No More Loud Noises

by Lowetide

On the day Craig MacTavish introduced Dallas Eakins as the Oilers new coach in the summer of 2013, I wrote the following:

The Oilers under Craig MacTavish are apparently hellbent on waking the fanbase from the Tambellini coma. In the immortal words of Bob Cole “it’s all happening!” I can’t remember the name of the defenseman he signed an hour ago, but do know Teemu Hartikainen is off to Russia and suspect they’ll announce Katz has purchased Guam by 5pm.

This is a fact: the Oilers off the ice are more interesting than on the ice. I pray Baby Jesus this is the last summer we can make that statement. Press conference at 1:30, then Guam.

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.

In the days before Ralph Krueger was fired he spoke with real clarity about prospect Teemu Hartikainen: “He’s trying to figure out what a gritty, strong power forward does and what’s connected to that. What’s important for him is to continue to manage the puck in all three zones.”

General manager MacTavish, who also had a gift for getting to the point, said about Hartikainen “in today’s NHL, even marginally, you have to be a threat to score.” How many kids currently project to become 15-goals a year scorers?

Magnus Paajarvi

  • 2008-09 (SHL) 7 goals on 103 shots (6.8 percent)
  • 2009-10 (SHL) 12 goals on 160 shots (7.5 percent)
  • 2010-11 (NHL) 15 goals on 180 shots (8.3 percent)
  • 2011-12 (AHL) 7 goals on 100 shots (7.0 percent)

Paajarvi is a fast train and delighted fans with 15 goals as an NHL rookie, 10 at five on five. His most prominent line (Omark-Gagner-Paajarvi) played 215 minutes together, winning the Corsi five on five battle (51.3 percent), the five on five shot differential (50.25 percent) but lost the goals battle 9-15.

I saw this line and don’t blame the coaching staff for breaking them up, but a responsible center between Omark and Magnum PS might have worked. Holy hell there were jailbreaks, but credit to Paajarvi for showing real concern defensively and hauling ass on the regular. He didn’t reach 10 percent shooting percentage before or after his draft day.

Teemu Hartikainen

  • 2008-09 (Liiga) 17 goals on 132 shots (12.9 percent)
  • 2009-10 (Liiga) 15 goals on 183 shots (8.2 percent)
  • 2010-11 (AHL) 17 goals on 132 shots (12.9 percent)

Teemu Hartikainen had a chance, I swear to it. He had a good shot, size and aggression. Oilers scouts called him “a poor man’s (Tomas) Holmstrom” around draft day.

Tyler Benson

  • 2017-18 (WHL) 27 goals on 232 shots (11.6 percent)
  • 2018-19 (AHL) 15 goals on 173 shots (8.7 percent)
  • 2019-20 (AHL) 9 goals on 106 shots (8.5 percent)

I think Benson will have enough offense to play in an NHL top-nine and maybe higher. I think he’s far more likely to have 25 assists in a season than 15 goals, and his boxcars are going to look like they came from a playmaking center. Perhaps he surprises.

Kailer Yamamoto

  • 2017-18 (WHL) 21 goals on 111 shots (18.9 percent)
  • 2018-19 (AHL) 10 goals on 45 shots (22.2 percent)
  • 2019-20 (NHL) 11 goals on 44 shots (25.0 percent)

I think we can all agree Yamamoto won’t post a career shooting percentage of 25 during his NHL career, but he’s bona fide. I believe he’ll shoot more in the days to come, but the success rates on 1.5 shots per game are outstanding. Yamamoto’s numbers tower over the rest of the names on this list in shooting percentage.

Raphael Lavoie

  • 2018-19 (QMJHL) 32 goals on 206 shots (15.5 percent)
  • 2019-20 (QMJHL) 38 goals on 310 shots (12.3 percent)

And now, a volume shooter. As you’ll see in a minute, the step from junior hockey to pro can impact how often a player has the puck in scoring positions. Lavoie’s junior numbers are fantastic. You could let a lot of air out of these totals and still have a productive pro player.

Kirill Maksimov

  • 2016-17 (OHL) 21 goals on 160 shots (13.1 percent)
  • 2017-18 (OHL) 34 goals on 227 shots (15.0 percent)
  • 2018-19 (OHL) 40 goals on 232 shots (17.2 percent)
  • 2019-20 (AHL) 5 goals on 59 shots (8.5 percent)

There’s nothing wrong with Maksimov’s shot, he just isn’t getting the puck in scoring areas. The adjustment for young players moving into the AHL can be difficult. Maksimov was used to taking the puck with regularity and now bigger, more mature men are making it impossible. We should see a more competitive set of numbers in 2020-21.

Matej Blumel

  • 2018-19 (USHL) 30 goals in 238 shots (12.6 percent)
  • 2019-20 (Czech) 4 goals in 58 shots (6.9 percent)

He played less than 12 minutes a night in the Czech league so the dip in production has an explanation. I’d love to see him in the AHL 2020-21.

Ryan McLeod

  • 2017-18 (OHL) 26 goals in 165 shots (15.8 percent)
  • 2018-19 (OHL) 19 goals in 149 shots (12.8 percent)
  • 2019-20 (AHL) 5 goals in 69 shots (7.2 percent)

I was impressed by McLeod’s rookie AHL season, he posted more even-strength offense than expected. I don’t know how much he’ll deliver as an NHL player but I’m pretty sure (based on his resume) he will get there.

SUCCESS!

My parents always taught me to be humble but to hell with that noise today. David Staples from the Cult of Hockey named this blog, along with Mark Edwards (HockeyProspect.com) and Ryan Kennedy (The Hockey News) as the best among those outside the hockey industry in identifying talent at the draft. Woot! I’m going to have a beer and then I’m going to have another one.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fabulous show starts at 10 this morning, TSN1260. We begin the day with Dr. Randy Gregg, former Edmonton Oilers defenseman and soon the operator of Re/Max Field in Edmonton. Baseball will be in the city for the next 10 years or more in that jewel of a ballpark, we’ll talk to Gregg about his plans to bring in at least one new team. Gerry Moddejonge from PostMedia will join us at 11 to talk about the latest CFL plans, and Bill Shea from The Athletic Business will discuss his article on the now recovered sports card industry. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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OriginalPouzar

defmn: Money factors into every business decision OP as you are well aware. The NHL is a business with a union whose salaries are based upon revenue sharing.

It is just as likely that the push for 24 teams came from the PA as it is that it came from the league.

Of course – I understand the business side but context of HH’s initial reply and the conversation should be noted.

I believe it was LF that said its not fair that teams like MTL get to play in the playoffs. HH responded with a comment on revenues. The post was about competative fairness and the response about business.

defmn

OriginalPouzar: You implied that revenue generation ability should factor in to the structure.

Money factors into every business decision OP as you are well aware. The NHL is a business with a union whose salaries are based upon revenue sharing.

It is just as likely that the push for 24 teams came from the PA as it is that it came from the league.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: The 24 team playoffs do take the standings into account.

The Division winners get rewarded for their play.

The rest are seeded by points percentage.

You implied that revenue generation ability should factor in to the structure.

BONE207

Re: Success

LT…you have as many beers as you like. We here know your diligence in digging through the information & finding an effective method of classification of young skill. We also know that in addition to your write ups, the comments section must be the most informative on so many levels. It is usually a must read. Can’t wait until we’re at 600+ posts again. I miss those days. ?

JimmyV1965

leadfarmer:
Doms final model had Montreal at 0% chance at playoffs and Chicago at 3%
There is no way those two teams should be in any discussions of teams going forward

I would assume they’re out of the draft lottery though. They probably had a better chance of winning the lottery than the Stanley Cup.

SwedishPoster

Harpers Hair:
Blue Bullet Brad
@BlueBullet1981
·
2m
Based on my value chart, Nail Yakupov had the career of an average 17th overall selection. That is all.

So you’re saying that Nail didn’t live up to his first overall billing? Stop. The. Presses.

Harpers Hair

Blue Bullet Brad
@BlueBullet1981
·
2m
Based on my value chart, Nail Yakupov had the career of an average 17th overall selection. That is all.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: i have nothing to get over – just trying to figure out if you think the standings should be meaningless and playoff entry should be based solely on revenue generating potential.

The 24 team playoffs do take the standings into account.

The Division winners get rewarded for their play.

The rest are seeded by points percentage.

Kinger_Oil.redux

Harpers Hair: The National beer of Saskatchewan is Pilsner.

– Yeah: Pilsner is a good guess for LT’s go to beer…

– I’m a German Pilsner afficionado.

– Enjoy your risotto…

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: It doesn’t matter.

The league needs revenue or ALL teams will suffer.

Get over it.

i have nothing to get over – just trying to figure out if you think the standings should be meaningless and playoff entry should be based solely on revenue generating potential.

Harpers Hair

Material Elvis:
Harpers Hair,

Sounds great, thanks for sharing.For awhile, I thought the lobster risotto recipe was just a myth…..like LT’s balance photo.

No.

It’s real and it’s spectacular!

jp

Harpers Hair: No idea really.

Haven’t seen any reports of players in other countries being cleared for on ice activities but the Swedes have never stopped.

Most places certainly haven’t been ‘cleared’, just speculating on what’s likely to be happening unofficially.

Wasn’t Puljujarvi playing ball hockey for instance, in the last month? Maybe Finns are in game shape too… The Swedes with easy access to facilities could very well have an advantage though.

Scungilli Slushy

Material Elvis: Also LT has the best radio voice.

Congrats LT!

A gifted man you are in so many ways!

Hard work and dedication pays off. It was only a matter of time as I saw it.

Now I fear you are going to the NHL! With WG.

Nothing left for the rest of us!

Eh Team

OriginalPouzar: So making the playoffs should be based off of revenue making?

Obviously fairness rates well below money in this decision.

Material Elvis

Harpers Hair,

Sounds great, thanks for sharing. For awhile, I thought the lobster risotto recipe was just a myth…..like LT’s balance photo.

Harpers Hair

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Follow your passions: what a great honour for you LT: enjoy those beers

– I wonder what LT’s go to beer is? I’m guessing old-school:Canadian?

– I’m going to crack open my go to beer tonight, pout it into a frosted mug and clink a glass with LT

– HH needs to send some of that Risotto over for LT to cleanse his palette with: oh my indeed!

The National beer of Saskatchewan is Pilsner.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: So making the playoffs should be based off of revenue making?

It doesn’t matter.

The league needs revenue or ALL teams will suffer.

Get over it.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: It’s all about the money and it’s exactly what ALL teams need.

So making the playoffs should be based off of revenue making?

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Follow your passions: what a great honour for you LT: enjoy those beers

– I wonder what LT’s go to beer is? I’m guessing old-school: Canadian?

– I’m going to crack open my go to beer tonight, pout it into a frosted mug and clink a glass with LT

– HH needs to send some of that Risotto over for LT to “wash it down”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mnb_3ibUp38

Harpers Hair

Munny:
Harpers Hair,

I was going to make bisque with the stock but then you went and used it on a silly rice dish lol.

#keto4life

Lobster bisque is amazing.

Harpers Hair

Munny:
Glad to hear teams with a bye will not be sitting.

I’d be tempted to decline the bye if that were the case.

Those “seeding” games among the top teams should be great TV.

Munny

Harpers Hair,

I was going to make bisque with the stock but then you went and used it on a silly rice dish lol.

#keto4life

Munny

Glad to hear teams with a bye will not be sitting.

I’d be tempted to decline the bye if that were the case.

Harpers Hair

jp: This is well placed.

Have you seen reports from other countries on this? Being in America currently I’d be a bit surprised at least some hockey players haven’t been able to find some ice to skate on and somewhere to work out. Rinks are “closed” but I feel like players who want ice may still be finding it. Maybe not, and still not the same as skating/taking shots with a group either I guess.

No idea really.

Haven’t seen any reports of players in other countries being cleared for on ice activities but the Swedes have never stopped.

Munny

Hope you’re on the “another” by now, LT (you get up early lol)

Enjoy them, they are well-deserved as is the recognition. Kudos!

Harpers Hair

Lobster Saffron Risotto.

INGREDIENTS

About 6 cups lobster stock

Lobster chunks from claws and legs

¼ cup butter

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large finely chopped shallot

2 cups arborio rice

2 tablespoons minced chives

½ cup grated Parmesan

A large dollop of Marscapone cheese.

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of saffron

PREPARATION
In a medium pot, heat the stock and keep warm.

In a large, wide saucepan, melt the butter in the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.

Add a large pinch of salt, then add the rice and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and simmer, stirring until the broth is almost absorbed.

Add more broth, a cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. Stir often. Cook until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir in the lobster chunks until heated through, then add the saffron, chives and ¼ cup of the Parmesan and the dollop of Marscapone cheese

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Oh my.

Decadence.

jp

N64: Don’s explainationreferred to using current roster composition, but each player’s contribution is based on prior years. No reference at all to current year performance. Posters here have stated that he certainly incorporates current year performance to some degree as the year progresses. No one provided any reference for that and I don’t have access.

So yeah no surprise that last year’s player rating regressed this year’s winning team.

The article i just linked mentioned updating teams “underlying strength” based on wins or losses that happen during the simulation. It’s not updating player performance but something is updated… (I haven’t looked into it any further than that)

jp

Harpers Hair: Teams with Swedish goaltenders will have an advantage since they’ve been able to work out and practice for months.

This is well placed.

Have you seen reports from other countries on this? Being in America currently I’d be a bit surprised at least some hockey players haven’t been able to find some ice to skate on and somewhere to work out. Rinks are “closed” but I feel like players who want ice may still be finding it. Maybe not, and still not the same as skating/taking shots with a group either I guess.

unca miltie

Who are Mark Edwards and Ryan Kennedy. Congrats LT. you are the best.

jp

leadfarmer:
Doms final model had Montreal at 0% chance at playoffs and Chicago at 3%
There is no way those two teams should be in any discussions of teams going forward

OriginalPouzar: I don’t disagree but would mention that Dom’s simulation of the rest of the season had the Oilers missing the playoffs…..

Dom’s “model” and “simulation” aren’t the same thing though.

He used the model to run one-game simulations of every remaining game for the “simulation” article.

https://theathletic.com/1676721/2020/04/05/by-the-numbers-what-if-the-nhl-season-wasnt-suspended/

The playoff projections (I believe) leadfarmer is referring to are based on 50,000 simulations of the model. If you instead just run 1 simulation of the model you introduce a huge amount of variability (the point was to make the model more like real life).

He acknowledges it was an extremely unlikely that the Oilers missed the playoffs in his simulation as they had a 95% chance of making the playoffs based on his model projections.

OriginalPouzar

The NHLPA executive is voting on the 24-team format – voting could spill in to tomorrow but we should know by tomorrow night.

As per LeBrun.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: While it clearly is having an effect (or seemingly clearly), it definitely should not.

It’s all about the money and it’s exactly what ALL teams need.

Harpers Hair

Okay…here we go kids.

As I have mentioned, we had lobster tail skewers to celebrate the birthday.

We bought four chick lobsters for the occasion and now have significant amounts of shells, leg and claw meat to work with.
First up…Lobster Stock.

Ingredients
1/3 cup good-tasting olive oil
Shells and legs from lobsters, cut into 2-inch pieces
I large shallot diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
A lash of Nando’s Piri Piri sauce
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup of strained tomatoes
Cold water to cover
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Film a large skillet (14-inch) with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the lobster shells, Shallots, garlic,, thyme and hot sauce. Sauté, stirring often, 6-8 minutes, until the onions are softened and the lobster shells are fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium if the onions begin to brown.

2. Add the wine and the tomatoes, and return to a simmer. Cook another 5 minutes, then add enough cold water to cover the shells. Return to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to gently simmer another 30-40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.

3. When slightly cooled, pour the broth through a fine strainer. Let it cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Teams with Swedish goaltenders will have an advantage since they’ve been able to work out and practice for months.

There is going to be a training camp of sorts for at least 2, if not 3, weeks.

I could be wrong but I don’t think it will be a material advantage – its not like they’ve been playing competitive game.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Two of the largest fan bases in the league.

While it clearly is having an effect (or seemingly clearly), it definitely should not.

jp

OriginalPouzar: Skinner had a better 2019/20 than Wells but, the year before, Wells was much much better than Skinner, in both the AHL and ECHL.

I’d be wary of giving up on Wells in the name of Starrett (unless the org is legit on Starrett’s chances).

I’m not particularly high on either honestly. And while Wells had the better SV% in 18-19 Skinner played 47 games to Wells’ 34 and wasn’t at all bad. Skinner at least had a .900 SV% all 4 years in the WHL and a couple of strong playoff runs. Wells only managed .900 1 of 4 OHL years (he did have a solid playoff his only year).

I wouldn’t sweat moving Wells down the line in the least personally.

What Starrett did in 18-19 was by far the most impressive pro performance of either player IMO. Age is a factor for sure, but an AHL all-star and #4 in SV% put him on a track that could see him in the NHL.

Never say never and all that but I’d put my money on Starrett over Wells any day, assuming he’s healthy.

godot10

Here’s hoping for a hot August night in Ice District when Gary Bettman’s Travelling Hockey Salvation Show comes to town…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhGMmmd9Ixs

The Margot Robbie/Margaret Qualley version! -)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O26giHzDe58

jp

OriginalPouzar: Imagine if he puts up those numbers in the AHL……

I hope he has a full season to play and goes 20/20….. I don’t expect him to have a Benson type rookie year but I guess you never know.

No, you never know.

No one could have expected it from Benson either and Lavoie has better numbers coming out of junior. I’d have no complaints about a 20/20 season though!

godot10

leadfarmer:
Doms final model had Montreal at 0% chance at playoffs and Chicago at 3%
There is no way those two teams should be in any discussions of teams going forward

The AC/DC version beat out the Neil Diamond version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQLWF_ItzYs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lqdErI9uss

N64

OriginalPouzar: I don’t disagree but would mention that Dom’s simulation of the rest of the season had the Oilers missing the playoffs…..

Don’s explaination referred to using current roster composition, but each player’s contribution is based on prior years. No reference at all to current year performance. Posters here have stated that he certainly incorporates current year performance to some degree as the year progresses. No one provided any reference for that and I don’t have access.

So yeah no surprise that last year’s player rating regressed this year’s winning team.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer:
Doms final model had Montreal at 0% chance at playoffs and Chicago at 3%
There is no way those two teams should be in any discussions of teams going forward

I don’t disagree but would mention that Dom’s simulation of the rest of the season had the Oilers missing the playoffs…..

OriginalPouzar

Woodguy v2.0: Their goaltending is better then EDM and that can mean everything in a short series.

Crawford and Koskinen had almost identical numbers this year.

Its more about which goalie gets hot at the right time. Roli was not a good goalie but he got hot at the right time.

Koskinen has shown to be able to get hot for stretches of 2-3 weeks and has done so at the start of both his NHL seasons – a well rested Koski could win the series.

Harpers Hair

Woodguy v2.0: Their goaltending is better then EDM and that can mean everything in a short series.

Teams with Swedish goaltenders will have an advantage since they’ve been able to work out and practice for months.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Given where we are and the fact there would be “unfairness” to some no matter what the final structure would be, I have a high level of “oh well, it is what it is” and will generally be tickled pink there is some hockey and it includes the Oilers.

With that said, you nailed the one main thing that irks me a bit – this allows teams that “gave up” and sold at the deadline (and then continued their losing ways) a real chance to “get in” – they got to sell and recoup young assets and still get a chance to get in (and do “get in” in some respects).

That part is really unfair to me but, other than that, oh well – lets just hope we get some hockey!

Exactly.

Any format would be unfair to some team.

The NHL needs to satisfy huge regional TV deals and that is the driving force.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer:
Doms final model had Montreal at 0% chance at playoffs and Chicago at 3%
There is no way those two teams should be in any discussions of teams going forward

Two of the largest fan bases in the league.

leadfarmer

Doms final model had Montreal at 0% chance at playoffs and Chicago at 3%
There is no way those two teams should be in any discussions of teams going forward

OriginalPouzar

duct tape and foil:
Therre was effectively zero chance MTL made the playoffs in a full season and they sold off assets at the deadline. Fairest way would be a round-robin play-in for the #8 slot in each conference while the other teams play exhibitions to shake off the rust. Fair has got nothing to do with anything in the NHL

Given where we are and the fact there would be “unfairness” to some no matter what the final structure would be, I have a high level of “oh well, it is what it is” and will generally be tickled pink there is some hockey and it includes the Oilers.

With that said, you nailed the one main thing that irks me a bit – this allows teams that “gave up” and sold at the deadline (and then continued their losing ways) a real chance to “get in” – they got to sell and recoup young assets and still get a chance to get in (and do “get in” in some respects).

That part is really unfair to me but, other than that, oh well – lets just hope we get some hockey!

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM:
So I guess having 4 bubble locations – 1 for each division – is out the window?

Ya, if they go with the current proposed format, its got to be two cities (which has been the front-runner for a few days now).

oilsnc79

Right Mr lowetide, good job as usual. Don’t post by read
Everything you write, have for years. Ol’ guys like are a long
Way from understanding analytics but much interest in reading about it.
Again good job and enjoy your cupla wobblies.

OriginalPouzar

jp:
Oz,

I hadn’t considered them doing that but it sounds like a good idea. Wells hasn’t played much, nor very well since signing. And Starrett had a tough season but has a real nice track record before that.

Starrett is a UFA though so who knows. I’d personally like to see him get another year and I also don’t feel very comfortable with one of Skinner/Rodrigue/Wells being in line for Oiler games 1A/1B goes down with an injury.

Skinner had a better 2019/20 than Wells but, the year before, Wells was much much better than Skinner, in both the AHL and ECHL.

I’d be wary of giving up on Wells in the name of Starrett (unless the org is legit on Starrett’s chances).