Dragging the Line

by Lowetide

I’m currently reading Ken Dryden’s book on Scotty Bowman, a fascinating look into a beautiful mind with an all-world memory. It’s weird reading Bowman explaining Punch Imlach and filtering it through my memories of what my parents and grandparents said about the 1960’s Maple Leafs. Bowman’s descriptions of events from 50+ years ago are incredible, and his accurate portrayal of Imlach and others is outstanding. I have other books on Bowman, none like this one.


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.


One of the things Bowman talks about in the Dryden book is Imlach’s ability to make use of flawed players. Here’s a quote from the book: “As far as Imlach was concerned, you see what you have and you develop it into something. You don’t focus on what you don’t have, and give up. He would (do this) with Kent Douglas, another career minor leaguer, a defenseman who couldn’t play defense well enough but on the power play could make plays and could score. He was trouble. He was a headache. Everybody thought Imlach was crazy to go get a guy like that, but he got a lot of hockey out of him.”

Ken Holland and Dave Tippett have solid track records in finding incomplete players and making them useful. In their first season in Edmonton, plenty of playing time landed with players who weren’t established as NHL players but had something to recommend them.

When Daniel Cleary lost his job in Edmonton to Fernando Pisani, he caught on with the Phoenix Coyotes. Then came the lockout, and was followed by Cleary signing with Detroit. He played a depth role for the first couple of seasons and then emerged as a useful middle-six winger (he spent 10 seasons in Motown).

Antti Miettinen was a seventh-round pick by Dallas Stars in 2000, five years later he was doing solid work to Tippett in the NHL. He was a fine skater and two-way player with a great deal of utility, and hung around the NHL for years in that role.


I always put song names or movie titles on this blog, it’s a thing. The 2015 draft was “Hallelujah” and has remained so, in fact it’s Hallelujah on several levels now. The 2016 draft was “Lucky Star” on draft day but has morphed into “Carry On, My Wayward Son” in recent seasons.

There’s still time, and Jesse Puljujarvi is making his Atlantic crossing as we speak. I always wait five years for a draft and 2016 has some promise despite a development road that comes straight from the Alps. Here are the current numbers and NHLE’s for each Oilers pick (if they aren’t playing this year, it is noted):

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi (Liiga) 16, 7-5-12 (27.8)
  2. Tyler Benson (Swiss-2) 15, 2-17-19
  3. Markus Niemelainen (Liiga) 14, 0-3-3 (7.9)
  4. Matthew Cairns (NCHC) 8, 0-4-4 (18.0)
  5. Filip Berglund (SHL) 11, 1-2-3 (13.3)
  6. Dylan Wells (AHL)
  7. Graham McPhee (Austria) 19, 1-3-4
  8. Aapeli Rasanen (Liiga) 17, 3-4-7 (20.1)
  9. Vincent Desharnais (AHL)

Most of these men are signed, with Puljujarvi and Benson trying to make the NHL roster for 2020-21. Niemelainen, Berglund and Wells have contracts, Cairns is spiking for the first time since the draft and Rasanen is enjoying the Finnish air. McPhee looks like an outlier and Desharnais is on an AHL deal for this coming season.


It’s Keith Richards birthday and since this blog is about sharing things I wanted to pass along something about him that you may not know. I take my Rolling Stones seriously, even though they have some galling habits (credit Gram Parsons for Wild Horses you bastards!). If you listen to this version of Gimme Shelter you’ll hear the cleanest, most beautiful guitar Richards ever played. He plays lead (the video confuses lead and rhythm midway through but you’ll recognize the Richards sound by then). The guitar he played it on (here) gave him a different sound, it’s just so amazing. That song has a great riff, Mick Taylor’s brilliant rhythm guitar complementing the Watts-Wyman rhythm section, a brilliant lyric and vocal from Jagger and Nicky Hopkins incredible piano.

Richards understated guitar, even on the solo, is just magic. The funny thing is all the boys were put to shame by Merry Clayton’s beyond God vocals that represent the song’s climax. Toward the end of that isolated vocal track you can hear Mick say “whoa” reacting to what he just heard. Whoa indeed.


At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we kickstart the weekend and for some the holidays with a fun morning. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will regale us with World Junior stories from the past (broadcast booth and truck edition). Matt Iwanyk returns in time to talk NHL 2020 possibly all in America and the NFL weekend to come. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Delightful news from the League and the PA today. Like an early Covidmas.

Harpers Hair

Frank Seravalli


#NHL/#NHLPA Agreement: 23-man roster with $81.5 million salary cap.

This includes creation of 4-6 man taxi squad. All 29 players (max) will travel and practice with NHL team. Taxi squad is paid full AHL salary. CBA has been expanded to include for more flexible emergency recalls


NHLPA call has ended and the executive is very supportive of the deal – it needs to be papered.

Harpers Hair

David Pagnotta
· 6m
Pending sign-off from the provinces, the 4 NHL divisions this season will be:

Pacific: ANA, AZ, COL, LA, MIN, SJ, STL, VGK


Yeay they’re going to clone Ottawa and kick out Toronto!!
Holy crap that pacific division is awfully weak 2 top notch teams and ok St Lu but Faulk and Krug together is only scary for their own goalie.
really should have swapped min and Dallas


Toronto can’t get no respect

Harpers Hair

Colorado, Vegas and St. Louis are 3 of the elite teams in the league and Minnesota should be much better with Kaprizov and Talbot.

The rest are just cannon fodder.


No one around Minnesota expects a playoff team this year
St. Louis lost pietrangelo and added another anti ricki d which Toronto showed last year that things may not work well when you have Faulk and Krug. And they lost the safety blanket around goalering

Harpers Hair

Some team in that division has to place 4th.

I’d pick Minnesota.


Kaprizov is indeed a high end scorer in the KHL. Of course, so it Temmu Hartikainan (2nd in points this year), Markus Granlund (11th in points this year), Nigel Dawes, etc.

Harpers Hair

Not only has he been a five-time KHL All-Star and ranked 6th in the KHL in scoring with 222 points in 262 games played, but he also holds three of the best U23 seasons in KHL history.

He’s only 23.

Last edited 10 months ago by Harpers Hair

Not sure why you would respond with those numbers to a post that said he’s a high end KHL scorer.

Wait, age matters now?

Harpers Hair

Being a KHL (the second best league in the world) All Star at the age of 18 is a big deal wouldn’t you say?


Have you looked at the Wild centres? May be the worst in the league.

Harpers Hair

Marco Rossi is an elite prospect.

They are certainly a ways away but easily beat out the West Coast teams for a playoff spot.

Harpers Hair

Ken Campbell

I’m told the taxi squads will be made up of AHL players on 2-way contracts. While on taxi squad, he gets his AHL salary. If he plays, he gets NHL salary. If he goes back to taxi squad, it’s treated the same as being sent down. So if he’s waiver eligible, he’d have to clear.


50% chance of a Canadian team in the final as the first two rounds of the playoffs will be division based.


Wouldn’t that make it a 25% chance?


There will definitely be one Canadian team in the Western Conference Final – 50% chance of a Canadian team in the Stanley Cup Final.


Didn’t think of it that way. Makes sense.


Once this is finalized and Holland knows all the details regarding taxi squad, cap implications, etc., with certainty, I anticipate an Ethan Bear signing.

Harpers Hair

What part of this would affect a Bear signing now?


Feel free to think about it.

Harpers Hair

No need.

The cap ain’t changing.


Google the word “uncertainty”

Harpers Hair

Google the word dithering.

Or on second thought, Google contract impasse.


Google: What do Strome, Barzal, PLD, Mittelstadt, Khunin, Roklovic, etc. have in common?

Harpers Hair

Contract impasse.



You will be facing that pretty quickly.



Once this is finalized and Holland knows all the details regarding taxi squad, cap implications, etc., with certainty, I anticipate an Ethan Bear signing.

And don’t forget the other Covid-priced UFA(s) that Holland has been waiting on signing 🙂


Projected Roster and Taxi Squad:

23 Man Roster


McDavid, Drai, Turris, Khaira, Haas
Nuge, Kahun, Ennis, Neal
Yamamoto, Kassian, Puljujarvi, Chiasson, Archibald


Nurse, Jones, Russell, Lagesson
Bear, Barrie, Larsson

Taxi Squad (4-6)

Bouchard, Lennstrom
Nygard, Benson

P. Russell, Quine (maybe Cracknell).


They could run with a roster below 23 by keeping less than the max players and assigning players to the taxi squad – waivers will be required (except for Yamamoto, Lennstrom, Benson, Bouchard).


Ooops, forgot to add Forsberg as 3G – take out Quine


Looks right to me. Though I’d probably send Benson down to play games (assuming he’s sitting).

Potentially also Bouchard if he isn’t getting into the lineup regularly.

Harpers Hair

Send him down where exactly?


To Bakersfield.

To play games rather than being on the taxi squad.

Not even sure what dig you’re trying to make here.

Harpers Hair

There is no Bakersfield.

The AHL is “hoping” to start play in February but California is in a huge lock down.

Ain’t going to happen.


Well Bakersfield is still there.

But yeah, not much point sending him there if they aren’t playing games yet.

Has he been spotted on a plane? Maybe he should stay in the Swiss League so he can keep playing hockey.

Harpers Hair

Likely for the rest of his career.

You develop a past.


Hehe, sure.

When you’re 22 and your past is ‘high end AHL scorer’ that’s a good thing.


When talking about the Oilers, 21 (Bouchard) and 22 (Benson) is old and dithering.

Of course, when talking about another team 23 (Kaprizov), Juolevi (22), Rafferty (25), Lehtonen (27) is a non-issue.

Only Oiler players need to “arrive early”.


Benson is on his way to Edmonton after leading his Swiss Team in scoring with 19 points in 15 games after recovering from Covid.


I think those guys need to be on the taxi squad as they are legit NHL option. Bouchard is the first injury fill-in on the right side of the defence – he can’t be down in the US. There are other options at LW (Khaira, with Haas at center, and Nygard) but Benson needs to be an option to Holland and Tippett. Having these guys in another country, with quarantine rules, etc. is a non-starter for me.

Its helpful that both of them have been playing hockey for the last number of months.


Cool, I couldn’t remember if Benson was among those mentioned as en route.

I’m just not sure the gap in hockey playing ability (if there is one) between Benson and Nygard/Russell/Quine/Cracknell justifies him sitting for months (well, skating on his own with the small group). Though he’s already played 2 AHL seasons so there’s probably not much more for him to learn there.

And yes, at least they’ve both been playing hockey to this point.


Pagnotta advising that the 5 relevant Canadian provinces are working together on parameters for teams to play in their home arenas. 4 are good with the plan but there is one that has current objections.


B.C. would be my guess.

Eh Team

The Sharks can’t play in California right now and the Kings and Ducks may be in the same situation soon


SoCal. NoCal, WA and BC can’t be far behind. If 2020 is any indication NHL is all set for 2021 sliding the West Coast into the Sea.


Sounds like 4-6 player taxi squads (doesn’t sound like “expanded rosters” will be a thing) – this is great news for the Oilers.

No exhibition games.

Teams have option to toll contract of players that opt out.


That expanded roster idea never really made much sense to me – or others. No way to do that without cap implications that neither side were ever going to accept imo. Taxi squad hurts the AHL but since the NHL owns most of those franchises I think they have agreed to take the hit.


Its going to be an interesting discussion with a player like McLeod that isn’t NHL ready (in all likelihood) – I anticipate he’ll be in Bakersfield and a guy like Cracknell or Quine on the taxi squad.


I feel like it’s a no-brainer to have McLeod play hockey.

Guys like Cracknell were signed to sit.

(I guess I agree, except that there will even be any discussion. Players like McLeod are still available to the big club after all, just with a delay).


Gino Reda

Our @mike_p_johnson
tells us he spoke with a number of players on Canadian teams who felt playing their entire season in the US was a non-starter. We know they won’t accept a bubble for the entire season. Maybe things begin in a Hub and evolve from there.
Quote Tweet

Frank Seravalli

· 3m
Big question is – and something #NHLPA will talk about tonight on Exec Board call – what happens if Canadian provincial health authorities don’t sign off on protocols to play?

Options are Edmonton hub or all 7 teams move to https://abs-0.twimg.com/emoji/v2/svg/1f1fa-1f1f8.svg for season. Players don’t seem wild about either.


This is indeed what they’ve been driving towards:

Frank Seravalli

· 2m
Tentative agreement between #NHL and #NHLPA (which requires approval) calls for training camps to open on Jan. 3 and regular season on Jan. 13.

The 7 teams who did not make 24-team playoff can open camp on Dec. 30.

All dates subject to change. Scheduling not finalized.


Elliotte Friedman
There is word tonight NHL & NHLPA have tentative deal on 56-game season.
Elliotte Friedman
NHLPA will have a conference call tonight. NHL Board call to be scheduled.

Last edited 10 months ago by defmn
Harpers Hair

Pierre LeBrun


The NHL has reached an agreement with the NHLPA on the season, pending respective votes by each side.
NHL plans to schedule a Board of Governors call/vote sometime this weekend. The NHLPA already had an exec board call scheduled for 8 pm ET tonight.

Harpers Hair

Pierre LeBrun


Canadian NHL team issue over health protocols with provinces still not resolved, per source. But hope is to resolve it by Monday.
4:48 PM · Dec 18, 2020


Friedman reporting the NHL and NHLPA have a deal on a 56-game season

NHLPA having a call tonight and a Board of Governors call is being scheduled.


Mike Johnson saying that he talked to a bunch of players on Canadian teams and that absolutely hate the idea of re-locating to the US and don’t want to consider it at all.

Personally, where I think this is going, the NHL/NHLPA will agree and announce the transition rules, camp start date, league start date, divisions, etc. which includes a Canadian division but it will still TBD, among each division, if they will be playing in home arenas or if the seasons will start in hubs.

Relocating the Canadian teams to the US simply won’t be agreed to and the league will continue to negotiate with the provinces to hopefully get agreements in place re: playing in home arenas and, if not, one city to host a hub, to start.


Seravelli indicated a few weeks back that some Canadian teams were talking about a hybrid bubble perhaps being necessary at the start of the season.

If the PA and NHL agree on a mid-January start best to stay very flexible. Perhaps they could agree that Canadian Division training camps segue into one bubble of up to one month with a scheduled break at the end. That should get them past the Canadian covid peak and leave time to arrange non-bubble games in most of the 5 provinces (with temporary relocation for those that can’t).


LeBrun is saying that they are still ironing out healthy protocols with Canadian jurisdictions but hope to have that done by Monday – that’s great news, thought it would drag on and it would be a while until we knew if there was/is going to be hubs or playing in home arenas. We should have some certainty on everything by early next week.


Brian Burke says it is one province. We know it isn’t Alberta or Ontario. So it is Quebec, Manitoba, or BC. For the playoff bubble, BC disqualified themselves, so it is probably them again. The NHL should just make the Canucks play in Saskatoon.


they will have to work with the blades for icetime


Sounds like there will be some pre-tournament scheduling tweaks but Germany will continue in the tournament.


Happy day today
i got my covid vaccine
now time to start call


So curious. Are you a frontline medical worker? 2 nd shot in 21 days? Do they schedule it as soon as you get first shot?


and yes they schedule second dose right away so Jan 8 is my second dose


That is great! Hope all of our healthcare workers get protected ASAP! The worst may be yet to come for our hospitals and ICU’s..


Happy for you.


Did you mean to write this as a haiku?

If so, this is great.

If not, this may be the best inadvertent haiku ever.

Either way, I hope the vaccine works out for you (and yours).


Side effects of vaccine seems to be inadvertently posting in Haiku


Great news. We can thank the team working with this guy who did not wait for permission before sharing the genome with the world so that the mRNA vaccines could be designed.



If folks interested someone I know among first Albertans vaccinated. Her segment leads the show (after announcements):


Hopefully not against LT Covid / External link rules.


Kemp from Lavoie helps Vasby to a 2-1 win. Kemp played almost 21 minutes.

Brasseau with a couple assists to help Dorinbirn to a 2-1 win.


Thus spake Sir Lowetide:

I always put song names or movie titles on this blog, it’s a thing. The 2015 draft was “Hallelujah” and has remained so, in fact it’s Hallelujah on several levels now. The 2016 draft was “Lucky Star” on draft day but has morphed into “Carry On, My Wayward Son” in recent seasons.

I miss the good ol’ days when the Reasonable Expectations series featured a different artist every season, and each player was assigned a song from that artist’s catalogue.

Incidentally, this blog was my gateway to The Band.

And to keep on the Stones theme, I’ll pick a couple lesser known songs as favorites: “Heartbreaker (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo)” and especially “Time Waits For No One”.

Wonder Llama

I suspect most readers know about it, but if you don’t, check out the 2013 documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom. Fascinating stuff musically and sociologically.


That jam and “can’t you hear me knocking” some of my favourite guitar work from Richard’s


This is pretty funny, Marty Turco talking about the Patrick Stefan empty net gaffe and Hemmer goal.


Last edited 10 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Gimme Shelter.
Easily one of my top 5 RS songs. Thanks for the link to see inside the recording! Merry is indeed RIGHT IN THERE. Yeah baby!

Victoria Oil

Gimme Shelter is definitely on my list of the top 5 Stones songs as well. Looking forward to listening to these different versions again today.

Also, considering all the musicians that have died from alcohol and drugs since the 1960’s, it”s a miracle and a blessing that Keith is still with us.

Long live Keith Richards!


Reminds me of Denis Leary’s bit about Keith Richards doing an anti-drug advert and Denis saying “Keith, we can’t do any drugs because you’ve smoked them all! We’re going to have to wait until you’re dead and smoke your ashes!” 😀


Keith Richards…..man, Thank Lt. Always have time for Keith…crazy man.


One of the things Bowman talks about in the Dryden book is Imlach’s ability to make use of flawed players.

I don’t have the memory to recall the name of the player or coach involved but one of the early lessons in player deployment came to me between periods from that hockey sage Don Cherry – way back when he first started on HNIC.

A rookie for the Maple Leafs got lit up for two goals against where he was clearly at fault. Got taken wide on one and lost his man on the other if I remember correctly.

It had been talked about by the play by play guy and colour man so when the dork McLean brought it up for Cherry I expected more of the same.

What the player had done wrong.

Cherry wasn’t having any of it. He ripped into the coach for putting a kid out on the ice against the other team’s top line – twice and, believe it or not, that was the very first time I ever heard anybody talk about line matching.

And, as only Cherry could do, he made his point without pulling punches. I can still remember the stunned look on McLean’s face.

Of course over the years I came to realise that that is McLean’s natural look. 😉

Last edited 10 months ago by defmn

It was sure sad to see McLean bail on Cherry like he had the plaque. I usually mute the love fest he anchors between periods with the Flames lovers.


Al Iafrate.


Was that who it was? Good memory, if so. I try to blame my bad memory on old age but suspect it has more to do with too much fun in my youth. 😉


As I was reading your post, I was thinking, ” Oh my Gord, I remember that.” I never would have if you hadn’t brought it up though. Because that was in the murky midst of my misspent University days. All I could remember was it was a kid who went on to being big time for another team… a stupid trade driven by the Leafs giving up too early (because they kept throwing him to the wolves), which I think Grapes ranted about at the time too. I looked up the roster from Cherry’s first season and as soon as I saw Iafrate a bell went off. So I wouldn’t say my memory is a lock, but I’m pretty sure he’d the guy.


Graham McPhee is also on an AHL deal with the Condors.

I am hopeful that Coach T. is able to be the “right guy” for Jesse – he has skills but, as the host says, an incomplete player – he needs to be be coached and be coachable.

Lets do this thing!


Holloway/Newhook/Pelletier is indeed a line at practice today – listed on the board as the 2nd line.

Darth Tu

Just saw that. Impressive. Very impressive.

Harpers Hair

Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) Tweeted:
#Flames announce that defenceman Oliver Kylington has signed a one-year, two-way deal with an AAV of $787,500.



Those Benson goal-assist splits are incredible. I’m worried that in the NHL people simply won’t cover him. We all hear about the skating being what could hold him back but I’m more concerned with the goal scoring at this stage.

Elgin R

In the AHL, 23.5% of Benson’s points were goals. The finisher was RW Josh Currie, were 62.2% of his points were goals the last two years in the Bake. What Benson’s career has shown is that he needs a finisher and a competent center. Maybe a 3rd line in 2022-2023 could be Benson – Mcleod – Lavoie. All the ingredients are there; great passing winger, fast center, a finisher and cheap as all will be at or near league minimum.


German players test positive – Team stays in quarantine until December 24 – no pre-tourney games for them

A couple Swedish staff test positive – Team stays in quarantine until December 21 – Not sure about the Canada/Sweden game on the 21st.

Harpers Hair

7 Swedish players released early.

Uffe Bodin (@UffeBodin) Tweeted:
The seven players that were let out of the quarantine were let out because they were carrying antibodies after having contracted the virus during the period of September 13th to November 29th.
A Costmar
E Heineman
Z Nybeck
C Clang
O Olausson
T Niederbach
O Bjerselius



ya, the release from the IIHF is actually an informative read:


Eh Team

This whole world junior thing is basically on the level of NCAA exploitation of ‘student’ athletes. The IIHF and Hockey Canada are making a whole pile of money, the athletes get zero. But they get to bear all of the risk..


I would suggest that the athletest themselves are thrilled to be able to participate in the tournament – for many (most) its a lifelong dream.

They get no money.

They get to fulfill a dream.


So the athletes getting to showcase their talents holds no value! N


What risk?

Eh Team

You may have noticed we are in a pandemic. No hockey in North America other than NCAA and the world juniors. Likely to be no Canadian junior hockey season if trends continue. NHL on hold. No AJHL.

I agree it’s exciting for the players and recognition, but the vast majority of these guys have been drafted already. It’s going to have minimal impact on their future careers.


Could have a lot to do with their bonus structure and or original contract.


Nonsense. There is virtually no risk to teenage athletes.


It may have minimal impact of their future careers if they’ve been drafted but, again, its also a lifelong dream of many and, at the end of the day, they all have the choice to play or not. It its not going to effect their careers and they had concerns, they could choose not to play with little ramifications.

Also, for Canada, yes, pretty much all players have been drafted that that is certainly not the case for many of the other countries and players could absolutely increase their draft stock, as they do at the U-18s every year.


If they were to get paid I believe it eliminates the U.S college amateur requirement for their student athletes thus loss of scholarships. Much bigger hit than the dollars they would earn for one tournament.


As far as exploiting these kids who get nothing out of it, Kirby Dach, a legit NHL center, reached out to his agent to ask the Hawks about lending him to Team Canada – he started to process.


Can’t hear Gimme Shelter without thinking about Merry Clayton being pregnant, coming down in the middle of the night, singing one of the all-time great vocal tracks, and then losing the baby to a miscarriage. Tragic and only adds to the mystique of the song.

buck yoakam

More often than not keith played his Tele minus the wound E string as he said it just got in the way for doing chunky rhythm ….I also have more faith in the management and coaching than I have in years…lets make the playoffs! I am also hoping for koskinen to prove a lot of folks wrong…


Best version of gimme shelter in my opinion


stephen sheps

That version is good and the backup vocals are killer, but Mick Taylor is so much better than Ron Wood on lead. I’d rather listen to this version any day of the week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2etPYnI718




Not a note out of place. Mick Taylor had a really tight backing band.

Brantford Boy

A little personal tie to today’s post…
First LT, “I’m currently reading Ken Dryden’s book on Scotty Bowman, a fascinating look into a beautiful mind with an all-world memory.”, I had to read it twice, not a sign of an all-world memory. I said to myself, just make sure you call your Dad today for his birthday.
It must have been 2002 (again memory), my cousin (from The Rock) was the Entertainment director for the Jasper lodge, and was getting married there. He got this amazing chalet for the wedding party and family, apparently the Rolling Stones frequented this particular chalet. We were watching an Oilers game on TV and my uncle (from The Rock) says something to the effect “Geez boy, that Clearly sure is good, works his bloody tail off, you know he’s from back home”.

Hopefully we get to see Jesse rhyme in the Gimme Shelter 3rd line until the day we all sit back and say “whoa”.

Last edited 10 months ago by Brantford Boy
Elgin R

I for one was excited when Columbus did not take JP. The Oilers need at right wing was great and here was a top RW prospect available. Even with the missing year, JP is 11th in scoring for forwards (2nd RW) and is 14th in games played. I am sure he is not as far along as he would have expected, but here we are.

Developing players is a thing and Holland / Tippet have the track record. I expect JP to come in and play a solid NHL game right from the start. He is older and more mature as are the leadership group which will help.

Prediction: JP finishes the year in the top 6 and has his best year to date.


Prior to the 2016 draft, and even on draft day, I was all about Dubois because like most thinkers, JP would be gone. Again like most people, I did not do enough homework on JP for same reason. Even though I was happy to get JP, there was genuine disappointment on my behalf that we missed out on Dubois. I said as much at the time to my friends. I remember telling them how I think that we may have drafted another Magnus Puljarvi. I said similar name equals similar player. Mostly in jest. Fast forward to now and I think JP may end up being the same player as MP. I am keeping my expectations low, but hoping for the best. If JP ends up being the same player as MP, is that good enough? Probably not. Finger crossed. It is my hope that JP will be more than Dubois by the end of their careers. That would make me happy.


Magnus played over 450 games in the NHL before he was 28. At the same time, he never produced even 20 points in a season – he became a 4th line energy player and PK guy – big and fast and responsible.

At 22 years of age, I have hopes for JP to be more than that but one thing at a time.

If he tops out as a MPS type player, well, that’s a fine hockey player but, of course, “not enough” vis-a-vis his draft position.

I don’t see Jesse ever being that player for term in Edmonton – if he can’t play above the fourth line in Edmonton the relationship with the fans, if nothing else, will be toxic again and he’ll need to move on to another org.