Bakersfield 20 Questions

by Lowetide
Darnell Nurse photo by Mark Williams

We have a couple of days to chat about things before Game 1 of the Oilers-Jets series and I thought it might be a time to discuss the Bakersfield Condors past and present. And since the grumpy guy hasn’t had much to complain about, maybe we’d invite him along.

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Take advantage of the $1 month subscription offer from The Athletic and read about the five Oilers prospects who did the most to improve their NHL chances this season. Just click here!

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.

  • New DNB: ‘The biggest transformation I’ve ever seen in an elite player’: How Connor McDavid took the next step
  • New DNB: Are the Oilers botching Evan Bouchard’s development?
  • New DNB: What Leon Draisaitl learned in Bakersfield
  • LowetideAdam Larsson contract talks give us a glimpse into Oilers’ offseason plans
  • Lowetide: How the Oilers can improve their depth in a trade with the Rangers
  • Lowetide: Ideal Edmonton Oilers lines and pairings for the 2021 NHL playoffs
  • DNB and Jonathan Willis: ‘It’s kind of Gretzky-like’: Oilers star Connor McDavid’s 100-point season puts him in rarified air
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ Mike Smith is putting himself in the all-time old-guy goalie conversation with a stunning season at 38
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ Adam Larsson playing his best hockey with playoffs on horizon
  • Lowetide: What should the Oilers do to get Kailer Yamamoto back on track?
  • DNB: How Jesse Puljujarvi 2.0 is making an impact
  • DNB: What are the Oilers’ pressing questions ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft?
  • Lowetide: Oilers complete April report card
  • DNB: 2nd Hart Trophy is firmly in Connor McDavid’s grasp
  • Jonathan Willis: Which Oilers need to step up down the stretch?
  • Lowetide: A look at the best value contracts on the 2021 Oilers
  • Lowetide: An early look at ideal Oilers’ free-agent targets for the offseason
  • DNB: Re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? Free-agency targets? Oilers mailbag

A CONVERSATION

  1. What is the subject today? Failure at the draft table? I thought we’d talk about the Bakersfield Condors.
  2. Like who? Who is the best Condors player to make it? Well Leon Draisaitl played six games, Darnell Nurse nine.
  3. No, I mean guys who played 50 games in the AHL and then made the NHL. Lots of those too, including Jujhar Khaira (76 AHL, 258 NHL), Jordan Oesterle (88 AHL, 252 NHL), Jesse Puljujarvi (53 AHL, 194 NHL), Brad Hunt (57 AHL, 191 NHL), Ethan Bear (89 AHL, 132 NHL), Kailer Yamamoto (50 AHL, 105 NHL), Anton Slepyshev (59 AHL, 102 NHL), Caleb Jones (125 AHL, 93 NHL), Laurent Brossoit (81 AHL, 82 NHL) and Patrick Russell (187 AHL, 59 NHL).
  4. Is that good? Well it’s six years and that’s 10 players. I think that’s excellent, but I’ve been staring at Oilers farms teams all this time. Plus there’s a top-five pick in there (JP) and a first rounder in Yamamoto.
  5. How many occupy important roles on their team? Tough question and moving target but I’ll say Puljuarvi, Yamamoto, Bear. It’s a good group.
  6. How would they compare to the five seasons of Oklahoma City? There’s more track for those seasons, but one less year so those are factors. The OKC names that fit are Magnus Paajarvi (72 AHL, 467 NHL), Oscar Klefbom (57 AHL, 378 NHL), Tyler Pitlick (159 AHL, 286 NHL), Chris VandeVelde (192 AHL, 278 NHL), Jujhar Khaira (57 AHL, 258 NHL), Jordan Oesterle (69 AHL, 252 NHL), Martin Marincin (128 AHL, 227 NHL) Anton Lander (136 AHL, 215 NHL), Brad Hunt (128 AHL, 191 NHL), Brandon Davidson (150 AHL, 180 NHL), Taylor Chorney (96 AHL, 166 NHL), Colin McDonald (80 AHL, 148 NHL), Mark Arcobello (188 AHL, 139 NHL), Taylor Fedun (135 AHL, 127 NHL),Laurent Brossoit (61 AHL, 82 NHL), Linus Omark (75 AHL, 79 NHL) and Teemu Hartikainen (164 AHL, 52 NHL). That’s 17 in five years.
  7. That’s way better than Bakersfield. Not really. Those Barons players are deeper into their career and have had more NHL opportunities because of it. The first rounders had success (Paajarvi, Klefbom) but the ‘important roles’ wee occupied only by Klefbom. Plus, there are players like Evan Bouchard who qualify for the Condors list but haven’t yet played 50 games. It’s the better one.
  8. Okay, who played on this year’s team that you believe will play 100+ gnames in the NHL someday? I’ll list Ryan McLeod, Tyler Benson, Raphael Lavoie from the 2020-21 Condors.
  9. That’s it? Well, candidates include Cooper Marody, Theodor Lennstrom, Ostap Safin, Markus Niemelainen, Mike Kesselring, Phil Kemp, Stuart Skinner and Olivier Rodrigue.
  10. Any ‘important roles’ players in there? McLeod has a great chance to be a No. 3 center, that’s a big role. Lavoie has a chance to be a scoring winger, highly valuable prospect. My guess is Benson will not occupy a top-six role but he certainly has some of the skills that are important at the position.
  11. Benson is the biggest disappointment in recent seasons. I’d argue that second-round picks who turn into ‘important roles’ players are fairly rare. It’s also a matter of aiming higher in terms of potential, but at some point during his amateur years Benson was a substantial prospect. Edmonton should have chosen Alex DeBrincat, that’s not hindsight. Math (my list included) had DeBrincat as a first-round pick. Benson as a prospect can still cover the bet Edmonton made, in fact I’m thinking he will at this point.
  12. Why do you say that? Benson’s success in the AHL over his three seasons there (138 points in 151 games) means he can make plays and post enough offense to stay in the lineup. He isn’t fast but I would suggest his speed would be an upgrade on some current Oilers wingers. He is also a player who can win puck battles. There’s utility there. Plus the fact he’ll be a value deal and Holland tends to use his farm team.
  13. What do his final five Grand Rapids teams look like? Using the 2014-2019 Griffins, I count Andreas Athanasiou (350 NHL games), Nick Jensen (331), Anthony Mantha (316), Petr Mrazek (275), Tomas Nosek (257), Tyler Bertuzzi (208), Xavier Ouellet (178), Filip Hronek (167), Alexey Marchenko (121), Martin Frk (118), Christopher Ehn (118), Dennis Cholowski (104), Michael Rasmussen (102), Teemu Pulkkinen (83) and Landon Ferraro (77) . That’s 15 men, and AA, Jensen, Mantha, Mrazek, Bertuzzi and Hronek play important roles. That’s six men in five seasons helping in a significant way.
  14. Detroit is better at drafting. I would argue that ‘draft and development’ is better, and that Holland is using the same model in Edmonton now. Bouchard hasn’t played 50 games yet, the flawed kids are still pushing and finding their way to the NHL and those players on the farm (like Benson) have seen Bear, Yamamoto, Jones and McLeod make it to the NHL and have a full shot on arrival. That has an impact.
  15. Who in the before time might have benefited? Hartikainen is the poster player for me, he had a fine career in the KHL after leaving the organization. I think Holland and his coach would have handled it differently.
  16. You’ve been waiting some time for this. Look there are a bunch of things I can’t, we can’t, know. Foot speed for instance, there’s like 25 grades in that rainbow and we know fast and slow. But at some point, you develop a past. The Oilers past is giving up on Andrew Cogliano and trading him for a second-round pick, dealing Hartikainen and signing Jesse Joensuu (whose back didn’t last the season) because he was ‘in better shape than Hartikainen’ and on it went. Even when a guy proved himself, like Jeff Petry, Oilers management just couldn’t bring themselves to give him $4 million a year. Nikita Nikitin got the money, Andrew Ference, but they were bona fide, proven. The Oilers spent a long time drafting players their coaching staff didn’t recognize as NHL talents.
  17. You think Holland is different? I think his track record says as much, yes.
  18. Then shouldn’t your list be longer? No. Because as much as Niemelainen impressed me this season, I can’t say for certain he’s a better prospect than Kesselring or Kemp. He’s farther along as a prospect, but that’s about age and experience.
  19. Among the men who you count as prospects, who do you believe in the most? Evan Bouchard, no question. Dylan Holloway is also in photo and despite a tough year Philip Broberg is still on the Oscar Klefbom path.
  20. What should Oilers fans expect from the farm? Slow playing prospects, players being more prepared on NHL arrival, successful transitions to the NHL and less need for outside pieces that tend to be more expensive.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning on TSN1260, as we build toward Game 1 between the Oilers and Jets on Wednesday. Daniel Nugent-Bowman from The Athletic joins us to talk about his look at Connor McDavid’s exceptional growth as a player this year. Jason Gregor from TSN1260 will pop in to talk ideal lines and pairings for Edmonton’s opener Wednesday. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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hunter1909

Hunter1909 56 Game Special NHL season 2021 Death March™

Is closed. hereby all information comes from and can be found here:

https://oilersdeathmarch.com/marches/playoffs-2021/

kelvjn

The Baron players got more games because the Oilers were a bottom dweller that needed to overpay Eager, Ference, Nikitin, Belanger as UFA to play on their 4th line /3rd pairing. Its not hard to be better than what they had at the time.

Whereas nowadays a tweener from Condor need to fight off fresh crops of PTOs and show-me contract UFAs for a spot.

Using NHL. games played as proxy for draft /AHL development success ignores the roster spot competition.

Kert

Agreed. For example, Zack Stortini’s 256 games as an Oiler say more about the the state of the Oilers at the time than they do about him.
It is a still an enjoyable exercise and like any line in the sand, context is king.

JimmyV1965

If the North division winner can’t have fans in the building once they advance, they don’t stand a chance of beating any team.

hunter1909

You could be right.

Still, connormcdavidandleondraisaitl might be unstoppable.

Am looking forward to seeing connormcdavidandleondraisaitlandjessepuljujarvi crushing everyone they meet.

Last edited 1 month ago by hunter1909
Harpers Hair

Colorado 1-0 after one. Makar from Rantanen.

Shots 17-5…Binnington standing on his head.

treevojo

Makar is smooth as silk.

such a nice skill set.

treevojo

Binnington standing on his head is an understatement.

Ice Sage

1-1 Blues taking over in 2nd.
Oilers would do well to take heed – an advantage in skill and speed must be pressed – a team with 1-4 line depth and heavy, cycling play, coupled with a hot goalie can match

Harpers Hair

Blues did not take over in the second.

Colorado outshot them 14-10 and had several ten bell chances.

It’s all Binnington.

The score could easily be 5-1.

Ice Sage

Nope – that period was even (where are LT’s stats???) and the Blues have found their structure. Hoffman should’ve had them up 2-1. Colorado still wins the series but it’s not going to be the cake-walk others predicted.
My point is that the Oiler-Jet narrative will be similar. Oilers have to cash.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ice Sage
Harpers Hair

LOL.

Colorado outshoots the Blues 50-23 and the Blues have “found their structure”.

Good grief.

Binnington finished with a .939 save percentage even giving up 3 goals.

Colorado comes at the opposition in waves all throughout the lineup and I have never seen a D corp that can pass and skate like that…never.

The Oilers are nowhere close to the Avs forward depth or defensive skill…but then again… the Jets aren’t the Blues either.

DevilsLettuce

No one cares, Colorado is a good team if you think you’re on to something that others aren’t privy to, or have any right the thump your chest in some sort of victory ego pumping journey, you couldn’t be more incorrect. It’s just further proof you’re a relic from the past.

Everything you say about Colorado has absolutely no weight, you’ve shown yourself all season long to the crowd.

The crowd all knows what Colorado is, and everyone can see you for what you are. If you want anyone to take your opinion on hockey related things serious start holding yourself to standards of excellence your 23 favorite teams do.

If you state you’ve never seen anything like what Colorado did tonight. You’ve shown yourself a fraud, or that you’ve watch a week of hockey in your life. Pick a side hero.

JimmyV1965

Blues played well for about 10 minutes after they tied the game. It was all Avs otherwise.

OriginalPouzar

Game 3 on Sunday will be at 5:30.

Game 4 on Monday will be at 7:45.

I would have thought game 3 would be an afternoon game but, nope.

Victoria Oil

Brad Marchand…overtiiiime winner!

OriginalPouzar

These OT’s are not last long, are they?

Gerta Rauss

Hall ties it at 3 with less than 3 min remaining

northerndancer

McAvoy must get the assist for the Perry-esque “accidental” dive across the goalie to move him to the right opening up the slot for Hall to shove in the puck. Very surprised they didn’t challenge.

JimmyV1965

beyond obvious dive.

OriginalPouzar

Hall with his 3rd dash of the series as the Caps go up and there is less than 10 to go in the 3rd.

leadfarmer

Cough cough. Hmmm
Clears throat

OriginalPouzar

Well, karma kicked my ass on this one.

DevilsLettuce

Your Hall hate is ridiculous.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t have Hall hate at all – I never wanted him traded (never thought he was a problem) and the trade was not good.

I would welcome him back on the Oilers in a heartbeat if there wasn’t a salary cap.

It was a very good pickup for the Bruins given the acquisition cost but I remain convinced there is massive re-signing risk.

Bill Clinternet

How many Bruins games have you watched since the trade deadline?

OriginalPouzar

Update from Murat:

Stastny was a full participant at Monday’s practice after missing Sunday following a Friday night injury in Vancouver. Copp and Ehlers continued to skate in non-contact jerseys. Dubois was absent.

https://theathletic.com/2592627/2021/05/17/five-ways-the-winnipeg-jets-could-beat-the-edmonton-oilers/

hunter1909

Hunter1909’s Death March Playoff 2021 

Only 48 hours left to prove you know what you are talking about

follow the link: 

https://oilersdeathmarch.com/marches/playoffs-2021/

you have to: 

1- predict number of Oilers playoff wins(called points on the home page)

2– predict the tie breaker(add up the total goals of McDavid, Draisaitl and Jp in the playoffs)

Last edited 1 month ago by hunter1909
knighttown

Watching the Bruins/Capitals game and I figured out why there’s such a divergence among fans with reffing. If you don’t care about the outcome this is an absolute blast. But my God, when this happens Wednesday I’m going to lose my mind.

The refs are in pure “let the players decide it mode”. Marchand just carved Mantha three times in the face with his stick and they called them both. Wilson got hauled down on a classic interference where the D was beat and they called them both; Wilson for embellishment.

They will NOT give a team a power play. Just won’t do it.

knighttown

The Oilers have no chance is this is the standard.

defmn

Then it’s time they figured it out and I think they will.

leadfarmer

If you can’t play dirty you’re not going far in these playoffs

knighttown

Get better soon Zack

Sierra

When was the last time Zack player dirty, was an agitator?

OriginalPouzar

This team could certainly use the player that Zack can be, and has been in the past.

Of course, its been a long long time since we saw that player – we are talking late 2019.

The “Zack needs the fans” mantra – I don’t know if that’s true but, if it is, well, that is a big problem for a professional athlete (without even taking in to account his monetary compensation).

Reja

It’s time to pull up your pants and play big boy hockey the real season is 48 hrs away.

wolf8888

I’d say that Larson, Nurse, Neal, Chaisson, JJ, et al can give a little nasty when the time comes. Even the smaller guys like Archie can give it. It will be interesting to see. I’d rather they actually call penalties though. I thought all the wrestling in the game was a bit much

Sierra

So much cross-checking in the TB vs Florida game.

SVR

I’ve always been a Hall supporter but he doesn’t look very good out there. Not in the same league as Bergeron, Marchand, Pasternak, Ovie, Backstrom, Oshie.

Hard pass on Hall as a UFA

Ice Sage

tough period, lots of ‘skating the puck to no man’s land’ Hall.
He’s not had a lot of playoff reps in his decade of play, I’ll give him a few more games

Oilerguy

I’d bet it’s lack of experience in playoffs

Ice Sage

He’s getting some! Hall may have just saved the Bruins season there

OriginalPouzar

Holland confirmed (to Stauffer) that he believes contract negotiations can be a distraction and he won’t be doing any negotiating with the pending UFAs until after the playoffs are over.

Stauff asked Holland if Nurse’s next contract needs to factor in and, of course, Ken said it did and mentioned that the flat cap is a factor (as normally there would be an increase in the cap to help with the raise). What I found interesting was he specifically mentioned Puljujarvi and needing to be aware of his next contract when putting money on the books this summer.

He also said “We’ve got some high profile guys coming off the books but we have the money and I can put them back on the books if we want.”

tileguy

Under the file of useless trivia,
Edmonton has the best all time playoff winning %,
Winnipeg has the worst. Do Vegas odds setters take this in to account?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_all-time_NHL_standings
Is it Wednesday yet?

Last edited 1 month ago by tileguy
Ice Sage

Or are they looking for ‘regression to the wheat’?

jp

Relatedly, the NHL version of the Oilers have:
1) never lost a series to the Jets
2) reached the finals 6 of 6 times they beat the Jets
3) won the Cup 5 of 6 times they beat the Jets

OriginalPouzar

Stauffer asked Woody if there was a chance that Holloway could play in game 1 on Friday and all Jay said was that he is day to day.

Didn’t sound overly promising to me but here is hoping.

Bag of Pucks

Diversity in broadcasting hiring is great, but what I’d really like to see is a renewed focus on hiring broadcasters with pleasant sounding pipes – like LT! There’s too many broadcasters nowadays with nasal or grating voices. I don’t think it should be too much to expect a 3 hour sports broadcast feature broadcasters whose voices actually augment the visuals as opposed to voices that annoy and distract. Seriously, it feels like Gilbert Gottfried could get a gig doing play by play these days.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bag of Pucks
defmn

Competence is now somewhere around 19th on the list of qualifications required for being hired.

This is unfortunately particularly true of the social engineers who are in charge of public policy concerning who should be hired. 😉

Side

I would watch every game Gilbert Gottfried commentated on.

Ice Sage

me too, but I wouldn’t listen!

leadfarmer

With Fran Drescher doing color?

LMHF#1

Ever searched for her real voice?

You’re in for a surprise…

JimmyV1965

90% of the NHL talking heads suck and it’s always been that way – diversity or no diversity. Ferraro is good. Same with Friedman. Like Amber too, but he really just facilitates the conversation. Nothing ever changes in the NHL. They can hire red, green or blue people, but they MUST absolutely be bland and meh. And for the love of god, never have a controversial opinion – something so outrageous as calling out the league’s continual reffing quagmire.

hunter1909

Almost near the Last 48 hours to register and play Death March 2021 Playoff hockey.

https://oilersdeathmarch.com/marches/playoffs-2021/

Here’s all you do: 

1 – predict number of Oilers playoff wins(called points on the home page)

2– predict the tie breaker(explained on the homepage) 

Last edited 1 month ago by hunter1909
OriginalPouzar

Tyson Barrie was on pace for a 71 point season (in 82 games) – my goodness!

godot10

Correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

OriginalPouzar

I’m not sure what that means in this context – I was just posting a factoid related to a phenomenal offensive seasons from the d-man.

Bag of Pucks

Was digging through old Hockey News Annuals and found a pretty revealing blurb about Mike Smith in the 2009-10 edition.

“If not for Smith, the Lightning would have been in an even bigger hole last season. Smith always gave Tampa Bay a chance to win and his outspoken leadership style was good in the dressing room and good for the media covering the team.

But Smith hasn’t played since Jan. 30, when it was revealed he had been playing for nearly seven weeks with post-concussion syndrome. Smith said he didn’t even tell the team he was suffering with the symptoms that, finally, became too much to bear. The team and Smith indicated he’d be ready for training camp.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Bag of Pucks
Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Hartikainen finished 2nd in KHL scoring this season behind Shipachyov. Seems like the guy figured out the SS Oilers was a managerial ship of fools at that time and acted accordingly. He’s had a nice career.

https://en.khl.ru/players/20937/

KK on 3rd pair with Bear which I like. He’s bigger and more stable than Jones and can pass/skate better than Russell. I would prefer he had a few more games under his belt but this could be a solid 3rd pair.

treevojo

Certainly could be worse.

We could have Logan Stanley and Jordie Benn as our 3rd pair.

Redbird62

If Kris Russell were healthy, he would start ahead of Koekkoek against the Jets. No defender on the team does a better job of helping the team prevent the other team from scoring than Russell and compared to Jones and Koekkoek it’s not even close. The Oilers might not score as much, but Russell has a 50% goal share, vs Jones 37% and Koekkoek’s 25%. Russell’s best days are behind him on his overall game, so this also a revelation on Jones’ progress to this point. I imagine if Koekkoek gets the nod over Jones it’s because the playoffs are expected to be much more physical, and Koekkoek has more experience and is seen to be less prone to the too frequent rookie gaffs that are still part of Jones’ game.

Like with all positions on the team, Holland kept around enough experienced veterans that if players like Jones couldn’t get the job done, he had a veteran who was there. Jones was pencilled in at number 2, and people on here particularly thought Russell would be the press box left D, but so far this season he has outperformed all of Jones, Koekkoek (before he was injured) and Lagesson on the left side. It may not be pretty, but he gets the job done that Tippett asks of him. Whether his body could withstand the rigors of going deep in the playoffs remains to be seen. Kulikov gives Tippett more optionality to adapt to the circumstances, but Russell’s use this season, tells us who he trusts.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Agree Russell would start but he’s taken a lot of head shots over the years getting driven into the boards while retrieving dump-ins. Nothing much happens either way when he’s on the ice, but give the old dog his props this year, he’s been better than ever at advancing the puck out of the defensive zone under control (still not great at it though).

Koekkoek’s numbers are a bit skewed by him only playing in the early part of the year with struggling partners while the team was a mess defensively. I think Tips sees him as a bigger better Russell down the line and they resign him. Having Koekkoek and Sammy as the 3/4 LHD next year with both getting 40+ games would be just fine.

Jones has very good passing and skating skills, but he regularly makes huge mistakes that turn into high danger chances against. You can’t do that in the playoffs, full stop, and I doubt we see him play unless injuries take out 2 LHD. Pretty sure they are trading him this summer before the Seattle draft.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap
Redbird62

If Klefbom is healthy next year, I think the OIlers would rather re-up Kulikov than resign Koekkoek. The man is 27 years old, and played a total of 162 games. He was a first round pick who has never lived up to what was seen in him at the draft, other than a few games here and there. I think the Oilers would want a left side of Nurse, Klefbom Kulikov with one of Jones or Lagesson (if one is taken in the expansion draft) Samorukov and Broberg coming along pushing Kulikov. Russell could still be insurance next season. How they all perform in the playoffs will have a big influence.

defmn

That would be my take as well. If Kulikov is willing to sign for about the same as his current salary I expect him to be an Oiler in September.

OriginalPouzar

Koekkoek played fine in his first game back, however, to my eye, after a nice first 2 games of the regular season, he was simply not very good.

With that said, veteran coaches may/do like his game as he’s a “heart and soul” type player that will block shots and take pain for the team – combine that with how he played in the play-in last year, and I can see why Tip make be leaning towards him.

I think we could see all of Jones, Russell and Koekkoek during a run.

defmn

This is good news imo.

Jim Matheson
@jimmathesonnhl
·
1h
Kassian skating hard on 5th line at practice today. Doesn’t look very far away from playing (leg inj).

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn
Harpers Hair

cNew York Post

@nypost

ESPN signs Leah Hextall in historic NHL play-by-play hire https://trib.al/IdhKu2L

winchester

Where did the Canucks find Grey-o-vac, Highmore and that other dude?

Why do the Oilers have so much trouble finding these guys?

Or maybe we do we have them but they are obscured by so many Holland low end bets?

Harpers Hair

Graovac was signed as a free agent in 2019 and has been playing in the AHL.

Highmore came in a trade with Chicago for Adam Gaudette after he was run out of town for being Patient Zero in the Covid outbreak.

The Canucks picked up Jimmy Vesey and Travis Boyd on waivers earlier this season.

They appear to auditioning these players to be part of their bottom 6 next season with the consensus being that Highmore is the only one likely to be retained.

Abbeef

They are in the farm system because they can’t crack our lineup.

Harpers Hair

Cracking the Oilers bottom 6 is hardly a high bar.

Vesey, Boyd and Graovac have many NHL games to their credit with teams like WSH, NYR, TOR and MIN.

Even Highmore is up to 89 NHL games.

Abbeef

I never said it was…

Last edited 1 month ago by Abbeef
pts2pndr

How did your Canucks do this year? Back to your bridge!

OriginalPouzar

These players are AHL/NHL tweeners at best who have put up a couple points in the most garbage time games of all times.

There is nothing to “find” here – these guys are Patrick Russell level players.

Harpers Hair

This is more nonsense from you.

Russell has played 59 NHL games and has a total of 7 points over 3 seasons.

Jimmy Vesey has played 352 NHL games and scored 120 points.

Vesey, for the record, is younger than Russell.

Travis Boyd has played 122 NHL games and scored 41 points

Both are indeed tweeners at this point but they are far more accomplished than Patrick Russell and, for that matter, Tyler Benson or Cooper Marody.

Vesey was a 3rd round pick while Boyd was a 6th round pick so both have easily met their draft pedigree.

DevilsLettuce

Are they more accomplished then Chiasson, Neal, Ennis, Kassian, Khaira, Haas?

Are they in the playoffs?

All the Canucks signings have amounted to last place 😂

OriginalPouzar

All tweeners that would be right beside Patrick Russell on the Oilers depth chart.

pts2pndr

Have fun in your fantasy world and please go tell someone who cares!

DevilsLettuce

There’s so much wrong with this statement but ok.

Harpers Hair

1 game suspension for Sam Bennett

leadfarmer

Deservedly so
Boneheaded play

winchester

Question: when a player receives a suspension, is there an associated dollar value penalty that accompanies the suspension?

Does this also apply in playoffs?

Primetime

In the regular season they lose their game salary for however long the suspension is. So the monetary penalty is much higher for elite in the game. I have no idea what happens in playoffs as the players aren’t paid….

Sierra

Good. That was brutal charge as payback for an earlier hit by Coleman on a Panther, maybe Barkov.

Bennett is dirty. He sure likes to slew foot.

Reja

I’m glad he’s not a Flame anymore.

jtblack

Prob cost FLA the game. Selfish penalty late in the 3rd. Quenville could NOT have been Happy

Turning Tikkanese

Yesterday I posted that under the usual Divisions (preCovid), current standings would have had Edmonton open the playoffs vs ARI. After their win last night, it would have been Calgary! A BOA to start the playoffs – epic.

godot10

GIGO. There has been no interdivisional play this year.

Turning Tikkanese

Well duh. If you read my original post I stated it was for gits and shiggles, or do you have ZERO sense of humor?

defmn

Scott Adms of ‘Dilbert’ cartoon fame used to claim that 30% of the population had no sense of humour whatsoever.

I always thought he was way over the line on that observation regarding human nature but then along came the internet and the opportunity to interact with a wide range of individuals on a hockey board and I was forced to admit that maybe he was closer than I thought. 😉

Munny

Times have changed. I’ll take the over now.

defmn

Yup.

Harpers Hair

Jim Matheson
@jimmathesonnhl

Bear and Koekkoek as a pair. Jones and Bouchard at practice
10:14 AM · May 17, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

defmn

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
@DNBsports
·
20h
Carlo Colaiacovo watched Alex Pietrangelo have almost the same start to his career as Evan Bouchard. In time, Bouchard could follow a similar path. “A right-shot defenceman, really smart hockey IQ, really good w/ stickhandling the puck and making plays.” 😉

Harpers Hair

That’s a quote from an Athletic article DNB published a couple of days ago,

Here’s another one:

“An industry source questioned the Oilers’ creativity and flexibility in terms of trying to find ways to get Bouchard into more games.

The source suggested the Oilers had several options. They could have used seven defencemen more often — something they did just four times, including Saturday.

They could have tried Bouchard on the left side, which they did March 1 before sitting him out for more than two months. (Holland said that’s a big ask on a team with high expectations.)

They could have occasionally scratched Bear or even Barrie, whose offensive skill most closely mirrors Bouchard’s — to make room in the lineup.

That didn’t happen.”

Also of note…Pietrangelo spent all of ONE game in the AHL.

In his comparable season, at 21, Pietrangelo played 79 games for the Blues scoring 11 goals and 43 points.

It’s possible Bouchard pops like that next season…we’ll see.

DevilsLettuce

An industry source doesn’t have the balls to attach his names and takes shots at the Oilers.. There’s alot of butt hurt industry sources out there trying to slag one of the best teams in the league.

Bouchards handling has been just fine, and the roster management by the coaches have resulted in the best Oiler regular season since speed ball Paul left town.

You and the industry source can both suck dusty pipes together.

jtblack

Bouchard tracking closer to Colaiavaccio …

Harpers Hair

Yep.

tsunami

how is Joe Colborne tracking ? asking for a friend…

Reja

I was surprised to see Smith has only started 23 playoff games in his Career going 11-13 with a 934 save percentage. I have a good feeling on Smitty carrying us to the conference final with his puck handling skills showcased so many times in between periods that the Oiler haters will be whining hard.

Harpers Hair

NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) Tweeted:
Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser was promoted to senior director of player development for the Maple Leafs, and Danielle Goyette was hired as director of player development. https://t.co/kFcgUVwpcv

https://twitter.com/NHLdotcom/status/1394323494163427335?s=20

Justthestatsman

I wonder if Danielle Goyette was ever considered for a similar position for any other NHL organizations. Interesting the Leafs would scoop her up from the Flames back yard.

Bulging Twine

Maple Leafs are hiring women and people of color.
They hired Manny Malhotra away from the Canucks and the Condors video coach among others

Harpers Hair

I would imagine her connection to Wickenheiser sealed the deal.

TheGreatBigMac

The diversity gods are well pleased.

DevilsLettuce

What does this have to do with Math or the Oilers?

Munny

Hope they earned their slots on merit, or there’s going to be tough times ahead for the Laffs.

Harpers Hair

Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) Tweeted:
Kassian is on the ice with main group but is wearing baby blue — which is for players outside the top 12.

https://twitter.com/DNBsports/status/1394335634651684865?s=20

106 and 106

Question 21: Is Jay Woodcroft going to interview for any NHL coaching jobs this summer?

Harpers Hair

Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) Tweeted:
Personal news: Today is my last day at TSN. My decision. 

If you told a Philly kid that he’d break https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/13.0.1/svg/1f3d2.svg news on https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/13.0.1/svg/1f1e8-1f1e6.svg nat’l television for 6 yrs, he wouldn’t have believed you. Thank you https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/13.0.1/svg/1f64f.svg

Not exactly sure what’s next, but I’m excited to see what’s out there in the universe for me.

https://twitter.com/frank_seravalli/status/1394321819939835907?s=20

McSorley33

Wow….I am surprised.

JJS

I watched parts of the Sunshine State Shootout yesterday. Great hockey.

End to end action with huge hits and outright dislike for one another

As much as I have enjoyed exclusively watching the North division this year, I am already enjoying seeing other teams in action.

Should be a fantastic spring!

Bulging Twine

Great great game!

unca miltie

The first round of the playoffs is usually the best IMO. Cheering for the Panthers cause of the cheaters on the other side. rather convenient that Kucherov and Stamkos come off the LTIR for the first game of the playoffs. I smell a rat..

defmn

Exactly how I feel about their $99 M lineup.

Reja

They have a smart GM. At the beginning year I suggested that the Oilers might show gamesmanship on the LTIR game especially when it came to James the real deal Neal. I remember laughing at 3 or 4 posters who got their knickers in a knot for even suggesting this actually happened. What’s worse what the Astros did stealing signs or what Tampa’s getting away with?

OriginalPouzar

James Neal was not going to agree to sit out the entire season on LTIR so the team could manage some cap gymnastics.

Reja

Will see next year but I say it’s Mikko that gets bought out and not Neal.

McNuge93

I am a big proponent of buying out Neal but your idea makes sense, similar savings and just a 2 year cost of $1.5 mil. While Miko can be decent he just cannot run as a number one for extended periods of time and the coach doesnt believe in him so you might as well get rid of him. We need a good (1a or 1b), younger option to pair with Smith.

pts2pndr

Beating the system is far easier for American based teams! The history of same speaks for itself. Follow the money.

Randle McMurphy

LT.

Scenario: You’re being interviewed for a job on an NHL Scouting Staff and you are asked the following question:

We will give you a list of drafted prospects from other teams that we are interested in. All that is disclosed on the list is the Position the player plays. They are all Centers.

What 3 pieces of information (statistical or otherwise) are most important to you in terms of evaluating the players on the list?

You can only choose 3.

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
MushedPeas

Age NHLE skating report

Elgin R

Watched my first US-based games on the weekend – man is playoff hockey great!

Final 4: Colorado, Washington, Tampa, Edmonton

  • I will never cheer for Boston – sorry LT but that’s the way it is!

Dark Horse: Carolina
Finals: Colorado v Tampa
Winner: Tampa (because Maroon needs another ring)

Marc

?

Bulging Twine

That’s for sure

Gamma Cassiopeiae

Good point.

MushedPeas

Indeed?

Side

It’s a shame that everyone couldn’t see the message LT left before the edit. It was great.

Randle McMurphy

Sam Bennett has hearing for hit on Blake Coleman

Justthestatsman

I didn’t see this one, but thought Bennett deserved more than a two minute penalty for his hit that put Koekkoek out of the line-up. That hit looked like a fairly obvious head shot to me, but I don’t know all of the standards of the department of player safety.

Last edited 1 month ago by Justthestatsman
defmn

I don’t think anybody knows all of the standards of the department of player safety – including those who work in the department of player safety.

Abbeef

Department of Safety Decision making method. Spin the wheel George!
https://gph.is/g/aK5LABo

Last edited 1 month ago by Abbeef
pts2pndr

Depends on the team the offender plays for. See Boston Bruins.

wolf8888

it seems neither do they

Redbird62

The hit by Bennett on Coleman is about as clear a hit from behind as possible. Bennett skated straight at Coleman from the slot to the corner, with Coleman’s numbers facing him the entire time. Coleman had already passed the puck around the boards, and Bennett drove straight into his numbers, not slowing down at all and evening jumping slightly to drive Coleman’s head into the glass. He meant to hurt Coleman if not injure him. I don’t think he has any defense legitimate defense against a suspension.

That said, the DOPS has let Bennett slide before for predatory hits. Will the NHL ever decide that you don’t appoint criminals to the court bench? Parros was never suspended, but his role in the NHL was intimidation and it’s been a major part of the games of everyone else they have put in that role for the last 30 years. I guess this type of play excites the segment of the fan base that also watches MMA and would line up for tickets if they ever brought back the Roman Gladiators.

wolf8888

Driving a defenceless player into the boards head first from behind has no connection to MMA

Sierra

That hit and the manner delivered was a deliberate attempt to hurt Coleman.

Earlier in the period Coleman had caught Barkov, I believe, with an open ice hit that the Panthers thought was a late hit on an unsuspecting player. Bennett is such a dirty player. I’m surprised he hasn’t had the tar beat out of him on multiple occasions.

defmn

Trained by the best in Calgary so not surprising that he plays this way.

treevojo

just so you know.

your last sentence is complete horse shit.

pts2pndr

A number of people seem to think he is bang on the money!

treevojo

Based on what?

pts2pndr

Based on my life experience and things I am not willing to share!

treevojo

You are making about as much sense as his or her last sentence made.

leadfarmer

And the penalty cost them the game

OriginalPouzar

Bennett got one game.

pts2pndr

He should have got balance of the playoffs!

Randle McMurphy

One of the biggest organizational changes I see from the Decade of Darkness is that you no longer hear of “Core” vs “Non-Core” players.

You only hear “We”. You only hear “Team”

Thank you Connor. Thank you Leon. Thank you Darnell. Thank you Kenny, Tip, and Jay.

THAT is Leadership!

Every player has a role and every role is important.

#Moose
#CultureOfWinning

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Sierra

And yet there were posters complaining about different colour jerseys being worn during practice.

rocket

Just a question – Should the Oilers (or any NHL team) have a right hand shot centerman? With Macleod and JJ gives them 4 LHS centers. I recognize that Haas is RHS however currently he is not a regular and may not be next year.

Abbeef

Definitely beneficial, but is it important enough that you change the roster for it? I guess that would depend how good the LHS centers are at winning draws either direction. I would lean to it not being worth a roster move unless one of the 4 centres is deemed easily replaceable for a similar or lower cap hit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Abbeef
TheGreatBigMac

It would be awesome to get Derek Ryan as a right shot 3/4C next year and move Khaira to LW. It’s not too expensive, I think Ryan comes in 2-2.5M range but it’s fourth on my priority list behind an upgrade in the top 6, an upgrade in net and a workable solution for LD and Oscar.

Our bottom six is okay as is. I would focus on making sure the top of the lineup is solid and let prospects push to improve the bottom.

Last edited 1 month ago by TheGreatBigMac
winchester

Oh my, our bottom six is what is keeping us from serious contention.

If we were to lose a certain top six player the team can’t win.

I doubt we have anyone in the bottom six Who would make most nhl rosters.

TheGreatBigMac

I agree with most of that but it is as much an issue with the top 6 as the bottom 6. We should have more top 6 players not better bottom 6 players.

The top 2 lines play ~40-45 minutes a night. When Conner and Leon play together we don’t have a workable second line. I like our guys, but Nuge, Jesse, and Kailer haven’t produced at a top 6 level this year (I know they can with the right opportunity). I think we need at least one more proven top 6 player if not two. If our third line is Kahun – McLeoud – Yamamoto, that’s pretty good. I don’t think they get caved. That line improved by adding better top 6 players not by trying to acquire better bottom six players. If any of these guys push and move up the lineup great.

godot10

We have seen Khaira long enough that we know he is a centre. He is entering the prime of his career. Ryan is in his declining years.

OriginalPouzar

Nuge is 18 months older than JJ.

I don’t think JJ is just entering his prime whereas the 18-month senior Nugent-Hopkins is already through his and declining.

Redbird62

He was referring to Derek Ryan from earlier in the thread, not Nuge.

OriginalPouzar

Oh, thank you, my mistake.

I’m not really interested in Derek Ryan – a very frustrating player for flames fans.

pts2pndr

Thanks! My bad! OP should have been given the benefit of the doubt regardless!

OriginalPouzar

No worries – if there is something I post you don’t agree with, respond, every time – that’s what this platform is for – to opine and discuss (and for info).

godot10

I was replying to a post about Derek Ryan and bottom six centres.

pts2pndr

Do you really believe this? They are totally different players. JJ depends on his ,physical side, Nuge on his hockey IQ which does not decrease with age. Comparing the two on age alone is ingenious at best! You are better than that!

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr

 Reply to  OriginalPouzar

 May 17, 2021 6:21 pm

Do you really believe this? They are totally different players. JJ depends on his ,physical side, Nuge on his hockey IQ which does not decrease with age. Comparing the two on age alone is ingenious at best! You are better than that!

You misunderstood my post. I was disagreeing with the premise that JJ was just starting his prime and Nuge was already past his.

Of course, as it turns out, the I misunderstood the premise that I was responding to (it was JJ vs. D. Ryan not JJ vs. Nuge).

pts2pndr

My bad! You deserved better than my response!

godot10

Tikhonov had teams with 22 left shot players. Good players are more important than the handedness of players.

Shane

Is it Wednesday yet?!

Randle McMurphy

No. But its Tuesday in Tokyo! …and flights are dirt cheap right now.

Halfwise

LT what did you do with the actual cranky guy?

Today’s stand-in is blissed-out, reasonable even.

#MoreCowbell

MushedPeas

Covid gave him time to reflect and work on himself.

dustrock

Gonna be a long week the next 48 hours

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

The answer on question 20 is long overdue around these parts. Rather than give the kids the NHL jobs, he signed lots of lottery ticket contracts to bridge the gap. Awesome change in philosophy from past ineptitude.

OriginalPouzar

Good convo. Its notable, when discussing the current Condors’ team, that may of the top prospects in the org are not on the Condors this season, including: Bouchard, Holloway (well, he is now), Samorukov, Broberg.

Those are four prospects that could impact the team materially in the next 1-2 seasons.

106 and 106

Yeah, that’s huge potential…. But, in 6 years, it’s 10 players.

So if we were generous and said 2/year, which two make it out of Holloway, Samorukov & Broberg?

Abbeef

They don’t all have to make it in the same year. I would guess
Holloway by the end of next season (50th game at the end of 21-22 or beginning of 22-23)
Samorukov cup of coffee next year and play his (50th game by the end of 22-23)
Broberg gets a few games in 22-23 and plays his 50th during 23-24

Complete guess but just showing how they can all make it and still have 2/year or less.

OriginalPouzar

This coming season? The best bet out of those three, for me, is Samorukov.

I think that Holloway will play in the NHL this coming season but when and how much we don’t know.

I don’t think Broberg is close right now, given his second half of the season and playoffs in the SHL – I do think he will thrive on the North American ice but Holland will likely take his time with the 19 year old.

John Chambers

I’d like to see Ken Holland make room for Benson and Marody next season. Perhaps replacing Tyler Ennis at 3LW and Chiasson at 4RW.

Both men have nothing left to prove in the AHL (beyond these playoffs). I like seeing players get rewarded for their loyalty and commitment.

106 and 106

In a Gregor interview in 2019 with Marody, he summed it up: “He isn’t a speedster, but doesn’t think skating is the issue.” I wrote Marody off from there. Think another org will give him a look.

OriginalPouzar

Ya, I believe Marody’s words were “my skating has never held me back before” – or words to that effect.

A couple of years later and that is no longer the case. Presumably, Marody has learned what it takes to make the NHL and has learned that, yes, he needs to improve his skating to be able to play at the next level.

He looks good in the AHL – he’s a good skater in the AHL but its tough to tell if it has “improved” as he’s always been a fine AHL skater.

We should know more in September.

Silver Streak

Loyalty and commitment only count in a mariage. The team requirements come first and if a newcomer or rookie has that “better fit” I`ll go with him every time…( as is in Holloway )

John Chambers

I don’t disagree.

But I’d like to see Holloway play at a ppg pace in the A for 40 games before he gets elevated. Benson is doing this right now (along with having learned special teams disciplines), so I’d like to see him given 40 games to start an NHL season to see if he can hack it. As you mention, his replacement is waiting should he fail.

Ditto Marody who is currently outscoring Raphael Lavoie in. Bakersfield by a 2:1 margin. I won’t cast aspersions on his readiness to improve the deficiencies in his game, but there are certainly worse options for the Chaisson role. I mean the guy has torched the AHL a couple of times, so let’s not suggest that the promotion wouldn’t be on merit.

They’ve earned a shot. Let’s hope they can be positive contributors. We wait 🙂

pts2pndr

I agree that there should be a process but so much depends on team needs and cap available. I wish our young players all the best but I also trust the Organization to do what is best both for the the player and the team. I believe that for the first time in more than ten years we have competent people throughout with a small question Mark re pro scouting.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t agree with needing to “make room” per se but there should be an opportunity o make the team and be on the roster out of camp.

To me, “make room” means that, for example, Benson is pencilled in to the 2LW or 3LW spot going in to camp. To me, there needs to be an opportunity to compete for that spot but the org can’t be in a place where there massive holes in the lineup if a prospect isn’t ready – he looks to be ready, to me, but not proven at this point.

John Chambers

It’s definitely not Ken Holland’s way to gift roster spots to unproven players.

But my point remains that Benson and Marody have earned an NHL look over the next Tomas Jurco-come lately, or some of our greener prospects.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Chambers
defmn

Personally I like the way he has signed journeymen at cap hits that can be buried in Bakersfield if the prospects prove to be ready. It’s just Darryl’s money. 😉

Harpers Hair

Exactly how a bottom 6 should be built other than 3C who needs to be a little higher on the priority list.

Rotate through the other 5 as results and costs vary and for the love of gawd, avoid the Jim Benning School of Absurdity by signing “character” vets to long term contracts.

pts2pndr

There is a fine line between ( gifted) and opportunity! As a fan I now have trust in the organization as a whole. There is too much info that as fans we do not know to judge management too harshly given the recent moves!

Woogie63

The single biggest thing Ken Holland could do with the AHL franchise and kids is move the team to Edmonton. The team would be connected at a brand new much better level. Players would have access to NHL trainers and facilities and live in the same apartment/house as they learn to be NHL pros. The Cali location really works for the Ducks, Kings, Sharks, but a lot less for the Flames and Oilers.

MushedPeas

I prefer Saskatoon. Keeps farm prospects to hand, throws SK fans a bone.

Abbeef

That’s a great idea. A big chunk of Saskatchewan is Oiler fans already but this would grow the fanbase even more. If Calgary moved the Heat to Regina at the same time we could have a rivalry that grows from the minors for both players and fans.

All of what I said is secondary to having that close access to the parent team but could be a definite bonus.

MushedPeas

I would *LOVE* to see a North-South mirror rivalry take root in Sask. It would be epic. BoS.

Pescador

Bring on the Saskatchetoon Barens

Silver Streak

No….try the Saskatoon Sheikes….fantastic historical name connecting to the roaring 20`s…..with players like Bill and Bun Cook, George Hainsworth in net, and
can you believe Newsy Lalonde…thats 4 Hall of Fame players….
(can you imagine the team logo), Seriously though Saskatoon is a great hockey town
with a very acceptable arena within an hour of the big team, Manitoba Moose are close, Canucks are moving back to Vancver area and if Flames move to Regina this is viable.

godot10

You need a teleportation device to California to do that. Logistics makes it impossible. The AHL doesn’t want teams on the prairies.

MushedPeas

Kelowna or Kamloops then. Let’s subvert the Canucks’ fan base.

pts2pndr

It is probable the Canadian teams would have more fans than their American counterparts.

pts2pndr

That was tried during the strike with questionable results. I do like the Saskatoon idea. The fear of previous years was the detriment to the WHL.

hunter1909

Hunter1909 Death March Update:

Can Balzams and hags9k please check their Death March account emails asap for prize information.

Lutefisk

Since I and Balzams are one in the same, I did see your email this morning. I don’t do paypal. To be honest, the prize was the fun I got in participating in the Death March. Let’s leave it at that.

106 and 106

LT, do you find it helpful if we rate each article?

I never do, but would start if it helps you track blog fancies.

106 and 106

1.2 means the crowd has had a little too much Crown. Glad you see the humour in it 🙂

Pescador

It’s kinda more like a mob than a crowd

Randle McMurphy

LT is no Juke Box Hero