My Kantele (out of hard ways and endless woes)

by Lowetide

I don’t know what happened to the Finland-to-Edmonton express, but the bloom is off the rose for kids from Finlandia, and vice versa. Something happened along the way, from Jari Kurri to Esa Tikkanen to Jani Rita and Jesse Puljujarvi. This summer might be the best time to trade JP, but draft rules may make it difficult or impossible. Perhaps it’s a blessing. We wait.

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.

2019-20 OILERS PROSPECTS NHLE

NHLE suggests the most valuable forwards are Puljujarvi, Lavoie and Benson, suspect that’s about right. I think McLeod is the other forward on this list we’ll be talking about a year from now. Club needs that footspeed in Edmonton yesterday.

I don’t know if organizations think this way, but wonder if the success of Kailer Yamamoto this past season might confirm the organization was in fact correct when drafting Puljujarvi. Perhaps Ken Holland finds a way to fix this issue.

I also wanted to take a moment to talk about Ken Holland’s procurement, represented on this list by Broberg, Lavoie, Konovalov, Blumel, Mazura, Denezhkin, Kuffner and Lennstrom.

For the most part, we’re two years from knowing much about these names. However, Broberg should play a more prominent role in the SHL and at the WJs and Lavoie is going to get a chance to play in the minors out of the box. Those two names are the early ones for fans to monitor in the Holland era.

PROSPECTS IN 1980 SUMMER

Ever wonder what prospect lists of the past looked like? I lived through those years, didn’t have the internet to interact so prospect watching was a solo endeavor. Here’s an estimate of what 1980 would have looked like. Pretty damned good.

Four men over 1,000 games, plus Moog at 713 is the equivalent of 1,000 or more for goaltenders. Poddubny had a solid NHL career, Roulston hung around for some time. Three HHOFers and one of the truly underrated players on that great Oilers team in Huddy. Not bad.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun, busy show today, TSN1260, beginning at 10. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic will pop in to talk NHL draft and all-time Oilers teams. Ryan Rishaug from TSN will join us at 11 to discuss the latest on the 2019-20 season and draft chatter. At 11:25, Cody Corbett will talk about the Oil Kings 2014 run (we’ll play game two of the 2014 playoff series between the OK and Portland). 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM: You seem to have a much higher opinion of Jones than I do. I don’t see a case for protecting Jones over Athanasiou, for instance.

As I mentioned in my posts discussing who to protect, it depends on how guys like Benson and Jones develop over the next year and where we are.

Jones solidified himself as an every day NHL d-man, in my opinion, and filling in for Klef at 2LD showed some real promise that he may be able to solidify himself as a top 4 guy – not there – hence we wait.

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
OriginalPouzar,

I still hold out hope for Rasanen as a prospect.Lander 2.0, perhaps… with slightly better wheels.

And just because he’s shifted to wing lately doesn’t mean he can’t play centre (as evidenced by his recent WJC performance).

OriginalPouzar,

This was a targeted tidbit aimed to emulate the local vernacular.

Glad you picked up on my dalliance and gained satisfaction!

I don’t disagree on Rasanen and I haven’t given up on him either.

I loved him at the last World Juniors for Finland – the all-tools, all-situations guys – PP1 (net front), important faceoffs, PK1, down a goal, up a goal, etc.

At this point he’s a distant bell but am hopeful he earn a contract after this season.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Well, that’s that then.

OP has spoken.

Nope – definitely worth of a discussion point – just pointing out that the statement that it had not been disucssed is factually incorrect.

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar: Absolutely, in my opinion.

Strong development of an 18-19 year old and 21 year old in non-NHL leagues should not impact protecting the most valuable assets.

If Sammy has a rocket development year and, in a year, is in Jones’ current category – proven NHL ready with reasonable potential to be top 4 ready in the coming year – then a trade of a Jones (or a Sammy or a Nurse) could/should be contemplated but I wouldn’t leave a more valuable asset unprotected because of it.

You seem to have a much higher opinion of Jones than I do. I don’t see a case for protecting Jones over Athanasiou, for instance.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

I still hold out hope for Rasanen as a prospect. Lander 2.0, perhaps… with slightly better wheels.

And just because he’s shifted to wing lately doesn’t mean he can’t play centre (as evidenced by his recent WJC performance).

OriginalPouzar,

This was a targeted tidbit aimed to emulate the local vernacular.

Glad you picked up on my dalliance and gained satisfaction!

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Munny,

That seems like a way of phrasing yesterday’s question about the money angle in an integrity of the game frame.

And the answer is yes. On both accounts.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
Its been discussed – I posted it as a factor about a week or 10 days ago.

I anticipate that’s a minor issue in big picture and certainly doesn’t provide any reason to move the draft up a few weeks.

Well, that’s that then.

OP has spoken.

Ribs

I’m hoping the NBA attempts to resume play sooner than the NHL. They seemed to have kicked off the shutdown of team sports in North America, they should have to start it back up again!

Even if it’s a couple of weeks ahead of the NHL, it would be great. They’d get all the hype and criticism and fallout if anything bad happens immediately, and the NHL would be able to shut things down again without any backlash, if deemed necessary.

There seems to be a lot of speculation about which path the NHL will take, but I wouldn’t be surprised if what the NBA does ends up being the biggest deciding factor when it comes to resuming play for this season.

We waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttt.

N64

This is cool and very direct. Perhaps others are also bringing this tech but look ma no reagents needed

https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/05/crispr-covid-19-test-could-be-simple-cheap-at-home-diagnostic/

OriginalPouzar

Its been discussed – I posted it as a factor about a week or 10 days ago.

I anticipate that’s a minor issue in big picture and certainly doesn’t provide any reason to move the draft up a few weeks.

Harpers Hair

Munny:
Should a decision be made on holding the draft till the League is certain about the future of the playing schedule?

Does it make sense to move the draft up (and have no trades), if days later the season and playoffs are cancelled?

There’s another factor that hasn’t been much discussed.

Many scouts contracts expire at the end of June and they are privy to proprietary information.

This, in a few cases, also extends to amateur scouting directors.

Munny

Should a decision be made on holding the draft till the League is certain about the future of the playing schedule?

Does it make sense to move the draft up (and have no trades), if days later the season and playoffs are cancelled?

Munny

N64: For sure. What the NHL needs to know is that only the positive player gets pulled from the bubble not the contacts. The Dr said contacts would go into quarantine. The clarification is simply that they are accepted as already in the correct quarantine along with all of the rest you mentioned. That is not to be segregated from everyone else in the bubble.

In any case nicely punctures talk last week of trying to play outside a bubble.

I think that would work… once. But if there was a second, relatively contemporaneous case in the same location, I think the whole shebang would get quickly shut down. I’m guessing of course, but I don’t think it’s a bad guess.
______

Does anyone know if the League is going to require full face shields for play?

Will fighting be an automatic ejection/suspension?

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM: And if Broberg and Samorukov show well next season, does it really make sense to protect 3 LHD?

Absolutely, in my opinion.

Strong development of an 18-19 year old and 21 year old in non-NHL leagues should not impact protecting the most valuable assets.

If Sammy has a rocket development year and, in a year, is in Jones’ current category – proven NHL ready with reasonable potential to be top 4 ready in the coming year – then a trade of a Jones (or a Sammy or a Nurse) could/should be contemplated but I wouldn’t leave a more valuable asset unprotected because of it.

N64

Munny: Well, it’s players, coaches, team support staff, reporters (possibly) &/or cameramen, families, whoever is involved with cooking/cleaning/laundry etc…

I can’t see a health authority agreeing that everyone involved with play is already “in a bubble” such that if a person tested positive they would be allowed to remain in contact with all of the above (who would be testing negative).

For sure. What the NHL needs to know is that only the positive player gets pulled from the bubble not the contacts. The Dr said contacts would go into quarantine. The clarification is simply that they are accepted as already in the correct quarantine along with all of the rest you mentioned. That is not to be segregated from everyone else in the bubble.

In any case nicely punctures talk last week of trying to play outside a bubble.

Munny

Theoretically, if all parties involved enter the “play bubble” testing negative, there should be zero chance of a positive test while play is ongoing (if it is a truly effective bubble).

But let’s say the unthinkable happens and there is a positive test during the playoffs.

I can’t imagine that positive test—and perhaps the need to shut down play—would be good publicity for the League. Is that a risk they’re willing to take?

Munny

N64: Still waiting for Speeds to confirm, but they’d need an agreement with host jurisdictions that the playoff bubble is the required quarantine and that contacts i.e. the team can be re-tested and then play within the quarantine. But it only would take one player to refuse to go on the ice and it’s the NBA all over again. I think the biggest barrier is that the PA is going to want near unanimous consensus to agree to any plan.

Well, it’s players, coaches, team support staff, reporters (possibly) &/or cameramen, families, whoever is involved with cooking/cleaning/laundry etc…

I can’t see a health authority agreeing that everyone involved with play is already “in a bubble” such that if a person tested positive they would be allowed to remain in contact with all of the above (who would be testing negative).

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar: Yup, as of right now, it could be:

– Klef, Nurse, Bear, Jones
– McDavid, Drai, Yamamoto, Nuge (if re-signed in advance)

Depending on how this season goes, it could be Kassian or AA or Benson or Puljujarvi taken

Acquiring a real 3C that is younger with some term could muddy the waters even further.

Also, with the above, having a d-man that qualifies for exposure isn’t clear – Benning (or other) would need to be signed for the 2021-22 season.

And if Broberg and Samorukov show well next season, does it really make sense to protect 3 LHD?

N64

Munny: That makes total sense.Also makes one wonder if completing the season and the playoffs is truly feasible.Series could be determined by such an outcome, if I’m understanding Hinshaw correctly.

Still waiting for Speeds to confirm, but they’d need an agreement with host jurisdictions that the playoff bubble is the required quarantine and that contacts i.e. the team can be re-tested and then play within the quarantine. But it only would take one player to refuse to go on the ice and it’s the NBA all over again. I think the biggest barrier is that the PA is going to want near unanimous consensus to agree to any plan.

Darth Tu
meanashell11

defmn,

Occupational hazard of 100 posts/day!

Munny

N64: Rishaug asked what happens if they resume play here and then a player is confirmed positive. Answer: all contacts go into the quarantine.That rules out playing outside of a collective quarantine bubble. The only way I see the PA buying in is family members can be included in the bubble and first few rounds are shortened. At least the Athletic poll was in striking distance of the 90% consensus I think the PA will want to see.But a single proposal that flies? We Wait.

That makes total sense. Also makes one wonder if completing the season and the playoffs is truly feasible. Series could be determined by such an outcome, if I’m understanding Hinshaw correctly.

OriginalPouzar

Rishaug asked Hinshaw what would happen if a player tested positive and she said that the player would have to go in isolation for 10 days (from the start of symptoms) and until symptoms were gone and any person in close contact would have to go in to quarantine for 14 days from last exposure.

Would a positive test of a player not shut the entire team down?

https://twitter.com/TSNRyanRishaug/status/1257796869339541504

OriginalPouzar
N64

OriginalPouzar: As per LeBrun on using 4 centralized sites: major issue is still the potential for players to be “away” completely for multiple months on end.

Rishaug asked what happens if they resume play here and then a player is confirmed positive. Answer: all contacts go into the quarantine. That rules out playing outside of a collective quarantine bubble. The only way I see the PA buying in is family members can be included in the bubble and first few rounds are shortened. At least the Athletic poll was in striking distance of the 90% consensus I think the PA will want to see. But a single proposal that flies? We Wait.

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
ArmchairGM,

We really, REALLY need at least a clean disposition of KRusty to make a material improvement of next year’s roster..

Great use of the adjectives – nailed it!

OriginalPouzar

SwedishPoster:
OriginalPouzar,

No limit on import players in Sweden. I know Switzerland has a limit. The KHL as well. Don’t know about Finland. For a long time I know they had more of an unwritten agreement that you could only use a limited number of non-finns but don’t know if that’s still the case.

Great – that’s helpful – thanks so much.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: DEFMN answered the first question and I would disagree with the 7-3-1 format for expansion. It could change but Klefbom, Nurse, Bear and Jones should be protected.

Yup, as of right now, it could be:

– Klef, Nurse, Bear, Jones
– McDavid, Drai, Yamamoto, Nuge (if re-signed in advance)

Depending on how this season goes, it could be Kassian or AA or Benson or Puljujarvi taken

Acquiring a real 3C that is younger with some term could muddy the waters even further.

Also, with the above, having a d-man that qualifies for exposure isn’t clear – Benning (or other) would need to be signed for the 2021-22 season.

OriginalPouzar

defmn: I could be wrong but I believe that all player contracts come under the purview of the CBA which has the authority to re-write any clause in any particular contract so no player can insist on his FA date should the PA and the league agree to extend it.

Perhaps there is somebody here who can corroborate or rejectthat?

Yes, i mentioned this last night in response to his question: The extension of current player contracts (along with benefits, insurance, etc.) will be made by the players association on behalf of the players – there won’t be an ability for a player to “go rouge”.

defmn

Munny: Yeah.It’s tough to speculate without knowing the relevant dates the League is working with nor the specifics of the relevant clauses.

There would be some back and forth between the parties though, and this proposal would be one of my forths in the negotiation.

Nothing was decided yesterday, so they’re exploring something further…

Agreed that they are not yet all on the same page. I guess we will find out the compromise within a week, though, if they still want to go on the 5th and 6th of June.

OriginalPouzar

Cutbackboom:
Hi LT. I have a couple of questions for you and your commenters.

While Slepyshev remains on the Oilers reserve list until June 30, 2021, I assume that you have left him out of consideration as a prospect due to the recent report that he rejected a contract offer and has signed for 2 years with CSKA Moskva. Overall, I assume you feel that ship has sailed?

Secondly, there has been frequent discussion of late regarding the Oilers’ roster for next season, but I haven’t read a comment predicting the player most likely to be claimed by Seattle in 2021.Is the general assumption that the Oilers will protect 7 forwards and just Klefbom, Nurse and Bear on defence?Are you less inclined to move on from one or more of Benning, Larsson, K Russell if we assume that the Oilers are going to lose a defenceman to expansion?Or is Seattle likely to more interested in Jones in any case?

Thanks!

1) Slepy signed for 2-year in the KHL and, with no transfer agreement, he cannot play in the NHL until that contract expiries and, at its expiry, he will be a UFA, not an RFA so he is effectively no longer Oilers’ property. He could signed with the Oilers in 2 years but he could also sign with another NHL team.

2) The expansion draft has been talked about sporadically for a while now. Its just really tough to say who may be left unprotected and if they’ll go 4-4-1 or 7-3-1 as so much can happen between now and the draft.

No-brainers to protect are McDavid, Drai, Yamamoto, Klefbom, Nurse, Bear but its somewhat wide open after that.

Things such as where Jones and Benson are in a year from now may factor in big time.

Nuge re-signing prior to the draft is another massive factor (obviously a must-protect if he’s re-signed).

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
Looking at the updated NHLE chart, it looks like Rasanen and Siikanen have made progress from their draft seasons.

Wonder if Blumel, Mazura and Denezhkin are similar candidates?Would be nice in three to five years to have a stable supply of productive bottom and middle six players to step in for cheap like they seem to in PIT and elsewhere.

I’m always skeptical of NHLe (no offence or disrespect to those who put more in to it) but, in this case, its not age-adjusted so I would anticipate guys to have their NHLe go up as they age and develop in the same leagues.

All of those guys are long shots, obviously – all but Rasanen we are at least a few years away from even thinking about signing them, I think.

Rasanen with a bounce-back season but after shifting to wing – as LT says, probably less of a shot than if he was doing so as a center.

He still has the 2-way, all-situations type of potential.

Would love him to earn a pro North American contract after a one-year vacation in Europe….

Munny

defmn: I don’t think the rights holders care so much about the quality of the product as they do about satisfying contracts they have with sponsors. I know you know that but at this point most of this has to be about losing as little money as possible for all the parties involved.

Yeah. It’s tough to speculate without knowing the relevant dates the League is working with nor the specifics of the relevant clauses.

There would be some back and forth between the parties though, and this proposal would be one of my forths in the negotiation.

Nothing was decided yesterday, so they’re exploring something further…

OriginalPouzar

Full Drai “Dreger Cafe” interview:

https://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/dreger-caf%C3%A9-draisaitl-on-landing-on-oilers-all-time-team-admiration-for-datsyuk-s-game~1952514

Of note: Drai is still in Canada working out an hour or two a day – his family is all healthy back home.

duct tape and foil

Lot of talk about not having trades at a late June draft before regular season play resumes. Why not let everything go and treat it like a combined draft and 2nd trade deadline. If you want eyeballs on screens then that’s the way to go. It would give teams like ARZ who gambled and lost another shot to recoup assets and allow teams like the Oilers to acquire picks for guys they were going to trade in a summer off-season that will not happen. All the existing rules are arbitrary so why not open it up completely?

duct tape and foil

Draft age: require all player to “opt in” during January every year for the coming draft, and they must be 18 as of January 1 of that year’s draft. By default this makes the youngest player 18.5 at the draft and almost all would be 19 by the start of the season. Only allow 18 year olds to be drafted in the first round. The courts allow monopolies and private for-profit companies to employ unpaid child labor in hockey. They will not doing anything and you’ve got to be a bit naive to believe they will protect the rights of the 99%.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

Any idea on the relative strength of both teams?

Thanks for the update, btw.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

ArmchairGM,

It’s an interesting proposal, and I relish the conversation.

I actually didn’t do much of a deep dive, basically scanned the GF-GA to get an idea of what happens to the scoreboard in his minutes vs elites. I’m not typically one for scoring rate stats, except in the context of promotion (either internally or external hire) to see if they’re killing their minutes in their allotted station.

That’s a fair price point for a 3C. And 1B goaltender too, actually.

With the roster crunching I’ve been wont to do on CapFriendly, I don’t see much more than $6M for both positions being viable. I like some injury/slump cover on the roster… Covid would seem to make that more valuable to have in house as opposed to a call up from BAK. So a 23 man roster is a must. Add in some room for an injury call up or perhaps a deadline deal and we’re already into the weeds without a major transaction. Or two.

We really, REALLY need at least a clean disposition of KRusty to make a material improvement of next year’s roster. And that’s without even making much of a change personnel wise, aside from a 3C and 1B goalie. While banking on marginal raises for some and stagnant salaries for others (at best).

Kenny’s up against it, but this is nowhere near as tight as it is in TOR.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: It’s highly unlikely there will be a world junior tournament.

Too much travel involved.

Boxing day is close to 8 months away.

Lots can (and will) happen in 8 months.

OriginalPouzar

knighttown:
Eh Team,

What about a short term deal with the CHL to allow overagers?That would catch all of those Lavoie types; CHL +1.Wouldn’t think it would cost anyone jobs because I can’t imagine a lot of 16 year olds leaving home next year anyway PLUS all of the Euros and Americans would be staying home likely.

Doesn’t help the Tyler Bensons but perhaps extending NHL rosters to 30-35 would grab these players and let them at least practice with the big club.

I don’t think the CHL would be going ahead without fans either…..

If the NHL plays without the AHL there will have to be “expanded rosters” or a “taxi squad” without cap implications – there is no way around something being done.

OriginalPouzar

Elgin R:
RNH: “a 2011 ‘re-draft’ that landed Nuge at No. 11 overall”… pfft… whatever.Toronto MSM… he’s the NUGE!This Allan Mitchell guy is a great writer… only 477 articles left to go before my free trial runs out.

Could not agree more.Nuge is the second highest scoring center (1 point behind Scheifele) and put up these numbers playing on some very bad teams.In a redraft I would have The Nuge and Scheifele 1 and 2. Centers are more valuable to a team than wingers.

Shout out to the Oilers for picking Oscar Klefbom at 21 (2nd highest scoring defencemen from that draft class).

Centers are indeed valuable but I don’t think there is any way to put Nuge ahead of Kucherov or Huberdeau without some strong bias. In my opinion.

OriginalPouzar

As per Dreger on Insider Trading re: Phase 2 Timetable: NHL hopeful they can initiate it near the end of May but aren’t there yet. Can’t get started until the majority of teams could “open up” including getting players back. Even if players can get back, allowing players to use their facilities won’t happen until the majority of teams would be able to.

As per LeBrun on using 4 centralized sites: major issue is still the potential for players to be “away” completely for multiple months on end.

SwedishPoster

OriginalPouzar,

No limit on import players in Sweden. I know Switzerland has a limit. The KHL as well. Don’t know about Finland. For a long time I know they had more of an unwritten agreement that you could only use a limited number of non-finns but don’t know if that’s still the case.

OriginalPouzar

Darth Tu:
It’s interesting to note that Jesse’s NHLE from last season is only 0.4 higher than Lavoie’s.Of course I get the difference in league, but that’s a positive mark for Raphael. I’m still holding out that Jesse will turn out to be a top 6 winger for someone in the NHL, be that in Edmonton or not.Such a shame that it went the way it did, I like Kassian, but a top line winger he is not.

A top 6 that looks like the following should in theory be better than having Kassian there.Then Zack can be bumped to the 3rd line and move up to the second line for spot duty, or due to injuries.

Nuge-Drai-Yamo
Ennis-McD-Pool

I’d like to see Ennis down on the 3rd line too, but swapping him and AA out depending on who’s performing would work.

Back to Lavoie.After all the chat yesterday about the AHL being in real trouble financially I hope it goes ahead as normal, I’d hate to see a blow to the supply line.What would the other options be? Travel is still up in the air so I’m guessing loaning players to European leagues is out.

Yup, Puljujarvi in the top 6 would be a damn big help the team scoring balance.

I think there is a reasonable chance he’d be ready for the role and able to contribute – no sure thing but a reasonable bet.

I’d love to have Jesse sign his QO and come to camp, whenever that may be, to compete for that spot.

Don’t see it happening.

———————–

I think the Oilers could certainly loan Lavoie to a European team but, of course, he’d need to sign a contract over in Europe (not the KHL).

I’m not sure if there would be much interest in Europe for that type of player – a 2nd tier 20 year old North American prospect – I assume they have import number thresholds and generally use them on older players.

If that did happen (unlikely), I think he’d be stuck there for the year – not positive on that one though.

defmn

krakman:
About the draft age and lawsuits, was the NBA challenged when they changed their draft age to 19? And even if they were taken to court they obviously won ??

Not exactly on point but . . .

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/26049542/nba-proposes-changing-draft-age-19-18-players-union

krakman

About the draft age and lawsuits, was the NBA challenged when they changed their draft age to 19? And even if they were taken to court they obviously won ??

defmn

Munny:
defmn,

Oh, for sure (that’s pretty evident).

But, IMO, Money could be convinced to wait for two weeks if there was promise of a better product (ie possibility of some trades).

I don’t think the rights holders care so much about the quality of the product as they do about satisfying contracts they have with sponsors. I know you know that but at this point most of this has to be about losing as little money as possible for all the parties involved.

defmn

OriginalPouzar: Ummmm, no…….

His current season is over in Europe and won’t start again until the fall (at the earliest).

The NHL is not over (might be but isn’t).

Read slower OP. I don’t know if you deliberately misunderstand or skim too quickly but it is one or the other and you seem to do it a lot.

Munny

OriginalPouzar: Ummmm, no…….

His current season is over in Europe and won’t start again until the fall (at the earliest).

The NHL is not over (might be but isn’t).

I don’t think you read his post thoroughly.