Green, Green Grass of Home

What if the Oilers organization, and the key free agents currently on the club, decided to come back for 2020-21 and have a full lash at the Pacific Division? What would it look like? Could the Oilers push to win the division?

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.

POSSIBLE OPENING NIGHT LINEUP 2020-21

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian. This is the trio Dave Tippett deployed against Winnipeg in the final game of the season. I expect we’ll see Andreas Athanasiou on this line in 2020-21, the investment in AA needs some time. I think Yamamoto, Nygard and Ennis are interesting backup options. Nuge gives the trio a concerned citizen defensively and that’s a good thing.

Tyler Ennis—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto. I imagine this line with Nuge will get lots of leeway at the start of the year, my suspicion is Yamamoto could slide up to 97’s line eventually as well. Ennis was quite useful in his nine games and the cost shouldn’t be too dear. If he could make things rhyme with Leon, it frees Nuge for work with 97 or a line of his own.

Andreas Athanasiou—Riley Sheahan—Josh Archibald. Sheahan hasn’t signed yet but is one of the experienced free-agent centers so one imagines he’ll get a small boost in salary. I’m intrigued by the speed on the wings. Athanasiou had a great game on this line, he was rambunctious and a real worry for the Jets. Archibald showed great utility all year and won a new contract.

James Neal—Jujhar Khaira—Alex Chiasson. The idea of having increased depth has appeal, and this ‘grumpy old men and Jujhar’ trio can play it as heavy as Spinal Tap at the airbase. They didn’t get much done against Winnipeg, though.

Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard. These two characters are more likely to play than some of the names listed above but the dollars make sense in terms of listing them as extras. I’m looking forward to seeing what both men can bring in the second year of their NHL journeys.

Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson. Veteran duo settles down the entire team when they’re on. Later in the campaign Larsson showed why he has great value and Klefbom is the team’s best defenseman by some margin.

Darnell Nurse—Ethan Bear. It would be ideal to have this pairing face elite competition less often in 2020-21. Both men played big minutes in 2019-20, but a ‘share the land’ deployment among all three pairings is likely a better idea.

Caleb Jones—Mike Green. This is a nice combination of old and new, and both men have the potential to move up the depth chart. Remember, Dave Tippett used Green as a second pairing option in that very brief time before the injury.

William Lagesson. This could be Matt Benning or Kris Russell but I have to pretend to be saving money somewhere. Lagesson is unproven but he ran with an impressive pack in Bakersfield.

Mikko Koskinen, Mike Smith. I know many of you will balk, but Tippett trusts him and Holland does not fear the reaper, in fact he embraces the elderly.

TOP 10 BAKERSFIELD RECALLS

Holland won’t have Detroit Red Wings 2005-06 levels of AHL depth to call upon but there’s some good things down on the farm.

  1. RD Evan Bouchard. Chances are he makes the team but as I wrote recently for The Athletic, Bouchard has not yet dominated the AHL. A big lift is possible if he’s a mid-season recall.
  2. LW Tyler Benson. His AHL career, now two seasons long, has been the most impressive for an Oilers prospect forward since Jason Chimera. He’ll need to adjust once in the NHL (speed, fast breaks the other way) but he’s very close.
  3. LD Theodore Lennstrom. It’s difficult to rank him but ‘need’ suggests he’ll be an early recall if required. NHL teams routinely use 10 or 11 blue in a season. Edmonton used 11 in 2019-20.
  4. RC Cooper Marody. He needs to rebound and the Oilers need Marody. He has enough skill to land an NHL job in my opinion, as long as he’s healthy.
  5. LW Joe Gambardella. The time is now for the two-way winger, I think he has an open shot at a roster spot in 2020-21.
  6. LC Ryan McLeod. He needs more time, perhaps an entire season. However, McLeod’s trajectory is impressive and I think he’ll be the eventual No. 3 center on the Oilers.
  7. G Stuart Skinner. Holland may bring in a more veteran option for the No. 3 job, hell the team might bring back Shane Starrett. As things stand, Skinner is the first recall option.
  8. LD Dmitri Samorukov. He played sheltered minutes last season, so the first thing to look for in 2020-21 is a feature role for the rangy blue. His even strength on ice numbers in the AHL as a rookie were better than Bear and Jones, look for a nice step forward in the year to come.
  9. RW Kirill Maksimov. Unlikely to get a call this year but I expect the young winger will emerge as a legit AHL scorer this season. Could get an NHL look.
  10. RW Raphael Lavoie. I have him playing the entire season in the minors but Lavoie will be getting lots of attention in Bakersfield.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Everybody’s working for the weekend, and we’ll start the fun at 10 this morning, TSN1260. For those who don’t live in Alberta, the Thursday before May long is for securing supplies and making sure everything is set for fleeing the city by 2pm Friday. Seriously.

At 10:20 Scott Wheeler from The Athletic will join me to talk about his brilliant article on Raphael Lavoie (link above). At 11 Gianluca Nesci will help us suss out the opening weekends for soccer, beginning with Alphonso Davies and the Bundesliga this weekend. At 11:25 Steve Hamilton, head coach of the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, will help us look back on the Memorial Cup game in 2014 that made the Edmonton Oil Kings champions. It’ll play tonight at 6 on TSN1260. Stay tuned!

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89 Responses to "Green, Green Grass of Home"

  1. chrisco stu says:

    Then I awake, and look around me
    At the four grey walls that surround me
    And I realize, yes, I was only dreaming.
    For there’s a guard, and a sad old padre
    Arm in arm, we’ll walk at daybreak.
    And again I’ll touch the green, green grass of home.

    My Grandpa used to sing this after a couple shots.
    Love It!

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Well, the lining is pushing for first place this year and, the lineup listed above does have three additions to the team that got them to that spot (generally) in AA, Ennis and Green.

    Yes, I think that team can, again, challenge for top spot in the division but, with a couple of bad breaks or the tending dips, it could also very much be a bubble team.

    The keys to taking it to the next level, in my opinion is improving that 3C position and crating a 4th line that has more speed/energy/tenacity and kills penalties.

    I like Sheahan and would be fine having him back at a $1M-$1.2M price point to play 4C (in the mix with Khaira and Haas), PK and take draws but he is simply not a 3C. He played there for most of this year but like Rusty at 2RD, a contending team doesn’t have that player in that position.

    Chiasson and Neal both have some individual value to the team (and it was interesting to hear Gully
    earlier this week talk about the differences in the PP structure when one or the other is on the ice) but neither kill penalties, neither are great skaters and neither are great defensive players. I don’t see many 5 on 5 goals on that fourth line (no “creator”) and I don’t see it creating energy.

    I would like an upgrade at 1bG – or at least a player that has some higher potential with some track ahead. Mike Smith won’t be better than he was this year (I wouldn’t imagine) and he could be worse – he’s 38 – DeSmith, Dell, Rannta, Griess, etc. – depends on price point.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    I wonder if Josh Currie will be added to that potential recall list?

    He’ll be a UFA.

    The man is a fan favorite in Bakersfield.

    I wonder if Holland is going to try and get him on an AHL only deal (paying a premium for him to essentially give up his NHL rights like Malone)? Of course, that would mean he stays off that list but, then again, if Josh Currie is called up to the Oilers in 2021, things are not going like we hoped.

    —————

    Overall, I am concerned about that recall list as there isn’t much there and, after Bouchard and Benson no real assurance of NHL readiness and ability.

    I am hopeful for Marody to bounce back – he has recently put out that he is finally feeling healthy – I wonder if he “wasn’t right” all year last year. It would be great if he’s back in the conversation.

    Lennstrom we just don’t know – we know he can skate but, really, there is no assurance he can play NHL minutes – maybe though.

    McLeod – I would imagine Holland wants to give him the entire year and he likely shouldn’t be an option until 2021/22 (although you never know if he just takes off).

  4. tileguy says:

    That 4th line was made for playoffs, not the regular season. Maybe they will get a chance to shine yet. In Bettman we trust.

  5. dustrock says:

    https://neilyoungarchives.com/info-card?track=t1974_1211_04

    New (Old) New Young, “Try” from 1974 with Emmylou on backup and Levon on drums.

    Nice silver lining for these times.

    The album, called “Homegrown” is coming out June 19th.

  6. jp says:

    I definitely do think that team could push. And it’s definitely a good bet for a playoff spot at least.

    I guess some want to add another top 6 winger. Taylor Hall being willing to take a huge discount aside, I’m happy to give Athanasiou some rope.

    What are the likely differences between the above team and the one that will return next season? The biggest open questions are:

    Ennis or no.
    Green or Benning.
    Smith or a different 1B
    Sheahan vs a different 3C.

    Green vs. Benning is basically a personal preference question. There is room for growth at 3C and at G (I mean potential to improve team performance). And Ennis would be gravy.

    The posted team is not so far IMO from the ideal/realistic team most here would build. I’m excited and optimistic about Oilers hockey whenever it resumes.

  7. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Well, the lining is pushing for first place this year and, the lineup listed above does have three additions to the team that got them to that spot (generally) in AA, Ennis and Green.

    Yes, I think that team can, again, challenge for top spot in the division but, with a couple of bad breaks or the tending dips, it could also very much be a bubble team.

    The keys to taking it to the next level, in my opinion is improving that 3C position and crating a 4th line that has more speed/energy/tenacity and kills penalties.

    I like Sheahan and would be fine having him back at a $1M-$1.2M price point to play 4C (in the mix with Khaira and Haas), PK and take draws but he is simply not a 3C. He played there for most of this year but like Rusty at 2RD, a contending team doesn’t have that player in that position.

    Chiasson and Neal both have some individual value to the team (and it was interesting to hear Gullyearlier this week talk about the differences in the PP structure when one or the other is on the ice) but neither kill penalties, neither are great skaters and neither are great defensive players. I don’t see many 5 on 5 goals on that fourth line (no “creator”) and I don’t see it creating energy.

    I would like an upgrade at 1bG – or at least a player that has some higher potential with some track ahead.Mike Smith won’t be better than he was this year (I wouldn’t imagine) and he could be worse – he’s 38 – DeSmith, Dell, Rannta, Griess, etc. – depends on price point.

    I agree there is the 3C spot and then some ‘nibbling around the edges’ that could help for sure but to my mind the team is looking way closer to competing than last summer before Holland came on board.

    What I find most interesting though is that talk of reinforcements is all about forwards and the backup goalie these days. You and I see the 3RD position slightly differently but I don’t think either one of us would regard any of the options as horrible. Green, Benning, when is Bouchard ready are the discussions. Nobody is talking about the need for reinforcements from outside this group and I can’t remember the last time defence wasn’t looking dreadful going into a season so that is a big thing in my mind.

  8. jp says:

    Also, IF Russell can be moved without retaining, and IF Bear and Benning/Green sign for under $2M…

    There should be room to spend ~$5.5M on the G and 3C. (with a flat cap and keeping Neal on the roster)

    Can/will Holland do it?

  9. MushedPeas says:

    jp,

    Ennis for sure at this year’s prices.

    Green over Benning, but only as a cap/role thing.

    Another year of Smith has me afeared.

    Sheahan might be the best we can do (would prefer to upgrade).

  10. defmn says:

    jp:
    I definitely do think that team could push. And it’s definitely a good bet for a playoff spot at least.

    I guess some want to add another top 6 winger. Taylor Hall being willing to take a huge discount aside, I’m happy to give Athanasiou some rope.

    What are the likely differences between the above team and the one that will return next season? The biggest open questions are:

    Ennis or no.
    Green or Benning.
    Smith or a different 1B
    Sheahan vs a different 3C.

    Green vs. Benning is basically a personal preference question. There is room for growth at 3C and at G (I mean potential to improve team performance). And Ennis would be gravy.

    The posted team is not so far IMO from the ideal/realistic team most here would build. I’m excited and optimistic about Oilers hockey whenever it resumes.

    Nice summation. 1B goalie and 3C are the offseason targets I am mostly focused on. If Jesse can be moved to fill either of those holes – plus or minus on either side – with a long term solution I would regard that as a win.

    Between Ennis, Benson and AA I am comfortable on the wing for the coming year. Not a strength but enough potential given the centres on the team.

    Defence is setting up nicely. No true #1 but a solid duo in Klefbom and Larsson imo.

    I still think Neal should get bought out. Unfortunate. Not ideal. But necessary. Is a 50% retained trade too much to even hope for?

  11. jp says:

    MushedPeas:
    jp,

    Ennis for sure at this year’s prices.

    For sure but man, he’s earned more than $800k.

    I wonder how much he wants to play with his home town Oilers? And with McDavid/Draisaitl?

    Maybe he wants this and takes a hometown discount. Regardless, I’d be surprised if he signs for less than $1.5M X 2 yrs (wherever he ends up). And I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a team offer him $2M X 3 or more. We’ll see.

  12. MushedPeas says:

    jp,

    I’d take 1.5 X2 if it’s there.

  13. Elgin R says:

    Good article LT but what did you get back for Benning?

    Trades: KRussel, JP and Benning – this should get you a 3C

    Buyout (compliance only): Neal

    1st Line: RNH – Leon – KY Do not break up the best line in hockey
    2nd Line: AA – 97 – Kass Give AA preseason and 15 games. Connor can carry anyone
    3rd Line: Nygard – 3C – Archie 3C from above trade
    4th Line: Ennis – JJ – Hass Sign Ennis to $1.5 x 2
    Extras: Chaisson, ? or Neal

    1st Pairing: Klef – Larsson
    2nd Pairing: Nurse – Bear
    3rd Pairing: Jones – Green Sign Green to value contract (1-year only)
    Extras: Laggesson
    * Call up Bouchard as required to cover for injuries to RHD

    Goalies: Mikko and Smith Sign Smith for 1-year @ $1.5. No one else will offer him a contract

    The above line-up can win, especially in the playoffs.

  14. Brantford Boy says:

    I’ve been watching many of the old games Sportnet has been broadcasting and recently dabbled into the 2011, seven game series with Canucks vs. Blackhawks. My first thought after watching game 2 was who are our defensive comparables to the Blackhawks defense? Do we have a Seabrook-Keith pair on our team, a Brian Campbell or Nick Leddy etc.? I’d be interested if any of you feel like taking a stab, but more so, I’ll ask my real question for today, with our current defense including prospects, do we have a Norris trophy winner on this team (ie: Keith)? I suppose the obvious selection is Klefbom, can he win one? Do we have to wait for Bouchard to emerge, or do we even have such a player in our system?

    LT post came at a good time today, in game 4 of this series Bolland returned from missing 20 games and drew in at centre. Craig Simpson mentioned it completely changed the dynamics of the entire team having 3 responsible centres, and as such, they won the game and would go on to win another two. Getting to my point, LT writes: “Ennis was quite useful in his nine games and the cost shouldn’t be too dear. If he could make things rhyme with Leon, it frees Nuge for work with 97 or a line of his own.” Is it unicorn dreaming to think Nuge could run line 3 with the other wingers LT has listed above to have that 3 centre model?

    Cheers!

  15. jp says:

    defmn: Nice summation. 1B goalie and 3C are the offseason targets I am mostly focused on. If Jesse can be moved to fill either of those holes – plus or minus on either side – with a long term solution I would regard that as a win.

    Between Ennis, Benson and AA I am comfortable on the wing for the coming year. Not a strength but enough potential given the centres on the team.

    Defence is setting up nicely. No true #1 but a solid duo in Klefbom and Larsson imo.

    I still think Neal should get bought out. Unfortunate. Not ideal. But necessary. Is a 50% retained trade too much to even hope for?

    Yes 3C and 1B goalie are very clearly the top targets. And I’d also be happy to move Puljujarvi to address either of them in a longer term way.

    I’ve said before though, I wonder if that’s what Holland will do. Partly due to acquisition cost, partly due to expansion draft concerns, partly due to guile, I wonder if an older solution for 3C might be best answer right now. I think that would be my “A” option, for this season at least (longer term answer would be more appealing after the expansion draft). Derek Ryan being my current template.

    Agreed on the wingers and D.

    As for Neal, who knows. Lucic was “unmovable”. Pretty much everyone agreed I think. Moving Neal with salary retained or for an overpriced C would be no less likely than that (he did score 19G this year, 28G/82GP). Buyout is also an option for sure but it would be awfully nice to wait even one more year. And I don’t mind him on the team at all, he’s not a useless hockey player IMO. I posted above the Oilers could have $5M+ to devote to 1B goalie and 3C even keeping Neal, so maybe he doesn’t get bought out…

  16. jp says:

    MushedPeas:
    jp,

    I’d take 1.5 X2 if it’s there.

    I absolutely would as well, assuming the Oilers can spare that $500-600k over replacement (Haas, Nygard, Benson, etc).

  17. Shane says:

    I find it interesting trying to predict the roster for next year because I feel the completion or incompletion of this season and playoffs will weigh in on decisions made for next year. For example, maybe Neal goes on a heater and is not bought out? Maybe AA disappears and doesn’t get QO’d? Maybe Smith carries the team through 3 rounds and gets another deal for next year?

    I feel the results of this season(if played) will change the line of thinking on some of these decisions.

  18. defmn says:

    jp:

    As for Neal, who knows. Lucic was “unmovable”. Pretty much everyone agreed I think. Moving Neal with salary retained or for an overpriced C would be no less likely than that (he did score 19G this year, 28G/82GP). Buyout is also an option for sure but it would be awfully nice to wait even one more year. And I don’t mind him on the team at all, he’s not a useless hockey player IMO. I posted above the Oilers could have $5M+ to devote to 1B goalie and 3C even keeping Neal, so maybe he doesn’t get bought out…

    Not sure how you did that. Ignore lines as they don’t matter for this exercise but here is what I get.

    AA-Connor-Kassian with AA at $3M = $18.7M
    Nuge-Leon-Yamo = $15,394,166
    Nygard-???????-Archie = $2.375M
    Ennis-Haas-Chiasson with Ennis at $1.5 = $4.565M
    Khaira-Neal = $6.95M

    Forward Total without 3C – $47,984,166

    Klef-Larsson = $8,333,666
    Nurse-Bear with Bear at $2.4 = $8M
    Jones-Green with Green at $2.2M = $3,050,000
    Lagesson with a raise to $1.1M

    Defense total = $19,383,666

    Koskinen -????? = $4.5

    Overages, retained, buyouts = $5,583,333

    Final Total without a 3C or 1B = $78,551,165 leaving less that $3M with no cushion.

    What did I miss?

  19. Harpers Hair says:

    Brantford Boy:
    I’ve been watching many of the old games Sportnet has been broadcasting and recently dabbled into the 2011, seven game series with Canucks vs. Blackhawks.My first thought after watching game 2 was who are our defensive comparables to the Blackhawks defense?Do we have a Seabrook-Keith pair on our team, a Brian Campbell or Nick Leddy etc.?I’d be interested if any of you feel like taking a stab, but more so, I’ll ask my real question for today, with our current defense including prospects, do we have a Norris trophy winner on this team (ie: Keith)?I suppose the obvious selection is Klefbom, can he win one?Do we have to wait for Bouchard to emerge, or do we even have such a player in our system?

    LT post came at a good time today, in game 4 of this series Bolland returned from missing 20 games and drew in at centre.Craig Simpson mentioned it completely changed the dynamics of the entire team having 3 responsible centres, and as such, they won the game and would go on to win another two.Getting to my point, LT writes: “Ennis was quite useful in his nine games and the cost shouldn’t be too dear. If he could make things rhyme with Leon, it frees Nuge for work with 97 or a line of his own.”Is it unicorn dreaming to think Nuge could run line 3 with the other wingers LT has listed above to have that 3 centre model?

    Cheers!

    To me, the real question is…can you win a cup without a bonafide #1D?

    By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

  20. Ribs says:

    Harpers Hair: By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

    Plus, you know, this…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhnCJER5ABg

    I think the other team had pretty good #1D! *sigh*

  21. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: To me, the real question is…can you win a cup without a bonafide #1D?

    By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

    Did the Sabres have a bonafide #1D either?

  22. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Did the Sabres have a bonafide #1D either?

    Brian Campbell in his prime?

  23. jp says:

    defmn: Not sure how you did that. Ignore lines as they don’t matter for this exercise but here is what I get.

    AA-Connor-Kassian with AA at $3M = $18.7M
    Nuge-Leon-Yamo = $15,394,166
    Nygard-???????-Archie = $2.375M
    Ennis-Haas-Chiasson with Ennis at $1.5 = $4.565M
    Khaira-Neal = $6.95M

    Forward Total without 3C – $47,984,166

    Klef-Larsson = $8,333,666
    Nurse-Bear with Bear at $2.4 = $8M
    Jones-Green with Green at $2.2M = $3,050,000
    Lagesson with a raise to $1.1M

    Defense total = $19,383,666

    Koskinen -?????= $4.5

    Overages, retained, buyouts = $5,583,333

    Final Total without a 3C or 1B= $78,551,165 leaving less that $3M with no cushion.

    What did I miss?

    First I should say “could have enough for” was used liberally. It’s possible but I wouldn’t say having $5M to spend with Neal still on the roster is probable.

    On my phone without the original list (on Armchair GM) so I could be off too… But we’re off by essentially $2.5M I think.

    Differences:
    Ennis not re-signed. ~$600k with Benson or the like
    Lagesson should be only $800k or so. Jones signed for $850k so figure that’s the ceiling. $300k more.
    Bear and Green/Benning. This is the part that may not be realistic, but some have suggested they could/would sign for under $2M short term. So a $1.6M deal for Bear and $1.5M for Green gets us to $2.5M to bridge the gap.

    I acknowledge these numbers probably aren’t entirely realistic but I think they’re close enough to believe that Holland COULD (maybe) find the money to add a G and a 3C to a team with Neal still on it.

    It’s pretty easy to see if the new 3C were to make $2M instead of $3M, or if the G were a guy like Georgiev who should be cheaper salary wise.

  24. Harpers Hair says:

    The next one?

    16 year old (was 15 when the season started) Shane Wright wins OHL Rookie of the Year.

    https://ontariohockeyleague.com/video/frontenacs-shane-wright-named-ohl-rookie-of-the-year-presented-by-wawanesa-insurance

  25. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Brian Campbell in his prime?

    Yeah could be. If that’s the bar though are Nurse or Klefbom that far from qualifying? (Not saying they’re there now).

  26. Material Elvis says:

    Harpers Hair: To me, the real question is…can you win a cup without a bonafide #1D?

    By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

    Vancouver Canucks in 2011.

    Oh right….never mind.

  27. Harpers Hair says:

    Material Elvis: Vancouver Canucks in 2011.

    Oh right….never mind.

    You can make the argument that if Chara was a Canuck instead of a Bruin, they would have won that series in a walk.

    Makes my point perfectly.

  28. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Yeah could be. If that’s the bar though are Nurse or Klefbom that far from qualifying? (Not saying they’re there now).

    Campbell was a much more dynamic offensive player than either.

    Based on what we’ve seen, I don’t think that will change.

  29. Rickety Cricket says:

    Harpers Hair: You can make the argument that if Chara was a Canuck instead of a Bruin, they would have won that series in a walk.

    Makes my point perfectly.

    Imagine Brogan Rafferty making outlet passes to Maxim Lapierre.

  30. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: Campbell was a much more dynamic offensive player than either.

    Based on what we’ve seen, I don’t think that will change.

    For years before that the argument was that you couldn’t win without a true top end goalie and I have also heard it argued that a true #1 centre was the key.

    I’ve always thought that the key to winning a championship was a lack of weak links. That everybody is playing at their appropriate level so that is, in a way, an argument that you can’t win without a true #1 dman but is also an argument that you can’t win without a true #3C.

    It’s really difficult to know what is causation and what is correlation with so many moving parts until somebody shows that that it can be done a certain way. 2006 did have a true #1 dman in the final. They just lost in 7.

  31. ArmchairGM says:

    Harpers Hair: To me, the real question is…can you win a cup without a bonafide #1D?

    By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

    Pittsburgh did it without a #1D in 2017.

  32. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Campbell was a much more dynamic offensive player than either.

    Based on what we’ve seen, I don’t think that will change.

    Dynamic is great but Klefbom played 25+ minutes a night and scored .55 points per game this season. That’s 45 in a full year.

    Campbell only scored more than that 4 times, the first coming age 27 when he scored 48 (Klefbom turns 27 this summer). He also wasn’t a regular penalty killer for most of his career.

    Nurse scored 41 points last season at age 23.

    I’m not sure the gap is what you think it is. Or maybe “dynamic” isn’t as important as you seem to think.

  33. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: You can make the argument that if Chara was a Canuck instead of a Bruin, they would have won that series in a walk.

    Makes my point perfectly.

    I’m just admiring this post.
    The goal posts are still vibrating from all that movement.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    LeBrun with a bit of an update after the Return to Play Committee met two days in a row.

    His sense is that they have moved from “spitballing” to some more detailed plans.

    He thinks there has been large push back on the 24-team play down as it allows teams like the Habs, that really are out of it and that sold at the deadline on that basis, back in – not fair.

    Pierre thinks the front runner right now is a 20 team play-down with 10/7 and 9/8 in each conference playing to “get in”.

    Either way, the sense is the regular season is likely done and not all teams will be coming back.

    Hub cities list trimmed to 8-9 including Edm, Van, Tor.

    He believes that the return to play package won’t be voted on by all players but the 31 player reps (who are obviously in contact with the rest of the players).

    Board of Governors “meet” again on Monday.

  35. €√¥£€^$ says:

    How about:

    Maroon-CMD-Kassian
    Ennis-Drai-Yammer
    AA – RNH – Chiasson
    Nygard – Haas/JJ- Archibald
    Lazar

  36. jp says:

    Brantford Boy: LT post came at a good time today, in game 4 of this series Bolland returned from missing 20 games and drew in at centre. Craig Simpson mentioned it completely changed the dynamics of the entire team having 3 responsible centres, and as such, they won the game and would go on to win another two. Getting to my point, LT writes: “Ennis was quite useful in his nine games and the cost shouldn’t be too dear. If he could make things rhyme with Leon, it frees Nuge for work with 97 or a line of his own.” Is it unicorn dreaming to think Nuge could run line 3 with the other wingers LT has listed above to have that 3 centre model?

    I don’t actually think the current winger depth is too bad. It’s not high end but it’s also not entirely devoid of skill. As a for instance:

    Neal-McDavid-Kassian
    Ennis-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Athanasiou-RNH-Chiasson
    Nygard-Sheahan-Archibald

    So it could work I think. I just think Nuge is better/more valuable as a top 6 winger than as a C. He’s really not been that great as a C without significant help. There’s no shame in that but I think you can get similar results for less $$. AND Nuge is really good as McDavid or Draisaitl’s winger.

    One way to think of it is if Holland can clear $3M to spend on a forward this off season (hopefully), where should he spend it? You can play Nuge at 3C and add a $3M winger, or play Nuge at W and add a 3C for $3M.

    Nuge as a C without McDavid or Draisaitl has been rather meh. Over the last 3 seasons his SF% without the other 2 has been 45.8% and his GF% was 44.4%. With McDavid over the same span he’s been 55% GF and 60% GF with Draisaitl (and 70% in small minutes with both).

    I think $3M (and maybe a mid-round draft pick) can buy you a 3C who can manage 45% GF. Maybe better than that. I think it’s much less likely that $3M buys you a RNH-quality replacement for RNH in the top 6.

    That’s my take anyway.

  37. defmn says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    How about:

    Maroon-CMD-Kassian
    Ennis-Drai-Yammer
    AA – RNH – Chiasson
    Nygard – Haas/JJ-Archibald
    Lazar

    I am loathe to move Nuge out of the top six with his contract expiring at the end of next year. To me that pretty much guarantees that he chooses to exercise his UFA rights and leaves for a team that will offer him those minutes and the pay cheque that comes with it.

    Not many teams can afford a $6M+ 3C.

    EDIT: I see JP beat me to it.

  38. Darth Tu says:

    jp: I don’t actually think the current winger depth is too bad. It’s not high end but it’s also not entirely devoid of skill. As a for instance:

    Neal-McDavid-Kassian
    Ennis-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Athanasiou-RNH-Chiasson
    Nygard-Sheahan-Archibald

    So it could work I think. I just think Nuge is better/more valuable as a top 6 winger than as a C. He’s really not been that great as a C without significant help. There’s no shame in that but I think you can get similar results for less $$. AND Nuge is really good as McDavid or Draisaitl’s winger.

    One way to think of it is if Holland can clear $3M to spend on a forward this off season (hopefully), where should he spend it? You can play Nuge at 3C and add a $3M winger, or play Nuge at W and add a 3C for $3M.

    Nuge as a C without McDavid or Draisaitl has been rather meh. Over the last 3 seasons his SF% without the other 2 has been 45.8% and his GF% was 44.4%. With McDavid over the same span he’s been 55% GF and 60% GF with Draisaitl (and 70% in small minutes with both).

    I think $3M (and maybe a mid-round draft pick) can buy you a 3C who can manage 45% GF. Maybe better than that. I think it’s much less likely that $3M buys you a RNH-quality replacement for RNH in the top 6.

    That’s my take anyway.

    I add the $3M centre for 3rd line duty every time. Nuge gets to keep playing the minutes with either Draisatl or McDavid, and (heaven forbid) if one of them goes down injured then he can play second line centre. The new 3C and Haas/Khaira at 4C can stay in their slots and not have to rise too far up the lineup.

    The $3M winger who could play with McDavid or Draisatl is probably already here (AA). Again if you lose one of the top centres to injury Nuge moving to centre the second line isn’t a drop in talent.

    So, in short, I agree with you.

  39. jp says:

    defmn:

    EDIT: I see JP beat me to it.

    Different reasoning though!

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: I agree there is the 3C spot and then some ‘nibbling around the edges’ that could help for sure but to my mind the team is looking way closer to competing than last summer before Holland came on board.

    What I find most interesting though is that talk of reinforcements is all about forwards and the backup goalie these days. You and I see the 3RD position slightly differently but I don’t think either one of us would regard any of the options as horrible. Green, Benning, when is Bouchard ready are the discussions. Nobody is talking about the need for reinforcements from outside this group and I can’t remember the last time defence wasn’t looking dreadful going into a season so that is a big thing in my mind.

    Yup, we generally agree.

    Lots of depth on the LD depth chart (even if Rusty is moved): Klef, Nurse, Jones, Lagesson, Lenstrom – that’s solid (although Lenny is a wildcard and may not be an NHL guy).

    I’m comfortable on the right side for now with: Bear, Larsson, Benning, Bouchard (feel free to switch Green for Benning if required – I worry about cost).

    If Benning is moved to recoup a pick (or for other reasons) the I feel strongly that an acquisition needs to be made, be it Green or another player than can gap Bouchard (and future injuries).

    I know we’ve discussed Jones moving to 3RD in a pinch and, yes, that is a pinch option but, in my opinion, not ideal for the team or player so would prefer a real injury option.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp:
    Also, IF Russell can be moved without retaining, and IF Bear and Benning/Green sign for under $2M…

    There should be room to spend ~$5.5M on the G and 3C. (with a flat cap and keeping Neal on the roster)

    Can/will Holland do it?

    For sure, although I’m not sure that any of those things are do-able, let alone all three.

    Of course, any one of them in isolation is possible (I do see Bear coming in around $2M on a one-year deal but I do think Green wants term and more than $2M – just my though on what that veteran at that age will look for).

  42. Material Elvis says:

    Harpers Hair: You can make the argument that if Chara was a Canuck instead of a Bruin, they would have won that series in a walk.

    Makes my point perfectly.

    Chara? Maybe. Tim Thomas? Definitely.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: Nice summation. 1B goalie and 3C are the offseason targets I am mostly focused on. If Jesse can be moved to fill either of those holes – plus or minus on either side – with a long term solution I would regard that as a win.

    Between Ennis, Benson and AA I am comfortable on the wing for the coming year. Not a strength but enough potential given the centres on the team.

    Defence is setting up nicely. No true #1 but a solid duo in Klefbom and Larsson imo.

    I still think Neal should get bought out. Unfortunate. Not ideal. But necessary. Is a 50% retained trade too much to even hope for?

    It would be a boon if Benson could “hit” – mesh with either Drai or McDavid and occupy a top 6 left-wing spot – no need to “drive play” but a complimentary player with high offensive instincts that can help get the puck to the right people at the right time with space and help create scoring chances.

    It would open up so many options including moving Nuge down to 3C – yes, I know, that has been debated highly over time – I’m not concerned out his “minutes” not with PP and PK time. I’m not concerned about it meaning he won’t re-sign – I think Nuge wants to win and if the team is a contender, he’ll stay (if the sides can reach a reasonable deal).

    I do like Nuge as a top 6 winger, however, if a $1M ELC player is able to mesh and pop 45 points in that role, it opens up the ability to fill that 3C role internally – doesn’t have to be every game and every shift.

    ———-

    On Neal – would you sign him for 3 year at just under $3M?

  44. Brantford Boy says:

    jp,
    +1

    This was my way of thinking with the Nurse comparison… its a tedious exercise as were not talking about a true apples/oranges comparison…

    So if Seabrook-Keith is the Swedish Duo Larsson-Klefbom (without as much offense)
    Nurse gets you Campbell, and one of Bear or Jones gets you to Leddy (@19) /Hjalmarsson (@23) we can throw the 3rd pairings as a toss up or tie… it’s actually rather closer than you might think.

  45. Brantford Boy says:

    jp,

    Great take… and I agree (on both posts)… although I was attempting to fill out this scenario with the current roster which you did a good job of line combos. Not sure I like Neal at 1LW though…

    In short, was just watching the games, and got me to thinking what did Chicago have that we don’t… I see Bolland at 3C scored 15 G, 22 A, 37 P but also missed 20 games with a concussion. Is that what 3M can buy on the open market? If so, sign me up!

    And for the record Toews/Kane are great but I’d take our big boys over them any day of the week.

  46. Genjutsu says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Tim Thomas stole that series.

    Vancouver was the better team.

    Mostly goalie I’ve heard.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    MushedPeas:
    jp,

    I’d take 1.5 X2 if it’s there.

    AKA: The Archie contract!

  48. pts2pndr says:

    tileguy:
    That 4th line was made for playoffs, not the regular season. Maybe they will get a chance to shine yet. In Bettman we trust.

    You either like Bettman or not. I don’t trust the man but I believe he is very intelligent. I would love to see a Canadian division and three American divisions. Canadian teams are at a large disadvantage with both salaries in American dollars and big tax advantages to American teams. Canadian teams revenue in Canadian dollars. Add to that the TV revenue and as I see it the American teams should be sending us free Vaseline to ease the pain. The Canadian teams are betting on the “BIG” American T.V. Contract which is still only a fantasy.

  49. duct tape and foil says:

    OP – pretty much agree with all of that. Need to clear out some extra bodies (Russell, Benning, and one of Neal or Chaisson, Smith) to improve the lineup with new players and give young guys some space to develop. Standing pat means falling behind as I’ve said countless times. Old Dutch will not do that I guarantee you.

    I’m still interested in Georgiev from the Allaire goalie factory in NY. He’s a good age to carry a bit of load and support Koskinen going forward. Really appreciate the leadership and swagger Smith brought, but he was flagging again in his last several starts and the season ending when it did might have been opportune. Rolling the dice on him again seems very ill-advised.

    LT – we did not bring in AA to be a 3rd line player. Paid too much for that and it’s below his established level of production on any kind of decent team. Put him on LW with Kass and McDavid and let them work it out for 10 games. The fact that coach and GM did not want to rock the boat too much after the trades doesn’t mean they don’t see him as a top 6 player.

    OriginalPouzar:
    Well, the lining is pushing for first place this year and, the lineup listed above does have three additions to the team that got them to that spot (generally) in AA, Ennis and Green.

    Yes, I think that team can, again, challenge for top spot in the division but, with a couple of bad breaks or the tending dips, it could also very much be a bubble team.

    The keys to taking it to the next level, in my opinion is improving that 3C position and crating a 4th line that has more speed/energy/tenacity and kills penalties.

    I like Sheahan and would be fine having him back at a $1M-$1.2M price point to play 4C (in the mix with Khaira and Haas), PK and take draws but he is simply not a 3C. He played there for most of this year but like Rusty at 2RD, a contending team doesn’t have that player in that position.

    Chiasson and Neal both have some individual value to the team (and it was interesting to hear Gullyearlier this week talk about the differences in the PP structure when one or the other is on the ice) but neither kill penalties, neither are great skaters and neither are great defensive players. I don’t see many 5 on 5 goals on that fourth line (no “creator”) and I don’t see it creating energy.

    I would like an upgrade at 1bG – or at least a player that has some higher potential with some track ahead.Mike Smith won’t be better than he was this year (I wouldn’t imagine) and he could be worse – he’s 38 – DeSmith, Dell, Rannta, Griess, etc. – depends on price point.

  50. Harpers Hair says:

    So, on the menu tonight…Instant Pot Tequila Lime Back Ribs.

    If you like to cook, you need an Instant Pot. They are amazing.

    INGREDIENTS

    A rack or two of back ribs.

    Half a cup of fresh lime juice.

    A quarter cup of tequila

    One teaspoon of smoked paprika.

    Seasoning salt to taste.

    PREPARATION

    Cut the ribs into serving portions.

    Sprinkle with seasoning salt.

    Mix the lime juice and tequila

    Place the ribs and marinade in a large freezer bag and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

    Place the ribs on a trivet in the Instant Pot, pour the marinade over and cook on the manual setting for 15-20 minutes.

    Release the pot pressure, remove the ribs and finish on the BBQ or in the oven until as crusty as you like.

    The ribs will be falling off the bone so handle carefully.

    Serve with red beans and rice. There are many recipes on line but we use Zatarains Louisiana mix which is widely available but we add additional diced onion, celery and red pepper.

    A fresh cob of corn is also a great accompaniment.

    Enjoy!

  51. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    ———-

    On Neal – would you sign him for 3 year at just under $3M?

    Of course not unless I could unload a player of my own and pick up Benning or Jesse for example – and they are examples only.

    If I am a team that is far enough away from competing and can get rid of a contract I don’t want for, say half that amount and pick up an asset at the same time maybe I bite.

    I wouldn’t be counting on it though and if Holland pulls it off he looks like a genius but it is an option he has to try for before just pulling the plug on a buyout.

    And, of course, we both know what looks to be impossible is even more difficult given everything else that going on.

  52. Harpers Hair says:

    Just listened to an interview with Rick Dhaliwal who is very plugged in to GMs and agents.

    Some nuggets:

    The June draft is pretty much dead.

    It’s highly unlikely there will be compliance buyouts.

    Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Minnesota and Las Vegas are the leading contenders to be hub cities for the continuation of the season.

    The AHL is likely to look very different when it comes back because the teams not owned by NHL teams won’t be able to operate.

    Agents are telling him that many young European players will stay in their home countries because the future of the AHL is so shaky.

  53. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: For sure, although I’m not sure that any of those things are do-able, let alone all three.

    Of course, any one of them in isolation is possible (I do see Bear coming in around $2M on a one-year deal but I do think Green wants term and more than $2M – just my though on what that veteran at that age will look for).

    That’s the “can” part of “can/will Holland do it?”.

    It won’t be easy, and I don’t know exactly how, but I do think Holland will likely find the $ for a 3C upgrade.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lots of info from Friedman in his 31 thoughts:

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-24-team-nhl-playoff-structure-work/

    – He spoke with Brad Treliving who thinks there could be a “Return to Work” proposal out next week

    – The 24 team playoff is still being discussed but there has been push back as LeBrun mentioned earlier given some of the “lower teams” really don’t deserve it (the cut-off is too low)

    – He spoke with Scott Howson who is planning for the AHL to start in October under a normal schedule but is also making contingency plans to start later and there could be more of a regional format. There was also the idea of teams arranging short tournaments for their prospects if the league can’t start on time.

    – “Theorizing around 30 team rosters for the playoffs”

    – Players have until May 15 to decide what they will do with their last (April 15) paycheque – they deferred the decision a month.

  55. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Agents are telling him that many young European players will stay in their home countries because the future of the AHL is so shaky.

    Sweden may be even more of a hockey hotbed assuming they continue to forge forward with life as they seem to have thus far.

  56. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Genjutsu:
    Harpers Hair,

    Tim Thomas stole that series.

    Vancouver was the better team.

    Mostly goalie I’ve heard.

    Marc Crawford lost that series for them.

    Vancouver played right into the Bruin’s wheelhouse.

    I knew it was going to go bad for the Dys once they started to play tough, although it was a tight. But the mindset was given up early. Crawford at that time was old school, and broke his HOF top 5 goalie of the last few decades. Being a thug is easier than a positive motivator. See the exodus of those types recently, including our own Ken Hitchcock.

    As Oiler fans old enough witnessed, there isn’t one way to win. Adapting to the need is what makes teams win, there are so many variables with injuries, who is reffing, home and away, etc.

    Sort of like life in general.

  57. jp says:

    Brantford Boy:
    jp,
    +1

    This was my way of thinking with the Nurse comparison… its a tedious exercise as were not talking about a true apples/oranges comparison…

    So if Seabrook-Keith is the Swedish Duo Larsson-Klefbom (without as much offense)
    Nurse gets you Campbell, and one of Bear or Jones gets you to Leddy (@19) /Hjalmarsson (@23) we can throw the 3rd pairings as a toss up or tie… it’s actually rather closer than you might think.

    Yeah the Oilers D is deep and competent. It would be great to have a Pronger or a Lidstrom but I don’t think it’s a prerequisite. Having both McDavid and Draisaitl is not exactly a common occurrence either.

  58. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Sweden may be even more of a hockey hotbed assuming they continue to forge forward with life as they seem to have thus far.

    Finland too.

    Both nations are allowing on ice workouts.

  59. jp says:

    Brantford Boy:
    jp,

    Great take… and I agree (on both posts)… although I was attempting to fill out this scenario with the current roster which you did a good job of line combos.Not sure I like Neal at 1LW though…

    In short, was just watching the games, and got me to thinking what did Chicago have that we don’t… I see Bolland at 3C scored 15 G, 22 A, 37 P but also missed 20 games with a concussion.Is that what 3M can buy on the open market?If so, sign me up!

    And for the record Toews/Kane are great but I’d take our big boys over them any day of the week.

    Yeah the wingers don’t do justice to the C’s in that scenario for sure. Still, those wingers as a group are decent IMO.

    Neal at 1LW didn’t produce results but Neal-McDavid had a 55% expected GF% despite being outscored 8-11. Maybe it would click if they stuck to it? I put him there really because I was trying to give Nuge more help. Neal-Nuge-Chiasson were actually good together too (56% GF and 62% xGF) so there are other ways things could potentially work.

    As for Bolland at 3C changing the dynamic, that’s definitely a possibility. I don’t remember who he replaced but if they were bleeding like Sheahan did this year than the switch would have been huge. Bolland was a really strong player for a few years there. I’d say he might have been more effective in that role than Nuge would be (while likely also being less suited than Nuge to play top 6 W). And no, there’s no way $3M buys you peak Bolland.

  60. Brantford Boy says:

    Harpers Hair,

    A buddy shared a recipe with me years ago from some chef at a fancy restaurant… mind you, fancy to me is something without a pickup window…

    Basically any ribs… boil them in a citrus juice, apple juice or pineapple juice work best (roughly 4 litres), for 4 hours… then bake or bbq them with your favourite sauce… meat falls off the bone… if you want them not falling off the bone, which makes bbq’ing a little easier, cut the time to like 2 or 3 hours… probably 3.

    Appreciate your recipe posts… keep them up… nice to see some local ingredients too… having some Hertl’s bacon tomorrow…

    Cheers!

  61. Brantford Boy says:

    jp,

    Neal-Nuge-Chiasson

    That was my 3rd line in this little exercise…

    Have a great night everyone… cheers!

  62. jp says:

    godot10:
    Here we go, burpeeing. Here we go.

    https://www.nhl.com/ducks/video/burpee-challenge-w-coach-eakins/t-277437084/c-5370918

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Jesus.

    At least he wore a hat..

  63. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Finland too.

    Both nations are allowing on ice workouts.

    For sure, though Sweden’s pretty far ahead in producing players at this point, are they not?

  64. Harpers Hair says:

    Brantford Boy:
    Harpers Hair,

    A buddy shared a recipe with me years ago from some chef at a fancy restaurant… mind you, fancy to me is something without a pickup window…

    Basically any ribs… boil them in a citrus juice, apple juice or pineapple juice work best (roughly 4 litres), for 4 hours… then bake or bbq them with your favourite sauce… meat falls off the bone… if you want them not falling off the bone, which makes bbq’ing a little easier, cut the time to like 2 or 3 hours… probably 3.

    Appreciate your recipe posts… keep them up… nice to see some local ingredients too… having some Hertl’s bacon tomorrow…

    Cheers!

    You can cut all that time with an Instant Pot.

    Does the same job in 20 minutes.

    Love Hertl’s bacon.

    It’s a staple in our house as is their chorizo and bratwurst.

  65. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: For sure, though Sweden’s pretty far ahead in producing players at this point, are they not?

    Yep.

    But Finns win 🤓

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: To me, the real question is…can you win a cup without a bonafide #1D?

    By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

    I think two of the top 5 offensive players in the league (shit, maybe the two best offensive players in the league) could change the “required make-up” and a more balanced defence could be good enough.

    Look at the Pens in, what, 2016/17, Letang was hurt for the playoffs – Justin Shultz was an important minute muncher I believe.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: You can make the argument that if Chara was a Canuck instead of a Bruin, they would have won that series in a walk.

    Makes my point perfectly.

    That doesn’t make the #1D requirement argument.

    One could argue that if David Krejci was on the Canucks and not on the Bruins the Canucks would have won the series.

    All you argument was is subtracting a top player from one team and adding that top player to the other team – doesn’t have to be a d-man to vastly alter the dynamic of the two teams.

  68. Rickety Cricket says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Marc Crawford lost that series for them.

    Crawford was not the coach of the 2011 Canucks.

  69. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think two of the top 5 offensive players in the league (shit, maybe the two best offensive players in the league) could change the “required make-up” and a more balanced defence could be good enough.

    Look at the Pens in, what, 2016/17, Letang was hurt for the playoffs – Justin Shultz was an important minute muncher I believe.

    A balanced pool of mediocre defensemen will lose 9 times out of 10.
    Chris Pronger left and the Oilers went into a 15 year tailspin.

  70. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: To me, the real question is…can you win a cup without a bonafide #1D?

    By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

    Arguably Vancouver had a better D than Boston. Chara was not the reason Vancouver lost. After a team has won, a D man I is brought forth as the conquering hero. After Coffey I think it would be reasonable to argue that there was no “ number one D “ in Edmonton’s cup wins. To me it is a chicken or egg controversy. The question however is valid.

  71. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Yep.
    But Finns win 🤓

    Heh, fair.

    Koskinen?

  72. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Anybody drafted in 2018 or later?

    Not sure what your fascination with this is but I have to tell you it is getting really old.

  73. pts2pndr says:

    LT

    While I enjoy this site and have the utmost respect for your opinion I do have to ask one question. Given that the Oilers have finally found a line with Nuge, Draisaitl and Yamamoto that is arguably a number one line why is everyone so intent on breaking it up? Would it not make more sense to find a left winger for Connor? Why fix what isn’t broken? Worst case scenario McDavid’s line becomes the second line. Best case scenario AA becomes the third member of Conner’s line and the Oilers are bonafide challengers for the Cup. I subscribe to the don’t fix what is not broken! One great line and one above average line beats two above average lines every time.

  74. Lowetide says:

    pts2pndr:
    LT

    While I enjoy this site and have the utmost respect for your opinion I do have to ask one question. Given that the Oilers have finally found a line with Nuge, Draisaitl and Yamamoto that is arguably a number one line why is everyone so intent on breaking it up? Would it not make more sense to find a left winger for Connor? Why fix what isn’t broken? Worst case scenario McDavid’s line becomes the second line. Best case scenario AA becomes the third member of Conner’s line and the Oilers are bonafide challengers for the Cup. I subscribe to the don’tfix what is not broken! One great line and one above average line beats two above average lines every time.

    Suspect Dave Tippett will keep them together, the lines you see are from the final game of the season. I used them because the theme over the next few days will be lines and possibilities. Nuge-Leon-KY will see plenty of time together I’m sure.

  75. defmn says:

    Bob Stauffer
    @Bob_Stauffer
    ·
    9m
    Lots of ideas for a return on Jesse Puljujarvi out there.
    Might need to target another prospect that could use a fresh start.
    I have a lot of time for Henrik Borgstrom.
    Not sure why he stagnated with FLA this season.
    IMO he should for sure be at least a 3rd line C.

  76. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn:
    Harpers Hair,

    Anybody drafted in 2018 or later?

    Not sure what your fascination with this is but I have to tell you it is getting really old.

    D drafted in 2018 or later

    Ranked by games played.

    Dahlin 141
    Hughes 73
    Boqvist 41
    Dobson 34
    Sandin 34
    Heinola 8
    Bouchard 7

    I would wager Byram and Seider will be in that group before Bouchard.

  77. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide: Suspect Dave Tippett will keep them together, the lines you see are from the final game of the season. I used them because the theme over the next few days will be lines and possibilities. Nuge-Leon-KY will see plenty of time together I’m sure.

    Thanks! I also think that Neal brings more to the table than most see. His savee on the use of his body to protect the puck and or to win board battles is obvious. His skating is sub par but his play otherwise is fun to watch. He is not value for his contract however he has value.

  78. Munny says:

    Harpers Hair: To me, the real question is…can you win a cup without a bonafide #1D?

    By my estimation, the last team to do it was the Hurricanes in 2006 and I always look at that season as an anomaly due to the grievous injuries suffered by the Buffalo defense.

    One summer, many many moons ago, Glen Sather asked himself the same question.

    And then traded Paul Coffey and went on to win more Stanleys.

    Harpers Hair: A balanced pool of mediocre defensemen will lose 9 times out of 10.
    Chris Pronger left and the Oilers went into a 15 year tailspin.

    Considering your original query, this is the ultimate in moving goalposts.

    Your team of mediocre defensemen beat the team with the best defenseman in the League, regardless of what happened with Buffalo.

  79. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: D drafted in 2018 or later

    Ranked by games played.

    Dahlin 141
    Hughes 73
    Boqvist 41
    Dobson 34
    Sandin 34
    Heinola 8
    Bouchard 7

    I would wager Byram and Seider will be in that group before Bouchard.

    You could be grasping at straws. Everyone has their right,to state their opinion, only time will tell who is right. The question should not be who is first but who has the most impact or best career. Getting to the NHL first is many times dependant on the team need and not on wether the player is ready. As an Oiler fan I can attest to this,

  80. Munny says:

    pts2pndr,

    Well said.

  81. Genjutsu says:

    pts2pndr: Arguably Vancouver had a better D than Boston. Chara was not the reason Vancouver lost. After a team has won, a D man I is brought forth as the conquering hero. After Coffey I think it would be reasonable to argue that there was no “ number one D “ in Edmonton’s cup wins. To me it is a chicken or egg controversy. The question however is valid.

    Pretty sure Vancouver lost because of the .967 Timmy put up.

    Maybe the greatest performance by tender in Stanley Cup history.

    I don’t imagine a team loses very often when their goaler goes north of 950.

  82. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: D drafted in 2018 or later

    Ranked by games played.

    Dahlin 141
    Hughes 73
    Boqvist 41
    Dobson 34
    Sandin 34
    Heinola 8
    Bouchard 7

    I would wager Byram and Seider will be in that group before Bouchard.

    This thing you have about Bouchard, I don’t know what to call it, is really really weird. He’s a very good prospect. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  83. JimmyV1965 says:

    pts2pndr: You could be grasping at straws. Everyone has their right,to state their opinion, only time will tell who is right. The question should not be who is first but who has the most impact or best career. Getting to the NHL first is many times dependant on the team need and not on wether the player is ready. As an Oiler fan I can attest to this,

    Bosqvist, Dobson and Sandin should not have been in the NHL. I’m not sure HH even believes half the junk he posts.

  84. €√¥£€^$ says:

    defmn:
    Bob Stauffer
    @Bob_Stauffer
    ·
    9m
    Lots of ideas for a return on Jesse Puljujarvi out there.
    Might need to target another prospect that could use a fresh start.
    I have a lot of time for Henrik Borgstrom.
    Not sure why he stagnated with FLA this season.
    IMO he should for sure be at least a 3rd line C.

    He has the same Agent as Jesse. Not a fan of this guy, he doesn’t seem to preach patience, or perhaps he sees Jesse’s popularity and is finding other opportunities for generating income with these kids.

    HB has been in North America for several years now, seems strange that he decided to go home, or maybe Lehto sees an opportunity to have his players swap teams…..seems like a dumb ass move. I am thinking Henrik is on the verge of making it.

  85. jp says:

    Brantford Boy:
    jp,

    Neal-Nuge-Chiasson

    That was my 3rd line in this little exercise…

    Have a great night everyone… cheers!

    Looks like a good option, IF you’re going to run 3 centers 🙂

  86. meanashell11 says:

    JimmyV1965: Thisthing you have about Bouchard, I don’t know what to call it, is really really weird. He’s a very good prospect.Nothing more. Nothing less.

    He’s an Oiler prospect so by definition HH hates him. Anything Oilers, HH hates.

  87. London Jon says:

    Harpers Hair: D drafted in 2018 or later

    Ranked by games played.

    Dahlin 141
    Hughes 73
    Boqvist 41
    Dobson 34
    Sandin 34
    Heinola 8
    Bouchard 7

    I would wager Byram and Seider will be in that group before Bouchard.

    My offer of $100 a point, Bouchard vs Rafferty over the next 5 years is still there for you to take up if you like…

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