Jay Versus the Volcano

I have followed every Oilers minor league season since 1979, first via The Hockey News and then later the Al Gore. The 2018-19 season in Bakersfield was incredible. I don’t think we’ve seen more individual performance spikes by an AHL collective in the franchise’s history. Seriously.

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: Revisiting the Oilers’ 2016 draft and the opportunities missed
  • New Lowetide: Examining the potential waiver-wire opportunities at hand for the Oilers
  • New Lowetide: Cooper Marody’s utility gives him an edge for an Oilers roster spot in 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options for the Oilers over the next seven months.
  • 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.

What was the most impressive thing about Woodcroft’s first AHL season as coach? He had nine rookies and all nine had a positive story to tell about their game. From Marody and Benson (who were stellar) to Hebig, Yamamoto, Day, Starrett, Wells, Skinner and Vesel, each found an area of the game in which they could flourish. Impressive.

You say that, but all nine guys can’t make the NHL. Sure, but the first step in allowing the cream to rise is competition for playing time and usage in prominent positions. Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and Cam Hebig started out as a line together, but the three men finished in different spots. Woodcroft is giving everyone a chance, and they ride ’til they can’t no more. He is giving each new hand a chance to find his level.

How did Woodcroft do it? Well, he had some veterans and some high end rookies and decided on a kid line. They were fire to start the season, the line had a strong 14-game stanza: Marody (14, 5-12-17) was the catalyst, with Benson (14, 3-11-14) and Hebig (14, 7-6-13) not far behind. Now, the trio didn’t hang together and didn’t finish in the same way. In their final 14 games of the season, Marody went 6-13-19, Benson 5-14-19 and Hebig 1-6-7.

So Hebig is out? No, he had to find a different role in 2018-19 but he could emerge as a scorer this coming season. Remember, they were all rookies.

What did Yamamoto do in his final 14 games of the AHL season? Before getting shut down with the wrist injury, he went 6-4-10 in his final 14. That was good, but he had only 17 shots. In his first 13 AHL games, Yamamoto went just 4-4-8, but he had 28 shots. When he’s shooting the puck a lot, good things happen. The wrist had an impact. Yamamoto had 31 shots in the final 10 games of his WHL regular-season career.

How did Woodcroft bring along the veteran forwards? I think he tried to build two lines made up of veterans and or college men. Brad Malone and Josh Currie were staples, with Joe Gambardella and Patrick Russell major players. It’s kind of incredible, all of the forwards who had success were, at least marginally, legit NHL prospects.

What did Woodcroft run in the playoffs? He went with Benson-Marody-Currie before Marody’s injury and that line was very effective. The No. 2 line was Gambardella-Malone-Russell, but that line would often get the top opposition (to my eye). Polei-Vesel-Gust and Hebig-Esposito-Callahan also appeared but I will tell you Esposito pushed up the depth chart during the playoffs.

Defense and goal? Lagesson-Jones top pair, Lowe-Bear played second pair and Stanton-Day also played a lot. Evan Bouchard got a push during the final eight games and Brandon Manning was a ghost. Shane Starrett was the starter early in the playoffs, Wells had one strong game and Stuart Skinner had a game to remember. As I said, every rookie had at least one story to tell about his season.

Who will stick in Edmonton this fall? Don’t know. My guesses include Caleb Jones plus Tyler Benson and Joe Gambardella. They are guesses.

Who will be the AHL rookies this time? The likely freshman are Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov, Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Safin and Ryan McLeod. All should find Woodcroft’s coaching style a benefit. I don’t know what role McLeod will play, his speed is going to be a big asset but his skills might be used on the defensive side if the young man can’t find the range offensively. I worry about Safin basically losing an entire year to injury.

What is Woodcroft’s future? Five years from now, if he’s the head coach in Edmonton and Keith Gretzky is the GM, I wouldn’t be the least surprised.

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73 Responses to "Jay Versus the Volcano"

  1. jtblack says:

    Great Freshman Group last year and what looks like an exciting Freshman group this year …

    Obviously PC dismantled the talent at the NHL level, but if credit is due, it was his ability to rebuild / restock the organizations prospects … outside of just 1st round picks ..

  2. blainer says:

    Interesting LT that you have Haas making OIL. I agree as he is Hollands guy.

    On Haas. I watched a lot of highlights of the past three years of the world chamionships. IMO Haas was very impressive against better competition. He has a great shot, played on both the PP and the PK on a talented team that knocked Canada out of the medal round in 2018 that also CMD.

    The one thing I noticed was he is very trusted by his coach’s. For example in the elimination game against CMD and our Canadian squad what I found very interesting was that after Canada scored to close the lead to only one goal and were now down 3-2 with two minutes left in the game and Canada was pressing to tie ..who did the Swiss have out taking the draw with 7 seconds left? It was Haas. He lost the draw but made a smart play by covering defensively and the Swiss won the game.

    I noticed he scored a few really nice goals in those tournaments. The way I see it with Haas though is we tend to put so much into offense and NHL’e’s but I think there is more to this player signing. I think he was signed as much for his defensive game as he was for possibly potting 15-20 goals which I believe he will do if he gets PP time.

    His skating will also translate well to the NHL based on his play internationally. He could easily surprise us and move up the lineup or even as our third center. I also think he will be good on the PK.

    The one weak part about his game that needs work is faceoff’s. I really hope he is working his ass off on that in the off season.

    While I am very high on this player he is still unproven so who knows for sure based on all the euro signings from the past ala Petrell. He could be just another one of those signings that doesn’t work out but I must say I really like the bet on this guy.

  3. dustrock says:

    LT referencing Old Town Road what a hip young man

  4. razor says:

    Considering the success of Woodcroft with prospects last year,I imagine we would be in a much different spot than we are now if Pujuljarvi was sent down for the entire season. This may be the most crippling mistake of Hitch’s tenure was recalling him and stringing him along all season.

  5. Jethro Tull says:

    Hold the presses…..just found out Will Ferrell is a Portsmouth FC fan. He is attending today’s game v. Tranmere Rovers.

    That’s like Tom Hanks being a Red Deer Rebels fan for no apparent reason. (I don’t know if he is. He might be.)

  6. Bag of Pucks says:

    dustrock:
    LT referencing Old Town Road what a hip young man

    We need a Fear Inoculum reference from LT. Tool & the Oil have a lot in common. Fans waiting 10+ years for a sign of life, etc.

  7. Bag of Pucks says:

    Really enjoyed that post LT. I don’t watch the A at all, so I enjoyed your perspective on the movers and shakers down on the farm. Who’s the comparable for Jay Woodcroft from the Oilers glory days? In Slats day, the minor league coach seemed like a phantom.

  8. Reja says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Really enjoyed that post LT. I don’t watch the A at all, so I enjoyed your perspective on the movers and shakers down on the farm. Who’s the comparable for Jay Woodcroft from the Oilers glory days? In Slats day, the minor league coach seemed like a phantom.

    John Muckler Wichita Wind.

  9. Jethro Tull says:

    Bag of Pucks: We need a Fear Inoculum reference from LT. Tool & the Oil have a lot in common. Fans waiting 10+ years for a sign of life, etc.

    In that one thing yes…..but reading his history, nothing else. Dude has had a hard start to life.

  10. Bag of Pucks says:

    Reja: John Muckler Wichita Wind.

    Cool. Didn’t realize Muckler came up through the minor affiliate. He just always seemed to be there. Sather’s Consigliere.

  11. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jethro Tull: In that one thing yes…..but reading his history, nothing else. Dude has had a hard start to life.

    Who are you referring to?

  12. Bag of Pucks says:

    The great thing about Canada vs Russia is a Canadian in his bones will always want to beat a Russian national team and vice versa.

    It’s the Ali vs Norton, Borg vs McEnroe, Thor vs Loki matchup of hockey.

  13. jeetz says:

    Who will stick in Edmonton this fall? Don’t know. My guesses include Caleb Jones plus Tyler Benson and Joe Gambardella. They are guesses.

    I would add William Lagesson to that group. I see something like…

    Nurse Larsson
    Klefbom Jones
    Benning/Russell Lagesson

    …by the end of the season. It will make Nurse’s negotiations interesting because at that point we wont be able to hold back Bouchard and maybe Samorukov. It is an embarrassment of riches on def which now we might be able to start asking what top 6 forward can we get for 1 of Klefbom/Larsson/Nurse at the end of this upcoming season.

    Things are looking up. Cool.

    2020-21 top 6 forward situation is looking up. Any of these could happen:

    1) JP potentially blows the doors off in Europe and comes back healthy and full of confidence as either a useful player or is traded for a useful top 6 player.

    2) KY, Benson and possibly Marody/McLeod will be ready to contribute

    3) 1 of our top 3 def could be traded (making room for Bouchard) to bring in a quality top fwd.

  14. Jethro Tull says:

    Bag of Pucks: Who are you referring to?

    Er, lead singer/founder of Tool?

  15. Klima's_Bucket says:

    LT,
    This photo of Woodcroft, was it taken with the same potato that has drawn the ire of Mr. McCurdy during preseason games?

  16. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jethro Tull: Er, lead singer/founder of Tool?

    I compared the Oilers (a collective) to a band (a collective) and you see the comparison as invalid because an individual within that collective had a tough life? That conveys that you see Maynard and Tool as one and the same?

    Some other areas of commonality:

    Rabid, loyal fanbase despite the team/group doing little to justify that behaviour for 10+ years

    Innovative/ unique to their sport/genre initially but long droughts with not much to celebrate

    Cocaine fuelled dynasties

    Gretzky/Maynard both associated with wine. However calling Maynard’s product wine is somewhat generous. Sediment is a more apt description.

  17. Surgeons Knot says:

    LT, after following the minor league teams for so long, who are your favourite prospects who never made it to the show?

  18. Bag of Pucks says:

    A Beauty by Foudy.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    One cannot ignore the success that Jay W. and the Condors had last season – not only did the team have success in the standings but it did so by using young players – winning and development.

    Jay W. did a masterful job of developing the “real prospects” – the likes of Benson, Marody, Yamamoto, Bear, Lagesson, Jones, Joe G. but also using the “experience” that he had in the likes of Malone, P. Russell, Lowe, Stanton, – even mixed in some solid minutes from “the filler”, the likes of Esposito, Poelei, Vesel, etc.

    Then again, and not discounting what Jay W. did, this may have been the first time that the AHL team had the depth of “real prospects” combined with some AHL veterans in order to have the development and team success the Condors showed. Also, was this the first time the mandate was development over winning (or, at least, development combined with winning)?

    Kudos to Dave Manson as well.

    My only “negative” was not giving Bouchard some less sheltered minutes in the games he played. For his first 4-5 games, until injuries hit the back-end, he only got the rare even strength shift and may not have taken a defensive zone faceoff alignment.

    Alot of information could have been gained about his pro game with at least one or two top 4 minute games.

    Oh well.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hebig’s hot start to the season is a little bit overblown in my opinion as, if I remember correctly, almost all of his points, and all of his goals, were on the powerplay. Not that PP goals don’t count, however, he struggled offensively at 5 on 5 through the entire season – hence why he was moved down the lineup as the season wore on.

    Healthy scratched down the stretch and in the playoffs.

    I look for a bit of a more substantial 5 on 5 role for his this season as a second year pro – there will be some real comp on the wings (Yamamoto, Maksimov, Benson (maybe), Currie, Safin, etc.) but perhaps he will be able to hand with a skill line).

    He’s not a “real NHL prospect” in my mind but could be a very good AHL guy.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    I believe Bruce (or another Cult member), had a blog out yesterday on Joe G. which I haven’t had a chance to read yet but, I agree with the title of the piece as I think Joe G. has a real shot at a roster spot out of camp.

    One year ago, he wasn’t even on my radar as he struggled in his first year pro as an older guy, however, he took massive strides in the last year. Did he not set a team record for goals in a season?

    Joe is a smart hockey player and, while he’s not a burner, he has the ability to get in on the forecheck quickly and pressure the d-men. That causes turnovers and is what I like to see from the 4th liners. Responsible all over the ice and he’s got skill so should be able to bury it when the opportunities come.

    Given his age, he’s a great bottom of the roster option as he can be slotted in on the 4th line, maybe 3rd in a pinch, but can also sit in the press-box for a bit here and there without worry about ruining his development.

    He’s got lots of comp at camp but, to me, he’s ahead of Currie for sure, should be ahead of Cave and potentially Jurco (who I do like).

    Gooooo Joe!

  22. Bag of Pucks says:

    Political ideologies aside, they really should bring back those CCCP unis for one tournament. You just know Putin would love it. Tretiak in classic proletariat gear. Doesn’t get any better than that.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yup, last year was basically a wash for Safin.

    I generally don’t wish to see over-age seasons in junior for real prospects – real NHL prospects don’t play over-age in the CHL, however, given the lost development year, I wouldn’t mind Safin back in Halifax.

    With that said, I think they are maxed out on both imports and over-agers and its not really an option.

    He could see the ECHL to start the season but this is a big year for the big guy – he needs to put himself back on the prospect map.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    That’s my defensive pairings except I have Bear and Bouchard switched:

    Lagesson/Bear
    Lowe/Bourchard

    I think Lowe would be a very nice partner for Bouchard in his rookie pro season.

  25. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    My only “negative” was not giving Bouchard some less sheltered minutes in the games he played. For his first 4-5 games, until injuries hit the back-end, he only got the rare even strength shift and may not have taken a defensive zone faceoff alignment.

    Alot of information could have been gained about his pro game with at least one or two top 4 minute games.

    Oh well.

    I have read this from you a few times and I understand the sentiment but since this is a column about Woodcroft I think it is useful to point out the “other side” from his perspective.

    I don’t think it is controversial to point out that rookies tend to make mistakes and dmen mistakes tend to be more dangerous than mistakes made by forwards. During the regular season teammates will accept that because they all went through it themselves and there are another 60 games or so to make up for it. Not so much in a best of 7 where one mistake can end a season. A player’s coach will not risk the goodwill and relationships he has built up over a season by risking the season of those who got him there.

    From Bouchard’s perspective what does it do to his summer sitting and thinking about such a mistake should it happen? Every young guy dreams of scoring the winning goal in OT in Game 7 but what about the guy who makes a bad pinch and the other team scores that winning goal?

    From a risk/reward perspective I think Woodcroft did exactly the right thing. The Oilers will know as much about Bouchard’s readiness 20 games into this season as they would have from playing him a bit more in the playoffs without taking the risk of setting him back should something bad have happened that robbed his teammates of a chance to go all the way in the playoffs.

    Frustrating from a fan’s perspective? I can see that.

    From a coach’s perspective I think he made the right call.

  26. Pouzar says:

    Just read that recent article about Joe Murphy, coincidentally enough, on the way home from a cottage just outside Kenora. We stopped in there to get “supplies” for the trip on the way in…My Gord…Kenora is an “interesting” spot to say the least. For my first time there it was not what I was expecting.

    Very sad article.

  27. Reja says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Political ideologies aside, they really should bring back those CCCP unis for one tournament. You just know Putin would love it. Tretiak in classic proletariat gear. Doesn’t get any better than that.

    I absolutely loved those uniforms back in the day still do. Everyone hated the commie Russians but deep down at the time most hockey fans respected and really liked those famous CCCP players and teams.

  28. jp says:

    blainer:
    Interesting LT that you have Haas making OIL. I agree as he is Hollands guy.

    On Haas. I watched a lot of highlights of the past three years of the world chamionships.IMO Haas was very impressive against better competition. He has a great shot, played on both the PP and the PK on a talented team that knocked Canada out of the medal round in 2018 that also CMD.

    The one thing I noticed was he is very trusted by his coach’s. For example in the elimination game against CMD and our Canadian squad what I found very interesting was that after Canada scored to close the lead to only one goal and were now down3-2 with two minutes left in the game and Canada was pressing to tie ..who did the Swiss have out taking the draw with 7 seconds left? It was Haas. He lost the draw but made a smart play by covering defensively and the Swiss won the game.

    I noticed he scored a few really nice goals in those tournaments. The way I see it with Haas though is we tend to put so much into offense and NHL’e’s but I think there is more to this player signing. I think he was signed as much for his defensive game as he was for possibly potting 15-20 goals which I believe he will do if he gets PP time.

    His skating will also translate well to the NHL based on his play internationally. He could easily surprise us and move up the lineup or even as our third center. I also think he will be good on the PK.

    The one weak part about his game that needs work is faceoff’s. I really hope he is working his ass off on that in the off season.

    While I am very high on this player he is still unproven so who knows for sure based on all the euro signings from the past ala Petrell. He could be just another one of those signings that doesn’t work out but I must say I really like the bet on this guy.

    Thanks for the scouting report. Some encouraging things for sure.

    In terms of LT not listing him on the Bakersfield roster, he’s stated that he will return to Switzerland if he can’t stick with the Oil. Not being listed above may be a reflection of that as much as an expectation he’ll make the big club.

  29. Pouzar says:

    Oh and those leaked pics of the new 3rd jersey are Gord Awful.

    https://twitter.com/dave_waddell/status/1160163615321686021/photo/1

  30. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar:
    Oh and those leaked pics of the new 3rd jersey are Gord Awful.

    https://twitter.com/dave_waddell/status/1160163615321686021/photo/1

    True dat. Hope they’re not genuine.

  31. jp says:

    Jethro Tull: In that one thing yes…..but reading his history, nothing else. Dude has had a hard start to life.

    Also, did you know that Maynard is now 55?

  32. GMB3 says:

    If it’s the ECHL for Safin, I could see him leaving for Europe. Why ride the bus in the cheese toast league when you can probably earn a better salary closer to home in a better league

  33. Professor Q says:

    Pouzar:
    Oh and those leaked pics of the new 3rd jersey are Gord Awful.

    https://twitter.com/dave_waddell/status/1160163615321686021/photo/1

    I actually like them, though something closer to the Condors Oil Drop jersey (minus the Condor talons) would have been my preference.

    Other than that, an orange cream rendition for another Classic Throwback would be very neat.

  34. Professor Q says:

    GMB3:
    If it’s the ECHL for Safin, I could see him leaving for Europe. Why ride the bus in the cheese toast league when you can probably earn a better salary closer to home in a better league

    He’s likely to do one more year in Halifax, non?

  35. Harpers Hair says:

    Pouzar:
    Oh and those leaked pics of the new 3rd jersey are Gord Awful.

    https://twitter.com/dave_waddell/status/1160163615321686021/photo/1

    Appear to have been designed by a Denver Broncos fan with astigmatism.

  36. Professor Q says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    The great thing about Canada vs Russia is a Canadian in his bones will always want to beat a Russian national team and vice versa.

    It’s the Ali vs Norton, Borg vs McEnroe, Thor vs Loki matchup of hockey.

    Borg vs. Picard? :p

  37. Professor Q says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Hold the presses…..just found out Will Ferrell is a Portsmouth FC fan. He is attending today’s game v. Tranmere Rovers.

    That’s like Tom Hanks being a Red Deer Rebels fan for no apparent reason. (I don’t know if he is. He might be.)

    As an aside, Tom Hanks is an Aston Villa fan.

  38. digger50 says:

    razor:
    Considering the success of Woodcroft with prospects last year,I imagine we would be in a much different spot than we are now if Pujuljarvi was sent down for the entire season. This may be the most crippling mistake of Hitch’s tenure was recalling him and stringing him along all season.

    So much of Hitch’s verbal was providing cover for those that brought him in and a bit of misdirection as well. I have the belief that his comments about bring JP up were also cover. I think JP was very unhappy at the move, his agent threw a fit and invoked pressure on Chiarelli.

    I believe this happened again late in the season but player nor agent could force him back on the club. Once at that crossroads they chose to shut down his season with decion to get hip surgery then.

  39. GMB3 says:

    Professor Q: He’s likely to do one more year in Halifax, non?

    As per OP they have their limit for imports and overagers

  40. jp says:

    GMB3:
    If it’s the ECHL for Safin, I could see him leaving for Europe. Why ride the bus in the cheese toast league when you can probably earn a better salary closer to home in a better league

    It’s possible, but I wonder what his options in Europe are like at this point. With the year he had last year he might not be in line for a Czech Elite league contract. Rosters are all but set overseas at this point too.

    If he’s in a 2nd tier league I don’t know that he’d make any more than the $70k he’ll get in the ECHL/AHL. Maybe I’m off base, but I don’t think money would be a big factor in where he plays this season. As usual it probably comes down to how badly he wants to follow the NHL dream.

    Wherever he ends up hopefully he can put the injuries behind him and start looking like a prospect again.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    blainer:
    Interesting LT that you have Haas making OIL. I agree as he is Hollands guy.

    On Haas. I watched a lot of highlights of the past three years of the world chamionships.IMO Haas was very impressive against better competition. He has a great shot, played on both the PP and the PK on a talented team that knocked Canada out of the medal round in 2018 that also CMD.

    The one thing I noticed was he is very trusted by his coach’s. For example in the elimination game against CMD and our Canadian squad what I found very interesting was that after Canada scored to close the lead to only one goal and were now down3-2 with two minutes left in the game and Canada was pressing to tie ..who did the Swiss have out taking the draw with 7 seconds left? It was Haas. He lost the draw but made a smart play by covering defensively and the Swiss won the game.

    I noticed he scored a few really nice goals in those tournaments. The way I see it with Haas though is we tend to put so much into offense and NHL’e’s but I think there is more to this player signing. I think he was signed as much for his defensive game as he was for possibly potting 15-20 goals which I believe he will do if he gets PP time.

    His skating will also translate well to the NHL based on his play internationally. He could easily surprise us and move up the lineup or even as our third center. I also think he will be good on the PK.

    The one weak part about his game that needs work is faceoff’s. I really hope he is working his ass off on that in the off season.

    While I am very high on this player he is still unproven so who knows for sure based on all the euro signings from the past ala Petrell. He could be just another one of those signings that doesn’t work out but I must say I really like the bet on this guy.

    Thank you for this post and its quite comforting as both the coach and the GM seem to have this guy on the team and and Tippett has mentioned him as a 3C option on multiple occasions. I’ve been concerned mainly due to the league he’s played in and don’t understand why he’s touted over a younger guy like Marody who has more skill (I believe) and offensive success in a better league.

    I think they put alot of stock in to his international play which I’m not sold on – Koskinen was an international star for Finland for years and coaching and defensive strategy on the big ice is the great skill neutralizer (hence teams like the Swiss can look good against Canada).

    With respect to faceoffs, I would share your concerns and wouldn’t count on Haas being a plus faceoff guy – I heard an interview with him on the Gregor show last month and Jason asked him about faceoffs and he professed that they haven’t been a strength of his but he’s got better with work. I don’t think he’s been a great faceoff guy in Switzerland and its not from lack of effort or experience.

  42. GMB3 says:

    I was really hoping they would use the old navys or a copper and blue jersey for the third jersey but instead it’s…. really bad. Worse than I thought it would be

    I love the Weight era jerseys. Would love to see McDavid wear one at some point.

    Also how is the organization so tone deaf in regards to what the fans like?

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    razor:
    Considering the success of Woodcroft with prospects last year,I imagine we would be in a much different spot than we are now if Pujuljarvi was sent down for the entire season. This may be the most crippling mistake of Hitch’s tenure was recalling him and stringing him along all season.

    He was sent down because it was clear he needed development time and, after four games, he’s recalled because of the arrogance of Hitch.

    Hitch puts him directly on the top line – for 3:20 seconds of play, moves him down the lineup and plays him another 2:30 that game. I don’t understand how Hitch thought/thinks, that was putting him in position to succeed or amenable to “fixing him”.

    Not to mention, calling him up and then him being shut down due to injury led to losing his waiver exempt status.

    Further, he was fabulous in those four AHL games – 4 points, 17 shots, a fight. He was the best player on the ice in two of them and quite good in another.

    Imagine if he and Yamamoto were Condors for the year and stayed healthy?

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    jeetz:
    Who will stick in Edmonton this fall? Don’t know. My guesses include Caleb Jones plus Tyler Benson and Joe Gambardella. They are guesses.

    I would add William Lagesson to that group. I see something like…

    Nurse Larsson
    Klefbom Jones
    Benning/Russell Lagesson

    …by the end of the season. It will make Nurse’s negotiations interesting because at that point we wont be able to hold back Bouchard and maybe Samorukov. It is an embarrassment of riches on def which now we might be able to start asking what top 6 forward can we get for 1 of Klefbom/Larsson/Nurse at the end of this upcoming season.

    Things are looking up. Cool.

    2020-21 top 6 forward situation is looking up. Any of these could happen:

    1) JP potentially blows the doors off in Europe and comes back healthy and full of confidence as either a useful player or is traded for a useful top 6 player.

    2) KY, Benson and possibly Marody/McLeod will be ready to contribute

    3) 1 of our top 3 def could be traded (making room for Bouchard) to bring in a quality top fwd.

    I’m quite confident that Willie Lagesson is ready for 3LD and all that’s left for him to do is get that opportunity. With that said, with Russell likely to be back on the left side (and, no, I don’t see Tippett healthy scratching him on October 2) and Jones the “darling”, I think Willie will need to wait for his opportunity – he likely won’t be waiting long.

    Maybe not next year but, in another year, I could see Willie being a legit 2LD 22-24 minutes aggressive shutdown type d-man that can move the puck, skate and has some offensive IQ – our very own Robyn Regher.

    ——————————————————-

    Right now, all our d-prospects are just that “prospects”, hence why we aren’t able to move any of them in a package or an incumbent for help up front.

    Where will we be in a year from now?

    I’m penciling in Darnell to the lineup at apx $7M – I’m not here to discuss his cap value for next year but, realistically, he’s an Oiler and, realistically, that’s the approximate cost, whether we like it or not.

    The progress of our young d-men really is the wild card though. Maybe its just a solid development year from them – Jones, Lagesson prove to be bottom pairing guys and maybe Bouchard looks ready for a 2RD role but noone really “pops”.

    On the other hand, what if Lagesson looks like the 2LD stud he might become, Bouchard is a legit NHLer by January and Samorukov kills the AHL and plays 1st pairing by end of the year, with success?

    Then what?

    Options baby!

  45. Reja says:

    digger50: So much of Hitch’s verbal was providing cover for those that brought him in and a bit of misdirection as well. I have the belief that his comments about bring JP up were also cover. I think JP was very unhappy at the move, his agent threw a fit and invoked pressure on Chiarelli.

    I believe this happened again late in the season but player nor agent could force him back on the club. Once at that crossroads they chose to shut down his season with decion to get hip surgery then.

    With Pete being a ex player agent along with his Personality I have no doubt that Pete was way to soft on certain demands that we can only speculate not only with Jesse’s camp but most of the other players contract negotiations and the end results. After saying this Leon hasn’t even hit his prime and it sure would be Cat’s Ass if Kosh goes poor man’s Hasek on us.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: I have read this from you a few times and I understand the sentiment but since this is a column about Woodcroft I think it is useful to point out the “other side” from his perspective.

    I don’t think it is controversial to point out that rookies tend to make mistakes and dmen mistakes tend to be more dangerous than mistakes made by forwards. During the regular season teammates will accept that because they all went through it themselves and there are another 60 games or so to make up for it. Not so much in a best of 7 where one mistake can end a season. A player’s coach will not risk the goodwill and relationships he has built up over a season by risking the season of those who got him there.

    From Bouchard’s perspective what does it do to his summer sitting and thinking about such a mistake should it happen? Every young guy dreams of scoring the winning goal in OT in Game 7 but what about the guy who makes a bad pinch and the other team scores that winning goal?

    From a risk/reward perspective I think Woodcroft did exactly the right thing. The Oilers will know as much about Bouchard’s readiness 20 games into this season as they would have from playing him a bit more in the playoffs without taking the risk of setting him back should something bad have happened that robbed his teammates of a chance to go all the way in the playoffs.

    Frustrating from a fan’s perspective? I can see that.

    From a coach’s perspective I think he made the right call.

    Oh, of course, I don’t disagree with anything you posted and I definitely understand the other point of view and, frankly, I’m not saying one is right over the other.

    There could also have been a middle ground – for most of it, they dressed 7 d-men and played Bouchard sporadically at best at evens. Injuries happened and they dressed 6D for the last few games – he got some more minutes at evens but not much – not even a regular 3rd pairing shift.

    I think he could have been given a few more looks but, of course, I can see Woody’s (and Manson’s) point of view.

    With respect to your example, i’m not sure I agree.

    If he makes that mistake that costs the team a goal, I’d like to think he’s mentally strong enough that it isn’t going to weigh on him all summer and negatively effect his development. He’s a pro now and a mature kid.

    Of course, if he did make that mistake, it could also drive him to work harder, show to him something he needs to learn and help him realize what he needs to do to be ready for pro hockey, no?

    Lastly, what if, instead of the mistake, he actually played some solid or even plus hockey with those minutes and/or made a big play in a big win? Wouldn’t that propel him during the off-season?

    The door swings both ways my friend.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: Thanks for the scouting report. Some encouraging things for sure.

    In terms of LT not listing him on the Bakersfield roster, he’s stated that he will return to Switzerland if he can’t stick with the Oil. Not being listed above may be a reflection of that as much as an expectation he’ll make the big club.

    He did acknowledge the potential need for a short adjustment assignment to Bakersfield but, yes, it seems he’s not willing to hit the AHL for any period of time.

    As he is subject to the ELC contract limits, his contract had to be 2-way and his minors salary is $70K.

    My guess is ELC contracts aren’t able to have higher AHL salaries or “guaranteed earnings” like regular non-ELC 2-way contracts are.

  48. Reja says:

    blainer:
    Interesting LT that you have Haas making OIL. I agree as he is Hollands guy.

    On Haas. I watched a lot of highlights of the past three years of the world chamionships.IMO Haas was very impressive against better competition. He has a great shot, played on both the PP and the PK on a talented team that knocked Canada out of the medal round in 2018 that also CMD.

    The one thing I noticed was he is very trusted by his coach’s. For example in the elimination game against CMD and our Canadian squad what I found very interesting was that after Canada scored to close the lead to only one goal and were now down3-2 with two minutes left in the game and Canada was pressing to tie ..who did the Swiss have out taking the draw with 7 seconds left? It was Haas. He lost the draw but made a smart play by covering defensively and the Swiss won the game.

    I noticed he scored a few really nice goals in those tournaments. The way I see it with Haas though is we tend to put so much into offense and NHL’e’s but I think there is more to this player signing. I think he was signed as much for his defensive game as he was for possibly potting 15-20 goals which I believe he will do if he gets PP time.

    His skating will also translate well to the NHL based on his play internationally. He could easily surprise us and move up the lineup or even as our third center. I also think he will be good on the PK.

    The one weak part about his game that needs work is faceoff’s. I really hope he is working his ass off on that in the off season.

    While I am very high on this player he is still unproven so who knows for sure based on all the euro signings from the past ala Petrell. He could be just another one of those signings that doesn’t work out but I must say I really like the bet on this guy.

    Tippett will greatly value PP 1and 2 but if we’re to make the playoffs I believe Tippett knows he has to turn around this dreadful PK. This will be a big tell on who makes the team as Tippett has stated he doesn’t want Mcdavid or Leon on the PK. I love this thinking because both will be fresher for the push at the end of a close game and the PKers will be more involved which will help there 5 on 5 play and team chemistry.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB:
    If it’s the ECHL for Safin, I could see him leaving for Europe. Why ride the bus in the cheese toast league when you can probably earn a better salary closer to home in a better league

    You could be right but definitely could be wrong too.

    He clearly wants to play in the NHL, hence coming over to play in junior as an 18/19 year old instead of playing pro in Czech.

    I would assume, given his talent and pedigree, he’s called up to the Bake before too long.

    If he’s committed to trying to develop in to an NHL player, he sticks around.

    I could be wrong.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    ProfessorQ: He’s likely to do one more year in Halifax, non?

    I don’t think so – not sure Halifax has the import and over-ager room.

  51. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: You could be right but definitely could be wrong too.

    He clearly wants to play in the NHL, hence coming over to play in junior as an 18/19 year old instead of playing pro in Czech.

    I would assume, given his talent and pedigree, he’s called up to the Bake before too long.

    If he’s committed to trying to develop in to an NHL player, he sticks around.

    I could be wrong.

    That is true. I hope your right. I had high hopes for him. His highlights from SJ in17/18 were phenomenal. A lot of skill, good skater

  52. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t think so – not sure Halifax has the import and over-ager room.

    Why not? Some of the others have signed with their NHL teams so might be headed to the AHL or ECHL. Obviously more choices need to be made as there are 7 (6, minus Durandeau) of them.

    https://halifaxmooseheads.ca/article/looking-ahead-to-2019-20

    There’s always a chance.

  53. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    The door swings both ways my friend.

    I think that was the point of my original response to your post. 😉

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    ProfessorQ: Why not? Some of the others have signed with their NHL teams so might be headed to the AHL or ECHL. Obviously more choices need to be made as there are 7 (6, minus Durandeau) of them.

    https://halifaxmooseheads.ca/article/looking-ahead-to-2019-20

    There’s always a chance.

    Sure, there is a chance but that article goes to prove how little room they have for over-agers.

    Not to mention, Safin hits both the import and over-ager spots this year.

    He’s a double-whammy.

  55. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Reja: Tippett will greatly value PP 1and 2 but if we’re to make the playoffs I believe Tippett knows he has to turn around this dreadful PK. This will be a big tell on who makes the team as Tippett hasstated he doesn’t want Mcdavid or Leon on the PK. I love this thinking because both will be fresher for the push at the end of a close game and the PKers will be more involved which will help there 5 on 5 play and team chemistry.

    Start as you mean to go.

    If you mean to go to the playoffs, you can’t play the bag off of your 4 best players all season. They will be exhausted and likely half injured come playoff time. and as you mentioned it also means the coaches couldn’t get the roster in involved enough, and it takes a whole roster to win in the playoffs.

    St Louis is a perfect example. I don’t think they have the best roster, but Berube put all of the players on a role they could succeed in, and everyone benefited.

    The goalies played better, Pietrangelo played up to his level for the first time in a few years.

    I really hope Tippet brings this to the Oilers as he has elsewhere, team buy in, all boats floating on a rising tide.

    Instead of half the boats inexplicably sinking after having been shown as seaworthy .

  56. Scungilli Slushy says:

    defmn: I have read this from you a few times and I understand the sentiment but since this is a column about Woodcroft I think it is useful to point out the “other side” from his perspective.

    I don’t think it is controversial to point out that rookies tend to make mistakes and dmen mistakes tend to be more dangerous than mistakes made by forwards. During the regular season teammates will accept that because they all went through it themselves and there are another 60 games or so to make up for it. Not so much in a best of 7 where one mistake can end a season. A player’s coach will not risk the goodwill and relationships he has built up over a season by risking the season of those who got him there.

    From Bouchard’s perspective what does it do to his summer sitting and thinking about such a mistake should it happen? Every young guy dreams of scoring the winning goal in OT in Game 7 but what about the guy who makes a bad pinch and the other team scores that winning goal?

    From a risk/reward perspective I think Woodcroft did exactly the right thing. The Oilers will know as much about Bouchard’s readiness 20 games into this season as they would have from playing him a bit more in the playoffs without taking the risk of setting him back should something bad have happened that robbed his teammates of a chance to go all the way in the playoffs.

    Frustrating from a fan’s perspective? I can see that.

    From a coach’s perspective I think he made the right call.

    It’s all about coaching. All players make mistakes at every point in their careers. As in McDavid amd Larsson having issues with being outscored last season.

    If the coaches encourage, teach, and have the players trust, players with the ability will develop quickly.

    I see this as the failure of Todd and Ken. They tried we know, but their methods didn’t work, not only with the youth. Team morale kept collapsing.

    As I’ve mentioned before, there are few coaches that are exceptional leaders, despite what the GM gives them.

    I still remember Eakins talking about going to an NFL camp to ‘learn’ how to lead a larger group. On the surface it looks like ‘good for him for being invested and learning more’ , but to me it said ‘I don’t know what to do and I don’t have confidence in what I do’.

    Learning on the job has been a problem for Oiler coaches and GMs.

    I love that watching Holland and Tippet in action they know exactly what they are doing and even in summer it seems stability and structure are growing where it wasn’t before.

    I’m always hopeful for upcoming seasons but even more chuffed for this one.

    More speed, more skill, fewer disgruntled employees.

  57. GMB3 says:

    Having this debate at work. I’d argue Hasek is the best goalie of the last quarter century. If there was a fantasy style draft, and you had the choice between Hasek (or Roy or whoever you think is better) and McDavid (or Crosby or whoever), first overall.

    Essentially would you rather have a generational #1C, or a generational goaltender? Both in the prime of their careers, who would you value more?

  58. Scungilli Slushy says:

    GMB3:
    I was really hoping they would use the old navys or a copper and blue jersey for the third jersey but instead it’s…. really bad. Worse than I thought it would be

    I love the Weight era jerseys. Would love to see McDavid wear one at some point.

    Also how is the organization so tone deaf in regards to what the fans like?

    With Holland I don’t think they are so tone deaf anymore. Hopefully they sort it out.

    The orange was cool as a third, kind of edgy, but as a staple just ask yourself how many people even wear orange on a regular basis?

    Not many. I’m certain uniforms affect how players feel, as in embarrassment. It doesn’t mean they can’t still win, but still any hinderances should be removed.

    I’d guess the players would love a black and gray monochromatic 3rd like other teams have. Fans too. Sales too. Worldwide because Connor and Leon.

  59. Scungilli Slushy says:

    GMB3:
    Having this debate at work. I’d argue Hasek is the best goalie of the last quarter century. If there was a fantasy style draft, and you had the choice between Hasek (or Roy or whoever you think is better) and McDavid (or Crosby or whoever), first overall.

    Essentially would you rather have a generational #1C, or a generational goaltender? Both in the prime of their careers, who would you value more?

    1C because elite skating talent is more stable over time.

    Teams can win many ways. But being able to score and dominate play affects the goalies more than the goalies affect skaters.

    You can win with average stable goalies as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Washington have.

    That happens more often than teams without elite forwards win with the exception of St Louis. The Preds and many other teams that have great reg seasons for example and can’t get over the hump.

    Elite goalies are a true blessing, but mostly it’s a mirage. Vas didn’t bail out the Bolts this playoffs.

  60. jp says:

    Scungilli Slushy:

    I still remember Eakins talking about going to an NFL camp to ‘learn’ how to lead a larger group. On the surface it looks like ‘good for him for being invested and learning more’ , but to me it said ‘I don’t know what to do and I don’t have confidence in what I do’.

    If McDavid works on his skating in the off season does it mean he doesn’t know how to skate?

    Didn’t McLellan and Hitch think they knew exactly what they were doing?

    I’m not really sure what you’re arguing. Eakins looked outside the box, so he didn’t have confidence in himself or know what to do. But McLellan and Hitch has full confidence they knew what they were doing, but that (or they) were also bad.

    Are you basically saying coaches either ‘have it’ or they don’t?

  61. jp says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    How do you know that Holland and Tippett know what they are doing any more than McLellan and Hitchcock did?

  62. defmn says:

    jp:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    How do you know that Holland and Tippett know what they are doing any more than McLellan and Hitchcock did?

    I think the one thing we can know is that Holland and Tippett respect each other’s understanding of the game since they spent a fair amount of time talking when Tippett was sniffing around for a GM for Seattle.

    That’s something imo.

  63. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It’s all about coaching. All players make mistakes at every point in their careers. As in McDavid amd Larsson having issues with being outscored last season.

    If the coaches encourage, teach, and have the players trust, players with the ability will develop quickly.

    I see this as the failure of Todd and Ken. They tried we know, but their methods didn’t work, not only with the youth. Team morale kept collapsing.

    As I’ve mentioned before, there are few coaches that are exceptional leaders, despite what the GM gives them.

    I still remember Eakins talking about going to an NFL camp to ‘learn’ how to lead a larger group. On the surface it looks like ‘good for him for being invested and learning more’ , but to me it said ‘I don’t know what to do and I don’t have confidence in what I do’.

    Learning on the job has been a problem for Oiler coaches and GMs.

    I love that watching Holland and Tippet in action they know exactly what they are doing and even in summer it seems stability and structure are growing where it wasn’t before.

    I’m always hopeful for upcoming seasons but even more chuffed for this one.

    More speed, more skill, fewer disgruntled employees.

    Tippett and Holland will get us into the playoffs. Tippett will give all players a chance to succeed and they will buy into his system I’ve said it 100 times confidence is a thing. I believe we will receive league average or better goaltending a top 5 PP a top 12-15 PK without Leon or Connor on it and most importantly for confidence first shot Talbot is no longer in the building

  64. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: 1C because elite skating talent is more stable over time.

    Teams can win many ways. But being able to score and dominate play affects the goalies more than the goalies affect skaters.

    You can win with average stable goalies as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Washington have.

    That happens more often than teams without elite forwards win with the exception of St Louis. The Preds and many other teams that have great reg seasons for example and can’t get over the hump.

    Elite goalies are a true blessing, but mostly it’s a mirage. Vas didn’t bail out the Bolts this playoffs.

    For me it’s a close call the generational 1C is much more sexier marketing wise but I would take the Generational Goaltender they can carry a team like no other position make a Coach look like a genius make really good defensemen into all stars and most importantly win you cups.

  65. GMB3 says:

    Reja: For me it’s a close call the generational 1C is much more sexier marketing wise but I would take the Generational Goaltender they can carry a team like no other position make a Coach look like a genius make really good defensemen into all stars and most importantly win you cups.

    Agreed. But we haven’t really seen any dynasties led by a superstar goalie. The best two by money in this era have been Price and Lundqvist, no cups.

  66. Reja says:

    GMB3: Agreed. But we haven’t really seen any dynasties led by a superstar goalie. The best two by money in this era have been Price and Lundqvist, no cups.

    Both are fine Goalies Hasek Roy Tretiak and maybe Brodeur are Generational Goalies for me.

  67. rickithebear says:

    This discussion of what wins makes me laugh.

    VGK selected 100% of the players available that fit my cup core roster theory.
    Rode that roster to a cup final.

    I stated on HF boards they were a GA cup final team before the expansion draft.
    I was saying they would be one of 2 championship teams.

    The cup core roster is dependent on 25 years of
    – NZ affected Entry
    – HD area shot density
    And
    – Open/ closed shot quality
    Data
    from
    offence (GF)
    And
    Defence (GA)

    You can win a cup with below avg open HD sh save% goalies when your team runs
    1. extensive NZ transition pressure
    2. Maintains a 3-2-1 off & def structure
    3. Is 5 top combined Closed corsi/HD sh defencemen deep.

  68. rickithebear says:

    LT:
    High shot volume with most being closed shots is still crap.

    Only open shots are scoreable.

    Shot quality (open/ closed) is the second part ( HD density 1st part) in my breaking down GF & GA.
    Both based on 45+ year old observations.

    Shot quality excludes crap shots from scoreable HD density data.

  69. rickithebear says:

    LT:
    What is most exciting is the veteran forward line & unit depth forwards Holland signed to add to forwards we had on July 1.
    Especially the PK and evg performance.
    Chaisson 13 evg #44 RW, #42 fwd 8 ppg
    Archibald 12 evg #52 RW, #17 pk fwd
    Granlund 10 evg #60 LW
    Jurco CHI 42gm 7 evg

    Trading For Neal as #2LW
    #35 LW 43 evg in last 3 seasons

    After reading HAAS scouting that said top speed/ def line driver I slotted him at DZ C/W & PK C/W.
    Nygards scouting said speed and his NHLE said double digit evg.

    The nice thing is Holland wants 23 yr old fwd 37+ gm debuts if their is veteran depth that needs to be passed.

    Age based even goal NHLE from AHL forwards.
    Based on 82gm played NHL season.
    Gambardella (25) 17 evg
    Currie (26) 14 evg
    —————————- None of the fwds below are a better option than jurco for evg.
    Maroody (22) 9 evg
    Benson (21) 8 evg
    Yamamotto (20) 6 evg

  70. rickithebear says:

    Reja:
    Broduer had seasons were he faced 19 shots/gm.
    Strong NZ transition def.

    Broduer had games were he faced zero scorable ( Open) shots by table hockey goalie positioning.

    NJD had the deepest most elite defence when it came to
    Keeping the puck to perimeter
    And
    Preventing scorable ( Open shots)
    In the last 25 years.

    Nothing worse than a goalie who lets in goals when their are none that would go in if he just moved like the first table hockey goalies Roy, JVB.
    Dryden May have been!
    Goalies that helped teams win championships.

  71. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oh, of course, I don’t disagree with anything you posted and I definitely understand the other point of view and, frankly, I’m not saying one is right over the other.

    There could also have been a middle ground – for most of it, they dressed 7 d-men and played Bouchard sporadically at best at evens.Injuries happened and they dressed 6D for the last few games – he got some more minutes at evens but not much – not even a regular 3rd pairing shift.

    I think he could have been given a few more looks but, of course, I can see Woody’s (and Manson’s) point of view.

    With respect to your example, i’m not sure I agree.

    If he makes that mistake that costs the team a goal, I’d like to think he’s mentally strong enough that it isn’t going to weigh on him all summer and negatively effect his development.He’s a pro now and a mature kid.

    Of course, if he did make that mistake, it could also drive him to work harder, show to him something he needs to learn and help him realize what he needs to do to be ready for pro hockey, no?

    Lastly, what if, instead of the mistake, he actually played some solid or even plus hockey with those minutes and/or made a big play in a big win? Wouldn’t that propel him during the off-season?

    The door swings both ways my friend.

    The bottom line is, you ride the horse that got you to the rodeo. Playoffs are not the place to be testing unproven rookies, when everything is on the line.

  72. OilSafety says:

    “Five years from now, if he’s the head coach in Edmonton and Keith Gretzky is the GM, I wouldn’t be the least surprised.”

    This.

    We need to develop talent on and off the ice within our own organization and then not piss it away. Cough, cough, Nelson, Huddy, cough, cough.

  73. Ryan says:

    GMB3:
    Having this debate at work. I’d argue Hasek is the best goalie of the last quarter century. If there was a fantasy style draft, and you had the choice between Hasek (or Roy or whoever you think is better) and McDavid (or Crosby or whoever), first overall.

    Essentially would you rather have a generational #1C, or a generational goaltender? Both in the prime of their careers, who would you value more?

    Well, that’s the thing.

    I agree with Hasek, but if we’re dealing with a hypothetical situation in which you’re picking the best players from different eras, I think goaltending is the one position that would be very era-dependent.

    Goaltending techniques, hockey sticks, and systems change over time impacting the goaltending position more than others.

    Hasek was the man in his prime.

    If you could have Hasek in his prime today, you’d certainly take it.

    How would he fare in today’s game with his sprawling and unorthodox style, it would be interesting to see.

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