Light a Candle, Say a Prayer

by Lowetide

In the middle of a career year for a generational talent, the Edmonton Oilers are unable to find two wingers who can help him runaway with the scoring championship. What’s more, the team’s veteran two-way center, who scored in bunches last season on the wing, can’t hit the five on five ocean. What the hell is going on around here?


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.


Connor McDavid is dominant at five on five this season, posting big boxcars and fantastic numbers across the board. Here are his numbers, and his linemates totals when playing with the captain. It’s incredible.

  1. Connor McDavid: 12-24-36 (3.02 pts-60)
  2. Leon Draisaitl: 7-11-18 (4.68) in 231 minutes
  3. Kailer Yamamoto: 4-7-11 (2.98) in 141 minutes
  4. Jesse Puljujarvi: 5-4-9 (1.38) in 398 minutes
  5. Zack Kassian: 0-2-2 (1.28) in 94 minutes
  6. Josh Archibald: 1-0-1 (1.27) in 47 minutes
  7. Nugent-Hopkins: 4-3-7 (1.09) in 304 minutes

Draisaitl and Yamamoto are the clear choices for wingers on this line, but of course Draisaitl needs to center his own line. Puljujuarvi as 97’s RW isn’t ideal, but he’s going to learn where the goals are scored and should be 1.50+ by season’s end. It’s Nuge. That’s a bad number.


  1. Leon Draisaitl 10-21-31 (2.75 pts-60)
  2. Connor McDavid 6-14-20 (5.2) in 230 minutes
  3. RNH 2-1-3 (3.63) in 50 minutes
  4. Kailer Yamamoto 7-8-15 (1.92) in 468 minutes
  5. Dominik Kahun 6-3-9 (1.63) in 330 minutes
  6. Jesse Puljujarvi 2-1-3 (1.44) in 124 minutes

If we agree that the McDavid line has multiple underachievers and that Nuge is best suited to playing with Draisaitl, then it comes down to the right winger deployed with each man. Since Yamamoto outperforms on the 97 line, I thought maybe the ‘pairs’ could be Draisaitl-Nuge and McDavid-Yamamoto.

The three men together dominate (11-2 goals in 110 minutes). McDavid-Yamamoto without the big man is mediocre (0-2) in goal differential but dominant in shot differential (25-8) in 31 minutes. So, the sample is small but the results are good (expected goals 69.7 percent).


I understand there are elements of the game that math can’t capture, but the expected goals for 97-56 is damn near 70 percent isolated and the Drai-Nuge combination works (but needs a puck retrieval expert). So, what about these lines:

  • Jesse Puljujarvi-Connor McDavid-Kailer Yamamoto
  • The Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Josh Archibald

Chiasson and Kassian are other options, and bring size, and Kahun is actually a pretty good scorer with Draisaitl. But Archibald has some skill and is 2-1 goals in 42 minutes with LD this season (48 percent expected goals). Thoughts?

I suggested this yesterday and talked about it on the Lowdown. I know being critical of Oilers management is a national sport and I know much of that has been earned over the last 15 years. That said, I think being fair should be part of any conversation. Did the Oilers make an offer that Buffalo accepted, and Hall refused? Don’t know. We do know that the plot thickens.


At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we discuss Edmonton’s one move and lack of activity beyond the acquisition of Dmitry Kulikov. My views on him are at The Athletic this morning. We’ll welcome Jason Rogers (Washington Capitals reporter) on the day after a massive actual hockey trade involving the Caps, and Corey Masisak from The Athletic to talk about Kulikov and what he brings. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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One more time.

The AA trade was a fantastic trade for Holland.

AA was scoring at top-6 rates prior to the trade. He’s scoring at top-6 rates with LAK. The only time he didn’t score at top 6 rates is when Tippett decided not to play him in his top-6. If Tippett won a play-in round against the worst qualifying team in the WC, his decision-making would be less suspect. But he didn’t. He’s nearly a decade removed from his last playoff round win.

AA was a much better top-6 bet than 2 second round picks. A team can expect to convert a second round forward pick into a top-6 player once every 11 years (if I remember correctly). Quick, name the one (!) Oiler second round forward pick since 1990 (!) who scored at top-6 rates for his career. Lander? Pitlick? Hamilton? Moroz? JFJ? Chorney? Winchester? Laraques? Stoll comes close but not quite. You can count him if you like. You’d still end up with 2 top-6 forwards in a little under 30 years of picks if you leave Benson and our recent selections out of it. Two second round picks ups a team’s chances of finding a top-6 forward to once every 5 years.

Meanwhile, a player like AA, who had scored at top-6 rates up to age 25 (at the time of the trade) was better than an even bet to continue to score at top-6 rates for the next 2-3 years.

AA is one of around 90 forwards who’ve scored 30 or more goals in a season since he’s come into the league. Look up the other names on the list, let me know who other than AA was a poser. Even by the eye test, AA’s skill and goal scoring level was and is far above any other forward we’re looking to on our team for secondary scoring. Look up his LAK goals for instance. Here’s one:

Here’s another:

Tippett didn’t play the guy with skill. He played him with Sheahan and Archibald. I’m not sure that’s Holland’s fault. Now, maybe if he hadn’t signed Kassian to that contract a couple of months before the trade, when he had absolutely no reason to, he could’ve just waited, he’d have had the money to keep AA. Yep, that’s Holland’s fault. But Tippett’s usage, AA’s predictable results and lockdown economics made it hard for Holland to keep AA by the end.


Great analysis.


Scott Collen data up to 2013 says ~10.8% 2nd rounder turn into top 6 F or top 4 D (or better). For every 5 2nd rounder picks there is ~44% chance you found one (1-0.89^5) “2nd liner”.

Data is a little dated only cover up to lockout, after which new salary cap and no bury contract in the AHL forced many tweeners out of the league to open more roster spots for draftees). The percentage of drafee making 200 games increased substantially, but in theory the removal of tweeners has smaller affects higher up in the depth chart. Still, to ve taken with a grain if salt until newer data comes along.

Last edited 1 month ago by kelvjn

Athanasiou had some really nice moments. IIRC, he hit a post in one of his earlier games and also had some really nice rushes.

The only forwards on this team who can reliably gain the zone with speed are 97, 29, and maybe Haas, though the latter can’t do much once he’s there. Nuge has fallen off a bit in that area this season.

AA definitely could have helped in that department.

And as far as Kassian goes…did anyone here want him signed to that contract?

Even pre COVID that contract was an albatross in waiting.


Wasn’t he playing very poorly when he first started with Edmonton? Gave the puck away a couple of times in front of the net which resulted in lost games? That was why he got moved down from the top lines and Ennis got moved up.

I do agree with you though, AA was a very good pick up. He would have been better value than Kassian for that contract

Last edited 1 month ago by Dac189
Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Not a word out of place. Not a single one.


Agree. You also have to consider the impact of the pandemic. There was no scenario Holland envisioned where AA was a rental.

He struggled a bit upon arrival, then got the league got shut down so he had no time to adjust and then playins where he didn’t play much top 6.

But even with that struggle, in a normal economic climate Holland signs the asset for his QO and he plays this year. He either fits in or he’s moved for another asset.

It took some balls for Holland to walk away from AA knowing it would cement that trade as a deadline disaster.


Gotta say. Feels like this deadline was the calm before Kenny’s storm.

I think between prospects making the team and Kenny making serious moves; this Oilers team WILL look a lot different in OCT.

Harpers Hair

Free agency is when GM’s make the biggest blunders.

Will be fascinating to watch.


Of course, the off-season is more than free agency.

Harpers Hair

So, you’ve got the draft and free agency and then what exactly?

Do you think Holland will be moving the draft picks he doesn’t have because he pissed them any for players?

What is your strategy?


Buyouts and trades…

90s fan

Signing ufa’s can be risky business, (your own or others) but it kind of needs to happen eh?

Harpers Hair

This coming offseason, there will be many valuable players without a chair when the music stops.

The question then becomes “how much do you trust the Oilers’ pro scouting department?”

Harpers Hair

Worth noting…they thought Kahun was a top 6 forward when some old fool insisted he wasn’t.


They thought he was the best available candidate to fill that role for under $1M. That’s about all we can say.


I don’t think you are in a position to brag this year. You say every Oiler player will fail and every non-Oiler player will thrive.

Your definitely batting below the Mendoza line this year.


No legit top six forward is paid $1 mill in feee agency. Try harder.

Harpers Hair

So you sign Kassian for more than $3 million and then whine you can’t afford a top 6 forward?

Got it.


Joe Colborne says hi to the old fool !


That used to be the case, and will be the case again when the cap goes up, but there is real actual opportunities for the next couple years.

Harpers Hair

Only if you know what you’re doing.


Gravel with the empty netter (from the defensive zone) and its sealed.

Great job by the Condors to get the ice tilted back after the Eagles dominate the first 10 of the 3rd and tie it up.

The top line won this game.

Ooop, goalie gives it away behind the net and Hamlin buries it in to the empty net….. (not an “empty net goal” though).


Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Jay really has these guys playing some fine hockey.


and they do it again on the next shift….. top line breaks out of their own zone, Marody drops for McLeod who takes it to the slot, shoots, Marody drives the net and buries the rebound.

Benson, Marody, McLeod all with goals tonight.

4-2 Condors with 10 to go in the 3rd.


The fellas are chomping at the bit after seeing Holland’s deadline inactivity on the forward front.


Top line gets it right back.

Benson and Marody win a board battle, Marody takes the puck off the boards, makes a quick move to create space, dishes to Benson who walks to the slot and lazers one in.


Colorado pressure continues…. a solid shot leads to a rebound and they tie it up off the scramble.

Should be a fun finish if the Condors’ can get the ice tilted back.


Benson springs McLeod, yet again, for a dangerous break (a quick strike one on one) – McLeod forced around the net but tried a wrap – puck went dangerously through the slot.


Colorado comes out strong to start the 3rd – Skinner with a big save off a Deharnais turnover and a shot from the slot (no rebound) and then another solid save shortly thereafter.

After Skinner’s hot start, he had a short stretch of tough games but he’s been rock solid again for a while now.


Flames beat Toronto.

Flames now dreaming of sweeping Montreal and making the playoffs.



6 points back and having played 3 more games.

The -15 goal differential (to the Habs plus 12)………

The Nucks have a higher points percentage still.

Silly flames fans.


Love the highlights! Thanks OP


I wonder if it would make sense to approach a team like the Coyotes and offer to trade for someone like Clayton Keller if they retain half his salary. The Yotes free up $3.5 mill in cap, but then they have $3.5 mill in dead cap. Would this even be in interest to the Yotes? Would another team with another player be interested in something like this? Just trying to think of ways we could use our cap space next year.


While $7.1M is probably a bit high for Keller, over term of his contract, he’s probably value for that (he’s only 22).

Keller at $3.5M is a massive value and the acquisition costs would be massive I would expect.

Thankfully Holloway and Lavoie and McLeod (and Jesse) will be around over the next decade to balance off the Yamamoto/Keller hobbit convention..


Sometimes the Chemo makes me forget I became my fathers peer!
or what I did in the last 30 sec to 2 min but have later recall.


It is amazing that the best acquisition at trade deadline was the top ranked goal differential def dman Mette grabbed by OTT off waivers.

Having a father that was one of the top 5 minds in Orbit aerospace industry history was a tough standard to aspire to.

He loved his child: (he no longer knows how to walk, speak or go to the bathroom)

When I told him about my papers:
94/95: Predicted the enviro effect of move from glass plastic.
95/96: Full design pkg of closed cycle (0 polution)fluidized bed kiln power plant using most current recycling technology.
It made him smile!

When I showed him the theories and method of how I created my Final 4 champ roster proof ( thank VGK) he hugged me and used the words he only used on friends (the great minds in his industries) that is in readable work.

Due to Chemo their are times I achieved my biggest dream.
becoming one of my fathers peers!

Harpers Hair

Just awesome that you and your father shared those accomplishments Ricki.

All the best.


Next shift, an Eagle blows a tire in the defensive zone, puck pops out to Griffith on the side of the slot, across for Lavoie who one-times it for a 2-1 Condors’ lead.


Just after a PK, Benson causes a turnover at the Condor blue and makes a lovely stretch pass to send McLeod in all alone – backhand/shelf and the game is tied.


Griffith carrying the puck out of the defensive zone, falls (blew a tire) creating a quick 3 on 1 against – a bomb off the post leads to a scramble goal.

1-0 Eagles against the flow of play – its been all Condors.


I don’t get all the vitriol. I thought this was a very astute deadline. Edmonton is a top goal scoring team. LW is a hole but not near as much as our 2nd pairing D.
GF – 7th
GF/GP – 9th
Edmonton is also a mid level defensive team.
GA – 16th
GA/GP – 16th

Edmonton had basically no cap space, few draft picks and a summer coming with lots of flexibility.

Holland addressed the biggest weakness of the team (2nd pairing LD) for peanuts. Kulikov played against elites in Florida and NJ. He has very good underlying numbers playing 20+ minutes a night against top competition. This sets up a nice looking top 4.


The only way this could have looked better is if he could have unloaded an anchor contract like Neal, Kassian or Koskinen. He didn’t mortgage the future right before the window starts opening.


Heard this a few times today.

Kenny has no cap space or picks.

Yes, because Kenny spent his cap and sent picks away.

Kenny signed Kassian

Kenny signed Chaser.

Kenny signed Turris.

7 million

I have no problem with Kenny’s day yesterday.

But Kenny has been here for 2 years now.

Harpers Hair

How quickly they forget that the authored his own misery.


He’s made a couple mistakes but the biggest mistakes he has inherited. Many which come off this summer.


Turris is 1.65 and Chiasson is 2 aav. Even if they were replaced by 1 million dollar players that only frees up 1.65 million. A savings but not much.

The Kassian and AA trade were mistakes for sure but no GM has a perfect track record. Lastly how would doubling down on those mistakes by spending more assets to take on more cap help the situation?

I see his job in progressions.
Step 1 become an annual playoff team. I’d argue he achieved this in his first 2 years.

Step 2 become an annual contender, I would say this step begins this summer and coming season.

I’m sure when he inherited the team that was in cap hell he looked at this coming summer to make his mark. We will see after this summer how he does.


Turris signing was seen very positively here at the time IIRC
Chiasson has scored at an ok rate, he was a decent bet but overpriced.
I would have liked AA resigned but covid.
Chaser and Turris can mostly be burried.

***Kenny turned one of the worst teams in the league into a consecutive playoff team immediately.***
He did this without losing any big assets or signing Lucic-like contracts
We had Kassian, Lucic and Chiasson as the top 3 wingers when he came over! (again, IIRC)

Our 5th line now would have been our 2nd/3rd line then.

I am a bit worried about this offseason but so far he’s been the best GM we’ve had as long as I have watched hockey. You get rid of Holland, you probably get somebody worse next.


The Turris signing was probably viewed most favourably by the same people who viewed the Kassian contract favourably. And most of chiarelli’s moves.. etc

im not sure where the statement about getting rid of Holland means you’re going to get somebody worse. Are you aware of the last decade of his career???

our 5th line would have been our second or third line in the past?? In 16/17 we were over 50% in 5v5 goals for without McDavid on the ice.


The fifth line better than 2nd/3rd line was more in reference to when Holland took the job than the one good Chiarelli year.


In 16/17 we were over 50% in 5v5 goals for without McDavid on the ice.

Quick, name one other season (pre Holland obv) where the bottom 6, or the team as a whole for that matter, was over 50%GF.


There isn’t. That doesn’t change how ludicrous it is to imply that our 5th line this year would have been better than our second line prior to the Holland years. The best players in our top 6 were here prior to Holland. Caveat JP I guess, but he was here in 18/19 too.


i just thought it was not at all reasonable to use the lone winning season in the 13 before Holland arrived as a comparison point for the before years.


I hated the Kassian signing. I liked the Turris signing. It was a cheap bet at $1.65 for two years. You can bury all but 500K in the minors next year.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers were not a playoff team last season.


There is no sane way to discount the Oilers as being a playoff team – they finished the 70 game regular season 2nd in the division and 4th in the conference via points (5th in points percentage) with a massive gap over the non-playoff teams and a 95% (apx) change of making it.

A made-up play-in round does not discount the regular season they had.

Good grief.

Harpers Hair

Yes it does.

Teams play by the rules in any given season.

The Oilers did a face plant.


The rules that were changed 70 games in to the season?

By any rational discussion, the Oilers were a playoff team in the 2019/20 season.


Covid technicality… Doesn’t have any value when evaluating a team

Last edited 1 month ago by Dac189

This is an asinine statement, be better.


I love how many downvotes this has. Nothing about it is incorrect or a misrepresentation of the truth.

90s fan

Turris only costs 500 000 in cap from the taxi squad though right?


This is a misunderstanding of the “vitriol”.

Edmonton is 9th in GF/GP with…. the top two scorers, and Darnell Nurse leading the NHL in goals. The vitriol comes from fans who wanted to see secondary scoring addressed. Something fans have pleaded for since trading away a top line forward and a capable complementary top 6 winger consecutive summers.

Having more than one line capable of spending 50% or more of their time in the offensive end would help push that GD further North. Hopefully Kulikov helps address that from the back end.


I agree that Edmonton would benefit from a bona-fide top 6 LW, most teams would.

That being said the secondary scoring has been quite good this year and the dependence on the big 2 is about the same as any team with 2 superstars. Here is an article by Gregor arguing this exact thing with stats backing him up.


Did you read the article?

Our secondary scoring has not been quite good. 1.62 gf/60 sans Drai and McDavid. League average is generally 1.95-2.10 as per Wilde. Gregor with some galaxy brain rationalizing in that article.

“With stats to back it up” doesn’t mean those stats are descriptive of what’s happening. Also 2.71 GA/60 with the bottom six. Pretty brutal.


He’s just saying you can’t compare our bottom 2 lines to every other teams bottom 3 lines as that obviously would skew the results. McDavid and Drai usually play on different lines.


No he’s not?


Mcdavid viable minute wingers:
JP: 17-18 5evg 1.39 evg/60; 18-19 1evg .89/60; 20-21 6 evg .90/60
kassian: 18-19 8 evg 1.10/60; 19-20 14 evg 1.29/60;
Chaisson: 18-19 4 evg .79/60
RNH: 18-19 7 evg 1.00/60; 19-20 1 evg .70/60; 20-21 4 evg .60/60
Drai: 18-19 24evg 1.62/60; 19-20 13 evg 1.27/60; 20-21 8 evg 1.84/60
Yamamotto: 20-21 4 evg 1.57/60
Archibald: 19-20 4 evg 1.59/60; 20-21 3 evg 3.29

Kassian & Archibald need more Mcdavid minutes


Kassian does have 4 or so shot ATTEMPTS in his last dozen games (give or take)……


Of note the “Big 3” have apx 90% of their points at evens.


One thing I’m not enthused about is that Cracknell, Griffith, Joe G. and Malone are PP1 (with Gildon).

PP2 is “the big 3” with Lavoie and Lennstrom.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

Lavoie with a power move – takes a stretch pass in the neutral zone, wins an open ice battle and bulls towards the net – nice move but couldn’t finish.


Condors will roll out the same lineup as the weekend including Skinner as starter.

Harpers Hair

The Canucks have canceled tomorrow’s practice since they have only 10 healthy players available.

The earliest they might practice is now Thursday and that is in serious doubt.

The thinking now is that Friday’s game will be postponed.




After this year (maybe including this year depending on how things go), the Oilers may not play TOR or MTL in the playoffs in, I don’t know, maybe CMD’s grandchildren’s lifetimes. It seems super unlikely that two Canadian teams will ever meet in the Finals.

The Oilers will be playing in a watered down Pacific for the foreseeable future. Just one elite team to beat and its biological clock is ticking.

No idea if SEA becomes another VGK, but I think every other team is a basket case. Lots of road for the Oilers if things don’t work out this year.

Any extravagant moves made towards winning this year for non-contending teams (like the ones that play in the North) are off-tune because these teams have no real idea where they stand against the actual contenders, or how realistic their chances are outside of the division. TOR may be the best team in the North. They may be at their peak. They may also be the 10th best team in the NHL.

Harpers Hair

The Kings are far from a basket case.

All that prospect depth will surface very soon and it is spectacular.



Harpers Hair

It’s a worry…don’t think he’ll be around for the party.


Just in time for Kopitar and Doughty to fall off a cliff

Harpers Hair

Yeah..they’re performing at a high level and their replacements are already in house.

Exactly the way you want to transition to a new powerhouse.


But the “no-prospect” Condors have been more than holding their own against “highly touted prospect” Reign most of the season.

Harpers Hair


TheReign prospects are much younger….not unexpected.


Lias Andersson is 22
Tyler Maddden is 21
Akil Thomas is 21
Alex Turcoette is 20
Sean Durzi is 22

Yes, Kaliyev and Byfield are young but the other match-up age-wise with the likes of Laovie, McLeod, Benson and Kesslering

Harpers Hair

Good grief.

Andersson 22 (NHL)

Clague 22

Vilardi 21 (NHL)

Anderson-Dolan 21 (NHL)

Anderson 21 (NHL)

Madden 21

Kupari 21

Thomas 21

Fagemo 21

Bjornfot 20 (NHL)

Turcotte 20

Dudas 20

Kaliyev 19

Byfield 18


Lavoie 20

Kesselring 21

McLeod 21

Benson 23

A few of those LA prospects are already in the NHL (on merit) but those that aren’t outnumber the Oiler’s prospects by a wide margin and they have another couple of blue chip prospects coming in Helge Grans (18) and Brock Faber (18).

Obviously, not all of those prospects will make it but many will and most of them have higher upside than the players you mentioned.


Good Grief – read posts, slow down, stop making stuff up.

I never said anything about the Oilers’ prospects having the upside of the King’s prospects – I solely spoke to the comment about age.


Holloway – 19
Broberg – 19
Savoie – 19
Samorukov – 21

Settle down.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar
Decidedly Skeptical Fan

We have some pretty nice things at the AHL level too. It’s just that they are likely to surface with some other NHL team.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers best AHL players are all at their best before dates except McLeod who p projects as a third line centre.

The Kings have SIX centres with a higher upside.


Gonna agree with you on this one, Edmonton doesn’t have too many prospects in the AHL. Skinner, Tullio, Benson, Marody and Lavoie could still surprise.

Then again, Tippet did make a use for Prussell


What is Lavoie in the “could still surprise” group? He’s a rookie pro and is playing his 5th AHL game – and producing.

Lots of the Oilers’ top prospects are outside the AHL right now – Savoie, Holloway, Samorukov, Broberg


Oh, yeah. I kinda worded that wrong.

The fact our best prospects aren’t in the AHL is why I agreed with HH

Harpers Hair

Benson will be 24 next season.

Marody will be 25.

Skinner is only 22 but his AHL track record is not promising.

Still too early to make a call on the others but the Kings have better prospects in every position.


For sure, I don’t know that they ever make the jump but I’m sure as hell cheering for them. Plus, anything can happen.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dac189

So all your other bets failed and its now time to trumpet the Kings loud and long winded, a feeling the Kings are now going to end up just like the 2012-2016 dominate Minnesota Wild has washed over me.

The Reign are 2-3-1 against the horrendously awful Condors.

How is this possible? How can it be that all the Condors players are past their best before date when they’re all at least 10 years younger then Brogbar TAXI driving High giving Raggity.

FYI the Kings amazing 143 centers, all have to try and contend with 97 and 29 for the next decade. Easy task it should be for the 433 of em.

Yea McLeod projets as an extremely good 3rd line center with speed for days, it’s perfect how it lines up with the best 2 centers in the league, followed with a dcorps that is just as deep and just as ready to go as the Kings 986 centers.

This trumpet man stinks.

How come the Reign are dead last in the division? How come their winning percentage is a paltry 0.389?

How does the Reign not have a single double digit goal scorer yet? Or one player averaging a point per game? How come Mcleod would be their best player? He has 4 more goals then any Reign player, he has more points then any Reign player. And he’s played less games! 🚨 🚨 🚨 📢 Oilers have a future stud in the making alert.

Is McLeod another 1st line center on other teams playing for the Oilers because they have 97 and 29..

What a mountain of treasure this is.




LT: early in the life of the Lowetide I made a progression list of scoring a goal.
Pointing out the path to net elevation also mattered.
Referencing the short lived backboard ball contact chart.
saying we needed an elevation chart for shots.

Not ready to point out Open and closed shots cause people thought High danger shot area was not real.

If you shoot the puck into the goalie you do not score goals.


Condors in action in a hour.

Tulio was released from his amateur tryout.

Todd Macallan

Disappointed that Tullio didn’t get any game action but at least he got to practice w/ NA pros and maybe more importantly w/ coach Woodcroft. Hopeful he get get into some form of OHL games but not overly optimistic.

Dee Dee

If the standings end up about the same as now I see it as a plus for the Oilers.

Toronto plays Montreal and historically Montreal does quite well against them.
Oil plays the Jets and historically do quite well against them.

Second round Montreal-Oilers is a better than the Leafs, and historically bodes well for the Oil.

Anything can happen sure, but I am happy with that route.


What far too many seem to grasp in this deadline, as in life, there are not just two options (left or right, up or down), there is a third option – straight.
In this case, buy, sell, or stand pat.
Holland etal obviously see value in trying to win a playoff round, but don’t like their chances with Toronto and beyond. He didn’t sell – they have “a chance”, but didn’t mortgage anything major into next year to go all in for a cup.
Straight ahead.


It was the right call, I think everybodies emotions get the best of them at these times but I can see it turning more positive around draft time when we have some assets available for real help. Hopefully Holland does his part.


Re: Suggested Lines

I noticed that Yamomoto is listed as a RW/C in some places.

RNH- Yamomoto- Puljujarvi
Driasaitl- McDavid- Kassian

I don’t like the idea of taking Puljujarvi off of his stick side yet- the simple game he’s playing is good for now.


Last edited 1 month ago by MrEd

Yamamoto has taken a grand total of 3 faceoffs in the NHL, winning only one. He’s a RW.

Harpers Hair

Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) Tweeted:
A lot of Canucks players had ugly symptoms, will have only skated a couple times before they hit the ice to play games on Friday *and* Saturday. They’ll have been off the ice for 2.5 weeks.

This is going to be awful. Players are going to get hurt.

Harpers Hair

BuckFoston (@BuckFoston_) Tweeted:
Sekeres says Quinn Hughes had the roughest go with Covid. He had to use an IV, lost body weight. #canucks


It’s probably going to be a pretty demoralizing stretch for them, trying to recover while probably getting lit up. I think it’s a good example of why Holland was wise not to do too much this deadline, you never know if this happens to another team come playoff time. Shitty situation for the Nucks.

Harpers Hair

The only upside is they will likely be forced to play their prospects so can find out what they have.
But hardly an ideal way to break in young players.


They’re exactly in the position they were predicted to be before the season started

Bag of Pucks

The Holland plan seems pretty clear.

1) Avoid the boat anchor contracts of the past like Lucic, Ference, Koskinen, etc. and self inflicted cuts like cap buyouts. I’d call this “keeping your owner happy.”

2) Draft and develop down the middle with D, C and occasionally G. A key win in going homegrown with these high demand positions is cost and scarcity of these assets on the open market.

3) Bandaid the Ws for the time being with Euro leaguers, bargain castoffs, and college FAs.

4) Build a stable and consistent culture where the core expectation to make the dance every year at bare minimum.

5) Eventally use the emerging D & C depth to balance the W gaps.

I don’t mind this plan in theory, but in application, we have to stay mindful of the key dependencies. Chief among these is you have to demonstrate the ability to retain your key veteran trade chips for the eventual roster rebalancing to follow. In this model, players like RNH and Larsson have to be retained so you can eventally leverage them as the key trade chips to secure certain production on the Ws.

If both those players along with Barrie walk in the offseason, you’re not executing to the plan to build surplus tradeable depth. You’re just turning over the roster through natural attrition.

A patient rebuild is all well and good in theory but it simply doesn’t work in reality if 3 vets walk after the season just so we could have a short playoff run to ‘build the culture’ and are then forced to go shopping at current market prices for unproven fits.

To be fair, retaining the stars has been the primary challenge for this org since the Gretzky sale so I’m relunctant to lay this problem at Ken’s feet. But it does have me agreeing with some posters suggesting a more rapid rebuild strategy may have been better suited for this market.

Can Ken retain his FAs? If yes, slow and steady wins the race. If he can’t, he’s just building a cost effective and somewhat competitive feeder system for the rest of the league.


Holland oversaw a top notch Red Wings organization that held onto their best players through their entire careers. He managed the JP situation right. He’s always talking about organizational stability. I’m not willing to put blind faith in him, but I’m cautiously optimistic that he’ll get players to stick around. He needs to build a team that can win consistently (including in the postseason), and while there are promising signs he has tons of work to do.

Stability isn’t created by letting RNH and Larsson go and desperately finding replacements. I think he finds a way to make keep at least 2 of our UFAs while still upgrading the wings in a meaningful way. I doubt he can make this a team that competes with the Avs or Lightning in a meaningful way, but if he can make meaningful improvements every season we should be watching a powerhouse in short order…or at least I hope.

Scungilli Slushy

The key is to not be in the situation where UFAs walk.

Any team that doesn’t want a rebuild can’t keep all the top players as they age out.

The exception might be if they sign low.

Otherwise you deal them for high firsts or emerging talent.

Or it’s rebuilding.

I vote for dealing. If Holland had been in 3 or 4 years I would want him to have dealt Nuge.

Not because Nuge isn’t our favourite, because he’s redundant on how the team has developed and is marginalized on this roster. Not great for him either career wise.

Players want Cups, but they are rare in these times. They also want key roles and to play a lot.

With the Dynamic Duo that limits everyone else in the forward group.


I’m surprised to see so many around the Oilerverse being upset with Holland’s TDL. I’d love for him to have added a top 6 winger and a #3C with quality but I just don’t see how you make the money work at this point and was counting on a quiet deadline. A lot of teams are pretty tight to the cap so moving guys out with big paychecks to create room is tough as well, look at the cap loophole gymnastics Toronto had to go through just to add Folignos 5.5 M hit.
And the move Holland did make was one that I think is a very smart one since Kulikov is a far better player than what most people think and improves the back end a lot by adding a guy who can win top 4 minutes and gives Larsson a partner who can both defend and move the puck. So you don’t have to play either a guy who can’t move the puck in Russell/Lagesson or a guy who can’t really defend in Jones. It has the chance to be an extremely impactful move if Kulikov ends up a fit. For a nothing cost.

To be fully honest I’m not a massive fan of going all in on deadline day as is so I do carry some bias towards the smaller between the cracks moves and prefer bigger moves to be made during the off season. So that could be why I’m not overly upset either.
To maximize value it’s probably smarter to trade away picks during the draft when they have their peak value(and instead add them during the deadline when teams are desperately trying to keep up in the arms race).

Material Elvis

Heed the Swede.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I am neutral on the Kulikov acquisition. I like the player, the fit and the cost but you need a top 6 winger or a 3C and a Koski upgrade to really move the needle for this team. I think Holland tried hard to get Hall but it just wasn’t going to happen. But not for lack of effort.


We may need Kulikov next year


If this organization needs to add a 31 year old LHD to the massive pile of D – we are in much bigger trouble than we thought.


Massive pile?
Klef is injured who knows if he’s back
Jones probably goes to Kraken
Lagesson is not even a 3rd pairing D
Russell is more of a fill in for injury
Samurokov coming off a big injury
Broberg probably needs to play some in Bakersfield.

if Klef can’t play I don’t see a single person on the list that can play in that 2nd LhD spot
might need a guy to step in for a year


Hopefully Samorukov or Klefbom will be ready by next training camp but there is definitely reason to be cautious.


Nurse already plays half a game to himself.
( almost Pronger like)

Klefbom is 27 and I am fairly confident he will be back next season.
( nothing in life is 100% certain of course)

That leaves:

Kris Russell
Caleb Jones
William Laggeson

Complete an organizational LW depth chart now.


This is a short term requirement. Jones lacks the experience and Russel struggles at times as well. We also had no back up for left D if either of them got hurt due Koekkoek on ir and Niemelainen currently injured.


I don’t disagree….it is short term.


The Oilers need someone to break in Bouchard on the 3rd pair. Kulikov might be able to fill that role.


Needs and wants there is a difference. We want an upgrade on wing which is cheaper band better filled in the summer. The real need at this time is exactly what Holland filled which is for the short term a top four Left D. Jones and Russel are not getting the job done adequately.

Harpers Hair

How many picks did Holland acquire?

Remember he has no first, second or fourth rounds picks in the upcoming draft.

Was no one in the league interested in the bevy of bottom 6 forwards or D that Tippet won’t play?

Todd Macallan

He has no 1st, 2nd or 4th in this year’s draft eh? Uh oh, someone check on Pierce.

Last edited 1 month ago by Todd Macallan
Harpers Hair

Oops..should be second, third and fifth.

Point still stands.


Why would you sell at the deadline when you’re in a playoff spot?
I can imagine that going over real well in the locker room

Harpers Hair

By not adding, the Oilers effectively rolled over and are content with a round or two (at best).

By not selling, they effectively make the task much harder than necessary next season.

I urge you to re-read the first paragraph of Lowetide’s post today.

Half pregnant.


You keep pulling your own pants down and everyone keeps laughing again.

Bank Shot

Your pointy head. lol


oh another wrong statement… I’m shocked 😉



Nothing was done yesterday to improve next years team.

Harpers Hair

Good GMs think more than one season ahead.

The organization has obviously soured on Jones, for example.

I’d guess they could have got a second for him.

With all sorts of cover coming at that position and the obvious ease of finding a replacement (see Kulikov), you have to ask why Holland sat on his hands.


You just make stuff up to fit your anti-Oiler narrative.


Teams in playoff positions rarely if ever move players for draft picks.

Harpers Hair

Holland waved the white flag in his comments yesterday and I’m pretty sure his players were paying attention.

If, as Holland admitted, the Oilers are not contenders, then he should have maximized the value of his assets whether they be surplus at some positions or players on expiring contracts.

Go back and look at how Sakic managed to draft both Cale Makar and Bowen Byram.

It’s a lesson in playing chess.


Somehow you not having a clue is the least surprising thing ever
Ahllevel troll




Not a fan of going all in – I think carries a slight majority in here.

But what does going ‘partially’ in do for the team, though?

It is April 13th, Kulikov will be an Oiler for a few weeks here.

How impactful can that be?

Unless you are thinking the Oilers might bet interested in signing a soon to be 31 year old LHD – in the summer?

Harpers Hair

If Kulikov had another year on his deal it would have been acceptable because he could be exposed in the expansion draft but he doesn’t.

Other wise, it’s pointless.


That’s what Russell is for


My god – a GM does not have to choose between two extremes, going “all in” or selling off any expiring contract.

Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg, Carolina.

My god – the Jets have struggled against the Oilers today and added Jamie Benn – that’s all. The Oilers improved more than the Jets did. Fire Chevy!


I think it’s a cost efficient add, anyone in a playoff position wants to get better, Kulikov makes a D group where everyone has dropped the ball as LHD behind Nurse better. Solidifying the D gives the team a better chance to be competitive come playoff time. Guys who can handle 20+ minutes against a steady of dose of elite competition can be very impactful.

I do think there’s a middle ground between going all in and selling/throwing the playoffs. Especially when there’s very little cap room to maneuver.

Can’t say that any team, outside of Boston if Hall can hit his stride, did anything that significantly improves their team tbh. The Isles I guess. Toronto made a lot of meh moves outside of Foligno and not convinced his impact ends up all that major.


At this point you have to cut the cord with Nuge – McDavid. They’re the hot couple with no discernible love or chemistry.

I was willing to be patient with the hope that some semblance of chemistry would develop, but it ain’t working.

Nuge thrives at evens when he’s playing a give-and-go type game. Not just with the DRY line, but back in the day with Hall and Eberle as well.

With 97, 93 is basically a glorified mucker. He is being totally wasted in that spot.

Material Elvis

Georges provided the data to back that up. That duo just doesn’t work. And McDavid puts up less offense with Nuge, too.


Oh, there has been a few people, including LT, pointing out Ryan’s work with McDavid.

It is April 13th, and Ryan Nugent Hopkins still only has been credited with 1 primary assist this year. ( 5 on 5)

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

The cord is cut when Tipp says it’s cut. Love and chemistry matter when Dave says they matter. The same goes for data/analytics. Tipp doesn’t need no stinking data.


Nuge skated before the group today. When Tip spoke he said he’ll get an update on if he’ll join the group for tomorrow’s skate.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

You are not going to change Tippett … he is what he is. You either accept the fact that he is a Denver Boot for this team moving forward or you send him on his way. Maybe you can trade him to the Kracken for a draft pick.

I would look internally to Jay Woodcroft. Todd Nelson would also get strong consideration and I have always been a fan of Gerard Gallant. Not sure if Gallant would come here. All three represent an improvement over Tipp. There may be others.

As for GM, Holland is a big improvement over Chia … full stop. Not sure where you go to get an improvement over Holland.

Last edited 1 month ago by Decidedly Skeptical Fan
90s fan

We are the ficklest fans ever. We have had 1 coach survive his second year since who knows when.

And now we want Tippet gone after 2. Why? Because the winningest year since who knows when is just too awful to bear.

And for some of us the “fire the mall” mentality creeps back in. Has the decade of darkness reprogrammed us?

Can we still blame Lowe?

Last edited 1 month ago by 90s fan

Ya. I don’t get the Tipp hate. Can anyone really argue the team’s record is underperforming its roster construction?



We have been comfortably in the playoffs both seasons Tippet has been the head coach. In the ~30 years I have watched the Oilers, the only other season I recall a comfortable playoff position is 2016-17. I know there was one year where we were the 6 seed in the early 2000s (and still ended up drawing goddamn Dallas), but I don’t think we had clinched with more than maybe 2 games to spare.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Fair enough. Let’s see if you all are singing the same tune as Tipp continues to do Tipp things for the remainder of the season and we exit in the first round … once more. Then again, maybe Tipp wins coach of the year and I finally STFU. Right now I’m liking my odds.

Scungilli Slushy

I’m not all in on Tipp. But I would say he mostly coaches to his roster. Holland appeared to have provided more top 6 scoring, but it didn’t pan out, and other than Tipp avoiding the DRY line there weren’t a ton of great options.

He is also trying to get Kassian acclimated left wing to play top 6. So with that he is moving to shake thinks up a bit even if slow. And the players said pre some season they were tired of the constant blender.

So a lot of balls in the air. It’s all on Holland at this point post season. Plugged holes and a healthy team is when Tipp can be evaluated fairly and for me that needs to be next season.

Or I will have another tantrum and vow unkeepable vows.


The coach isn’t great, but he is acceptable. There are things I don’t like, but if he were a real problem, you would have heard about it by now! -).

Tippett is on the clock though. Next season, it is final four or bust.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

As per the norm, your response is well reasoned and I largely agree. I just hate to burn yet another Connor/Leon year before we realize that Tipp is not a finals caliber coach. And then next season when we fail to win more than one playoff round, there will be a litany of excuses as to why coaching wasn’t the problem.

Why is it that the discussion is always about making incremental improvements to the roster but rarely do we discuss the benefits of the same to management/coaching? Do we need a tire fire before we make any moves? In my business, I am always looking for improvement … not just employees but management as well. I am a strong advocate of turning over the bottom performing 5% to 10%. It’s not possible to make all great hires.

Amateur scouting appears strong based on recent drafts. Prospect development looks to be a strength as well based on the quality of players matriculating to the NHL. I would argue that pro scouting and coaching appear to be areas of weakness that could be and should be improved. There are no salary cap restriction here to prevent you from improving the organization like there are for player acquisition. The truly good organizations are completely free to make themselves better.


I liked Tippett as a player and a coach but not having the Yamo Leon and Ryan combo is a unsolved mystery. Nuge and Connor do not mix they look terrible together. Why does he continue to deploy this line and why is Bouchard not playing.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

They are making RNH earn (or not) a big contract extension, and so far he has played his way into a pay cut. But I expect DRY will miraculously appear in the playoffs.

Perhaps a better question might be why CMD has no chemistry with anyone except another top 5 player in the world? I’d give CMD two big hounds who can make room for his solo dashes, forecheck and clean up the garbage from the chaos he creates. Kass and JP seem to fit best on the current roster.


It was not not putting DRY together. Rather, it is between DRY and the CMD line who gets Nurse-Barrie and who is stuck with Lagesson-Larsson or Russell-Bear or Jones-Bear or Jones-Larsson or Russell-Larsson.

One of these defensive pairing is not like the others.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

That’s right. But a Larsson/Bouchard pairing might be effective with a DRY or CMD line. Too bad we can’t find out with 14 relatively meaningless games left to go.

Last edited 1 month ago by Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Yeah, Jones-Larsson might be the strongest one.


The Nuge Draisaitl Yamamoto line were just great last year before there was such a thing as Nurse Barrie so your argument is moot!
The complete love affair with Barrie is beyond my comprehension. Personally the only reason it works is because of Nurse who gets little of the credit. He played with very good offensive players in Toronto and they were willing to let him walk. In fairness Nurse has learned some offensive tricks playing with Barrie. Barrie at his current cap is full value.


Exactly JP and Kass can open up the ice and Mcdavid can hog the puck all the way to the conference final. Why can we see it but Tippett can’t?


Except Kass plays like a china doll nowadays and does not ‘materially’ open up the ice.


The Oilers are obviously waiting for next year, hoping they can maybe win a series or get a crack at Toronto.

I also love the storyline of Toronto being awesome in the regular season then losing to the Oilers in the playoffs. Toronto’s goaltending is questionable IMO. Sure Campbell has been on a heater but he’s unproven. Anderson has gone MIA under some mysterious injury. Their deadline hedge was to bring in David “Headbutt” Rittich to let in some softies. Meh. They didn’t really need forward depth, but they added multiple forwards.

I work with a Toronto fan and we were talking about potential of winning a cup during the pandemic. He said them winning it this year would be the “Leafiest” thing every – they can win the cup but no fans can celebrate it in person.

I’m fine with the Oilers waiting until next year. They just need to make some noise this summer.


This Toronto team has the makings of a devastating early exit.
Ive never heard of a 4 headed goalie monster


Praying for the great s$%$ing of the underpants. Make the Toronto metro management and media squirm.


Interesting line combinations stemming from the analysis.

I don’t think CMD and KY have had a goal go in this year without Leon on the ice. (They’ve given up 2 it looks like.) The two together scored at a 1.69 GF60 rate in 177 minutes in the 3 years prior to this (vs. 2.03 GA60). So, no history of offensive success by themselves either. Throwing JP into that mix is… bold.

Last season, in 128 minutes without KY, RNH and Drai scored 2.33 GF60 (against 3.26 GA60). With him, they scored 5.29 GF60 (against 1.51 GA60… we all weep). In the 3 prior years, the two played 271 minutes together and scored 3.09 GF60. Not bad, but the GA60 was 3.31.

I’d estimate that Archibald isn’t a past, current, or future top-6 player.


We all weep indeed.


Maybe it’s time to give Khaira a shot in the top 6. It might be putting him in over his head. But he’s been over performing the 3rd line C position, thankfully. He’s gotten 70% defensive zone starts. 70%! 11 points in 31 games with 70%DZS%. Impressive. Although, the competition wouldn’t have been top 6 and top 4 most of the time. He’d be at 15 points with that pace over the full 42 games, tied with Puljujarvi and Khaira’s playing with linemates who can’t score most of the time. Maybe even as Draisaitl’s C. When Nuge is healthy, then maybe Nugent-Hopkins/Khaira/Puljujarvi is the ticket. With Draisaitl/McDavid/Yamamoto on the top line. Drai has chemistry with both McDavid and Yamamoto. Nugent-Hopkins and Khaira had a very brief stint together a couple years back and, if I recall correctly, they had some chemistry, and Nugent-Hopkins spoke highly of Khaira at the time. Maybe it’s time they got a chance together again.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jaxon

I understand why you might argue that. But given that he’s consistently succeeding in his present role for the first time in his career, I’d be tempted to leave him be, give him a pat on the back and say “Good Jujhar. Keep on keeping on!”.


I can’t really argue with that logic. But he also might appreciate the recognition and opportunity.


JJ has been given a role and he is comfortable in that role. Part of the reason he struggled before was constantly being moved around and playing with different line mates. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. That is my chagrin with Tippett breaking up the Nuge Draisaitl Yamamoto line.


Playing Khaira and RHN together likely turns the line into a dedicated 2 way checking line because there will be no one else left to take the hard minutes to neutralize the opposition big gun. Think Marchant /Grier/Moreau usage.

In usage this is more like demoting RHN to 3rd line than promoting Khaira to 2nd line.


Since it seems to be pretty popular among the commentators to postulate that this summer is the first *real* test for Ken Holland, what kind of moves are we all hoping will be made? The holes that existed last year are still the same holes we have now. Who are some good targets?

Brandon Saad is a guy I’d love as a UFA, but you’re probably paying for his decline. There’s a few attractive RFA’s I’d love to see Kenny make a deal for.

Wonder Llama

Zach Hyman
Blake Coleman
Mike Hoffman
Jakub Vrana
Tomas Tatar


KH should hard target Hyman, Coleman and Tatar. for the 2nd line LW.


I don’t know the league and who’s available well enough but in terms of positions.

Buyout Neal
Expensive, veteran 3C
1A goalie
Nuge 5M, Khaira
Kahun, Ennis, Chiasson, 1 mill or less.
Try to trade Kassian to a team that wants to get tougher.

Russel, Broberg, Samorukov

I would leave it at that.
If you want to go crazy, trade JP or KY for a prime RW. Though I think they’re worth more long term.
Extra trade pieces: 1st, Jonesy, laggy, Sammy. Bensy, Marods.

Keep Holloway and McLeod.

See what else is available


I would switch Bear and Bouchard.


I like your thinking but I would have Samorukov on the no trade as he has a couple of skills that are hard to find. He has a mean streak to go with his skills which make him hard to play against. He also has a good deal of experience playing his off side.


I’m not sure about “no trade” but he is a tantalizing prospect given his broad range of skills – he is not sure bet to “make it” but also has a decently high ceiling if he puts a few of his assets together at the NHL level.

For me, he’s the Adam Larsson replacement as far as tough to play against defensive defender with, hopefully, a higher offensive/transition upside


Funny enough, I was going to ask you the opposite yesterday. What moves would you have made at this trade deadline 😀


When Holland chose Broberg over Trevor Zegras – making Broberg our
17th D prospect. I was given many assurances in here that this was just
the BPA strategy. Our GM was then going to convert 1 or 2 of the D prospects
into actual *scoring* forwards.

My personal laundry list:

It is not just about those names below – it is also about keeping Turris, Neal, Chiasson far , far away from our dressing room.



and, a year and a half later, Holland had to go rent Kulikov to push a 34 year old Kris Russell out of the top 4.

Both Jones and Lagesson are having uneven seasons and can’t keep a spot in the lineup, let alone 2nd pairing (and one is likely gone to Seattle this summer).

Klefbom may come back at some point next season and fully solidify that top 4 or maybe he never plays another pro hockey game…..

Samorukov has arrows straight up but the success in the KHL does not equate to success in the NHL – he may develop in to a legit top 4 or he may be a tweener – either way, his shoulder injury delays his arrival.

I’m quite happy the org has Broberg in the group.


That is the thing about the press box, tough to get experience there.

Caleb Jones ( ala Nurse’s first few years ) needs way more at bats and has been uneven for sure. But you see glimpses with him.

Its like déjà vu for a young talented. LHD.

Even the local media, finally, is asking about Bouchard being in the press box for so long. Worse, no plans to get him playing.
( I think Bruce said it was 6 weeks with no action)

5 alarm fire raging on the forward front.

By all means – rent a LHD for a few weeks.

John Chambers

If the best trade opportunity was a 1st + Benson or Samorukov for Rackell, would you have made this trade?

On one hand I’d love nothing more than to have a skilled LW to enable 97 and 29 to drive highly productive lines. For the incredible season the duo have put together, they deserve some help.

On the other hand Rackell (and other available LW’s) doesn’t even prorate to score 20 goals / 82 this year, and may be only an incremental improvement over Benson. First round picks can be pretty useful and I can’t think of an Oilers draft since 2006 where they’d have been better off having traded it for deadline help.

But for Pete’s sake – get Benson into the lineup to try something other than the status quo at LW!


Great question. But like Taylor Hall in Buffalo – is it Rackell’s C’s or linemates that are
holding him back? ( I don’t know just asking)

Completely on your page – something needs to change at the LW spot.


I can’t be on board with a line deployment that has Archie in the top 6. I think hurt both the top 6 and the bottom 6. It reduces the player’s effectiveness.

This will not be popular but I’d rather give Turris a shot in the top 6 RW and keep Archie where he is most effective (including reduced 5 on 5 minutes to help him continue to play his rambunctious style and PK).


Kyle can’t keep up – period. Exposing him to the top 6 would be lethal.

I am not advocating Archie in the top 6 really but we do need a change….


4.68 P/60 in over 200 minutes with McDavid – that is something else.

I still think they need to be on separate lines starting pretty much every game (in particular if Nuge is not available).

Edit: Reading further down, 5.2 P/60 is even more something else.

Doesn’t change my opinion on playing them apart.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

Or if it was strategy such as blitz to gain a first period lead then separate and trap to hold the lead.


That is what McClellan tried….

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

If we didn’t have to wrongly forfeit that 3rd rd pick this year in the Neal/Lucic trade, we would have been better equipped to take a swing at a forward yesterday too.


I still don’t understand how at the most it wasn’t decided to give Calgary a compensatory pick for “exceptional circumstances” and let them both have a 3rd round pick.
It happens for unsigned first rounders doesn’t it? Surely this would have been an even more appropriate situation to award one.


When you have Burke Buttons Hrudey and Cassie who all made and make huge bucks in Calgary who were all lobbying for the pick on a national scale. I ask was it really that surprising that Gary gave the Flames a break and awarded the 3rd rounder when Neal was injured to boot.


The reason, much like the Saturday game being scheduled is simply Because Oilers….

Harpers Hair

Andy Eide (@AndyEide) Tweeted:
As expected, no Memorial Cup this year


Bob Stauffer


Neal/Ennis-Turris-P Russell

RNH not on ice

This. This is why we’re annoyed that there was no effort to acquire a forward.


Does overpaying for one forward polish this turd enough for you?


Honestly, yeah. The only thing worse than being two injuries away from Gaetan Haas in your top 6 is being one injury away.


Why do you assume it would be an overpay?

i suggest the Oilers past poor performance prejudices you against a trade. If Yzerman was at the helm you would be prejudiced the other way.


Trading for players with term left is called an offseason move at this point in the season for a reason.
The only player with term that was traded was Mantha and i can’t imagine the price from our end given that we would need a salary dump and Vrana is hardly a salary dump.
If in offseason he doesn’t address this issue I’ll have a problem with Holland but not this season

Material Elvis

How do you know that there was no effort made to acquire a forward? A lack of execution does not indicate a lack of effort.


I’m going off Holland’s press conference where he angrily dismissed any question related to him acquiring a forward and said it wasn’t really explored.


Holland never said he didn’t explore acquiring a forward – he said he wasn’t in on Taylor Hall specifically.

Material Elvis

I just had a chance to listen to his press conference. To paraphrase him, he had some discussions about forwards, not impact forwards, but forwards.


You make a good point. I have all kinds of time for effort.

But again at some point you have be at least a threat to score. (Or obtain a winger)


The Oil definitely need a true 1LW


If this was 2014-15, that 5th line would be a stellar 2nd line…


Lines today per Stauffer:

Neal/Ennis-Turris-P Russell

RNH not on ice


This is awful.

97 and 29 do not need another roamer getting in the way. Kassian can stand in front of the net just fine, freeing up Jessie to carry the puck on another line.


Hobbits, being paged on Line 2….Hobbits Line 2.


Presently I’m not giving Holland a passing grade.

i can understand his limitations at the deadline and be very disappointed at the same time.

Holland kept mentioning the team record and reminding everyone the goal is to be in the playoffs every year. Hard to argue that.

But Ken, what have you accomplished in regards to team building? You have 2 offensive monsters carrying a bottom feeder team.

Your first moves of last off season were to resign Nygard, Russel and Haas.

Barrie chose to come here, you didn’t go get him.

What else you got? Salvaged Jessi P? Sure, but you also gave him no choice.

Kahun? Kassian? Smith was a high risk bet, there is that.

Holland plays like Pat Russel. No major mistakes but doesn’t get much done.

Im not giving up on Holland yet. I’m waiting for him to do something creative. Something sneaky. Use his experience to win some trades, use waiver wire, college signings, pump

No matter that I understand his limitations, the job at 5m/year is to improve this team and there is really no excuse not to have procured some wingers in some significant way.


I think an F is pretty harsh but a C is fair. He hasn’t fucked it up, but he really hasn’t done anything creative to speed up the process. We haven’t seen a trade like the Sakic trade for Toews.


I remember some long discussions back in 2015. They were about the worst outcome was the team reaching mediocrity and then just rolling on in that ho-hum world.

i also remember so many posters counting cups, the discussion just around how soon and how many.

The management team got us here after 5.5 years. It’s not too much to demand some performance accountability from management. They can make their own excuses. But seems they don’t have to as fans are making excuses for them.

I did say I have not given up on Holland yet but as LT sayings go…..he’s running out of track.


Running out of track??
He hasn’t had any cap flexibility since he got here

Harpers Hair

Dubas didn’t have any cap flexibility since Holland was hired either.

But then he added:












I guess tracks in Edmonton must be a lot longer.


I don’t really see how we are giving Holland a pass for that when he is extending Chiasson, Khaira, Kassian, Arch. Chose not to buyout James Neal (he’s damn close to 5.75mill of dead money as is right now). Bought out Sekera.


x 1000

This was pointed out the day Kassin and Chaser signed.


Kassian 3.2 Million
Chaser 2.15 Million
Turris 1.65 Million

That is 7 Million dollars.

Many, many, many people – literally pointed this out on Kassian and Chaser at the time.


This is fair.

Holland has to improve the team this off-season. They can’t keep waiting for “next season.”

“Next season” always has its own set of problems and its Holland’s job to solve them, be creative and get this team over the hump.


Agree we should have had better results at 3C and LW this year. To me the good part of Holland’s legacy so far is not loosing Jesse for pennies, Broberg, Holloway, and Savoi. Not sure how much influence he has on drafting but he is GM so he gets credit.

This team is setup to be very good in the near future if we can find good options at 3C and LW and we have cap space. The trick is to not commit a Lucic. I will be happy if we can avoid that outcome. All high risk bets should be short term.


Zegras was hanging on the tree ripe ready to be plucked instead he goes on a raw project. He could of had a top 6 winger internally for under a million playing as we speak.


Yeah. And anyone with an understanding of the teams strengths and weaknesses knew an F was prudent to take

Litke 94

Lots of talk recently about the Oilers missing out on an opportunity this year to win the Cup, so just for fun, I did some crude research on how recent teams have won their Cups compared to their recent playoff history. Specifically looking at how many playoff attempts they needed between their Cup win and the last time they spent consecutive years out of the playoffs.

If the Oilers were to win the Cup this year, they would be bucking a recent trend of teams winning after several runs.

Tampa’s win last year was their 6th playoff attempt in 7 years. St.Louis, 7th attempt in 8 years. Washington, 10th attempt in 11 years. (Interestingly, all three teams threw in a missed playoff year during their string of attempts)

The Penguins took 7 attempts in 7 years to win their Cup in 2016, but of course repeated in 2017.

This year will be the 2nd playoff attempt for the Oilers in 2 years. We have to look back at 2010 Chicago (2nd try in 2 years after several years of suck), 2012 LA (3rd try in 3 years after several years of suck), and the 2009 Pens (3rd try in 3 years after a few years of suck) to see the type of quick turnaround for the Oilers to win either this year or next.

Keeping with current trends, these teams have the current build of multiple attempts to win: Avalanche – 4th attempt in 4 years, Golden Knights – 4th attempt in 4 years, Leafs – 5th attempt in 5 years, and the Islanders – 4th attempt in 6 years but did have 2 consecutive playoff misses in that span.

Leafs have the longest streak of that group, but lack one element when compared with Tampa/Washington/St.Louis/Pittsburgh… not a single attempt past the first round in 5 years.


Great post. The context of the path to the promised land is often lost in the weeds.


Tampa’s win last year was their 6th playoff attempt in 7 years. St.Louis, 7th attempt in 8 years. Washington, 10th attempt in 11 years. (Interestingly, all three teams threw in a missed playoff year during their string of attempts)

The Penguins took 7 attempts in 7 years to win their Cup in 2016, but of course repeated in 2017.

A slightly different way of looking at this could be as a measure of what Holland has stated he’s trying to build: a team that makes the playoffs every season and gives themselves a lot of chances at the cup.


Hall is a tough player to play with, he plays like a centre on offence and needs the puck. Maybe as he ages he turns into more of a complete player. I’m not sure he would have chemistry with Leon. Only 1 puck.


Didn’t Leon and Hall have good chemistry when they played together? I recall them really clicking and all of the

“Leon was brought up too soon, he has to perform in the AHL first” talks died.

They are different players now but only for the better, I don’t think their style has changed that much. Leon still seems to prioritize playmaking and I don’t see Hall having changed much since he played with Leon.


Taylor Hall is great at getting the puck from point A to B and creating a bit of space with his speed. Draisaitl is a killer when you open up a bit of space for him and the other linemate.


Yes this is true as well. Which is why Drai and McDavid work well together.

Leon with space is a +50 goal scorer. Leon without space is still a brilliant playmaker who can make space for players like Hall.


Leon plays great with Connor even though there is only one puck.


I think Hall can be a tough player to play with, but it depends on who you put him with.

He plays with a lot of passion and instinct. I don’t see him making plays or moving into space like he’s thinking much. He’s all raw speed and instinct and it’s quite effective.

That kind of player can be tough to play with, but not for guys like McDavid and Drai. Both are big thinkers. Their brains are on overdrive while they are out there. I suspect both of them would have not problem adjusting to Hall’s style and making it work.

They would figure it out.

As far as former wingers are concerned though, I think Eberle would be far more deadly on this team, especially with Draisaitl. I think they would destroy the league together.


Nice piece on the Athletic, LT.

I’m fascinated to see how they line up Kulikov. I was a bit down on the player because I presumed he would be paired with Larsson, but Kulikov – Bear/Barrie as a second pairing is intriguing.