Kansas City Shuffle

We know, based on his history, that Dave Tippett is going to shuffle lines and pairings. He’s going to find chemistry, ride that nag till it drops, then shuffle again. We’ll all bitch and moan and recall MacT running broken-hand Mike York as the point man on a five-on-three, and various other impossible sins done to the roster by veteran coaches. It is the way of an Oilers fan.

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: 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.

OILERS 2018-19 EVEN STRENGTH SCORING

Identifying the six best options slows down after three and explodes after four, so I think it’s reasonable to assume we’ll see a major shuffle this winter. I like Sam Gagner on the No. 4 line, but Tippett ran him with Martin Erat for 435 minutes, Tobias Rieder 336 minutes, Lauri Korpikoski 257 minutes and Martin Hanzal for 210 minutes. There’s skill in there.

I think we’ll see Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian and Neal-Nuge-Chiasson. I would like to see Neal-McDavid-Kassian, Granlund-Nuge-Archibald, Benson-Draisaitl-Chiasson and Nygard-Khaira-Gagner. I think you could get goals from all four of those lines.

DERICK BRASSARD

I don’t think the Oilers are going to sign another free agent. However, Derick Brassard remains available, and if his price is right, maybe he’ll be an Oiler. He scored .61 goals per 60 at five-on-five a year ago and won 50.7 percent of his faceoffs.

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122 Responses to "Kansas City Shuffle"

  1. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Still pinching myself. Yay – Lucic is gone!

    I like your 4 lines. It will be interesting to see what kind of chemistry could develop from the mush.

  2. Concur says:

    I like your hopeful line combinations, and I agree that another center would be an upgrade over Khaira. If Tippet wants to put Gagner with skill, you need someone else besides Khaira.

  3. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    What about:
    JJ-McDavid-Neal, Benson-Draisaitl-Chiasson, Granlund-Nuge-Archibald and Nygard-Gagner-Kass…??
    Neal on his preferred wing, JJ to create havoc, forecheck and space a la Kass

  4. GMB3 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick:
    What about:
    JJ-McDavid-Neal, Benson-Draisaitl-Chiasson, Granlund-Nuge-Archibald and Nygard-Gagner-Kass…??
    Neal on his preferred wing, JJ to create havoc, forecheck and space a la Kass

    I don’t think we have the winger depth for 3C’s.

    Fuck it. Crosby won a cup with Sheary and Guentzel as his wingers. My hot take lineup.
    Benson-McDavid-Marody
    Nuge-Drai-Neal
    Khaira-Haas-Chiasson
    Granlund-Gagner-Kassian

    I’ll take things that will never happen for 500, Alex.

  5. Ben says:

    These lineup projections always end up looking like a perfect rare cut of AAA prime rib served with sides of frozen peas and macaroni with ketchup.

    McDavid aside, I’m feeling as excited to follow the Condors this year as the parent club.

    The Bake is full of great story lines: Woodcroft will have a really fun, mobile, young D-corps, some likeable F vets who are still pushing for the NHL and four or five F kids who have a real shot. If the goaltending holds together they should have a shot at a pennant.

    GONDORS!

  6. Todd Macallan says:

    Re: Lucic
    Talking with a buddy yesterday who recently attended a wedding where he was able to chat with Sid the Kid, who mentioned that the Oilers just fleeced the Flames in the trade. Nice to see Sid agrees with the posters here and hopefully perception around the league is starting to change.

  7. Woogie63 says:

    Lots of time on my hands this weekend

    Twitter followers Edmonton Oiler reporter vs Calgary Flames reporter

    This might be part of the “water” in Edmonton. That is a lot of extra content in for Edmonton Oiler reporters.

    Bob Stauffer 71.2
    Peter Loubardias 16.5K

    Jack Michael 28.8
    Derek Wills 23.7

    Mark Spector 87
    Eric Duhatschek 47.3

    Jim Matheson 39.7
    George Johnson 5

    Ryan Rishaug 132.4
    Jermain Franklin 15.1

    Gene Principe 61.2
    Eric Francis 31

    Lowetide 26.3
    Darren Haynes 9.3

  8. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woogie63,

    Both cities love their teams. We just do it in a Fatal Attraction rabbit stew kind of way. 🐇

  9. Bag of Pucks says:

    Todd Macallan:
    Re: Lucic
    Talking with a buddy yesterday who recently attended a wedding where he was able to chat with Sid the Kid, who mentioned that the Oilers just fleeced the Flames in the trade. Nice to see Sid agrees with the posters here and hopefully perception around the league is starting to change.

    It honestly feels like we traded them Wainwright for Canmore.

    People that live in Wainwright will love that. lol

  10. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: It honestly feels like we traded them Wainwright for Canmore.

    People that live in Wainwright will love that. lol

    Lol. I’ve been to both and that is funny.

  11. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: Lol. I’ve been to both and that is funny.

    When I was going to NAIT, I had a part time job as a mobile DJ. Did hall parties, after grads, weddings, etc. Great gig for a young guy. Had a blast.

    However, one weekend they sent me to Wainwright to play two nights at the Hotel. It was like a scene straight out of the Blues Brothers. Friday night they wanted line dancing. Saturday I MC’ed a wet tshirt night. Classy! Both nights the bar was full of bikers and soldiers from the base and by last call, the fists were flying. Full on brawl the second night. I was literally backing the gear out the door.

    I go to Canmore a couple weekends every year. I haven’t been back to Wainwright since!

  12. Brantford Boy says:

    Lauri Korpikoski? Oh, right…

    Looking forward to your RE series LT… specifically for wingers Neal and Chiasson… can they split 42 goals between them? Is it 21 and 21, or 30 and 12?

  13. The Trade Guy says:

    I was just thinking it sucks there hasn’t been a world cup or olympics for McDavid. I want to see him play with the countries best. Now I’m bummed.

  14. defmn says:

    Leavins hinting we see Puljujarvi back with the Oilers this fall and that there really is no trade market for him in spite of occasional rumours otherwise.

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/is-august-a-good-month-for-jesse-puljujarvis-player-agent-to-capitulate-9-things

  15. Oilman99 says:

    Your Granlund-Nuge-Archibald line looks like a recipe for failure for Nuge, and he would be gone as a UFA.

  16. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Woogie63,

    Both cities love their teams. We just do it in a Fatal Attraction rabbit stew kind of way.

    Perfect.

  17. Bag of Pucks says:

    Oilman99:
    Your Granlund-Nuge-Archibald line looks like a recipe for failure for Nuge, and he would be gone as a UFA.

    Short of a deep playoff run, he’s gone already. Probably best for Oiler fans to start wrapping their head around the reality of Holland having to trade him this time next year. Nuge gonna get paid.

    Makes it even more crucial to establish Leon as the 2C this season imo.

  18. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    One of my pet obsessions that I don’t publish is scoring and possession rates for each team breaking it down by line.

    I don’t share it as I find its pretty good for futures bettung whether it’s O/U on season point totals or playoff matchups.

    Anyhow, I find that “true unicorns” are rare unless they team has high-end kids on the 3rd (usually with one good vet) and even then the TOI/gm of the 3rd line players doesn’t come close to the top 6.

    Also find that the TOIt/gm more or less ends up at:

    1st line players 1/3 of the game
    2nd line players 1/3 of the game
    3rd & 4th line players combined 1/3 of the game

    Of course it’s not written in stone for each team.

    Usually the talent level dictates the rates some, but it works enough to use as a rule-of-thumb.

    This is what we’ll probably see this year on EDM and why 97-29-93 won’t center their own lines.

    The other team’s have their best players out for 2/3 the game and you pretty much have to match it or get beat.

    The way to run unicorns is to simply have way more talent but it’s really rare.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Finding chemistry and then running with it and switching it up when its stale is just fine for me.

    Unlike what we’ve often seen in the past, when things were switched up for various different reasons.

    For example, Chiasson on a 5 on 5 heater with Drai and Rider an McLellan moves Chiasson to the McDavid line in the name of “more” minutes, ruining the away-from McDavid scoring and also achoring McDavid.

    Or Hitch who believe he knew “who was going” less than 7 minutes in to a game and would create all new lines at that early stage.

    All coaches “blend” but, COME ON!

  20. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Very interesting, If we’re thinking succession planning for Leon as 2C then, does that data make a solid case for Nuge on the W this season?

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lot of talk on here, on twitter and on out platforms about Gagner being traded (and, earlier, bought out).

    Yes, I can’t argue that Gagner is not an imperfect player and has his deficiencies but, in his relatively short time in Edmonton, he produced, and he produced away from McDavid – an absolute goal and need of the team.

    Overpiad, most likely, however, he provided an attribute the team is in need of, is known to Tippett and could be a valuable middle ix player this season.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    Brassard to comp on a PTO would be a nice thing to see

  23. Reja says:

    Bag of Pucks: It honestly feels like we traded them Wainwright for Canmore.

    People that live in Wainwright will love that. lol

    So we traded a honest hard working fella for a entitled prime Donna.

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    Reja: So we traded a honest hard working fella for a entitled prime Donna.

    That’s one way of looking at it. If you look at it from a contract value pov, we traded a small town bungalow for a mountain chalet.

  25. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Yes, I can’t argue that Gagner is not an imperfect player

    That’s a lot of twists and turns for such a short sentence…

  26. BONE207 says:

    Bag of Pucks: When I was going to NAIT, I had a part time job as a mobile DJ. Did hall parties, after grads, weddings, etc. Great gig for a young guy. Had a blast.

    However, one weekend they sent me to Wainwright to play two nights at the Hotel. It was like a scene straight out of the Blues Brothers. Friday night they wanted line dancing. Saturday I MC’ed a wet tshirt night. Classy! Both nights the bar was full of bikers and soldiers from the base and by last call, the fists were flying. Full on brawl the second night. I was literally backing the gear out the door.

    I go to Canmore a couple weekends every year. I haven’t been back to Wainwright since!

    I come here for the hockey talk & stay for the stories.

  27. bwar says:

    GMB3: I don’t think we have the winger depth for 3C’s.

    Fuck it. Crosby won a cup with Sheary and Guentzel as his wingers. My hot take lineup.
    Benson-McDavid-Marody
    Nuge-Drai-Neal
    Khaira-Haas-Chiasson
    Granlund-Gagner-Kassian

    I’ll take things that will never happen for 500, Alex.

    I feel like I should hate this but I don’t. Take two guys with really good chemistry and slap McDavid with them. Is that even legal? It would be hilarious to go from never winning a Calder trophy to having the two front runners in the same year…

  28. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Calgary should have bought out Neal and then signed Tkachuk. Now they are screwed. They are about as vulnerable to an offer sheet as anyone has ever been.

  29. GMB3 says:

    Reja: So we traded a honest hard working fella for a entitled prime Donna.

    Lol I’m pretty sure both Lucic and Neal are entitled prima donnas as far as NHLers go

  30. Reja says:

    GMB3: Lol I’m pretty sure both Lucic and Neal are entitled prima donnas as far as NHLers go

    Who said I was talking about Neal or Lucic.

  31. GMB3 says:

    bwar: I feel like I should hate this but I don’t.Take two guys with really good chemistry and slap McDavid with them.Is that even legal?It would be hilarious to go from never winning a Calder trophy to having the two front runners in the same year…

    I’ve thought about posting it for like 2 weeks… skilled players play well playing with skilled players. Expecting Marody to be a good 3C or checking winger is a fools errand imo. Obviously you’re throwing two young guys into the fire against the other teams best competition, and they will probably struggle in their own end, but McDavid already does struggle there with Drai. At least this past season. You’ve got the human cheat code with two guys who have great offensive instincts. There’s a chance it could work and free up enough players for a legitimate scoring second line. One of Neal/Gagner/Chiasson/Kassian/Archibald/literally any of the myriad group of fourth liners on the right wing.

    You can be poor defensively and still outscore the opposition though.

  32. defmn says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Very interesting, If we’re thinking succession planning for Leon as 2C then, does that data make a solid case for Nuge on the W this season?

    That would be my preference unless Holland can trade Nuge for a legitimate 1st line wing option with term – add and subtract as needed. Since I think that is unlikely Nuge on the wing with McDavid & Leon breaking in Benson on the left and Neal on the right.

    Nuge – McDavid – Kassian

    Benson – Leon – Neal

  33. GMB3 says:

    BONE207: I come here for the hockey talk & stay for the stories.

    Same. Been to Wainwright, sounds like a true story. I was out in Wainwright once and witnessed a guy break a pool cue over another guys back.

    That may have been Mayerthorpe now that I think about it. Or the Zoo in Vermillion. My one year at Lakeland College in Lloyd was filled with quite a few drunken excursions around small town Alberta with my dorm mates. Good times.

  34. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Very interesting, If we’re thinking succession planning for Leon as 2C then, does that data make a solid case for Nuge on the W this season?

    Given how 97-29 can outscore the other team’s best I can see Tippett running that more often than not as that’s the toughest matchup to win.

    If he can get the bottom 6 to not hemorrhage goals like the last two seasons then it’s all about 93’s line doing well.

  35. Klima's_Bucket says:

    GMB3: You can be poor defensively and still outscore the opposition though.

    I think you just poked the bear.

  36. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    GMB3: I don’t think we have the winger depth for 3C’s.

    Fuck it. Crosby won a cup with Sheary and Guentzel as his wingers. My hot take lineup.
    Benson-McDavid-Marody
    Nuge-Drai-Neal
    Khaira-Haas-Chiasson
    Granlund-Gagner-Kassian

    I’ll take things that will never happen for 500, Alex.

    OK. Smells pretty good. How about?
    Benson-McDavid-JP
    Nuge-Drai-Neal
    Khaira-Haas-Chiasson
    Granlund-Gagner-Kassian
    Turco/Nygard

  37. Brantford Boy says:

    defmn,

    Who is the defensive specialist on the 2nd line? I think Neal needs to be covered by Nuge.

    I like LT’s option of Neal-Nuge-Chiasson the most, or even GordieHoweHatTrick post for his 2nd line…
    GordieHoweHatTrick,

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Given how 97-29 can outscore the other team’s best I can see Tippett running that more often than not as that’s the toughest matchup to win.

    If he can get the bottom 6 to not hemorrhage goals like the last two seasons then it’s all about 93’s line doing well.

    Very unique situation in NHL history. I can’t for the life of me think of another elite C that was deployed more often as an elite W? Messier was a W early on but he broke out at as a C.

  39. defmn says:

    Brantford Boy:
    defmn,

    Who is the defensive specialist on the 2nd line?I think Neal needs to be covered by Nuge.

    I like LT’s option of Neal-Nuge-Chiasson the most, or even GordieHoweHatTrick post for his 2nd line…
    GordieHoweHatTrick,

    Neal has said over and over he wants to play RW. I think if we are hoping for a bounce back season it is prudent to give him that opportunity as a veteran. If he doesn’t show he belongs there that is different.

  40. defmn says:

    Bag of Pucks: Very unique situation in NHL history. I can’t for the life of me think of another elite C that was deployed more often as an elite W? Messier was a W early on but he broke at as a C.

    $21 mil for two thirds of a first line makes it very difficult to balance the rest of the offence.

  41. GMB3 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: OK. Smells pretty good. How about?
    Benson-McDavid-JP
    Nuge-Drai-Neal
    Khaira-Haas-Chiasson
    Granlund-Gagner-Kassian
    Turco/Nygard

    The likelihood of Marty Turco being a league average goalie is probably about the same as Mike Smith, so why not!

    I do like those lines, and I’d rather see JP there as well, but I was just working with what we do in fact know we have. I’m very interested in seeing how the JP saga turns out

  42. DennyB says:

    To me, this makes the most sense but who am I. Assumes Benson has been on 2 a day speed/edge training all summer.

    Drai – McDavid – Kass (don’t mess with a sure bet)
    Benson – Nuge – Neal (slightly sheltered, two passers feeding the hammer)
    Nygard – Granlund – Archi (wings of an angel)
    Gagner – JJ – Chaisson (chop suey)
    Haas
    Marody

    You heard it here first, folks

  43. GMB3 says:

    defmn: $21 mil for two thirds of a first line makes it very difficult to balance the rest of the offence.

    Agreed. If we had a 20-20 RW, it would really free up some different line combinations to get an outscoring second line.

  44. Reja says:

    defmn: $21 mil for two thirds of a first line makes it very difficult to balance the rest of the offence.

    It’s vital to have wingers on ELC that can play no more swing and misses. Let’s start with Benson, McLeod And Lavoie and get this pipeline started.

  45. GMB3 says:

    DennyB:
    To me, this makes the most sense but who am I. Assumes Benson has been on 2 a day speed/edge training all summer.

    Drai – McDavid – Kass (don’t mess with a sure bet)
    Benson – Nuge – Neal (slightly sheltered, two passers feeding the hammer)
    Nygard – Granlund – Archi (wings of an angel)
    Gagner – JJ – Chaisson (chop suey)
    Haas
    Marody

    You heard it here first, folks

    Probably switch up Archie and Chiasson and you have a chance of being right I think. Can’t see chiasson starting on the fourth mine with that bloated contract.

  46. defmn says:

    GMB3: Agreed. If we had a 20-20 RW, it would really free up some different line combinations to get an outscoring second line.

    The Puljujarvi swing and a miss (so far) really hurts for sure.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nugent-Hopkins has two full seasons prior to UFA status – I’m unconcerned about his linemates on October 2, 2019 vis-a-vis his potential re-signing 20 months later.

  48. DennyB says:

    GMB3,

    Fair, thought was based around speed and that he’ll still get premium 1st pp net front minutes.

  49. JimmyV1965 says:

    defmn: $21 mil for two thirds of a first line makes it very difficult to balance the rest of the offence.

    We have $21 mill for two thirds of the first line because we have no wingers. You could substitute RNH for Draisaitl, but you’re just shuffling deck chairs. Drai will become a full time 2C only when we have actual wingers. It’s impossible to have balanced scoring with only three top six forwards. The issue isn’t $21 mill for two thirds of the first line.

  50. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Nugent-Hopkins has two full seasons prior to UFA status – I’m unconcerned about his linemates on October 2, 2019 vis-a-vis his potential re-signing 20 months later.

    The issue with keeping RNH is his trade value erodes every day. You maximize trade value now and it continues to decline over time. If you even wait until the trade deadline, you won’t get actual players, but picks and prospects instead. Be clear. I’m not advocating an RNH trade. I’m more worried about the implications of failing to provide him with legit top six wingers.

  51. Reja says:

    JimmyV1965: The issue with keeping RNH is his trade value erodes every day. You maximize trade value now and it continues to decline over time. If you even wait until the trade deadline, you won’t get actual players, but picks and prospects instead. Be clear. I’m not advocating an RNH trade. I’m more worried about the implications of failing to provide him with legit top six wingers.

    First and second round picks are high currency on draft day.

  52. pts2pndr says:

    DennyB:
    To me, this makes the most sense but who am I. Assumes Benson has been on 2 a day speed/edge training all summer.

    Drai – McDavid – Kass (don’t mess with a sure bet)
    Benson – Nuge – Neal (slightly sheltered, two passers feeding the hammer)
    Nygard – Granlund – Archi (wings of an angel)
    Gagner – JJ – Chaisson (chop suey)
    Haas
    Marody

    You heard it here first, folks

    I think you are close. Starting lineup if JP is still unsigned in my opinion would be:
    Drai – McDavid – Kass
    Nygard – Nuge- Neal
    JJ – Granlund – Chiasson
    Benson – Haas – Archi

    Gagner
    Team will dress 8 D until JP is signed. Once JP is signed the last two lines will be:
    JJ – Granlund – JP
    Archi – Haas – Chiasson

    Extra forward Gagner with Benson returned to the A.
    My hope is that they fit in the new signings and backfill with players from the A in the event of injuries.

  53. Reja says:

    defmn: The Puljujarvi swing and a miss (so far) really hurts for sure.

    It’s huge among other things not panning out cost a lot of hockey men there jobs.

  54. defmn says:

    JimmyV1965: We have $21 mill for two thirds of the first line because we have no wingers.You could substitute RNH for Draisaitl, but you’re just shuffling deck chairs. Drai will become a full time 2C only when we have actual wingers. It’s impossible to have balanced scoring with only three top six forwards. The issue isn’t $21 mill for two thirds of the first line.

    Remember when we had Eberle, Hall & Yakupov had just been drafted and it was common knowledge here and elsewhere that it was a lot easier to find wingers than centres or dmen? 😉

    If you put $21 mil on 2/3 of one line any roster mistake you make after that with no ELC help coming means you are a one line team.

    I think we can both agree that this team has roster mistakes on it.

    It may be shuffling deck chairs but even with deck chairs you can choose to spread them out for balance or pile them all on one side of the boat.

    I prefer to spread for balance and long term growth.

    Get good players, play them in their natural position.

  55. Woogie63 says:

    If I was Ottawa, and had a young player with a brother in the league….who would I offer sheet?

  56. Primetime says:

    Still think the ideal line up has Drai-RNH together…they should be able to outscore other second lines on most nights…McD should be able to outscore/saw off top lines with even modest help.

    xxx-McDavid-Neal
    Nuge-Drai-(JP?)

    xxx= rotation of Kassian, Khaira, Granlund, Nygaard, Chiasson, Benson, whoever is going well at the time.

    I would at least try this to start the season before giving up and going back to McDavid-Drai

  57. Primetime says:

    GMB3: … skilled players play well playing with skilled players. Expecting Marody to be a good 3C or checking winger is a fools errand imo.

    I’m certainly not against giving anybody a shot on McDavid’s line (as indicated by my post above), but not sure why expecting Marody to be a good 3C is a fools errand.

    NHL history is littered with much more talented/highly touted offensive players, that were just not good enough at this level, but adapted their games to be more successful on the 3rd line. The Oilers alone can boast several first round draft picks that did so, either on their team or once they were traded:

    Cleary
    Reasoner
    Moreau
    Cogliano

    All much better offensive prospects than Marody and had to make their niche in NHL playing 3rd lines

  58. Rube Foster says:

    Reja: It’s huge among other things not panning out cost a lot of hockey men there jobs.

    That may be true, but were not those very Hockey Men the ones responsible for treating Puljujarvi’s professional development like a wreckless yo-yo trick gone wrong?

    Here’s to hoping the new Hockey Men in town can pave a path for a Jesse Re-boot. There is talk today on this very fine site about pairing Benson with McDavid, and lots of speculation regarding potential line combinations, inspired by our host’s musings. If we’re so desperate for a fit on the wing with Connor that we’re proposing a raw rookie like Benson, should we not for a moment consider Jesse Puljujarvi for that spot?

    If you start the line-up musings with a combination of a happy & healthy Jesse 2.0 and Connor, and FILL-IN THE BLANK. I will posit (thanks OP) that every subsequent line combination you can theorize is far more balanced and skilled.

    I am hoping that Mr. Holland recognizes this as well.

  59. oilsnc79 says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Oh oh, that’s beautiful .

  60. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Is Kirill Maksimov progressing as the Edmonton Oilers’ next great hope for a true homegrown sniper?

    https://theathletic.com/1099675/2019/07/28/is-kirill-maksimov-progressing-as-the-edmonton-oilers-next-great-hope-for-a-true-homegrown-sniper/

  61. Andy Dufresne says:

    SwedishPoster: That’s a lot of twists and turns for such a short sentence…

    lol…. quite…… thats more twists and turns than the highway road to Monte Carlo. ( or the Big Island road to Hana) Pass me the Gravol.

  62. Rube Foster says:

    … might as well play along with the theme of the day:)

    Puljujarvi – McDavid – Neal
    Nuge – Leon – Kassian
    Nygard – LINDBERG – Granlund
    Gagner – Khaira – Chiasson
    Haas – Gambardella

    If you squint real hard they almost appear to be two First Lines and two Third Lines. Which is a huge advancement from where we were pre Neal/Lucic swap. When we had one first line and three fourth lines.

  63. Andy Dufresne says:

    pts2pndr: I think you are close. Starting lineup if JP is still unsigned in my opinion would be:
    Drai – McDavid – Kass
    Nygard – Nuge- Neal
    JJ – Granlund – Chiasson
    Benson – Haas – Archi

    Gagner
    Team will dress 8 D until JP is signed. Once JP is signed the last two lines will be:
    JJ – Granlund – JP
    Archi – Haas – Chiasson

    Extra forward Gagner with Benson returned to the A.
    My hope is that they fit in the new signings and backfill with players from the A in the event of injuries.

    I think it should be

    Draisaitl……McDavid…..Kassian
    Do……..Whatever…….The
    F#ck……..You……….Want

  64. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Very unique situation in NHL history. I can’t for the life of me think of another elite C that was deployed more often as an elite W? Messier was a W early on but he broke out at as a C.

    Benn and Seguin still play together a ton.

    Sakic and Forsberg used to as well.

    Datsyuk and Zetterberg too.

    I don’t think it’s that uncommon

  65. Jethro Tull says:

    Bag of Pucks: When I was going to NAIT, I had a part time job as a mobile DJ. Did hall parties, after grads, weddings, etc. Great gig for a young guy. Had a blast.

    However, one weekend they sent me to Wainwright to play two nights at the Hotel. It was like a scene straight out of the Blues Brothers. Friday night they wanted line dancing. Saturday I MC’ed a wet tshirt night. Classy! Both nights the bar was full of bikers and soldiers from the base and by last call, the fists were flying. Full on brawl the second night. I was literally backing the gear out the door.

    I go to Canmore a couple weekends every year. I haven’t been back to Wainwright since!

    I met my wife whilst stationed at Wainwright with the British contingent. I take it you are talking about JD’s? Or maybe Wuzzies. Could be a rough town if you didn’t have one eye sober.

  66. Jethro Tull says:

    I feel we’re close to LT running a The Jam/Style Council/Paul Weller RE series….

  67. defmn says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Benn and Seguin still play together a ton.

    Sakic and Forsberg used to as well.

    Datsyuk and Zetterberg too.

    I don’t think it’s that uncommon

    Harder in the cap era though. You need a competent draft policy and good management providing cheap top end players.

  68. GMB3 says:

    Primetime: I’m certainly not against giving anybody a shot on McDavid’s line (as indicated by my post above), but not sure why expecting Marody to be a good 3C is a fools errand.

    NHL history is littered with much more talented/highly touted offensive players, that were just not good enough at this level, but adapted their games to be more successful on the 3rd line.The Oilers alone can boast several first round draft picks that did so, either on their team or once they were traded:

    Cleary
    Reasoner
    Moreau
    Cogliano

    All much better offensive prospects than Marody and had to make their niche in NHL playing 3rd lines

    Cogliano has spent a lot his time in Anaheim as a second line left wing hasn’t he? Playing with Kesler.

    I believe Marody’s #’s as an AHL rookie are superior to Cleary and Reasoner.

    I think expecting him to play centre at the NHL at all is unlikely I guess. He’s pretty slow,.

  69. GMB3 says:

    defmn: Harder in the cap era though. You need a competent draft policy and good management providing cheap top end players.

    Dallas has the same issue Edmonton has had too. Lack of support scoring

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    Primetime: I’m certainly not against giving anybody a shot on McDavid’s line (as indicated by my post above), but not sure why expecting Marody to be a good 3C is a fools errand.

    NHL history is littered with much more talented/highly touted offensive players, that were just not good enough at this level, but adapted their games to be more successful on the 3rd line.The Oilers alone can boast several first round draft picks that did so, either on their team or once they were traded:

    Cleary
    Reasoner
    Moreau
    Cogliano

    All much better offensive prospects than Marody and had to make their niche in NHL playing 3rd lines

    Strome.

  71. Harpers Hair says:

    GMB3: Dallas has the same issue Edmonton has had too. Lack of support scoring

    Radulov, Pavelski, Hintz and Perry may have something to say about that. Never mind Klingberg and Heiskanen.

  72. Rhoethbeort says:

    Wait, are you saying the Oilers should move Draisaitl, their first 50-goal scorer in over 30 years, out of the top-six and give him reduced minuted centring the third line? Am I reading that right?

  73. Reja says:

    Rube Foster: That may be true, but were not those very Hockey Men the ones responsible for treating Puljujarvi’s professional development like a wreckless yo-yo trick gone wrong?

    Here’s to hoping the new Hockey Men in town can pave a path for a Jesse Re-boot.There is talk today on this very fine site about pairing Benson with McDavid, and lots of speculation regarding potential line combinations, inspired by our host’s musings. If we’re so desperate for a fit on the wing with Connor that we’re proposing a raw rookie like Benson, should we not for a moment consider Jesse Puljujarvi for that spot?

    If you start the line-up musings with a combination of a happy & healthy Jesse 2.0 and Connor, and FILL-IN THE BLANK. I will posit (thanks OP) that every subsequent line combination you can theorize is far more balanced and skilled.

    I am hoping that Mr. Holland recognizes this as well.

    Jesse’s camp went Public even with the organizational changes he still doesn’t want to play for the city of Edmonton. If he and his mouthpiece change there stance and sign a friendly contract for Holland I can’t see old school Tippett gifting him first line minutes. Benson has been working his ass off and if he’s ready for top 6 which I believe he is By George Tippett will slot him in.

  74. SkatinginSand says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    Hana is on Maui, not the Big Island.

  75. Johnny Larue says:

    Jethro Tull: I met my wife whilst stationed at Wainwright with the British contingent. I take it you are talking about JD’s? Or maybe Wuzzies. Could be a rough town if you didn’t have one eye sober.

    So funny I had buddies from the Hat and Wainwright always crying about the brits stealing their women. It was the accent that got em eh. We used to laugh and bug the hell out of them.

  76. JimmyV1965 says:

    defmn: Remember when we had Eberle, Hall & Yakupov had just been drafted and it was common knowledge here and elsewhere that it was a lot easier to find wingers than centres or dmen?

    If you put $21 mil on 2/3 of one line any roster mistake you make after that with no ELC help coming means you are a one line team.

    I think we can both agree that this team has roster mistakes on it.

    It may be shuffling deck chairs but even with deck chairs you can choose to spread them out for balance or pile them all on one side of the boat.

    I prefer to spread for balance and long term growth.

    Get good players, play them in their natural position.

    If you run Drai at C, you are then running RNH on the wing. Shuffling deck chairs. You can blow me over with a feather if any coach would run McDavid, Drai and RNH as three centres, given our situation at wing. It simply won’t happen.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    Add Puljujarvi to the lineup and with him and Neal in the mix, there is the potential to run the three centres.

    With some consistent minutes and linemates, I’m confident Jesse is a top 9 NHL winger.

  78. defmn says:

    JimmyV1965: If you run Drai at C, you are then running RNH on the wing. Shuffling deck chairs. You can blow me over with a feather if any coach would run McDavid, Drai and RNH as three centres, given our situation at wing. It simply won’t happen.

    I don’t think we would ever see all three as centres. I just think that it is time for Draisaitl to play centre since I don’t see Nuge as a long term Oiler and it is time to “start as you mean to go” to quote our host.

  79. rickithebear says:

    LT: I recognize that list of your.
    It is even scoring not pointing.
    But saying their is a drop off after Mcdavid & Nug is not unusual.
    You can say that about every fwd in the league but Tavares, Ovechkin, guetzel, Skinner.

    Evg total rank
    1-31 1st line
    32-62 2nd line
    63-93 3rd line
    94-124 4th line

    18-19
    Mcdavid #2 C 31 evg, Tavares #1 37
    Draisaitl #1 RW 31 evg
    RNH #31 C 19 evg, same as Bergeron, Couture, Kopitar, Giroux, Backlund
    Kassian #38 RW 14 evg, same as j. Williams, Hayes, Buchnevich, R. Smith, Frolik
    Chaisson #44 RW 13 evg same as Bailey, Keller, Donskoi, Panik, Hinistroza, virtanen, Joseph
    Archibald #52 RW 12 evg same as Eberle, Simmonds, Hornquist, D. brown, Sprong, Hartman, Wagner
    Granlund #62 RW 10 evg same as Toffoli, Armia, Kate, Ennis
    Gagner #83 RW 5 evg same as Backes, Clutterbuck, Grimaldi, Grunstrom
    Neal #94 LW 5 evg same as Boedker, Kunitz, Hagelin, Raffl, Erne, Seney
    Seven 2nd line fwds by evg
    2 1st line C by evg.

    Goal scorers generate points.
    Passers recieve assists ( points).
    The choice of who/ were they pass to ( strong open HD SH players) is critical to what efficiency ( per pocession) they receive assists.
    How many great passes fail cause the passer chooses to pass to a poor open shot forward in a less than ideal HD area position.

    But is not about options for the passer cause most on here do not think accurate direct targeting open HD Shot fwds are a priority. ( top 2 lines evg production)

    Based on roster selection most on here think is better to get high eva (recieving) passers with slightly better than average open HD shooting.

    EVA:
    Mcdavid #1 C 50 eva
    Draisaitl #4 42 eva behind Kucherov, Marner, Kane
    RNH #53 C 21 Eva same as E. Stall, Little, Gourde
    Khaira #50 LW 14 eva same as pacioretty, Zucker, Byron, Iafallo, Taney, Crouse, Hagelin
    Kassian #59 RW 11 Eva same as Okposo, Goldobin, Joseph, Reeves
    Chaisson, Granlund #74 RW 8 Eva same as Backes, Grimaldi, Sikorsky, Hathaway
    Neal #91 LW 8 eva same as Balcers, M. Martin
    Gagner #79 RW 7 Eva same as Stafford, Fisher, Wagner

    It is quite simple to opine about a teams off quality.
    It is much more simple to check evg generation, PPG generation, PKG reduction.

    Which I have posted many times on here.

    Inaccurate opinion is delusion!

  80. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Players are more loyal to their drafting team than after they’ve been traded. Look at how Hall reacted to his trade, he was crushed even with all the knives out for him before hand from the org etc.

    I think Nuge stays If they want him and have cap, no worries.

  81. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: With some consistent minutes and linemates, I’m confident Jesse is a top 9 NHL winger.

    Even without those conditions I’m confident that a healthy JP is a top-9 NHL winger.

  82. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Top 6 players don’t play in the bottom 6 because of the TOI as Woodguy pointed out. No unicorns I’m afraid.

    The only issue getting wingers the Oilers have is a lack of cap, and that Holland doesn’t want to burn his assets at this point or so he says. They aren’t as hard to sign or acquired as the other positions and are available frequently such as Kessel every 3-4 years it seems.

  83. Rube Foster says:

    Reja: Jesse’s camp went Public even with the organizational changes he still doesn’t want to play for the city of Edmonton. If he and his mouthpiece change there stance and sign a friendly contract for Holland I can’t see old school Tippett gifting him first line minutes. Benson has been working his ass off and if he’s ready for top 6 which I believe he is By George Tippett will slot him in.

    Brother Reja,

    Tippet refusing to play Puljujarvi in the top six because he and his agent “hurt the feelings” of the Oilers organization would be… so Oilers.

    Incidentally, I am pleased to report that is not how Holland dealt with Andreas Athanasiou when he returned from his hold out with the Red Wing.

    I am hopeful that the Oilers have moved past the “Sheldon Souray Approach to Dispute Resolution” which in it’s simplest form translates to – it is significantly more important to the Oilers Management to screw a disgruntled player over than it is to ice the best possible line-up to win NHL Hockey games.

    How the Oilers resolve the “Jesse Situation” will be very revealing about the new Management Team and if in fact, management is changing for the better. The fact that Puljujarvi has not been traded for pennies on the dollar and the fact that Holland is being patient and leaving the door open for a Puljujarvi return to the Oilers is a very promising sign of positive change.

    I am huge Benson fan, and I hope he eventually materializes as a useful NHL top nine option for the Oilers. But Reja my friend, you have been drinking a bit too much of the Old School Oilers Kool-aid if you believe that Benson is a better NHL player today than Puljujavi:)

  84. defmn says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Players are more loyal to their drafting team than after they’ve been traded. Look at how Hall reacted to his trade, he was crushed even with all the knives out for him before hand from the org etc.

    I think Nuge stays If they want him and have cap, no worries.

    Part of Hall’s reaction was the optimism of drafting McDavid and thinking they would play together on a winning team imo.

    Not sure Nuge will feel the same way when he gets to UFA given that this season is not exactly a slam dunk for playoffs. I know I am guessing but most athletes want to win more than anything else. Not sure this team can convince Nuge after all these years that the future will be different than the past even though we, as fans, hope it will be.

    And I say this as a fan of Nuge.

  85. ashley says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    The way to run unicorns is to simply have way more talent but it’s really rare.

    Indeed, and yet the Flames have managed to pull off a double unicorn. I was looking through their roster and wondering how they manage to pay for all that talent. Some of it is kids bubbling up to establish themselves – the ELC value contracts. But the rest of it is just amazing high value contracts almost across the board. Except Lucic (ha!). How did they manage to get so many players to play for less than they are worth? Was it good timing, good negotation, or maybe both? Something else?

    Looking at the Evolving contract projections, all the big name Flames players are underpaid.

    Consequently, they can run 4 scoring lines. No wonder they were so dominant last year. I don’t buy the narrative that they are a mediocre team because they last to COL in the first round. COL is good too, and they got some breaks vs the Flames in a short series.

    My final thought is where does Lucic fit on that roster? He’s not even better than the guys that will be in the PB. What are they going to do with him?

    I can see why Neal looked bad on that roster. Relatively speaking, he kind of was. The good news for him is that he will look good on our roster. Relatively speaking.

  86. defmn says:

    Rube Foster: Brother Reja,

    Tippet refusing to play Puljujarvi in the top six because he and his agent “hurt the feelings” of the Oilers organization would be… so Oilers.

    Incidentally, I am pleased to report that is not how Holland dealt with Andreas Athanasiou when he returned from his hold out with the Red Wing.

    I am hopeful that the Oilers have moved past the“Sheldon Souray Approach to Dispute Resolution” which in it’s simplest form translates to –it is significantly more important to the Oilers Management to screw a disgruntled player over than it is to ice the best possible line-up to win NHL Hockey games.

    How the Oilers resolve the “Jesse Situation” will be very revealing about the new Management Team and if in fact, management is changing for the better. The fact that Puljujarvi has not been traded for pennies on the dollar and the fact that Holland is being patient and leaving the door open for a Puljujarvi return to the Oilers is a very promising sign of positive change.

    I am huge Benson fan, and I hope he eventually materializes as a useful NHL top nine option for the Oilers.But Reja my friend,you have been drinking a bit too much of the Old School Oilers Kool-aid if you believe that Benson is a better NHL player today than Puljujavi:)

    I know we heard that Connor had phoned Jesse when this all blew up a few weeks ago. I wonder if anybody else on the team did the same thing.

  87. Reja says:

    Rube Foster: Brother Reja,

    Tippet refusing to play Puljujarvi in the top six because he and his agent “hurt the feelings” of the Oilers organization would be… so Oilers.

    Incidentally, I am pleased to report that is not how Holland dealt with Andreas Athanasiou when he returned from his hold out with the Red Wing.

    I am hopeful that the Oilers have moved past the“Sheldon Souray Approach to Dispute Resolution” which in it’s simplest form translates to –it is significantly more important to the Oilers Management to screw a disgruntled player over than it is to ice the best possible line-up to win NHL Hockey games.

    How the Oilers resolve the “Jesse Situation” will be very revealing about the new Management Team and if in fact, management is changing for the better. The fact that Puljujarvi has not been traded for pennies on the dollar and the fact that Holland is being patient and leaving the door open for a Puljujarvi return to the Oilers is a very promising sign of positive change.

    I am huge Benson fan, and I hope he eventually materializes as a useful NHL top nine option for the Oilers.But Reja my friend,you have been drinking a bit too much of the Old School Oilers Kool-aid if you believe that Benson is a better NHL player today than Puljujavi:)

    Wow your bringing up Souray is totally from left field no compassion. Jesse is not holding out for money he doesn’t want to play for the Oilers. Why would you gift a 4 goal scorer top line are you trying to piss off Leon and Mcdavid on purpose not going to happen. Your selling Benson on the short I believe he will end up with more Career points and be a valuable leader on my beloved Oilers.

  88. Numenius says:

    defmn: I know we heard that Connor had phoned Jesse when this all blew up a few weeks ago. I wonder if anybody else on the team did the same thing.

    I wonder how much of Jesse’s resolute disgruntlement with the Oilers was with Lucic more than anybody. It’s hard to imagine things could have been so bad with Connor and Draisaitl to make Jesse so obstinate.

    I hope that’s it, because if so, trading Lucic will gain us back Jesse in addition to Neal (and his better buyout).

  89. GMB3 says:

    Harpers Hair: Radulov, Pavelski, Hintz and Perry may have something to say about that. Never mindKlingberg and Heiskanen.

    Has had in the past *

  90. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Reja,

    – Expecting anything more than 40 games and minimal point production this year is not reasonable for Benson:

    https://bluebulletreport.com/

    – The only path for Benson to be an impactful player this year is on a 3C roster and he gets zoomed with CMD like Crosby does with young wingers.

    Benson-CMD-Neal
    Holland Pickup-Drai-Chiasson
    Jar-RNH-Pool

    * and if Neal is done Kassian plays with CMD

  91. Harpers Hair says:

    GMB3: Has had in the past *

    Pavelski scored 38 goals last season.
    Radulov scored 29.
    Klingberg is good for 60 points.
    That is secondary scoring.

  92. pts2pndr says:

    Concur:
    I like your hopeful line combinations, and I agree that another center would be an upgrade over Khaira.If Tippet wants to put Gagner with skill, you need someone else besides Khaira.

    Khaira is a bonafide NHL player. Various coaches have used him as a Swiss army knife. His only true stint as a centre was for one year in the AHL. Not even JP has been jerked around more than Khaira. The difference in the two is expectation due to draft pedigree. JJ is one of the best value players on the team!

  93. HT Joe says:

    As crazy as Unicorns may seem, I’m still hoping the coach tries it… it’s apparently the best way to reduce McDavid’s and Draisatl’s minutes logged, while still giving RNH a meaningful role.

    I would keep Kassian with McDavid. Good success.
    I would keep Chiasson with Draisatl. Past success.
    I would play the new RW with RNH –> Neal (goal scorer to RNH’s playmaker).

    Based on friendship and offseason training, play Khaira with RNH (chemistry?)
    Try Granlund to fill in the Reider role on 2nd line.
    Try Benson with McDavid… looked really good last year in the AHL.

    Benson – McDavid – Kassian –> 1 line
    Granlund – Draisatl – Chiasson –> 2a line
    Khaira – RNH – Neal –> 2b line

    Maybe??

  94. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    HT Joe,

    – Your lines are close to mine. I strongly suspect they will start Neal with CMD though on his RW which is his preference and most success. They trained together and if they can get Neal some goals it looks good in management

    – If Pool comes back surely one of he and Neal will work out with one of the C non? 20 goals from either one would be huge.

    – I get that Drai and CMD are elite together and winning the first line battle means a lot but I think you have to develop wingers and they need Cs to do so.

  95. pts2pndr says:

    Reja: Jesse’s camp went Public even with the organizational changes he still doesn’t want to play for the city of Edmonton. If he and his mouthpiece change there stance and sign a friendly contract for Holland I can’t see old school Tippett gifting him first line minutes. Benson has been working his ass off and if he’s ready for top 6 which I believe he is By George Tippett will slot him in.

    JP’s overall skill package is better than Benson’s. Benson has earned a shot and the big question is, is his skating NHL level. I want them both to succeed but bottom line to me, as an Oiler fan I want the coach to do what is best for the team. Short answer the player that best helps the team plays. This isn’t or shouldn’t be political.

  96. pts2pndr says:

    Rube Foster: Brother Reja,

    Tippet refusing to play Puljujarvi in the top six because he and his agent “hurt the feelings” of the Oilers organization would be… so Oilers.

    Incidentally, I am pleased to report that is not how Holland dealt with Andreas Athanasiou when he returned from his hold out with the Red Wing.

    I am hopeful that the Oilers have moved past the“Sheldon Souray Approach to Dispute Resolution” which in it’s simplest form translates to –it is significantly more important to the Oilers Management to screw a disgruntled player over than it is to ice the best possible line-up to win NHL Hockey games.

    How the Oilers resolve the “Jesse Situation” will be very revealing about the new Management Team and if in fact, management is changing for the better. The fact that Puljujarvi has not been traded for pennies on the dollar and the fact that Holland is being patient and leaving the door open for a Puljujarvi return to the Oilers is a very promising sign of positive change.

    I am huge Benson fan, and I hope he eventually materializes as a useful NHL top nine option for the Oilers.But Reja my friend,you have been drinking a bit too much of the Old School Oilers Kool-aid if you believe that Benson is a better NHL player today than Puljujavi:)

    Thank You! I should have read through the entire thread before my post.

  97. pts2pndr says:

    defmn: I don’t think we would ever see all three as centres. I just think that it is time for Draisaitl to play centre since I don’t see Nuge as a long term Oiler and it is time to “start as you mean to go” to quote our host.

    I believe you are both correct to a degree. It is incumbent on the Oilers to assure they have a top six forward to play with Connor to replace Drai prior to moving him to second line centre. To move Nuge prematurely is in my opinion very foolish.

  98. Scungilli Slushy says:

    pts2pndr: JP’s overall skill package is better than Benson’s. Benson has earned a shot and the big question is, is his skating NHL level. I want them both to succeed but bottom line to me, as an Oiler fan I want the coach to do what is best for the team. Short answer the player that best helps the team plays. This isn’t or shouldn’t be political.

    We need to hope if JP comes back that he isn’t now a chronically hampered player. Pretty weird surgery for a young guy, I’m not a doctor but would imagine his hips will remain an issue for him. Poor kid.

  99. GMB3 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: We need to hope if JP comes back that he isn’t now a chronically hampered player. Pretty weird surgery for a young guy, I’m not a doctor but would imagine his hips will remain an issue for him. Poor kid.

    It’s an arthroscopic surgery and fairly minor. Recovery shouldn’t be an issue.

  100. defmn says:

    pts2pndr: I believe you are both correct to a degree. It is incumbent on the Oilers to assure they have a top six forward to play with Connor to replace Drai prior to moving him to second line centre. To moveNuge prematurely is in my opinion very foolish.

    As I said, though, I would only move Nuge if a true 1st line winger with term came available with Nuge going the other way. Add and subtract as required.

  101. GMB3 says:

    Harpers Hair: Pavelski scored 38 goals last season.
    Radulov scored 29.
    Klingbergis good for 60 points.
    That is secondary scoring.

    As in that’s the issue they have had in the past. The Stars with Seguin and Benn on one line have struggled with secondary scoring. JFC I honestly thought that was fairly easy to figure out.

  102. Reja says:

    pts2pndr: JP’s overall skill package is better than Benson’s. Benson has earned a shot and the big question is, is his skating NHL level. I want them both to succeed but bottom line to me, as an Oiler fan I want the coach to do what is best for the team. Short answer the player that best helps the team plays. This isn’t or shouldn’t be political.

    I don’t think so Benson has elite passing skills which a lot of posters don’t seem to value. He also has high hockey IQ knows how to play with his line mates and is a darn good fore-checker. I watched him with the Giants and a bit with Bakersfield if it wasn’t for losing a year and half of development he would be a established top 6 forward on our team.

  103. HT Joe says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Do we know if either Kassian or JP can effectively play LW? That would really open up line combo options.

    Right now, I have it in my head that Neal, Kassian, and Chiasson have the top 3 RW spots… this could leave JP on the 4th line (assuming he returns to Edmonton)

  104. pts2pndr says:

    defmn: As I said, though, I would only move Nuge if a true 1st line winger with term came available with Nuge going the other way. Add and subtract as required.

    I know that would work but my concern is our pro scouting has been less than stellar.

  105. pts2pndr says:

    HT Joe:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Do we know if either Kassian or JP can effectively play LW?That would really open up line combo options.

    Right now, I have it in my head that Neal, Kassian, and Chiasson have the top 3 RW spots… this could leave JP on the 4th line (assuming he returns to Edmonton)

    Chiasson’s contract price point is such that playing him on the fourth line and moving him to fill in as required on the right side re slumps or injury would not be egregious.

  106. defmn says:

    pts2pndr: I know that would work but my concern is our pro scouting has been less than stellar.

    Can’t disagree with that.

  107. pts2pndr says:

    Reja: I don’t think so Benson has elite passing skills which a lot of posters don’t seem to value. He also has high hockey IQ knows how to play with his line mates and is a darn good fore-checker. I watched him with the Giants and a bit with Bakersfield if it wasn’t for losing a year and half of development he would be a established top 6 forward on our team.

    With Benson being a natural left wing and JP a right wing they should for all purposes not be competing for the same position. My point is that it is imperative in my opinion that the coach should play whichever player makes the team better. I am a Benson fan and believe if he makes the team he will be arguably the third best passer on the team.

  108. defmn says:

    HT Joe:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Right now, I have it in my head that Neal, Kassian, and Chiasson have the top 3 RW spots… this could leave JP on the 4th line (assuming he returns to Edmonton)

    Don’t forget Archibald.

  109. pts2pndr says:

    defmn: Don’t forget Archibald.

    I believe Archibald plays both wings but is a right shot. His speed makes him a better choice than Chiasson for bottom two lines and he is reputed to be a good penalty killer.

  110. defmn says:

    pts2pndr: I believe Archibald plays both wings but is a right shot. His speed makes him a better choice than Chiasson for bottom two lines and he is reputed to be a good penalty killer.

    My understanding as well. I believe that is why our host tends to list Neal on the left wing.

    Going to be an interesting camp and fall. I am looking forward to watching Holland’s moves up close.

  111. Rube Foster says:

    Reja: Wow your bringing up Souray is totally from left field no compassion. Jesse is not holding out for money he doesn’t want to play for the Oilers. Why would you gift a 4 goal scorer top line are you trying to piss off Leon and Mcdavid on purpose not going to happen. Your selling Benson on the short I believe he will end up with more Career points and be a valuableleader on my beloved Oilers.

    Reja,

    You missed my point entirely regarding Souray.

    I have nothing but empathy for Puljujarvi and I concur with most folks in these parts that his career development path has been handled horribly by the Oilers. I also believe that there is no better opportunity for Jesse Puljujarvi to develop as an NHL payer than in a top six role with the Oilers to start the 2019 NHL season.

    Frankly, the Oilers current depth at wing is so lacking that there is no evident reason why Jesse should not be one of their top options for a skill line.

    My point in raising Souray, is that he was a disgruntled player – that is all he has in common with Puljujarvi. Rather than find a path to reconciliation with Souray or build up his value as an asset so that they could trade him for something of value, the Oilers management thought it was more important to take the vindictive path of burying him in the minors, on someone else’s farm team, while paying his substantial salary.

    In the Souray Affair, Oilers Management were so malfeasant that they placed the importance of their hurt feelings over putting the best line-up on the ice or returning the best value for an asset. Just because it sounds insane doesn’t mean that it isn’t true.

    You and some other’s here seem to be hurt that Jesse and his team have the gall to object to how the Oiler’s have handled his career to date. I compare Souray to Puljujarvi only to point out that being vindictive to Jesse and his agent will ultimately hurt the Oilers more than it helps.

    If Holland can engineer a reconciliation with Team Jesse he should be applauded. And, if a healthy and happy Jesse Puljujarvi laces up his skates for the Edmonton Oilers this year and earns an opportunity to play in the top six he will most certainly be a better option than Benson.

    With that said, I’m cheering like hell for Benson. I hope that Benson has a long and productive career with our Oilers. I also hope that the Oilers do not rush him and end up yo-yo-ing him between the NHL, the press box and Bakersfield like they’ve done to Yamamoto. Let Benson tear the cover off the ball in Bakersfield before you bring him up, it’s his best development route to the NHL.

    In Holland we trust.

  112. Reja says:

    pts2pndr: With Benson being a natural left wing and JP a right wing they should for all purposes not be competing for the same position. My point is that it is imperative in my opinion that the coach should play whichever player makes the team better. I am a Benson fan and believe if he makes the team he will be arguably the third best passer on the team.

    I believe Jesse will be traded with a draft pick or a D prospect or maybe Holland hits the daily double (Lucic) and gets rid of the Russell contract with Jesse. This happening after the 2nd buy-out window and once the shoe drops on some of Jesse’s draft class juicy signings. I could be wrong and Jesse could sign a Friendly 2 year contract and turn into a 15-20 goal semi-power forward. I just can’t see it happening in a Oiler jersey after he went public that he doesn’t want to play for Edmonton.

  113. rickithebear says:

    Last year
    Mcdavid 24 evg – Draisaitl 24 evg 888 EVTOI
    That is 1.62 evg/60 each

    As I have shown before.
    Playing them apart with others drags down their evg/60 to 1.25 and 1.27

    Without
    Draisaitl 595 EVTOI 7 evg
    .71 evg/60
    Mcdavid 577 EVTOI 7 evg
    .73 evg/60

    What world do you not play them like a Top Dpair. 1200+ min a season.

  114. Sierra says:

    GMB3: It’s an arthroscopic surgery and fairly minor. Recovery shouldn’t be an issue.

    Having had arthroscopic hip surgery I disagree with your post.

  115. Reja says:

    Rube Foster: Reja,

    You missed my point entirely regarding Souray.

    I have nothing but empathy for Puljujarvi and I concur with most folks in these parts that his career development path has been handled horribly by the Oilers. I also believe that there is no better opportunity for Jesse Puljujarvi to develop as an NHL payer than in a top six role with the Oilers to start the 2019 NHL season.

    Frankly, the Oilers current depth at wing is so lacking that there is no evident reason why Jesse should not be one of their top options for a skill line.

    My point in raising Souray, is that he was a disgruntled player – that is all he has in common with Puljujarvi.Rather than find a path to reconciliation with Souray or build up his value as an asset so that they could trade him for something of value, the Oilers management thought it was more important to take the vindictive path of burying him in the minors, on someone else’s farm team, while paying his substantial salary.

    In the Souray Affair, Oilers Management were so malfeasant that they placed the importance of their hurt feelings over putting the best line-up on the ice or returning the best value for an asset. Just because it sounds insane doesn’t mean that it isn’t true.

    You and some other’s here seem to be hurt that Jesse and his team have the gall to object to how the Oiler’s have handled his career to date.I compare Souray to Puljujarvi only to point out that being vindictive to Jesse and his agent will ultimately hurt the Oilers more than it helps.

    If Holland can engineer a reconciliation with Team Jesse he should be applauded.And, if a healthy and happy Jesse Puljujarvi laces up his skates for the Edmonton Oilers this year and earns an opportunity to play in the top six he will most certainly be a better option than Benson.

    With that said, I’m cheering like hell for Benson. I hope that Benson has a long and productive career with our Oilers. I also hope that the Oilers do not rush him and end up yo-yo-ing him between the NHL, the press box and Bakersfield like they’ve done to Yamamoto.Let Benson tear the cover off the ball in Bakersfield before you bring him up, it’s his best development route to the NHL.

    In Holland we trust.

    Benson is a skilled forward he’s 21 his time is now he will be on the opening day roster. Jesse doesn’t want to play here either Holland finds a deal which I think will happen or it’s off to Europe.

  116. Primetime says:

    Reja: Benson is a skilled forward he’s 21 his time is now he will be on the opening day roster. Jesse doesn’t want to play here either Holland finds a deal which I think will happen or it’s off to Europe.

    At last report, Holland couldn’t find a deal and has maybe given up for now. He gave the agent the ok to go ahead and try and find a team on his own. That usually means no team is interested enough to give a decent return and the agent is being told to go and sell JPs attributes on his own.

  117. Munny says:

    Rube Foster: I concur with most folks in these parts that his career development path has been handled horribly by the Oilers

    I don’t believe there’s any sort of consensus on this around these parts.

  118. Munny says:

    GMB3: As in that’s the issue they have had in the past. The Stars with Seguin and Benn on one line have struggled with secondary scoring. JFC I honestly thought that was fairly easy to figure out.

    Welcome to DSF world.

  119. ArmchairGM says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Top 6 players don’t play in the bottom 6 because of the TOI as Woodguy pointed out. No unicorns I’m afraid.

    Traditionally, yes. But I’d like to know why coaches don’t roll 3 good lines and reserve the 4th for PK duty +3-5 minutes of 5v5 per game. If you’re dividing 50 minutes of 5v5 thus: 17 / 15 / 15 / 3. The 4th liners get lots of PK time and the best 4 out of the top-9 get as much PP time as possible.

    Unicorns can be done, it just needs a shift in thinking from the coaching staff.

  120. London Jon says:

    Sierra: Having had arthroscopic hip surgery I disagree with your post.

    Yeah, I’ve had one as well.

    Surprisingly long and hard recovery for
    something that sounds non-invasive.

    Depends on what was repaired, but my hip scope was pretty much the same recovery as my ACL tear.

    They wouldn’t have gone in if there wasn’t something material to fix…

  121. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    rickithebear:
    Last year
    Mcdavid 24 evg – Draisaitl 24 evg 888 EVTOI
    That is 1.62 evg/60 each

    As I have shown before.
    Playing them apart with others drags down their evg/60 to 1.25 and 1.27

    Without
    Draisaitl 595 EVTOI 7 evg
    .71 evg/60
    Mcdavid 577 EVTOI 7 evg
    .73 evg/60

    What world do you not play them like a Top Dpair. 1200+ min a season.

    – I think sum of the parts is flip side. Load up a top line is compelling. But with constant wingers, they both score evg’s in the 1.4 range, and RNH 1.2 on a line with good winger.

    – Then on 3×3 and when need be and PP you load them up.

    – Just get to 3×3 should be the game plan each game

    – Anyway that’s what I’d do: 3 lines, give wingers a chance with skill: I know they won’t though

  122. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Reja:
    Jesse doesn’t want to play here either

    – Jesse, 4rth overall pick, with some sick skills, 3 years in: he wants to play with a skilled C, and get some PP time to use his hammer. If I’m him, he’s totally right. He’s ready

    – If new regime doesn’t afford him this, and wants to teach him more lessons he will go elsewhere

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