Reasonable 2020

What would an ideal 2020-21 season look like for the Oilers organization? I’m sure a Stanley Cup victory would be at the top of the list, and more hardware for the impact players on the team.

What about development? Would strong debut seasons from Raphael Lavoie and Olivier Rodrigue help? An impressive second campaign from Kirill Maksimov? Stuart Skinner settling in? Maybe Markus Niemelainen showing shutdown ability in Bakersfield? All would be valuable. A more interesting question: What is reasonable?

THE ATHLETIC!

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.

THE SEASON TO COME

Raphael Lavoie had a strong final season in the QMJHL. You can find a couple of comparable players who came in the years immediately before him and get some kind of idea about what he should be delivering in the AHL during 2020-21: 59 games, 12-22-34, .576 points-per-game. Lavoie’s three comparables included one player who blossomed in his first AHL season, one who had a middling campaign and another who delivered a disappointing year. That isn’t a terribly unusual result.

Kirill Maksimov had a dreadful first season for the Bakersfield Condors. Finding three comparables for his first AHL season (age 20) is easy (his numbers were 53, 5-8-13 .245). I picked three from three different seasons who matched (or delivered slightly less at 20). In the year after (age 21) the trio posted the following AHL numbers: 47, 7-11-18 .383 points-per-game.

What does it mean? The names who are aligned with Lavoie have played 10 pro seasons and a total of 89 NHL games (10-18-28). All three have played at least one NHL game, with one seemingly on his way to a quality NHL career. In the entry years for each player (a total of eight seasons, one of the players will enter the final year of his first contract in 2020-21), the three men played a total of 508 AHL games. Based on his comparables, Lavoie is likely to spend a significant portion of his entry contract in the AHL. I think he’s above average, but the comparables suggest a patient approach.

The names aligned with Maksimov have played 16 pro seasons and a total of 157 NHL games (18-27-45). Two of three have played in the NHL but only one has played more than 40 NHL games. None of the three has an NHL job as a regular and two of the three did not play in the NHL last season.

As I’ve mentioned many times in ‘Farm Workers’ series, a player who falls behind at age 20 has some issues and will meander like a river through the Rockies.

Lavoie’s trajectory includes the NHL in his projected bell curve, Maksimov is less certain after being in a similar spot to Lavoie just one year ago. These AHL debut seasons are a big damned deal, Tyler Pitlick chased his for half a decade. We’ll revisit the conversation after the AHL campaign.

GOALIES

Olivier Rodrigue graduates junior hockey as a pretty big deal. His final season featured some impressive runs by the guardien and he ranks well in ‘goalies Edmonton drafted in their final junior season’:

  1. Tyler Bunz 61, 2.57 .921
  2. Olivier Rodrigue 39, 2.32 .918
  3. Jeff Deslauriers 50, 2.87 .916
  4. Devan Dubnyk 54, 2.54 .912
  5. Stuart Skinner 56, 3.07 .905
  6. Dylan Wells 56, 3.62 .892
  7. Keven Bouchard 41, 3.68 .877

It’s unfair to compare across several years, cruel to do it over two decades. Still, it’s a point of interest along the human highway of Oilers prospects. I see these names and think of their careers (Bunz: Concussions) and am reminded that a good draft pick has a number of ways to go sideways and look like a bad one in the guide and record book.

Rodrigue is a terrific prospect, and along with the Russian Konovalov I think the Oilers have the best prospect pool in net they’ve enjoyed in some time. There are members of the organization who still believe in Stuart Skinner too, the numbers aren’t flattering but he will get another big opportunity in Bakersfield. I think Rodrigue will win the No. 1 NHL job if the Condors play this winter.

SLAVA TRUKHNO

We had a fatal event on the blog yesterday so had to turn the clock back a couple of days. Some things were salvaged, so I wanted to throw them on the back of this piece for those who didn’t see it. Here is what I wrote about Slava Trukhno in March 2008:

Slava Trukhno seems to be turning some kind of a corner. It looks like his role on the Springfield Falcons has increased and he is a strong option currently on the powerplay. This follows a rather slow start to his pro career.

Trukhno is one of several Oilers prospects in the AHL trying to build a resume strong enough for a recall to the Edmonton Oilers. It’s extremely unlikely that call will come this season but his improvement lately can’t have gone unnoticed by coaches and management.

In the summer when we were talking about the Falcons possible roster my expectation was that Trukhno was “a longshot to make the big club, but I think he’ll have a better offensive season as a 20-year old in the AHL than any Oiler prospect (at the same age) in recent history.”

That proved to be a little aggressive, since Trukhno is well behind the 1/1 points-per-game line in the sand. He has struggled for playing time for much of the year and despite showing flashes only recently has shown any sustain game over game.

Note: Trukhno would finish 61, 14-21-35 and did not play in the NHL. Lavoie’s reasonable expectation for his first AHL season is very close to Trukhno’s 2007-08 campaign, his first as a pro.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running, TSN1260. Jeff Hamilton from the Winnipeg News will update us on efforts to kickstart the CFL season in Winnipeg. Andrew Stoeten from The Athletic will talk Jays, where they’ll play and a promising season to come.

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125 Responses to "Reasonable 2020"

  1. JOFA says:

    I thought Al decided to take his first day off in 40 years😊

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Back to the ice today.

    Less than a week of camp to got – exhibition game is a week today.

    Will be interesting to see if there are any changes to the lines and, if not, who is the LW with Drai.

    Will also be interesting to see what the bottom pairings of the D look like – it it all Russell/Benning or will Jones get reps with Benning?

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    First year pro can be quite the adjustment for many many players. After his draft plus 1 season coming out of the CHL, I think the talk about Maksimov was alot closer to what we read/hear/say now about Lavoie coming off his draft plus 1 season in the CHL.

    Maksimov had a tough adjustment period – part of that was coaching and usage – almost zero PP time for a player who’s primary asset is a PP shooter. Thankfully Maksi is, from accounts, a super hard worker and, as we know, more than an offensive shooter, a player with 2-way acumen that was an elite PK guy in junior.

    I expect Lavoie to adjust to the AHL a little quicker but I’m sure it will be uneven.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Assuming minor league seasons are a go, it will be very interesting to see how the organization rolls out the goalies (and what type of games the goalies earn).

    There are three goalies vying for AHL starts – clearly Wells is on the outside looking in right now but that was different a year ago.

    Normal course would be for Rodrigue to play most of the year in the ECHL but he could make the jump straight to the AHL – a top prospect out of the Q.

    There is even some talk about the Oiler acquiring a tweener 3G that could help support the NHL goalies – further muddying the waters.

  5. Reja says:

    The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

  6. JOFA says:

    Reja:
    The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

    Lol😄

  7. John Chambers says:

    What does a successful 2021 campaign look like for the Oilers?

    Conference Finals or bust!

    By next season Edmonton should be able to overtake Vegas and lead the division wire-to-wire for the entire season. Too many impact players in their prime with the supporting cast rounding into form.

  8. defmn says:

    I hope I am not out of line in posting yesterday’s missing post for anybody that could not access it. No formatting but here is the text.

    =================================

    It’s going to be difficult to run an ‘RE’ series this year but I’ll find a way. The fact we might not see an AHL season makes this less fun. I’m going to construct a Bakersfield Condors depth chart and do the estimates anyway because what the hell else are we going to do?

    For @TheAthleticEDM Philip Broberg authored two brilliant goals in a Saturday scrimmage. Years ago that might have sparked an internal conversation that led to an immediate NHL job. It’s Broberg’s good fortune to have arrived in an era of mature management https://t.co/crHanh14sn
    — Lowetide (@Lowetide) July 20, 2020

    I’ve been doing this so long it’s no longer reasonable, but it’s a fun way to track prospects. I’ve missed a few. Here’s something I wrote about Slava Trukhno in March 2008:

    Slava Trukhno seems to be turning some kind of a corner. It looks like his role on the Springfield Falcons has increased and he is a strong option currently on the powerplay. This follows a rather slow start to his pro career.

    Trukhno is one of several Oilers prospects in the AHL trying to build a resume strong enough for a recall to the Edmonton Oilers. It’s extremely unlikely that call will come this season but his improvement lately can’t have gone unnoticed by coaches and management.

    In the summer when we were talking about the Falcons possible roster my expectation was that Trukhno was “a longshot to make the big club, but I think he’ll have a better offensive season as a 20-year old in the AHL than any Oiler prospect (at the same age) in recent history.”

    That proved to be a little aggressive, since Trukhno is well behind the 1/1 points-per-game line in the sand. He has struggled for playing time for much of the year and despite showing flashes only recently has shown any sustain game over game.

    Note: Trukhno would finish 61, 14-21-35 and did not play in the NHL. I’m better at reasonable now but it’s still a moving target.
    THE 2020-21 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS

    I have a few RE’s published, the numbers may change as the summer fades to fall and we know more but these are the first rushes:

    Joe Gambarella: 54 games, 19-20-39 .72 points per game
    Ryan Kuffner: 50 games, 14-14-28 .56 points per game

    At first, I’m just interested in the games. You can kind of think along with the organization when drilling down on the signed players. For instance, we can have a great conversation about how the goaltending will be divided.

    My model has Olivier Rodrigue and Stuart Skinner playing most of the games, with Dylan Wells losing out in the three-way battle for Bakersfield starter. I do not have the Condors or the Oilers signing Shane Starrett.

    I have Evan Bouchard playing 20 AHL games before being recalled, and William Lagesson spending the entire year in the NHL. Theodor Lennstrom, Logan Day and Markus Niemelainen are the regulars, we’ll see at least two AHL veterans from the Ryan Stanton-Keegan Lowe tree added on minor league deals over the offseason (if the league is a go).

    At center, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod and Brad Malone will play a lot, I haven’t figured out Marody’s GP because there’s a chance he spends significant time in the NHL. Luke Esposito might be No. 4C and Devin Brosseau might slide in on a skill line if there’s a recall or injury. Maybe James Chamblin lands here.

    Tyler Benson is the top left wing but I have him playing less than half a season in the AHL. Joe Gambardella (54) and Ryan Kuffner (50) are my skill LW’s, with Chamblin and Blake Christenson on hand.

    I’m not sure who gets the cherry RW minutes but will bet on Kirill Maksimov and Raphael Lavoie getting a push. Jakob Stukel, Ostap Safin and Liam Folkes will fight for opportunities.
    THE 2020-21 EDMONTON OILERS (30)

    At this point we’re several months from any real transactions attempting to address the team’s needs for 2020-21. So, I have the team’s ‘certain’ list and have divided it into five parts:

    The Locks (11): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Mikko Koskinen.

    Likely Roster Players (9): James Neal, Alex Chiasson, Andreas Athanasiou, Jujhar Khaira, Josh Archibald, Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard, Kris Russell, Matt Benning.

    Possible Roster Players (5): Riley Sheahan, Tyler Ennis, Patrick Russell, Mike Green, Mike Smith.

    Condors (4): Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson, William Lagesson, Cooper Marody.

    Jesse Puljujarvi (1): Jesse Puljujarvi.

    I suspect Holland will want to free up some money, that might involve buying out James Neal (unlikely) or dealing Kris Russell, possibly Alex Chiasson. One move I would like to signing Jesse Puljujarvi and then running a RW depth chart of Kassian, Yamamoto, Puljujarvi and Archibald.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909 Death March™

    Enter Now! It’s cool! It’s free! It’s easy!

    https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

    To All returning Players of all levels: Please continue to use your original names for continuity purposes while we develop the site to a higher level. Thank you for your cooperation

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers have loaned Lennstrom to Frolunda of the SHL. I expect this is on the expectation that he returns to North America once the AHL/NHL start up.

    Great stuff.

    Will Nielmeaninan follow to Liiga?

  11. defmn says:

    Mark Spector
    @SportsnetSpec
    ·
    14m
    The Edmonton Oilers have loaned defenceman Theodor Lennstrom to Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2020-21 season

    Gene Principe
    @GenePrincipe
    ·
    27m
    If he’s on loan shouldn’t his name be Lennd-strom..don’t worry I’ll show myself to the Theodor..

  12. godot10 says:

    Reja:
    The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

    What’s a phone book! -).

    It is a distributed ledger.

    Somebody put the damn thing on a blockchain.

    The next generation “phone book” is coming, where you control your data, not Facebook or Google.

  13. dustrock says:

    Reja:
    The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

    I don’t need you! I don’t need anything!

    I don’t need anything…except this blog.

  14. barry.moore23 says:

    Reja,

    Reja,

    Loved the obscure AC/DC reference the other day : drop your linen 🙂 🙂

  15. dustrock says:

    So players can watch other games from the restaurants but don’t get to watch from the stands.

    I get that, but it would be funny to see the Oilers in the stands booing the Flames

  16. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    defmn: I suspect Holland will want to free up some money, that might involve buying out James Neal (unlikely) or dealing Kris Russell, possibly Alex Chiasson. One move I would like to signing Jesse Puljujarvi and then running a RW depth chart of Kassian, Yamamoto, Puljujarvi and Archibald.

    Thanks DEFMN/LT!

    If the Oilers can pull off that line-up for RW for next year it would be Fab. I would like to see Chiasson and KRusty moved if possible to make room (i.e., Lagesson and if JP comes back to town) and cap space. A buyout of Neal should wait one more year. If the JP situation cannot be resolved with a return to Oil Country, maybe he could be packaged for an upgrade at 3C?? Haas or Marody could rise to the occasion for 3C but that could be a stretch. If JP does not come back, keep Chiasson for 3RW to help support a slightly weakened 3C position held by Haas/Marody/Sheehan. OR with cap space of trading Chia and KRusty, sign a 3C (as per LT Athletic suggestion).

  17. dustrock says:

    https://theathletic.com/1940508/2020/07/21/qa-marco-sturm-on-leon-draisaitls-evolution-and-his-impact-on-german-hockey/

    Gotta love Drai:

    How have you seen his game grow in the last couple years since you joined the Kings?

    Huge. I remember him in his second year in the league and after that we had our first world championship (together). He was in Russia and he was a really good player. He wasn’t as dominant – and he was pissed about it. Deep inside, he wanted to be the best player. He wanted to dominate. I remember that summer, he was not happy about that world championship.

    Four months later, we had an Olympic qualification tournament in August. For us, Team Germany, that was the biggest tournament because we wanted to go to the Olympics. In those four months, he made huge strides. At this tournament, he actually dominated. I was like, “Holy shit, it’s only been four months from Russia to the qualification round.” That shows how fast it went with him.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    No Corey Crawford yet again today.

    Even if he shows up at some point this week, he hasn’t touched a puck yet (to my knowledge) – this is a massive thing – the Hawks NEED top tending to win this series (in my mind).

  19. Reja says:

    defmn:
    Mark Spector
    @SportsnetSpec
    ·
    14m
    The Edmonton Oilers have loaned defenceman Theodor Lennstrom to Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2020-21 season

    Gene Principe
    @GenePrincipe
    ·
    27m
    If he’s on loan shouldn’t his name be Lennd-strom..don’t worry I’ll show myself to the Theodor..

    I can’t listen to Drew if he’s on colour would rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard. It’s weird because I think he does not to bad of a job in between periods kinda reminds me of Howie Meeker. I love Gene and I think the players do as well I don’t get how some people dislike him.

  20. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    No Corey Crawford yet again today.

    Even if he shows up at some point this week, he hasn’t touched a puck yet (to my knowledge) – this is a massive thing – the Hawks NEED top tending to win this series (in my mind).

    Maybe he’s nursing a golf injury whatever the case is I’m glad he’s MIA a sizzling hot Crawford could steal the series.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers website is congratulating Leon on being a Hart finalist!

  22. Woogie63 says:

    We should expect the conveyor belt to continue with affordable contracts attached to impactful players.

    Last year year;

    We graduated-
    1. Bear
    2. Jones
    3. Yamamoto

    We rented-
    1. Sheanan
    2. Ennis
    3. Nygard
    4. Archibald
    5. Haas
    6. Persson
    7. Smith
    ————————-
    2020-21
    Graduate
    1. Bouchard
    2. Benson
    3. Puljajarvi

    Rent
    A goalie
    A center

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Report of Avangard Omsk with 20 positive cases.

    This is not good – KHL training camps getting started soon as their season starts Sept 1.

    Not a great arrow for hockey in Europe in general this fall.

    Hopefully just a blip and things will stay on course for the league and all European leagues.

  24. dustrock says:

    Drai, Mackinnon, Panarin.

  25. Harpers Hair says:

    @LT

    In your Athletic piece this morning you identified Anton Khudobin as a potential backup goaltender.

    Looks like he will be staying in Dallas.

    https://theathletic.com/1936560/2020/07/18/stars-goalie-anton-khudobin-remains-competitive-wants-to-stay-in-dallas/?source=user_shared_article

  26. defmn says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Thanks DEFMN/LT!

    A buyout of Neal should wait one more year.

    One of the more interesting story lines of these coming games will be Neal. Do we get the Neal who was a PP monster in the 1st part of the season or the post injury Neal?

    If he is back to playing the way he was at the start of the season I think they keep him one more year, play him on the PP and the fourth line. If he is the post injury Neal I think they have to bite the bullet and buy him out.

  27. OriginalPouzar says:

    No Bouchard, “6th line” (Marody, Benson, McLeod) or Bouchard on the ice for main scrimmage today and only the two main goalies (as per Nugent Bowman)

    Some special teams work today (as per Reid Wilkins).

    Things are getting serious.

  28. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    No Bouchard, “6th line” (Marody, Benson, McLeod) or Bouchard on the ice for main scrimmage today and only the two main goalies (as per Nugent Bowman)

    Some special teams work today (as per Reid Wilkins).

    Things are getting serious.

    “No Bouchard… or Broberg”?

  29. John Chambers says:

    defmn: One of the more interesting story lines of these coming games will be Neal. Do we get the Neal who was a PP monster in the 1st part of the season or the post injury Neal?

    If he is back to playing the way he was at the start of the season I think they keep him one more year, play him on the PP and the fourth line. If he is the post injury Neal I think they have to bite the bullet and buy him out.

    Neal is like Koskinen. He shouldn’t play more than 50 games / season and never in a B2B.

    I bet he comes out flying against the Hawks, but will be spent by the Conference semi-finals.

    Load management is a thing.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    No Bouchard, “6th line” (Marody, Benson, McLeod) or Bouchard on the ice for main scrimmage today and only the two main goalies (as per Nugent Bowman)

    Some special teams work today (as per Reid Wilkins).

    Things are getting serious.

    Sounds like all those guys skated before main practice.

    Hopefully Bouch works his way back up to the “main group” given he is 4RD.

    Here is hoping they don’t “need” him to play but I’d like him to put himself in the conversation as the RD injury replacement over Jones or Russell moving over.

  31. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair:
    @LT

    In your Athletic piece this morning you identified Anton Khudobin as a potential backup goaltender.

    Looks like he will be staying in Dallas.

    https://theathletic.com/1936560/2020/07/18/stars-goalie-anton-khudobin-remains-competitive-wants-to-stay-in-dallas/?source=user_shared_article

    Lots of vets to choose from. Influx of Russian G is making a battle for the few backup spots
    Or make a trade for Georgiev

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: “No Bouchard… or Broberg”?

    The reports are that Bouchard skating prior to the main group – no reports that Broberg didn’t skate with the main group.

  33. Durag says:

    defmn,

    John Chambers,

    Neal is my pick for the Pisani of this year’s playoffs. I think we get beast mode, 1st quarter of the season Neal.

  34. Reja says:

    Durag:
    defmn,

    John Chambers,

    Neal is my pick for the Pisani of this year’s playoffs. I think we get beast mode, 1st quarter of the season Neal.

    I really like the Neal Khaira and chase line this will be a fun line to watch Tippett knows what he’s doing.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    @ Strong Black Coffey – your appeal to have your Death March™ prediction amended seems to have got lost in the Lowetide shuffle.

    In other words your predictions all got lost. Now you need to repost them.

    0-0-0 can be amended now. Thank you for your cooperation from the Death March team.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Nugent-Bowman, 2nd half of practice starts with special teams and Chiasson is the guy on PP1 – we saw that earlier in camp as well when the PP stayed late after practice – it was Chiasson (not Neal) with Kailer watching and subbing in for a few reps. That seemed less formal, this is formal PP work.

    Interesting.

    While Neal did personally produce at higher rates on the PP than Chiasson did, the PP overall did produce at higher rates with Chiasson on the ice than Nealer.

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    Also per Nugent-Bowman, PP2 is Nurse, Bear, Yamamoto, AA and Ennis.

    Haas getting work on PK2 with Khaira – that’s interesting but likely a result of Nuge being on the ice for PP1 and the prior drill.

    On that note, I do look for Haas to be more involved in the PK next season – I was listening to his agent on Oilers Now a month or so ago and he was indeed a top PK in Europe – I’m sure Tippett and Playfair didn’t want to put too much on his plate in his rookie North American/NHL season, but next year….

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Terry Jones, the Eskimos will be making their announcement re: name change in about an hour.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Allright, now Nealer is on with PP1 – back to normal – Chiasson and Neal both getting reps with PP1.

  40. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: The reports are that Bouchard skating prior to the main group – no reports that Broberg didn’t skate with the main group.

    You said Bouchard twice so figured you’d mixed them up.

    But Broberg in, Bouchard out definitely is noteworthy. Huh.

  41. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Allright, now Nealer is on with PP1 – back to normal – Chiasson and Neal both getting reps with PP1.

    That makes sense. Tippett has said (I believe) he likes to switch it up to give teams different looks.

  42. Reja says:

    jp: That makes sense. Tippett has said (I believe) he likes to switch it up to give teams different looks.

    Yes both do a excellent job chase is Dynamite at screening the goalie and Neal is very dangerous when he receives the pass down low. It’s the best PP we’ve ever had in our history and I think it’ll be even more potent when Bouchard is straddling the line.

  43. godot10 says:

    So how soon do you think we see

    Nurse, Bear
    Klefbom, Broberg
    Jones, Larsson

    as the pairings in an actual NHL game.

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    If he does “join” what sort of game shape will he be in?

    https://www.nhl.com/blackhawks/news/blog-bowman-hopeful-crawford-can-return-for-postseason/c-317554934

    On Tuesday, Senior Vice President/General Manager spoke optimistically about Crawford’s ability to join the team in time to travel to Edmonton for the Qualifying Round and the playoffs.

    “We are hopeful on that,” he said. “We’ll be able to give you a better idea when we get closer to the weekend, but that’s something that we’re still shooting for. I don’t have any definitive comments right now, but we’re still hoping that’s the case.”

    “At this point, nothing’s been ruled out. We’ve still got a fair amount of time before Aug. 1 and the first game, so we’re not thinking that far ahead right now,” Bowman said. “We’re really kind of here day-to-day and like we said out the outset, right now Corey’s not here, so we’re focused on the other four goalies. If and when Corey is ready, we’ll have that conversation.”

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Also, no Toews on the ice today for the Hawks…….. I’m guessing its a minor issue.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    When asked about Leon nominated for both the Hart and the Lindsay, McDavid says he should win both but he doesn’t have much faith in the media and their voting for the Hart.

    He was just joking around with the media on the zoom call – pretty funny.

    Edit: here is the quote:

    “I think the players will get it right, I don’t have the same faith in the media,” McDavid on the voting for Leon Draisaitl for Lindsay and Hart awards. #Oilers #NHL

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bouch skating with the other group was solely because they needed an extra d-man for PK drills and Bouch wouldn’t be doing that – that was the only reason, says Tip.

  48. defmn says:

    Edmonton Football Team. 😉

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers are having a “night scrimmage” tomorrow I guess – just to get used to playing at night.

    Will start using different dressing rooms and stuff as well.

    Interesting.

  50. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn:
    Edmonton Football Team.

    Yellow Greens.

  51. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: Yellow Greens.

    I’m not clever enough to make this crap up.

    Go Edmonton Football Team Go.

    It just kind of flows off the tongue.

  52. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909 2020 Playoff death March™ Update:

    Go to Hunter1909 Death March™

    Enter Now! It’s cool! It’s free! It’s easy!

    https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

    Go and see the NEW distribution of entries chart!

    Coming soon…All Time Top Ten players list!

  53. ArmchairGM says:

    godot10:
    So how soon do you think we see

    Nurse, Bear
    Klefbom, Broberg
    Jones, Larsson

    as the pairings in an actual NHL game.

    We’ll likely lose Jones to Seattle and Tippett likes to keep defensemen on their natural sides, so I doubt we’ll ever see that set-up. At some point we might see this:

    Nurse – Bear
    Klefbom – Bouchard
    Broberg – Larsson

    That’s a pretty solid corps if you ask me. If these guys hit their ceiling, that’s three 1st pairings.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Alex Thomas, TV sched down in the US for the fans down south.

    Oilers fans may get to choose between two for the best PBP guys out there – Cuthbert and Doc:

    Game 1: NBC (3:00 pm est) *first NBC game since Game 7 2006*
    Game 2: NBCSN (10:30 pm est)
    Game 3: NBCSN (10:30 pm est)

    Games 4 and 5 are currently TBA. If it goes 5, I’d expect another NBC game.

  55. defmn says:

    ArmchairGM: We’ll likely lose Jones to Seattle and Tippett likes to keep defensemen on their natural sides, so I doubt we’ll ever see that set-up. At some point we might see this:

    Nurse – Bear
    Klefbom – Bouchard
    Broberg – Larsson

    That’s a pretty solid corps if you ask me. If these guys hit their ceiling, that’s three 1st pairings.

    It’s at least 3 solid to high end 2nd pairings. That is a defence that can hold its own against pretty much any team in the league imo.

  56. deardylan says:

    Would it ever make any sense to test out any of our D as a forward? #illogicalsong

  57. Durag says:

    defmn: I’m not clever enough to make this crap up.

    Go Edmonton Football Team Go.

    It just kind of flows off the tongue.

    We’re cheering fight, fight, fight on Edmonton Football Team!

  58. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Edmonton’s cap situation might suggest dealing Nurse & keeping Caleb Jones no? Jones will be $850K for another season after next. Nurse a UFA off of $5.6M. I suppose we will know more about CJ in a year’s time.

  59. ArmchairGM says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Edmonton’s cap situation might suggest dealing Nurse & keeping Caleb Jones no? Jones will be $850K for another season after next. Nurse a UFA off of $5.6M. I suppose we will know more about CJ in a year’s time.

    It’s hard to make the call on unknowns. As of today I’d protect 7-3-1 and expect Jones to be the one picked. I could also see Seattle picking Kassian, but that depends on what’s available from the other teams.

  60. defmn says:

    ArmchairGM: Yeah, too many variables at this time. It does appear, though, that Seattle will get an NHL player from Edmonton – unlike Vegas.

    I think we have to regard that as progress for the team.

    Yeah, too many variables at this time. It does appear, though, that Seattle will get an NHL player from Edmonton – unlike Vegas.

    I think we have to regard that as progress for the team.

  61. defmn says:

    Nice.

    Daniel Nugent-Bowman
    @DNBsports
    ·
    9m
    The Oilers are holding a scrimmage Saturday to pay tribute to the late Colby Cave. The training camp roster will be split into two teams and all players will wear No. 12 sweaters. The jerseys will be auctioned at a later date to raise money for the Colby Cave Memorial Fund.

  62. Munny says:

    defmn,

    I like it.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Thanks DEFMN/LT!

    If the Oilers can pull off that line-up for RW for next year it would be Fab. I would like to see Chiasson and KRusty moved if possible to make room (i.e., Lagesson and if JP comes back to town) and cap space. A buyout of Neal should wait one more year. If the JP situation cannot be resolved with a return to Oil Country, maybe he could be packaged for an upgrade at 3C?? Haas or Marody could rise to the occasion for 3C but that could be a stretch. If JP does not come back, keep Chiasson for 3RW to help support a slightly weakened 3C position held by Haas/Marody/Sheehan. OR with cap space of trading Chia and KRusty, sign a 3C (as per LT Athletic suggestion).

    I am all for moving on from the last year of the contracts for each of Chiasson and Kris Russell.

    Chiasson could likely be moved with only slight retainment but Russell is a much harder contract to move, as we’ve discussed.

    I agree that the Neal buyout needs to wait a year – 6 years of dead cap at close to $2M is simply too egregious going forward (in my mind) even with the close to $3M in savings for the first few years. Holland needs to find another way to open up the cap space, in my opinion.

    If they can get cap space for Russell, there is the money for a 3C (like a Soderberg) but, if not, then hopefully Holland can flip boated contract at a position of depth (Russell and 3LD) for bloated contract at a position of need (B. Sutter at 3C).

    I think Haas will play a more material role on the team next year including primary PK duties – I think he’ll replace Sheahan in that role but I think 3C at evens is a stretch at this point – of course, its a stretch for Sheahan as well and he’s played it out of necessity.

    Frankly, I don’t see the team having a legit 3C next season, again, but you never know what Holland may be able to pull off.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: I can’t listen to Drew if he’s on colour would rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard. It’s weird because I think he doesnot to bad of a job in between periods kinda reminds me of Howie Meeker.I love Gene and I think the players do as well I don’t get how some people dislike him.

    I agree that Drew does a solid job in between periods.

    My issue with his color is more presentation that anything – the jokes, and the laughing at the jokes, etc.

    Of course, we know we are getting DeBrusk and there was never a chance of Drew doing color given national broadcasts.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair:
    @LT

    In your Athletic piece this morning you identified Anton Khudobin as a potential backup goaltender.

    Looks like he will be staying in Dallas.

    https://theathletic.com/1936560/2020/07/18/stars-goalie-anton-khudobin-remains-competitive-wants-to-stay-in-dallas/?source=user_shared_article

    I read something on Khudobin a few days ago about him being open to and wanting to re-sign but no talks had started and he wants his agent to deal with it (and after the season is done).

    Didn’t sound like anything was imminent.

    In any event, I think Khudobin will be priced too high for the Oilers cap structure.

    I’d like them to look at an Aaron Dell or try and pry DeSmith out of Pitt.

  66. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree that Drew does a solid job in between periods.

    My issue with his color is more presentation that anything – the jokes, and the laughing at the jokes, etc.

    Of course, we know we are getting DeBrusk and there was never a chance of Drew doing color given national broadcasts.

    DeBrusk is alright. Rodnick is looking for a job I find him more entertaining but I think he’s blackballed for a long long time.

  67. Durag says:

    ArmchairGM: It’s hard to make the call on unknowns. As of today I’d protect 7-3-1 and expect Jones to be the one picked. I could also see Seattle picking Kassian, but that depends on what’s available from the other teams.

    Would Puljujaarvi be eligible for Seattle to pick based on his current contract status?

  68. John Chambers says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Edmonton’s cap situation might suggest dealing Nurse & keeping Caleb Jones no? Jones will be $850K for another season after next. Nurse a UFA off of $5.6M. I suppose we will know more about CJ in a year’s time.

    Purely a guess, but I foresee Klefbom traded and Larsson gone as a UFA after next season.

    Klefbom will fetch a return of a quality centre or young scoring winger. Oilers depth chart by the time the 2021 – 22 season starts will look like:

    Nurse – Bear
    Jones – Bouchard
    Broberg – Benning
    Lagesson – Samorukov

    Kesselring or Kemp will probably be in the AHL, but either could be close by then as well.

  69. godot10 says:

    Klefbom is too good and his contract is too good to trade, especially since he will be at peak Klefbom over the next three years.

    Nurse is too good and has unique scarce skills that are hard to find.

    Klefbom might be too expensive to re-sign, but one doesn’t have to face that decision for two years at the earliest and three years at the latest.

    Nurse and Klefbom are an integral part of the core for the next two years. Especially if one wants to contend.

  70. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As per Nugent-Bowman, 2nd half of practice starts with special teams and Chiasson is the guy on PP1 – we saw that earlier in camp as well when the PP stayed late after practice – it was Chiasson (not Neal) with Kailer watching and subbing in for a few reps.That seemed less formal, this is formal PP work.

    Interesting.

    While Neal did personally produce at higher rates on the PP than Chiasson did, the PP overall did produce at higher rates with Chiasson on the ice than Nealer.

    The value of having a right handed shot perhaps…

  71. jp says:

    godot10:
    Klefbom is too good and his contract is too good to trade, especially since he will be at peak Klefbom over the next three years.

    Nurse is too good and has unique scarce skills that are hard to find.

    Klefbom might be too expensive to re-sign, but one doesn’t have to face that decision for two years at the earliest and three years at the latest.

    Nurse and Klefbom are an integral part of the core for the next two years.Especially if one wants to contend.

    +1

  72. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    ArmchairGM: We’ll likely lose Jones to Seattle and Tippett likes to keep defensemen on their natural sides, so I doubt we’ll ever see that set-up. At some point we might see this:

    Nurse – Bear
    Klefbom – Bouchard
    Broberg – Larsson

    That’s a pretty solid corps if you ask me. If these guys hit their ceiling, that’s three 1st pairings.

    If they have those 6 cooking together on D 2 years from now…yowza!

  73. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    godot10:
    Klefbom is too good and his contract is too good to trade, especially since he will be at peak Klefbom over the next three years.

    Nurse is too good and has unique scarce skills that are hard to find.

    Klefbom might be too expensive to re-sign, but one doesn’t have to face that decision for two years at the earliest and three years at the latest.

    Nurse and Klefbom are an integral part of the core for the next two years.Especially if one wants to contend.

    I suspect the new “Covid-CAP” will change NEW contracts for the next 2-3 years from their pre-Covid trajectory. It would be great if the Oil could capitalize on this new situation in the next year negotiating NEW contracts for key players. Some players may only sign short term contracts with their hope that the trajectory will re-establish…much uncertainty…

  74. Dac189 says:

    godot10,

    Yep
    I feel like Oilers fans often want to get rid of our best defensemen in the hopes that the upcoming prospects will immediately surpass them.
    It took Oscar and Nurse ~5 years after draft to be a solid top 4 option.
    We shouldn’t expect Bouchard and Broberg to be useful on the top lines yet.
    Jones too might just end up being a 3rd liner like Benning.
    Note that I like both players.

    Let’s not do with Klefbom and Nurse what we did with Petry

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Durag:
    defmn,

    John Chambers,

    Neal is my pick for the Pisani of this year’s playoffs. I think we get beast mode, 1st quarter of the season Neal.

    If the PP explodes like that, then, yup, that is great news for the Oilers.

    Neal had 4 5 on 5 goals through November…… he was never productive at evens this past year.

    I do like the chances of that heavy “fourth line” popping a couple goals though – that will be huge.

  76. Reja says:

    Dac189:
    godot10,

    Yep
    I feel like Oilers fans often want to get rid of our best defensemen in the hopes that the upcoming prospects will immediately surpass them.
    It took Oscar and Nurse ~5 years after draft to be a solid top 4 option.
    We shouldn’t expect Bouchard and Broberg to be useful on the top lines yet.
    Jones too might just end up being a 3rd liner like Benning.
    Note that I like both players.

    Let’s not do with Klefbom and Nurse what we did with Petry

    There’s only so many seats at the dance somebody has to go it’s up to Holland to factor in age, how the next contract effects the cap, the side he plays on, personality, and many more variables.

  77. Gerta Rauss says:

    Durag: Would Puljujaarvi be eligible for Seattle to pick based on his current contract status?

    Yes

  78. Dee Dee says:

    Dac189,

    It’s not that I want to get rid of Nurse, it’s finding a contract size that can be lived with.

    $8 Million?

    $10 Million?

    There’s a limit to how many large contracts you can have on one team. The numbers have to work.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: That makes sense. Tippett has said (I believe) he likes to switch it up to give teams different looks.

    There was a strong segment with Gulutzan on Oilers now during “the pause” and he went quite in depth on the PP and the team does have different strategies and plays depending on which of Neal or Chiasson is out there. Different “handedness” and difference it skill-set between the two.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Yes both do a excellent job chase is Dynamite at screening the goalie and Neal is very dangerous when he receives the pass down low. It’s the best PP we’ve ever had in our history and I think it’ll be even more potent when Bouchard is straddling the line.

    I think you’ll be waiting quite a while for Bouch to be a primary on PP1.

    Klef may give way a bit to the younger crew starting next off-season but I would think that Bear gets those minutes and Bouch will see the nominal PP2 minutes that Bear received this year.

    I would note that I didn’t find Bouch all the dominant or great on the PP in Bakersfield this season – of course, he didn’t have the likes of McDavid and Drai out there…..

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: We’ll likely lose Jones to Seattle and Tippett likes to keep defensemen on their natural sides, so I doubt we’ll ever see that set-up. At some point we might see this:

    Nurse – Bear
    Klefbom – Bouchard
    Broberg – Larsson

    That’s a pretty solid corps if you ask me. If these guys hit their ceiling, that’s three 1st pairings.

    Klefbom/Bear
    Jones/Bouchard
    Broberg/Berglund

    On the very off-chance they trade Nurse after next season in the name of cap space and hole-filling.

    I do think that Klef/Bear would be a phenomenal pairing.

    I’m all for re-signing Adam Larsson at a discount but Berglund may take that depth RD spot within a year.

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Edmonton’s cap situation might suggest dealing Nurse & keeping Caleb Jones no? Jones will be $850K for another season after next. Nurse a UFA off of $5.6M. I suppose we will know more about CJ in a year’s time.

    Yup, this is a definite possibility heading in to the 2021/22 season – of course, as you said, a lot depend on Jones’ progression next season.

    Before Godot poo poos the idea, it’s not because Jones can just fill Nurse’s 2LD shoes, there is probably “a loss” taken at the position but there would be the solid asset return for Nurse to fill a forward hole.

    Again, not for this coming season and then an assessment will need to be made of incumbents and those pushing and their cap values.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    Durag: Would Puljujaarvi be eligible for Seattle to pick based on his current contract status?

    Yes – even if HH refuses to acknowledge the rules on it.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    John Chambers: Purely a guess, but I foresee Klefbom traded and Larsson gone as a UFA after next season.

    Klefbom will fetch a return of a quality centre or young scoring winger. Oilers depth chart by the time the 2021 – 22 season starts will look like:

    Nurse – Bear
    Jones – Bouchard
    Broberg – Benning
    Lagesson – Samorukov

    Kesselring or Kemp will probably be in the AHL, but either could be close by then as well.

    You could be right that Klefbom can be trade as the org may decide they need to trade one of Nurse/Klef for cap and asset management reasons. I don’t see Klef being dealt but you never know.

    I think you are forgetting about one prospect that I would slide in to that Samorukov spot – that would be Berglund – I think he could be a long-time 3RD for this org.

    I’m not discounting Sammy at all but he’s a LD and, at this point, I just don’t know where the org goes with all the leftie prospects (Jones, Lagesson, Lennstrom, Sammy, Broberg, etc.).

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: I suspect the new “Covid-CAP” will change NEW contracts for the next 2-3 years from their pre-Covid trajectory. It would be great if the Oil could capitalize on this new situation in the next year negotiating NEW contracts for key players. Some players may only sign short term contracts with their hope that the trajectory will re-establish…much uncertainty…

    Time to get Nuge done at 5 years X $6.25M……

  86. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Time to get Nuge done at 5 years X $6.25M……

    I would wager his next deal starts with a 7 and it will have to be longer than 5 years to get him to sign it.

  87. who says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: The value of having a right handed shot perhaps…

    Ah, the mythical value of the right hand shot on the powerplay.
    Unless he’s standing on his offwing firing one timers I don’t think it makes much difference which way Chiasson shoots.
    It certainly doesn’t matter when he’s standing in front of the net.

  88. unca miltie says:

    defmn:
    Nice.

    Daniel Nugent-Bowman
    @DNBsports
    ·
    9m
    The Oilers are holding a scrimmage Saturday to pay tribute to the late Colby Cave. The training camp roster will be split into two teams and all players will wear No. 12 sweaters. The jerseys will be auctioned at a later date to raise money for the Colby Cave Memorial Fund.

    This brings tears to my eyes. As I’ve mentioned before I was at the game where he knocked out Pospisil and I am also a farm boy from Saskatchewan. i would certainly be a player for a jersey.

  89. flyfish1168 says:

    Harpers Hair: Yellow Greens.

    Green and Gold

  90. ArmchairGM says:

    Dee Dee:
    Dac189,

    It’s not that I want to get rid of Nurse, it’s finding a contract size that can be lived with.

    $8 Million?

    $10 Million?

    There’s a limit to how many large contracts you can have on one team. The numbers have to work.

    I’m no seer, but with a flat cap going forward I think $7 – 7.25M is about the right number for Nugent-Hopkins, and I don’t see how Nurse can command any more than that.

    I wouldn’t have a problem signing Nurse to that number as both Broberg and Bouchard will (barring either playing 10 playoff games this summer) still be on their ELC’s for the 1st year of that deal and Klefbom likewise will be a value deal that year. When those players need extensions (for the 23-24 season), Neal’s contract will drop off. Some decisions will have to be made at that time, I don’t see Holland being forced to give up a good defender prior to that. Even then, the only player’s currently under contract for the 23-24 season* will be McDavid, Draisaitl, Kassian and (hopefully) Nugent-Hopkins and Nurse. As long as Holland doesn’t sign any silly contracts between now and then he’ll have maximum cap flexibility in extending the defense corps.

    *All dead money (retained salary, buyouts, etc) will be off the books by the 23-24 season also. Clean slate.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: Ah, the mythical value of the right hand shot on the powerplay.
    Unless he’s standing on his offwing firing one timers I don’t think it makes much difference which way Chiasson shoots.
    It certainly doesn’t matter when he’s standing in front of the net.

    Nuge actually mentioned earlier today the benefit of his right shot giving him certain options on the PP – or maybe it was yesterday.

  92. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Klefbom/Bear
    Jones/Bouchard
    Broberg/Berglund

    On the very off-chance they trade Nurse after next season in the name of cap space and hole-filling.

    I do think that Klef/Bear would be a phenomenal pairing.

    I’m all for re-signing Adam Larsson at a discount but Berglund may take that depth RD spot within a year.

    Or Kemp. I like the way his scouting reports read, I could see him surprising the way Marino did (but with less offense).

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: I’m no seer, but with a flat cap going forward I think $7 – 7.25M is about the right number for Nugent-Hopkins, and I don’t see how Nurse can command any more than that.

    I wouldn’t have a problem signing Nurse to that number as both Broberg and Bouchard will (barring either playing 10 playoff games this summer) still be on their ELC’s for the 1st year of that deal and Klefbom likewise will be a value deal that year. When those players need extensions (for the 23-24 season), Neal’s contract will drop off. Some decisions will have to be made at that time, I don’t see Holland being forced to give up a good defender prior to that. Even then, the only player’s currently under contract for the 23-24 season* will be McDavid, Draisaitl, Kassian and (hopefully) Nugent-Hopkins and Nurse. As long as Holland doesn’t sign any silly contracts between now and then he’ll have maximum cap flexibility in extending the defense corps.

    *All dead money (retained salary, buyouts, etc) will be off the books by the 23-24 season also. Clean slate.

    I think the $7.25M per was the max for Nuge in the pre-pandemic cap structure and hope it comes in less than that – its a must-sign though. He’s a glue player and they won’t know how much he’s missed until he’s gone.

    That dead money coming off is great – as long as they don’t put any more back on (i.e. a Neal buyout).

    Lots of raises to be paid in that period though – Yamamoto, Bear, Nuge, Jones – maybe Benson if he takes that step.

  94. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Klefbom/Bear
    Jones/Bouchard
    Broberg/Berglund

    That’s a really young and inexperienced group, even if we’re talking 2 years from now. Holland isn’t that sort of architect.

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Or Kemp. I like the way his scouting reports read, I could see him surprising the way Marino did (but with less offense).

    Yup, Kemp has a shot for an NHL career, even if HH won’t agree.

    I think Berglund is (a) closer, (b) more likely to “make it” and (c) has a higher ceiling as a better skater.

    From accounts though, Kemp is a VERY VERY good defender.

    I am also very curious as to what happens with Kemp this year – with Yale not playing.

    I wonder if he signs, an NHL or an AHL deal – or maybe he follows Rasanan to Europe (although I don’t know if there is a market for him in Europe).

  96. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, this is a definite possibility heading in to the 2021/22 season – of course, as you said, a lot depend on Jones’ progression next season.

    Before Godot poo poos the idea, it’s not because Jones can just fill Nurse’s 2LD shoes, there is probably “a loss” taken at the position but there would be the solid asset return for Nurse to fill a forward hole.

    Again, not for this coming season and then an assessment will need to be made of incumbents and those pushing and their cap values.

    It’s interesting to me that Oilers fans underestimate Nurse’s importance to the team. 5v5 TOI

    – over the past season: 2nd in the league to Chabot
    – over the past 2 seasons: 1st in the league
    – over the past 3 seasons: 2nd in the league to Doughty

    5v5 points (among defensemen)

    – over the past season: T-7th in the league (with Suter, Shattenkirk, Hedman and McAvoy)
    – over the past 2 seasons: T-9th in the league (with Ekblad)
    – over the past 3 seasons: T-7th in the league (with Hedman)

    As much as I like Jones, I have zero confidence that he’ll be able to step into that role. Very few players in the world can eat minutes (and hard minutes, too) like Nurse can.

  97. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, Kemp has a shot for an NHL career, even if HH won’t agree.

    I think Berglund is (a) closer, (b) more likely to “make it” and (c) has a higher ceiling as a better skater.

    From accounts though, Kemp is a VERY VERY good defender.

    I am also very curious as to what happens with Kemp this year – with Yale not playing.

    I wonder if he signs, an NHL or an AHL deal – or maybe he follows Rasanan to Europe (although I don’t know if there is a market for him in Europe).

    Why did the Oilers not sign Kemp when the window was open?

    I guess they don’t share your optimism and have left him twisting in the wind.

    I would imagine he’ll play out his senior year and sign somewhere else.

  98. ArmchairGM says:

    Harpers Hair: Why did the Oilers not sign Kemp when the window was open?

    I guess they don’t share your optimism and have left him twisting in the wind.

    I would imagine he’ll play out his senior year and sign somewhere else.

    Kemp isn’t blind to the fact the Oiler organization’s strongest asset is its young defencemen.

    “(Evan) Bouchard is very talented, (Philip) Broberg too, (Dmitry) Samorukov is an outstanding young defenceman. They have a great defensive core on the AHL (American Hockey League) team. Be awesome to be a part of that. I think I could learn a lot and to be competing with them would be awesome,” said Kemp.

    Kemp has no idea when college hockey will be back.

    “I’m just praying for a season. I think they definitely would play games with no fans. That doesn’t matter to me, I’m playing with my teammates. The buses would be the problem. No cross-country trips. Probably take those off the schedule,” said Kemp, who was always going back to school for a fourth year, rather than entertain a possible pro offer from the Oilers after his junior season at Yale.

    https://edmontonsun.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/edmonton-oilers-pipeline-yale-captain-phil-kemp-has-intriguing-defensive-game/amp

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: It’s interesting to me that Oilers fans underestimate Nurse’s importance to the team. 5v5 TOI

    – over the past season: 2nd in the league to Chabot
    – over the past 2 seasons: 1st in the league
    – over the past 3 seasons: 2nd in the league to Doughty

    5v5 points (among defensemen)

    – over the past season: T-7th in the league (with Suter, Shattenkirk, Hedman and McAvoy)
    – over the past 2 seasons: T-9th in the league (with Ekblad)
    – over the past 3 seasons: T-7th in the league (with Hedman)

    As much as I like Jones, I have zero confidence that he’ll be able to step into that role. Very few players in the world can eat minutes (and hard minutes, too) like Nurse can.

    I’m not under-estimating Nurse’s importance or the role that he plays and I acknowledged the drop in performance at the position.

    I’m one of Nurse’s biggest defenders, notwithstanding some continuing problem with defensive zone awareness.

    At the same time, something is likely going to have to give at some point and Nurse looking for a raise on $5.2M with a UFA hammer and Jones, Lagesson, Samorukov, Lennstrom, Broberg behind him pushing.

    I’m not saying trading Nurse, for value at another position, is something that should be done or that it could be done without weakening the top 4, just that something will need to be done at some point and its a potential option.

  100. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: Why did the Oilers not sign Kemp when the window was open?

    I guess they don’t share your optimism and have left him twisting in the wind.

    I would imagine he’ll play out his senior year and sign somewhere else.

    So insightful, given the lack of clarity in any hockey league and the loaning of players already.

    Thank You.

    What’s happening with Rafferty?

  101. Scungilli Slushy says:

    ArmchairGM: It’s interesting to me that Oilers fans underestimate Nurse’s importance to the team. 5v5 TOI

    – over the past season: 2nd in the league to Chabot
    – over the past 2 seasons: 1st in the league
    – over the past 3 seasons: 2nd in the league to Doughty

    5v5 points (among defensemen)

    – over the past season: T-7th in the league (with Suter, Shattenkirk, Hedman and McAvoy)
    – over the past 2 seasons: T-9th in the league (with Ekblad)
    – over the past 3 seasons: T-7th in the league (with Hedman)

    As much as I like Jones, I have zero confidence that he’ll be able to step into that role. Very few players in the world can eat minutes (and hard minutes, too) like Nurse can.

    Very few players can do that and bring the threat he does.

    Nurse will play a long career based on that and skating alone.

    Unless the league actually starts calling the rules that make him valuable.

    I think Darnell is safe for a while.

  102. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10:
    Klefbom is too good and his contract is too good to trade, especially since he will be at peak Klefbom over the next three years.

    Nurse is too good and has unique scarce skills that are hard to find.

    Klefbom might be too expensive to re-sign, but one doesn’t have to face that decision for two years at the earliest and three years at the latest.

    Nurse and Klefbom are an integral part of the core for the next two years.Especially if one wants to contend.

    You sign the younger player if similar value always.

  103. Munny says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Agreed. Pencilling Jones in there when we’re not even sure how well he can fulfill the 3LD role yet would be a serious step down in performance from Nurse.

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Why did the Oilers not sign Kemp when the window was open?

    I guess they don’t share your optimism and have left him twisting in the wind.

    I would imagine he’ll play out his senior year and sign somewhere else.

    They could sign Kemp any time they want to – the signing would be for an ELC (or even an AHL deal potentially) starting next year – they would not want to burn a year of the ELC.

    One would have thought that you would have learned about your thoughts on these players and their plans with the embarrassing posts re: Berglund.

  105. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: So insightful, given the lack of clarity in any hockey league and the loaning of players already.

    Thank You.

    What’s happening with Rafferty?

    Apparently he scarfed down 2 super Donairs with extra sauce from Donair Dude and he was still hungry.

  106. geowal says:

    flyfish1168: Green and Gold

    Edmonton Eskers

  107. yeraslob says:

    “I would wager” he says, lol

  108. Munny says:

    If Nuge is to be re-signed, Neal cannot be on the roster at that time.

  109. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I think the $7.25M per was the max for Nuge in the pre-pandemic cap structure and hope it comes in less than that

    I don’t know OP. I hope he wants to stick around and signs a team friendly deal, but you don’t think Nuge could get (could have gotten, I guess) $7.25M easily on the open market, pre-covid?

    Here’s some $7M+ contracts from the last few years. For context Nuge score 69 points last year and 61 this year (pro-rates to 70 if the season had finished, even with his games missed). He’ll be 28 if/when he’s UFA.

    2020
    Backstrom (33 in Nov) 5 X $9.2M. He scored 70, 74 and 54 points leading up to the deal.

    2019
    Duchesne (age 28) 7 X $8M. Scored 41, 59 and 70 points.
    Pavelski (age 34) 3 X $7M. Scored 68, 66, 64 points.
    Lee (age 28) 7 X $7M. Scored 52, 62, 51 points.
    Hayes (age 27) 7 X $7.14M. Scored 49, 44, 55 points.
    Skinner (age 27) 8 X $9M. Scored 63, 49, 63 points.
    Stone (age 26) 8 X $9.5M. Scored 54, 62, 73 points (and to be fair the 62 Pts was in 58 GP).

    2018
    Pacioretty (age 29) 4 X $7M. Scored 64, 67, 37 points.
    van Riemsdyk (age 29) 5 X $7M. Scored 29, 62, 54 points (the 29 Pts was in 40 GP)
    Couture (age 29) 8 X $8M. Scored 36, 52, 61 points.
    Kane (age 26) 7 X $7M. Scored 35, 43, 54 points.

    Nuge has a great argument for being better than many of those players IMO.

  110. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: It’s interesting to me that Oilers fans underestimate Nurse’s importance to the team. 5v5 TOI

    – over the past season: 2nd in the league to Chabot
    – over the past 2 seasons: 1st in the league
    – over the past 3 seasons: 2nd in the league to Doughty

    5v5 points (among defensemen)

    – over the past season: T-7th in the league (with Suter, Shattenkirk, Hedman and McAvoy)
    – over the past 2 seasons: T-9th in the league (with Ekblad)
    – over the past 3 seasons: T-7th in the league (with Hedman)

    As much as I like Jones, I have zero confidence that he’ll be able to step into that role. Very few players in the world can eat minutes (and hard minutes, too) like Nurse can.

    Agreed.

    And to add, over the past 3 years Nurse was a hair behind Larsson in %TOI vs elites. And he was -4 at 5on5 for a team that was -61 over the same span. (Klefbom -40, Larsson -38, Sekera -18, Bear -16, Russell -11, Jones -6, Benning +19). (Benning lol)

    Eats hard minutes. Breaks even. Contributes offense. An edge. What else do you want?

  111. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m not under-estimating Nurse’s importance or the role that he plays and I acknowledged the drop in performance at the position.

    I’m one of Nurse’s biggest defenders, notwithstanding some continuing problem with defensive zone awareness.

    At the same time, something is likely going to have to give at some point and Nurse looking for a raise on $5.2M with a UFA hammer and Jones, Lagesson, Samorukov, Lennstrom, Broberg behind him pushing.

    I’m not saying trading Nurse, for value at another position, is something that should be done or that it could be done without weakening the top 4, just that something will need to be done at some point and its a potential option.

    Oilers traded Jeff Petry because they didn’t want to pay him $4 million. They already had lesser players making $4 million and couldn’t afford to sign a better player for the same amount they were paying those poorer performers.

    That’s crazy.

    Also ill advised is trading Nurse before you’re damn good and sure Jones is better. And we won’t know that for some time.

  112. JimmyV1965 says:

    ArmchairGM: It’s interesting to me that Oilers fans underestimate Nurse’s importance to the team. 5v5 TOI

    – over the past season: 2nd in the league to Chabot
    – over the past 2 seasons: 1st in the league
    – over the past 3 seasons: 2nd in the league to Doughty

    5v5 points (among defensemen)

    – over the past season: T-7th in the league (with Suter, Shattenkirk, Hedman and McAvoy)
    – over the past 2 seasons: T-9th in the league (with Ekblad)
    – over the past 3 seasons: T-7th in the league (with Hedman)

    As much as I like Jones, I have zero confidence that he’ll be able to step into that role. Very few players in the world can eat minutes (and hard minutes, too) like Nurse can.

    Excellent post. There’s three people that are untouchables on this team and Nurse is one of them.

  113. hunter1909 says:

    TIME GROWS SHORTER AND SHORTER TO PLAY OILERS DEATH MARCH!

    Enter Now!

    https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

    To All returning Players of all levels: Please continue to use your original names for continuity purposes while we develop the site to a higher level. Thank you for your cooperation

  114. Dac189 says:

    I’d say without a doubt the top 5 best/core/most important players on this team are:
    Nuge, Drai, McDavid, Klefbom and Nurse.
    If those 3 want 7mill each, give it to them, I think they earned it.
    Share the remaining 40 million between the other 17 players.

    Someone once posted the Oilers win percentage with Klefbom in and out of the lineup over the past few years and it was huge.

  115. ArmchairGM says:

    Munny:
    If Nuge is to be re-signed, Neal cannot be on the roster at that time.

    Why do you feel this way?

    For the record, I don’t agree. If Nugent-Hopkins comes in at $7.25M, that’s a raise of just $1.25M from current, and there’s no issue with fitting that under the cap as far as I can see. Here’s why:

    – Russell contract ended, replaced at 7D by Lagesson or similar: $3.2M saved
    – Chiasson contract ended, replaced at 4RW by $1M player: $1.15M saved
    – Sekera buyout cap hit goes from $2.5M to $1.5M: $1M saved
    – Pouliot buyout ended: $1.33M saved

    Of course, we don’t know if Larsson will be resigned or replaced with Bouchard ($3.25M saved), if Benning will still be around or replaced with Berglund / Kemp / other ($1.1M saved), how much Bear, Athanasiou and Yamamoto require on new contracts, etc. But the bottom line is that I don’t see how having both Neal and Nugent-Hopkins could possibly be mutually exclusive.

  116. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: Agreed.

    And to add, over the past 3 years Nurse was a hair behind Larsson in %TOI vs elites. And he was -4 at 5on5 for a team that was -61 over the same span. (Klefbom -40, Larsson -38, Sekera -18, Bear -16, Russell -11, Jones -6, Benning +19). (Benning lol)

    Eats hard minutes. Breaks even. Contributes offense. An edge. What else do you want?

    Impressive.

    And yes, trade Matt Benning ASAP. Can’t pay that guy $2M. 😛

  117. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Reasonable 2020… that seems like a lot to ask.

    I predict the OIlers win the Cup, because Liverpool won for the first time since 1990 and thats the last time the Oilers won, and thats the kind of year 2020 is gonna be.

  118. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Oilers traded Jeff Petry because they didn’t want to pay him $4 million. They already had lesser players making $4 million and couldn’t afford to sign a better player for the same amount they were paying those poorer performers.

    That’s crazy.

    Also ill advised is trading Nurse before you’re damn good and sure Jones is better. And we won’t know that for some time.

    Sure but I never said otherwise.

    Firstly, I’m not for trading Nurse but am simply acknowledging that it may be something that needs to be looked at in the future.

    Secondly, I’ve been clear that going in to next season is not the time and any ability to do so depends on the development of certain others through next season – including Caleb Jones.

    Thirdly, the lesser players pushing will be making nowhere near that $6M plus Darnell will be demanding – that is a main factor – the cap space.

    Fourthly, Nurse would be traded for value at another position of need, unlike Petry

    Fifthy, I acknowledged that, even if Jones and Sammy and Broberg progress as hoped for next season, the move would weaken the top 4D going in to the 2021/22 season.

    I’ve never said it will or should be done but simply acknowledge the cap situation, the depth at the position, Nurse’s contract dig-ins in the past. I’m fully aware of what Darnell Nurse means to the current lineup and I have no issue with him in the top 4 on the left side for the next 5-7 years.

  119. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sure but I never said otherwise.

    Firstly, I’m not for trading Nurse but am simply acknowledging that it may be something that needs to be looked at in the future.

    Secondly, I’ve been clear that going in to next season is not the time and any ability to do so depends on the development of certain others through next season – including Caleb Jones.

    Thirdly, the lesser players pushing will be making nowhere near that $6M plus Darnell will be demanding – that is a main factor – the cap space.

    Fourthly, Nurse would be traded for value at another position of need, unlike Petry

    Fifthy, I acknowledged that, even if Jones and Sammy and Broberg progress as hoped for next season, the move would weaken the top 4D going in to the 2021/22 season.

    I’ve never said it will or should be done but simply acknowledge the cap situation, the depth at the position, Nurse’s contract dig-ins in the past. I’m fully aware of what Darnell Nurse means to the current lineup and I have no issue with him in the top 4 on the left side for the next 5-7 years.

    Are there any examples of defencemen as good as Nurse, getting traded for cap space simply because they are suddenly going to cost money that’s already been blown elsewhere?

    Call me stupid/crazy but I can’t think of any. Rangers trading McDonough? I don’t have a clue.

    Only this past season has Nurse stopped causing heart attacks in his own end. It sure would be nice to see how much better he can get with McDavid/Draisaitl to pass the puck to.

  120. OriginalPouzar says:

    Trouba comes to mind.

    It’s not just a function of the player and his cap hit but also a function of depth at the position.

    Again, not saying it should or will happen but something will need to give for cap space, to monetize the depth on the left side (but not kill the depth) and to fill other holes.

    I have never ever said that it won’t hurt the top 4 or that Nurse isn’t extremely valuable to the team or that a trade should be made. Many factors will be involved at the time, if ever, is a year away.

  121. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Trouba comes to mind.

    It’s not just a function of the player and his cap hit but also a function of depth at the position.

    Again, not saying it should or will happen but something will need to give for cap space, to monetize the depth on the left side (but not kill the depth) and to fill other holes.

    I have never ever said that it won’t hurt the top 4 or that Nurse isn’t extremely valuable to the team or that a trade should be made. Many factors will be involved at the time, if ever, is a year away.

    If what the team wants is mediocrity they should do as you suggest. The purpose is not to survive but prosper. You never get better moving better players!

  122. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Trouba comes to mind.

    It’s not just a function of the player and his cap hit but also a function of depth at the position.

    Again, not saying it should or will happen but something will need to give for cap space, to monetize the depth on the left side (but not kill the depth) and to fill other holes.

    I have never ever said that it won’t hurt the top 4 or that Nurse isn’t extremely valuable to the team or that a trade should be made. Many factors will be involved at the time, if ever, is a year away.

    Trouba wanted out of Winnipeg because of his wife’s career. He put in his time and was about to be a UFA.

  123. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Trouba wanted out of Winnipeg because of his wife’s career.He put in his time and was about to be a UFA.

    That doesn’t change the fact that he was a perfect example as requested by the poster.

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