Years ago, I had this boss who did things in order. No exceptions. Back then radio broadcasters had contracts and Albert (his name was not Albert) would bring up the subject of a new contract one month before the old one expired. Not 35 days, not 25 days. One month. He used to take his right hand, push his glasses straight back with his thumb and middle finger (touching only the hinges) and say “get your mind around this” and we would begin to negotiate.
Albert was a tough negotiator, he hammered me senseless the first two times and then I won after it (went above him to right a wrong, it was not his fault, but I had to quit, wait two years and then negotiate a better deal with his boss). He never wavered, we did the same dance every time. Albert made his to-do list, prioritized it, and proceeded to go about his business. You have to respect that kind of consistency. I know I did.
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: Oilers ease pressure on crowded defensive pipeline by trading John Marino to the Penguins
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2021-22 Oilers might look like after their steady build toward contender status
- New Lowetide: Joel Persson is ideally situated to win an opening night roster spot with the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2019-20 Oilers might look like without trade missteps.
- Lowetide: Finding the best candidates for the final two spots on the Oilers skill lines in 2019-20.
- 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?
- Lowetide: Looking ahead to Oilers training camp: 35 players for 23 jobs
- 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?
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
Ken Holland traded John Marino yesterday, it’s the kind of trade a manager makes when he’s clearing off his desk and preparing to head to the cottage for a few weeks over summer. Trade Marino, tell the milkman no deliveries until September long, take the propane tank off the barbecue and tell the neighbour he’s welcome to pick the apples while you’re gone. Ken Holland is heading to the lake, with one file folder left on his desk: A blue and white one with a small Finnish flag in the right corner. No one went over Holland’s head, but someone tried to do an end-around. I don’t think it will change Holland’s plan. He’s focused on getting value for the Oilers. It might not be out there this summer.
Players are attached to organizations but over the years I’ve found they are most especially attached to the men who drafted them. So, John Marino was drafted by Peter Chiarelli and Bob Green, and whomever the eastern scout was in 2014-15 (Scott Harlow? I think it’s Harlow) and the player’s relationship with the Oilers may have walked out the door with Chiarelli. Holland may have chatted with Harlow, or maybe the team attempted to sign him this spring but it didn’t happen. My guess is the Oilers knew he wouldn’t sign here and are hoping the Penguins can get him under contract right away.
How good is Marino? I have a friend who scouts the USHL and feeder leagues, who also sees a lot of ECAC hockey. I reached out and he told me “Marino will play in the NHL” so this is a deal that could look poor five years from now. That’s the nature of those USHL kids from the USA. It’s a tough sell for Edmonton, just as getting Matt Benning was an easy one. John Marino is going home, these things rarely change.
I remain convinced the best thing to do is keep him, but Ken Holland has to decide if he wants to divide Dave Tippett’s priorities (win and develop) with JP. One hopes Tippett saw the video and loved what he saw, and is convinced there’s a player there. It’s possible.
Or, Puljujarvi might spend the season in Europe.
Edmonton does need a RH center but the names available are flawed. Riley Nash is in Columbus with a $2.75 million cap hit (times two) and not a lot to recommend him. Nash does have a solid Puck IQ player card versus elites (27.4 percent of his overall time versus elites, 50.40 DFF percentage and DFF% RC of 1.50). You wouldn’t trade JP for him, and Nash is coming off a poor offensive season, but could help and shouldn’t cost a lot. He’s more No. 4 line than No. 3 line based on that TOI percentage against elites, anyway.
I wonder if there’s a deal involving one of the teams trying to sign their RFA’s. Edmonton’s cap room ($2.4 million remaining with the team at the 23-man limit) suggests a narrow window of opportunity. Vladislav Namestnikov? He’s pretty spendy.
LOWETIDE LIST: 2010 DRAFT
This is my list and year one is pretty much a tie. I’m not sure Pickard is more or less valuable than Marincin, and the first two picks are identical. I think people often view Pitlick as a reach pick, but he was a first-round selection on my list.
My list saw more NHL games, but Klefbom>Beaulieau by a large margin, so Edmonton wins it despite the GP edge. The 2011 draft had a tremendous number of promising prospects who never got untracked, I think that is reflected by both lists here.
One of the reasons I wanted to do the original list is to show that the Khaira reach selection worked well. Khaira was valued by Red Line but wasn’t a famous prospect. I give the slight edge to Edmonton here because of the Khaira pick.
Edmonton drafted the better player in round one, but Buchnevich and Bjorkstrand give my list the edge. Slepyshev not developing really hurt the Oilers. I have no idea why they passed on Bjorkstrand.
I valued Bennett because he scored a lot of points at even strength, but Draisaitl made this an unfair fight Halloween night 2015. Lagesson is the third best player on this list, meaning a clear win for the Oilers. In looking at this decade of drafting, one of the main positives for the Oilers came in choosing Draisaitl. It’s an Everest selection and they had compelling alternatives.
Clearly McDavid made the draft but I’ve always been impressed by Edmonton’s scouts getting two good defensive (actually three) in the middle of the draft. My list grabbed Mangiapane late, credit goes to math. I’ll give the edge to the Oilers, because of the extra player.
My list gets DeBrincat and that’s the biggest positive math delivered in this decade. Oilers did a poor work in the third round, too. A massive win for my list.
I like both lists, but Samorukov is a very promising player and gives Edmonton the edge. Too soon to know. Yamamoto’s wrist worries may impact the long range look of the Oilers’ draft.
This promises to be a fantastic set of picks to follow. I’ll tell you that five of these six names are progressing well to very well.
Either math has identified Kaliyev as another home run ala DeBrincat or this draft will look silly five years from now. I like my combination of forward-defense drafting more than Edmonton’s because the forward came first, but credit where due the Lavoie pick is exceptional at No. 38. Broberg, despite being a first-round pick, is vague enough as a player for us to be truly curious about his season to come. Look for TOI usage, even strength goal differential and point totals in all disciplines.
The major hits for the Lowetide list are DeBrincat (a monster), Bjorkstand, Buchnevich, eventually Mangiapane. My evaluation of math led me to Bennett over Draisaitl, don’t blame math, blame the bus driver. Over the decade, I like my lists and believe the process is stronger now than it was in 2010.
The Oilers biggest hit was the Draisaitl pick while surrounded by noise. That decision impacted the organization in a major way. Oscar Klefbom (over Beaulieu), Nurse (over Nichushkin), Khaira over pedestrians, Jones and Bear deep were also astute selections.
Which list do you prefer? Did math make a big enough difference to employ? Note: Much of the decade is to be determined, we’ll have to revisit a year from now.