Dime, Quarter, Nickel, Penny

Ken Holland’s whiteboard has some great strengths, some glaring weaknesses, and several things in between. Some of the useful players are overpriced and some of the bargains have flags like footspeed or injury issues. How many roster players cover their cap bet?

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 OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Andrej Sekera gives the Oilers much-needed defensive options
  • New Lowetide: Is Joe Gambardella destined to become the Oilers’ next Fernando Pisani?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers goalie prospect Stuart Skinner stars as the Condors stay alive in the AHL playoffs.
  • Lowetide: How the U18’s increased the draft pool and gifted the Edmonton Oilers with multiple options at the 2019 draft
  • Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
  • 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: 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?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick

COVERING THE BET

We may not agree on all of these, but for me the eight contracts listed here have a very good chance of covering the bet in 2019-20. A few of the names may come up in trade talk. Holland has some quality assets on good contracts on defense, and a truly diabolical depth chart at center. Eight men, a little over $41 million, or half the cap. The centers scored 121 goals for Edmonton a year ago. Music!

JUSTIFIABLE

I decided not to include the two locks for RFA signing as covering the bet, since we don’t know the actual dollar amount. I placed them here instead. Sekera covers the bet if healthy, but we can’t be sure about 82. Kassian makes a lot for a No. 4 winger, is a bargain scoring 15 goals with plenty of time on the top line.

OVERPRICED

There’s $21 million here and some of these men will contribute positively to the team. Koskinen is a good goalie, I have no problem with him returning. The contract is too much. Kris Russell and Sam Gagner should also be able to contribute. I think Brodziak and Manning may be in Bakersfield for much of next season.

2019 TOUCH LIST

I’m going to post five names per league every day this week, today is the OHL. The following players are outside the Central Scouting Top 150 NA list, the top 10 NA goalie list, the top 75 Euro list and the top 10 Euro goalie list. They may not be drafted but there’s something about them worth mentioning.

LC Petr Cajka posted 63, 20-18-38 this season. He is a December 2000, good speed, creative and plays a solid two-way game. Kournianos had him in the first round back in July of 2018.

LD Nathan Staios went 64, 9-20-29 for Windsor Spitfires. Steve’s son is smaller (5.09, 174) but plays like his Dad an is a good defensive player. He has terrific speed and can move the puck, but doesn’t boast the kind of boxcars one expects from a puck mover. A tweener who can skate and has bloodlines, might be worth a later selection.

LD Mitchell Brewer posted 67, 4-14-18. He’s a big defender (6.02, 201) with good speed and mobility, projects as a shutdown defender. If this were 1975 he’d be among the first 60 selections, but lack of offense has him on the outside. I like the players who can defend.

LW Daniel D’Amico is a January 2001 who scored 67, 21-25-46 this season in the OHL. A skill forward who is just 5.09, 179, he is a good skater. If he doesn’t get drafted, he might be a perfect free-agent signing.

LC Tag Bertuzzi was hurt this season, playing only 30 games (4-5-9). He is a load, but with great touch passing and some offensive creativity. Losing an entire season hurt his draft number but he might be a worthy draft and follow.

CONDORS SEASON

What a turnaround. Last year, the top forward prospect in the AHL under 23 was Kyle Platzer (44, 8-7-15). This year, Tyler Benson (66 points), Cooper Marody (64), Cam Hebig (29), Evan Polei (20) and Kailer Yamamoto (18) all cleared Platzer’s totals. Also quality: Points-per-game totals for Condors forwards.

  1. Cooper Marody 1.10
  2. Tyler Benson 0.97
  3. Joe Gambardella 0.96
  4. Patrick Russell 0.78
  5. Josh Currie 0.77
  6. Kailer Yamamoto 0.67

The defense is even more impressive, I’d guess we’ll see three or four of these men play in the NHL in the next couple of seasons. We don’t know if they’ll catch on as regulars but there is quality here. Evan Bouchard finished No. 3 in team scoring (3-5-8) despite playing in just eight games. It’s impossible to handicap the defense and who will arrive in Edmonton in order, but I’d say Caleb Jones has the edge as the team breaks for summer. Based on what Mike Zanier told me, Joel Persson is going to have his say as well. After that, Bear, Lagesson and Bouchard could see action. Logan Day and Keegan Lowe are good defensemen, both young enough to find their way.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning on the Lowdown, we get started at 10. Jonathan Willis will join us from The Athletic at 10:20, we’ll talk Condors, Sekera and Holland. Jon Abbott from TSN 1040 in Vancouver will join us to talk World Hockey Championships, he’ll be live from Slovakia. At 11:05, Scott Wheeler from The Athletic will join us to talk about his final 2019 draft list. You can send you questions to 10-1260 via text or @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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172 Responses to "Dime, Quarter, Nickel, Penny"

  1. nvan97 says:

    It has been a very long time since I have been excited for their prospect d depth. Bear, Jones, Bouchard, Persson, Lagesson and Samorukov all have a real chance to be NHL defensemen and I think it’s reasonable to expect 50% of them to be NHL regulars in the not too distant future.

  2. Ben says:

    Other than adding 97, the current D crop is the brightest spot for this team since Igor Ulanov invented penicillin.

    The pursuant feeling of dread is that they’ll choose the wrong prospect for trade in bolstering the wings.

  3. Darth Tu says:

    Sad to see the Condors go out last night, but what a great ride. We finally have a farm team that looks to be producing a decent crop! Here’s to next season, and hoping that they can repeat that kind of form.

  4. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    Ben:
    Other than adding 97, the current D crop is the brightest spot for this team since Igor Ulanov invented penicillin.

    The pursuant feeling of dread is that they’ll choose the wrong prospect for trade in bolstering the wings.

    You read my mind there. Of course whoever they trade wins rookie of the year and Norris in year 1!

  5. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I’d like to be wrong, but I don’t see a F in the AHL that projects to anything more than replacement level 3rd-4rth-liner on a cheap entry-contract (nothing wrong with that, need lots of those). So no top-6 F’s (except maybe Kailer has a chance)

    On the D side though: lots of outs. Persson was a smart “block” for the Bouchard/Bear’s etc.

    I could see the plan is for game 1 of next season:

    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell (or different RHD guy if they can make trade ideally)
    Sek-Persson

    – So Persson gets first crack as he’s the oldest, on a one way. Bouchard et al they stay in the minors.Benning is the guy they trade.If Persson sucks, they can bring in Jones or another, based on how they do in the AHL.

    – They’ve done a good job with this batch of D development IMO:

    1) Laggs: year in Europe, year in AHL,
    2) Jones: 2 years in AHL, taste of NHL when injuiries
    3) Bear : 2 years in AHL, taste of NHL when injuries
    4) Bouchard: sheltered in first AHL playoffs, not a regular, will earn trust in AHL next year, and have regular shift, blocked by more developed D above

    – Playing Bouchard sheltered in AHL playoffs this year is a tell that next year he gets to play more minutes in AHL to prove himself, and he’s not to move up the batting order. He wasn’t gifted a spot.

  6. Reja says:

    nvan97:
    It has been a very long time since I have been excited for their prospect d depth. Bear, Jones, Bouchard, Persson, Lagesson and Samorukov all have a real chance to be NHL defensemen and I think it’s reasonable to expect 50% of them to be NHL regulars in the not too distant future.

    Holland better find out quick who to keep and who to showcase for a trade. Come on Holland use your connections and trade Russell I can also see either Nurse or less likely Kelfbom getting traded if not this year next year Nurse might price himself out of town for what he brings to the table.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    He’s not signed yet but he will and, unless our new GM makes a mistake and sells for pennies on the dollar, I project that Jesse Puljujarvi will cover his cap – He’s got the potential to provide a fairly substantial value contract this coming season (assuming he comes in around $1.25M – $1.5M with his pedigree bump).

    Maybe Tyler Benson can provide the value contract as well? Maybe he earns 2LW and sticks and puts up 50 points? That would be a massive value deal. Even earning a middle six job and playing solid hockey with chipping in will provide a nice little value deal.

    Caleb Jones/Willie Lagesson – munching 15 even strength minutes a game and sawing off the goal share will be value for their ELCs.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oh, yes, how could i forget about Nurse – he was one of the biggest value contracts on the team this past season and, if healthy, will no doubt be one again. The following season mind you……

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    There is one player that, if he covers the bet, it almost assures the playoffs – Mikko Koskinen – if he covers his $4.5M bet, this team is in the playoffs.

  10. Reja says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I’d like to be wrong, but I don’t see a F in the AHL that projects to anything more than replacement level 3rd-4rth-liner on a cheap entry-contract (nothing wrong with that, need lots of those).So no top-6 F’s (except maybe Kailer has a chance)

    On the D side though: lots of outs.Persson was a smart “block” for the Bouchard/Bear’s etc.

    I could see the plan is for game 1 of next season:

    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell (or different RHD guy if they can make trade ideally)
    Sek-Persson

    – So Persson gets first crack as he’s the oldest, on a one way. Bouchard et al they stay in the minors.Benning is the guy they trade.If Persson sucks, they can bring in Jones or another, based on how they do in the AHL.

    – They’ve done a good job with this batch of D development IMO:

    1) Laggs: year in Europe, year in AHL,
    2) Jones: 2 years in AHL, taste of NHL when injuiries
    3) Bear : 2 years in AHL, taste of NHL when injuries
    4) Bouchard: sheltered in first AHL playoffs, not a regular, will earn trust in AHL next year, and have regular shift, blocked by more developed D above

    – Playing Bouchard sheltered in AHL playoffs this year is a tell that next year he gets to play more minutes in AHL to prove himself, and he’s not to move up the batting order.He wasn’t gifted a spot.

    You say patato I say patatoe. No way in hell Holland is sitting on the same defenseman that haven’t come close to making the playoffs the last 2 years changes are coming.

  11. ArmchairGM says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: Benning is the guy they trade.

    What do you think they get for him? And from whom?

    I think he’s worth a 2nd round pick. Not sure which team takes him though.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Subject to a regression at camp, Caleb Jones definitely has the inside track on breaking camp with the team.

    I will posit that Willie Lagesson is just as NHL ready as Jones but will have to wait for his opportunity a bit.

    Ethan Bear, in my opinion, is behind the lefties (Jones plays right) but he did have a good development year – he did improve in certain areas such as puck retrieval and defensive positioning but he still struggles it those areas. His offensive game is oubvius for the observer.

    At the end of the day, all three of those players need to get their NHL reps this coming season as they all lose their waiver exempt status heading in to 2020/21 so the organization needs to know what they have.

    There will be a bit of turnover in the D this off-season, I’m sure, however, I think its next off-season that will see a larger shift – those three being subject to waivers to send down, Bouchard should definitely be ready and, perhaps Samorukov puts himself in the conversation.

    What if Joel Persson proves to be legit?

  13. McNuge93 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    He’s not signed yet but he will and, unless our new GM makes a mistake and sells for pennies on the dollar, I project that Jesse Puljujarvi will cover his cap – He’s got the potential to provide a fairly substantial value contract this coming season (assuming he comes in around $1.25M – $1.5M with his pedigree bump).

    Maybe Tyler Benson can provide the value contract as well?Maybe he earns 2LW and sticks and puts up 50 points?That would be a massive value deal.Even earning a middle six job and playing solid hockey with chipping in will provide a nice little value deal.

    Caleb Jones/Willie Lagesson – munching 15 even strength minutes a game and sawing off the goal share will be value for their ELCs.

    Your hopes are somewhat similar to my hopes last year that one or two of KY, Rattie or Pulu would be top 6 wingers for the season. I hope your right.

  14. Andy Dufresne says:

    From Elliot Freidmans 31 Thoughts,

    “Prior to Holland’s hiring, the Oilers were considering a Milan Lucic buyout if there’s not a workable trade. The true cap relief would be in years five to eight, when his payout drops to $625,000. The next four seasons would be stiff. One year ago, other clubs said Edmonton’s asks were unrealistic. We’ll see this time.”

    So, what this is telling us is that whatever trade offers/deals were on the table last year were of a nature that made a buyout at least a serious concideration.

    A buyout is a terrible deal for the Oilers…..So it follows that all the trade options were not just bad….but terrible.

    Meaning only one of three things, 1) taking back a “worse” contract 2) Eating 50% of the contact and throwing in a sweetner or, 3) throwing in a substantial (top prospect or 1st round pick) sweetner straight up.

    If the options were anything other than 1,2,3, then Lucic would have been gone…NO? Otherwise why would a buyout have been seriously concidered???

  15. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Reja: You say patato I say patatoe. No way in hell Holland is sitting on the same defenseman that haven’t come close to making the playoffs the last 2 years changes are coming.

    ArmchairGM: What do you think they get for him? And from whom?

    I think he’s worth a 2nd round pick. Not sure which team takes him though.

    – Agree they make changes: a healthy Sek, trade Benning +Russell, add Persson or a AHL D

    – If they can net a 2RHD and Sek for 65 games: that’s a massive potato change

    – Benning I like for $1.9MM, and when there are injuries and development speed bumps, they will wish they had a 3RHD with some grit: but they can’t have everything.

    – Trading Benning is Oiler special: moving bona-fide NHL players before their ceiling is established, under club control, because of shiny things that are better. They need a NHL player net in return.

    – Unless you want Brown from Leafs as a 3-line winger: he was awful in playoffs, and slots in top-6 like Reider or Rattie: your just hoping despite strong contrary evidence IMO

  16. jp says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I’d like to be wrong, but I don’t see a F in the AHL that projects to anything more than replacement level 3rd-4rth-liner on a cheap entry-contract (nothing wrong with that, need lots of those).So no top-6 F’s (except maybe Kailer has a chance)

    Do you mean for the upcoming season, or further out?

    I feel like Benson’s really strong first pro year and all around game very likely project him as a top 6F. Yamamoto also has a chance, and agree Marody and the others likely aren’t top 6 options down the line (or at least can’t reasonably be expected to get there).

  17. Andy Dufresne says:

    I said before the hire (after it was leaked that Holland had the inside track) , that all Holland had to do was to speak credibly about his philopsophy (which he has the experience to do, AND parrot back the many Nicholson public talking points about the Oilers “being close to the playoffs, and the idea that the 2016-17 (playoff run) version of the team was the real team and that 2017 and 2018 were the anomolies”

    From Elliot Freidman:

    “Holland described a situation where the Oilers would compete for the playoffs while building for long-term success. It will be interesting, because “some candidates” took pains to make it known this is not a short-term fix”

    Hollands no fool……on the contrary…..he’s $25 million dollars SMART!

    #TTWTWTH
    #tellthemwhattheywanttohear

    This is not a critcism of Holland. I like the hire.

  18. godot10 says:

    ArmchairGM: What do you think they get for him? And from whom?

    I think he’s worth a 2nd round pick. Not sure which team takes him though.

    Tampa has a real need for a cheap 3rd pairing D (as an obstacle for Foote), and major cap issues up front.

    Benning for JT Miller modulo stuff. It is time to cash out Benning.

  19. ArmchairGM says:

    I bet all of Lagesson, Jones and Bear see limited NHL time next year, serving primarily as injury call-ups. It’s the Holland way.

    The upside is that all 3 will be up for their second contracts with little NHL experience, and being able to sign these guys for +/- $1M x 3 years just as they are breaking into the NHL would be HUGE for cap management going forward. It means that, between them and Bouchard and Samorukov, every time a veteran leaves and a rookie steps into his place, you’re looking at a fairly serious talent upgrade as well as millions in cap space. By the time these guys are ready to get paid, all of the bad Chiarelli contracts will be off the books and the money will be available. Also, the prospects that “made it” will have several years of experience, Holland will know exactly what he has and who is expendable.

    Genius.

  20. jp says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    From Elliot Freidmans 31 Thoughts,

    “Prior to Holland’s hiring, the Oilers were considering a Milan Lucic buyout if there’s not a workable trade. The true cap relief would be in years five to eight, when his payout drops to $625,000. The next four seasons would be stiff. One year ago, other clubs said Edmonton’s asks were unrealistic. We’ll see this time.”

    So, what this is telling us is that whatever trade offers/deals were on the table last year were of a nature that made a buyout at least a serious concideration.

    A buyout is a terrible deal for the Oilers…..So it follows that all the trade options were not just bad….but terrible.

    Meaning only one of three things, 1) taking back a “worse” contract 2) Eating 50% of the contact and throwing in a sweetner or, 3) throwing in a substantial (top prospect or 1st round pick) sweetner straight up.

    If the options were anything other than 1,2,3, then Lucic would have been gone…NO? Otherwise why would a buyout have been seriously concidered???

    Well there’s room for interpretation of this. “Prior to Holland’s hiring” and “one year ago, the Oilers ask” don’t quite sound like the same timeline.

    It’s at least possible that last summer Chiarelli was still expecting to get something for Lucic in a trade, or at least not willing to go through with a pure cap dump. But since his firing, and before Holland’s arrival the remaining braintrust were considering a buyout if no acceptable deal could be found.

    I actually take a little hope from the Friedman comment since it suggests there may have been a market for Lucic a year ago. Potentially something is still out there that’s a considerable improvement over a buyout, since I agree that would be just an awful outcome.

    My take may also be way too optimistic.

  21. ArmchairGM says:

    godot10: Tampa has a real need for a cheap 3rd pairing D (as an obstacle for Foote), and major cap issues up front.

    Benning for JT Miller modulo stuff.It is time to cash out Benning.

    That’s not a good trade for the Oilers – I’d rather have the cap space. Miller has 4 more years at $5.25M and I’m not sure he’ll cover that bet, TBH. He scored 13 goals on the best offensive team in 30 years and is terribly inconsistent – and he’ll soak up all the available cap space we have.

  22. ArmchairGM says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Trading Benning is Oiler special: moving bona-fide NHL players before their ceiling is established, under club control, because of shiny things that are better. They need a NHL player net in return.

    I disagree. Any pick garnered from trading Benning can be traded for an NHL player. You don’t want to limit your trading partners… ideally you’d make sure you moved up in the draft, too.

    i.e. trade Benning for a 2nd, trade our 3rd for a winger

    You net the player you want plus you have a better pick. Win-win.

  23. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I like LT’s break-down of covering bet, justifiable. I think it’s also helpful to create the following list:

    – Guys that the existing management will say: “Not my guy, or I disagreed with getting him, or he’s a bum or he didn’t listen to my plan for him, so we need to dump and teach some lessons:

    1) Lucic (bum, teach lesson)
    2) Russell (not my guy)
    3) Benning (not my guy)
    4) Sek (not my guy)
    5) Koski (didn’t listen)
    6) Kassian (didnt’ listen)
    7) Pool (didn’t listen, teach him lesson)
    8) Manning (bum, didn’t listen)
    9) Gagner (not my guy)
    10) Larsson (not my guy, make him pay)

    – In any organization these are the guys that are most vulnerable, as they have some issues and there aren’t “protected” by existing group. It’s human nature (and CYA)

    – All the “good guys”, they will of course take credit for and so they don’t move

    – Most of the 10 above will be gone in 12 months: book it.

  24. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: I feel like Benson’s really strong first pro year and all around game very likely project him as a top 6F.

    I agree. I could see Benson playing 2LW as early as next year as long as he has quality linemates. My picks: Nuge and Draisaitl (love how Leon comes down his off wing).

  25. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    ArmchairGM: I disagree.

    You net the player you want plus you have a better pick. Win-win.

    – You disagree, yet you advocate the same thing I do: “trading Benning for net a NHL player!”

  26. ArmchairGM says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – You disagree, yet you advocate the same thing I do: “trading Benning for net a NHL player!”

    Maybe I misread your post, I though you were saying that trading a player for a pick was unacceptable, we need a warm body in return. Was that incorrect?

  27. godot10 says:

    ArmchairGM: That’s not a good trade for the Oilers – I’d rather have the cap space. Miller has 4 more years at $5.25M and I’m not sure he’ll cover that bet, TBH. He scored 13 goals on the best offensive team in 30 years and is terribly inconsistent – and he’ll soak up all the available cap space we have.

    He is 26. He has had three 20 goal seasons already. Even last year he had 47 points. Four seasons in a row over 40 points. Two seasons over 50. He is entering the prime years of his career. He can play all forward positions. He can PK and be used in a defensive role. He is the only Tampa forward with a signficant cap hit who doesn’t have trade protection.

    One is buying low off of a 13 goal season (where he still have 47 points). At 26, he is not likely falling off of a cliff, like all the 30-year olds many keep advocating on signing.

    He is one of best salary cap casualty dumps on the market this year, and we have exactly what Tampa needs, a cheap legit 3rd pairing D option in Benning.

  28. Darth Tu says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I like LT’s break-down of covering bet, justifiable.I think it’s also helpful to create the following list:

    – Guys that the existing management will say: “Not my guy, or I disagreed with getting him, or he’s a bum or he didn’t listen to my plan for him,so we need to dump and teach some lessons:

    1) Lucic (bum, teach lesson)
    2) Russell (not my guy)
    3) Benning (not my guy)
    4) Sek (not my guy)
    5) Koski (didn’t listen)
    6) Kassian (didnt’ listen)
    7) Pool (didn’t listen, teach him lesson)
    8) Manning (bum, didn’t listen)
    9) Gagner (not my guy)
    10) Larsson (not my guy, make him pay)

    – In any organization these are the guys that are most vulnerable, as they have some issues and there aren’t “protected” by existing group.It’s human nature (and CYA)

    – All the “good guys”, they will of course take credit for and so they don’t move

    – Most of the 10 above will be gone in 12 months: book it.

    I agree with your “not my guy” list in principle, but with the exception of Gagner. Is he not McTavish and Lowe’s guy? Or did the previous dumping/teaching a lesson mean he’s now a clean slate player for the organization?

  29. Darth Tu says:

    godot10: He is 26.He has had three 20 goal seasons already.Even last year he had 47 points.Four seasons in a row over 40 points.Two seasons over 50.He is entering the prime years of his career.He can play all forward positions.He can PK and be used in a defensive role.He is the only Tampa forward with a signficant cap hit who doesn’t have trade protection.

    One is buying low off of a 13 goal season (where he still have 47 points).At 26, he is not likely falling off of a cliff, like all the 30-year olds many keep advocating on signing.

    He is one of best salary cap casualty dumps on the market this year, and we have exactly what Tampa needs, a cheap legit 3rd pairing D option in Benning.

    I like Miller too. If there’s a way to ship some salary out (Lucic, Russell) to make that work I can see him in our top 6 for the next few years. Heck staple him to Nuge on the second line and also have those two on the PK as well.

  30. ArmchairGM says:

    godot10: He is 26.He has had three 20 goal seasons already.Even last year he had 47 points.Four seasons in a row over 40 points.Two seasons over 50.He is entering the prime years of his career.He can play all forward positions.He can PK and be used in a defensive role.He is the only Tampa forward with a signficant cap hit who doesn’t have trade protection.

    One is buying low off of a 13 goal season (where he still have 47 points).At 26, he is not likely falling off of a cliff, like all the 30-year olds many keep advocating on signing.

    He is one of best salary cap casualty dumps on the market this year, and we have exactly what Tampa needs, a cheap legit 3rd pairing D option in Benning.

    If he’s all that, Tampa is going to want a LOT more than Matt Benning.

  31. godot10 says:

    Darth Tu: I like Miller too.If there’s a way to ship some salary out (Lucic, Russell) to make that work I can see him in our top 6 for the next few years.Heck staple him to Nuge on the second line and also have those two on the PK as well.

    In

    JT MIller $5.25 million
    Joel Persson $1 million

    Total $6.25 million

    Out

    Tobias Rieder $2 million
    Matt Benning $1.9 million

    Total $3.9 millioin

    Net difference $2.35 million more.

    Add Miller for Benning is really a relatively inexpensive acquistion, and doesn’t require a signficant player going out.

  32. godot10 says:

    ArmchairGM: If he’s all that, Tampa is going to want a LOT more than Matt Benning.

    Tampa has cap challenges and a signficant need of a legit cheap 3rd pairing RD.

    Where are they going to be able to get a legit 3rd pairing D for under $2 million?

  33. digger50 says:

    So much talk on the prospects which is truly awesome. Even throw Jessie P in the mix, although not a typical prospect anymore we are hoping he can blossom.

    Now, at the end of the day we need wingers going into next year and something has to give.

    Will Benson hold a top 6 spot? Will Jessie? We really cant go down the “maybe” road again. So instead of looking at prospects and working our way up the line up, we really should start with core of a team (as defined by LT) and work our way down the line up.

    Two top lines (suggest we have three of six with Kassian holding a fourth spot for now)
    We need at least two top six players and depth to cover injury. One of Benson, Jessie, Yammer may emerge and take one spot. We need at least one good difference maker to come in and help. Two would be better.

    If cap allows, a good free agent signing cost $ but no assets. I did like Zuccarello’s game, he finds open ice, and you know Connor or Leon will find him. Not sure the cost. The other guy has to come from an inexpensive source.

    Four good D men (suggest we have three of four)
    The d men will have to evolve as a group. Spending assets on that fourth top 4 guy is a real gamble when he may be pushed out of the way just months later. These guys coming up – they are justifiably good. So free agent short deal is a maybe but again, lower priority. Id rather hold onto assets we have and use available assets to fix forwards. So live with defence as is for now..

    Third line center (I’m counting nuge in top six)
    We need this guy, and we are certainly not strong enough to put Nuge here. If we could, hey he could run an excellent third line with Khaira and Jessie.

    I see another need for a third line center.

    Goalie
    Gigantic need. With a good goalie we would have had an excellent chance to see playoffs. Strength at this position plus McDavid and Oilers win ten more games, 20 points.

    Gagner, Chaisson, Cave, Gambardella, may help fill in the blanks but I don’t see them helping with these key positions identified..

    So my list has
    Goalie – an absolute must. We compete with a good goalie tandem
    Proven Top six winger – an absolute must to fill out top 6
    Another top six winger – a need but at lower cost
    Third line center – A priority. If second winger works out, Nuge could fit here and drive a third line.

    There is an outside chance we clear Milan and Russel and fill our needs without sacrificing prospects. Its more likely we keep the 8th overall and draft a winger and trade two of these prospects.
    Jessie P
    Yamamoto
    Jones
    Laggeson
    Bouchard
    Samorukov

    EDIT: excuse wall of text – I was just reviewing my thoughts and going to condense when it just decided to post.

  34. Darth Tu says:

    godot10: In

    JT MIller$5.25 million
    Joel Persson $1 million

    Total $6.25 million

    Out

    Tobias Rieder $2 million
    Matt Benning $1.9 million

    Total $3.9 millioin

    Net difference $2.35 million more.

    Add Miller for Benning is really a relatively inexpensive acquistion, and doesn’t require a signficant player going out.

    I would make that trade if Tampa are willing play ball. I like your thinking.

    Moving out Russell or Lucic gives us the extra cap space for another goalie. I have the backup goalie top of my personal list of Oilers priorities for the summer, followed by scoring winger (Miller would be a great option), then the RHD.

  35. ArmchairGM says:

    godot10: Tampa has cap challenges and a signficant need of a legit cheap 3rd pairing RD.

    Where are they going to be able to get a legit 3rd pairing D for under $2 million?

    They just signed Ruuta for $1.3M.

    That would be my guess.

  36. Leroy Draisdale says:

    as an aside…. every time I watch Hollands pressers he reminds me of Jimmy Two times from Goodfellas. Not his looks but he says a lot of things twice!
    Kenny Two Times?
    https://youtu.be/ZD3y43cyddI

  37. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    There is one player that, if he covers the bet, it almost assures the playoffs – Mikko Koskinen – if he covers his $4.5M bet, this team is in the playoffs.

    This is correct. Unfortunately, the bet isn’t as strong as shoving all-in on rouge. It’s more like putting all your chips on number dix-neuf.

  38. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    RE: Benson

    I think we can project him as a “top 9 forward” and hope for more.

    I have said often since the pre-season that his passing is Elite even for the NHL and have only become more convinced of this over the season in my limited viewings of him.

    Seems to have “hockey smarts” and high end passing ability. Skating seems to be coming along but also needs to be a focus for him.

    Also,

    I posted this in regards to Benson on April 28th here: https://lowetide.ca/2019/04/28/the-ghosts-of-saturday-night-after-hours-at-napoleones-pizza-house/#comment-834811

    Here it is again:

    Search requirements:

    08/09 season until today (10 years)
    20 year old year
    Sorted by points/gm
    Minimum 30pg in the AHL
    Players 14 above and 10 below Benson sorted by these measures. (I was originally going to do “10 above and 10 below” as that’s a nice list of comps but there were only 14 above so I took em all)

    (I think I’d expect pts/gm to drop with an increase in gp, but not sure at what rate)

    Here’s their GP that season:
    Ryan Strome 37
    Logan Couture 42
    Kyle Palmieri 51
    Jack Roslovic 32
    Luke Adam 57
    Dylan Strome 50
    Dillon Dube 37
    Drake Batherson 59
    J.T. Miller 41
    Claude Giroux 33
    Artem Anisimov 80
    Jirí Tlusty 66
    Kasperi Kapanen 43
    Tyler Benson 68
    Ryan Spooner 59
    Tyler Ennis 69
    Nazem Kadri 44
    Jordan Kyrou 47
    Andrei Loktionov 34
    Jason Zucker 55
    Sean Couturier 31
    Brett Connolly 71
    Markus Granlund 52
    Tyler Toffoli 58
    Alexander Khokhlachev 65
    Zack Kassian 30
    Casey Cizikas 52

    Here are their points/gm:
    Ryan Strome 1.32
    Logan Couture 1.26
    Kyle Palmieri 1.14
    Jack Roslovic 1.09
    Luke Adam 1.09
    Dylan Strome 1.06
    Dillon Dube 1.05
    Drake Batherson 1.05
    J.T. Miller 1.05
    Claude Giroux 1.03
    Artem Anisimov 1.01
    Jirí Tlusty 1.00
    Kasperi Kapanen 1.00
    Tyler Benson 0.97 *****
    Ryan Spooner 0.97
    Tyler Ennis 0.94
    Nazem Kadri 0.93
    Jordan Kyrou 0.92
    Andrei Loktionov 0.91
    Jason Zucker 0.91
    Sean Couturier 0.90
    Brett Connolly 0.89
    Markus Granlund 0.89
    Tyler Toffoli 0.88
    Alexander Khokhlachev 0.88
    Zack Kassian 0.87
    Casey Cizikas 0.87

    Source: https://www.quanthockey.com/ahl/en/player-age/20-year-old-ahl-players.html

  39. digger50 says:

    Question: Is Sekera returning to top four form?

    He was brought in as top pair, injuries dropped him to third pair. Is he the number 4 filler that we are looking for to settle down Nurse?

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Sekera
    Jones – Benning
    Samorukov – Laggeson

    In this scenario we keep Benning as mentor and rotate rookies. If we do move Russel, Benning is needed to provide cover for injuries as well.

  40. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Leroy Draisdale:
    as an aside…. every time I watch Hollands pressers he reminds me of Jimmy Two times from Goodfellas. Not his looks but he says a lot of things twice!
    Kenny Two Times?
    https://youtu.be/ZD3y43cyddI

    I’m going to get the papers, the papers

  41. Ben says:

    godot10: Tampa has cap challenges and a signficant need of a legit cheap 3rd pairing RD.

    Where are they going to be able to get a legit 3rd pairing D for under $2 million?

    If I’m Brisebois, $2M is twice as much as I’m looking to spend on that position.

  42. Professor Q says:

    ArmchairGM: They just signed Ruuta for $1.3M.

    That would be my guess.

    I guess the league is in for a Ruuta ‘wakening.

  43. bwar says:

    I’m not as convinced on Nurse as many others are. Nurse put up huge points this season but I felt he was extremely lacking while Klefbom was injured, his defensive game is not great (being nasty often trumps actually defending for Nurse) and his next contract is going to be a nightmare. I would be listening to any offers on Nurse this offseason and if a good deal comes along I’d be pulling that trigger right now.

    If you completely removed the Nurse-Russell pairing from the roster and replaced from within, how much of a drop do we see in defense? I’d wager that Lagesson-Jones would be the better pair by the end of the season and whatever forward we got back for Nurse would make a huge difference up front.

  44. Woogie63 says:

    In the starting 23 the Oilers have ONE really bad contract which is 7.5% of our current cap spend.

    Given that Draisaitl, Hopkins, Klefbom, Larsson, and Nurse all reasonable numbers.

    A lot of time is spent on Lucic. Every team has 10% of the cap $ wasted.

  45. godot10 says:

    Ben: If I’m Brisebois, $2M is twice as much as I’m looking to spend on that position.

    Right now, on the right side, all they got are Cernak, Rutta, and Cal Foote. Cal Foote should be in the AHL. So they really need a top 4 guy plus Benning in addition to Rutta. Because they don’t have much in the AHL. Tampa has a lot of work to do on their D.

    Their left side is set with Hedman, McDonagh, and Sergachev.

  46. Ben says:

    Warning, large digression ahead:

    We often discuss analytics here as a way to bring a measure of objectivity into player assessment. Further, we generally recognize the problem of subjectivity in eye-testing players for physical and mental abilities.

    So I wonder why the NHL combine isn’t more effectively exploited to gain a quantitative assessment of game-relevant player abilities.

    The NHL combine endurance tests could certainly provide useful data, but the rest — running, jumping, lifting — demand inane extrapolations to game situations (if any).

    Scouts come out of the NFL combine with more appropriate data since the players are doing more of the kinds of things they’ll be doing in-game.

    Why on earth isn’t the NHL combine held, at least partly, on-ice? And why aren’t the tests constructed to generate relevant, comparable data-sets that scouts can use to assess actual in-game abilities?

    We hear all about how whatever running back prospect ran a 4.3 at the NFL combine. But there’s no equivalent for hockey until Sportsnet runs whatever km/h tech on a McDavid breakaway in the big leagues.

    Stickhandling, agility, passing, recognition…these are all things that scouts guess at when the combine could be generating numerical results.

    Feels like an obvious missed opportunity.

  47. godot10 says:

    bwar:
    I’m not as convinced on Nurse as many others are.Nurse put up huge points this season but I felt he was extremely lacking while Klefbom was injured, his defensive game is not great (being nasty often trumps actually defending for Nurse) and his next contract is going to be a nightmare.I would be listening to any offers on Nurse this offseason and if a good deal comes along I’d be pulling that trigger right now.

    If you completely removed the Nurse-Russell pairing from the roster and replaced from within, how much of a drop do we see in defense?I’d wager that Lagesson-Jones would be the better pair by the end of the season and whatever forward we got back for Nurse would make a huge difference up front.

    The definition of insanity…

    There is close to zero probability that trading Nurse or Klefbom would improve this team. They are entering or on the verge of entering their prime NHL seasons.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Tyler Benson is going to work on his skating with coach David Pelletier this summer.

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    RE: Benson

    I think we can project him as a “top 9 forward” and hope for more.

    I have said often since the pre-season that his passing is Elite even for the NHL and have only become more convinced of this over the season in my limited viewings of him.

    Seems to have “hockey smarts” and high end passing ability.Skating seems to be coming along but also needs to be a focus for him.

    Also,

    I posted this in regards to Benson on April 28th here: https://lowetide.ca/2019/04/28/the-ghosts-of-saturday-night-after-hours-at-napoleones-pizza-house/#comment-834811

    Interesting! I did much the same research, but looked at 5v5 only.

    https://lowetide.ca/2019/05/10/issue-one-jesse/

    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.

  50. McSorley33 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Tyler Benson is going to work on his skating with coach David Pelletier this summer.
    ****************************************************************************************************
    Excellent news.

    My biggest worry is the skating of both Benson and Marody. They both have the hockey IQ to
    succeed, no question.

    Sometimes that next level speed and quickness is too much.

    EG. Reports indicated Brad Malone is a force in the AHL but cannot replicate that game in the bigs.
    Same with Anton Lander, etc, etc, etc,

    Hey lookit – now Cale Makar is likely to be in the NHL.

    High Speed is the new norm.

  51. Ben says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Tyler Benson is going to work on his skating with coach David Pelletier this summer.

    The only saving grace of a Condors loss last night is a longer summer of skill-specific training for our prospects.

  52. Munny says:

    I disagree with LT’s article on a few points.

    First, you cannot play all of 29, 93 and 97 at C. Two of them are awful at FOs. One of them guys has to play wing. This is why the Strome trade-away was an absolute killer as it made us weaker up the middle and took away options for deployment.

    Also, they will cover their bets only if they play in the top 6. You can’t say Russell will contribute but is over-priced and not the say the same about someone making $6M and playing in the bottom 6 (Nuge). Nor will Nuge score at anywhere near his pace this year if he’s playing 3C with what we have to offer as third line wingers. At best, he would be “Justifiable” at 3C.

    Sadly, the guy who is the best at board battles and winning the puck in corners, is also the best face off guy among the group… Draisaitl. It doesn’t really matter to me which one of the trio is posted at wing, but one of them needs to be.

    Second, we have no idea whether Sekera can contribute at the level of his salary next season. He couldn’t this past season, and despite the encouraging signs, at his age and with his history, you need to see it before you can call it, otherwise it’s simply speculation.

    If the best he can muster is bottom pairing, then he too goes into the Can-contribute-but-overpaid category that Rusty is in. How hot is the trade market for Sekera at that salary, age, and with his past two years of history? Other teams would claim they are taking on a lot of risk… that risk also applies to the Oilers and should be applied in the above charts.

    Third, Cave makes the “Covering” list only because he earns the League minimum. I would move him down to Justifiable because it should be fairly simple to find a better option, either internally or externally, for under $1M. Part of Covering the bet means being the best option available.

    All of the rest I agree with.

  53. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    godot10: The definition of insanity…

    There is close to zero probability that trading Nurse or Klefbom would improve this team. They are entering or on the verge of entering their prime NHL seasons.

    – I’d put Benning in this category as well. I know consensus is he’s as good as gone: 24 year old bona-fide RHD, has some good qualities. Can’t carry a 2nd pairing on his own on a bad team.

    – We think we have better RHD than him though that are ready

    – This is the math: new 3rd line winger from trading Benning + Jones as 3RHD > Benning

    * so I get why they would do it, as Benning is legit and $1.9MM, so actually a hockey trade available

  54. John Chambers says:

    Do folks think Marody can cover the bet as a #3C?

    Let’s assume they keep the Benson – Marody mojo going, who plays 3RW?

    Problem is Puljujarvi isn’t responsible enough. Gagner same. Chiasson maybe? Kassian?

    Benson – Marody – Kassian might be a good 3rd line.

  55. bwar says:

    godot10: The definition of insanity…

    There is close to zero probability that trading Nurse or Klefbom would improve this team. They are entering or on the verge of entering their prime NHL seasons.

    Short term, the team gets worse. Long term we get help up front, which is desperately needed, and we find out if our defensive prospects are as good as we all think. Say we trade Nurse for Nylander, we lose 40 points on the back end and replace it with say 20 points from Jones but we also gain 60 points from Nylander playing with McDavid. We avoid another hold out from Nurse and aren’t the team that signs him to a contract he will never be worth. We aren’t talking about giving away Nurse for free, I know that’s a foreign concept for Oilers fans after what Chiarelli put us through but at some point an asset of value will need to be traded for help up front.

  56. Kraz says:

    I am all for having one of Persson, Bear of Bouchard in the lineup as this will take offensive minutes away from Nurse and help give the Oilers a more team friendly contract next year.

  57. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Good stuff AGM.

    I like to keep players in “age years” until they are 23 or so.

    From 18-22 player’s ability and experience grow quickly and I try not to lump them together as “age year” comps also helps projecting players *more correctly* (but not perfect obv)

  58. Ben says:

    godot10: The definition of insanity…

    There is close to zero probability that trading Nurse or Klefbom would improve this team. They are entering or on the verge of entering their prime NHL seasons.

    Agreed on Klefbom.

    But Nurse, who I like, is probably more famous than he is good (and he is very good). I just don’t see that he thinks the game on par with his physical skills.

    He’s our one guy who I think you have a solid chance of winning a trade with. (Assuming, of course, that we had the kind of savvy management who were capable of winning a trade.)

    Seeing as Sekera is showing some strong indication of being able to play up at 2LD, this summer might be the perfect time for a Nurse for Nylander/Ehlers-ish kind of deal — particularly considering Nurse has one more year at a reasonable number, before he gets a big overpay on term.

  59. Munny says:

    John Chambers: Do folks think Marody can cover the bet as a #3C?

    You would want him to cover it at 4C first. I call this The Horcoff Rule.

  60. bwar says:

    John Chambers:
    Do folks think Marody can cover the bet as a #3C?

    Let’s assume they keep the Benson – Marody mojo going, who plays 3RW?

    Problem is Puljujarvi isn’t responsible enough. Gagner same. Chiasson maybe? Kassian?

    Benson – Marody – Kassian might be a good 3rd line.

    I’m not totally sold that they can jump right in and be an NHL avergae or above third line but I think it’s worth a shot. Both players were around the ppg mark in the AHL and that should be enough to earn them a look in the NHL. I’d consider going a step further and adding Currie to the mix. I thought Currie showed some promise during his time in the NHL (was on pace for around 20pts over a full season). It would be a bit of a gamble as the goal would probably be to have all three players hit the 30 point mark but even 20 points each would be an upgrade over last years third line (Khaira 18pts, Rattie 11pts, Rieder 11pts were our 7th, 8th and 9th highest scoring forwards last season)

  61. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Munny: You would want him to cover it at 4C first.I call this The Horcoff Rule.

    – Yeah a Cave-Cooper-Benson 4rth line is not unreasonable projection (as replacement level, middling 4rth line that is cheap). And you have Brodziak to call up, or Jar or Gagner to slot in if it doesn’t work.

    – Asking 1st year NHL’ers that aren’t elite (vs a Dubois in Columbus as an example) to Centre 3rd lines in the absence of bona-fide wingers is setting them up to fail IMO

  62. John Chambers says:

    Re: Marody… you’ve all convinced me. 3rd line C is probably too challenging a job.

    How about running McDavid – Drai – and RNH down the middle. RNH could flank Benson – Marody.

    Ideally the Oilers build out three lines based on their strength at C.

  63. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    bwar: I’m not totally sold that they can jump right in and be an NHL avergae or above third line but I think it’s worth a shot.

    – Really it depends on what the goal is for next year. If Holly and new coach Todd Nelson pitch me on a “we need a year to figure it out give kids opportunities because we have a longer plan”

    – If the plan is: we have to get into playoffs next year, and if Cooper and Benson end up not ready after we gift them the 3rd line, they need to be taught lessons because they let us down they didn’t listen to what we told them and they don’t have the right culture”

    – You can “hope” that they are ready, but keep it real, or set them up by not putting them in positions where it’s highly likely they fail given the current roster make-up, and the common development of all but the most elite high draft picks

  64. Munny says:

    An idea of who Stauffer thinks will be on the farm and who will graduate next season:

    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account @Bob_Stauffer · 4h4 hours ago

    2019-20 @Condors

    Benson-Marody-Yamamoto
    Gambardella-AHL Vet C (NHL Deal)-Currie
    Safin-McLeod-Maksimov
    Vesey-AHL Vet C (AHL Deal)-Hebig

    Bouchard-Samorukov
    Lowe-Bear
    Lagesson-Day (NHL Deal)
    Manning

    Starrett
    Skinner
    Wells

    FYI. I have Jones and Persson with Oilers

  65. who says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    From Elliot Freidmans 31 Thoughts,

    “Prior to Holland’s hiring, the Oilers were considering a Milan Lucic buyout if there’s not a workable trade. The true cap relief would be in years five to eight, when his payout drops to $625,000. The next four seasons would be stiff. One year ago, other clubs said Edmonton’s asks were unrealistic. We’ll see this time.”

    So, what this is telling us is that whatever trade offers/deals were on the table last year were of a nature that made a buyout at least a serious concideration.

    A buyout is a terrible deal for the Oilers…..So it follows that all the trade options were not just bad….but terrible.

    Meaning only one of three things, 1) taking back a “worse” contract 2) Eating 50% of the contact and throwing in a sweetner or, 3) throwing in a substantial (top prospect or 1st round pick) sweetner straight up.

    If the options were anything other than 1,2,3, then Lucic would have been gone…NO? Otherwise why would a buyout have been seriously concidered???

    I would kill to know what the trade proposals were last summer.
    Friedman says they were considering a buyout before hiring Holland. That tells me Keith Gretzky was considering it.
    Friedman also says that Chias ASK for Lucic was too high last summer. He doesn’t say the COST was too high. That tells me there may have been an opportunity to dump Lucic last summer for nothing.
    If Chia had the chance, and didn’t take it, he should have been fired on the spot last summer.
    I wonder if Brian Burke still thinks that Chia wouldn’t do anything desperate to save face, or his job. His entire last year in Edmonton reeks of desperation!

  66. Ben says:

    Munny:
    An idea of who Stauffer thinks will be on the farm and who will graduate next season:

    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account @Bob_Stauffer · 4h4 hours ago


    2019-20 @Condors

    Benson-Marody-Yamamoto
    Gambardella-AHL Vet C (NHL Deal)-Currie
    Safin-McLeod-Maksimov
    Vesey-AHL Vet C (AHL Deal)-Hebig

    Bouchard-Samorukov
    Lowe-Bear
    Lagesson-Day (NHL Deal)
    Manning

    Starrett
    Skinner
    Wells

    FYI. I have Jones and Persson with Oilers

    Seems to confirm Friedman’s thought that Polei’s getting poached.

  67. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    Can we trade Lucic for Kesler? Like the Clarkson for Horton deal…

  68. Alpine says:

    I think it was VOR last summer who posted about playing golf with someone in the know, potentially in the org, and they said that the Oilers had been offered a younger player with a better contract and the Oilers were trying to ask for more.

    Looks like VOR’s scoop was basically correct. Chia got greedy because he was too loyal to Milan, and he couldn’t recognize the downside of not moving him. I’m guessing that player was Andrew Shaw, since Bergevin made a bigger offer for Looch in 2016, and Shaw was coming off a down year.

  69. Munny says:

    Some great quotes on Benson in today’s SN article on him. Just a link, I like LT’s rule:

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ahl-coaches-teammates-no-doubt-tyler-benson-will-nhler/

  70. Washingtron says:

    Hey all! Was at the 2OT game Saturday night, drove up from LA. Pretty amazing to drive through a veritable desert to a small town in the middle of nowhere on a 26 degree day and find a barn full of rabid hockey fans. They do it right, there. Maybe a little too much death metal in the OT but as a bronze plaque proudly announced outside the building, it is the birthplace of Korn.

    I was most excited to see Bouchard and Lagesson play. Bouchard does seem to have a knack for adjusting his shot speed to time it past the D. He consistently gets it past the high man from most spots along the blue. No glaring errors in the D zone that I saw. The calm feet are a real thing. Only big strikes were his inability to keep the puck in at the line. 3 or 4 times it skipped past him ending good zone play.

    Lagesson had a rough game 5 that reminded me that judging a player on one game is like judging Mozart from one chord. Lot of errant passes. Like, a comical amount. Seems big and strong though.

    Keegan Lowe somehow failed to meet even my low expectations. I guess he’s a leader but boy his gaps make Russell look like Esa Tikkanen on Gretzky duty. At least he’s also slow.

    Weird to see Gambardella and Currie be full of swagger, playing as stars. Lot of their jerseys in the crowd.

    Logan Day made one pass from his blue line diagonally across the ice to hit Gambo in full stride right as he hit the opposing blue line. In a chippy choppy game it was a rare moment of beauty.

    Malone and Stanton were frustratingly slow to get to the bench throughout which, in a game playing for your season struck me as odd.

    Just some observations! Great season

  71. RonnieB says:

    John Chambers:
    Re: Marody… you’ve all convinced me. 3rd line C is probably too challenging a job.

    How about running McDavid – Drai – and RNH down the middle. RNH could flank Benson – Marody.

    Ideally the Oilers build out three lines based on their strength at C.

    I have had the same thought, and would love to see the Benson-Nuge-Marody line get a long look at TC. The problem is that i can’t envision who would fill the top 4 wing positions on a full time basis. None of them are on the roster at this time.

  72. Munny says:

    According to Matheson, Holland has yet to contact teams about Todd Nelson, Laine Lambert or Todd Richards for the HC position.

  73. Munny says:

    Washingtron,

    Awesome! Thank you, sir.

  74. Scungilli Slushy says:

    One thing about assets in the NHL is that they are not completely liquid, at least currently, because it is a small closed market that has a strict financial cap.

    To make a fair deal a team has to find a partner with matching needs. Which is why we now see few bigger deals outside of UFA dumps at the deadline.

    Theoretically a team can just cash a player for picks and go get what they want. It doesn’t happen like that in reality.

    Which is also why outside of the obvious BPAs in a draft, this year Hughes Kakko Byram you should pick the players that suit needs. Does anyone really know who’s going to be best from picks 4-8 or 10?

  75. JimmyV1965 says:

    Just want to clarify something about Samorukov. Although he was great in the playoffs with 28 pts in 24 games, it wasn’t necessarily a playoff heater. He actually had 39 pts in his last 36 games of the regular season. He only had 6 pts in his first 23 games. His improved offence coincided with the trade of Ryan Merkley after game 28.

  76. Oil2Oilers says:

    Ben:
    Warning, large digression ahead:

    We often discuss analytics here as a way to bring a measure of objectivity into player assessment. Further, we generally recognize the problem of subjectivity in eye-testing players for physical and mental abilities.

    So I wonder why the NHL combine isn’t more effectively exploited to gain a quantitative assessment of game-relevant player abilities.

    The NHL combine endurance tests could certainly provide useful data, but the rest — running, jumping, lifting — demand inane extrapolations to game situations (if any).

    Scouts come out of the NFL combine with more appropriate data since the players are doing more of the kinds of things they’ll be doing in-game.

    Why on earth isn’t the NHL combine held, at least partly, on-ice? And why aren’t the tests constructed to generate relevant, comparable data-sets that scouts can use to assess actual in-game abilities?

    We hear all about how whatever running back prospect ran a 4.3 at the NFL combine. But there’s no equivalent for hockey until Sportsnet runs whatever km/h tech on a McDavid breakaway in the big leagues.

    Stickhandling, agility, passing, recognition…these are all things that scouts guess at when the combine could be generating numerical results.

    Feels like an obvious missed opportunity.

    The failure of the NHL combine to not feature skating is a giant flashing light that NHL executives are idiots.

  77. Scungilli Slushy says:

    It would make no sense to deal from the threadbare right D side. Benning isn’t Potvin but he’s experienced and moves the puck. They can’t deal him without a NHL replacement.

    Persson and Jones at RD are pretty shaky bets IMO. Bouchard needs seasoning.

    I also don’t see a coach running two rookies on the same pair. Especially if both are on the smaller side. Who’s going to win board battles and clear the crease? All rookies struggle with that at the NHL level.

    Ideally Holland can make deals to balance the defensive group so appropriate pairs can be made in terms of experience and skill sets. Outside of that the only way to balance things because Persson and Jones aren’t that big and should play thirds would be to play Nurse thirds and Sekera seconds. I doubt that happens.

    I am less worried about having excess rookies at forward. There are options for the coaches because of C depth if they run lines more evenly instead of overplaying Connor and Leon.

  78. Oil2Oilers says:

    John Chambers:
    Do folks think Marody can cover the bet as a #3C?

    Let’s assume they keep the Benson – Marody mojo going, who plays 3RW?

    Problem is Puljujarvi isn’t responsible enough. Gagner same. Chiasson maybe? Kassian?

    Benson – Marody – Kassian might be a good 3rd line.

    Gagner has exited the one years experience five times phase of his career. Much more responsible player with slow boots.

  79. Munny says:

    Oil2Oilers,

    See the link to the article in my post above.

  80. Side says:

    Ben:
    Warning, large digression ahead:

    We often discuss analytics here as a way to bring a measure of objectivity into player assessment. Further, we generally recognize the problem of subjectivity in eye-testing players for physical and mental abilities.

    So I wonder why the NHL combine isn’t more effectively exploited to gain a quantitative assessment of game-relevant player abilities.

    The NHL combine endurance tests could certainly provide useful data, but the rest — running, jumping, lifting — demand inane extrapolations to game situations (if any).

    Scouts come out of the NFL combine with more appropriate data since the players are doing more of the kinds of things they’ll be doing in-game.

    Why on earth isn’t the NHL combine held, at least partly, on-ice? And why aren’t the tests constructed to generate relevant, comparable data-sets that scouts can use to assess actual in-game abilities?

    We hear all about how whatever running back prospect ran a 4.3 at the NFL combine. But there’s no equivalent for hockey until Sportsnet runs whatever km/h tech on a McDavid breakaway in the big leagues.

    Stickhandling, agility, passing, recognition…these are all things that scouts guess at when the combine could be generating numerical results.

    Feels like an obvious missed opportunity.

    Personally, I enjoy the NHL combine as I find it entertaining to see comparisons and reporting on how many chinups McDavid can do vs Eichel as if it means anything.

  81. Oil2Oilers says:

    Munny,

    Thanks, great article

  82. godot10 says:

    bwar: Short term, the team gets worse.Long term we get help up front, which is desperately needed, and we find out if our defensive prospects are as good as we all think.Say we trade Nurse for Nylander, we lose 40 points on the back end and replace it with say 20 points from Jones but we also gain 60 points from Nylander playing with McDavid.We avoid another hold out from Nurse and aren’t the team that signs him to a contract he will never be worth.We aren’t talking about giving away Nurse for free, I know that’s a foreign concept for Oilers fans after what Chiarelli put us through but at some point an asset of value will need to be traded for help up front.

    The cards have already been pushed in for the short term with McDavid. The core of the core is McDavid, Draisaitl, Klefbom, and Nurse. Unless another GM makes a blunder, the Oilers cannot progress in the short or medium term trading one of these guys. Those four are your Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers could/can barely win a game without a healthy Klefbom in the lineup. It would be similar without a healthy Nurse.

    For better for worse, that is the core of the Oilers team for the remainder of McDavid’s time as an OIlers. Those four all all entering their best years. Three are signed long term at reasonable rate (one of those Klefbom, at a fantastic rate), and Nurse will be signed next year.

    None of the Oilers prospect D are difference makers or really matter in the next two years, and if you rush them, you will probably ruin them. They are just money for value role players in the short term.

  83. John Chambers says:

    RonnieB: I have had the same thought, and would love to see the Benson-Nuge-Marody line get a long look at TC. The problem is that i can’t envision who would fill the top 4 wing positions on a full time basis. None of them are on the roster at this time.

    I think Kassian could play alongside McDavid, but you’d need an Ehlers or Huberdeau portside to make it fly.

    Coach Todd Nelson could conceivably give Puljujarvi a long long look in the top-6, but again you’d need somebody very strong on left wing.

    Two wingers. Two sexy board-battling wingers to play portside.

  84. godot10 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Yeah a Cave-Cooper-Benson 4rth line is not unreasonable projection (as replacement level, middling 4rth line that is cheap).And you have Brodziak to call up, or Jar or Gagner to slot in if it doesn’t work.

    – Asking 1st year NHL’ers that aren’t elite (vs a Dubois in Columbus as an example) to Centre 3rd lines in the absence of bona-fide wingers is setting them up to fail IMO

    I’m not playing Benson on the 4th line this year. It is 3rd line LW or higher, or the AHL/injury replacement in the top nine in the NHL for him. Benson needs to play. 4th liners don’t play enough.

  85. ArmchairGM says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    One thing about assets in the NHL is that they are not completely liquid, at least currently, because it is a small closed market that has a strict financial cap.

    To make a fair deal a team has to find a partner with matching needs. Which is why we now see few bigger deals outside of UFA dumps at the deadline.

    Theoretically a team can just cash a player for picks and go get what they want. It doesn’t happen like that in reality.

    Which is also why outside of the obvious BPAs in a draft, this year Hughes Kakko Byram you should pick the players that suit needs. Does anyone really know who’s going to be best from picks 4-8 or 10?

    Yes. Turcotte.

    😛

  86. godot10 says:

    Munny:
    According to Matheson, Holland has yet to contact teams about Todd Nelson, Laine Lambert or Todd Richards for the HC position.

    Just like the OBC hired McLellan for Chiarelli, they have hired Tippett for Holland.

  87. John Chambers says:

    godot10,

    I was at the game in San Jose last night and remarked to my buddy how many jerseys of an older vintage read: “Pavelski”, “Couture”, “Burns”, etc etc

    The Sharks have long identified their core and roll those players out year after year after year. They live, play, and bleed for each other. Other players like Hertl and Meier join the team and are challenged to join the core. They have. Erik Karlsson is being given a year to see what a close team looks like.

    To your point they don’t subtract from their core (Marleau aside) – they only add.

    The Oilers are fortunate to have the core they do. I’m sure Bouchard will soon be a core player. When you have six or seven players who are the heart of the team, all the other players follow their collective leadership.

  88. Woogie63 says:

    John Chambers:
    Do folks think Marody can cover the bet as a #3C?

    Let’s assume they keep the Benson – Marody mojo going, who plays 3RW?

    Problem is Puljujarvi isn’t responsible enough. Gagner same. Chiasson maybe? Kassian?

    Benson – Marody – Kassian might be a good 3rd line.

    Wood*-McDavid-Ferlend** – Speedy rush line, those winger have just gone to heaven
    Nuge-Driasaitl- JP – Possession line, this is JP’s shot
    Lucic-Khaira-Kassian – Forechecking, Reallllly tough to play against, play-off hockey line
    Benson-Marody-Chiasson – Will be the third line after Christmas

    Trade for Wood – 2nd and Lagesson
    UFA Ferlend 4x$3.5M

  89. Cahoon says:

    ArmchairGM,

    I agree Turcotte seems to be destined to go 3rd or 4th.
    Question for people in the know, is the reason Podolzkin is sinking like a stone in draft projection is his 2 year contract commitment overseas? Is there something else? If Holland is a fan of letting prospects ‘overripen’ as people say, you would think a guy like Podolzkin would be perfect.

  90. Reja says:

    Munny:
    Some great quotes on Benson in today’s SN article on him.Just a link, I like LT’s rule:

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ahl-coaches-teammates-no-doubt-tyler-benson-will-nhler/

    Benson will be in the opening day line- up top 6-9 barring injury he’s a skilled forward that is ready on a cheap contract. Makes me laugh when people suggest otherwise why exactly would you play scrubs over him the idea is to win.

  91. JimmyV1965 says:

    Sometimes we overthink dmen. Sure, Nurse makes a lot of mistakes out there, but most dmen do. He would look infinitely better on a team like the Blues. We hear a lot about Parakyo on this blog. He’s looked very good in the playoffs, but god awful as well.

  92. jp says:

    Ben:
    Warning, large digression ahead:

    We often discuss analytics here as a way to bring a measure of objectivity into player assessment. Further, we generally recognize the problem of subjectivity in eye-testing players for physical and mental abilities.

    So I wonder why the NHL combine isn’t more effectively exploited to gain a quantitative assessment of game-relevant player abilities.

    The NHL combine endurance tests could certainly provide useful data, but the rest — running, jumping, lifting — demand inane extrapolations to game situations (if any).

    Scouts come out of the NFL combine with more appropriate data since the players are doing more of the kinds of things they’ll be doing in-game.

    Why on earth isn’t the NHL combine held, at least partly, on-ice? And why aren’t the tests constructed to generate relevant, comparable data-sets that scouts can use to assess actual in-game abilities?

    We hear all about how whatever running back prospect ran a 4.3 at the NFL combine. But there’s no equivalent for hockey until Sportsnet runs whatever km/h tech on a McDavid breakaway in the big leagues.

    Stickhandling, agility, passing, recognition…these are all things that scouts guess at when the combine could be generating numerical results.

    Feels like an obvious missed opportunity.

    I think it’s largely because many of the players have been off the ice and done their seasons for some time once the combine rolls around. As well, others will have been playing pretty late, so it would give an unfair advantage to some vs others.

  93. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Sometimes we overthink dmen. Sure, Nurse makes a lot of mistakes out there, but most dmen do. He would look infinitely better on a team like the Blues. We hear a lot about Parakyo on this blog. He’s looked very good in the playoffs, but god awful as well.

    Many have not learned the Petry lesson. Driving out the more than good enough because of imperfections.

  94. YKOil says:

    Cahoon:
    ArmchairGM,
    I agree Turcotte seems to be destined to go 3rd or 4th.
    Question for people in the know, is the reason Podolzkin is sinking like a stone in draft projection is his 2 year contract commitment overseas? Is there something else? If Holland is a fan of letting prospects ‘overripen’ as people say, you would think a guy like Podolzkin would be perfect.

    To my understanding it is a combination of him not having a great tournament, not having gone on a heater (i.e. an extended run that makes him unforgettable), and him staying Russia two more years.

    My opinion, recency bias is in play (the USA kids had an AWESOME run), and he (Podkolzin) has been in the top 3 to 4 for a long time and sometimes people get bored and look for a new shiny object.

    I don’t think Holland takes him, even if it is his style. I think he knows he is better with a guy who may/should be ready to play in draft +2. Dach, Krebs, etc.

  95. YKOil says:

    If Nurse brings back a guy like Huberdeau, I could look at that.

    And no, I do not have a love on for Huberdeau. Just use his name because he represents more of an established value.

  96. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I’d like to be wrong, but I don’t see a F in the AHL that projects to anything more than replacement level 3rd-4rth-liner on a cheap entry-contract (nothing wrong with that, need lots of those).So no top-6 F’s (except maybe Kailer has a chance)

    Benson’s scoring rates as a raw 20-year old rookie in the AHL suggest you may be wrong. You may be right, of course.

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: You say patato I say patatoe. No way in hell Holland is sitting on the same defenseman that haven’t come close to making the playoffs the last 2 years changes are coming.

    You are very likely right – I think he will move at least one guy out (be it Russell or Benning) – likely bring in one guy but who knows. Holland sees the depth of D prospects I’m sure so may not want to commit to an acquired, expansion-draft protect, asset when there are likely internal solutions within the next few years.

    As an aside, the exact same incumbent 6 made the playoffs a few years ago – the last time that Sekera actually played a full season. Given he’s scheduled to play the full season this coming year…..

  98. Pechetr says:

    Nurse held out and will likely again. We won’t be able to afford him and he will be asking for more than his worth. For the record, I like Nurse. I like Klef too but he is either incredibly unlucky health wise or made of glass. If you are keeping him be mindful you will only get a little over 60 games per from him. Jury is still out on Pool party and Yamamoto, but my magic 8 ball isn’t predicting good things for either as of now.

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    I bet all of Lagesson, Jones and Bear see limited NHL time next year, serving primarily as injury call-ups. It’s the Holland way.

    The upside is that all 3 will be up for their second contracts with little NHL experience, and being able to sign these guys for +/- $1M x 3 years just as they are breaking into the NHL would be HUGE for cap management going forward. It means that, between them and Bouchard and Samorukov, every time a veteran leaves and a rookie steps into his place, you’re looking at a fairly serious talent upgrade as well as millions in cap space. By the time these guys are ready to get paid, all of the bad Chiarelli contracts will be off the books and the money will be available. Also, the prospects that “made it” will have several years of experience, Holland will know exactly what he has and who is expendable.

    Genius.

    All three lose their waiver exempt status after this coming season so the organization does need to ensure that each of them gets enough reps in the NHL so they have a good sense of what they have.

  100. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar: Benson’s scoring rates as a raw 20-year old rookie in the AHL suggest you may be wrong. You may be right, of course.

    – I hope I am wrong, and that he becomes in 3 years a top-6 winger who plays like he does in the AHL when he’s healthy.

    – He’s got a few strikes though: injury past, was never an above average skater, I don’t like his edges perse, he relies on his relative “strength” when younger and that won’t be case in NHL. In his year 21 season he is doing very well in the AHL. Had he put up these numbers a year younger, there might be even more optimism warranted.

    – At the start of his draft year, he was viewed as a safe likely top-9 forward with 200-foot game that doesn’t score at prolific rates. I still see that as his ceiling, and lower it for lost times to injuries. I don’t put him on a skill line next fall.

    – He’s got some promising features to be sure, some stats to point to that suggest he could emerge, we all: hope he does well. Putting him on a 3rd line though next year because there is no one on the roster better than him: I’m know of this dance.

    – It’s good to have multiple prospects: increases the chance that some will work out

  101. powerploy says:

    I agree only one of oilers centers is good at faceoffs, so either they need to improve that skill or move at least one to wing and get another good center.

    They are in big need of a goalie who can play a lot of games and push for #1, and by the looks of condor playoffs they won’t find that in house anytime soon, if ever.

    On defense they can’t afford to trade away any without getting an improvement through trade or free agency, and at a lower price/value. If they depend on one of prospects in filling that role they will be doing the same thing Chia did, rolling the dice. Use prospects as a call up. I get scared when people want to Persson in the d lineup when we haven’t even seen how he plays in N A. yet .

  102. OriginalPouzar says:

    bwar:
    I’m not as convinced on Nurse as many others are.Nurse put up huge points this season but I felt he was extremely lacking while Klefbom was injured, his defensive game is not great (being nasty often trumps actually defending for Nurse) and his next contract is going to be a nightmare.I would be listening to any offers on Nurse this offseason and if a good deal comes along I’d be pulling that trigger right now.

    If you completely removed the Nurse-Russell pairing from the roster and replaced from within, how much of a drop do we see in defense?I’d wager that Lagesson-Jones would be the better pair by the end of the season and whatever forward we got back for Nurse would make a huge difference up front.

    I think it is worth noting that, in the games that Klefbom missed, Nurse averaged 27 minutes of ice per game (well 26:49) and against the top competition.

    As an aside, I hope you saw my apology from yesterday?

  103. John Chambers says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Sometimes we overthink dmen. Sure, Nurse makes a lot of mistakes out there, but most dmen do. He would look infinitely better on a team like the Blues. We hear a lot about Parakyo on this blog. He’s looked very good in the playoffs, but god awful as well.

    Amplifying a player’s weaknesses and downplaying their strengths: It’s an Edmonton thing!

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hemsky is a gangsta:
    Can we trade Lucic for Kesler? Like the Clarkson for Horton deal…

    That doesn’t really help the cap sitution much given we’d need to include Kesler’s cap hit and be compliant on day 1 of the regular season – then put him on LTIR and get a bonus cushion (well, we could use off-season LTIR but that’s even more inefficient).

    LTIR does not create free cap space and if this team is using LTIR cap relief, they are in a terrible spot.

  105. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Gregor had some high praise for Bowen Byrum today (Gregor was in PA for the last two games of the WHL Final)

    “He skates like Niedermyer, holds the puck like Zubov and has an edge to his game like Doughty or Keith. Best WHL Dman I’ve seen in 20 years”

    I’ve heard similar.

    First Dman to lead the WHL Playoffs in scoring as well.

    I don’t think any team can pass on that (after Hughes and Kakko) regardless of the Dman depth in the org.

    They may have guys, but they probably don’t have “that guy”

    Will be interesting to see what CHI does.

  106. ArmchairGM says:

    I’m willing to bet that Holland will bring in some guys that he’s familiar with, veteran players who can provide stability in the bottom six and allow for a gradual transition for the young talent coming in. With that said, here’s what I think is a plausible plan for the summer:

    TRADES

    1) Russell + pick to FLA for Pysyk (not sure what pick it would take, probably a mid-round)
    2) Cond. 2020 3rd to WSH for rights to Burakovsky (Bura probably won’t be re-signed, he’s on their 4th line)
    *pick is conditional on him signing with the Oilers, if he doesn’t, he becomes a UFA

    And that’s it for trades. Easy, eh?

    RFA SIGNINGS

    Burakovsky $2M x 3
    Puljujarvi $1.5M x 2
    Khaira $1M x 2
    Starrett $800k x 2
    Gambardella $800k x 2

    UFA SIGNINGS

    Riley Sheahan $1.2M x 2
    Valtteri Filppula $2.5M x 1
    Curtis McElhinney $1.5M x 1

    With Brodziak and Manning buried, Benson, Gambardella and Jones on the opening roster, the total cap hit comes to $79.85M, leaving $3.65M if the upper limit is $83.5M. (Option: $4.45M available to sign another forward if Holland feels Benson needs another year in Bakersfield.)

    My lines are as follows:

    Burakovsky – McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Benson – Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl
    Khaira – Filppula – Gagner
    Lucic – Sheahan – Kassian
    extra: Gambardella – Cave

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Pysyk
    Sekera – Jones
    Benning

    Koskinen
    McElhinney

    Thoughts: Burakovsky has speed and skill and played well with McDavid in OHL. He has scored 12 goals in each of the past 3 years in a limited role in WSH. His 5v5 p/60, at 1.76, was pretty much identical to that of Nuge, except his primary points scoring rate was higher. I’m hopeful these 3 can develop some chemistry, because it allows for a lethal 2nd line – something that recent Oilers teams have sorely lacked.

    In points-per-60 for 5v5 scoring over the last 3 seasons combined:

    Draisaitl with McDavid: 2.79 (1981:04)
    Draisatl with RNH: 3.09 (271:48)

    McDavid with Draisaitl: 3.24 (1981:04)
    McDavid with Puljujarvi: 3.24 (407:45 – includes TOI with Lucic)

    Puljujarvi with McDavid: 2.76 (152:10 – when Lucic is not on the other wing – w/ Maroon, Slepyshev, Caggiula, etc.)

    So it looks like removing Draisaitl from the 1st line and inserting Puljujarvi won’t affect the 1st line scoring rates at all (*crosses fingers and toes), and adding Burakovsky to that line (over the likes of Kassian, Caggiula, etc) might actually boost it slightly. At the same time, Draisaitl’s scoring rate goes up with RNH, meaning that line should be contributing just as much as the 1st line.

    And if Holland doesn’t want so many question marks up front, he has the flexibility to do something like this:

    Draisaitl – McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Vanek – Nugent-Hopkins – Burakovsky

    The thing I love about this roster is that it’s simple. It adds speed and skill to the top-6, solidifies the bottom-6, allows for 6 proven NHL defenders (Holland could sign another ‘Gravel’ and keep Jones in Bakersfield without impacting the cap), and helps the goaltending situation a bit. It doesn’t force any of the prospects to play above their ability or rush them too soon either. And 2019-20 is a transition year, because several of Chiarelli’s contracts fall off summer of 2020, but it’s not necessarily a lost season; I could see this roster pushing into a playoff spot if it can get average goaltending.

    *********************************************************************************************************************

    2020-21

    Assuming all that worked, the following summer is when the roster takes a serious step forward. I don’t know which of the prospects will be ready and for what role they will be ready for, so I’ve tried to be cautious is projecting them too far up the roster. I’m hoping that one of the prospects will be able to handle 2RD, with a full season of NHL under his belt I’m putting Jones in that spot. Several recent scouting lists had Dach at #8, so I’m also projecting him onto the Oilers 2020-21 roster as 3C, but in order to do so I feel like he needs veteran help.

    Quite a bit of turnover: Manning, Brodziak, Gagner, Filppula, Cave, Kassian, Pysyk – all gone. Also gone is Gryba’s buyout, and I’m figuring on a $3M cap increase to $86.5M. Maybe Starrett is ready to hold the 2G slot so I don’t have to sign another backup. Likely Bouchard is ready for the 3RD slot, making Benning expendible. Still no Lucic trade, no Sekera trade, no buyouts. Just hockey stuff.

    TRADES

    1) RFA right to Benning to somewhere for a 2nd round pick
    2) I’m going to guess Persson gets moved or not qualified here too

    RFA SIGNINGS

    Nurse $5.8M x 7 (if he has another 40 point year, his comps put him at about 6.7% of cap)
    Dach $925k x 3 (ELC)
    Jones $1.9M x 2 (the Benning bridge contract)
    Bear $750k x 2 (based on limited NHL experience)
    Lagesson $750 x 2 (ditto)

    UFA SIGNINGS
    Chris Kreider $6M x 5
    Evgeni Dadonov $7M x 3

    The idea here is to create a 3rd scoring line with Dach and veterans playing somewhat sheltered minutes at first. Here is where you shout “SIGN TAYLOR HALL” and I don’t disagree, if Hall would come back and it could be worked under the cap, go for it. Speaking of cap, this brings us to $84.82M, leaving the team $1.68M below the upper limit. Maksimov and Samorukov get 2 years in the AHL this way too – they’re the ace card for the 2021-22 season cap crunch, along with the retirement of Sekera. So the roster looks roughly like this:

    Burakovsky – McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Benson – Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl
    Kreider – Dach – Dadonov (or Hall – Dach – X)
    Khaira – Sheahan – Yamamoto
    Lucic – Gambardella

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Jones
    Sekera – Bouchard
    Lagesson

    Koskinen
    Starrett

    Again, with average goaltending this team could push far into the second season. And I didn’t twist myself into a pretzel trying to unload unwanted contracts at huge future asset or buyout cap cost. If Holland is smart enough to trade Lucic, Manning et al without breaking the bank, he’ll have even more room to improve the roster.

    Holland was right to tell Bob that it isn’t going to take 3-4 grinding years to rebuild the team.

  107. ArmchairGM says:

    Hopefully that didn’t break the site…

  108. ArmchairGM says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Sometimes we overthink dmen. Sure, Nurse makes a lot of mistakes out there, but most dmen do. He would look infinitely better on a team like the Blues. We hear a lot about Parakyo on this blog. He’s looked very good in the playoffs, but god awful as well.

    When you play 25 – 30 minutes a night, people are going to see some mistakes.

  109. ArmchairGM says:

    YKOil: To my understanding it is a combination of him not having a great tournament, not having gone on a heater (i.e. an extended run that makes him unforgettable), and him staying Russia two more years.

    My opinion, recency bias is in play (the USA kids had an AWESOME run), and he (Podkolzin) has been in the top 3 to 4 for a long time and sometimes people get bored and look for a new shiny object.

    I don’t think Holland takes him, even if it is his style.I think he knows he is better with a guy who may/should be ready to play in draft +2.Dach, Krebs, etc.

    I don’t think it’s entirely recency bias, I think it has something to do with him posting mediocre numbers everywhere he goes. There’s no question he has talent, he just hasn’t been able to translate that talent onto the scoresheet. All season long.

  110. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Washingtron:
    Hey all!Was at the 2OT game Saturday night, drove up from LA.Pretty amazing to drive through a veritable desert to a small town in the middle of nowhere on a 26 degree day and find a barn full of rabid hockey fans.They do it right, there.Maybe a little too much death metal in the OT but as a bronze plaque proudly announced outside the building, it is the birthplace of Korn.

    I was most excited to see Bouchard and Lagesson play.Bouchard does seem to have a knack for adjusting his shot speed to time it past the D.He consistently gets it past the high man from most spots along the blue.No glaring errors in the D zone that I saw.The calm feet are a real thing. Only big strikes were his inability to keep the puck in at the line.3 or 4 times it skipped past him ending good zone play.

    Lagesson had a rough game 5 that reminded me that judging a player on one game is like judging Mozart from one chord.Lot of errant passes.Like, a comical amount.Seems big and strong though.

    Keegan Lowe somehow failed to meet even my low expectations.I guess he’s a leader but boy his gaps make Russell look like Esa Tikkanen on Gretzky duty.At least he’s also slow.

    Weird to see Gambardella and Currie be full of swagger, playing as stars.Lot of their jerseys in the crowd.

    Logan Day made one pass from his blue line diagonally across the ice to hit Gambo in full stride right as he hit the opposing blue line.In a chippy choppy game it was a rare moment of beauty.

    Malone and Stanton were frustratingly slow to get to the bench throughout which, in a game playing for your season struck me as odd.

    Just some observations!Great season

    Thanks for that.

  111. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    John Chambers: Amplifying a player’s weaknesses and downplaying their strengths: It’s an Edmonton thing!

    We would also accept “The Edmonton Oilers, dealing players from the top of their depth chart since Tambellini”

  112. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    ArmchairGM,

    – If we get rid of Russell, it’s supposed to be net resulting in getting a better RHD. Pysyk is brutal. He slots well below Benning at this stage: But he’s from Edmonton and Holly knows him:

    https://therattrick.com/2019/02/20/florida-panthers-should-start-shopping-mark-pysyk/

    – Some good suggestions though: it shows that if Holly wants to, he could move a lot of stuff around. Burakowsky is a neat idea: would be interesting to know if they would ask Conner about the possibility, and what insight he might have.

  113. John Chambers says:

    Woodguy v2.0: We would also accept “The Edmonton Oilers, dealing players from the top of their depth chart since August 9, 1988”

    FTFY

  114. godot10 says:

    Pechetr:
    Nurse held out and will likely again. We won’t be able to afford him and he will be asking for more than his worth. For the record, I like Nurse. I like Klef too but he is either incredibly unlucky health wise or made of glass. If you are keeping him be mindful you will only get a little over 60 games per from him. Jury is still out on Pool party and Yamamoto, but my magic 8 ball isn’t predicting good things for either as of now.

    Nurse held out because he was not eligible for arbitration last time. Next time he is eligible for arbitration and is two years from UFA status. He will not hold out when he can get a market value contract through arbitration.

  115. ArmchairGM says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    ArmchairGM,

    – If we get rid of Russell, it’s supposed to be net resulting in getting a better RHD.Pysyk is brutal.He slots well below Benning at this stage:But he’s from Edmonton and Holly knows him:

    https://therattrick.com/2019/02/20/florida-panthers-should-start-shopping-mark-pysyk/

    – Some good suggestions though: it shows that if Holly wants to, he could move a lot of stuff around

    Wow, that was one of the shallowest, poorly written pieces I’ve read in a long time.

    Edit: the article you linked, not your comment.

  116. Andy Dufresne says:

    jp: Well there’s room for interpretation of this. “Prior to Holland’s hiring” and “one year ago, the Oilers ask” don’t quite sound like the same timeline.

    It’s at least possible that last summer Chiarelli was still expecting to get something for Lucic in a trade, or at least not willing to go through with a pure cap dump. But since his firing, and before Holland’s arrival the remaining braintrust were considering a buyout if no acceptable deal could be found.

    I actually take a little hope from the Friedman comment since it suggests there may have been a market for Lucic a year ago. Potentially something is still out there that’s a considerable improvement over a buyout, since I agree that would be just an awful outcome.

    My take may also be way too optimistic.

    I agree with you that based on the two timelines, there is room for interpretation.

    However, IF “Chiarelli was still expecting to get something for Lucic in a trade, or at least not willing to go through with a pure cap dump.” last summer, why would the braintrust be considering a buyout prior to trying to find a dance partner this summer (2019) ? I would think that if there was a deal to be had last summer, the current management would have been at least somewhat optimistic that a deal could still get done this summer.

    I guess one key word is “considering”, perhaps they were pondering plan B should the market have dried up.

    But for me, the very idea that they are considering a buyout, which by any oblective measure is a mitigated disaster, means that whatever was on the table in summer2018 and now, must have been very poor offers.

    Perhaps I’m being a bit to pessimistic? 🙂

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nurse did not hold out – he hadn’t come to terms on a contract – that’s not a hold out – if Nurse “held out” so did the organization.

    Hold outs don’t exit in the current NHL with the inability to renegotiate existing contracts.

    A hold out was when, back in the day, a player under contract wouldn’t come to camp or play in the regular season on the premise that he wanted to re-do his contract.

  118. Andy Dufresne says:

    Washingtron:
    Hey all!Was at the 2OT game Saturday night, drove up from LA.Pretty amazing to drive through a veritable desert to a small town in the middle of nowhere on a 26 degree day and find a barn full of rabid hockey fans.They do it right, there.Maybe a little too much death metal in the OT but as a bronze plaque proudly announced outside the building, it is the birthplace of Korn.

    I was most excited to see Bouchard and Lagesson play.Bouchard does seem to have a knack for adjusting his shot speed to time it past the D.He consistently gets it past the high man from most spots along the blue.No glaring errors in the D zone that I saw.The calm feet are a real thing. Only big strikes were his inability to keep the puck in at the line.3 or 4 times it skipped past him ending good zone play.

    Lagesson had a rough game 5 that reminded me that judging a player on one game is like judging Mozart from one chord.Lot of errant passes.Like, a comical amount.Seems big and strong though.

    Keegan Lowe somehow failed to meet even my low expectations.I guess he’s a leader but boy his gaps make Russell look like Esa Tikkanen on Gretzky duty.At least he’s also slow.

    Weird to see Gambardella and Currie be full of swagger, playing as stars.Lot of their jerseys in the crowd.

    Logan Day made one pass from his blue line diagonally across the ice to hit Gambo in full stride right as he hit the opposing blue line.In a chippy choppy game it was a rare moment of beauty.

    Malone and Stanton were frustratingly slow to get to the bench throughout which, in a game playing for your season struck me as odd.

    Just some observations!Great season

    Nice update, with some local flavor, Thanks.

  119. Andy Dufresne says:

    Munny: According to Matheson, Holland has yet to contact teams about Todd Nelson,

    Well……Thats peculiar.

  120. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    ArmchairGM: Wow, that was one of the shallowest, poorly written pieces I’ve read in a long time.

    Edit: the article you linked, not your comment.

    – here’s another one. Russell > Benning > Pysyk

    https://therattrick.com/2019/05/06/florida-panthers-disappointing-season-for-pysyk-in-2019/

  121. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Sometimes we overthink dmen. Sure, Nurse makes a lot of mistakes out there, but most dmen do. He would look infinitely better on a team like the Blues. We hear a lot about Parakyo on this blog. He’s looked very good in the playoffs, but god awful as well.

    I’d like to see Nurse after 20 games with a partner that can pass and gap properly, and win board battles.

    Russell wrong side is the absolutely wrong partner for him. Nurse is naturally prone to running around and trying to do too much. A right shot Sekera I think would help him take a step.

    Nurse is also the only tough D on the team with none coming. Fighting is going away but teams without enough players that are willing to go are open to teams trying to punk them, especially in the playoffs, like the good old days for our team.

    Once Lucic is gone it’s down to Nurse Kassian and Khaira to be in that role. There is nobody in the system except Polei or on the team like that barring signing a Ferland type.

    It’s not what it use to be but it can matter if opponents think they can use physicality or intimidation. Coaches will take any advantage.

  122. ArmchairGM says:

    Munny:
    Matheson weighs in on Holland’s To-Do List:

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/ken-hollands-plate-full-as-he-looks-at-nhl-roster-options/wcm/cec60332-23b1-440f-90b2-0b87973764ba

    I thought I would reply to the article here.

    1. Lucic. Seeing Bear go just to get rid of part of Lucic’ contract would be sad, unless Holland has a really, really good way of spending the approximately $3M cap space such a trade would open up. Most likely it would be throwing good money after bad in the name of “doing the player a solid.” Ugh. If he wants a change of scenery so badly he should terminate the contract.

    2. Puljujarvi. Yeah, let’s trade the player at his lowest possible value just when he’s getting healthy after a chronic hip issue. So Oilery.

    3. Ehlers. Make the call, but don’t expect to like what you hear. The price will be dear.

    4. Larsson. And who, exactly, will replace Larsson on the roster? Besides the fact that Johnsson’s 23-year-old AHL season was similar to Benson’s 20-year-old season in the AHL makes this deal… underwhelming, to say the least.

    5. Brown. This makes zero sense from Toronto’s viewpoint. The reason they’ll be moving Brown this summer is to clear cap, they’d take a 4th long before they would take Matt Benning. Which is fine, because Benning is probably worth a 2nd.

    6. Chiasson would be ok at $1.5M, I wouldn’t be upset if Holland did that. But Staples seems to think Edmonton must sacrifice to get faster (even suggesting trading Adam Larsson for poor return because the player is “speedy”) and then calls for the return of Alex Chiasson? Something doesn’t add up.

    7. Goalie. A guy like McElhinney is exactly what the team needs. He’s perfectly capable of playing 30-35 games a year, he’ll be inexpensive and willing to sign short-term. I don’t think Holland is (or should be) looking for a 60 game starter.

    8. Sekera. You don’t use buyouts for NHL talent, but for guys who can’t play in the league anymore. This clearly isn’t the case with Sekera ATM. I realize he played sheltered minutes, but that’s pretty normal when coming back from an injury that caused the player to miss off-season training and training camp and is returning when everyone else is in mid-season form.

    9. Persson. We shall see, maybe the 1-way deal will end up another blot on Chiarelli’s record. At least it’s only for 1 year.

    10. Depth. Most of the guys mentioned seem to be tweeners, although I haven’t looked into them thoroughly so I may be wrong. Another set of Rattie, Cagguila, Cave and Rieder-level bottom six guys? What could go wrong? Beam me up, Scotty!

  123. ArmchairGM says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – here’s another one. Russell > Benning > Pysyk

    https://therattrick.com/2019/05/06/florida-panthers-disappointing-season-for-pysyk-in-2019/

    Yeah, I really don’t know much about him and his capabilities, but AFAIK his skillset compliments Nurses where Russell’s does not. Maybe Benning plays 2RD or maybe we trade Rusty for a pick and sign a UFA for 1 year. I’m not stuck on the player, just throwing out the idea.

  124. pts2pndr says:

    ArmchairGM: When you play 25 – 30 minutes a night, people are going to see some mistakes.

    I think you would make a very good GM. I believe as you do that a modicum of patience to allow our young players to develop makes sense. We have some very good D prospects but we need to let them continue to progress to see where they fit. Making the trade with Florida does exactly that. If Persson proves he can fill the 2 D spot that is a bonus. Dealing any of our young D is a non starter at this time.
    Your post was very well thought out and extremely logical.

  125. Alpine says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    ArmchairGM,

    – If we get rid of Russell, it’s supposed to be net resulting in getting a better RHD.Pysyk is brutal.He slots well below Benning at this stage:But he’s from Edmonton and Holly knows him:

    https://therattrick.com/2019/02/20/florida-panthers-should-start-shopping-mark-pysyk/

    – Some good suggestions though: it shows that if Holly wants to, he could move a lot of stuff around.Burakowsky is a neat idea: would be interesting to know if they would ask Conner about the possibility, and what insight he might have.

    He’s brutal because he was -2 on a non-playoff team? I’m not even much of a Pysyk backer but that article didn’t say anything about why he was bad.

    I know his CF% dipped in the last season. Maybe he’s a good buy low candidate.

  126. ArmchairGM says:

    Alpine: He’s brutal because he was -2 on a non-playoff team? I’m not even much of a Pysyk backer but that article didn’t say anything about why he was bad.

    He’s bad because the author thinks he’s bad. Comparing a few stats to those of rookies without taking QOC into account seems rather amateurish.

  127. ArmchairGM says:

    pts2pndr: I think you would make a very good GM.I believe as you do that a modicum of patience to allow our young players to develop makes sense. We have some very good D prospects but we need to let them continue to progress to see where they fit. Making the trade with Floridadoes exactly that. If Persson proves he can fill the2 D spot that is a bonus. Dealing any of our young D is a non starter at this time.
    Your post was very well thought out and extremely logical.

    Thanks pts2pndr! Kindest words I’ve heard all week… never underestimate how powerful a kind word can be.

  128. Munny says:

    I think I might be in love with Justin Williams.

  129. Wilde says:

    Washingtron: Keegan Lowe somehow failed to meet even my low expectations. I guess he’s a leader but boy his gaps make Russell look like Esa Tikkanen on Gretzky duty. At least he’s also slow.

    Keegan Lowe got seriously concussed (stumbled around and fell down while trying to get up) by a headshot and barely missed a shift, didn’t look the same past that =[

    [Also going from Bear to Kulevich for a partner is going from a #2 to #8D]

  130. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Gregor had some high praise for Bowen Byrum today (Gregor was in PA for the last two games of the WHL Final)

    “He skates like Niedermyer, holds the puck like Zubov and has an edge to his game like Doughty or Keith. Best WHL Dman I’ve seen in 20 years”

    I’ve heard similar.

    First Dman to lead the WHL Playoffs in scoring as well.

    I don’t think any team can pass on that (after Hughes and Kakko) regardless of the Dman depth in the org.

    They may have guys, but they probably don’t have “that guy”

    Will be interesting to see what CHI does.

    I would not pass on Byram at #3. I would be very happy if we traded up to get him if the price was within reason

  131. Munny says:

    Boston proving my love for Williams is as futile as Daenerys’s love for Aegon Snow

  132. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    ArmchairGM,

    – I like the cut of your jib on all these takes…

    – If Lucic and Bear for $3MM of cap is the best available, I’d rather a Lucic-Jar-Kassian line for a year and try again next year with more outs for Lucic. What do others think?

  133. Gerta Rauss says:

    Krueger to BUF per Friedman just a moment ago

  134. Ivan says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Very reasonable. Get Holland on the phone.

  135. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM,

    I specifically didn’t comment on Mattheson’s article b/c so many parts of it are ridiculous, in particular:

    – buying out Sekera – that is such an egregious suggestion, I can’t believe that any logical fan, blogger, etc. would suggest it as a positive for the team.

    – trading Larsson for A. Johnsson – 43 points for a rookie sounds like it could be the basis for a return until one realizes that Johnson was a 23 year old rookie. The Leaf forward with similar value to Larsson in a trade is Kadri and, while I would love me some Kadri on the Oilers, given the make-up of the team currently, that makes the team worse let along trading for a much inferior forward who will likely only save about $1M on the cap when he’s signed.

    ———————————-

    A couple other notes on the article:

    – the Persson one-way deal doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot – Katz has paid the NHL salaries of the likes of Manning, Souray and Fayne in the minor leagues – the NHL salary of Persson does not preclude his assignment. The reason for the one-way deal seems pretty logical, its so that Perssson would actually go to Bakersfield if assigned and not head back to Sweden where he’s likely to make more than he would in the AHL (they also could have structured a “guaranteed min” or a very large AHL salary).

    – As we know, I am highly against taking on too much pain (asset sweeteners or bad contracts bad) to get rid of our anchor contracts, however, Lucic is one that I would take on some pain for. The question is how much? For a clean disposition, it would take something like the 8th or Bouchard – that is a non-starter. If we did retain $3M, I agree with Matty that an asset along the lines of Bear is the right level of sweetener. I could see Bear having an NHL career but I could also see him not being any more that a tweener and, given organizational depth, I would think about that one.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kruger done in Buffalo.

    Probably increases the chances of Tippet ending up here.

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    How does Matheson wonder if buying out Sekera is an option for management 14 hours after he posts this:

    Jim Matheson

    @NHLbyMatty
    22h22 hours ago
    More
    If Oilers are wondering about Sekera for next season, his play at worlds must be buoying their confidence in him being a top 4 D-man in 2019-2020.

  138. Professor Q says:

    Good for Krueger.

    Now Edmonton needs to sign Nelson.

  139. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    How does Matheson wonder if buying out Sekera is an option for management 14 hours after he posts this:

    Jim Matheson

    @NHLbyMatty22h22 hours ago
    More
    If Oilers are wondering about Sekera for next season, his play at worlds must be buoying their confidence in him being a top 4 D-man in 2019-2020.

    Buying out Sekera saves $3 million off the cap, for the next two years, and then it costs $1.5 million for two consecutive seasons afterward. Not ideal. HOWEVER, If Lucic and Russell prove untradeable (remember Russell’s deal allows him to give a list of 10 teams he’s willing to be traded to, I can list 10 teams that will have no interest in him), then it’s Gagner. I don’t think it happens (buying out Sekera) but he has played 36,6 percent of the team’s regular season games in the last two seasons. He’s healthy and they can buy him out because of it. They have cover at No. 3 LHD in Jones, etc.

    It isn’t crazy, and it isn’t likely.

  140. OriginalPouzar says:

    I disagree that it isn’t crazy – even on one leg, there isn’t anything that can be acquired with the cap savings that makes this a better team.

    Sure, maybe Jones can cover Reggie’s initial placement as 3LD (at some level of downgrade) but what about covering in the top 4 when the first injury occurs – now we are likely moving a rookie in to the top 4 and adding a second one to the third pairing – snowball……

    If he’s healthy you can buy him out. If he’s healthy, after a few months he has nice trade value as well once manager’s are comfortable with his recovery and level of play.

    Not to mention the 2 years of extended cap hit – and not a nominal amount – at the juncture where the team could reasonably be expected to compete and could assuredly use that cap space.

  141. who says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    ArmchairGM,

    – I like the cut of your jib on all these takes…

    – If Lucic and Bear for $3MM of cap is the best available,I’d rather a Lucic-Jar-Kassian line for a year and try again next year with more outs for Lucic.What do others think?

    If you can unload Lucic, with 3 million retained, by using Bear as the only sweetener, YOU DO THAT YESTERDAY!
    At best, Bear is the Oilers 4th best d prospect. He might rank 6/6.
    I doubt very much the Oilers find anyone willing to make that trade.

  142. condormcdavis says:

    leadfarmer,

    The cost is likely the 8th this draft year and one of Klefbom, Larsson or Nurse.

    I’d make that trade all day.

  143. OriginalPouzar says:

    condormcdavis:
    leadfarmer,

    The cost is likely the 8th this draft year and one of Klefbom, Larsson or Nurse.

    I’d make that trade all day.

    Considering it also gives us a top 5 pick next off-season…..

  144. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I disagree that it isn’t crazy – even on one leg, there isn’t anything that can be acquired with the cap savings that makes this a better team.

    Sure, maybe Jones can cover Reggie’s initial placement as 3LD (at some level of downgrade) but what about covering in the top 4 when the first injury occurs – now we are likely moving a rookie in to the top 4 and adding a second one to the third pairing – snowball……

    If he’s healthy you can buy him out.If he’s healthy, after a few months he has nice trade value as well once manager’s are comfortable with his recovery and level of play.

    Not to mention the 2 years of extended cap hit – and not a nominal amount – at the juncture where the team could reasonably be expected to compete and could assuredly use that cap space.

    You’re buying out a player who hasn’t been healthy since 2017 spring, in a window that might be the last time you can do it. You save $3 million off the cap, and that might be important (we don’t know that the cap will be $83 million).

    $3 million saved minus Jones salary is over $2 million, that might allow the team to acquire a substantial winger who might be carrying a big cap number. I go:

    1. Trade Lucic
    2. Trade Russell
    3. Trade Sekera

    But if you can’t do those things, and need the dollars, then a decision has to be made. Gagner buyout? It isnt as clean as Sekera. Again, unlikely, but not crazy.

  145. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I’d like to see Nurse after 20 games with a partner that can pass and gap properly, and win board battles.

    Russell wrong side is the absolutely wrong partner for him. Nurse is naturally prone to running around and trying to do too much. A right shot Sekera I think would help him take a step.

    Nurse is also the only tough D on the team with none coming. Fighting is going away but teams without enough players that are willing to go are open to teams trying to punk them, especially in the playoffs, like the good old days for our team.

    Once Lucic is gone it’s down to Nurse Kassian and Khaira to be in that role. There is nobody in the system except Polei or on the team like that barring signing a Ferland type.

    It’s not what it use to be but it can matter if opponents think they can use physicality or intimidation. Coaches will take any advantage.

    I would love to know the offensive zone and defensive zone possession times last season. It seems to me our dmen spent way too much time in the defensive zone. While some of that surely falls on the dmen for not moving the puck out, I think a lot of it falls on the forwards too. Most of them were not very helpful moving the puck forward, but they also failed to maintain any pressure in the ozone. Outside the stars, I think our forward group was pathetic at forechecking. They simply couldn’t keep the puck in the ozone for any length of time.

  146. Alpine says:

    Krueger has to be one of most overrated coaches I’ve seen just off the basis of one very mediocre season. He’s a good tournament coach as seen in his work with Switzerland and Team Europe.

    But I see a lot of Oilers fans constantly pining for a guy who had the same winning percentage in 2013 as Tom Renney did in 2012.

    The Oilers were mathematically closer to 30th place than a playoff spot at year end but because they had a late season winning streak, they were falsely seen as having “almost” made the playoffs.

    In actuality, they were really only in the race for about two weeks before their form corrected and they plummeted with a couple of long losing streaks.

    The 5v5 fancies were uniformly awful under Krueger as well. He had some injuries but so did Renney, so did Eakins, so did Nelson.

  147. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I disagree that it isn’t crazy – even on one leg, there isn’t anything that can be acquired with the cap savings that makes this a better team.

    Sure, maybe Jones can cover Reggie’s initial placement as 3LD (at some level of downgrade) but what about covering in the top 4 when the first injury occurs – now we are likely moving a rookie in to the top 4 and adding a second one to the third pairing – snowball……

    If he’s healthy you can buy him out.If he’s healthy, after a few months he has nice trade value as well once manager’s are comfortable with his recovery and level of play.

    Not to mention the 2 years of extended cap hit – and not a nominal amount – at the juncture where the team could reasonably be expected to compete and could assuredly use that cap space.

    And what Matheson is saying is the Oilers have to make a decision on Sekera. Other writers have brought up the option. He’s not advocating it so much as presenting an issue. Despite the look the incredibly small sample size of the WHC has provided, it is presently unknown what capacity Sekera will provide the Oilers going forward and how many games at that capacity he can deliver.

  148. Munny says:

    JimmyV1965: I would love to know the offensive zone and defensive zone possession times last season.

    This is precisely what Corsi is intended to do.

  149. slopitch says:

    Man i like Bryam but Nurse is just approaching his prime. And throw in a #8?

  150. JimmyV1965 says:

    Munny: This is precisely what Corsi is intended to do.

    Not to get into a discussion here about Corsi, a stat I think is valuable, but Lucic has decent possession numbers and may be one of the worst forecheckers on the team. For a big man, it’s shocking how easy it is to strip him of the puck.

  151. SwedishPoster says:

    godot10: Many have not learned the Petry lesson.Driving out the more than good enough because of imperfections.

    It is extremely difficult to look good as a D in the NHL. Especially playing 20+ minutes. Especially if you’re the main transition guy on your pairing. People zero in on the mistakes.
    And in the case of the Oilers it’s extra hard because the team seriously lacks defensively strong forwards.

    Nurse has his weaknesses, he doesn’t see the ice very well which shows both offensively and defensively but he’s taken big steps in his overall game the past two seasons and the sum of his parts is still a very good D in the NHL.

    As you mentioned, and we’ve agreed on this before, Nurse, Klefbom, McDavid and Drai are the group you have to go with, for better or worse. I’d add Larsson to the group as well if his ask for the next contract is reasonable. Same goes for Nuge. Don’t overpay, but recognize that they are useful pieces and NHL veterans who have actually grown with the team instead of blowing assets and capspace chasing the greener grass. Grass that often tends to be spray painted to look greener than it actually is.

  152. SwedishPoster says:

    Ken Holland in all his interviews has seemed ok with the D group. I think the quote was something like “we have an NHL defense” when talking about stuff already in place. To me it seems his focus is forward depth and a goalie who can challenge Koskinen. Now he might have to move out a D to make that happen but I don’t think he’s about to make any big changes with regards to the D group.

    If Lucic is impossible to move without crippling the team for years, and I think the move is to bite the bullet for a season and buy him out with the next cba, the next play to open up space for the needed additions is to move Russell for a pick which I do think is doable and let either Sekera or one of the younglings fill his spot,imo there are enough guys pushing for it to be a reasonable route. I don’t see any stopgap RHD at the Oilers price point who can come in and do a job that much better it’s worth the extra cost. I’d rather spend the money up front.

  153. bwar says:

    Just to touch on the buyouts. I feel like Lucic at $3M per is a tradable contract, no sweetener required. Sekera at $2.75M per is absolutely tradable. Both retained salary trades would give us substantailly more cap space and probably gets us some minor assets back.

  154. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: You’re buying out a player who hasn’t been healthy since 2017 spring, in a window that might be the last time you can do it. You save $3 million off the cap, and that might be important (we don’t know that the cap will be $83 million).

    $3 million saved minus Jones salary is over $2 million, that might allow the team to acquire a substantial winger who might be carrying a big cap number. I go:

    1. Trade Lucic
    2. Trade Russell
    3. Trade Sekera

    But if you can’t do those things, and need the dollars, then a decision has to be made. Gagner buyout? It isnt as clean as Sekera. Again, unlikely, but not crazy.

    He hasn’t been healthy since 2017 but he is healthy now. There may be some reduction in effectiveness from then but it looks like he is still a substantial player.

    As you say, the cap savings is apx $2M which, to me, doesn’t buy a substantial enough asset to:

    – overcome the reducion in effectiveness between Sekera and the rookie Jones (lets not forget how good Sekera actually is and could be again)

    – lose the actual perfect player to mentor these young kids

    – lose the cover for when injuries happen to Klef/Nurse/Larsson/Russell – take away Sekera and now Benning or Jones are that cover and then another rookie is entering the lineup to cover for the cover

    – create a material dead cap hit of $1.5M for two years at a time when the cap space is actually to be needed.

    To buy out this player without even having a look at him after (a) not having two years of rust, (b) with a full training camp and (c) not 5 months behind the rest of the world as far as game shape goes, is an terrible terrible idea in the name of $2M.

    I don’t know why this is the last chance to buy him out – next off-season is another chance. Sure, maybe he will be hurt at that point but the same could be said for every player and, if that is the premise we are going with, we need to move on from Klefbom as well.

  155. YKOil says:

    If moving Bear is the price of moving Lucic then I look at it.

    Thinking about Friedman’s piece on Chia having a Lucic deal half-in-hand… first, fire Chia into the sun, seriously… second, I think there are more deals than we know out there to be honest. A lot of teams have bad contracts and players they want to dump and that creates opportunity, we were just talking about Eriksson yesterday weren’t we?

    Would much rather keep Nurse and find the proper D-partner for him, even if we are paying him $6 million a year. If sent to trade he would easily pull a Kadri-level player imo, maybe even Nylander.

  156. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny: And what Matheson is saying is the Oilers have to make a decision on Sekera.Other writers have brought up the option.He’s not advocating it so much as presenting an issue. Despite the look the incredibly small sample size of the WHC has provided, it is presently unknown what capacity Sekera will provide the Oilers going forward and how many games at that capacity he can deliver.

    but they don’t have to “make a decision on Sekera”. There really isn’t any decision to be made except for the potential to use him at 2RD as opposed to 3LD.

    Sure, we don’t know at what capacity exactly he can play but we know with certainty that, if nothing else, he provides elite 3rd pairing capability in a position that is likely to be paired with a rookie for much of the year – at worst he’s an elite 3rd pairing d-man, who provides perfect mentorship for a rookie and cover in the top 4. At best, he’s a super solid 2nd pairing guy – actually, check that, at best he’s a low end #1 guy (which is what he was in 2016).

    As far as how many games – there is no reason to think that he isn’t ready to play a full season. He is past the two injuries and now quite far removed from the more serious and tougher to come back from knee injury. These aren’t injuries that are likely to recur and cause problems going forward like a shoulder or back often is. Unless a totally separate injury occurs, which can happen to anyone, he is healthy and ready for camp and a full season.

  157. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Ken Holland in all his interviews has seemed ok with the D group. I think the quote was something like “we have an NHL defense” when talking about stuff already in place. To me it seems his focus is forward depth and a goalie who can challenge Koskinen. Now he might have to move out a D to make that happen but I don’t think he’s about to make any big changes with regards to the D group.

    If Lucic is impossible to move without crippling the team for years, and I think the move is to bite the bullet for a season and buy him out with the next cba, the next play to open up space for the needed additions is to move Russell for a pick which I do think is doable and let either Sekera or one of the younglings fill his spot,imo there are enough guys pushing for it to be a reasonable route. I don’t see any stopgap RHD at the Oilers price point who can come in and do a job that much better it’s worth the extra cost. I’d rather spend the money up front.

    This is all very fair – question: if they do move Russell out and aren’t able to acquire a viable 2RD stop-gap (let alone a real 1RD pushing Larsson down to 2RD where he ultimately should be), who do you see starting the season at 2RD? Benning? Sekera on his off-side? Rookie Jones?

  158. OriginalPouzar says:

    YKOil:
    If moving Bear is the price of moving Lucic then I look at it.

    If its a clear dispostion, sure, however, it its $3M retained plus Bear, that’s a different analysis.

  159. ArmchairGM says:

    Lowetide:
    $3 million saved minus Jones salary is over $2 million, that might allow the team to acquire a substantial winger who might be carrying a big cap number.

    A little over $2M savings for 1 season isn’t going to buy you a substantial winger on its own, but it might bump you up into a better class of winger. But don’t forget Jones is only at $720k for one more year – if he plays well and he’s a full time NHLer that’ll cost next summer – I figure at least Benning’s 2.53% for a bridge deal, which works out to $2.2M on an $86.5M cap. So your savings are just $800k for year 2, then $1.5M cost years 3 and 4. Hardly allows for upgrading the winger position in the long term.

    I agree it’s not crazy, I’ve entertained the idea myself. Holland has no attachment to Sekera and has to look at the cold, hard facts. If that’s the path of least resistance he has to make the call. I personally think it’s the wrong one: Sekera is healthy and can, for the first time in 3 years, complete his off-season training regimen and come to camp 100%. I’m certain that a 100% Sekera is still a top-4 defender in this league, worth every penny of $5.5M.

  160. jp says:

    Andy Dufresne: I agree with you that based on the two timelines, there is room for interpretation.
    However, IF “Chiarelli was still expecting to get something for Lucic in a trade, or at least not willing to go through with a pure cap dump.” last summer, why would the braintrust be considering a buyout prior to trying to find a dance partner this summer (2019) ? I would think that if there was a deal to be had last summer, the current management would have been at least somewhat optimistic that a deal could still get done this summer.
    I guess one key word is “considering”, perhaps they were pondering plan B should the market have dried up.
    But for me, the very idea that they are considering a buyout, which by any oblective measure is a mitigated disaster, means that whatever was on the table in summer2018 and now, must have been very poor offers.
    Perhaps I’m being a bit to pessimistic?

    🙂 You may very well be right. Friedman’s original comment includes “if there’s not a workable trade”, but it’s true that they wouldn’t likely be considering a buyout if they were confident a trade could be made.

    I guess a fair bit has changed since last summer though. Even if there was something available then, Lucic was coming off one down year where he scored 34 points. Now he’s a year older, coming off a second poor(er) season and the entire world knows about the bad contract situation. It’s also possible the GM(s) that were interested last summer are no longer in their roles. Or it may be unclear at this point where Lucic would waive his NMC to go.

    In any case I’m going to remain optimistic on this one until something ugly happens. A buyout is almost completely pointless, just so bad. Even if there’s no trade available you’d think they’d wait to see if there are compliance buyouts rather than committing to a $21M dump that frees up next to nothing for the team.

  161. who says:

    bwar:
    Just to touch on the buyouts.I feel like Lucic at $3M per is a tradable contract, no sweetener required.Sekera at $2.75M per is absolutely tradable.Both retained salary trades would give us substantailly more cap space and probably gets us some minor assets back.

    If Lucic was a free agent this summer, name the team that signs him for 4 years at 3 million.
    That team doesn’t exist, therefore no team makes that trade.

  162. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: If its a clear dispostion, sure, however, it its $3M retained plus Bear, that’s a different analysis.

    So you wouldn’t retain 3 million in a Lucic trade if it included Bear?
    Why not?

  163. ArmchairGM says:

    who: If Lucic was a free agent this summer, name the team that signs him for 4 years at 3 million.
    That team doesn’t exist, therefore no team makes that trade.

    NYI signed Leo Komorov to that exact contract last summer. It’s not inconceivable.

  164. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar: This is all very fair – question: if they do move Russell out and aren’t able to acquire a viable 2RD stop-gap (let alone a real 1RD pushing Larsson down to 2RD where he ultimately should be), who do you see starting the season at 2RD? Benning?Sekera on his off-side?Rookie Jones?

    It depends, as I mentioned there’s a couple of guys pushing, so it sort of depends who comes in and grabs it. Might not be the guy in october who ends up finishing the season in that spot, I wouldn’t be as positive to the idea if there wasn’t so many possible solutions. I understand the risk, if noone is able to step up we’re lookbut my reasoning is that there’s risk with the guys likely to be available as well. Not sure a player like Mark Pysyk or similar is making enough of a difference for it to be worth it.

  165. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: He hasn’t been healthy since 2017 but he is healthy now.There may be some reduction in effectiveness from then but it looks like he is still a substantial player.

    As you say, the cap savings is apx $2M which, to me, doesn’t buy a substantial enough asset to:

    – overcome the reducion in effectiveness between Sekera and the rookie Jones (lets not forget how good Sekera actually is and could be again)

    – lose the actual perfect player to mentor these young kids

    – lose the cover for when injuries happen to Klef/Nurse/Larsson/Russell – take away Sekera and now Benning or Jones are that cover and then another rookie is entering the lineup to cover for the cover

    – create a material dead cap hit of $1.5M for two years at a time when the cap space is actually to be needed.

    To buy out this player without even having a look at him after (a) not having two years of rust, (b) with a full training camp and (c) not 5 months behind the rest of the world as far as game shape goes, is an terrible terrible idea in the name of $2M.

    I don’t know why this is the last chance to buy him out – next off-season is another chance.Sure, maybe he will be hurt at that point but the same could be said for every player and, if that is the premise we are going with, we need to move on from Klefbom as well.

    Sekera played at last year’s WHC too, looked good, played over 20 minutes per game. He turns 33 in June and maybe his next injury means he can’t be bought or traded for the remainder of his contract. He played third pair upon return, and I’d love him there as mentor, but the absence of alternatives clears the mind.

  166. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: So you wouldn’t retain 3 million in a Lucic trade if it included Bear?
    Why not?

    I never said that – in fact in this very thread, not that many posts above, i expressed that is something I would contemplate as the Lucic contract is the one contract I’m willing to take a bit of pain to dispose of.

  167. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Sekera played at last year’s WHC too, looked good, played over 20 minutes per game. He turns 33 in June and maybe his next injury means he can’t be bought or traded for the remainder of his contract. He played third pair upon return, and I’d love him there as mentor, but the absence of alternatives clears the mind.

    So we are going to extrapolate another major injury?

    Should we buy out Klefbom as well on that premise?

    I am not going to catastrophize the future with Sekera now breaking his fibula based on nothing – he is fully recovered from the knee and the achillies is not one that is tough to come back from. These are not injuries that come with higher chances of re-injury like a head or a shoulder. There isn’t any reason to think that he will suffer another major injury any more than Nurse or Drai.

  168. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: What kind of coach should Ken Holland hire for the Oilers?

    https://theathletic.com/976018/2019/05/15/what-kind-of-coach-should-ken-holland-hire-for-the-oilers/

  169. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: There isn’t any reason to think that he will suffer another major injury any more than Nurse or Drai.

    Do you believe a hockey player, 33 in June, with many miles on him, and injuries in the last 24 months that caused him to miss over 60 percent of his games, is as likely or more likely to suffer a serious injury as/than Leon Draisaitl?

  170. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Do you believe a hockey player, 33 in June, with many miles on him, and injuries in the last 24 months that caused him to miss over 60 percent of his games, is as likely or more likely to suffer a serious injury as/than Leon Draisaitl?

    The fact that he is 33 would probably increase his likelihood of a major injury as opposed to a 24 year old. At the same time, I don’t consider the knee or achillies injuries as a factor in this at all. They are not injuries that lead to recurrence (like a head or a shoulder) and happen to players of all ages.

    If Getzlaf hit Drai like he did Reggie, Drai may very well have suffered the same injury.

  171. oilsnc79 says:

    Lowetide: Do you believe a hockey player, 33 in June, with many miles on him, and injuries in the last 24 months that caused him to miss over 60 percent of his games, is as likely or more likely to suffer a serious injury as/than Leon Draisaitl?

    </blockquote Yes, I was severally injured in 2 013, after 4 operations I am now back as a productive construction carpenter doing form work. Ala crushed heel.

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