The Up Escalator

by Lowetide

Ken Holland didn’t draft any of the Bakersfield Condors who received a call to Edmonton in 2019-20, but the usage of Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Kailer Yamamoto, William Lagesson and Tyler Benson does fall in line with the “Detroit” development model. How many Condors will we see in 2020-21?

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.

FROM THE STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD

Bear, Yamamoto and Jones played major roles in the Oilers season, a second place finish in the Pacific Division. Just one first-round pick in the group, also a good sign. Here is a list of players who could see action with the Oilers in 2020-21, and who played in Bakersfield a year ago. On-ice estimates and even strength goal differentials via Eric Rodgers.

I expect both defensemen will get playing time, and Benson has a clear shot at this point because the LW depth chart is not strong after Nuge and Tyler Ennis. McLeod is interesting. He looks blocked by 97-29-Turris-Khaira-Haas but things can change and I do think the Oilers are higher on McLeod than they are on Benson.

This is the group who arrived in the NHL during the final three seasons Holland was part of the DRW organization. There were more who auditioned, but the Red Wings, who are in rebuild mode, found some good players and brought them to the NHL in timely fashion. Some pain in there, but Filip Hronek (second-round pick) appears to be a big fly. Detroit is solving problems through the draft and college/entry free-agent options. This is your future, Edmonton.

What does that mean? Look to the draft. Dylan Holloway might be the solution on left wing two years from now, with placeholders like Tyler Ennis and Joakim Nygard brought in to eat Tyler Benson’s job (the No. 2 LW position should be the one Benson slides into during 2020-21).

HOLLAND TUNNEL

Holland’s additions to the 50-man are in grey. Many of these names are former DRW draft picks or players, the latest being Alan Quine. He has procured five centers, the most of any position, and four left wingers and both areas make sense. I think his next move is trading a right winger for a left winger, after that it’ll be PTO’s for training camp I expect.

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145 comments

Brantford Boy October 18, 2020 - 8:52 am

This is a very inspiring post today in my opinion LT…

The guys on the streets aren’t blocked but yet stuck in traffic waiting for the light to change.

I can’t disagree with your statement about the Oilers being higher on McLeod than they are on Benson. Centres, centre and wing… Wingers, wing… that’s it…

I believe at one time or another (I suspect it was really evident in 2010-2019) most here were envious of the DRW model for prospects as opposed to bringing them in to start the season. I’m happy our organization is moving in this direction… over ripen, that’s the key.

The real reason for my optimism today is the 50 man list… along with the expansion, Holland is going to have some serious money to spend after next season, and that’s when, I believe, he really cements his name on this team. Just gotta get those old contracts gone, make room for the kids and keep on pushing.

Glovjuice October 18, 2020 - 8:53 am

The incomparable Martina Navratilova as well as Wyntan Marsalis, Peter Boyle, Pierre Trudeau, Jean Claud Van Dam, Howard Shore, Mike Ditka, Glovjuice (50), and most importantly the mighty Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth came out this day in 1988.

DBO October 18, 2020 - 9:05 am

Was looking for trade partners who could use cap relief this or next year and who could solve our LW depth and Klefbom replacement, especially if he is done. Found one partner .

Carolina
They need some cap to sign a few this year but mostly for next year when they have big RFA’s to sign.

Dzingel ($3.375 last year of deal)and Gardiner ($4.1 for 3 years). Get speedy goal scoring LW and a Klefbom salary and position replacement .
For
Russell and Chiasson
Carolina considers it cause they save Gardiner’s cap next year and enough this year to stay under cap. And both Russell and Chiasson slot in where they are supposed to in Carolina.

Oilers consider it cause Dzingel is a great fit and comes off cap next year and Gardiner (poor man’s Klefbom) can be exposed in expansion draft and take up klefboms cap while allowing us to not rush Jones or Broberg. And he is a clear upgrade on Russell.

Could work well for both teams.

Oil2Oilers October 18, 2020 - 9:21 am

If Benson can slide into a 2LW role the Oilers would be cooking with induction, not gas, in there top 9. He brings many of the skills Nuge has, passing and vision, let’s hope this summers training and some fine European cooking has him fleet footed come camp.

Nuge-McDavid-Kassian
Benson-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Ennis-Turris-Puljuarvi

That’s fricken unicorn central, with the hope that Puljujarvi can move into Kassian’s spot one day.

Glovjuice October 18, 2020 - 9:25 am

The incomparable Martina Navratilova as well as Wyntan Marsalis, Peter Boyle, Pierre Trudeau, Jean Claude Van Damme, Howard Shore, Mike Ditka, Glovjuice (50), and most importantly the mighty Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth came out this day in 1988.

hunter1909 October 18, 2020 - 9:30 am

Ask Tippett?

His use of making a high level regular season divisional/Conference team, given few options other than to use whatever he ended up doing was a mini masterpiece of head coaching I haven’t seen this millennium lol

hunter1909 October 18, 2020 - 9:33 am

The last person I am going to tar and feather over the Oilers abysmal “play in” where they got smacked by the Chicago Blackhawks is Tippett.

If anyone cares to analyse the entire Oilers roster in light of the debacle, citing all of the best and accessible data…

hunter1909 October 18, 2020 - 9:35 am

Oil2Oilers: That’s fricken unicorn central, with the hope that Puljujarvi can move into Kassian’s spot one day.

He would be better served if he arrives in better humor and makes the top 6, in my opinion.

*optimistic fan*

defmn October 18, 2020 - 9:39 am

You could colour Puljujarvi’s rectangle in grey as well and not be completely wrong. He certainly did more work to bring him in than his predecessor.

godot10 October 18, 2020 - 9:56 am

DBO:
Was looking for trade partners who could use cap relief this or next year and who could solve our LW depth and Klefbom replacement, especially if he is done. Found one partner .

Carolina
They need some cap to sign a few this year but mostly for next year when they have big RFA’s to sign.

Dzingel ($3.375 last year of deal)and Gardiner ($4.1 for 3 years). Get speedy goal scoring LW and a Klefbom salary and position replacement .
For
Russell and Chiasson
Carolina considers it cause they save Gardiner’s cap next year and enough this year to stay under cap. And both Russell and Chiasson slot in where they are supposed to in Carolina.

Oilers consider it cause Dzingel is a great fit and comes off cap next year and Gardiner (poor man’s Klefbom) can be exposed in expansion draft and take up klefboms cap while allowing us to not rush Jones or Broberg. And he is a clear upgrade on Russell.

Could work well for both teams.

I like Russell and Kassian for Dzingel and Gardner better. I expect the Oilers might have to add a Berglund to a Carolina deal.

Another possible Russell deal is Philadelphia.

Russell for Gostisbehere (modulo stuff on either side). Same concept. The left wing is less obvious, unless Philly is willing to retain 50% on somebody (with Kassian or Chiasson going the other way).

Bryan October 18, 2020 - 9:57 am

defmn:
You could colour Puljujarvi’s rectangle in grey as well and not be completely wrong. He certainly did more work to bring him in than his predecessor.

Absolutely

godot10 October 18, 2020 - 9:59 am

Holland signed Kassian to that abominable new contract, so he own him too.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 10:01 am

I know that’s a depth chart as oppossed to set lines and we are all probably going to get sick of talking about Nuge with McDavid vs. not breaking up the Drai line vs. needing a winger for McDavid vs. etc.

The left wing situation is somewhat fluid but what if, just if, the Nygard/McDavid 52 minutes numbers (6:1 goals without Drai) are real? Allows Nuge to stay with Drai and Kailer and creates a hell of a skilled offensive third with Ennis/Turris and either Jesse or Kass.

Now, are those Nygard/McDavid numbers real? Probably not but its Sunday morning in July, er, October so, what if.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 10:11 am

Bouch with a PP assist on the winning goal (3-2).

He led the team in TOI over 22 minutes – had 3 shots on goal and, get this 1-0 on faceoffs.

DBO October 18, 2020 - 10:18 am

godot10,

I’d rather Kassian as well, but Carolina needs serious cap room next year, so Chiasson is the fit.

Also wonder if they circle back to Athanasiou on a 1 year for Ennis money if they can’t make a trade.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 10:18 am

jp: A couple of things on this.

The Oilers success since McDavid and Draisaitl were split up (6th in the league in Points%, 12th in 5v5 GF% (51.5%GF), after being 28th (43.9%GF) in the first 41 games). I think that’s as much due to having two 50% even strength lines as it is to the magic that Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto found.

McDavid didn’t outscore, but his lines (non-Drai, non-Nuge) were 50%GF in the last 30 games. And the TOI the Oilers had to play as a team without McDavid or Draisaitl on the ice dropped to 21:38 per game (it was 28 minutes per game in the first 41 games of this season and was about 25:30 in the 2 seasons before this one).

McDavid was *only* 50%GF on his own in 2020 but he was positive (54% GF) on the season without Nuge or Draisaitl.

I think the lines will be fluid, as Material Elvis said earlier, but if Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto keep outscoring well enough then McDavid should still be able to win his minutes without them, IMO

I wanted to respond to this.

I think we’ve had this almost identical conversation before – I don’t think either of us are wrong.

Yes, the Oilers had a huge uptick in 5 on 5 goal differential in 2020 but, really, we know that the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line will not be a 77% goal share line going forward. Even suggesting 60% is probably a bit fanatical. Somewhere in the 55% goal range going forward is likely reasonably sustainable.

When that line regresses to normal levels (and I mean normal levels given they are made of very good players and will be a very good line), McDavid at 50% isn’t good enough for success – in particular if the PP isn’t running near 30% (and I think its fanatical to not think that will come down a bit) or the PP doesn’t get league best goalering from Mike Smith (for real – he led the league in PK save percentage).

The Oilers were great in 2020 but I don’t think the “way they were winning” was sustainable give a couple unsustainable metrics.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 10:21 am

Gerta Rauss: You’re not wrong, your numbers are spot on

I think though, given your conditions of no more trades, no more signings, Kenny would call up a $700k contract from the AHL(Patrick Russell) prior to submitting the roster, and we’d be about $30k under the cap

That would give us essentially the full Klefbom LTIR cushion of $4.1 and another $700 of cap space when you send PRussell back to the AHL

If you subtract about $2.3M to sign Bear and Lagesson,that leaves about $2.5M of walking around money, all of it by using the LTIR cushion(meaning, we’re over the cap)

And you’ve got to leave at least $1M for AHL callups when injuries happen – so really, a $1M – $1.5M player is all that is realistic- and this is AFTER the season starts

I don’t think it’ll unfoldwith the above scenario however, the Oilers will want Bear and Lagesson signed before training camp, but the number ($2.5M) won’t change much either way you slice it

This would be optimal.

Is there a chance that Bear and Lagesson agree to sign deals after the start of the season but attend camp with additional insurance retained? Its happened but I think its VERY rare.

There are going to be legit NHL players unsigned heading in to the season – even the AAs of the world may be able to be obtained in the $1.5M range.

I don’t see this happening. We will likely see the Lagesson and Bear signings this month I think.

Of note, QOs terminate this afternoon.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 10:24 am

jp: I wondered how much of Draisaitl’s on ice SH% was due to playing with McDavid.

Over the last 3 seasons without McDavid, Draisaitl (in 1811 minutes) has an 8.67% on ice SH%, a .903 SV% and a .990 PDO (this is including the red hot 2020 run).

Should we expect Draisaitl to drive percentages at all? (I feel like that line may continue to, but it seems none of the members really have a history of it (playing with McDavid aside).

Drai needs to learn to stop hitting the post and putting the puck a couple inches over —– the would increase his shooting percentage (although posts/crossbars don’t count as shots on net – nor should they, they weren’t going in – goalie didn’t need to save them).

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 10:25 am

jp: I think it was Willis who wrote about McDavid’s struggle vs Chicago during the season.

In the end we’re just guessing at the elements that went into Tippett’s decision. This one brings the changing lines decision closer to being a defensable one but as you say, some of those data points should probably just been thrown out. And of course things didn’t work out well when the games were played.

Smith starting, then not getting pulled, yeah that remains a concern big one.

I don’t think Chicago as the opponent played much in to it. Reason being that Coach T. broke up the line and gave Nuge to McDavid for the last couple games in March – without any knowledge of Chicago being an important future opponent in August…..

Cassandra October 18, 2020 - 10:33 am

DBO:
Was looking for trade partners who could use cap relief this or next year and who could solve our LW depth and Klefbom replacement, especially if he is done. Found one partner .

Carolina
They need some cap to sign a few this year but mostly for next year when they have big RFA’s to sign.

Dzingel ($3.375 last year of deal)and Gardiner ($4.1 for 3 years). Get speedy goal scoring LW and a Klefbom salary and position replacement .
For
Russell and Chiasson
Carolina considers it cause they save Gardiner’s cap next year and enough this year to stay under cap. And both Russell and Chiasson slot in where they are supposed to in Carolina.

Oilers consider it cause Dzingel is a great fit and comes off cap next year and Gardiner (poor man’s Klefbom) can be exposed in expansion draft and take up klefboms cap while allowing us to not rush Jones or Broberg. And he is a clear upgrade on Russell.

Could work well for both teams.

Why in the world would Carolina do this?

Contrary to your assertions, they have plenty of room under the cap. And even if they didn’t why would they trade two useful players for two less useful players. All to save one season of Gardiner’s contract.

That would be plum crazy for a badly run team. And Carolina is pretty close to the best run team in the league.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 11:01 am

Leavins using his #1 slot to speculate that Holland might have his eye on Madison Bowey – a RD that Detroit did not qualify,

Leavins seems to have some kind of insider info when it comes to the OIlers so I would put this somewhere between ‘likely’ and ‘just made up’.

I really don’t know anything about the guy or why Detroit let him walk.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 11:05 am

Where is that edit button.

Got distracted and posted without re-reading. I should not have said ‘just made up’ since I don’t think Leavins has ever done that. More like ‘speculation based upon a whisper’ would be closer.

McSorley33 October 18, 2020 - 11:08 am

If Chaser and Russell are put in waivers, does anyone claim them?

pts2pndr October 18, 2020 - 11:11 am

OriginalPouzar: Drai needs to learn to stop hitting the post and putting the puck a couple inches over —– the would increase his shooting percentage (although posts/crossbars don’t count as shots on net – nor should they, they weren’t going in – goalie didn’t need to save them).

The difference between off the bar and in versus off the goal post is depending on the angle 1.5 inches or less off the cross bar even less. The accuracy of today’s elite goal scorers is incredible! They make it look easy but it isn’t in game play. Think the difference in target shooting compared to accuracy when the target shoots back.😉

McSorley33 October 18, 2020 - 11:19 am

defmn:
Leavins using his #1 slot to speculate that Holland might have his eye on Madison Bowey – a RD that Detroit did not qualify,

Leavins seems to have some kind of insider info when it comes to the OIlers so I would put this somewhere between ‘likely’ and ‘just made up’.

I really don’t know anything about the guy or why Detroit let him walk.

If true, this shows Kenny is having trouble with his addiction to his former players….

Hoping Kenny can expand his horizon and explore what some other teams in the league may have to offer

godot10 October 18, 2020 - 11:20 am

McSorley33:
If Chaser and Russell are put in waivers, does anyone claim them?

Russell cannot be put on waivers. He has a NMC this year with his 15 team no trade clause.

Thanks again #Chiapet.

hunter1909 October 18, 2020 - 11:20 am

pts2pndr: Think the difference in target shooting compared to accuracy when the target shoots back.

I used to make .177 calibre lead mini-bullet rifle pits in my parents basement as a child.

When shooting at your toys 200-300X in a day there are enough ricochets that you usually end up getting it in the face 2-3 times.

Material Elvis October 18, 2020 - 11:22 am

McSorley33:
If Chaser and Russell are put in waivers, does anyone claim them?

I don’t think so. Russell would be the most likely because $2.5M of his salary has already been paid. You could put Kassian in that group, too.

Material Elvis October 18, 2020 - 11:23 am

McSorley33: If true, this shows Kenny is having trouble with his addiction to his former players….

Hoping Kenny can expand his horizon and explore what some other teams in the league may have to offer

Are you saying he has ‘Holland Tunnel Vision’?

cowboy bill October 18, 2020 - 11:25 am

BLH may have hit the nail on the head with the thought of the Oil acquiring Nick Ritchie from the Bruin for Alex Chaisson . He may not be quick enough to play on a line with McDavid , besides Kassian plays that role . But Leon needs a LW if they decide to leave Nuge with McDavid . How would this look for a top six ?

Nuge-McDavid-Kassian
Ritchie-Leon-Yamomoto
Ennis-Turris-JP
Nygard-Haas-Archibald
Neal-Khaira

Scungilli Slushy October 18, 2020 - 11:25 am

godot10:
Holland signed Kassian to that abominable new contract, so he own him too.

I would be very surprised if Holland moves Kassian.

His scoring numbers are decent. He is a wildcard and that’s exactly the point.

Unfortunately the NHL reffing means most teams still want knuckles on the team. Those types that are great skaters, can play top 6 and put up decent numbers are rare, hence the contract.

That neither Kassian or Nurse were physical against Chicago I think had more to do with the reffing than their will. The Oilers took a lot of weak calls and the Hawks seemed to get a pass. Coaches.

Jaxon October 18, 2020 - 11:28 am

Question. If the Oilers were to trade Russell and retain 500,00 or even 1,500,000 what salary would the acquiring team be paying him with his 4m cap hit?

Jaxon October 18, 2020 - 11:29 am

Chiasson looks like a decent buyout option. Saves you about $1.4m in cap and is only a $700k cap hit next year.

pts2pndr October 18, 2020 - 11:32 am

OriginalPouzar: I wanted to respond to this.

I think we’ve had this almost identical conversation before – I don’t think either of us are wrong.

Yes, the Oilers had a huge uptick in 5 on 5 goal differential in 2020 but, really, we know that the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line will not be a 77% goal share line going forward.Even suggesting 60% is probably a bit fanatical. Somewhere in the 55% goal range going forward is likely reasonably sustainable.

When that line regresses to normal levels (and I mean normal levels given they are made of very good players and will be a very good line), McDavid at 50% isn’t good enough for success – in particular if the PP isn’t running near 30% (and I think its fanatical to not think that will come down a bit) or the PP doesn’t get league best goalering from Mike Smith (for real – he led the league in PK save percentage).

The Oilers were great in 2020 but I don’t think the “way they were winning” was sustainable give a couple unsustainable metrics.

I understand your thought about the power play and regression but how many teams have three centers on their power plays? Each of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge are elite passers who can beat an opposition player one on one. They have a consummate net front presence player. The only member of the power play that could be higher skilled would be Klefbom and they now have increased offensive skill available in Barrie at that position. Because of the three centres they are almost impossible to stop through the neutral zone. Once set up it is just a matter of what they set up to get a two on one down low or a clean shot with the goalie screened. There is no reason to think they will regress in the short term.

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 11:40 am

Jaxon:
Chiasson looks like a decent buyout option. Saves you about $1.4m in cap and is only a $700k cap hit next year.

The Oilers cannot buy him out because the second buyout window is only available to teams that are going to arbitration with a player.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 11:42 am

pts2pndr: I understand your thought about the power play and regression but how many teams have three centers on their power plays? Each of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge are elite passers who can beat an opposition player one on one. They have a consummate net front presence player. The only member of the power play that could be higher skilled would be Klefbom and they now have increased offensive skill available in Barrie at that position. Because of the three centres they are almost impossible to stop through the neutral zone. Once set up it is just a matter of what they set up to get a two on one down low or a clean shot with the goalie screened. There is no reason to think they will regress in the short term.

Agreed. If there is any concern it would be more short handed goals with Barrie being more offensively involved than Klefbom.

pts2pndr October 18, 2020 - 11:43 am

hunter1909: I used to make .177 calibre lead mini-bullet rifle pits in my parents basement as a child.

When shooting at your toys 200-300X in a day there are enough ricochets that you usually end up getting it in the face 2-3 times.

Bright bored minds are extremely inventive in all things forbidden and or dangerous.😉

pts2pndr October 18, 2020 - 11:45 am

defmn: Agreed. If there is any concern it would be more short handed goals with Barrie being more offensively involved than Klefbom.

I do believe short handed goals against will go up!

McSorley33 October 18, 2020 - 11:47 am

Material Elvis: Are you saying he has ‘Holland Tunnel Vision’?

Lol!

€√¥£€^$ October 18, 2020 - 11:49 am

McSorley33:
If Chaser and Russell are put in waivers, does anyone claim them?

Not really relevant, the contracts, not whether or not they are seen as a good player is the issue. 30 teams would have claimed Tyler Johnson if his cap hit was $1,000,000.

We’ve also seen unclaimed waiver players who are then traded a week or 2 later.

pts2pndr October 18, 2020 - 11:49 am

Material Elvis: Are you saying he has ‘Holland Tunnel Vision’?

👏👏👏👌

leadfarmer October 18, 2020 - 11:51 am

Either Neal should be in that 3rd LW slot or they should have bought him out.

Orion October 18, 2020 - 11:54 am

Brantford Boy:
This is a very inspiring post today in my opinion LT…

The guys on the streets aren’t blocked but yet stuck in traffic waiting for the light to change.

I can’t disagree with your statement about the Oilers being higher on McLeod than they are on Benson.Centres, centre and wing… Wingers, wing… that’s it…

I believe at one time or another (I suspect it was really evident in 2010-2019) most here were envious of the DRW model for prospects as opposed to bringing them in to start the season.I’m happy our organization is moving in this direction… over ripen, that’s the key.

The real reason for my optimism today is the 50 man list… along with the expansion, Holland is going to have some serious money to spend after next season, and that’s when, I believe, he really cements his name on this team.Just gotta get those old contracts gone, make room for the kids and keep on pushing.

I’m not sure how much money Holland will have next year.

If you go with a pretty basic starting point:

– sign Nuge for $7M, Barrie for $5.5M, Bear & Yamamoto $3M
– resign Ennis, Haas, Nygard for the same amount as 20/21
– fill out the roster with Benson, Khaira, Lagesson, Smith and Bouchard at $750K / ELC

You end up with

Neal/McD/Kass
Nuge/Drai/Yamo
Ennis/Turris/Pulju
Nyg/Haas/Arch
Benson, Khaira

Nurse/Bear
Klef/Barrie
Jones/Bouch
Lagesson

Kosk/Smith

And the cap space is a little over $4M.

Assume 1-1.5M for wiggle room and there’s only 3M left, unless other moves are made.

€√¥£€^$ October 18, 2020 - 11:54 am

€√¥£€^$: Not really relevant, the contracts, not whether or not they are seen as a good player is the issue.30 teams would have claimed Tyler Johnson if his cap hit was $1,000,000.

We’ve also seen unclaimed waiver players who are then traded a week or 2 later.

Further to this, Holland knows these are desirable players in the opinions of other organizations; they have great attitudes, coaches love these vet player-types, so he won’t be just giving them away, I can’t think of players with I year left on relatively low dollar contracts like these, that were put on waivers to dump cap…… Perhaps someone else can refute this…

€√¥£€^$ October 18, 2020 - 12:01 pm

leadfarmer:
Either Neal should be in that 3rd LW slot or they should have bought him out.

I hope they don’t buy Neal out, unless there is only 1 year left on his contract. This team needs every cent of its capspace available to stock the roster with skill.

I wish they could dispose of Kassian’s contract. I am holding out hope for a Connolly/Kassian or Connor Brown trade….wishful thinking of course. Although there have been rumblings of Ottawa and Florida looking for more toughness. Ottawa probably has scratched that itch this summer though.

Also heard Carolina wanted to get tougher last year, but that didn’t materialize. I highly doubt Kassian would be on their list, unless they wanted a Tom Wilson deterrent….

€√¥£€^$ October 18, 2020 - 12:03 pm

Orion: I’m not sure how much money Holland will have next year.

If you go with a pretty basic starting point:

– sign Nuge for $7M, Barrie for $5.5M, Bear & Yamamoto $3M
– resign Ennis, Haas, Nygard for the same amount as 20/21
– fill out the roster with Benson, Khaira, Lagesson, Smith and Bouchard at $750K / ELC

You end up with

Neal/McD/Kass
Nuge/Drai/Yamo
Ennis/Turris/Pulju
Nyg/Haas/Arch
Benson, Khaira

Nurse/Bear
Klef/Barrie
Jones/Bouch
Lagesson

Kosk/Smith

And the cap space is a little over $4M.

Assume 1-1.5M for wiggle room and there’s only 3M left, unless other moves are made.

That is a vast improvement on recent years.

Cassandra October 18, 2020 - 12:12 pm

€√¥£€^$: Not really relevant, the contracts, not whether or not they are seen as a good player is the issue.30 teams would have claimed Tyler Johnson if his cap hit was $1,000,000.

We’ve also seen unclaimed waiver players who are then traded a week or 2 later.

It is a useful thought experiment, though. It tells you whether you have retain salary or take back a bad contract to trade them.

TB now knows that they have to retain salary to trade Johnson.

I think that given his base salary you could trade Russell for a 7th round pick without retaining any salary to a team like Ottawa. However, there are only so many teams in that situation, so maybe not.

But I suspect Holland isn’t even trying, which is a mistake. Dump Russell and pick up one or two of the many decent scoring forwards who are about to start begging for a job.

Cassandra October 18, 2020 - 12:17 pm

It will be interesting to see what Mikael Granlund signs for. That is going to be a nice value signing for whatever team gets him.

Kahun as well, for the Russell money you might even be able to get both by selling a cheap 1 yr contract on the wing with McDavid and Draisatl.

€√¥£€^$ October 18, 2020 - 12:17 pm

Cassandra: It is a useful thought experiment, though.It tells you whether you have retain salary or take back a bad contract to trade them.

TB now knows that they have to retain salary to trade Johnson.

I think that given his base salary you could trade Russell for a 7th round pick without retaining any salary to a team like Ottawa.However, there are only so many teams in that situation, so maybe not.

But I suspect Holland isn’t even trying, which is a mistake.Dump Russell and pick up one or two of the many decent scoring forwards who are about to start begging for a job.

But what about D depth?

Do you trust Larsson’s back? I don’t, not for a compressed schedule.

Eh Team October 18, 2020 - 12:29 pm

Cassandra: That would be plum crazy for a badly run team. And Carolina is pretty close to the best run team in the league.

We’re trying to pawn Russell off to one of the most analytical heavy teams in the league? Chances are < 0% of that happening.

Munny October 18, 2020 - 12:36 pm

Minor Quibble with the chart…

Holland added Lavoie as a RWer not a C. I know he still has a C beside his name from playing that position a few years ago, and in injury relief, but even the player doesn’t see himself as a Center and didn’t on draft day.

You know after The Coke Machine Drafts of the 2000s, I find it curious, almost ironic, that out of his three picks in the top two rounds thus far, Holly has added two quality power forwards.

Gonna be time to draft a C soon.

Cassandra October 18, 2020 - 12:36 pm

€√¥£€^$: But what about D depth?

Do you trust Larsson’s back?I don’t, not for a compressed schedule.

Russell doesn’t help you with that anyway, in any case the Oilers are four deep at RHD. This might be their strongest position for depth.

The risk is that this requires either Lagesson or Broberg to hold down third pairing minutes, and Jones to hold down top four minutes. I think they can.

And the gain is you now have a top nine that looks like this with many workable combinations. This is the best forward group in the NHL.

RNH/McDavid/Granlund
Kahun/Draisatl/Yamamoto
Ennis/Turris/Puljujarvi
Archibald/Haas/Kassian
Neal/Chiasson

LTIR Klefbom, get Granlund and Kahum for under 6 M (easily done in my opinion) and you still have more than a million to maneover.

If you were really savvy you could pick up Koekoek for LHD depth.

This may sound unrealistic but someone is going to get these players and be happy about it, and the Oilers if they could jettison Russell would have room for all three.

They won’t do it though, we know this, because they overvalue and are loyal to their veterans.

G Money October 18, 2020 - 12:37 pm

THERE ARE FOUR LINES

Sorry, I can’t help myself

Munny October 18, 2020 - 12:40 pm

leadfarmer:
Either Neal should be in that 3rd LW slot or they should have bought him out.

I don’t think where LT slots Neal has any effect on the Oilers buyout strategy.

I don’t think the Oilers’ buyout strategy has any effect on where LT slots Neal.

G Money October 18, 2020 - 12:43 pm

Here are my FOUR (scoring) LINES.

There’s lots of reasons why this wouldn’t work (Kassian cooled off as expected, Nygard’s injury, Neal’s age, etc), and the data is extremely thin in places, but I would try it nevertheless and see what works and what doesn’t.

Because why the hell wouldn’t you, when you can put Picard’s face everywhere with the caption THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES. (Sorry, I can’t help myself)

Of course Hockey Men would never do this, but I would. Then again, maybe I am a Hockey Man these days, I just don’t know.

Anyway, lines from last year with TOI, CF%, and DFF%:

Neal, Chiasson, Nuge: 120mins, 58%, 60%

Drai, Yamo, Ennis: 31mins, 55%, 63%

Nygard, Kassian, McDavid 30mins, 53%, 55%

Then I fasten together a fourth scoring line with Turris centring Puljujarvi and maybe Benson playing six to eight warm-butter-soft minutes a night and see what happens.

It might fail, but goddamn it, why not go for THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES. (Sorry, I can’t help myself)

Munny October 18, 2020 - 12:44 pm

G Money:
THERE ARE FOUR LINES

Sorry, I can’t help myself

Well there certainly was never five lines there, Gul Madred… if that is your real name…

G Money October 18, 2020 - 12:46 pm

Munny: if that is your real name…

My main concern is that you don’t start calling yourself G Munny, that would be … something …

Cassandra October 18, 2020 - 12:47 pm

I wonder if Gmoney can help himself?

G Money October 18, 2020 - 12:48 pm

Cassandra,

THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES

I can’t help myself

Munny October 18, 2020 - 12:52 pm

G Money: My main concern is that you don’t start calling yourself G Munny, that would be … something …

I’d probably have to go with something more original… like… Original Money!

G Money October 18, 2020 - 12:52 pm

Also, for those of you warped enough to want to dig into the data, here’s a data file with all of EDM’s lines last year with TOI/CF/DFF/GF:

https://app.box.com/s/rcrgc203e91q9kotadhjt6s3bglzyb80

This uses what I call ‘three hot’ format, where the line combinations are available both as named lines, but also with player names in columns with 1’s and 0’s. So if you have facility with Excel, you can use autofilter to easily find all of McDavid’s lines, or all of Draisaitl/Yamo’s lines, etc.

THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES

G Money October 18, 2020 - 12:53 pm

Munny,

*presses Like button*

leadfarmer October 18, 2020 - 1:00 pm

Munny: I don’t think where LT slots Neal has any effect on the Oilers buyout strategy.

I don’t think the Oilers’ buyout strategy has any effect on where LT slots Neal.

If all that you get out of Neal is a 4th line player he should have been bought out and replaced for 1 mil or less.
If they think hes a third line guy and wanted to keep him as net front presence and a mentor for JP I can at least understand that

godot10 October 18, 2020 - 1:05 pm

Munny: I’d probably have to go with something more original… like… Original Money!

Orignal Money is Gold, and nothing else. Bitcoin is the electrodollar…the hard money upgrade on the petrodollar (also called the eurodollar).

Eurodollars are actually lent into existence, and when a debt crisis comes along, every ends up short of them because of the malinvestment, so the Fed has to officially account fo them by “printing dollars”…

There will eventually be one gold blockchain ring, one ring to rule them all.

unca miltie October 18, 2020 - 1:08 pm

defmn,

Looks like WestJet is flying to Palm Spring out of Calgary now. I might get to see my motorhome next month. Have not seen it since January 28th. Are you thinking of going back or hanging out in Calgary?

Georgexs October 18, 2020 - 1:15 pm

OriginalPouzar: I wanted to respond to this.

I think we’ve had this almost identical conversation before – I don’t think either of us are wrong.

Yes, the Oilers had a huge uptick in 5 on 5 goal differential in 2020 but, really, we know that the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line will not be a 77% goal share line going forward.Even suggesting 60% is probably a bit fanatical. Somewhere in the 55% goal range going forward is likely reasonably sustainable.

When that line regresses to normal levels (and I mean normal levels given they are made of very good players and will be a very good line), McDavid at 50% isn’t good enough for success – in particular if the PP isn’t running near 30% (and I think its fanatical to not think that will come down a bit) or the PP doesn’t get league best goalering from Mike Smith (for real – he led the league in PK save percentage).

The Oilers were great in 2020 but I don’t think the “way they were winning” was sustainable give a couple unsustainable metrics.

“McDavid at 50% isn’t good enough for success…”

Season, CMD GF-GA (GF%), Oilers P%

16-17, 77-47 (62), .628
17-18, 81-61 (57), .476
18-19, 77-75 (51), .482
19-20, 62-58 (52), .585

Hard to tell how CMD’s 5v5 numbers affect results over the past four seasons. You see all four combinations (CMD does well/does not do well vs. Oilers do well/do not do well).

Sustainable success follows from good players deployed correctly throughout the lineup. The 16-17 team had a lot of good players and we had real potential in the West, but then we had the Sekera injury, the awful refereeing, and we always had TMac, an HC with a handsome record of getting less out of his lineups.

Without enough good players, you have to forget about sustainable, because success is elusive and fragile. You don’t have the luxury of a lot of formulas for winning. If you find one, you should thank the gods and leave it alone until it stops working. If it stops working, you look for something else.

Tippett found a formula for success. He had a line without CMD running hot, CMD holding his own, and the team winning. They had gone 5-3-2 in their last 10, 3-2 in their last 5, with 7 of those 10 games on the road.

I guess he decided that wasn’t sustainable. He tinkered with his lineup. His team subsequently went 1-1-1 in the regular season (2 of the 3 teams we played were not in the playoffs at the time). When play resumed, he stuck to his edits, won an exhibition game against the Flames then lost in 4 games in the play in round to a crappy CHI team (way, way out of the playoffs when the season was suspended).

Tippett was solving a problem the team didn’t yet have. He was getting ahead of himself and forgetting how fragile success is for a team with very little NHL depth.

William Karlsson went 67-30 in 17-18, I think playing with Marchessault and Smith. That was a 69 GF%. (The rest of the team was -17 at 5v5.) Definitely not sustainable. The following season Karlsson was 55-55. But Gerard didn’t break up the Karlsson line in 17-18 because he knew it wasn’t sustainable.

Going into the season, I had the sense that Tippett was a coach that would get more out of his lineups. That was part of his mantra. “There’s never an excuse for not winning.” “You have to put players in a position where they can succeed.” The mantra was great. It was working. And then…

To be better than typical, our team needs the HC to be better than typical. I don’t like how he handled things at the end. The game got away from him and from the team. We looked lost, not confident, not dangerous. Against an inferior opponent. It’s worrying.

The result with AA is also worrying and hopefully doesn’t foreshadow what to expect for JP.

Cassandra October 18, 2020 - 1:16 pm

leadfarmer: If all that you get out of Neal is a 4th line player he should have been bought out and replaced for 1 mil or less.
If they think hes a third line guy and wanted to keep him as net front presence and a mentor for JP I can at least understand that

It is even worse than. Neal’s only NHL quality skill right now is finishing. However, if he can’t get around the ice well enough to play with McDavid or Draisatl, then he can’t play on the fourth line either. There must be a dozens (hundreds) of players in the AHL or Europe who skate better than Neal. Put one of them on the fourth line to fly around and check like crazy. Even if their puck skills aren’t as good, who cares at least they can defend, puck skills don’t play if you can’t skate.

There are no scenarios where buying out Neal isn’t the right move. He isn’t an NHL player anymore and you can replace him easily.

Oil2Oilers October 18, 2020 - 1:22 pm

OriginalPouzar:
Bouch with a PP assist on the winning goal (3-2).

He led the team in TOI over 22 minutes – had 3 shots on goal and, get this 1-0 on faceoffs.

Bouchard’s ice time totals have been very promising. They consistently suggest he is playing 1 RHD. This is great for development and further suggest, what we all suspect, that he is ready for 3d pairing work in the NHL. A role the Oilers are well covered with, before injuries, even with out him.

Oil2Oilers October 18, 2020 - 1:24 pm

Munny: I’d probably have to go with something more original… like… Original Money!

A Steve Smith Memorial quality reply.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 1:26 pm

pts2pndr: The difference between off the bar and in versus off the goal post is depending on the angle 1.5 inches or less off the cross bar even less. The accuracy of today’s elite goal scorers is incredible! They make it look easy but it isn’t in game play. Think the difference in target shooting compared to accuracy when the target shoots back.

Of course – i was just making a joke because, in addition to being a back-to-back 50G scorer (essentially) he was at the lead league in posts/crossbars.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 1:33 pm

pts2pndr: I understand your thought about the power play and regression but how many teams have three centers on their power plays? Each of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge are elite passers who can beat an opposition player one on one. They have a consummate net front presence player. The only member of the power play that could be higher skilled would be Klefbom and they now have increased offensive skill available in Barrie at that position. Because of the three centres they are almost impossible to stop through the neutral zone. Once set up it is just a matter of what they set up to get a two on one down low or a clean shot with the goalie screened. There is no reason to think they will regress in the short term.

Oh, I get that and, of course, I think they will continue to be a top-end/elite PP but its tough to plan on the continuing to perform at the top levels in 40 years – there is luck, etc. involved in a PP being literally the best performing in almost half a century.

For sure, I expect them to be 25% plus an top 5 or top 3 or best in the league but 30% is a bit much to expect.

I also do have a concern with Barrie replacing Klefbom – not that he isn’t a better and more talented PP performer than Klef but, one of the main reasons the PP was so good last year is that it didn’t run through Klef at the point. Klef kept it simple, DIDN’T SHOOT as a primary, secondary or tertiary option but fed the side boards properly putting the puck in the hands of the legit PP QBs.

I fear more of a focus on Barrie will cause some issues – don’t get me wrong, he can and will open up more plays and make it even more dangerous but, like Klef, Barrie will need to learn that the PP doesn’t actually run through him.

I’m more excited for Barrie is an elite driver of offence at 5 on 5 than I am with him on the PP.

Brantford Boy October 18, 2020 - 1:43 pm

Orion,

And also buyouts against the cap… Pouliots is gone, Sekera’s is almost half of what it is now… and the ongoing Lucic’s contract… but who knows, maybe this money is just thrown right back on Neal’s buyout nullifying any savings.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 1:49 pm

Brantford Boy:
This is a very inspiring post today in my opinion LT…

The guys on the streets aren’t blocked but yet stuck in traffic waiting for the light to change.

I can’t disagree with your statement about the Oilers being higher on McLeod than they are on Benson.Centres, centre and wing… Wingers, wing… that’s it…

I believe at one time or another (I suspect it was really evident in 2010-2019) most here were envious of the DRW model for prospects as opposed to bringing them in to start the season.I’m happy our organization is moving in this direction… over ripen, that’s the key.

The real reason for my optimism today is the 50 man list… along with the expansion, Holland is going to have some serious money to spend after next season, and that’s when, I believe, he really cements his name on this team.Just gotta get those old contracts gone, make room for the kids and keep on pushing.

I think the offensive ceiling for Benson is higher than McLeod but who knows if he’ll hit the top 6 – it seems many have closed the door on him being a complimentary top 6 player in the NHL – I haven’t. To me, he actually has a great skill-set to play with McDavid – speed isn’t key but board work, skilled hands and smarts (knowing how to get the puck to McDavid with time and speed) – those are key. The NHL game may never slow down enough for him to play at that level but we just don’t know yet.

As far as McLeod over Benson – yup, center and, of course, speed – speed with size sparkles for managers.

Yes, as far as cap to spend next off-season, it should be more plentiful than we’ve seen but I still think the upper cap limit will be an issue – lots of money comes off the books but the likes of Nuge and Yamamoto and potentially Bear’s 3rd contract and Larssson or the 2RD replacement (be it Barrie or another) will eat up plenty. A 2nd goalie will be needed. Maybe there is room for that damn first line/top 6 scoring/2-way winger but maybe not.

One “key” will be Jones, Broberg, Samorukov and their development – they potentially move the likes of Klef and $4.1M or Nurse and $5.2M and deploy that money elsewhere.

Not sure how expansion figures in. The expansion fee doesn’t hit HRR so doesn’t effect the cap. There is almost zero chance the cap is over $82.5M for 2021/22 and likely still at $81.5M.

Brantford Boy October 18, 2020 - 2:07 pm

OriginalPouzar: One “key” will be Jones, Broberg, Samorukov and their development – they potentially move the likes of Klef and $4.1M or Nurse and $5.2M and deploy that money elsewhere.

Not sure how expansion figures in. The expansion fee doesn’t hit HRR so doesn’t effect the cap. There is almost zero chance the cap is over $82.5M for 2021/22 and likely still at $81.5M.

In short, it will always be money in, money out.

I agree, the money will probably be used on your “Nuge and Yamamoto and potentially Bear’s 3rd contract and Larssson or the 2RD replacement (be it Barrie or another) will eat up plenty. A 2nd goalie will be needed. Maybe there is room for that damn first line/top 6 scoring/2-way winger” comment.

Exposing a player (say Klefbom) frees up money (money out) and space for youth to ride “the escalator up” (Jones, Broberg, Samorukov) which I believe is the theme behind today’s post.

leadfarmer October 18, 2020 - 2:15 pm

OriginalPouzar: I think the offensive ceiling for Benson is higher than McLeod but who knows if he’ll hit the top 6 – it seems many have closed the door on him being a complimentary top 6 player in the NHL – I haven’t.To me, he actually has a great skill-set to play with McDavid – speed isn’t key but board work, skilled hands and smarts (knowing how to get the puck to McDavid with time and speed) – those are key.The NHL game may never slow down enough for him to play at that level but we just don’t know yet.

As far as McLeod over Benson – yup, center and, of course, speed – speed with size sparkles for managers.

Yes, as far as cap to spend next off-season, it should be more plentiful than we’ve seen but I still think the upper cap limit will be an issue – lots of money comes off the books but the likes of Nuge and Yamamoto and potentially Bear’s 3rd contract and Larssson or the 2RD replacement (be it Barrie or another) will eat up plenty.A 2nd goalie will be needed.Maybe there is room for that damn first line/top 6 scoring/2-way winger but maybe not.

One “key” will be Jones, Broberg, Samorukov and their development – they potentially move the likes of Klef and $4.1M or Nurse and $5.2M and deploy that money elsewhere.

Not sure how expansion figures in.The expansion fee doesn’t hit HRR so doesn’t effect the cap.There is almost zero chance the cap is over $82.5M for 2021/22 and likely still at $81.5M.

Theyll have to raise the cap to “bail out” some of these teams at some point. Even if it means the players pay back the owners over a slightly longer time period. Theres already a lot of teams praying that Seattle will take one of their mid level players with a cap hit to rescue them. Last expansion draft the teams were paying assets to protect these players and this expansion draft they will give some assets for them to be chosen

defmn October 18, 2020 - 2:16 pm

unca miltie:
defmn,

Looks like WestJet is flying to Palm Spring out of Calgary now. I might get to see my motorhome next month. Have not seen it since January 28th. Are you thinking of going back or hanging out in Calgary?

I would have to drug my wife to get her on a plane or across the border this winter so no Palm Springs for me. We have booked a place on the west coast for later in the winter. We’ll see how that goes.

I thought the border was closed for casual travel.

Orion October 18, 2020 - 2:17 pm

Brantford Boy:
Orion,

Yeah I accounted for the drop in the existing buyouts. $3M is still good, better than nothing, but an upgrade for Smith pretty much uses it up…unless they buyout Neal, etc.

And also buyouts against the cap… Pouliots is gone, Sekera’s is almost half of what it is now… and the ongoing Lucic’s contract… but who knows, maybe this money is just thrown right back on Neal’s buyout nullifying any savings.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan October 18, 2020 - 2:25 pm

Cassandra: Why in the world would Carolina do this?

Contrary to your assertions, they have plenty of room under the cap.And even if they didn’t why would they trade two useful players for two less useful players.All to save one season of Gardiner’s contract.

That would be plum crazy for a badly run team.And Carolina is pretty close to the best run team in the league.

Nostalgic for another CAR-EDM finals and realize they need to help out to make it happen?

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 2:36 pm

leadfarmer: Theyll have to raise the cap to “bail out” some of these teams at some point.Even if it means the players pay back the owners over a slightly longer time period.Theres already a lot of teams praying that Seattle will take one of their mid level players with a cap hit to rescue them.Last expansion draft the teams were paying assets to protect these players and this expansion draft they will give some assets for them to be chosen

They could always re-negotiate the agreement they came to this summer but the MOU on the CBA extension contains very very specific mechanics with respect to the cap over the next 5 plus years and it doesn’t go over $82.5M until HRR hits $4.8B AND the Escrow Balance is fully paid off. The owners have already agreed to be paid back over a considerable period of time and I’m not sure they’d agree to extend that even further.

€√¥£€^$ October 18, 2020 - 2:38 pm

Cassandra: It is even worse than.Neal’s only NHL quality skill right now is finishing.However, if he can’t get around the ice well enough to play with McDavid or Draisatl, then he can’t play on the fourth line either.There must be a dozens (hundreds) of players in the AHL or Europe who skate better than Neal.Put one of them on the fourth line to fly around and check like crazy.Even if their puck skills aren’t as good, who cares at least they can defend, puck skills don’t play if you can’t skate.

There are no scenarios where buying out Neal isn’t the right move.He isn’t an NHL player anymore and you can replace him easily.

I don’t believe that Neal skates slower than Patrick Maroon.

Maroon had 1 goal in 25 games during the playoffs, while Neal, the number 4 scoring had 2 in 4 games.

Maroon scored 19 goals in his last 138 games, while.a healthy Neal had 19 goals in 42 games. Thee remainder of the season he didn’t play effectively, but when he was healthy he was easily one of the best 5 players on the roster.

He is still a legitimate NHL player, he just needs to be slotted in the right spot. Maybe it is Connor’s LW, maybe it’s with Turris, but placing him on the 4th line or buying him out hurts more that it helps right now.

unca miltie October 18, 2020 - 2:42 pm

defmn,

I subscribed to the online edition of the desert sun. Been watching the covid numbers for a couple months. I think it might be safer the valley than in Edmonton or Calgary right now.
We have always been able to fly, just the driving border crossings have been closed. I could have gone to LAX and driven out the summer but did not want to go there. Now the direct flights from Calgary have started I will go down in November for a week. Have to quarantine for two weeks on the return though.

GordieHoweHatTrick October 18, 2020 - 2:50 pm

The roster post is encouraging.

We’re not at balance yet, but I think it is starting to come into view…

Just need a few “upgrades” and…”boom”!

geowal October 18, 2020 - 2:54 pm

OriginalPouzar: Of course – i was just making a joke because, in addition to being a back-to-back 50G scorer (essentially) he was at the lead league in posts/crossbars.

I’m glad you pointed out that it was a joke, I was thinking about the absurdity of giving a 50 goal scorer shooting tips. Would be quite amusing to see happen in person actually, 😆

defmn October 18, 2020 - 2:55 pm

unca miltie:
defmn,

I subscribed to the online edition of the desert sun. Been watching the covid numbers for a couple months. I think it might be safer the valley than in Edmonton or Calgary right now.
We have always been able to fly, just the driving border crossings have been closed. I could have gone to LAX and driven out the summer but did not want to go there. Now the direct flights from Calgary have started I will go down in November for a week. Have to quarantine for two weeks on the return though.

Thanks for the info. If we had a place of our own down there I would be tempted but since we have always just rented for a month each winter I am not as enthused.

We will see how we are feeling by February. 😉

geowal October 18, 2020 - 3:03 pm

defmn: I would have to drug my wife to get her on a plane or across the border this winter so no Palm Springs for me. We have booked a place on the west coast for later in the winter. We’ll see how that goes.

I thought the border was closed for casual travel.

The US allows Canadians to fly to there for leisure travel. Those same Canadians can’t be denied re-entry by Canada, so there is essentially a one-way, air-only border into existence right now (for casual).

digger50 October 18, 2020 - 3:10 pm

pts2pndr: I do believe short handed goals against will go up!

Along with Mike Smith giveaway goals per 60

Aack…

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 3:32 pm

Well, qualifying offers have officially expired.

That’s good news on Lagesson I think – likely means they are finalizing a two-year deal which would be great.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 3:46 pm

cowboy bill:
BLH may have hit the nail on the head with the thought of the Oil acquiring Nick Ritchie from the Bruin for Alex Chaisson . He may not be quick enough to play on a line with McDavid , besides Kassian plays that role . But Leon needs a LW if they decide to leave Nuge with McDavid . How would this look for a top six ?

Nuge-McDavid-Kassian
Ritchie-Leon-Yamomoto
Ennis-Turris-JP
Nygard-Haas-Archibald
Neal-Khaira

I’m not sure why the Bruins do that – they gave up a good player in Heinen to get Ritchie and, unless they believe that Chiasson can produce in their top 6, i don’t see how this makes sense for them.

Damn, many really didn’t like that 2nd year that Holland gave Chiasson. I though “meh” not a big deal – it will be a small over pay at best. As it turns out, Chiasson may have provided $2M of value this past season but the damn 2nd year still hurts this team.

Chiasson has some NHL attributes but the team is flush in right wings and his skill-set is covered. That $2M to sign Kahun would be just perfect.

Would a 7th round pick be enough to move the contract clean? (Maybe a 6th but getting a 7th back?).

Could Chiasson be moved with, say, $300K retained?

I like Benson and am for giving him an opportunity in the top 6 if he’s looking good but one more LW that has a history of production in the NHL would be nice – there are many available, likely for $2M or under but the Oilers don’t have cap space.

No, Klef’s $4.1M is not practically available in the off-season.

Lowetide October 18, 2020 - 3:47 pm

New for The Athletic: How will Oilers coach Dave Tippett deploy Jesse Puljujarvi?

https://theathletic.com/2145332/2020/10/18/how-will-oilers-coach-dave-tippett-deploy-jesse-puljujarvi/

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 3:49 pm

Jaxon:
Question. If the Oilers were to trade Russell and retain 500,00 or even 1,500,000 what salary would the acquiring team be paying him with his 4m cap hit?

Lets say the Oilers retain $1M of his cap hit – that is 25% so the acquiring team takes on 75% of his cap hit ($3M) and 75% of the comp owed to him (so, just under $400K).

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 3:50 pm

Jaxon:
Chiasson looks like a decent buyout option. Saves you about $1.4m in cap and is only a $700k cap hit next year.

The buyout period is closed and no Oiler player filed for arbitration so no second buyout window will open.

No buyouts permitted for this season.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 4:13 pm

Brian Burke Q & A.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/qa-brian-burke-maple-leafs-shakeup-oilers-goalies-halls-big-deal/

On the goalie carousel: Do you think running back with Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen is enough for the Oilers to contend?

I do. Did you never watch MacGyver? I mean, they’ve got cap issues. They’re cobbling together a solution that last year was good enough until the playoffs. Playoffs, the goaltending failed them a little bit. Koskinen had a really good year last year. So did Mike Smith. Goaltending wasn’t the reason they had trouble winning in the regular season. To me, this makes sense till they get out of cap hell.

OK. I’m still skeptical because they went hard after Jacob Markstrom.

I don’t think they went anywhere near as hard as Calgary did. I think they were talking three years, and the Seattle (expansion draft) problem they wouldn’t solve for him. Like, he does not want to go to Seattle in expansion.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 4:16 pm

OriginalPouzar:
Well, qualifying offers have officially expired.

That’s good news on Lagesson I think – likely means they are finalizing a two-year deal which would be great.

$700,000 first year & $750,000 second year on a one way is my guess.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 4:50 pm

Cassandra: Russell doesn’t help you with that anyway, in any case the Oilers are four deep at RHD.This might be their strongest position for depth.

The risk is that this requires either Lagesson or Broberg to hold down third pairing minutes, and Jones to hold down top four minutes.I think they can.

And the gain is you now have a top nine that looks like this with many workable combinations.This is the best forward group in the NHL.

RNH/McDavid/Granlund
Kahun/Draisatl/Yamamoto
Ennis/Turris/Puljujarvi
Archibald/Haas/Kassian
Neal/Chiasson

LTIR Klefbom, get Granlund and Kahum for under 6 M (easily done in my opinion) and you still have more than a million to maneover.

If you were really savvy you could pick up Koekoek for LHD depth.

This may sound unrealistic but someone is going to get these players and be happy about it, and the Oilers if they could jettison Russell would have room for all three.

They won’t do it though, we know this, because they overvalue and are loyal to their veterans.

I would be quite surprised if Holland hasn’t tried to move Russell this off-season – the Klefbom injury complicates things but, if Rusty could be moved clean, there are numerous cheaper options to replace him on the depth chart.

Moving Rusty without a replacement at this time and relying on Jones, Lagesson, Broberg for 2-4LD is a bit, well, risky.

Jones did very well in 2LD when Klef was hurt – he and Larsson were great – of course, that was 3 weeks and doing it over the grind of a full season is a huge difference (not to mention, he doesn’t fill in for Klef’s PK minutes). I’m VERY excited to see how he handles this.

I truly believe Lagesson is ready for 3LD (and was last year) but, of course, un-proven and there isn’t certainty on this one. Cover is needed.

To suggest the Broberg is adequate 4LD depth in February 2020 is very aggressive – he’s 19. Even if he could perhaps tread water, its probably not the best path for his development.

I went off on a bit of a tangent but I think my main points were (a) i don’t really agree that Russell isn’t legit NHL depth (b) with that said, there are many adequate depth replacements available cheaper and I’m confident Holland has tried to move him for the cap space.

Of course, I’m just guessing – you could be right that Cowboy’s vet presence is needed in the minds of the old-school GM and coach. I don’t think that but could be wrong for sure.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 5:39 pm

leadfarmer: If all that you get out of Neal is a 4th line player he should have been bought out and replaced for 1 mil or less.
If they think hes a third line guy and wanted to keep him as net front presence and a mentor for JP I can at least understand that

Usage, ability, production, etc., notwithstanding, Ken Holland does not want to add three extra years to Neal’s contract and create three years of a $2M dead cap hit.

Not wanting to decrease cap space right in the years leading up to the the expiry of the current Drai and McDavid contracts is a totally justifiable position no matter what the implications are in the next three years.

Neal could sit in the pressbox for the next three years and it doesn’t change that analysis.

Not to mention, James Neal played on the 4th line in the play-in series and he, and the line, were on of the team’s best, plus he will be on the PP, plus he can move up for injury (as he did in the play-in).

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 5:51 pm

Cassandra: It is even worse than.Neal’s only NHL quality skill right now is finishing.However, if he can’t get around the ice well enough to play with McDavid or Draisatl, then he can’t play on the fourth line either.There must be a dozens (hundreds) of players in the AHL or Europe who skate better than Neal.Put one of them on the fourth line to fly around and check like crazy.Even if their puck skills aren’t as good, who cares at least they can defend, puck skills don’t play if you can’t skate.

There are no scenarios where buying out Neal isn’t the right move.He isn’t an NHL player anymore and you can replace him easily.

Do those replacement level players you mention cost $2M against the cap (while not being in the org) during the years leading up to the expiration of the current McDavid and Drai contracts?

There are material negative ramifications to a Neal buyout that cannot be ignored. Everyone and anyone can do their own cost-benefit analysis regarding to determine if, in their opinion, a buyout is the “right” move or now but, even if your description of Neal above is accurate (which i don’t agree with) it is still not a black and while scenario.

I don’t care if most of them came in bunches, in October on the PP – no person that scored 19 goals in 55 games in the NHL is not an NHL player. Its very clear (at least to me) that he played a material portion of those 55 games injured, with an injury effecting his skating. He was a different skater and a different player in the play-in with foot/toe issues. He skated just fine in the play-in – was it because he was healthy or fresh or a combo? I think more the former and, if “freshness” is a need, well, load management is a thing.

I would love to reduce Neal’s cap hit to $2M and add Kahun in his place for a total of $4M spent. At this point, I am not willing to take on the future pain for that.

Neal had more goals and the same amount of points as Kahun last year (in one less game) and played much of the year injured. I’d make the switch above in isolation but not with the 3 years of pain added.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 5:52 pm

defmn: $700,000 first year & $750,000 second year on a one way is my guess.

Something like that – the 2nd year will be higher than the first, I’m sure.

Could even go to $800K or $850K in the 2nd year.

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 6:13 pm

Not sure Lagesson should even re-sign with the Oilers.

He’s already been passed by Jones and Broberg is coming so he would, in effect, be signing to become expansion draft fodder.

If I was his agent, I would tell him, to avoid the Covid uncertainty in North America and stay in Sweden.

If he signs a $700K contract with 20% escrow, I am sure he could get a much better deal in Sweden.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 6:22 pm

Harpers Hair:
Not sure Lagesson should even re-sign with the Oilers.

He’s already been passed by Jones and Broberg is coming so he would, in effect, be signing to become expansion draft fodder.

If I was his agent, I would tell him, to avoid the Covid uncertainty in North America and stay in Sweden.

If he signs a $700K contract with 20% escrow, I am sure he could get a much better deal in Sweden.

That’s a recipe for walking away from the NHL for his entire career. He might not be ready to do that.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 6:32 pm

Brantford Boy: In short, it will always be money in, money out.

I agree, the money will probably be used on your “Nuge and Yamamoto and potentially Bear’s 3rd contract and Larssson or the 2RD replacement (be it Barrie or another) will eat up plenty. A 2nd goalie will be needed. Maybe there is room for that damn first line/top 6 scoring/2-way winger” comment.

Exposing a player (say Klefbom) frees up money (money out) and space for youth to ride “the escalator up” (Jones, Broberg, Samorukov) which I believe is the theme behind today’s post.

If Klefbom doesn’t play this coming season, I think may not meet the expansion draft exposure requirement 40 games the prior season or 70 over the previous 2.

70 out of 164 is 38% of the games and, if he doesn’t play at all next season he’ll have played 35% (based on 174 games – normal 184 less then 10 cancelled). A shortened season may change the calculation though.

Also, if he doesn’t play at all next year – a player that has a potential career-ending injury can’t fulfill the exposure requirements – I don’t think he will be deemed to have a potential career-ending injury but that’s not a certainty.

Also, lastly, assuming he is poised to resume his career after “successful” surgery/rehab, I’m not sure I could get on board with losing him for nothing in the draft – his trade value wouldn’t be great but it wouldn’t be nothing (although Holland would have to factor in the next player that would be taken in the draft with Klefbom moved).

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 6:32 pm

defmn: That’s a recipe for walking away from the NHL for his entire career. He might not be ready to do that.

Forever is a long time…he’s only 24.

Quite likely his rights would be traded as part of another deal.

If you were Ken Holland, how would you sell him on a career with the Oilers?

“So you want to play for Edmonton…well here’s the LD competition:

Klefbom
Nurse
Jones
Broberg
LAGESSON
Samurukov
Lennstrom
Neimalainen

Whadya think kid?”

Lowetide October 18, 2020 - 6:44 pm

Lagesson is No. 7 (likely) defenceman next season. That’s 50 or so games. Oilers will get a good look at him and then we’ll see. No guarantees anywhere but he’s staring at an NHL job right now in Edmonton.

who October 18, 2020 - 6:54 pm

Orion: I’m not sure how much money Holland will have next year.

If you go with a pretty basic starting point:

– sign Nuge for $7M, Barrie for $5.5M, Bear & Yamamoto $3M
– resign Ennis, Haas, Nygard for the same amount as 20/21
– fill out the roster with Benson, Khaira, Lagesson, Smith and Bouchard at $750K / ELC

You end up with

Neal/McD/Kass
Nuge/Drai/Yamo
Ennis/Turris/Pulju
Nyg/Haas/Arch
Benson, Khaira

Nurse/Bear
Klef/Barrie
Jones/Bouch
Lagesson

Kosk/Smith

And the cap space is a little over $4M.

Assume 1-1.5M for wiggle room and there’s only 3M left, unless other moves are made.

Sign Larsson for 3.5 million instead of Barrie for 5.5. Buy out Neal.
There’s an extra 5.8 million in cap space right there.

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 6:59 pm

Lowetide:
Lagesson is No. 7 (likely) defenceman next season. That’s 50 or so games. Oilers will get a good look at him and then we’ll see. No guarantees anywhere but he’s staring at an NHL job right now in Edmonton.

How would you structure a contract that is attractive to him under the circumstances?

If he signs for $700K as some have suggested, he will face 20% escrow which leaves him just over $500K.

His NHL salary last season was $700k so at that price point you would be asking him to take a massive pay cut.

He only played 33 games total last season…25 in Bakersfield and 8 in Edmonton while effectively being the #7D.

What is in it for the player?

Lowetide October 18, 2020 - 7:10 pm

Harpers Hair: How would you structure a contract that is attractive to him under the circumstances?

If he signs for $700Kas some have suggested, he will face 20% escrow which leaves him just over $500K.

His NHL salary last season was $700k so at that price point you would be asking him to take a massive pay cut.

He only played 33 games total last season…25 in Bakersfield and 8 in Edmonton while effectively being the #7D.

What is in it for the player?

Oh sure, you can’t stop him from staying home and earning far less while stopping right at the doorstep of his goal. If William Lagesson doesn’t value the opportunity, and is going to force the Oilers to make him whole during a pandemic, when he has no bargaining power, then the Oilers will have to get a different No. 7 defenseman.

I think they’ll manage.

godot10 October 18, 2020 - 7:14 pm

OriginalPouzar: If Klefbom doesn’t play this coming season, I think may not meet the expansion draft exposure requirement 40 games the prior season or 70 over the previous 2.

70 out of 164 is 38% of the games and, if he doesn’t play at all next season he’ll have played 35% (based on 174 games – normal 184 less then 10 cancelled). A shortened season may change the calculation though.

Also, if he doesn’t play at all next year – a player that has a potential career-ending injury can’t fulfill the exposure requirements – I don’t think he will be deemed to have a potential career-ending injury but that’s not a certainty.

Also, lastly, assuming he is poised to resume his career after “successful” surgery/rehab, I’m not sure I could get on board with losing him for nothing in the draft – his trade value wouldn’t be great but it wouldn’t be nothing (although Holland would have to factor in the next player that would be taken in the draft with Klefbom moved).

If they pro-rate the shortened last season, I think Klefbom qualifties. Do they pro-rate last season?

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 7:28 pm

Lowetide: Oh sure, you can’t stop him from staying home and earning far less while stopping right at the doorstep of his goal. If William Lagesson doesn’t value the opportunity, and is going to force the Oilers to make him whole during a pandemic, when he has no bargaining power, then the Oilers will have to get a different No. 7 defenseman.

I think they’ll manage.

You’ve already said the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind.

I suppose, if he believes in himself and thinks he can be a regular in the lineup going forward, he would agree to sign.

I wouldn’t think that is a very good bet with Broberg on the way.

And, I’m sure the Oilers will manage just fine…#7D are like assholes.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 7:29 pm

Harpers Hair: How would you structure a contract that is attractive to him under the circumstances?

If he signs for $700Kas some have suggested, he will face 20% escrow which leaves him just over $500K.

His NHL salary last season was $700k so at that price point you would be asking him to take a massive pay cut.

He only played 33 games total last season…25 in Bakersfield and 8 in Edmonton while effectively being the #7D.

What is in it for the player?

He was on a two way contract last year so he was playing for his AHL salary for most of it. That is not a pay cut for him.

And even if it was he would belong to pretty distinguished group for this season because lots of NHL players will be playing for less this year than last.

Lowetide answered most of your questions. Not that you couldn’t have answered them your self if you had wanted to.

He is young enough and close enough to his dream that walking away over a relatively small amount of money when money isn’t certain anywhere is highly unlikely.

================================

These are the kind of nonsense posts you make that serve no purpose other than to try and provoke.

Sour & bitter like liver casserole. Try and grow up. You don’t have that much more time to get there.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 7:41 pm

Harpers Hair: Forever is a long time…he’s only 24.

Quite likely his rights would be traded as part of another deal.

If you were Ken Holland, how would you sell him on a career with the Oilers?

“So you want to play for Edmonton…well here’s the LD competition:

Klefbom
Nurse
Jones
Broberg
LAGESSON
Samurukov
Lennstrom
Neimalainen

Whadya think kid?”

This is the exact argument that you made to tell us, with certainty, not as an opinion but as pretty much fact, that Berglund wouldn’t be signing with the Oilers.

He was about to become a UFA as well and signed with the team and intends to come over for the 2021/22 season.

Lagesson has already had his first NHL cup of coffee – it wasn’t the best but nor was Bears’ or Jones’ and its generally accepted. He is highly likely to play many of the Oiler’s games this year.

I would posit that, given his development path, he has always been, an remains, focussed on the NHL – not holding out in Europe to sign his 2nd NHL contract.

He played 3 years in North America post-draft prior to one year in the SHL and turning NHL pro.

He wants the NHL.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 7:48 pm

Harpers Hair: How would you structure a contract that is attractive to him under the circumstances?

If he signs for $700Kas some have suggested, he will face 20% escrow which leaves him just over $500K.

His NHL salary last season was $700k so at that price point you would be asking him to take a massive pay cut.

He only played 33 games total last season…25 in Bakersfield and 8 in Edmonton while effectively being the #7D.

What is in it for the player?

For about half of the season, he was making $65K, not $700K

He will assuredly get a one-way contract now and, nope, it won’t be a massive pay-cut.

You are making alot of the 20% escrow – you realize the players paid 14.5% this season, right?

I anticipate he will also look forward to once again, flying on chartered flights, staying in 5-start hotels on the road, etc. – not bussing around Sweden.

Lowetide October 18, 2020 - 7:50 pm

Harpers Hair: You’ve already said the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind.

I suppose, if he believes in himself and thinks he can be a regular in the lineup going forward, he would agree to sign.

I wouldn’t think that is a very good bet with Broberg on the way.

And, I’m sure the Oilers will manage just fine…#7D are like assholes.

Actually I didn’t say “the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind” I said “Lagesson is No. 7 (likely) defenceman next season. That’s 50 or so games.”

Lagesson isn’t in a position to dictate his future. Surely you know this and have chosen a marginal area to argue. Bear would be a better target for your idea imo, and even then it’s a stretch.

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 7:55 pm

defmn: He was on a two way contract last year so he was playing for his AHL salary for most of it. That is not a pay cut for him.

And even if it was he would belong to pretty distinguished group for this season because lots of NHL players will be playing for less this year than last.

Lowetide answered most of your questions. Not that you couldn’t have answered them your self if you had wanted to.

He is young enough and close enough to his dream that walking away over a relatively small amount of money when money isn’t certain anywhere is highly unlikely.

================================

These are the kind of nonsense posts you make that serve no purpose other than to try and provoke.

Sour & bitter like liver casserole. Try and grow up. You don’t have that much more time to get there.

This is nonsense.

He was on the NHL payroll for 31 games and only 25 in the AHL and had a $75K signing bonus in his contract.

His total compensation was likely in the range of $650K.

If his dream is to be a #7D who will most certainly be exposed in the expansion draft at a reduced salary, then giddyup.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Your condescending and arrogant response says much about you.

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 8:00 pm

Lowetide: Actually I didn’t say “the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind” I said “Lagesson is No. 7 (likely) defenceman next season. That’s 50 or so games.”

Lagesson isn’t in a position to dictate his future. Surely you know this and have chosen a marginal area to argue. Bear would be a better target for your idea imo, and even then it’s a stretch.

Where do you get the 50 games with Nurse, Jones, and Russell standing in the way?

And, I didn’t propose Lagesson is in a position to “dictate his future”, but if the Oilers approached me with an offer that is effectively a pay cut and I can see the lay of the land at LD, I would certainly explore my options.

GordieHoweHatTrick October 18, 2020 - 8:05 pm

defmn: He was on a two way contract last year so he was playing for his AHL salary for most of it. That is not a pay cut for him.

And even if it was he would belong to pretty distinguished group for this season because lots of NHL players will be playing for less this year than last.

Lowetide answered most of your questions. Not that you couldn’t have answered them your self if you had wanted to.

He is young enough and close enough to his dream that walking away over a relatively small amount of money when money isn’t certain anywhere is highly unlikely.

================================

These are the kind of nonsense posts you make that serve no purpose other than to try and provoke.

Sour & bitter like liver casserole. Try and grow up. You don’t have that much more time to get there.

Hear, hear

Lags will also have a good opportunity to advertise his skills to 31
NHL teams

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 8:09 pm

godot10: If they pro-rate the shortened last season, I think Klefbom qualifties.Do they pro-rate last season?

I’m not sure how they will deal with this but, yes, I’m sure there will be pro-ration but there are a few ways they could go structure it. They could make the threshold playing in 42% of the team’s games over the two years (which equals the normal 70 games over two 82 game seasons).

If that’s the case, then a season with less than 70 games may get him there – right around there.

Lowetide October 18, 2020 - 8:14 pm

Harpers Hair: Where do you get the 50 games with Nurse, Jones, and Russell standing in the way?

And, I didn’t propose Lagesson is in a position to “dictate his future”, but if the Oilers approached me with an offer that is effectively a pay cut and I can see the lay of the land at LD, I would certainly explore my options.

No. 7D play a lot due to injuries, etc. It’s far more than an extra forward plays.

Sierra October 18, 2020 - 8:28 pm

Don’t most, if not all, No.7 dmen have to be concerned with guys coming up behind them?

Sierra October 18, 2020 - 8:32 pm

Harpers Hair: You’ve already said the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind.

I suppose, if he believes in himself and thinks he can be a regular in the lineup going forward, he would agree to sign.

I wouldn’t think that is a very good bet with Broberg on the way.

And, I’m sure the Oilers will manage just fine…#7D are like assholes.

Why wouldn’t Lagesson believe in himself?

Woodguy v2.0 October 18, 2020 - 8:50 pm

godot10:
Holland signed Kassian to that abominable new contract, so he own him too.

Truth.

Woodguy v2.0 October 18, 2020 - 8:51 pm

Lowetide: No. 7D play a lot due to injuries, etc. It’s far more than an extra forward plays.

And Andrew knew that as he typed.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 9:13 pm

Harpers Hair: This is nonsense.

He was on the NHL payroll for 31 games and only 25 in the AHL and had a $75K signing bonus in his contract.

His total compensation was likely in the range of $650K.

If his dream is to be a #7D who will most certainly be exposed in the expansion draft at a reduced salary,then giddyup.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Your condescending and arrogant response says much about you.

If you can’t take it don’t shovel it. How many hockey boards have you been kicked off of?

Harpers Hair October 18, 2020 - 9:36 pm

Woodguy v2.0: And Andrew knew that as he typed.

Was 7th D man last season.

Played 8 games.

Scungilli Slushy October 18, 2020 - 9:55 pm

It’s likely Holland will not make any more changes unless a no brainer appears.

But I wouldn’t mind if the Russell slot had a better gapping, skating and passing player there. If he does that fine but he hasn’t in a while.

There has to be options available in the current climate. To me it’s now the biggest issue on the roster, the last proven weak spot and tire fire igniter.

OriginalPouzar October 18, 2020 - 10:02 pm

Harpers Hair: Was 7th D man last season.

Played 8 games.

So much posting and just being wrong – wrong – wrong.

He wasn’t even on the opening night roster:

Ethan Bear, Matt Benning, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Brandon Manning, Darnell Nurse, Kris Russell

He was also behind Joel Persson (who was activated in the first week) and Caleb Jones, who started the season in Bakersfield with him.

He was 10D and still go in to 8 games.

Point made.

Scungilli Slushy October 18, 2020 - 10:03 pm

Part of the tire fire issue to me has been that to the team has employed outdated player types on D that are hockey skill optional.

The pairs often had one that would defer the outlet to his partner. The downside is it makes forechecking easier, cut off the D to D pass and it’s tire fire or straight back in.

So close to a full puck moving D .

Scungilli Slushy October 18, 2020 - 10:10 pm

defmn:
Brian Burke Q & A.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/qa-brian-burke-maple-leafs-shakeup-oilers-goalies-halls-big-deal/

On the goalie carousel: Do you think running back with Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen is enough for the Oilers to contend?

I do. Did you never watch MacGyver? I mean, they’ve got cap issues. They’re cobbling together a solution that last year was good enough until the playoffs. Playoffs, the goaltending failed them a little bit. Koskinen had a really good year last year. So did Mike Smith. Goaltending wasn’t the reason they had trouble winning in the regular season. To me, this makes sense till they get out of cap hell.

OK. I’m still skeptical because they went hard after Jacob Markstrom.

I don’t think they went anywhere near as hard as Calgary did. I think they were talking three years, and the Seattle (expansion draft) problem they wouldn’t solve for him. Like, he does not want to go to Seattle in expansion.

Thanks for posting this I didn’t see it.

So we can all take a deep breath and collective exhale as Holland it seems made a good play to land a current top goalie, and wouldn’t go full old school Oiler on a deal.

Also likely drove the cost and clauses up for Treliving.

Actually some good GMing I think. Bravo.

jp October 18, 2020 - 10:16 pm

Scungilli Slushy: Thanks for posting this I didn’t see it.

So we can all take a deep breath and collective exhale as Holland it seems made a good play to land a current top goalie, and wouldn’t go full old school Oiler on a deal.

Also likely drove the cost and clauses up for Treliving.

Actually some good GMing I think. Bravo.

Brian Burke thinking it was a good move means it wasn’t old school? 😉

defmn October 18, 2020 - 10:45 pm

Scungilli Slushy: Thanks for posting this I didn’t see it.

So we can all take a deep breath and collective exhale as Holland it seems made a good play to land a current top goalie, and wouldn’t go full old school Oiler on a deal.

Also likely drove the cost and clauses up for Treliving.

Actually some good GMing I think. Bravo.

I’ll probably get in trouble for posting this because it is totally observational rather than anything I can substantiate but here goes.

The perception of Koskinen reminds me of how big forwards often get criticized for being slow or lazy.

Koskinen gets the job done with positioning and size rather than athleticism and that tends to make people underestimate the results.

If you can pick that top corner on him you get to score but he is so huge that if he gets to his spot in time that hole is pretty tight. So the perfect shot will get past him but most of the time it just hits him.

It can be pretty effective but rarely spectacular.

I think that is why his numbers exceeded his visuals this past season. He had a year to work on his angles and conditioning.

defmn October 18, 2020 - 10:48 pm

jp: Brian Burke thinking it was a good move means it wasn’t old school?

😉

Redbird62 October 18, 2020 - 10:59 pm

Harpers Hair,

He earned approximately $390,000 according to capfriendly so you missed on that one. Pretty easy to look up though. Also since he has to clear waivers, if he is not the number 7 for the Oilers if he thinks he is good enough, he might believe he wouldn’t clear.

jp October 18, 2020 - 11:06 pm

G Money:
Here are my FOUR (scoring) LINES.

There’s lots of reasons why this wouldn’t work (Kassian cooled off as expected, Nygard’s injury, Neal’s age, etc), and the data is extremely thin in places, but I would try it nevertheless and see what works and what doesn’t.

Because why the hell wouldn’t you, when you can put Picard’s face everywhere with the caption THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES. (Sorry, I can’t help myself)

Of course Hockey Men would never do this, but I would. Then again, maybe I am a Hockey Man these days, I just don’t know.

Anyway, lines from last year with TOI, CF%, and DFF%:

Neal, Chiasson, Nuge: 120mins, 58%, 60%

Drai, Yamo, Ennis: 31mins, 55%, 63%

Nygard, Kassian, McDavid 30mins, 53%, 55%

Then I fasten together a fourth scoring line with Turris centring Puljujarvi and maybe Benson playing six to eight warm-butter-soft minutes a night and see what happens.

It might fail, but goddamn it, why not go for THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES. (Sorry, I can’t help myself)

But who’s going to PK???

Seriously though, I like that there are so many different options available now. Pretty cool.

I don’t think there will be 4 scoring lines, but there’ll very likely be 3.

Neal and Chiasson played well with pretty much everyone. They could be good wingers for Turris.

I was going to post some lines in reply but there are so many decent/good possibilities it gets complicated in a hurry.

jp October 18, 2020 - 11:13 pm

defmn: I’ll probably get in trouble for posting this because it is totally observational rather than anything I can substantiate but here goes.

The perception of Koskinen reminds me of how big forwards often get criticized for being slow or lazy.

Koskinen gets the job done with positioning and size rather than athleticism and that tends to make people underestimate the results.

If you can pick that top corner on him you get to score but he is so huge that if he gets to his spot in time that hole is pretty tight. So the perfect shot will get past him but most of the time it just hits him.

It can be pretty effective but rarely spectacular.

I think that is why his numbers exceeded his visuals this past season. He had a year to work on his angles and conditioning.

He’s also an utterly terrible interview. And appears to be as far as a human can get from ‘fiery’.

Potentially also completely unflappable. Quite the odd dichotomy of goalies the Oilers employ.

jp October 18, 2020 - 11:52 pm

OriginalPouzar: I wanted to respond to this.
I think we’ve had this almost identical conversation before – I don’t think either of us are wrong.
Yes, the Oilers had a huge uptick in 5 on 5 goal differential in 2020 but, really, we know that the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line will not be a 77% goal share line going forward. Even suggesting 60% is probably a bit fanatical. Somewhere in the 55% goal range going forward is likely reasonably sustainable.

When that line regresses to normal levels (and I mean normal levels given they are made of very good players and will be a very good line), McDavid at 50% isn’t good enough for success – in particular if the PP isn’t running near 30% (and I think its fanatical to not think that will come down a bit) or the PP doesn’t get league best goalering from Mike Smith (for real – he led the league in PK save percentage).

The Oilers were great in 2020 but I don’t think the “way they were winning” was sustainable give a couple unsustainable metrics.

Yes, I think we have had basically the same conversation. And I do appreciate what you’re saying.

But let’s take a step back.

We and near everyone agrees the Oilers PP% will regress somewhat. But their PP opportunities almost have to increase. Those will offset each other to an extent. Regardless, we (I think) agree the Oilers should remain a top 5 (or at least top 10) PP team.

The PK is likely to regress as well, but even if it’s league average the Oilers special teams will remain a plus.

At 5v5 is where the Oilers made the most gains in 2020. On December 30th, the day before McDavid and Draisaitl moved to their own lines for good, McDavid (52%GF), Kassian (55%GF) and Chiasson (50%GF) were the only forwards breaking even at 5v5.
So in the first half McDavid (1C) was at 52%GF, Nuge (2C) was 45%GF, Sheahan (3C) was 30%GF.

Once they were split, the Oilers immediately had 2 lines that could at least hold their own (and I mentioned in the post you replied to that McDavid on the season was 54%GF without Draisaitl or Nuge, so I do believe he can be in the 55%GF range ‘without help’ even though he was only 50% in 2020).
So in the last 30 games: Draisaitl 65%GF, McDavid 50%GF, Sheahan 32%GF.

Nuge/Draisaitl went from 45%GF to 65%GF. We agree that 55% is a more reasonable guess about their future results, but I still think that jump for the Oilers 2nd scoring line at 5v5 at least evens out with the regression the special teams will see.

Add in what can’t possibly be a worse 3rd line (knock on wood) than Sheahan and co. and I think the Oilers likely improved year over year. They at least treaded water IMO. That’s my take anyway.

Scungilli Slushy October 19, 2020 - 12:05 am

jp: Brian Burke thinking it was a good move means it wasn’t old school?

The oldest, though I think it was me that said that, didn’t see that in DEFMs snippet 😀

SwedishPoster October 19, 2020 - 12:11 am

Harpers Hair:
Not sure Lagesson should even re-sign with the Oilers.

He’s already been passed by Jones and Broberg is coming so he would, in effect, be signing to become expansion draft fodder.

If I was his agent, I would tell him, to avoid the Covid uncertainty in North America and stay in Sweden.

If he signs a $700K contract with 20% escrow, I am sure he could get a much better deal in Sweden.

The top guys in the SHL Sweden are paid 200K-250K per season, usually in the lower bracket and I doubt a defensive D like Lagesson would even hit 200K. And that’s without counting players taking 12-15% solidarity pay cuts this season due to covid.

So no he wouldn’t get anything near his worst possible NHL deal in Sweden. If he stays it’s for reasons beyond money.

The places to go for money in europe is the KHL, where the paycheck can vary a lot, the best paid player in the KHL makes 1.8M, the best paid swedes around 1M (Lander at the top makes 1.2M) but Lagesson would need to either show his stuff in the K for a few seasons or become an NHL regular first to make NHL level money there, and Switzerland where the best paid players makes up to 875K but most top players are around 400-500K or so.
These are all pre-covid numbers ofc.

hunter1909 October 19, 2020 - 3:58 am

jp: He’s also an utterly terrible interview. And appears to be as far as a human can get from ‘fiery’.

Potentially also completely unflappable. Quite the odd dichotomy of goalies the Oilers employ.

Fantastic points. Glad to hear Koskinnen has a personality. Fusk the press.

Hilarious would be is both him and Smith had the same personality, because they’d be getting in fistfights regularly.

The next question is; what exactly would you consider a “normal, everyday” goalie situation?

Jaxon October 19, 2020 - 4:40 am

OriginalPouzar: Lets say the Oilers retain $1M of his cap hit – that is 25% so the acquiring team takes on 75% of his cap hit ($3M) and 75% of the comp owed to him (so, just under $400K).

The Oilers could certainly pawn off a player who will play for practically free. Hell, even if they just retain $500,000, the team who gets him will basically have an NHL vet on league minimum. That would clear up $3.5M. They could use that and their 700K cap and possibly Klefbom’s LTIR $4M ($8.2M??) to sign Bear, maybe one of Laws Dominik Kahun or Athanasiou and LD Ben Hutton. And Erik Haula!!

geowal October 19, 2020 - 5:21 am

SwedishPoster: The top guys in the SHL Sweden are paid 200K-250K per season, usually in the lower bracket and I doubt a defensive D like Lagesson would even hit 200K. And that’s without counting players taking 12-15% solidarity pay cuts this season due to covid.

So no he wouldn’t get anything near his worst possible NHL deal in Sweden. If he stays it’s for reasons beyond money.

The places to go for money in europe is the KHL, where the paycheck can vary a lot, the best paid player in the KHL makes 1.8M, the best paid swedes around 1M (Lander at the top makes 1.2M) but Lagesson would need to either show his stuff in the K for a few seasons or become an NHL regular first to make NHL level money there, and Switzerland where the best paid players makes up to 875K but most top players are around 400-500K or so.
These are all pre-covid numbers ofc.

Thank you for the info, and for finally putting an end to this nonsensical line of reasoning.

London Jon October 19, 2020 - 7:07 am

Harpers Hair: You’ve already said the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind.

I suppose, if he believes in himself and thinks he can be a regular in the lineup going forward, he would agree to sign.

I wouldn’t think that is a very good bet with Broberg on the way.

And, I’m sure the Oilers will manage just fine…#7D are like assholes.

Well, that’s a surprise.

Who do you play #7D for?!

OriginalPouzar October 19, 2020 - 7:22 am

Jaxon: The Oilers could certainly pawn off a player who will play for practically free. Hell, even if they just retain $500,000, the team who gets him will basically have an NHL vet on league minimum. That would clear up $3.5M. They could use that and their 700K cap and possibly Klefbom’s LTIR $4M ($8.2M??) to sign Bear, maybe one of Laws Dominik Kahun or Athanasiou and LD Ben Hutton. And Erik Haula!!

Yes, the actual cash outlay for Russell was thought to have made him tradeable to a few teams. At this point in time, i don’t see it happening. Firstly, at the end of the day, there are not that many teams that have ample cap room. There are teams like Ottawa and Florida that have cap room and internal budgets but its unlikely those eastern non-contending teams are amenable to Rusty and his 15-team NTC.

Klefbom injury aside, I’m confident that Holland very much wanted to and tried to move the Russell contract this off-season.

jp October 19, 2020 - 7:52 am

hunter1909: Fantastic points. Glad to hear Koskinnen has a personality. Fusk the press.

Hilarious would be is both him and Smith had the same personality, because they’d be getting in fistfights regularly.

The next question is; what exactly would you consider a “normal, everyday” goalie situation?

Yeah two Smith’s might lead to fights. Two Koskinen’s, well I expect there wouldn’t be a lot of drama.

Normal? I don’t know. But these two appear to be opposites of the personality spectrum. Maybe it’s a good thing.

hunter1909 October 19, 2020 - 7:53 am

geowal: Thank you for the info, and for finally putting an end to this nonsensical line of reasoning.

Swedish Poster makes me wish the Oilers could ice a lineup with some seriously awesome Swedes, for once.

Larsson fits the bill, so long as the team doesn’t have to depend on his back. Klefbom is rumoured to be a first pairing guy, but I got brought up on Paul Coffey who in his day was compared to Bobby freaking Orr.

Spartacus October 19, 2020 - 9:38 am

London Jon: Well, that’s a surprise.

Who do you play #7D for?!

Nice.

That comment scores high on the “Steve Smith Clever Comment Scale”.

Munny October 19, 2020 - 3:30 pm

Harpers Hair: Was 7th D man last season.

Played 8 games.

He was the 8th Dman last year.

I know, I know. Arithmetic is haaaarddd.

He only looked like the 7th because waivers.

Munny October 19, 2020 - 3:41 pm

Another entire thread devoted to refuting the ridiculous and outing the outlandish… honest engagement with a dishonest agent. Like a dog chasing it’s tail, it’s mildly entertaining at first, but after months and months of the same routine, well…

Have a good day, folks.

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