Wings

by Lowetide

For most of a decade, four general managers have spent time trying to ‘build up the middle’ to create an Edmonton Oilers team that has a strong base at center, defense and in goal. High draft picks spent on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard and Philip Broberg all chosen with an eye to improving at center or defense.

During those same years, the team has procured and then sent away some stunning skill wingers. It’s really incredible to look at (say) the 2015-16 team and see it erode over just a couple of seasons. Believe it or not, the 2019-20 winger shuffle represents a significant recovery from recent seasons.

THE ATHETIC!

Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.

  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers notebook: Bear’s contract quandary, Broberg’s mini camp, bubble goalies
  • New Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s comparables suggest a possible future with Oilers
  • New Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect rated by how close they are to the NHL
  • Lowetide: Setting the record straight on Oilers prospect Cooper Marody’s future
  • Lowetide: Tough decisions face Oilers’ Ken Holland as cap forces painful choices
  • Lowetide: How Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto can increase his value
  • Lowetide: Everything you forgot (but need to know) about Oilers’ 2019-20 season
  • Eric Duhatschek: Q&A: Wayne Gretzky on making whisky, learning to like IPAs and loving cheap wine
  • Lowetide: Injury is biggest factor in the Oilers’ hopes for extended playoff run
  • Lowetide: Tyler Benson’s struggle to score might affect future role with Oilers
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s second Oilers draft should deliver high-octane offence
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘It’s all surreal’: Kevin Lowe’s Hall of Fame nod nets surprise and satisfaction
  • Lowetide: 10 things to look for at Oilers training camp and the 2020 playoffs
  • Lowetide: Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and the Oilers’ need for veteran insurance
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Why the Oilers should protect these 8 skaters in the Seattle expansion draft
  • Jonathan Willis: Why Carl Soderberg is an intriguing free agent possibility for the Oilers
  • Lowetide: Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie’s possible impact in his first year pro

2015-16

This is a great list of wingers, from a brilliant skill player who could push the river (Hall) to a legit first-shot scorer (Eberle) through big men with good hands (Maroon, Kassian), wily veterans who found a way to score (Pouliot, Purcell) to young Yakupov. Hall-Eberle and Pouliot-Purcell is a contender for the best set of four skill wingers since McDavid arrived.

2016-17

This is the playoff team, no winger is over 2.00 per 60. It’s a pretty massive turnover, Hall and Purcell are out and Pouliot is well down the depth chart. Eberle remains and is productive although not at the 2015-16 level. Patrick Maroon continued to be a great fit on McDavid’s portside, and Zack Kassian showed more than men like Lucic and Caggiula. Lucic and Slepyshev had some playoff success with Draisaitl at center.

One day when I’m retired I will write the Pollock book and then focus on the complicated relationship between three men: Peter Chiarelli, Todd McLellan and Jesse Puljujarvi. Two of those three men were uncertain JP belonged in the NHL in 2016-17 and the other guy was Chiarelli. Pretty sure.

2017-18

Draisaitl is on the wing and delivering big offense with McDavid, but the rest is a bit of a mess. Aberg played less than 25 percent of the season, Cammalleri was long past his prime but undoubtedly one of the most skilled wingers, and Maroon was clearly good enough to play on skill lines. Lucic, Kassian and Puljujarvi, expected to carry some of the offensive load, are also in photo.

2018-19

This is what spending the last dime of your cap dollars on Kris Russell does to your wingers. Chiarelli said several times during his time with the Oilers that wingers were easier to find. He must have been talking about other general managers. PC’s two big bets on the wing from 2016 summer, Lucic and Puljujarvi, slide all the way down the depth chart. Don’t blame the kid, the 2018-19 season should have been his rookie campaign in the NHL.

2019-20

New coach means some time figuring out what is on the roster. Credit Dave Tippett with finding out about several men in the first half and then recognizing Kailer Yamamoto was more talented than any other right winger on the roster. Nugent-Hopkins moved over from center, Kassian enjoyed his best season by some margin.

Acquiring Anthanasiou and Ennis at the deadline probably means the end of James Neal in the top six forwards, Alex Chiasson also trending that way. One or both might be able to land on a third line, the question is who is the center? Tippett liked Khaira’s work in the middle late in the year. The 2019-20 Oilers had three men over 2.00/60 at five on five, the highest number to reach the plateau since 2015-16.

JAKE DEBRUSK

A story out of Boston (via Edmonton) has Jake DeBrusk’s next contract as a point of interest. He has not been able to duplicate a rookie season that saw him post 2.38 points per 60 at five on five, falling off to 1.81 as a sophomore and 1.65 in 2019-20. Meanwhile he has scored eight and seven goals respectively in the last two years on the power play. If he’s available, Oilers should pursue. He would be a dandy winger for McDavid.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Much to discuss on the Lowdown this morning, we start at 10, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will discuss the Oilers playoff hopes and possible lines/pairings and key players. Joe Osborne from OddsSharks will discuss betting the long shot on all of these returning leagues plus name change for the Washington NFL team. 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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N64

OriginalPouzar:
Frank Seravalli
@frank_seravalli
·
48m
There is a whole slew of stats pro-ration rules in MOU as they relate to player bonuses.

I’m told no decision has been made on how #Flames / #Oilers condition in Lucic / Neal trade will be handled. #NHL plans to develop process for clubs to make arguments and be heard fairly.

The news is that he looked and nothing in there about conditions or ARB between teams. As expected in a CBA doc. Nothing to see. Same old Gary and co. might listen to teams. Still might. Months left to do something or nothing

N64
London Jon

Darth Tu: Rathbone…. Rafferty….. Are they the same person?

Brogan Ratherty

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Material Elvis,

Edmonton Emancipators.

jp

Reja: I just heard Kass hired Johnnie Cochran to represent him.

Johnnie Cochran’s dead.

BONE207

deardylan:
Edmonton Emiskwaskahegan (Edmonton Beaver House)

If we really want to embrace Canada’s culture and what makes us unique..lets go to the source.

Well that sounds a bit more promising than a chicken ranch…?

Reja

jp: I agree with most of this.

Bad optics for sure. Suggestive of risky even, yeah. But I noticed the perspective thing too, they are definitely not face to face and it’s unclear exactly how far Kassian is away. They very well could be 2 or 4 feet away. They could also be 6 or more.

It’s not what you’d want to see, but we *shouldn’t* lose our minds either.

I just heard Kass hired Johnnie Cochran to represent him.

Ribs

Kassian is a big motorcycle guy. It’s usually a pretty small community of riders in most places so everyone knows everyone at least casually. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

jp

Munny:
You cannot tell from that photo the exact distance between Kass and the HA. The inability to distinguish distance between foreground and background is a device that is exploited all the time in movies, maybe most famously with the Hagrid scenes in Harry Potter.

Also, Kassian is clearly behind the HA, and the HA’s face is aimed away from the player. For all we know they removed any masks they may have had just for the moment of the shapshot.There’s almost no health risk to Kass by doing so.

And lastly (rightly or wrongly), I rarely see people employ physical distancing any more, except in half-hearted ways by the minority, and fanatically by a much smaller minority.

We’re reading an awful lot into one photo

This is why we have habeus corpus, due process, a justice system and lynch mobs have become a thing of the past…

…just ask Twitter.

Bad optics, yes. Risky, not so much; unless his daily life is occupied with such encounters.

I agree with most of this.

Bad optics for sure. Suggestive of risky even, yeah. But I noticed the perspective thing too, they are definitely not face to face and it’s unclear exactly how far Kassian is away. They very well could be 2 or 4 feet away. They could also be 6 or more.

It’s not what you’d want to see, but we *shouldn’t* lose our minds either.

Munny

OriginalPouzar,

An actual good idea by the NHL. They must have hired some people.

Munny

You cannot tell from that photo the exact distance between Kass and the HA. The inability to distinguish distance between foreground and background is a device that is exploited all the time in movies, maybe most famously with the Hagrid scenes in Harry Potter.

Also, Kassian is clearly behind the HA, and the HA’s face is aimed away from the player. For all we know they removed any masks they may have had just for the moment of the shapshot. There’s almost no health risk to Kass by doing so.

And lastly (rightly or wrongly), I rarely see people employ physical distancing any more, except in half-hearted ways by the minority, and fanatically by a much smaller minority.

We’re reading an awful lot into one photo

This is why we have habeus corpus, due process, a justice system and lynch mobs have become a thing of the past…

…just ask Twitter.

Bad optics, yes. Risky, not so much; unless his daily life is occupied with such encounters.

OriginalPouzar

Interesting- as per Friedman, teams that have a bonus overage for next season will have the option to evenly distribute it over the next two seasons.

This will apply to the Oilers.

N64

OriginalPouzar: or perhaps he agreed to take a selfie with a fan who came up to him in a coffee shop who, as it turns out, is a highly outgoing and social person?

Yep. One hopes it is that minor. Even the instagram follow can be naive

OriginalPouzar

Scungilli Slushy: Absolutely

Given his past etc, the gigantic bags under his sober eyes, that no other Oiler has been photo opped by a patch, what is the worry?

I have no idea what happened, but being clueless also costs people high level jobs doesn’t it?

As a business owner and in that position I’d be very concerned about what was going on and what exposure was being made to the very young newly rich in my org.

Wouldn’t you?

Maybe the K and D show has more tolerance than the previous. But that was a big booboo especially forZach, particularly given Covid and distancing. Maybe they give him a chance if he’s in trouble again.

As a person about to celebrate 8 years, I would advise against speculation re: relapse.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: What in the world does that have to do with the statement that defensive d-man are worth as much as 4th liners?

I’m not trying to justify Kemp’s offensive numbers – they are meaningless to me.

Unfortunately for you, they are meaningful for everyone else.

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar: or perhaps he agreed to take a selfie with a fan who came up to him in a coffee shop who, as it turns out, is a highly outgoing and social person?

Absolutely

Given his past etc, the gigantic bags under his sober eyes, that no other Oiler has been photo opped by a patch, what is the worry?

I have no idea what happened, but being clueless also costs people high level jobs doesn’t it?

As a business owner and in that position I’d be very concerned about what was going on and what exposure was being made to the very young newly rich in my org.

Wouldn’t you?

Maybe the K and D show has more tolerance than the previous. But that was a big booboo especially for Zach, particularly given Covid and distancing. Maybe they give him a chance if he’s in trouble again.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Larsson scored more in his rookie NHL season than Kemp scored in his third year playing lesser competition.

Not a great sign.

BTW , Tanev scored 20 points in his only college season.

Kemp has never come close to that mark.

What in the world does that have to do with the statement that defensive d-man are worth as much as 4th liners?

I’m not trying to justify Kemp’s offensive numbers – they are meaningless to me.

OriginalPouzar

Scungilli Slushy: It’s gone

It might be but not without something coming back, in my opinion.

OriginalPouzar

Scungilli Slushy:
Bye bye Zach.

I doubt there is the stomach to see if he’s under duress.

Final tragic decision for his NHL career IMO.

I say duress, as how could the luckiest scrub in the league not want to stay lucky?

or perhaps he agreed to take a selfie with a fan who came up to him in a coffee shop who, as it turns out, is a highly outgoing and social person?

Victoria Oil

OriginalPouzar:
Per Seravelli:

#NHL tentative RTP schedule:
? July 24: Travel to hubs
? July 25: Exhibition games
? July 30: Qualif. round begins
? Aug. 9: First round of playoffs begins
? Aug. 23: Second round begins
? Sept. 6: Conf Finals begin
? Sept. 20: SCF begins
? Oct. 2: Last poss. game of SCF

Thanks for this.

Good to see that they’re sticking to games every second day thru the whole playoffs without excessive days off before the finals. It irks me that the NHL has had 4-6 days off in previous years between the conference finals and the SCF.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Yup, Adam Larsson playing his best hockey in 2 years in 2020 had nothing to do with the Oilers being the 6th best team in the league in that stretch.

Chris Tanev – essentially replacement level.

Larsson scored more in his rookie NHL season than Kemp scored in his third year playing lesser competition.

Not a great sign.

BTW , Tanev scored 20 points in his only college season.

Kemp has never come close to that mark.

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar:
Frank Seravalli
@frank_seravalli
·
48m
There is a whole slew of stats pro-ration rules in MOU as they relate to player bonuses.

I’m told no decision has been made on how #Flames / #Oilers condition in Lucic / Neal trade will be handled. #NHL plans to develop process for clubs to make arguments and be heard fairly.

It’s gone

OriginalPouzar

Frank Seravalli
@frank_seravalli
·
48m
There is a whole slew of stats pro-ration rules in MOU as they relate to player bonuses.

I’m told no decision has been made on how #Flames / #Oilers condition in Lucic / Neal trade will be handled. #NHL plans to develop process for clubs to make arguments and be heard fairly.

Scungilli Slushy

Bye bye Zach.

I doubt there is the stomach to see if he’s under duress.

Final tragic decision for his NHL career IMO.

I say duress, as how could the luckiest scrub in the league not want to stay lucky?

defmn

Reja: Not if they cave in to a few whiners trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.

Edmonton Eunuchs?

hunter1909

OriginalPouzar: Yup, Adam Larsson playing his best hockey in 2 years in 2020 had nothing to do with the Oilers being the 6th best team in the league in that stretch.

Chris Tanev – essentially replacement level.

Come to think of it, Harpers Hair has gone suddenly quiet over his beloved Canucks since the playoffs were announced.

hunter1909

OriginalPouzar: Zack taking a selfie with a random is the opposite of what he should be doing 4 days before training camp.

Kassian probably wouldn’t get into law school either.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Defensive defensemen are as valuable as 4th line checkers.

“It’s been a tough seasonfor Kemp and the defensive corp”..

No shit.

Yup, Adam Larsson playing his best hockey in 2 years in 2020 had nothing to do with the Oilers being the 6th best team in the league in that stretch.

Chris Tanev – essentially replacement level.

OriginalPouzar

N64: Minor thing iff it’s just a random fan:

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/alberta-hells-angel-snaps-photo-with-oilers-winger-zack-kassian

I’m more concerned about the lack of social distancing.

I’ve been pretty clear on my position that the players should essentially be home and rink at this point and very selective of where they go. Zack taking a selfie with a random is the opposite of what he should be doing 4 days before training camp.

N64

godot10: It is not a minor thing from a hockey perspective with Covid around.He wasn’t social distancing and he wasn’t wearing a mask in public.Heck, the players should be in self-imposed self-isolation.

Kassian the clueless reveals himself early and again.

With 5% of players positive it’s run of the mill clueless and still minor iff its random stranger.

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: Adam Fox got the PP time during Marino’s Harvard career. Marino adjusted beautifully to the NHL, I think using him as an example of failure is not convincing. I hope your man Rathbone is a good one, it’s fun to have the western Canadian teams drafting well.

Oh, I don’t think Marino was a failure and Fox was a beast.

Rathbone seems to be in the middle while Kemp is also in photo.

OriginalPouzar

Per Seravelli:

#NHL tentative RTP schedule:
? July 24: Travel to hubs
? July 25: Exhibition games
? July 30: Qualif. round begins
? Aug. 9: First round of playoffs begins
? Aug. 23: Second round begins
? Sept. 6: Conf Finals begin
? Sept. 20: SCF begins
? Oct. 2: Last poss. game of SCF

Reja

pts2pndr: I take it you are not an Eskimo fan!?

Not if they cave in to a few whiners trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.

godot10

N64: Minor thing iff it’s just a random fan:

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/alberta-hells-angel-snaps-photo-with-oilers-winger-zack-kassian

It is not a minor thing from a hockey perspective with Covid around. He wasn’t social distancing and he wasn’t wearing a mask in public. Heck, the players should be in self-imposed self-isolation.

Kassian the clueless reveals himself early and again.

Pescador

Glovjuice:
5. Edmonton Esquimalt (shortened to Esqs).

I don’t hate it, which is saying something.
Shame thou..
Per Wikipedia:
The Township of Esquimalt is a municipality at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada.
Quick, who knows how to edit Wik?

Pescador

deardylan:
Edmonton Emiskwaskahegan (Edmonton Beaver House)

If we really want to embrace Canada’s culture and what makes us unique..lets go to the source.

Edmonton Egalitarians it is

N64

OriginalPouzar:
New pic floating around – a selfie of Kass with some known Hells’ Angel – getting grief including lack of social distancing.

A minor thing but it will cause a bit of stink I’m sure.

Minor thing iff it’s just a random fan:

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/alberta-hells-angel-snaps-photo-with-oilers-winger-zack-kassian

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
stagnating:

Kemp scored at a low rate in his first and second seasons at Yale, but still became a key player. After the 2018-19 season, Chip Malfronte of the New Haven Registerpraised Kemp’s play:“Yale’s strength lies in its defensive corps. Freshman Jack St. Ivany, a Flyers’ draft pick, was named to the ECAC’s all-rookie team. Sophomore Phil Kemp, an Edmonton draft choice, could give the Bulldogs the league’s top defensive pairing next year.”

Near the end of the season, Steven Pappas of Q30-TV said of the player: “Kemp is one of the best defensive defensemen in the country and makes it really difficult for opponents to carry the puck by him into the neutral zone. He forces players to dump the puck around him and his outstanding retrieval skills allow him to negate any offense attack by the opposition. It’s been a tough season for Kemp and the defensive core, but a statement outing against their rival could be a springboard into the postseason.”

Quotes curtesy of McCurdy

Defensive defensemen are as valuable as 4th line checkers.

“It’s been a tough season for Kemp and the defensive corp”..

No shit.

Tesla's Hair

Edmonton Emiskwaskahegan (Edmonton Beaver House)

If we really want to embrace Canada’s culture and what makes us unique..lets go to the source.

hunter1909

Glovjuice:
1. Edmonton Eternal
2. Edmonton Extreme
3. Edmonton Eagles (if allowed)
4. Edmonton Elfs (seriously)

4A. Edmonton Eternal Elves

hunter1909

OriginalPouzar:
New pic floating around – a selfie of Kass with some known Hells’ Angel – getting grief including lack of social distancing.

A minor thing but it will cause a bit of stink I’m sure.

LOL

Makes me like him even better.

Side

Please no Edmonton Extreme.

We have escaped the 90s and early 00s. We don’t need to go back by making Edmonton XTREME!

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: He’d better.

He’s not much of a hockey prospect.

He definitely doesn’t want to find out he’s a 25 year old playing for vancouvers farm team without a college degree

OriginalPouzar

stagnating:

Kemp scored at a low rate in his first and second seasons at Yale, but still became a key player. After the 2018-19 season, Chip Malfronte of the New Haven Register praised Kemp’s play: “Yale’s strength lies in its defensive corps. Freshman Jack St. Ivany, a Flyers’ draft pick, was named to the ECAC’s all-rookie team. Sophomore Phil Kemp, an Edmonton draft choice, could give the Bulldogs the league’s top defensive pairing next year.”

Near the end of the season, Steven Pappas of Q30-TV said of the player: “Kemp is one of the best defensive defensemen in the country and makes it really difficult for opponents to carry the puck by him into the neutral zone. He forces players to dump the puck around him and his outstanding retrieval skills allow him to negate any offense attack by the opposition. It’s been a tough season for Kemp and the defensive core, but a statement outing against their rival could be a springboard into the postseason.”

Quotes curtesy of McCurdy

pts2pndr

OriginalPouzar: If that is their plan, I would argue that its even smarter to protect 7-3-1.

As far as trading/exposing Jones, obviously we have to see where we are in 10 months from now, however, he’ll be another year at $850K and then still an RFA – that’s already a big value contract and will likely be a very big value contract the following year.

This is true but the reality is he will still be a third pairing D on our team. We have very good backup for left D. While I value Jones his position is easily back filled. If the trade is there you make it! If not you leave him unprotected and move forward. I am looking at what is best for the team overall!

Glovjuice

5. Edmonton Esquimalt (shortened to Esqs).

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Phil Kemp has basically stalled in his three years of college hockey.

Not unexpected for a 7th round pick.

To be fair to Rathbone he turned 21 just 6 weeks ago so his numbers represent his 20 year old season.

I would be very surprised if the Oilers offered Kemp a contract.

If he can’t move the needle in the NCAA, chances are he won’t do it in pro hockey.

Phil Kemp has stalled in his development?

That is a wildly false statement about the player that is the captain of Yale, is know as a one of the best defensive d-men in the league and played more than K’Andre Miller in some games in the World Juniors last year.

I would advise if you have no knowledge on a player to either, research, ask or keep quiet as oppossed to just making stuff up.