One of the true curios in our nation involves Alberta’s relationship with Ontario province. Resentment can run high due to politics via the national capital or the galling inconvenience that puts Toronto first every damned time. On the other hand, the Edmonton Oilers don’t win five Stanley’s without the mothers of Ontario sending their male children to the land of the ice and snow.
Finland, unlike Ontario, consists of people who are considered brothers and sisters to the average Edmontonian. I would wager the only two peoples as popular as Finns in this town are Saskatchewan neighbors and our friends from Newfoundland who decided to rough it out west.
The Oilers have mined Ontario and Finland heavily over 40 years. What will this year bring?
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 Lowetide: Examining the Oilers’ goaltending options in free agency.
- New Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Oilers could go the high octane procurement route but will need a driver
- New Lowetide: How much can Connor Brown help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Dmitri Samorukov is off to the Memorial Cup and is the Oilers’ fastest rising prospect
- Jonathan Willis: Craig MacTavish leaves the Oilers, signalling the first major front office change under Ken Holland
- Lowetide: What kind of coach should Ken Holland hire for the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Andrej Sekera gives the Oilers much-needed defensive options
- Lowetide: Is Joe Gambardella destined to become the Oilers’ next Fernando Pisani?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
- Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
- 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 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.
THE FINAL 2019 OHL LIST
1 L Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton (OHL). He scored 51-51-102 in 67 OHL games, age 17. I’ve read about skating, hockey sense and playing on the perimeter. I can’t ignore the math. A June 2001.
2 LC Connor McMichael, London (OHL). He has good speed and lots of skill, effective shot. Responsible. 36 goals, he’s a January 2001. Owns the dreaded projectable frame.
3 LD Thomas Harley, Mississauga (OHL). Good size, elite skater, he’s an August 2001. Posted 11-47-58 in 68 games. Excellent puck handler and passer, his year over year spike is remarkable.
4 LC Ryan Suzuki, Barrie (OHL). Great vision, skill, tremendous passer. If he were faster, he’d be top five. Mike Morreale says he’s the best draft eligible playmaker in the OHL this season.
5 RC Philip Tomasino, Niagra (OHL). Underrated player with impressive skill, spike offensively year over year has him here. 30 5-on-5 goals.
6 L Nick Robertson, Peterborough (OHL). Undersized skill winger with a sixth sense as a goal scorer. Impressive at Top Prospects.
7 LC Blake Murray, Sudbury (OHL). Big center with plus speed and a scoring touch. A July 2001.
8 LC Jamieson Rees, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Undersized skill forward who works hard on the forecheck. Terrific speed and a great motor.
9 L Ethan Keppen, Flint (OHL). Good speed, size (6.02, 214) and skill (30-29-59 in 68, 24 goals at 5-on-5).
10 RD Billy Constantinou, Kingston (OHL). Fast as lightning, high risk and reward defender.
11 R Graeme Clarke, Ottawa ’67s (OHL). Pure scorer (20 goals in 49 games) who has been famous for some time. Good skater, great shot.
12 L Nando Eggenberger, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Two-way talent, enjoyed a solid year in the OHL (he was eligible last season). I’m not sure anyone will take him, but Red Line loves him.
13 G Hunter Jones, Peterborough (OHL). He’s a big goalie who has a solid reputation, but .902SP saw me fading him.
14 LD Vladislav Kolyachonok, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Mike Morreale: “The Belarusian can skate and think the game so well.” Good passer, massive wingspan.
15 LC Matvei Guskov, London Knights (OHL). Another solid two-way center, I like his complete skill set.
16 LD Mike Vukojevic, Kitchener (OHL). Big defender has good speed and is a powerful defender. Has some offense, he’s a shutdown type.
17 LD Nikita Okhotyuk, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Big defender plays a two-way game. He can pass or carry, may have more offense than numbers imply.
18 R Cole Schwindt, Mississauga (OHL). Strong two-way play are one thing but his offense (68, 19-30-49) represents huge progress. He’s a April 2001.
1 R Kaapo Kakko, Turkku (Sm-Liiga). He’s 6.02, 190 and already flourishing in the Sm-Liiga. Scouts rave about his advanced two-way game and ability to control the pace of play.
2 LD Ville Heinola, Lukko (Sm-Liiga). A mature player for his age, two-way talent with good speed and calm feet. Excellent passer.
3 RD Anttoni Honka, Jyp (Sm-Liiga). Draft Analyst: Swift skating puck rusher who knows how to handle the puck and has the kind of mobility that keeps forecheckers honest.
4 L Patrik Puistola, Leki (Mestis). High skill, consistent scorer who also plays a responsible game beyond his years. My kind of player.
5 L Antti Saarela, Lukko (Sm-Liiga). ISS: Smart and gifted, quality stick skills. Noticeable on PP and PK.
6 R Leevi Aaltonen, Kalpa (Jr Sm-Liiga). ISS: “Slick offensive play-maker, undersized but highly skilled.”
7 LD Mikko Kokkonen, Jukurit (Sm-Liiga). Two-way defender who adjusted quickly in Finland’s best league. No dominant skill, across the board good.
8 R Tuukka Tieksola, Karpat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Small skill winger, great passer and skating.
9 R Wiljami Myllylä, HIFK (Jr Sm-Liiga). Speed demon, has been posting gaudy scoring numbers for several years.
10 RD Antti Tuomisto, Assat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Puck moving blue, good skater and has an excellent shot. Some chaos.
11 R Aku Raty, Karpat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Skill winger who also provides solid play without the puck. Average speed.
Day had a strong season and earned this deal. I think it’s always a good idea for professional sports teams to reward this kind of performance. He should be a big part of the Bakersfield Condors next season. Sign Evan Polei too, he has great hands.
NEW 50-MAN LIST (45)
I’m fascinated that the first official roster move by Ken Holland is signing Day to an NHL deal. It represents a long journey joined, as procurement is brick by brick and involves years of making good bets and keeping picks.
RFA’s make up a big chunk of the 50-man list, with nine decisions to be made (plus Mantha’s deal may be voided). I think Edmonton will sign Khaira, Gambardella, Puljujarvi, Rattie, Starrett, meaning Rieder, Larkin, Norell, Vesel and Mantha would be heading out. The 45-man list you see today would be populating by only 40 names should it comes to pass as written. That’s plenty of room for Holland.
Rod Pedersen: It’s my belief that it will not be Dave Tippett but either way, we should know soon. (Source)
This had been telegraphed for some time, Sutter’s name being associated with Chiarelli in the days when the leaks became acid stained leading up to (and after) Chiarelli’s signing. I never believe a word of verbal that comes out when a man is unable to defend himself. Sutter is down the line but until we hear his story then I’m not going to comment.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun show with fabulous guests today, we get going at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey will join us to talk Sutter, Day, the Memorial Cup and names for the Oilers head coaching job. Kris Abbott from OddsShark will chat SC final and World Hockey Championships, plus Raptors. At 11:25, Corey Pronman from The Athletic talks about his final rankings for 2019.