Money City Maniacs

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

The NHL is getting close to something that will resemble a plan, with hints dropping like giant raindrops all yesterday afternoon. It looks like we’ll start the engines January 13 for 56-games and there is a Canadian division. The rosters will be 26 deep with a four man taxi squad. Plenty to chat about today.

THE ATHLETIC!

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

POSSIBLE ROSTER 2020-21

Frank Seravalli tweeted out several interesting items yesterday, including roster sizes. Looks like they will increase from 23 to 26, with four taxi squad members. Nothing is final, but here’s a guess at how things might look.

Stuart Skinner or Philip Broberg might draw in over Madison Bowey and maybe Cooper Marody surprises. Ryan McLeod is also a player of interest, Adam Cracknell has a contract. I also think we might see a trade, winger headed out for maybe a center or a defenseman and cap room. I’m using Bowey as a proxy for whoever it is Edmonton may bring in. I bet there’s one small addition, but could be wrong.

Five goals and six points in four games and his release is a thing of beauty. He can beat a goalie clean and his release is terrific. It’s too early to ask how in the hell did he remain on the board until No. 100, but I had him No. 56 and Scott Wheeler, Craig Button and Red Line all had him going earlier than me.

ILYA KONOVALOV

One player I’m hopeful we see in North America in time for the 2021-22 season is Ilya Konovalov. It’s been years since we have seen this kind of consistency in a goalie prospect. His save percentage this year is .924, and in four years in the KHL (world’s second best league) he’s running at .922.

Konovalov’s .924 SP in the KHL this season ranks No. 9, and he’s backing up Edward Pasquale who is at .936 and No. 3 in the league. Mikko Koskinen was .937 (No. 5) in his final KHL season and he was .922 (same as Konovalov) in his final four seasons in the KHL.

I have Konovalov as the top goalie prospect in the system, others have Olivier Rodrigue or Stuart Skinner as the No. 1 goalie prospect. No matter. Sign all of them and give each a chance. I’m impressed with the current group of goalie prospects, the best since the days of Devan Dubnyk versus Jeff Deslauriers.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning we hit the ground running with a great guest list, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey helps preview the Oilers 2020-21 season by offering opinions on the offseason movies, how to fill in for Klefbom’s absence and McDavid’s optimal wingers. Laura Armstrong from The Toronto Star will join us to talk about the Lou Marsh Award and how difficult the vote was this year. Joe Osborne from OddsShark talks NFL at 11, we’ll chat about the Ravens with Lamar Jackson back, and what to look for this weekend. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

92 comments
3

You may also like

4.8 12 votes
Article Rating
92 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SwedishPoster

Former NHLer Niklas Grossman, now a part of Södertälje’s staff, has given an interview in swedish media about Evan Bouchard. Don’t think Evan’s mother would be raving about his game more than Grossman is. I’ll see if I can find the time for a translation, there’s been a couple of interviews with Oilers the last couple of weeks that I’ve wanted to translate but I just haven’t found the time, this one is far too joyous if you’re an Oiler fan though so I just have to make it happen. It’s nearing christmas after all.

Last edited 10 months ago by SwedishPoster
wolf8888

Thank you kind sir! Really look forward to your posts and will be waiting for the translation. It would be nice to get a little good news here in Alberta.

megahurts

Thanks Bruce for describing how to see the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction (shortly after dark, ~5-6 pm). I’ve been missing them

Harpers Hair

A fantastic look at the way forward for the NHL…including expansion.

https://www.arishapiro.ca/covid-19s-impacts-on-the-future-of-the-nhl/

Harpers Hair

Some great news for Western Canadian baseball fans.

The Vancouver Canadians have renewed their affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays and are moving up from short season ball to High A affiliate status which means they’ll be playing a higher level of baseball in 140 game schedule in the six team NW Baseball league.

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vancouver-canadians-blue-jays-high-a-affiliate

If you love baseball and are ever visiting Vancouver in the summer, I highly recommend taking in a game at Nat Bailey Stadium which is an absolute gem located in central Vancouver.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154943-d3358003-Reviews-Scotiabank_Field_at_Nat_Bailey_Stadium-Vancouver_British_Columbia.html

OriginalPouzar

Holloway playing LW with Newhook and Pelletier for tonight’s scrimmage – listed as the 4th line.

defmn

As originally predicted when the group was first named.

Tarkus

The bad news: Holloway’s Team Red lost 6-4.

The good news: Coach Tourigny said after the game that line was the best one for Team Red.

N64

We now know which country teams will play in, but in a few weeks the question will be which teams are permitted to practice and host games in their home cities in January? There could be some on both sides of the border that can’t and have to find a temporary place for home games for a while.

OriginalPouzar

As of now, only the California teams, and potentially Montreal, would have an issue. Jets got authorization today from what I heard.

Harpers Hair

BC has not given clearance.

Under the latest restrictions, team sports are not allowed for anyone over the age of 18.

That is why the BCJHL suspended operations indefinitely as I reported yesterday.

OriginalPouzar

Take it up with John Shannon.

Harpers Hair

Take it up with Dr. Bonnie Henry who wouldn’t allow Vancouver to be a bubble city for the playoffs.

#toobin

OriginalPouzar

I’ll continue to take the word of John Shannon.

N64

Take all of his words. He reported permission for Jets training camp, no? That’s not teams flying in and out daily. Patience. Helluva ride.

Last edited 10 months ago by N64
Harpers Hair

Yes.

Dr. John Shannon will certainly have the last word on all of this.

Good grief.

pts2pndr

Maybe Vancouver could play out of Saskatoon or Hamilton or who really cares?😂

pts2pndr

Not fair to blame Dr Bonnie for the self indulgence of the lower mainlanders that created Vancouver as the B.C. Epicentre for Covid-19.

jp

Population density might have a *little* role in addition to self indulgence.

N64

Jets only got permission for training camp. Alberta rinks do not have to close after Saturday. So at least voluntary groups under 10 can do some work. Beyond that Flames and Oil should be able use the bubble precedent to also get training camps approved.

But no Canadian city currently has approval for teams flying in and out for individual games. The AJHL needed special approval for non bubble hockey and that is currently suspended. We wait.

Last edited 10 months ago by N64
Harpers Hair

Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) Tweeted:
Not finalized yet, and still subject to change, but the 2020-21 four-division re-alignment currently looks like this according to sources:

Bos-Buf-NJ-NYI-NYR-Pha-Pgh-Was

Car-CBJ-Det-Chi-Fla-Min-Nas-TB

Ana-Ari-Col-Dal-LA-SJ-STL-VGK

All-Canadian teams

https://twitter.com/PierreVLeBrun/status/1336777928705761285?s=20

Elgin R

The East division looks brutal – Taylor Hall misses the playoffs again. So keeping with tradition, if Hall is not traded, Buffalo gets the 1st overall pick in 2021!

teamblue

That and the Canadian Division will be tough to navigate for teams in them. Gotta think TBay is licking their chops looking at their division.

Scungilli Slushy

No doubt.

The Oilers are in the easiest division. Absolutely no reason outside of goalering that they can’t win it.

To me the only other team that moved the needle much in Canada is ‘maybe’ the Jets.

I don’t see anyone else as having done more than shuffled the deck chairs, either because I’m not high in the players involved, or they lost as much as they gained overall.

The Oilers gained a lot of skill, and established players. Losing Klef hurts, but another way to look at it is a burgeoning Jones and Barrie, who both skate well and can pass, are replacing an injured Klef not healthy prime Klef. He hasn’t played that well in a while with the shoulder as I see it.

Cassandra

Are people automatically downvoting all of DHS’ posts? He’s getting negative votes for strictly factual posts, or posts that only have links in them.

That’s both funny and lame at the same time.

Material Elvis

Department of Homeland Security?

buck yoakam

dick head syndrome

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I have programmed a bot to login everyday and downvote.

godot10
Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Classic.

Wilco is great. I remember their show at the Jub maybe 7 or 8 years ago, they played for nearly 3 hours. It was unreal.

Sigh, I miss concerts.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Not viable due to high AAV but how good would Patches look in the top-6 with good old our team?

I’d take him over Hoffman any day.

defmn

There are more than a few GM’s having sleepless nights wondering what they are going to have to do to get compliant.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

A team or few who are well positioned will make out like bandits as teams currently over the upper limit of the cap shed assets to become compliant.

When will be our time to play at the big boys’ table? Possibly as early as next year? More likely the following year. Either way, tough waters to navigate in a flat cap world.

Harpers Hair

Sleepless in Seattle.

$81.5 million in free cap space.

Select 30 players for the farm teams in the expansion draft.

Go nuts.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Yes, the 9-11th best player on various rosters will lead to a fairly balanced team. If Francis can avoid painting the Kraken into a corner like the VGK did with bloated contract extensions and big whale FA acquisitions, they could be set up quite strategically for years to come.

GMs of course will be wary of the mistakes made in the last expansion so I don’t expect so many blunders (see: FLA, MIN, ANA, for example) this time around.

Of course, I was referring to finalizing this upcoming season’s rosters — not next year.

Last edited 10 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
pts2pndr

Think it’s fun now wait for contraction!

OriginalPouzar

As far as player vs. player (discounting contract), for sure – I have almost no interest in Hoffman – not that I’ve seen him play that much over the last few years but the verbal lines up with the eye tests I have had at being one of the worst defensive forwards in the league.

Having him on McDavid’s wing would sure score a ton of goals but I’m not sure it will lead to more goals scored than given up…..

Harpers Hair
OriginalPouzar

Konovalov’s KHL contract will expire on May 1 and he’ll be at liberty to sign an NHL ELC at that point. I anticipate that he will indeed be looking to sign with Edmonton – his lack of playing time recently in the KHL is somewhat of a tell (his lack of playing time may be a function of his non-willingness to sign a KHL extension or his lack of playing time may increase his desire to sign in the NHL and move on from Yaroslav).

Some legit AHL games at the end of this season would be a boon – get him acclimated to North America and given Holland a sense of it he’s a potential option to be 1B next season with Mikko.

godot10

Appropriating the ideas of others without giving credit, I see. If I recall correctly, you scoffed at my proposition about Konovalev the first of several times I made it.

OriginalPouzar

Scoffed at what idea? That he may not be getting playing time because of a refusal to sign a KHL extension? I never scoffed at that and I have no idea if its true – the post says “may”

OriginalPouzar

I will be curious to get some official word from the NHL on how the extra 3 roster spots will effect that cap. Presumably the “lowest 3 cap hits” are simply excluded but it may be more complicated than that.

OriginalPouzar

Assuming Team Sweden can get to Edmonton, the timing for camps right at the end of the World Juniors lines up for Broberg to attend camp.

With that said, I don’t imagine he’ll be on the expanded roster nor taxi squad.

Holland continues to re-up on his plan to have Broberg finish the season in Skelleftea and I don’t see the expanded roster/taxi squad changing that.

Broberg does not seem to be NHL ready – he is having a great development year but he is also up and down and inconsistent on a 2nd pairing in the SHL. He needs to continue to play hockey and the SHL seems like the perfect place to finish the year. No need for him to be watching in Canada, in particular on a taxi squad that may be segregated from the team.

I would presume the plan will be to bring him over in April and, even then, I would presume that the AHL would be the assignment – get used to North American ice and hockey and get ready to compete for a roster spot in 2021/22 (and likely an assignment to the AHL to start that season as well).

Harpers Hair

I think there’s very little chance there will be a “normal” AHL season.

Based on latest reports, Winnipeg, Toronto, Laval and Belleville plan to play a series of short tournaments.

I expect the regional teams that do operate (some won’t) will adopt a similar approach.

The AHL hasn’t yet announced an opening date and with the cream of their rosters being skimmed off the top by the NHL, the on ice product will be sub par through the end of the season and into the playoffs.

Some NHL teams may agree to foot the bill but I would imagine they will come up with a return to play structure that minimizes costs.

€√¥£€^$

I don’t see how the AHL or NHL, for that matter, will operate if the NFL cannot in Cali. I know this just the Bay area, but it will likely expand throughout the state.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/30408401/contact-sports-ban-leaves-san-francisco-49ers-other-bay-area-teams-limbo

€√¥£€^$

I brought up the idea of having AHL teams + an AHL taxi squad co-locating with their parent clubs way back in March-April. So every NHL game is a double-header with the AHL clubs playing first, with their parent clubs following.

I think a 3-4 week hub, much like Denver U’s conference is doing also makes too much sense.

OriginalPouzar

Relocating the AHL franchises to Canada was looked at and deemed to expensive.

Hub-cities is not something the NHL wants to do – the owners want to be playing in their own buildings for various reasons including obligations to those that have bought the naming rights, etc.

They may need to go there to start the season (hub-cities) but its a fall-back plan and, even if they do go there, there will be soft plans to transition to home arenas.

ArmchairGM

Time for Kansas City, Quebec City and Seattle to step up!

OriginalPouzar

As of right now, the California teams, and potentially Montreal, are the only NHL teams that would have an issue playing home games – Jets got approval today.

OriginalPouzar

To the extent the Condors are playing in April with Skelleftea finishes up, in my opinion, that would be the best place for his continued development.

It doesn’t matter if the AHL is “normal” – of course it won’t be – nor will the NHL.

If there are AHL games to be played, that is where he should play in all likelihood.

Woogie63

I wonder if this news changes the Klefbom deployment.

in the last 10 months he has played 4 games, will another 5 months of inactivity significantly improve his shoulder.

if there is a taxi squad – Could Klefbom be a good candidate for that spot. Could he play every third game? With this many players it seems that 77 could platoon in and out on a load management plan?

Melman

Interesting question. First thought is if he’s on LTIR – and I thought they had to put him there because they spent his cap money (I could be wrong) – then can an LTIR player be one of a team’s designated taxi squad guys. If yes, then the risk is you end up needing your 30th player to play and he can’t for cap or injury reasons, the payoff could be he’s available for the playoffs when the cap doesn’t matter. This seems like a loophole that the NHL would not want to allow, notwithstanding that having every team’s best available players in the playoffs is what’s best for promoting the game because #nhl

Shane

Oscar Klefbom will not be playing hockey for the 20-21 season. What’s the point of taking a year off to rest a chronic injury to just come back before that year is up? Makes no sense. This isn’t something that just gets better.. The arthritis has been bothering him for a few years now and these off season rests are not helping. He’s taking the year(last game Aug 7th) to re evaluate.

There’s a good chance he will not be on the opening night roster 21-22.

Also, IMO, there’s a decent chance we’ve seen him play his last NHL game.

Now, I would love for my speculation to be wrong. But from what we’re hearing from the media and from the team(Holland stating ‘99.9%’ he’s not playing this year, risk of surgery making it worse). It doesn’t sound good at all.

And I mean come on, we’re all Oilers fans here(HH notwithstanding). We’ve seen these shoulder injuries play out a dozen times. Expect the worst.

Last edited 10 months ago by Shane
defmn

Said the same thing the day the news broke. Arthritis is no picnic and I don’t think medical science offers a treatment that makes it worthwhile for a young guy who has already made millions.

dustrock

Someone mentioned Phil Kessel as a ceiling comp for Savoie, and both the shot and the skating make that seem accurate to me. 🙂

jjmclean

How Bakersfield will be handled is interesting. How will they call up people when there are injuries or want to get someone some work? Why don’t all the Canadian teams bring their AHL teams to Canada?

Harpers Hair

With 7 additional players on the roster, call ups shouldn’t be necessary.

Eh Team

When Covid hits a roster, you will potentially need those call-ups

Harpers Hair

I would think if Covid hits a roster that hard, games will be postponed.

In any event, players crossing the border would have to quarantine for two weeks, making the exercise moot.

OriginalPouzar

Maybe yes, maybe no.

You don’t need to remind anyone that the AHL won’t be “normal” this year but, if it is indeed happening, there is a valid argument assigning certain prospects (that are NHL options for injury fill-in) to the AHL team so that they are playing as oppossed to simply watching games and practicing. In particular the taxi squad which may very well be totally segregated from the active roster and not even practicing with the main team.

I’m fine to have Cracknell and Quine on the taxi squad but I don’t want Benson there and I don’t want him on the active roster if he’s the 15th forward – I’d rather have him playing. To the extent someone like Kahun gets hurt, Coach T. may want Benson in the lineup over a Nygard. He may get called up and go through protocols while Nygard gets a few games until Benson is cleared. On the other hand, if its Neal or Ennnis that gets hurt, Coach may want Nygard in the lineup. Benson is a “maybe” for injury fill in.

Just an example.

Bouchard, on the other hand would be fine for the active roster as he is one injury away from the lineup with no comp for that 4RD spot

Last edited 10 months ago by OriginalPouzar
OriginalPouzar

There was discussion regarding bringing the Condors, Heat and Comments to Canada for the season but it was determined to be too expensive and the idea is dead (to my knowledge).

A hugely disappointing result.

Harpers Hair
defmn

There will be bargains for the junior teams and AHL franchises I would think for anybody sitting on a pile of cash.

The NHL is going to have to guarantee loans to some of their franchises to get through the next few months I would think.

Probably against their share of the Kraken money which, I believe, has its final drop in late spring. That has gone from being free money for everybody to a lifeline for some of those teams. $22.7 M per franchise excluding Las Vegas if I remember correctly.

Might be enough to save them all if they can get back to some semblance of normal next fall. I read the other day that the new TV deal is also likely to be less than anticipated as media is finding companies are cash strapped and cutting back on advertising.

What a fucking mess.

Harpers Hair

Yep…the Portland Winterhawks went into bankruptcy as soon as the WHL playoffs were scrubbed and were later purchased (can’t find a link) for a song.

I expect we will see many more examples of this going forward.

OriginalPouzar

The NHL has a close to $2B credit facility available to teams (each up to $100MM) – i believe.

defmn

Yup. And the expansion money from Seattle will soothe some of the pain. I doubt we will ever hear all the details but the league will protect itself by protecting the owners that need it imo.

Jaxon

Does 26 with a 4 player taxi squad mean that the roster for salary cap purposes will be 22 players thereby freeing up some cap space for each team? That would be ideal. And it would help get the remaining players signed, which is a win for the NHLPA and the teams. Wishful thinking?

Harpers Hair

Nope.

It appears the plan is to have 27 man rosters with 4 not counting against the cap plus 3 taxi squad players earning AHL salaries.

https://www.tsn.ca/seravalli-nhl-inching-closer-to-puck-drop-for-the-2020-21-season-1.1561417

defmn

Waiting to hear the details on this one. If the 3 extra players

Talk of expanded rosters, from 23 to 26, with 4 additional taxi squad members for total of 30. Taxi squad could earn AHL salary but receive NHL benefits and per diem.

don’t count against the cap why wouldn’t the Oilers put Neal in that bunch and go sign Granlund or Hoffman, for example?

Last edited 10 months ago by defmn
Harpers Hair

I’m sure they’re working through that now.

defmn

I’m sure. I read somewhere that the PA suggested an increase in the cap and, not surprisingly, the teams resisted. Adding players collecting NHL salaries is pretty much the same thing so I guess we wait to see where they land on this one.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Why wouldn’t the existing framework persist, where if (say) Neal was demoted to the taxi-squad he brings back $1.075M relief but the rest of his AAV counts against the cap? Would only be advantageous if his replacement came in at or below $1.075M and produced at a higher rate.

defmn

So what would happen for players on two way contracts in that scenario? They would continue to collect their AHL salary?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Brian Lawton on ON with Bob right now, says he thinks the taxi squad players will probably get their AHL salary with NHL per diems and benefits until they get a call up.

defmn

Oh, OK. Thanks. I guess that makes sense. I wonder how many teams now decide to got to a 20 player squad and put their PB guys on the taxi squad to save cap space.

OriginalPouzar

I would fathom that the three lowest cap hits would be excluded – not team’s choice.

OriginalPouzar

Why would it be 22 counting against the cap as oppossed to 23 (the normal active roster limit)?

What I would like to know is, if teams are allowed an active roster of 27 (with four not counting against the cap), could they go with an active roster of 26 (with four still not counting against the cap).

My guess is there are teams that were likely to carry 21 or 22 players on any given day for daily cap accrual reasons.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

Can we also just sign Edward Pasquale while we’re at it? 😂😂😂

Tarkus
€√¥£€^$

Has anyone seen a list of who is in town now?

Are there any others not on the team, like Gagner, in town that could be PTO candidates?

Any word on Cooper Marody, he’s gone silent since he left Europe. Perhaps he will take a year off to heal or even retire to focus on his music…. I wish him well.

It’s always nice to have.options.

wolf8888

Didn’t Gagner sign somewhere?

€√¥£€^$

Yes, he signed with Detroit.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Edit: can’t delete posts?

I’d hope we’re aiming higher than Gagner for PTOs. But to answer your question I’m not aware of any other non-EDM players practicing with the team here in town.

Last edited 10 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
defmn

5 minute limit on post editing I believe.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Able to edit, but not delete. T’was okay, I just changed the gist of my comment.

defmn

Tom Gazzola
@TomGazzola
·
7h
As we get a little bit closer to the start of a new hockey season, Tyson Barrie has joined the group taking part in voluntary workouts in Edmonton.

€√¥£€^$

Savoie has been a joy!

It will interesting to see what kind of player movement we might see across the league with the restrictions in place. 2 months ago I was thinking the PTO opportunities would be extensive, but now I am thinking it is completely opposite of that.

MushedPeas

A joy indeed 🙂. We’ve also got 3-4 years to give his stride the David Pelletier / Jamie Sale treatment, if he’s open / committed (understand he’s not a plus skater).

Rugbypig

When LT mentioned in his article that he had Savoie at 56 overall you should have clicked it as you would have then seen the following:
His scouting report reminds me of a combination of Mike Comrie (enormous offensive gifts) and Rob Schremp (also gifted offensively, but Red Line called out his lack of effort in a very pointed manner ala Schremp in 2004). One thing he has Comrie and Schremp did not: Speed. Red Line calls it a “game-breaking top-gear” and that’s something that will get him many chances. January 2002, 5.09, 192.”

Please note the second last line comment about speed.

ArmchairGM

At what point do we start ragging Habs fans for spending a #15 overall pick on Cole Caufield? 😉

Elgin R

I would think by midway through the 2022/23 season when players like Newhook, Krebs and McMichael are starting to tear it up. Though the caveat is that Yamamoto is the same size so we shall see.

Scungilli Slushy

As soon as possible.