2019-20 Game 37: Oilers at Blues

by Lowetide

The St. Louis Blues were a brand new team when I came in, and I collected stories about their early stars. Frank St. Marseille sent resumes to teams, Glenn Hall told the management he was going to retire and paint his barn and St. Louis was invaded by Plagers in the early days of NHL expansion in Missouri.

The Oilers entered the NHL 12 years later, and would win its first Stanley 17 years after the Blues played a game in St. Louis. Edmonton would win another, and then another, and then another and then another. Five Stanley Cups in 11 years of existence.

The mind boggled, especially for Blues fans. What the hell, man? In the early summer of 2019, over 50 years after Hall and the Plagers, the Blues won Stanley. What a story.

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 Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here. 

  • New Lowetide: The key missing element to the Oilers’ brilliant top line
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We called him ‘The Crane”: Teammates and coaches reveal their best Connor McDavid stories
  • Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers have outbid the Coyotes for Taylor Hall?
  • Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s frustration and the impact it could have on the Edmonton Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers need to figure out five-on-five woes quickly, starting with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
  • Lowetide: Who should be the next man up from the Bakersfield Condors?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: 10 subscriber questions for Oilers rookie defenceman Ethan Bear
  • Lowetide: Five loud noises Ken Holland could make to help the Oilers immediately
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers recall Caleb Jones, one of their most plausible trade chips
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘These games are not coming back’: Oilers lament frustrating week at home
  • Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett rewarded for his bets on the resilience of Mikko Koskinen, Oilers
  • Lowetide: How many value contracts do the Oilers have and are any more on the way?
  • Jonathan Willis: How will Hart voters choose between Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers turned team defence from a weakness into a strength
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 5 prospect, Winter 2019 — Raphael Lavoie
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 4 prospect winter 2019: Tyler Benson
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 prospect winter 2019: Ethan Bear
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard

OILERS AFTER 37 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 15-19-3, 33 points; goal differential -18
  • Oilers in 2016: 19-12-6, 44 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 17-18-2, 36 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-16-3, 39 points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in 2019: 19-13-4, 42 points; goal differential -1

This year’s model and the playoff team were the first to 40 points, and the 2019 McDavids can be the first to 20 wins with a victory tonight. It’s going to be a tall order.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-3-0, 12 points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2016: 4-2-3, 11 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in December 2017: 6-3-0, 12 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2018: 6-2-1, 13 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2019: 3-4-1, 7 points; goal differential -7

A win tonight and the Oilers 2019 will be within spitting distance of the 2016 team. The chances of this year’s December numbers being the poorest in the group is large.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN DECEMBER

  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: OTT, LAK, BUF, CAR (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 1-2-1)
  • On the road to: MIN (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: TOR (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: DAL, STL (Expected 0-2-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: PIT, MTL (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 0-0-1)
  • At home to: CAL, NYR (Expected 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-6-2, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 3-4-1, 7 points in 8 games

As much as this year’s team has struggled this month, a win tonight gets them on track with my projected point per game pace. The schedule gets a little easier after tonight. That isn’t always a blessing for the Oilers.

OILERS 2019-20

OILERS 50-MAN LIST (UPDATED)

1 G Mikko Koskinen. A 12-5-2 won-loss and a save percentage of .917 has to make Oilers fans and management feel a little better about the $4.5 million times three contract that expires spring 2022. He’s the starter.

2 G Mike Smith. He had a wild start, sending pucks all over the place in the early part of the season, but settled in for a time and played well. He is in a long streak of poor performances, as reflected by his .896 save percentage. Bonuses kick in soon, I wonder if the Oilers consider running Koskinen two of three starts for the next couple of months, maybe until the deadline.

3 Shane Starrett. His injuries have made things difficult for the Bakersfield Condors. Starrett’s five starts have resulted in three wins and a Bettman point, so if he’s healthy the AHL team should roll. He is RFA. I think the Oilers like him but he needs to get some momentum if there’s an NHL look in his future this season.

4 Stuart Skinner. His AHL numbers (17, 3.60, .879) tell us Skinner isn’t ready for the Condors starting job, but that’s not shocking or unusual. He did delivered a string of solid performances.

5 Dylan Wells. He is the No. 3 goalie in Bakersfield (6, 3.36 .890) but it is in no way clear to me that Wells should be slotted behind Skinner. I think the Oilers disagree.

Olivier Rodrigue. He’s a slide rule so doesn’t count, but is signed and will turn pro in the fall. I wonder if we see one of the current Condors cut loose.

6 LHD Oscar Klefbom. Edmonton’s leader in TOI (25:45) in all disciplines, he has delivered offensively (36, 3-19-22) but had some issues in possession (46.34 Corsi five on five) and goal differential (23-33, -10) at five on five.

7 LHD Darnell Nurse. Also playing a ton (22:29) and posting crooked numbers (36, 2-15-17). Nurse’s possession numbers (Corsi five on five 50.04; goal differential 34-38) are solid. He is looking for a new contract and talks have begun. It will be a major story until signed and likely has enormous impact on Edmonton’s room to wheel during the summer.

8 LHD Kris Russell. Veteran continues to deliver exactly what any reasonable human could expect from him (43.11 Corsi, 11-10 goals) all the while driving math crazy. He is signed for another year at $4 million, doubt he’s in Edmonton this time next year.

9 LHD Caleb Jones. Young defender is getting an extended NHL look and appears to be winning a big league job. Listed here but playing on his offside, he is 5-10 in goal differential five on five and has a Corsi of 45.97. Has been in trade rumours, partly because of waiver worry next October.

10 LHD Brandon Manning. He is making $2.25 million in the final season of his deal, has played fewer than 100 minutes this season. Hasn’t bitched, hasn’t had much of a chance but has kept quiet.

11 LHD William Lagesson. Quality prospect currently the last man standing in the AHL among the Condors blue trio of one year ago. Great numbers and scouting reports, he just needs a call.

12 LHD Keegan Lowe. He is RFA after the season and has struggled with the load this season. That’s a tough spot for the minor league veteran who played very well one year ago. He is probably playing his final months in the organization.

13 LHD Dmitri Samorukov. Big, physical defenseman who can skate very well is (imo) just shy of being a blue chip prospect in the fashion of Evan Bouchard and Philip Broberg. He’s on track to have a solid NHL career, only question is offense.

LHD Philip Broberg. He is another slide rule contract and having success in the SHL this season. He is slightly ahead of Oscar Klefbom at the same age, Oilers fans are antsy but he is the best skating defenseman on this team since Nurse and maybe before then. He can fly.

14 RHD Ethan Bear. Rookie leads RH blue with 20:56 TOI per night and has delivered solid boxcars (36, 4-6-10). He’s bona fide, popped after his second AHL season and hasn’t looked back. Corsi five on five is a team best 50.50 and his goal differential in the discipline is 32-40.

15 RHD Adam Larsson. Averaging 18:47 a night, he was injured opening night and has played in just 14 games (0-1-1). Corsi is 45.31, he is 4-11 goal differential five on five. Recent performances have been much improved, Oilers need him badly.

16 Matt Benning. Concussed and then took a shot from a puck and no one will say anything about his ear. Evander Kane, man. 24, 0-5-5, averaging 13:42 a night, Corsi 47.03 and 14-7 goal differential. I’m worried about him.

17 Joel Persson. He has been in the NHL and AHL a couple of times, the speed and reaction has him flummoxed a little. 13, 0-2-2 averaging 15:19, Corsi 47.61 and a 7-8 goal differential at five on five. I think we’ll see him again soon.

18 Evan Bouchard. He is producing (25, 3-11-14) in Bakersfield but also has a -11 plus minus. He’s quality, and is learning but there’s no hurry. I think he might spend the year in California. If he turns a corner in the new year, perhaps he gets a cup of coffee in late March.

19 Logan Day. He’s 19, 2-4-6 so far this season, with injuries and Bouchard/Persson impacting his power-play minutes. He is RFA at the end of the season and is vulnerable.

20 Ryan Mantha. He was on season opening LTIR and no one asks about it at this point. Eye injury appears to have ended his hockey career, but we hold out hope for a return.

21 LHC Connor McDavid. If he didn’t exist they would have had to invent him. His numbers this season (36, 20-39-59) project to 134 points and no one dare bet against him. McDavid keeps changing his outer marker. Incredible.

22 LHC Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Veteran’s offense is off (30, 6-12-18) and he is especially struggling at five on five (1.08) but his on-ice outscoring (12-14) has been impressive considering his linemates. Edmonton needs a big second half.

23 LHC Riley Sheahan. He’s 31, 1-1-2 and it’s worse than it looks. His five on five on-ice goal differential is 5-16. Sheahan’s PK totals (4.14 GA/60) in 72 minutes ranks No. 4 among regular Oilers penalty killers. He’s playing too much.

24 RHC Gaetan Haas. He has delivered 28, 3-4-7 so far this season, and I’ll tell you he looked like he was halfway to the airport in some of those early games. A find, just don’t know if he’s a real find. He’s 1.2 per 60 at five on five.

25 RHC Kyle Brodziak. On LTIR. He won’t return.

26 LHC Colby Cave. He has been on the Bakersfield shuttle and helped out when in Edmonton. Cave can get into good situations offensively but can’t cash. A common problem among mortals.

27 RHC Cooper Marody. Surprised he hasn’t played in the NHL yet, Marody has had injury issues in the AHL. Only recently has he been able to impact the Condors as he did a year ago. 21, 4-9-13.

28 LHC Ryan McLeod. His speed is a big asset in the AHL and his offense (25, 3-7-10) is more than I anticipated in his first half rookie pro. He’s penalty killing, too. Doubt he’ll see the NHL this season but you never know.

29 LHC Brad Malone. Veteran is a top center in the AHL but appears to be behind Cave on the recall depth chart. UFA next summer.

30 RHC Cam Hebig. He’s been in the ECHL (15, 5-8-13) more than AHL (9, 1-1-2), and that isn’t a good sign. Oilers have other options, but he hasn’t been able to build on his 11-goal season of one year ago.

31 LW Leon Draisaitl. Big man is following up his 50-goal season (36, 21-36-57) with a goal-scoring pace that projects to 48 goals. He is a major star and key to any success Edmonton will enjoy this year.

32 LW James Neal. A fast start has been followed by a long stretch of no impact. Neal seems healthier and faster of late, and as we approach mid-season, his boxcars (36, 15-7-22) are more than expected.

33 LW Jujhar Khaira. He’s 34, 6-0-6 so far, with wide ranging performances that range from player of the game to waivers at midnight. I remain a believer but he’s going to get pressure from the minors and men like Tyler Benson soon. Khaira’s solid PK work (he ranks No. 2 in GA/60 in the discipline) helps him keep the roster spot.

34 LW Markus Granlund. He had a hot stretch for a time and is now 29, 3-1-4. Now that I see the numbers, hot stretch isn’t the right phrase. On the PK, he is No. 6 among regulars in GA/60 (7.8). He’s a free agent in the summer, Ken Holland talked about his 12 goals a year ago but Granlund has three coming up to halftime.

35 LW Joakim Nygard. His boxcars (19, 2-3-5) aren’t bad, that’s 20 points over a full season. His speed is impressive and should get him more starts and scoring chances, but the first 36 games are done and he’s played in only half of them.

36 LW Tomas Jurco. I liked him in the NHL (12, 0-2-2) but he didn’t touch the puck enough to stay in the lineup. In the AHL (8, 4-3-7) he’s a substantial player and my guess is that he remains a recall option.

37 LW Tyler Benson. Benson is once again leading Condors forwards in points (25, 7-12-19) but it’s clear that he misses having a healthy Marody. Benson is in the window for recall now.

38 LW Joe Gambardella. He has been injured for parts of this season and isn’t scoring at last year’s levels (29 goals in 50 games). He is 6-5-11 in 19 games this season.

39 LW Nolan Vesey. He is RFA at the end of this season and along with Mantha very likely to be released after the 2019-20 campaign. Vesey has played in three AHL and four ECHL games.

40 RW Zack Kassian. Career season for the fleet winger, he’s playing the best hockey of his career. His numbers (12-11-23 in 33 games) are exceptional compared to his own career totals. Kassian and Edmonton are talking contract, there is danger here.

41 RW Alex Chiasson. Big winger who signed free-agent contract has been shy offensively (31, 4-8-12) but is coming on of late. The season he is having now is in line with his overall career averages. Last season was the outlier.

42 RW Sam Gagner. He is quietly having a solid year. Gagner’s boxcars (18, 1-7-8) imply a 30+ point season, but he is playing half the games. A five on five per 60 point total of 1.92 is the fourth best on the team and the best among forwards who don’t play regularly with CMD.

43 RW Josh Archibald. Speedy winger who can’t score but does PK well (his 2.9 GA/60 on the PK leads the team’s regulars). He had 12 goals one year ago, just one goal this year. Can we assume a market correction is on the way?

44 RW Patrick Russell. Russell isn’t getting a lot of attention but his ability to be useful goes beyond the boxcars (27, 0-4-4). He PK’s but his GA/60 (12.48) is the poorest among regulars.

45 RW Kailer Yamamoto. I am in worry mode since his wrist injury. Yamamoto is the most impressive forward in the AHL, but he isn’t cashing enough. That could be a lack of skill centers to feed him, a poor power play, or both. One of the key prospects to watch for Oilers fans between now and April. Will he pop?

46 RW Josh Currie. He can play center or wing in the AHL and was flat out impressive during a recall one year ago. Patrick Russell ate everyone’s lunch but Currie leads all Condors in goals (11) and perhaps we see him in Edmonton during the second half of the season.

47 RW Kirill Maksimov. I have been impressed with his season so far. Although the boxcars are slow in arriving (22, 1-5-6) he has been able to stay in the AHL and has shown utility (PK, some PP). He had a four-game stretch in November where he went 1-3-4, but the rest of the first half has been a jumble. Watch for a spike in the second half.

48 RW Ostap Safin. He is scoring well in the ECHL (26, 10-12-22) but more important he is healthy and that’s a big damned deal. I expect we’ll see him in Bakersfield in the new year.

Rookie scoring in Bakersfield

It’s important to keep track of rookie scoring, because it gives us a line in the sand and a chance to compare the coming months to the beginning. Here are last year’s rookies and their numbers at this time a year ago:

  1. Cooper Marody 13, 5-11-16 1.23
  2. Cam Hebig 23, 9-7-16 .696
  3. Tyler Benson 23, 3-12-15 .652
  4. Kailer Yamamoto 7, 1-3-4 .571
  5. Logan Day 21, 3-8-11 .523
  6. Tyler Vesel 20, 1-6-7 .350

Benson’s numbers were helped by Marody’s dominance, as were Hebig’s. This year’s rookies are led by a defenceman:

  1. Evan Bouchard 25, 3-11-14 .560
  2. Ryan McLeod 25, 3-7-10 .400
  3. Kirill Maksimov 22, 1-5-6 .273
  4. Dmitri Samorukov 23, 1-4-5 .217

The thing to remember here is that Bouchard is the only player who is in a feature offensive role. He is 2-5-7 on the power play, none of the other men listed has more than one point with the man advantage. I’d say “sure NHLers” number just one, but I like the chances of the other three based on early season performance. In fact, despite playing lesser roles as AHL rookies, I think this year’s crop has more promise. These kids have enough skill and range to push for NHL employment eventually.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning today, starts at 10, TSN 1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey joins us at 10:20, we’ll review the Dallas game and preview St. Louis. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will drop in at 11 to talk about Super Bowl picks and nervous Patriots fans, plus how much Taylor Hall moves the needle for the Arizona Coyotes. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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Andy Dufresne

LHD Oscar Klefbom. Edmonton’s leader in TOI (25:45) in all disciplines, he has delivered offensively (36, 3-19-22) but had some issues in possession (46.34 Corsi five on five) and goal differential (23-33, -10) at five on five.

Whats the average 5×5 Corsi and Goal Differential for top pairing Dmen?

Oscar plays big minutes. But does an average top pairing Dman have a Corsi below 50 and a minus goal differential. (assuming top pairing dmen face above average QoC)

Andy Dufresne

40 RW Zack Kassian. Career season for the fleet winger, he’s playing the best hockey of his career. His numbers (12-11-23 in 33 games) are exceptional compared to his own career totals. Kassian and Edmonton are talking contract, there is danger here.

Agreed. The danger is in not getting him signed.

frjohnk

Andy Dufresne:
40 RW Zack Kassian. Career season for the fleet winger, he’s playing the best hockey of his career. His numbers (12-11-23 in 33 games) are exceptional compared to his own career totals. Kassian and Edmonton are talking contract, there is danger here.

Agreed. The danger is in not getting him signed.

The danger is signing him for too much $/term

Andy Dufresne

The Condors are the Oilers of the AHL….without McDavid, Draisaitl and Koskinen

No depth; No scoring; No Goaltending…….but other than that… the future looks bright.

Andy Dufresne

frjohnk: The danger is signing him for too much $/term

LT already said that.

Andy Dufresne

33 LW Jujhar Khaira. He’s 34, 6-0-6 so far, with wide ranging performances that range from player of the game to waivers at midnight. I remain a believer but he’s going to get pressure from the minors and men like Tyler Benson soon. Khaira’s solid PK work (he ranks No. 2 in GA/60 in the discipline) helps him keep the roster spot.

Im not a beleiver. This is his last season to piss or get off the pot.

Penalty Killing, a weak bottom 9 roster and no pressure from the farm are the only reasons he’s still an Oiler.

We can love Good JJ all we want… it wont pay the rent.

Ryan

Andy Dufresne:
40 RW Zack Kassian. Career season for the fleet winger, he’s playing the best hockey of his career. His numbers (12-11-23 in 33 games) are exceptional compared to his own career totals. Kassian and Edmonton are talking contract, there is danger here.

Agreed. The danger is in not getting him signed.

It’s going to be a bad contract. I’m predicting a complete disaster.

A) Holland is not good at these contracts involving loyal soldiers (having a career year too) in their late 20’s.

B) Kassian hasn’t shown any aptitude playing down the lineup. As soon as there’s a better option for the top line (2 way forward as Lowetide notes at the Athletic) and Kassian gets bumped down the lineup, his contract will be an instant disaster.

It’s easy to forget that a younger Kassian playing down the lineup was recently considered an expensive luxury for a fourth liner. Imagine that at his next cap hit.

Andy Dufresne

45 RW Kailer Yamamoto. I am in worry mode since his wrist injury. Yamamoto is the most impressive forward in the AHL, but he isn’t cashing enough. That could be a lack of skill centers to feed him, a poor power play, or both. One of the key prospects to watch for Oilers fans between now and April. Will he pop?

Of all the pip squeeks who are lighting up the NHL we get this guy.

If he pops it wont be this year imo.

What was it he said to Chiarelli….”If you draft me, Im going to come back and haunt you” ?

#Prophetic

nelson88

Will take a bit of patience but Samorukov is going to be a real gem. Based on his history and development in the OHL it takes him a year or 18 months to adjust to the most recent level of competition but he has all the tools and when he figures the level out he is top 2 material.

Like Jones but would rather see them trade him for F upgrade than trade Sami or Laggesson.

Andy Dufresne

Ryan: It’s going to be a bad contract. I’m predicting a complete disaster.

A) Holland is not good at these contracts involving loyal soldiers (having a career year too) in their late 20’s.

B) Kassian hasn’t shown any aptitude playing down the lineup. As soon as there’s a better option for the top line (2 way forward as Lowetide notes at the Athletic) and Kassian gets bumped down the lineup, his contract will be an instant disaster.

It’s easy to forget that a younger Kassian playing down the lineup was recently considered an expensive luxury for a fourth liner. Imagine that at his next cap hit.

Have you seen our roster???

Hes the third best forward on it right now….yes including RNH…..

3×3

Sierra

Andy Dufresne:
The Condors are the Oilers of the AHL….without McDavid, Draisaitl and Koskinen

No depth; No scoring; No Goaltending…….but other than that… the future looks bright.

So you’re saying there’s no help coming..

Andy Dufresne

Marody’s dominace?

Its almost an oxymoron…No?

frjohnk

Andy Dufresne: LT already said that.

Andy Dufresne: Have you seen our roster???

Hes the third best forward on it right now….yes including RNH…..

nope.

Put RNH with Drai/McDavid and RNH will be putting up career numbers way above what Kassian is getting

Then have Kassian on the 2nd line and he will be way below RNH scoring.

I like Kassian, love his story, but he is like many of the other experiments who score at a 1st line pace with McDavid but score at 3rd liner to replacement levels without.

JimmyV1965

Andy Dufresne: Have you seen our roster???

Hes the third best forward on it right now….yes including RNH…..

3×3

I would jump at 3 x 3. I find it hard to believe that will happen. Will get 4 x 3.5.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– For the Rookie scoring in Bakersfield part: it is showing the forwards scoring from last year. Would be helpful to see what they are doing this year as well

– Then you are showing this year’s rookies scoring. Just looking at the numbers, I don’t get how Samo with 5 points can be deemed as “on track for a solid NHL career”. Or how one can be impressed with Maksi and his 6 points. MacLeod, as a C who isn’t getting the time with the skill W’s: he’s doing ok if you are hoping for a a really poor man’s 3C, which again is fine

– I guess its just home town bias. But if they were part of a package for a player on another team, their fan base would be like: “we traded for guys who have 5 and 6 points in AHL”

– Anyway we will see, but if the numbers in AHL scoring give an indication of NHL scoring, I look at these and be like: “OK we are talking Lander, Pakinen territory 4rth liners” Which is fine, but I don’t get the fawning over them based on numbers.

– Granted I don’t watch the games, but that I think helps to have less home-team bias. They aren’t impressing with their scoring acumen in the AHL in their rookie years, scoring far less than other rookie prospects in years past who also haven’t cracked the NHL

Andy Dufresne

Sierra: So you’re saying there’s no help coming..

Thats what Im saying.

This thing goes one of two ways.

If we win more than 50% of the available points in the next 20 games, then Holland makes a couple of deals to strenghten the roster for a playoff run. (nothing that doesnt serve the team in the long run)

If we have a losing percentage over the next 20 ….Holland stands pat at the deadline and tehn theres a chance that some of the rooks like Benson and a few dmen get an audition in the spring.

If we’re waiting for the cavalry to arrive we better hunker down……because they are still miles from nowhere

dustrock

Andy Dufresne: Have you seen our roster???

Hes the third best forward on it right now….yes including RNH…..

3×3

So rather than improve the forward corpse, just sign an aging middling winger for too much and for too long.

Sure thing.

Winning teams with a set roster in place have the luxury of signing guys who are good in the room to these types of contracts, and even then it’s a mistake.

For franchises who continue to be a lottery team despite years of #1 draft picks and the best player in 20 years, we can’t make emotional decisions.

We’re still paying off Pouliot! Sekera! There’s the Neal contract!

Nurse needs a raise! Nuge has one more year at $6m!

Dustylegnd

JimmyV1965: I would jump at 3 x 3. I find it hard to believe that will happen. Will get 4 x 3.5.

Agreed, free markets are a funny thing…I could see a metropolitan team paying him to help keep Tom Wilson under control….either way the free market knocks once, despite the demons he fights his agent will likely tell him he owes it to himself to test the market….also there is no high probability promise of Stanley in Edmonton….so why not get yourself paid…..hell look at what the free market paid Gagner…..pure folly to approach it any other way

GordieHoweHatTrick

dustrock: Andy Dufresne: Have you seen our roster???

Hes the third best forward on it right now….yes including RNH…..

3×3

So rather than improve the forward corpse, just sign an aging middling winger for too much and for too long.

Sure thing.

Winning teams with a set roster in place have the luxury of signing guys who are good in the room to these types of contracts, and even then it’s a mistake.

For franchises who continue to be a lottery team despite years of #1 draft picks and the best player in 20 years, we can’t make emotional decisions.

We’re still paying off Pouliot! Sekera! There’s the Neal contract!

Nurse needs a raise! Nuge has one more year at $6m!

I think ZK knows his meal ticket is a reasonable contract to stay playing with McD part of the time for the next 2-3 years. He has the wheels to keep rolling for a few more years (skating wise).
2×2 or 3×2
No more than 2.5 yr avg salary, no more than 3 yrs term.

Jethro Tull

Ryan: It’s going to be a bad contract. I’m predicting a complete disaster.

A) Holland is not good at these contracts involving loyal soldiers (having a career year too) in their late 20’s.

B) Kassian hasn’t shown any aptitude playing down the lineup. As soon as there’s a better option for the top line (2 way forward as Lowetide notes at the Athletic) and Kassian gets bumped down the lineup, his contract will be an instant disaster.

It’s easy to forget that a younger Kassian playing down the lineup was recently considered an expensive luxury for a fourth liner. Imagine that at his next cap hit.

Drai and McDavid also haven’t shown any aptitude for playing down the line-up.

I thought Kassian has been one of our better bottom sixers in recent times? Might have to look at some numbers if I have time today, because this doesn’t sound right.

The Nurse contract will be worse and could cost us a potentially better d man, if we’re playing Kenny’s slow waltz to success.

PennersPancakes

Andy Dufresne:
The Condors are the Oilers of the AHL….without McDavid, Draisaitl and Koskinen

No depth; No scoring; No Goaltending…….but other than that… the future looks bright.

Also both teams breaking in rookies:

NHL: Bear, Haas, Nygard, Jones
Tweeners: Persson
AHL: Bouchard, McLeod, Maksimov, Samorukov

Kinger_Oil.redux

– And while I am at it: I recall Bouchard being touted as a Paul Coffey-light D with amazing offence, sick skating and potential game-changer. While he scores some on PP, again I look at the numbers and say: maybe next year he can play on the 3rd line with a solid partner. Again that is fine, but different

– I just feel there is a disconnect between how prospects are being touted, or hoped for, and what the numbers actually show.

Andy Dufresne

frjohnk:
nope.

Put RNH with Drai/McDavid and RNH will be putting up career numbers way above what Kassian is getting

Then have Kassian on the 2nd line and he will be way below RNH scoring.

I like Kassian, love his story, but he is like many of the other experiments who score at a 1st line pace with McDavid but score at 3rd liner to replacement levels without.

Its not just scoring Padre.

Watch how he plays the game. He’s fastrer than RNH. He goes to the tough areas that RNH does not. He seperates men from the puck. He creates time and space for the big guns. He knows where to be when playing with McDavid or Draisaitl. He can make and take a pass. And his hockey IQ is off the charts….which is seldom noticed given his looks and his demeanor. (Kass puts the Mean in demeanor)

To many people seem to undervalue this player, or seem reluctant to sing his praises imo. Chemistry…its a thing.

Is he getting zoomed? Of course he is. Anyone playing with McDavid is gettng zoomed..and thats a fact. RNH would be getting zoomed playing with McDavid.

Kassian is exactly the player type you risk giving 3 years to at age 29. Big Strong Fast; Can play with talent; No Injury History.

Based on a small sample size Kassian is a better playoff performer than RNH.

Do I keep Kassian over RNH, of course not. But at half the cost its a lot closer than most make it out to be. Especially in the eyes of Coaches.

Coaches loves them some Kassian. That is a fact.

Luckily for us Kassian is a smart guy. He knows where is bread is buttered and at 29 this will be his best chance to get his name on Stanley. 3×3

We fucked up with Strome.. lets not repeat that again

Andy Dufresne

PennersPancakes: Also both teams breaking in rookies:

NHL: Bear, Haas, Nygard, Jones
Tweeners: Persson
AHL: Bouchard, McLeod, Maksimov, Samorukov

Very true.

Cassandra

Good teams sign guys like Kassian, who are good fits with their team and who owe their production to the environment, to below market deals. That’s a simple fact.

If Holland pays free agent prices for Kassian he has failed in his duty. The Tom Wilson numbers are ludicrous.

There is no money in the system and older, middlish, free agents like Kassian are getting squeezed.

3 x 3 million has to be around the ceiling. I’d rather spend a little more money and get a better player (next year equivalents of Donskoi, Burakovsky, or Connolly–all of which were easily identifiable by anyone with a computer and a basement).

Andy Dufresne

dustrock: So rather than improve the forward corpse, just sign an aging middling winger for too much and for too long.

Sure thing.

Winning teams with a set roster in place have the luxury of signing guys who are good in the room to these types of contracts, and even then it’s a mistake.

For franchises who continue to be a lottery team despite years of #1 draft picks and the best player in 20 years, we can’t make emotional decisions.

We’re still paying off Pouliot!Sekera!There’s the Neal contract!

Nurse needs a raise!Nuge has one more year at $6m!

Well said.

You and I are diametrically opposed on this.

Which is good.

You see Kassian as an aging middling winger.

I see Kassian as the type of player you win Stanley Cups with.

Lets see what Ken Holland and Dave Tippett think.

3×3

JimmyV1965

GordieHoweHatTrick: I think ZK knows his meal ticket is a reasonable contract to stay playing with McD part of the time for the next 2-3 years. He has the wheels to keep rolling for a few more years (skating wise).
2×2 or 3×2
No more than 2.5 yr avg salary, no more than 3 yrs term.

That simply won’t happen. Why would anyone agree to a $6 mill contract, when they can get $14 mill?

frjohnk

Andy Dufresne: Its not just scoring Padre.

Watch how he plays the game. he fastrer than RNH. he goes to the tough areas that RNH does not. He seperates men from the puck. He creates time and space for the big guns. He knows where to be when playing with McDavid or Draisaitl. He can make and take a pass. And his hockey IQ is off the charts….which is seldom noticed given his looks and his demeanor. (Kass puts the Mean in demeanor)

To many people seem to undervalue this player, or seem reluctant to sing his praises. imo Chemistry…its a thing.

Is he getting zoomed? of course he is. Anyone playing with McDavid is gettng zoomed..and thats a fact. RNH would be getting zoomed playing with McDavid.

Kassian is exactly the player type you risk giving 3 years to at age 29. Big Strong Fast No Injury History.

Based on a smell sample size Kassian is a better playoff performer than RNH.

Do I keep Kassian over RNH, of course not. But at half the cost its a lot closer than most make it out to be. Especially in the eyes of Coaches.

Coaches loves them some Kassian. That is a fact.

Luckily for us Kassian is a smart guy. He knows where is bread is buttered and at 29 this will be his best chance to get his name on Stanley.3×3

Many power forwards hit the cliff at age 29/30.

Kassian is a power forward but can skate well. Good to very good skaters dont hit the cliff like Lucic did.

I believe that Kassian is in the Pouliot group. About same size, both really good skaters, some PK ability, both were bound to take stupid penalties. Both scored well with McDavid, not so much without.

Pouliot scored 2.83 pts/60 with McDavid in 15-16 at age 29. He scored 1.44 pts/60 without. He played 2 more years after that year and was done.

Kassian will turn 31 half way thru the first year of his next contract. He probably gets more than 3 x 3. If he plays most of the time with McDavid ( means he hasnt hit the cliff) , he probably covers most of the bet. If he doesnt, then not a chance.

JimmyV1965

Andy Dufresne: Its not just scoring Padre.

Watch how he plays the game. He’s fastrer than RNH. He goes to the tough areas that RNH does not. He seperates men from the puck. He creates time and space for the big guns. He knows where to be when playing with McDavid or Draisaitl. He can make and take a pass. And his hockey IQ is off the charts….which is seldom noticed given his looks and his demeanor. (Kass puts the Mean in demeanor)

To many people seem to undervalue this player, or seem reluctant to sing his praises imo.Chemistry…its a thing.

Is he getting zoomed? Of course he is. Anyone playing with McDavid is gettng zoomed..and thats a fact. RNH would be getting zoomed playing with McDavid.

Kassian is exactly the player type you risk giving 3 years to at age 29. Big Strong Fast; Can play with talent; No Injury History.

Based on a small sample size Kassian is a better playoff performer than RNH.

Do I keep Kassian over RNH, of course not. But at half the cost its a lot closer than most make it out to be. Especially in the eyes of Coaches.

Coaches loves them some Kassian. That is a fact.

Luckily for us Kassian is a smart guy. He knows where is bread is buttered and at 29 this will be his best chance to get his name on Stanley.3×3

We fucked up with Strome.. lets not repeat that again

So you sing the praises of Kassian then suggest 3 x 3. This is not happening. Why would someone agree to $9 mill when he knows at least $14 mill is waiting for him on the open market?

Andy Dufresne

Cassandra:
Good teams sign guys like Kassian, who are good fits with their team and who owe their production to the environment, to below market deals.That’s a simple fact.

If Holland pays free agent prices for Kassian he has failed in his duty. The Tom Wilson numbers are ludicrous.

There is no money in the system and older, middlish, free agents like Kassian are getting squeezed.

3 x 3 million has to be around the ceiling.I’d rather spend a little more money and get a better player (next year equivalents of Donskoi, Burakovsky, or Connolly–all of which were easily identifiable by anyone with a computer and a basement).

This is all resaonable.

All I would add is the “bird in the hand” kind of philosophy. We know what Kassian is. We know the value he brings; He wants to be here; And more importantly….HES ALREADY HERE!

Easier to keep a good player / excellent fit…..then to try get one of someone elses roster.

I mean f#ck….look at this roster!…..Kassian is not part of the problem….far from it…Hes a blessing…as big a blessing as Ethan Bear.

Get rid of Chaisson, Get rid of Neal, Get rid of Gagner, Get rid of *insert name here*

IF Holland signs Kassian at UFA prices and term then yes, as you say, thats a mistake.

But Holy Hell….just try and find a Kassian in free agency or via trade….its completely cost prohibitve.

When the world gifts you a Bear or a Kassian…just accept it…say thank you and move on. we need at least one more top 6 forward ….not one less…..

OriginalPouzar

Definitely a solid point on the “featured role” with respect to the rookie scoring.

Samorukov has been third pairing all year with essentially no PP time – it took him a bit of time to get settled but he’s settling in now and, of all the youngsters, it seems to me that Woody gets most excited talking about Sammy – say’s he’s really starting to make some strides and is going to be a player.

My hope for Sammy, from the start, was to earn solid top 4 minutes by the end of the year and then, next year, to play more of a feature role and put himself in the conversation for a late season cup of coffee and an NHL job come 21/22.

————————————

McLeod’s speed and size has been evident since game one – coaching staff is really working with him on “staying in the play”. He’s been playing with Maksimov most of the year – often with Cave as the center, sometimes with Esposito. A key is that he is also paired with Maksi on a PK unit that gets material PK time.

pts2pndr

Andy Dufresne: Its not just scoring Padre.

Watch how he plays the game. He’s fastrer than RNH. He goes to the tough areas that RNH does not. He seperates men from the puck. He creates time and space for the big guns. He knows where to be when playing with McDavid or Draisaitl. He can make and take a pass. And his hockey IQ is off the charts….which is seldom noticed given his looks and his demeanor. (Kass puts the Mean in demeanor)

To many people seem to undervalue this player, or seem reluctant to sing his praises imo.Chemistry…its a thing.

Is he getting zoomed? Of course he is. Anyone playing with McDavid is gettng zoomed..and thats a fact. RNH would be getting zoomed playing with McDavid.

Kassian is exactly the player type you risk giving 3 years to at age 29. Big Strong Fast; Can play with talent; No Injury History.

Based on a small sample size Kassian is a better playoff performer than RNH.

Do I keep Kassian over RNH, of course not. But at half the cost its a lot closer than most make it out to be. Especially in the eyes of Coaches.

Coaches loves them some Kassian. That is a fact.

Luckily for us Kassian is a smart guy. He knows where is bread is buttered and at 29 this will be his best chance to get his name on Stanley.3×3

We fucked up with Strome.. lets not repeat that again

</blockquot
Kassian is not valued as he should be by our fan base. Many still see him as the young version of himself that was more goon than hockey player. The going rate for a player that might be able to replace him is minimum 3.5 and there is also matter of acquisition cost.

Dustylegnd

Jethro Tull: Drai and McDavid also haven’t shown any aptitude for playing down the line-up.

I thought Kassian has been one of our better bottom sixers in recent times? Might have to look at some numbers if I have time today, because this doesn’t sound right.

The Nurse contract will be worse and could cost us a potentially better d man, if we’re playing Kenny’s slow waltz to success.

Hard to see how the Oil can pay Nurse at a rate much different than Josh Morrissey, pencil in 6.2 x 8…hell Russell locked down 4 x 4

OriginalPouzar

Going to be a tough game tonight but, if they can play with the effort and structural execution as they did last game, they have every shot at a couple of points.

Limited the high danger chances for most of the game against an explosive Dallas team.

I assume Mikko starts tonight.

I would start Smith on Friday to give MIkko two full days rest before Saturday and Monday.

Andy Dufresne

JimmyV1965: So you sing the praises of Kassian then suggest 3 x 3.This is not happening.Why would someone agree to $9 mill when he knows at least $14 mill is waiting for him on the open market?

So you agree that he’s well worth $14.5M to some team(s).

Thats a a good start.

I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised at the contract Kassian signs with the Oilers.

Lets see what what happens

#KassianLikesUsHeReallyLikesUs

#KennysAGrinder

PennersPancakes

Kassian has career earnings of around ~$12 million and considering his lifestyle and history I do not imagine he has saved much of it. If there is a $14 million contract he will take it. With the transition to youth, emphasis on scoring, his physical style and its wear on the human body, his next contract is his BIG ONE.

Im sure Kassian likes the team, appreciates the commitment to him but he has a wife and kid now. Edmonton would likely win a tie breaker of anything close in total value but I wouldnt be surprised at all for him to guarantee a healthy future for his family.

I love the player and hope he can be on a fair contract come next season but this is a player who (including this years stats) averages 27 points/82 games. He has gotten serious opportunity to play with skill here and in Vancouver and until this year will have never topped 30 points.

Dustylegnd

Andy Dufresne: This is all resaonable.

All I would add is the “bird in the hand” kind of philosophy. We know what Kassian is. We know the value he brings; He wants to be here; And more importantly….HES ALREADY HERE!

Easier to keep a good player / excellent fit…..then to try get one of someone elses roster.

I mean f#ck….look at this roster!…..Kassian is not part of the problem….far from it…Hes a blessing…as big a blessing as Ethan Bear.

Get rid of Chaisson, Get rid of Neal, Get rid of Gagner, Get rid of *insert name here*

IF Holland signs Kassian at UFA prices and term then yes, as you say, thats a mistake.

But Holy Hell….just try and find a Kassian in free agency or via trade….its completely cost prohibitve.

When the world gifts you a Bear or a Kassian…just accept it…say thank you and move on. we need at least one more top 6 forward ….not one less…..

Roger

Andy Dufresne

OriginalPouzar:
Going to be a tough game tonight but, if they can play with the effort and structural execution as they did last game, they have every shot at a couple of points.

Limited the high danger chances for most of the game against an explosive Dallas team.

I assume Mikko starts tonight.

I would start Smith on Friday to give MIkko two full days rest before Saturday and Monday.

You know how we have those games called scheuled losses?

Well we should also have a category called “The Holy Trinity”

Those games where we only win if Conner and Leon will it into existence and Mikko stands on his head. 🙂

#SoYoureSayingTheresAChance

dustrock

Andy Dufresne: Well said.

You and I are diametrically opposed on this.

Which is good.

You see Kassian as an aging middling winger.

I see Kassian as the type of player you win Stanley Cups with.

Lets see what Ken Holland and Dave Tippett think.

3×3

The problem is having guys like Chiasson and Neal etc, there’s just too many of them.

I agree with Kassian’s value, but maybe on a team like Tampa Bay?

I just don’t think the Oilers are close to winning the Cup. 2 years at least I think.

geowal

25 RHC Kyle Brodziak. On LTIR. He won’t return.

Is this confirmed he’s actually on LTIR? I’ve asked every month or so why he won’t on LTIR (per various websites) and have gotten narry a response or explanation as to why he wouldn’t be. I don’t get it.

Andy Dufresne

frjohnk: Many power forwards hit the cliff at age 29/30.

Kassian is a power forward but can skate well.Good to very good skaters dont hit the cliff like Lucic did.

I believe that Kassian is in the Pouliot group.About same size, both really good skaters, some PK ability, both were bound to take stupid penalties.Both scored well with McDavid, not so much without.

Pouliot scored 2.83 pts/60 with McDavid in 15-16 at age 29. He scored 1.44 pts/60 without.He played 2 more years after that year and was done.

Kassian will turn 31 half way thru the first year of his next contract. He probably gets more than 3 x 3.If he plays most of the time with McDavid ( means he hasnt hit the cliff) , he probably covers most of the bet.If he doesnt, then not a chance.

If I follow your logic then this thing is lock, because Kassian does not turn 31 half way through the first year of his next contract…..he turns 30 halfway through the first year of his next contract.

I trust this makes you feel much better about signing him 🙂

frjohnk

Andy Dufresne: If I follow your logic then this thing is lock, because Kassian does not turn 31 half way through the first year of his next contract…..he turns 30 halfway through the first year of his next contract.

I trust this makes you feel much better about signing him

Math is hard 🙂

Andy Dufresne

dustrock: The problem is having guys like Chiasson and Neal etc, there’s just too many of them.

I agree with Kassian’s value, but maybe on a team like Tampa Bay?

I just don’t think the Oilers are close to winning the Cup.2 years at least I think.

I would agree with you that a signed Kassian might have more value as a trade chip at the deadline than he has long term with us.

But the return for Kassian as a rental is nowhere near the value he has for us.

So its a good thing that Kenny is negotiating with teh Kassian camp right now. Kenny will know the ask and will know the price is he is willing to pay Kassian prior to the deadline and right at about the time Kenny has decided whether to be a buyer or a seller.

This is all a good thing for the organization.

Either we’re getting Kassina on a resonable (team friendly) contract or we have the option to turn him into a pick or picks at the deadline.

I say he gets signed.

Kenny’s a Grinder; His Judgement Cometh, and that Right Soon.

Woodguy v2.0

WC standings using points percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

Central
STL 13
COL 12
WPG 8

Pacific
ARI 8
EDM 6
VEGREVILLE 6

Wildcard
DAL 7
NSH 4

Out of playoffs
CGY 4
MIN 2
VAN 1
SJS -2
CHI -2
ANA -2
LAK -3

EDM has played 1 less game than Vegreville so has the edge in points percentage.

NSH has played 3 less games than CGY and have the edge in points percentage there.

Only game that matter tonight is EDM (+155) at STL (-175).

Gordspeed Oilers.

Oilin4

Patrick Maroon is the best comparable to kassian. Two years ago he tested UFA. After waiting to July 10, signed for 1.75×1. Did it again this year. Waited until Aug 24. Signed to .9 x1.

Offer Kassian 2 x 2.5. If he rejects, let him sweat a couple UFA days. Then offer it again. If he gets snapped up sign Maroon or one of a dozen other 29 yo decent wingers. Someone is always available. Use cap for your core. Be brutal with the result.

Andy Dufresne

frjohnk: Math is hard

lol…..indeed it is Padre 🙂 and grammar two

PennersPancakes

I was initially hoping St Louis started Jake Allen tonight over Binnington but both sound like awful options to play against (.925 and .920). Yikes I hope Kosk starts either way.

godot10

Andy Dufresne:
40 RW Zack Kassian. Career season for the fleet winger, he’s playing the best hockey of his career. His numbers (12-11-23 in 33 games) are exceptional compared to his own career totals. Kassian and Edmonton are talking contract, there is danger here.

Agreed. The danger is in not getting him signed.

The danger is in signing him. It will undoubtedly be for too much and for too long. Let someone else pay for a bottom six winger who is weak defensively, and cannot PK.

Connor is under 50% goal share since November 1st playing with Kassian. Part of the job playing with McDavid, like playing with Gretzky, is doing their checking, like Kurri did. Kassian flys the zone, and often chooses to cover the wrong person.

I could tolerate at 2-year deal at under $3 million per season.

GordieHoweHatTrick

JimmyV1965: That simply won’t happen. Why would anyone agree to a $6 mill contract, when they can get $14 mill?

If Kassian gets a 14 million dollar contract I will eat my shorts

Andy Dufresne

Oilin4:
Patrick Maroon is the best comparable to kassian. Two years ago he tested UFA. After waiting to July 10, signed for 1.75×1. Did it again this year. Waited until Aug 24. Signed to .9 x1.

Offer Kassian 2 x 2.5. If he rejects, let him sweat a couple UFA days. Then offer it again. If he gets snapped up sign Maroon or one of a dozen other 29 yo decent wingers. Someone is always available. Use cap for your core. Be brutal with the result.

Except Kassian can skate and Maroon is almost 3 years older.

Its just my opinion….but by eye…Kassian skates, thinks, and plays the game at a level that Maroon never did….even tough Maroon posted impressive numbers with McDavid.

Kassian has all the skills of first round pick. His lifestyle got in the way for several years (example while playing with the Sedins). He has rectified that now.

3×3