Here Come The Warm Jets

by Lowetide

Dave Tippett’s regular season had a lot of shining moments and the post-season thought process shouldn’t take away from a strong first season for the coach. What does he need to build on for next season?

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What was his record? The first Tippett Oilers were on pace for 96 points, that would have been the highest point total for an Edmonton team since 2016-17.

What was his biggest accomplishment? I’ll say his handling of unproven talent. Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones played well and were slotted into feature roles. There are 12 foundation positions (top two lines, top two pairings, No. 3 center, No. 1 goalie). Three new solutions to foundation positions arrive from the AHL in one season? That’s a big deal. Jones doesn’t play top-4D yet but he showed he can when the team trades one of Klefbom or Nurse. I don’t think that day arrives in 2020.

What else? Special teams were brilliant, we’ll be quoting the numbers from last season for years. In Todd McLellan’s first season, Oilers had 43 power-play goals (6 GA on the PP, +37), 48 GA when on the PK (5 goals for, -43)

Under Tippett this year? 59 power-play goals (10 GA on the PP, +49), 31 GA when on the PK (3 goals for, -28).

What does that mean? In 2015-16, McLellan’s first year, Edmonton went 48-54 (-6) on special teams. In 2019-20, Tippett’s first year, the Oilers delivered 62-41 (+21) with the man advantage. That’s a fantastic season by Tippett’s gang.

Even strength must have been a mess. McLellan’s first team was 155-188, -33. Tippett’s, in fewer games of course, went 160-173, -13. Improved, but plenty of work to do.

Where would you start? Goaltending. Oilers had a .9055 overall SP (No. 14), .908 five on five SP (No. 22). Improve the even strength save percentage, add some points, finish higher in the standings. Too simple an explanation but the goaltending needs to be upgraded.

And Ken Holland signs Adam Cracknell. Great! I’ve seen a few tweets fretting over the signing, it’s kind of silly. Cracknell played in the KHL last season, that’s the best league in Europe and many feel it’s the second best league in the world. He played center, scored 10-14-24 in 52 games, went 26-25 at even strength on ice goal differential, scored 7-2-1 EV-PP-PK goals and averaged 17:35 a night. Teams have to find veteran forwards who can play center in the minors, it’s the reason Josh Currie’s minor league salary was $160,000 last season. You. Need. Centers. in the AHL.

Yeah but the 50-man, man. They won’t be able to pick up that good forward who is on waivers for the first time! Okay, among folks who write about the Oilers the only person who follows the waiver wire more closely than me is Willis. So, allow me to let you in on a little secret. The Oilers aren’t going to take Daniel Sprong on waivers because they like Kailer Yamamoto more, Josh Archibald can do more things plus Zack Kassian and Alex Chiasson do other things. Here’s what Holland’s white board might look like today:

See! They’re screwed! NO they’re not! The list above contains four goalies, 15 defensemen (Broberg a possible slide) and 22 forwards. That’s 41 names, 40 if Broberg stays in Sweden. Edmonton can add seven or eight names and still have room.

Daniel Sprong was the one, too. I just know it. I hate you.

I would suggest to you that Mr. Rishaug has cornered the truth in regard to Jesse Puljujarvi’s future. I’ll guess he fetches a pick inside the top 40, that Holland hopes Jan Mysak is available but settles for Jake Neighbours instead. Neighbours is a fine young prospect but that’s a bitter pill for value-wise consumers.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A big day on TSN1260, beginning at 10. We have Frank Seravalli at 10:20 and Jason Gregor at 11, we’ll breakdown the playoffs, the trade market and drill down on Ken Holland’s summer and Jesse Puljujarvi’s future. We’ll also have the $20,000 Mystery Moment at 10:15, your chance to win cash with that gigantic sports brain of yours. Text in at 10-1260 with the secret word, then we’ll call you, play a clip from a famous sports moment and ask you for a detailed answer. Use all the words! Reach me @Lowetide on via text at 10-1260. Tune in and win!

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leadfarmer

Trading JP to recover some picks because of a bad trade made by the GM is a very Oilers thing to do.

stevebergeron97

Looks like Bouchard is headed to the Allsvenskan!

GordieHoweHatTrick

leadfarmer:
Trading JP to recover some picks because of a bad trade made by the GM is a very Oilers thing to do.

Yeah, the Oilers bleed and waste so much opportunity and talent it is nauseating…and we the fans basically come to expect it. No matter who is in charge.

Marc

leadfarmer:
Trading JP to recover some picks because of a bad trade made by the GM is a very Oilers thing to do.

I hope that JP joins the team and doubt they can get anything close to equivalent value in a trade.

That said, the expansion draft means that even if he joins the team JP is unlikely to be an Oiler for more than one season. Or if he is then Jones is not.

There’s an argument for turning 1 year of JP into something that at least has the potential to be around a lot longer.

On the other hand a contending team should happily lose a player for nothing if that player makes them materially better, which JP absolutely could.

Paulie

One of my favorite things about this Blog are the 1970s musical references. Here Come the Warm Jets is one of my favorite Eno albums. Robert Fripp gets the credit for the incendiary solo on the classic song Baby’s On Fire, but for my money that solo sounds an awful lot like the way Paul Rudolph played back then, esp, in his live Pink Fairies days. Eno did so much processing on the album that it’s possible he blended in work from both guitarists.

Todd Macallan

stevebergeron97:
Looks like Bouchard is headed to the Allsvenskan!

Great news! General question, are other teams being as successful as Holland and the Oilers in finding landing spots for their top prospects to start the season?

jp

stevebergeron97:
Looks like Bouchard is headed to the Allsvenskan!

That is interesting. They allow out clauses IIRC (unlike the SHL).

To this point the only players headed to Europe for the season are the guys who aren’t likely call-up options (or European players who can return when things start up). I assume Bouchard can/will return when the NHL resumes play.

Todd Macallan

Todd Macallan: Great news! Looks like more Swedishposter reporting to look forward to.

General question, are other teams being as successful as Holland and the Oilers in finding landing spots for their top prospects to start the season?

jp

Nice article and convo LT.

96 points is a quality season, and represents progress. It should be repeated.

And adding 3 young foundational pieces from the system (a late 1st, a 4th and a 5th at that) is a big deal.

Nice season by the team and by Tippett, with a little damper at the end. The larger body of work remains solid though.

Harpers Hair

Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) Tweeted:
The Edmonton Oilers have loaned forward Gaetan Haas to SC Bern of the Swiss National League and defenceman Evan Bouchard to Sodertalje SK of the Swedish Allsvenskan for the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

Woogie63

The hard news is too few 22 year old millionaire choose to work in Edmonton in the winter.

EVERY player coming off their ELC must sign a salary controlled contract or they will choose brighter lights, more often than not.

To establish this business principles with Puljujarvi is much more valuable than a 2nd round pick.

Play for the Oilers or stay on Europe is the only option for JP.

Harpers Hair

Terry Jones (@byterryjones) Tweeted:
A wise international hockey man told me when I was in Europe for the last lockout: “If you’re going for the money, go to the KHL. If you’re going for the holiday, go to Switzerland. If you’re going for the hockey, go to Sweden.”

leadfarmer

That is going to be a lot of games this year for these young guys if they come back to the NHL this winter

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Trade down to add a low-1st and a 2nd, trade Puljujarvi for a couple picks, grab Greig/Reichel, Robins (he’s a must), and Finley/Evangelista.

Eh Team

leadfarmer: That is going to be a lot of games this year for these young guys if they come back to the NHL this winter

The NH: is pretty uncertain for next year too. Maybe much more realistic is a shortened season (like baseball) and same playoff set up as this year.

Elgin R

Tippet overthought it and got burned. He broke up the best line in hockey and started his second best goalie. Not the actions expected from a veteran coach.

JP: No GM has offered anything that Holland will take so what has changed? COVID cap? He has value to the Oilers over and above a selection of meh draft picks. Best case is JP decides to play for the Oilers this year (yes please). Even if he stays in Finland for another year he is still Kraken bait. Building an expansion team is generally a long process (Vegas excluded – great work by them) and having a talented 23 year-old RW is a good place to start.

This is the year to keep the powder dry. 2021 / 2022 is the season to go for it.

flyfish1168

All these players heading over I am concern. Let’s hope they arrive home healthy and safe.

Elgin R

Woogie63,

Absolutely. What is with GMs giving out big contacts after completion of a 3-year ELC? Player’s have no arbitration rights for their next contract, so offer a team-friendly long term deal or just the QO. They can play in the NHL or not – their choice.

JP: Cannot find his salary for last year with Karpat, but probably in the range of $150K – 200k Euros tax free. $200k Euros tax free is equal to less than a $500k salary (before taxes) in the NHL. Give him the choice: play for the Oilers for $1m x 1 or stay in Finland.

godot10

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
Trade down to add a low-1st and a 2nd, trade Puljujarvi for a couple picks, grab Greig/Reichel, Robins (he’s a must), and Finley/Evangelista.

The OIlers can draft a good centre at #14. A trade down means a winger. They can trade Puljujarvi and Benning and maybe Athanasiou for 2nd and 3rd round picks.

godot10

Elgin R:
Woogie63,

Absolutely.What is with GMs giving out big contacts after completion of a 3-year ELC?Player’s have no arbitration rights for their next contract, so offer a team-friendly long term deal or just the QO.They can play in the NHL or not – their choice.

JP:Cannot find his salary for last year with Karpat, but probably in the range of $150K – 200k Euros tax free.$200k Euros tax free is equal to less than a $500k salary (before taxes) in the NHL.Give him the choice:play for the Oilers for $1m x 1 or stay in Finland.

A $1 million dollar salary next year in the NHL is $700K in actual dollars…20% escrow, 10% deferment. 50% taxes…you end up with $350K.

godot10

Would the Blackhawks do Saad for Khaira to free up cap space?

Elgin R

godot10,

True – forgot about escrow etc. So the numbers are probably around $115k apart as $200k Euros is $235 USD and i am just guessing on JP’s Karpat salary.

However, if JP wants to make big NHL dollars in the future he has to come back at some point.

godot10

I think my prime target for the off-season is still Granlund.

I’d trade Neal for Turris if Nashville would retain 10%.

I’d trade Larsson for Anderssen.

Draft a centre at #14.

Woogie63

I see lots of interesting trading partners for the Oilers this year. The most interesting are;

Tampa Bay – they have to sign 8 players and $5.3M in free cap space, three of the RFA they need to sign are Sergachev, Cirelli and Mitchell – Something good has to give. They are not getting Shattenkirk, Bogosian for a Matt Benning contract next year, I don’t care how good the taxes are.

Ottawa – they have to sign 14 players and have $39.6M and 9 picks in the first 3 rounds. They had $19M of salary on injury reserve last year. – Those picks can be had for real NHL players.

Elgin R

godot10,

Brandan Saad makes $6m for 1 more year. Historic per 82 is 29.5 pts at 5 x 5 with 50.6% OZ starts lat two years (per hockey-reference). Would be a nice add but not at $6m. I would rather Nygard / Ennis / AA played those minutes. Also, if Holland does not sign Sheahan, Khaira will be needed for PK.

Woogie63

Elgin R,

2016 Draft Class – top 10 how are they getting paid

Matthews $11.6M
Laine $6.7M
Dubois $.897M – new contract in the $6M range?
Puljujarvi $.300 Euro
Juolevi .$863M
Tkachuk $7.0M
Keller $7.1M
Nylander $.863M
Sergachev $.894 – new contract in the $5M range
Jost $.885

No way to increase his salary unless he works with Holland, everyone can see money is left on the table. I wonder how long until JP fires his agent, the agent has badly over played their hand.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Elgin R:
Woogie63,

Absolutely.What is with GMs giving out big contacts after completion of a 3-year ELC?Player’s have no arbitration rights for their next contract, so offer a team-friendly long term deal or just the QO.They can play in the NHL or not – their choice.

JP:Cannot find his salary for last year with Karpat, but probably in the range of $150K – 200k Euros tax free.$200k Euros tax free is equal to less than a $500k salary (before taxes) in the NHL.Give him the choice:play for the Oilers for $1m x 1 or stay in Finland.

yup. Tough love.

JimmyV1965

Elgin R:
godot10,

Brandan Saad makes $6m for 1 more year.Historic per 82 is 29.5 pts at 5 x 5 with 50.6% OZ starts lat two years (per hockey-reference).Would be a nice add but not at $6m.I would rather Nygard / Ennis / AA played those minutes.Also, if Holland does not sign Sheahan, Khaira will be needed for PK.

Saad is 46th in EV pts in the NHL with 196 since the 2015-16 season. We are not getting him for Khaira.

godot10

JimmyV1965: Saad is 46th in EV pts in the NHL with 196 since the 2015-16 season. We are not getting him for Khaira.

Chicago is extremely cap-stressed.

DieHard

Don’t see why JP can’t return a late 1st. Ready made top 9 or better. Could be better odds of success than that late first. I really don’t think he’ll play for us.

JimmyV1965

godot10: Chicago is extremely cap-stressed.

There are many many teams that could easily offer more. A second round pick would have more value. The only value Khaira brings is the PK. He scored 6 goals this year with 4 of them coming in a six-game span in November. Beyond meh.

dustrock

If the NHL isn’t coming back until Jan/Feb, then it makes sense for guys like Bouchard to play anywhere.

flea

Wondering if JP would be a decent return in a Matt Murray trade. I think they’d have to bundle a pick too so likely they move out another guy to get that 2nd rounder. JP/2nd rounder for Murray

I really want the Oilers to get Murray, think it would be a perfect fit.

Who knows, maybe the Kraken take Koskinen in the expansion draft too. They’ll need a goalie and Koskinen is a short term, low risk option who has good numbers.

Munny

godot10: Chicago is extremely cap-stressed.

I’d been thinking for weeks about what it would take to get Strome out of there.

OriginalPouzar

“Jones doesn’t play top-4D yet but he showed he can when the team trades one of Klefbom or Nurse. I don’t think that day arrives in 2020.”

I agree with this. I think there is a general fan/media “over-reaction” to the play of Klef, Nurse (and Larsson) in the play-in round. Don’t get me wrong, it was not good, not even close to good enough and I’m not excusing it, however, its simply not representative of their general levels of play.

The depth on the left side is an asset and, at some point, will be used as acquisition assets but, as far as trading from the top end, I believe they need some more development/establishment from the likes of Jones.

Filling in well (very well) for Klef in 10 games is not akin to replacing 25 minutes of ice time in all-situation per night.

OriginalPouzar

“Even strength must have been a mess. McLellan’s first team was 155-188, -33. Tippett’s, in fewer games of course, went 160-173, -13. Improved, but plenty of work to do.”

I would note that, if I remember correctly, this was MUCH improved in 2020 after Kailer’s call-up and Drai moved off McDavid’s wing.

More improvement is clearly needed but that started to happen earlier this calendar year – the acquisition of a couple offensive wingers at the deadline was supposed to help – we wait on AA.

Material Elvis

DieHard:
Don’t see why JP can’t return a late 1st. Ready made top 9 or better. Could be better odds of success than that late first. I really don’t think he’ll play for us.

Your last sentence sums it up: he won’t play for the team who drafted him. There are many GM’s across the league who wouldn’t even considered trading for a guy like that, never mind parting with a first rounder for him. He didn’t score well enough to create that demand.

SwedishPoster

They keep finding good spots for the guys. Allsvenskan allows for short term contracts so Bouchard will be back for camp. It’s a much more open league compared to the SHL so he should thrive with his offensive skills, it’s ofc a step down in quality vs the SHL, pretty close in pace but not nearly as tactical, wouldn’t be surprised if he could be near ppg if given the ice time. That’s an if though, the short term guys are likely not the no 1 priority, he’s going to get top 4 minutes I’m sure, he should be too good for them to not give him proper toi, but I doubt he gets really big minutes. Can’t really build around someone who leaves mid-season. Unless he’s so much better than the alternatives that they’d be stupid not to play the crap out of him.

Allsvenskan is an underrated league, not that far off finnish Liiga in quality, the top teams in Finland are clearly better but the bottom teams in Liiga and Allsvenskan top teams are pretty close.

I wouldn’t say it’s an ideal spot but considering how many players there are out there searching for a place to play this fall it’s pretty damn impressive by Holland et al.

Södertälje isn’t that far off Stockholm so if they start letting people into the stands I’ll try to go see a game. There’s talk of letting crowds of 500 into games starting october, they’ll probably just allow season ticket holders in though so it’s doubtful I could find myself a seat but we’ll see.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Munny,

Would Strome really be more likely to get traded than (say) Saad? He seems like such a good fit, and the right age to grow with the team.

I’d say that would be a counter productive cap dump, but they’ve shed enough talent after their recent annual Cup runs to make even an Oilers fan blush.

Panarin
Saad
Byfuglien
Sharp
Ladd
Leddy
Teräväinen
Hjalmarsson
Campbell
Niemi

Et cetera.

Oh my.

Maybe Bowman would gift us a win.

Primetime

I’m not sure if the 2021 expansion draft enters Holland’s mind at all this offseason, but it is interesting to consider potential consequences for the Oil. Interested on people’s initial thoughts on best course of action.

Current Players to protect:

FWD: McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH (assuming signed), Yamamoto
D: Klefbom, Nurse, Bear (I wouldn’t protect Larson even if re-signed)

So would you go 8-1 or 7-3-1 from here?

If you trade for another forward (eg.Domi, Granlund, Ehlers) you will be forced to go 7-3-1 and risk losing Caleb Jones (if one of the top 3 D is not part of the trade)

If you make no new acquisitions of consequence, would protecting Jones (8-1) be smarter than risking one of JP or AA? Are those 2 worth protecting more than Jones?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Primetime,

Bottom pairing defensemen typically play more than 3rd line forwards.

Parse that for value as you will.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
“Even strength must have been a mess. McLellan’s first team was 155-188, -33. Tippett’s, in fewer games of course, went 160-173, -13. Improved, but plenty of work to do.”

I would note that, if I remember correctly, this was MUCH improved in 2020 after Kailer’s call-up and Drai moved off McDavid’s wing.

More improvement is clearly needed but that started to happen earlier this calendar year – the acquisition of a couple offensive wingers at the deadline was supposed to help – we wait on AA.

Yup.

With Kailer Yamamoto (last 30 team games):
69GF-65GA +4 goals 51.5GF% (12th of 31 teams)

Good arrows post Christmas, aside from that last bit.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Munny,

To CHI:
Koskinen ($4.5M), JP’s rights, EDM 2020 3rd round pick via CGY (due to condition of CHI receiving the highest 2020 3rd held by CGY)

To EDM:
Crawford’s rights, Strome’s rights

That’s it.

The loss of CHI’s 3C is clearly contingent on Shaw returning next season to take over from Strome.

Guaranteed win for Bowman on paper day 1, but big time potential paydirt for Holland if the negotiations go well. Plus we sort of get to stick it to CGY in the process, so that’s always a plus. Clearly due diligence would have to be undertaken but there’s potential value for both sides. Or maybe I’ve lost the plot.

*note: I have not considered how we’d fit the incoming contract extensions into our cap scheme, but that’s the sort of thing you’d make work. Non?

Munny

BornInAGretzkyJersey: Would Strome really be more likely to get traded than (say) Saad?

Oh Gord, no. But he’s the name I would be pushing for.

In the “rush for the exits”, it all depends on which GMs are lucky enough to make it through the exits first. Will the Hawks move quick enough to make the deal they want to make… or will they be forced into making a deal they don’t want to make?

You have to have several of these conversations going around the League so you can take advantage of whichever ones turn out to be the unlucky.

OriginalPouzar

Marc: I hope that JP joins the team and doubt they can get anything close to equivalent value in a trade.

That said, the expansion draft means that even if he joins the team JP is unlikely to be an Oiler for more than one season. Or if he is then Jones is not.

There’s an argument for turning 1 year of JP into something that at least has the potential to be around a lot longer.

On the other hand a contending team should happily lose a player for nothing if that player makes them materially better, which JP absolutely could.

I agree with the beginning of your post – best case scenario in my opinion is for Jesse to come to camp, presumably earn a roster spot and put together a solid NHL season (or maybe even a great NHL season). The current trade value is dwarfed by the potential on-ice value.

I understand the concerns and premise regarding the expansion draft. With that said, if Jesse does put together a season that warrants his protection over the likes of AA, Benson, Kassian, etc (i.e. the fifth forward protected) and in the conversation with Jones, etc., that would mean there is very good trade value there which would open up certain options:

1) trade Jesse for value (given increased value) and stick with 4-4-1

2) if Jones has indeed taken that next step, perhaps a trade of one of Jones, Klef or Nurse makes sense next off-season

DieHard

Primetime:
I’m not sure if the 2021 expansion draft enters Holland’s mind at all this offseason, but it is interesting to consider potential consequences for the Oil.Interested on people’s initial thoughts on best course of action.

Current Players to protect:

FWD: McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH (assuming signed), Yamamoto
D: Klefbom, Nurse, Bear (I wouldn’t protect Larson even if re-signed)

So would you go 8-1 or 7-3-1 from here?

If you trade for another forward (eg.Domi, Granlund, Ehlers) you will be forced to go 7-3-1 and risk losing Caleb Jones (if one of the top 3 D is not part of the trade)

If you make no new acquisitions of consequence, would protecting Jones (8-1) be smarter than risking one of JP or AA? Are those 2 worth protecting more than Jones?

And, what if AA pops and scores 24-30 goals and looks good and comfortable on Connors wing?

London Jon

flyfish1168:
All these players heading over I am concern. Let’s hope they arrive home healthy and safe.

Europe can be a very scary place – the sheer beauty and style of the Swedes, male and female, has driven many a young man mad (or just to very joyous distraction)

JOFA

When is Holland going to find a place for Benson in Europe?

DieHard

OriginalPouzar: I agree with the beginning of your post – best case scenario in my opinion is for Jesse to come to camp, presumably earn a roster spot and put together a solid NHL season (or maybe even a great NHL season). The current trade value is dwarfed by the potential on-ice value.

I understand the concerns and premise regarding the expansion draft. With that said, if Jesse does put together a season that warrants his protection over the likes of AA, Benson, Kassian, etc (i.e. the fifth forward protected) and in the conversation with Jones, etc., that would mean there is very good trade value there which would open up certain options:

1) trade Jesse for value (given increased value) and stick with 4-4-1

2) if Jones has indeed taken that next step, perhaps a trade of one of Jones, Klef or Nurse makes sense next off-season

It’s too confusing. Trade Jesse for value? Return being something not needing protection. The trade partner needing to protect. I believe a top4 LHD must go. Russell as backup. Maybe trade for vet in-season if need be.