Dream Weaver

Since we have zero idea what the cap will look like next season, it frees us to discuss roster construction the old fashioned way: On merit.

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, check it out here.

  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The 5 games that define Leon Draisaitl’s Hart Trophy-worthy season
  • New Lowetide: Final Oilers report cards: Second-half impact defines a successful season
  • New Jonathan Willis: Does Filip Berglund’s new SHL contract mean he’s done with the Oilers?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evolution of a star: Why Leon Draisaitl was our Hart pick
  • Lowetide: Oilers get good news from the farm as second-half performances spike
  • Lowetide: Should Oilers prospect Philip Broberg play in North America next year?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Which former Oiler has the best argument to have his jersey number retired?
  • Lowetide: Which Oilers veterans are in roster peril?
  • Jonathan Willis: How good is Anton Slepyshev and what will an NHL return mean for the Oilers?
  • Jonathan Willis: Peter Chiarelli wants to be a GM again. Has he learned from his Oilers mistakes?
  • New Lowetide: Oilers’ challenge could be finding relief with a low cap ceiling
  • Lowetide: Projecting Oilers prospects Raphael Lavoie and Kirill Maksimov
  • Lowetide: What does Jesse Puljujarvi’s Liiga season tell us about his future?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Oilers plan to help arena workers unclear with games postponed
  • Lowetide: NHL season on hold might impact Oilers evaluations, summer plans
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Key questions surround Oilers in wake of NHL’s coronavirus suspension
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: GM Ken Holland on Oilers’ playoff push, offseason plans and Hart thoughts
  • Jonathan Willis: Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson and more: 20 observations on the Bakersfield Condors

OILERS 2019-20

Left Wing: Nuge had a strong season, don’t know that he can deliver 2.23 points per 60 (forwards numbers are five on five) but he can help in multiple roles. Tyler Ennis is an intriguing option, Edmonton can run two small wingers (imo) on the skill lines. Joakim Nygard should be able to post better numbers in year two, he’s a fascinating option. Andreas Athanasiou cost a lot to acquire, I can’t see Holland walking him. James Neal has had low five on five scoring totals for two years in a row now, that’s trend. Tyler Benson will post more offense than last year’s cup of coffee, but can he deliver enough to land on a line with a quality center? Beyond Nuge and Nygard, there are plenty of questions.

Center: McDavid and Draisaitl give Edmonton an extreme advantage in any game. After that, I wonder if the club retains both Sheahan and Khaira next season. They duplicate a lot of each other’s skills. Gaetan Haas and Colby Cave are shy offensively. Edmonton needs a No. 3 pivot.

Right Wing: Yamamoto’s emergence is such a gift to this side of the depth chart. Kassian gets the McDavid starboard but it would be wise to have stronger replacement options than Archibald and Chiasson. I think Chiasson is probably vulnerable to trade, and Patrick Russell is either extra man or elsewhere. RW needs work.

Left Defence: Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones. Next.

Right Defence: Ethan Bear, Adam Larsson, Evan Bouchard and I really like Matt Benning, too. Mike Green also available and enough depth to trade from strength.

Goal: Mikko Koskinen earned another year, I think the Oilers would be wise to choose a younger partner. I do not believe Ken Holland agrees with my opinion.

OILERS

This is an astute signing, a skill forward added without using one of the team’s spots on the 50-man list. Using the ‘on merit’ idea and picking only players signed or rfa, a good guess on the two teams as they stand might be this:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto. Incredible first 25 games or so, it’s unlikely they deliver 28-8 five on five outscoring again but the trio is absolute fire.

Andreas Athanasiou—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian. Holland acquired Athanasiou with the short and long term in mind, if he can deliver with 97 as his center it will be music. I think this could be a line opening night.

Joakim Nygard—Riley Sheahan—Josh Archibald. Ideally a more substantial offensive center but I like the two fleet wingers with a slower pivot. Could this trio score 30 goals?

James Neal—Juhar Khaira—Alex Chiasson. I don’t think we’ll see all three return and it’s possible the entire set is gone by opening night. As it stands, suspect they are on the white board.

Darnell Nurse—Ethan Bear. I’m curious about a Klefbom-Bear combination over 50 games, but this duo worked well together. Bear’s contract will be a big story of summer.

Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson. Two veterans have played together for a large portion of the last several years. When healthy, this is the top pair.

Caleb Jones—Evan Bouchard. It’s less than ideal, and there’s a chance Matt Benning or Mike Green hold back Bouchard (I think it’s genuinely possible) but this is ‘on merit’ and it’s go time for two talented youngsters.

CONDORS

Plenty of work to do of course, but if Cooper Marody is healthy and one of Kirill Maksimov or Raphael Lavoie can fill the RW side, Edmonton could have a No. 1 line with all prospects. I’m now officially on Team McLeod as a legit NHL center although he is a year away (or so) from the show. His offense came at evens and Eric Rodgers numbers suggest he did his work in 600 minutes. Folkes signing is a good one, need more and RH defence needs to be a focus. How many KHL players will Holland sign?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we visit old friends and new ones too. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal stops in at 10:20 to talk Oilers and the world today. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will pop in and we’ll drill down on a wacky NFL offseason. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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179 Responses to "Dream Weaver"

  1. BONE207 says:

    I’d be fine firing that 4th line into the sun. Just not enough promise from any of them this season. I had higher hopes for Khaira & I like the effort from P Russell. Chiasson I liked over Neal but his price tag a bit too much. Can we wait for McLeod? If not, 3rd line centres are standing on every corner…said every GM in Edmonton…?

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Looking forward to seeing a superior Edmonton blueline.

    Kinda important, yano.

  3. defmn says:

    The length of the Athanasiou contract this summer will be a tell imo. I believe the trade was made with the hope that he would be Connor’s LW solution with the understanding that if it worked it was a value trade and if it didn’t the cost was not too harsh. Neither he nor Kassian are ideal in those locations but probably best case scenarios from the current roster and that $12.5 mil cap hit pretty much screams that the wingers are never going to be ideal until an ELC contract fills one of them.

    Add a 3rd line centre and this is a top 7 core that should get you into the playoffs on their side of the job.

    I think that Green is back if he wants to be back at a number somewhere shy of $2.5 mil. I am intrigued to see the pairings next fall. I agree that Nurse-Bear is most likely but I also liked Jones-Larsson. The biggest tell for what a coach thinks of his dmen is TOI so I am not convinced that Benning will be back. I think he is gone in a trade. Klefbom-Green-Bouchard would be my third pairing with Green pencilled in for half the games and Bouchard the other half. I sign Lagesson to a one way close to the limit that can be buried in Bakersfield to discourage waiver wire poaching as the first injury call up.

    I am also in favour of a younger 1B goalie.

    Ennis, Slepyshev, Berglund are all stories waiting to be told.

  4. tileguy says:

    Was really looking forward to seeing that fourth line in the playoffs. My rose coloured glasses had them out scoring, out muscling and just plain ol nasty to play against.

    Also want to say how much I enjoy reading this blog after 10pm, the comments/ theories presented on today’s world are like no where else to be found, and thank our host for allowing it to happen.

  5. Optimism is like heroin says:

    I am sitting here dreaming about the future. I think with the season gone that we are looking at 14.5% loss in revenues. This means the cap should drop next year. If the cap does drop then we should see some compliance buy outs, 1 or 2 per team.

    To me this screams opportunity in the free agent market. There will be less money to spend with an additional 31 to 62 players available.

    If we can add two solid top 9 veterans on 1 year deals to get them through till when the cap jumps again.

    Perfect world for me is granlund and galchenyuk for our third line with archibald and guys from the 1 million bin from the released contracts for 4th line and scratches.

  6. Genjutsu says:

    Has Kris Russell fallen victim to the plague?

  7. Pinus says:

    tileguy,

    Indeed. Love the diverse, thought provoking and intellegent comments and insights. Also still hoping to see that line in the playoffs, i think you’re right.

  8. Harpers Hair says:

    Just a note on a couple of fascinating articles up at the Athletic.

    Craig Custance just posted a piece about how NHL execs are considering changes to the draft lottery including a potential tournament amongst lottery teams playing for the first overall pick. The reasoning is it would create a must watch TV event for fans….I like it.

    Also, Dom is using his statistical models to play out the rest of the regular season.
    While it has its flaws, which he admits, it’s a fun exercise to follow.

    For those without a subscription, under the model, Vancouver is poised to win the Pacific and Edmonton is hanging on for dear life.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    On left wing, man would it be a boon if Benson could come in at some point and solidify at top 6 spot like Kailer did. Yes, I know, skating but, of course, lack of plus speed it not determinative of non-ability to play top 6. Doesn’t help but not determinative. If this player could mesh with Drai or Connor, we are rolling.

    Of course, we can’t “count on” Benson going in to the season and my thought is to focus on the 3C stop gap as the one external acquisition and look internally, yes, again, for that last top 6 spot.

    One thing at a time.

    There is all but zero chance, in my opinion, they walk from AA – that would be silly and somewhat egregious – a year at $3M – come in to the season with a full training camp under Tippett and the staff – he’ll be a much better and more consistent performer for next season I anticipate.

    I don’t see much more offence from Nygard personally but it would be great if it happened – I see him in the “Marchant mold” – creates chances due to speed but just doesn’t have the finish.

    That was the book on him in the SHL – got those high goal totals due to quantity of chances – not a great finisher.

    I do see him “make some skill plays” but at the end of the day, most of those plays don’t end up in an actual chance.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Center just needs a 3C stop gap – the one externa acquisition (Eric Staal or similar via trade, sign Haula or similar, etc.) which would bump Sheahan down to 4C.

    Room for one of Sheahan and Haas as 4C (to compete with Khaira).

    ———————–

    Right wing looks good. Would love to be able to replace Chiasson on the 23 (and 50) with Slepy and even may add Jesse.

    —————–

    Left D is set: Klef, Nurse, Jones, Lagesson

    Anticipate a Rusty disposition

    Right D is set: Bear, Larsson, Benning, Bouchard/Berglund

    If one of Benning or Larsson is disposed of, an addition is needed. Hopefully not Green replacing Larsson with the intent of playing Green 20 minutes per night.

  11. Elgin R says:

    1st line good
    2nd line good

    Neal is gone with the compliance buyout

    Get a 3C if you can.

    1st D is good
    2nd D is good
    3rd D: Jones / Benning

    Cowboy is gone with compliance buyout

    Keep Bouchard in the Bake available for injury call up.
    Use Lagesson for 7th D

    Looks like a decent team on paper.

  12. Optimism is like heroin says:

    Oh as a curiosity, if the flames buy out Lucic does the cap penalty go away for us as well?

  13. N64 says:

    If there is a one time compliance style buyout then anyone bought out is off the board for all parties.

  14. Rickety Cricket says:

    Suck it Oilers!

  15. SkatinginSand says:

    His model at the start of the year also had the Oilers last in the Pacific by a long ways and the Sharks as one of the best teams. This model has serious flaws.

  16. Rickety Cricket says:

    I hear the model was largely created by Brogan Rafferty. I think the model is fine bud!

  17. defmn says:

    Question for those who like Benning as an Oiler.

    How does your valuation translate in trade for a 3C. Does he get us an average, below average, above average player for that position?

    How much do we have to add to get an above average 3C with Benning as the player headed out?

    Does Benning have enough value to even be part of such a conversation and if not what is it that you like about him that you want to keep him?

    No agenda. Just curious.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: On left wing, man would it be a boon if Benson could come in at some point and solidify at top 6 spot like Kailer did.

    Just curious why you and others keep going on about Benson, a player so forgettable I don’t even remember ever seeing him.

    I need to see players play decently, otherwise I ignore them. During the 1st quarter of the season I saw too many players I didn’t know so just let them keep playing until I started to remember the ones who stuck out from time to time. I never remember Benson doing anything, ever. So, once more, what’s the big deal, aside from hope beyond hope for yet another tweener who’s probably going to bust?

  19. Jordan says:

    I question the value of firing both James Neal and Chiasson into the sun in the same off-season.

    I understand there are questions/issues with 5v5 scoring.

    However, both men were dynamite on the powerplay for the Oilers this year. Bascially in the same spot.

    The Oilers special teams won them a playoff spot in 2019-20. Not their 5v5 play.

    While agree that improving their performance 5v5 is a priority, I do not think that subtracting key elements from a powerplay that performed at historically significant levels is a prudent decision.

    If Neal goes, I have all the time in the world for Chiasson on the 4th line and on the PP. He’s money in that role, and he earned his $$$ this past year with his goals and 5v5 performance.

    For that matter, I’d be happy to see Sam Gagner brought back for ~$1M per for the same reason – he’s a quality NHLer with some limitations who can help you out-score the opposition in a depth role. But I digress…

    If you don’t bring back Neal and Chiasson, you risk the functionality of the team’s most effective weapon last season – the PP. I don’t see that being a wise decision.

  20. who says:

    defmn:
    Question for those who like Benning as an Oiler.

    How does your valuation translate in trade for a 3C. Does he get us an average, below average, above average player for that position?

    How much do we have to add to get an above average 3C with Benning as the player headed out?

    Does Benning have enough value to even be part of such a conversation and if not what is it that you like about him that you want to keep him?

    No agenda. Just curious.

    I don’t think Benning gets you a quality 3C by himself.
    I think a 3rd round pick would be the max return on this player. He’s a 3rd pairing guy who has to be qualified at 2 million next year. That does not help his trade value.

  21. commonfan29 says:

    Does anyone know of the Flames could unilaterally decide to use a compliance buyout on Lucic when the Oilers are paying him as well? Seems like the Oilers could argue that they have to agree to it.

  22. who says:

    hunter1909: Just curious why you and others keep going on about Benson, a player so forgettable I don’t even remember ever seeing him.

    I need to see players play decently, otherwise I ignore them. During the 1st quarter of the season I saw too many players I didn’t know so just let them keep playing until I started to remember the ones who stuck out from time to time. I never remember Benson doing anything, ever. So, once more, what’s the big deal, aside from hope beyond hope for yet another tweener who’s probably going to bust?

    Bingo.
    I’m not writing him off, but posters who keep hoping he can slot in directly with McDavid or Draisaitl are delusional.
    Bensons goal next year should just be to make the team. And that’s no slam dunk in my eyes. He would have to show more than he did this past year. Not impossible, but banking on it seems foolish.

  23. Rickety Cricket says:

    defmn:
    Question for those who like Benning as an Oiler.

    How does your valuation translate in trade for a 3C. Does he get us an average, below average, above average player for that position?

    How much do we have to add to get an above average 3C with Benning as the player headed out?

    Does Benning have enough value to even be part of such a conversation and if not what is it that you like about him that you want to keep him?

    No agenda. Just curious.

    I think you would have to add something substantial (a 2nd or Sammy) to get an above average 3C. This also depends on cap implications. Maybe Toronto trades Kerfoot for Benning + a 3rd because it would save them a few dollars. Benning has great fancies but he has never played a ton and he has been heavily sheltered by 3 different coaches.

  24. who says:

    Rickety Cricket: I think you would have to add something substantial (a 2nd or Sammy) to get an above average 3C. This also depends on cap implications. Maybe Toronto trades Kerfoot for Benning + a 3rd because it would save them a few dollars. Benning has great fancies but he has never played a ton and he has been heavily sheltered by 3 different coaches.

    This is a better response than mine.
    Good post.

  25. Cassandra says:

    who: Bingo.
    I’m not writing him off, but posters who keep hoping he can slot in directly with McDavid or Draisaitl are delusional.
    Bensons goal next year should just be to make the team. And that’s no slam dunk in my eyes. He would have to show more than he did this past year. Not impossible, but banking on it seems foolish.

    Using “show more” as the standard sets the stage up for confirmation bias.

    It’s the same as someone having to “earn their opportunity.” That kind of language just provides cover for not providing an opportunity.

    Both heuristics are plainly circular.

    Benson was the best forward in Bakersfield two years in a row. If he doesn’t make the team next season it won’t be because he hasn’t earned it. It will be because someone decided in advance that he wasn’t an NHL player just like WHO and Hunter have.

    Remember this is a team that put guys like Khaira and the Danish guy in the lineup on a regular basis. There isn’t a chance in the world that those guys are better at hockey than Benson. None.

    The only reason to have them on the team instead of Benson is because they “aren’t applying for the same job.”

    To which I can only say that that is an indefensible way to fill out a hockey team since plainly the job is the same.

  26. who says:

    Cassandra: Using “show more” as the standard sets the stage up for confirmation bias.

    It’s the same as someone having to “earn their opportunity.”That kind of language just provides cover for not providing an opportunity.

    Both heuristics are plainly circular.

    Benson was the best forward in Bakersfield two years in a row.If he doesn’t make the team next season it won’t be because he hasn’t earned it.It will be because someone decided in advance that he wasn’t an NHL player just like WHO and Hunter have.

    Remember this is a team that put guys like Khaira and the Danish guy in the lineup on a regular basis.There isn’t a chance in the world that those guys are better at hockey than Benson.None.

    The only reason to have them on the team instead of Benson is because they “aren’t applying for the same job.”

    To which I can only say that that is an indefensible way to fill out a hockey team since plainly the job is the same.

    In his 10 game stint with the Oilers, what did Benson show you that makes him better than Khaira?
    Khaira wasn’t gifted top 6 minutes, why should Benson be?

  27. defmn says:

    Rickety Cricket: I think you would have to add something substantial (a 2nd or Sammy) to get an above average 3C. This also depends on cap implications. Maybe Toronto trades Kerfoot for Benning + a 3rd because it would save them a few dollars. Benning has great fancies but he has never played a ton and he has been heavily sheltered by 3 different coaches.

    I happen to agree with all of this which is why I directed my question to those who like Benning. In order for Benning to be seen as roughly equal to a 3C I think he has to be valued as a 2RD which a succession of coaches have tried and failed at so to me he is a competent 3RD who needs to be qualified at $1.9 mil – I think – which is too much for that position considering he has no intangibles that I can think of as well as a history of concussions.

    I was hoping somebody could explain to me where I am wrong in that analysis.

  28. Rickety Cricket says:

    Gotcha. I cannot help you there.

    Are there people that think he is worth a 3C?

  29. defmn says:

    Cassandra:

    The only reason to have them on the team instead of Benson is because they “aren’t applying for the same job.”

    To which I can only say that that is an indefensible way to fill out a hockey team since plainly the job is the same.

    I am curioius why you think this is true. I have never met a coach in my life who thinks this. There are 23 players on a hockey team. IMO there are 23 different job descriptions that go with them.

  30. tileguy says:

    What would happen is that he would no longer play for the flames 9/10th of the year but would play for the Oil the other 1/10th. Does that answer your question.

  31. hunter1909 says:

    Cassandra: Both heuristics are plainly circular.

    Who has to constantly delve into the recesses of dictionaries to make simple points appear more complicated and by doing so feel superior?

    Answer = a pseudo-intellectual, desperate to appear clever.

  32. tileguy says:

    Ottoman, rise of empires is quite good on Netflix.

  33. defmn says:

    I don’t know but I think an average 2RD is roughly worth an average 3C so this was my ever so subtle way of asking the question.

  34. jonrmcleod says:

    Rickety Cricket,

    I heard the same. Rumour also has it that Joe Colbourne has been working closely with Dom on the model.

  35. tileguy says:

    They are both under contract, so maybe next year. ?

  36. Harpers Hair says:

    Finally finished all five seasons of Bosch on Prime Video…highly recommended.

    Season six drops next month.

  37. Oilman99 says:

    hunter1909,

    Benson got very little chance to show anything with the limited ice time he got. He has the high end play making skills needed, and I can guarantee he will do everything possible to up grade his skating to the NHL level. He will be a NHL player.

  38. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    defmn:
    Question for those who like Benning as an Oiler.

    How does your valuation translate in trade for a 3C. Does he get us an average, below average, above average player for that position?

    How much do we have to add to get an above average 3C with Benning as the player headed out?

    Does Benning have enough value to even be part of such a conversation and if not what is it that you like about him that you want to keep him?

    No agenda. Just curious.

    I could see him and a sweetener (AHL tweener) back for an average/slightly above average 3C and a AHL tweener RD…

  39. Elgin R says:

    Benning is a good 3rd pair – right shot defensemen. Analytics and the eye-test show that he is more than acceptable when limited to 3rd pair competition and minutes. He has played 248 NHL games so well short of that magic 300-game mark that a lot of people use as a minimum when evaluating what a defenseman will be.

    Oilers have 3 more years of control so that has value. Qualifying offer will only be approx. $2.1 so that has value.

    Trade value would be greatest with a team that needs right-shot defensemen (Winnipeg and Toronto come to mind).

    Could you get Kerfoot out of Toronto straight up. Maybe, Kerfoot is a left shot so not as highly valued as a right shot. He makes $3.5 (3 years left) so that is on the high end for a 3C.

    The Oilers do not have any RHD of significance in the system other than Bouchard. So only one injury away from Logan Day being next man up. Scary thought.

    The only way I trade Benning is if it brings a above-average 3C on a good contract with term. RHD are just too valuable (see the mistakes of MacT / Petry and Pistol Pete / Schultz). Kerfoot straight up or no deal.

  40. Harpers Hair says:

    Just a follow up on last night’s discussion about changes we’ll see after the current crisis abates.

    Even before the virus erupted, many were fleeing the large urban centres especially NYC.

    Manhattan, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the like (and not excluding Toronto and Vancouver) are all rapidly becoming uber expensive shit holes and, with the ability for remote work, a shift to smaller communities is becoming much more attractive.

    I believe this is a trend that will rapidly accelerate.

    A good snapshot here:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2019/09/05/new-yorkers-are-leaving-the-city-in-droves-heres-why-theyre-moving-and-where-theyre-going/#52fb7b3941ac

  41. Elgin R says:

    No. That is exactly how you build a hockey team in the cap era. I think we can all agree that the PK was a major contributor to Oiler success this year. If that is true, then the personnel performing those duties have value over those that do not. Benson does not perform PK duties for the Condors.

    Benson is touted as a high-end puck distributor in an offensive role with good board work. He has performed well at both the AHL and CHL levels. I thought he played well the last 2 or 3 games he was in the NHL. However, he needs to show well in camp to make next year’s team.

    Note: I do not believe that Patrick Russel (the Danish guy) will be on the team next year

  42. godot10 says:

    The Flames can unilaterally decide to buy out Lucic. And the Oilers then are responsible for the buyout of their retention.

  43. Victoria Oil says:

    I miss my friends, but otherwise, I don’t miss NYC at all.

  44. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Just a follow up on last night’s discussion about changes we’ll see after the current crisis abates.

    Even before the virus erupted, many were fleeing the large urban centres especially NYC.

    Manhattan, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the like (and not excluding Toronto and Vancouver) are all rapidly becoming uber expensive shit holes and, with the ability for remote work, a shift to smaller communities is becoming much more attractive.

    I believe this is a trend that will rapidly accelerate.

    A good snapshot here:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2019/09/05/new-yorkers-are-leaving-the-city-in-droves-heres-why-theyre-moving-and-where-theyre-going/#52fb7b3941ac

    Remember in the 60’s and 70’s when it was all about “going up to the country”? Same thing. There will be those who make that decision but such a small % that the only real effect will be magazine articles written by those in need of a topic.

    Infrastructure, convenience, diversions, culture all lead to the city and for every disaffected city person that dreams of leaving there are two country people dreaming of moving in the opposite direction.

  45. godot10 says:

    Benning is one season away from UFA status. He will be 26 on July 1st this year.

    I think the Oilers plan is to sign Green and trade Benning.

    Nurse, Bear
    Klefbom, Green
    Jones, Larsson
    Russell

    Bouchard, the real #7, in Bakersfield

  46. Cassandra says:

    who: In his 10 game stint with the Oilers, what did Benson show you that makes him better than Khaira?
    Khaira wasn’t gifted top 6 minutes, why should Benson be?

    Why would anyone make a decision based off ten games when there is a much larger relevant sample available?

    In any case, I didn’t see every game but what I did say was a player with good puck control skills with the ability to see the ice, and open up plays for his teammates. That plays on every line.

  47. Cassandra says:

    defmn: I am curioius why you think this is true. I have never met a coach in my life who thinks this. There are 23 players on a hockey team. IMO there are 23 different job descriptions that go with them.

    The first reason is because hockey skills are nowhere near so hyper specialized. It isn’t baseball, in which positions are actually doing different things and require different skills. The only really significant difference is between defense and forwards.

  48. jtblack says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Just a follow up on last night’s discussion about changes we’ll see after the current crisis abates.

    Even before the virus erupted, many were fleeing the large urban centres especially NYC.

    Manhattan, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the like (and not excluding Toronto and Vancouver) are all rapidly becoming uber expensive shit holes and, with the ability for remote work, a shift to smaller communities is becoming much more attractive.

    I believe this is a trend that will rapidly accelerate.

    A good snapshot here:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2019/09/05/new-yorkers-are-leaving-the-city-in-droves-heres-why-theyre-moving-and-where-theyre-going/#52fb7b3941ac

    ppl have been fleeing California and New York for the past 2 decades … Everyone is following the Sunshine and running from over crowded cities … Look at the fastest growing cities in the USA; almost ALL are in the South … Seattle is the only outlier ..

  49. Gollum says:

    defmn,

    Moving out of urban centres doesn’t require going to the ‘the country’. There’s a lot of suburbia out there.

  50. PennersPancakes says:

    Cassandra: The first reason is because hockey skills are nowhere near so hyper specialized.It isn’t baseball, in which positions are actually doing different things and require different skills.The only really significant difference is between defense and forwards.

    Nah this is over simplifying the game too much. Just because a player in hockey can do the “same things” doesnt mean they can do them as well.

    Look at special teams for example. Theres certain players you wouldnt want to have on the PK but every time you take a penalty you need 4 guys out there.

    Hell even the PP which is a little more loose, has players that fit and dont. Certain players with speed for example can create chances through breakaways and post decent offense (Byron for example) but dont have the puck skills to be premium choices on the PP.

    Think about if the entire Oilers forwards corps was yamamoto/archibald sized…

    Or if you have three great playmakers on a line, if talent is there yes itl “work” but by swapping one out for a great shooter you have a much more efficient line. Theres a lot of different skill sets and roles in the NHL. Now they might not be hard coded and are fluid especially as systems change but to completely deny their existence as fact is BOLD.

  51. New Improved Darkness says:

    No premium blue-blood shits given from me over Prince Charles’ diagnosis, but the passing of the Flavorwalla really hit home.

    Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla (2016) — one of the best fusion cuisine cookbooks I’ve ever consulted

    I wouldn’t grade it high on accessibility for the casual home chef.

    I have 80% of the standard Indian ingredients in house (all the primary spices; many varieties of lentils and lentil flour, but far from an exhaustive list) and I could only cook about 1/3 of the recipes without a shopping trip.

    But for the fancier meals, this book is uniformly great in its fusion sensibility.

    Suffice it to say that lockdown hasn’t exactly lowered our dining standard. The other day it was paella made with home-smoked sausage I made with my brother last summer (80 lbs from one beast of his one, and premium trim from another via his favorite butcher shop).

    Fair amount of Greek salad as I work through the greens I purchased on my last Costco run. Ran out of their excellent goat feta, so my wife picked up some regular Sapputto on her one trip to the grocery store for milk and eggs. Big step down.

    Last night it was Thai coconut soup on rice noodles. This is actually pretty fast to prepare. Sizzle lemongrass, ginger, garlic; add coconut milk (Aroy-D is a solid brand with a creamy consistency and no guar gum) and fish sauce (either Vietnam or Taiwan) and fresh squeezed lime juice (had to settle for lemon concentrate last night); doll up with some fresh mushrooms, seared yellow/orange/red peppers, maybe some shrimp or whitefish, as well. Season and serve.

    For the next month, it will be more home made bread and pizza (we had 20 kg of flour in house), and many pressure-cooker curries. I tend to like the curries that combine two different lentils. There are at least a dozen such recipes in 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. Most of the lentil varieties are cheap, they keep well, and have a high protein content relative to other vegetarian sources.

    The main thing was to stockpile onions. While others were on the run to the formerly imposing TP hay stack at the back of the store, I hoovered up 25 lbs of large onions, both purple and yellow. Indian food almost universally calls for purple onions, but I generally substitute yellow onions for daily fare.

    If you think that slicing onions makes you cry, you haven’t ever tried to prepare an Indian meal with no onions on hand.

    And those thin onion skins around the outside? Just fine for scooping out a few stray butt nuggets.

  52. defmn says:

    Cassandra: The first reason is because hockey skills are nowhere near so hyper specialized.It isn’t baseball, in which positions are actually doing different things and require different skills.The only really significant difference is between defense and forwards.

    Your example isn’t very good imo. Baseball is full of players that were moved from 2nd base to shortstop to right field when coming up from Triple A to the their parent team.

    And I don’t think there is one professional hockey coach anywhere in the world who would agree with you that a winning hockey team doesn’t require a mixture of different skills amongst both the forwards and the dmen.

    Remember back a few years ago when the Oilers couldn’t break a cycle in their own end to save their lives?

    I do.

  53. defmn says:

    Suburbia is part of the city. In fact it is the largest part.

  54. who says:

    Cassandra: Why would anyone make a decision based off ten games when there is a much larger relevant sample available?

    In any case, I didn’t see every game but what I did say was a player with good puck control skills with the ability to see the ice, and open up plays for his teammates.That plays on every line.

    Yeah I haven’t seen many of his games either.
    I saw the Oiler games this year and maybe a half dozen of his junior games, including the super series games against the Russian juniors. In my limited viewings, I saw a player with solid skills across the board, but no real standout skill. And I never saw him dominate a game in junior.
    I want to emphasize I’m not writing him off. I just don’t think he’s a sure thing and don’t see why he would automatically get dropped into a top 6 role.
    JP has accomplished a lot more, and has a much higher upside, in my opinion.

  55. Munny says:

    Early news of small randomized trial of chloroquine isn’t positive:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-25/hydroxychloroquine-no-better-than-regular-covid-19-care-in-study

    More trials to come though.

  56. Cassandra says:

    I don’t disagree on JP. There is a guy who didn’t get a chance that is really inviting post hoc justifications.

    JP is Benson squared.

  57. defmn says:

    PennersPancakes: Nah this is over simplifying the game too much. Just because a player in hockey can do the “same things” doesnt mean they can do them as well.

    Look at special teams for example. Theres certain players you wouldnt want to have on the PK but every time you take a penalty you need 4 guys out there.

    Hell even the PP which is a little more loose, has players that fit and dont. Certain players with speed for example can create chances through breakaways and post decent offense (Byron for example) but dont have the puck skills to be premium choices on the PP.

    Think about if the entire Oilers forwards corps was yamamoto/archibald sized…

    Or if you have three great playmakers on a line, if talent is there yes itl “work” but by swapping one out for a great shooter you have a much more efficient line. Theres a lot of different skill sets and roles in the NHL. Now they might not be hard coded and are fluid especially as systems change but to completely deny their existence as fact is BOLD.

    Completely agree right down to the three guys in the press box every game. I don’t want young rookies playing that position.

    23 player lineup -> 23 job descriptions

  58. defmn says:

    Munny:
    Early news of small randomized trial of chloroquine isn’t positive:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-25/hydroxychloroquine-no-better-than-regular-covid-19-care-in-study

    More trials to come though.

    I believe they start one in NYC today.

  59. Munny says:

    Currying no favour with The Royals?

  60. Cassandra says:

    PennersPancakes: Nah this is over simplifying the game too much. Just because a player in hockey can do the “same things” doesnt mean they can do them as well.

    Look at special teams for example. Theres certain players you wouldnt want to have on the PK but every time you take a penalty you need 4 guys out there.

    Hell even the PP which is a little more loose, has players that fit and dont. Certain players with speed for example can create chances through breakaways and post decent offense (Byron for example) but dont have the puck skills to be premium choices on the PP.

    Think about if the entire Oilers forwards corps was yamamoto/archibald sized…

    Or if you have three great playmakers on a line, if talent is there yes itl “work” but by swapping one out for a great shooter you have a much more efficient line. Theres a lot of different skill sets and roles in the NHL. Now they might not be hard coded and are fluid especially as systems change but to completely deny their existence as fact is BOLD.

    Your last paragraph is the key. These abilities are not hard coded, they are transferable and fluid.

    And the best systems take advantage of fluid skills because the game itself is fluid.since other than the powerplay it isn’t possible to dictate the positions players will be in.

    It is more or less axiomatic that the more fluid the game the more general and fluid the skills that are required to play the game. The modern game in increasingly positionless. Even basketball, where you have much more of an ability to dictate who has the ball, which historically has promoted specialization, is moving away from defined roles. Teams that don’t do this lose.

    So really, the argument comes down to special teams in general, and penalty killing in particular.

    Is it really true that guys like Khaira are better penalty killers, or do they penalty kill because the coach has to put them out sometime?

    In any case, more and more teams are putting out skill players to kill penalties. Marner and Kapanen kill penalties for the Leafs.

    Look at the Oilers, by TOI their first unit PK for forwards were Sheahen and Archibald. This proves nothing since they earn their playing time at 5on5 as well.

    The second group probably changed a lot, but RNH and Khaira were the next two by TOI/game, with Khaira playing 1 min 32 seconds a game.

    So for the special teams specialization to justify itself Khaira has to be enough better than the next best guy to compensate for his limited game 5on5. That guy doesn’t even have to be Benson, so long as anybody can replace those minutes there is no value to Khaira’s specialization.

    What about Khaira makes him a better penalty killer than someone like Haas.

    So yes, a team needs penalty killers, roles that are easily filled by guys who are also good, or at least decent, at playing 5on5. And what makes them good at both is the fluid and diverse nature of their skills.

    All forwards are applying for the same job. The only exception is for players for whom most of their value is on the power play, but who aren’t good enough to be on the first unit power play. You only need one player to dominate the puck on the half wall, there is not much good to come from a player who is 2nd best at that skill, who can’t do other things well. This is the Linus Omark problem. But again, this is an argument against specialization. Likewise, unless you are old-school Holmstrom, there is no value at all for standing in front of the net on the powerplay. Anyone can do that, so put someone who does other things well there.

    Get good players, keep good players is the rule. Don’t take the lesser player to fill a job you’ve invented that doesn’t exist.

  61. godot10 says:

    The trial was with hydroxycloroquine, NOT chloroquine. Similar drugs, but not the same drug.

    Lousy headline writing.

    China and Korea were mostly using chloroquine.

  62. pts2pndr says:

    If Benson was to make the Oilers he would be the fourth best Passer on the team. His hockey IQ is well above average. Because of the pubis injury his skating is in my opinion not at the level needed for the NHL. His skating can ostensibly be improved in the off season and if he can improve that part of his game he becomes a legitimate candidate for top six left winger in my opinion. Given what this young man has gone through physically and his perseverance he gets the benefit of the doubt. His work ethic deserves to be rewarded and so I will cheer for him.

  63. meanashell11 says:

    Now I like this!

  64. defmn says:

    After initially holding out as one of the last few operating sports organizations worldwide, the KHL has now accepted fate. In a statement today, KHL president Alexey Morozov announced that they will cancel the rest of the 2019-20 playoffs and not award the Gagarin Cup. Morozov explained that he understands the frustration of fans, but needed to make a move to protect public health:

    It’s unfortunate that we have to finish the season early, and it wasn’t an easy decision. I’m sure that every fan, along with us, wanted to see the conclusion of the competition. However, the health of players and their loved ones, club employees, employees of sports facilities, and, of course, the fans, is much more important.

    The KHL is doing everything possible to not delay the start of the 2020-21 season, obviously a different tack than the NHL. Reports and speculation have swirled about the NHL playoffs taking part in the summer, which could push the start of next season back—though, a full 82-game schedule is still the league’s priority.

    With the end of the KHL season, several players will start negotiating with NHL organizations, though their contracts do not officially expire until the end of April. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic spoke with the agent for Montreal Canadiens draft pick Alexander Romanov, who wouldn’t commit his client one way or the other at this point.

  65. Cassandra says:

    defmn: Your example isn’t very good imo. Baseball is full of players that were moved from 2nd base to shortstop to right field when coming up from Triple A to the their parent team.

    And I don’t think there is one professional hockey coach anywhere in the world who would agree with you that a winning hockey team doesn’t require a mixture of different skills amongst both the forwards and the dmen.

    Remember back a few years ago when the Oilers couldn’t break a cycle in their own end to save their lives?

    I do.

    Your example proves my point. Baseball, which is much more specialized than hockey, nonetheless doesn’t have 25 different jobs.

    They have:

    Outfielder
    Middle infielder
    Hitter (who plays first base)
    Hitter (who DH)
    catcher
    Starting pitcher
    LOOGY
    ROOGY (maybe)
    innings eating reliever
    short reliever

    Note, there is no job for closer. Any short reliever can do this, and good teams have multiple ones to fill that job.

    And I don’t agree that every coach agrees with you. Indeed, I would suggest that there are very few that do. There is confusion of cause and effect here. Coaches do, indeed, fit players into roles, however they do not, or should not, select players based on roles. This is why it is universally agreed that choosing Rob Zamnuner for Team Canada was absurd. (Note this is quite different than selecting players based on personalities. All coaches do this, and should. Often the language of roles is used when what is really being selecting is the personality fit within the team).

    Hockey is a fluid game and the more fluid the game the least specialization will be rewarded. Specialization between defense and forwards makes sense, but beyond that it is not reflected in how the game is actually played.

  66. Munny says:

    It’s an analog of chloroquine. Their dynamics are essentially the same. Hydroxy- has a little longer half life in serum and is a little less toxic. The report was from China.

  67. pts2pndr says:

    I agree with you. It would be criminal to keep Benning and block Bouchard from getting the NHL time to progress. Bouchard will adequately fill the third pairing right D slot if paired correctly. He might be better paired with Lagesson skill set than Jones. For the first time since Huddy left I trust the D coaching.

  68. SkatinginSand says:

    With Bodog Rapperdink in the lineup next year, the Dys will win the President’s Trophy, Stanley, the Gagarin Cup and the World Championships. Bookje it!

  69. pts2pndr says:

    Demographics play a huge role or did for me. Loved LA in my youth now as a senior Penticton is perfect. When you are young and believe you are forever 30 minutes minimum to get almost anywhere is no problem. As you get older spending inordinate amounts of time getting from point A to B becomes less tolerable. If you calculate the amount of time most people spend commuting back and forth to work and then add in the added cost of said transportation you will see what I mean. What you value in life and lifestyle are fluid.

  70. defmn says:

    I see it completely differently. Players sort themselves into roles as they progress up through the various leagues. The fact that Yamomoto can fight does not mean that he is sent out to do that job. When the team is down a goal with 40 seconds left on the clock Khaira is unlikely to be on the ice.

    Remember the jokes about Hall to Nuge to Eberle to Hall to Nuge to Hall as they tried to score by passing the puck to each other?

    Size, speed, shooting are elements that all players have but they do not have them all at the same level. I would go so far as to say that the major role of the HC during games is fitting the right players together and sending them out in the right points in the game. There is a reason why Larsson starts most of his shifts in his own end and McDavid doesn’t.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    The NHL has postponed the 2020 NHL Scouting Combine, the 2020 NHL Awards and the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

  72. Cassandra says:

    Coaches do what you describe, but only because players don’t/can’t play the whole game, so they have to maximize the value they provide given the finite minutes they can play.

    So they do fit them into roles after the fact, with special team time being the most obvious example of this, but zone starts would be another. However, that doesn’t mean there is such a job (in terms of selection) as defensive zone specialist. Even if you could successfully identify that player, the players plays enough in another situations that the specialization value is washed out unless they are also good in a more general way.

    So it is true that players are deployed differently, but they should not be selected based on these differences in deployment because those differences in deployment are small in comparison to total usage.

    Now coaches should be training/coaching/instructing players in such a way that they will be as effective as possible in the way they will be deployed, but that is also a different point.

  73. Reja says:

    My wish list is that Neal and Russell are fired into the sun, sign a 3C that can win a fricking faceoff when it matters and a shifty winger for Connor. But for me the most important signing is in net there should be some quality 1a-1b goaltenders floating around it’s up to Holland to pick the right one.

  74. pts2pndr says:

    The hardest part of staying home is food prep without fresh ingredients. If it comes down to survival of the fittest I believe I still have an edge over todays majority that now have 10 year supplies of TP. These people set a very low bar.

  75. Bad Seed says:

    With a looming recession and $24 oil, we may be looking at a half empty building next year and an owner who may not spend to the cap because of it. He may not even want to spend the money for buyouts.

  76. Cassandra says:

    defmn: Completely agree right down to the three guys in the press box every game. I don’t want young rookies playing that position.

    23 player lineup -> 23 job descriptions

    This is also quite a different point. But even here, the idea that some players have the job to sit in the press box is not a natural fact, but a choice, and a sub-optimal choice at that.

    Given the number of injuries that teams face, some of which at least, are chronic and related to rest and recovery, a smart team would rotate all their active players into the lineup game to game regardless of perceived performance.

    Soccer teams do this. Basketball teams are starting to do this. If hockey teams did this, then young players would always be playing and developing, while the rest of the players would be more rested, play better, and suffer fewer injuries. This strategy would also be supported by having players who were less strictly tied to perceived roles.

    Specialization is the enemy of all things.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy:
    Was really looking forward to seeing that fourth line in the playoffs. My rose coloured glasses had them out scoring, out musclingand just plain ol nasty to play against.

    Also want to say how much I enjoy reading this blog after 10pm, the comments/ theories presented on today’s world are like no where else to be found, and thank our host for allowing it to happen.

    Take away their cap hits and that fourth line has some attributes.

    I mean the wingers are a guy that scored 20 goals last year (and he double digits this year) and another winger that is a 20 goal scorer this year (and one of the most consistent goal scorers of the last decade). Sure, the majority of that production is the powerplay but there is goal scoring acumen on that line. All three are big bodies. We know JJ can be a physical presence and we’ve seen Neal be a tough (and dirty) SOB on the boards and, back from injury, was a better 5 on 5 player.

    There is a definite skating issue with those 3 together but, as far as a 4th line goes…..

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    Optimism is like heroin:
    I am sitting here dreaming about the future.I think with the season gone that we are looking at 14.5% loss in revenues.This means the cap should drop next year.If the cap does drop then we should see some compliance buy outs, 1 or 2 per team.

    To me this screams opportunity in the free agent market.There will be less money to spend with an additional 31 to 62 players available.

    If we can add two solid top 9 veterans on 1 year deals to get them through till when the cap jumps again.

    Perfect world for me is granlund and galchenyuk for our third line with archibald and guys from the 1 million bin from the released contracts for 4th line and scratches.

    From many accounts, the cap will not drop materially for next season.

    Of course, on a strict calculation of HRR as per the CBA, yes, the number would go down, however, from various accounts, the league and the players have the ability to “negotiate” a cap number that does not represent 50% of HRR and they can do this “for the good of the industry”.

    Of course, there are issues coming up with the number, escrow, averaging over years, etc. but, at the end of the day, the cap next year will not be calculated based on HRR as per the CBA in the normal course.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Just a note on a couple of fascinating articles up at the Athletic.

    Craig Custance just posted a piece about how NHL execs are considering changes to the draft lottery including a potential tournament amongst lottery teams playing for the first overall pick. The reasoning is it would create a must watch TV event for fans….I like it.

    Also, Dom is using his statistical models to play out the rest of the regular season.
    While it has its flaws, which he admits, it’s a fun exercise to follow.

    For those without a subscription, under the model, Vancouver is poised to win the Pacific and Edmonton is hanging on for dear life.

    I read some intel about that lottery tournament but haven’t had a chance to read the article yet – is the suggestion just for this coming year due to the circumstances or something that would happen yearly?

    On the second point, of course, I think it was Evolving Hockey that had the Oilers in the finals against TBL via tens of millions of simulations, so…..

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    commonfan29:
    Does anyone know of the Flames could unilaterally decide to use a compliance buyout on Lucic when the Oilers are paying him as well? Seems like the Oilers could argue that they have to agree to it.

    One has to wonder if flames management would agree to pay the player that much money to not play – yes, there is savings and the cost is amortized over twice the term but its still a sunk cost.

    I’m not 100% certain that Katz would authorize a buyout of Neal either – i’d like to think he would and he has done nothing but pony up every cent necessary for the organization over the years, however, the world economy is in a bit of an interesting spot.

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    Elgin R:
    Benning is a good 3rd pair – right shot defensemen.Analytics and the eye-test show that he is more than acceptable when limited to 3rd pair competition and minutes.He has played 248 NHL games so well short of that magic 300-game mark that a lot of people use as a minimum when evaluating what a defenseman will be.

    Oilers have 3 more years of control so that has value.Qualifying offer will only be approx. $2.1 so that has value.

    Trade value would be greatest with a team that needs right-shot defensemen (Winnipeg and Toronto come to mind).

    Could you get Kerfoot out of Toronto straight up.Maybe, Kerfoot is a left shot so not as highly valued as a right shot.He makes $3.5 (3 years left) so that is on the high end for a 3C.

    The Oilers do not have any RHD of significance in the system other than Bouchard.So only one injury away from Logan Day being next man up. Scary thought.

    The only way I trade Benning is if it brings a above-average 3C on a good contract with term.RHD are just too valuable (see the mistakes of MacT /Petry and Pistol Pete / Schultz).Kerfoot straight up or no deal.

    One quick note: Benning only needs to be qualified at 100%, not 110% so his QO would be a flat $2M.

    Its interesting, even before reading your response, Kerfoot is the player I was going to use as an example.

    He’s an OK 3C but he doesn’t PK so really a middling 3C at best.

    At the same time, I think his value is a bit higher than Matt Benning (who I’m a fan of) and a piece would need to be added – a C piece mind you (like a Rasanen or a Joe G. or a 5th).

    Although not signed yet, I would add Berglund to the right side depth and there is a chance that he could step up to 4RD right away – we don’t know that of course but this is a player that has been a key piece of a strong and deep defensive group in a good league.

    With that said, of course, neither Bouchard nor Berglund have proven NHL ready yet and if either Larsson or Benning are moved, 100%, in my opinion, another right shot d-man must be signed to bridge that gap.

    I think they might sign Mike Green but he won’t be cheap and will be apx $2.5M I’m sure – to me its too much money because a depth guy is needed and he’s a bit more than a depth guy but yet, in my opinion, not an every day 2RD and I fear they would slot him there.

    WIth that said, if they can’ afford it, I’d be just fine with this on the right side:

    Bear
    Larsson/Green
    Green/Larsson
    Berglund
    Bouchard

    I don’t see Green “replacing” Larsson but would be OK with him “replacing” Bennign.

  82. defmn says:

    Don’t forget Jones can and has played there fairly effectively which would allow Lagesson to be the next guy up. A small point but that is what I would expect except I think Holland will try to sign a veteran for that side just to force Bouchard to take the final step. Seems to be the way he prefers to bring young guys up.

  83. defmn says:

    pts2pndr:
    Demographics play a huge role or did for me. Loved LA in my youth now as a senior Penticton is perfect. When you are young and believe you are forever 30 minutes minimum to get almost anywhere is no problem. As you get older spending inordinate amounts of time getting from point A to B becomes less tolerable. If you calculate the amount of time most people spend commuting back and forth to work and then add in the added cost of said transportation you will see what I mean. What you value in life and lifestyle are fluid.

    Agree. I spent the last 12 years in smaller centres after retirement. Now I am in a condo in downtown Calgary where I can walk to everything I need. I sometimes go 3 months without putting gas in my car.

    I need my weekly dim sum. 😉

  84. defmn says:

    godot10:
    Benning is one season away from UFA status.He will be 26 on July 1st this year.

    I think the Oilers plan is to sign Green and trade Benning.

    Nurse, Bear
    Klefbom, Green
    Jones, Larsson
    Russell

    Bouchard, the real #7, in Bakersfield

    Agree with most of that but I think Benning and Russell are gone. Green signed to share that 6/7 spot with Bouchard as they break him in with Green as his mentor.

  85. tileguy says:

    54.9 at Costco today, can you believe it?

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jordan:
    I question the value of firing both James Neal and Chiasson into the sun in the same off-season.

    I understand there are questions/issues with 5v5 scoring.

    However, both men were dynamite on the powerplay for the Oilers this year.Bascially in the same spot.

    The Oilers special teams won them a playoff spot in 2019-20.Not their 5v5 play.

    While agree that improving their performance 5v5 is a priority, I do not think that subtracting key elements from a powerplay that performed at historically significant levels is a prudent decision.

    If Neal goes, I have all the time in the world for Chiasson on the 4th line and on the PP.He’s money in that role, and he earned his $$$ this past year with his goals and 5v5 performance.

    For that matter, I’d be happy to see Sam Gagner brought back for ~$1M per for the same reason – he’s a quality NHLer with some limitations who can help you out-score the opposition in a depth role.But I digress…

    If you don’t bring back Neal and Chiasson, you risk the functionality of the team’s most effective weapon last season – the PP.I don’t see that being a wise decision.

    I don’t disagree with any of this.

    In isolation, a disposition of each of Neal or Chiasson makes perfect sense (at least I think so) but if somehow we get out of the Neal contract for free then, sure, I’m fine keeping Chiasson around to finish off his contract.

    While not “the same player”, they do have redundant skills in some respects and there just isn’t room for both of the in the 12 forwards.

    I would also be fine with Gagner playing the same role he did this year for apx $1M – on the other hand, I’d prefer Anton Slepyshev take that spot on the 23 and the 50. It would be a bit of a risk as we don’t know if Slepy is now an NHL player that can fill that role but I think we can reasonably project him to be a legit NHL bottom sixer if not middle sixer (with a tiny chance of gelling with Connor or Leon).

  87. Harpers Hair says:

    tileguy:
    54.9 at Costco today, can you believe it?

    Filled up on Vancouver Island today for 97.9.

    Lowest it’s been since we moved here 13 years ago.

  88. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I read some intel about that lottery tournament but haven’t had a chance to read the article yet – is the suggestion just for this coming year due to the circumstances or something that would happen yearly?

    On the second point, of course, I think it was Evolving Hockey that had the Oilers in the finals against TBL via tens of millions of simulations, so…..

    Time to put the partisan cudgel down OP…it’s all just fun played in Excel.

    Evolving hockey didn’t have the catastrophic Draisaitl knee injury in its simulation.?

    The mini tournament for the #1 pick is just an idea being seriously considered for this season although if it generates a buzz and TV revenue I can’t see the league squelching it.

    It would be must see TV in many markets.

  89. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: Agree with most of that but I think Benning and Russel are gone. Green signed to share that 6/7 spot with Bouchard as they break him in with Green as his mentor.

    Word today on Vancouver sports radio that the Canucks will let Chris Tanev go and promote the World Famous Brogan Rafferty to take his spot.

    The Oilers could do worse than signing Tanev.

  90. Harpers Hair says:

    Just a note to whisky officianados.

    Shelter Point has shut down their production line and are now making branded hand sanitizer.

    If I run across it, I’ll pick up a few bottles for the gang.

    (please do not drink)

  91. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: Word today on Vancouver sports radio that the Canucks will let Chris Tanev go and promote the World Famous Brogan Rafferty to take his spot.

    The Oilers could do worse than signing Tanev.

    I haven’t watched the Canucks for some time except when they play the Oilers but I doubt that would interest the Oilers. I would think Tanev wants to play and be paid as a legit top 4 and I don’t see how that would work.

    Projecting rookies is always difficult – sometimes they surprise, sometimes they break your heart – but I would be very surprised if Holland doesn’t see Bouchard as part of the team by Christmas at the latest.

  92. geowal says:

    WCS is about 8 bucks right now so don’t be surprised if it keeps dropping. There’s always a lag between the oil price drop and gas drop

  93. defmn says:

    tileguy:
    54.9 at Costco today, can you believe it?

    I’m having flashbacks to my youth. 😉

  94. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: I haven’t watched the Canucks for some time except when they play the Oilers but I doubt that would interest the Oilers. I would think Tanev wants to play and be paid as a legit top 4 and I don’t see how that would work.

    Projecting rookies is always difficult – sometimes they surprise, sometimes they break your heart – but I would be very surprised if Holland doesn’t see Bouchard as part of the team by Christmas at the latest.

    I think it’s very, very likely that any UFA will be squeezed hard this offseason.

    Tanev is a perfect partner for a puck moving D like Nurse..he’s still a warrior.

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: Bingo.
    I’m not writing him off, but posters who keep hoping he can slot in directly with McDavid or Draisaitl are delusional.
    Bensons goal next year should just be to make the team. And that’s no slam dunk in my eyes. He would have to show more than he did this past year. Not impossible, but banking on it seems foolish.

    Of course, the conversation was started with an opinion that it would be great if the player could find chemsiry on a skill line and then went on to say:

    “Of course, we can’t “count on” Benson going in to the season”

    No delusion there.

    —————–

    Definitely not a slam dunk to make the team and, if he does, not a slam dunk to mesh in the top 6 but I do not agree that he didn’t show anything in his time in Edmonton.

    His ability to make the short 5-8 foot pass in traffic in the offensive zone was very evident and he was in on a few scoring chances each game to my eye.

    He played 45 of his 67 minutes with Sheahan and Archibald – that’s a 4th line. His next most common linemate was Haas at 12 minutes. He got under 3 with McDavid and with Drai.

    He got his feet wet, he got a sense of the speed and skill of the game.

    He was 21 the last time he played a hockey game and the book is not closed.

    Next year will be an important year for him as he needs to earn an every day NHL spot but there are many many examples of players that do just that as 22-23 year olds.

  96. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: I’m having flashbacks to my youth.

    I remember filling up my first car…a 1963 Ford Galaxie (why did they spell it that way?) convertible.

    25 cents per Imperial Gallon…fuck I’m old.

  97. Harpers Hair says:

    geowal:
    WCS is about 8 bucks right now so don’t be surprised if it keeps dropping. There’s always a lag between the oil price drop and gas drop

    One thing I’ve been thinking about…why isn’t the Alberta government rapidly building massive oil storage facilities to stockpile oil while paying producers a somewhat reasonable rate and betting on a rebound sometime in the future?

    I’m far from an expert on these things, but Alberta is getting close to the point where the oil industry is just giving crude away or almost paying customers to take it.

    Am I an idiot?

  98. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: I think it’s very, very likely that any UFA will be squeezed hard this offseason.

    Tanev is a perfect partner for a puck moving D like Nurse..he’s still a warrior.

    Meh. I’m pretty happy watching the young guys growing into those roles. GAA between the teams for the season are pretty much the same and I keep reading on here how the Vancouver goalie could be the league MVP so . . .

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    Cassandra: Using “show more” as the standard sets the stage up for confirmation bias.

    It’s the same as someone having to “earn their opportunity.”That kind of language just provides cover for not providing an opportunity.

    Both heuristics are plainly circular.

    Benson was the best forward in Bakersfield two years in a row.If he doesn’t make the team next season it won’t be because he hasn’t earned it.It will be because someone decided in advance that he wasn’t an NHL player just like WHO and Hunter have.

    Remember this is a team that put guys like Khaira and the Danish guy in the lineup on a regular basis.There isn’t a chance in the world that those guys are better at hockey than Benson.None.

    The only reason to have them on the team instead of Benson is because they “aren’t applying for the same job.”

    To which I can only say that that is an indefensible way to fill out a hockey team since plainly the job is the same.

    Is William Lagesson a better player than Evan Bouchard?

    I would answer “nope”.

    At the same time was the decision to have Lagesson on the NHL team over Bouchard the right decision?

    I would answer “yup”.

    Of course, Tyler Benson is a better hockey player than Patrick Russell.

    Of course, at the same time, Tyler Benson was 21 and Patrick Russell 26 (now 27).

    Tyler Benson has a potential future on the Oilers and Patrick Russell does not but Patrick Russell is a further advanced defensive player that could help “not hurt the team” while Tyler Benson continued developing his pro game.

    While Patrick Russell is not a legit NHL player, to have him on the roster over Benson for this past year made sense – it probably helps the team now and moreso in the future.

    JJ Khaira is a different story and he made the team better this past year.

  100. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: One thing I’ve been thinking about…why isn’t the Alberta government rapidly building massive oil storage facilities to stockpile oil while paying producers a somewhat reasonable rate and betting on a rebound sometime in the future?

    I’m far from an expert on these things, but Alberta is getting close to the point where the oil industry is just giving crude away or almost paying customers to take it.

    Am I an idiot?

    Why didn’t the Alberta government build its own infrastructure to refine oil 30 years ago?

    Same answer.

  101. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: Meh. I’m pretty happy watching the young guys growing into those roles. GAA between the teams for the season are pretty much the same and I keep reading on here how the Vancouver goalie could be the league MVP so . . .

    I guess it depends on how long you want to wait…Tanev is a much better option than Mike Green in my opinion and I expect Tippet would find him far more useful than Bouchard.

  102. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: Why didn’t the Alberta government build its own infrastructure to refine the oil 30 years ago?

    Same answer.

    Far different times call for far different solutions.

  103. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: I happen to agree with all of this which is why I directed my question to those who like Benning. In order for Benning to be seen as roughly equal to a 3C I think he has to be valued as a 2RD which a succession of coaches have tried and failed at so to me he is a competent 3RD who needs to be qualified at $1.9 mil – I think – which is too much for that position considering he has no intangibles that I can think of as well as a history of concussions.

    I was hoping somebody could explain to me where I am wrong in that analysis.

    1) I would say that a legit 2RD is worth more than a 3C

    2) While I woudn’t say that Benning is a legit 2RD, I don’t think i agree that he’s totally “failed”. Over the years, he actually has very good “numbers”< both possession and goal share, when playing with, for example, Klefbom, which would be top 4 minutes.

    I think the issue is that many "remember" the "big mistake" that he would be prone to make (where he would get walked or beat in puck retrieval for goals against) and focus on the big mistake with less regard to the general solid play.

  104. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: I guess it depends on how long you want to wait…Tanev is a much better option than Mike Green in my opinion and I expect Tippet would find him far more useful than Bouchard.

    If Tanev is so good and will sign for so little I suggest Vancouver keep him. They have been waiting a lot longer. 😉

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr:
    I agree with you. It would be criminal to keep Benning and block Bouchard from getting the NHL time to progress. Bouchard will adequately fill the third pairing right D slot if paired correctly. He might be better paired with Lagesson skill set than Jones. For the first time since Huddy left I trust the D coaching.

    Keeping Benning would not block Bouchard.

    The only thing that would block Bouchard is, well, Bouchard.

    There is no need to “open up a spot” for Bouchard – he will either prove ready and win a spot or he will show that he needs a bit more time and given injuries, slumps, progression, will likely be an Oiler before the end of October in that case.

    If he does prove ready, there is still plenty of room for:

    Nurse/Bear
    Klef/Larsson
    Jones/Bouchard
    Benning

    Willie can, well, suffer the effects of the Oilers depth.

    For years and years and years the Oilers have gone in to seasons hoping prospects were ready to take on NHL roster spots and this has proven to help crater seasons when they were wrong.

    I do think, 100%, Bouchard is ready and, shit, Berglund may even be able to be 3RD but we don’t KNOW either of those things and, until they prove it management shouldn’t count on it.

    With respect, I’m not in to the “opening up spots” for prospects and removing cover.

  106. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: 1) I would say that a legit 2RD is worth more than a 3C

    2) While I woudn’t say that Benning is a legit 2RD, I don’t think i agree that he’s totally “failed”.Over the years, he actually has very good “numbers”< both possession and goal share, when playing with, for example, Klefbom, which would be top 4 minutes.

    I think the issue is that many “remember” the “big mistake” that he would be prone to make (where he would get walked or beat in puck retrieval for goals against) and focus on the big mistake with less regard to the general solid play.

    I have a pretty healthy respect for the 3C position so my point – lost in your response – is that if Benning is a 2RD according to those who like him and we have another guy that can play that position why wouldn’t you trade Benning for a 3C that everybody on this board has identified as one of the most urgent positions to fill?

    And if he isn’t a legit 2RD then the money it will take to sign him is too high given his concussion history and lack of intangibles.

    If you think Bouchard is going to arrive this fall or during the first 40 games of the season how does it make sense to keep Benning when there is a hole to fill that trading him would accomplish?

    Unless it wouldn’t because he isn’t really a 2RD.

  107. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: Far different times call for far different solutions.

    But the questions always remain the same.

  108. RonnieB says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think they might sign Mike Green but he won’t be cheap and will be apx $2.5M I’m sure – to me its too much money because a depth guy is needed and he’s a bit more than a depth guy but yet, in my opinion, not an every day 2RD and I fear they would slot him there.
    WIth that said, if they can’ afford it, I’d be just fine with this on the right side:
    Bear
    Larsson/Green
    Green/Larsson
    Berglund
    Bouchard
    I don’t see Green “replacing” Larsson but would be OK with him “replacing” Bennign.

    My question is who would you prefer at 3RD, a 35 year old Green at $2.5 or Benning at $2.0 ?

  109. defmn says:

    RonnieB: My question is who would you prefer at 3RD, a 35 year old Green at $2.5 or Benning at $2.0 ?

    This is where OP and I disagree, I think. I prefer the old guy who can mentor Jones, Bouchard and Bear while being happy to play 40-50 games. If the defence was more mature I would choose Benning.

  110. Scungilli Slushy says:

    RonnieB: My question is who would you prefer at 3RD, a 35 year old Green at $2.5 or Benning at $2.0 ?

    Benning.

    Green isn’t any better defensively and is chronically injured.

    Benning is not a tweener.

    He’s a high end 3rd pair D in the hen’s teeth young RD category.

  111. Scungilli Slushy says:

    If you have to choose between Chiasson and Neal you keep Chiasson because he’s a lot cheaper.

    Neal is a more skilled player but the results are close enough, and AC will happily play on any line or game state.

  112. NicaOil says:

    pts2pndr,

    totally agree…once you have a soul mate and the kids have moved on, life slows down and every day is for living happily!

  113. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Oh Hunter, you have gotten blood ALL OVER the floor … and poor Cassandra is slithering away to wherever he/she slithers away to.

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr:
    The hardest part of staying home is food prep without fresh ingredients. If it comes down to survival of the fittest I believe I still have an edge over todays majority that now have 10 year supplies of TP. These people set a very low bar.

    We are social distancing and encouraged to generally stay home to the country is not in lock-down, nor is any portion of it.

    As some here may know, I am an avid food prepper – I prep all my meals days in advance – I have a routine and a structure that is important to my mental health (except when i do take it too far).

    Anyways, in the normal course of life, I am at the grocery store pretty much daily – probably 6 days per week and most of those days at two seperate grocery stores (some times three) – specific things at different stores.

    Anyways, I have indeed cut down my appearances at the store to about 2/5 of regular but if I you need fresh ingredients, why not go to the grocery store (assuming you aren’t in any sort of self-quarantine or isolation – ie. not coming back from anywhere, not feeling well, not been potentially exposed that you know of, etc.)?

  115. Jethro Tull says:

    Cassandra: Specialization is the enemy of all things.

    Said Not Charles Darwin.

  116. defmn says:

    Jethro Tull: Said Not Charles Darwin.

    Said not any scientific discipline. 😉

  117. jp says:

    hunter1909: Just curious why you and others keep going on about Benson, a player so forgettable I don’t even remember ever seeing him.

    I need to see players play decently, otherwise I ignore them. During the 1st quarter of the season I saw too many players I didn’t know so just let them keep playing until I started to remember the ones who stuck out from time to time. I never remember Benson doing anything, ever. So, once more, what’s the big deal, aside from hope beyond hope for yet another tweener who’s probably going to bust?

    Out of curiosity, did you see anything notable from Yamamoto before this Jan?

  118. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn:
    After initially holding out as one of the last few operating sports organizations worldwide, the KHL has now accepted fate. In a statement today, KHL president Alexey Morozov announced that they will cancel the rest of the 2019-20 playoffs and not award the Gagarin Cup. Morozov explained that he understands the frustration of fans, but needed to make a move to protect public health:

    It’s unfortunate that we have to finish the season early, and it wasn’t an easy decision. I’m sure that every fan, along with us, wanted to see the conclusion of the competition. However, the health of players and their loved ones, club employees, employees of sports facilities, and, of course, the fans, is much more important.

    The KHL is doing everything possible to not delay the start of the 2020-21 season, obviously a different tack than the NHL. Reports and speculation have swirled about the NHL playoffs taking part in the summer, which could push the start of next season back—though, a full 82-game schedule is still the league’s priority.

    With the end of the KHL season, several players will start negotiating with NHL organizations, though their contracts do not officially expire until the end of April. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic spoke with the agent for Montreal Canadiens draft pick Alexander Romanov, who wouldn’t commit his client one way or the other at this point.

    Yup – KHL players on expiring contracts can sign in the NHL on May 1 – hello Slepyshev.

    The NHL season/playoffs will be cancelled in due course.

    While the league has now asked for building availability in to August I can’t imagine them playing that late – the NHL has been clear that their main priority is a full 2020/21 season (if possible) and this poster agrees.

    The 2019/20 season and playoffs is already effed up. No matter what might be structured, its not a normal season and, if 2020/21 is effected then, bam, to non-normal seasons in a row.

    I’d prefer to cancel the 2019/20 season/playoffs and ensure a normal 2020/21 season (if possible) than have two effed up seasons in a row.

    Of course, the NHL agrees and much of that is financial related given how dependant they are on gate revenue.

    Anyways, at this point, because I think its inevitable, I’d look forward to the cancellation of the currents season and playoffs so that the “off-season” can start with known dates for the lottery, the draft, setting the negotiated cap, free agency, development camps, rookie camps, main camps, etc.

    Of course, contingency plans would be made in case starting the season in October is no doable even with this season over.

  119. hunter1909 says:

    jp: Out of curiosity, did you see anything notable from Yamamoto before this Jan?

    Yes. I saw a tiny little player who looked about 11 years old getting hammered in what I can only describe as a travesty of coaching.

    Yamamoto has worked on his game with the intensity of a samurai warrior candidate. The way it’s supposed to be. How major prospects constantly miss out on this most fundamental of situations where the snowflakes, pampered and cosseted due to innate ability are confronted with a lot of other people who are every but as talented etc.

    The point is, Yamamoto didn’t impress at all until he went back to the AHL and returned a majorly improved player. He was given a golden opportunity and unlike many he was able to run with it. Next season of course the league will have figured out Yamamoto’s schtick so he’d better realise that he’s not going to be getting that insert into the lineup 40 games into the season after everyone stops paying attention situation.

  120. who says:

    defmn: I have a pretty healthy respect for the 3C position so my point – lost in your response – is that ifBenning is a 2RD according to those who like him and we have another guy that can play that position why wouldn’t you trade Benning for a 3C that everybody on this board has identified as one of the most urgent positions to fill?

    And if he isn’t a legit 2RD then the money it will take to sign him is too high given his concussion history and lack of intangibles.

    If you think Bouchard is going to arrive this fall or during the first 40 games of the season how does it make sense to keep Benning when there is a hole to fill that trading him would accomplish?

    Unless it wouldn’t because he isn’t really a

    defmn: I have a pretty healthy respect for the 3C position so my point – lost in your response – is that ifBenning is a 2RD according to those who like him and we have another guy that can play that position why wouldn’t you trade Benning for a 3C that everybody on this board has identified as one of the most urgent positions to fill?

    And if he isn’t a legit 2RD then the money it will take to sign him is too high given his concussion history and lack of intangibles.

    If you think Bouchard is going to arrive this fall or during the first 40 games of the season how does it make sense to keep Benning when there is a hole to fill that trading him would accomplish?

    Unless it wouldn’t because he isn’t really a 2RD.

    Excellent post. My thoughts exactly.

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Word today on Vancouver sports radio that the Canucks will let Chris Tanev go and promote the World Famous Brogan Rafferty to take his spot.

    The Oilers could do worse than signing Tanev.

    Absolutely, I would love to have Tanev as the veteran right side depth – he would need to take a greater than 50% haircut on his current AAV so I don’t see it happening.

    Aghhhh, sending away veterans to make room from prospects that haven’t proven to be NHL players – I encourage rivals of the Oilers do so just think – even better if the counted on prospect is 25 and barely a prospect in the first case.

    I am against the Oilers “making room for Bouchard” and he’s about 30X more touted and that a guy like Rafferty.

  122. geowal says:

    Simply put, for Alberta to do something at a scale that matters, you’d need something approaching the scale of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the US. Right now if you could tuck away a couple of million barrels per day, or as much as possible anyways, you’d make a difference. None of this is out of the question, but it’s not something you setup overnight. If you’re imagining metal tanks…they just don’t approach the storage needed that you refer with cavern storage. They’re just not tall enough. On a small scale, the government could lease tank space and make money on it later, just like any other trader, but that wouldn’t be something that would move oil prices, which is what I assume you were getting at.

    On an individual producer level, many companies will be contemplating pumping their wells until their own storage tanks are full and then likely shutting down. It all comes down to their operating cost and how desperate they are for cash flow.

    At the end of the day, so much is bound for export. If that market (the US) doesn’t need it, severe production drop is the only solution as it stands.

  123. godot10 says:

    You should be able to recognize the obvious flaw(s) in his reasoning.

  124. jp says:

    defmn: I happen to agree with all of this which is why I directed my question to those who like Benning. In order for Benning to be seen as roughly equal to a 3C I think he has to be valued as a 2RD which a succession of coaches have tried and failed at so to me he is a competent 3RD who needs to be qualified at $1.9 mil – I think – which is too much for that position considering he has no intangibles that I can think of as well as a history of concussions.

    I was hoping somebody could explain to me where I am wrong in that analysis.

    I’d agree with others that a 2RD is worth more than a 3C (also that Benning isn’t an established 2RD). The concussion issues and him being 1 year from UFA (which I didn’t realize) also make a big difference to his value.

    I’d peg Benning’s value currently as a 3rd round pick (possibly a 2nd?). I think it might be solid 2nd if he was under control for more than a year.

    One thing I would disagree with is the “tried and failed” at 2RD by multiple coaches. He’s been given a few chances there, largely due to injury. Tippett hasn’t given him a sniff. The fact that he hasn’t been seen as a real 2nd pair option (by 3 coaches now) definitely says something. At the same time his actual results argue pretty strongly that he’s capable of playing those minutes.

    A few “for instance” stats:
    – Over the course of his career he’s behind only McDavid in Oilers +/-. The leaderboard goes McDavid +44, Benning +32, Maroon +18, Nurse +8.
    – From Natural Stat Trick, 168 NHL defensemen played 2000+ 5on5 minutes over the last 3 seasons. Benning’s GF% is 28th of the 168. Nurse is the next best Oiler at 96th of the 168. (the top of the list isn’t just 3rd pairing types playing soft minutes)
    – I don’t have the stats at hand, but in 1000+ minutes he’s played with 2nd pairing partners, he’s performed better than any other Oilers defender in similar minutes

    The statistical argument for Benning is extremely strong. The counter arguments are legit too (coaches don’t play him as a 2RD, injury, approaching UFA).

    I think a team that looks at the numbers (on ice results) would value Benning and view him as a good buy low bet as 2RD. Many other teams would not see him as such. IMO if he were healthy and not 1 year from UFA he very likely would fetch an average 3C in return from some team. Given the realities, I agree that something would most probably need to be added for a quality 3C.

  125. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Absolutely, I would love to have Tanev as the veteran right side depth – he would need to take a greater than 50% haircut on his current AAV so I don’t see it happening.

    Aghhhh, sending away veterans to make room from prospects that haven’t proven to be NHL players – I encourage rivals of the Oilers do so just think – even better if the counted on prospect is 25 and barely a prospect in the first case.

    I am against the Oilers “making room for Bouchard” and he’s about 30X more touted and that a guy like Rafferty.

    Rafferty is a better hockey player than Bouchard right now.

    You are projecting and fantasizing.

    Not every dweeb gets to shtup the Prom Queen.

  126. Harpers Hair says:

    hunter1909: Yes. I saw a tiny little player who looked about 11 years old getting hammered in what I can only describe as a travesty of coaching.

    Yamamoto has worked on his game with the intensity of a samurai warrior candidate. The way it’s supposed to be. How major prospects constantly miss out on this most fundamental of situations where the snowflakes, pampered and cosseted due to innate ability are confronted with a lot of other people who are every but as talented etc.

    The point is, Yamamoto didn’t impress at all until he went back to the AHL and returned a majorly improved player. He was given a golden opportunity and unlike many he was able to run with it. Next season of course the league will have figured out Yamamoto’s schtick so he’d better realise that he’s not going to be getting that insert into the lineup 40 games into the season after everyone stops paying attention situation.

    This.

    Yamamoto will get hammered, stapled and mutilated at every step.

    Elias Pettersson is much better, more elusive and bigger than Yamamoto and has had to adjust to being hammered on every shift.

    Yamamoto is not immune to this.

  127. JimmyV1965 says:

    Cassandra: Why would anyone make a decision based off ten games when there is a much larger relevant sample available?

    In any case, I didn’t see every game but what I did say was a player with good puck control skills with the ability to see the ice, and open up plays for his teammates.That plays on every line.

    I agree. I’m not sure what Benson will ever be, but I find it hard to believe Khaira is a better player. Every coach on every team makes decisions on players. Sometimes they make decision too early. We see that all the time. I hope Benson gets a legit shot in some capacity next year.

  128. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: This.

    Yamamoto will get hammered, stapled and mutilated at every step.

    Elias Pettersson is much better, more elusive and bigger than Yamamoto and has had to adjust to being hammered on every shift.

    Yamamoto is not immune to this.

    He’s definitely not immune, but he’s got a lower centre of gravity and is stockier than Pettersson.

    He also has the benefit of playing with 2 linemates bigger and better than Pettersson to distract the opposition from focusing on him. Pettersson is pretty much a stone alone.

  129. defmn says:

    jp: I’d agree with others that a 2RD is worth more than a 3C (also that Benning isn’t an established 2RD). The concussion issues and him being 1 year from UFA (which I didn’t realize) also make a big difference to his value.

    I’d peg Benning’s value currently as a 3rd round pick (possibly a 2nd?). I think it might be solid 2nd if he was under control for more than a year.

    One thing I would disagree with is the “tried and failed” at 2RD by multiple coaches. He’s been given a few chances there, largely due to injury. Tippett hasn’t given him a sniff. The fact that he hasn’t been seen as a real 2nd pair option (by 3 coaches now) definitely says something. At the same time his actual results argue pretty strongly that he’s capable of playing those minutes.

    A few “for instance” stats:
    – Over the course of his career he’s behind only McDavid in Oilers +/-. The leaderboard goes McDavid +44, Benning +32, Maroon +18, Nurse +8.
    – From Natural Stat Trick, 168 NHL defensemen played 2000+ 5on5 minutes over the last 3 seasons. Benning’s GF% is 28th of the 168. Nurse is the next best Oiler at 96th of the 168. (the top of the list isn’t just 3rd pairing types playing soft minutes)
    – I don’t have the stats at hand, but in 1000+ minutes he’s played with 2nd pairing partners, he’s performed better than any other Oilers defender in similar minutes

    The statistical argument for Benning is extremely strong. The counter arguments are legit too (coaches don’t play him as a 2RD, injury, approaching UFA).

    I think a team that looks at the numbers (on ice results) would value Benning and view him as a good buy low bet as 2RD. Many other teams would not see him as such. IMO if he were healthy and not 1 year from UFA he very likely would fetch an average 3C in return from some team. Given the realities, I agree that something would most probably need to be added for a quality 3C.

    At the trade deadline this is pretty much what I argued for trying to trade him to Toronto. 😉

  130. defmn says:

    jp: He’s definitely not immune, but he’s got a lower centre of gravity and is stockier than Pettersson.

    He also has the benefit of playing with 2 linemates bigger and better than Pettersson to distract the opposition from focusing on him. Pettersson is pretty much a stone alone.

    Doesn’t Pettersson carry the puck more as well?

  131. OriginalPouzar says:

    RonnieB: My question is who would you prefer at 3RD, a 35 year old Green at $2.5 or Benning at $2.0 ?

    Honestly, I think I’d refer Benning.

    I think he’s a more reliable defender in that position and I’d prefer the more reliable and physical (and younger player) on the 3rd pairing.

  132. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: One has to wonder if flames management would agree to pay the player that much money to not play – yes, there is savings and the cost is amortized over twice the term but its still a sunk cost.

    I’m not 100% certain that Katz would authorize a buyout of Neal either – i’d like to think he would and he has done nothing but pony up every cent necessary for the organization over the years, however, the world economy is in a bit of an interesting spot.

    I have zero doubt that Katz wouldn’t buy-out Neal and Russell if it meant upping the odds of winning Lord Stanley. Holland might find a tight team that would take Russell after his front bonus is paid.

  133. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Rafferty is a better hockey player than Bouchard right now.

    You are projecting and fantasizing.

    Not every dweeb gets to shtup the Prom Queen.

    I would anticipate that Bouchard will have a more impactful 2020/21 season in the NHL than Rafferty despite being 4 years younger and turning 21.

    Of course, the actual point I was making, even though Bouchard is much more highly touted and higher potential prospect than Rafferty and looks to be NHL ready, I am against the Oilers “making room for him” and am very hopeful Canucks do just that for Rafferty.

  134. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: He’s definitely not immune, but he’s got a lower centre of gravity and is stockier than Pettersson.

    He also has the benefit of playing with 2 linemates bigger and better than Pettersson to distract the opposition from focusing on him. Pettersson is pretty much a stone alone.

    JT Miller is 6’1″ and 220.

    Tyler Toffoli is 6’0″ and 200.

    Hardly shrinking violets.

  135. meanashell11 says:

    in my youth it was 15

  136. meanashell11 says:

    we do not need anymore middling D.

  137. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would anticipate that Bouchard will have a more impactful 2020/21 season in the NHL than Rafferty despite being 4 years younger and turning 21.

    Of course, the actual point I was making, even though Bouchard is much more highly touted and higher potential prospect than Rafferty and looks to be NHL ready, I am against the Oilers “making room for him” and am very hopeful Canucks do just that for Rafferty.

    Projecting is free…shtuping the Prom Queen is hard.

  138. meanashell11 says:

    lease oil tankers for storage and anchor them offshore. hedge funds do this all the time

  139. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: JT Miller is 6’1″ and 220.

    Tyler Toffoli is 6’0″ and 200.

    Hardly shrinking violets.

    True. But who did he play with before/after the 150 minutes with Toffoli?

  140. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Such as predicting 12 days ago the current infection rate in China?

    Or the near exact number of infections and deaths in China?

    Dude nailed it. Trump is going to look smart unfortunately.

  141. Halfwise says:

    Harpers Hair: Projecting is free…shtuping the Prom Queen is hard.

    Are you bragging? Or complaining?

    PS. I think it’s “schtupping”.

  142. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: This.

    Yamamoto will get hammered, stapled and mutilated at every step.

    Elias Pettersson is much better, more elusive and bigger than Yamamoto and has had to adjust to being hammered on every shift.

    Yamamoto is not immune to this.

    Fine player.

    Too bad the Canucks drafted him. He can run up grouse mountain with Linden and the Sedins to get over the broken dreams.

  143. hunter1909 says:

    Yamamoto has the heart of a lion. You can’t teach this. In every way he’s the Lowe+MacT fantasy home run from every hilarious strike out first round.

    Too bad he’s still too small and therefore unproven to the point where he can be counted on too seriously – other than the fact he’s been playing like the 3rd best Oiler forward.

    That said, I don’t think he’s been seriously injured yet. I like players who don’t get seriously injured in particular undersized players. Yamamoto has been riding a hot streak like I’ve seen in few other rookies, but when you rationally look at it he’s unlikely to keep this pace up for 82 games. A fantastic hockey player, Yamamoto is one of my fave Oilers to watch.

    Teenaged 1st round busts are too prevalent you would imagine the GMs could let them percolate until 20 but no, they are perpetually rushed. Finally, with Holland and Tippett this team has both a solid front office and on ice capabilities – when combined with the McDavid/Draisaitl Effect™ the future is theoretically, the best in the West.

  144. who says:

    jp: He’s definitely not immune, but he’s got a lower centre of gravity and is stockier than Pettersson.

    He also has the benefit of playing with 2 linemates bigger and better than Pettersson to distract the opposition from focusing on him. Pettersson is pretty much a stone alone.

    Yamamoto is a lot of things, but stocky ain’t one of them.
    Just look at a picture of him. Look at his features. He is tiny.

  145. jp says:

    defmn: At the trade deadline this is pretty much what I argued for trying to trade him to Toronto.?

    The Leafs are/were an obvious trade partner on the surface. We don’t know their valuation though or what they would/did offer.

    We’ll see what Holland does going forward. I do expect Benning is moved though. Tippett clearly sees him as a strict 3RD. My guess is the return is a 3rd round pick, but if it’s for a warm body or as part of a package it will be interesting what Holland can get (Puljujarvi + Benning I’d think would bring a nice return).

  146. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: Projecting is free…shtuping the Prom Queen is hard.

    Personal experience?

  147. hunter1909 says:

    jp: The Leafs are/were an obvious trade partner on the surface. We don’t know their valuation though or what they would/did offer.

    We’ll see what Holland does going forward. I do expect Benning is moved though. Tippett clearly sees him as a strict 3RD. My guess is the return is a 3rd round pick, but if it’s for a warm body or as part of a package it will be interesting what Holland can get (Puljujarvi + Benning I’d think would bring a nice return).

    Why should Oilers seek players from a toxic organisation like Toronto has? There are 30 other teams to deal with you know, not just Toronto lol

  148. Halfwise says:

    Well, he may just have been playing hard to get.

  149. jp says:

    Good lord no. He is doesn’t resemble stocky in any way.

    This is just in comparison to Pettersson (6’2″, 176). Yamamoto at 5’8″, 158 is surely no more a waif than Pettersson.

  150. geowal says:

    A few oil tankers is small potatoes in the context of the Alberta Government. Besides, they’re filling up fast, and Alberta is a long way from the coast. The only way would be a strategic reserve that the province controls, but that will never happen. The supply needs to stop, it’s all who blinks first.

    https://boereport.com/2020/03/25/global-oil-storage-fills-to-the-brim-despite-leap-in-costs/

  151. defmn says:

    hunter1909: Why should Oilers seek players from a toxic organisation like Toronto has? There are 30 other teams to deal with you know, not just Toronto lol

    So we can rub their noses in it when the player blossoms?

  152. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: This.

    Yamamoto will get hammered, stapled and mutilated at every step.

    Elias Pettersson is much better, more elusive and bigger than Yamamoto and has had to adjust to being hammered on every shift.

    Yamamoto is not immune to this.

    In 2020 Yamamoto played 26 games and was 9th in the NHL in P/60 at 3.24 and a major contributor to the best line in hockey. During that time, he played along the boards and in front of the opposition net and was able to not get hammered, stapled and mutilated.

    Do you think that teams didn’t know about him during most of this time and didn’t try to hammer, staple and mutilate him? I don’t think that, all of a sudden, teams will be “on to him” next year and realize they should try and be physical with him. I’m confident that a large part of his game through the junior ranks and his pro career has been knowing how to generally avoid that type of contact.

    Perhaps growing up in a European league, Pettersson didn’t need to worry about it and had to adjust to the North American game.

  153. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: I agree. I’m not sure what Benson will ever be, but I find it hard to believe Khaira is a better player.Every coach on every team makes decisions on players. Sometimes they make decision too early. We see that all the time. I hope Benson gets a legit shot in some capacity next year.

    Benson has more skill than Khaira. Benson has more offensive potential than Khaira.

    Benson also needed to be in the AHL last year to continue to develop his game so that he could hopefully reach that potential.

    Just like Bouchard, who is a better player than, say, Willie Lagesson but it make sense to have Lagesson on the roster over Bouchard.

  154. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Projecting is free…shtuping the Prom Queen is hard.

    I have no idea what that means but what I do know is that we’ve proven, over time and most recently within the last 24 hours that your opinion that you state as fact is often simply wrong and that you have a refusal to admit it even if the face of indisputable factual evidence.

  155. jp says:

    hunter1909: Why should Oilers seek players from a toxic organisation like Toronto has? There are 30 other teams to deal with you know, not just Toronto lol

    This is fair. I’m hoping for some out of the box Holland thinking here, finding the best way to get value for Benning (and Puljujarvi). A legit 3C would be real nice, no need for it to arrive from TO.

    And on Yamamoto, yeah he does have the kind of fight you can’t teach. For sure he’s unproven, and I agree he’s (probably) not going to score a PPG next time around. There’s no evidence of teams adjusting to his forecheck though. An impressive and unique skill. If he stays healthy (I’m not worried) he should stick in the top 6 as a 50+ player.

  156. pts2pndr says:

    Including Samorukov in as a sweetener is wrong way thinking. This player will be a top four D in the NHL. Take a look at his progression. Your throw in is the best player of the players mentioned in the trade. Why overpay for a short term fix. If samorukov is part of a deal it needs to be a far better player than Kerfoot.

  157. Genjutsu says:

    All three players play important roles in either PP or PK as well.

    Special teams are what made the Oilers a playoff team this year.

  158. pts2pndr says:

    You are talking about third pairing right D. That is a position that Jones could cover if Bouchard struggles.Bouchard needs to play NHL games if he is to progress and be a value contract. Benning is one more good hit from being out of the NHL for good. Playing a young player that does not have the requisite talent to play higher up the lineup while keeping a high end offensive D that the team needs for the power play that needs at bats to move forward in the AHL is short sighted. Sign Green for the 7 D spot if you feel Bouchard needs cover. My thinking is that Lagesson and Jones made an excellent top four pairing in the AHL and should be able to handle third pairing if Bouchard struggles. Keeping Benning or Russel should be non starters. They both need to be gone in my opinion.

  159. pts2pndr says:

    You should be able to get Green on a one year contract and he has ties to Holland. A longer term contract which I believe Benning will want could become an anchor moving forward.

  160. pts2pndr says:

    I am looking forward to my fruit trees and fresh garden produce. I volunteer at a soup kitchen and do food pick ups as well but do my best to social distance as per directives.
    The new normal quite frankly sucks.

  161. Close but no Ciger says:

    If you play around with the logistic functions here, https://www.wired.com/story/the-promising-math-behind-flattening-the-curve/, and use daily infections as a guide, along with the general trend on a log scale, it’s not far fetched to accurately predict when this phase is over. For example, Canada looks like it reached peak infection a couple days ago, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a total of 7000 by the end of the phase, petering out by the end of April/beginning of May.

  162. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: This.

    Yamamoto will get hammered, stapled and mutilated at every step.

    Elias Pettersson is much better, more elusive and bigger than Yamamoto and has had to adjust to being hammered on every shift.

    Yamamoto is not immune to this.

    Petterssen is many things, but elusive is not one of them. He plays a similar style to McDavid and will often initiate contact as a way to gain position on a player. He might be elusive given time, but Yama is infinitely more elusive today.

  163. jp says:

    Harpers Hair:
    A Nobel Laureate with his virus tracking.

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-turning-point-in-us-will-be-earlier-than-predicted-nobel-laureate-says/

    godot10:
    You should be able to recognize the obvious flaw(s) in his reasoning.

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Such as predicting 12 days ago the current infection rate in China?

    Or the near exact number of infections and deaths in China?

    Dude nailed it. Trump is going to look smart unfortunately.

    Anyone have a link to his predictions on China?

    The article (and everything else I googled) just lead to various versions of the same report (that he told the LA Times in an interview that he predicted how things went in China).

    I saw one vague reference to Chinese media reporting at the end of Feb that Levitt had predicted something relevant, but at that point cases were already way down (for a week or 10 days) from the peak in early Feb.

    It almost sounds like he correctly predicted the demise of something that had already happened. But I very well may be missing something. It would be nice to see some confirmation that his model actually correctly predicted things before they happened though.

  164. jp says:

    defmn: Agree with most of that but I think Benning and Russell are gone. Green signed to share that 6/7 spot with Bouchard as they break him in with Green as his mentor.

    Definitely agree with this.

    A flat cap AND no compliance buyout would add a hitch though. Then signing Green would make it very difficult to add anything up front.

    My guess for Holland’s 2020-21 Oilers is:

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Kassian
    Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Ennis-New 3C-Chiasson
    Nygard-Sheahan-Archibald
    Benson-Khaira-Slepyshev

    Nurse-Bear
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Jones-Green
    Lagesson-Bouchard

    Koskinen-Smith

    No idea who the 3C is but likely arrives via trade. I’ve also been wondering maybe, just maybe, about Slepyshev’s teammate Grigorenko returning to the NHL to fill that role.

  165. Munny says:

    There’s a reference that the initial prediction was Feb 1:

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-03-04/Nobel-Laureate-COVID-19-epidemic-is-almost-over-in-China-OADK2FDjna/index.html

    Another article stated that he had been making appearances on Chinese national TV in February. So there might be nothing published in writing.

  166. jp says:

    Thanks.

    A quick look at the reported cases (independent from the article) shows that daily US cases are currently ~4-5X as high as they were in China at that time.

    Also, talking about data/predictions you produced 2 months ago but never showing/sharing it strikes me odd.

    It may well be legit, but count me sceptical of Levitt’s predictions re: USA for now.

    (But I hope he’s right!)

  167. Munny says:

    Y’know, sad as it may be, it’s starting to look like one of our biggest mistake in our pandemic response was not shutting the borders with USA far sooner. Health-wise, I mean. I can understand giving lead time for the disruptive-ness of it the closure, but it’s going to cost us time now,

  168. Munny says:

    I’m skeptical too. I don’t trust the data coming out of China. I think the numbers have been under-reported. And the weird thing there was how limited the spread was in other areas. I’m wondering how much inter-city travel there is in China…

    They moved 40,000 doctors and nurses into Hubei, many bringing equipment & supplies, with no concerns about leaving anywhere else short of these assets. This is not a luxury any other country has. Because it’s everywhere.

    Considering we’ve seen that not all trajectories are the same in every country, I’m not sure how any self-respecting model could chunk out anything other than ranges of outcomes.

  169. Ribs says:

    Screening every incoming international passenger should have been mandatory at the onset of this thing. At least they’re starting to take this a bit more seriously this week!

  170. jp says:

    Agreed on all points

  171. Genjutsu says:

    This

  172. Genjutsu says:

    Same answer though.

    They don’t want us to.

  173. jeetz says:

    jp: Definitely agree with this.

    A flat cap AND no compliance buyout would add a hitch though. Then signing Green would make it very difficult to add anything up front.

    My guess for Holland’s 2020-21 Oilers is:

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Kassian
    Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Ennis-New 3C-Chiasson
    Nygard-Sheahan-Archibald
    Benson-Khaira-Slepyshev

    Nurse-Bear
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Jones-Green
    Lagesson-Bouchard

    Koskinen-Smith

    No idea who the 3C is but likely arrives via trade. I’ve also been wondering maybe, just maybe, about Slepyshev’s teammate Grigorenko returning to the NHL to fill that role.

    Oilers have 3 high priority spots to fill before the start of next season.

    1. Back up goalie
    2. #3C
    3. Scoring winger for McDavid

    I think if Slepyshev does come to the Oilers this upcoming season, he would easily take Chiasson’s spot:
    Ennis-New 3C-Slepyshev
    Which makes Chiasson 13th forward or a buyout candidate

    I too would take Sheahan over Khaira as the 4th center, but I think Khaira is a wasted asset in the press box. With his physical attributes and age, combining him with say Benning should get us the 3C we have been coveting all season.. (a good 3rd pairing def and a good 4C for a good 3C, similar ages and salary)

    I am very curious if Athanasiou can seize 1st line wing position after an off season of training and healing plus a training camp with Tippett. Solves 1 of 3 questions if he does and makes Holland look like a genius. If he doesn’t, the Neil/Russel buyout possibility (plus the Flames buying out Lucic probability)…10.5 mil salary cap space)!, opens all kinds of #1 wing possibilities down the road.

    Love the DEF!

  174. wolf8888 says:

    How do you get the oil to the coast? We have a serious issue with not having the pipelines to move it.

  175. wolf8888 says:

    That’s a very good point DEFMN. You’ll notice that Yamo moves the puck very quickly. They play a very different style of game. Pettersson is a dangler and thus has more exposure to getting hit. Yamo rarely has the puck on his stick very long. Look at his goals from net presence, he’s not there, then he’s there, then he either scores or he’s gone…He has a great sense of timing.

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