Where do the Boys Go?

by Lowetide

I worked Top 40 radio for a few years, it was a blast. Canadian hit radio relied heavily on approximately one dozen artists to provide new singles about every 12 weeks. Some, like Trooper and Bryan Adams, were clockwork. Others were hit and miss.

A band from Montreal called Men Without Hats were something else altogether. Their first hit, The Safety Dance, rocketed up the charts on multiple formats and became an instant classic. It was written after the band’s lead singer (Ivan Doroschuk) was thrown out of a club for pogo dancing. It was a monster.

We played it once an hour. You could play it in any spot in the hour, which is basically going Martin Luther on the Canadian top 40 format. The band would never fly as high again, but remained wildly entertaining and stubbornly original.

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.

THE QMJHL’S BEST FOR 2020

  1. L Alexis Lafreniere. He has insane talent. NHLE is 50.
  2. RC-RW Dawson Mercer. Highly skilled forward who is a plus passer. NHLE is 33.
  3. RC Mavrik Bourque. Creative center with great hands. Great passer, great shot. NHLE: 33.
  4. LD Jérémie Poirier. Smart two-way defender. Solid from the Hlinka forward, June 2002
  5. LC Hendrix Lapierre. Skill center who projects as a playmaker. Feb 2002.
  6. RHD Justin Barron. Mobile defenseman who can defend. Lacks top-end offensive ability.
  7. LC Vasili Ponomaryov. Great hands and good speed, he’s a little under the radar.
  8. RD William Villeneuve. Tall, thin two-way defenseman spiked offensively. Great passer.
  9. LD Lukas Cormier. Undersized skill defender with good speed and skill.
  10. RW Ryan Francis. Playmaking winger who plays a smart game. His NHLE is 27.
  11. G Sam Hlavaj. Boasts a .915 save percentage and stands 6.04, 218.
  12. LC Theo Rochette. Undersized two-way C improved slightly year over year.
  13. RD Thimo Nickl. Strong skater, two-way blue, December 2001.
  14. RW William Dufour. Big winger is aggressive, good hands and instincts.
  15. LC Brady Burns. Small (5.08) puck wizard is effective as a passer and scorer.
  16. RW Charles Beaudoin. Average size, 18 even-strength goals.
  17. RW Raivis Ansons. Has some skill and two-way ability. Climbed final CS ranking.

I’m going to tell you something: The QMJHL isn’t like the OHL or WHL. I don’t know what it is, but my OHL and WHL lists will be more accurate five years from now than this one. Adam Sherren is a major help each year (I quote him on Raphael Lavoie below) but something about the numbers (and therefore my rankings) doesn’t rhyme. Every year.

The OHL and WHL are puzzles to be unlocked; the QMJHL remains an unsolved mystery, like the bottom of the sea. Scorers and checkers to come are not included on my list, a fine goalie or two as well. Finding them via math is damned near impossible.

There will be NHL players not listed above who come from a large group of forwards whose numbers look just like the William Dufour totals above. I think it might have to do with the wild gaps in team quality (in the Maritimes Division one team won 50 games, another 12 in 64 games).

QMJHL 2019

  1. L Jakob Pelletier. Undersized skill winger with two-way ability.
  2. RC Raphael Lavoie. Adam Sherren: “A big physical force who is that old fashioned power forward.”
  3. R Nathan Légaré. Power winger who can score goals, can find open ice.
  4. R Maxim Cajkovic. Fantastic skater has impressive potential.
  5. L Samuel Poulin. Smart, two-way player delivers a heavy game, speed is just okay.
  6. LC Nikita Alexandrov. Skill center who can impact the game as a passer or scorer.
  7. LD Sam Bolduc. Big defenseman with good speed and two-way ability.
  8. LD Artemi Knyazev. Two-way defenseman, he is a quality skater.
  9. G Colten Ellis. Has posted two quality seasons in a row, with SP’s of .913 and .910.
  10. LD Maxence Guenette. Smart two-way defenseman, improved offensively this season.
  11. LC Mikhail Abramov. Small forward with plus speed and passing ability.
  12. R Alex Beaucage. Impressive scorer quick release, it’s good enough for 39 goals.
  13. RD Jordan Spence. Outstanding skater who makes good decisions with the puck.
  14. LD Justin Bergeron. He has good speed, creativity and is a good defender.
  15. LC Valentin Nussbaumer. He’s a smart two-way center but what will get him drafted is his speed.
  16. G Jonathan Lemieux. A nice step forward year over year (.902, from .867).

I’m getting closer, the only names on my list that went undrafted were Bergeron and Lemieux. On the other hand, I failed to list Egor Serdyuk, Felix Bibeau, Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Jeremy Michel. That’s an improvement on my QMJHL rankings of the past, but I’ll announce my arrival when I list every player chosen and the guy Tampa Bay signs in September as a free agent.

NHLE

  1. Alexis Lafreniere 50.2
  2. Mavrik Bourque 33.7
  3. Dawson Mercer 33.3
  4. Raphael Lavoie 27.4
  5. Marc Pouliot 26.2
  6. Marco Roy 24.0
  7. Hendrix Lapierre 20.8
  8. Vasili Ponomaryov 20.0

Lafreniere is in a world of his own, and I do believe Bourque and Mercer are going to have careers on skill lines. Lavoie’s draft day numbers are better than some of the Q kids who will go in the first round this season.

Nail Yakupov’s career hasn’t worked out as planned, and his second KHL season (after going back over) saw a drop in goals from 23 to 10. His 62 NHL goals are still good for No. 9 among players chosen in the 2012 draft.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun Friday show to kick off the weekend, TSN1260 at 10 this morning. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck and BigMouthSports will chat about “The Last Dance” and the coming sporting events without fans. Matt Iwanyk will join us at 11 for Point/Counter Point to talk about the CFL and what we might see this season, plus the NHL’s return. Guy Flaming from the Pipeline Show will talk about the Oil Kings run to the Memorial Cup in 2014. 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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€√¥£€^$

The players outside of the top 3 that intrigue me:

Hendrix Lapierre – not much of a shooter, but is an elite playmaker. Amazing skater, excellent 2-way Center. Have seen comparisons to Patrice Bergeron. Some experts projected him as a top 5 or top 10 pick 2 yrs ago, but injuries, specifically confusions have detailed his Junior career. A note on that, it appears the initial injury, a cracked vertebrae has been the cause of all his issues. It was thought he had 3 concussions, but it may have been recurring issues (impinged nerves or something like that) which resulted in his ongoing concussion-like symptoms. A potential draft steal in the Oilers range.

William Villeneuve – tremendous passer, excellent skater. Needs to gain some weight/strength and needs to get better in his own zone. Paired with Cormier, who is an incredible offensive talent, but clueless in the Dzone, created a lot of chaos for Villeneuve to deal with, who struggled a lot more because of it.

Ryan Francis – #3 scorer on a vet team. He is sneaky good.

Francis’s giant teammate Sokolov is a tremendous scorer and would be worth a flier as a 7th Round pick as an overager, if not a FA signing. I can see him being very effective with 97 in the Maroon role.

OriginalPouzar

Lepsic’s contract being terminated and Yakupov traded – what a time to be alive!

OriginalPouzar

Can’t wait to read the article and listen to the OilCan on the prospects – Thanks for the content Al and Jon. Saving the podcast for tomorrow’s morning workout – need content to get through the weekend workouts when there is no Dusty/L. Eric, LT, O. Now, Gregor Show, Jamieson…..

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar:
Lepsic’s contract being terminated and Yakupov traded – what a time to be alive!

Damn – I made the above post before reading the blog – thought I “broke” the Yak trade on this site but the host beat me to it!

defmn

If there is no announcement on the draft today after so much media speculation I have to think that the GM’s opposition has had some impact on the plan. It is already less than the month they said they needed to organize it to the proposed June 5/6 dates.

Harpers Hair

defmn:
If there is no announcement on the draft today after so much media speculation I have to think that the GM’s opposition has had some impact on the plan. It is already less than the month they said they needed to organize it to the proposed June 5/6 dates.

Heard Pierre LeBrun yesterday saying a decision is expected next week.

godot10

Take your Vitamin D supplements and/or go for walks in the sun.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vitamin-d-covid-correlations-keep-coming-liz-brown/

dustrock

LT thanks for the shout-out to Men Without Hats. Was the first show my parents allowed me and my brother to go and I think some of the college kids were amused by us young kids dancing around.

Played the whole Pop Goes the World album front to back many, many times.

Saw them about 9 years ago (?) at the Century Casino when my wife was too pregnant to dance around to Antarctica and Ivan still put on a great show.

norm_klassen

We all know viruses dont last in direct sunlight. That’s why a second wave will hit in Fall get the playoff done in summer league and start 2020-2021 in Jan next year short season again.

JimmyV1965

godot10:
Take your Vitamin D supplements and/or go for walks in the sun.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vitamin-d-covid-correlations-keep-coming-liz-brown/

I normally don’t put a lot of weight on studies showing a correlation, but Vitamin D has lots of benefits outside any potential link to covid. Started taking 4,000 IU three weeks ago.

OriginalPouzar

Ontario government allowing team facilities to be open (if the leagues are allowing it).

NBA team facilities allowed to be open as of today s/t local measures – Raptors will be able to open and, of course, Leafs if and when the NHL gets to that point.

stephen sheps

Time for me to defend my son in the offseason/quarantine edition of the weekly Yak

I think the drop in goals for Yak this season can be attributed to several significant factors:

1) Roster turnover -> the retirement of Datsyuk and the loss of Gusev and Prokhorkin. He played with the big 2 a lot in 18-19, especially on the PP. and Prokhorkin was his C at evens. The talent void left on the team resulted in a serious decline in offence across the board. Even with 20 points, Yak was still 7th in scoring on the team.

2) the coaching change from Vorobiev to Kudashov during training camp. Vorobiev was also fired from the Russian National team at the same time, which is weird. The new coach never trusted Yak and kept him in a 3LW/RW role when healthy and on PP2. I do not like new coach.

3) Yak’s injury in mid November. He was on the shelf for 2 weeks but wasn’t fully healthy for the rest of the year and had a hard time staying in the lineup because of it.

4) Burdasov’s arrival after being cut by the Oilers. He wasn’t signed immediately (needed to be traded from Ufa once he came back to the KHL since they had his KHL rights), but he took Yak’s spot on the PP1 when Yak went down even though he didn’t actually help much.

I hope my boy does well for his new team Vityaz Podolsk, but he’s gone from a perennial contender to a middling team featuring an aging Alex Semin and ex-NHL goon Evgeny Artyukhin. This is a very disappointing trade.

Klima's_Bucket

First of all, I am glad to see the NHL take the Leipsic thing seriously.

But if Connor McDavid said and did the things Leipsic did, would his contract be terminated?

Or do we have a double standard?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

“You can dance if you want to…” was one way Charlie Huddy used to signal Paul Coffey that he was clear to take a rip into the offensive zone.

Old hat tidbit for many folks here, but wanted to post it on the off chance it’s news to someone.

Also tangentially related, my uncle, a huge Oilers fan, absolutely hates that song. Reading LT’s opening paragraph I now understand why (aside from it being absolutely terrible), having been force-fed such a steady diet on the airwaves.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Looking at the NHLE, is it foolish to hold out hope that Mavrik Borque falls to us in the draft? Is it plausible?

LT’s early mock drafts have him on my radar, so I guess that means I’ll be disappointed when he goes to a team drafting a few spots before us, a la Robert Thomas.

gn68

JimmyV1965,
Vitamin D deficiency is common among elderly especially those in LTC facilities because of diet and lack of exposure to sun
Places them at risk for contracting flu and no surprisingly COVID

godot10

Klima’s_Bucket:
First of all, I am glad to see the NHL take the Leipsic thing seriously.

But if Connor McDavid said and did the things Leipsic did, would his contract be terminated?

Or do we have a double standard?

Leipsic is an emminently replaceable player, so he is not worth the headache and bad PR. There is no double standard. He is being treated fairly, and is being paid what he is due to go away.

Those with special skills will always get more chances. Somebody will probably take a chance on Antonio Brown again.

If you don’t have special skills, don’t be an idiot.

barry.moore23

Rickety Cricket,

I would guess that what is important is our friend seeing his ‘words’ out there where everyone can see them. Otherwise why the 100 posts per day ? I thought there was something mentioned about trying to limit post / hr but I could be wrong. That was a while ago. Peace Mr. Rickety. The firehose is on !!!

Harpers Hair

Eric Engels (@EricEngels) Tweeted:
Just spoke with an Eastern Conf exec who said teams are still unaware as to what the plan is for the NHL Draft. His expectation is that it will indeed be held in June. Also said there’s been significant pushback re the proposed lottery plan to only make #1 avail to bottom-5 teams

BornInAGretzkyJersey

€√¥£€^$,

The first two aren’t of interest to me, we have enough playmakers.

Francis could be interesting though. Could he be available in the third round or later?

Harpers Hair

BREAKING:

Nail Yakupov has been traded!

defmn

Harpers Hair:
Eric Engels (@EricEngels) Tweeted:
Just spoke with an Eastern Conf exec who said teams are still unaware as to what the plan is for the NHL Draft. His expectation is that it will indeed be held in June. Also said there’s been significant pushback re the proposed lottery plan to only make #1 avail to bottom-5 teams

I figured there had to be something about the plan Daly submitted that has to be massaged in order to make it somewhat more palatable to the GM’s.

This is not the item I would have guessed though.

Darth Tu

Ryan Francis – his NHLE is 27 – not earth shattering, but not all that far below the 33 listed for Bourque and Mercer. I know nothing about Francis, where do you currently have him projected in your overall numbers LT? I’m wondering if he’s worth taking a punt on 3rd round if he’s still floating around?

€√¥£€^$ (Elon’s other kid) posts above that he’s sneaky good and the #3 scorer – how much of that is down to him, or down to linemates?

JimmyV1965

Klima’s_Bucket:
First of all, I am glad to see the NHL take the Leipsic thing seriously.

But if Connor McDavid said and did the things Leipsic did, would his contract be terminated?

Or do we have a double standard?

Yes we have double standards. That’s life. Leipsic is a marginal, completely replaceable player. It’s easy to argue he made it to the show at least partially due to good fortune. Yet he threw this all away because he wasn’t smart enough to temper his words on social media. The stars who do creepy things don’t often get turfed. They are typically traded and if they continue do creepy stuff, are traded around the league and then finally discarded.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Going to listen to Men Without Hats for my workout (me hard and strong) and Trooper to prep for my conference call (important). I’m sure nobody has thought of those bands today!

HugThePost

Dubby in Minn is saying leaving his family to play in some NHL hub city bubble doesn’t work for him.

It makes me think about what if being an NHL player is one of the occupations that won’t be the same when society gets to some ‘new normal’. I mean what if life for all of us is some kind of co-existence with the coronavirus instead of eradication of it and things like huge gatherings like a professional sports event are just historical, something that we tell our grandkids stories about because they don’t get to experience it live?

I don’t have any desire to get into some ‘I’m smarter than you’ contest with people here about what’s going to happen with the virus as none of us really know. A few months ago, most of our lives were just going along, nice and normal and little did we know we’d be here now. Dubby is lucky he still has a job and a very high paying one at that. Maybe one of the prices for having that kind of job and financial security is leaving his family for a bit to work and support them. And if that doesn’t work for him, then fine.

Anyways, a lot of time these days to think about this and that. Hope everyone is keeping well.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Greasing the wheels of capital is so fucking easy I can watch all backlogged KHL games from 2008 on.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Eklund reporting that a Nail Yakupov trade is imminent, e2.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

I’m a lawyer.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Rickety Cricket,

unorignal pouzar beat you to it.

unca miltie

gn68:
JimmyV1965,
Vitamin D deficiency is common among elderly especially those in LTC facilities because of diet and lack of exposure to sunPlaces them at risk for contracting flu and no surprisingly COVID

There is a clinic that i went to in Palm Springs that said the same thing in their newsletter, They suggested taking huge amounts of vitamin D which i have been doing.

Darth Tu

HugThePost,

Dubnyk’s wife was (and maybe still is) having some serious medical issues this season. I can imagine that family life is taking precedence over sport for him at the moment, the virus factor and being away (playing in a bubble) would not be ideal for him or the rest of his family – even with the highly paid contract taken into account.

defmn

JimmyV1965: Yes we have double standards.

More like 7 billion standards.

Everybody has a story. 😉

JimmyV1965

gn68:
JimmyV1965,
Vitamin D deficiency is common among elderly especially those in LTC facilities because of diet and lack of exposure to sunPlaces them at risk for contracting flu and no surprisingly COVID

As far as I know, any study linking Vitamin D to better outcomes with Covid has shown correlation, not causation. Naturally occurring Vitamin D in the body diminishes with darker skin colour. The darker your skin, the less naturally occurring Vitamin D you have. If Vitamin D plays a big role in Covid, I would think the illness would be significantly more prevalent amongst people with darker skin. I haven’t seen anything saying this is the case. I haven’t seen anything discounting this either.

defmn

unca miltie: There is a clinic that i went to in Palm Springs that said the same thing in their newsletter, They suggestedtaking huge amounts of vitamin D which i have been doing.

Did you get down there to pick up your RV?

Munny

defmn: This is not the item I would have guessed though.

Yeah, no kidding.

OriginalPouzar

Looks like the draft won’t be on June 5/6 as no there is no imminent plan to announce or decide on a date (and no apparent current urgency to do so) – the league has said they need to give teams apx a month between officially setting the date and the event.

I wonder if the league has softened on their desire (well, likely the networks’ desire) to hold the draft in June before the season is either finished or cancelled – due to more push-back than initially anticipated?

https://twitter.com/PierreVLeBrun/status/1258811433669795840

HugThePost

Darth Tu:
HugThePost,

Dubnyk’s wife was (and maybe still is) having some serious medical issues this season.I can imagine that family life is taking precedence over sport for him at the moment, the virus factor and being away (playing in a bubble) would not be ideal for him or the rest of his family – even with the highly paid contract taken into account.

Oh yeah I can understand that. I’m sure every player has their own life circumstances that may or may not work with being in a bubble for an extended period.

As not having a normal life drags on for all of us, I’m just beginning to think that there is a chance that very few people will get to go back to what their life was like 6 months ago.

gn68

JimmyV1965,

I recall seeing a news report from the USA (I think it was Illinois ) saying COVID infection rates were higher in black population However this may also be related to socioeconomic status

godot10

HugThePost:
Dubby in Minn is saying leaving his family to play in some NHL hub city bubble doesn’t work for him.

Military personnel have to do this all the time for s#$% pay. Not just once. With much higher risks and more at stake.

The ignorance of some of these players as to the fragility of their multi-million dollar salaries, and their industries.

Yes. Devan. You have your bug out FIRE money for the rest of your life. You owe nothing to the sport of hockey and to your hockey brothers.

unca miltie

defmn,

my RV and golf clubs are there for the duration, Now I am hoping that I can go down in November but who knows. Costing me $193.00 US dollars a month to store it.

Harpers Hair

gn68:
JimmyV1965,

I recall seeing a news report from the USA (I think it was Illinois ) saying COVID infection rates were higher in black population However this may also be related to socioeconomic status

Blacks also have much higher rates of obesity and diabetes while stress caused by racism is also a factor.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/18/835563340/whos-hit-hardest-by-covid-19-why-obesity-stress-and-race-all-matter

krakman

godot10: Military personnel have to do this all the time for s#$% pay.Not just once.With much higher risks and more at stake.

The ignorance of some of these players as to the fragility of their multi-million dollar salaries, and their industries.

Yes.Devan.You have your bug out FIRE money for the rest of your life.You owe nothing to the sport of hockey and to your hockey brothers.

How ignorant is it of you that just for your entertainment Dubnyk should be forced to leave his family for an unknown length of time?

godot10

gn68:
JimmyV1965,

I recall seeing a news report from the USA (I think it was Illinois ) saying COVID infection rates were higher in black population However this may also be related to socioeconomic status

Serious cases are higher in the black population.

pts2pndr

Darth Tu:
HugThePost,

Dubnyk’s wife was (and maybe still is) having some serious medical issues this season.I can imagine that family life is taking precedence over sport for him at the moment, the virus factor and being away (playing in a bubble) would not be ideal for him or the rest of his family – even with the highly paid contract taken into account.

Money is most important to two kinds of people
1. Those that don’t have sufficient to live.
2. Those who determine their personal value by how much they have.
After the pandemic I believe we will see a life value adjustment for many.

godot10

krakman: How ignorant is it of you thatjust for your entertainment Dubnyk should be forced to leave his family for an unknown length of time?

I said nothing about doing it for my entertainment. I said that he should do it for the benefit of hockey players. Because the viability of their sport is threatened as a multibillion dollar industry which pays them tens of millions of dollars over their career.

And he is not being asked to go over the wall of a trench. He is being asked to spend a month or two in a five-star hotel. Primarily for the benefit of current and future hockey players.

pts2pndr

defmn: More like 7 billion standards.

Everybody has a story.?

+1

PennersPancakes

krakman: How ignorant is it of you thatjust for your entertainment Dubnyk should be forced to leave his family for an unknown length of time?

I cant put words into anyone elses mouth but I read it more as there are other careers with similar sacrifices for much less compensation. Dubynk has to choose what is right for him and his family there is no question there but there is also no gun to his head. He has made more in his career than most of us will in a lifetime ($31.5 million USD).

Theres obviously more intricacies especially being represented by a union and possibly unsafe work conditions, I wouldnt blame any player for not wanting to BUT they do need to understand the financial implications to themselves and the league if there are no games played. To continue being compensated in the range of millions of dollars may require more sacrifice to their time and freedoms.

HugThePost

pts2pndr: Money is most important to two kinds of people
1. Those that don’t have sufficient to live.
2. Those who determine their personal value by how much they have.
After the pandemic I believe we will see a life value adjustment for many.

Yeah I agree.

Maybe we’ll see more pro athletes go the Andrew Luck route in life.

Similarly when the immediate threat of the pandemic ends, I suspect many by that time will have re-evaluated what they need and value in life and maybe for some spending their money to consume pro sports like hockey won’t be one of those things anymore. Plus the demand will not be there like it was before; millions who could spend on this luxury before have lost their jobs.

I think some pro athletes who make insane amounts of money are going to realize they are nowhere near essential to society; they are entertainers coming back to a world where not many will be able to or even want to spend on their show.

pts2pndr

JimmyV1965: As far as I know, any study linking Vitamin D to better outcomes with Covid has shown correlation, not causation. Naturally occurring Vitamin D in the body diminishes with darker skin colour. The darker your skin, the less naturally occurring Vitamin D you have. If Vitamin D plays a big role in Covid, I would think the illness would be significantly more prevalent amongst people with darker skin. I haven’t seen anything saying this is the case. I haven’t seen anything discounting this either.

Reports from our Southern neighbour would say differently. There is apparently a measurable disparity in death rate between caucasians and people of colour. This could in my opinion, be a socioeconomic anomaly.