We don’t know what we don’t know

Although this is a math blog, I also pay a great deal of attention to what the industry says specifically about prospects. Scouts are charged with looking far into the future and it’s my belief they do a great job. Not every player works out but the words from the scouts (along with the math) guides the way.

Consider this quote from a rival general manager about an Oilers draft pick earlier in this decade (on the day the player signed his first NHL contract): “Physically mature, great skater. Projects to play against best players and some offense.” I’m not going to give you the name, you already know who it is from the description.

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 Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ opening night lineup, line combinations and more.
  • Lowetide: Does the James Neal acquisition impact Oilers’ prospects in 2019-20?
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ acquisition of James Neal could add badly needed scoring to the top two lines.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland puts his stamp on the Oilers with first big move in Lucic-Neal trade
  • Jonathan Willis: Ken Holland ends an ugly situation for the Oilers by trading Milan Lucic for James Neal
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Potential free-agent options for the Oilers in 2020
  • Jonathan Willis: Which Oilers defencemen can make an outlet pass?
  • Kent Wilson and Lowetide: Why the Flames and Oilers would (and wouldn’t) trade Sam Bennett for Jesse Puljujarvi
  • 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: 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
  • 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.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO ‘OH DEAR’

Currently in the comments section of this blog we’re steaming toward a showdown that will take place in the next 15 months. As was the case in the old hippie days of “Petry, Chorney and Wild” posters are choosing sides on the collective futures of William Lagesson, Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear.

There are math arguments, saw him good arguments, and they are well reasoned arguments. Here’s the thing: There’s so much you don’t know, that you can’t know. There are injuries and coaching biases and management decisions and trades all ahead.

If you believe in Caleb Jones, or William Lagesson, or Ethan Bear, you keep on rocking. I have been impressed by all three at various times, and have landed on a pecking order (Jones, Lagesson, Bear) that may or may not line up with your own views.

In 2013-14, Oscar Klefbom and David Musil manned the blue for Oklahoma City. Both men were chosen in the top 35 during the 2011 draft, but Klefbom was the faster man and could move the puck. Musil was the better shutdown defenseman, but lacked foot speed. One of them made it as an NHL player.

In 2016-17, Griffin Reinhart and Jordan Oesterle both posted strong even-strength goal differentials. Oesterle, who has great wheels, beat the odds and made it as an NHL defenseman despite having far less pedigree. Oesterle entered the 2016-17 very deep on Edmonton’s pro LHD depth chart (Klefbom, Sekera, Davidson, Nurse, Reinhart, Oesterle, Musil) and played well enough to get an NHL contract and stick with the Chicago Blackhawks the following season. That might be the career path of one of the young defensemen were are discussing.

Caleb Jones is my pick to emerge as the best of the three men. He is fast, like Klefbom and Oesterle. His five-on-five goal differential went from -24 to +18 year over year. That’s jumping the Snake River Canyon. On a bicycle. Am I sure he’s going to make the NHL over the other two? God no. Too soon to know. This is a big year for the trio.

Player types

William Lagession is in competition for a job as a shutdown blue, so his route to the NHL doesn’t run through the same towns as Jones or Bear. The men who are blocking his path, Kris Russell, Adam Larsson, are unique to him. If Lagesson is the real deal, then the way forward includes a trade of Kris Russell or an injury. If he makes it to the opening night roster, that should be considered an enormous accomplishment. He has the shutdown chops, as reflected by his +22 even-strength goal differential. I hope the Oilers make sure to keep him around long enough to find out who he is as a player.

Caleb Jones has all the good arrows and they’re all shining bright. He’s an electric skater and his improvement in year two at the pro level was outstanding. His NHL debut showed his potential and I believe the Sekera buyout was (in part) executed to get him on the 2019-20 opening night roster. His competition for that job, which includes Lagesson, Bear, Evan Bouchard, Joel Persson and others, are likely to wait in line for Jones to adjust and move up the NHL depth chart. His speed, his experience, his readiness, are a deadly combination in this competition.

Ethan Bear was the first of the trio to make his NHL debut, but staying healthy is emerging as a major issue. Bear is an excellent passer and owns a howitzer from the point, but (as is the case with Lagesson) foot speed is a factor. He is a RH defenseman, an advantage for sure. His acension to the NHL is complicated by Joel Persson and Evan Bouchard, as well as the difficulty in introducing all of these kids into the NHL at the same time. Like all of these youngsters, he’s a year away from waivers, meaning a trade could be in his future.

Draft day scouting reports

Caleb Jones, via Phil Myre at International Scouting Services: “Competitive defenseman, Plays with a lot of urgency, takes the body, competes. He is a good skater with good mobility. Not creative, he can make a good first pass. Not committed and drafted by Portland in the WHL. Will follow his brother’s footstep in the W but not as talented. Work ethic will help his projection but not dominant in any area”.

William Lagesson, via McKeens: “A scrappy, physical hard-nosed competitor who competes for every inch on the ice. An ‘in your face’type of defender who reacts quickly to loose pucks and is able to identify threats. Under-stated offensive ability as the third highest scoring defenseman in the SuperElit J20 behind only Aho and Kylington, both of whom graduated to the SHL. Employs a better than average shot and good hockey sense, improved on his puck handling ability following the 5 Nations tournament in February showing the ability to shift out of danger to create added time and space for himself and not just dumping it down the ice. Feet are subpar especially when defending in a reverse movement, resorting to skating forward which makes him easy to blow by. Speed and power is not quite there yet despite having a short, stocky build with a developed core. Plays with sand paper and is not unlike Ulf Samuellson in his ability to get under the opponents skin to goad them into penalties.”

Ethan Bear, via Red Line Report: Shutdown rearguard plays against opposing teams’ top line every night and refuses to give away even an inch of space. Owns a laser shot that often finds the net – keeps it low and often produces dangerous rebounds. A good skater who likes to take the puck deep into the offensive zone and create chances, yet still has the speed to get back on defence. Excellent lateral agility makes it easy for him to mirror puckhandlers and stick with quicker forwards down low in 1- on-1 coverage. Sharp tape-to-tape passer. Will block shots and uses an active, aggressive stick to challenge puck carriers and strip pucks. Needs to refine his defensive zone positioning; plays a hard, physical game, but takes himself out of position looking for big hits. Gets good leverage in board battles. Not a good fighter and was injured in an early season scrap.

I think this is a quality trio, don’t know if there’s a Jeff Petry in the group but will say that imo the three listed here are better as a group than Petry, Chorney and Wild. We wait, but not for much longer.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, it’s going to be a fun show with great guests. Jonathan Willis kicks things off at 10:20, we’ll talk about the big Neal-Lucic deal and what may come, plus Jon’s terrific overview of the entire Oilers organization (link above), just published. Scott Miller will be by from Bleacher Report to talk mlb trade deadline in what is a crazy run up to the end of the month. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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229 Responses to "We don’t know what we don’t know"

« Older Comments
  1. Drew says:

    Oz:
    Drew,

    Not sure I agree Drew that everyone plays their ass off. From what is reported KR has the respect of coaches and teammates while playing his off side. At 3 LD he is our best option because he has played and will play up the roster if required. I would like the opportunity to see what he can bring at 3 LD.

    i agree, he can’t be exited yet, because the last stanley cup winning GM left no other alternative. I just hope his contract can be jettisoned before we lose a good young prospect before we have time to make a good decision

  2. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Drew: don’t try the authority shtick Bruce your better than that. Should i list off the idiotic decisions those same folks made. How about all the biased errors from professionals hockey evaluators? Russell was bought out no? and signed to play far beyond his capability?

    How is it appealing to authority when it is FOUR different NHL coaches all independently reaching a similar concluson for the best of his own team? To me that is a cnsensus, not appealing to authority. Idiotic and biased? They collectively coached for about 60 seasons, man.

    and no, Kris Russell has never been bought out. He is on his sixth NHl contract with no blemishes in the record.

  3. Drew says:

    Bruce McCurdy: How is it appealing to authority when it is FOUR different NHL coaches all independently reaching a similar concluson for the best of his own team? To me that is a cnsensus, not appealing to authority.Idiotic and biased? They collectively coached for about60 seasons, man.

    and no, Kris Russell has never been bought out. He is on his sixth NHl contract with no blemishes in the record.

    yes you are correct, was allowed to leave without being offered a contract. Consensus, that makes me laugh, you know very well how many bad decisions are made over and over again in the old boys NHL. It’s the reason analytics sprang up in the blogosphere. people were trying to explain why the consensus kept making decisions that didn’t make sense.
    Russell would be a nice player at 2M on 1 or 2 year term. his contract blocked better solutions at 2RD.
    admit it

  4. jp says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers would be wise to keep Russell this year. Sekera is gone, you want veteran defenders. There’s a spot open now I think Jones lands the job. Maybe Persson does too, and that means possibly 33 percent of your blue is brand new to the NHL every night. Russell has value and can help. If you want to deal him, perhaps the trade deadline if EDM is out of the race.

    I strongly agree. IMO one of the incumbent 6 should have been moved to open a spot for a youngster. As it turned out that was Sekera.

    Moving another established D would need to be accompanied by a cheaper UFA signing IMO (like Kronwall or Phaneuf?).

    You absolutely can’t move out Russell (or one of the others) and go into the season hoping for zero injuries to Klefbom-Larsson and zero injuries to Nurse-Benning. It would be a guarantee a rookie D is playing top 4 minutes at some point, probably for extended periods.

  5. rickithebear says:

    Most on here are not apposed to a Russell trade.

    I have looked at championship & playoff success.
    Top GA teams are 40% more successful than GF teams.
    >7 out of 8 final 4 teams are top GA teams.

    Rovers who abandon the HD area create a 3-1-1-1 structure subjecting the 1D-1G to many odd man attacks to our DZ.
    Often leading to unchallenged forward attacks of Goaltender.

    In what world does a coach say let’s give the opposition as many breakaways as possible.

    Yet greater than 50% of current NHL GM’s think it is a great idea.

    All you rover lovers.

    How many EVG do dmen score from roving sorties.
    Heck how many HD area shots do they get.

    How many HD shots do forwards get from a Dman sortie.
    How many HD shots do forwards get from Transition passes
    Video recall most forwards are often covered by opposition Forwards on dman sorties.

    My observations see A lot of Dmen goals from 4th & 5 th option shots coming down from point uncovered.

    A few years back when I watched a lot of league games.
    I started to look at Dmen who I remember being 4 th option shots in games.

    Over the last 5 years 119 dmen have generated top 6 fwd 8 evg rates.
    Last year 20 dmen generated top 6 fwd 9 evg rate.

    Most of the dmen I remember being 4th option attackers.
    Have had top 9+ evg seasons.

    4 th option is a superior way for dmen to generate even offence.

    The most watched games last 4 years Edmonton & CGY match the seasons.
    Giordano
    15-16 11 evg
    17-18 11 evg
    18-19 10 evg

    Klefbom
    16-17 9 evg

    Nurse
    18-19 9 evg
    Of this group only Klefboms 16-17 season was a somewhat responsible HD def season.

    Top HD dmen with number of 8+ evg seasons the last 5 league years.

    Some of you offensive dmen lovers are going to say. HIM!

    Headman – 4
    Josi – 2
    K. Klein – 2
    Spurgeon – 2
    Vlasic – 2
    Weber – 2
    Chara – 1
    Scandella – 1
    N. Schmidt – 1
    Beauchemin – 1
    Stralman – 1
    Theodore – 1
    Lindholm -1 his one top HD season.

    21 of 119 8+ evg seasons are def responsible Dmen.

    GA wins championships!

    Def responsible HD Dmen who generate top 6 forward evg rates help you win championships as well.

  6. defmn says:

    jp: It really depends though. The range out outcomes from Oilers players this year is pretty wide, and has a massive impact on whether signing Nurse to a $7M deal is easy or whether it’s all the Oilers will be able to do next off season.

    1) Is Koskinen a starter? If he is, the Oilers can spend $2M or less on a backup. Maybe less than $1M if Starrett has a another strong AHL year. If Koskinen flops then finding a passable starter will likely dominate Oilers moves next off-season.

    2) Do the young D push? And how hard? If a couple show they’re ready then the Oilers can (in theory) offload Russell and save $3M relative to his replacement for 20-21.

    3) Is Neal passable in the top 6? If they need to buy him out it eats away at the cap (as you note) AND he needs to be replaced.

    If all of these hands fall in the Oilers favour they’re n a really good spot. If any or all fail, not so much.

    Here’s my optimistic 2020-21 team: https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/1346552

    – Koskinen is OK, budgeted for a $2M backup
    – Three of Jones, Lagesson, Bouchard, Persson, Bear, etc. populate the Oilers 5-7D
    – Thus Russell can be moved without a major downgrade (and without requiring assets out)
    – Neal can manage a top 6 role well enough not to be bought out
    – Benson, Marody and Yamamoto (or other ELC forward) can manage 3rd or 4th line minutes.

    Pending the above, the Oilers could:
    – Re-sign Nurse at $7M for term
    – Re-sign Kassian (UFA) at $2.5M
    – Re-sign Benning at $2M
    – Re-sign Granlund (UFA) at $1.4M

    – Sign a UFA winger at $5M
    – Sign a UFA 3C at $2.5M
    – Sign a UFA backup at $2M

    Yes, if everything or almost everything goes well the situation improves. Then it becomes a question of value rather than affordability.

  7. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’m the last person to argue from consensus or appeal to authority, but as fans our lack of information is staggering. How can we even pretend to have the information the coaches do? The only thing we ever see or analyze are the games, the final result. We don’t see the practices. We don’t see the team meetings. We don’t see any of the off ice stuff. This is not an endorsement of Russell, but when four coaches say the same thing, maybe it’s time to pay attention.

  8. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I’m the last person to argue from consensus or appeal to authority, but as fans our lack of information is staggering. How can we even pretend to have the information the coaches do? The only thing we ever see or analyze are the games, the final result. We don’t see the practices. We don’t see the team meetings. We don’t see any of the off ice stuff. This is not an endorsement of Russell, but when four coaches say the same thing, maybe it’s time to pay attention.

    Even when Some Dude on the Internet says something different?

  9. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Drew: yes you are correct, was allowed to leave without being offered a contract. Consensus, that makes me laugh, you know very well how many bad decisions are made over and over again in the old boys NHL. It’s the reason analytics sprang up in the blogosphere. people were trying to explain why the consensus kept making decisions that didn’t make sense.
    Russell would be a nice player at 2M on 1 or 2 year term. his contract blocked better solutions at 2RD.
    admit it

    I’ll freely admit i’m not a fan of the contract, in fact I wrote this the morning it was announced, questioning its term right in the headline.

    But the discussion in this thread was triggered not by that contract but by your assertion that “we know Russell isn’t a top 4 Dman”. Or should i say *I* was triggered, enough to respond with some hard facts about his ice time with several teams & coaches. Which says to me he’s a top 4 Dman in reality, regardless of whether you or I think he should be.

  10. rickithebear says:

    LT:

    William Lagesson is one of the best Def prospects we have had in AHL in 20 years.

    But to say he comes from a diffrent route than Jones & bear.

    The most important and pocession efficient thing a fwd can do is score an evg.

    I Instated earlier in a post their were 119 Dmen seasons of top 6 fwd 8+ evg seasons the last 5 years.
    21 of those were top HD dmen seasons.

    Last year Lagesson had 8 evg in the AHL reg season.
    I could only find 4 of the even goals.
    1 was a Def responsible wrist shot from the point.
    3 were def responsible uncovered 4th options at top of circles.

    Our best even offensive scoring ( not pointing) option is Lagesson.
    100% of the goals I saw were def responsible
    75% of them were as 4 th option.
    Lagesson has shown the skill to be a top 31 (#1) evg dman in NHL.
    Like Giordano, Murse, Klefbom.

    He has the skill to be a top HD dman and top evg dman like
    Hedman
    Josi
    Weber
    Vlasic
    Chara
    Stralman

    Lagesson had 16 Eva in the AHL
    Last year 170 forward (top 6) received 16 assists compliments of evg scorers.
    76 dmen received 16 Eva.

    LT: stated a lot of things can happen.

    Oilers coaches and GM want off production and 4th/5th option ( 5 player attacking) from dmen.
    While understanding not sacrificing their def responsibility.
    From their mouths in interviews.
    Not a narative.

    I do not see playing the game the way it gets you championships as a Bias.
    That is common sense.

    Jones will likely at some point understand to play that game.
    Bear can be cooked in AHL for another year and traded to one of the rover loving ( non championship) GM’s.

    Excluding players cause of not playing or not wanting to play, non championship style of game would be bias.
    And Stupid!
    See Dallas Eakins!

    Question how many of 76 16 Eva dmen were HD responsible dmen to their side?
    Josi
    Ekholm
    Montour
    Dillon
    Vlasic
    Spurgeon
    Pesce
    Hainsey
    Lindell
    Weber
    Benn
    A. Larsson
    Dumoulin
    Nutivari

    14 of them.

    LT: Have you wonder why, thru the past how, it has allways been said great scoring forward.

    We clearly have lost the understanding of what past fans meant.
    Scoring goals is scoring.
    Some players get a lot of points.

  11. rickithebear says:

    I only want dmen who are top forward PPG & PPA results competative on PP.
    Top 45 forward is 8 ppg
    0 dmen generated 8 ppg

    Top 90 forward is 7 ppg – 3 fwd PP1
    3 dmen generated 7 ppg

    Top 125 forward is 4 ppg – 4 fwd PP1
    21 dmen generated 4 ppg

    Top 160 forwards is 3 ppg – 5 fwd PP2
    33 dmen generate 3 ppg

    Power play assists.
    Top 45 fwd recieve 13 ppa
    22 dmen recieve 13 ppa

    Top 90 fwd recieve 8 ppa
    38 dmen recieve 8 ppa

    Top 125 fwd recieve 6 ppa
    51 dmen recieve 6 ppa

    Top 160 fwd recieve 4 ppa
    74 dmen recieve 4 ppa

    This is why you should run a 4 fwd – 1 dman PP1 for 4+ min a night.
    Hopefully ( based on most rosters) younare getting superior PPG producing fwds paired with a
    Top 90 EVA dman who may be one of 5 the top 160 ppg dmen
    Running less productive units for a substantial time is a reduction in team performance.

  12. rickithebear says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’ll freely admit i’m not a fan of the contract, in fact I wrote this the morning it was announced, questioning its term right in the headline.

    But the discussion in this thread was triggered not by that contract but by your assertion that “we know Russell isn’t a top 4 Dman”. Or should i say *I* was triggered, enough to respond with some hard facts about his ice time with several teams & coaches. Which says to me he’s a top 4 Dman in reality, regardless of whether you or I think he should be.

    Bruce:

    In academia most are creating narratives
    or
    generating low resolution an analysis of science.

    When the sciences generate perceived theorems.
    It regarded as Nobel level of work.
    It is often a move to a correct increase of understanding at a deeper level of resolution.

    As science advances the less resolution work can often be proven to be wrong
    But it can often be proven to be correct.

    My father and the great multivariable thinkers of his generation were not trying to look at perceived beliefs but find/ look at real physical solutions & science.

    The day I found out you chased meteorites.
    I knew you were one who looked for new physical science learning.
    Not perceived.

    You have stated that
    Holland a championship GM
    Tippett a coach who advanced to playoffs with 5 above avg ( not top) HD dmen & top HD goalie
    Think Russell is a good def fit for the roster.

    Holland talks of d prospects who fit their notion of championship dmen
    (Have to go back on my notes!)
    Lagesson, (AHL) Broberg, Bouchard ( pp fit), ?…..
    Could not find the 3 rd drafted prospect. Was it jones

    18-19
    Even 1313:52 54ga 2.47 evga/60
    5×5 1278:40 49ga 2.30 evga/60
    Russell had an awful 24:37 with Larsson this year.

    Nurse 1054:36 2.16 evga/60

  13. ArmchairGM says:

    Oilman99: Benning is not quick enough, or strong enough to be a true top 4 d-man. The top 4 guys have to be big,mobile, good passers, and shooters, as per the Blue’s boys.

    Open yer eyes, man! There are lots of top-4 defensemen who are smaller than Benning, that’s a ridiculous statement. He isn’t that small anyhow:

    Benning: 6’1 / 203
    Doughty: 6’1 / 202
    Giordano: 6’1 / 200
    Keith: 6’1 / 192
    Subban: 6’0 / 210
    Letang: 6’0 / 201
    Karlsson: 6’0 / 190

    I’m not saying Benning’s skillset is comparable to any of these guys, but your concerns about size aren’t valid. Benning, like Doughty, is an accomplished open-ice hitter. And Benning’s passing and shooting abilities are probably top 2 or 3 among the Oilers 5 regular defensemen.

  14. ArmchairGM says:

    Professor Q: I think now is the time for Bergevin et al. to offer sheet Marner, if they were to ever do it.

    I doubt Marner would sign it.

  15. jp says:

    rickithebear:

    William Lagesson is one of the best Def prospects we have had in AHL in 20 years.

    Ricki, what’s the basis for calling Lagesson an elite defensive D prospect? Just eye test?

    You’re only talking about his offense in this post.

  16. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    – Russell might not be perfect and his contract maybe not perfect. And his value isn’t perfectly captured by stats.

    – another imperfect stat is +- and when nurse Russell were together last year they were -4. If all are pairings are – 4 5×5 we are a playoff team

    – that stat sums it up perfectly: Russell isn’t the problem. And when we have better D on the roster who will do the same job on a 2nd pairing then he can be moved. As it is all the Persson jones Bouchard Lagesson bear etc aren’t better

    – Best case scenario is Nurse Benning prove a better 2nd pairing and you move Russell to 3rd pair where his 4mm appears expensive.

    – But he’s the 4th best D on the roster right now. Warts and all

    – Just thought I’d add to your stuff

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    4 old school coaches >>> 1 old school coach. Nearly 5000 games among them, 2 Stanleys & a ton of experience in making the best out of what they have. Not sure how it’s an appeal to authority when they all came to a similar conclusion. Not that “he must be good” but that he was the best available option to fill out their top 4.

    “Making the best out of what they have” – there it is.

    Yes, those coaches often played Russell at 2RD, at Russ did OK for stretches but it was clear to all (many) that he was playing above his pay grade and (a) is better on the left side and (b) more suited to a 3rd pairing and PK deployement.

    I don’t believe those coaches though/think that Russ was/is a legit 2RD but he was “the best they’ve had” for the spot.

    Kassian isn’t a true 1RW but he’s “the best they have”.

  18. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Finding the best candidates for the final two spots on the Oilers skill lines in 2019-20

    https://theathletic.com/1088067/2019/07/24/lowetide-finding-the-best-candidates-for-the-final-two-spots-on-the-oilers-skill-lines-in-2019-20/

  19. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: “Making the best out of what they have” – there it is.

    Yes, those coaches often played Russell at 2RD, at Russ did OK for stretches but it was clear to all (many) that he was playing above his pay grade and (a) is better on the left side and (b) more suited to a 3rd pairing and PK deployement.

    I don’t believe those coaches though/think that Russ was/is a legit 2RD but he was “the best they’ve had” for the spot.

    Kassian isn’t a true 1RW but he’s “the best they have”.

    To be fair to the comparison though, Russell has played top 4 D far more consistently than Kassian has played 1st line, 2nd line, even in a top 9 role.

    Teams and coaches have continued to find Russell among the best available options, whatever their best intentions. Kassian occasionally, but not so much.

  20. Pouzar says:

    LoDog: Except for last year due to back and family issues Larsson is the polisher of all turds. Away from Larsson would be the numbers I look at.

    I think you need to look at 17/18 in that case.

  21. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t believe those coaches though/think that Russ was/is a legit 2RD but he was “the best they’ve had” for the spot.

    Truth.

    What’s for supper?

  22. Drew says:

    Bruce McCurdy: How is it appealing to authority when it is FOUR different NHL coaches all independently reaching a similar concluson for the best of his own team? To me that is a cnsensus, not appealing to authority.Idiotic and biased? They collectively coached for about60 seasons, man.

    and no, Kris Russell has never been bought out. He is on his sixth NHl contract with no blemishes in the record.

    How many times have those 4 coaches been fired? Who is still working in the NHL? Its been said that coaches sometime use the only solutions they have in front of them (bad roster design) or a player is on a development path and they need to find out what they have in them.

    Russell is what he is, a nice 5 – 6 who can play up in the lineup when needed. Sadly Chia decided to pay him (and give term like he was a long term solution) like a top 4, and here we are.

  23. Drew says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Even when Some Dude on the Internet says something different?

    Hey Bruce “some dude on the internet” could be interpreted as a kind of attack. We are all “some dude on the internet”?

  24. Cassandra says:

    Drew: Hey Bruce “some dude on the internet” could be interpreted as a kind of attack. We are all “some dude on the internet”?

    This thread is typical McCurdy MO. He always argues from authority and is quick to make passive aggressive attacks on those that disagree with him, especially when it is just “some guy on the internet.”

  25. Side says:

    Cassandra: This thread is typical McCurdy MO.He always argues from authority and is quick to make passive aggressive attacks on those that disagree with him, especially when it is just “some guy on the internet.”

    This post, coming from you?

    L O L

  26. russ99 says:

    jp,

    If all goes to plan and one of the younger players passes him, we should be able to move Russell and his low last year salary to a cap rich, cash poor team at the deadline, even with his NMC.

    But as we’ve seen, things don’t go to plan in an NHL season. How many defensemen did we run through last year? Unless we have a rabbit’s foot and somehow avoid injury on the backline there will be plenty of games to see which young defensemen are ready to make the jump.

  27. HT Joe says:

    Drew: Hey Bruce “some dude on the internet” could be interpreted as a kind of attack. We are all “some dude on the internet”?

    Drew… you referenced something about hating the “appeal to authority” argument, and if you re-read your initial comments to Bruce, they come off pretty strong (calling his argument a “shtick” isn’t friendly and is pretty dismissive). Later, your responses evolved into some form of “you’re wrong… admit it”. Your actual arguments seem interesting, but the way you’re communicating them probably won’t get you a lot of positive responses.

    I thought Bruce’s comment about “some dude on the internet” was a light-hearted jab – it was funny. Well, I laughed anyways.

    I found myself in a similar situation several weeks ago, in which I was needlessly snarky with JimmyV1965 – I didn’t like the way he framed his argument, but instead of responding to the argument, I took it personally and didn’t interact appropriately. Jimmy absolutely schooled me by saying “Ya. You’re reading maybe possibly just a tad too much into my comments. But it’s your right to be offended. Some people enjoy it.” I have taken that to heart (thanks Jimmy), and I feel that my commenting is better now as a result. If you don’t like an innocent reference to “some dude on the internet”, you may benefit by taking a friendlier approach with your posts.

  28. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Drew: Hey Bruce “some dude on the internet” could be interpreted as a kind of attack. We are all “some dude on the internet”?

    It was a joke. And yes, we are.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Cassandra: This thread is typical McCurdy MO.He always argues from authority and is quick to make passive aggressive attacks on those that disagree with him, especially when it is just “some guy on the internet.”

    Bruce is a respected member of this community and has more than earned the right to have his points argued on those points, without baiting or put down. I’ll thank you to respect all posters, please and thanks.

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