Heroes and Villains

Now that we’re through the process of finding the general manager and coach for next season, it’s time to start discussing the roster population in 2019-20. It’s easy to get bogged down with “needs” and “assets” lists, which is counterproductive if you haven’t done an inventory of what is already on the premises. How many Condors can fly north this fall? How many disappointing seasons were delivered in Edmonton by heroes disguised as villains? Let’s have a look.

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: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland
  • 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.

FLY CONDORS FLY

The first thing we have to agree on is this: There are a limited number of opportunities that will be made available to Bakersfield’s best at Oilers’ training camp this fall. Ken Holland’s Oilers will have new faces from outside the organization and (likely) more than one dozen returnees from last season’s disappointing club.

Cooper Marody has the best chance to make the leap from Bakersfield to Edmonton in my opinion. Why? Age, experience and roster opportunity. Marody’s regular season numbers in the AHL (58, 19-45-64) suggest he’s ready for the next level, and Edmonton’s needs (No. 3 C, RHC, complementary wingers) all dovetail for him. He turns 23 in December, his possession and shot numbers were good in a very brief NHL look and at this point he has a clear shot at NHL employment this fall.

Caleb Jones is (imo) the most NHL-ready in the group, but his path is blocked. On the LH side, there’s Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Andrej Sekera. On the RH side, Adam Larsson, Kris Russell and Matt Benning stand in the way. It’s easy to say Jones should make the team, but with another season of AHL eligibility before waivers, and considering he’s still developing, you want Jones playing everyday (here or there). Holland is likely to make room for him this summer, but until he does we can’t call Jones a slam dunk.

Joe Gambardella just signed a contract with Edmonton and has a chance to make the grade out of camp this fall. His aggressive forechecking acumen may give him the edge over some of the other candidates who will be in camp. His 29 goals in 50 AHL games also suggest he’s figured out where the goals are. Smart player.

The Rest

There are a pile of prospects who are not waiver eligible this season, most of whom are blocked by NHL roster players. Here they are.

Tyler Benson posted 66 points in 68 games, placing him as the top scoring 20-year old in the AHL one year ago. You can make a case he is blocked by Leon Draisaitl, Milan Lucic, Jujhar Khaira and Joakim Nygard — not exactly a mur-diddly-urderer’s row, but Holland will no doubt add. His 5-on-5 points-per-game (0.59) and primary points per game at 5-on-5 (0.49) both rank No. 3 among AHL forwards at 20, 2018-19. I think he could push his way on the roster in time for opening night but he’s more likely a mid-season recall.

Josh Currie played more than most recalls last season, dressing for 23 games and scoring 2-3-5. I really liked his play, especially on the wing. He scored 1.65/60 at 5-on-5 and PDO at his back (103). He’s a strong recall option.

Patrick Russell is unsigned and a UFA (Group 6). He was very effective in Bakersfield (51, 18-22-40) and had six games at the NHL level. He’s at the end of the “guys who can help in a pinch” list but has enough talent to carve out a small NHL career. Scored 14-14-28 5-on-5 in 51 games for the Condors.

Ethan Bear posted good numbers (52, 6-25-31) overall and at 5-on-5 GD (41-28) but had a hard time staying healthy. Important to remember defensemen don’t develop in a straight line, but he’s a year away from waiver eligibility. A big season ahead.

William Lagesson was a revelation this season, absolutely found money. His boxcars (67, 8-19-27) showed more range than expected, and his 5-on-5 goal differential (48-37) lined up nicely with Bear and Jones. I expect he’ll make his NHL debut sometime over the winter.

HO-HO-HO IT’S MAGIC

Music! Jay Woodcroft turned four or five legit NHL prospects into a dozen in one season, and will be counted on to do the same in 2019-20. Here are the names he may spend time with in the coming year, and what we can hope to see.

Kailer Yamamoto scored well (27, 10-8-18) when healthy, his six power-play goals for Bakersfield leading the team. Oilers fans should look for increased playing time, a spike in 5-on-5 scoring, and a more prominent role.

Logan Day (64, 7-27-34) has signed an NHL contract and Woodcroft is no doubt looking at him as a prime contributor for the power play (3-8-11 one year ago). I don’t know where this is going but it’s an interesting journey.

GOALIES

Our friend Eric Rodgers broke down the goaltender performance last season in Bakersfield. Fascinating results, Starrett’s quality starts percentage is outstanding.

NEW ARRIVALS

Woodcroft will be the first pro head coach for Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov, Ryan McLeod, Kirill Maksimov and Ostap Safin. Based on how much production he drew from names like Marody, Jones and Gambardella one year ago, the Woodcroft return is one of the major positives of summer 2019.

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116 Responses to "Heroes and Villains"

  1. Reja says:

    If Benson has a strong camp I definitely think he’s on the opening day roster. I believe injuries were the only thing holding back this talented young man.

  2. dustrock says:

    Really great news if Woodcroft is back

  3. flyfish1168 says:

    Thanks, LT for the report. By the sounds of things, Bakersfield should be a powerhouse and exciting to watch this coming season.

    I notice the Wings farm team Grand Rapids are always competitive. I hope Holland can keep building on that as well.

  4. Brantford Boy says:

    Reja,
    dustrock,
    flyfish1168,

    My sentiments exactly… I’ll only add Holland’s ‘over ripening’ comment regarding Benson…

  5. Primetime says:

    I think, unless he absolutely blows the doors off, Benson will start in the AHL with Nygard playing 4LW. It allows Benson a bit of a running start to the season on the top line in Bakersfield and makes Holland’s promise of “over-ripening” appear true.

    However, I believe there will be a very short leash where if one of the LW on the big team are not producing, Benson will be called up, maybe directly into a top 6 role. Khaira and Nygard could lose their job completely, or Lucic could be stapled to the 4th line (or PB, but doubt that).

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    “How many Condors can fly north this fall? How many disappointing seasons were delivered in Edmonton by heroes disguised as villains”

    ——————————-

    Without reading LT’s thoughts on the question yet (and I am excited to read them), my thought:

    – Caleb Jones – Subject to regression, he looks to be NHL ready, all that’s left is for him to “prove it”. He did quite well when called up last year on the third pairing right side (with Gravel). He started to struggle when moved up the lineup and played top 4 minutes with, I believe Larsson (on his natural side). Very likely to break camp with the team and Benning should be looking over his shoulder as the incumbent 3RD.

    – Lagesson – I posit he is just as ready as Jones but he’s not as “sexy” and, although he is a fine skater and solid puck mover, he is dwarfed in those areas by Jones. I think he could slide in to 3LD and would endear himself to the fanbase. Likely will start as 1LD in Bakersfield (where he left off) and wait for his call-up. Once called up, he may never go back – he’s going to be a fan favorite.

    Of course, this is all subject to what Holland may do with the defence in the off-season – is Russell moved with no replacement meaning Sekera or Benning (or Nurse) start as 2RD?

    ———————–

    Tyler Benson – What more can we say about his rookie season? For a 20 year old rookie, wow! Smart player, elite passer, high end work ethic. His skating improved throughout the season. He looks to be close to NHL ready and we’ll see how he does at camp. He very well could be 2LD or 3LD or back in the Bake to wait. Again, largely dependent on what Holland does via acquisition/disposition

    Joe G. – AT $700K, I think Joe G. is a good bet for the 12th to 14th forward. He is a responsible player that has some skill and offensive IQ. He is an “older prospect” so the org doesn’t need to worry about him sitting in the press box for stretched. Again, all dependent on what Holland does in the off-season but he is a good bet to be able to provide some energy, forecheck and OK skill in the bottom six and some PK.

  7. digger50 says:

    I hate overipening fruit. Soft, mushy, close to expiration date.

    If the plan is to keep the talent down and keep a similar roster then we can’t expect much improvements in the standings.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Marody over Benson you say?

    Marody’s season in Bakersfield has been a bit over-shadowed by Benson but Marody did actually have the “better” offensive season and was truly the driver of that line. Given age, I think what Benson did is more impressive but, yes, Marody could the forward.

    His skating did seem to be a major issue in his call-ups but, again, what can one show in 5 minutes of ice time?

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t agree with the concept of “making room for Jones”.

    Yes, a disposition on the back-end that gives Jones an opportunity could make sense but the disposition shouldn’t be made in the name of “opening a spot” until the prospect proves NHL readiness and Jones hasn’t quite done that yet.

    Not to mention, injuries, even with current roster construction, there may be a place for Jones on opening night – can we assume 100% health?

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Each of Jones, Lagesson and Bear lose their waiver exempt status for next season – they will get their NHL time so the org can see what they have – the first two have all but proven they are ready – Bear is behind due to issues with speed and board work.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    To me, Lagesson isn’t quite “found money” – he’s always been on the radar but has become more prominant year by year. I’ve been talking about him for a couple of years now since i realized, at prospects camp, that he is actually a good skater that can move the puck and isn’t a “Gryba/Petrovic”.

    He is an example of near perfect development for this type of d-man – 2 years post draft in college, one year in the SHL playing pro and then a year in the AHL, moving his way from the third pairing to the 1st pairing.

    Go Thor!

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I don’t agree with the concept of “making room for Jones”.

    Yes, a disposition on the back-end that gives Jones an opportunity could make sense but the disposition shouldn’t be made in the name of “opening a spot” until the prospect proves NHL readiness and Jones hasn’t quite done that yet.

    Not to mention, injuries, even with current roster construction, there may be a place for Jones on opening night – can we assume 100% health?

    I am hoping KH can move Russell this year, then Sekera next season.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its too bad for Starrett that the big club doesn’t have an established #1 goaltender – if they did, Shane could have a legit shot at the back-up job. Given the complete uncertainty with Koskinen, Holland needs to spend a couple extra million on an established 1B type guy. Its too bad, that money could be spend elsewhere.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lost in all the praise for Jay W. is Dave Manson who, from accounts, deserves a ton of credit for the development of Jones, Lagesson, Day, etc.

    I’m excited for him to work with Bouchard and Sammy.

  15. leadfarmer says:

    Good to see people using the quality start stat. I’ve been liking that one lately with the GSAA

  16. Oilman99 says:

    digger50:
    I hate overipening fruit. Soft, mushy, close to expiration date.

    If the plan is to keep the talent down and keep a similar roster then we can’t expect much improvements in the standings.

    Over ripening is not so easy when you have cap constrictions like the Oilers. Nygard hasn’t played a game in North America and we are gifting him a spot already,what happened to “ripening”. Benson has big league smarts, with an eye on the prize, so if his speed is in question I can assure you he will be rectifying the situation this summer, don’t forget this is only his second summer of full training.

  17. jtblack says:

    Gotta say. I am pleased with Hollands moves in the Hockey Ops and the minor deals for players.

    I feel (& desperately want to beleive) that Edm now has a Steady Hand at the Wheel

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168: I am hoping KH can moveRussell this year, then Sekera next season.

    Yes, that is my hope as well.

  19. McNuge93 says:

    The verbal from KH is that one of the AHL D makes the team this year. I’m not sure you would consider that creating a spot for Jones. If we go status quo on D then the 7th spot is open. Not a good place for a young D to develop but there are always injuries and I could see Benning and maybe even Russell sitting out some games.

    Our defence would already be better than last year’s at season opening with a presumably healthy Sek and a more experienced Jones if he’s the guy who makes the cut.

  20. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jtblack:
    Gotta say. I am pleased with Hollands moves in the Hockey Ops and the minor deals for players.

    I feel (& desperately want to beleive) that Edm now has a Steady Hand at the Wheel

    Me as well. I think Holland will continue to avoid chasing the other lemmings based on who wins what, which like for other teams has been an issue for the Oilers for years.

    Holland knows what he wants to do and it’s based on skill and speed, which has always been a good idea despite revolving narratives. The best players have always had those traits. Add size, great. Holland has said in the past he would have loved a big Canadian centre for the Wings, but they weren’t available, so he did what he could. Lots of luck for sure, but smart bets at the same time.

    Of course things are different now with the league scouting the world and the cap, hopefully he has adapted.

  21. bwar says:

    Great news about Woodcroft, I really thought we’d be seeing him depart this offseason. Maybe he views his next step as a head coach in the NHL and that opportunity wasn’t there. Another nice crop of rookies heading to Bakersfield this year for Woodcroft to utilize. I’m very interested to see what his starting defense group is to open the season. There is a potential for Jones, Lagesson, Bear, Bouchard, Samorukov, Day, Manning and Lowe. I’m guessing Stanton doesn’t get resigned just due to lack of openings. I’d guess Persson is the 7th man in Edmonton so I feel that anyone who doesn’t make the opening night roster will be starting the year in Bakersfield.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    If they want Jones on the team it’s probably Sekera at the top of the trade list because leftorium and Russell being the guy playing RD. He probably has more trade value. Perhaps a group of deals changes that, we’ll see. At least I’m not worried intense stupidity and poor deal making skills will torpedo the summer.

    Edit – trade value meaning Sekera

  23. chrisco stu says:

    NHL trade rumours reported yesterday that line wants out of Winnipeg. How could one pry a flawed young rfa away from them without overpaying in both acquisition cost and his new contract? What’s he going to sign for? Since the jets seem to be interested in a Center would it be worthwhile to move Nugent-Hopkins the other way? Laine has warts and is going to cost real money but he can shoot the puck like nobody’s business.

  24. norm_klassen says:

    No trades this year there is no value trading Russel or Sekera. 1 year left or deadline is more ideal. Dont worry when injuries hit jones; bear; Bouchard will spend time in the NHL.

  25. digger50 says:

    Oilman99: Over ripening is not so easy when you have cap constrictions like the Oilers. Nygard hasn’t played a game in North America and we are gifting him a spot already,what happened to “ripening”. Benson has big league smarts, with an eye on the prize, so if his speed is in question I can assure you he will be rectifying the situation this summer, don’t forget this is only his second summer of full training.

    I just dislike the term overripe.

    Ripe means ready, the time is now

    If an organization was holding me back until I was “overripe” I would just slide right over to the next org so I could continue my upward trajectory.

    Benson may get held up while the roster sorts itself out, but I imagine he gets a shot by Christmas. If he’s ready it will be noticeable.

  26. Reja says:

    digger50:
    I hate overipening fruit. Soft, mushy, close to expiration date.

    If the plan is to keep the talent down and keep a similar roster then we can’t expect much improvements in the standings.

    Benson is a skilled 21 year-old lost a year plus of development would have been top 15 pick if not for injuries Oilers gambled on health time to play the skilled man over shrubs. I really think Benson would get more love if DeBrincat was drafted before him. I’m super jacked with Benson and he will surprise a lot of the Stockholm Oilers syndrome naysayers.

  27. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    Anyone know anything about the Bogdan Yakimov rumblings? There appears to be some smoke about him re-signing. Why wouldn’t they announce it now, if it’s true…

  28. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    chrisco stu,

    I think it would take RNH + 8th pick for Laine and a 2nd rounder.

    That is pretty rich, IMO, but who wouldn’t pull the trigger on such a deal?

  29. Ryan says:

    chrisco stu:
    NHL trade rumours reported yesterday that line wants out of Winnipeg. How could one pry a flawed young rfa away from them without overpaying in both acquisition cost and his new contract? What’s he going to sign for? Since the jets seem to be interested in a Center would it be worthwhile to move Nugent-Hopkins the other way? Laine has warts and is going to cost real money but he can shoot the puck like nobody’s business.

    I felt bad for the Jets when I first starting reading your post.

    I have heard of players wanting out, but an entire forward line, yikes.

  30. Bag of Pucks says:

    Good timing for Woodcroft to untie himself from MacLellan.

    The Kings have an aging core with not of lot of blue chip talent coming as reinforcements. It’s also a fickle sports market that likely would lack the patience for a full on rebuild. Doubt Todd lasts the duration of his contract, and if Jay gets his shot then, would he have the talent for a ‘win asap’ scenario?

    He knows what’s in the pipeline and he’s likely encouraged by both the additions of Holland and Tippet.

    It really is encouraging to see new blood coming in with a mandate for actual change. The departures are every bit as encouraging as the additions. Cautious optimism for the first time in a long time.

  31. Rich M says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Marody over Benson you say?

    Marody’s season in Bakersfield has been a bit over-shadowed by Benson but Marody did actually have the “better” offensive season and was truly the driver of that line.Given age, I think what Benson did is more impressive but, yes, Marody could the forward.

    His skating did seem to be a major issue in his call-ups but, again, what can one show in 5 minutes of ice time?

    OP: Regarding Marody and his skating, has anyone said what the issue is? Edges, straight ahead speed? Quickness?

    Asking because you can look at teams that are populated with skaters who aren’t the fastest but play “fast” like St. Louis and you can also look at teams like Nashville that have fast skaters but their coach plays a system that makes them look slow.

    Nashville is a great example of this. Both wings cheat for offense under Laviolette’s breakouts and you see the defense with no where to go with the puck. Only rarely do they attempt to break out as a 5 man unit.

    Some things can be overcome if you put them in the right role, with the right coach and system and I wonder if Marody would be better off under Tippet?

  32. chrisco stu says:

    Maoriduvpoojt,

    It’s tough to say. Laine can be an infuriating player but he’s 21. He also might cost you ten million big ones and though he scores in bunches would likely need a driver on his line. I think I’d rather have Nugent-Hopkins but maybe I’m crazy.

  33. chrisco stu says:

    Ryan,

    Damn autocorrect on my phone. Good catch.

  34. lynn says:

    Maoriduvpoojt:
    Anyone know anything about the Bogdan Yakimov rumblings?There appears to be some smoke about him re-signing.Why wouldn’t they announce it now, if it’s true…

    Can we leave Bogdan Yakimov in the past? He had 15 points while playing for three KHL teams last season. Would Yakimov sign a two-way NHL contract? Maybe the Oilers would agree to only that.

  35. Bag of Pucks says:

    FWIW

    Had dinner with an old friend last night who used to work in the OEG and still has some friends there.

    He was telling me that Katz was a lot more involved with operations input than most people realize and it was a real problem trying to mitigate against owner interference. Apparently that was a sticking point in the Holland negotiation (ie Ken was not signing on to be the owner’s puppet) and it seems Hockey Ops is a happier place these days with many believing Katz is finally to going to be legitimately hands off.

  36. Ryan says:

    Maoriduvpoojt:
    chrisco stu,

    I think it would take RNH + 8th pick for Laine and a 2nd rounder.

    That is pretty rich, IMO, but who wouldn’t pull the trigger on such a deal?

    One of the vestigial inefficiencies in the NHL is the whole concept of trading a star player as far away as possible, preferably to another conference, even if the return is substantially less.

    Chevy has his hands full this summer. Conventional logic would hold that he’d want to trade both Laine and Trouba to Eastern conference teams.

    Laine is an interesting player in that by most metrics, he’s close to or below replacement level except for that shot.

  37. Professor Q says:

    lynn: Can we leave Bogdan Yakimov in the past? He had 15 points while playing for three KHL teams last season. Would Yakimov sign a two-way NHL contract? Maybe the Oilers would agree to only that.

    I would rather sign Yakupov again, actually. Well, I would anyway. I like him still.

  38. Professor Q says:

    McNuge93:
    The verbal from KH is that one of the AHL D makes the team this year. I’m not sure you would consider that creating a spot for Jones. If we go status quo on D then the 7th spot is open. Not a good place for a young D to develop but there are always injuries and I could see Benning and maybe even Russell sitting out some games.

    Our defence would already be better than last year’s at season opening with a presumably healthy Sek and a more experienced Jones if he’s the guy who makes the cut.

    What if it’s like the year before and one of the D leapfrogs the other?

    Year 1 Bear was better than Jones and looked good in the NHL and AHL, both. Year 2 Jones took over, and Bear had a set back unfortunately and then went down with injuries.

    If Bear doesn’t leapfrog Jones again, maybe it is another third wheel type like Persson or Bouchard who takes over? Lagesson?

  39. dustrock says:

    LT has been telling us to expect Benson in the bigs this season and I think he’s right.

    I guess the question is if you’re playing him 4th line with Gagner and he plays PP2, is that better for his development than playing another season in Bakersfield?

    I’d argue yes.

  40. godot10 says:

    dustrock:
    LT has been telling us to expect Benson in the bigs this season and I think he’s right.

    I guess the question is if you’re playing him 4th line with Gagner and he plays PP2, is that better for his development than playing another season in Bakersfield?

    I’d argue yes.

    Wrong. Benson has to be playing top nine, and preferably top six. if not he should be in Bakersfield playing 18 minutes a night in all situations, and being a call-up for injuries in the top six.

    That is how good organizations do it.

    Playing 8 minutes a night on the 4th line with grittensity players against grittensity players is not the way for one of your top forward prospects to spend a critical development year.

  41. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – In isolation and with the right circumstances you can argue for a number of the players

    – Here’s what we know to be certain though because we should be experts on this if all or many of Kailer Pool Benson Marody Nygard Joe are on the opening day roster it’s a development year

    – And If 2 of Jones Bear Bouchard Lagesson Persson are top 6 D it’s a development year.

  42. Alpine says:

    Weird that we think players that don’t wanna be in Winnipeg are somehow gonna be open to signing long term in Edmonton. The Oilers are a worse team, and until further notice, a very unproven organization to say the least. Little warmer in the winter and that’s about it.

  43. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    FWIW

    Had dinner with an old friend last night who used to work in the OEG and still has some friends there.

    He was telling me that Katz was a lot more involved with operations input than most people realize and it was a real problem trying to mitigate against owner interference. Apparently that was a sticking point in the Holland negotiation (ie Ken was not signing on to be the owner’s puppet) and it seems Hockey Ops is a happier place these days with many believing Katz is finally to going to be legitimately hands off.

    Honestly, I find this hard to believe. How many hands-on owners live in a different country than the team they are meddling with?

  44. Victoria Oil says:

    (Formerly Westchester Oil)

    I’m hoping that the Oilers are showing Woodcroft some real love – e.g. some kind of extra bonus or something.

    You need to show loyalty to your star performers and Woodcroft probably was the organization’s (incl players + mgmt) biggest overachiever last year.

  45. Biggus Dickus says:

    I’d trade down this year. Zegras is interesting, but if Dach isn’t there I would try to get a first and a second or something similar. We don’t need another high end LD or LHC, so try to get more picks to augment the system. I’m only against BPA because we know that Draisaitl/ McDavid are going nowhere. Klefbom and Nurse hopefully as well. You could save som cap by swapping Nuge for and LHC, but is that making us better long term? We have too many holes to be picking away at them 1 by 1. If you could trade down to take Broberg, I would consider that a big win.

  46. Bling says:

    godot10: Wrong.Benson has to be playing top nine, and preferably top six. if not he should be in Bakersfield playing 18 minutes a night in all situations, and being a call-up for injuries in the top six.

    That is how good organizations do it.

    Playing 8 minutes a night on the 4th line with grittensity players against grittensity players is not the way for one of your top forward prospects to spend a critical development year.

    Agree 100%.

    The problem with 4th line spot duty is that you don’t learn anything about the player.

    If Benson is put on a line with RNH and struggles over 10-15 games, sure, send him down for more seasoning.

    If he struggles for 10 games on the 4th line, you don’t get any additional information because it could be A) he’s not ready, B) he’s with poor linemates, or C) he isn’t getting enough touches with <10 minutes of ice per night.

    My thinking is that unless the player is an absolute disaster defensively or is a highly deficient skater, ~1 PPG in the AHL means that he needs to be challenged with a good opportunity at the next level.

  47. godot10 says:

    Biggus Dickus:
    I’d trade down this year. Zegras is interesting, but if Dach isn’t there I would try to get a first and a second or something similar. We don’t need another high end LD or LHC, so try to get more picks to augment the system. I’m only against BPA because we know that Draisaitl/ McDavid are going nowhere. Klefbom and Nurse hopefully as well. You could save som cap by swapping Nuge for and LHC, but is that making us better long term? We have too many holes to be picking away at them 1 by 1. If you could trade down to take Broberg, I would consider that a big win.

    The centre the Oilers draft this year at #8 will be 25 when McDavid’s contract expires and he leaves for Toronto, if one wants continuity and continuous contention, this is the ideal time to draft a high-end centre.

    Plus, there are only two years left on Nugent-Hopkins contract, and one needs cover for the potentiality of losing him.

  48. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Marody over Benson you say?

    Marody’s season in Bakersfield has been a bit over-shadowed by Benson but Marody did actually have the “better” offensive season and was truly the driver of that line.Given age, I think what Benson did is more impressive but, yes, Marody could the forward.

    His skating did seem to be a major issue in his call-ups but, again, what can one show in 5 minutes of ice time?

    I would like to see a Benson-RNH-Marody line in training camp.

    Benson and Marody with a lot of familiarity and chemistry supported by a good 2-way C. Marody gets broken in at wing and, if successful, can move to C later on.

  49. Biggus Dickus says:

    godot10: Wrong.Benson has to be playing top nine, and preferably top six. if not he should be in Bakersfield playing 18 minutes a night in all situations, and being a call-up for injuries in the top six.

    That is how good organizations do it.

    Playing 8 minutes a night on the 4th line with grittensity players against grittensity players is not the way for one of your top forward prospects to spend a critical development year.

    I used to think that, but I’m starting to disagree. 4th line players today are vastly different from those even 5 years ago. SmackIntyre no longer roams every teams 4line. Playing against 4liners today is significantly hader than playing against AHLers. Klinkhammer oblierated the AHL, as would most 4th liners today. Most developmental value is off the ice. The filmroom and weight room are far better places to devop in the NHL, since the best personnel are there to help you. Practices are much higher level and the reduced role actually allows young players to spend more time training and practicing.

    If he’s getting Caved in the bottom 6, that’s one thing, but the Khaira treatment would suit Benson well imo.

  50. Biggus Dickus says:

    godot10: The centre the Oilers draft this year at #8 will be 25 when McDavid’s contract expires and he leaves for Toronto,if one wants continuity and continuous contention, this is the ideal time to draft a high-end centre. If Nuge won’t resign at a reasonable price, then trade him for similar value next summer.

    Plus, there are only two years left on Nugent-Hopkins contract, and one needs cover for the potentiality of losing him.

    If we’re playing the long game, take a dman. McDavid may eventually want out because we will be crap for at least another couple seasons, but if that was his plan all along he would have done it. He is above the NHL and if he wanted out, he would be let out.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sounds like Keith Gretzky is going to stay on with some increased responsibility. He will essentially re-assume his old role of assistant GM but also take over MacT’s former responsibilities with the Condors.

    I really like this as I think Gretzky has done a splendid job in the amateur scouting and procurement department and is an asset to the organization.

    I’m not sure exactly what the over-sight of the Condors entails as, really, its the GM that assembles the contracts under the 50 including those that end up in the AHL.

  52. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    lynn,

    A Yakimov sogning makes little sense to me if they are moving toward a faster line-up. A couple of people have put it out there, Oilers Twitter started following him at the same time they followed Nygard after his signing.

    I am just wondering if anyone on LT’s who has connections (and there are a couple) might have heard something. If their Social media folks know something, then it would not be too hard to find out….

  53. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    Alpine:
    Weird that we think players that don’t wanna be in Winnipeg are somehow gonna be open to signing long term in Edmonton. The Oilers are a worse team, and until further notice, a very unproven organization to say the least. Little warmer in the winter and that’s about it.

    There are 97 + 29 other reasons

  54. jp says:

    Maoriduvpoojt:
    lynn,

    A Yakimov sogning makes little sense to me if they are moving toward a faster line-up.A couple of people have put it out there, Oilers Twitter started following him at the same time they followed Nygard after his signing.

    I am just wondering if anyone on LT’s who has connections (and there are a couple) might have heard something.If their Social media folks know something, then it would not be too hard to find out….

    If he wants to come back to NA I guess they could give him a contract and a spot in Bakersfield. He did have a nice run in his 3rd stop of the year in Severstal (18-4-8-12 and 17:33 TOI per game, but overall was just 50-4-11-15). He wins faceoffs and is presumably a good defensive C, but I can’t imagine him being considered as anything other than an extreme depth option for the Oilers.

  55. barry.moore23 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    FWIW

    Had dinner with an old friend last night who used to work in the OEG and still has some friends there.

    He was telling me that Katz was a lot more involved with operations input than most people realize and it was a real problem trying to mitigate against owner interference. Apparently that was a sticking point in the Holland negotiation (ie Ken was not signing on to be the owner’s puppet) and it seems Hockey Ops is a happier place these days with many believing Katz is finally to going to be legitimately hands off.

    I almost read “had an old friend for dinner ….”. Hahah Dr. Lecter. It was you that wrote the book about the rock star, yes ? I meant to tell you i read it – thumbs up.

  56. Pescador says:

    Bling: I would like to see a Benson-RNH-Marody line in training camp.

    Benson and Marody with a lot of familiarity and chemistry supported by a good 2-way C. Marody gets broken in at wing and, if successful, can move to C later on.

    Wow that is alot of heavy lifting for RNH, is disgruntled too strong a word to describe Nuge’s exist interviews with the media?
    Its important for the org to mend this fence, finding a good NHL winger for Nuge is at the top of my to-do list for the offseason.
    Plus I need to see if Marody can survive the 3rd line soft parade minutes before I expect him to produce on the 2nd line

  57. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t agree with the concept of “making room for Jones”.

    Any one of Jones, Bear, Persson and Lagesson could hold down the #6 position, with the others waiting in the wings.

  58. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Pescador: Wow that is alot of heavy lifting for RNH, is disgruntled too strong a word to describe Nuge’s exist interviews with the media?
    Its important for the org to mend this fence, finding a good NHL winger for Nuge is at the top of my to-do list for the offseason.
    Plus I need to see if Marody can survive the 3rd line soft parade minutes before I expect him to produce on the 2nd line

    No size and no speed on that line (although Nuge is a very good skater he doesn’t have top end acceleration or fist steps), and two rookie wingers.

    I could see if Benson makes it out of camp Connor and Leon carrying him, and possibly Marody playing with experienced wingers as an offensive O zone third line.

    Nuge needs an NHL scoring winger, and perhaps then they could carry JP.

    If the Eriksson deal happens he would be a good fit with Marody at 3C, etc etc.

    They’ll want a balance of speed, experience, skill and size on each line. There isn’t enough depth of skill currently to load up a line of smaller offense mostly players that are learning NHL D and board play. Somebody has to get the puck and keep the opponent to the outside in the D zone and cycle in the O zone when necessary.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    bwar:
    Great news about Woodcroft, I really thought we’d be seeing him depart this offseason.Maybe he views his next step as a head coach in the NHL and that opportunity wasn’t there.Another nice crop of rookies heading to Bakersfield this year for Woodcroft to utilize.I’m very interested to see what his starting defense group is to open the season.There is a potential for Jones, Lagesson, Bear, Bouchard, Samorukov, Day, Manning and Lowe.I’m guessing Stanton doesn’t get resigned just due to lack of openings.I’d guess Persson is the 7th man in Edmonton so I feel that anyone who doesn’t make the opening night roster will be starting the year in Bakersfield.

    Lagesson/Bear
    Lowe/Bouchard
    Samorukov Bear

    Manning (Persson)/Kulevich

    Klefbom/Larsson
    Nurse/Sekera
    Jones/Benning

    Persson (Manning)

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    If they want Jones on the team it’s probably Sekera at the top of the trade list because leftorium and Russell being the guy playing RD. He probably has more trade value. Perhaps a group of deals changes that, we’ll see. At least I’m not worried intense stupidity and poor deal making skills will torpedo the summer.

    Edit – trade value meaning Sekera

    Who knows what the current management and coaching staff think but lets not forget that Jones has played almost exclusively the right side in his two years of pro. I am definitely in the rightie/leftie camp but sometimes there are players that simply play their offside without a drop off in effectiveness. I have no idea if Jones is that player.

    Recall, he did well on the right side with Gravel in the NHL but poorly on the left side with Larsson – of course, a massive difference in QoC with those two partners.

    Also, with respect to Russell and playing the right side – yes, he has played alot of 2RD over the last few years but that doesn’t mean he “can play the right side” with that being a selling point – he’s much less effective on the right side and I would posit that Sekera can play the right side just as good as Russell.

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50: I just dislike the term overripe.

    Ripe means ready, the time is now

    If an organization was holding me back until I was “overripe” I would just slide right over to the next org so I could continue my upward trajectory.

    Benson may get held up while the roster sorts itself out, but I imagine he gets a shot by Christmas.If he’s ready it will be noticeable.

    How would a 21 or 22 year old just slide over to another organization? Years to go prior to UFA status.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maoriduvpoojt:
    Anyone know anything about the Bogdan Yakimov rumblings?There appears to be some smoke about him re-signing.Why wouldn’t they announce it now, if it’s true…

    Has the smoke come from anywhere except for the BLH?

    I haven’t seen anyone else substantiate his information?

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Any one of Jones, Bear, Persson and Lagesson could hold down the #6 position,with the others waiting in the wings.

    I don’t agree with Bear at all – he struggles in many areas at the AHL level.

    I don’t know how you can say that with certainty on Persson – he’s a total wildcard and the history of this type of player coming over doesn’t suggest his readiness is any sort of certainty.

    I agree that both Lagesson and Jones are likely NHL ready for a 3rd pairing role but all I’m saying is they should earn that via competition/play or running with the opportunity (i.e. injury fill in) as opposed to actively trading away the incumbent to open up the spot. I’m not saying a d-man like Russell or Benning can’t be disposed of, nor shouldn’t be disposed of, just not with primary motive being to open up that spot.

  64. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t agree with Bear at all – he struggles in many areas at the AHL level.

    I don’t know how you can say that with certainty on Persson – he’s a total wildcard and the history of this type of player coming over doesn’t suggest his readiness is any sort of certainty.

    I agree that both Lagesson and Jones are likely NHL ready for a 3rd pairing role but all I’m saying is they should earn that via competition/play or running with the opportunity (i.e. injury fill in) as opposed to actively trading away the incumbent to open up the spot. I’m not saying a d-man like Russell or Benning can’t be disposed of, nor shouldn’t be disposed of, just not with primary motive being to open up that spot.

    We all have a different way of evaluating players. I see Bear as a defenseman who has lost ground due to injury, as opposed to a group of specific shortcomings. He isn’t a burner but can pass the puck very well and has a great shot. He is also RH. I think any of us who makes a sweeping statement of certainty about his future runs the risk of being quoted a year from now.

  65. Little Johnny Frostbite says:

    OriginalPouzar: Has the smoke come from anywhere except for the BLH?

    I haven’t seen anyone else substantiate his information?

    I find BLH to be…umm…inventive. I think that fiction and speculation must sell a lot of t-shirts. Credibility isn’t a thing you can fake.

    On a far more fun note:

    LT: Make some GD t-shirts! I would 100% buy them, as I suspect would many…just to help support this daily stop on the Al Gores. I’m sure there is someone on here who could help with design. Hats too…I don’t at all think this is too commercial…I would love another way to show support!

    Please, y’all, jump on this! There’s a huge difference between me buying gear from say…Good Mythical Morning, which my daughter and I love and support, to going to a website that is basically clickbait to sell shit. You’ve established your bonafides, sir, so as a longtime fan and compatriot, give me some shit to buy!

    🙂

  66. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: Who knows what the current management and coaching staff think but lets not forget that Jones has played almost exclusively the right side in his two years of pro.I am definitely in the rightie/leftie camp but sometimes there are players that simply play their offside without a drop off in effectiveness.I have no idea if Jones is that player.

    Recall, he did well on the right side with Gravel in the NHL but poorly on the left side with Larsson – of course, a massive difference in QoC with those two partners.

    Also, with respect to Russell and playing the right side – yes, he has played alot of 2RD over the last few years but that doesn’t mean he “can play the right side” with that being a selling point – he’s much less effective on the right side and I would posit that Sekera can play the right side just as good as Russell.

    Jones played the right side like Burns in SanJose as a rover with Lagesson as a stay at home D. This is not the ideal situation. Sekera did not fare well on the right side though it was a small sample size.
    Playing Jones third pairing right side would actually make the team worse than using Benning as your third pairing right D. I’m not sure there is a good answer for the right side until there is some experimentation with pairings. At this time there are a lot of uncertainties as far as the right side is concerned.

  67. Glovjuice says:

    Victoria Oil:
    (Formerly Westchester Oil)

    I’m hoping that the Oilers are showing Woodcroft some real love – e.g. some kind of extra bonus or something.

    You need to show loyalty to your star performers and Woodcroft probably was the organization’s (incl players + mgmt) biggest overachiever last year.

    Good call. Agreed wholeheartedly.

  68. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar: Lagesson/Bear
    Lowe/Bouchard
    Samorukov Bear

    Manning (Persson)/Kulevich

    Klefbom/Larsson
    Nurse/Sekera
    Jones/Benning

    Persson (Manning)

    You have Bear twice on your list
    1st. Lagesson – Bouchard *let the horse out of the barn
    2nd. Samorukov – Persson *see what you’ve got w/actual prospects
    3rd. Lowe – Bear *never was & the guy who is fading
    I’m not sure why you would gift more important minutes to Lowe, is the org trying to develop him?

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: We all have a different way of evaluating players. I see Bear as a defenseman who has lost ground due to injury, as opposed to a group of specific shortcomings. He isn’t a burner but can pass the puck very well and has a great shot. He is also RH. I think any of us who makes a sweeping statement of certainty about his future runs the risk of being quoted a year from now.

    I will disagree with regards to Bear – I watched him play alot this year and the issues he has at the AHL level are the same ones that he had during his NHL stint. Some (many) think he was “good” in his NHL stint and, yes, he showed his puck moving skill but he got absolutely caved in his sheltered role (as an aside, Jones excelled in his sheltered role but got caved when moved up the lineup).

    The injuries this past year are likely a factor in him not being able to develop these areas but he still struggles with speed on puck retrievals and is quite poor at battles on the boards.

    I like Bear – his shot is an absolute weapon and he can move the puck – there are still some things he needs to work on before he is able to handle an every day role in the NHL – just my opinion.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pescador: You have Bear twice on your list
    1st. Lagesson– Bouchard *let the horse out of the barn
    2nd. Samorukov– Persson *see what you’ve got w/actual prospects
    3rd. Lowe – Bear *never was & the guy who is fading
    I’m not sure why you would gift more important minutes to Lowe, is the org trying to develop him?

    Ooops, that was Day, not Bear:

    Lagesson/Bear
    Lowe/Bouchard
    Samorukov/Day

    While I’m sure Bouchard will work his way to top pairing, I don’t know how great of an idea it is to start the guy there. I would “ease him in” with second pairing minutes and Lowe would be a solid partner and mentor for his as he has been with other higher talent prospects (i.e. Bear last year).

    Lets not forget that Woodcroft didn’t even give Bouchard a regular shift in his 8 games (except when injuries required it). I’m not sure he’s going to go straight from being as sheltered as one possibly can be straight to the top pairing – nor should he.

    Giving “more important minutes” to Lowe isn’t about developing Lowe its about properly developing the real prospects. While they’ve played a handful of games each, both Samorukov and Bouchard are rookie pros – they will work their way up the depth chart fairly quickly I’m sure but they should be put in positions to succeed. Lowe is the captain of the team and has been a great help to the young d-men in the past – he’s been a mentor. He is good shelter for Samorukov to get his feet wet and should be a great partner for Bouchard – shit, Lowe can “teach” Bouch about “defensive urgency”.

  71. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sounds like Keith Gretzky is going to stay on with some increased responsibility.He will essentially re-assume his old role of assistant GM but also take over MacT’s former responsibilities with the Condors.

    I really like this as I think Gretzky has done a splendid job in the amateur scouting and procurement department and is an asset to the organization.

    I’m not sure exactly what the over-sight of the Condors entails as, really, its the GM that assembles the contracts under the 50 including those that end up in the AHL.

    He’s being groomed to be Holland’s replacement.

  72. Reja says:

    godot10: The centre the Oilers draft this year at #8 will be 25 when McDavid’s contract expires and he leaves for Toronto,if one wants continuity and continuous contention, this is the ideal time to draft a high-end centre.

    Plus, there are only two years left on Nugent-Hopkins contract, and one needs cover for the potentiality of losing him.

    How do you know he wants to play in Toronto maybe his future wife will have a say where he plays.

  73. Rebillled says:

    LT, curious who you and the regular posters think is gonna be in net this season.

    Job 1.

  74. geowal says:

    Kudos to Holland for both recognizing Woodcroft’s value and keeping him in, and secondly convincing him to stay around in the first place, assuming he was actually considering other offers.

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rebillled:
    LT, curious who you and the regular posters think is gonna be in net this season.

    Job 1.

    There is all but zero doubt that Koskinen will be the 1A starting the season.

    Holland has clearly acknowledged the need for an established 1B/back-up – Mrazek, Elliot, Curtis M., R. Miller, Lehner, etc. – something in that range.

  76. Biggus Dickus says:

    Reja: How do you know he wants to play in Toronto maybe his future wife will have a say where he plays.

    You mean his hs sweetheart?

  77. digger50 says:

    OriginalPouzar: How would a 21 or 22 year old just slide over to another organization?Years to go prior to UFA status.

    You take things too literal at times and miss the point.

  78. digger50 says:

    Biggus Dickus: I used to think that, but I’m starting to disagree.4th line players today are vastly different from those even 5 years ago. SmackIntyre no longer roams every teams 4line. Playing against 4liners today is significantly hader than playing against AHLers. Klinkhammer oblierated the AHL, as would most 4th liners today. Most developmental value is off the ice. The filmroom and weight room are far better places to devop in the NHL, since the best personnel are there to help you. Practices are much higher level and the reduced role actually allows young players to spend more time training and practicing.

    If he’s getting Caved in the bottom 6, that’s one thing, but the Khaira treatment would suit Benson well imo.

    I agree it’s nit as simple as it once was. Play top of ABL or bottom of NHL? It’s a good discussion.

    We are seeing change though. Fourth liners need not be stereotypical fourth liners. Once you have enough skill in your 23 man roster you run your skill on every line. The other theory here is that the depth skill can outscore the others teams checkers.

    Problem with our team is that we are quite a ways from running skill right through the roster. Sigh

  79. digger50 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    FWIW

    Had dinner with an old friend last night who used to work in the OEG and still has some friends there.

    He was telling me that Katz was a lot more involved with operations input than most people realize and it was a real problem trying to mitigate against owner interference. Apparently that was a sticking point in the Holland negotiation (ie Ken was not signing on to be the owner’s puppet) and it seems Hockey Ops is a happier place these days with many believing Katz is finally to going to be legitimately hands off.

    This is interesting.

    Yet I think to myself “why would I buy a hockey team if I never got to play with it?”

  80. Lowetide says:

    Rebillled:
    LT, curious who you and the regular posters think is gonna be in net this season.

    Job 1.

    Holland is going to go get a strong 1A option, so Koskinen and 1A.

  81. digger50 says:

    Biggus Dickus:
    I’d trade down this year. Zegras is interesting, but if Dach isn’t there I would try to get a first and a second or something similar. We don’t need another high end LD or LHC, so try to get more picks to augment the system. I’m only against BPA because we know that Draisaitl/ McDavid are going nowhere. Klefbom and Nurse hopefully as well. You could save som cap by swapping Nuge for and LHC, but is that making us better long term? We have too many holes to be picking away at them 1 by 1. If you could trade down to take Broberg, I would consider that a big win.

    I believe the #8 is estimated at 45-52% chance of making 500 NHL games. So no guarantees here.

    If there is not much exciting to pick from at 8th, trade out, add as needed and get a top line player.

    How good would this team be if Connor, Nuge and Drai all had a top line winger to play with?

  82. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    OriginalPouzar: Has the smoke come from anywhere except for the BLH?

    I haven’t seen anyone else substantiate his information?

    Oiler’s Twitter, this guy: https://twitter.com/NHLNews007/status/1133925350830891008?s=19

    …and BLH.

    Probably nothing….would be odd if they did IMO, as well.

  83. godot10 says:

    digger50: I believe the #8 is estimated at 45-52% chance of making 500 NHL games. So no guarantees here.

    If there is not much exciting to pick from at 8th, trade out, add as needed and get a top line player.

    How good would this team be if Connor, Nuge and Drai all had a top line winger to play with?

    There are guaranteed high quality centre and forward prospects at #8OV. It is a very good year in the top ten.

  84. Professor Q says:

    Looks like the Warriors and/or the NBA paid off the refs.

    Somehow Toronto is still leading with such crappy calls and non-calls.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50: I believe the #8 is estimated at 45-52% chance of making 500 NHL games. So no guarantees here.

    If there is not much exciting to pick from at 8th, trade out, add as needed and get a top line player.

    How good would this team be if Connor, Nuge and Drai all had a top line winger to play with?

    Given current cap management, future cap management, asset management (vis-a-vis the expansion draft), its preferable to use an existing roster player with material cap for that type of acquisition.

    Of course, that position means the trade will take away at one place in order to add at the other, as opposed to just adding to the current roster, however (a) cap needs to be disposed of somewhere in order to make any sort of material top line acquisition (so there would need to be a significant player out anyways) and (b) Holland has been clear the ultimate goal looks passed this year and will realize the additional value the 8th has (cost controlled, expansion draft exempt, etc.).

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maoriduvpoojt: Oiler’s Twitter, this guy: https://twitter.com/NHLNews007/status/1133925350830891008?s=19

    …and BLH.

    Probably nothing….would be odd if they did IMO, as well.

    That guy has about as much credibility as I do, so, none.

  87. Munny says:

    This isn’t going to be a popular thought but I would consider giving Samorukov and Maksimov an over-age year in Junior.

    #newholland

  88. leadfarmer says:

    Munny:
    This isn’t going to be a popular thought but I would consider giving Samorukov and Maksimov an over-age year in Junior.

    #newholland

    Really don’t see what those two have left to prove in that league especially Samurokov
    Those two are clearly ready to move on

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    Seriously? I can’t think of a single benefit to that including playing time.

    Safin, sure.

    Legit NHL prospects do not play over-age seasons.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    From all accounts, Samarukov is 100% ready for pro hockey. He was ranked the second most NHL ready prospect on the Memorial Cup, let alone AHL.

    Maksimov took on a massive 2-way role this past year for Niagara – taking on hard minutes and being a plus plus player on the PK. I can’t see any reason for him to go back to junior.

  91. jp says:

    Scungilli Slushy: No size and no speed on that line (although Nuge is a very good skater he doesn’t have top end acceleration or fist steps), and two rookie wingers.

    They’ll want a balance of speed, experience, skill and size on each line. There isn’t enough depth of skill currently to load up a line of smaller offense mostly players that are learning NHL D and board play. Somebody has to get the puck and keep the opponent to the outside in the D zone and cycle in the O zone when necessary.

    I don’t disagree with this assessment, and have watched Benson/Marody play basically not at all.

    But in terms of getting and keeping the puck, it’s interesting that Benson-Marody-whoever were by all accounts possession monsters who excelled at maintaining control, at least in the offensive zone. Whether that translates to the NHL Fall 2019 (or ever) I have no idea, but maybe there’s some hope.

  92. Oilman99 says:

    Lowetide: We all have a different way of evaluating players. I see Bear as a defenseman who has lost ground due to injury, as opposed to a group of specific shortcomings. He isn’t a burner but can pass the puck very well and has a great shot. He is also RH. I think any of us who makes a sweeping statement of certainty about his future runs the risk of being quoted a year from now.

    Let’s not forget Bear was WHL d-man of the year coming out of junior. Like you said, he can make a great breakout pass, and don’t forget about his cannon of a shot, something this team lacks.

  93. digger50 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Given current cap management, future cap management, asset management (vis-a-vis the expansion draft), its preferable to use an existing roster player with material cap for that type of acquisition.

    Of course, that position means the trade will take away at one place in order to add at the other, as opposed to just adding to the current roster, however (a) cap needs to be disposed of somewhere in order to make any sort of material top line acquisition (so there would need to be a significant player out anyways) and (b) Holland has been clear the ultimate goal looks passed this year and will realize the additional value the 8th has (cost controlled, expansion draft exempt, etc.).

    Exactly.

    The first rounder top ten expansion protected is the exact currency a cash strapped team is looking for. That is the asset. Add to the core as opposed to add to the pipeline.

    Add do not subtract at another position.

    By the time the 8th pick develops, Nuge is gone. We do not have a net gain. Of course $ room must be created, it’s possable.

    The time is now.

  94. Pescador says:

    Oilman99: Let’s not forget Bear was WHL d-man of the year coming out of junior. Like you said, he can make a great breakout pass, and don’t forget about his cannon of a shot, something this team lacks.

    That is true, the Oilers D do lack the attributes that Ethan Bear excels at.
    However the Oilers already have too many dmen with limited mobility in Sekera, Russell, Larsson and I would place Benning in that group as well.
    I hope that Bear can improve his skating & overall mobility.
    If he can the other skills that Bear has could shine like a diamond

  95. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    I agree that both Lagesson and Jones are likely NHL ready for a 3rd pairing role but all I’m saying is they should earn that via competition/play or running with the opportunity (i.e. injury fill in) as opposed to actively trading away the incumbent to open up the spot. I’m not saying a d-man like Russell or Benning can’t be disposed of, nor shouldn’t be disposed of, just not with primary motive being to open up that spot.

    IMO 5 of the 6 incumbents (or their experienced NHL replacements) should return in the fall, leaving the #6 and #7 spots open for the prospects.

    There’s a pipeline of D coming, with the first 3 waiver eligible after the upcoming season. I’d pencil in Jones as #6 and Persson as #7, being fully open to other prospects getting those slots based on their play.

    With more prospects coming behind the first wave I think you need to get a look at Jones/Lagesson/Bear/Persson sooner than later. And with multiple “probably ready” guys in that first wave you have decent cover for injury/underperformance.

    JMO, but I think the play is to walk the line between all veterans and too many prospects. For me that means opening up one full-time slot for the young guy

  96. Yegfoundation says:

    digger50: You take things too literal at times and miss the point.

    Miss the point? I think he accurately identified that players under team control cannot simply slide over to another organization.

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: I don’t disagree with this assessment, and have watched Benson/Marody play basically not at all.

    But in terms of getting and keeping the puck, it’s interesting that Benson-Marody-whoever were by all accounts possession monsters who excelled at maintaining control, at least in the offensive zone. Whether that translates to the NHL Fall 2019 (or ever) I have no idea, but maybe there’s some hope.

    I watched quite a bit of the Condors last year and you are absolutely right, that line were possession monsters – shift after shift after shift in the offensive zone. In fact, it was so much so in the second half of the year that I’ve expressed some concern about their defensive zone capabilities given they hardly played behind their own blue line.

    As far as size and strength and “battling”, its really tough to say – they didn’t have to do alot of that. It was fighting for and maintaining possession in the offensive zone – it was gain the line and keep the puck, they rarely even had to battle to get it back. They were almost too dominant at times to get a full read on on some of these skills.

  98. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: Let’s not forget Bear was WHL d-man of the year coming out of junior. Like you said, he can make a great breakout pass, and don’t forget about his cannon of a shot, something this team lacks.

    Yes, he was WHL d-man of the year and that is a great thing but it doesn’t mean he is guaranteed a plus NHL career. Looking at the list, there are lots of no-names/bust and tweeners that have won the award.

    I agree, he has a cannon – his shot is an absolute weapon at the AHL level. He is also a very good puck mover and his offensive game really came together near the end of the year when he got a stretch of good health.

    At the same time, he continues to struggle in certain areas that, if he can’t improve on, will inhibit his ability to play at the next level. He gets killed with speed, both defending the rush as well as puck retrievals/defending the forecheck. He is also very poor at defensive zone battles. Shane Starrett and a dominant Condors’ team in the 2nd half minimized the negative effect of the deficiencies in his overall game and numbers but he will need to improve them in order to take the next step – in my opinion.

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50: Exactly.

    The first rounder top ten expansion protected is the exact currency a cash strapped team is looking for. That is the asset. Add to the core as opposed to add to the pipeline.

    Add do not subtract at another position.

    By the time the 8th pick develops, Nuge is gone. We do not have a net gain. Of course $ room must be created, it’s possable.

    The time is now.

    The Oilers are a cash strapped team – well, not really, but they are a cap-strapped team which essentially equates to the same in many ways.

    The time is not now – the time is in the next 2-5 years.

  100. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: IMO 5 of the 6 incumbents (or their experienced NHL replacements) should return in the fall, leaving the #6 and #7 spots open for the prospects.

    There’s a pipeline of D coming, with the first 3 waiver eligible after the upcoming season. I’d pencil in Jones as #6 and Persson as #7, being fully open to other prospects getting those slots based on their play.

    With more prospects coming behind the first wave I think you need to get a look at Jones/Lagesson/Bear/Persson sooner than later. And with multiple “probably ready” guys in that first wave you have decent cover for injury/underperformance.

    JMO, but I think the play is to walk the line between all veterans and too many prospects. For me that means opening up one full-time slot for the young guy

    I pretty much agree with all of this but will note/add that teams generally use 10 or more d-men per season – getting a look at each of Lagesson, Jones, Bear should not be an issue – it will happen in the normal course of the season.

  101. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: I pretty much agree with all of this but will note/add that teams generally use 10 or more d-men per season – getting a look at each of Lagesson, Jones, Bear should not be an issue – it will happen in the normal course of the season.

    This is true, but is just a handful of games enough to get a handle on the players?

    All NHL defensemen sorted by GP:
    31 – 82 GP (1D)
    62 – 79 GP (2D)
    93 – 74 GP (3D)
    124 – 64 GP (4D)
    155 – 56 GP (5D)
    186 – 43 GP (6D)
    217 – 32 GP (7D)
    248 – 18 GP (8D)
    279 – 5 GP (9D)
    310 – 2 GP (10D)
    325 D played at least 1 game.

    Putting Jones at 6D followed by Persson/Lagesson/Bear/Bouchard (tweek as you like) these players project for something like 49/37/25/11 and 4 games. If you push these guys back a slot (none starting in the top 6) maybe you get just 10-15 games combined to see Lagesson/Bear this season. Maybe that’s what we want? I’m not sure it’s enough.

  102. ArmchairGM says:

    Maoriduvpoojt:
    chrisco stu,

    I think it would take RNH + 8th pick for Laine and a 2nd rounder.

    That is pretty rich, IMO, but who wouldn’t pull the trigger on such a deal?

    I most certainly wouldn’t do that deal. Laine is a 3rd line winger who doesn’t drive play or help in any meaningful way except for standing at the top of the faceoff circle on the PP. He has a wicked shot, but that’s all.

  103. ArmchairGM says:

    Professor Q: What if it’s like the year before and one of the D leapfrogs the other?

    Year 1 Bear was better than Jones and looked good in the NHL and AHL, both. Year 2 Jones took over, and Bear had a set back unfortunately and then went down with injuries.

    If Bear doesn’t leapfrog Jones again, maybe it is another third wheel type like Persson or Bouchard who takes over? Lagesson?

    Good take on Bear v Jones. Jones is being talked about on this blog as the next big thing, while Bear has been relegated to permanent-tweener and trade-sweetener status. And yet, by the numbers, they aren’t far apart. In fact, Bear seems to be ahead still – especially when it comes to offensive metrics, although his GA/60 is identical to Jones’.

    5v5, 2018-19

    Bear / Stat / Jones
    15.26 / eTOI/GP / 15.87
    0.38 / eG/60 / 0.15
    0.91 / eP1/60 / 0.61
    1.44 / eP/60 / 1.21
    13.32 / QoT / 12.94
    13.49 / QoC / 13.60
    5.31 / GF%rel / 1.39
    41 / GF / 44
    28 / GA / 28

  104. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t agree with Bear at all – he struggles in many areas at the AHL level.

    I don’t know how you can say that with certainty on Persson – he’s a total wildcard and the history of this type of player coming over doesn’t suggest his readiness is any sort of certainty.

    I agree that both Lagesson and Jones are likely NHL ready for a 3rd pairing role but all I’m saying is they should earn that via competition/play or running with the opportunity (i.e. injury fill in) as opposed to actively trading away the incumbent to open up the spot. I’m not saying a d-man like Russell or Benning can’t be disposed of, nor shouldn’t be disposed of, just not with primary motive being to open up that spot.

    I disagree with your take on Bear, see my post above. He’s producing at a higher rate than Jones in the AHL and his GA metrics are just as good. QoC is close as well, and these numbers were taken from a year that Bear had to deal with injuries. Persson, meanwhile, gets better results than all 3 of the others mentioned in a tougher league. I get that he doesn’t have a long track record and the smaller ice is an issue for some players, but it’s not unrealistic at all to think that he’ll be in the running for a roster spot come September.

    I would be comfortable with Holland trading Benning (if the return was right) and holding a training camp competition between those 4 (Persson, Bear, Lagesson and Jones) plus perhaps a PTO or two for the #6 spot.

  105. ArmchairGM says:

    Lowetide: We all have a different way of evaluating players. I see Bear as a defenseman who has lost ground due to injury, as opposed to a group of specific shortcomings. He isn’t a burner but can pass the puck very well and has a great shot. He is also RH. I think any of us who makes a sweeping statement of certainty about his future runs the risk of being quoted a year from now.

    Agreed, see my response to Professor Q just above. Bear’s offensive metrics are much better than Jones’ based on the estimated TOI, and his GF%rel is quite good.

  106. ArmchairGM says:

    Pescador: 3rd. Lowe – Bear *never was & the guy who is fading

    Bear isn’t fading, he had some injuries this year and still did better at 5v5 than last year – both offensively and defensively.

  107. jp says:

    digger50:

    By the time the 8th pick develops, Nuge is gone. We do not have a net gain. Of course $ room must be created, it’s possable.

    The time is now.

    This is one thing I hope Holland can change. Players don’t HAVE to leave as soon as they reach UFA status.

  108. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?

    https://theathletic.com/1006725/2019/06/03/is-zack-kassian-the-answer-for-the-mcdavid-draisaitl-line/

  109. ArmchairGM says:

    digger50: Exactly.

    The first rounder top ten expansion protected is the exact currency a cash strapped team is looking for. That is the asset. Add to the core as opposed to add to the pipeline.

    Add do not subtract at another position.

    By the time the 8th pick develops, Nuge is gone. We do not have a net gain. Of course $ room must be created, it’s possable.

    The time is now.

    jp: This is one thing I hope Holland can change. Players don’t HAVE to leave as soon as they reach UFA status.

    As long as Holland doesn’t hand out big money contracts with term to UFA’s this summer and next, there will be plenty of money to re-sign Nuge in 2021.

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/230153

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/230154

  110. defmn says:

    ArmchairGM:
    As long as Holland doesn’t hand out big money contracts with term to UFA’s this summer and next, there will be plenty of money to re-sign Nuge in 2021.

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/230153

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/230154

    I don’t think money is the problem with re-signing Nuge. To me it sounds more like he is tired of losing and I can’t say I blame him. If that is the issue the clock is ticking and it is getting louder all the time.

    Count me as one of those that would consider moving the 8 OV and expansion draft be damned if there is a good, young, (22) year old winger like Kapanen in Toronto available due to cap problems.

    It’s time to get this team going.

  111. ArmchairGM says:

    defmn: I don’t think money is the problem with re-signing Nuge. To me it sounds more like he is tired of losing and I can’t say I blame him. If that is the issue the clock is ticking and it is getting louder all the time.

    Count me as one of those that would consider moving the 8 OV and expansion draft be damned if there is a good, young, (22) year old winger like Kapanen in Toronto available due to cap problems.

    It’s time to get this team going.

    I’m fully behind going after Kapanen, but trading the #8 pick for him would be an overpay. He’s probably worth a late 1st, so I proposed sending a 2nd + McLeod for Kapanen + Brown.

    Edit: Benning + McLeod for Kapanen + Brown might work too.

  112. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bear does very well by the metrics, absolutely, and he is still a solid prospect.

    At the same time, as I professed above, in my opinion, the eye test shows the deficiencies in his game that were there at the NHL level during his earlier trial and caused him to be caved in a sheltered third pairing role. The Condors were so dominant and Starrett so good that the issues defending speed off the rush, dealing with speed on puck retrieval and “inconsistency” on the boards, didn’t really negatively effect the overall numbers – I fear that will not be the case at the NHL level – they were an issue a year and a bit ago and haven’t improved materially.

  113. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    For The Athletic: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?

    https://theathletic.com/1006725/2019/06/03/is-zack-kassian-the-answer-for-the-mcdavid-draisaitl-line/

    Was Dave Semenko the solution for the Wayne Gretzky line?

  114. godot10 says:

    defmn: I don’t think money is the problem with re-signing Nuge. To me it sounds more like he is tired of losing and I can’t say I blame him. If that is the issue the clock is ticking and it is getting louder all the time.

    Count me as one of those that would consider moving the 8 OV and expansion draft be damned if there is a good, young, (22) year old winger like Kapanen in Toronto available due to cap problems.

    It’s time to get this team going.

    One doesn’t get this team going by paying full price for assets coming in. One has to go shopping in the salary cap dump bargain bin.

    The way to get Kapanen is NOT to trade a first round pick for him, but to offersheet him at a 2nd round pick level, which has the additional benefit of getting him signed.

  115. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Seriously?I can’t think of a single benefit to that including playing time.

    Safin, sure.

    Legit NHL prospects do not play over-age seasons.

    Is this a reply to my comment? If so, please hit the “Reply” button. All it takes is one click for Gord’s sake.

  116. rickithebear says:

    Went thru half a season of Nurses shifts around goals.

    Assigned a negative to rover who abandon 3-2-1 for a 4-1-1 and the rover fails to re – establish a 2-1 coverage of HD area resulting in a goal.

    Nurse was – 28 thru that half season.

    -28 cause that god awful rover could not re establish 2-1.

    Quit all this dithering about how great rovers are when they are GA nightmares.

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