The Heart of Saturday Night

On New Year’s Day, the Edmonton Oilers owned a record of 21-17-4, good for 46 points. The team goal differential was -7.

Today, after a stunning 5-1-1 romp through the heart of January, these Oilers are 26-18-5, have 57 points and own a playoff spot at the All-Star break. Goal differential? +1. That’s a strong run.

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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Josh Archibald, Riley Sheahan show the upward trend of Ken Holland’s offseason moves for the Oilers
  • New Lowetide: Post-Christmas performance spike has Evan Bouchard pushing for an NHL job with the Oilers
  • Lowetide:  Central Scouting’s midseason list offers Oilers some strong draft options
  • onathan Willis: The Oilers’ road forward — and perhaps to a Stanley Cup — requires trusting the kids on defence
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers make a smart two-year bet on Caleb Jones, who has done nothing but improve
  • 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
  • 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: 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.
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s trade deadline options for the Oilers
  • 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

OILERS AFTER 49 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 19-25-5, 43 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 26-15-8, 60 points; goal differential +10
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 22-24-3, 47 points; goal differential -29
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 23-23-3, 49 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 26-18-5, 57 points; goal differential +1

Music! Out of the blue and into the black! Edmonton’s goal differentials in the previous two seasons were ghastly and poor respectively. I know +1 doesn’t seem like something worth celebrating, but this club has climbed from a few miles back over the last 50 days.

ON THE TENS

  • First 10 games: 7-2-1
  • Second 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Third 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Fourth 10 games: 3-6-1
  • Current 10 games: 6-2-1 

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 3-2-2, eight points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in January 2017: 4-3-0, eight points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in January 2018: 3-4-0, six points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in January 2019: 4-3-0, eight points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in January 2020: 5-1-1, 11 points; goal differential +7

The best January record in the McDavid era so far and it isn’t close. What a welcome mid-season kicker.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN JANUARY

  • On the road to: BUF, BOS, TOR, MTL, CAL (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 3-1-1)
  • At home to: NAS, ARI, CAL, STL (Expected 1-2-1) (2-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 3-4-2, eight points in nine games
  • Current results: 5-1-111 points in seven games

Oilers made a mockery of my projections. I work on these things, you know. In fact, I had it 3-5-1 before changing my mind. Wow. Beyond impressed.

OILERS 2019-20

Yesterday’s game allowed depth players like Sheahan and Archibald to get their boxcars healthy in a hurry, and we’re at the All-Star break with two men at 27 goals and three more with a chance to hit 20 goals on the season. Edmonton’s 155 goals ranks No. 11 overall. The 153 goals against ranks No. 18 among the 31 teams. All numbers five on five unless noted and via NST.

LINE 1 James Neal-Connor McDavid-Josh Archibald played 9:54, going 12-6 Corsi, 4-3 shots, 1-0 goals and 3-2 HDSC.

James Neal had an assist, two HDSC, drew a penalty and had a takeaway. He played well. Connor McDavid scored a goal, plus another on the PP, and was brilliant and fast as always. Such a pleasure to watch him play the game. Josh Archibald had an assist and a takeaway, plus a shorthanded goal and another even-strength goal that wasn’t five on five. This line isn’t an obvious trio, but it works. Archibald’s pass to McDavid on 97’s second goal was lovely.

LINE 2 RNH-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 11:43, going 15-8 Corsi, 10-5 shots, 1-0 goals and 3-2 HDSC. Moving Nuge to LW and recalling Yamamoto has turned this line into some kind of forechecking monster. It’s like three spring-loaded Dave Keons hit the ice in unison. I cannot tell you how much I love this line. Seriously.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had an assist and a HDSC, plus a power-play helper. He had some good looks, Nuge’s shot has some real torque on it this year. Leon Draisaitl had the work boots on and still found the soft hands of an elite playmaker while grabbing two assists (one five on five, one PP). Fantastic player. Kailer Yamamoto scored a goal and contested everything, he’s tireless and won’t give up on anything. Best recall in memory.

LINE 3 Joakim Nygard-Riley Sheahan-Patrick Russell played 9:31, getting caved 2-8 Corsi, 1-6 shots, 1-1 goals and no high dangers.

Joakim Nygard scored a wicked goal, helluva shot. He had two HDSC and two takeaways. A bullet train. Riley Sheahan had his best game as an Oilers player, maybe best ever. Two assists, four takeaways, won nine of 11 in the circle. Added a PK assist and an EN goal, going 1-3-4 on the night. He looks nothing like the player we saw the first two months of the season. Composed, intelligent, effective. Patrick Russell fanned on Sheahan’s pass, leaving it to Nygard to blast it home. Russell was the quiet one on the night.

LINE 4 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiason played 8:52, going 4-10 Corsi, 0-4 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC.

Sam Gagner scored a goal, took a penalty and had a giveaway. Good to see him get a goal, it had been some time (15 games). Gaetan Haas had a giveaway, a takeaway and won four of nine faceoffs. He is also now part of the PK rotation. What an impressive season for him. Alex Chiasson played a pedestrian game at five on five but was noticeable on the power play.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 17:07, going 22-16 Corsi, 10-11 shots, 3-0 goals, 4-3 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had a shot on goal and played a calm, mostly low event game. Ethan Bear had four shots, three giveaways, drew a penalty, made a poor pinch that resulted in a goal that was called back on offside. His passing hasn’t been as prevalent as it was earlier, but his defending is solid.

PAIRING TWO Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson played 12:22, going 10-11 Corsi, 6-7 shots, no goals and 4-2 HDSC.

Oscar Klefbom saved a goal when Mike Smith went walkabout just before Gagner’s goal. Oscar had two shots, one HDSC and blocked a shot that hurt like hell and caused heartache all over Central Alberta. Adam Larsson was pure filth, that game he played was straight out of 1975. Two penalties, could have been double.

PAIRING THREE Kris Russell and Caleb Jones played 13:04, going 5-12 Corsi, 3-4 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-0 HDSC.

Kris Russell had a giveaway and a couple of blocked shots, plus a PK assist. Strong on the puck to start the Archibald goal. Caleb Jones is starting to get comfortable, and on two occasions bailed himself out of possible danger. He’s coming along. Gave too much Clearance Clarance on the Hall goal that got Arizona going, needs to tighten up there like Archie Bell.

GOALIE Mike Smith had some wild moments, the walkabout on the Klefbom goal was highly unnecessary and he placed the puck in poor places (third goal) a few times. Stopped 27 of 30, .900. He’s on a roll and that’s good. There’s a lot of adventure in his game.

CONDORS 2019-29

William Lagesson got sent down last night, Condors have plenty of games ahead and they can use him. I wrote about Evan Bouchard yesterday (it is here) and the excellent progress he is making. The post-Christmas numbers are quality. Also, check out Markus Granlund, that’s a player who wants back in to the NHL. Condors play Monday, I’ll be drilling down on that roster tomorrow.

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200 Responses to "The Heart of Saturday Night"

  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    19/20
    EDM Goal Share after 49 games (26-18-5)

    Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
    McDavid On Ice 50-44 (53%)
    McDavid Off Ice 49-69 (42%)
    Net EV = -14

    Sp. Teams (PP+SH For–PK+SH Against)
    45-32
    Net ST +14

    Empty Net
    11-10
    Net EN=+1

    SO & PS
    2-2
    SO & PS=Even

    Net Goal Differential = +1

    Good night for the 5v5 McHeyHey Offs going 3-1 for a +2

    I’m off the NHL’s goaldiff of +2 and I’m not sure where it is.

    It think is has to do with PP goals that are also EN goals.

    I may have categorized one in both results.

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Central
    STL 19
    COL 12
    DAL 10

    Pacific
    VAN 9
    EDM 8
    CGY 7

    Wildcard
    WPG 6
    VGP 6

    Out of playoffs
    ARI 6
    NSH 4
    CHI 3
    MIN 2
    SJS -4
    ANA -5
    LAK -9

    -Pysankas score 2 in the last 2 minutes to salvage a point. Tying goal with 8 seconds left. *grumble*
    -Dys won, but CGY and ARI lost.
    -WPG has three less gp than VGP
    -VGP and ARI are tied in regulation wins (19) and GP (51) VGP has one more ROW and wins the tiebreak.

    Relevant games today:

    WPG (+100) at CHI (-120) – CHI is on fire having won 4 in a row and Lehner should start today as Crawford beat TOR yesterday. Not much value in the line though. My bankroll is set to “fade Hellebuyck” so we’ll see.

    CHI is 10-5-0 since Seabrook was put on Robias Island.

    That’s a .667 points percentage which is 109 point pace for a full season.

    They’re suddenly getting relevant in the wildcard chase.

    • Wonder Llama says:

      Here’s hoping we can take some comfort in your (much appreciated) daily standings as we watch other teams accumulate points over the next several days.

    • jm363561 says:

      These summaries are always appreciated and, to my eye, are the best way to present the standings. A quick question – I do not get “WC standings using points percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500”. Isn’t it just “points under / over games played”?

      The Oilers were +6 after eight games. 41 games later they are +8. Man, that fast start (fuelled by Connor and Drai playing monster minutes) was crucial. Similarly, this latest 6-1-1 run. The team looked dead in the water at the end of the year. The Tippet reset, particularly the second line, has been amazing so far.

      • Woodguy v2.0 says:

        I could say “over/under games played” but saying “fake Bettman .500” is always satisfying to type.

        The league making some games randomly worth 3 points while the rest are worth 2 points is a scourge upon the NHL.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Metropolitan
    WSH 22
    PIT 17
    NYI 13

    Atlantic
    BOS 19
    TBY 14
    FLA 10

    Wildcard
    CAR 9
    CBJ 9

    Out of playoffs
    PHI 9
    TOR 8
    NYR 4
    BUF 2
    MTL 1
    OTT -6
    NJD -7
    DET -21

    -You can hear the angst in TOR from here. No Reilly or Muzzin is killing them.
    -Jack Adams has his team in a wildcard spot.
    -CAR has one less gp than CBJ or PHI
    -CBJ has 2 more regulation wins (19 vs 17) than PHI

    Relevant wildcard games today:

    NYI (+160) at CAR (-180) – that line seems off. NYI should be value here.

    CBJ (+105) at NYR (-125) – CBJ is on 3rd in 4 nights, 2nd of back to back, but the first 2 were at home. I think I like them at this price but its close.

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Moving Nuge to LW and recalling Yamamoto has turned this line into some kind of forechecking monster. It’s like three spring-loaded Dave Keons hit the ice in unison. I cannot tell you how much I love this line. Seriously.

    That’s some fine typing there sir.

  5. dessert1111 says:

    I hope Archibald’s recent success impacts the Kassian number. Anything more than 3×3 I’d walk, and I think even that is too much.

    Hopefully the numbers Spector leaked is the old trick to make the base happier when it ends up being a lower number.

    • Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes says:

      I agree. So Kassian has wheels, but his career was also resurrected in Edmonton, how many teams would actually want to risk signing him? I would think there wouldn’t be much interest.

      It is absolutely to ZK’s advantage to re-sign in E-Town, this is the team that gave him the chance to redeem himself and he’s seen how his best buddy has fared (Cup win not withstanding) since he’s left Edmonton.

      I think anything over $2.85 x 3 is nuts, but it sounds like he will be getting closer to $4 x 4…..

  6. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    I have a feeling that 5 teams in the pacific division are going to be playing leap frog in the standings for a few more months. I don’t see a distinct advantage to any of the 5. It will come down to consistency, injuries, bounces and the horrendous officiating that is currently being displayed in the NHL.

    • Jethro Tull says:

      People have been equating this parity to a weak division.

      These teams have been making hay against the rest of the league.

      Great in division win yesterday. Now for the Phlegms.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Udpated EDM’s 5v5 goal share with McDavid on with any winger for 50+min since McHeyHey was a rookie:

    With GF% With
    Josh Archibald 80.0
    Mike Cammalleri 77.8
    Ryan Strome 75.0
    Jujhar Khaira 61.5
    Jesse Puljujarvi 61.5
    Taylor Hall 60.0
    Patrick Maroon 59.6
    Jordan Eberle 57.1
    Milan Lucic 57.0
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 56.5
    Leon Draisaitl 55.3
    Nail Yakupov 54.2
    Zack Kassian 53.7
    Drake Caggiula 53.1
    Anton Slepyshev 52.9
    Alex Chiasson 52.6
    James Neal 50.0
    Ty Rattie 50.0
    Benoit Pouliot 47.5
    Kailer Yamamoto 40.0

    nOt EvErYoNe CaN pLaY wItH mCdAvId

    Poor Kailer. They killed the fancies, got some saves but only a 3.3% SH% giving then a 955 PDO. That would regress in a hurry if (when) he’s up with 97 again.

    In case you’re wondering, here’s the 5v5 TOI with each of these players (in the same order as the GF%)

    With TOI With
    Josh Archibald 70.2
    Mike Cammalleri 94.1
    Ryan Strome 58.4
    Jujhar Khaira 121.9
    Jesse Puljujarvi 407.8
    Taylor Hall 76.0
    Patrick Maroon 1392.6
    Jordan Eberle 778.6
    Milan Lucic 970.0
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 629.1
    Leon Draisaitl 2509.0
    Nail Yakupov 205.7
    Zack Kassian 1133.0
    Drake Caggiula 355.2
    Anton Slepyshev 128.2
    Alex Chiasson 330.4
    James Neal 195.3
    Ty Rattie 402.9
    Benoit Pouliot 336.7
    Kailer Yamamoto 159.2

    • BONE207 says:

      So you are saying bring back Luc. Got it.

      Btw…thanks for your good work with this. Always a fun read. Our children is learning!!!

    • jm363561 says:

      Maybe try Kailer again – he is currently shooting 30%! Admittedly only three goals, one being an EN, another where the goalie helpfully knocked the puck into his own net. Still,

  8. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Granlund is playing like a house on fire. Clearly prefers business class to coach.
    If he keeps up with his new found motivation, what should the team do? Keep him for depth, bring him up and waive PRussell or JJ, or trade him to another team looking for forward depth heading down the stretch and into the playoffs? HE has experience and versatility in positions for a bottom 6 and not a horribly expensive contract…what could that get… a 4th round draft pick in 2021? A true AHL-level goalie?

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Very good question.

      Trade him for any pick you can get.

      Granlund and Gagner are similar in that they give away more than they get. Net negative players who are not part of the solution.

      Not that valuable as role players. Not like Sheahan and Archie etc…imo

  9. jake70 says:

    McDavid and Drai are not leaking goals against. December was bad (or in Trumpanese…bad bad bad) not sure if it’s KY or more the fact they are centering their own lines. A combination of these and other things probably the cause. They seem to be backchecking with purpose lately, not just to make it back to the D zone.

  10. unca miltie says:

    Planning to attend to my second Condors game of the season tomorrow. It will be nice to see how much Bouchard has improved. My last game, I was worried about his defence. I liked Sammy & Mcleod last time, excited to see them again as well. Good news for me, it is only an hour and half drive to Ontario rather that the 4 and a half to Bakersfield, so I will get a round of golf in before I go.

  11. hunter1909 says:

    Just checked the ESPN standings for the only honest to goodness Standings update that matters which is:

    Wild Card Positions…

    Oilers host the calgary Falames in the most anticipated freaking NHL playoff since the wheel was invented.

    Do any of you agree?

  12. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s 2020 Death March Update:

    We at the Death March™ want everyone to enjoy their experience as they get dragged and generally nagged through the Austrian countryside etc.

    So far we are curating spreadsheet level(!) stuff for our site…but as always we want to provide the ultimate experience for our many fans and fiends and so with this in mind…

    With the recent Harpers Hair + other contentious stuff circulating does this make anyone feel that Death March™ can use a message board?

    Yeah or Nay

    : p

    PS: Death March™ has got Harper’s Hair in good standing as being one of our current players, and as such he will be most welcome to spew anything he likes once the board is operational.

  13. Louis Levasseur says:

    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter because McDavid buried the puck on the 2 on 1 with Archibald, but did anybody else think there was some fairly major interference on him in the neutral zone before he was able to pull away?

    It amazes me that they call all kinds of tikky takky stuff but when it comes to McDavid they turn a blind eye. Somehow the test for hooking is “if the stick is parallel to the ice and touches an opposing player”. Often times there isn’t even a “hook”. In the case with McDavid, they might as well put a slalom course on the ice as they ski behind him.

  14. 90s fan says:

    Credit to our past GMs

    1. Lowe: pronger, rollason, game 7
    2. Tambellini: the man who steered us to 3 1st overalls.
    3. MacT: THE number 1 pick.
    4. Pete: execution of THE #1.
    5. Pete: having the staff to land us several players that would become useful on today’s team
    6. Holland: filling 7 forward gaps with non NHL prospect players
    7. Holland and Tippet: placing players in a place for success.

    What a strange winding circular road the las 13 years have been. Maybe we’ve finally turned off onto some other road that leads somewhere else….

  15. hunter1909 says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter because McDavid buried the puck on the 2 on 1 with Archibald, but did anybody else think there was some fairly major interference on him in the neutral zone before he was able to pull away?

    It amazes me that they call all kinds of tikky takky stuff but when it comes to McDavid they turn a blind eye.Somehow the test for hooking is “if the stick is parallel to the ice and touches an opposing player”.Often times there isn’t even a “hook”.In the case with McDavid, they might as well put a slalom course on the ice as theyski behind him.

    A few quadrillian years ago there used to be a player named Bobby Orr who played so far above everyone else’s level that the refs had no choice but to watch him get hooked speared and shaken out of the league inside 10 years.

    Insane great players(like the one we currently have lol) have to take stick and this is one of the reasons “Mr. Hockey” can top any list made since the dawn of creation and win it hands down with 20 straight years of top 5 scoring finishes.

  16. russ99 says:

    With the trade deadline a little over a month away, and how the second line has gelled, does the plan now change to get Connor a better scoring left wing, and move Neil and Archibald onto a third line with a new center?

  17. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Udpated EDM’s 5v5 goal share with McDavid on with any winger for 50+min since McHeyHey was a rookie:

    WithGF% With
    Josh Archibald80.0
    Mike Cammalleri77.8
    Ryan Strome75.0
    Jujhar Khaira61.5
    Jesse Puljujarvi61.5
    Taylor Hall60.0
    Patrick Maroon59.6
    Jordan Eberle57.1
    Milan Lucic57.0
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins56.5
    Leon Draisaitl55.3
    Nail Yakupov54.2
    Zack Kassian53.7
    Drake Caggiula53.1
    Anton Slepyshev52.9
    Alex Chiasson52.6
    James Neal50.0
    Ty Rattie50.0
    Benoit Pouliot47.5
    Kailer Yamamoto40.0

    nOt EvErYoNe CaN pLaY wItH mCdAvId

    Poor Kailer.They killed the fancies, got some saves but only a 3.3% SH% giving then a 955 PDO.That would regress in a hurry if (when) he’s up with 97 again.

    In case you’re wondering, here’s the 5v5 TOI with each of these players (in the same order as the GF%)

    WithTOI With
    Josh Archibald70.2
    Mike Cammalleri94.1
    Ryan Strome58.4
    Jujhar Khaira121.9
    Jesse Puljujarvi407.8
    Taylor Hall76.0
    Patrick Maroon1392.6
    Jordan Eberle778.6
    Milan Lucic970.0
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins629.1
    Leon Draisaitl2509.0
    Nail Yakupov205.7
    Zack Kassian1133.0
    Drake Caggiula355.2
    Anton Slepyshev128.2
    Alex Chiasson330.4
    James Neal195.3
    Ty Rattie402.9
    Benoit Pouliot336.7
    Kailer Yamamoto159.2

    I take your point. Anyone can play with McDavid.

    But I struggle to understand how given these metrics, you wouldnt play Khaira on the top line?

    Can you help me to undestand?

    • Woodguy v2.0 says:

      I’d ask Tippett, McLelland and Hitch as I honestly don’t know.

      My guess is that McDavid time is Cherry Time so only the players who are playing away from the puck like the coach wants gets those minutes.

  18. Oilman99 says:

    90s fan,

    Credit to Holland for getting this train out of the ditch Pete put them in that was so deep, it looked like ten more years of hell.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      +1

      And yet it still feels like “the next signing” will tell us who he is. Always the next signing

      Is like, we all have PTSD (where the P is for Pete), and we’re just wiating for that one bad deal shoe to drop.

      Will it be overpaying Kassian? Trading for the wrong guy? other?

  19. godot10 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    Out of playoffs
    ARI6
    NSH4
    CHI3
    MIN2
    SJS-4
    ANA-5
    LAK-9

    Thoroughly mediocre coaching is “triumphing” over dementoring!

    Kovalchuk can still play hockey. Who knew? Certainly not #ThoroughlyMediocreCoach.

    Rob Blake is going to eventually tell the Kroenke what he’s paying this guy $5 million for the next five years.

    Under Sutter, every goaltender touched by Ranford turned to gold. Under McLellan, Ranford’s goaltenders turn to lead.

  20. godot10 says:

    Some advice for Ken Holland on Zack Kassian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11Y987Uf1wY

    • godot10 says:

      The Oilers are not going to play Kassian on McDavid’s wing for the next four years. So they shouldn’t pay him like they will. Kassian is a bottom six winger who cannot PK.

  21. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Top 2 lines and bottom six results from Dec 31st – today

    GF%
    McDavid On 63.6%
    RNH On 72.7%
    Both Off 42.1%

    That top 6 is nutty. Who knew that having your top two lines outscore would be good for your results?

    CF%
    McDavid On 54.0%
    RNH On 46.2%
    Both Off 40.7%

    Note: EDM has been leading for ~45% of the TOI in this sample so the shot share will be skewed that way

    SH%
    McDavid On 9.5%
    RNH On 13.6%
    Both Off 14.6%

    Bottom 6 on a heater here. McDavid below his long term average by ~3%.

    SV%
    McDavid On .936
    RNH On .948
    Both Off .869

    Two heaters and cold streak. Some of this is defensive ability. Not having the other team’s top 2 lines shoot over 7% is pretty handy.

    PDO
    McDavid On 1030
    RNH On 1084
    Both Off 1015

    1030 is pretty much McDavid’s long term PDO, but its usually driven more by SH% than SV%.

    RNH’s line on a monumental heater. Ride that PDO pony until it bucks you off!!

    Bottom 6 shooting like a bunch of Fancy Dans is out weighing their defending like Hind Bananas.

    Running a 1015 PDO with a 42.1% GF is pretty bad.

  22. leadfarmer says:

    I’m happy that Tippett subscribed to the leadfarmer school of player development
    Don’t call a top 6 f prospect up and stick him on reps with plugs and watch the skill die
    Play them with skilled players
    The second line is a force right now

  23. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10: Thoroughly mediocre coaching is “triumphing” over dementoring!

    Kovalchuk can still play hockey.Who knew?Certainly not #ThoroughlyMediocreCoach.

    Rob Blake is going to eventually tell the Kroenke what he’s paying this guy $5 million for the next five years.

    Under Sutter, every goaltender touched by Ranford turned to gold.Under McLellan, Ranford’s goaltenders turn to lead.

    ANA is ahead of LAK, you have it backwards.

    Sutter having a much younger and healthier Quick was a thing.

    Its bad that LAK didn’t realize what they had in Kuemper, he did put up a .932 with them that year.

    You could say the same with MIN, but Doobie was peak Doobie at the time.

    Early returns on Kovy in MTL are pretty good. He was an absolute drag in LAK, the worst in the league. Let’s watch this for a while before declaring anything though.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Oilman99:
    90s fan,

    Credit to Holland for getting this train out of the ditch Pete put them in that was so deep, it looked like ten more years of hell.

    Post winner of the day.

  25. Woogie63 says:

    Holland should’t accept that Connor goes into his second play-offs with two – “third line players” on his wings.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      unfortunately….every time he considers a purchase…his credit card gets declined. Next year his credit limit gets increased. 🙂

  26. Silver Streak says:

    We made the drive up for the game yesterday. My Son and I..his treat for the old guys big birthday. Ice district never ceases to amaze me…feels like a newer, modern and taller version of Calgary….Remember when City admin fought and argued for 10 years over this…yes, Katz made money…but OMG look what we have to enjoy !
    Highlight of the game for us was a non scoring play: 9:02 of the 2nd period….Oilers PP moves up into the neutral zone with 4 skaters, just at the O Zone blue….Mc D comes late as often happens…..BUT this time he is way back…like the entire neutral zone back… he is so far back you couldn’t see this on TV..only the later portion….but he is at 54 mph…no one is anywhere near him but poor #33 -Goligowski…who looks up, sees the fast train, and promptly tries to turn, craps his drawers, twists his feet into pretzels, and actually falls into a heap of shame. Conner blew by and no goal resulted. One more notch in McDavid`s pistol handle…..what a beauty as ” Grapes ” is found of saying.

  27. Richard Roma says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    WC standings using points percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

    Central
    STL19
    COL12
    DAL10

    Pacific
    VAN9
    EDM8
    CGY7

    Wildcard
    WPG6
    VGP6

    Out of playoffs
    ARI6
    NSH4
    CHI3
    MIN2
    SJS-4
    ANA-5
    LAK-9

    -Pysankas score 2 in the last 2 minutes to salvage a point.Tying goal with 8 seconds left. *grumble*
    -Dys won, but CGY and ARI lost.
    -WPG has three less gp than VGP
    -VGP and ARI are tied in regulation wins (19) and GP (51) VGP has one more ROW and wins the tiebreak.

    Relevant games today:

    WPG (+100) at CHI (-120) – CHI is on fire having won 4 in a row and Lehner should start today as Crawford beat TOR yesterday.Not much value in the line though. My bankroll is set to “fade Hellebuyck” so we’ll see.

    CHI is 10-5-0 since Seabrook was put on Robias Island.

    That’s a .667 points percentage which is 109 point pace for a full season.

    They’re suddenly getting relevant in the wildcard chase.

    I’m not accustomed to paying very close attention to the standings this time of year.

    The Pacific / Western conference looks like Bettman nirvana.

    Is this unusually close for this time of year?

    4 points between first in Pacific and out of the playoffs…

    A single point separating first in the Pacific to the last wildcard slot…

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Yes. Yes it is.

      Especially the part where three Canadian teams are at the top of the Pacific Division and three California teams are at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean

      Why? I blame San Andreas.

      I think its his fault. 🙂

    • Woodguy v2.0 says:

      Usually a team or two is in double digits by now.

      Its the Cult of Mediocrity.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    What a fun day and evening that was yesterday.

    Damn you Habs, you did your job for 58:30 and then pulled an Oilers-like collapse and, you, SJS, you are useless. Oh well, a great day nonetheless.

    Lets leave Evan Bouchard in the AHL for the season, please and thank you. Let his ELC slide and we’ll have three immense value years in the NHL at $900K (up to $1.6M with bonuses).

    Does anyone actually imagine Ken Holland, of all people, call up the 20 year old rookie d-man for a playoff stretch – when his organization has 9 NHL ready d-men ahead of him (including Benning and Lagesson)?

  29. JimmyV1965 says:

    Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes:
    I agree.So Kassian has wheels, but his career was also resurrected in Edmonton, how many teams would actually want to risk signing him?I would think there wouldn’t be much interest.

    It is absolutely to ZK’s advantage to re-sign in E-Town, this is the team that gave him the chance to redeem himself and he’s seen how his best buddy has fared (Cup win not withstanding) since he’s left Edmonton.

    I think anything over $2.85 x 3 is nuts, but it sounds like he will be getting closer to $4 x 4…..

    We might not like the idea of Kassian signing for something like $3.5 x 4, but it will almost certainly happen in free agency. Some team will get pushed around in the playoffs and think Kassian is the answer.

    • Richard Roma says:

      I’d like to at least see a three year term on the contract.

      • Richard Roma says:

        Sorry that’s not very clear.

        What I meant was, I’d like to see Kassian get a three-year contract as opposed to a longer contract.

        Three years with no trade protection would mitigate the damage.

  30. tileguy says:

    What is the feeling on Mike Smiths goalering? Does he get the next start against you know who? Is he the new #1 because the coach and gym are familiar with him? Do we need to worry about Mikko and his confidence if he is being overlooked? And finally can you use the “ride the hot hand” excuse even after a 10 day layoff?

    • Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes says:

      I would start Smith. I wouldn’t worry at all about Koski, he’s the definition of a pro and I think so much rest will benefit him immensely.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      All interesting questions.

      Its like it was in November…in one way….Tippet could start either Goalie and not be wrong.

      Besides Smiths hot streak, this is good in so many ways. I think Koskinen is menatlly strong. And a well rested Koskinen plays better.

      Plus the whole rationale from the begininng was that each goalie would feed off each other / push each other in a healthy manner. Which to this point is exactly whats happening. Koskinen must be both relishing the teams winning streak while at the same time be chomping at the bit to get back in the net and wrestle the starters job back from Smith.

      I trust Tippett to read the room and choose wisely.

      If we were going on my limited knowledge, I’d start Smith against teams that are better than us and Koskinen against teams that are inferior to us. Trying to build Koskinens confidence. Would do the same in reverse if Koskinen was hot and Smith was watching.

      I suspect Smith is viewed as the starter right now and as such, I expect he gets the start in the next game.

  31. godot10 says:

    Richard Roma: I’m not accustomed to paying very close attention to the standings this time of year.

    The Pacific / Western conference looks like Bettman nirvana.

    Is this unusually close for this time of year?

    4 points between first in Pacific and out of the playoffs…

    A single point separating first in the Pacific to the last wildcard slot…

    It would be just as close if they made all games three point games, (3 for a regulation win, 2 for an OT/SO win, one point for an OT/SO loss, no points for a regulation loss), and the teams that are currently out of it, would still have a change to come back, unlike under the current Bettman point system.

    The Premier League is always close in the middle, and they don’t have the 2 point.

    Inter-conference games would also be more highly contested when they are close. Right now they just play for the tie and the Bettman point.

  32. JimmyV1965 says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter because McDavid buried the puck on the 2 on 1 with Archibald, but did anybody else think there was some fairly major interference on him in the neutral zone before he was able to pull away?

    It amazes me that they call all kinds of tikky takky stuff but when it comes to McDavid they turn a blind eye.Somehow the test for hooking is “if the stick is parallel to the ice and touches an opposing player”.Often times there isn’t even a “hook”.In the case with McDavid, they might as well put a slalom course on the ice as theyski behind him.

    What’s even worse is they called McDavid for interference when he was actually the one who was interfered with. McDavid called for a penalty when he actually drew a penalty. They gave us a makeup call shortly later, but the Yotes scored on that PP. If we lost that game by one goal, this place would be wild

  33. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: We might not like the idea of Kassian signing for something like $3.5 x 4, but it will almost certainly happen in free agency. Some team will get pushed around in the playoffs and think Kassian is the answer.

    Let another team make the mistake. Your logic is that the Oilers should make the blunder because someone else is going to give Kassian a Lucic/Ladd/Neal contract.

  34. Andy Dufresne says:

    Speaking of San Andreas Fault:

    California is… under the sea
    In an octopus’s garden throwing shade
    Todd’ed let us in, knows where we’ve been
    Below water for more than a decade

    Eakins team swarms, below the storm
    Choppin water/carryin wood, beneath the waves
    Deboor’s resting his head, on the sea bed
    In an octopus’s garden, as his team caves

    We can be so happy you and me
    No one hear to tell us we will lose

    Now DeBoor is in ….the City of Sin
    A desert town, high above the waves
    Oh what joys, for Canadian girls and boys
    Knowing that, our playoff dreams are safe

    We can be so happy you and me
    No one hear to tell us we will lose

    Becaaaause…..

    Bang Bang Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
    Came down upon their heads…
    Doo Do Doo Do..
    Harpers Hair, Verdad and Cassandra
    Are all on…. the ocean bed*

    OH YEAH YEAH YEAAAAH..

    * dont worry…they’re all fine….its so much easier to move the goalposts when you have 8 tentacles at your diposal.

  35. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    19/20
    EDM Goal Share after 49 games (26-18-5)

    Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
    McDavid On Ice 50-44 (53%)
    McDavid Off Ice 49-69 (42%)
    Net EV = -14

    Sp. Teams (PP+SH For–PK+SH Against)
    45-32
    Net ST +14

    Empty Net
    11-10
    Net EN=+1

    SO & PS
    2-2
    SO & PS=Even

    Net Goal Differential = +1

    Good night for the 5v5 McHeyHey Offs going 3-1 for a +2

    I’m off the NHL’s goaldiff of +2 and I’m not sure where it is.

    It think is has to do with PP goals that are also EN goals.

    I may have categorized one in both results.

    What do these numbers look like since Sheahan’s line stopped getting curbstomped (early-to-mid November iirc)? December will likely skew the McDavid On numbers pretty negative, but I recall Sheahan-Archibald were something like 0-8 or something through October.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    dessert1111:
    I hope Archibald’s recent success impacts the Kassian number. Anything more than 3×3 I’d walk, and I think even that is too much.

    Hopefully the numbers Spector leaked is the old trick to make the base happier when it ends up being a lower number.

    Agree, similar to how the org leaked the $13.25M for McDavid a few weeks before he signed the $12.5M, making it more palatable, you know, being $2M more than the previous highest cap hit in league.

    Yup, $3M X 3 is about as high as I would like to go as well as that is a premium over his “non-McDavid” value – I think he’d be a solid 3rd liner that can move up and play with non-McDavid skill and should be paid as such – a bit of a premium given his “intangibles” which do matter a bit.

    I don’t think its going to come in that low and I don’t think Holland will walk.

    We will be disappointed when it comes in around the terms Spector is suggesting – it won’t cripple but it won’t help.

    We do need/want the player but, damn, I wish the McDavid premium wasn’t a doubling.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      To be clear, The numbers Spector mentioned were guesses on his part. He did not claim any inside information on the numbers; Just on the idea that the two parties were close and that a deal was likley within the next two weeks and perhaps as early as the next few days.

  37. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    jake70:
    McDavid and Drai are not leaking goals against.December was bad (or in Trumpanese…bad bad bad) not sure if it’s KY or more the fact they are centering their own lines.Acombinationof these and other things probably the cause.They seem to be backchecking with purpose lately, not just to make it back to the D zone.

    I think having a bit of rest and practise time so the coaches teachings could “sink in”

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of note, Scott Wheeler is doing his team prospect rankings at The Athletic, counting down from 31 to 1 –

    Flames come in at #26.

    Trading their first round pick for Krieder and then their 2nd for Simmonds are two things I would like to see.

  39. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10: Let another team make the mistake.Your logic is that the Oilers should make the blunder because someone else is going to give Kassian a Lucic/Ladd/Neal contract.

    Not once have I said we should pay him $3.5 x 4, because I think that would be a mistake. I’m simply refuting the notion that he should or would take less money to play here, or the idea that he should take $3 x 3 because he won’t get it elsewhere.

  40. Andy Dufresne says:

    For the 5 or 6 veterans that Holland signed to one year contracts. they were all coming to a new team, new environment, new coaches, new team-mates, new city, etc

    They are all now settled in; familiar with thier new environs and right as the real hockey gets started (push for the playoffs) They have done exceedingly well as group imo. This team is starting to gel at the right time.

    • BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

      Agreed. If the goalies are at least league average and the bottomless six can tread water in the playoffs, we could do some damage.

  41. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    JimmyV1965: Not once have I said we should pay him $3.5 x 4, because I think that would be a mistake. I’m simply refuting the notion that he should or would take less money to play here, or the idea that he should take $3 x 3 because he won’t get it elsewhere.

    Tough to say on that last point. I don’t think he will end up taking a fair contract here (either overpaid or he’ll leave), but I’m not convinced the market is crazy strong for a player coming out of this situation. GMs have historically been pretty dense in this regard so I wouldn’t bet on it, but nor am I convinced he’s gonna be as hot of a commodity and many suggest he’ll be.

  42. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    For the5 or 6 veterans that Holland signed to one year contracts. they were all coming to a new team, new environment, new coaches, new team-mates, new city, etc

    They are all now settled in; familiar with thier new environs and right as the real hockey gets started (push for the playoffs) They have done exceedingly well as group imo. This team is starting to gel at the right time.

    Yes and it begs the question “how much does he want to fiddle with the line up now?”
    I don’t mind getting some upgrades if the price is good.
    The first tinkering should be a Benson call up for at least 8 games. Then make decisions on any trade deadline acquisitions.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Holland said that he’d be take the next 10 games before making his decision as to whether to buy or sell. Did he have your idea in mind?

  43. Andy Dufresne says:

    I think that this site has the Kassian contract surrounded.

    Best case scenrio is the Analytics case that Woodguy makes 2×2.5 max. (it might have originally been 2×2.25 ?)

    For those who are somewhat nuetral on Kassian the high end seems to be 2 x 2.75

    For those who like Kassian based on other factors, The consensus comes in around 3×3 or less.

    For those who love Kassian the consenus is as much as 3 x 4m

    I myself really like Kassian. I orginally thought he was getting paid something like 3 x $2.75

    Woodguy (and others) have convinced me that letting him go at 3×3 would be wise / not a disaster.

    I personally like Kassian at an AVV of 2.5m. Anything less is value imo

    I can see him getting $3m, $3m, $2.5m, $1.5m $10m over 4 yrs AVV $2.5m which would displease many in here but would not bother me personally. (no trade protection please)

    Holland has the leverge right now. Kassian wants to stay in Edmonton. Holland should get him signed while Kassian still believes he will be playing on McDavids wing. (which may not last beyond this year…almost certainly not beyond next year)

    I could see Kassian being the Oiler that ends up in Seattle.

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Richard Roma: I’m not accustomed to paying very close attention to the standings this time of year.

    The Pacific / Western conference looks like Bettman nirvana.

    Is this unusually close for this time of year?

    4 points between first in Pacific and out of the playoffs…

    A single point separating first in the Pacific to the last wildcard slot…

    We’ve seen a few “5th to 1st with a single result” scenarios in the Pacific recently, including Oilers yesterday afternoon, but all have involved tie-breakers either before or after. Last night when Vancouver actually leapfrogged FOUR teams in a single bound is likely unprecedented anytime beyond the first ~week of the season. This is the second half for pete’s sake. The Canucks entered last night 1 point back of 4 rivals who’d all played earlier in the day, took care of business & wound up 1 point ahead of the same quartet. Absolutely unreal how tight it is.

    Except California which has settled on the ocean floor. Couldn’t happen to a nicer state.

  45. Andy Dufresne says:

    Stay Strong Ricki if you’re listening in.

    Playoffs just around the corner bud.

  46. JimmyV1965 says:

    Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: Tough to say on that last point. I don’t think he will end up taking a fair contract here (either overpaid or he’ll leave), but I’m not convinced the market is crazy strong for a player coming out of this situation. GMs have historically been pretty dense in this regard so I wouldn’t bet on it, but nor am I convinced he’s gonna be as hot of a commodity and many suggest he’ll be.

    Maybe GMs will gain a collective sense of sanity this year, but I find it highly unlikely. GMs love this player type. Maroon is used as an example, but I think it’s pretty clear he turned down a good contract. And Kassian’s speed will certainly enhance his value.

  47. JimmyV1965 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Yes and it begs the question “how much does he want to fiddle with the line up now?”
    I don’t mind getting some upgrades if the price is good.
    The first tinkering should be a Benson call up for at least 8 games. Then make decisions on any trade deadline acquisitions.

    This team absolutely needs two forwards and this strong run doesn’t change that. Gagner, Khaira, Russell need to be pushed out of the lineup. Neal, Chiasson and others need to be pushed down the lineup.

  48. Woogie63 says:

    Oilman99:
    90s fan,

    Credit to Holland for getting this train out of the ditch Pete put them in that was so deep, it looked like ten more years of hell.

    Detroit says hello

  49. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    JimmyV1965: This team absolutely needs two forwards and this strong run doesn’t change that.Gagner, Khaira, Russell need to be pushed out of the lineup.Neal, Chiasson and others need to be pushed down the lineup.

    Sure the team needs better players. All teams do. But at what cost?

  50. slopitch says:

    I wonder if Holland is shopping Kassian as well. I doubt it. But you gotta wonder what hed fetch. A 2nd or 3rd?

    Call up Benson. Bring back JP this summer and the Oilers have some cap space to play with. Even with Nurse needing a contract.

    Holland kinda punted this year. Trading Kassian and calling up Benson would be decent asset management. I like Kassian but not at 3.25×4.

  51. tileguy says:

    Kassian has been through hell and back.
    Kassian was still in hell when he joined the team.
    If Kassian became sober through the 12 step program he will also of undergone a personality change and for sure will sign a fair contract. He will not holdout due to greed and I hope Ken will use fair bargaining techniques. I like the 4 year 10Mil Contract that Andy suggested above.

    • godot10 says:

      Kassian has directly cost the Oilers two games against their dreaded foe Calgary because he is the same unreliable undisciplined player that he always was. Sobriety did NOT fix that.

    • Fuge Udvar says:

      Geez that’s a bit much saying a guy will sign on the cheap just because he had a drinking problem. Kassian dessrves what ever he can get. If some GM goes nuts and offers him 4M then he deserves every penny of it. I don’t think he owes the Oilers a thing. He’s provided full value for his contract.

  52. blainer says:

    The Ferland contract came with a NMC. Giving Kassian a NMC would be crazy and will be regretted after the 2nd year of the contract not to mention the fallout of said NMC regarding expansion.

    This contract will allow us to see if KH has learned from the shitty contracts he handed out in Detroit. IMO any NMC’s should only be given out to elite players.

  53. tileguy says:

    Take the Titans and the 7.5 points, no brainer.

  54. Fuge Udvar says:

    This Kassian contract smells like the Lucic contract. Not in dollar amount but in at the time we had recently traded for Maroon who turned out to be the Lucic we always wanted at a great price point. I see Archibald in the same way I see Maroon at that time.

    I see Kassian as a high energy, hard forechecking, complimentary winger with adept level skill. Who can play up the lineup when needed but is a solid 3rd liner if he isn’t playing with a superstar. I see Archibald as the same player at a better price point.

    I also love Kassian. I have lots of time for him at 3M. With the cap slowly rising a 3M contract is like a 2.5M only a few years ago.

    I just hope history doesn’t repeat itself and we overpay lookonh for a forward we already have on the roster

  55. JimmyV1965 says:

    tileguy:
    Kassian has been through hell and back.
    Kassian was still in hell when he joined the team.
    If Kassian became sober through the 12 step program he will also of undergone a personality change and for sure will sign a fair contract. He will not holdout due to greed and I hope Ken will use fair bargaining techniques. I like the 4 year 10Mil Contract that Andy suggested above.

    If your team offers you $10 mill, and you think $14 mill is waiting in free agency, is it greedy to turn down the lower offer?

    • godot10 says:

      Maroon foolishly thought that. But he is a lot poorer with a Stanley Cup, and maybe a 2nd this year.

    • Woodguy v2.0 says:

      Never.

      Players should maximize their earning power, their earning window is very, very short.

      Teams shouldn’t overpay their talent.

      Both of these things can co-exist.

      • Andy Dufresne says:

        +1

        The conundrum comes in defining “overpay”

        Would you pay a “premium” if the Avalanche were willing to trade you Cale Makar?

        Isnt “premium” just a fancy word for overpay?

        If the last piece of your roster “balance photo” is a 2RHD and one becomes available. It a guy you really like. He’s going to make your whole roster stronger by pushing guys into positions for which they are better suited..etc

        His market value based on advanced analytics is 6m AVV. Are you willing to pay a premium? and how much?

        Or are you going to take a pass and wait for the next opportunity?

        What if the guy isnt “ideal” but fits in your “window” as far as timing goes for building a balanced roster that contends. Are you willing to take a pass? Or are you willing to pay a “premium”?

  56. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    I guess what I am thinking, and I am not the only one, is why go shopping for a top 6 winger giving up futures when Benson may already be able to fill that role adequately this year and more so next year?
    He can’t be slower than Neal, can he? He’s not a shooter but he has the smarts and passing to be a possible fit in the top 6 if not an upgrade to the “3rd line”.

    I don’t want to see any potential high probability futures going for a rental. Any significant movement of said futures has to include a legit nhler with at least another year on their contract.

    If Benning is healthy enough to resume regular play then he or Russel (preferably the latter) could be moved at the trade deadline Perhaps in a package (JP?) for some help in top6 wing or 3C. But again not just a rental.

    In short let’s see what we have in Benso, don’t mess around too much with the lineup and don’t give away potential futures for some incremental help this year Save the movement of futures for the next few years when a deeper run in the playoffs is much more likely

  57. theDjdj says:

    I honestly think JP comes back next year and we see if he can’t take Neals/Kassians spot. He’s the big bodied player that can dig out pucks McDavid seems to play well with. Miles off JP actually being that complete 2 way style player but I do believe the bones are their in his game if the will is.

  58. JimmyV1965 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Sure the team needs better players. All teams do.But at what cost?

    We are one of a handful of teams with three or less top six forwards. Your mileage may vary, but the others include teams like the Sens, Sabres, Ducks, Devils, Kings. None of these teams are making the playoffs.

    We might defy the odds and get in because our top two players are so overwhelming good. Yama has arguably given us a fourth top six forward, but IMO it’s foolish to count on that.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have any sure fire top six forwards coming up in the near future. So my long winded answer is I will trade any type of futures to make that happen, whether it’s first round picks, later picks or top prospects. Of course, I’m not trading valuable assets unless the return is a valuable player with term.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    The Oilers are not going to play Kassian on McDavid’s wing for the next four years.So they shouldn’t pay him like they will.Kassian is a bottom six winger who cannot PK.

    Shit, I”m not so sure that Kassian should play 1RW next game – let Archie continue there, scoring has held (or even increased) and play Zack in Gagner’s spot to improve the bottom 6.

    I can’t imagine that Tip actually does this given the lame-build up that next game will have.

    • geowal says:

      One way or another I think Kassian will see some extended time in the box next game, perhaps via misconduct, so good chance Archibald sees some time there regardless.

  60. geowal says:

    Woodguy v2.0: NYI (+160) at CAR (-180) – that line seems off. NYI should be value here.

    NYI also on a back to back, coming off blowing one against Washington yesterday. Could still be value though.

  61. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10:
    Maroon foolishly thought that.But he is a lot poorer with a Stanley Cup, and maybe a 2nd this year.

    I think it’s reasonable to assume Maroon turned down a good offer and that’s why he fired his agent. This is wishful thinking.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    I’m happy that Tippett subscribed to the leadfarmer school of player development
    Don’t call a top 6 f prospect up and stick him on reps with plugs and watch the skill die
    Play them with skilled players
    The second line is a force right now

    Kailer has brought the exact same game he was playing in the AHL – some/many looked at his boxcars in the AHL and came to the conclusion that he was disappointing. Of course, watching the kid play led to the conclusion that he was generally one of the best players on the ice, night in and night out, causing havoc in the offensive zone, playing great on the PK, drawing penalties nightly and creating scoring chances.

    He’s part of all that (except PK) in the NHL and, given the skill he’s playing with, some solid boxcars.

    The question I had was if his AHL game could translate at the NHL level and that question has been answered – YES!.

    The new question is if this is sustainable – consistency is always a key question but, in this case, a 160 pounder throwing 5 hits per night, etc., well, we’ll see about longevity.

    For now, rest that body for 10 days and lets get back at er….

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      I was one of the people calling him out as “disappointing”.

      You were 100% accurate in your “eyes on” description of him in the AHL.

      Well done.

  63. JimmyV1965 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick:
    I guess what I am thinking, and I am not the only one, is why go shopping for a top 6 winger giving up futures when Benson may already be able to fill that role adequately this year and more so next year?
    He can’t be slower than Neal, can he? He’s not a shooter but he has the smarts and passing to be a possible fit in the top 6 if not an upgrade to the “3rd line”.

    I don’t want to see any potential high probability futures going for a rental. Any significant movement of said futures has to include a legit nhler with at least another year on their contract.

    If Benning is healthy enough to resume regular play then he or Russel (preferably the latter) could be moved at the trade deadline Perhaps in a package (JP?) for some help in top6 wing or 3C. But again not just a rental.

    In short let’s see what we have in Benso, don’t mess around too much with the lineup and don’t give away potential futures for some incremental help this yearSave the movement of futures for the next few years when a deeper run in the playoffs is much more likely

    Respectfully disagree in a big way.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Silver Streak:
    We made the drive up for the game yesterday. My Son and I..his treat for the old guys big birthday. Ice district never ceases to amaze me…feels like a newer, modern and taller version of Calgary….Remember when City admin fought and argued for 10 years over this…yes, Katz made money…but OMG look what we have to enjoy !
    Highlight of the game for us was a non scoring play:9:02 of the 2nd period….Oilers PP moves up into the neutral zone with 4 skaters, just at the O Zone blue….Mc D comes late as often happens…..BUT this time he is way back…like the entire neutral zone back… he is so far back you couldn’t see this on TV..only the later portion….but he is at 54 mph…no one is anywhere near him but poor #33 -Goligowski…who looks up, sees the fast train, and promptly tries to turn, craps his drawers, twists his feet into pretzels, and actually falls into a heap of shame. Conner blew by and no goal resulted. One more notch in McDavid`s pistol handle…..what a beauty as ” Grapes ” is found of saying.

    Glad you had a great time!

  65. jtblack says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    Has it not already been forecast by Spector and Stauffer?

    It will be $3.25 – $3.5 per x 4 years.

    Which is an Overpay in $$$ & too much term.

    Kass has value but many teams have been burned signing a 29 yr old power forward coming off a career season.

    WE WAIT

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Yes. But it was a “guess” on thier part. They claimed no inside information on the terms of the contract.

      The ONLY thing Spector claimed to have the inside line on was that a deal was imminent. Within two weeks or perhaps efven days.

      Yes. Their guesstimates on dollars and term are overpays. The kind of ovepays you definitley walk away from.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: We might not like the idea of Kassian signing for something like $3.5 x 4, but it will almost certainly happen in free agency. Some team will get pushed around in the playoffs and think Kassian is the answer.

    The thing about doing this now is that Kassian doesn’t KNOW he will get those types of offers. I mean I think he would and he probably would but he and his agent can’t be certain.

    We know he loves playing in Edmonton and wants to return – perhaps he’s happy to get the certain of a 4 X $2.75M deal to stay in the city where he revived his career and with a team on the rise?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go four years but I’m trying to be realistic.

    WIth that said, while approaching 30, I do think that Kass will hold on to his speed and health and play the same game through his early 30s. I know, I know – power forwards – but I can see Zack being the same guy for the term.

    • geowal says:

      If Kassian gets signed before July 1, it should only be for big time value (to the team). If he thinks the teams valuation is out of whack, let him prove it in free agency, and if it’s still reasonable Holland can up his offer to match the competition. If not, you have to let him walk.
      The deal you speak of seems reasonable, but agree I’d sure rather it be only 3 years.

  67. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: With the Oilers’ minor-league goaltending not good enough, Ilya Konovalov might be the answer

    https://theathletic.com/1545458/2020/01/19/lowetide-with-the-oilers-minor-league-goaltending-not-good-enough-ilya-konovalov-might-be-the-answer/

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy:
    What is the feeling on Mike Smiths goalering? Does he get the next start against you know who? Is he the new #1 because the coach and gym are familiar with him? Do we need to worry about Mikko and his confidence if he is being overlooked? And finally can you use the “ride the hot hand” excuse even after a 10 day layoff?

    Its interesting that you keep mentioning that he is getting starts because the coach and GM are familiar with him without acknowledging or responding to the position that he’s actually been the better goalie for the last two-three weeks.

    While I don’t think he’s been “lights out” during this bounce-back stretch, he’s won 5 straight starts and Mikko had a tough night against the flames.

    He wasn’t “lights out” last night but he also made 3 solid/big saves in the first period when the game was scoreless/one-goal game – he is value for the 5 wins.

    They need to get Mikko going, yes, but I believe Smith has been playing because he’s been better at giving the team a chance to win in 2020, not because the coach and GM are familiar with him.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: I think having a bit of rest and practise time so the coaches teachings could “sink in”

    The coach and various players have mentioned practice time quite consistently recently.

    I think I read/heard they had like two real practices in December.

    January’s schedule was tough with the teams played and time on the road but at least there was a solid spread that allowed the team to practice quite a bit – can’t be assured of cause and effect but its likely a factor.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:
    I wonder if Holland is shopping Kassian as well. I doubt it. But you gotta wonder what hed fetch. A 2nd or 3rd?

    Call up Benson. Bring back JP this summer and the Oilers have some cap space to play with. Even with Nurse needing a contract.

    Holland kinda punted this year. Trading Kassian and calling up Benson would be decent asset management. I like Kassian but not at 3.25×4.

    Yes, selling high on Kassian would be decent asset management but I can’t imagine its something that would happen with the team contending for a playoff spot and even a division title – parity of mediocre division or not.

    I would 100% understand the move, as would most in here, but the general fan base, I believe, would be very upset. The city of Edmonton loves Kassian now, even more so than 3 weeks ago. The majority of the fanbase, as passionate as it is, doesn’t follow the cap type issues closely enough to understand, in my opinion (of course, no disrespect to the fanbase in general, its VERY large and VERY broad).

    I take solace in the fact that Holland does not really give in to the fanbase and care about “backlash”, the Broberg pick proved that, however, at the same time, I’m sure he is focussed on making the playoffs – no, he won’t stray from the overall plan and give up high end futures for rentals, but I don’t see him “selling” a solid and important player at this point due to potential contract issues.

  71. John Chambers says:

    Lowetide:
    New for The Athletic: With the Oilers’ minor-league goaltending not good enough, Ilya Konovalov might be the answer

    https://theathletic.com/1545458/2020/01/19/lowetide-with-the-oilers-minor-league-goaltending-not-good-enough-ilya-konovalov-might-be-the-answer/

    How sweet would it be to have the Smith – Koskinen tandem provide solid goaltending for another year and a half, then have Konovalov step in to the NHL on his ELC in ‘21-‘22.

    What seemed like a mountain of a problem last June could potentially be an area of Advantage cost-wise.

    Also, thing about Holland is that he knows how to properly integrate Russians and European pro’s onto the team. The Oilers have been failing at that for well over a decade.

  72. leadfarmer says:

    Saying you owe me because I helped you deal with your drinking problem is something that I don’t see us or any decent human being doing

  73. leadfarmer says:

    With Smith playing fairly well lately I’m worried they will sign him for another season
    He turns 38 this season
    Even if he continues his play I don’t bring him back

  74. geowal says:

    I hear this Mahomes fella is pretty good…

  75. John Chambers says:

    leadfarmer,

    Really? I would wait to see how the rest of the season plays out but a series of 1-year contracts seems like the book move until a more permanent solution emerges in goal.

    Smith has played well or very-well in ~75% of his starts which is good quality for a backup. He’s been atrocious in 3 or 4 games, but outstanding in 3 or 4 others, so on balance I think he’s been quite strong – I can’t think of the Oilers having a better backup anytime recently.

    The raw save % appears mediocre, and although i do put a lot of weight into stats and numbers, I believe Smith is a guy who competes hard in practice, is well-liked by the group and his coach, shows up like a seasoned veteran, and doesn’t complain when he’s assigned to the backup role.

    Lastly, I think the Oilers could benefit from some continuity in the lineup. Rather than see an ongoing carousel of 3rd liners, bottom-pair D, and backup goalies, I’d like to see them start next season with familiars like Sheahan, Archibald, Nygard, Jones, and Smith, who already know the system and their roles within it.

  76. Reja says:

    JimmyV1965: Maybe GMs will gain a collective sense of sanity this year, but I find it highly unlikely. GMs love this player type. Maroon is used as an example, but I think it’s pretty clear he turned down a good contract. And Kassian’s speed will certainly enhance his value.

    Maroons agent fuked him by being greedy it cost him Millions upon Millions.

  77. Pescador says:

    blainer:
    The Ferland contract came with a NMC. Giving Kassian a NMC would be crazy and will be regretted after the 2nd year of the contract not to mention the fallout of said NMC regarding expansion.

    This contract will allow us to see if KH has learned from the shitty contracts he handed out in Detroit. IMO any NMC’s should only be given out to elite players.

    Speaking of expansion, do the Oilers protect Kassian or will he become a Seattle Sockeye?

  78. Reja says:

    Fuge Udvar:
    Geez that’s a bit much saying a guy will sign on the cheap just because he had a drinking problem. Kassian dessrves what ever he can get. If some GM goes nuts and offers him 4M then he deserves every penny of it. I don’t think he owes the Oilers a thing. He’s provided full value for his contract.

    I learned at a very young age that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  79. Reja says:

    jtblack:
    Andy Dufresne,

    Has it not already been forecastby Spector and Stauffer?

    It will be $3.25 – $3.5 perx 4 years.

    Which is an Overpay in $$$ & too much term.

    Kass has value but many teams have been burned signing a 29 yr old power forward coming off a career season.

    WE WAIT

    Some players beat the house. How good would a 31 year- old Perron look on my Oilers.

  80. JimmyV1965 says:

    geowal:
    Which part? Calling up Benson or trading of D? Or something else.

    Not shopping for a top six winger.

    geowal:
    Which part? Calling up Benson or trading of D? Or something else.

  81. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    JimmyV1965: Of course, I’m not trading valuable assets unless the return is a valuable player with term.

    Yes i agree. I would not jump off a bridge if this were to happen. I am skepticAl and I don’t know if that move is there right now…

  82. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: The thing about doing this now is that Kassian doesn’t KNOW he will get those types of offers.I mean I think he would and he probably would but he and his agent can’t be certain.

    We know he loves playing in Edmonton and wants to return – perhaps he’s happy to get the certain of a 4 X $2.75M deal to stay in the city where he revived his career and with a team on the rise?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go four years but I’m trying to be realistic.

    WIth that said, while approaching 30, I do think that Kass will hold on to his speed and health and play the same game through his early 30s.I know, I know – power forwards – but I can see Zack being the same guy for the term.

    I would be happy with that as well.

  83. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Lowetide:
    New for The Athletic: With the Oilers’ minor-league goaltending not good enough, Ilya Konovalov might be the answer

    https://theathletic.com/1545458/2020/01/19/lowetide-with-the-oilers-minor-league-goaltending-not-good-enough-ilya-konovalov-might-be-the-answer/

    Yay! Thanks for that LT. My thinking too…

  84. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10: It would be just as close if they made all games three point games, (3 for a regulation win, 2 for an OT/SO win, one point for an OT/SO loss, no points for a regulation loss), and the teams that are currently out of it, would still have a change to come back, unlike under the current Bettman point system.

    The Premier League is always close in the middle, and they don’t have the 2 point.

    Inter-conference games would also be more highly contested when they are close.Right now they just play for the tie and the Bettman point.

    💯

    I have been screaming for 3 points for a regulation win since about 5 minutes afte Bettman Point Ver 1.0 was introduced in 1999. Took IIHF, Euro leagues & minor hockey tournaments about that long to get it right. NHL? Not so fast, buddy. Two decades later, the Cockamamie Points System still holds sway with no end in sight.

    They finally have it figured out to at least rate regulaton wins for the tiebreaker, meaning that the raw data is now readily available. Simple math says you can simply add current points and RW together to determine what would be points under “3 point must”.

    EDM 79
    VAN 79
    VGP 76
    ARI 76
    CGY 74

    (Actually i don’t know what the tiebreaker would be, i’m just listing EDM ahead of VAN in order to troll Harper’s Hair. 😉)

    Fact is that Calgary has the same number of points as Edmonton under current system yet has given up 5 more points to their opponents. In other words Calgary’s 49 games have been worth 112 points, Edmonton’s just 107. How is THAT fair?

    EDM 26-18-5
    CGY 26-18-5

    CGY opponents 23-17-9
    EDM opponents 23-22-4

    The wild card in all this projection is that it is unlikely all the games would have turned out the same way, given different incentivization of a sensible points system. This is the Known Unknown in this calculation. CPS doesn’t only affect the standings, it can impact the integrity of competition within an individual game, especially interconference contests as Godot rightly points out.

  85. slopitch says:

    tileguy,

    Oh… 😉

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benning assigned to the Condors on a conditioning stint.

    Great news – means he’s feeling good and will be back after the break after getting up to 4 games in (assuming no setbacks).

    Jives won’t the Lagesson assignment too as I think this takes up a spot on the roster.

    Haven’t looked at the rules since Sekera so will have to refresh myself.

  87. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    JimmyV1965: Not shopping for a top six winger.

    geowal:
    Which part? Calling up Benson or trading of D? Or something else.

    To clarify a point of possible mis-understanding in our discussion. I am strictly opposed to shopping for a top 6 winger RENTAL with high end prospects or draft picks going out this year without having had an appropriate evaluation of Benson first.

    Also, judging from Hollands recent comments, the market is a little frozen right now as so many teams are on the bubble. I particularly would not want to see them force a trade right now for a “top 6” winger (rental), as forcing a trade usually means you are on the bottom looking up.

    I have always advocated the use of LHD prospect and LHD trades for obtaining a top 6 winger with term,

    Maybe this helps our discussion and maybe we are not in such significant disagreement?

  88. duct tape and foil says:

    Silver Streak:
    We made the drive up for the game yesterday. My Son and I..his treat for the old guys big birthday. Ice district never ceases to amaze me…feels like a newer, modern and taller version of Calgary….Remember when City admin fought and argued for 10 years over this…yes, Katz made money…but OMG look what we have to enjoy !
    Highlight of the game for us was a non scoring play:9:02 of the 2nd period….Oilers PP moves up into the neutral zone with 4 skaters, just at the O Zone blue….Mc D comes late as often happens…..BUT this time he is way back…like the entire neutral zone back… he is so far back you couldn’t see this on TV..only the later portion….but he is at 54 mph…no one is anywhere near him but poor #33 -Goligowski…who looks up, sees the fast train, and promptly tries to turn, craps his drawers, twists his feet into pretzels, and actually falls into a heap of shame. Conner blew by and no goal resulted. One more notch in McDavid`s pistol handle…..what a beauty as ” Grapes ” is found of saying.

    That was my favorite play of the game as well. Poor Goligowski looked like Charlie Brown after being hit by the pitch as McDavid roared by him.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy:
    Kassian has been through hell and back.
    Kassian was still in hell when he joined the team.
    If Kassian became sober through the 12 step program he will also of undergone a personality change and for sure will sign a fair contract. He will not holdout due to greed and I hope Ken will use fair bargaining techniques. I like the 4 year 10Mil Contract that Andy suggested above.

    Fuge Udvar:
    Geez that’s a bit much saying a guy will sign on the cheap just because he had a drinking problem. Kassian dessrves what ever he can get. If some GM goes nuts and offers him 4M then he deserves every penny of it. I don’t think he owes the Oilers a thing. He’s provided full value for his contract.

    As a person in (and that has acquainted with hundred in) the program and that have taken a path of recovery, I can’t agree with “personality change” – Zack was sick and he worked his ass off to get healthy and continues to work his ass off to stay healthy, I’m sure.

    He is likely a “better person” now than he was prior to and in his addictive addiction, I know I am, however I cannot agree with framing it as personality change.

    Anyways, in his recovery, a huge part of the work was likely working on “his defects” – false pride, intolerance, dishonesty, control, etc. Greed very well could be in there.

    At the same time, negotiating in your own best interests does not equate to greed. If Zack’s agent is advising him that the market will pay him $4M for term in July, well, I couldn’t’ fault the guy for using that in negotiations with the Oilers are requiring a similar type contract.

    I’m sure Kass has immense gratitude for the OIlers organization and the city but he is negotiating for the biggest and most important contract of his career – I hope he’s willing to give the Oilers a bit of a discount on what he’s being told the market will pay but I don’t think he’s going to cut a quarter off his deal.

    It would be perhaps the first actual “hometown discount” in the organization’s history.

    The issue is that the market will likely overpay for what he actually provides (and I do like what Kass provides).

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal:
    One way or another I think Kassian will see some extended time in the box next game, perhaps via misconduct, so good chance Archibald sees some time there regardless.

    Here is hoping that Kass doesn’t directly contribute to a third loss against the flames.

    He needs to be smart.

    Get good clean bangs in at every opportunity – actual clean bangs, not the ones that “Parros has explained are clean” which will be called

    Of course, this “strategy” should be for every game and not just hyped up games.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lavoie with a goal and assist, 5 shots on net and plus 2 in a 6-3 win!

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      My sense is that Lavoie will eventually play higher in the Oilers NHL lineup than Benson.

      But Benson may be just as useful. (middle 6er on a good contract)

  92. Dustylegnd says:

    The Oilers have very poor forward depth and a real lack of top 6 talent, Kassian like it or not is #32 in the NHL 5 x 5 points, he has 26 including 13 goals (Laine has 27 5 x 5 points)

    Chiasson has 6 5 x 5 points…he makes 2.15 million and we are stuck with him for another year, he doesn’t have great speed and is not particularly physical….Gagner makes $3.15 and we have him instead of Strome (who also has 26 5 x 5 points this year) we also have Russel at $4 mill per for another year

    We eat ~ $4 mill per year in buyouts for another year and then only ~1.5, however we are stuck with Lucic’s 750 K retention for 3 more years and a matching $5.7 mill for Neal

    So now we all want Kassian to sign for $2.25 mill for 2 years, because that is what we KNOW he is worth and we don’t trust that he can continue to perform for more than 2 years….well he is a UFA and I can almost guarantee you he will get at least 4 years at better than $2.5 mill per year elsewhere

    Signing Kassian at ~ $3.3 mill per year looks like pure genius when looking back at the previous mess described above

    Kass is a plus plus skater he will be fine over the next 4 years, he is physical and when placed with McDavid scores at a very decent rate 5 x 5 and is willing to play in Edmonton …..not many UFAs aspire to play in Edmonton, they come to Edmonton if we overpay and they don’t have any other attractive competing offer

    I am fine with $3.3 x 4 I think its spot on “fair market” value

  93. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As a person in (and that has acquainted with hundred in) the program and that have taken a path of recovery, I can’t agree with “personality change”– Zack was sick and he worked his ass off to get healthy and continues to work his ass off to stay healthy, I’m sure.

    He is likely a “better person” now than he was prior to and in his addictive addiction, I know I am, however I cannot agree with framing it as personality change.

    Anyways, in his recovery, a huge part of the work was likely working on “his defects” – false pride, intolerance, dishonesty, control, etc.Greed very well could be in there.

    At the same time, negotiating in your own best interests does not equate to greed.If Zack’s agent is advising him that the market will pay him $4M for term in July, well, I couldn’t’ fault the guy for using that in negotiations with the Oilers are requiring a similar type contract.

    I’m sure Kass has immense gratitude for the OIlers organization and the city but he is negotiating for the biggest and most important contract of his career – I hope he’s willing to give the Oilers a bit of a discount on what he’s being told the market will pay but I don’t think he’s going to cut a quarter off his deal.

    It would be perhaps the first actual “hometown discount” in the organization’s history.

    The issue is that the market will likely overpay for what he actually provides (and I do like what Kass provides).

    Truth.

    I often wonder if there aren’t side things that can make a team friendly deal appealing? I have no idea, but despite that it’s verboten I would not at all be surprised that it happens. A lot.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    New for The Athletic: With the Oilers’ minor-league goaltending not good enough, Ilya Konovalov might be the answer

    https://theathletic.com/1545458/2020/01/19/lowetide-with-the-oilers-minor-league-goaltending-not-good-enough-ilya-konovalov-might-be-the-answer/

    One more year on his KHL contract and he may be ready for the NHL.

    I like the contract timing – his KHL deal is up right when the ELC’s of Skinner and Wells expire so management can decide which 1 or 2 they want to sign.

  95. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As a person in (and that has acquainted with hundred in) the program and that have taken a path of recovery, I can’t agree with “personality change”– Zack was sick and he worked his ass off to get healthy and continues to work his ass off to stay healthy, I’m sure.

    He is likely a “better person” now than he was prior to and in his addictive addiction, I know I am, however I cannot agree with framing it as personality change.

    Anyways, in his recovery, a huge part of the work was likely working on “his defects” – false pride, intolerance, dishonesty, control, etc.Greed very well could be in there.

    At the same time, negotiating in your own best interests does not equate to greed.If Zack’s agent is advising him that the market will pay him $4M for term in July, well, I couldn’t’ fault the guy for using that in negotiations with the Oilers are requiring a similar type contract.

    I’m sure Kass has immense gratitude for the OIlers organization and the city but he is negotiating for the biggest and most important contract of his career – I hope he’s willing to give the Oilers a bit of a discount on what he’s being told the market will pay but I don’t think he’s going to cut a quarter off his deal.

    It would be perhaps the first actual “hometown discount” in the organization’s history.

    The issue is that the market will likely overpay for what he actually provides (and I do like what Kass provides).

    I hope Holland signs Kass and Archie during the break you always get a prolonged bounce-cat from the player that happily signs. Say what you want about secondary players but no team wins without them.

  96. Nit64 says:

    tileguy:
    Take the Titans and the 7.5 points, no brainer.

    KC spots the first 10 and swings to a 11 pt win. Like last week, but half sized. Of course.

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    John Chambers:
    leadfarmer,

    Really? I would wait to see how the rest of the season plays out but a series of 1-year contracts seems like the book move until a more permanent solution emerges in goal.

    Smith has played well or very-well in ~75% of his starts which is good quality for a backup. He’s been atrocious in 3 or 4 games, but outstanding in 3 or 4 others, so on balance I think he’s been quite strong – I can’t think of the Oilers having a better backup anytime recently.

    The raw save % appears mediocre, and although i do put a lot of weight into stats and numbers, I believe Smith is a guy who competes hard in practice, is well-liked by the group and his coach, shows up like a seasoned veteran, and doesn’t complain when he’s assigned to the backup role.

    Lastly, I think the Oilers could benefit from some continuity in the lineup. Rather than see an ongoing carousel of 3rd liners, bottom-pair D, and backup goalies, I’d like to see them start next season with familiars like Sheahan, Archibald, Nygard, Jones, and Smith, who already know the system and their roles within it.

    The problem is that Smith isn’t being deployed as a back but as 1B at worse – he’s got 26 appearances to Koskinen’s 27.

    I do agree with personnel consistency in the bottom six and like all of the guys listed to varying degrees.

    Lets not forget, with Nurse at $6M plus (which it will be), Kass at $3M plus (which it likely will be), Bear at ???? there may not be any cap left for external improvements – if we can bring at least of a few of these guys back on their apx $1M contacts, it should be done.

    Holland is going to have to mover Kris Russell in the offseason (and/or Larsson).

  98. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    From Daniel Nugent-Bowman’s Twitter:

    The Oilers have assigned D Matt Benning to AHL Bakersfield on an LTIR conditioning loan. Benning can get some game action before being eligible to return to the Oilers lineup after the bye week, Jan. 29 vs. Calgary.

    Good to see Benning feeling well enough to play and getting clearance to do so.

    Good move by Holland to get him up and back to game speed during the break.

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    Just took a quick look at the CBA and Benning wasn’t on LTIR so the parameters of Section 13.9 wouldn’t apply and this Conditioning Loan would be via Section 13.8.

    There is no “games played” criteria, simply a 14 consecutive day max – Condors play 4 games this coming week so this is great timing.

    Also great timing because he will take up a spot on the 23 man roster so we can send Willie down (to make room) and not worry about not having an extra d-man because of the Oilers big break.

    Well done Matt and Ken!

  100. duct tape and foil says:

    Skinner is coming on very nicely this year. If he can keep up his recent play, then I cut loose Starrett over the summer and bring the young Russian over. Skinner and Konovalov can be 1A/1B in Bake and compete for the backup slot the year after. IMO Starrett and Wells both have low potential to be NHL goalies. No point wasting precious development time on those guys.

    Nygard and Haas with both be better next season after having a summer to train with the knowledge of how strong they need to be in the NHL. Big disadvantage this summer coming in blind and expect both will be much better next season.

    Trade deadline target is a top 6 LW or a 3C. If you keep RNH at LW, a guy like Lehkonen would help and you call up Benson to further improve the LW depth. RNH seems happy and productive at 2LW with Drai and I would not mess with this by moving him to 3C. A guy like Bonino could be a very good target if NAS looks like they will miss the playoffs. Not interested in the cost of Pageau if he wants $5 million. JP plus Khaira or Lagesson should get us something.

  101. duct tape and foil says:

    OK I thought his KHL deal was up after this year. Might try to get his out early this summer if possible.

    OriginalPouzar: One more year on his KHL contract and he may be ready for the NHL.

    I like the contract timing – his KHL deal is up right when the ELC’s of Skinner and Wells expire so management can decide which 1 or 2 they want to sign.

  102. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m sure most have no desire to listen a podcast hosted by Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa but Kass was a guest on the current episode – doesn’t come on until just before the 40 minute mark:

    https://kesandjuice.com/

  103. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JimmyV1965: We might not like the idea of Kassian signing for something like $3.5 x 4, but it will almost certainly happen in free agency. Some team will get pushed around in the playoffs and think Kassian is the answer.

    What a player can get in FA isn’t what his actual value is.

    I’m a big fan of players getting as much as money as they can.

    I’m a bigger fan of the GM of the team I cheer for not overpaying marginal players so they can afford to pay to keep the difference makers.

    If Kassian can get that kind of cash elsewhere, that’s great for him, his life turn-around and becoming a new Dad is a great story and I’m cheering for him.

    As an Oiler fan I want him, but not at that price. He doesn’t bring that level of value.

    If you don’t grind the bottom of th roster you can’t afford to maximize the top of your roster.

    Every $750K too much given away adds up quickly.

  104. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    tileguy:
    What is the feeling on Mike Smiths goalering? Does he get the next start against you know who? Is he the new #1 because the coach and gym are familiar with him? Do we need to worry about Mikko and his confidence if he is being overlooked? And finally can you use the “ride the hot hand” excuse even after a 10 day layoff?

    There’s no question that Tippett has given Smith way more rope than Koskinen, but to Tippett’s credit he dialed him back (a little late though) when he should have.

    I expect that to continue and Smith to start vs. CGY.

  105. Numenius says:

    Dustylegnd: I am fine with $3.3 x 4 I think its spot on “fair market” value

    Kassian, is that you?

  106. OriginalPouzar says:

    For what it’s worth, Oilers have two pro scouts at the CHI/WIN game.

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I’m sure most have no desire to listen a podcast hosted by Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa but Kass was a guest on the current episode – doesn’t come on until just before the 40 minute mark:

    https://kesandjuice.com/

    Kass ends his appearance talking about the next game against the flames and “oh something is going to happen” – blah, hopefully it’s a regulation win.

  108. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: What a player can get in FA isn’t what his actual value is.

    I’m a big fan of players getting as much as money as they can.

    I’m a bigger fan of the GM of the team I cheer for not overpaying marginal players so they can afford to pay to keep the difference makers.

    If Kassian can get that kind of cash elsewhere, that’s great for him, his life turn-around and becoming a new Dad is a great story and I’m cheering for him.

    As an Oiler fan I want him, but not at that price.He doesn’t bring that level of value.

    If you don’t grind the bottom of th roster you can’t afford to maximize the top of your roster.

    Every $750K too much given away adds up quickly.

    I can see why a GM is going to give him the 3.5 x 4. The teams and players like to have a physical guy like this around and the Oil have spent decades chasing this player type
    But I would not

  109. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    For what it’s worth, Oilers have two pro scouts at the CHI/WIN game.

    Jets need D we need a 3C or a forward let’s make it happen before the Jets are completely out of the race.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    duct tape and foil:
    Skinner is coming on very nicely this year. If he can keep up his recent play, then I cut loose Starrett over the summer and bring the young Russian over. Skinner and Konovalov can be 1A/1B in Bake and compete for the backup slot the year after. IMO Starrett and Wells both have low potential to be NHL goalies. No point wasting precious development time on those guys.

    Nygard and Haas with both be better next season after having a summer to train with the knowledge of how strong they need to be in the NHL. Big disadvantage this summer coming in blind and expect both will be much better next season.

    Trade deadline target is a top 6 LW or a 3C. If you keep RNH at LW, a guy like Lehkonen would help and you call up Benson to further improve the LW depth. RNH seems happy and productive at 2LW with Drai and I would not mess with this by moving him to 3C. A guy like Bonino could be a very good target if NAS looks like they will miss the playoffs. Not interested in the cost of Pageau if he wants $5 million. JP plus Khaira or Lagesson should get us something.

    Sorry, Konovalov is signed in the KHL for next year – won’t be coming to North America.

  111. OriginalPouzar says:

    duct tape and foil:
    OK I thought his KHL deal was up after this year. Might try to get his out early this summer if possible.

    Sorry, didn’t see this prior to responding to your previous posts.

    There are no NHL outs in KHL contracts – unless there is a transfer arrangement of some sort out of the blue with the KHL, we won’t be seeing him in North America next year.

  112. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hawks are currently up 2-0 on the Jets about half way through the second.

    If that holds, its likely the best for the Oilers – that will tie those two teams, 3 points back of the Oilers (who will have a game in hand on CHI and even games with WIN).

  113. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair:
    The Jets can’t make a move until the Byfuglien situation is cleared up.

    They can wait till the cows come home but if they don’t shore up their D quickly they won’t be making the playoffs with a very explosive forward group. I’m sure a healthy Matt Benning or maybe even Kris Russell would help their squad immensely.

    • BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

      The Jets seem like a natural trade partner, I’d hope KRusty would give a trade there the green light.

      I’d be interested in a 1 for 1 with Lowry coming back our way. Hell, I’d be happy with the Frolik return… $4M cap space and a 4th round pick.

    • Harpers Hair says:

      They will wait until the cows are safely tucked into the manger.

      And neither Russell or Benning would help them in any significant way.

  114. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Is Erik Haula a good bet for a UFA signing as 3C next year?

    Haven’t dug into the fancies but I recall him being a good skater and gritty.

  115. tileguy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As a person in (and that has acquainted with hundred in) the program and that have taken a path of recovery, I can’t agree with “personality change”– Zack was sick and he worked his ass off to get healthy and continues to work his ass off to stay healthy, I’m sure.

    He is likely a “better person” now than he was prior to and in his addictive addiction, I know I am, however I cannot agree with framing it as personality change.

    Anyways, in his recovery, a huge part of the work was likely working on “his defects” – false pride, intolerance, dishonesty, control, etc.Greed very well could be in there.

    At the same time, negotiating in your own best interests does not equate to greed.If Zack’s agent is advising him that the market will pay him $4M for term in July, well, I couldn’t’ fault the guy for using that in negotiations with the Oilers are requiring a similar type contract.

    I’m sure Kass has immense gratitude for the OIlers organization and the city but he is negotiating for the biggest and most important contract of his career – I hope he’s willing to give the Oilers a bit of a discount on what he’s being told the market will pay but I don’t think he’s going to cut a quarter off his deal.

    It would be perhaps the first actual “hometown discount” in the organization’s history.

    The issue is that the market will likely overpay for what he actually provides (and I do like what Kass provides).

    This reply is not directed at you specifically but I want to,say there is a lot of non spiritual folks here. Making millions of dollars in a loving environment outweighs a few extra million and uprooting. Sorry, I am not more eloquent in my words.

  116. v4ance says:

    Woodguy v2.0: What a player can get in FA isn’t what his actual value is.

    I’m a big fan of players getting as much as money as they can.

    I’m a bigger fan of the GM of the team I cheer for not overpaying marginal players so they can afford to pay to keep the difference makers.

    If Kassian can get that kind of cash elsewhere, that’s great for him, his life turn-around and becoming a new Dad is a great story and I’m cheering for him.

    As an Oiler fan I want him, but not at that price.He doesn’t bring that level of value.

    If you don’t grind the bottom of th roster you can’t afford to maximize the top of your roster.

    Every $750K too much given away adds up quickly.

    This was exactly the same point some of us we screaming about when Chia signed Kris Russell to $4Mx4. Russell’s defenders were saying, he’s worth it because of all his intangibles and an overpay of a million doesn’t make a difference.

    Fast forward a month and Nurse is forced into a bridge contract because, surprise surprise! We don’t have $1 million more to sign him to a longer term contract. Now coming out of the bridge, we’re probably paying an extra million per year for Nurse on any extension. The long term extension for Nurse 2 years ago probably would have been ~$5.5M AAV. Today, we’re happy if it’s only $6.5M.

    Proper cap management is all about paying appropriately for your top talent and finding opportunities to shave a few hundred or a million off paying the complimentary players. Kassian is a complimentary player.

  117. Reja says:

    v4ance: This was exactly the same point some of us we screaming about when Chia signed Kris Russell to $4Mx4.Russell’s defenders were saying, he’s worth it because of all his intangibles and an overpay of a million doesn’t make a difference.

    Fast forward a month and Nurse is forced into a bridge contract because, surprise surprise! We don’t have $1 million more to sign him to a longer term contract.Now coming out of the bridge, we’re probably paying an extra million per year for Nurse on any extension.The long term extension for Nurse 2 years ago probably would have been ~$5.5M AAV.Today, we’re happy if it’s only $6.5M.

    Proper cap management is all about paying appropriately for your top talent and finding opportunities to shave a few hundred or a million off paying the complimentary players.Kassian is a complimentary player.

    I remember we lost a pretty good player over a hundred grand a few years back.

  118. leadfarmer says:

    Well Saad is back probably why we are scouting
    Holland you’ve turned Lucic into Neal
    Now work your magic and turn Russell into Saad

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Hawks are currently up 2-0 on the Jets about half way through the second.

    If that holds, its likely the best for the Oilers – that will tie those two teams, 3 points back of the Oilers (who will have a game in hand on CHI and even games with WIN).

    Hawks win 5-2 – things tighten up at the bottom but 3 points back and Oilers have a game in hand.

    Good stuff.

  120. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    The Jets seem like a natural trade partner, I’d hope KRusty would give a trade there the green light.

    I’d be interested in a 1 for 1 with Lowry coming back our way.Hell, I’d be happy with the Frolik return… $4M cap space and a 4th round pick.

    I can’t say that a Kris Russell disposition wouldn’t hurt the current team – I like Caleb Jones (and Lagesson) and think that a Jones/Benning or Lagesson/Benning third pairing can both be very good but Rusty can defend and kill penalties and it leaves the current team open to injury risk depth issues.

    With that said, in the name of real team building this coming off-season, given Jones and Lagesson, yup, I take $4M of 2020/21 cap space and run. Oil could probably pick up a depth 6/7 veteran on an expiring contract for cheap.

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy: This reply is not directed at you specifically but I want to,say there is a lot of non spiritual folks here. Making millions of dollars in a loving environment outweighs a few extra million and uprooting. Sorry, I am not more eloquent in my words.

    I don’t disagree with the premise and, trust me, I know all about support networks, etc., but neither of us know what Zack is thinking, how he interacts with his support group, what matters to him and his family at this point, etc.

    I believe he has love, loyalty, gratitude, etc. for the Oilers, for Edmonton, etc. and that leads to us speculating that he’s willing to take less to stay but that’s all it is, speculating.

  122. leadfarmer says:

    Overplayed goalies strike again
    Hellebyuck 28-32 4 GA

    • Genjutsu says:

      Meh I watched the game and don’t think it was his fault lots of chances at either end and sloppy play.

      Two similar teams in terms fire power up front and suspect defending.

      Kane with his 1000th NHL point.

  123. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’d be fine with moving on from KRusty at any point in time, to be honest. The cleaner disposition the better. Veteran savvy and depth implications notwithstanding.

  124. slopitch says:

    Saad with 2g in 2 games since being back from injury. I wonder if thats who the oilers are scouting. I like the player – plays hard min and comes out ahead. Dont love his contract though. 🤔

  125. innercitysmytty says:

    I’ve heard on here a number of times that Calgary will be trading from their D depth for help at wing at the deadline. I find that interesting given Valimaki is still injured and they have very little if any NHL ready D in the AHL and their NHL level defense is not that strong to begin with. I read a lot of Flames blog material and that’s confirmed by people who follow that team much more closely than me. What decent D could they trade for a top 6 F where it wouldn’t leave their depth at the NHL level thin? Just don’t see it. I’m with OP that if they make a trade for a top 6 F it’s going to be paid for with some draft picks.

  126. BillyTheKidRanford says:

    hunter1909,

    Hey Hunter,
    Not sure if i’m way off here or not but…..
    You hardly ever have anything positive to say and always seem to take a shot at LT…
    I used to enjoy reading your comments but things have changed and you seem, sour.
    Hope you are ok and have someone to talk to.

  127. jtblack says:

    BillyTheKidRanford:
    hunter1909,

    Hey Hunter,
    Not sure if i’m way off here or not but…..
    You hardly ever have anything positive to say and always seem to take a shot at LT…
    I used to enjoy reading your comments but things have changed and you seem, sour.
    Hope you are ok and have someone to talk to.

    +1

  128. Bank Shot says:

    Reja: They can wait till the cows come home but if theydon’t shore up their D quickly they won’t be making the playoffs with a veryexplosive forward group. I’m sure a healthy MattBenning or maybe even Kris Russell would help their squad immensely.

    Plus Byfuglien isn’t coming back. He is likely 100 lbs over his playing weight by now.

  129. duct tape and foil says:

    This is based on nothing but speculation, but I think Russell packs it in after he’s paid his bonus this summer. “Only $1.5 million left on the contract (he’s made over $28 million in his career) and it might not be worth sticking your face in front of frozen rubber and high sticks for another 100 nights. Way down on his usual number of blocks this year so this might be his last rodeo.

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I’d be fine with moving on from KRusty at any point in time, to be honest.The cleaner disposition the better.Veteran savvy and depth implications notwithstanding.

    • Yeti says:

      duct tape and foil: Way down on his usual number of blocks this year so this might be his last rodeo.

      More likely to be a switch in coaching emphasis?

    • godot10 says:

      I think a signing bonus means you have to play, or you forfeit it. I don’t think you can collect a signing bonus for a season, and then decide not to play.

  130. Bulging Twine says:

    5×5 GF – GA while NOT playing with McDavid:

    Yamamoto +5
    Kassian +1
    Chiasson even
    Granlund even
    RNH even
    Haas -1
    Russell -1
    Draisattl -3
    Nygard -5
    Gagner -6
    Neal -10
    Sheahan -11
    Khaira -15
    Archibald -16

  131. Bulging Twine says:

    McDavid 5×5 GF-GA is +6

    McDAVID 5×5 Goal differential while playing WITH:

    Kassian +7
    Nygard +4
    Archibald +3
    Chiasson +2
    RNH +2
    Khaira +1
    Sheahan +1
    Neal even
    Haas -1
    Yamamoto -1
    Granlund -1
    Russell -1
    Gagner -1
    Draisattl -3

  132. Bulging Twine says:

    McDavid 5×5 GF-GA while NOT playing with:

    Draisattl +9
    Haas +7
    Yamamoto +7
    Granlund +7
    Russell +7
    Gagner +7
    Neal +6
    Khaira +5
    Sheahan +5
    Chiasson +4
    RNH +4
    Archibald +3
    Nygard +2
    Kassian -1

  133. Bulging Twine says:

    The difference for McDavid of playing with versus without:

    Kassian +8
    Nygard +2
    Archibald even
    Chiasson -2
    RNH -2
    Khaira -4
    Sheahan -4
    Neal -6
    Haas -8
    Yamamoto -8
    Granlund -8
    Russell -8
    Gagner -8
    Draisattl -12

  134. Bulging Twine says:

    If you have Lebron James or Michael Jordan, a once in a generation talent, it would be super prudent to identify who he has his best results with and surround him with those players.

    I would think the path to winning would be to maximize your best players talents, to sponge out the most that you possibly can from them. To give them what they need in order for their superior talents to help win the game. For most of the league there isn’t a ton of difference between the players, most are 6’s or 7’s.

    In other words, when thinking of the players that play on McDavids line, it would be most beneficial I would think to view them from the perspective of: are they helping McDavid to help win the game moreso than from the reference point of the inferior player and how they benefit from playing with McDavid.

    It’s about how to maximize McDavid.

    Who does McDavid get his best results with?

  135. ArmchairGM says:

    duct tape and foil:
    This is based on nothing but speculation, but I think Russell packs it in after he’s paid his bonus this summer. “Only $1.5 million left on the contract (he’s made over $28 million in his career) and it might not be worth sticking your face in front of frozen rubber and high sticks for another 100 nights. Way down on his usual number of blocks this year so this might be his last rodeo.

    His shots blocked/60 is about flat at 5v5 compared to last year, but his TOI/GP is way down. What is way down is the rate of blocks on the PK, in the past 3 years he averaged 12-14 per hour, this year he’s down to 7.2. However, his SA/60 and GA/60 are both within the range of his 3 year average (GA is down actually) so I’m thinking this has more to do with coaching: fewer clean entries / set-ups and better pressure in the zone so fewer shot attempts are made, and LOOK at that HDCA number this year. Shots against are up but high-danger chances are WAY down. That’s sheer guesswork by me though, just from looking at the numbers.

    2016-19, 4v5 PK
    1:59 TOI/GP
    101.74 CA/60
    72.67 FA/60
    51.91 SA/60
    8.58 GA/60
    7.23 xGA/60
    24.08 HDCA/60
    13.29 SB/60

    2019-20, 4v5 PK
    2:18 TOI/GP
    95.28 CA/60
    73.12 FA/60
    54.29 SA/60
    7.20 GA/60
    6.25 xGA/60
    15.51 HDCA/60
    7.20 SB/60

    By the way, Edmonton’s overall 4v5 PK number for HDCA/60 is 18.01, so Russell is definitely doing his part here.

    I don’t see him retiring yet.

  136. hunter1909 says:

    BillyTheKidRanford:
    hunter1909,

    Hey Hunter,
    Not sure if i’m way off here or not but…..
    You hardly ever have anything positive to say and always seem to take a shot at LT…
    I used to enjoy reading your comments but things have changed and you seem, sour.
    Hope you are ok and have someone to talk to.

    I never mean anything I say to Lowetide in a bad way. He’s tops with me.

    Apologies if its getting misinterpreted, entirely my fault probably, so I’ll stop it.

  137. hunter1909 says:

    Reasons to be positive:

    Oilers in playoff position at the end of January.

    The team aside from the Big Two is starting to produce which is fantastic!

    The goalies have settled down and are at least neutral regarding the outcome of the games.

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