The desert’s quiet and Cleveland’s cold

Mikko Koskinen has played 80 minutes in February 2020, facing 34 shots, stopping 32 (.941). His save percentage for the season is .913, that ranks No. 15 (tie) among goalies with 20 or more starts this season. His running mate, Mike Smith, is at .899 (No. 39 among 47 starters). Koskinen gave his team all the time the law would allow to get back into the game last night, but no sale.

Fans get frustrated over games like last night, but they happen to all teams. These Oilers have plenty of natural talent, but not so much of it that every night can be turned around after two periods. In a way, older Oilers fans are spoiled, because there’s always that easy memory jog back to the place where miracles were every day. That was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone.

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: If fast is the new big, the Oilers are trending in a very good direction
  • New Lowetide: Oilers’ 2016 draft and the value of waiting five years
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘I got a text from Wayne Gretzky that I’ve still got saved’: 8 years later, Sam Gagner reflects on his 8-point night.
  • Lowetide: What’s next for Tyler Benson and William Lagesson after being called up by the Oilers?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Now it’s over’: With a new contract in hand, Zack Kassian ready to move on after Matthew Tkachuk fight
  • Lowetide: Why the Oilers are more likely to trade Adam Larsson than Kris Russell
  • Lowetide: Oilers prospects Evan Bouchard and Tyler Benson deliver best minor league performances in 20 years
  • 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
  • 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

OILERS AFTER 53 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 21-27-5, 47 points; goal differential -21
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 28-17-8, 64 points; goal differential +12
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 23-26-4, 50 points; goal differential -28
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 23-25-5, 51 points; goal differential -19
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 28-19-6, 62 points; goal differential +5

One loss isn’t going to have much of an impact after so many good things over the first 50 games of the season. Edmonton has a nice schedule ahead this week and should be able to recover quickly. It might mean we see Tyler Benson on Thursday night.

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
  • Fifth 10 games: 6-2-2
  • Current 10 games: 2-1-0

It seems likely Edmonton will avoid another 3-6-1 this month. If the Oilers go 5-4-1 the rest of the way, and split games 81 and 82, the final record will be 42-31-9, 93 points. Will that be enough for the playoffs?

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in February 2017: 0-2-0, 0 points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-0-1, three points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in February 2019: 0-0-2, two points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in February 2020: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential +3

As was the case in January, the Oilers February past features no dynasties in sight. The playoff team began the month flat before heading in a better direction.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: CAL, ARI (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: SJS, NAS, CHI (Expected 2-1-0)
  • On the road to: TBY, FLA, CAR (Expected 1-1-1)
  • At home to: BOS, MIN (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: LAK, ANA, VEG (Expected 2-1-0)
  • At home to: WPG (Expected 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 1-1-0, two points in two games

I had the Calgary game as a loss, with Edmonton winning in Arizona. I have wins against San Jose and Chicago on the home stand.

OILERS 2019-20

I’m not going to run the stats, the lines were a complete mess but everything you’ll want to see is here at NST. Connor McDavid was on three of them, featuring Archibald-Kassian, Drasaitl-Yamamoto and Gagner-Chiasson with 97 in the middle. Nothing rhymed.

Ethan Bear made an errant pass and the Coyotes jumped on the opportunity, Taylor Hall making a lovely pass to set up the winner. Oscar Klefbom’s shot ricko-shatted off various bones and a jailbreak later the Oilers were down 2-0.

What was missing from this game were the one or two power play goals, the aggressive forechecking that led to a turnover and a goal. Edmonton’s sorties were not effective. Dave Tippett (rightly) mentioned the three strong games played last week and confirmed the gas was on low in the desert last night. Perhaps the evening was summed up best when Leon was hit dead solid perfect by a Coyotes defender and dropped like a rock. Normally that scene plays out with Draisaitl breaking through with the puck, shrapnel everywhere. It wasn’t quite Santo and Johnny but it was close.

CURRENT STANDINGS

I think four teams make it, so the key is to stay in this gang of five. Arizona would have been in a world of hurt last night with a loss, the Coyotes played a strong game. Taylor Hall’s brilliant pass on the first goal is the kind of creativity we see from the Oilers most nights. The team in a little bit of trouble today is Calgary. A point behind the Coyotes and Vegas, with a game in hand, but the Giordano news will be massive. Puck IQ tells us he plays 38.9 percent of his five on five time against elites (Ethan Bear leads Edmonton with 36.5) so any time away will have an impact.

THE NEXT NURSE DEAL

Bob McKenzie says “talks have been progressing” between the Oilers and Darnell Nurse. The Oilers can’t sign Nurse long term so are looking for a two-year deal with the cap number starting with a $5M.

It makes sense on all kinds of levels but I think it also increases the chances that Nurse gets dealt before the next contract. The cap over the next two years is limited and there’s an expectation we’ll see a major lift by 2022-23. Edmonton will be talking extension summer 2021, and if things have changed then both sides will be dealing with the new reality. The best laid plans and all that. If a long term deal was available in the low 6’s (say six years times $6.25 million) it would set up the relationship long term. The two-year scenario comes with some risk.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will discuss last night’s game and possible deadline moves. We’ll chat MLB with Jared Diamond from the Wall Street Journal as things are heating up with trade talks. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. It’s a gas!

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169 Responses to "The desert’s quiet and Cleveland’s cold"

  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Central
    STL    18
    COL    13
    DAL    12

    Pacific
    VAN    11
    EDM    9
    CGY    6

    Wildcard
    VGP    6
    ARI    6

    Out of playoffs
    NSH    5
    CHI    4
    WPG    3
    MIN    2
    SJS    -4
    ANA    -4
    LAK    -11
    -The Cult of Mediocrity rears its head once more last night.

    -CGY has played one less game than VGP and ARI

    -VGP and ARI have identical records, but VGP has 21 regulation wins to ARI’s 20.

    Relevant games tonight:

    BOS (-160) at CHI (+140) – BOS played in BOS last night, CHI played in MIN.  I have both Lehner and Halak in my keeper league so I want this to be a 1-0 game.

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Metropolitan
    WSH    23
    PIT    19
    NYI    15

    Atlantic
    BOS    22
    TBY    18
    FLA    12

    Wildcard
    CBJ    13
    PHI    12

    Out of playoffs
    TOR    10
    CAR    10
    NYR    3
    MTL    2
    BUF    0
    OTT    -6
    NJD    -6
    DET    -26

    -Relevant wildcard games tonight:

    TOR (-135) at NYR (+115) – TOR not having a decent goalering option and NYR being able to score makes me like the Rags a litte and the over 7.0 (+105) a little.

    First time I’ve ever seen the O/U line set at 7.0  Wow.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    19/20
    EDM Goal Share after 53 games (28-19-6)

    Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
    McDavid On Ice 53-48 (52%)
    McDavid Off Ice 57-74 (44%)
    Net EV = -12

    Sp. Teams (PP+SH For–PK+SH Against)
    47-33
    Net ST +15

    Empty Net
    12-11
    Net EN=+1

    SO & PS
    3-3
    SO & PS= Even

    Net Goal Differential = +4

  4. OilClog says:

    Nice to see Giordano stick to ripping his own body parts half, torn hammy… that’s Au Gratin.

    Hopefully his next game is April 4th and he can shake n baked.

  5. Nit64 says:

    “If a long term deal was available in the low 6’s (say six years times $6.25 million) it would set up the relationship long term”

    If the team can sign him to a long term number that fits their plans and reasonable expectations, the cap should not be an excuse to do a short sighted 2nd bridge.

    Generally I don’t like buyouts because they have a long tail. But in this case I would buyout Neil @ 6×1.9 if the buyout creates the room to do a good long term hockey move.

    A rich long term deal with Nurse should be evaluated on its own merits. If it’s too rich do something else. But if the short term cap hit is the only reason to give nurse a new tv deal pay bump in 2 years then buyout Neal. The buyout and the Nurse contract are complementary long term moves.

  6. Brantford Boy says:

    LT: “It seems likely Edmonton will avoid another 3-6-1 this month. If the Oilers go 5-4-1 the rest of the way, and split games 81 and 82, the final record will be 42-31-9, 93 points. Will that be enough for the playoffs?”

    Sure hope so, that’s my Death March bet… I also suggested Bouchard would be the one to fall to us… I’ll look into my Oilers Crystal Ball for Giordano updates. I believe it says Benson is playing Thursday too…

    Yep, Gio’s hurt, for awhile… would have liked to see today’s blog titled “Karma Police” by Radiohead…

  7. dustrock says:

    I’ve never really bought into the “never change a winning lineup” theory, seems as good as rubbing your lucky rabbit’s foot.

    This was very obviously going to be a letdown game and I just don’t understand not putting Benson into his first game this season to give the team an energy boost.

    You really think guys like Khaira and Russell are going to make or break a game against Arizona?

    Anyway, I turned it off at 2-0 because it was very clearly going to be one of those nights.

  8. flyfish1168 says:

    I like the idea and agree a buyout of Neal is not ideal but signing Nurse long term is. KH has some decisions to make. I hope he finds a dancing partner for Neal.

  9. dustrock says:

    Oh and for Godot, who was late on the backcheck on the 1-0 goal?

    Kassian.

  10. JimmyV1965 says:

    dustrock:
    Oh and for Godot, who was late on the backcheck on the 1-0 goal?

    Kassian.

    I’m pretty sure a bad clearing attempt by Bear and a magnificent pass by Hall were the main triggers of that goal.

  11. dustrock says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m pretty sure a bad clearing attempt by Bear and a magnificent pass by Hall were the main triggers of that goal.

    Yeah, it was a nice goal, but part of it was a scramble, Nurse had to cover for Bear, and Kassian looked pretty slow on the backcheck.

    I like Kassian, I just find he’s played the best and been the most motivated when he has something to play for.

    My biggest worry with him was with the 4 year deal, even unconsciously, he might take his foot off the gas.

    Still, I know he’ll show up in the playoffs, no worries there.

  12. Litke 94 says:

    Last night’s game felt bleh from jump. The audio was scrambly on Sportsnet, the lighting (as always in Arizona) looked like they were playing in Westwood arena.

    Figured it had to be that way. Arizona vs. Edmonton, following one of the greatest BOA of all time. That’s like Nickleback following the Stones. Ain’t happening.

    After the first period, with things trending the way they were, my only hope was that we could get through the game without an injury. The hit on Draisaitl caused some pause, and the slash on McDavid that had him bent over for a second was a worry. But from the sounds of it, no casualties.

    On a night when all other relevant PAC teams lost, plus a potential loss of Gio to the Flames, I guess an injury-free tilt at the old barn on 97th street is enough of a consolation prize. Bring on the Sharks…

  13. DocFan says:

    I really don’t understand the constant return to Mike Smith. He has outperformed expectations in segments, but my impression of him is an aging goalie who is relying on his athleticism to cover the weaknesses in his game.

    The two goals recently with him scrambling on his stomach (Mangiapane goal and the other flames bank goal – I think it was Lindholm) are examples of this. Koski, while not perfect, has been much more steady and his form is more stable.

    I get Tippet loves Smith’s competitiveness, and I could see an argument to play him in high stakes / emotional games (Post Stick Flip BOA game for example), but I think Koski should be more of a staple.

    With respect to Neal – please no more buy outs. This team will pay a huge price in 2 – 3 years with all this dead money on the books. Either trade him with money retained or deal with the play.

  14. Ribs says:

    Perhaps the evening was summed up best when Leon was hit dead solid perfect by a Coyotes defender and dropped like a rock. Normally that scene plays out with Draisaitl breaking through with the puck, shrapnel everywhere. It wasn’t quite Santo and Johnny but it was close.

    I was relieved to see that Draisatl took so long to get up partially because he had to gather up his mouthguard off the ice.

    It looked like Arizona put in a European sized sheet of ice last night! Hard for anyone to move anywhere!

  15. dustrock says:

    I wonder if we’ll see increasing Koskinen workload over the last 1/4 of the season.

    He seemed to fade last year when he played too many games, so I think they’re pretty cautious about giving him 80% of the games.

    Doesn’t mean they have to rotate every game though, I agree.

  16. dustrock says:

    Yeah the Oilers had way more open ice against the Blues, which is something I wouldn’t say too often.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Oilers maybe had a rough night but Iguazú hasn’t disappointed.

    https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1225086744753790977?s=21

    Apologies for those in advance who hate my personal anecdotes more than Chiarelli himself.

  18. dustrock says:

    Incredible view. I thought I told you to trim those sideburns!

  19. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m pretty sure a bad clearing attempt by Bear and a magnificent pass by Hall were the main triggers of that goal.

    Kassian could have bailed Bear out with a little defensive awareness, instead of a floating, covering air, cheating for offense.

  20. Nit64 says:

    If Neal salary retained is low enough to enable a good Niurse deal there’s another option. Key thing is short term cap hit should not be an excuse to walk away if there is a reasonable long term deal on a core player.

  21. godot10 says:

    I think the OIlers will wait one more year on Neal, and try to make a deal with Seattle to take him at the expansion draft to get rid of the entire cap hit. If that fails, then I think they buy him out.

  22. ArmchairGM says:

    A 2 year term takes Nurse to 27 years old, meaning a long-term contract at that time is buying a LOT of decline years.

  23. Clarkenstein says:

    Where are all the guys that were worried the Oil would “look past” the Yotes? A team that is (now) only 1 point back.

  24. Nit64 says:

    Exactly. Whatever they do short term cap hit should not be the driver. Better to buyout Neal or some other creative move than a 2nd Nurse bridge (if there is a good long term deal to be done)

  25. Side says:

    The Oilers had a rough start last night but I thought they started picking it up and were putting in effort right to the end of the game. To me it was just one of those nights where they couldn’t cash, they had an unlucky bounce go against them and their brain farts were costly.

    I would categorize last night’s game as more of a “shit happens” kinda game and not a “Oilers were expecting a gimme win and were embarrassed by a shitty team” game.

  26. ArmchairGM says:

    DocFan: With respect to Neal – please no more buy outs. This team will pay a huge price in 2 – 3 years with all this dead money on the books. Either trade him with money retained or deal with the play.

    100% agree. A buyout should not be an option. Nor should it be needed – scorers get paid and there aren’t many other perennial 20+ goal scorers for the same price as a 33% retained Neal.

  27. dustrock says:

    Yup. One of those “you lose 1/3 of the games no matter what” games. I ain’t even mad.

  28. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    If $6.25M doesn’t get Nurse signed I’d trade him anyways. He’s not worth that much on a short term or long term deal. Jones will easily be ready for top 4 minutes before his new 2 yr deal is up. Bear’s gonna probably get a 2 yr bridge with a decent bump in pay. If they walk Nurse to UFA, they’ll have 3 D to re-up at the end of 21-22. A big Nurse deal will throw the cap right out the window.

    They could probably get at least a nice top 6 winger for him in a trade, which we need to add anyways. And the pipeline still has some decent LD prospects coming. Like it or not, it’s a long game to fix this cap situation. With that in mind, the idea of buying out Neal drives me nuts. Either ride it out or trade him and retain salary. $1.9M against the cap for 6 yrs is lunacy!!

  29. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    How accurate is CapFriendly’s Armchair GM mode?

    I have built a roster for next season including the recently signed contracts (Jones, Kassian) and some presumptive signings.

    Starrett @ $825k
    Laggeson, PRusty @ $850k
    Haas, Nygard, Sheahan @ $1M
    Archibald @ $1.25M
    Benning @ $2M
    Aaron Dell @ $2.25M (YMMV, sign whomever as backup for about $2.5M)
    Bear @ $3.25M
    Nurse @ $6.75M

    I did make the assumption of a clean disposition, KRusty to WPG for a 2022 4th. Starrett and PRusty in the minors for now.

    All of this adds up to cap space of $4,405,502. This implies we could sign Nurse long term, Bear short term, spend a bit on a backup goalie, everyone else to minor raises AND KEEP KRusty.

    What am I missing?

  30. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10: Kassian could have bailed Bear out with a little defensive awareness, instead of a floating, covering air, cheating for offense.

    I don’t think Kassian saw another shift with McDavid after that

  31. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Does that number include the buyouts?

  32. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    You are also missing a top 6 winger to help McDavid

  33. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Buyouts

    Andrej Sekera: $2,500,000
    Benoit Pouliot: $1,333,333

    Retained Salary Transactions

    Milan Lucic: $750,000 (13%)

  34. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Agreed. Neal is still there and Benson is on the roster. There is some wiggle room to proceed at the draft and open up some space for July 1st.

    However, my intent was just to see how big of a cap crunch the team really is in with respect to signing Nurse long term and bridging Bear. Both of them should be doable for $10M without having to do anything drastic (IE the KRusty and Neal contracts).

    Unless I’m totally missing something.

  35. npanciroli says:

    I really hope they try Benson with McDavid and Kassian. They just seem like a good fit.

  36. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    I’d rather see him break into the lineup down the roster and move up on merit.

    No need to toss him into the deep end to start.

  37. Shane says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Benson get a start on McDavids LW. I understand the logic of starting him lower down the lineup and work his way up. But after seeing Yamos success in the top 6 and with the way the roster is set up now it just seems so easy to slide him in there and move Archie back to the third line.

    I don’t think it would be bad for his development or anything and Tipps probably wouldn’t wait too long to move him down if he’s really struggling.

    Sometimes putting a player with McDavid is setting him up for success.

  38. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Don’t disagree. However, Yammo started on the 3L this year and moved up after that. I see Tippett being most likely to proceed in this manner, and I would do the same.

  39. LadiesloveSmid says:

    It took him 2 games to be worth less than half the contract he just signed ! (by being moved from 97)

  40. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10: Kassian could have bailed Bear out with a little defensive awareness, instead of a floating, covering air, cheating for offense.

    This really bugs me. People twisting all logic and sanity into a pretzel to fit their pet narrative. Guess what. People do the same damn thing to Nurse all the time. Sheesh.

  41. JimmyV1965 says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Where are all the guys that were worried the Oil would “look past” the Yotes? A team that is (now) only 1 point back.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying. The Oil clearly didn’t show up ready to play.

  42. Leroy Draisdale says:

    Agreed, everything was just a little off. Effort was there just not going our way.

  43. Bag of Pucks says:

    Kassian seems to have taken over for Jultz as the fanbase’s resident whipping boy.

    Always gotta have one I guess.

  44. npanciroli says:

    Tatar would be really great I like him.

  45. Harpers Hair says:

    npanciroli,

    A $4.8 million cap hit through next year.

  46. Bag of Pucks says:

    Love the idea of Nurse on a shorter bridge deal with a reasonable cap hit.

    In a couple years, he’ll have more competition pushing him down the depth chart but he’d still be at an age where he’s a very tradeable asset on a non-luxe deal.

    Never understand why NHL GMs treat players as if they’re continually appreciating stocks as opposed to humans subject to injuries, regression, off years, etc. Only the best of the best should get longer term deals. Everyone else on the roster should be invested in proving their worth and fighting off the competition.

  47. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Friedman says the Oilers are sniffing around Tatar.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-dustin-byfuglien-winnipeg-jets-contract/

    Ooooohhhhhh that would be a fantastic get.

    He’s the goods.

    Reasonable salary too with $5.3MM that runs next year too.

    EDIT: VGP retained $500K so its only $4.8.

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Kassian seems to have taken over for Jultz as the fanbase’s resident whipping boy.

    Always gotta have one I guess.

    The coach moving Kassian off McDavid’s line after lax dzone play that contributed to a goal against isn’t the fan’s whipping him.

  49. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JimmyV1965: This really bugs me. People twisting all logic and sanity into a pretzel to fit their pet narrative. Guess what. People do the same damn thing to Nurse all the time. Sheesh.

    Tippett moved Kassian off McDavid’s line after the goal against.

    That was before Tippett hit the blender in the 3rd.

    That’s not narrative, that is fact.

    Here’s a link to the shift chart that shows this: http://www.nhl.com/stats/shiftcharts?id=2019020824

  50. Faustkarz says:

    Nit64,

    If they sign Nurse for 6x$7 and need to buy out Neal for it to occur at 6x$1.9, does this not in conjunction make Nurse’s accumulative salary more like 6x$8.9, when you include the $1 million for the replacement of Neal at $1 million this creates a $10 million dollar transaction/yr transaction minimum.

    Also maybe signing Chiasson for $2.15 when we could use the extra $1 million right now wasn’t the brightest idea last summer

    The safer and more cost effective move, to me, is to hold off to see if you can unload Neal’s contract elsewhere.

    Holland may also be holding his cards for two year to see more of what he has in our young D and older (Klefbom, Larsson) before committing so much to one D man with many in the wing.

  51. Harpers Hair says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Worth a first round pick?

  52. Clarkenstein says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not sure what you’re saying. The Oil clearly didn’t show up ready to play.

    JimmyV1965: I’m not sure what you’re saying. The Oil clearly didn’t show up ready to play.

    My point simply was there were people thinking the only thing that would keep the Oil from winning was “looking past” AZ. Silly of them. AZ is a good team imo that was slumping like all teams do.

  53. Material Elvis says:

    Tatar is LT’s number one hard target.

  54. Material Elvis says:

    I don’t see/hear that at all. Most fans like him.

  55. Lexx says:

    Don’t post often but thoroughly enjoy reading all the comments and insights from the community daily. I saw an article that Domi in Montreal might be falling out of favor because of Suzuki and with all the Nurse contract talk, does a swap of these two make sense? Oilers could use a forward and looks as though Montreal could use a LD like Nurse and both teams seem to have coverage to make this move.

    EDIT: As an off-season move, forgot to mention that.

  56. ArmchairGM says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Agreed.Neal is still there and Benson is on the roster.There is some wiggle room to proceed at the draft and open up some space for July 1st.

    However, my intent was just to see how big of a cap crunch the team really is in with respect to signing Nurse long term and bridging Bear.Both of them should be doable for $10M without having to do anything drastic (IE the KRusty and Neal contracts).

    Unless I’m totally missing something.

    $10M is a good goal for that pairing if both are signed for 5+ years. And as WG pointed out, you aren’t missing anything except improvements for the forward corps, which is a pretty big deal IMO. But, if you shave all the “replacement” level players down (I think this is the way the NHL is trending) a bit, there’s a little room.

    Nurse + Bear: $10M
    Sheahan + Archibald + Nygard: $3M
    Benning: $1.9M (he doesn’t need a raise IMO)
    Lagesson: $750k (he should get less than Jones)
    backup: $2M (buyers market on veteran goalies this summer)

    Based on an $83M cap, this is 22 players with $2.1M in space – not enough to upgrade at forward. The problem is, this roster – including Bouchard – has 9 defensemen on it. If we say Lagesson slips through waivers, still there’s a logjam on defense and no upgrades up front. Potential solutions include trading Larsson for a young winger (Kapanen, say); Benning + Puljujarvi for a winger (Kase, say); Russell for a pick and then signing a UFA for ~$6M.

    In any case, just re-signing current players isn’t going to cut it – there will have to be roster adjustments this summer due to the number of NHL defensemen this team has. I guess what I’m saying is that Nurse CAN be signed long term but it makes improvements more difficult. I wonder if the latest “leak” is simply a negotiating ploy to provoke Nurse’s camp to reconsider their ask.

  57. Nit64 says:

    If GM is not certain on Nurse then a bridge deal is the right move. But short term cap hits are not a good reason to bridge Nurse. Neal and Lucic are sunk costs and the replacement cost is a given however and whenever Neal is disposed. If the only reason not to do a short term deal is short term cap hit, then the total cap hit of Neal over LT’s 6 year example can be reduced by 1/3 and spread out over the whole period.

  58. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – It’s a testament to how far the team has come this year (as well as the psyche of its fans), that after the loss last night, its chalked up as a loss that happens to all teams

    – Earlier in the year, these were classified as “playoff teams don’t lose games like that” Confidence based on recent past performance is a thing for teams and fans alike

    – Progress indeed

    – It’s amazing the delta between Smith v Koski, and the preference of Smith over Koski.

    – If Smith saved pucks at the same rate as Koski, that’s at least a 10 goal difference, and easily 5 more points in the standings..

    – He has had a few good games, and is by all accounts an upstanding guy, tries hard, works out, team player. But next year if he’s our 1A goalie, this is a bad thing. This is the 2nd year where his #s are far worse than the other goalies numbers.

    – There are 8 games min. where Smith has been really bad: and we’ve outscored his badness in a few. Koski has had very few bad starts (4 according to hockey reference)

    – It won’t happen, but by far, getting a better goalie than Smith, to make 10 extra saves for the stretch would have the most impact on this team (and not be very expensive to acquire) IMO

    – I’d rather see if one of the AHL goalies could play a few games, give Koski more games

    – Certainly a 2/3rds Koski, 1/3rd AHL tandem can’t be worse than the current at least average goalie playing as many games as a the sub .900 goalie: and worth it to give them a chance

    – Because there is nothing that supports a Smith-Koski rotation in playoffs. They ought to be giving more games to Koski to see how he’s going to react to playoff schedule.

  59. PaperDesigner says:

    I have to ask, is Nurse enough of a difference maker that signing him long term for 6.5-7.5 million makes sense? Wouldn’t you ideally like a more clear cut number one defenceman at three or four million more? I understand acquiring such a defenceman is a problem, but doesn’t paying Nurse full value to be a middling top four defenceman make that much harder to accomplish?

    I just think perhaps you want either value contract defenceman at four or five million to fill out your top four or true high end defenceman making McDavid/Draisaitl money, and nothing in between. Willing to be shown that I’m wrong, though.

  60. buck yoakam says:

    I think it would be prudent to see how our fellas perform in the playoffs (if and when) before casting them to the curb. Lets see what happens when the big boys play, I recall Kass being a force against San jose. When the going gets tough…..

  61. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Tippett moved Kassian off McDavid’s line after the goal against.

    That was before Tippett hit the blender in the 3rd.

    That’s not narrative, that is fact.

    Here’s a link to the shift chart that shows this: http://www.nhl.com/stats/shiftcharts?id=2019020824

    This means nothing. He moved Kassian off the line after the first goal. Maybe he didn’t like the way Kassian played up to that point and his minor role in the goal sealed the deal. It’s conjecture to assume that he moved him because he was culpable on the goal. We do know Bear was directly responsible for the giveaway and Nurse’s horrible shot in the ozone led to the loss of possession. He didn’t split up the Nurse-Bear pairing.

    It’s not even that I disagree Kassian had a role in the goal. It’s irritating when Kassian is called out for the goal in this forum and Bear wasn’t. Bear made an awful giveaway with very little pressure from the other team. It would be very very close to an unforced error. What am I missing here?

  62. who says:

    ArmchairGM: 100% agree. A buyout should not be an option. Nor should it be needed – scorers get paid and there aren’t many other perennial 20+ goal scorers for the same price as a 33% retained Neal.

    You are making the same mistake other posters have made re Neal. If you retain 33% of his contract the acquiring team is still on the hook for app 3.85 million.
    I doubt there is a GM out there who is willing to take Neal at that without a sweetener added. Even if he ends up with 25 plus goals this year.
    If he was a UFA, Neals real value on a 3 year deal this summer would probably be 1.5 million. And I think he would struggle to get the 3rd year.

  63. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    ArmchairGM,

    We’re not too far off, aside from the slightly different roster construction and marginal differences in pay. I did opt to err on the side of caution with the smaller contracts (Benning, Archibald) to allow some wiggle room on the bigger contracts. Sign a backup goalie for a million or less and you’ve got up to $1.5M more to play with.

    Again, my point was to prove if it’s possible to re up Nurse & Bear for next year while bringing back basically the same roster. Which many people are saying is basically impossible. Change the names if you like, but maintain a similar salary structure and it’s doable.

    Improvements up front can come from moving Neal and Russell. The cleaner the better, but disposing of those contracts is almost $10M to play with. Trade both at 50% retained and you’re still adding nearly $5M to replace Neal. That’s substantial.

    Move those guys and getting players like Kase or Kapanen, or signing a scoring UFA becomes possible. I’d try to keep Larsson for another year. He’d be a solid mentor for young guys like Jones/Laggeson if Bouchard proves ready for top-4, and to play with Klefbom if Bouchard needs more time.

  64. Jethro Tull says:

    John Shannon on Oilers Now trying to justify the league once again helping their buddies get out of contracts. Mentioned the league helping Boston cheat on Backes and mentioned that they probably will do the same for Winnipeg and Buff.

    And we couldn’t have done that with Lucic?

  65. Bank Shot says:

    who: You are making the same mistake other posters have made re Neal. If you retain 33% of his contract the acquiring team is still on the hook for app 3.85 million.
    I doubt there is a GM out there who is willing to take Neal at that without a sweetener added. Even if he ends up with 25 plus goals this year.
    If he was a UFA, Neals real value on a 3 year deal this summer would probably be 1.5 million.And I think he would struggle to get the3rd year.

    That’s probably fair.

    I’d be willing to trade Neal with a sweetner and retention if they had an option lined up to replace him.

    Seems like the Oilers have the second line figured out and Neal doesn’t work on the first. He also doesn’t work in the bottom six. If they can dump the contract and find a defensibly responsible winger with better scoring ability than Archibald that would be the way forward.

  66. who says:

    Was at the game last night. First time seeing the Oilers live. Horrible, boring game. But what I saw reinforced some of my player opinions, or biases.
    Larsson is better than Benning. Bigger, stronger, better skater. Benning sells out, on every shift. But he has to. Just to compete at this level.
    Kassian looked good. He’s big, good hands, and he can skate.
    Nurse is another big man who can really move. Gave, or tried to give, someone a nasty butt end in a pileup at the Oilers goal. Surprised it wasn’t mentioned here.
    I thought Sheehan, Russell and Khaira had some good cycle moments in the ozone.
    Chiasson is big, but skating is a struggle for him. Haas is a very good skater, but he gets knocked off pucks pretty easily.
    Koskinen was solid. Looked in control the entire game.

  67. ArmchairGM says:

    who: You are making the same mistake other posters have made re Neal. If you retain 33% of his contract the acquiring team is still on the hook for app 3.85 million.
    I doubt there is a GM out there who is willing to take Neal at that without a sweetener added. Even if he ends up with 25 plus goals this year.
    If he was a UFA, Neals real value on a 3 year deal this summer would probably be 1.5 million.And I think he would struggle to get the3rd year.

    Please provide me a list of consistent 25+ goal scorers that have signed for less than $3.85M in the past, oh, 5 years.

  68. Munny says:

    Archie looked okay last night on my computer screen… one of the few who did.

  69. ArmchairGM says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey: Again, my point was to prove if it’s possible to re up Nurse & Bear for next year while bringing back basically the same roster. Which many people are saying is basically impossible. Change the names if you like, but maintain a similar salary structure and it’s doable.

    Yes, it is. As I said, I think the current narrative is just part of the negotiation.

  70. who says:

    ArmchairGM: Please provide me a list of consistent 25+ goal scorers that have signed for less than $3.85M in the past, oh, 5 years.

    What would be the point?
    Just ask yourself, would you sign James Neal this summer for 3 x 3.85? Do you think an NHL GM would?

    And there’s your answer?

  71. ArmchairGM says:

    PaperDesigner:
    I have to ask, is Nurse enough of a difference maker that signing him long term for 6.5-7.5 million makes sense? Wouldn’t you ideally like a more clear cut number one defenceman at three or four million more? I understand acquiring such a defenceman is a problem, but doesn’t paying Nurse full value to be a middling top four defenceman make that much harder to accomplish?

    I just think perhaps you want either value contract defenceman at four or five million to fill out your top four or true high end defenceman making McDavid/Draisaitl money, and nothing in between. Willing to be shown that I’m wrong, though.

    That’s an interesting supposition, I’m not sure you’re wrong. Pretty much every team that has won the Cup has had a stud defenseman on the roster. But as you say, how do you acquire such a player? The only UFA that may qualify this year is Pietrangelo, and he’s 30 and likely looking at substantial decline over the next 6-7 years.

    In the Oilers case, I think having Klefbom, Larsson and (probably) Bear on value deals means that Nurse at $6.25M isn’t going to hurt going forward – especially when you consider (a) the cap should continue to rise, and if you believe Woodguy, it’ll go up considerably, and (b) the Oilers have two potential studs in Bouchard and Broberg who will carry cap hits of less than $1M for the next 3/4 years. I.e. Bouchard will be ready to step into Larsson’s spot for less money when that contract is done, and Broberg into Klefbom’s spot for less money when his contract is done.

    Not sure what I’m trying to say here, except that while you may be right about having high-end talent surrounded by mid range talent instead of a bunch of mid and upper-mid guys, it’s realistically only possible to do it through the draft.

  72. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Harpers Hair:
    A recent news story on Shelter Point Distillery.

    https://www.campbellrivermirror.com/sip-savour/raise-your-glass-award-winning-spirits-handcrafted-on-vancouver-island/?utm_source=ShelterPointDistillery&utm_medium=Display&utm_campaign=ShelterPoint_CorporateTastings_1755-001_BCPub

    – What does Sheps think of this?

    – Have you had it? Is it any good?

    – I’ve really tried over the years to like for instance Canadian Red Wine: I just can’t. I’ve even had friends do blind taste tests on me: I don’t like it: but that’s becasue I got spoiled as a student in Paris, where students talked about wine much as Canadians would talk about Hockey players: “non, the Chinon 1996, is much better value and full body than the 1997 quatrieme you brought over yesterday for twice the price”

    – Where do they get their grains from? What is the provenance of the barels they put it in. How do they age it?

    – From the McAlister Clan and having visited the homeland, and the Highlands, I’m in the camp of the immortal Mike Myers: “If its’ not Scottish its’ crap I tell ye”

    – “Single Malt” as Stephen would attest to, is a bit of a misnomeanor. Anyway, hope they make a go of it, and it’s good stuff. Thanks for pointing them out. Sounds like they have traction

  73. ArmchairGM says:

    who: What would be the point?
    Just ask yourself,would you sign James Neal this summer for 3 x3.85? Do you think an NHL GM would?

    And there’s your answer?

    NJ signed Simmonds for $5M last summer after a 17-goal, 30-point season because he has a reputation for scoring goals.

    Heck, even Komarov got $3M x 4 out of Lamoriello after posting a 7-goal, 19-point season in Toronto. He has never scored 20 in a season. Different role, but still.

    Every team needs scoring and someone will take a guy who consistently scores 25+ per 82 (with one exception) to be the net-front guy on their PP, if the price is right.

    So yes, I think there are NHL GM’s who won’t balk at the price, especially if the asset cost is near zero.

  74. knighttown says:

    Let me understand this logic.

    Tippett is aware that the gas tank is empty but chooses to play older, tired players over Benson and Lagesson. Benning is just coming back off two months off and is likely exhausted. PRuss is also not in game shape. Gags and Chiasson are older.

    This just reeks of old school thinking like playing a goalie on back to backs because he won the first leg.

  75. knighttown says:

    The NHL really needs to look at that game tape and do whatever it can to ensure that on ice product never happens again. This was a game with the double whammy of no emotion and no scoring chances. I get that all games can’t be the Saturday night game but the ebb can’t be this low.

    Most of you live in an NHL town so if a game sucks, oh well, there’s always next week. I get to a game or two every few years and when I do go it’s a family of four Christmas present including flights/hotels type of thing.

    I was lucky enough to spend the money on the Toronto game but can you imagine dropping 2-3k and seeing that?

  76. Side says:

    Why would they be so tired? Haven’t they only played like 4 games since their extra long break and before last night’s game, they played on Saturday.

    And the Oilers just started slow, but looked like they had energy and effort from the 2nd period and on.

    I don’t think Benson or Lagesson would have made much difference in the end result.

  77. meanashell11 says:

    Can anybody find that picture one of us did a few years ago documenting all the stories around here like the kid in the box, donner party. All of that.

  78. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    meanashell11:
    Can anybody find that picture one of us did a few years ago documenting all the stories around here like the kid in the box, donner party. All of that.

    – Yeah I remember that: it was a beaut…I don’t think that guy posts anymore though

    – Did you go to Superbowl?

  79. stephen sheps says:

    good read, thanks for sharing!

  80. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Anyone think this trade with ANA is viable/worthwhile? I like JJ and don’t relish the thought of giving up on someone we’ve developed but a change of scenery might be beneficial for both players. Both contracts are up after next season.

    To EDM: Nick Ritchie
    To ANA: Jujhar Khaira

    Ritchie, Nick RFA 24 LW L 32gp 5g 7a 12p $1,498,925
    Khaira, Jujhar RFA 24 LW/C L 46gp 6g 2a 8p $1,200,000

  81. meanashell11 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I did. And my team lost!

  82. Jethro Tull says:

    They were stuck on the tarmac in Calgary airport until 230am due to a winter storm, as per Oilers Now today.

  83. Reja says:

    I can’t believe Tatar just turned 29 a couple of months ago seems like he’s been around since the Nineties. Obviously him and Holland know each other well I wonder what it’ll take.

  84. Jethro Tull says:

    Lou is the master of signing contracts he has no intention of honoring, knowing his mate Gary will get him out of it.

  85. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Worth a first round pick?

    Not for only 1.25 yrs, but I’d give some value.

  86. Ribs says:

    knighttown:
    The NHL really needs to look at that game tape and do whatever it can to ensure that on ice product never happens again. This was a game with the double whammy of no emotion and no scoring chances. I get that all games can’t be the Saturday night game but the ebb can’t be this low.

    Most of you live in an NHL town so if a game sucks, oh well, there’s always next week. I get to a game or two every few years and when I do go it’s a family of four Christmas present including flights/hotels type of thing.

    I was lucky enough to spend the money on the Toronto game but can you imagine dropping 2-3k and seeing that?

    A friend (from Grande Prairie) went to the game with a group of guys and they all dressed up as Kassian (44 jerseys, markered out teeth, bald caps). By all means it looked like they enjoyed themselves (alcohol!), but it had to be a bit of a bummer to see that sad display of a hockey game after putting forth all of that effort (and cash)!

  87. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JimmyV1965: This means nothing. He moved Kassian off the line after the first goal. Maybe he didn’t like the way Kassian played up to that point and his minor role in the goal sealed the deal. It’s conjecture to assume that he moved him because he was culpable on the goal. We do know Bear was directly responsible for the giveaway and Nurse’s horrible shot in the ozone led to the loss of possession. He didn’t split up the Nurse-Bear pairing.

    It’s not even that I disagree Kassian had a role in the goal. It’s irritating when Kassian is called out for the goal in this forum and Bear wasn’t. Bear made an awful giveaway with very little pressure from the other team. It would be very very close to an unforced error. What am I missing here?

    You’re free to air your grievance with Bear.

    Be the voice you want to hear!

  88. pts2pndr says:

    It is more along the lines that due to the inflationary cap, long term contracts for core players are the most cost effective way to do business. This is because long term contract usually cover a number of ufa years. Even if the first few years are a slight over pay this gives you a core player for the ufa portion of the contract at below market value. The key to success however is to, never, with the possible exception of franchise players agree to no move/no trade clauses.

  89. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    knighttown:
    Let me understand this logic.

    Tippett is aware that the gas tank is empty but chooses to play older, tired players over Benson and Lagesson. Benning is just coming back off two months off and is likely exhausted. PRuss is also not in game shape. Gags and Chiasson are older.

    This just reeks of old school thinking like playing a goalie on back to backs because he won the first leg.

    Tippett’s most “old school” thing is loyalty to his players.

    I don’t think he could talk himself into changing a line up that took 5 of 6 points in 3 games in 4 nights against very tough and important opponents.

    Given the change in how EDM is playing in all 3 zones and that he seems to have 97 and 29 buying in to being on 2 lines, his rope with me would need to be transported on 2 giant spools that would barely fit on the back of a 50ft flat deck.

  90. Faustkarz says:

    Fair enough, agreed with most of that though Neal may be a sunk cost but is still producing for the team albeit w replacement level 5×5 play.

    I think the possible marginal gain of buying out Neal to lock up Nurse is higher risk than to bridge Nurse at his current value and to allow evaluation time for the team as a whole, and to circle back next summer or the following. Especially with the expansion redraft and new shiny young D coming up.

  91. pts2pndr says:

    I believe you could move Neal at the trade deadline this year or next with cap retained. I am not sure the short term gain is worth the long term pain.

  92. pts2pndr says:

    Given that Neal has a contract that can be moved and or bought out he could make a good acquisition for a short term for a cap strapped team with a need, given zero acquisition cost re players or draft picks.

  93. Faustkarz says:

    who,

    Chiasson got 2×2.15 so hardly a stretch to think Neal’s agent could get more; term would be more the issue in my mind. 2 x 3.5 I think would be fair market value.

  94. Faustkarz says:

    Nurse at 6.25 would a be a sweet deal if his bridge is rumoured at 5.5 and he is asking for 8 long term; that’s the discrepancy. 6 or 8 x 6.25 would be signed in a second I believe.

  95. godot10 says:

    PaperDesigner:
    I have to ask, is Nurse enough of a difference maker that signing him long term for 6.5-7.5 million makes sense? Wouldn’t you ideally like a more clear cut number one defenceman at three or four million more? I understand acquiring such a defenceman is a problem, but doesn’t paying Nurse full value to be a middling top four defenceman make that much harder to accomplish?

    I just think perhaps you want either value contract defenceman at four or five million to fill out your top four or true high end defenceman making McDavid/Draisaitl money, and nothing in between. Willing to be shown that I’m wrong, though.

    Approximate current salary scale for new contracts with duration.

    Experienced 3rd pairing D or emerging D exiting ELC’s start at $4 million.
    Experienced top 4 D start at $5.5 million.
    Experienced top 2 D start at $7 million.
    Unicorn legit #1D start at $8.5 million.

  96. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: This means nothing. He moved Kassian off the line after the first goal. Maybe he didn’t like the way Kassian played up to that point and his minor role in the goal sealed the deal. It’s conjecture to assume that he moved him because he was culpable on the goal. We do know Bear was directly responsible for the giveaway and Nurse’s horrible shot in the ozone led to the loss of possession. He didn’t split up the Nurse-Bear pairing.

    It’s not even that I disagree Kassian had a role in the goal. It’s irritating when Kassian is called out for the goal in this forum and Bear wasn’t. Bear made an awful giveaway with very little pressure from the other team. It would be very very close to an unforced error. What am I missing here?

    Bear made a mistake. Defensemen made mistakes. If one handles the puck enough this is going to happen. Puck-handling D are not perfect. Bear makes fewer than most. It is a matter of probabilities with puck-handling D. So it is a not-really a mistake mistake.

    Kassian made a mental error and was lazy. It was an absolutely preventable mistake.

  97. who says:

    pts2pndr:
    Given that Neal has a contract that can be moved and or bought out he could make a good acquisition for a short term for a cap strapped team with a need, given zero acquisition cost re players or draft picks.

    But that’s my point. It can’t be moved. Not without some pain involved.
    Yes, it can be bought out. And the Oilers probably do that, either this summer or next. But I find it hard to believe another team is going to volunteer to make the buyout for the Oilers. Unless Edmonton gives up some other asset.

  98. Faustkarz says:

    So 5.5 for duration is fair?

  99. who says:

    Faustkarz:
    who,

    Chiasson got 2×2.15 so hardly a stretch to think Neal’s agent could get more; term would be more the issue in my mind. 2 x 3.5 I think would be fair market value.

    Really. You think an NHL GM would offer 2 x 3.5 to James Neal this summer?
    I would suggest that Neal is very similar to Chiasson right now. He’s a big, slow winger who struggles to score when he’s not on the powerplay. Nobody gives these guys 2×3.5.

  100. duct tape and foil says:

    Agree with most of this and that Smith has gotten a ton of rope this year that was not always deserved. Old Dutch better let this guy go this summer or he’s going to get the coach into trouble. Smith’s bad patches are getting longer and more frequent every year, and one year soon, all he will have is a bad patch. Don’t want him on my team when that happens. That said, his team mates probably love him and he’s part of a group of vets with Neal who have changed the team dynamic for the better. I’d be playing Koski 2 out of 3 until he has 2 bad ones in a row and then see if Smith has one last burner in him. End of the line for Smith is near though.

    Probably too disruptive this year but one trade for JP that might make sense is goalie. Specifically Georgiev. I don’t know that much about the guy, but he’s damn consistent and the right age to be a 1B next year and until Koski’s contract is up. If Allaire is fan then I’d seriously consider getting him and he has been well coached the last 3 years if nothing else. JP for Georgiev cross one thing off Holland’s “to do” list over the summer. But our current situation in goal is calm and Smith has provided more than just wins this year (e.g., leadership, Koski’s much improved stick and goalie fight 🙂

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – It’s a testament to how far the team has come this year (as well as the psyche of its fans), that after the loss last night, its chalked up as a loss that happens to all teams

    – Earlier in the year, these were classified as “playoff teams don’t lose games like that”Confidence based on recent past performance is a thing for teams and fans alike

    – Progress indeed

    – It’s amazing the delta between Smith v Koski, and the preference of Smith over Koski.

    – If Smith saved pucks at the same rate as Koski, that’s at least a 10 goal difference, and easily 5 more points in the standings..

    – He has had a few good games, and is by all accounts an upstanding guy, tries hard, works out, team player.But next year if he’s our 1A goalie, this is a bad thing.This is the 2nd year where his #s are far worse than the other goalies numbers.

    – There are 8 games min.where Smith has been really bad: and we’ve outscored his badness in a few.Koski has had very few bad starts (4 according to hockey reference)

    – It won’t happen, but by far, getting a better goalie than Smith, to make 10 extra saves for the stretch would have the most impact on this team (and not be very expensive to acquire) IMO

    – I’d rather see if one of the AHL goalies could play a few games, give Koski more games

    – Certainly a 2/3rds Koski, 1/3rd AHL tandem can’t be worse than the current at least average goalie playing as many games as a the sub.900 goalie: and worth it to give them a chance

    – Because there is nothing that supports a Smith-Koski rotation in playoffs. They ought to be giving more games to Koski to see how he’s going to react to playoff schedule.

  101. who says:

    ArmchairGM: NJ signed Simmonds for $5M last summer after a 17-goal, 30-point season because he has a reputation for scoring goals.

    Heck, even Komarov got $3M x 4 out of Lamoriello after posting a 7-goal, 19-point season in Toronto. He has never scored 20 in a season. Different role, but still.

    Every team needs scoring and someone will take a guy who consistently scores 25+ per 82 (with one exception) to be the net-front guy on their PP, if the price is right.

    So yes, I think there are NHL GM’s who won’t balk at the price, especially if the asset cost is near zero.

    Simmonds signed a 1 year deal. Neal has 3 years left. Totally different scenario. And committment.
    Komarov was signed to kill penalties and shut down the other teams top lines.
    You’re right. Different role. Faster player.
    Believe me, I hope you’re right. I just don’t think the market is there.
    If Holland could trade Neal, with 33% retained and no sweeteners added, I think he would already be gone.
    And Holland would be a lock for GM of the year.

  102. Genjutsu says:

    Absolutely gorgeous.

  103. Ivan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Hey OP- Why is your wife in Brazil with Joe Thornton?

  104. Nit64 says:

    Faust, As per the earlier comment a long term deal at 27 is nuts. Either they sign the guy to a bridge with half an eye on trading him before the expansion draft or they should commit. Time to decide either way. Should depend on what they see especially on a playoff team and what he wants. The short term cap hit is NOT the real issue here.

  105. Harpers Hair says:

    Ivan:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Hey OP- Why is your wife in Brazil with Joe Thornton?

    Thornton is at least a foot taller.

  106. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    I think 90% of us would do that. Problem is Gorton is rumoured to want quite a bit more in value coming back than JP. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting the sweetheart of a swansong deal for a goalie from NYR as we did last time.

  107. Nit64 says:

    meanashell11:
    Can anybody find that picture one of us did a few years ago documenting all the stories around here like the kid in the box, donner party. All of that.

    This one by our Giant Squid Overlord?

    https://lowetide.ca/2015/04/13/nail-yakupov-the-richest-man-in-town/#comment-400871
    https://sta.sh/01qjala6vwk2

  108. pts2pndr says:

    What was proposed was the Oilers retaining 33%. At that price point a small retain and or sweetener would make the contract, in my opinion reasonably easy to move.

  109. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    That was brilliant.

    Almost as much fun as perusing the old timey comments.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Love the idea of Nurse on a shorter bridge deal with a reasonable cap hit.

    In a couple years, he’ll have more competition pushing him down the depth chart but he’d still be at an age where he’s a very tradeable asset on a non-luxe deal.

    Never understand why NHL GMs treat players as if they’re continually appreciating stocks as opposed to humans subject to injuries, regression, off years, etc. Only the best of the best should get longer term deals. Everyone else on the roster should be invested in proving their worth and fighting off the competition.

    What do you mean by tradeable? If they are looking to move on from him at the 2nd of a 2-year contract, we are talking about UFA rental prices and severely depressed value – not to mention, that would be “selling”, not something we are hoping to do in early 2022.

  111. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Thornton is at least a foot taller.

    Pretty darn close actually – couple inches if I’m stretching the truth (and my height).

  112. Jethro Tull says:

    Nit64: This one by our Giant Squid Overlord?

    https://lowetide.ca/2015/04/13/nail-yakupov-the-richest-man-in-town/#comment-400871
    https://sta.sh/01qjala6vwk2

    I would suggest reading the titles on some of the books….

  113. godot10 says:

    If one gives Nurse a two year deal, at the end of it, he will be a UFA, AND Klefbom will be a year away from UFA status.

    Which means Nurse and Klefbom will both have the Oilers over a barrel.

  114. godot10 says:

    Somebody had a hate on for Cody Franson! -)

    It is like some people never change.

  115. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: You’re free to air your grievance with Bear.

    Be the voice you want to hear!

    You read this and think I have an issue Bear? Love Bear. He’s been a revelation, but he made a bad pass even though he had time and space. It happens and I certainly have no problem with it. What irritates me is that Kassian gets called out on this forum for the goal, despite the fact Bear made a really bad play.

  116. Lowetide says:

    Jethro Tull: I would suggest reading the titles on some of the books….

    That was SO good. The newspaper headline through the balance reference.

  117. Nit64 says:

    godot10:
    If one gives Nurse a two year deal, at the end of it, he will be a UFA, AND Klefbom will be a year away from UFA status.

    Which means Nurse and Klefbom will both have the Oilers over a barrel.

    And you can’t extend Nurse until after the expansion draft. Unless you protect 8 skaters Jones is also in Seattle. Seriously if Nurse is in their plans sign him long tern. if not move him before the expansion draft.

  118. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    duct tape and foil:
    Agree with most of this and that Smith has gotten a ton of rope this year that was not always deserved. Old Dutch better let this guy go this summer or he’s going to get the coach into trouble. Smith’s bad patches are getting longer and more frequent every year, and one year soon, all he will have is a bad patch. Don’t want him on my team when that happens. That said, his team mates probably love him and he’s part of a group of vets with Neal who have changed the team dynamic for the better. I’d be playing Koski 2 out of 3 until he has 2 bad ones in a row and then see if Smith has one last burner in him. End of the line for Smith is near though.

    Probably too disruptive this year but one trade for JP that might make sense is goalie. Specifically Georgiev. I don’t know that much about the guy, but he’s damn consistent and the right age to be a 1B next year and until Koski’s contract is up. If Allaire is fan then I’d seriously consider getting him and he has been well coached the last 3 years if nothing else. JP for Georgiev cross one thing off Holland’s “to do” list over the summer. But our current situation in goal is calm and Smith has provided more than just wins this year (e.g., leadership, Koski’s much improved stick and goalie fight

    – Smith is demonstrably a worse goalie than Koski was last year: winning changes the narrative though. There is little analysis about how Smith’s poor play has resulted in lost points.

    – Certainly last year, Koski was in hindsight a magnet for vitroil for many that really should have been on the team, and not him. Smith on a better team, performs worse than Koski did last year…

    – Its an easy an inexpensive fix at the deadline IMO: won’t happen though, unless Smith’s early groin injury flares up again, and they need a back-up (or an AHL call-up)

    – We are a Jordan Bennington type opportunity away from winning the cup this year: be bold Dutch

  119. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10: Bear made a mistake.Defensemen made mistakes. If one handles the puck enough this is going to happen.Puck-handling D are not perfect.Bear makes fewer than most.It is a matter of probabilities with puck-handling D.So it is a not-really a mistake mistake.

    Kassian made a mental error and was lazy.It was an absolutely preventable mistake.

    The mental gymnastics for this take is astonishing. Bear made a bad pass, despite having time and space. He literally passed the puck right to Hall, who made an incredible play. End of story. I don’t have an issue with it. Shit happens. I find it irritating that you can somehow find Kassian culpable on this goal. Also interesting that you didn’t mention Nurse for his role in the goal. His errant shot led directly to the loss of possession. And this doesn’t mean I think Nurse sucks. It’s like blaming a car manufacturer for a faulty tailight when you get caught speeding.

  120. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    That was brilliant.

    Almost as much fun as perusing the old timey comments.

    If there is one thing that I hope newer posters take away from that thread is that DSF is DSF.

    He is a perpetual DSF machine. (thanks G!)

    He used to annoy the shit out of me, but once I figured out he just likes to twist your titty because he likes to fight and doesn’t actually believe most of what he writes I got humour out of it and he does know hockey fairly well.

    There is never a shortage of people taking the bait.

  121. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Harpers Hair:
    A recent news story on Shelter Point Distillery.

    https://www.campbellrivermirror.com/sip-savour/raise-your-glass-award-winning-spirits-handcrafted-on-vancouver-island/?utm_source=ShelterPointDistillery&utm_medium=Display&utm_campaign=ShelterPoint_CorporateTastings_1755-001_BCPub

    Good stuff.

    One question.

    They say that cask strength is 40% to 64%.

    They also say that you get 250 bottles out of a cask.

    I assumed a “bottle” is 750ml. The cask is 75L so 100 bottles of “cask strength” per cask.

    They say you can get 250 bottles out of a cask.

    That doesn’t add up unless you’re *really* watering down the whiskey or their bottles are not 750ml.

    Any ideas?

  122. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JimmyV1965: You read this and think I have an issue Bear? Love Bear. He’s been a revelation, but he made a bad pass even though he had time and space.It happens and I certainly have no problem with it. What irritates me is that Kassian gets called out on this forum for the goal, despite the fact Bear made a really bad play.

    C’mon man.

    You had a grievance with the play and its fine to air the grievance.

  123. Harpers Hair says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Good stuff.

    One question.

    They say that cask strength is 40% to 64%.

    They also say that you get 250 bottles out of a cask.

    I assumed a “bottle” is 750ml.The cask is 75L so 100 bottles of “cask strength” per cask.

    They say you can get 250 bottles out of a cask.

    That doesn’t add up unless you’re *really* watering down the whiskey or their bottles are not 750ml.

    Any ideas?

    No.

    But I’m going up there next week and will find out.

  124. Harpers Hair says:

    Woodguy v2.0: If there is one thing that I hope newer posters take away from that thread is that DSF is DSF.

    He is a perpetual DSF machine. (thanks G!)

    He used to annoy the shit out of me, but once I figured out he just likes to twist your titty because he likes to fight and doesn’t actually believe most of what he writes I got humour out of it and he does know hockey fairly well.

    There is never a shortage of people taking the bait.

    Fairly well…heh.

  125. npanciroli says:

    Toronto loss *chef’s kiss*

  126. knighttown says:

    Side:
    Why would they be so tired? Haven’t they only played like 4 games since their extra long break and before last night’s game, they played on Saturday.

    And the Oilers just started slow, but looked like they had energy and effort from the 2nd period and on.

    I don’t think Benson or Lagesson would have made much difference in the end result.

    I don’t know why they were tired but my point is that Tippett himself said they were tired and were running on empty. So if you know they’re running on empty refill the tank!

  127. knighttown says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Tippett’s most “old school” thing is loyalty to his players.

    I don’t think he could talk himself into changing a line up that took 5 of 6 points in 3 games in 4 nights against very tough and important opponents.

    Given the change in how EDM is playing in all 3 zones and that he seems to have 97 and 29 buying in to being on 2 lines, his rope with me would need to be transported on 2 giant spools that would barely fit on the back of a 50ft flat deck.

    Oh for sure, he’s been awesome.

    Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some old witchcraft beliefs in there.

    I wouldn’t say a peep other than Tipp himself stating that he knew they were gassed and essentially excusing their performance.

  128. ArmchairGM says:

    who: Simmonds signed a 1 year deal. Neal has 3 years left. Totally different scenario. And committment.
    Komarov was signed to kill penalties and shut down the other teams top lines.
    You’re right. Different role. Faster player.
    Believe me, I hope you’re right. I just don’t think the market is there.
    If Holland could trade Neal, with 33% retained and no sweeteners added, I think he would already be gone.
    And Holland would be a lock for GM of the year.

    James Neal is 2nd in the whole damn league in powerplay goals behind only David Pastrnak, I can’t believe that has no value for you.

  129. slopitch says:

    Tatar is interesting. Habs did well with Petry and I wonder if the idea of playing JP with Kotkaniemi (sp?) has merit.

    JP + Russell prob not enough. Depends on JPs value. Its growing!

  130. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Cool.

    Thanks.

  131. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Joe Colburne.

  132. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: TOR (-135) at NYR (+115) – TOR not having a decent goalering option and NYR being able to score makes me like the Rags a litte and the over 7.0 (+105) a little.

    First time I’ve ever seen the O/U line set at 7.0  Wow.

    *lights cigar with $100 bills*

    *gets weird hot liquid plastic dripping on skin*

  133. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    knighttown: Oh for sure, he’s been awesome.

    Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some old witchcraft beliefs in there.

    I wouldn’t say a peep other than Tipp himself stating that he knew they were gassed and essentially excusing their performance.

    Agreed, but this part of him comes from a place (loyalty) that the players really respect and appreciate. Its the easiest sin to forgive and might win him more games in the long run.

  134. Side says:

    Woodguy v2.0: If there is one thing that I hope newer posters take away from that thread is that DSF is DSF.

    He is a perpetual DSF machine. (thanks G!)

    He used to annoy the shit out of me, but once I figured out he just likes to twist your titty because he likes to fight and doesn’t actually believe most of what he writes I got humour out of it and he does know hockey fairly well.

    There is never a shortage of people taking the bait.

    I think HH is more like Frank from the movie Frank.

    People who interact with HH are Jon but Jon from different points of the movie.

  135. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Elliotte Friedman
    @FriedgeHNIC
    ·
    1m
    Hearing TOR/LA working on something involving Jack Campbell and Kyle Cliffoed

    I left Elliotte’s typo in.

  136. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Campbell and Clifford.

    Goalering and some toughness.

  137. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Side: I think HH is more like Frank from the movie Frank.

    People who interact with HH are Jon but Jon from different points of the movie.

    Never seen it.

    Its now on the list.

    5 second perusal of the reviews looks good.

  138. Side says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Never seen it.

    Its now on the list.

    5 second perusal of the reviews looks good.

    Non-threatening grin.

  139. Harpers Hair says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Joe Colburne.

    Jesse Puljujarvi

    Nail Yakupov

  140. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Good stuff.

    One question.

    They say that cask strength is 40% to 64%.

    They also say that you get 250 bottles out of a cask.

    I assumed a “bottle” is 750ml.The cask is 75L so 100 bottles of “cask strength” per cask.

    They say you can get 250 bottles out of a cask.

    That doesn’t add up unless you’re *really* watering down the whiskey or their bottles are not 750ml.

    Any ideas?

    Cask strength at 40% means the whiskey has been in the cask for about 40 years, which is doubtful. They certainly wouldn’t be selling it at $60/bottle if that was the case.

  141. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Harpers Hair: Jesse Puljujarvi

    Nail Yakupov

    You’ve shit talked every Oilers prospect.

    You don’t get a bingo if you just pour black paint on the card.

  142. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Side: Non-threatening grin.

    Ah.

    I can’t wait to understand your insult!

  143. pts2pndr says:

    Would be close but one more year in the ahl could have Samorukov very close if not ready for third pairing left D with Jones able to handle second pairing with Bear. Given that we have a right D ready to matriculate. It could allow the team to move Nurse after next year. Having one more year until ufa his value would still be quite high. While it is not the way I would proceed it all depends on how Holland and his management team see Nurse.

  144. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    The @MapleLeafs have acquired goaltender Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Trevor Moore, Columbus’ third round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional third round pick in 2021. #LeafsForever

    As per Leafs PR

  145. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Elliotte Friedman
    @FriedgeHNIC
    ·
    1m
    Hearing TOR/LA working on something involving Jack Campbell and Kyle Cliffoed

    I left Elliotte’s typo in.

    He’s about 8 years late with that news!

  146. Optimism is like heroin says:

    This is my hope as well but the cost is large. Vegas got paid a 1st, 2nd and top prospect to move clarcksons contract at 3 x 5.75

  147. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ArmchairGM: Cask strength at 40% means the whiskey has been in the cask for about 40 years, whichis doubtful. They certainly wouldn’t be selling it at $60/bottle if that was the case.

    Does whiskey lose its alcohol % at a constant rate?

    Intuitively it seems some barrels would be less sealed than others and that would effect that.

  148. Dicky94 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Time to plan the parade again! Pretty good trade though for the Leafs actually.

  149. Side says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Does whiskey lose its alcohol % at a constant rate?

    Intuitively it seems some barrels would be less sealed than others and that would effect that.

    For what it’s worth, i’m not sure about barrels but I believe in bottles they lose about 2% a year depending on cork quality.

    Damn angel’s share.

  150. Lowetide says:

    Interesting trade by Toronto. Kyle Clifford has some utility (played well in limited time versus elites this season via Puck IQ) and Campbell is at the very least a solid bet.

    I assume this means Fredrik Andersen isn’t out long term. Otherwise it would have been a different bet.

  151. Bulging Twine says:

    Lol

  152. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nice to wake up and see Bouch just keep on rolling offensively. Didn’t see the game but he scooped two more assists. Not sure if he played the massive 27 minutes he did last weekend.

    Bouch 6th among all AHL dmen in scoring – as a 20 year old rookie.

  153. OriginalPouzar says:

    Skinner got the win last night as well – good to see him on the pipes. It was weird last weekend I thought when they called up Wells who backed up Starrett.

  154. flyfish1168 says:

    npanciroli:
    Toronto loss *chef’s kiss*

    Best part is teams ahead of them have games in hand

  155. Munny says:

    Re: Neal… etc.

    The thing about the trade value of players is that there is still an emphasis, right or wrong, on paying for playoff performance.

    If McDrai—and Holland’s chewing gum and popsickle sticks—can band-aid this team into the playoffs, then Holly’s in a much better trading position with his roster players.

    Let’s say Neal hits 20 in the reg season and the Oil win a series and go deep in the quarters with Neal going on a heater for the two series…

    I don’t think trading him with something retained for a mid-draft pick will present an insurmountable problem.

    And I’m not saying it will take that either, I’m just laying out and example.

    This plays into guys like Chiasson and Khaira and KRusty too… Get into the playoffs and shake some trees and they become more valuable in other GMs’ eyes.

    We all know this has been a fragile dressing room over the years. Neal has helped that to a great degree, like Maroon before him. Smith helps too, in that regard. I don’t think there’s any chance Holland makes drastic changes, now, mid-season to that room. Bringing in a top 6 winger, or a quality 3C, or trading backup goalies would require something drastic, unless there’s a GM in love with one of our role players, and we all know that ain’t happenin’.

    Stability is Holland’s mantra.

    Holland will want to trade Pujo and a prospect defenseman of the Lagesson ilk at the deadline. Maybe a 1-year future pick. What will that get him?

  156. leadfarmer says:

    I would be absolutely shocked if Holland added Tatar
    I would not expect him to do anything other than continue to draft
    I figure the conversation went something like
    “Hey just wondering what you’d want for Tatar”
    “Well we’d want at least a first and Broberg”
    “I was worried about that well nice chat”
    Friedman “Oilers are enquiring about Tatar!!!”

  157. Munny says:

    leadfarmer:

    I would be absolutely shocked if Holland added Tatar

    It ain’t happenin. Not without some kind of Valentine’s Day Sale.

  158. v4ance says:

    A couple thoughts:

    Maybe run:

    Yama- McDavid-Kassian
    Benson-Drai-RNH

    I think Drai’s group still gets the second best defensive focus so maybe Benson can settle in against the slightly easier competition instead of jumping into the deep end with McD.

    ***

    With Gio possibly out for weeks or months, they may have LTIR room to grab a D until the playoffs.

    Russell for Bennett or someone else in the bottom 6?

  159. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Does whiskey lose its alcohol % at a constant rate?

    Intuitively it seems some barrels would be less sealed than others and that would effect that.

    I think the climate has more to do with loss rates than barrel construction. The wood is carefully selected and the coopers good at what they do.

  160. ArmchairGM says:

    leadfarmer:
    I would be absolutely shocked if Holland added Tatar
    I would not expect him to do anything other than continue to draft
    I figure the conversation went something like
    “Hey just wondering what you’d want for Tatar”
    “Well we’d want at least a first and Broberg”
    “I can see where your fans get it from”
    Friedman “Oilers are enquiring about Tatar!!!”

    FTFY

  161. ArmchairGM says:

    Apropos the regular chatter about trading an RHD for one of Toronto’s wingers:

    Andreas Johnsson has played over 75% of his 5v5 ice time with Matthews this year.
    He has two (2) 5v5 goals in 523:52 total ice time, both in the 399:00 he was with Matthews (and, for the most part, Nylander).

    Thus, scoring rate

    with Matthews: 0.30 G/60 (399:00)
    w/o Matthews: 0.00 G/60 (124:52)

    His scoring rates would put him 14th among Oilers forwards this year. And that’s while playing with Austin Matthews.

    GTFO with the Adam Larsson talk.

  162. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ArmchairGM: I think the climate has more to do with loss rates than barrel construction. The wood is carefully selected and the coopers good at what they do.

    If its evaporating the vapor has to go somewhere.

    If the climate is effecting the whiskey then that means the barrel isn’t “air tight”.

    White Oak is used for barrels and while its less porous than Red Oak, its never “air tight” either.

    I find this stuff interesting.

  163. ArmchairGM says:

    BTW, among the league’s 199 defenders who have played more than 350 minutes at 5v5, Matt Benning ranks:

    30th in P/60
    16th in P1/60
    6th in A1/60
    1st in GF%

    Yes, 1st in the entire league. I know he largely plays a 3rd pairing role, but if Holland could get him on a 3 x $2M deal right now I’d be very, very happy.

    http://naturalstattrick.com/playerteams.php?fromseason=20192020&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&stdoi=std&rate=y&team=ALL&pos=D&loc=B&toi=350&gpfilt=none&fd=&td=&tgp=410&lines=single&draftteam=ALL

    http://naturalstattrick.com/playerteams.php?fromseason=20192020&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&stdoi=oi&rate=y&team=ALL&pos=D&loc=B&toi=350&gpfilt=none&fd=&td=&tgp=410&lines=single&draftteam=ALL

  164. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Drilling down on right-handed centres for the Oilers to target before the trade deadline

    https://theathletic.com/1583678/2020/02/06/lowetide-drilling-down-on-right-handed-centres-for-the-oilers-to-target-before-the-trade-deadline/

  165. frjohnk says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Apropos the regular chatter about trading an RHD for one of Toronto’s wingers:

    Andreas Johnsson has played over 75% of his 5v5 ice time with Matthews this year.
    He has two (2) 5v5 goals in 523:52 total ice time, both in the 399:00 he was with Matthews (and, for the most part, Nylander).

    Thus, scoring rate

    with Matthews: 0.30 G/60 (399:00)
    w/o Matthews: 0.00 G/60 (124:52)

    His scoring rates would put him 14th among Oilers forwards this year. And that’s while playing with Austin Matthews.

    GTFO with the Adam Larsson talk.

    Larssons value is probably not that high around the league. 4 points this year; he had a terrible year last year. He is better than Ceci but not Barrie. From the Leaves POV, I dont think the value between replacing Ceci with Larsson is worth one of the young wingers on a good contract ( Johnsson, Kapenan)

    Torontos biggest issue is backup goaltending. People can say what they want about Smith ( I think Tippet likes him too much) but in the 28 games he has played in , the Oilers have 30 points. Thats decent for a backup goalie. The Leaves backup goalies have gotten 9 points in 15 games. Hence the trade last night.

    I wouldnt trade Larsson for Johnsson. Id rather keep him until his contract runs out.

  166. CallighenMan says:

    he was being generous

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