Making Tough Decisions

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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133 Responses to "Making Tough Decisions"

  1. Andy Dufresne says:

    “And what of Zack Kassian?”

    What of Zack Kassian?! WHAT OF ZACH KASSIAN !??

    Staple his ass to Conners wing and “Hit the decks a runnin boys and spin those guns around!”

    Draisaitl McDavid Kassian This line is our “Battleship” Line (Battle Cruiser*)

    We’ll find the opposition team that’s makin’ such a fuss
    We gotta sink these bastards cause the world depends on us
    Hit the decks a-runnin’ boys and spin those guns around
    When up against the leagues Elites we’re gonna cut em down!

    Finnito, Period, End of Story!

    #tippetdontfuckthisup

    #tippetdontgetHOOD*winked

  2. Andy Dufresne says:

    Like any business, there are two types of employees.

    Those who are part of the problem, and those who are part of the solution.

    KEEP ONLY THE PLAYERS WHO ARE PART OF THE SOLUTION!

    JJ is keeper, for now.

  3. Andy Dufresne says:

    The fog (obc) was gone the seventh day and they saw the mornin’ sun
    Ten wins away from the playoffs, its time to make our run! (in November 2019 NOT March 2020)

    GOILERS!

  4. Andy Dufresne says:

    2019 NHL Entry Draft T Minus 22 and counting. 🙂

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    “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?”

    —————————-

    We hear sporadic (sometimes consistent) talk about moving out Khaira, somewhat because he has value in a trade. Looking at that above list, Khaira checks off so many of those boxes:

    PK work
    Playing center or wing
    offering a physical style
    good speed
    scoring points 5 on 5 (decent goal rate when he had a healthy year).

    All this for a contract that is likely in the $1.25M range.

    I don’t see how we “win” a trade here.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its funny, I read the opening paragraph and posted my response above without knowing that LT was going to go in depth on Khaira. Seems we agree for the most part.

  7. texmex says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    I look it a different way…

    21 days for Doug Armstrong to relinquish the GM title (remaining POHO) in STL and hire Peter Chiarelli as GM. Peter trades Parayko straight up for his boy Looch at the draft.

    22 days until Colton returns to Oil Country. LOL

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    It likely doesn’t work due to TO’s cap issues but I’d prefer Russell for Brown over Benning for Brown – opens up a bit of cap space.

  9. v4ance says:

    Lots of discussion about Lucic being a nuclear deterrent. The problem is the NHL has moved onto a new type of war.

    Low intensity conflict according to military analysts refers to insurgencies, guerrilla warfare, terrorism, etc. and requires a fast mobile nimble force response… think special forces teams; highly skilled, highly focused targeting of enemies. High intensity conflict is basically full scale war between with standing armies with nuclear weapons on the table requiring the entire population and economy to support.

    The NHL is more of a “low intensity” type of league now and Lucic is the B-2 nuclear bomber flying around the skies, wasting billions while achieving very little. Yes, you could task the B-2 with flying support missions using smart bombs in a role it was never designed for but that’s a very inefficient use of a trillion dollar weapons program.

    TL;DR: Lucic’s nuclear deterrence doesn’t work if the rest of the opponents don’t have nuclear weapons and fight on a different plane of conflict.

  10. silasbengtsson says:

    It’s fun to think about our roster having a completely new bottom-6 if Holland were to make those two moves. Excluding Khaira, our bottom-6 will pretty much be completely different from last year’s starting roster. Fill the 3C spot with a guy like Copp and fix the second line by adding one of Zucker, Miller, T Johnson, Kapanen* or A Johnsson* (Puljujarvi+?) and another one OR two of Donskoi, Connolly, Wilson, Tanev, Panik or Burakovsky and we’ll be primed for competing.

    Draisaitl- McDavid- Kassian
    Tanev/Panik- Nuge- Kapanen
    Eriksson- Copp- Brown
    Gambo- Khaira- Currie
    Nygard, Cave and Gagner

    Afford this by having 10.7mil in cap space currently, add another ~2mil for the cap increase, move out Russell w/ a little money retained for another 3.25 to 3.5mil, Manning and Brodziak to the AHL (~1.5mil freed iirc) leaving us with:

    Puljujarvi and a 2020 pick for Kapanen and signed for 4.75mil x 5
    Tanev or Panik signed for 3mil x 3
    Prospect and a pick for Copp and signed for 2.5mil x 4
    Khaira signed for 1.25mil x 2
    Brown difference over Benning is 0.2mil

    11.7 mil spent upgrading the Fs with another ~5.7 to find a backup and perhaps a cheap 2RD filler (Gudas or Pysyk) and we’ll be a whole new team!

  11. McNuge93 says:

    v4ance:
    Lots of discussion about Lucic being a nuclear deterrent.The problem is the NHL has moved onto a new type of war.

    Low intensity conflict according to military analysts refers to insurgencies, guerrilla warfare, terrorism, etc. and requires a fast mobile nimble force response… think special forces teams; highly skilled, highly focused targeting of enemies.High intensity conflict is basically full scale war between with standing armies with nuclear weapons on the table requiring the entire population and economy to support.

    The NHL is more of a “low intensity” type of league now and Lucic is the B-2 nuclear bomber flying around the skies, wasting billions while achieving very little.Yes, you could task the B-2 with flying support missions using smart bombs in a role it was never designed for but that’s a very inefficient use of a trillion dollar weapons program.

    TL;DR: Lucic’s nuclear deterrence doesn’t work if the rest of the opponents don’t have nuclear weapons and fight on a different plane of conflict.

    I think he was effective his first year. The Oilers had been a team that was pushed around a lot and he changed that along with Kass and Maroon. It was a factor in the playoffs especially against the Ducks.

    But he was playing higher in the lineup back then. Today he’s slower and gets less ice time so its not beneficial.

  12. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    It likely doesn’t work due to TO’s cap issues but I’d prefer Russell for Brown over Benning for Brown – opens up a bit of cap space.

    Not sure Benning for Brown works for Toronto even – at least that’s what my TO friends tell me, due to their cap situation. I think the likely scenario for Edmonton would be to trade Benning (or similar) for a pick, then flip the pick to Toronto for Brown.

  13. who says:

    I don’t think there are many tough choices regarding the forwards from last years team. Pretty easy to sort the keepers from the culls.
    KEEPERS
    McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, duh
    Kassian, Khaira, big and agressive with some speed and skill at affordable salaries.
    JP, still a keeper based on potential and low trade value.
    CULLS
    Everyone else. Use what you can to fill out the roster but don’t hesitate to send any of them away to improve the team.

    That wasn’t hard at all. Took me 5 minutes. This GM’ing thing is easy.

  14. barry.moore23 says:

    “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” – Frederick Forsyth maybe? I can’t remember for sure. It wasn’t me.

  15. Nit64 says:

    “1 Matt Benning to Toronto for Connor Brown
    2 Milan Lucic to Vancouver for Loui Eriksson”

    Cullen slid both of these into his Off Season Oil Plan.

  16. godot10 says:

    A legit 3rd pairing D like Benning is worth a hell of a lot more than Connor Brown.
    A legit 2nd pairing D like Larsson was worth Taylor Hall.

    JT Miller or bust.

  17. russ99 says:

    who,

    The problem is there’s only so much you can do in one offseason.

    I’d love to see Holland move contracts for picks at the draft, this was a real missed opportunity for Chia last summer, where he over-payed his 1994 group instead assuming he’d see different results.

    Would help our cap situation and also helps the prospect pool.

    I’d move Kassian if the return was good, his cap hit is a bit higher than his value, and I’m not a fan of him on the first line, we need to aim higher.

  18. LadiesloveSmid says:

    They need to put Pulju’s left half-wall one-timer to use like he would in Finland.

    Thought he’d score 25 goals last year, hoping he does it this year. I hope they stick with him to see if he can pop.

  19. who says:

    russ99:
    who,

    The problem is there’s only so much you can do in one offseason.

    I’d love to see Holland move contracts for picks at the draft, this was a real missed opportunity for Chia last summer, where he over-payed his 1994 group instead assuming he’d see different results.

    Would help our cap situation and also helps the prospect pool.

    I’d move Kassian if the return was good, his cap hit is a bit higher than his value, and I’m not a fan of him on the first line, we need to aim higher.

    Don’t understand the first line in your response. I wasn’t suggesting major changes this summer, I was merely suggesting we have 6 keepers at forward. What happens to the rest of them is inconsequential, in my mind. They can stay, or they can go.
    Maybe Nygarrd will be a 7th keeper. Maybe Benson will be an 8th. Maybe they sign a UFA as a 9th. It still leaves 4 or 5 spots to fill with current roster players. My point is that it really doesn’t matter which of the culls they keep.
    Disagree with you on Kassian. If you only have 6 keepers at forward why would you trade 1 of them?
    Makes much more sense to trade a dman like Benning. We have plenty of 3rd pairing dmen.

  20. Death By Misadventure says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    It likely doesn’t work due to TO’s cap issues but I’d prefer Russell for Brown over Benning for Brown – opens up a bit of cap space.

    OP, can you explain this Connor Brown for Benning trade to me?

    Brown strikes me as yet another potential option for the 4th line, which we already have about a dozen people for.

    From where I stand wouldn’t a Brown for Benning be another Chia special of devaluing skill set?

    I know Benning has his detractors and there’s a bakers dozen of D bubbling under, but Benning seems to me to be the more substantial player.

    What am I missing?

  21. ArmchairGM says:

    godot10: A legit 3rd pairing D like Benning is worth a hell of a lot more than Connor Brown.

    Agreed. It would be just like the Oilers to lose value just to get they player that they’ve zeroed in on.

    When Carolina acquired TVR they paid a late 2nd (#60, I believe) for him and received a 7th rounder back too. Upon a detailed examination (not really) of the numbers I would say that Benning is a better player than TVR was at the time of the trade, therefore he should be worth a mid 2nd round pick. Not sure I would pay more than a 4th for Brown, especially with Toronto’s current cap situation.

  22. Death By Misadventure says:

    godot10:
    A legit 3rd pairing D like Benning is worth a hell of a lot more than Connor Brown.
    A legit 2nd pairing D like Larsson was worth Taylor Hall.

    JT Miller or bust.

    Agreed. I don’t get this Brown for Benning trade. Seems like a very low return on a material, still young, RHD.

    Can I ask, where did this trade rumor originate?

    I’m not saying don’t trade Benning, but if they do, it needs to be to trade up in value or skill set. Brown doesn’t meet that criteria.

  23. who says:

    Death By Misadventure: OP, can you explain this Connor Brown for Benning trade to me?

    Brown strikes me as yet another potential option for the 4th line, which we already have about a dozen people for.

    From where I stand wouldn’t a Brown for Benning be another Chia special of devaluing skill set?

    I know Benning has his detractors and there’s a bakers dozen of D bubbling under, but Benning seems to me to be the more substantial player.

    What am I missing?

    I think a Benning for Brown trade is fine. I just don’t see the Leafs doing it because it doesn’t really improve their cap position. You are much more likely to get Brown for a draft pick.
    He’s no world beater, but Brown is probably a top 9 forward on next years Oilers.

  24. Death By Misadventure says:

    russ99,
    I agree with this. Rattie had a good run on the first line and it went to shit the following season. There’s no reason to believe that Kassian’s good run to close out last year won’t go to shit this upcoming season.

    Aim higher.

    If it doesn’t work out, then put Kassian in there.

  25. Munny says:

    barry.moore23:
    “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” – Frederick Forsyth maybe? I can’t remember for sure. It wasn’t me.

    Billy Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

    Forsyth did write The Dogs of War though. Although I liked Day of the Jackal better.

  26. Death By Misadventure says:

    who: He’s no world beater, but Brown is probably a top 9 forward on next years Oilers.

    I hear ya. But that’s a very low bar.

    I guess I’m hopeful that any trade Holland makes is to move this team closer to Stanley Cup contention rather than Playoff contention.

    Connor Brown strikes me as a guy that plays top 9 on a playoff team, but not a cup contender.

  27. Munny says:

    godot10: A legit 3rd pairing D like Benning is worth a hell of a lot more than Connor Brown.

    I’m with you on this one. Although I would put it “legit 3rd pairing RD”.

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    If Patrick Marion can still be effective in today’s NHL, you would think Lucic still has a chance. But it’s going to take a coach that knows how to reinvent him

    Milan’s trying. Wirh fighting on the decline, he’s among the league leader in hits. The struggle really seems to be with puck retreival and possession. He’s a day late and a dollar short on the forecheck now.

    In the old days, you’d park him in the slot to pick up rebounds on bombs from the point. But the NHL is a half wall cross seam pass league now.

    And he does need to start being an ahole more consistently.again. Tom Wilson is still finding a way to play like Lucic used to which is right on the edge. That’s where ML needs to live to be effective in this league imo. I just don’t know that he has the appetite for it now. He reminds me of Tyson once he lost his aura of invincibility and started eating hands on a regular basis.

    Let’s hope Tippett can infuse the moxy again.

  29. ArmchairGM says:

    who: He’s no world beater, but Brown is probably a top 9 forward on next years Oilers.

    Toronto fans are quick to say that Brown scored 20 goals as a 3rd liner in his first season in the NHL, so he’d be a great fit for Edmonton. A quick look at NST reveals that in 2016-17 Brown spent 41% of his TOI with Kadri, 40% with Matthews and 9% with Bozak. That’s 81% of his 5v5 TOI on either line 1 or 2.
    He also spent the first half of the season on the 1st PP unit, but was dropped altogether when he scored just 2 goals with the man advantage in over 100 minutes.

    We already have players like that. No way am I trading Benning for that. A 4th round pick, tops.

  30. who says:

    Death By Misadventure: I hear ya. But that’s a very low bar.

    I guess I’m hopeful that any trade Holland makes is to move this team closer to Stanley Cup contention rather than Playoff contention.

    Connor Brown strikes me as a guy that plays top 9 on a playoff team, but not a cup contender.

    So maybe he becomes a 4th line player on a cup contender. Or maybe he is too expensive in a year or two and the Oilers trade him, or let his contract expire.
    My point is that he probably improves the forward group for next year. Small steps.
    Can’t believe I’m arguing for Connor Brown. He’s a bottom six forward. But he’d probably be the 6th best forward on last years Oilers.
    Man, our forwards suck.

  31. Munny says:

    Nit64:
    “1 Matt Benning to Toronto for Connor Brown
    2 Milan Lucic to Vancouver for Loui Eriksson”

    Cullen slid both of these into his Off Season Oil Plan.

    Where was Russell and 2020 1st for PK Subban?

  32. Nit64 says:

    Munny: Where was Russell and 2020 1st for PK Subban?

    ~ I don’t think Plan means what you think it means ~

  33. Reja says:

    Munny: Where was Russell and 2020 1st for PK Subban?

    No I think it was Leon Nurse and swapping 4 for 9 something like that. We needed Russell to anchor down the second pairing for years and years and years.

  34. Jordan says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    “And what of Zack Kassian?”

    What of Zack Kassian?!WHAT OF ZACH KASSIAN !??

    Staple his ass to Conners wing and “Hitthe decks a runnin boys and spin those guns around!”

    Draisaitl McDavid Kassian This line is our “Battleship” Line (Battle Cruiser*)

    We’ll find the opposition team that’s makin’ such a fuss
    We gotta sink these bastards cause the world depends on us
    Hit the decks a-runnin’ boys and spin those guns around
    When up against the leagues Elites we’re gonna cut em down!

    Finnito, Period, End of Story!

    #tippetdontfuckthisup

    #tippetdontgetHOOD*winked

    Johnny Horton. Man that takes me back.

    Used to have an 8 track of Horton in the Puke Green 1975 Ford LTD Wagon I learned to drive on. Wood panneling, curtains, and doors thicker than my legs. Called it that tank. Used to drive out to a friend’s cabin on Wizard Lake in the summer and we’ve have that and the deep purple 8-track going on the backroads out there.

    Sink the Bismark was one of the tunes on that 8-track. Heard it more than a few times. Really helped me in my history of world war 2 class in university too – long answer question about naval battles and their impacts.

    Good times.

    Here’s hoping that our battleship line can shell other teams into submission. Great name btw Andy.

  35. LadiesloveSmid says:

    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

  36. Bag of Pucks says:

    One thing that really stands out about this year’s Finalists is the battle level across the rosters. To me, this is heavy hockey. It’s not a size thing as there is plenty of average or smaller players on both teams. It’s also not a cycle game or dumpin game at the expense of skill. Both teams can play any style you throw at them.

    It’s about being relentless in getting and keeping puck possession across the full surface, not just the hard areas, prime scoring territory. You want the puck? You pay the price. That’s heavy hockey and skill is very important in it, because moving it quickly reduces the number of battles you’ll have to fight.

    Players like Gagner, Benning, Brodziak, Russell, Lucic don’t fit this model and the reasons are many but usually it’s too slow to get to the battle in time, too small to win the majority of contested pucks, or simply too passive.

    With every add Holland makes in the shortterm, he should address this deficiency imo. Inject 4 relentless guys that work their bag off and set the tone for battle level & possession relentlessness. Make this team an absolute pain in the ass to play against.

  37. Alpine says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    If Patrick Marion can still be effective in today’s NHL, you would think Lucic still has a chance. But it’s going to take a coach that knows how to reinvent him

    Milan’s trying. Wirh fighting on the decline, he’s among the league leader in hits. The struggle really seems to be with puck retreival and possession. He’s a day late and a dollar short on the forecheck now.

    In the old days, you’d park him in the slot to pick up rebounds on bombs from the point. But the NHL is a half wall cross seam pass league now.

    And he does need to start being an ahole more consistently.again. Tom Wilson is still finding a way to play like Lucic used to which is right on the edge. That’s where ML needs to live to be effective in this league imo. I just don’t know that he has the appetite for it now. He reminds me of Tyson once he lost his aura of invincibility and started eating hands on a regular basis.

    Let’s hope Tippett can infuse the moxy again.

    I think Hitch already kind of fixed Milan on that front. Maybe in the eye test it didn’t look that way, but he’s never gonna look how people want him to look by the eye test.

    But, he had more defensive usage under Hitch with much less offensive teammates and the team broke even in shot metrics. Not bad for a guy who’s never really taken on that role in his career. The pest part isn’t really there but the responsible part seems to be.

    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.

  38. pts2pndr says:

    I am having a great deal of difficulty understanding the love for Connor Brown. I can see where Toronto could be interested as their D could use an inexpensive RD. This rumour could have started there. Unless Benning brings value he needs to stay as worst case scenario 7th D. I don’t want to see one of our prospects in that role with limited ice time. Looking at Browns history I see nothing that warrants trading a young bonafide NHL player for him.

  39. Bag of Pucks says:

    Alpine,

    A couple of benefits of the ‘fiesty’ are you draw retaliation penalities and you get a little more room out there especially from players worried about the elbow now or hit later. Physicality has to be leveraged as a strength in Milan’s deployment. Otherwise you’re not playing to the player’s strength imo.

    Why they ever thought he was a good fit beside a burner skater like McDavid is beyond me. Why emphasize the biggest deficiency in a player’s toolkit?

  40. ArmchairGM says:

    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

    The more I think about it, the more I’m comfortable going into training camp without bringing in an established defenseman. I think I’d lean towards using Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera and Nurse as our top-4. Russell is retained to provide a proven top-4 stopgap in the case of injury, with the #6 spot subject to a TC competition between Persson, Lagesson, Jones and Bear. Lowe can sit in the PB and earn an NHL salary, pretty sure he’s capable of that.

    When injuries occur, calling up rookies from Bakersfield is preferable over playing Lowe (although he’ll see the ice from time to time), but this way they get maximum development time in the minors.

    This way, all the additional cap space can be spent on forwards and a backup goalie. Next summer is when the big changes on defense happen.

  41. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    pts2pndr:
    I am having a great deal of difficulty understanding the love for Connor Brown. Looking at Browns history I see nothing that warrants trading a young bonafide NHL player for him.

    who: S
    My point is that he probably improves the forward group for next year. Small steps.

    ArmchairGM:

    We already have players like that. No way am I trading Benning for that. A 4th round pick, tops.

    – Conner is in the Reider, Rattie, Chiasson range: they have some success sometimes when playing with skill, but they have issues when other skill guys pass them

    – Brown, if he didn’t play with CmD in Erie, he’s just another guy.

    – It would be larceny to trade a legit RHD who can only be better if he played on a better team, or had better partners for a guy who Babs scratched, and got exposed late in season and playoffs.

    – Here is what Brown would be next year: “scored with CmD, but then went cold, and once he got moved to our 3rd or 4rth line, and didn’t score, he wasn’t a great possession player”

    – Sure why not: but you know what your getting. Leafs would be happy to move from him

  42. Nit64 says:

    ~ Yesterday LT lead with “Its morning in Edmonton. Do you trust it?” Look outside today for your answer. ~

  43. barry.moore23 says:

    Munny,

    Good man. Thanks.

  44. Munny says:

    Nit64: ~ I don’t think Plan means what you think it means ~

    Lol… well I’m willing to throw in a Bear!

    I think PK can be had by some team. NAS is looking for space for Fs and two right shot D out-scored him. Maybe the Oil could be that team but it would probably go more like Russell, Pujo, 2020 1st, depending on whether they like Pujo’s future.

    And I would think long and hard about it.

  45. jonrmcleod says:

    Not sure if this was posted yesterday or not…

    Here’s what Tippett had to say when McDavid’s defensive game was brought up:

    “I bet you if I watched every one of his goals this year I didn’t see him shoot one from his own end.”

    https://twitter.com/JonathanWillis/status/1133858259662585858

  46. RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!! says:

    Jordan: Johnny Horton.Man that takes me back.

    Used to have an 8 track of Horton in the Puke Green1975 Ford LTD Wagon I learned to drive on.Wood panneling, curtains, and doors thicker than my legs.Called it that tank.Used to drive out to a friend’s cabin on Wizard Lake in the summer and we’ve have that and the deep purple 8-track going on the backroads out there.

    Sink the Bismark was one of the tunes on that 8-track.Heard it more than a few times.Really helped me in my history of world war 2 class in university too – long answer question about naval battles and their impacts.

    Good times.

    Here’s hoping that our battleship line can shell other teams into submission.Great name btw Andy.

    I remember that same 8-track but the car was a turd brown 1970 Buick Electra. Fun fact, I could easily fit a Marshall 4×12 cabinet in the trunk.

  47. russ99 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: Babs

    Legit RHD. lol I know the Corgis are in love with him, but he’s not been consistently effective on either end of the ice since he’s been here. I’d trust Gravel more behind the blue line.

    Benning didn’t claim a 2RD place when he had the chance to, now he’s Chia’s guy, the last of the 1994s, and the new GM has zero attachment towards him.

    He’s ovepaid and barely hanging onto a top-six spot with young players close to passing him.

    This is exactly the kind of player you trade.

  48. Lowetide says:

    pts2pndr:
    I am having a great deal of difficulty understanding the love for Connor Brown. I can see where Toronto could be interested as their D could use an inexpensive RD. This rumour could have started there. Unless Benningbrings value he needs to stay as worst case scenario 7th D. I don’t want to see one of our prospects in that role with limited ice time. Looking at Browns history I see nothing that warrants trading a young bonafide NHL player for him.

    I haven’t seen a lot of love for Connor Brown anywhere.

  49. JimmyV1965 says:

    I would be quite happy with a Brown for Benning trade, although I understand why people think it’s an overpayment. If you think Benning is more than a third pairing dman I guess it makes sense. But Brown did score 25 goals in his draft year when McDavid wasn’t on the team yet. And although he only scored eight goals last year, he did score 14 the year before in a bottom six role. Benning really played well last year and is a legit NHL dman, but let’s not overrate him. He’s still not big, he’s not very fast and he doesn’t pass very well.

  50. Alpine says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Alpine,

    A couple of benefits of the ‘fiesty’ are you draw retaliation penalities and you get a little more room out there especially from players worried about the elbow now or hit later. Physicality has to be leveraged as a strength in Milan’s deployment. Otherwise you’re not playing to the player’s strength imo.

    Why they ever thought he was a good fit beside a burner skater like McDavid is beyond me. Why emphasize the biggest deficiency in a player’s toolkit?

    It doesn’t seem the best fit especially with how they appear on the ice, but over three seasons he’s been here Lucic hasn’t necessarily dragged down McDavid. I’m always surprised when I look at it.

    Connor and Lucic together with no Draisaitl are 52% in GF and 51% in xGF. This is with Lucic barely scoring a lick. That’s just from 2017-2019 during Lucic’s decline phase.

    Connor and Leon with no Lucic are 57.5% in GF and 52% in xGF, in the same timeframe. 97 and 29 score more but they also give up more than 97 does with just 27.

    Maybe these stats are lying to us but maybe our eyes are lying to us as well. As ineffective as Lucic has looked for these past couple seasons, there sure seems to be something salvageable in his game.

    I don’t know if Lucic can be playing that many minutes at EV but it seems like he if he fixed his scoring somewhat he’d actually complement McDavid well. He’s already been doing it the last couple years while being completely negatory offensively.

    Lucic also seems to have a positive effect on RNH’s on ice stats. That’s probably where I’d put him. McLellan tried to get Leon to jumpstart Lucic but Leon wants to drive offense off the rush and Nuge prefers a more methodical approach that might suit Lucic better.

  51. leadfarmer says:

    I would not do Benning for Connor Brown.
    Maybe a mid round pick but definitely not a serviceable RHD

  52. Jethro Tull says:

    All your Connors will are belong to us!

  53. Woogie63 says:

    Lucic-Kahaira-Kassian

    Could be a thing.

  54. DBO says:

    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.

  55. pts2pndr says:

    russ99:
    who,

    The problem is there’s only so much you can do in one offseason.

    I’d love to see Holland move contracts for picks at the draft, this was a real missed opportunity for Chia last summer, where he over-payed his 1994 group instead assuming he’d see different results.

    Would help our cap situation and also helps the prospect pool.

    I’d move Kassian if the return was good, his cap hit is a bit higher than his value, and I’m not a fan of him on the first line, we need to aim higher.

    With his physical tools he adds balance to the line. He can hold onto the puck along the boards and takes the body as required. He makes space for the other two to dangle in the offensive zone. He also brings just a little crazy which is also an asset.

  56. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: I haven’t seen a lot of love for Connor Brown anywhere.

    Leafs fans are hyping the “he played with McDavid” BS. As the Leafs got better he became a marginal player. That is not someone one trades a cheap legit 3rd pairing RD for.

    Who has surplus forwards, forwards they absolutely have to sign to big dollars, and a dearth or experienced right shot D. And is cap strapped. TAMPA. That is who one peddles Benning too.

  57. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I would be quite happy with a Brown for Benning trade, although I understand why people think it’s an overpayment. If you think Benning is more than a third pairing dman I guess it makes sense. But Brown did score 25 goals in his draft year when McDavid wasn’t on the team yet. And although he only scored eight goals last year, he did score 14 the year before in a bottom six role. Benning really played well last year and is a legit NHL dman, but let’s not overrate him. He’s still not big, he’s not very fast and he doesn’t pass very well.

    A legit young 3rd pairing right shot D earning less than $2 million should bring one back a legit top nine forward. Connor Brown is NOT that.

  58. godot10 says:

    Alpine: It doesn’t seem the best fit especially with how they appear on the ice, but over three seasons he’s been here Lucic hasn’t necessarily dragged down McDavid. I’m always surprised when I look at it.

    Connor and Lucic together with no Draisaitl are 52% in GF and 51% in xGF. This is with Lucic barely scoring a lick. That’s just from 2017-2019 during Lucic’s decline phase.

    Connor and Leon with no Lucic are 57.5% in GF and 52% in xGF, in the same timeframe. 97 and 29 score more but they also give up more than 97 does with just 27.

    Maybe these stats are lying to us but maybe our eyes are lying to us as well. As ineffective as Lucic has looked for these past couple seasons, there sure seems to be something salvageable in his game.

    I don’t know if Lucic can be playing that many minutes at EV but it seems like he if he fixed his scoring somewhat he’d actually complement McDavid well. He’s already been doing it the last couple years while being completely negatory offensively.

    Lucic also seems to have a positive effect on RNH’s on ice stats. That’s probably where I’d put him. McLellan tried to get Leon to jumpstart Lucic but Leon wants to drive offense off the rush and Nuge prefers a more methodical approach that might suit Lucic better.

    This is like a woman who thinks her “bad boy” boyfriend is going to change. Lucic is done.

  59. dustrock says:

    Jethro Tull:
    All your Connors will are belong to us!

    MUST DRAFT CONNOR MCMICHAEL

  60. ArmchairGM says:

    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.

    Puljujarvi on the 4th line – great way to develop talent!

  61. Reja says:

    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.

    Does anyone know last time Holland offer sheeted anyone also last time Holland’s Red Wings received a offer sheet?

  62. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Brodziak may have an inside track in that while not fast, unless they pick up a RC that can do faceoffs they need that player.

    If he comes into camp fit he may be able to carve out a winger, faceoff P.K. role despite this season when many players weren’t as good as normal.

    Players like him and Lucic will he better if Tippet can get a consistent structure going and giving players clear roles. They were best with highly consistent structured teams.

    With all of the lineup ideas I’ve been thinking most coaches want a line they can use that they trust defensively if the top 2 aren’t on. Top 6, maybe a scoring 3rd and a defensive zone line. Maybe that gives Brodziak an edge, Kassian, and puts pressure on Rattie, Gagner types who have skill but aren’t top offensive types and not good at anything else in particular.

  63. Primetime says:

    The speedy winger I would love to see the Oil try to add would be Robby Fabbri. Definitely a gamble, and St.Louis may not be interested in letting him go, but think he would fit in great on the Oil. He’s an RFA but his injury woes will curtail his price…apparently very close friends with McDavid as well. Has amazing skills, but has been in and out of the playoff lineup for the Blues (played last night).

  64. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10: A legit young 3rd pairing right shot D earning less than $2 million should bring one back a legit top nine forward.Connor Brown is NOT that.

    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.

  65. Ribs says:

    Crazy idea to get Lucic going again… Have the team shoot more pucks at the net.

  66. Primetime says:

    Reports that Leafs trying move Zaitsev ($4.5M). He is not a long term answer for us, but given we have decided that Benning can not move up to 2RD to hold the place for the future young guns, could Zaitsev?

    Would Toronto do a Benning for Zaitsev trade, help them with cap, and get a us a better stop gap 2 RD?
    Would still have to move salary from the back end for our own cap (i.e.. Russell/Sekera)

  67. Oilpower says:

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

  68. Munny says:

    Primetime: Reports that Leafs trying move Zaitsev ($4.5M).

    Their only legit right-shooting D? I have trouble believing that.

  69. Primetime says:

    Munny: Their only legit right-shooting D?I have trouble believing that.

    Elliotte Friedman
    @FriedgeHNIC
    ·
    36m
    After a difficult season, TOR and Nikita Zaitsev are working together to find him a fresh start. He is available and we will see where it goes.

    That’s about as reliable as a source gets. And he’s pretty definitive that it is happening, not just “hearing”

  70. Darth Tu says:

    Primetime:
    Reports that Leafs trying move Zaitsev ($4.5M).He is not a long term answer for us, but given we have decided that Benning can not move up to 2RD to hold the place for the future young guns, could Zaitsev?

    Would Toronto do a Benning for Zaitsev trade, help them with cap, and get a us a better stop gap 2 RD?
    Would still have to move salary from the back end for our own cap (i.e.. Russell/Sekera)

    Benning for Zaitsev and throw in some form of pick for Brown (if we feel like we REALLY have to have Brown).

  71. Munny says:

    Primetime: Elliotte Friedman
    @FriedgeHNIC
    ·
    36m
    After a difficult season, TOR and Nikita Zaitsev are working together to find him a fresh start. He is available and we will see where it goes.

    That’s about as reliable as a source gets.And he’s pretty definitive that it is happening, not just “hearing”

    Interesting.

    And equally interesting the media is being used in this regard.

    Okay, so what would they want in return? I’m guessing another RHD. So either they’re willing to exchange a problem for a problem at the same position, or swindle away a cheaper RHD, or cap dump him for a pick so they can sign Myers.

    But if none of that is out there, he’ll still be a Leaf in September because RHD don’t grown on trees.

    I wouldn’t be the one giving the Leafs a helping hand regardless.

    Edit: (Without more serious names involved)

  72. Jeremy says:

    Primetime,

    Benning>>>>Zaitsev. I have no math to back this opinion up. Being in Ontario and subjected to an unbearable amount of Leaf coverage and their fans I would not touch Zaitsev, I laughed when they signed him and loved that he was going to contribute to an obvious oncoming cap crunch. Why would you want to help the Leafs?

  73. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Zaitsev is like Russell with more term at a higher cap. Exact type of player EDM needs to stay far away from.

  74. Primetime says:

    Jeremy:
    Primetime,

    Benning>>>>Zaitsev.I have no math to back this opinion up.Being in Ontario and subjected to an unbearable amount of Leaf coverage and their fans I would not touch Zaitsev, I laughed when they signed him and loved that he was going to contribute to an obvious oncoming cap crunch.Why would you want to help the Leafs?

    I have no desire to help the Leafs, just want the Oilers to be better. I haven’t looked at any of the math either, and have heard all the hatred from Leafs fans as well. That being said, he was on that powerhouse Russian World Championship Team last week. Maybe Woodguy could enlighten us.

    My only thought is if his ceiling is higher than Benning, and they are looking for capspace, there maybe a fit. He can play 2RD this year. If and when Bouchard is ready, he cedes the thrown. Ultimately, he may stay at 2RHD if Bouchard passes him, and it’s Larson that is traded or not re-signed as a free agent.

  75. Reja says:

    Jeremy:
    Primetime,

    Benning>>>>Zaitsev.I have no math to back this opinion up.Being in Ontario and subjected to an unbearable amount of Leaf coverage and their fans I would not touch Zaitsev, I laughed when they signed him and loved that he was going to contribute to an obvious oncoming cap crunch.Why would you want to help the Leafs?

    Because they’re always undermining and planting a seed that Edmonton doesn’t deserve Mcdavid and only their fans are worthy of him.

  76. RonnieB says:

    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.

  77. Jeremy says:

    Primetime,

    I don’t believe his ceiling is higher than Benning’s. He was playing top 4 because the Leaf’s d corps is worse than Edmonton’s. Him being garbage is why they went out and got Muzzin and asked Jake to play his off side. Benning played 11 fewer games and outscored him. Zaitsev was +2 on a team that had a +35 goal diff., Benning was +11 on a team that was -42. I know +/- is a crappy stat but this has to be indicative of the puck moving against Zaitsev and for Benning.

  78. silasbengtsson says:

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

    No way they retain 1.8mil of Callahan’s 5.8mil to receive Benning’s 1.9mil. That would have them sending a young, cheap 3C (that has room to develop further) for a savings of 2.1mil for a single year when they could save 3.1mil this coming year by simply buying him out (at the cost of 1.5mil the following year). That doesn’t make sense for them at all.

  79. pts2pndr says:

    who: So maybe he becomes a 4th line player on a cup contender. Or maybe he is too expensive in a year or two and the Oilers trade him, or let his contract expire.
    My point is that he probably improves the forward group for next year. Small steps.
    Can’t believe I’m arguing for Connor Brown. He’s a bottom six forward. But he’d probably be the 6th best forward on last years Oilers.
    Man, our forwards suck.

    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.

  80. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – 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

  81. Melman says:

    Maybe Lamoriello knew he’d be leaving TO and wanted to leave a turd sandwich of a contract on the way out the door to mess up a future rival’s capspace #CageyoldLou

  82. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – 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.

  83. YKOil says:

    Melman:
    Maybe Lamoriello knew he’d be leaving TO and wanted to leave a turd sandwich of a contract on the way out the door to mess up a future rival’s capspace #CageyoldLou

    Never bet against Lou. He may have left some scat here and there but Lou is up there with Sam in my mind.

  84. Munny says:

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

    I don’t believe this is correct.

  85. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    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

  86. dustrock says:

    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.

  87. Numenius says:

    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.

  88. Jethro Tull says:

    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!

  89. McNuge93 says:

    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.

  90. digger50 says:

    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.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    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”.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    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!

  93. Darth Tu says:

    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.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  95. Munny says:

    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.

  96. franksterra says:

    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.

  97. Todd Macallan says:

    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

  98. Reja says:

    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

  99. russ99 says:

    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.

  100. Rich M says:

    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.

  101. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    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

  102. jp says:

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

    Goals.

  103. Abbeef says:

    jp,

    Quality of competition.

  104. Oilpower says:

    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.

  105. who says:

    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?

  106. Oilpower says:

    who,

    None but Tampa has lots

  107. GMB3 says:

    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.

  108. GMB3 says:

    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

  109. who says:

    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.

  110. pts2pndr says:

    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.

  111. Munny says:

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

  112. JimmyV1965 says:

    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.

  113. JimmyV1965 says:

    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?

  114. Pescador says:

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

    So is Fred

  115. Ryan says:

    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.

  116. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    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.

  117. silasbengtsson says:

    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.

  118. Abbeef says:

    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.

  119. YKOil says:

    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.

  120. YKOil says:

    Not down for Connor Brown.

    But Miller is a winner.

  121. oilersfan says:

    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

  122. Lowetide says:

    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

  123. Pescador says:

    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

  124. Pescador says:

    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

  125. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    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

  126. Professor Q says:

    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.

  127. Professor Q says:

    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.

  128. Abbeef says:

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

  129. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland

    https://theathletic.com/1003575/2019/05/31/lowetide-nhl-combine-brings-oilers-dual-problems-into-focus-for-ken-holland/

  130. Yeti says:

    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…

  131. russ99 says:

    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.

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