Fast and Furious

by Lowetide

In the hours after the 2020 draft, director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said the style his Oilers want to play is “fast, hard, physical, skilled” and that’s an interesting set of assets to pursue. Today, I’d like to talk about the 2020-21 Bakersfield Condors—a team we’ll never see—and how many of those elements each player brings to the table. If Ken Holland and Tyler Wright (and Archie Henderson) are going to build a team based on their own priorities, we know what it will look like (Philip Broberg, Dylan Holloway). How many “fast, hard, physical, skilled” players would be bubbling under in Bakersfield right now?


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.

CONDORS 2020-21

The goaltenders (Anton Forsberg, Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells) are a solid group, I think Jay Woodcroft and his coaching staff (Dave Manson and J-F Houle) could win with a healthy duo of Forsberg and Skinner.

Dmitri Samorukov is definitely fast, hard and physical and he does have some skill. I think he qualifies for the Holland-Wright Oilers.

Evan Bouchard has terrific skill and has worked on the “hard” since arriving in pro hockey. I believe there are those who follow the team who wonder if Holland-Tippett have worries about Bouchard as an NHL player, but those concerns shouldn’t keep Bouchard’s considerable talent out of the league. It could limit him to third pairing usage (plus power play) until he finds his way, but the handling and verbal on Bouchard matches the Holland ‘slow play’ and ‘frugal’ templates established long ago. Bouchard begins his entry-level deal in 2020-21 (based on age and NHL games), Holland trying to get his financial house in order after several years of Hunter S. Thompson excess previous to his arrival in Edmonton. I would recommend not listening to those who are framing Bouchard as a bust because of his development timeline, as it (at least in part) had to do with contract and the cap.

Theodor Lennstrom has gathered believers with extreme prejudice and his speed plus skill give him a spot on this roster. I’ll stop short of endorsing him for an NHL job, as he recently missed two games and then went -3 in a game yesterday after having a strong first period (source: Mike Zanier). William Lagesson qualifies under “hard” and he’s fast enough to play in the NHL and does bring skill. I will tell you that based on his usage in Bakersfield and recall history, it’s my belief Holland likes this player and that Lagesson won’t hit the waiver wire when the season begins. I’ll remind you when it happens either way.

Markus Niemelainen is a physical defenseman but I’m not certain he’s “hard” to play against defensively. His five on five Corsi for (116-149 43.8 percent) is poor and he doesn’t bring speed or skill. I don’t think Niemelainen will reach the NHL and I don’t think he matches the Wright 4-pak. Phil Kemp was just signed and he fits the Wright model in terms of hard and physical, with a strong resume in his years at Yale and at the WJ’s. I don’t know if he fits the bill though, we’ll have to wait and see.

Ryan McLeod has brilliant speed and he’s an aggressive player, definitely qualifies for the Holland-Wright brigade. I think he’ll play NHL hockey in 2021. Cooper Marody has been running bad luck for longer than Jesse in Breaking Bad. He had a strong rookie season, got hurt in the playoffs and hasn’t been able to play 40 healthy games in a row since. He turns 24 just before Christmas. Marody has skill and and he’s a game rooster but speed is an issue. Unsure if he’s a Holland-Wright type. Alan Quine is fast and his aggressive forechecking makes him difficult to play against.

Tyler Benson is an interesting case, he qualifies on skill, physical and hard to play against. I’m not certain they’re convinced but suspect the Oilers will give him a shot due to lack of options. Every year that passes from this one forward where Benson doesn’t land a regular job, he gets closer to a Tyler Pitlick career. Joe Gambardella is a strong forechecker and has skill, so he qualifies but has Marody’s problem (quickly! There’s no time!) as it pertains to an NHL career. Ostap Safin’s scouting report had plenty of skill and aggressiveness but he hasn’t been healthy and is following the Curtis Hamilton career path.

Patrick Russell qualifies under hard to play against and physical, I’ll add ‘coachable’ to the resume. Seth Griffith and Adam Cracknell can score goals and both can be a good replacement for Josh Currie because they can also play center. Raphael Lavoie is skilled and hard to play against, plus he’s the most talented scoring forward in the system. He is part of the future. Kirill Maksimov qualifies under skill and hard to play against, plus he has utility.


  1. Dmitri Samorukov
  2. Evan Bouchard
  3. Theodore Lennstrom*
  4. William Lagesson
  5. Ryan McLeod
  6. Cooper Marody
  7. Tyler Benson
  8. Joe Gambardella
  9. Patrick Russell
  10. Raphael Lavoie*
  11. Kirill Maksimov

That’s a good list. Half of the team could fit into the description applied by Mr. Wright on draft day. The organization is also high on Stuart Skinner, making it an even dozen who would be bubbling under in Bakersfield in a normal year. Two of the names (*) were procured after Holland’s arrival.


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 Reply to  Ryan

 December 2, 2020 6:26 pm

I played with this a tiny bit this morning (thank you for posting) and have yet to receive a clue on how to analyze it…. I’m lost.

It’s a new tool, so it takes some playing around with.

There’s a twitter tread with some info:

Natural Stat Trick


New feature – shift performance charts.

These charts take a look at the shot attempt or expected goal rate for the first 60 seconds of shifts that starts with a face-off in a given zone.

It uses expected goals, which is also what I had previously used in a reply to GeorgeXS, because it smooths out the data (vs actual goals data).

This has some limitations with players like 97. If you’re a magician like 97, there’s quite a discrepancy between expected goal data and actual results (which are much better for 97).

Also, there are wonky results if you don’t factor in what type of minutes a given defensemen is playing. As usual, playing 3rd pairing minutes gives a salubrious boost to a player’s metrics.

It shows why coaches like Russell, starfish notwithstanding, shows well as being effective at suppressing expected goals against /60 from defensive zone starts.

Lowetide reminded us recently that some controversial players, to the chagrin of many Oilers fans, still do something well. In his article, Chiasson, for example, despite being a flawed player, can still shoot the puck.


To the surprise of noone, Broberg on the Swedish Preliminary Roster:


When on yhe subject of Condors, AHL contract James Hamblin who is currently on loan to Östersund in the swedish third tier leads his team in points with 21 in fifteen games, eleven goals, he should be a top player at that level but with it being his first time playing in a mens league and far away from home that’s solid production.

The late Dale Hawerchuk’s kid Ben is also on the team. Must be tough being so far away from home when you recently lost your father but in my experience teams at that level usually have very strong bonds within the team. It’s semi-pro so most guys work part-time whilst still training and travel almost as much as the pro teams so you have to be pretty damn passionate about your hockey which creates a special atmosphere of “we’re in this together”.
Though when things goes rotten it can get real bad and tense ofc since everyone is more or less on the edge but that’s rare in my experience. Especially on a team doing well, they’re second in the league.


Thanks for this update SP – tough for me to keep track of all the NHL-contract players over in Europe let alone the one’s on the AHL deals (Hamlin, Broseau, Kaldis, etc.).

If (when) North America starts up, camp will be with reduced rosters (apx 35) so these guys won’t be invited but I would anticipate they are coming back when (if) the AHL starts up in February.

With the Condors not playing in Canada which will mandate expanded taxi squad type rosters, the Condors are going to be THIN.


An “OK” first game by Savoie – looked very nervous/jittery in the first period – I posted about his comedy of errors on his first shift.

Settled in as the game went on but seemed to have some issues handling the puck most of the night.

Not really noticeable except when he was near the puck in the offensive zone but I think we know that’s his current game.

Took a hit on the boards in his own zone to get a puck out in the 2nd – that was solid.

Played the left half-wall/left point on PP1 – nothing spectacular – made one poor play where he took a low percentage shot off a shin-pad – no need to shoot that puck. Made one plus play on the PP where he anticipated a loose puck, was quick to it in the very high slot and took a solid shot on net.

Lots of shifts in the last 10 when tied and down one – a nice zone entry on a 2 on 2 with four minutes to go but tried to get a bit fancy and a pass to noone for an offensive zone turnover.

Was also out there for the PP starting with two minutes left and down a goal. Another weak shot in to the shinpads but got the puck recovery. A plus play towards the net that resulted in a bit of a scramble with 20 seconds left but noone cashed.

Finished with the one primary assist and was plus 1 – still not positive he didn’t tip that puck – there could be a scoring change.


Looks like Savoie is no longer even credited with the assist – I still think its his goal.

In any event plus 1 with 3 shots in the 2-1 loss (both GA were on the PK).

Solid start to his college career.

Heartening to see him (a) with PP time, (b) on the ice when needing the goal late, (c) regular shift.

Lots to work on to get him more active and involved in the play – couple years of NCAA coaching.


Savoie may have his first – it looks like he tipped the point shot but, as of now, it’s awarded to the dman that shot it.

I’m pretty sure he tippped it.


He’s been credited with an assist for now.

Victoria Oil

Thanks for the updates and scouting reports, OP.


Savoie’s first college period in the books.

When the puck isn’t on his stick, he’s not noticeable – quite a bit of standing around which I’m sure the coaches will coach out of him. Quick with the puck on his stick, one nice drive to the net. Was on PP1 which was good see – back at the left point.


Not a great first college shift for Savoie – got the puck with time on space on the half boards, fumbled it (no pressure) and fell down trying to get it back. Then spent time in the defensive zone against the cycle – lots of standing around. Did take a breakout pass at the blue, skated to center and dumped it in for the line change.

The standing around is pretty much the exact opposite of what I saw from Holloway – ha, one shift.


Looks like Savoie is starting as 3LW.


University of Denver and Carter Savoie time.

I don’t expect him to be deployed prominently but hopefully he’ll find a way to make a positive impact!


In a recent interview, Dubas expressed some support for running 7D and 11F.

I wonder if we see something similar with the Oilers in the coming seasons, with so many D prospects bubbling under.

A 12th forward won’t play much, but a 7D may still play 12-15 minutes.


I have always wondered how Cooper Marody would do at left wing with McDavid. He is probably the most skilled prospect in the system, excellent hockey IQ and excellent give and go game.

Unfortunately it won’t be his skating holding him back but most likely his concussion issues. Let’s hope he gets back to full health.


Lander was a better AHL player offensively, probably a better skater, better on the dot, able to PK, and had the knack of getting under the skin of the opposition. Legit all tool AHL #1 centre who could carry two mediocre AHL wingers with him.

Marody << Lander
Marody << Arcobello

I am mystified by the continual discussion of him in an NHL context.


The last time he was fully healthy, he was a greater than PPG player in the AHL as a rookie pro 21 year old. Yup, he had things to work on but he was a “real prospect” with potential.

Kale Kesey changes his life’s path….


I had not thought to compare him to Lander. Marody also a legit #1 AHL center, though more offensively focused.

One of Landers shortcomings was simply that the team he was on (Oilers) did not have enough decent NHL players and Landers could not carry an NHL line let alone with below average wingers. Marody also cannot carry an NHL line though he has a much greater chance with present Oilers wingers. (different timing)

My thinking was about finding more top of the roster additions rather than worry about bottom of the roster where options abound. The most skilled player they would have available (given good health) is probably Marody. Thus, I do wonder how he would do on McDavids wing.

As for discussion, its December 2nd, kind of running low on the usual subjects no?


Personally, I think Benson is more skilled and has a game more conducive to playing with McDavid.

Marody likes to carry the puck (he was the puck transition guy through the neutral zone and zone entry guy in the AHL) and, of course, McDavid is the puck carrier on his line.

Benson excels as deft little passes – he’ll be able to get the puck (good on the boards) and find McDavid on time and with space – in the neutral and offensive zones.

Scungilli Slushy

To me it comes down to this.

Smaller non physical players, as opposed ones like Gallagher, especially have to be plus skaters. Although Gallagher and his type are typically very effective skaters, or they wouldn’t be as effective. Yama is a high level skater, scouting saying one of the best in his class. If he was bigger he would have been ranked a lot higher.

Because every player has to contribute in a positive way for the team to be strong. This has been the Oiler’s weakness for years, enough talent and no support. Or all support and no talent.

Outside of the top talent players like Connor and Leon who should be supported because they are elite and the cap heavy players, the other players need to have the necessary attributes to help them do what they are paid to do.

Lander and Marody don’t have what the Oilers currently need. They are good hockey players, skilled, but being a good skilled hockey isn’t actually in short supply. Especially if they are mediocre skating, non physical, NHL undersized players.

What is needed is NHL size, plus skating, skilled hockey players that will do what it takes to hold down an NHL gig. Which is why McLeod it seems is more coveted by the team than Marody.

Who seems from accounts to not be signaling well to his current parent team. He’s gone back to the US, 20 other prospects are playing overseas.

I would bet money he’s writing songs instead.


Here is Blumel’s OT winner from yesterday:

Sorry, haven’t had a chance to do the full write-up on today’s games in Europe but will get around to it this evening.

Bouch did have a PP assist but missed on his shootout attempt.


So, we know that, if the NHL does get going in early 2021, a Canadian division will be mandated and now there are all sort of articles, blogs and talk about how the teams will finish.

What is absolutely heartening to me is that, while there is a massive range for the Oilers from 1st to 5th-6th, it seems that absolutely noone is projecting losing Klefbom for the year (which may or may not be the case) as a death-kill.

Can anyone recall an off-season in recent history where the Oilers’ collective would go in to a season with the long-term loss of Klefbom (without external replacement) and not anticipate a disaster?

Of course, noone things that the loss won’t be felt or won’t hurt but the Oilers have accumulated a defensive group with enough depth of skill and talent that the team might reasonably be able to weather the loss of Klef without catastrophe.



Those rankings of the Canadian teams I find shocking and educational at the same time. Do these other hockey folks really see so little danger from the Edmonton Oilers? I honestly think they have a surprise coming.


Gary Bettman’s statement today – exactly how I have been viewing this as well.

Over-arching concept: 50/50 split of HRR.

Players got greater than their 50% share in 2019/20 and owe the owners money.

Any return to play for 2020/21, with massive decrease in revenue but compensation paid based on an artificially inflated cap that does not represent 50% of HRR, will lead to the players getting materially more than their share and owing the owners more money.

Current projections is, if they continue with the “summer deal”, players will receive apx 80% of HRR and the amount they owe the owners will increase massively.

A “renegotiation” of the summer deal is really just about how much the players pay back the owners now and now much they pay back later and how long do they want the cap to stay flat which impact future contracts.


Apparently, Gary reads my Lowetide posts! -).

Players should be paid by the %percent of the cap.

Scungilli Slushy

And the cap % should have a feature to shift allocation within a team’s structure so that as fans we don’t have to suffer a worse product because of failed big contracts from which there isn’t any decent relief often.

Teams need some type of wiggle room if there is a cap ‘and’ guaranteed contracts. Otherwise the product and the fans suffer IMO.

If a player can’t meet the intent that placed their contracts at the value they were signed at (obviously there would have to be a lot of thought about how this would look) it is completely fair to me that they get paid less and more deserving players get paid more.


and that is a functional structure but not what has been agreed to by the players and the ownership group.

The players will never more off guaranteed contracts.

The league/owners will never move off the hard cap they finally got.

Yes, I know the NFL has non-guaranteed contracts, etc. but, of course, they are by far the weakest union of the four major North American professional sports.

Scungilli Slushy

This is all true. But I am referring to how it could work as opposed to how it is.


By what you have proposed the available cap would not change as the player whose cap/salary would decrease would go to the players producing. To do as you suggest each players contract would have to have a performance clause. Play better get more points you get more money. Get fewer points money subtracted. Lots of luck figuring that out. The simple answer is to do away with guaranteed salaries like the NFL. Not sure there is an easy answer but I do understand your frustration


All of this is exactly right. It is distressing that there so many people don’t understand this when it is so clear. More distressing that the players don’t seem to understand it. There is genuine ignorance on one side here that is made worse by the media’s own ignorance and willingness to see both sides. There aren’t two sides here. Even if you squint.

Most distressing is that if the balance is not returned by the end of the collective agreement this will almost certainly lead to another lockout. Worse since the players today, who are borrowing against the earnings of future players, won’t be the players negotiating in the future, it means that those future players are far less likely to think that they owe the owners anything.

If the players don’t agree to these changes then the owners have no choice to lock the players out until they do. The alternative is to lose a season in the future. Better to lose an abbreviated season with no fans than to lose a season while you are rebuilding your league.


 then the owners have no choice to lock the players out until they do.

That’s certainly the spin being put on things in the media isn’t it?

The owners have no grounds to lockout the players. If they choose to do so, they’ll be massively financially liable to the players.

As stated in this thread by @garik16, a similar dispute by in MLB ended up in the owners giving up because they knew a Court would rule against them.

The owners likely claim that they will lose money if they proceed with a season is not legally relevant. The existing summer agreement would still stand and be in effect.

Victoria Oil

This makes total sense, but what I don’t get is why the owners agreed to this in the summer knowing (unless their heads were in the sand) that a full season for 2020-21 was never a slam-dunk. Did they just want an agreement to ensure that a Stanley Cup would be awarded in 2020 and worry about the rest later? I am generally in support of the owners, but I am dumbfounded why they didn’t negotiate provisions for a less than complete 20-21 season with only partially full or empty arenas.

Last edited 10 months ago by Victoria Oil

Money. They needed the players to finish the season and left out any details that would impede that.

That would be my guess.

A better question would be why the PA didn’t lock everything in from their side so it was airtight.


” the amount they owe the owners will increase massively.”

So, what’s the problem exactly then? Why don’t the owners proceed with the “summer deal” and be content with the players owing them “massively” later?

h/t CnB which linked to a good thread by @garik16 which summarizes similar thoughts that I’d been mulling about in a concise thread:

Pretty elementary contractual principles apply.

Rumblings by owners to invoke “force majeure” would be futile if they dig in their heels at this point and decide to effectively lockout the players. Covid-19 was apparent when both sides voluntarily chose to renegotiate and extend the CBA by four years. The summer deal was negotiated in that context. The owners should have been able to contemplate the current situation as a potentiality.

I should say that I don’t think it will get to this point. I think the likely outcome is that the players cave and a new arrangement with a reduced season is agreed upon in a matter of days/weeks.


The key idea in that thread is that “cancelling” the season would be interpreted by the courts as a wildcat lockout.

Now neither of us are legal experts on that front (I assume) however that would require a lawsuit from the players association requiring them to start the season, and then a court ruling in their favour.

Meanwhile, there is nothing in that thread that suggests why the NHL could not say they are delaying the season until fans could attend, for instance, or why that would be an unreasonable. The implication of the author is that all of this was foreseable in June, but it seems quite obvious that none of this was foreseable, given that no decision makers seem to have foreseen it in all sorts of areas.

So if the NHL was not contractually required to resume the season in the summer I don’t see why they would be contractually required to resume right now when the situation is much worse.


Force majeure as an argument only encompasses so called “acts of god” not any and all unforseen circumstances. “Acts of god” being something like this pandemic or other natural disasters like a major earthquake in a non-earthquake prone region. If an agreement is made while in the midst of the first wave of a pandemic (or in the midst of an earthquake), you can’t later say that you could not have anticipated the second wave of the same pandemic (or aftershocks from the initial earthquake); and that the agreement should be either void or voidable.

hy the NHL could not say they are delaying the season until fans could attend,”

Postponing the season indefinitely would be interpreted by the Court as materially having the same effect as a cancellation of the season.

It sucks for the owners and if I was an owner I’d be pissed about how “summer agreement” was negotiated as well but thems the breaks.

The owners could have anticipated for this scenario and not chosen to extend the agreement beyond the bubble playoffs to give them self some wiggle room but that isn’t what happened.


Sorry, I have no idea how to quote your lines so they stand out in the text of my own response.


Type in everything with no formatting first. Then go back and highlight what you want to format. The quotation marks in the bar below where you are typing cause that section to separate.

Something like this.


Test test test

Quoted text


Thanks 🙂 that was helpful


Re: top-6 / bottom-6 discussion

The simplest way to look at this is P/GP – which also is a surprisingly good indicator of future scoring I’m told. If we look at last year’s numbers (20 GP min), separating the top 93 forwards / next 93 etc. gives us out parameters:

1st line: 0.69 P/GP and higher
2nd line: 0.48 – 0.68 P/GP
3rd line: 0.34 – 0.67 P/GP
4th line: 0.23 – 0.33 P/GP

Here’s how next year’s Oilers players fared last season:

1st line:
Draisaitl: 1.55 P/GP
McDavid: 1.52
Yamamoto: 0.96
Nugent-Hopkins: 0.94

2nd line:
Kassian: 0.58
Neal: 0.56
Kahun: 0.55
Ennis: 0.53
Turris: 0.50

3rd line:
Puljujarvi: 0.43 (NHLe)
Chiasson: 0.37
Archibald: 0.34

4th line:
Nygard: 0.27

Are all situations P/GP too simplistic for you? Lets look at 5v5 P/60 instead (min 200 minutes)

1st line: 2.01 P/60 and higher
2nd line: 1.66 – 2.00 P/60
3rd line: 1.37 – 1.65 P/60
4th line: 0.95 – 1.36 P/60

Here’s how next year’s Oilers players fared last season:

1st line:
Yamamoto: 3.16
Draisaitl: 2.89
McDavid: 2.84
Kahun: 2.43
Nugent-Hopkins: 2.23
Kassian: 2.21

2nd line:
Ennis: 1.90

3rd line:
Turris: 1.64

4th line:
Nygard: 1.27
Archibald: 1.20

I don’t think we need to be worried about our top-6, or even the top-9. I’m comfortable calling Ennis and Kahun “top-6” options, Kassian too.


Thank you for this work.

From what I have read on here recently, P/G maybe a better indicator than 5 X 5 P/60 but does that ring true with a guy like Neal who flourished on the PP last year but was replacement level at evens?

Of course, he played hurt for much of the year and looked much more effective down the stretch and in the play-in when healthy (and fresh) – sample size alert.


I can’t say for sure it holds in a case like that but the thought is that getting PP time is a good predictor of getting more PP time.


Sure, fair enough but, at the same time, that PP time and PP points aren’t really here nor there when talking about where a player fits within the 4 lines, is it?


Hmm, maybe not.

I was answering (what I thought was) your question: Does P/G being a better predictor of future scoring still hold true for players like Neal who got PP time and scored well there, but who scored poorly at evens?

You didn’t say anything about lines.

I’d guess P/G would still do surprisingly well predicting future scoring in those situations because players like Neal actually did post good counting numbers, so they’re likely to continue to get PP time. And also because having the skill to score on the PP, in the large majority of cases, is correlated with having the skill to score at evens.

That aside, I certainly don’t think Neal is going to get much top 6 TOI based on his P/G. He should be on the 3rd or 4th line at evens unless other things go badly. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if his 5v5 scoring improves.

I also have a sneaking feeling that Neal-Turris-Chiasson will end up being the Oilers 3rd line this year (that’s a prediction, not necessarily an endorsement).


I also have a sneaking feeling that Neal-Turris-Chiasson will end up being the Oilers 3rd line this year.

I can see Neal on the 3rd line but what did you do with Puljujarvi? 😉


Haha, I have no idea.

I hope he grabs a job and think he’ll be given every chance to. But there are too many NHL players at this point. Among RWs, any of Archibald, Chiasson or Puljujarvi could end up sitting IMO.

I think LT has this surrounded. He’s been listing Archibald 5th of the 5 RWs more often than not. Having looked a little more I think he’s got it right, Archibald likely is the worst player of the RW group (despite being a game rooster).


“1st line:
Yamamoto: 3.16
Draisaitl: 2.89
McDavid: 2.84
Kahun: 2.43
Nugent-Hopkins: 2.23
Kassian: 2.21
2nd line:
Ennis: 1.90
3rd line:
Turris: 1.64
4th line:
Nygard: 1.27
Archibald: 1.20”

I just wanted to add that the quality of these numbers is truly impeccable. Just how good they are is really easy to overlook.

6 Oiler forwards scored at ‘1st line rates’.

McDavid was 3rd ON THE TEAM at 2.84P/60. That was 10th in the NHL.

Kahun at 2.43P/60 was tied for 35th in the NHL.

5th and 6th among Oiler forwards were Nuge and Kassian. They both finished in the top 60 in P/60 league-wide.

Most of these were McDavid/Draisaitl-assisted results. And these guys do need to cut down on the GA. But these 5v5 P/60 scoring numbers are bordering on absurd.

Not only do the Oilers have ‘two first lines’, they have two above average first lines.


This was lost in the old thread.

For those looking to have some fun with numbers.

There’s a new tool at Natural Stat Trick.

Caleb Jones shows really well by this metric.

Adam Larsson had a big drop-off after his 20th game.


It’s almost like the Natural Stat Trick website owner reads GeorgeXs’ posts here along with our related discussions.


Zdeno Chara’s 42-43-year-old season. good gord… it’s not even fair having Chara start in the dzone.


I played with this a tiny bit this morning (thank you for posting) and have yet to receive a clue on how to analyze it…. I’m lost.


Capfriendly today- 30 -45 days before training camp (assuming a February league start)
 10 teams are above the cap right now
5 more teams will be above the cap when they sign their RFAs
54 openings in the league (based on each team with a 23 man roster)
my estimates (your mileage might vary)
RFA – 24 of the 34 will be resigned
UFA – 16 of the top 50 will be signed
Other leagues – 14 players “promoted” to the NHL
12 teams are going to have to trade a player(s) (estimating three teams can do a paper transaction to get under the cap)
40 ish players still have to be signed.
It is going to get real busy.


Interesting analysis, good handle on the current situation.

May be interesting to deduce who’s most likely to be squeezed and may become a potential value contract (that we could sign). AA? Brassard?

Of note, the players from other leagues who could be promoted… there may be fewer than that with the pandemic causing some to opt to stay closer to home. We’re already seeing a preference for Russian born players opting to stay close to home in the KHL (Sleppy, for one?).


I know there is not a lot of room but surely Holland is watching for opportunity.

Right now McDavid is spending a lot of time with Mathews and ………Duclair. You know they have to be talking about what club Duclair will land on almost every day and I do wonder if that ends up in some sort of recommendation by Connor.


Just a quick note on who might be in Bakersfield to start the season.

Samorukov is committed to the KHL for the rest of their season but could join the team when CSKA Moscow is done.

Phil Kemp is committed to Vasby for the rest of their season but could join the team when Vasby is done.

Broberg is available to be recalled by the Oilers prior to Skelefteea finishes their season but Holland keeps expressing that he will finish the season in Sweden and I could see him joining the Condors in April as well.


University of Denver starts their season tonight – looking forward to seeing how Carter Savoie is deployed.


I wonder if they will have shrunken Savoie yet! -).


To finally get a Hunter S. reference in your Rum Diary of Oilers folly after all these years has me Gonzo, LT. Thanks!


The days of “fear and loathing” are over.


Arguably, just beginning, in the broader sense. The Fourth Turning is still in the first period.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville




The flip side of how many are on the farm is how many spots are reasonably available in the next two years?

Nuge is unknown at the moment but there is hope that he will re-sign. Huge hole to fill if he doesn’t. Nobody of his calibre or type on the list above.

First line RW has a temporary occupant at the moment. Will Lavoie be ready in 2 years? Is Puljujarvi ready at any point?

Kahun arrives with promise but no real track record as a 2nd line LW. Probably comfortable saying he qualifies as a 3rd line LW at least. Holloway in a couple of years is probably the plan for top six LW.

Is McLeod the hope to replace Turris in two years? Offence is shy at the moment but he does bring other assets for a different look. Kassian as 3rd line RW seems a fit other than financially.

Fourth line? I never worry too much about the fourth line for winning teams. If a team is winning fourth line guys are available in free agency for not much more than ELC contracts and come without the rookie learning curve.

In two years the defence has Bouchard, Broberg, Nurse, Jones, Bear, Samorukov, Lagesson, Lennstrom all looking capable of stepping up in some role. Barrie, Klefbom unknown but possible so defence doesn’t look like it will be an area looking for a trade although trades at any position are always possible if value comes available.

Both goalie positions are needs in two years or sooner. Sooner is better. Too soon to say on any of the in house candidates imo. Things could change but I see this as the most likely area in need of a trade or FA.

So, in two years . . .

Nuge ? – McDavid – Lavoie/Puljujarvi?
Holloway/Kahun? – Draisaitl – Yamomoto
Kahun/Benson? – McLeod? – Kassian
PKer – PKer – Utility guy?

Nurse – Bouchard -Bear – Samorukov – Jones – Broberg – Klef – Barrie – Lennstrom – Lagesson. 10 names to chose from with maybe one gone to Seattle and another in a trade for a goalie?

Is this what Holland’s white board looks like?

Need to get Nuge signed.


“Kahun arrives with promise but no real track record as a 2nd line LW. “

This isn’t really true, though for some reason it’s caught on here since HH suggested it.

Kahun played a more 3rd line than 2nd line last season, that is true.

But in 18-19 with the Hawks his most common line mates were Toews and (I think) Saad. Kahun was 2nd among Hawks forwards with 39% TOI vs elites and he finished among the top 6 Hawk forwards in 5v5 points and TOI.

Kahun was a top 6 LW in 18-19. And a successful one.

He has a track record, and I personally have no qualms saying he IS a top 6 LW.

(agree with pretty much all the rest! 🙂 )

Harpers Hair

Worth noting that Toews scored 80 points that season…Saad scored 47…Kahun 37.

Was Toews zooming the group?

Darth Tu

I’ll have a look for stats later, but there seems to me to be a high probability that Kahun wasn’t getting as much powerplay time as Toews.

No doubt though, having Toews as a centre helps at 5 on 5. The same way that one of McDavid or Draisatl at C would also help.

Darth Tu

K – he was averaging 1 minute and 3 seconds per game on the power play for Chicago that year, and came away with 1 goal and 1 assist.

Toews was running 3 mins and 16 seconds per game. Potting 9 goals and getting 14 assists.

Taking out the power play stats it leaves Kahun with 35 points and Toews with 58. Considering that Kahun is not even remotely close to Toews in terms of overall skill (and no one here is saying that he’s the next coming of Jarri Kurri either) I think he’s done more than enough to qualify as a viable linemate for Toews when he was with Chicago. Sure, he might not be able to hang with Draisatl or McDavid either, but to me it looks like he does have a track record of being a second line winger. At least over that one year if we’re splitting (Harper’s) hairs.

Darth Tu

Those with and withouts are pretty interesting….


The 5on5 ones are more interesting. Maybe that’s what Armchair meant to paste?

Short story:
Toews+Kahun 404min 51.4%SF 55.9%GF
Kahun only — 637min 50.0%SF 59.3%GF
Toews only — 821min 47.7%SF 50.0%GF
Both off —— 2170min 47.6%SF 46.1%GF

Those numbers suggest that Kahun helped Toews more than visa versa. Huh.


Nope. The question was specifically about PP time and whether Kahun was on the same unit as Toews.


Cool. So no.

I still find the 5on5 WOWYs more interesting 🙂

Harpers Hair

Of course, Chicago found that arrangement wanting, moved Kahun and signed Kubalik to replace him which paid off in a 30 goal 46 point season in only 68 games.

At a cap hit of only $975K, it’s a zero risk bet but I think it’s far from clear that the Oilers have a top six player here.


You do realize that players don’t only get traded because their organization wants to get rid of them – often they are traded because they have acquisition value and the organization is trying to build a team with balance.


Not 100% clear that Chicago is much better off today. If as you say, Chicago replaced Kahun with Kubalik, they also took on Oli Maatta in the deal for Kahun and his $4 million salary. At the time they were expecting good things from Maatta, but after 1 season they dumped him to LA for a 23 year old faint hope 7th round D and retained $750,000 in salary. So straight up now, they would be economically paying $4.3 million to have Kubalik in their line-up, while the Oilers now have Kahun for $975,000. And in this last season, Kahun’s points per 60 at 5 on 5 were only slightly behind Kubalik (2.43 vs 2.59) and that’s getting to play with Jared McCann as his most common center, not with Toews, who was Kubalik’s primary center. And while Kubalik had more goals he also benefited from almost a 20% shooting percentage. We’ll see if that holds. Also, even if Chicago views Kubalik as the better player, which is likely, that does not imply any meaningful gap in their assessment. Even If Kahun is only 90 or 95% of Kubalik that could be enough for Chicago to have made the move they did to get Maatta.

The primary reason Buffalo did not qualify Kahun is he had arbitration rights and would have gotten a healthy raise and they were saving that money for Hall. After free agency started Buffalo was still negotiating with Kahun hoping to get a bargain. If Kahun can match his points for 60 with the Oilers this season, only Petterson and Miller scored at that rate of any Canuck forward who played more that 200 minutes 5 on 5 last year.


The more I here about Kahun the more excited I get to see if we hit paydirt like the paddy trade. If we can roll 4 lines and keep Leon and Connor fresh for the final 10 minute push who’s going to stop us besides a hot goaltender.

Harpers Hair


But playing with a centre like, Toews, McDavid or Draisaitl would likely zoom anyone…no?

While a player like Kahun can fill that spot, it doesn’t mean that’s an optimal decision.

I am reminded that Jake Virtanen has been pencilled in as a top six winger on the Canucks despite many observers thinking that’s a stretch and I think it is.

Virtanen is a year younger and had better counting stats last season.

Should be interesting to see how their seasons compare.


Agreed. As has been noted here on numerous occasions who you play with and who you play against offer information that does not necessarily equate to an objective view of a player’s intrinsic abilities.

Sometimes – and maybe most often – it simply reflects what is available to a coach and the compromise he chooses given a less than perfect solution.

Last edited 10 months ago by defmn
Darth Tu

That’s an extremely fair point on Virtanen.

Like I say, I don’t think Kahun is the number one long term answer, but he at least has history of being able to do the job.


Consistent! Always an Asshole!


That’s a decent bet to be the template going forward, as far as Holland is likely to proceed based on his history and available assets.

I’d say Holloway is more likely to be 1LW with 97 or 3C, and McLeod as the 3LW or 4C.

In the next year or two we’re likely to see a trade of D for position of need; as you’ve correctly surmised, either a scoring W or quality G.

I’d anticipate 7/3/1 so someone like Lagesson or Jones or Klefbom goes to the Kraken.

Of course, these projections don’t allow for one or more of the prospects to fail, which is more than likely to happen, so there will be some FA or trade acquisitions.


LT notes, “Holland trying to get his financial house in order after several years of Hunter S. Thompson excess previous to his arrival in Edmonton.”
With apologies to the late, great Mr. Thompson, the NHL is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.

buck yoakam

Real shame that these kids might lose a season with their coaches but kudos to the management team to keep as many as possible working overseas. We may find that was a godsend. Would make you think that more players will look at edmonton and appreciate the work done on the kids behalf.


Truly inspired work from Holland. I’m sure too the Oilers org is helping with the transitions. There was a site shared here at some point that showed the numbers of NHL prospects playing overseas – the Oilers were far and away the leader. Added Kemp to that list now as well.


Currently up to 20 players assigned/loaned to other teams for development. That’s excellent work by Old Dutch.


Holland and Keith Sullivan


From accounts, it was European scout Keith Sullivan that did the majority of the leg work getting these guys placed in Europe. I’m sure Holland and his rolodex helped but Sullivan was integral (I think it was Terry Jones that wrote about it recently).