Plug And Play

by Lowetide

Dave Tippett found a way to deploy three young Bakersfield Condors in the NHL during 2019-20, or perhaps more accurately the players stepped up when opportunity knocked. Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones should be productive Oilers for the next five seasons or more.

If the organization can find three more in the coming season, those six names would represent 26 percent of the roster coming through the Bakersfield pipeline. Who among the prospects is NHL-ready?

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.

EVAN BOUCHARD

These are Eric Rodgers numbers, fantastic work from a selfless man going back to the OKC days. Amazing. I don’t recall seeing a rookie defenseman recover in the second half of the season in this manner. Bouchard was playing for a below average team but at even strength he played the league above par in the second half of his freshman campaign.

We don’t have time on ice so it’s not a grand statistic but we do see he was productive offensively. Jeff Petry as a rookie posted 41, 4-7-11 (.268) at even strength and 41, 2-10-12 (.292) on the power play. Jordan Oesterle as a rookie delivered 65, 6-12-18 (.277) but didn’t get much power-play time. Ethan Bear was 37, 6-5-11 (.297) at evens and 37, 0-7-7 (.189) with the man advantage as a rookie. Safe to say Bouchard is the most substantial offensive defenseman of the decade (I’m not including Justin Schultz who played in special circumstances).

NHL READY LIST 2020-21

LW Tyler Benson. It’s clear Benson has an NHL future that can start anytime. He wins battles, his passing is exceptional and he’s always been capable as a two-way forward. Per 82 games in the AHL, he is averaging 197 shots and 16 goals (8 percent). I know everyone worries about his speed but he can play in the NHL and he’s a fabulous passer. I don’t know if he’s going to score 15 goals a year based on his AHL shooting percentage. What does that mean? Third and fourth line usage.

LD William Lagesson. He really is a good NHL defensive prospect but it’s hard to get anyone’s attention with the current LH depth chart in Edmonton. How ready is he? In 92 AHL games, Lagesson’s on-ice even strength goal differential is 82-58, +24. In the same two year period, Ethan Bear (43-29, +14 playing just 2018-19) and Caleb Jones (59-46, +13 in a year and 14 games 2019-20) flourished and found NHL employment. Lagesson is NHL-ready and NHL-calibre.

RC Cooper Marody. This is all about injury. If Marody is healthy then we’re going to see him play some NHL hockey based on his outstanding rookie season in the AHL 2018-19 (58 games, 19-45-64 and an on-ice even strength goal differential of 60-36).

RW Jesse Puljujarvi. I can’t imagine any push back on this claim. NHLE from his Liiga season (35.1) lands him No. 202 among NHL forwards (30 or more games) in 2019-20 points-per-game. That’s a third-line winger. He’s beyond ready for that role.

LC Ryan McLeod. I mentioned it all during the spring, McLeod’s rookie AHL season was very impressive. His on ice even strength goal differential (27-27) was slightly superior to other rookie forwards on the team (Kirill Maksimov 26-30; Jakob Stukel 14-16) and his estimated NHLE (all of this via our friend Eric Rodgers) was 15.83. That number is also superior to Maksimov (12.85) and Stukel (10.71). Note: This could flip a year from now. What won’t flip is that McLeod is a center, and he does have some things to recommend him at the position. In just under 80 preseason minutes over two seasons, McLeod’s five on five offense (0-3-3, 2.26 points per 60) and shot differential (52 percent) are rock solid. His faceoff percentage (46 percent) is lagging, and he’ll need more time, but man this looks like a good second round pick. Like Benson, I now believe McLeod will have an NHL career. His speed is the most compelling bullet point on the resume.

G Ilya Konovalov. I’m convinced of this guy. Honestly. In the last two seasons in the KHL, a very good league, he has stopped 92.1 percent of the shots headed his way. That’s 167 goals against in 2120 shots. He just turned 22, I don’t think Ken Holland is wondering what to do. Konovalov is free to sign in Edmonton 2021 offseason.

LD Theodor Lennstrom. A solid resume but he may not receive a recall even when he’s ready. Based on success and experience it’s difficult for me to imagine he’s less NHL-ready than Joel Persson but there are minor league games in Lennstrom’s future.

BOB GREEN’S WHITEBOARD (FEB 2016)

Bob Green’s official title with the Edmonton Oilers is Director of Player Personnel, a wide-ranging role that (according to the website) involves many areas of the game. Today, I am most interested in this passage of the job description:

Oversee the Edmonton Oilers scouting operations as well as continue to identify and recruit NCAA, CHL and European free agents and develop a free agent priority list.

Interesting. We have already seen a lot of Green’s work, he is responsible for men like Jordan Oesterle, Josh Winquist and others being in the system. Edmonton’s AHL team next year is going to be a team in transition, as the club moves away from the failed draft picks and (I assume) signs college and graduating juniors to both NHL and AHL contracts. Here are some candidates to keep in mind who have a general or specific association with the team at this time:

L Josh Winquist. He has been on an AHL contract for two seasons now, may have earned an NHL deal this summer. Although he has been injured much of the season (knee), the numbers (16, 7-9-16) suggest he may have a future.

C Josh Currie. Won AHL contract in January, has played well (33, 4-6-10) in a two-way role in Bakersfield.

C-L Marco Roy. Former second-round selection has an AHL deal (28, 5-3-8) and is finding his way.

F Roman Horak. A damn good player, no indication he is coming back.

Green will have to decide if any of these men are viable NHL prospects and worthy of a big league deal. If not, perhaps they will be retained for another season on an AHL deal. At the same time, Green will probably be looking for some of those CHL and NCAA free agents who can step right in next year. I spoke to Guy Flaming of the Pipeline Show recently and he provided some interesting names (previously mentioned here):

LW Dryden Hunt, Moose Jaw Warriors. A strong skater having a terrific year, he is 15-8-23 in his last 10 WHL games. He is 6.01, 201 and would be a fantastic get in an area of need.

C Reid Gardiner, Prince Albert Raiders. This is a pretty good player, surprised he wasn’t drafted last summer. He is 5.11, 195, and 6-6-12 in his last 10 games.

F Drake Caggiula, University of North Dakota. Another terrific scorer (23GP, 15-15-30), he has good speed and a range of skills. 5.10, 180.

D Troy Stecher, University of North Dakota. Righthanded blue with all kinds of offense (28GP, 5-14-19) and he is an excellent skater. 5.10, 190.

R Nick Betz, Erie Otters. This player comes via Brock Otten and his excellent OHL Prospects site, and Betz is a big power winger with average speed. What makes him interesting is size (6.04, 220) and offense (47GP, 15-24-39) that appears to be attached to net-front presence. Source

The Oilers are going to need to sign some kids, both NHL and AHL deals. Why? Well part of the issue comes from expiring deals they may not want to renew:

UFATeddy Purcell, Eric Gryba, Nikita Nikitin, Rob Klinkhammer, Brad Hunt, Andrew Miller, Ryan Hamilton. (7)

RFAIiro Pakarinen, Zack Kassian, Justin Schultz, Brandon Davidson, Adam Clendening, Laurent Brossoit, Anders Nilsson, Luke Gazdic, Tyler Pitlick, Martin Gernat, Jordan Oesterle, David Musil, Kale Kessy. (13)

That is 20 contracts, fully 40 percent of the entire 50-man list. The Oilers have a big issue here: They should walk (or trade out of) eight of the minor league deals (Hunt, Miller, Hamilton, Gazdic, Pitlick, Gernat, Musil, Kessy). The NHL deals we will leave alone for now and revisit another time.

Edmonton does not have eight players from previous drafts worth signing. NOT CLOSE. And the best ones are, you guessed it, defensemen:

  • D William Lagesson—NCAA freshman, very good at the WJs.
  • F Tyler Vesel—Two-way college player, jury is out.
  • L Evan Campbell—He does not appear to be a future NHL player.
  • G Zach Nagelvoort—He hasn’t played much this year, never a good sign.
  • F Aidan Muir—Big forward not progressing.
  • G Miroslav Svoboda—Big goalie miles away.
  • G Keven Bouchard—QMJHL goalie, I don’t think they sign him in the spring.
  • D Ziyat Paigin—Enjoying a brilliant KHL season, signed for another year.

With that as the backdrop, what does the ideal Bob Green whiteboard (in his office) for the 16-17 Bakersfield Condors look like?

  • Goal: Laurent Brossoit, Eetu Laurikainen
  • Defense: Griffin Reinhart, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle, Joey Laleggia, Dillon Simpson, Ben Betker, TROY STECHER
  • Center: Bogdan Yakimov, Jujhar Khaira, Kyle Platzer, Marco Roy
  • Left Wing: Josh Winquist, DRYDEN HUNT, Braden Christoffer, Mitchell Moroz
  • Right Wing: Anton Slepyshev, Greg Chase, NICK BETZ

Plus the AHL veterans. It is still not close to enough, but the Oilers have traded away a lot of their draft picks and signed the worthy men from 2013 long ago. Bob Green may need a second whiteboard.

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jp

OriginalPouzar: The positions of need I don’t disagree with but I’m not sure there is the cap for a $3M goalie plus a legit stop-gap 3C without that buyout of Neal (in addition to the Rusty move)

That’s pretty much what I said, no? I’m optimistic that Holland might be able to find a retained salary deal or something for another overpriced player but agree adding two $3M players will require money that’s currently going to both Russell and Neal.

jp

GordieHoweHatTrick: I agree with this and the budget numbers for replacement are what I was approximating in my arm chair as well. Except I doubt they move on Neal this year.

I spent some time looking for a suitable RH 3C that could be obtained through trade or FA. Not a lot of options. Based on what we saw, I think it would be interesting to try AA on the third line with Haas/Marody with another “3+” winger, see if the three can develop some complementary chemistry.

As far as the G-spot, I hope they spend sufficient time and effort to find what they are looking for, i.e. the best available at ~3M

It will be pretty tough to find the cap space for $3M forward and a $3M goalie without money from both Russell and Neal though, otherwise I’d agree. Maybe Holland can find a way.

And I agree AA could end up on a 3rd line with Haas or similar. I’d just have a difficult time starting the season with a C depth chart of Haas/Khaira/Marody. IMO someone pretty much has to be added to that group.

OriginalPouzar

Bob McKenzie’s semi-retirement is starting.

He’ll be around for certain things (World Juniors, Deadline Day, etc.) but not as much.

https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/1292787749075013632

OriginalPouzar

Oh and who is ready for 4pm?

From accounts, the actual draw will be live and not just the card-flipping results – not sure exactly how they are going to do it but it should be interesting.

OriginalPouzar

jp: I guess my opinion is that the team isn’t off the tracks. Despite what seemed to be a disinterested 4 games plus some bad luck.

So my thoughts on what Holland should do this off season haven’t changed much.

3C and a second goalie would remain my priorities. I guess the play-in reinforced that actually, with Smith falling flat and not getting the net back, and Sheahan losing minutes to Khaira/Haas.

Koskinen had a very solid year and a non-terrible playoff (IMO), get him a new ~$3M partner.

I think you stay the course with the D. Do what you can to move Russell to free some money (and almost as important, to open #7D for Lagesson).

Up front bring back AA and give him a chance. I’d bring Ennis back too if he’ll be healthy. Add a ~$3M 3C.

Neal played well in the play-in and his season looks pretty good on a lot of levels. I’d be happy to keep him if he made $3M but Holland likely needs the money for 3C/G. I guess a buyout could still be on the table but hopefully a retained salary move or a trade for a less onerous contract available (a couple of playoff goals to cap his 19 goal season won’t hurt).

Pretty boring I’m afraid. If some less expected opportunity to improve comes along obviously take it but there’s no need to go out looking to shake things up IMO.

The positions of need I don’t disagree with but I’m not sure there is the cap for a $3M goalie plus a legit stop-gap 3C without that buyout of Neal (in addition to the Rusty move)

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM: Yep, as long as you’re comfortable losing Jones to Seattle. I’m not sure I am, but next season will tell us a lot more about the player.

or losing Benson, AA, Kassian, Puljujarvi, etc. to Seattle (4-4-1)……

I agree that we will know more closer to the time – I predict Jones’ will prove to be a “must-protect” at the end of next season.

Here is hoping one (or more) of AA, Puljujarvi and AA prove the same – creating a problem for protection – a good problem to have at the end of the day.

OriginalPouzar

€√¥£€^$: For the record, I wouldn’t trade the pick, just trying to get some conversations going.

Oh, I would trade the pick for the “right deal” and getting two other high picks (such as 3 and 5) along with moving on from an anchor contract with term like Neal would be something to consider.

The “risk” there is kicking the success down the road. Alexis L. fits a main current need immediately – he can come in next season and be a legit 1/2LW – the LW for McDavid is likely. Boom, done, fixed. He will be on an ELC to boot – yes, with bonus potential to take it to $4M but still.

The benefit of the deal is accumulating multiple high end assets and opening up cap space – those two main assets may take a year or two to show though (although the cap space would be an immediate asset that could be used on a long-term Bear extension and/or a 3C).

OriginalPouzar

who: What if the Oilers are looking like a playoff team?
Isn’t Larrson the kind of rental that playoff teams try to acquire at the trade deadline?
I understand trying to get some value before he leaves as a UFA but it’s a bit of a conundrum.

Yes, I agree with this.

I’ve read sporadically the opinion that certain players on expiring contracts can/should be traded at the deadline with Larsson’s name coming up the most. Doesn’t make sense to me if the plan if to be a buyer, as oppossed to a seller.

jake70

RT26:
I would love to see the following D corps 2 years from now:

Klefbom. Bouchard
Nurse. Jones
Broberg Bear

All mobile and able to move the puck, but with one more defensive minded D per pair (Klefbom, Jones, Broberg).Now, keep Bouchard and Broberg in the minors /SHL for one more year to season and sign a Bear to a multi year deal with value for the Oil

You can’t move the puck out from D zone without having it.

GordieHoweHatTrick

jp: I guess my opinion is that the team isn’t off the tracks. Despite what seemed to be a disinterested 4 games plus some bad luck.

So my thoughts on what Holland should do this off season haven’t changed much.

3C and a second goalie would remain my priorities. I guess the play-in reinforced that actually, with Smith falling flat and not getting the net back, and Sheahan losing minutes to Khaira/Haas.

Koskinen had a very solid year and a non-terrible playoff (IMO), get him a new ~$3M partner.

I think you stay the course with the D. Do what you can to move Russell to free some money (and almost as important, to open #7D for Lagesson).

Up front bring back AA and give him a chance. I’d bring Ennis back too if he’ll be healthy. Add a ~$3M 3C.

Neal played well in the play-in and his season looks pretty good on a lot of levels. I’d be happy to keep him if he made $3M but Holland likely needs the money for 3C/G. I guess a buyout could still be on the table but hopefully a retained salary move or a trade for a less onerous contract available (a couple of playoff goals to cap his 19 goal season won’t hurt).

Pretty boring I’m afraid. If some less expected opportunity to improve comes along obviously take it but there’s no need to go out looking to shake things up IMO.

I agree with this and the budget numbers for replacement are what I was approximating in my arm chair as well. Except I doubt they move on Neal this year.

I spent some time looking for a suitable RH 3C that could be obtained through trade or FA. Not a lot of options. Based on what we saw, I think it would be interesting to try AA on the third line with Haas/Marody with another “3+” winger, see if the three can develop some complementary chemistry.

As far as the G-spot, I hope they spend sufficient time and effort to find what they are looking for, i.e. the best available at ~3M

GordieHoweHatTrick

JimmyV1965: This is a very dishonest evaluation of the Nurse comments.

We have different opinions of his response to the question. I thought it was quite telling. I am not putting words in his mouth, I am not being “dishonest”. I saw a very disengaged / disinterested Darnell Nurse in the series. His response seemed to support what I saw. Maybe you saw something different from what I saw.

Anyway, as mentioned several times, I am not Anti-Nurse. I am cheering for the guy. I hope for him and many other Oilers, they can figure it out. There is always next year….maybe.

“There is no try, only do”
– Yoda

jp

€√¥£€^$: Hi JP,

I know you have several firm opinions about players on this team.

What needs to be done to get this team back on the tracks?

I guess my opinion is that the team isn’t off the tracks. Despite what seemed to be a disinterested 4 games plus some bad luck.

So my thoughts on what Holland should do this off season haven’t changed much.

3C and a second goalie would remain my priorities. I guess the play-in reinforced that actually, with Smith falling flat and not getting the net back, and Sheahan losing minutes to Khaira/Haas.

Koskinen had a very solid year and a non-terrible playoff (IMO), get him a new ~$3M partner.

I think you stay the course with the D. Do what you can to move Russell to free some money (and almost as important, to open #7D for Lagesson).

Up front bring back AA and give him a chance. I’d bring Ennis back too if he’ll be healthy. Add a ~$3M 3C.

Neal played well in the play-in and his season looks pretty good on a lot of levels. I’d be happy to keep him if he made $3M but Holland likely needs the money for 3C/G. I guess a buyout could still be on the table but hopefully a retained salary move or a trade for a less onerous contract available (a couple of playoff goals to cap his 19 goal season won’t hurt).

Pretty boring I’m afraid. If some less expected opportunity to improve comes along obviously take it but there’s no need to go out looking to shake things up IMO.

ArmchairGM

SwedishPoster: Yep, the play for next season imo is to try and trade away Russell if possible to open up a spot in the top six and see if Bouchard can push out Benning who then can be traded mid-season. Next summer you evaluate the situation with another season of evidence.

Yep, as long as you’re comfortable losing Jones to Seattle. I’m not sure I am, but next season will tell us a lot more about the player.

ArmchairGM

GordieHoweHatTrick:
I wonder if we can use a memory eraser on Broberg before he leaves?

Doesn’t SAS offer in-seat shock therapy?

jp

JimmyV1965: I’m honestly surprised why Klef seems to get a free pass on this blog and Nurse gets crapped on. They’re both very good dman with warts to their game. Maybe it’s the salary.

I agree with this. It is odd.

ArmchairGM

Jaxon:
Also, don’t trade Nurse. He is a top 48 D in the NHL, if not a top 32 and he’s still young and hasn’t peaked yet. I’d venture top 16 but I think I’d lose a lot of you there, haha. You don’t trade them, you keep them and you win cups with them. All of us Armchair GMs/Coaches keep saying we should trade Nurse yet every coach plays him the most minutes, not just the most on the Oilers but one of the most in the NHL. And on international rosters, too. Every. damn. coach. But, yes, those guys are all stupid and don’t know anything about hockey.

Agreed. I would trade Klefbom before Nurse, as there’s no possible way Jones can play the minutes Nurse gets. Klefbom is about to lose his 1PP spot anyhow, and he doesn’t produce at 5v5.

JimmyV1965

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: To further support Nurse, I did a comparison of he and Klefbom’s TOI w/ McDavid back in December and have updated them with the latest numbers from the remainder of the season.

Goal for/against rates w/ McDavid:
Klefbom: 3.28 GF/60, 3.17 GA/60 (50.4% GF) /
Nurse: 3.62 GF/60, 2.88 GA/60 (55.7% GF) /

Goal for/against rates w/o McDavid:
Klefbom: 1.51 GF/60, 2.58 GA/60 (36.9% GF)
Nurse: 2.03 GF/60, 2.58 GA/60 (44.1% GF)

McDavid w/o either:
3.58 GF/60, 3.38 GA/60 (51.4%)

He seems to do a better job maximizing McDavid’s 5-on-5 results despite being used in similar deployment overall. In fact, by PuckIQ numbers, Nurse seems to see a greater proportion of his minutes against elites rather consistently. Worth noting that this sample includes Klefbom’s horrific 2018-19 season w/ Larsson and Nurse’s incredible 2017-18 season w/ Larsson.

However, I really have a tough time chalking this up to sample issues when the sample is three full seasons and all of them show Klefbom not performing well. Both saw each player having multiple different partners and this adds to a disturbing trend in Klefbom’s numbers where he’s consistently a minus in relGF% despite not facing tougher minutes, not playing substantially fewer minutes with McDavid, and his supposed superior passing not leading to superior actual results.

I’m honestly surprised why Klef seems to get a free pass on this blog and Nurse gets crapped on. They’re both very good dman with warts to their game. Maybe it’s the salary.

JimmyV1965

godot10: +100

Nurse needs media relations trading.The media asked a leading question pushing their false narrative and Nurse answered it poorly.

Oilogosphere:Lets trade Nurse because he is bad at press conferences.

Tippett for most of the season put his players in positions to succeed.In the playoffs he put them in positions to fail because he had the wrong strategy.It is hard to look intense when the strategy is all wrong and the deployment of personal cannot generate momentum.Then, the coach got stubborn and thought he was the smartest guy in the room, and refused to make adjustments, something which he also was fairly good at during the season.

Tippett is not wrong in the long term wanting what he wants, but in the short term, it was foolhardy to deploy the forwards the way he deployed thm.

It would be very difficult for Nurse to look good with such a leading question. You either agree that the team lacked intensity and people rip you apart for it, or you disagree and try to argue the team was playing with intensity, which makes you look even worse.

JimmyV1965

SwedishPoster:
Not finding the right level of intensity doesn’t equal lack of effort, you can’t just go out all jacked up on adrenaline and expect success, I’d argue that a large part of the issue with the messy start of game one was that they were too pumped up and thus running around like headless chickens, after McDavid’s PP marker the team settled down a bit until Smith’s blunder which caused the jitters to return and the team fell apart again.

Playing with intensity takes structure and a strong team game, it’s not about try as much as it is about quality. The team never got their transition game in order and rarely came up ice as a five man unit which makes it difficult to get a good forecheck going because everyone is chasing one at a time, they also never defended well as a unit in their own zone which again had them instead chasing players and reacting to plays rather than acting on them. And it’s hard to play an aggressive, high pace game in that situation because you end up giving up a lot of open ice and have to rely on solo efforts both offensively and defensively. Which is what happened for the majority of the series.

I’m always sceptical when journalists, players and fans state a lack of effort as a reason for losing in the playoffs. These are ultra competitive elite athletes getting a shot at playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, other than a major fracture in the locker room there’s no way these guys just mail it in.
It’s probably more likely that the issue is too much try and not enough poise and smartness causing the team to look and feel like they’re not fully invested or able to ramp up the intensity.

Wow!! Excellent, excellent post. My thoughts exactly, but expressed so much better than I could ever do.

JimmyV1965

GordieHoweHatTrick: It was Nurse. Said he (they?) could get up for the Calgary exhibition game, but not for Chi…
It was obvious by eye. confirmed by admission.

EDIT: maybe they need a few million more per year to get up for the big games…

This is a very dishonest evaluation of the Nurse comments.

€√¥£€^$

OriginalPouzar: Considering you posted a trade that occurred almost 30 years ago, that was prior to the salary cap and i nvolved money, I think my point that trades involving 14 players are rare is valid (and the proposal is tough to digest and analyze, at least for me).

For the record, I wouldn’t trade the pick, just trying to get some conversations going.

€√¥£€^$

jp: +1

Hi JP,

I know you have several firm opinions about players on this team.

What needs to be done to get this team back on the tracks?

Jaxon

Sunnyboy: Tip and Playfair have a go to guy that they trust and value, I can’t argue. I think he stays

You realize this is the fact with Nurse too? He’s their go-to guy and he’s been the go-to guy for the last 3 coaches (MacLellan, Hitchcock, and Tippett). He gets more 5-on-5 than anyone, almost more than anyone in the entire NHL for that matter. He’s also top 9 in the NHL for 5-on-5 points in the past 3 seasons, but everyone is saying plays die on his stick.

Sunnyboy

Very happy that the leaves have dried up and blown away. Good riddance.

Oiler fans are some distressed, Tippett has strained his credibility, and now KHolland gets to show his hand. IMO Nurse should be dealt ASAP, classic case of 1 year of experience 5 times, his ask will be way out of line. Larson next, I’ve tried to get behind him but…….. KR4, Tip and Playfair have a go to guy that they trust and value, I can’t argue. I think he stays and would opine that a home province discount on an extension is as reasonable as any other verbal expressed on this blog.

The bottom 6 (9) need another thorough going over to hopefully acquire some analytically competent players who can saw off at 5X5. What a 2 player hockey team. Guys that PK but can’t score at evens are not helping. They could be better, we’ll see how KH rolls.

who

OriginalPouzar: I understand very well, thank you – no issues there.

As I said, there are various other ways for this to work such as:

– the coach adapting and trying new things, such as Benning at 2RD if an injury above occurs.If the coach isn’t willing to learn and adapt then, yes, I agree he should be fired.I don’t believe this to be the case.

– Russell cannot be a 2RD option over Benning if he is not on the team and, while not a certainty, him not being on the team is a very reasonable scenario.

I think Russell is better than Benning, so I don’t consider promoting him over Benning a fireable offense. Maybe you do.
I don’t think Russell is 2 million dollars better, so if you can trade him without retaining, or giving up a significant asset, then by all means do it. I just don’t think that trade is out there. I would be happy to be wrong.

JOFA

who: What if the Oilers are looking like a playoff team?
Isn’t Larrson the kind of rental that playoff teams try to acquire at the trade deadline?
I understand trying to get some value before he leaves as a UFA but it’s a bit of a conundrum.

Absolutely. All options should be on the table. But Larsson would be the one I would consider trading.

who

JOFA: I wouldn’t be opposed to trading Larsson at the trade deadline.

What if the Oilers are looking like a playoff team?
Isn’t Larrson the kind of rental that playoff teams try to acquire at the trade deadline?
I understand trying to get some value before he leaves as a UFA but it’s a bit of a conundrum.

OriginalPouzar

who: I would have started Koskinen.
Kind of neutral on the Nuge move. It didn’t work out,but I understand the reasoning.
It was a good idea to play Russell over Benning.
I didn’t see any point in playing Manning at all. Maybe he wanted to give him a chance.

It doesn’t matter what you think.
It doesn’t matter what I think.
Bottom line is that it makes no sense to keep a guy for cover in case of injury in the top 4 if the coach doesn’t use him as that cover. Unless you think the coach is on his way out the door.
Why is that so hard for you to understand?

I understand very well, thank you – no issues there.

As I said, there are various other ways for this to work such as:

– the coach adapting and trying new things, such as Benning at 2RD if an injury above occurs. If the coach isn’t willing to learn and adapt then, yes, I agree he should be fired. I don’t believe this to be the case.

– Russell cannot be a 2RD option over Benning if he is not on the team and, while not a certainty, him not being on the team is a very reasonable scenario.

JOFA

Lowetide:
I wouldn’t trade Klefbom, Nurse, Larsson, Bear or Jones. The idea of three veterans, two youngsters coming along behind them and Bouchard/Broberg on deck is calming to this old man’s nerves. I think this blog caught a case of ‘trade useful defenseman because I didn’t like what I saw in the last game’ influenza.

I wouldn’t be opposed to trading Larsson at the trade deadline.

jp

SwedishPoster: Not finding the right level of intensity doesn’t equal lack of effort, you can’t just go out all jacked up on adrenaline and expect success, I’d argue that a large part of the issue with the messy start of game one was that they were too pumped up and thus running around like headless chickens, after McDavid’s PP marker the team settled down a bit until Smith’s blunder which caused the jitters to return and the team fell apart again.
Playing with intensity takes structure and a strong team game, it’s not about try as much as it is about quality. The team never got their transition game in order and rarely came up ice as a five man unit which makes it difficult to get a good forecheck going because everyone is chasing one at a time, they also never defended well as a unit in their own zone which again had them instead chasing players and reacting to plays rather than acting on them. And it’s hard to play an aggressive, high pace game in that situation because you end up giving up a lot of open ice and have to rely on solo efforts both offensively and defensively. Which is what happened for the majority of the series.
I’m always sceptical when journalists, players and fans state a lack of effort as a reason for losing in the playoffs. These are ultra competitive elite athletes getting a shot at playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, other than a major fracture in the locker room there’s no way these guys just mail it in.
It’s probably more likely that the issue is too much try and not enough poise and smartness causing the team to look and feel like they’re not fully invested or able to ramp up the intensity.

Very well said, thank you.

jp

Lowetide: I wouldn’t trade Klefbom, Nurse, Larsson, Bear or Jones. The idea of three veterans, two youngsters coming along behind them and Bouchard/Broberg on deck is calming to this old man’s nerves. I think this blog caught a case of ‘trade useful defenseman because I didn’t like what I saw in the last game’ influenza.

+1

who

OriginalPouzar: The coach thought it was a good idea to play Mike Smith in game 1.

The coach thought it was a good idea to not play Nuge with Drai/Yamo until 7 minutes left in game 4.

The coach though it was a good idea to play Kris Russell ahead of Matt Benning as 2RD.

The coach thought it was a good idea to play Brandon Manning for 7-8 games when Lagesson was on the roster.

I like Dave Tippett and he had a solid season.I don’t agree with Dave Tippett on all of his decisions.

I would have started Koskinen.
Kind of neutral on the Nuge move. It didn’t work out, but I understand the reasoning.
It was a good idea to play Russell over Benning.
I didn’t see any point in playing Manning at all. Maybe he wanted to give him a chance.

It doesn’t matter what you think.
It doesn’t matter what I think.
Bottom line is that it makes no sense to keep a guy for cover in case of injury in the top 4 if the coach doesn’t use him as that cover. Unless you think the coach is on his way out the door.
Why is that so hard for you to understand?

JOFA

Al,

In regards to your post this morning about blog behavior, I hope part of that was not directed at me for me joking about sending HH to his room for a timeout. To be honest, I quite like HH. Does he troll from time to time? Sure. Getting worked up about it and writing emails says more about the person complaining, than it does about HH. I believe he adds a lot to the conversation and gives an honest objective opinion about where the team is at from time to time. We all have to be who we are. Have fun and play safe. HH you’re still not permitted to talk about my second son moving to Vancouver😉

jp

godot10: Same cap hit over the next three years.A finisher for McDavid.Buffalo had no centre to play him with so he became disinterested.Neal and Kassian are not really going to help.One might even get Buffalo to retain a bit.

Say Neal and Kassian for Skinner, and Buffalo with Buffalo retaining $2-3 million.I could see Buffalo doing that.

Just throwing ideas out there.

Yes, same cap hit over the next 3. Then 4 more years of just Skinner’s, essentially.

Didn’t he play himself off of Eichel’s line with disinterested play? I don’t know honestly, but he was Eichel’s finisher last year to get himself that big payday. Then he promptly had a worse season than either of Kassian or Neal this year.

If you’re now talking about Buffalo retaining $2-3M then I suppose it begins to approach plausible, I just don’t see it.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

edoil1:
After watching the last 2 seasons I have come the conclusion that this team lacks character . Mcd could use a top 6 veteran winger .Put an A on his sweater take the pressure off Mcd he does not like the leadership pressure,help him out andproduce scoring too.Another rookie in that spot does nothing.Who could be availible ?

Zucker was available and fits that description, but that ship has sailed. A deal centered around an extended Palmieri for our 1st next year, maybe? Tyler Johnson also comes to mind. If Poile decides to shake things up, a chance to grab either one of Forsberg or Arvidsson should be jumped at. Forsberg would definitely fill the vocal leader gap, but that’s a pipe dream.

This is gonna be a big shot in the dark, but maybe a guy like Stepan could be a target considering the Coyotes are apparently keen on shedding collars. Something around Russell for Stepan w/ some money retained. In a straight 1-for-1, they’d save 3.5mil and if they retain even 1mil, that’s still a lot. Stepan could be a serviceable 3C or maybe a good defensive presence on McDavid’s wing.

Another shot in the dark: Neal for Dustin Brown or Jeff Carter?

godot10

OriginalPouzar: The coach thought it was a good idea to play Mike Smith in game 1.

The coach thought it was a good idea to not play Nuge with Drai/Yamo until 7 minutes left in game 4.

The coach though it was a good idea to play Kris Russell ahead of Matt Benning as 2RD.

The coach thought it was a good idea to play Brandon Manning for 7-8 games when Lagesson was on the roster.

I like Dave Tippett and he had a solid season.I don’t agree with Dave Tippett on all of his decisions.

Hey Dave. #StrikeOne

OriginalPouzar

who: The coach thinks Russell is better than Benning as a top 4 righty dman.
And yet you insist the Oilers have to keep Benning as a top 4 RD emergency replacement.
Do you see the problem with your thinking here?

The coach thought it was a good idea to play Mike Smith in game 1.

The coach thought it was a good idea to not play Nuge with Drai/Yamo until 7 minutes left in game 4.

The coach though it was a good idea to play Kris Russell ahead of Matt Benning as 2RD.

The coach thought it was a good idea to play Brandon Manning for 7-8 games when Lagesson was on the roster.

I like Dave Tippett and he had a solid season. I don’t agree with Dave Tippett on all of his decisions.

edoil1

After watching the last 2 seasons I have come the conclusion that this team lacks character . Mcd could use a top 6 veteran winger .Put an A on his sweater take the pressure off Mcd he does not like the leadership pressure,help him out and produce scoring too.Another rookie in that spot does nothing.Who could be availible ?

who

OriginalPouzar: 1) I answered your question

2) I agree that Nurse and Klefbom were both worse than Russell in this 4-game series.Of course, I’ve got years of games (including a material amount of games with Russell at 2RD) that I will include in my analysis – not just 4 games.

The coach thinks Russell is better than Benning as a top 4 righty dman.
And yet you insist the Oilers have to keep Benning as a top 4 RD emergency replacement.
Do you see the problem with your thinking here?

godot10

godot10: Same cap hit over the next three years.A finisher for McDavid.Buffalo had no centre to play him with so he became disinterested.Neal and Kassian are not really going to help.One might even get Buffalo to retain a bit.

Say Neal and Kassian for Skinner, and Buffalo with Buffalo retaining $2-3 million.I could see Buffalo doing that.

Just throwing ideas out there.

There is a poison pill that does make this deal sort of impossible for the Oilers…which is Skinner’s NMC.

With the expansion draft coming, the OIlers cannot take on an NMC.

The deal could be considered after next season, with more being retained since the disparity in contract durations would be more extreme.

**Or Skinner would have to agree as a condition of his trade to waive the NMC for the expansion draft, but I don’t know if the new CBA allows for this.

godot10

jp: Good Lord, it’s like you’re trolling yourself the last couple of days.

Both Neal and Kassian scored more goals this year than Skinner. Worst GF% on the Sabres by a fair margin. 7 more years.

Same cap hit over the next three years. A finisher for McDavid. Buffalo had no centre to play him with so he became disinterested. Neal and Kassian are not really going to help. One might even get Buffalo to retain a bit.

Say Neal and Kassian for Skinner, and Buffalo with Buffalo retaining $2-3 million. I could see Buffalo doing that.

Just throwing ideas out there.

JimmyV1965

There’s a 50% chance the Pens, Leafs, Oilers or Preds draft first overall. I’ll be thrilled if the Oil win, but I think the entire concept of the draft has been so tortured and perverted, we need to put it out of its misery.

MushedPeas

OriginalPouzar: Eberle has also been pedestrian for most of his time on the Island and I would suggest that Strome has been > Eberle in aggregate since the trade as was made (even without taking in to account contracts).

Strome had turned in to a solid 3C and PK guy – his numbers under-represented his offensive abilities due to linemates (as you mention above) as I recall him routinely making solid vision passes in the offensive zone.

Never getting a shot as RW in the top 6 was really an egregious coaching strategy, I agree:

https://www.coppernblue.com/2018/7/19/17589192/a-fix-for-the-top-6-youll-be-surprised

All true all true 🙂

Just saying that, cap dump aside, management moved him based on one playoffs.

As for why they moved Strome…

Reja

godot10:
When Tortorella is sane, he is apparently a genius.

His teams don’t play soft for him that’s for sure.

jp

godot10:
Neal and Kassian for Jeff Skinner.Would you do it?

Good Lord, it’s like you’re trolling yourself the last couple of days.

Both Neal and Kassian scored more goals this year than Skinner. Worst GF% on the Sabres by a fair margin. 7 more years.

godot10

So all those 2nd tier Leaf forwards are so overrated. Like that US National Junior Team a year ago. Buyer beware.

godot10

When Tortorella is sane, he is apparently a genius.

Munny

That should do it… RIGHT!?

Bye, bye, Leaflettes.

Todd Macallan

Of course I’m happy to see the Leafs out, but have to feel a bit for Spezza in what was possibly his last game. Tough way to go out for him.

godot10

Hub City Teams are apparently cursed.