Waive Babies

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

The Oilers first minor league team (1979-80 Houston Apollos) deployed four men aged 20 who were just getting started on pro careers. Mike Toal, the team’s fifth-round pick in 1979, scored a point-per-game in the CHL; Cal Roadhouse, a tough winger who played his junior with the Billings Bighorns and signed a pro deal with Edmonton after the draft; Mike Kouwenhoven, another free-agent pickup from Billings who wasn’t quite as talented, and Charlie Huddy, who scored 14-34-48 in 79 games to lead the team’s defensemen.

What if this blog existed back then? I imagine there would have been plenty of arguments about Toal vs. Huddy as the most likely to make the NHL. Three years later, which represents the end of the modern entry deal, Toal had played in the NHL but was wrapping up his playing career after three pro seasons. Same for Kouwenhoven, although he would return to minor pro in the mid-80’s for a brief time. Roadhouse, who scored 17 goals in 1979-80 and showed some promise, would play until 1984 (five seasons).

Huddy? By the end of his third season he was a legit NHL player. That’s the fun part of tracking prospects, watching the success stories emerge step by step. The downside? Careers that end after three pro seasons.


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!


Although it’s fairly straightforward, I thought it would be a good idea to list all of the RFA’s on the Oilers 50-man list and address their specific situations. Here we go.

  • G Stuart Skinner. His salary ($784,166) is one percent of the team’s cap. He is a goalie, so gets an extra year before waivers, meaning he’ll be eligible in 2022 fall. I think Edmonton will sign him, but will guess Ilya Konovalov will get more starts in Bakersfield next season.
  • G Dylan Wells. His entry contract paid $745,000 for NHL work and $70,000 for AHL time. Well was in the bubble for some time, and like Skinner won’t be waiver eligible for another year. It’s crowded in goal now, I think this will be Wells sail on summer with the Oilers.
  • LD Theodor Lennstrom. His salary last season in the NHL ($925,000) makes him an easy re-sign if the Oilers choose to do it. Holland signed him originally so there’s a reasonable chance he returns.
  • LC Jujhar Khaira. Had a strong season and I expect we’ll see him return ($1.2 million last season) with a small increase.
  • RC Cooper Marody. Waiver eligible in the fall, Marody may want a change of scenery, but there are some good signs with this player. By NHLE, his progress during the entry deal is 44.0, 22.6 and 36.8. He turns 25 in December, he would have delivered reasonable offense in the NHL this year. He has to go if the Oilers aren’t offering a one-way deal.
  • LW Dominik Kahun. Fell off in a big way (3.45 to 1.22) but I’d like to see the team sign him. Players often adjust in year two with a team.
  • LW Tyler Benson. Waiver eligible and coming off a contract paying $808,333. It makes very little sense to invest a second-round pick and then three years of minor league deployment only to send him away. NHLE’s in pro (38.7, 30.5, 39.9) are solid and consistent, in a normal season he would have been recalled and I expect he’ll be on the 2021-22 NHL roster.
  • LW Devin Shore. He grabbed playing time from most of the LW’s not named Nuge during the year, establishing himself as a solid PK option. His five on five possession numbers are poor, and I think Kahun and Benson are better LW options, but Holland made it sound like Shore has a good shot at returning during his recent presser.
  • RW Kailer Yamamoto. He had a subpar second season (five on five pts-60 fell from 3.16 to 1.28) and the timing is terrible for the young winger. Based on the Ethan Bear experience (great name for a band), I’m going to suggest he doesn’t see bright lights, big city with this next contract. Two years is my guess.


  • G Mike Smith. His .927 save percentage ranked No. 10 among starters in the NHL during 2020-21 and Smith appears to be a lock to return. He played so well this past season, it’s understandable the GM has interest in bringing him back. However, Smith is approaching 40 so there’s clear danger here. A substantial backup is required.
  • RD Adam Larsson. Edmonton’s best shut down defenseman (1.99 GA/60) and valued by the organization, he would appear to be a lock for return. Unique skill set on the RH side, gives the team a more complete depth chart.
  • RD Tyson Barrie. Delivered a career season and under most circumstances would be a priority to re-sign. Barrie’s exceptional year means last year’s contract ($3.75 million) is heading for higher ground. Edmonton is unlikely to afford his cap hit this coming season. Additionally, it is past time to slot Evan Bouchard into the lineup. I don’t see Barrie returning.
  • LD Dmitry Kulikov. He looked solid in 10 regular season games and would be an option for Edmonton if Oscar Klefbom’s return is delayed this fall. He didn’t perform so well that he should be a priority.
  • LD Slater Koekkoek. Young defender played better in the playoffs than in the regular season, but injury derailed much of his year and Koekkoek didn’t get a chance to show his best. I think there’s a chance Holland re-signs him.
  • RC Gaetan Haas. He’ll not return despite being 70 percent of a useful NHL player. The 30 percent that’s missing is the ability to deliver any kind of offense. I can’t see him having an NHL career of any length unless a coach can teach him where the goals come from.
  • LW Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I expect the two sides will make a major effort to get things done, but I remain convinced the Seattle Kraken are too much of a temptation. I’ll guess Edmonton offers $5.75 times five and Nuge signs with the Kraken for $6.4 million over six years.
  • LW Tyler Ennis. One of the strange things about this season is the fact coach Dave Tippett didn’t use this efficient scorer more often during the year. I can’t see him returning.
  • LW Joakim Nygard. He’s gone, despite doing some interesting work in a very small window. He will return to Färjestad BK in the SHL, where he has enjoyed great success. He played 42 games, had three goals and nine points.
  • RW Alex Chiasson. Fans are divided on him, suspect the organization would bring him back but last year’s cap hit ($2.15 million) is too dear in this market. He has scored 42 goals in his three Oilers seasons, that’s significant offense for a player who is deployed in a depth role.
  • RW Patrick Russell. His contract is $700,000 but Russell doesn’t bring a lot and I expect the organization will move on in order to keep guys like Benson and others away from the waiver wire.


If Ken Holland’s team building history holds, several of the names below will be Oilers next season. Here are their final NHLE’s for 2020-21:

  1. Ryan McLeod (21) 39.9
  2. Tyler Benson (22) 39.9
  3. Cooper Marody (23) 36.8
  4. Raphael Lavoie (20) 22.3
  5. Joseph Gambardella (26) 19.0
  6. James Hamblin (21) 15.7
  7. Theodor Lennstrom (26) 14.7
  8. Markus Niemelainaen (22) 11.4
  9. Ostap Safin (21) 10.9
  10. Mike Kesselring (20) 5.7
  11. Phil Kemp (21) 3.3

McLeod, Benson, Marody and Lennstrom would be candidates for Edmonton next season, with Lavoie, Niemelainen, Kesselring and Kemp matriculating.


At 10, TSN1260, we start the week with three fabulous guests. Ryan Holt, Bakersfield Condors broadcaster, will look back on a winning season and the prospects who may graduate to the NHL next season. Jason Gregor from TSN1260 will talk about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyson Barrie and Adam Larsson in free agency and Tony Marinaro from TSN690 in Montreal will preview the Canadiens-Maple Leafs game tonight. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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With Nurse a topic over at the Athletic I thought I’d update Nurse’s 5-on-5 stats going back to March of 2017, 304 game sample size:

5-on-5 Pts:
0 Player Total Points
1 John Carlson 126
2 Roman Josi 118
3 Brent Burns 114
4 Darnell Nurse 106

5-on-5 Goals:
0 Player Goals
1 Dougie Hamilton 41
2 Zach Werenski 36
3 John Carlson 35
4 Victor Hedman 34
5 Darnell Nurse 31

5-on-5 shots:
0 Player Shots
1 Brent Burns 741
2 Dougie Hamilton 680
3 Roman Josi 655
4 Darnell Nurse 638

Individual High Danger corsi For:
0 Player iHDCF
1 Zach Werenski 70
2 Brent Burns 68
3 Roman Josi 68
4 Darnell Nurse 66

5-on-5 Rush Attempts:
0 Player Rush Attempts
1 Dougie Hamilton 39
2 Darnell Nurse 28

5-on-5 Hits:
0 Player Hits
1 Radko Gudas 812
2 Nikita Zadorov 802
3 Adam Larsson 746
4 Rasmus Ristolainen 745
5 Mark Borowiecki 718
6 Brenden Dillon 702
7 Robert Hagg 668
8 Brayden McNabb 665
9 Michael Del Zotto 594
10 Darnell Nurse 584

5-on-5 Shots Blocked:
0 Player Shots Blocked
1 Kris Russell 522
2 Alexander Edler 490
3 Alec Martinez 483
4 Andy Greene 476
5 David Savard 466
6 Alex Goligoski 427
7 Darnell Nurse 421
8 Adam Larsson 421

Note that he’s the only player in the top in the offensive categories who is also in the top in hits and blocked shots. We dream of a Pronger-like player returning to the Oilers. I think we have him, and he’s only 26. Personally, I’d sign him for $8.5M x8 to his 34-year-old season. Again, looking to McDavid and Draisaitl’s next contract, it would be helpful to have Nurse signed for 4 seasons beyond McDavid and 5 beyond Draisaitl to try to convince them to come back for another 4 or 5 seasons minimum. Their next contract is why I’d also draft Cossa in hopes that he is one of the upcoming elite goaltenders. If he hits his stride just as their contracts are expiring, it may go a long way to convincing them to stay. I’m sure having Vasilevsky, Hedman, Kucherov, Stamkos helps get players signed in Tampa.


Two things.

I absolutely agree with your premise of get good players, keep good players. Nurse is part of the core and should be locked up long term. Sucks that Pete bungled the contract extension and gave that money to Koskinen out of turn, $5.5MM x 8 would have been amazing, but here we are.

Finally, I know why you use that date cutoff, but I wonder how the numbers/ranks look from either the beginning of that season or the next. My guess is any contract negotiations would be predicated on full seasons to avoid cherry picking.

Last edited 3 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

Yeah, I could probably drop that part of the sample. I’ve been using that for 3 years now, as I was trying to show a decent sample size. But now, it doesn’t serve as much purpose. It is only 13 games extra at the end of 2016 when he scored 6 points to finish that season. I see March 14, 2017 as when things started to click offensively for him.



 Reply to  106 and 106

 May 31, 2021 3:45 pm

Yamo did not score for the last month or so 5×5…

I say take the opportunity and lock him up long term.

I am a big yamo fan.

Buy low.

I really want to + this comment again. I like Yamamoto a ton too.

I think he’s a top 6 forward despite the boxcars this year.

Buying low long term would be beautiful, I think.


I would love to see Yamo on a ‘Kid’ line next year. 3rd line of Benson, McLeod, Yamo. Let the kid get his confidence back and earn some offensive independence away from Draisaitl and McDavid

Plus, a 3rd line that is a kid line would cost 5 mil total. That enables Holland to drop some serious $$ on a second line that can actually score and make us better in the playoffs.

Draisaitl McDavid JP
*all new 2nd line*
Benson McLeod Yamo
Archibald Khaira Shore


Yeah that could be a good line if Holland can do enough to push Yamamoto down. As I said, I still believe he can be a top 6 F though.

Harpers Hair

This seems like an appropriate time to remind you all that Oilers are

1W-8L in post season play under Ken Holland’s “leadership”.


Why? How is it relevant? Toronto just lost. The Oilers weren’t even playing.

Harpers Hair

Exactly…they got swept by the Jets after shitting the bed last season against the Hawks.


Still don’t see how it is relevant. Should we randomly name all the teams that failed in the play offs? Or just the one that just failed after being up 3-1 and was crowned a strong cup contender?


Joe Sakic, first 5 seasons as decision maker for Avs:

Lost round 1 (7 games)
Missed playoffs
Missed playoffs
Missed playoff
Lost round 1 (6 games)



Why? How is it relevant? Toronto just lost. The Oilers weren’t even playing.

Well, ‘Bill Clinternet’ once told us:

“HH is why I still read these comments to be honest. Without him this comment section has turned into an echo chamber of Oilers “homers”. This phony account mocking him just outlays the point that the majority here can’t handle having their opinions being challenged. Now I get sometimes his contrarian views are a bit hyperbolic but overall he adds value to the discussion. Like Lowetide used to always say about the Oilers needing someone in the room who had the gumption to say, “are you sure you want to do that”, HH has the same effect to this comments section”



Just a guy who wants nothing more than for everyone else’s day to be a little bit shittier. 👍

Last edited 3 months ago by jp

Plus, Oiler fans never agree anything. This belief that this place would be filled with homers who agree on everything holds zero weight

Bill Clinternet

So the Oilers aren’t 1-8 in the playoffs under Holland?

What was incorrect about his comment?

I’m not even trying to defend him. Just pointing out how petty you are

Material Elvis

Nobody said it was incorrect. It was asked how that statement was relevant to the conversation happening. How’s your reading comprehension?


I’m petty HH?

Just pointing out what you (through Bill Clinternet) seem to think of yourself, versus what you really bring far too much of the time.

The comment above was completely disconnected from the conversation and served no purpose other than taking a little enjoyment away from the rest of us.

Bill Clinternet

Then why do you take the bait and respond to it?

Need to feel like a hero? You’re protecting the integrity of the blog’s comments section? You stood up to the troll!


Why the hell should we be subject to constant bait?!?


So I see Sybil, sorry HH, has a new personality created to defend him. What a fucking loser.


Fuck off.

We don’t need another DSF.

That twat adds nothing to the discussion, and you’re following in his footsteps.

Go felate him at Canucks.com.


Are you the fun police? The thread is enjoying a Toronto loss. Why do you get mad when this place is happy?

Seriously why do you act this way? You remind me of elementary school and that is not why I come here…

Last edited 3 months ago by Dac189
Paddy Morans Jockstrap

No it seems more like you used up your hourly reminder that you are a a-hole – back under your rock you pathetic old fart.


So desperate. So insecure. So sad. You are an adult. Lol

Material Elvis

It really is shocking that this troll behavior is coming from someone his age. If he was 14, then it would make a lot of sense, but as a senior citizen I just don’t understand the motivation to keep this shit going.


I wonder if Colorado knows just how doomed they are that your curse covets them.

Austy Matthews just saw the peak of his career give up a 3-1 lead.

While the Canucks, Flames, 2014 Minnesota Wild 5 time champions, and the 2026 8 time champion LA Kings all look on.

It’s impressive how much real estate the Oilers own of your troll organ.

Last edited 3 months ago by DevilsLettuce
Material Elvis

If HH Bandwagon Jumper could learn to monetize his hexing skills, he’d be wealthy.


haha, keep digging buddy… you’re pathetic


we can start the auston matttews rumor’s. When his contract is up he is leaving TO. Back to Phoenix or come to Edmonton to play with Connor.

Last edited 3 months ago by flyfish1168

I love bathing in Leafs fan’s tears…..it does ease the pain, somewhat,
of being swept in 4.

It will now be enjoyable to watch TSN and Sportsnet

Last edited 3 months ago by McSorley33
Scungilli Slushy

That looked like a set play by the Bruins

Oilers need more of that


HH right now
”must pretend I never endorsed the leafs
must pretend I never praised Foligno addition
initiate Avalanche goalposts”

Harpers Hair

I had the Leafs, Habs and Jets as the best 3 teams in the North.

They were.


I had Vancouver to finish last and they did!


Incorrect. When they reflect on this season they’ll say Edmonton finished the regular season behind only the leafs in 2nd place of the North Division.

Making them 2nd best, you really suck at identifying hockey. Try baseball, maybe you can go critique the Mariners they’d love the input.


You’re not even trying at this point … your trolling is so lame it’s stopped being aggravating and is now somewhat entertaining.

SK Oiler Fan

Playoffs have always been different but why the drastic change in the way the game is called?
Upsets are cool and something to talk about, but every series is a coin flip now. The shock of the upset is gone.Mostly goalie is part of the problem. Where did the shrinking goalie equip campaign go? Based on where we are a hot/lucky Markstrom or Demko couldbeat the Leafs or Oilers in a 7 game series. So what was the point of the Reg season other than to punish teams that had injuries to top players?


Shrinking goalie equip is bullish.

Yes, better goalies can win playoff rounds.

But let’s hold off on equipment, and out a bit more emphasis on general reffing.


Yeah – goalies and their equipment aren’t the problem. We have a 6’7” goalie who goes down early and gets beat glove hand like a rented mule.

Give Price and Hellebuyck their due – when those guys are at the top of their games, they can steal a playoff series.


So, many in here bristled at all the many disparaging comments about the North. ( even the players survey was unkind to the North)

So few rated Montreal and Winnipeg before the season.

But one of those unloved teams will be the Champion of the North.


So what’s your point?

You picked the Oilers to lose 4 straight?

You like the comments disparaging all Canadian teams?

Go watch soccer.



Danault vs Mathews

Even Danault’s teammates are talking about it..


Harpers Hair

WheatNOil (@WheatNOil) Tweeted:
The Avalanche have two regulars who are 30+. The Oilers had 8 (+ Kulikov)

For the Avs, out of players who played at least 20 games this season:
One 35 yo
One 30
One 29
Three 28
One 27
One 26
Five 25
Two 24
Four 22

You can do well with young players. Just need them to be good. https://t.co/TAHgpWCQss



Yeah but other than Smith they were all in depth very depth roles and in the process of being replaced

Harpers Hair

Likely with more washed up geezers.


Is someone crying out for attention!!
this is so sad!!

Harpers Hair

WheatNOil is very secure in his manhood.

You…not so much.


Child please, one that tries to ruin a community knows nothing of manhood or anything else related to it. The lack of positive attention you recieved as you developed is sad tale for all to see. We all seriously hope you find peace and can learn to release the hate, it’s killing you.

Kings suck.

buck yoakam

I remember you…we caught you sniffing bicycle seats that warm summer day…was it fun?


Did the Leafs outplay the Habs?


But a few weeks ago I questioned the Ancients on the leafs…..

Jumbo 1 point
Foligno 1 point
Simmonds 1 point

The ancient Spezza produced.


Oilers should buyout Koski this summer and Neal next summer. Saves you $3 million the cap this year and $2.3 million next year, with only 1 year of dead cap of $1.9 million in 2 years. Works well for the short and medium term.


I think that may actually be the plan.


It is a mistake to buyout an expiring contract when the player can still fulfill a role.

Koskinen is still an effective backup. You keep him, or trade him (with 50% retained), but it is a mistake to buy him out.

Neal gets bought out this year if you absolutely need the cap space. Or try getting that long covid diagnosis and LTIR him.


Pretty funny that the underlying stats going into this game were similar for the Leafs compared to the Oilers against the Jets. But the media narrative for the Oilers was that they didn’t have enough depth (certainly truth to this) and don’t know how to win in the playoffs, however the Leafs are clearly the better team but unlucky. Only game I watched in the Leafs series was tonight and by eye they created a lot less than the Oilers in any of their 4 games.



“Through two periods, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander have combined for one shot.”


It’s not like it was Game 7 or anything.

Last edited 3 months ago by Side

Danault vs Mathews


“Through two periods, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander have combined for one shot.”

That’s $29.5M of hockey player!

Scungilli Slushy

No mention of goalering. LT and Tyler on the show mentioned being scared of playoff Price.


Scungilli Slushy

Watching the post mortem, lots of heartless being alluded to.

Anything we want that Kassian might get?


Kassian still won’t get anything straight up. With a million retained, he likely has some trade value.

In my opinion.


Does this mean the Oilers shouldn’t emulate the Leafs organization and make a hire like Dubas? I look forward to reading that article.

Scungilli Slushy

Too funny


I’m sure Jeff ‘the leafs are the only team coming out of the North, no question’ O’Neill is punching holes in the walls right now.

What a glorious day.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Hate the Leafs but they dominated almost all the stats and lost. Just like the Oilers. So either the stats are useless (they are not) or not measuring stuff that matters (eg behavior of guys in striped uniforms). The NHL as bush league theme continues to boil.

Ice Sage

Yep, playoffs = reffing that favours rugby scrums and goaltending. same as it ever was

Scungilli Slushy

It’s about what happens in the second season.

Offense is great. When cheating and what makes smaller/non physical players in effective is allowed, things change.

Marner with a coiffed mullet, he and Matthews cap over eyes.

Gallagher with cuts all over his face. Not looking pretty or coiffed.

It’s what LT said when Sutter came back down south. Horrible to play against.

It’s been this way for ever. Kenny?


What the fuck does coiffed mean?


Perfectly styled hair. 😉


Oh. That’s not good.



Hellebuyck and Price are two of the best.

Ice Sage

yeah, gonna be a lot of 1-0 games… am glad the weather’s looking up


Used to be a Leafs fan before any expansion. Never thought I would ever be rooting for Montreal.


Oil were swept and this makes it all go away. Like I’m actually giddy. Couldn’t happen to a better team. Suck it laughs


As a DoD veteran, I learned accepted the sweet consolation of schadenfreude. Misery loves company after all.

To the most narcissistic fanbase in hockey – eat that.


I’m confused
so are the Leafs still kings of the north?


Lol no, that was the red wedding.


I look forward to seeing how the Eastern media is going to spin this.

If the Oilers are doomed and a failure and are wasting McDavid, how can they explain the Leafs wasting the “greatest goalscorer” of our time on a team constructed by 4D chess player Dubas?


Well, if i had to pick between 2 terrible options….I prefer going out 4 straight than flying high with a 3-1 lead and then getting crushed to lose in game 7. An hour ago it was Go Habs, now it’s Go Jets.


The pompous hockey writers from the GTA, HH’s so called experts sure shit the bed on their predictions! Maybe they aren’t the experts Harpie keeps telling us they are!😂😂


haha, not to mention Button(Montreal won’t win one game!)

Victoria Oil

How did that Foligno trade turnout for the Leafs? I’m sure they’re happy about spending all those assets.


So Matthews and Marner are going to request trades right…right?? Good grief.


“Kyle Dubas is playing checkers while everyone else is playing snakes and ladders”
well if Dubas thinks Foligno is worth a first round pick I’ll go with the snakes and ladders guy

Todd Macallan

Hahahahaha hahahaha
(that was in response to both your comment and the Leafs loss)


Bulging Twine

Good! I don’t have to listen to Craig (Homer) Simpson call a game from a Maple Leaf perspective anymore

Material Elvis

A Leafs playoff loss is like a cold glass of water after a long walk in the Arabian desert.


Godot’s Laundry at 1086 Queen Street West now open. Specializing in soiled underpants.

Material Elvis

Speaking of which, how much longer is Matthews going to tolerate playing on a team that can’t win a playoff series? He probably asks for a trade soon….


Surely there is a member of the Toronto media—an expert on unhappy stars leaving the cities of their drafting team—that we could ask about Auston’s dejected body language….

Material Elvis

Leafs played their best hockey when they were operating an obstruction clinic against Connor and Leon. The Habs don’t have that kind of team so it’s fucking them up. And Carey Price is playing the role of Hellebuyck.


Jake Evans plays like he has popeye forearms.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I’d love one or two of those guys on this team.


Even 550 healthcare workers can’t keep the Leafs from choking



Material Elvis

Hopefully they work in the grief counseling department.


Best line of the day by a mile!👍


The oil might have laid a stinker…. But the leafs just said hold my beer


Leafs had the Refs in their back pocket all season but not this one.

Ice Sage

Yep, we’re only the second most disappointing Canadian franchise!



2nd most disappointing IN THE playoffs.

There are 3 other more more disappointing ones that didn’t even get invited to the dance.


Given age, is it not reasonable to presume that Nuge bounces back to more historical norms as it relates to 5 on 5 scoring? In the 1.75-2.0 P/60 range?

Am I wrong in thinking that bounce-back is more likely than regression (hard regression) at his age.

I can’t remember who it was, but one of the great numbers guys on this site posted quite a few examples of an off-season at this age and then bounce-back (sustainable bounce back). I think Kane was even in there.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

3-4-5-6-7 million over 5 year for a cap hit of $5 million. Gets him escrow relief (maybe) or you could front load. Up to him. RNH can work out a deal that’s good for him and the Oilers. Doesn’t seem like the kind who would thrive in a high pressure “need to perform up to a big contract” environment.


I would anticipate the contract would be mid-loaded (or back loaded) given decreasing escrow. Given Katz’ willingness to spend, I don’t think structure will be an issue. Both sides are likely amendable to a 5 year term but I think that AAV is a bit low for Nuge.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Yeah I don’t think structure will be an issue either. Nuge under-performed his last contract 2 years (35 & 34 points), slightly under-performed 2 years (43, 48 points) and nicely covered the bet 2 years (61, 69 points). Honest can’t see him topping that performance in his 30s and this years numbers could be the norm for the last 3 years. You’ve got to be tough but fair with him, and if he doesn’t want to give the team a small break so we can compete, then you have to walk. His last contract was a mediocre return on the investment half the years so he kind of owe the team a bit IMHO (like that matters in reality 🙂

Last edited 3 months ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

I think that just looking at point production undervalues Nuge’s value to the team. He touches all areas of the game, he provides versatility position wise and he’s clearly part of the leadership group.

Winning teams need veterans that are still material contributors to the team – a guy like Nuge in his 28-32 years is one of those guys.

Personally, I don’t anticipate much regression in his game over the next few years – I think he’ll age well (after bouncing back from a one-off year that I don’t think has anything to do with age-regression).


I think Nuge is ripe for a bounceback season(s). I just hope that Holland signs Nuge at a price based on his performance this year and doesn’t sign him at a price where Nuge would need to have a bounceback season to justify the contract.


I don’t think that is reasonable though as a contract just based on this season would likely start with a 4 for its AAV.

I think its reasonable to take this season in to account but also the player’s history and likeliness to rebound (give age).

His poor season gets taken in to account and reduces the AAV from a number starting with 6 (and approaching 7) which is where we were at in January to something in the 5s.

I would think.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Anything over $5M with term is an overpay on this team.

Nuge is a 3C/2F. His draft position is 10 years in the rear view mirror so it’s really irrelevant.

Not strong 5×5 scoring. Not strong on the boards. Not a physical player. PP witch but we are loaded with those.

May be time to move on because he may have more value elsewhere than he brings here. I will miss the player if this is how it ends.


For the three years prior to this season, Nuge was 94th for 5 on 5 P/60.

That is just below 1st line rates, no? At least a very very high end 2nd line producer at evens.

Yes, his 5 on 5 scoring fell off a cliff this season but, as we’ve been shown its not uncommon for players his age to have an off-season and then rebound to historical norms for term.

I imagine that Nuge will bounce back at even next season – he’s only 28.

Given his versatility, his role as a leader on the team and that he touches all game states, I 100% believe he’s worth $5.5-6M on a 4-5 year deal.

Last edited 3 months ago by OriginalPouzar
Bank Shot

If you look at RNH’s career as a whole he’s been good for about 55 points per season when given 1st line ES and PP time.

When he’s been relegated to a lesser role seems like he’s good for 40-50 points.

It’s pretty likely that the two seasons previous to this one were career years based on the rest of Nuge’s career as a whole.

18/19 and 19/20 look like outliers compared to the other 8 seasons. If Nuge stays in the 45-55 point range over the next 4-5 seasons is that worth $6 million in today’s NHL?

$6 million in 21/22 is a top 70 NHL forward. Is Nuge in that group? He’s neither big and strong or fast, if he loses any step is he still going to be effective?

Seems like Oilers carry most of the risk at $6 over 5 years. I think there is a decent chance Nuge performs up to the level of that contract, but almost zero chance he outperforms it.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I’ll take a chance that Benson can replace Nuge’s production at a HUGELY lower cap hit and see if I can get a Saad/Kadri type that fares a bit better at playoff hockey with the salary difference. Nuge needs to move the needle for $6M and he just doesn’t on this team. I would entertain Hall at your Nuge offer. He doesn’t bring the toughness but the 5×5 scoring should be there.


Seems quite unreasonable to me to presume that Benson can replace Nuge’s production – at evens or on the PP.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Why? Benson has good pedigree and an NHLE of 40. AHL vet and 22 years old so not a kid anymore. After a year or two in the league, he should be able to produce what Nuge did this year and possibly exceed that moving forward. Value contracts are important and we have precious few of them. It’s not as if we are expecting to win Stanley next year, right? Or are the goal posts moving already?


Wait, now is “after a year or two” and “able to produce what Nuge did this year”. I believe that is the express moving of goal posts vis-a-vis the statement at issue

Yes, after a year or two, I could see Benson being a 35 point winger but (a) that’s different than talking about this coming season, (b) that’s 35 points in a full season whereas Nuge did that in 56 games, less actually due to injury and (c) its fairly obvious to me that this season was a clear outlier for Nuge and, given his age and history, I reasonably project him to return to normal production.

I don’t think Benson projects to replace Nuge’s production in 2021/22.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

No problem … but will he really be that far off? Will that little extra production from Nuge vs Benson, assuming it exists, really be worth their $5M cap difference? Every year for the next say three or four years? I don’t think so but I could be wrong. If I am, I can dump Benson and I still have $6M of cap space to shop with. Not a terrible place to be. If you’re wrong, you are saddled with a $6M contract with term that will be hard to move, and likely in the familiar position of having to pass on opportunities to improve the roster because you have no available cap. Sound familiar?


Between offering Nuge 4 mil per and Grubauer 3 mil per there’s some real doozies on here today

Harpers Hair

Yeah…$7 million for Grubauer makes much more sense,


Shouldn’t be any reason he won’t get the Markstrom contract – or even more.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

What are you talking about? Nobody said anything about Nuge and $4M.


How did we come up with 1.9 million per year. I thought the formula was half the annual cap for double the number of years remaining on the contract. This would be 11.5 million divided by four for a hit of 2.875 dead cap for the next four years. What am I missing?


2/3 salary over twice the length of contract


Ok thanks!


Thinking about the Neal buyout cost of $1.9MM and thinking that, in one season, Nurse’s raise is probably equal to that amount (give or take obviously).

I know, I know, it doesn’t quite work that way – the cap saved with Pouliot’s buyout cost going away isn’t allocate to any particular player or raise, there is an overall cap room basket that it becomes part of.

At the same time, I would love to not have the dead cap hit in the first 3 years of Nurse’s raise.

I’m not saying the buyout doesn’t make sense – I can only really determine the answer to that question once all the transactions are made and we look at the overall cap spent as as a whole – but damn I wish it wasn’t necessary.

Eh Team

Buying out Neal last year made sense despite all the hand-waving about who will replace his 20 goals. Well, Neal certainly wasn’t going to replicate them. Fact is Neal is at best an average 4th liner now. You can punt his salary, get a replacement player at minimum (Benson for example) and be way better off.


What’s needed is full capacity at all arenas. Even then what will ticket prices look like? Get the cap to rise.


That won’t get the cap to rise in the next three years. The cap does not go above $82.5MM until HRR reaches $4.8B and the Escrow Balance is paid off.

Its the 2nd part that is going to take years – the debt the players own to the owners based off of the 50/50 split premise.

Material Elvis

You would need the Canadian dollar to rise to par with the USD in order for the cap to go up faster.


I would guess that three years may be optimistic given the lost revenue over a period of the last two years

Gerta Rauss

Friedman mentioned in his latest 31 thoughts that the cap “may not go up for 5 years”

He based this on some talks with league sources/guys that would have some knowledge on how to forecast these things

It’s just an estimate at this point – nobody really knows for sure – but the league finances are grim at the moment


The players refusing to renegoiate the summer deal leading in this season didn’t save them anything – it just mean it was going to take longer to “pay the owners back” and not see an increase in the overall pool available to the players.


The main point is to make sure we have money to sign Nurse next year. If Neal and/or Koskinen’s contracts are on the books it’s easy, the dead money just comes off and you know there is money for Nurse. If we get rid of those contracts this year and spend to the cap, then there have to be some one year contracts coming off or we risk getting squeezed on a bad trade/not having money for Nurse.

If we do the buyout, the way to make room for Nurse’s contract is to not spend that money until the end of free agency and try to pick up the best available unsigned player on a one year show me deal a la Barrie. So I would wait to do the buyout, until we get a player that is worth it on a one year deal.

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac

This is all solid logic *except* that there is a fixed buyout window. So you can’t wait on buying Neal out. Holland has to make the decision before knowing exactly what the market looks like or who’s available.


Yes, this is true. A second buyout window opens if the team has a player elect for arbitration – that seems unlikely with the Oilers unless they think Kahun or Khaira might file.


Doh! Good call, I guess it’s a dice roll on what the leftover rental market is. So is Holland is feeling lucky?


Just for conversation…we have been debating if Holland should make a big splash trade to push the team forward or continue to rely on mainly internal growth. The trades speculated are all about forwards. 2006 showed us adding an elite D-man to average (but deep) forwards can work too.

In a dream world (where the family doesn’t hate the Oilers): Would anybody consider a swap of Darnell Nurse for Seth Jones? Surely it would take more, but what about Darnell and a signed RNH for Seth and a goalie? You could get a stop gap LHD, pray for Klefbom and wait for Samurokov/Broberg…would an elite D be enough to push us over the top?

Could Jones/Kadri be then next Peca/Pronger?

Last edited 3 months ago by Primetime

You’d be downgrading from Nurse to Jones. The latter is one of the more overrated defensemen in the league. This team is better off looking for the next Devon Toews, not the next OEL/Jones who are not as good as their reputation says.

Last edited 3 months ago by Alpine

Nurse is the only left D that the Oilers have. The Oilers already have a competent right defense in Bear, Larsson, and Bouchard, and Bouchard has an all-around first pair skillset and potential.

#2LD is arguably a position of need. Gandalf isn’t likely to be on the horizon with reinforcements for two years. Stop gaps may have to do till then.

But it would be absolute lunacy to compound the weakness at left D, but creating a chasm by trading Nurse.

A scenario for the OIlers to acquire Jones doesn’t really exist.


I never really trusted that Gandalf guy.


Why would we do that?


Vegas head coach Pete DeBoer, when asked about Reaves, called the forward “one of the cleanest tough guys I’ve seen in the league.”

“It’s not hard to defend Ryan Reaves. For me, Ryan Reaves is one of the cleanest tough guys I’ve seen in the league in my 12, 13 years,” DeBoer told reporters (quote via David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal). “As far as the incident, I don’t know. That’s in player safety.”

DeBoer continued, “His gloves never came off, and nobody was hurt on the play. Whether they’re going to look at what’s between the lines there and think that there’s something that maybe I don’t see, that’s their department not mine.”

link: here

I am not sure if natural stat trick allows you to look at toi/period, but it seemed like DeBoer sent Reaves out for a lot of shifts in the third where he was running around.


Some random dude on Youtube

“It’s all good. Just Mr. Reaves padding his resume to become the next NHL Head of Department of Player Safety.”


Reaves would never be considered for the position. He hasn’t even attended Princeton or wrote a single thesis.

He also hasn’t been recognized as “smart” by a sports magazine so he has no applicable references.

90s fan



Instead of a suspension they should have to play him 20 minutes a night for the rest of the series https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/13.0.1/svg/1f602.svg

— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) May 31, 2021


That’s what happens when you run up the score against a competitive team. I expect to see a more rested Vegas with a better result in game 2 against your Av’s.


I almost hope for the Avs to win this year so they can enter the cap hell phase


Yeah, the Avs aisle will hopefully be a good place to shop for talent as they run into cap problems.

Harpers Hair

I expect they will lose Kadri in the expansion draft.

That would give them almost $25 million in cap space to handle Landeskog and Makar extensions.

The next pressure point comes after 2 more seasons when MacKinnon’s contract expires but Erik Johnson’s $6 million comes off the cap at the same time.


I am interested to see what they do with Landeskog.

Sakic (Sakic since hiring Sprigings) doesn’t seem to like paying for 30 + seasons.

Landeskog is a rugged and higher-end forward, so who knows. They’re also in their window, so that’s a consideration.


He will do what everyone else does and pay him 8 mil per on a long contract


That’s certainly the most probable possibility. I am wondering if he pulls something out of his hat with this. The standard approach is too much money for too long with trade protection.


I am interested to see what they do with Landeskog. 

I’ve been thinking about this too.

The “what would Joe Sakic do?” test says: Landeskog, Grubauer and Saad all walk.

They’ll be 29, 30 and 29 in the fall so no way he does even 4 years. Then again, “Joe Sakic” would have already traded Landeskog and Grubauer for value. I guess this is the Avs peaking for a cup run.

Anyway, it definitely will be interesting to see what the real Joe Sakic does.


makar Grubauer Saad Landeskog
Burakovsky next year
and Mackinnon will require a truck full of money to be set aside
and I doubt Seattle takes Kadri over Jost

Harpers Hair

Saad won’t be back…he was a playoff rental.

Grubauer will have to be reasonable or will be replaced.

Makar on a backloaded 3 year bridge contract.

The key is Landeskog but the cap room is available.


I hope they do bridge Makar.
that would be most unwise

Harpers Hair

You bridge him until the cap starts rising again.

Very wise.


Why would Seattle take Jost over Kadri?


Because Kadri is gonna be 31 and they can get him for free as a cap casualty in the near future


Saad won’t be back


Landeskog Grubauer and Makar by themselves will take up almost that 25 mil


What do you think these guys are getting? To hit $25 mill for three players is an avg of $8.3 mill.

Harpers Hair

I would guess $8M X 5 for Landeskog, $7.5M X 3 for Makar and $3M X 3 for Grubaeur

Total $18.5 million.


3×3 for Grubauer ????


Your gonna offer your starting goalie a pay cut? A guy without your team is screwed?This is hilarious

Harpers Hair

Well, I guess they could go as high as $7 million under your nonsensical proposal.


If they win the Stanley, the Grubauer is not coming in at anything less than Markstrom money

Harpers Hair

Then they’ll find someone else.

There are far more goaltenders available than spots for them.

Harpers Hair

A dominant team like Colorado just needs average goaltending to win.
Joe is too smart to invest more than necessary.

Material Elvis

They could even win with a zamboni driver in net. Oh, no, sorry they tried that already.


Yeah and a cup contender wants to start test driving goalies


LT writes on Benson: “It makes very little sense to invest a second-round pick and then three years of minor league deployment only to send him away.” I’m certainly cheering for the player, but do wonder if the pick and the development seasons are not best considered sunk costs. If the guy won’t make an impact, it’s time to move on, regardless of the cost in time and draft currency.


I don’t see him making an impact, but I certainly hope I’m wrong.

Eh Team

Hard to tell unless you give him some ice time. LT is right, for players like Benson who have progressed to the point where they are too good for the AHL, you need to give them the opportunity to play. Especially when your NHL roster has a below average 3rd and 4th line like the Oilers.


Although I agreed with the other first overall picks, I did think the Oilers should have picked Landeskog rather than RNH. Therefore, like Harper’s Hairpiece, I am responsible for Colorado’s success.

Harpers Hair

17. There’s more to come on this topic, but Los Angeles hiring Ryan Kruse from the Chicago Cubs as Vice-President of Research & Development is not going to be the only such move. With the growth of player and (hopefully) puck tracking, there’s going to be data overload across the NHL. Toronto is (unsurprisingly) building out its department, and I’ve seen/heard of job postings for software development/analytic research with the Blue Jackets, Devils, Islanders and Lightning. Unquestionably, there are more.



Honestly, I have a theory.

The Oilers used some sort of analytics model that told them to sign Mark Fayne. I remember Dellow being surprisingly okay with the signing and they hired him some time after that IIRC.

Then Parkatti used his analytic model to pick Marco Roy (perfectly reasonable selection) that didn’t pan out.

After that, the Oilers, unfortunately, soured on analytics.

It’s like you can’t expect analytic models to be batting 1000.

It didn’t help that Chiarelli didn’t want anyone using analytics to second-guess his insanity.

Ken Holland is not known to embrace analytics either.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan

Saw on Twitter the other day (about as accurate as me with a hockey stick in my hand) a blurb about Ryan Getzlaf supposedly wanting to play in Edmonton.

Has anyone heard anything further or am I delusional?

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I’d support Getzlaf! Would be hilarious if we could also convince Perry to come and then ice a 3rd line featuring two of the three biggest public enemies from back in 2017.

Last edited 3 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

You ruined my reply! 🙂

I was going to say to CrazyCoach, “but what do I say to Corey?”


If this fanbase can embrace (and a GM subsequently overpay) Zach Kassian, than anything is possible.


I don’t imagine he’d want to play in Edmonton at this stage of his career – I’m not sure where the intel on twitter came from but I assume it wasn’t from a Friedman or similar.

What the Friedman’s of the world have advised though, is that Getzlaf is already talking to management about an extension with the Ducks for next season.


It definitely seems like Haas won’t be back, but I do like a lot about his game, despite the lack of offence. He kind of reminds me a little of Marty Reasoner. He’s not big but he’s hard on pucks and good on the PK.

I would definitely accept him as a 4C penalty killer or 13th forward.

Khaira is the better player and probably pencilled in as our 4C, but I actually like him better on the wing than as a center. It’s good to have wingers who can take faceoffs or fill in at C in a jam, but playing him at C full time isn’t how I’d use him.

Can’t see Ennis coming back, but I would. He looked quite good when in the lineup, and I can’t really figure out why he wasn’t dressed more.


I agree. Ennis reminds me of Kahun with a little more of Yamamoto’s fight. I don’t understand what he did to earn Tippet’s ire.

I’d bring him back ahead of quite a few wingers.

Last edited 3 months ago by Oddspell

maybe best case scenario is Klefbom misses the entire season on LTIR and magically appears on game one of the playoffs like Kucherov. Voila magical top 4 dman appears for Stanley Cup Run…

would he be allowed to play 2 games in the AHL for conditioning after regular season without having to count towards the cap?


Those Russians have always been full of surprises since Rasputin.


Players on loan to the AHL on conditioning stings count against the parent team’s cap. Sekera counted (off LTIR) when he played a few games for the Condors.


I would like to thank the CRTC for this, the worst Canadian pop metal band to ever chart. I’d give them the title of overall Worst Band… but Parachute Club stands defiantly in their way.


If “Stay in the Light” is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!


Nickleback called, just needed your address for the fruit basket they want to send you.


America is largely responsible for Nickelback’s fame.

They charted there earlier, and pretty consistently higher, than in Canada. SMH.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

Weren’t they on the Lethal Weapon soundtrack? That is something. “Love Changes Everything” was decent too. Really dating myself there.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

Did I say that out loud?


Other calls Holland should be making prior to the expansion draft is to Arizona and Washington, both have 2 goalies under contract. Arizona has a spare D protected slot and might be interested in Jones, but Washington would be looking for exempt assets only.


If Klefbom isn’t goinf to be ready to go next fall, I’d like Holland to be calling Colorado about Graves. There’s little chance they can protect him and they might accept some expansion exempt assets (Samorukov?) in return. I love me some Sambo but he’s not a surefire top-4 guy like Graves is, and I’d be a lot more comfortable going into training camp with four legit top-4 defenders.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I’d sooner target Nemeth. Last I checked, he’s fared well despite harsh minutes in Detroit and continued a trend that had me interested in him back when he signed in Detroit. Given his existing relationship with Holland, his low cap cost (~2.5-3mil), and not requiring any trade assets to acquire, I think he’d be a better fit.


The woodmoney’s aren’t kind to Nemeth – that DFF% v Elites doesn’t look pretty. Graves is a much better player, has more upside and the cost might not be dire. If Samorukov and a 3rd got it done the team would be far better off than with Nemeth.

Last edited 3 months ago by ArmchairGM
Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I’m curious as to how you’re interpreting his DFF numbers to come to that conclusion. I tend to use PuckIQ as a secondary source to check my interpretations so maybe I’m misinterpreting but I look at is his relDFF (DFF%RC) and see:

COL 20-21: -15.8 (21.6% vs Elites)
DET 20-21: 4.6 (31.5%)
DET 19-20: 11.7 (43.1%)
COL 18-19: 0.3 (30.1%)
COL 17-18: 5.3 (37.1%)

From that, I see a player that tends to play average-to-hard minutes and comparatively outperforms his team in those minutes. With the exception of the small sample size from an elite team this season, he’s seems to be a boon to his team. And since I don’t believe results Vs Elites are all that matter, even look at his results against the Middle- still generally positive.

Add this to his positive relGF% (largely driven by positive impacts on GA/60) and his consistently positive results in limiting SCA (or HDCA) despite seeing relatively difficult deployment, I think he’d fit well either as a veteran partner for Bouch or as a 2nd pairing bandaid solution.


I’d like to hear that conversation just to hear it.

“Ken, it’s Joe and Dawson on line 1.”

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

Ken: Hang on a minute…I need to go fetch Kevin.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Oilers Twitter: *unsheathe swords*


Kadri is the Avs player the Oilers should be looking at.

Samorukov is too close and Graves not good enough to make that trade. One doesn’t need Graves to make the playoffs. Play the season out and look for a D at the trade deadline. Sign a stop gap that doesn’t require assets out for the regular season.

Is Samorukov is going he has to be going for someone like Sergachev or Hampus Lindholm.

Material Elvis

Kadri would be a perfect 3C; that’s the kind of upgrade the team needs.


I’m actually thinking about Kadri as a LW for McDavid and Puljujarvi. Two-way player. A nasty player who can cycle. A really good skater.

I think left wing on a skill line would be a really good second/third act for Kadri.

Stockpiling centres never hurts. Having Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Kadri would give any Oilers coach the ability to optimize matchups.

And then maybe Getzlaf as the RC in the Spezza role.

Kadri McDavid Puljujarvi
Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, Yamamoto
Benson, Getzlaf, Kassian
XXX, McLeod, Archibald
Shore, Khaira


Kadri will be 31 next NHL season

Surprised to see you jump on an ancient.


Kadri can skate. He only has one year left on his contract. So you can try him without buying him. Unlike most of the late twenty something left wings in UFA, where you have to buy several 30-something years.

If it doesn’t work, try again next year with someone else. If it works, Kadri would likely consider staying. He can lengthen his career a lot on LW with McDavid.

If one can wrangle a reasonable trade with the Avalanche for a player they may be likely to lose for nothing in the expansion draft, and in need of cap space, Kadri is a much better risk reward than any of the UFA’s.

The thing is, if Kadri on LW with McDavid doesn’t work, the worst case is that he is your 3rd line centre for a year, while McLeod matures.

The hitch is whether a trade can be made with the Avalanche.


Kadri would be a fantastic 1-year stop gap at 3C. THe issue is acquisition cost in light on no intent to re-sign (Kadri is already entering regression years – one year only please).

With respect to Armchair and the original post, the thing with adding a legit top 4 LD (with cap) for Klef is that Holland can really only spend Klef’s LTIR reserves if he’s not only not ready to start the season but also not going to be coming back at all.

I think the likely scenario is that Klef isn’t quite ready to start the season but likely to be activated some time during the season. If that happens, any LTIR reserves disappear completely (and its not pro-rated for amount of season left – that entire $4.1M overage ability disappears).

Harpers Hair

National Newswatch (@natnewswatch) Tweeted:
Ottawa set to approve NHL travel exemption that requires strict testing and hotel bubbles | CBC News https://t.co/O5fDJx4qt7



Prison sentence for US players that have to come up here.


Bah – it’ll be for 2 games or 1 game stretches. Canadian teams have been doing it all season long.

They’ll manage.


Yeah… I kinda thought it was a joke from McSorley33…


Two days in luxury hotel is prison? You must live a charmed life.


2008 Red Wings would dismantle this unbeatable force in Colorado.