Sail on, Sailor

It’s a small item, no one will notice. At this point in January, I write the first trade deadline piece. If the Oilers are sellers, the title is “Sale on Sail on, Sailer” and if the team is a buyer, or could be a buyer, we see the title above. It’s way more fun this way.


The Athletic
 Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, 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

TRADE DEADLINES PAST

On March 17, 1993 the Oilers traded L Esa Tikkanen to the New York Rangers for C Doug Weight. Tikkanen was one of my favorites—still is—and my initial reaction to this deal was heartbreak. The Boys on the Bus expired in either September or October 1991, two massive and devastating trades put it all to rest. By the time they got to dealing Tikkanen, it was more museum than arena, but legends walked among us. The Tikkanen trade was the death rattle on the day it was made, but in fact brought new life to a weathered franchise. This was a brilliant trade by Sather, maybe the best deadline deal he ever made.

CHIARELLI’S DEADLINE DEALS

  • February 2016—traded Justin Schultz to Pittsburgh for a pick (Filip Berglund); traded Teddy Purcell for a pick (Matt Cairns); traded Anders Nilsson for a pick (Graham McPhee); traded Martin Gernat and a pick (Jack Kopacka) for Patrick Maroon.
  • February 2017—traded Brandon Davidson for David Desharnais; traded Taylor Beck for Justin Fontaine.
  • February 2018—traded Brandon Davidson for a pick (2019 3rd used on goalie Ilya Konovalov); traded Mark Letestu for Pontus Aberg; traded Patrick Maroon for JD Dudek and 2019 pick (cashed later for Cooper Marody, pick was used on Alexander Campbell).

Desharnais earned a special place in Oilers history with the famous overtime goal against the San Jose Sharks, while Patrick Maroon filled an extreme need for the organization.

KEITH GRETZKY’S DEADLINE DEALS

  • February 2019—traded goalie Cam Talbot to the Philadephia Flyers for goalie Anthony Stolarz.
  • February 2019—traded Ryan Spooner to the Vancouver Canucks for Sam Gagner.

Gretzky didn’t have much to trade and wasn’t dealing from a position of strength, so I’m not sure what we can say beyond people were damned owly with Spooner so that trade probably needed to be made.

KEN HOLLAND’S NEEDS LIST

Based on recent reports, the Oilers are interested in Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Pierre Lebrun) should he come available. There’s also a report (from Darren Dreger) that the Oilers “want a top-six forward. He says there is speculation around “Kapanen, Johnsson and Kerfoot.”

Leafs need a RH defenseman to my eye, and that would be Adam Larsson. I don’t think the Oilers can afford to deal Larsson, but that’s some nice talent being discussed out of Toronto.

KEN HOLLAND’S DEADLINE ASSETS

One doubts the Oilers are going to trade the first-round pick. If it isn’t going in a Taylor Hall deal I don’t think it’s going. That leaves the following: Oilers second round pick, Oilers fourth round pick, Jujhar Khaira, Matt Benning, William Lagesson, Joel Persson.

Now, if he’s trading for a player with term, things change. I would guess that the three items that are completely off the table are Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg and the 2020 first.

After that, we’re looking at Tyler Benson, Raphael Lavoie, Dmitri Samorukov, Caleb Jones, Kailer Yamamoto. Would Holland trade one of these names and the 2020 second-round pick for a proven player who is also under contract? What would Dmitri Samorukov and the 2020 second get you?

TARGETS

Aside from Pageau and the Toronto Three, is there anyone who represents a quality fit? Well, if the Coyotes fall out of the race then Taylor Hall would be a great addition, but that’s a distant bell.

J-G Pageau has 19 goals, Mike Hoffman 18, Tyler Toffoli 12, Ryan Strome (RFA) 12, Tyler Ennis 11, Robby Fabbri (RFA) 11, Kasperi Kapanen 10, Warren Foegele (RFA) 10, Craig Smith 10, Lucas Wallmark (RFA) 10, Jesper Fast 8, Alex Kerfoot 7, Andreas Johansson 6, Andreas Athanasiou (RFA) 5.

Would you trade Dmitri Samorukov and the 2020 second for any of these men? Would the teams who employ these men find that package acceptable?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It’s Friday! We survived one week in the Arctic!! We celebrate at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will pop in at 10:20 to discuss Kassian-Tkachuk, the Vegas firing and Astros scandal. Matthew Iwanyk will pop in at 11 to preview a massive NFL weekend and talk Oilers at the deadline. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. We’re live in 90 minutes!

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287 Responses to "Sail on, Sailor"

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  1. Andy Dufresne says:

    Those are some really good examples.

    Please forward this to Holland and Stauffer and Spector and ….

    Holland was in on Connolly so he should kind of know the market.

    I hope he isnt inluenced too heavily by having lost out on Connolly.

    As you say, at htis point he’s really just negotiating with/aginst himself.

    Surely hes got to be able to see that a) playing with McDavid is zooming Kass and b) that Kass wants to play here.

    Holland should have enough leverage to get Kass signed for $1m less than Connolly got or there abouts.

  2. Andy Dufresne says:

    My prediction is that Kassian will get signed, and that right soon.

    And that 75% of this site will hate it

    20% will be ok with it

    and 5% will like it.

    I hope Im wrong.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Not that I don’t agree trading Larsson creates a big hole, however, recall they did have ample success without him for the first 6 weeks of the season – yup, the big guns were on a huge heater but they were also getting zero hope and, yup, the goalies were fire as well but that was also partially due to team defence.

    Joel Persson is playing very well in Bakersfield (although missed last game being banged up).

    If he was serviceable before the demotion, I imagine he’s a bit better now – plus Benning is back after the break, hopefully, and potentially healthy.

    I agree, its far from ideal, however, Larsson is 4th on the 5 on 5 minute distribution on most nights and isn’t even killing penalties regularly right now – to acquire a legit 2nd line speedster who can PK, is pre-prime, locked up for 2 years at a discount and then RFA – that’s tough to turn down in this scenario.

  4. ArmchairGM says:

    jtblack:
    “Their guess….. 3 x 4 million……or 4 x 3.5 million….. ouch.”

    either of these will make me cry …not tears of joy ….

    Ken has a past …….

    Someone send Ken a memo:

    Zack is scoring 1.34 G/60 with McDavid, 17th in the league.
    Zack is scoring 0.67 G/60 without McDavid, 212th in the league.

  5. Andy Dufresne says:

    I think that the organization is prediposed and committed to making a run at (and in) the playoffs. Trading Larsson now does not advance that objective.

  6. Andy Dufresne says:

    I agree with you.

    I ask / wonder…..Is the organization making a decision on Kassian armed with all the data, logic, and examples that are being used here in this thread and in Woodguys posts.??

    My guess is Yes.

  7. ArmchairGM says:

    TheGreatBigMac:
    Wow just wow, I was just looking at the league points leaders on nhl.com and Ryan Strome has 42 points in 46 games and is #34 on that list.Can you imagine if he was our 3rd line center??

    Does he come with Artemi Panarin? Strome without Panarin is a completely different animal.

  8. pts2pndr says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    What happened is playing cherry McMinutes.

    We saw the same situation play out with Maroon.

    Don’t overpay for zoomed boxcars.

    As I recall there were a number of players that rotated through as McDavid’s winger and Kassian is now the longest serving right winger or if not close to. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

  9. blainer says:

    If Holland adds a NMC with a crazy contract amount and term we are back to having Chia for a GM. This man has to have learned some lessons. He worked magic with the Looch trade and did a great signing of Jones. Even Smith at the moment is not looking so bad.

    I like Kass but overpaying him without some cheap top tier forwards in the system is bat shit crazy.. We need that money elsewhere.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    duct tape and foil:
    Agree with most of that and would counter that none of our RHD aside from Larsson are proven legit top 4 defensemen. You fix one problem of moderate concern only to open another that could be both catastrophic and long term.

    Kapanen is surplus to essential TML needs, Larsson is essential to our needs, relative need trumps small to moderate differences in skill almost every time.

    Solution, get a winger without gutting your RHD such as Lehkonen, Smith etc.

    I don’t disagree with any of this – as I’ve kept saying, its far from ideal.

    At the same time, I’m not sure Larsson has proven to be a legit top 4 d-man over the aggregate of the last few years. He’s had a couple good stretches (one last month where he looked like 2017 Larsson for a 5 games) but he’s struggled with the speed of the game somewhat consistently, has had many games with 3rd pairing 5 on 5 minutes and, recently, isn’t killing penalties regularly.

    The player that he was earlier in his Oiler career, losing that player would create a massive hole, however, have we had that player for more than a couple shortish stretches in the last few years?

  11. jm363561 says:

    This is why using assets for a 3C is less important than a Top 6 winger. I am pretty sure Nuge would agree. Quality of line mates is a thing.

  12. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jethro Tull: True, but he’s probably the best kind of risk.

    There’s very little coming from Bake at forward.

    UFAs will be too expensive.

    Similar players with good contracts are unicorn shit and would cost considerably more.

    If we’re to get better, we have to break the cycle. Seeing as nobody wants to pay anything for anyone under any circumstances and magically wants the team to improve, then little bets like AA are a way to do it.

    Can I use ‘Unicorn Shit’ as my handle? Brill mate!

  13. Reja says:

    What a bunch of tight wads with or without McDavid Kass brings a unique blend that’s not that easily replaced. Kass has speed and health and will cover easily 3×3.33=10 million I say the only thing holding up the announcement is Kass digging in on the forth year. It’s easy 4 years at 3 million a year a smart motivated set for life contract will easily cover the bet. I really think Kass hasn’t peaked net he’s finally getting well deserved respect around the league and the way he handled the whole Tkachuk episode was beautiful. We finally have a must see nationally BOA. Do we actually want Tkachuk and sneaky sleazy Gio slew footing and taking liberties for the next few years, I sure don’t because they will but a punch to the beak makes you think twice. Holland pay the man and let’s get it signed for his big return.

  14. duct tape and foil says:

    This can be spun a different way. Most people thought he the team was dead when Larsson broke his leg in game 1. The big guns really buckled down in his absence, and with Bear’s emergence, they weathered the storm. I would suggest that Drai, McDavid, Klef all let out a huge sigh of relief when he came back and that’s a major source of the letdown in late Nov / early Dec. You can’t play that way all year.

    So his minutes are reduced this season. Did you forget the guy broke his leg this season and came back as soon as humanly possible? You think that might have a little something to do with his usage and performance in the last 4-6 weeks? Pretending that didn’t happen and suggesting that this is the new normal ignores the severity of that injury. But it’s Larsson and everyone think he’s ironman and can plow through anything.

    Trading Larsson creates a massive hole and it took this team’s best players going at 110% to cover when he was gone earlier this season. The team would miss him a lot if he was traded and the hole would not be nearly as easily papered over as you suggest. Larsson is getting back up to speed, the big guns had some R&R, and this coincides with the team playing better. No need at all to bugger that up by trading a key player for a complimentary forward.

    OriginalPouzar:
    Not that I don’t agree trading Larsson creates a big hole, however, recall they did have ample success without him for the first 6 weeks of the season – yup, the big guns were on a huge heater but they were also getting zero hope and, yup, the goalies were fire as well but that was also partially due to team defence.

    Joel Persson is playing very well in Bakersfield (although missed last game being banged up).

    If he was serviceable before the demotion, I imagine he’s a bit better now – plus Benning is back after the break, hopefully, and potentially healthy.

    I agree, its far from ideal, however, Larsson is 4th on the 5 on 5 minute distribution on most nights and isn’t even killing penalties regularly right now – to acquire a legit 2nd line speedster who can PK, is pre-prime, locked up for 2 years at a discount and then RFA – that’s tough to turn down in this scenario.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rodrigue stops 23 of 26 in a 4-3 win.

    Lavoie with a first period goal and assist as Chicoutimi is up 2-0

    Phil Kemp with an assist as Yale is up 3-0.

  16. Harpers Hair says:

    Reja:
    What a bunch of tight wads with or without McDavid Kass brings a unique blend that’s not that easily replaced. Kass has speed and health and will cover easily 3×3.33=10 million I say the only thing holding up the announcement is Kass digging in on the forth year. It’s easy 4 years at 3 million a year a smart motivated set for life contract will easily cover the bet. I really think Kass hasn’t peaked net he’s finally getting well deserved respect around the league and the way he handled the whole Tkachuk episode was beautiful. We finally have a must see nationally BOA. Do we actually want Tkachuk and sneaky sleazy Gio slew footingand taking liberties for the next few years, I sure don’t because they will but a punch to the beak makes you think twice. Holland pay the man and let’s get it signed for his big return.

    You forgot the part where Lucic breaks Kassian’s jaw.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Hopefully the players are dialed in tomorrow and not all caught up in their flights and arrangements for Mexico later that night/next day.

    With 10 full days off, I’d be heading somewhere farther than Mexico – SE Asia or Zanzibar and even Costa Rica – the wife and I hit Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka for 7-9 days journeys – eff the jet lag/time change.

    I do imagine the boys stay closer than that mind you.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Andy Dufresne: Didnt Darcy just explain this stuff to Stauffer a couple of weeks ago??

    That was an awkward conversation because Dracy was explaining what the contract should look like and Stauff was talking about what its going to look like.

    Neither were wrong.

    Zack is going to get some term and he’s going to get an AAV higher than warranted by his historical production and game.

    Holland will overpay for his services vis-a-vis what he should get, the question is how much and if he’s willing to walk away given what the market is most likely willing to give.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Rodrigue stops 23 of 26 in a 4-3 win.

    Lavoie with a first period goal and assist as Chicoutimi is up 2-0

    Phil Kemp with an assist as Yale is up 3-0.

    Lavoie adds a second goal mid-way through the second as Chicoutimi leads 3-1 (Lavoie with 2G/1A).

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    I think that the organization is prediposed and committed to making a run at (and in) the playoffs. Trading Larsson now does not advance that objective.

    I don’t agree with the second sentence necessarily.

    With respect to the first sentence, management has been very clear that the ultimate goal, which looks past this year, is primary.

  21. Glovjuice says:

    Agreed – a bit harsh. OP’s AHL reporting is an important part of this blog.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Does he come with Artemi Panarin? Strome without Panarin is a completely different animal.

    Perhaps Strome without Lucic and/or Puljujarvi and/or bottom 6 players in general is a different animal?

  23. Ryan says:

    Reja:
    What a bunch of tight wads with or without McDavid Kass brings a unique blend that’s not that easily replaced. Kass has speed and health and will cover easily 3×3.33=10 million I say the only thing holding up the announcement is Kass digging in on the forth year. It’s easy 4 years at 3 million a year a smart motivated set for life contract will easily cover the bet. I really think Kass hasn’t peaked net he’s finally getting well deserved respect around the league and the way he handled the whole Tkachuk episode was beautiful. We finally have a must see nationally BOA. Do we actually want Tkachuk and sneaky sleazy Gio slew footingand taking liberties for the next few years, I sure don’t because they will but a punch to the beak makes you think twice. Holland pay the man and let’s get it signed for his big return.

    This is like deja-vu with the Chiasson contract.

  24. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Don’t wear pants

  25. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Not that I don’t agree trading Larsson creates a big hole, however, recall they did have ample success without him for the first 6 weeks of the season – yup, the big guns were on a huge heater but they were also getting zero hope and, yup, the goalies were fire as well but that was also partially due to team defence.

    Joel Persson is playing very well in Bakersfield (although missed last game being banged up).

    If he was serviceable before the demotion, I imagine he’s a bit better now – plus Benning is back after the break, hopefully, and potentially healthy.

    I agree, its far from ideal, however, Larsson is 4th on the 5 on 5 minute distribution on most nights and isn’t even killing penalties regularly right now – to acquire a legit 2nd line speedster who can PK, is pre-prime, locked up for 2 years at a discount and then RFA – that’s tough to turn down in this scenario.

    Most of the RHD aren’t applying for Larsson’s job. They are applying for Bouchard’s given their skill sets.

    Except perhaps Berglund

  26. flyfish1168 says:

    I hope zack’s agent doesn’t think his client is zooming Connor

  27. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Ryan: This is like deja-vu with the Chiasson contract.

    Chiasson is nothing like Kassian.

    It is important to have a play like Kassian when you have players like Connor, as long as the league isn’t seriously interested in protecting them.

    Lucic wasn’t good enough to play with talent and didn’t pick the right spots for standing up.

    I don’t want any more boat anchors, but a clean guy who can skate isn’t the worst bet.

    Certainly the skill players like knowing nobody needs to give Kassian a tap on the shoulder to step up. It’s not the worst thing that they may ask him to step down, and that is within the rules.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Holt
    @CondorsHolty
    ·
    7m
    Starrett goes tonight as Marody returns to the lineup for the first time in four games.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    duct tape and foil:
    This can be spun a different way. Most people thought he the team was dead when Larsson broke his leg in game 1. The big guns really buckled down in his absence, and with Bear’s emergence, they weathered the storm. I would suggest that Drai, McDavid, Klef all let out a huge sigh of relief when he came back and that’s a major source of the letdown in late Nov / early Dec. You can’t play that way all year.

    So his minutes are reduced this season. Did you forget the guy broke his leg this season and came back as soon as humanly possible? You think that might have a little something to do with his usage and performance in the last 4-6 weeks? Pretending that didn’t happen and suggesting that this is the new normal ignores the severity of that injury. But it’s Larsson and everyone think he’s ironman and can plow through anything.

    Trading Larsson creates a massive hole and it took this team’s best players going at 110% to cover when he was gone earlier this season. The team would miss him a lot if he was traded and the hole would not be nearly as easily papered over as you suggest. Larsson is getting back up to speed, the big guns had some R&R, and this coincides with the team playing better. No need at all to bugger that up by trading a key player for a complimentary forward.

    I don’t disagree that losing Larsson via trade could lead to a massive hole – I’ve posted that myself in this thread and last night . At the same time, I’m not as convinced as I once was that it would.

    You say the team “weathered the storm” when Larsson was out – they did more than that, they excelled, finding ways to win game after game after game including doing a great job of keeping goals against down – that was not just goaltending but the team as whole – Joel Persson treaded water in the 2nd pairing (Adam’s spot) and the other two pairs excelled.

    The team was carried by the two big stars, yes, however, the point of the trade is adding a player that would help take that load – add skill, speed, offensive acumen, to play in the top 6 – a more established and faster Yamamoto – look at the impact that player had.

    Lets also not forget that the two had to carry such a high load because no one else, save a James Neal PP heater, was contributing – the bottom six had like one goal in a month. That was not sustainable and has corrected.

    Yes, coming back from the injury and being behind the league is clearly a factor, however, Larsson hasn’t been the player you are describing for the better part of three seasons now. He’s not even killing penalties regularly.

    I don’t want to trade Adam Larsson either but, given ages, decline vs entering prime, organization depth at various positions and, importantly, contracts and team control, it would have to be explored if an option, in my opinion.

  30. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: You forgot the part where Lucic breaks Kassian’s jaw.

    Nurse can break even with Lucic while Kass hammers on Sneaky Gio while golden spoon fed Tkachuk hides behind the refs.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    Starrett gets the start tonight.

    Persson remains out banged up – who knows what.

    Marody finally back after missing 5, yes 5 games with a week long plus flu bug.

  32. Bulging Twine says:

    OriginalPouzar: With 10 full days off, I’d be heading somewhere farther than Mexico – SE Asia or Zanzibar and even Costa Rica – the wife and I hit Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka for 7-9 days journeys – eff the jet lag/time change.

    I do imagine the boys stay closer than that mind you.

    funny, as i was typing that, i was thinking, they have time to do more than mexico.
    Hawaii is regaining it’s popularity I hear – as a quickish warm holiday

    aren’t nhlers renown for going to Cabo?

  33. Bulging Twine says:

    Tampa crushing WPG 5-1
    15 minutes to go

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looks like Maskimov is playing with Cave and Esposito, at least to start.

    Starrett with a diving stop on the first shot of the game on AJ Greer after that line gets caved – a massive diving stop.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of note, even with Marody back, looks like Granlund is centering Benson and Marody and Granny gets a one-timer from the slot away but a massive save at the other end. One massive save at each end.

    Unfortunately, Malone does his best lazy center impression and loses his man to the net and the Eagles take a 1-0 lead off a nothing play but a defensive miscue.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: Perhaps Strome without Lucic and/or Puljujarvi and/or bottom 6 players in general is a different animal?

    Poor Strome, he spent 4 years dragging Lucic around on the Island and then had to do the same in Edmonton and even last year in Manhattan.
    I give Strome credit for developing good chemistry with Panarin, but don’t be fooled, it’s all Panarin

  37. duct tape and foil says:

    Well I don’t think we are going to agree on the relative value of the player. I’m not against trading Larsson, but only if a team like TML is willing to overpay. Something like JP and Larsson for Kapanen and Barrie. Sure we don’t sign Barrie next year, but neither will Toronto. We do get a RD this year and Kapanen to replace JP. We also get Larsson’s salary next year to pick up 2RD who would be 3rd in a year or so if Bouch develops right. TML gets a cheaper winger in JP and an extra year of an affordable Larsson to sort out their defense which is going to be a mess next year with all the UFA and no cap room.

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t disagree that losing Larsson via trade could lead to a massive hole – I’ve posted that myself in this thread and last night . At the same time, I’m not as convinced as I once was that it would.

    You say the team “weathered the storm” when Larsson was out – they did more than that, they excelled, finding ways to win game after game after game including doing a great job of keeping goals against down – that was not just goaltending but the team as whole – Joel Persson treaded water in the 2nd pairing (Adam’s spot) and the other two pairs excelled.

    The team was carried by the two big stars, yes, however, the point of the trade is adding a player that would help take that load – add skill, speed, offensive acumen, to play in the top 6 – a more established and faster Yamamoto – look at the impact that player had.

    Lets also not forget that the two had to carry such a high load because no one else, save a James Neal PP heater, was contributing – the bottom six had like one goal in a month. That was not sustainable and has corrected.

    Yes, coming back from the injury and being behind the league is clearly a factor, however, Larsson hasn’t been the player you are describing for the better part of three seasons now. He’s not even killing penalties regularly.

    I don’t want to trade Adam Larsson either but, given ages, decline vs entering prime, organization depth at various positions and, importantly, contracts and team control, it would have to be explored if an option, in my opinion.

  38. Reja says:

    Sooner than later the jets are going to have to trade a forward for a D-man.

  39. jm363561 says:

    flyfish1168:
    I hope zack’s agent doesn’t think his client is zooming Connor

    Lol.

    Back in the day many posters thought a Connor- zoomed Maroon would get $3 – 4m. Even Chia wasn’t that stupid.

  40. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: With 10 full days off, I’d be heading somewhere farther than Mexico – SE Asia or Zanzibar and even Costa Rica – the wife and I hit Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka for 7-9 days journeys – eff the jet lag/time change.

    I do imagine the boys stay closer than that mind you.

    Who gives a crap where you would go?
    Do you honestly not get how pretentious you sound when you post crap like this?

  41. Bling says:

    hunter1909: lol

    I dunno. The team is in playoff position unlike other depressing seasons.

    What are they supposed to do? Jettison a player who well might sign a good deal that benefits the team, or in other words(actually your exact ones lol) the team like Lowetide opinion is doomed to repeat its errors like some bad LSD trip?

    I’m not against signing Kassian, but it’s Holland who holds the cards, not him.

    If there really are 20 teams interested, like Stauffer says, why not deal him if his ask is 4×4? You have Benson and Yamamoto as top 6 options as of next season, plus Larsson as potential trade bait for another top 6 winger.

    UFA is unpredictable. Sure some guys strike it rich, but there are others — Gardiner and Pat Maroon come to mind — who don’t. Tons of stuff can happen between now and the end of the season. Injury. Bad luck. He could also revert back to whatever he was two seasons ago.

    If Kassian wants the security of a deal and likes playing with the best player in the world, he should pay for it.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Do you think I give a crap what type of whiskey people drink?

    As a matter of fact, I’ve had some nice conversations on this platform with some posters about travel and some have expressed enjoyment of hearing about them.

    Sorry to bother your evening.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    I would suggest that much of the fanbase would not take trading the 1RW in the middle of a playoff battle, while the team is playing well, due to potential future salary matters.

    We get it – many wouldn’t.

    I’m not one that think McDavid is on the verge of demanding out or anything like that but I don’ think the would look too fondly on such a move.

  44. Reja says:

    Bling: I’m not against signing Kassian, but it’s Holland who holds the cards, not him.

    If there really are 20 teams interested, like Stauffer says, why not deal him if his ask is 4×4? You have Benson and Yamamoto as top 6 options as of next season, plus Larsson as potential trade bait for another top 6 winger.

    UFA is unpredictable. Sure some guys strike it rich, but there are others — Gardiner and Pat Maroon come to mind — who don’t. Tons of stuff can happen between now and the end of the season. Injury. Bad luck. He could also revert back to whatever he was two seasons ago.

    If Kassian wants the security of a deal and likes playing with the best player in the world, he should pay for it.

    Way to lay down the hammer. What exactly is your take it or leave it offer?

  45. SVR says:

    4-0 Eagles. Condors really struggle to score this year it seems. Injuries/health of Marody has been an issue. What difference a year makes as it looked like he really had a chance.Malone, Currie, Gambardella all seem to be showing less offensively than last year. Only Benson on par with last years success. Hopefully we’ll see some better numbers in the second half for Maksimov and McLeod. If Benson gets called up, maybe Safin gets a shot. He has decent box cars in the ECHL

  46. Bling says:

    Reja: Way to lay down the hammer. What exactly is your take it or leave it offer?

    2.75 x 3

  47. Reja says:

    Bling: 2.75 x 3

    If he balks at the offer do you trade him or try renegotiating at the end of the year.

  48. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I would suggest that much of the fanbase would not take trading the 1RW in the middle of a playoff battle, while the team is playing well, due to potential future salary matters.

    We get it – many wouldn’t.

    I’m not one that think McDavid is on the verge of demanding out or anything like that but I don’ think the would look too fondly on such a move.

    McDavid and Drai like Kassian for sure, but as Tipp said, they like winning more. If you overpay Kassian, that means no Taylor Hall and it means (potentially) making difficult choices on Nurse and Bear this summer and Nuge next summer.

    Does it make any sense to suffer through a decade plus of no defensive depth and risk having to blow it because you payed Zack Kassian too much in the middle of his one good season? Shockingly, it’s even dumber than it sounds.

    Holland, by the way, has already gone full dumb ass, saying today that he is aware of the good playoff that Zack Kassian had three years ago. You can’t make this shit up, OP! I wish I did something 3 years ago for a period of two weeks that justified a 100 percent increase in my salary! 🙂

    And Oilers fans are tough as hell. Oilers fans have seen Gretzky and Messier traded. The dagger for me was Doug Weight getting traded on my birthday for Jochen Hecht! And Marty Reasoner. And Jan Horacek 🙂 How about Guerin being traded when him, Doug Weight, and Ryan Smyth were one of the best first lines in the entire NHL? Oh, and then there’s Taylor Hall.

    No Oilers fan is going to care about a complimentary guy with delusions of grandeur being sent out. If Holland thinks that, he doesn’t understand this market.

  49. Bling says:

    Reja,

    I would trade him. 20 teams interested? Cash in.

  50. Bling says:

    leadfarmer: Poor Strome, he spent 4 years dragging Lucic around on the Island and then had to do the same in Edmonton and even last year in Manhattan.
    I give Strome credit for developing good chemistry with Panarin, but don’t be fooled, it’s all Panarin

    WG posted Panarin’s GF%. It’s some ungodly number, like 70 percent or something bananas like that.

  51. jtblack says:

    Holland certainly left DET in a good spot.

    They are 12 pts behind the 30th place team.

    Yzerman brought in Fabbri. Otherwise it’s all Ken’s work.

  52. Bulging Twine says:

    Ducks win moving them further from the gravy odds of getting Lafranchise

    Jets lose big….Hellebuyck gets pulled…woodguy on to something??
    they lose their game in hand on us and remain one point back

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    Per Terry Jones, Holland says he’ll likely wait 10 more games to see if he’s a buyer or will stand pat. Unlikely to be a seller unless the wheels fall off.

    Also, doesn’t seem too happy with Kass’ penalties against the Flames:

    Ken Holland wants to deliver a message to Zack Kassian and his Edmonton Oilers teammates as they prepare to head to the All-Star break and return to play their Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 games against the Calgary Flames.

    “We have to make sure we play with discipline, that we play hard and that we play physical and do whatever we have to do to win,” said the new Edmonton Oilers general manager.

    “But we can’t take undisciplined, foolish penalties losing sight of the most important thing which is the end result.

    “You don’t want to have your players getting suspended.

    “We need our players in the lineup

  54. Bulging Twine says:

    McLeod with a goal and an assist

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bling: McDavid and Drai like Kassian for sure, but as Tipp said, they like winning more. If you overpay Kassian, that means no Taylor Hall and it means (potentially) making difficult choices on Nurse and Bear this summer and Nuge next summer.

    Does it make any sense to suffer through a decade plus of no defensive depth and risk having to blow it because you payed Zack Kassian too much in the middle of his one good season? Shockingly, it’s even dumber than it sounds.

    Holland, by the way, has already gone full dumb ass, saying today that he is aware of the good playoff that Zack Kassian had three years ago. You can’t make this shit up, OP! I wish I did something 3 years ago for a period of two weeks that justified a 100 percent increase in my salary! ?

    And Oilers fans are tough as hell. Oilers fans have seen Gretzky and Messier traded. The dagger for me was Doug Weight getting traded on my birthday for Jochen Hecht! And Marty Reasoner. And Jan Horacek ? How about Guerin being traded when him, Doug Weight, and Ryan Smyth were one of the best first lines in the entire NHL? Oh, and then there’s Taylor Hall.

    No Oilers fan is going to care about a complimentary guy with delusions of grandeur being sent out. If Holland thinks that, he doesn’t understand this market.

    I’d didn’t say anything about overpaying this player and have been very much against that.

    I was speaking to not selling him off in the middle of a battle for the playoffs – nothing to do with over paying him.

  56. Bulging Twine says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Per Terry Jones, Holland says he’ll likely wait 10 more games to see if he’s a buyer or will stand pat.Unlikely to be a seller unless the wheels fall off.

    That’ll give him about 8 games to see how Benson adjusts/plays. (I’m thinking that they call him up after the initial Flames game)

  57. Bulging Twine says:

    Starrett was pulled in the first after allowing 3 goals

  58. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would think that Jesse would be willing to sign his qualifying offer next season with an NHL team that is not the Oilers.

    …if we let him.

  59. Bulging Twine says:

    McLeod +2 in a 6-2 loss

  60. Munny says:

    Bonino is 31, was never a good skater but is having his best year, points-wise. He’s also a LH shot an—ideally—we’d want a RH centerman somewhere on the roster.

    I feel like we’d be buying high and I don’ts like acquiring guys who will shortly be 32 (April) and don’t have good wheels.

    Signing Kass for 3 or 4 for example, doesn’t bother me because he can skate and is only 29 this year.

    Bones is also an American and has never played in Canada. I’d need to be sure he and his family would be happy living here. His contract has another year to run at $4.1M.

  61. v4ance says:

    Arch@Archaeologuy

    Kassian is shooting 18.1% this year and had a career average of 11.2% before 2019-2020.

    I can’t stress enough how dangerous this is. Changing NOTHING but his shooting percentage to career average yields just 8 goals playing with McDavid.

    This is playing with Fire.

    ***
    Want to guess which Oiler forward has the highest PDO on the team?

    Hint: It’s Zack Kassian 1.029

    ***
    It has nothing to do with loving the player or what has happened this season. It’s about using a critical eye to assess risk and reward for the future based on the evidence in front of us.

    I love Sam Gagner for example. I wouldn’t offer him a contract over 1M moving forward.

    ***

    Alex Chiasson shooting percentages 2012-18: 11.5% roughly 10-12 goals per 82 games
    AAV on contracts: 600k to 1.2 million

    Everyone knows Chiasson is basically a 3rd/4th liner
    Alex Chiasson shooting percentage 2018-19: 17.9% 22 goals
    Holland gives him $2.15M x 2 thinking he’s basically a 3rd liner who can be a top 6

    Alex Chiasson shooting percentage 2019-20 since signing new contract: 9% on pace for… 12 goals

    ***

    Using basic analytics with a shred of intelligence and we can see Kassian will regress just like Chiasson… or Maroon or Bolland or all those other 3rd liners who had one year bumps in their shooting percentages right before they went UFA.

    Holland is paid multimullions of dollars to learn from experience. I don’t think he’s learning.

  62. Bulging Twine says:

    2 points move McDavid into 9th all-time for the Oilers ahead of Horcoff

    Klefbom is tied with Kevin McClelland for 49th.
    One more point and he ties Risto Siltanen

    (half of Siltanen’s points were made when he wound up with the big slapper from the point and missed the net and it made a loud thud or maybe more like a bang on the boards, everyone at the arena and watching from home said, “whoa”, then Gretzky got the puck and passed to Kurri who scored – iirc)

  63. Bulging Twine says:

    Nurse’s next game ties him for 44th on the OIlers all time GP list with Cogliano

  64. Bulging Twine says:

    Wayne Gretzky was plus 553 with the Oilers!

  65. Bulging Twine says:

    Buchberger was -99

    Gagner is tied for second worst all time with Nail Yakupov at -88

  66. Numenius says:

    Haha. Sounds like you’ve missed your calling.

  67. Bulging Twine says:

    Munny:
    Bonino is 31, was never a good skater but is having his best year, points-wise. He’s also a LH shot an—ideally—we’d want a RH centerman somewhere on the roster.

    I feel like we’d be buying high and I don’ts like acquiring guys who will shortly be 32 (April) and don’t have good wheels.

    Signing Kass for 3 or 4 for example, doesn’t bother me because he can skate and is only 29 this year.

    Bones is also an American and has never played in Canada.I’d need to be sure he and his family would be happy living here.His contract has another year to run at $4.1M.

    32 seems to be the new 35

    recently it seemed like when a player hit 35 you would watch closely for the decline year to year and maybe they’d make it to 37

    seems like that’s 32 now. maybe 33. Not too many make it to their 35 year old season anymore. There are only 11 in the league now and one is being sent down tomorrow.
    (11 that started the season 35 +)

    Edit: this is for FW’s

  68. Bulging Twine says:

    v4ance:
    Arch@Archaeologuy

    Kassian is shooting 18.1% this year and had a career average of 11.2% before 2019-2020.


    I can’t stress enough how dangerous this is. Changing NOTHING but his shooting percentage to career average yields just 8 goals playing with McDavid.

    This is playing with Fire.

    ***
    Want to guess which Oiler forward has the highest PDO on the team?

    Hint: It’s Zack Kassian 1.029

    ***
    It has nothing to do with loving the player or what has happened this season. It’s about using a critical eye to assess risk and reward for the future based on the evidence in front of us.

    I love Sam Gagner for example. I wouldn’t offer him a contract over 1M moving forward.

    ***

    Alex Chiasson shooting percentages2012-18: 11.5%roughly 10-12 goals per 82 games
    AAV on contracts: 600k to 1.2 million

    Everyone knows Chiasson is basically a 3rd/4th liner
    Alex Chiasson shooting percentage 2018-19: 17.9% 22 goals
    Holland gives him $2.15M x 2 thinking he’s basically a 3rd liner who can be a top 6

    Alex Chiasson shooting percentage 2019-20 since signing new contract: 9% on pace for… 12 goals

    ***

    Using basic analytics with a shred of intelligence and we can see Kassian will regress just like Chiasson… or Maroon or Bolland or all those other 3rd liners who had one year bumps in their shooting percentages right before they went UFA.

    Holland is paid multimullions of dollars to learn from experience.I don’t think he’s learning.

    Wow.
    Nicley laid out.

    What’s the max that you would go with Kassian?

  69. northerndancer says:

    Thanks for the random Friday night stats. I believe I have every photo of the ‘Gagner seen in photo’, photos.

  70. innercitysmytty says:

    I find it pretty interesting how people chastise a GM over a deal that is not even signed yet. Bob is certainly a mouthpiece for the organization but I think it’s far from a guarantee that he knows the exact deal that will be signed. I agree fully that if Zack likes it here and is in a great situation he should be taking a discount and not being overpaid ie 2×2 or something is more than fair. But maybe let the deal actually be signed and the ink dry before tarring and feathering a GM who recently signed a nice piece on the backend to a very team friendly deal.

  71. Bulging Twine says:

    northerndancer,

    hahaha

    I wonder if he can catch Buchberger?
    11 minuses to go

    will he be here long enough?

  72. Bulging Twine says:

    I would love to see an Oiler Flame playoff
    but only if we win
    I couldn’t handle losing that one

  73. Numenius says:

    Cassandra,

    If a trade is to be had with the Leafs, I’d guess the pieces are Caleb Jones for one of Kapanen, Johnsson, or Kerfoot. Likely the Oil would want Kapanen. Then add as necessary to offset cap hit.

    I think I could live with something along those lines, as much as I’d love to keep Caleb.

    Though I’d prefer a young, cost controlled 3C.

  74. v4ance says:

    Honestly, I thought $2.75 mil per 2 years was fine but Woodguy laid out an expert analysis on Twitter and convinced me that $2.5 x 2 was good enough.

    ***

    It’s like we forget Maroon performed like a 1st liner beside McDavid and was a 2nd/3rd liner without

    Then Rattie was a 1st liner beside McDavid then an NHL/AHL tweener without

    Then Caggulia was a 1st liner beside McDavid then a 3rd liner without

    Now Kassian is a 1st liner beside McDavid and a 3rd liner without him.

    I don’t understand why people can’t see the pattern. The funny part is the only one who doesn’t look like a 1st liner beside McDavid is Lucic. He just suppressed offence both ways.

    ***

    Honestly I wish our GM would learn that he can make “Pump and Dump” a yearly thing. Ask the coach to play an expiring UFA on McDavid’s wing. Trade said pending UFA for a 2nd rounder instead of a 4th rounder that he’d have gotten before. Watch as opposing mainstream media wonder why the offence dried up since the trade?

  75. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bling:
    Reja,

    I would trade him. 20 teams interested? Cash in.

    I’m not sure the rest of the team would be thrilled trading him while they’re still in the hunt for playoffs.

  76. SwedishPoster says:

    Someone mentioned Lehkonen above. I think he’s a far better target than Kapanen, not as fast but still a fine skater, Kapanen has a better wrister but Lehkonen imo is smarter, better defensively 5v5 and is likely to be cheaper since he’s yet to find the next gear offensively but he has the skill to add more in that end. I think Montreal is looking for young D so they could be a good trade partner.

    I don’t like trading Larsson for Kapanen. Larsson hasn’t found much consistency in his game after his injury but imo has shown in the games he’s been on that he can still contribute a lot. I watched a bit of a Jets game the other night and their play by play guy likened getting injured early in the season and then trying to get back with trying to get on a moving bus which I thought was fitting, just so hard to find your game when the season is at full speed. The issues he’s had this year are different than the ghost of a player he was last season. I think his good games have shown a better more mobile player who’s looking to refine his game and the bad ones have been more due to a lack of timing. He has his strengths and weaknesses and once the up and coming RHD starts to really push you can trade him but at this point it will risk putting young D in bad spots which could both kill the season and hurt their development. Much better to throw a guy like Larsson to the wolves.

  77. Ribs says:

    It’s a small item, no one will notice. At this point in January, I write the first trade deadline piece. If the Oilers are sellers, the title is “Sale on Sail on, Sailer” and if the team is a buyer, or could be a buyer, we see the title above. It’s way more fun this way.

    WAAAAAYYYY MORE FUN.

  78. v4ance says:

    innercitysmytty:
    I find it pretty interesting how people chastise a GM over a deal that is not even signed yet. Bob is certainly a mouthpiece for the organization but I think it’s far from a guarantee that he knows the exact deal that will be signed. I agree fully that if Zack likes it here and is in a great situation he should be taking a discount and not being overpaid ie 2×2 or something is more than fair. But maybe let the deal actually be signed and the ink dry before tarring and feathering a GM who recently signed a nice piece on the backend to a very team friendly deal.

    We’re chastising Holland because if the leaked details of the pending contract are correct, it reveals that our GM hasn’t used analytics to improve his decision making. Using old school “wisdom” and gut instincts is no way to run a multi-million dollar operation but that’s what the evidence is pointing to…

    We are cap maxed and we need to make good decisions repeatedly to make the most efficient use of cap dollars. The more bad contracts, the less flexibly we can assemble a competitive roster. Just look at this past offseason! When Holland couldn’t afford Connelly or Burakovsky, he had to make multiple low dollar gambles on guys like Granlund, Haas, Nygard, etc.

  79. Munny says:

    BRING ME TYLER ENNIS!

    this all-star break, plse ‘n thx.

  80. Andy Dufresne says:

    +1 Great post.

    I may be one of Kassian’s bigest fans / supporter on htis site.

    And i agree with everything in this post.

  81. Andy Dufresne says:

    I agree with everything Arch@Archaeologuy says about the Kassian contract.

    I would still pay him a $2.5 AAV even if it meant giving him term

    $3m $3m $2.5m $1.5m ….. $10m for 4 years

    It would not be a disaster to let him walk at anything more than 3×3

    Holland definitley has the leverage here IMO. I hope he plays hardball. Take it to the summer if you have to.

    He’s done a great job so far in moving out a bad anchor / almost untradable contract and of signing a promising young Dman to a team friendly contract. This is a different kettle of fish. Not overpaying a veteran player.

    At the right price $2.5 AVV Kassian is part of the solution.

    We wait.

  82. Andy Dufresne says:

    +1 And I even think you are being conservative here in assessing his value to the team.

  83. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Someone mentioned Lehkonen above. I think he’s a far better target than Kapanen, not as fast but still a fine skater, Kapanen has a better wrister but Lehkonen imo is smarter, better defensively 5v5 and is likely to be cheaper since he’s yet to find the next gear offensively but he has the skill to add more in that end. I think Montreal is looking for young D so they could be a good trade partner.

    I don’t like trading Larsson for Kapanen. Larsson hasn’t found much consistency in his game after his injury but imo has shown in the games he’s been on that he can still contribute a lot. I watched a bit of a Jets game the other night and their play by play guy likened getting injured early in the season and then trying to get back with trying to get on a moving bus which I thought was fitting, just so hard to find your game when the season is at full speed. The issues he’s had this year are different than the ghost of a player he was last season. I think his good games have shown a better more mobile player who’s looking to refine his game and the bad ones have been more due toa lack of timing. He has his strengths and weaknesses and once the up and coming RHD starts to really push you can trade him but at this point it will risk putting young D in bad spots which could both kill the season and hurt their development. Much better to throw a guy like Larsson to the wolves.

    Get em to throw in Armia while we’re at it! I’d throw a deal sending Puljujarvi and a D prospect in a package with some cap going back (Gagner or Chiasson) for those two. Might even be worth exploring the cost for Domi while we’re there!

  84. Ryan says:

    v4ance: likes it

    Good posts.

    I don’t have the energy to fight the good fight here over looming bad contracts.

    I will reiterate that last season before he started playing with Connor, Kassian had 4 points in 41 games (Kassian himself had only played 38, due to healthy scratches). That’s when his agent got permission to talk to other teams about a trade.

    4 points in half a season playing in the bottom six. Healthy scratched.

    Even in a best case scenario, factoring in regression of this seasons shooting percent, player aging curves, and Kassian eventually getting replaced on Connor’s wing and falling out of the top six, Kassian’s next contract will be a disaster. Given that his next contract won’t likely be in the best case scenario, it’ll likely be worse.

    I had previously remarked that Holland would have been better as a POHO with a more progressive analytical minded GM under him.

  85. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Perhaps Strome without Lucic and/or Puljujarvi and/or bottom 6 players in general is a different animal?

    Perhaps. But the Stromes tend to play amazingly well with top talent and poorly without it.

  86. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    v4ance:
    Honestly, I thought $2.75 mil per 2 years was fine but Woodguy laid out an expert analysis on Twitter and convinced me that $2.5 x 2 was good enough.

    ***

    It’s like we forget Maroon performed like a 1st liner beside McDavid and was a 2nd/3rd liner without

    Then Rattie was a 1st liner beside McDavid then an NHL/AHL tweener without

    Then Caggulia was a 1st liner beside McDavid then a 3rd liner without

    Now Kassian is a 1st liner beside McDavid and a 3rd liner without him.

    I don’t understand why people can’t see the pattern.The funny part is the only one who doesn’t look like a 1st liner beside McDavid is Lucic.He just suppressed offence both ways.

    ***

    Honestly I wish our GM would learn that he can make “Pump and Dump” a yearly thing.Ask the coach to play an expiring UFA on McDavid’s wing.Trade said pending UFA for a 2nd rounder instead of a 4th rounder that he’d have gotten before. Watch as opposing mainstream media wonder why the offence dried up since the trade?

    Seriously. It is so obvious to basically everyone. Be the man KH, hold steady….

  87. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Someone mentioned Lehkonen above. I think he’s a far better target than Kapanen, not as fast but still a fine skater, Kapanen has a better wrister but Lehkonen imo is smarter, better defensively 5v5 and is likely to be cheaper since he’s yet to find the next gear offensively but he has the skill to add more in that end. I think Montreal is looking for young D so they could be a good trade partner.

    I don’t like trading Larsson for Kapanen. Larsson hasn’t found much consistency in his game after his injury but imo has shown in the games he’s been on that he can still contribute a lot. I watched a bit of a Jets game the other night and their play by play guy likened getting injured early in the season and then trying to get back with trying to get on a moving bus which I thought was fitting, just so hard to find your game when the season is at full speed. The issues he’s had this year are different than the ghost of a player he was last season. I think his good games have shown a better more mobile player who’s looking to refine his game and the bad ones have been more due toa lack of timing. He has his strengths and weaknesses and once the up and coming RHD starts to really push you can trade him but at this point it will risk putting young D in bad spots which could both kill the season and hurt their development. Much better to throw a guy like Larsson to the wolves.

    Barring any long-term injury, Larsson’s value to this team next year is going to very substantial. Veteran RHD. And it is next year and the following years where this team should really be able to push as a serious contender. This year is about sorting out the pieces and making the playoffs and getting a taste of that and some more playoff experience.

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