It’s Morning in Edmonton. Do You Trust it?

We are here. The Edmonton Oilers hired Ken Holland as general manager, Dave Tippett as coach. Yesterday, Tippett not only embraced analytics, he spoke about it with passion, authority and conviction. He breathes scoring chance data, it’s right next to his Bible and giant container of Dapper Dan. He has a plan. So does Holland. It’s morning in Edmonton. Do you trust it?

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 Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers roster to see which players fit Dave Tippett’s ‘aggressive, fast team’ approach
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Dave Tippett’s coaching philosophy, how he relays information to his players and why information is king
  • Lowetide: What will Ken Holland see in Evan Bouchard?
  • Lowetide: Does Oilers’ signing of Joakim Nygard signal a measured approach to summer 2019?
  • Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s roster deployment in Arizona and what it might mean for the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Why Ken Holland’s worst years in Detroit tell us the most about how he’ll fare in Edmonton
  • Jonathan Willis: Three offseason scenarios and how each one would affect the Oilers salary cap
  • Lowetide: Examining the Oilers’ goaltending options in free agency.
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Oilers could go the high octane procurement route but will need a driver
  • 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.

OBSERVATIONS

Dave Tippett was introduced by Ken Holland as Edmonton’s 16th head coach. I would like to mention Ray Kinasewich, Bill Hunter, Brian Shaw, Clare Drake and Bep Guidolin, who coached the WHA Oilers. History is important, and that means all of it, not just the convenient stuff.

My Top 100 goes Saturday here at Lowetide, the combine is leaking some interesting information.

Mike Morreale reports via NHL.com that Spencer Knight will talk to 27 teams this week. Math suggests Edmonton would be one of them, wonder if they see him as the second round pick.

The Oilers value the NHL combine, four of their five selections (including sixth rounder Michael Kesselring) were at last year’s edition.

The “Matt Benning for Connor Brown” trade makes more sense to me after the Tippett avail.

Peter Chiarelli mostly kept the LH side of the blue (Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse), adding Andrej Sekera via free agency. He completely turned over the RH side, bringing in Adam Larsson, Kris Russell and Matt Benning. Will Ken Holland re-do RH side, too? He has Evan Bouchard, Joel Persson, Ethan Bear and others percolating.

Looking for bargoon’s on the UFA list that have a connection to Holland or Tippett is fun. Goalie Mike Smith has been mentioned by many, and used as a horror movie trailer on twitter for about 10 days now. Richard Panik or Thomas Vanek might be the tonic, Sam Gagner is already here.

Milan Lucic for Loui Eriksson has been discussed by Canucks management, according to Jason Gregor (here). That’s twice recently where Lucic to Van has made headlines (ML talked about returning to the docks earlier in the spring). Edmonton would be getting a better 5-on-5 scorer (10 even-strength goals a year ago) and someone who can help on the PK.

Tippett mentioned speed a few times yesterday, I wonder if that impacts Adam Larsson, Jujhar Khaira, Sam Gagner, Milan Lucic, Kyle Brodziak, Colby Cave and Ty Rattie?

The Oilers have signed winger Joe Gambardella to a two-year extension. I’m pleased to see it, he fits the Tippett ‘aggressive’ game plan perfectly.

50-MAN ROSTER (SANS RFA’S) (39)

Holland and Tippett have plenty of room and lots of work to do. RFA’s Tobias Rieder, Jujhar Khaira, Tyler Vesel, Colin Larkin, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ty Rattie, Robin Norell and Shane Starrett have to be signed or not signed, plus Ryan Mantha’s situation has to be addressed (I imagine this summer).

UFA’s Alex Chiasson, Kevin Gravel, Alex Petrovic, Anthony Stolarz, Brad Malone, Patrick Russell and Mitch Callahan are also in the conversation (or not) as it pertains to new contracts.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey kicks things off with his take on yesterday’s press conference. Kris Abbott from OddsShark will be by to talk about the NHL and NBA finals, and Jeff Paulus, FC Edmonton Director of Soccer, Head Coach, about the season so far and what’s ahead. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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224 Responses to "It’s Morning in Edmonton. Do You Trust it?"

« Older Comments
  1. GMB3 says:

    Reja: Some People think it’s all about scrapping Lucic throws a lot of hits and some of them hurt and if someone riles him up he will hurt you. Uncle Pete’s gone Lucic doesn’t want to be here anymore has his agent and himself been selling his toughness and leadership to other teams especially Vancouver I think so. If Lucic does get traded I will take the over at 13 with anybody on this site I really think he surprisingly has a good year with a fresh start. First the trade then let the betting windows open.

    Over at 13? As in 13 points?

    I’ll make a bet for charity.

  2. jtblack says:

    hunter1909:
    Hunter1909’s DeathMarch™ Unofficial Top Ten All Star List between 2014-19:

    1 Common Fan 14 – 1st 2014-15– 1st 2016-17

    2 HT Joe– 1st 2018-19– 2nd 2015-16– 7th 2017-18

    3 Yeti – 1st 2017-18 – 5th 2014-15

    4 Romulus Apotheosis – 2nd 2017-18– 7th 2018-19

    5 Jake 70 – 2nd 2017-18– 9th 2017-18

    6 Younger Oil – 3rd 2014-15– 5th 2017-18

    7 TCHO– 5th 2017-18– 9th 2015-16

    8 FLEA– 7th 2018-9 – 8th 2017-18

    9 Stephen Sheps– 7th 2014-15 – 10th 2018-19

    10 Godot 10 – 10th 2014-15– 10th 2018-19

    Hunter1909’s DeathMarch™ Congratulates all of the Top Ten Official All Stars.

    For nxt season; I will choose whatever CommonFan chooses 🙂

  3. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Eriksson has been killing penalties so he does do something if not scoring.

    What exactly does Lucic do if not scoring?What does he do on the fourth line that Eriksson could or would not do? The fourth line has to be a line that is tenacious and aggressive on the forecheck in order to keep momentum and allow the coach to play it – that is not that is a part of Lucic’s game.

    I also think there is a much better chance of Eriksson actually bouncing back a bit on the Oilers with some production that there is with Lucic.Eriksson at least still has some puck skills.

    Meh. Is Eriksson actually good on the PK? Lucic was on the PP for a long time too. And he sucked. Both players suck. I think Lucic is just as likely to rebound as Eriksson. Although I don’t think it’s likely at all for either player.

  4. RonnieB says:

    YKOil: Well, the Eriksson contract delivers $18m in Cap for only $9m in Cash after the signing bonus is paid; VERY trade friendly. Stunningly so. I would consider making the trade for this feature alone.

    This seems to be the key point. Looking at it from the Canucks viewpoint, this contract is very trade friendly to a team needing to reach the Cap floor; the 1st year following the trade the acquiring team has a $6 million Cap hit for a $1 million salary. Why, then, would the Canucks entertain taking on the Lucic anchor ?

  5. YKOil says:

    In 2020-2021, after the $3m signing bonus is paid, Eriksson:

    – counts $12m over two years against the cap, but
    – only costs the acquiring team $5m in actual cash

    That is a desirable contract, for some teams, come July 1st next year.

  6. YKOil says:

    RonnieB: This seems to be the key point. Looking at it from the Canucks viewpoint, this contract is very trade friendly to a team needing to reach the Cap floor; the 1st year following the trade the acquiring team has a $6 million Cap hit for a $1 million salary. Why, then, would the Canucks entertain taking on the Lucic anchor ?

    Hence, there is a cost. Not a 1st round pick to be sure, but a real, measurable cost nonetheless.

  7. Reja says:

    GMB3: Over at 13? As in 13 points?

    I’ll make a bet for charity.

    That’s goals 13 is a push will open the betting windows if Lucic gets dealt I do believe a fresh start would be best for both parties.

  8. Pescador says:

    Reja: That’sgoals 13 is a push will open the betting windows if Lucic gets dealt I do believe a fresh start would be best for both parties.

    If Lucic gets traded, forget the bet we all win.
    I’ll just donate to charity for the sake of joy

  9. Nit64 says:

    defmn: That would make more sense to me if each position had similar value in determining the outcome of games. I don’t believe that to be the case when you are comparing a 4th line winger to what might be our starting goalie if Koskinen cannot become more consistent.

    Agreed. My objection was to the notion that suddendly the money was “tied up” in goalies. Its the the 1B position being tied up in Schneider that is the question.

  10. Nit64 says:

    jtblack: For nxt season; I will choose whatever CommonFan chooses

    And the year after HT Joe. Alternate.

  11. who says:

    incubo_nero:
    JOFA,

    Okay.
    I’m going off of the premise that:
    1.] There is something to this Vancouver rumour and a deal is there, although not until July 1/2019
    2.] A clean disposition is not available

    How about Lucic + Khaira for Sutter (who they buy out in 2020)?

    Does Khaira cover the cap cost premium, term premium and expansion worry of his NMC (will he or will he not waive?) on Lucic’s contract?
    Khaira covers the bet as a bottom-6 and could possibly slot in as Sutter’s replacement at 4C.

    How about Lucic and Benning for Sutter?

  12. Munny says:

    Bag of Pucks: Came back from hip cartilage surgery lasy year.

    I’d want some information on his health and his summer plans before exploring the option. too far. And the Devs might be hoping for the same bounce back. I don’t think they’ll feel the urgency needed to get that a deal done.

    Kinkaid played the most games, but had a poorer save percentage than Schneider. Blackwood had a nice year for a young goalie, but not amazing, and only played 23. Can’t rely on him to be the starter next season.

    Maybe as part of a larger package it could happen…

    Holland has spent a bundle on goalies before… pre-cap though. He’s been mostly cheap on the position in the cap era. I would love to have the Wings goalie scout in the organization.

    It’s a risky bet, but so are Lucic and Eriksson.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: Meh. Is Eriksson actually good on the PK? Lucic was on the PP for a long time too. And he sucked. Both players suck. I think Lucic is just as likely to rebound as Eriksson. Although I don’t think it’s likely at all for either player.

    I don’t know if he’s actually good on the PK and, frankly, I do not know how to read the numbers to figure that out. On a quick look, he is actually best among regular PK forwards on Van in SA/60 and GA/60 on the PK – I think that is something.

    I think there is almost zero chance Lucic has any sort of material rebound as an Oiler – I was quite hopeful the last 2 years but, I was wrong and, given how how looks out there and where his game has derogated, I don’t see it.

    Louie E., on the other hand, still has some skill and I could see him getting close to 20G if he is able to get some confidence and find a home with one of the skill centers. He could totally flop as well.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lots of talk, always, about trading these contracts to teams that need help getting to the cap floor when, in actuality, there are very very few of these teams.

  15. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Reja: Always the Matt Cooke response there is certain percentage of the population I’ll say 10% that don’t give a flying F you could hold a gun to their head and they would laugh at you that’s Matt Cooke.. When Lucic or similar tell the general population to settle the F down or else they listen. You think Tkchuck or similar want a broken faceover a regular season game in December.

    So its your contention that in the 3 years that Tkchuck has played for CGY and Lucic has played for EDM that Tkchuck has never done anything dirty to an Oiler player due to the presence of Lucic?

  16. defmn says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    defmn,

    Whoever they sign for 1B, Mike Smith, Brian Elliot, Keith Kinkaid, is going to be a question mark. No sure things with goalies/voodoo.

    The positive with Schneider is post surgery he may rebound, he has been a starter before, and you move out that Lucic contract that looks unsalvageable.

    I don’t disagree with any of that. But with Schneider you are looking at a multi-year bet that is too big a hole to fix if it doesn’t work. Big time risk is all.

  17. Professor Q says:

    defmn: I don’t disagree with any of that. But with Schneider you are looking at a multi-year bet that is too big a hole to fix if it doesn’t work. Big time risk is all.

    And then what do we do with all of these goalies we’re signing, also?

    However, I think when one thinks of Schneider as a multi-year bet that might not work out, is it *really* that different than riding out Lucic’s contract? As opposed to actually having a goaltender with the potential of regaining #1 form.

    He’s 33, has $6 million for 3 more years (so both he and Koskinen get off the books at the same time), and could hopefully pull a M-A Fleury and bounce back to form after a change of scenery at 33 years of age.

    All while getting rid of Lucic, who has 4 more years at $6 million.

  18. Reja says:

    Woodguy v2.0: So its your contention that in the 3 years that Tkchuck has played for CGY and Lucic has played for EDM that Tkchuck has never done anything dirty to an Oiler player due to the presence of Lucic?

    I don’t think Tkachuk game has been all that effective against the Oilers compared to other teams. Tkachuk a smart player he knows what makes him effective but he also avoids the big boys of the league so far anyhow.

  19. defmn says:

    Professor Q: And then what do we do with all of these goalies we’re signing, also?

    However, I think when one thinks of Schneider as a multi-year bet that might not work out, is it *really* that different than riding out Lucic’s contract? As opposed to actually having a goaltender with the potential of regaining #1 form.

    He’s 33, has $6 million for 3 more years (so both he and Koskinen get off the books at the same time), and could hopefully pull a M-A Fleury and bounce back to form after a change of scenery at 33 years of age.

    All while getting rid of Lucic, who has 4 more years at $6 million.

    All of this is true. I guess my concern is related to the disparity in importance between a goalie and a winger in terms of how difficult it is to hide them or shelter them. Maybe that isn’t something I should worry about but it just seems to me that if your first $10.5 mil doesn’t get the job done your season is pretty much sewered whereas there are quite a few teams that were in the playoffs with wingers making Lucic money who didn’t do much.

    The moving truck just pulled up. Back to Alberta after 12 years. Looking forward to that but the internet is about to die. 😉

  20. Reja says:

    Pescador: If Lucic gets traded, forget the bet we all win.
    I’ll just donate to charity for the sake of joy

    He sure does sound depressed playing in Edmonton.The way The Canuck’s got pushed around like teenage schoolgirls last year and since the Nucks are divisional rivals maybe the Oilers should up the anti.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: I don’t think Tkachuk gamehas been all that effective against the Oilers compared to other teams. Tkachuk a smart player he knows what makes him effective but he also avoids the big boys of the league so far anyhow.

    Tkachuk essentially won one game on his own due to his antics – a game the Oilers were dominating and winning and Tkachuk “did his thing”, Kassian went off the rails and the game changed and the flames won.

  22. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: Tkachuk essentially won one game on his own due to his antics – a game the Oilers were dominating and winning and Tkachuk “did his thing”, Kassian went off the rails and the game changed and the flames won.

    I saw that game another way Oilers were owning Calgary until they stopped being aggressive after the first.. By the way I thought the first period was their best period of the year Leon missed a shorthanded breakaway and Jar Jar missed one in the second. I quess people can view the same game differently

  23. Ryan says:

    jtblack: For nxt season; I will choose whatever CommonFan chooses

    Maybe try doing it like McKenzie’s list.

    Or averaging out the predictions of the top three or five.

  24. Abbeef says:

    GMB3: Right. How’s that work as a deterrent? I wonder if Marc Savard was happy Lucic was there when Matt Cooke took his head off and ended his career? Lucic was the guy who passed him the puck if I remember correctly.

    It’s a bullshit narrative. Most guys out there who are trying to hurt other guys aren’t goiing to stop because they are worried about fighting.

    A couple things that this comment brought to mind.

    1) Bringing up dirty plays and injuries that happened while a deterrent is on the ice is a strawman. No one argues that having a deterrent stops all dirty plays. If you want to argue that deterrents are useless then compare data of dirty plays against teams with and without a deterrent. I have no idea what the results would be, but they would be relevant.

    2) The initial argument was that there are people in management around the league that value the hitting and intimidation that Lucic brings. Whether we as fans agree or disagree about the value of intimidation is irrelevant to the argument that hockey executives place value in it.

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