The Greatest Discovery

Kevin Shattenkirk signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night, some Oilers fans held some hope the veteran would land in Edmonton. The Oilers have three legit RH blue who count moving the puck as a real strength, all of them outside the NHL so far in their careers. Ken Holland is right to hold back on spending dollars and a roster spot on a veteran, it’s time to see what Joel Persson, Ethan Bear and Evan Bouchard can deliver.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group, here’s an incredible Offer!

  • New Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options for the Oilers over the next seven months.
  • New Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto has the talent to win a job with the Oilers on merit, if he’s healthy.
  • Jonathan Willis: Jesse Puljujarvi still has upside and the Oilers’ patient approach is the right one
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Dave Tippett on rounding out his coaching staff, fixing Oilers’ special teams and using Connor McDavid
  • Lowetide: Handicapping the Oilers’ young defencemen and their chances of replacing Andrej Sekera
  • Lowetide: Is Kirill Maksimov progressing as the Edmonton Oilers’ next great hope for a true homegrown sniper?
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers ease pressure on crowded defensive pipeline by trading John Marino to the Penguins
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2021-22 Oilers might look like after their steady build toward contender status
  • 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.

NHLE’S

Based on NHLE (and age) we can list Marody, Benson, Gambardella, Nygard, Currie and Haas as the forwards most likely to contribute in the NHL.

On defense? Bit more difficult because so much of the game for blue comes without the puck. I think we’re safe in listing Bouchard, Persson, Bear, Jones and Lagesson, although not in that order.

Could signing Shattenkirk have helped? Sure. However, the Oilers have to find out about these blue, sooner than later.

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130 Responses to "The Greatest Discovery"

  1. Brantford Boy says:

    A few years back (maybe 3), I was all for making a trade for Shattenkirk, however, the asset(s) out at the time would have most likely been Nurse, Eberle or Nuge… so no thanks on a player with maybe 2 years left to free agency… glad we kept our powder dry, although Chiarelli was dumping other assets and picks like ice melt on an Edmonton sidewalk in February. Now, we have a good line of blue pushing, and agree, it’s time to see what these young men can do. I’m circling Persson and Jones to get the push.

  2. John Chambers says:

    Brantford Boy,

    As underwhelming as Hall-for-Larsson was, Hall for Shattenkirk, or Hall for Ceci would’ve been much much worse.

    Here’s hoping Larsson has found a quality acupuncturist in Sweden.

  3. OilersFuture says:

    Marino can now be removed

  4. Glovjuice says:

    Ponder this:

    In three successive years Wayne Gretzky was ahead of the second player in NHL scoring by 73, 74, and 75 points. Basically a full point per game ahead of second. Essentially, he wins the Art Ross each year with ZERO goals in three full seasons.

  5. Reja says:

    Looks like Shattenkirk going to try padding his stats with the regular season scoring machine Lightning. If he chalks up a shit load of points he will get another nice 2 year contract somewhere. Oilers already have a better PP specialist if they want and his name is Bouchard and he will be pushing like mad to make the team out of training camp.

  6. Woogie63 says:

    What is the big deal if Jesse plays in Europe for a year?

    After a great year in the SHL Nygard earns a $1.9M contract
    After a great year in the KHL Gustov earns a $9.0M contract
    After a great year in the NHL Panarin earns a $82M contract

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Even if Shatternkirk made sense for the Oilers as far as roster construction and cap hit, lets not forget that its been confirmed all 7 Canadian teams were on his no trade list.

    I don’t imagine he would have signed with Edmonton unless there was a material overpay in AAV and/or term and, of course, the Oilers aren’t in a position to do that.

    Yes, relying on Joel Persson/Caleb Jones/Ethan Bear/Evan Bouchard to fill that right side defence role is a risk but signing Shatternkirk for term is a greater risk as its a risk with future implications.

    If Matty Benning can solidify that 2RD spot, things get much easier because i’m confortable the 3RD spot can be filled internally.

    Matty Benning and Oscar Klefbom have very nice numbers through the years and, of course, none of that is 3rd pairing (i.e. Klef) – I’ve go to think the following makes sense going in to camp:

    Nurse/Larsson
    Klefbom/Benning
    Russell/XXXX

    XXXX = Persson likely
    XXXX could = Jones but Tippett does prefer leftie rightie.

    I think we could see Jones in the AHL to start and Manning on the roster – solely for pressbox while Persson fills 3RD. If Persson fails and/or injuries happen, Jones/Laggeson get the call depending on handedness and/or type of player needed.

    To be clear, Manning is only on the roster to sit in the pressbox and for an emergency and so that Jones isn’t sitting in the press box.

    I wouldn’t mind:

    Jones(Lagesson)/Persson as the third pairing if they are proving to be capable but don’t imagine Tippett sits Russell to start the year.

  8. teddyturnbuckle says:

    I’m excited to see how the young D do this year. We needed the Sekera buyout just to look at a few of these guys as some of them will have to clear waivers next year.

  9. who says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Even if Shatternkirk made sense for the Oilers as far as roster construction and cap hit, lets not forget that its been confirmed all 7 Canadian teams were on his no trade list.

    I don’t imagine he would have signed with Edmonton unless there was a material overpay in AAV and/or term and, of course, the Oilers aren’t in a position to do that.

    Yes, relying on Joel Persson/Caleb Jones/Ethan Bear/Evan Bouchard to fill that right side defence role is a risk but signing Shatternkirk for term is a greater risk as its a risk with future implications.

    If Matty Benning can solidify that 2RD spot, things get much easier because i’m confortable the 3RD spot can be filled internally.

    Matty Benning and Oscar Klefbom have very nice numbers through the years and, of course, none of that is 3rd pairing (i.e. Klef) – I’ve go to think the following makes sense going in to camp:

    Nurse/Larsson
    Klefbom/Benning
    Russell/XXXX

    XXXX = Persson likely
    XXXX could = Jones but Tippett does prefer leftie rightie.

    I think we could see Jones in the AHL to start and Manning on the roster – solely for pressbox while Persson fills 3RD.If Persson fails and/or injuries happen, Jones/Laggeson get the call depending on handedness and/or type of player needed.

    To be clear, Manning is only on the roster to sit in the pressbox and for an emergency and so that Jones isn’t sitting in the press box.

    I wouldn’t mind:

    Jones(Lagesson)/Persson as the third pairing if they are proving to be capable but don’t imagine Tippett sits Russell to start the year.

    If Russell really does start the year out of the top 4 the Oilers are going to have an interesting potential problem. The team really needs to find out about Persson, Lagesson, Jones and Bear. This year.
    I’m sure they would like them all to start on the 3rd pairing but, if Russell is out, one of them goes directly to 2RD. Not ideal, in my opinion.
    Also, if 3 of the 4 prove they are ready, does Russell end up sitting? I can’t see it happening. If the team has any hope of trading Russell next summer he will need to be playing regularly this season.

  10. BONE207 says:

    I’m all for trying all these young defencemen this year. Hopefully we find some gold in those young defenders. It does hurt to waste another year of CONNOR but losing some quality prospects has to stop as well.

    I dream that all these Rent-a-Wingers play above their heads & we luck out with goal-tending to get into the playoffs.

    Yesterday’s discussion about Poolparty…
    I find it unimaginable that he & his agent do not see the opportunity to play with CONNOR as a unique event that could propel his value but also his quest for winning. Maybe some of you 20 year olds can correct me as to what is more important to you. I’d work my ass off & give my left nut (oh, wait…did that) to work out & aim for Stanley. What other reason would he want to stay in North America? The whole scenario is so bizarre.

  11. BONE207 says:

    Regarding yesterday’s Lee Fogolin write up…
    Lee was a carpenter
    Larsson uses the lumber
    Jesus was a carpenter

    Oilers need more carpenters & less plumbers

    PS…not sure Woodguy qualifies to be part of the above list. He’s more carpentee than carpenter & much more fun to poke fun at than Ricki.

  12. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    BONE207:
    I’m all for trying all these young defencemen this year. Hopefully we find some gold in those young defenders. It does hurt to waste another year of CONNOR but losing some quality prospects has to stop as well.

    I dream that all these Rent-a-Wingers play above their heads & we luck out with goal-tending to get into the playoffs.

    Yesterday’s discussion about Poolparty…
    I find it unimaginable that he & his agent do not see the opportunity to play with CONNOR as a unique event that could propel his value but also his quest for winning. Maybe some of you 20 year olds can correct me as to what is more important to you. I’d workmy ass off & give my left nut (oh, wait…did that) to work out & aim for Stanley. What other reason would he want to stay in North America? The whole scenario is so bizarre.

    Except that Connor doesn’t want to play with Jesse. Nor does Leon. Nuge? Probably lurking in the back hoping his name doesn’t get called. Has anyone heard of even one player coming out in Jesse’s defense. Hey, Jesse, come on back. We want you here. No hard feelings. Anyone? Just as I thought. Crickets.

  13. geowal says:

    who: If Russell really does start the year out ofthe top 4 the Oilers are going to have an interesting potential problem. The team really needs to find out about Persson, Lagesson, Jones and Bear. This year.
    I’m sure they would like them all to start on the 3rd pairing but, if Russell is out, one of them goes directly to 2RD.Not ideal, in my opinion.
    Also, if 3 of the 4 prove they are ready, does Russell end up sitting? I can’t see it happening. If the team has any hope of trading Russell next summer he will need to be playing regularly this season.

    I’d like to see Russell in the mentor spot more so than Benning, so I’m hoping for Benning as 2RD with Russell getting 3rd pair and pk with whoever young guy is playing, especially the young righties, and probably Jones too.

  14. BONE207 says:

    geowal: I’d like to see Russell in the mentor spot more so than Benning, so I’m hoping for Benning as 2RD with Russell getting 3rd pair and pk with whoever young guy is playing, especially the young righties, and probably Jones too.

    I’d like to see Benning start at 2RD as well.

    Meanwhile on 3rd pairing…
    So you tape this phonebook here & add some styrofoam there & you attack the shooter like this. You sprawl on the ice to cover the cross seam pass like this & you take this pill for the pain. Your hot tub should be near the snow bank in your yard with equal time spent in each during the winter months. Summer months are spent falling off 1 ton animals to prep you for the season. That’s it.

  15. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

    – I am in this camp. There is no campaign to keep pool.

    – Contrast this to when Lucic went to Calgary amd it was all hands on deck to get him

    – Whether Pool is going to be good or not it’s clear the oil don’t want to give him the opportunity to do so

    – no stories of Wayne calling him and saying I see you as Kurri to our new captain

    – no stories of Conner or Leon training with him in the summer

    – So the oil deserve what they get with pool. If indeed he’s no good fine.

    – Pool is frustrated and isolated and no one is reaching out to him. He’s right. But msm writing articles about how jesse doesn’t listen how no one likes him how he’s stubborn

    – we got what we deserved with jessie and his performance has been his performance. Best to hope he does a gusev and lights it up in khl and they trade him in a year.

  16. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – and the reason Jesse is right and the oil wrong is because your #4 pick who has had windows of elite play and some sample size stats that suggest a lot, he’s not playing on this team

    – sure call him the village idiot or a bumpkin or he has an idiot agent

    – But if the oil it want him playing on a skill line that’s there call. Jesse’s perogative to say f-u.

    – and the oil can be proud that they continue to teach him lessons away from game and make the call that they don’t want him

  17. Trevor457 says:

    In that article Tippet said that he prefers defencemen to play their natural side, but that some players’ style is better suited for playing the offside. He then said that he likes russel on his natural side. We are all assuming that he is absolutely sticking with defence playing their natural side, but maybe he just likes another player there better then russel. Maybe in studying game tape he saw something. My guss? Nurse. The main issue with a defence playing the offside is they cant protect the puck with their body and make a pass. Nurse is much more likely to skate the puck out. I think hes also athletic enoigh that if he is under pressure he can just skate into a better position. Nurse and Russell could then be 2nd pair, and benning/jones/persson for third.

  18. Reja says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – and the reason Jesse is right and the oil wrong is because your #4 pick who has had windows of elite play and some sample size stats that suggest a lot, he’s not playing on this team

    – sure call him the village idiot or a bumpkin or he has an idiot agent

    – But if the oil it want him playing on a skill line that’s there call.Jesse’s perogative to say f-u.

    – and the oil can be proud that they continue to teach him lessons away from game and make the call that they don’t want him

    On the bright side least the Oilers don’t have to pay a 34 goal scorer that can’t skate 8 mil a year.

  19. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Cooper Marody’s utility gives him an edge for an Oilers roster spot in 2019-20
    https://theathletic.com/1115919/2019/08/05/lowetide-cooper-marodys-utility-gives-him-an-edge-for-an-oilers-roster-spot-in-2019-20/

  20. JimmyV1965 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – and the reason Jesse is right and the oil wrong is because your #4 pick who has had windows of elite play and some sample size stats that suggest a lot, he’s not playing on this team

    – sure call him the village idiot or a bumpkin or he has an idiot agent

    – But if the oil it want him playing on a skill line that’s there call.Jesse’s perogative to say f-u.

    – and the oil can be proud that they continue to teach him lessons away from game and make the call that they don’t want him

    It’s fine to step up for JP, but to suggest the Oilers are continuing to teach him lessons is a bit ridiculous. The team has two choices. Trade him or not trade him. Are you suggesting they give the player away?

  21. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    JimmyV1965,

    – I’m suggesting that in the absent of commercials telling him how beautiful it is up here on a horse back and the lack of willingness to accept any blame or no stories about how he’s training with Conner and in the best shape of his life with something to prove or one word from the Oil that Jessie is big time and they value him.

    – I haven’t read one quote from anyone that has his back or believes in him. Tippett just says we will do bidness under my terms. And we have leaks about how stubborn and dumb and not liked Jessie is.

    – So the Oil clearly don’t rate him. That’s fine. That’s their hockey assessment.

    – so they won’t get much for him as they don’t value him. Best to have him play in KHL amd hope he scores a lot

    – If I was jessie, and I’ve already and my agent has already taken some responsibility they aren’t getting what they want which is the opportunity to play with skill

    – so your not getting much back on that because if you thought he had skill you’d be working hard to make it work.

  22. Reja says:

    A Finn a German and a Tatar walk into a bar with Mcdavid…

  23. Bag of Pucks says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Wouldn’t the Oilers pimping for Puljujarvi now be a bit like giving your girlfriend flowers after she confessed that she wants to see other people?

    Possibly the Oilers could’ve done more in hindsight to make JP feel like one of the cool kids, but clearly that ship has sailed.

    The only ones who can likely influence Jesse to make a positive decision now are those closest to him. He’s made it clear he doesn’t value the Oilers’ guidance of his career.

    At this point, I don’t see how Jesse could be anything other than a toxic influence in the dressing room. He doesn’t want to be an Oiler and has publicly stated this. It’s now overwhelmingly likely they’ll trade him as otherwise he has to swallow his pride to come back. This is a player who continually balked at assignments to the A. I don’t think swallowing pride is his strongest suit. I hope I’m wrong.

  24. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    – that ship has sailed more and more. When they got Neal they were like : “he’s a 20 goal scorer who was not used properly and we are going to play him with skill and he’s got a lot to prove “

    – Pool though: nada: that’s because they don’t believe he’s a 20 goal scorer that needs to play with skill that has a lot to prove because he wasn’t used properly.

    – all I’m saying is that you can’t expect much for him because if the oil don’t rate him why would another organization. And when you are pumping media with stories about how no one likes him it’s over.

    – they might be right. Could be pool is a bust. That’s how they see him. They aren’t fighting for him.

  25. Bag of Pucks says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Bag of Pucks,

    – that ship has sailed more and more. When they got Neal they were like : “he’s a 20 goal scorer who was not used properly and we are going to play him with skill and he’s got a lot to prove “

    – Pool though: nada: that’s because they don’t believe he’s a 20 goal scorer that needs to play with skill that has a lot to prove because he wasn’t used properly.

    – all I’m saying is that you can’t expect much for him because if the oil don’t rate him why would another organization. And when you are pumping media with stories about how no one likes him it’s over.

    – they might be right. Could be pool is a bust. That’s how they see him. They aren’t fighting for him.

    If, as it appears, there were coaching difficulties with JP, I equate it to a talented employee who’s unreceptive to being managed. Yes, you want to ‘unlock’ the potential, but why should the challenging and largely unproductive employee get cherry assignments at the expense of lesser skilled but much more cooperative and team oriented employees?

    It started at the very beginning, having to negotiate concessions to cajole the player to come over. That sets the tone for trust in the relationship. The Oilers are not solely at fault imo for how badly this has played out.

  26. Revolved says:

    Around this time last year I compiled and posted the average number of minutes that the top two centres from each team played with their top two line mates. Since McLellan seemed to blend lines so much, I did this in order to get a gauge for how much different coaches blended their lines.

    Not surprisingly, I found that the 17-18 Oilers had the least line stability of any NHL team that year. When I looked further, I also found a relatively strong correlation between this metric and standings points rank (Spearman = 0.554, r^2 = 0.307). Now, to see how things progressed in 18-19, I have finally compiled all the numbers for this season. All the data here is from NST.

    Average % of TOI each team’s top 2 centres spent with their top 2 linemates in 2018-19

    Calgary – 73.3
    Vegas Golden – 69.5
    Columbus – 68.0
    Toronto Maple – 64.6
    Montreal – 62.7
    Boston – 60.6
    Colorado – 58.3
    Winnipeg – 57.8
    NY Islanders – 57.5
    Tampa Bay – 56.4
    Buffalo – 56.3
    Dallas – 55.0
    Pittsburgh – 54.7
    Los Angeles – 54.7
    Washington – 54.2
    Philadelphia – 53.1
    Florida – 52.7
    Minnesota – 51.9
    New Jersey – 51.2
    Carolina – 48.8
    Arizona – 48.1
    Nashville – 47.8
    St Louis – 47.6
    San Jose – 45.7
    Detroit – 44.0
    Ottawa – 42.4
    Chicago – 41.9
    Vancouver – 38.4
    Anaheim – 37.5
    Edmonton – 37.0
    NY Rangers – 36.4

    The rank correlation with standings points this year comes out a near identical 0.524, r^2 = 0.275, so the relationship is reproducible at the very least. To give that correlation some context, I calculated the rank correlation between standings points and some other publicly available metrics. The r^2 for

    PP% = 0.078
    PK% = 0.091
    CF% = 0.453
    SF% = 0.452
    xGF% = 0.389
    SCF% = 0.494
    HDCF% = 0.252
    GF% = 0.896

    Although special teams is important, it doesn’t decide the standings. I cannot recall the numbers, but I thought the correlation between shot attempts and winning had been decreasing, but it looks strong here. I’m surprised more granular metrics like xGF% and HDCF% don’t do a better job than just counting. Clearly scoring more goals than the other guys is a winning strategy.

    Unlike all of these results based metrics, line stability is something that coaches have a lot of control over. However, this information does not identify whether it is a cause or consequence of success. I’ll dig into that a little deeper later, but for now I just hope that Tippett can find lines he’s willing to stick to.

  27. defmn says:

    I can think of a dozen reasons why what I am about to write shouldn’t happen but here goes anyway.

    Not sure who it was who posted Brock Otten’s comments on the Oilers’ OHL prospects but it was a very good read so thank you. I have a lot of time for what Brock has to say about the OHL.

    https://ohlprospects.blogspot.com/2019/08/31-teams-in-31-days-edmonton-oilers.html

    His comments about Bouchard were positive and encouraging but what he had to say about Samorukov were positively gushing.

    I believe the 24 hour rule has been satisfied.

    “No prospect in the OHL…or maybe even in hockey increased their stock as much as Samorukov did this year. This is especially true considering that most of this rise occurred thanks to a dominating second half performance that saw him be a standout at the WJC’s and perhaps the OHL’s best defender after Christmas. This extended through the playoffs as he won an OHL Championship with the Guelph Storm. It’s like the light bulb just went off for him, finally utilizing all his physical gifts to dominate play at both ends of the ice. The Samorukov that we saw in the second half really didn’t have much in terms of a weakness. He had cleaned up his play with the puck, establishing himself as a premier puck rusher and play creator. He was aggressive in jumping up looking to get himself shooting chances, but he did so intelligently. He continued to be a physical force in his own end, but exhibited way more patience defensively. It all came together and it was damn exciting to watch. So I guess the million dollar question is, is Samorukov’s progression for real? If he plays in the AHL to start next year, the way that he finished this year, he won’t be spending much time in the AHL. But I do know that there are some who still wonder if he thinks the game well enough to be an impact NHL defender. I suppose that remains to be seen. But if I was a betting man, I think this is just a player who finally turned the corner and won’t be looking back.”

    No, I don’t think he will start the year with the Oilers but I am not as certain that we don’t see him after 30-40 games. He is physically ready in terms of size and the above review plus all of the other gushing we heard during the OHL playoffs etc. has to make you wonder if this 20 year old is the exception to the rule.

    This is all complicated because of older LD one year away from losing their waiver exemptions but it may well turn out that Holland has some decisions to make sooner than later.

    Because the Oilers have rushed so many of their prospects over the last 10-15 years there is a natural tendency to reject any idea that Samorukov jump past others in his first year of pro but, of course, every situation is really just a 95% rule. There are guys taken first overall who fail and there are guys taken in the 7th round who have very good careers. The correct answer to when a player should make the jump to the NHL is “when he is ready” and that is supposedly why guys like Holland and Tppett and Manson are paid handsomely.

    I agree it would be “complicating” if he jumps the queue but I am starting to wonder if that isn’t exactly what might happen.

  28. jtblack says:

    Revolved,

    Interesting. Makes sense. Edmonton is considered to have 3 Top 6 players. So their coaches are constantly juggling wingers and combos to try and find 2 lines that can win the GF%.

    Better teams that have 6 or 7 legit Top 6 players, have their Top 2 lines more solidified and are doing more of the auditioning in the bottom 6.

    Look at a GREAT team like the 80’s Oilers and you had Gretz – Kurri ; Messier – Anderson for 8 years …

    The current Oilers don’t even really know who their 2C is …. They want it to be Draisatl. But he has not proven good without McD. And McD has proven more human without Drai. So to keep the power together RNH is 2C by default. But has never proven to be a driver or capable of winning the GF% against other teams ….

    THIS IS US …

  29. duct tape and foil says:

    I’d be looking to package Jesse and Bear for some help at forward and to clear the crowd of young dman. Might get something nice for that package. One of the young NJD centers (Zacha, McLeod) would be nice.

  30. chrisco stu says:

    Trevor457,

    I think you’re right about Nurse. On attack he seems most comfortable carrying the puck out of the zone on his offside, either to carry the puck deep on his backhand or to put on the brakes and open up to look for the pass across the o zone. I’m no scout, but I’ve officially convinced myself that that’s what I’ve seen from him haha.

  31. jtblack says:

    Trevor457:
    In that article Tippet said that he prefers defencemen to play their natural side, but that some players’ style is better suited for playing the offside. He then said that he likes russel on his natural side. We are all assuming that he is absolutely sticking with defence playing their natural side, but maybe he just likes another player there better then russel. Maybe in studying game tape he saw something.My guss? Nurse.The main issue with a defence playing the offside is they cant protect the puck with their body and make a pass.Nurse is much more likely to skate the puck out. I think hes also athletic enoigh that if he is under pressure he can just skate into a better position.Nurse and Russell could then be 2nd pair, and benning/jones/persson for third.

    I Think Opening night looks like this.

    KLEFBOM – LARSSON
    NURSE – BENNING
    RUSSELL – PERSSON

    Lefty / Righty Heaven. Some coaches value Lefty / Righty more (Babcock). IMO it’s important in your Top 4. 3rd pairing you can get away with 1 D on his offside …

    Babcock has been begging Dubas for 1 or more quality RHD for 3 years. After supplying Mike with more and more Lefties and continually to lose out in Round 1; Dubas finally caved and got Barrie and Ceci.

    Now Toronto’s Top 4 is
    REILLY – CECI
    MUZZIN – BARRIE

    Coach got his wish. Not all the pressure is on Babcock. You got the lineup you wanted, now WIN with it.

  32. Victoria Oil says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    I agree that having Manning sit in the PB as the 7D makes a lot of sense. However, the drawback to that is that we’d be unable to bury half his contract in the AHL. With some of the other options for 7D, we’d be able to save up to ~$300k or so, which we might need this year.

    Another example of how Chia screwed us. Blackhawk fans must have been jumping for joy when they were able to unload Manning with no salary retained.

  33. Victoria Oil says:

    Revolved,

    Great insights. Thank you for this.

  34. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Reja:
    A Finn a German and a Tatar walk into a bar with Mcdavid…

    McDavid later leaves the bar followed shortly thereafter by the German … the Finn and Tatar are never heard from again.

  35. jtblack says:

    Victoria Oil: I agree that having Manning sit in the PB as the 7D makes a lot of sense. However, the drawback to that is that we’d be unable to bury half his contract in the AHL. With some of the other options for 7D, we’d be able to save up to ~$300k or so, which we might need this year.

    Another example of how Chia screwed us. Blackhawk fans must have been jumping for joy when they were able to unload Manning with no salary retained.

    Just shows Peter’s ability to Pro Scout … Manning had been a Healthy Scratch but that’s what Pete went for !!!!!!!!.

  36. Lowetide says:

    I wrote about this the other day. JP’s comments caused a stir, but the Oilers hold all the cards. They aren’t protecting him, sure. But even worse is they’e in no specific hurry to trade him. This isn’t ‘we’re going to trade Chris Pronger who has requested a trade’ this is “Linus Omark’s agent looked around and couldn’t find any trades, either”

    Unless an NHL team reaches out with an offer of some note, I think we’re right back here next year. JP has zero power, poor guy.

  37. godot10 says:

    geowal: I’d like to see Russell in the mentor spot more so than Benning, so I’m hoping for Benning as 2RD with Russell getting 3rd pair and pk with whoever young guy is playing, especially the young righties, and probably Jones too.

    Russell is a poor candidate for a mentor. He surrenders the blueline far too easily, and his spreadeagle ice angels are a poor example. Ditto, the Russell Reset. It is like saying Phil Niekro would be a good mentor for a pitcher.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja:
    Looks like Shattenkirk going to try padding his stats with the regular season scoring machine Lightning. If he chalks up a shit load of points he willget another nice 2 year contract somewhere.Oilers already have a better PP specialist if they want and his name is Bouchard and he will be pushing like mad to make the team out of training camp.

    I have little doubt that Bouchard is going to shine at camp. He’s going to make some calm and high end stretch passes, he is going to get a few points on the PP by getting his shot to the net and he’ll probably put up 4-5 points in 5-6 exhibition games.

    He’ll then get assigned to Bakersfield and play 2RD and PP1, maybe rotating up to 1RD depending on how Bear is doing.

    He’s going to kill it and we’ll talk in January about the NHL.

    This is what I believe should happen and what I believe will happen.

    The main question on defence is, assuming Russell will be in the lineup, can they leave one of Jones/Persson in the pressbox for a game or stretch of games and, if they decide that is not ideal (particularly with Jones), which one goes down and is it Manning they leave in the press-box (to sit nightly, not rotate in)?

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: If Russell really does start the year out ofthe top 4 the Oilers are going to have an interesting potential problem. The team really needs to find out about Persson, Lagesson, Jones and Bear. This year.
    I’m sure they would like them all to start on the 3rd pairing but, if Russell is out, one of them goes directly to 2RD.Not ideal, in my opinion.
    Also, if 3 of the 4 prove they are ready, does Russell end up sitting? I can’t see it happening. If the team has any hope of trading Russell next summer he will need to be playing regularly this season.

    Why does one of the rookies go directly to 2RD?

    Shouldn’t it be Benning considering:

    – he’s had success there – the numbers show it, consistently above 50% when in the top 5 across the board

    – he’s got good numbers with Nurse over three years (some of those will be 3rd pairing) and great numbers with Klefbom

    – both Klefbom and Nurse’s numbers go up with Benning – across the board.

    ————————————————-

    Yup, the issues with Russell at 3LD (which is very likely the case as Tippett has expressed his leftie/rightie desire) are:

    – what does that mean for Jones? We know he plays right but, again, Tippett likes leftie/rightie
    – will Tippett actually sit the veteran Russell is a couple of Lagesson, Jones, Persson are really proving to be worthy of NHL ice?

  40. digger50 says:

    Can JP sign a contract, show up and play miserably?

    Blocking any trade due to performance, forcing the Oil to waive him?

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    1) I’m not sure I fully believe the “Connor and Leon don’t want to play with Jesse” – I’m not saying there is nothing there but I just don’t see these two being that entitled to “refuse”

    2) Yes, those two are everything to this team and Connor walks on water but, eff that – lineup deployment is the decision of the coach and, generational player or not, you play with who the coach decides.

    3) If McDavid is for all intents and purposes “refusing” to play with certain players, or even 1, well, come on, what type of behavior is that from the captain?

    I just see this verbal being way over-blown.

    Of course, I’m not in the room but still.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Is anyone able to advise of an “easy” way to get WOWY numbers re: Matt Benning.

    I can go on natural stat and get the numbers for each d-man with and without Benning but I’m wondering if there is a place that aggregates that?

  43. HT Joe says:

    Lowetide: Unless an NHL team reaches out with an offer of some note, I think we’re right back here next year. JP has zero power, poor guy.

    So let’s recap:
    – Jesse’s agent has made a giant public stink, and Jesse has verbally reinforced this stink;
    – Jesse has had an underwhelming offensive output over partial 3 seasons in the NHL.
    – Jesse has not earned the trust of two respected veteran coaches (your mileage may vary – mine does – but they both appear to be widely respected).
    – Jesse just had major surgery on both hips, and I can’t imagine his skating being top form early this season.
    – Jesse may have demonstrated a lack of bro-ness, and the media seems to portray him as immature / naive / a bit goofy; sad stories about Jesse walking home from practice suggests that the rest of the team may not think much of him or are willing to look out for him (this seems way worse than any stories I heard about Yak).

    If I’m one of the 30 non-Oiler GMs in the league considering whether or not to try to trade for this guy, I can’t help but wonder how much drama and BS I’m going to have to deal with, to sign an underperforming player just coming off major surgery. I wouldn’t offer anything more than an equally underperforming prospect or a 3rd or 4th round pick.

    As Jesse’s camp continues to make public statements, the likelihood of him signing with the Oilers in 2019-2020 seems to be dwindling.

    So I am fast reaching the conclusion that Jesse will be playing in Europe next season.

    This offseason may end up being the beginning of the end of Jesse’s NHL career. With Jesse likely playing in Europe this offseason, there’s a material chance that his rehab from major surgery – combined with him still growing into his body – could very seriously overshadow his natural talents. I would actually be surprised if he dominates in a European league next season as a result. The later his agent takes to sign him up in Europe, the lesser the quality of the league he will play in, and the worse it will look if he doesn’t utterly dominate.

    So, in the 2020 offseason, how attractive of a prospect will Jesse be as a guy who is fast developing a reputation as a pain in the ass, and who can’t dominate a non-NHL / non-AHL league?

    He very well may find himself in Europe until he reaches UFA status from the Oiilers…

  44. Rube Foster says:

    Lowetide:
    I wrote about this the other day. JP’s comments caused a stir, but the Oilers hold all the cards. They aren’t protecting him, sure. But even worse is they’e in no specific hurry to trade him. This isn’t ‘we’re going to trade Chris Pronger who has requested a trade’ this is “Linus Omark’s agent looked around and couldn’t find any trades, either”

    Unless an NHL team reaches out with an offer of some note, I think we’re right back here next year. JP has zero power, poor guy.

    There are a about a Million reasons why Jesse would sign a deal with the Oilers to begin the 2019 season in the NHL, and when I say reasons, I mean dollars.

    The difference between a contract in Europe and with the Oilers will likely be close to a $1 Million Dollars and surely to Gord that’s got to mean something to Jesse, his family and his Agent.

    Folks in these parts are either forgetting that this is a business dispute or they haven’t been involved in a contentious business negotiation. In the real world these disputes are resolved by finding a solution that ultimately serves both partys. There is a win – win solution to be had here folks and I beleive that Holland understands this.

    It goes like this, sign a one year deal, come to camp, work your ass off and we’ll put you in a position to succeed. Reassess after 25 games.

    I am sure Holland has a deal like this on the table, Camp Jesse will ultimately need to decide if the benefit of $1M outways the perceived negative, the lack of trust in how the Oilers have handled his development. There is still lots of time on the Clock for Jesse’s camp, but when it’s comes to shit or get off the pot time, a cool Million Bucks is a lot to flush down the toilet.

    If Jesse signs, busts his ass in camp and finds some early success, all will be forgiven by the Coach and GM and his teammates. If Jesse can restablish his value through his performance, it also gives Holland the option to move him along for a material return. That’s how pro sport works – what have you done for me lately.

    As our host here is fond of saying “calm your tits” people, Holland’s been through this before, he can land this plane.

  45. defmn says:

    digger50:
    Can JP sign a contract, show up and play miserably?

    Blocking any trade due to performance, forcing the Oil to waive him?

    Worst case scenario for the team.

  46. Revolved says:

    Thanks Victoria Oil. There is no doubt that a lack of top end talent really hurts a team’s ability to compete shift to shift. Whether you put McDavid with lesser players and let him get picked apart in match ups, or you put him with Draisaitl, get them to win all the minutes they play, and ride them for 25 minutes a night, at the end of the day you’re screwed. I think it is particularly tough for coaches to watch McDavid lose his minutes, but I really think that everyone would benefit if they swallowed their pride, found the best chemistry in the mix they’ve got and stuck with it.

    McDavid and Draisaitl make a lethal pair, but even if they play an unsustainable 25 minutes a night, you leave the roster very exposed for half the game. I never really understood the idea of playing a fourth line for ten minutes a night that you just hope won’t lose you the game. Why not always have guys on the ice that can take advantage of the weak minutes and keep their heads above water against the toughs?

    I and others have posted before about how unsustainable it is to overplay individual players. At the end of the year, when the games really count, is when it will hurt you the most. I firmly believe that running the three centres with consistent line mates for about 20 minutes a night each is the best long term strategy. If we only consider established NHL players, I would recommended:

    Khaira – McDavid – Neal/Gagner
    Granlund – Draisaitl – Chiasson
    Gagner/Neal – Hopkins – Kassian

    Gambardella and Archibald would then be wingers who can forecheck with any of the centres in the right situation. All of the above player were >40% GF against Elite competition last year but Granlund. This would allow us to bring in two rookies from the beginning of the season by running 7 D, with Russell as in game insurance.

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Benning
    Russell – Persson
    Lagesson

  47. Revolved says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    What you’re descibing sounds a bit like the RelTeam stats on Corsica.hockey, though I’m not sure what you want to aggregate

  48. CallighenMan says:

    HT Joe: So let’s recap:
    – Jesse’s agent has made a giant public stink, and Jesse has verbally reinforced this stink;
    – Jesse has had an underwhelming offensive output over partial 3 seasons in the NHL.
    – Jesse has not earned the trust of two respected veteran coaches (your mileage may vary – mine does – but they both appear to be widely respected).
    – Jesse just had major surgery on both hips, and I can’t imagine his skating being top form early this season.
    – Jesse may have demonstrated a lack of bro-ness, and the media seems to portray him as immature / naive / a bit goofy; sad stories about Jesse walking home from practice suggests that the rest of the team may not think much of him or are willing to look out for him (this seems way worse than any stories I heard about Yak).

    If I’m one of the 30 non-Oiler GMs in the league considering whether or not to try to trade for this guy, I can’t help but wonder how much drama and BS I’m going to have to deal with, to sign an underperforming player just coming off major surgery.I wouldn’t offer anything more than an equally underperforming prospect or a 3rd or 4th round pick.

    As Jesse’s camp continues to make public statements, the likelihood of him signing with the Oilers in 2019-2020 seems to be dwindling.

    So I am fast reaching the conclusion that Jesse will be playing in Europe next season.

    This offseason may end up being the beginning of the end of Jesse’s NHL career.With Jesse likely playing in Europe this offseason, there’s a material chance that his rehab from major surgery –combined with him still growing into his body – could very seriously overshadow his natural talents.I would actually be surprised if he dominates in a European league next season as a result.The later his agent takes to sign him up in Europe, the lesser the quality of the league he will play in, and the worse it will look if he doesn’t utterly dominate.

    So, in the 2020 offseason, how attractive of a prospect will Jesse be as a guy who is fast developing a reputation as a pain in the ass, and who can’t dominate a non-NHL / non-AHL league?

    He very well may find himself in Europe until he reaches UFA status from the Oiilers…

    Then he’s got a very long wait as long as the Oilers keep qualifying him (which they will) and he doesn’t accept said qualifying offer. 6years? maybe more …

    He has really f’d himself.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Trevor:
    In that article Tippet said that he prefers defencemen to play their natural side, but that some players’ style is better suited for playing the offside. He then said that he likes russel on his natural side. We are all assuming that he is absolutely sticking with defence playing their natural side, but maybe he just likes another player there better then russel. Maybe in studying game tape he saw something.My guss? Nurse.The main issue with a defence playing the offside is they cant protect the puck with their body and make a pass.Nurse is much more likely to skate the puck out. I think hes also athletic enoigh that if he is under pressure he can just skate into a better position.Nurse and Russell could then be 2nd pair, and benning/jones/persson for third.

    We did talk about this a bit prior to free agency (I believe it was). I do agree that Nurse playing the right side (if someone needs to) could/should be an option given, in theory, as he is often more of a puck transporter via skate than pass, maybe the transition game won’t be as negatively effected as some of the others.

    Seems to make sense in theory.

    Don’t see coach going with it though.

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    Rube Foster,

    It’s also conceivable that Jesse looks at his peers like Aho and Nylander signing luxe contracts and he perceives a massive opportunity cost in staying with the Oilers. I think that’s the crux of the matter with this RFA contract with his camp. They know he has to blossom in the league asap to setup his max career earnings, and they have zero confidence that Edmonton is the organization for him to thrive in the near future.

    Again, I’m firmly of the belief that the player needs to hold himself accountable first and avoid a blame mentality. But if he is stuck in the blame game, I suspect he sees another contract with the Oilers as costing him more money in the long term.

  51. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Rube Foster: There are a about a Million reasons why Jesse would sign a deal with the Oilers to begin the 2019 season in the NHL, and when I say reasons, I mean dollars.

    The difference between a contract in Europe and with the Oilers will likely be close to a $1 Million Dollars and surely to Gord that’s got to mean something to Jesse, his family and his Agent.

    Folks in these parts are either forgettingthat this is a business dispute or they haven’t been involved in a contentious business negotiation.In the real world these disputes are resolved by finding a solution that ultimately serves both partys. There is a win – win solution to be had here folks and I beleive that Holland understands this.

    It goes like this, sign a one year deal, come to camp, work your ass off and we’ll put you in a position to succeed. Reassess after 25 games.

    I am sure Holland has a deal like this on the table, Camp Jesse will ultimately need to decide if the benefit of$1M outways the perceived negative, the lack of trust in how the Oilers have handled his development.There is still lots of time on the Clock for Jesse’s camp, but when it’s comes to shit or get off the pot time, a cool Million Bucks is a lot to flush down the toilet.

    If Jesse signs, busts his ass in camp and finds some early success, all will be forgiven by the Coach and GM and his teammates.If Jesse can restablish his value through his performance, it also gives Holland the option to move him along for a material return.That’s how pro sport works – what have you done for me lately.

    As our host here is fond of saying “calm your tits” people, Holland’s been through this before, he can land this plane.

    Nice glass is 9/10 full scenario. I like it.

    Try this one on for size … Jesse signs to play in Europe and has exactly the same problems there as he has had here, he just doesn’t seem to fit in well at all.

    He and his agent better pick that European team very, very carefully. Could be the last chance Texaco for al intents and purposes.

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    New for The Athletic: Cooper Marody’s utility gives him an edge for an Oilers roster spot in 2019-20https://theathletic.com/1115919/2019/08/05/lowetide-cooper-marodys-utility-gives-him-an-edge-for-an-oilers-roster-spot-in-2019-20/

    Ooooh, looking forward to reading this one.

    We all know I was excited about Marody after the trade as I watched a few Michigan games and was very impressed with his skill level (and surprised by it). It sure as heck translated to the pro level, didn’t it? At least at the AHL. The primary offensive driver on the Condors last season, bar none.

    I got a little jaded with his short NHL stint as I did see him behind the play consistently and he/it looked like the prototypical situation of an AHL star who’s game doesn’t translate to the NHL. Anton Lander v. 2.

    Then I realized, over the last month or so, that, come on, what can a skill player do in 6:50/game with P. Russell and a struggling K. Brodziak as his most common linemates?

    While I think I’m living in fantasy here but I have him as a 3C darkhorse if he gets the opportunity with some legit NHL middle 6 talent – Gagner, Khaira, Kassian, etc.

    Tippett speaks of Haas as a 3C candidate and I acknowledge our GM seems to have an eye for these types of players from Europe and has wanted Haas for a while but, a the same time, what does he have over Marody except skating and “experience”? I mean he put up inferior numbers in an inferior league and is many years older. Yes, I know scoring is lower in most European leagues and they aren’t nearly as giving with the assist but still.

    I’ll need to see the guy play but I am hoping for Cooper!

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    KingerOilredux:
    JimmyV1965,

    – I’m suggesting that in the absent of commercials telling him how beautiful it is up here on a horse back and the lack of willingness to accept any blame or no stories about how he’s training with Conner and in the best shape of his life with something to prove or one word from the Oil that Jessie is big time and they value him.

    – I haven’t read one quote from anyone that has his back or believes in him. Tippett just says we will do bidness under my terms. And we have leaks about how stubborn and dumb and not liked Jessie is.

    – So the Oil clearly don’t rate him. That’s fine. That’s their hockey assessment.

    – so they won’t get much for him as they don’t value him. Best to have him play in KHL amd hope he scores a lot

    – If I was jessie, and I’ve already and my agent has already taken some responsibility they aren’t getting what they want which is the opportunity to play with skill

    – so your not getting much back on that because if you thought he had skill you’d be working hard to make it work.

    I don’t think I can agree that the Oilers don’t “rate Jesse” – I think the fact that they haven’t moved him show that they do value the player and still see the upside.

    If a trade can’t be consummated, Jesse really has two choices: sign a contract with the Oilers or seek to do so in Europe.

    Lets not forget, he’s not a UFA equivalent over in Europe. His rights are held by teams, I believe Karpat in Liiga. I believe his KHL rights are held by a certain team as well. Trades can be worked out in those leagues but their off-season is nearly over and he isn’t just free to find work where he can.

    Holland and the organization has never said that Jesse isn’t welcome back, in fact they’ve expressed the opposite numerous times over the summer.

    His QO is open to be accepted (sure, its a 2-way contract but he won’t be in the AHL) and, who knows, maybe Holland will still give him $150K over that.

    There is a training camp spot open for Jesse and top 6 positions open to compete for.

  54. Bag of Pucks says:

    Rather than demonizing either party, is it fair to hypothesize that some situations in life just don’t work at and sometimes it’s best for all involved just to move on?

    For whatever the reasons, the Edmonton Oilers and Jesse Puljujarvi were a bad marriage from the start. That’s life. Lottery pick odds aside, it’s a bit utopian to think these situations should have a near perfect success rate.

    The Oilers need to learn what made this player the wrong pick for their organization and factor that into their decisions going forward. Similarly, Jesse would be well served to consider his own missteps in the process to date, so he puts his best self forward with his next team. If both sides can learn from this, that’s a positive.

    My hope for both camps is they work towards a mutually beneficial exit strategy that returns some asset value to the Oilers while finding a viable roster opportunity for the player. The sooner Holland is able to clean out the dirty laundry from the Burgers/Chiarelli/BotB regime, the sooner this team can move forward with a fresh approach and perspective.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn:
    I can think of a dozen reasons why what I am about to write shouldn’t happen but here goes anyway.

    Not sure who it was who posted Brock Otten’s comments on the Oilers’ OHL prospects but it was a very good read so thank you. I have a lot of time for what Brock has to say about the OHL.

    https://ohlprospects.blogspot.com/2019/08/31-teams-in-31-days-edmonton-oilers.html

    His comments about Bouchard were positive and encouraging but what he had to say about Samorukov were positively gushing.

    I believe the 24 hour rule has been satisfied.

    “No prospect in the OHL…or maybe even in hockey increased their stock as much as Samorukov did this year. This is especially true considering that most of this rise occurred thanks to a dominating second half performance that saw him be a standout at the WJC’s and perhaps the OHL’s best defender after Christmas. This extended through the playoffs as he won an OHL Championship with the Guelph Storm. It’s like the light bulb just went off for him, finally utilizing all his physical gifts to dominate play at both ends of the ice. The Samorukov that we saw in the second half really didn’t have much in terms of a weakness. He had cleaned up his play with the puck, establishing himself as a premier puck rusher and play creator. He was aggressive in jumping up looking to get himself shooting chances, but he did so intelligently. He continued to be a physical force in his own end, but exhibited way more patience defensively. It all came together and it was damn exciting to watch. So I guess the million dollar question is, is Samorukov’s progression for real? If he plays in the AHL to start next year, the way that he finished this year, he won’t be spending much time in the AHL. But I do know that there are some who still wonder if he thinks the game well enough to be an impact NHL defender. I suppose that remains to be seen. But if I was a betting man, I think this is just a player who finally turned the corner and won’t be looking back.”

    No, I don’t think he will start the year with the Oilers but I am not as certain that we don’t see him after 30-40 games. He is physically ready in terms of size and the above review plus all of the other gushing we heard during the OHL playoffs etc. has to make you wonder if this 20 year old is the exception to the rule.

    This is all complicated because of older LD one year away from losing their waiver exemptions but it may well turn out that Holland has some decisions to make sooner than later.

    Because the Oilers have rushed so many of their prospects over the last 10-15 years there is a natural tendency to reject any idea that Samorukov jump past others in his first year of pro but, of course, every situation is really just a 95% rule. There are guys taken first overall who fail and there are guys taken in the 7th round who have very good careers. The correct answer to when a player should make the jump to the NHL is “when he is ready” and that is supposedly why guys like Holland and Tppett and Manson are paid handsomely.

    I agree it would be “complicating” if he jumps the queue but I am starting to wonder if that isn’t exactly what might happen.

    You are welcome – smile.

    I am one of Sammy’s biggest fans and have expressed his ceiling to be higher than Bouchard’s for a while now (due to a wider range of skills).

    I really started to take interest in his game at the World Juniors, not this past year, but the year before, as he moved himself up the Russian depth chart through the tournament and was playing legit top 4 minutes by the end.

    He was blocked offensively (both for production and for opportunity) by McFadden and Merkley. Well, McFadden “graduated” and we saw what happened when Merkley was traded and he the opportunities presented themselves.

    I still put Sammy behind Bouchard as far as “likelihood to make it” but, I guess the question is why? I don’t actually have an answer for that. I have this opinion that he should spend the entire season in the AHL and am one of those guys you describe that think its very unlikely he jumps Bouchard or should see NHL games this year. The question, again, is why and I don’t have an answer.

    The jump from the CHL to the NHL is huge for d-men but sometimes first and second year pros just “make it” – maybe Sammy is one of those guys? I think he starts the season on the 3rd pair in the Bake (even with Jones/Persson both in the NHL which might not be the case) and my goal for him is to work his way up the depth chart and become a legit top 4 guy and special teams guy:

    Lagesson/Bear
    Lowe/Bouchard
    Samorukov/Day

    No, Lowe isn’t a legit NHL prospect or option but he’s a strong AHL d-man, the captain of a good team and I think a solid opening partner for Bouchard.

  56. Rube Foster says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Nice glass is 9/10 full scenario. I like it.

    Try this one on for size … Jesse signs to play in Europe and has exactly the same problems there as he has had here, he just doesn’t seem to fit in well at all.

    He and his agent better pick that European team very, very carefully. Could be the last chance Texaco for al intents and purposes.

    DSF,

    You may be right, neither of us know how this plays outs and truthfully neither does Jesse’s Camp.

    Which is all the more rationale to take the additional $1M the Oilers will sign him For over any other team in Europe.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    VictoriaOil: I agree that having Manning sit in the PB as the 7D makes a lot of sense. However, the drawback to that is that we’d be unable to bury half his contract in the AHL. With some of the other options for 7D, we’d be able to save up to ~$300k or so, which we might need this year.

    Another example of how Chia screwed us. Blackhawk fans must have been jumping for joy when they were able to unload Manning with no salary retained.

    Well, yes, the different between the buried $1.075M and the cap hit the Jones/Lagesson (or whoever would be the replacement) would hit the cap but its a fairly nominal amount and the daily pro-rated portion would be essentially inconsequential on the assumption that it won’t be long until legit roster moves are needed (via performance or injury).

    Is it worth it to not have one of Persson/Jones in the pressbox? If its a rotation, are we OK with one of them spending 50% of their games watching (to start the year)?

    Keegan Lowe would be another option, at $675K but: (1) if he needs to play in an emergency (east coast trip injury, back to back games, no time for the replacement), that would be egregious, (2) I want him paired with Bouchard and helping the Condors and (3) some of the fan-base would FREAK OUT not understanding the premise.

  58. Rube Foster says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    My hope for both camps is they work towards a mutually beneficial exit strategy that returns some asset value to the Oilers while finding a viable roster opportunity for the player. The sooner Holland is able to clean out the dirty laundry from the Burgers/Chiarelli/BotB regime, the sooner this team can move forward with a fresh approach and perspective.

    Well said. I completely agree with your take. My one caveat being that the mutually beneficial solution might be Jesse playing for the Oilers in 2019, even if it’s only for the short term.

  59. duct tape and foil says:

    Question for the community. Would it be a good idea and would OTT consider a swap of JP and Gagner for Pageau? Assuming Pageau extends for a reasonable (< $4 million) amount. That might solve our 3C issue with a guy right in the heart of his career and get Gagner off the books.

  60. jp says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Rather than demonizing either party, is it fair to hypothesize that some situations in life just don’t work at and sometimes it’s best for all involved just to move on?

    For whatever the reasons, the Edmonton Oilers and Jesse Puljujarvi were a bad marriage from the start. That’s life. Lottery pick odds aside, it’s a bit utopian to think these situations should have a near perfect success rate.

    The Oilers need to learn what made this player the wrong pick for their organization and factor that into their decisions going forward. Similarly, Jesse would be well served to consider his own missteps in the process to date, so he puts his best self forward with his next team. If both sides can learn from this, that’s a positive.

    My hope for both camps is they work towards a mutually beneficial exit strategy that returns some asset value to the Oilers while finding a viable roster opportunity for the player. The sooner Holland is able to clean out the dirty laundry from the Burgers/Chiarelli/BotB regime, the sooner this team can move forward with a fresh approach and perspective.

    +1.

    I think this is Holland’s mindset as well. Hopefully a quick and fair resolution can be found.

  61. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: You are welcome – smile.

    I am one of Sammy’s biggest fans and have expressed his ceiling to be higher than Bouchard’s for a while now (due to a wider range of skills).

    I really started to take interest in his game at the World Juniors, not this past year, but the year before, as he moved himself up the Russian depth chart through the tournament and was playing legit top 4 minutes by the end.

    He was blocked offensively (both for production and for opportunity) by McFadden and Merkley. Well, McFadden “graduated” and we saw what happened when Merkley was traded and he the opportunities presented themselves.

    I still put Sammy behind Bouchard as far as “likelihood to make it” but, I guess the question is why? I don’t actually have an answer for that. I have this opinion that he should spend the entire season in the AHL and am one of those guys you describe that think its very unlikely he jumps Bouchard or should see NHL games this year. The question, again, is why and I don’t have an answer.

    The jump from the CHL to the NHL is huge for d-men but sometimes first and second year pros just “make it” – maybe Sammy is one of those guys?I think he starts the season on the 3rd pair in the Bake (even with Jones/Persson both in the NHL which might not be the case) and my goal for him is to work his way up the depth chart and become a legit top 4 guy and special teams guy:

    Lagesson/Bear
    Lowe/Bouchard
    Samorukov/Day

    No, Lowe isn’t a legit NHL prospect or option but he’s a strong AHL d-man, the captain of a good team and I think a solid opening partner for Bouchard.

    Can’t and don’t disagree with any of that. In fact I think you have summarized the likely path. As I mentioned a couple of times Samorukov jumping the queue complicates things on a number of fronts.

    But that was a pretty gushy report by Otten and I think you agree with me that he knows his stuff when it comes to prospects coming out of the OHL.

    Pleasant surprises happen to other teams from time to time so it is theoretically possible for one to happen to the Oilers. 😉

  62. pts2pndr says:

    Bag of Pucks: If, as it appears, there were coaching difficulties with JP, I equate it to a talented employee who’s unreceptive to being managed. Yes, you want to ‘unlock’ the potential, but why should the challenging and largely unproductive employee get cherry assignments at the expense of lesser skilled but much more cooperative and team oriented employees?

    It started at the very beginning, having to negotiate concessions to cajole the player to come over. That sets the tone for trust in the relationship. The Oilers are not solely at fault imo for how badly this has played out.

    When you hold the best hand you can not blame any other player at the table if you don’t win the pot. When JP was sent to the AHL the first time there was no competent centre man for him to work with. An astute move would have been to play him as a centre which would have reduced or eliminated many if not all the problems they now have. The wingers read off the centre on the attack. JP was the most responsible defensive young player to play at the Penticton young stars by what I watched. The team management decided to mold him into the player they wanted and they were unwilling to adjust. Take that scenario and add in a little culture shock , language barrier and this is us.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    ducttapeandfoil:
    Question for the community. Would it be a good idea and would OTT consider a swap of JP and Gagner for Pageau? Assuming Pageau extends for a reasonable (apx $4 million) amount. That might solve our 3C issue with a guy right in the heart of his career and get Gagner off the books.

    He’s been at an AAV of $3.1M for the last three years and going in to his first shot at unrestricted free agency, I imagine he’ll price himself out of the Oilers 3C cap budget.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: Can’t and don’t disagree with any of that. In fact I think you have summarized the likely path. As I mentioned a couple of times Samorukov jumping the queue complicates things on a number of fronts.

    But that was a pretty gushy report by Otten and I think you agree with me that he knows his stuff when it comes to prospects coming out of the OHL.

    Pleasant surprises happen to other teams from time to time so it is theoretically possible for one to happen to the Oilers.

    If that complication comes to fruition, because of Sammy’s play (as opposed to disappointing play of those currently ahead), I think we, and management, will be happy to have to deal with the repercussions.

    If would be “worried” about the team not seeing what Lagesson, for example, might become – I have very high hopes for him – I think he’s ready now (will need to prove so at the NHL level) and will be a 22 min 2LD before the end of his second contract.

  65. pts2pndr says:

    HT Joe: So let’s recap:
    – Jesse’s agent has made a giant public stink, and Jesse has verbally reinforced this stink;
    – Jesse has had an underwhelming offensive output over partial 3 seasons in the NHL.
    – Jesse has not earned the trust of two respected veteran coaches (your mileage may vary – mine does – but they both appear to be widely respected).
    – Jesse just had major surgery on both hips, and I can’t imagine his skating being top form early this season.
    – Jesse may have demonstrated a lack of bro-ness, and the media seems to portray him as immature / naive / a bit goofy; sad stories about Jesse walking home from practice suggests that the rest of the team may not think much of him or are willing to look out for him (this seems way worse than any stories I heard about Yak).

    If I’m one of the 30 non-Oiler GMs in the league considering whether or not to try to trade for this guy, I can’t help but wonder how much drama and BS I’m going to have to deal with, to sign an underperforming player just coming off major surgery.I wouldn’t offer anything more than an equally underperforming prospect or a 3rd or 4th round pick.

    As Jesse’s camp continues to make public statements, the likelihood of him signing with the Oilers in 2019-2020 seems to be dwindling.

    So I am fast reaching the conclusion that Jesse will be playing in Europe next season.

    This offseason may end up being the beginning of the end of Jesse’s NHL career.With Jesse likely playing in Europe this offseason, there’s a material chance that his rehab from major surgery –combined with him still growing into his body – could very seriously overshadow his natural talents.I would actually be surprised if he dominates in a European league next season as a result.The later his agent takes to sign him up in Europe, the lesser the quality of the league he will play in, and the worse it will look if he doesn’t utterly dominate.

    So, in the 2020 offseason, how attractive of a prospect will Jesse be as a guy who is fast developing a reputation as a pain in the ass, and who can’t dominate a non-NHL / non-AHL league?

    He very well may find himself in Europe until he reaches UFA status from the Oiilers…

    As much as this may seem draconian, managements responsibility is to the Oilers. No individual is bigger than the team. Unless the Oilers get value for JP things stay status quo. This choice was made by Jessie and his agent when they went public and in no way is on the Oilers. Sometimes bad choices get the rewards they deserve.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    ptspndr: When you hold the best hand you can not blame any other player at the table if you don’t win the pot. When JP was sent to the AHL the first time there was no competent centre man for him to work with. An astute move would have been to play him as a centre which would have reduced or eliminated many if not all the problems they now have. The wingers read off the centre on the attack. JP was the most responsible defensive young player to play at the Penticton young stars by what I watched. The team management decided to mold him into the player they wanted and they were unwilling to adjust. Take that scenario and add in a little culture shock , language barrier and this is us.

    With respect, I don’t think there is away of knowing if it would have been an “astute” move or not.

    The kid grew up playing wing and developed in to one of the best teenage player in the world doing that. Yes, he was struggling in North America, both on and off the ice – any comfort level he had developed off the ice in Edmonton was now gone as he’s in Bakersfield with a bunch of new faces.

    It would be ALOT to ask of the youngest player in North American pro hockey to change positions, and not the normal, grew up as a center but transition to the wing, but the opposite and “harder” transition.

    In retrospect, maybe it would have worked and been astute but I can’t blame any decision maker for not thinking or implementing it.

    As an aside, 28 points in 39 AHL games, with a general lack of offensively talented teammates, as an 18-year old, in retrospect is very impressive, to me.

  67. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: With respect, I don’t think there is away of knowing if it would have been an “astute” move or not.

    The kid grew up playing wing and developed in to one of the best teenage player in the world doing that. Yes, he was struggling in North America, both on and off the ice – any comfort level he had developed off the ice in Edmonton was now gone as he’s in Bakersfield with a bunch of new faces.

    It would be ALOT to ask of the youngest player in North American pro hockey to change positions, and not the normal, grew up as a center but transition to the wing, but the opposite and “harder” transition.

    In retrospect, maybe it would have worked and been astute but I can’t blame any decision maker for not thinking or implementing it.

    As an aside, 28 points in 39 AHL games, with a general lack of offensively talented teammates, as an 18-year old, in retrospect is very impressive, to me.

    Name on NhHL centre man that has graduated from the Oilers farm team since JP was there. JP likes to carry the puck and is defensively aware. Being sent to gain confidence to a team that has no offensive centre to play with is like sending someone to the middle of the Sahara dessert to learn to swim.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    With respect, again, you ignore everything in my post regarding potential issues with the decision and re-state your same point.

    Feel free to discount my points, however, I think they are valid and wouldn’t mind the though-pattern in discounting them without even an acknowledgement.

    It seems like the transition would be difficult taking everything in to account.

    Not to mention:

    – the Condors top offensive player that year was a center, Anton Lander

    – the Condors had no more legit talent on the wings than at center, I don’t see how a shift to center would have given him better linemates

    – playing wing does not preclude a player from being a “driver” or a “puck carrier” – see Taylor Hall, Patrick Kane, etc. As the most talented offensive player on any line he was on, be it center or wing, he should have taken control

    – his season stats show that he played very well and produced solid numbers offensively given the situation – i don’t see as not having him move to a new position has hurt his development.

    – the Oilers lack of graduating centers over the years shouldn’t impact how they develop a high potential and high pedigree winger.

  69. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Rube Foster,

    – This might be true in principle but as a practice this business dispute from pools end is a lot more nuanced:

    1) go back to the oil get the same treatment feel shunned and isolated and not play with skill

    2) hold out and hope you get traded to a team that will give you the opportunity to play with skill

    3) play in Europe and go the gusev route and get paid

    Jessie’s business risk is that he goes back to the oil on a 1 year and plays poorly be it because he’s no good or because he isn’t given a good chance or Conner amd Drai are jerks who won’t okay with him or whatever

    – Jessie is being entirely reasonable and I suppose the oil are as well if they assume Jessie has no game.

    – while I think Jessie has incredible game and has been poorly managed and has made his own mistakes and hasn’t consistently been great it’s clear that the Oil do not think so nor have they said or done things this off season that make you believe they think he’s for instance as good as Neal

  70. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Rube Foster,
    – while I think Jessie has incredible game and has been poorly managed and has made his own mistakes and hasn’t consistently been great it’s clear that the Oil do not think so nor have they said or done things this off season that make you believe they think he’s for instance as good as Neal

    I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written here, but we don’t have any proof that Ken Holland is down on JP as a player. Nor Dave Tippett. Most coaches feel they can work with any player, and Puljujarvi has shown enormous potential. This is not a winning situation for the Oilers, but the one opportunity (new GM and coach) didn’t change things. So. It’s something else. And we are here. But I do believe the Oilers value him.

  71. Rube Foster says:

    Lowetide: I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written here, but we don’t have any proof that Ken Holland is down on JP as a player. Nor Dave Tippett. Most coaches feel they can work with any player, and Puljujarvi has shown enormous potential. This is not a winning situation for the Oilers, but the one opportunity (new GM and coach) didn’t change things. So. It’s something else. And we are here. But I do believe the Oilers value him.

    Point taken. No need to beat this into the ground any further, BUT. If I’m Ken Holland and I’ve made my one year $1.25M offer (just a guess) to team Jesse. I let the offer stand behind the scenes and I stay silent publicly.

    If Holland or Tippet get publicly effusive over Puljujarvi before Jesse’s Camp is willing to come to the table, Holland in my opinion would just be bargaining against himself. That’s not what good negotiators do.

    You are correct in your observations that Jesse’s camp have very little leverage. Holland knows this, I take the public silence from Holland to be a good tactic in maintaining his leverage and counting on the fact the Oiler’s can offer Jesse roughly a $1M more than he can make in Europe.

    “Money Talks Mr. Whalen!”

  72. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: Why does one of the rookies go directly to 2RD?

    Shouldn’t it be Benning considering:

    – he’s had success there – the numbers show it, consistently above 50% when in the top 5 across the board

    – he’s got good numbers with Nurse over three years (some of those will be 3rd pairing) and great numbers with Klefbom

    – both Klefbom and Nurse’s numbers go up with Benning – across the board.

    ————————————————-

    Yup, the issues with Russell at 3LD (which is very likely the case as Tippett has expressed his leftie/rightie desire) are:

    – what does that mean for Jones?We know he plays right but, again, Tippett likes leftie/rightie
    – will Tippett actually sit the veteran Russell is a couple of Lagesson, Jones, Persson are really proving to be worthy of NHL ice?

    Forgot about Benning.
    If we add him to the mix it only leaves room for 1 of the yoingsters to play regularly. Unless they press box Russell. Gonna be a sticky situation, if everyone stays healthy.

  73. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Glovjuice:
    Ponder this:

    In three successive years Wayne Gretzky was ahead of the second player in NHL scoring by 73, 74, and 75 points. Basically a full point per game ahead of second. Essentially, he wins the Art Ross each year with ZERO goals in three full seasons.

    For the younger here, if you haven’t explored what Gretzky did, you are missing a big piece of Oiler history.

    In the words of Brett Hull, Wayne didn’t pass records, he blew them out of the water.

    Connor is similar in that level of ‘way better’ than his peers. We won’t know until his career is much further along where he lands in the pantheon of the best players.

    The Eskimos were also in that realm in CFL for those that don’t know.

    The OIlers also wanted to never lose two games in a row as the Esks rarely did, on their way to 5 Grey Cups in a row.

  74. Jordan says:

    I feel really sad and disappointed with the situation both Jesse band the Oilers find themselves in. I don’t see a win-win solution without a GM helping the Oilers out.

    I hope I’m wrong, and someone sees this as an opportunity.

  75. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Lowetide,

    – you’ve often talked about when a new regime comes in the old regimes players go. Over the last few regime changes you’ve done a few cool charts showing this over seasons

    – while we might hope this time it will be different just compare the verbal on Neal v Pool and remember who came from where.

    – About the only thing that I bought that Hitch was selling was he was going to unlock Pool. I think there was some underlying stuff behind Pool and previous regimes.

    – Holland is doing his job and well but he doesn’t have any stat guy who might shed some light on pools upside and the coach has no dog in the fight.

    – The best to hope for is a year to rehabilitate in europe and trade.

    – If Holland felt differently he’d be talking him up. No one is talking him up in the org

  76. OriginalPouzar says:

    RubeFoster: Point taken. No need to beat this into the ground any further, BUT.If I’m Ken Holland and I’ve made my one year $1.25M offer (just a guess)to team Jesse.I let the offer stand behind the scenes and I stay silent publicly.

    My guess is there is no offer out there aside from the QO – the QO kept his RFA rights but Jesse and his advisory group were wanting a change before the QO was made and I would think have not talked actual contract with management at all. My guess.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    It looks like Karpat plays their first preseason game at the end of August – Jesse better get ready if he’s going to play for them – assuming they want to sign him.

  78. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: For the younger here, if you haven’t explored what Gretzky did, you are missing a big piece of Oiler history.

    In the words of Brett Hull, Wayne didn’t pass records, he blew them out of the water.

    Connor is similar in that level of ‘way better’ than his peers. We won’t know until his career is much further along where he lands in the pantheon of the best players.

    The Eskimos were also in that realm in CFL for those that don’t know.

    The OIlers also wanted to never lose two games in a row as the Esks rarely did, on their way to 5 Grey Cups in a row.

    Wasn’t called the City Of Champions for no reason.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: Forgot about Benning.
    If we add him to the mix it only leaves room for 1 of the yoingsters to play regularly. Unless they press box Russell. Gonna be a sticky situation,if everyone stays healthy.

    Agreed and I’ve been posting about that quite a bit lately.

    With 5 veterans, including Russell at 3LD, does management include a Manning (or even Lowe) as a pure pressbox sitter and let Jones (presumably given leftie/rightie and Tippett’s verbal) wait for a recall?

    Maybe management will rotate the likes of Jones/Persson (or Lagesson as a wildcard)? Are we OK with one or both of those guys not playing every game to start the season?

    I don’t imagine that Russell starts the season as a healthy scratch.

    Of course, what are the chances that all 7 are healthy come October 2?

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    ScungilliSlushy: For the younger here, if you haven’t explored what Gretzky did, you are missing a big piece of Oiler history.

    In the words of Brett Hull, Wayne didn’t pass records, he blew them out of the water.

    A could of my favorites:

    – Gretzky has more assists than any other player has points…….. and he has more goals than any other player.

    – no team in the history of the NHL has ever scored 400 goals in a season…… except the Oilers that did it 5 times.

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Wasn’t called the City Of Champions for no reason.

    Correct, however, it wasn’t called the City of Champions because of the sports teams either – surprised this isn’t front and center given a the anniversary earlier this weekend.

  82. Trevor457 says:

    OriginalPouzar: We did talk about this a bit prior to free agency (I believe it was). I do agree that Nurse playing the right side (if someone needs to) could/should be an option given, in theory, as he is often more of a puck transporter via skate than pass, maybe the transition game won’t be as negatively effected as some of the others.

    Seems to make sense in theory.

    Don’t see coach going with it though.

    But Tippet did leave it open that a d could play their off side. And playing Nurse on the right paired with Russell on the 2nd pair would give him two proven top 4 d on the second pair. I can’t see him hoping that Benning or Persson is able to handle to 4 d as his go to plan.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    LT – thanks for providing some of the individual numbers re: Marody from his first couple of games.

    Some helpful information.

  84. Richard Roma says:

    Enjoyed the piece on Marody.

    Would love to see him pot 13 goals and 33 points ala Devon Shore.

    Hard to imagine that we had five forwards score more than ten goals last season though we traded Strome and Caggiula.

    Forwards to score ten or more:

    1. Draisatl
    2. McDavid
    3. Nuge
    4. Kassian
    5. Chiasson
    6. Neal
    7. Archibald
    8. Granlund
    9. ? Gagner
    10 ? Benson
    11. ?Marody
    12. ?Jurco
    13. ?Nygard

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    Trevor: But Tippet did leave it open that a d could play their off side.And playing Nurse on the right paired with Russell on the 2nd pair would give him two proven top 4 d on the second pair.I can’t see him hoping that Benning or Persson is able to handle to 4 d as his go to plan.

    I can’t see him moving Nurse to his off-side, even if he wasn’t on record as stating his strong preference is for leftie-rightie.

    I can absolutely see him starting Benning at 2RD and think its a much more reasonable likelihood than him putting Nurse on his off-side (even though us, behind computers and the television, think there could be merit to it given his game).

    Benning has had an aggregate of success in the top 4 including with Klefbom. Over 3 years, Klefbom’s numbers go up across the board with Benning and the two of them have all positive numbers together – close to 800 minutes.

  86. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: Correct, however, it wasn’t called the City of Champions because of the sports teams either – surprised this isn’t front and center given a the anniversary earlier this weekend.

    Black Friday July 31st 1987. But the name stuck to outsiders being attributed to the Oilers Esks I can’t remember if the Trappers or the indoor soccer team was kicking ass at that time as well.

  87. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    It looks like Karpat plays their first preseason game at the end of August – Jesse better get ready if he’s going to play for them – assuming they want to sign him.

    I’m sure they’d be happy to have him. How much they’re able to pay him is the question.

    He was also drafted by Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL, so I assume they own his rights. According to this (https://hfboards.mandatory.com/threads/khl-teams-salary-budgets.2437903/) Torpedo’s total payroll was about $12M in 17-18.

    As has been noted he’ll be leaving a ton of money on the table if he ends up in Europe this season.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    Listening to the CoH podcast earlier today talking about the prospect goalies and I really like the professional youngsters are set up.

    Each of Skinner, Konovalov and Wells are within a year of each other in age (in that order from youngest to oldest). Skinner and Wells each have two-years left on their ELC and Konovalov is under contract in Russia for 2 years (and will get to develop being a starting tender in a top league and not black or compete with the other two for ice – as the guys mentioned). What I like is that, after 2 years, we should have a good sense of where these players are and if/when they’ll have NHL careers and re-signing decisions will be made at that time in conjunction with and knowledge of how the others are progression.

    Plus Rodrigue, turning pro next year at this time.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Black Friday July 31st 1987. But the name stuck to outsiders being attributed to the Oilers Esks Ican’t remember if the Trappers or the indoor soccer team was kicking ass at that time as well.

    That’s right, outsiders incorrectly believe the phrase/name was coined due to sports teams.

  90. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I can’t see him moving Nurse to his off-side, even if he wasn’t on record as stating his strong preference is for leftie-rightie.

    I can absolutely see him starting Benning at 2RD and think its a much more reasonable likelihood than him putting Nurse on his off-side (even though us, behind computers and the television, think there could be merit to it given his game).

    Benning has had an aggregate of success in the top 4 including with Klefbom.Over 3 years, Klefbom’s numbers go up across the board with Benning and the two of them have all positive numbers together – close to 800 minutes.

    You can play two rookie D if you play Persson with Klefbom and Jones(or Lagesson) with Benning. Nurse and Larsson tasked to hold back the ocean.

    Russell is the vet in the pressbox

  91. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lowetide: I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written here, but we don’t have any proof that Ken Holland is down on JP as a player. Nor Dave Tippett. Most coaches feel they can work with any player, and Puljujarvi has shown enormous potential. This is not a winning situation for the Oilers, but the one opportunity (new GM and coach) didn’t change things. So. It’s something else. And we are here. But I do believe the Oilers value him.

    Sometimes, if you lay down your sword, the end result is better.

    Jesse is at that point IMO. He can fight, but he can’t win.

    The pot of gold lies with King Holland. The journey cannot be short. It also doesn’t have to be long. Never throw away the favour of the ‘sovereign’.

    Unless you’re certain of a coup.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot: You can play two rookie D if you play Persson with Klefbom and Jones(or Lagesson) with Benning.Nurse and Larsson tasked to hold back the ocean.

    Russell is the vet in the pressbox

    You could, yes, however I consider it highly unlikely to start the season. If Russell struggles and 2 rookies are pushing hard then it could happen but i don’t see Tippett healthy scratching Russell to start the year.

  93. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar: A could of my favorites:

    – Gretzky has more assists than any other player has points…….. and he has more goals than any other player.

    – no team in the history of the NHL has ever scored 400 goals in a season…… except the Oilers that did it 5 times.

    That first dash is a clear drop the mic for the ages as far as sports dominance goes.

  94. who says:

    godot10: You can play two rookie D if you play Persson with Klefbom and Jones(or Lagesson) with Benning.Nurse and Larsson tasked to hold back the ocean.

    Russell is the vet in the pressbox

    Don’t see it happening.
    Russell is still an effective dman. They are not paying him 4 million to sit in the press box.
    It would also sewer any chance they have of trading him next summer. That would leave a buyout as the only option. Not a desirable result at all.
    My guess is that if 2 rookies prove they are ready Benning gets traded in season. If only 1 is ready, Benning stays.
    The thing is, by midseason, we could have 6 rookie dmen pushing for a spot on the NHL roster.

  95. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    With respect, again, you ignore everything in my post regarding potential issues with the decision and re-state your same point.

    Feel free to discount my points, however, I think they are valid and wouldn’t mind the though-pattern in discounting them without even an acknowledgement.

    It seems like the transition would be difficult taking everything in to account.

    Not to mention:

    – the Condors top offensive player that year was a center, Anton Lander

    – the Condors had no more legit talent on the wings than at center, I don’t see how a shift to center would have given him better linemates

    – playing wing does not preclude a player from being a “driver” or a “puck carrier”– see Taylor Hall, Patrick Kane, etc. As the most talented offensive player on any line he was on, be it center or wing, he should have taken control

    – his season stats show that he played very well and produced solid numbers offensively given the situation – i don’t see as not having him move to a new position has hurt his development.

    – the Oilers lack of graduating centers over the years shouldn’t impact how they develop a high potential and high pedigree winger.

    How do you develop an offensive winger without a offensive centre to work with. I am not discounting what you are saying. What I am saying is you have a young right shot player and the parent team needs a right shot centre. Given you do not have a centre that can help him develop as a scoring winger and you have a player who likes to carry the puck and is defensively aware what the hell do you have to lose? Tunnel vision is is often responsible for missing the obvious. Thinking outside the box or putting players in a position to succeed has not been a strength of the organization. We have spent a number of years hammering square pegs into round holes.

  96. JimmyV1965 says:

    defmn:
    I can think of a dozen reasons why what I am about to write shouldn’t happen but here goes anyway.

    Not sure who it was who posted Brock Otten’s comments on the Oilers’ OHL prospects but it was a very good read so thank you. I have a lot of time for what Brock has to say about the OHL.

    https://ohlprospects.blogspot.com/2019/08/31-teams-in-31-days-edmonton-oilers.html

    His comments about Bouchard were positive and encouraging but what he had to say about Samorukov were positively gushing.

    I believe the 24 hour rule has been satisfied.

    “No prospect in the OHL…or maybe even in hockey increased their stock as much as Samorukov did this year. This is especially true considering that most of this rise occurred thanks to a dominating second half performance that saw him be a standout at the WJC’s and perhaps the OHL’s best defender after Christmas. This extended through the playoffs as he won an OHL Championship with the Guelph Storm. It’s like the light bulb just went off for him, finally utilizing all his physical gifts to dominate play at both ends of the ice. The Samorukov that we saw in the second half really didn’t have much in terms of a weakness. He had cleaned up his play with the puck, establishing himself as a premier puck rusher and play creator. He was aggressive in jumping up looking to get himself shooting chances, but he did so intelligently. He continued to be a physical force in his own end, but exhibited way more patience defensively. It all came together and it was damn exciting to watch. So I guess the million dollar question is, is Samorukov’s progression for real? If he plays in the AHL to start next year, the way that he finished this year, he won’t be spending much time in the AHL. But I do know that there are some who still wonder if he thinks the game well enough to be an impact NHL defender. I suppose that remains to be seen. But if I was a betting man, I think this is just a player who finally turned the corner and won’t be looking back.”

    No, I don’t think he will start the year with the Oilers but I am not as certain that we don’t see him after 30-40 games. He is physically ready in terms of size and the above review plus all of the other gushing we heard during the OHL playoffs etc. has to make you wonder if this 20 year old is the exception to the rule.

    This is all complicated because of older LD one year away from losing their waiver exemptions but it may well turn out that Holland has some decisions to make sooner than later.

    Because the Oilers have rushed so many of their prospects over the last 10-15 years there is a natural tendency to reject any idea that Samorukov jump past others in his first year of pro but, of course, every situation is really just a 95% rule. There are guys taken first overall who fail and there are guys taken in the 7th round who have very good careers. The correct answer to when a player should make the jump to the NHL is “when he is ready” and that is supposedly why guys like Holland and Tppett and Manson are paid handsomely.

    I agree it would be “complicating” if he jumps the queue but I am starting to wonder if that isn’t exactly what might happen.

    I may be wrong here, but I’ve heard Otten’s podcast and I believe he’s a huge Guelph fan. He may be simply gushing over a prospect he’s seen often and likes. I’m not saying this to diminish the prospect though. Just food for thought.

  97. JimmyV1965 says:

    Lowetide:
    I wrote about this the other day. JP’s comments caused a stir, but the Oilers hold all the cards. They aren’t protecting him, sure. But even worse is they’e in no specific hurry to trade him. This isn’t ‘we’re going to trade Chris Pronger who has requested a trade’ this is “Linus Omark’s agent looked around and couldn’t find any trades, either”

    Unless an NHL team reaches out with an offer of some note, I think we’re right back here next year. JP has zero power, poor guy.

    The one thing he does control is his play in Europe. Play well and everything changes.

  98. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    1) I’m not sure I fully believe the “Connor and Leon don’t want to play with Jesse” – I’m not saying there is nothing there but I just don’t see these two being that entitled to “refuse”

    2) Yes, those two are everything to this team and Connor walks on water but, eff that – lineup deployment is the decision of the coach and, generational player or not, you play with who the coach decides.

    3) If McDavid is for all intents and purposes “refusing” to play with certain players, or even 1, well, come on, what type of behavior is that from the captain?

    I just see this verbal being way over-blown.

    Of course, I’m not in the room but still.

    If you were coach with that attitude your tenure would be short lived. The star player makes far more money and who do you think is easier to replace. I would think it more likely that at least one of the Oiler coaches used JP as his whipping boy and the team followed suit.

  99. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    After the hullabaloo surrounding the removal of the ‘City of Champions’ moniker, John Short suggested a simple rebranding of ‘A City of Champions’ to help guide public perception. I thought it was quite astute; unfortunately, city council decided to evaporate tens of thousands of taxpayer’s dollars to marginal effect.

  100. GMB3 says:

    pts2pndr: If you were coach with that attitude your tenure would be short lived. The star player makes far more money and who do you think is easier to replace. I would think it more likely that at least one of the Oiler coaches used JP as his whipping boy and the team followed suit.

    That’s not really how it works in professional sport (or elite sport).

    I also highly doubt either of them “refused” to play with him.

  101. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    godot10,

    Count me in.

    People may bemoan the impact on future ability to trade Russell if he sees considerable press box time this year, but with the gap between salary and cap hit, next year one is simply trading a competent (if flawed) 5-6 dman contract with favourable terms. If he can contribute, it’s a bonus. He is due a signing bonus of $1MM, and a salary of $1.5MM, so he should be an easily moved target next off season or either deadline. That’s the type of contract that appeals to a contending team at the deadline, or a cap-floor team before next year starts.

  102. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    Sun’s Tzu(ming) who?

  103. russ99 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    When was the last time the Oilers has a defenseman break into the majors and play up to a NHL full time role in his first season?

    When was the last time the Oilers got through a season without injury to the top 6, or even top 8.

    They’re will be plenty of icetime for everyone, and I’m confident Russell will have an improved season on the left side. No need for pressboxing anyone.

  104. Jethro Tull says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    godot10,

    Count me in.

    People may bemoan the impact on future ability to trade Russell if he sees considerable press box time this year, but with the gap between salary and cap hit, next year one is simply trading a competent (if flawed) 5-6 dman contract with favourable terms.If he can contribute, it’s a bonus.He is due a signing bonus of $1MM, and a salary of $1.5MM, so he should be an easily moved target next off season or either deadline.That’s the type of contract that appeals to a contending team at the deadline, or a cap-floor team before next year starts.

    A D man that is almost universally recognised here as ineffectual, lacks offence, gives up offensive possession in high danger areas on one of the worst teams in the league “should be an easily moved target” and yet we should shun players like Shattenkirk because Bouchard is apparently better at this point in his career.

    Little bit of “woods for the trees” in here today.

  105. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Jethro Tull,

    If we’re to ice a defensive liability in the name of offence, I’d rather:
    A) he be cheap, and
    B) he be young enough to either iron out that element of his game, or still be of tradeable reputation without value penalty.

    This is not to say Jones cannot learn the finer points of play without the puck. If he’s put in the right spots with a steady partner, like Benning, he could flourish. If not, Willie has as good a chance to succeed and we gain valuable intel in both cases for trying.

    For the record, if it were up to me, I’d leave Bouchard in the AHL for a year to learn as much as possible away from the bright lights so he can come in and make a consistent impact.

  106. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    russ99,

    I don’t think many teams are able to run a top-6/7 most of the year. Hockey is a physical game, injuries and (for that matter) slumps happen. Guys are going to get rotated in and called up at various points throughout the season.

    You’re likely right, as I also suspect Russell will fare better on his natural side and against weaker QoC, but at some point we need to test drive the young’uns before they lose their waver eligibility to see exactly what we have. Otherwise we’ll trade away latent value without realizing the potential to our team. Which is so Oilers.

    Rusty is a competent vet, who is well suited to fill in for spot duty and can play competent minutes in the event of injuries or slumps. He’s cover at this point; no need to invest crucial development minutes on a non-core asset who is one of the last guys you’d want mentoring rookies in the finer points of defending.

  107. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jethro Tull: A D man that is almost universally recognised here as ineffectual, lacks offence, gives up offensive possession in high danger areas on one of the worst teams in the league “should be an easily moved target” and yet we should shun players like Shattenkirk because Bouchard is apparently better at this point in his career.

    Little bit of “woods for the trees” in here today.

    Shattenkirk is what he is. I think most people here didn’t want him because we have internal options at defence. We have far fewer internal options at forward. It didn’t make sense to sign him. If we’re going to spend cap space it makes more sense to get a forward. Signing Shattenkirk is the woods before the trees.

  108. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Doesn’t anyone remember Justin Schultz?

  109. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar: That’s right, outsiders incorrectly believe the phrase/name was coined due to sports teams.

    After researching it, it looks it it actually *was* coined to promote the city due to the success of and pride in minor sports teams other than the Oilers or Esks (it was coined in 1983-1984, so the early 80s, before the Oilers took off but after the crazy streak by the Esks), as well as the hosting of the Commonwealth Games and Summer Universiade.

    Then in 1987, it became a uniting slogan to support the people and how they came together to help everyone get through a tragedy. The truth, then, lies in both origins.

  110. ArmchairGM says:

    Reja:
    Looks like Shattenkirk going to try padding his stats with the regular season scoring machine Lightning. If he chalks up a shit load of points he willget another nice 2 year contract somewhere.Oilers already have a better PP specialist if they want and his name is Bouchard and he will be pushing like mad to make the team out of training camp.

    Shattenkirk won’t be padding stats in TB unless he gets significant PP time, or unless they give him the Sergachev treatment (I.e. 70% OZS).

  111. Jethro Tull says:

    We have some night owls in here tonight!

  112. ArmchairGM says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Except that Connor doesn’t want to play with Jesse. Nor does Leon. Nuge? Probably lurking in the back hoping his name doesn’t get called.

    This is complete speculation. I wish people would stop this false narrative.

  113. ArmchairGM says:

    Jethro Tull:
    We have some night owls in here tonight!

    Morning owls? 😀

  114. ArmchairGM says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Has anyone heard of even one player coming out in Jesse’s defense. Hey, Jesse, come on back. We want you here. No hard feelings. Anyone? Just as I thought. Crickets.

    Players don’t get involved with contract disputes and certainly not when another player has demanded a trade. Are the Maple Leafs players clamoring in the media about Marner? Doesn’t happen.

  115. Reja says:

    ArmchairGM: Shattenkirk won’t be padding stats in TB unless he gets significant PP time, or unless they give him the Sergachev treatment (I.e. 70% OZS).

    Unless I’m wrong they didn’t sign him to penalty kill and play the toughs.

  116. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    pts2pndr: How do you develop an offensive winger without a offensive centre to work with. I am not discounting what you are saying. What I am saying is you have a young right shot player and the parent team needs a right shot centre. Given you do not have a centre that can help him develop as a scoring winger and you have a player who likes to carry the puck and is defensively aware what the hell do you have to lose? Tunnel vision is is often responsible for missing the obvious. Thinking outside the box or putting players in a position to succeed has not been a strength of the organization. We have spent a number of years hammering square pegs into round holes.

    – This is exactly the reason for my strong conviction that long term its way better to have CMD and Drai cantering their own lines: to develop better wingers which in turn will make the team better

    – While theirbscoring together is impressive and elite as a line they need to learn how to be Cs with “less talented “ wingers.

    – Sure for awhile their individual scoring might go down and we might win a few less games untill they get chem with the right wingers but play them on two lines and you end up with twice as many elite Cs and twice as many elite Ws

    – I know I’m right on this despite trotting out the stats on how they are elite together blah blah.

  117. ArmchairGM says:

    duct tape and foil:
    I’d be looking to package Jesse and Bear for some help at forward and to clear the crowd of young dman. Might get something nice for that package. One of the young NJD centers (Zacha, McLeod) would be nice.

    Jesse for McLeod would be a lost trade, let alone adding Bear! Zachary would be interesting, however. I’m not sure I’d add Bear to that one either, though…

  118. ArmchairGM says:

    Reja: Unless I’m wrong they didn’t sign him to penalty kill and play the toughs.

    Yeah, but who is he going to bump off the power play? Hedman or Sergachev?

  119. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Correct, however, it wasn’t called the City of Champions because of the sports teams either – surprised this isn’t front and center given a the anniversary earlier this weekend.

    The tornado wasn’t even the start of the phrase either. The use of the slogan in Edmonton dates back to 1984, when Councillor Cavanagh and Leo Leclerc coined it as a way to promote Edmonton. Its use was popularized in 1987, when Mayor Lawrence Decore used it to describe Edmonton’s response to the tornado. Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones also used it in 1987, when the Edmonton Eskimos and Edmonton Oilers both won championships. The City never officially sanctioned the slogan.

  120. OriginalPouzar says:

    ptspndr: If you were coach with that attitude your tenure would be short lived. The star player makes far more money and who do you think is easier to replace. I would think it more likely that at least one of the Oiler coaches used JP as his whipping boy and the team followed suit.

    I don’t believe any NHL coach is at the whim of any player as far as lineup deployment.

    I don’t think any respected NHL coach takes a job when he has to listen to a player with respect to lineup decisions.

  121. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Bag of Pucks: If, as it appears, there were coaching difficulties with JP, I equate it to a talented employee who’s unreceptive to being managed. Yes, you want to ‘unlock’ the potential, but why should the challenging and largely unproductive employee get cherry assignments at the expense of lesser skilled but much more cooperative and team oriented employees?

    It started at the very beginning, having to negotiate concessions to cajole the player to come over. That sets the tone for trust in the relationship. The Oilers are not solely at fault imo for how badly this has played out.

    Correct me if I am wrong here, please. The tone that “pumping stories” engenders is that the Oilers are creating a false narrative regarding Puljujarvi to justify their position of moving on from him.

    I have my fan bias for sure, but I don’t see it that way. What if it’s just the case that Puljujarvi just isn’t what he seemed to be on draft day? Just another failed draft choice.

    We have had similar heated debates about Schremp, Omark, Lander, Paajarvi, Yakupov, Slepyshev. With wildly opposing views that the Oilers management and player development was to blame but exactly none of these players went somewhere else and excelled. Some have had careers, but none have starred, yet the sense was at that time that these were all important pieces the Oilers messed up on.

    So I think Oiler personnel assessment has failed. They have continually chosen individuals who have failed to meet expectations and of course I have only listed a small number of recent failures. There’s a long list.

    My question to those of you who dig in to this more – is this level of personnel assessment failure greater than other teams? It seems so to all of us, but is that familiarity bias? Do other teams make these errors, this often?

    Only time will tell, but the sense I get is Puljujarvi will turn out to be no better than Yakupov or Schremp.

  122. jp says:

    russ99:
    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    When was the last time the Oilers has a defenseman break into the majors and play up to a NHL full time role in his first season?

    When was the last time the Oilers got through a season without injury to the top 6, or even top 8.

    They’re will be plenty of icetime for everyone, and I’m confident Russell will have an improved season on the left side. No need for pressboxing anyone.

    Benning and Nurse were the most recent I believe. So not so long ago.

    Agreed on the injuries, and that we shouldn’t worry about ice for the young guys. Some of them will struggle too, we just don’t know which ones.

  123. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    russ99,

    I don’t think many teams are able to run a top-6/7 most of the year.Hockey is a physical game, injuries and (for that matter) slumps happen.Guys are going to get rotated in and called up at various points throughout the season.

    You’re likely right, as I also suspect Russell will fare better on his natural side and against weaker QoC, but at some point we need to test drive the young’uns before they lose their waver eligibility to see exactly what we have.Otherwise we’ll trade away latent value without realizing the potential to our team.Which is so Oilers.

    Rusty is a competent vet, who is well suited to fill in for spot duty and can play competent minutes in the event of injuries or slumps.He’s cover at this point; no need to invest crucial development minutes on a non-core asset who is one of the last guys you’d want mentoring rookies in the finer points of defending.

    Everyone is making valid points but I think the above post does contradict itself a little bit.

    Hockey is a tough game and injuries happen – NHL teams generally use 10 or so d-man a year. Given the forgoing, there will be time for each of Lagesson and Jones and even Bear to show where they are before they need to be re-signed and decisions need to be made on them.

    No need to rush them in to the lineup on October 2, their time will come.

    I’m not against using Russell in that 6/7 role but I just don’t think our veteran coach will do that to start the year. If 2 of Jones/Lagesson/Persson prove to be more positive material contributors on the ice than Russell, then, as the season goes on, we may see some tough decisions by the coach.

  124. jp says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour: Correct me if I am wrong here, please. The tone that “pumping stories” engenders is that the Oilers are creating a false narrative regarding Puljujarvi to justify their position of moving on from him.

    I have my fan bias for sure, but I don’t see it that way. What if it’s just the case that Puljujarvi just isn’t what he seemed to be on draft day? Just another failed draft choice.

    We have had similar heated debates about Schremp, Omark, Lander, Paajarvi, Yakupov, Slepyshev. With wildly opposing views that the Oilers management and player development was to blame but exactly none of these players went somewhere else and excelled. Some have had careers, but none have starred, yet the sense was at that time that these were all important pieces the Oilers messed up on.

    So I think Oiler personnel assessment has failed. They have continually chosen individuals who have failed to meet expectations and of course I have only listed a small number of recent failures. There’s a long list.

    My question to those of you who dig in to this more – is this level of personnel assessment failure greater than other teams? It seems so to all of us, but is that familiarity bias? Do other teams make these errors, this often?

    Only time will tell, but the sense I get is Puljujarvi will turn out to be no better than Yakupov or Schremp.

    I don’t have a clear answer whether this is more or less than other teams. I suspect a lot of the perception is familiarity bias though.

    Your examples go back over 15 years. And it’s not like all of them were blue chip prospects (Omark and Slepyshev would be considered draft successes despite their short careers based on where they were drafted).

    I don’t know that the personnel assessment, at least at the draft level is as bad as it appears.

  125. Stagimar says:

    Hey guys/gals, I’m scratchin to find anything on McDavids recovery and not having much luck, anyone see anything new out there? Super curious if he will be at or close to 100% for the start of the season.

    Thanks in advance

  126. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Agreed and I’ve been posting about that quite a bit lately.

    With 5 veterans, including Russell at 3LD, does management include a Manning (or even Lowe) as a pure pressbox sitter and let Jones (presumably given leftie/rightie and Tippett’s verbal) wait for a recall?

    Maybe management will rotate the likes of Jones/Persson (or Lagesson as a wildcard)?Are we OK with one or both of those guys not playing every game to start the season?

    I don’t imagine that Russell starts the season as a healthy scratch.

    Of course, what are the chances that all 7 are healthy come October 2?

    I think Holland plans to use the season to find out about the 3 defensemen who will lose their waiver status this year (or possibly 4 with Persson?). I must emphasize “season” – if he wanted to find out about them by the end of October then having Russell in the lineup is a problem, otherwise it is not.

    Consider this: in 2018-19 the Oilers gave 13 defensemen NHL games, and after the top 5 the others had enough ice-time to give the coaching staff a very good idea about each’s strengths and weaknesses. They played as follows:

    Gravel: 529:31 in 36 gp
    Sekera: 395:43 in 24
    Jones: 336:33 in 17
    Garrison: 215:49 in 17
    Manning: 161:00 in 12
    Petrovic: 126:16 in 9
    Bouchard: 86:28 in 7
    Wideman: 57:10 in 5

    That’s 1900 minutes for guys who started the year as the #6D on the depth chart or lower. The year prior was similar:

    Sekera: 587:54 in 36 gp
    Auvitu: 447:19 in 33
    Davidson: 399:10 in 23
    Bear: 335:22 in 18
    Gryba: 309:24 in 21
    Lowe: 27:48 in 2 games

    That’s slightly over 2100 minutes. It seems Holland has eschewed veteran D for the 7/8/9 etc. roles, so seeing the youngsters filling this chart will be the rule this year, not the exception as it has been in the past. I’m sure a few emergency minutes will be played by an AHL veteran like Lowe, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this:

    Jones: 510:00 in 30 gp
    Persson: 480:00 in 30
    Lagesson: 310:00 in 20
    Bear: 250:00 in 18
    Bouchard: 240:00 in 20
    Samorukov: 72:00 in 6
    Day: 50:00 in 5
    Lowe: 30:00 in 3

    I think that’s enough minutes to give Holland a very good idea who to keep and who to move next summer.

  127. ArmchairGM says:

    Trevor457: But Tippet did leave it open that a d could play their off side.And playing Nurse on the right paired with Russell on the 2nd pair would give him two proven top 4 d on the second pair.I can’t see him hoping that Benning or Persson is able to handle to 4 d as his go to plan.

    Hoping?

    ******************

    Is 1250 minutes over 3 years a large enough sample size to prove anything? I’m genuinely asking, because on another forum I’m the only guy that sees any value in Matt Benning at all, and looking at the numbers I think he can play 2RD. Certainly between him, Sekera and Russell we should be able to cover 2RD next season, but the numbers for Benning are intriguing.

    To start with I used a proxy for “top-4” each year going back to 2016-17, based on TOI v Elites taken from puckiq.com, as follows:

    2016-17: Sekera (35.5%), Klefbom (34.6)
    2017-18: Nurse (34.9), Klefbom (32.3)
    2018-19: Klefbom (35.1), Nurse (33.8)

    Next I went to naturalstattrick.com and, using their “Teammates” tool, filtered all the stats for each year for the TOI Benning spent with each player listed above. I realize there were times when Russell-Benning were the 2nd pairing, but there may have been games that they were 3rd pairing too and I didn’t want to confuse the numbers with 3rd pairing data. Then too, who you play with is as important as who you play against, so showing those games where Russell-Benning played 2nd pairing probably doesn’t give us much information about potential combos this coming season, unless the injury bug strikes down 2-3 of the top-5 guys. For reference though, Russell-Benning were together just 21:04 in 2018-19 and outscored the competition 2-1. Negligible.

    So I built an excel spreadsheet combining all the figures for Benning’s ice-time with the top two LHD for each season and the results were interesting to say the least. For the 3 years combined, 5v5 minutes in the top-4 only:

    TOI: 1250:19
    CF%: 52.79
    FF%: 53.00
    SF%: 53.17
    GF%: 55.65

    xGF%: 53.71
    SCF%: 52.75
    SCGF%: 56.99
    HDCF%: 52.69
    HDGF%: 56.72

    Sh%: 9.51
    Sv%: 91.75
    PDO: 1.013

    Again, this is just the time he spent in the top-4, these numbers don’t include any bottom-pairing play at all. This looks like a decent top-4 blueliner from here. Is it the McDavid push? Let’s look at the numbers with and without McDavid, filtered by the aforementioned top two LHD:

    With McDavid

    TOI: 420:30
    CF%: 55.19
    FF%: 56.65
    SF%: 56.14
    GF%: 62.96

    xGF%: 56.10
    SCF%: 55.27
    HDCF%: 55.10
    HDGF%: 59.38

    Sh%: 14.05
    Sv%: 90.73
    PDO: 1.048

    Without McDavid:

    TOI: 829:47
    CF%: 51.39
    FF%: 50.88
    SF%: 51.49
    GF%: 49.18

    xGF%: 52.06
    SCF%: 50.97
    HDCF%: 50.80
    HDGF%: 54.29

    Sh%: 8.20
    Sv%: 94.67
    PDO: 1.029

    The truth is that Benning, even when playing top-4 minutes, isn’t getting a ton of “McDavid time”, just 33.6% of his TOI was spent with the world’s best center. Of course his numbers in those minutes are better, but he performed quite well even without the CMD push.

    And then there’s this: Benning personally posted amazing boxcars during these minutes. His .912 points/60 puts him tied for 58th best defenseman in the NHL over the past 3 years, while his .29 goals/60 puts him in a 5 way tie for 24th, with Jones, Ekblad, Markov and our own Darnell Nurse. (I can’t believe so many Oilers fans are calling for these two to be traded). These are phenomenal numbers.

    The list of marquee players that couldn’t match Benning’s .912 p/60 over the past 3 years is long, including Slavin, Petry, Morrissey, Ekholm, Heiskanen, Gostisbehere, Miller, Pesce, Ekman-Larsson, Parayko, Ekblad, Brodin, Doughty, Lindholm, Fowler, Ristolainen, Klefbom, Hamonic and Vatanen.

    Now, I’m not suggesting that Matt Benning is a top-pairing guy or even a sure-fire top 4. I do know for sure that he’s played a reasonable amount of top-4 minutes over the past 3 years and has won those minutes even playing behind a piss-poor forward group. NONE of the other top blueliners can touch Benning’s GF% without McDavid, and it isn’t close:

    Benning: 49.18 (while in the top-4 only)
    Nurse: 44.51
    Russell: 43.87
    Larsson: 43.68
    Klefbom: 40.27
    Sekera: 40.00 (includes bottom-pairing time)

    For reference, Benning’s overall GF% without McDavid (just so we’re comparing apples-to-apples) is 51.45%.

  128. gogliano says:

    I can see Holland’s play as having Pool play a year in Europe and then letting him head over to Seattle.

    Would be a good pickup for them — certainly better than Reinhardt — and not the worst loss off the roster.

  129. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    jp: I don’t have a clear answer whether this is more or less than other teams. I suspect a lot of the perception is familiarity bias though.

    Your examples go back over 15 years. And it’s not like all of them were blue chip prospects (Omark and Slepyshev would be considered draft successes despite their short careers based on where they were drafted).

    I don’t know that the personnel assessment, at least at the draft level is as bad as it appears.

    That is kind of what I was thinking. Thanks.

  130. New Improved Darkness says:

    Even though you’re old as dirt, you try to stay hip to the younger generation—but your efforts only make you even more embarrassing.

    Cultural artefact old-as-dirt: Beware the man of one book.

    Cultural artefact updated for the Twitter generation: Beware the personage of one dust jacket.

    High five!

    Moon shuffle.

    Some celebratory sound only Tina Turner could utter with dignity.

    Generation Z: [giant eye roll] Hey, what’s a “dust jacket”, old man? Present, uh, fashion statement not included …

    Hang dog.

    Return to bedroom.

    Fish out an old copy of Popular Mechanics you’ve still got hidden under the bed.

    Sad, sad double paw-lick.

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