left and was a tough sign last time round. His qualifying offer amounts for his last two RFA years are $6.05M and $6.65M, so he’ll be looking for $8+M per year on a long term extention. If that’s too rich for Winnipeg’s blood I wonder if they look into getting something for him before they lose him for nothing.

  55. Ben says:

    We have so little objective information about GM candidates.

    Beyond Spec telling us that he thinks a guy “knows players”, have there been any indications that McCrimmon (or any other particular candidate) is a progressive decision-maker, a competent team leader, or a good asset trader/developer?

  56. JustWatt says:

    Jaxon,

    This is an excellent argument. I’ve been hearing about him as a possibility for ages but I hadn’t heard anything coherent about why he was a top candidate other than “Tampa!” Thanks for this!

  57. godot10 says:

    Lowetide going all Yamamoto again on Evan Bouchard. Start the guy in the AHL Injuries happens to D all the time. Teams usually have to go nine or ten deep during the season. Bouchard will still be up before you know it if the Oilers DO THE RIGHT THING and start him in the AHL.

    DON’T SKIP steps or you waste a season, like the Oilers wasted two already with Yamamoto, and three with Puljujarvi.

    And Nicholson promised.

  58. Oddspell says:

    Melman:
    DBO,

    Does anyone have an appetite for a Kadri for Russell swap (with salary retained by TO to make it even)?

    He’s suspension in back to back seasons must have punched his ticket out

    I absolutely do that deal no question. I think we need Russell’s salary for an offensive threat, and Kadri fits that bill alongside playing a shutdown and agitation role. I don’t think Russell is enough to get Kadri even without retained salary, especially with a stats guy like Dubas at the helm.

    To me, the question is “what do you add to get it done?”

  59. GMB3 says:

    Nit64: And our Hunter as POHO! Scare the kids and the grownups.

    This is funny

  60. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    Lowetide going all Yamamoto again on Evan Bouchard.Start the guy in the AHLInjuries happens to D all the time.Teams usually have to go nine or ten deep during the season.Bouchard will still be up before you know it if the Oilers DO THE RIGHT THING and start him in the AHL.

    DON’T SKIP steps or you waste a season, like the Oilers wasted two already with Yamamoto, and three with Puljujarvi.

    And Nicholson promised.

    There is zero reason to leave Bouchard in the AHL if he’s ready. None. He can transition via pass and carry, plus he can help the power play. If he’s ready, he should be in the NHL.

  61. godot10 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    In Top 10 pick Werenski’s draft+1 he played 17 of Lake Erie’s playoff games after his sophomore college season. Played the next season firmly in CBJ’s top 4, averaging nearly 21 minutes a night.

    Not saying Bouchard will have the same impact, but there’s a spectrum of where he might land on the depth chart.

    We wait! Godspeed Evan!

    Werenski was top ten in a generational draft. Bouchard’s draft year was not generational. He would be a bottom half first round pick in 2015, likely a late 2015 1st round pick.

    Bouchard should play 20 minutes a game for 20 games in the AHL in all situations before he should be considered for NHL duty. And until one intends to play him in the top 4, like Werenski, it is better to keep him playing 20 minutes in all situations in the AHL than limited protected minutes in the NHL.

  62. LadiesloveSmid says:

    No one is trading an asset for Russell.

    Maybe he had some value after 2017’s run, no one wants this dumpster fire’s #4D. #5 if Sekera had been healthy. $4M pricetag, limited NTC

  63. godot10 says:

    dustrock:
    Are there any good coaches now?Trotz?

    McLellan is bad
    Babcock is bad
    Laviolette is bad
    I thought Torts was bad but he destroyed Tampa Bay

    How is Babcock bad? He had a team with an awful defense and elite forwards over 100 points two years in a row.

    Leafs management decided to keep all the forward talent, indulge in the extravagance of Tavares (who busted against Boston), and do nothing about upgrading the defense.

    Babcock maximized what he had. They did not have a defense of a contender. McLellan probably wouldn’t have gotten that team to the playoffs.

    Babcock contributed somewhat to the top heavy team by wanting Marleau, and probably being not opposed to Tavares.

    His fault is not putting enough effort into trying to coach up the young D, and wanting Dubas to get him some veterans.

    Montgomery, Nelson, and Bowness had their defense gutted by injury in Dallas, and just coached up the guys they had.

    Most of the over-experienced veteran NHL coaches don’t like coaching up the young D, because it is the hardest part of the job, with no guaranteed chance of success.

  64. Alpine says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    No one is trading an asset for Russell.

    Maybe he had some value after 2017’s run, no one wants this dumpster fire’s #4D. #5 if Sekera had been healthy. $4M pricetag, limited NTC

    Adam McQuaid got traded for picks twice in the last year. He’s a 6/7 guy who made just under 3 mil last year.

    Gudbranson is a number 6 guy making 4 mil. He was traded for a forward who scored 18 goals this past year.

    Russell is probably better than both and his last contract year is cheap in salary. A stupid team would tell themselves they can’t move him. A smart team knows that there’s teams that could use any sort of veteran defenseman.

  65. Rich M says:

    DBO:
    Target the truly “disappointed teams” in trades. Vegas is not one of them. They were screwed.

    Toronto, Nashville, Pittsburgh may be more succeptable to making panic type deals to change the makeup of their teams. Possibly Winnipeg as well (although it may be more of a cap crunch thing)

    Nylander form Toronto
    Ehlers from Winnipeg
    One of the Dmen from Nashville

    Means a bunch of salary out for us from somewhere, but capitalizing on their need to change would be huge.

    As for GM, hoping for McCrimmon. Success building and running a whole team in major junior. Big part of Vegas (reports were he was the one pushing for Stone). And with his experience don’t expect the Old Boys would hold much sway.

    Don’t be surprised if Nashville is willing to move one of it’s d-men (Ellis or Subban), but the ask is going to be a forward who can generate offense on their second line.

    Not saying this is the trade, but would you be willing to move Nuge for one of them because that’s what it’s likely to take.

  66. JimmyV1965 says:

    Melman:
    DBO,

    Does anyone have an appetite for a Kadri for Russell swap (with salary retained by TO to make it even)?

    He’s suspension in back to back seasons must have punched his ticket out

    I think there’s virtually no way the Leafs trade Kadri. Team mngt may be pissed, the MSM have him out the door, but for a team with possibly the most challenging cap issues in the league, they simply can’t trade a legit top six player with a cap hit of $4.5 mill for the next three years. They will have four players eating a cap of $40 mill next year. Kadri and Reilly are the only two players with decent cap numbers. This might be a bit of hyperbole, but I think it’s more likely they trade Mathews or Marner.

  67. Andy Dufresne says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    No one is trading an asset for Russell.

    Maybe he had some value after 2017’s run, no one wants this dumpster fire’s #4D. #5 if Sekera had been healthy. $4M pricetag, limited NTC

    +1

  68. godot10 says:

    Russell for Frolik, with the Oilers retaining $2 million.

    Benning for JT MIller (maybe modulo stuff)

    Sign Hainsey to a 1 year deal.

  69. Andy Dufresne says:

    Alpine: A stupid team would tell themselves they can’t move him.

    IMO Its not that you can’t trade him. Its that its like threading a needle. With:

    A) 2019-20: Player submits a 10 team trade list
    B) Russell clearly stated that he wants to play (implication, finish his career) in Alberta
    C) Not an Analytics favorite
    D) 2019-20 his salary is still $4m

    So if you can thread that needle, what can you realistically expect for a return?

    IMO if you are lucky enough to thread the needle, at best your moving him out as a salary dump, or for a 3rd or 4th round pick if the team he’s going to isnt in a cap crunch.

  70. doritogrande says:

    She doesn’t follow hockey at all. She’s just been able to make random “Oiler’s are terrible” jokes and hack on me for the past 10+ years. What’s scary is that her cracks are purely made up, but so often on the nose. That’s the part that hurts.

    You’re also married to my wife? I swear they’ve got an uncanny ability to come up with the perfect hockey burn despite not being able to cause ligament damage while on skates.

  71. Andy Dufresne says:

    godot10:
    Russell for Frolik, with each team retaining $2 million.

    Nice Fit.

    Russell stays in Alberta, has a good history/reputation in Calgary.

    Frolik 2018-19 65gp 16g 18a 34pts +24 Makes me think Oilers would have to retain or add an asset in the deal.

    But I like the general logic of the deal.

  72. flyfish1168 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Nice Fit.

    Russell stays in Alberta, has a good history/reputation in Calgary.

    Frolik 2018-19 65gp16g18a34pts+24Makes me think Oilers would have to retain or add an asset in the deal.

    But I like the general logic of the deal.

    A lot of my phlegm friends always comments how Russell is not a fit as a new NHL D-men style of play. I agree with them. $hitty at making an outlet pass always banking it off the glass to get it out. Can’t skate the puck out of his own end so gets hemmed in own end. I have to give credit to the phlegms. They have recognized what type of D-men they want and they have it in shades even down at their farm system. They don’t want him back

  73. Munny says:

    I’ve been on the internet a long time but I don’t think I’ve ever read a website where the background colour is constantly changing before. It’s like someone got a hold of a case of highlighter pens, lol.

  74. New Improved Darkness says:

    Come on people, MOAR LOAR!

    Penalties – EDM – McClelland (maj) 8:29 (src)

    5 – HAR : Malone 13 (Crawford, Currie) (PP) 9:20
    6 – HAR : Neufeld 21 (Johnson, Siltanen) (PP) 10:21
    7 – HAR : Francis 19 (Malone, Currie) (PP) 11:22
    8 – HAR : Kotsopoulos 2 (Dunn, Currie) (PP) 13:26

    Oilers ’84: The time they lost 11-0, and more blowouts — 8 October 2014

    A month ago, when Mark Messier came to town and held a luncheon with the Edmonton sports media to share some 1984 memories, he talked about the Hartford horror story turning out to be the Hartford humour story.

    “It was incredible. To this day it was one of the highlights as a player in Edmonton. We were at a practice in Hartford the next day before we came home. Lost five in a row. Eleven-nothing. We’re out at practice skating in circles and no coach, no coach. It must have been a half an hour.

    “And all of a sudden the door at the end of the rink creaks open and here’s this guy skating on in hockey equipment, and we’re saying, ‘Who is this guy?’ You couldn’t recognize him. His shoulder pads were up there. His pants were a little long …

    “Then we recognized him. ‘That’s Glen!'”.

    “He took Coff aside and showed him how to skate. Then he took Wayne and told him how to feather a pass. Then he took Jari over and told him how to really one-time a puck. He got Semenk in the corner and show him how to kind of position himself with a guy ….”

  75. dustrock says:

    godot10,

    I’m not saying Babcock is bad. I’m saying lots of buzz about Babcock being a problem, not adjusting, spacing out minutes unevenly, spacing out PP time unevely, why did he have Marleau on in the last couple of minutes, etc.

    Babcock was hired as the saviour with the 8 year crazy contract and now they’re talking about dumping him.

  76. Andy Dufresne says:

    flyfish1168: A lot of my phlegm friends always comments how Russell is not a fit for this new NHL D-men. I agree. $hitty at making an outlet pass always banking it off the glass to get it out. Can’t skate the puck out of his own end so gets hemmed in own end. I have to give credit to the phlegms. They have recognized what type of D-men they want and they have it in shades even down at their farm system. They don’t want him back

    Agreed. Very hard to thread the needle on a trade involving Russell.

    A trade is the last year of his current contract is more likely.

  77. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Alpine: Adam McQuaid got traded for picks twice in the last year. He’s a 6/7 guy who made just under 3 mil last year.

    Gudbranson is a number 6 guy making 4 mil. He was traded for a forward who scored 18 goals this past year.

    Russell is probably better than both and his last contract year is cheap in salary. A stupid team would tell themselves they can’t move him. A smart team knows that there’s teams that could use any sort of veteran defenseman.

    So you’re saying he can’t be moved?

  78. Ranford.85 says:

    My fear with trading any of our RD is again, not having the depth when injuries hit. The need for a true 2RD (Russell does not cut it) is key to ensure Bouchard, Benning, Bear and Jones don’t have to play above their ability.
    The Oilers are a Russell trade and a Larsson injury from having one of those four playing 1RD. Scary.

  79. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Munny:
    I’ve been on the internet a long time but I don’t think I’ve ever read a website where the background colour is constantly changing before.It’s like someone got a hold of a case of highlighter pens, lol.

    Yup. Kind of wish Mrs. Lowetide would take them away.

  80. JimmyV1965 says:

    Lowetide: Most of the names I have on my list have been mentioned in the last while as possible exits. I haven’t heard anything about Kassian, so he’s not on the list. That said, he could be the piece heading out for sure.

    Thanks LT.

  81. nafnikufesin says:

    Do you think Larsson could fetch a player like Taylor Hall?

  82. ArmchairGM says:

    Rich M: Don’t be surprised if Nashville is willing to move one of it’s d-men (Ellis or Subban), but the ask is going to be a forward who can generate offense on their second line.

    Not saying this is the trade, but would you be willing to move Nuge for one of them because that’s what it’s likely to take.

    For Subban maybe, but for sure not Ellis.

  83. Alpine says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

    I finally got this joke on like the fifth read. Nice one.

  84. Death By Misadventure says:

    LT, I think your list of assets out should include this year’s 2nd round pick. At 38 overall, on the draft floor, that pick carries nice value. Certainly higher than Jujhar.

  85. 106 and 106 says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

    Brandon Manning is the #8 AHL D. Is he that bad?

  86. Alpine says:

    Andy Dufresne: IMO Its not that you can’t trade him. Its that its like threading a needle. With:

    A) 2019-20: Player submits a 10 team trade list
    B) Russell clearly stated that he wants to play (implication, finish his career) in Alberta
    C) Not an Analytics favorite
    D) 2019-20 his salary is still $4m

    So if you can thread that needle, what can you realistically expect for a return?

    IMO if you are lucky enough to thread the needle, at best your moving him out as a salary dump, or for a 3rd or 4th round pick if the team he’s going to isnt in a cap crunch.

    A 3rd/4th pick is fine by me. I’d also accept a third line type player with a cheaper cap hit. Cogliano, Marcus Foligno, someone like that. Or a cheaper RD like TVR or Pateryn.

    Use the cap space to acquire a forward if you traded Russell for a pick. Getting a pick for Russell is good, you can use that pick or a different pick to help you in other ways. Attach it as a Lucic sweetener, trade it for a depth D, etc.

  87. Lowetide says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Yup. Kind of wish Mrs. Lowetide would take them away.

    What color is your blog?

  88. OilSafety says:

    Lowetide: What color is your blog?

    LMAO

  89. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Alpine: Adam McQuaid got traded for picks twice in the last year. He’s a 6/7 guy who made just under 3 mil last year.

    Gudbranson is a number 6 guy making 4 mil. He was traded for a forward who scored 18 goals this past year.

    Russell is probably better than both and his last contract year is cheap in salary. A stupid team would tell themselves they can’t move him. A smart team knows that there’s teams that could use any sort of veteran defenseman.

    McQuaid’s on an expiring deal & is 1.25M cheaper, tough guy dimension that teams continue to pay for.

    Gudbranson is 5 years younger than Russell & has pedigree on him. Pearson had 15P in 61GP when he was dealt, also over 4M.

    Agreed a stupid team should take Russell on, I just don’t know that it’s a good bet to make that someone will. A stupid team should lose a landslide trade to Edmonton like the Hall trade or Duchene trade or Eberle trade or Reinhart trade. Not sure it’ll happen

  90. Death By Misadventure says:

    RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!!:
    Me: Leafs are out!

    Wife: Why can’t other Canadian teams win just because your stoopid team is out?

    Me: Can’t I just have this moment?

    Hahaha years of conversation with my wife summed up so astutally.

  91. Andy Dufresne says:

    Lowetide: What color is your blog?

    HA!….HHHHAAAAA! 🙂

    (not off color humor, of color humor)

  92. highgloveside says:

    Other struggling draft picks to consider to trade Puljujarvi.

    Pavel Zacha
    Logan Brown
    Alexander Nylander
    Tyson Jost
    Henrik Borgström
    Jordan Kyrou
    Taylor Raddysh
    Robby Fabbri

  93. Andy Dufresne says:

    Death By Misadventure: Hahaha years of conversation with my wife summed up so astutally.

    You converse with your wife?
    .
    ……kidding 🙂

  94. Alpine says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    Russell has the “grit” dimension too. He can still skate too which has some value in a league that has started to embrace speed. Those other two guys I mentioned are not fast.

    The only hiccup in moving Russell should be his NTC. His contract shouldn’t be a headache for too many teams to take, especially any team looking for a LHD. He won’t be available for much. The hard part is finding a fit with the 10 teams he okays a trade to.

    As such, I doubt he will moved, only because the new GM will probably play it safe and not get too creative in his first offseason. Fans are typically more open to deck chair switching than GMs actually are in real life.

  95. Andy Dufresne says:

    Ill take NFL Draft Questions for $200 Alex:

    Will the Oakland Raiders have a “Surprise Pick” at No 4?

    YES! The surprise pick is ……………………Clarke Griswold tounge drum roll………….

    The surprise pick is………….Oakland doesnt pick at No 4 !!!!

    Mike Mayock trades down to one of the Redskins, Dolphins, Giants, or Bengals. Most likely the Redskins.

    Edit: The Eagles stand pat and take a kicker at 25

  96. Reja says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: So you’re saying he can’t be moved?

    In the following year at the trade Deadline he brings back a third before that it will take a asset or salary retention especially with his other teams list. Russell is a top 4 for small stretches but if your playing all year in the top 4 your in deep doo doo.

  97. Death By Misadventure says:

    Melman:
    DBO,

    Does anyone have an appetite for a Kadri for Russell swap (with salary retained by TO to make it even)?

    He’s suspension in back to back seasons must have punched his ticket out

    In a heart beat. Can’t imagine Toronto doing it though unless Chia is the GM and looking to get rid of a “locker room cancer”.

  98. YKOil says:

    Leafs have to look at re-signing Marner, Kapanen, Johnsson and re-signing or replacing Gardiner and Hainsey.

    At $83.0m Cap they will have approximately $8.0m Cap with which to do that. Adjustments comprise $3.7m Cap allocated to Matthews and Marner for bonuses and $5.3m in Cap coming back once they trade Horton. Feel free to correct me if I have the wrong approach re: bonus money

    So… $9.6m in Cap space available. There will be interesting times in TO.

    Barring a VERY team friendly bridge, Marner should slot in between $9.0m and $10.5m on a 5 to 8 year contract. Cap available = $0.6m to -$0.9m

    They will hard-ball one of Kapanen/Johnsson and trade the other one, the survivor gets around $3m/yr – but that doesn’t help the Cap issue. Cap available = -$2.4m to -$3.9m

    Marincin may be back as a stop-gap, though I expect not, however Ozhiganov will get a small raise on a two to three year deal at $1.5m a year. Cap available = -$3.9 to -$5.4m

    One of Hyman ($2.25m) or Brown ($2.1m) will be traded, lets say Brown because we have heard his name. We will assume the replacement is already in the numbers. Cap available = -$1.8 to -$3.3m

    Forward group has diminished slightly – two young veterans being replaced by replacement level players – and Defence is down two mainstays. Holes on defense (Gardiner and Hainsey) have yet to be addressed and even using replacements increases the Cap issue.

    And, that is it for easy moves. Any improvements on defense have to be done via moving dollars at forward. Expect that they will work like mad to move Zaitsev and will have to move one of Kadri or Marleau.

    Marleau’s contract is pretty trade-friendly after a signing bonus is paid and it will actually get them out of Cap trouble and give them some pocket cash (+$4.45 to +$2.95) so I expect that contract to move.

    If I am Toronto I am chatting up Ottawa. Horton, Marleau (post-sb) and a mid-round pick for Demelo and a later-round pick. Ottawa would love the free Cap from Horton and can trade Marleau at the deadline for a 2nd-rounder (methinks). Toronto gets out of Cap hell and gets a RHD for $900k. Wins all-around. I suspect they then try to bring up Sandin.

  99. Death By Misadventure says:

    Lowetide: There is zero reason to leave Bouchard in the AHL if he’s ready. None. He can transition via pass and carry, plus he can help the power play. If he’s ready, he should be in the NHL.

    Ready for the Oilers or ready for the NHL?

    I think those are two different bars.

  100. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Leafs fans should not be mad at Babcock, they should be mad at Wonder Boy who didn’t improve a crappy D.

    He’s going to have a busy summer. Shiny new GM should be calling TO. This year was the most loaded up they’ll be for a long time, poor Leafs.

  101. Reja says:

    Alpine:
    LadiesloveSmid,

    Russell has the “grit” dimension too. He can still skate too which has some value in a league that has started to embrace speed. Those other two guys I mentioned are not fast.

    The only hiccup in moving Russell should be his NTC. His contract shouldn’t be a headache for too many teams to take, especially any team looking for a LHD. He won’t be available for much. The hard part is finding a fit with the 10 teams he okays a trade to.

    As such, I doubt he will moved, only because the new GM will probably play it safe and not get too creative in his first offseason. Fans are typically more open to deck chair switching than GMs actually are in real life.

    The one thing I’ve really noticed this playoffs is the pace of the Defenseman getting the puck up ice. I’m seeing less and less resetting where the two D pass it between themselves before trying to move it up ice in a clogged neutral Zone. Seeing less and less rimming the puck around the boards hoping for the best as well. You would need a dam fine sales pitch to get rid of Russell on a even trade with his contract.

  102. hunter1909 says:

    highgloveside:
    Other struggling draft picks to consider to trade Puljujarvi.

    Pavel Zacha
    Logan Brown
    Alexander Nylander
    Tyson Jost
    Henrik Borgström
    Jordan Kyrou
    Taylor Raddysh
    Robby Fabbri

    And what a mangy bunch they are. Keep JP, please.

    If I’m running the Oilers(as suggested earlier by an astute poster) the first thing I do is put a stop to all trades. Waste of fucking time, when there’s internal drafting and development. No top team has ever been built through a trades first policy as shown by the Katzoilers – but a lot of losers have gone that direction.

    Enjoy watching Eberle star for the Islanders. Then Hall for the Flames.

    Stop making trades. Acquire good players, keep good players.

  103. hunter1909 says:

    flyfish1168: A lot of my phlegm friends always comments how Russell is not a fit as a new NHL D-men style of play. I agree with them.

    Next time ask your friends about the 2019 playoffs for the Flames. Or, better still about when they plan to raise their ” 2019 Regular Season Championship of the West” banner lol

  104. Death By Misadventure says:

    Andy Dufresne: You converse with your wife?
    .
    ……kidding

    Yes. If you define “conversation” as me rambling on, while she waits for me to breath, and then reminds me of something that I need to do for/with the kids.

  105. hunter1909 says:

    Seriously compared to the sissy Bolts or useless Flames, who wouldn’t prefer to have Drai, Nurse, Bouchard+the Russian OHL star, plus McDavid as lynchpins to restart a potential championship team?

    Once again, thanks to the astute poster who suggested I take over the Oilers because now I feel that it’s potentially on the table, somehow.

  106. John Chambers says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Leafs fans should not be mad at Babcock, they should be mad at Wonder Boy who didn’t improve a crappy D.

    He’s going to have a busy summer.Shiny new GM should be calling TO. This year was the most loaded up they’ll be for a long time, poor Leafs.

    Apparently Dubas could’ve traded Nylander for Alex Pietrangelo back in November / December.

    Stubborn bastard – he’ll have to settle for Nylander for Ristolainen this summer.

  107. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Alpine,

    God I hope the new GM burns all the deck chairs.

    Get creative & bring in a new roster outside of like 7-8 guys

  108. Scungilli Slushy says:

    hunter1909:
    Seriously compared to the sissy Bolts or useless Flames, who wouldn’t prefer to have Drai, Nurse, Bouchard+the Russian OHL star, plus McDavid as lynchpins to restart a potential championship team?

    Once again, thanks to the astute poster who suggested I take over the Oilers because now I feel that it’s potentially on the table, somehow.

    The Oilers are in a very good position excepting one contract, maybe 2 if Koski stinks it up. Still bad goalie contracts are a dime a dozen because goalies are so unpredictable.

    Russell and Sekera are NHL quality players at least. Russell playing 3 LD might be decent. Even 2 LD. Playing him against toughs wrong side would make most D look bad.

    Not that I want him on the team, just saying.

  109. gogliano says:

    A lot of talk of Oilers trading defenseman for forwards but I don’t see all that much depth.

    6 established NHLers: Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, Russell, Sekera, and Benning. Two of those guys have substantial histories with injuries (Klef, Sekera).

    A while back one of the posters here gave an excellent summary of how many minutes depth defenseman play as compared to other players. Those guys slotted 7 – 11 (Jones, Lagesson, Bouchard, Bear, Persson) WILL get minutes even if the Oilers don’t move on from anyone aside from Gravel, Manning, and Petrovic. They are far more important in terms of minutes played than a 14th or 15th forward.

    If I’m dealing I’m dealing Bear. He’s shown enough to have some value but not enough to worry about given the emergence of Jones, Lagesson, and Bouchard. I’m rooting for the kid to make it but it seems like the best play.

    While I’m no Russell fan I think moving Russell or Sekera would open up a hole on the D and we’d need to fill that hole as soon as we make it. Do it if you can find value but realize we are not dealing from an area of strength.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    D:
    Kris Russell trade would be number one for me. First, to get his contract off the books. Second, to get rid of an overvalued player. Third, he has perceived value around the league and could fetch something in return. Larsson is top 3 D on this team and there may be nobody available for the foreseeable future to move into a definite top 4RD position. You keep Benning if Russell is traded until you have a bonified, proven 2RD. You try to keep Jones and Bear to move into 3LD & 3RD as Benning and Sekera age out or are sent out and Bouchard matures to 1RD or 2RD.

    Forwards:
    Keep Puljujarvi. He is still only 20!! He is fast and skilled and his fancy stats are actually quite good, so he doesn’t hurt the team in any way. There is still lots of time for his production to turn a corner. Keep Khaira, he is big, fast, skilled. I love watching him play. He plays hard, and he is quite calm when cycling down low and I find he makes good decisions with the puck. They’ll both be cheap, so getting rid of them is a bad idea. Khaira has amazing numbers with Draisaitl and Puljujarvi has great numbers with McDavid. Keep them!

    Draft Picks:
    You keep first round picks as they are cheap, will age with McDavid’s peak years and won’t get drafted in expansion. You keep 2nd round picks as well, as they are more likely to be potential gems.

    Buyouts:
    Don’t buy anyone out. Trade them and retain if needed, but buyouts just linger and hurt the team going forward as contracts get bigger. Also, wait on the next CBA to see if there is a chance at a compliance buyout for Lucic, otherwise, retain 50% and package with a fringe prospect or a 3rd or later round pick(s).

    Agree with pretty much all of this (although I think its a bit of fantasy to think there is going to be a value piece coming back in the Russell trade – a clean disposition is all that I require).

    There are times when it makes sense to trade top futures (1st round picks) but that time is not current for this organization.

  111. Justthestatsman says:

    Nit64: 4 goals allowed tied the NHL record. Set the playoff record. The call right or wrong absolutely let the Sharks back in the game. But did not outright win the game like some others.

    I agree. Las Vegas can gripe all they want about the bad call, (although it still likely merited a minor) but they need to look in the mirror as well. They’re up 3 goals with 10 minutes left. If they hold San Jose to 2 goals on the major, they’re still up a goal and staring at an empty net to seal the deal. Instead they need to score with their own goalie pulled just to get to overtime. A team that gives up 4 goals on one PK doesn’t deserve to win, whether the penalty call was correct or not.

  112. OriginalPouzar says:

    Melman:
    DBO,

    Does anyone have an appetite for a Kadri for Russell swap (with salary retained by TO to make it even)?

    He’s suspension in back to back seasons must have punched his ticket out

    I would love to get Kadri on this team – he checks alot of boxes.

    In no world does a Kadri/Russell swap even register with the Leafs let alone the Leaf retaining.

    Ya, lots of negative verbal on Kadri, however, he is a very good player on a very good contract and Dubas is not going to give him away.

    Think Larsson, not Russell.

  113. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: There is zero reason to leave Bouchard in the AHL if he’s ready. None. He can transition via pass and carry, plus he can help the power play. If he’s ready, he should be in the NHL.

    The key word is “if” and last night really didn’t tell us anything.

    Does (did) anyone think that Bouch couldn’t/wouldn’t produce offensively at the AHL level? Of course he will.

    Its the non-offensive parts of the game that we need intel on and, given the utter Condor dominance last night, we essentially got zero information – Bouchard didn’t need to play hockey last night, just offensive zone shooter.

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    Andy Dufresne: IMO Its not that you can’t trade him. Its that its like threading a needle. With:

    A) 2019-20: Player submits a 10 team trade list
    B) Russell clearly stated that he wants to play (implication, finish his career) in Alberta
    C) Not an Analytics favorite
    D) 2019-20 his salary is still $4m

    So if you can thread that needle, what can you realistically expect for a return?

    IMO if you are lucky enough to thread the needle, at best your moving him out as a salary dump, or for a 3rd or 4th round pick if the team he’s going to isnt in a cap crunch.

    A salary dump is exactly the intent here.

    Its not reasonable to expect a return in a Russell disposition – the key is a clean disposition – if that can be attained, its a win.

  115. Ben says:

    OriginalPouzar: The key word is “if” and last night really didn’t tell us anything.

    Yes.

    Justin Schultz (who I think is an interesting comp for Bouchard) destroyed the AHL–though he had some help.

    Like Bouchard, he also had issues with defensive coverage and intensity.

    This is the opportunity for the org to demonstrate it learned anything from the Schultz debacle.

    Maximize the player’s strengths, support their weaknesses, and for the love of gord slot them into the right league/lineup position.

  116. godot10 says:

    gogliano:
    A lot of talk of Oilers trading defenseman for forwards but I don’t see all that much depth.

    6 established NHLers: Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, Russell, Sekera, and Benning.Two of those guys have substantial histories with injuries (Klef, Sekera).

    A while back one of the posters here gave an excellent summary of how many minutes depth defenseman play as compared to other players.Those guys slotted 7 – 11 (Jones, Lagesson, Bouchard, Bear, Persson) WILL get minutes even if the Oilers don’t move on from anyone aside from Gravel, Manning, and Petrovic.They are far more important in terms of minutes played than a 14th or 15th forward.

    If I’m dealing I’m dealing Bear.He’s shown enough to have some value but not enough to worry about given the emergence of Jones, Lagesson, and Bouchard.I’m rooting for the kid to make it but it seems like the best play.

    While I’m no Russell fan I think moving Russell or Sekera would open up a hole on the D and we’d need to fill that hole as soon as we make it. Do it if you can find value but realize we are not dealing from an area of strength.

    We are talking trading D for forwards, because there are more D at better values than forwards in the UFA market. And there is less risk, I would argue, in trading for forwards.

    Trade Benning and Russell for forwards. Sign Stralman and Hainsey.

    Benning and maybe a pick for JT MIller.
    Russell, retain $2 million for Frolik.
    Sign Hainsey for 1 year.
    Sign Stralman for 2 years.

  117. oilsnc79 says:

    dustrock:
    godot10,

    I’m not saying Babcock is bad.I’m saying lots of buzz about Babcock being a problem, not adjusting, spacing out minutes unevenly, spacing out PP time unevely, why did he have Marleau on in the last couple of minutes, etc.

    Babcock was hired as the saviour with the 8 year crazy contract and now they’re talking about dumping him.

    They can’t dump him, he has a no buy out/fire contract. Fart smeller than one.

  118. godot10 says:

    Bouchard should not see the NHL until he has demonstrated that he can defend the toughest opposition in the AHL.

    I don’t think it will be long, but I don’t want to waste the season of development by starting him in the NHL, trying to skip a development step.

  119. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would love to get Kadri on this team – he checks alot of boxes.

    In no world does a Kadri/Russell swap even register with the Leafs let alone the Leaf retaining.

    Ya, lots of negative verbal on Kadri, however, he is a very good player on a very good contract and Dubas is not going to give him away.

    Think Larsson, not Russell.

    Expect Kadri to want out after 1 season.

  120. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    JimmyV1965: I think there’s virtually no way the Leafs trade Kadri. Team mngt may be pissed, the MSM have him out the door, but for a team with possibly the most challenging cap issues in the league, they simply can’t trade a legit top six player with a cap hit of $4.5 mill for the next three years. They will have four players eating a cap of $40 mill next year. Kadri and Reilly are the only two players with decent cap numbers. This might be a bit of hyperbole, but I think it’s more likely they trade Mathews or Marner.

    Matthews for Subban +?

  121. LadiesloveSmid says:

    godot10: We are talking trading D for forwards, because there are more D at better values than forwards in the UFA market.And there is less risk, I would argue, in trading for forwards.

    Trade Benning and Russell for forwards.Sign Stralman and Hainsey.

    Benning and maybe a pick for JT MIller.
    Russell, retain $2 million for Frolik.
    Sign Hainsey for 1 year.
    Sign Stralman for 2 years.

    Calgary would have to trade Brodie & believe Russell is a top 4 D to do that.

    Have 2 LHD in Valimaki & Kylington coming up. Gio-Brodie-Hanifin already for LHD.

    Can’t imagine they would want KR

  122. Jaxon says:

    OriginalPouzar: Agree with pretty much all of this (although I think its a bit of fantasy to think there is going to be a value piece coming back in the Russell trade – a clean disposition is all that I require).

    There are times when it makes sense to trade top futures (1st round picks) but that time is current for this organization.

    Yes, you’re probably right, and I’d be happy to just dump the salary.

    Did you mean “not current”?

    P.S. You keep using the word disposition in relation to getting rid of Russell. I’m pretty sure that’s not the proper use of the term. Sure, breaking down the word, it would make sense that it would mean to dispose of something, but it actually means a state of mind or character or an arrangement of things. Not a big deal, but you keep using it so, umm, yeah, thought I’d point it out. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I don’t think so.

  123. JimmyV1965 says:

    hunter1909: And what a mangy bunch they are. Keep JP, please.

    If I’m running the Oilers(as suggested earlier by an astute poster) the first thing I do is put a stop to all trades. Waste of fucking time, when there’s internal drafting and development. No top team has ever been built through a trades first policy as shown by the Katzoilers – but a lot of losers have gone that direction.

    Enjoy watching Eberle star for the Islanders. Then Hall for the Flames.

    Stop making trades. Acquire good players, keep good players.

    Not sure the Sharks would agree with this. But I get what you’re saying. It all starts at the draft. Astute trades are critical as well though for virtually every good team.

  124. Nit64 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would love to get Kadri on this team – he checks alot of boxes.

    ~ Penalty Boxes. Press Boxes. For days at a time. ~

  125. Oddspell says:

    JimmyV1965: Not sure the Sharks would agree with this. But I get what you’re saying. It all starts at the draft. Astute trades are critical as well though for virtually every good team.

    Or the Preds, or the Jackets.

    I do agree that drafting and development has to be your first choice strategy. It’s pretty much the only thing a franchise really has real control over. Trades (and big UFAs) need to be opportunistic and reactive. You need to use drafting and development to put yourself in good positions to react to the trade and FA market.

  126. Jethro Tull says:

    hunter1909: And what a mangy bunch they are. Keep JP, please.

    If I’m running the Oilers(as suggested earlier by an astute poster) the first thing I do is put a stop to all trades. Waste of fucking time, when there’s internal drafting and development. No top team has ever been built through a trades first policy as shown by the Katzoilers – but a lot of losers have gone that direction.

    Enjoy watching Eberle star for the Islanders. Then Hall for the Flames.

    Stop making trades. Acquire good players, keep good players.

    Hmmmmm…..yes, I see. The fatal flaw in your plan is that the Oilers have been among the worst in the league at drafting and developing. We’re actually lucky that most of our picks have been high and some have developed into useful pieces DESPITE the Oilers system.

    Until this is fixed, it’s a waste of fucking time standing pat. Let another team draft and develop them if you can’t.

    The trouble is the ineptitude of the last few years has severely polarized the fans. There’s no longer “taking a balanced approach.” It should be that if a trade improves your team, then you make it. If a prospect is developing nicely, then leave him be and see what you have.

    Now we have “trading is a waste of time” and “we’re YEARS away unless we move some dead weight”. And we refuse to see the other’s argument. We aso LOVE to fall in love with our prospects and let them die on the vine, without either playing meaningful games for us, or being used as an asset in a trade.

    Case in point, TBL and CBJ. TBL, the best regular season team in a dog’s age. Built primarily through the draft, not in serious cap trouble, well coached. CBJ, mortgaged the future for rentals, squeeked in by the skin of their teeth. Coach prone to self-destructing. Everything tells us that TBL is the way to build a team. It truly is the sensible way to do it. But perhaps they weren’t built as well as you’d like to think. Heavily reliant of systems plays and unable to adapt to a team that studied them and correctly identified how to beat them. I don’t think that anyone here truly thinks that CBJ way is the way ahead.

    There needs to be a balanced approach with evidence led decisions made in the best interests of winning. For whatever reason, JP has struggled here, despite even being taking under Hitch’s wing. I don’t know why. All we can do is speculate. But if he improves this team through a trade, then you do it, all. damn. day.

    I put this to you: What, and be honest with us and yourself, do you see as JP’s ceiling as the player he CURRENTLY is? Because if it’s not top 6 winger, get him gone.

  127. Oilman99 says:

    Marc: Completely agree.

    Another player in Winnipeg I wonder about is Trouba. He was their best D last season but has only two more RFA years left and was a tough sign last time round. His qualifying offer amounts for his last two RFA years are $6.05M and $6.65M, so he’ll be looking for $8+M per year on a long term extention. If that’s too rich for Winnipeg’s blood I wonder if they look into getting something for him before they lose him for nothing.

    Oilers cant afford an $8+M defence man so this is a nonissue.

  128. Oilman99 says:

    godot10:
    Bouchard should not see the NHL until he has demonstrated that he can defend the toughest opposition in the AHL.

    I don’t think it will be long, but I don’t want to waste the season of development by starting him in the NHL, trying to skip a development step.

    If the Condors can have a long playoff run Bouchard should get a chance to demonstrate his abilities against the best in the AHL, and show if he will be a legitimate contender foe a job on the big club this fall.

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    Full highlights of the game last night if anyone is interested:

    https://twitter.com/Condors/status/1121110337812516864

  130. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rodrigue gets the start for Drummondville.

    Great stuff – he’s dressed for 3 games now and stopped all 20 shots in relief last night and now has his net back!

  131. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Alpine:
    So if Hunter or McCrimmon get the job, I suppose we can probably start talking about Misha Donskov as assistant GM? He’s worked in both London and Vegas. Seems like he would be an astute hire.

    https://www.si.com/nhl/2016/11/17/misha-donskov-las-vegas-expansion-team-front-office

    From the article:

    For Hockey Canada, Donskov became what VP of hockey operations Scott Salmond calls “our Swiss army knife.” He developed the organization’s analytics portal, created an in-house app so everyone can stay in touch during the NHL regular season, and twice won gold at the IIHF World Championships.

    “We hired him in video and analytics, and by the end I thought he could’ve been a GM of our teams and still helped in other areas,” Salmond says. “I relied on him as a sounding board. We did everything hand in hand, from coach prep to management to player evaluation.

    Donskov’s responsibilities will be similar in Vegas. He had been prepping to leave for a Team Canada coaching staff retreat when McPhee called, formally asking him to come aboard, and leapt at the “once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to start at ground zero.” Since then, he’s designed their scouting software, vetted outside analytics firms, and organized their video platform, logistical matters required before the coaching staff gets hired and the team gets on the ice next year. No wonder McPhee calls his hiring “automatic.”

    Thanks for that.

    Exactly what EDM needs.

    Most teams have their offices lit by LED and EDM is using whale oil lanterns.

  132. v4ance says:

    Had a conversation with a knowledgeable Flames fan (I know, I know, an oxymoron…) and to put Woodguy’s fears to rest, despite Calgary’s favorable cap situation, there’s very little likelihood of the club signing Taylor Hall when he goes UFA.

    The Flames Top 2 LW are Gaudreau and Tkachuk and they’ll be signed long term by October while Sam Bennett and Mangiapane are capable as the bottom 2 LW. Both Gaudreau and Tkachuk struggled playing right wing so if they sign Hall, he’ll either be 3 LW or playing right wing on a stacked Flames forward squad.

    It WOULD be a genius move to sign Hall as 3 LW (and a dagger to the Oilers’ hearts) but it’s more likely they use the cap room to sign someone as a long term replacement for Giordano.

    ***

    Also, they traded away Kris Russell. They understand what a pylon he was/is and don’t want him back. To quote the fan, “Russell is the definition of soft. He just lets them into the zone over and over…”

  133. Oilman99 says:

    dustrock:
    godot10,

    I’m not saying Babcock is bad.I’m saying lots of buzz about Babcock being a problem, not adjusting, spacing out minutes unevenly, spacing out PP time unevely, why did he have Marleau on in the last couple of minutes, etc.

    Babcock was hired as the saviour with the 8 year crazy contract and now they’re talking about dumping him.

    Babcock’s successes coaching the Canadian national teams have blown his ego to the size of a hot air balloon,no way a young punk like Dubas is going to tell him anything.

  134. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Lowetide: What color is your blog?

    Game, set, match … but I can’t help but laugh too. That was one hell of an ace.

  135. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Alpine:
    Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

    I finally got this joke on like the fifth read. Nice one.

    A little self deprecating humor now and then is good for the soul.

  136. Lowetide says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Game, set, match … but I can’t help but laugh too. That was one hell of an ace.

    🙂 I thought it might come off as pissy, but am happy it found the right spot.

  137. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    russ99:
    I’m gunshy with the Oilers handling of prospects the last few years.

    It would be prudent to give Bouchard roughly 30-40 games at the AHL level to adjust to defending pros, many top prospects are so far ahead of the competition at junior, that they don’t get this wake-up call until they hit the pros. Defensemen take longer too.

    And as we see with Benning, there’s no amount of clean exit passes or point shots to make up for glaring, force the goalie into a difficult save deficiencies at defense. We need that goals against number to go down and we are already looking at questions in the crease, we can’t also run with only 3-4 defenders who can defend against NHL oppoisition.

    Not to mention that Woodcroft is obviously sheltering him and using him in specific situations as the #7 D, the Oilers don’t have that luxury.

    I’d give Bear or Jones first shot at NHL playing time, they’ve had the NHL cup of coffee and put in the requisite AHL development time.

    Agreed.

    Bouchard will have defensive deficiencies and its best he works for those out with Manson in the AHL.

    He can move up when Manson is happy with him.

    Kids getting destroyed by NHLers has been the problem and that needs to stop.

    Bouchard will be an NHLer.

    EDM needs his tool kit to be more complete when he does become one.

    That doesn’t mean a whole season in the AHL either.

  138. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wilde:
    i can shed a little light on the specifics of Bouchard’s 5v5 situation last night-

    – he played a total of eight shifts where a shot attempt occurred

    – they ended up with counts of +9 / -4 (+5)

    – he played every shift with either Stanton or Lowe

    – he was a primary contributor on seven of the nine CF he was on the ice for (!)

    – he made one pretty bad mistake with the puck but was otherwise smart

    – the eagles are simultaneously a trash, unentertaining team AND tediously dirty during and between play

    Did you record how his shifts started?

    OTF, OZ, DZ?

    Thanks for the awesome info.

  139. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Melman:
    Flames out
    Leafs out
    McCrimmon available for an interview after round 1

    Bob is having a terrific off-season!!

    It’s the summer of Bob!!

  140. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon: Yes, you’re probably right, and I’d be happy to just dump the salary.

    Did you mean “not current”?

    P.S. You keep using the word disposition in relation to getting rid of Russell. I’m pretty sure that’s not the proper use of the term. Sure, breaking down the word, it would make sense that it would mean to dispose of something, but it actually means a state of mind or character or an arrangement of things. Not a big deal, but you keep using it so, umm, yeah, thought I’d point it out. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I don’t think so.

    1) Extremely happy

    2) You are correct, typo

    3) Oh shit – I’m using it wrong in credit agreements providing for $3.5B acquisition loans…….. in the context of legal financing contracts, “disposition” is used correctly.

    ————–

    A disposition is an act of getting rid of an asset or security through a direct sale or some other transfer method. Insider trades often report a disposition of a certain number of shares to board members and executives, which simply means that they have sold the assets in question.

    Disposition – Investopedia

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/disposition.asp

  141. Reja says:

    godot10: We are talking trading D for forwards, because there are more D at better values than forwards in the UFA market.And there is less risk, I would argue, in trading for forwards.

    Trade Benning and Russell for forwards.Sign Stralman and Hainsey.

    Benning and maybe a pick for JT MIller.
    Russell, retain $2 million for Frolik.
    Sign Hainsey for 1 year.
    Sign Stralman for 2 years.

    Oilers and Flames only trade with each other once every 20 years

  142. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: There is zero reason to leave Bouchard in the AHL if he’s ready. None. He can transition via pass and carry, plus he can help the power play. If he’s ready, he should be in the NHL.

    If Manson thinks he can defend pros well and makes good decisions under a heavy forecheck I’m good with it.

    Not until then though.

  143. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nit64: ~ Penalty Boxes. Press Boxes. For days at a time. ~

    in the playoffs…..

  144. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Melman:
    DBO,

    Does anyone have an appetite for a Kadri for Russell swap (with salary retained by TO to make it even)?

    He’s suspension in back to back seasons must have punched his ticket out

    “Does anyone want a filet mignon with 4 giant Alaskan King Crab legs on the side for free” ?

  145. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ben:
    We have so little objective information about GM candidates.

    Beyond Spec telling us that he thinks a guy “knows players”, have there been any indications that McCrimmon (or any other particular candidate) is a progressive decision-maker, a competent team leader, or a good asset trader/developer?

    Truth

  146. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Hmmmmm…..yes, I see. The fatal flaw in your plan is that the Oilers have been among the worst in the league at drafting and developing.We’re actually lucky that most of our picks have been high and some have developed into useful pieces DESPITE the Oilers system.

    Until this is fixed, it’s a waste of fucking time standing pat.Let another team draft and develop them if you can’t.

    Drafting seems to have been MUCH improved the last 3-4 years and the rewards are on the cusp of being reaped.

    Development outside the first round has been better the last 3-4 years (Benson, Jones, Bear, Lagesson, etc.) and, from accounts of upper executives, the organization is shifting to a different development strategy with higher picks – we should see what that looks like come October with both Yamamoto and Bouchard in Bakersfield and the 8th overall back in their incumbent league (or college).

  147. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Full highlights of the game last night if anyone is interested:

    https://twitter.com/Condors/status/1121110337812516864

    Thank You. Really appreciate it.

    Show you what an analytical hockey mind I possess.

    My two main takeaways were the term “Bouch Bomb”
    AND
    The attractive women in the Bakersfield Crowd after the 5th goal.

  148. Reja says:

    v4ance:
    Had a conversation with a knowledgeable Flames fan (I know, I know, an oxymoron…) and to put Woodguy’s fears to rest, despite Calgary’s favorable cap situation, there’s very little likelihood of the club signing Taylor Hall when he goes UFA.

    The Flames Top 2 LW are Gaudreau and Tkachuk and they’ll be signed long term by October while Sam Bennett and Mangiapane are capable as the bottom 2 LW.Both Gaudreau and Tkachuk struggled playing right wing so if they sign Hall, he’ll either be 3 LW or playing right wing on a stacked Flames forward squad.

    It WOULD be a genius move to sign Hall as 3 LW (and a dagger to the Oilers’ hearts) but it’s more likely they use the cap room to sign someone as a long term replacement for Giordano.

    ***

    Also, they traded away Kris Russell.They understand what a pylon he was/is and don’t want him back. To quote the fan, “Russell is the definition of soft.He just lets them into the zone over and over…”

    Some posters can put all the pixie dust they can obtain from Tinker bell. Not one GM in this league is taking Russell without retention,assets or bad contract coming back there are literally 50 unemployed defenseman to choose from as a 5-6 Defender for a mil or less.

  149. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: If the Condors can have a long playoff run Bouchard should get a chance to demonstrate his abilities against the best in the AHL, and show if he will be a legitimate contender foe a job on the big club this fall.

    Yup – a good 12 plus games would give us more information on Bouchard than anything that happens in training camp and exhibition. The Condors were so dominant last night that the game didn’t really provide any such info as he didn’t have to do anything except play inside the Eagle blue (and show the skills that we already know are NHL ready). That will change, obviously.

  150. oilersfan says:

    Tkachuk and Monahan played is the NHL as 18 year olds

    If the players are ready they are ready

    Over ripening is a misused idea

  151. OriginalPouzar says:

    v4ance:

    It WOULD be a genius move to sign Hall as 3 LW (and a dagger to the Oilers’ hearts) but it’s more likely they use the cap room to sign someone as a long term replacement for Giordano.

    Oh, please let it be Erik Karlsson, pretty please.

  152. ArmchairGM says:

    Jethro Tull: The fatal flaw in your plan is that the Oilers have been among the worst in the league at drafting and developing

    The sad thing is, as bad as drafting and development has been, their trade record is worse.

    And yes, I see Puljujarvi as a top-5 winger if coached correctly.

  153. OriginalPouzar says:

    oilersfan:
    Tkachuk and Monahan played is the NHL as 18 year olds

    If the players are ready they are ready

    Over ripening is a misused idea

    If he’s ready, he’s ready but its MUCH tougher for a d-man to be ready straight out of junior than a forward – of course, it does happen but its much more common with skill forwards.

  154. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: The sad thing is, as bad as drafting and development has been, their trade record is worse.

    And yes, I see Puljujarvi as a top-5 winger if coached correctly.

    Honest question, what’s a top 5 winger?

  155. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: If Manson thinks he can defend pros well and makes good decisions under a heavy forecheck I’m good with it.

    Not until then though.

    Bouchard is going to have some wobble upon NHL arrival, they all do (even Jones toward the end of his audition). Edmonton should have the depth to send him down, but a (say) Sekera-Bouchard pairing opening night wouldn’t shock me, and my guess is they’d play pretty well.

  156. Lowetide says:

    oilersfan:
    Tkachuk and Monahan played is the NHL as 18 year olds

    If the players are ready they are ready

    Over ripening is a misused idea

    I think it’s especially likely a player chosen inside the top 10 overall would be able to adjust.

  157. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Honest question, what’s a top 5 winger?

    Gaa! My thumbs are too big for this keyboard. But yeah, it wouldn’t be too hard to be top 5 in Edmonton.

    Edit: before you ask the question, yes I am using woodguy’s phone.

  158. oilersfan says:

    Lowetide: I think it’s especially likely a player chosen inside the top 10 overall would be able to adjust.

    I am thinking more of whoever they draft this year if it’s a forward , or Benson. He has a PPG as a 20 year old rookie in the second best league in the world. If that projects to 30-40 points in the nhl why are we saying he needs another year in the ahl?

  159. Lowetide says:

    oilersfan: I am thinking more of whoever they draft this year if it’s a forward , or Benson. He has a PPG as a 20 year old rookie in the second best league in the world. If that projects to 30-40 points in the nhl why are we saying he needs another year in the ahl?

    There’s a good chance Benson will be one of the three best LW’s in training camp. I can’t imagine a GM is going to rob his new coach of a player who can help (if Benson shows he can). I see Benson’s competition as Khaira and Lucic. He has a shot.

  160. Ryan says:

    Woodguy v2.0: “Does anyone want a filet mignon with 4 giant Alaskan King Crab legs on the side for free” ?

    Sounds great

    I’ll take it.

    Let me know when and where and I’ll see you then.

  161. ArmchairGM says:

    Caps up 2-0 at the 1st intermission on goals from Burakovsky and Wilson, the latter off a beautiful setup by Ovechkin.

  162. leadfarmer says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Caps up 2-0 at the 1st intermission on goals from Burakovsky and Wilson, the latter off a beautiful setup by Ovechkin.

    Ovechkin is just destroying Hamilton. Not Faulk like the thought on here is
    Every time Hamilton is on the ice Ovechkin gets on

  163. ArmchairGM says:

    I wonder if Burakovsky will be available this summer… must be qualified at $3.25M though, which is pretty steep for a 12-goal scorer. What are the chances he won’t be qualified and will be available as a UFA?

  164. flyfish1168 says:

    hunter1909: Next time ask your friends about the 2019 playoffs for the Flames. Or, better still about when they plan to raise their ” 2019 Regular Season Championship of the West” banner lol

    LOL, Doesn’t matter. Oscar is the only Dman I would take over some phlegms bottom 3 at this point in there careers.

  165. leadfarmer says:

    ArmchairGM,

    They probably trade him. But if they don’t I would pursue him over Connolly

  166. GMB3 says:

    Oilman99: Babcock’s successes coaching the Canadian national teams have blown his ego to the size of a hot air balloon,no way a young punk like Dubas is going to tell him anything.

    “Young punk like Dubas”

    I wonder if people who comment things like this know how absurd it makes them sound. 😬

  167. pts2pndr says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Bear has some nice attributes, unfortunately skating and defending at the NHL aren’t a part of that. At least not that we’ve seen.

    Bouchard is probably the best option if someone is going straight to the bigs, unless Persson is able to make a rapid adjustment to smaller ice and bigger more aggressive forwards.

    The real issue is all of the prospects are best suited for third pair including Benning. Benning, Bear, Persson are smaller players relative to average NHL D, and the mentor options at 3 LD are also smaller in Sekera and Russell. It matters in that somebody has to be able to defend the net front with physicality, none of these gents are Lidstrom with stick and positioning.

    Rutherford according to TSN seems to think he’ll move a D this summer, easily, because do many teams are looking. A competent GM should be able to balance the Oilers D corp with all of the available assets and actually knowing what a helpful pro player looks like.

    I think we’re all scarred because Chiarelli’s idea of helpful was big and tough, or just tough, skating and puck skills optional. Or going opposite and getting Wideman who with defending was optional.

    It is possible to get better without gutting the team again. It starts with clearing cap and not getting jammed at the limit again. Katz spending isn’t the same as leaving no room to move. What a frustrating team.

    Lagesson is the answer for the physical left side third pairing. Left shot Larsson. Berglund will be the same for the right side moving forward but still a year away. Both players good first pass.

  168. JimmyV1965 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Matthews for Subban +?

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Matthews for Subban +?

    Doughty would be interesting too.

  169. GMB3 says:

    If we could trade JP for Henrik Borgstrom, i’d seriously take the time to consider it. Only downside is he’s a left shot, but he has skill for days and I wouldn’t be too surprised if he made a large leap forward this season.

  170. GMB3 says:

    leadfarmer:
    ArmchairGM,

    They probably trade him. But if they don’t I would pursue him over Connolly

    Agreed. Paying Connolly 4+ would be ugly for our cap situation, imo.

  171. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov with a PP goal early in the 3rd to give Guelph some life (down 3-1).

  172. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer: Ovechkin is just destroying Hamilton.Not Faulk like the thought on here is
    Every time Hamilton is on the ice Ovechkin gets on

    Which is exactly why you need a player like Larsson. And Nurse.

    When you get big physical forwards that can play and skate you need D that can get the puck from them and keep them outside.

    If they are going to shelter Bouchard for a few years to get his offense you ideally don’t want to have others that need shelter

    I think this may give Lagesson an inside edge. He has size, isn’t cement blades, is defensive and can pass. He could be a great partner for an offensive type.

    Jones is faster but doesn’t have size. With the current players up and down the best fit for him is Larsson but he can’t play toughs yet.

    Maybe Jones third pair with Benning, but you have a pretty small pair relatively neither being great defensively.

    My D prospect trade bait would be jones and any right side not Bouchard. Of course not trading all of them.

  173. Andy Dufresne says:

    Zach Kassian and Tom Wilson’s boxcards are remarkably similar over the last 6 years.

    Kassian is 3 years older, but Wilson has played on a much better team

    PPG is almost identical. Wilson has much better plus/minus but could be a result of playing on a much better team.

    Are we under-valuing Kassian at $1.95AVV as compared to Wilsons $5.166 AVV ?

    GP/G/A/PTS/+-/Penalty Min
    Kassian
    2013-14 Vancouver NHL 73 14 15 29 -4 124
    2014-15 Vancouver NHL 42 10 6 16 -5 81
    2015-16 Edmonton NHL 36 3 5 8 -7 114
    2016-17 Edmonton NHL 79 7 17 24 4 101
    2017-18 Edmonton NHL 74 7 12 19 -8 92
    2018-19 Edmonton NHL 79 15 11 26 -6 102
    NHL TOTAL NHL 466 67 76 143 -35 716

    Wilson
    2013-14 Washington NHL 82 3 7 10 1 151
    2014-15 Washington NHL 67 4 13 17 -1 172
    2015-16 Washington NHL 82 7 16 23 3 163
    2016-17 Washington NHL 82 7 12 19 9 133
    2017-18 Washington NHL 78 14 21 35 10 187
    2018-19 Washington NHL 63 22 18 40 11 128
    NHL TOTAL NHL 454 57 87 144 33 934

  174. Andy Dufresne says:

    Sphincters tighting across Washington DC

  175. leadfarmer says:

    GMB3,

    Yeah he’s the one guy from that list that I could live with

  176. Andy Dufresne says:

    Man Justin Williams is a competitor.

    We should put aside agism and consider this guy.

    Consistent 50pt guy at $4.5m or less.

  177. Pouzar says:

    A good first pass is useless if the team doesn’t use the middle of ice to breakout. It’s been an issue for years.

  178. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Which is exactly why you need a player like Larsson. And Nurse.

    When you get big physical forwards that can play and skate you need D that can get the puck from them and keep them outside.

    If they are going to shelter Bouchard for a few years to get his offense you ideally don’t want to have others that need shelter

    I think this may give Lagesson an inside edge. He has size, isn’t cement blades, is defensive and can pass. He could be a great partner for an offensive type.

    Jones is faster but doesn’t have size. With the current players up and down the best fit for him is Larsson but he can’t play toughs yet.

    Maybe Jones third pair with Benning, but you have a pretty small pair relatively neither being great defensively.

    My D prospect trade bait would be jones and any right side not Bouchard. Of course not trading all of them.

    Sekera/Jones as the third pairing is also an option.

    Lets not forget, Jones has played almost exclusively on the right side as a pro (except at the NHL level where 2/3 was on the left side with Larsson and 1/3 on the right side with Gravel).

    He and Lagesson are the top pairing in Bakersfield.

    I’ve been trying to sour on Bear (not every prospect can “make it”) but he’s been much better in the second half when he’s been healthy enough to play.

    His shot is indeed a weapon.

  179. Andy Dufresne says:

    3-3 nail biter in Washington

    12 minutes left

    Talk about Competetive Balance.

    How big of a performance bonus does Bettman get this year.

  180. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nice little shimmy at the line to open up the shooting lane:

    https://twitter.com/storm_city/status/1121217017606836225?s=12

  181. Andy Dufresne says:

    Going to SUDDEN DEATH OVVVVVVERTIME in Washington

  182. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Nice little shimmy at the line to open up the shooting lane:

    https://twitter.com/storm_city/status/1121217017606836225?s=12

    Thank you.

    Bouchard Samorukov top pairing when we win our next Stanley Cup.

  183. leadfarmer says:

    We need to make room in the next year for some of these guys. how long can you hold some of these guys back? Bouchard, a year maybe. Samurokov 2 at most, Jones 1/2 a year? Bear? A year? Lagesson Persson

  184. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sekera/Jones as the third pairing is also an option.

    Lets not forget, Jones has played almost exclusively on the right side as a pro (except at the NHL level where 2/3 was on the left side with Larsson and 1/3 on the right side with Gravel).

    He and Lagesson are the top pairing in Bakersfield.

    I’ve been trying to sour on Bear (not every prospect can “make it”) but he’s been much better in the second half when he’s been healthy enough to play.

    His shot is indeed a weapon.

    At the nhl level I don’t want rookies playing wrong side

    Bear is an interesting player but for me there are scenarios that play out repeatedly

    Players that are undersized by nhl standards need to be plus skaters and either need mad skills defending or mad skills scoring. Preferably both

    Bear is a tweener in every way. Not that big, not that fast, not that solid defensively. Good but not outstanding offensively

    In the right spot he could have an nhl career. If someone wants him I’d deal, I think his chances of being a strong nhl player are low for the reasons mentioned

    I’m also not a fan of having a 100-200 game career as a marker of success drafting

    It means you’ve drafted a replacement level player, you want top half of roster players as a measure of success imo unless you’re talking 3rd round or lower

  185. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    We need to make room in the next year for some of these guys.how long can you hold some of these guys back?Bouchard, a year maybe.Samurokov 2 at most, Jones 1/2 a year?Bear? A year?Lagesson Persson

    This is why a decent 2 rd is critical

    Then they could start using the farm.

    Right now it’s a choice of a rookie bottom pair or a rookie too high up the roster

  186. Reja says:

    Carolina is relentless on the forecheck they are a good team maybe Peter The Great was the problem with the team not playing at crunch time.

  187. leadfarmer says:

    Pesce Slavin such a great tandem

  188. Glovjuice says:

    Munny:
    I’ve been on the internet a long time but I don’t think I’ve ever read a website where the background colour is constantly changing before.It’s like someone got a hold of a case of highlighter pens, lol.

    I know. It’s cute that LT is trying to do some graphic design without a design bone in his handsome body.

  189. Pescador says:

    leadfarmer:
    We need to make room in the next year for some of these guys.how long can you hold some of these guys back?Bouchard, a year maybe.Samurokov 2 at most, Jones 1/2 a year?Bear? A year?Lagesson Persson

    Highly unlikely they all become NHL top 6.
    Trade 1 or 2 for forwards,
    Fire Russell into the sun, trade Sekera if possible or wait out his contract.
    There plenty of room

  190. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide: I think it’s especially likely a player chosen inside the top 10 overall would be able to adjust.

    Hockey players are like fruit but over ripe fruit is wastefull. Fruit should be picked when ripe re ready. All fruit on a tree like all players, do not become ripe at the same time. If a player is ready he will improve faster playing with better competition. If a young player struggles then put him back in the AHL until he is ready.

  191. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    We need to make room in the next year for some of these guys.how long can you hold some of these guys back?Bouchard, a year maybe.Samurokov 2 at most, Jones 1/2 a year?Bear? A year?Lagesson Persson

    I would say the prudence is for them to prove they are ready before the established NHLer are moved to make room.

    Not all those guys are going to make it. Bouch is almost assured to make it and Jones looks like a pretty darn good bet but Bear may never make it. Samorukov, I think has 1LD potential but he may never make it and I would suggest he’s probably at least 2 full years not 2 years max. Persson is a complete wild card.

    Not to mention, the team will likely use 10 plus d-men this year – there will be NHL ice for each of them that earns it.

  192. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide: There is zero reason to leave Bouchard in the AHL if he’s ready. None. He can transition via pass and carry, plus he can help the power play. If he’s ready, he should be in the NHL.

    A very Werenski-esque rookie season, alongside Sekera or Klefbom?

  193. Ice Sage says:

    Reja:
    Carolina is relentless on the forecheck they are a good team maybe Peter The Great was the problem with the team not playing at crunch time.

    …except for that one time…

  194. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: At the nhl level I don’t want rookies playing wrong side

    I generally agree with that but there is the odd case where a d-man doesn’t see drop off on his off side and sometimes they are even better. Jones has spent two full years on the right side save for a 130 minutes with Adam Larsson.

    The numbers for him in the NHL show that he fared MUCH better in his 65 minutes on the right side (with Kevin Gravel) than he did on the left side with Adam Larsson where they got caved.

    Obviously a large QOC difference skewing the small sample size numbers.

  195. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Hamilton must be one freaky monkey off ice because it seems he’s a pretty solid player

    And they score

  196. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Yes but not talking at the start of next season. Talking throughout next season for the next.
    Salary cap constraints mean you can’t have that much money tied in a 3rd pairing
    No one is taking these overweight contracts with 2 years left

  197. flyfish1168 says:

    I was hoping Trotz coach against his old team.

  198. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Did you record how his shifts started?

    OTF, OZ, DZ?

    Thanks for the awesome info.

    No, I didn’t, but I can tell you that there was either 1 or 0 DZ starts

    It was a very conscious, very cautious sheltering. Pretty much turning the dial all the way to the left.

    There’s definitely more to get out of him and I think we’ll see more, but Jay’s got a series to win and he’s humbled me as a critic before.

    When it comes to the fall, I think you can make an argument that he should start in Bakersfield almost certainly, in order to use his time efficiently. There’s no way to be sure about him before the actual season starts, therefore making whoever’s the coach start him at the deployment he was asked of in his first NHL games in 2018 – and figuring him out slowly.

    Whereas in the AHL, you can figure that out much faster, and make some kind of inference about how he’ll transition and fit him to a better deployment curve based on that greater pool of information.

    I guess what I’m saying, is that you probably know more about him after he’s played 12 AHL game than you do after 12 NHL games, though I realise I’m biased by thinking that the transition between top-rung AHL and bottom-rung NHL is both closer, and less threshold-y than probably 90% of observers.

  199. LMHF#1 says:

    Two shoulda-been-Oilers playing a big part.

    Justin Williams would have been an ideal signing a couple years back and comes up big…again.

    And Mrazek winning in the playoffs.

    Good for both of them.

  200. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I generally agree with that but there is the odd case where a d-man doesn’t see drop off on his off side and sometimes they are even better.Jones has spent two full years on the right side save for a 130 minutes with Adam Larsson.

    The numbers for him in the NHL show that he fared MUCH better in his 65 minutes on the right side (with Kevin Gravel) than he did on the left side with Adam Larsson where they got caved.

    Obviously a large QOC difference skewing the small sample size numbers.

    Good points he may be ok 3 RD

    Still don’t like it 😀

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