When Sinatra Sings against Nelson Riddle’s Strings

by Lowetide
Jujhar Khaira photo by Rob Ferguson

There are 139 players on waivers today, more than a dozen you could make a case for claiming depending on cap room. This is almost better than the Intra-League Draft!

What’s that? Wha? Someone in the back? Doesn’t know about the Intra-League Draft? Oh my!


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 risers and fallers and how they impact the opening night roster
  • Lowetide: Will Ken Holland let it ride in goal for the Oilers this season?
  • 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


  • RC Lane Pederson, Arizona Coyotes. He’s 23, posted close to a point-per-game in the AHL last season and he has improved every season. He’s good.
  • LD Oliver Kylington, Calgary Flames. Puck IQ has him playing minimal time versus elites and performing reasonably well but the sample his small. Overall, it’s porridge. He’s fast and skilled and might be a steal but I have a hard time finding an outstanding stat beyond his five on five points per 60 over the last two seasons (0.76). That’s a little shy of Caleb Jones last year. Solid number. Played 400 minutes with Rasmus Andersson, who lifted Kylington up and was better away from the young Swedish blue.
  • RC Derek Ryan, Calgary Flames. He’s a solid depth player, righty center who plays in all situations and scores well enough to move up the lineup if required. The problem is his cap hit ($3.125 million times one) and that probably puts Edmonton out. Good player.
  • LW Rudolphs Balcers, Ottawa Senators. He’s a talented offensive winger when healthy, and posted 16-20-36 in 33 AHL games one year ago. Good shot, responsible. This could be a steal.
  • C-RW Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning. He is a $5 million cap hit (four more years!) and he’s scoring 1.82 points-per-60 at five on five. If it was a natter of talent, he’d be gone at 10 this morning. Oh, that cap hit.
  • LC Jujhar Khaira, Edmonton Oilers. I’ve always been a fan, but he doesn’t deliver enough offense. Brad Winchester got 390 NHL games, Khaira has played in 218. They both had the same problem, although in my opinion Khaira has more utility. If he goes, I hope it’s Boston.
  • LW Joakim Nygard, Edmonton Oilers. I’d take a shot if I were an NHL team looking for an unproven older winger who can scoot and has some offensive ability. He’s even pretty good away from the puck.


The Intra-League draft goes back to 1952, although no one claimed a player until 1954 (imagine a man who has an opportunity made available to him, but won’t use it because it would break the silence that kept his team in last place). Can you conceive of the GM in last place saying “no, no, I’d rather finish last than try this scary new option that improves my team and rewards my ability to identify talent” and then conducts his business accordingly? Now, we’re there.

Here are the original rules:

  • Each NHL club would be able to protect 20 skaters and 2 goalies
  • The draft would take place just before the beginning of the season; protected lists would have to be filed within seven days of the opening of the regular season and the draft meeting would occur some time within those seven days
  • Players selected by draft would have to be kept by the club that chose him (he could not be traded or loaned to another club) for at least one year, except that the player could be placed on unconditional waivers (no right of recall) to be claimed by any club for a price of $7,500

Here’s how the Oilers protected list would look:

  • Goalies Mikko Koskinen, Mike Smith
  • Defense Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Tyson Barrie, Kris Russell, Slater Koekoek, William Lagesson.
  • Forwards Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Dominik Kahun, Zack Kassian, Alex Chiasson, Kyle Turris, Josh Archibald, Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Ennis. Waiver exempt: Kailer Yamamoto.

Available List: G Anton Forsberg; LW Joakim Nygard; RC Gaetan Haas; LW Jujhar Khaira; LW James Neal; C Alan Quine; RW Seth Griffith; RW Patrick Russell; LW Joe Gambardella; C Adam Cracknell.


At 10 this morning, we talk waivers, lines and pairings on TSN1260. Joseph Casciaro from The Score will join us to talk Raptors at 10:20 and Tom Gazzola from TSN1260’s Don Wheaton on Whyte Pre & Post-Game Show (every Oilers game day) will have the latest on the team at 11. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Harpers Hair

Keys to the game.

Horvat may wish to purchase a second home in Edmonton – not that anyone actually does that – after adding to the 10 goals he scored at Rogers Place during the playoffs.

With Pettersson and Boeser struggling the first two periods to generate offence without COVID-quarantined linemate J.T. Miller, the Horvat-Hoglander-Pearson line was the best on the ice – an impressive achievement when the Oilers are throwing McDavid and Leon Draisaitl out on consecutive shifts.

Even-strength shot attempts were 18-6 for Horvat’s line. Shots were 11-2 and the line’s expected-goals share was 82.8 per cent. These numbers become truly mind-blowing when you consider than two-thirds of Horvat’s five-on-five ice time was against McDavid.



[…] When Sinatra Sings Against Nelson Riddle’s Strings (Lowetide) […]


Gregor confirms that Koekkoek is playing tonight with Barrie.


Woah! Bold move by Tippett if Russell is healthy.


Koekkoek brings a little offense too. Looking forward to seeing these two (and all the rest!)


Yup. In a sheltered offensive role they will be a boon to the forwards.


*Should* be 🙂


Nope, they will be, at least offensively. Barrie is a top-10 offensive defenseman in the league, he’ll absolutely be a boon to the forwards. All Koekkoek has to do is run in place, although I think he can contribute more than that.

Bulging Twine

“He’s as motivated as an athlete as I’ve been around” Ken Holland on McDavid

He’s been around a couple a’ good ones (understatement)

Steve Yzerman
Brad Park
Rick MacLeish
Paul Coffey
Sergei Fedorov
Dino Cicarelli
Nik Lidstrom
Viacheslav Fetisov
Mark Howe
Igor Larionov
Brendan Shanahan
Chris Chelios
Luc Robitaille
Brett Hull
Pavel Datsyuk
Henrik Zetterberg
Daniel Alfredsson
Brad Richards
Dylan Larkin
Brandon Manning


Yup. You can see it in his eyes during his media availabilities this last 10 days. He tired of losing and isn’t fucking around anymore. Leon too.

Brandon was probably the standard up until now. 😉

Last edited 11 days ago by defmn
Harpers Hair

Marcel Dionne?

Bulging Twine

Their paths never crossed, that I can see

Bulging Twine

Holland has SO many contacts throughout the hockey world.

“Don Wadell, who was my Assistant GM in 98-99, called me….”
“Mikael Samuelsson, who played for me in Detroit is their GM” (referring to how he got Bouchard to Sweden)
“I talked to his Head coach in Wisconsin, Tony Granato, who was an Assistant coach for me in Detroit in 14-15 and 15-16..”

Having those relationships paid off this year in getting places for the young players to play.

btw He’s the 4th oldest GM behind Lamoirello, Poile, Rutherford and Bob Murray

Last edited 11 days ago by Bulging Twine

Lol, so the fifth oldest then?

I will admit though, that you could probably persuade me that Poile Rutherford is really only one person.

Last edited 10 days ago by Munny
Bulging Twine

haha right, good catch, just testing


I wonder if Jim Benning is still planning on signing Podkolzin and inserting him in the NHL once his KHL contract is up in a few months. He was healthy scratched yesterday (stoking rumors of his possible demotion to the VHL – which were kyboshed by team president).

This per Rick Dhaliwal who also has advised that Hamonic got a NMC.

Harpers Hair

Yes he is.

Podkholzin is still getting the bum’s rush in the KHL because he refuses to sign a new contract there…happens often.

And, yes, Hamonic wanted some assurance that he wouldn’t be moved during the season…pretty much a non issue on a one year deal.


Refuses to sign a new contract or show any development year over year.

A non-issue until they want to move him to the taxi squad or sell him at the deadline, etc.

Harpers Hair

Well…depends on your point of view I guess.

He led a junior team to victory in the Kerala Cup and was captain of the Russian World Junior team.

He outscored your boy Dylan Holloway 4 points to 2 at the WJHC despite playing on a much weaker team.

I’ve now heard Ray Ferraro insist 4-5 times that Podkholzin is absolutely ready to step into a top 6 role in the NHL right away and I’ll take his opinion over yours any day.

Like Holloway, he won’t be a big goal scorer but he is a relentless worker with great ability to set up his team mates by digging pucks off the walls.

Of course nothing is ever certain but I like his chances.

(Of note: Holloway since returning to Wisconsin – 2GP 0-0-0)


I’ve now heard Ray Ferraro insist 4-5 times that Podkholzin is absolutely ready to step into a top 6 role in the NHL right away and I’ll take his opinion over yours any day.

I think we all respect Ray Ferraro, but that is an absolutely crazy position to take. Podkolzin can’t even manage as a regular in the KHL at this point.

Harpers Hair

Context is the most critical thing to look at with young KHL players since the league and teams exert all kinds of pressures on their young players to stay in the KHL.

In fact, there have been reports the KHL is thinking about levying a “development tax” on any young player who leaves to play in the NHL.

The politics of sports in Russia is nothing like it is in North America.


All the top Russian draft picks (who didn’t come to the CHL pre-draft) play in the KHL before transitioning to the NHL/AHL.

A very large majority of them earn ice time and somewhat prominent roles on their KHL clubs before doing so.

You can talk all you like about politics, but the fact is Podkolzin sticks out like a sore thumb in terms of how he’s perofrmed in the KHL and elsewhere relative to his draft position and relative to the verbal from folks like Ray Ferraro.

Harpers Hair

Ray Ferraro or some random dude…give me a minute.


Allow me to bookmark this, for the next time you mock an appeal to authority.


Harmonic is sure a needy thing for a below average 2nd pair D. l can see why Calgary and Winnipeg had no interest.

Bulging Twine

Hey boys!
Long time no talk!
I’ve been here reading.
I hope you are all doing well, emotionally/physically/mentally, hang in there!
Did any of us get the virus?

I loved to hear Draisattl’s response to Rishaug statement that no one seems to be picking you guys to win the division, “yeah people tend to forget that we were the top team in Canada last year”. Anything to get Draisattl feeling slighted, even slightly, is a good thing. He’s a very proud player as shown by his unbelievably dominating performance after being shown up by Rittich. Also by his elevating his play when McDavid is out, much like Malkin does when Crosby is out.

Loving to hear all the accolades placed on Toronto. Heap up the expectations! More is good.

Welp, here we goooo

Last edited 11 days ago by Bulging Twine

North Division Prediction:

  1. Montreal
  2. Edmonton
  3. Ottawa
  4. Calgary
  5. Toronto
  6. Winnipeg
  7. Vancouver


Harpers Hair

Your turn.


Not an easy call imo. Maybe 10 points difference from 1st to 6th & I think Ottawa is going to surprise some teams this year – just not ready for the consistency needed due to youth.

Anyway . . .

Edmonton – Best record of all the teams last year in this division & they are the most balanced of the teams other than Calgary. But Calgary doesn’t have 97 or 29.

Toronto – better balance in their top 12 key positions. Not sure about their depth.

Calgary – I expect Montreal & Calgary to be very close in pts for 3rd & 4th.

Montreal – most improved team in the division. Still a little young in key positions.

Winnipeg – they surprised me last year how they compensated for a very suspicious looking defence. Not sure they can do that again. Goalies are up & down too much.

Vancouver – best under 23 aged players in the division. I don’t share your optimism for Holtby and think Demko isn’t there yet.

Ottawa – onwards and upwards but not this year.

Harpers Hair

Lots to chew on there.

But one thing you may be missing is that Toronto played in the toughest division in hockey last season and are now playing in the weakest.

Despite that they finished at .579 to the Oilers .585 which is basically a coin flip with the Oilers having 1 more win during the season and the Oilers won’t have Arizona, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim to beat up on this year.

With the solid additions on D cutting down their GA, I think they’ll be very tough to beat.


Oh, I wouldn’t bet against them but I think this season is going to be more about depth than most regular seasons.

Generally I thing the regular season is about talent & consistency that comes with maturity of the team and the playoffs introduce depth as a factor but the schedule is very dense this year.

Writing off aging stars is always dangerous because sometimes they keep on trucking long past when you think they will like that asshole Giordano in Calgary but take a look at Toronto’s roster once you get past a certain point in their line up.

Can 41 year old Thornton, 37 year old Spezza, 32 year old Simmonds (an old 32 because of the way he plays), or even a 30 year old Tavares still bring it every second night?

I don’t know.

I agree the defence is better than last year. Rielly is a gem, Muzzin is solid and I think Sandin is going to be good. Bogosian, Holl & Dermott? OK, I guess.

And then I am waiting to see what they do with their backup. Do they keep 3 goalies? Is Campbell really what he looked like after he joined the Leafs or what he looked like when LA gave up on him?

Harpers Hair

You forgot TJ Brodie who will be on the top paring and be the best D partner Reilly has ever had.

I think you’ll see the geezers spotted in and out of the lineup and a shortened season may actually help them.

But, yeah, their goaltending is still a bit of a mystery.


Whoops on Brodie. I was going to say something about him and my geezer mode kicked in. Yeah, he is the improvement this year on defence for sure.

And I know the Oilers better than any other team so that plays into it. I mean Bear & Jones could have sophomore disasters. Barrie could have a Toronto start. Smith could fall off the cliff.

But I like the depth with the forwards over last year for the Oilers and 29 & 97 are entering their prime.

You know as well as I do how guys like that can put a team on their backs some nights and all they need is for the other guys to not screw up too badly.

Their time is now and I don’t put Matthews & Marner in quite the same bracket.

Harpers Hair

Yeah…I mostly agree with all of that but the problem is, it’s just not Matthews and Marner.

Tavares was on a 30+ pace last season and Nylander scored 31 in only 68 games.

They can come at you in waves and IF their D is improved, which I think it is, they’ll be very tough to beat.


Yup, could very well be. As I said, I think this is the toughest division to call. Not a lot of separation.

Covid & injuries could take you from 1st to 6th in a week.

And I know what you are saying about Nylander but there is something about that guy and how he plays when the going gets tougher that makes me less of a fan than his numbers show.


Toughest division… hmmm.

2 of the 4 best teams in the league. Yes.

The 2 worst. Yes. And 4 teams that didn’t crack Bettman .500.

I didn’t total it up, but I don’t think it would be a top division if you added up the wins and losses for all teams.

It will be interesting to see if Brodie is an upgrade overall on Barrie. And whether Holl/Bogosian/Lehtonen can actually replace Ceci in the top 4.

Harpers Hair

It’s very difficult to crack .500 when you get a steady diet of Tampa Bay and Boston.

It’s pretty easy to do when you get to beat up on the California teams.

Hell, Arizona was above .500 and they are pretty much crap.


The Oilers got to beat up on the California teams but Toronto was full marks for wins vs the worst team in 20 years. Got it. 👍

Harpers Hair

You are being deliberately obtuse.

10 of the top 15 teams in the league played in the Eastern Conference last season.

I’m sure you’re aware that teams play more games against their division and conference rivals than they do against the other teams which they only play a home and away against.


I’m the one being deliberately obtuse? Yeah.

I don’t think the East was stronger than the West this past season, not sure how old your info on that is… Do you have anything recent to support it?


I’ve been curious about this so I checked.

The Points% of Eastern Conference teams vs the East was identical to East vs West this past season.

Likewise the Point% of teams from the Pacific Division was essentially identical to the Points% of Atlantic Division teams last season (the Western Conference and Pacific Div both actually had tiny advantages but they were negligible).

But the Leafs did not play in a more difficult Division or Conference than the Oilers last season. I’m glad to know that since the narrative (not just you) doesn’t always say that.


Toronto played in the toughest division in hockey last season and are now playing in the weakest.

The North division is closer to the East than it is to the Central or West.

Like you said… there are no ARZ, SJS, LAK, ANA nor CHI or DET to prey on. Just OTT, who I think will suprise a few teams expecting easy points.


All I will say is 53 years and counting. Over that number of years of incompetence I have heard this kind of bold predictions a number of times. The centralist media are just about as good at their predictions as the Toronto management is at building a winner. They are tied at zero for 53. Maybe their not the exports you tell us they are!


Metro was the toughest division last year, not the Leafs’ Atlantic. Oilers went 11-2-0 against the Metro.

Oh, and the North isn’t the weakest division this year.

Harpers Hair






4th spot likely decided by injury.


5.Calgary(just missed:) )
6.Vancouver (goaltending issues)


1 Edmonton
2 Calgary
3 Toronto
4&5 Winnipeg
4&5 Vancouver
6 Montreal
7 Ottawa

Last edited 11 days ago by Dac189

Good takes…

I went back to look at team stats for the last 30 games of the season. As an Oiler fan, I was definitely counting on my bias to propel the Oilers to the top. My argument was that they had the best record for the last 30 games (when Yamamoto came up and Koskinen got hot). Instead, it showed that although Edmonton had the best record, there was possibly some luck involved. A hot line with a high shooting % and a hot goalie. Their High Danger Corsi For% was 5th in all situations and 6th at 5v5. Their all situation SV% was 2nd, while their 5v5 SV% was 5th. I really like the Oilers’ offseason moves, though. And Koskinen was great down the stretch. Barrie, Kahun, Turris, Puljujarvi, Ennis, Koekkoek added. And some young players taking another step forward. I like their chances.

Montreal came out of this shining like a diamond. Although their Points percentage was 6th, they were 3rd in High Danger Corsi For %, Expected Goals For %, and SV% all situations, and 1st in those same stats at 5v5. In the offseason, they added Toffoli, Josh Anderson, Edmundson, and Jake Allen to take some of the load off Price. Young centers (Suzuki and Kotkaniemi) will be a year older. Drouin and Kotkaniemi both missed significant time to injury last season and should be healthy again.

Calgary had the 2nd best stats but I don’t think they really improved their roster, in fact, their roster might be worse.

Ottawa was #1 all situation high Danger Corsi for % but their all situation goaltending sucked (7th). Their goalering at 5v5 wasn’t too bad though. I like their gamble on Matt Murray. If it works they could really climb this season. Their expected goals for %, their HDCF% were both 4th at 5v5. Their forward group is pretty damn deep.
B Tkachuk / Josh Norris / Drake Batherson
Stuetzle / Stepan / Dadanov
Paul / Tierney / Connor Brown
Paquette / Anisimov / Watson

D isn’t terrible either although there are a couple gambles on reclamation projects:
Chabot / Gudbransson (yikes)
Reilly / Zaitsev
Coburn / Joshua Brown

Matt Murray
Marcus Hogberg

Scratches Colin White / Alex Galchenyuk / Christian Wolanin
Taxi: Logan Brown, Chlapik, Brannstrom, Jaros, Zub, Daccord

They have some depth and I like Murray in net gamble.

I live in Toronto but I can’t stand the Leafs. They didn’t address goaltending, they didn’t add much to their team. I don’t think they’ll improve much if any this season. Toronto’s SV% was 6th all situations, and 7th at 5v5. They have the same goalie, but older.

Winnipeg’s D is brutal, Laine is a distraction. I’m not confident they’ll be competitive. 6th all situation HDCF%. 7th XGF% at 5v5.

Vancouver has some firepower upfront but not after their top 6, but I’m not sure they have much D either. They have 3 vets in Edler, Hamonic, and Myers that have to slow down at some point if they haven’t already fallen off the cliff and although Schmidt seems as if he broke into the league not too many years ago he’s already 29. Hughes is awesome and Juolevi is okay on 3rd pair but nothing to cheer about. Holtby might bounce back or Demko might step up, but then again, they might not. I’m not sold on them. At all. They were 6th at HDCF% and 7th XGF% all situations.

So that’s how I came to my picks.

Last edited 10 days ago by Jaxon

Interesting. I dinged both Montreal because of Kotkanieme & Suzuki’s age. I like both but for the regular season I put a lot of emphasis on being able to do it consistently night after night and I think that is where youth tends to let you down.

Same for Ottawa but even more so.


Solid take, excellent post.

OTT looks eerily familiar to a certain, possibly opaque, era of EDM teams. Not sure I share your enthusiasm even as I think they’ll surprise a few teams and observers on occasion.




A new avatar for me to reflect the categorical imperative of the times we are living in.

He is one of my most favorite characters of all time.

Last edited 11 days ago by godot10

As an avid and perpetual pupil of the past, I am ashamed to say I do not recognize the new avatar.

Last edited 11 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

You should be looking “20 minutes into the future”.



Often look back to find repeating patterns in the present.

… processing …

… reverse image searching …

Are you suggesting I postpone finishing season two of Altered Carbon to watch one William Morgan Sheppard? Perhaps more specifically a British made for TV movie Max Headroom, circa 1985?


And the American TV series. W. Morgan Sheppard survived the American recasting of the movie for US TV, because his character was one of a kind.

He has a vimeo channel.

Harpers Hair

What do you think of Altered Carbon?

My oldest son was an assistant DP on that show which is shot in Vancouver.

I couldn’t get through it.


I quite like it, Ma Kettle too. Surprised it was on the sidelines of my list of shows to watch for so long.

Takes a lot of what’s cool with Star Wars, Bladerunner and The Matrix and blends them together.

Maybe you didn’t get in deep enough for the plot to take over, or perhaps it’s not your cup of tea.


Didn’t see this posted anywhere today.


Duclair on the Auston Matthews/Connor McDavid skates in Arizona:

“Those were the best skates I’ve ever had in my life. That just elevates your training to a different level. Guys are going hard… playing like it’s a Game 7. It kinds of sucks there were no cameras there, because there were some highlight-reel goals people will never get to see.

”What was the most impressive thing you saw?

“A backhand one-hander by McDavid…. Perfect, sauce, bar-down on one hand going full-speed, guy on his back. I’ve never seen that before. And we all paused and looked at each other — ‘What just happened?’ kind of thing.”


Crosby did that one (or two?) seasons ago.

Absolutely filthy move. Shame we’ll miss it.


Confirmed that JT Miller and J. Benn will not be with the Canucks for a couple of weeks – both players are quarantining.

Harpers Hair

Miller and Benn were rooming together and it appears than Benn was the positive test that caused Saturday’s practice.


I could be wrong, but isn’t there a league protocol that prevents single players from living together in an effort to prevent just that from occurring?

Harpers Hair

Both Miller and Benn are married and it’s likely Benn has a home in the lower mainland since he’s from BC.

Not sure what the protocols are but sure doesn’t seem smart to me.


Interesting. I don’t tend to know who’s married or not but that makes even less sense now.

Just took a gander through the Dec 2020 Covid protocol pdf and didn’t see anything.

Either way, it’s not a good look on either player. Easily preventable.


Was Benn even going to be in the line up tomorrow night?


Whatever their status is I hope they are very happy together.
I believe it’s smart for married people to live together


That’s the Oilers recommendation only I think. Don’t think it’s a league protocol though.


Its hard to beat a team back to back but Oilers do it convincingly. All points bulletin to that yellow-belly sapsucker island boy let’s go a C note loser donates to our host. Side bets are also welcome everyone talks about Mcdavid but it’s Leon who’s going to peak.

Harpers Hair

The most immediate impact is Hoglander moves to the #1 PP unit.

No pressure kid.


kassian is going to destroy your new golden boy be a man and have a few glasses of Okanagan wine and let’s play. My Oilers sweep your no history K’nuckleheads.

Harpers Hair

Kassian doesn’t PK.
Hard to executive a kill shot from the bench or penalty box.


Nils H. can play 1LW in addition to 2RW.

Harpers Hair

From practise today:







Vancouver likes to play wingers on their offside on the PP so there is a lot of movement especially on the first unit with Pettersson playing the left circle, Boeser in the bumper spot and Horvat coming down the middle from the high slot.


Edmonton Oilers

The #Oilers taxi squad will include the following players:
・Joakim Nygard (F)
・Patrick Russell (F)
・Tyler Benson (F)
・Ryan McLeod (F)
・Alan Quine (F)
・Stuart Skinner (G)

Theodor Lennstrom (D) has been assigned to the

Last edited 11 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

So tomorrow they move Bouchard to taxi sqad and put Nygaard on roster?


Tough to say.

My guess is they’ll sign Shore and add him to the NHL roster. JJ has already cleared so that gives them 30 days of flexibility to shuttle him up and down.


Or sign Shore.



So tomorrow they move Bouchard to taxi sqad and put Nygaard on roster?

I could be wrong, and it doesn’t really matter, but I think it has to be the next day.


McLeod up, Bouchard down. I think. Put the heat on Khaira. See what McLeod can do before the AHL season starts. Shore costs real dollars for Katz. He let Holland sign a lot of guys already. See what McLeod can do before they add another $700K in red ink.


If that was the case I’d expect Holland would have let Shore know yesterday so that he would have a chance with another team.

I think they sign Shore & send PRussell or Quine to the Bake.



If that was the case I’d expect Holland would have let Shore know yesterday so that he would have a chance with another team.

I think they sign Shore & send PRussell or Quine to the Bake.

Shore has been (and remains) free to sign with any team but I do agree, if the Oilers are not planning on signing him, presumably he’s been told.

I don’t think Shore got a single rep with an NHL line during camp – Khaira was 4C every practice except for one where McLeod was 4C.

On the assumption that Haas will be ready by early February, I don’t think they will be signing Shore at this point. Nope, I don’t think that real dollars is the reason, I think its giving opportunity to those that are already in the org – once Neal and Haas come off IR, two of those on the taxi squad need to go (McLeod and Russell for me) if there are not further IR placements. Shore adds yets another body.

I don’t think Shore not being signed has anything to do with Katz not willing to spend – we are a couple months removed from Katz agreeing to pay Seth Griffith $450K/$475K to play in the AHL the next two years. I don’t think this is where he draws the line.


Could be. I hadn’t considered that he was told he wasn’t being signed and just wanted to keep practicing. I agree it isn’t because of money. Katz has never cut a corner with this team that I am aware of.


Maybe. Likely, even. There’s no cost aside from insurance and he can practice with the team the whole time. Like what Petey did for whatshisname in the last winter Olympic year.


Chris Kelly.


Right, thanks. Can’t believe I forgot him.



Lennstrom demoted to AHL, per CapFriendly.


Who are the idiots voting in the TSN players poll? Heiskanen at #39, and behind QHughes? Really? Heiskanen is a top 10 player in the league.


I’ve got units on him winning the Norris. +1700


Units? Thought you didn’t gamble due to your… proclivities.

Last edited 11 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

I didn’t for a long long long time but, upon discussing with my wife, as I approach 9 years, a little sports betting is fine.


We call that manning up! 😉


Nine years is impressive.


Good for you, that’s gotta feel like an accomplishment (and it is). Helps to have a strong support network. Bravo.


Thanks all – life is much much better now.


What the – post practice media avail and not a single question to Tip re: Koekkoek over Russell with Barrie for two straight practices…….


I’m not sure I would have asked either. The answer is one of two. One would be he knows what Russel brings or Russel is banged up. The second being that Koekkoek is a better fit with Barrie.


If Koekkeok was wearing #98, the Oilers media would ask the question about the jersey number.

From Holland’s availability, it is shocking to realize the eighties geezers in the organization and the media were pissed at Jesse for #98.

Last edited 11 days ago by godot10

It was interesting that Holland mentioned he went to talk to Jesse about his jersey number.


He’s a savvy enough guy to know the old Hockey Men about town didn’t jive with it and suggested he consider a change. PR 101.

I thought it was an odd number to choose, especially in this town, but was comfortable enough with his choice. Let the kid do his talking on the ice IMO. Overblown, kinda like Ho-Sang choosing 66… why didn’t anyone complain when Brandon Davidson chose 88?


Nobody is saying it but I wonder if this has as much/more to do with McDavid’s 97 than it did about Gretzky’s 99.


Well, for McCurdy, it has to do more with 97 (as he does his Cult of Hockey game grades chronological by player number and would prefer to end with McDavid than have a Jesse paragraph at the end) – of course, Bruce expresses that mostly in jest.

It shouldn’t have anything to do with anything, in my opinion. It boggles me why anyone would have any real opinion on the number 98, let alone one as strongly as Matty seemed to.

In any event, it was surprising to me that Holland either thought there was an issue or thought that the issues of others were valid enough to talk to the player about it.

Oh well, I couldn’t care less what number any player wears – just their performance.


I think it’s safe to say that Matty — god bless him and his innumerable contributions — is firmly into old man territory. The range where the only things the man likes anymore is Werther’s Originals and Matlock… and will fight anyone who suggests Murder She Wrote to be a superior drama.

Like I said… this just screams of PR101 by a competent GM. It’s really not a big deal, until it becomes a distraction.


I agree nobody should care. Apparently somebody did though.


I just thought as as new player he was a lil cocky for not playing a game in the nhl



I just thought as as new player he was a lil cocky for not playing a game in the nhl

Sure, fair enough but what does #98 have to do with that?


Interesting angle.

Do you think the call is coming from inside the house, or externally?


I just find it strange that any player would care about 99 considering that he last played for this team before most of them were born.

I can see, however, some being miffed if something was said (even in jest) about being one better . . .

Young males. It doesn’t take much to start something sometimes. Anyway, was just speculation.


Interestingly enough, I had thought of that at the time and dismissed it as trivial. Birth year, and all that.

I’d hope Connor isn’t like that — he seems eminently mature and levelheaded — behind closed doors, but we’ll never know. And that’s of course not me saying he isn’t, or had an issue, but as captain it would be his purview to mitigate distractions like that before they got public.

My two cents is Matty or some other elder hockey gent is at the heart of the discontent. Such a trivial waste of energy. Pure theatre.


Puljujarvi was pretty young when he got here but so was Connor. There was really no other choice than to make him captain when they did but it was a lot to put on a 19 year old kid just because he was the best player on the ice.

This team is growing up before our eyes in all sorts of ways imo.

Mature management not being the least of that.


Dynasties are difficult to build.

Let alone repeat.


Yup. One in a lifetime is already more than most get.


Regardless it’s anal and very small minded to my way of thinking.


Small minded is pretty much the default position for most people.


Didn’t I hear that Joey Moss’s unofficial # is 98? I guess that would explain all the passion in the arguments. RIP Mr. Moss


You’re pissing in my geezership area and I had no problem with it. Don’t ascribe a few peoples action to equate to all. It’s myopic and less than an intelligent.


Flames going with a 20 player active roster to so they are under the cap by a few million and will accrue cap space to bank for later use.

I understand that for sure (and it sucks that the Oilers won’t have cap space for in-season or deadline moves) but its risky – without timely access to their players on the Heat, they are reducing their available fill-in players but 3 and will only have a total of 5 extra skaters available to them.

If they get a rash of injuries and or illness and don’t have enough players to fill a full lineup, I really hope the league makes them play short (as opposed to postponing) as a consequence of this risk they are taking – its a real risk in the current environment.

They should have to play games with 15 skaters if it comes to that.


Capfriendly has them at 21 on the roster with their 3rd string goalie. Still same issue having to call someone off the Taxi-squad if they replace a player. If that is how they stay, they also have no game to game flexibility for performance either. And if the injury only puts a player on IR, they appear to have no cap room to pull someone off the taxi-squad without sending someone down. Maybe that’s when they waive the goalie.


Yup, and Capfriendly has updated now to show the same. Just a little slower on their updates.


This is kind of related and I wondered yesterday if the NHL has any strict min player requirements like the NBA:


14. The NBA has a rule that there must be eight players in uniform, or a team must forfeit. (Last Saturday, an injured Philadelphia 76er had to dress so they wouldn’t forfeit to Denver.) The NHL doesn’t have anything that specific, but Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Monday on a media Zoom call they don’t want teams playing “significantly shorthanded.” The AHL is contemplating a “14-and-2 rule,” 14 skaters and two goalies or no go. But the numbers could change before its season begins.


Surprised we haven’t had confirmation on final assignments but my guess:

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

Nurse, Jones, Russell, Koekkoek, Laggeson
Bear, Larsson, Barrie, Bouchard

Koskinen, Smith

Neal and Haas on IR

Taxi Squad

Nygard, Benson, Quine, McLeod, Russsell

Bouch and Nygard will swap in a day or so.

They may keep Lennstrom and assign Quine to AHL.


Nailed it!



In case you’ve missed it Väsby put up a tweet with all of Lavoie’s goals so far this season.

Can’t say I’m loving Holland’s comments on Broberg playing with multiple injuries and Oilers doc signing off on it as well, like I get the whole warrior leading by example angle, but it lacks any type of deeper thinking with regards to risking other injuries and risk hurting a player’s career trajectory. It’s one thing if it’s a ten plus years NHL vet squeezing the last drops out of his body to win the cup and another when it’s a teenager playing the WJCs. And round robin games at that. Stupid.

Todd Macallan

As a fellow physician and Oilers/Broberg fan, there is not a word out of place here, agree completely.


Naidu does MSK imaging at MIC. Pretty sure a radiologist specializing in this probably has a pretty good idea of the severity.

Todd Macallan

It looks like Dr. Naidu is a physiatrist, and a well qualified one at that. While it is more reassuring that he was involved in decision making, and I imagine Broberg pushed quite hard to keep playing, it is poor optics w/ this info coming to light right after Klef’s interview.

Also interesting to note that, as per SP, Broberg’s SHL team doc is resting him for 2 wks w/ the current injuries. This is also reassuring in that they don’t seem to view these injuries as too severe but I wonder if they are happy that he played at the WJC and alternatively, if they would be resting him if it were the SHL playoffs right now.


I’ve said this before.

High level pro athletes are often completely left in the dark about their own health and have very little autonomy.

What medical training does Holland have? None.

Team docs can be okay, but they interact with training staffs that don’t know anything. The stars and system are aligned against the player.

The team’s rationale is often — well, you can’t make it worse.

That is ridiculous. Anything torn can tear more.

Also, SP’s earlier point about being vulnerable to additional injuries is bang on.

What if Broberg wrecked his knee in a collision because his skating mechanics were off?

Holland’s whole play hurt and take less money speech is complete horse shit.

This is a junior hockey tournament. Good grief what an idiot.

By the way, it takes a special kind of myopia to be managing a player with a potential career ending injury in Klefbom and then stumble off to spout idiocy to his 19 year old heir apparent.


They should be protecting their assets, as well as their asses, but the “playing hurt” mentality is rampant throughout all sports.

Elgin R

Thanks SP – fun to watch. Some good crash-and-bang goals, some good in-close 1-timers, some good snipes from distance and some that should no go in on a NHL goalie. All in all the kid looked good out there.


Lavoie can shoot the puck for sure from that video. Thanks for posting the link.

I see he is wearing #13. How long before we have a #13 sweater situation involving Jesse? 😉

Bulging Twine

On Lavoie, thanks for the link, great to see him scoring, his Nhle, with an asterik, is 21.65.

Watching some highlights through the year, he definitely has good offensive instincts and that shooters know how to get in good spots. Will need to work on his power and quick twitch.


Maybe I’m being dense – but what’s the point of waiving Khaira and them starting him tomorrow (if that’s what they do)? Is there a cap benefit to this?

Gerta Rauss

I think it just came down to numbers…they were going to have to expose someone.

Keeping Bouchard on the active roster was cap related( his bonuses.. don’t ask, I don’t fully understand it myself)..and perhaps they felt Lagesson would get claimed if they exposed him

Khaira was the guy they risked


Friedman said the Oilers will telling other teams he was available… the clock’s ticking, JK


Gerta Rauss

I think it just came down to numbers…they were going to have to expose someone.

Keeping Bouchard on the active roster was cap related( his bonuses.. don’t ask, I don’t fully understand it myself)..and perhaps they felt Lagesson would get claimed if they exposed him

Khaira was the guy they risked

Waiving Khaira has no cap implications for day 1 given they didn’t actually assign him off the roster. That was to sneak him through waivers and give them the flexibility to move him between the active roster and taxi squad for the next while without issue.

Bouch on the active roster is due to cap maneuvering – to try and get as close to $4.1M over the cap as possible before placing Klef on LTIR.

Its also to not create the performance vesting issue that would have been created by having him off the roster to start and the re-called (I think).


They waived Khaira hoping to clear money to sign Shore. Shore might not get signed now.


Katz is paying Seth Griffith $450K to play in the minors – I don’t think real cash is an issue for a Shore signing (and its certainly not a cap space issue as signing Share and assigning Khaira would save cap space).


Please see OP’s answer above. It allows the team to move JJ back and forth for a month and or a set number of games without having to go through waivers again. Doing it when they did reduced the chances of him being claimed.Shore could and can sign with any team at any time on a pto. The Oilers had the the ability to sign Shore and make it fit within the cap.


It was the best time to slip him through waivers unclaimed. Now they have the ability to shuffle him between the taxi squad and active roster with no issue for the next while).

When Haas is activated, for example, if they wish, they could assign him to the taxi squad to make roster and cap room for Haas.

As it turns out, with Kylington not being claimed, they probably could have snuck Lagesson through as well.


Thanks. It would still make more sense to me if he was actually on the taxi squad to start, maybe he will, but I guess I buy that.


My understanding is he’s eligible for 30 days to go between both squads. That’s probably part of the plan to solidify the fourth line and PK pairings.

Or they’re going to roll out different looks for different teams, as has been posited a number of times.


Only posted on an Oilers-related site because we play the team tomorrow and Thursday but JT Miller and J. Benn were unavailable to practice today and its unknown if they will travel to Edmonton.


Blumel held without a goal for the 2nd straight game – he did have two assists, was plus 2 with 6 shots on goal in 18 minutes of ice in a 5-4 win.


Interesting that someone on this site recently mentioned that the last guy to come out of the Czech league was Kubalik… so I took the liberty of comparing their stats.

19-year-old season
DK: 35, 3-4-7 -8 [0.09 G/G] [0.20 P/G]
MB: 31, 4-1-5 +4 [0.13 G/G] [0.16 P/G]

20-year-old season
DK: 48, 25-15-40 +1 [0.52 G/G] [0.83 P/G]
MB: 30, 12-10-22 +6 [0.40 G/G] [0.73 P/G]

His 20-year-old season isn’t done yet and looking at boxcars alone gives zero context, but I was surprised at how closely Blümel is tracking Kubalik. Something to watch for sure.

Kubalik spent another 1.5 years in the Czech league plus 1.5 years in the NL before making the jump to the NHL.


Very nice – thank you.

I know he’s signed in the Czech league for another couple of years but I don’t think that precludes an NHL contract. Do you think its best for him to sign and play for the Condors next season or stay home for another season (or two)?


I would give him another season in the Extraliga and then reassess. Let him dominate there before giving him a top-6 role the AHL. If you bring him over next year you risk forcing him into a bottom-6 role at that level which is less than ideal for developing a scoring winger.


Let not gloss over the following pairings at practice today:


The last practice before game day has Koekkok ahead of Rusty in the lineup…..


Or they figured out our suspicions that Russell and Barrie was not going to work


Could they sign an undrafted NCAA goalie, like Matt Murray who is one of the top goalies in the NCAA so far this season and he’s from St. Albert?


Thomas Drance of The Athletic on OilersNow with Bob today:

“The forward depth’s an issue, I’m sure it’s keeping Travis Green up at night and especially the potential of being confronted with it right out of the gate.”


Oilers did a “King of the Shootout” to close out practice on Tuesday. Rules are simple: you score, you move on; you miss, you’re eliminated. Last man standing is the winner. Kyle Turris edges out Connor McDavid and William Lagesson in the finale. #Oilers


Wild Bill!


Person coulda made some money on that triactor.


Holland on ON with Bob right now. Truncated a bit for brevity. Then I missed part of the feed between goalies and Connor at camp.

— Said he was a bit surprised that Forsberg got claimed, but Waddell called him ahead of time to let him know as a courtesy.

— Signed Forsberg to a one-way as a bit of a deterrent but was claimed. CAR had him last year so they know him very well and put Nedeljkovic on waivers today. We’ll see what happens in the next 24 hrs.

— We’ll have Stuart Skinner today to put on our taxi squad. It’s mandatory to have three goalies on the roster between taxi squad and opening day roster. He’s across the street at the JW Marriott and wasn’t planning on going to BAK until January 19th or 20th because there’s not going to be any ice down there so it’s good he’s just down the street for us.

— No intent to keep 3 goalies on opening roster to prevent a goalie claim. When you see our opening day roster today, we’re going to have 9 defensemen on our opening day roster. One of them is going to be Evan Bouchard. Because of cap situation we’re going to have him on our opening day roster, we are not going to carry 9 defensemen on our active roster because then you can only have 12 forwards. We want to get to the point where we’re 13, 8, and 2. Bouch will go from our active roster to our taxi squad, I told him that yesterday so he knows the plan. That will free us to move up a forward from our taxi squad up to our NHL roster for VCR on Thursday. So we’ll be 13, 8 and 2, we’ll have 9 defensemen on the opening day roster and three goaltenders and you’d have 11 forwards available for Wednesday night. We’re trying to win game one. We’re trying to maximize our cap issues but at the same time we’re trying to put the best team we can on the ice for Wednesday night. It’s a real game, it’s two points at stake.

Bob – is there the potential to sign a goalie if you don’t claim anybody?
KH — We have to get somebody for BAK so the answer is yes. Obviously right now you’ve got three goalies, we have to carry three goalies, with the big team. We’re running BAK so you are gonna need two goalies down there. I guess we could get somebody on loan from another NHL team. But certainly we need to have five goaltenders, ideally you’d like to have five Oilers goaltenders, because if you do get an injury up here or something goes on you gotta have three goalies. Gotta give us time to get someone from BAK to here but now we’re left again with one goalie. You need five goaltenders, so the answer is yes. But we certainly got Skinner, we’re comfortable with Skinner up here but at some point he’s got to get playing — he’s a young kid, he needs to play. We’ve got some time on our hands BAK doesn’t start until the 25th.

On Connor:
— He looks a little quicker, he looks like a superstar. I’d say to you when we went to camp last year, he’d spent the entire 3-4 months previous rehabbing. He pushed and pushed to make it happen, that was 15 months ago he’s had to skate. He’s as motivated an athlete I’ve seen.

— Jesse looks real good. I’m talking to the people that were around before I got here, Bob Nicholson, Keith Gretzky, Bill Scott… his English is really good. He’s been on a line with Turris and Archibald the entire camp, they have the makings of a ral good third line. Turris is a vet and he’s taken him under his wing. Certainly they give us reason for optimism.

— I went through the situation my first year in DET with Fedorov, he was a holdout he got an offer sheet and we matched it. I think you’re better at your business when you make some mistakes … with JP my mindset was if I could do a deal that made sense for the Oilers I’d do it otherwise wait through the off season. I talked to his agent through the off season and sensed some movement. He seems to be happy with his role, I talked to him about his number he went from 98 to 13. … I’m hoping they can be an important line to our team, to go up against the top line of other teams and hopefully put up some offense for our team.

— Both will start on IR.

— Basically what Scott Howson will do with the AHL … we’re gonna play 40. We requested to play just on weekends. Two reasons. You get into March, Samorukov, Broberg, Kemp, Lavoie, Berglund, we have more players coming later in the year. From a Covid standpoint, lets practice more and see the Covid situation get under control.

— He had a tear and he wasn’t going to play in teh round robin and they decided to play him. He had an MRI and a tear in the muscle up above his knee. And then I think he got a partially separated shoulder so basically he was playing in the playoffs with a partially separated shoulder and a tear in a muscle just above his knee. I liked it that he dug in, he’s the captain, he wanted to play. He had an MRI about Dec. 26th/27th and he was not gonna play and he went out the next morning and talked to the Swedish doctor and he called me and I called Dr. Naidu and we gave him the green light. I know he was playing hurt, I like that trait. You can’t be 100% all the time, you gotta dig in. So I liked that he was the captain, he played hurt and he gave it everything he’s got.

Bob: on playing hurt as part of what it takes to win
— Certainly it’s organizational, it’s part of the locker room, it’s getting a whole bunch of people that are focused on team success and understanding your role on the team. It’s in contract negotiations that you may have to take a bit less. And in the current situation that you have to do everything you can to not bring Covid into the locker room. The org’s that make the best decidsions from topp to bottom are going to have the best success to keeping Covid out. Having said that there’s a certain amount of luck. It’s way more about making the right decisions than luck, but there’s good luck and bad luck that can factor in with luck and Covid.



Are we there yet?


Just a wealth of info from Holland over the last 15 minutes on his spot on Oilers Now:

1) Bouchard will be on the active roster submitted today – they will have 9D and 12F on the active roster. This is for cap purposes and Bouch will be moved to the taxi squad within a day or two. He’s in the know about this.

2) Bob asked about signing another goalie and Holland said yes as they will need one for Bakersfield as Skinner will be on the taxi squad. It doesn’t sound like he’s necessarily going to run and grab another 3G right now which makes sense to me. There is time. Forsberg was not going to play any games early unless both Mikko and Smith get hurt/sick.

3) With the AHL they requested a very light schedule early. 2 games per week on weekends. One main reason is there will be an influx of players around April that will join the team – Samorukov, Broberg, Berglund, Kemp, Lavoie – all specifically named. That’s music to my ears and what I’ve been speculating for a while.

4) He confirmed that Broberg played with a small tear in a muscle above the knee and then a partially separated shoulder. There were MRIs and the Swedish doctor and Broberg did speak with Holland who gave the go-ahead to play. This will be a controversial decision I’m sure.

5) He confirmed that Haas and Neal will start the season on IR.

Last edited 11 days ago by OriginalPouzar

Excellent news about all the guys heading back in April. Four dmen named specifically is going to make for some interesting roster decisions down there.

And I agree the Broberg decision is going to cause some angst. Especially in light of the Klef interview yesterday.


What’s done is done. Time to move on. If I was the owner I might require an explanation or have it independently investigated.


Thank you for the summary

AHL schedule makes sense
im sure they are hoping to get a few ticket sales in April and sold out playoffs

We all are but who knows how long the vaccine roll out takes

Harpers Hair

Just hear a hit with Stauffer on Vancouver radio.

He said the plan with Bouchard is to get him into a few games and then send him to the AHL with an eye to having him up full time next season.

I was surprised.


Kenny likes the slow cooker.

Harpers Hair

Or boiling frogs😜


They won’t send him down until the AHL is ready to start. If they get an injury on the right side he isn’t going anywhere.


I doubt he goes anywhere anyway unless we are well in to February and there hasn’t been an opportunity for him to play. He’s 4RD and they need access to him at any given time. Sure, I guess they could move Russell or Koekkoek (or even Jones) over to the right side but its Bouch’s time.

I get its better to be playing games but its more important at this point to have access to him for the lineup for when its needed. He has played 23 regular season games this season which is helpful.


Holland conforms Bouch will be on active roster today for cap purposes but they will be moving him to the taxi squad in the next day or two.


No surprise – Khaira back at 4C with Ennis and Chiasson today.




Pretty sure they are waiting to sign Shore until after they are certified cap compliant and then he gets a look.



Pretty sure they are waiting to sign Shore until after they are certified cap compliant and then he gets a look.

Could be but I’m pretty sure he’s not an option for the lineup right away – I mean, yesterday McLeod centered the fourth line and today its back to Khaira. Has Shore even taken a shift with the real NHL fourth line through camp?

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not signed. Wouldn’t be surprised if he is signed as well.

Part of it might depend on how long they think Haas may be out. Sounds like he was quite symptomatic. Full recovery could be weeks but it could be months as well, right?


Katz may not have given clearance to sign Shore since Khaira didn’t get claimed. $700K is fine when the team is making money. Much less so when the team is already deep in the red.


I don’t imagine a potential non-signing of Shore is about real dollars. There has been no evidence of Katz hesitating to continue to spend as required, even in the last few months.

He’s paying Cracknell $300K to play in the AHL. Heck Seth Griffith has AHL salaries of $450K and $475K.


Are you shore about that?😉


I like the Koekkoek move.

Jack Michaels
Khaira back as 4th line centre between Ennis/Chiasson today after going unclaimed on waivers. Koekkoek remains alongside Barrie on D.


Whoa, that is an interesting note on Koekkoek with Barrie on the last practice before the real game.

That would be a surprising and bold move by Coach T. (healthy scratching Rusty on opening night) – I’d worry about the PK but, honestly, have not dug in to Koekkoek’s PK accumen at all.


They’ve already spent a day at practice together, before the day off I think.


Yup. Not sure if a final call has been made but it looks close at least.

Eh Team

Seems like an obvious move, except Russell has the veteran cred. Smith, Russell and Khaira (then Archibald) are players who we should be able to upgrade on if we want to become more competitive. Easy gains to be had.

Elgin R

KRusty short handed (last year): 127.6 TOI / 5.65 GA per 60 / oiSV% = 88.8
Slater short handed (last 2 years): 96.7 TOI / 9.98 GA per 60 / oiSV% = 80.0


Yikes – and thanks.


KRusty short handed (last year): 127.6 TOI / 5.65 GA per 60 / oiSV% = 88.8

Slater short handed (last 2 years): 96.7 TOI / 9.98 GA per 60 / oiSV% = 80.0

I was going to post similar, but note Koekkoek’s oiSV%. His SA and xGA rates were quite good despite the ugly GA rate.


The lower oiSV% could be a function of higher danger chances due to skater personnel? I mean, Mike Smith didn’t just become the best goalie in the league on the PK last year, his high PK save % must have been largely skater player influenced, no?

Similar with Mikko, I think has PK save % was higher ranked than his 5 on 5 – not positive on that though.


I think with all small sample sizes (as PK results invariably are) random variation/luck has a huge effect.

No question system and individual players also have real effects, but with the goal (and SV%) numbers, random variation is often plays a bigger role (IMO at least, and year to year variation in individual/team PK results support it).

So Smith I’m sure benefited from the Oilers players/system.

Russell vs. other Oilers:
52 SA/60 (range 52-59)
6.42 GA/60 (range 3.05-6.50)
14.8 HDCA/60 (range 14.8-21.2)

He actually had bad GA results relative to team but strong underlying numbers. I’d say Russell was unlucky on the GA result and might have been the Oilers best PK defenseman.

Koekkoek (same 2 year sample ElginR used, though I’m using 5v5 instead of PK):
51 SA/60 (range 50-64)
9.13 GA/60 (range 6.46-9.56)
23.5 HDCA/60 (range 18.9-28.1)

Good SA, average HDCA, poor GA number. Also unlucky vs. his SA number, and vs his teammates. A bit like Russell’s result actually, though on a worse PK where everything was shifted up.

It’s hard to know how much of these results Koekkoek and Russell own. Very likely Russell is a better penalty killer than Koekkoek, but I’d take from this that Koekkoek is probably at an average PK defenseman who had bad luck.


Strong work today, love the deep dives into parsing the stats. Thanks.


And spelling them out so even a dummy like me can understand them.


This may be true but Barrie playing with Russel five on five would be a black hole.


Lots of talk about the Oilers claiming a goalie off waivers but I don’t think that’s the likely route.

If the Oilers claim a goalie they will need to keep that goalie on the active 23 man roster (or expose him on waivers and likely lose him). Would the Oilers run with 3 goalies on the active roster (and I guess six skaters on the taxi squad)? May not be able to get the six skaters on the taxi squad without further waivers.

No, I don’t think the Oilers would waive Mike Smith to make room on the active roster for a waiver claim goalie.

I think a trade is more likely but there is no rush/panic right now.

Stuart Skinner can be on the taxi squad for a little while. Its not like Fosberg was going to be playing games in January (unless injury/illness hit both Mikko and Smith).


Agree that Skinner for now is the most likely solution. Although I’d have time for Nedeljkovic — he’s highly rated and at a great age to grow with the team and provide cover/competition for the likes of Konovalov.

However, running three goalies isn’t out of the question. If we did claim Nedeljkovic we’d have the cap space to carry him until he could be demoted to the taxi squad. Problem then would be if he too was claimed, which would only serve to start the whole process over again.

And if Holland/Tippett want six guys on the taxi squad any of the recent demotions could take a spot… Quine, Cracknell would fit in fine for practice purposes.


In my opinion we just can’t have the likes of Cracknell on the taxi squad. If the Oilers happen to carry three goalie (which is highly unlikely), they will only have one extra forward (max) on the roster and need the taxi squad to have really NHL level forwards to insert – no offence to Cracknell – but the taxi squad needs to be made up of the likes of Benson, Bouchard, Nygard, etc. not the Griffiths and Cracknells of the org. Even P. Russell is a stretch to me.


I’m talking about a warm body. Someone who’s already cleared waivers to keep balance on the taxi squad for practice purposes as a response to your claim “May not be able to get the six skaters on the taxi squad without further waivers.”

Not making a claim about Cracknell’s or Quine’s suitability for the NHL roster.


but my point was its not just about getting a warm-body forward on the taxi squad, its about getting the legit forwards needed on the taxi squad. If they have 3G on the active roster, they need to add an extra forward on the taxi squad that likely requires waivers – not just a warm body but a player they likely will need to rely on for NHL minutes at some point.

They need to have at least 16 if not 17 legit NHL forward options between the active roster and taxi squad – in my opinion.


Goalie have to take up 3 of 29 spots regardless if 3 stay on active roster or not. Keeping 3 there isn’t the end of the world.
3rd Goalie

Taxi roster travels/practices with team anyway, readily available.

Taxi- Nygard, Benson, McLeod, Shore(imagine he clears or someone would’ve signed him from PTO already), Bouchard, Lennstrom
If Shore not signed, Russell has cleared already.

Not hard to configure with 3 goalies on active roster.


Gets messier when Neal and Haas are activated off IR (if no one else gets IR’d in the meantime). Khaira can go when Haas is assigned, however, if he’s playing well then someone else needs to be waived.


My main point was it shouldn’t be hard to get another skater on the taxi-squad from the group who’s exempt or already cleared waivers. Forgot about McLeod when I named the two vets off hand.

And Skinner will be on the taxi-squad as of today, per Holland.


Sorry, the response was more to OP’s ascertatation that it’ll be tougher to get extra forwards on the taxi squad while carrying 3 goalies. I was only trying to add to what you posted, not disagreeing with what you posit.

Brantford Boy


Sorry if this has already been posted… I was just in the process of setting up the PVR for games this week, noticed this Saturday at 3pm PT (4pm MT) on all SportsNet channels.

Last edited 11 days ago by Brantford Boy

Hunter1909 2020-21 Death March™ is nearly here!!

Please go to: http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com to place your bets on the upcoming season!

Prizes! Fame!


Who won last year? Looks like one of JORDAN or JTBLACK/SIERRA?



We’re working to get this season up and running. This is taking top priority. We will be announcing the glorious winners from last season asap

thank you for your cooperation


What’s the tie break this year?


grovelling apologies for the delay. The site is currently being fired up and the tie break when advertised will be 1- goals by JP then a second tie break goals by McDavid.

Last edited 11 days ago by hunter1909

Who won last year?


The link takes me to last year’s results hunter. Is there a link there I am missing?


What was last years tie breaker


Goals scored by JP in Liiga.


Dont worry were having technical glitches.




Who won last year, Hunter?

Victoria Oil

Hi Hunter, did you ever announce a winner for the Playoffs?

Victoria Oil/Westchester Oil


ignore this stupid fucking link that doesnt fucking work.


I’d missed your reply that the previous winner was forthcoming.

Looking forward to the new contest, always enjoy playing along.


Harpers Hair

Sportsnet hockey insiders weigh in with their season predictions.
A surprising amount of love for the Flames to win the Canadian Division.


Of note…Gene Principe. 🙂


A 25 yo defending Hart winner does not get a single vote for repeat. Really?


Didn’t you hear?
Mathews already won it


Captain “Skinny” Underpants


Actually they are tied with Winnipeg as 2nd to least likely to win the division

Harpers Hair

Not sure which article you’re referring to.

I am surprised 6 of the 20 Sportsnet insiders picked the Flames to win the division.




I have to say – I am surprised at this.


Yeah, there are prediction lists all over the place today. Most of them with the caveat that the division will be really tight.


So Carolina wanted Forberg over Reimer
that’s interesting


Not really. Reimer is still on their roster. In yesterday’s thread someone posted a fake Renaud Lavoie tweet saying Reimer and Jake Gardiner were waived but they were not.


That was fake?

My apologies.

I’m not on the twatter so I miss the troll accounts.


That was alarming to me because I have Gardiner in my fantasy league

its a deep league pts only and that was my last pick for a 7 D


There’s a good chance Carolina re-waives Forsberg and he ends up on our taxi squad afterall…I’ll set the over under at 5 weeks

Last edited 11 days ago by kgo





Doesn’t the NHL roster requirement for waiver claims only last 30 days?


And Carolina probably gets a 14 day exemption for covid protocol quarantine.


Ah yes, the new wrinkle. Forgot about that. Thanks.

Elgin R

I will take the under and reset at 2 weeks




No. They claimed him to be #2. Reimer cleared waivers yesterday, so he will be #3 on the taxi squad, and it is unlikely anyone will claim Nedeljkovic, so he will be #4


Reimer was not on waivers – that advice came from a fake account.

As far as I know.


Ottawa Senators submit plan to allow 6,000 fans when given …

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said he has submitted a plan to allow 6,000fans in the Canadian Tire Centre once public health officials give the green light.

Anyone know how Melnyk manages to increase attendance to Senators games?


Premier just declared a health emergency for the province and a lock down. Hopefully it will be short lived! Don’t like to see my fellow Canadians struggle with COVID.

Harpers Hair

CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) Tweeted:

Players claimed on waivers must remain at the NHL level (NHL non-roster is permitted until ready to play – doesn’t use one of the 23 roster positions)

If the new team wants to place a claimed player on the taxi squad/minors, they have to place them on waivers again


John Chambers

Meh to losing Forsberg

I believe Holland will trade for a quality goaltender later in the season.

Im hoping for a Koskinen – Kuemper tandem for the playoffs.


I have time for that alignment.

What asset(s) do you send out to make that happen?


I suspect the answer is the reason it didn’t get done in the off season. Does Skinner get the knock knock talk from Tippett in practice today? 😉

John Chambers

Well the ‘Yotes are starved for draft picks. The Oilers of course don’t have a 2nd or 3rd!

If the Oilers are 1 or 2 in the division at the halfway point I think you can consider trading the 1st rounder. No draft picks until rd 4, but a Kuemper – Koskinen tandem at $9M through 2022 is a position of major strength. Kuemper could be re-signed on a 3 or 4 year deal … a nice bridge to Rodrigue or Konovalov.

I don’t like trading 1st round picks, but I think it’s worth pulling the trigger if you’re ready to become a contender. The Oilers should be close …


I figure this was Holland’s position from the beginning – or at least after he lost out on Markstrom.

Koskinen & Smith should be strong enough in the regular season to stay in contention given the other upgrades and give him time to assess the rest of the roster.

If the rest of the roster shows they are ready or close he pulls the trigger. If they aren’t he waits for the next kick at the can in the off season.

I think they are good enough to roll the dice but there are still months to make that decision barring injury.


If you have been reading the articles from the athletic over the last week you would know that our starting goal tender is ranked 27th. One of are top pairing D is rated replacement level and our two top centres are very bad defensively. Given that HH says that their sources are expert it seems mandatory for us to keep that first round draft choice as barring a miracle that pick should be a lottery pick. In my opinion I hope the so called experts have a good recipe for crow!

Harpers Hair

Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) Tweeted:
The @EdmontonOilers lose #3 organizational goalie Anton Forsberg on waivers to Carolina.
Stuart Skinner now Oilers 3rd string goalie.
JJ Khaira clears.
My guess is he centers Oilers 4th line tomorrow night vs Vancouver.


Litke 94

I can live with Khaira’s lack of offense, what I can’t live with, especially last year, was his regular, awful giveaways. I don’t know how many times he sent a muffin pass in his own end right up the slot or to the defenseman. You can’t have those types of mistakes for a bottom sixer. I know +/- isn’t the greatest stat, but Khaira’s minus 19 last year was well-earned in my books.

I suspect he is 4C tomorrow, but I don’t expect it to last for long. Shore will be an upgrade, and if not him, I can’t imagine Ryan McLeod being worse at 5 on 5.

Elgin R

Shore is not an upgrade as he is worse than JJ 5v5. Play JJ or McLeod until Hass is ready and cut Shore loose.

5v5 Last Season
Shore: 471.5 TOI / -11 GFGA (-1.40 per 60) / Takeaway – Giveaway = +5 / left shot
JJ: 649.7 TOI / -12 GFGA (-1.11 per 60) / -23 / left shot
Hass: 514.4 TOI / -3 GFGA (-0.35 per 60) / even / right shot


Where did you find those numbers? I see Shore as -10 and Khaira -19.

I’d keep all 3 around if possible.

Elgin R

Hockey Reference Advanced Stats: 5v5


Weird that it’s so different from Natural Stat Trick.


Do people use Hockey Reference for this stuff? I always go to NST (and PuckIQ) as my go to.



I’m not even sure they need to get up to 50%, just up materially from the mid-30s and somewhere in the vicinity of 50% (assuming the PK doesn’t crater completely and the PP remains near the top of the league – it will come down from 30% – but likely a higher rate of opportunities).

We agree on this, and have talked about how good the McDavid/Draisaitl lines need to be (together with an improved bottom 6) for ‘success’. I decided to plug some numbers in to see exactly HOW good they need to be. 

First, what is success, in terms of team goal differential? 
Over the past 10 NHL seasons: 
No team with a +20 goal differential has missed the playoffs. 
The worst finish by a +30 team was 11th overall and 98 points. 
The worst finish by a +40 team was 7th overall and 102 points. 

So goal #1 for the Edmonton Oilers is a +20 season (they were +8 this past season). 
+30 or +40 means they’re a cup contender to some legitimate degree. 

Top 5 PP
League average PK
Bottom 6 improves to a 45% GF% (Sheahan/Haas on ice last season were ~36%GF).

Last seasons actual goal differential (and extrapolated to 82 games for various reasons)
The PP was +49 (+57)
The PK was -28 (-32)
Special teams +21 (+25)
Even strength -13 (-15)
Oilers overall +8 (+9)

The top 5 NHL PPs last season had a (per 82 games) goal differential of +52 to +62.
I gave 20-21 Oilers a +55 PP. 
The league median PK last year was -43 per 82 games.
I gave the 20-21 Oilers a -43 PK. 

So a special teams goal differential +12. 

What about even strength? First the 5v5 minutes per line:
McDavid 15.5
Draisaitl 15.5
Turris 11
4th line 7 

Zero clue who’ll be 4C at this point, but even with McDavid and Draisaitl playing about a minute each less at 5v5 vs. last year, there’s not much ice for the 4th line. 

Using those minutes/game and assuming marginally more goals scored/TOI for the bottom 6 (and a 45%GF), Turris plus the 4th line project to about -11 over 82 games. 

So the bottom 6 (at 45%) -11.
And the special teams (top 5 PP, average PK) +12.
About even overall (+1 in my calculation). That leaves the McDavid and Draisaitl lines to push the team from even into the playoffs. 

Using similar overall goals/TOI rates as last season, and the 5v5 minutes above, what do different GF%’s for McDavid+Draisaitl mean?

52% +12
53% +17
54% +23
55% +29
56% +35
57% +40
58% +46
59% +52
60% +58

So McDavid/Draisaitl at 53-54%GF *should* mean a playoff team.
If they’re around 55%GF that *should* assure a top 10 team.
If they’re around 57%GF the team *should* be pushing top 5 in the league. 

FWIW, McDavid without Draisaitl last season was 56.0%GF. 
And Draisaitl without McDavid was 57.4%GF.
I think that bodes well, though clearly nothing is guaranteed.

I do feel pretty good about the Edmonton Oilers chances this season after plugging those numbers in though.

Elgin R

Good breakdown – thanks JP (PizzaMan). It would be interesting to see the same breakdown with Leafs and Flames.

Oilers finish first in the North – the team is the best ‘on paper’ seen around these parts in decades. #neverbetagainstMcDavid

Just need another goalie now – get it done Ken.


(Pizzaman) is confirmed, & i believe the j is short for (Junior.)
Keep up the good work JP!


Thanks for this JP. Very encouraging.


Really appreciate the way you break this down.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Prime example of keeping the bar at an attainable level for the bottom-6. Well done!


This is just an awesome breakdown. Thanks JP