Issue One: Jesse

I married a politics junkie, specifically a woman who has spent a lot of time observing and reading about American politics. One of the things we enjoyed over the years was a show called The McLaughlin Report. She watched for the content, I watched for the warmth and humor. (Here is the SNL skit).

The host, John McLaughlin, would spit out (literally) an issue and ask the panel questions. They would get four words out before getting interrupted, by McLaughlin or one of the other guests. It was damned funny in its time, and that’s a fact. So, in honor of a long lost show, ISSUE ONE: Jesse.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group.INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
  • New Jonathan Willis: Which Condors made a good first impression on Oilers GM Ken Holland?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
  • Eric Duhatschek: Why any talk of Ken Holland being yesterday’s man should be put to rest.
  • Lowetide: How will Ken Holland proceed in Year 1 as Oilers general manager?
  • Jonathan Willis: What does the arrival of Ken Holland mean for the Oilers coaching search?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Prioritizing the roster issues that await Ken Holland in Edmonton.
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Bakersfield production line: Elevating Jones and how long will success take?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s procurement list for his rumored move to Edmonton will include front-office personnel
  • Jonathan Willis: A Milan Lucic trade is at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers’ next GM.
  • Lowetide: Should Oilers practice more patience in adding Evan Bouchard to the roster?
  • Jonathan Willis: Is Ken Holland yesterday’s man or the ideal GM candidate for the Oilers?
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi and his uncertain future with the Oilers
  • Lowetide: ‘I see something special’: Are Oilers prepared to make Caleb Jones a fixture on the roster next season?
  • Jonathan Willis: Gritty comeback performance sends Edmonton’s farm team to the second round of the AHL playoffs.
  • Lowetide: Dylan Cozens might be ideal fit for Oilers at No. 8 overall in the 2019 draft
  • New Lowetide: Is this the season the Oilers take the plunge and draft a USHL player in the first round?
  • Lowetide: Red Wings front office shuffle could impact Oilers’ future.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick

JESSE’S CURRENT COMPARABLES

Each season, I head to hockey-reference and find comparables for youngsters who are still emerging as NHL players. Ideally, you find very few comparables (McDavid’s are Crosby, Ovie and Malkin four years in), but in the case of JP it’s a long list.

There are some good players in this group, in fact a few who had long and productive careers. There are 8 direct hits, and those eight men performed in year four (on average): 46, 7-6-13. We can hope that Puljujarvi romps past that number by Halloween, but it isn’t a fabulous bet. Meaning Puljujarvi’s trade value won’t be high. He was in a better neighborhood a year ago, one hopes he can get back there and beyond.

What should that mean for Holland? A year in Europe or a year spent finding a role on the NHL team are possible options. He’s big and strong, so could be effective on an aggressive No. 4 line, but Holland told Mark Spector he’s in “make the playoffs now” mode and Jesse might not fit the puzzle for Edmonton.

KAILER YAMAMOTO

The Oilers announced yesterday that Yamamoto had wrist surgery, should be fine for training camp. Anything to do with the hands/wrist can be devastating for skill players and KY struggled when in the lineup after his injury. He wasn’t right at any point in Bakersfield, that is reflected in his 5-on-5 scoring numbers. Here are Edmonton’s AHL forwards (age 20 or less) since 2005 ranked by points-per-game:

  1. Tyler Benson 2018-19: 68, 13-27-40 (.588)
  2. Magnus Paajarvi 2011-12: 34, 7-12-19 (.559)
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi 2016-17: 39, 7-11-18 (.462)
  4. Marco Roy 2015-16: 42, 8-10-18 (.429)
  5. Teemu Hartikainen 2010-11: 66, 8-20-28 (.424)
  6. Bogdan Yakimov 2014-15: 57, 9-14-23 (.404)
  7. Kailer Yamamoto 2018-19: 27, 4-7-10 (.370)
  8. Rob Schremp 2006-07: 69, 8-16-24 (.348)
  9. J-F Jacqies 2005-06: 65, 11-10-21 (.323)
  10. Marc Pouliot 2005-06: 65, 8-12-20 (.308)
  11. Ryan Martindale 2012-13: 41, 4-8-12 (.293)
  12. Tyler Pitlick 2011-12: 62, 4-13-17 (.274)
  13. Slava Trukhno 2007-08: 64, 7-11-18 (.266)
  14. Phil Cornet 2010-11: 60, 5-10-15 (.250)
  15. Kyle Platzer 2015-16: 48, 3-8-11 (.229)
  16. Jujhar Khaira 2014-15: 51, 4-6-10 (.196)
  17. Curtis Hamilton 2011-12: 41, 4-3-7 (.171)
  18. Travis Ewanyk 2013-14: 68, 6-5-11 (.162)
  19. Mitch Moroz 2014-15: 66, 5-4-9 (.136)
  20. Kale Kessy 2013-14: 54, 2-2-4 (.074)

Remember, offensive players like Yamamoto don’t spend long in the AHL. He should have dominated this year, but the injury made that impossible. New management means no connection to the current stable, although Ken Holland is going to value every skill winger available. Interesting that the young man still beat Rob Schremp at the 5-on-5, despite the injury.

CONDORS V. GULLS (WILDE ON POSSESSION)

Our friend Wilde has once again gifted us with the possession numbers, you can follow him here on twitter and here at his website. This team misses Cooper Marody, and the San Diego Gulls are a fine team. These are 5-on-5 numbers.

Still, Benson and Currie are dominant in possession and for Benson the offense is coming in this series. I hope Bakersfield can stretch this series out or even win it, this is a very good test for the kids. Reports on Jones, Lagesson and Bear are positive, that might impact Holland’s summer moves. Ryan McLeod’s possession numbers are fab, is he helping or getting zoomed?

We’ll be live all day, the Lowdown will feature guests Steve Lansky, Greyson Knutson from FC Edmonton (HUGE weekend) and various former NHLers who can pop in between games. It was a blast this year, looking forward to it this morning!

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88 Responses to "Issue One: Jesse"

  1. Ben says:

    I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, but considering the context and where KY’s at in his career – why wait so long to pursue a solution? Same thing with JP, really. And Klefbom. Probably Larsson.

    This team spends an inordinate amount of time with players being “not quite right” before taking action to address problems. It should be an area of concern for Holland.

  2. leeinvan says:

    KY has had a rough start, hopefully he can go into camp in good shape next season and be the player they hoped when he was drafted.
    The farm team is doing well despite some key players out, looks like they will get at least another top prospect to join them from his junior team soon. The big team will have to make some decisions soon as they are starting to have a logjam in the D position.
    Lots to do for the new GM.

  3. Wilde says:

    That answer in the Spector interview is pretty spooky.

  4. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Wilde:
    That answer in the Spector interview is pretty spooky.

    – What answer to who on what: this one?: ” I’ve talked to a lot of people – Bob Nicholson, Keith Gretzky, Craig MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock – and I’ll double back and talk to them again.”

    * I hate that it’s clear from verbal that MacT is staying: they all go out of way to mention him. Just an awful choice: MacT would not be in anything other than scouting role elsewhere. After a dozen years of terrible teams, MacT is in different roles: he’s one of the constants: punt him. But I don’t know why I rant and get mad: just submit Kinger

    – Seperatly – it’s not crazy-talk to imagine that neither Pool and Kailer; both having important surgeries; and down arrows, are no longer prospects of interest: that’s a reality

    – At best, pencil them in on 0 contribution in the NHL next year IMO, as try-out players and hope for the best. You can’t “slot” them with any confidence

  5. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    At the end of his answer to this question:

    “Let’s talk about our coach. Does the market, having Connor McDavid, or the pressure to win in Edmonton dictate what type of coach you’ll hire?”

    Was this:

    “This is a long-winded answer, but when you’re in a rebuild mode, you can go with a young coach. We’re in a ‘make the playoffs now’ mode … but I’m not going to spend assets from the future to prop the team up. I’m trying to build something.”

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    Big day of hockey today:

    Canada opens its World Championships this morning vs. Finland

    Guelph in game 5 of the OHL championships (tied at 2)

    Condors look to even up the series with the Gulls at 2 after a huge comeback win

    Oh ya, Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals!

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    1-1 after one – Nurse led Canada in ice time in the first with just over 8 minutes.

  8. ArmchairGM says:

    Doing some research on Benson, thought I would look for comps who played in the AHL at the same age. I looked exclusively at 5v5 scoring in 3 categories: p/gp, p1/gp and ep/60. Admittedly I cherry-picked some well known names, but Benson’s scoring rates put him in the top-5 pretty much every year i looked at (21 & under category), so there’s something going on with this young man.

    P/GP (age)

    JT Miller (20.51) 0.66
    Toffoli (20.40) 0.64
    Johansen (20.13) 0.62
    Kadri (20.94) 0.62
    Tatar (20.79) 0.61
    ** Benson (20.50) 0.59 **
    Mikael Granlund (20.55) 0.59
    Connolly (20.37) 0.56
    Pacioretty (20.82) 0.56
    Stone (20.34) 0.54
    Pageau (20.84) 0.54

    P1/GP

    Kadri (20.94) 0.58
    Johansen (20.13) 0.53
    Toffoli (20.40) 0.53
    Tatar (20.79) 0.50
    ** Benson (20.50) 0.49 **
    Connolly (20.37) 0.48
    JT Miller (20.51) 0.46
    Stone (20.34) 0.44
    Pageau (20.84) 0.43
    Mikael Granlund (20.55) 0.38
    Pacioretty (20.82) 0.33

    eP/60

    JT Miller (20.51) 2.97
    Tatar (20.79) 2.87
    Connolly (20.37) 2.85
    Kadri (20.94) 2.83
    Toffoli (20.40) 2.79
    Pacioretty (20.82) 2.74
    Pageau (20.84) 2.74
    Stone (20.34) 2.72
    ** Benson (20.50) 2.70 **
    Johansen (20.13) 2.68
    Mikael Granlund (20.55) 2.57

    That’s a pretty heady group of players. If our Benson ends up mid-pack in this group I’ll be very pleased.

    Also, players that trailed Benson in these categories this year (21 & under): Sam Steel, Max Jones, Logan Brown, Martin Necas (19), Alex Nylander, Jordan Kyrou, Michael McLeod, Filip Zadina (18), Kailer Yamamoto (19), etc. Of the 77 players in this age group that played at least 10 games this year, Benson was the 3rd behind Dillon Dube and Drake Batherson.

  9. texmex says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    OP

    Game 1 of the WCF is tomorrow night.

  10. Todd Macallan says:

    Toni Rajala playing for FIN, beauty pass between his legs to Kakko for the first goal.

    Nurse in the face if 6 ft 8 Finnish captain who was picking on liitle Stecher.

  11. pts2pndr says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – What answer to who on what: this one?: ” I’ve talked to a lot of people – Bob Nicholson, Keith Gretzky, Craig MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock – and I’ll double back and talk to them again.”

    * I hate that it’s clear from verbal that MacT is staying: they all go out of way to mention him.Just an awful choice: MacT would not be in anything other than scouting role elsewhere.After a dozen years of terrible teams, MacT is in different roles: he’s one of the constants: punt him.But I don’t know why I rant and get mad: just submit Kinger

    – Seperatly – it’s not crazy-talk to imagine that neither Pool and Kailer;both having important surgeries; and down arrows, are no longer prospects of interest: that’s a reality

    – At best, pencil them in on 0 contribution in the NHL next year IMO, as try-out players and hope for the best.You can’t “slot” them with any confidence

    MacT made some pretty impressive mistakes but having said that he made a number of very good first round picks in Nurse and Draisaitl. His loyalty to his hires as a gm and players as a coach worked out in coaching (2006) and not so much as gm (Dallas Eakins). If you look at his life he is a man that learns from his mistakes. He has character flaws as do we all. He is one member of a management team. I have time for MacT so long as the final decision isn’t his. Might be time for us as a group to step back and give the new group as they morph some room.

  12. Dustylegnd says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – What answer to who on what: this one?: ” I’ve talked to a lot of people – Bob Nicholson, Keith Gretzky, Craig MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock – and I’ll double back and talk to them again.”

    * I hate that it’s clear from verbal that MacT is staying: they all go out of way to mention him.Just an awful choice: MacT would not be in anything other than scouting role elsewhere.After a dozen years of terrible teams, MacT is in different roles: he’s one of the constants: punt him.But I don’t know why I rant and get mad: just submit Kinger

    – Seperatly – it’s not crazy-talk to imagine that neither Pool and Kailer;both having important surgeries; and down arrows, are no longer prospects of interest: that’s a reality

    – At best, pencil them in on 0 contribution in the NHL next year IMO, as try-out players and hope for the best.You can’t “slot” them with any confidence

    If this is the case, and Holland really believes he can make the playoffs next year and he is relying on MacT and his “scouting” we will miss the playoffs again for the next 2 years..and we will be talking about another new GM…no joke

    I look at the line up and wonder how it would be possible to make the playoffs?

    We need an exceptional Back up keeper

    We need 2 puck moving D men one of which is a right shot and can run a PP

    We need 4 wingers that can score 20+ and accumulate 45 plus points

    Man I don’t know….I guess when you have McDavid, anything is possible…I don’t see it

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    A year in Europe for Jesse makes no sense to me. Many of the things that require continued development in his game are somewhat related to continuing to get used to the smaller North American ice as well as the major differences between the NHL game and the European game. Not to mention his continues acclimation to the North American culture and the language. I think going to Europe would lead to regression.

    I agree that his trade value would not be great at this stage, definitely below his potential value as an Oiler in the future.

    Jesse turned 21 last week. He is a skilled, hgi pedigree kid that is still growing up and I believe growing in to his large frame. The history of the NHL is littered with examples of high skilled kids popping in their early 20s and there is a solid chance that happens with Jesse.

    Of course, the likely best place for him next season is the AHL but, he played 11 games in his 18 year old season, taking 2 accrued seasons off his waiver exemption status, that is not an option.

    This does not mean he can’t play in the NHL and become legit – he’s got certain skills that are NHL ready and others that need work. I believe, if given consistent linemates and consistent even strength minutes in the top 6, he will spike this year. He needs to be rolled out, game after game, shift after shift, with some consistency of linemates – let him get comfortable and just play hockey.

    His contract will likely be in the $1.25M – $1.5M range and will be a very good bet to be a value contract.

    This player can still be a material part of the future but the new coach, whoever it may be, needs to show patience and dedication to the player – let him play in that top 9, consistently, with consistent linemates.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    A couple of things to note on Yamamoto’s season in Bakersfield. We’ve seen now that, when he gets moved among teams (and leagues), it takes a little while for him to settle in and get going. We saw that when re-assigned to the WHL and again this year when re-assigned to Bakersfield.

    Also, until Currie got called up to the NHL, while in Bakersfield, he was playing on the third line with Vesel and Esposito.

    With that said, once Kailer did settle in, he became a high-end player at the AHL level. He started to drive offence consistently, on that third line, creating multiple scoring chances a game, often shift after shift. He showed that he is indeed a skilled prospect.

    Its clear he needs to play significant minutes in the AHL next year (no matter how productive he is at camp and in exhibition) and, assuming the ability to train this summer and a full camp, I predict he will be at, near or over a point per game next year.

  15. ArmchairGM says:

    pts2pndr: He has character flaws as do we all.

    We do? Speak for yourself, pal!

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    Dustylegnd: If this is the case, and Holland really believes he can make the playoffs next year and he is relying on MacT and his “scouting” we will miss the playoffs again for the next 2 years..and we will be talking about another new GM…no joke

    I look at the line up and wonder how it would be possible to make the playoffs?

    We need an exceptional Back up keeper

    We need 2 puck moving D men one of which is a right shot and can run a PP

    We need 4 wingers that can score 20+ and accumulate 45 plus points

    Man I don’t know….I guess when you have McDavid, anything is possible…I don’t see it

    If we get all this, we are Cup contenders. The bar for playoffs would be quite a bit lower I think.

  17. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    A year in Europe for Jesse makes no sense to me. Many of the things that require continued development in his game are somewhat related to continuing to get used to the smaller North American ice as well as the major differences between the NHL game and the European game.Not to mention his continues acclimation to the North American culture and the language. I think going to Europe would lead to regression.

    I agree that his trade value would not be great at this stage, definitely below his potential value as an Oiler in the future.

    Jesse turned 21 last week.He is a skilled, hgi pedigree kid that is still growing up and I believe growing in to his large frame. The history of the NHL is littered with examples of high skilled kids popping in their early 20s and there is a solid chance that happens with Jesse.

    Of course, the likely best place for him next season is the AHL but, he played 11 games in his 18 year old season, taking 2 accrued seasons off his waiver exemption status, that is not an option.

    This does not mean he can’t play in the NHL and become legit – he’s got certain skills that are NHL ready and others that need work.I believe, if given consistent linemates and consistent even strength minutes in the top 6, he will spike this year. He needs to be rolled out, game after game, shift after shift, with some consistency of linemates – let him get comfortable and just play hockey.

    His contract will likely be in the $1.25M – $1.5M range and will be a very good bet to be a value contract.

    This player can still be a material part of the future but the new coach, whoever it may be, needs to show patience and dedication to the player – let him play in that top 9, consistently, with consistent linemates.

    Forcing JP into the top 6 is not the answer. You’re right about the consistent line mates and even the consistent role on the team. The number one reason for JP in Europe is to regain his confidence. He needs to find success and feel like he’s a good player. I think that trumps all the reasons you listed against it.

  18. ArmchairGM says:

    Dustylegnd:
    I look at the line up and wonder how it would be possible to make the playoffs?

    We need an exceptional Back up keeper

    We need 2 puck moving D men one of which is a right shot and can run a PP

    We need 4 wingers that can score 20+ and accumulate 45 plus points

    Man I don’t know….I guess when you have McDavid, anything is possible…I don’t see it

    A big part of the problem here is a very weak bottom-6, something Holland can easily remedy using former Wings as shown in this mock:

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/222750

    I don’t get the desire for a ‘right-shot d-man that can run the PP’… there are plenty of successful power plays in history that were run by left shot defensemen. What’s the big deal?

  19. ArmchairGM says:

    JimmyV1965: Forcing JP into the top 6 is not the answer.

    Really? Have you ever seen his scoring numbers when playing with McDavid and away from Lucic? They’re (no joke) nearly as good as Draisaitl’s. And McDavid’s scoring with Puljujarvi is as good as his numbers with Draisaitl too, so he’s not a drag.

    A Draisaitl – McDavid – Puljujarvi line would set the world on fire.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Condors certainly do miss Marody – he is the driver of that first line – that’s not to say Benson (and Currie) isn’t material but Marody is older and he is the puck transporter and a menace in possession in the offensive zone.

    From what I’ve seen the Benson/Currie line struggled to create and in possession with Esposito as the center but, when McLeod was there, much more time was spent in the offensive zone.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    I put Lagesson right up there with Jones as far as NHL readiness – totally different style of games but Lagesson is a lovely player – a mean and aggressive defence first guy that can skate and move the puck and has some offensive IQ. The flashier Jones, the superior skater and puck transporter will likely win the NHL job, however, Willie will get his chance this year and he may not see Bakersfield again.

  22. godot10 says:

    Give Jesse his own line. The 3rd line. Commit to it. Or get it over with and trade him to Carolina.

  23. Dustylegnd says:

    JimmyV1965: If we get all this, we are Cup contenders. The bar for playoffs would be quite a bit lower I think.

    Agreed, is that not what we are shooting for?

    Cap is maxed…I see no exit for Lucic without giving up considerable assets, I see some scoring help on the farm and I see some puck movers on the farm….still makes it tough to make the playoffs with no true #1 Keeper

    Koskinen SV% .906 41st in the league….lock and load “Denny Crane”

  24. JimmyV1965 says:

    ArmchairGM: Really? Have you ever seen his scoring numbers when playing with McDavid and away from Lucic? They’re (no joke) nearly as good as Draisaitl’s. And McDavid’s scoring with Puljujarvi is as good as his numbers with Draisaitl too, so he’s not a drag.

    A Draisaitl – McDavid – Puljujarvi line would set the world on fire.

    I’m not convinced. At all.

  25. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10:
    Give Jesse his own line.The 3rd line.Commit to it.Or get it over with and trade him to Carolina.

    I agree with this. The problem is you need to have him play with skilled players. And we don’t have them right now. Maybe you go with Benson-Marody-JP and try to give them sheltered minutes.

  26. Munny says:

    I suspect that “Europe” is coming from Pujo’s agent and not the Oilers.

    “Europe” might be the reason the Oil backtracked and brought him back from Bako so abruptly.

  27. ArmchairGM says:

    Kakko with 2 goals in a 3-1 win over Canada. I wonder if this kid can raise his stock enough to create a controversy at 1st?

  28. Melman says:

    I continue to wonder if 97 prefers not to play with JP. Maybe JP can’t keep up mentally and gets in the way, goes offside or they’ve had trouble developing chemistry (impossible for JP since he’s had different line-mates virtually every period of his bumbled career so far). It just seems like stapling him to 97 and 29 until he can find his way would solve all kinds of issues. Could be that JP plays better/with more confidence when he gets to carry the puck more which wouldn’t happen with those two.

    I did like JP with Nugey and JJ when that trio was together for a spell. In any case it would seem worthwhile to find out for sure if he can hit his potential by sticking him with a veteran C ideally on 3R until he forces his way up to 2R.

    Happy that Holland is here to give a fresh reboot to the way things have been run. Let’s hope he also puts a stop to the Oiler’s unnecessarily burning of contract years when the player isn’t ready. Shout out to McClellan for forcing Chia to send Bouch back to London.

  29. Ben says:

    pts2pndr: I have time for MacT so long as the final decision isn’t his. Might be time for us as a group to step back and give the new group as they morph some room.

    I’m not sure the word ‘new’ means what you think it means…

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    ffor

    JimmyV1965: Forcing JP into the top 6 is not the answer. You’re right about the consistent line mates and even the consistent role on the team. The number one reason for JP in Europe is to regain his confidence. He needs to find success and feel like he’s a good player. I think that trumps all the reasons you listed against it.

    I mentioned top 9 and he very well may be ready for the top 6 very soon – he has the pedigree and the skill.

    I highly disagree about going to Europe to gain confidence. Confidence comes and goes in an instant. Shit, he scores a couple of goals in the first 5 games and, boom, confidence. He doesn’t need to go to Europe to gain confidence. Sure, he’d be likely to excel offensively and gain confidence but, given all the negatives and the regressions vis-a-vis the North American game, to me, gaining confidence isn’t a viable reason.

  31. russ99 says:

    Munny,

    It’s the opposite. His agent has been quoted that Jesse will be in the NHL next season, which leads me to believe he’s pushing for a trade.

    Curious how Holland negotiates with him after the Athanasiou hold out.

    The other idea I had yesterday is front load a multi-year deal, say $4m/$2.25m/$2.25m ($2.83M cap hit and add a 2nd/3rd year performance bonus) on a three year deal so the first year salary alone scares teams away from claiming him on waivers so we can give him some more AHL time. Not sure if that’s possible, seems like Jesse has a problem with the AHL from how he was handled during the Chia era.

    MacTavish can’t be VP of Hockey Operations and Player Development next year, this would undermine what Holland needs to do, and yet again prevent our President and GM to bring in his own advisors at the highest possible level.

    If they find him a lesser role or a non-hockey ops role, I’m fine with it.

  32. russ99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    ffor

    I mentioned top 9 and he very well may be ready for the top 6 very soon – he has the pedigree and the skill.

    I highly disagree about going to Europe to gain confidence. Confidence comes and goes in an instant. Shit, he scores a couple of goals in the first 5 games and, boom, confidence. He doesn’t need to go to Europe to gain confidence.Sure, he’d be likely to excel offensively and gain confidence but, given all the negatives and the regressions vis-a-vis the North American game, to me, gaining confidence isn’t a viable reason.

    What has he done on the ice the last year to make you think he could be a top 6 player anytime soon? I agree with the confidence comment to some extent, but he looks lost in the offensive zone with the puck. You don’t learn such skills at the NHL level.

  33. pts2pndr says:

    Ben: I’m not sure the word ‘new’ means what you think it means…

    I am still hopeful for a significant number of changes. This will and or should take place after the draft. If I was Holland I would ask to see the results from the last forensic audit if in effect it was done. The last two drafts appear on track to give us 2 – 3 very good prospects. The farm team has some good young talent. The pro scouting, cap management and contracts with the exception of McDavid and Draisaitl not well thought out. These areas need change.
    For those people that are into analytics the question for you is what size of a department would be required to collect, analyze and keep current the information required.

  34. SteveZ says:

    russ99,

    You just have to look at the way Jesse was deployed. LT and other posters have covered this. He has not had regular minutes and linemates. The numbers show where he was successful, but rarely did Jesse see any consistency in usage. How can you “earn” anything (let alone “learn”) when you don’t know what’s happening one shift to the next. He should have spent significant time in Bakersfield. Previous coaches and GM messed this one up. For a previous reference, see “Yakupov, Nial”.

  35. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    A year in Europe for Jesse makes no sense to me. Many of the things that require continued development in his game are somewhat related to continuing to get used to the smaller North American ice as well as the major differences between the NHL game and the European game.Not to mention his continues acclimation to the North American culture and the language. I think going to Europe would lead to regression.

    I agree that his trade value would not be great at this stage, definitely below his potential value as an Oiler in the future.

    Jesse turned 21 last week.He is a skilled, hgi pedigree kid that is still growing up and I believe growing in to his large frame. The history of the NHL is littered with examples of high skilled kids popping in their early 20s and there is a solid chance that happens with Jesse.

    Of course, the likely best place for him next season is the AHL but, he played 11 games in his 18 year old season, taking 2 accrued seasons off his waiver exemption status, that is not an option.

    This does not mean he can’t play in the NHL and become legit – he’s got certain skills that are NHL ready and others that need work.I believe, if given consistent linemates and consistent even strength minutes in the top 6, he will spike this year. He needs to be rolled out, game after game, shift after shift, with some consistency of linemates – let him get comfortable and just play hockey.

    His contract will likely be in the $1.25M – $1.5M range and will be a very good bet to be a value contract.

    This player can still be a material part of the future but the new coach, whoever it may be, needs to show patience and dedication to the player – let him play in that top 9, consistently, with consistent linemates.

    I agree OP. what he needs is a consistent veteran centerman that can teach him where to be and play recognition and not this rotation out after 5 minutes into a game. This was BS.

  36. Munny says:

    russ99: It’s the opposite. His agent has been quoted that Jesse will be in the NHL next season, which leads me to believe he’s pushing for a trade.

    This is actually what I was saying about the Bako moves this season: We’re in the NHL or we’re packing our bags and heading to Europe (or find us a trade)

  37. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    The list of comparables (as you might expect) is much more favorable if you restrict it to 1st round picks, >100GP and age 21 and under. For instance, JJ Khaira, close comp on your list above, had just scored 10 points in his rookie OKC season at Puljujarvi’s age. The below is more favorable to JP, but I think is also fair.

    157 Dustin Brown ————0.30 LAK RW 2003 2006 2 110 15 18 33 -10 96
    158 Alexander Burmistrov –0.30 TOT C 2010 2013 3 194 23 35 58 -8 83
    161 Mikhail Grigorenko —-0.29 TOT C 2012 2016 4 142 12 29 41 -12 12
    162 J.T. Miller —— ———0.29 NYR C 2012 2015 3 114 15 18 33 -8 49
    163 Nick Ritchie ———— 0.29 ANA LW 2015 2017 2 110 16 16 32 2 99
    164 Mattias Tedenby——— 0.28 NJD LW 2010 2012 2 101 9 19 28 -12 30
    165 Nino Niederreiter——– 0.27 TOT RW 2010 2014 3 145 16 23 39 -18 64
    166 Jesse Puljujarvi ——– 0.27 EDM RW 2016 2019 3 139 17 20 37 -10 40
    170 Ryan Kesler ———– 0.25 VAN C 2003 2006 2 110 12 16 28 -1 95
    171 Scott Laughton ——– 0.25 PHI C 2012 2016 3 107 9 18 27 -3 51
    173 Jake Virtanen ——— 0.24 VAN RW 2015 2018 3 140 17 17 34 -17 93

    The full list is here: https://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=2001&year_max=2019&season_start=1&season_end=4&rookie=N&age_min=0&age_max=21&draft=1&pos=S&is_playoffs=N&c1stat=games_played&c1comp=gt&c1val=100&threshhold=5&order_by=points_per_game

  38. pts2pndr says:

    ArmchairGM: We do? Speak for yourself, pal!

    What I was trying to say was nobody is perfect your reply however made me smile as my lovely wife of many years would have made a like reply.

  39. pts2pndr says:

    Munny,

    The answer in my opinion should have been don’t let the door hit you on the a— on the way out.

  40. ArmchairGM says:

    jp:
    Lowetide,

    The list of comparables (as you might expect) is much more favorable if you restrict it to 1st round picks, >100GP and age 21 and under. For instance, JJ Khaira, close comp on your list above, had just scored 10 points in his rookie OKC season at Puljujarvi’s age. The below is more favorable to JP, but I think is also fair.

    157Dustin Brown ————0.30LAKRW200320062110151833-1096
    158Alexander Burmistrov –0.30TOTC201020133194233558-883
    161Mikhail Grigorenko—-0.29TOTC201220164142122941-1212
    162J.T. Miller—— ———0.29NYRC201220153114151833-849
    163Nick Ritchie ————0.29ANALW201520172110161632299
    164Mattias Tedenby——— 0.28NJDLW20102012210191928-1230
    165Nino Niederreiter——–0.27TOTRW201020143145162339-1864
    166Jesse Puljujarvi ——–0.27EDMRW201620193139172037-1040
    170Ryan Kesler ———–0.25VANC200320062110121628-195
    171Scott Laughton ——–0.25PHIC20122016310791827-351
    173Jake Virtanen ——— 0.24VANRW201520183140171734-1793

    The full list is here: https://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=2001&year_max=2019&season_start=1&season_end=4&rookie=N&age_min=0&age_max=21&draft=1&pos=S&is_playoffs=N&c1stat=games_played&c1comp=gt&c1val=100&threshhold=5&order_by=points_per_game

    Interesting to see RNH slightly ahead of Draisaitl. Under 22 performance doesn’t tell you everything about how good a player is, does it.

  41. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: Interesting to see RNH slightly ahead of Draisaitl. Under 22 performance doesn’t tell you everything about how good a player is, does it.

    It certainly does not.

  42. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Dustylegnd: If this is the case, and Holland really believes he can make the playoffs next year and he is relying on MacT and his “scouting” we will miss the playoffs again for the next 2 years..and we will be talking about another new GM…no joke

    – Even if you are wrong, and MacT is actually a good hockey guy, despite his roles for the last 13 years + where the team was really bad, with a lot of questionable moves, as the new GM he is for sure one of the guys I get rid of like since yesterday.

    – But I said the same thing about Chia. If Holland is surrounded by the same people that Chia was, because the organization requires loyalty and culture, Holland will be maybe a little better because the core is older and he comes from more of a hockey scout background so will have better instincts than Chia. But we will be looking for a new GM if the same people, with the same decade plus views are the smart ones in the room.

    – I’m reading the amazing autobiography of Nike: Phil Knight has this great part in the book where he talks about the people who built the company, and how there was a chip on their shoulders because they were all outsiders, no one respected them, they weren’t “the smartest men in the room” (his actual quote). He has great summaries of when they all met, and how they planned together.

    – Its just going to be bad if the Keith, and MacT, and Lowe and Hitch and Howson, and all the others that have been here for so long, or hired by those because they think the same way, and been so bad, are part of the future. I’m scared that Holly won’t get this, and in two years, Holland is pooched because he’s consulting and circling back with the same guys who everyone has consulted in a circle-jerk for 13 years. Show some urgency: make some senior management moves soon. Those should be easier than the Coach hire.

  43. Darth Tu says:

    Did anyone listen to Friedman on Oilers Now today? That buying out Lucic to “send a message” to the roster chat is terrifying. It offers zero help to the cap situation at all, and what kind of message does it actually send?

  44. jp says:

    Dustylegnd: If this is the case, and Holland really believes he can make the playoffs next year and he is relying on MacT and his “scouting” we will miss the playoffs again for the next 2 years..and we will be talking about another new GM…no joke

    I look at the line up and wonder how it would be possible to make the playoffs?

    We need an exceptional Back up keeper

    We need 2 puck moving D men one of which is a right shot and can run a PP

    We need 4 wingers that can score 20+ and accumulate 45 plus points

    Man I don’t know….I guess when you have McDavid, anything is possible…I don’t see it

    As noted, the playoff bar is much lower than this.

    The Oilers this season had 1 D who scored 40 points, 4 forwards score 20 goals, and 3 with more than 45 points. If you’re saying 4 wingers need to hit those marks then you’re effectively saying 6 total forwards.

    6 x 20G and/or 45Pt forwards:
    Of the 16 playoff teams, only 3 managed 6 20G and 6 45Pt forwards. Only Washington had that many before deadline deals.

    6 of 16 playoff teams had 3 or 4 20G forwards (to the Oilers 4)

    3 of 16 only had only 3 45Pt forwards (just like the Oilers), 6 teams had 4. Only 7 of 16 had more than 4 45+Pt guys (that’s including deadline pickups).

    The Oilers top 3 all had 69+ points, only 4 teams had 4 forwards score 69 or more. The Islanders and Predators (and Vegas until they picked up Stone) didn’t have any players score 69 points.

    For PP defensemen, 3 playoff teams didn’t have anyone reach 40Pts, 9 other teams only had one defender over 40. 5 of 16 teams had no defender over 50 points, so basically comparable to the Oilers.

    The Oilers need some goaltending and should definitely add one forward who can score (more if they can clear $$), but it’s actually not at all hard to imagine the playoffs happening next year. Especially considering the Oilers employ 2 of the top 4 scorers in the league. Hopefully that core can be shaped into being an actual contender looking a little further forward.

  45. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Darth Tu:
    Did anyone listen to Friedman on Oilers Now today? That buying out Lucic to “send a message” to the roster chat is terrifying.It offers zero help to the cap situation at all, and what kind of message does it actually send?

    – Friedman is being fed this by the Oil playbook 101. Seems like the same people are telling the new GM the same stuff: It’s always this. The Oil always send messages to players to teach them lessons.

    – Lucic is a really bad person, who has to be taught a lesson for under-performing the contract offered to him by all the management that is there today. The people who were there that signed him to the contract, they just teach lessons because the players they bring in didn’t perform like how they told them they need to. It’s totally Lucic’s fault that he has under-performed. And the Oilers won’t stand for this.

    – It’s always the players fault, and the organization always blames the players. Maybe those in the organization who always blame the players need to be taught a lesson for offering the contract instead of blaming the guy who signed it, and get “sent a message” to be fired

  46. Wilde says:

    For those curious about the quadruple OT game, here’s the stats from that:

    G1 V GULLS

    Forwards

    [ Player – CF – CA / / +/- ]

    Benson – 35 – 24 / / +11
    Esposito – 40 – 31 / / +9
    Currie – 38 – 38 / / +0

    Gambardella – 50 – 49 / / +1
    Malone – 42 – 44 / / -2
    Russell – 47 – 45 / / +2

    Polei – 30 – 42 / / -12
    Vesel – 36 – 52 / / -16
    Gust – 38 – 49 / / -11

    Callahan – 12 – 19 / / -7
    Vesey – 3 – 8 / / -5

    Defense

    Lagesson – 42 – 41 / / +1
    Jones – 42 – 35 / / +7

    Lowe – 42 – 55 / / -13
    Bear – 38 – 55 / / -17

    Stanton – 40 – 41 / / -1
    Day – 41 – 30 / / +11

    Bouchard – 5 – 9 / / -4

  47. Wilde says:

    Darth Tu: what kind of message does it actually send?

    That there are children in charge who think they’re in charge of children.

  48. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – And if this is our next coach, which seems to be leaking out: I don’t know what I will do: This guy will teach a lot of lessons:

    LOST IN ROUND 1
    LOST IN ROUND 1
    LOST IN ROUND 1
    LOST IN ROUND 3
    OUT OF PLAYOFFS
    LOST IN ROUND 1
    LOST IN ROUND 1
    LOST IN ROUND 3
    OUT OF PLAYOFFS
    OUT OF PLAYOFFS
    OUT OF PLAYOFFS
    OUT OF PLAYOFFS
    OUT OF PLAYOFFS

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: As noted, the playoff bar is much lower than this.

    The Oilers this season had 1 D who scored 40 points, 4 forwards score 20 goals, and 3 with more than 45 points. If you’re saying 4 wingers need to hit those marks then you’re effectively saying 6 total forwards.

    6 x 20G and/or 45Pt forwards:
    Of the 16 playoff teams, only 3 managed 6 20G and 6 45Pt forwards. Only Washington had that many before deadline deals.

    6 of 16 playoff teams had 3 or 4 20G forwards (to the Oilers 4)

    3 of 16 only had only 3 45Pt forwards (just like the Oilers), 6 teams had 4. Only 7 of 16 had more than 4 45+Pt guys (that’s including deadline pickups).

    The Oilers top 3 all had 69+ points, only 4 teams had 4 forwards score 69 or more. The Islanders and Predators (and Vegas until they picked up Stone) didn’t have any players score 69 points.

    For PP defensemen, 3 playoff teams didn’t have anyone reach 40Pts, 9 other teams only had one defender over 40. 5 of 16 teams had no defender over 50 points, so basically comparable to the Oilers.

    The Oilers need some goaltending and should definitely add one forward who can score (more if they can clear $$), but it’s actually not at all hard to imagine the playoffs happening next year. Especially considering the Oilers employ 2 of the top 4 scorers in the league. Hopefully that core can be shaped into being an actual contender looking a little further forward.

    Yeah, the top of the roster isn’t what the team needs to work on, although addition skill there helps all around because it pushes players down into roles they can excel at. If the bottom-6 could nearly saw-off in their minutes, it wouldn’t take much to push this team into the playoffs. A healthy defense and better injury cover are already on the horizon – instead of having non-NHLers like Garrison, Wideman, Manning and Petrovic trying (and failing) to pick up the slack when an injury occurs, it’ll be much more capable players like Jones and Lagesson.

  50. ArmchairGM says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: “sent a message”

    I heard Skype is a good tool for this

  51. russ99 says:

    Darth Tu,

    This is utter hooey.

    The player gets his cash, and then signs a deal elsewhere. Doesn’t affect the player one iota.

    In Lucic’s case, since he seems more miserable playing here, a buyout may be an improvement for him as he may find it easier to end up in a NHL city where he wants to be without the cap hit hanging over his head.

    For the Oilers the only reason to do this is if they can’t find a trade partner. They get a nice cap break in year 1 and the cap goes up to make year 2 and 3 less painful.

    I think the real question is if Katz wants to bite the bullet as it’s his money.

  52. JimmyV1965 says:

    I heard someone on the radio, might have been Stauffer or maybe someone on 1260, talking about how some players need to be massaged, managed and coddled by the coaching staff. While this is typically associated with entitled top players, it was the opposite in Edmonton. The stars here are low maintenance. It’s players in the bottom six here who need to be massaged. Not sure what this means, but my first thought was Lucic. He was not mentioned and I may be 100% wrong.

  53. russ99 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Holland has said in his presser that he wants to bring in his people and he will make changes and that he has full autonomy from ownership.

    I really doubt that it’s going to be business as usual.

  54. blainer says:

    Regarding JP. I see a lot of similarities between him and Yak. For me I have to question both of these players commitment to conditioning.

    Both players tended to glide way too much not to mention that I often noticed JP going for quick changes and just looked tired way too quickly. Now that would be fine if he was out there and not gliding much but for this player to become the player we all thought he would be when he was drafted he has to step up his conditioning.

    He has the skill now he has to show the commitment to the training and I bet we see a different player next year.

    This kind of commitment is what separates the ones that make it and the ones that don’t.

  55. godot10 says:

    blainer:
    Regarding JP. I see a lot of similarities between him and Yak. For me I have to question both of these players commitment to conditioning.

    Both players tended to glide way too much not to mention that I often noticed JP going for quick changes and just looked tired way too quickly. Now that would be fine if he was out there and not gliding much but for this player to become the player we all thought he would be when he was drafted he has to step up his conditioning.

    He has the skill now he has to show the commitment to the training and I bet we see a different player next year.

    This kind of commitment is what separates the ones that make it and the ones that don’t.

    This is BS. There isn’t anything wrong with Jesse’s fitness level. The baby fat was all gone last year. For bigger guys, it takes awhile to get that hardened man strength as it was even for Draisaitl.

    Jesse’s “problem” is he grew up playing with the puck on his stick, and when he got to the NHL he had a coach who wanted him to dump and chase, and go up and down his wing. Add in a D that was poor at moving the puck to the forwards, and Jesse was suddenly trying to learn how to play without the puck.

    They attempted a metamorphisis in the NHL without playing him most of the first season, and never giving him a defined role and line.

    It was coaching of the worst kind.

  56. godot10 says:

    It will be awfully difficult to get excited about Tippett. Todd McLellan with out the goatee. Pretty much the same resume. Able to sustain an existing team, but given a more challenged situation, a constant fight to be barely mediocre.

    I don’t understand the fascination with old-timey retreads.

  57. russ99 says:

    godot10,

    Kind of funny, I’ve seen him play much better without the puck than with it last season.

    Pretty much had enough with the idea that forwards should be gifted the puck in the sweet spot of the stick on the break without having to work or retain possession against defensive pressure on or off the wall and just skate it into the net.

    Jesse’s offensive game is blatantly weak playing against NHL competition. No amount of coddling him on the top six or giving him sweet breakout passes will fix this. He played well in the preseason but that was against AHL-level competition.

    The Oilers should have left him in Bakersfield the rest of the year.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Doing some research on Benson, thought I would look for comps who played in the AHL at the same age. I looked exclusively at 5v5 scoring in 3 categories: p/gp, p1/gp and ep/60. Admittedly I cherry-picked some well known names, but Benson’s scoring rates put him in the top-5 pretty much every year i looked at (21 & under category), so there’s something going on with this young man.

    P/GP (age)

    JT Miller (20.51) 0.66
    Toffoli (20.40) 0.64
    Johansen (20.13) 0.62
    Kadri (20.94) 0.62
    Tatar (20.79) 0.61
    ** Benson (20.50) 0.59 **
    Mikael Granlund (20.55) 0.59
    Connolly (20.37) 0.56
    Pacioretty (20.82) 0.56
    Stone (20.34) 0.54
    Pageau (20.84) 0.54

    P1/GP

    Kadri (20.94) 0.58
    Johansen (20.13) 0.53
    Toffoli (20.40) 0.53
    Tatar (20.79) 0.50
    ** Benson (20.50) 0.49 **
    Connolly (20.37) 0.48
    JT Miller (20.51) 0.46
    Stone (20.34) 0.44
    Pageau (20.84) 0.43
    Mikael Granlund (20.55) 0.38
    Pacioretty (20.82) 0.33

    eP/60

    JT Miller (20.51) 2.97
    Tatar (20.79) 2.87
    Connolly (20.37) 2.85
    Kadri (20.94) 2.83
    Toffoli (20.40) 2.79
    Pacioretty (20.82) 2.74
    Pageau (20.84) 2.74
    Stone (20.34) 2.72
    ** Benson (20.50) 2.70 **
    Johansen (20.13) 2.68
    Mikael Granlund (20.55) 2.57

    That’s a pretty heady group of players. If our Benson ends up mid-pack in this group I’ll be very pleased.

    Also, players that trailed Benson in these categories this year (21 & under): Sam Steel, Max Jones, Logan Brown, Martin Necas (19), Alex Nylander, Jordan Kyrou, Michael McLeod, Filip Zadina (18), Kailer Yamamoto (19), etc. Of the 77 players in this age group that played at least 10 games this year, Benson was the 3rd behind Dillon Dube and Drake Batherson.

    There are some that suggest that, because of lost development time, its prudent to compare Benson to those that were in the 19-year old season (obviously non-CHL players). I’m not sure I agree with that but some suggest it.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dustylegnd:

    I look at the line up and wonder how it would be possible to make the playoffs?

    We need an exceptional Back up keeper

    We need 2 puck moving D men one of which is a right shot and can run a PP

    We need 4 wingers that can score 20+ and accumulate 45 plus points

    Man I don’t know….I guess when you have McDavid, anything is possible…I don’t see it

    I would posit you are creating a list of requirements to vault the team to top of contender status not as a team that should simply make the playoffs.

  60. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: There are some that suggest that, because of lost development time, its prudent to compare Benson to those that were in the 19-year old season (obviously non-CHL players).I’m not sure I agree with that but some suggest it.

    I’ve seen that as well, and I can understand that argument. Time will tell.

    Regardless, this is a pretty nice group of players.

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    I suspect that “Europe” is coming from Pujo’s agent and not the Oilers.

    “Europe” might be the reason the Oil backtracked and brought him back from Bako so abruptly.

    His agent has expressed that they have little desire to sign back in Europe and they are committed to the NHL – this was within the last month or so.

  62. Darth Tu says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Friedman is being fed this by the Oil playbook 101.Seems like the same people are telling the new GM the same stuff: It’s always this.The Oil always send messages to players to teach them lessons.

    – Lucic is a really bad person, who has to be taught a lesson for under-performing the contract offered to him by all the management that is there today.The people who were there that signed him to the contract, they just teach lessons because the players they bring in didn’t perform like how they told them they need to. It’s totally Lucic’s fault that he has under-performed.And the Oilers won’t stand for this.

    – It’s always the players fault, and the organization always blames the players.Maybe those in the organization who always blame the players need to be taught a lesson for offering the contract instead of blaming the guy who signed it, and get “sent a message” to be fired

    That’s pretty much how I’m feeling about it as well.

    Sure Lucic has under-performed for the cash, but buying him out (I think he gets 2/3rd of his total), doesn’t really “teach him” a lesson. Financially, all he has to do is sign for an annual hit of $2 million and he’ll be making the same cash if still in Edmonton. On a personal level, I’m sure he feels terrible about how it’s shaken out here for him in Edmonton, he seemed to genuinely want to come here and win.

    If the message is meant to be sent to the other players, “don’t under-perform to your contract value”, I don’t think this is the right way to go about it. I agree with you that the onus should be on management to make sure any contracts they’re signing are reasonable (ie without the Chia Tax).

    I also guess I should put on my real world hat, and with the exception of the coaching appointment, it’s now officially slow news time for the Oilers. Stories/rumors will abound until draft day, and then again until camp starts.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ99:
    Munny,

    The other idea I had yesterday is front load a multi-year deal, say $4m/$2.25m/$2.25m ($2.83M cap hit and add a 2nd/3rd year performance bonus) on a three year deal so the first year salaryalone scares teams away from claiming him on waivers so we can give him some more AHL time. Not sure if that’s possible, seems like Jesse has a problem with the AHL from how he was handled during the Chia era.

    Wait a second – if I understand correctly, your plan is to create a contract that is such an over-payment that it would scare other teams from wanting the player for free – a talented, high pedigree, high potential player, for free?

    If its a contract that scares 30 other teams away, I don’t think the Oilers want the contract on their books.

    Also, can’t have performance bonuses included – only on ELCs and 35 plus contracts.

    I believe the best plan is the simple one – sign him for the $1.25M or so that he is likely to get and give him consistent minutes in the top 9 with consistent linemates (that aren’t boat-anchors).

  64. v4ance says:

    Jim Matheson @NHLbyMatty

    They’re running Ken Hitchcock’s name up flagpole in Columbus as team prez is John Davidson leaves for Rangers. Another name to consider: Ralph Krueger…

    ***

    Alan @loserpoints

    Congrats to @Cane_Matt obviously. But also congrats to the Devils who just got one of the best in the business.

    ***

    Prashanth Iyer @iyer_prashanth

    The Metro Division is loaded now:

    Matt Cane
    Tim Barnes
    Eric Tulsky
    Sam Ventura
    Kevin Kan

    …. and the Oilers fall further behind in the analytics arms race

  65. Darth Tu says:

    russ99:
    Darth Tu,

    This is utter hooey.

    The player gets his cash, and then signs a deal elsewhere. Doesn’t affect the player one iota.

    In Lucic’s case, since he seems more miserable playing here, a buyout may be an improvement for him as he may find it easier to end up in a NHL city where he wants to be without the cap hit hanging over his head.

    For the Oilers the only reason to do this is if they can’t find a trade partner. They get a nice cap break in year 1 and the cap goes up to make year 2 and 3 less painful.

    I think the real question is if Katz wants to bite the bullet as it’s his money.

    Good point on the Katz angle. I’m sure he’s wanting the ship righted sooner rather than later, but a Lucic buyout is a terrible plan from all angles.

    On the trade partner side, surely letting it slip to media that they may buy Lucic out is the worst thing to be done? Anyone that was interested is now thinking; “great we don’t need to take on that cap hit or give up an asset, we can sign him for peanuts as his value has cratered”.

  66. digger50 says:

    I’m surprised at those predicting two years before making the play-offs.

    This past season the team was not strong, yet they were only a goaltender away from making the play-offs, even with the poorly constructed roster.

    In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason not to set playoffs as the goal next year – as a minimum achievement. It is possible. And it doesn’t need to include making silly moves or sacrificing the future.

    As a reminder, McDavid was injured in game 82. It is within possibility that he is injured again, and in spectacular fashion. These McDavid years all count. Asking this core group to wait while accumulate more draft picks – we are not there. We are so used to being there but today we are much further forward in a new position; to complete the core group and build support players.

    Trading the first is terrifying only because of recent lack of success. I agree, lets not do a Peter and jump right to it, lets take the long road. Which to me means exhaust other options first starting with creating cap space and then looking at trades or acquisitions. Bring in players – do not rearrange roster holes. At the end of the day – if these scoring wingers are not coming, then I would be prepared to trade the first in a package for a young (core) scoring winger.

  67. leadfarmer says:

    digger50,

    Its more of a dream than a goal.
    Who do we knock out?
    Nashville, nope
    Jets: No
    Flames: No
    Colorado: They just added Makar. No
    Dallas: No. I think they will add this offseason
    Blues: No
    Sharks: No. Some age issues but they have good depth
    Golden Knights: No

    So the issue isnt can we beat one of these teams. The issue is can we even keep up with them. Many teams we are competing against will also get better this offseason. We dont have the cap flexibility for improvements

  68. Professor Q says:

    leadfarmer,

    We beat the Sharks when they were better, and the Ducks when they were better.

    Edmonton is the only team to have consistent success against Vegas, and Colorado is a crapshoot. Same with the Stars and Blues.

    Calgary is Calgary.

  69. godot10 says:

    Darth Tu:
    Sure Lucic has under-performed for the cash, but buying him out (I think he gets 2/3rd of his total), doesn’t really “teach him” a lesson.Financially, all he has to do is sign for an annual hit of $2 million and he’ll be making the same cash if still in Edmonton. On a personal level, I’m sure he feels terrible about how it’s shaken out here for him in Edmonton, he seemed to genuinely want to come here and win.

    Since Lucic’s contract is signing bonus overloaded, the buyout is more like 80-90% of his remaining salary, NOT 2/3rds.

    There is one thing that is absolutely certain about the Lucic contract, the worst thing to do would be to buy it out.

  70. jimmers2 says:

    Professor Q,

    Leadfarmer makes sense and the Oilers have a long way to go to compete on even terms with this group. To my mind, the opening comes from the fact that several of these teams went, WAAY up this past season and that odds are some will be weaker or underperform next year. WPG and NSH could well have weaker rosters and those two are the two best teams on that list for my money.

  71. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    v4ance:
    Jim Matheson @NHLbyMatty

    They’re running Ken Hitchcock’s name up flagpole in Columbus as team prez is John Davidson leaves for Rangers. Another name to consider: Ralph Krueger…

    ***

    Alan @loserpoints

    Congrats to @Cane_Matt obviously. But also congrats to the Devils who just got one of the best in the business.

    ***

    Prashanth Iyer @iyer_prashanth

    The Metro Division is loaded now:


    Matt Cane
    Tim Barnes
    Eric Tulsky
    Sam Ventura
    Kevin Kan

    …. and the Oilers fall further behind in the analytics arms race

    Tyler Dellow is the VP Analytics for NJD and hired Matt Cane.

    Great hire by Tyler.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Since Lucic’s contract is signing bonus overloaded, the buyout is more like 80-90% of his remaining salary, NOT 2/3rds.

    There is one thing that is absolutely certain about the Lucic contract, the worst thing to do would be to buy it out.

    Yup, signing bonuses cannot be bought out at a discount – 100 cents on the dollar.

    A Lucic buyout is so egregious, I can’t believe management would even contemplate it – its a non-starter. Its not a viable option.

  73. who says:

    digger50:
    I’m surprised at those predicting two years before making the play-offs.

    This past season the team was not strong, yet they were only a goaltender away from making the play-offs, even with the poorly constructed roster.

    In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason not to set playoffs as the goal next year – as a minimum achievement. It is possible. And it doesn’t need to include making silly moves or sacrificing the future.

    As a reminder, McDavid was injured in game 82. It is within possibility that he is injured again, and in spectacular fashion. These McDavid years all count. Asking this core group to wait while accumulate more draft picks – we are not there. We are so used to being there but today we are much further forward in a new position; to complete the core group and build support players.

    Trading the first is terrifying only because of recent lack of success. I agree, lets not do a Peter and jump right to it, lets take the long road. Which to me means exhaust other options first starting with creating cap space and then looking at trades or acquisitions. Bring in players – do not rearrange roster holes. At the end of the day – if these scoring wingers are not coming, then I would be prepared to trade the first in a package for a young (core) scoring winger.

    You would have to dump some cap to afford to trade the 1st for a scoring winger.
    It might be simpler to trade Klefbom for Ehlers plus. Lefty dmen are this teams only position of depth. It would be painful, but might be necessary.

  74. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, signing bonuses cannot be bought out at a discount – 100 cents on the dollar.

    A Lucic buyout is so egregious, I can’t believe management would even contemplate it – its a non-starter. Its not a viable option.

    One thing to consider re a Lucic buyout.
    Cap hit for next 4 years is low, high, low, high..The increase in that 2nd year would be offset by the Manning and Gagner contracts falling off the cap. It would smooth out the first 3 years of the buyout.
    Don’t know if that’s enough to make me do it, but it’s something to consider. It would open up some cap space for the team to get better right now.

  75. digger50 says:

    leadfarmer:
    digger50,

    Its more of a dream than a goal.
    Who do we knock out?
    Nashville, nope
    Jets:No
    Flames:No
    Colorado:They just added Makar.No
    Dallas:No.I think they will add this offseason
    Blues:No
    Sharks:No.Some age issues but they have good depth
    Golden Knights:No

    So the issue isnt can we beat one of these teams.The issue is can we even keep up with them.Many teams we are competing against will also get better this offseason.We dont have the cap flexibility for improvements

    It seems like every time somebody tries to predict the best teams they get it wrong.

    Lots of surprises during regular season. Everybody got the playoff series wrong.

    If the Oilers have a productive summer – not perfect, but productive. If they add and do not subtract, I think we will all be pleasantly surprised how many teams they pass.

  76. digger50 says:

    who: You would have to dump some cap to afford to trade the 1st for a scoring winger.
    It might be simpler to trade Klefbom for Ehlers plus. Lefty dmen are this teams only position of depth. It would be painful,but might be necessary.

    I think all moves this summer must be prefaced with “ we need to move some cap”. Holland, get it done.

    Lucic can be moved. Russel or Sekera can be moved. That’s 10-11M. Few other players create another 5 maybe between them. Cap goes up how much? Is it reasonably possable to have 18M to work with? It just may be.

  77. digger50 says:

    who: You would have to dump some cap to afford to trade the 1st for a scoring winger.
    It might be simpler to trade Klefbom for Ehlers plus. Lefty dmen are this teams only position of depth. It would be painful,but might be necessary.

    I would be very reluctant to bring in a core player and then lose a core player, that’s not the plan.

    Klefbom for Ehlers doesn’t strengthen us much overall.

    I did suggest Lucic and a second for Virtanen a few weeks back. Now this Vancouver idea is on a roll – which usually means it amounts to nothing. But watching Peterson, he is taking a beating again at the Worlds. And incoming puckmover (Hughes) doesn’t have much for size either. Lucic could have value to Vancouver to help get those kids established.

  78. Lowetide says:

    GDT is up.

  79. pts2pndr says:

    Darth Tu:
    Did anyone listen to Friedman on Oilers Now today? That buying out Lucic to “send a message” to the roster chat is terrifying.It offers zero help to the cap situation at all, and what kind of message does it actually send?

    If this is true, the individual that brought this up should be the first one out the door. The TEAM must come first and this is a bullying wrong message when your are trying to build a team. Fear only builds an every man for himself mentality. Maybe there is a culture problem with the Oilers but if this is truly managements attitude the problem is not with the players.

  80. Scungilli Slushy says:

    ArmchairGM: Interesting to see RNH slightly ahead of Draisaitl. Under 22 performance doesn’t tell you everything about how good a player is, does it.

    We have to remember usage. Nuge and Drai put in a time machine and used exactly the same are probably similar in production in the end. Both high end talents.

    Drai didn’t have to go through being the top line 2 way C playing toughs so young. He never had high end offensive spark, but he also was never allowed to be a colt pun intended.

    Young offensive players are best developed league letting them run with help and reigning them in as they gain experience.

  81. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Scungilli Slushy: We have to remember usage. Nuge and Drai put in a time machine and used exactly the same are probably similar in production in the end. Both high end talents.

    Drai didn’t have to go through being the top line 2 way C playing toughs so young. He never had high end offensive spark, but he also was never allowed to be a colt pun intended.

    Young offensive players are best developed league letting them run with help and reigning them in as they gain experience.

    I meant Nuge never had high end offensive spark.

  82. who says:

    digger50: I would be very reluctant to bring in a core player and then lose a core player, that’s not the plan.

    Klefbom for Ehlers doesn’t strengthen us much overall.

    I did suggest Lucic and a second for Virtanen a few weeks back. Now this Vancouver idea is on a roll – which usually means it amounts to nothing. But watching Peterson, he is taking a beating again at the Worlds. And incoming puckmover (Hughes) doesn’t have much for size either. Lucic could have value to Vancouver to help get those kids established.

    I am reluctant to trade Klefbom, but I REALLY like Ehlers. And I REALLY like his contract.
    He is an impact forward, and he might be the only impact forward the Oilers will be able to add until this years 8OV is ready. Assuming he ever gets that good.
    I think you can project 3 of the Oilers prospect dmen as top 4 material in the next 2 years. Bouchard, Samarukov and Jones. It’s risky, but may be the only way to significantly improve the forward group.
    Also I think you are being wildly optimistic with your Lucic trade. I doubt Lucic plus a 2nd gets you a 7th from Vancouver. If it did I would make that trade in a heartbeat.

  83. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    who,

    – only bad teams like the oilers do this

    – Milan Lucic is a bonafide NHL player still. (Albeit an overpaid paid one). Since Jesus was a baby the Oil move out NHL players for pennies on the dollar because they are passed off that the player they have isn’t as good or as worth as much as they told them they should be after they drafted them or traded for them or paid them.

    – Sure cut your losses. Limit the cap damage. But buying him out isn’t congruent with being elite. Give up the farm to get rid of a player who was improperly evaluated. You don’t double down and expect long term to be better.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    who:

    I think you can project 3 of the Oilers prospect dmen as top 4 material in the next 2 years. Bouchard, Samarukov and Jones. It’s risky,but may be the only way to significantly improve the forward group.

    Whoa – that’s the ultimate hope but history tells us its unreasonable to expect that all three become top 4 and definitely not in 2 years. Samorukov likely needs a couple of AHL years before being ready, if ever – I love the kid, as we know, but he’s no sure thing to be an NHL player. Jones as well – he’s trending well but may never be more than a tweener – he may be a top 4 guy but its far from a lock.

  85. who says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    who,

    – only bad teams like the oilers do this

    – Milan Lucic is a bonafide NHL player still. (Albeit an overpaid paid one). Since Jesus was a babythe Oil move out NHL players for pennies on the dollar because they are passed off that the player they have isn’t as good or as worth as much as they told them they should be after they drafted them or traded for them or paid them.

    – Sure cut your losses. Limit the cap damage. But buying him out isn’t congruent with being elite.Give up the farm to get rid of a player who was improperly evaluated. You don’t double down and expect long term to be better.

    Not sure what post of mine you are commenting on?

  86. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: Whoa – that’s the ultimate hope but history tells us its unreasonable to expect that all three become top 4 and definitely not in 2 years.Samorukov likely needs a couple of AHL years before being ready, if ever – I love the kid, as we know, but he’s no sure thing to be an NHL player.Jones as well – he’s trending well but may never be more than a tweener – he may be a top 4 guy but its far from a lock.

    Maybe not all 3. But I bet 2 of them make it . Remember, I’m not projecting all of our d prospects to turn into top 4 guys, just 2 out of the top 3..

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    If i read it correctly, you project each of Bouchard, Samorukov and Jones to be top 4 in 2 years.

    Could happen – that would be amazing – seems a bit aggressive though.

  88. OilSlickster says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Nuge wasnt stapled to McDavid for the better part of 3 seasons either. I think Nuge may have been a 50/100 guy this year if he had followed the same path alongside McDavid as Draisaitl did

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