One of the things Ken Holland said after arriving in Edmonton surrounded improving the bottom-six forwards. Two of his moves, adding Markus Granlund and Josh Archibald, are designed to shore up that area of the roster. Both men bring some offense and utility. Holland needs a third-line center and a scoring winger. He isn’t done. Right?
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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Potential free-agent options for the Oilers in 2020
- New Jonathan Willis: Which Oilers defencemen can make an outlet pass?
- New Kent Wilson and Lowetide: Why the Flames and Oilers would (and wouldn’t) trade Sam Bennett for Jesse Puljujarvi
- New Lowetide: Looking ahead to Oilers training camp: 35 players for 23 jobs
- New Jonathan Willis: What the Oilers’ 2020 cap situation suggests about Ken Holland’s master plan.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: With free agency all but over, Oilers’ Ken Holland has tough work ahead on the trade front
- Jonathan Willis: Josh Archibald won’t fix the Oilers’ biggest problems, but he’ll help with some key issues.
- Lowetide: Is there anyone left in free agency who can help the Oilers?
- 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?
COYOTES 2016-17 FORWARDS
Dave Tippett’s final Coyotes team didn’t have a lot of scoring power up front and there weren’t many useful veterans. He ran his best young offensive forward (Domi) with his best center and scoring winger (Hanzal and Vrbata). Then he cobbled together something resembling a checking line (Martinook trio) and ran what was left on the 2 and 4 lines. His most successful line was Perlini-Dvorak-Doan, outscoring opponents 12-6 in 292 minutes. What is the Oilers equivalent of Perlini-Dvorak-Doan?
OILERS 2018-19 FORWARDS
Tippett’s top line in Edmonton should be able to outscore opponents this season, but the 2-4 lines are going to be a challenge. I’ve put together a checking line (sans center) for the No. 3 group and a fourth line that should be able to outscore the soft parade. Nuge is an orphan again. I’m fascinated to see how Tippett runs his lines. Note: I’m not running Gagner on the Nuge line because I don’t like Samwise against elites 35-40 percent of the time. He should be a more productive player on the No. 4 line imo.
A quick note on Josh Archibald. I think Tippett will use him up and down the order, but am hopeful the team finds a No. 3 center who can run with him. If the duo can outscore at five-on-five and PK, that’s a helluva value for a $1 million winger.
It’s 70 percent yes after 4,000 votes, I think it’ll finish around that number. Twitter isn’t the best gauge but it does give us an indication of the direction of the fan base.
BENSON VERSUS LUCIC
This is a battle that is likely to be fought during the 2019-20 season. Odds favor Benson starting the year in Bakersfield, as new management and coaching staff talk up Lucic (“he’s in the best shape of his life!”). The long game favors the youngster. Let’s review the production of each man during the final 25 games of 2018-19:
Milan Lucic: 25, 1-5-6, 22 shots (NHL)
Tyler Benson: 25, 10-22-32, 63 shots (AHL)
Even if you cut the Benson numbers in half, there’s plenty of horsepower there. Holland and Tippett may plan to slow play the yutes, but they’re not going to be ridiculous about elevating men like Benson.
THE KIDS ON BLUE
I assume you read all of Jonathan Willis’ pieces, so recommending one seems a bit over the top. Still, his article on puck movers (here) is outstanding and a must read. If you look at the depth charts for left and right defense (here), and remember Tippett took Chychrun for his NHL roster while he was still a child, suddenly training camp becomes a lot more interesting.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Friday!! We kickstart the weekend at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports at 10:20 to talk media, live mic CFL and summer holidays. Matt Iwanyk will be live at 11:05 to talk about the Eskimos and The Open. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.