A BRAND NEW DAY

Yesterday I wrote the following: “Holland needs a third-line center and a scoring winger. He isn’t done. Right?” and a few hours later the Edmonton Oilers had a sniper. What’s more, the secondary pieces of the trade are completely reasonable and Holland dealt away a monstrosity of a contract plus helped the coming expansion draft list. Oilers fans, after years of experiencing acid reflux after trades, weren’t quite sure what to do as we headed to press.

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: Oilers’ acquisition of James Neal could add badly needed scoring to the top two lines.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland puts his stamp on the Oilers with first big move in Lucic-Neal trade
  • New Jonathan Willis: Ken Holland ends an ugly situation for the Oilers by trading Milan Lucic for James Neal
  • 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: 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
  • Jonathan Willis: How often do goalies like the Oilers’ Mike Smith rebound?
  • 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.

PROJECTED FORWARDS ROSTER 2019-20

The roster has far more clarity now than yesterday. Neal should be the fourth best offensive forward on the roster in 2019-20, and should easily lead the team in total shots. What is reasonable? I can tell you that my RE estimate (before allowing for deployment) is 68, 16-15-31. Intuitively, that seems low, but last season was a major elevator shaft. Now, about that No. 3 center.

HOLLAND’S BIGGEST TRADE SINCE..

This is a big trade for Holland, likely the biggest summer trade involving players on each side since the Dominik Hasek trade in June 2001 (it cost Detroit Vyacheslav Kozlov and a first).

CAP SITUATION

Edmonton now has 23 players at a total cost (all in) of $79,066,999 according to CapFriendly. That leaves $2.4 million in room, with Holland stating he likes to have $1.5 million in walking around money and another $1 million for the Smith bonus. Meaning the team is done. I wondered if they could grab Riley Sheahan but he’d have to come in around $1 million.

50-MAN LIST (50)

There are two slides (Broberg and goalie Rodrigue) plus Jesse Puljujarvi remains unsigned. Edmonton could add a player but I think it would be a JP trade at this point. Sam Bennett and Joel Eriksson Ek have been discussed over recent weeks as options, but at this point money’s too tight to mention.

THE TRUTH

Offloading the Milan Lucic contract isn’t a small thing, in actual fact it is THE thing in this trade. If one fell swoop (underused phrase these days) Ken Holland bought freedom for his future Oilers teams. There are still issues, and the price on freedom came at a cost, but getting out from under the Lucic contract is a major part of this summer’s business.

Trades: 1 (Lucic for Neal)

Buyouts: 1 (Sekera)

Draft picks trades: 1 (conditional)

Free agents signed: 7 (Logan Day, Joakim Nygard, Alex Chiasson, Markus Granlund, Mike Smith, Tomas Jurco, Josh Archibald)

Roster players extended: (5) Joe Gambardella, Brad Malone, Shane Starrett, Patrick Russell, Jujhar Khaira

Exiting the system, goodbye: (12) Braden Christoffer, Colin Larkin, Tobias Rieder, Ty Rattie, Anthony Stolarz, Alex Petrovic, Ryan Stanton, Robin Norell, Mitch Callahan, Tyler Vesel, Al Montoya, Kevin Gravel.

We’ll chat about Holland’s summer in the coming days, but for me yesterday’s trade is a massive positive. In fact, the only move this summer that rivals it (imo) was the hiring of Dave Tippett as coach. Freedom! That Lucic contract was a giant hockey albatross, making this a brand new day.

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275 Responses to "A BRAND NEW DAY"

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  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    AndyDufresne: Hopefully we’re not.

    We’ve got what could be the top line in all of hockey with DraisaitlMcDavid and Kassian.

    I think its quite likely that Neal slots in as 2LW with Nuge to start the year.

    Neal is a legit 20 plus goal scorer and top 6 forward. One bad year after 10 straight years of 21 plus goals (maybe over 25, one with 40).

    It may be a cliff but it may just be an off-year on a new team that didn’t work out.

    We need to find out because the potential benefit is big.

  2. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ken Holland, you Magnificent Bastard.

  3. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think its quite likely that Neal slots in as 2LW with Nuge to start the year.

    Neal is a legit 20 plus goal scorer and top 6 forward.One bad year after 10 straight years of 21 plus goals (maybe over 25, one with 40).

    It may be a cliff but it may just be an off-year on a new team that didn’t work out.

    We need to find out because the potential benefit is big.

    He may also play right wing.

  4. Reja says:

    Andy Dufresne: Katz is definitley part of our “value proposition”

    He is a competetive edge. IMO

    I’m not sure about a lockout. Does Lucic get paid where Neal doesn’t?

  5. Bag of Pucks says:

    I watched an in game profile on Neal once where they highlighted a bunch of his goals. One thing he prides himself on is changing angles on goalies at the last second so they can’t get a bead on his shot. Very good at disguising his target and release point. Very accurate and hard shot.

    Guy is a legit sniper and his career S% would seem to indicate that the Oilers finally bought low on a player having an outlier poor season.

    This could be HUGE for the Oil.

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Andy Dufresne: Where to are you from then, butt ?

    Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.

  7. Bag of Pucks says:

    Milan Lucic playing the Tim Hunter role for the Flames is a scary thought.

    I hope Kassian and Nurse are hitting the weight room.

  8. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think its quite likely that Neal slots in as 2LW with Nuge to start the year.

    Neal is a legit 20 plus goal scorer and top 6 forward.One bad year after 10 straight years of 21 plus goals (maybe over 25, one with 40).

    It may be a cliff but it may just be an off-year on a new team that didn’t work out.

    We need to find out because the potential benefit is big.

    Prior to this season he was 15th in goals scored since 08-09 (ie, his first season). Now he’s 17th overall in goals scored.

  9. rickithebear says:

    Cash money:

    When looking at goals per pocession.
    Points from goals has the best goals per pocession rate.
    Passes have a higher failure rate.
    So goals from passes have a poorer goal per pocession rate as the number of passes increases.
    Passers are more reliant on goal scorers to complete the job.

    So when it comes to identifying skills.
    A lot of people on here identify Evp/60 as identifier of most skilled players.
    Which is not accurate.
    The efficient players are direct path shooters.

    There are very few forwards who can pass a goal in.

    It is the reason when discussing needing skilled players I want 2 top open HD shot evg producers on a line. With one one strong passer.

    That is the difference in skill identification.

    Their are teams that want shoot first players.
    That is what I want first.

    Holland went out and got a collection of shoot first players this free agency and in his trade.
    Chaisson
    Granlund
    Jurco
    Archibald
    Neal
    It makes me happy.

    We have 2 of the best passers in the game
    #1 Mcdavid 99 Eva fwd in 2 seasons
    #5 Draisaitl 81 Eva fwd in 2 seasons
    #102 RNH 39 Eva fwd in 2 seasons who is a balanced player; #63 37 evg fwd

    Gagner has allways been a distributer more than scorer.

    Goals per pocession from players.

  10. ArmchairGM says:

    Woogie63:
    I am more cautious on Neal than some here.

    Last year I went to 20ish Flames games, Neal was very quite most nights.

    This big scoring winger is now on his 6th NHL team.

    We have two twenty year olds going to University in Calgary we hear lots of James Neal sightings.

    Brad Treliving doesn’t make many mistakes.

    I agree with your take. Cautious optimism best describes how I feel. Neal was arguably a worse player than Lucic last year (rels, etc) and the Oilers took on more cap, but the potential for Neal to rebound is greater, his buyout is a tiny bit less ugly and he doesn’t have an NMC. Best case scenario? We lose the conditional 3rd. That would make the trade a huge win for Holland. The odds are good, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Also, because I don’t think we’ll be close to a playoff team this year, no doubt Holland will be able to get that 3rd back – and more – at the deadline.

  11. Bag of Pucks says:

    I was going to post that this is a bad day to be a Flames fan, but who am I kidding? Every day is a bad day to be a Flames fan! 5-1

    The only thing that would make this day better is an OEG announcement bringing back the MacFarlane kit as a third uni.

    I’m going to have a Ratler and then another 6. Seriously, these things have no bloody alcohol in them. 🙃

  12. Sierra says:

    leadfarmer:
    So I was on a team with a very young captain without matured leadership skills and as a league veteran I decided to not give a rats ass.
    Too bad we couldn’t keep this guy

    Awesome!

  13. OmJo says:

    Dallas
    First season (rookie season): 77, 24-13-37 (0.48)
    Rest of his time as a Star: 137, 48-46-94 (0.69)

    Pittsburgh
    First season (traded, only 20 games): 20, 1-5-6 (0.30)
    Rest of his time as a Penguin: 179, 88-90-178 (0.99)

    Nashville
    First season: 67, 23-14-27 (0.40)
    Rest of his time as a Predator: 152, 54-45-99 (0.65)

    Las Vegas
    Time as a Golden Knight: 71, 25-19-44 (0.62)

    Calgary
    Time as a Flame: 63, 7-12-19 (0.30)

    So it seems like Neil generally tends to take about a season to fully get accustomed to a new team. Maybe I should have looked strictly at goals instead of total points since he’s much more of a scorer than passer. But yeah, maybe Calgary should have kept him around for another season. Although if he and Peters were having personal issues then it’s unlikely that he would have progressed/rebounded.

  14. oilguy6969 says:

    Not gonna lie….. This trade just made me feel a little funny in my underpants…..

  15. OmJo says:

    They should make a documentary on this trade, lol…

    https://www.nhl.com/news/milan-lucic-flames-trade-oilers-jarome-iginla/c-308305518

    Why did the Flames put in all of this effort to get Milan Lucic?

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    AndyDufresne:
    Pescador,
    No fourth. Condition is not a 4th
    Condition is a 3rd or NO PICK AT ALL.

    #kennysagrinder

    The condition is that, if the player swap is a MASSIVE win for the Oilers, the flames get a 3rd – unreal how good that is. If that condition vests, there is a solid chance that 3rd is a mid-third at best.

  17. Bulging Twine says:

    defmn:
    I think it is also time to mention the role that Katz played in this trade. All the focus has been on the cap similarities and differences but Katz stepped up with about $10 mil difference in salaries. It is easy to dismiss a billionaire burning millions but he did it and I don’t think it is off base to wonder if that didn’t play a role with Calgary ownership.

    Reja: Without the 10 large The Deal doesn’t happenin my opinion.

    Interesting that the trade was finally agreed to on the day that Calgary City Council approved a deal for a new arena in Calgary. Sounds like Flames ownership will be putting a much larger % towards it than did Katz towards Edmonton’s. Some writers are wondering why the Flames would make this trade, this may be a factor. Flames ownership just saved $10M off the price of the new Scotiabank Cowboy something or other Dome.

    Follow the money they say

    and yes, thank you Daryl Katz

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jordan: You’re right – it could be a real coup of a trade.

    That being said, the Oilers as an organization have pissed away a lot of picks since McD got here in the effort to be “competitive now”.

    I don’t want any more picks leaving town.

    I want those picks to stay here and become more cheap 2nd pairng Dmen or depth forwards so we can have cheap skill.

    2020 is supposed to be a very deep draft year.That 3rd might end up being as good as a 2nd in other years.

    I’m happy that we don’t have Lucic’s contract anymore.Beyond Happy.

    But that doesn’t mean I want to help the Flames.It means I want to stick it to them again!

    20 goals MAX.If he scores his 20th, he gets injured in practice and we bring up a farmhand until the playoffs, when he miraculously recovers.

    I don’t disagree at all – I’ve been aggressively against trading of material picks for immediate term help.

    In the cap world, value contracts are essential to compete – young players on their ELCs and 2nd contracts out performing small cap hits – draft picks become these players,

    At the same time, of course, sometimes exceptions need to be made.

    Lets think about this – our GM disposed of Milan Lucic without giving up any assets – Milan Lucic was one of the most untradeable players/contracts in the league and he disposed of it without any asset bleed – a very bad contract came back but a contract not nearly as bad and for a player not nearly as bad.

    At the end of the day, if he disposed of Milan Lucic, MILAN LUCIC, for a nominal cap difference and the return scores 21 or more goal it cost a 3rd round pick – that is epic.

  19. Andy Dufresne says:

    Jethro Tull: Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.

    English arrew ?

  20. Reja says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I watched an in game profile on Neal once where they highlighted a bunch of his goals. One thing he prides himself on is changing angles on goalies at the last second so they can’t get a bead on his shot. Very good at disguising his target and release point. Very accurate and hard shot.

    Guy is a legit sniper and his career S% would seem to indicate that the Oilers finally bought low on a player having an outlier poor season.

    This could be HUGE for the Oil.

    When’s the last shoot first sniper in Oiler silks Aason Carter, Bill Guerin. If Neal can return to form it changes the whole dynamic of our team.

  21. Andy Dufresne says:

    oilguy6969:
    Not gonna lie….. This trade just made me feel a little funny in my underpants…..

    Did it move?

    ( Costanza reference )

  22. Bulging Twine says:

    So, now that’s cleared up, next order of business – hiring an analytics department

    Especially with the new technology coming in this season. It’s imperative that they have people to decipher all the info coming in.

    Take advantage or fall behind. Last thing you want to do is play catch up.

    Opportunities to get a competitive advantage over the, well competition, don’t happen every day. Here may be one. Something new in the league. Who’s going to use it the best.

  23. buck yoakam says:

    I don’t think we have seen such an epic move by an oiler gm in ages….in kenny I trust!…listening to Milans comments about Gio and the maturity the flames have, my respect level for him has dropped considerably….what a load..johnny g shits the bed in the playoffs and they think lucic will help….colorado was a more driven and well coached team…oh ya….lets also give matt tk a huge raise for his disappearing act…..ha ha ha ….lets dump the orange jerseys and get real again!….

  24. Reja says:

    ArmchairGM: I agree with your take. Cautious optimism best describes how I feel. Neal was arguably a worse player than Lucic last year (rels, etc) and the Oilers took on more cap, but the potential for Neal to rebound is greater, his buyout is a tiny bit less ugly and he doesn’t have an NMC. Best case scenario? We lose the conditional 3rd. That would make the trade a huge win for Holland. The odds are good, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Also, because I don’t think we’ll be close to a playoff team this year, no doubt Holland will be able to get that 3rd back – and more – at the deadline.

    Peters really had a hard- on for Neal a coach can basically fuck a career or a year if he wants. If Neal can still one time it 20-25 is not out of the question. Tippett will try to kick start him from game one and if he gets his mojo back early how huge is it for us.

  25. who says:

    People who are expecting Neal to be a top 6 saviour are probably going to be dissapointed. Having said that, I am trying to look at this trade from Calgarys point of view, and I still don’t get it.
    I think it illustrates 2 flawed pieces of thinking that may be present in all of us.
    1. Knee jerk reaction to poor playoff performance. The verbal is that Calgary got intimidated out of the playoffs so they needed to add some muscle. I don’t think that’s true at all. They simply got outplayed by a superior team. What if Calgary really wasn’t as good as their regular season record last year? What if their playoff performance was closer to their true talent level? A playoff team, but not an elite one? This is a more plausible explanation to me.
    2. Verbal is that Neal was bad last year and feuded with the coach. This may all be true, but then why not just buy him out? Is it simply because buying him out after 1 year looks worse on Trevilings resume than trading him for Lucic? A bad decision, just to save face?
    These are the best explanations I can come up with for Calgary doing this trade. A bad decision fueled by faulty reasoning?

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    BulgingTwine:
    Interesting that the trade was finally agreed to on the day that Calgary City Council approved a deal for a new arena in Calgary.Sounds like Flames ownership will be putting a much larger % towards it than did Katz towards Edmonton’s.Some writers are wondering why the Flames would make this trade, this may be a factor.Flames ownership just saved $10M off the price of the new Scotiabank Cowboy something or otherDome.

    Follow the money they say

    and yes, thank you Daryl Katz

    The deal hasn’t been approved by council – I think its heading to council on Monday.

  27. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Kinger Hot Take:

    1) % that Neal and Conner have chem like that all-star game and Neal pots 30+ and team dynamic fundamentally altered allowing secondary scoring line to cascade down with Drai and RNH as Cs with other wingers on different lines : 4%

    2) % that Neal gets his 21 goals and is Maroon +/- as a winger for CMD and Drai: 17%

    3) % chance that Neal gets 12- 20 goals on a secondary line: 18%

    4) % that Neal does better than last year and better than Lucic in goals but clearly over the hill : 28%

    5) % that Neal is as done as Lucic is and bought out next year 33%

    – I think this is fair. And a deal worth doing. The small chance of it really working out huge was not there with status quo and if he’s still crap this year less pain for buy out than if Lucic is still crap this year.

    – The two big signings from the Chia era, both disappointments, are gone. That’s GMing 101.

  28. Lowetide says:

    who:
    People who are expecting Neal to be a top 6 saviour are probably going to be dissapointed. Having said that,I am trying to look at this trade from Calgarys point of view,and I still don’t get it.
    I think it illustrates 2 flawed pieces of thinking that may be present in all of us.
    1. Knee jerk reaction to poor playoff performance. The verbal is that Calgary got intimidated out of the playoffs so they needed to add some muscle. I don’t think that’s true at all.They simply got outplayed by a superior team. What if Calgary really wasn’t as good as their regular season record last year? What if their playoff performance was closer to their true talent level? A playoff team,but not an elite one? This is a more plausible explanation to me.
    2. Verbal is that Neal was bad last year and feuded with the coach. This may all be true, but then why not just buy him out? Is it simply because buying him out after 1 year looks worse on Trevilings resume than trading him for Lucic? A bad decision,just to save face?
    These are the best explanations I can come up with for Calgary doing this trade. A bad decision fueled by faulty reasoning?

    Great, great post. Going one step farther, it’s imo likely that the Flames, having fallen ass over tea kettle into the brilliance of Elias Lindholm’s performance on the top line, kept shuffling Neal around instead of finding a spot for him to find his way. They received a gift, and then punished Neal for it. Strange.

  29. who says:

    ArmchairGM: I agree with your take. Cautious optimism best describes how I feel. Neal was arguably a worse player than Lucic last year (rels, etc) and the Oilers took on more cap, but the potential for Neal to rebound is greater, his buyout is a tiny bit less ugly and he doesn’t have an NMC. Best case scenario? We lose the conditional 3rd. That would make the trade a huge win for Holland. The odds are good, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Also, because I don’t think we’ll be close to a playoff team this year, no doubt Holland will be able to get that 3rd back – and more – at the deadline.

    So, Holland isn’t a total bum then?

  30. OmJo says:

    Reja: Peters really had a hard- on for Neal a coach can basically fuck a career or a year if he wants.

    As Oilers fans, we should know this by now.

  31. OmJo says:

    who:
    People who are expecting Neal to be a top 6 saviour are probably going to be dissapointed. Having said that,I am trying to look at this trade from Calgarys point of view,and I still don’t get it.
    I think it illustrates 2 flawed pieces of thinking that may be present in all of us.
    1. Knee jerk reaction to poor playoff performance. The verbal is that Calgary got intimidated out of the playoffs so they needed to add some muscle. I don’t think that’s true at all.They simply got outplayed by a superior team. What if Calgary really wasn’t as good as their regular season record last year? What if their playoff performance was closer to their true talent level? A playoff team,but not an elite one? This is a more plausible explanation to me.
    2. Verbal is that Neal was bad last year and feuded with the coach. This may all be true, but then why not just buy him out? Is it simply because buying him out after 1 year looks worse on Trevilings resume than trading him for Lucic? A bad decision,just to save face?
    These are the best explanations I can come up with for Calgary doing this trade. A bad decision fueled by faulty reasoning?

    Or 3. “Cocaine’s a helluva drug.” – Rick James

    With the pitch that Calgary allegedly made for Lucic to waive, including getting Iggy to call him up all “Hey, Connor. You gotta see this!” style, I’m leaning towards the first train of thought: they genuinely believe that Milan Lucic makes them a tougher team to play against.

    If they didn’t have the entire organization pitch in on Lucic, I’d think they were prepared to flip him to LA or Boston. And maybe they are? Who knows. But as it stands right now it really is a head scratcher.

  32. dangilitis says:

    Eric Francis, Kent Wilson and others trying to justify the trade is humorous, if not pathetic.
    Here’s a gem from Darren Haynes:

    “Neal is costing $6.5M if you factor in the salary retention to get him — and his only dimension is as a goal scorer. How many goals does he need to average? 30?”

    This was my response:
    No, Neal is costing 5.75. Oilers are paying 750K for Lucic to play against them as a divisional rival. This really is a bad trade. No contract is untradeable, but relying on Seattle or Ottawa to take him is a poor bet.

    He also justifies it by claiming that Dube now has a spot on an entry level contract. More faulty logic. Let’s remember this next time people want to crap all over oilers MSM, I’ve never seen them try this hard to put lipstick on a pig.

  33. Bulging Twine says:

    OriginalPouzar: The deal hasn’t been approved by council – I think its heading to council on Monday.

    ah yes, “tentative deal” was reached – subject to vote Monday

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/calgary-flames-reach-tentative-deal-city-new-arena/

  34. OmJo says:

    dangilitis:
    Eric Francis, Kent Wilson and others trying to justify the trade is humorous, if not pathetic.
    Here’s a gem from Darren Haynes:

    “Neal is costing $6.5M if you factor in the salary retention to get him — and his only dimension is as a goal scorer. How many goals does he need to average? 30?”

    This was my response:
    No, Neal is costing 5.75. Oilers are paying 750K for Lucic to play against them as a divisional rival. This really is a bad trade. No contract is untradeable, but relying on Seattle or Ottawa to take him is a poor bet.

    He also justifies it by claiming that Dube now has a spot on an entry level contract. More faulty logic. Let’s remember this next time people want to crap all over oilers MSM, I’ve never seen them try this hard to put lipstick on a pig.

    You missed out on a lot then the last few years. The Oilers MSM voicebox make Miss Piggy look bad.

    Up until the last few months of Chiarellis reign of terror, they were working day and night to defend his every move, finally saying enough is enough after the Koskinen extension. Once the Oilers media turn on you, you know your days are numbered.

  35. Jethro Tull says:

    Andy Dufresne: English arrew ?

    Indubitably, old chap.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Now we just need to get Jesse under contract.

    Adding Neal and Jesse and options in the top 9 and not having to try and fit Lucic in changes the entire dynamic of the forward group.

    Sure, Neal may prove to have indeed fallen off the cliff and Jesse may continue to stagnate, however, maybe the opposite proves true – if nothing else alot of skill is added to the group.

  37. Bulging Twine says:

    Lessons learned from the Vegas Expansion.

    Here is one.

    The Oilers are looking for a top 6. All teams want a top 6. How can you find a top 6? Vegas got a top 6 in one off season.

    Who were their top 6?

    Based on ice time per game:

    William Karlsson
    Reilly Smith
    David Perron
    Jonathan Marchessault
    Erik Haula
    James Neal

    Smith, Perron, Marchessault (Florida – what were you thinking), and Neal all had experienced success before arriving in Vegas. That’s 4 out of 6. How about the other two?

    Karlsson and Haula were revelations.

    What was common about the 2?

    The year prior, on their former teams they got 13:23 and 13:49 ice time respectively.
    With Vegas they played 18:43 and 17:22.

    All 6 played more than 17 minutes/game

    5 of the 6 scored 22 +
    The other, Perron, missed 12 games, scored 16 and had .94 pts/game

    Maybe a team doesn’t need to spend $6 M year in free agency to find 20 goal scorers maybe they just need to play 6 players – top 6 ice time.

    It is very difficult to score 20 goals without getting the ice time.

    Last season 121 FW’s scored 20+ goals – 13 of them played less than 16 minutes. 10.7%
    meaning:

    89.2% OF 20 GOAL SCORERS (FW’s) PLAYED MORE THAN 16 MINUTES/GAME

    94.2% OF 20 GOAL SCORERS (FW’s) PLAYED MORE THAN 15 MINUTES/GAME

    conversely, only 5.8% of the 20+ goal scorers played less than 15min/game

    97.5% played more than 14

    The Oilers had 4 players play more than 16 minutes/game last year and all 4 got 20+ goals. No one else played more 15 minutes/game and no one else scored 20.
    Same the year prior (Maroon was on pace before traded).

    There are lot’s of players in the league and elsewhere who would score 20 if given 16 + minutes.

  38. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Lots of talk about Neal scoring 21 and sending the 3rd round pick to the fLames, but keep in mind that Lucic also has to score 10 or fewer goals than Neal for the conditions to vest (so, 21-10 = 11 or less).

    Pick is transferred if James Neal scores 21 goals and Milan Lucic scores 10 or fewer goals than Neal

    I’m thinking the chances we send the conditional 3rd is very slim.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lucic has had 10 and 6 goals the last two years – during that time he has averaged 1:44 per game on the PP and his most common linemates:

    Puljujarvi
    Nuge
    McDavid
    Leon

    Neal may not hit his part of the threshold, although he very well may, but Lucic certainly is likely to do his part.

  40. David says:

    Lowetide: He may also play right wing.

    If Neal plays right wing and IF Benson is ready, a Nuge, Neal, Benson line would result in many Neal goals. Having Nuge and Benson setting him up… if he still has his shot he would fill the net.

  41. Bulging Twine says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Lessons learned from the Vegas Expansion.

    Here is one.

    The Oilers are looking for a top 6.All teams want a top 6.How can you find a top 6?Vegas got a top 6 in one off season.

    Who were their top 6?

    Based on ice time per game:

    William Karlsson
    Reilly Smith
    David Perron
    Jonathan Marchessault
    Erik Haula
    James Neal

    Smith, Perron, Marchessault (Florida – what were you thinking), and Neal all had experienced success before arriving in Vegas.That’s 4 out of 6.How about the other two?

    Karlsson and Haula were revelations.

    What was common about the 2?

    The year prior, on their former teams they got 13:23 and 13:49 ice time respectively.
    With Vegas they played 18:43 and 17:22.

    All 6 played more than 17 minutes/game

    5 of the 6 scored 22 +
    The other, Perron, missed 12 games, scored 16 and had .94 pts/game

    Maybe a team doesn’t need to spend $6 M year in free agency to find 20 goal scorers maybe they just need to play 6 players – top 6 ice time.

    It is very difficult to score 20 goals without getting the ice time.

    Last season 121 FW’s scored 20+ goals – 13 of them played less than 16 minutes.10.7%

    89.2% OF 20 GOAL SCORERS (FW’s) PLAYED MORE THAN 16 MINUTES/GAME

    94.2% OF 20 GOAL SCORERS (FW’s) PLAYED MORE THAN 15 MINUTES/GAME

    97.5% played more than 14

    The Oilers had 4 players play more than 16 minutes/game last year and all 4 got 20+ goals.No one else played more 15 minutes/game and no one else scored 20.
    Same the year prior (Maroon was on pace before traded).

    There are lot’s of players in the league and elsewhere who would score 20 if given 16 + minutes.

    88% of the FW’s who played 17 minutes/game for 75+ games scored 20+ goals

  42. Giggleplex says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Lots of talk about Neal scoring 21 and sending the 3rd round pick to the fLames, but keep in mind that Lucic also has to score 10 or fewer goals than Neal for the conditions to vest (so, 21-10 = 11 or less).

    I’m thinking the chances we send the conditional 3rd is very slim.

    If Neal scores 21+ goals I’d gladly send them the third.

  43. Bulging Twine says:

    Bulging Twine: 88% of the FW’s who played 17 minutes/game for 75+ games scored 20+ goals

    77% of FW’s who played 16+ minutes/game for 75+ games scored 20+ goals

  44. Buddy says:

    With regard to what on earth the Flames were thinking, this is pretty good:
    https://theathletic.com/1086246/2019/07/20/in-salvage-mission-flames-hope-milan-lucics-physical-presence-is-better-fit-than-james-neal/
    (apologies if someone already posted it)

    Lots of quotes from Treliving about Lucic: big body, physical presence, will give our players space, most fearsome reputation in the league, our coaches will get him going …

    My translation: nobody from the Flames has seen him play for three years, despite the fact that the Oilers and Flames have gone head to head once or twice in that period.

    Another interesting remark by Lucic about leadership, but I’ll respect LT’s 24 hour rule and not quote that.

  45. David says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Lessons learned from the Vegas Expansion.

    Here is one.

    The Oilers are looking for a top 6.All teams want a top 6.How can you find a top 6?Vegas got a top 6 in one off season.

    Who were their top 6?

    Based on ice time per game:

    William Karlsson
    Reilly Smith
    David Perron
    Jonathan Marchessault
    Erik Haula
    James Neal

    Smith, Perron, Marchessault (Florida – what were you thinking), and Neal all had experienced success before arriving in Vegas.That’s 4 out of 6.How about the other two?

    Karlsson and Haula were revelations.

    What was common about the 2?

    The year prior, on their former teams they got 13:23 and 13:49 ice time respectively.
    With Vegas they played 18:43 and 17:22.

    All 6 played more than 17 minutes/game

    5 of the 6 scored 22 +
    The other, Perron, missed 12 games, scored 16 and had .94 pts/game

    Maybe a team doesn’t need to spend $6 M year in free agency to find 20 goal scorers maybe they just need to play 6 players – top 6 ice time.

    It is very difficult to score 20 goals without getting the ice time.

    Last season 121 FW’s scored 20+ goals – 13 of them played less than 16 minutes.10.7%
    meaning:

    89.2% OF 20 GOAL SCORERS (FW’s) PLAYED MORE THAN 16 MINUTES/GAME

    94.2% OF 20 GOAL SCORERS (FW’s) PLAYED MORE THAN 15 MINUTES/GAME

    conversely, only 5.8% of the 20+ goal scorers played less than 15min/game

    97.5% played more than 14

    The Oilers had 4 players play more than 16 minutes/game last year and all 4 got 20+ goals.No one else played more 15 minutes/game and no one else scored 20.
    Same the year prior (Maroon was on pace before traded).

    There are lot’s of players in the league and elsewhere who would score 20 if given 16 + minutes.

    For whatever it’s worth, I think this is one of the most enlightening idea’s i’ve come across in awhile. And it’s incredibly simple to do.

    Does the ratio scale down? As in when injures hit and you are unable to play a player 75+ games, can the next guy up score at the same pace if left in the role?

  46. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Bulging Twine: 88% of the FW’s who played 17 minutes/game for 75+ games scored 20+ goals

    – I think that is cause and effect. It’s self selection.

    – Simply playing 17 minutes a game does not give 88% chance of scoring 20 goals.

    – If all you had to do was play FWs 17 minutes there would be a lot more 20 goal scorers.

    – But yes it would be nice if we gave our top forwards the chance to play with skill for lengths of time.

    – I recall some numbers about coach doing the most line juggling in the league.

  47. David says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:– Simply playing 17 minutes a game does not give 88% chance of scoring 20 goals.

    – If all you had to do was play FWs 17 minutes there would be a lot more 20 goal scorers.

    But 88% of forwards who played 17 mins a night scored 20 goals…

  48. godot10 says:

    Buddy:
    With regard to what on earth the Flames were thinking, this is pretty good:
    https://theathletic.com/1086246/2019/07/20/in-salvage-mission-flames-hope-milan-lucics-physical-presence-is-better-fit-than-james-neal/
    (apologies if someone already posted it)

    Lots of quotes from Treliving about Lucic: big body, physical presence, will give our players space, most fearsome reputation in the league, our coaches will get him going …

    My translation: nobody from the Flames has seen him play for three years, despite the fact that the Oilers and Flames have gone head to head once or twice in that period.

    Another interesting remark by Lucic about leadership, but I’ll respect LT’s 24 hour rule and not quote that.

    Geoff Ward who was an assistant coach to Julian in Boston is an assistant coach to Peters in Calgary.

    Lucic will be in a responsibility free enivronment in Calgary.

    He will likely play better. He wilted under the responsibility of leadership in Edmonton.

  49. Jethro Tull says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I think that is cause and effect. It’s self selection.

    – Simply playing 17 minutes a game does not give 88% chance of scoring 20 goals.

    – If all you had to do was play FWs 17 minutes there would be a lot more 20 goal scorers.

    – But yes it would be nice if we gave our top forwards the chance to play with skill for lengths of time.

    – I recall some numbers about coach doing the most line juggling in the league.

    I think you’re forgetting that games are only 60 mins long. You psychically have more forwards playing 17 mins without that time coming from somewhere.

  50. Bulging Twine says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I think that is cause and effect. It’s self selection.

    – Simply playing 17 minutes a game does not give 88% chance of scoring 20 goals.

    – If all you had to do was play FWs 17 minutes there would be a lot more 20 goal scorers.

    – But yes it would be nice if we gave our top forwards the chance to play with skill for lengths of time.

    – I recall some numbers about coach doing the most line juggling in the league.

    For sure

    But what we see as we look at the 20 goal scorers over the years is that we are surprised who can score 20 goals if given the ice time and implied in the icetime is top 6 linemates.

    Abdelkader, Komorov (19 in 67 games), Chiasson, Blake Coleman, Karlsson, Haula etc

    We may be surprised who if given top 6 minutes with top 6 linemates would score 20 goals on the Oilers.

    Here’s what we do know: if you don’t get the ice time, you aren’t scoring 20. How many 20 goal scorers do you want? You aren’t getting that many if you aren’t giving that many the ice required.

    Ya line juggling. Man!! Wait do you mean Tippett? Is he an outcoacher of himself, I mean, line juggler?

  51. Bulging Twine says:

    David: For whatever it’s worth, I think this is one of the most enlightening idea’s i’ve come across in awhile. And it’s incredibly simple to do.

    Does the ratio scale down? As in when injures hit and you are unable to play a player 75+ games, can the next guy up score at the same pace if left in the role?

    That’s a good question. Would be interesting to dig into that if I get some time.

  52. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Giggleplex,

    Agreed! If we send the pick it means we’ve had a good season.

    But my point was simply that there is another factor involved in sending the pick than people are saying. Lucic has to score ten or less than Neal AND Neal scores 21+ to send the pick.

    So, very unlikely. And even if it does occur, we’ve done well in the transaction.

  53. Rich M says:

    Buddy:
    With regard to what on earth the Flames were thinking, this is pretty good:
    https://theathletic.com/1086246/2019/07/20/in-salvage-mission-flames-hope-milan-lucics-physical-presence-is-better-fit-than-james-neal/
    (apologies if someone already posted it)

    Lots of quotes from Treliving about Lucic: big body, physical presence, will give our players space, most fearsome reputation in the league, our coaches will get him going …

    My translation: nobody from the Flames has seen him play for three years, despite the fact that the Oilers and Flames have gone head to head once or twice in that period.

    Another interesting remark by Lucic about leadership, but I’ll respect LT’s 24 hour rule and not quote that.

    LT and many of the regulars posting on this site put a lot of emphasis on math, and from reading this article, the math that Calgary has put the most emphasis on in this trade is reducing the financial impact. Moving out Neal for Lucic after the Oilers have paid his bonus this season means that Calgary lowered their actual cash outlay by $10 million over the remainder of the contract.

    Yes, they also made the deal because Neal did not fit in the locker room and they think having Lucic skate on the 4th line will deter guys from running Johnny Hockey, but the fact is that what is most important to Calgary’s ownership right now is reducing their financial obligation. The other “hockey arguments” seem to be straw men.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Giggleplex,

    Agreed!If we send the pick it means we’ve had a good season.

    But my point was simply that there is another factor involved in sending the pick than people are saying.Lucic has to score ten or less than Neal AND Neal scores 21+ to send the pick.

    So, very unlikely.And even if it does occur, we’ve done well in the transaction.

    Lucic has scored 10 or less in each of the last two seasons with his most common linemates being:

    Puljujarvi
    McDavid
    Nuge
    Drai

    Him scoring 10 or less may be the reasonable projection?

    With that said, I don’t think the condition is 10 or less goals, I think its 10 less goals than Neal, isn’t it?

  55. YKOil says:

    Three things re: the rumours of his partying in Calgary

    1. I won’t address the rumour itself, I have no idea, that said

    2. Playing means Neal makes $5.75m a year for four more years ($23m)

    3. Getting bought out means Neal makes $1.917m a year for eight years (~ $15.34m)

    Athletes with long careers have usually made a pretty penny or so, but $8m is a pretty pile of pennies, big enough to command attention and affect behaviour in most cases.

    I am looking forward to seeing our new(ish) roster in action next year. I wasn’t able to say that 2 days ago.

  56. deardylan says:

    So much fun to read Lames blogs today especially this comment…

    “The Flames got the best player in this trade, the conditional 3rd rounder…”

  57. David says:

    Bulging Twine: That’s a good question.Would be interesting to dig into that if I get some time.

    Obviously at some point you reach players who do not have the skill, but I do think that more players then we would assume could “break out” offensively if given a sustained opportunity.

  58. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jordan: You’re right – it could be a real coup of a trade.

    That being said, the Oilers as an organization have pissed away a lot of picks since McD got here in the effort to be “competitive now”.

    I don’t want any more picks leaving town.

    I want those picks to stay here and become more cheap 2nd pairng Dmen or depth forwards so we can have cheap skill.

    2020 is supposed to be a very deep draft year.That 3rd might end up being as good as a 2nd in other years.

    I’m happy that we don’t have Lucic’s contract anymore.Beyond Happy.

    But that doesn’t mean I want to help the Flames.It means I want to stick it to them again!

    20 goals MAX.If he scores his 20th, he gets injured in practice and we bring up a farmhand until the playoffs, when he miraculously recovers.

    Just an awful awful perspective. You would actually sabotage the success of a player for a third round pick?

  59. Material Elvis says:

    JimmyV1965: Just an awful awful perspective.You would actually sabotage the success of a player for a third round pick?

    So 21 goals is a success but 20 goals is not a success? I agree with the other poster; I’d rather him get 20 goals and we keep the 3rd rounder (even though there is less than 5% chance that the pick becomes an NHL regular, even in a so-called deep draft).

    Of course, if he gets 21 goals I won’t be upset, especially if he has it by the all-star break.

  60. Sunnyboy says:

    So, Looch has hoist his anchor and sailed on. Should be good vibes in the oiler room and here’s hoping Neal can be a fit in there.Some familiarity with Tip, Smith and McD hits some fine intro notes. Looch and Neal have similar stats the last 3 years so the deal looks like a wash, if one outperforms the other significantly, many cheers will be raised on their behalf. I doubt this will happen.
    Neal……………………………………….Lucic
    16-17 NSH -10, 41pts……………..16-17 EDM -3, 50 pts
    17-18 VGS -11, 44pts……………..17-18 EDM -12, 34pts
    18-19 CAL -5, 19pts……………..18-19 EDM -9, 20pts

    …………….. -26, 104pts…………………….-24, 104pts

    Three bad years for both of them, with Neal moving every year for poor performance and alleged character issues. Where will he stick for more than 1 year, will he be here that long?

    Well, the deal is done, Looch is gone, Mr. Katz is down 10 million crowns,everyone is happy.
    Make no mistake, this IS egregious. JMO

    Edit: Bad chart skills, 🙂

  61. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar:Him scoring 10 or less may be the reasonable projection?

    With that said, I don’t think the condition is 10 or less goals, I think its 10 less goals than Neal, isn’t it?

    I’ve been trying to say ten or fewer than Neal. But it seems like every time I read the conditions I come up with a slight variation. That last clause is vague and poorly written.

    Per CapFriendly:

    Calgary Flames Acquire:
    Milan Lucic ($750,000 retained – 12.5%)
    2020 conditional 3rd round pick* (EDM)
    *Conditions: Pick is transferred if James Neal scores 21 goals and Milan Lucic scores 10 or fewer goals than Neal

    I think it means:
    a) Neal must score 21+ goals
    AND
    b) Lucic must score at least 10 or fewer goals than Neal if he does hit 21. So Looch @ 10-20g, Neal @ 21.

    I’m probably reading this wrong and complicating the issue. Would be nice to get some clarification.

  62. Scungilli Slushy says:

    GMs value players that can push back. They overreact (or the ownership does) to failure. Teams as part of the sport process over estimate their chances.

    It is awesome that the Oilers finally were on top of one of those moments.

    I also agree that the cash implications were a big part in this. The Oilers are very fortunate to be a top revenue team and have an owner that spends. Previously nobody could cash those blank cheques.

    Even if Neal isn’t awesome he’s a far better fit for what the team needs. They have 3 others that will drop the gloves and are credible against anyone other than Lucic and Reaves. But the option remains to walk away and that should be done, to maximize the value of the trade – The Flames get a fearsome guy who can’t ply his trade at will anymore.

    I can’t wait for the next deal. It’s great to think other good things might happen after so long of knowing any move would likely be dense.

  63. OmJo says:

    The other day, Side posted:

    Side:
    Godot – Eakins
    Cassandra – Chiarelli
    Ricki – Social Justice Warriors
    Woodguy – his phone
    OriginalPouzar – quote function
    ArmchairGM – ???

    Who can solve this first.

    Well, apparently Dustin Penner did Ricki a solid last night on Twitter, going after SJWs while tweeting lyrics from Manic Monday. What a time to be alive.

  64. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: He is one year removed from 21 plus goals for over 10 straight seasons.

    Some times players have one-off bad years and then bounce back.

    Sure, maybe its the start of the cliff but there is just as good a chance that it was a one off.

    He came to camp in bad shape and got off to a rocky start with his coach.He was demoted down the lineup very quickly at 5 on 5 and never got on track shooting at less than half of his career norms.

    There is every chance he bounces back playing with skill on the OIlers.

    He is a legit top 6 forward, once year removed, I think the depth chart of this team shows that he should be given a real chance in the top 6.If he sucks and it is a cliff, so be it, however, its not unreasonable to suggest that he very well could score in the 20s next year.

    What you sometimes see is a player has a declining year, then a bounce back season, and then the final continuation of the decline. Sedins did something like this. Picked up Daniel cheap in my draft during his bounce back season. Just like development, decline doesn’t always happen in a straight line.

  65. Side says:

    OmJo:
    The other day, Side posted:

    Well, apparently Dustin Penner did Ricki a solid last night on Twitter, going after SJWs while tweeting lyrics from Manic Monday. What a time to be alive.

    He may hate SJWs but I think he would be:

    Dustin Penner – Pancakes

  66. Bulging Twine says:

    David: Obviously at some point you reach players who do not have the skill, but I do think that more players then we would assume could “break out” offensively if given a sustained opportunity.

    me too

  67. JimmyV1965 says:

    Material Elvis: So 21 goals is a success but 20 goals is not a success?I agree with the other poster; I’d rather him get 20 goals and we keep the 3rd rounder (even though there is less than 5% chance that the pick becomes an NHL regular, even in a so-called deep draft).

    Of course, if he gets 21 goals I won’t be upset, especially if he has it by the all-star break.

    Would you have him fake an injury after he scores his 20th goal? That was the text I was responding to.

  68. Revolved says:

    As noted, the only way to get players 17 minutes a game is consistent line mates and opportunity. Before last season I showed that McLellan blended his top 6 more than any other coach.

    I will run the numbers for this year today, but that is one thing I hope Tippett puts a stop to. Three top lines with balanced TOI leaves the best players fresh for a push at the end of the game. It would also give nine players the opportunity to show who is on any given night.

  69. Bulging Twine says:

    Revolved:
    As noted, the only way to get players 17 minutes a game is consistent line mates and opportunity. Before last season I showed that McLellan blended his top 6 more than any other coach.

    I will run the numbers for this year today, but that is one thing I hope Tippett puts a stop to. Three top lines with balanced TOI leaves the best players fresh for a push at the end of the game. It would also give nine players the opportunity to show who is on any given night.

    Looking forward to seeing your results

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey: I’ve been trying to say ten or fewer than Neal.But it seems like every time I read the conditions I come up with a slight variation.That last clause is vague and poorly written.

    Per CapFriendly:

    I think it means:
    a) Neal must score 21+ goals
    AND
    b) Lucic must score at least 10 or fewer goals than Neal if he does hit 21.So Looch @ 10-20g, Neal @ 21.

    I’m probably reading this wrong and complicating the issue.Would be nice to get some clarification.

    I think that’s right – Lucic has to score 10 fewer goals than Neal.

    If Neal scores 23 and Lucic 14 then no 3rd is paid.

    If Neal scores 23 and Lucic 12 then the 3rd is paid.

    At least that’s my understanding

  71. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Bulging Twine,

    – I don’t know about Tippetts take on this but Todd was very much into shuffling lines.

    – His oilers players had the least amount of time together in the league was the findings I recall reading.

    – So yeah give pool 17 minutes a game with RNH and see how he does for 25 games. Not staple him to the bench when he isn’t where he should be for 2 seconds on a 45 second shift.

    – Players by the way always know this instinctively. The first thing they all look it when they are handed their past game stat sheet is TOI

    – Bit it’s a cool find that 17 minutes is a necessary requirement to score 20. I wasn’t meaning to dismiss this.

  72. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Revolved,

    – so it was you who pulled that up: nice.

    – One of the frustrations that strome amd rnh mentioned was consistent linemates.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    KingerOil:
    Bulging Twine,

    – I don’t know about Tippetts take on this but Todd was very much into shuffling lines.

    – His oilers players had the least amount of time together in the league was the findings I recall reading.

    – So yeah give pool 17 minutes a game with RNH and see how he does for 25 games. Not staple him to the bench when he isn’t where he should be for 2 seconds on a 45 second shift.

    – Players by the way always know this instinctively. The first thing they all look it when they are handed their past game stat sheet is TOI

    – Bit it’s a cool find that 17 minutes is a necessary requirement to score 20. I wasn’t meaning to dismiss this.

    Todd was indeed a mixer – and after McDavid expressed how he was hopeful he would have some consistent linemates.

    Then, of course, Hitch came in and made McLellan look like a guy with patience with the lines – Hitch was the biggest line blender I’ve ever seen.

  74. Bulging Twine says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: Home

    Ah cool

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