Rainbow Stew

Since Ken Holland entered the halls of power at Rogers Place, he’s done what he said he would do and “the plan” is coming into view. I have returned to this Holland interview by Daniel Nugent-Bowman many times over these last weeks, it’s basically a road map for all that has happened in the weeks since the conversation.

Holland told Daniel he thought 97, 29 and 93 were part of the top-six forwards, otherwise you’re wasting someone. He said Tyler Benson played “really good” in Bakersfield but mentioned it was a small sample.

He said he wanted to fix the bottom six forwards and find value contracts.

When the conversation stopped at wingers, Holland said you needed eight and that the team had six: Draisaitl, Kassian, Khaira, Gagner, Lucic and the newly acquired Joakim Nygard.

Since then, he added Alex Chiasson, Markus Granlund, Tomas Jurco, Josh Archibald and traded Lucic for James Neal. That’s 10, make it 11 with Benson, 12 with Jesse Puljujarvi. Someone is heading out of town. Who?

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: Does the James Neal acquisition impact Oilers’ prospects in 2019-20?
  • 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.

RIESEN TO BELIEVE: THE WINGERS

Leon Draisaitl: The big man is now 23, and has improved in each of his four seasons in the NHL. He’ll have a hard time topping last year’s 50 goals, but he’s averaging 29 goals per 82 games so the Oilers can count on 30+ goals if he’s healthy. I’ll probably have him 37-40 in RE. Role: No. 1 LW.

James Neal: He turns 32 in September and I think 15-20 goals is a reasonable estimate. If he grabs a job on the McDavid line that projection is going to be low, but we’re miles to go on the subject. Does he play LW or RW? Oilers need is greater on the left. Role: No. 2 LW.

Zack Kassian: He’s 28 and his 15 goals one year ago are a career high. Showed well on McDavid’s line for a time and may start there next season. Oilers would be wise to groom a replacement, someone with more skill. Has scored 10 goals per 82 games since coming to Edmonton, the Lucic trade probably secures his top-six role to start the season (Oilers will want some toughness). Role: No. 1 RW.

Alex Chiasson scored 22 last season but that’s an outlier. If he stays on the No. 1 power play, he’s probably capable of 13-16 goals this coming season. Chiasson doesn’t take a lot of penalties but does play a rugged game. The Lucic trade may benefit him as well. Role: No. 2 RW.

Markus Granlund is best suited (imo) to a two-way role on the third line, and the Neal trade takes him out of contention for a top-six role. Granlund’s possession numbers in Vancouver were good but he’ll likely play a more prominent role in Edmonton. As Tippett likes to shuffle, we’ll see Granlund at center, too. Per 82 games over the last three seasons, Granlund has averaged 16 goals. He could surprise. Role: No. 3 LW.

Josh Archibald was an astute signing by Holland, he brings skill and abandon to every shift. I think he’ll slide up and down the lineup and he appears prone to hot and cold in scoring. Averaging 13.5 goals per 82 games so far in his NHL career. Role: No. 3 RW.

Jujhar Khaira should see his stock rise a little now that Lucic is gone. Khaira has a mean streak and is strong strong strong, so he could see time on prominent lines during the year. Averaging 8 goals per 82 games. Role: No. 4 LW.

Sam Gagner played well down the stretch for the Oilers and should have a significant role on the club in 2019-20. If he gets power-play time we could see a handsome number, I see him in a depth role with several trips up the depth chart at five-on-five (Sam, like James Neal, is prone to giving up some the other way). On a team without a dominant RW, Gagner could surprise. The Oilers will likely move him to a skill line from time to time. In his last three seasons, he has scored 18 goals per 82 games. Role: No. 4 RW.

Joakim Nygard is a fast train, and that’s his biggest advantage against the competition this fall. Neal’s acquisition offers more of a roadblock than Lucic would have, but the team needs fast wheels and Nygard has speed on his resume. No. 13-14 forward.

Tomas Jurco has always been an intriguing size/speed winger, but he has scored nine goals per 82 games during his NHL career. Like Nygard, he’s a player who brings something the Oilers need (speed) but it’s going to be difficult for him to win a roster spot. Role: No. 13-14 forward.

Tyler Benson is in a fascinating spot, because he’s likely to be the first forward Holland will have to make room for during his time in Edmonton. The question is when? The addition of Neal isn’t likely to be a major factor in my opinion, if Benson is ready he’ll play. Role: No. 3 LW or Bakersfield.

Cooper Marody is a forgotten name so far this summer but as we head toward training camp and preseason I expect we’ll hear more about him. Marody has enough pure skill to play on an NHL skill line, likely on the wing. Role: Bakersfield.

Jesse Puljujarvi is the one roster hopeful on the wing who appears to be boxed out. The acquisition of Josh Archibald gives RW enough depth to run without the big Finn. I expect he’ll be traded. Role: None.

WHAT’S NEXT?

There are moves Ken Holland can make, including a free-agent signing (still need a No. 3 center). The addition of Neal allows one to dream, perhaps Jean-Gabriel Pageau is the target (instead of Riley Sheahan).

John Marino’s rights are an asset Holland can move, there are possibilities before fall.

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169 Responses to "Rainbow Stew"

  1. Fgary says:

    First comment of the day! The sun is out an Lucic isn’t on the oilers…Music!

  2. London Jon says:

    I’m still buzzing about Neal for Lucic.

    In Spectors piece Neal talks about being mentally and physically worn out last summer. And he had a big, long-term contract in the bag.

    It sounds like he is going to come in fitter and way more motivated this year. Not only does he want to prove he’s still a top player but he’ll also want to send a big FU to Calgary. There is no better way than to score 25 goals for their biggest rivals.

    This is such a great trade I had to pinch myself again this morning.

    GO NEAL. GOILERS!

  3. McNuge93 says:

    Do we really need a 3C given that Granlund, Khaira, and Gagner can all play centre and we still have Haas, and Cave and Brodziak. Could it be 3C by committee? Seems we have too many bodies. I cant see a signing of a 3C, but maybe a Pulu trade for one.

    On another note some comments yesterday were about why Calgary would trade for Lucic and not buy out Neal which seemed to be the smarter option. I think there is a real reluctance for buyouts in Calgary. Stone has been a spare part for a longtime and should have been bought out. I wonder if ownership is not allowing it because of the $$$. With the trade for Lucic the Flames have now saved real dollars given the retention by Oilers and the fact that Lucic bonus money has been paid out. Wouldn’t be surprised to now see Stone bought out to ease their cap situation.

  4. 106 and 106 says:

    With Cave, Haas & Brodziak on the roster, with injuries, the bottom 6 has enough wingers to run through all of them at one point.

    I think it’s reasonable to assume that Ken & Dave are going to see what they have down there and sign the ones that make the bottom 6 better and lose the rest.

  5. 106 and 106 says:

    The biggest wildcard for me is Khaira – he seemed injured last year, he’d be a great candidate to surprise a 3rd line role for 15 goals.

    In-house talent.

  6. jtblack says:

    ARCHIBALD – WIN
    NEAL – WIN

    EDM now an 84 point team.

    With no other upgrades Team will require perfect health to compete for a playoff spot

  7. London Jon says:

    Fgary:
    First comment of the day!The sun is out an Lucic isn’t on the oilers…Music!

    Damnit! I should have just typed ‘Hi’ and hit post!!

    Next time you will be mine First Comment!!

  8. 106 and 106 says:

    London Jon,

    Do you live in London, UK, Jon? If you do, I’m in Islington – we should get together and celebrate the trade with a pint!

  9. geowal says:

    McNuge93:
    Do we really need a 3C given that Granlund, Khaira, and Gagner can all play centre and we still have Haas, and Cave and Brodziak. Could it be 3C by committee?Seems we have too many bodies. I cant see a signing of a 3C, but maybe a Pulu trade for one.

    On another note some comments yesterday were about why Calgary would trade for Lucic and not buy out Neal which seemed to be the smarter option. I think there is a real reluctance for buyouts in Calgary. Stone has been a spare part for a longtime and should have been bought out. I wonder if ownership is not allowing it because of the $$$.

    I agree, I don’t think Calgary ownership likes dead real dollars.
    And I think that Treveling really believes Lucic will fit in with them better, which he might if he can have a dedicated 3lw role without using any of his limited “gas” on power play time like in Edmonton.

  10. 106 and 106 says:

    McNuge93,

    According to the incredible Daily Faceoff, the Oilers, still have the 28th best 3rd line in the league. They need a strong 2 way PK demon who can chip 15-20; like classic Ethan Moreau back in his prime.

    https://www.dailyfaceoff.com/teams/edmonton-oilers/line-combinations/

    4th Best First Line
    28th Best Second Line
    29th Third
    28th Fourth

    Still work to do but no Milan 🙂

  11. 106 and 106 says:

    Good teams, like the Leafs, snagged Alexander Kerfoot (74.7 rating) for their 3rd line Center – and that’s a 3rd line that is going to feast on 3rd lines around the league –

    https://www.dailyfaceoff.com/teams/toronto-maple-leafs/line-combinations/

    Edmonton’s included….

  12. London Jon says:

    106 and 106:
    London Jon,

    Do you live in London, UK, Jon? If you do, I’m in Islington – we should get together and celebrate the trade with a pint!

    Hey. Yeah, I live in Notting Hill. And I’m up for a celebratory pint or two.

    I think there are a few other London ex-pats on here. Maybe we try and get everyone together.

    It’s be nice to have a group to watch games with as well.

  13. 106 and 106 says:

    London Jon,

    Cool Jon; any other displaced Edmontonians in London, find me on instagram @oneweek1 and we’ll make something happen!

  14. London Jon says:

    Hadn’t been mentioned much but there was big sign off from Katz here.

    Could be very wrong here but I think He’s looking at a potential $10m bill for this trade and that’s no chump change.

    It must have been killing him as well to watch Lucic drift around the ice doing F-All most games last year while he was paying him half a million dollars a month…

  15. Oil2Oilers says:

    Disagree with Puljujarvi being boxed out, the team looks a whole lot better with him at 2RW rather than Chiason. Sadly my preference for youth, skill and speed is unlikely to be shared by the Oilers.

  16. Pouzar says:

    If Neal is more comfortable at RW and if he has lobbied for that in the past thats where he needs to play. Oilers need to get him going and there is nothing in tha RW depth chart to stop it.

  17. who says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    Disagree with Puljujarvi being boxed out, the team looks a whole lot better with him at 2RW rather than Chiason. Sadly my preference for youth, skill and speed is unlikely to be shared by the Oilers.

    I was just thinking the same thing.. With Neal on the left side that 2nd line could sure use an injection of speed. I’m thinking Archibald might work better there, but would love to see JP grab that spot.

  18. meanashell11 says:

    London Jon: Hey. Yeah, I live in Notting Hill. And I’m up for a celebratory pint or two.

    I think there are a few other London ex-pats on here. Maybe we try and get everyone together.

    It’s be nice to have a group to watch games with as well.

    I have a buddy who lives in London and is an Oiler fan. He is on here a bit and he is always up for a pint!

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Holland has done exactly as he said he was going to do:

    – try and make improvements for the current year but ensure that any such moves do not hurt the ability to build the true contender over the next few years

    – create depth of speed and skill in the bottom six

    – get an established goalie

    ——————

    He did that in the first day of free agency and then professed that, sure, “always looking for a 20 goal scorer” but expressed the need for a 3C. He still has not got the 3C, so I think that is likely still to come but he did do the ultimate – dispose of Milan Lucic for zero asset bleed. Yes a potential boat anchor contract comes back but its a “cheaper” and less restrictive boat anchor contract than Lucic and it also has the potential to become a material piece, a legit top 6 goal scoring forward that will be a bit over paid.

    Fantastic work so far.

    Potential for some nice improvement this year and not committing extra cap in the next few years, keeping his currency for when a real opportunity presents itself.

    It may still be a very tough year ahead to the years (read plural) ahead should get better and better and then Cups!

  20. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    The next two shoes to possibly drop are:
    1- Does KH stay with his verbal and “add” a 3C to the roster (numbers are VERY tight to do this at the moment), or does he now have sufficient “internal” options (e.g., JJ, Marody, Haas, Gagner…or RNH) to try for 2019-2020 at least?
    2- JP sign, trade or other league? IF the rumours are true that he and Luc were not best-buds, does the BIG trade now increase the odds that he comes back to camp on a 1-2 year contract? The pressure on this file is now squarely with JP and Lehto as KH has filled the cupboards with potential bottom 6 winger options and a possible top 6W with Neal. I think KH can wait this out more comfortably than JP can.

    These two shoes are not mutually exclusive. JP (+ prospect depending on the return) trade for 3C?

    Full Steam Ahead!

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kassian’s replacement in the top 6 options over the next few years include the likes of: Benson, Maksimov, Lavoie along with the potential legit top 6 acquisition over the next couple off-seasons.

    Nope, no sure thing Benson is top 6, could max out at middle 6.

    No sure thing that Maksimov is even an NHL player but his shot/release is NHL ready and elite and he has a work ethic and a responsible 2-way game and is aggressive and was a plus PK guy this past year. Shit, the more I think about it, the more I like his chances. Hope his game translates to pro and he has a solid AHL season.

    Lavoie was just drafted, miles to go but, of course, top 6 potential for sure.

    Top 6 acquisition – this is why I am fine without stretching to grab a Nyquist, Connolly, DeZingel, Johannson type guy this off-season – that $4M-$5M may be value but those are marginal top 6 guys and acquiring them this off-season would restrict the ability to acquire, via signing or trade, a more substantial and legit guy over the next few years.

    The plan is coming in to view….

  22. defmn says:

    Neal prefers the right side and is pretty adamant about it.

    //Sept. 5, 2018, Kristen Anderson, Calgary Herald: Neal is billed as a natural left-winger, patrolling the Golden Knights’ second line last season, where he utilized his powerful shot. But in Nashville, he predominantly played the right side there with Ryan Johansen, Mike Fisher and Calle Jarnkrok, so he has some experience on his off wing. “Nealer puts the puck in the net every season. He’s a proven goal-scorer in this league,” said Sean Monahan.

    Sept. 6, 2018, Anderson:The job is open. And by the sounds of it, James Neal wants it. Comfortable on right wing having played it for the last eight years dating back to his time with the Dallas Stars, the 31-year-old Whitby, Ont., native got right to the point when he addressed the local media for the first time since arriving in Calgary. “It’s where I want to play… I like playing on my off side, especially getting the chance to play on that top line with Johnny (Gaudreau) and Sean (Monahan). Them both being left shots when you’re passing lefty to lefty, things open up quick. I love having a lefthanded centreman.” Neal plans on being honest with head coach Bill Peters regarding his intentions. “There won’t be any grey area there,” he said. “I think I’ll be in the right spot, where I should be, whether that’s on the top line or the second line. So we’ll see where it fits.”//

  23. OmJo says:

    Pouzar:
    If Neal is more comfortable at RW and if he has lobbied for that in the past thats where he needs to play. Oilers need to get him going and there is nothing in tha RW depth chart to stop it.

    Agreed. Do whatever you can to unlock Neal. The team can only benefit from this.

  24. Woogie63 says:

    Oiler have almost $5M in dead cap space – I wonder how this is approached with the organization?

    A) Cost of doing business
    B) Small in the scheme of the entire Ice District
    C) Cut backs in other areas of the business
    D) Cut back in other areas of the HOCKEY business

  25. dolenator says:

    I agree with neal on the right. Benson is known for his sick passing skill and believe me there was some beauties in the ahl playoffs this spring. I think Benson,nuge,neal could create a productive line with neal being the shooter

  26. McNuge93 says:

    Woogie63:
    Oiler have almost $5M in dead cap space – I wonder how this approached with the organization?

    A) Cost of doing business
    B) Small in the scheme of the entire Ice District
    C) Cut backs in other areas of the business
    D) Cut back in other areas of the HOCKEY business

    We are rightly critical of Katz for his management hiring and the OBC but one thing he is willing to do is spend money so credit where credit is due.

  27. murphy says:

    I would love to see Jesse sign and get a shot on LW with Connor and Neal on RW. Jesses time with Connor has always been productive. Neal could be the finisher. This would set up a second line of Nuge-Leon-Kassian/Gagner.

  28. Ben says:

    I, too, hope Neal comes in and hits it out of the park.

    But the greatest asset he brings to the team today is the buyout structure on his contract.

    No matter the result, MASSIVE wind for the Oilers. Even if Lucic rebounds a little in new scenery it’s hard to imagine he was getting his mojo back here.

    Now Holland needs to get JP back on track, get him some goals in the first half and pull a Drouin trade in Jan.

  29. McNuge93 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Kassian’s replacement in the top 6 options over the next few years include the likes of: Benson, Maksimov, Lavoie along with the potential legit top 6 acquisition over the next couple off-seasons.

    Nope, no sure thing Benson is top 6, could max out at middle 6.

    No sure thing that Maksimov is even an NHL player but his shot/release is NHL ready and elite and he has a work ethic and a responsible 2-way game and is aggressive and was a plus PK guy this past year.Shit, the more I think about it, the more I like his chances.Hope his game translates to pro and he has a solid AHL season.

    Lavoie was just drafted, miles to go but, of course, top 6 potential for sure.

    Top 6 acquisition – this is why I am fine without stretching to grab a Nyquist, Connolly, DeZingel, Johannson type guy this off-season – that $4M-$5M may be value but those are marginal top 6 guys and acquiring them this off-season would restrict the ability to acquire, via signing or trade, a more substantial and legit guy over the next few years.

    The plan is coming in to view….

    I think your right. KH has made some short term fixes but the real solution for the top six will be perhaps next year. More cap opens up at that time (Gagner, Brodziak, Manning, maybe Russell gone) and if Neal bombs then another $3 mil can be opened up with a buyout. Hopefully we are pretty competitive this year and next year is when we really gel incuding the emergence of some of our prospects.

  30. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Kassian’s replacement in the top 6 options over the next few years include the likes of: Benson, Maksimov, Lavoie along with the potential legit top 6 acquisition over the next couple off-seasons.

    Nope, no sure thing Benson is top 6, could max out at middle 6.

    No sure thing that Maksimov is even an NHL player but his shot/release is NHL ready and elite and he has a work ethic and a responsible 2-way game and is aggressive and was a plus PK guy this past year.Shit, the more I think about it, the more I like his chances.Hope his game translates to pro and he has a solid AHL season.

    Lavoie was just drafted, miles to go but, of course, top 6 potential for sure.

    Top 6 acquisition – this is why I am fine without stretching to grab a Nyquist, Connolly, DeZingel, Johannson type guy this off-season – that $4M-$5M may be value but those are marginal top 6 guys and acquiring them this off-season would restrict the ability to acquire, via signing or trade, a more substantial and legit guy over the next few years.

    The plan is coming in to view….

    Completely agree. Refreshing to see the plan and the reality beginning to resemble each other. When was the last time that happened … and so quickly?

    I think Maksimov is my favorite prospect. If he continues to develop along the current trajectory, the Oil could have a genuine pisscutter on their hands. A pisscutter with a Russian surname playing in EDM? That’s like lambs and lions living together in harmony.

    I remain, as always, Decidedly Skeptical, but it’s not as absolute as it was three months ago.

  31. London Jon says:

    meanashell11: I have a buddy who lives in London and is an Oiler fan. He is on here a bit and he is always up for a pint!

    Awesome, what’s the best way for us to all link in and organise some beers?

    I’ve messaged 106 on Instagram and anyone who’s interested can email me at jonathanwaeland@icloud.com

  32. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    It seems a large sum of FLames fans are starting to warm up on the Lucic-Neal trade. Basically stating that they’re “glad Neal is gone” and “excited to see how the team will play 10 inches taller with a nuclear deterrent”.

    So if both oiler fans and fLame fans are ecstatic about the trade, and saying that the other team just traded for a useless bum, how should we really feel???

  33. alberta bound edmonton says:

    After the insanity of the Chai years Holland is a breath of fresh air. He doesn’t have the cap space to sign a 3c so he is not done trading yet. I wonder if he is thinking about running with what he has if he cannot get the 3c he wants.

  34. London Jon says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    It seems a large sum of FLames fans are starting to warm up on the Lucic-Neal trade. Basically stating that they’re “glad Neal is gone” and “excited to see how the team will play 10 inches taller with a nuclear deterrent”.

    So if both oiler fans and fLame fans are ecstatic about the trade, and saying that the other team just traded for a useless bum, how should we really feel???

    Ecstatic still.

    Those losers are just trying to put a brave face on it 😀

  35. Bag of Pucks says:

    Don’t we have the third highest ticket prices in the league? You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t rush to nominate Katz for sainthood.

    I would’ve been perfectly happy to keep Hall and not sign Lucic, so It seems odd to give Katz credit for absorbing the costs of the bad management team that he installed.

  36. BONE207 says:

    Woogie63:
    Oiler have almost $5M in dead cap space – I wonder how this is approached with the organization?

    A) Cost of doing business
    B) Small in the scheme of the entire Ice District
    C) Cut backs in other areas of the business
    D) Cut back in other areas of the HOCKEY business

    Hopefully Mr. Katz views it as a spend now investment which will be recouped with a series or two in the playoffs. While Old Dutch seems to actually have a plan, the team still needs to be blessed with above average goal-tending or a team system to cut down on rickibox chances. At least it has stopped raining…

  37. Bag of Pucks says:

    IF Benson or Jesse were to actually elevate to Top 6 caliber play this season, an argument can be made that the 3C is already on the roster – RNH. The problem with this of course is that Nuge is not that superior FO / defensive demon fit like a Guy Carbonneau player which is ideal in that slot. I see Ryan as good, not great, defensively.

    This is my not so subtle way of suggesting that this team is not built properly until Leon is at 2C. Which makes 1LW not 3C the greatest need imo.

  38. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Kassian’s replacement in the top 6 options over the next few years include the likes of: Benson, Maksimov, Lavoie along with the potential legit top 6 acquisition over the next couple off-seasons.

    Nope, no sure thing Benson is top 6, could max out at middle 6.

    No sure thing that Maksimov is even an NHL player but his shot/release is NHL ready and elite and he has a work ethic and a responsible 2-way game and is aggressive and was a plus PK guy this past year.Shit, the more I think about it, the more I like his chances.Hope his game translates to pro and he has a solid AHL season.

    Lavoie was just drafted, miles to go but, of course, top 6 potential for sure.

    Top 6 acquisition – this is why I am fine without stretching to grab a Nyquist, Connolly, DeZingel, Johannson type guy this off-season – that $4M-$5M may be value but those are marginal top 6 guys and acquiring them this off-season would restrict the ability to acquire, via signing or trade, a more substantial and legit guy over the next few years.

    The plan is coming in to view….

    Benson’s big league passing abilities, and hockey smarts are already top six. This is only his second summer to be able to properly train, and any questions about his skating will be addressed , he will be pushing hard this fall.

  39. Oilman99 says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    It seems a large sum of FLames fans are starting to warm up on the Lucic-Neal trade. Basically stating that they’re “glad Neal is gone” and “excited to see how the team will play 10 inches taller with a nuclear deterrent”.

    So if both oiler fans and fLame fans are ecstatic about the trade, and saying that the other team just traded for a useless bum, how should we really feel???

    Here’s hoping Neal rubs it in their face this winter, it sounds like he is going to be ready come training camp, and the team needs him to have a bounce back season.

  40. Andy Dufresne says:

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph, LT

    You absolutely nailed that winger roster.

    Not a player, a comment, or a comma out of place.

    Its like the culmination of your RE work.

    It should be the template for all the discussions moving forward if and as any changes occur.

    Thank You !

  41. dmjkrash says:

    I know this is a crazy notion and the chances of it all playing out is so minimal but what if McDavid, Drai and Nuge can each take on a pair of wingers out of this group to have 3 lines that’s can do something? They could always put Drai with McDavid in the third if we are down a goal or two.
    Nygard/McDavid/Neal
    Benson/ Drai/ Chaisson
    Khaira/ Nuge/ Pulijaarvi
    Granlund/ Cave or Gagner/ Archibald

    These lines look fun to me??

  42. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    This seems accurate. RNH has underwhelming fancies at 5v5, still cannot win a faceoff, and is a mediocre penalty killer. I am not suggesting RNH is a poor player but he has definitely been batting too high in the order for almost his entire career.

    Drai playing 2C would relieve a lot of this pressure.

  43. Ryan says:

    Crazy Pedestrian,

    Worst Trade EVER

    Unbelievable, I can see the rational Treliving has in making this deal but Edmonton is laughing and high fiving each other that any team, much less a conference rival would do them this huge favor. If the Flames wanted toughness why not keep Hathaway? Why not bring back Engllend. Sign Maroon, etc.

    Neal will easily score north of 30 goals, Lucic will get about 5 maybe. On some nights I can see Lucic being a healthy scratch. Every time the Flames management envisions a need they make some dumb A _ _ move in free agency to over pay to bring that in trait in and every time they get burned. This will now become the worst trade in Flames history.

    Worst part of this is Lucic has to be protected in the upcoming expansion draft. So in addition to getting a bad player in Lucic were also going to lose a good player during the expansion draft as a result of this trade.

    Neal’s buyout saved would save 1/2 his salary annually, Lucic buyout = virtually no cap savings annually, that’s why he was so difficult to move. I can see if we got Edmonton’s 2020 first round pick or a highly touted prospect. All we got was fleeced.
    Treliving just got “summer schooled” and failed miserably.

    https://www.matchsticksandgasoline.com/2019/7/19/20701488/flames-acquire-milan-lucic

    The above rant from Matchsticks and Gasoline is redolent of the type rants we’re used to seeing here.

    The buyout advantage alone makes this trade a no-brainer.

    Amazing that Kenny got bailed out by a provincial rival. Amazing… Can’t underscore what an amazing trade this was.

  44. HenryDrix says:

    I wanted to comment on some of the rabble yesterday regarding Lucic and his attitude. When I marry his own words to the Calgary press to his on ice display the past couple of seasons, it affirms, at least to me, my own take on the Lucic-McDavid relationship. This is my take (and just my take, so don’t all freak out):

    We’ve all seen McDavid get roughed up (far too much) the past 3 years. If you’re like me you might of wondered why the hell Lucic rarely did anything about it. (Btw, I am on record on this blog saying I would be fine with the Lucic contract if he protected the greatest player in hockey today). I imagine there were a few conversations between McDavid the young and Lucic. I think McDavid expected a greater degree of protection from Lucic than was provided, and Lucic told Connor to suck it up and play through it, not gonna fight all your battles for you. Everyone in the dressing room was afraid of Looch and so nobody else said anything, and Looch turned into a bully in the room. It’s effect most noticeable on the young, JP, likely the polar opposite personality of Lucic. ( Nice kid, wouldn’t hurt a fly)

    Now that is all speculation on my part, but I think there is some truth to it based on watching the games and the non verbal communication in those games.

    Did anyone else get a similar kind of impression watching the games the last two years?

    And on a similar note:
    The fact that Lucic was pouting about not playing meaningful hockey on a nightly basis, tells me he was not the leader we expected or needed him to be. I guess he wants to just be a plug on a good team. What an absolute disappointment.

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

  45. Andy Dufresne says:

    Anyone else here hitting Cap Friendly daily

    to stare at the roster without the name Milan Lucic.

    Just cant help myself. Its like having a bad tooth pulled

    you relish the abscence of pain,

    and your tounge is constantly returning to the sight of the extraction,

    to revel in the space that was once such an agony.
    .
    .
    .
    Too Much? I DONT THINK SO!

    Happy Summer Festivus Everyone !

    Pains for the Flames…..Festivus for the rest-of-us !

    Woot! Woot!

  46. Rube Foster says:

    murphy:
    I would love to see Jesse sign and get a shot on LW with Connor and Neal on RW. Jesses time with Connor has always been productive. Neal could be the finisher. This would set up a second line of Nuge-Leon-Kassian/Gagner.

    Yes Sir!

    Pairing Nuge and Leon would give us two strong lines.

    Slow hand Jools Holland is giving Team Jesse the Athanasiou Treatment. Holland found a way to return to his fold a disgruntled Andreas Anthasiou. Holland then created an opportunity for Athanasiou to succeed. This management tactic is called the Opposite Chiarelli.

    A Neal bounce back and a resurgent Jesse might win Holland GM of the year… if the defense doesn’t get banged up and the Old Netminders hold.

    Sunshine, Lollipops and Ken Holland infused Rainbows everywhere I look today!

  47. godot10 says:

    106 and 106:
    Good teams, like the Leafs, snagged Alexander Kerfoot (74.7 rating) for their 3rd line Center – and that’s a 3rd line that is going to feast on 3rd lines around the league –

    https://www.dailyfaceoff.com/teams/toronto-maple-leafs/line-combinations/

    Edmonton’s included….

    Wake me up when they get Marner signed and they are cap compliant.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    I thought the Lucic trade may help get Jesse under contract, however, given Holland’s verbal yesterday, it doesn’t sound like its much of a catalyst.

  49. defmn says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    IF Benson or Jesse were to actually elevate to Top 6 caliber play this season, an argument can be made that the 3C is already on the roster – RNH. The problem with this of course is that Nuge is not that superior FO / defensive demon fit like a Guy Carbonneau player which is ideal in that slot. I see Ryan as good, not great, defensively.

    This is my not so subtle way of suggesting that this team is not built properly until Leon is at 2C. Which makes 1LW not 3C the greatest need imo.

    I’ve been on this bandwagon for some time. Mentioning trading one of the few good players on this team always gets greeted with “keep good players” but if there is a shoot first winger out there on a team that needs a high end 2C I see if they are interested in Nuge.

    Nuge is not really suited to play 1st LW or 3C. With Leon as the 2C he would be playing out of position.

    With all due respect to our host I do not believe the GM mantra should be “find good players, keep good players” so much as find good players for each of the unique 23 positions on a teams roster.

    Not as catchy but closer to what a winning team is imo.

  50. Side says:

    Ryan,

    I was browsing Flamesnation and I was baffled to see that there were actual Flames fans who think them getting Lucic was an acceptable, even “good” trade for Neal. In this optimism were people saying that Neal’s 1 year with them showed them everything they needed to see from him and there was no chance he would rebound. They didn’t seem to realize that the Oilers have seen 3 years of Lucic and it was BAD and the fact that Oilers fans are happy to see him go for Neal should be enough of a red flag for them to not be optimistic. Especially since the “itch” that Lucic would “scratch” for them is the exact same itch the Oilers had when they acquired him. And it was not scratched.

    I am still amazed that Flames management and a group of their fans actually think this trade was good enough to make.

    Not being a victim in a hockey trade is a nice feeling.

  51. Rube Foster says:

    I just had this beauty thought pop into my head.

    I can’t wait for the Flames to play Lucic with Jankowski and Bennett for the first 20 games of the season…

    The Flames one time lotto pick trying to get his offense established in the NHL and a young top prospect hoping to develop into something special, stapled to the offensive black hole that is Lucic.

    As Oiler fans we know how that Movie ends.

    For Oiler fans this trade has the potential to keep giving and giving…

  52. Side says:

    So when Chiarelli was announced as the Oilers GM there was a lot of cautious or outright optimism about Pete because he was a cup winning GM. There was caution because while being a cup winning GM, he did leave the Bruins in a shitty cap situation and traded big assets for peanuts and the hope was that he learned from his mistakes in Boston and would not make the same mistakes in Edmonton. After seeing Chiarelli use the exact same playbook in Edmonton and got canned for it and they brought Holland in, I know there is a lot of cautious optimism about Holland because he also did not leave his previous team in the best position cap wise.

    Since Holland has been here, he seems to have made some safe plays and hasn’t overspent terribly, imo, and he is not making big, expensive, long term commitments to players that don’t deserve it.

    I don’t know Holland’s body of work enough to comment on this, but with the Lucic and Sekera buyouts and signing short term, cheap contracts, is this a sign that Holland has learned some cap management lessons from his time with Detroit? Or is this still following Holland’s kind of MO?

  53. S1R_McJesus_the_1st says:

    My hopeful lines

    Nuge-Mcdavid-Neal

    Benson-Draisaitl-Poolparty

    Kassian-3C aquisition/Marody-Chiasson

    Granlund-Khaira-Archibald

    Gagner, Jurco, Nygard 13-15th forwards

  54. Henry says:

    Training camp is going to be a real battle for roster spots. Good job Holland.

    Every time I’ve seen Neal good, and it has been quite a bit over the years, it has been as a trigger man on the right side with quite a lot of rebound cleanup. With Benson good at boardwork and passing and the Nuge as the squad leader, this could be a good softish minutes second line.

  55. McNuge93 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I thought the Lucic trade may help get Jesse under contract, however, given Holland’s verbal yesterday, it doesn’t sound like its much of a catalyst.

    Yes, on the Oilers website KH was quoted re the Pulu situation “I have to decide what I’m going to do, whether I decide I’m going to trade him or if I decide that there’s nothing that makes sense and he needs to make a decision about he wants to do for this upcoming season.”.
    I like thetone. Clearly indicating he’s in the drivers seat and Pulu may have to make a decision. No sign of panic. Chia would have caved by now. Frankly. it doesn’t matter to this year’s Oilers whether Pulu is on the team or not. He may be better off in Europe.

  56. godot10 says:

    Side:
    So when Chiarelli was announced as the Oilers GM there was a lot of cautious or outright optimism about Pete because he was a cup winning GM. There was caution because while being a cup winning GM, he did leave the Bruins in a shitty cap situation and traded big assets for peanuts and the hope was that he learned from his mistakes in Boston and would not make the same mistakes in Edmonton. After seeing Chiarelli use the exact same playbook in Edmonton and got canned for it and they brought Holland in, I know there is a lot of cautious optimism about Holland because he also did not leave his previous team in the best position cap wise.

    Since Holland has been here, he seems to have made some safe plays and hasn’t overspent terribly, imo, and he is not making big, expensive, long term commitments to players that don’t deserve it.

    I don’t know Holland’s body of work enough to comment on this, but with the Lucic and Sekera buyouts and signing short term, cheap contracts, is this a sign that Holland has learned some cap management lessons from his time with Detroit? Or is this still following Holland’s kind of MO?

    I think Holland tried to prolong the Red Wings run unnaturally because of Illitch’s age and health and the new arena. And he recognizes the mistakes that resulted from trying to do that.

    He dug himself into a hole in Detroit, and had just finishing digging himself out to hand over to Yzerman a roster and a cap situation in decent shape.

    I think he has learned from his “mistakes”.

  57. OmJo says:

    dolenator:
    I agree with neal on the right.Benson is known for his sick passing skill and believe me there was some beauties in the ahl playoffs this spring.I think Benson,nuge,neal could create a productive line with neal being the shooter

    There’s only one reason I’d consider Benson in the NHL this season and that’s because he’d have two skilled veterans on his line.

    I’d still rather he begin the year in the AHL. Hell, I’d rather he spend the entire year in the AHL. But bringing him up this season at least he’d have a good chance of succeeding on a line with Nuge and Neal.

  58. OmJo says:

    McNuge93: We are rightlycritical of Katz for his management hiring and the OBC but one thing he is willing to do is spend money so credit where credit is due.

    I look at it more like an investment than charity. He makes whatever money he put in and then some. So i don’t see it as him spending money in the conventional way.

    IIRC, and somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, the Oilers bring in almost half a billion dollars annually. Along with his other business. If he can spend $85 000 000 on a house, what’s another $10 000 000 on the Oilers?

    Then again, I wanna eat the rich, so…

  59. London Jon says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    Bag of Pucks,

    This seems accurate. RNH has underwhelming fancies at 5v5, still cannot win a faceoff, and is a mediocre penalty killer. I am not suggesting RNH is a poor player but he has definitely been batting too high in the order for almost his entire career.

    Drai playing 2C would relieve a lot of this pressure.

    I think RNH is a better C at this point in time than Leon.

    He has been dragging around 4th line wingers for the last few years

  60. dmjkrash says:

    There are so many possible line combinations that could potentially work. It will be a very interesting preseason. If a few guys have career or bounce back years, we could surprise.

  61. Reja says:

    McNuge93: Yes, on the Oilers website KH was quoted re the Pulu situation “I have to decide what I’m going to do, whether I decide I’m going to trade him or if I decide that there’s nothing that makes sense and he needs to make a decision about he wants to do for this upcoming season.”.
    I like thetone. Clearly indicating he’s in the drivers seat and Pulu may have to make a decision. No sign of panic. Chia would have caved by now. Frankly. it doesn’t matter to this year’s Oilers whether Pulu is on the team or not. He may be better off in Europe.

    Holland definitely in the drivers seat Jessie’s agent getting a lesson in. Who’s running the show not me.

  62. Side says:

    OmJo: There’s only one reason I’d consider Benson in the NHL this season and that’s because he’d have two skilled veterans on his line.

    I’d still rather he begin the year in the AHL. Hell, I’d rather he spend the entire year in the AHL. But bringing him up this season at least he’d have a good chance of succeeding on a line with Nuge and Neal.

    At least we now live in a time where the Oilers don’t have Lavoie and Benson penciled into the top 6 already.

  63. Side says:

    godot10: I think Holland tried to prolong the Red Wings run unnaturally because of Illitch’s age and health and the new arena.And he recognizes the mistakes that resulted from trying to do that.

    He dug himself into a hole in Detroit, and had just finishing digging himself out to hand over to Yzerman a roster and a cap situation in decent shape.

    I think he has learned from his “mistakes”.

    Thanks for that.

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    defmn: I’ve been on this bandwagon for some time. Mentioning trading one of the few good players on this team always gets greeted with “keep good players” but if there is a shoot first winger out there on a team that needs a high end 2C I see if they are interested in Nuge.

    Nuge is not really suited to play 1st LW or 3C. With Leon as the 2C he would be playing out of position.

    With all due respect to our host I do not believe the GM mantra should be “find good players, keep good players” so much as find good players for each of the unique 23 positions on a teams roster.

    Not as catchy but closer to what a winning team is imo.

    Realistically, RNH’s contract extension will start to force the issue in a year regardless. Wouldn’t surprise me to sign him sign with the Canucks as a UFA,

  65. Jethro Tull says:

    Good to see some fans here live in the old country. I (and a few lurkers here I know who read but don’t post) are of the other persuasion; we’re Brits in Canada.

  66. Revolved says:

    I have stated repeatedly that I think stable top six linemates are important to winning. Last summer I showed that the Oilers under Mclellan blended their lines more than any other team and saw there was an r^2 correlation of 0.307 between this stat and points rank. The stat I showed was the percentage of 5×5 time that a team’s top two centres played with their top two linemates. It looked like this for all the teams in 17/18:

    Calgary 78.15
    Colorado 77.80
    Nashville 73.29
    Vegas 72.43
    Toronto 72.33
    Dallas 67.15
    Winnipeg 66.59
    New York Islanders 66.19
    Anaheim 65.01
    Boston 64.61
    Tampa Bay 59.96
    St. Louis 58.43
    L.A. 57.76
    Philadelphia 55.77
    San Jose 54.09
    Minnesota 52.40
    Vancouver 51.78
    Detroit 51.73
    Pittsburgh 50.59
    Chicago 50.48
    Florida 48.79
    New Jersey 47.83
    Montreal 47.30
    Carolina 47.08
    Washington 47.07
    Arizona 46.83
    Columbus 44.58
    Ottawa 43.65
    New York Rangers 40.53
    Buffalo 39.00
    Edmonton 37.51

    To update this, I ran the same numbers for a few teams from 18/19:

    Tampa Bay 56.38
    Calgary 73.34
    Buffalo 63.55
    Edmonton 47.62
    Ottawa 42.39

    Notably, the Oilers played a stretch of great hockey when Rieder – Draisaitl – Chiasson were a line, and during Mclellan’s time in 18/19 he actually played Draisaitl and McDavid together much less than Hitchcock: About 30% vs >65%. I know Russell and Klefbom got injured, but I don’t know why Hitchcock went away from the Rieder – Draisaitl – Chiasson line. It coincided with the losing streak that got him fired.

    Looking to the future, I calculated this for Tippett’s 16/17 Arizona team and got a number of 49.15%. Not great, but if someone can tell me the top centres for his teams going back further I would be happy to calculate his historical numbers. I also plan to do the full league for 18/19, as I’m interested if teams that improved, like Buffalo, also saw their line stability go up. To repeat, I think our three star centres should each have their own stable lines.

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Anyone else here hitting Cap Friendly daily

    to stare at the roster without the name Milan Lucic.

    Just cant help myself. Its like having a bad tooth pulled

    you relish the abscence of pain,

    and your tounge is constantly returning to the sight of the amputation

    to revel in the space that was once such an agony.
    .
    .
    .
    Too Much? I DONT THINK SO!

    Happy Summer Festivus Everyone !

    Pains for the Flames…..Festivus for the rest-of-us !

    Woot! Woot!

    When I found out, I went to CapFriendly, saw that boat anchor hitched to the Flames roster and smiled the whole day long

    Treliving just made a ‘let’s attack Russia in the dead of winter’ magnitude mistake. It’s a beautiful thing when your biggest rival punches themselves in the pills.

  68. who says:

    HenryDrix:
    I wanted to comment on some of the rabble yesterday regarding Lucic and his attitude.When I marry his own words to the Calgary press to his on ice display the past couple of seasons, it affirms, at least to me, my own take on the Lucic-McDavid relationship.This is my take (and just my take, so don’t all freak out):

    We’ve all seen McDavid get roughed up (far too much) the past 3 years.If you’re like me you might of wondered why the hell Lucic rarely did anything about it.(Btw, I am on record on this blog saying I would be fine with the Lucic contract if he protected the greatest player in hockey today).I imagine there were a few conversations between McDavid the young and Lucic.I think McDavid expected a greater degree of protection from Lucic than was provided, and Lucic told Connor to suck it up and play through it, not gonna fight all your battles for you.Everyone in the dressing room was afraid of Looch and so nobody else said anything, and Looch turned into a bully in the room.It’s effect most noticeable on the young, JP, likely the polar opposite personality of Lucic. ( Nice kid, wouldn’t hurt a fly)

    Now that is all speculation on my part, but I think there is some truth to it based on watching the games and the non verbalcommunication in those games.

    Did anyone else get a similar kind of impression watching the games the last two years?

    And on a similar note:
    The fact that Lucic was pouting about not playing meaningful hockey on a nightly basis, tells me he was not the leader we expected or needed him to be. I guess he wants to just be a plug on a good team. What an absolute disappointment.

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

    I think you are way off base here.
    Not that I pretend to know what goes on in the Oilers room. But neither do you.
    I have played on a lot of hockey teams and I have NEVER seen a player tell another player that he should protect him. Hockey players have a hell of a lot more pride than that.. Sure, a player like Lucic makes everyone play a little bigger. But no player, and especially not McDavid, is going to demand that Lucic protect him.

  69. defmn says:

    Bag of Pucks: Realistically, RNH’s contract extension will start to force the issue in a year regardless. Wouldn’t surprise me to sign him sign with the Canucks as a UFA,

    Which is why I would see if there is a quality for quality trade this summer. I know I wouldn’t stay with this team if I were him once he hits UFA.

  70. oil-in-the-blood says:

    I dont comment a lot on here but I def follow here and the athletic. Great comments and debate all 🙂

    I will say I am excited about the change that the team has undergone. Holland def gets thumbs up from me. I just read today’s blog and was like wow there are a ton new players (yes I understand mostly for the bottom half, speed, speed speed) ALSO he has made no idiotic, crazy GIGANTIC trades at loss and I dont think he ever will. I gave Chia a chance for a lonnnng time but I am very thankful he is gone. This team will start to grow now and get better. Chip away Mr. Holland Chip away. All of these bottom 6 players were brought in to compete to play and we will be a more competitive team for it!!

  71. London Jon says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Good to see some fans here live in the old country. I (and a few lurkers here I know who read but don’t post) are of the other persuasion; we’re Brits in Canada.

    Nice to hear!

    I’ve lived in London since I left the u of a.

    22 years now. It was only meant to be 1!!

  72. Bulging Twine says:

    Revolved,

    Thanks! Great stuff!
    Hey, what does the R^2 correlation of .307 mean? How do I compute that?

  73. Primetime says:

    Re: RNH Trade

    I don’t think this is an impossibility. However, watching “Slowhand” Kenny play out the JP situation, I don’t see any chance he moves before next summer.

    Realistically, I think they give RNH a year to play with Neal, and hope he has individual and team success. Next summer, engage in talks about a new contract. If he (and the team) had a good year, hopefully he is willing to sign another multi-year contract with reasonable dollars (ie. less than Drai AAV).

    If he has a mediocre year, or refuses to talk contract/reasonable numbers, then you trade him next summer with a year left on his contract for hopefully a bigger haul.

    With Drai being the ultimate backup plan at 2C, I don’t think there is anyway they get to the point of letting RNH walk for free in 2 years.

  74. Rube Foster says:

    Side: At least we now live in a time where the Oilers don’t have Lavoie and Benson penciled into the top 6 already.

    This maybe the biggest break through and contribution that Holland makes to the culture of the Edmonton Oilers.

    Pre-Lucic trade it was not that uncommon to see line combinations posted here that featured Benson, Nygard, Jurco and others in top six roles. We have all been conditioned by the “Oiler Way” of rushing prospects or pushing suspects into roles beyond their capabilities.

    I am not suggesting that Benson, Nygard and Jurco couldn’t become productive players for us in the future. Just saying that tossing them into a top six role before they find their legs in the NHL has a proven track record in Edmonton of being woefully unsuccessful.

    I am very interested to see what impact the Holland Marinate Technic has on player development for our Edmonton Oilers.

  75. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Balance is finally coming. Not perfectly, but as is possible, but it’s coming.

    Forever the Oilers have had pass first skilled players and no serious shooters. Holland acquired Neal and retained Chiasson who is not ideal but plays for the team and his best attribute is his RH shot.

    There is balance in size and speed shaping up on wing. More balance in left and right shots. All pretty fast given the scenario.

    He’ll be for sure genius if he can find the 3C (in house or not) and shore up the right D with an effective placeholder.

  76. razor says:

    Everyone keeps penciling in Neal with RNH, but it may not be the best fit. Other than Drai, what other forward has consistently shown to have chemistry with McDavid? That would be Nuge. Also, I also read an interview that Neal says that he prefers playing with a left handed centre. Neal also has his best seasons playing with Malkin (including the 40 goal season). Well we have our own Malkin. I propose the following top 6, with prospects to replace seniors in brackets when ready:

    Nuge McDavid Kassian (Pujuljarvi) – speed demons
    Chaisson (Benson) Draisaitl Neal – cycle monsters

    Chaisson has good results with Drai away from McDavid. Two plus passers with Benson and Drai would be ideal for Neal. Pujuljarvi’s big frame and speed could create a lot of havoc out there for Nuge and McDavid to capitalize. Thoughts?

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    McNuge:
    Do we really need a 3C given that Granlund, Khaira, and Gagner can all play centre and we still have Haas, and Cave and Brodziak. Could it be 3C by committee?Seems we have too many bodies. I cant see a signing of a 3C, but maybe a Pulu trade for one.

    Ideally, I think yes.

    Each of Granlund, Khaira and Gagner have shown to clearly be better on the wing. I think Khaira has some 3C/4C potential but he’s not there yet and coming off an injury-plagued year, I’d like him on the wing where he’s most comfortable to get his game back.

    Tippett speaks about helping maximize a player and putting them in a position to succeed, I think that includes slotting them in their best positions.

    We’re not even sure Hass is an NHL player let along a 3C (as opposed to 4C).

    Cave at 4C is something that needs to be a last resort as he is the definition of a tweener. 3C is clearly above his pay grade.

    Brodziak, well, we saw last year that, barring an unexpected bounce-back, he may be done as a center in the NHL – again, 3C is above his pay grade. He may not even make the team.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    49:
    Good teams, like the Leafs, snagged Alexander Kerfoot (74.7 rating) for their 3rd line Center – and that’s a 3rd line that is going to feast on 3rd lines around the league –

    https://www.dailyfaceoff.com/teams/toronto-maple-leafs/line-combinations/

    Edmonton’s included….

    To be fair, the Leafs traded Kadri for Kerfoot and Barrie (and its reasonable that Barrie is a one-year rental).

    That would be like the Oilers trading Nuge.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    If Neal is more comfortable at RW and if he has lobbied for that in the past thats where he needs to play. Oilers need to get him going and there is nothing in tha RW depth chart to stop it.

    Agreed and that would also be in line with Tippett’s verbal about putting player’s in a position to succeed.

    Sorry Chiasson, if Neal “needs”/”wins” that 2RW spot beside Nuge, its his to run with.

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    razor:
    Everyone keeps penciling in Neal with RNH, but it may not be the best fit. Other than Drai, what other forward has consistently shown to have chemistry with McDavid? That would be Nuge. Also, I also read an interview that Neal says that he prefers playing with a left handed centre. Neal also has his best seasons playing with Malkin (including the 40 goal season). Well we have our own Malkin. I propose the following top 6, with prospects to replace seniors in brackets when ready:

    Nuge McDavid Kassian (Pujuljarvi) – speed demons
    Chaisson (Benson) Draisaitl Neal – cycle monsters

    Chaisson has good results with Drai away from McDavid. Two plus passers with Benson and Drai would be ideal for Neal. Pujuljarvi’s big frame and speed could create a lot of havoc out there for Nuge and McDavid to capitalize. Thoughts?

    I would like a look at that. Felt they could have stayed with McDavid and Nuge on the same line a little longer last season.

  81. Professor Q says:

    razor:
    Everyone keeps penciling in Neal with RNH, but it may not be the best fit. Other than Drai, what other forward has consistently shown to have chemistry with McDavid? That would be Nuge. Also, I also read an interview that Neal says that he prefers playing with a left handed centre. Neal also has his best seasons playing with Malkin (including the 40 goal season). Well we have our own Malkin. I propose the following top 6, with prospects to replace seniors in brackets when ready:

    Nuge McDavid Kassian (Pujuljarvi) – speed demons
    Chaisson (Benson) Draisaitl Neal – cycle monsters

    Chaisson has good results with Drai away from McDavid. Two plus passers with Benson and Drai would be ideal for Neal. Pujuljarvi’s big frame and speed could create a lot of havoc out there for Nuge and McDavid to capitalize. Thoughts?

    Would Yakupov and Puljujärvi count as those forwards with McDavid, also?

  82. anduril says:

    who: I think you are way off base here.
    Not that I pretend to know what goes on in the Oilers room. But neither do you.
    I have played on a lot of hockey teams and I have NEVER seen a player tell another player that he should protect him. Hockey players have a hell of a lot more pride than that.. Sure,a player like Lucic makes everyone play a little bigger. But no player, and especially not McDavid, is going to demand that Lucic protect him.

    I agree. I don’t think McDavid would’ve had any such expectation or demand of Lucic. I think the Lucic interview speaks for itself. Chiarelli sold Lucic a bill of goods. Told him he was coming in here to be THE leader on the team, to ride shotgun with McDavid and score a bajillion goals, to help McDavid become the awesomest captain in the world, and to win cups. It seems to me that Lucic bit off more than he could chew as a result. He probably never really had the leadership or respect in the room he expected to be gifted to him; and then he didn’t go out and earn it either. Mostly, Chiarelli probably misread Lucic’s leadership abilities; Lucic strikes me more as the “perfect soldier” type rather than a leader and that’s why Lucic himself has said he’s looking forward to playing with more senior leadership, like Gio in Calgary. When Hendricks was here, Lucic could play his natural role. Once Hendricks was gone, Lucic didn’t command the respect in the room that he expected from McDavid, Draisaitl and the like; I doubt it was that they were disrespectful (though it may have felt that way to Lucic), it was probably more that Lucic just couldn’t given them a reason to listen or follow him. He got down on himself and his situation, and despite being given every opportunity to win back his mojo, he just slumped his way into the doghouse. In my experience as a coach, it is nearly impossible to impose leadership on a group. The Oilers tried with Ference; it didn’t work. The Oilers tried again with Lucic; it failed. Its a failure, imo, that goes hand-in-glove with the inability to develop players. They not only fail to develop talent properly; they fail to develop leadership. Thing is, they were gifted McDavid, who by virtue of his natural talent and character, is and will be the leader the Oilers failed to develop. But, you can’t put someone in the room with him who doesn’t know how to work with him. Hendricks knew how. Lucic didn’t. Give Draisaitl an “A” and allow Tippett and Woodcroft to build the character and leadership in the organization naturally. That’s my take.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woogie:
    Oiler have almost $5M in dead cap space – I wonder how this is approached with the organization?

    A) Cost of doing business
    B) Small in the scheme of the entire Ice District
    C) Cut backs in other areas of the business
    D) Cut back in other areas of the HOCKEY business

    E) Management that made the decisions leading to such dead cap space fired.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman: Benson’s big league passing abilities, and hockey smarts are already top six. This is only his second summer to be able to properly train, and any questions about his skating will be addressed , he will be pushing hard this fall.

    I don’t disagree and, as I said, he’s an option over the next few years but he sure thing to be top 6. I do think its likely though.

  85. kgo says:

    I’ve been screaming for some shoot first forwards since the league started reducing goalie equipment….team strategies seem to be evolving towards more short one-timers and away from point shots with traffic…less wide cross seam passes etc…hope the oil start trending this way

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Also thinking about Marody as the wild card for 3C – he’s definitely got the skill set but it remains to be seen if it will translate to the NHL level, in particular playing center.

    He was always a step behind the play and ineffective during his cup of coffee last season, however, of course, tough for an offensive minded player to gain traction playing 6 minutes with the likes of Cave.

    Check that: 6:50 seconds per game with the likes of Lucic, Khaira and P. Russell.

  87. GMB3 says:

    OmJo: There’s only one reason I’d consider Benson in the NHL this season and that’s because he’d have two skilled veterans on his line.

    I’d still rather he begin the year in the AHL. Hell, I’d rather he spend the entire year in the AHL. But bringing him up this season at least he’d have a good chance of succeeding on a line with Nuge and Neal.

    Why would you have him spend the entire year in the AHL? I don’t think that sends a great message to prospects. It’s a league to both develop and prove yourself, and by all accounts he proved himself to be an elite 20 year old in the league. Making the move to the NHL should be merit based.

    I understand starting him in the AHL, as a GM my rationale to myself would be “prove to me that wasn’t a one off”, and if he crushes it, he should get an opportunity to play. If he is a point per game player again are we going to say “nope needs another year?” It seems dogmatic to me.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    Henry:
    Training camp is going to be a real battle for roster spots.Good job Holland.

    I think that’s a good thing but, is it?

    I remember going in to camp last year and the general consensus is less experimenting and lets get set, get chemistry building and get ready for the season.

    I see value both ways but its going to be tough to get set until near the end of the pre-season unless Tippett sheds down fast and I think that’s going to be tough at the bottom 6 level – in particular given some of those guys are also in the conversation for middle/top 6 jobs.

  89. GMB3 says:

    London Jon: Nice to hear!

    I’ve lived in London since I left the u of a.

    22 years now. It was only meant to be 1!!

    Off topic, but I’m curious as to what made you stay? Seems like an interesting story

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    McNuge: Yes, on the Oilers website KH was quoted re the Pulu situation “I have to decide what I’m going to do, whether I decide I’m going to trade him or if I decide that there’s nothing that makes sense and he needs to make a decision about he wants to do for this upcoming season.”.
    I like thetone. Clearly indicating he’s in the drivers seat and Pulu may have to make a decision. No sign of panic. Chia would have caved by now. Frankly. it doesn’t matter to this year’s Oilers whether Pulu is on the team or not. He may be better off in Europe.

    Yup, that’s the verbal I was getting at – doesn’t sound like signing with the Oilers seems a viable option for Ken. On the other hand, he may be ensuring that Jesse and his agent know that he may not get traded and he better get to the office with a pen in hand.

    Europe is a fading option – those rosters are essentially set – they start early, camp isn’t far away.

    I don’t feel that Europe is best – he’s healthy, mean Lucic is gone, new coach and management – get on the ice and battle. Adding his potential to the top 9 – as a maturing 21 year old now – that is some size, skill, speed with pedigree that I’d like Tippett to work with.

  91. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Holland doesn’t marinate prospects, he won’t promote them until they are ready. And most take a while to be ready.

    If Benson Jones and Bouchard become better than available players I would not be surprised to see them push players off the roster, perhaps more trades if possible, but in season.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot49: I think Holland tried to prolong the Red Wings run unnaturally because of Illitch’s age and health and the new arena.And he recognizes the mistakes that resulted from trying to do that.

    He dug himself into a hole in Detroit, and had just finishing digging himself out to hand over to Yzerman a roster and a cap situation in decent shape.

    I think he has learned from his “mistakes”.

    Both Holland and Archibald have expressly stated that near the end of the playoff run, they made numerous moves in the name of trying to extend it as long as possible – essentially implying they made moves for the now that they knew would be harmful in the future at the instruction of ownership.

  93. rickithebear says:

    Revolved:

    What is 2 mathematical known givens.
    You can identify the most efficient units in a system.
    Giving more time to lesser units reduces the intended +ve result.
    This is stuff taught in grade 4.

    What you stated is 2 mathematical knows that are a start of one of my 40+ known theorems.
    The theorem is a result based use of players based from WoWY.

    First set of data
    I first looked at video and manually identified oilers WoWY in 05-06 to 07-08.
    When I first discussed best WoWY pairs
    And best Cummulative Evg/60 lines.
    On the Lowetide site.

    Then data from stats. Hockey analysis
    Then data from Natstat trick.
    As continually presented updated best Cummulative evg/60 off lines.

    It dates back at least 12 years.
    When I first started presenting best WoWY pairs.
    The lines you want to constantly run to attain best pocession efficiency.
    Grade 4 Math/ science.

    For the last 12 years people have presented non result based line combinations.
    Line Naratives.
    A non Scientific reason for them.
    Some of the worst Cummulative affect lines based on WoWY results.

    I have also stated you want your best PP1 to get the most PPTOI.
    Looking at past some teams give Forwards 3:30 and dmen 4:00.

    I have stated on here for years.
    It is best to run your most effective WoWY units the most in even & advantage situations.

    Revolved your look is a very simplified team based analysis.
    Not the required individual analysis.

    That was the failure of 2006 shot quality analysis looking at a team level.
    I had already recognized HD mapping as a density based value.
    A quantitative value.

    My open/ Closed shot theory was the quality value differentiation.
    Scoreable
    non scoreable which excludes 60-90% of shot data on a Quantitative level.

    Known grade 4 math tells you to run your best lines together the most.
    Most coaches are taught to do things counter to what math tells us to do.

    Were my theorem matters is at the WoWY level of analysis.
    In a Evgf/60 Analysis.
    Because gf performance is a different set of unit drivers than GA.

    I posted the same WoWY based top pairs analysis in the last 2 weeks
    That I have posted for 11+ years
    post free agency.
    Pre season
    Thru the season updates.

    You proved the grade 4 math is correct when it comes to playing less WoWY efficient lines with superior lines.
    But in science, a given is not analysis.
    It is something that is used to go beyond with a deeper resolution of analysis.

    Which is what I did with my WoWY best Evg/60 off pairs put in with a forward tomidentify the best Cummulative evg/60 off lines.
    11+ years of them.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: There’s only one reason I’d consider Benson in the NHL this season and that’s because he’d have two skilled veterans on his line.

    I’d still rather he begin the year in the AHL. Hell, I’d rather he spend the entire year in the AHL. But bringing him up this season at least he’d have a good chance of succeeding on a line with Nuge and Neal.

    Why are you of the view that Benson almost surely needs another full season?

    This isn’t a 4th round pick d-man but a high pedigree first-round talent forward who has played two junior seasons post-draft (well, I guess really one) and a full AHL season where he scored PPG not just as a rookie but as a young 20 year old rookie.

    I’m not saying he doesn’t need more time, he very well may, however, if he continues to show well and maybe some potential chemistry with a Drai or a Nuge (or a Khaira or a Gagner), I don’t think anyone would think that him breaking camp with the team is an unreasonable decision.

  95. GMB3 says:

    who: I think you are way off base here.
    Not that I pretend to know what goes on in the Oilers room. But neither do you.
    I have played on a lot of hockey teams and I have NEVER seen a player tell another player that he should protect him. Hockey players have a hell of a lot more pride than that.. Sure,a player like Lucic makes everyone play a little bigger. But no player, and especially not McDavid, is going to demand that Lucic protect him.

    100%

    More than anything I imagine McDavid got frustrated playing with him way more than he was mad at him for not protecting him enough. He made comments about the structure of the team last summer as well I think, and I bet that pissed a few of the guys off.

    If you think about it, he was more of a distraction than anything. Force fed PP1 minutes to get him going, lots of talk about his struggles in the media, him talking about how guys were so young and he didn’t feel included… overall just not a positive add to the team in any way.

  96. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, that’s the verbal I was getting at – doesn’t sound like signing with the Oilers seems a viable option for Ken.On the other hand, he may be ensuring that Jesse and his agent know that he may not get traded and he better get to the office with a pen in hand.

    Europe is a fading option – those rosters are essentially set – they start early, camp isn’t far away.

    I don’t feel that Europe is best – he’s healthy, mean Lucic is gone, new coach and management – get on the ice and battle.Adding his potential to the top 9 – as a maturing 21 year old now – that is some size, skill, speed with pedigree that I’d like Tippett to work with.

    Really? I interpreted that differently. That the offer to come back is open, and he does that or he doesn’t play in the NHL this year, unless things change on the trade front.

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: I look at it more like an investment than charity. He makes whatever money he put in and then some. So i don’t see it as him spending money in the conventional way.

    IIRC, and somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, the Oilers bring in almost half a billion dollars annually. Along with his other business. If he can spend $85 000 000 on a house, what’s another $10 000 000 on the Oilers?

    Then again, I wanna eat the rich, so…

    This argument always rubs me the wrong way: “He’s so rich, what’s $10M?”.

    Of course, I don’t think the Lucic/Neal deal is going to effect his day to day life but I am highly confident that Katz isn’t happy about spending $10M.

    Not to sound too pretentious but I work on very large transactions, sometimes, billion dollar transactions, and deal with some of the richest people and more prominent executives in the country and noone brushes off a couple of million of dollars in purchase price, debt service, transaction costs, whatever.

  98. OriginalPouzar says:

    LondonJon: I think RNH is a better C at this point in time than Leon.

    He has been dragging around 4th line wingers for the last few years

    Leon is a completely different 200 foot player since Hitch “fixed” him.

  99. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Leon is a completely different 200 foot player since Hitch “fixed” him.

    We didn’t see him centre his own line for a very extended period of time. His GF% was only 45% from Jan 1st on as well

  100. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar: This argument always rubs me the wrong way:“He’s so rich, what’s $10M?”.

    Of course, I don’t think the Lucic/Neal deal is going to effect his day to day life but I am highly confident that Katz isn’t happy about spending $10M.

    Not to sound too pretentious but I work on very large transactions, sometimes, billion dollar transactions, and deal with some of the richest people and more prominent executives in the country and noone brushes off a couple of million of dollars in purchase price, debt service, transaction costs, whatever.

    He definitely won’t be happy about any “loss without results” but if I remember correctly he was ready to rock and spend both during his purchase of the Oilers, Rogers Place and Ice District, and more recently the resurrection and Holland introduction press conference (Nicholson etc.). He wants to win. Not just for the money but the legacy too. But he knows he’ll make the money.

    He knows there were mistakes and he’s not happy about it. It has cost him said money and legacy. He took measures to remove decision makers and to start improving the situation, which cost more money. But he did it because he cares and wants to win.

  101. rickithebear says:

    The reason I used real result based insight when listing my line combinations:

    My thereom: from 05-06 to 07-08
    you want to build your lines off the 3 most successful offensive pairs
    with a 3rd player added to each pair from the remaining forwards after 6 players excluded as pairs.
    That results is the highest Cummulative evg/60 Total. From the 3 lines.
    Then you play them the most.

    The process:
    You find #1 pair.
    Then #2 pair from the players available minus the first 2
    Then #3 pair from the players available minus the first 4
    Then look at players available
    Check their avg individual WoWY results with the 2 player from dominate pair.

    I posted not long ago on here
    Mcdavid – draisait
    RNH – Kassian
    Lucic – Gagner
    The basis for for line combos.

    What became clear is we do need a 3C.
    Which has been discussed recently.

    The best pair results using data presented on Nat stat individual player Pairs.

    #1 off Pair
    Mcdavid 24 evg – Draisaitl 24 evg 888 EVTOI
    888/60 = 14.8; 48 evg/14.8 = Cummulative 3.25 evg/60

    RNH 6 evg – Kassian 2 evg 192:45 EVTOI
    192.75/60 = 3.2125; 8 evg/3.2125 = 2.49 evg/60

    Lucic – Gagner = 2.67 evg/60 much reduced TOI sample.

    Chaisson is best option for both lines that remain post Lucic trade
    They both end up with a Cummulative value of 4.00evg/60
    Draisaitl – Mcdavid – Chaisson
    Chaisson – RNH – Kassian

    Post lucic trade it makes sense to Slot Neal as LW with RNH – Kassian
    And
    Play Chaisson with #1 pair.

    Mcdavid & Draisaitl played 888 together.
    It means
    Draisaitl played C/W for 595 EVTOI on other non – Mcdavid lines
    Mcdavid played 575 EVTOI as the Center on other non Draisaitl lines.
    Likely in an attempt to boost the other players results.

    As a season progresses you get to look at player additions that result in possible superior off pairs.
    The addition of
    Neal
    Granlund
    Archibald
    Jurco
    Nygard
    Haas
    Will lead to some surprises like pair #3 Lucic – Gagner.

    If you go back on my data supported presentation of best line combinations, created from 3 best off pairs fitted with best 3rd forward options
    and a fourth strong +ve ZS driving DZ based def line.

    I noticed the people who’s Line combinations matched My WoWY established lines repeatedly.(eliminates luck)
    It told me they have good visual intuitive ( scouting) Analysis.

    Which made me want to see them take that skill in a thought process paired with the data available.
    Cause they clearly have the ability to contribute to the multivariable Analysis.

    I can be very forward in wanting people to improve themselves in a multi variable way.

    My line combos have never been guesses.
    They are result supported choices.

    When I look at some of the narative lines.
    I can see some counter value to my approach that are driven by other factors I consider.
    When those counter values repeat from the same people.
    I wonder if they sub consciously are recognizing counter influences.

    Remember folks.
    Mine have allways been WoWY based Cummulative Evg/60 at an “individual” player ” Count” based evg/60 result.
    Not an “on ice” “rate” evgf/60 unit construct.

  102. London Jon says:

    GMB3: Off topic, but I’m curious as to what made you stay? Seems like an interesting story

    Thanks for the interest. And a v good question.

    It’s been a mix of things:

    – My parents are originally English, always loved the English culture and sense of humour and I have a godfather who lives here im very close to
    – I’ve been very fortunate to discover and make a career work in a job that I love and that’s perfect for me. It’s very client based so you get more and more locked into a city the longer you do it
    – I’ve fallen in love with a lot of places in Europe and I get to spend a lot of time in them as my job is very flexible

    But…I really look forward to coming home whenever I do and I miss it. I miss watching hockey with friends, going to games, I miss the rockies….oh, and I miss my family as well. They all still live in Edmonton.

    Anyone visiting London please get in touch for some tips. Or even better, if you’re thinking of a Europe trip get in touch and I’ll give you some amazing places to go 😀

  103. rickithebear says:

    WHO:

    I can state for a fact that I have observed a coach tell another player to hurt a competitors leg.
    The competitor was taking liberties with that players teamates.
    Future professional paid monies were a driving factor in the situation.
    That player did it.

    In Hockey I have had conversation with players who had certain rolls in higher completion.
    They stated a needed action is understood.

    I think the ability to perform those actions have been greatly reduced in contact sports over the years.

  104. London Jon says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, that’s the verbal I was getting at – doesn’t sound like signing with the Oilers seems a viable option for Ken.On the other hand, he may be ensuring that Jesse and his agent know that he may not get traded and he better get to the office with a pen in hand.

    Europe is a fading option – those rosters are essentially set – they start early, camp isn’t far away.

    I don’t feel that Europe is best – he’s healthy, mean Lucic is gone, new coach and management – get on the ice and battle.Adding his potential to the top 9 – as a maturing 21 year old now – that is some size, skill, speed with pedigree that I’d like Tippett to work with.

    Fascinating how this is playing out.

    I also love how Ken is playing it and the phrasing he is using.

    First I, Ken Holland, will decide on your future. Not you or your agent

    Then, once I have decided, you can choose between the deteriorating options that are left open to you.

    This is good for this situation and to make others think twice about trying to strongarm Kenny through the media.

    I love this guy!

  105. Jethro Tull says:

    London Jon: Nice to hear!

    I’ve lived in London since I left the u of a.

    22 years now. It was only meant to be 1!!

    Have you been to the Yorkshire Dales yet? Mum, Dad and my sister all live up there. Top pubs, especially my old local The Bridge Inn in Fronton. Thursday night is folk night!

  106. London Jon says:

    rickithebear:
    WHO:

    I can state for a fact that I have observed a coach tell another competitors leg.
    That player was taking liberties with that players teamates.
    Future professional paid monies were a driving factor in the situation.
    That player did it.

    Hockey certain rolls an needed action is understood.

    Wow, that is next level evil dead style coaching!

    So he intimidated the other players leg into doing something evil to the body it was attached to?!

    Next you’re going to tell me Scotty Bowman had voodoo dolls behind the bench!

  107. London Jon says:

    Jethro Tull: Have you been to the Yorkshire Dales yet? Mum, Dad and my sister all live up there. Top pubs, especially my old local The Bridge Inn in Fronton. Thursday night is folk night!

    That’s freaky.

    I’ve never been before but I’m going up there for 3 days next week for a work ‘offsite’

    Was out with colleagues Friday night and we were all saying ‘we’ve always wanted to go but never been’

    Haven’t gone there in 22 years, you mention it and I’m there next week 👻

  108. Primetime says:

    Curious on group consensus here.

    If JP gets traded, would you prefer:

    1) a young potential top 6 scoring winger (eg. Buchnevich)
    2) Young, potential longterm 3rd line center (eg. Eriksson Ek)

    What would help the team more now and long term?

  109. London Jon says:

    OriginalPouzar: Leon is a completely different 200 foot player since Hitch “fixed” him.

    Agreed, but for me he hasn’t proven it at C yet

  110. Revolved says:

    rickithebear,

    I think that you’re agreeing with my analysis and conclusions, though we come to different conclusions about the three best pairs. I look forward to seeing your very intrecate data sets published. I hope you are feeling well, cancer is a bitch.

    After – The Trade – I would call the pairs:

    X – McDavid – Neal
    X – Draisaitl – Chiasson
    X – RNH – Kassian

  111. OriginalPouzar says:

    BagofPucks: Realistically, RNH’s contract extension will start to force the issue in a year regardless. Wouldn’t surprise me to sign him sign with the Canucks as a UFA,

    Canucks are already looking ahead to needing to re-sign Boeser, Hughes, Pettersson, Sketcher and Demko in addition to keeping Horvat, Myers, etc.

    Given they have Horvat and Pettersson, I’m thinking they arent’ looking at the likes of Nuge for a big money UFA contract.

  112. hunter1909 says:

    Rube Foster: A Neal bounce back and a resurgent Jesse might win Holland GM of the year… if the defense doesn’t get banged up and the Old Netminders hold.
    Sunshine, Lollipops and Ken Holland infused Rainbows everywhere I look today!

    Summertime has become the traditional best time of the season for Oilers fans; without games to spoil everything.

  113. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I thought the Lucic trade may help get Jesse under contract, however, given Holland’s verbal yesterday, it doesn’t sound like its much of a catalyst.

    Holland is letting the JP camp see how little priority their issues are for him. Meanwhile he trades Lucic and shuts up 80% of Lowetide posters.

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    ProfessorQ: He definitely won’t be happy about any “loss without results” but if I remember correctly he was ready to rock and spend both during his purchase of the Oilers, Rogers Place and Ice District, and more recently the resurrection and Holland introduction press conference (Nicholson etc.). He wants to win. Not just for the money but the legacy too. But he knows he’ll make the money.

    He knows there were mistakes and he’s not happy about it. It has cost him said money and legacy. He took measures to remove decision makers and to start improving the situation, which cost more money. But he did it because he cares and wants to win.

    Yes, of course, I agree – but that is alot different than “he can spend $125M on a house, he can afford an extra $10M…”

  115. GBandQ says:

    Woogie63:
    Oiler have almost $5M in dead cap space – I wonder how this is approached with the organization?

    A) Cost of doing business
    B) Small in the scheme of the entire Ice District
    C) Cut backs in other areas of the business
    D) Cut back in other areas of the HOCKEY business

    E) Cut back on toppings/garnish on the Bobby Nick Burger ™️

  116. Jethro Tull says:

    London Jon: That’s freaky.

    I’ve never been before but I’m going up there for 3 days next week for a work ‘offsite’

    Was out with colleagues Friday night and we were all saying ‘we’ve always wanted to go but never been’

    Haven’t gone there in 22 years, you mention it and I’m there next week

    Have fun!

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    Primetime:
    Curious on group consensus here.

    If JP gets traded, would you prefer:

    1) a young potential top 6 scoring winger (eg. Buchnevich)
    2) Young, potential longterm 3rd line center (eg. Eriksson Ek)

    What would help the team more now and long term?

    Option 1 – for sure.

  118. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Each of Granlund, Khaira and Gagner have shown to clearly be better on the wing.

    Maybe gagner has another 8 point game.

  119. Rube Foster says:

    Primetime:
    Curious on group consensus here.

    If JP gets traded, would you prefer:

    1) a young potential top 6 scoring winger (eg. Buchnevich)
    2) Young, potential longterm 3rd line center (eg. Eriksson Ek)

    What would help the team more now and long term?

    My stated preference is to find a path to a Puljujarvi reconciliation and restablishing Jesse’s value with 20 games on McDavid’s wing.

    To answer you question. YES:)

    The problem at the moment is that as of today I don’t beleive Puljujarvi has enough value to return a Buchnevivh or an Eriksson-Ek. Perhpas after a McDavid pump, but not today, if those deals were available, I believe Holland would already have those deals done.

  120. Rube Foster says:

    hunter1909: Summertime has become the traditional best time of the season for Oilers fans; without games to spoil everything.

    Truth!

    Has this not been the best weekend for the Oilers and their fans in all of 2019 so far?!

  121. Bulging Twine says:

    In talking about Benson and Marody in relation to making the team next season specifically, Stauffer was much more bullish on Benson than Marody. He said Marody needs to work on his body composition a little whereas Benson has put the work in. (This was on Dean Millard’s podcast).

    Marody has other major interests outside of hockey. He just released a new single, “Behind Me”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPznwA3n0og

    That’s pretty rare for a hockey player to be also pursuing a music career. I mean, there was, “Hockey Sock Rock”, and of course, “Forgive my Misconduct”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0UoRgYJTJs

    🙂

    But those are the only others I recall

    Not at all saying that’s a bad thing
    Let’s hope he has a great off season in the weight room
    And I hope he has better moves than Phil Esposito

  122. rickithebear says:

    If the HD area is were the greatest shot density occurs.
    That the greatest open shot Density in the HD area is almost 100% driven by forwards.
    (9-40% of shots faced are open shots)

    The largest factor in entry rates is challenged transition passing & Fwd NZ traps.
    So the largest driver of Corsi faced by Dmen is Fwd NZ performance & Coach bench change with or without pocession.

    The GA rate is dictated
    1. Corsi count Faced per forwards & coach choices.
    2. By the open HD shot save% baseline per Corsi faced ( caused by coach & forwards) by a Dpair
    3. The +ve/-ve performance by goalie relative to open HD shot save% baseline established by Dmen. From the Corsi the coach and forwards subject them to.

    So when I look at a highly inaccurate GF% that does not even have the comman sense to take the first binary step & differentiate from forward driven GF (a goals driven differentiation) and Dmans- goalie driven GA (A per Corsi faced differentiation.

    Pretending unlike performance differentiations Goals per pocession versus GA per corsi are bad enough.
    But not to separate forwards (high% driver of GF per pocession) and Dmen and Goalies ( combination drivers of GA from in zone Corsi faced) when discussing goal diff is terrible.

    I cringe how simplistic GF% is by not differentiating what position drives GF and What drives GA.
    But not to understand that having the same GF% does not mean we are talking about the same +/- goal diff/60.( which is the true measure of goal diff)

    I have shown examples of 4 players GF% with 4 diffrent GF/60 – GA/60 results

  123. rickithebear says:

    hunter1909: Holland is letting the JP camp see how little priority their issues are for him. Meanwhile he trades Lucic and shuts up 80% of Lowetide posters.

    Amen!

  124. Gerta Rauss says:

    Rube Foster: The problem at the moment is that as of today I don’t beleive Puljujarvi has enough value to return a Buchnevivh or an Eriksson-Ek. Perhpas after a McDavid pump, but not today, if those deals were available, I believe Holland would already have those deals done.

    That’s probably true, however Holland has the luxury of time, while the Rangers(and others) need their cap problems resolved or their rosters tweaked

    We’ll see what the next couple of weeks brings as the buyout windows close as the RFA’s in arbitration are resolved

    My preference would be to bring back JP and find a role for him and frankly, that’s about all the cap space we have left anyway unless Kenny has something else up his sleeve

  125. blainer says:

    The ONE thing I am impressed with is I have not noticed anyone include Yammamoto on any of there mock lineup’s.

    As much as we were all upset about KH ..one thing is for sure the younger players are really gonna have to earn it to make the team now.

    Putting Yammer in the minors and not rushing him because of depth is a wonderful thing to see for a change..

    For the record though I think Benson does make the opening lineup if he doesn’t get injured training and shows up with improved speed..

  126. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Canucks are already looking ahead to needing to re-sign Boeser, Hughes, Pettersson, Sketcher and Demko in addition to keeping Horvat, Myers, etc.

    Given they have Horvat and Pettersson, I’m thinking they arent’ looking at the likes of Nuge for a big money UFA contract.

    Well, no.
    Once Boeser is under contract,, they have no significant free agents signings to worry about until 21/22.
    By that time, Sutter, Edler, Tanev, Markstrom, Baertsch, Pearson and Shaller all come off the cap freeing up almost $30 million in cap space.
    If they find a way to get rid of the last year of Erikssons deal..that’s another $6million.

  127. Reja says:

    hunter1909: Holland is letting the JP camp see how little priority their issues are for him. Meanwhile he trades Lucic and shuts up 80% of Lowetide posters.

    “If you mess with the bull you get the horns” Jesse’s big mouth agent better start kissing Holland’s ass or hope Holland finds the right deal.

  128. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Katz came in saying he would spend. Now he has a gigantic investment revolving around the Oilers.

    It’s a risky investment which is why we see it rarely. Many of you understand the details and surrounding financial implications better than I can, but I see the level and the dollars and have enough understanding of business to know he has a mandate to drive it forward or really negative financial turnout could happen – big risk, big reward.

    There are lots of millions being spent and wasted. Such level of business is not for the faint of heart and it seems to me he’s not counting the dollars but seeing the big picture. And has made changes to move forward. This is positive and I’m loving it. It may not work out, but that is the way the process should go as far as I understand.

    A couple more pieces and LTs picture!!

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    RubeFoster: My stated preference is to find a path to a Puljujarvi reconciliation and restablishing Jesse’s value with 20 games on McDavid’s wing.

    To answer you question. YES:)

    The problem at the moment is that as of today I don’t beleive Puljujarvi has enough value to return a Buchnevivh or an Eriksson-Ek.Perhpas after a McDavid pump, but not today, if those deals were available, I believe Holland would already have those deals done.

    I’m all about reconciliation but not in the context of a pump and dump.

    If he does start the season as an Oiler and the player gets off to a decent (or better) start and has consistent minutes and linemates and is prodcuing, well, maybe he just might start having fun again and will want to stay.

    If Jesse is productive in the top 6 or even on the 3rd line, that is super helpful and maybe the team is enjoying success – individual success plus team success = happiness going forward!

  130. OriginalPouzar says:

    BulgingTwine:
    In talking about Benson and Marody in relation to making the team next season specifically, Stauffer was much more bullish on Benson than Marody.He said Marody needs to work on his body composition a little whereas Benson has put the work in.(This was on Dean Millard’s podcast).

    Marody has other major interests outside of hockey.He just released a new single, “Behind Me”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPznwA3n0og

    Marody was the primary driver of the line but what Benson did was more impressive as he has a legit 20 year old rookie. Marody is about a year and a half older i believe – material at that stage of development.

    Not to say Marody doesn’t work hard but every time I listed to Jay W. and Benson was brought up, Jay W. raved about his work not just on but off the ice – he is a student of the game but extremely hard working

  131. Revolved says:

    Bulging Twine,

    The .307 r^2 was the rank correlation of all 17/18 teams 5×5 line stability and their points rank at the end of the regular season. You can calculate it by ranking the numbers I list in one column and their points rank in another in excell and using the correlation function =CORR(column 1;column 2). I hope I did it right.

    If it is such a strong driver of wins, then I need to figure out whether line stability is a cause or effect of winning…

  132. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: This argument always rubs me the wrong way:“He’s so rich, what’s $10M?”.

    Of course, I don’t think the Lucic/Neal deal is going to effect his day to day life but I am highly confident that Katz isn’t happy about spending $10M.

    Not to sound too pretentious but I work on very large transactions, sometimes, billion dollar transactions, and deal with some of the richest people and more prominent executives in the country and noone brushes off a couple of million of dollars in purchase price, debt service, transaction costs, whatever.

    That was my experience as well when I was working. If anything rich people are more attached to their money than the middle class. That’s one of the ways they got rich in the first place. 😉

  133. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: Well, no.
    Once Boeser is under contract,, they have no significant free agents signings to worry about until 21/22.
    By that time, Sutter, Edler, Tanev, Markstrom, Baertsch, Pearson and Shaller all come off the cap freeing up almost $30 million in cap space.
    If they find a way to get rid of the last year of Erikssons deal..that’s another $6million.

    This is all true but it doesn’t change the fact that they likely have some massive bills coming up and with Pettersson and Hovat in the fold, likely aren’t looking for another $8M center.

    If Pettersson is as good as we (they) think he is, we’re talking McDavid money. Boeser may get Drai money. Hughes is a bit of a wild card. They think Demko is elite.

  134. rickithebear says:

    Revolved:
    rickithebear,

    I think that you’re agreeing with my analysis and conclusions, though we come to different conclusions about the three best pairs. I look forward to seeing your very intrecate data sets published. I hope you are feeling well, cancer is a bitch.

    After – The Trade – I would call the pairs:

    X – McDavid – Neal
    X – Draisaitl – Chiasson
    X – RNH – Kassian

    I just kringe thinking of splitting up the 3.24324 evg/60 pair
    Cause that would be with Mcdavids 1464.8 EVTOI last year
    a total of 24.413333 60min x 3.24324evg/60 = 79.18 evg + what ever the 3 fwd provides for the year.
    But if Mcdavid and Drai are destined to play only around 900 EVTOI.

    Based on my preliminary work
    Chaisson 8evg – Draisaitl 5 evg 594 EVTOI 594/60 = 9.9
    13/9.9 = 1.31 Cummulative

    Draisaitl 8 evg – Kassian 8 evg; 360 EVTOI = 6.0 60 min segments
    16/6 = 2.67 evg/60
    This is reflective of Mcdavid with them.

    Chaisson 4 evg – RNH 3 evg; 315.3 EVTOI = 5.255 60 min segments
    7/5.255 = 1.33 evg/60

    Khaira 1 evg – RNH 4 evg; 185.1 EVTOI = 3.085 segments
    5/3.085 = 1.62 evg/60

    11-12 to 13-14
    RNH 1evg – gagner 4 evg; 144.05 EVTOI = 2.401 segments
    5/2.401 = 2.08 evg/60

    When I look at RNH jointly best evg production.
    Since 11-12 besides Draisaitl, Mcdavid,
    Eberle, Hall, Pouliot, lucic, and Kassian is were he gets It.

    Looking at granlund & Gagner they must never play together.

    I would love to find out how much archibald, Granlund, jurco, Nygaard Benefit from having RNH as their center.

    Cause
    Neal LW – Mcdavid C – xxx must be tried.

    XXX – Draisaitl C – Kassian RW While reflective of Mcdavid provides a base that can be tried with new players.

    But I would rather role Kassian with RNH and get new blood with them

    So Mcdavid & RNH pairs make sense.

  135. JimmyV1965 says:

    Side:
    Ryan,

    I was browsing Flamesnation and I was baffled to see that there were actual Flames fans who think them getting Lucic was an acceptable, even “good” trade for Neal. In this optimism were people saying that Neal’s 1 year with them showed them everything they needed to see from him and there was no chance he would rebound. They didn’t seem to realize that the Oilers have seen 3 years of Lucic and it was BAD and the fact that Oilers fans are happy to see him go for Neal should be enough of a red flag for them to not be optimistic.Especially since the “itch” that Lucic would “scratch” for them is the exact same itch the Oilers had when they acquired him. And it was not scratched.

    I am still amazed that Flames management and a group of their fans actually think this trade was good enough to make.

    Not being a victim in a hockey trade is a nice feeling.

    I think fans find a way to rationalize things. Because their fans. Same thing happened with the Hall trade. Reaction early was vitriolic and then a bunch of rationalizations.

  136. lenko says:

    hunter1909: Summertime has become the traditional best time of the season for Oilers fans; without games to spoil everything.

    Certainly more enjoyable excepting McDrai hilites!

  137. Bulging Twine says:

    Revolved:
    Bulging Twine,

    The .307 r^2 was the rank correlation of all 17/18 teams 5×5 line stability and their points rank at the end of the regular season. You can calculate it by ranking the numbers I list in one column and their points rank in another in excell and using the correlation function =CORR(column 1;column 2). I hope I did it right.

    If it is such a strong driver of wins, then I need to figure out whether line stability is a cause or effect of winning…

    Okay thanks.

  138. Bulging Twine says:

    Revolved:
    I have stated repeatedly that I think stable top six linemates are important to winning. Last summer I showed that the Oilers under Mclellan blended their lines more than any other team and saw there was an r^2 correlation of 0.307 between this stat and points rank. The stat I showed was the percentage of 5×5 time that a team’s top two centres played with their top two linemates. It looked like this for all the teams in 17/18:

    Calgary78.15
    Colorado77.80
    Nashville73.29
    Vegas72.43
    Toronto72.33
    Dallas67.15
    Winnipeg66.59
    New York Islanders66.19
    Anaheim65.01
    Boston64.61
    Tampa Bay59.96
    St. Louis58.43
    L.A.57.76
    Philadelphia55.77
    San Jose54.09
    Minnesota52.40
    Vancouver51.78
    Detroit51.73
    Pittsburgh50.59
    Chicago50.48
    Florida48.79
    New Jersey47.83
    Montreal47.30
    Carolina47.08
    Washington47.07
    Arizona46.83
    Columbus44.58
    Ottawa43.65
    New York Rangers40.53
    Buffalo39.00
    Edmonton37.51

    Interesting only 4 of the bottom 15 lineblender teams made the playoffs.

  139. rickithebear says:

    The reason you can create a WAR for baseball is it is a series of binary results that can be measured.
    Very low resolution result analysis is required in baseball. To define WAR value.

    Pitched ball
    Crosses plate/ does not
    Swing/ no swing

    No swing at pitch
    Strike/ ball

    swung at ball
    Miss/hit ball

    Ball that makes to catcher
    Caught/ not caught

    Not caught ball
    Pass ball/ wild pitch

    Hit ball
    In play / out of play

    You can identify a series of binary outcomes with value affect on the % of nfluence to winning a game.

    Being a multivariable mapper of Sequence of events (SOE) In game action.
    You can end up with multiple permutation of SOE in Hockey resulting in a multivariable of outcomes.
    With varying degrees of goal scoring & defending value.
    Were as you see binary play after binary play in baseball.

    Hockey involves the interaction of 3 diffrent positions in any GF and GA Sequence.
    Dependent on a collection of multivariables to influence the outcome.

    This is a theorem of my
    that constantly gets supported when I run these silly little overall grades versus just 3D situation
    +ve/-ve performance measures for the players relative to the identified population.

    The concept of Something like Wins above replacement is not possible because of the resolution level required to analyze outcomes in Hockey.

    You can get goal diff performance above situation average.
    But you do not have like actions for situations for players by position.

    WAR, GAR, % value are inaccurate numbers intended to make people feel like they are using analysis.

    It is a constructed narative.
    With no analytical value.

    Go ahead and have angst over a % number posted by people I have constantly advised is generating inaccurate binary fluff.

  140. Bulging Twine says:

    Vegas is exempt from the Seattle expansion draft.
    Man, they are going to be in a good seat to benefit from more side deals or to get some good players cheap. Other teams will think, well, better to get a draft pick from Vegas than lose the player to Seattle. Then, after the draft , they could keep players or trade players. They could harbour players during the draft.
    They could also end up getting picks from Seattle to not do certain deals with other teams. Vegas being exempt could majorly mess this up for Seattle.

  141. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: This is all true but it doesn’t change the fact that they likely have some massive bills coming up and with Pettersson and Hovat in the fold, likely aren’t looking for another $8M center.

    If Pettersson is as good as we (they) think he is, we’re talking McDavid money.Boeser may get Drai money.Hughes is a bit of a wild card. They think Demko is elite.

    I would guess Petterson at $9.5 and Boeser at $7.5….they don’t think Demko is elite, just a solid prospect.
    Nuge would likely play at wing on Horvats line.

  142. Professor Q says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Vegas is exempt from the Seattle expansion draft.
    Man, they are going to be in a good seat to benefit from more side deals or to get some good players cheap.Other teams will think, well, better to get a draft pick from Vegas than lose the player to Seattle.Then, after the draft , they could keep players or trade players.They could harbour players during the draft.
    They could also end up getting picks from Seattle to not do certain deals with other teams.Vegas being exempt could majorly mess this up for Seattle.
    Vegas could benefit more than Seattle!!

    Why would teams do that, and then lose other players anyway, to Seattle?

    Hopefully they’ve learned from the stupidity of the last Expansion Draft.

  143. Professor Q says:

    Harpers Hair: I would guess Petterson at $9.5 and Boeser at $7.5….they don’t think Demko is elite, just a solid prospect.
    Nuge would likely play at wing on Horvats line.

    At the time they’ll have to sign them both players will get way more than those projected AAVs, based on current history and trends. Unless Vancouver management suddenly become magical negotiators.

  144. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: I would guess Petterson at $9.5 and Boeser at $7.5….they don’t think Demko is elite, just a solid prospect.
    Nuge would likely play at wing on Horvats line.

    If Pettersson stays healthy next year and builds on his rookie performance, I think we are talking well north of $9.5M and Boeser may require that $7.5M for a bridge right now.

    We’ll see in the next bit on Boeser and in a year on Pettersson.

  145. Bulging Twine says:

    Professor Q: Why would teams do that, and then lose other players anyway, to Seattle?

    Hopefully they’ve learned from the stupidity of the last Expansion Draft.

    It would be if the difference in value of what they could gain from Vegas is greater than the player that they would lose to Seattle.

  146. Harpers Hair says:

    Professor Q: At the time they’ll have to sign them both players will get way more than those projected AAVs, based on current history and trends. Unless Vancouver management suddenly become magical negotiators.

    They’re working on Boeser now…last I heard is 6 years at $7.5 …but not a done deal.
    Pettterson is an unknown until he plays a full season.
    We’ll see.

  147. rickithebear says:

    I am just 6:29 min into watching Holland’s free agency presser from 2 weeks ago.

    Gregor stated (4:54) you outlined your plan with D and said you are happy with them.
    Gregor (5:11) asked if he thought Persson Benning Jones moving to off side for improved passing.
    Holland, “We will ask that question in training camp.”
    (5:41)Holland, we have Smourukov, Bouchard, Broberg, young Dmen who are going to need some time.
    ( that reads no NHL for those 3)
    (5:50) Holland: we got some dmen in Bakersfield Lagesson & we, Persson obviously is coming over from Sweden.( these were the first 2 to come to mind 1 AHL, the Holland differentiates to 1SHL)
    (5:56) Holland: YOU got jones, Ah Bear, ….. might have missed somebody. ( players secondary in his mind as he starts to rename AHL players.)
    When he says “YOU” those are players media mentioned.
    We saw who was on Holland’s mind at 5:50.
    (6:01) they are players who can compete for positions.

    In Holland’s mind:
    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Russell
    Lagesson – Benning
    Manning – Persson

    Maybe the brutal evga dmen given a chance in NHL who the Edmonton media keeps mentioning
    Bear 18 gm -11
    Jones 17gm -9

    Must Have Holland questioning if Edmonton media has any clue what a Dman is.
    ( my narative)
    Supporting evidence.

    I know I think about Defence the same way Holland does.
    Same Points from Holland
    Defence first
    then transition pass to forwards. (Get the better off players the puck)
    Follow up with 4th & 5th options in OZ. (All 5 attacking)
    But never abandoning defence of free path to HD area while attacking. ( be mindful of primary duty)

    I am one happy Camper!

    Now to continue watching from 6:29 on.

  148. Ryan says:

    Under the radar gem from young Willis.

    https://theathletic.com/1084282/2019/07/19/which-oilers-defencemen-can-make-an-outlet-pass/

    That’s gold, Jerry. Gold!


    “We need someone who can retrieve pucks and can transport the puck through the neutral zone,” Chiarelli said after signing Kris Russell. “Just a side note on analytics with regard to Kris: He was second in the league as far as clean entries into the offensive zone and the neutral zone, whether it’s passing or skating, second in the league. That’s not in conventional analytics that is just kind of derivative of Corsi, that’s in our own program that we have and a few other teams have it. Second in the league.”
    The wiggle-room there comes from the word “clean,” which may also refer to chip-outs and dump-outs. Russell has his good points, but the idea that he’s the second-best passer in the league was and is patently absurd.

    Sznajder’s data paints him as being well back of Larsson: below-average in terms of total exits with possession and well below-average in terms of percentage of exits with possession and in terms of entries into the offensive zone.

  149. YKOil says:

    Just want to thank Peter Chiarelli for leaving the Oilers with a Cap situation so screwed that the team will not be able to capitalize on one of the best off-load off-seasons ever.

    That Rangers and Golden Knights are over the Cap already and the Jets just signed Pionk for $3m a year for 2 years – so they will be ther esoon enough; three teams in Cap hell.

    A better managed team, thinking about the Oilers, would be in a position to pick up a player like Buchnevich (Rangers) or Gusev (G. Knights) or Copp (Jets) but, thankfully, you made sure we didn’t have to think about that sort of thing. We have LOTS of dead Cap space and our new GM had to spend an entire off-season playing the hockey management equivalent of small ball just to get the team to some form of equilibrium.

    For making sure this team could not get better quicker, you have my thanks Mr. Chiarelli. Well done sir!

    ——-

    Hrmmm… I thought I was getting over it… guess not. May take a while.

  150. Ryan says:

    rickithebear,

    “The overall, just the quickness and the puck-moving from out of your own zone, how do you improve that as a group?” asked TSN’s Jason Gregor, as shared in the Oilers’ official video of the event. “When your team struggles it seems you’re struggling moving the puck quickly up-ice.”
    “I don’t see us struggling to move it quickly,” Hitchcock said in mild correction. “I see us struggling to use the middle of the ice, Jason.”

    Hitchcock has the rare ability in the moment to take a question at a news conference and turn it into a seminar on how the game of hockey is played. It’s part of the reason people like me tend to love listening to him talk. And here he gave Gregor a detailed yet easily understandable answer.
    “If you look at any teams that are quick transition, they find the middle of the ice and they’re not afraid to,” he said. “There’s a risk and a dynamic to play that way, but any of the successful teams use the middle of the ice way more than they use the boards. You can’t be a good transition team if you just keep putting it on the boards. You end up chipping it out and chasing it, you don’t end up with possession metrics at all. You can’t be afraid to use the middle of the ice on your exits.
    “Like I said, there’s a risk to playing that way, but it’s the only way. If you look at all the good teams, that’s the way they play. They use that option quite a bit.”

    https://theathletic.com/882325/2019/03/22/willis-ken-hitchcock-knows-why-edmonton-has-trouble-exiting-its-zone-but-lacks-the-players-to-fix-it/

  151. pts2pndr says:

    Primetime:
    Curious on group consensus here.

    If JP gets traded, would you prefer:

    1) a young potential top 6 scoring winger (eg. Buchnevich)
    2) Young, potential longterm 3rd line center (eg. Eriksson Ek)

    What would help the team more now and long term?

    I like the idea of a Boone Jenner for JP trade. Columbus GM might believe they can unlock JP. If correct it would give them a star moving forward. Either way it would almost guarantee a higher draft choice forColumbus in 2020. Boone Jenner would give the Oil an experienced established centre to work with their less experienced younger players coming up, ie Benson, Maksimov etc.

  152. Ryan says:

    YKOil,

    No offense to you, but at some point, we all collectively have to just get over it and look at what the team is and move on…

    Hall… Barzal… Reinhart.. cap space… Lucic salary retention… Eberle… Strome… Spooner… Tkachuk…Manning… the third rounder we gave up for Petrovic… Sekera buyout… JP trade request… Nail Yakupov… unicorns…Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray…

    There was a lot of bleeding.

    Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
    Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye.

    It’s time to get over it and move forward.

  153. OriginalPouzar says:

    rickithebear:
    I am just 6:29 min into watching Holland’s free agency presser from 2 weeks ago.

    Gregor stated (4:54) you outlined your plan with D and said you are happy with them.
    Gregor (5:11) asked if he thought Persson Benning Jones moving to off side for improved passing.
    Holland, “We will ask that question in training camp.”
    (5:41)Holland, we have Smourukov, Bouchard, Broberg, young Dmen who are going to need some time.
    ( that reads no NHL for those 3)
    (5:50) Holland: we got some dmen in Bakersfield Lagesson we, Persson obviously is coming over from Sweden.( these were the first 2 to come to mind 1 AHL, the Holland differentiates to 1SHL)
    (5:56) Holland: YOU got jones, Ah Bear, ….. might have missed somebody. ( players secondary in his mind as he starts to rename AHL players.)
    When he says “YOU” those are players media mentioned.
    We saw who was on Holland’s mind at 5:50.
    (6:01) they are players who can compete for positions.

    In Holland’s mind:
    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Russell
    Lagesson – Benning
    Manning – Persson

    Maybe the brutal evga dmen given a chance in NHL who the Edmonton media keeps mentioning
    Bear 18 gm -11
    Jones 17gm -9

    Must Have Holland questioning if Edmonton media has any clue what a Dman is.
    ( my narative)
    Supporting evidence.

    I know I think about Defence the same way Holland does.
    Same Points from Holland
    Defence first
    then transition pass to forwards. (Get the better off players the puck)
    Follow up with 4th and 5th options in OZ. (All 5 attacking)
    But never abandoning defence of free path to HD area while attacking. ( be mindful of primary duty)

    I am one happy Camper!

    Now to continue watching from 6:29 on.

    Ricki, honest question, do you watch the games?

    I encourage you to differentiate Jones’ stats from when he was third pairing and when he was moved up the lineup to play top pairing minutes with Larsson.

    He sawed off the opposition in his 3rd pairing minutes with Gravel and the entirety of that minus was up the lineup in top pairing minutes.

    Bear got caved in 3rd pairing minutes in his cup of coffee and still struggles at the AHL level with what he struggled with at the NHL level.

    Lagesson and Jones are both two tiers ahead of Bear.

  154. JimmyV1965 says:

    Primetime:
    Curious on group consensus here.

    If JP gets traded, would you prefer:

    1) a young potential top 6 scoring winger (eg. Buchnevich)
    2) Young, potential longterm 3rd line center (eg. Eriksson Ek)

    What would help the team more now and long term?

    You’re not getting Buchnevich.

  155. Side says:

    JimmyV1965: You’re not getting Buchnevich.

    If Lucic the Untradeable can be traded, anything is possible.

  156. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Lagesson and Jones are both two tiers ahead of Bear.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but defensemen will break your heart. Things are never what the appear to be, injuries derail careers and luck is a gigantic part of who gets through. I don’t think there’s any real way to tell who of the three will have the best career. We do know that Jones was ahead of the curve when we last left the conversation. Other than that, we don’t know.

  157. GMB3 says:

    London Jon: Thanks for the interest. And a v good question.

    It’s been a mix of things:

    – My parents are originally English, always loved the English culture and sense of humour and I have a godfather who lives here im very close to
    – I’ve been very fortunate to discover and make a career work in a job that I love and that’s perfect for me. It’s very client based so you get more and more locked into a city the longer you do it
    – I’ve fallen in love with a lot of places in Europe and I get to spend a lot of time in them as my job is very flexible

    But…I really look forward to coming home whenever I do and I miss it. I miss watching hockey with friends, going to games, I miss the rockies….oh, and I miss my family as well. They all still live in Edmonton.

    Anyone visiting London please get in touch for some tips. Or even better, if you’re thinking of a Europe trip get in touch and I’ll give you some amazing places to go

    Thanks for sharing! I’ll keep that in mind

  158. GMB3 says:

    Lowetide: I’ve mentioned this before, but defensemen will break your heart. Things are never what the appear to be, injuries derail careers and luck is a gigantic part of who gets through. I don’t think there’s any real way to tell who of the three will have the best career. We do know that Jones was ahead of the curve when we last left the conversation. Other than that, we don’t know.

    In the Petry/Chorney/Wild days, who did you think had the inside track?

  159. Lowetide says:

    GMB3: In the Petry/Chorney/Wild days, who did you think had the inside track?

    I had it Chorney Petry and then Wild. Chorney was the highest pick and the most famous prospect of the three.

  160. rickithebear says:

    Pouzar:

    When I discussed Gravel in the past.
    I have stated what time he had at 2nd/3rd comp he was a top Hd dman before Edmonton.
    Jones with
    Gravel 1.80 Evga/60
    Petrovic 2.68
    Nurse 3.03
    Benning 5.93
    Larsson 4.85

    The observation you failed to mention was
    Jones was carried by Gravel facing 3rd & 4th comp.
    Was well below average facing 3 rd with Petrovic
    Got crushed facing 2nd/3rd with Benning.
    Crushed with nurse.
    Crushed playing with Larsson.

    The key is what I remember is destroyed to his side.

    A whole bunch of suck with everyone but Gravel.

    The crushed with Larsson facing 1st is fair.
    But good with lesser is a uniquely structured narative by avoiding the suck with Petrovic, Nurse, Benning.

    Jones Did show some strong defensive development this year in Bakersfield.

    But he was not the offensive player Lagesson was.
    Jones and Lagesson will not get PP time in edmonton.

    Jones (21 yr ssn) 50 gm 3 evg 13 Eva 16 Evp +16

    Lagesson (22 yr ssn) 67gm 8 evg 16 Eva 24 Evp +25

    Bear (21yr ssn) 52gm 2 evg 18 Eva 20 Evp +15

    Now remember Holland says not ready till 23-24 yr.

    Only Lagesson will be 23.

    If jones crushes it in last 2 preseason games, maybe he gets a try.

    Lagesson fits all Holland’s criteria.
    – 23 yr old
    – superior even offence.
    – evg scoring threat as 4 th option.
    – superior defensive skill.
    Sekera said it “ he is a NHL player.”

    Holland said the ” Narative from around the team was Sekera was the teaching supportive professional.
    He had a couple years of tough injuries.
    We have players coming up who need a chance from AHL lagesson, & coming from Sweden Persson.
    Jones ah Bear, ……….

    Seems clear to me.

    If Lagesson crash & burns then maybe we see some one else.

    You got to see how good he is by playing him with Larsson & Russell in pre season.

    Jones & Bear need another year in AHL to see if they can get the even & def results Lagesson had this year.

  161. rickithebear says:

    Lowetide: I’ve mentioned this before, but defensemen will break your heart. Things are never what the appear to be, injuries derail careers and luck is a gigantic part of who gets through. I don’t think there’s any real way to tell who of the three will have the best career. We do know that Jones was ahead of the curve when we last left the conversation. Other than that, we don’t know.

    I was not in that conversation.

    Must have been in the hospital for 90 days almost dying in first 45.😉

    Lagesson 67gm 8 evg 16 Eva 24evp +25
    Bear 52 gm 2 evg 18 Eva 20 Evp +15
    Jones 50gm 3evg 13 Eva 16 Evp +16

    It is not even close right now.

    LT:
    Sekera said, “ he is an NHL player.”

    Me thinks he might know best on here.

    Holland stated great defensive depth is a nice problem to have
    In on organization.

  162. Revolved says:

    The defence is an interesting issue since there are so many moving parts and so much uncertainty. Russell can play any of the open positions, but the one he should play is oversubscribed already (3LD).

    So, 2RD remains a hole unless Benning can step up full time. I think he has the skill to do it, but not the durability for 20+ minutes per night. Russell should not play here, though he probably will.

    As LT points out, it is not clear what order our unestablished defenders should come up. Moreover, while we have lots of LD bubbling under, we now have no veteran mentor for them on the third pair. Russell should definitely not mentor the kids from 3RD, as he does not play a … structured … style, shall we say.

    This uncertainty makes injuries really scary, as we really only have 3 top-4 defencemen to begin with and Klefbom injuries have already cost us seasons due to lack of cover. So, if opening night is:

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Russell
    Jones – Benning

    Who eats the minutes when a top-4 goes down? We need these rookies to be ready to move up, as we have no veteran cover. If we lose Klefbom and Benning, for example, we are looking at:

    Nurse – Larsson
    Jones – Russell
    Lagesson – Persson

    That is raw and small to say the least. For the record, from the beginning I would run:

    Nurse – Larsson (all the DZ starts)
    Klefbom – Benning (all the OZ starts)
    Lagesson – Persson (zone neutral, weak competition minutes)
    Russell as seventh D on the bench (fill in to give a rest when needed all over the line up)

    As I’ve mentioned, I would run the centers on their own lines with balanced ice time. With seven defencemen we would them then run 11 forwards and give McDavid or Draisaitl the extra minutes between the fourth line wingers. Having seven D would make it easier to start two rookies and rest them when they need to reflect on teachable moments.

  163. Revolved says:

    I would also like to go on the record as astounded that Holland managed to trade Lucic for a potentially useful piece. It completely changes the calculation on what this roster could achieve. If any of the locker room stuff is true it is an even more incredible win. When also considering that we have enough viable bodies to not be talking about needing Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. Just wow.

  164. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar: This is all true but it doesn’t change the fact that they likely have some massive bills coming up and with Pettersson and Hovat in the fold, likely aren’t looking for another $8M center.

    If Pettersson is as good as we (they) think he is, we’re talking McDavid money.Boeser may get Drai money.Hughes is a bit of a wild card. They think Demko is elite.

    Based on what I’ve heard about Pettersson as a person and where he comes from I doubt he’ll push for the biggest possible paycheck. People of course change with NHL fame and fortune but my guess is that we and the rest of the NHL outside of Vancouver will hate his deal.

  165. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I’ve mentioned this before, but defensemen will break your heart. Things are never what the appear to be, injuries derail careers and luck is a gigantic part of who gets through. I don’t think there’s any real way to tell who of the three will have the best career. We do know that Jones was ahead of the curve when we last left the conversation. Other than that, we don’t know.

    Sure – nothing you said can be disagreed with.

    At the same time, I watched alot of Condors last year (as did you), and that is my position on the d-men.

    Bear may be valued higher due to the right shot but I have him lower based on the fact that he still struggles with things in the AHL that caused him to get absolutely caved in his NHL cup of coffee. I don’t see progression in his skating or his ability to defend speed off the rush or deal with speed on puck retrievals. I still see him struggle with board battles in the defensive zone – opposite of Lagesson on this one.

    Yes, his GF% was sparkling this past year but I believe the his deficiencies were masked a bit because the Condors were so dominant for the last 3/5 of the year that they were rarely in the defensive zone and defending – possession monsters.

    Bears’ shot is an absolute weapon though and I like the person – I’m rooting for him,

  166. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster: Based on what I’ve heard about Pettersson as a person and where he comes from I doubt he’ll push for the biggest possible paycheck. People of course change with NHL fame and fortune but my guess is that we and the rest of the NHL outside of Vancouver will hate his deal.

    Sure, good intel on Pettersson the person – at the same time, when it comes to contract negotiation, very few don’t take the most they can get – these are usually left in the hands of the agent (for the most part) and, assuming Pettersson does prove to be an elite player through his ELC, I simply don’t see him at $9.5M.

  167. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sure, good intel on Pettersson the person – at the same time, when it comes to contract negotiation, very few don’t take the most they can get – these are usually left in the hands of the agent (for the most part) and, assuming Pettersson does prove to be an elite player through his ELC, I simply don’t see him at $9.5M.

    Pettersson’s contract shouldn’t be hard to negotiate. It will be one or two years from now after many more 2nd contracts for elite players have been signed, and stilled capped by McDavid.

    This year will be the hardest year as there are a bunch of elite players looking for 2nd contracts and a still undefined salary marker for them. Once this year is over, it should become fairly easy for a few years.

  168. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not saying that EP’s contract will be hard to negotiate, in fact, it could be very easy – I’m saying its likely to be higher than $9.5M and, actually, materially higher than $9.5M.

    If he’s healthy and puts up 100 points this year (or close thereto), he will get paid (and Vancouver will likely want to lock it in a year early).

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