Heroes and Villains

by Lowetide

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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rickithebear

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.

Munny

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.

godot10

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.

godot10

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?

OriginalPouzar

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.

ArmchairGM

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.

defmn

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.

ArmchairGM

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

jp

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.

ArmchairGM

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.

ArmchairGM

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.

ArmchairGM

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.

ArmchairGM

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

ArmchairGM

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.

jp

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

Yegfoundation

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.

jp

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

Pescador

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

digger50

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.

Oilman99

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.

jp

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

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.

leadfarmer

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

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

OriginalPouzar

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.).

Professor Q

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

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

godot10

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.

€√¥£€^$

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.

digger50

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?

digger50

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?”

digger50

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

digger50

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.

Biggus Dickus

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?

OriginalPouzar

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.

geowal

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.

Rebillled

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

Job 1.

Reja

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.

Reja

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.

OriginalPouzar

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”.

OriginalPouzar

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.

Pescador

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?

Glovjuice

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.