Making Bets on RFA’s

One of the fun things to monitor with a new general manager is how he handles the restricted free agents. A year ago, Ken Holland had nine decisions. This year, there are 10.

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: Oilers forward Colby Cave dies at age 25
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘The world needs more Colbys’: Teammates and coaches mourn Colby Cave
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: We’re all just praying’: Hockey community rallies around Colby Cave
  • New Murat Ates: My favourite player: Ryan Smyth
  • New Jonathan Willis: What does the Oilers best possible playoff lineup look like?
  • New Lowetide: Why Jack Quinn is a perfect 2020 draft fit for the Oilers
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: My favourite player: Donovan Bailey
  • Jonathan Willis: For one glorious fall, Alexander Selivanov was the NHL’s most dangerous scorer
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Hockey’s not that important right now’: Oilers minor-leaguer Colby Cave in coma
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ five-on-five with and without Connor McDavid is improving
  • Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors forward prospects might need a history lesson
  • Lowetide: Craig MacTavish’s most important Oilers moment? Picking Leon Draisaitl
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: If play does not resume, 5 notable questions that will go unanswered in Edmonton
  • Lowetide: Making the call on RFA and UFA players on the Oilers’ 50-man roster
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
  • Lowetide: A look back at reasonable expectations and the Oilers fantastic special teams in 2019-20.
  • Daniel Nugent-BowmanConnor McDavid on a ‘fair season’, working out and picking quarantine teammates
  • Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers need to clear money with a buyout, they have one real option
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The 5 games that define Leon Draisaitl’s Hart Trophy-worthy season
  • Lowetide: Final Oilers report cards: Second-half impact defines a successful season

HAPPY EASTER!

It has been a difficult year, several generations are facing the toughest challenges of a lifetime. We’re all adjusting to a new normal without having any idea what it looks like. That’s a fact. We have a lot of tough days in front of us and I think we’re going to have to make some difficult decisions in our own lives.

I had a great Dad. He was born in 1912, one of 14 kids. Grew up in Radisson, Saskatchewan. He was obsessed with pegging second base, worked hard because that was the way of the time. Lost a brother in the war, his sister Ethel had polio and another brother was lost in child birth.

He was hit by lightning by the water well in Fielding, Saskatchewan, got sunstroke hacking ties in northern Saskatchewan (lost all his hair), went to war, came home and raised a family. The depression left the biggest mark, I always thought, he collected string and straightened nails right up until he died.

If my Dad were alive today, he would tell me to identify what matters (already have) and don’t worry about the things that can be changed or altered. We might be living in different cities a year from now, or maybe half of us have moved to the country.

What matters is family and survival. Whatever it looks like.

This spring, I’m going to plant a garden. I haven’t been near one since 1975. You stay safe. You identify what matters and don’t worry about the things that can be replaced or deleted. We’ll get through this together.

2019 RFA’S

Holland retained Jujhar Khaira, who helped out in a big way on the PK (among the best in the NHL in shot against and goals against per 60) but got fed in goal differential at five on five and scored just 0.80 at five on five.

The club also kept Joe Gambardella, who struggled in the AHL to repeat his impressive ’18-19 campaign with the Condors. Shane Starrett was also retained although he didn’t play much due to injury.

Edmonton passed on winger Tobias Rieder, who signed with Calgary. His offense didn’t spike (moved to 0.84 from 0.75 at five-on-five scoring per 60) but performed well against elites according to Puck IQ (24 percent of his five on five time). He also played 1:38 on the PK.

Also set free were Tyler Vesel (he played the season in Sweden’s Allsvenskan, posting 8-23-31 in 42 games), Colin Larkin (2-12-14 in 46 games with Wichita, ECHL), Ty Rattie (11-23-34 in 62 KHL games); Robin Norell (who remained in the SHL).

Jesse Puljujarvi is in a different, limbo category. Fine season, we’re all hoping for a resolution.

2020 RFA’s

Ethan Bear had a stunning year, he’ll get signed and it could be long term. More likely a short contract at a lower cap total but going long (ala Oscar Klefbom) would be preferable.

Andreas Athanasiou posted a 1.26 per 60 scoring at five on five and will be qualified at $3 million for next season. That’s a lot for the production but Edmonton gave up two substantial picks for him.

Matt Benning had a solid year on the third pairing, concussion worries impacting his icetime but he performed well. I think he’ll sign but the alternative is trade and Holland may decide to clear room for Evan Bouchard in the summer.

Ryan Kuffner was one of the higher profile college free agents in the spring of 2019 coming out of Princeton but his bat didn’t come with him to pro hockey. NHLE in 2019-20 (AHL) is 12.2 and he didn’t score in 10 NHL games with Detroit. I don’t think he’ll return but Holland signed him out of college. Ryan Mantha won’t be signed, expect we’ll get a story this spring. Nolan Vesey (NHLE: 5) couldn’t establish himself, Cam Hebig (NHLE: 9) established himself and then couldn’t sustain it, Logan Day (NHLE 13.3) had an uneven season but he could return. Angus Redmond came over as a member of the 50-man to make a trade work.

William Lagesson might be the most interesting RFA this summer. He’s NHL ready. I believe the Oilers like him. I’m almost certain he’ll have an NHL career. However, the Oilers are stacked and racked on the blue, needing to shoe horn Evan Bouchard in (possibly) at the expense of Matt Benning and Kris Russell. I don’t know how they find room for Lagesson, but he’s worth it.

COLBY CAVE

I spent much of yesterday reading about and listening to people talking about Colby Cave. I am without adequate words of sympathy for his wife and family. I am thinking of his family today and want to express sincere condolences to anyone who knew him and loved him. It is testimony to the person he was that so many publicly reflected on his life and mourned his loss. He was a good man. RIP Colby Cave.

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79 Responses to "Making Bets on RFA’s"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I expect we’ll see Bear come in on a bridge deal, maybe 2 years. I think the uncertainty of the cap and the economics of the league over the next few years will close the door on a long term deal unless Bear is will go sign for big value (i.e. under $4M per). I can see 2 X $2.75M or something along those lines.

    AA will come in right around his $3M QO I would think – term will be interesting – a one year term walks him to RFA again.

    Benning, yes, will come in right around his QO – small chance to go a bit higher with some term but I don’t see it. Benning is value to me at $2M, if the coach will play him. A high 2nd round pick is also value…..

    Lagesson is likely the 7D to start next season if Kris Russell is moved. I think he come in one year around $750K. He may not have a future with the Oilers but there is zero reason not to qualify him.

    Kuffner – Holland may want to give him another year to try and find his pro game.

    Off-chance Day gets a contract with Berglund likely staying in the SHL – an AHL deal would be nice but I’m sure Day doesn’t want to go back to an AHL deal after being on an NHL day.

    Puljuajarvi – he’ll be offered his QO. It will go unsigned

  2. innercitysmytty says:

    LT, well said on everything as always. I don’t post often but am eager to read your blog first thing every morning. The normalcy it provides during these times is most appreciated. Thanks for all that you do!

    My grandmother turns 108 tomorrow and I am fearful that this virus hits the home she is in. Given all she has lived through she deserves better.

  3. jp says:

    Lovely words and great advice LT.

    Happy Easter and best wishes to you and everyone as we navigate the new normal.

  4. unca miltie says:

    Al, I didn’t know you were from the home of Bill Hajt. My wife’s family has lived there for 40 years or so. we go there a few times a year. They took the Bill Hajt sign down a few years back.
    Right on regarding the priorities. It is our son’s 40th birthday today. at some point today they are going to come over and stand at the end of the drive way and get his gift. I almost spilled the beans on what it is but remembered that he reads this blog. It is Oiler related.

  5. slopitch says:

    Happy easter everyone! My wife and I are making a turkey for us and the 2 boys. Since turkey for 2 (boys are both under 4) is tough we are going to drop off dinner for a tenant of ours who has been impacted financially by covid. Wont get to see family this year but hopeful this is behind us if we all continue to stick to the script.

    As for hockey, the only way I see playoffs working is if they pick a city to host it all. Edmonton would prob be the best choice – new rink and low covid. It would be fun but also torture to not be able to go outside and enjoy it. Id like to see it happen. Would be nice to get some info on AA. He seemed off. Im hopeful he has better hockey than he showed. Otherwise Id move him and use the 3m elsewhere. I still wish the oilers could move Russell and some salary and get a proper impact forward. Its also possible the cap goes down and the Oilers need to move AA or Russell just to get to the cap. Seriously, the NHL needs this TV rev for playoffs. Its not as important as peoples health though obviously.

  6. meanashell11 says:

    I am not one to get emotional about Easter but this is the first time in a long time my entire family is together for a holiday. Normally the oldest son would be in the city with his girlfriend, she flew home to be with her family and will be there awhile. He came out to the farm and his sister and younger brothers are here. It is kinda of nice. Unfortunately my wife threw out the Eater s Egg trail pieces a few years ago but they all asked if she would be setting things up! No baskets this year but a nice brunch of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. My youngest flips them out of the pan about 18 inches into the air from the pan, he is getting very good at it.

    We are actually all getting along well, no silly political debates in weeks!

    I guess what I am saying is even at this horrible time here in Greenwich there are silver linings.

    Happy Eater everyone.

  7. dustrock says:

    Tough for my wife’s Baba in Vegreville who would still be grinding out the full Easter turkey spread plus, decade after decade, and rejecting automatically any suggestion of help or bringing in food we’ve cooked. Sure I can carry the turkey to the table now but otherwise it’s Baba’s kitchen and Baba’s rules.

    Hope you all have as good an Easter as you can in the circumstances.

    The Easter Bunny in our house was up online with his friends chatting and drinking and forgot about the scavenger hunt for this morning and started the dishwasher up, destroying a late-stage clue and almost ruining the entire experience. Managed to find the next clue in the end.

    LT, as far as online goes, this blog is as close to irreplaceable as it gets. I appreciate your effort to keep the daily chat going and maintain an air of normalcy in these unusual times.

    God Bless everyone.

    Or as we said when I used to go to church “Christ is Risen!”

  8. nelson88 says:

    LT. As wise and eloquent as ever. A very happy Easter to our host and everyone in this community.

  9. BONE207 says:

    Happy EASTER

  10. BONE207 says:

    Happy Easter Everyone.
    1st time this week I’ve been on EI in my life. A Mickey of moonshine in…still snowing…can we get back to normalcy?

  11. Harpers Hair says:

    Ilya Sorokin….best goaltender in the KHL by a wide margin…signs with the Islanders.

  12. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Bocelli do YouTube search : Bocelli Easter Milan. Gorgeous. In the Duomo. Trying to bring his people and the world together through music.

  13. Victoria Oil says:

    108!! Wow.

    Happy Easter to all.

  14. Harpers Hair says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Bocelli do YouTube search : Bocelli Easter Milan. Gorgeous. In the Duomo. Trying to bring his peopleand the world together through music.

    Amazing!

  15. tcho says:

    Haven’t commented in a while, but I wanted to pop in and wish everyone a happy Easter/Passover/etc. in these tough times. It’s still a pleasure to stop by the blog.

  16. jp says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Ilya Sorokin….best goaltender in the KHL by a wide margin…signs with the Islanders.

    Good signing for them.

    2014 pick, 24 years old. His WORST KHL season in the past 5 was 1.61 GAA and .929 SV%. Sheesh. Hasn’t been the starter for Russia at any international tournaments though.

  17. mustang says:

    LT, I agree with your list. I would like to add one more thing and that is freedom. I’m not talking about disobeying quarantine or social distance during this time, I’m taking after the pandemic. Happy Easter to all that celebrate this event

    RIP #12 Colby Cave, you were an amazing young man that touched many lives. Would have been a honour to know you.

  18. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Good signing for them.

    2014 pick, 24 years old. His WORST KHL season in the past 5 was 1.61 GAA and .929 SV%. Sheesh. Hasn’t been the starter for Russia at any international tournaments though.

    Always politics in play there.

  19. jtblack says:

    Well said LT. Who knows what New Normal is.

    Sad about Cave.

    NHL uncertainty. USA may begin to open up May.1. But when will mass gatherings be ok? Some think August, some think 2021.

    This pandemic has given me lots of time to reflect and think.

    1) Grateful for my Family’s Health & pray for those are are sick.
    2) Grateful to Live in Canada. Just read about the lack of Health care in South America, India, Africa and other places …it is flat out pathetic and sad.
    3) Grateful for Sports at what it brings to our lives. Grassroot sports, Hockey, Golf et al. This blog. SPORTS is Live Theatre, unscripted Drama amd connections to people. I miss SPORTS.

    Stay Safe Everyone.

  20. leadfarmer says:

    If you need to put a smile on your face NHL network is showing the Canucks lose Game 7 again

  21. Pescador says:

    mustang:

    RIP #12 Colby Cave, you were an amazing young man that touched many lives. Would have been a honour to know you.

    This +1

  22. Todd Macallan says:

    This made my day. Such fond memories. At least our team tried in game 7.

  23. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Always politics in play there.

    Gonna be a high end starter for them.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:
    Happy easter everyone! My wife and I are making a turkey for us and the 2 boys. Since turkey for 2 (boys are both under 4) is tough we are going to drop off dinner for a tenant of ours who has been impacted financially by covid. Wont get to see family this year but hopeful this is behind us if we all continue to stick to the script.

    As for hockey, the only way I see playoffs working is if they pick a city to host it all. Edmonton would prob be the best choice – new rink and low covid. It would be fun but also torture to not be able to go outside and enjoy it. Id like to see it happen. Would be nice to get some info on AA. He seemed off. Im hopeful he has better hockey than he showed. Otherwise Id move him and use the 3m elsewhere. I still wish the oilers could move Russell and some salary and get a proper impact forward. Its also possible the cap goes down and the Oilers need to move AA or Russell just to get to the cap. Seriously, the NHL needs this TV rev for playoffs. Its not as important as peoples health though obviously.

    I don’t think we should put too much stock in AA’ 8 games (or was it 9?) with the Oilers. He was coming from a team that was going through the motions and playing out the stretch on one of the worst teams of the era smack dab in to a playoff race after being traded for the 1st time in his career. He was also hurt in his 2nd game and we aren’t sure if or how much that effected the rest of his games.

    I think that AA will be well served by having an off-season knowing he’s starting the season on a good team and then having a full training camp under the tutelage of Tippett and his staff – learning what the coaches require and their systems. Also, Coach T. learning about the player and what it takes to motivate him.

    $3M is more than his 2019/20 warrants but, of course, we have more info than just last year – info that shows he is a legit 20-30 goal scorer that adds speed and talent to the team.

    I don’t imagine $3M will get much more than what AA is likely to bring.

    —————-

    I would posit that the NHL needs gate revenue more than TV playoff revenue – over half of the league’s revenue is gate

    ————–

    I don’t think the cap goes does and, if it does, it can’t/won’t go down without either a straight salary roll-back or compliance buyouts or a combo.

  25. PREDICKTER says:

    OK, so let’s be realistic about Hockey coming back.
    What do we need to get Hockey back? The people on the ice (Teams and Officials) that
    can’t be replaced. That’s all we need.
    Solution: We need these people (50 man roster, coaches, trainers and officials) for each playoff team to get the virus and recover, then they can get to playing playoffs. So basically the NHL needs herd immunity. Now I’m pretty sure the NHL or NHLPA couldn’t mandate something like this due to legalities, so the onus would fall on the players and officials to get her done.
    Otherwise I strongly believe that we won’t move forward with this until a vaccine is available.
    I know there has been talk of playing in North Dakota, etc but I’m not sure that’s a good plan as the risk of someone getting the virus is still possible. The NHL has to make 100% sure that when it fires back up again, there won’t be another stoppage.
    With that said, I’m starting my campaign to nudge these folks into doing the right thing.

    #nhlersgetcovid-19

  26. MushedPeas says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’d be happy w AA under a 1 year QO and exactly that much road for Tip to make him fit. End of contract we’ve either a useful piece or something at least to barter with still.

  27. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I thought I was rocking a solid COViD beard until I saw Ziggy’s.

    LT: i can’t think why the Oilers would not qualify Ryan Kuffner. They have RFA rights, he doesn’t have arbitration rights & even if he did he would have no leg to stand on.

    He signed a 2-year ELC last spring & immediately burned one of them by playing excatly 10 games for Detroit. This year he played just 36 games in the AHL, not sure what the issue was as he had no huge gaps in his game log but in both Dec & Jan there were times where he’d be off for 2 weeks, play 1 game & miss another week. A chronic injury of some sort?

    This kid scored 5 goals his first year in Princeton before ripping off 19, 29 & 22 in the years that followed. So 6 goals in (half of) his rookie po season may just be a feeling out period.

    QO would be a shade under $875k for the NHL salary, more like $70k as a minor league component. He’s still just 23 & has less than 50 GP as a pro, a tiny number for an expiring ELC.

    Given Holland’s demonstrated interest in the player, first signing him, then trading for him, I have little doubt he will also qualify him.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Ilya Sorokin….best goaltender in the KHL by a wide margin…signs with the Islanders.

    Yup, finally the Isles getting him to come over. He was drafted back in 2014 and is turning 25 – patience pays off sometimes.

    His numbers are off the charts over the last few years in the KHL – we see lots of goalies with save percentages in the .930s and GAAs near or under 2 but Sorokin was off the charts, year after year.

    Hopefully we’ll see in 2020 how it translates and if it does.

    ——

    Would love for the Oilers to grab Greiss as the 1B.

    Getting old but younger than Smith and, well, better.

    Not sure he’d be willing to take too much of a cut on his $3.3M though and that’s too much.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: Good signing for them.

    2014 pick, 24 years old. His WORST KHL season in the past 5 was 1.61 GAA and .929 SV%. Sheesh. Hasn’t been the starter for Russia at any international tournaments though.

    Ya, he’s only got international games in the Euro Hockey League recently (which Puljujarvi did star in last season).

    Last WC, Vasilevsky played 8, Georgiyev 2 and Sorokin 0

    The year before, in the WC, Shestyorkin and Koshechkin spit the net and Sorokin got 0 games

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan Kuffner is an interesting one.

    As LT mentions, Holland signed him and then traded for him. While obviously an after-thought in the trade, I think Holland acquired him with a view to giving him a fresh start with a new org and seeing if he can get back some of the offensive mojo he had in college.

    He only got 4 games in and did have 2 points for the Condors.

    I could see him re-signed – Holland may try and dig in for an AHL contract (i.e. not qualify him but try and get him in the org) or he may look to sign him to another NHL deal, probably one year.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    PREDICKTER:
    OK, so let’s be realistic about Hockey coming back.
    What do we need to get Hockey back? The people on the ice (Teams and Officials) that
    can’t be replaced. That’s all we need.
    Solution: We need these people (50 man roster, coaches, trainers and officials) for each playoff team to get the virus and recover, then they can get to playing playoffs. So basically the NHL needs herd immunity. Now I’m pretty sure the NHL or NHLPA couldn’t mandate something like this due to legalities, so the onus would fall on the players and officials to get her done.
    Otherwise I strongly believe that we won’t move forward with this until a vaccine is available.
    I know there has been talk of playing in North Dakota, etc but I’m not sure that’s a good plan as the risk of someone getting the virus is still possible. The NHL has to make 100% sure that when it fires back up again, there won’t be another stoppage.
    With that said, I’m starting my campaign to nudge these folks into doing the right thing.

    #nhlersgetcovid-19

    The “right thing” is to ensure everyone associated with the NHL gets the virus so that they can recover and be immune? Is that the position?

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I thought I was rocking a solid COViD beard until I saw Ziggy’s.

    LT: i can’t think why the Oilers would not qualify Ryan Kuffner. They have RFA rights, he doesn’t have arbitration rights & even if he did he would have no leg to stand on.

    He signed a 2-year ELC last spring & immediately burned one of them by playing excatly 10 games for Detroit. This year he played just 36 games in the AHL, not sure what the issue was as he had no huge gaps in his game log but in both Dec & Jan there were times where he’d be off for 2 weeks, play 1 game & miss another week. A chronic injury of some sort?

    This kid scored 5 goals his first year in Princeton before ripping off 19, 29 & 22 in the years that followed. So 6 goals in (half of) his rookie po season may just be a feeling out period.

    QO would be a shade under $875k for the NHL salary, more like $70k as a minor league component. He’s still just 23 & has less than 50 GP as a pro, a tiny number for an expiring ELC.

    Given Holland’s demonstrated interest in the player, first signing him, then trading for him, I have little doubt he will also qualify him.

    Thanks for this Bruce.

    I just wrote a piece with similar substance (although less eloquent or researched).

    Substance being, I don’t think Holland had him added to the trade just to let him walk.

    I wonder if Holland will try for an AHL deal though? Seems to be his MO this “off-season”? That would mean no QO (NHL contract) and he could walk. I think its unlikely and we’ll see another NHL deal.

  33. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, finally the Isles getting him to come over.He was drafted back in 2014 and is turning 25 – patience pays off sometimes.

    His numbers are off the charts over the last few years in the KHL – we see lots of goalies with save percentages in the .930s and GAAs near or under 2 but Sorokin was off the charts, year after year.

    Hopefully we’ll see in 2020 how it translates and if it does.

    ——

    Would love for the Oilers to grab Greiss as the 1B.

    Getting old but younger than Smith and, well, better.

    Not sure he’d be willing to take too much of a cut on his $3.3M though and that’s too much.

    What a revelation.

    A player about to be 25 signs an NHL contract and is likely a plug and play option.

    Remind you of anyone?

  34. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I can’t see the player taking an AHL deal. I for one have no problem with a dice roll like this guy on the 50-man.

  35. Tarkus says:

    When the city of Saskatoon built the arena formerly known as Sask Place back in the ’80’s, it was built so far out of town (to the northwest) that it earned the nickname “Radisson Square Garden”.

    Happy Eastering, all.

  36. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t think we should put too much stock in AA’ 8 games (or was it 9?) with the Oilers. He was coming from a team that was going through the motions and playing out the stretch on one of the worst teams of the era smack dab in to a playoff race after being traded for the 1st time in his career. He was also hurt in his 2nd game and we aren’t sure if or how much that effected the rest of his games.

    I think that AA will be well served by having an off-season knowing he’s starting the season on a good team and then having a full training camp under the tutelage of Tippett and his staff – learning what the coaches require and their systems.Also, Coach T. learning about the player and what it takes to motivate him.

    $3M is more than his 2019/20 warrants but, of course, we have more info than just last year – info that shows he is a legit 20-30 goal scorer that adds speed and talent to the team.

    I don’t imagine $3M will get much more than what AA is likely to bring.

    —————-

    I would posit that the NHL needs gate revenue more than TV playoff revenue – over half of the league’s revenue is gate

    ————–

    I don’t think the cap goes does and, if it does, it can’t/won’t go down without either a straight salary roll-back or compliance buyouts or a combo.

    If we shouldn’t put much stock in AAs 9 games than how much should we put into Greens 2?

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I can’t see the player taking an AHL deal. I for one have no problem with a dice roll like this guy on the 50-man.

    I don’t disagree on either – just wondering if Holland will try for the AHL deal. Probably a non-starter for the player.

    It was a really tough year for him but he wouldn’t be the first to have a tough time adjusting to pro hockey!

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: What a revelation.

    A player about to be 25 signs an NHL contract and is likely a plug and play option.

    Remind you of anyone?

    Firstly, I was clear that I will “see how it translates” – I’m not giving him the Vezina (or labelling a can’t miss starting goalie akin to a can’t miss 2nd pairing d-man).

    Secondly, this player is a goalie – please let me know if you require an explanation of development paths for goalies vs. d-men generally.

    Thirdly, this player has been killing the KHL for a number of years now and has been highly touted as the top goalie outside the NHL – nobody has heard of Brogan Rafferty outside of 14 Canucks fans and the readers of this community.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: If we shouldn’t put much stock in AAs 9 games than how much should we put into Greens 2?

    Not a ton but, of course, like AA, we have lots of track to look at and, of course, a year over year regression in a player’s mid-30s isn’ something that turns around very often.

    10 years’ age difference is meaningful.

  40. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Firstly, I was clear that I will “see how it translates” – I’m not giving him the Vezina (or labelling a can’t miss starting goalie akin to a can’t miss 2nd pairing d-man).

    Secondly, this player is a goalie – please let me know if you require an explanation of development paths for goalies vs. d-men generally.

    Thirdly, this player has been killing the KHL for a number of years now and has been highly touted as the top goalie outside the NHL – nobody has heard of Brogan Rafferty outside of 14 Canucks fans and the readers of this community.

    “How it translates” is true of ANY player without an extensive NHL resume.

    That includes your darlings like Bouchard and Broberg.

    As to your ridiculous supposition that only 14 have heard of the best defenseman in the AHL, I suggest you do a little more research.

    A defenseman who has been playing against men for five seasons has a much better track record than another player who only one season in the AHL and is underperforming his draft pedigree.

    See Derrick Pouliot for reference.

  41. ArmchairGM says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Ilya Sorokin….best goaltender in the KHL by a wide margin…signs with the Islanders.

    The upside for the Oilers: Greiss likely shakes loose. Huge upgrade on Smith. $3M x 2 would be affordable for the Oilers, not sure he takes that though. I think the goalie market will be fairly saturated this summer due to some hotshot youngsters coming up (like Sorokin), so maybe it’s a buyer’s market.

  42. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    PREDICKTER,

    – How many people here would go to a Hockey game in the Fall, or any professional sport with a minimun 15,000 other people, side by side?

    – In the absence of a vaccination: COVID-19 is at best going to “flatten” But it isn’t going away.

    – So group gatherings of thousands of people is just mis-guided

    – Maybe professional teams do games with no attendance: the TV rights holders want this and pay.

    – But live sports with attendance is folly IMO unless vaccination, no matter what BabyT or Trump might tell us. You just need one attendee to get the Virus after attending the game, and your reputation is done, and leagues don’t like lawsuits: you can’t waiver it away: “hey kids come to our game, and if you get sick and die, that’s your bad, don’t say we didn’t warn you”

    – Tennis Canada just cancelled our big tourneys in Montreal and Toronto, in August, outdoor, in smaller arenas than professional sports.

    – I think many have their heads in their asses about how long this lasts. I’d love to see a regular pre-season and start of of hockey in the fall as per normal

    – Normally the announce the schedule in June. No way they are in a position to do that

    – Pre-season starts in Mid-september: good luck with that

    – Hate to be that guy who dampens things: but I don’t see any discussions on this. So I’m throwing it out there. Would love to be wrong: doubt I am

  43. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: What a revelation.

    A player about to be 25 signs an NHL contract and is likely a plug and play option.

    Remind you of anyone?

    Brian Rafalski?

    The player I guess you’re talking about clearly was not a plug and play option…

  44. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Stuck in moderation:

    How many people here would go to a Hockey game in the Fall, or any professional sport with a minimun 15,000 other people, side by side?

    – In the absence of a vaccination: COVID-19 is at best going to “flatten” But it isn’t going away.

    – So group gatherings of thousands of people is just mis-guided

    – Maybe professional teams do games with no attendance: the TV rights holders want this and pay.

    – But live sports with attendance is folly IMO unless vaccination, no matter what BabyT or Trump might tell us. You just need one attendee to get the Virus after attending the game, and your reputation is done, and leagues don’t like lawsuits: you can’t waiver it away: “hey kids come to our game, and if you get sick and die, that’s your bad, don’t say we didn’t warn you”

    – Tennis Canada just cancelled our big tourneys in Montreal and Toronto, in August, outdoor, in smaller arenas than professional sports.

    – I think many have their heads in their asses about how long this lasts. I’d love to see a regular pre-season and start of of hockey in the fall as per normal

    – Normally the announce the schedule in June. No way they are in a position to do that

    – Pre-season starts in Mid-september: good luck with that

    – Hate to be that guy who dampens things: but I don’t see any discussions on this. So I’m throwing it out there. Would love to be wrong: doubt I am

  45. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: AA will come in right around his $3M QO I would think – term will be interesting – a one year term walks him to RFA again.

    slopitch: Would be nice to get some info on AA. He seemed off. Im hopeful he has better hockey than he showed. Otherwise Id move him and use the 3m elsewhere.

    It would have been great to see more of Athanasiou before the season ended but I’d be very surprised to see him moved by Holland.

    He’s far from perfect, and we don’t know if he’s a match for McDavid’s line, but the kid can score. Everyone knows about his one good season but combining his past 3 years he’s 74th in even strength goals (ie – #3F) and 131st in even strength points (#5F). Athanasiou is a legit top 6 scorer.

    I’m sure it’ll be a 1 year deal but I’m actually a bit concerned he’ll want a raise. He held out until October 23rd back in 2017. And with a recent 30 goal season he may have an argument for more than $3M per.

  46. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Brian Rafalski?

    The player I guess you’re talking about clearly was not a plug and play option…

    Ha!

    Exactly who Rafferty reminds me of.

    But no idea if the story turns out the same.

  47. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jp,

    Contentious contract negotiations are actually my biggest worry with AA.

    Then again, Kenny likely wouldn’t have traded for him in a contract year if he thought there were big issues on the horizon. At least, I hope not.

  48. Seismic Source says:

    PREDICKTER,

    I’ll assume your joking. Healthy people are dying and there are reports from South Korea people have contracted it twice. There might be minimal immunity.

  49. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Ha!

    Exactly who Rafferty reminds me of.

    But no idea if the story turns out the same.

    That would be something if it turns out the same. It’s gotta be concerning that Rafferty didn’t get a callup, no?

  50. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    jp,

    Contentious contract negotiations are actually my biggest worry with AA.

    Then again, Kenny likely wouldn’t have traded for him in a contract year if he thought there were big issues on the horizon.At least, I hope not.

    Yeah one of the reasons I’m optimistic about Athanasiou (on multiple levels) is that Holland knows him well. He knows the player, the person, the strengths and weaknesses on and off the ice. Holland clearly thinks AA can help the team on the ice and that he won’t be an issue to get signed. I hope he’s right.

  51. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not a ton but, of course, like AA, we have lots of track to look at and, of course, a year over year regression in a player’s mid-30s isn’ something that turns around very often.

    10 years’ age difference is meaningful.

    Seems to me you were critical of Greens play with the Oilers.
    I remember thinking that it was a pretty small sample size to base an opinion on.

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: “How it translates” is true of ANY player without an extensive NHL resume.

    That includes your darlings like Bouchard and Broberg.

    As to your ridiculous supposition that only 14 have heard of the best defenseman in the AHL, I suggest you do a little more research.

    A defensemanwho has been playing against men for five seasons has a much better track record than another player who only one season in the AHL and is underperforming his draft pedigree.

    See Derrick Pouliot for reference.

    Sorry, can’t have a conversation about prospects with a person that:

    – calls Yamamoto and Ethan Bear, “gruel”

    – believes that Brogan Rafferty is a can’t miss 2nd pairing d-man

    – wouldn’t trade Brodan Rafferty for any of Evan Bouchard, Oscar Klefbom or Ethan Bear

    I don’t know who is under-performing his draft pedigree but Evan Bouchard, AHL all-star at 20, sure isn’t.

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: Seems to me you were critical of Greens play with the Oilers.
    I remember thinking that it was a pretty small sample size to base an opinion on.

    Yes, I was critical of his play in his two games but those two games are far from the totality of what I base my thoughts on which, to be clear, aren’t that he’s useless but that he’s regressed, is likely to regress farther and should not be relied on as a 2RD which I believe is the type of money he’ll require (well, more than 3rd pairing money at least).

  54. defmn says:

    jp:
    It would have been great to see more of Athanasiou before the season ended but I’d be very surprised to see him moved by Holland.

    He’s far from perfect, and we don’t know if he’s a match for McDavid’s line, but the kid can score. Everyone knows about his one good season but combining his past 3 years he’s 74th in even strength goals (ie – #3F) and 131st in even strength points (#5F). Athanasiou is a legit top 6 scorer.

    I’m sure it’ll be a 1 year deal but I’m actually a bit concerned he’ll want a raise. He held out until October 23rd back in 2017. And with a recent 30 goal season he may have an argument for more than $3M per.

    Nice context and I have to assume that Holland views this player through that same lens.

    Not sure there were that many teams lining up to trade 25 year old top six wingers for two 2nd round picks so I expect there to be issues but well worth a shot considering the farm team and cap constraints the team is working with.

  55. Lowetide says:

    Dear OP and DSF: Enough. I’m about to time both of you out. We know you don’t agree with each other. Move on.

  56. defmn says:

    Lowetide:
    Dear OP and DSF: Enough. I’m about to time both of you out. We know you don’t agree with each other. Move on.

    You have the patience of a saint.

  57. pts2pndr says:

    Curtis Joseph

  58. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: That would be something if it turns out the same. It’s gotta be concerning that Rafferty didn’t get a callup, no?

    Perhaps.

    But the Canucks didn’t really need a RHD with Tanev, Myers and Stetcher in the lineup.

    I’d you’re looking at a bottom pairing RHD, Benn actually plays better on his off side.

    Benning was more concerned about the Comets making the playoffs.

  59. bobinyvr says:

    Happy Easter to Lowetide and your family.

    Your blog offers insight, perspective and comfort, especially in these strange and unsettling times.

    The passing of Colby Cave is truly heart wrenching.

    Your reflections on hard times, sacrifice are both instructive and encouraging.

  60. SK Oiler Fan says:

    FFS. 1997 game 7 vs Dallas on now. Hatcher could have had 75 cross checking penalties by today’s standards.
    He cross checked Smytty in the corner 10 times in 6 seconds. What a thug

  61. BONE207 says:

    Prosthetic device sales went up after that series. I’m watching as these young guys are breaking each other….awesome.

  62. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Perhaps.

    But the Canucks didn’t really need a RHD with Tanev, Myers and Stetcher in the lineup.

    I’d you’re looking at a bottom pairing RHD, Benn actually plays better on his off side.

    Benning was more concerned about the Comets making the playoffs.

    When Chatfield, Brisebois and Sautner get callups before your 24 year old blue chip 2RD it’s a red flag. And the Comets were comfortably in a playoff spot. I guess we’ll see soon enough about your boy.

  63. Munny says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    I think there was a rule back then… in the third periods of playoff games against the Stars, the Oilers must have at least one skater down on the ice at all times.

    The Stars had a hard time sticking to the letter of the law, but somehow some way… pulled through.

  64. BONE207 says:

    Wow the saves Joseph had to make in the 3rd. Conn Smythe performance

  65. BONE207 says:

    And Dallas players were allowed to hold 2 sticks at the same time…🤣

  66. N64 says:

    For all you draft needs doing draft podcasts from your basements.

    Welcome to the bigs:

    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/nfl/nfl-draft-roger-goodell-basement-draft-picks-1.5530544?cmp=rss

  67. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Was this the peak of clutch and grab? Hard to believe it was any worse. It’s a crime the powers at be let it get to this. Makes a guy like Weight seem even more impressive after watching this rugby match

  68. yeraslob says:

    Harpers Hair: What a revelation.

    A player about to be 25 signs an NHL contract and is likely a plug and play option.

    Remind you of anyone?

    An RD defenseman who has yet to achieve middling status in the NHL.

  69. BONE207 says:

    I don’t believe it changed much until the strike in 2005.
    Then the talent was allowed to shine. Perhaps CONNOR will be freed after this current shutdown. 300 point seasons…Bookije it.

  70. hunter1909 says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    FFS. 1997 game 7 vs Dallas on now. Hatcher could have had 75 cross checking penalties by today’s standards.
    He cross checked Smytty in the corner 10 times in 6 seconds. What a thug

    Reminds me of when I used to wonder what it felt like for teams facing Messier/Anderson/McSorely on any given night.

  71. JimmyV1965 says:

    Rafferty is the type of player we all like to cheer for; the unheralded guy who comes out of nowhere. Unfortunately, HH has really poisoned the waters here.

  72. Bruce McCurdy says:

    If by “strike” you mean “the second owners’ lockout”, then yes. The Shanahan Summit changed a few things.

  73. London Jon says:

    I haven’t read the comments for ages as Troll vs Lawyer was taking all the enjoyment out of reading them.

    I came back down for the last few days because I wanted to read people’s thoughts and messages about Colby Cave and now I wish I hadn’t.

    Why don’t you guys get each other’s emails addresses and whenever you disagree with a comment from the other person just start up your debate privately there, go hell for leather and then come back and contribute normally here when you’re done.

    As mentioned above LT does indeed have the patience of a saint and even he has had enough!!

  74. hunter1909 says:

    London Jon:
    I haven’t read the comments for ages as Troll vs Lawyer was taking all the enjoyment out of reading them.

    I came back down for the last few days because I wanted to read people’s thoughts and messages about Colby Cave and now I wish I hadn’t.

    Why don’t you guys get each other’s emails addresses and whenever you disagree with a comment from the other person just start up your debate privately there, go hell for leather and then come back and contribute normally here when you’re done.

    As mentioned above LT does indeed have the patience of a saint and even he has had enough!!

    They both need to star in a virtual road movie together.

  75. jake70 says:

    BONE207:
    Wow the saves Joseph had to make in the 3rd. Conn Smythe performance

    First time , 23 years later, seeing this game in it’s entirety. Saw the big save and the Marchand goal many times, never the whole game. Oilers were hanging on much of the game. Crazy goaltending by Joseph.

  76. Glovjuice says:

    Lowetide:
    Dear OP and DSF: Enough. I’m about to time both of you out. We know you don’t agree with each other. Move on.

    Based on their behaviour on this site my guess is neither of these two posters have children of their own. So, am I correct?

  77. OilTastic says:

    i figure that Holland is going to try very hard to trade Benning and K. Russell this summer to make room for Bouchard and Lagesson. just my opinion!

    i also feel that Holland will have a long talk with Jesse and let him know that he’s the GM now and we have different coaches and a winning culture now, so he’s welcome to come back if he wants come back? i was against him coming back because of what he pulled but i’d be willing to give him one more chance !

    i’d sign AA to a qualifying offer because he wasn’t any less productive on his new team than guys like Blake Coleman or Ondrej Kase or Nick Ritchie were. patience here would be a good thing !

  78. OilTastic says:

    ya really ! my employer recently made me and my whole crew unemployed, in my case for the 1st time in 40 years! thanks a lot Jason f’n Kenny !!

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