Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting

by Lowetide

I mentioned yesterday that it was a tough game to predict and the actual event was unsettling at the beginning. The result was in the balance for the entire 60 minutes, although ‘cheat code’ McDavid brought the ramrod in the final 20. Young wingers Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto scored massive goals. In the end, McDavid (1-2-3) and Leon Draisaitl (a pass so beautiful it cannot accurately be described) emerged in the third period to put the story to bed. It was a grand game of hockey.


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.


  • Oilers in 2015-16: 9-15-2, 20 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 14-10-2, 30 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 10-14-2, 22 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 13-11-2, 28 points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 16-7-3, 35 points; goal differential +13
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 15-11-0, 30 points; goal differential +2

This year’s model is running with the playoff pack of 2016-17, save for the goal differential. Look at that 2019-20 team. Some people don’t want to credit that club as a playoff team. Come on.


  • At home to: Toronto, Toronto, Calgary (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Ottawa, Ottawa, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary, Calgary (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Montreal, Montreal (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Toronto, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 9-6-1, 19 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 1-2-0, 2 points in three games

Oilers have now won three of four against Calgary, that’s basically the gap in the standings between the two clubs. I’m not sure the lineup is locked and loaded for the road ahead, but some things did get figured out last night.


  • Draisaitl (0-1-1)-McDavid (1-2-3)-Yamamoto (1-1-2) played 10:37, going 6-6 shots, 2-0 goals, 2-0 HDSC. Tippett can’t run this line all the time but the trio combined for some fantastic moments. The McDavid goal and the Draisaitl pass were both epic. The angels wept at the beauty of Leon’s majestic assist. Yamamoto was key on two goals.
  • Shore-Khaira-Turris played 9:06, going 3-5 shots, 0-1 goals, 0-1 HDSC and 6-10 Corsi five on five. This line didn’t get a lot of notice (beyond Turris getting flattened by Tanev) and the reason is Tyler Ennis. Play. the. man. Khaira is more prominent offensively with Ennis there. Seriously. Shore did some good work late defensively and on the PK.
  • Neal-Haas-Chiasson played 6:46, 4-2 shots, 0-1 HDSC and 6-2 Corsi. Neal got into a fight with Matt Tkachuk, and made a fine defensive play on the back check on a promising sortie. Haas won seven of nine (oh my!) in the faceoff dot and forechecked like he was heading to prison if he didn’t put in every ounce of effort. Chiasson was quiet but effective in moving the puck along and playing his position.
  • Kahun-Nuge-Puljujarvi played 4:45, went 2-0 shots and 6-0 Corsi. Play died on Kahun’s stick a lot, his game is too quiet. Nuge had five shot attempts and seems to be getting closer to a hot streak, his shot has more torque again. Needs to get the puck out on the PK. Puljujarvi checked down from the 97 line and contributed a scoring chance. He’s a confident young NHL player now.
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 3:58, 3-3 shots, 1-0 HDSC and 6-4 Corsi five on five. Yamamoto was at his skillful best. Save for the slew foot. That was out of character and poor form.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 3:54, 7-1 shots, 1-0 goals and 1-0 HDSC plus 8-1 Corsi five on five. Puljujarvi scored a massive goal with 97 and 29 (h/t Woodguy).


  • Nurse-Barrie played 18:58, going 13-13 shots, 1-0 goals, 3-6 HDSC, 21-15 Corsi. Nurse fought Lucic, played a rugged game. He has more presence now, he has the ‘pause’ button in his arsenal in that if he has possession in his own zone and the Oilers are running around, he’ll hold on to it, wait, and allow things to settle. Effective. Barrie had 8 shots on goal and passed the puck well. I don’t prefer him with Nurse, but he does many things well here. Bear replaced Barrie for the hard defensive moments when the clock was winding down.
  • Russell-Larsson played 15:18, going 7-6 shots, 1-1 goals, 1-3 HDSC and 10-13 Corsi. Russell made a key play in the game, making a small deke to make sure he got the puck through on the key Puljujarvi goal. He was effective elsewhere too, I think he’s got a little more jump in his step, making him more effective. Also appears to be working on being less predictable, we saw him split the seam against two Flames in the offensive zone simply because neither checker thought he’d do it. Larsson didn’t maim anyone but not for lack of trying. He’s playing great hockey now, burr under his saddle every damn shift. Larsson right now reminds me of that line from Werewolves of London (“you better stay away from him, he’ll rip your lungs out, Jim”) and I’m a fan.
  • Jones-Bear played 8:04, 1-4 shots, no goals, 0-1 HDSC and 4-4 Corsi. Jones was effective all over the ice, drawing a penalty, pushing the puck up by transporting and sawing off defensively. Played a dynamite 1:26 with Tyson Barrie that saw the pairing out there for a 5-0 shot margin. He’s coming along, just let him play. Bear was strong defensively throughout the game, including 2:28 late with Nurse. I had to smile during one sequence when Tkachuk was net front and Bear wrapped up his stick like he was human gorilla tape. That’s good coaching and learning the game as a young blue, awesome. He’s undersized so has to work extra had (having a leverage disadvantage most of the time). I’m pulling like crazy for both these guys.
  • Mike Smith was key. He made about five glorious stops in the first period that could have buried Edmonton. Stopped 34 of 36, .944. Now has a .925 SP for the season, we’re almost halfway through. Maybe the late start was a blessing.


I am late publishing but wanted to mention a thrilling development in Bakersfield yesterday. It’s been building for a time, but the line of Ryan McLeod, Cooper Marody and Tyler Benson were fantastic yesterday in a win for the Condors. Marody had the hat-trick and both McLeod and Benson were 1-3-4. Stuart Skinner is also on fire, he boasts a .927 save percentage after six games.


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Damn, Marody leading the AHL in scoring currently.
Back to his rookie season form and then some it looks like.

And Benson, a shade ahead in points/game, plus the 4 goals in 8 games is nice to see.
Godot: Benson is well ahead of a 20 goal pace at the moment (I think I agree with you on that one).

From reports it sounds like McLeod is playing well, the year over year boxcars and shots agree. I don’t think he needs to be a point/game AHL player to be an NHLer anyway.

And Skinner, wow.
OP, to your earlier question, I think Skinner is the biggest development in Bakersfield to this point. I thought he might get lost in the Rodrigue/Konovalov flood, but great to see.


I agree that McLeod doesn’t need to be a point per game guy in the AHL in order to look like an NHL player but he needs to (in my opinion) be a legit top 6 player (center) who is a prominent player on the team – helping drive play and being successful in all situations.

McLeod is doing that over the last little bit – he is helping drive play on an elite line – he’s carrying the puck with authority through the neutral zone and gaining zone entry at will (normally Marody’s job) and making plays within the offensive zone. He’s in and around the net. He’s on PK1 although PP2 as they seem to be balancing the two units.

He needs to produce, not to the extent that Benson and Marody do but he needs to be a material contributor to the offence and he has been.


All roses from here on out its feeling or something such as they say.


I managed to watch the last 2 periods of the Condors game.

Like OP & Munny have been saying, Marody, McLeod and Benson are straight-up dominating. 70-75% Ozone time seems about right. Marody is very skilled at stick handling in tight spaces, aside from his skill Benson is very aggressive (he got into a bit of some rough stuff with Lias Andersson, no penalties), he gets his nose dirty and plays good D, McLeod is a burner (noticeably faster than most AHLers) and gets a lot of shots off as well as being a FO stud and very good in his own zone.

Niemeläinen is very aggressive defending zone entries, twice he when at the attacker coming towards the blueline where he moved across towards them to blow them up. He is a very good skater and moves the puck well.

Skinner was very good at preventing rebounds. The GA was a shot off his mask that some how got between his pads and was tucked home from behind him. He was a little more preoccupied with his loose mask to find the puck in time.

Safin did not play a regular shift. I counted 4 shifts in the 2nd and 6 in the 3rd. I am disappointed in this, but hopefully he gets more PT as the season goes on. He played with Lavoie in Halifax, hopefully Lavoie’s addition in early April(?) helps more than hurts his at bat’s.

As far as all the big-name LA prospects, only Andersson seemed noticeable to me (other than Kaliyev and his 3 shots blocked by Desharnais in the last minute on the PK). The list is impressive: Byfield, Turcotte, Akil Thomas, Durzi and Fagemo.

This should serve as a reminder to us all be patient with Holloway. As enticing as his results may seem, he is still a teenager who did not produce much at the WJ’s with the best talent on that roster. He will likely need at least one AHL season. Please don’t forget, I was one of the most vocal in touting Holloway as the Oilers pick in the months preceding the draft.


Nice post and its good to get some back-up on my Nielmelainen evaluation (as what I have seen all season long does not line up with his scouting reports from Finland which pretty much marked him as a black hole with the puck on his stick).


Our resident Troll is actually making me enjoy this season even more….watching the flames collapsing against Ottawa after HH booked a 5-0 series is that much more enjoyable….not to mention watching the Canucks flounder…how many games has Borat Rasputin played this year?

Victoria Oil

Sens win in the shootout.


After one of the worst played and least exciting OTs (except for 20 seconds in the last minute) I’ve ever seen, Ottawa win it in the shootout!


Chabot was awful in OT. Reilly holding Gaudreau’s stick was bizarre.


He should of got more of his money’s worth and face washed little Jenny like crybaby Tkachuk did to Seutezle.


Sens get dominated in the third period and allow the flames to tie it up – going to OT.

At least the flames won’t get a regulation win – they have 5 less regulation wins than the Oilers (the first tiebreak).

Last edited 6 months ago by OriginalPouzar

The Refs tried hard nice to see the Sens pull it out hopefully they’ll have a let down tomorrow and our offence can get back on track


3-1 for the good guys


Oh yea liked that one! More please!


You don’t lie Munny. I only watched it twenty times and smiled every time! Thanks for sharing!


2-0 Ottawa late in the first.


Wow huge arrows for those condors. I just saw a couple clips but it did look like some weak opponents. One goal I saw two Ontario dman almost backed into the crease. Still impressive regardless.

Anyways so does the development of McCleod affect how they develop Holloway? To me they seem like similar players with Holloway obviously being more high end but McCleod is older and possibly more NHL ready.

I would really like to see benson get a shot with some legit skill. I thought he showed well last year in those 7 games. I think he would work well with Draisaitl and Yamamoto especially with Kahun trending down


I believe that Benson should be competing with the likes of Kahun and Ennis for the 2/3 LW positions nightly (throw Nygard in there) but he was lost to the team for the year the minute he crossed the border.

He definitely should be in the conversation in September (along with Holloway if he does indeed sign and leave school) for a job. Ennis and Nygard are both likely not brought back and Neal could be bought out (arguments both ways) – there could be a couple of LW positions open.


Holloway and McLeod do have some similarities – in particular, they are both big and fast with some skill and 2-way accumen

One main difference is that McLeod’s biggest issue has always been his willingness to “go to the hard areas” and to battle whereas Holloway has no problem in those areas and is a high end battler – elite battler.

Holloway also has that motor – he never stops.

Holloway is also, from accounts, a very high end athlete and I believe is just a more mature physical specimen.

I think Holloway’s transition to the pro game will be quicker.


Thanks for that. Holloway and McLeod seem to be having some positional overlap as centre’s that can play wing aswell.

You don’t think it would be worth it to call up Benson? I think it would be even with the two week quarantine


I do think it would be worth it if Coach T. would play Benson with some legit NHL talent at 2LW or 3LW and give him a stretch of games – to allow the game to slow down for his like it did for Lagesson after a few games.

I don’t think that would be the case – not with the likes of Nygard and Kahun and Ennis (and Neal) around.

Its not just two weeks either. Its two weeks once he arrives in Edmonton and then, of course, he can’t leave a hotel room for those two weeks so he’ll be out of game shape and will need time to get his game shape back plus time to get used to the the team and the structure, etc.

Coach T. can’t commit to giving him 5-7 games of legit ice time and give him the chance to get up to speed so, no, I don’t think it would be worth it this year.


What if the quarantine rules change?

As I understand it, this depends on conversations with federal authorities. If all American are indeed able to get a first dose at the end of May, we may see an end to quarantine requirements for those who are vaccinated.

I suspect the Americans will finish vaccinating earlier than that. They are already around 2 million / day without the J+J vaccine, which is one dose only.

This could put all of McLeod, Marody, Benson, and Holloway in play.


There are government requirements but also NHL/NHLPA agreed-upon protocols which include a mandated 14-days when coming from the US. Obviously, those were made in conjunction with government requirements but I’m not sure if there is a built in ability to change/ease those mid-season. There might be but I haven’t looked that far.

Even so, if you are talking about end of may – that’s already in to the 2nd round o the playoffs.


McLeod;s line saw a fair amount of Byfield and Kaliyev, both of who are 18.

Byfield is going to be killer in the FO dot when he gets to the NHL, btw.

Bank Shot

I think Holloway is already ahead of McLeod and will play in the NHL first. Holloway is looking as close as you can get to being a lock on an NHL roster. McLeod likely tops out in the bottom six if he makes it and is much less certain IMO.

John Chambers

I bet Holland will call up a couple of high-performing AHL players in two weeks to a month.

Lennstrom is staring to practice, I could see Holland wanting to add some talent for the stretch drive.


Would love to see Lennstrom get into the line up. There is going to be some real competition on the Oiler D for spots and likely some tough decisions by Holland. Perhaps some valuable currency to use for F/G additions.


Could be but I doubt it – the only one I see is Holloway if (1) he signs, (2) he heads to Bakersfield, (3) he kills it in Bakersfield and (4) LW still has a big hole at the NHL level.

I don’t imagine that Holland thinks that Marody or Benson are going to make a material impact in a stretch drive after having been out of games for 3 weeks (after recall) and i don’t imagine he will want to mess with McLeod’s development who is just starting to excel at the AHL level.

Lennstrom was recalled because the NHL team went from 9 to 6 healthy d-men in a short period of time. He was (is) essentially an emergency recall and I don’t imagine he gets off the taxi squad unless injuries pile up on the back-end.

The minute Benson and Marody were assigned to the AHL and left the country, I believe they were effectively lost to the team for the year subject to injury catastrophe.

Now, if the Condors were playing in Canada, like the Heat…..


I think the Krueger experiment will be ending soon in Buffalo.


At least there’s a better excuse for firing him over Skype this time.


This response wins the blog for today!


Soo good


What is the most important story-line from the AHL right now?

1) Stuart Skinner popping and having a fantastic start to the season (he’s now 5-2 and probably around 0.940/1.6 (give or take))

2) Ryan McLeod looking like he’s taking a huge step – he’s playing top line center (full time this weekend) and crushing it – not just on the scoresheet but the way he’s playing – helping drive an elite line

3) Tyler Benson killing the AHL – he looks like he can play in the NHL right now – if only there wasn’t the damn border issue

4) Cooper Marody – similar to Benson – he’s got 5 goals and 8 points on the weekend

5) Marcus Niemelainen – I’m still not sure if he’ll ever play an NHL game but he’s 100% on the radar now. The leftorium is real but he’s have a big pop.


As self proclaimed chairman of the Tyler Benson fan club, his domination of the AHL is great to see. Keep him down there. The quarantine time kills my interest in seeing him called up. Destroy the league all season and come to camp in the fall with an eye on a top nine line.


i think he threw the puck over the glass on purpose lol. Self-preservation.

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

Here is the McLeod snipe (as I said, broken play but snipe):


McLeod managing the game and playing safe and deep even in the OZone with the 5-1 lead.


McLeod gets the puck in the high slot off a broken play and goes bar down for a 5-1 lead.

This was a bottom six line goal as he was with Brosseau and Stukel (Condors have been going with 11F this weekend).

Last edited 6 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Absolute ripper top right corner from McLeod. If Twitter doesn’t give us a highlight, I will.

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

So, in a normal world, one would think that Rodrigue would start his pro career in the ECHL (not Austria). Now that the AHL and ECHL are both going and he’s back, isn’t it time to send him to the ECHL?

I mean Wells is now down to back Skinner up and, clearly, they are running with Skinner as a legit full-time starter.

Rodrigue needs to play and many a legit NHL goalie played their first year pro in the ECHL.

Lets get this kid to Wichita.


McLeod sweeps a dangerous puck out of the crease/low slot, drives up the middle and exits the danger zone..

Just a Center doing Center things

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

To LT’s chagrin (and really, everyone’s) there’s no TOI for the AHL. However the PbP guy swears McLeod has played over 20 mins every game this week.


He’s doing exactly what we all hoped for (well, at least what I hoped for). He’s starting to establish himself as a high end top 6 center at the AHL level.

Its only been a few games where his game has been at this level but one can see his game grown, not only from last year but through this year – game over game. His confidence with the puck through the natural zone and in the offensive zone is something he didn’t have last season or early this season. He’s driving.

If he can be this player consistently at the AHL level, he will have a legit shot at the NHL and an NHL center next season.


Berube looked shaky even on a long wrister from Stukel


Well, he is the AHL back-up with 3 goalies up with the NHL team.

It would be like Skinner or Rodrigue getting the start for the Condors.


Who did start?


For the Condors? Skinner, he’s started every game since he was sent down and past protocol.


Here is the last Marody goal.


Where? 🙂

Last edited 6 months ago by wolf8888

What a goal by Marody – take the pass in the high slot, dangles the defender and roof one from the faceoff dot.

Solid skill play from Griffith in the neutral zone for the zone entry.

Cooper Marody – have yourself a weekend.

That was a high skill play.


Marody can’t miss. Griffith, who actually is shifty, dances over the blue, dishes to Marody who gets it with time and space and another one gets through Berube that he should probably stop.

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

Its really funny. On that very shift, I was thinking to myself “I expected Griffith to be more of an impact player on this team and he’s been a bit disappointing” – then he puts one through Byfield’s legs in the neutral zone, gains the zone and dishes to Marody i the slot.


I don’t think it is unfair to epect more from Griffith. He has the puck so much, great skater, I think you’d like to see more production. Maybe it’s merely a matter of linemates. He might have more talent than any forward not playing on L1.


Thank you for that, LT.


McLeod, Benson, Niemelainen and Gravel get some four on four time

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

Beautiful finish by Benson for his second of the night.  

Marody with a great skill pass to McLeod in the neutral zone, McLeod with the zone entry, delay at the blue and cross-ice pass to Marody – Marody can’t handle the pass but causes a turnover and Benson with a great skill finish on net.

Benson from Marody and McLeod.


Benson lol. Backhander gets by Berube, he probably wants it back.


Marody and McLeod get the apples.


Wish Esposito was just a little shiftier.


Skinner with a solid save on a quick strike break but he can’t find the rebound and Turcotte bangs it in for his first goal.


Safin getting some time on the second PP unit with McLeod.


What do we make of Marody now?

In watching him, now that he is finally fully healthy again (seemingly), he looks like that rookie who was point per game in 2018/19 and the offensive driver of that awesome line (with Benson and Currie). He was a year older than Benson during that season.

Benson and Marody look every bit as dominant as they did in 2018/19.

I guess they “should be” given they are a bit older now.

With that said, they aren’t “old”, in particular Benson, and many many many solid to plus NHL players take a few pro development years in the AHL to make it.

Benson, in my mind, is still a 100% legit NHL prospect but Marody is starting to re-establish himself.

Yes, they have the same “warts” as always and neither are a sure thing but they are elite at the AHL level.

McLeod fits in every bit as well on that top line as well – he’s becoming a plus zone entry guy and getting more comfortable with the puck and making plays.

If they continue like this for the season, all three will have a chance in September (Marody probably the least likely due to age).


Just curious your opinion on Marody’s speed?


I’ve always found he looks quite quick at the AHL level – well, he did in 2018/19 and he certainly does now. He is powerful with the puck through the neutral zone and gets in on defenders quick on the chase.

With that said, I can’t say I see a marked improvement but its tough as he’s so skilled at the AHL level that his skill creates offence consistently.




Wow, Marody with a phenomenal pass from the corner to McLeod for a Grade A chance – Marody wins a board battle on a dump in by Deharnais and McLeod almost puts the team up 3-0.


McLeod with two great chances off a lovely back pass by Marody through a seam and into the slot. Stoned by Berube

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

Good, strong forechecking shift by McLeod, creating chaos in the Reign end.


Condors come down on a 3 on 2 – Kaldis to Cracknell in the high slot and Marody tips it in.


Technically a PPG as it was just as the Condors started a PP coming off the end of a 4 on 4.


Marody banks in a Cracknell shot at the end of the PP


Marody, Benson and McLeod 1st unit PP


Of note, McLeod on PK1 (with Esposito).


Massive couple saves for Skinner after a Stanton turn-over.


Huge bellyflop stop by Skinner. Looked like Stanton with the giveaway.

McLeod out to kill the ensuing penalty.

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

Top line strikes again.

McLeod with a nice zone entry and dump in, Marody with the board battle below the blue line and very nice pass to Gildon in the high slot – shot, tipped by Benson.

That will be Benson from Gildon and Marody. No assist for McLeod but a very strong shift and the zone entry.


Benson tips one by Berube


Gildon with the shot and Marody get the assists. Strong shift by McLeod too as he gained the zone for the line and is so difficult to handle along the boards.

Last edited 6 months ago by Munny

Skinner with the start – they are riding him!


Also. With Väsby losing today, no points for Lavoie nor Kemp, while Modo the team they were trying to catch won it’s already decided that they will have to play relegation games against the other bottom team to stay in the league.
It’s a five game series between the 16th and 23rd of March, game three is on the 20th so that’s the earliest the boys can leave for the AHL. Let’s hope they can help Väsby sweep the opposing team(Kristianstad) so they can come over as quickly as possible.
Will be interesting to see Lavoie in the AHL, he’s been tearing it up the last few games before today’s game. He’s clearly leaving a better player than when he first arrived in Sweden. Makes me wonder if his NHL timeline is quicker than one would have guessed, that shot of his takes no prisoners that’s for sure.

In other news Jeremias Lindewall has been loaned from Modo to Örnsköldsvik in the swedish third tier, he has 3 points in four games after going pointless his first two. Good move for him since Modo adding loads of vets post christmas saw his ice time, and confidence, dwindle and eventually saw him scratched. With the junior league shut down this was the only way to get ice time. Still a solid year of development for him, having a regular spot on the men’s team for the majority of the year is a bit better than expected despite his early offensive spark fading as the season rolled on. And to his defense the club has been a mess all year and especially since christmas or so, not an easy spot for an 18 year old getting his first taste of pro hockey.
Depending on what route the org takes it might be smart to find another Allsvenskan or SHL org next season because Modo is in a sad state currently, they need to do some soul searching this summer or I would hope he moves on to further his career, don’t think he will though since he signed for the next two years this winter so let’s hope they get their crap together.
Anyway, Lindewall is currently tracking fine for a 7th rounder, obviously a long long shot to make the show but his arrow is at least pointing in the right direction and he has some things in his game that you see could be NHL worthy if he keeps developing.


Here is hoping Lavoie gets to Cali ASAP.

I’m sure he’s not a legit NHL option for October but some North American pro games to end this season will give him a better idea for what he needs to do to get ready for NHL camp.


Brosseau will play with Gambardella and Esposito


Reign line-up news…

comment image
John Hoven | The Mayor

Reign v Condors rematch at 3pm today…
– Madden and Brickley out
– Dudas, Hults, Phillips back in
– Kupari still up w/ Kings
– Berube likey starter

Skinner confirmed in net for Bako


How does quarantine-Covid protocols work? Could Mr. Bensen fly on Mr. Katz private plane tonight and begin quarantine. He would be a healthy scratch for the next 14 day in the AHL while he quarantines in Edmonton. A fortnight from now Turris is sent to the AHL, but never leaves town as the team activates Bensen.


Sure, he could take Katz’s private plan to Edmonton but he still has to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Upon recall, to the taxi squad, he counts as one of the six on the taxi squad even while in covid-protocol quarantine so they would need to make sure they have the space.


Benson not going to get a shot in Edmonton this year anyhow could see him as a add-on in a trade

Last edited 6 months ago by Reja

He could be an add-on to a trade but I anticipate that he’ll have a strong strong year in Bakersfield, get qualified and re-sign and have a chance to make the team at camp.

Ennis will likely be gone, Nygard may be gone.

He will likely have Holloway to compete with (no surety that he leaves school but I think likely).

Holland knows very well that prospects can become legit NHLers after a few AHL development years.


I could see Benson and a D Jones or bear traded for a left winger slash centre or a goalie which in that case Kosh would have to go as well.

Last edited 6 months ago by Reja

Koskinen probably isn’t even tradeable with 50% retained – I don’t know if a team would take him on for $2M (and a bit) next season. I’m not so sure Holland wants a dead cap hit of $2M added on next season.

I don’t see a goalie as an acquisition target, not with Stalock soon in the mix – he started as many games last year as Smith and Mikko


If Bishop ever were healthy, Koskinen arguably could be traded without retention to Dallas. Ditto Quick, in the off-season. Bobrovsky. Price, if Montreal decided to move on. Martin Jones.

There are a lot of worse goalie contracts to trade for which wouldn’t require retention, and one could probably get a pick or two.

Koskinen only has one year left, and fulfills the requirement for exposing a goaltender in the expansion draft.

If you are Seattle, picking Koskinen might be a far better option than a lot of the other guys mentioned above.

Last edited 6 months ago by godot10

I always seen Stalock as a steady eddy makes the saves that he’s suppose to make. Your right Holland didn’t get Stalock as insurance for a injury I believe he was acquired to replace Kosh and he will get a legit chance I hope he delivers


Brad Malone left yesterday’s game and is day to day and Devan Brosseau comes in to the lineup – guess that means no Tulio again. Not sure if he’s not available due to quarantine-covid protocols yet or if he’s really just there to practice with the pros.


There is some logic to reuniting McDrai at least for a bit beyond them being crazy good together and a treat to watch for anyone loving the game of hockey. The team has gone stale and needs a jump start, a one line team is still better than a zero line team which has been the case of late. Drai in particular has lost his mojo lately, I assume with him sitting out multiple practices in part due to injury, but he’s been visually frustrated and letting him torch teams alongside McDavid will surely get the juices flowing again.
Nuge back to center will also force him to step out from the shadow he’s been hiding in, he’s the main man on his line now.
Jesse will also get a chance to take charge more as he’s no longer the third guy on the line which might help him take another step.

Long term I’m sure the two big boys will need to be split for the team to be a more consistent threat but as a way to get some players going it’s worth trying for a stretch.

Last edited 6 months ago by SwedishPoster

Excellent points as always.


Carpe diem, Jesse. Make the 2nd line yours. Drag Nugent-Hopkins to greatness.