Get Good Players, Keep Good Players

Cedric Tallis was the first general manager of the Kansas City Royals. His expansion draft was pristine, acquiring young men with enough talent to play big league baseball and enough time left to hang around for most of a decade. Bill James wrote about him, detailing transactions and development ideas (acquiring Amos Otis from the Mets, procuring George Brett, helping run the KCRoyals baseball academy) that would sustain the team for many years. He looked long term. You can read about him here.

Tallis was all about acquiring young players who could be coached to play a specific (fast, good gloves, hitting for average) brand of baseball. He was a central figure in the Royals first decade, and with Brett’s long career, Tallis had an impact on the 1985 World Series win.

Click on the link for a great offer!

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.

KEN HOLLAND SPEAKS

Daniel Nugent-Bowman’s interview with Ken Holland that was published on the weekend is a must read. I’m about to quote from the article, so please clink on the link above and read it. Please and thanks.

Ken Holland:Part of getting better is internally. Everybody looks externally. Well, we’re in a flat cap. Am I gonna try to make some moves? Yeah. I’m gonna pick up the phone and see what we can do to make ourselves a little bit different, a little bit better. But part of our improvement has to be: Can Ethan Bear back up next year what he did last year and build upon it? Can Caleb Jones do that? Can Yamamoto do that? Are there any kids that are gonna come in and push? And, if they don’t push in training camp, can they come in and make our team halfway through the year like Yamo did and have some impact on our team?

That’s it, really. Holland and Dave Tippett have to find out if Evan Bouchard can help (he can), if Tyler Benson can wrestle playing time away from Joakim Nygard, if William Lagesson has real NHL shutdown ability (I believe he does). I believe much of this offseason is going to be about making room on defense for Caleb Jones, Bouchard and Lagesson. What does that mean? I expect Kris Russell and Matt Benning are going to exit, with the opening night 2020-21 defense possibly looking like this: Nurse-Larsson, Klefbom-Bear, Jones-Bouchard and Lagesson in the pressbox.

If Larsson is dealt, and that’s possible, you might see Nurse-Bear, Klefbom-Jones and Russell-Bouchard with Lagesson in the pressbox. You might also see a defenseman added to the mix. OEL anyone. Oh, and there should be some good forwards available.

It comes down to this: Get good players, keep good players. If Holland and Tippett give worthy prospects 500 at-bats in the majors before making a decision, that will represent a sea change in this organization big enough to create a tsunami.

Ehlers would be a wild addition, I’ve written about Nurse-for-Ehlers many times, most recently in July 2019 and in January of 2019. He scored 25 goals last season, 203 shots in 71 games. Laine would require more silver and gold than the Oilers can afford.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show begins at 10, TSN1260. At 10:20 Daniel Nugent-Bowman from The Athletic will join me to discuss his interview with Ken Holland and the bold move by Raphael Lavoie in signing an SHL contract. Devan Fink from Beyond the Boxscore will be around at 10:40 to talk trade deadline and the San Diego Padres. Jason Gregor slides in at 11 to talk NHL playoffs and the collision course the Lightning and Golden Knights appear to be on at this time. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. It’ll be a crazy day!

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240 Responses to "Get Good Players, Keep Good Players"

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  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: Hey, we all have opinions.
    The difference between me and you is I don’t feel the need to post my opinions 50 times per thread. I also don’t feel the need to argue with every poster that disagrees with me.
    Although I do make an exception for you sometimes.:

    No, the main difference is you think your opinion on the subject is the right opinion and, essentially, fact and condescend others with opposing opinions with the “good grief” and childish hashtags.

    I acknowledge my opinion could end up being wrong but, as of now, its not – nor is it proven right.

    I read posts, if I disagree with a post, I will provide my thoughts and if the poster responds with me, I will engage in discussion – you can call it argue, I call in discussion.

    The obsession seems to be with attacking my posting style and post volume.

    Insert “passive aggressive don’t take yourself so seriously emoji”.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Actually, I know at least one of Kurt’s contacts (I’m sure he has many) and would suggest his intel is good. As is the case with all rumors/conjecture, there are bound to be scenarios that appear and then disappear, but he’s got a line on things. I’m certain of it.

    Kurt has written a number about a number of “off the radar” things in his Sunday Morning 9 Things column this year that have come to fruition.

    He’s had a great year in that regard.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    I recall reading about how Juolevi’s playoff performance proving that he’s “arrived” – must have been a heck of a 6:16……

  4. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: No, the main difference is you think your opinion on the subject is the right opinion and, essentially, fact and condescend others with opposing opinions with the “good grief” and childish hashtags.

    I acknowledge my opinion could end up being wrong but, as of now, its not – nor is it proven right.

    I read posts, if I disagree with a post, I will provide my thoughts and if the poster responds with me, I will engage in discussion – you can call it argue, I call in discussion.

    The obsession seems to be with attacking my posting style and post volume.

    Insert “passive aggressive don’t take yourself so seriously emoji”.

    You can call it discussion if you like. I think you would probably be having a “discussion” with yourself if there was no one else here.
    Because I think you just love the sound of your own voice. And you just love to talk about yourself.
    “This is what I think about this and this is what I think about that. And in case you missed my first 20 posts on the subject, this is what I think about this and this is what I think about that”.
    I guess I should be happy we are no longer subjected to as many stories about YOUR travel, or YOUR workouts, or YOUR diet, our YOUR career, or YOUR rec hockey exploits, but I just find you tiresome.
    You know who cares less about your life than you OP?
    Everybody!

    Sorry to do this, but if you don’t like passive aggressive, I guess I’ll just be direct.

  5. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Juolevi lost almost two entire seasons to serious injury.
    Despite that, he appeared in one post season game while Bouchard ate popcorn .

    Juolevi’s ahead of Bouchard now based on 1 game? Even though he was drafted 2 year before? Was he the only minus player on the powerhouse Comets?

  6. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Imagine a top ten pick not being ready while his draft cohort are taking his lunch money.

    leadfarmer: You mean like Olli Juolevi?
    Oh snap!!

    Of the 5 players picker before and the 5 after Bouchard I only see 2 or 3 that *should* have been in the NHL this year (Hughes, Farabee and maybe Zadina). No lunch money has been exchanged.

  7. Bag of Pucks says:

    What Holland needs is a Barrie & Kerfoot for Kadri type trade where Nurse or Larsson fill the Barrie spot. Tyson was a pending UFA so you likely don’t need to sweeten as much as Kerfoot who had cache at the time of the trade.

    Florida is a team and a market that might do something stupid in their desperation to change their results.

    Nurse and Chaisson for Huberdeau? It doesn’t sound any less possible than Barrie and Kerfoot for Kadri.

  8. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, in addition to Lagesson, I’d like to have an option for the right side that doesn’t include a left shot d-man that has proven to be markedly less effective on the right side in his NHL career (Jones, Russell).

    Yes. It’s less than ideal but the cap saving (over $1 million) and the progress Bouchard will make by the end of the season are strong reasons to make the move. Ideal roster construction is a terrific goal, but you also want your most dynamic players in the lineup, not anticipating an injury that may not come.

  9. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    List the top ten.

    I’ll wait.

  10. leadfarmer says:

    Holland likes to overripen prospects
    If you are expecting Bouchard in the lineup to start the season you will probably be disappointed
    And there’s nothing wrong with Bouchard if that happens
    That is all

  11. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I suspect one of the factors that comes into play is Katz pushed to fast track this rebuild with Holland’s predecessor and it bit him in the ass.

    Whereas Benning in Van knows he has to win asap, I doubt. Holland is under the same time pressure.

    I would LOVE to know in full honesty if Chiarelli makes the Reinhart trade if Katz hadn’t dialed up the pressure to fix the D problem asap,along with Boston screwing Chia on Hamilton. We certainly know Katz was dissatisfied with MacTs inaction on that front.

    Both the Yakupov pick and the Reinhart trade I blame on Katz moreso than management. Classic examples of Owner meddling. Not Harold Ballard bad but it certainly didn’t help.

    Even if this were true, Chia still made an awful trade. It was a bad trade from day 1. The yak pick was the preferred option of many experts and fans at the time.

  12. jp says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Juolevi lost almost two entire seasons to serious injury.

    Was curious so I checked.

    It was *almost* 10 months.

  13. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Holland likes to overripen prospects
    If you are expecting Bouchard in the lineup to start the season you will probably be disappointed
    And there’s nothing wrong with Bouchard if that happens
    That is all

    If Bouchard comes to camp and is clearly behind, then he should certainly be sent to the AHL. I don’t think Benning will be his competition for the RHD spot on the third pair.

  14. jp says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    What Holland needs is a Barrie & Kerfoot for Kadri type trade where Nurse or Larsson fill the Barrie spot. Tyson was a pending UFA so you likely don’t need to sweeten as much as Kerfoot who had cache at the time of the trade.

    Florida is a team and a market that might do something stupid in their desperation to change their results.

    Nurse and Chaisson for Huberdeau? It doesn’t sound any less possible than Barrie and Kerfoot for Kadri.

    OK. So,

    1) Yes, that kind of trade could be cool.

    2) Larsson definitely doesn’t have as much cache as Barrie.

    3) Florida may do something stupid.

    4) But not that stupid. Huberdeau was top 15 in scoring each of the past 2 seasons, is 27 and signed for 3 more yrs for 300k more than Nurse (that’s a year longer than Nurse).

    5) It does sound considerably less possible than Barrie/Kerfoot for Kadri, IMO.

    6) Recall there were also playoff/suspension issues with Kadri on top of all this.

  15. jp says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Even if this were true, Chia still made an awful trade. It was a bad trade from day 1.

    Yeah someone should have been fired (sooner) for that. Even if a trade was forced the step down from Hamilton to Reinhart was shocking.

  16. Ryan says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    What Holland needs is a Barrie & Kerfoot for Kadri type trade where Nurse or Larsson fill the Barrie spot. Tyson was a pending UFA so you likely don’t need to sweeten as much as Kerfoot who had cache at the time of the trade.

    Florida is a team and a market that might do something stupid in their desperation to change their results.

    Nurse and Chaisson for Huberdeau? It doesn’t sound any less possible than Barrie and Kerfoot for Kadri.

    Agreed, Holland needs to make some Sakic-like trades, but there’s only one Burnaby Joe.

    Look at the Duchene trade. Duchene had just under two seasons left on his contract when Joe did the three team deal with Nashville and Ottawa.

    Ottawa got two seasons of Duchene. Nashville got Kyle Turris.

    Old Burnaby Joe got a 2019 1st and 3rd from Ottawa along with Shane Bowers, a late 2017 1st rounder from Ottawa.

    Two firsts and a third, that’s not bad, right?

    Well, there’s more.

    He also got a 2018 second round pick from Nashville.

    Okay, so he got a second rounder for 2018, a 2019 1st and a 2019 third, and a former 2017 1st round pick, okay pretty good, right.

    Now throw in Samuel Girard, and Vlad Kamenev from Asheville and that’s a ridiculous haul.

    Sam Girard led the AVS in time on ice during the regular season.

    Kamenev is 24 and has a strong pulse as maybe a 3c ceiling.

    And that folks is how you play chess while the other GMs are playing checkers.

  17. Ryan says:

    Ryan,

    I think Sakic won that trade with just Girard as the return.

    I hadn’t even mentioned that he got a 2019 4rth overall pick from Ottawa selecting Bowen Byram.

    Sakic’s the modern day Glen Sather. He doesn’t just fumble around trading Taylor Hall because he needs a defenseman, he understands the market as well as other team’s prospects.

    He played Ottawa, Nashville and their respective playoff hopes and dreams against each other.

    He paid less for Burakovsky than we paid for AA because he knew when to buy.. and whom.

    He paid a seconded for Grubaur and got Francouz for nothing while we were fumbling around chasing Koskinen.

  18. jp says:

    Ryan,

    Hard to disagree. That’s a shocking return for Duchene (agreed Girard alone does it).

    And he was right on Burakovsky.

    I’m not sure the Oilers chased the wrong goalie, but they sure paid more for ‘maybe as good’.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: You can call it discussion if you like. I think you would probably be having a “discussion” with yourself if there was no one else here.
    Because I think you just love the sound of your own voice. And you just love to talk about yourself.
    “This is what I think about this and this is what I think about that. And in case you missed my first 20 posts on the subject, this is what I think about this and this is what I think about that”.
    I guess I should be happy we are no longer subjected to as many stories about YOUR travel, or YOURworkouts, or YOUR diet, our YOUR career, or YOUR rec hockey exploits, but I just find you tiresome.
    You know who cares less about your life than you OP?
    Everybody!

    Sorry to do this, but if you don’t like passive aggressive,I guess I’ll just be direct.

    Do what you feel – doesn’t bother me.

    I enjoy reading the blog and posting my comments as a i read it and then, later in the day, going through the comments and posting my thoughts on the comments of others – when others respond to my posts, either moving the conversation forward or disagreeing, I will respond – Its discussing the Oilers and it provides me enjoyment.

    Feel free to ascertain opinions and judgements on me based on your perceived issues with my “posting style”.

    Its very clear that your responses to me are based as much on personal issues with me than post substance but that’s OK, I’m assuming you acknowledge it

    I’m done with these petty issues but I will continue to provide my opinions as I do – including those relating to my thoughts on the Matt Benning and the need for defensive depth when, you know, team building and potential moves are discussed – every day.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Noah Dobson was as sheltered as any d-man I’ve ever seen based on the numbers (TOI vs elites, zone starts, etc) and he was healthy scratched for half the year.

    The only reason he was in the NHL was because he was ineligible for the AHL.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Yes. It’s less than ideal but the cap saving (over $1 million) and the progress Bouchard will make by the end of the season are strong reasons to make the move. Ideal roster construction is a terrific goal, but you also want your most dynamic players in the lineup, not anticipating an injury that may not come.

    I don’t disagree but we both know that Bouchard will play the majority of the NHL games, even if he starts as 4RD. Shit, he may beat out Benning for the opening night roster spot (and WIllie goes to waivers – a risk but not a material one I don’t think – every team has a Laggeson).

    I understand the cap issues but I am also of the opinion that Matt Benning at apx $2M (maybe even less) is not the primary place to look to cut cap:

    – Russell
    – Chiasson to Puljujarvi
    – AA to Benson
    – 1B in the Aaron Dell territory if a deal for a Coyote or Jacket goalie is not do-abe.

  22. Justthestatsman says:

    I have to admit, I’m enjoying watching all of the goals scored in the Dallas-Colorado series. I wonder when the last time a team had three different goalies start games in a playoff year, let alone have three different goalies win games.

  23. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Do what you feel – doesn’t bother me.

    Naturally…after years of Law School couched by a grinding number of years toiling away at a Law Firm
    has left me impervious to criticism.

    I enjoy reading the blog and posting my comments as a i read it and then, later in the day, going through the comments and posting my thoughts on the comments of others –

    Mainly because I love the sound of my own self. In real life no one particularly cares unless they’re hiring me.

    when others respond to my posts, either moving the conversation forward or disagreeing, I will respond – Its discussing the Oilers and it provides me enjoyment.

    Obviously its a high form of narcissistic enjoyment, but I don’t care at all for anyone else’s opinion save for my own.

    Feel free to ascertain opinions and judgements on me based on your perceived issues with my “posting style”.

    Its very clear that your responses to me are based as much on personal issues with me than post substance but that’s OK, I’m assuming you acknowledge it

    I’m done with these petty issues but I will continue to provide my opinions as I do – including those relating to my thoughts on the Matt Benning and the need for defensive depth when, you know, team building and potential moves are discussed – every day.

    There.

  24. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Lowetide: If Bouchard comes to camp and is clearly behind, then he should certainly be sent to the AHL. I don’t think Benning will be his competition for the RHD spot on the third pair.

    LT, seeking some clarification on your comment…:)
    Do you mean Benning won’t be here (i.e., he will be competing with Lags,Jones,Russell for 3RD)??
    OR that he may slot higher up the order in short time?

  25. hunter1909 says:

    hunter1909: There.

  26. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    jp: Yeah someone should have been fired (sooner) for that. Even if a trade was forced the step down from Hamilton to Reinhart was shocking.

    yup. He had at least 4-5 “fire able” moves:
    1. Draft picks for Reinhart
    2. Lucic mega deal
    3. Hall 4 Larsson
    4. Strome 4 “nothing”
    5. 4.5Mx4 for MK (he should have signed him, but that was massive overpay)

  27. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Ryan:
    Ryan,

    I think Sakic won that trade with just Girard as the return.

    I hadn’t even mentioned that he got a 2019 4rth overall pick from Ottawa selecting Bowen Byram.

    Sakic’s the modern day Glen Sather. He doesn’t just fumble around trading Taylor Hall because he needs a defenseman, he understands the market as well as other team’s prospects.

    He played Ottawa, Nashville and their respective playoff hopes and dreams against each other.

    He paid less for Burakovsky than we paid for AA because he knew when to buy.. and whom.

    He paid a seconded for Grubaur and got Francouz for nothing while we were fumbling around chasing Koskinen.

    Seriously. Joe is not in the same universe as some GMs (e.g. Chia)

  28. Lowetide says:

    NEW for The Athletic: Dealing a defenceman? Taking stock of Oilers’ blueline assets. There are only three ‘locks’ to return. (Click on the link for a great offer!)

    https://theathletic.com/2031353/2020/09/01/lowetide-dealing-a-defenceman-taking-stock-of-oilers-blueline-assets/

  29. Ryan says:

    jp:
    Ryan,

    Hard to disagree. That’s a shocking return for Duchene (agreed Girard alone does it).

    And he was right on Burakovsky.

    I’m not sure the Oilers chased the wrong goalie, but they sure paid more for ‘maybe as good’.

    Grubauer was acquired for a second round pick. He’s now a career .920 sv percentage vs .909 for Koskinen. He’s also 28-years-old.

    This season, the AVS paid less for Francouz and Grubauer than we’re paying for Koskinen.

  30. Lowetide says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: LT, seeking some clarification on your comment…:)
    Do you mean Benning won’t be here (i.e., he will be competing with Lags,Jones,Russell for 3RD)??
    OR that he may slot higher up the order in short time?

    I don’t think Benning will be a part of the team next year. Damn shame, fine player. The flat cap will have many victims.

  31. Ryan says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Seriously. Joe is not in the same universe as some GMs (e.g. Chia)

    Extreme returns vs getting extremely fleeced.

    Quite a stark contrast.

  32. Reja says:

    leadfarmer:
    Holland likes to overripen prospects
    If you are expecting Bouchard in the lineup to start the season you will probably be disappointed
    And there’s nothing wrong with Bouchard if that happens
    That is all

    Well Holland better figure out it’s a young cheap man’s league that doesn’t pay a 3rd pairing D-man 2 million when you have a better D with no place to play sitting in a Bakerfield Chez Pierre club all day and night.

  33. jp says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: yup. He had at least 4-5 “fire able” moves:
    1. Draft picks for Reinhart
    2. Lucic mega deal
    3. Hall 4 Larsson
    4. Strome 4 “nothing”
    5. 4.5Mx4 for MK (he should have signed him, but that was massive overpay)

    None of those was good but for me only Reinhart and Hall were “fireable”.

    The Lucic deal was always going to hurt on the back end but I don’t think anyone predicted him to fall off to 30 points in year 2.

    And many here were luke warm on Strome even before that season and his scoring drought/trade. Lots of questioning whether he was worth his $3.1M contract, as a very meh 3C.

    Those deals were bad but on a whole different level (at the time) then Hall/Reinhart IMO.

  34. Reja says:

    Ryan: Agreed, Holland needs to make some Sakic-like trades, but there’s only one Burnaby Joe.

    Look at the Duchene trade. Duchene had just under two seasons left on his contract when Joe did the three team deal with Nashville and Ottawa.

    Ottawa got two seasons of Duchene. Nashville got Kyle Turris.

    Old Burnaby Joe got a 2019 1st and 3rd from Ottawa along with Shane Bowers, a late 2017 1st rounder from Ottawa.

    Two firsts and a third, that’s not bad, right?

    Well, there’s more.

    He also got a 2018 second round pick from Nashville.

    Okay, so he got a second rounder for 2018, a 2019 1st and a 2019 third, and a former 2017 1st round pick, okay pretty good, right.

    Now throw in Samuel Girard, and Vlad Kamenev fromAsheville and that’s a ridiculous haul.

    Sam Girard led the AVS in time on ice during the regular season.

    Kamenev is 24 and has a strong pulse as maybe a 3c ceiling.

    And that folks is how you play chess while the other GMs are playing checkers.

    Old joe should have gotten a Goalie that can stop pucks.

  35. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: I don’t think Benning will be a part of the team next year. Damn shame, fine player. The flat cap will have many victims.

    I agree.

    Based on Holland’s history, I think he’s to take the easy road to free up cap.

    That will also probably include walking away from AA assuming no one bites on a trade for either.

    I think the most probable outcome will be walking away from both Benning and AA.

  36. jp says:

    Ryan: Grubauer was acquired for a second round pick. He’s now a career .920 sv percentage vs .909 for Koskinen. He’s also 28-years-old.

    This season, the AVS paid less for Francouz and Grubauer than we’re paying for Koskinen.

    I was just looking at this season where the 3 are pretty even in SV%.

    I didn’t realize quite how good Grubauer’s track record is (no SV% under .915 since 2012-13) so yeah. Really great deal for Sakic.

  37. Ryan says:

    Reja: Old joe should have gotten a Goalie that can stop pucks.

    Grubauer and Francouz are both injured.

    That would be like if Smith and Koskinen were out.

    I haven’t watched the entire series, but the Stars are a very dirty team.

    Perry himself is constantly slashing at the goalies after the whistle or pushing AVS into them.

  38. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    jp: I was just looking at this season where the 3 are pretty even in SV%.

    I didn’t realize quite how good Grubauer’s track record is (no SV% under .915 since 2012-13) so yeah. Really great deal for Sakic.

    The Oilers have had ample opportunity in the past 6 years to secure better goaltending at affordable prices, they just can’t seem to figure it out…

  39. godot10 says:

    Ryan: Grubauer was acquired for a second round pick. He’s now a career .920 sv percentage vs .909 for Koskinen. He’s also 28-years-old.

    This season, the AVS paid less for Francouz and Grubauer than we’re paying for Koskinen.

    But like Raanta, Grubauer is made of glass and breaks down all the time.

  40. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    godot10: But like Raanta, Grubauer is made of glass and breaks down all the time.

    Thats where MK and the 2 goalie system come in handy…;)

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