Rise Up

Photo of Evan Bouchard by Mark Williams.

I had Evan Bouchard No. 8 on my final list for 2018, Edmonton grabbed him at No. 10 overall. There were two men higher than Bouchard on my list who were available when the Oilers chose–defenseman Ty Smith and scoring winger Oliver Wahlstrom. I had Noah Dobson No. 10.

There is a lot of luck involved in drafting success, but in the case of Bouchard I think many Oilers fans have lowered expectations before this career begins. Edmonton chose to send Bouchard to the minors least season and may send him there for another year. I believe that would be a mistake. Why? He’s NHL-ready, and the Oilers need the things he brings.

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.

A CONVERSATION

Oilers have another top-10 fail to add to the ‘Decade Collection’! Nail, Jesse and now Bouchard. You must be so proud. Bouchard enjoyed a tremendous junior career, winning the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the OHL’s best defenseman in 2018-19. Ryan Ellis won that award, Dougie Hamilton, too. In his first season with the Bakersfield Condors, Bouchard delivered strong offense (7-29-36 in 54 games) on a challenged team, with impressive power play totals (4-11-15). He also improved massively in even-strength on-ice performance (first 27: 18-29; second 27: 23-22). He’s an outstanding prospect. Full stop.

What did math tell you about Bouchard? He is probably the most talented offensive defenseman drafted by the Oilers since Paul Coffey. His NHLE’s, beginning in his draft year, are 30.2, 27.4 and (in the AHL) and 26.6.

Where will he play as a rookie? Ideally third pair at five on five, with a veteran defender as his partner. A healthy, late 20’s Andrej Sekera would have been ideal. As it stands, Bouchard is likely to get Kris Russell or Caleb Jones as his partner on the third pair. Darnell Nurse might be the best style choice for partner.

So you and math were happy with Bouchard when he was chosen? Yes. I preferred Smith but he’s a lefty, and Wahlstrom (who I also ranked ahead of Bouchard) is a scoring winger. Bouchard, at No. 10 with his impressive skills, was a terrific selection.

And he is stuck in the AHL! Where is your math God now? I assume the God of math is in the counting room watching the big board balance like a boss. Bouchard is 20 right now. If you’re going to frame him as a failure, move to 2025 and we’ll chat then. I expect this won’t be a conversation at that time.

Why didn’t Holland recall him? Edmonton’s RH side in 2019-20 used Ethan Bear, Adam Larsson and Matt Benning for much of the season. Joel Persson and Mike Green were bookends and there were various appearances from the lefties playing opposite side. Bouchard was showing progress in the minors. They decided to keep him there.

Holland didn’t draft him. You’re always saying that matters. Does it? Yes, it does. Holland and Tyler Wright chose Filip Zadina four picks before Edmonton plucked Bouchard off the board. They would know Bouchard going into camp but know him far better now.

Would Holland trade him? Extremely unlikely. Bouchard plays the rarest position (RHD) on a roster and his best skill (moving the puck) is an area of need. Also, Bouchard’s value now isn’t as high as it will be a year from now. He’s going through a transition process, teams don’t often deal players at this point in their careers.

But players chosen top-10 overall do get traded while they are prospects? Yes, but it is rare. Mikhail Sergachev was traded about a year after he was chosen No. 9 overall in 2016. Alexander Nylander was traded three years after he was drafted (one spot ahead of Sergachev).

If Holland traded Bouchard in a big deal for Colton Parayko, would you be shocked? It won’t happen. St. Louis has their own young defenseman with great promise to work into the lineup (Scott Perunovich) and are in win now mode. If Edmonton gets Parayko, assume the package starts with Klefbom.

Will Bouchard play for the Oilers in 2020-21? Yes, I believe he will. Edmonton may move Larsson and or Benning, and then sign a replacement for Larsson in free agency. You might see Bouchard on an extended roster (ala the postseason roster) before the AHL starts, but smart money should be on his making the team. There’s no contractual benefit in holding him back now and the Oilers save a million replacing Benning with this player. If Edmonton runs Larsson-Bear-Bouchard, and trades Benning, a RH No. 7 option can be signed.

Outstanding performances yesterday by Konovalov, he sports a .938 save percentage and a 2.01 GAA this morning. We have the hockey!

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A full boat of fabulous guests today on the Lowdown, we begin at 10 this morning. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will talk about the Canucks impressive run, Raptors game and intermission panels that lose focus. Frank Seravalli from TSN will pop in at 10:40 and talk trade board and the Flyers. Matt Iwanyk has the floor at 11 to talk Raptors, hockey and a tree in the bubble update. At 11:20, Jason Portuondo, who is the Woodbine track announcer, will talk Kentucky Derby this weekend. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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175 Responses to "Rise Up"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    Don’t we have 8 D that can’t go through waivers
    Klef nurse jones Lagesson. Larsson Bear Russell benning. Might be hard to move anyone before season starts with cap issues and money issues all around.
    Just because he doesn’t start the year doesn’t mean he doesn’t end up there

  2. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I am extremely excited for Bouchard.

    He’s 1 year younger than rookie sensation Makar. Don’t know why anyone counts him out. I much prefer him to Broberg.

  3. Ray says:

    Losing Klefbom would sting… Getting Parayko for him would be fantastic though.

  4. Diamond Dick says:

    leadfarmer,
    I think LT mentions swapping out Benning which would also clear $1M in cap.

  5. Diamond Dick says:

    Diamond Dick:
    leadfarmer,
    I think LT mentions swapping out Benning which would also clear $1M in cap.
    OOPS. Tat was in response to the first post by Leadfarmer…..

  6. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    If Benning is willing to take a bit of a haircut due to the covid-cap I’d resign him. 2x$1.75M seems reasonable.

    He’s young and entering his prime. He’s premium fodder to be exposed in the expansion draft. If not chosen, he’ll be a valuable trade chip to return an asset for a player we acquired for only money (thanks Pete). We see the numbers suggesting he can be used up the line up, even just in a pinch — and while the EDM coaches refuse to acknowledge that, it’s possible a team who values analytics would entertain the possibility.

  7. JimF says:

    The other reason he wasn’t recalled is that leaving him down didn’t use a year of his ELC. Having him at $900k in 22-23 will be a definite value contract.

  8. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    No matter how you look at it, Holland has some tap-dancing to do. But it seems to me that using a D to acquire a Winger is the play here. Right now I’d probably prefer Nurse getting traded over Larson. Not saying Larson is better, but moving Nurse still leaves Klef as #1 LHD. Moving Larson creates a hole at #1 RHD in this depth chart.

    I like Bear a ton, but just imagine he signs a reasonable deal this summer, we start feeding him top line minutes next season, and he struggles. Next thing we know, the fans turn on him, and his confidence goes south. Before we know it, he’s playing somewhere else ala Jeff Petry (or even Justin Schultz for that matter).

    I’ve seen this movie before, and it sucks!.

  9. Woogie63 says:

    NHL experience on defense is valued by Holland and Tippett, before we trade Petry, of Gilbert again, it is important to understand we can replace our young vets with draft picks.

    Russell 846 games
    Larsson 547 games
    Klefbom 378 games
    Nurse 350 games
    Benning 248 games
    ——————————————–
    Bear 89 games
    Jones 60 games
    Lagesson 8 games
    Bouchard 7 games

    COUNTING on the below the line guys to play top 4 minutes every night is developing talent in the NHL again.

  10. Woogie63 says:

    NHL experience on defense is valued by Holland and Tippett, before we trade Petry, of Gilbert again, it is important to understand we can’t replace our young vets with draft picks.

    Russell 846 games
    Larsson 547 games
    Klefbom 378 games
    Nurse 350 games
    Benning 248 games
    ——————————————–
    Bear 89 games
    Jones 60 games
    Lagesson 8 games
    Bouchard 7 games

    COUNTING on the below the line guys to play top 4 minutes every night is developing talent in the NHL again.

  11. Silver Streak says:

    Complete agreement with Bouchard moving up this year right out of camp…..start him at 3 RD and 2 PP
    I would go one further, and move out Russell replace with Lagason….he`s ready as well. We need to see him this year….and, he needs to play to be eligible for the Seattle draft if we decide the expose him.
    Yes its not in the ideal playbook starting 2 rookie D men….however these men are pounding on the door, we need the cap room and really what the hell did we draft and retain these guys for, if not play in the big league.

  12. doritogrande says:

    He’s going through a transition process, teams don’t often deal players at this point in their careers.

    But when they do, he’s dealt to the Oilers for a kings ransom of draft capital.

    Sorry. couldn’t help myself.

  13. JimmyV1965 says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR:
    No matter how you look at it, Holland has some tap-dancing to do.But it seems to me that using a D to acquire a Winger is the play here.Right now I’d probably prefer Nurse getting traded over Larson.Not saying Larson is better, but moving Nurse still leaves Klef as #1 LHD.Moving Larson creates a hole at #1 RHD in this depth chart.

    I like Bear a ton, but just imagine he signs a reasonable deal this summer, we start feeding him top line minutes next season, and he struggles.Next thing we know, the fans turn on him, and his confidence goes south.Before we know it, he’s playing somewhere else ala Jeff Petry (or even Justin Schultz for that matter).

    I’ve seen this movie before, and it sucks!.

    You absolutely can’t trade Klef or Nurse. Larsson is a UFA next summer with a history of back issues. If you can trade him now for a top six winger you do it. You can always slot a lefty in the top four. Many many teams do this. Without doing the research, I would say half the teams in the league have a lefty in the top four.

  14. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    *****WARNING SPAM*****

    New Because Oilers:

    Edmonton Oilers 3rd line Center search #2: Eric Haula

    https://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/2020/09/edmonton-oilers-3rd-line-center-search.html

    *****END SPAM*****

  15. Elgin R says:

    DO NOT RUSH YOUNG PLAYERS – ESPECIALLY D.

    Makar was 21 years old his first season (2019 – 2020). His birthday is Oct 30, 1998 and played two years of college after being drafted and prior to the NHL

    Duncan Keith was 22 years old his first season (2205 – 2006). He played a year of junior, a year of college and 168 AHL games prior to the NHL.

    Bouchard turns 21 on Oct 20, 2020 and has played 7 NHL games. He has played 2 years of junior and 62 AHL games since being drafted.

    Start Bouchard in the AHL and available for injury call-up prior to the trade deadline. At the deadline (and if no RD are injured), trade Larsson and bring Bouchard up to stay.

  16. leadfarmer says:

    Diamond Dick:
    leadfarmer,
    I think LT mentions swapping out Benning which would also clear $1M in cap.

    That still leaves Larsson Bear Russell. And Holland is not known for throwing prospects right in
    I would say that if there’s Ahl season he starts there and if there isn’t he will rotate in on the 3rd pair
    I think he would have to blow the socks of at camp to get penciled in

  17. jp says:

    “If Edmonton gets Parayko, assume the package starts with Klefbom”

    Klefbom + for Parayko.

    What does the + need to be to get the Blues interested?

    It’s a bit hard to believe they’d move Parayko but maybe they don’t value him quite where they should (or where we think they should)?

    Klefbom + 14th for Parayko and Bozak? I’m not sure what else would move the needle.

    That would sure improve the Oilers short term but Parayko has 2 years left and Bozak only 1. (Larsson and bit more salary would need to depart the Oilers roster too).

    Steep price to pay, though if Parayko were locked up for 6 X $5.5M or something it might be different (he is not).

  18. Elgin R says:

    Oilers, and most other NHL teams, are going to need 8 – 10 D next season. No matter when next season starts, it will be compressed with more back-to-backs and more 3-in-4-nights.

    Holland should trade KRusty asap. He has been passed by Jones and Lagesson is a better option for 4LD than a $4m AAV cap hit.

    Keep the rest of the D. Oilers should finish in the Pacific top 3 next year and will need competent and rested D for the playoff push down the stretch.

  19. godot10 says:

    I can’t bring myself to believe that St. Louis would trade Parayko. It just isn’t going to happen.

    Klefbom and Benning for Parayko and Bozek.

    Would be close to a perfect trade for the OIlers

    One gets the 3rd line right shot centre who is good on faceoffs.

    Jones Parayko
    Nurse Bear

    I adore that top four.

  20. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Have not read yet but will do so with great relish.

    I first proposed Haula as a 3C target way back in January.
    https://lowetide.ca/2020/01/19/the-heart-of-saturday-night/

    Can’t wait to see how he grades out.

  21. Brantford Boy says:

    LT: “There is a lot of luck involved in drafting success, but in the case of Bouchard I think many Oilers fans have lowered expectations before this career begins.”

    Really… or did you just have a typo “many Flames fans”? Not sure who these people are but they would be wrong on this player.

    I’ve been high on this player prior to the draft, made mention of it here, and was ecstatic when we drafted him. I agree this is his year, and also agree that Nurse would be a good partner. Ideally it would be Larsson as he’d get the puck to his partner to make the smarter play (like he does with Klefbom) and covering defensively for rookie mistakes. Sadly, he’s a RHD too and it seems everyone here is preparing to shoot him into the sun. I suspect that’s why Holland brought Green over for, to provide the veteran role and mentor his offensive abilities.

  22. Elgin R says:

    jp,

    This is not the year for Holland to make major changes. Before the 2021 / 2022 season, Holland will have more cap to work with ($2.33m coming off the buyouts alone).

    Trade KRusty, lock up Bear long term, get a 1B goalie and a better 3C than Sheahan.

  23. Ribs says:

    Is it cool for the Oilers Alternate Governor to be calling up other teams players and telling them how awesome they are? lol

    https://www.tsn.ca/wayne-gretzky-rooting-for-nathan-mackinnon-in-unlikely-pursuit-of-playoff-points-record-1.1519235

  24. leadfarmer says:

    Ribs:
    Is it cool for the Oilers Alternate Governor to be calling up other teams players and telling them how awesome they are? lol

    https://www.tsn.ca/wayne-gretzky-rooting-for-nathan-mackinnon-in-unlikely-pursuit-of-playoff-points-record-1.1519235

    I like it. Hope it fires up mcdavid to be better next year

  25. jp says:

    Elgin R:
    jp,

    This is not the year for Holland to make major changes.Before the 2021 / 2022 season, Holland will have more cap to work with ($2.33m coming off the buyouts alone).

    Trade KRusty, lock up Bear long term, get a 1B goalie and a better 3C than Sheahan.

    I’m not looking to blow up the team but if Holland has an opportunity to improve the D (which Parayko for Klefbom clearly does, IMO) then he needs to look at it.

    Adding Parayko and Bozak is relatively do-able this year salary-wise (you’d need to clear $2.3M on top of Klefbom+Larsson out). The bigger issue is what assets would be heading to St. Louis with Klefbom and whether those make sense.

    There probably isn’t a fit, but a RD of Parayko, Bear, Bouchard has a real nice look to it from where I’m sitting.

  26. jimdewger says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    We had been waiting with thinly-veiled anticipation!

  27. jp says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR: I like Bear a ton, but just imagine he signs a reasonable deal this summer, we start feeding him top line minutes next season, and he struggles.

    Bear was already fed top line minutes this season and survived. Maybe he won’t be able to handle it next season but it won’t be something new for him.

  28. jp says:

    JimmyV1965: You absolutely can’t trade Klef or Nurse. Larsson is a UFA next summer with a history of back issues. If you can trade him now for a top six winger you do it. You can always slot a lefty in the top four. Many many teams do this. Without doing the research, I would say half the teams in the league have a lefty in the top four.

    I looked not so long ago and was surprised to see there weren’t as many lefty D in the league as I thought (there were more than righties, but not the difference I expected, can’t remember the exact %).

    Anyway, I just looked now to see about top 4 D and I’ve got to say I’m a little surprised.

    So top 4 D should generally be top TOI guys. 4 per team is 124 Dmen. If you filter 40+ games and 18:30 TOI per game you get 120 D, a pretty good proxy for top 4 across the league.

    I shit you not, of those 120 “top 4 D” 60 were LHD and 60 were RHD. I had no idea before looking it up.

    http://www.nhl.com/stats/skaters?reportType=season&seasonFrom=20192020&seasonTo=20192020&gameType=2&position=D&shootsCatches=R&filter=timeOnIcePerGame,gte,18.5&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,40&sort=timeOnIcePerGame&page=0&pageSize=100

    But yeah, it seems lefty-righty is a thing. Apparently much more for the top 4 than on the 3rd pairing (or #7D).

    The remaining 69 guys with 40+GP and less than 18:30 per game, 44 LHD and 25 RHD. Huh.

  29. Harpers Hair says:

    Elgin R:
    DO NOT RUSH YOUNG PLAYERS – ESPECIALLY D.

    Makar was 21 years old his first season (2019 – 2020).His birthday is Oct 30, 1998 and played two years of college after being drafted and prior to the NHL

    Duncan Keith was 22 years old his first season (2205 – 2006). He played a year of junior, a year of college and 168 AHL games prior to the NHL.

    Bouchard turns 21 on Oct 20, 2020 and has played 7 NHL games.He has played 2 years of junior and 62 AHL games since being drafted.

    Start Bouchard in the AHL and available for injury call-up prior to the trade deadline.At the deadline (and if no RD are injured), trade Larsson and bring Bouchard up to stay.

    Heiskanen
    Hughes
    Dahlin
    Chycrun
    Herman

    The list grows longer every year.

  30. Melman says:

    Are we sure that when the puck drops to start next season Lagesson is better than Russell? Downgrading the team’s D is not the path to playoff success. He may be by the end of next season, but counting on Jones, Bear, Bouchard and Lagesson (unless he’s your #7) would lead to many sleepless nights. I say that as someone who is meh at best on the Cowboy.

  31. YKOil says:

    JimmyV1965: You absolutely can’t trade Klef or Nurse. Larsson is a UFA next summer with a history of back issues. If you can trade him now for a top six winger you do it. You can always slot a lefty in the top four. Many many teams do this. Without doing the research, I would say half the teams in the league have a lefty in the top four.

    Love Larsson as a player. Always have. Bad back’s gotta go.

    If Holland can trade Larsson and get quality back then he has, again, had a better off-season that anything Chiarelli did. If Holland can do the same with Russell and Neal, then saw-off on Athanasiou, well that would be a great off-season imo.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov in the lineup today for CSKA Moscow (in addition to, of course, Sammy and Sleppy).

    The bums didn’t make it on the scoresheet in the first – no score after 1.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    I agree that Bouchard is very likely NHL ready – can’t say for sure that he is until he actually proves it in the NHL and, of course, he needs the opportunity to do so – which i believe is what LT is getting at in the preamble.

    At the same time, I don’t believe that sending him to the minor leagues “for another year” (lets just assume there is an AHL to be sent to) means that opportunity won’t be there.

    While many of us will disagree on what injury cover and depth looks like – some believe that Russell and Jones can constitute injury cover for the right D, I don’t think its a great idea to rely on that.

    With that said, what I think we all will agree on is that more than 3 d-men will play right D for the Oilers in a season.

    I’m sure the Bouchard will have every opportunity to battle Matt Benning (and Adam Larsson) for that 3RD spot but, if he isn’t chosen for game 1 NHL, that does not mean he spends the year in the minor leagues.

    With current roster construction and just Rusty moved out, I see no reason why Lagesson can’t be 7D, Bouchard off the roster but really 4RD.

    Bouchard will end up playing in the NHL and playing games very early in my opinion, likely before the first month of the season is over.

    If Bouchard has a great camp and looks to be able to contribute on the ice more than Matty Benning during camp, by all means, start him game 1.

    I don’t see any scenario where Bouchard is off the NHL roster for more time than he’s on it next season, even if he starts off.

  34. JimmyV1965 says:

    jp: I looked not so long ago and was surprised to see there weren’t as many lefty D in the league as I thought (there were more than righties, but not the difference I expected, can’t remember the exact %).

    Anyway, I just looked now to see about top 4 D and I’ve got to say I’m a little surprised.

    So top 4 D should generally be top TOI guys. 4 per team is 124 Dmen. If you filter 40+ games and 18:30 TOI per game you get 120 D, a pretty good proxy for top 4 across the league.

    I shit you not, of those 120 “top 4 D” 60 were LHD and 60 were RHD. I had no idea before looking it up.

    http://www.nhl.com/stats/skaters?reportType=season&seasonFrom=20192020&seasonTo=20192020&gameType=2&position=D&shootsCatches=R&filter=timeOnIcePerGame,gte,18.5&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,40&sort=timeOnIcePerGame&page=0&pageSize=100

    But yeah, it seems lefty-righty is a thing. Apparently much more for the top 4 than on the 3rd pairing (or #7D).

    The remaining 69 guys with 40+GP and less than 18:30 per game, 44 LHD and 25 RHD. Huh.

    Thanks for this. I’m totally blown away. Guess I shouldn’t spout stuff as fact without doing the research.

  35. Eh Team says:

    Elgin R: Start Bouchard in the AHL and available for injury call-up prior to the trade deadline. At the deadline (and if no RD are injured), trade Larsson and bring Bouchard up to stay.

    If we never play our prospect when they are ready, how do we find out if they can play in the NHL? It seemed to work out okay for Bear and Jones who played much better than the some of the veterans (Larsson and Russell).

    Bouchard is ready, he’s on his ELC, he needs to play. He’s already likely the best puck moving D on the roster (maybe with the exception of Bear)

  36. flyfish1168 says:

    Holding a player back for the right reasons is good. But when you are holding a player that is ready that is bad for the team and the GM. This can make players not want to sign here.

  37. pts2pndr says:

    Brantford Boy:
    LT: “There is a lot of luck involved in drafting success, but in the case of Bouchard I think many Oilers fans have lowered expectations before this career begins.”

    Really… or did you just have a typo “many Flames fans”?Not sure who these people are but they would be wrong on this player.

    I’ve been high on this player prior to the draft, made mention of it here, and was ecstatic when we drafted him.I agree this is his year, and also agree that Nurse would be a good partner.Ideally it would be Larsson as he’d get the puck to his partner to make the smarter play (like he does with Klefbom) and covering defensively for rookie mistakes.Sadly, he’s a RHD too and it seems everyone here is preparing to shoot him into the sun.I suspect that’s why Holland brought Green over for, to provide the veteran role and mentor his offensive abilities.

    Just goes to show if the resident troll beats the drum long enough some people think it makes it true.

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    godot10:
    I can’t bring myself to believe that St. Louis would trade Parayko.It just isn’t going to happen.

    Klefbom and Benning for Parayko and Bozek.

    Would be close to a perfect trade for the OIlers

    One gets the 3rd line right shot centre who is good on faceoffs.

    Jones Parayko
    Nurse Bear

    I adore that top four.

    We can both dream

  39. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: Heiskanen
    Hughes
    Dahlin
    Chycrun
    Herman

    The list grows longer every year.

    For the number of young D that pop early, you as our resident troll don’t mention the number of young D that get thrust into the NHL too soon and fizzle and die on the vine. Once again mr troll you cherry pick small sample size and the outliers if you will, particularly if you can use it to your advantage to disparage an Oiler draft choice or cause discourse on the site.

  40. jp says:

    JimmyV1965: Thanks for this. I’m totally blown away. Guess I shouldn’t spout stuff as fact without doing the research.

    Well there are guys playing their off sides, no question. But it appears to be pretty even between lefties and righties. I was pretty shocked too tbh.

  41. jp says:

    Eh Team: If we never play our prospect when they are ready, how do we find out if they can play in the NHL?It seemed to work out okay for Bear and Jones who played much better than the some of the veterans (Larsson and Russell).

    Bouchard is ready, he’s on his ELC, he needs to play. He’s already likely the best puck moving D on the roster (maybe with the exception of Bear)

    Jones worked his way in through the year, he wasn’t in the top 6 to start. That’s exactly how it should go with Bouchard this season IMO.

  42. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Heiskanen
    Hughes
    Dahlin
    Chycrun
    Herman

    The list grows longer every year.

    It’s true
    Defensemen do get picked with lotto picks each year

    And given Chychrun inability to play a full season you could easily argue that he would have benefited some easier competition

    I mean we would have loved to pick one of the guys chosen much earlier but that’s not how the draft works
    Bouchards comparables are Dobson and Wahstrom

  43. Harpers Hair says:

    pts2pndr: For the number of young D that pop early, you as our resident troll don’t mention the number of young D that get thrust into the NHL too soon and fizzle and die on the vine. Once again mr troll you cherry pick small sample size and the outliers if you will, particularly if you can use it to your advantage to disparage an Oiler draft choice or cause discourse on the site.

    For example?

  44. who says:

    leadfarmer: It’s true
    Defensemen do get picked with lotto picks each year

    And given Chychrun inability to play a full season you could easily argue that he would have benefited some easier competition

    I mean we would have loved to pick one of the guys chosen much earlier but that’s not how the draft works
    Bouchards comparables are Dobson and Wahstrom

    I did like Dobson.
    Looked very good in the Memorial Cup prior to the draft. I had never seen Bouchard so hard to form an opinion.

  45. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: For example?

    Did Bouchard kick your dog?
    I’ve never seen anyone cheer so hard for a young player to fail
    It’s pretty pathetic

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    If Benning is willing to take a bit of a haircut due to the covid-cap I’d resign him.2x$1.75M seems reasonable.

    He’s young and entering his prime.He’s premium fodder to be exposed in the expansion draft.If not chosen, he’ll be a valuable trade chip to return an asset for a player we acquired for only money (thanks Pete).We see the numbers suggesting he can be used up the line up, even just in a pinch — and while the EDM coaches refuse to acknowledge that, it’s possible a team who values analytics would entertain the possibility.

    That would be the perfect contract for Benning to sign.

    Take Bouchard out of the question – Benning is full value for $1.75M.

    They will need both player through the season I’m sure.

    Lets not forget that Bouch has $500K or performance bonuses available this year – those won’t hit the cap this coming season but, if he vests, given the tight cap, there may be another bonus penalty for 2021/22 from Bouch.

    Bouch over Benning may not be a cap favorable situation at the end of the day.

    A key to that 2 year contract is the two years. You mention the expansion draft and, of course, Benning will be exposed. Unlikely he is taken but he would fulfill the expansion draft exposure requirement for d-man allowing the Oilers to protect Jones, if they so choose.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimF:
    The other reason he wasn’t recalled is that leaving him down didn’t use a year of his ELC. Having him at $900k in 22-23 will be a definite value contract.

    He could have played up to 9 games an the ELC still would have slid but, yes, that could have been a factor (although, frankly, he was simply developing at the proper pace in the proper league, in my opinion).

    Lets not forget about his performance bonuses- $500K in year 1 and $850K in each of years 2 and 3.

    I expect he will vest some of those sched A bonsues.

  48. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Is 21YO rookie Makar too old?

    Good thing Brogan Rafferty’s a spry 25.

    Mix in a water & don’t let the goal post hit you on your way out.

  49. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    jp: Bear was already fed top line minutes this season and survived. Maybe he won’t be able to handle it next season but it won’t be something new for him.

    If you move him up in a pinch due to injury, you don’t really have much choice but to do it and hope for the best. Expecting him to do it all season is a much bigger ask IMO.

    If they trade Larson, then Bear starts as #1 RD as the roster sits now. A Bear injury means Benning, Bouchard, or maybe Russell or Jones on the wrong side line up next to Klefbom on your top pair.

    Woof!

  50. jp says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR: If you move him up in a pinch due to injury, you don’t really have much choice but to do it and hope for the best.Expecting him to do it all season is a much bigger ask IMO.

    If they trade Larson, then Bear starts as #1 RD as the roster sits now. A Bear injury means Benning, Bouchard, or maybe Russell or Jones on the wrong side line up next to Klefbom on your top pair.

    Woof!

    I’m not saying trade Larsson. Agree the depth chart is scary if he’s subtracted without a replacement.

    Just saying that Bear was actually the #1RD this past season ahead of Larsson. For the whole season, not as an injury replacement (well, I guess a training camp injury replacement, but he stuck there all year).

    On the season Bear was #1 of all Oilers D in %TOI vs elites (36.1% vs 34.0% for Larsson). And even from January on he was ahead of Larsson (35.1% vs 33.9%). It’s not a big gap, both guys were top 4, but Bear just did play a full season as the Oilers 1st pairing RD.

    He may be asked to do it again, but it will be exactly what he already did this past season.

  51. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: Did Bouchard kick your dog?
    I’ve never seen anyone cheer so hard for a young player to fail
    It’s pretty pathetic

    Not at all.

    Just realistic expectations.

    Because he lacks the dynamic skating of players like Hughes and Makar, I’ve always thought his ceiling is a good second pair D.

    Nothing wrong with that but likely not what you expect from a top ten pick.

  52. jp says:

    jp,

    * game 1 injury replacement.

  53. Reja says:

    leadfarmer: Did Bouchard kick your dog?
    I’ve never seen anyone cheer so hard for a young player to fail
    It’s pretty pathetic

    I still think Jofa has him beat soundly when it comes to homeboy Benson slagging.

  54. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Not at all.

    Just realistic expectations.

    Because he lacks the dynamic skating of players like Hughes and Makar, I’ve always thought his ceiling is a good second pair D.

    Nothing wrong with that but likely not what you expect from a top ten pick.

    You don’t need to be putting ceilings on players.

    But also, why would you EXPECT a #10 pick to be a #1 D?

  55. dustrock says:

    Bouchard is already a better passer than anyone on the current D corpse, I’d argue better than Klefbom and Bear.

    We know he can play the PP.

    The question is: will his defensive play be that much worse than any of Larsson, Benning or Russell?

    Other than PK, which generally goes to more experienced d-men, I doubt it.

  56. leadfarmer says:

    jp: You don’t need to be putting ceilings on players.

    But also, why would you EXPECT a #10 pick to be a #1 D?

    You may want to take a look at the history of 10ov picks then
    2008 Cody Hogson
    2009 Magnus Paajarvi
    2010 Dylan Mcilrath
    2011 Jonas Brodin
    2012 Slater Koekkek
    2013 Valeri Nischushkin
    2014 Nik Ritchie
    2015 Rantanen ****** in deepest draft since 2003
    2016 Jost. The same team that pulled Rantanen out of a hat only got Jost
    2017 Tippett

    So avs knocked it out of the park and the rest is a mixed bag of busts and bottom 6 players and a second pairing D in Brodin

  57. Eh Team says:

    Harpers Hair: Nothing wrong with that but likely not what you expect from a top ten pick.

    I think you would take that every single time for a #10 pick in the draft. You generally get the star players in the top 3, maybe top 5 in the draft. Kudo’s for Vancouver for hitting on Hughes and Petterson, but those guys are way over draft expectations at the picks that they went at.

  58. Eh Team says:

    jp: On the season Bear was #1 of all Oilers D in %TOI vs elites (36.1% vs 34.0% for Larsson). And even from January on he was ahead of Larsson (35.1% vs 33.9%). It’s not a big gap, both guys were top 4, but Bear just did play a full season as the Oilers 1st pairing RD.

    Larsson may have played in the top 4 this year, but his results were not comparable to a top 4 D. He flat out wasn;t very good. Granted it might have been injury related, but the fact is Larsson wasn;t very good and doesn’t have the trade value that most people think he has. He’s not going to bring you a second line forward.

  59. JOFA says:

    Reja: I still think Jofa has him beat soundly when it comes to homeboy Benson slagging.

    Hahaha Rejaaaaaa I missed you. Is Benson still with the organization?

  60. JOFA says:

    Harpers Hair: Not at all.

    Just realistic expectations.

    Because he lacks the dynamic skating of players like Hughes and Makar, I’ve always thought his ceiling is a good second pair D.

    Nothing wrong with that but likely not what you expect from a top ten pick.

    Agreed. Good second pairing at best. Remember how much Edmonton loved Poti? That will be the sentiment in Edmonton towards Bouchard. He will always leave you wanting more. The truth is that Bouchard will ne lucky to have half the career Poti had. Poti was also a plus skater.

  61. leadfarmer says:

    Curious what Avs do with goalering
    Grubauer is proving to not be durable and Francouz fell apart
    Hutchinson is being amazing but I wouldn’t want to make that bet again

  62. JOFA says:

    Bouchard’s high end could be Justin Schultz? Are we good with that?

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR:
    No matter how you look at it, Holland has some tap-dancing to do.But it seems to me that using a D to acquire a Winger is the play here.Right now I’d probably prefer Nurse getting traded over Larson.Not saying Larson is better, but moving Nurse still leaves Klef as #1 LHD.Moving Larson creates a hole at #1 RHD in this depth chart.

    I like Bear a ton, but just imagine he signs a reasonable deal this summer, we start feeding him top line minutes next season, and he struggles.Next thing we know, the fans turn on him, and his confidence goes south.Before we know it, he’s playing somewhere else ala Jeff Petry (or even Justin Schultz for that matter).

    I’ve seen this movie before, and it sucks!.

    Bear played top 5 on 5 minutes this season – I believe that Bear and Nurse were the two highest d-men in percent of TOI vs. elites.

    What I am hopeful is for Bear to be paired with Klefbom and they be used as the top pairing with seperation from the 2nd pair (presumably Nurse and Larsson).

    I think Klef, with a legit puck mover like Bear, will focus more on defensive zone coverage and assignments and that pair will excel.

    Yes, Bear could regress but he already played 1RD minutes.

  64. jeetz says:

    Woogie63:
    NHL experience on defense is valued by Holland and Tippett, before we trade Petry, of Gilbert again, it is important to understand we can’treplace our young vets with draft picks.

    Russell 846 games
    Larsson 547 games
    Klefbom 378 games
    Nurse 350 games
    Benning 248 games
    ——————————————–
    Bear 89 games
    Jones 60 games
    Lagesson 8 games
    Bouchard 7 games

    COUNTING on the below the line guys to play top 4 minutes every night is developing talent in the NHL again.

    I agree, Though it is probably safe to pencil Bear in the top 4. Nurse, Bear and Klefbom are locks with Larsson possibly on the way out for that elusive 3rd line center. Larsson being replaced with a UFA signing. The flat cap would make that scenario more realistic than before.

    Russell is probably gone too. Someone mentioned a Russell for Murray deal with some additional pieces. To me, that makes lots of sense for both teams.

    That would put Bear, Nurse, Klefbom and a UFA top 4 with Benning, Jones, Bouchard, Lagesson in the bottom 4.someone in the bottom 4 could work their way up into the top 4 by mid season. My money is on Jones. I’m ok with that.

    The big question for me would be if the Oilers Put a crazy deal such as Nurse for Ehlers deal together. The loss of Larsson AND Nurse would decimate our top 4.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woogie63:
    NHL experience on defense is valued by Holland and Tippett, before we trade Petry, of Gilbert again, it is important to understand we can replace our young vets with draft picks.

    Russell 846 games
    Larsson 547 games
    Klefbom 378 games
    Nurse 350 games
    Benning 248 games
    ——————————————–
    Bear 89 games
    Jones 60 games
    Lagesson 8 games
    Bouchard 7 games

    COUNTING on the below the line guys to play top 4 minutes every night is developing talent in the NHL again.

    I agree with your general premise but would note:

    1) Bear played top 4 minutes this past season, in fact, top pairing minutes and comp

    2) Jones is indeed unproven but did play his best NHL hockey when in the top and replacing Klefbom (pairing with a solid Adam Larsson)

    The reason I keep Matt Benning, well, aside from him being a very good 3RD, is to keep Bouchard away from the 2nd pairing when an injury hit

  66. buck yoakam says:

    JOFA,

    So glad that you are the D whisperer….termite

  67. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    OriginalPouzar: Bear played top 5 on 5 minutes this season – I believe that Bear and Nurse were the two highest d-men in percent of TOI vs. elites.

    What I am hopeful is for Bear to be paired with Klefbom and they be used as the top pairing with seperation from the 2nd pair (presumably Nurse and Larsson).

    I think Klef, with a legit puck mover like Bear, will focus more on defensive zone coverage and assignments and that pair will excel.

    Yes, Bear could regress but he already played 1RD minutes.

    You guys might be getting me sold on the Bear on the top pair idea, but if you move Larson, who is on the right side of the second pair With Nurse? And I assume you then sign Benning (which is fine with me btw).

  68. JOFA says:

    buck yoakam:
    JOFA,

    So glad that you are the D whisperer….termite

    Are you willing to make a prediction on Bouchard?

  69. hunter1909 says:

    JOFA: Are you willing to make a prediction on Bouchard?

    If it’s alright I’d like to predict that Bouchard’s going step into the lineup and straight into the top 4 by Christmas(in a regular regular season). His offensive chops are already formed to a higher degree than many of the current stiffs currently gracing the team lol

  70. JOFA says:

    hunter1909: If it’s alright I’d like to predict that Bouchard’s going step into the lineup and straight into the top 4 by Christmas(in a regular regular season). His offensive chops are already formed to a higher degree than many of the current stiffs currently gracing the team lol

    That could definitely happen. Unfortunately that says more about the state of the team with the current “stiffs” lol

  71. hunter1909 says:

    While we’re on the topic of potential successes…I would personally love to see the Vancouver Canucks fluke off a cup win. 50 seasons of palookaville makes me feel for the few hundred hardcore fans they must still have left.

    Failing the Canucks, The New York Islanders, the Dallas Stars, and Philadelphia Flyers would also be cool.

  72. buck yoakam says:

    JOFA,

    I think he will perform in alignment with his story all along…he will be one of the top ten scoring defencemen regularly in his career…he doesn’t scream look at me , but the results will be there

  73. who says:

    Predicted pairings for next year without a top 4 being traded.
    Klefbom Larsson
    Nurse Bear
    If Russell is immovable the bottom pairing depth chart looks like this.
    Russell Jones
    Lagesson Bouchard
    Benning traded for a draft pick.

    If Russell is moved the bottom pairing depth chart goes
    Jones Benning
    Lagesson Bouchard

    If a top 4 is traded I think it’s going to be Klefbom, not Larrson, because of Oilers depth at the position. And potential trade value of Klefbom.
    Blockbuster example would be Klefbom, AA and Chiasson to Montreal for Domi, Kulak, Brooks, 2nd and 3rd rounder.
    New defense would be
    Nurse Bear
    Jones Larrson
    Kulak Russell/ Benning
    Lagesson Bouchard
    Trade one of Russell or Benning.

  74. digger50 says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR:
    No matter how you look at it, Holland has some tap-dancing to do.But it seems to me that using a D to acquire a Winger is the play here.Right now I’d probably prefer Nurse getting traded over Larson.Not saying Larson is better, but moving Nurse still leaves Klef as #1 LHD.Moving Larson creates a hole at #1 RHD in this depth chart.

    I like Bear a ton, but just imagine he signs a reasonable deal this summer, we start feeding him top line minutes next season, and he struggles.Next thing we know, the fans turn on him, and his confidence goes south.Before we know it, he’s playing somewhere else ala Jeff Petry (or even Justin Schultz for that matter).

    I’ve seen this movie before, and it sucks!.

    Highly unlikely they move Nurse.

    But Larson very likely to be moved. Oilers know his ongoing injury history better than anyone and to me its obvious when he plays. He’s still valuable but there is risk there.

    Also, with Larson in mind, Holland tried to bring in Green as cover. He knew.

    With Larson out and no cover, yes it is:

    Bear
    Benning
    Bouchard
    Whoever can play right side (Jones?)

    Lots of risk here as well.

    In a normal year its obvious to keep everyone until the youth can take over. In this particular year when trying to squeeze as much value as possible under the cap, choices that involve risk must be made.

    I think they trade Larson. Then they trade Russel and bring in a short term veteran. If unable to trade Russel then he himself will have to fill the role of that short term veteran, like it or not.

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR: You guys might be getting me sold on the Bear on the top pair idea, but if you move Larson, who is on the right side of the second pair With Nurse?And I assume you then sign Benning (which is fine with me btw).

    I’m not moving Larsson – not as plan A or B.

  76. digger50 says:

    Elgin R:
    Oilers, and most other NHL teams, are going to need 8 – 10 D next season.No matter when next season starts, it will be compressed with more back-to-backs and more 3-in-4-nights.

    Holland should trade KRusty asap.He has been passed by Jones and Lagesson is a better option for 4LD than a $4m AAV cap hit.

    Keep the rest of the D.Oilers should finish in the Pacific top 3 next year and will need competent and rested D for the playoff push down the stretch.

    Great points but also a double edged sword.

    Back to backs its would be nice to have such depth. But lets say a season consists of 50 games, this also makes a difference. Do you go in 8-10 D for depth and stamina? good plan but then you do not have it in your forward ranks.

    What if you could run 6-8 D for 50 games and boost your depth on forwards? Might be a better strategy. Next season will be different, I don’t know the solution but it may be a good idea to look at possible ways to adapt.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    Elgin R:
    Oilers, and most other NHL teams, are going to need 8 – 10 D next season.No matter when next season starts, it will be compressed with more back-to-backs and more 3-in-4-nights.

    Holland should trade KRusty asap.He has been passed by Jones and Lagesson is a better option for 4LD than a $4m AAV cap hit.

    Keep the rest of the D.Oilers should finish in the Pacific top 3 next year and will need competent and rested D for the playoff push down the stretch.

    Teams generally need to use in and around 10 d-men in a normal schedule let alone a compressed one.

    I agree with your post above, completely.

    Yes, some cap needs to go if they want to improve via external acquisition but moving out Matt Benning who, if anything, is a couple hundred grand overpaid (and I don’t even think he’s that) and hurting the defensive depth, I don’t think that’s the right place to look.

    Not to mention, the $1M savings down to Bouch is mitigated by his potential bonus and, given the cap, would highly potentially create another bonus overage penalty for 2021/22.

    I fully expect Bouch to play many NHL games, even if Bear, Larsson and Benning remain on the team.

    Rusty is the out target – it won’t be easy but our GM has been doing this for 30 years and his making $5M per to use that experience and contacts.

  78. digger50 says:

    flyfish1168:
    Holding a player back for the right reasons is good. But when you are holding a player that is ready that is bad for the team and the GM. This can make players not want to sign here.

    Totally agree

    Remember when Bouchard was selected Pistol Pete stated flat out – they selected the most NHL ready defenceman they could find. They believed Bouchard to be that guy and they wanted him fast.

    Its a shame to hold him up now. Again, they need to spread the dollars out as efficient as possible and I think on Hollands whiteboard hes already got Bouchard on the team.

  79. JOFA says:

    buck yoakam:
    JOFA,

    Ithink he will perform in alignment with his story all along…he will be one of the top ten scoring defencemen regularly in his career…he doesn’t scream look at me , but the results will be there

    That would be fantastic if you’re right😊

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    US prez says we could have a vaccine in place during the month of October.

    BOOM – Full fans in the stands for all leagues……….

    *waiting with baited breath…..*

  81. Material Elvis says:

    JOFA:
    Bouchard’s high end could be Justin Schultz? Are we good with that?

    Their age-adjusted comparables ate heavily weighed in favor of Bouchard. Why would his ceiling be Schultz?

  82. Material Elvis says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    US prez says we could have a vaccine in place during the month of October.

    BOOM – Full fans in the stands for all leagues……….

    *waiting with baited breath…..*

    Is he getting some of Vladimir’s stock? If not, then I highly doubt it.

  83. Material Elvis says:

    Maybe Don has a deal where every bottle of Russian vaccine gets him a free bottle of Novichok….just in time for the election!

  84. Material Elvis says:

    leadfarmer: It’s true
    Defensemen do get picked with lotto picks each year

    And given Chychrun inability to play a full season you could easily argue that he would have benefited some easier competition

    I mean we would have loved to pick one of the guys chosen much earlier but that’s not how the draft works
    Bouchards comparables are Dobson and Wahstrom

    No no. The Oilers should have drafted Heiskenen, Makar, and Dahlin. There is no excuse for managerial incompetence. If they don’t get Drysdale, Sanderson, or Lafreniere this year, I am going to be pissed off!

  85. dustrock says:

    JOFA:
    Bouchard’s high end could be Justin Schultz? Are we good with that?

    Don’t think he’s very much like Justin Schultz at all, actually.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Calling it: Markstrom to the Avs this off-season.

    Canucks won’t give him a NMC (in case they want to expose him in expansion) and Markstrom will move on.

    Greiss to Vancouver to split with Demko!

  87. Mr.Snrub says:

    Andrej Sekera with the clutch perfect pass in G7 OT to help the Stars advance to the Western Conference final. Sure am glad we bought him out and will continue to pay him for the next 3 years!

  88. Victoria Oil says:

    Who the f— is Joel Kiviranta?

  89. Victoria Oil says:

    Mr.Snrub:
    Andrej Sekera with the clutch perfect pass in G7 OT to help the Stars advance to the Western Conference final. Sure am glad we bought him out and will continue to pay him for the next 3 years!

    Nice Gretzyian pass by Sekera.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    Melman:
    Are we sure that when the puck drops to start next season Lagesson is better than Russell?Downgrading the team’s D is not the path to playoff success. He may be by the end of next season, but counting on Jones, Bear, Bouchard and Lagesson (unless he’s your #7) would lead to many sleepless nights. I say that as someone who is meh at best on the Cowboy.

    Lagesson would indeed be the #7.

    I don’t think I’ve seen anyone suggest he is 3LD to start the season.

    He may not be as good as Rusty but I don’t think the drop off off-sets the benefit of $3M used elsewhere.

  91. Eh Team says:

    Victoria Oil: Nice Gretzyian pass by Sekera.

    Kadri- in the photo

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: It’s true
    Defensemen do get picked with lotto picks each year

    And given Chychrun inability to play a full season you could easily argue that he would have benefited some easier competition

    I mean we would have loved to pick one of the guys chosen much earlier but that’s not how the draft works
    Bouchards comparables are Dobson and Wahstrom

    And, of course, Noah Dobson really had no business being in the NHL last year based on the numbers.

    He was healthy scratches for half the games and, when he was in the lineup, he was the most sheltered a player can possibly be. I’ve never seen PuckIQ with a d-man with less % against elites – add in the offensive zone starts and the “on the fly” starts, etc….

    Of course some use those NHL games as fodder for him being ahead of Bouchard but I’m highly confident the Isles would have sent him to the AHL for the year if they were able.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lehner starts tonight even with a horrid career record in back to backs.

    Fleury is clearly done in Vegas.

    Wonder how they move that high cap hit NMC contract for an older player coming off a down year.

    Retain half I guess.

  94. Material Elvis says:

    “The best player in the NHL” went 0-0-0 today. Only three shots on net in almost 28(!) minutes…..

  95. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Calling it: Markstrom to the Avs this off-season.

    Canucks won’t give him a NMC (in case they want to expose him in expansion) and Markstrom will move on.

    Greiss to Vancouver to split with Demko!

    Not a bad bet.

    There’s word today that Aquilinis may tighten the purse strings because their hospitality businesses are suffering.

    Demko at less than a million is an incredible bargain.

  96. Harpers Hair says:

    Material Elvis:
    “The best player in the NHL” went 0-0-0 today.Only three shots on net in almost 28(!) minutes…..

    The Oilers best player couldn’t get his team to beat the Sisters of the Poor.

  97. Eh Team says:

    Harpers Hair: Demko at less than a million is an incredible bargain.

    Demko save % 905
    Mike Smith save % 902

  98. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: Not at all.

    Just realistic expectations.

    Because he lacks the dynamic skating of players like Hughes and Makar, I’ve always thought his ceiling is a good second pair D.

    Nothing wrong with that but likely not what you expect from a top ten pick.

    So what’s your realistic expectation for Juolevi taken number 5 in first round by Vancouver given that he is two years older than Bouchard and hasn’t cracked the Canuck lineup.
    #time to move the goal posts

  99. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers best player couldn’t get his team to beat the Sisters of the Poor.

    Sisters of the poor have how many more cups than the Canucks
    #people in glass houses …………

  100. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wow – Kiviranta with the first game 7 hatty since Gretzky in 93.

  101. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers best player couldn’t get his team to beat the Sisters of the Poor.

    How many fingers is this going to cost you when the bookies figure out you’re not going to pay them?

  102. pts2pndr says:

    leadfarmer: How many fingers is this going to cost you when the bookies figure out you’re not going to pay them?

    Given his lack of class he probably has his wife place his bets for him!🙈

  103. OriginalPouzar says:

    Eh Team: Larsson may have played in the top 4 this year, but his results were not comparable to a top 4 D.He flat out wasn;t very good.Granted it might have been injury related, but the fact is Larsson wasn;t very good and doesn’t have the trade value that most people think he has.He’s not going to bring you a second line forward.

    I can’ only agree partially with the above – Larsson was not good for the first while after he came back from his broken leg but he was very good for a 2-month stretch to end the regular season – consistently good with just a couple poor games. He was 2017 Larsson during that stretch – and a good portion of it was with Caleb Jones filling in for Klef.

  104. buck yoakam says:

    Harpers Hair,

    whens the next pajama party veronica?…

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    Curious what Avs do with goalering
    Grubauer is proving to not be durable and Francouz fell apart
    Hutchinson is being amazing but I wouldn’t want to make that bet again

    Posted it earlier in the thread after the OT winner was scored – Markstrom to the Avs.

    I don’t think Benning will give him a NMC as they may want to expose him.

    I’ve flipped on Markstrom and the Canucks recently (and its not all about how Demko has played in the last few days – we knew he was/is a solid developing tender trending to be an NHL starter).

    The Canucks could move on from Markstrom and sign/acquire one of the legit mid-tier options to partner with Demko – Griess, Khudobin, etc. and it will save them a good $3M or so (depending on what Markstrom would have been signed for).

  106. Glovjuice says:

    I kinda thought OP is more strawberry blonde (the rarest hair colour) and I found his shirt off pics hot…

    Confession – I have more fun reading this blog especially with respect to Oil prospects (I am dying to have Pulujarvi back – he is a player) than I do actually watching the games – seriously. The Matrix is real and spectacular.

    Rock Lake Provincial Park is spectacular by the way all you fisher – campers out there.

  107. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: How many fingers is this going to cost you when the bookies figure out you’re not going to pay them?

    No worries.

    In put a unit on the Canucks to win last night.

    Covers all my bets.

  108. Material Elvis says:

    Eh Team: Demko save % 905
    Mike Smith save % 902

    What are the chances that Demko can complete a full season without getting injured? I can’t wait for them to let Markstrom walk.

  109. Material Elvis says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers best player couldn’t get his team to beat the Sisters of the Poor.

    Yeah, too bad about the roster he plays on. McDavid didn’t get the chance to choke in a game seven either.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    JOFA:
    Bouchard’s high end could be Justin Schultz? Are we good with that?

    Shultz was 10th in Norris Trophy voting one year……..

    In any event, I don’t agree with that ceiling label in the least.

  111. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: Not at all.

    Just realistic expectations.

    Because he lacks the dynamic skating of players like Hughes and Makar, I’ve always thought his ceiling is a good second pair D.

    Nothing wrong with that but likely not what you expect from a top ten pick.

    He’s also 3-4 inches taller and at least 20 lbs heavier.

    Already. And the other two aren’t growing or filling out as much.

    Reach and lean strength mean a lot in hockey. After quality skating. And Bouchard is not a deficient skater of not plus.

    Fastest backwards skater for n his OHL cohort.

  112. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Shultz was 10th in Norris Trophy voting one year……..

    In any event, I don’t agree with that ceiling label in the least.

    Schultz has been and remains a perimeter forward playing D.

    So the Pens move on.

    Bouchard is already miles ahead of anything JS became.

  113. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50: Totally agree

    Remember when Bouchard was selected Pistol Pete stated flat out – they selected the most NHL ready defenceman they could find. They believed Bouchard to be that guy and they wanted him fast.

    Its a shame to hold him up now. Again, they need to spread the dollars out as efficient as possible and I think on Hollands whiteboard hes already got Bouchard on the team.

    I believe Chiarelli also believed that Jesse Puljujarvi was NHL ready as an 18 year old…..

    I don’t see how Bouchard starting as 4RD, if he doesn’t force/earn a spot at camp, would be “holding him back”. Is there much of a realistic chance that a d-man wouldn’t be called up within the first month? Shit, maybe the first week. Shit, maybe coming out of camp.

    There is no need to “open up a spot” in the name of giving Bouchard minutes – the minutes will be there.

    Now, I’m not saying that various cap management and team management matters may not lead to him being the 3RD going in to camp but it doesn’t need to be so

    ———–

    Also, Bouchard over Benning may not actually be cap favorable.

    It would for this coming season but Bouchard has a potential for $500K in performance bonuses in year 1 and $850K in each of years 2 and 3.

    If he vests those $500K in year one, if the Oilers are close enough to the cap, which is very likely, it would create a cap penalty for 2021/22.

    Bouchard vs. Benning may be cap favorable for 2020/21 but negative for 2021/22.

  114. Scungilli Slushy says:

    In a trade it goes whomever gets the best player wins.

    If Klef and JP get you Parayko you do that all day long. Even with a low end sweetener.

    Then move Larsson for a good a 3C hopefully RS or prospects picks. He is not without this value.

    If you can move Russell and AC you do it. Neal of course.

    You protect 7- 3

    Nurse Bear Parayko. Bouchard is clear.

    McD Drai Nuge Yama 3C.

    And whoever else.

    If Jones is going to be taken find a replacement or make a deal with the poachers.

  115. digger50 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I believe Chiarelli also believed that Jesse Puljujarvi was NHL ready as an 18 year old…..

    I don’t see how Bouchard starting as 4RD, if he doesn’t force/earn a spot at camp, would be “holding him back”. Is there much of a realistic chance that a d-man wouldn’t be called up within the first month?Shit, maybe the first week.Shit, maybe coming out of camp.

    There is no need to “open up a spot” in the name of giving Bouchard minutes – the minutes will be there.

    Now, I’m not saying that various cap management and team management matters may not lead to him being the 3RD going in to camp but it doesn’t need to be so

    ———–

    Also, Bouchard over Benning may not actually be cap favorable.

    It would for this coming season but Bouchard has a potential for $500K in performance bonuses in year 1 and $850K in each of years 2 and 3.

    If he vests those $500K in year one, if the Oilers are close enough to the cap, which is very likely, it would create a cap penalty for 2021/22.

    Bouchard vs. Benning may be cap favorable for 2020/21 but negative for 2021/22.

    Umm, called from where?

    You have to change your thinking for this season. Yes you have to open up a spot because you don’t have money to cover this usual gradual progression. Choices must be made.

  116. OriginalPouzar says:

    Eh Team: Demko save % 905
    Mike Smith save % 902

    Demko save % 990

    Smith save % 783

    Demko – 24 years old

    Smith 38 years old

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: So what’s your realistic expectation for Juolevi taken number 5 in first round by Vancouver given that he is two years older than Bouchard and hasn’t cracked the Canuck lineup.
    #time to move the goal posts

    We were told that Juolevi had arrived based on a playoff game earlier this post-season – must have been a hell of a 4 minutes of ice.

  118. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jones with Parayko as mentor would I think be better than the apparently broken down Klef Lsrs.

    Nurse Bear are already carrying first pair minutes and work.

    Reward does not come without calculated risk.

    I agree with Godot it’s an improvement.

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Schultz has been and remains a perimeter forward playing D.

    So the Pens move on.

    Bouchard is already miles ahead of anything JS became.

    Until Bouchard has 51 career points, let alone a 51 point season and averages 19:44 per game in a season, let alone the playoffs, I’ll stop a bit short of that.

  120. digger50 says:

    hunter1909:
    While we’re on the topic of potential successes…I would personally love to see the Vancouver Canucks fluke off a cup win. 50 seasons of palookaville makes me feel for the few hundred hardcore fans they must still have left.

    Failing the Canucks, The New York Islanders, the Dallas Stars, and Philadelphia Flyers would also be cool.

    Honestly, I would not mind that at all. Good for them

    Only drawback is some hairy bugger around here.

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50: Umm, called from where?

    You have to change your thinking for this season. Yes you have to open up a spot because you don’t have money to cover this usual gradual progression. Choices must be made.

    Called up for the AHL or the non-active roster or whatever it may be.

    I disagree on point 2 – i even stated how it could negatively effect the cap.

  122. flea says:

    digger50: Honestly, I would not mind that at all. Good for them

    Only drawback is some hairy bugger around here.

    Wouldn’t it be kinda funny though if their fans couldn’t even really celebrate the cup win?

    I think it’s going to feel a little hollow for the fans of whatever team wins tbh.

    Already a shooting gallery on Demko. If VGK loses – I blame Pete DeBour. It’s obvious Vegas is the better team, but their strategy is kind of boneheaded. Just keep shooting puck!

    Vancouver is the better coached team and is getting goaltending. Hope they win – Vegas is the new San Jose – I hate that team.

  123. Harpers Hair says:

    Scungilli Slushy: He’s also 3-4 inches taller and at least 20 lbs heavier.

    Already. And the other two aren’t growing or filling out as much.

    Reach and lean strength mean a lot in hockey. After quality skating. And Bouchard is not a deficient skater of not plus.

    Fastest backwards skater for n his OHL cohort.

    Tyler Myers’s is 6’8”.

    Want to re-think that?

  124. Harpers Hair says:

    buck yoakam:
    Harpers Hair,

    whens the next pajama party veronica?…

    Tuesday.

    It’s always Tuesday.

  125. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Until Bouchard has 51 career points, let alone a 51 point season and averages 19:44 per game in a season, let alone the playoffs, I’ll stop a bit short of that.

    His points don’t cover his overall play.

    Sheltered career minus player given all offensive opportunities.

    Which means a sheltered expensive player.

    That to me is a roster cap killer.

    They finally figured it out.

    The Johnson thing may take a while.

    But yet we cheer for their folly. We want the Oilers to succeed it the Pens or Dys.

    Although I want the Dys to beat the Kniggits.Because of Reaves and that the league still allows players like that to be in the league.

    And that they are the modern day Preds. Team systems and being disciplined goons usually doesn’t win over disciplined talent.

    Which is our best path.

    Now they’ll win it all bcs I trashed them.

  126. Material Elvis says:

    OriginalPouzar: We were told that Juolevi had arrived based on a playoff game earlier this post-season – must have been a hell of a 4 minutes of ice.

    He‘s probably great at video games, though.

  127. Material Elvis says:

    Canucks had two shots on net in the first period. Going with the strategy that won them the last two games.

  128. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: Tyler Myers’s is 6’8”.

    Want to re-think that?

    No

    Myers had a season

    Hughes is a supremely talented player but is limited by size

    Makar is great but small

    Nobody says Housley Rafalski Routsalanen when talking best all time

    They’ll write their own stories but so far undersized offensive D make the grade of ice dominating D man

  129. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Scungilli Slushy: No

    Myers had a season

    Hughes is a supremely talented player but is limited by size

    Makar is great but small

    Nobody says Housley Rafalski Routsalanen when talking best all time

    They’ll write their own stories but so far undersized offensive D make the grade of ice dominating D man

    Forgot a no in there

  130. Victoria Oil says:

    Material Elvis:
    Canucks had two shots on net in the first period.Going with the strategy that won them the last two games.

    Through 6 1/2 games, VGK have outshot Vancouver 255 to 159 in aggregate, outshooting them every single game

    #CanucksHaveBeenLucky

  131. pts2pndr says:

    digger50: Umm, called from where?

    You have to change your thinking for this season. Yes you have to open up a spot because you don’t have money to cover this usual gradual progression. Choices must be made.

    I think this is bang on!

  132. OriginalPouzar says:

    Not sure I’ve ever seen a team get dominated like this through two games but not give up a goal.

    Vegas just insanely dominant but Reaves may have just given the series away.

  133. Victoria Oil says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Not sure I’ve ever seen a team get dominated like this through two games but not give up a goal.

    Vegas just insanely dominant but Reaves may have just given the series away.

    Agreed. Nucks are clearly the 2nd best team on the ice and undeserving of being in this. Only one shot thru 7 1/2 minutes of power play time so far.

    Gotta give credit to Demko, though.

  134. OriginalPouzar says:

    Best chance on the Vancouver 5 min PP was for Vegas.

  135. JOFA says:

    I wanted to see the Avs vs Vegas. But Go Demo! What a great story if they can pull out a win.

  136. JOFA says:

    The Bolts can order up their rings.

  137. JOFA says:

    What a save on Myers!

  138. leadfarmer says:

    JOFA:
    The Bolts can order up their rings.

    These playoffs are just to decide who gets to lose to the bolts

  139. pts2pndr says:

    buck yoakam:
    Harpers Hair,

    whens the next pajama party veronica?…

    He was probably in band or cheer leading in high school, not really smart enough for the smart crowd. His momma had to tie a pork chop to him so the dog would play with him. Now just an angry old man that takes his frustration out on others. We should be nice to him maybe his one friend just died!

  140. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Tuesday.

    It’s always Tuesday.

    Remember when we had that conversation that Canucks are actually not a good team they just live off their goalies.
    Yeah that was fun

  141. Munny says:

    Just score already Vegas

  142. Munny says:

    Thank you.

  143. leadfarmer says:

    Well Dallas Vegas will be fun.
    They get to duke it out for who gets their butts handed to them by Bolts

  144. leadfarmer says:

    What a run by Demko
    Too bad for him his team left the bubble three games ago

  145. Victoria Oil says:

    leadfarmer:
    What a run by Demko
    Too bad for him his team left the bubble three games ago

    .984 save percentage over 3 games isn’t bad. Canucks showed no real urgency until the last minute. Vegas”s special teams were miles better than Vancouver.

  146. Eh Team says:

    OriginalPouzar: Demko save % 990

    Smith save % 783

    Demko – 24 years old

    Smith 38 years old

    Not saying Smith was any good, but not sure Demko is the answer. But Vancouver needs to go to Demko and punt Markstrom for the same reason Bouchard, Benson and every other young player ready for the NHL needs to play. Especially if they supplant a costly veteran.

  147. flea says:

    So – is Vancouver closer to winning a cup?

    Or is this their ceiling? 2nd round team?

    I don’t see a strong path forward for the Canucks to become true contenders. I’ve gained an appreciation for their team but still – not sure how much more they could push.

    Might get an opportunity in 3-5 years when Petterson and Hughes are peaking, but I think their window will be short.

  148. OriginalPouzar says:

    Eh Team: Not saying Smith was any good, but not sure Demko is the answer.But Vancouver needs to go to Demko and punt Markstrom for the same reason Bouchard, Benson and every other young player ready for the NHL needs to play.Especially if they supplant a costly veteran.

    Bouchard will most certainly play many NHL games this coming season – there is no costly veteran to supplant as Matt Benning isn’t very costly and is value for this contract (well likely contract).

    Supplanting veterans is good but, in order to be supplanted, the org needs to find someone to take those veterans.

    Lagesson needs to supplant Russell as 4LD but its not easy to get Russell off the cap.

  149. Eh Team says:

    OriginalPouzar: Demko save % 990

    Smith save % 783

    Demko – 24 years old

    Smith 38 years old

    Not saying Smith was any good, but not sure Demko is the answer. But Vancouver needs to go to Demko and punt Markstrom for the same reason Bouchard, Benson and every other young player ready for the NHL needs to play. Especially if they supplant a costly veteran.

    OriginalPouzar: Bouchard will most certainly play many NHL games this coming season – there is no costly veteran to supplant as Matt Benning isn’t very costly and is value for this contract (well likely contract).

    Supplanting veterans is good but, in order to be supplanted, the org needs to find someone to take those veterans.

    Lagesson needs to supplant Russell as 4LD but its not easy to get Russell off the cap.

    In a year both Russell and Larsson will be gone. Even if Russell is here Lagesson should play ahead of him.

  150. Harpers Hair says:

    flea:
    So – is Vancouver closer to winning a cup?

    Or is this their ceiling? 2nd round team?

    I don’t see a strong path forward for the Canucks to become true contenders. I’ve gained an appreciation for their team but still – not sure how much more they could push.

    Might get an opportunity in 3-5 years when Petterson and Hughes are peaking, but I think their window will be short.

    The Canuck have a top ten prospect pool.

    Lots of high end talent coming and their anchor contracts start falling away in a year.

    They’re the goods.

  151. Harpers Hair says:

    Scungilli Slushy: No

    Myers had a season

    Hughes is a supremely talented player but is limited by size

    Makar is great but small

    Nobody says Housley Rafalski Routsalanen when talking best all time

    They’ll write their own stories but so far undersized offensive D make the grade of ice dominating D man

    Bobby Orr played at 6’0” and 190.

    He did okay.

  152. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: The Canuck havea top ten prospect pool.

    Lots of high end talent coming and their anchor contracts start falling away in a year.

    They’re the goods.

    Canucks have some work to do this offseason wonder if they can offload Beagle or Sutter

  153. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: Bobby Orr played at 6’0” and 190.

    He did okay.

    When Orr played, that was a little above average.

  154. Eh Team says:

    Lowetide: Harpers Hair: The Canuck havea top ten prospect pool.

    Lots of high end talent coming and their anchor contracts start falling away in a year.

    They’re the goods.

    Canucks have some work to do this offseason wonder if they can offload Beagle or Sutter

    Benning signed those brutal contracts and he’s still there, so there is nothing stopping him from doing the same thing. Canucks without Benning would be much more dangerous.

  155. Material Elvis says:

    Canucks: everything the best; all arrows up; sky’s the limit.

    Oilers: awful; Sarahan desert is more fertile; future’s bleak.

  156. jp says:

    flea:

    Might get an opportunity in 3-5 years when Petterson and Hughes are peaking, but I think their window will be short.

    I’ve got a feeling the shine will come off Hughes a little and he’ll score less next season than this one.

  157. jp says:

    Lowetide: When Orr played, that was a little above average.

    Also, Hughes is not, and likely never will be, 190 lbs.

  158. Munny says:

    Harpers Hair: Bobby Orr played at 6’0” and 190.

    He did okay.

    He was 6’0″ and 200 lbs. Big difference. And Orr could fight.

    Howe was a huge player in his day and was the same height and 5 lbs heavier than Orr. Esposito was thought to be a giant. He was 6’1″, 205. John Ferguson was 6 foot and 178.

    The elephants didn’t arrive till the 70s.

    Orr was about the equivalent of Klef or Broberg compared to his peers.

  159. jp says:

    Munny: He was 6’0″ and 200 lbs.Big difference.And Orr could fight.

    Howe was a huge player in his day and was the same height and 5 lbs heavier than Orr. Esposito was thought to be a giant.He was 6’1″, 205.John Ferguson was 6 foot and 178.

    The elephants didn’t arrive till the 70s.

    Orr was about the equivalent of Klef or Broberg compared to his peers.

    Hughes can skate tho.

  160. Munny says:

    jp: Hughes can skate tho.

    Relative to his peers Orr destroys Hughes on that front, and likely straight up too.

  161. jp says:

    Munny: Relative to his peers Orr destroys Hughes on that front, and likely straight up too.

    Well yes, no question. Who in their right mind would compare Hughes to Orr though?

    I suppose Andrej Sekera was compared to Gretzky earlier…

  162. JimmyV1965 says:

    I don’t want to crap on the Canucks, because I think they’ve been a resilient and opportunistic team in the playoffs, but I truly don’t recall a team being so thoroughly outplayed game after game in the playoffs. Six shots after two periods. Wow!!! Lehner did nothing for two periods. And to come up with that massive glove save after so little action may have been even more brilliant than the performance of Demko. How does a goalie even begin to find some kind of rhythm after facing six shots in two periods?

    I think the Canucks can hold their heads high. They did enough to push Vegas right to the brink. But what a very very strange series.

  163. JimmyV1965 says:

    The Canucks are a lot like the Oilers. A couple studs, a few good support players and a bunch of cap space wasted on replaceable players. Of course, as good as Pettersson and Hughes are, they will never be McDavid and Drai.

  164. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide,

    Are you implying Beagle or Sutter could fill the Oilers RC woes???

  165. jp says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Lowetide,

    Are you implying Beagle or Sutter could fill the Oilers RC woes???

    Just looking into these guys a little (even before you posted). I’m shocked to realize Sutter only spent 21% of his TOI vs Elites this year. Incredibly sheltered.

  166. rickithebear says:

    3 of the 5 deepest champ core roster theory teams are in the final 4.
    Tampa, Dallas, VGK.
    Boston is out.

  167. rickithebear says:

    What % of time you face of 4 forward comp groups is not as important as the high danger/ open shot reduction a dman does to their side.

    Being utter shit facing high% of higher comp is a real bad thing!

  168. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Canucks have some work to do this offseason wonder if they can offload Beagle or Sutter

    I was told earlier in the playoffs about how great Sutter was playing and I was thinking, damn, the Oilers might need to add a piece to Kris Russell to get the bloated contract swap done.

    Sutter as non-existant and a non-factor in the majority of the players.

    The Canucks could use a d-man – Benn and Fantenberg were parts of a defence that, aside from Hughes, was just not good.

    The trade makes some sense – equal cap hit and the Nucks save some dollars (I assume, haven’t looked at Sutter’s contract structure in a bit) which could be a factor.

    Oilers may need to take get a piece back – maybe a middling AHL d-man like Rafferty.

  169. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lokomotiv Yaroslavl – I anticipate Konovalov will start agains and hope he can build on his great 1st game.

  170. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965:
    The Canucks are a lot like the Oilers. A couple studs, a few good support players and a bunch of cap space wasted on replaceable players. Of course, as good as Pettersson and Hughes are, they will never be McDavid and Drai.

    I actually don’t see alot of comparables between the two teams:

    – both teams have a couple elite players (Petterson/Hughes – McDavid Drai)

    – Nucks have better offensive depth with a few more secondary guys and their bottom six help out more consistently

    – Aside from Hughes, I like the Oilers defensive group better and its deeper

    – Goaltending is the biggest difference and it make the biggest difference in the playoffs as it often does

    Lets not forget that the Nucks were the inferior team in the regular season through 70 games.

    The Oilers are not the team we saw in the first week of August.

  171. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: Canucks have some work to do this offseason wonder if they can offload Beagle or Sutter

    Sutter could be moved with one year left.

    Beagle would be much tougher.

  172. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I actually don’t see alot of comparables between the two teams:

    – both teams have a couple elite players (Petterson/Hughes – McDavid Drai)

    – Nucks have better offensive depth with a few more secondary guys and their bottom six help out more consistently

    – Aside from Hughes, I like the Oilers defensive group better and its deeper

    – Goaltending is the biggest difference and it make the biggest difference in the playoffs as it often does

    Lets not forget that the Nucks were the inferior team in the regular season through 70 games.

    The Oilers are not the team we saw in the first week of August.

    Let’s not forget the Oilers were five points ahead but the Canuck had two games in hand when play was paused.

  173. dustrock says:

    Harpers Hair: Let’s not forget the Oilers were five points ahead but the Canuck had two games in hand when play was paused.

    Hadn’t looked up Canucks’ 5v5 stats but I’m going to keep reminding everyone the Oilers were worse than mediocre 5v5 and rode a historic PP and excellent PK to success.

    One could argue that the Oilers were exactly who they were against the Hawks.

  174. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock: Hadn’t looked up Canucks’ 5v5 stats but I’m going to keep reminding everyone the Oilers were worse than mediocre 5v5 and rode a historic PP and excellent PK to success.

    One could argue that the Oilers were exactly who they were against the Hawks.

    The Oilers were much better at 5 on 5 in 2020 – much of that was the Drai line but even with McDavid out for 7 games, they were one of the best team’s in the NHL in 2020 and markedly better at 5 on.

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