Working in the Trades

by Lowetide
Alex Plante playing against the Toronto Marlies, 2012-13. Photo by Rob Ferguson.

The Edmonton Oilers officially became an NHL team during the expansion draft, June 13 1979. Just 70 days later, the club made its first official transaction with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two teams have been partners many times since, and could be again in the coming days.

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.

Trades with Toronto (12)

August 22, 1979: Oilers trade veteran winger Reg Thomas (he would play 39 more NHL games) for a 1981 sixth-round pick (defenseman Steve Smith would play 804 NHL games). Edge Edmonton, courtesy Barry Fraser. Leafs didn’t give up much.

March 2, 1982: Oilers trade prospect center Walt Poddubny (he would play 464 more NHL games, 28, 40, 38 and 38 goals in single seasons) and prospect Phil Drouillard (he did not play in the NHL) for veteran center Laurie Boschman (he would play 822 more NHL games). Toronto won this deal, Boschman played only 73 games with Edmonton and didn’t fit. Boschman would enjoy a strong career in Winnipeg, Oilers getting a fine winger in Willy Lindstrom. All three teams benefited, it took a little under a year to shake out.

January 15, 1983: Oilers trade Reid Bailey (he would play 13 more NHL games) for winger Serge Boisvert (he would play 29 more, none for Edmonton). I recall both men, but nothing about this trade.

December 21, 1989: Oilers trade fourth-round pick in 1990 draft (Greg Walters had a long career in the minors but did not play in the NHL) for Vladimir Ruzicka (he was such a fun player, played just 25 games for the Oilers and landed in Boston where he enjoyed one outstanding season and would play in 233 NHL games after the trade). I wish you could have seen him, he was a steamroller on skates. About every 40 games, he’d take the puck in his own zone, get a head of steam, and deke, run over, flatten, tunnel and chisel his way to the net and score. Honestly, it was beautiful.

September 19, 1991: Oilers trade Glenn Anderson (HHOFer, he would play 301 more NHL games), Grant Fuhr (HHOFer, he would play 444 more NHL games) and Craig Berube (he would play 819 more NHL games) for Vincent Damphousse (wonderful player, he would dress for 984 more NHL games), Luke Richardson (he would score 1,139 more NHL games), Scott Thornton (908 more) and Peter Ing (15 more). Heartbreaking trade in a devastating run that sent Jari Kurri away in May of 1991, this trade in September and the Messier deal in October. The glory Oilers died between May and October.

October 7, 1991: Oilers trade Ken Linseman for cash. Sure.

December 4, 1995: Oilers trade Peter White (214 more NHL games) for Kent Manderville (510 more NHL games). White was a solid scorer in the minors and got some cups of coffee, Manderville was a big winger who sometimes looked like he was going to break out. Hung around for 510 games, that’s a fine career.

March 23, 1999: Oilers trade 1999 fourth-round pick (Jonathan Zion, 0 NHL games) and a 2000 second-round pick (Kris Vernarsky, played 17 NHL games) for Jason Smith (he would play 683 more games). Big win for the Oilers, still remain flummoxed by Toronto giving up on him. Smith was a fine defender for Edmonton over many years.

March 4, 2013: Oilers trade fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft (Nick Magyar) for Mike Brown (153 more NHL games). Brown was sent along in October of 2013.

January 31, 2014: Traded Teemu Hartikainen (no additional NHL games) and Cameron Abney (no NHL games) for Mark Fraser (57 more NHL games). Fraser came in and played during a difficult season in Edmonton.

June 27, 2015: Traded Martin Marincin (138 more NHL games) for Brad Ross (0 NHL games) and a fourth-round pick in 2015 (Christian Wolanin, who has played 43 games so far). Edmonton dealt the pick to Ottawa for Eric Gryba. It didn’t matter really, but I still think Edmonton should have kept Marincin.

June 8, 2018: Traded a conditional pick for Nolan Vesey. The best information currently available is that the pick will not be sent east.

TRADING WITH TORONTO?

The Maple Leafs and Penguins broke the trade barrier yesterday, a dandy trade to pull apart and evaluate. I think the Penguins got a fine winger who is going to score well more than 13 goals next season, but Toronto won the trade. The first-round pick has big trade value, and the best prospect in the deal (Filip Hallander) also landed in Canada. Toronto’s cap saving is the biggest deal of all. Fun trade. Penguins should have two dynamite No. 1 and No. 2 lines 2020-21.

James Mirtle and Pierre Lebrun mentioned Edmonton in their articles about the deal, Mirtle in regard to goalie Frederik Andersen and Lebrun discussing the leadup to the Kapanen deal (Edmonton’s No. 14 overall pick the key piece). Sounds like the ask on Andersen would be a player/prospect/pick with utility and a low cap hit, so Edmonton would need to offload Kris Russell to make it happen.

Among goalies with 30 or more starts in 2019-20, Koskinen finished No. 10 with a .917 save percentage, Andersen was .909 and good for No. 23 overall.

At even strength, Koskinen is No. 15 (.921) and Andersen is No. 17 (.917).

Using the last three years as a measure, Andersen has a save percentage of .915 and Koskinen (in two seasons) is .911.

PRONMAN’S RANKING

Pronman is an excellent judge of a prospect system and each season’s draft, so if he has the Oilers dropping from No. 9 to No. 26 I believe him. He has some fascinating things to say about the top end of the organization and especially about the two players he believes could be foundational pieces. A great read. Pronman will join me tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:20.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, we begin at 10 on TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will pop by to talk about the James Neal-Milan Lucic trade (he wrote a brilliant piece on it recently). We’ll also talk organizational low points (I think we share the same nadir). Joe Osborne from OddsSharks will be in at 11 to discuss mlb, NHL and NBA playoffs. James Mirtle from The Athletic will join us at 11:25 to talk about the Maple Leafs trade yesterday and the multiple trade matches between the Oilers and TML this offseason. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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OriginalPouzar

SwedishPoster:
I was wrong about Lavoie not playing tonight’s exhibition game, despite only getting a 20 minute morning skate with the team due to his gear getting stuck in transit he’ll play right away. He’ll start on the fourth line and with him having so little time with the team I assume he won’t have a lot of ice time. But I’ve clearly been wrong before. Nice to get him going right away.

Lots of tune up games tonight btw, I think all Oiler prospects are in action.

Awesome – I’m sure I speak for many when I say we look forward to the post-game reports….

SwedishPoster

I was wrong about Lavoie not playing tonight’s exhibition game, despite only getting a 20 minute morning skate with the team due to his gear getting stuck in transit he’ll play right away. He’ll start on the fourth line and with him having so little time with the team I assume he won’t have a lot of ice time. But I’ve clearly been wrong before. Nice to get him going right away.

Lots of tune up games tonight btw, I think all Oiler prospects are in action.

Reja

Harpers Hair:
NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) Tweeted:
Cale Makar became the 21st rookie defenseman in NHL history with 3+ points in a playoff game, and second in 2020 after Quinn Hughes, as the @Avalanche cut their series deficit to 2-1. #NHLStats: https://t.co/7kQiZSx8GL #StanleyCup https://t.co/cWM3nFJRjf

Wait till Bouchard is QBing the PP next year he’s a puck magnet he’ll be racking up the points left right and centre and it wouldn’t surprise me if he scores 15 goals if they play a full schedule. Manson is the defence whisperer give the man a raise. One of Nurse, kelfbom or Larsson will be traded before the season starts I’m guessing it’ll be Adam Larsson for a half ass forward. Book him Dano.

Harpers Hair

NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) Tweeted:
Cale Makar became the 21st rookie defenseman in NHL history with 3+ points in a playoff game, and second in 2020 after Quinn Hughes, as the @Avalanche cut their series deficit to 2-1. #NHLStats: https://t.co/7kQiZSx8GL #StanleyCup https://t.co/cWM3nFJRjf

Reja

Harpers Hair: They tried that.

Didn’t work…he’s too elusive.

Tkachuk thought the same thing until the 215 pound wily veteran Jamie Benn sent him into Neverland.

Harpers Hair

Reja: If I’m Vegas I dump it in his corner every chance and pound the piss out of the 165 pound soaking wet kid.He’ll be coughing up the puck all over the place by the third period.

They tried that.

Didn’t work…he’s too elusive.

Reja

leadfarmer: So Hughes is a 2017 draft pick now?
His talent and Makars are undeniable
But game on the line protecting a one goal lead with a min left you put out Heiskanen
You don’t put out Makar or Hughes
They don’t even pk.I have trouble giving a Norris to a defenseman that is sheltered by not killing penalties
But Norris is a points competition too often so could happen

If I’m Vegas I dump it in his corner every chance and pound the piss out of the 165 pound soaking wet kid. He’ll be coughing up the puck all over the place by the third period.

godot10

flyfish1168: Fair enough. I do like Makar offensive upside

Heiskanen would get more points, but like Bear takes a back seat to Klefbom in offensive opportunities, Heiskanen takes a back seat to Klingberg, because Heiskanen is so much better defensively than Klingberg.

Plus, Dallas forwards have been cold for two years until two weeks ago.

Heiskanen is over a point per game in these playoffs.

Arguably the leading Conn Smythe candidate at the moment.

jp

Victoria Oil: I’d be OK with McCurdy as 2G. I understand that he’d be willing to play for the league minimum. Plus he could do a great job doubling up as Asst GM.

Those CoH game grades would get pretty awkward though..

flyfish1168

flyfish1168: Hughes is a 2018 7th overall pick

That was a hell of a draft for Dmen

flyfish1168

leadfarmer: So Hughes is a 2017 draft pick now?
His talent and Makars are undeniable
But game on the line protecting a one goal lead with a min left you put out Heiskanen
You don’t put out Makar or Hughes
They don’t even pk.I have trouble giving a Norris to a defenseman that is sheltered by not killing penalties
But Norris is a points competition too often so could happen

Hughes is a 2018 7th overall pick

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: So Hughes is a 2017 draft pick now?
His talent and Makars are undeniable
But game on the line protecting a one goal lead with a min left you put out Heiskanen
You don’t put out Makar or Hughes
They don’t even pk.I have trouble giving a Norris to a defenseman that is sheltered by not killing penalties
But Norris is a points competition too often so could happen

Hughes is one hell of a d-man, an elite puck mover and on his way to being among the game’s elite.

He is having a hell of a playoff but he remains behind Heiskanen, overall and as far as performance in the 2020 playoffs – see his last two games and Green’s need to reduce his ice time.

This is no slag on Hughes but he’s not Heiskanen at this point and doesn’t have his consistancy.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Quinn Hughes might get there first.

Scott Niedermayer comparable.

Every one is entitled to their fantasies! He will win playoff MVP and be the first person the captain passes the cup to. If your going to fantasize you might as well go all out fan boy!🙈

pts2pndr

pts2pndr: Careful or Bruce will have to get his front enlarged to get into his house!

Front door enlarged. We all love Bruce!

Eh Team

OriginalPouzar: A primary issue of a Neal for Turris swap, for the Oilers, is the 4th year of term on Turris’ contract.

The primary issue is that Turris isn’t very good. I’m in favour of a Neal buyout but I’d much rather have Neal on the roster than Turris. Yeah, Turris is a centre but he’s not a solution. Neither is Sutter for that matter.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: Quinn Hughes might get there first.

Scott Niedermayer comparable.

So Hughes is a 2017 draft pick now?
His talent and Makars are undeniable
But game on the line protecting a one goal lead with a min left you put out Heiskanen
You don’t put out Makar or Hughes
They don’t even pk. I have trouble giving a Norris to a defenseman that is sheltered by not killing penalties
But Norris is a points competition too often so could happen

Kinger_Oil.redux

– There wasn’t a poster here I don’t believe except yours truly that thought that Koski would be a very good goalie this year. I get a kick out of all this goalie analysis going on.

– Smith was also viewed very favourably is my recollection

– You don’t need to drop a ton on a guy like Freddie IMO. Get a goalie who doesn’t suck like Smith (who sucked the year before), who isn’t entering his 38th year, and the goalie tandemn is fine

– Hope that you get fullish season from Klef-Larsson-Nurse-Bear and whoever else of the 6-7 bona-fide D we now have, and the goalies will be fine

– Paying up for a goalie that played on a team that had better D, or was on a better team, and assuming that’s what the goalie is going to be on another team is crazy talk

– Get another sub .900 starter, and a year older: hope that isn’t the playbook this time. Koski is fine, find another goalie who no longer sucks and let the draft and develops emerge.

– There are many goalies available that will be koski +/- next year

– Goalies don’t matter unless they are crazy elite, or really bad. Most capable NHL goalies are proxies for team play over a season. In any single game goalies can matter.

– Hi NBA players: props for your stance, your convinctions are admirable. I cheer for you, trying to make a difference.

flyfish1168

OriginalPouzar: I wouldn’t say for sure.

Pettersson is indeed elite but so is Heiskanen and, frankly, I think I take the elite d-man, even if he shoots left.

Fair enough. I do like Makar offensive upside

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: Nothing wrong with being second in that draft.
Heiskanen is going to be winning some Norrises soon

Quinn Hughes might get there first.

Scott Niedermayer comparable.

pts2pndr

OriginalPouzar: Assistant GM, head of analytics and team historian….

Careful or Bruce will have to get his front enlarged to get into his house!😉

OriginalPouzar

Victoria Oil: I’d be OK with McCurdy as 2G. I understand that he’d be willing to play for the league minimum. Plus he could do a great job doubling up as Asst GM.

Assistant GM, head of analytics and team historian….

OriginalPouzar

Reja: Kudos to Smith he did his job well and was worth the contact. When we were in a rut in late December he gave us some really quality starts as well as being a excellent mentor for Kosh who definitely improved his puck handling skills. I also think Smith helped Kosh with the yips when it came to his glove hand. I myself would thank Smith for his service but no way in hell I resign him.

I’m not sure about “worth his contract” and doing his job well – his December was AHL replacement level and his hot streaks (of which there were a couple) helped traditional numbers up to bottom of the league (his advanced number worse I believe, in many respects).

I can’t speak to his mentoring – maybe there is something there, maybe there isn’t.

With respect to worth his contract, we are “lucky for the pause” and the related NHL cap ruling regarding deemed demotion of AHL eligible players or else we’d be talking about even less cap space for next season due to bonus overage penalties from Smith.

OriginalPouzar

Bobcaygeon:
I’m of the positive belief that Holland will navigate out of this CAP mess.
I’m in a rare group that thinks Holland will move on from
Russell
AA
Neal (buyout)
Koskinen
possibly Larsson in a trade where the Oilers take back less dollars.

These are terrible times right now & unprecedented times for the NHL, sometimes you have to find the good with the Very bad.

Holland did say, within the last few weeks, that he wants stability and does not want to turn over 5-6-7 pieces of the roster every year. I don’t imagine we see the type of turnover the above would bring.

Ribs

50/50 delayed again… hoooboy.

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965: Ya. I think this is a much more realistic option than Henrique. I’ve heard this mentioned before and seems reasonable.

A primary issue of a Neal for Turris swap, for the Oilers, is the 4th year of term on Turris’ contract.

Reja

Eh Team: NBA cancelled all games today/tonight and season is in jeopardy.Also, Brewers won’t play in MLB tonight.Wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL will also be impacted in the next few days.

No way Bettman and the NHL are going to clean up on this if they’re the only game in town.

Victoria Oil

OriginalPouzar:
I think I must be in the minority thinking that Holland isn’t going to be acquiring a goalie that has a material cap hit for Koski’s net-mate.

I don’t see him in the market for Lehner or Markstrom or Holtby or trading for Anderson or Murray (high cap hits in addition to significant assets out).

I’m not even sure he will spend the $3M plus required for Khudobin.

I think Greiss is more realistic – he’s a bit of a worrisome name for me listening to Woodley on the Gregor show. He has faced so few “off the rush chances” the last few years, and is really just average on them – the Oilers, year after year, give up lots of “off the rush chances” – lots of medium danger off the rush.

Koski is good on those, Smith is awful – Greiss would clearly be an upgrade of Smith but McCurdy himself is likely an upgrade of Smith!

I’d be OK with McCurdy as 2G. I understand that he’d be willing to play for the league minimum. Plus he could do a great job doubling up as Asst GM. 🙂

Eh Team

OriginalPouzar: Wow – Bucks boycott game 5.

I wonder if we’ll see the Raps and Celtics do the same tomorrow….

NBA cancelled all games today/tonight and season is in jeopardy. Also, Brewers won’t play in MLB tonight. Wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL will also be impacted in the next few days.

jp

PokeCheck: This is a thing that’s been bothering me lately, but… can’t passing be worked on and improved substantially? I have trouble understanding how an elite athlete reaches the NHL and, that’s it, that’s their ceiling for passing a puck with accuracy to the right person. I get that you can’t do much about speed (mostly genetics), or split-second offensive creativity (reaction speed and instinct), but passing seems very teachable and improvable through repetition as would something like positioning.

It’s not that my expectation is that someone can spend a few days with Oates and start handing out Draisatl-backhand-sorcery in all zones, but how can half of our d-corps be a lost cause on this front?

PTS2PNDR touched on some of this, but I think passing and “vision” are largely split second processing happening in the brain. My guess is they’re every bit as genetic as the other stuff.

Another thing is that all these players have been working on each of these skills for most of their lives. Guys who make the NHL often don’t have *that* much room left to grow in each specific area (there are exceptions but in most cases I’d think that’s true).

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: I wouldn’t say for sure.

Pettersson is indeed elite but so is Heiskanen and, frankly, I think I take the elite d-man, even if he shoots left.

Nothing wrong with being second in that draft.
Heiskanen is going to be winning some Norrises soon

Ribs

Reading many people are still waiting to receive their 50/50 ticket numbers that they were charged for. They’ve emailed in for the numbers as requested with no response it seems… This could get messy!

OriginalPouzar

I just received a note that my AHL TV subscription is about to renew – here is hoping I get to use that…. please!

OriginalPouzar

flyfish1168:
In a 2017 redraft Elias Pettersson would for sure go 1st overall. What an exciting and young player. Makar probably #2

I wouldn’t say for sure.

Pettersson is indeed elite but so is Heiskanen and, frankly, I think I take the elite d-man, even if he shoots left.

GordieHoweHatTrick

leadfarmer:
So what are the odds we see
Koskinen andHoward next year
Holland loves those Red wings

This is my fear

OriginalPouzar

GordieHoweHatTrick:
My two bits:
MK ~ FA
Why spend another 0.5M on FA, who only has 1 yr left on contract opposed to 2×4.5M for MK?
We have shown here in recent days that MK is “above average”, he just needs a reasonably priced 1B/1A that should be available in free agency in the ~3-4M range. Less fuss than trying to get Andersen that will cost pieces of the present and future.
Focus trade efforts to address other holes.

If $3M to $4M is spend on tending, that is likely to be the on external acquisition.

The Oilers can’t afford that without moving out cap and, really, how much cap can they realistically move out for multiple acquisitions?

Sign me some Aaron Dell – he’s better than Smith and better than his numbers on a bad California team (if they can’t turn Russell and Marody in to Raanta…..)

Reja

OriginalPouzar:
Wow – Bucks boycott game 5.

I wonder if we’ll see the Raps and Celtics do the same tomorrow….

Wobble! Wobble! Wobble!

OriginalPouzar

John Chambers:
Any expenditure on Goaltending that is over 10% of the cap is a waste.

I’m not opposed to Andersen as a trade target, but not without Koskinen’s contract going elsewhere.

And even then I think there are better options to improve in goal.

I don’t necessarily agree with the first statement – spending $8M on a goaltending tandem can be very succesful in the NHL – whether via two tenders that make a decent amount or an elite performer with a lesser back-up.

Unfortunately, the Oilers do not have the cap structure to pay that much for a tending tandem due to things such as:

– the 4LD/7D having a cap hit of $4.1M
– the 3/4LW and PP specialist haveing a cap hit of $5.75M (along with a $750K dead hit to acquire)

For example.

Reja

Durag: Baseball has become such a weird game where the only things that matter are home runs, walks and strikeouts. There are still some amazing defensive players out there, but it’s really not a requirement to play good defence as a position player anymore.

They just lost more fans with the Mickey Mouse extra inning changes and the 7 inning games on double headers. Baseball was the one sport that had the most integrity especially when it came to the hall of famers but steroids put that in great doubt.

OriginalPouzar

Woogie63:
Watching Markstrom in goal last night, reminded me he was the best goalie not in the NHL for 5 years before he was a good goalie for 3 years in the NHL, before became a top goalie 2 years ago.

Koskinen was wobble at points in his first year with the Oilers, then he was good last year.He is going into his third year.

If he was 25 years with a $2.5M AAV, I suspect the “mood” around our goalie would be different.

This is likely true.

Unfortunately, he is 32 with a $4.5M cap hit and the mood is what it is…….

godot10

flyfish1168:
In a 2017 redraft Elias Pettersson would for sure go 1st overall. What an exciting and young player. Makar probably #2

Heiskanen would go #1 a redraft.

SwedishPoster

Lowetide: Yep. He was a big time prospect on this blog. I had him No. 4, most comments were wildly positive.

https://lowetide.ca/2017/06/23/here-comes-the-sun-2017-draft-edition/

I think I mentioned in that thread or an earlier one that year that I’d gladly would’ve picked Elias Pettersson first overall. He just had such a nice skillset that he’d just begun to explore and the only thing holding him back was physical growth, such a scrawny kid, and that he hadn’t quite figured out how to maximize his sublime talent.

In a redraft I’d say it’s pretty close between Elias Pettersson and Heiskanen though.

I kind of feel the same about Lucas Raymond this year as I did about Pettersson in his. Amazing skillset somewhat held back by a lack of physical growth which is bound to happen eventually(Raymond apparently gained a little over 10 lbs of muscle over the summer so it’s started already). And like Pettersson he still hasn’t quite figured out how to maximize his talent. But with off the chart hockey sense, like Pettersson, it’s probably just a matter of time.

In other news Raphael Lavoie’s luggage is still off sightseeing in Paris so he’s yet to practice on ice with his new team, he’s been hitting the gym instead, and thus won’t play in tomorrows exhibition game. Shame. Hopefully he gets his stuff in time for the season opener mid-september…

Durag

JimmyV1965: There are many many outfielders in the MLB who cannot track a ball from the crack of the bat. I’m continually gobsmacked how many horrible defensive players now populate the MLB. And just not relatively bad. There would be many college players who can play better defence than MLB players. Totally off topic, but the post got me thinking.

Baseball has become such a weird game where the only things that matter are home runs, walks and strikeouts. There are still some amazing defensive players out there, but it’s really not a requirement to play good defence as a position player anymore.

OriginalPouzar

Wow – Bucks boycott game 5.

I wonder if we’ll see the Raps and Celtics do the same tomorrow….

JimmyV1965

PokeCheck: This is a thing that’s been bothering me lately, but… can’t passing be worked on and improved substantially? I have trouble understanding how an elite athlete reaches the NHL and, that’s it, that’s their ceiling for passing a puck with accuracy to the right person. I get that you can’t do much about speed (mostly genetics), or split-second offensive creativity (reaction speed and instinct), but passing seems very teachable and improvable through repetition as would something like positioning.

It’s not that my expectation is that someone can spend a few days with Oates and start handing out Draisatl-backhand-sorcery in all zones, but how can half of our d-corps be a lost cause on this front?

There are many many outfielders in the MLB who cannot track a ball from the crack of the bat. I’m continually gobsmacked how many horrible defensive players now populate the MLB. And just not relatively bad. There would be many college players who can play better defence than MLB players. Totally off topic, but the post got me thinking.

pts2pndr

PokeCheck: This is a thing that’s been bothering me lately, but… can’t passing be worked on and improved substantially? I have trouble understanding how an elite athlete reaches the NHL and, that’s it, that’s their ceiling for passing a puck with accuracy to the right person. I get that you can’t do much about speed (mostly genetics), or split-second offensive creativity (reaction speed and instinct), but passing seems very teachable and improvable through repetition as would something like positioning.

It’s not that my expectation is that someone can spend a few days with Oates and start handing out Draisatl-backhand-sorcery in all zones, but how can half of our d-corps be a lost cause on this front?

Have you ever shot ducks on the fly? It’s more difficult in my opinion than skeet shooting. Now try to do either of the above while you are moving simultaneously.. professional athletes make it look easy. Practice will obviously help but timing, vision, touch and knowing where everyone on the ice is (hockey IQ) not to mention the player being passed to giving you a target per se all enter into it.

leadfarmer

So what are the odds we see
Koskinen and Howard next year
Holland loves those Red wings

Reja

OriginalPouzar:
I think I must be in the minority thinking that Holland isn’t going to be acquiring a goalie that has a material cap hit for Koski’s net-mate.

I don’t see him in the market for Lehner or Markstrom or Holtby or trading for Anderson or Murray (high cap hits in addition to significant assets out).

I’m not even sure he will spend the $3M plus required for Khudobin.

I think Greiss is more realistic – he’s a bit of a worrisome name for me listening to Woodley on the Gregor show. He has faced so few “off the rush chances” the last few years, and is really just average on them – the Oilers, year after year, give up lots of “off the rush chances” – lots of medium danger off the rush.

Koski is good on those, Smith is awful – Greiss would clearly be an upgrade of Smith but McCurdy himself is likely an upgrade of Smith!

Kudos to Smith he did his job well and was worth the contact. When we were in a rut in late December he gave us some really quality starts as well as being a excellent mentor for Kosh who definitely improved his puck handling skills. I also think Smith helped Kosh with the yips when it came to his glove hand. I myself would thank Smith for his service but no way in hell I resign him.

PokeCheck

slopitch:
“His puck-moving skills are not great.”

This is a thing that’s been bothering me lately, but… can’t passing be worked on and improved substantially? I have trouble understanding how an elite athlete reaches the NHL and, that’s it, that’s their ceiling for passing a puck with accuracy to the right person. I get that you can’t do much about speed (mostly genetics), or split-second offensive creativity (reaction speed and instinct), but passing seems very teachable and improvable through repetition as would something like positioning.

It’s not that my expectation is that someone can spend a few days with Oates and start handing out Draisatl-backhand-sorcery in all zones, but how can half of our d-corps be a lost cause on this front?