The Gift of Sound and Vision

The mind can play tricks on you, especially when advanced age comes to town. I remember the Oilers deploying Stan Weir and Ron Chipperfield at center early on, and then graduating to names like Matti Hagman and Laurie Boschman before landing on the Gretzky-Messier-Linseman-McClelland group that won Stanley in 1984. There were a bunch of auditions between 1979 and 1984 that I’d forgotten before looking at Leafs trades the other day. Oilers haven’t found a No. 3 center since Strome left for Manhattan. You know what? That Strome trade is less than two years old. Edmonton has tried Ryan Spooner, Sam Gagner, Jujhar Khaira, Gaetan Haas, Riley Sheahan and others since. I think Tippett believes in Khaira as No. 4 center. Are there any good options for No. 3 center?

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.

ROSTER NO. 1

I like to try these ideas out and see how they shine. CapFriendly’s roster game is great fun, usually end up making some ridiculously favourable trades just to get where I want to go. In this case, I bought out James Neal, traded Kris Russell to Winnipeg for Mason Appleton, dealt Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson to Florida for Henrik Borgström and Lucas Wallmark, while signing Mike Hoffman, Jesper Fast and Anton Khudobin. I have $1,338,001 in cap room.

Is this realistic? Hell no! I wanted to point out what I see as the vital acquisitions over the next year or so: A two-way winger for McDavid’s line, a scoring winger for McDavid’s line, a third-line center and a 1B goalie. That’s a lot, and cap is an issue, thus offloading of Kris Russell. So, when you need Hoffman, Fast, Khudobin and Wallmark and can’t afford them, what do you do?

ROSTER NO. 2

This is a far more long-term approach, signing Bear to a long contract and going short term and inexpensive everywhere else. I made a couple of trades: Kris Russell and Dmitri Samorukov to the Winnipeg Jets for Adam Lowry and Mikhail Berdin. Lowry plays tough minutes but did struggle in 2019-20 and has just one year left on his deal. He also had a poor offensive year but averages 25 points per 82 games. I also dealt Matt Benning to Florida for goalie Chris Driedger, who has been posting good numbers for the last two seasons. A UFA in one year, he and Berdin are stop-gap measures who didn’t cost a lot. Both could play. Signing Athanasiou and Ennis also fits the ‘safe mode’ feel of this group.

QUESTION

What is your preference? Bold moves in a time of uncertainty or a quiet offseason with small tweaks?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy day gets started at 10 on TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will guide us through the Saturday hockey broadcasts. How should the networks handle the re-start of the playoffs? Matt Iwanyk pops in at 11 for point-counterpoint, we’ll talk Oilers, NFL and the Jays. We’ll also chat ‘Matt Cook Foundation’ 24-hour game that starts tonight at 6! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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119 Responses to "The Gift of Sound and Vision"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    So if you have James Neal as 4LW when do you buy him out? That should be a spot that can be filled for 1 mil or less

  2. Munny says:

    leadfarmer:
    So if you have James Neal as 4LW when do you buy him out?That should be a spot that can be filled for 1 mil or less

    Since Neal’s buyout is considerably more than that, obviously it can’t be filled for $1 mill or less.

    And certainly you won’t be getting 19 goals—on PP or at EVs—for $850k.

    You wait till the cap is rising and your other buyouts have fallen off before buying him out. At the earliest next off-season, but only if he’s bad this coming season for his level.

  3. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    So if you have James Neal as 4LW when do you buy him out?That should be a spot that can be filled for 1 mil or less

    The second option is designed to look forward in terms of roster construction, so I spent on Bear’s extension and didn’t buy anyone out. Inefficient short term, as you point out, but better for the future.

  4. Brantford Boy says:

    leadfarmer,

    LT bought him out on Roster #1… not Roster #2…

    My preference? The quiet offseason with small tweaks method… every statistical aspect of this team improved immensely under Tippet in year one… play in round was a small sample when it mattered most but small nonetheless.

    Let Holland prove his ilk and not Chiarelli the whole game plan in year 2.

    Draft and develop, draft and develop… until we become Pittsburgh and can afford the first round moves… are we there yet? Hell no!

  5. Munny says:

    Also, you don’t buy out Neal while Connor is still happy he is on the team lending him leadership support. not unless you absolutely need to. There are other options to explore first.

  6. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    The more I look at it, the more a deal around Larsson for Bonino makes sense.

  7. JJS says:

    I’m curious what this group feels the order of priority is. In no particular order:
    1. Scoring winger
    2. Goaltender
    3. Mobile defender
    4. Two way winger
    5. Third line centre
    6. Other

    If Holland could only make two of these happen this off-season, which ones would they be? Why?

  8. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide: The second option is designed to look forward in terms of roster construction, so I spent on Bear’s extension and didn’t buy anyone out. Inefficient short term, as you point out, but better for the future.

    Thanks
    I’m cool with giving him another year as buyouts aren’t optimal
    But a lot of teams are capped out and some of the teams that aren’t are probably going to lay low on the free agents due to financial uncertainty (Florida Arizona Ottawa for example) leaving not a lot of competition for the free agents.
    But I don’t think he finishes his contract

  9. Munny says:

    leadfarmer: But I don’t think he finishes his contract

    This I agree with.

  10. leadfarmer says:

    JJS:
    I’m curious what this group feels the order of priority is.In no particular order:
    1. Scoring winger
    2. Goaltender
    3. Mobile defender
    4. Two way winger
    5. Third line centre
    6. Other

    If Holland could only make two of these happen this off-season, which ones would they be?Why?

    Third line center for me. Should be most doable given cap constraints.
    If you can make the third line out score the competition we are cooking with fire
    Mcdavid will always be dangerous
    Nuge Drai Yam. Undeniable chemistry and a legit first line
    AA 3c JP. Someone to mentor and give stability would be huge
    Pker. Pker. Pker. 4th line bunch of pkers

    Next up scoring winger for mcdavid. Watching him play with 3rd liners is kind of sad

    Goalie. Given the amount of goalies available it’s a good time to shop. Trading Russell for Raanta is preference given the term and cap implications. Although Raanta is far from reliable injury wise

  11. Brantford Boy says:

    JJS:

    2. Goaltender
    5. Third line centre

    Answers the same for both… we don’t have a reliable NHL caliber one signed for next season.

  12. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    JJS:
    I’m curious what this group feels the order of priority is.In no particular order:
    1. Scoring winger
    2. Goaltender
    3. Mobile defender
    4. Two way winger
    5. Third line centre
    6. Other

    If Holland could only make two of these happen this off-season, which ones would they be?Why?

    1. Third line centre
    2. Slot-defending, puck-moving Dman
    3. Two way winger
    4. Goaltender
    5. Scoring winger

  13. Tesla's Hair says:

    Heard the Lowdown Lowetide podcast yesterday for the first time. #BOOM

    I don’t know when Lowetide is turning 60 (he mentioned it a few times that it is coming up) but his words packed decades of wanting to do something more and providing a platform for others to now do so. After the podcast, I checked out the recommended interview with Dominic Smith, New York Mets First Baseman who broke down during a press conference where he discussed his decision his fears from being a black man in the United States. Although my own tears watching this interview don’t really matter, I could really feel that human to human communication.

    We have come a long way in general around this planet but when radio managers, podcasts, TV owners and advertisers allow and support these discussions to go on there is hope. Enough fighting, lets talk, create, collaborate to make sure people have an equal chance to feel O.K, to be O.K. and to know their kids will be O.K.

  14. russ99 says:

    1. Keep Neal for expansion draft, he’ll still put up goals
    2. Buy out Koskinen
    3. That Russell trade looks good
    4. Trade Benning’s rights at the draft
    5. Either sign Athanasiou to a show me deal below the QO or cut bait.
    6. Sign #1 goalie
    7. Add depth at forward and defense after the top FAs are signed, there will be good players cut out with not enough cap space league wide to get a FA raise.

  15. russ99 says:

    russ99,

    The deadline is a much better time to revamp S,
    Larsson will be an expiring contract, we’ll know more about Nurse vs. Klefbom, and we’ll know if Bouchard or Broberg are ready

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    I would rank it:
    1. Scoring winger for McDavid
    2. 3C
    3. Goaltender: Frankly I have more faith in Koskinen playing as a 1A than Kassisn on the first line. I wouldn’t expend a lot of resources on a 1B though.

  17. godot10 says:

    1) Two-way winger for McDavid in their twenties. (UFA Granlund, offersheet Cirelli, etc.)
    2) Competent goaltending (don’t sign Smith again, no Holtby). Koskinen is fine, but if he is swapped in a trade for someone else, that is fine too.
    3) The rest can be finessed around getting #1 done.

    This is actually the same plan as last year, when I obsessed about JT Miller.

  18. memeko_koskidaddy says:

    I would stay away from Hoffman. Most of his production is on the powerplay, and his even strength numbers are poor. He’ll be a bad contract.

    I personally went for Tyler Toffolo (5M) and Craig Smith (3.5M) as wingers on the McDavid line.
    Signed Bear long term at 4M
    Traded Kassian, Samorukov, and a 2021 1st for Raanta (1B goalie), Hinostroza (3C), and a 2nd
    Also traded AA and Benning’s rights for Nichushkin (defensive god)
    bought out neal and traded Russell to Ottawa

    My roster looks something like:
    Toffoli – McDavid – C. Smith
    RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
    Nichushkin – Hinostroza – Puljujarvi
    Ennis – Haas – Archibald
    Benson

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Bear
    Jones – Bouchard
    Fantenberg

    Raanta
    Koskinen

    $750k in cap space remaining

  19. Material Elvis says:

    russ99:
    russ99,

    The deadline is a much better time to revamp S,
    Larsson will be an expiring contract, we’ll know more about Nurse vs. Klefbom, and we’ll know if Bouchard or Broberg are ready

    Problem is: if the team is in playoff contention, they likely won’t trade a top 4 defenseman. It is difficult to trade player for player in season due to cap restraints. In addition, other contending teams don’t want to part with their good players; they want to deal draft picks to bolster their roster. You have to make that trade this summer if you’re going to.

  20. 66 hertz rental says:

    Our house just took a bunch of storm damage so forgive the grumpiness. I feel like I’m in a episode of the Twilight Zone. We lost that series against an inferior team because we played brutal team defense, lost the far majority of puck battles and sub par goal tending.

    We could go deep into the playoffs with exactly the forwards we have now. Top heavy scoring and not perfect but adequate to win series in the playoffs so can we focus on why we lost. An effective third line center helps but it doesn’t move the needle.

    Our defense folds under heavy forecheck and it’s been this way for a while. We were easily dispatched because that’s playoff hockey. Forecheck the hell out of the other team, get the powerplay and have your goalie make the big save. That’s how you win a playoff series and the Oilers (especially our Dmen) seemed unprepared for the Hawks being so aggressive in our end.

    We need to fix our defense. That is why we lost

  21. Material Elvis says:

    My preference for acquisition:

    1. 3C – important position that the team hasn’t filled in a long time. The bottom six has been killed 5v5 forever and they need that to stop if they want to progress.

    2. Goalie – importance cannot be overstated. Smith was streaky and the team needs someone more consistent. I can’t see them getting two new goalies this summer. Koskinen will have to stay for now.

    3. Two way winger for McDavid – AA and Kassian are not defensively responsible. Not as vital as goalie or center.

    4. Scoring winger – would be nice but that is a luxury the team can not afford at the moment.

    5. Puck moving defenseman – the team has issues with defensive coverage and slot defending; does a puck moving defenseman improve that? Perhaps, but I would rather see the existing personnel focus on improving defensive coverage and give Bouchard a chance.

  22. Material Elvis says:

    66 hertz rental:
    Our house just took a bunch of storm damage so forgive the grumpiness. I feel like I’m in a episode of the Twilight Zone. We lost that series against an inferior team because we played brutal team defense, lost the far majority of puck battles and sub par goal tending.

    We could go deep into the playoffs with exactly the forwards we have now. Top heavy scoring and not perfect but adequate to win series in the playoffs so can we focus on why we lost. An effective third line center helps but it doesn’t move the needle.

    Our defense folds under heavy forecheck and it’s been this way for a while. We were easily dispatched because that’s playoff hockey. Forecheck the hell out of the other team, get the powerplay and have your goalie make the big save. That’s how you win a playoff series and the Oilers (especially our Dmen) seemed unprepared for the Hawks being so aggressive in our end.

    We need to fix our defense. That is why we lost

    Are you sure it was defense? Seemed to be an issue with puck luck from my POV. Bad bounces going against the team at key moments. The Oilers had more scoring chances and better expected goal numbers. Everything went right for the Blackhawks to win. And some of the Oilers players like Klefbom performed less than their regular level — I would not expect that to happen in a normal season.

    A true puck mover would be nice but definitely cost-prohibitive this summer.

  23. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    russ99:
    1. Keep Neal for expansion draft, he’ll still put up goals
    2. Buy out Koskinen
    3. That Russell trade looks good
    4. Trade Benning’s rights at the draft
    5. Either sign Athanasiou to a show me deal below the QO or cut bait.
    6. Sign #1 goalie
    7. Add depth at forward and defense after the top FAs are signed, there will be good players cut out with not enough cap space league wide to get a FA raise.

    Why would you buy out a goalie that is performing above league average for starters?

  24. Ryan says:

    godot10:
    1) Two-way winger for McDavid in their twenties. (UFA Granlund, offersheet Cirelli, etc.)
    2)Competent goaltending (don’t sign Smith again, no Holtby).Koskinen is fine, but if he is swapped in a trade for someone else, that is fine too.
    3) The rest can be finessed around getting #1 done.

    This is actually the same plan as last year, when I obsessed about JT Miller.

    If you have the stones as a GM, there are often too many goalies for the available positions. You can often find a backup for no assets and little cap.

    Domingue, for example, was a waiver claim last year. $1.15 m cap. struggled on a bad New Jersey team.

    The worst play would be giving dollars and term to a mediocre option. I’d rather waiver claim a Domingue that overpay a bad goalie.

    Anyone talking about offersheets for Cirelli, is probably being way too optimistic. He’ll be highly sought after by many teams. Several of which with more cap flexibility.. He plays the toughest minutes for the Bolts. Other teams will see him as a solution for a 2c or poor man’s 1c which will push us out of the bidding war.

  25. Reja says:

    66 hertz rental:
    Our house just took a bunch of storm damage so forgive the grumpiness. I feel like I’m in a episode of the Twilight Zone. We lost that series against an inferior team because we played brutal team defense, lost the far majority of puck battles and sub par goal tending.

    We could go deep into the playoffs with exactly the forwards we have now. Top heavy scoring and not perfect but adequate to win series in the playoffs so can we focus on why we lost. An effective third line center helps but it doesn’t move the needle.

    Our defense folds under heavy forecheck and it’s been this way for a while. We were easily dispatched because that’s playoff hockey. Forecheck the hell out of the other team, get the powerplay and have your goalie make the big save. That’s how you win a playoff series and the Oilers (especially our Dmen) seemed unprepared for the Hawks being so aggressive in our end.

    We need to fix our defense. That is why we lost

    I agree I know it’s not sexy but we need a Jason Smith in our top 4 Nurse needed to be physical he was MIA in the series. The Hawk forwards were prancing through the slot like young roosters it was so blatant I felt sorry for Tippett. Holland needs to give Tippett at least one asshole on D Larsson doesn’t count because he’s only a jerk.

  26. Nix says:

    Tesla’s Hair:
    Heard the Lowdown Lowetide podcast yesterday for the first time.#BOOM

    I don’t know when Lowetide is turning 60 (he mentioned it a few times that it is coming up) but his words packed decades of wanting to do something more and providing a platform for others to now do so.After the podcast, I checked out the recommended interview with Dominic Smith, New York Mets First Baseman who broke down during a press conference where he discussed his decision his fears from being a black man in the United States.Although my own tears watching this interview don’t really matter, I could really feel that human to human communication.

    We have come a long way in general around this planet but when radio managers, podcasts, TV owners and advertisers allow and support these discussions to go on there is hope.Enough fighting, lets talk, create, collaborate to make sure people have an equal chance to feel O.K, to be O.K. and to know their kids will be O.K.

    Oh wow thats really touching and moving and I thank you. Sounds like black folks are in serious danger of robbery, assault, rape, and violence just for their color. Im interested to learn more so I can better educate myself. Can you please post detailed racial crime statistics so we can all see who is being victimized at an astronomical rate? Surely many here could use this knowledge.

  27. Harpers Hair says:

    memeko_koskidaddy:
    I would stay away from Hoffman. Most of his production is on the powerplay, and his even strength numbers are poor. He’ll be a bad contract.

    I personally went for Tyler Toffolo (5M) and Craig Smith (3.5M) as wingers on the McDavid line.
    Signed Bear long term at 4M
    Traded Kassian, Samorukov, and a 2021 1st for Raanta (1B goalie), Hinostroza (3C), and a 2nd
    Also traded AA and Benning’s rights for Nichushkin (defensive god)
    bought out neal and traded Russell to Ottawa

    My roster looks something like:
    Toffoli – McDavid – C. Smith
    RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
    Nichushkin – Hinostroza – Puljujarvi
    Ennis – Haas – Archibald
    Benson

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Bear
    Jones – Bouchard
    Fantenberg

    Raanta
    Koskinen

    $750k in cap space remaining

    There would be some real issues signing Toffoli.

    He’s been a perfect fit in Vancouver…scoring more than a PPG and it’s likely Vancouver will do all it can to re-sign him although cap space will be an issue.

    It’s also thought he might prefer to return to SoCal because his wife works for the LA Dodgers and the Kings or Ducks could scoop him up.

    I don’t think the Oilers would be high on his list of destinations.

  28. 66 hertz rental says:

    Material Elvis,

    Was it our defensive play yes I am comfortable saying that. Going into the probabilities of puck luck will draw us into a never ending tail chasing exercise (do you make your own luck or does Zeus favour us today). I will offer that terrible defense which led to the majority of goals against is not just a matter of how well our dmen play. However we need improvement the back end if we hope to have a real cup contender.

    I agree the Oilers outchanced the Hawks which is why I think what we have upfront is enough. I like your options for improvement but for me your step number 5 and of course 2 are the better solutions for the problems we have.

    I stayed away from goal tending because it’s just such an obvious thing. Get the best you can. We all know the real name of this game is goaler not hockey.

    Goaltending can be fixed with one single astute signing/trade (I’d have the first Matt Murray jersey out there) but defense is a tougher toffee to chew.

  29. godot10 says:

    Reja: I agree I know it’s not sexy but we need a Jason Smith in our top 4 Nurse needed to be physical he was MIA in the series. The Hawk forwards were prancing through the slot like young roosters it was so blatant I felt sorry for Tippett. Holland needs to give Tippett at least one asshole on D Larsson doesn’t count because he’s only a jerk.

    The problem wasn’t the Oilers D, it was the OIlers forwards not playing a 200-foot game, and being soft in the battles, getting in lanes, and covering the wrong guys.

  30. 66 hertz rental says:

    Reja,

    Wow if we could get a 21 century gator I’d be a happy man, He was much better with the puck than people realize. Not a smooth skater but not below average if you really watched him.What he had that I truly crave is his grit, that man would die before he lost a puck battle. Secondly his puck sense, his microprocessor could do that millisecond calculation of where the danger zone was. In the right place at the right time which I am sad to say could only be said of Bear and Larsson for the current crop.

  31. Scungilli Slushy says:

    For me it’s 3C as most important.

    Connor and Leon play too many minutes which I think is part of their issues with consistency and trying to do too much .

    There are a lot of upgrades that could be made, but the roster is the best it’s been in a decade and the team is competitive as it is.

    Holland can improve the team simply by using the faster and more skilled guys they already have like Jones over Russell. Bouchard over Benning . Benson over Chiasson who is steady but just too slow and uncreative.

  32. 66 hertz rental says:

    godot10,

    Problem was the oilers dmen being losing darn near every puck battle which stated the mad scramble in our zone. Yes the Oilers team defense sucks but it sucks because we lose possession so easily, pucks wind up on opposing players sticks and chaos ensues. Chaos can make anyone, including our forwards (who yes are average on D zone coverage) look bad.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Is there any chance that Gaetan Haas can produce 3C offence at the NHL level if given two “skilled linemates”, say AA or Benson on the left and Kassian or Puljujarvi or Neal on the right?

    I know, nothing in his numbers from Switzerland to suggest it but sometimes players produce more in better leagues with better players. He’s got “the game” for 3C – very good defensively, always on the right side of the puck, quick, decent hands and skill, draws penalties, PK (at least in Europe, presumably he takes Sheahan’s minutes next season).

    I know, fantasy/pipedream.

  34. DieHard says:

    Bold move. Has to come from left side D. Not Russell. Speaking of 3C. Start of Nuge’s next contract he is 29. Probable near same price point. Will be top 6 till we get more, then transition. Need better wingers.

  35. Ribs says:

    Did we ever figure out what happened to Nurse when he left practice that one day (knee?)

  36. DieHard says:

    Nurse for Nylander

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    I like the premise of roster 1 where the cap hits of Neal, Chiasson and Russell just disappear.

    Presumably some picks came back for AA and Benning.

    No need to talk about Lennstrom as the first injury call-up…..

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Whoa – Ethan Bear signed for term – I have basically given up on that but, hey, you never know.

    With that said, 8 months ago, I could get on board with apx $4.5M and I believe my position was hoping it came in at $4M of less.

    I know that Rasmus Andersson is the comparable and it is a very good comparable but there is one big difference – pro-Covid vs. post-Covid and I think a Bear contract for term should come in a million less.

    Hot Take: As much as he will be the 2nd most “hated” flame for the next decade, I think Andersson may have separated himself a tiny bit from Bear – he was great in the playoffs for the flames (well, relative to their team). I think Bear can very well be as good or as better (I think he’s a year younger) but, for contract talks, I think he needs to come in under Andersson if signing for term this off-season.

  39. Harpers Hair says:

    DieHard:
    Nurse for Nylander

    Suggested this a couple of weeks ago.

    Hoo boy the vitriol was enormous although it makes perfect sense.

  40. Reja says:

    godot10: The problem wasn’t the Oilers D, it was the OIlers forwards not playing a 200-foot game, and being soft in the battles, getting in lanes, and covering the wrong guys.

    I like Kass but if he thinks he’s to good to hit and cause havoc on the opposition so be it I would bury him in Bakersfield until he figured out his job. For what it’s worth I believe Kadri changed the flow in the Colorado comeback.

  41. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: Suggested this a couple of weeks ago.

    Hoo boy the vitriol was enormous although it makes perfect sense.

    Why does everyone like Nylander he’s a perimeter player plus his Mom hates Edmonton.

  42. Harpers Hair says:

    Reja: Why does everyone like Nylander he’s a perimeter player plus his Mom hates Edmonton.

    A right shot 31 goal scorer would likely go supernova playing with McDavid.

  43. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    Reja: I agree I know it’s not sexy but we need a Jason Smith in our top 4 Nurse needed to be physical he was MIA in the series. The Hawk forwards were prancing through the slot like young roosters it was so blatant I felt sorry for Tippett. Holland needs to give Tippett at least one asshole on D Larsson doesn’t count because he’s only a jerk.

    I agree. I’d give Radko Gudas 3M X 2 before I’d give Benning 2M X 3. But I’m just fantasizing and don’t need to factor in a cap. It’d be nice to have that D with an edge keeping attacking forwards honest. Where is Brian Marchment when we need him?

  44. godot10 says:

    Harpers Hair: A right shot 31 goal scorer would likely go supernova playing with McDavid.

    The problem with McDavid’s line is not how many goals it scores, but how many goals it gives up.

    Cirelli >> Nylander.

  45. who says:

    memeko_koskidaddy:
    I would stay away from Hoffman. Most of his production is on the powerplay, and his even strength numbers are poor. He’ll be a bad contract.

    I personally went for Tyler Toffolo (5M) and Craig Smith (3.5M) as wingers on the McDavid line.
    Signed Bear long term at 4M
    Traded Kassian, Samorukov, and a 2021 1st for Raanta (1B goalie), Hinostroza (3C), and a 2nd
    Also traded AA and Benning’s rights for Nichushkin (defensive god)
    bought out neal and traded Russell to Ottawa

    My roster looks something like:
    Toffoli – McDavid – C. Smith
    RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
    Nichushkin – Hinostroza – Puljujarvi
    Ennis – Haas – Archibald
    Benson

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Bear
    Jones – Bouchard
    Fantenberg

    Raanta
    Koskinen

    $750k in cap space remaining

    Your trade with Arizona looks like a huge overpay.
    Maybe you don’t like Kassian, but Samarukov and 2021 1st seem like a pretty steep price for that return.
    Also, why do you think Russell accepts a trade to Ottawa?
    Fantasy trades are fun, I guess???

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    So if you have James Neal as 4LW when do you buy him out?That should be a spot that can be filled for 1 mil or less

    Maybe now, maybe next year, maybe never.

    Option 3 is preferable.

    Creating an extension of the term of the contract by 3 years with a dead cap hit of $2M in each of those three years, while potentially justifiable, is not an easy button to push.

    Frankly, those are the worst years to have that dead cap hit if we are talking about McDavid and his next contract – those are the most important years to truly be competitive, the years leading up to McDavid’s potential UFA status.

    As we’ve discussed, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Does the benefit of the potential improvement with the cap space in the short term outweigh the negative ramifications in the extension years? There is also no right or wrong answer to that question as its, again, subjective in respect of what is more important.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    If the contract is held for a year and Neal puts up close to 20 goal again (or even more without injury), whether on the PP or 5 on 5, is the contract tradeable with 50% retained and only 2 years of term left. I think it might be.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny: Since Neal’s buyout is considerably more than that, obviously it can’t be filled for $1 mill or less.

    And certainly you won’t be getting 19 goals—on PP or at EVs—for $850k.

    You wait till the cap is rising and your other buyouts have fallen off before buying him out.At the earliest next off-season, but only if he’s bad this coming season for his level.

    If he has a similar year numbers wise, there is a chance that contract is tradeable with 50% retained – only two years of term left at that point. Time will tell.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
    The more I look at it, the more a deal around Larsson for Bonino makes sense.

    Cam Lewis????

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    JJS:
    I’m curious what this group feels the order of priority is.In no particular order:
    1. Scoring winger
    2. Goaltender
    3. Mobile defender
    4. Two way winger
    5. Third line centre
    6. Other

    If Holland could only make two of these happen this off-season, which ones would they be?Why?

    Its tough to say because there is zero cap space for any external improvement without cap going out so, without knowing how we are getting this cap, its tough to say.

    Lets assume that Kris Russell and his cap hit just disappears – someone takes his contract straight up for a 7th round pick.

    I use that money on a 3C that could potentially play in the top 6 on the wing – if its out there.

    I think there will be solid goaltender options on the cheap – Aaron Dell for example, I think he would be a solid 1B and is better than his numbers on a terrible SJ team showed.

  51. Ribs says:

    Winning 50/50 # is A-37051557

    Now let’s see if a legit winner comes forward. It could be one of those numbers that didn’t get sent out to people.

  52. knighttown says:

    JJS:
    I’m curious what this group feels the order of priority is.In no particular order:
    1. Scoring winger
    2. Goaltender
    3. Mobile defender
    4. Two way winger
    5. Third line centre
    6. Other

    If Holland could only make two of these happen this off-season, which ones would they be?Why?

    If it was 1995 I’d have scoring winger way down the list but this is the era of player control. You can say that all McDavid wants to do is win but I’d expect that isn’t the only truth. McDavid and his agent would likely have demanded promises from Holland to get him a running mate that can play the game. And frankly, it’s a reasonable ask considering the hit to the reputation he takes when they lose and/or he struggles. I believe that’s the story with Nuge playing their all playoffs and I don’t think it goes away next year.

    If you aren’t convinced today’s superstars have this much power have a look at LeBron James’ recent runs with the Cavaliers when he was effectively player and GM.

    So I’d say scoring winger first;
    1. One of the top flight wingers like Hall, Hoffman if they come on less than 3 years but more likely Dadanov or Granlund
    2. Or move Nurse for a Nylander type and sign Krug

    Goalie next and there will be value if you don’t overreach. Koskinen is just fine as a 1A so just need a 1B. Greiss etc.

    Sign AA and if so, I don’t think you need a monster 3C:
    1. Leon plays 22 minutes
    2. Connor plays 22 minutes
    3. Jujhar, Neal and Chiasson can play 10 tough minutes and don’t require massive sheltering
    4. Athanasiou can drive offense from the 3rd line perhaps with JP.

    I’d sign someone for 3C but it’d be a day-6 signing for <1M ideally to keep Haas at 5C. Can always add at the deadline.

  53. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    OriginalPouzar: Cam Lewis????

    Who?

  54. Bag of Pucks says:

    Good goaltending in the NHL is like good cash flow in life. It minimizes all the other problems.

    This team (and town) needs a star G again. Top priority imo.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: Who?

    He’s a writer at Oilers Nation that posted a blog early this morning that included a Larsson for Bonino suggestion.

  56. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Ah, well I’m glad somebody else sees what I’m seeing! He even includes the same DeMelo signing as I did; if he starts adding Jarnkrok, then we’ll know he’s been reading my CapFriendly rosters =P But really, his numbers are quite solid.

    95pts in 219 games since 2017-18 (80pts in 2630mins for 1.83 p/60)
    +6.83 relGF%
    -1.73 relxGF%
    33.7% Off. zone FO
    33.6% of TOI Vs Elites
    34-29 On-ice GF Vs Elites
    -4.83 relDFF% Vs Elites

    He may not be a Faska-like perfect fit, but he’s pretty close. I’d add him and J Larsson to fill out the shutdown line w/ Archibald.

  57. Woogie63 says:

    The best non cap way the team can improve is, MORE Power Plays. Last year we had 239 Power Plays and that ranked 21st in the league. Four small changes in style will cost us next tonight and get more Power Play time. When we were on the Power Play the puck is out of our end, our best players are on the ice and we score 29% of the time (#1 in the NHL).

    1. Call up faster players from the AHL – last year our 21-23 players were -7 net in penalties,
    2. Bitch to the league on the number of non calls on 97- he ranked #40 in the NHL in net penalties,
    3. Kassian should play more like Tkachuk vs. McSorley he was -12 net penalties LY,
    4. Middle six has to be faster – AA, JP, Yamamoto and Nygard will draw penalites via being fast.

    If these adjustments add to 50 more PP (Chicago was the middle of the league with 250 PP …11 more than Edmonton and Boston was number 1 with 301 penalties drawn …62 more than Edmonton)

    we should play more minutes with the puck, away from our goal and score another 14 goalies …which just slightly below a good 3C.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think there is a good chance the Pieterangelo moves on and signs elsewhere.

    I think the Toronto is definitely interested and will continue to try and make cap space for it.

    I’ve always been a fan of Pieterangelo, has been consistently elite in my mind for a while. Of course, its all about contract and, while I’d love him on my team, and he has a few high end years left, if its the traditional 7-8 years X $9M (give or take), well, those are cap structure killers, paying for the regressing 30s.

    Colton Parayko, on the other hand, if STL decided to pay Alex P. and has to move on from their other stud…..

    I believe Parayko took on more tough minutes than Alex P. this past year.
    —————————————-

    Darren Dreger
    @DarrenDreger
    It’s believed the Blues made an offer this week. Early in the process, but sounds like there will need to be a lot of work done to keep Pietrangelo in St Louis.
    Quote Tweet

    Carlo Colaiacovo
    @CarloColaiacovo
    · 59m
    I truly believe that Alex Pietrangelo’s heart is in Stl but are the Blues really gonna let him walk for less than market value? I can think many teams including the Maple Leafs that would love to have him on their team right now for that
    #stlblues #LeafsForever

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ99:
    1. Keep Neal for expansion draft, he’ll still put up goals
    2. Buy out Koskinen
    3. That Russell trade looks good
    4. Trade Benning’s rights at the draft
    5. Either sign Athanasiou to a show me deal below the QO or cut bait.
    6. Sign #1 goalie
    7. Add depth at forward and defense after the top FAs are signed, there will be good players cut out with not enough cap space league wide to get a FA raise.

    What do you mean by keep Neal for the expansion draft?

    He won’t be protected nor will he be claimed I’m sure.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    1) Two-way winger for McDavid in their twenties. (UFA Granlund, offersheet Cirelli, etc.)

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

  61. nelson88 says:

    66 hertz rental:
    Reja,

    Wow if we could get a 21 century gator I’d be a happy man, He was much better with the puck than people realize. Not a smooth skater but not below average if you really watched him.What he had that I truly crave is his grit, that man would die before he lost a puck battle. Secondly his puck sense, his microprocessor could do that millisecond calculation of where the danger zone was. In the right place at the right time which I am sad to say could only be said of Bear and Larsson for the current crop.

    His name is Samorukov and based on the verbal we will trade him to the leafs before we really know what we have.

  62. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

    Then one needs the same two-way winger to play with Draisaitl.

    Nugent-Hopkins, in a non insignificant sample size is demonstrably better with Draisaitl than with McDavid. He performed at the highest level of his career…top five scoring in the NHL, a lot of them goals.

  63. Jaxon says:

    Sorry term
    1. 3rd Line goal scoring C
    2. Backup Goalie

    I still give Athanasiou a chance with a contract. He’s still young and managed, just a year ago, to score 30 goals.

    I’m in no hurry to buyout Neal. He can still score in bunches in the right situation.

    Chiasson is duplicated on the roster. I’d try to get rid of him.

    Trade Kris Russell; while okay on the small sample size playoffs, is the 4th best LHD on the roster and 7th best D on the team.

    I give Benson a real short at playing with skill. That’s where is go get a goal scoring 3rd line C. That and maybe play him with Neal or Puljujarvi. Maybe Eric Haula as 3C.

    Athanasiou / McDavid / Puljujarvi (Neal)
    Nugent-Hopkins / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
    Benson / Haula / Neal (Puljujarvi)
    Ennis / Khaira / Archibald

    Nygard / Haas / Kassian

    I think Kassian could be in danger of being traded, but I’m not sure if pull that trigger. I’d let One of Archibald, Nygard or Haas go before Kassian and maybe I wouldn’t sign Ennis (but I think he’ll be available for a bargain).

    Nurse / Bear
    Klefbom / Larsson
    Jones / Benning
    Lagesson / Bouchard

    I’m happy with this D.

    Koskinen – I’m not a huge fan, but he’s sufficiently average as a starter. I’m drafting Askarov of he’s available at 14.

    For backups I’d look at the 2nd tier of free agents like Griess (does Draisaitl know him? Like him?) Or Dell, he’s an Albertan so maybe he signs a real value contact. The wildcard is Holtby, who is also local and coming off poor seasons and losing his starting job to Samsonov, so he may come home to restart his career. I wouldn’t go long and I’d want him at a discount. Maybe he sees a fresh start and new challenge as an option. He’s a big gamble though, but if it pays off it’s huge.

  64. BONE207 says:

    JJS:
    I’m curious what this group feels the order of priority is.In no particular order:
    1. Scoring winger
    2. Goaltender
    3. Mobile defender
    4. Two way winger
    5. Third line centre
    6. Other

    If Holland could only make two of these happen this off-season, which ones would they be?Why?

    1. Goalie … cause I don’t want Smith back
    2. 3rd line centre so the bottom 6 hold their own
    3. Someone for CONNOR just in case he can’t outscore his defensive zone concerns.
    4. Rainbows 🌈 & unicorns 🦄 & a Woodguy phone 📱

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Material Elvis:

    5.Puck moving defenseman –the team has issues with defensive coverage and slot defending;does a puck moving defenseman improve that?Perhaps, but I would rather see the existing personnel focus on improving defensive coverage and give Bouchard a chance.

    Having Bear, Jones and Bouchard replace the likes of Larsson, Russell and Benning (currently and over time) should vastly increase the ability of the team to transition the puck – those are in addition to Klef and Nurse who get the puck going the right way.

    The slot defence is correct, that was the biggest issue in the playoffs – d-men not recognizing the danger area/player and leaving the danger area/player to go puck chase. This has been a problem for years as well and I’m not sure why the likes of Nurse and Klef can’t be more consistently good in this area given their experience.

  66. pts2pndr says:

    Material Elvis: Problem is:if the team is in playoff contention, they likely won’t trade a top 4 defenseman.It is difficult to trade player for player in season due to cap restraints.In addition, other contending teams don’t want to part with their good players;they want to deal draft picks to bolster their roster.You have to make that trade this summer if you’re going to.

    If the team is in contention obviously you keep a veteran like Russel. He is already paid for. All you lose is the possibility of a lottery pick which is okay. If you aren’t likely to make the playoffs you get a lottery pick. If a team happens to run into injury problems half way through the season you may very well get a very good lottery pick or prospect for Russel ( Bonus)! If you can get under the cap keeping Russel his value increases up to the trade deadline at which time you fish or cut bait.

  67. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: Having Bear, Jones and Bouchard replace the likes of Larsson, Russell and Benning (currently and over time) should vastly increase the ability of the team to transition the puck – those are in addition to Klef and Nurse who get the puck going the right way.

    The slot defence is correct, that was the biggest issue in the playoffs – d-men not recognizing the danger area/player and leaving the danger area/player to go puck chase. This has been a problem for years as well and I’m not sure why the likes of Nurse and Klef can’t be more consistently good in this area given their experience.

    The slot area generally is your centers responsibility! The type of D you are all crying for is in the system they just haven’t given him a chance. Big Sweed with an edge that played said role wonderfully allowing Jones to be a rover on the Barons.Coach wanted to give Manning one last chance. He is a left side Larsson but with better puck moving skills.

  68. Lowetide says:

    pts2pndr: The slot area generally is your centers responsibility! The type of D you are all crying for is in the systemthey just haven’t given him a chance. Big Sweed with an edge that played said role wonderfullyallowing Jones to be a rover on the Barons.Coach wanted to give Manning one last chance. He is a left side Larsson but with better puck moving skills.

    I’m a believer in Lagesson, and I do think the Oilers like him, too. Jones is ahead of him and that makes things dangerous (waivers) but Edmonton may have received a break if the 2020-21 season begins with a taxi squad.

  69. pts2pndr says:

    nelson88: His name is Samorukov and based on the verbal we will trade him to the leafs before we really know what we have.

    +1 We really need to give these kids a chance. The same group that decry we need a certain type of player that we already have in the system. Some of these same individuals were for trading Bear. You have to wait for the cake to bake before decreeing it inedible and throwing in the trash. Haste makes waste. With young players we don’t need perfect out of the gate only adequate while they gain the maturity and experience.

  70. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide: I’m a believer in Lagesson, and I do think the Oilers like him, too. Jones is ahead of him and that makes things dangerous (waivers) but Edmonton may have received a break if the 2020-21 season begins with a taxi squad.

    That was my thought as well,especially given the possibility of an abbreviated season. I still believe that there may not be a 20/21 season and what we see is a reset to October start for a 21/22 season. This may in my opinion see a reduction of teams and realignment of divisions.

  71. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: What do you mean by keep Neal for the expansion draft?

    He won’t be protected nor will he be claimed I’m sure.

    He will still have value as a veteran presence. With an enticement be it a draft choice or player the team can manage to give themselves cap space. This is also low risk for the Krackan as his contract will have short term left. To move him will require value added but this should be less onerous than the alternatives.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    66 hertz rental:
    Material Elvis,

    Was it our defensive play yes I am comfortable saying that. Going into the probabilities of puck luck will draw us into a never ending tail chasing exercise (do you make your own luck or does Zeus favour us today). I will offer that terrible defense which led to the majority of goals against is not just a matter of how well our dmen play. However we need improvement the back end if we hope to have a real cup contender.

    I agree the Oilers outchanced the Hawks which is why I think what we have upfront is enough. I like youroptions for improvement but for me your step number 5 and of course 2 are the better solutions for the problems we have.

    I stayed away from goal tending because it’s just such an obvious thing. Get the best you can. We all know the real name of this game is goaler not hockey.

    Goaltending can be fixed with one single astute signing/trade (I’d have the first Matt Murray jersey out there) but defense is a tougher toffee to chew.

    I generally agree.

    Did the Oilers have less “puck-luck”? Sure, I guess I would agree but I would say that Hawks earned that “puck-luck” with their strategy of working hard on the boards in the Oilers zone (i.e winning puck battles) and pucks to the net with traffic in front.

    The tip-ins by Hawk players, the own-goals (due to chasing and sprawling), etc. that was caused by the Hawks earning that puck-luck combined with the Oilers (a) not getting in the shooting lanes, (b) not protecting the low and high slot (i.e. lettting the Hawks stand there with their sticks free), (c) losing own-zone battles and (d) leaving the danger zone/player in the slot to go walkabout and puck chase.

    The Oilers played poorly and didn’t engage in the tough jobs that create “puck-luck”.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: The problem wasn’t the Oilers D, it was the OIlers forwards not playing a 200-foot game, and being soft in the battles, getting in lanes, and covering the wrong guys.

    Way too simplistic and black and white.

    The above summary was indeed part of the problem but so was the “team defence” including the individual play of defenders – (a) losing battles on the boars below the Oilers red line, (b) not recognizing the danger player or, if in position, not tying up stick or battling, (c) going walkabout and leaving the danger zone to puck chase below the redline.

    The forwards and the D were losing as a team – great bonding I guess!!!

  74. leadfarmer says:

    Feel free to delete if too political but athletes usually don’t cause much change but opening arenas as polling places is fairly significant
    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/08/28/907101601/nba-agrees-to-use-arenas-as-polling-places-in-deal-to-resume-playoffs

  75. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: Way too simplistic and black and white.

    The above summary was indeed part of the problem but so was the “team defence” including the individual play of defenders – (a) losing battles on the boars below the Oilers red line,(b) not recognizing the danger player or, if in position, not tying up stick or battling, (c) going walkabout and leaving the danger zone to puck chase below the redline.

    The forwards and the D were losing as a team – great bonding I guess!!!

    Larsson wasn’t right in the Chicago series. That first game was the worst I recall him playing for the Oilers. Klefbom was also poor, Nurse-Bear played better in game one but had their moments of wobble too.

    With all of that, and understanding many of the forwards weren’t in playoff mode, for me the goaltending was the primary issue.

  76. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Feel free to delete if too political but athletes usually don’t cause much change but opening arenas as polling places is fairly significant
    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/08/28/907101601/nba-agrees-to-use-arenas-as-polling-places-in-deal-to-resume-playoffs

    Agreed. What the NBA is doing is historic, led by the NBA players.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: The problem with McDavid’s line is not how many goals it scores, but how many goals it gives up.

    This, 100% this.

    Dave Tippett gets so much grief for his response when asked about breaking up (or not putting back together the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line) – along the lines of “needing two lines to win”.

    People spew vitriol on the premise that McDavid will be a second line no matter who he plays with.

    100%, that line will score goals no matter who he plays with (within reason) but its been shown that, his line-mates matter as far as actually scoring more goals than the other team.

    McDavid was a negative goal differential player in 2020 – think about that – the Oilers were losing when McDavid was on the ice at evens. That is egregious.

    They were winning in 2020 but, when McDavid was healthy, they were winning because of the Drai line and the special teams.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    nelson88: His name is Samorukov and based on the verbal we will trade him to the leafs before we really know what we have.

    Sammy is indeed a big physical, defence first player who can skate and move the puck – aggressive defender including defending the zone entry and the gap.

    I see some of the comparison there but I think Sammy has a higher skill-set with his skating and ability to move the puck – we’ll see if he “makes it”.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Then one needs the same two-way winger to play with Draisaitl.

    Nugent-Hopkins, in a non insignificant sample size is demonstrably better with Draisaitl than with McDavid.He performed at the highest level of his career…top five scoring in the NHL, a lot of them goals.

    I don’t disagree – Nuge should stay with Drai.

    I was just pointing out that the player you described was Nuge.

    As far as needing a 2-way winger, McDavid does need this more than Drai – Drai has shown the ability to be high end defensively – I’m not talking about “back-checking”, a pet peeve of mine is when people equate good back-checking with good defence. I’m talking about Drai’s ability to recognize in the defensive zone, to battle on the boards and in the high slot and to help break cycles.

    We’ve seen him be very good defensively when he’s not exhausted and when he’s engaged.

  80. leadfarmer says:

    Connor and Drai are first and third in forward time on ice per game played for forwards in the league and play just over a minute per shift 1st and 2nd in league for longest shifts (Nuge is 4th)
    This is why having a legit 3rd line is key
    Need to lower their time on ice but also if you are playing them that much need to shorten their shifts

  81. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t disagree – Nuge should stay with Drai.

    I was just pointing out that the player you described was Nuge.

    As far as needing a 2-way winger, McDavid does need this more than Drai – Drai has shown the ability to be high end defensively – I’m not talking about “back-checking”, a pet peeve of mine is when people equate good back-checking with good defence. I’m talking about Drai’s ability to recognize in the defensive zone, to battle on the boards and in the high slot and to help break cycles.

    We’ve seen him be very good defensively when he’s not exhausted and when he’s engaged.

    I think McDavid’s style lends itself to fast breaks offensively and to jailbreaks the other way. I think both 97 and 29 are young centers and make mistakes defensively. That’s not unusual. That’s why Horcoff was such a revelation, he was a good coverage center by about 24.

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    Sorry term
    1. 3rd Line goal scoring C
    2. Backup Goalie

    I still give Athanasiou a chance with a contract. He’s still young and managed, just a year ago, to score 30 goals.

    I’m in no hurry to buyout Neal. He can still score in bunches in the right situation.

    Chiasson is duplicated on the roster. I’d try to get rid of him.

    Trade Kris Russell; while okay on the small sample size playoffs, is the 4th best LHD on the roster and 7th best D on the team.

    I give Benson a real short at playing with skill. That’s where is go get a goal scoring 3rd line C. That and maybe play him with Neal or Puljujarvi. Maybe Eric Haula as 3C.

    Athanasiou / McDavid / Puljujarvi (Neal)
    Nugent-Hopkins / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
    Benson / Haula / Neal (Puljujarvi)
    Ennis / Khaira / Archibald

    Nygard / Haas / Kassian

    I think Kassian could be in danger of being traded, but I’m not sure if pull that trigger. I’d let One of Archibald, Nygard or Haas go before Kassian and maybe I wouldn’t sign Ennis (but I think he’ll be available for a bargain).

    Nurse / Bear
    Klefbom / Larsson
    Jones / Benning
    Lagesson / Bouchard

    I’m happy with this D.

    Koskinen – I’m not a huge fan, but he’s sufficiently average as a starter. I’m drafting Askarov of he’s available at 14.

    For backups I’d look at the 2nd tier of free agents like Griess (does Draisaitl know him? Like him?) Or Dell, he’s an Albertan so maybe he signs a real value contact. The wildcard is Holtby, who is also local and coming off poor seasons and losing his starting job to Samsonov, so he may come home to restart his career. I wouldn’t go long and I’d want him at a discount. Maybe he sees a fresh start and new challenge as an option. He’s a big gamble though, but if it pays off it’s huge.

    So much here the mirrors what I’ve be stating:

    1) Agree on AA – Holland just needs to ensure it gets done before the QO period to take away the arbitration risk. I am willing to take a $3M risk on him (hopefully less but OK with $3M). I’m going to disregard his play as an Oiler as a simple extension of his season with Detroit and a one off. I’m not expected 30 goal but he was over 1.8 P/60 in the four years prior (once over 2.0).

    I don’t know if he’ll mesh with Connor or Leon but the puck transporter of a skilled 3rd line has value.

    2) Agree on Neal unless there truly is an immediate use of the cap space that is likely to take the team to a higher tier/level. If Neal puts up 20 goals again, 5 on 5 or PP, he may actually be tradeable next off-season with 50% retained – only 2 years X $2.75M may not look bad.

    3) Russell is a no-brainer – just not sure if it can be done and I think a bad contract with only one year left will be coming back – hopefully that fills (potentially) the 3C or back-up goalie.

    4) I’ve posted recently about Benson getting a legit shot at the top 6 – he should have every opportunity to battle with AA, Nygard, etc. for the open top 6LW spot – he has the pedigree, the smarts, the skill, the IQ and the work ethic. It could work out wonderfully

    5) Agree on Chiasson. I see/hope Puljujarvi replacing Chiasson on the roster (for cap savings). Benson potentially replacing AA (notwithstanding #1 above).

    6) I don’t think Kassian is tradeable right now, not with the current financial landscape and his poor play for all of 2020. That contract is currently Holland’s one “big mistake”.

    7) I haven on the Aaron Dell train for weeks now.

  83. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Having Bear, Jones and Bouchard replace the likes of Larsson, Russell and Benning (currently and over time) should vastly increase the ability of the team to transition the puck – those are in addition to Klef and Nurse who get the puck going the right way.

    The slot defence is correct, that was the biggest issue in the playoffs – d-men not recognizing the danger area/player and leaving the danger area/player to go puck chase. This has been a problem for years as well and I’m not sure why the likes of Nurse and Klef can’t be more consistently good in this area given their experience.

    The centre plays a large role in that.

    The Oilers when playing well are making short passes and supporting each other.

    When they aren’t they are too far apart for anyone to have an outlet.

    Connor and Leon cheat on D because they have the talent to beat other players so try to do it all themselves instead of playing the system and using teammates, they play too much, and are responsible for the bulk of 5v5 scoring again leading to trying to do too much.

    That leaves the D, some of who aren’t that consistent at reads, with no safe and easy pass.

    20 minutes a night for those 2 means 2/3rds of the game is covered by elite talent. The third and fourth lines being able to handle 20 minutes effectively between them changes everything.

    It also improves goaler performance. When the Oilers and all teams limit HDSC the tenders look great, when they don’t they look bad, like every team.

    There might be some fallout from moving away from players limited in the game as it is today, but very soon it would be an improvement.

    So, if the Oilers aren’t contenders next year, which they aren’t likely to be without a fortuitous run, prune hard so the thing can grow faster.

    Out for me are Russell, Chiasson, Smith, Neal if possible, maybe a Klef or Nurse for a haul, Benning bcs skating and a lack of coach trust.

    Kassian isn’t well liked here, but the league still referees that his job description is important.

    If a goon like Reaves starts running around there has to be someone that is a viable opponent to have a word. Kassian isn’t in that weight class, but is a junkyard dog and everyone knows it.

    He also, like most players, is streaky, but can be an offensive contributor. He has skill, he just can’t put it all together over time.

    He’s also a plus skater, and for me that is really important, after watching cement bladed skaters chasing the play for too many years.

    I’d rather have Haas playing RW and not scoring enough than Chiasson, because he can pressure with speed forecheck, and given reps would IMO soon be a far better help.

  84. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: Agreed. What the NBA is doing is historic, led by the NBA players.

    Historic, but pointless, until the old political parties are obliterated.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: The slot area generally is your centers responsibility! The type of D you are all crying for is in the systemthey just haven’t given him a chance. Big Sweed with an edge that played said role wonderfullyallowing Jones to be a rover on the Barons.Coach wanted to give Manning one last chance. He is a left side Larsson but with better puck moving skills.

    Both the center-man and the d-man have net front responsibilities.

    A d-man leaving the an opposition player alone in the net front to go walkabout and puck chase – I don’t think that’s in any system.

  86. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide: I think McDavid’s style lends itself to fast breaks offensively and to jailbreaks the other way. I think both 97 and 29 are young centers and make mistakes defensively. That’s not unusual. That’s why Horcoff was such a revelation, he was a good coverage center by about 24.

    I think some of it is because they have to take chances offensively because if they don’t score who will

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I’m a believer in Lagesson, and I do think the Oilers like him, too. Jones is ahead of him and that makes things dangerous (waivers) but Edmonton may have received a break if the 2020-21 season begins with a taxi squad.

    I agree with you on Lagesson.

    Lets assume the AHL does not start concurrently with the NHL (which would SUCK). For sure, the NHL will need to have some sort of expanded roster or, as you say, taxi squad.

    At the same time, I would think that somewhat normal rules would apply to the extra players – they would have to have not impact the cap and I would suggest that there would still be a 23-man active roster and any other player on the “extended roster” or “taxi squad” would have the same rules apply as if they were in the AHL (as far as cap relief, waiver clearing requirements, etc.).

    Just how I’ve been thinking it would work – could totally be wrong.

    Either way, Kris Russell being move will remove this issue with Willie.

  88. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide: Larsson wasn’t right in the Chicago series. That first game was the worst I recall him playing for the Oilers. Klefbom was also poor, Nurse-Bear played better in game one but had their moments of wobble too.

    With all of that, and understanding many of the forwards weren’t in playoff mode, for me the goaltending was the primary issue.

    I believe he was injured in the Calgary game. As I recall he left the bench for a period of time before returning.

  89. Scungilli Slushy says:

    66 hertz rental:
    godot10,

    Problem was the oilers dmen being losing darn near every puck battle which stated the mad scramble in our zone. Yes the Oilers team defense sucks but it sucks because we lose possession so easily, pucks wind up on opposing players sticks and chaos ensues. Chaos can make anyone, including our forwards (who yes are average on D zone coverage) look bad.

    I see this as Russell’s main weakness. He defends like he’s at Vimy Ridge, but a lot of that is because he can’t win battles because he’s so small for a D and is an average skater. He’s not terrible, but not good enough, lacks acceleration as I see it.

    If you are significantly undersized in a position you have to be a plus skater, like Yama. That can look different ways, Yama isn’t blazing fast like Connor say, but the proof is seeing the effectiveness in getting the job done. Night in and out.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    Connor and Drai are first and third in forward time on ice per game played for forwards in the league and play just over a minute per shift 1st and 2nd in league for longest shifts (Nuge is 4th)
    This is why having a legit 3rd line is key
    Need to lower their time on ice but also if you are playing them that much need to shorten their shifts

    They do take long shifts sometimes but I an anticipate those rankings are “all situations” and, given Nuge, McDavid and Drai play essentially the entire PP, I would think its a bit less egregious at evens (shift length).

  91. Jaxon says:

    Jason Gregor had a couple great articles on the Edmonton D over at Oilers Nation. Is a great read for parcing the value of Bear, Nurse, Klefbom, Larsson, Russell, and Benning. Nurse haters may not like it. I loved it.

  92. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Feel free to delete if too political but athletes usually don’t cause much change but opening arenas as polling places is fairly significant
    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/08/28/907101601/nba-agrees-to-use-arenas-as-polling-places-in-deal-to-resume-playoffs

    Awesome.

    Protests have some relevance, real actions are actually what counts. Kudos to them.

  93. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer: I think some of it is because they have to take chances offensively because if they don’t score who will

    Yes. Agreed. Oilers will win when they can play a more controlled game.

  94. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: They do take long shifts sometimes but I an anticipate those rankings are “all situations” and, given Nuge, McDavid and Drai play essentially the entire PP, I would think its a bit less egregious at evens (shift length).

    Well they are 4th and 8th in pp toi per game
    The pp tends to skew it as we don’t have a second unit but even so I think they play too much and tend to run out of steam

  95. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jaxon:
    Jason Gregor had a couple great articles on the Edmonton D over at Oilers Nation. Is a great read for parcing the value of Bear, Nurse, Klefbom, Larsson, Russell, and Benning. Nurse haters may not like it. I loved it.

    Very interesting. I wonder how the OIlers see it. I’m expecting little to happen again. We will see.

  96. OriginalPouzar says:

    I read alot about Benning and his skating – it not being good enough and a reason why he should be moved.

    The NHL has become more and more of a “skating league”, that I acknowledge. At the same time, only half the league is made up of “plus skaters”, right?

    At the end of the day, not having plus skating is only a major issue if he player is not effective and, game after game, year after year, Benning is effective.

    Maybe he’s only effective as a 3RD but he is indeed effective.

    Is he expensive for a 3RD? Maybe but not much given how effective he is.

    That is not the place to look to cut cap – if a good deal is there, sure, make it but I don’t think its a primary place to look for cap relief, even with Bouchard knocking.

  97. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    I put
    G
    3C
    W

    I think the biggest incremental value in team points could be the result of increasing the G cap space a bit for next year. Something in the order of 3-4M to acquire new 1A/1B and based on performance objectives a Griess, Khudobin, and Raanta over the last ~4 years. For Griess the risk is “Trotz-effects”,, for Khudobin it is a potential bidding war (near or more than 4.5M prolly). For Raanta – the risk is really injury history. I also think it is in the realm of possibilities that there could be a hockey trade with Russell for Raanta, perhaps with some fine-tuning. They are similar cap hit. The Yotes would only have to pay 1.5M in real dollars, and we then have space on LD for the yutes and the Finnish Wall combo meal in G – both have demonstrated capacity/potential. It would bump the overall G budget up about 1.25-1.5 or so from last year I believe, when Smiths bonuses are included. But moving Russell adds the “equivalence” of 4M on the D cap budget that could be allocated as an increase to Bear and others….

    For 3C I think it depends on the putative W are likely to be…there have been many intriguing lines put up around here lately…JP what forth is thy fate?

    For a top 6 winger, primarily for Connor, It would be great to find a potential 1Y solution with a current roster member or affordable quality FA, there are a few options – Nygaard, Benson, Haas, Ennis.

  98. oilsnc79 says:

    Material Elvis: Are you sure it was defense?Seemed to be an issue with puck luck from my POV.Bad bounces going against the team at key moments.The Oilers had more scoring chances and better expected goal numbers.Everything went right for the Blackhawks to win.And some of the Oilers players like Klefbom performed less than their regular level — I would not expect that to happen in a normal season.

    A true puck mover would be nice but definitely cost-prohibitive this summer.

    We have three, bear, Jones and Bouchard
    Why go hunting. Nurses numbers support
    Keeping, he is young yet. Patience’s people, patients.. trade what.
    Russell= low return, but doable. Go Dutch, goil.

  99. godot10 says:

    Jaxon:
    Jason Gregor had a couple great articles on the Edmonton D over at Oilers Nation. Is a great read for parcing the value of Bear, Nurse, Klefbom, Larsson, Russell, and Benning. Nurse haters may not like it. I loved it.

    Nurse has the boxcars, the PuckIQ, and SportLogiq.

    Like with Petry, the haters’ eyes deceive them because Nurse impacts the game like an elite defensemen, but because he isn’t elite, he makes a few more mistakes, but fewer if one measures it relative to the impact he makes on the game.

    Nurse is an impact defensemen, though not an elite defensemen. He is a physical Jay Bouwmeester who will play at a high, but likely not elite level until his mid-thirties. The other point that is often missed is he obviates the need for a Roman Polak type. And durability and availability is underappreciated.

    As the Oilers get better all around forwards, Nurse will actually become more effective.

    Nurse is the most irreplaceable of the Oilers D at the moment.

  100. godot10 says:

    godot10: Nurse has the boxcars, the PuckIQ, and SportLogiq.

    Like with Petry, the haters’ eyes deceive them because Nurse impacts the game like an elite defensemen, but because he isn’t elite, he makes a few more mistakes, but fewer if one measures it relative to the impact he makes on the game.

    Nurse is an impact defensemen, though not an elite defensemen.He is a physical Jay Bouwmeester who will play at a high, but likely not elite level until his mid-thirties.The other point that is often missed is he obviates the need for a Roman Polak type.And durability and availability is underappreciated.

    As the Oilers get better all around forwards, Nurse will actually become more effective.

    Nurse is the most irreplaceable of the Oilers D at the moment.

    **but fewer relative to the impact compared to the other D on the Oilers.

    I miss the edit button.

  101. Ryan says:

    godot10: **but fewer relative to the impact compared to the other D on the Oilers.

    I miss the edit button.

    I could forgive Darnell for skating end to end only to getting lost, subsequently turning the puck over in the corner, or after skating behind the net.

    Behind the net.

    I see what I did there…

    If he could only make an outlet pass…

  102. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I read alot about Benning and his skating – it not being good enough and a reason why he should be moved.

    The NHL has become more and more of a “skating league”, that I acknowledge.At the same time, only half the league is made up of “plus skaters”, right?

    At the end of the day, not having plus skating is only a major issue if he player is not effective and, game after game, year after year, Benning is effective.

    Maybe he’s only effective as a 3RD but he is indeed effective.

    Is he expensive for a 3RD?Maybe but not much given how effective he is.

    That is not the place to look to cut cap – if a good deal is there, sure, make it but I don’t think its a primary place to look for cap relief, even with Bouchard knocking.

    While I understand your logic the flaw in your argument as I see it is that if Benning is your third pairing right D how does Bouchard get the experience required to progress. The option is that he has to be able to play top four to make the NHL. If Benning is not capable to play top four the decision has to be made to move him. Berglund should be able to handle third pairing D by next year, as he will have had two years of top four D in Sweden. Benning is for all intents and purpose redundant. Third pairing right D should be Bouchard’s job to lose at training camp not forced to wait behind an experienced third pairing D. If Russel can be moved the combination of freed cap space of Benning and Russel should allow for an upgrade at forward. There are still a lot of moving parts. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  103. OriginalPouzar says:

    On that note, I encourage posters to read Gregor’s piece on zone entires and scoring chances (or least look at the first chart as it related to number of zone entire as well as number of scoring chances after zone entire).

    https://oilersnation.com/2020/08/27/zone-entries-that-lead-to-shots-and-scoring-chances/

  104. Jaxon says:

    pts2pndr: While I understand your logic the flaw in your argument as I see it is that if Benning is your third pairing right D how does Bouchard get the experience required to progress. The option is that he has to be able to play top four to make the NHL. If Benning is not capable to play top four the decision has to be made to move him. Berglund should be able to handle third pairing D by next year, as he will have had two years of top four D in Sweden. Benning is for all intents and purpose redundant. Third pairing right D should be Bouchard’s job to lose at training camp not forced to wait behind an experienced third pairing D. If Russel can be moved the combination of freed cap space of Benning and Russel should allow for an upgrade at forward. There are still a lot of moving parts. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    You keep Benning on his relatively cheap contact. Bouchard is only blocked by Benning if he isn’t better than Benning. He’ll push Benning to the press box soon enough.

  105. flyfish1168 says:

    For 3rd line center we should be looking for a righted one. We are always exposed on PK on the right handed side.

  106. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: I generally agree.

    Did the Oilers have less “puck-luck”?Sure, I guess I would agree but I would say that Hawks earned that “puck-luck” with their strategy of working hard on the boards in the Oilers zone (i.e winning puck battles) and pucks to the net with traffic in front.

    So you think the Oilers going from an even strength PDO of 999 during the season to 954 in the play-in was due to Chicago outworking the Oilers?

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    As Holland said at the post-season media avail, the next step is for Bouchard to come and take someone’s job. Benning shouldn’t be moved to create a job for Bouch but potentially after Bouch has taken that job.

  108. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As Holland said at the post-season media avail, the next step is for Bouchard to come and take someone’s job. Benning shouldn’t be moved to create a job for Bouch but potentially after Bouch has taken that job.

    I agree with this.

    But since the coach won’t play Benning above 3rd pair trading him makes a lot of sense.

    Replace him with a $1M veteran stopgap. Save $1M. Add a 3rd round pick via trade (whatever Benning is worth).

    Bouchard still needs to take someone’s job.

    (and as I’ve said before I think Benning could probably succeed on a 2nd pair, but Tippett’s actions have spoken very clearly so it’s kinda pointless to keep him).

  109. Material Elvis says:

    Ryan: I could forgive Darnell for skating end to end only to getting lost, subsequently turning the puckover in the corner, or after skating behind the net.

    Behind the net.

    I see what I did there…

    If he could only make an outlet pass…

    He actually completes outlet passes as the same rate as Heiskenen and better than Chabot (I shit you not).

  110. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    This, 100% this.

    Dave Tippett gets so much grief for his response when asked about breaking up (or not putting back together the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line) – along the lines of “needing two lines to win”.

    People spew vitriol on the premise that McDavid will be a second line no matter who he plays with.
    100%, that line will score goals no matter who he plays with (within reason) but its been shown that, his line-mates matter as far as actually scoring more goals than the other team.

    McDavid was a negative goal differential player in 2020 – think about that – the Oilers were losing when McDavid was on the ice at evens. That is egregious.

    They were winning in 2020 but, when McDavid was healthy, they were winning because of the Drai line and the special teams.

    McDavid was not a negative player in 2020.

    Agreed he needs to cut down on GA, but he still broke even with “no” help in 2020.

    The Oilers were pretty damn impressive up till the pandemic hit actually. Sheahan, Archbald, Khaira and P. Russell were the only regulars on the team worse than -1 at even strength (2020 regular season). Neal was 10GF-7GA in 13 games, as a for instance.

    “Fix 3rd line” would be my #1 priority this off-season (that is, stop or curb the bleeding).

    The entire team at 5v5 was -1 or better in 2020. Except for Sheahan (-11), P. Russell (-9, in 15 games), Archibald (-6), Khaira (-5). That sure looks like a place deserving some focus for improvement.

  111. Material Elvis says:

    Nurse isn’t going anywhere. It would take a big offer from Dubas to make that happen; I don’t see it. The future D is Nurse/Jones/Broberg. Klefbom needs to stay until Broberg is ready.

  112. Munny says:

    Material Elvis: urse isn’t going anywhere. It would take a big offer from Dubas to make that happen;

    I’m not even sure that would do it.

  113. Munny says:

    Material Elvis: He actually completes outlet passes as the same rate as Heiskenen and better than Chabot (I shit you not).

    Bingo.

    And he’s even better at gaining the zone and creating chances. Thank Gord for data.

  114. Fuge Udvar says:

    While we are in fantasy land.. Here is my totally realistic 20-21 lineup.
    Klefbom for Boeser (maybe Benning is a bit drunk)
    Faksa for Khaira and a pick
    Offload Chaisson for whatever
    Buyout Neal
    Bridge Bear (2.5)
    AA to 1 year contract (2.5)
    Sign Benning (2)
    Sign Elliot and pray (2)
    Sign Puljujarvi

    Benson-McDavid-Boeser
    Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Athanasiou-Faksa-Puljujarvi
    Nygard-Haas-Archibald
    Kassian
    Nurse-Bear
    Jones-Larsson
    Russel-Benning
    Lagesson-Bouchard

    Koskinen
    Elliot

    Obviously a pipe dream. But I don’t think the values are too far off.

  115. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: McDavid was not a negative player in 2020.

    Agreed he needs to cut down on GA, but he still broke even with “no” help in 2020.

    Sorry, you are right, 20GF and 20GA in 2020 at 5 on 5.

    You help make the point above that “with nothing” McDavid was an even player and Tippett’s reasoning for needing a second line actually rings true. His method may be flawed but to say that McDavid will always to be a scoring line no matter who he plays with is true but to say its an outscoring line no matter what is not true. Tippett needed a 2nd line and he didn’t have one with McDavid in 2020 (they were winning with the Drai line and special teams).

  116. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: So you think the Oilers going from an even strength PDO of 999 during the season to 954 in the play-in was due to Chicago outworking the Oilers?

    I think they earned their luck, yes.

  117. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think they earned their luck, yes.

    OK.

    I think if you played games 2, 3, 4 over again ten times the Oilers win at least 2 of them more times than not.

  118. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sorry, you are right, 20GF and 20GA in 2020 at 5 on 5.

    You help make the point above that “with nothing” McDavid was an even player and Tippett’s reasoning for needing a second line actually rings true.His method may be flawed but to say that McDavid will always to be a scoring line no matter who he plays with is true but to say its an outscoring line no matter what is not true. Tippett needed a 2nd line and he didn’t have one with McDavid in 2020 (they were winning with the Drai line and special teams).

    No, McDavid won’t *always* outscore (I didn’t say that either btw).

    But he was even without a ‘scoring’ or ‘two-way’ winger in 2020. He was also -2 with Draisaitl on the (full) season so it’s not clear where the issue lays.

    Tippett breaking up the Drai line did make some sense, wasn’t trying to disagree. IMO the post-deadline group of forwards (bring back Ennis) should be able form 2 outscoring lines though. A defensive conscience who can contribute (like Fast) would be great but I’m not so sure a Hoffman or a run of the mill $3M winger is going to mesh/help any more than AA did so far (though I would still give him a chance to try to settle in, personally).

  119. Munny says:

    jp: OK.

    I think if you played games 2, 3, 4 over again ten times the Oilers win at least 2 of them more times than not.

    jp: No, McDavid won’t *always* outscore (I didn’t say that either btw).

    But he was even without a ‘scoring’ or ‘two-way’ winger in 2020. He was also -2 with Draisaitl on the (full) season so it’s not clear where the issue lays.

    Tippett breaking up the Drai line did make some sense, wasn’t trying to disagree. IMO the post-deadline group of forwards (bring back Ennis) should be able form 2 outscoring lines though. A defensive conscience who can contribute (like Fast) would be great but I’m not so sure a Hoffman or a run of the mill $3M winger is going to mesh/help any more than AA did so far (though I would still give him a chance to try to settle in, personally).

    You’re knocking it out of the park, JP.

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