Making Tough Decisions

by Lowetide

Ken Holland is going to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks and it will impact several current Edmonton Oilers. The media avail this week focused on an ‘aggressive, fast team’ beginning this fall. Which means an upgrade in footspeed, and the slow feet from a year ago are in danger. You can run slower players, but Chiarelli’s Oilers got so bogged down it became a major issue. Adding a burner on the No. 3 line, plus another on the fourth line, will go a long way to changing the equation.

In order for the current depth forwards (bottom six) to survive, each player needs to bring something the coach can use. PK work, playing center or wing, offering a physical style that results in battles won and successful puck retrieval, good speed, scoring points at 5-on-5. How many of those things do the current bottom six bring?

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.

JUJHAR KHAIRA

Over the next week or so, I’m going to have a quick look at each of the bottom-six forwards. We’re in search of players who can deliver more than one of the following: PK, score at 5-on-5, play more than one position, forecheck, win battles and play with an edge. I’m starting with the most promising name in the group, Jujhar Khaira.

Khaira’s 2017-18 season was impressive. His 5-on-5 scoring and points placed him as a second-line scorer and a third-line point producer. What’s more, his shots and goals against per 60 on the PK were among the best in the NHL. That’s a helluva player making $675,000.

Khaira’s 2018-19 season saw him fall back and that happens with role players. He was suspended, hurt his foot and his goal-scoring went away. His points-per-60 remained at third-line level, that’s a positive, and I still like him as a PK option.

Khaira covers several elements we’re looking for: He scores well enough at 5-on-5 to hold down a job, he can play center, he is physical and can forecheck very well (that’s going to be a big damned deal come fall). He wins battles for pucks and he has a mean streak. Among the group I consider ‘bottom six forwards’ from one year ago, I think Khaira is the obvious choice to return. Where does that leave Milan Lucic, Sam Gagner, Colby Cave, Kyle Brodziak, Tobias Rieder, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ty Rattie, Joe Gambardella, Josh Currie, Patrick Russell and the new guy (Nygard)? And what of Zack Kassian?

Khaira has always been a favourite of mine, wrote about him first on this blog June 23, 2012. Draft day quote from him: “I want to show than mentally I’m strong enough to play the game at the next level. My foot speed really needs to increase and I do need to get stronger because there are some guys at the next level who have matured. I do really need to work on that.”

Red Line Report: At Red Line, we believe this kid could be the biggest/best sleeper of the entire draft. Prince George is so far off the beaten path teams don’t even travel there for WHL games, much less BCHL contests, so he gets zero exposure. But this kid is big, mean, aggressive, nasty, and guess what… he can score too. Does the dirty work in the corners, bangs bodies and wins battles, and loves to initiate heavy contact. Powerful stride with great balance and gets leverage on his hits. Has surprisingly soft hands and puck skills with playmaking ability. Creates lots of space for smaller teammates and makes everyone braver. Very raw defensively.

TRADE RUMOURS

It occurs to me that we should keep track of the rumours that are out there (or have been) just in case Holland circles back to discussions that happened before his arrival. Here are two:

1 Matt Benning to Toronto for Connor Brown

2 Milan Lucic to Vancouver for Loui Eriksson

LOWETIDE TOP 100

I have the final rankings complete, there are several late arrivals at the bottom of the list and a little movement here and there throughout the piece. I’ll have it up early Saturday morning along with a mock draft and an explanation of how I reach my conclusions.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A very busy morning, TSN1260 beginning at 10. We’ll chat about a classic SCF game last night, plus Julian Edlow from Draft Kings joins us to talk NBA finals at 10:20. Jonathan Davis from SiriusXM will talk SCF, and Derek Taylor will drop by to chat CFL as we prepare for a couple of weekend games. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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russ99

Sounds like Trouba is on the trade block.

Trouba, Ehlers and 2nd rounder for Nuge. Jesse and #8 who says no?

Assuming we dump cap via Sekera or Russell, and add a center in FA.

Bohologo

Kinger_Oil.redux:
franksterra,
– By virtually all measures, it’s the 2nd Global sport: it’s not even a debate.Sure Cricket or Field Hockey or table tennis might be “bigger” due to the concentration in a few countries, but they are not global sports. Golf and Tennis: they are not team sports.

– The NBA has players from I think over 30 countries: South America, Asia, Australia, all over Europe, Russia, Africa, Middle East, North America: no other league in any sport has this.

This is the Internet, so I have come here to disagree! Track and field offers greater diversity of participation globally, and it’s one of the few sports where both genders tend to compete on the same surface on the same evening. Sadly, the IAAF, which governs the sport globally, is hideously corrupt, so track meets that used to pack stadiums are now drawing sparse crowds.

But go to a Grand Prix meet (Prefontaine, Van Damme, Bislett Games, Monaco), and the entry lists will have scores of nationalities. In terms of gate revenue, track is nowhere near major league hoops, but every kid in every town in every country knows who the fastest/strongest/jumpiest kid on their street might be.

Yeti

Professor Q: Let’s not forget volleyball!

But I think to speak to cricket and golf: the former seen as the high society’s game, the latter also seen as this due to the high expenses involved. Similar to hockey, presently. Too much cost.

Soccer (football), basketball, volleyball, baseball (although gloves are getting to be quite expensive, also), are sort of the games where you can just pick up and go, wherever, which helps make them accessible to more people globally, even of they don’t have as many global fans as some of the others.

I think the idea of cricket as high society might be a bit misplaced in terms of its global reach. If you’ve seen who plays cricket in South Asia, and where and how they play it, high society wouldn’t get a look in!

That said, the five day test format might be a bit limiting for its global appeal…

Abbeef

This site had an interesting ranking system for global sports.
https://www.totalsportek.com/most-popular-sports/

Professor Q

Kinger_Oil.redux:
franksterra,

– Of course, Soccer is by far the most “global” sport.I don’t think though based on some of these comments, Basket’s reach is appreciated. : it has the 2nd most professional leagues, it’s the “2nd sport” in so many countries, Basketball Players are global icons: from MJ to Kobe to LeBron, Yeo Ming, Manut Bol, the NBA finals are broadcast in over 200 countries, and virtually every country has a National Association.

– By virtually all measures, it’s the 2nd Global sport: it’s not even a debate.Sure Cricket or Field Hockey or table tennis might be “bigger” due to the concentration in a few countries, but they are not global sports. Golf and Tennis: they are not team sports.

– The NBA has players from I think over 30 countries: South America, Asia, Australia, all over Europe, Russia, Africa, Middle East, North America: no other league in any sport has this.

– And back to my point about the Raptors and Toronto and the global impact: Toronto is by for the most international city in North America in terms of foreign born residents by %, half are from elsewhere (maybe Miami is close, but that’s for tax dodging).So you’ve got this global population cheering for an international team, that has made it to the finals.It’s a massive deal for the GTA, a big moment, more than just the sport: its different than Hockey, and this was a hockey town.

*end of rant, and I know every is hatin’ on Toronto: I just wanted to share some of the energy and perspective for what this means for the Six.

Let’s not forget volleyball!

But I think to speak to cricket and golf: the former seen as the high society’s game, the latter also seen as this due to the high expenses involved. Similar to hockey, presently. Too much cost.

Soccer (football), basketball, volleyball, baseball (although gloves are getting to be quite expensive, also), are sort of the games where you can just pick up and go, wherever, which helps make them accessible to more people globally, even of they don’t have as many global fans as some of the others.

Professor Q

pts2pndr: Toronto with great goal tending didn’t get out of the first round. This would indicate that while they are a very good young team they just might not be cup contenders except in the minds of their fans and media.

They didn’t have great goaltending in the first round, though. That’s what sunk them, actually.

GordieHoweHatTrick

DBO:
Size and can skate is a deadly combo. And as long they can 0kay responsibly and chip in, then they are a great addition to the top 2 lines. We have both. Kassian and Khaira.

Draisatl. McDavid. Kassian
Khaira. Nuge. ?????
Nygard. ?????. Gagner
Lucic. Cave. Puljujarvi/Gamberdella

A 2 RW and a 3C. Khaira also is a better faceoff man then nuge and can help in that regard.

Can you pry Kapanen out of Toronto with an offer sheet to fill 2RW at 4 million per? Does Connor Brown fill that role for a year?

Man at end of day trading away Strome may be one of the most glaring mistakes by Chia. Two way 3C RH, and can kill penalties and has enough skill to hit 40 pts and enough speed to keep up.

Yes it ranks up there with some of his most foolish moves.
I sometimes wonder if TMac was pushing for him to move him as that coach did not seem to like him and did not use him very well

Pescador

who: How many 3rd line forwards with upside do the Oilers have?

Oilpower:
who,

None but Tampa has lots

Disagree completely
Khaira – XXX – Puljujarvi
If you can sign Fillpulla to be your 3C then that’s Two 3rd liners with upside by my count.
JJ greatest upside may be his value contract

Pescador

Lowetide:
One thing about the Raptors is their shot making during these playoffs has been impressive. I’m no expert when it comes to basketball, but against 76ers, Bucks and now tonight they’ve won games just by staying hot for long periods of the game.

No idea if they can win it all, but I hope they do it

The old cliche rings true “Defense wins championships”
The Raptors have one of if not the best in the NBA.
If they can shoot a high % as well,
They can win this thing

oilersfan

Connor Brown is an excellent skater and scored 20 goals as a rookie.

He is also a decent penalty killer

He shoots right

He could be a good complenetary too 6 player with say Drai and Nuge

YKOil

Not down for Connor Brown.

But Miller is a winner.

YKOil

JimmyV1965: I think Carolina could offer infinitely more for Kappanen and not even blink.

I think Carolina should pivot and trade one of their RHD to Winnipeg for a signed Trouba.

Abbeef

Kinger_Oil.redux:
franksterra,

– Of course, Soccer is by far the most “global” sport.I don’t think though based on some of these comments, Basket’s reach is appreciated. : it has the 2nd most professional leagues, it’s the “2nd sport” in so many countries, Basketball Players are global icons: from MJ to Kobe to LeBron, Yeo Ming, Manut Bol, the NBA finals are broadcast in over 200 countries, and virtually every country has a National Association.

– By virtually all measures, it’s the 2nd Global sport: it’s not even a debate.Sure Cricket or Field Hockey or table tennis might be “bigger” due to the concentration in a few countries, but they are not global sports. Golf and Tennis: they are not team sports.

– The NBA has players from I think over 30 countries: South America, Asia, Australia, all over Europe, Russia, Africa, Middle East, North America: no other league in any sport has this.

– And back to my point about the Raptors and Toronto and the global impact: Toronto is by for the most international city in North America in terms of foreign born residents by %, half are from elsewhere (maybe Miami is close, but that’s for tax dodging).So you’ve got this global population cheering for an international team, that has made it to the finals.It’s a massive deal for the GTA, a big moment, more than just the sport: its different than Hockey, and this was a hockey town.

*end of rant, and I know every is hatin’ on Toronto: I just wanted to share some of the energy and perspective for what this means for the Six.

I was thinking the same. I know from my time in Africa that basketball was definitely 2nd most popular and growing and that seems to be a common thing especially with the younger generation.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Oilpower:
silasbengtsson,

Or they could trade a young 3rd line forward with upside, which they have lots of, for a young right shot NHL d man which they are short of and ditch 4 million salary in the process. And not have any cap penalties next year. Just depends how you look at it.

But it’s not 4mil in cap space if they’re retaining 1.8mil. The original question involved cap retention.

How many cheap young 3Cs with upside do they have? The only other ones I can see are Joseph (better suited to the wing) and maybe Verhaeghe (hasn’t got his chance despite good numbers), but neither are as good as Cirelli.

Would you give up a Cirelli for a Benning equivalent (say TVR) if it saved you 2.1mil for a year? I certainly wouldn’t.

Kinger_Oil.redux

franksterra,

Jethro Tull: Basketball isn’t a global sport.

– Of course, Soccer is by far the most “global” sport. I don’t think though based on some of these comments, Basket’s reach is appreciated. : it has the 2nd most professional leagues, it’s the “2nd sport” in so many countries, Basketball Players are global icons: from MJ to Kobe to LeBron, Yeo Ming, Manut Bol, the NBA finals are broadcast in over 200 countries, and virtually every country has a National Association.

– By virtually all measures, it’s the 2nd Global sport: it’s not even a debate. Sure Cricket or Field Hockey or table tennis might be “bigger” due to the concentration in a few countries, but they are not global sports. Golf and Tennis: they are not team sports.

– The NBA has players from I think over 30 countries: South America, Asia, Australia, all over Europe, Russia, Africa, Middle East, North America: no other league in any sport has this.

– And back to my point about the Raptors and Toronto and the global impact: Toronto is by for the most international city in North America in terms of foreign born residents by %, half are from elsewhere (maybe Miami is close, but that’s for tax dodging). So you’ve got this global population cheering for an international team, that has made it to the finals. It’s a massive deal for the GTA, a big moment, more than just the sport: its different than Hockey, and this was a hockey town.

*end of rant, and I know every is hatin’ on Toronto: I just wanted to share some of the energy and perspective for what this means for the Six.

Ryan

Sorry Raptors fans.

I started cheering/ watching at the end of the half, so I’m probably going to inflict the Oilers’ fan jinx on them.

Pescador

GMB3: Greta Van Fleet is awesome! I’m jealous

So is Fred

JimmyV1965

pts2pndr: Sixth round draft choice that has had one good year. Top nine on most every team in the league. Do you or have you ever worked for the Oilers or are you on the Toronto payroll because nothing I have read in researching this player would agree with your hypothisis.

Lay it on me then. What does the research say?

JimmyV1965

RonnieB:
If i’m trading Benning to Toronto i want Kapanen, not Brown. Benning plus JP for Kapanen would save Toronto some Cap space because it will fill a need at RD, offer a prospect that might be better than Kapanen in the future if developed properly, and Kapanen will require $4 million or more on his next contract. The Oilers could be losing a potential future star in JP, but will fill a need at RW right away.
Toronto cannot keep all of Nylander, Marner, Johnsson and Kapanen within the Cap.

I think Carolina could offer infinitely more for Kappanen and not even blink.

Munny

I really like how they’re trying to build Danny Green’s confidence early in this series.

pts2pndr

JimmyV1965: Sure, I would rather have JT Miller of course. Will it happen? I don’t think a legit third pairing dman gets you that though. Maybe it does. But Brown would be top six on our team and top nine on most every team in the league.

Sixth round draft choice that has had one good year. Top nine on most every team in the league. Do you or have you ever worked for the Oilers or are you on the Toronto payroll because nothing I have read in researching this player would agree with your hypothisis.

who

Oh. Okay. My bad.
That’s why its nice when you include the post you’re replying to. Makes it a lot easier to follow the conversation.

GMB3

Todd Macallan: Currently in TO for a concert but don’t live here (Greta Van Fleet, they were ridiculously good live) and can confirm the importance of tonights Raps game. Certainly the most significant sporting event here at least since the Jays in the world series.

Currently posted up at a random Irish pub 3 hrs before gametime to have somwhere to watch. Around the corner from Jurassic Park. That place is already nuts

Greta Van Fleet is awesome! I’m jealous

GMB3

Abbeef:
jp,

Quality of competition.

Yeah, so he’s slotted properly in his role. The goal share likes him a lot as a third pairing RHD, and his contract is reasonable for where he plays in the lineup. He’s one of the few Oilers who succeeds in their role.

He’s definitely not my first choice to trade, seems to be a folly much like many of our trades over the last decade.

I mean if you could get cirelli for Benning.. I’d go there, I don’t see why we would want to add Callahan to the roster.

Oilpower

who,

None but Tampa has lots

who

Oilpower:
silasbengtsson,

Or they could trade a young 3rd line forward with upside, which they have lots of, for a young right shot NHL d man which they are short of and ditch 4 million salary in the process. And not have any cap penalties next year. Just depends how you look at it.

How many 3rd line forwards with upside do the Oilers have?

Oilpower

silasbengtsson,

Or they could trade a young 3rd line forward with upside, which they have lots of, for a young right shot NHL d man which they are short of and ditch 4 million salary in the process. And not have any cap penalties next year. Just depends how you look at it.

Abbeef

jp,

Quality of competition.

jp

russ99: Legit RHD. lol I know the Corgis are in love with him,

Goals.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Woogie63:
Lucic-Kahaira-Kassian

Could be a thing.

Yup.

A really bad thing-A misspelled thing-And a thing that doesn’t deserve to be relegated to the 4th line

Rich M

Numenius:
Benning is a real NHL D, even if he’s not quite 2nd pairing, at a reasonable cap hit.

Please don’t trade him for Zaitsev, Brown, magic beans, etc.

Quoted for truth.

russ99

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Zeitsev is viewed as the worst signing in the Shanahan era.Zeitsev is a divisive player: kind of like Russell here.He’s more expensive than Russell and has term.Played too high the roster

– If you could get him for a B-prospect and move Russell: your D is, your probably going to mad at Z like you were at Russell for being too expensive and too high up the roster, and trying to figure out how to unload him in a year, just like Russell.:

Klef-Larsson
Nurse-Z
Sek-Benning

– meh.Kind of like trading Lucic for Louis.Change for change sake: can’t blame them, might work, probably doesn’t do anything

Even if you’re so blinded by the CF% that you can’t see Russell’s value, look at the decreasing last year of the contact vs. Zaitsev’s. The Oilers should be able to get a good asset in return for Russell at the deadline or with even more degraded trade protection next summer.

Reja

Jethro Tull: Basketball isn’t a global sport.It’s played around the globe, but that isn’t what I’m thinking you mean.Soccer is the only true global sport (pains me to say), probably followed by Cricket.

Unfortunately, this stings some North Americans no end.Believe me, there will still be avid fans around the globe, natives of their own land, but the drop off to mild interest then no interest is a steeper one than here.

One need look any further then the “world” series of baseball.

NFL, NBA, MLB followed by the NCAA of these sports ARE huge……but only here.They’re seen as like the biggest, greasiest, best ever burger on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives; you can manage one, it’s very nice and you appreciate it, but can’t see how a yank can eat them every day.

I hope you don’t tell your son what I’ve said and let him enjoy the magic – I remember watching the FA Cup and World Cup, recreating plays by Romario and Scillachi and Lineker in the school yard. Now I hear of kids trying Kawhi’s four bounce rim and in.

Magic you only get to usually use once.I’ll root for the Raps for your boy!

Golf says hello

Todd Macallan

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Raptors Talk

– I live in Toronto, hate the Leafs.Hockey though has some competition in Toronto.Basketball games are“entertaining”.There is a lot of fan interaction.Time outs are insane.It’s a scene.The Park.The games are 2 hours 2:30 max.B-Ball: its so athletic, lots of back and forth, great tempo, lots of drama and lead-changes.

– The Raptors really have caught the imagination of the GTA: it’s a global sport, and our team has players from many countries and colours that are a reflection of Toronto today.

– Curry, Lowry, Leonard: these are iconic players.Playing one of the greatest teams ever assembled: no one has been to 5 championships in a row since expansion.Curry’s history in Toronto.Our hero, that the city so desperately hopes to not be jilted again.

– LT referenced Alberta’s disdain for Ontario.Seeing is believing.The GTA is such a diverse city.These Raptors, and the iconic Drake: if you were a boy the age of my son now, there’s no looking back: this is a big deal.

*end of rant.

Currently in TO for a concert but don’t live here (Greta Van Fleet, they were ridiculously good live) and can confirm the importance of tonights Raps game. Certainly the most significant sporting event here at least since the Jays in the world series.

Currently posted up at a random Irish pub 3 hrs before gametime to have somwhere to watch. Around the corner from Jurassic Park. That place is already nuts

franksterra

Jethro Tull,

I agree in the main, in particular the point about football/soccer. Cricket and global though, hmmmm. The former ‘pink bits’. Enormous numbers of people given India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Parts of east Africa (Caribbean too, but much fewer people), and lots of money given the Anglo betting-sphere. So nations with relatively small populations like Auz and NZ have outsize sporting exposure due to the deep pockets. But if you spread it out visually over the globe, would it not be stretching the definition of global, more like Commonwealth pockets? For pure participant numbers, after soccer/football I wonder if something like volleyball or field hockey isn’t a distant #2.

Munny

Alpine: What Tippett has to figure out is how to get Lucic to shoot more than once a game and score on more than 10% of shots. He can be as a feisty as he wants but are we getting much value out of him if the Oilers are still being outscored by a quite a bit while he’s on the ice?
Maybe the production with come with more shit disturbing, but it seems Wilson calming down has actually helped his offensive game.

Lucic was 6th on the team in EV TOI for Fs.

Of those six players, he was first in CF%, first in HDCF%, second in SC%.

…And worst in PDO.

3 more shots go in while he’s on the ice, 3 more saves made and he’s dead on 50% for GF percentage.

He’s still an actual NHL player, he’s just incredibly overpaid.

He’s actually probably a better bet to rebound than Eriksson from this pov and given he’s 3 years younger… but he also has an extra year of term to cover.

OriginalPouzar

Zaitsev? This cash strapped team is going to acquire another over-priced player who underperforms his contract – which goes for like 5 more years?

Please no – not unless the Leafs retain half.

Actually, still, I don’t want him for 5 years – not given where the organizational depth is.

Darth Tu

Jethro Tull: Basketball isn’t a global sport.It’s played around the globe, but that isn’t what I’m thinking you mean.Soccer is the only true global sport (pains me to say), probably followed by Cricket.

Unfortunately, this stings some North Americans no end.Believe me, there will still be avid fans around the globe, natives of their own land, but the drop off to mild interest then no interest is a steeper one than here.

One need look any further then the “world” series of baseball.

NFL, NBA, MLB followed by the NCAA of these sports ARE huge……but only here.They’re seen as like the biggest, greasiest, best ever burger on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives; you can manage one, it’s very nice and you appreciate it, but can’t see how a yank can eat them every day.

I hope you don’t tell your son what I’ve said and let him enjoy the magic – I remember watching the FA Cup and World Cup, recreating plays by Romario and Scillachi and Lineker in the school yard. Now I hear of kids trying Kawhi’s four bounce rim and in.

Magic you only get to usually use once.I’ll root for the Raps for your boy!

I might be completely out to lunch here, but isn’t hockey (the field kind) 3rd in the world for viewers after soccer (football to me) and cricket? That amazed me when I read it in the run up to the last Olympics.

The Cricket thing I totally get, not my sport, but it definitely has a huge draw in Asia.

OriginalPouzar

Alpine:

What Tippett has to figure out is how to get Lucic to shoot more than once a game and score on more than 10% of shots. He can be as a feisty as he wants but are we getting much value out of him if the Oilers are still being outscored by a quite a bit while he’s on the ice?

So, take more shots and score on a higher percentage of those shots? I like it – so simple!

OriginalPouzar

LadiesloveSmid:
I imagine Bear/Bouchard/Persson’s impact can be similar to Benning’s.

I’m happy to move him, if they replace Russell with a 2RD….. which we’ve been saying since like summer 2016 when they signed KR

On the first statement, that’s the line of thinking that has caused issues with the roster, year over year – assuming players are going to be able to handle certain roles in the lineup before they’ve proven the same. You very well could be right, however, its no certainty and this organization needs to have players prove they can handle roles before getting rid of the incumbents.

On the second statement, I think you mean “since they traded Jeff Petry”.

digger50

Caggiula is better than Brown.

I liked Drake but he wasn’t popular here, or missed.

Imagine trading Benning for a less than Caggiula replacement.

McNuge93

Numenius:
Benning is a real NHL D, even if he’s not quite 2nd pairing, at a reasonable cap hit.

Please don’t trade him for Zaitsev, Brown, magic beans, etc.

Yes, wait until one or two of Jones, Bear, Bouchard, Persoon, etc prove they are NHl ready, then trade Benning.

Jethro Tull

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Raptors Talk

– I live in Toronto, hate the Leafs.Hockey though has some competition in Toronto.Basketball games are“entertaining”.There is a lot of fan interaction.Time outs are insane.It’s a scene.The Park.The games are 2 hours 2:30 max.B-Ball: its so athletic, lots of back and forth, great tempo, lots of drama and lead-changes.

– The Raptors really have caught the imagination of the GTA: it’s a global sport, and our team has players from many countries and colours that are a reflection of Toronto today.

– Curry, Lowry, Leonard: these are iconic players.Playing one of the greatest teams ever assembled: no one has been to 5 championships in a row since expansion.Curry’s history in Toronto.Our hero, that the city so desperately hopes to not be jilted again.

– LT referenced Alberta’s disdain for Ontario.Seeing is believing.The GTA is such a diverse city.These Raptors, and the iconic Drake: if you were a boy the age of my son now, there’s no looking back: this is a big deal.

*end of rant.

Basketball isn’t a global sport. It’s played around the globe, but that isn’t what I’m thinking you mean. Soccer is the only true global sport (pains me to say), probably followed by Cricket.

Unfortunately, this stings some North Americans no end. Believe me, there will still be avid fans around the globe, natives of their own land, but the drop off to mild interest then no interest is a steeper one than here.

One need look any further then the “world” series of baseball.

NFL, NBA, MLB followed by the NCAA of these sports ARE huge……but only here. They’re seen as like the biggest, greasiest, best ever burger on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives; you can manage one, it’s very nice and you appreciate it, but can’t see how a yank can eat them every day.

I hope you don’t tell your son what I’ve said and let him enjoy the magic – I remember watching the FA Cup and World Cup, recreating plays by Romario and Scillachi and Lineker in the school yard. Now I hear of kids trying Kawhi’s four bounce rim and in.

Magic you only get to usually use once. I’ll root for the Raps for your boy!

Numenius

Benning is a real NHL D, even if he’s not quite 2nd pairing, at a reasonable cap hit.

Please don’t trade him for Zaitsev, Brown, magic beans, etc.

dustrock

Oilpower:
How about benning for Ryan Callahan and Anthony cirelle they retain 1.8 on Callahan. Thoughts

I can see something like this working out. Lotta time for Cirelli, Callahan might be serviceable.

Kinger_Oil.redux

Munny: I don’t believe this is correct.

– I ammended: since expansion, no one has been to 5 (Lakers, Cavs Heat went to 4):

– NBA was worse than original-6 in terms of one team dominating (Celtics).

– NBA was as much a fringe sport as the NHL was a few generations ago, with no national TV: people forget that

Munny

Kinger_Oil.redux: no one has been to 5 championships in a row

I don’t believe this is correct.