Dave Tippett’s last NHL team, the 2016-17 Arizona Coyotes, deployed 10 rookies — five of whom played over 650 minutes that season. Of those 10 rookies, how many made the opening night lineup? Three: Jakob Chychrun, Christian Dvorak, Lawson Crouse. Chychrun and Crouse were teenagers, and Dylan Strome was, too.
Tippett can handle multiple rookies in a season, and it gives us something to talk about as we wait through summer for the hockey season. Knowing Ken Holland’s preference is too overcook (I don’t like that word) prospects in the minors, how would a strong performance by a player like Dmitri Samorukov test that position?
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: Will the 2019-20 Bakersfield Condors be the Oilers’ best minor-league team ever?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The Oilers have a new amateur scouting director. What can we learn from Tyler Wright’s track record at the draft?
- Lowetide: The Oilers are finally recovering from the wayward 2014 Draft
- Lowetide: Projecting Darnell Nurse’s next contract and possible trades
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A missing mom, aching feet and looking for Kevin Lowe: A week in the life of Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie
- Lowetide: What to do when Connor McDavid rests: The Oilers’ ideal No. 2 line for 2019-20
- Lowetide: Adding a scorer will be Ken Holland’s first big move as Oilers GM
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the Oilers’ depth chart looks like now and where they go from here
- Jonathan Willis: How often do goalies like the Oilers’ Mike Smith rebound?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster moves clear the way for Oilers top prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto.
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers GM Ken Holland promises long-term rewards for an approach light on short-term improvements
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trade market now most likely place for Oilers to find scoring winger
- 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: 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?
CONSERVATIVE OPENING NIGHT ROSTER PROJECTION
If Holland and Tippett decide to elevate the veterans and keep the kids on the farm, opening night might look like this. NHL newcomers include some Euro influence (Nygard, Haas, Persson) some NHL free agents (Smith, Granlund, Jurco) and a drafted/developed rookie in Caleb Jones. Seven new players, but no teenagers, no entry deal bonuses and everyone should be aware of their roles and assignments.
WILD AND CRAZY OPENING NIGHT ROSTER PROJECTION
I would call this the “Chychrun” plan except that kid was good out of the box, and Samorukov may also fit in this category. Anyway, I think four rookies and Jesse Puljujarvi on the roster is about as wild and crazy as the Holland-Tippett team would go. I expect them to be more conservative, Holland wanting to start as he means to go.
BIG TRADE ROSTER
I made a massive trade with Calgary, bringing in Neal, Frolik and Stone. Lucic, Russell and Jesse Puljujarvi go the other way and maybe you’d have to sweeten it because Russell has an extra year and Lucic’s contract is more difficult than Neal’s, but for now we’ll call it even. I also signed Brassard, not thrilled with the idea but it fits with the “Holland Old Folks Home” template used in Detroit for many years. Bear over Persson because it saves $275,000 and yes it’s important.
MOST LIKELY ROSTER
Holland is trying to make a deal and I do think he’ll grab a scoring winger but it’s difficult to identify right this minute. So, I’ve assigned the job to Jurco, signed Brassard and decided the Oilers might just let this dark horse run. This is a lottery team, men. Brace yourselves.
Bob Green doesn’t need me to come to his aid, his hockey reputation was made before arriving in Edmonton. That said, I remain flummoxed by the idea Green is the chief culprit in the Griffin Reinhart trade. Here’s the deal: General managers may reach out to trusted men in the organization for input, but for crying out loud the scouting director doesn’t prepare or negotiate the trade. Green gave an endorsement to the idea of acquiring Reinhart based on his knowledge of the player. He didn’t neglect the Oilers by not flying to the east coast to see Reinhart play, he had other work to do. He no doubt spoke about Reinhart as an Oil Kings blue, that’s a helluva player.
The entire episode reminds me of Whitey Herzog’s reaction to the Jim Fregosi trade made by the Mets 50 years ago. Herzog was in charge of Mets procurement at the time, and the GM called and asked about Fregosi, a pretty good SS with power who was aging with the Angels. Herzog said he was a good player, still had something left to give. When he found out about the trade (Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest arms in the history of the game, plus a pretty good OF in Leroy Stanton and a couple of fringe pitchers), Herzog was outraged.
“I’ll never forget it,” recalled Herzog. “Bob Scheffing called and asked me to call Leroy Stanton to tell him we’d traded him to the Angels for Jim Fregosi. I thought that was the deal, not realizing we were giving them Nolan Ryan, Fransisco Estrada and Don Rose along with Stanton. I said ‘shit, I wouldn’t trade Stanton for Fregosi’. I liked Stanton! When I picked up the paper the next morning and discovered Nolan Ryan was in there too, I about threw up.” Source
Here’s a fact: If you are angry at Bob Green, believe he’s the man to blame for the Reinhart trade, you’ve lost the script. The general manager takes advice from the people around him and then makes the deal. Unless you have clear evidence, a quote I haven’t seen where Green says he stepped in, then you’ve altered real truth to fit your version of the truth. Your outrage over Bob Green doesn’t make you a better fan, it makes you a dumber person.
Lucic apparently gets his bonus today, so if something is going to happen around a trade it could occur in the coming hours. I’m a Lucic fan, so hope he lands in a good spot and will wish him well despite some tough times with the Oilers. Seems my Bruins favourites who come here are destined to struggle, although I would welcome Patrice Bergeron at any time.
Names I’ve heard include James Neal, Sam Bennett, Jason Zucker, Tyler Toffoli. The Bennett rumor had Jesse Puljujarvi attached to it. We wait.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re back, baby!! At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Guests include John Horn from ESPN, WTA, TSN, we’ll chat about an instant classic at Wimbledon and what the future holds for Serena and Roger. Jason Gregor will pop in to chat about the Eskimos and the Oilers, and we’ll have a CFL guest to talk about the Alouettes weird season. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio! OH. I’m also on the roundtable at 9 with Dustin Nielson, Lt Eric and Matt Iwanyk. It’s an all-star cast!