by Lowetide
Photo of Leon Draisaitl by Mark Williams

In the case of most graduating juniors or minor leaguers pushing, the arrows start to gather on one side after the age 20 season. Leon Draisaitl scored 21 NHL goals in the year he was 20 (parts of two seasons), Marc Pouliot scored 15 in the AHL at the same age. Steve Kelly scored 9 in the AHL age 20, Ryan Smyth scored 39 in the NHL. Age 20 means something.


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’s the latest!

THE AGE 20 GROUP IN 2020-21

Raphael Lavoie (turned 20 in September 2020) began with Vasby IK in the Allsvenskan. He led the club in scoring (51 games, 23-22-45, NHLE of 26.1) before coming back to North America and scoring 5-5-10 in 19 AHL games with the Bakersfield Condors (21.0 NHLE). He has a great release and is dangerous on the AHL power-play when he gets a chance.

Matej Blumel (turned 20 end of May 2020) had a strong second season in the Czech league (49 games, 17-15-32, NHLE 29.3) is a speedster who is average in size (6.0, 198). He’s one of the more promising wingers in the system, anxious to see him in North America. He is currently playing for the Czechs at the World Hockey Championships.

Maxim Denezhkin (turned 20 December 2020) is a personal favourite based only on his scouting report. He is a lefty center, with great passing skills and an idea about the complete game. Good speed, Pronman likes his ability to play with the puck. There’s every chance we never see him in North America but he owns an interesting resume.

Olivier Rodrigue (turned 20 in July 2020) is one of several goaltender prospects matriculating in the Oilers system. He started the season in Austria (23, 3.11 .908) and has been the backup for the Condors (11, 2.99 .894) since the Bakersfield season got underway. Had a .930 SP in his final four appearances with the Condors.

Mike Kesselring (turned 20 in January 2020) and is a big defenseman with an unusual skating style (he’s effective) and raw offensive skills. At Northeastern in 2020-21 (20, 5-3-8, NHLE 12.9) he impacted the offensive game much more than his freshman year in Hockey-East. Once signed and graduated to Bakersfield, he’s being used in a depth role (21, 1-2-3 NHLE: 5.7). We’ll find out more about him next season, he has real potential.

Patrik Siikanen (turned 20 in April 2020) played in the Liiga at age 20 (36 games, 2-5-7, 7.2 NHLE) and finally gave us something to talk about (he didn’t play much before this year). He played 11:42 per game and had an even strength goal differential of 10-21 (-11).

Summary: There are some promising players here, led by Lavoie who I rated as a first-round pick in his draft season. He scored goals at about the same rate as Pouliot, but didn’t play the same feature role during all of his Bakersfield games. I think Lavoie is on track as an NHL player based on his 20-year-old season, if he’s scoring at a 20+ goal rate with the Condors next year it’s confirm it. The others are farther away and we know from history it’s possible none of them makes it, impossible to identify anyone from the rest of the pack at this point.

THE AGE 20 GROUP IN 2021-22

Dylan Holloway (turns 20 in September 2021) is a perfect fit for the current Oilers and may be close to playing in the NHL. He is 6.01, 203 and coming off a breakout season with Wisconsin (11-24-35 in 23 games, NHLE 41.6). The left-wing position will get an upgrade over the summer in Edmonton, Holloway could be a part of it.

Philip Broberg (turns 20 in June 2021) is one of several lefthanded blue who will be pushing for NHL work in the fall. His SHL season (44, 3-10-13 NHLE 14.4) included a power-play spike and an injury that contributed to his moving down the depth chart (third pair). Lots of Oilers fans are down on this player, I’d encourage you to monitor his progress this season. Oscar Klefbom, who is a comparable in some ways, had an NHLE of 13.3 at the same age, and was in the NHL late in his age 20 season.

Maxim Berezkin (turns 20 in October 2021) is 6.02, 201 and has a KHL season (31, 0-2-2 NHLE 4.2) behind, albeit in a depth role. He is big, strong, wins board battles and is a good skater. In the MHL, he went 13-15-28 in 25 games (NHLE 16.5), this is a big season to come and the KHL experience of a year ago should benefit him. Expect more than 5:51 per night in his 2021-22 KHL season.

Summary: A shorter list with stronger candidates, two of the three are extremely likely to play in the league and Holloway could emerge quickly. I’m not certain about Broberg, but there’s many positives in his resume, beginning with skating ability. Berezkin is a fascinating player who delivers in an area of need.


At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we have a loaded show. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will help us explain what happened in the playoffs and the season overall. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs and MLB matchups. Ken Holland will speak to the media at 11, we’ll cover that, too. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Cracknell with the OT winner, Lavoie with 2 apples and lots of HD chances. The Henderson tender stood on his head.

Game 2 goes tomorrow at 8:00.


Interesting… If Minnesota manages to knock off VGK, all four 2nd seeds will have been eliminated.

Bank Shot

Are we really lauding Sakic, the guy who broken his fingers by sticking his hand in his snow blower a genius?

I suspect there are some key people doing the work in Colorado and it isn’t all “Quoteless Joe”.


Year, Avalanche ranking, Edmonton ranking

2010-A12 E30
2011-A29 E30
2012-A20 E29
2013-A29 E24

Sakic Hired
2014-A3 E28
2015-A21 E28

Chiarelli Hired
2016- A21 E29 
2017- A30 E8
2018- A17 E23
2019- A17 E25

Holland Hired
2020- A3 E12
2021- A1 E11

Currently Sakic’s 8th year as the Avalanche GM.
He inherited a couple of high draft picks.
He’s made the playoffs 5/8 times. 2 of them being 8th seed.
2014 – lost first round
2018 – lost first round
2019 – lost second round
2020 – lost second round
2021 – won first round

In 8 years, he has won 3 playoff series.

Holland has so far made the playoffs 2/2 times but hasn’t yet won a series.

The Avalanche are arguably the best team in the NHL today.

Sakic’s teams however haven’t been as successful as some on here claim them to have been. Especially not outside of these two years.

it took Sakic 6 years to build his contender. Not sure why you expect Holland to have it done after 1 year.


It’s important to note that Sakic was not saddles with cap hell by his predecessor like Holland was


You missed a key date. October 17, 2017.


Same lineup for the Condors which means no Holloway. No surprise but its clear his season is all but officially over – really would have been beneficial to have him get a few AHL games in, for him to get a sense of the pro game (the speed, skill and strength of the players) and for the org to get some info in to his readiness as a pro.

Harpers Hair

And the games are effectively meaningless since the players have said overwhelmingly they didn’t want to play as well as having almost all the top prospects on NHL rosters.

Basically league mandated exhibition games.


Kinda like flames/canucks… eh, spillies


Oh, for sure, the more the better but even a little bit of information would have been better than none. At least he got some time with a pro team.

The players, as a group, did state they didn’t want to play playoffs given not getting paid but, of course, if one is watching and paying attention they are battling and, seeing reactions, 100% care about their on-ice performance.

Harpers Hair

An excellent Twitter thread here on today’s Holland pronouncements.

Sensitive readers may be offended by references to Devon

Woodguy (@Woodguy55) Tweeted:
Many knew how good Toews was last year. 

Cap strapped NYI chose to move him and COL picked him up for 2 2nds. EDM is in the COL position this summer, but I doubt EDM pro-scouting would have identified Toews

Lead all COL Dmen in TOI/gm

These deals will be out there this summer


Can confirm. There was a lot of chatter about Toews among the fancy stats crowd before Colorado traded for him. Sort of like with Burakovsky.


On Burakovsky, was it a fancy stats argument? Or an eye test argument based on him being obviously skilled?

I ask because the fancy stats I know are actually what made me sceptical of Burakovsky, nothing stood out at all. I’m obviously nothing special in the fancy stats world, so maybe I’m missing something.

Still, it makes me wonder whether Burakovsky is an analytics success, or just a success of more standard scouting. I guess we’ll likely never know.

Harpers Hair

Here are his GF% for the past 7 seasons:


Important to remember those first 5 seasons in Washington often had him playing third line minutes and in this past season his PDO was a paltry .984.


Yes, I’m aware he’s had a good GF%. You might have noticed Washington and Colorado are good teams. So his GF% relative to team has been more negative than positive.

And it’s hilarious you highlight his .984 PDO this season when it’s the first time in his career he’s been below 1000.

His PDO was1035 just last season. He managed 60%GF on 50%SF and 48%xGF.

Harpers Hair

Any time your GF% at 5V5 is above 50% you’re doing fine.

Being above the xGF% means nothing more than you’re a very skilled player.

His 5V5 numbers are consistently better than McDavid’s although, as you say, he’s played on better teams.


Any time your GF% at 5V5 is above 50% you’re doing fine.

I guess?? If you’re being outperformed by your teammates it’s not a good thing.

Being above the xGF% means nothing more than you’re a very skilled player.

So… Burakovsky is ‘not’ skilled?

He had 4 straight seasons of xGF below 50% before this one.

His 5V5 numbers are consistently better than McDavid’s although, as you say, he’s played on better teams.

You’ve made this up.

McDavid is +73 GF at 5v5 for his 6 year career.
Burakovsky is +42 over those 6 years.

And in terms of team strength, yes, Burakovsky’s teams were slightly ‘better’..
McDavid teams were -75 GF at 5v5
Burakovsky teams were +245 GF at 5v5

McDavid/Burakovsky is one of your oddest comparisons yet.

Last edited 3 months ago by jp
Harpers Hair

Just shows you how jumping on opportunity can change the equation.

After drafting an instant impact D with a high pick, if you can follow it up with that kind of deal you’re drawing away from the pack.

But to be honest, the deal Sakic made for Sam Girard is even more impressive IMO.

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Samuel Girard, forward Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft from the Nashville Predators, as well as forward Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, a first-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in 2019 from the Ottawa Senators. The Avalanche has sent forward Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators, and the Nashville Predators receive Kyle Turris from Ottawa.

Sakic turned Duchene into a young stud D who would be 1st pairing on many teams, a pick that became Martin Kaut (1st round), Shane Bowers (1st round) and Kamenev (2nd round) who returned to the KHL after suffering a broken wrist but Colorado retains his rights.

In one trade he picked the pockets of both Ottawa and Nashville..I wonder if other GM’s want to pick up the phone when he calls?


Actually analytics crowd really wanted Connelly. Ooops
Eyeball crowd wanted Burakovsky


i didn’t say down. Just not the guy they wanted


True on Burakovsky. I was rushed and lumped them together for expediency.

There were a lot of the brighter bulbs at Lowetide suggesting a trade for Burakovsky. I think Leadfarmer was one.

I conflated that with analytics folks.

For Toews, it was analytic folks.


Well given that the team did not have 2 2nd round picks I don’t think anyone can claim one way or another
AA almost 0.5 ppg at evens would have been a nice addition to this team.
Stupid Covid


So elite players don’t always arrive early?
is that what you are arguing?

Harpers Hair

I have no idea who you are referring to.


Your constant argument that elite players arrive early. Devon Toews arrived at age 26 after spending 3 years in college and 2 1/2 seasons in the Ahl. And all those defensemen you’ve been talking about for the Avs all year he’s taken their lunch and their minutes

Harpers Hair

Toews is not elite…Makar is elite…you don’t seem able to figure that out.

But Toews is an excellent top pairing defenseman.

Think Darnell Nurse at a cap hit of $4.1 million for another 3 years.

Whose lunch has he been taking?

While he leads the team in TOI/GP by a small margin over Makar, the latter gets most of the PP time and thus higher point totals.


Devon Toews isn’t even close to Darnell Nurse right now despite being a year older.

His point total this season would be 4th on Nurse’s career point totals and, despite your qualifier about lack of PP time, note that he plays more per game on the PP than Nurse and Nurse has been top 10 in 5 on 5 scoring for years now.

He also played a higher percentage of his 5 on 5 TOI with MacKinnon, Ranatnen and Landeskog than Nurse did with McDavid this season.

If Toews is an excellent top pairing d-man, I guess that’s recognition that Nurse is elite at a younger age.

Harpers Hair

Both are excellent top pairing D.

You’ll see the elite ones in the voting for the Norris trophy.


One is clearly in another tier than the other and, yes, you’ll see him get some top 5 votes for the Norris when the ballot results are released.


If he’s not elite how come the elite players named Byram Timmons Girard can’t take his minutes


Because you cannot keep up with your own goal post moving you doofus.

Harpers Hair

And here I went explicitly out of my way to create a safe space for you so you wouldn’t get triggered but here you are lashing out and name calling again.


Your goalposts move so fast that you didn’t even notice that you just tripped over them

Harpers Hair

And then there were 12 after the NYI beat PIT.

The playoffs unfolding very quickly.


Who fucking cares. If we wanted the out of town scoreboard we would watch. I come back on here and it’s one thread after another from this fucking guy. This is ridiculous.


Games with fans >>>>>>>>>> games with no fans


Will be tough for the Habs and their fans if they can’t take the series to that 6th game that is set to have fans for the first time – only 2500, I think, but still.


Gotta think Toronto is highly motivated to close it out before G6 tomorrow.


quite the goaltending battle going on Long Island


What are people’s thoughts on bargain hunting and playing the waiting game for a LW in free agency. Last year there were some pretty decent options that were still available in mid December: Hoffman, Grandlund, Haula, Duclair, Athanasiou, Sheary.

Sucks to have to wait and risk the best options being taken but could be a good idea capwise.

Harpers Hair

Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) Tweeted:
Hearing DAL assistant Todd Nelson will interview for openings in Arizona and Columbus.


Nelson to Arizona. Can we get Krueger to Seattle or San Jose. It would make for a fun Pacific Division.

The Pacific wants all the Oiler coaches from the decade of darkness.

Harpers Hair

Arizona moves to the Central next season.

Harpers Hair

Its interesting that Seattle still hasn’t named a head coach.

Francis must be waiting for some one to get fired.


Or his choice is waiting for other offers


He is waiting to see what Brind’Amour does.

Brind’Amour signs a Carolina discount. Maybe after Dougie Hamilton signs a Carolina discount.

Or maybe both sign big money deals with the Kraken.

Harpers Hair


Brind’Amour has reportedly already agreed to a new contract with Carolina but is insisting Dundon bring back all the assistants and support staff.

If that doesn’t work out I can well imagine Francis would pounce and I think Seattle is the most likely destination for Hamilton in any event.

Harpers Hair

Marody makes the division All Star team.

Harpers Hair

Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) Tweeted:
“I’m here to stand up to this behaviour… I’m proud of where I come from. I’m proud to be from Ochapowace First Nation. I’m not just doing this for myself. I’m doing this for all people of colour & for the next generation.”

Ethan Bear’s statement in response to racist comments.

(click for video)


Good for Ethan. I had hoped more of his team mates would have said something as well. Glad to see Holland say something today. Absolutely deplorable behaviour.


Ethan exemplifies everything that’s good in life and hockey. He is a young man that any father or family member can be proud of. I wish him the best moving forward and feel comfortable that he has the personal strength to face whatever life throws at him. Regardless I will always be a fan of this man!


I am not sure why I come here anymore. All it is is HH sucking Joe Sakic’s dick. Is there not an Ave’s blog he can go masterbate at? It’s more like HF than ever and we wonder why the analytics people are no longer here. What a joke.


He does seem a little too old for a bromance,😉

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

No one is going to miss you, bro.


Same to HH. Not like we don’t know who you are Sybil.


Stauff asked Holland about Koekkoek and Shore.

Said they don’t have as good a read on Koekkoek as he missed most of the season. He needs to sort out the defence and future out what’s going on with Klef – he may bring him back but they’ll see.

He said that he and Tip know what Shore brings and like it and they want to bring him back. Lets not forget, he’s an RFA under team control.


Hoping to find a solution to bring Nuge back and keep some cap space to bring another player in.

Last edited 3 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Holland was on Oilers Now – he mentions that Holland already said he wants to re-sign Smith and that he’s open to buyouts so will he bring the same goaltending duo back…… Holland seemed taken aback by the question and eventually talked about how they were top 10 in tending after Smith returned – he mentioned their ages but said they are in win now mode – kids take time – he said yes, he could bring both of them back.

I’m not positive he buys out Koski if he can’t trade him retained – I’m not positive the other way either.


I wouldn’t buy out an expiring contract


Joe Sakic is so great that when Grubauer breaks down the entire offseason depends on Devan Dubnyk. Didn’t even learn after last offseason to get a competent and healthy backup

Harpers Hair

Is that so?

He acquired Jonas Johansson from Buffalo to be the backup backup.

8GP with Colorado
.913 SV%
2.06 GAA

Looks both competent and healthy to me.


Oooh oooh ooh
do Dubnyk Do Dubnyk


Yeah, Jonas Johansson is a classic Sakic move.

He’s 25 years old. 6’5″ tall. $700k against the cap.

Cost a 6th round pick.


Did he know for sure Francouz was going to be gone the entire year?

Harpers Hair



So he checks on all things with you! You are an ass when you make unverifiable statements! Check your meds!


Im surprised at all the outrage after the Maple Leafs provided a step by step manual on defeating the Oilers. Even if we beat the Jets, one of Vegas, Boston, Tampa, Colorado, or even Toronto were going to do this to us.
This roster is very flawed and we knew it.


As I recall Toronto didn’t do all that well on their last games with Edmonton. There is no doubt on my mind that the NHL would have helped with the refereeing given what I watched in the Winnipeg series. By what I watched the league didn’t want an Edmonton Toronto matchup!

Harpers Hair

Edmonton-Toronto would have been a much better matchup for TV ratings.


ethan Bear is actually a really inexpensive that except for small sample size at the end is really pretty good


Coleman and Wennberg are the only two UFA’s I would sign and give term to. Not sure who I would prefer though, slight lean to Coleman based on natural LW position. Nurse, Pulju, and Bear extensions next year loom large so budget isn’t what we think it is imo re: UFA signings.

Would consider more than 4 years to Nuge if price was decent and last two years were completely unencumbered by NMC/NTC clauses. I like the $4.75 to $5.25 million /year range (lower being better of course, I just view term as being the bridge to perceived value).

Still like Khaira, Ennis, and Haas. Need to keep Archibald imo, luckily he’s signed. Remain pleased that the Turris contract can be buried in the minors with minimal impact.

Big question is the buy-out of Koskinen and/or Neal. Not a huge question to me in some ways:

– a buy-out of Koskinen and signing of an UFA goalie at $3 million is net zero as far as salary, Cap and roster spots is concerned (this year at least)
– a buy-out of Neal and signing of an UFA left-wing at $3.83 million runs the same lane (could Coleman sign in the range of $3.83 or so?)

Hella an important off-season.


Hello Lowetiders,

Been awhile since I wrote and this may be the last you’ll hear from me in a bit. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve raged the last 3 days about this team, and how I’m done as an Oilers fan. Maybe, maybe not, but seeing this is the last bastion of sanity on the Good Ship Oilers, I’ll lay it out for you here.

I first started cheering for this team in the early WHA days after my dad took me down to the Edmonton Gardens to cheer for this new team against Bobby Hull. My obsession with hockey started earlier than that, but it was cemented on that day. My NHL team was the Canadiens, but the Oilers were my favorite team. I listened with great concentration to Bryan Hall and Rod Phillips as they called the games, with me tuning on in my transistor radio late into the night when I should have been sleeping. They became my fave team when they moved to the NHL and then I was really hooked. As life would play a cruel fate on me, the Oilers moved to the NHL the year after we left Edmonton as a family and headed to BC, which is my home still.

I have been fortunate enough to write about Oilers prospects through great guys like Bruce McCurdy and come in here and just be blown away by the diversity and amount of knowledge of the fans.

I lived the best of times and the absolute horrid of times with this franchise, and I think I was pushed off the edge the other night as I drove to an emergency call on my job, believing the game was in hand at 4-1. No problem, the internet is wonderful so I tuned into 630 CHED on my phone and drove away. I was only 10 minutes away and the co-worker I was going to meet is an Oilers fan, so maybe we could celebrate together. I couldn’t believe it. Ironically, the radio team mentioned that Tippet would probably be resting 97 & 29 the rest of the way.

I can’t say I have ever raged that hard at any sports event before and I hope I never do again. Maybe it was the annoyance of answering a work call on a long weekend. Who knows. It just felt like I was pushed beyond the edge and simply had enough.

Having said that, I want to preface this rant by saying that I do not begrudge any fans, players, or coaching staff with the Oilers one bit. When you’re a fan, you follow the team and I for one will say to blindly follow a team and not hear any dissenting opinions is ridiculous. Even Ned Flanders had a boiling point. Lowetide is a refreshing place to go as fans in here tend to have a higher understanding of the game and let’s face it, more tolerant towards each other. The players are doing what they love to do and they do it to the best of their ability and I can’t question their work ethic because 1) I will never know what it’s like to be an NHL player and 2) see point 1. The coaching staff works with what they’re given by management and try their best to adapt team tactics to what is available on the bench. I know one of the Oilers coaches (Jim Playfair) and I know they’ve all worked their tails off to get where they are. You can’t make diamonds from turds no matter how hard you try. Now that I’ve said that….

My biggest rage right now is that the owner and upper management have such utter contempt for the fans. Thank you Mr Katz for stepping up and buying the team and being an owner who is a fan, but is also an owner who got his rink paid for with a considerable amount of tax dollars and spoke of leaving if he didn’t. I love the fact that you’ve taken a step back and let the supposed geniuses run the hockey part.

Bobby Nicks has been such an abysmal and utter failure as the President of this team, and I honestly don’t see this team moving forward until he and his rot, is out of this franchise. He has no vision for this team and seems to think annual ticket price increases are the way to improve the team. He hasn’t hired the right people and tends to hang onto shiny objects from the glory years (and boy are those a long time ago). I also know that when he was CEO of Hockey Canada he was a tyrant and more of a salesman than someone who could be bothered by all the technical points of running a company. But, he seems to hold some sway with the owner, so who knows. His constant hiring of buffoons and his reluctance to create an analytics department with the team is beyond baffling. Hiring Peter Chiarelli, need I say more?

What has this “leadership” gotten us? One of the worst decades in hockey (and like I said, this team should count their blessings that the Sabres exist), and the potential wasting of a generational talent. I’m not an analytics guru, and have a very limited grasp of it, but I do know that it makes a huge difference especially in this salary cap world we find o urselves in. Season after season of having to temper our expectations while Bobby Nicks and his lapdogs do absolutely nothing, nothing, to improve this club. I don’t see much improvement and I’m certainly not holding my breath this summer and have decided not to spend one single dime of my money on this hockey team. Not until I see Bobby Nicks shown the door and maybe I’ll buy something. For now, no more over priced, cramped nosebleed seats, plus the $$$ it costs to even get to Edmonton, nothing.

I don’t know, maybe I’m a looney tune, maybe I’m just beyond pissed off. Pissed off that I’ve been foolish to believe, this team that I’ve been watching, is presented as an NHL team. Maybe I need to keep my expectations lower, or maybe I need to be more realistic. Maybe I just feel that as a fan, outside of the players and coaches, no one if the luxury suites really gives a crap about the fans. They certainly haven’t shown it in building this team.

Anyway, I’m done ranting

Thanks for reading.


Don’t be so hard on Bobby, he did get a burger named after him after all, hes an edmonton legend!

Fuge Udvar

Rogers Place is the most overhyped building of all time. I remember the first time i walked into it. It was just beige on beige. Although there is less beige now that they covered it with more ads. The thing that really struck me though was I walked through the front gates and then had to fight my way through the escalator line. All I could think was “they made a documentary about this place!?”.

I wonder if they even planned to make that ring sky bar or if they were just trying to drum up publicity.


Firstly, if the emotion of “rage” is one that is conjured up during your fandom then, yes, I agree that stepping away, perhaps completely, may be warranted.

I cannot agree with a speculative assessment that Daryl Katz has contempt for the fanbase – I’m not going to get in to the “good owner vs. bad owner” debate but will just note the tens of millions of dollars he indirectly spends the help his manager – agreeing to buyout players, agreeing the Neal/Lucic trade which costs over $10MM of real money in contract exchange, burying one-way contracts in the minors, etc.

As far a Bob Nicholson, I asked the question the other day regarding what he should be doing or doing better that affects on-ice product (taking away the GM hire) – I received no answer. I will note that he’s likely gone from the Oilers org in Sept when Rene Fasel is scheduled to finally retire as IIHF president.


Are you on the Oilers payroll? Its a genuine question, there’s no problem if you are, but being honest about it would make it easier to converse with you.

And as far as what could Nicholson do better how about hiring a modern competent management team for starters?

Chelios is a Dinosaur

I agree with OP, if you feel rage as a result of the attention you pay to this team, you should step away. You’re potentially bumming out the people around you as well, who don’t deserve it.

You do you. No harm there. But I just don’t see it. So just my two cents: A fan doesn’t sign a contract with a team whereby the team must meet a certain set of benchmarks in order to satisfy a set of fandom criteria. You hope they win. They usually don’t.

I am a fan of the Oilers because I am from Edmonton and I love hockey. These two things conspired, and I learned a lot about hockey through the Oilers. There’s a bit of civic pride sprinkled in, and really, I just want the sport I love to be played at its highest level in the city where I’m from. There’s a lot of investment in following the team. Why start new elsewhere? Why shack up with another team who will just break your heart in a decade anyway? Why manufacture that relationship when its already so natural?

If you de-fan a team because of their owner’s leveraging of the team for a development project, that’s more reasonable in my books, but even then, for me, its just like Edmonton, or Alberta, or Canada themselves: Associations and identities within are complicated and often contradictory. Look at what happened to Ethan Bear this week. Perhaps THERE’S a reason to not identify as a fan of the team. But really, its more of a reason to stay engaged, to claim that space for the decent folk and help root out the fuckers. Direct your anger at David Staples, who leveraged his platform and fandom to spout junk economic science in Edmonton’s paper of record…anyway I’m digressing.

Listen, point being I feel I have to take the good with the bad and there are mutitudes and worlds inside this team. Perhaps if it were more like European football, and the Oilers were team traditionally associalted with the right or the left, it would be easier. But then I have no interest in clubbing skinheads only because they’re Flames fans.

I tend to look at it in the long dureé. I am a fan now as I was in 1986, as I will be in 2050. The only time I’ve been truly heartbroken was when it looked like the team was going to leave. Winning or losing, competent or not competent. I really admire the fans of say, the Cubs, who, despite a literal lifetime of losing, found ways to follow, to find hope, to learn, to manage, and then, finally, once, to explode in joy.

TLDR: Its better to fade away, than to burn out.


So the only way to be a “real” fan is to post how awesome and perfect everything is with the team? And any criticism should be stopped because it could bum some people out?

Wow this place used to be where you could come to have a rational discussion about the team good and bad. But its being populated more and more by fans who not only think the Oilers can do no wrong but actively post to shut down any critical posts.

And if you’re getting so bummed out by a post on an internet message board maybe you should step away


Wow this place used to be where you could come to have a rational discussion about the team good and bad. But its being populated more and more by fans who not only think the Oilers can do no wrong but actively post to shut down any critical posts.

There was a post about Nicholson needing to be fired. I asked about what he is doing poorly, or not doing, that is affecting the on-ice product as, really, does anyone know his current day to day job description.

The response i received was being asked if I was on the Oiler payroll – so instead of having a rational discussion (as you suggest), it seems you just want to shut down non-Oilers critical posts.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Read it again.


True, there are a multitude of reasons to be a fan, and a multitude of more productive ways to spend my time and money. I certainly don’t fit the mold of a lot of fans


I have seen the light and have gone golfing! I have enjoyed you input and knowledge. The NHL has received their last bit of revenue from me. It pains me to see the dupe that I was over the years. The old adage follow the money to me is obvious. Lady Luck landed McDavid in Edmonton much to the chagrin of the league. The Bettman point allows the league to manipulate the the fan into thinking their team has a chance! Having played the game at a high level and loving the game as I do the transition will be hard. Seems to be a lot like guys finding out their wife of many years has been cheating on them with their best friend!


Definitely not on the Oilers payroll. Just a lowly Facilities Manager for an awesome non-profit here in PG.


Not everyone agrees that Holland isn’t a competent manger. I also spoke to that in my post, aside from the manger, what is Nicholson not doing or doing poorly? What in his job description is affecting the on-ice product we watch??

Harpers Hair

Here you go.

1) Create a credible analytics department

2) Stop hiring old school thinkers to run the team (see Holland presser today for reference)

3) Obviate the need to buy out or bury contracts in the minors by acquiring players who warrant their contracts.

4) Retool the pro and amateur scouting department to avoid the above.

5) End the nepotism that is rife within the organization and finally sever all ties with the Boys on the Bus that have handicapped the future of the team.

6) Put in place “best practise” mechanisms for all future hires from the top to the bottom of the organization.

That would be a good start.


Thank you, that’s what I was looking for. Not a psychoanalytic browbeating of my choice of words.

And believe me, I have stepped back and probably will step back even more.

Just not worth my time.

Harpers Hair

You will be missed.

Always enjoyed your posts.

For what it’s worth, my separation with traditional Oiler fandom started unraveling with Lowe’s dreadful treatment of Smyth and Petry.

Eventually, I transitioned to become more of the game at large with particular interest in how good teams are built.

You’ll find a few intelligent posters here who can discuss that objectively in good humor but there are also those who believe the Oilers can do no wrong, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and feel a need to personally attack anyone who doesn’t toe the company line.

Hope to hear from you again.


there is also some who believe they are the intelligent poster and can do no wrong…


Thanks for posting. Please come back here often.


Great rant, I totally feel where you’re coming from. Sports is completely irrational and it can suck a lot of time, money and emotion out of you, often with no discernible benefit.

Sports is not a traditional business model but certainly it is increasingly heading towards out-of-touch billionaires and nation-states with troubling human rights records (in soccer at least).


Just do what I do. Catch the games when you can and if shit goes south, take a step back and remind yourself:

“This is not my team.. it’s Darryl Katz team. There’s nothing I can do to change this fact.”

“I am not playing the game – it is not my dreams of a Stanley Cup that are being crushed and I am not the one paying these players millions of dollars”

“Would I enjoy doing something else at this moment instead of watching the game?” If so, then do something else.

And then catch up on LT the next day.

Whatever you do, don’t become the next HH where 30 years later you are still angrily obsessing over how this team wronged you, as if it owed you anything.


That’s true

I think the combination of thinking I was missing the game and then having to listen to it while having to deal with idiots who vandalized one of the facilities I run really did it to me.

Rage was a poor choice of words.

I just felt bad for the players and coaches, because I’ve been in both those roles, and to be stuck in an unwinnable situation season in season out, just wears on people.


I went through something similar with the Hall trade. Now I’m a casual fan and just catch a few periods here and there. I was fine with all the years of hard playing teams that just never had the salary to keep up, I found value in that. But when the team was gifted diamonds and through them away, I just couldn’t get as invested anymore. A new and modern GM and a tactical coach might bring me back though I think.

Scungilli Slushy

I’m the same kind of fan as you. I’m a competitive person by nature, and I want to be the best I can be in everything.

I also don’t blame players, they do the best they are able to do in the toughest league.

And it drives me crazy when management doesn’t do everything they can to better the team. The Oilers have the money, total fan support, they are very lucky.

To not be at the forefront of hockey things, especially when old timey thinking has clearly not been good enough is really disappointing for me.

Having been gifted Connor, to not adapt and be the leader, when asking the players to do that, is inexcusable to me.

I also have to step back and bring down my level of passion for the team to stand it, year after year after year.

It’s getting better, but they could do more, coaches included who underwhelm me. If you are brought in because of experience, you shouldn’t have to learn much, you should know what to do, right?

I can’t imagine being a fan that is ok with failures when more could be done, but to each their own.

After a while I can invest more, until they disappoint me again, hopefully that doesn’t happen for a long time after this offseason.

If Holland underwhelms me I’m not sure what I’ll do, although watching Connor is worth it alone if he’s not too frustrated visibly, then I don’t enjoy it.

Thanks for the post, I really enjoy your comments.

Last edited 3 months ago by Scungilli Slushy

This is a solid post and I appreciate you expressing your thoughts and feelings.

With that said, I think its important to add the underlined words to the following statement:

And it drives me crazy when management doesn’t do everything they in my opinion can to better the team. 

There are numerous different ways of team and championship team building that have been and can be successful. Some are more aggressive and higher risk than others. One may not agree with lesser material transactions being made in the present but the view there is still to better the team, in due course.


Fellas and gals,
I know we all expected our team to be more playoff competitive this year, and the fancies say that they deserved better than they got. But while I wholeheartedly believed they would beat the Peg, and have a good crack at T dot, we didn’t really think they had a good shot at the cup, and pushing all in this year wasn’t the move.
holland has done well so far except AA (which he probably wouldn’t have done if he knew the pandemic was coming).
we are in better hands


We are in steadier hands not sure if they are better yet. AA, Green, and Kassian’s contract were mistakes. Puljujarvi, Archibald, Neal, and Smith are successes. Jury is still out on Broberg. Ennis was a draw to me.


Harpers Hair

May 26, 2021 11:48 am

Holland needs to spend a couple of days with Joe Sakic to get an education on team building in the salary cap era.

Claiming that top prospects never get traded to build a winner is just nonsense and his constant referrals to how he built in the Red Wings is just sad.

Completely out of touch with contemporary realities and contradicting himself repeatedly.

I was raving about the stone-cold killer Joe Sakic last year.

He really has created the blueprint on how to GM in the national hockey league though he didn’t go full Bradley Cooper until he hired Dawson Sprigins.

Anyone who thinks he started with some lottery picks and got a few lucky trades isn’t paying attention.

Look at their work. They have a surprisingly young team because they flush the aged and continue to bring in players in their prime or heading into their prime. They largely acquire players outside of free agency as well.

  1. Never sign an aged player to a long albatross contract. Even like a Donskoi (27,28,39, and 30) or Toews (26,27,28, and 29) are signed for years under the player age of 30. He doesn’t have many players on the wrong side of 30 either except Bellmare and Soderberg and their contracts expire at the end of the season.
  2. Don’t blow your brains out in free agency. Sort of a repeat of above, but he doesn’t go out sign max term UFA’s that are 29. It will be interesting to see what he does with Landeskog.
  3. Dump players instead of paying them too much. (Zadorov trade)
  4. Know the pressure points on other teams and take advantage (Devon Toews).
  5. Shop in the RFA aisle of other teams, as above but also with Burakovsky.
  6. Don’t be afraid to trade your prospects for other teams prospects (Graves, Burroughs)
  7. Weaponize and/or monetize cap space (Grubauer trade, Burakovsky, Towes).
  8. Help other teams out with their problems (Kadri, Girard)
  9. Sell high if you can (Duchene, Barrie) and trade for younger players.

Maybe Kenny will sign off on Joe being his Power of Attorney

Harpers Hair

Yep…pretty much what I outlined below.

And, you know how much dead money he has on the cap next season?



Yeah, that’s one of the keys for sure.

Avoid dead money at all costs.

It’s unfortunate, but the Oilers will go on operating like a 70’s furniture store (hat tip to LT).

Harpers Hair

Hadn’t thought much about the Landeskog situation until you mentioned it but, yeah, that will be fascinating to watch.

Joe has stated this year’s team is likely the deepest it will be for a while but I can see him moving on from Kadri ($4.5M for 1 more year) now that Jost has emerged and he’s likely going to lose a very good D to Seattle (likely Graves) but he has Byram ready to take that spot on an ELC.

The one pending issue though is the fate of Erik Johnson who spent all season on LTIR.

He’s got 2 more seasons left at $6M at the age of 33.


See y’all in the pub next season!


Holland instils no confidence that he’s got any vision or plan to build this team into a cup contender. Every time i hear him speak the more past it i think he is.


I hope he has a better vision for the summer than he had for this press conference. This was tie an onion to my belt stuff.


Kenny mentioned he’ll be talking to the leadership group in a week or so. I hope Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Yzerman will get to the bottom of this😉


The Oilers and Mike Smith.


I am on-board with re-signing Smith (which is going to happen) especially given Holland expressly mentioned the possibility of a buyout and I anticipate that might be Mikko.

I’m fine with Smith back on a one-year deal if the plan is not to run him as a true 1G like this year but a split like last year. I anticipate that is the case if Mikko is moved on from.

I do fear that the base salary will be higher than $2M. I’m fine with a $500K increase in base to $2M but I fear we see something closer to $3M – his play this year warrants that type of base but one must consider age and reasonable probability of repeatability of performance.


Lots of talk from Holland about re-signing some of the internal guys and Nuge was brought up consistently and often through the conference, as far as re-signing and leadership group and core. Larsson as well.

Barrie never mentioned by Holland and when asked about Barrie and if Klefbom’s status is a factor, he completely strayed from talking about Barrie – only about Klef (and he’ll talk to Klef and his agent in early July for an update).


That’s good news.

I haven’t watched yet but it didn’t sound like Barrie himself expected to be back either.

John Chambers

It’s not going to be a popular strategy, but the Oilers could make small moves this summer (re-sign Nuge & Lars), add a winger for 1-year under market value, like Barrie but at wing, and go into the season WITH Neal and Koskinen.

The Pacific is so weak that your top-6, Nurse, Lars, Bouch, Smith and Bear will get you there, but then most of the bad contracts will have been burned away, meaning next February Holland can:
1) Trade Koskinen + straight up for a money goalie (Kuemper), and run him with Smith as your playoff tandem.
2) Trade Neal (50% ret) along with a 1st for a Rackell-type upgrade.

I think a patient summer could set up an active deadline and a lot of clean air for summer 2022.

John Chambers

Oilers should LTIR Klefbom for the season then bring him back Kucherov style for game 1 of the playoffs.

For the first time in forever I’m not concerned about the Oilers’ ability to make the playoffs, but still very concerned about their ability to take the next step. Holland will need to be shrewdly patient AND appropriately aggressive.


So…when your plan of waiting forever, which inevitably creates a one year window happens…then they lose…How will any of this have been worth it?

I don’t understand people’s perpetual reluctance to attempt greatness. Existing in purgatory has to be so unsatisfying.

Material Elvis

Didn’t Peter Chiarelli attempt greatness?


Not at all.

Unless you think Griffin Reinhart, trading away a future MVP and not checking with your big UFA signing will actually play for the team/city before you commit your money is doing that.


Chiarelli did attempt it. He just failed miserably.


I would be stunned if 50% retained Neil and a first gets you Rakell. He probably costs you a first without a bad contract.


It’s a reasonable idea. The one thing I want this summer is an upgrade on LW, maybe two but at least one solid LW. Other things I can be patient about but not that, we have the money. I’m tired of the – there is no winger for McDavid so we have to use Draisiatl story. There are options this year get a good one.

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac
John Chambers

No doubt about the LW upgrade. It’s where you need to apply Barrie’s money this offseason.

Coleman – 97 – 13
93 – 29 – 2RW

By February both Neal and Koskinen’s salaries will be far less toxic, and the cost for the Oilers to offload them in exchange for similar but more productive players will become reasonable.

We don’t need to win the Cup over the first 60 regular season games, we just need to harvest points then kick it into full gear next March and April.


I think you have the right approach here but I differ on the Neal treatment. He is not UFA after next season so I don’t see a GM taking on that contract for any reason. Neal is the buyout candidate for me. $3.8M cap space retrieved for an important off-season and you take the bet that the cap rises in 2 years once the buyout cap penalty kicks in.


Exactly, Neal won’t be that easy to get rid of with 2 years left.

Material Elvis

Holland mentioned some racist abuse that Bear received. What was he referring to? Did something happen or was it just Twitter mouth breathers doing what they do best?


Racist Facebook posts/comments. Death threats.

Material Elvis

What?! Wow that’s crazy. Poor Ethan. Why would anyone equate performance with race? That’s just awful.


Many mouth breathers walk among us. Surprise!


Never been on Twitter or Facebook. Never will. I can’t imagine any value from these platforms.


Twitter is a tremendous source for breaking news and following experts in various fields of interest.

Other than that it’s a total nightmare.


I thought that I had the skills to filter the tremendous from the nightmare. Then I realized that I couldn’t haha! Now Lowetide is my social media (and Goodreads)


Wow, what awful, awful behaviour.


Holland mentions that some of the success of the year (and the build) is what’s going on in Bakersfield and some of the young guys down there.

Bring on Tyler Benson!


He’ll be the difference maker😉


If he brings offense to the bottom 6, he actually would be.


Definitely the missing piece😄


I’m hopeful for Benson, probably a long shot to be a difference maker but he should get a shot. I’m excited about Samorukov. He has a chance to be a difference maker and I think we should see him next year. He could make the team out of camp!


Who said anything about him being a missing piece? If he comes in an provides offense to the bottom 6, he’s making a difference. But go on child.


“He’ll be THE difference maker” lol

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I’m fine with Benson penciled in for next year. He can take the place of the Turris-like signing we would otherwise make.


As Ken Holland seems confused about what to do today I will help him out with an early draft of my summer to-do list;

1. Hire a competent fully staffed analytics department.

2. Listen to said department

3. Sign Nuge & Larsson

4. Bridge Yamamoto, try and go long early with Puljujarvi and Bear

5. Trade Jones + Koskinen (50% retain) for Elvis Merzļikins

6. Go short, even if expensive, with UFA’s to plug scoring depth holes.

Bonus points – trade Kassian for a 3d (NYR have 2)


Will Nuge count as a ‘gray beard’ if he can’t yet grow a beard?

Harpers Hair

3b. Trade 1st round pick to a cap strapped team for an impact top 6 forward.


Agreed, but it seems Holland feels Mcdavid prime is 5 to 10 years from now just when that pick will be making an impact

Harpers Hair

Sounds like a plan 👁

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

That would be a nice move.


Schmidt went for a 3rd. Killorn should cost something similar.


Why is Columbus making that trade?

Merzlikins is expansion draft exempt so they are not forced to trade one of their two goalies.

I don’t think “being Seth’s brother” has the pull for Jarmo that many Oilers fans think it does.

I think that Kassian trade would require apx $1M retained by the Oilers.

Harpers Hair

Holland needs to spend a couple of days with Joe Sakic to get an education on team building in the salary cap era.

Claiming that top prospects never get traded to build a winner is just nonsense and his constant referrals to how he built in the Red Wings is just sad.

Completely out of touch with contemporary realities and contradicting himself repeatedly.


Of note, Joe Sakic has been making the decisions for the Avs for 8 seasons and so far has no cups and little playoff success.

Yup, the team is top of the league right now and looks very good but its taken him 8 years to get there.

Contemporary Sakic techniques have taken the best part of a decade.

Harpers Hair

Of note, examine HOW Sakic built the best team in the league.
It is the antithesis of the vision (or lack thereof) that Holland is espousing.

Material Elvis

Got lucky by being able to draft MacKinnon, Makar, Rantanen, Landeskog? Then made a few good trades to supplement his core?

Harpers Hair

A few?

Once that core was in place, he aggressively added to it building the best D Corp in the league by exploiting the cap to acquire studs that other teams undervalued or were forced to move.

He also moved on from Barrie and got a #2C in the process and quickly built forward depth through astute trades and free agents signings likely with the help of the leading edge analytics department Ryan pointed out.

I didn’t hear anything like that kind of aggressive evidence- based approach from Holland…just endless repetition of stick with the process…did you?


The PPD approach (Process, Program, Detroit)

Harpers Hair

Just a deeper dive on how Sakic actually built that powerhouse and none of it was a “sticking to the plan” approach we heard this morning.

Obviously, MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog were high draft picks…just like McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge but what we see in the forward depth on the team is what makes the difference.

Kadri – Barrie trade

Burakovsky – traded for Scott Komaschuk (now playing in Austria)

Donskoi – FA…cap casualty in SJ

JT Compher – from Buffalo for excess D Nikita Zadorov

Nichushkin – FA ($850K….on my!)

PA Bellemare – FA elite penalty killer and #4C

Carl Soderburg – re-acquired in a trade for two expendable prospects

Tyson Jost – 1st round pick who should replace Kadri as early as next season

In effect, Sakic built a very deep forward group by savvy trades and exploiting the misery of other teams.

He still has some impressive prospects on the way in Alex Newhouse, Martin Kaut and Shane Bowers but hasn’t been relying on the old draft and develop model to put his team over the top.

Instead, he aggressively identified difference makers and wasn’t shy about moving on
from middling prospects to get the job done.

I didn’t hear any of that from Holland this morning.


Sakic didn’t start looking like Bradley Cooper in Limitless until he hired Dawson Sprigings. That wasn’t until October 2017. The cliffs notes version is that preceded the Matt Duchene trade.

Everyone forgets that the AVS were playing their Zamboni driver in goal for the playoffs last year.


Joe Sakic is just so good that he hired a goalie as a Zamboni driver as a brilliant way to skirt the salary cap and have a backup goalie on hand.

4D chess.

Harpers Hair

They may well have won a cup last season if not for that calamity.


ThEy MaY hAvE wOn A cUp

Drink that bleach kids.


and if my aunt had balls she would be my uncle…


Of course later in the interview he said he traded a top prospect himself for immediate help. And then went into say he would do it. C

Harpers Hair

After saying it never happens…hmmm.


Holland needs to spend a couple of days with Joe Sakic to get an education on team building in the salary cap era.

Claiming that top prospects never get traded to build a winner is just nonsense 

How many top prospects or first round picks has Joe Sakic traded again?

Todd Macallan

LT certainly got the 40 min. Holland over the 14 min. one.


Rishaug then asks if Holland’s mind-set is now changing – can he go through another deadline and not make more moves to address the holes in the team at the time?

Holland rambles about his experience in Detroit and how he doesn’t think they win the cup a few of those years without his deadline moves like Brad Stuart. He then talks about the Oilers core and how it reminds him of Detroit the few years before they won the cup (in 94 or so) and how Detroit when through a bunch of playoff disappointments.

Then re-ups regarding sticking with the plan and ensuring they get to the playoffs year after year after year and at some point, yes, material deadline moves are do-able and he’s prepared for that. At the same time, they are building a program, drafting plus development, success at the AHL level, etc. (the 5-7 year visions) – there is also the one year vision, the 3-6 months vision, etc.

If we get to the trade deadline and the team is in a good spot and playing well, I’ll spend some future but we’ve got to stick with it.

Do I do the big off-season trade at some point? Maybe.

Do I do the big splash at the deadline? Maybe.

I’ve done all that and will do that but we’ve got to grow and build and get in year after year.

I will make all those types of moves – at the appropriate time.

Last edited 3 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Sounds like KH thinks the window to be a serious contender is still 2+ years away. Thanks for posting all the updates, OP.


Asked if there if more urgency to steal from the future and press the current team (by Rishaug)…… Holland stumbled around a bit but, for the most part, gave a “no response” – its not that automatic – trade from the future and win the cap now.

You’ve got to let us grow a little bit – got to continue with it – now just one trade away and plan the parade – it doesn’t happen that way. The Cup is so hard to win – you’ve got to stick with it.


Of note, Holland includes reference to Nuge numerous times when talking about the young core and/or leadership group.

Todd Macallan

My favourite was “Daniel Nugent Hopkins” when referring to DNB haha. Nice to see he has Ryan on his mind.

Edit: that’s twice now!
Double edit: Make it 3, c’mon Kenny.
Update: I’ve officially lost count but it’s > 5 now.

Last edited 3 months ago by Todd Macallan
Chelios is a Dinosaur

I have blind spots and I’m doing this with no criteria, just feels. Help me. Who am I missing? What have I completely fucked up? Roster constructed with wins in mind.


Smyth / Gretzky / Kurri
Draisatl / McDavid / Anderson
Tikkanen / Messier / Hemsky
Hall / Weight / Eberle

Coffey / Pronger
Nurse / Huddy
Klefbom / Lowe
Mironov / Muni

Taxi Squad:
(F): Simpson, Horcoff, Arnott (D): Souray, S.Smith (G): Joseph
Farm Hands:
(F): McTavish, Penner, Hamrlik, Guerin, Carter, Linsemen, Grier, Marchant, Klima, Moreau, Kovalenko, Gagner, Satan (D): Sekera, Hamilton, Niinamaa, J.Smith, Larsson, Gregg, Richardson, Poti (G): Moog, Roloson  



Smyth doesn’t even make the all-time team, much less get the first line spot.

Moog and Joseph ahead of Ranford too – even though I was a fan.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

“Smyth doesn’t even make the all-time team”.

I think he does, obviously. Consistent ~30 goal scorer in a dead puck era. Granted didn’t know where to slot him but the thought of him driving the net next to 99 & 17 just had my heart bursting.Also I’m leaving room for “intangibles”. (But still coulnt find room for Yakupov ;( … )

I can accept those tender changes.


Mike Grier, now there was a player! Still have his jersey hanging up.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

He’ll make for a great fantasy call-up.


Vince Damphousse

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Only 1 year but it was a good one. Left him and Shayne Corson off. Shit and I have Hamerlik as a forward on the farm for some reason. Clearly some blender coming up!


Vinny > Hall and RNH … started as LW and moved over to C and was outstanding on face offs … would be a better fit for your 4th line.

Guerin > Eberle

Bernie Nichols

Jeff Petry

so many great players to grace the Oilers silks … and so many bad trades, lol!


Nice additions.

The only argument against Damphousse (vs. Hall) is era scoring (there were almost 2 more goals scored per game in the early 90s than the early 2000s). Definitely quality though.

Agreed on Guerin.

And Nicholls, 150 points. Man.

Todd Macallan

Edit: double post, OP is quicker on the draw as usual.

Last edited 3 months ago by Todd Macallan

I even stopped a set of barbell lunges short in order to get that post in!


Will a buyout be part of the plan “Very possible, not 100% but very possible” – zero hesitation when asked that question.

Mikko or Neal or both?




Will talk to pretty much all the players over the next few days.

Met with the younger players yesterday and gave them some input of things to work on.

WIll talk to the leadership group shortly and get their sense of the team and what needs to be done.

WIll then talk to tip and all his pro scouts – they will go over all the teams.

Will then talk to guys like Larsson and Nuge and then talk to other managers to get a sense of what they are doing and what players might be available.

Trades for the most part happen around draft week but this year is a bit different because of expansion year.

Will teams trade with just Seattle or other teams? That’s unknown until I work the phones.

After we get our protected list and Seattle takes their player we see how much money we have left after we’ve signed some internal guys.

Todd Macallan

I like that KH mentioned part of his exit interviewers with players is asking them what they think he should do. Seems like a small thing but I imagine not all GMs are open to that kind of input from all players, not just superstars.


“Stability” is the most overrated concept in modern professional sports.

The most successful franchises are actually not “stable” other than 2 or 3 key people.

The Yankees, Red Sox (puke), Dodgers, Penguins, Lightning, Patriots etc are not “stable”.

The Hawks are now in the junker because of “stability”. The same thing happened to the Kings. Every second-tier baseball team is nice and “stable”, never winning anything.

The modern salary-limited structure requires constant change and lack of attachment to all but a very select few who know how to identify and utilize talent. And constantly upgrading even very good players for better ones.

You can be lazy and mildly successful otherwise – but you won’t win a damn thing.


A carousel of GMs and coaches doesn’t exactly work well either though.


Unless you haven’t found those 2 yet.

Settling doesn’t help anything.


It’s true. But the change in and of it self can be disruptive and counter productive.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Then stop hiring shitty ones.




Right, hire the right ones = more stability. Fair?


Nugent-Bowman asked if he needs to make an impact trade to augment the hockey team and Holland said, no, an impact trade isn’t an necessity.

He asked if prospects like Holloway and Broberg are untouchable – Holland took his time and said, no, not untouchable, but those types of trades rarely happen. If a trade was there… for a one-year player but, if its a player that is there for 3-4 year, sure, he’d consider it but those types of established players don’t get traded often. I’d be open to it if the right situation came along but top prospects don’t often get traded.


Matty asked if he’s going to re-sign Mike Smith and Holland said, yes, he does want to re-sign Mike Smith.

Todd Macallan

Let’s hope it’s in a solid 1B role for similar money + bonuses to this season, followed by a significant upgrade on Koskinen for a 1A


Yes, I agree.

With the clear expectation of a buyout, I anticipate there is a good chance Mikko i part of that (maybe just Neal but Mikko is the one other option).

I’d be OK with Smith being in a split with a guy like Mrazek but the contract has to be a small bump on base to maybe $2MM, it can’t be a massive base increase from this year’s $1.5M.

His play this year warrants more than $2MM but a reasonable projection for repeatability of performance needs to be taken in to account.


No surprise at all but Holland mentions stability and that he can’t keep just bringing players in and switching players out. Of course, he will bring in some player but part of it is growth as a team and growth of the younger players.

“As a manger I have to have a good off-season” – whether that’s bringing back players or bringing in new players.

Last edited 3 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Gregor asked if main priority was the depth scoring at 5 on 5 and Holland said, yes, that is probably the top priority.

Holland then went on to talk about the young players like Jesse, etc. – those young players are going to grow and are important to the direction of the team.

Improving secondary scoring is primary but part of that is external and part of that is internal.

Last edited 3 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Holland speaking live now and, when Jones mentioned all the cap space, Holland mentions the reality – yes, lots of cap space but lots and lots of players to sign.

Lots of important players to re-sign or potentially go to market.

Goes on to say that some of the growth has to come internally, from the young players, the drafting and developing – can’t just rely fully on free agency (and trades).

Last edited 3 months ago by OriginalPouzar

The list above will NOT offer the Oiler’s any meaningful run support next year. Holland is going to have spend his money wisely. IMO he should be working to:

1.TWO Dynamic lines – He needs to split 97, 29 and get them help. A difficult decision will have to make on IF Hopkins AND Yamamoto can contribute more than they did this year or are they better suited lower in the line-up.

2.Top 4 Impact defenseman – We have one signed for next year – two UFAs and an injuried Klefbom. A difficult decision will have to be made on Bear, can he IMPACT the game as 1/2 RHD next year.

3.A third line that play 15 minutes a night against tough match-up and contribute a least 40 goals

4.Right Handed “face-offer” that can win +51% of the draws. I would have JP, Kassian, Yamamoto and Archibald practice all summer long on their draws.

5.Long term goalie – Smith for one more year might be a trap.

6.Trading a defenseman for a winger that can play on one of the two Dynamic lines, should be explored. ie Bear for Debrusk (type player).


Er…Debrusk has failed in a top 6 role as a LW. And like Athanasiou, his salary becomes immediately problematic.

Debrusk’s qualifying offer after next season is $4.85 million. His cap hit next year is $3.675 million.

He is basically Athanasiou all over again on steroids.

Last edited 3 months ago by godot10
Elgin R

DeBrusk will probably be a free agent next off-season as Boston is not going to qualify him at $4.85m.

DeBrusk: 0.55 pts/g – 0.27 goals/g – $4.85m QO next year
AA: 0.45 pts/g – 0.27 goals/g – $1.2m this year
Kahun: 0.51 pts/g – 0.18 goals/g – $1m this year

Jake would be a good add to as a 3LW at around $1.5m per.


If someone can convince him to back check.