The most powerful word in radio advertising is “free”. When confronted with an opinion like “I’d never advertise with you, your station has no listeners” the correct response is “okay, I’ll run one 30-second ad telling the public everything in your store is free” and the point is made (but you’ve lost the sale, people don’t like being shown up, it’s irritating).
I love the Rule 5 draft, and the long forgotten Intra-League draft. Today, I will bore you by bringing it back. You are so lucky. Like I said, free is a powerful word. A free player, a good one, is a grand idea.
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.
- New Lowetide: Dmitri Samorukov’s KHL impact and what it means to the Oilers
- New Lowetide: How many goals will Tyler Ennis score in 2020-21?
- New Lowetide: Oilers extend Kris Russell, solve expansion issue
- Lowetide: Can Kyle Turris centre an outscoring No. 3 line in Edmonton?
- Lowetide: Tyson Barrie’s skills and how Oilers coach Dave Tippett will deploy him
- Jonathan Willis: Can Oilers unlock James Neal’s scoring potential at five on five?
- Lowetide: Why is Ilya Konovalov no longer starting in the KHL?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
- Lowetide: Finding Connor McDavid’s optimal linemates among 2020-21 Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: A cautious free agent period boosts an Oilers team still on the upswing
- Lowetide: Oilers bring back Mike Smith for another year.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Tyson Barrie to a team-friendly deal.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Kyle Turris, Tyler Ennis in early hours of free agency.
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi signing overshadows a strong day for Oilers at draft
- Lowetide: Oilers draft Dylan Holloway on Day 1, with trades possible Wednesday
The Intra-League draft goes back to 1952, although no one claimed a player until 1954 (general manager’s are a special breed). Here are the original rules:-
*Each NHL club would be able to protect 20 skaters and 2 goalies
*The draft would take place just before the beginning of the season; protected lists would have to be filed within seven days of the opening of the regular season and the draft meeting would occur some time within those seven days
*Players selected by draft would have to be kept by the club that chose him (he could not be traded or loaned to another club) for at least one year, except that the player could be placed on unconditional waivers (no right of recall) to be claimed by any club for a price of $7,500
Note: For purposes below, I’m going to use 20 players as the max.
Goalies Mikko Koskinen, Mike Smith
Defense Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Tyson Barrie, Kris Russell.
Forwards Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zack Kassian, Alex Chiasson, Kyle Turris, Josh Archibald, Jujhar Khaira, Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Ennis, Joakim Nygard. Waiver exempt: Kailer Yamamoto.
Oilers Available list: G Anton Forsberg, D William Lagesson, LW James Neal, C Gaetan Haas, C Alan Quine, RW Patrick Russell.
Flames available list: G Louis Domingue, D Alex Petrovic, RW Buddy Robinson, LW Zac Rinaldo, LW Justin Kirkland.
Ducks available list: G Anthony Stolarz, D Brendan Guhle, D Andy Welinski, C Sam Carrick, C Chase De Leo.
Coyotes list: G Adin Hill, D Kyle Capobianco, C John Hayden, LW Michael Bunting, RC Lane Pederson.
Kings list: G Troy Grosenick, D Mark Alt, F Bokondji Imama.
Sharks list: D Nick DeSimone, LW Jonathan Dahlen
Canucks list: C Brandon Sutter, C Jayce Hawryluk
Golden Knights list: LW Danny O’Regan, RW Patrick Brown
You may say ‘nothing’s there’ but the truth is I can find five players who are worth at least pondering. Here goes.
1 G Adin Hill, Coyotes. He had a .918 save percentage in the AHL and the NHL this past season. He is signed for $800,000, he is 24.
2 LW Jonathan Dahlen, Sharks. Just signed, he can score goals and has some two-way acumen. Tearing up the Allsvenskan. He is 23 in December with a cap hit of $925,000.
3 LD William Lagesson. Two-way defender who is more shutdown than puck mover, Lagesson will cost less than $850,000 and is 24. Defensemen always have value and he can play.
4 RC Lane Pederson. This is why it’s worth spending some time each offseason looking at the AHL numbers. Pederson has one of those oddly forgettable names and until this season he wouldn’t have made this list. He was injured mid-season, but began his 2019-20 AHL season by going 8-3-11 in his first seven games. He had 19 shots in those games. I think he’s worth pursuing.
5 RW Jayce Hawryluk. He went 26, 3-7-10 in 2019-20 with two different teams. He’s an agitator with skill, that has value.
Linus and Teemu
Most of the things I’ve ever written about hockey, team building, the draft or trades have come out right. Or, well enough to get my point across. You may not buy my ideas, but I’m satisfied with the verbal. One area that I can’t quite write down with clarity impacts men like Linus Omark and Teemu Hartikainen.
You see, we, as fans, tend to regard the NHL as not just the ultimate, but the “only” and that’s outrageous. Omark and Hartikainen arrived in Edmonton during a time of great turbulence in the front office and behind the bench. Hartikainen was drafted in 2008, by new scouting director Stu MacGregor. The general manager was still Kevin Lowe, coach remained Craig MacTavish.
Hartikainen had a solid rookie AHL season in 2010, one of the best seasons at age 20 this century by an Oilers forward prospect. He was productive in a recall that season (2010-11) but coach Tom Renney had other fish to fry and the big Finn got lost in the flood. Next season, same thing.
In 2012-13, Hartikainen played half of the year in Edmonton but couldn’t post crooked numbers offensively. His most common linemates were Anton Lander and Magnus Paajarvi, and he played 194 minutes at five on five without scoring a goal.
Hartikainen could see the writing on the wall (it was spelled Joensuu) and signed in the KHL, where he remains to this day. MacT, who was head coach on the day Hartikainen was drafted, dealt away Hartikainen’s rights to Toronto for Mark Fraser on January 31, 2014.
We, as fans, tend to look at that story and place 100 percent of the blame on the player. I don’t think that’s the correct way of viewing the Hartikainen story.
Since leaving the Oilers employ, Hartikainen has been productive in the KHL. That league is considered to be the second best league in the world. Per 82 games during those years, Hartikainen is averaging 24-36-60. His NHLE this season? 82gp, 47-38-85.
I’m not saying Hartikainen would be on his way to an 85-point season in the NHL if Edmonton had handled him better, but I am saying the Oilers did not exhaust all opportunities before moving on from him.
My sincere hope is that Ken Holland and Dave Tippett will show the patience of Holland’s DRW when it comes to the kids in the system. No team is so prospect rich as to turn it’s back on talented prospects just because the new guy has a different valuation. Put them in the lineup, watch them play. Give them 500 at-bats before you make the call. It’s the right thing to do.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy show this morning, TSN1260. At 10:20 Geoff Ullrich from Draft Kings will join me to break down the NFL weekend and Bears-Rams tonight. Jason Gregor from TSN1260 will pop in at 11 to discuss the NHL return date, Oilers and more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!