Till the End of the Day

The 2020-21 season will be an important one for Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody. The two men were exceptional together as AHL rookies, posting strong numbers across the board. Year two brought challenges, setting up a possible crossroads they enter the final year of entry contracts.

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: ‘They were looking outside the box’: Oilers’ distinctive third jerseys still stand out
  • New Lowetide: If Oilers draft for skill, Seth Jarvis likely to be best available
  • New Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Should the Oilers pursue Taylor Hall this summer?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: The results are in: How you voted in our inaugural Oilers fan survey
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers are preparing for an NHL draft in June
  • Jonathan Willis: How Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard and Riley Sheahan draw calls that lead to goals
  • James Mirtle: Ranking every NHL team’s salary cap situation, from best to worst
  • Lowetide: Can the Oilers find Connor McDavid’s ideal winger this summer?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The two coaches who had the biggest influence on Dave Tippett
  • Jonathan Willis: The 5 reasons why the Oilers re-signed Gaetan Haas
  • Jonathan Willis: Can (and should) the Oilers trade Kris Russell?
  • Jonathan Willis: How Edmonton could have left 2010 draft with both Taylor Hall and Ryan Johansen
  • Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto’s NHL comparables offer Oilers fans hope for the future
  • Lowetide: Top 20 prospect update: A lot of movement and some impressive graduations
  • Lowetide: Mavrik Bourque a quality option for the Oilers in the draft
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Inside the franchise-altering decision to pick Leon Draisaitl over Sam Bennett
  • Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Discount forward options the Oilers could pursue in free agency
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Oh my God, Edmonton’s picking first’: An oral history of the 2015 NHL draft lottery
  • Lowetide: Why Jan Mysak could be a value pick for the Oilers at the 2020 Draft

THE 2016 SECOND ROUND

I run this every summer, as the pick was controversial in real time. Alex DeBrincat didn’t score 40 in 2019-20 but remains a quality NHL scorer. The other names on this list will spend the next decade fighting over place and show, but the Blackhawks grabbed the top man available.

Korshkov, Benson and Asplund all made their NHL debuts this season. My own opinion is Benson and Kyrou are on a higher trajectory than the rest but that’s a guess. I have a piece on Benson for The Athletic today, will link in comments section.

Opening night 2020-21

I’ve been trying to write this for a week but the Oilers kept signing new people. Let’s play a roster game: Assuming Edmonton signs Tyler Ennis and Riley Sheahan, trades Matt Benning and Kris Russell, buys out James Neal, name your team with lines and pairings.

Tyler Ennis—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian. Ennis posted 1.84 points-per-60 at five on five after coming over (9, 2-2-4) and consistently found a way to get scoring chances in the discipline. Ideally you grab an impact winger for 97 but money is tight. I also like the idea of a two-way type like Vladislav Namestnikov, but money’s too tight to mention. Signing Ennis means coach Dave Tippett will have several options on McDavid’s LW, including a player in Ennis who could score 20 goals in 2020-21.

Nuge—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto. I don’t believe this line will hang together all year, but there’s not a coach in captivity who would shuffle them until the trio cools down. Leon at center appears to have finally landed.

Andreas Athanasiou—Gaetan Haas—Alex Chiasson. The re-signing of Haas acknowledges both his uniqueness and the lack of easily available options. He and AA should be able to pressure opponents with their speed and Chiasson is a veteran presence.

Joakim Nygard—Riley Sheahan—Josh Archibald. This line played just 68 minutes together and had an expected goals percentage of 49.16 in that time. Both wingers can skate and Sheahan is going to get some tough assignments. I like this group.

Jujhar Khaira, Cooper Marody. I’ve chosen two players who could play center and each man can play on one special team. Marody is less than $1 million and offers some insurance against having to move Haas to the wing.

Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson. My guess is that Holland and Tippett will want to roll a veteran tandem. These men have played together a lot over the years and were bringing it at the end of the year. In 307 minutes from January 1 to the end of the season, the tandem had an expected goals total of 50.57 percent.

Darnell Nurse—Ethan Bear. For the season, this pair had an expected goals percentage of 49.06 and that includes plenty of time against elites. Finished 55-62 five on five goal differential, I think the coaching staff will be content to run them again.

Caleb Jones—Mike Green. Ken Holland likes veteran defensemen and I do believe Green will return on (probably) a two-year deal. Jones was bringing it after his recall, this pairing could play far more than Tippett’s third pair did in 2019-20.

William Lagesson. The youngster can play NHL hockey, it’ll be important to see how much of the load he can carry. If he proves himself, at the very least he would represent trade value at the deadline.

Mikko Koskinen, Mike Smith. I think the Oilers will bring back this tandem. I’m fairly certain of it, although Smith will be more expensive.

One question you may have after reading: What did I do with the cap dollars made available in buying out Neal? Answer comes in overage from 2019-20 bonuses, signing Smith, Green, Ennis and Sheahan. I tried to add a big name incorporating the current cap, but the money ran out and the engine blew. Final note: I would have Evan Bouchard on the opening night roster. I believe the Oilers will send him back for more time in California.

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84 Responses to "Till the End of the Day"

  1. geowal says:

    I didn’t notice Bouchard until you mentioned it. We’ll know Holland really is in overripen mentality still if this happens.

  2. Brantford Boy says:

    After reading “Assuming Edmonton signs Tyler Ennis and Riley Sheahan, trades Matt Benning and Kris Russell, buys out James Neal, name your team with lines and pairings.” I thought of the song ‘Changes’, you can pick the artist… doesn’t matter, but after seeing the line combo’s you had it right all along LT.

    The only thing I questioned, even at the same cap hit (let’s assume) is:
    Caleb Jones—Mike Green, better than…
    Caleb Jones—Matt Benning?

    I say no, but head injuries (Matt), PP time, and mentoring the kids are the reasons this makes sense.

  3. geowal says:

    Brantford Boy,

    Signing Mike Green for precious dollars while Bouchard is on ELC makes no sense to me. Lose Russell, and if you like keep Benning, with Bouchard ready to take his job. A 2 yr Green deal will be harder to cast aside For Bouchard.

  4. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    I like the forward group a lot. If the Oilers roll with something very close to that next year (?), I will be happy.
    If they can divest of Russell, the 3RD is the only significant question: Bouch, Benning, Green. It will probably simply come down to some nuances with cap and performance. I think signing and trading Benning is a real possibility (mentioned it yesterday), and a good decision if Bouch and Green are options. Basically, I am not upset about any of those three men being 3RD next year although I prefer to see Bouch, but if he isn’t ready, then another 1/2 year or so of ripening is fine.
    My only major difference in thinking is on Smith. I think the Oilers need to find a younger and slightly better 1B either through trade or some other mechanism (haven’t looked at FAs…).

    Other than that…you are hired LT!

  5. jp says:

    LT, I agree in large part with your lines.

    My small tweaks would be Athanasiou with McDavid rather than Ennis (it’s a toss-up, but ‘start as you mean to go’ could mean a little something; AA with Haas is interesting too though).

    Maybe also Benson over Marody as the 13/14 forward, but that’s very much splitting hairs.

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Kassian
    Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Ennis-Haas-Chiasson
    Nygard-Sheahan-Archibald
    Benson-Khaira

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

    Koskinen-Smith

    Sheahan, Archibald and Khaira were some kind of bad this season though. Will post something more on that shortly.

  6. jp says:

    Brantford Boy:
    The only thing I questioned, even at the same cap hit (let’s assume) is:
    Caleb Jones—Mike Green, better than…
    Caleb Jones—Matt Benning?

    I say no, but head injuries (Matt), PP time, and mentoring the kids are the reasons this makes sense.

    I’m not opposed to a Green signing, but he has been terrible on the PP for a number of years (odd for a player who’s posted notable even strength offense).

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    What a difference a hockey season can make.

    At the end of the 2018/19 season, we were talking about Benson and/or Marody making the team and Yamamoto needing a full year in the AHL.

    Well, none of them made the team and the one player that popped was Yamamoto. He was the highest drafted of all mind you.

    ————–

    WIth respect to Marody, he put out a video on his instagram yesterday doing some shooting drills in the driveway – had the caption that he’s finally starting to feel better/normal after the injury.

    I suspect he was dealing with the after-effects of the Kessy attack all year last year.

    I won’t get my hopes up too high but hopefully he is willing to work on his skating this off-season and maybe can re-establish himself as a real prospect – his time is now or almost never!

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Given the parameters of the exercise, I think LT has the defence surrounded.

    Although I like Matty Benning and might even be more comfortable with him as 3RD than Green, if Benning is traded, I am fine bringing Green back as 3RD and injury depth for 3RD.

    I do think price and term may be an issue with Green.

    The main issue for me with that lineup is that it doesn’t address the major hole, 3C. Haas, Khaira and Sheahan can all cover 4C (with different skill sets) but, as of now, Haas is a low end 4C let alone a 3C.

    Can the Benning trade bring back an upgrade at 2G as per the Benning/DeSmith suggestion for yesterday?

  9. slopitch says:

    Ill add Chaisson + Green out. Hall in 🙂

    Hall-McDavid-Kassian
    Nuge-Drai-Yamo
    AA-Haas-JP
    Nygard-Sheahan-Ennis
    Gagner-Archibald

    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Bear
    Jones-Bouchard
    Lagesson

    All kinds of salary issues in summer of 2021. But if the goal is to win Stanleys…. right?!?

  10. Silver Streak says:

    Why would Green at a new 2 year number be a better fit than Bouchard at almost 1/2 the cap hit.
    He covers all the bases better than Green…he can run the PP, he can skate, he is about the same size,he is damn near 1/2 the age, and is not as prone to injury as Green has shown.

    Sorry LT I don’t get it….

  11. jp says:

    So Sheahan, Archibald and Khaira. And the rest of the Oilers bottom 6 this year…

    How did Oiler forwards fare when not on the ice with any of McDavid, Draisaitl or RNH? That is, how did the bottom 6 forwards perform in true bottom 6 minutes?
    (I’m sure versions of this have been done but I don’t recall a summary of all the players together).

    2019-20 Oilers forwards at 5v5 without any of McDavid, Draisaitl or RNH on the ice:

    Player ————– Min SF% GF% GF-GA (sorted by GF%)
    Alex Chiasson — 396 51.3 58.9 (10-7)
    James Neal —— 148 45.6 58.3 (7-5)
    Markus Granlund 284 52.0 53.3 (8-7)
    Gaetan Haas —- 499 52.5 48.0 (12-13)
    Joakim Nygard — 232 48.7 46.7 (7-8)
    Zack Kassian —- 122 50.4 44.4 (4-5)
    Sam Gagner —– 216 56.1 41.2 (7-10)
    Patrick Russell — 396 47.0 34.8 (8-15)
    Josh Archibald — 428 47.5 31.4 (11-24)
    Riley Sheahan — 637 45.2 31.3 (15-33)
    Jujhar Khaira —- 492 46.0 27.8 (10-26)

    My takeaways…
    Chiasson was good. I don’t see a rush to jettison him.

    Granlund, Haas, Nygard and Kassian were all decent (in the range of 50% SF and +/- 1 goal of even)

    Neal was good in GF% but not supported by SF%, probably some good luck.
    Gagner was the opposite, 41% GF but 56% SF. Probably some bad luck. I’d be fine with another cheap deal for Gagner.

    Sheahan, Archibald, Khaira and Russell were putrid. The three were -18, -13 and -16 goals at 5v5 as bottom 6 forwards. The Oilers were -16 at 5v5 as a team. You can rest literally all of that negative on those 3 or 4 players. (You’ll note the remaining players listed above are basically even as a group).

    The Edmonton Oilers at 5v5 with all of Sheahan-Archibald-Khaira OFF:
    2181min 50.6SF% 53.2GF% (107-94)

    This isn’t new information but it is pretty shocking. And it makes me question whether we do see Sheahan and Khaira back (Archibald inked a new deal so he will return).

    These guys did get extremely difficult zone starts (though I’m told those don’t matter as much as we used to think).

    Their TOI vs elites was middling but nothing oppressive – all 3 were under 30% and ranked 8, 9 and 10 among Oiler forwards with >100 min vs elites. They were not ‘facing the toughs’.

    One other thing to note, Sheahan, Archibald and Khaira played 154 minutes as a line and significant minutes in various pairs as well as without the other two. Compared to the Oilers 50.6SF% and 53.2GF% with all 3 off, every single iteration of those players being on the ice (including Archibald without the other 2 and including McDavid minutes) was very poor. In parsing the numbers, it’s very hard to find evidence that these players could be better either together or split up.

    https://www.naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20192020&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=n&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2019-10-02&td=2020-04-04&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8476326&p2=8476915&p3=8475772&p4=0&p5=0

    So, yeah… Maybe the PB is the right spot for Khaira (or a trade?). And maybe Ken should look for an alternative $1M 4C in place of Sheahan (and I still hope some more $$ will materialize for a real upgrade). These players were key parts of the PK but they were also THE key parts of the Oilers struggles at 5v5. They were impressive.

  12. godot10 says:

    geowal:
    Brantford Boy,

    Signing Mike Green for precious dollars while Bouchard is on ELC makes no sense to me. Lose Russell, and if you like keep Benning, with Bouchard ready to take his job. A 2 yr Green deal will be harder to cast aside For Bouchard.

    You need 9-10 NHL defensemen if one is a contender.

    Bouchard is the #7D, but positioned in Bakersfield. He will get lots of NHL time as injuries occur.

  13. Silver Streak says:

    godot10,

    Sorry…Green has past his due date..too many miles, many share my opinion. our Right side is fine….move one of the lefties for a quality 3C and we are a much better team.

  14. digger50 says:

    I think a Benson – Marody pairing has the potential to outplay

    Haas – Chiasson

    Marody might pull an Ethan Bear, disappear for a season and then seem to come out of nowhere.

    Roster is still looking better and better.

    Still room to keep getting incrementally better. I think Holland is moving too fast right now. Once the cap squeezes the other teams, opportunities will pop out.

  15. jp says:

    Silver Streak:
    godot10,

    Sorry…Green has past his due date..too many miles, many share my opinion. our Right side is fine….move one of the lefties for a quality 3C and we are a much better team.

    He could well be washed up but the history of Defensemen contributing at age 35 and beyond for Ken Holland teams is pretty long.

    Nik Kronwall played 4 years as a top 4 D after turning 35
    Nick Lidstrom played 6 seasons and won 3 Norris trophies after turning 35
    Marek Zidlicky was a TD acquisition in 2015 just after his 38th birthday. He played 3 NHL seasons after turning 35.
    Brian Rafalski played 3 high-end seasons and was the best defenseman in the 2010 Olympics after age 35
    Chris Chelios played 11 NHL seasons and one in the UHL (during the lockout) after turning 35
    Mathieu Schneider played 2 seasons with the Wings and 5 in total after turning 35
    Steve Duchesne had a couple more useful seasons with the Wings after turning 35
    Larry Murphy played 5 seasons and won 2 cups after turning 35

    Anyway, all that to say I’m not so sure Ken Holland agrees with you.

  16. jp says:

    digger50: Roster is still looking better and better.
    Still room to keep getting incrementally better. I think Holland is moving too fast right now. Once the cap squeezes the other teams, opportunities will pop out.

    Agree the roster is looking better.

    On moving too fast I’d note that the only signings Holland has made since last summer that aren’t fully buriable are Nurse, Kassian and Archibald. All of the others (Haas, Nygard, Lennstrom, etc) have no cap implications for signing upgrades.

  17. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: What are Tyler Benson’s chances of making the Oilers in 2020-21?

    https://theathletic.com/1790044/2020/05/03/lowetide-what-are-tyler-bensons-chances-of-making-the-oilers-in-2020-21/

  18. defmn says:

    “Assuming Edmonton signs Tyler Ennis and Riley Sheahan, trades Matt Benning and Kris Russell, buys out James Neal, name your team with lines and pairings.”

    So I did this.

    I deleted Russel & Benning from my lineup, bought out Neal – painful but necessary imo – and totalled up the cost. I added $1 mil for Smith’s bonuses. There is no way to know the exact number as some of it involves playoffs so that is a guess. He is one GP from collecting half of that as things stand today.

    The number that I get is $66,184,499 so lets round it off to $66.2 to make it easier on my brain.

    I gave AA his qualifying offer of $3M so I am up to $69.2, I grind Bear – who has no arb rights and bring him in at $1.5 for one year. I offer Ennis $1.2 for two years and I am up to $71.9M. Green agrees to $2.2M for two years and I am at $74.1

    I don’t know how realistic my estimates are. They are largely taken from posts here. Bear will be the most controversial, I assume, but he has no arbitration rights so we’ll see. If Green wants much more I go back to Benning and save a few hundred thousand.

    I give Holland $1.4M as a cushion for injuries etc. and I am up to $75.5 still needing a 3C and a 1BG. with my remaining $6M. I sign Sheahan for $1M as insurance knowing that I can send him to Bakersfield or Haas to Switzerland but at least having cover in case I can’t get a better option at 3C but I think I have $3.5 to go looking and $2.5 for my 1BG.

    Mix and match as Tippett likes.

    I need to hold the line on Bear for at least one more year. If I can’t I don’t get an upgrade on the 3C position.

  19. Georges says:

    jp:
    So Sheahan, Archibald and Khaira. And the rest of the Oilers bottom 6 this year…

    How did Oiler forwards fare when not on the ice with any of McDavid, Draisaitl or RNH? That is, how did the bottom 6 forwards perform in true bottom 6 minutes?
    (I’m sure versions of this have been done but I don’t recall a summary of all the players together).

    2019-20 Oilers forwards at 5v5 without any of McDavid, Draisaitl or RNH on the ice:

    Player ————– Min SF% GF% GF-GA (sorted by GF%)
    Alex Chiasson — 396 51.3 58.9 (10-7)
    James Neal —— 148 45.6 58.3 (7-5)
    Markus Granlund 284 52.0 53.3 (8-7)
    Gaetan Haas —- 499 52.5 48.0 (12-13)
    Joakim Nygard — 232 48.7 46.7 (7-8)
    Zack Kassian —- 122 50.4 44.4 (4-5)
    Sam Gagner —– 216 56.1 41.2 (7-10)
    Patrick Russell — 396 47.0 34.8 (8-15)
    Josh Archibald — 428 47.5 31.4 (11-24)
    Riley Sheahan — 637 45.2 31.3 (15-33)
    Jujhar Khaira —- 492 46.0 27.8 (10-26)

    My takeaways…
    Chiasson was good. I don’t see a rush to jettison him.

    Granlund, Haas, Nygard and Kassian were all decent (in the range of 50% SF and +/- 1 goal of even)

    Neal was good in GF% but not supported by SF%, probably some good luck.
    Gagner was the opposite, 41% GF but 56% SF. Probably some bad luck. I’d be fine with another cheap deal for Gagner.

    Sheahan, Archibald, Khaira and Russell were putrid. The three were -18, -13 and -16 goals at 5v5 as bottom 6 forwards. The Oilers were -16 at 5v5 as a team. You can rest literally all of that negative on those 3 or 4 players. (You’ll note the remaining players listed above are basically even as a group).

    The Edmonton Oilers at 5v5 with all of Sheahan-Archibald-Khaira OFF:
    2181min 50.6SF% 53.2GF% (107-94)

    This isn’t new information but it is pretty shocking. And it makes me question whether we do see Sheahan and Khaira back (Archibald inked a new deal so he will return).

    These guys did get extremely difficult zone starts (though I’m told those don’t matter as much as we used to think).

    Their TOI vs elites was middling but nothing oppressive – all 3 were under 30% and ranked 8, 9 and 10 among Oiler forwards with >100 min vs elites. They were not ‘facing the toughs’.

    One other thing to note, Sheahan, Archibald and Khaira played 154 minutes as a line and significant minutes in various pairs as well as without the other two. Compared to the Oilers 50.6SF% and 53.2GF% with all 3 off, every single iteration of those players being on the ice (including Archibald without the other 2 and including McDavid minutes) was very poor. In parsing the numbers, it’s very hard to find evidence that these players could be better either together or split up.

    https://www.naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20192020&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=n&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2019-10-02&td=2020-04-04&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8476326&p2=8476915&p3=8475772&p4=0&p5=0

    So, yeah… Maybe the PB is the right spot for Khaira (or a trade?). And maybe Ken should look for an alternative $1M 4C in place of Sheahan (and I still hope some more $$ will materialize for a real upgrade). These players were key parts of the PK but they were also THE key parts of the Oilers struggles at 5v5. They were impressive.

    Tippett’s 5v5 numbers aren’t great. You’ve shown why. Very nice work!

    This made me look at 5v5 GF% for all forwards who played at least 400 minutes in 19-20.

    DET has 6 players in the bottom 20.

    EDM is right behind with 5, the 4 players you narrowed in on and AA (formerly of DET!).

    I then went back and looked at the bottom 20 5v5 GF% forwards from 18-19 (again with at least 400 minutes) to try to see what happened to them in 19-20. Here’s what I found.

    Player, 18-19 Team, 19-20 GF%, Remained with 18-19 Team?

    Stefan Noesen, NJD, 50, No
    Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Nicolas Deslauriers, MTL, 49, No
    Tage Thompson, BUF, NA, Yes (Played 1 game)
    Lias Andersson, NYR, 15, Yes (Played 17 games)
    Michael Grabner, ARI, 44, Yes
    Kyle Brodziak, EDM, NA, Yes (DNP in 19-20)
    Vladimir Sobotka, BUF, 56, Yes (Played 16 games)
    Chandler Stephenson, WSH, 64, Yes (Traded to VGK after 24 games)
    JP, EDM, NA, Yes (DNP in 19-20)
    Eric Fehr, MIN, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Tobias Rieder, EDM, 28, No
    Riley Nash, CBJ, 55, Yes
    Jacob de la Rose, DET, 52, Yes (Traded to STL after 16 games)
    Filip Chytil, NYR, 46, Yes
    Tyler Motte, VAN, 30, Yes
    Magnus Paajarvi, OTT, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Derick Brassard, PIT/FLA/COL, 50, No
    Brett Seney, NJD, 0, Yes (Played 2 games)
    Ryan Spooner, NYR/EDM/VCR, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)

    Just 12 out of the bottom 20 forwards were with the same team in 19-20.

    2 (JP, Brodz) didn’t play a game.

    5 played fewer than 20 games.

    2 were traded.

    And, of the 3 remaining, only Riley Nash cracked 50 GF% in 19-20.

    So, just 1 out of the bottom 20 forwards from 18-19 stayed with their team AND went on to produce winning 5v5 numbers over a large number of games.

    Based on the recent past, then, you could say that bottom 20 forwards are bad bets for their teams. Seems intuitive.

    Holland has already made one such bet by re-signing Archibald. And JJ is signed for another year. If he brings back Sheahan, that would be 3 bad bets. Don’t see much hope for Russell. (Oh, yeah, forgot about AA. He’s signed for next year too. His offense separates him from this group. I’m really, really hoping his confidence isn’t broke past fixing.)

    The curious thing is Sheahan, Arch, and JJ were primary PK options on a very strong and stingy PK unit. And, yet, the trio were scored on at a 3.00 GA60 rate or worse at 5v5.

    Go up against the other team’s best offensive players while down a man and play excellent defense.

    Go up against a range of the other team’s players at even strength and play crappy defense.

    Hockey is strange.

  20. pts2pndr says:

    godot10: You need 9-10 NHL defensemen if one is a contender.

    Bouchard is the #7D, but positioned in Bakersfield.He will get lots of NHL time as injuries occur.

    Spot duty as an injury fill in is not a good way to break in a rookie. Different partners, little continuity and limited playing time reeks havoc with a young players confidence and should only be done when there are no other alternatives.

  21. digger50 says:

    Georges: Tippett’s 5v5 numbers aren’t great. You’ve shown why. Very nice work!

    This made me look at 5v5 GF% for all forwards who played at least 400 minutes in 19-20.

    DET has 6 players in the bottom 20.

    EDM is right behind with 5, the 4 players you narrowed in on and AA (formerly of DET!).

    I then went back and looked at the bottom 20 5v5 GF% forwards from 18-19 (again with at least 400 minutes) to try to see what happened to them in 19-20. Here’s what I found.

    Player, 18-19 Team, 19-20 GF%, Remained with 18-19 Team?

    Stefan Noesen, NJD, 50, No
    Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Nicolas Deslauriers, MTL, 49, No
    Tage Thompson, BUF, NA, Yes (Played 1 game)
    Lias Andersson, NYR, 15, Yes (Played 17 games)
    Michael Grabner, ARI, 44, Yes
    Kyle Brodziak, EDM, NA, Yes (DNP in 19-20)
    Vladimir Sobotka, BUF, 56, Yes (Played 16 games)
    Chandler Stephenson, WSH, 64, Yes (Traded to VGK after 24 games)
    JP, EDM, NA, Yes (DNP in 19-20)
    Eric Fehr, MIN, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Tobias Rieder, EDM, 28, No
    Riley Nash, CBJ, 55, Yes
    Jacob de la Rose, DET, 52, Yes (Traded to STL after 16 games)
    Filip Chytil, NYR, 46, Yes
    Tyler Motte, VAN, 30, Yes
    Magnus Paajarvi, OTT, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Derick Brassard, PIT/FLA/COL, 50, No
    Brett Seney, NJD, 0, Yes (Played 2 games)
    Ryan Spooner, NYR/EDM/VCR, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)

    Just 12 out of the bottom 20 forwards were with the same team in 19-20.

    2 (JP, Brodz) didn’t play a game.

    5 played fewer than 20 games.

    2 were traded.

    And, of the 3 remaining, only Riley Nash cracked 50 GF% in 19-20.

    So, just 1 out of the bottom 20 forwards from 18-19 stayed with their team AND went on to produce winning 5v5 numbers over a large number of games.

    Based on the recent past, then, you could say that bottom 20 forwards are bad bets for their teams. Seems intuitive.

    Holland has already made one such bet by re-signing Archibald. And JJ is signed for another year. If he brings back Sheahan, that would be 3 bad bets. Don’t see much hope for Russell. (Oh, yeah, forgot about AA. He’s signed for next year too. His offense separates him from this group. I’m really, really hoping his confidence isn’t broke past fixing.)

    The curious thing is Sheahan, Arch, and JJ were primary PK options on a very strong and stingy PK unit. And, yet, the trio were scored on at a 3.00 GA60 rate or worse at 5v5.

    Go up against the other team’s best offensive players while down a man and play excellent defense.

    Go up against a range of the other team’s players at even strength and play crappy defense.

    Hockey is strange.

    Very good read , thanks to you both.

    When I look at the penalty kill, the role players do a good job, even an exceptional job last season. (This season?)

    But when Tippet was really worried he often put out Nuge. If it was a 5 on 3 he went to Leon.

    5 players in bottom 20 poor performers in the league? This is horrible. We should still be looking for upgrades. I thought Ennis was an upgrade. I think doubles (AA) will still be.

  22. Munny says:

    jp,

    Excellent post.

  23. jp says:

    Georges: Tippett’s 5v5 numbers aren’t great. You’ve shown why. Very nice work!

    This made me look at 5v5 GF% for all forwards who played at least 400 minutes in 19-20.

    DET has 6 players in the bottom 20.

    EDM is right behind with 5, the 4 players you narrowed in on and AA (formerly of DET!).

    I then went back and looked at the bottom 20 5v5 GF% forwards from 18-19 (again with at least 400 minutes) to try to see what happened to them in 19-20. Here’s what I found.

    Player, 18-19 Team, 19-20 GF%, Remained with 18-19 Team?

    Stefan Noesen, NJD, 50, No
    Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Nicolas Deslauriers, MTL, 49, No
    Tage Thompson, BUF, NA, Yes (Played 1 game)
    Lias Andersson, NYR, 15, Yes (Played 17 games)
    Michael Grabner, ARI, 44, Yes
    Kyle Brodziak, EDM, NA, Yes (DNP in 19-20)
    Vladimir Sobotka, BUF, 56, Yes (Played 16 games)
    Chandler Stephenson, WSH, 64, Yes (Traded to VGK after 24 games)
    JP, EDM, NA, Yes (DNP in 19-20)
    Eric Fehr, MIN, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Tobias Rieder, EDM, 28, No
    Riley Nash, CBJ, 55, Yes
    Jacob de la Rose, DET, 52, Yes (Traded to STL after 16 games)
    Filip Chytil, NYR, 46, Yes
    Tyler Motte, VAN, 30, Yes
    Magnus Paajarvi, OTT, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)
    Derick Brassard, PIT/FLA/COL, 50, No
    Brett Seney, NJD, 0, Yes (Played 2 games)
    Ryan Spooner, NYR/EDM/VCR, NA, No (DNP in 19-20)

    Just 12 out of the bottom 20 forwards were with the same team in 19-20.

    2 (JP, Brodz) didn’t play a game.

    5 played fewer than 20 games.

    2 were traded.

    And, of the 3 remaining, only Riley Nash cracked 50 GF% in 19-20.

    So, just 1 out of the bottom 20 forwards from 18-19 stayed with their team AND went on to produce winning 5v5 numbers over a large number of games.

    Based on the recent past, then, you could say that bottom 20 forwards are bad bets for their teams. Seems intuitive.

    Holland has already made one such bet by re-signing Archibald. And JJ is signed for another year. If he brings back Sheahan, that would be 3 bad bets. Don’t see much hope for Russell. (Oh, yeah, forgot about AA. He’s signed for next year too. His offense separates him from this group. I’m really, really hoping his confidence isn’t broke past fixing.)

    The curious thing is Sheahan, Arch, and JJ were primary PK options on a very strong and stingy PK unit. And, yet, the trio were scored on at a 3.00 GA60 rate or worse at 5v5.

    Go up against the other team’s best offensive players while down a man and play excellent defense.

    Go up against a range of the other team’s players at even strength and play crappy defense.

    Hockey is strange.

    Hockey is strange indeed.

    Thanks for this as well, and no, bringing these guys back is not a good bet it seems. Though an improvement to 45, or even 40% GF% for these guys is a much more reasonable ask and would reduce the bleeding notably.

    Agreed Athanasiou is in a different category from the rest. Hopefully he recovers whatever he lost and doesn’t even see bottom 6 minutes.

    One of Ennis or AA should be added to the group at least, hopefully there will be some turnover beyond that. I think a better 3C will be a priority for Holland in the off season, we’ll see if it happens.

  24. jp says:

    digger50: Very good read , thanks to you both.

    When I look at the penalty kill, the role players do a good job, even an exceptional job last season. (This season?)

    But when Tippet was really worried he often put out Nuge. If it was a 5 on 3 he went to Leon.

    5 players in bottom 20 poor performers in the league? This is horrible. We should still be looking for upgrades. I thought Ennis was an upgrade. I think doubles (AA) will still be.

    It’s true Nuge or Leon were usually the go-to.

    And agreed that Ennis/AA should be upgrades though it’s very unlikely more than one will be playing bottom 6 minutes at any time.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal:
    I didn’t notice Bouchard until you mentioned it. We’ll know Holland really is in overripen mentality still if this happens.

    Right now, Bouchard remains 4th on the right D depth chart behind Bear, Larsson and Benning.

    This does not account for Green but, in LT’s example above, Green replaces Benning and Bouchard remains #4.

    I have zero issue with Bouchard starting the year in the American Hockey League – he will be the first call-up for a right shot defender and my guess is that call comes less than 10 games in to the season – shit, the first injury is reasonably likely to occur in training camp.

    The 4RD (and the 4LD) will probably end up playing 50 plus games each.

    In my opinion, there needs to be a 3RD ahead of Bouchard going in to camp – be it Benning or Green or another cheap veteran.

    If Bouch is 3RD going in to the season, well, injury risk has him playing in the top 4 for much of the year.

    Defensive depth and cover is key in the NHL – the Oilers have it on the left side, even without Rusty and they have it on the right side but not if a RD is moved out without replacement.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    pts2pndr: should only be done when there are no other alternatives.

    Considering the strength of your argument, what exactly do you think these “no other alternatives” are?

  27. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Right now, Bouchard remains 4th on the right D depth chart behind Bear, Larsson and Benning.

    This does not account for Green but, in LT’s example above, Green replaces Benning and Bouchard remains #4.

    I have zero issue with Bouchard starting the year in the American Hockey League – he will be the first call-up for a right shot defender and my guess is that call comes less than 10 games in to the season – shit, the first injury is reasonably likely to occur in training camp.

    The 4RD (and the 4LD) will probably end up playing 50 plus games each.

    In my opinion, there needs to be a 3RD ahead of Bouchard going in to camp – be it Benning or Green or another cheap veteran.

    If Bouch is 3RD going in to the season, well, injury risk has him playing in the top 4 for much of the year.

    Defensive depth and cover is key in the NHL – the Oilers have it on the left side, even without Rusty and they have it on the right side but not if a RD is moved out without replacement.

    Of course its just as likely Bouchard is the injury victim.

  28. duct tape and foil says:

    Sheahan filled a hole last year at 3C and on PK but I don’t want him back. Mediocre wheels and too many glaring mistakes in the defensive zone 5×5 for a guy who needs to be all about preventing goals. He’s not physical and has little offense. Standing still in this league means you fall behind and 3C is a key area that needs improvement.

    Same with 1bG and Smith. Filled a hole admirably but we need to improve and get younger/better. I’d go get Georgiev out of Allaire’s goalie factory in NYR.

    Khaira was a bit better in the 2nd half of last year and he has an appealing mix of size, decent wheels, some scoring, PK ability. He needs to improve substantially next season or he’s dealt at the next deadline.

    I like Haas as 4C and maybe more, have to see, Derek Ryan is a pretty good comp as others have mentioned.

  29. Sunnyboy says:

    JP & Georges

    Good job on a critical analysis of the bottom of the roster, much better than my whining and sniveling. Gagner being gone helps and the others should be gone also, cherry picked stats and support of these players is not condusive to winning, obviously. Would any of them be better on the Condors than Malone?

  30. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: Right now, Bouchard remains 4th on the right D depth chart behind Bear, Larsson and Benning.

    This does not account for Green but, in LT’s example above, Green replaces Benning and Bouchard remains #4.

    I have zero issue with Bouchard starting the year in the American Hockey League – he will be the first call-up for a right shot defender and my guess is that call comes less than 10 games in to the season – shit, the first injury is reasonably likely to occur in training camp.

    The 4RD (and the 4LD) will probably end up playing 50 plus games each.

    In my opinion, there needs to be a 3RD ahead of Bouchard going in to camp – be it Benning or Green or another cheap veteran.

    If Bouch is 3RD going in to the season, well, injury risk has him playing in the top 4 for much of the year.

    Defensive depth and cover is key in the NHL – the Oilers have it on the left side, even without Rusty and they have it on the right side but not if a RD is moved out without replacement.

    I think we sometimes forget that Jones has played RD. I know it is not a perfect solution but from what I read that was his primary position in Bakersfield so he does offer at least short term cover.

  31. Greenberg says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Then we would have to trade for Brandon Referty.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Brantford Boy:
    After reading “Assuming Edmonton signs Tyler Ennis and Riley Sheahan, trades Matt Benning and Kris Russell, buys out James Neal, name your team with lines and pairings.” I thought of the song ‘Changes’, you can pick the artist… doesn’t matter, but after seeing the line combo’s you had it right all along LT.

    The only thing I questioned, even at the same cap hit (let’s assume) is:
    Caleb Jones—Mike Green, better than…
    Caleb Jones—Matt Benning?

    I say no, but head injuries (Matt), PP time, and mentoring the kids are the reasons this makes sense.

    On your last sentence, Green has been hurt alot over the last number of years as well and I’d say he’s as much an injury risk as Benning is. As for the PP, with Klefbom, Bear (as a non-rookie) and Bouchard coming, I’m not sure there is a need for Green on the PP and, if I remember correctly, he has been below average on the PP the last while.

  33. duct tape and foil says:

    I really like the idea of Green mentoring Bouchard next year and having them split time at 3RD. Green could probably really help Bouchard as they are similar in many ways and Green has been a very good pro.

    Green, Russell and Benning are all exclusively 3rd pair guys at this point, and all have injury issues. Rusty is more flexible, Green the better mentor, Benning the youngest. Only room in the boat for one IMHO and the cheapest guy wins and that will likely be Green since I doubt he gets more than $2 million from anyone.

  34. pts2pndr says:

    hunter1909: Considering the strength of your argument, what exactly do you think these “no other alternatives” are?

    First you can not keep your 7th D in the AHL because there are two many times there is very short notice precluding a call up. Keeping him up as a 7th D and not playing is also counter productive. Young players have to play. Assuming he makes the team as third pairing right D you have a older D as your 7th D as cover. You also have Jones who could cover short term on the third pairing right D if needed. right

  35. SwedishPoster says:

    Thank you so much for the kind words in yesterday’s post LT. Not sure I’m worthy of it but so very nice of you. I didn’t have time to read and comment yesterday so just read your post(blushing slightly) but feel I need to thank you both for what you wrote yesterday but also for the quality posts and articles you write every day.
    I’m really happy just to be part of this great community you’ve created and try to contribute as best I can.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    Mike Green is not able to stay healthy. Lucky if we get 60 games out of him. But I’d put the likelihood of Holland re-signing him at 75%-80%.

  37. leadfarmer says:

    Greenberg:
    Harpers Hair,

    Then we would have to trade for Brandon Referty.

    Probably get him for a cap dump

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal:
    Brantford Boy,

    Signing Mike Green for precious dollars while Bouchard is on ELC makes no sense to me. Lose Russell, and if you like keep Benning, with Bouchard ready to take his job. A 2 yr Green deal will be harder to cast aside For Bouchard.

    I am fine with a Green signing if they move on from Benning – subject to dollars of course, I wouldn’t be in favor of it costing more than Benning so no more than $2M.

    Berglund will be in the mix for the following season so I see no reason for term (although who knows if Larsson will still be in the mix at that time).

    To me, they need to come to camp with Bouchard as 4th on the right side depth chart, needing to earn a spot over an incumbent NHL player, whether its Benning, Green or an outside acquisition.

    4RD will most likely play more NHL games than not given injury.

    The Oilers have done great work over the last few years to get depth at certain positions – depth that forces the prospects to earn a spot as oppossed to going in to a season counting on the prospect to have taken that step.

    I have little doubt that Bouchard, after starting the year in the AHL, will get the call and early and, once he does, he’s unlikely to ever reside in California again until he’s retired. With that said, he should have to jump Green/Benning as oppossed to be slotted in to that 3RD spot.

    If he’s slotted in that 3RD spot, all of a sudden, he’s 2RD if Bear or Larsson get banged up – which will happen.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:
    Ill add Chaisson + Green out. Hall in

    Hall-McDavid-Kassian
    Nuge-Drai-Yamo
    AA-Haas-JP
    Nygard-Sheahan-Ennis
    Gagner-Archibald

    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Bear
    Jones-Bouchard
    Lagesson

    All kinds of salary issues in summer of 2021. But if the goal is to win Stanleys…. right?!?

    Great job getting rid of each of Neal, Rusty and Chiasson clean….. its probably as likely as trading Lucic for Neal was……. wait a second….

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50:
    I think a Benson – Marody pairing has the potential to outplay

    Haas – Chiasson

    Marody might pull an Ethan Bear, disappear for a season and then seem to come out of nowhere.

    Roster is still looking better and better.

    Still room to keep getting incrementally better. I think Holland is moving too fast right now. Once the cap squeezes the other teams, opportunities will pop out.

    I’m hopeful for a bounce-back from Marody a year removed from the Kessy assault.

    From his own account, he’s finally starting to feel removed from injury (although I don’t know if he was speaking about his head or other bangs from last season).

  41. N64 says:

    Greenberg:
    Harpers Hair,

    Then we would have to trade for Brandon Referty.

    ~ But Rafferty is just as likely to be injured ~

  42. Silver Streak says:

    OriginalPouzar,
    “I have little doubt that Bouchard, after starting the year in the AHL, will get the call and early and, once he does, he’s unlikely to ever reside in California again until he’s retired.”

    I`m really trying to follow your logic…..so you recommend signing Green to a two year at $2 million per then binging up Bouchard after 20 games permanently based on the fact he has then earned the right to stay ! How does that work against the cap ? Simple solution: Do Not resign Green ! and Bouchard starts with the big club…..Cause he`s earned it already.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    McDavid on Spittin’ Chiclits tomorrow.

    As an aside: Pronger last week was awesome.

  44. jp says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Worthy or not, your contributions are very much appreciated! 🙂

  45. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    To me, they need to come to camp with Bouchard as 4th on the right side depth chart, needing to earn a spot over an incumbent NHL player, whether its Benning, Green or an outside acquisition.

    4RD will most likely play more NHL games than not given injury.

    In 2018-19 the median #7D played 38 games. The median #8D played 25 games.

  46. jp says:

    N64: ~ But Rafferty is just as likely to be injured ~

    And that would be a far more damaging injury, we’re the Canucks 2RD to go down.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: Spot duty as an injury fill in is not a good way to break in a rookie. Different partners, little continuity and limited playing time reeks havoc with a young players confidence and should only be done when there are no other alternatives.

    On the other hand, trading incumbents on the premise that a developing player is ready or will take that next step, without them having proven ready in the NHL, is also not a good way to develop a player – the Oilers have been guilty of doing that for years and its hurt the team and the development of various players.

    The premise would be Bouchard starts in the AHL and, once the opportunity is granted (be it due to injury, elite AHL performance or both), Bouchard takes the opportunity and runs with it.

    Klefbom played 9 games with the Barons prior to playing 60 in the NHL in 2014/15 and Nurse played 9 games with the Condors in 2015/16 prior to 69 with the Oilers.

  48. defmn says:

    jp:
    SwedishPoster,

    Worthy or not, your contributions are very much appreciated!

    I’ll second that. Love your insights on prospects and players of interest. I always read every word you post here.

  49. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Mike Green is not able to stay healthy.Lucky if we get 60 games out of him.But I’d put the likelihood of Holland re-signing him at 75%-80%.

    Experienced yes, still effective?

    I’m not convinced Green is any more effective than another younger in house player would be.

    Knowing what to do (which defensively was never his strength) and being still able aren’t the same thing.

    We have seen this repeatedly over the years. Done is done. Rookie learning with mistakes has far more value than done vet with mistakes. If the GA are the same play the rookie.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Of course its just as likely Bouchard is the injury victim.

    Well, ya, but that could be said of any player in professional spots in the context of roster consutruction.

    What an odd post as I’m fairly certain that Bouchard has zero history of material injury through his junior and pro career.

  51. Scungilli Slushy says:

    geowal:
    I didn’t notice Bouchard until you mentioned it. We’ll know Holland really is in overripen mentality still if this happens.

    Holland said that over ripening when he did it had to do with his NHL roster. At the time they could sign UFAs at will for cheap, there weren’t open NHL spots. He also said he’d play the best available player.

    Now it seems he wants, and has said, kids have to steal a job from a vet to get it.

    Same thing but with Oiler context and clarity. And the correct way.

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: I think we sometimes forget that Jones has played RD. I know it is not a perfect solution but from what I read that was his primary position in Bakersfield so he does offer at least short term cover.

    He has played right D but, then again, we can say that with respect to Kris Russell – it doesn’t mean that its a great idea.

    Our coach has been express that he prefers rightie/leftie with the d-man but he did play Jones at right D on occasion when necessary. Jones seemingly played much better on his natural left side and I do recall an interview with him late in the season when he was really starting to play well where he himself stated that getting moved to his natural left side was a big factor in his improved play.

    For short term cover, in a pinch, ya, its a definite option but I sure wouldn’t want to be relying on Jones as #4 on the right side depth chart.

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: First you can not keep your 7th D in the AHL because there are two many times there is very short notice precluding a call up. Keeping him up as a 7th D and not playing is also counter productive. Young players have to play. Assuming he makes the team as third pairing right D you have a older D as your 7th D as cover. You also have Jones who could cover short term on the third pairing right D if needed. right

    William Lagesson is amply able to fill on the 3rd pairing for a game or two if there is a bump or a bruise or a game time decision. If a real call-up is required then, if they need a right D, Bouchard is the man.

    I see absolutely no problem with Bouchard starting in the AHL and Lagesson as 7D – when an injury occurs, handedness (and possibly skill-set – Larsson = Lagess, Bear = Bouchard) makes the ultimate decision.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    Silver Streak:
    OriginalPouzar,
    “I have little doubt that Bouchard, after starting the year in the AHL, will get the call and early and, once he does, he’s unlikely to ever reside in California again until he’s retired.”

    I`m really trying to follow your logic…..so you recommend signing Green to a two year at $2 million per then binging up Bouchard after 20 games permanently based on the fact he has then earned the right to stay !How does that work against the cap ?Simple solution:Do Not resign Green ! and Bouchard starts with the big club…..Cause he`s earned it already.

    Actually, I recommend keeping Matty Benning and moving on from Mike Green but, yes, absolutely, I recommend not moving on from incumbent NHLers in order to open up a spot for a 21 year that, while likely ready, has not yet proven it.

    Go in to camp with Bouchard as 3RD and the team is one injury away from him being 2RD.

    Starting the year at 4RD likely leads to him playing most of the games in any event.

  55. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: And that would be a far more damaging injury, we’re the Canucks 2RD to go down.

    There are currently 92 RH free agent defensemen available.

    Finding cover won’t be difficult as many teams will be cap strapped.
    https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2021/caphit/all/defense/all/desc/1/right

  56. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Well, ya, but that could be said of any player in professional spots in the context of roster consutruction.

    What an odd post as I’m fairly certain that Bouchard has zero history of material injury through his junior and pro career.

    Pretzel Logic.

    1) Defensemen get injured a lot therefore Bouchard will play at least 40 games even if he is #4RD.

    2) Bouchard is invincible so the above does not apply to him.

    3) or, he’s not a defenseman.

    Say what ?

  57. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: He has played right D but, then again, we can say that with respect to Kris Russell – it doesn’t mean that its a great idea.

    Our coach has been express that he prefers rightie/leftie with the d-man but he did play Jones at right D on occasion when necessary.Jones seemingly played much better on his natural left side and I do recall an interview with him late in the season when he was really starting to play well where he himself stated that getting moved to his natural left side was a big factor in his improved play.

    For short term cover, in a pinch, ya, its a definite option but I sure wouldn’t want to be relying on Jones as #4 on the right side depth chart.

    I believe he played pretty much his entire time in the AHL on the right side so that is a little bit more than “he has played at right D” and Tippett has commented that he is capable on that side due to his skating. If memory serves he was chosen by Tippett over Russell for a few games this season.

    Nobody suggested he was a long term solution on the right side. Just that it was one of the the attributes that can play into how the roster is set.

    If anything I would think it took him some time to settle back into playing on the left side after years of being on his off side in Bakersfield.

  58. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: There are currently 92 RH free agent defensemen available.

    Finding cover won’t be difficult as many teams will be cap strapped.
    https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2021/caphit/all/defense/all/desc/1/right

    Less than 20 of those were unrestricted FAs who were NHL regulars (40+games this year). Only 10 of those played even 18 minutes a game (we’re talking 2nd pair after all). There really aren’t that many D available. Glad the Oilers have 2 locked up (and arguably 4 on the current roster).

    Anyway, we were told Rafferty would be the Canucks 2RD so you’d think any injury to him would be far more significant than one to the Oilers 4/5RD.

  59. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Less than 20 of those were unrestricted FAs who were NHL regulars (40+games this year). Only 10 of those played even 18 minutes a game (we’re talking 2nd pair after all). There really aren’t that many D available. Glad the Oilers have 2 locked up (and arguably 4 on the current roster).

    Anyway, we were told Rafferty would be the Canucks 2RD so you’d think any injury to him would be far more significant than one to the Oilers 4/5RD.

    Impossible to say at this point.

    For example, the Canucks could sign Travis Hamonic on a Covid Discount contract and Bobs your uncle.

  60. jp says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Rookie learning with mistakes has far more value than done vet with mistakes. If the GA are the same play the rookie.

    Do you also believe this to be true for JSchultz, Yakupov, Puljujarvi and the like?

  61. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Impossible to say at this point.

    For example, the Canucks could sign Travis Hamonic on a Covid Discount contract and Bobs your uncle.

    Of course, near everything is impossible to say with any certainty.

    The Canucks do have some cap to spend, but a starting goalie, top 6 winger and apparently a 2RD will eat that up in a quick hurry.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: In 2018-19 the median #7D played 38 games. The median #8D played 25 games.

    and, if Bouchard’s play is “meh” then he’ll probably play in that range – of course, if he plays great when he’s called on, he’ll keep playing and the “veteran” Benning or Green will have to earn their way back i.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Pretzel Logic.

    1) Defensemen get injured a lot therefore Bouchard will play at least 40 games even if he is #4RD.

    2) Bouchard is invincible so the above does not apply to him.

    3) or, he’s not a defenseman.

    Say what ?

    What a wild post.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: I believe he played pretty much his entire time in the AHL on the right side so that is a little bit more than “he has played at right D” and Tippett has commented that he is capable on that side due to his skating. If memory serves he was chosen by Tippett over Russell for a few games this season.

    Nobody suggested he was a long term solution on the right side. Just that it was one of the the attributes that can play into how the roster is set.

    If anything I would think it took him some time to settle back into playing on the left side after years of being on his off side in Bakersfield.

    Yes, he played the right side more often than the left side in the AHL.

    The AHL is not the NHL where the players are faster and decisions need to be made quicker and plays made quicker – a main issue with playing the off-side is it generally requires additional time to make plays.

    Yes, Tippett talked about his footwork helping him on his off-side when he first played a couple games on the right.

    From my recollection, Jones’ best hockey was by far on the left side and the player himself spoke expressly about moving to his natural side helping his game and leading to his success.

    Of course, Jones can be a 3RD fill in option for a game here or there but, if Ethan Bear goes down for 6 weeks and we have Larsson, Bouchard, Jones on the right side, well, I don’t think that’s a great thing.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Impossible to say at this point.

    For example, the Canucks could sign Travis Hamonic on a Covid Discount contract and Bobs your uncle.

    Covid Discount player is just as likely to get injured.

    Bob’s uncle, likely injured as well.

  66. N64 says:

    OriginalPouzar: What a wild post.

    Truth in advertising. Nice of DSF to warn readers that his logic is pure pretzel

  67. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: On the other hand, trading incumbents on the premise that a developing player is ready or will take that next step, without them having proven ready in the NHL, is also not a good way to develop a player – the Oilers have been guilty of doing that for years and its hurt the team and the development of various players.

    The premise would be Bouchard starts in the AHL and, once the opportunity is granted (be it due to injury, elite AHL performance or both), Bouchard takes the opportunity and runs with it.

    Klefbom played 9 games with the Barons prior to playing 60 in the NHL in 2014/15 and Nurse played 9 games with the Condors in 2015/16 prior to 69 with the Oilers.

    I did not say anything about trading Benning. What I said is Bouchard should get the third pairing right D if he wins the spot in training camp. Bouchard should not stay up as the 7th D. In the event he does not win the third pairing right D at camp he gets sent down to the AHL. Russel should be moved if possible. Benning should only be moved once Bouchard has shown he is capable to handle third pairing right D. I agree that Bouchard should not be given the third pairing spot. I do believe he should be given every opportunity to win the job in training camp and preseason games.

  68. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Covid Discount player is just as likely to get injured.

    Bob’s uncle, likely injured as well.

    Everyone gets injured…it’s a thing.

    Except Bouchard of course.

  69. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, he played the right side more often than the left side in the AHL.

    The AHL is not the NHL where the players are faster and decisions need to be made quicker and plays made quicker – a main issue with playing the off-side is it generally requires additional time to make plays.

    Yes, Tippett talked about his footwork helping him on his off-side when he first played a couple games on the right.

    From my recollection, Jones’ best hockey was by far on the left side and the player himself spoke expressly about moving to his natural side helping his game and leading to his success.

    Of course, Jones can be a 3RD fill in option for a game here or there but, if Ethan Bear goes down for 6 weeks and we have Larsson, Bouchard, Jones on the right side, well, I don’t think that’s a great thing.

    Nobody would thing that’s a great thing, OP. And nobody said it would be. Just that he can play there and has played there a lot as a professional.

    And, yes, I think everybody knows the NHL is faster than the AHL although I am not sure how which side you are on has anything to do with how quickly a player makes decisions. It’s just easier to have your stick in the right place if you are on your natural side.

  70. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: and, if Bouchard’s play is “meh” then he’ll probably play in that range – of course, if he plays great when he’s called on, he’ll keep playing and the “veteran” Benning or Green will have to earn their way back i.

    Yeah for sure Bouchard is likely to grab the 3RD job once he gets the call.

    I was mostly responding to your comment from earlier in the thread “The 4RD (and the 4LD) will probably end up playing 50 plus games each.” I should have gone back and quoted that one. But it’s not a true statement based on last seasons numbers.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: I did not say anything about trading Benning. What I said is Bouchard should get the third pairing right D if he wins the spot in training camp. Bouchard should not stay up as the 7th D. In the event he does not win the third pairing right Dat camp he gets sent down to the AHL.Russel should be moved if possible. Benning should only be moved once Bouchard has shown he is capable to handle third pairing right D. I agree that Bouchard should not be given the third pairing spot. I do believe he should be given every opportunity to win the job in training camp and preseason games.

    I don’t disagree with the premise of the above at all – the main point, which we seem to agree on, is that there should be 3 incumbent NHL right shot D – Benning (nor Larsson) should be moved prior to the season without an NHL RD brought in.

    The only part of the above that I would play devils’ advocate on is the premise of Bouchard “winning the job in camp” – we’ve seen, over the years, year after year, that a great camp and exhibition season, by high talent prospects, does not necessarily equate to NHL readiness – we’ve seen the likes of Yamamoto and Puljujarvi and Rattie have great exhibition seasons but not be NHL ready.

    With that said, if Bouchard blows camp away, it would be tough to send him down (although waivers exempt while Willie being subject thereto could play a role). 8D and 13D is a possibility as well.

    Miles to go before those decisions have to be made.

  72. hunter1909 says:

    jp: Do you also believe this to be true for JSchultz, Yakupov, Puljujarvi and the like?

    In the end, Schultz flat out collapsed on the ice as an Oiler. At first he was good, but got overwhelmed when called on to be Paul Coffey lol

    The others got the “They’re only stupid euros anyway” treatment.

    I hear rumours how Buffalo has impossible management structure and it might be just a matter of time before Eichel puts in a trade request. They have taken the former Oilers crown of hapless NHL leading franchise, or are close to it.

  73. Lowetide says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Thank you so much for the kind words in yesterday’s post LT. Not sure I’m worthy of it but so very nice of you. I didn’t have time to read and comment yesterday so just read your post(blushing slightly) but feel I need to thank you both for what you wrote yesterday but also for the quality posts and articles you write every day.
    I’m really happy just to be part of this great community you’ve created and try to contribute as best I can.

    I’m happy to be part of the group too, and learn so much from you and others. We’re coming up on one million comments over about 15 years. A great time.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    Justin Shultz had a reasonably good rookie season, then they said bye-bye to Jeff Petry, placing Shultz as 1RD and, well……

    A great example of why its the organization needs to ensure there is adequate depth on the right side so one injury isn’t forcing Bouchard up to the top 4, likely prematurely.

  75. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Lowetide: I’m happy to be part of the group too, and learn so much from you and others. We’re coming up on one million comments over about 15 years. A great time.

    Congrats!
    If you don’t count OPs that’s about 100,000.
    Still very good!
    Congrats!
    “?

  76. Pandaup says:

    Congrats LT. Love the community. But, of the 1M posts, likely 250K from OP. With easily half of those simply him repeating himself. And 50K from HH. Baiting OP. Not a criticism. And I know I am exaggerating, I mostly cruise by both. Just sayin.

    Can I suggest, when you hit 1M, a tribute to the great posters.

    David

  77. Pandaup says:

    Maybe an online poll? Who are your favourite posters in the LT comments?

  78. oilsnc79 says:

    Lowetide,

    Good job so, I pay attention to the details of every one of your posts. Very informative. Thank you.

  79. jp says:

    Lowetide: I’m happy to be part of the group too, and learn so much from you and others. We’re coming up on one million comments over about 15 years. A great time.

    That’s a testament, it really is a special community you’ve created. Thank you (and I’m remembering it’s been a while since I donated).

  80. slopitch says:

    OriginalPouzar: Great job getting rid of each of Neal, Rusty and Chiasson clean….. its probably as likely as trading Lucic for Neal was……. wait a second….

    Ha! Fair. It probably requires a compliance buyout on Neal. Even then its probably a bit too ambitious. I will admit LT’s projected lineup is more reasonable than mine.

    I believe the Oilers can be contenders with 2 upgrades – 3C and 1LW. I dont love the bet on AA as he hasnt proven to be a good possession player. Id like a guy to help 97 push the river. But the cost isnt horrible and AA seems to out GF his CF every year meaning he can finish. Sheahan and JJ got fed on 5 on 5. Id potentially keep Sheahan as his cost is likely to be under 1.5m and he can help on the PK. Best to see options first imo.

    Oilers have a Russell and Chaison off the books here shortly but have to resign Yamo, Nurse and Nuge. I like Benning, I dont hate a 1 year deal for Green. Id keep Larson a year and see how he does. The top 4 needs him this year for sure as Bear faded 2nd half. Hard to blame the rookie though. Man theres a lot of moving parts. Im hoping Benson has his Stoll or Brodziak offseason and shows up ready this fall too. 1-2 capable additions (JP?) on the bottom 6 would go a long ways.

  81. who says:

    Pandaup:
    Congrats LT. Love the community. But, of the 1M posts, likely 250K from OP. With easily half of those simply him repeating himself. And 50K from HH. Baiting OP. Not a criticism. And I know I am exaggerating,I mostly cruise by both. Just sayin.

    Can I suggest, when you hit 1M, a tribute to the great posters.

    David

    I don’t think you’re exaggerating at all.
    When I read between the lines on this thread I’m pretty sure OP wants Bouchard to start the season as 4RD on the depth chart. Waiting for him to post it 3 more times to clarify it for me. Lol.

  82. Harpers Hair says:

    SJS sign KHL goaltender Alexi Melnichuk.

    1.68 GAA .930 SV %.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: I don’t think you’re exaggerating at all.
    When I read between the lines on this thread I’m pretty sure OP wants Bouchard to start the season as 4RD on the depth chart. Waiting for him to post it 3 more times to clarify it for me.Lol.

    I think its important to have cover in case of injuries and to not slot a player into a role that he hasn’t yet proven ready for – the to extent possible.

    I think Bouchard should be a fine 3RD but he hasn’t proven that yet – especially with the likely 3LD to be another youngster.

    I don’t think moving an incombent RD without acquiring another (Green included, he’s not signed) on the premise of making room for Bouchard at 3RD is smart.

    Happy to chat if you have would like to talk hockey/Oilers….

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