Before They Make Me Run

Peter Chiarelli botched the McDavid cluster pretty good and that’s for sure. However, I learned something important from Earl and Dorrel a long time ago: There’s more than one way to build a winner.

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.

THE MCDAVID CLUSTER

I pay attention to clusters, because a balanced team will get a lot from the inexpensive kids, the prime group and the aged veterans. McDavid’s cluster is the goods, but needs more than two primary contributors. Here are the numbers over the years for the McDavid cluster:

2015-16: 301 games, 46-90-136 .452

2016-17: 236 games, 65-131-196 .831

2017-18: 334 games, 85-146-231 .692

2018-19: 253 games, 98-141-239 .945

This is a fabulous cluster, but less than optimal. Jesse Puljujarvi isn’t part of the group at the anticipated level, while Kailer Yamamoto was rushed and is now an injury worry. Still, an enormous contribution in 2018-19. Oilers scored 229 goals, this cluster 98 goals. The veteran and elder clusters did not deliver.

Anticipated surges and additions to the cluster: Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Caleb Jones, Kailer Yamamoto, Ethan Bear. It’s an impressive group, but several need to impact in the coming season. Evan Bouchard is going to blow the RH side of the defense out of the water, the only question is when.

THE PRIME CLUSTER

Some big pieces here, including Nuge and all three heart and soul defensemen. If Khaira and Benning and one or two more could take that next step, the team would benefit a great deal.

2015-16: 584 games, 85-131-216 .370

2016-17: 507 games, 72-123-195 .385

2017-18: 651 games, 95-130-225 .346

2018-19: 687 games, 70-169-239 .348

A power outage since Hall and Eberle were sent away, I think Holland will try to re-sign Nuge, Klefbom and Larsson when the contracts retire. Nurse? Man, that Trouba contract is going to hurt negotiations. A two-year stutter offensively for this cluster, and this year Nuge delivered solid production.

Anticipated surges and additions to the cluster: Khaira and Benning could flourish under Tippett. William Lagesson can defend, Edmonton needs a replacement for Russell and possibly Larsson in the coming days. I think Joel Persson has a clear shot at an NHL job. Shane Starrett is a name to remember. Logan Day is a distant (and possibly unanswered) bell.

THE VETERAN CLUSTER

Holland’s veterans traditionally shoulder a great deal of the load, I’ll look forward to stronger numbers one year from now.

2015-16: 611 games, 68-190-258 .422

2016-17: 560 games, 65-148-213 .380

2017-18: 439 games, 43-104-147 .335

2018-19: 542 games, 61-73-134 .247

This is Holland’s playground, the greybeards. Among the additions to this group are pretty much every player the new general manager acquired.

Anticipated surges and additions to the cluster: Mikko Koskinen is a candidate to step forward with better usage, Mike Smith has a prominent roster spot and a history of insane streaks. James Neal has the potential to be the biggest addition of summer, while Markus Granlund needs to be the most consistent. I like the Josh Archibald bet, although it means happy trails to JP. Joakim Nygard, Tomas Jurco, Gaetan Haas could all have an impact. I like Gambardella’s chances. Josh Currie is easy to pass over, but has a great deal of utility (including being RH).

I think we’ll see a change in roster construction over the coming two or three years, the roster will get older, faster and more experienced. I’m very much hoping Holland won’t do what every general manager since Kevin Lowe has done: Trade away players in their mid-to-late 20’s even though there are many years of quality ahead. I don’t think Holland can afford all three of Nuge, Larsson and Nurse but he needs to grab Nuge and one blue imo. All three if he can make it work.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, it’s going to be a wild show. TSN1260, we’ll have Derek Van Diest on at 10:20 to talk about the Milan Lucic experience and what James Neal can bring. Jason Gregor pops by at 11 to discuss Ken Holland’s first summer as Oilers general manager. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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252 Responses to "Before They Make Me Run"

« Older Comments
  1. Jethro Tull says:

    rickithebear: Abandon a 3-2-1 structure
    Play shit defence.
    Look good punching people in the face.
    Look good skating the puck up
    Get some points.
    75% of the current GM’s value that.
    Almost 100% of those GM’s orgs never make the final 4 playoff teams.

    As LT taught me starting in 05-06 Pennats are a great measure of an .org.

    I have never said this and should have long ago.
    It is what made me look at final 4 teams and what gets them their.

    Seeing top GA teams win Conf champ & cups guided my anslysis.
    Partnered with HD area play by Flin Flon bombers and Blades of late 60,s & early 70’s
    the PA Raiders mid 70,s on.
    LAK showed me a #28 GF Team could win a CUP.

    12.9% of NHL teams make the conference finals.
    25% of playoff teams.

    I think you spend most of your effort proving how outliers win cups/defend/score and then preach the team should be built around them/that.

  2. oilersfan says:

    If Neal is sort of a one trick pony as a shooter then the flames used him
    Very poorly. He is not a driver he is more like ales Kotalik or a bit like Eberle. If he plays with skill , vision and speed that can get him the puck he can still shoot and score.

    Kotalik played great with hemsky and other play makers but couldn’t create much on his own. Neal is the same guy and if I were Treliving I would be pissed that he didn’t get a chance to play with Gaudreaul and subsequently devalued the asset that was Neal.

    I wonder if Nuge with Connor and Kassian should
    Be one line and Leon with Neal and maybe Jurco would be a good second line considering Neal’s best years were with Malkin.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    ScungilliSlushy:

    Now it seems there is a common link, and it’s an unwillingness to adjust to NHL hockey. Neither want to do the stop start grinding game wingers need unless they have unreal skating like P Kane or are deadly finishers, and neither have the skating or the finishing.

    So now I’m cool moving him for a helpful piece. I think he’s Europe bound for good pretty soon and he’ll flourish there where he likes the game better.

    Is it an unwillingness or an inability to know how (coming from remote Finland across the Atlantic, potential communication issues with the coaches, moved up and down (and in and out of) the lineup and then between leagues, etc.)? Perhaps he is willing to put in the work but, to this point, simply hasn’t “got it” – given the last time he played a hockey game, he was 20, if its not a willingness issue, there is still time for things to pop.

    I think Europe is almost a dead option for this year – those teams are essentially set and are gearing up for training camp – I believe.

  4. Ryan says:

    ArmchairGM: You’re on fire today, Kinger.

    Fast forward to January when Kinger praises himself for being “bang on” and the only person in the entire universe to predict that Neal would struggle.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    AndyDufresne: Not out to lunch.

    I suspect many posters here would find that to be too much. Especially those that see Kassian as a placeholder for the likes of Yamamoto.

    Im not sure of the dollars or the term, but I like the general idea based on three factors:

    1) Kassian is a rare combination of size, skill, skating, and attitude. He keeps up with the line.
    2) I like Draisaitl and McDavid on the same line. I dont think it matters much who you add to them, the magic comes from those two.In that sense Kassian at $2.5 or whatever is almost a perfect fit for the line.
    3) I see no one in the system that is a reasonable candidate tor the first line (certainly not Yamamoto).
    And, chances are, anyone we draft now will not be ready to play top line RW for 3 years.

    Id rather have a perfect fit like Kassian on that line and spend the cap on creating a second scoring line and some roster balance.

    So while many will say aim higher, I dont think thats wise.

    So Yes. If Kassian does in the first 4 months of the season, what he did in the last two months of last season then Id like to see him signed early. Under that scenario, I d be OK with 3 x $2m or 2x $2.5m(less if possible of course) But then Im cheap. So theres that.

    So no, youre not out to lunch IMO

    There are parts of your post that I will agree with but also parts that I can’t.

    I’m not sure if Kassian’s combo of attributes is all that rare – I could list the same attributes for Khaira. Kassian may be a bit more skilled but, over the course of his pro career, and he’s not in his late 20s, he’s rarely shown it and never consistently.

    You may be right that noone in the system is a fit on that first line but for all we know, with one year of AHL development, Maksimov may be a great fit – he has an NHL ready shot (and its elite), he is aggressive, he has a defensive conscious, etc.

    Even if there isn’t an internal option that will appear in the next few years, signing a guy like Kass, who has value, to that type of term and AAV inhibits the ability to actually acquire that player in the next year or so, either by sign or trade – that’s a material cap commitment to a player that I highly disagree is perfect for that line.

    Lets not forget how inconsistent Kassian has been, not only as an Oiler, but his entire pro career – even this past season was hugely up and down. That is not a player to sign with term to the very upper end cap amount – not to mention he’ll be in his 30s for most of it.

  6. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: Is it an unwillingness or an inability to know how (coming from remote Finland across the Atlantic, potential communication issues with the coaches, moved up and down (and in and out of) the lineup and then between leagues, etc.)? Perhaps he is willing to put in the work but, to this point, simply hasn’t “got it” – given the last time he played a hockey game, he was 20, if its not a willingness issue, there is still time for things to pop.

    I think Europe is almost a dead option for this year – those teams are essentially set and are gearing up for training camp – I believe.

    I think he’ll get traded before the start of this upcoming season.

    He’s actually good at cleaning up garbage around the net with his long reach, so he should focus on that to start.

  7. Reja says:

    How old was Stevens Pronger etc before they figured out the back door play and being on the right side of the opposing player in front of the net. Holland will not pay 1-2 newly priced Trouba money to Nurse until then.

  8. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Wasn’t that simply thrown out as the high end of the range by Stauffer?I don’t recall reading anyone in this blog suggesting he is currently worth that AAV.

    Several posters mentioned $8M in reference to the Trouba deal even before the Stauffer comment was posted. Godot, Leadfarmer and even you! Remember this? “If Nurse puts up 50 points or so this year, well, he’s earned himself close to $8M.”

    I don’t see him getting close to $8M in value even with a 50 point season. Look at other defenders who make 10% of cap and Nurse even with 50 points isn’t their equal.

  9. rickithebear says:

    Slushy one of the discussions I had on HF boards was the definition of Tough.
    I think it dates back to 2011.

    I said I wanted Clarke, leach, Stoughton flin Flon Bomber tough.
    To a Flyer Fan.
    I had observed the bomber violence was not about beating up or intimidating someone.

    It was about preventing and getting to the front of the net were it was easier to score.

    I said Eberle was one of the toughest players in the game cause he had high penetration rates into the easier scoring area.
    That was the kind of tough I wanted.

    It was at this time their was a silly discussion here about the repeatability of Shooting%( shot density)
    I already had HD area theory in my pocket for 5 years.

    What was worse was the silly belief that everyone regressed to the same shooting average.
    When I knew a forward with high ( tough) he penwtration rates had an expected success rate better than perimeter shooters.

    Simmond was a player they said was tough and scored goals.
    I said his even game was a perimeter game.
    He did not penetrate the physical HD area like Eberle did.
    Simmons’s generated a high % of goals from PP and perimeter.

    Not the tough I wanted.

    Still pissed Eberle is gone.

    Eberle 11-12 to 13-14 was 2.585 season of games 48/82 = .585
    Eberle was #15 evg Fwd with 57 evg their with Pavelski.

    Eberle avrperaged in the 2.585 seasons
    80 gm 30 G 39 A 69P
    80gm 22 evg 28 Eva 50 evp
    80 gm 8 ppg 11eva 19 ppp

    14-15 to 16-17
    77 gm 23G 30A 53P
    77 gm 17 evg 21 eva 38 evp
    77 gm 6 ppg 9 ppa 15 ppp

    From 11-12 to 16-17 Eberle was the #4 109 evg RW in the game.
    PC traded him for Strome.
    Part of that was the tampering with perceived value by TSN & Sportsnet media.

    During that time James Neal was a 115 evg LW
    Hall was a 92 evg
    Lucic was 92 evg.

    This year
    Draisaitl 31 Evg
    Mcdavid 31 evg
    RNH 19 evg
    Kassian 14 evg
    Chaisson 13 evg
    Archibald 12 evg
    Hall 10 evg
    Granlund 10 evg
    Neal 5 evg
    Gagner 5 evg
    Brodziak 5 evg
    Lucic 4 evg

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn:
    Well, as predicted my post about what a ‘balanced’ lineup would look like was just ignored as the discussion about Nurse’s value continued so let me take a different tack.

    McDavid – $12.5
    Draisaitl – $8.5
    Buyouts & retained next summer – $4.6
    Nurse at $7 mil – $7 mil
    Nuge for 1 more year – $6

    If the cap doesn’t rise – and it might not this year – then next summer $38.6 mil in 4 players out of a $82 mil budget.

    If Neal is not bought out it is $44.3 or so for 5 players leaving $37-$38 for the other 18 players on the team or about $2 mil each.

    So if you think there was a shortage of money for a top six winger this summer try fitting one in next July.

    As mentioned this has nothing to do with value. It has to do with our cap. You can almost make this work if the drafting is stellar over a period of time. I’m not sure I can make that case for the Oilers.

    Nurse can be worth whatever you like. Not sure how the Oilers can pay him.

    You’ve made a bunch of assumptions being the worst case scenario:

    – cap doesn’t rise
    – Neal is to be bought out
    – no other material dispositions

    I would expect the cap to rise by at least a few million.

    I would expect Russell to be disposed of (hopefully for a clean $4M) and replaced on the roster by an ELC or cheap second contract for a net gain of $3M.

    A guy like Kassian and his close to $2M may be replaced by a guy like Maksimov or McLeod on the roster.

    Cap space will still be at a premium next off-season, which is a main reason I didn’t want cap currency spent on marginal top 6 guys like Connolly or Dzingel but there are many factors still in play and the ability to open up cap space a bit easier than this year (i.e. Russell with one year of term left and a less restrictive NTC).

  11. Reja says:

    ArmchairGM: Several posters mentioned $8M in reference to the Trouba deal even before the Stauffer comment was posted. Godot, Leadfarmer and even you! Remember this? “If Nurse puts up 50 points or so this year, well, he’s earned himself close to $8M.”

    I don’t see him getting close to $8M in value even with a 50 point season. Look at other defenders who make 10% of cap and Nurse even with 50 points isn’t their equal.

    The Hawks sure have a pretty good value contract for a 60 point D-man in Gustafsson. For some reason this one bugs me more then others probably because they never gave him a chance.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Several posters mentioned $8M in reference to the Trouba deal even before the Stauffer comment was posted. Godot, Leadfarmer and even you! Remember this? “If Nurse puts up 50 points or so this year, well, he’s earned himself close to $8M.”

    I don’t see him getting close to $8M in value even with a 50 point season. Look at other defenders who make 10% of cap and Nurse even with 50 points isn’t their equal.

    People have mentioned $8M in reference to Nurse’s agent likely using the Trouba contract as a comparable – as his agent should. I don’t think anyone agreed that right now Nurse is worth $8M and I don’t think anyone posited they’d be OK with signing Nurse to anything over $7M at this point.

    Yes, I mentioned “if Nurse scores 50” – well, we are a LONG way from Nurse producing 50 points in a season and, yes, if he does produce 50 he’ll essentially be market for $8M.

    That would be an under 25 d-man, building on a 41 point season (and 2.5 years of aggregate top 10 5 on 5 production) with a 50 point season, while being a physical specimen, a top end skater, a tireless minute muncher, a heart and soul guy and a mean SOB at times.

  13. Ryan says:

    Reja: The Hawks sure have a pretty good value contract for a 60 point D-man in Gustafsson. For some reason this one bugs me more then others probably because they never gave him a chance.

    Willis followed Gustafson pretty closely at the time. He was surprised that he didn’t get a contract.

  14. Reja says:

    Ryan: Willis followed Gustafson pretty closely at the time. He was surprised that he didn’t get a contract.

    This is by far the best pipeline of D-Men in the system since day 1. I believe or hope we have the right personal down in Bakersfield to evaluate and keep the ones for our future.

  15. deardylan says:

    Interesting choice of picture to go with the headline. What comes first the photo or the headline?

  16. Bulging Twine says:

    Profit:
    Bucci Mane

    Verified account

    @Buccigross
    Follow Follow @Buccigross
    More
    Sources tells me Brian Wiseman, Associate Head Coach at Michigan is leaving to be assistant coach with the @EdmontonOilers and Dave Tippett. #CawlidgeHawkey

    Interesting move… I know nothing of Michigan’s coaching staff but there must be a Holland connection there?

    Profit:
    Here is his resume… apparently been Assistant / Associate head coach at Michigan since 2011:

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/staff/2323/brian-wiseman

    Well he’s certainly not part of the old boys club.

    Marody gains a proponent on the coaching staff.

  17. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: You’ve made a bunch of assumptions being the worst case scenario:

    – cap doesn’t rise
    – Neal is to be bought out
    – no other material dispositions

    I would expect the cap to rise by at least a few million.

    I would expect Russell to be disposed of (hopefully for a clean $4M) and replaced on the roster by an ELC or cheap second contract for a net gain of $3M.

    A guy like Kassian and his close to $2M may be replaced by a guy like Maksimov or McLeod on the roster.

    Cap space will still be at a premium next off-season, which is a main reason I didn’t want cap currency spent on marginal top 6 guys like Connolly or Dzingel but there are many factors still in play and the ability to open up cap space a bit easier than this year (i.e. Russell with one year of term left and a less restrictive NTC).

    There is a good reason to think the cap won’t rise much considering this year and the NHLPA’s attitude towards escrow and regardless of dispositions of Russel or any others all I was trying to show is that half the budget is committed to 4 or 5 players if Nurse gets $7 mil. Considering that there has also been discussion of keeping Nuge I am just pointing out that balancing this team is a steep climb.

    If Neal is bought out it will increase the Oilers’ dead cap space for the following season to $7 mil. That is a big chunk of change out of the cap.

    As you say – and this was my only point as well – “Cap space will still be at a premium next off-season.”

    Holland and this team is not out of the woods yet.

  18. rickithebear says:

    ArmchairGM: Several posters mentioned $8M in reference to the Trouba deal even before the Stauffer comment was posted. Godot, Leadfarmer and even you! Remember this? “If Nurse puts up 50 points or so this year, well, he’s earned himself close to $8M.”

    I don’t see him getting close to $8M in value even with a 50 point season. Look at other defenders who make 10% of cap and Nurse even with 50 points isn’t their equal.

    Of the 250 Dmen who played 18 evg games, 8 per team
    133 are even or better.

    25 of 133 generated > 25 Evp.

    Of the 435 forwards that played 25 games, 14 per team
    210 generated 25 evp.

    I will take strong GA dmen playing with top 7

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think its definitely reasonable to criticize the decision not to sign Gustafsson (although I personally can’t recall any of the circumstances) but this is a player that didn’t play his first NHL game until his draft plus 6 season and didn’t establish himself as an every day NHL player until his draft plus 7.

    The fanbase doesn’t make decisions (although who knows if some GMs due allow themselves to be influenced) but this is a fanbase that has a substantial portion calling 20 year old top 5 picks “busts”.

    Is there any chance this fanbase would allow the 7 year development curve of this player?

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: This is by far the best pipeline of D-Men in the system since day 1. I believe or hope we have the right personal down in Bakersfield to evaluate and keep the ones for our future.

    Not to mention Dave Manson – I think he’s a star in the making and alot of credit can be given to him for Jones, Lagesson, Day.

  21. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: You’ve made a bunch of assumptions being the worst case scenario:

    – cap doesn’t rise
    – Neal is to be bought out
    – no other material dispositions

    I would expect the cap to rise by at least a few million.

    I would expect Russell to be disposed of (hopefully for a clean $4M) and replaced on the roster by an ELC or cheap second contract for a net gain of $3M.

    A guy like Kassian and his close to $2M may be replaced by a guy like Maksimov or McLeod on the roster.

    Cap space will still be at a premium next off-season, which is a main reason I didn’t want cap currency spent on marginal top 6 guys like Connolly or Dzingel but there are many factors still in play and the ability to open up cap space a bit easier than this year (i.e. Russell with one year of term left and a less restrictive NTC).

    I think Kassian has a job as long as he wants on the Oilers if he wants to work at the right salary.

    Chiasson and Gagner are the guys replaced by the rookies you mentioned.

    A fast player that can drop the mitts effectively, that doesn’t chop the puck square, can move up and down the lineup, and isn’t partying, always has a job unless they are looking for a payday from Sneaky Pete. Hens teeth.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: There is a good reason to think the cap won’t rise much considering this year and the NHLPA’s attitude towards escrow and regardless of dispositions of Russel or any others all I was trying to show is that half the budget is committed to 4 or 5 players if Nurse gets $7 mil. Considering that there has also been discussion of keeping Nuge I am just pointing out that balancing this team is a steep climb.

    If Neal is bought out it will increase the Oilers’ dead cap space for the following season to $7 mil. That is a big chunk of change out of the cap.

    As you say – and this was my only point as well – “Cap space will still be at a premium next off-season.”

    Holland and this team is not out of the woods yet.

    You may be right – it may not be possible to keep Nurse (and the rest of the core) for the medium or long term but I do think it will be possible for to keep Nurse at $7M next season and wait until the right time to trade him – when we know more about the chances of Jones, Lagesson, Samorukov, Broberg and the top 4 and one of them is ready to step in – this will likely come within the two years prior to decisions needing to be made on Larsson and Nuge.

    I think next off-season may be premature (unless there is a “pop” this year) but we’ll see.

  23. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Gustafsson is an O zone specialist and not big or fast. Exactly what they used to not want. Many D given his high TOI, 60% O zone starts, minimal PK, can get 60. It’s about usage and a barren D corp.

    He did well, difference maker? I’m not sure. His points if they keep up will get him paid. Overpaid.

    I noticed looking into Gustafsson that Boston had by far the best playoff stats. Injuries are a bugger. A betting man looking at those numbers without knowing the results would have taken them hands down as the winner.

  24. unca miltie says:

    rickithebear:
    Slushy one of the discussions I had on HF boards was the definition of Tough.
    I think it dates back to 2011.

    I said I wanted Clarke, leach, Stoughton flin Flon Bomber tough.
    To a Flyer Fan.
    I had observed the bomber violence was not about beating up or intimidating someone.

    It was about preventing and getting to the front of the net were it was easier to score.

    I said Eberle was one of the toughest players in the game cause he had high penetration rates into the easier scoring area.
    That was the kind of tough I wanted.

    It was at this time their was a silly discussion here about the repeatability of Shooting%( shot density)
    I already had HD area theory in my pocket for 5 years.

    What was worse was the silly belief that everyone regressed to the same shooting average.
    When I knew a forward with high ( tough) he penwtration rates had an expected success rate better than perimeter shooters.

    Simmond was a player they said was tough and scored goals.
    I said his even game was a perimeter game.
    He did not penetrate the physical HD area like Eberle did.
    Simmons’s generated a high % of goals from PP and perimeter.

    Not the tough I wanted.

    Still pissed Eberle is gone.

    Eberle 11-12 to 13-14 was 2.585 season of games 48/82 = .585
    Eberle was #15 evgFwd with 57 evg their with Pavelski.

    Eberle avrperaged in the 2.585 seasons
    80 gm 30 G 39 A 69P
    80gm 22 evg 28 Eva 50 evp
    80 gm 8 ppg 11eva 19 ppp

    14-15 to 16-17
    77 gm 23G 30A 53P
    77 gm 17 evg 21 eva 38 evp
    77 gm 6 ppg 9 ppa 15 ppp

    From 11-12 to 16-17 Eberle was the #4 109 evgRW in the game.
    PC traded him for Strome.
    Part of that was the tampering with perceived value by TSN & Sportsnet media.

    During that time James Neal was a 115 evg LW
    Hall was a 92 evg
    Lucic was 92 evg.

    This year
    Draisaitl 31 Evg
    Mcdavid 31 evg
    RNH 19 evg
    Kassian 14 evg
    Chaisson 13 evg
    Archibald 12 evg
    Hall 10 evg
    Granlund 10 evg
    Neal 5 evg
    Gagner 5 evg
    Brodziak 5 evg
    Lucic 4 evg

    my room mate in Flin Flon was Mike Sauter, toughest sob on the team and not very big. and yes Doug is his brother.

  25. Pescador says:

    Ryan: Fast forward to January when Kinger praises himself forbeing “bang on” and the only person in the entire universe to predict that Neal would struggle.

    I’m still waiting on the inevitable self back pat for predicting the Lucic – Neal swap.
    In the third person of course,
    “Bang on, again”
    “Jimmy is pretty sweet on you”
    https://youtu.be/zJgOKjq1zfM

  26. leadfarmer says:

    unca miltie,

    I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on that
    Eberle has a great shot but he is know for falling apart in the HD area

  27. SoCaloil says:

    Nurse could yet eat Larsson’s lunch.

    I’m not saying he will. I’m saying he could
    He’s been progressing every year. Time will only tell

  28. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Is it an unwillingness or an inability to know how (coming from remote Finland across the Atlantic, potential communication issues with the coaches, moved up and down (and in and out of) the lineup and then between leagues, etc.)? Perhaps he is willing to put in the work but, to this point, simply hasn’t “got it” – given the last time he played a hockey game, he was 20, if its not a willingness issue, there is still time for things to pop.

    I think Europe is almost a dead option for this year – those teams are essentially set and are gearing up for training camp – I believe.

    I thought it was that he had trouble with English, etc. But this summer he’s shown he thinks he needs a new team, despite a new regime. Who knows but to me he’s pushing back on what he’s being asked to do like Yak, it seems he expects the same routine despite a new coach and GM, to me meaning he doesn’t want to do the NHL drill for non elite wingers which he isn’t. Talented, full of potential yes, elite no.

    By Europe I didn’t mean short term, I meant long term. I don’t think at this point he’ll be around for more than a few years in the NHL if that. He doesn’t seem hungry for it, and no worries he can do very well where he enjoys the game more, be a European star for years.

  29. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: You may be right – it may not be possible to keep Nurse (and the rest of the core) for the medium or long term but I do think it will be possible for to keep Nurse at $7M next season and wait until the right time to trade him – when we know more about the chances of Jones, Lagesson, Samorukov, Broberg and the top 4 and one of them is ready to step in – this will likely come within the two years prior to decisions needing to be made on Larsson and Nuge.

    I think next off-season may be premature (unless there is a “pop” this year) but we’ll see.

    I agree. There are many possibilities that Holland can choose from. My only point through the whole series of my posts was to try and establish that value is one consideration when determining whether or not to sign or re-sign and affordability is sometimes different.

    On a team where there wasn’t $5 mil in dead cap space and where Draisaitl has been firmly ensconced as the driver of the 2nd line and draft picks have been successfully incorporated into the lineup etc. etc. we wouldn’t be having this discussion because past performance wouldn’t be weighing so heavily on the present.

    But if Holland intends or wants to re-sign Nurse and Nuge over the next two years I think we have to be willing to accept that it is going to have to be at the expense of upgrades through UFA signings. I just don’t see the money being there until the sins of the past have been expurgated.

  30. godot10 says:

    In 20-21
    Nurse at $7
    Russell at $4
    Klef at $4.2
    Larsson at $4.2

    Less than $20 million for the top 4.

    $4.6 million left for 5,6,7 D for a $24 millioin budget for D.

    And in 21-22, Russell comes off the cap, and Larsson needs to be re-signed.

    Even with Nurse at $7 million, the Oilers should be able to maintain a $24ish million budget for D for the next threes seasons.

    And will until Bouchard or Broberg have to be paid big 2nd contracts.

  31. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Given the leftorium was pruned it has regrown with aplomb. If some of or all of Samu Jones, Bro Lagesson become NHLers one of Klef or Nurse has to go plus others, Russell already moved.

    Which is fine if the returns are good, dealing from strength. There is only room for two top 4 on each side, I’m hoping they get LR balance sorted.

  32. dangilitis says:

    Forgive me if someone already posted this article written by Neal several years ago.

    https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/james-neal-predators-sniper

    Interesting prophetic comments about confidence in there, about his switch to RW.
    Love when he enlightens the reader with the concept of a toe-drag
    And for G-d’s sake, get this man some whippy sticks!

  33. unca miltie says:

    leadfarmer,

    lol..the main post was Rick. mine was true about Sauter

  34. defmn says:

    dangilitis:
    Forgive me if someone already posted this article written by Neal several years ago.

    https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/james-neal-predators-sniper

    Interesting prophetic comments about confidence in there, about his switch to RW.
    Love when he enlightens the reader with the concept of a toe-drag
    And for G-d’s sake, get this man some whippy sticks!

    Fun article. Thanks for posting.

  35. JimmyV1965 says:

    defmn: I agree. There are many possibilities that Holland can choose from. My only point through the whole series of my posts was to try and establish that value is one consideration when determining whether or not to sign or re-sign and affordability is sometimes different.

    On a team where there wasn’t $5 mil in dead cap space and where Draisaitl has been firmly ensconced as the driver of the 2nd line and draft picks have been successfully incorporated into the lineup etc. etc. we wouldn’t be having this discussion because past performance wouldn’t be weighing so heavily on the present.

    But if Holland intends or wants to re-sign Nurse and Nuge over the next two years I think we have to be willing to accept that it is going to have to be at the expense of upgrades through UFA signings. I just don’t see the money being there until the sins of the past have been expurgated.

    Upgrading through UFAs? It just doesn’t happen. No one upgrades through UFAs.

  36. meanashell11 says:

    leadfarmer:
    unca miltie,

    I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on that
    Eberle has a great shot but he is know for falling apart in the HD area

    Although he did do this in the HD area!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB9K_eG8_3I

  37. jp says:

    Pouzar: Last 3 years:
    Nurse with Russell (1514:57) His most common partner in that span.
    CF% 46.19
    GF% 48.72
    Nurse without Russell (1828:37)
    CF% 51.46
    GF% 53.80
    Those “without numbers” are mostly played with Larsson, IOW…1st pairing.
    For funzzies, check out Larsson’s GF% with/without Nurse in that same time frame
    I am not saying Nurse is 1st pairing, just presenting the numbers.

    rickithebear: If you look at players of equal GF% the goal diff/60 can be diffrent for the same GF%.
    It does not give any accurate performance evidence.
    So you are telling us that the opposition forwards subjected our dmen to a undefined corsi count dependent on entry numbers based on our forward undefined transition pressure, undefined coaches bench change with or w/o pocession decision, and undefined coaches teamate Face off zone start decision.
    The forwards the dmen played with generated an undefined corsi count against the opposition based on the forwards undefined transition entry success, undefined bench change w/ or without pocession decision by our coach, & an undefined teamate Face off zone start decision from our coach.
    The you post a GF% which can be any differential.
    The GA dictated by the undefined open high danger shot density save% baseline that dmen subject the goalies to from an undefined Corsi count. The open HD SH baseline save% is dictated by the undefined % of 3-1-1-1 forced on the d pair by that Dman or d partner.

    Some accurate performance evidence:
    Nurse with Russell (1514:57)
    CF/60 51.9 CA/60 60.5
    -8.6 corsi/60
    GF/60 2.26 GA/60 2.38
    -0.12 goals/60

    Nurse without Russell (2264:46)
    CF/60 57.9 CA/60 55.3
    +2.6 corsi/60
    GF/60 2.73 GA/60 2.57
    +0.16 goals/60

    Are you telling us that the opposition forwards subjected our dmen to a undefined corsi count dependent on entry numbers based on our forward undefined transition pressure, undefined coaches bench change with or w/o pocession decision, and undefined coaches teamate Face off zone start decision was different with Russell on the ice vs. off?

  38. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: People have mentioned $8M in reference to Nurse’s agent likely using the Trouba contract as a comparable – as his agent should.I don’t think anyone agreed that right now Nurse is worth $8M and I don’t think anyone posited they’d be OK with signing Nurse to anything over $7M at this point.

    Yes, I mentioned “if Nurse scores 50” – well, we are a LONG way from Nurse producing 50 points in a season and, yes, if he does produce 50 he’ll essentially be market for $8M.

    That would be an under 25 d-man, building on a 41 point season (and 2.5 years of aggregate top 10 5 on 5 production) with a 50 point season, while being a physical specimen, a top end skater, a tireless minute muncher, a heart and soul guy and a mean SOB at times.

    My point is that I don’t think Trouba is a reasonable comp for Nurse and you think he is. Nurse has played 2nd pairing for the past 2 years, Trouba has been 1st pairing during that time. And even still Trouba’s numbers are much better.

    Woodmoneys

    Nurse
    17-18: 34.9% v Elite, 0.50 CF%rel, 1.30 DFF%rel
    18-19: 33.8% v Elite, -3.80 CF%rel, -4.40 DFF%rel

    Trouba
    17-18: 45.2% v Elite, 1.10 CF%rel, 4.30 DFF%rel
    18-19: 41.3% v Elite, 0.70 CF%rel, 2.20 DFF%rel
    ________________________________________

    Evolving-Hockey

    Nurse
    17-18: 0.7 WAR, 3.8 GAR [6 EV, -1 PP, -1 SH, -0.1 Pens]
    18-19: 0.6 WAR, 3.2 GAR [0.8 EV, 2.1 PP, -0.7 SH, 0.9 Pens]
    Total of past 3 years: 0.8 WAR, 4.6 GAR

    NHL rank among defenders in the past
    3 years: 148th
    2 years: 105th
    1 year: 113th

    Trouba
    17-18: 1.5 WAR, 8.7 GAR [9.4 EV, -1.7 PP, 0.1 SH, 0.8 Pens]
    18-19: 1.1 WAR, 6.0 GAR [6 EV, 2.7 PP, -1.3 SH, -1.3 Pens]
    Total of past 3 years: 4.3 WAR, 23.6 GAR

    NHL rank among defenders in the past
    3 years: 31st
    2 years: 44th
    1 year: 61st
    ________________________________________

    Natural Stat Trick 5v5 rels

    Nurse
    -2.75 CF%rel
    -3.29 FF%rel
    -2.58 SF%rel
    2.17 GF%rel
    -2.59 xGF%rel

    Trouba
    1.68 CF%rel
    3.00 FF%rel
    1.25 SF%rel
    -1.03 GF%rel
    2.06 xGF%rel
    _________________________________________

    Even Esa Lindell’s numbers are better than Nurse’s:

    17-18: 33.6% v Elite, 4.30 CF%rel, 4.90 DFF%rel
    18-19: 43.9% v Elite, -3.00 CF%rel, -2.90 DFF%rel

    17-18: 1.4 WAR, 7.6 GAR [6.5 EV, -0.2 PP, 0.5 SH, 0.8 Pens]
    18-19: 0.9 WAR, 5.4 GAR [0.9 EV, 1.4 PP, 1.3 SH, 1.7 Pens]
    Total of past 3 years: 2.1 WAR, 11.9 GAR

    NHL rank among defenders in the past
    3 years: 84th
    2 years: 55th
    1 year: 68th

    I would say Esa Lindell’s 7.1% over 6 years is a fair price to pay if Nurse repeats his 27 5v5 points and improves his game a bit defensively: positive rels, positive numbers vElites, better EV_GAR, etc. So call it a $5.8-6.2 range. That puts him in the top-50 contracts for NHL defenders (yes, that includes UFA contracts, Godot10), pretty generous considering he isn’t a top-pairing guy.

    $7M puts him in the top-25 contracts among NHL defensemen, and I can say with certainty that Nurse does NOT belong in that group.

  39. ArmchairGM says:

    jp:
    Some accurate performance evidence:
    Nurse with Russell (1514:57)
    CF/60 51.9 CA/60 60.5
    -8.6 corsi/60
    GF/60 2.26 GA/60 2.38
    -0.12 goals/60

    Nurse without Russell (2264:46)
    CF/60 57.9 CA/60 55.3
    +2.6 corsi/60
    GF/60 2.73 GA/60 2.57
    +0.16 goals/60

    Are you telling us that the opposition forwards subjected our dmen to a undefined corsi count dependent on entry numbers based on our forward undefined transition pressure, undefined coaches bench change with or w/o pocession decision, and undefined coaches teamate Face off zone start decision was different with Russell on the ice vs. off?

    You have to be careful about looking at Nurse’s WOWY’s over 3 years because 3 years ago he played on the 3rd pairing primarily. You really need to look at the last 2 years to get an idea of how he plays on the 2nd pairing.

    Last year WOWY Russell:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=y&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2017-10-04&td=2019-04-06&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8477498&p2=8471729&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

    Past 2 years WOWY Russell:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20172018&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=y&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2016-10-12&td=2019-04-06&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8477498&p2=8471729&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

    People that are blaming Russell for Nurse’s defensive deficiencies last year obviously haven’t seen that first link: Nurse’s GA/60 nearly doubles when away from Russell.

  40. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: A guy like Kassian and his close to $2M may be replaced by a guy like Maksimov or McLeod on the roster.

    What about Lavoie? I think he’s got the tools to compliment McDavid and Draisaitl well.

  41. Pouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Nurse has played 2nd pairing for the past 2 years,

    Not true.

    17/18

    TOI with Larsson ( 820:33) 1st Pair
    TOI with Russell (426:13) 2nd pair

    Funny how he excels at 1st pairing minutes away from the Kris the Snow Angel.

  42. ArmchairGM says:

    Pouzar: Not true.

    17/18

    TOI with Larsson ( 820:33)1st Pair
    TOI with Russell (426:13)2nd pair

    Funny how he excels at 1st pairing minutes away from the Kris the Snow Angel.

    And yet his GA/60 nearly doubled last year when away from Russell:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=y&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2017-10-04&td=2019-04-06&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8477498&p2=8471729&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

  43. Pouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: You have to be careful about looking at Nurse’s WOWY’s over 3 years because 3 years ago he played on the 3rd pairing primarily.

    And Nurse actually played first pairing minutes whereas Russell hasn’t.
    That’s to KR’s advantage.

  44. Pouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: And yet his GA/60 nearly doubled last year when away from Russell:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=y&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2017-10-04&td=2019-04-06&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8477498&p2=8471729&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

    So you admit he played 1st pairing minutes in 17/18 and your original statement is bullshit?

    Good.

    We agree.

  45. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: You have to be careful about looking at Nurse’s WOWY’s over 3 years because 3 years ago he played on the 3rd pairing primarily. You really need to look at the last 2 years to get an idea of how he plays on the 2nd pairing.

    Last year WOWY Russell:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=y&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2017-10-04&td=2019-04-06&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8477498&p2=8471729&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

    Past 2 years WOWY Russell:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20172018&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=y&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2016-10-12&td=2019-04-06&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8477498&p2=8471729&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

    People that are blaming Russell for Nurse’s defensive deficiencies last year obviously haven’t seen that first link: Nurse’s GA/60 nearly doubles when away from Russell.

    Fair enough about the 3rd pair minutes in 16-17. But the 2 year numbers look virtually identical to the 3 year ones I posted. I’m not sure what the disagreement.

    Looking at just 2018-19 you’ve isolated a .929 on ice save% with Nurse-Russell and an .878 in 500 minutes without Russell. By other metrics Nurse was no better than Russell, agreed, but he was not demonstrably worse SV% aside. I do agree it’s unfair to blame Russell for every struggling Oilers Dman, much like it was to blame Lucic for every failing of every forward he ever played with.

    My hope/expectation for Nurse is based largely on 2017-18, spent with Larsson as his most common partner. Nurse played 35% vs elites. Overall his DFF was 53.2% and GF 55.3%. Vs elites he was 49.5%DFF and 56.2%GF. Nurse has shown capable of winning 1st pairing minutes with Larsson as a partner.

  46. ArmchairGM says:

    Pouzar: So you admit he played 1st pairing minutes in 17/18 and your original statement is bullshit?

    Good.

    We agree.

    Bullshit? Here are the woodmoneys for the two players in question:

    Nurse
    17-18: 34.9% v Elite
    18-19: 33.8% v Elite

    Trouba
    17-18: 45.2% v Elite
    18-19: 41.3% v Elite

    Sure Nurse played some 1st pairing minutes – so did Jones and Davidson if Larsson is your proxy. The fact is that based on quality of competition, Nurse has been playing 2nd pairing minutes for the past 2 years. I take these numbers because I’m comparing Nurse to players on other teams, not strictly other Oilers defensemen.

    If you think its “bullshit” to say that Nurse has mainly played 2nd pairing over the past 2 years you need more help than I can offer.

  47. Pouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Sure Nurse played some 1st pairing minutes

    “some”.

    He played half of his minutes with Larsson in 17/18.

  48. Pouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: If you think its “bullshit” to say that Nurse has mainly played 2nd pairing over the past 2 years you need more help than I can offer.

    You said “2nd pairing”.

    Not “mainly 2nd pairing”.

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    Pouzar: You said “2nd pairing”.

    Not “mainly 2nd pairing”.

    Here’s what I wrote: “Nurse has played 2nd pairing for the past 2 years.” If you’re going to take that as a literal “never played anywhere other than 2nd pairing left side” then that’s your problem. Players get moved around and play different positions / roles all the time, that doesn’t change the overall truth about a player. (i.e. McDavid is a center – yet he lines up at LW more often than Draisaitl does. See how this works?)

    Nurse is a 2nd pairing guy who moves up when the 1st pairing guy gets injured. Happy now?

  50. Pouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Nurse is a 2nd pairing guy who moves up when the 1st pairing guy gets injured. Happy now?

    And KR is a 3rd pairing D-Man playing his offside masquerading as a 2nd pairing D-man who couldn’t possibly be dragging down the “2nd pairing D-man” (your words) despite what the numbers over the last 3 seasons say (that 269 minute stretch last season with Larsson notwithstanding).

    Yeah we’re done here.

  51. rickithebear says:

    godot10: Larsson was horrible last year.Even he would admit it.He had an awful year.

    Does this Seperate performance by side.
    Were the goals against to his side or d partners side

    Fistric in Edmonton in 12-13 played 25 games with 328:16 EVTOI =5.472 min segments
    He was 1.28 evga/60
    But of the year 2 evg were scored to his side
    . 365 evga/60 was to his side.
    .915 evga/60 was to his d partners sides.

    Larsson
    18-19 edm 1601:25 81 ga 3.03 evga/60 dman
    17-18 Edm 1223:37 51 ga 2.50 evga/60
    16-17 Edm 1451:34 56ga 2.31 evga/60
    15-16 NJ 1557:31 37ga 1:43 evga/60
    14-15 NJ 1117:57 36ga 1.90 evga/60
    13-14 NJ 426:34 13ga 1.55 evga/60

    One of these teams is not like the other
    One these teams likes to run 3-2-1 Def sys with fwd NZ trap.
    Can you tell me which one?

    Larsson 18-19
    Klefbom 995:19 42GA 2.46 evga/60
    Nurse 226:06 20 ga 4.24 evga/60
    Jones 136:11 11 ga 4.85 evga/60
    Gravel 76:06 4 ga 3.15 evga/60
    Sekera 28:22 0 ga 0.00 evga/60
    Russell 17:10 2 ga 4.57 evga/60
    Manning 14:28 2 ga 8.29 evga/60
    Garrison 12:16 1ga 4.88 evga/60
    Benning 3:37 1 ga 16.59 evga/60

    All I ask is how many evg were to his side.

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