Farm Workers Mid-Season Report 2019-20

Much of what I write here and at The Athletic is seasonal. I learned early on that if you’re going to chronicle a team, and play along at home, there’s a need to address things in a timely way. We’ll talk about the draft and the 50-man leading up to summer, and of course reasonable expectations arrive in August-September. October through April is the season, games and the morning after games. I learned this on the fly, when starting the blog and trying to stay topical.

Farm Workers, a look at the minor league and the players housed there, came from a different place. Brian Conacher, former NHL player, wrote a fantastic book called Hockey in Canada: The Way it Is. Conacher was a very smart fellow and he saw things in a unique way. Brilliant book and a brilliant description of the minor leagues of the 1960’s. Anyway. What you read today is a direct result of the Conacher book.

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:  Central Scouting’s midseason list offers Oilers some strong draft options
  • New Jonathan Willis: The Oilers’ road forward — and perhaps to a Stanley Cup — requires trusting the kids on defence
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers make a smart two-year bet on Caleb Jones, who has done nothing but improve
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 3 things from the latest Oilers win: A lacrosse goal, Mike Smith’s resurgence and Connor McDavid’s new linemate
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A defiant Zack Kassian issues his latest salvo against Matthew Tkachuk: ‘He messed with the wrong guy’
  • Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s deployment of Oilers defencemen indicates Kris Russell is vulnerable to trade
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers Notebook: Jujhar Khaira’s future, Caleb Jones’ adaptation to NHL speed
  • Lowetide:  Oilers prospect pipeline could deliver below-average group in 2020-21
  • Jonathan Willis: Several factors led to Oilers’ Zack Kassian’s inevitable hearing with NHL Player Safety
  • Jonathan Willis: Zack Kassian calls Matthew Tkachuk a ‘p****,’ says he’d go after him again despite Oilers’ loss
  • Lowetide: Projecting William Lagesson’s future with the Edmonton Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Kailer Yamamoto has impressed the Oilers and especially star linemate Leon Draisaitl
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 10 bold predictions for the Edmonton Oilers in 2020
  • Jonathan Willis: Mike Smith stars in Oilers victory, but others’ struggles could prompt changes
  • Jonathan Willis: Inside a coach’s impact: How Dave Tippett gets the most out of the Oilers’ players
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Deciding what to do with Darnell Nurse, Mike Smith, Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard
  • LowetideKen Holland’s targets for his first trade deadline with the Oilers.
  • Minnia Feng: Zamboni Ursula: What if Oilers fans could change something in the team’s past?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s trade deadline options for the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: ‘That’s the nicest goal I’ve ever seen’: Connor McDavid’s teammates amazed by his latest effort
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers notebook: James Neal’s resurgence, Matt Benning’s injury and the Tyler Benson recall temptation
  • Lowetide: Oilers farmhands are pushing hard for NHL jobs
  • Jonathan Willis: Zack Kassian’s breakout performance presents Oilers GM Ken Holland with a familiar dilemma
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland, the Oilers amateur procurement department and the 2020 draft
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019

FUTURE NHLERS (FARM WORKERS PREDICTION

It’s been a fun ride over many years, choosing ‘farm workers’ to emerge as NHL players and play 100 or more NHL games. Here are my picks by season, and NHL games played (players listed only once, in the first season I named them).

  • 2009-10: Devan Dubnyk (513).
  • 2010-11: Jeff Petry (656), Linus Omark (79), and Teemu Hartikainen (52).
  • 2011-12: Magnus Paajarvi (467) and Tyler Pitlick (225).
  • 2012-13: Anton Lander (215) and Martin Marincin (216).
  • 2013-14: Oscar Klefbom (364) and Mark Arcobello (139).
  • 2014-15: Iiro Pakarinen (134), Jordan Oesterle (191).
  • 2015-16: Griffin Reinhart (37), Jujhar Khaira (196) and Anton Slepyshev (102).
  • 2016-17: Jesse Puljujarvi (139) and Laurent Brossoit (62).
  • 2017-18: Ethan Bear (66), Ty Rattie (99)
  • 2018-19: Caleb Jones (40), Kailer Yamamoto (33), Cooper Marody (6), Tyler Benson.

Men who are over 30 who come out of the minors to establish (or re-establish) themselves as NHL players is a thing of the past.

Hello, Sam Gagner! He turned 30 in August, started the season in Bakersfield (four games) and is 23, 1-7-8. Gagner clearly loves playing in the big leagues, he has made about $35 million in his career (PuckPedia) so this is about passion. He’s unusual in that he’s now a role player and willing to play that part despite having earned independence long ago. Brad Malone and Anthony Peluso are also 30 in Bakersfield. Gagner is highly unusual in today’s game.

If a prospect can establish himself as an AHL regular at age 20, it bodes well for an NHL career but does not guarantee it.

A strong group this year, Evan Bouchard (who was 19 when the season started) is finding his way and enjoying a successful (36, 7-16-23) minor league campaign. Ryan McLeod (36, 3-10-13) is a burner who could be more than a year away but his offense is better than I estimated for the rookie campaign. Kirill Maksimov (33, 3-7-10) and Dmitri Samorukov (29, 1-5-6) are also established regulars at the midway point of their rookie seasons. That’s four legit prospects in the AHL at 20.

Pretty much everyone in the AHL past 21 has some issues.

Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson lead the way here, along with young defenseman William Lagesson. All three look bona fide and NHL-ready, but the rule applies. Each man has issues: Yamamoto (injury worries), Benson (speed) and Lagesson (skills duplicated by men with wider range of skills) will need to overcome at least one more hurdle. Stuart Skinner and Dylan Wells are also in this area, but goalies take longer (usually) so no surprise. Cooper Marody seems to have stepped back from his impressive 2018-19 season due to injury, and Cam Hebig is off the pace.

If you haven’t established yourself as a prospect of interest by age 22, you are in trouble. The players who will graduate to useful NHL careers have at least played some NHL games by the end of their entry deal.

This is an important category because there are still good players here but not everyone makes it. Players who were in this spot recently: Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev, Griffin Reinhart, Jordan Oesterle, Iiro Pakarinen, Laurent Brossoit, Josh Currie, Joe Gambardella and Patrick Russell.

Caleb Jones is 22, but he’s in the NHL and has signed a new (very friendly) contract, so I think it’s fair to say he was never in this category. William Lagesson also qualifies for this category, but part of his problem is not of his making: The depth chart is conspiring against him. Cooper Marody is losing this season to injury and this should be the year where he’s establishing himself as an NHL option. Josh Currie and Joel Persson are at the older end of this list.

Exceptions are college men. Playing four college seasons means turning pro at 22, or later.

This is an important category because a player who arrives in pro out of college has a smaller window of opportunity. Cooper Marody was an AHL rookie at 21 and performed admirably, that’s the kind of player who usually fast tracks. The current injury issues leave his career a little uneasy. Shane Starrett is in almost exactly the same spot, I think he might have seen NHL action this year if he’d been healthy. Starrett’s strong performance a year ago was key to Bakersfield’s success. Joe Gambardella is in the window right now but Patrick Russell (another college man) ate his lunch. Logan Day is a fine prospect, but is blocked by men like Evan Bouchard and Joel Persson.

A large group of players on the current Bakersfield Condors could be described as ‘tweeners’.

This has always been the case, even when the numbers (Rob Schremp) imply otherwise. Rob Schremp was a tweener, he scored 53 points in 69 AHL games at age 20. Is Tyler Benson a tweener? I don’t believe he is, but will tell you I had the same opinion of Jani Rita, Marc Pouliot and Teemu Hartikainen. Sometimes a tweener makes it, but mostly they become Anton Lander or Ty Rattie.

If we make a list of minor league rfa’s each summer, we can probably pick the cuts and be fairly close.

This never changes. Last year I picked Gambardella, Russell and Starrett as keepers, and suggested Tyler Vesel, Colin Larkin and Robin Norell would be swept away. Players make themselves known during entry deals.

This year’s list is Nolan Vesey, Ryan Mantha, Cam Hebig, Joel Persson, Logan Day and Shane Starrett. Mantha is a heartbreaking case, looks like his career ended in what was a freak injury. Vesey and Hebig are also easy calls, neither man was able to establish himself as a strong option for the AHL coach. Joel Persson has shown enough to get a contract, the player may feel he’d like to move on. Same with Logan Day, although he’s even farther down the depth chart. Shane Starrett is a sticky wicket because of injury and Olivier Rodrigue about to turn pro. I’ll suggest Persson, Day and Starrett get new deals.

Daniel Cleary, Fernando Pisani and Jason Chimera used the AHL as a stepping stone to an NHL career. They are the stars in this study.

AHL grads don’t arrive in the NHL and apply for the scoring role on McDavid’s line (or Nuge, or Leon), but rather land on a support line and try to carve out a role. That’s the deal. That’s one reason why a player like Kailer Yamamoto was never destined (in my opinion) to play 100 AHL games (he has played in 50). I have the same opinion of Evan Bouchard.

The obvious Pisani on the current Condors is Tyler Benson, who is likely to fill a top-9 role on the Oilers should he make it with the big club. I would guess that process begins soon. I also think Ryan McLeod and Kirill Maksimov will be candidates.

Pure offensive players can succeed after prolonged AHL time but it’s rarely with their drafting team.

This is a rule I included specifically because of Marty Reasoner. A scorer in college, he transformed his game into a two-way role and served as mentor to a generation of Oilers wingers. Marc Pouliot had the same opportunity but did not do it. That might be Cooper Marody’s route to the NHL but we’re miles from knowing.

The future NHL players are

The rule is I can’t name a player once I’ve named him, so the group above from last year (Jones, Yamamoto, Marody and Benson) are unavailable to me. A reminder, I’m looking for players who will spend 100+ games in the NHL, that’s the line in the sand.

This year I’ll pick Evan Bouchard and William Lagesson. Bouchard is developing on the farm (I’ll be talking to Ryan Holt, Bakersfield’s PBP man, about him this morning) and already has NHL calibre offensive instincts. Lagesson is more of a shutdown type, but very valuable in his own way. I’m very satisfied with both selections.

Back to Conacher to close. He made many strong arguments in the book (and predicted much of what has happened since) but the one that has importance here is what he wrote about the Maple Leafs minor league team (Rochester Americans) of 65-66:

As in other areas of modern society, hockey teams too have their generation gaps. This situation stood out on the Rochester team in 1965 which consisted of three groups: the veterans (had all resigned themselves to making the best of their minor league hockey careers), the young ones (who have stars in their eyes and are in the AHL for just a little time, or so they think) and the group somewhere in between (these players kept hoping that a break would come their way and they might get their chance in the “big tent”).

The Oilers have used a little from each category this season, from older player Sam Gagner to young players like Kailer Yamamoto, and the in betweens represented by Patrick Russell and Joel Persson. The Condors are flourishing, Jay Woodcroft is an outstanding development coach.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show today, starting at 10 this morning TSN1260. Ryan Holt will talk Condors at 10:20, Frank Seravalli will discuss the strange Vegas happenings at 11, and we have some more irons in the fire as well. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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138 Responses to "Farm Workers Mid-Season Report 2019-20"

  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Central
    STL 20
    DAL 12
    COL 10

    Pacific
    ARI 8
    VAN 7
    EDM 7

    Wildcard
    WPG 7
    CGY 7

    Out of playoffs
    VGP 5
    NSH 4
    CHI 2
    MIN 0
    SJS -2
    LAK -7
    ANA -7

    VAN has one less gp than EDM & CGY so .001 more pts %.
    WPG has one less gp than CGY so .001 more pts%
    EDM has tie break on CGY due to 21 regulations wins compared to 17.

    Relevant games today:

    CGY (+140) at TOR (-160) – TOR can score, but not defend. Take the over 6.5 at -110. I got TOR winning 6-4.

    VGP (-190) at OTT (+165) – Perfect game for the New Coach Bounce. Pysankas might be value at -190

    ANA (+175) at NSH (-210) – NSH gets a good opponent to bounce back against after losing to EDM

    ARI (-105) at VAN (-115) – The best we can hope for is that it ends in regulation. Don’t mind VAN at that price but first game back after a long roadie is usually uneven.

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Metropolitan
    WSH 20
    PIT 17
    NYI 15

    Atlantic
    BOS 18
    TBY 14
    TOR 9

    Wildcard
    CAR 10
    PHI 9

    Out of playoffs
    FLA 8
    CBJ 7
    NYR 3
    BUF 2
    MTL -1
    NJD -5
    OTT -6
    DET -20

    PHI wins on the road last night in STL. Didn’t see that coming.

    Relevant wildcard games today:

    CGY (+140) at TOR (-160) – TOR top 2 Dpairs are Dermott-Holl, Marincin-Barrie. There will be goals.

    MTL (+110) at PHI (-130) – Since PHI won in STL last night I like MTL at this price

    LAK (+155) at FLA (-175) – I bet FLA goes with Driedger again. Not a lot of value here.

    CAR (-125) at CBJ (+115) – Two teams I like. CBJ is the hotter team…….maybe CBJ is worth a unit.

  3. Andy Dufresne says:

    Is part of The Farm outside of North America? (Europe / Asia )

    Could you have named Oscar Klefbom when he was still in Sweden?

    Or Broberg?

    Could you have named Nurse in 2014-15 while he was still a Greyhound?

  4. Andy Dufresne says:

    A few times a year I cheer for Toronto….very few…..

  5. tileguy says:

    Outlining to a friend my most hated teams list yesterday,
    Toronto Maple leaves
    tied for second, Cowboys, Packers, Yankees.

  6. Andy Dufresne says:

    If Holland signed Jones, he must be negotiating right now with the Bear camp as well…..No?

  7. Andy Dufresne says:

    One of these things is not like the others…….Why do you hate the Cheeseheads?

    #BlessedAreTheCheeseMakers

  8. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – This is the good stuff…And of course Farm Workers is one of your great turn of phrases

    – We really are starting to bear fruits from the Draft and Development. Without a doubt, the “rebuild” is over. The proof is in the pudding: rather than have to go out and sign has beens, never beens or other peoples cast aways, first dibs go to the draft and develop

    – On D, instead of going out and overpaying, and hoping on guys like Gravel, Garrison, Auvitu, Gryba, Clendening, Captain, Aulie, Belov,Nick Shultz,Sutton, Barker, Grebs, and so many other nightmares, We now have internal solutions who get first dibs: from Jones to Bear, Lagesson, to Bouchard and Broberg, Samorukov,Bergland etc

    – Of course, many of our draft and develops will disappoint and/or not make it: but that’s a different cost to the organization than going out and overpaying ineffective D from other organizations.

    – We probably now have 8 legit NHL D, in various phases of their career: and a bunch more that are being developed.

    – That’s such a massive advantage to the organization going forward: not having to “hope” or overpay or pray for D from other teams.

    – We can’t have everything of course: there is certainly a dearth of complementary forwards. However the Eager, Hortichuk, Belanger, Gordon, Jussi types of yester years needn’t apply…

    – It’s pretty hard to f$ck up for the balance of Dra and McD’s tneure IMO: there is a lot more depth now than in the MacT/Lowe years when they were selling us Steve Austins and had nuthin’ else, and didn’t know what they were doing. And Chia had to go.

    – I don’t love Holland, but just like when he inherited great players in Detroit and ran with it, (imagine being promoted to GM, taking over from Devellano, being 1st year GM and you have Yzerman, Federov, Larionov, Shanny, Kozlov, Holstrom, Murphy, Chelios and Lindstrom, and Scotty Bowman as your head coach) let’s hope he does the same with the ones he’s got here….

  9. dessert1111 says:

    I was thinking about the RFAs/UFAs the other day.

    RFAs are:

    Bear
    Nurse
    Lagesson
    Benning

    Mantha
    Vesey
    Hebig
    Cave
    Persson
    Day
    Starrett

    A lot of blue here.

    My guess is Nurse, Bear, Benning, Lagesson, and Persson get qualified, and probably Cave and Starrett too. Day might get qualified if they move out enough D, but I’m not sure how much he has improved from last year and there is a big logjam. So only 4 or so RFAs to cut loose.

    UFAs:
    Kassian
    Gagner
    Archibald
    Haas
    Nygard
    Sheahan
    P. Russell
    Smith
    Brodziak
    Manning
    Granlund
    Jurco
    Malone
    Currie
    Lowe

    These are a lot harder to guess because most of it depends on price point and what else they do, especially for the bubble players/tweeners, which essentially all these guys are except Kassian.

    My guess is Lowe, Malone, Jurco, Granlund, Manning and Brodziak are let go. For the rest I think some will stay (obviously if Gagner stays it’s for under 1M) and some will go.

  10. Bag of Pucks says:

    Good post. Couldn’t agree more.

  11. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    LT,

    One of your headers is:

    “Pretty much everyone in the NHL past 21 has some issues.”

    I think you meant to type AHL and not NHL.

  12. Todd Macallan says:

    Off topic but in the latest 31 Thoughts, Friedge mentions Edmonton are the favourites to host the next Heritage Classic. Curious who they will play, easy answer is the Flames (spits) but not sure how turtles would handle potential – 30.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    LT,

    One of your headers is:

    “Pretty much everyone in the NHL past 21 has some issues.”

    I think you meant to type AHL and not NHL.

    I’m just happy you read it!

  14. OilersFuture says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    WG,

    Maybe he just meant that they all have issues.

    Nuge, still gets asked for ID whenever he tries to by some whiskey.
    Oscar, can’t walk down the street without getting offered a modelling contract.
    Drai, can’t find a decent schnitzel in this town!

    They all have issues …

  15. godot10 says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    If Holland signed Jones, he must be negotiating right now with the Bear camp as well…..No?

    Jones was easy.

    Bear will want as good or better than the contract that was just signed by the Flames and Andersson.

  16. barry.moore23 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    LT,

    One of your headers is:

    “Pretty much everyone in the NHL past 21 has some issues.”

    I think you meant to type AHL and not NHL.

    Or maybe ‘everyone in general past 21 …’.

    *looks in mirror – yes that’s true* 🤷‍♂️

  17. Reja says:

    Benson is going to be 22 in march he basically lost a year plus of development. It’s time to bring him up and see what we have if not package him up for a top 6 forward or a 3C. Maybe another team will take advantage of this skilled hard working young lad.

  18. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Yeah, and don’t even get me started on T-Chuck 😉

  19. Harpers Hair says:

    A great read here.

    Lots of info on pests, the analytics tug of war in NJ and the new 3 on 3 hockey league among many other topics.

    https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/28494657/the-wysh-list-five-essential-traits-nhl-pest

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    I would posit that all four of the “rookie pros” of interest are developing well in the AHL.

    With Bouchard, some seem soured given his boxcars but offensive production isn’t something that is really at question with this prospect and has not been his primary focus. Until recently, he wasn’t even the full-time PP1 as he was sharing time with the likes of Logan Day, Caleb Jones and Joel Persson. He has recently taken over as full time PP1 and his box-cars are starting to spike.

    What’s important about Bouchard’s development is his overall game – what Woody keeps mentioning is his gaps and his “proximity to the check” his staying in the battle in front of the net, etc.

    He has come A LONG WAYS in the last 4-6 weeks and is now firmly playing top pairing minutes, is playing PK for the first time and munching apx 25 minutes per game and excelling.

    Bouchard is coming.

    ———————————————–

    McLeod and Maksi’s offensive numbers are actually quite good considering they’ve been bottom 6 or middle six players with little PP time more of the season, in particular Maksimov.

    Of note, they have been on the PK all year long and are playing strong responsible 2-way hockey. McLeod has shifted between wing and center but is starting to get a bit of a push up the lineup – he did get a game between Benson and Currie and is spotted on PP1. His speed is sensational.

    Maksimov as great offensive skill – once he gets stronger and more comfortable, he is going to find ways to unleash that shot of his. Can’t wait until he finally gets PP1 time on the half boards.

    ——————————————-

    Every time Woody talks about Sammy, his voice lights up – he loves this player and, like the other two, he was starting to settle in to the pro game and get a push up the lineup – he missed a few weeks with a facial injury but is back now – he’s coming along but, like McCleod and Maksi, will probably need the better part of a full 2nd AHL season.

    Those are my non-expert high-level views.

  21. geowal says:

    Yep. If you can offer marginally over the league minimum to a player who’s happy to get a one-way and he signs it, that’s some easy decision making. Bear will want more, and Holland will have to make some tough decisions as a result. I’d be surprised if Holland hasn’t reached out to talk, but the Bear camp might not be interested until season over.

  22. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Re Lucic v Neal

    – Here’s how I would calculate the transaction from my persepctive, “equity like AFFO”:

    Lucic 6 x 4 = $24MM

    Neal: 5.75 x 4 = 23MM

    – If we keep Neal to term, he cost us $23MM, plus $3MM bonus paid to Lucic + 750 x 4 = $3MM retained salary on Lucic.

    – So Neal’s all in cash cost to the Oilers = $29MM. An effective $7.25MM “salary”

    – And Lucic’s all in cash cost to the Flames = $18MM. An effective $4.5MM “salary”

    – In a vacuum, you’d rather not pay Neal $7.25MM for his production, nor $4.5MM for Lucic’s, but this year you prefer Neal vs Lucic (but it’s not that an entire no-brainer, given opportunity cost of that salary elsewhere in line-up)

    – Its only at the disposition of Neal that we will really be able to finish this analysis. And the “optionalitly premium” that Neal had vs Lucic for his NMC will be solved at that point

    – Flames would rather pay $5.75MM for Neal’s production than $4.5MM for Lucic this year

    – Conversely, would you rather pay $7.25MM for Neal this year or $6MM for Lucic. Hell yeah!

  23. dustrock says:

    This is good, thanks. Certainly TOI is a huge aspect of points and sometimes that’s missing.

  24. dustrock says:

    If the Oilers could somehow sign Pageau and run McDavid-Drai-Pageau, keep Nuge and get guys like Benson, Archibald, Yamamoto cheap, that would be great.

    You could still throw McDavid and Drai together at times, have Nuge at 2A and Pageau at 2B for centers.

  25. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Thanks, OP. The big club seems a lot better set for 2020-2021. Hopefully full time NHLers in Yamo/Benson (crossed fingers Pulju?). Maksimov/McLeod/maybe Lavoie knocking on the door from Bako.

  26. geowal says:

    I’m hopeful Holland can find a taker for Russell. In return another forward with one year left, perhaps a reclamation project, who’s salary “buries well” in the minors if it doesn’t work out.
    You then sign someone from the kevin Gravel tree – 1MM injury replacement who can go to the minors or sit as 7D, insurance if some of the young Bake D aren’t cooked yet.

  27. Reja says:

    dustrock:
    If the Oilers could somehow sign Pageau and run McDavid-Drai-Pageau, keep Nuge and get guys like Benson, Archibald, Yamamoto cheap, that would be great.

    You could still throw McDavid and Drai together at times, have Nuge at 2A and Pageau at 2B for centers.

    I hole Holland resigns Archie on the cheap. He plays with a bite and has hands and skill enough to be a 15 goal scorer in the right circumstances.

  28. Material Elvis says:

    He certainly has the wheels but his hands are not great and his shot isn’t very accurate. Maybe 15 goals if he has McDavid centering him.

  29. Reja says:

    geowal:
    I’m hopeful Holland can find a taker for Russell. In return another forward with one year left, perhaps a reclamation project, who’s salary “buries well” in the minors if it doesn’t work out.
    You then sign someone from the kevin Gravel tree – 1MM injury replacement who can go to the minors or sit as 7D, insurance if some of the young Bake D aren’t cooked yet.

    If Holland can find a team on Russell’s trade list that is pressured to make the playoffs and is in need of D-men because of injuries at the deadline you do it. This phone call with the desperate GM must be done very quickly with lots of I can’t hear you all that well.

  30. prefonmich says:

    Snow day today for this teacher! So time to ponder random musings… any thoughts about the Kassian/Tkachuk battle?
    As much as I enjoyed seeing Kassian ragdoll the Turtle and think he completely deserved it, I wonder what effect this might have on Kassians next contract value?
    If Kassian goes after the Turtle next game and costs his team again, it could potentially cost him a contract. Tkachuk is winning the wits battle so far. He went after Kassian for sure, and rightfully so because he knows the line and knows the league isn’t holding him accountable for marginal hits so why not target a volatile opponent in hopes he might do something stupid. He got exactly what he wanted and is still getting it because like Doughty talking about Tkachuk every time Kings play Flames, focus shifts away from the needed focus on winning the game.
    I hate the Turtle but only because he plays for the wrong team..

  31. Material Elvis says:

    It better not be that cold in October.

  32. Reja says:

    Material Elvis:
    He certainly has the wheels but his hands are not great and his shot isn’t very accurate.Maybe 15 goals if he has McDavid centering him.

    Security of a 2 year deal, PKer up and down line-up with injuries, know’s exactly what his role is and has the Coaches confidence as well as his own. Yes I can see a 13-16 goal scorer.

  33. Harpers Hair says:

    Reja: If Holland can find a team on Russell’s trade list that is pressured to make the playoffs and is in need of D-men because of injuries at the deadline you do it. This phone call with the desperate GM must be done very quickly with lots of I can’t hear you all that well.

    It’s a 10 team trade list.

    Which teams do you think are on it?

    And do they need an expensive bottom pairing D?

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    dessert:
    I was thinking about the RFAs/UFAs the other day.

    RFAs are:

    Bear
    Nurse
    Lagesson
    Benning

    Mantha
    Vesey
    Hebig
    Cave
    Persson
    Day
    Starrett

    A lot of blue here.

    My guess is Nurse, Bear, Benning, Lagesson, and Persson get qualified, and probably Cave and Starrett too. Day might get qualified if they move out enough D, but I’m not sure how much he has improved from last year and there is a big logjam. So only 4 or so RFAs to cut loose.

    UFAs:
    Kassian
    Gagner
    Archibald
    Haas
    Nygard
    Sheahan
    P. Russell
    Smith
    Brodziak
    Manning
    Granlund
    Jurco
    Malone
    Currie
    Lowe

    These are a lot harder to guess because most of it depends on price point and what else they do, especially for the bubble players/tweeners, which essentially all these guys are except Kassian.

    My guess is Lowe, Malone, Jurco, Granlund, Manning and Brodziak are let go. For the rest I think some will stay (obviously if Gagner stays it’s for under 1M) and some will go.

    I think Starrett and Cave received QOs are no-brainers.

    There could be a log-jam of goalies with Rodrigue turning pro next year but Starrett could be the NHL back-up. I would like to see him get some NHL reps after he’s back to full 100% game shape but I don’t see it happening without an injury to Smith/Koski (or them falling out of the race).

    Persson they will QO I’m sure – he may not sign though unless he sees more NHL time – although he is on a one-way deal now so he’s making big coin even though riding the bus.

    I would like to add the following to the list:

    Fillip Berglund – becomes UFA on June 1 (I think) if not signed. I would hope the plan is to sign him and have him in North America next year, if the player is willing

    Phil Kemp – he has one more year of college eligibility but there is a chance he may turn pro early with the Oilers for next year – we don’t lose his rights until August 2021.

  35. dustrock says:

    prefonmich:
    Snow day today for this teacher! So time to ponder random musings… any thoughts about the Kassian/Tkachuk battle?
    As much as I enjoyed seeing Kassian ragdoll the Turtle and think he completely deserved it, I wonder what effect this might have on Kassians next contract value?
    If Kassian goes after the Turtle next game and costs his team again, it could potentially cost him a contract. Tkachuk is winning the wits battle so far. He went after Kassian for sure, and rightfully so because he knows the line and knows the league isn’t holding him accountable for marginal hits so why not target a volatile opponent in hopes he might do something stupid.He got exactly what he wanted and is still getting it because like Doughty talking about Tkachuk every time Kings play Flames, focus shifts away from the needed focus on winning the game.
    I hate the Turtle but only because he plays for the wrong team..

    You know, I’m actually shocked by how much attention this has gotten.

    But then, the NHL has become so vanilla over the last 15 years that actual hatred towards other teams seems novel.

    Go watch clips of the Battle of Alberta from the 80s and it’s actually unbelievable. Or the Bull/Knicks from the 90s, etc.

    I can only imagine how hated Mark Messier would be if he started his career in the 2010s.

  36. prefonmich says:

    There is definitely not the same hatred as there used to be. The rivalries arent the same due to many reasons. Parity, less in season games played and playoff format.
    That said, I think this is getting attention because Tkachuk is universally hated outside of Flames org. He is a rat like the best olden day rats but without the accountability factor.
    Kassian and Doughty are not typical players of this age either. They both speak freely..
    It is fun! I cant wait for the 29th..

  37. Reja says:

    prefonmich:
    Snow day today for this teacher! So time to ponder random musings… any thoughts about the Kassian/Tkachuk battle?
    As much as I enjoyed seeing Kassian ragdoll the Turtle and think he completely deserved it, I wonder what effect this might have on Kassians next contract value?
    If Kassian goes after the Turtle next game and costs his team again, it could potentially cost him a contract. Tkachuk is winning the wits battle so far. He went after Kassian for sure, and rightfully so because he knows the line and knows the league isn’t holding him accountable for marginal hits so why not target a volatile opponent in hopes he might do something stupid.He got exactly what he wanted and is still getting it because like Doughty talking about Tkachuk every time Kings play Flames, focus shifts away from the needed focus on winning the game.
    I hate the Turtle but only because he plays for the wrong team..

    For me the biggest take out of the whole charade was Kass publicity stating Now I know what I can get away with. This opens up a whole can of worms and trust me certain players have the go ahead to blow someone up with their head up or down as long as they or fumbling with the puck. The league made a big mistake praising Tkachuk for blasting Kassian with his head down 3 times in one game. ( still don’t know how he did it) From my recollection this has never been done without players dropping their gloves.

  38. Todd Macallan says:

    I have long thought something around Russell for Perreault from Wpg would make sense for both teams. Does not help either really cap wise but roster balance perhaps.

  39. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Interesting words from Perreault…

    https://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/next-guy-who-does-that-will-get-my-f-ing-stick-perreault-furious-over-virtanen-elbow~1877366

    DOPS is on the verge of losing control of the league.

    I ask again: Anyone think this is George Paros last year?

  40. prefonmich says:

    I completely agree. We are.entering dangerous territory there. The predatory hit. One interesting thing I noticed about how Tkachuk made those hits seem less of a headshot was he charged then led with his hip. It looks like less of a headshot in this way. I can guarantee if Kassian repeats that same hit in location and he uses his upper body instead he gets a charging or headshot penalty.

  41. Harpers Hair says:

    I think Winnipeg would be the most logical but the extra year on Russell’s contract could be an issue depending on how the Byfuglien situation plays out.

  42. geowal says:

    Reja: If Holland can find a team on Russell’s trade list that is pressured to make the playoffs and is in need of D-men because of injuries at the deadline you do it. This phone call with the desperate GM must be done very quickly with lots of I can’t hear you all that well.

    If you can do it at the deadline great. Presumably Russell has mostly western teams and playoff teams.Winnipeg certainly seems a possibility. Maybe Minny, but their D is pretty expensive as it is. LA isn’t a playoff team, I wouldn’t expect it’s on his list of possibles but maybe if it is TMac wants him back.

  43. geowal says:

    Their priorities are all ass backwards. Their lawyers have convinced them that fighting is a legal mud pit, so they focus on that, but are completely losing the script on what actually effects player safety.

  44. Fiveinatrailer says:

    I don’t really know anything about the player, but for Lagesson, is Marincin a comparable?
    OP?

  45. duct tape and foil says:

    Tkachuk is a little piece of **** and you can make just as good a case that he’s rotting the flames team cohesiveness. I’m sure Looch loves being pressured to defend him. All the Oilers have to do is let Tkachuk stay in his role because nobody likes those guys. You put up with them but you don’t like it. Last thing Kass needs to do is take up some staged wrestling match with him right after the puck drops. No, the first thing you say to the little puke is “sure I’ll fight you”, right after you finish picking up your chiclets from the blind side hits that the league OK’ed”. Any time after that.” Tkatchuk will be looking over his shoulder both games. You let that feeling stay there as long as possible.

    prefonmich:
    Snow day today for this teacher! So time to ponder random musings… any thoughts about the Kassian/Tkachuk battle?
    As much as I enjoyed seeing Kassian ragdoll the Turtle and think he completely deserved it, I wonder what effect this might have on Kassians next contract value?
    If Kassian goes after the Turtle next game and costs his team again, it could potentially cost him a contract. Tkachuk is winning the wits battle so far. He went after Kassian for sure, and rightfully so because he knows the line and knows the league isn’t holding him accountable for marginal hits so why not target a volatile opponent in hopes he might do something stupid.He got exactly what he wanted and is still getting it because like Doughty talking about Tkachuk every time Kings play Flames, focus shifts away from the needed focus on winning the game.
    I hate the Turtle but only because he plays for the wrong team..

  46. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    My 2 bits. I have watched both players and based on history and current trends Lag > Marincin. Marincin has historically been a bit of a turn-over machine (by eye), although he has made improvements this past year. At equivalent ages and developmental stages, I think Lag is calmer with the puck and “smarter”/better positionaly, also a better passer.

  47. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    With Jones and Wild Bill on hand, we don’t even need the Gravel option as 7D.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot: Jones was easy.

    Bear will want as good or better than the contract that was just signed by the Flames and Andersson.

    I think they are going to have to bridge Bear as next year’s cap doesn’t really behoove a $4M plus number for Bear – not it Holland wants to improve the team.

    Russell disposition, yes, but easier said then done.

    Neal buyout, yes, but need another top 6 wingers and dead cap hits in the future suck

    Adam Larsson trade – ya, maybe, not ideal – maybe if we can get a Kapanen then we don’t have to worry about acquiring that top 6 winger – and he can PK

    Either way a 2 X $2.75M deal for Bear (probably $2.25M then $3.25M for higher QO requirements) may be the route taken.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Today’s practice is over and I can’t find a single post about the lines and pairings so I assume nothing has changed from last game and Smith was in the starters net.

    Tip should be speaking fairly soon.

  50. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: It’s a 10 team trade list.

    Which teams do you think are on it?

    And do they need an expensive bottom pairing D?

    Maybe desperate GM wasn’t a strong enough word. I can’t see not even one team picking up Russell from the Airport until trade deadline line next year or at this years draft.

  51. leadfarmer says:

    Maybe the NHL will realize that picking a guy with over a 1000 penalty minutes in less than 500 games may not have been the best choice for head of player safety
    I mean who will they pick next? Matt Cooke

  52. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Today’s practice is over and I can’t find a single post about the lines and pairings so I assume nothing has changed from last game and Smith was in the starters net.

    Tip should be speaking fairly soon.

    You have to ride Battling Billy Smith I mean Mike Smith against his old team, after we win that game you come right back with him against the Flames. I’m still pissed Tippett didn’t ride him last game against the Flames. Kosh looked tepid and we need points which will force Holland to add a 3C or if he doesn’t want to bring up Benson a top 6 plug and play winger. If we have 3 lines with a threat to score plus a solid shut-down 3-4th line and streaky Goaltending who knows how far we can actually go.

  53. LMHF#1 says:

    When you’ve got a situation run by Colin Campbell, Stephen Walkom and George Parros, what does anyone expect???

    Walkom specifically…one of the worst NHL referees to ever hold the job is in charge of officiating…it is insanity.

  54. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    leadfarmer,

    LOL

    Considering they’ve used gems such as:

    Colin Campbell
    Brandon Shanahan
    Chris Pronger

    I can’t in good faith believe you are being serious.

  55. jm363561 says:

    Great write up LT. Excellent thread so far. Great posts. Love it.

  56. Keith says:

    Hard disagree, OP. They need to sign Bear to the lowest price point he will accept for the longest term available. Basically the Klefbom contract. Pay the man what he’s worth now and reap the benefits immediately. Bear is already outperforming a 4 million aav contract. We really don’t need a repeat of the Petry debacle. If it means being tighter in other areas for the year, so be it.

  57. Jethro Tull says:

    leadfarmer:
    Maybe the NHL will realize that picking a guy with over a 1000 penalty minutes in less than 500 games may not have been the best choice for head of player safety
    I mean who will they pick next?Matt Cooke

    Brought to you by the same logic as “this guy chopped his fingers of try to vertically hold and cut a full sheet of 3/4″ ply, so he knows the OH&S regs inside out”.

    *No shit, I know a safety guy that did this*

  58. leadfarmer says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    leadfarmer,

    LOL

    Considering they’ve used gems such as:

    Colin Campbell
    Brandon Shanahan
    Chris Pronger

    I can’t in good faith believe you are being serious.

    Not sure if serious?
    Shanahan has 2600 penalty minutes and Pronger 1600.

  59. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    That’s my point.

    At some point DOPS develops a past lol

    Can’t believe that your initial comment was being serious, is all.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Matty Benning spoke after practice.

    Said there haven’t been any set-backs, just both he and the team wanted to take it slow and be very cautious. He’s feeling good and taking as much contact as possible during practice.

    Hopes to be back for the games right after the break.

    Would be a boon to get him in the lineup and hopefully back to playing the way he was early in the season.

    Get him up to speed an solidify that third pairing (with Jones or Russell).

    Once he proves he’s back, then, in the off-season, they came move Adam Larsson for Kapanen and a prospect and boom!

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Thanks, OP. The big club seems a lot better set for 2020-2021. Hopefully full time NHLers in Yamo/Benson (crossed fingers Pulju?). Maksimov/McLeod/maybe Lavoie knocking on the door from Bako.

    I’ve read some rumblings on Lavoie maybe spending another season in junior but I don’t see it – if he’s eligible for the AHL next year, which he is, that’s where he should be.

    I imagine both Maksi and McLeod having huge roles next year – full time top 6 and both special teams.

  62. Wilde says:

    Bakersfield Condors vs. Iowa Wild; January 14th, 2020; deployment:

    Benson – Granlund – Currie
    Esposito – Cave – Maksimov
    Gambardella – Malone – Koules
    Stukel – McLeod – Hebig

    Lowe – Bouchard
    Manning – Day
    Samorukov – Kulevich

    (pure blender after ~35 mins)

    Game totals:

    Bakersfield Condors vs. Iowa Wild; January 11th, 2020; game totals:

    55CF-54CA
    37FF-31FA
    0GF-3GA

    Top F: Gambardella (0.98 Game Score)
    4 shot attempts, 8 shot assists
    21CF-11CA
    0GF-1GA

    Top D: Kulevich (0.98 Game Score)
    5 shot attempts, 4 shot assists
    20CF-10CA
    0GF-0GA

    Extra note: there’s gonna be a discrepancy b/t my data and the official AHL stats; on the first goal of the game they have Currie on the ice instead of Esposito. Here’s the clip:

    https://streamable.com/bzel6

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal:
    I’m hopeful Holland can find a taker for Russell. In return another forward with one year left, perhaps a reclamation project, who’s salary “buries well” in the minors if it doesn’t work out.
    You then sign someone from the kevin Gravel tree – 1MM injury replacement who can go to the minors or sit as 7D, insurance if some of the young Bake D aren’t cooked yet.

    I don’t think Russell gets traded in-season but, if and when he does, I have zero concern on return and hope that the return is a full $4M in cap space even if zero asset comes back.

    Perhaps a Larsson for Kapanen deal as well.

    If we are going with youth on the back end……..

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: I hole Holland resigns Archie on the cheap. He plays with a bite and has hands and skill enough to be a 15 goal scorer in the right circumstances.

    100% – he’s been full value for his $1M this season.

    He just turned 27 so will be 28 to start next season and I’d be willing to give him a raise and term.

    Give that man 3 years of security and $1.15M (up to $1.25M) per year for a piss-cutting fourth liner that brings speed, effort, PK and can move up the lineup.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Material Elvis:
    He certainly has the wheels but his hands are not great and his shot isn’t very accurate.Maybe 15 goals if he has McDavid centering him.

    He did have 12 goals last year playing mainly with Lawson Crouse and Nick Cousins.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair:
    I think Winnipeg would be the most logical but the extra year on Russell’s contract could be an issue depending on how the Byfuglien situation plays out.

    Russell’s and Perrault’s contacts both expire after next year and the cap hits are all but identical.

    What extra year?

  67. geowal says:

    I don’t mind signing him but have a hard time seeing term being part of it. 2 years maybe, 3 seems a stretch personally. Certainly he’s won out over Granlund and Jurco though.

  68. flyfish1168 says:

    I am cheering for the leafs tonight. Hopefully turtlechuck takes a borderline hit and is out for the next month so he would be a moot point.

  69. hunter1909 says:

    Bandwagon Leafs fan tonight cheering on one of my occasional lapses in having previously spent time in the city during hockey season.

    Saw my first NHL game at Maple Leaf Gardens, in the greens which were mercifully far away from the level of hockey the Leafs played that night.

  70. pts2pndr says:

    Keith:
    Hard disagree, OP. They need to sign Bear to the lowest price point he will accept for the longest term available. Basically the Klefbom contract. Pay the man what he’s worth now and reap the benefits immediately. Bear is already outperforming a 4 million aav contract. We really don’t need a repeat of the Petry debacle. If it means being tighter in other areas for the year, so be it.

    I agree totally bridge contracts are why we are going to have to pay Nurse bigger dollars he should have been locked up long term at 5 to 5.5. Bridge contracts for good young players are the definition of penny wise and pound foolish.

  71. JimmyV1965 says:

    Keith:
    Hard disagree, OP. They need to sign Bear to the lowest price point he will accept for the longest term available. Basically the Klefbom contract. Pay the man what he’s worth now and reap the benefits immediately. Bear is already outperforming a 4 million aav contract. We really don’t need a repeat of the Petry debacle. If it means being tighter in other areas for the year, so be it.

    I disagree. Short term is the better alternative. There are many many dman who struggle to regain their rookie form. In fact, one year may be the best scenario. There is a good chance Bear regresses next year and that might be the optimal time to sign him long term.

  72. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: I’m just happy you read it!

    I always read your post.

    I usually have my “update” posts ready to go, get them up and then read your post.

  73. hunter1909 says:

    pts2pndr: Bridge contracts for good young players are the definition of penny wise and pound foolish.

    Why? Unless the “good young players” become great there’s zero reason to pay them anything more than they’re performing levels and even then a good GM will find a way to save cap space.

    It’s only the substandard GMs desperate to make a big splash in the press who throw NMC clauses and fat multi-year deals to unproven young players and statistically speaking it’s a suckers gamble.

  74. JimmyV1965 says:

    pts2pndr: I agree totally bridge contracts are why we are going to have to pay Nurse bigger dollars he should have been locked up long term at 5 to 5.5. Bridge contracts for good young players are the definition of penny wise and pound foolish.

    Different situation. Nurse had nearly 200 games when he signed that deal.

  75. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    pts2pndr: I agree totally bridge contracts are why we are going to have to pay Nurse bigger dollars he should have been locked up long term at 5 to 5.5. Bridge contracts for good young players are the definition of penny wise and pound foolish.

    – Yeah, what if in 2 years Jones is a stud though? Would he have gone for a longer deal for more money? These are the kind of “gambles” that GM’s have to make

    – If Jones is legit everyone but me be like: “Holland was a jerkstore for not signing him long-term”

    – I bet the consensus that it was a good deal, will be ruing how much more he’s going to cost long-term when he is around 24, and we should have locked him up earlier. I don’t buy the universal approval with no caveats. I bet the trend for players in his make-up making it are now quite high given probably 60 + games in his first 2 seasons

  76. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal:
    I don’t mind signing him but have a hard time seeing term being part of it. 2 years maybe, 3 seems a stretch personally.Certainly he’s won out over Granlund and Jurco though.

    I don’t see why he can’t be with the type of game he brings and the type of contract he’d likely accept.

    Far from a core player that “should be given term” but some continuity and continued veteran leadership in the bottom 6 should be helpful – Instead of getting a new Josh Archibald every off-season for PK1 and 4RW (with some ability to move around), why not just have Josh Archibald?

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: I agree totally bridge contracts are why we are going to have to pay Nurse bigger dollars he should have been locked up long term at 5 to 5.5. Bridge contracts for good young players are the definition of penny wise and pound foolish.

    If he’s willing to sign for 6-8 year for under $4M then, sure, we’ll work through that cap hit for next year but $4M plus for Bear is not going to be easy to fit in, not if there are any external improvements coming.

    It may force a trade of Larsson, in addition to Russell – that could be fine but the back-end would be young and the depth depleted.

  78. JimmyV1965 says:

    My concern with signing Bear long term is that his game is predicated on his brain and of course his stick skills and passing skills. This is great and could lead to a long and illustrious career; the best players are likely the smartest.

    But when things go south, and the often do for a period of time, Bear does not have the physical tools to fall back on. He’s not as big and strong as someone like Klefbom and he’s not as fast. He’s more likely to lose his game than someone with more physical tools.

  79. leadfarmer says:

    The Athletic has our playoff chances at a coin flip
    And it’s mid January
    Woot

  80. duct tape and foil says:

    I don’t understand the desire to trade Larsson and run a RHD of Bear, Benning and Bourchard. That trio may be politely described as small, defensively suspect, and likely overwhelmed. One injury has a 3rd pair dman or rookie is in your top pair. Larsson is fine on the top pair with Klef and he would be really good with Jones if the extra need for offense (Klef/Bouch pair) arises in game. Given his modest offense he is not going to cost a fortune to resign and I hope he stays after next year.

    Benning is the guy whose slot (3rd pair RHD) may be filled by Bouch next year and I would be looking to trade in the off-season. Hopefully he can be healthy the rest of the season.

    OriginalPouzar:
    Matty Benning spoke after practice.

    Said there haven’t been any set-backs, just both he and the team wanted to take it slow and be very cautious.He’s feeling good and taking as much contact as possible during practice.

    Hopes to be back for the games right after the break.

    Would be a boon to get him in the lineup and hopefully back to playing the way he was early in the season.

    Get him up to speed an solidify that third pairing (with Jones or Russell).

    Once he proves he’s back, then, in the off-season, they came move Adam Larsson for Kapanen and a prospect and boom!

  81. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t think Russell gets traded in-season but, if and when he does, I have zero concern on return and hope that the return is a full $4M in cap space even if zero asset comes back.

    Perhaps a Larsson for Kapanen deal as well.

    If we are going with youth on the back end……..

    With virtually no D signed next year the Leafs are much more likely to find free agents rather than target high end young players for vets on expiring contracts. And I can’t imagine they would want to extend Larsson.

  82. Halltheway says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Bear actually has pretty good top speed. He was the fourth fastest skater at the recent Oilers skill competition and beat out the likes of Kassian and Jones.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I always read your post.

    I usually have my “update” posts ready to go, get them up and then read your post.

    That was a joke. I used to publish a post and there’d be two comments before I could turn around. It was a thing for a time. In my old age, I always assume everyone can read my mind and has been here since the beginning.

  84. duct tape and foil says:

    Russell for similar forward (equally over-paid but decent player) is your last resort. His base salary next year is only $1.5 million after July 1 and there should be takers for free or little cap in return from a budget team. WPG makes sense as they will probably have the cap to spare, need dmen, and Kulikov is coming off the books. They could send us back Copp or Lowrey if they want to lose some salary. Not interested in Perreault given his age, declining performance and much higher salary.

    Who knows…..Russell may even pack it in and retire after he receives his bonus in the summer. Guess it depends on his desire to keep going and whether the wear and tear is worth the last $1.5 million of his contract. He’s probably out of the league or a camp invite only the summer after.

  85. who says:

    duct tape and foil:
    I don’t understand the desire to trade Larsson and run a RHD of Bear, Benning and Bourchard. That trio may be politely described as small, defensively suspect, and likely overwhelmed. One injury has a 3rd pair dman or rookie is in your top pair. Larsson is fine on the top pair with Klef and he would be really good with Jones if the extra need for offense (Klef/Bouch pair) arises in game. Given his modest offense he is not going to cost a fortune to resign and I hope he stays after next year.

    Benning is the guy whose slot (3rd pair RHD) may be filled by Bouch next year and I would be looking to trade in the off-season. Hopefully he can be healthy the rest of the season.

    Love this post and I agree 100%.
    Larrson will be making approximately 2 million more than Benning next year.
    Is that extra cap space worth the risk of trading your only proven top 4 RD.
    If this team hopes to compete for the playoffs next year I would say no.

  86. pts2pndr says:

    Where did I say with no trade clause. No trade clauses should not be part of any contract with the exception of all star players ie McDavid Draisaitl etc. The difficulty isn’t with long term contracts but no trade no move contracts. Bonus’s should also not be included. The contracts that many on this site were against as in Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle, Draisaitl have all been value for money paid. The only player of that group that might have been a slight overpay was Eberle. Nurse is going to be a much larger contract than would have been the case if the had not bridged him. Giving UFA player long term with no trade clauses and bonus clauses should also be avoided. Toronto with their shorter term contracts are going to be a mess when Marner and the boys approach time for new contracts. The UFA years you buy in the longer contracts end up being much cheaper than if you wait until the player reaches free agency.

  87. pts2pndr says:

    True but right shot D are at a premium.

  88. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Maybe the NHL will realize that picking a guy with over a 1000 penalty minutes in less than 500 games may not have been the best choice for head of player safety
    I mean who will they pick next?Matt Cooke

    But he’s smart!! Or at least went to an Ivy League school!!!!! !!!!! !!!!!!

    Being smart or highly educated means nothing. Everything is in successful actions completed in real time.

  89. pts2pndr says:

    I like Jones but I am not sure what his true upside is and the team has young left hand D with what I feel have better tool boxes in the pipeline. The team does not have the same quality and numbers for the right side.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    duct tape and foil:
    I don’t understand the desire to trade Larsson and run a RHD of Bear, Benning and Bourchard. That trio may be politely described as small, defensively suspect, and likely overwhelmed. One injury has a 3rd pair dman or rookie is in your top pair. Larsson is fine on the top pair with Klef and he would be really good with Jones if the extra need for offense (Klef/Bouch pair) arises in game. Given his modest offense he is not going to cost a fortune to resign and I hope he stays after next year.

    Benning is the guy whose slot (3rd pair RHD) may be filled by Bouch next year and I would be looking to trade in the off-season. Hopefully he can be healthy the rest of the season.

    I don’t want to trade Larsson, I’m one if his bigger fans and know that he will be even better in the playoffs.

    I’ve made subsequent posts in this thread about it hurting the performance and depth of the defence and it turning super young.

    At the same time, the preface is cap related – if a trade for Kapanen can be made (and the Leafs may even add), there is a top 6 winger with speed and high PK accument added for $3.2M for two more years and then an RFA. Can a better value deal be found otherwise?

    It’s also predicated on signing Bear for term vs. a bridge, which most seem inclined for.

    Paying Nurse, Bear for term (over $4M) and finding a top 6 winger externally seems highly unlikely even if the team can get rid of Russell for close to $4M in cap. Larsson may be an “expendable” expense.

    I’m not saying its perfect but an option that would have to be considered if that type of trade is out there.

    I’d prefer to give Benning and a prospect but I don’t think that gets that type of deal done.

  91. ArmchairGM says:

    JimmyV1965: Different situation. Nurse had nearly 200 games when he signed that deal.

    This is exactly why I think Bear doesn’t have the leverage to get a $4+M contract. I think 5 x $3M is about right. It’s a significant chunk of change yet it shields the Oilers from the risk attached to giving 5 years of term to a player with 1 year of track record.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: Love this post and I agree 100%.
    Larrson will be making approximately 2 million more than Benning next year.
    Is that extra cap space worth the risk of trading your only proven top 4 RD.
    If this team hopes to compete for the playoffs next year I would say no.

    In the post he was replying to, the suggestion wasn’t to trade Larsson for pure cap space, the suggestion was for a targeted player with a team with a need for an Adam Larsson – a young, top 6 winger with skill and huge speed that is also a plus PK guy that is signed for 2 more years @ $3.2M and then still an RFA.

    That trade vastly reduces the need to find another top 6 winger externally and filling that hole (plus PK) for $3.2M is of immense value.

  93. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: In the post he was replying to, the suggestion wasn’t to trade Larsson for pure cap space, the suggestion was for a targeted player with a team with a need for an Adam Larsson – a young, top 6 winger with skill and huge speed that is also a plus PK guy that is signed for 2 more years @ $3.2M and then still an RFA.

    That trade vastly reduces the need to find another top 6 winger externally and filling that hole (plus PK) for $3.2M is of immense value.

    Toronto needs young cost controlled players even more than the Oilers.

    Don’t think Kapanen is a realistic target.

  94. Reja says:

    ArmchairGM: This is exactly why I think Bear doesn’t have the leverage to get a $4+M contract. I think 5 x $3M is about right. It’s a significant chunk of change yet it shields the Oilers from the risk attached to giving 5 years of term to a player with 1 year of track record.

    Bear would jump at this contract it would be fair for both sides.

  95. Ryan says:

    Harpers Hair: Toronto needs young cost controlled players even more than the Oilers.

    Don’t think Kapanen is a realistic target.

    I managed to escape the frozen tundra here for a period of time when living in the US.

    I used to watch Jim Cramer for entertainment when I lived in the States.

    When I think of Larsson’s precipitous decline, I hear Cramer screaming, “sell sell sell.”

  96. Reja says:

    Leafs doing us no favours through 2

  97. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: In the post he was replying to, the suggestion wasn’t to trade Larsson for pure cap space, the suggestion was for a targeted player with a team with a need for an Adam Larsson – a young, top 6 winger with skill and huge speed that is also a plus PK guy that is signed for 2 more years @ $3.2M and then still an RFA.

    That trade vastly reduces the need to find another top 6 winger externally and filling that hole (plus PK) for $3.2M is of immense value.

    So who are you filling the Larrson hole with?

  98. Harpers Hair says:

    Ryan: I managed to escape the frozen tundra here for a period of time when living in the US.

    I used to watch Jim Cramer for entertainment when I lived in the States.

    When I think of Larsson’sprecipitous decline, I hear Cramer screaming, “sell sell sell.”

    Unfortunately what you won’t hear from other teams is buy, buy, buy.

    I’m sure there are other teams that could use him but don’t see him returning a prime young player.

  99. tcho says:

    Go Leafs! (That feels so wrong)

  100. duct tape and foil says:

    I like your target (Kapanen) as a youngish, fast winger who can PK. But he’s not all that cheap ($3.2 million) and a RW. Sure it addresses some holes at forward (wing, PK, speed) but it opens up an even bigger and harder one to fill one at RHD.

    Lehkonen in MTL might be a better target as he’s a LW, just as good on the PK, and $1 million cheaper. Would JP and Laggesson get you Lehkonen? Not sure.

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t want to trade Larsson, I’m one if his bigger fans and know that he will be even better in the playoffs.

    I’ve made subsequent posts in this thread about it hurting the performance and depth of the defence and it turning super young.

    At the same time, the preface is cap related – if a trade for Kapanen can be made (and the Leafs may even add), there is a top 6 winger with speed and high PK accument added for $3.2M for two more years and then an RFA. Can a better value deal be found otherwise?

    It’s also predicated on signing Bear for term vs. a bridge, which most seem inclined for.

    Paying Nurse, Bear for term (over $4M) and finding a top 6 winger externally seems highly unlikely even if the team can get rid of Russell for close to $4M in cap. Larsson may be an “expendable” expense.

    I’m not saying its perfect but an option that would have to be considered if that type of trade is out there.

    I’d prefer to give Benning and a prospect but I don’t think that gets that type of deal done.

  101. godot10 says:

    tcho:
    Go Leafs! (That feels so wrong)

    Also. Go Dementor Go!

    Ha. How will I live with myself?

  102. godot10 says:

    At least there is some thoroughly mediocre coaching going on as Quenneville continues to own McLellan

  103. Harpers Hair says:

    Flames get at least one point.

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per LeBrub, Colin Campbell and George Parros had phone calls with both Ken Holland and Brad Treliving – Parros will also be at the game on the 29th.

    As I’ve said, I don’t expect anything out of the ordinary at the game and that is a good thing – Oiler need to focus 100% on the win and the two points. Of course, take every chance to get a bang in but that should be the case in any event.

    Win the damn games.

  105. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    CGY (+140) at TOR (-160) – TOR can score, but not defend. Take the over 6.5 at -110. I got TOR winning 6-4.

    I’m thinking of changing my screen name to “Magic 8 Ball”

  106. OriginalPouzar says:

    Leafs tied it up and they are going to OT.

    flames get a point but at least they won’t get a regulation win and, hopefully, only get one.

    ANA is up 3-1 on NSH, a great and unexpected result, so far.

    Vegas up 2-0 on Ottawa, no surprise there

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lame OT between flames and leafs – can’t believe I watched that – I feel bad with myself.

  108. Harpers Hair says:

    Chucky wins it in the SO.

  109. Todd Macallan says:

    100%.

    Also, the Leafs could not possibly have had 3 worse shootout attempts.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: So who are you filling the Larrson hole with?

    As I’ve said, this move isn’t ideal and, in isolation, it worsens the defensive group and the defensive depth.

    At the same time, it trades from a general position of strength (at least depth) via disposition of a declining asset with only one year left to UFA, in exchange for filling a position of need with little organizational depth with a value contract for 2 more years for a player that will still be RFA after – a player that can play multiple rolls.

    Far from ideal but sensibile.

    At least there are potential NHL ready d-men for right side next year – multiple names like Bouchard and maybe even Berglund plus the incumbents. Aside from Benson, there is nothing close in the top 6.

  111. Munny says:

    LMHF#1,

    How Walkom rose through the reffing ranks so quickly is completely beyond me. He was horrible.

  112. JimmyV1965 says:

    ArmchairGM: This is exactly why I think Bear doesn’t have the leverage to get a $4+M contract. I think 5 x $3M is about right. It’s a significant chunk of change yet it shields the Oilers from the risk attached to giving 5 years of term to a player with 1 year of track record.

    That would be the perfect kind of deal. Reduces risk greatly.

  113. Cassandra says:

    Kapanen is signed for two more years and then is an RFA. Larsson is signed for one more year and then is a UFA.

    It is ludicrous to suggest that Larsson can return a forward as good as Kapanen if their contracts were equivalent.

    When you consider their contracts the gap in value between them is as big as the universe.

    There is no scenario in which the Leafs would trade Kapanen to the Leafs for Larsson. It is inconceivable that Dubas would make that kind of move.

  114. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: Toronto needs young cost controlled players even more than the Oilers.

    Don’t think Kapanen is a realistic target.

    Yet they traded Kadri. That was an awful deal.

  115. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: As I’ve said, this move isn’t ideal and, in isolation, it worsens the defensive group and the defensive depth.

    At the same time, it trades from a general position of strength (at least depth) via disposition of a declining asset with only one year left to UFA, in exchange for filling a position of need with little organizational depth with a value contract for 2 more years for a player that will still be RFA after – a player that can play multiple rolls.

    Far from ideal but sensibile.

    At least there are potential NHL ready d-men for right side next year – multiple names like Bouchard and maybe even Berglund plus the incumbents. Aside from Benson, there is nothing close in the top 6.

    Larsson isn’t so good that you automatically dismiss any trade. If it makes sense, you do it.

  116. JimmyV1965 says:

    Cassandra:
    Kapanen is signed for two more years and then is an RFA.Larsson is signed for one more year and then is a UFA.

    It is ludicrous to suggest that Larsson can return a forward as good as Kapanen if their contracts were equivalent.

    When you consider their contracts the gap in value between them is as big as the universe.

    There is no scenario in which the Leafs would trade Kapanen to the Leafs for Larsson.It is inconceivable that Dubas would make that kind of move.

    He traded Kadri for Barrie. The contract gap was an ocean.

  117. Harpers Hair says:

    The Kadri trade was for cap space and the Avalanche retained on Barrie and also sent Kerfoot toToronto.

    If the Oilers retain half on Larsson and also send Benson to Toronto, you might get Kapanen.

  118. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: Larsson isn’t so good that you automatically dismiss any trade. If it makes sense, you do it.

    I was the one that proposed it and am getting called out on the proposal.

  119. duct tape and foil says:

    Kapanen is a nice young RW who is fast, can PK and score at a nice 2nd line level. Good player, but not good enough to trade your 1RD for in return unless you have a ton of depth underneath. We don’t and a guy like Larsson is worth way more in our context than on a team with more veteran depth. Losing Larsson hurts more than getting Kapanen given that both of our top 6 RW (Kass and Neal) have scored more goals than him this season. Basically you are opening up a gapping hole on defense to fix hole that does not exist when you have Kass, Neal, Yamo and Chiasson at RW this season. Our LW is way way weaker than our right side which is why I would prefer to try get a guy like Lehkonen instead.

    Kapanen for JP+ makes more sense for the Leafs given their need for cheap, young NHL-ready talent. But not until the off-season. and maybe never.

  120. RonnieB says:

    Harpers Hair: OriginalPouzar: In the post he was replying to, the suggestion wasn’t to trade Larsson for pure cap space, the suggestion was for a targeted player with a team with a need for an Adam Larsson – a young, top 6 winger with skill and huge speed that is also a plus PK guy that is signed for 2 more years @ $3.2M and then still an RFA.
    That trade vastly reduces the need to find another top 6 winger externally and filling that hole (plus PK) for $3.2M is of immense value.

    Toronto needs young cost controlled players even more than the Oilers.
    Don’t think Kapanen is a realistic target.

    A Sportsnet article this morning posited that a trade of Kapanen + Bracco could be available for the right defenseman. The article mentioned Brodie, Hamonic, Martinez and Cole as possible targets.

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    Larsson play less per game than Bear at 5 on 5, 4 on 5 and 5 on 4 and all the numbers (well, PK and 5 on 5) see a bigger gap in the last 10 games as Larsson’s PK time has been reduced.

    I’m not sure that Larsson is the current 1RD on this team.

    I agree that his absence would leave a major gap but the trade proposed fills a major gap – and with a young, not yet at his prime years player on a solid contract with some more term and an RFA at the end – pretty much the opposite of Larsson in that regards.

  122. Harpers Hair says:

    RonnieB: A Sportsnet article this morning posited that a trade of Kapanen + Bracco could be available for the right defenseman. The article mentioned Brodie, Hamonic, Martinez and Cole as possible targets.

    You could likely get Martinez or Cole for a second round pick.
    I would imagine Calgary would like Kapanen so the other two could be in play.

  123. JimmyV1965 says:

    I didn’t say the Leafs would trade Kappanen for Larsson. I just illustrated that the Leafs have shown they are willing to trade a good contract. I think you’re way overrating Kappanen though.

  124. duct tape and foil says:

    How is RW a major gap?

    Kass – 13 g
    Yamo – 2 g (0.29 gpg) / Kapanen – 10 g (0.21 gpg)
    Chiasson – 6 g
    Archibald – 5 g

    I suppose that Kapanen replaces Yamo – sure he’s better – but the kid seems to be doing OK and his gpg is actually higher

    In contrast – the RHD without Larsson would be: Bear / Benning / Jones. Very very weak, and even worse, there is almost no depth behind it. Can’t believe you would set out to create that intentionally.

    OriginalPouzar:
    Larsson play less per game than Bear at 5 on 5, 4 on 5 and 5 on 4 and all the numbers (well, PK and 5 on 5) see a bigger gap in the last 10 games as Larsson’s PK time has been reduced.

    I’m not sure that Larsson is the current 1RD on this team.

    I agree that his absence would leave a major gap but the trade proposed fills a major gap – and with a young, not yet at his prime years player on a solid contract with some more term and an RFA at the end – pretty much the opposite of Larsson in that regards.

  125. Harpers Hair says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I didn’t say the Leafs would trade Kappanen for Larsson. I just illustrated that the Leafs have shown they are willing to trade a good contract. I think you’re way overrating Kappanen though.

    They did trade a good contract and got TWO good contracts in return.

  126. Munny says:

    duct tape and foil,

    He is a left-handed shot, so one presumes playing the other side won’t be too much of a stretch.

    Benning hasn’t played a game yet, so I agree with one of your earlier points… the price is too high in the context of our roster.

    I think trading Larsson before the end of the season is a very risky proposition.

  127. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: They did trade a good contract and got TWO good contracts in return.

    Barrie’s contract expires at the end of this year. They traded possibly their best contract for Kerfoot and one year of Barrie. The trade was laughable.

  128. duct tape and foil says:

    Agree. We finally have just a bit of RHD depth and trading off a good chunk of it for a RW makes no sense.

    Munny:
    duct tape and foil,

    He is a left-handed shot, so one presumes playing the other side won’t be too much of a stretch.

    Benning hasn’t played a game yet, so I agree with one of your earlier points… the price is too high in the context of our roster.

    I think trading Larsson before the end of the season is a very risky proposition.

  129. Genjutsu says:

    Really appreciate these updates.

    Thank you.

  130. London Jon says:

    I am confident that Holland will get Bear to sign a very reasonable contract.

    The Jones contract could have gone to £1.25m a year, maybe more. Smart move by Jones as that contract makes it more likely he gets NHL games over the next two years.

    Bears team could push for 4+ but he doesn’t have the track record or the toolkit to get locked up for that kind of money. His upside is limited as he’s already a very smart player that does the little things well. He’s a little small and an average skater, and he isn’t changing those things, so I think he’s fairly close to his ceiling. Unlike a Broberg who has all the tools and the risk is around IQ, vision, NHL speed of play, physicality etc.

    Most will disagree, but I think it’s possible to get him locked up at 2×2.5 or 6×3.33

  131. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: I was the one that proposed it and am getting called out on the proposal.

    That’s not entirely accurate.

    I’ve read that proposal at the My NHL trade rumors site a few months ago.

  132. jp says:

    London Jon:
    £1.25m a year

    Hehe

    Also, hope you’re right about the Bear contract!

  133. jp says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick:
    My 2 bits. I have watched both players and based on history and current trends Lag > Marincin. Marincin has historically been a bit of a turn-over machine (by eye), although he has made improvements this past year. At equivalent ages and developmental stages, I think Lag is calmer with the puck and “smarter”/better positionaly, also a better passer.

    I would note that Marincin is just 4 years older than Lagesson (both Feb. birthdays).

    Marincin departed Edmonton just after his 23rd birthday (same age as Lagesson was last summer) and had already played 85 NHL games. He’d played 124 games by his 24th birthday. Lagesson will be 24 in a month and is at 2 games.

    Playing more NHL games doesn’t necessarily mean Marincin was better, but I’d definitely hesitate to say that Lagesson is ahead at an equivalent age/stage.

    One more:
    Marincin in OKC in his age 20/21 season: 69-7-23-30 +20
    Lagesson in Bak in his age 22/23 season: 67-8-19-27 +25
    Almost eerie aside from the age difference.

  134. godot10 says:

    London Jon:

    Most will disagree, but I think it’s possible to get him locked up at 2×2.5 or 6×3.33

    4 years ago, Klefbom had as little experience as Bear and was signed for 8 years at just over $4 million AAV.

    Rasmus Anderssen will have double the NHL games, about 150, and he was just signed for 6 x $4.5 million and he is a #5D mostly, not top four and playing most of his time against the toughest competition like Bear.

    Bear is not signing for less than $4 million on a long term contract.

  135. PennersPancakes says:

    jp: One more:
    Marincin in OKC in his age 20/21 season: 69-7-23-30 +20
    Lagesson in Bak in his age 22/23 season: 67-8-19-27 +25
    Almost eerie aside from the age difference.

    Didnt realize they were that close. Only consideration is that OKC was STACKED that year, at least at forward. That was the lockout year so they got injected with Hall, Ebs, Nuge, Schultz. Also had ultimate tweener Arcobello, Rajala and even fricking Cheechoo haha.

    Lagesson has not been blessed with that talent unfortunately.

  136. jp says:

    PennersPancakes: Didnt realize they were that close. Only consideration is that OKC was STACKED that year, at least at forward. That was the lockout year so they got injected with Hall, Ebs, Nuge, Schultz. Also had ultimate tweener Arcobello, Rajala and even fricking Cheechoo haha.

    Lagesson has not been blessed with that talent unfortunately.

    I was surprised how similar the number were too.

    And yes, definitely Marincin would have benefited from NHL players as teammates. Probably more PP time than Lagesson got last year as well.

    I’d forgotten about Cheechoo lol.

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