The Card Cheat

by Lowetide
Benson to Archibald photo treatment by Darcy McLeod

There’s a line in the song “Mr. Jones” where Mr. Duritz sings “I wanna be Bob Dylan” and one suspects that is a universal thought. Maybe your “Bob Dylan” is from the world of science or movies or even politics. I always wanted to write and then later become a broadcaster, my ultimate goal being 14 CFUN in Vancouver. Never made it. Met a girl. No regrets.

Life changes your mind many times, but the dreams of youth are the richest because they have no limit. I always loved that line, I wanna be Bob Dylan. I think the Bob Dylan of drafting might work for the Tampa Bay Lightning.


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.


The Tampa Bay Lightning had six picks inside the top 120 in 2016, Edmonton just five. The Oilers had the No. 4, 32, 63, 84 and 91 picks, meaning one home run chance before the Lightning got started. Considering that major edge, you would think the years ahead would see an edge for the Oilers over Tampa.

Jesse Puljujarvi has proven a lot of things this season and I believe he will have a long and productive NHL career (still not sure what line he’ll play on, though). After that? It’s getting late early. Here are the picks from both teams using my original ranking and thoughts.

  • No. 4 R Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat (Sm-Liiga): I had him No. 3 overall. I was convinced he was the best selection. He was unlucky to be drafted by Edmonton but is finding his way.
  • No. 27 C Brett Howden, Moose Jaw (WHL). I had him No. 52, late second round. My ranking is looking more accurate, Howden was dealt to the NYR and has struggled in the NHL.
  • No.32 L Tyler Benson, Vancouver Giants (WHL). I had him No. 34. Injuries have slowed him but he is enjoying a solid season in Bakersfield and should have a career.
  • No. 37 LD Libor Hajek, Saskatoon Blades (WHL). No. 127. I fade big blue. Hajek is also a NYR (Howden) and has emerged as an NHL regular, the first of Tampa’s 2016 draft.
  • No. 44 L Boris Katchouk, SSM (OHL). I had him No. 58 overall. Katchouk enjoyed a strong junior career, turned pro and has been slowly matriculating since. He is currently at a point-per-game in the AHL and if he was an Oilers prospect we would be talking about him as a strong LW option.
  • No. 58 R Taylor Raddysh, Erie Otters (OHL). I had Raddysh No. 24, really liked him in his draft year. So far as a pro he has been hovering around 20 goals a year in the AHL. Yet to play in the NHL, has been on the taxi squad this season.
  • No. 63 LD Markus Niemelainen, Saginaw Spirit (OHL). I had him No. 108 (I told you I fade big blue) and he didn’t do much for most of the five years. However, Niemelainen is bringing it for the Condors and I’m thinking he might have a career as a third-pairing defender.
  • No. 84 LD Matthew Cairns, Georgetown Raiders (OJHL). I had him No. 145 overall, and didn’t expect him to be active these years later. Cairns surprised me, and recently posted a strong season for Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA). No idea if they sign him but he had a good season.
  • No. 88 G Connor Ingram, Kamloops Blazers (WHL). I did not rank him, Ingram improved in his post-draft junior seasons and then delivered two quality AHL campaigns. Lightning traded him for a depth pick, and he looked on track until this year. Hard to say where he is as a prospect at this time.
  • No. 91 RD Filip Berglund, Skelleftea AIK (SEL). I had him at No. 61 and did say he might take some time. Berglund has emerged as a top-4 defender of note in the SHL, finishing No. 3 in TOI on his Linkoping (SHL) squad. He’ll be here in the fall, RH blue always have value.
  • No. 118 LC Ross Colton, Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL). I didn’t have him listed on my “Here Comes the Sun” final ranking but did have him on my USA list due to a big prospects game. He was an older prospect for the USHL who filled the net, kind of the Matej Blumel of 2016. He went to college, turned pro, looked good not great for the Syracuse Crunch for two seasons. Today he is 7-3-10 in the NHL with the Lightning, owns a 50 percent face-off percentage and may well be the best pick by Tampa Bay in that draft. Come on, man!


Edmonton had the first pick as well as four of the first eight. If we do the Palmolive test, it should all come back but one teaspoon. Here’s my re-draft, your mileage may vary and I’m using per 82 for the NHLers and using NHLE for the men still pushing.

  1. RW Jesse Puljujarvi: 12-12-24 per 82 NHL games
  2. LC Ross Colton: 82, 13-27-40 NHLE plus 16, 7-3-10 actual NHL
  3. LC Brett Howden: 8-15-23 per 82 NHL games
  4. LD Libor Hayek: 4-7-11 per 82 games, below average possession numbers
  5. LW Tyler Benson: 82, 15-33-48 NHLE
  6. LW Boris Katchouk: 82, 18-24-42 NHLE
  7. RW Taylor Raddysh: 82, 16-19-35 NHLE
  8. RD Filip Berglund: 82, 3-9-12 NHLE
  9. LD Markus Niemelain: 82, 4-7-11 NHLE
  10. G Connor Ingram: .923 AHL SP through 2019-20
  11. LD Matthew Cairns: 82, 0-8-8 NHLE

The Oilers got the best player on the list, and two of the top five, but was you can see the quality marbled through the draft by Tampa Bay makes the entire thing rich. Add in the fact that the two NHL players sent away (Hajek and Howden) brought in Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller, and it’s difficult to keep up. I don’t even know who I would bet on from the Lightning bunch to have a better career, although Colton leads today. Katchouk and Raddysh are fine prospects, in the range with Benson. The Lightning can draft, man.


The Lightning brought Murray in during the summer of 2010 to help them build a winner (it took a decade). Here are his five best picks, the fun part is noting where they were chosen:

  1. No. 58 overall 2011: Nikita Kucharov 515 NHL games. Per 82: 35-52-87
  2. No. 79 overall 2014: Brayden Point 337 NHL games. Per 82: 32-40-72
  3. No. 19 overall 2012: Andrei Vasilevskiy 292 NHL games. SP: .920
  4. No. 208 overall 2011: Ondrej Palat 538 NHL games. Per 82 games:19-36-55
  5. No. 72 overall 2015: Anthony Cirelli 204 NHL games. Per 82 games: 20-26-46

Beyond a dream drafting, five men chosen in a five year period who were and are top drawer NHL players. One first-round pick. Barry Fraser grabbed Messier, Anderson, Kurri, Moog, Steve Smith and Esa Tikkanen between 1979 and 1983, these are franchise defining draft runs.


At 10 this morning, TSN1260 we bring two great guests to talk about the deadline and the games to come. Thomas Drance from The Athletic will have the latest on the Vancouver Canucks and the possibility of postponing the Friday game. We’ll also talk about the deadline. Craig Button from TSN pops in to talk about the stretch run and Edmonton’s chances of winning a round, or more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Great guests, great show!


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To the Oilers Team:

In 2016-17 your team was up 3-1 versus Anaheim and no team should ever allow itself to be beaten once they win 3 out of 4 games in any playoff series, ever.

Then, in 2020 you were in that dad-blasted “play-in” versus Chicago and to put it mildly your team got ambushed, and ambushed good. The old timers would have called this getting bushwhacked.

Now it is the new season. Your team is riding high. In more ways than one. You will soon find yourselves in the playoffs. When your team plays well, it plays very well. When other teams get under your skin, your team flounders.

So the thing is this: Your team must come out exploding every time. Everyone will want to hate your team now. Everyone will seriously want to be the team to hand the Oilers a kickout. Fuck that. Don’t let them do it. Start preparing for the playoffs now. Do this by showing up already starting to explode at the start of every remaining game you play.


Agreed, although they weren’t up 3-1 on Anaheim. They were up 2-0, lost three in a row (games 4 & 5 in overtime), won game 6 and lost game 7.


Thank you for the correction.

Losing is losing is losing… the team needs to stop waiting for the management or coaches to save them. I also don’t buy the “two man team” meme. For one thing the defence has stepped up majorly. And Smith is currently channeling the Oilers great goalies.


The Self proclaimed Kings of the North are showing what happens when your PP no longer runs at 40% and your goalies start looking like they do on paper.
4 headed goalie monster

Harpers Hair

Also…Buffalo beats Tampa Bay 5-2 and will now win the Stanley Cup.

Harpers Hair



My question for you is when someone finally beats the shit ou of you who gets your clothes?


of course the two of you could simply ignore him, leaving him to yell at the clouds alone.


Ahl level troll back at it again

John Chambers

Taylor Hall scored his first as a Bruin.

For the first time in his career Hall will not be asked to carry his team offensively. He may flourish.


Happy for him


Hall deserves to play for the Bruins. Hopefully he’s going to cement his legacy there.


Seventy-One? The year the greatest Bruin team ever was upset by the Canadiens and Ken Dryden in the playoffs?

Any other ideas why 71.


Mom’s birth year


Montreal Canadiens in 1971 were the equivalent of the 2001 Detroit Red Wings + the 2001 Colorado Avalanche such was their reputation in the playoffs. Some upset. Jean freaking Beliveau + Mahovilich plus Henri Richard plus a defence that knows its business and Dryden, plus the best General Manager in the history of the hockey world… plus several recent dynasties and wtf did Boston think when they went up 5-1… that the game was over??

Boston turned up like entitled idiots and got schooled by the grand masters.

Kind of like Ali-Foreman later on in the 1970s lol

“rope a dope”

Last edited 6 months ago by hunter1909

So is the league going to make teams sit for two weeks to make up some of these meaningless games?


It’s ridiculous that the NHL would/could convince itself that the Canucks are anywhere near ready to ice a team that would play to a level capable of maintaining the integrity of the Game. I agree with the many of you who think that JT Miller showed a lot a character to say what needed to be said.


Easy to criticize. What is your proposed solution?


My solution is to wait until enough Canucks are healthy enough to play at a level that maintains the integrity of the game and then adjust the schedule accordingly.


What do you think of this?

Games vs VCR already played:

Edmonton: 5 (+2 =7)
Calgary: 6. (+1 =7)
Winnipeg: 7. (+0 =7)
Toronto: 5. (+2 =7)
Ottawa: 5. (+2 =7)
Montreal: 9.

In this solution the Canucks would only have to play 7 more games (provided MTL agreed to relinquish the results of their last 2 games vs. the Canucks (a win and a loss).


So when do you schedule the playoffs. There is a finite time line that everything has to fit in. My apologies if I seem unsympathetic to the Canucks situation because it was not intended.


I don’t know what the day is off-hand but I’ve heard that the NHL has a day that the schedule has to be finished by in order to get the full playoff schedule in in time for the draft and free-agency. My solution cuts 10 games from Vancouver’s schedule which makes up most of time lost (+/- 15 days)


The Canucks themselves won’t want that – the regional TV money is a boon for the team.


It’ll be interesting to see how they resolve the needs of the players, the Canucks, the League and the Game for sure.


You can’t make the game, you forfeit.

Same as it ever was.

Why punish both teams because one team couldn’t stay healthy? It’s the same as injuries; sometimes it’s just bad luck. You can’t play, you lose.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezie.

But, because it’s the Oilers, the NHL will find a way to slant things against them. If something disadvantages the Oilers, the NHL is very interested.

It’s a fact!


This doesn’t work. Forfeiture benefits an opposing team by a giving them time to rest and the 2 points. Forfeit to the Oilers last night and not the Leafs tonight? – it would trash the season.


Its been apx 3 weeks since the Canucks last played and their new schedule was put in place, what, a week ago?

At the time I think it was reasonable to think they’d be ready but, as it turns out, they aren’t and they are readjusting again.


They forced Buffalo to.


Sounds like Saturday’s game may be switched to 5pm.

I assume that means that the Leafs/Cancuks game will be cancelled and their prefer the Oilers/Jets in the primary time slot.

I would be very happy if the game time was at 5.

Last edited 6 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Bakersfield Condors vs. Colorado Eagles, April 14th, 2021; deployment

Esposito – Malone – Gambardella
Benson – McLeod – Marody
Lavoie – Cracknell – Griffith
Stukel – x – Hamblin

Lennstrom – Desharnais
Gravel – Kemp
Stanton – Gildon

Above is first run; after they started getting their ass kicked the deployment was altered repeatedly, with the Benson line staying mostly intact except for a switchup that put Lavoie with Benson-McLeod and Marody centering the depth winger-set.

D-pairings were actively mixed, with final approx. ice times putting Gildon and Stanton (not necessarily together) getting the most shifts and the other five in a group together. Shot events 28/29 Gildon/Stanton, Kesselring/Kemp/Desharnais/Gravel/Lennstrom 15/16/17/18/20.

Top Forwards by Game Score:

Marody – 1.04
Stukel – 0.70
McLeod – 0.59
Benson – 0.59
Gambardella – 0.52

Dmen by Fenwick Differential:

Stanton – 20-9 (+11)
Gildon – 17-11 (+6)
Kesselring – 10-5 (+5)
Lennstrom – 12-8 (+4)
Kemp – 9-7 (+2)
Gravel – 9-9 (0)
Desharnais – 5-12 (-7)

e: had the date wrong

Last edited 6 months ago by Wilde

I should add three things: First I’ve switched over to using Fenwicks for the Game Score formula, as I prefer it to Corsi for pretty much everything. No real change on your guys’ end. Second, this is Marody returning to top form, it is exceedingly rare for the top GS guy to not be a goal-scorer, assist-getter on a game that had at least one 5-on-5 goal scored by the Condors.

Third, I actually forgot another thing – the full game counts. They’re here:

43-36 CF-CA
25-25 FF-FA
1-4 GF-GA


Its interesting that Marody had the high game score. From my eye, he had one of his weakest games of the year and was eventually moved off the top line in favor of Lavoie.


Friday’s game has officially been postponed (again).




There is no way the Oilers are going to fit all these games in. They have another break next week too. But all the other teams are playing so no way to fit more games in (I don’t think anyways) Seriously concerned the team is going to get iced during these extended weeks of non hockey. Could be good but they might loose a bit of their mojo too.


Yup, good. Keep players safe.


Nuge won’t be going on the road trip. He’ll stay in Edmonton and skate with Pelletier


Tough season for him. Man.


He should practice hitting the net from the left side of the slot he has Chase screening the goalie ready to mop up the rebounds. He instead looks for the perfect blocker side shot. He could easily have 20 goals the way Leon and Connor put it in on a platter for him.


It’s easy and pretty low class to criticize Nuge given the fact that he plays hard for the team every shift and is currently out due injury. Doesn’t show much class on your part. You’re better than that!

Foege Foegele Torpe

Mrs Pelletier?
RNH = Dean Youngblood


Love the cautious approach, particularly with head injuries.

There is no reason to rush Nuge back. You need him back a few games before the end of the season so he can round back into form for the playoffs.


I didnt realize we still have 5 games left against the Pacific Beach Covid Ward


Oilers strength of schedule/opponent has been pretty strong to this point I guess.

Dee Dee

I remember when K97 would have morning contests named “Guess which song Bob Dylan played at the award show last night”. Old Bob would start singing and playing some random song in a random key and even his band members would look at each other and shrug, trying to figure out what he was playing.


What’s the word on Hollaway did he have surgery or not is there any rumblings on wether or not Holland will sign him this spring.


The answer is the same as the previous 3 times this has been asked.

He had surgery like days after Wisconsin lost and the current schedule is for x-rays in early May and they will see where he is at that point.

I think we can all be fairly sure that Dylan Holloway is not playing for the Oilers this season and, at this point, unless Dylan uses going back to school as leverage to get burned ELC year, its probably likely that his ELC will be for 2021/22

Last edited 6 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Reja, stop asking legit questions, OP has already answered it 3 times


How dare you not study every single post that OP writes


The poster himself has asked the question multiple times and I’ve responded to it multiple times. He’s either asking questions he knows the answer to or not taking the time to read those that take the time to respond to his questions.


Quick name the team Pat Hughes scored 5 goals against. That game was a blast giving a plumber like Hughes a standing ovation.


Calgary Flames, I remember it well


We all know how much OP hates repeating himself


I enjoyed your write up this morning LT.

My takeaway is it’s how prospects are managed with the goal of improving the big club.

Prospects in the Tampa organization look to be evaluated early. If there is not a reasonable chance they improve the big club, they are moved along while they still have value.

Every commodity seems to be valued higher on “potential “, once that potential is realized, value drops.

Oilers draft and develop is improving. Over-ripening does not help. Once Potential is realized, if it comes up short, value is gone.

Did the Oil pay a third for Marody? Then he withers to nothing. Trying to Bring Bear, Jones, Lagesson along at the same time has dropped their value. Bouchard has dropped in value as he sits.

The lesson I see here is talent must be identified early and extras should be used to further build the club. Do not just sit on prospects and hope.

Dee Dee

I always felt that the Oilers development model insisted on molding the player into a role that management wanted and ignored the players best attributes, one size fits all.


Yup. If Jeff Petry won’t be Jason Smith we’ll trade him just to be rid of him.

90s fan

This method is not without risk, sending guys out while they still have value. For example, maybe we would have traded bear while holding on to Jones, if we used this philosophy.

An alternative would be hold onto all of them, one is bound to pan out. And values change, development is up and down….


Of course it has risk. The point being that all prospects are assets and there are multiple ways to use these assets to improve your team.

Draft is important, development is important, but maximizing assets to improve your team and your weaknesses is the most important.

There are multiple ways to do this as Tampa has shown.


Whoops, cut off some of my post…..

so Marody cost a third rounder, that’s high price. It’s nice he is helping develop prospects now as a right winger but….if the org have made up their minds on him and I think they did almost two years ago….why not try and get some value back? Leading the pack in the AHL, will he ever be more?

His old club turned him
into a third rounder. That’s assessing talent and maximizing an asset.


It was a reasonable bet at the time. 2 seasons ago he seemed ready to push for a roster spot as ppg AHL player but last year he was injured (and seemingly drag down the rest of the F scoring in his absence).

He was drafted 6th round but was a Hobey Baker finalist whe the Oilers traded for him. Penguin scouting is doings its job(!).

Morody probably won’t look out of place alongside the ensemble class of sub waiver pick up quality forwards this year (all bottom 6 F went unclaimed at least once) maybe similar upside as Archibald (also Hobey Baker finalists) and Shore(NCAA All Hockey East First Team) .

90s fan

I agree completely that if the organizations mind is made up, trade him, even if it’s a late round. But by then everyone else may have made up their mind on him as well no?


It’s easy to point to how Tampa is doing things because they are at the top and judge the Oilers based on that. The Oilers have been steadily improving under Holland. It takes time to turn an organization around. The organization has seemingly identified where they went wrong and is righting the ship. It is time to move forward. Living in the past and bemoaning past mistakes accomplishes nothing!


Looking at LT’s article on the Bakersfield prospects worthy of a call-up, can someone remind me what the rationale was for Edmonton keeping the farm team in California this season?

Connor talking about the NHL booking the Flames game on the same day as the Cave memorial but what about Holland and Nicholson, why weren’t they resisting it?

Similar lack of foresight?


Dunno about your first question. As far as the second one goes, IMO Oilers have been trying to get out of the NHLs bad books for a while now. NHL is mad at Oilers for winning all them lotteries – that’s why they steal draft picks from us every chance they get. Probably hoping that if we keep our mouths shut and play nice the NHL will get over it.


I wouldn’t be surprised if Holland and Nicholson didn’t bother fighting to have the game rescheduled and can’t really blame them.

The NHL is the same league that made the Oilers cough up picks for hiring a fired coach and a fired GM.

Same league that made the Oilers cough up a pick for the Lucic trade.

Same league that probably tells Holland and Nicholson that they applied a cap on how many penalties McDavid can draw a game.

Would you bother spending x number of hours fighting with a league over rescheduling a game when you know they are going to tell you to go pound sand?

Canucks already seem to be having a tough time reschudling Friday and Saturday’s games when they have players who are coming off of a severe illness and are concerned for their safety.

I doubt the NHL would care about rescheduling a game because of a memorial.

90s fan

I mean it pays to have relationships with poeple who make decisions in life, not just the NHL. I would hope Holland does. There would hopefully be times where NHL says, sorry Kenny cant bend on this, and hopefully times when they say, ya I hear what your saying Kenny, let’s look at this.


I think the league has demonstrated that their relationship with Holland matters very little when they made the Oilers cough up the pick for the Lucic trade when the criteria wasn’t met.

I have yet to see an Oilers GM in recent history where their relationship with the league had a meaningful and noticeable impact.

I am sure there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know that happens behind the scenes, but from where I sit I see zero difference no matter who is the GM or part of the Oilers leadership group.

I could be wrong and forgetful though.


The reason stated for not moving the Condors to Canada was cost and that decision was made by all three organizations (Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary).

The only reason Stockton ended up playing in Canada is because they couldn’t get clearance to play out of Stockton at the time – it was a fairly last minute change




How does the AHL team playing in Canada operate? Do they still bus out/opponents bus in like a normal AHL team? I can’t see them or opponents charter flights or be able to utilize enough commercials flights that would fit their schedules to lessor cities. How is border crossing managed?


I think this article is a good reminder that a franchise’s skill at drafting is NOT the same as their skill at developing. For my money, if you strike gold in the 7th round it has more to do with development than drafting – if you knew Zetterberg was going to be Zetterberg, why on Earth would you wait until the 7th to take him?


Because you knew he would be available in the 7th round.


And if someone else takes a flyer on him in the 6th, how are you going to explain that to your boss?


So what if someone takes him in the 6th round, or 5th round.
why not just take him in the first round and make sure no one can get him from under you?


Exactly my point. If you know who he is going to become, you take him in the 1st round. Should the narrative be “Detroit is so good at drafting that they found a great player in the 7th round,” or “Detroit is so good at development that they turned a 7th round pick into a fantastic player?”


Initial reply got tied up in moderation, I used the M-word. Sorry LT.

I’ll try again.

DET landed on so many late round successes because they weren’t afraid to swing for the fences based on skill. They also had more local intel on the “obscure” leagues at the time, in particular the SHL and in Russia. That’s why they drafted guys like Datsyuk and Zetterberg so late. Datsyuk was in his final year of eligibility, so every team had passed on him multiple times in three drafts. DET projected the skill beyond the prevailing size bias. Z was taken at the bottom of the draft in his second year.

That’s basically the same market inefficiency that led us to draft Kurri over the guy they were leaning towards… Bernie Nichols. Yes, that guy. Kurri was a wildcard because of compulsory m.ilitary service in Finland, and it steered teams away. How many teams would have reversed that decision with hindsight?

Point is, many teams can see the skill (Point, Brayden) but bias and information (lack of size, poor skating) can lead teams elsewhere in search of a sure thing. Especially in the early rounds. Teams will risk more in hopes of a big return as the draft progresses.


Interesting take, although hard for me to imagine that Detroit was certain that no other team would take them in the 6th, or 5th, etc. I’m still inclined to give the lion’s share of the credit to the coaching staff who developed these players, but there’s room for reasonable adults to disagree.
Just checked Kurri’s wikipedia article and it talks about his draft. Good times.


The point is reading the rest of the league.
Detroit did a great job hiding who they were interested in and knew these guys were not on anyone’s radar.
you don’t draft a guy early when that player is likely available in later rounds


I wasn’t at the tables, for all I know this is how it played out. I am quite skeptical that there has ever been a draft where one team knew all the other teams’ draft lists. If they took that risk, I think it was a very foolish one. That said, nobody punishes you for the risks you get away with.


I think you’re missing the point.

Of course they don’t know “all the other teams’ draft lists,” because that’s absurd.

Teams have a general idea of who the other teams are aiming at. Big industry, but a small community. Everyone talks, and guys see each other in the rinks (at least, historically), and have an idea of who their competition is scouting. I remember a pretty funny draft story about another GM, I think it was Burke, trolling PHX with the name bar on the back of the jersey, getting them panicked in thinking they were going to draft OEL before PHX could. Or the multi team swap that was scuttled at the last minute in 2016 surrounding the #4 and Sergachev etc when CBJ took PLD… who was MTL’s hard target. There are many other examples. Like Burke knowing that ATL was taking Patrick Stephan #1OV and he’d have a chance to nab the Sedins at #2 and #3 if he played his cards right.

Detroit was in fact certain that they had a window to take Lidstrom in the third round of ’89 because of the rules at the time surrounding eligibility of 18 year old players. They knew they had to take him that year in the third because once everyone else saw him play at the WJC he’d go in the first round the next year. They also had a good idea GMs would avoid players like Fedorov and Konstantinov because of the uncertainty surrounding players in the USSR. So they rolled the dice because they had good intel and ended up with arguably the finest draft year in history.

Thing is, that intel is what made the gambles pay off. They knew those guys were motivated to leave home and play in the NHL. There was always a chance it went south due to reasons other than hockey, but at least they knew the players were committed to the process. Unlike the boneheaded move by a KHL team to draft Connor McDavid 77th overall — 2nd round! — in, wait for it, 2014. Purely on the off chance that he wants to play in the KHL some day. Talk about gambling and wasting a high pick. Sure, CMD was assured to be an impact player and would be a steal at that draft position. But the very fact that he’s got a near-zero chance of ever playing in the KHL makes it a poor bet by the GM in Zagreb. But hey, better draft him early in case someone else gets him first, right?

Where Datsyuk and Zetterberg are concerned, those guys had already passed through the draft so every team had already passed on those players. Multiple times. Their comparative advantage was organizational bias (or lack thereof).

Your initial point about development, however, is very valid. Part of the reason Lidstrom, and Z, etc. panned out for DET was due to the approach of letting the players matriculate at their own pace and in the environment best suited for the individual. When they came over and played for the Wings, they were ready. None of the square peg approach we were so woefully familiar with around here during the DoD.

Last edited 6 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
90s fan

Take Petey for instance, if he was in charge of scouting hes probably promoting size over skill in those late rounds.

Pretty sure MacT did the same.

Last edited 6 months ago by 90s fan

There is no way you could know! The importance of development is real and for a number of teams a new reality. This is a direct result of years of tradition unhampered by progress.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

Pretty timely topic with all the furor over not trading away every draft pick that’s not nailed down in order to add at the deadline. Scouting is a huge part of TB’s recipe for success. Edmonton has sorely lacked any expertise in that field for huge periods of time, and it’s shown in the standings.

I remember when the draft lottery came down to Edmonton and Boston the year Hall and Seguin were neck and neck for first overall pick. I was actually hoping Boston got the first pick, just so the decision on who to pick would be taken out of Edmonton’s hands. Drafting second meant we’d just take whoever Boston didn’t. Those were sad times.

Wonder Llama

From the 100 Years’ War to the Crimea
With a lance and a musket and a Roman spear
To all of the men who have stood with no fear
In the service of the king


I’m just here for the Clash references.


Benoit Groulx and the Crunch system are the other key component that distances the Oilers draft outcomes from the Lightning draft outcomes.


I agree. Development can either make or break your system. I think for the first time in almost forever we have the right people in our minor
league system and the results are starting to show.


I disagree; once they’re there the players seem to do okay, but the acquisition process is worlds away from anything that puts out even one of Johnson/Conacher/Marshessault/Gourde/Verhaghe, let alone all of them. The Condors seem content to play Mark Messier’s nephew as their 2C.


The people that are in place have only been there for a couple of years. They are good but they are not miracle workers. You don’t get apples the year you plant the tree!


Per John Shannon:

League source confirms that the Canucks’ weekend games might change again…Based on medical evaluations being done today with players and staff.


I don’t imagine the game tomorrow goes ahead and I truly hope the league is able to make a decision prior to the Oilers’ scheduled flight west this afternoon.


I thought it was Crisco?

tavvey tune

I think you’re right. The Palmolive ad had the line, “you’re soaking in it”. Might have been the same woman in both ads.


I would not want to fry anything up with Palmolive!

As a boy, I never could figure out why a woman would soak her hands in dish soap. Can’t say I know any more today.


Women do crazy things with their mouth, I mean hands


I’ve been married to an amazing lady for 49 years. After twenty years I quit trying to figure out why she does what she does and instead learned to appreciate how much better my life is having her an integral part of it and to do my best to be deserving of her.


Of note on a couple of those guys:

1) Niemelainen is banged up and hasn’t played the last couple Condors’ games
2) I believe I read/heard that Berglund’s visa issues were solved and he’s on his way