Train in Vain

The great baseball writer Bill James wrote about the importance of large sample sizes to project the future in his Abstracts. He suggested the most recent three-year stats set, along with age, spot in the batting order and other things, could give clues about what might be expected. As I recall, James (at that time) believed hitters reached their peak at age 27.

What do the most recent three seasons tell us about Edmonton’s current forwards?

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.

FIVE ON FIVE POINTS-60 THREE YEAR SAMPLE

Yamamoto has played parts of three years, so it isn’t a full sample, and Nygard and Haas have just one season. Everyone else played the last three seasons and their five on five offense is shown above (per 60). Using 2019-20 as our model, where do these names rank (first line to fourth)?

  1. First line (3.43 to 1.99): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl
  2. Second line (1.98 to 1.62): RNH, Kailer Yamamoto, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Ennis
  3. Third line (1.61 to 1.26): Zack Kassian, Josh Archibald, James Neal, Joakim Nygard
  4. Fourth line (1.25 to 0.34): Riley Sheahan, Jujhar Khaira, Alex Chiasson, Gaetan Haas

A player like James Neal is fading by year (1.75, 0.99, 0.94) while Alex Chiasson (1.27, 1.25, 0.87) is fairly consistently delivering fourth line performances.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins three year run (1.96, 1.75, 2.23) is rock solid, that number in 2019-20 represents a career high. Andreas Athanasiou has a blip season at the end of the run (1.81, 1.97 and 1.26) but scored 21 five on five goals in 2018-19. He should recover offensively if he lands on a line with one of the top centers.

Zack Kassian is coming off a career year (1.29, 1.32, 2.21) and will probably post something in the Josh Archibald range (1.43, 1.3, 1.2) next season.

Connor McDavid (3.17, 2.82, 2.84) is beyond the blue horizon and Leon Draisaitl (2.29, 2.57, 2.89) is the rising son.

What do all of these numbers tell us? Well, I think AA probably posts a better number than Kassian in 20-21, and James Neal’s erosion has reached a point where he can’t play feature minutes. Signing Tyler Ennis (1.31, 1.85, 1.90) would help the top-six and give the entire forward group a nice value player.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning we kickstart the long weekend, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports and Inside the Truck (coming soon!) joins us at 10:20 to talk NHL’s current situation and that Bobby Orr/Bruins documentary. Tyler Turner, newly signed BC Lions receiver from St. Albert will pop in at 10:45. Matt Iwanyk talks Oilers, the return of soccer and other sports at 11. At 11:25, Woodbine Racing CEO Jim Lawson will be talking about racing, the Queen’s Plate and more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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84 Responses to "Train in Vain"

  1. Brantford Boy says:

    A little tweak from yesterday’s post regarding the 3C model and LT’s lineup… still doubt the coach breaks up the RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto line until there’s no more milk left…

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

    or if AA is destined for McDavid’s linemate…

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Ennis-Draisaitl-Kassian
    etc.

  2. Material Elvis says:

    Brantford Boy:
    A little tweak from yesterday’s post regarding the 3C model and LT’s lineup… still doubt the coach breaks up the RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto line until there’s no more milk left…

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

    or if AA is destined for McDavid’s linemate…

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Ennis-Draisaitl-Kassian
    etc.

    and this could be interesting:

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Kassian
    RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Neal-Khaira-Chiasson
    Nygard-Marody/Haas/Sheahan-Archibald

    If JJ is the 3C next year, the GM does not get a passing grade.

  3. Material Elvis says:

    And to follow up, if you play RNH at center with Neal and Chiasson on his wings, I think you lose him in free agency. He finally found his happy spot and the team is competitive. If you take that away next year, he’s going to be jaded.

  4. Darth Tu says:

    I like Neal, and was pleased with the Lucic disposition, but it is pretty clear that we need to find a way out of the Neal contract sooner rather than later. I would fully explore the idea of moving him to Seattle with some sort of sweetener before rushing to buy him out though.

    In short, I think we can afford another year of Neal playing 3/4 line and then feature mins on PP1/2. Then we have to find some more money for RNH, and possibly Larsson if we’re set on keeping him around (I like what Larsson brings but obviously depending on how the young D show next year decisions can be made).

    Actually – the more I look at the cap space from the end of next season onward, we’re maybe not as bad as I thought. Between Russell, Chiasson and Pouliot’s buyout coming off the books we have an additional $7.48 million approx. a portion of that goes to a Nuge resigning, I guess we then need to find a Chiasson replacement – hopefully that’s doable for less than $2 million (maybe it’s Puljujarvi :D).

  5. Brantford Boy says:

    Material Elvis,

    And I forgot Ennis in the last lineup… but I believe someone posted Neal-Khaira-Chiasson had good possession numbers… maybe I’ll just wait 5 days for LT to post the actual lineup…

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    That three-year P/60 for Andreas A. is encouraging for me – higher than I thought it would be.

    I’m not sure where he fits, or will fit, among the forward group going forward (especially if Ennis is re-signed, Nygard’s small sample size of great numbers with 97 continues and/or Benson “pops”) but I’m sure Holland/Gully will “find a place” for the sizeable, burner with skill.

    I’m sure there will be at bats with McDavid and at bats in the top 6 generally but, if other players pop there and/or AA ultimately ends up a fit on the 3rd line, that’s fine too. That type of speed and skill in the middle and bottom 6 is the type of depth true contenders have.

  7. Darth Tu says:

    Brantford Boy:
    A little tweak from yesterday’s post regarding the 3C model and LT’s lineup… still doubt the coach breaks up the RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto line until there’s no more milk left…

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

    or if AA is destined for McDavid’s linemate…

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Ennis-Draisaitl-Kassian
    etc.

    I stand by Nuge as a winger for either McD or Draisatl. Then he takes over as 2C if there are any injuries/illness. Trading/signing a 3C that can penalty kill is my first choice to improve the roster. I liked Sheahan last year, but 3C is a stretch for him.

    Ryan Strome anyone?

  8. Darth Tu says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    That three-year P/60 for Andreas A. is encouraging for me – higher than I thought it would be.

    I’m not sure where he fits, or will fit, among the forward group going forward (especially if Ennis is re-signed, Nygard’s small sample size of great numbers with 97 continues and/or Benson “pops”) but I’m sure Holland/Gully will “find a place” for the sizeable, burner with skill.

    I’m sure there will be at bats with McDavid and at bats in the top 6 generally but, if other players pop there and/or AA ultimately ends up a fit on the 3rd line, that’s fine too.That type of speed and skill in the middle and bottom 6 is the type of depth true contenders have.

    Agreed. Depth is important. I see the wingers with McD as being a little interchangeable between his line and the 3rd moving forward – might be good game management wise too. I.e. play AA and Kassian with McDavid for 4/5 games, if they look like they’re getting burnt out, flip up Ennis and Nygard for a few. Rinse and repeat however you see fit to keep every player firing on all cylinders.

  9. jtblack says:

    Elliot Friedman suggesting the NHL is targeting a late July / early August start date.

    4 Hub Cities. 24 Teams.

    Lots of items to be finalized, like length of series, possible bye’s for top teams (they don’t want them), player quarantine, etc, etc …

    But sounds encouraging and seems like the NHL is confident they can pull of some playoff tournament while abiding by the Covid Rules .

  10. N64 says:

    jtblack: Elliot Friedman suggesting the NHL is targeting a late July / early August start date.

    4 Hub Cities. 24 Teams.

    4:09 yesterday
    OriginalPouzar: 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”.

    I like the 20 games playoff and mentioned the “clear separation at .550 and 75 pts”:

    The one catch is that in the East Rangers and Panthers are the 10th and 11th teams with one ahead by 1 pt and the other by .001. So I suggested a sudden death game for 10th spot.

    Also suggested that divisional 1-3 be preserved and that the 7/10 & 8/9 play downs be for the wild card spots.

    Also suggested the 7/10 and 8/9 be single games like the MLB and the 2 week bubble quarantine starting after the 8 teams are set. Would reduce the impact of byes.

    https://lowetide.ca/2020/05/08/where-do-the-boys-go/#comment-933025

  11. flea says:

    jtblack,

    To expand – Fridman is suggesting the main idea is a 5 game round robin in each of the divisions to finish the season and get down to 8 teams on each side.

    The teams would be handicapped based on points percentage at the pause – so Vegas would start with 10 point, Edmonton with 8, Vancouver with 6.

    Puts Edmonton in a pretty good position where they’d likely only have to win 1 or 2 games of the round robin to get through. I’d guess they would have to do 5 game series after that, and maybe a 7 gamer for the finals.

    Sounds exciting – I don’t like the idea of summer hockey but who am I kidding – i’d watch!

  12. jtblack says:

    N64: 4:09 yesterday
    OriginalPouzar: 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”.

    I like the 20 games playoff and mentioned the “clear separation at .550 and 75 pts”:

    The one catch is that in the East Rangers and Panthers are the 10th and 11th teams with one ahead by 1 pt and the other by .001. So I suggested a sudden death game for 10th spot.

    Also suggested that divisional 1-3 be preserved and that the 7/10 & 8/9 play downs be for the wild card spots.

    https://lowetide.ca/2020/05/08/where-do-the-boys-go/#comment-933025

    I tam on board with 20 or 24 teams. Anything at this point !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A shortened tournament is an Advantage for a team like Edmonton. The NHL won’t be able to run 4 round or best of 7 (I don’t believe); so Edmonton can take down anybody

  13. defmn says:

    Lots of these stories out there but this is the first time I have heard a 100% success rate so I thought I would post it.

    Dr. Mark Brunswick, senior vice president of Sorrento, said that developing antibody treatments may be more effective in quickly combating the coronavirus. While a vaccine treatment can take up to 18 months, effective anti-body treatment can become available in much less time and with a much higher success rate. He points out, however, that a quick approval from the Food and Drug Administration would be needed to make the antibody treatment available within months.

    “As soon as it is infused, that patient is now immune to the disease,” Dr. Brunswick said to Fox News. “For the length of time, the antibody is in that system. So, if we were approved [by the FDA] today, everyone who gets that antibody can go back to work and have no fear of catching COVID-19.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/science/covid-cure-california-biopharmaceutical-coronavirus-antibody-breakthrough

  14. N64 says:

    jtblack: There’s a real drop off after 11 teams. I’d drop the 12th and make that a 4 game round robin. The Yotes would be furthest back in either division, but the rest are all very close to nabbing a spot.

    There’s a real drop off after 11 teams. For a round robin idea I’d drop the 12th and make that a 4 game round robin. The Yotes would be furthest back in either division, but the rest are all very close to nabbing a spot.

  15. N64 says:

    defmn:
    Lots of these stories out there but this is the first time I have heard a 100% success rate so I thought I would post it.

    Dr. Mark Brunswick, senior vice president of Sorrento, said that developing antibody treatments may be more effective in quickly combating the coronavirus. While a vaccine treatment can take up to 18 months, effective anti-body treatment can become available in much less time and with a much higher success rate. He points out, however, that a quick approval from the Food and Drug Administration would be needed to make the antibody treatment available within months.

    “As soon as it is infused, that patient is now immune to the disease,” Dr. Brunswick said to Fox News. “For the length of time, the antibody is in that system. So, if we were approved [by the FDA] today, everyone who gets that antibody can go back to work and have no fear of catching COVID-19.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/science/covid-cure-california-biopharmaceutical-coronavirus-antibody-breakthrough

    Hey you and I discussed antibodies as the pre-vaccine solution on Mar 22.

    https://lowetide.ca/2020/03/22/oilers-sign-raphael-lavoie/#comment-927758

    The downside with antibodies is short term coverage and the bio-engineering to make them at massive scale outside the human body, but high effectiveness was predicted, ideally as good as vaccine as a prophylactic.

    N64: “big need for mass scale engineering of antibodies. Regeneron and Moderns are both talking delivery at scale in 3 months…Whenever it actually arrives this is the huge stop gap until vaccines that brings a new normal. Good news even if it takes a monthly shot for high risk; medical staff, and new cases.”

    There are a bunch of companies working on antibodies from plasma and bio-engineering antibodies.

    h/t as usual Scott Gottlieb has been flagging this since February and is referenced in today’s article.

    update: Regeneron’s in human trials in June.

  16. leadfarmer says:

    defmn,

    Don’t see infusion of antibodies being beneficial to anyone outside of the hospital.

  17. N64 says:

    leadfarmer:
    defmn,

    Don’t see infusion of antibodies being beneficial to anyone outside of the hospital.

    Beyond hospitals doing family members of a confirmed case isolating at home would reduce transmission substantially. And other close contacts.

    Huge deal if manufactured at high scale and that article only referenced one of the companies doing this. Yes they need a lot more pre-infection so that’s not going to cover the whole population, but it can help a lot with reducing transmission, which could be a big deal for the Fall wave.

  18. TheGreatBigMac says:

    Brantford Boy:
    A little tweak from yesterday’s post regarding the 3C model and LT’s lineup… still doubt the coach breaks up the RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto line until there’s no more milk left…

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

    or if AA is destined for McDavid’s linemate…

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Ennis-Draisaitl-Kassian
    etc.

    This is obviously a beautiful thing. The problem is it’s unproven and risky, we’ve never made McD, Drai, Nuge down the center work before and putting Nuge at 3C is a waist for him why would he resign to play 3C when he is obviously a Top 6 player.

    What if we pivot this way. Leave Nuge on LW. Now AA has a low sample size but didn’t fit too well in 9 games, he may work beautifully but at 3M that’s an expensive experiment. If he signs for less fine. But if it’s gonna be 3M then trade him for a pick and prospect or similar. Then sign Ennis to 1.5 x 2. Not amazing but this should be a workable LW and we have Benson to take a shot in case of injury. This takes advantage of cost savings of Benson and Ennis. Not as much upside potential but McD and Drai should be able to work well with Ennis. Then take that savings and upgrade at 3C.

  19. ArmchairGM says:

    Darth Tu:
    I like Neal, and was pleased with the Lucic disposition, but it is pretty clear that we need to find a way out of the Neal contract sooner rather than later.I would fully explore the idea of moving him to Seattle with some sort of sweetener before rushing to buy him out though.

    In short, I think we can afford another year of Neal playing 3/4 line and then feature mins on PP1/2. Then we have to find some more money for RNH, and possibly Larsson if we’re set on keeping him around (I like what Larsson brings but obviously depending on how the young D show next year decisions can be made).

    Actually – the more I look at the cap space from the end of next season onward, we’re maybe not as bad as I thought.Between Russell, Chiasson and Pouliot’s buyout coming off the books we have an additional $7.48 million approx.a portion of that goes to a Nuge resigning, I guess we then need to find a Chiasson replacement – hopefully that’s doable for less than $2 million (maybe it’s Puljujarvi :D).

    Yes, the cap pressure is really only this coming season, other than Neal I think everyone is performing about on par with their cap hit or better. No older guys ready to fall off the cliff either. (Now watch Holland go out and sign Ennis and Green to multi-year deals this summer.)

    As for a Chiasson replacement in 2021-22, that may well be handled internally. Maksimov will have completed 2 years in the AHL at that point and Lavoie will have 1 pro year under his belt. In any event, replacing Chiasson shouldn’t cost more than $1M.

  20. ArmchairGM says:

    As for the Puljujarvi situation, what about trading him for Casey Mittelstadt? He has potential to be 3C, if not right away at least he’s waivers exempt this coming year.

  21. PennersPancakes says:

    I find the talk about walking away from AA… ridiculous. Even if people dont think its ridiculous its highly highly unlikely.

    The current GM traded for him giving up decent assets and also happens to be the GM who drafted him Whether you think its warranted or not this player is getting some rope.

    Great hands, great speed, great shot, has broken the 30 goal barrier and did it with middling line mates. Of those 30 goals only 3 were on the PP which for the Oilers is buzzing hard anyways.

    In speaking of his 9 game stint of the Oilers was it the first or second game where he was clearly shaken up with an injury? Adjusting from the worst team in modern history to a tight playoff race, with different line mates and systems and then immediately dealing with some form of injury. I am perplexed why people are so quick to run him out of the system.

    The situation reminds me of when Vegas traded for Tatar. Theres more of a vacancy in Edmonton than there was on the Knights but between adjustment and usage he only had 6 points in 20 games. Was he a bad player on the decline? No, otherwise he wouldnt immediately follow with career high seasons in Montreal.

    I guess part of the reason is he is one of the few non core players who could get some form of return (2nd and 3rd… maybe?) but how would you spend the 3 million on instead of him? Ennis, AA, and Nuge is a pretty decent LW collection. Maybe you find another player similar value to Ennis and safe 1-1.5 million but I guarantee the same upside wont be there.

  22. PennersPancakes says:

    ArmchairGM:
    As for the Puljujarvi situation, what about trading him for Casey Mittelstadt? He has potential to be 3C, if not right away at least he’s waivers exempt this coming year.

    Weary of Mittlestadt but definitely better than nothing. Odd he couldnt get a spot in the line up over Lazar or Larsson but it would be foolish to pretend Buffalo is a well run team. Would be interesting to hear from someone familiar with the situation and what has been holding him back.

  23. Oilman99 says:

    PennersPancakes:
    I find the talk about walking away from AA… ridiculous. Even if people dont think its ridiculous its highly highly unlikely.

    The current GM traded for him giving up decent assets and also happens to be the GM who drafted him Whether you think its warranted or not this player is getting some rope.

    Great hands, great speed, great shot, has broken the 30 goal barrier and did it with middling line mates. Of those 30 goals only 3 were on the PP which for the Oilers is buzzing hard anyways.

    In speaking of his 9 game stint of the Oilers was it the first or second game where he was clearly shaken up with an injury? Adjusting from the worst team in modern history to a tight playoff race, with different line mates and systems and then immediately dealing with some form of injury. I am perplexed why people are so quick to run him out of the system.

    The situation reminds me of when Vegas traded for Tatar. Theres more of a vacancy in Edmonton than there was on the Knights but between adjustment and usage he only had 6 points in 20 games. Was he a bad player on the decline? No, otherwise he wouldnt immediately follow with career high seasons in Montreal.

    I guess part of the reason is he is one of the few non core players who could get some form of return (2nd and 3rd… maybe?) but how would you spend the 3 million on instead of him? Ennis, AA, and Nuge is a pretty decent LW collection. Maybe you find another player similar value to Ennis and safe 1-1.5 million but I guarantee the same upside wont be there.

    Agree, trading AA makes no sense. He is a young player with a huge up side, I’m guessing the shock of getting traded for the first time could have had an impact on him mentally. This is a potential 30 goal scorer just entering his prime, Holland knows what he was getting.

  24. digger50 says:

    If I was The Nuge and stuck with Neal and Chiasson I would call up Bakersfield and immediately trade them in for Benson and Marody.

  25. digger50 says:

    Oilman99: Agree, trading AA makes no sense. He is a young player with a huge up side, I’m guessing the shock of getting traded for the first time could have had an impact on him mentally. This is a potential 30 goal scorer just entering his prime, Holland knows what he was getting.

    I agree, he’s going to work out fine.

  26. Darth Tu says:

    PennersPancakes:
    I find the talk about walking away from AA… ridiculous. Even if people dont think its ridiculous its highly highly unlikely.

    The current GM traded for him giving up decent assets and also happens to be the GM who drafted him Whether you think its warranted or not this player is getting some rope.

    Great hands, great speed, great shot, has broken the 30 goal barrier and did it with middling line mates. Of those 30 goals only 3 were on the PP which for the Oilers is buzzing hard anyways.

    In speaking of his 9 game stint of the Oilers was it the first or second game where he was clearly shaken up with an injury? Adjusting from the worst team in modern history to a tight playoff race, with different line mates and systems and then immediately dealing with some form of injury. I am perplexed why people are so quick to run him out of the system.

    The situation reminds me of when Vegas traded for Tatar. Theres more of a vacancy in Edmonton than there was on the Knights but between adjustment and usage he only had 6 points in 20 games. Was he a bad player on the decline? No, otherwise he wouldnt immediately follow with career high seasons in Montreal.

    I guess part of the reason is he is one of the few non core players who could get some form of return (2nd and 3rd… maybe?) but how would you spend the 3 million on instead of him? Ennis, AA, and Nuge is a pretty decent LW collection. Maybe you find another player similar value to Ennis and safe 1-1.5 million but I guarantee the same upside wont be there.

    Yup – had a good first game to my eye, then was injured in the second game. Then looked decent in the final game before things shut down.

    After giving up two seconds for him I can’t see him not being brought back for next year.

  27. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    PennersPancakes,

    Bravo. Well said.

    I think the fligjhty nature of some Oilers fans is just a reflex, like a bad habit or hangover from the DoD.

    We’ll know more about him after TC next season. I’m going to give him at least a month of games before I form an opinion on the guy, but I think he’s going to work out really well. There’s so much potential.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    defmn:
    Lots of these stories out there but this is the first time I have heard a 100% success rate so I thought I would post it.

    Dr. Mark Brunswick, senior vice president of Sorrento, said that developing antibody treatments may be more effective in quickly combating the coronavirus. While a vaccine treatment can take up to 18 months, effective anti-body treatment can become available in much less time and with a much higher success rate. He points out, however, that a quick approval from the Food and Drug Administration would be needed to make the antibody treatment available within months.

    “As soon as it is infused, that patient is now immune to the disease,” Dr. Brunswick said to Fox News. “For the length of time, the antibody is in that system. So, if we were approved [by the FDA] today, everyone who gets that antibody can go back to work and have no fear of catching COVID-19.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/science/covid-cure-california-biopharmaceutical-coronavirus-antibody-breakthrough

    Being an ignorant clod, the only thing I understand about vaccinations are the ones I got as a small child, or the Desert Storm troops who were given insane cocktails of vaccinations which left many of them worse for wear.

    Is there anything particularly horrible about 21st century vaccinations that I need to know about?

  29. defmn says:

    hunter1909: Being an ignorant clod, the only thing i understand about vaccinations are the ones I got as a small child, or the Desert Storm troops who were given insane cocktails of vaccinations which left many of them worse for wear.

    Is there anything particularly horrible about 21st century vaccinations that I need to know about?

    I’m the wrong guy to ask but this is about infusion of antibodies which is different than a vaccination.

    I’m sure somebody more qualified than me will come along to answer your question though.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    defmn: I’m the wrong guy to ask but this is about infusion of antibodies which is different than a vaccination.

    I’m sure somebody more qualified than me will come along to answer your question though.

    Thank you. I might as well start learning about these things since rumor has it the government and Bill Gates will be coming knocking on my door eventually.

  31. Oil2Oilers says:

    Who was the Oilers defenseman who had a breakout year, then ate to many burgers during the lockout and was not ready for the restart, thus ending his NHL career?

    Who are the players league wide that will be in the same boat should they ran in a BS tournament this summer? Or will the toll mainly be in increased injuries?

  32. Munny says:

    Oil2Oilers,

    Teddy.

  33. Munny says:

    LT’s RE for AA is going to be MSTV. (Or RR if you prefer)

    PS. Set the O/U at 22g.

  34. defmn says:

    Munny:
    Oil2Oilers,

    Teddy.

    A cautionary tale about dmen who rise and fall on nutritional & gymnastic regimens? 😉

  35. Munny says:

    defmn: A cautionary tale about dmen who rise and fall on nutritional & gymnastic regimens?😉

    Byfuglien is the poster boy.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Listening to Friedman a few minutes ago:

    – not a sure thing but the early June draft seems all but dead

    – one talking point with a potential 24 team playoff is the league wants the first round best of 3 but the players want best of 5

    – there is the potential for only 2 sites for games but that is only likely if Canada is “not an option” if the 14 day mandatory quarantine is still a thing and the hope is by late June/August, when this may happen, its lightened.

  37. defmn says:

    Munny: Byfuglien is the poster boy.

    I was thinking of Bear.

  38. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    digger50:
    If I was The Nuge and stuck with Neal and Chiasson I would call up Bakersfield and immediately trade them in for Benson and Marody.

    I don’t think Bakersfield would do that trade without a pretty big sweetener.

  39. Munny says:

    defmn: I was thinking of Bear.

    Dustin is like Rome. Works for both Rise and Fall, lol.

  40. N64 says:

    OriginalPouzar: – there is the potential for only 2 sites for games but that is only likely if Canada is “not an option” if the 14 day mandatory quarantine is still a thing and the hope is by late June/August, when this may happen, its lightened.

    If they are planning to play inside a bubble then that can also serve as the 14 day quarantine. Possibly they could make arrangements to move an bubble intact across the border, but if they want to play outside of bubbles best to find US sites. AB and BC had it before the feds and have indicated they will keep it even if the feds don’t. BC has indicated that they are willing to lose international tourism into next year over this.

  41. jp says:

    TheGreatBigMac: This is obviously a beautiful thing.The problem is it’s unproven and risky, we’ve never made McD, Drai, Nuge down the center work before and putting Nuge at 3C is a waist for him why would he resign to play 3C when he is obviously a Top 6 player.

    What if we pivot this way.Leave Nuge on LW.Now AA has a low sample size but didn’t fit too well in 9 games, he may work beautifully but at 3M that’s an expensive experiment.If he signs for less fine.But if it’s gonna be 3M then trade him for a pick and prospect or similar.Then sign Ennis to 1.5 x 2.Not amazing but this should be a workable LW and we have Benson to take a shot in case of injury.This takes advantage of cost savings of Benson and Ennis.Not as much upside potential but McD and Drai should be able to work well with Ennis.Then take that savings and upgrade at 3C.

    Whether Nuge gets played at 3C or winger, I think this tough season for AA could be a huge opportunity for the Oilers.

    Maybe $3M is an expensive experiment… The player scored 30 goals and 54 points last season. Tied for 39th in the league in goals and 79th in points. There are 93 “1st line” forwards in the NHL. The Oilers are going to get (likely) one of them for $3Mish.

    As has been mentioned, he did that playing with Luke Glendenning as his most common linemate last year. It’s very unlikely Holland would be able to find a player with 30 goal upside this offseason for $3M. I’m happy the guys is an Oiler.

  42. Harpers Hair says:

    Ales Hemsky has officially retired.

    A great interview here :

    Ales Hemsky on his health, alumni games, tough opponents and the Oilers’ stars

    https://theathletic.com/1798203/2020/05/14/ales-hemsky-on-his-health-alumni-games-tough-opponents-and-the-oilers-stars/?source=user_shared_article

  43. digger50 says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: I don’t think Bakersfield would do that trade without a pretty big sweetener.

    Ha! Or maybe Lowe gets off the plane with Cooper and Tyler. “Hi boys!”

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    Brantford Boy:
    A little tweak from yesterday’s post regarding the 3C model and LT’s lineup… still doubt the coach breaks up the RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto line until there’s no more milk left…

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

    or if AA is destined for McDavid’s linemate…

    Athanasiou-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Ennis-Draisaitl-Kassian
    etc.

    One would think Nuge centering two “20 goal scorers” facing “the soft parade” would dominate but I imagine that line would struggle to produce offence.

    Its really tough to find 5 on 5 lineup spots for Chiasson and Neal – find spots for both is blah!

  45. godot10 says:

    hunter1909: Being an ignorant clod, the only thing I understand about vaccinations are the ones I got as a small child, or the Desert Storm troops who were given insane cocktails of vaccinations which left many of them worse for wear.

    Is there anything particularly horrible about 21st century vaccinations that I need to know about?

    They don’t test for safety very well anymore. With the Dengue flu vaccine, which killed thousands of kids in the Phillipines a couple of years ago, the FDA approved the vaccine without any clinical trials for the vaccine against the wild virus.

    The vaccine provoked such a large immune response in the kids, they ended up dying when they were exposed to the live virus. Tens of thousands kids experienced a more severe case of Dengue because of the vaccine.

    This is why all this optimism about vaccines and antibody cocktails for Covid-19 in under a year is really dubious stuff. It is impossible to do proper clinical trials for safety in under a year.

    It is one thing to give an antibody cocktail to someone near death’s door. It is another to use it as a pseudo vaccine in a widely distributed prophylactic antibody cocktail.

    I’m not getting in line for a vaccine or antibody cocktail till at least 2022 or 2023.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Material Elvis:
    And to follow up, if you play RNH at center with Neal and Chiasson on his wings, I think you lose him in free agency.He finally found his happy spot and the team is competitive.If you take that away next year, he’s going to be jaded.

    I understand the premise but I would hope that if deployment as a 3C helps turn the team in to a contender, Nuge will accept it happily – in the name of winning and team first. He would see regular 5 on 5 time, tons of PP1 time and PK2 time (maybe PK1 if Sheahan isn’t back). I’m sure Tip would move him up for various shifts/game and for games and stretches.

    The lines will be fluid as always.

    With that said, I do agree with the premise that Nuge is now a top 6 winger and I’m happy to continue on that route (unless/until other legit top 6 winger options present themselves and solidify).

    Material Elvis: If JJ is the 3C next year, the GM does not get a passing grade.

    I agree generally – that 3C (non-Nuge 3C) is the primary area for external upgrade but I’m also cognizant of the possibility/probability that there is no cap space for a material upgrade. We (I) are (am) relying on a clean Rusty disposition (or a flip of Rusty for a similar over-priced 3C) but it may not be do-able.

    Even with a Rusty disposition, depending on where Holland goes with the second goalie and Bear’s contract, there still may not be cap space.

    There is no real way to argue that Khaira has the ability to play, or is ready for, 3C, however there is a part me that has an inkling that he can do it. When Khaira is confidant and at the top of his game, he is a good hockey player – he is a solid puck transporter who carries the puck with authority up the middle of the ice – he’s a solid skater than can create with size and decent speed. I think he’s a better center than winger as well.

    Of course, we haven’t seen “that Khaira” in a few years and, even when he does show himself, its for short stints – he’s at the age where its unlikely he’ll show us the consistency we crave

  47. hunter1909 says:

    godot10: They don’t test for safety very well anymore.With the Dengue flu vaccine, which killed thousands of kids in the Phillipines a couple of years ago,the FDA approved the vaccine without any clinical trials for the vaccine against the wild virus.

    The vaccine provoked such a large immune response in the kids, they ended up dying when they were exposed to the live virus. Tens of thousands kidsexperienced a more severe case of Dengue because of the vaccine.

    This is why all this optimism about vaccines and antibody cocktails for Covid-19 in under a year is really dubious stuff.It is impossible to do proper clinical trials for safety in under a year.

    It is one thing to give an antibody cocktail to someone near death’s door.It is another to use it as a pseudo vaccine in a widely distributed prophylactic antibody cocktail.

    I’m not getting in line for a vaccine or antibody cocktail till at least 2022 or 2023.

    Yet medicine is increasingly viewed like a sacred priesthood lol

  48. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Its really tough to find 5 on 5 lineup spots for Chiasson and Neal – find spots for both is blah!

    Just a reminder that the complete list of Oiler forwards who were >50% GF% at 5v5 was (in order):

    Yamamoto
    Nuge
    Kassian
    Draisaitl
    Chiasson
    McDavid

  49. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jp,

    And Chiasson did that without any McMinutes (maybe a few but more likely just during shift changes than dedicated deployment).

    I get that he’s overpaid for that early season heater a couple years ago, but he’s not the player at or near the top of the list of problems on the team. If he was making $500k less I doubt people would complain about him so much.

  50. LMHF#1 says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Ales Hemsky has officially retired.

    A great interview here :

    Ales Hemsky on his health, alumni games, tough opponents and the Oilers’ stars

    https://theathletic.com/1798203/2020/05/14/ales-hemsky-on-his-health-alumni-games-tough-opponents-and-the-oilers-stars/?source=user_shared_article

    So many blown chances to give him a real team to play with.

    So little credit given even at his best during the ‘06 playoffs.

    Surely one of the best I’ll ever see in Oilers colors.

  51. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    jp,

    And Chiasson did that without any McMinutes (maybe a few but more likely just during shift changes than dedicated deployment).

    I get that he’s overpaid for that early season heater a couple years ago, but he’s not the player at or near the top of the list of problems on the team.If he was making $500k less I doubt people would complain about him so much.

    Yup, he had a positive GF% in minutes without all of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge actually. Very solid results this year (backed up by his SF% and other underlying numbers). But maybe even Bakersfield wouldn’t want him.

  52. defmn says:

    leadfarmer:
    defmn,

    Don’t see infusion of antibodies being beneficial to anyone outside of the hospital.

    I posted it here because I thought it would have interest and application for any professional sports teams that might want to play without spectators. It seems that something like this might be of use for the kind of situation the NHL is trying to organize.

  53. defmn says:

    jp: Yup, he had a positive GF% in minutes without all of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge actually. Very solid results this year (backed up by his SF% and other underlying numbers). But maybe even Bakersfield wouldn’t want him.

    Chiasson’s style of play does not conform to the new orthodoxy of speed as the indispensable skill.

    That is why Steve Kelly’s 149 games in the NHL were so much more impactful than Shane Doan’s 1540. 😉

    Personally I prefer a balance of skills and types as a better predictor of success.

  54. Munny says:

    N64: If they are planning to play inside a bubble

    If we don’t get a Seinfeld Special out of this crap, I’m gonna be pissed.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darth Tu:
    I like Neal, and was pleased with the Lucic disposition, but it is pretty clear that we need to find a way out of the Neal contract sooner rather than later.I would fully explore the idea of moving him to Seattle with some sort of sweetener before rushing to buy him out though.

    In short, I think we can afford another year of Neal playing 3/4 line and then feature mins on PP1/2. Then we have to find some more money for RNH, and possibly Larsson if we’re set on keeping him around (I like what Larsson brings but obviously depending on how the young D show next year decisions can be made).

    Actually – the more I look at the cap space from the end of next season onward, we’re maybe not as bad as I thought.Between Russell, Chiasson and Pouliot’s buyout coming off the books we have an additional $7.48 million approx.a portion of that goes to a Nuge resigning, I guess we then need to find a Chiasson replacement – hopefully that’s doable for less than $2 million (maybe it’s Puljujarvi :D).

    Yamamoto will require a new contract as well.

    Bear may as well – with so little cap space this off-season plus uncertainty, he’s almost certainly to sign a bridge deal – could be one year.

    Hopefully we are also talking about how to fits Benson’s raise in as well.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darth Tu: I stand by Nuge as a winger for either McD or Draisatl. Then he takes over as 2C if there are any injuries/illness.Trading/signing a 3C that can penalty kill is my first choice to improve the roster. I liked Sheahan last year, but 3C is a stretch for him.

    Ryan Strome anyone?

    Strome would be a perfect fit but acquisition cost and cap hit issues (I believe he’s an RFA and, COVID-Salary-Restructuring issues aside, is likely looking at $4MM plus).

  57. Munny says:

    Bob Nicholson was apparently interviewed by Ron MacLean today.

    Interview can be found at the top of Sportsnet’s NHL Home page.

    I haven’t given it a listen, but if there had been a transcript…

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    PennersPancakes:
    I find the talk about walking away from AA… ridiculous. Even if people dont think its ridiculous its highly highly unlikely.

    The current GM traded for him giving up decent assets and also happens to be the GM who drafted him Whether you think its warranted or not this player is getting some rope.

    Great hands, great speed, great shot, has broken the 30 goal barrier and did it with middling line mates. Of those 30 goals only 3 were on the PP which for the Oilers is buzzing hard anyways.

    In speaking of his 9 game stint of the Oilers was it the first or second game where he was clearly shaken up with an injury? Adjusting from the worst team in modern history to a tight playoff race, with different line mates and systems and then immediately dealing with some form of injury. I am perplexed why people are so quick to run him out of the system.

    The situation reminds me of when Vegas traded for Tatar. Theres more of a vacancy in Edmonton than there was on the Knights but between adjustment and usage he only had 6 points in 20 games. Was he a bad player on the decline? No, otherwise he wouldnt immediately follow with career high seasons in Montreal.

    I guess part of the reason is he is one of the few non core players who could get some form of return (2nd and 3rd… maybe?) but how would you spend the 3 million on instead of him? Ennis, AA, and Nuge is a pretty decent LW collection. Maybe you find another player similar value to Ennis and safe 1-1.5 million but I guarantee the same upside wont be there.

    Not qualifying AA and letting him go to UFA status would be as shocking to me as when I heard the words “Oilers trade Milan Lucic to the flames”.

    I can’t imagine it happening.

  59. Munny says:

    defmn,

    Some more background to the ongoing Judd Brackett saga (not much more, but some):

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/canucks-mailbag-whats-going-gm-jim-benning-judd-brackett/

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: Just a reminder that the complete list of Oiler forwards who were >50% GF% at 5v5 was (in order):

    Yamamoto
    Nuge
    Kassian
    Draisaitl
    Chiasson
    McDavid

    Also a reminder that, over his last 3 years as an Oiler, Milan Lucic was a positive posesion player and sawed off GF%.

    As LT posted above, they produce at 4th line rates but aren’t really suitable for that type of game (and don’t PK) – tough to find spots for them in the lineup, in my opinion.

  61. Prinham Junction says:

    If Riley Sheahan gets the money he is asking for, then try him with Connor McDavid. If Connor gets as many chances as Joakim Nygard had it would interesting to see how many he cashes in on.

    Riley Sheahan Connor McDavid Josh Archibald

    Time to get some new blood in on a line.

    Tyler Benson Leon Draisaitl Kailer Yamamoto

    Try to make a 3rd line that does not suck.

    Andreas Athanasiou Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Zack Kassian

    Keep the line together, they made things very tough out there for a few gmaes.

    James Neal Jujhar Khaira Alex Chiasson

  62. defmn says:

    Munny:
    defmn,

    Some more background to the ongoing Judd Brackett saga (not much more, but some):

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/canucks-mailbag-whats-going-gm-jim-benning-judd-brackett/

    Thanks for that. Does not leave Benning in a good light imo.

  63. defmn says:

    Smith comes in at #6 out of 9 UFA backup goalies on the list.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhls-9-best-2020-ufa-backup-goalies-ranked/

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: Yup, he had a positive GF% in minutes without all of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge actually. Very solid results this year (backed up by his SF% and other underlying numbers). But maybe even Bakersfield wouldn’t want him.

    Lucic had similar results when on a non-McDavid/Drai line as well.

    Its tough to find a place for a 4th line/bottom six producer who doesn’t skate well and doesn’t PK, in my opinion.

  65. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Lucic had similar results when on a non-McDavid/Drai line as well.

    Its tough to find a place for a 4th line/bottom six producer who doesn’t skate well and doesn’t PK, in my opinion.

    By far the biggest issue with Lucic was that he made $6M though, no?

  66. jp says:

    godot10: They don’t test for safety very well anymore.With the Dengue flu vaccine, which killed thousands of kids in the Phillipines a couple of years ago,the FDA approved the vaccine without any clinical trials for the vaccine against the wild virus.

    The vaccine provoked such a large immune response in the kids, they ended up dying when they were exposed to the live virus. Tens of thousands kidsexperienced a more severe case of Dengue because of the vaccine.

    This is why all this optimism about vaccines and antibody cocktails for Covid-19 in under a year is really dubious stuff.It is impossible to do proper clinical trials for safety in under a year.

    It is one thing to give an antibody cocktail to someone near death’s door.It is another to use it as a pseudo vaccine in a widely distributed prophylactic antibody cocktail.

    I’m not getting in line for a vaccine or antibody cocktail till at least 2022 or 2023.

    Are there other recent examples of this? I could just be unaware but I think this type of thing is quite uncommon. Why would the FDA be involved in a Philippine vaccine anyway?

  67. defmn says:

    jp: Are there other recent examples of this? I could just be unaware but I think this type of thing is quite uncommon. Why would the FDA be involved in a Philippine vaccine anyway?

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/philippines-worst-dengue-outbreak-years-kills-thousand-190917020550489.html

    The same year, the Philippines rolled out a large-scale school-based dengue immunisation campaign using Dengvaxia, touted at the time as the world’s first dengue vaccine.

    However, the programme was suspended in 2017 after Sanofi Pasteur, which manufactured the vaccine, issued new clinical findings saying that taking it may not be effective in some cases and may lead to more severe symptoms of dengue among those who have not been previously infected.

    Consequently, the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration permanently revoked the use of Dengvaxia, although several investigations had concluded that no deaths could be directly linked to it.

  68. jp says:

    defmn: Chiasson’s style of play does not conform to the new orthodoxy of speed as the indispensable skill.

    That is why Steve Kelly’s 149 games in the NHL were so much more impactful than Shane Doan’s 1540.😉

    Personally I prefer a balance of skills and types as a better predictor of success.

    Steve Kelly he is not 🙂

  69. jp says:

    defmn: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/philippines-worst-dengue-outbreak-years-kills-thousand-190917020550489.html

    The same year, the Philippines rolled out a large-scale school-based dengue immunisation campaign using Dengvaxia, touted at the time as the world’s first dengue vaccine.

    However, the programme was suspended in 2017 after Sanofi Pasteur, which manufactured the vaccine, issued new clinical findings saying that taking it may not be effective in some cases and may lead to more severe symptoms of dengue among those who have not been previously infected.

    Consequently, the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration permanently revoked the use of Dengvaxia, although several investigations had concluded that no deaths could be directly linked to it.

    Thank you. This is good background but doesn’t really address most of what Godot said.

    The article actually mentions 2019 as the worst Dengue year since 2011, and 1107 people had died (as of that writing). So 2016, the year of the vaccine wasn’t notably bad it seems. And as you said it’s unclear if some/many/any of the deaths were due to the vaccine.

    Sanofi Pasteur is not an American company. I assumed “the FDA” was the American FDA, but there’s no mention of that… So basically I still have no idea what Godot’s talking about, though it could be legit.

    I was actually asking if there were other recent examples of significant issues associated with a vaccine. It seems there’s considerable question marks about whether there were adverse effects even with this example…

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: By far the biggest issue with Lucic was that he made $6M though, no?

    He performed at the same 4th line rates.

    James Neal makes $6M as well – performs at fourth line rates.

    Anyways, my point had nothing to do with cap hits but simply that its tough to find places to slot them in to the lineup at 5 on 5 – they “are scorers” who don’t really score and aren’t suited for the top 6 but they also aren’t suited for the bottom six – in my opinion.

    I’m not saying that they neither have any value (cap hits notwithstanding) just that, when structuring lines, its tough to fit them in – both provide their primary value on the PP.

  71. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    defmn,

    Thanks for the link.

    Interesting that my pet project for 1B is ranked just prior at #5.

    And our intrepid scribe even parrots much of my own reasoning in his blurb on Dell.

    “The Alberta native is unlikely to command a high salary and could be a low-risk bet for GMs looking for an affordable security blanket behind their starter. He’s also the youngest guy on our list.”

  72. godot10 says:

    jp: Are there other recent examples of this? I could just be unaware but I think this type of thing is quite uncommon. Why would the FDA be involved in a Philippine vaccine anyway?

    It is not a Philipine vaccine. Western vaccines typically get initially tested against live virus broadly in dirt poor countries. Sanofi is a French company. Most countries won’t use a vaccine unless it is approved by the FDA.

  73. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: He performed at the same 4th line rates.

    James Neal makes $6M as well – performs at fourth line rates.

    Anyways, my point had nothing to do with cap hits but simply that its tough to find places to slot them in to the lineup at 5 on 5 – they “are scorers” who don’t really score and aren’t suited for the top 6 but they also aren’t suited for the bottom six – in my opinion.

    I’m not saying that they neither have any value (cap hits notwithstanding) just that, when structuring lines, its tough to fit them in – both provide their primary value on the PP.

    I don’t have a huge issue putting Neal and Chiasson flanking a new 3C actually. Though I do understand your point about the difficulty in slotting non-PK players in the bottom 6.

    You’ll note that I didn’t defend Neal at any point. Chiasson was one of 6 Oiler forwards with a positive goal differential overall, and one of only a few to do the same in minutes without McDavid/Draisaitl/Nuge. It would be great if he scored a bit more but I’m not sure what more you want from a bottom 6 forward than winning the goal differential battle. I don’t really care how the player does it (you’d want PK also I suppose, but as you mention Chiasson did contribute to special teams).

    I’m fine finding a spot for Chiasson in the lineup so long as he’s not giving back all the good that McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge et al do in their minutes. Really I’m pretty much completely ambivalent about the player, I just find it a bit absurd when so many single out one of the few who was a positive influence in the bottom 6 as a problem.

  74. jp says:

    godot10: It is not a Philipine vaccine.Western vaccines typically get initially tested against live virus broadly in dirt poor countries. Sanofi is a French company. Most countries won’t use a vaccine unless it is approved by the FDA.

    I know it’s not a Philippine vaccine. Your post said “the FDA approved the vaccine without any clinical trials for the vaccine against the wild virus”. Is “the FDA” the United States FDA, or no?

    So are you just using this as an example of what can happen when a vaccine isn’t properly tested (like a Covid vaccine may not be)?

    Your saying “They don’t test for safety very well anymore” strongly implied whatever happened with the Dengue vaccine was likely with a Covid vaccine. I’m not really seeing the parallels honestly.

    And is there even any clear evidence that there were serious complications associated with this vaccine? The article defmn linked barely mentioned it.

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: I don’t have a huge issue putting Neal and Chiasson flanking a new 3C actually. Though I do understand your point about the difficulty in slotting non-PK players in the bottom 6.

    You’ll note that I didn’t defend Neal at any point. Chiasson was one of 6 Oiler forwards with a positive goal differential overall, and one of only a few to do the same in minutes without McDavid/Draisaitl/Nuge. It would be great if he scored a bit more but I’m not sure what more you want from a bottom 6 forward than winning the goal differential battle. I don’t really care how the player does it (you’d want PK also I suppose, but as you mention Chiasson did contribute to special teams).

    I’m fine finding a spot for Chiasson in the lineup so long as he’s not giving back all the good that McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge et al do in their minutes. Really I’m pretty much completely ambivalent about the player, I just find it a bit absurd when so many single out one of the few who was a positive influence in the bottom 6 as a problem.

    Solid points but, on the other hand, Chiasson played 41% of his minutes against gritensity and 27.5% against elites – with that sort of split i would hope for some plus fancies.

  76. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Munny,

    Thanks for the heads up!

    I’ll post an abbreviated transcript, which will be close to verbatim (but not precisely) in the interest of the time required to transcribe and post. I’ll also skip over non-Edmonton related content unless I personally find it interesting.

    Opening nugget is that the idea for the Golden Hour of shopping for seniors and those at risk came from Edmonton’s Jerry McLauchlan, owner-operator of a local (Belmont) Sobey’s store.

    Ron McLean asks about Colby Cave.

    BN:

    Keith Gretzky had talked to Colby that night, talking about his training programs (he had a real good work out), he certainly wasn’t feeling very well when he went to bed that night. What happened to him was tragic, thoughts and prayers go out to Emily and his mom and dad. I can tell you I’m so proud of the leadership of our team, people like Connor McDavid, Nuge, their wives and girlfriends and how they’ve connected to Emily, and Wendy Tippett. We really showed we are a family. We got out in front of it and started the Colby Cave Memorial fund, there’s been a tremendous amount of support for that. I talk to Emily once a week, and she’s going to move to Edmonton. Just because she feels there’s such support from the Edmonton Oilers players and team.

    That really is great to see, Colby was a guy that had to work hard. Never was drafted to the NHL, played up and down from Providence to Boston. Was doing the same here and was getting better, he had a real shot to be a main player with the Oilers this year. Such a quality person. We’ve reached out with the Bruins and Providence and BAK and with Swift Current. We’re going to try to keep Colby’s name in the forefront of hockey. He’s that type of SASK born guy who just loved the game, wasn’t /real/ talented but the work ethic and that’s what you want in all your kids. He came to work every day and he’ll be remembered for that.

    After being prompted by RM, Michael Medline (CEO of Sobey’s) mentions wistfully if he’d have taken Leon in his hockey pool he’d have a great chance to win his hockey pool.

    RM talks playoffs.

    BN:

    Competition committee is meeting a lot and that’s a real good sign. Gary Bettman continues to work with the owners and head execs of each team and getting ideas with them. A lot of that goes back to the competition committee and with them meeting a couple times last week. I think there’s going to be something coming. There’s a lot out there on a 24-team play in. Looks like that’s the way it’s headed, but I’m not sure what the format is. You’ve seen all the formats, we’ve talked about all the formats and Gary and Bill are weighing in with the NHLPA. And then safety is still number one. We’re looking at phase two, bringing back what I call pods. With four or five players, and four or five support people. And they’d stay in those pods, and when they’d leave the dressing room then the next group would come in. If one of those players got tested [positive] then you’d remove that pod. There’s so much strategy going on, first of all on safety, and then there are so many other issues around the game with free agency and the draft and all of that. First and foremost, trying to find a way to get the players back in the dressing room. Really want to find a way to finish the ’19-20 season.

    RM asks about IIHF and kids programs.

    With both hats on, Hockey Canada and the IIHF has gone through a lot of interesting, difficult situations right now. We really have to do an audit on where federations are, if they’re going to be financially sound enough even to operate. Each country has their different problems. The US has a big problem, in that most of the arenas in the US are privately owned. Will they open up, can they open up (so will their members have places to play)? We’re doing those audits at the IIHF, we’re going to have a congress with 70 countries, Ron, in June, and it’s going to be very interesting how we do it — through a Zoom type process. How can we make sure hockey stays healthy at a grass roots, so kids get to play their dream, both boys and girls. I know Hockey Canada is going through what [can] they do, how can they open up in a safe environment.

    RM asks if Paul Henderson should be in the HHoF as a builder?

    BN:

    There was a key moment in our history of hockey and PH made it happen. There’s been a lot of talk about Paul going in, and I think it’s time. International hockey continues to grow each year, and it all started with the ’72 series, and he was the hero of that. I know they compare him to other, his NHL stats, but that series was special to the world. Really built the relationship with Canada and Russia.

    RM prompts about the story of the Lucky Loonie and how he kept it after the final game in ’02.

    BN:

    That’s quite a story. I only think it was really Wayne and myself who knew we had put a loonie at centre ice in Salt Lake City, you know, in the US. The women’s team found out and after they won the gold medal, they started to dig it up at centre ice. I didn’t see it happening and Wayne was calling me on the phone and goes, “Bob, get the women away from centre ice — they’re starting to dig up the loonie, we got to win tomorrow night!” We got them away, and we dug up that loonie and it’s just a great story. The loonie from Hockey Canada, we used to put it in goalposts and backs of nets and no one ever talked about the story. But when it came out in Salt Lake about the loonie, it was really special. The best story on it, we gave it to the HHoF and you could touch it through a little hole. After a while they had to put a thin piece of plexiglass on that loonie because it was starting to wear out. That’s how many Canadians wanted to touch that loonie. It was a special story and something that everyone will remember. For myself to have a picture with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, that was pretty neat.

    RM laments that he had reffed a pre-season game and at the faceoff between Daniel Briere and Sidney Crosby and he didn’t get a photo.

    RN talks about Wayne building the ’02 team, Theoren Fleury had been going through a rough time, Eric Lindros had his shoulder and head blown up by Scott Stevens, Michael Peca had been in that contract squabble — it’s almost like he found a way to string hearts together that way, didn’t he?

    BN:

    He’s absolutely amazing that way, Ron. There’s so many stories like Michael’s and yours. He just does, it’s a natural thing for him to do. Going to see kids in the hospital, and just when there’s an issue he’s ahead of it. It’s like when he played hockey he knew where the puck was going. If there was someone in trouble he reaches out and those selections on the ’02 team really brought that team together, because of some of the situations those players were in and it just bonded that team. He’s Wayne Gretzky, there’s only one.

  77. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    So… Chaisson was deployed properly and you’re… finding issue with the player? I don’t think anyone wants to reup the guy but I don’t see him as a/the problem. He’s a leader/respected in the room, and doesn’t hurt the team even if he’s a touch overpaid, slow, streaky and doesn’t PK. Nobody’s perfect.

    If you’re honing the tines on your pitchfork, Neal is a much more worthy candidate. And I don’t hate Neal lol. He’s an upgrade from his predecessor in so many more ways than the scoreboard.

  78. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Solid points but, on the other hand, Chiasson played 41% of his minutes against gritensity and 27.5% against elites – with that sort of split i would hope for some plus fancies.

    You would hope, sure. But that’s not reality, at least it wasn’t the Oilers reality this season.

    Player vsElites/vsGrit GDiff
    Chiasson 28%/41% +3
    Khaira 29%/38% -18
    Sheahan 29%/37% -20
    Archibald 29%/35% -15
    Haas 26%/45% -1
    Russell 24%/42% -9

    And why do people keep calling GF% a “fancy” stat anyway?

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    OriginalPouzar,

    So… Chaisson was deployed properly and you’re… finding issue with the player?I don’t think anyone wants to reup the guy but I don’t see him as a/the problem.He’s a leader/respected in the room, and doesn’t hurt the team even if he’s a touch overpaid, slow, streaky and doesn’t PK.Nobody’s perfect.

    If you’re honing the tines on your pitchfork, Neal is a much more worthy candidate.And I don’t hate Neal lol.He’s an upgrade from his predecessor in so many more ways than the scoreboard.

    Hold on for a second – I have no pitchfork and don’t have an issue with Chiasson – In fact, I said, I do like the player but, when trying to structure lines I have trouble finding a place for him and Neal.

  80. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    It’s tough when you predicate every opinion with a contradictory clause or statement/attestation to the opposite point, and post so frequently. Makes it easy to confuse your stance at times.

    But maybe that’s just me.

    At any rate, glad you’re not among the (angry?) mob seemingly running the guy out of town.

  81. Munny says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    Thank you so much, kind sir. You didn’t have to do that.

  82. Munny says:

    I tellya that group photo at the end of Game 4 was something special even watching live back in the day. Kind of like Steve Smith getting the Cup first in the victory the year before.

    But if we had only known the heartache that photo was foreshadowing…

  83. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Munny,

    My pleasure!

    Maybe a bit of a twisted artifact that I still enjoy transcribing interviews, all these years after j-school. And since Hudson seems to be otherwise occupied (hoping all is well), someone’s gotta do it!

    At any rate, it’s a small way for me to contribute to this group of big hockey brains and analytical thinkers who far out stretch my own grasp of the game. I’ve gleaned much from these pages, and it feels good to add a footnote here and there for others to gain.

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