A Preview of Coming Attractions

Math and ‘saw him good’ are both screaming like Janis Joplin onstage in Monterrey: Evan Bouchard is ready, almost ready, or damned near almost ready. So put the veggies in the mirco and set the table, because it’s close.

THE ATHLETIC!

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

  • New Lowetide: Why the Oilers are more likely to trade Adam Larsson than Kris Russell
  • New Jonathan Willis: PHWA Midseason Awards: Stars, snubs and what they mean for the year-end NHL Awards
  • Lowetide: Is there real trade deadline value in the Edmonton Oilers’ prospect pipeline?
  • Lowetide: ‘Connor McDavid: Whatever It Takes’ works as breaking news, drama and personality profile
  • Lowetide: Oilers prospects Evan Bouchard and Tyler Benson deliver best minor league performances in 20 years
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Hey, Sparky, can you do that?’: How the Oilers’ AHL video coach got his start as the Islanders’ mascot.
  • Eric Duhatschek: He’s special’: The people who know him best tell the story of how Leon Draisaitl took the NHL by storm
  • Pierre Lebrun: Where all 31 teams stand one month before the trade deadline
  • Lowetide: What do Connor McDavid’s best lines tell us about his optimal linemates?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: I was an AHL coach for a day: Here’s what I learned
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Oilers player poll: From the serious to the silly, the players weigh in on best dressed, most superstitious and more
  • Thomas Drance: Inside how ‘Okanagan boy’ Ken Holland helped bring back the Penticton Young Stars tournament
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers minor-league defenceman Brandon Manning suspended five games for racial slur
  • Jonathan Willis: An updated list of which Oilers are most likely to be traded in 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto gives Oilers a midseason spark, one of the best in team history
  • Lowetide: With the Oilers’ minor-league goaltending not good enough, Ilya Konovalov might be the answer
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Josh Archibald, Riley Sheahan show the upward trend of Ken Holland’s offseason moves for the Oilers
  • 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
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers’ road forward — and perhaps to a Stanley Cup — requires trusting the kids on defence
  • 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
  • Jonathan Willis: Zack Kassian’s breakout performance presents Oilers GM Ken Holland with a familiar dilemma
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019

OILERS 2019-20 BLUE

These are five on five numbers via NST. I’ve written two articles at The Athletic recently that pertain to our conversation today, here and here. The first informs us that Evan Bouchard is even strength goal differential 11-8 since Christmas, after going 21-31 leading up to the holidays. The second one discusses the idea of dealing one of Larsson or Russell.

NHLE

This could become pertinent if the Oilers recall Tyler Benson in the next few days. Players like Slepyshev, Gambardella and Currie have played several minor league seasons, so they’re not really comparable (imo) to someone like Benson or Puljujarvi. If you’re a forward, in entry deal and posting 30+ NHLE, that’s a nice neighbourhood.

On defense, there are two true offensive drivers in Joel Persson and Evan Bouchard. Persson, like Slepyshev, is an older player so his totals have to be viewed through a different lens than someone like Bouchard.

PROJECTED 50-MAN

I do think Ken Holland will make more than one big move this summer, my model above sees him sign two free agents and trade for a third-line center. I’m not certain on the money, maybe the team buys someone out, but the trade saves Edmonton a little more than $500,000. I used Hoffman instead of Hall because I don’t want you to use that as the conversation piece. I would prefer Hall, but they’re both excellent options. It’s like choosing stereo speakers at International Stereo in 1975: You’re walking out with something really good.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show starts at 10, TSN1260. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic talks All-Star weekend and Connor McDavid’s awards collection increasing this summer. Andrew Peard will pop in at 11 to talk Oil Kings and the growing draft buzz around Jake Neighbours. I also have an 11:25 guest who didn’t confirm but may show up anyway, I hope he does because his is a fascinating story. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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394 Responses to "A Preview of Coming Attractions"

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  1. Lowetide says:

    defmn:
    I don’t expect to see Bouchard in the NHL this season unless the Oilers fall out of the playoff race but I think it is worth mentioning that there is a line of thought that burning a year off the ELC is not such a bad thing for teams.

    It allows them to negotiate a long term contract with a young guy before he fully hits his stride and that that can save cap dollars if they identify the right player early enough.

    Just a thought to give a different perspective on the subject. The 40 game line seems more important the way RFA contracts are going.

    Agreed. I tend to be less worried about cutting so close to the bone, because people have memories and pissing them off can cost you. Leon is a recent example.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Very good point. Its a difficult balance between desiring a more mature player on three yrs of ELC cap space and risking a fractured relationship.

      Hopefully the comminication is two-way and the player and his agent are on board with the program.

      I hate to assume this is the case…..but I am assuming this is the case.

      Evan….youre a valued member of this teams future. We see you in a leadership role when we’re contending for the cup….and we intend to make you a very rich man.

  2. defmn says:

    Lowetide: That’s misleading.He didn’t sign a contract, and chose to play in Finland. I have no quarrel with his decision. Also have no quarrel with Ken Holland waiting another year.

    Totally agree with this. Puljujarvi gets to do what he thinks is best for him and Holland needs to do what he thinks is best for the team that hired him to make these decisions.

  3. defmn says:

    Lowetide: Agreed. I tend to be less worried about cutting so close to the bone, because people have memories and pissing them off can cost you. Leon is a recent example.

    Let’s hope Nurse isn’t the next example.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: They have the space depending on other adds and who goes out.

    Their budget needs to be 3.5-4.5 to fill the spot properly.

    As I said, they likely have the cap space for it next year if Larsson or Russell go but is an over-paid Bonino what we want to use the bullet on next year – current team plus Bonino and internal improvements (minus Russell/Larsson)?

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: No one hangs on to every word of every poster,trust me. Speeds has been the cap expert since the cap arrived, so that’s going to be a thing you’ll have to deal with over time. It does seem as though you have an appetite to be recognized, there’s not one damn thing wrong with that. I would suggest starting a blog. I’ll put it on my blogroll and people can visit/comment. That way, you can link to the date when you said certain things. just a suggestion not trying to push you away.

    Message Received:

    Go Oilers!

    Go Condors!

    Go Rest of the Prospects!

  6. Lowetide says:

    defmn: Let’s hope Nurse isn’t the next example.

    I think Nurse will get paid.

  7. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: I think Nurse will get paid.

    Speaking of getting paid.

    Pageau returns from 2 games off for injury and scores his 20th of the season.

  8. Munny says:

    Meh, while the rest of you were enjoying Big City Productions like “Popcorn Playhouse”, LT and I were in our respective homes watching… Grandpa Sneezby on CKSA.

    And while that did introduce me to the marvel that was El Kabong and Bobba Louie… you Big City Kids have no idea how lucky you were.

    😉

  9. tileguy says:

    . Kassian is saying all the right things like he is in a between periods interview because anything that MAY happen would be looked upon as pre meditated. Kassian is no,dummy.

  10. Harpers Hair says:

    Munny:
    Meh, while the rest of you were enjoying Big City Productions like “Popcorn Playhouse”, LT and I were in our respective homes watching… Grandpa Sneezby on CKSA.

    And while that did introduce me to the marvel that was El Kabong and Bobba Louie… you Big City Kids have no idea how lucky you were.

    Heh.

    I grew up in Cold Lake and the only channel we had for years was CKSA and Captain Sneezby ruled for years.

    What was the name of their news anchor…I can still see his face.

    Norm something?

  11. Andy Dufresne says:

    Interesting twist to the comment count.

    Im used to the page flipping over at the 200 comment mark.

    With the new nested comments, it tips over at 200 orignal posts but says 345 comments.

    OK…not exactly interesting…but new

  12. ArmchairGM says:

    Talbot doing Talbot things in the 1st period… bodes well for the Blues. Hopefully they wear out the fLames tonight…

  13. tollen77 says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Wes Saunders???

    I’m from Hillmond… grew up with CKSA and CITL. I remember staying up late on Saturday after HNIC and hearing Oh Canada then the beeeeeep that went with the colour bars. Memories!

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    I have no idea what a Captain Sneezby is

  15. Harpers Hair says:

    tollen77:
    Harpers Hair,

    Wes Saunders???

    I’m from Hillmond… grew up with CKSA and CITL. I remember staying up late on Saturday after HNIC and hearing Oh Canada then the beeeeeep that went with the colour bars. Memories!

    You nailed it!

    He was the face of CKSA for years,

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  16. Harpers Hair says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I have no idea what a Captain Sneezby is

    You’re going to miss us when we’re gone.

    You just don’t know it yet.

  17. Harpers Hair says:

    tollen77:
    Harpers Hair,

    Wes Saunders???

    I’m from Hillmond… grew up with CKSA and CITL. I remember staying up late on Saturday after HNIC and hearing Oh Canada then the beeeeeep that went with the colour bars. Memories!

    A broadcasting oddity.

    While we had a 30 ft. antenna on top of our house, reception was always iffy.

    However, in the winter, TV signals would bounce off the atmosphere and beam down into northern Alberta.

    Our most reliable channel at those times was from St. Joseph Missouri.

  18. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://www.lloydminster.net/launchcommunication.html

    A little blurb on Wes Saunders but google’s got nuthin’ on Captain Sneezby, if that’s his real name

  19. leadfarmer says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Interesting twist to the comment count.

    Im used to the page flipping over at the 200 comment mark.

    With the new nested comments, it tips over at 200 orignal posts but says 345 comments.

    OK…not exactly interesting…but new

    What’s interesting is you don’t know when it’s going to flip. It’s a complete surprise

  20. Harpers Hair says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    http://www.lloydminster.net/launchcommunication.html

    A little blurb on Wes Saunders but google’s got nuthin’ on Captain Sneezby, if that’s his real name

    Nice find.

    Thanks.

  21. Harpers Hair says:

    Who knew that Al Oeming, the renowned Alberta naturalist, was also the co-founder of Stampede Wrestling with Stu Hart?

    They were neighbours.

  22. duct tape and foil says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Pretty big, skates OK in straight line, mobility is not great, big shot, defense first. Poor man’s Larsson with a better shot and less aggressiveness. Probably 3rd pair RHD material who could be paired with a puck mover. Our Swedish poster in chief would have a much better review than me.

  23. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    http://www.lloydminster.net/launchcommunication.html

    A little blurb on Wes Saunders but google’s got nuthin’ on Captain Sneezby, if that’s his real name

    It was “Grampa” Sneezby… and I’m pretty sure he was played by… Wes Saunders! If not him then another CKSA regular.

    It was just a wig and a fake beard. And back then people were doing the “Billy Vann” thing on local TV.

    Lord, I miss House of Frightenstein. I was never big on kids shows even as a kid, but Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein were my sweet spots.

    That and… “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here, Bobba Louie!”

    “Okay, Queeksdraw.”

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Bwana Clyde Batty
      Igor
      The Oracle
      Grizelda
      The Librarian
      The Count
      Vincent Price

      What an emsemble cast

      Ooga Booga

  24. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Scungilli Slushy: My cousin somehow befriended a salesperson at Audio Ark. He had Magnepan electrostatic speakers, an Oracle turntable and frankensteined his amp, cannot remember the make of it he he replaced everything in it with the cleanest electronics he could find.

    Electrostatics pan to the extreme. We each picked and album side and on your pick you got to sit in the sweet spot.

    It was so clean you couldn’t tell how loud it was. Until you left his house with ringing ears. His car stereo of course custom was better than most home systems.

    One problem was I couldn’t listen to my own for a few days because it sounded like there were pillows strapped to the speakers.

    I had from Audio Ark an Oracle table, NAD amp and deck, Energy 22 speakers.

    The Energy’s were a bit bright and not bassy, but clean and efficient. I upgraded the amp, and for the life of me I can’t remember the brand. I think it was maybe Audio Research.

    All uni students need to spend their money on audio!

    I have a pair of Magnaplanar Tympani 1Ds. Got them in 1980 just before they changed from the black fabric to white. And yes, they sound otherworldly. I assume they still do but my hearing is not anywhere near what it used to be. All that time my mother spent telling me not to sit too close to the TV and it’s the audio system that did me in.

  25. tileguy says:

    Can’t wait to se 10,000 stuffed turtles thrown on the ice tomorrow.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      or a Turtle Chant….Or even a stuffed turtle or two in the stands with a Tkachuk mask on.

      Your not a llowed to toss a turtle on the ice….but what about into the Flames bench?

  26. John Chambers says:

    Do us a fuckin favour will ya, St Loo

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    Munny,

    http://www.lloydminster.net/wiki-ford-ernie.html

    There you go

    Ernie Ford

    Definitely remember Hilarious House of Frightenstein, that Wolfman really swings

  28. Leroy Draisdale says:

    Blues win in a shoot out. Sucks Calgary got a point but at least it was only one.

    • Seismic Source says:

      Harpers Hair,

      How many times did you ride your bike to Grand Centre?. Man I hated those guys in Grand Centre with their powder blue baseball uniforms.

  29. Harpers Hair says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Munny,

    http://www.lloydminster.net/wiki-ford-ernie.html

    There you go

    Ernie Ford

    Definitely remember Hilarious House of Frightenstein, that Wolfman really swings

    Grandpa Sneezby unmasked.

    What a time to be alive!

  30. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Munny,

    http://www.lloydminster.net/wiki-ford-ernie.html

    There you go

    Ernie Ford

    Definitely remember Hilarious House of Frightenstein, that Wolfman really swings

    Ernie Ford. Wow. Absolutely dead on. I remember him on CKSA Radio too. There was a time there when CKSA used to show—near incessantly it seemed lol—a quick promo or something about Ford’s Rodeo Broadcasting Award.

    I actually had to call my Dad tonight to remind him of all the memories conjured by Lowetidia today… the CKSA, tall TV antennae (our was a 40 footer off the top of the roof), International Stereo…

    Whenever Dad had saved up enough money for a new piece of stereo equipment he would take me with him to the city to get it. And always to International Stereo.

    We’d spend a couple of hours, at least, demo-ing, reviewing specs, and comparing price before pulling the trigger. Loved It. Man, can’t beat the one-on-one times you got to spend with your Dad.

  31. Munny says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    The Oracle was my groove, but loved them all.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Munny: Ernie Ford. Wow. Absolutely dead on.I remember him on CKSA Radio too.There was a time there when CKSAused to show—near incessantly it seemed lol—a quick promo or something about Ford’s Rodeo Broadcasting Award.

    I actually had to call my Dad tonight to remind him of all the memories conjured by Lowetidia today… the CKSA, tall TV antennae (our was a 40 footer off the top of the roof), International Stereo…

    Whenever Dad had saved up enough money for a new piece of stereo equipment he would take me with him to the city to get it. And always to International Stereo.

    We’d spend a couple of hours, at least, demo-ing, reviewing specs, and comparing price before pulling the trigger.Loved It.Man, can’t beat the one-on-one times you got to spend with your Dad.

    He was Grandpa Sneezebee too, 4pm weekdays.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: Grandpa Sneezby unmasked.

    What a time to be alive!

    BAH! And two posts up it’s already there.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Munny: It was “Grampa” Sneezby… and I’m pretty sure he was played by… Wes Saunders!If not him then another CKSA regular.

    It was just a wig and a fake beard.And back then people were doing the “Billy Vann” thing on local TV.

    Lord, I miss House of Frightenstein.I was never big on kids shows even as a kid, but Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein were my sweet spots.

    That and… “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here, Bobba Louie!”

    “Okay, Queeksdraw.”

    Wes read the news. He was station manager too maybe.

  35. Lowetide says:

    tollen77:
    Harpers Hair,

    Wes Saunders???

    I’m from Hillmond… grew up with CKSA and CITL. I remember staying up late on Saturday after HNIC and hearing Oh Canada then the beeeeeep that went with the colour bars. Memories!

    When CITL went on the air, maybe 1974, Lloyd Robertson came out for the opening. Biggest celeb I can ever recall there.

  36. godot10 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: When did The Dementor change to Hair Gel?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Just mixing things up…stealing Flattop from you, and needing a hair reference for the other guy to match.

  37. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t take it that way at all – I’m sure he has zero idea who I am anyways – not that I’m “anybody” just a fan that likes to chat about the team and the game.

    So why did you feel the need to bring it up?
    Are you that desperate for our approval? For our attention?
    What would make you feel the need to say “I said so first”?

  38. Wilde says:

    I’m always wondering what clear NHLers look like in the AHL.

    In case anyone’s wondering on Benning’s #’s:

    98/106 of his total shot events at 5-on-5 were with Lagesson, they went 53-45, +8, 54.08%. 1-0 GF-GA.

    With the loose 3-5 CF-CA, his total was 56-50, +6, 52.83%

    Around the same time, the other two pairings were typically Manning-Day, Lowe-Bouchard.

    Lowe-Bouchard improved on their November-December area quarter(ish), where they went 136-139, +3, 49.45% – to 110-91, +19, 54.73%. They’ve brought their total to 8-11 GF-GA. People generally have a bad time with Lowe, remember. I’m not joking with the following: it’s allowing zone entries or favourable chips and a lack of exit ability. Don’t think about it too long.

    Manning-Day went 27-41, -14, 39.71%. 0-5 GF-GA.

    I’m very sympathetic to whoever’s views got Day his contract. He’s a much more fun version of a ‘utility’ player, inverse of who usually gets that label. I’d always have one on my roster.

    The most common Day pairing is Samorukov-Day, who’re (full season so far) 170-154, +16, 54.27%; 8-6 GF-GA.

    I’ll say no more on Manning.

    Circling back to Bouchard, I thought that his positional (and reactive) improvement would probably come with a return to the Lagesson pairing. Lagesson’s been very good at facilitating offense this year, it’s an aspect that I think puts Russell’s job the most in danger. If he can defend well without doing what Russell tends to do to on-ice offense, it’s hard to argue against the prime-age ELC. Maybe get Russ to teach him about minding outside-in lanes before he goes.

    I’ve started to put together Fenwick numbers, the ones I tracked in the first dozen games or so aren’t up to my now-psychotic standards of deflection-reviewing. The ~20 games I filled in for the 2018-19 sample will make a decent reference. Early returns are that Bouchard has a better unblocked shot contribution than most of the forwards, boosted by a high assist rate, which is something I’ve been anxious to see. The only way to mess up this guy’s offensive value, in my view, is to get him to shoot too much – whether at 5-on-5 or 5-on-4.

    Keeping an eye on Granlund, he’s the hot hand individually but it hasn’t been backed up by either shot share or shot contribution, and even the goal share is suffering. It’s only ten games, but.

    Over half of his time is spent centering the Benson-Currie winger-set, they’re 82-86, -4, 48.81%. 3-3 GF-GA.

    When they’ve been with Marody, they’ve run 59.09% CF and 63.16% GF, as I noted in my last (I think) post.

    Granlund’s got a ton of loose minutes, remember that run of starting when Marody got injured where they ran 11/7 every game. He’s carrying around the same rate there, 123-127, -4, 49.20%. 3-4 GF-GA.

  39. Bulging Twine says:

    3 of our 7 division rivals do not have their first round pick this year:

    Arizona
    San Jose
    Vancouver

    This is a plus for the future.

    Of course one of those, Arizona, is leaving the division when Seattle enters.

    Arizona has traded away a lot of their futures over the last while:

    In the Hall trade they traded:

    1st this year
    3rd next year (could become a first)
    their 3rd in 2017 – Nate Schnarr
    1st in 2015 Merkley
    2nd in 2018 Kevin Bahl

    In the Kessel trade:
    1st round pick in 2017 Joseph

    For 34 year old Soderberg:
    3rd this year

  40. Bulging Twine says:

    Gabriel Landeskog is really struggling 5×5 offensively this season.

    .98 pts/60

    last on the team of players playing more than 14 games by quite a large margin (.49)

    As the playoffs wore on last year he looked absolutely gassed and even said he was totally exhausted. They play the snot out of that top line down there. I wonder if he’s having one of those road the hot goalie too long downbeat seasons.

  41. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: As I said, they likely have the cap space for it next year if Larsson or Russell go but is an over-paid Bonino what we want to use the bullet on next year – current team plus Bonino and internal improvements (minus Russell/Larsson)?

    I disagree that Bonino is overpaid.

    Good teams have a good 3C.

    Here are some and their salaries:

    WSH – Eller $3.5
    TOR – Kerfoot $3.5
    BOS – Coyle $5.25 next year
    STL – Bozak – $5
    COL – Compher – $3.5
    NYI – Cizikas – $3.25

    Bonino is in the range.

    He has an 5v5 GF% of 66% (leads his team)

    He has a massive +2.75 Relative Team Mate GF% this year (total weighted WOWYs) and a very good +0.71 last year.

    There is a strong argument that at $4MM he’s a value contract.

  42. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Brett Connolly currently tied for 32nd in the NHL for 5v5 goals with 12.

    Tied with these guys:

    Jonathan Huberdeau
    Mark Scheifele
    Sam Reinhart
    Nikolaj Ehlers
    Mathew Barzal
    Patrik Laine
    J.T. Miller
    Nick Bonino
    Brock Nelson
    Timo Meier
    Alex Killorn
    Pierre-Luc Dubois
    Sebastian Aho
    Adam Henrique
    Jean-Gabriel Pageau

  43. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10: Just mixing things up…stealing Flattop from you, and needing a hair reference for the other guy to match.

    Full disclosure: I stole Flattop from RiversQ

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: So why did you feel the need to bring it up?
    Are you that desperate for our approval? For our attention?
    What would make you feel the need to say “I said so first”?

    It was a concept that didn’t need “confirmation” – it had been confirmed multiple times over months and confirmed weekly, if not more often, on this site.

    It needed no more confirmation than “Nurse is an RFA with arbitration rights” – this was not a technical cap issue like LTIR and its various implications and where all the ramifications and nuances are not even set out in the CBA – this one was cut and dry and easy. It had been confirmed, many times.

  45. Harpers Hair says:

    Seismic Source:
    Harpers Hair,

    How many times did you ride your bike to Grand Centre?. Man I hated those guys in Grand Centre with their powder blue baseball uniforms.

    Ha!

    I actually played for those guys in the powder blues.

    Recall having to face the big pitcher from CFB Cold Lake…Reggie Cleveland.

    He ended up playing for the St Louis Cardinals.

    I couldn’t hit his fastball.

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