Making Bets

For the Oilers, this season will be a lot about making bets. Bets on Joel Persson, Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard. Bets on Caleb Jones, Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody. As fans, we fight and argue and argue and fight about specific prospects, and they usually get their 400 at-bats so we can claim victory (or hope everyone forgets about what we said).

We do forget a lot, don’t we? As the current crop of goalies, defensemen and forwards push up from the underground, we forget the long list of names that were lost in the flood. It’s damned hard to deliver a 100-game NHL career, let alone a productive one. Let’s look through recent back pages to see just how hopeless things can get. Here are the Oilers forwards and their scoring numbers at five-on-five since McDavid arrived.

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: Projecting the Oilers 2019-20 Opening Night Lineup
  • Lowetide: Revisiting the Oilers’ 2016 draft and the opportunities missed
  • Lowetide: Examining the potential waiver-wire opportunities at hand for the Oilers
  • 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.

OILERS FORWARDS SINCE 2015 (MINUTES AND 5-ON-5 PER 60)

These are the 10 most productive Oilers forwards at five-on-five scoring since 2015 fall (200 or more minutes). McDavid, Draisaitl, Hall, Eberle, Maroon, most of the list is predictable.

Surprises? Tyler Pitlick was productive, he was impressive in the playoff season (until injured). Pontus Aberg is another complementary forward who had some traction in a small sample. Perhaps the organization would have been wise to give him more at-bats.

The top 10 is mostly veterans, placeholders like Cammalleri, Purcell and (frankly) Gagner. You would like to see some of the kids high on this list. Let’s look at 11-20.

Nuge heads up the second group, his range of skills and usage (he plays elite competition a lot) give him a value boost. Pouliot was an underrated forward who ended up on the wrong side of the coach, and that was maybe a little true for Rattie as well. Huh. Lots of that on this list.

We see now the beginning of the young group (Yakupov, Khaira, Slepyshev) who Edmonton needed to have more offense. Khaira’s numbers are about the same as Strome’s, an interesting curio. A lot of time was invested in Slepyshev, 1100 minutes and he played with some fine skill forwards. Kassian, Lucic and Chiasson are all enforcer types who scored in the same range during the piece.

Caggiula was a disappointment offensively, which is different than saying he should have been traded to Chicago. He and Slepyshev can never complain they didn’t get their 500 at-bats.

Puljujarvi and Yamamoto were just kids during this time and in JP’s case there were encouraging signs.

Making Bets

We can say that the only bets among forwards who paid off 2015-19 were Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who were selected No. 1 and No. 3 in their draft years.

Failures? Yakupov, Slepyshev, Caggiula, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. I don’t think the failure is all on the player but the results simply weren’t there. I do believe JP and KY still have a chance.

Are Benson, Marody and the next group better bets?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back, baby!! At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Expect something special!

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83 Responses to "Making Bets"

  1. London Jon says:

    May the bets man win

  2. McNuge93 says:

    Not sure it’s fair to call Yam a failure. I guess the failure is the GM and coach betting on him so early. Yam is probably right where we should have expected him to be with the caveat that injuries have held him back somewhat. A good year in Bake and he may be our top forward prospect along with Benson. Here’s hoping.

  3. Bling says:

    One fascinating thread throughout this recent series, LT, is just how quickly bonafide 5v5 scorers show their colors.

    Even a guy like Hemmer, who had a limited role in his rookie season, had sparkling numbers in this category. Pouliot, a so-called bust who was not, was posting 3rd line numbers and then top six numbers in his second and third NHL seasons.

    We have to be careful not to overlook usage and injury — both of which impacted KY and JP. That said, both players today are miles away from productive. KY, in particular, could double his production and still not reach the Korpikoski line of 1.0 P/60.

    That is one hell of a climb.

  4. 1d-aint-no-thing says:

    What I see from the list is so many self-inflicted wounds. If Chia made no trades, and simply reuped with no buyouts, the top six would be above average and the bottom six would be above average as well. For the defense corps, I’m curious if just doing free-agent signings at the time of the Larson trade would have gotten to the same result. Did I just wish for Tambellini?

    I know, I know this has been covered before but it fascinates me to see that doing nothing except maintaining status quo outperformed risk-taking by a wide margin. The lesson I learn from this is draft, develop and sign talent. Trades are either equal value(40% chance) or disasters (60% chance). It’s why I think Puljujarvi is not going to get his trade; The chances of Holland getting equal value is slim and the chances of disaster far higher. It’s the Oil or Europe.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Agreed, this season is riding on:

    – goaltending (as always)
    – health to the top forwards
    – bets among the forward groups

    The last few seasons have relied on bets among the forward group and it hasn’t panned out well, however, it seems that, in certain cases, the bets are on real talented prospects as opposed to “one last chance prospers” or reclamation projects:

    – betting on Benson as opposed to Rattie
    – betting on Granlund as opposed to Rieder
    – betting on Neal, one season removed from 10 straight 20 goal seasons, as opposed to Yamamoto
    – betting on Jones/Persson as opposed to Gryba

  6. jp says:

    Bling:
    One fascinating thread throughout this recent series, LT, is just how quickly bonafide 5v5 scorers show their colors.

    Even a guy like Hemmer, who had a limited role in his rookie season, had sparkling numbers in this category. Pouliot, a so-called bust who was not, was posting 3rd line numbers and then top six numbers in his second and third NHL seasons.

    We have to be careful not to overlook usage and injury — both of which impacted KY and JP. That said, both players today are miles away from productive. KY, in particular, could double his production and still not reach the Korpikoski line of 1.0 P/60.

    That is one hell of a climb.

    The scorers often do show themselves early, but I think Draisaitl is a good counter example. He only scored 1.05/60 in his 37 game rookie season and has turned out just fine. Early success is a great arrow, but there are obvious exceptions on both sides, especially when the sample sizes are small.

    Yamamoto does have a long way to go to get to useful, but I personally don’t put much stock in his lack of NHL scoring thus far. Basically all of his underlying stats lead the Oilers from the past 2 years, while only Rieder had a worse on ice shooting %. He’ll have to prove it obviously, but IMO he’s been more unlucky than bad at the NHL level to this point.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sam Gagner is a bit of a wildcard this coming season.

    He could really play anywhere in the lineup, in particular anywhere on the 2nd to 4th lines.

    Tippett sees him as a winger, and that makes sense. I’m sure he’ll fill in at center here or there but should generally be used as a winger.

    He is a smart player who seems to be more responsible than he used to be – still warts but generally more responsible.

    He produced solid numbers for the Oilers last season and this was predominantly away from McDavid – that is money.

    If Gagner could produce 35-45 points, 1.75P/60, give or take, away from McDavid, well, he’ll earn his $3.1M and, shit, he’s a good guy to have around as well.

    Go Sam!

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    LondonJon: I just don’t see the point in signing Haas. He wasn’t even a top-5 C in the Swiss League, maybe not even top-10. Surely there are 30 better players in the KHL, Sweden or Finland to sign than Haas?

    Suspect they start him off in the AHL, he proves to be a mediocre C there and he’s back eating wonderful chocolate and pondering the next addition to his watch collection by Christmas.

    The risk is nil given we are talking about a fully buryable contract (which, of course, it is as an ELC) and him heading back to Europe if he doesn’t “make it”.

    I don’t really understand why management and coaching seem so high on his NHL abilities, however, doesn’t hurt to see – more competition for the bottom 6 with no risk.

    Holland has coveted this player for a while – he must see something

    —————————————

    I know this is a response to the previous thread and LT asked not to do that in the new threads, however, Haas is “a bet” and it ties in to the subject matter of this thread.

    Apologies if its determined I should not have done this.

  9. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sam Gagner is a bit of a wildcard this coming season.

    He could really play anywhere in the lineup, in particular anywhere on the 2nd to 4th lines.

    Tippett sees him as a winger, and that makes sense.I’m sure he’ll fill in at center here or there but should generally be used as a winger.

    He is a smart player who seems to be more responsible than he used to be – still warts but generally more responsible.

    He produced solid numbers for the Oilers last season and this was predominantly away from McDavid – that is money.

    If Gagner could produce 35-45 points, 1.75P/60, give or take, away from McDavid, well, he’ll earn his $3.1M and, shit, he’s a good guy to have around as well.

    Go Sam!

    Agreed, he has a pretty good chance of being a useful (non-boat anchor) player this year.

    On a less optimistic note, in terms of what 35-45 points is worth, I was thinking about Neal yesterday. Obviously no team would sign him to that contract today, but even on the day it was signed, is a 23-25 goal, 41-44 point -10 player (on good Nashville and Vegas teams) worth $5.75M per year? Yikes.

    I guess if you factor in injuries he was more of a 27G 50PT/82GP player in the 2 yrs before signing with Calgary. But considering age, what a bad, bad signing by Treliving. The Neal-Lucic trade is still a clear win, but I think the Lucic deal was a better bet the day it was signed.

  10. Professor Q says:

    McNuge93:
    Not sure it’s fair to call Yam a failure. I guess the failure is the GM and coach betting on him so early. Yam is probably right where we should have expected him to be with the caveat that injuries have held him back somewhat. A good year in Bake and he may be our top forward prospect along with Benson. Here’s hoping.

    I also don’t think Caggiula was a failure. Trading him was, especially for whom he was traded for and at the time he was traded (when Oilers needed secondary scoring). You can’t just sign the older third wheel of a high-scoring NCAA line and expect him to produce as much as his higher-profile linemates do in the NHL, or more.

    Also, Edmonton seems to have a lot of poor injury luck, with prospects and the main squad. Very odd. Poor scouting and choices? Poor upkeep and training? Or just poor luck in general?

  11. Revolved says:

    I think that Haas over Marody illustrates how the bets made have changed this year. The first thing Holland did was sign a bunch of mid career plus skaters to fill out the roster. Chiarelli could have done this at any point, but instead started teenagers in the NHL every year. Regardless of production and league, I understand and support Holland bringing in Haas.

  12. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sam Gagner is a bit of a wildcard this coming season.

    He could really play anywhere in the lineup, in particular anywhere on the 2nd to 4th lines.

    Tippett sees him as a winger, and that makes sense.I’m sure he’ll fill in at center here or there but should generally be used as a winger.

    He is a smart player who seems to be more responsible than he used to be – still warts but generally more responsible.

    He produced solid numbers for the Oilers last season and this was predominantly away from McDavid – that is money.

    If Gagner could produce 35-45 points, 1.75P/60, give or take, away from McDavid, well, he’ll earn his $3.1M and, shit, he’s a good guy to have around as well.

    Go Sam!

    Tippett and Sam have a history together Tippett will use him like a Swiss Army knife when need be add in 2nd powerplay minutes. Tippett will put Sammy in a leadership role and spots to succeed. I’m expecting Sammy to have a good year for what’s expected of him.

  13. Bling says:

    jp: The scorers often do show themselves early, but I think Draisaitl is a good counter example. He only scored 1.05/60 in his 37 game rookie season and has turned out just fine. Early success is a great arrow, but there are obvious exceptions on both sides, especially when the sample sizes are small.

    Yamamoto does have a long way to go to get to useful, but I personally don’t put much stock in his lack of NHL scoring thus far. Basically all of his underlying stats lead the Oilers from the past 2 years, while only Rieder had a worse on ice shooting %. He’ll have to prove it obviously, but IMO he’s been more unlucky than bad at the NHL level to this point.

    Agreed. The propensity to rush players really mucks things up.

    Drai wasn’t ready following his draft season and neither was KY.

    JP looked more ready to my eye at 18, had a decent year, then struggled. You can’t play young guys 10 minutes a game, it’s a recipe for disaster.

  14. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Maybe we disagree on this, but to me both the 3C and 4C spots are wide open.

    Having Haas/Marody/Khaira battling for those spots makes sense from a roster construction point of view, especially seeing as how Khaira has never excelled at the centre ice position. He is so much more effective as a winger, where he can engage in more puck battles.

    I don’t see Brodziak making the team period.

  15. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    Reja: Tippett and Sam have ahistory together Tippett will use him like a Swiss Army knife when need be add in 2nd powerplay minutes. Tippett will put Sammy in a leadership role and spots to succeed. I’m expecting Sammy to have a good year for what’s expected of him.

    Agreed. If we’re not in the playoff hunt, he might be a pretty decent trade chip to a contender at the deadline.

  16. jtblack says:

    GREAT STUFF LT !

    Seems like Edmonton has had players that can post good to decent 5×5/60 BUT the GM never kept them …

    3 players here from Group 1.
    3 players here from Group 2. That’s 6 out of 20 from the Group you want.

    The prospect depth is clearly on the Blueline now, with Samorkov, Bouchard and Broberg. Pretty sure Ken is going to move a Good NHL dman for a good forward (like Colorado did) …. the question is when?

  17. John Chambers says:

    Pontus Aberg

    Good Spittin Chicklets episode last week with Mike Rizzo who covers the Minnesota Wild. Rizzo mentioned how Aberg didn’t really fit into the room.

    Aberg didn’t stick with Edmonton, Anaheim, or Minny, getting press-boxed and sent out after posting good numbers.

    Hmmm

  18. Ryan says:

    John Chambers:
    Pontus Aberg

    Good Spittin Chicklets episode last week with Mike Rizzo who covers the Minnesota Wild. Rizzo mentioned how Aberg didn’t really fit into the room.

    Aberg didn’t stick with Edmonton, Anaheim, or Minny, getting press-boxed and sent out after posting good numbers.

    Hmmm

    Read some article at the Athletic recently. Apparently, Aberg didn’t like attending any of the optional skating days with the wild which Boudreau didn’t apparently like.

  19. HT Joe says:

    OriginalPouzar: Agreed, this season is riding on:
    – goaltending (as always)
    – health to the top forwards
    – bets among the forward groups

    The last few seasons have relied on bets among the forward group and it hasn’t panned out well, however, it seems that, in certain cases, the bets are on real talented prospects as opposed to “one last chance prospers” or reclamation projects:
    – betting on Benson as opposed to Rattie
    – betting on Granlund as opposed to Rieder
    – betting on Neal, one season removed from 10 straight 20 goal seasons, as opposed to Yamamoto
    – betting on Jones/Persson as opposed to Gryba

    I mostly agree, but would argue that Holland is betting on Neal rebounding, as opposed to Lucic rebounding.

    God, there was so much verbal last year about how Lucic was working out and doing all the right things, and look out, here he comes. :\

    What’s amazing is that Holland is betting on a committee of middling players, as opposed to Yamamoto… this is the first offseason since Kailer’s draft season that I’m not hoping for Kailer to make it this year… I’m just happily thinking of him being allowed to go to the AHL, dominate and develop and round out his game, so that maybe in his draft +4 season (2020-2021) he’s close to being plug-and-play in the NHL.

  20. HT Joe says:

    Am I the only one sort of floored by RNH’s 5×5 numbers? I guess it’s elite competition combined with poor winger support (and probably further worsened by the Oilers never having good enough defencemen to drive offense beyond the top line). Is this about right? By eye test (I know, I know) he seems like a better player than the “best of the second tier”.

  21. Material Elvis says:

    Bling: Agreed. The propensity to rush players really mucks things up.

    Drai wasn’t ready following his draft season and neither was KY.

    JP looked more ready to my eye at 18, had a decent year, then struggled. You can’t play young guys 10 minutes a game, it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Jesse didn’t look ready to me at all at age 18. He looked very awkward on his skates — like Bambi on ice.

  22. LadiesloveSmid says:

    That 3C spot seems to be Marody’s to lose. I suppose we’ll see who Tippett lines up with who in camp.

    Haas is 27 & scores less than Arcobello. Khaira scored 2 last year.

  23. ArmchairGM says:

    Players I suggested pursuing in free agency / trade this summer and where they fit into the Oilers of the past 3 year, 5v5 P/60 (TOI) – with a 1000 minute minimum:

    Connor McDavid: 2.95 (4021)
    Leon Draisaitl: 2.31 (3682)
    Brett Connolly: 2.19 (2382) **
    Jason Pominville: 1.93 (2791) **
    Andre Burakovsky: 1.91 (2235) **
    Ryan Dzingel: 1.81 (3215) **
    Patrick Maroon: 1.79 (2014)
    Jordan Eberle: 1.75 (1130)
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 1.72 (3101)
    Zack Kassian: 1.42 (2659)
    Tyler Ennis: 1.35 (1820) **
    Jujhar Khaira: 1.34 (1481)

    Not so many “bets” here, more “clear roster improvement”. Even if these guys didn’t flourish here, they’re still known quantities and can be counted on to play above replacement level minutes in the NHL. Of course we couldn’t have landed all of them, but 2 or 3 of them would have been possible.

    Man, I still don’t understand what Holland is doing. He goes and gets Markus Granlund (1.07 P/60 in 2400 minutes) and a bunch of wild card bets out of Europe and the AHL. It certainly doesn’t jive with his stated goal of making the playoffs, let alone adding any building blocks for future success. He must really, really like the Oilers odds in the next lottery, because that’s exactly where he’s heading unless some of these long-shot bets payoff in a big way. History and common sense say they won’t, but it won’t stop Oilers Nation from hoping against hope. Again.

  24. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Ryan,

    That’s an interesting point. I read Aberg said at one point that when he was in Edmonton he was in a hotel the whole time, no team support. Then he contrasted that to being in MIN where they helped him get set up right away, which he said was much more conducive to the family environment he wanted to sustain for his newborn daughter.

    This is just a guess but I bet his preference was to be at home on optional skate days.

  25. Reja says:

    Material Elvis: Jesse didn’t look ready to me at all at age 18.He looked very awkward on his skates — like Bambi on ice.

    For me Jesse looks as raw today as he did 3 years ago.

  26. Reja says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    That 3C spot seems to be Marody’s to lose. I suppose we’ll see who Tippett lines up with who in camp.

    Haas is 27 & scores less than Arcobello. Khaira scored 2 last year.

    Holland has brought in low risk cover until he sees what he has Marody Benson Gambardella etc unlike Pete who saddled his coaches with a player that had countless opportunities up and down the lineup. This player never registered one Goal in 67gp Playoff teams do not allow or construct a team for this to happen.

  27. godot10 says:

    Ryan: Read some article at the Athletic recently. Apparently, Aberg didn’t like attending any of the optional skating days with the wild which Boudreau didn’t apparently like.

    We know he is a single parent. If Boudreau wants players to show up at a practice, he shouldn’t call it optional.

  28. godot10 says:

    HT Joe: I mostly agree, but would argue that Holland is betting on Neal rebounding, as opposed to Lucic rebounding.

    Holland isn’t betting on Neal rebounding. The purpose of the trade was to get rid of Lucic’s contract. If Neal has to be bought out next summer, it is still a win for the Oilers, because the next result will be creating $3 million in cap space over the following three seasons.

  29. jp says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Players I suggested pursuing in free agency / trade this summer and where they fit into the Oilers of the past 3 year, 5v5 P/60 (TOI) – with a 1000 minute minimum:

    Connor McDavid: 2.95 (4021)
    Leon Draisaitl: 2.31 (3682)
    Brett Connolly: 2.19 (2382) **
    Jason Pominville: 1.93 (2791) **
    Andre Burakovsky: 1.91 (2235) **
    Ryan Dzingel: 1.81 (3215) **
    Patrick Maroon: 1.79 (2014)
    Jordan Eberle: 1.75 (1130)
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 1.72 (3101)
    Zack Kassian: 1.42 (2659)
    Tyler Ennis: 1.35 (1820) **
    Jujhar Khaira: 1.34 (1481)

    Not so many “bets” here, more “clear roster improvement”. Even if these guys didn’t flourish here, they’re still known quantities and can be counted on to play above replacement level minutes in the NHL. Of course we couldn’t have landed all of them, but 2 or 3 of them would have been possible.

    Man, I still don’t understand what Holland is doing. He goes and gets Markus Granlund (1.07 P/60 in 2400 minutes) and a bunch of wild card bets out of Europe and the AHL. It certainly doesn’t jive with his stated goal of making the playoffs, let alone adding any building blocks for future success. He must really, really like the Oilers odds in the next lottery, because that’s exactly where he’s heading unless some of these long-shot bets payoff in a big way. History and common sense say they won’t, but it won’t stop Oilers Nation from hoping against hope. Again.

    How did the Oilers spend their money this off season?
    Chiasson $2.15M
    Smith $2M (plus potential bonuses)
    Granlund $1.3M
    Archibald $1M
    Retained on Lucic minus the salary difference with Neal $500k

    You seem not willing to accept that salaries at $900k and under are effectively interchangeable with existing roster placeholders and have no bearing on the cap or other signings. But that is the truth, so Nygard, Haas and Jurco did nothing financially to prevent the Oilers from signing additional players.

    Above replacement ($900k) the Oilers spent:
    Chiasson $1.25M
    Smith $1.1M (plus potential bonuses)
    Granlund $400k
    Archibald $100k
    Lucic trade $500k

    That’s all the money Holland had to play with. I agree that Connolly or Burakovsky or Dzingel would have helped the team (and maybe should have been pursued harder), but any one of those signings would have prevented the Oilers from signing anyone else over $1M.

    5v5/60 is a great measure but it’s not a guarantee. Chiasson did score 22 goals and signed for more than $1M less than projections. It’s not at all clear cut that Connolly and a $900k backup is better than Chiasson and Smith.

    It’s disappointing where the Oilers are, but there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room. I’m not at all certain it was the right way, but I’m fine with how Holland spent the little available $$ he had this summer.

    FWIW Maroon and Pominville are still out there (as well as a number of centers) so you might still get your wish partially fulfilled.

  30. tileguy says:

    Reja: Tippett and Sam have ahistory together Tippett will use him like a Swiss Army knife when need be add in 2nd powerplay minutes. Tippett will put Sammy in a leadership role and spots to succeed. I’m expecting Sammy to have a good year for what’s expected of him.

    But not what we are paying him.

  31. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: How did the Oilers spend their money this off season?
    Chiasson $2.15M
    Smith $2M (plus potential bonuses)
    Granlund $1.3M
    Archibald $1M
    Retained on Lucic minus the salary difference with Neal $500k

    You seem not willing to accept that salaries at $900k and under are effectively interchangeable with existing roster placeholders and have no bearing on the cap or other signings. But that is the truth, so Nygard, Haas and Jurco did nothing financially to prevent the Oilers from signing additional players.

    Above replacement ($900k) the Oilers spent:
    Chiasson $1.25M
    Smith $1.1M (plus potential bonuses)
    Granlund $400k
    Archibald $100k
    Lucic trade $500k

    That’s all the money Holland had to play with. I agree that Connolly or Burakovsky or Dzingel would have helped the team (and maybe should have been pursued harder), but any one of those signings would have prevented the Oilers from signing anyone else over $1M.

    If you remove the players mentioned, bury Brodziak and Manning and reverse the Lucic trade you are left with $11.5M in cap space. Add Caleb Jones, Connolly, Dzingel, Pominville and Benson and you are left with a hair over $2M to sign a backup goalie. The cap space defense doesn’t hold water.

  32. Bank Shot says:

    McNuge93:
    Not sure it’s fair to call Yam a failure. I guess the failure is the GM and coach betting on him so early. Yam is probably right where we should have expected him to be with the caveat that injuries have held him back somewhat. A good year in Bake and he may be our top forward prospect along with Benson. Here’s hoping.

    Yeah Yamamoto was probably rushed but he also got to play with McDavid. Usually when young guys step into the NHL they bring their offence with them. (Gagner, Cogs, Eberle, etc) .

    For a guy like Yamamoto who will be top six or bust the lack of offence so far is a pretty big red flag.

  33. Woogie63 says:

    I going to bet on teams that do three things, consistently really well.

    1. Dress at least 11 players that have played 50 games for your AHL team.
    2. A coach that doesn’t blender lines
    3. A team with 7 NHL defensemen ready to play.

  34. Bank Shot says:

    HT Joe:
    Am I the only one sort of floored by RNH’s 5×5 numbers?I guess it’s elite competition combined with poor winger support (and probably further worsened by the Oilers never having good enough defencemen to drive offense beyond the top line).Is this about right?By eye test (I know, I know) he seems like a better player than the “best of the second tier”.

    RNH has never produced great numbers given the opportunities he has been given over the years.

    Oilers are in a tough spot on his next contract because they can’t afford to lose him but he probably won’t provide much value to the team at the $8 million per he’ll likely be looking for.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    McNuge:
    Not sure it’s fair to call Yam a failure. I guess the failure is the GM and coach betting on him so early. Yam is probably right where we should have expected him to be with the caveat that injuries have held him back somewhat. A good year in Bake and he may be our top forward prospect along with Benson. Here’s hoping.

    Agree with all of this.

    He is a 22nd overall pick, not a top 10 pick and he just finished his first season of pro. Reasonable expectations would have had him in the conversation for the NHL this coming season after a full year of the AHL.

    Being given NHL games both in his draft plus 1 and draft plus 2 years didn’t seem right at the time and clearly wasn’t right now.

    If Kailer had a full season in the AHL last year, I would suspect he’d be further along but he never got that and the development time he did have was uneven due to being yo-yoed and the injuries.

    He did prove down the stretch, prior to injury, to be a plus plus AHL player and I suspect his scoring numbers would have been right with Marody and Benson if he played and was healthy and that is what I expect to see this coming year, assuming health.

    To me the only real worry at this point is injury.

  36. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar: Agree with all of this.

    He is a 22nd overall pick, not a top 10 pick and he just finished his first season of pro. Reasonable expectations would have had him in the conversation for the NHL this coming season after a full year of the AHL.

    Being given NHL games both in his draft plus 1 and draft plus 2 years didn’t seem right at the time and clearly wasn’t right now.

    If Kailer had a full season in the AHL last year, I would suspect he’d be further along but he never got that and the development time he did have was uneven due to being yo-yoed and the injuries.

    He did prove down the stretch, prior to injury, to be a plus plus AHL player and I suspect his scoring numbers would have been right with Marody and Benson if he played and was healthy and that is what I expect to see this coming year, assuming health.

    To me the only real worry at this point is injury.

    +1. I said at draft time, Tyler Johnson was a good progression to track. Draft +5 he made NHL full time. KY still has time. Doesn’t gurantee he will make it, but most ppl certainly didn’t expect him to be in the NHL sooner.

  37. Silver Streak says:

    Flames LD J Valimaki has torn MCL while training…..this is a huge loss for them…he is on his entry level contract at under $900,000. Flames were counting on him playing 2 LD and munching big minutes ….Treliving is on the phones looking for an experience LD…..

    THIS is our Russell – out moment. A pick, or Bennett included in the deal if expanded might make sense.

    As LT says…We Wait

  38. Reja says:

    tileguy: But not what we are paying him.

    It’s only for a year and maybe he’ll surprise under Tippett along with a couple of other players.

  39. godot10 says:

    Silver Streak:
    Flames LD J Valimaki has torn MCL while training…..this is a huge loss for them…he is on his entry level contract at under $900,000. Flames were counting on him playing 2 LD and munching big minutes ….Treliving is on the phones looking for an experience LD…..

    THIS is our Russell – out moment. A pick, or Bennettincluded in the deal if expanded might make sense.

    As LT says…We Wait

    Russell 50% retained for Frolik.

  40. Dr. Taboggan says:

    HT Joe:
    Am I the only one sort of floored by RNH’s 5×5 numbers?I guess it’s elite competition combined with poor winger support (and probably further worsened by the Oilers never having good enough defencemen to drive offense beyond the top line).Is this about right?By eye test (I know, I know) he seems like a better player than the “best of the second tier”.

    RNH is one of the most overrated players by Oilers fans. Does not score well 5×5 and has been a consistently poor PKer. He is likely not worth 6M a season now and I hate to see what his next contract looks like.

  41. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: If you remove the players mentioned, bury Brodziak and Manning and reverse the Lucic trade you are left with $11.5M in cap space. Add Caleb Jones, Connolly, Dzingel, Pominville and Benson and you are left with a hair over $2M to sign a backup goalie. The cap space defense doesn’t hold water.

    To do that you used the entirety of the 2.4M cap cushion the Oilers currently have, signed Connolly for the same figure he didn’t accept from the Oilers and Pominville for 850k (which the Oilers could still do today or tomorrow or the next day). Your math is technically correct but not realistic IMO.

    I do agree the Oilers could theoretically have added one of Connolly, Dzingel or Burakovsky (pending the players willingness to sign in Edmonton). I don’t agree multiple of the improvements you’re suggesting (on players making more than $1M) were possible.

  42. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bling:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Maybe we disagree on this, but to me both the 3C and 4C spots are wide open.

    Having Haas/Marody/Khaira battling for those spots makes sense from a roster construction point of view, especially seeing as how Khaira has never excelled at the centre ice position. He is so much more effective as a winger, where he can engage in more puck battles.

    I don’t see Brodziak making the team period.

    His only hope is being RC and a history of good faceoffs. Only other options are Gagner and Marody.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    GREAT STUFF LT !

    Seems like Edmonton has had players that can post good to decent 5×5/60 BUT the GM never kept them …

    3 players here from Group 1.
    3 players here from Group 2. That’s 6 out of 20 from the Group you want.

    The prospect depth is clearly on the Blueline now, with Samorkov, Bouchard and Broberg.Pretty sure Ken is going to move a Good NHL dman for a good forward (like Colorado did) …. the question is when?

    I think we see that managers value actual points over P/60.

    We discussed this quite a bit with ArmChair and others during the great Connolly debate and as a concept, P/60 from playing in the bottom 6 often does not translate when tried in the top 6 – more minutes, tougher comp, etc. – of course, better linemates.

    Yes, at some point it looks like a d-men or d-men will llikely be moved for forward help and the question is indeed “when”. To me, the time wasn’t this off-season as we still don’t know what he have with basically any of the d-men. So many great arrows but arrows break and swerve with prospects.

    We can’t trade an incumbent top 4 as we have no reasonable assurance of filling the spot and trading one of the prospects themselves seems a bit early as they haven’t quite proven themselves as NHL players or top 4 NHL players. Sure, Bear or Berglund as a sweetener (different levels of sweetener) could work.

    We will know so much more in 8-10 months on guys like Jones and Lagesson from NHL time and guys like Bouchard and Samorukov from AHL time (and, potentially, NHL time). Even Broberg’s development in a really good league should provide great info.

    Maybe there is indeed a pop and one of these guys not only proves legit NHL ready but legit top 4 by the end of the year? That would open up an option to trade an incumbent for forward help. For example, Nurse, it would save us millions and millions on the cap for the next few years and we’d get big value for Nurse in the trade (assuming another good year).

  44. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: Holland isn’t betting on Neal rebounding.The purpose of the trade was to get rid of Lucic’s contract.If Neal has to be bought out next summer, it is still a win for the Oilers, because the next result will be creating $3 million in cap space over the following three seasons.

    Neal also doesn’t require expansion protection methinks, even if around. Uuuuuuge.

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan: Read some article at the Athletic recently. Apparently, Aberg didn’t like attending any of the optional skating days with the wild which Boudreau didn’t apparently like.

    Not the it means anything one way or the other, he was the last guy to return from Europe last off-season, essentially on the even of camp. No participation in any of those informal team skates leading up to camp.

    He does have a young kid over there mind you.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    HT Joe:
    Am I the only one sort of floored by RNH’s 5×5 numbers?I guess it’s elite competition combined with poor winger support (and probably further worsened by the Oilers never having good enough defencemen to drive offense beyond the top line).Is this about right?By eye test (I know, I know) he seems like a better player than the “best of the second tier”.

    Definitely stands out as low vis-a-vis the talent level of the player.

    I can say that, over the last three years aggregated, his most common linemates, by alot, almost 50% more than number 2, was Lucic.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    That 3C spot seems to be Marody’s to lose. I suppose we’ll see who Tippett lines up with who in camp.

    Haas is 27 and scores less than Arcobello. Khaira scored 2 last year.

    I believe that Cooper should definitely be in the conversation with the other two but Tippett keeps mentioning Haas and Khaira as options and I think its clear they’ll get long looks.

    Hopefully Marody gets some legit time with legit NHL players during camp and exhibition.

    If he continually is linked to the likes of Currie or P. Russell and Brodziak (just for examples), he’ll have zero real chance to win that job.

    He deserves the opportunity to play with some legit skill, even just the Granlund, Khaira, Gagner level, to see what he can do.

    He is a skilled player and has produced at each level when played with skill – college then the AHL.

    Maybe he can check off the next box, NHL, if given a legit chance.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Players I suggested pursuing in free agency / trade this summer and where they fit into the Oilers of the past 3 year, 5v5 P/60 (TOI) – with a 1000 minute minimum:

    Connor McDavid: 2.95 (4021)
    Leon Draisaitl: 2.31 (3682)
    Brett Connolly: 2.19 (2382) **
    Jason Pominville: 1.93 (2791) **
    Andre Burakovsky: 1.91 (2235) **
    Ryan Dzingel: 1.81 (3215) **
    Patrick Maroon: 1.79 (2014)
    Jordan Eberle: 1.75 (1130)
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 1.72 (3101)
    Zack Kassian: 1.42 (2659)
    Tyler Ennis: 1.35 (1820) **
    Jujhar Khaira: 1.34 (1481)

    Not so many “bets” here, more “clear roster improvement”. Even if these guys didn’t flourish here, they’re still known quantities and can be counted on to play above replacement level minutes in the NHL. Of course we couldn’t have landed all of them, but 2 or 3 of them would have been possible.

    Man, I still don’t understand what Holland is doing. He goes and gets Markus Granlund (1.07 P/60 in 2400 minutes) and a bunch of wild card bets out of Europe and the AHL. It certainly doesn’t jive with his stated goal of making the playoffs, let alone adding any building blocks for future success. He must really, really like the Oilers odds in the next lottery, because that’s exactly where he’s heading unless some of these long-shot bets payoff in a big way. History and common sense say they won’t, but it won’t stop Oilers Nation from hoping against hope. Again.

    There were definitely players available, as you suggest, that would have been more of a “sure thing” to help this year but acquiring them would not jive with his stated primary goal of building a Stanley Cup contender within the next few years.

    Signing Connolly, for term, likely does not move the needle in the top 6 and could very well serve to prohibit a more substantial acquisition (or at least inhibit) and decrease the cap currency over the next few years to take advantage of other cap crunch teams when the Oilers cap situation is better – 2021 offseason most likely for the real ability to do so.

  49. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Definitely stands out as low vis-a-vis the talent level of the player.

    I can say that, over the last three years aggregated, his most common linemates, by alot, almost 50% more than number 2, was Lucic.

    Nuge at the right price is the type of player that are core to championship teams.

    He is shy offensively, but he is a very smart player, a responsible player, and an easygoing person.

    If you finally give him quality to play with and some functioning team play he can be a solid two way PPG guy who gets 20 goals playing toughs.

    Players like that don’t grow on trees, and because his offense is lower it by necessity means he costs less to keep. Salary is relative to current cap.

    Every team has to be constructed uniquely because so many inputs can’t be controlled. A good GM can find the pieces missing that fit the puzzle.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: +1.I said at draft time, Tyler Johnson was a good progression to track. Draft +5 he made NHL full time. KY still has time.Doesn’t gurantee he will make it, but most ppl certainly didn’t expect him to be in the NHL sooner.

    I truly believe the unreasonable expectations on timeline of development were created by him being given NHL games in draft plus 1 (and 2).

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    SilverStreak:
    Flames LD J Valimaki has torn MCL while training…..this is a huge loss for them…he is on his entry level contract at under $900,000. Flames were counting on him playing 2 LD and munching big minutes ….Treliving is on the phones looking for an experience LD…..

    THIS is our Russell – out moment. A pick, or Bennettincluded in the deal if expanded might make sense.

    As LT says…We Wait

    Replacing a $1M with a $4M when the already isn’t enough cap space to get Tkachuk and Mangiapane under contract seems like a poor GM decision.

  52. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I believe that Cooper should definitely be in the conversation with the other two but Tippett keeps mentioning Haas and Khaira as options and I think its clear they’ll get long looks.

    Hopefully Marody gets some legit time with legit NHL players during camp and exhibition.

    If he continually is linked to the likes of Currie or P. Russell and Brodziak (just for examples), he’ll have zero real chance to win that job.

    He deserves the opportunity to play with some legit skill, even just the Granlund, Khaira, Gagner level, to see what he can do.

    He is a skilled player and has produced at each level when played with skill – college then the AHL.

    Maybe he can check off the next box, NHL, if given a legit chance.

    In any top level of sport there isn’t a shortage of skill, there is a shortage of players that can put it all together in a way that benefits the team. It’s a business, it has to be that way.

    I hope Cooper tears the cover off. Reality is he checks off more tweener boxes than NHL, especially as the league is.

    Firstly because of his success in the A as a rookie, he has to be given his shot, he’s earned that. Earning is good. Rewarding earning is better.

    It still remains he has the perfect storm of attributes that he has to overcome, very similar to Gagner.

    He’s not tall, not physical, doesn’t have a plus shot, and especially is not a plus skater which to me seems essential if you are a skill player lacking size.

    He doesn’t have a stand out skill other than being a really good hockey player. No shortage of those. Just a shortage of those that can do enough to make the league.

  53. HT Joe says:

    OriginalPouzar: Definitely stands out as low vis-a-vis the talent level of the player.
    I can say that, over the last three years aggregated, his most common linemates, by alot, almost 50% more than number 2, was Lucic.

    So, Lucic was signed long term so that he could suppress RNH’s scoring rates, thereby letting the Oilers re-sign him to a sweetheart deal. Oh that Chia… sly like a fox!! 😉

  54. treevojo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Replacing a $1M with a $4M when the already isn’t enough cap space to get Tkachuk and Mangiapane under contract seems like a poor GM decision.

    Trading Neal for Lucic seems like a poor gming decision as well.

    Let’s hope he is on a roll.

  55. Yeti says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Nuge at the right price is the type of player that are core to championship teams.

    What would be the right price and length for his next contract?

  56. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Yeti,

    6×6.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of course, market conditions (including vis-a-vis the upper cap limit) two years from now will change, however, 6 X $6M is a contract that I woudl re-sign him to now, if possible (which it isn’t).

    I generally don’t like paying aging players for their 30s but that term would end before he’s 35 and I don’t anticipate a ton of regression in Nuge’s game in his early 30s – $6M should be a value contract for much of the term given where salaries are going.

    As the cap rises and the team’s cap situation becomes better, there will be help in the top 6 and top 9 and Nuge will be a better offensive player for it – just taking some less elite comp minutes, lets top PK unit minutes, etc. will help.

  58. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Definitely stands out as low vis-a-vis the talent level of the player.

    I can say that, over the last three years aggregated, his most common linemates, by alot, almost 50% more than number 2, was Lucic.

    Good Lord OP.

    Surely in the course of finding that information you’d have noticed that Nuge with Lucic scored 1.99P/60 while Nuge overall scored 1.72P/60 (this is last 3 yrs that you used rather than 4 LT posted above).

    Lucic had a pretty considerable positive impact on Nuge’s scoring. Heh, maybe Neal will be a huge drag on Nuge compared to Lucic.

    Edit: Just looking this up now, but if you can believe it, in 18-19 Nuge with Lucic scored 2.83P/60 (211 min) vs 1.75P/60 overall. Maybe Nuge actually will suffer without Lucic? It doesn’t seem possible, but his numbers with Lucic are better than overall every year…

  59. jp says:

    Revolved:
    I think that Haas over Marody illustrates how the bets made have changed this year. The first thing Holland did was sign a bunch of mid career plus skaters to fill out the roster. Chiarelli could have done this at any point, but instead started teenagers in the NHL every year. Regardless of production and league, I understand and support Holland bringing in Haas.

    I didn’t reply when I read this earlier, but it’s such a key point.

    The potential for one or more young player to make an impact this season is the same as it’s been every year. But this time around they’re all blocked unless they really force the issue. And they’re not being counted on to keep the team afloat.

    Kids will continue to push through when they’re ready. But Holland is making sure it’ll hurt much less when they don’t.

  60. Silver Streak says:

    OriginalPouzar: Replacing a $1M with a $4M when the already isn’t enough cap space to get Tkachuk and Mangiapane under contract seems like a poor GM decision.

    When the GM realizes he requires 7 D vs: one extra hard to sign forward, the job becomes substantially easier.

  61. Munny says:

    jp,

    Nuge’s offense is a real concern. The shocker in LT’s post is that he doesn’t make the first tier offensively.

    Yet he’s relied on for top 6 offense.

    I wish he’d change up his stick. Too many great looks get sprayed high, wide, or both.

    Not saying he doesn’t have value. But he’s been a bit short offensively. Especially during the CMD era, with the Command(er) facing the toughs on the road.

    Some of that is faceoffs. When he gets an Ozone FO he has to win the puck back, constantly. And when he starts in the DZone, he’s gotta go 200 feet. Sisyphus meet boulder.

  62. Reja says:

    jp: I didn’t reply when I read this earlier, but it’s such a key point.

    The potential for one or more young player to make an impact this season is the same as it’s been every year. But this time around they’re all blocked unless they really force the issue. And they’re not being counted on to keep the team afloat.

    Kids will continue to push through when they’re ready. But Holland is making sure it’ll hurt much less when they don’t.

    Benson is going to bust through and be on the opening day lineup and not because he was gifted it but because he did it the old fashioned way he earned it.

  63. Reja says:

    Munny:
    jp,

    Nuge’s offense is a real concern.The shocker in LT’s post is that he doesn’t make the first tier offensively.

    Yet he’s relied on for top 6 offense.

    I wish he’d change up his stick.Too many great looks get sprayed high, wide, or both.

    Not saying he doesn’t have value.But he’s been a bit short offensively. Especially during the CMD era, with the Command(er) facing the toughs on the road.

    Some of that is faceoffs.When he gets an Ozone FO he has to win the puck back, constantly.And when he starts in the DZone, he’s gotta go 200 feet.Sisyphus meet boulder.

    Nuge sure had a ton of good looks in the slot on the power-play either his snap shot was deflected, missed the net, post ,cross- bar, easy save, big save whatever the case he should have buried at least 7-10 more goals from that juicy spot. Neal will replace Nuge on PP1 and if he gets that shot going lookout nay-sayers I think Tippett will give the keys to Nuge to run the second power play from what I remember he was dangerous on the PP in his first year maybe go back to that formation.

  64. Glovjuice says:

    Reja: Nuge sure had a ton of good looks in the slot on the power-play either his snap shot was deflected, missed the net, post ,cross- bar, easy save, big savewhatever the case he should have buried at least 7-10 moregoals from that juicy spot. Neal will replace Nuge on PP1 and if he gets that shot going lookout nay-sayers I think Tippett will give the keys to Nuge to run the second power play from what I remember he was dangerous on the PP in his first year maybe go back to that formation.

    I suspect that Nuge and Nurse could fetch more than they are worth to the Oil when you factor in their next contract demands and how quickly that is coming over the horizon.

  65. Glovjuice says:

    Is there anybody out there?

  66. Glovjuice says:

    Just nod if you can hear me.

  67. Glovjuice says:

    The look of terminal shock in your eyes
    Now things are really what they seem
    No, this is no bad dream, Nuge or Nurse need to be traded
    To reap value for this team.

  68. JimmyV1965 says:

    Glovjuice: I suspect that Nuge and Nurse could fetch more than they are worth to the Oil when you factor in their next contract demands and how quickly that is coming over the horizon.

    We’ve got maybe six good players on this team and you want to trade two of them. What would the return be?

  69. Glovjuice says:

    JimmyV1965: We’ve got maybe six good players on this team and you want to trade two of them. What would the return be?

    Not making the playoffs this year anyways……..Ehlers and some R shot D that someone smarter than me can suggest.

  70. JimmyV1965 says:

    RNH scored 28 goals and 69 pts last year, good for 57th in the league. He did this playing with mostly fourth liners. Why are we focussing in his P/60?

  71. jp says:

    Munny:
    jp,

    Nuge’s offense is a real concern.The shocker in LT’s post is that he doesn’t make the first tier offensively.

    Yet he’s relied on for top 6 offense.

    I wish he’d change up his stick.Too many great looks get sprayed high, wide, or both.

    Not saying he doesn’t have value.But he’s been a bit short offensively. Especially during the CMD era, with the Command(er) facing the toughs on the road.

    Some of that is faceoffs.When he gets an Ozone FO he has to win the puck back, constantly.And when he starts in the DZone, he’s gotta go 200 feet.Sisyphus meet boulder.

    Nuge’s offence is somewhat of a concern I guess, but he IS providing top 6 scoring. His 5v5/60 is at #5F levels league wide (last 3 yrs).

    His PP offense is top 60 in the NHL so that’s a bump. On the other hand he’s weak on face-offs and is terrible on the PK. His TOI vs elite’s has also been very reasonable the past 2 yrs (behind McDavid and Draisaitl at least).

    All said Nuge has been a solid/good 2C. And last year he was top 60 in overall scoring, so if that’s the new normal we can call him a first liner.

    I guess it all comes down to salary – he’s currently the #64 paid forward in the NHL. If he scores 70+ a time or two in the next year or two, a bump to $8M likely makes sense, otherwise not so much.

  72. ArmchairGM says:

    Bank Shot: RNH has never produced great numbers given the opportunitieshe has been given over the years.

    Oilers are in a tough spot on his next contract because they can’t afford to lose him but he probably won’t provide much value to the team at the $8 million per he’ll likely be looking for.

    I don’t think there’s any justification for an $8M price tag for a guy that has never posted 2.00 P/60 at 5v5 in his career.

  73. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: To do that you used the entirety of the 2.4M cap cushion the Oilers currently have, signed Connolly for the same figure he didn’t accept from the Oilers and Pominville for 850k (which the Oilers could still do today or tomorrow or the next day). Your math is technically correct but not realistic IMO.

    I do agree the Oilers could theoretically have added one of Connolly, Dzingel or Burakovsky (pending the players willingness to sign in Edmonton). I don’t agree multiple of the improvements you’re suggesting (on players making more than $1M) were possible.

    They were and I have proved it. But my point was that ANY combination of those players would have constituted roster improvement, but nothing Holland has done (save, potentially, the Lucic-Neal trade) has materially improved the roster for 2019-20. There were opportunities to improve the team this summer and Holland struck out, choosing to sign a bunch of unproven “bets” instead.

    Very disappointing.

  74. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: We discussed this quite a bit with ArmChair and others during the great Connolly debate and as a concept, P/60 from playing in the bottom 6 often does not translate when tried in the top 6 – more minutes, tougher comp, etc. – of course, better linemates.

    I seem to remember some posters (not you, perhaps) also ignoring the actual goals that Connolly had scored too, as if scoring 45 goals over the past 3 years (5v5) wasn’t an indication of ability.

    And Woodguy has research indicating that who you play with is a greater factor in individual success than who you play against, so Connolly’s ability to maintain his production while upgrading his center from Lars Eller to one of the Oilers Big 3 wouldn’t have been considered a “bet” IMO.

  75. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: They were and I have proved it. But my point was that ANY combination of those players would have constituted roster improvement, but nothing Holland has done (save, potentially, the Lucic-Neal trade) has materially improved the roster for 2019-20. There were opportunities to improve the team this summer and Holland struck out, choosing to sign a bunch of unproven “bets” instead.

    Very disappointing.

    As you like.

  76. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Definitely stands out as low vis-a-vis the talent level of the player.

    I can say that, over the last three years aggregated, his most common linemates, by alot, almost 50% more than number 2, was Lucic.

    True, but he’s also played with some talented players in his career and hasn’t produced at a high level with any of them. Here’s his P/60 at 5v5 and career TOI:

    McDavid: 2.30 (598:04)
    Draisaitl: 1.93 (372:46)
    Eberle: 1.78 (3803:50)
    Hall: 1.58 (2275:31)
    Petry: 1.51 (872:07)
    Klefbom: 1.42 (1643:25)

    I think we can stop worrying about an $8M contract, folks.

  77. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: There were definitely players available, as you suggest, that would have been more of a “sure thing” to help this year but acquiring them would not jive with his stated primary goal of building a Stanley Cup contender within the next few years.

    Acquiring good players doesn’t help towards building a Stanley Cup contender?? I don’t see how this could possibly be true. If a better player becomes available next summer and we can’t afford him it’s not going to be because we gave a 25 goal scorer $3.5M. And even if Connolly IS standing in the way of acquiring a better player, he’s an easily tradeable asset.

    Get good players, keep good players. And if you can get them for zero asset cost in UFA at a decent price, that’s gold. You don’t let mythical, possible future ‘maybe’ deals get in the way of that.

  78. ArmchairGM says:

    JimmyV1965:
    RNH scored 28 goals and 69 pts last year, good for 57th in the league. He did this playing with mostly fourth liners. Why are we focussing in his P/60?

    We are discussing P/60 over multiple years though. In fact, he’s never hit 2.00 P/60 in his career, despite playing with some very good offensive talents in Eberle and Hall.

  79. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: Acquiring good players doesn’t help towards building a Stanley Cup contender?? I don’t see how this could possibly be true. If a better player becomes available next summer and we can’t afford him it’s not going to be because we gave a 25 goal scorer $3.5M. And even if Connolly IS standing in the way of acquiring a better player, he’s an easily tradeable asset.

    Get good players, keep good players. And if you can get them for zero asset cost in UFA at a decent price, that’s gold. You don’t let mythical, possible future ‘maybe’ deals get in the way of that.

    When discussing mythical possible future events I think it’s fair to note that Connolly as never scored 25 goals and Burakovsky has never scored 20.

  80. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: True, but he’s also played with some talented players in his career and hasn’t produced at a high level with any of them. Here’s his P/60 at 5v5 and career TOI:

    McDavid: 2.30 (598:04)
    Draisaitl: 1.93 (372:46)
    Eberle: 1.78 (3803:50)
    Hall: 1.58 (2275:31)
    Petry: 1.51 (872:07)
    Klefbom: 1.42 (1643:25)

    I think we can stop worrying about an $8M contract, folks.

    He’s also scored (over the past 3 seasons):
    2.03 with Nurse
    1.97 with Benning
    1.99 with Lucic
    2.11 with Puljujarvi
    2.39 with Caggiula
    2.62 with Gryba

    All >200 min. It’s almost as if he gets no benefit from playing with top skill. Maybe he’s perfect for the role he’s being played in.

    But yeah, not $8M, unless he scores 70 a time or two.

  81. JimmyV1965 says:

    ArmchairGM: We are discussing P/60 over multiple years though. In fact, he’s never hit 2.00 P/60 in his career, despite playing with some very good offensive talents in Eberle and Hall.

    He’s averaged 58 pts per 82 games over his career. What’s the issue?

  82. ArmchairGM says:

    JimmyV1965: He’s averaged 58 pts per 82 games over his career. What’s the issue?

    That’s not worth $8M.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Acquiring good players doesn’t help towards building a Stanley Cup contender?? I don’t see how this could possibly be true. If a better player becomes available next summer and we can’t afford him it’s not going to be because we gave a 25 goal scorer $3.5M. And even if Connolly IS standing in the way of acquiring a better player, he’s an easily tradeable asset.

    Get good players, keep good players. And if you can get them for zero asset cost in UFA at a decent price, that’s gold. You don’t let mythical, possible future ‘maybe’ deals get in the way of that.

    Lets hold off on calling Connolly a 25G scorer – he’s never scored 25 and only scored more than 15 once and he’s never had 50 points.

    Yes, he would have helped this year but he would likely not have moved the needle in the top 6 and he very well could have helped to preclude a more substantial acquisition in future years. Holland is clearly trying to acquire as much cap space as he can for the next few years so that he can be involved when substantial acquisitions are available and so he has the room to take advantage of cap strapped teams in future years.

    Committing to a marginal top 6 forward does not jive with keeping options open and signing a player with the thought that he’s tradeable if we need the money we commit is not good business.

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