Holloway Inn

by Lowetide

Dylan Holloway’s Wisconsin season is underway, and the Oilers 2020 first round pick delivered a strong performance. He scored a goal, played miles in the middle, had three shots on goal and was effective playing center between Roman Ahcan (undrafted) and Sam Stange (Detroit, 2020). In Holloway’s last 10 games, he has scored 5-4-9 with 31 shots. Oilers fans are notorious for reacting quickly to small samples and this is the ultimate small sample. Don’t get excited. Well, maybe a little excited. Yes. A little excitement is in order.


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.


Peter Chiarelli made 31 trades (by my count) in 45 months, or about 8.27 trades per year. Ken Holland has made six trades in 18 months, or 4.00 trades a year. It’s going to take some time to adjust to the pace.

Holland doesn’t make a lot of trades, but does sign free agents from all areas of the planet.


July 19, 2019. Oilers trade LW Milan Lucic and a 2021 third-round pick to the Calgary Flames for LW James Neal. This trade was lauded at the time, mostly because it was impossible to buyout Lucic, and because it had enormous implications for the coming expansion draft. The deal is less popular now, but for me this remains a fine trade even if they don’t buy out Neal. Holland inherited an albatross and rid himself of it. If the return was a creaking board in the captain’s mess, I’ll take it.

July 26, 2019. Oilers trade the rights to RHD John Marino to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2021 conditional sixth-round pick. This was another tough bit of business, reading Marino’s words since the trade told me there wasn’t a snowflake’s chance in a hot place he was signing here. It’s unfair for sure but that’s the danger in drafting players born in the USA and heading to college. We await the selection. Marino might have been Chiarelli’s best value pick. Fitting he never played here.

February 24, 2020. Oilers trade RHD Joel Persson to the Anaheim Ducks for G Angus Redmond and a 2022 conditional seventh-round pick. The condition is that Persson needs to play 25 games or more in 2020-21.

This trade brought nothing back, I think they just wanted to give Persson another team to audition for during the season. I don’t believe Edmonton will get anything in the way of a pick.

February 24, 2020. Oilers trade RC Kyle Brodziak and a 2020 fourth-round pick (Jan Bednar) to the Detroit Red Wings for RD Mike Green.

Green played about four periods, didn’t come back for the postseason and then retired. That’s a little shy of a fourth-round pick. This deal was not value.

February 24, 2020. Oilers trade a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for LW Tyler Ennis.

I think this trade was solid for what it brought deadline through the end of the ‘Hawks series. It probably helped the Oilers in attempts to re-sign Ennis, too. A thumb’s up on this deal.

February 24, 2020. Oilers trade RW Sam Gagner, a 2020 second-round pick (Brock Faber) and a 2021 second-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings for LW Andreas Athanasiou and LW Ryan Kuffner.

This trade doesn’t look good now and is going to look worse in the future. I think it’s fair to suggest that this trade is a fail and even without the knowledge of what happened after (Holland walked him after giving up those second rounders) the deal. For me, there are two parts to this trade: The pre-Covid deal, and it was too much to pay, and walking the player and using the money elsewhere. That’s something that was clearly dictated by the new order of things after the flat cap arrived. So, I’m calling it a very poor trade without factoring in what happened with the money. That’s a separate conversation.


Good trades: Acquiring Ennis.

Reasonable trades: Acquiring Neal.

Forced trades with no blame: Marino trade.

Trades that don’t move the needle either way: Persson.

Less than true value trade: Acquiring Green.

A bad trade: Acquiring Athanasiou.


I do believe the Athanasiou trade was poor. It might have worked out better, and maybe in a non-Covid world he’s signed for next season at $3.1 million or similar. While being critical of Holland for the deal, I think it’s also fair to give him credit for spending the money wisely on Tyler Ennis and Dominik Kahun. Holland’s job isn’t to answer to Lowetide for his sins, his job is to make the team better. His pivot away from Athanasiou and toward less expensive and superior replacements was guided by a change in the weather. Holland acted appropriately even if the outcome framed him in a less than complimentary light. I give him credit for it. It shows maturity. It doesn’t mean we give the general manager a pass on the AA trade and honestly the trade market hasn’t been a strength for him since arriving in Edmonton.


Kahun goes right to the top of the list for Holland in free agency and we have to asterisk due to the cap situation. That said, the club did in fact get a strong fit for value dollars and that should be acknowledged. The Tyson Barrie signing isn’t getting a lot of attention here, but that was a quality addition, too. Tyler Ennis, Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard, Josh Archibald all signed under Holland and I think some credit is due for that work.

It isn’t a perfect record, Holland signed Zack Kassian to a four-year deal ($3.2 AAV) at the end of January. Kassian won’t cover that contract and wouldn’t have covered it in the old cap world (pre-Covid). The deal was signed mere weeks before the shutdown and a Kassian deal now would be for far less. I don’t blame Holland, that would have required Nostradamus level foresight.

I think the Mike Smith signing is the post-Covid addition that merits criticism. Holland has great faith in elder statesmen and it’s a fairly easy fix if it doesn’t work out. Then again, fixing it might require a mid-season trade and the general manager has been fairly spendy in this area since arrival.


I do not believe the hockey fan who reads articles and opinions online is well served by the current verbal as it pertains to evaluation of general managers. Some of the brightest hockey minds are fans, but true insight gets clouded by rage and self promotion.

Put another way, if you believe you can be a general manager, then do what Dellow and others did and get in the game. If you’re making public comments that always end with “these dummies are brain dead” then it’s difficult for me to take you seriously.

General managers take their jobs seriously. General managers make mistakes, and those mistakes are in the Hockey Guide and Record Book for all time. So, if decades of results prove that even excellent general managers make mistakes, then it seems to me that we should be able to include that reality in the conversation.

Ken Holland’s best move since arriving in Edmonton has been adding Dave Tippett. His second best move has been in elevating players like Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones when ready, an important feature that has been missing for many years in Edmonton. That kind of ‘prospect whisperer’ touch may soon apply to Jesse Puljujarvi, a young man who felt and acted like an outsider until the GM had the ‘Dad’ talk with him. These are valuable things.

Holland has done well in free agency. Most of his stopgap additions in year 1 delivered enough to return, and we may see spikes from names like Nygard and Haas in the coming year. Kahun and Barrie represent the possibility of exceptional value contracts via NHL free agency, a rare item indeed.

Holland hasn’t done well in the trade market. I think the flood of traded picks will come back to haunt him in the coming years unless he can sign college, CHL and Euro free agents of some quality.

I gave Holland a B- after the 2019-20 season and many of you were mad as hell, thinking it should have been an A. I will tell you that I’m leaning toward A for his work in this offseason. I’ll wait until the end of the 2020-21 season to give another report card on Holland.


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What a start to the Badger season for Condredge. Good for him… and Holland.

I just want to say that I’m mad at you all (well not you, OP, this time; but the rest of everybody) for talking me out of liking Holloway in the days leading up to the draft.

I know there’s supposed to be a shortage of poles this year but I’ve already got my Festivus rant planned for the 25th of Covidmas. I got a lot of problems with you people and now ya gonna hear about it!

That’s right. I’m going to be wishing y’all a Happy Holloway.

The Neal – Lucic trade, by the way was brilliant. Bruce sometimes says things that are so wrong that the Vic Ferraris of this world depart forever. Speaking as an eyewitness.

Last edited 11 months ago by Munny

I can say with confidence that I was a huge Holloway proponent way before and leading up to the Draft. So, if you have me on your list, I am adding you to mine 😁😟.


You’re right, I forgot. You definitely were a big proponent for Holloway and early on too. When said 2020 Festivus Pole is acquired, you are more than welcome to join me next to its warming glow.

…Incidentally, I own a microphone.

Last edited 11 months ago by Munny

Last edited 11 months ago by Munny

First, I like to hear “positive EV bets!”

You play poker!

From a strictly probabilistic perspective, you are absolutely correct. Also, if you look at offensive production, in isolation, you are absolutely correct!

A contrarian, like myself, would offer an opposing view or two.

First, from a transactional point of view, Sakic paid a second and a third for Burakovsky, a superior player with a greater draft pedigree at a lower price point.

Now, I’ll acknowledge that I am cheating, because Sakic did not acquire Burakovsky when prices were at their highest before the deadline..

So there’s that.

Well then, there are players who are sufficiently poor defensively that while they can produce offense, they’re forever in the tweener or out of the NHL category.

Fairly recently, I argued against very intelligent people here, that I would have rather received a fourth rounder in return for Letestu than Pontus Aberg. I like implied odds, perhaps too much.

Very quickly, your argument of the probability of a fourth rounder producing offense at the level of a Pontus Aberg was pointed out to me.

and then, we placed Aberg on waivers… he was claimed.

My scoffed at return for Letestu proposed by me to being a lowly 4rth round pick… turned into Pontus Aberg… turned into zilch.

For AA, there are other factors you’ve ignored in your argument including his minimum qualifying offer and arbitration rights two seasons out from scoring 30 goals.

Still, the flaw in the trade was acquiring a tweener. There’s that.


GF, GA, GF% relative to team for Burakovsky and Athanasiou over the past 5 seasons.

(year, GF/60Rel, GA/60Rel, GF%Rel)
15-16 +0.33 +0.77 -5.69
16-17 -0.17 +0.19 -4.08
17-18 -0.06 -0.47 +4.61
18-19 -0.56 -0.23 -2.58
(19-20 +0.62 +0.35 +0.78) (after trade)

15-16 +1.06 +0.34 +8.59 (only 37GP)
16-17 +0.22 -0.16 +4.01
17-18 +0.02 +0.46 -4.26
18-19 +0.14 -0.04 +1.90
19-20 -0.17 +1.82 -14.88

Better quality of team can punish a player’s relative numbers. Beyond that I don’t see much to choose between Burakovsky and Athanasiou before the current season.

This season GA was AAs main issue, and his on ice SV% was worst in the entire league (among the 400 most used forwards). His on ice SV% was .870. His previous 4 seasons ranged between.914 and .927.

I think a return to pre-19-20 numbers is highly likely.


The Hockey News has Holloway as 7th on their NCAA prospects to watch this year:



And also Carter Savoie at 35.

How would you describe that slot for Savoie–fair?


Personally, can’t provide an opinion on that – never seen him play a game.


Is Ee everywhere?

Last edited 11 months ago by Munny

I think Holloway is 6 for 6 on the draw on the PP tonight….most of them scrambled but he was part of the battle that won the puck back each time.

Dylan plays the left half wall on the PP but often cycles back to the point for periods of time. He is not shy to come of the left side-wall and fire one towards the net.

Harpers Hair

Holloway is Jake Virtanen.


And Draisatl is Colborne


Everyone has that 1 joke they hear 1000 times and still laugh at it.

Mine is thinking of HH saying Draisaitl is Colborne.


If there was any doubt of intent and purpose of participating in this community….


You wish Virtanen could be Hollaway


This is like one of those GRE questions:

Dylan Holloway is to Jake Virtanen as ———- is to Joe Colbourne.

a) Rod Brind’Amour
b) Leon Draisaitl
c) Mark Messier
d) Joe Nieuwendyk


His first goal of the season that you linked was precisely that… Holloway falling back to the point to cover for a pinching Dman, and then rotating back to the slot as the Dman pulls up.

Might be a Badger tactic, no idea, but I like it. It’s something Peter Forsberg would do.


Holloway’s second goal of the season:



Thanks OP. That’s a nice looking shot!


Holloway give the Badgers a 4-3 lead with apx 10 left in the third.

Zone entry but without numbers, takes the puck around the net, comes out the other side, pivots and snipes one short side shelf!


Look forward to your after game report. 😉


That was a well-assured goal. He almost looked like he expected it to go in from the moment he shot it. He was practically celebrating with the puck halfway there. Tremendous confidence. And confidence means greater likelihood of growth and upside. Of course, like Virtanen, it ~somewhat~ depends on how far up the ladder you can carry the ‘tude. I’ll grant resident troll (with tenure, sadly) Humbert Humbert that much in his Reed-Richards-stretched comp to JV.

Last edited 11 months ago by Munny

cowboy bill

Everything is very positive with the Oilers right now . Holland seems to have had a brilliant off season . It’s a shame they have to live with Mike Smith . But Holland was possibly better off taking strides in other areas of need and there is no doubt Mike Smith will be highly motivated to prove his critics wrong . The other impressive thing is all the prospects playing in Europe that all appear to be performing at a high level and will be running on all cylinders in time for training camp . Whenever that is ?

Now I’m going to throw a a name out there that could be another feather in Holland’s cap and that is Theodore Lennstrome who may , or may not , make a impact on the roster this season . We will have to wait and see .

I’m certainly not happy with the Mike Smith re-sign although i am happy that Holland went “cheap” – just think there were other cheap options available (Dell, trade for Hill, etc.). With that said, Holland was very clear he was going to get a legit 3G for a bit of extra insurance and I think he did a fantastic job with signing Forsberg and i have some confidence that, if Smith’s cliff gets even steeper, Forsberg can handle the back-up role as least until Holland is able to make a mid-season fix, which should be available.

As far as Lennstrom, i think someone has been reading/listening to Staples, McCurdy and the Cult? Staples has been raving about him and, frankly, when I was reading and learning about him in the spring after he signed, the info was quite good. I would anticipate he would be top pairing LD in the AHL – that does provide a chance of a call-up if injuries do pile up.

Staples has been raving about his work with the puck, his skating and his overall offensive instincts.


Holloway takes his first minus of the year (and is now -1 on the year) as the Fighting Irish score a beauty off the rush. No direct culpability and I don’t think any indirect culpability.


No plus and no point for Holloways but his second straight faceoff win on the PP leads to a PP goal.


Sleepy start to the game for Wisconsin until they got a PP on a poor offensive zone PIM by Notre Dame. Holloway takes the draw on PP1 and wins it leading to almost a full 2 minutes of possession time. Holloway with a decent shot from not far off the half-boards which caused a scramble but no goal. Near the end of the shift, Holloway did lose a battle for a loose puck and Notre Dame finally got a needed clear.



 Reply to  Elgin R

 November 14, 2020 10:33 am

Yes, and one of the Neal options is a future buyout. It may be unpopular to add more dead money but freeing up $3.8 mil in a flat cap environmment could go a long ways to solving our goal tending issue or top six winger issues next year. Or Barrie may have an outstanding year and we may want to resign him. As said the Neal trade gives us more options.

I’m optimistic there might not be any ‘top 6 winger’ issues to solve next off season.

Last edited 11 months ago by jp



November 14, 2020 10:20 am

AA was -45 in 46 games when we acquired him. That has to be some sort of record, no?

I think the optics of the Detroit trades are a little poor. You wonder if he was sort of intentionally giving something back to his old team.

It’s disappointing to hear about the Markstrom offer.

That’s sort of the classic old school GM blunder of getting in a bidding war for a thirty plus goalie coming off one season of success.

That’s the recency bias issue prevalent with some conventional GMs.

Markstrom does not have a long record of success… Even his last season was fairly mediocre.

We agree on a lot of things, I think. But even though you’re the Admin I don’t think I agree with really any of this.

We’ve talked lots about AA previously. As defmn mentions 30 goals the season before is the flip side. I thought it was a reasonable trade at the time but we we’ll continue to disagree.

In terms of wondering about helping his old team, I guess that presupposes the trade was a clear loss the day it happened. If you view the trade as in the ball park of fair there’s little reason to wonder about other motives. Holland didn’t offer to take real problems he created off of Yzerman’s hands (Abdelkader, Nielsen, Helm, DeKeyser)

I’ll agree the Markstrom business was a bit concerning.

I’m not sure about your characterization of Markstrom though. He got a lot of attention this season (and it was his best) but he’s been extremely consistent for 5 seasons now. He’s (IIRC) one of only 3 goalies to have kept his SV% at .910 or better in 5 of the past 5 years. He also hasn’t been elite, but he has very consistently been an at least average NHL goalie for a long time, and an at least average starter for the last 3 years. (I guess mediocre and average aren’t so apart, though obviously the connotation is rather different).

Also, if you’re going to claim Holland being swayed by recency bias on Markstrom then you should at least credit him for NOT being swayed by recency on AA, no?

Anyway, I don’t think this is a fully fair take on Holland.


First, you’ve given me a project to do.

I am in no way shape or form really the Admin of this blog.

This is 100% Lowetide’s blog. I have just stepped in to help update and fix a few issues on the backend of the site.

My own cynical views do not represent this blog or Lowetide.

I am just another random person posting on this site.

You’re also free to disagree with me though our views are often fairly aligned. 🙂

Last edited 11 months ago by Ryan

I was just joking about the admin part, trying to lighten up the post. I should have added a smiley (and you’ve always been very clear you are not actually a site admin!).

Yes, I guess we will disagree on this stuff.


There, it’s fixed.

I’ve surrendered the red Admin badge. The one perk of the job.

Yeah, you hit a bit of a sore spot with that because I felt bad about that issue. I like to post my opinions, but I don’t want anything I post as being misconstrued as representing this blog or Lowetide. He certainly doesn’t deserve that 🙂

Glad to hear that you were being facetious with that. Also good that it motivated me to fix that issue.

As for Markstrom, I used some hyperbole by the word, “mediocre” but he was middle of the pack in terms of starter save percentage last season.

Glad it’s Calgary and not us on the hook for $6m x6 for that contract.


Again, me mentioning the Admin thing was truly 0% serious. Definitely sorry to hit a sore spot, and at no point was there any question your opinions were your own.

And yeah, it’s good that Markstrom ended up a Flame. Beyond NHL experience there’s very little argument he’s better than Koskinen.


No worries! I can be a little harsh in my criticism of Oilers management. It’s fair game to call me out on that.


I don’t think anybody thought anything about you holding the admin badge other than thanks for fixing the technical issues that had started to make this blog difficult to use.

I know I am grateful for all your work.


15 minutes until game time for the Badgers – Holloway’ last club game for, hopefully, the rest of the year (if he’s heading to the 5-week camp, he might as well make the damn team).




– For forwards TOI/GP is strongly (~ .85 past couple of years) correlated to Pts/GP. This could be interpreted as forwards who get more ice time get more points, but I think it’s more likely that forwards who get more points (in the minds of HCs) get more ice time.

– The correlation between 5v5 TOI/GP and 5v5 P60 is weaker, around .59. Smaller sample, lower scoring rates.

– The correlation between 5v5 TOI/GP and 5v5 GF% is weaker still (in the .30 to .45 range over the past 13 years). This is because ice time and defensive play (GA60) aren’t strongly correlated (in the .14 to .26 range over the past 13 years). Forwards are much more variable in the rates they produce goals than the rates they give up goals. This is in keeping with Holland’s quote a few weeks ago, something something any NHL player can play defense but fewer players can produce offense. I’m glad he knows this by the way.

– Drai played way more minutes than Point, so just by his bigger numbers, I’d guess he had more variance in his TOI/GP than Point. He might be giving up more goals late in long shifts. Maybe. A little too far down the rabbit hole for me to go. But if he is getting scored on more in the tail end of long shifts and the Oilers and Tippett don’t know this and continue to play him for long shifts… I’d reconsider my Christmas list.

– For forwards, there’s a reasonable relationship between 5v5 ice time and 5v5 scoring, but the relationship between 5v5 ice time and winning at 5v5 is quite weak. And this is largely because ice time is a poor predictor of GA60.

Thanks for this!

The challenge here, as I understand, is that correlation curves assume linear relationships.

The basic premise that I have started after reading Dom’s explanation of why he didn’t vote for Leon Draisaitl… My first thought was that if Leon played on a better calibre team that didn’t have two fourth lines, perhaps he wouldn’t have faced this criticism from Dom:

If Draisaitl’s defensive game was even average, this would be no contest. In fact, he’d be an easy choice to win the award and would be worth 4.33 wins.

Back to the linear relationship issue…

I think with toi/g there’s a tipping point (you saw what I did there?) for every player in which their scoring rate and/or defensive ability will decline.

Draisaitl led the entire effing NHL in toi/g among forwards average 22:36 per game.

That’s a full 2 minutes over Dom’s first choice forward last season, Panerin at 20:36

Panerin’s a winger who averaged 4 seconds per game on the penalty kill, but Draisaitl who led the league in ice time and played a minute per game on the penalty kill, needs to learn how to play average defence…

Draisait’s max minutes was 29:22.

Panerin played over 23 minutes per game 10 times…

Draisaitl played over 23 minutes per game 31 times…

It’s hard to backcheck and play defence when you’re tired.

For Draisaitl, I looked at expected goals for % from Natural Stat trick… (since it doesn’t have a bunch of zeros like actual Gf%).

For the 15 games that Draisaitl played the most minutes, his average expected GF% was 48% all states (vs 46.5% at 5v5)

For the 15 games that Draistail played the least amount of minutes, his average expected GF% was 60% all states vs (52% at 5v5)

It’s hard to tease out these time on ice effects or going down the rabbit hole as you say. 🙂

Still, I think there’s a missing story with the effects of all of those minutes on 29’s defensive reputation.

Last edited 11 months ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

This exactly why Panarin should have won the Hart Trophy…most valuable to his team.


Joe Colborne says hi back !


Thank you. Knowing you would have picked Panarin tells me that Draisaitl was the correct choice.



 November 14, 2020 8:35 am

It is very clear that the draft philosophy is picking the best natural athlete. Will see if it pans out but Broberg is tracking very well.

And as I’ve been saying, Holloway is the Lucic type player we’ve been looking for

I really don’t see any Lucic in Holloway at all – not even good/prime Lucic. I watched the entire Wisconsin game last night and don’t see any resemblance – with repsect.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

If you had to throw a name or two out there, who would you say Holloway is comparable to, OP?


I won’t pretend to speak for OP but he was compared to Evander Kane in a post late last night after his game.


In case you are interested and didn’t see it. A really thorough breakdown.



Tough to say – maybe a faster Blake Wheeler.


You don’t see him being a haul to play against and a guy that comes out of the corners with the puck and wins majority of one on one battles?


Absolutely I see that but he is such a better skater than Lucic and more skilled that Lucic and has a better shot than Lucic. Yes, one of Holloway’s primary skills is battles and winning battles but, from what I’ve seen, that’s where the comparisons ends.


If you don’t mind saying OP was there anything in Oilknight’s report last night that you saw differently?


Not really, Sean did a solid job (and was more detailed than me).

The one potential disagreement was his tidbit about Holloway not doing much with the puck after he got his zone entires – I thought he generally made smart plays – nothing overly creative or dynamic but a few drives to the net, a few possession maintains down low, etc.


Merci. Early days but a pretty positive debut to the season.


Its interesting to grade Holland vis-a-vis signings. For me, with respect to external signings, he has done a very good job, perhaps even a great job this off-season, with the limited resources he has had. Lots low of low risk bets last off-season that provided value (Archie, Sheahan, etc.) and, this off-season, some deals that could be insane value contracts – Kahun, Barrie, Turris.

On the other hand, some of the external re-signs, well, not so good – Kassian is the best example (and it was a poor deal even pre-Covid) and Chiasson as well (that $2.1M not terrible but the 2nd year was a potential issue the day it was signed). Caleb Jones may be the saviour.


Jesse trying to get Bouch in for the Oilers European lead in PIMs – probably as deserved as Bouch’s 20 min misconduct for interference earlier in the year:


Harpers Hair

You know who has carved out a nice pro career?

Kyle Platzer.

I was noodling the Liga stats and noticed the former 4th round Oiler pick has 11 points in 12 games with KooKoo tied for 23rd in the league. You have to wonder if the team gave up on him too early since he’s still only 25.

Another ex-Oiler of note…Lauri Korpikoski has 12 points in 13 games.

Was surprised to see Puljujaarvi tied for 31st in the league at 10 points in 13 games.

And, for those of you playing along at home, Flames defensemen Juuso Valimaki is tearing up the league with a PPG pace, tied for 6th in league and first among defensemen.
It appears he is fully recovered from his injury.

Last edited 11 months ago by Harpers Hair
buck yoakam

Every time I see that kid’s name in your title I think of Holiday Road from the griswolds…fun fact that was written and performed by Lindsey Buckingham…There is a good possibility that Holland will be deserving credit for another out of the box pick in the first round (defying the pundits again!)


Ryan McLeod keeps producing for Zug in the Swiss National League with a second period goal.


Thanks OP. Do you happen to know his stats for the year? Does anyone know how the Swiss league ranks with the other European leagues?


I think he’s 3/3/6 in 10 games for the year.

Not sure on the equivalencies.


Really nice post LT, thanks.


The slumping Broberg saw his TOI go back up a bit tonight as he played a smidge over 19 minutes in a 3-2 OT win. He was -1 with 3 shots on net. I think he’s been minus for 6 or 7 straight games.

Kril Maksimov with the best game of his pro career. A goal and assist in the a 7-0 win for CKSA Moscow – in the KHL not the VHL. 14 minute of ice.

Samorukov wasn’t in the lineup for some reason….

Niemelainan not in the lineup for the 3rd straight game for Assat – he must be hurt.

Puljujarvi has himself an assist as Karpat is down 3-1 heading to the third.


Slumps in young players are to be expected. How they handle them is the key going forward. Thanks again for all the updates.


Sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story. If a player is a glue type player in the dressing room or if they are good at sticking up and indimadating the other team there is value there


The AA trade certainly didn’t turn out well but, two things:

1) it was a very reasonable bet at the time – the acquisition price was legit but given the player was not a rental, was under team control and reasonable bet to be a part of the future in a position of need, it was reasonable.

2) Holland didn’t double down on what turned out to be a mistake – I was one that would have been OK giving him a one year $3M contract (although the arb risk was real). I was clearly wrong and Holland clearly made the right decision not to qualify the player – he read the market very well and he made the right decision even though he knew it would bring to light poor optics on the initial deal.


I don’t hate the Smith signing either.  Sure, it would have been nice to get someone better, but IMO other teams made far bigger mistakes by signing players like Talbot, Holtby, Crawford, Greiss et al to multi year contracts with AAVs between $3.5 to $5 mill. 

Interesting to note that the one consistent criticism Holland gets for his off season is his failure to address the goaltending situation. I listen to a lot of podcasts and the NHL network on Serius and every report card I’ve head lowers the mark for Holland because he failed to sign a goalie. 

In an off season with a glut of goalies on the market, it was the one position that seemed to get paid.  Holland signed an entire third line for less term and money than Crawford, Holtby, Talbot and Greiss. I’ll take our new third line over any of these goalies.


In an off season with a glut of goalies on the market, it was the one position that seemed to get paid.  Holland signed an entire third line for less term and money than Crawford, Holtby, Talbot and Greiss. I’ll take our new third line over any of these goalies.

I see it the same way. My hope going into FA was Griess for 2 years at around $2.5. Once that ship sailed I was fine with the one year for Smith at money that can be mostly buried should it go bad or a better option come available.

I still think one of the LD is used in trade at some point depending on how the season goes and if a 23-28 year old goalie with starter potential becomes available.

A lot of problems got addressed this offseason, one didn’t and I don’t think Holland created any new ones.

Last edited 11 months ago by defmn

I watched this entire game and Holloway was the best player on the ice.

His speed was dominant and on display shift after shift after shift. His speed carrying the puck through the neutral zone and in the offensive zone for clean entires was intoxicating. He almost always made a plus play once he got in to the zone including one rush towards the net for a mini-break and another rush towards the net where he dropped the puck for the trailer for a solid chance.

Twice he found the soft spot in the slot and took a pass for a high danger chance. Once at evens which was stopped and once on the PP for his goal.

Essentially every time the puck was dumped in to the Notre Dame zone, he was first to it on the forecheck.

He used his size and strength routinely to win battles, most impressively, in open ice (not on the boards) for 50-50 pucks. One example, he blocked a shot at the point and the puck scooted out the neutral zone – he outraced one defender and arrived at the puck at the same time as another, he muscled him off with a shoulder and won the puck in the offensive zone create a cycle shift.

He took a few defensive zone faceoffs protecting the lead in the that last 10 minutes.

10-4 on faceoffs

PP time but no PK time.

A brilliant first game.

Elgin R

Holland is absolutely trending towards an A for his latest offseason work. Interesting that the team as assembled now is better because two players (AA and Markstrom) turned down offers from Holland. Barrie, Turris, Ennis and Kahun are going help make the Oilers a better team.

Have to wait and see how Holland handles the Bear and RNH situations.

As a business owner, I make decisions everyday that will impact the company for good and bad. This is very stressful as people’s jobs are at stake. However, there is not a public blog or discussion board dissecting my decisions. A GM job for a Canadian team would be very difficult and not one I would want.


Definitely agree…Holland deserves an A.
Imagine if he was the Leafs GM during this off-season, everyone would be giving him an AAA++++. They would include the Smith signing as a responsible play (these two goalies got us to 2nd in the Pacific so minor regression wouldn’t matter due to the upgrades elsewhere). There would be 4 articles daily about how good he’s done attracting very good players to come and sign at way under market value due to his amazing off-season work (Barrie & Kahun). And then bringing back Jesse for 2 years (something most never thought was possible..me included) instead of trading him for nothing would earn hour-long specials on TSN.
Just because he’s the Oilers GM he gets a letter below what he should have this offseason.

IMO, Smith is the only “negative” from this off-season. “Negative” only because his regression is past due, so its only a matter of time before every shot on net puckers up the bunghole.
However, I LOVE the passion Smith shows when he plays every single time he’s on the ice…and sometimes on the bench. He can win games sometimes just because he’s just so mad at himself he wont let anything passed him…ever again. McD n Drai (our leaders) are not “in your face” types, so we need guys that will show some emotion. I truly wish Smith could play another 2-3 years to show these guys true passion and appreciation to be able to play on the greatest ice surface in the world. You can’t teach that but if you have the right guys in the room, it will start to rub-off on others that need it.

My biggest concern, or what I deem to be Holland’s biggest tests (its been mentioned by many on here)…how much money should go out to Nuge and Nurse?
Nuge should get an identical contract to the one that’s now expiring. He’s earned it and we all want him to stay. Anything more than 6.5mil is too much in this flat cap world though.
Nurse cant be anymore than 6mil either. I’m sorry, but 6 million gets you a very good Dman now (which Nurse sometimes is)…7 million should be netting you a true #1 Dman. If Nurse wants to stay in Edmonton he should be taking less money to do so. Otherwise, maybe Nurse is the trade to be made to get McD his winger. He has two years left, has lots of good “book stats” and he plays with an edge (sometimes)…so the interest would be out there. The return would have to be juicy enough to take the sting out of losing one of our core players though.

Nurse for Laine? Hall?

Nurse gets us a very good player and a very good first line for many years to come…and I don’t see too much more progression for Nurse in his game so he may be in his prime already.
The expansion draft next year could force a GM to make a Chiarelli-type move this coming year (Larsson for Hall….again?), but this time we could win instead of losing all hope in a single transaction.
I do think Larsson is the guy that will move sometime this season (unless he takes a pay-cut), but Nurse gets us a much better return.


I liked the AA trade at the time.  I believe a majority of Oiler fans did as well because he didn’t give up a first round pick to acquire a legit scoring threat.  

I gained tremendous respect for the GM when he walked away from the player in contract talks. Walking away from trade assets may be one of the most challenging and astute moves a GM can make.   

Jason Botterill gave up some decent assets to acquire Jeff Skinner.  But the crippling mistake was resigning him. The eight year $9 mill deal was one of the worst contracts in the league the day it was signed. 

cowboy bill

Everything is very positive with the Oilers right now . Holland seems to have had a brilliant off season . It’s a shame they have to live with Mike Smith . But Holland was possibly better off taking strides in other areas of need and there is no doubt Mike Smith will be highly motivated to prove his critics wrong . The other impressive thing is all the prospects playing in Europe that all appear to be performing at a high level and will be running on all cylinders in time for training camp . Whenever that is ? Now I’m going to throw a a name out there that could be another feather in Holland’s cap and that is Theodore Lennstrome who may , or may not , make a impact on the roster this season . We will have to wait and see .


On the negative side:

Apparently offered AA a contract for $2.4 M that wasn’t accepted. To me that was a bigger mistake than the trade.

I really don’t care about the 2 seconds for AA. Not sure how much is regarded as an overpay at the time of the trade.

One of the 2nds, maybe? Does this mean we added a 45th to 55th overall pick too much?

I can’t get too excited about that one way or the other.

From numerous reports he offered Markstrom a deal for more money and term than I would be comfortable with although to be fair I have no idea if that meant he had something planned for Koskinen.

On the positive side:

The Smith deal didn’t fix anything but it didn’t break anything either.

It just buys time. If that happens via trade during the season Smith probably just retires rather than head to the AHL. It did no harm. It just maintained the status quo that had the Oilers in 2nd place in the Pacific last year. Playing at 38 is just as much of an outlier as playing at 39 so I expect pretty much the same performance. He’ll cost the team some points and win more games than most backups. If this is the year age finally does do him in Holland will have to overpay in trade which is what it looked like he was going to have to do in free agency. Then there would be no Turris, no Barrie, no Kahun etc.

Acquiring Barrie was almost like getting McDavid a real 1st line winger keeping his super star happy.

IF the Lucic trade has lost some of its bloom – it hasn’t for me – a reminder of the cost in the dressing room of a team with young leadership having an unhappy Lucic to deal with day after day.

Neal was unhappy in Calgary but was not at the centre of the team’s leadership group. Both teams needed to make a move but the need was stronger in Edmonton imo.


AA was -45 in 46 games when we acquired him. That has to be some sort of record, no?

I think the optics of the Detroit trades are a little poor. You wonder if he was sort of intentionally giving something back to his old team.

It’s disappointing to hear about the Markstrom offer.

That’s sort of the classic old school GM blunder of getting in a bidding war for a thirty plus goalie coming off one season of success.

That’s the recency bias issue prevalent with some conventional GMs.

Markstrom does not have a long record of success… Even his last season was fairly mediocre.


And a 30 goal season one year removed. And Detroit was historically bad last season. So taking the good and the bad what is that worth to a team that needs a little playoff success after years of futility?

A second?

That seems defensible to me which means the overpay was the additional 2nd which could reasonably be projected to the 45-55 range?

I know there are many here who value mid 2nd round draft picks more highly than I do but as I said I can’t get all that excited about its loss. What does it give – about a 12% chance of 200 games after 4 years of development?

I can’t remember the exact numbers but it isn’t something you can’t get in free agency most years if you are the GM of a winning team.

tavvey tune

You make a good point here on dressing room dynamics. It may affect player movement more than we tend to account for. A GM has to deal with negative influences especially with a young group. Not saying Lucic was that, but if he was then it has to be addressed.
I’m always dubious of players that bounce around, especially if they have valuable on-ice skills. Kahun made me a little nervous but I’ve since come to accept the reasons for his being moved around and they make sense. At least, I’m telling myself they make sense.
Poster boy for this concern of mine was Benoit Pouliot. High pick, good skater with skill, big, etc. We were his fifth team in 5 years, and when the inevitable buyout came, nobody wanted him. Why did so many teams decide to dump someone that seemed to check a lot of boxes?
I’m not necessarily looking for dirt on Pouliot, just making the point that we just don’t know what happens in the dressing, the plane, the hotel, etc. Guys that are great teammates and great people tend not to get moved around.

Crazy Pedestrian

Where did you hear what Holland’s offer to Markstrom was? From all accounts I was hearing it was in $5M range for max term. So Markstrom choose the contract with the larger AAV.


That’s what I heard too. All I said was that it was for more money & term than I would be comfortable with.

More money because that would make the goalie budget $9.5 for the next two years when there were so many other holes needing attention and that money and two years too long for my taste.

As I mentioned in my original post that might not be fair since maybe Holland had a plan to move Koskinen that we never heard about but $9.5 in goal with holes in the top six and no third line was too rich for me. I much prefer how it turned out.


Holland’s on record saying he didn’t want to sit on his hands with the team performing as it was approaching the playoffs, and I think it’s defensible for him to bet that AA getting a second opinion, on a team centered by McDrai, would pay dividends. The cost was dear, and the ROI was not Davidson for a series-winning goal, but it could easily have been that and more. Outcome sucks and he wears it, but I get the move through and through.


I think the acquisition price for the player was reasonable given the player was under team control for likely a reasonable re-sign price at the time. The team’s biggest need was skilled wingers and depth/secondary scoring at evens which is exactly what the player had brought in the past – no to mention more speed.

It didn’t work out – maybe it was destined to fail in any event but there were numerous mitigating circumstances that played factors.


The deal is less popular now”

It is??


The biggest argument is the money aspect which only matters to the people paying the salary. We knew Lucic was good at creating a Belanger triangle of nothingness.
but we got rid of a contract we had to protect in expansion draft, was buyout proof, was a terrible fit in the room (allegedly). And with Neal having injury issues he still almost got 20 goals. This is a huge win.
Lucic is only going to get slower, and his contract is not getting any more palatable as teams are desperate for cap space
neither player is worth their contract. But when Holland is ready next year we can use that Neal buyout cap for a solid player.
Flames will get to watch Lucic erode with Father Time
this deal will get better with every passing year

Elgin R

Not for me it’s not. The McCurdy article was a good read so thanks for providing the link LT.

Holland took care of a significant problem (full NMC) for the cost of a 3rd and $1.25m in cap. The “cash” that has been paid out is a big deal to the owner but does not impact the cap in any way – so no issue.

The expansion draft is the ‘elephant-in-the-room. With the trade Holland now has flexibility and options that were not there before. With the NMC, the Oilers would have been forced to go 7-3-1. Now, they may still do that but at least Holland can decide.

The Flames now have to go 7-3-1 and will lose a top 4 d-man.

Holland, Oilers team and all Oiler fans won this trade.


Pretty sure Lucic waives his no move clause. A GM like Treliving would have had that assurance from Lucic before the trade.

Not so sure he would have given it in Edmonton the way things went still makes it a win in my opinion but I doubt it is an issue in Calgary next summer.

Why would Seattle choose him?


Pretty sure based on what information, please.


Pretty sure based upon my understanding of Treliving as an ‘attention to detail’ type of GM.

Both GM’s knew they were unloading their problem for a different problem. How would it make any sense for Treliving to make that trade without Lucic agreeing to waive that clause for the expansion draft?


It would make no sense at all.

Both clubs had a problem. Edmonton’s was far more damaging than Calgary’s. Why would Treliving add a NMC on top of all the other negatives unless he knew that a guy who has a reputation as a team first kind of guy gave his word that he wouldn’t be that problem?

And there is no way Seattle is taking Lucic so what does it matter to him if he waives?


My guess is the reason the third round draft choice went to Calgary was because of the no move clause. I think you may be giving Treleving more credit than is deserved. We don’t know what we don’t know.


Treliving saved his owner $10 million real dollars in the Lucic trade, and got rid of a massive mistake on his part.


True. But Neal wasn’t nearly as damaging to the team in Calgary as Lucic had become in Edmonton. Do you really think Treliving made that trade without talking to Lucic?

I don’t.

And I think he could have saved his owner just as much money with a buyout, no?

Last edited 11 months ago by defmn

Yes, and one of the Neal options is a future buyout. It may be unpopular to add more dead money but freeing up $3.8 mil in a flat cap environmment could go a long ways to solving our goal tending issue or top six winger issues next year. Or Barrie may have an outstanding year and we may want to resign him. As said the Neal trade gives us more options.


In addition if they so decide to go 7-3-1 Neal does not have to be one of the seven where Lucic would have had to be protected. As you alluded to it was a win and in my opinion the league screwed the Oilers giving Calgary the pick.


I retroactively make that trade, today, knowing everything. Even if I feel the League screwed us on the pick.


I was very skeptical of the Holland hire at first. However he has proven to be a steady hand at the helm. He is humble, honest and relatable and I like him. It also helps his case that I remember his hockey card in my collection 😁.


What I would have preferred at the time was Holland hired as POH operations and a more modern thinker like Laurence Gilman as GM.


Holland is nothing if he’s not honest and forthcoming. He says what he’s going to do and then he does it.

Prior to last off-season, he set out his plan about acquiring “professionals” and speed and depth for the bottom six and PK ability – he did exactly that.

Prior to the deadline, he said he owned it to the players to get some help but he wasn’t going to trade the first round pick or overly mortgage the future – he did exactly that.


I don’t hate work done by Keith Gretzky, and I think him remaining in-house under Holland provides a chance for him to over-ripen. so to speak.


The Barrie and Kahun signings are big plus arrows.
Im worried that the lack of goaler improvement has the potential to sink the season but it looks like Holland just wanted to kick the can to the following year after not being able to land a big fish this year


I think that Smith was the wrong player on the right term. Next season, we only have one year left on Koskinen’s contract, so lots more opportunity to upgrade the position.


I don’t think it was so much kicking it down the road as it was the cost to upgrade given the cap constraints and other holes that needed to br filled. He apparently did try to upgrade but the cost became too high.


Wasn’t the high cost to upgrade what justified kicking the problem down the road, though?

The smart GM goes where the value is easiest to take advantage of, no?


I am personally very satisfied with Holland’s job as GM. I have some difficulty with people getting on some of his deals that didn’t turn out such as bringing on Green or trading two seconds for AA. Without a crystal ball there is no way he could have known. Given a normal completion of the season it is very possible that AA fits into the Oiler roster and brings value. It is also possible that Green becomes value during normal playoffs for his acquisition cost. He improved the team for a playoff run. It is not on Holland that the season was shut down due COVID! People need to quit blaming Holland for things out of his control.


In the plus column for Holland is getting so many European hockey spots this fall for his young prospects. I am interested how that impact the first month of a shortened season.


I was mad because I thought the B was too high lol! Didn’t like adding Smith, which was a poor bet from the beginning. Didn’t like the forward bets.

There seemed to be a real focus on Guys Who Played With Tipp/Ken and that has always irritates me. It’s like Chiarelli trading with Garth Snow over and over again.

I agree that Holland has demonstrated he won’t get caught in the sunk cost fallacy and that was clear with AA. Would have been human nature to try to double down and make it work.


It is very clear that the draft philosophy is picking the best natural athlete. Will see if it pans out but Broberg is tracking very well.
And as I’ve been saying, Holloway is the Lucic type player we’ve been looking for


While he could be that big winger class player, he’s playing a new and interesting role with the Badgers this season. Doesn’t look like that at all now.