Signs

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

I’m beginning to think Ken Holland liked the 2019-20 Oilers. After signing Patrick Russell yesterday, the roster that finished second in the Pacific Divison has 17 signed men from the 23-man roster that ended the season. Three more RFA’s (Andreas Athanasiou, Matt Benning, Ethan Bear) could run that number to 20. Mike Smith and Tyler Ennis remain options, Riley Sheahan and Mike Green appear less likely. Yes, I’d say Holland liked his first Oilers team quite a lot.

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.

OILERS 50 MAN (43)

Russell doesn’t move the needle in terms of the starting 12, and nothing much changes today from yesterday. Joe Gambardella remains in chase mode for the job Russell owns (extra winger).

There are nine RFA’s remaining, I think Bear, Lagesson, Day and Kuffner get signed, Redmond, Vesey and Hebig move on. Benning and Athanasiou are up in the air at this time. I don’t list Ryan Mantha, he is also technically an RFA.

The signing of Russell means there are 17 men under contract for next year. Edmonton has six more spots and $10,323,835 to work with at this time. Or do they?

PROJECTED LINEUP 2020-21 WITH TWEAKS

This roster comes in with just over $1 million ($1,021,335) in cap room. I traded Alex Chiasson and Ilya Konovalov to Arizona for Antti Raanta, Jesse Puljujarvi to Pittsburgh for Jared McCann, Kris Russell for Eric Comrie. Finally, I sent Matt Benning and Mike Kesselring to Florida for Frank Vatrano. We can argue over the trades and values, I usually underpay on all these funzone deals. I do like this team, six forwards have scored 20+ goals at least once in their careers. Kailer Yamamoto isn’t one of them, meaning that at least one good offensive player will be alongside McCann on the third line.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning on the show, we get started at 10 on TSN1260. At 10:20, Hart Levine from PuckPedia will discuss the tweet above and how best Ken Holland can find some roster wiggle room this offseason. There are going to be some tough decisions ahead. AJ Haefele from DNVR Sports will talk Avalanche at 11 and we’ll talk Jays, NFL and more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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jp

pts2pndr: And that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. It’s not that AA is not value it’s that he has not been a fit with either of out top two centres and he is a luxury the Oilers can’t afford on the third line when their two most pressing needs are third line centre and a left winger for McDavid

I don’t think he’s played enough to say he isn’t a fit with Connor or Leon.

He also has a history of scoring goals with not so much help so he could be valuable on the 3rd line as well as in the top 6.

If you believe a LW for McDavid is a major need (it’s further down my list) and that AA is not an answer, then clearly moving on makes sense.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: Sorry late to the party. I am saying a draft choice and the cap money to sign Bear long term is better than paying AA3 million plus if he doesn’t fit on your top two lines. He is a luxury the Oilers can’t afford when they require a top six left winger. It’s not about the player per se, it’s about priorities.

The Oilers require a winger in the top 6 but also skill in the middle six.

These aren’t luxuries, these are holes than need to be filled in order to take the team to the next level.

Perhaps Benson, McLeod, Lavoie and Puljujarvi are those players but AA has established himself in the NHL as such a player in 4 of the last 5 years.

OriginalPouzar

JT Miller is great – he’s had a phenomenal offensive season and has been lights out in the playoffs.

Of course, his 70 points this season was his second time over 50 points and first time in 4 years. Is it a “career year” or will he revert back, even to the mid-40s that he’s scored in the past?

He is also seldom used on the PK and a pure winger.

To compare his contract to Nuge’s next contract and cite division inefficiency between the two is far too early.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s had a great season but, for now, its a one season outlier – I do expect him to continue to be better in Vancouver than he was in Tampa, as far as production, but its a one-season outlier at this point.

Given

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Landeskog missed 15 games.

Rantanen missed 27.

Stop making things up.

Nothing I said was made up. He played over 600 minutes with Ladesgog and 200 without.

His top four icemates are who I said they were.

I look forward to your apology for accusing me of making things up and posting without being in the know

https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20192020&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&stdoi=oi&rate=n&v=t&playerid=8477492

who

Bag of Pucks: Cap effiency makes any team better. A cap system assumes a level playing field and the team that scores the most goals wins. Do you sense a correlation between goals and cap efficiency? You should.

If you need pointless hypotheticals as so many on this site seem to demand, i gave you one yesterday.

Nuge out for Vatrano, Acciari and Weegar in. Added bonus, Weegar enables you to trade one of Larsson or Nurse to go shopping for even more Fs.

It seems pretty naive to just divide a players salary by the number of goals he’s scored to come up with a cap effiency value.
Using goal differential would be a step in the right direction but it still leaves an incomplete picture.
I’m not saying Nuge is untradeable, but your example is just trading 1 good forward for 2 average forwards and a defenseman. And then trading a defenseman to replace Nuge. Why not just sign two average forwards in free agency? Sounds like it’s going to be a buyers market.
I think we should try to add more good forwards before we start trading them away. I’m all for cap effiency, but Nuges salary is not the problem.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: What did AA bring to the table? Granted small sample size but he did not fit with either of arguably the two best offensive centres in the NHL. At his price point he is too expensive for third line given the greater need is a left winger for Connor. It seems very simple to me. Keeping a bolt that doesn’t fit is a fool’s errand when the cap is tight. Wishing it was different won’t make it so!

but the player scored above 1.8 P/60 (one year above 2.0), with a mix of middle and top 6 linemates, for 4 straight season before this past. He had a crap year and his Oilers sample was 13 games, with a 5 months break.

His NHL history shows he’s a good bet to pop 15-20 goals playing in the middle six.

On this team, that has value and is worth $3M.

Munny

pts2pndr: And that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. It’s not that AA is not value it’s that he has not been a fit with either of out top two centres and he is a luxury the Oilers can’t afford on the third line when their two most pressing needs are third line centre and a left winger for McDavid

You know there’s something to be said for this argument.

The counter, imo, would be, we haven’t had time to try much of anything and get a handle on it.

Plus we have the opportunity to rehabilitate his value. Perhaps his agent could be made aware of that fact. The free agent market might do better for AA in sheer dollars… but if it does, is it a better situation than a team with 97 and 29, regardless of starting day line? Would you be willing to sac half a mill to 2.5 to be on a better team?

Just a couple of years, and if the cap goes up after that and you’ve been a good lad, you’re a UFA and the world is your oyster. Or maybe again you want to stay.

And that’s the way I’d pitch it to him… we could give you a one year QO, and you could be making way less next year, if you suck again, or… We could give you a two year, give you some security and you’d be getting a new contract as a UFA when the Covid Cap ends. Two years on the same team as the Art Ross Twins…

I’d also say we can do something about the other two AND sign AA, but something else has to happen, like salary traded out. Not hopeless, but difficult.

Munny

Bag of Pucks: Hypotheticals, while fun, are a poor proof of concept for management best practices. You’re far better served pointing to real world historical examples as Ryan and I have done here.

We don’t have to prove the utility of the wheel to skeptics when the wheel already exists.

Well the examples seem fairly rare. And thus the wheel a massively over-exaggerated analogy.

And this is a thread, including LT’s article, where people are proposing courses of action.

You have an actual philosophy. Far ahead of most punters, I’d say.

So… what’s next?

pts2pndr

Darth Tu:
I realise I’ve been occasionally banging on the Domi drum for a while, but it does sound like Montreal are moving on from him.He supposedly wants to play centre more than wing, maybe he slots into that 3C position for us? Or could be convinced that he’s happy on wing with either McDavid or Drai and that helps us with the plugs being pushed down to an appropriate level issue.Of course if he plays wing then we’re still looking for a 3C.

Issue as always is cap space, so this is most likely a non starter.Maybe it’s a don’t sign AA, move some bits (Russell)and then it works.

Thinking out loud.

Domi depending on assets required to attain would be a great fit either as a top six winger or 3C.

pts2pndr

leadfarmer: Yes.Exactly
While the pp is likely to remain a thing of beauty there’s no guarantee that the pk will remain that good
The black hole at 3c and the third line in general is incredibly worrisome

I believe if you look at the period when the Oilers with Draisaitl,Nuge, and Yamamoto together there was a very different set of numbers. There is the distinct possibility that with the addition of Benson on the wing with McDavid and a power play quarterback that can score this team can be substantially better. The Euro’s with a year of NHL hockey experience plus the possible addition of JP should also help.

pts2pndr

jp: Fair, you’re entitled to your opinion.

I think AA would get $3M on the open market, were he to get there (and with a good chance of being worth it). I could be wrong.

And that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. It’s not that AA is not value it’s that he has not been a fit with either of out top two centres and he is a luxury the Oilers can’t afford on the third line when their two most pressing needs are third line centre and a left winger for McDavid

pts2pndr

PennersPancakes: This is directed to you and the original poster but who would you target? I don’t think Kenny will get stuck on the cost he paid for AA but I think the gap will be his assessment of the player versus yours.

Its likely we disagree on the value of AA but who would you rather have that will realistically have a 2.75 cap hit on a short term contract?

Hers 5 examples of players 2.75-ish chosen from a 2019 UFA signing list sorted by AAV (this year may be different because Covid but its all we have)

– Ryan Dzingle – 3.375 – 27 yo – 4 years – 29 points in 64 games. MIA in last 2 playoffs
– Valtteri Flippula – 3 – 35 yo – 2 years – 21 points in 70 games, old as dust.
– Richard Panik – 2.75 –28 yo – 4 years – Signed with cup winners, put up 22 points in 59 games
– Colin Wilson – 2.60 – 29 yo – 1 year –re-signed with team, injured all year
– Alex Chiasson – 2.15 – 28 yo – 2 year – This board talks about dumping him already.

AA is turning 27 in less than a week, has history of scoring ES goals (Oilers weakness), will likely have a 1 or 2 year contract, and likely a huge fucking chip on his shoulder.

Again this year may be different but the cream of comparable contracts are Dzingle and Panik who will have at least double the term who played on very strong teams this year.

Sorry late to the party. I am saying a draft choice and the cap money to sign Bear long term is better than paying AA 3 million plus if he doesn’t fit on your top two lines. He is a luxury the Oilers can’t afford when they require a top six left winger. It’s not about the player per se, it’s about priorities.

pts2pndr

Bismarck:
I know that the recent experiment with Nuge as a winger proved successful throughout the last season, but we should not forget that this was playing alongside one of McDavid or Draisaitl. Wouldn’t our FA dollars be better spent finding some effective wingers to ride alongside our superstar centers and move Nuge to the third line pivot, allowing him to clean up against softer opposition? I really feel as though we are lining up for our unicorns moment this year (and maybe even the vaunted balance photo from our host…).Also carries the added benefit of not zooming Nuge’s production during his contract year.

He’s always been a center.

Nuge not only gives you a scoring winger but a cover in case of injury to one of your top two centres. He also is excellent on the PP and PK. He is arguably the most complete player on the team.

Bag of Pucks

who: You suggest trading Nuge, but I don’t see you showing that it makes the team better.
We have 3, maybe 4, top 6 forwards. There are discussions here every day on how to get another one,and you want to trade one away. Makes no sense
And if the Oilers find that 4 million dollar
winger that scores 30, how long do you think he will be earning 4 million. Everybody’s talking about Ehlers. He’s already making 6 million.

Cap effiency makes any team better. A cap system assumes a level playing field and the team that scores the most goals wins. Do you sense a correlation between goals and cap efficiency? You should.

If you need pointless hypotheticals as so many on this site seem to demand, i gave you one yesterday.

Nuge out for Vatrano, Acciari and Weegar in. Added bonus, Weegar enables you to trade one of Larsson or Nurse to go shopping for even more Fs.

who

Bag of Pucks:
This isn’t the first time I’ve suggested trading Nuge.

Two thing always happen.

1. A lot of people get upset. He’s a very popular player. And let’s face it, replacing a jersey isn’t cheap.
2. LT posts a staunch defense of him the very next day. Seriously, i think Alan would give him a kidney if he asked.

#1 has obviously happened again. I’m hoping I prevent #2 by this post. lol

You suggest trading Nuge, but I don’t see you showing that it makes the team better.
We have 3, maybe 4, top 6 forwards. There are discussions here every day on how to get another one, and you want to trade one away. Makes no sense
And if the Oilers find that 4 million dollar
winger that scores 30, how long do you think he will be earning 4 million. Everybody’s talking about Ehlers. He’s already making 6 million.

JimmyV1965

OriginalPouzar: 3 of which were on an empty net.

and he played 30 seconds/game on the PK

and he’s older than Nuge and going to get paid more than Nuge on his next contract.

Would be interesting to know how many GMs in this league would rather have Hoffman than Nuge. I suspect the list is very short.

Harpers Hair

Bag of Pucks:
This isn’t the first time I’ve suggested trading Nuge.

Two thing always happen.

1. A lot of people get upset. He’s a very popular player. And let’s face it, replacing a jersey isn’t cheap.
2. LT posts a staunch defense of him the very next day. Seriously, i think Alan would give him a kidney if he asked.

#1 has obviously happened again. I’m hoping I prevent #2 by this post. lol

If Holland hasn’t yet determined if Nuge is open to a new contract and knows the dollars it will take, he should be fired.

If he knows and isn’t making phone calls, you have to assume he is content with the status quo.

Could be a fatal mistake.

Worth noting, JT Miller has three years remaining at $5.25 million.

Both he and Nuge cost a first round pick and both are 27.

If Nuge costs the Oilers $7 million, that’s another contract inefficiency in division.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: In no way shape or form do the Canucks lean on goaltending
Nope not one bit

Of course they do.

Hockey is mostly goalie…especially true in the playoffs.

Bismarck

godot10

Yes, he was a league-leading scorer while on the wing for one of the top 2 scorers. What’s your point?

As good as Nuge is as a winger, he fills a void that currently exists at 3c. Oil’s money is better spent getting a first-shot scorer for McDavid and adding some additional quality to lines 2 and 3. Nuge on the wing has been fun but it is not proper deployment of the team’s resources.

Unicorns are truly possible in 20-21.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: Quite a performance by Demko.

The Canucks are playing with house money.

In no way shape or form do the Canucks lean on goaltending
Nope not one bit

Bag of Pucks

This isn’t the first time I’ve suggested trading Nuge. 😈

Two thing always happen.

1. A lot of people get upset. He’s a very popular player. And let’s face it, replacing a jersey isn’t cheap.
2. LT posts a staunch defense of him the very next day. Seriously, i think Alan would give him a kidney if he asked.

#1 has obviously happened again. I’m hoping I prevent #2 by this post. lol

Harpers Hair

Bag of Pucks:
HH, i told you Markstrom was the weak link!

Quite a performance by Demko.

The Canucks are playing with house money.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Its not honest to equate Nuge to being a 22 goal scorer playing with Drai and Connor – he played over 400 minutes of 5 on 5 without either of those two, apx 40% of his time.

Why does Nuge have to be compared to MacKinnon and Schiefele – two of the three best non-ELC contracts in the NHL – both of which will be over $10M in a few years.

MacKinnon’s most common icemates were Rantanan, Girard, Landekog, Makar – wonder if that helps?

Landeskog missed 15 games.

Rantanen missed 27.

Stop making things up.

jp

pts2pndr: What did AA bring to the table? Granted small sample size but he did not fit with either of arguably the two best offensive centres in the NHL. At his price point he is too expensive for third line given the greater need is a left winger for Connor. It seems very simple to me. Keeping a bolt that doesn’t fit is a fool’s errand when the cap is tight. Wishing it was different won’t make it so!

I won’t argue he brought anything too the table in his time with the Oilers. But he’s barely played 150 total minutes with the team (this is including the playoffs).

He hasn’t yet played 50 minutes with McDavid and has barely 20 with Draisaitl so I don’t know that we can say a damn thing about chemistry or fit yet.

In those small samples he was 2GF-1GA with McDavid with strong expected goal numbers. With Draisaitl in the playoffs they were 7SF-7SA but 2 of the SA ended up in the net.

Given the Oilers cap issues I’d ideally have Nuge/AA/Ennis/Neal/Nygard as the Oilers LWs. With a couple of other moves (Russell, Benning, Chiasson for instance) the Oilers could afford AA and that depth chart while also adding a 3C and a $2-$3M goalie.

That’s what I’d do, rather than pronouncing the bolt doesn’t fit before having the chance to fiddle with it (and maybe it doesn’t fit, I’d still give it the chance).

Bag of Pucks

HH, i told you Markstrom was the weak link! 😉

jp

Bag of Pucks: Are you seriously suggesting that the only thing preventing the Oil from being a cup contender this season was Tippett’s shortsightedness in not having him drive the third line?

Good sweet Lord no. Haha.

You said the Oilers can’t afford Nuge and used the Pens as an example of value contract wingers.

I noted those Pens teams paid Kessel more than Nuge.

You said, but Kessel drove a 3rd line, so I suggested maybe Nuge could do the same.

You said the Oilers are bereft of forwards and couldn’t possibly ice 3 lines.

I showed the forwards employed by the Oilers this year scored more than the Pens forwards when they won the cup.

Now I am “seriously suggesting” something entirely different, apparently.

We probably should stop now though, that much we can agree on.

Bag of Pucks

jp: You call Nuge’s point production in 2020 cherry picking then you pick 3 of the very best contracts in the league to compare Nuge’s to?

Here are the the 14 other forwards that made $6M last season:
Turris
Hall
Zuccarello
Saad
Backes
Forsberg
J Staal
Eriksson
Lucic
Okposo
Nelson
Ehlers
Meier
Guentzel

2 of 14 scored more goals than Nuge (Guentzel would also have if he hadn’t missed games).
Guentzel is the only one with a better points/game.
Nuge played a minute/game more than all but Guentzel.

Gotta get rid of *that* guy.

Notice how none of those players are on a legit contender this season? 0. Kind of proves the point about value contracts.

And precisely why i chose the players i did.

If you want to compete with the big boys, you need to find cap value players like they do.

If Turris gets it, why not Nuge? Seriously, could that argument be any weaker?

pts2pndr

jp: I don’t agree with that. It’s possible but very far from a guarantee.

What did AA bring to the table? Granted small sample size but he did not fit with either of arguably the two best offensive centres in the NHL. At his price point he is too expensive for third line given the greater need is a left winger for Connor. It seems very simple to me. Keeping a bolt that doesn’t fit is a fool’s errand when the cap is tight. Wishing it was different won’t make it so!

OriginalPouzar

Its also dishonest to discount Nuge’s play in 2020 due to a small sample and then state that the Oilers can’t qualify for the playoffs which implies more importance in a 5-game stretch over a 71 game stretch.

who

Bag of Pucks:
Indulging in hypotheticals is a waste of time that derails the point.

The point is a good GM should be able to get 22 goals playing alongside Leon or Connor for less than $6 mil per, to then use those savings to improve the roster elsewhere.

Again, of the 12 players scoring 22 goals this season, 8 had a lesser cap hit than RNH. With that in mind, it’s not heresy to suggest cheapergoal production is achievable. It’s facts.

To make this case for Nuge, you need to provide evidence justifying why RNH is worth the current overpay that puts him at a Marchand, Mackinnon, Schiefele echelon cap hit. Don’r see anyone doing that?

True story. Dave Lumley scored in 12 straight goals playing slongside Gretzky.

Sure, you could get 22 goals for less money.
You might even get them for 3 million from AA next year.
But if your only criteria for quality of player is cost per goal scored, I’d love to see the roster you end up with.

jp

Bag of Pucks:
To make this case for Nuge, you need to provide evidence justifying why RNH is worth the current overpay that puts him at a Marchand, Mackinnon, Schiefele echelon cap hit. Don’r see anyone doing that?

You call Nuge’s point production in 2020 cherry picking then you pick 3 of the very best contracts in the league to compare Nuge’s to?

Here are the the 14 other forwards that made $6M last season:
Turris
Hall
Zuccarello
Saad
Backes
Forsberg
J Staal
Eriksson
Lucic
Okposo
Nelson
Ehlers
Meier
Guentzel

2 of 14 scored more goals than Nuge (Guentzel would also have if he hadn’t missed games).
Guentzel is the only one with a better points/game.
Nuge played a minute/game more than all but Guentzel.

Gotta get rid of *that* guy.

OriginalPouzar

Bag of Pucks:
Indulging in hypotheticals is a waste of time that derails the point.

The point is a good GM should be able to get 22 goals playing alongside Leon or Connor for less than $6 mil per, to then use those savings to improve the roster elsewhere.

Again, of the 12 players scoring 22 goals this season, 8 had a lesser cap hit than RNH. With that in mind, it’s not heresy to suggest cheapergoal production is achievable. It’s facts.

To make this case for Nuge, you need to provide evidence justifying why RNH is worth the current overpay that puts him at a Marchand, Mackinnon, Schiefele echelon cap hit. Don’r see anyone doing that?

True story. Dave Lumley scored in 12 straight goals playing slongside Gretzky.

Its not honest to equate Nuge to being a 22 goal scorer playing with Drai and Connor – he played over 400 minutes of 5 on 5 without either of those two, apx 40% of his time.

Why does Nuge have to be compared to MacKinnon and Schiefele – two of the three best non-ELC contracts in the NHL – both of which will be over $10M in a few years.

MacKinnon’s most common icemates were Rantanan, Girard, Landekog, Makar – wonder if that helps?

pts2pndr

chrisco stu:
Say you could move Nurse for Ehlers which may be a fair swap… tippet could run something like
Ehlers McDavid Kassian
Ennis Draisaitl Yamamoto
Benson Nuge Puljujarvi
Khaira Haas Archibald
Klefbom Bear
Jones Larson
Russell Bouchard

It seems thin on the back end, but there is experience on each pair. Neal could be swapped for Khaira, but this lineup already seems thin for penalty killers.

Why does everyone want to break up the best line in hockey over a three month period! Leave the Nuge,Draisaitl Yamamoto line intact. Why is everyone so quick to fix what isn’t broken!

Bag of Pucks

godot10: Nugent-Hopkins was also a point per game player with Eberle and Pouliot when Hall was injured, Nelson was coach, and the rest of the team was pretty much s$#.

Nelson ran that team at a 77 point pace, about the pace Tippett ran the Oilers with Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl separated.

Another tasty cherry to be sure.

Bag of Pucks

jp,

Hmm. Does the fact that the Pens won Cups with that lineup while the Oilers can’t qualify for the playoffs reveal any flaws in your premise?

Are you seriously suggesting that the only thing preventing the Oil from being a cup contender this season was Tippett’s shortsightedness in not having him drive the third line? Weird that so many people were grousing about him not playing with Leon.

And again, you conveniently ignore that the only reason the Pens unicorn model worked is their cheap D & G. That’s not the reality with the Oilers salary structure.

But thanks for confirming nothing will change your mind on this. Not much point in continuing the discussion with that in mind.

godot10

Bag of Pucks: I’m going to go with his entire career as a goal scorer over that cherry pick, because ya know… sample size is a thing.

Nugent-Hopkins was also a point per game player with Eberle and Pouliot when Hall was injured, Nelson was coach, and the rest of the team was pretty much s$#.

Nelson ran that team at a 77 point pace, about the pace Tippett ran the Oilers with Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl separated.

OriginalPouzar

and wait, now you are promoting Kessell and his close to $7M cap his a a 3rd line winger but Nuge can’t be value as a top 6 winger…… what now?

OriginalPouzar

Bag of Pucks: The fancies in those playoffs runs showed Kessel was a driver that gave the Pens 3 legit scoring lines.

Maybe in 2015/16 but in the 2016/17 playoffs Kessel played almost exclusively with Malkin.

Bag of Pucks

Correction. 12 straight games.

Seriously LT, does the edit button use that much server cache?

jp

Bag of Pucks: Ok, now you need 6 complimentary Ws instead of 4 to make that work. You’ve just made your job harder.

Pitt did that with a cheap D core and a rookie G. And again, they had complimentary pieces like Rust, Sheary and Guentzel.

You’re so desperate to retain Nuge, I don’t think you fully appreciate how bereft this team actually is at F beyond the dynamic duo

I just don’t think the Oilers HAVE to trade Nuge, which appears to be your position. And more generally that a team with 2 players elite players getting paid can’t have a 3rd $6M player.

In terms of wingers though, that’s an interesting question. When the Pens won the cup in 2016, with Crosby, Makin and Kessel playing on 3 lines, the following were the complementary players (I included Bonino who centered Kessel in the playoffs). Sorted by points/game.
Hornqvist 0.62 pts/game
Kunitz 0.50
Hagelin 0.49
Bonino 0.46
(Beau Bennett 0.36 should actually be here, but he didn’t play in the playoffs)
Rust 0.27
Sheary 0.23
The latter 2 were 23 year old rookies who found top 9 spots for the playoffs (they scored 0.39 and 0.43 PPG in the playoffs).

The bereft of forward Oilers this season, if Nuge were moved to 3C:
Yamamoto 0.96
Kassian 0.58
Neal 0.56
(Ennis 0.53 could be added here for $1.0-$1.5M. I would do that)
Athanasiou 0.47
Chiasson 0.39
Archibald 0.34

(Ennis, Archibald, Kassian and Chiasson all came up in the top 60 of your cost per goals list by the way).

Are the Oilers bereft? It almost looks as though they’re better equipped to run 3 lines than the cup champion Pens were (since you asked).

Nuge at 3C?

Bag of Pucks

Indulging in hypotheticals is a waste of time that derails the point.

The point is a good GM should be able to get 22 goals playing alongside Leon or Connor for less than $6 mil per, to then use those savings to improve the roster elsewhere.

Again, of the 12 players scoring 22 goals this season, 8 had a lesser cap hit than RNH. With that in mind, it’s not heresy to suggest cheaper goal production is achievable. It’s facts.

To make this case for Nuge, you need to provide evidence justifying why RNH is worth the current overpay that puts him at a Marchand, Mackinnon, Schiefele echelon cap hit. Don’r see anyone doing that?

True story. Dave Lumley scored in 12 straight goals playing slongside Gretzky.

who

Bag of Pucks: Mike Hoffman scored more goals 29 on a lesser cap hit 5.1M and his C didn’t win the Art Ross.

So what are you saying?
Would you rather have Hoffman at 5.1 million next year? Or Nuge at 6 million?
I’m taking Nuge. All day.

OriginalPouzar

Bag of Pucks: Mike Hoffman scored more goals 29 on a lesser cap hit 5.1M and his C didn’t win the Art Ross.

3 of which were on an empty net.

and he played 30 seconds/game on the PK

and he’s older than Nuge and going to get paid more than Nuge on his next contract.

Bag of Pucks

godot10: Nugent-Hopkins didn’t play the full season with Draisailt and Yamamoto.

The Oilers had the top score in the league and a 2nd top five scorer in the league when that line was together. Nugent-Hopkins was the best value contract in the league during that time.

I’m going to go with his entire career as a goal scorer over that cherry pick, because ya know… sample size is a thing.

Bag of Pucks

jp: Maybe they did.

So Nuge at 3C then?

Ok, now you need 6 complimentary Ws instead of 4 to make that work. You’ve just made your job harder.

Pitt did that with a cheap D core and a rookie G. And again, they had complimentary pieces like Rust, Sheary and Guentzel.

You’re so desperate to retain Nuge, I don’t think you fully appreciate how bereft this team actually is at F beyond the dynamic duo

OriginalPouzar

Bag of Pucks: If the Oil want to win the Cup, they need to find value contract Ws to score goals. That’ s the job description.

It’s what the Pens found with Sheary and Rust and later Guentzel before he cashed big. This is the roster composition that results when you commit so much cap to your 1C & 2C. It’s why the Pens traded Jordan Staal.

RNH being slightly above average scoring goals playing alongside an Art Ross contender is the issue. For $6 mil per, above average cap value is just not good enough.

You’re absolutely right. He’s more of a playmaker than pure sniper. It’s why he’s miscast in the role of complimentary W. I agree it’s unfair to him. But the team is what is. We don’t need a $6 mil 2C nearly as much as we need $4M Ws that can cash.

The Penguins won with Phil Kessell at an $8M cap hit – in addition to Malkin and Crosby. He performed for the Penguins in the playoffs (as did Nuge this year).

The Pens had a very high priced 3rd forward who was a pure winger (could not cover center if necessary) and didn’t PK – a less valuable piece than Nuge is now.

Nuge’s re-sign cost is likely in the $7M range – speculation that it could be around $6.5M. Nugent-Hopkins is a core player that provides top 6 offence, is responsible defensively and can play tough minutes, provides plus PK, plus PP and can cover center.

He is a core player and a “glue guy”. The team needs veterans that play important roles in addition to the youngsters.

Yes, cheap value contracts are required – this year it was Bear and Yamamoto and, to a lesser extent, Jones.

Next year all three of them remain value contracts plus add Bouchard in there and potentially Benson.

jp

Bag of Pucks: The fancies in those playoffs runs showed Kessel was a driver that gave the Pens 3 legit scoring lines.

Maybe they did.

So Nuge at 3C then?

godot10

Bag of Pucks: Mike Hoffman scored more goals 29 on a lesser cap hit 5.1M and his C didn’t win the Art Ross.

Nugent-Hopkins didn’t play the full season with Draisailt and Yamamoto.

The Oilers had the top score in the league and a 2nd top five scorer in the league when that line was together. Nugent-Hopkins was the best value contract in the league during that time.

Bag of Pucks

jp: The Penguins paid Kessell $6.8M in each of their last 2 cup years to score 26 and 23 goals (in 82 games both times, vs Nuge’s 22 in 65 games this year).

I agree there could be a situation where Nuge is traded for value but I disagree the Oilers can’t fit Nuge as a $6M winger into a winning cap structure going forward.

The fancies in those playoffs runs showed Kessel was a driver that gave the Pens 3 legit scoring lines.

Bag of Pucks

godot10: Nugent-Hopkins was top five in NHL scoring while playing with Draisaitl and Yamamoto.

Yamamoto went from great advanced stats but impotent boxcar wise, to nearly a point-per-game.

Mike Hoffman scored more goals 29 on a lesser cap hit 5.1M and his C didn’t win the Art Ross.