Muswell Hillbilly

by Lowetide

The Oilers signed Patrick Russell yesterday, adding another name to the 50-man list. I’ve always wondered how unsigned RFA players who are possibly bubble types react when a UFA gets a contract. Make no mistake, the deck chairs are running out, and RFA’s are waiting for deals. A contract means a training camp and a roster spot in Edmonton (or Bakersfield). No contract means Europe or an invite without any guarantees. No fun, this.

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, here’s an incredible Father’s Day Offer!

  • New Lowetide: Looking at the Oilers’ options for the No. 8 pick at the 2019 NHL Draft.
  • New Jonathan Willis: How many of Sam Gagner, Zack Kassian and Jujhar Khaira can play top-nine minutes for the Oilers?
  • New Daniel Nugent-BowmanQ&A with Ken Holland: On the draft, buyouts, free agency and how to have a successful offseason
  • Lowetide: Trading for Loui Eriksson: What makes sense for the Oilers?
  • Jonathan Willis: Differing needs of Oilers, Jets could create a trade fit
  • Lowetide: How will Ken Holland build around Connor McDavid?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The top five players the Oilers could lose in the expansion draft
  • Jonathan Willis: What a trade involving Edmonton’s No. 8 pick might look like given Ken Holland’s history
  • LowetideHard Target Search: Finding the Oilers a centre who can penalty kill, help shape a useful third line, and serve in a mentor role
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a third-line grinder launched the star-filled Oilers to their first Stanley Cup and a hockey dynasty.
  • Lowetide: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?

NEW 50-MAN LIST (42)

The list is up to 42, with only two slide rules (Bouchard and Rodrigue) in the entire lot. Bouchard will turn pro, and the Oilers will sign fewer than 50 total, so let’s say we’re at 41 of 48 — seven names to sign.

RFA’s who remain unsigned include Jesse Puljujarvi, Jujhar Khaira, Tobias Rieder, Ty Rattie, plus three minor leaguers (Colin Larkin, Robin Norell, Tyler Vesel). Sail on Hayden Hawkey and Vincent Desharnais, and we’re looking at some turnover with the restricted men (same as it ever was).

If the Oilers plan to trade, or are in conversations with teams about trading one of the rfa’s, it’s likely they don’t get signed. Let the next team make their own decision.

KEITH GRETZKY, BOB GREEN, BAKERSFIELD, DRAFT

Keith Gretzky will remain Asst. GM in Edmonton and will be the GM of the Condors. Based on the words and music from yesterday, he’ll spend the fall and early winter focusing on the Condors, while Bob Green and the scouts drill down on the 2020 draft. Somewhere in the new year, Gretzky will begin focusing on the draft and be a part of the decision making.

Every swinging Dick has an opinion on the Oilers drafting, I think the last truly poor one was 2012 — partly because it was a poor year and partly because the Oilers were drafting players out of order. The 2013 draft saw only Darnell Nurse emerge, but I’ll go to my grave believing MacT was on the right track making that crazy trade for five picks. They should have signed Marco Roy. The 2013 draft shows you that an organization can do the right things and still have things work out wrong. It doesn’t mean you flush the right things.

The 2014 draft is Leon Draisaitl and William Lagesson but could have been much more. Edmonton dealt for Nikita Nikitin, Victor Fasth, Mike Brown, Ben Scrivens and David Perron.

The 2015 draft was more of the same, although I’ll give the scouts tremendous credit for adding Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear and John Marino after the Connor McDavid selection. I count this draft as Bob Green’s first.

The 2016 draft has Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Benson and Dylan Wells as the only three men who signed a pro contract (among nine selections). Although JP is struggling, there’s still time to get something from what is now an unusual list.

The 2017 draft has a lot of promise, notably Dmitri Samorukov, and 2018 boasts Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod and Olivier Rodrigue but there’s miles to go.

LAST FIVE DRAFTS

There’s no fair way to measure a draft until the five year mark, but we can count arrows. Although you can’t give any credit for walking to the podium to select Connor McDavid, he is part of the draft record. Here’s my take on 2014-2018 drafts:

Generational Talent: Connor McDavid

Impact Talent: Leon Draisaitl

Quality Prospect: Dmitri Samorukov, Evan Bouchard

NHL Prospect: William Lagesson, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, John Marino, Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Benson, Dylan Wells, Kailer Yamamoto, Stuart Skinner, Kirill Maksimov, Ryan McLeod, Olivier Rodrigue

Is it good enough? By eye, it looks better than 2008-12, but we have arrows not concrete results. Holland will make his changes to the scouting staff this summer, seems Gretzky and Green will be part of the future. I believe the results since 2017 are strong enough to retain, and know that is a minority opinion. I am hopeful we can have a conversation and not a food fight.

CONDORS SIGNINGS

Aside from Russell, the organization added a couple of AHL contracts to the group this week. The Condors have signed Luke Esposito and Steven Iacobellis to AHL contracts. Ryan Holt (pbp man for Bakersfield) said “Esposito took an enhanced role late in the season and seized the opportunity. Effective center and PK guy as well. Iacobellis was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team following an injury last year.”

These AHL signings can be important and the current procurement group can boast Josh Currie and Logan Day as men who came through the AHL-only deals to land NHL contracts. I keep wondering about Evan Polei. Jared Wilson has signed with an Sm-Liiga team and Braden Christoffer is off to Norway. (Source)

BUYOUTS

June 15-30 is the first window and Ken Holland told DNB that he was mulling buyouts and hadn’t made up his mind. Because these things can get confusing, and because the reason for buyouts is most often immediate help, here are the cap savings for 2019-20 on various contract buyouts:

Kris Russell $3.083 million

Andrej Sekera $3.0 million

Milan Lucic $2.375 million

Sam Gagner $2.133 million

Brandon Manning $1.33 million

GAME OVER

Melancholy is my mood this morning, they’re going to turn off the lights after tonight’s G7 SCF and it’s summer. I love summer, but miss hockey already. My whole life people have said “come on, you can’t possibly want more hockey” but they don’t know. When the final credits roll tonight, the business of hockey will be front and center and I’m grateful. But the game itself will be at rest, and I’ll be it until September.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning that will give way to a massive sports night, we get started at 10, TSN1260. Kris Abbott will join us from OddsShark to talk SCF and NBA finals, and Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will pop in for a discussion of the Oilers draft plans. I’ll also have a special announcement at 11:05 or so, when Bruce is on the show. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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russ99

I’d suspect that front office changes/additions are made after the draft.

Go Bruins!

J-Bo

A special announcement?? It better be that Paul Almeida is joining you again for an amazing Saturday show!! The two of you together was my favorite 2 hours of sports radio!!

LadiesloveSmid

Is Samorukov’s draft+2 any better than Bear’s?

Manning buyout gotta be in consideration

Jaxon

Simon Boisvert released his rankings as part of Grant McCagg’s Recrutes Draft Guide. He has Tomasino at #11! Highest of anyone so far. I like to see that because when I do my final attempt at rankings I make a self-imposed rule that I’ll not rank anyone higher or lower than they are ranked by publicized professional scouts and recognized hockey writers. And I truly believe, based on stats (mostly league and age adjusted 5v5 Primary Points rate and 5v5TOI), and scouting reports regarding tools (hockey sense, skating, puck skills, shot, physicality, size, defensive game, etc), that Tomasino should be a top 8 pick this year. So at least now, I can rank him as high as #11.

godot10

A Manning buyout is silly, like the Gryba one was. Just bury them in the minors, and get the contract off the books by next summer.

Rondo

Jaxon,

Who does Grant have at #8?

Psyche

Is there a maximum number of buyouts a team can carry at one time?

Oilers have Pouliot and Gryba (ugh) on the books for 2019-20. Can they add 2-3 more?

My preference is for a trade of either Sekera or Russell (no sweetener, with minimal or no $$$ retained) and a buyout of whomever can not be traded (of Sekera and Russell). As Godot10 said, “A Manning buyout is silly…” Send him to the AHL.

jp

Jaxon,

Are you at all worried Tomasino was being zoomed? He was 5th in points and 7th in P/game on that Niagra team. Any idea who he was playing with? They had 4 guys at 1.5 P/game or better.

Jaxon

Beecher is a very interesting prospect for #38 (***EDIT!!! I MISTAKENLY WROTE #8! NOPE***). While I’m not a fan of picking USNTDP players in the top 8 except Hughes (consensus by scouts), Turcotte (Adjusted 5v5 P1/60 is highest after McDavid and Crosby in last 15 years), and Caufield (goal scoring is elite), I would definitely gamble on a fast, big, defensively solid player who scored at a solid Adjusted 5v5 P1/60 rate. He’s 6’3.25″, 212lbs and one of the fastest skaters in the draft.

2019 – Jack Hughes – 26.409
2014 – Nikolaj Ehlers – 26.06
2008 – Tyler Ennis – 26.04
2013 – Max Domi – 26.01
2014 – Leon Draisaitl – 25.93
2019 – John Beecher – 25.867
2016 – Clayton Keller – 25.67
2005 – Steve Downie – 25.41
2019 – Dylan Cozens – 25.395

That is some great company. The caveat being, that he only played an estimated 10:54 of 5v5 icetime, which is the lowest on the above list. As I’ve tried to establish before, low TOI is a pretty good indicator of possible flops with high scoring rates. That said, for the same reason I’m wary of drafting his teammates too high, the TOI may not apply to USNTDP players as it does to everyone else, so maybe it is something I’d risk at #38 if he’s still available, and that is in the range that many lists have him going.

McCagg’s guide has a section where he polls 4 veteran scouts for the top players at certain aspects. Beecher was the 5th best skater, and 2nd best defensive forward by his poll. That’s a player I want at #38. A pretty safe bet to be a solid 3rd line center and PK specialist (speed and defensive forward). McCagg has him ranked #39.

Cozens and Beecher would be a very promising draft in my opinion. Fingers crossed. Two other players that interest me at #38 are Lassi Thompson and Dom Fensore.

jp

Psyche:
Is there a maximum number of buyouts a team can carry at one time?

Oilers have Pouliot and Gryba (ugh) on the books for 2019-20. Can they add 2-3 more?

My preference is for a trade of either Sekera or Russell (no sweetener, with minimal or no $$$ retained) and a buyout of whomever can not be traded (of Sekera and Russell). As Godot10 said, “A Manning buyout is silly…” Send him to the AHL.

Sekera and Russell are not bad enough players to consider buying out IMO. I’d love to see one of them traded without retention, but in addition to extending the number of years you’re paying these guys I don’t think you can replace them now with a 3M UFA who is any better.

Coiler

Hoping for a solid game tonight.
No blow outs, just a hard grind it out flurry of goals, amazing saves and impact body checks. In no particular order of course.

To say that this has been the weirdest set of playoffs in the last few years would be a grand understatement. I don’t think there has been the interest in these finals as there has been in years past but the hockey has been good nonetheless. Kudos to both teams and I hope they end up singing Gloria to their hearts content in St Loo later this evening. That team’s achievement this post season has been miraculous and offers a glimmer of hope to us.

Jordan

godot10:
A Manning buyout is silly, like the Gryba one was.Just bury them in the minors, and get the contract off the books by next summer.

A Manning buyout is only silly if your owner doesn’t care about the money. It saves him real dollars. How do you feel about giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay someone for a job they aren’t doing?

OriginalPouzar: The hitting Lucic does these days does not help win hockey games.

Of course, Samorukov is an egregious over-pay but I don’t see anything positive Lucic is doing on the ice – he had, what 2 games last year where his “hitting” helped lead to a win?

OP This quote is from the thread yesterday, and I wanted to address it.

As we’ve seen many times in the playoffs this year, Lucic’s strengths are most impactful in the second season. Especially when playing against the same team over and over again. His ability to grind other teams D-men can be a significant asset, especially over an extended series.

Two of the games St. Louis won were done on the back of injuring one of Boston’s starting 6 D. That has real value over the course of a 7 game series, let alone 4 series’.

I will admit to playing devil’s advocate here, as I have been in favour of trading the man since last off-season. However, I would not be against keeping him IF the rest of the roster can carry him.

He’s exactly the kind of player I’d want to have for an extended playoff series against a team like the Blues.

Not saying I wouldn’t trade him now if we could, but simply reminding everyone that this player has value.

PinkSocks

LadiesloveSmid:
Is Samorukov’s draft+2 any better than Bear’s?

Manning buyout gotta be in consideration

It needs to not be a consideration. $1,175,000 this year by burying him in the minors, or pay 916k this season and 667k next season. Better to eat the $200k pill this year and have him off the books next season altogether.

Dustylegnd

russ99:
I’d suspect that front office changes/additions are made after the draft.

Go Bruins!

Agreed, curious that there was an official announcement that KG would be AGM but no affirmation that Howson or Green will be staying on, I suspect that post draft additional changes will be made

I admit I have a deep distrust of all things Green because I do believe he had a large role in the Reinhart fiasco, at the end of the day Chia is responsible for pulling the trigger on that deal but I still blame Green

My distrust of Green is compounded by the fact that according to Stauffer Joel Erikson-Ek was the player the Oil had targeted in the 16 slot which makes perfect sense based on recent drafdt history…yeesh

I read about what a dedicated and hard working amateur scout he is and how he spends tireless hours in rinks around NA….maybe if he was better at hiring and managing a competent staff he wouldn’t have to spend so many hours in rinks looking for a player that can actually make the team and contribute draft +3

I look forward to more managerial change and hope for an outside the box thinker to be blessed with real responsibility

bwar

Personally I’m against any buyout. I feel like most the the players on your buyout list could be traded with 50% salary retention. Manning is the exception there but I don’t think him riding out his contract in the minors hurts the team much. I still think someone would be interested in Lucic at $3M for the next four years. Sekera $2.75M for two seasons isn’t that bad. Russell at $2M to play on someones third pair is pretty good. You might even get a couple seventh rounders back in the trades!

Jaxon

jp:
Jaxon,

Are you at all worried Tomasino was being zoomed? He was 5th in points and 7th in P/game on that Niagra team. Any idea who he was playing with? They had 4 guys at 1.5 P/game or better.

There is a distinct possibility, but there are a few things that sooth that worry. Many players have played on great CHL teams and he scored as high as they did. For example, Taylor Hall had great teammates (Ellis, Fowler, Henrique, Nemisz, Panik, Kassian) even though he was clearly the best. Also, I use primary points to rank players, so by definition, Tomasino was getting 1st assists and goals, meaning he was likely more of a driver than he is getting credit for. From the highlights I watched, he often did things to create plays using his speed and touches. He’d chip pucks to himself and skate around D to gain the zone and things like that. He’s fast and creative and has a great shot. The scouting reports have very few negatives and he was one of only 5 players to get a 60% in skating, Hockey Sense, and Puck Skills in Pronman’s top 107 players guide, 5! The others being Hughes, Turcotte, Newhook, and Fensore. Those 3 skills are probably the top 3 needed to become and impact NHLer. He’s not big, but has decent NHL size (Hughes and Fensore do not), so there is no worry of him dominating junior based on a size advantage against other teenagers. I really feel he’s a safe bet to be a solid player.

dustrock

LT – one fascinating thing for me with prospects is how winning organizations develop them compared to mediocre or poor organizations.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence the last real time we had significant developed players take the team on a playoff run in 2006, guys like Horcoff, Stoll, Pisani were developed properly, given the correct deployment, and were part of a winning team.

I’ve commented a couple of times this playoffs on teams like Boston, who is rightly being praised for the impact their picks (Acciari, Heinen, Kuraly, Carlo, etc) have had.

But would a Kuraly or Heinen have developed properly on a team like the Oilers?

If you go back to a junior team for D+1 season and you’re on a crappy team, does that affect development? What about the AHL team?

Would Draisaitl have developed similarly if he hadn’t been traded to Kelowna for their WHL Championship and Memorial Cup run?

Would Samorukov be as high on the radar as he is now if he didn’t have the huge playoff run?

There are can’t-miss prospects who will make it no matter what but so much has to depend on the team the prospect plays on.

dustrock

In fact, if I’m a team looking at drafting Krebs, I’d want to make sure he gets traded from Winnipeg, who is likely to be crap again next year.

We already talk about certain prospects who are too good for going back to the CHL but can’t play in the AHL.

Getting a guy like Krebs to go back to another terrible season with a terrible season just sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Jaxon

Rondo:
Jaxon,

Who does Grant have at #8?

McCagg
Mock Draft: Boldy.
Ranking: Seider.

Boisvert has Cozens ranked #8.

Rondo

Jaxon,

Thanks

BONE207

While a food fight might be more palatable, no pun intended, I hope Old Dutch drills down on why some of the draft day decisions came about. Why the Reinhart deal or why Jesse didn’t stay in Finland etc.

Maddening this Disorganization & enlightenment would ease my mind.

BONE207

J-Bo:
A special announcement?? It better be that Paul Almeida is joining you again for an amazing Saturday show!! The two of you together was my favorite 2 hours of sports radio!!

I’ll buy that for a dollar

OriginalPouzar

Mckenzie speculating there will be a good number of buyouts this off-season.

Buy out period starts 48 hours after the cup is awarded.

I’m guessing guys like Phaneuf, Perry, etc.

As for the Oilers, I can’t think of a single player where it makes sense to buy them out this off-season.

Only someone like Manning and they could bury him in the AHL for only a couple hundred grand more without the extra new term penalty. It does get him off the 50 man though…..

Sekera? No way – don’t buy out legit NHL d-men (very possibly legit NHL 2nd pairing d-men) and add 2 years of term.

Lucic? Way too egregious.

Gagner? Ya, maybe, but, given organizational depth, he’s the “skill” we need in the bottom 6 – I am in favor of a trade to Ottawa for a very middling asset – Ottawa buys him out and the Oilers sign him at a third or half the current price.

Professor Q

dustrock:
In fact, if I’m a team looking at drafting Krebs, I’d want to make sure he gets traded from Winnipeg, who is likely to be crap again next year.

We already talk about certain prospects who are too good for going back to the CHL but can’t play in the AHL.

Getting a guy like Krebs to go back to another terrible season with a terrible season just sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Maybe they become like Vancouver and Prince Albert, and go from being terrible to challenging for the Memorial Cup?

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar,

If everyone buys out significant contracts, then does anyone have space to re-sign anyone?

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think there are any RFAs left that the Russell signing would effect.

I’m confident Larkin and Vesel won’t be offered contracts. Callahan is a UFA and I don’t think they’ll bring him back.

JP and Khaira are important assets that will be signed.

Rattie and Rieder are the other two, they likely won’t be back but aren’t competing with the likes of Patrick Russell.

OilSafety

Is there a way for the Oil to make a trade that brings them both Elhers and Trouba?

Elhers and Trouba to Oil for #8, 2nd in 2021, Russell, Puljujarvi, Bear and Manning. Jets buy out or bury Manning.

Oil obviously need to make cap room for this and I am assuming Trouba stays, but that would give us our 1RD and shore up the top six with a proven scorer.

I do not pretend to be good at these proposals, but is there a ‘seismic’ deal available to use a Bob Mackenzie phrase.

OriginalPouzar

Here is hoping they can trade Hawkey’s rights before August 15 to get a pick back – hopefully before this year’s draft so that pick can be this year. Of course, the pick would be conditional on Hawkey sign with the team but that’s usually all but agreed to beforehand.

Rondo

Jaxon: McCagg
Mock Draft: Boldy.
Ranking: Seider.

Boisvert has Cozens ranked #8.

I guess Leon D would have intel on Seider. Still think it will come down to
Vasili Podkolzin, Broberg, Boldy and Krebs

OriginalPouzar

I look for some on that list of “NHL prospects” to move up to the category of Quality Prospect” – namely, Krill Maksimov and Kailer Yamamoto.

Lots of down verbal on Kailer but, to me, that’s all due to injury and the organization not allowing him to get comfortable in the AHL. Once he got comfortable in the A, he showed to be a top AHL forward and, assuming healthy this year and the organization not calling him up after 10 points in 11 games, I anticipate he’ll be around PPG and either a late season call-up or a real option for 2020/21.

Makismov is a bit more unknown as he hasn’t played pro yet but he had another really good year. The goal numbers cooled off a bit in the 2nd half but, from accounts, after Niagara stocked up, he was asked to take on more of a “2-way role” and his offensive opportunities decreased a bit. He is a plus penalty killer and defensive player at the junior level. That shot is already a plus NHL shot and, if he makes it, that shot might just score him alot of goals. He may never play an NHL game – he may score 40 one year.

Hey, what if one of them just pops and moves up to “Impact Talent”? It happens to other organizations – at some point its going to the the Oilers than make a 5th round pick that scores 40 in a season – maybe its Krill Maksimov?

Coiler

OilSafety:
Is there a way for the Oil to make a trade that brings them both Elhers and Trouba?

Elhers and Trouba to Oil for #8, 2nd in 2021, Russell, Puljujarvi, Bear and Manning. Jets buy out or bury Manning.

Oil obviously need to make cap room for this and I am assuming Trouba stays, but that would give us our 1RD and shore up the top six with a proven scorer.

I do not pretend to be good at these proposals, but is there a ‘seismic’ deal available to use a Bob Mackenzie phrase.

I couldn’t see Winnipeg making that trade as they are still in a win-now mode and the assets they would getting from Edmonton wouldn’t help them in that regard.

PinkSocks

Considering that Krebs just had his Achilles sliced in half, I’d be more wary of selecting him. Pick BPA no matter what, and at 8 I don’t believe it is Krebs. Just don’t shit the bed on this pick. Whether it is Cozens or Dach or Boldy, it doesn’t matter, just no top-10 mistakes.

dustrock

Jaxon: McCagg
Mock Draft: Boldy.
Ranking: Seider.

Boisvert has Cozens ranked #8.

How is Seider ranked at #8? I am having trouble with some of the high ranking for what seems like an underwhelming D class.

Other than York for sure and probably Broberg, I’m not sure there’s anybody I’d even take in the top 20.

PinkSocks

OilSafety:
Is there a way for the Oil to make a trade that brings them both Elhers and Trouba?

Elhers and Trouba to Oil for #8, 2nd in 2021, Russell, Puljujarvi, Bear and Manning. Jets buy out or bury Manning.

Oil obviously need to make cap room for this and I am assuming Trouba stays, but that would give us our 1RD and shore up the top six with a proven scorer.

I do not pretend to be good at these proposals, but is there a ‘seismic’ deal available to use a Bob Mackenzie phrase.

Trouba pretty clearly wants to be south of the border. Unless he is signed to a max term contract, I’m not trading anything substantial for him.

PinkSocks

dustrock: How is Seider ranked at #8?I am having trouble with some of the high ranking for what seems like an underwhelming D class.

Other than York for sure and probably Broberg, I’m not sure there’s anybody I’d even take in the top 20.

Agreed. With Seider I believe recency bias is playing the big role from his iihf performance last month.

Jaxon

Cozens and Beecher would be amazing.

2020/21(/22?)
Cozens – Mcdavid – Puljujarvi
Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Benson – Beecher – Maksimov
Khaira – McLeod – Kassian
Marody/Safin

Nurse – Bouchard
Klefbom – Larsson
Samorukov/Jones/Lagesson – Bear/Benning/Persson/

That’s a big, fast lineup. Playoff hockey. 13 plus size players and not many with a lack of speed. Benson and Marody may be the slowest players on that roster.

Forwards touted for their 2-way play: Cozens, Nuge, Benson, Beecher.
Good bets as PK options: Beecher, McLeod, Khaira, Kassian.

Still betting on Puljujarvi and Yamamoto, though. Right now, they are questions marks that need answers. Hopefully, they turn a corner this season.

texmex

Edmonton Oilers
@EdmontonOilers
·
6m
The #Oilers have agreed to terms with Jay Woodcroft on a contract extension through the 2021-22 season. The 42-year-old led the @Condors to a 42-21-3-2 record in 2018-19, earning the Western Conference regular season title, as well as their first-ever @TheAHL playoff berth.

OriginalPouzar

Ryan: I hope Holland doesn’t trade 1st rounders in the deal as Lowetide predicted as a possible option.

In his interview with Nugent Brown, Holland was express that he doesn’t foresee a scenario where he would trade the 1st round pick (but would obviously listen if a substantial offer was on the table).

Holland values the draft and prospects, this we know – its great because concern about a trade of the 8th for a soon to be UFA type player is essentially gone.

Jaxon

dustrock: How is Seider ranked at #8?I am having trouble with some of the high ranking for what seems like an underwhelming D class.

Other than York for sure and probably Broberg, I’m not sure there’s anybody I’d even take in the top 20.

A bit of recency bias with Seider and small sample size for sure. He performed really well against elite men NHLers at the World Championship on a subpar team with Draisaitl. He also did very well at the combine in both the interviews and the physical tests. He’s fast, smart, and physical. He may have been underrated all year due to lack of exposure and lack of competition, but to see how well he did against NHL players at the worlds opened some eyes. Maybe his climb is warranted. I don’t know. It’s a risk. I’d definitely lean on Draisaitl’s appraisal of his teammate. I’m sure he’d have a good sense of how he stacks up to Nurse, Klefbom, Larsson, etc when you play and practice with a player.

Pouzar

texmex:
Edmonton Oilers
@EdmontonOilers
·
6m
The #Oilers have agreed to terms with Jay Woodcroft on a contract extension through the 2021-22 season. The 42-year-old led the @Condors to a 42-21-3-2 record in 2018-19, earning the Western Conference regular season title, as well as their first-ever @TheAHL playoff berth.

Music!

John Chambers

I see Minnesota as an excellent trade partner for a few reasons:

1) At #8 there is going to be a hyped USHL player available (Zegras, Caufield, or Boldy) who won’t be there at #12.
2) Minny is getting younger and re-stocking their talent (eg Coyle for Donato)
3) Minny has a top-pair RD from Edmonton who is UFA in a year.

ArmchairGM

I’m posting this again because I’m still looking for answers. Why do many fans believe Benning cannot play top-4 and thus has little value? Why is a guy posting the numbers below, as a 25-year-old right-shot defenseman, being treated as expendable trade-bait? Is it simply a case of the eye-test / memory being inaccurate due to “single events”?
____________________________________________________________________________

Q: Is 1250 minutes over 3 years a large enough sample size to prove anything? I’m genuinely asking, because on another forum I’m the only guy that sees any value in Matt Benning at all, and looking at the numbers I think he can play 2RD. Certainly between him, Sekera and Russell we should be able to cover 2RD next season, but the numbers for Benning are intriguing.

To start with I used a proxy for “top-4” each year going back to 2016-17, based on TOI v Elites taken from puckiq.com, as follows:

2016-17: Sekera (35.5%), Klefbom (34.6)
2017-18: Nurse (34.9), Klefbom (32.3)
2018-19: Klefbom (35.1), Nurse (33.8)

Next I went to naturalstattrick.com and, using their “Teammates” tool, filtered all the stats for each year for the TOI Benning spent with each player listed above. I realize there were times when Russell-Benning were the 2nd pairing, but there may have been games that they were 3rd pairing too and I didn’t want to confuse the numbers with 3rd pairing data. Then too, who you play with is as important as who you play against, so showing those games where Russell-Benning played 2nd pairing probably doesn’t give us much information about potential combos this coming season, unless the injury bug strikes down 2-3 of the top-5 guys. For reference though, Russell-Benning were together just 21:04 in 2018-19 and outscored the competition 2-1. Negligible.

So I built an excel spreadsheet combining all the figures for Benning’s ice-time with the top two LHD for each season and the results were interesting to say the least. For the 3 years combined, 5v5 minutes in the top-4 only:

TOI: 1250:19
CF%: 52.79
FF%: 53.00
SF%: 53.17
GF%: 55.65

xGF%: 53.71
SCF%: 52.75
SCGF%: 56.99
HDCF%: 52.69
HDGF%: 56.72

Sh%: 9.51
Sv%: 91.75
PDO: 1.013

Again, this is just the time he spent in the top-4, these numbers don’t include any bottom-pairing play at all. This looks like a decent top-4 blueliner from here. Is it the McDavid push? Let’s look at the numbers with and without McDavid, filtered by the aforementioned top two LHD:

With McDavid

TOI: 420:30
CF%: 55.19
FF%: 56.65
SF%: 56.14
GF%: 62.96

xGF%: 56.10
SCF%: 55.27
HDCF%: 55.10
HDGF%: 59.38

Sh%: 14.05
Sv%: 90.73
PDO: 1.048

Without McDavid:

TOI: 829:47
CF%: 51.39
FF%: 50.88
SF%: 51.49
GF%: 49.18

xGF%: 52.06
SCF%: 50.97
HDCF%: 50.80
HDGF%: 54.29

Sh%: 8.20
Sv%: 94.67
PDO: 1.029

The truth is that Benning, even when playing top-4 minutes, isn’t getting a ton of “McDavid time”, just 33.6% of his TOI was spent with the world’s best center. Of course his numbers in those minutes are better, but he performed quite well even without the CMD push.

And then there’s this: Benning personally posted amazing boxcars during these minutes. His .912 points/60 puts him tied for 58th best defenseman in the NHL over the past 3 years, while his .29 goals/60 puts him in a 5 way tie for 24th, with Jones, Ekblad, Markov and our own Darnell Nurse. (I can’t believe so many Oilers fans are calling for these two to be traded). These are phenomenal numbers.

The list of marquee players that couldn’t match Benning’s .912 p/60 over the past 3 years is long, including Slavin, Petry, Morrissey, Ekholm, Heiskanen, Gostisbehere, Miller, Pesce, Ekman-Larsson, Parayko, Ekblad, Brodin, Doughty, Lindholm, Fowler, Ristolainen, Klefbom, Hamonic and Vatanen.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Matt Benning is a top-pairing guy or even a sure-fire top 4. I do know for sure that he’s played a reasonable amount of top-4 minutes over the past 3 years and has won those minutes even playing behind a piss-poor forward group. NONE of the other top blueliners can touch Benning’s GF% without McDavid, and it isn’t close:

Benning: 49.18 (while in the top-4 only)
Nurse: 44.51
Russell: 43.87
Larsson: 43.68
Klefbom: 40.27
Sekera: 40.00 (includes bottom-pairing time)

For reference, Benning’s overall GF% without McDavid (just so we’re comparing apples-to-apples) is 51.45%.

John Chambers

Put a trade together –

#8 + Ryan McLeod + Brandon Manning + Matt Benning for Jared Spurgeon and #12.

Y’know – modulo stuff

leadfarmer

Keeping Woodcroft through the 21-22 season. Good news

jtblack

texmex:
Edmonton Oilers
@EdmontonOilers
·
6m
The #Oilers have agreed to terms with Jay Woodcroft on a contract extension through the 2021-22 season. The 42-year-old led the @Condors to a 42-21-3-2 record in 2018-19, earning the Western Conference regular season title, as well as their first-ever @TheAHL playoff berth.

how much $$ does an AHL Head Coach make??

Material Elvis

John Chambers:
Put a trade together –

#8 + Ryan McLeod + Brandon Manning + Matt Benning for Jared Spurgeon and #12.

Y’know – modulo stuff

Interesting proposal John. Not sure if that’s enough to entice Minnesota but they are managed by Fenton so who knows. Spurgeon would be a massive addition to the Oil blue line (figuratively speaking).

godot10

John Chambers:
Put a trade together –

#8 + Ryan McLeod + Brandon Manning + Matt Benning for Jared Spurgeon and #12.

Y’know – modulo stuff

That is an awful lot for one year of Spurgeon.

Matt Benning and a high 2nd round draft pick (an expansion protected asset) for one year of Spurgeon.

#8 and Manning for #12…is arguably equivalent.

slopitch

texmex:
Edmonton Oilers
@EdmontonOilers
·
6m
The #Oilers have agreed to terms with Jay Woodcroft on a contract extension through the 2021-22 season. The 42-year-old led the @Condors to a 42-21-3-2 record in 2018-19, earning the Western Conference regular season title, as well as their first-ever @TheAHL playoff berth.

Beauty! We all talk about trading down, maybe buying out players and this and that. The best thing that can happen to this team is another great development year for guys like Samo, Bouch, Marod, McLeod, Benson in the AHL. Benson and Marody might just make the team but thats a side point.

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar:
Mckenzie speculating there will be a good number of buyouts this off-season.

Buy out period starts 48 hours after the cup is awarded.

I’m guessing guys like Phaneuf, Perry, etc.

As for the Oilers, I can’t think of a single player where it makes sense to buy them out this off-season.

Only someone like Manning and they could bury him in the AHL for only a couple hundred grand more without the extra new term penalty. It does get him off the 50 man though…..

Sekera? No way – don’t buy out legit NHL d-men (very possibly legit NHL 2nd pairing d-men) and add 2 years of term.

Lucic? Way too egregious.

Gagner? Ya, maybe, but, given organizational depth, he’s the “skill” we need in the bottom 6 – I am in favor of a trade to Ottawa for a very middling asset – Ottawa buys him out and the Oilers sign him at a third or half the current price.

Maybe Lucic. I wouldn’t, but maybe it makes sense to Holland. Here’s why (playing the devil’s advocate here):

The Oilers only have a cap crunch in 2019-20, there’s plenty of room next summer and beyond. If Lucic is not bought out or traded for another equally bad contract, he’ll have to stay. That’s a $6M cap hit and an unhappy player, nobody wants that in their dressing room. Whereas bought out, the cap hit this coming year is $3.625M, savings of $2.375M on the cap. Lucic gets replaced at 4LW by Gambardella or Benson, Puljujarvi and Khaira are signed for $2.5M combined and Brodziak and Manning buried in the AHL. Now Holland has $11M to sign 5 guys, or $10.35 for 4 new players if he allows for both Benson and Gambardella on the roster.

Now, I know its not the Holland way to bring rookies in quickly, but bear with me on this. $10.4M could bring in some decent help:

1B goalie: $2.5M
2RW: $4M
3C: $2.5M
3LW: $1.4M

Now, lets put some names to those, just for fun. I’ll say Elliott ($2.5 x 1), Connolly ($4 x 4), Filppula ($2.5M x 1) and Agostino ($.95 x 1). That’s barring any trades of course.

So if you carry this forward, in 2020-21 you’ll see that there’s loads of cap space, despite the Nurse contract and the huge Lucic buyout cap hit. A full $20.3M comes off the books plus the cap should go up by $3M or so. Nurse could cost $6.2M, Lucic cap hit is $2M higher so that leaves us with $15.1M to fill 9 roster spots. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but several things: (1) all the open roster spots are bottom-6, bottom pairing and backup goalie, (2) several of them will be able to be filled with prospects, (3) there are several RFA’s that won’t be expensive to re-sign or can be traded for other assets, (4) Sekera and/or Russell should be easily moved that summer, and (5) one of them likely has been pushed out of his job by then anyhow.

Again, I wouldn’t do it, but I could see Holland at least contemplating it. It strengthens the team this fall and gives a little more cushion for the prospects to ripen.

Surely someone is interested in Lucic at 50% retained, even if we have to add a B- or C-level prospect or two?

OriginalPouzar

Keith Gretzky mentioned yesterday that they won’t be “pencilling in” any AHL or CHL players in to the lineup and expressed that they’ve made that mistake before and its hurt them.

That’s great to hear.

To me it means that they won’t go in to camp planing on Jones in the top 6 D or Benson as a 2LW (or middle 6 LW) even though Jones looks like he probably is NHL ready and Benson on the verge thereof as well.

Of course, they can “battle for jobs” (even though camp and preseason means little with respect to NHL readiness) and may break camp with the team but the organization won’t be “counting on it”.