It Don’t Come Easy

by Lowetide

In 2018-19, the average NHL team scored and allowed 244 goals. Edmonton scored 229, off the pace but in the range. However, the team’s goals against total was 271, making the goal differential -42. Clawing back that many goals in one summer is impossible, but closing the gap has to be the goal. Have the Oilers improved this summer?

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 Offer!

  • New Lowetide: Adding a scorer will be Ken Holland’s first big move as Oilers GM
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the Oilers’ depth chart looks like now and where they go from here
  • New Jonathan Willis: How often do goalies like the Oilers’ Mike Smith rebound?
  • New Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster moves clear the way for Oilers top prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A deeper look at Mike Smith’s comments after signing with the Oilers
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers GM Ken Holland promises long-term rewards for an approach light on short-term improvements
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trade market now most likely place for Oilers to find scoring winger
  • New Lowetide: Oilers add free agent Markus Granlund, creating a crowded depth chart at left wing
  • New Jonathan Willis: Tomas Jurco is a nice little reclamation bet by the Oilers.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How re-signing winger Alex Chiasson impacts the Oilers
  • New Lowetide: Oilers add Mike Smith to an uneasy goalie depth chart for 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Oilers buy out Andrej Sekera, look to a more dynamic free-agent frenzy.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He comes as advertised’: Philip Broberg’s skating makes him development camp standout for Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers plan to skew younger on defence could open the door for Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov
  • Lowetide: Taking stock of Oilers prospects ready to graduate with a clear shot at an NHL job in 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
  • Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
  • Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?

PROJECTED LINEUP 2019-20

Can this lineup score more than 229 goals? Although Leon scored 50 last season, McDavid popped 41 and Zack Kassian 15 — 106 goals in total — my early RE projections have this group scoring just 88 in 2019-20. Now, that will get tweaked and if the Oilers acquire a scoring right winger we can project higher.

The No. 2 line? Well, I’ll guess 52. Third line? 35. The rest of the forwards? 25. That’s 200. Add the defense and you’re looking at 230. That’s about what the team managed last season, when the 229 Edmonton goals ranked the team No. 20 among 31 teams. Not close to good enough. As I wrote this morning for The Athletic, Ken Holland has to get some scoring before training camp. By the way, that isn’t my final lineup, suspect Tyler Benson makes that one.

I can answer that one, or at least give you Holland’s thinking based on his own words. In the book “Behind the Moves” Holland says “the minute a young kid would play well (in the minors) for six weeks, he’d get called up and provide a bit of a spark. Then six weeks later they’re sent down and they’re beaten up. I learned people are ready when they’re ready and I learned about the importance of building their foundation.”

Holland would prefer to keep Benson in Bakersfield for another 40 games, but it’s uncertain he can do it. Same goes for Marody and Yamamoto.

I spoke to Daniel Nugent-Bowman from The Athletic on the Lowdown yesterday, his intel has Broberg playing in the SHL in 2019-20. That’s fine, his minutes and production can be tracked. I don’t think he’ll get much in the way of power-play time, so the boxcars won’t pop. That said, his five-on-five goal differential can be tracked from a league that has seen tremendous blue his age perform at varying levels.

Ilya Konovalov

Red Line: Classic late-bloomer was a dominant force in the KHL and blossomed into the league’s top rookie. Extreme battler who will stop pucks with any body part and refuses to lose. Lacks ideal NHL size, but is athletic, flexible, well balanced, and smart.

I like Dzingel as the best available for Edmonton, although American free agents often choose American teams. Dzingel is a first-shot scorer and has established himself as a solid percentage marksman. You’re not getting a two-way winger, you’re getting the bat over the glove.

Ferland holds my interest, Johansson too and Vanek might be a useful add late August if the scorer hasn’t been identified.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday morning with all hell about to break loose. Starts at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will pop in to chat Mitch Marner offer sheet, Kawhi’s whereabouts and CFL’s “Live Mic” moments from week one. Hart from Puck Pedia will join us to chat about cap room in Toronto, on the island and in Edmonton. Crazy day! 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. I’m getting the vapors because of Lou!

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who

ArmchairGM: As the best bet for 2RD in the roster, he isn’t the easiest player to replace at all. What you’re advocating is playing too many rookies and playing them too high in the lineup. Not a great plan IMO.

Benning won’t have lost any value next summer, we need to see where the rookies are FIRST and then talk about trading players that have been passed.

First of all, is he really the best bet for 2RD? He’s been given that position the last 2 years, and lost it to Russell both times.
How hard is it to replace a 3RD? Especially when you consider all the prospects we have coming?

ArmchairGM

who: You may be right. It’s probably going to be him or Russell, for this year.
But I think you have to look past this year. By this time next year there is a very good chance that 2 of Perrson, Bouchard, Bear, Jones or Lagesson will have passed him on the depth chart. If you want to open up a roster spot, and some cap space, he is the easiest guy to move, and replace.
We aren’t winning the cup this year anyways.

As the best bet for 2RD in the roster, he isn’t the easiest player to replace at all. What you’re advocating is playing too many rookies and playing them too high in the lineup. Not a great plan IMO.

Benning won’t have lost any value next summer, we need to see where the rookies are FIRST and then talk about trading players that have been passed.

who

jp: Fun fact: Persson is 3 weeks older than Matt Benning.

I disagree that 2 of those guys will pass Benning by next year. In fact it’s likely none of them have by then, IMO.

We should be very happy if 2 of them ever become better players than Benning is now. Expecting it to happen in the next year is not reasonable.

I guess we’ll see. I think you could make an arguement that Bouchard and Jones are already better. The other three, who knows?
But a year from now, I like my bet.

jp

who: You may be right. It’s probably going to be him or Russell, for this year.
But I think you have to look past this year. By this time next year there is a very good chance that 2 of Perrson, Bouchard, Bear, Jones or Lagesson will have passed him on the depth chart. If you want to open up a roster spot, and some cap space, he is the easiest guy to move, and replace.
We aren’t winning the cup this year anyways.

Fun fact: Persson is 3 weeks older than Matt Benning.

I disagree that 2 of those guys will pass Benning by next year. In fact it’s likely none of them have by then, IMO.

We should be very happy if 2 of them ever become better players than Benning is now. Expecting it to happen in the next year is not reasonable.

ArmchairGM

Lowetide:
I wrote this about Darnell Nurse six months after he was drafted by Edmonton. It’s also true for Broberg:

It’s important too to remember that Nurse’s overall value is mostly defense based on his draft day scouting report, and impressive offense is a five-star kicker. If he scores 25 points a season in the NHL as a top 4D that’s going to hold value. If he can score 40? We’re looking at a 25-minute a night defender who can play in all three disciplines (if he continues tracking this way).

https://lowetide.ca/2013/11/11/1-prospect-winter-2013-darnell-nurse/

Damn that was a hot take.

BONE207

Halfwise: So if they were working for you, and you had to cut costs, and Jill was so hot you couldn’t think straight, would you lay Jill or Jack off?

Well I can’t speak for anyone else but I might do both. Anything to get straight…?

Reja

YKOil: Not sure Columbus has the draft picks, the Dzingel trade took their 2020 and 2021 2nd round picks.They are also missing their 2020 3rd (for Ian Cole).

Given how Dzingel performed I am pretty sure they regret that trade (of all the trades they made for that run).

I hear Dzingel isn’t signed yet.

The Jackets are ripe for the pickings Jesse and Caleb for my man Josh Anderson.The Finn will wake up the the Finn,Caleb we be with his brother just like the Potvin brothers. Come on Holland quit fuking around and get a winger to complete my Canadian Triple Crown line.

Crazy Pedestrian

YKOil: Not sure Columbus has the draft picks, the Dzingel trade took their 2020 and 2021 2nd round picks.They are also missing their 2020 3rd (for Ian Cole).

Given how Dzingel performed I am pretty sure they regret that trade (of all the trades they made for that run).

I hear Dzingel isn’t signed yet.

Actually, if columbus offer sheets Marner for the 7th (top) compensation tier at an AAV $10,568,590 or higher based on 5 year term (which is what is being speculated), they would owe four 1st round picks (which at the moment, every team is able to do)

Four 1st rounders is a hell of a price though…

Munny

Gerta Rauss:
Aldo Nova

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miSMxBP42W0

I ain’t clicking that link. No way.

If I do, I’m going to hear a helicopter and expect it to drop a player.

fanaddict
Scungilli Slushy

So many good ideas and much time well spent thinking arrives at Lowetide.

One thing to consider is how almost all players are so dependent on circumstance at the highest level of hockey.

Which is why we’ve seen so many fails and flame outs in Oiler silks.

Teams that get things mostly right succeed more than those that don’t.

The team has for a long time had the wrong precepts, behaved arrogantly, and blamed the players. And that lead to further errors in judgement.

I believe we will see an improvement all round even if nothing fun happens. It is easy to dismiss Holland’s comment about bringing stability, but those words are key.

A positive motivating coach, respect and considered words in public, openness which engages fans without ‘stream of conscious’ media avails revealing every internal idea, being firm and fair. It will bring a significantly improved more unified team on the ice.

Which is perhaps why they are being judicious regardless of cap implications. They do have a core of really good players. Holland will keep working and when a good deal comes up he’ll move. If it doesn’t I think we can expect a much more even effort and far less no shows which in itself probably means playoff contention.

There has been a lot of movement in the west, but I expect most of it does not end up making a team that moved ahead overall much.

Colorado would be most people’s first choice for dangerous, but they are going to run a D with young smallish offensive types at it’s heart. I think if that works it will be in the years ahead, Byram shouldn’t be in the league this year and even if draft +1 he’ll be 3rds.

Dallas would be threat #2 but there is a lot of gambles on old players, 2 with issues, and another young smallish D.

I don’t see playoff dominance in either. The Oilers are as much a threat as anybody but St Louis if they can get in IMO.

Gerta Rauss
fanaddict

Caribbeerman,

my ultimate hope would be a 3 way with Calgary & Vancouver

Fantasy

fanaddict

Andy Dufresne,

Foot speed aside, Brian Boyles fancies are what we all dream Jujhar Khaira will become sometime soon.

Fantasy

fanaddict

Andy Dufresne,

All he needs to do is pot 30 goals this year.

Fantasy

fanaddict

OriginalPouzar,

Fantasy?

Fantasy

Bulging Twine

YKOil: Not sure Columbus has the draft picks, the Dzingel trade took their 2020 and 2021 2nd round picks.They are also missing their 2020 3rd (for Ian Cole).

Given how Dzingel performed I am pretty sure they regret that trade (of all the trades they made for that run).

I hear Dzingel isn’t signed yet.

Yep, you’re right, he isn’t signed yet, just checked. Could happen any moment though!

who

ArmchairGM: Good thing. Benning is also the best bet to win 2RD minutes of any player on the roster.

You may be right. It’s probably going to be him or Russell, for this year.
But I think you have to look past this year. By this time next year there is a very good chance that 2 of Perrson, Bouchard, Bear, Jones or Lagesson will have passed him on the depth chart. If you want to open up a roster spot, and some cap space, he is the easiest guy to move, and replace.
We aren’t winning the cup this year anyways.

YKOil

Crazy Pedestrian:
I’m betting on columbus though. They just lost bobrovski, Duchene, Panarin, and probably Dzingel. And so far they’ve only signed Nyqvist. The only caveat would be resigning Dubois and Anderson next season.

Not sure Columbus has the draft picks, the Dzingel trade took their 2020 and 2021 2nd round picks. They are also missing their 2020 3rd (for Ian Cole).

Given how Dzingel performed I am pretty sure they regret that trade (of all the trades they made for that run).

I hear Dzingel isn’t signed yet.

Bulging Twine

BONE207:
Hey Bulging Twine…what’s the word on Dzingel??? 15 minutes have elapsed…

Right, got distracted there.
– still not signed

Crazy Pedestrian

Andy Dufresne: Marner

There’s only 3 teams I can see that could offer sheet him anything over $10M without busting up there cap.

Montreal, Ottawa, Columbus

Montreal only has $7.5M in cap space, but currently have 25 roster players. So if they did sign him, they likely can become cap compliant after trading away three players.

Ottawa is probably not his first choice of offer sheet suitors, but they can probably offer the most money, and having Marner would speed up their rebuild dramatically. Plus, they have a crap load of UFAs and McArthur coming off the books next year. (Although at the same time will need to re-sign a crap load of RFAs)

It would be super hilarious if Marner did sign with one of Toronto’s next door neighbours/rivals!!! Oh the booing!!! For us, it would be like having Draisaitl sign an offer sheet with Calgary…
SUPER YUCK!!! ?

I’m betting on columbus though. They just lost bobrovski, Duchene, Panarin, and probably Dzingel. And so far they’ve only signed Nyqvist.
The only caveat would be resigning Dubois and Anderson next season.

razor

I think this Board is not giving enough credit to Holland for the Sekera buyout. It hurts because Sekera was still effective (when healthy) and management has a history of bad buyouts (see Gryba and Pouliot). But it took guts to pull the trigger on that buyout, given the likelihood Sekera may bounce back somewhere else. Holland needed more room to shore up the forward depth and possibly maneuver for a trade this summer (which I think will still happen). This may have been his only option to get that space. Put it this way, there’s no way Chiarelli would have done it if he was still here (given Sekera was a Chia signing)

ArmchairGM

Kinger_Oil.redux: – Here is the list of 25 year old+D that have never played in the the NHL before, that moved directly from Europe and played impactful NHL D minutes immediately,in the history of the NHL:

Zaitsev arrived at 25… but maybe that just proves your point.

ArmchairGM

who: I don’t think Russell is moveable. If he was, I don’t think Holland buys out Sekera.
The only dman that it makes sense to trade is Benning. I’ve been saying this for months, but no one is listening.

Good thing. Benning is also the best bet to win 2RD minutes of any player on the roster.

OriginalPouzar

theDjdj: Some of the Broberg criticism around skating into the zone with no real plan of attack reminds me of Nurse’s game. You’d have to think playing in SHL will expose his weaknesses quicker than hammering in the OHL.

Related question: which league has a higher skill caliber, OHL or SHL?

This would be the SHL without a doubt.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: I think he can scoot through the neutral zone faster, Nurse has more power but Broberg is racing for the edge. One hopes he develops another move, but that won’t happen until he stops having success skating by everyone.

This will be the benefit of playing a full year for Skellefteå in the top Swedish league as opposed to in Hamilton.

YKOil

I wonder who shakes loose in arbitration. Represents the last big bite of Cap from the teams and the remaining UFA’s will have to try to get a piece of what little will be left.

A good group of players WILL be available once arbitration is done and the quality RFA’s (Point, etc.) are signed.

Be patient Holland. Signing Chiasson wasn’t the best move, and it isn’t a killer mistake all things considered, but the better move was to stay patient and leave the bullet in the chamber.

Halfwise

Reja:
Jack and Jill went up the hill both with a buck and a quarter Jill came down with 2.50

So if they were working for you, and you had to cut costs, and Jill was so hot you couldn’t think straight, would you lay Jill or Jack off?

YKOil

JimmyV1965:
I will consider it a very successful season if Holland brings in just one good player; a top 6 forward, top 4 dman or a starting goalie. The latter two are pretty well out of the question, but there’s still lots of time to acquire a top 6 forward. I hope we make the playoffs, but that would likely require some good luck. A simple, incremental improvement would make me happy. We wait.

On an ‘of course’ basis, making the play-offs represents a successful season.

Otherwise I view a successful season progressing like so:

a. 85+ pts in the standings (3 more wins over losses)
b. injury free, excepting a game here or there for the odd stinger, McDavid and Klefbom year
c. improvement in the play, and attending results, of Lucic, Khaira, Larsson, and Koskinen
d. development, into dependable players, of any two of Persson, Jones, Lagesson, Bear
e. development, into dependable players, of any three of Granlund, Jurco, Nygard, Haas, Cave, Marody (four, if including Puljujarvi)
f. continued development of Benson, Yamamoto, et al
g. no collapses in play of Kassian, Chaisson, et al
h. trade, by the deadline, any three of Manning, Brodziak, Gagner, Russell, Smith

I won’t get all I want but tangible progress would be enough to make me happy with next year’s results.

theDjdj

Lowetide: I think he can scoot through the neutral zone faster, Nurse has more power but Broberg is racing for the edge. One hopes he develops another move, but that won’t happen until he stops having success skating by everyone.

Some of the Broberg criticism around skating into the zone with no real plan of attack reminds me of Nurse’s game. You’d have to think playing in SHL will expose his weaknesses quicker than hammering in the OHL.

Related question: which league has a higher skill caliber, OHL or SHL?

Reja

Jack and Jill went up the hill both with a buck and a quarter Jill came down with 2.50

nelson88

Loved Jan Hjeda. One of MacT’s many overly stubborn moments. Won’t be surprised if Kevin Gravel is a Jan Hjeda light

Primetime

Lowetide: I think he can scoot through the neutral zone faster, Nurse has more power but Broberg is racing for the edge. One hopes he develops another move, but that won’t happen until he stops having success skating by everyone.

For that very reason I think it’s better he goes back to SHL…playing against
Men will force him to develop other parts of his game vs racing by his peers in OHL (regardless of ice size)

theDjdj

Lowetide:
I wrote this about Darnell Nurse six months after he was drafted by Edmonton. It’s also true for Broberg:

It’s important too to remember that Nurse’s overall value is mostly defense based on his draft day scouting report, and impressive offense is a five-star kicker. If he scores 25 points a season in the NHL as a top 4D that’s going to hold value. If he can score 40? We’re looking at a 25-minute a night defender who can play in all three disciplines (if he continues tracking this way).

https://lowetide.ca/2013/11/11/1-prospect-winter-2013-darnell-nurse/

LT or others, is it true that Broberg is potentially an even better skater than Nurse?

blainer

Lots of folks saying Broberg was a reach but many people said after the first two the draft could go in any direction which it kinda did.

I was hoping for Caufield but after watching lots of video of Broberg I’m very happy we drafted him and honestly believe most posters are going to very happy with this pick in two years as well..

My oh my that skating is off the charts IMO. He does have work to do but he is also barely 18 years old.

I also wonder if this was a safe pick not knowing who is getting zoomed with those Americans.

Reja

BONE207: My thoughts on Chiasson was that he come back after a summer of improving his speed. If he does that, he may be a “good in the room” guy who would then also be a more impactful player on the top lines. Having an SC ring helps too for potential playoff (?) experience. Only then would you offer him a contract at 1.5 to 2 million. Hopefully he is doing exactly that.

When Chase played in Dal,Ott,Cal I always noticed him good thought he would be a consistent 20-25 goal man. Chase will score 20+ he’s a late bloomer who has figured out the soft spots with his deceptive shot he will cover the bet.

Jethro Tull

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what that means to me!
A cider made from sour cherry!

kooler

Too bad Oil didn’t hold onto Sekera a bit longer…..Jets could us a senior D guy.

jtblack

McSorley33:
jtblack,

EDMONTON plays 40 Games from season opener until X MAS ….

So we should have our answer on this team before SAINT NIC ARRIVES.
************************************************************************************
We usually do…..anything post Halloween is usually bonus time for us.

any game after Halloween, I will just be eternally Grateful, until we are out by more than 10 points …

#12OutOf13

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Kinger_Oil.redux,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man.”

rickithebear

Pouzar: thanks for pointing out the facts any person can look up.
Chaisson did get his most effective evg production with Draisaitl & redier.

Mcdavid got his most effective evg production with Draisaitl & Chaisson

When you combine the 3 sets of results you end up with an expected evg/60 for the line of 4.00 evg/60
That is why when discussing lines the other day.
I sought out the lines that should get the most combined EVTOI available to maintain an elite pairs results.

Draisaitl & Mcdavid should see 1480 EVTOI each.
They are shared for extra minutes running 2nd/3 TD line roles beyond their 1 st line minutes.
(888 min together) Draisaitl 24 evg – Mcdavid
I would hope they run the best lines for a high % of TOI

So based on best evg line results.
Chaisson – Mcdavid- Draisaitl 4.00 evg/60
Draisaitl – Mcdavid – Kassian 4.00 evg/ 60
Lucic – RNH – Gagner greater than 3.66 evg/60
Then viable pairs to be shared with others
Draisaitl – Mcdavid 48 goals in 888 min is 3.23 evg/60 then add line mates EvG to get lines Evg scored in 60 minutes.
Lucic – xxx – Gagner 2.67 evg /60 + centres evg/60 rate gets summed evg scores.
Xxx- RNH – Kassian 2.50 evg/60

This is the lines & pairs that should be the basis for 1 st to third line evg production.
Clear data.
Not opinion.

Have presented this for yours.

Kinger_Oil.redux

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
OriginalPouzar,

It’s the daily straw man by Kinger.Same as it ever was.

– ??? Not sure why you need to insult and personalize things. I get it : Go Persson! Yeah Team!

– Kinger is a straw-man: f%ck that guy

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Alpine,

Yeah I was aiming more at the path and less the delays due to injury.

I was thinking SHL for a year, AHL for a year, and maybe NHL on the third pairing the year following. If not then in the NHL the season after, so D+3 or D+4.

Optimistic? Maybe. I wouldn’t be upset if it took him 5 years. Just so long as when he does arrive, he’s bonafide.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

It’s the daily straw man by Kinger. Same as it ever was.

OriginalPouzar

Sam Bennett has indeed filed for arbitration.

Alpine

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
SwedishPoster,

Here’s hoping he takes the Klefbom development path and it pays dividends.So, arrival on 3rd pairing in, say, ’22-23 or 23-24?

Klefbom did miss most of his draft+2 season and only played 11 games so he kind of lost a year of development. Post-draft, he played just over 40 more games in the SEL then 50 games in the AHL before he became top four in his draft+4. Had some spot duty on the third pairing in draft+3.

If Phil can stay healthy, then I’d say we’re looking at 3rd pairing in ‘21-22. That would be after either two years in the SHL or one year in each of the SHL/AHL. If he’s like Klefbom but doesn’t get hurt then draft+3 and potentially draft+2 could be when he’s ready for third pairing.

OriginalPouzar

Responding to the following from Kinger:

– You guys and this are case in point why fans get so upset in Oiltown.Same yesterday with Jultz.Your expectations are just out of whack, then you get ticked when they aren’t met.

– Defending Jultz as Norris, or that Persson is going to be the guy who makes an impact on D

______________________________

I encourage you read through the posts yesterday on Shultz – you’re statement that guys like Bear have a higher potential than he did at the same age has zero justification in objectivity.

To the Persson – I don’t think anyone is talking about him coming in and solidifying the 2nd pairing – the question was if he could play sheltered 3rd pairing minutes and PP. You then posted a factually incorrect statement about players coming over from Sweden and now are arguing against something that noone has posited.