Last Chance Texaco

Hockey is a game of windows, of opportunities with expiration dates. We’ve talked a lot about Caleb Jones, William Lagesson and Ethan Bear facing a massive season in their careers all summer. However, that’s only as it pertains to Edmonton, all three men should get a chance here or elsewhere. What about the men those three (plus Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov) are going to push out of the way?


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 Athletic, we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, you can get 40% off subscriptions until Sept. 19 here.

  • New Lowetide: RE 19-20: How can the Oilers’ bottom six close the gap in goal differential?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson address respective highs and lows as Oilers rookie camp begins
  • New Jonathan Willis: Riley Sheahan is a prudent signing by the Oilers in more ways than one
  • New Jonathan Willis: Did Milan Lucic take a shot at Connor McDavid’s leadership?
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ defensive hopes will rest on the new shutdown pair of Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: With Evan Bouchard as the headliner, here are the players to watch at Oilers rookie camp
  • Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the configuration of the Oilers second line
  • Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s 2019-20: Pushing for 50 goals while Dave Tippett loads up the Oilers’ top line
  • Lowetide: Estimating reasonable expectations for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers: A difficult journey
  • Jonathan Willis: How much money will Darnell Nurse make on his next NHL contract?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s measured summer leaves Oilers outside playoffs.
  • Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
  • Lowetide: Is Riley Sheahan an ideal fit for the Oilers as their No. 3 centre?
  • Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett might have to take drastic action in order to find a second outscoring line in 2019-20
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2021-22 Oilers might look like after their steady build toward contender status
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland puts his stamp on the Oilers with first big move in Lucic-Neal trade
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.


If we use our thinking caps it’s possible to read the future. Edmonton has a surplus in one area (defense) and a dire need in others (scoring wingers, possibly center, maybe in goal).

Matt Benning is an NHL defenseman. I like him. Lots of good arrows for this player and I think there would be some interest if Edmonton saw fit to move him along. Here are the Puck IQ numbers versus elites last season, Benning didn’t play the big minutes but flourished when he did play against elites.

So that’s why the rookie camp and the main camp and the preseason are important. Someone from the bubbling under group is going to push, and I don’t just mean hanging on. If the Oilers feel good enough about the youngsters at the end of camp, we could see a trade.

Many of you want Kris Russell traded but he’s got a contract that has some hurdles. Benning might be a cleaner trade. I don’t want Benning traded, for me he’s inexpensive and has a range of skills.


Let’s assume the coaching staff has a whiteboard in Dave Tippett’s office that looks like this:




Caleb Jones-Evan Bouchard

William Lagesson-Ethan Bear

Dmitri Samorukov-Logan Day

Brandon Manning-Keegan Lowe

Assuming Persson does not stumble, and one of Jones, Lagesson, Bear, Bouchard and Samorukov show well, the clock (imo) starts ticking. Once those RFA contracts start getting signed around the league, Benning’s value contracts is going to become more attractive. Repeat: I don’t like the idea of trading him. It is the logical move.

Benning’s contract is $1.9 million this season and he’s RFA next summer. The Oilers may be able to procure a young winger for him in the coming days. If Persson steps up, and Jones does too, we officially have another window opening. It won’t be long.

If Marleau is coming to Edmonton (and I’m thinking it’s a long shot) then a Russell trade becomes more likely. Edmonton would need to move more than Benning’s $1.9 million out (Oilers could save $1.2 million-ish by replacing him with Ethan Bear) in order to accommodate a Marleau deal. I believe it’s very unlikely. A reasonable expectation for Marleau in 2019-20 would be 82, 19-21-40.


At 10 this morning, we shed a short week and start daydreaming about another weekend on TSN1260! Steve Lansky will drop in to talk about Bianca Andreescu, the signing of Sheahan and getting ready for another season. Matthew Iwanyk will arrive around 11 and talk Eskimos and we’ll have a pile of texts and discussion. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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215 Responses to "Last Chance Texaco"

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  1. Jaxon says:

    I feel the need to make a bold proclamation: (puts hands on hips, stares off into the distance) I am a scientific, woke Social Justice Warrior, and damn proud of it. Whoever doesn’t like that, come at me. ;-p

  2. Jaxon says:

    Also, I believe 5v5 Pts/60 is a better predictor if you adjust for TOI/GP. Better yet, Away 5v5 Primary Pts/60. That’s right, I said it. AWAY 5v5 PRIMARY Pts/60. Wait, also “Within 1”. Away 5v5 Within 1 Primary Pts/60 Adjusted for TOI/GP. So there! Wait, also adjusted for age. Early birthdays for drafting and aging curve drop-off for older players. There it is, now you have it. Goodnight.

  3. Jaxon says:

    Wow, I missed a hell of a thread tonight. Fun fun.

  4. Jaxon says:

    I do believe that 5v5 Pts/60 is more useful for finding players who may be ready to move up the ladder next season. Someone who largely outperforms his TOI/GP peers may be ready to move up from say 3rd line duty to 2nd line duty or 2nd to 1st. They often really stand out in the data and can be had for somewhat of a bargain.

  5. Wilde says:

    there better not have been too much chuddery this time

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers play a hockey game tonight. Just the “prospects” but still. Awesome. Can’t wait.

  7. rickithebear says:

    Lead farmer:

    Re my work.

    You claim to have been here since 2006.
    Then you would have read my work.
    Descriptions of physical mechanisms.

    HD area ( rickisbox) by shot success by location.
    HD: LD ratio.
    The argument of continued high shooting%
    It’s corelation to HD penetration.
    HD shot success map.
    Quality HD dmen.

    The second phase of Goal dif.
    Open closed corsi
    Open shots being only scorable shot.
    All this is 8-12 yr old.

    If it I do present.
    It will be presented in a simple chart, Video based series of my theories as a guest writer for post media.
    In partnership with the web site builder friend of my wife’s.
    Edited with my wife’s voice
    Cause I am a prick when it comes to discussing my theories.

    I will not Gamble.
    I had a 2 week suspension near the end of grade 8 for running a Black jack ring.

    I do not predict (guess)
    You can structure a team for success.
    It can be the deepest in a conference.
    But 2 of the last 3 seasons the best structured team had unique ref calls punt them from playoffs.
    16/17 EDM 2 non calls on clear goalie interference.
    18/19 VGK A 5 min major in game 7.

    Refs have the critical influence that can affect PT outcomes in a season.
    There is no science to that!

  8. v4ance says:


    Great analysis George. Loved it!

    I can’t remember who said it in my twitter feed but they were re-litigating the merits of hockey analytics, I believe in respect to Scheifele’s comments on analytics not being able to prove there is chemistry between certain players. Obviously he hasn’t run into a detailed Woodguy WOWY treatise.

    But the comment that I saw was that hockey analytics isn’t about getting things right or medelling things perfectly but to show how to be “less wrong” more often or to find ways to be more efficient.

    Kind of like the Carolina Hurricane’s signing of Gardiner on the cheap

  9. rickithebear says:

    Damn it LT:

    That was a great fact based post!
    I even used my Pub Adm learning as a 16 yr old in Univ.

    Plus all the you tube videos & MIT lecture notes on line over the last half yr.

    Plus political experience working for

    Plus I was going to pull out homicide stats from 2014 to 2018
    Showing the high rates of shootings, stabbings, & beatings.

    The need for seperate
    A. stabbing prevention
    Knife, axe, Cutlery Vaults, pocession license training and registry.
    B. Beating prevention
    Bat, hammer, Mallet, Hockey stick vaults, pocession license training and registry.

    All shooting PAL holders grandfathered in for A and B.

    DR. T:
    The prick schtick is just me when it comes to my game play theories.
    Get some sleep so you can woke in the morning.

  10. rickithebear says:

    #26 LW 1.12 evg/60
    #7 LW 2.80 evp/60
    #60 LW 10 evg
    #53 LW 25 evp
    Missed games is a performance issue.
    Totals are TOI dependent.

  11. Professor Q says:

    there better not have been too much chuddery this time

    Not to worry! Charlie Huddy is with the Jets, not the Flames.

  12. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: Sounds fair. Here are 10 forwards I believe will spike in the coming year, all of them under 1.50 per 60 five on five in 2018-19. I think they’re all reasonable bets to post 1.50 per 60 or more. I included Roslovic because I think he’s a candidate to spike in a big way (2.00) and would include Keller, too.

    1. Jack Roslovic 1.48
    2. Evan Rodrigues 1.39
    3. Jujhar Khaira 1.38
    4. Clayton Keller 1.24
    5. Vincent Trocheck 1.22
    6. Josh Leivo 1.19
    7. Roope Hintz 1.18
    8. Ryan Strome 1.12
    9. Andrew Cogliano 1.05
    10. Filip Chytil 0.94
    10. Jesse Puljujarvi 0.80

    Based on three year averages, some of that outside the NHL (and that would include points-per-game in those moments outside the NHL), I think those 11 men are a good bet to fly past their 2018-19 mark. Not everyone, as you note there are things that happen (maybe Cogliano’s bat really is too slow). However, using five-on-five per 60, I think these names are a good place to look for a spike.

    As you’ve often said, opportunity matters a lot and so does who you play with.
    Josh Leivo is a good example.
    As the Canucks are currently constructed, Leivo will most likely play on the third line with Brandon Sutter as his centre.
    Pretty tough to spike under thos circumstances.
    Hintz is the opposite since he will likely play second line minutes with Joe Pavelski.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: As you’ve often said, opportunity matters a lot and so does who you play with.
    Josh Leivo is a good example.
    As the Canucks are currently constructed, Leivo will most likely play on the third line with Brandon Sutter as his centre.
    Pretty tough to spike under thos circumstances.
    Hintz is the opposite since he will likely play second line minutes with Joe Pavelski.

    Leivo has never been a feature player, and hasn’t had a lot of playing time, but his numbers are fabulous. He’s an efficient player looking for opportunity. I like his chances even this late.

  14. Dac189 says:

    All this talk about trading Russell but he was the 4th best defenseman last season. Moved to his offside because Benning couldn’t handle 2nd pairing.
    You trade Russell and you have to rely of Persson, Jones, Bouchard and however many more players depending on injuries. These guys have barely played at all in NHL.
    How many Oilers rookies have been successful in their rookie season this past decade? Hall, Nuge, EBS, Yak, McDavid.
    Maybe nurse and klefbom, don’t really remember how their first seasons went.
    Still expecting 3 D rookies to make it in 1 year is super optimistic.

  15. jp says:


    This post is 2 days old, might want to post on the new one!

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