The Cull Begins

by Lowetide
Cooper Marody photo by Mark Williams

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland made several transactions on Saturday as the club works to get the roster down to 23 (with as many as six on a taxi squad. The early name was Joe Gambardella, the most surprising (for me) was Cooper Marody, and no eyebrows were raised (or harmed) during the entire process.

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.

  • New Lowetide: Oilers rookies with a chance to stick after one week of training camp
  • Lowetide: bold predictions for the Oilers’ season
  • Lowetide: Early roster rumblings as Oilers open training camp
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers training camp: Forecasting the big roster battles
  • Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s world juniors work offers clues about Oilers future
  • Lowetide: The Bakersfield Condors will be competitive in the coming AHL season
  • Athletic: How we’d run the Oilers: Maximize primes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
  • Eric Duhatschek: How a stint in Sweden prepared Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard for NHL camp
  • Jonathan Willis: After a brilliant rookie Oilers season, how high is Ethan Bear’s ceiling?
  • Lowetide: How secure is Zack Kassian’s role on Oilers’ top line?
  • Lowetide: Why fans should expect an Oilers playoff berth in Canadian division
  • Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett has more options now thanks to versatile Oilers forwards
  • Lowetide: 7 big questions facing the Oilers heading into next season
  • Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
  • Jonathan WillisLeft-side logjam will force the Oilers to make a choice, and perhaps a sacrifice
  • Lowetide: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
  • Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
  • Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success

CUTS

  • Waivers on the way to Bakersfield: Joe Gambardella, Alan Cracknell and Seth Griffith
  • PTO release on the way to Bakersfield: Ryan Stanton
  • Assigned to Bakersfield: Cooper Marody, Markus Niemelainen, Stuart Skinner

These are all of the distant bells (save one) and one of the uncertain Oilers, so things are basically going according to Hoyle. I’m not sure any of these men make it back to Edmonton this season, but I’m pulling for Cooper Marody.

CERTAIN OILERS (21)

This is the heart of the order, there may be an IR issue with Neal but the rest of this group should be good to go. Expect two forwards, at least one a center, to be added from the lower levels.

UNCERTAIN OILERS (11)

The goalies and defencemen here could be on the taxi squad opening night. The forwards are a different conversation. Edmonton might keep as many as four forwards from this list. Shore and Khaira might have the edge. Haas may be on the IR to start the year.

DISTANT BELLS (1)

Just one name left, this is just like last year when I disregarded Patrick Russell at my peril. The coach clearly values him and you can see why: He is very coachable, trustworthy and can sit for long periods without bitching. He needs to provide more offense though and I’m not sure he makes the team.

WAIVER WIRE

Fussy Britches is telling people to pay attention to the waiver wire today, she was 100 percent or close on 2011 free-agent day and has been less successful since. Michael Hutchinson of the Toronto Maple Leafs is a player of interest, he didn’t play a lot last season but his career AHL SP is .919 and he’s .905 in the NHL. Alexandre Carrier is an interesting defenseman from the Nashville Predators organization. He’s undersized, fine skater and great passer.

Edmonton will have a few more names on the waiver wire either today or Monday. Among them could be William Lagesson. We wait.

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OriginalPouzar

Big day today as its the last day to waive players as final rosters need to be set tomorrow for opening night on Wed.

We may have an idea today of what Holland’s plan for cap compliance is and maybe a window in to the final roster/taxi squad – but that might have to wait for tomorrow as waivers apply equally for both taxi squad and AHL assignments.

Will be interesting if Lagesson is put on waivers and if Shore is signed (if he’s not signed today and they do plan on signing him, I think he’ll be on the opening night roster).

Will be interesting to see if any of the veterans are waived in order to give the ability for paper transactions and cap compliance.

Munny

And Cooper Marody goes screaming past Last Chance Texaco in his shiny Chevrolet Entitlement (it’s a HUUUGE SUV), tunes a-blaring, fuel gauge banging on empty.

OriginalPouzar

Marody was never going to be on the opening night roster or taxi squad – his last chance is this season in the AHL – needing to stay healthy first and produce at levels akin to his rookie pro season.

My expectations are not high.

Harpers Hair

Marody is #6 on the centre depth chart by my eye.

Elvis has left the building.

OriginalPouzar

Of course Marody is well down the center depth chart – he hasn’t been healthy in two years.

As was indicated in the post and what is required in order to re-establish himself as a prospect of interest.

defmn

For those not on twitter since there wasn’t any real Oiler news today.

Bob Stauffer
@Bob_Stauffer
·
Today is an off-day for
@EdmontonOilers
First Week Observations:

D transitioning puck better.
Jones-Larsson have looked real good.
Turris big upgrade at 3C,
Puljujarvi engaged.
McDavid on other level from Sept.’19.

Harpers Hair

Parroting narratives….something..something…yes I’m kidding 🙂

defmn

How many games until we know who will be in the playoffs in the Canadian division?

I’ll say 15. By then everybody’s supposed upgrades or weaknesses should be on display.

Harpers Hair

I think it’s so close we may not know until close to the end.

I believe Toronto will pull away early and stay there based on the schedule but after that goaltending and injuries will have a massive impact.

I’m working on my betting lines right now and and having some difficulty sussing things out.

At the moment, I have Toronto first but there’s very little money to be made on that line and I see Ottawa as out of it so not worth a bet.

That leaves 5 teams and I’ll likely wait until Tuesday before making a move but, at the moment, Vancouver is undervalued so that might be worth a bet…but the others are basically a crap shoot.

I really can’t see much daylight between Montreal, Calgary and the Oilers and, of course, Winnipeg has the best goaltender in the division so there’s that.

Going to be quite a ride.

Harpers Hair

For those who are interested…here is the current line.

https://www.vegasinsider.com/nhl/odds/futures/

defmn

Now this is a list I have time for because there is a cost to the ‘experts’ if they are too far off.

I know this is for the cup which is different than the regular season but they have Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, and then Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg all basically lumped together with Ottawa still in rebuild mode.

I think the Montreal rating will surprise the most people but they had a strong off season imo.

Harpers Hair

Agreed…I have Montreal finishing second in the division (they play Ottawa 10 times)

That’s certainly worth a look.

defmn

And now I see that if I just scrolled down the regular season numbers are there as well.

Harpers Hair

Yep.

Dac189

I enjoy the athletic a decent amount but some of these articles seem a bit ridiculous to me.

A lot of this just seems like parroting narratives.

The undisputed #1 goalie, playing for arguably the best team in the league, posted the same save percentage as one of the supposed worst starters in the league (Koski). And a close enough gaa 0.19 difference.

So, Koski is one of the worst starters in the league.
McDavid and Drai awful defensive players worst and 6th worst.
A terrible bottom 6 that constantly gets outscored. This is true
one of the worst defensive groups in the league. (Only 3 defensemen barely above replacement)

It sounds like a last in the league team.
And yet they had a pretty good season and I at least expect them to be better this season.

OriginalPouzar

Canucks are holding practice tomorrow – nothing to worry about here (as far as game postponement matters).

On that note, I just read an article from Woj (ESPN) regarding the current challenges the NBA are facing – teams play as long as they have 8 healthy bodies.

Do we know if the NHL has a similar minimum amount of skaters in order to play – different from the normal?

defmn

Its a good question OP.

I don’t think you can play a game with fewer than 10 forwards, 5 dmen and the 2 goalies without compromising the integrity of the standings.

Harpers Hair

Does the German experience at the World Juniors give us a clue?

As I recall they played with 9 forwards and 5 defensemen in the early games.

defmn

Good point.

leadfarmer

If you have only 9 F 6 D and 2G. That means you have 11 bodies out of commission. I would hope the team has games delayed with that big of an outbreak

OriginalPouzar

Missed most of the last two periods of the Wisconsin game (damn clients) but caught the last few minutes and Hollway was out there with the extra attacker and was a big part of the offensive zone possession and got absolutely robbed with about a minute left.

Harpers Hair

CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) Tweeted:
#Devils sign RFA Jesper Bratt to a 2 year contract worth $5,500,000.

$2,750,000 AAV
2020-21: $2,050,000
2021-22: $3,450,000

The deal buys NJ 1 RFA year and 1 RFA Arb year. Bratt will be an RFA with Arb rights when his new deal expires in 2022.

https://t.co/NqBgwsao7X

https://twitter.com/CapFriendly/status/1348407732093800448?s=20

defmn

Roslovic really the only big name RFA left?

Harpers Hair

Yep.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded to the Kings (rumoured) since they literally have about a dozen centre prospects but Roslovic is a little farther along.

Roslovic apparently wants a bigger role in a bigger market and LA, where he could slide in as second line centre while the others develop might work.

But Chevaldayoff is a very stubborn man.

defmn

Stubborn is a bit of an understatement but yeah. LA is an interesting suggestion. Makes sense.

Harpers Hair

LA could sign him to a two year bridge deal at reasonable dollars and, if he performs relative to his draft pedigree, they could flip him for a 1st round pick when Byfield is ready to take over.

defmn

If Chevy agrees to trade him. Edmonton has been guilty too often of moving players for less than value because they want out but imo Chevy lets things stew in his dressing room past the point where the trade win makes up for it.

There is a reason other than the weather why these things keep happening in Winnipeg. Minnesota is no screaming hell in February either but this isn’t an annual affair there.

I don’t know if it is the team makeup, the coach, the money or what but ownership needs to find out and fix it.

jp

Roslovic really the only big name RFA left?

Interesting the widely predicted contraction of salary expenditures really never happened.

Free agents still got squeezed of course.

defmn

Yup. It turns out most of the owners want to win more than many predicted.

Harpers Hair

The difference is that many of the high end RFAs were signed to bridge deals rather than lucrative 6 or 7 year contracts as was previously the case.

Bodes well and sets the market for teams with high end RFAs due new contracts in the next offseason.

The piper will have to be paid eventually but it helps teams navigate the flat cap over the next several seasons.

jp

The high, mid and low-end UFAs all got squeezed as well.

But yes, Pettersson and Hughes should be cheaper than they normally would next off-season if Benning goes the bridge deal route.

Harpers Hair

I would imagine Benning has that stupid grin on his face about now as does Joe Sakic who has Makar coming up.

jp

I imagine he always has that grin.

The higher end guys aren’t getting as much discount as the middle guys like Bear.

Benning may be able to keep costs down a bit for those 2 down for a couple of years but the higher end guys aren’t getting as much discount as the quality middle like Bear.

And as you said, the piper will be paid in full before long.

Harpers Hair

For some teams like the Islanders and Barzal it’s the difference between shedding important players and fitting them comfortably under the cap.

Tampa Bay got Cirelli under the cap for three years at $4.8 million.

Thats peanuts for a great second line centre.

jp

It helps too if you overpriced vets decide the don’t want to play any more.

And TB did get a great deal on Cirelli, but it seems that everyone takes a ‘home town’ discount to stay there.

Harpers Hair

Florida has no state income tax…it’s a thing.

jp

It is, but I imagine “you need to take a bit of a haircut if you want to keep playing for this cup contender/winner” has a big say too.

State tax in Mass, which I presume is on the higher end, is only 10% after all.

Harpers Hair

10% of $5 million ain’t nothing.

jp

Of course no, but those are the extremes.

Apparently Mass is only 5% as well.

defmn

A good accountant can get it even lower.

jp

Not that I know, but no doubt.

OriginalPouzar

Barzal, with coming off two seasons that didn’t come close to his rookie season, both well under a point per game (the second season only 60 points in 82 games) – got $7M on a bridge.

Pettersson will get paid.

jp

The flat cap is probably the difference between Pettersson being more or less expensive then Draisaitl, but agreed he’ll get paid.

Last edited 13 days ago by jp
Harpers Hair

I would guess 3 years at $8 million..Hughes about the same.

jp

Yeah that sounds like the right ballpark.

Harpers Hair

Barzal plays on a team that is defense first by design.

His point totals don’t reflect his value.

He’s the goods.

defmn

And Lamo already lost Toews to get the room to sign him. He couldn’t very well lose Toews and then not get Barzal signed to start the season.

Harpers Hair

Yep.

OriginalPouzar

I swear, any time Holloway gets the puck in the defensive zone or neutral zone with any sort of space, it results in a clean offensive zone entry.

defmn

That is a very valuable skill. You watching right now?

OriginalPouzar

Ya – I watched most of the first period (well, Holloway’s shifts mainly).

Got a conference call coming up so will be sporadically watching the rest.

defmn

Having worked on numerous political campaigns in Canada I am pretty comfortable in claiming that standards vary from province to province dramatically & that the results are not as squeaky clean as most Canadians imagine or hope they are.

JimmyV1965

There will always be questionable actions in any large scale election. I think Canada benefits from that fact that party politics is not really a thing at the municipal level, outside of Vancouver. Party politics permeates virtually every level of govt in the US. As a result, you are more likely to have diehard party members running local elections. And these people are more likely to have a vested interest in one party beating the other in an election.

defmn

Democracy remains a terrible way to run a government – except for all of the alternatives.

Munny

It’s my dream that one day we will get to try this democracy thing out.

defmn

Human nature is a very flawed material to work with.

I think it is better to be grateful that democracy does not impinge unduly on those lives not driven by excessive lust for honour or wealth.

Side

The arguments I get into do have an end and it ends with me always being right.

Don’t try and argue with me otherwise, LT!

defmn

I go away for an hour and miss all the good stuff?

Side

Just rewatch the scene in Anchorman where all of the news teams get into a brawl and you will be caught up.

defmn

Hehe. I’ll take your word for it. Will Ferrell is an acquired taste I have never been able to master. 😉

OriginalPouzar

defmn

I go away for an hour and miss all the good stuff?

Ya, me too!

This will show the depth of my narauticism, but I actually stagger my LT comments read and respond through the day and line up the time with certain of my scheduled food sessions throughout the day (as I eat the same things at the same times every day – and do the same things during these sessions).

Anyways, I noticed what seemed to be some standard “backlash” towards the usual poster later on in the thread but, by the time I sat down for my favorite cottage cheese-based snack, there were about 30 less posts. Oh well.

Last edited 13 days ago by OriginalPouzar
leadfarmer

You know there’s a very simple solution for that

Yeti

Apologies. My pithy comment was really meant to be pure jest. But I can see that it might simply have enflamed things. So good to delete it – thanks.

defmn

Now I am really sorry I missed the donnybrook. I am a big fan of pithy. 😉

pts2pndr

It’s a pithy we missed it!😉

defmn

This place needs a replay button. 😉

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I am sorry LT. I was just really bored this morning.

Need stick puck games to start yesterday.

Pescador

Yes,
I gotta say, it feels great to be back!

Munny

…as adults…

Considering the juvenile post-voting which has now become one of the definitive features of the comment threads, I would say we’re not exactly catering to or encouraging mature behavior.

JMHO.

JimmyV1965

Do people here really care about thr voting?

Kinger_Oil.redux

– One of my New Years resolutions was to get my Home Office more permanant, and comfortable, rather than just going into the basement/dungeon.

– I purchased a Sonos Move Speaker for the Kinger Home Office. It’s like emerging out of a Cave moment for me I have a fancy MacIntosh Stereo system: its a big deal for music sound afficionadoes.

– But this Sonos just blows me away: completely wireless, it literally took 3 minutes out of box to get up and running.

– I called up my Dad: I can remember as a kid, he bought a shortwave radio, and with some patience, he would be able to pick up fuzzy airwaves from far-away places. I might have taken an hour to find a new frequency type thing.

– My wife (who is from Ukraine): I popped on the local Odessa daily news. It’s just wesome all that is contollable and curated on this stuff.

– I am going to have Sheps send me his list, and listen to it on the Sonos, which is 99% as good sound in a room as my $15K+ MacIntosh stereo with speakers plugged in for $300

– The last time I had this cave-man moment was when our firm no longer provided service for Blackberry, about 5 or 6 years ago, and I got an iPhone: I was like : “oh that’s why RIM is dead…)When I was banking the Tech sector, they alwasy talked about the importance of techonolgy being “appliance-like” Indeed

– The only other time was when I went into a Tesla, and its accelation like a super-car was same thing: the dispursion of electicity is like 3x that of a combustion engine.

– Its pretty cool to be still able to experience life-altering things: like when one saw a car for the first time, or an airplane in they sky, or Television, or radio. Perhaps not the same magnitude, but orders of levles higher than the status-quo. Anyway, carry on

GOILERS!

wolf8888

Hey Kinger, is this hooked up to your 15K system or a stand alone? Thanks a lot!

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Standalone. Its just the Sonos speaker. It doesn’t connect with old-school stuff like a legacy MacIntosh system. That was was from the days of “Audio Hi-Fi”

– I’m just blown away by how good it is: for a fraction of price. You don’t need to build it into the house, and/or run speaker wire. Disruption is neat when it happens. Old-school audiophile snobs would no doubt look down at it, untill they try it…I love the accessibility of it: everyone basically can have nice things like this.

wolf8888

Thanks!

Harpers Hair

They are truly amazing…my son has them all over his house.

Apple has been trying to replicate their success with Home Pod speakers but are still playing catch-up.

Harpers Hair

Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) Tweeted:
#CanucksCamp practices and workouts for today are cancelled. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to potential exposure of COVID-19.

Details regarding tomorrow’s schedule will be announced later today.

https://twitter.com/Canucks/status/1348337418710118400?s=20

Pescador

That’s unfortunate,
Hopefully everyone there is okay.
I believe that the team will regroup just in time for their annual opening night shit kicking

Harpers Hair

Last years opening night shit kicking was a 3-2 Oilers win in OT after the Canucks hit the crossbar in the final minute of regulation.

The season series ended with Vancouver holding the edge with a
2-1-1 record.

Just saying.

Solly

…Yeah, but a quarter of an inch the other way and they would have missed the net completely…

Keep living in the past…it’s the best your team’s going to look against a far superior team this year.

pts2pndr

Hopefully Ian Clark is okay!

JimmyV1965

I love what Holland did this year, but I’m getting very nervous as the season soon approaches. Love that Holland didn’t blow his budget on any big names, but instead placed a bunch of small bets on players very likely to outperform their cap hit. 

Don’t love the Smith signing, but it was MUCH better than signing guys like Holtby, Crawford, Talbot, Greiss and Markstrom to multi- year contracts for very large cap hits. Will be very interesting to see how many of the free-agent goalies actually have success this year. 

But as the season draws near, I’m really having second thoughts. We still only have three legit top-six forwards. This is a problem. Can we really expect success with only three top six forwards? It’s not an insurmountable gap by any stretch. In fact, most teams only have four, including the much-loved Maple Leafs. The Flames have four, the Canucks have four if you include Pearson, but three is not four. 

I’m still optimistic, but I would feel much more comfortable with two guaranteed top-six twosomes. 

jp

But as the season draws near, I’m really having second thoughts. We still only have three legit top-six forwards. This is a problem. Can we really expect success with only three top six forwards? It’s not an insurmountable gap by any stretch. In fact, most teams only have four, including the much-loved Maple Leafs. The Flames have four, the Canucks have four if you include Pearson, but three is not four. 

I’m still optimistic, but I would feel much more comfortable with two guaranteed top-six twosomes. 

I was going to ask how many ‘top 6 forwards’ other teams have but you answered it.

I hear what you’re saying on more proven opinions but the Oilers have a large number of players who should be good enough (and have previously played well enough) for the team to have success.

Yamamoto is your #4 assuming he just keeps doing even 75% of what he did last season.

And as much as many don’t like Kassian.. I posted Oilers 5v5 scoring over the past 2 calendar years last night. He’s 51st in the entire NHL in 5v5 points. Pumped by McDavid obviously, but Kassian had 2 fewer points than Pettersson and Miller as examples. McDavid had better on ice numbers with Kassian than without last season too.

And of course Kahun and Ennis fit into the probably/maybe category too (that’s 7 forwards now).

I feel really good about the forwards personally.

Last edited 13 days ago by jp
Solly

Interesting. I see 6…

McD = 2
Drai = 2
Nuge = 1
Yamo = 1

I watched the replay of the Cal/Edm game last night (the one with the goalie fight, wadda game!) and Yamo is definitely a top-6 forward when paired with Draisaitl. He has great vision and above average puck skills. His drive to get to pucks also pushes him into a top-6 role. Maybe on a different team or with a different center, he could be considered a top-9, but no way lower than that. Drai and Yamo established chemistry last year, can’t wait to see the growth this year between them. If Kahun and Drai also find their chemistry again…well, good luck NHL.
I love Kassian on McD’s line. He is no slouch at the power forward role when his motor is running on high. Everyone seems to overlook the job he does, which is protecting our superstar and preventing other goofs from taking liberties on him. We need him right now to keep other team’s focus off of agitating Connor. Regardless, he is a top-9 forward on most teams when playing his game.
I too am worried about Nuge…LT mentioned he may be the trade piece to get a very good Dman. Without a new contract though, the return may be less than ideal. And I could see this causing some Oil fans to turn on the GM very quickly. We just can’t afford to pay Nuge anything above 6.5mil without hurting our team. I think if he does resign, it will be closer to 7mil/year.

All that said…I’d prefer Nuge signed at 7mil and using Nurse as the trade piece to upgrade the D. Nurse’s next contract could be massive and he isn’t worth more than 5.5mil.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I love Kassian on McD’s line. He is no slouch at the power forward role when his motor is running on high. Everyone seems to overlook the job he does, which is protecting our superstar and preventing other goofs from taking liberties on him.

Since you’re rewatching games, take a gander at the last bit of the final game of the season two years ago vs CGY and see how well Kassian stood up for Connor when Giordano was taking liberties.

Or that roadtrip through California where Doughty elbowed Connor in the head (no call, no reaction from Kass) and laughed about it on the bench. That was the night after 97 was unduly abused by ANA as well.

Kassian is alright when he’s on his game, but the notion that he prevents players from taking liberties is over stated.

Solly

Sorry, I don’t have the catalogue of Oilers games on demand…the game I watched just happened to be on SNW. I do remember the Doughty elbow…dirty play for sure. But some veteran players get away with shit that unknowns/rookies wouldn’t…including Giordano. Such is life in the NHL. But you honestly think Kass laughed at McD getting a dirty elbow? No chance. He prolly asked Connor if he wanted to rip Doughty’s face off for him…sparking laughter.

We all know McD gets unfair treatment…the fact he doesn’t draw the most penalties in the entire league is disgusting and a scar on every official reffing the game.
But to say Kassian doesn’t deter players from taking liberties is nonsense. He might not get every single dirty play, no one’s perfect. But I do believe the liberties being taken have vastly been reduced since Kass has been on McD’s line. Your examples from 2 years ago further prove this.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

It was Doughty laughing on the bench.

McDavid not leading the league in penalties drawn is criminal. Liberties are taken. Every. Single. Game.

Kassian doesn’t even deter Turtle.

defmn

I don’t know how that can be known.

You cannot measure what doesn’t happen.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I understand your point, but I disagree.

One can measure the times where Kassian was available to respond and did not.

But I’ll leave that to Godot10, it’s kind of his schtick.

To repeat, I don’t particularly mind Kassian. But I feel his role as a deterrent is highly over stated when there are liberties being taken game in, game out.

defmn

I understand your point as well.

I just know that in my personal & professional life I have many times been accused of showing no restraint in responding to malicious or nonsensical comments.

I, on the other hand, will tell you that I am usually standing there commending myself on the amount of restraint that I have shown. 😉

You cannot measure what doesn’t happen.

Last edited 13 days ago by defmn
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Been there myself as well.

While I see the merit in your position I just don’t see Kassian as an effective deterrent to persistent shenanigans against Connor. Suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Last edited 13 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
OriginalPouzar

I am going to have to agree with the side of Kassian being a deterrent being HIGHLY over-stated.

I know that our host likes to talk about always having a pugilist on the line (Maroon, Lucic, Kassian, etc.) but what liberties are being deterred?

Liberties are taken each and every shift – whacks, hacks, holds, etc. – any one of those hacks could break a wrist, etc.

Nope, McDavid doesn’t get run after the whistle, hit from behind on every second shift or elbowed in the head every game – of course, that just doesn’t happen to any of the superstars. Kassian isn’t deterring any of that – it just doesn’t happen.

When Kassian is playing well he can be a help to that 1st line – I saw him not just be a third party passenger in October/November 2019 but contribute to offence creation, puck retrieval, etc. Of course, consistency is an issue but, when playing well, he helps the line – not as a deterrent though – in my opinion.

defmn

Maybe just disagree on degree. I don’t think there is an effective deterrent possible in today’s game. The penalties are too severe and increase with repeated offences.

I think that if you want to see if Kassian has any effect you put Yamomoto on that line for a series of games and watch to see if anything changes.

I think it does to some degree. But this isn’t the good old days. Bettman has tamed the game.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

That’s an interesting point. Another way to look into the effectiveness of a deterrent might be to see how many liberties are taken on the likes of Patches or Stone or Marchessault in Vegreville. Surely if there’s a player with a reputation to avoid crossing, it’s Reaves.
Plus, it’s easier to be dispassionate while assessing a different team.

Munny

One can measure the times where Kassian was available to respond and did not.

You are not describing deterrence but retribution.

Defmn is right. We cannot measure the effect of Kassian’s physical presence… either as a deterrent, or as a provider of swagger.

So you can disagree if you like, but you would still be wrong.

OriginalPouzar

Munny

You are not describing deterrence but retribution.

Defmn is right. We cannot measure the effect of Kassian’s physical presence… either as a deterrent, or as a provider of swagger.

So you can disagree if you like, but you would still be wrong.

Of course, we can see that liberties are taken with McDavid pretty much every shift – whack, hacks, etc.

We also know, as advid watchers of the game, that the next level of liberties (blatant head shots, runs from behind, etc.) aren’t really part of the game any more and are rare occurrences. Players aren’t running around intentionally trying to injury start players in today’s game.

We also know that McDavid has suffered two major injuries on, arguably, dangerous but, in no way arguable, reckless plays by defenders.

Its really hard to see any evidence of deterrence as I can’t reasonably see anything changing vis-a-vis treatment of McDavid if, say, Neal was 1RW instead of Kass.

defmn

But you only see the events by players who aren’t deterred and have no idea how many are. It isn’t measureable.

OriginalPouzar

No, its not objectively measurable but a very good informed assumption can be made – as I laid out.

defmn

No. You can see how bad it is. You have no idea if it would be worse, better or the same without somebody like Kassian there.

The game has been domesticated by Bettman without a doubt.

But saying there is no deterrence through physical intimidation is like saying the speed limit provides no deterrence because some people continue to speed. Would there be more speeding if there was no penalty?

I think there would but you can’t know how much until there is no fine.

OriginalPouzar

defmn

No. You can see how bad it is. You have no idea if it would be worse, better or the same without somebody like Kassian there.

The game has been domesticated by Bettman without a doubt.

But saying there is no deterrence through physical intimidation is like saying the speed limit provides no deterrence because some people continue to speed.

Would there be more speeding if there was no penalty?

I think there would but you can’t know how much until there is no fine.

As I’ve said, we can make a very reasonable and educated inference of what the situation would be like without Kassian on the ice because, well, we watch the games, we watch the shifts without Kassian, we watch the other elite starts of the game.

This isn’t the 70s/80s where elbows are flying all over the place – none of the elite stars are taking any more punishment than McDavid on a shift to shift and game to game basis. Who’s protecting Pastrnak and Kucherov on their lines? Noone and their not taking any more abuse.

Can we not make a reasonable inference here?

Dunduress

It was Doughty laughing on the bench.

McDavid not leading the league in penalties drawn is criminal. Liberties are taken. Every. Single. Game.

Kassian doesn’t even deter Turtle.

I am also somewhat unsure of the value of deterrents in today’s game, but I would argue that a valuable service that Kassian provided against Tkachuk is being a distraction. Tkachuk has been too busy with Kassian to worry about bothering McDavid. If Kassian can do that often enough then that is some additional value added to his quality 5 on 5 scoring numbers.

Now to distract Gio from McDavid’s knees…

OriginalPouzar

Dunduress

I am also somewhat unsure of the value of deterrents in today’s game, but I would argue that a valuable service that Kassian provided against Tkachuk is being a distraction. Tkachuk has been too busy with Kassian to worry about bothering McDavid. If Kassian can do that often enough then that is some additional value added to his quality 5 on 5 scoring numbers.

Tkachuk has been busy goading Kassian in to penalties that have materially helped the flames win hockey games and the Oilers lose hockey games – twice.

Dunduress

Tkachuk has been busy goading Kassian in to penalties that have materially helped the flames win hockey games and the Oilers lose hockey games – twice.

Absolutely Kassian needs to be more disciplined. My main point is that we are not hearing about Tkachuk targeting McDavid with cheapshots because he is busy. I’d highly prefer if Kassian could stay out of the box while doing this and do not condone him taking penalties that put the team down. It’s the right idea being poorly executed IMO.

pts2pndr

It was fun watching him get rag dolled! It will be very interesting to see what happens when a smaller group of referees have to keep the peace with the smaller group on a regular basis. Something tells me there will be a tightening of a few rules with unsportsmanlike conduct calls going up. The combination of higher intensity games and the same officials should be fun to watch.

OriginalPouzar

But as the season draws near, I’m really having second thoughts. We still only have three legit top-six forwards. This is a problem. Can we really expect success with only three top six forwards? It’s not an insurmountable gap by any stretch. In fact, most teams only have four, including the much-loved Maple Leafs. The Flames have four, the Canucks have four if you include Pearson, but three is not four. 

Oubviously you speak of McDavid, Drai and Nuge as the legit top six forwards.

I would respond with:

1) two of those aren’t just top 6 forwards but elite top 6 forwards, arguably two of the best 3 in the NHL, even the best two arguably.

2) I get it that Yamamoto isn’t proven because the 27 game sample is too small. That is true but I would note that he wasn’t just a “top 6 forward” in those 2.5 months, he performed at top of the league rates. PPG pretty much all at 5 on 5 and he was second in the NHL in P/60. Of course, its not reasonable to suggest he continue at those rates but its likely unreasonable to think that he’ll fall so far as to not be a top 6 forward playing with the likes of Drai.

3) Kassian – he’s not ideal and I’d prefer him in the bottom six but, over the course of the last few years, he has also scored at top 6 rates – yes, zoomed but many top 6 forwards are zoomed.

4) Kahun – small sample size but he’s also produced at top 6 rates in his career – needs to continue that scoring rate with increased minutes.

I’m not really concerned about the top 6 being able to produce offence.

jp

1) two of those aren’t just top 6 forwards but elite top 6 forwards, arguably two of the best 3 in the NHL, even the best two arguably.

I’d add that various others scored not just at top 6 rates but 1st line rates last season.

Current Oilers who scored in the top 93 forwards in 5v5 P/60 last season.

1) Yamamoto 3.16 (3rd in the NHL)
2) Draisaitl — 2.89 (9th)
3) McDavid — 2.84 (10th)
4) Kahun —– 2.43 (35th)
5) Nuge —— 2.23 (57th)
6) Kassian — 2.21 (59th)

Ennis at 1.90 was also 112th, high end 2nd line scoring rate.

I don’t really care if these guys are legit top 6 or not if they can keep scoring like they just did.

6 players in the top 60 in the NHL.

I’m also not really concerned about the top 6 being able to produce offense.

JimmyV1965

I hope those numbers are a true reflection of how good they really are. I would prefer another rock solid scorer with multiple years of 20 goals.

jp

Agreed, on both counts.

OriginalPouzar

Edmonton will have a few more names on the waiver wire either today or Monday. Among them could be William Lagesson. We wait.

Very well could be.

Assuming Shore gets a contract due to the Haas issues (and maybe just on merit), I think Holland and Co. will be determining who between Lagesson and Shore is the bigger risk on waivers.

OriginalPouzar

Assuming Neal and Haas on IR to start the year, we pretty much know the opening night lineup and can take a pretty good guess at the extras and taxi squad.

My guess:

Nuge/McDavid/Kass
Kahun/Drai/Yamamoto
Archie/Turris/Puljujarvi
Ennis/Khaira/Chiasson

Nurse/Bear
Jones/Larsson
Russell/Barrie

Koskinen
Smith

Koekkoek, Lagesson, Nygard
Neal, Haas (IR)

Taxi Squad

Forsberg
Bouchard
Benson Quine, Russell, Shore

Maybe Shore over Lagesson on the active roster depending on if they are worried about waivers for one of the two.

I could see McLeod starting on the taxi squad until the AHL gets started in February but, in my opinion, he should be assigned when it starts and get some legit top 6 AHL minutes in.

The taxi squad skaters are going to play. Normal course injuries, potential for increase in injuries due to compressed schedule, potential illness, etc. The taxi squad needs to have the players that would be the first call-ups from Bakersfield in a normal year.

Bling

The forward depth and overall caliber is the best I’ve seen since following the team in ’97 (and yes, that includes the 06-07 team).

Seven guys who have a recent track record of scoring at a top 6 rate or better at evens (Nuge, McDavid, Kassian, Kahun, Drai, Yamo, Ennis), plus two guys who are reasonable bets to score at a third line rate (Turris and JP).

Haas and Nygard are capable end-of-roster types.

Growing pains with D are real, but Bear is IMO the best outlet passer we’ve had in awhile and still is (better than Barrie). Jones-Larsson will be solid.

Finally finally finally…if any of the D struggles, there is good cover, and maybe even an upgrade available (Bouchard).

Very interested to see what Barrie does from that third pairing. He is going to see a lot of butter soft ice. I can also see him jumping on with either the Drai or McDavid lines following a penalty kill.

My bold prediction is this is the year for three lines of 50+ GF%.

GordieHoweHatTrick

I’m an NHL expert. I predict MK is going to have his best year as an Oiler.
They do need to upgrade 2B at some point…

Harpers Hair

For which team are you GM, head coach or goalie coach ?

leadfarmer

Peter Chiarelli and Mike Milbury were NHL GMs
true story

leadfarmer

The fact that the ranking is reputation based and not in any way shape or form based on actual results speaks for itself
and I don’t disagree on our ranking
but how many starting positions do Murray and Holtby have to lose in consecutive years to get them to the bottom

leadfarmer

LT is not a professional scout, head coach or GM
but he tends to outdraft the pros every year.

pts2pndr

The team is anonymous!😂

Harpers Hair

Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) Tweeted:
There’s a massive group of players on the NHL waiver wire today, including Louis Domingue (CGY), Adam Cracknell (EDM) and Seth Griffith (EDM), Noah Juulsen (MTL), Alex Belzile (MTL), Charlie Lindgren (MTL), Xavier Ouellet (MTL), Jordan Weal (MTL) and Josh Ho-Sang (NYI).

https://twitter.com/reporterchris/status/1348315177515708424?s=20

Woogie63

There are so many gambles on this edition of the Oilers.

goaltending – Why can’t we have just one goalie we can count on?

defense- Can Jones replace Nurses 2nd pair minutes? Will Bear progress, Russell is still in the top 6.

forward – Kahun, Ennis, Turris smaller potential good offensive players
forward – Yamamoto, Puljajarvi, JJK I hope they progress

Pescador
pts2pndr

There are very few guarantees or sure things in life including life itself.

Harpers Hair

How to build an elite cup contender.

Have an elite foundational player at every position.

https://theathletic.com/2304173/2021/01/10/vegas-golden-knights-2020-21-season-preview/?source=user_shared_article

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

In other news, the sky is blue.

Harpers Hair

Makes one wonder if moving one elite centre for an elite #1D would get the Oilers closer to the Promised Land.

JimmyV1965

So you’re basically suggesting trading Drai. What list of dmen would be worth a Drai trade? Would be very short, but I’m sure you’ll come up with a list of about 20.

McDavey Jones' Lockeroom

Drai, Larsson, pick and prospect for Seth Jones and Dubois??

Harpers Hair

You know, Columbus just might do that if the pick was good enough.

defmn

Which one would you trade?

And then you have to find a GM with two elite dmen who is willing to make that swap.

Not an easy thing to pull off and win.

Harpers Hair

In a post a while back, I outlined how many of the elite defenseman are not now playing with the team that drafted them.

Without repeating the exercise in toto, think Shea Weber, Seth Jones, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore…

Thing is…they DO become available to teams that have savvy GMs that capItalize on opportunities.

In the Oilers case, I think it is at least worth asking the question if the team would be more successful by parlaying their centre abundance into an elite #1D.

I get the “get good players…keep good players” mantra but it seems to me that if Lowetide is going to post a legit balance photo and time soon, it will have to include a legit #1D and I honestly don’t see one in the system.

pts2pndr

You don’t see a number one anything on the Oilers. That is the reality!

pts2pndr

And how many teams have won the Cup, with the players you just mentioned

defmn

Still waiting for an answer to my question though.

I agree with you about the “get good players” mantra as well – that is really more appropriate to becoming a good team imo. For a long time that would have been a dream for the Oilers.

To become a very good team or best team, though, you need to find the right mix of players who all have strengths and weaknesses.

Of the dmen you list above the only one I see who was traded at close to the ages of the two Oiler centres is Seth and I think we both probably think Nashville made a bad trade.

So, yes, such trades are possible but they aren’t common or easy and usually require an unusual aspect such as player unhappiness or salary concerns.

buck yoakam

maybe we could get chelios?…

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Do you think Calgary would agree to a Drai for Valimaki????? Oilers would probably have to throw in a 2nd, hey?

jp

I figured Schmidt would/will get mentiond since he is apparently an elite puck moving D.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Agreed.

The bleeding of picks during the Chia era really hurt the current organizational depth chart (it is slowly getting better). Trading Drai for a D (if a fair trade could be made, of which I am skeptical) does not really do anything when the organization has mediocre goaltending and no top-tier offensive prospects to replace Drai. The Oilers tried the deck chair rearrangement strategy for years. Better to ride CMD and Drai and improve the drafting/developing as it is the only free way to add depth.

leadfarmer

This is exactly the opposite of what the team should do
you have two top 5 players in the game you build around them

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

False. The Pens did not become an elite team until they traded Malkin.

Harpers Hair

When the Penguins won their first cup, not only did they have Crosby and Malkin, but also some dude named Kris Letang who was second on the team in scoring with 67 points in 71 games…absolutely elite.

leadfarmer

And you pointed out their first cup because you very well know that he didn’t play a single game in the playoffs in the next cup which they won
now begone troll!!

Redbird62

Actually, their (Crosby/Malkin) first cup was 08/09 with the aging formerly elite Gonchar the key on defense. And the cup after the one you referenced, had Schultz and Dumolin as the key offensive and defensive men on the backend.

tsunami

please, don’t let actual real facts ruin his theory lol…

Harpers Hair
leadfarmer

And the troll is just plain stupid

Harpers Hair

Good morning. 🙂

leadfarmer

Get lost

pts2pndr

He can’t get lost. He keeps going in circles.

defmn

Early season contender for the President’s Trophy.

Harpers Hair

If not for a tremendous amounts of injury to key players, they may have won it last season…and then they went out and got substantially better.
Then, if you look at their prospect pool, it’s very hard to think they won’t dominate for the foreseeable future.

defmn

The divisional format this year doesn’t hurt them either. I only see three teams out of eight that are built to win this year.

Material Elvis

Thank you for putting your patented hex on them.

McSorley33

That is the problem. Their prospect pool looks so deep.

And I said in June 2019- when they drafted Byram- how much time is the puck going to be in the Avs end?

Injuries aside, hard not to think this team will be strong ( Western road block?) for years…

Harpers Hair

And don’t sleep on Devon Toews.

Dom laid out in his analysis how how good this kid really is.

Makar, Girard, Toews and Byram are all arguably top pair D and they have even more coming.

pts2pndr

If your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle!😂

pts2pndr

So much so that it will be renamed the Colorado Cup! 😂

OriginalPouzar

They are stupid good but, then again, they were cited as stupid good going in to the playoffs this year. Tampa was cited as stupid good for a few years prior to them getting handed Stanley.

Harpers Hair
defmn

Last year his overall save% of goalies who played more than 35 games was tied for 6th overall with Vasilevsky and Crawford.

I’m not sure his overall save % is less relevant than his 5 on 5 average. Larger sample size and every goal that goes in counts the same towards winning or losing.

pts2pndr

In fairness a ranking like this is almost useless in that from year to year the changes in top four D not to mention coaching all of which makes in my opinion a big difference. Given the small number of so called anonymous experts compared to the whole of the NHL my first question were they cherry picked to get the result the writer wanted?! During my time on this site HH has done exactly that, cherry picked articles that show the Oilers in a bad light! This is not a skill. Writers as a rule, write and or play to the audience they write for. This will be an interesting year to see just how wrong some of the true homers are. There is much in this article that makes sense but a whole lot of mere supposition. We need to take it for what is worth which is an interesting prospective from a different point of view.

Harpers Hair

Impugning the reputation of the author is the definition of shooting the messenger.
It, of course, is an opinion piece but the opinions were coming from a wide variety of sources.

You are free to disagree with the opinions but slandering the author by suggesting he is determining the outcome is offside IMO.

pts2pndr

To preclude that from happening all he had to due is name his sources. Any article without named sources is and should be subject to question!

Harpers Hair

Good grief…this is not the nightly network news…it’s a hockey sight.

The Athletic would not get anyone to comment on the record if they were named.

How much information do you think hockey insiders like Bob Mackenzie, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger would get if they were required to name their sources to meet the demands of some random Oilers fan?

defmn

I can remember a time when that was true of journalists and, of course, many still do care about presenting information without slanting the story even in opinion pieces.

Unfortunately we both know those standards are no longer a rule in journalism.

I have no idea about this particular writer but if I had to choose who was more believable between a generic contemporary journalist & a 1970’s used car salesman I am not sure which way I would lean.

Harpers Hair

As a former journalist I couldn’t agree more but to suggest the Althletic is slanting it’s articles to appeal to one group or another is ridiculous.

Sure, the team writers like Lowetide and all the others will put a team specific angle on their stories…that is precisely their job.

But in this case, a panel of NHL insiders were asked their opinions and they were reported as such.

If anyone who has actually read the piece can point out the authors bias, I would certainly like to see it.

Ice Sage

I agree – predicting goals is voodoo – Binnington was supposedly top 5 last year!

leadfarmer

I’d be embarrassed if I was athletic and should really issue a public apology
Accusing Gibson of just collecting a paycheck is pathetic and should have been caught in any editorial process

also the list is crap. Andersen above Kuemper ?
A goalie with 2out of last 3 sub 910 tied for 2

leadfarmer

Just because someone says something does not mean it has to be repeated.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Last year, a similar poll had Koski as the worst goalie inleague almost. I know content has to be produced, but goalie predicitons are just awful. Based on faulty knowledge, recency bias, (and just hate for Chia), as well as a lack of understanding of the relationship between the goalie performance and the 10 players on the ice, and how they effect goalie performance considerably more, and the randomness of it.

– All the playoff teams this year, they will have good goalies. Many of the teams that don’t make the playoffs, pundits will point to poor goalering: its just so weak

– Koski 2 years ago in here was similar to saying that elections are rigged. If enough people say it and repeat it: people believe it.

McSorley33

A few months ago, our head coach did not start Koski in the play-ins.

Then, a few weeks later, our GM, explicitly, tried to find a starting goaltender in the free agency market.

That is a ‘tell’ …..on what both think of Koskinen.

Not sure if they were thinking of Chia Pete ….

OriginalPouzar

McSorley33

A few months ago, our head coach did not start Koski in the play-ins.

Then, a few weeks later, our GM, explicitly, tried to find a starting goaltender in the free agency market.

That is a ‘tell’ …..on what both think of Koskinen.

Not sure if they were thinking of Chia Pete ….

What is heartening, though, is that after pulling Smith less than half way in to the opening game, Smith never got another chance, even with Koskinen being “meh” at best. Coach T. had every opportunity to go back to “his guy” but chose to stick with Mikko. I am hopeful that was the start of a shift in his thinking.

ArmchairGM

Crap like this led me to canceling my subscription after 3 years. Love the Edmonton writers and a couple of others but a lot of their content isn’t worthy of my hard-earned dollars.

defmn

Just out of curiosity how do you get to be a ‘NHL expert’?

Is there some kind of accreditation process or is this one of those phrases that has sounds good but means nothing?

Just wondering because it would seem to me that a list sorted by save % or GAA would be just as or more useful.

Harpers Hair

If you need to ask…

Harpers Hair

I would think 6 GMs, 4 head coaches and 5 goalie coaches would qualify as hockey experts. Your mileage may vary.

defmn

Well the article is behind a paywall so I have no access to it. I know you like to post links to the Athletic with no commentary but how are those of us without access supposed to know what they say?

And, yeah, I signed up once. They screwed the access and account so badly I cancelled. It was an extremely frustrating and annoying experience.

I suppose ‘expert’ is a reasonable shorthand for the list of people consulted although the goalie coaches would come closer imo.

I have to admit I find these lists to be more puff pieces as a rule. McKenzie, for example, doesn’t poll GM’s or Head Coaches when he puts his draft list together. He polls people specifically employed to know the subject they are asked about. That gives that list value.

Harpers Hair

Well, there is a significant difference between a draft list which of course relies on scouting so you would poll scouts for that.

But NHL GMs, head coaches and goalie coaches are directly involved in acquiring, deploying and instructing goaltenders, so I would think they are exactly the ones you would call on to assess them.

defmn

Not really. The goalie coaches are the experts on the abilities of the goalie in question. The GM ‘s and HC bring different perspectives to the question – roster makeup, style of play etc. but, no, they are not experts on the actual question of whether or not a goalie is good at stopping the puck from going in.

I’ve written before about Koskinen (and I still don’t know where he was ranked). He is not particularly athletic without doubt. His ability to stop the puck is largely due to his positioning/angle coverage and his huge size that blocks so much of the net. It ain’t pretty for sure but it was effective last year with a save % the same as Crawford’s and Vasilevsky’s. He doesn’t make the ‘big saves’ at the the right moment the way top end goalies are credited with doing and he is not the goalie I would put money on for playoff hockey but he is a reasonable regular season bet.

Harpers Hair

Koskinen is ranked 27th.

Hope this is okay LT…a snippet.

“He lets in bad goals,” said one. “Bad angle shots find a way in at bad times. … I wouldn’t be comfortable with those two guys.”
Said another: He’s a big guy but once you get him moving, you can open him up. With Edmonton, (head coach Dave Tippett) does a good job, has a defensive system, but between (Koskinen) and Smith, they’re both big guys and I just don’t think they move that well. That’s where I can see them getting opened up and letting in leakers.”

leadfarmer

I don’t disagree with Koskinens ranking
but why does he get attached to Smith in ranking the starters?

JOFA

27th sounds about right. Goaltending is a serious issue that wasn’t addressed in the off season.

defmn

I agree that he doesn’t move well. Like I said he is not athletic at all. But I also think that while he gets dinged for that he doesn’t get any credit for just being big and playing his angles – which is, incidentally, why I think his Save % improved from his 1st year as he adjusted to the rink size and where the shots come from.

I know it is hard to credit a guy for being 6’7″ but when the job is covering a space behind you it is a factor.

And I am not trying to make the point that I think the Oilers can win the cup with Koskinen because I don’t think they can. But tied for 6th best Save % is tied for 6th best Save % and even though that is hardly the whole story on a goalie it isn’t nothing either. As you like to point out it isn’t like Edmonton has a clear cut #1 dman who is making him look good.

We could spend all day going through the 31 starting goalies talking about their strengths & weaknesses but I find it difficult to reconcile 6th best Save % with 27th best overall. I would think closer to mid pack.

godot10

I think that is a first impression analysis. He let in a lot of bad goals in his first season, particularly when he was being overplayed. He didn’t let in many bad goals last year.

pts2pndr

Less than 20% of the people holding those positions makes it a very small sample size!

Ryan

Normally, this where I’d “waive my hands” and ask a certain poster which of the three has the stronger predictive ability for the subsequent season.

  1. 3-year average Sv%
  2. 2-year average Sv%
  3. last season’s average Sv%

It’s a interesting question in that Koskinen had a pretty good season last year while Holtby looks finished unless Ian Clark can work his magic..

Harpers Hair

Don’t know if you’ve read the article but Ian Clark is mentioned specifically more than once.

There was also concern that Markstrom may have issues in changing teams without Clark.

While using past average save percentages provides value, it doesn’t tell you everything…why not four years or five years?

You might well counter that aging curves come into play but remember that Holtby is younger than Koskinen so while one goaltender seems to be declining and one seems to be ascending, you can throw aging out the window and start looking for answers elsewhere.

Ryan

Good points.

Dom’s the only publicly available (paywall) analytics writer that has player aging curves in his models that I’m aware of. I certainly appreciate that he incorporates that factor. Longer sample sizes could certainly be explored.

The problem with Dom is that he doesn’t have his data in an easily accessible location. He needs a dedicated website for his data. 🙂

You also have to wonder how the Canucks style of play could impact Holtby. That’s not an easy team to play behind for a goalie. Markstrom should have it a little easier playing behind Calgary.

Harpers Hair

Thing is, Washington’s style of play is pretty similar to how the Canucks play..that is exert offensive pressure at the expense of rush chances the other way..so it’ll be interesting to see how he adapts.
Vancouver is all in on that style of play and adding Nate Schmidt who is an elite puck mover may help considering he’s replacing a defensive oriented Chris Tanev.

If you look at Dom’s article on the Avalanche I posted this morning, you’ll see references to the “modern” hockey style which is all about defensemen who can exit the defensive zone and enter the offensive
zone with possession as being critical to their success and Colorado has THREE D who are elite in that metric.

Obviously the Canucks don’t have the horses, but that’s the way they’re trying to play.

pts2pndr

Maybe we just give Colorado the cup and forget about the games!
How did it work for team Canada with a first pairing of smaller puck moving D? I am sure you will have some kind of excuse but then excuses are like assholes everybody has one.

OriginalPouzar

Just a note on that – Byram is listed at 6’1 and 190 – he’s not small (I’m sure that 190 will turn in to 200 or 205 in a few years). I remember checking early in the tournament because he was much more physical than I anticipated and, as it turns out, bigger than I thought he was.

pts2pndr

There couldn’t have been many issues considering where he was rated!

defmn

Koskinen’s first year in the NHL two years ago is also something that skews the results for him imo.

nelson88

Use fbombs inappropriately and played a few seasons in the Canadian heartland and low level professional leagues

SwedishPoster

Skellefteå’s team doc, who actually knows her stuff and if anything tends to be overly cautious, says Broberg is out for about two weeks from the WJC injury. Called it a soft tissue injury.

Filip Berglund was interviewed the other day and has a similar timeline, 1-2 weeks, before returning from the UBI that’s kept him out since mid-November. He said since it was upper body outside of rehab he’s been working a lot with the individual coach on the ice skating so hopefully he’s seen this as an opportunity to put some extra work into something that’s a key area for him to improve upon going forward.

dessert1111

My math says we can expect 2-4 more cuts that won’t make the roster or taxi squad, depending on how they choose to deal with Neal and Haas. I’ll guess Benson and McLeod but they might want them around the team longer since we’re still a couple weeks away from AHL camps.

OriginalPouzar

Would Benson not be one of your first 2 or 3 forward call-ups (with Neal and Haas on IR) and only Nygard ahead of him?

The taxi squad is immensely important to the team – I believe all skaters will get game action fairly early (injuries always occur, plus the likelihood of increased injuries this year plus the potential for illness, etc.). They will not have timely access to the players in Bakersfield – they will be at least a week away from arrival in Edmonton after recall, potentially longer.

To me, Benson needs to be available to the NHL team for “activation” and insertion in to the lineup. Yes, I’d rather him playing games in Bakersfield then just practicing on the taxi squad but its more important to have the best players available for the lineup – they are going to be needed.

dessert1111

I was guessing at what would happen, not my preference. Benson would be on my 23 man roster, I’m probably one of the few left who thinks he’s gonna play in the top 6.

OriginalPouzar

I really hope management doesn’t send Benson to the minors and keep the likes of P. Russell and A. Quine on the taxi squad – I’ll be sour if they are in the NHL lineup over Benson, and the taxi squad players will be in the lineup.

fishman

Would be very disappointed to see Laggesson get claimed off of waivers. Hopefully they have a plan!!

OriginalPouzar

They could keep him on the active roster (along with Koekkoek) and only one extra forward – waive either Shore or Nygard.

Depends on who they are willing to risk and who they think is a risk.

Frankly, I doubt Lagesson would get claimed – I wouldn’t be shocked if he did but I think most teams have “a Lagesson”

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