(Until You’re Standing Before) The Human Being Lawnmower

by Lowetide
Evan Bouchard photo by Mark Williams

Edmonton will have several new faces in the opening night lineup for 2021-22, Evan Bouchard among them. The Oilers RH depth chart will likely run Ethan Bear, Adam Larsson and Bouchard, meaning veteran Tyson Barrie is down the line.

When evaluating the roster and possible improvements, one of the key factors in this area of the roster is the increase in cap room. Barrie’s contract was significant, Bouchard’s on his entry deal. That’s almost $3 million in extra room and one of the reasons making the move away from Barrie is the obvious next step.


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!


I have Caleb Jones going to Seattle, James Neal getting bought out, Kyle Turris and Alex Stalock in the minors. Holland would have $23 million left for five players.

Mike Smith for $2.5 million plus $1 million in bonus dollars, Adam Larsson $4 million over four years, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins $5.5 million times five. That’s $13 million added and now the GM has $10 million left for a scoring LW and a C-W who is preferably RH.

Folks? That’s enough for Zach Hyman and Brandon Sutter, with maybe $2 million left for various items through the year.

What does that mean? I think Ken Holland has to offload James Neal and Mikko Koskinen to make a significant difference. Not sure what it looks like, but Edmonton needs more difference makers and the names I’ve mentioned are complementary pieces.

Bottom line: Nuge, Hyman, Sutter, Larsson and Smith aren’t enough to push the river when McDavid and Draisaitl are off the ice. What would be better?

The problem here is that you can’t sign five UFA in one summer because the other teams will have a say. Specifically, the Seattle Kraken are going to take a big bite out of the free-agent pool.

How can Holland improve his team, while using the free-agent market realistically? Well, I do think he signs Nuge, Larsson and Smith. That takes care of three issues.

Then, he’ll be looking at trades, likely for overpriced talent that remains useful. The sweetener for trading teams will be cap room. Tampa Bay might be a good place to start.


It’s a big day on the Lowdown, we get started at 10, TSN1260. Dave Jamieson and Matthiew Iwanyk will join me and Tyler Yaremchuk for a special announcement just after 10. We’ll chat with John Matisz from The Score about Montreal Canadiens victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night and the possible impact of the TML collapse. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.


You may also like

4.6 9 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Randle McMurphy

NBC Sports runs a Twitter pole:

You can pick either Connor McDavid or Nathan MacKinnon to join your team:

LIKE for McDavid
RETWEET for MacKinnon

1.7K MacKinnon

4.7K McDavid



Patrick Bacon’s WAR metric loves Nurse and Larsson from this past season.

Ranks them 12th and 16th, respectively, amongst NHL defenders.

Here’s Larsson’s WAR player card


Pretty interesting. Certainly more on the side of those wanting to extend Larsson.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bling
Randle McMurphy

There’s a side that doesn’t want to extend Larsson?


Players that make sense to me that we’re linked to be available or linked to the Oilers in the last offseason that would make serious additions and are relatively cheap.
Darcey Kuemper
Erik Haula
Josh Manson
Rickard Rakell

I also believe players like Kassian & Koskinen can be dealt.

I’m also a big fan of trades or possibly poaching RFA’s & might be the best play for the team.

Material Elvis

I really like this approach. Just because the team is finally getting some cap space, doesn’t mean they should overspend in free agency. Be smart with the cap space and upgrade the 3 or 4 worst players.


Good ol’ Josh Manson. I remember when he gave a stiff uppercut to Giordano. Buckled the old boys knees he did. Gio basically stopped flapping his lips after that and was a non-factor mailing it in for the rest of the series, lolo. That was 2017 I think… so he wasn’t a complete pylon yet. One could probably still find it on YouTube. Good times.


Yeah I think it’s a stretch to pay Hyman $4 million and the media is talking $5 million plus. Crazy talk.


If they are out there…I would love to hear G. Money and Woodguy comment on Larsson, and whether they would extend him to a 4 x 4 type contract.

Material Elvis

If you look at his numbers and the comparables, it is extremely difficult to justify $4M x 4. Justification would include, you got it…..intangibles! Team leader, good in the room, warrior, etc.


Of course, as we know, its practically possible to measure defensive value of d-men with numbers.

Material Elvis

Defensive defensemen should not be remunerated highly, in my opinion. Their skills are more easily duplicated than a guy who can contribute in the offensive end. It’s the new landscape; pay the talent and the keep the other costs down. Larsson is not ‘the talent’. And a 4 year contract is WAY too risky for the Oilers. The odds of him underperforming that contract are higher than the odds of getting full value or an outperformance. They really need to think twice about this contract.


Sadly, the Oilers don’t use analytics which would inform them of the contract value of defensive defenseman.

Fresh off the Kassian 4 x $3,2m, there’s zero chance Holland won’t pony up $4m x 4 for Adam Larsson.


I doubt anyone is actually happy with 4×4. I would be happy with 3×3. 4×4 just seems like a “that’s probably what it will cost”. Would I move on over that? Possibly, depends what’s out there.


Very economical. Esks merch only needs a one-letter change

~ Go E*ks Go ~


I was amused they still kept the same




They are still using the same EE design for some of their new Elk merch:


It’s not a big deal. Just some of it looks like they just took it out of the Eskimos merch with the EE logo and just put it under the Elks rack which is what I found amusing.

Last edited 3 months ago by Side
Harpers Hair

The Nightmare on Elk Street writes itself.

Material Elvis

There’s an Elk Street in Parksville?

Material Elvis

I’m sure the organization learned its lesson from the last Kris Russell contract…..

Bag of Pucks

We have a game where the rule book is called to accentuate the skill and nobody has to bother with that pesky body contact and shot blocking. It’s called the All Star Game.

If that’s the style of hockey you are pining for, fill your boots.


There are typically far fewer penalties called in an all-star game than in an average regular season game


Oilers are way behind in analytics. Amazing that Holland was hired and did not make it a priority.

The problem now is, if you try to build it, it may take 4 years to get up and running. That’s getting out of the McDavid and Drai primetime window.

Katz should consider buying Sportlogiq or a similar outfit. Maybe there’s a European team doing high end analytics that he can import en-masse.

Harpers Hair

Hiring Woodguy and GMoney would go a long way to address this but you’re right, disposing of the flotsam and jetsam including the Sea Of Granlunds will take a while.




4 years? We’re not talking about nuclear fission here, I think within a year or less this is doable. The data is mostly available (you noted Sportlogiq), you just need to hire some people that can analyze the data and feed into the decision making. It’s far from rocket science and I get that’s why it’s pretty demoralizing the Oilers haven’t invested here much yet.


I suppose what I mean is that you aren’t going to build an analytics department in one season that is on par with, say, Carolina. Or Colorado.

If you could move from basement dweller to middle of the pack that would be impressive, but I have my doubts that even that is possible within one year.


sure that makes sense


Why would this require anything but buying data and having numbers and calculations spit at you, then maybe one guy to go deeper than the basics?

Zero need to build a bureaucracy and over complicate this – also even better if you can have someone currently inside actually learn it – that way you’re not always dealing with “well the analytics guy sez…” problems.

Material Elvis

You can build the greatest analytics team in the world, but if the manager doesn’t believe in the concept, it is a worthless endeavor.


what proof that Holland et al. do not use analytics and/or have an analytics division exists? We do not know what we do not know

Material Elvis

He believes in the NHL Guide and Record Book; he’s on the record stating that. He has a history of transactions that do not correlate with modern day analytics. That’s not damning evidence but it’s fairly obvious he believes in ‘traditional methods’.


The goalposts will move so fast you won’t even know what happened

Harpers Hair

I’ve been telling y’all about Colorado rising for 3 years while the Oilers fiddled around the edges.

Even If Colorado doesn’t win the cup this season, they will be legit contenders for the foreseeable future.

LAK are next…book it.


In reality you only started hopping on the Colorado bandwagon 3/4 through this season. After it was apparent that Vancouver and Calgary were pronounced dead.

Just because you read smarter peoples analysis about Colorado and agreed with it, doesn’t mean you were talking about them for years.

It just means you jumped on the bandwagon when it became fashionable.


Yes good job calling 30/31 potential teams to win the cup.
we’re so proud of you

Material Elvis

No you weren’t. Back in the day, you made a bold claim that Minnesota were the next big thing. That they would play 60 home playoff games over the next 10 seasons and that would pay for Parise and Suter’s contracts. “Book it” you said. Then you moved on to Florida Panthers and your man crush Dale Tallon until they couldn’t win anything. Then you floundered for awhile; you pushed Dallas Stars and their vaunted defense while at the same time bragged about the speed of the Canucks rebuild (vs the Oilers, true to form). Only recently have you taken a liking to the Avalanche — your daily Avalanche debriefings make OP look like a ‘long-time lurker, first-time poster’.


The Avs have built an excellent team and I don’t think anyway can deny that. The test for Sakic is when the cap piper needs to be paid. That’s where the proverbial rubber hits the road 🙂 They should be a legit contender until then.


Noone is disputing that the Avs are legit right now and likely for a period of time.

What should be acknowledged is that this took their GM the best part of a decade and, as he started his tenure, the team drafted 2nd overall, traded a high pick for Varlamov, then drafted 1st overall and, in the years to come were awful including historically bad.

It took the genius Sakic years and years.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers haven’t been truly competitive since 1990.

Thats more than 3 decades.


What does that have to do with Joe Sakic taking the better part of a decade to get his team where it is and Holland, having been on the job for 2 years (both of which his team made the playoffs)?

Dennis King

Second time in a week this guy jumped the shark. Even Fonzie only did it once


You’re missing the point. While everything gets attributed to Sakic, it’s misleading. Sakic didn’t turn into Bradley Cooper until he hired Sprigings.

Material Elvis

I’m confused. Is Sakic Keyser Söze or not?


I’m not certain about that, but I do think that Dawson Sprigings is Rumplestiltskin.

Material Elvis

Okay, well maybe Katz could lure this Rumpelstiltskin to Edmonton. Would Harrison Katz be sufficient?


but what happened to your “predictions” about Minnesota ?


Funny you should mention Hyman, because I’m a little worried the Leafs could make a play for Nuge. That could end up being a little “trade.”

I am absolutely convinced Nuge’s EV production this season was an outlier. I wouldn’t bring him back at all costs but he is a reasonable bet at 5 – 5.5.


Let Hyman walk and sign Nuge… watch the leafs fail even more miserably. Adding another soft forward that does not have another gear for playoffs is not the answer for them.


I agree with you completely on Larsson.

I am deeply perturbed by his EV GF/60 over the past few seasons, including time with Klefbom. It is bottom of the barrel. Everyone is in love with his defending, but his margin of error is basically zero, because not much is going to happen the other way, either.

To those who think Larsson is a value at 4 million next season, I challenge you to consider whether or not he can possibly cover that bet in years 2, 3, and 4.

Bouchard and Bear are both already better players overall than Larsson.

You are signing a third pairing guy to a contract and the risk attached to it is substantial. He can easily be passed next season.

Larsson at a max of 2.5 million is my outer bound, and even that I am unsure of.


Lets not forget that the players that Larsson played the most without over the last 3 seasons are McDavid, Drai, Chiasson and Nuge.

So, he’s taking tough comp minutes, with limited offensive zone starts without the only offensive producers on the team.

Harpers Hair

So, you just described a 3rd pairing defensive D….like Forbort or Hamonic.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Larsson happily takes the shyte end of the stick every year and get crucified. GF/GA belongs to all 6 players on the ice and Larsson played with some historically bad bottom 6 players the past two seasons. On top of that he played toughs in a shutdown role with unstable kids like Jones and Lags this season. His corsi with Kulikov was actually pretty good at 56% and I would not mind that pair for another year to give the kids some clean air.


To me this is a contradiction in terms. He plays the tough opponents without 97, 29, and 93 on the ice.

How tough is that comp? I don’t think Tipp tries to shield 97 and 29 from hard ice.


Larsson is 41% GF against elites, 63% GF against middle, and 40.9% GF against gritensity.

You’re right that Larsson doesn’t play much with 97. He does play a decent amount with Draisaitl, and the numbers are not good.


Drai without Larsson = 64% GF
Larsson without Drai = 38 % GF
Drai and Larsson = 50% GF
Both off = 34.6% GF

Drai without Larsson = 50% GF
Larsson without Drai = 46 % GF
Drai and Larsson = 88% GF (small sample size)
Both off = 49% GF

So, Larsson on against elites without Drai is terrible, basically the same as both off.

Larsson against middle is only good with Drai. Without, he is slightly worse than the rest of the team.

Remember, Larsson is drowning against elites and grits. His GF% (63) against middles is helped along a lot by Draisaitl.

I just don’t see how Larsson is a top 4 D based on data like this, much less deserving of a 4 x 4 contract.

I’ve said it before — upgrading Larsson’s spot is a priority. Do it internally with Bear/Bouchard, but IMO he has to go OR come back at a reduced salary playing third pairing minutes exclusively.


My takeaway from those numbers is that Larsson’s already pedestrian (or worse) goal share numbers are worse when you take away his time with Drai against middle comp.

My general point is, if Larsson is truly an elite defender, why don’t we see it without Drai?


I agree with you completely on the error rate.

Bouchard, Bear, and Jones all rode the pine for lesser offences than Adam Larsson.

I am confident that, given the opportunity, Bouchard would have taken Larsson’s job this season.

If you look at my post above you’ll see that Larsson’s performance against elite and middle opponents without Drai is…not good. It’s as brutal as the rest of the team. I have a hard time, based on that, believing he moves the needle defensively.

To counteract OP’s point further, while Larsson may not play as much with the elite guys, does he do anything to help the lesser forwards create offence? I’d argue he’s as much a hindrance as anyone on the back end.


Bear, Larson, and Bouchard is very far from the skating required from a right D complement in today’s league. Incredible that most here seem to think that group is quick enough (especially in the D zone).

Material Elvis

Most here seem to think that? How did you come to that conclusion? If you could devise a strategy to replace them with three Cale Makars, I’d love to hear it.

Harpers Hair

Start with trading Draisaitl to a team in need of a #1C and go from there.

Material Elvis

Dealing from the top of the deck to improve a team is a Charlie Brown move. We’ve seen that movie and the ending is more “Se7en” than “Independence Day”.


My good lord. This is NOT what Joe Sakic would do. Any sane person really.


Last edited 3 months ago by jp

The truth is that Holland has to have the intestinal fortitude to pick another GM’s pocket.

That and you have to scout the hell out of other team’s prospects.

Toews, Girard, and Graves were all easily acquired.


Haha, I was hoping for agreement that Sakic most probably wouldn’t be prioritizing a Draisaitl trade.

But yes, Holland does need to win some trades. Ideally by identifying other teams talent before it fully emerges. And not overpaying for declining years would be nice too.

Harpers Hair

/Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) Tweeted:
Question: McDavid and MacKinnon are quite clearly the top two players in the world. 

But who is #3?



Who’s that one guy who scored 100 points (using this season pace) for last 3 years
forget his name
I think it rhymes with Olborne

Harpers Hair

Would Joe trade Makar for Draisaitl?

No he wouldn’t.


Yeah GMs hate big 100 point plus centers

Harpers Hair

Not a good way to allocate cap when you already have one of the best centres in the league.

2 or 3 elite D are a much better investment.


Makar would be on a plane bound for Edmonton before you could blink your eyes.
just because you criminally underrate Draisaitl doesn’t mean NHL GM’s do.
Think about this, Draisaitl & McDavid if the Oilers had 2 balanced lines are literally on the ice for 40 minutes of a game. Average TOI per player.
that’s a massive advantage that Makar doesn’t bring let alone the offence.
Defencemen get traded far more than elite centres.


Or Forbort for $1m.

Harpers Hair

And there are many other options.

Harpers Hair

They will be a cup favorite again next season?


I’d prefer Larsson to Barrie at even money for next season.


OP, I know you like Larsson’s defensive game a ton.

Is there a reason you are not concerned about the offensive black hole that accompanies him when he is on the ice?

I just have a hard time believing a guy like that is truly a top 4 D.


If you were GM, what moves do you make this summer?

Harpers Hair

Just remembered today is the day that drafted players had to be signed or they go back in the draft.
Do the Oilers have any of these?


No, the only CHL drafted player in 2019 was Lavoie.

As an aside, the unsigned player does not necessarily go back in the draft – if old enough, he becomes a UFA.

Ryan Mantha for example


It’s mindbendingly hilarious that OP actually responds in a civil way to HH. This blog is thesis worthy for a psych student. One day OP is berating HH and the next day he is responding civilly. So weird.

Harpers Hair



I would assume that labeling other posters with mental health issues would lead to an automatic time out, if not ban.

Harpers Hair

Are you suggesting mental health issues should be hidden and shamed?

I have long suffered from clinical depression and hardly mind discussing it openly.


I am suggesting that you are diagnosing others with mental health issues in a derogatory manner which is about as low as it gets but is par for the course given your clear intent of trying to reduce the enjoyment of others.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

It’s a feature, not a bug.


You’re basically describing civility. Which is weird because you used civil in the sentence to describe the situation. Which is even more weird that you think it’s mind bendingly hilarious.

Material Elvis

That doesn’t seem overly strange to me. Haven’t you ever had a fist fight with someone then drink beers with them later?


Oilers > Jets
Leafs > Habs

There is no way the Jets should have beaten the Oilers in 4 straight. The puck bounces the other way and a sweep could have very easily happened the other way.

There is no way the Canadiens should have beat the Leafs in 3 straight after going down in the series 3-1. One lucky bounce and that series is done in 5.

There were two other first round series that were lopsided matchups, Colorado & St Louis, and Carolina & Nashville. Avs and Blues occured exactly how it should have, and the Preds were fortunate to win one game, let alone two.

The Blues replaced Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester and Edmundson with Scandella, Faulk and Krug, and their goaltender came back down to earth. There was no way they could kill the game vs Sakic’s team.

Nashville, Winnipeg, and Montreal made the games boring and shitty to try to take each game to OT and make it a coin flip. Mission accomplished.

If the NHL wants the best 16 teams to turn into the best 8, and the best 4, and so on, the officials must call the game as it is meant to be called. McDavid gets fucking mugged on every single shift in every single period, OT included, and each call/non-call is pure speculation, but Gaetan Haas accidentally flips a puck over the glass in the second OT and there is no room for discussion. It’s either a call or not a call; 82 game season, or playoffs. Or if the whistles are going away in the playoffs, especially in playoff OT, then there should be no calls for pucks over the glass. A delay-of-game penalty is the exact reason why all of the other penalties must be called.

What the NHL has done in the north division is ridiculous. Instead of having an exciting 7 game series between two exciting high octane teams, Quebec and the 12 people in Winnipeg get to enjoy zero goals and zero excitement all for 7 games of next-goal-wins hockey. It’s a bad look for the league and it robs fans of the watching McDavid & Draisaitl vs. Matthews and Marner.

Harpers Hair

What it really means is the regular season is essentially meaningless and teams built for the playoffs will thrive.

Most of the success we’ve seen is due to forward depth, defensemen who can move the puck and decent goaltending.

Teams that rely on 2 or 3 superstars are generally doomed to failure.

Remember Chicago was not a force until Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad arrived and, of course they had those twin towers on D.

Nothing new here.

Ice Sage

Yeah, they had some other brutish players (Bolland,Brouwer, Byfuglien) and tough skill (Versteeg, Sharp) – how did that happen before analytics??? – some bets along these lines are going to have to work out for the Oilers to get there


“Built for the playoffs” is media spin for the ability to clutch, grab and mug the opposing players. Do you seriously prefer watching this type of hockey?

Randle McMurphy

This ^, and the size of the ice surface is generally what seperates North American hockey from European hockey, No?

The NHL is a business. They need their fans to be emotionally engaged. They need heros and villians. They need parity. Any moves towards the elimination of “nastiness” are, at least in large part, moves to avoid legal liability and/or to keep up appearences (so that people on the fence will continue to watch the sport)

The result of this business model is that they are far and away the top hockey league in the world.


Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

“If the NHL wants the best 16 teams to turn into the best 8, and the best 4, and so on, the officials must call the game as it is meant to be called.”

That is not what the NHL wants.

Bag of Pucks

Would a player like Ryan Reaves or Tom Wilson give McDavid or Yamo or Nuge more room in the playoffs? I suspect they might.

Everyone says the instigator takes these players out of the game, but what truly took the goons out is an inability to skate. See Lucic for proof. Reaves and Wilson are both thriving.

The benefit of this player type is they can legally make your life miserable on the wall and in scrums. A guy’s holding Connor. Guaranteed Tom Wilson can disincentivize that in game. Look at the impact Logan Stanley had ffs.

I’m not convinced the Oil (or the Leafs for that matter) need to turn over a 1/3rd of the roster for more size and muscle.

There’s a reason Gretzky insisted on McSorley following him to the Kings. What this team needs is a big jerk who can play. That one addition could have a huge impact. Everyone plays bigger when they’ve got a mean SOB backing them up.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bag of Pucks

Kadri on LW?


I don’t think those players would give McDavid more room.

Sure, they could make the walls more miserable for the opponent but I don’t see how that opens up the middle of the ice, the natural zone or the blue line entry for McDavid.

Guys like Logan Stanley were effective due to their ability to infract without penalty. I don’t see how Ryan Reaves would change that.


Only way to provide clean air for CMD is to provide a robust array of alternate scoring threats, imo.

Last edited 3 months ago by MushedPeas
Harpers Hair


From the D.

Harpers Hair

Isn’t this what Kassian is supposed to do?

Who signed that guy?

Bag of Pucks

Agreed. Saying the Oilers need this player type is an indication that Kassian isn’t answering the bell nearly enough.

The Jets have 5 or 6 players that can throw with Zack. Not a lot of upside there to be fair.


Your wonderful Canucks are in the list of teams that signed him.

Harpers Hair

No they didn’t.
They acquired him in a cap dump and disposed of him as soon as possible.


Wasn’t that supposed to be Zack Kassian’s job? Where are all the Kassianiacs?

Turns out Kassian is horrible at this task, and pretty much any task you give him on the ice.


That’s what the instigator penalty did. It punishes the tough guy from making the likes of Wilson etc from protecting the stars. We were told that the referees would do it! The instigator get two, five and a game The five minutes saw off usually but the offending team gets a power play. It really is an ass backwards rule and especially so if the referees decide to not call the slashing, holding and interference that negates the skill players.

Bag of Pucks

Optics around concussion science made it inevitable. The Nanny State assimilates all eventually.


A big jerk who can play – most of those guys are drafted. Not always easy to identify those guys … often times they end up being a big jerk who can’t play

Material Elvis

Optics? Maybe. Potential lawsuit from the players? Probably.

Bag of Pucks

The lawsuit exposure is minimal. The NFL settled on the players class action claim for concussion trauma and it barely dented their bottom line.

The bigger threat is parents deciding hockey is too dangerous for junior so the talent pipeline dries up. In other words, optics.

These are corporations. They’re lawyered up and insured to the hilt. The elimination of fighting has very little to do with player safety or alleged legal exposure and everything to do with how they want to position the game.

We live in a world where MMA exists so it’s frankly ludicrous to suggest that fighting in the NHL is legally untenable.


This^! Either refs make the calls or bring back the goons.


One lesson from this year’s playoffs (if any lessons can be gleaned from a small sample size) is that you need super mobile D to score in the playoffs.

Leafs and Oilers with enough high end offensive pop and the Leafs with great depth. Couldn’t get it done. Both teams are weak on the back-end, lacking the Toews Makar types who can really wheel.

Who amongst Oiler D can do that consistently? Maybe Nurse, though he does less of it when conserving energy to play 30 minutes a game. Barrie isn’t fast enough. Jones is quick but excels more in transporting the puck via the outlet pass.

Broberg is the only guy on the horizon who projects to have that ability.

The Hurricanes pulled off a cool set play against the Preds in round 1. Off the draw, both Slavin and Hamilton went down low while a forward swung high. Slavin passed it to a streaking Hamilton for a goal.

Gotta get creative like that.

This is (part) of why I am unsure about the conventional wisdom of Bear-Larsson-Bouchard as the RHD. Not one of those guys can really wheel the puck up ice. Even a returning Klefbom lacks that skill.

If Larsson is a second pairing D, you really have to plan around that. I am in the minority, I know, but I still believe his abysmally low GF/60 is a problem.

Harpers Hair


That is the modern NHL.

Teams like Carolina, Tampa, Vegas and Colorado all have 3 or 4 D that can transport the puck at high speed, make plays off the rush and get involved in the offence.

Typically they will have more typical shut down D on their 3rd pair and penalty kill who get trotted out in specific situations. (See Patrick Nemeth in Colorado.)

The problem with all of this, is that some GM’s realized this quite awhile ago and have almost monopolized the supply of this type of defenseman while others are still drafting “two way” D who actually don’t move the needle much at all on the offensive side of the puck.


Nurse, Klefbom, Bouchard, Broberg – category A

Larsson, Samorukov – category B

Jones and Bear can help in A and Bear in B.

Holland is building it – took Sakic 8 years.

Harpers Hair


Klefbom lacks both the speed and playmaking skills.

Bouchard is an average skater with great passing skills.

Broberg has great wheels but his offense is well shy.

Jones and Bear would not be on the roster of any of the top teams.

If you combined the Colorado and Edmonton D corps it would look like this.

Toews- Makar




Perhaps Nurse would move up to 2LD but Graves is faster, meaner and better defensively (+40 last season and leading the playoffs in +/-)

Note that Toews, Makar, Graves, Girard, Byram And Timmins were all acquired in the last 3 years not the 8 years you keep pumping.

It took some time for Joe to clear the decks but he did and then he and his analytics team rolled up their sleeves and built the best modern D Corp in the league while Holland has been signing Koekkoeks and the like….old school thinking.


I think it’s too soon to say what Broberg’s offensive ceiling is.

I don’t think he’ll be Maker-level, obviously, but he was banged up last season. Plus, the Swedish leagues are notorious for suppressing the offence of young d-men. The list of guys who come over and start producing at an elite level is a fairly long one.

Harpers Hair

Is it?

I keep seeing projections of his upside being equivalent to Klefbom.

If so, that hardly cuts it.

Drai by Shooting

They were also shown to be equivalent to Erik Karlsson. Nobody knows


of course he’s no Rafferty that’s for sure…


Has something heavy fallen on your head lately!


Klefbom has offensive chops for sure but is not a super elite skater. Neither is Bouchard, though I think Bouchard makes up for it with his elite playmaking skills. I love Bouchard as a player by the way, but I’m referring specifically to skating ability and the ability to do zone exits and entries with the puck on their stick.

I have great reservations about building a second pairing around Larsson. I know you like him a lot.

Even Klefbom struggled to a low GF/60 with Larsson in recent years. Those guys haven’t been a high end pairing for years. Personally, I wouldn’t want to plan on them returning to where they were in 2016 or thereabouts.


Yeah, it’s interesting. Both the necessity and impact of super mobile d get magnified in the playoffs.

The impact of forwards like 97 get nullified during the playoffs when you can clutch, grab, obstruct and tackle 97 with impunity.

At the same time, you can’t do that to a Makar either rushing the puck up the ice from the back end or jumping into the offense from the blue line.

Offense is hard to come by in the playoffs and you need to generate it from the d.

In the 2016 playoffs Karlsson, then with still half an ankle, was an unstoppable force on the ice with his ability to make outlets and generate offense literally playing like a quarterback in football.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

The Chicago Steel of the USHL have actually recognized this formally by playing lines featuring 3 forwards, 1 defenseman and their most dynamic D as a “rover”.


Didn’t the Oilers lead the league in goals (points?) from their D this year?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

And that counted for jack-shit in the playoffs.


Haha, well that is true.

Harpers Hair

In the playoffs (when it matters) the Oilers D had 4 points led by Adam Larsson at 2 points but was also -4.

The Colorado D has 18 points.


Yes, I’m aware the Oilers underperformed in the playoffs.

Harpers Hair

Did they?

Or were they exposed for what they really are for the second year in a row.

You know I keep hearing how the elite players get shut down in the playoffs but then I see MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog romping against two of the better defensive teams in the league.


Time will tell I guess.

You’re aware the McDavid and Draisaitl have 13 and 11 points in their most recent 8 playoff games.

Finding ways to lose, yes. Not exactly shut down.


It’s a good point that you raise, but Barrie really isn’t from the Toews/Makar tree. Nurse has the wheels to do it and probably could if he was playing 25 instead of 30+ every game.

No dig meant on either player.


Yeah, agreed Barrie/Nurse aren’t quite the same player type. Though it’s been well documented that Nurse consistently puts up points at even strength.

It’s interesting that the Leafs, Canadians and Jets don’t really have this player type either.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Does anyone really think that Tippett would use Hamilton/Slavin in that manner? Be honest.


Part of it is coaching, for sure.

To Laviolette’s credit, I have never seen that play. Very, very cool.


If that fast Defenseman get tackled or held without penalty as our forwards were his added value would be nil. The current system is broken and until it’s fixed we will get a version only of a great game.

Harpers Hair

Stop whining.

MacKinnon. Rantanen, Landeskog, Makar and Toews don’t seem to have any issues and are playing the “great game” you want to see.


I wouldn’t describe Montreal’s defence as super mobile. Winnipeg maybe slightly more mobile. Certainly not any more mobile than Edmonton or Toronto’s defence.

Randle McMurphy

The closest thing the Oilers have to that kind of skill set is Barrie, followed by Nurse.

Oilers fans are betting on Bouchard and Broberg to deliver that skill set. It’s a risky bet.

It is nearly impossible to procure these players in the open market.

Its the reason why you should hang on to Barrie unless you can replace him ( with someone like Hamilton)

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Wonder if we could convince Tampa to trade us Palat as a cap dump, and whether Palat would accept (he has a NMC). It would be easy for us to take him before the expansion draft and protect him, and playing with Mcdavid in a contract year might be appealing to the player. The cost would be modest if we sent few contract dollars back (e.g., Jones). A trade like this, and signing RNH for about $5 million would give us a very nice top 6 LW

Palat McDavid Kassian

That’s a top 6 you could win a few rounds with and it gives Holloway a year to develop. Palat is off the book next summer when you need to pay Nurse.

McLeod xxx Yamo
Benson Khaira Archie

That bottom 6 would also be able to score a bit more with Yamo down there. Get a better greybeard 3C and move Kass and/or Khaira to net-front role on PP.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Actually Klefbom (if he can’t play) for Palat makes a ton of sense for both teams. We get a good LW for McDavid and effectively give Tampa almost $9.65 million of cap relief (Palat $5.5 plus Klefbom LTIR). Palat would have to agree though. Tampa is in a world of hurt in a few weeks and all those NMC/NTC are tough to deal with.


That wouldn’t provide them cap relief vis-a-vis Klef.

It they are right at the cap, it would allow them to go over the cap by $4.1MM but Klef’s cap hit of $4.1MM would count – its a saw-off.

Also, their current LTIR players, Gaborik and Nillson are on expiring contracts.

Tampa will likely not be using LTIR relief going in to next season.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Agree that Klef only allows them to go over – but I disagree – they will very likely will have to use LTIR since Gaborik and Nillson are off the books. If they are not using LTIR then they are gutting their team. Klef (if he’s done) and say Jones for Palat gets them a cheap #6 dman and half way to compliant. Still a ton of work to do even assuming SEA takes a bigger NTC off their hands (they will pay through the nose for that service). Tyler Johnson is not disappearing easily.


Why do you think Tampa is not using LTIR next year?

Last edited 3 months ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

They don’t have any players under contract for next season that are eligible for LTIR it seems (they are all playing now). Acquiring an LTIR contract doesn’t help in this case as it will just increase their cap.

They are going to have to figure it out – if they, all of a sudden are putting Tyler Jonnson on LTIR on the eve of the season, the league will be investigating.

They may have to gut their team a bit of give up value to get rid of players – they might have to pay a first form somewone to take Tyler J.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

TJ has 3 more years @ $5 million. The leafs blew a low first to get rid of only one year of Marleau. The Tampa pick will also probably be #31 or #32 so essentially an early 2nd rounder. Going to cost a whole lot more than that. If I was SEA I’d ask for the first rounder to take a more useful player like Palat or Killorn. Gourde’s 29 and has 4 more years @ 5.16 million – no thanks. Going to be interesting to see what they do.


Sure, I didnt’ analyzie the particular proposes transaction in detail – just citing the type of moves that Tampa is going to have to make – LTIR is likely not an option for cap compliance this year.

Bag of Pucks

Question for the dog owners on the board.

I have a 9 year old Shepherd Rottie mix. He tore his CCL a couple weeks ago.

Vet is recommending surgery but saying no guarantees for a dog this age.

Looking at the various surgery options, my wife and I are extremely concerned with how invasive these procedures are for canines. Moreso, we’re not convinced our boy can have a successful rehab. He’s a big and very active dog and we can’t see viably keeping his movement restricted for the timeline required short of drugging him regularly (not big on this).

Has anyone had success with these types of surgeries? Has anyone had non-surgical wins with a brace, etc?

Appreciate any insights anyone can pass along.


My dog didn’t have a torn ccl but around the same age as your dog we discovered he had hip dyaplasia potentially requiring surgery.

Our dog was also very active so we were concerned about whether he would overdo it. Interestingly though, our vet mentioned that even when dogs had successful surgeries, rehab was a struggle not because the dogs would overdo it and reinjure themselves, but becauase the dogs had already learned to adapt to their injury by avoiding using the part of their body that hurt. It became a struggle to get the dog to start using the part of the body again and some just wouldn’t.

We ended up going the pain killer route because of his age.

I also learned there are companies that loan out wheelchairs for dogs. I think there was even a Canadian company but the name escapes me.

Maybe it’s possible to undergo surgery and restrict your dogs movement by renting and using a wheelchair?

Or maybe not because then the other back leg may start to atrophy as it would not be used as much either..

Last edited 3 months ago by Side
Bag of Pucks

Thanks. Shepherds are prone to the dysplasia as well. Interesting perspective on the compensating. He’s already starting to hop a bit now rather than limp.


Yeah the example my vet gave, he said he had a small dog who required hip surgery and it was already starting to walk on it’s 2 front legs to take it’s weight off of it’s hips. Surgery was successul and when they sarted rehab.. the dog kept defaulting to walking on it’s 2 front legs.

Dogs. Gotta love em.


I’ve got a smaller approximately 50 pound mixed breed dog that had an ACL tear when she was 5 or 6 years old. We elected not to have surgery and she’s still trucking along at 17 years old. She’s been on arthritis meds for several years, but within a few months of the injury had no noticeable after effects.

We had the same concerns about keeping her locked down for a length of time after surgery. The vet said the biggest concerns with not having surgery were injury to the other leg due to compensation, and arthritis.

Last edited 3 months ago by healthyscratch
Bag of Pucks

Thank you. That is very very encouraging to hear.


That really sucks BoP, sorry to hear. We had to put my 15 year old retriever cross down a couple of months ago because of arthritis.

If the CCL is completely torn then surgery is probably the best option, especially if you hope he can return to being fully active. It will scar up without surgery and it’s possible if it’s a minor tear he’d be generally fine, but I would expect a limp, or even if he seems fine, arthritis I believe is accelerated in that leg.

Not the same thing, but my parents’ cat tore something in one of his hind legs (can’t remember which tendon) and they decided not to operate, and he’s generally 85% of where he was in terms of running and jumping, so probably good enough for his needs.

I have read (not experienced myself) that some dogs will respond well to a brace, and get confidence from it (once they get used to it). Whereas the wheelchair is replacing the use of the leg, the brace lets the dog use it regularly.

Not sure how quickly they can use the brace after surgery.

Bag of Pucks

Sorry to hear about your retriever. Love that breed.

I was big on the surgery at first but my wife is wanting us to wait a bit first to see if it can heal on its own.

Her words. “Didn’t McDavid heal his knee without surgery?”

My words. “Does our big dumb bull
-in-a-china shop look like McDavid to you?”

From what I’m reading here today, it sounds like a little patience at this point isn’t a bad thing. Arthritis sounds like a certainty whether we delay or not.

Cup of Coffey

Did the surgery on a 9 yearold Border collie 5 years ago (only 40 lbs dog). After surgery and rehab, she seemed to have full range of motion and no compensation… then slipped on ice the next winter chasing other dogs at the dog park… tore up her other knee.

Did rehab on the other knee because we just couldn’t afford another surgery less than a year after the first. Surgery still comes with rehab, just without surgery you will be restricting his movement longer and doing the exercises longer.

She has never stopped compensating (she basically two foot hops her back legs when she runs now), and she has arthritis in both hind knees and hind hips.

To be fair, the first 3 years after the second tear, she still chased around after kids and dogs without signs of pain or issues. After the noticeable onset of arthritis last spring/summer, she has had to have her activities curtailed because she will still go for a chase given the opportunity… she just pays for it the next couple days.

Would a second surgery have changed the outcome? She was prone to arthritis within 5 years of the surgery… which has just ticked by. So maybe it would have delayed it a bit… but who knows.

Really, if you rehab it, he is prone to arthritis is 3-5 years. If you do surgery, he is prone to it within 5 years…

Bag of Pucks

Thank you. That’s really helpful to compare the arthritis prognosis with or without surgery.

You’ve got the Bobby Orr of Bordie Collies! ☺


Yes, we had an incredibly active 9 yr. old Leonberger that had TPLO surgery for a torn CCL. He came through it perfectly and I would not hesitate to have this surgery done. There is a significant risk that the other CCL could tear within 6 months.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, he developed hemangeosarcoma.

Bag of Pucks

Thanks again to everyone that responded with your own dog injury experiences. These informed a great discussion with my wife and we are far more optimistic about our pooch’s treatment options now.

As always, this community’s knowledge stretches far beyond the hockey horizon!

Scungilli Slushy

To me the answer as to what the Oilers need is straight forward, same as always.

They don’t need more high scoring players per se.

They need players that can play a playoff style that have the drive to be disciplined game in and out.

They have to be good players, but in the sense they can finish at a respectable top 6 rate and do the rest well.

Tatar gets sat again. The less gritty and especially smaller skill, slower skating, did not perform well again these playoffs across multiple teams.

It is because space goes away, refs can help or hurt, at the end of the day you have to play through it and play a tight system.

And goalie.

Barrie and Nuge are exactly what a team like the Oilers don’t need. Not heavy game types.

Or undersized average skating players that magically become far less effective in the traffic and tempo of strong teams in the second season.

They need the Gallagher’s (rare) Saads Colemans Pesces. Players that still get it done no matter what happens. That like cuts and bruises.

Very unlike the leafs top end.

If you can get a true top level player like Hamilton you do that and make it work to keep Bouchard as his replacement.

But that isn’t likely, get the best two way players you can that have a history of disciplined play. Costs less too.

They have the elite skill already.


You realize that this is basically the Leafs plan that just didn’t work.

Montreal got outshot and outchanced in the series, while barely trying to score goals. They wanted it to come down to as much luck as possible. This is a good strategy when you are worse than the other team. However, to draw the conclusion from this that therefore it is a good strategy to be worse than the other team is tortured reasoning.

The Leafs mistake is that they listened to this idea instead of adding more skill. Choosing Foligno over Hall was a big mistake.

If there is one lesson from this playoffs it is that you can never have too much skill. That, and in the age of parity, who wins depends on bounces not skill.

Bag of Pucks

Imo the Tavares loss has to factor into the postmortem for the series.

That had a massive impact on TO’s Top 6 and made it viable for Danault to shutdown the Matthews line without them bleeding GAs elsewhere.

Tavares is a 1B C for the Leafs. Massive loss that would be difficult for any team to overcome.



Eh Team

The Leafs tried to build a playoff team by adding a bunch of grit but what they needed to do was double down on skill. They still should of won but Price stoned them.

Same with the Jets. They got outplayed all four games but Hellbuyck was 6-7 goals above average. He was the total difference.


Undersized players need to have an outstanding attribute such as speed/edges, hell of a shot, is a line driver, whatever. Archibald has speed and HITS and is the only small player that works. Yamo, Bear, Russell need to be traded soon. Possibly Russell at next deadline depending of course. Yamo/Bear will get crushed in playoffs. Like them both but will not take us to the promised land. We have bigger and more skilled players coming. Love Nuge but need someone who’s a sniper or with a good slap shot one timer. Need accurate shooters.

Darth Tu

Russell is on a cheaper contract next year and is most likely press box cover for injuries during the regular season, he is not an issue.

Yam will be just fine, his puck recovery skills and tenacity mark him as a player I think will have more value in the playoffs moving forward.

Bear, his outlet passing is great, plus he PK’s and has a decent shot. Sure he’s not a behemoth but as long as he’s playing with a bigger partner again he’s going to be a valuable piece of the team for the next few years – hopefully as a second pairing D-man.


I can’t imagine anyone watching these playoffs and going goalering is a place I can cut costs at

Jethro Tull

Luckily you don’t have to imagine, just support the Oilers.

Harpers Hair

4 of top 10 highest paid goaltenders are no longer playing.

Jethro Tull

But the three Vezina candidates are though, right? And I believe the amount the goalie gets paid is a reflection of good play after the fact they played well?


Sakic went out and got Francouz from the KHL at the same time that Chiarelli signed Koskinen. He spent a year seasoning in the AHL. He had a .923 for a $2m cap hit before, I think, a wonky hip got the best of him. He’s had surgery and is slated to return next season.

Sakic picked up Grubauer from Washington for a second-round draft pick leveraging their cap problems by also taking Orpik in the deal.

At one point, he had both goalies for less than we were paying Koskinen IIRC.

Sakic knows that goalies don’t get better at after age 30. Most decline after age 30 though some defy aging like Fleury and Price.

He also likes his goalies younger and cheap.

I don’t see Sakic as the type to back up the brinks truck for a 29-year-old Grubauer. I think he’s more creative than that.


We will see
but I think he understands the position well enough that he would rather do that then take a flyer on a less than proven goalie

Harpers Hair

Hardly a binary choice.

There are currently 41 UFA goaltenders in the NHL plus whatever number Sweden and Finland serve up on a regular basis.

Joe already got the 25 year old Swede out of Buffalo for a late pick.

You can bet his computer boys are already hard at work on finding the next bargain in a decidedly buyer’s market.


Not to worry Woodguy, Holland has his sights set firmly on ….Devon Shore.

Same lack of scoring depth last season and I flipped when Holland started all his less talented depth signings.

Many fans said not to worry as they are just depth and no blocking anyone.

We should worry. This showed Hollands thinking last year and he seems to be at it again. He only sees what is in front of him. He says the right things (mostly) but where are the results of incremental improvement?

We need Holland to skip thinking about signing Shore and get busy with improving the roster in a significant way.


2018-2019: 0.963 points percentage, -42 GF/GA

2019-2020: 1.169, +8

2020-2021: 1.286, +29

Now Oilers fans can make a case that the pattern won’t hold, or that there should be more progression, but so far under Ken Holland the Oilers are on an upward trajectory.


Of course they are because they have the top two players pulling them along!

Worst team in NHL with their top three forwards off the ice.

Again, the rest of the roster is The Worst Team in the NHL.

Dont kid yourself into thinking all is okay. It’s ridiculously out of balance.


but you do agree that incremental improvement of the oilers has happened no?


Not sure if anyone has seen this. I just stumbled across this Reddit chat with Eric Tulsky.

Randle McMurphy

Bag of Pucks

 Reply to  dustrock
 June 1, 2021 10:38 am

Is Elks plural a thing? It sounds wrong.


If I can get used to “In all of Us command”…..I guess I can get used to Elks….

“Go Elks Go!”
We can still do:

“Wrick em Wrack em Wruck em!
Frick em Frack em…Beat Em!”
.(One of the top Canadian linebackers of all time, Larry Wruck was 2 time most outstanding Canadian, and 2 time Grey Cup during his 12 seasons with the Eskimos.)

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Leafs isn’t either.


Harpers Hair

Woodguy on fire on Twitter.

Woodguy (@Woodguy55) Tweeted:

Colorado had a 62.8% goal share with MacKinnon and Khadri not on the ice. (their 1/2 C)

Up your expectations.

Do you want your team to be great?

I do.


Harpers Hair

Félix Sicard (@Felix_Sicard) Tweeted:
Sounds like Anaheim will actually build an analytics department with some depth to it. Much different than having a couple of interns doing excel charts.


Harpers Hair

Woodguy (@Woodguy55) Tweeted:
So this pretty much leaves EDM as the only team that thinks “nah, we’re good”


EDM had 34.8% of the goal share 5v5 when McDavid, Draisaitl or Nuge was not on the ice.

That was the worst in the NHL this year. 

BUF had 40.8% with Eichel and Staal off the ice.

Ok then.



Even the Pakled would use analytics.

comment image

Darth Tu

This is a top tier reply. Man I need to re-watch STTNG.


I have broken too many TV’s trying to kill Wesley. I was never able to “make it so”.

Darth Tu

Oh yeah. The definite horribly overpowered solution to all problems on the Enterprise.



Pure gold….


yeah, he has been killing it.

Worse depth behind McDavid and Drai …


Hot takes update
“Sakic is gonna sign Grubauer to 3 mil a year contract”
next day he is a Vezina finalist

cowboy bill

Grubauer is UFA . Holland should definitely target this guy .

Harpers Hair

Sakic has shown no inclination to overpay for goaltending.
Easy to do when your team gives up the fewest shots in the league.


I remain a fan of JJ, but I don’t see value at $1.4MM.

Personally speaking, I see him as more of a $1MMx3 kind of player, max. His value on the PK is replaceable on the open market every year.

If we get a legit 3C then JJ is competing with the likes of McLeod, and to choose between the two I’d take the younger player with rocket boots as 4C with PK time.


JJ’s value should be up right about now. Maybe we could get something for him.


The Oilers may need to glue together the G-spot for next year or two but I will not consider them true contenders until they get a legit top 10 tender.

Virtually every team that is or has been a contender in the last forever has a legit top 10 G.
The Oilers almost had one in Duby, but then he hit the ditch for a bit and the Oil hit the panic switch
The Oilers almost had one in Dadbot, but then he was in a tough place for a while (see new parent) and Oil decided to sign Koski instead (Chiarelli may be one of the top 5 GMs in the modern era)

I am absolutely OK with the team paying a premium to get quality in this position. Look at VGK. Look at the Habs.

Instead the Oilers seem to think that they should only have to spend 6-7 Million/year for TWO goalies. IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT POSITION IN THE GAME – PERIOD. You shop in the bargain bin here, your likelihood of playoff success is low.

I have long been against drafting a G in the first round, but if Cossa is there – I do it. It may only take one of these elite G prospects 2-3 years from getting to the NHL as opposed to 4-6 for other G prospects. I realize this would not be a guarantee but it increases the likelihood for success long term, last few years of McD.

I also fully echo the post from Jaxon on yesterdays thread:
Nurse needs to be re-signed long term ASAP (would hope ~8×8 could do it). I agree with his hypothesis that having him signed here past the current expiry dates for Drai and McD increases the likelihood of these guys re-signing. I had been thinking the same thing. If they have success or a serious sniff of success in the next 4 years, they could all be career Oilers. That would be great.


I’m not sure you can glue a G-spot together!😉

Randle McMurphy

Filling the G-spot is critical to long term success. Its a very difficult spot to find…uh I mean fill…

The G-spot is voodoo.

Bag of Pucks

The key with the G-spot position is you need an agitator for it. It’s not so much filling the role permanently as it is being willing to go to the hard areas and stand tall when the game tightens up.

Randle McMurphy

This sounds like Mike Smith…..and …well….


Yes, the Oilers have had a hard time finding it, and staying on it, for years…
I hope they do, because good things will happen. Or so I am told.


I know this thought is a little “premature”, but WTF else is there to do but work…?

For PP1 next year (regardless of Nuge signed or not)

Drai in his favorite place (most of the time)
Nurse at the top (or Klef if he returns and rest Nurse for PK and the other half the game he plays routinely)
McD doing McD things
JP front of net
Bouch on the left side (Ovi spot) mirroring Drai on the right

This puts a very significant one timer threat from both sides of the Ozone
Nurse is effective on the PP, but not for his shot.

Giddy Up!


The key to the Oilers power play is that McDavid, Draisailt, and Nugent-Hopkins do not have a fixed spot. The core of the powerplay is positionless. Multiple points of attack by multiple players at each point.

They even switch the net front guy between Neal and Chiasson (and sometime Yamamoto or Puljujarvi).

Last edited 3 months ago by godot10

Yes, there is movement and that is good. But where is most of the damage done? Front of net and Drai one-timers from the right side. So while they are all moving around next year, they could put an additional threat moving around on the other side and keep the PK guessing. Right now, they know McD and Nuge are usually looking for Drai for the one-timer at the right side.


With Nurse, Drai, McDavid and JP – even without RNH – I don’t think this PP misses a beat.

Agreed on Bouch on the left side.


Trade idea Zucker ($1M retained) & DeSmith for Kahun rights. I read Malkin liked playing with Kahun and was upset with the original trade. Kahun posted similar numbers to Zucker in his year there. Pens get room to sign a UFA goalie. We get a proven mid range LW on a 2 year contract and an upgraded 1B goalie (waive Stalock, buyout Koski).

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac
Paddy Morans Jockstrap

For god’s sake don’t buyout Koskinen this summer as that drags his cap hit into 2023. His dollars are needed next year when Nurse needs to be paid. Retaining salary in trade is fine but this cannot drag out past next summer. The Neal buy-out window is also open but it would be better to wait a year so the cap hit only runs two years. But even then we should avoid buyouts entirely if possible in a flat cap environment. We are only 24 months away from a clean sheet and out of the mess Chia made.


Hey Mr. Strap, pretty sure Gord isn’t worried about the Oiler’s cap one way or the other. I’d love to retain on Koski but I doubt anyone is interested. Smith + Koskinen is a risky bet, what do you propose.

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac
Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Trade and retain salary – Koski @ $2 million for one year might be a good bet for for a team who handles goalies better than us (that would be at least 3/4 of the league).

Last edited 3 months ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Small correction – $2.25MM for Koski.

Also, lets not forget his 15 team no-trade protection.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

If I was Kos I would go anywhere as he is clearly not liked or trusted by this coach and that is beyond obvious. Smith was very good this year but the bromance between him and Tip was not helpful to the overall goaltending situation.

Kos was mediocre to OK to start the year with no camp but they played him into the ground with 10 straight starts after losing Forsburg and not claiming Ned. He rebounded pretty well after Smith came back. In the 5 games between March 5 and APR 7 he went .929 .929 .960 .875 .933. But this is only about 1 start per week and then he sat for 3 straight weeks without a single game. There was no reason for that as he was playing well. It’s shitty mgmt of the goalies but we are all used to that in EDM. Been going on since forever.

If I need a goalie, and EDM will retain 50% of Kos, I make that bet pretty comfortably as he can be a .915 guy in the right situation. Everyone knows EDM is a crappy place to play goal and only old goats like Smith and Rolo can overcome the poor coaching and constant crap from the so-called most knowledgeable fans in the NHL. Goalies get run out of this town and the list of guys who were misused, dumped and went on to good to great careers is getting pretty long: Dubnyk, Talbot, Brossoit. EDM is still a goalie graveyard and this needs to be fixed.


I just don’t know about all these goalie “upgrades” folks are talking about.

Koskinen was .906, .917, .899
Smith .898, .902, .923
Stalock .910, .899, .910 (well, and a season off)

But then you’ve got folks clamoring to replace with:
DeSmith .916, .905(AHL), .912
Hill .901, .918, .913 (but never played 20 games)
Raanta .906, .921, .905 (only 12 games 2 of 3 years)
Reimer .900, .914, .906
Andersen .917, .909, .895
Korpisalo .897, .911, .894

Some of these guys *might* be upgrades, but is seems almost as likely to me that Smith/Koskinen/Stalock are equal bets for 21-22.


The trade sounds nice btw, though not sure it would catch much attention from the Pens.

Jethro Tull

The Edmonton Plurals!


If only pluralism was the goal…


There are some critical insights from the playoffs (again):
– Regular season <> Playoff hockey
– Need a team to be able to make the playoffs, but then be able to succeed in the playoffs (almost a different league, unfortunately)
– Need a top 10 goalie
– Need 4 high quality D that can protect the house, keep players to the outside
– Need skill up front (their age can range from 20-39), just cause they are young doesn’t mean you don’t play them (see overripen and dying on the vine category)
– Need forwards that can get into the house and stay there (see size, grit, skill combo; not necessarily elite in any one of those categories)

Randle McMurphy

So you want to trade rosters with the Habs then?

Cause the Oilers are not this.

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Its not just the Habs…

Bag of Pucks

Awesome to see the “Hall vs Ebs” series in the second round.

Nuge waiting to sign with the winner…

Randle McMurphy

“Cultural appropriation is the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from minority cultures.”

So after offending the Inuit peoples by calling them Eskimoes, we decide to acknowledge our mistake and rename the team to “Elks”


The Indigenous Peoples called elk “wapiti”, which means “light-colored deer.” This comes from the word “waapiti” meaning “white rump.”

However, Early European explorers thought that the elk resembled a moose. In Europe, a common name for a moose was an elk, so it basically got misnamed by the explorers in this context. 

OH Ohhhh…

Of course I’m kidding (sort of) ….but it does serve as a good example of just how difficult it gets in trying to address all of these past indiscretions.

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

What I like about Elks is that its querky / unusual, which to me makes it cool.
(as opposed to the myriad of of the genus Panthera, (liontiger, jaguar, leopard) and the Birds (too numerous to list here) 

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Haha I like it too😊


And that they were a racially-segregated social club formed to evade laws governing public houses. Besides people of colour they also banned communists and bolsheviks, so at least they had that going for them.

Bruce McCurdy

i’m still getting my head around whether it’s even a word when pluralized. Kinda like “Leafs”.


When your drunk, one can’t tell the difference between Esks and Elks.


Doesn’t the Elks club have proprietary rights?


Critical Theory is the most dangerous ideology on the planet. I will never watch another CFL game over this ridiculous name change.

Bag of Pucks

The CFL has been dying a slow death for me for many years.

To quantify how massive the talent disparity is between the CFL and NFL: Brandon Zylstra dominated the CFL in his final season here. He can’t even crack the lineup as a 4th receiver in Trips formations down south. Primarily plays on special teams.

tavvey tune

You mean, the NFL is superior to the CFL??? That is a stunning revelation that I wish I knew about 40 years ago, since my entire self-worth is based on which league people see me following.

Bag of Pucks

I don’t derive my self worth fron the sports teams I follow. If I did, I wouldn’t have remained an Oiler fan through the DoD. Maybe you’re projecting here?

The CFL and NFL are entertainment products. I find the level of talent impacts the quality of the product substantially. Not exactly a heretical take. More like common sense.


Get Woke

Go Broke

tavvey tune

Speaking of ridiculous….


Ahhh, a true believer…

Bag of Pucks

I don’t know. Catholicism seems pretty determined to hold that title.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bag of Pucks
Randle McMurphy

To be clear, I do think that the past indescretions need to be, should be, and will be addressed.

My point was simply that somewhere along the line, we’re going to come across some instances that are very difficult to reconcile. It’s going to feel “wierd”.

But the wierd will be part of the reconciliation.

I’m just fine, in fact proud, to count myself among the wierdos.


You’d have a better point if you were on about Ungava gin, but this name change has nothing to do with cultural appropriation.

Nor the Oilers.

Last edited 3 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
Decidedly Skeptical Fan

No need to worry about a first round playoff exit. That roster looks like one Mike Smith injury away from missing the playoffs entirely. Can we use the Coleman money for an upgrade at G?


Ah. He is turning 40 and has to play a full season ….what could go wrong?

Holland hit on the river with a 2 – why not keep making the same bet next hand?

Bag of Pucks

So the pundits were saying Broberg was a bad pick because of leftorium.

Now less that 2 years later, we’re saying the team needs depth on the left side.

That’s so weird. It’s almost like the Dutchman knew what he was doing.


Well, I’d imagine he knew more about Klefbom’s shoulder than we did.

Bag of Pucks

The limitations of the Armchair GM

Harpers Hair

You know it’s quite possible to acquire a second pairing LD without drafting him and waiting for 2-3 years for him to show up.

Bag of Pucks

Broberg’s projected ceiling isn’t 2nd pairing.

How’s that wait for Brogan Rafferty progressing? Think he’ll win the Norris this year?


The Oilers can’t because the cap and roster was so poorly managed during the Chiarelli era. Colorado was only able to accumulate good young D on reasonable contracts because they had excess talent, excess draft picks, and excess cap room.

The Oilers have zero of those three courtesy of Chiarelli.

Holland had to stop digging Chiarelli’s ditches, and that required and still requires restraint.


Nurse plays half the game.

LT’s list of LW depth for the Oilers

Kahun is 1LW

I will even throw in ground and pound LW RNH if you want…..

Is that a NHL LW depth chart?

Bag of Pucks

Much easier to sign a UFA LW or draft one in the 2nd round. You can’t acquire a player like Broberg that cheaply.


Kadri and Getzlaf (and Nugent-Hopkins) Kadri is my LW of choice for McDavid.

(I’m going all Belichek on the Oilers….McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Kadri, Getzlaf, McLeod, Khaira…seven effing centres…so I can match up against anyone).

And with these options, I am not betting the farm long term.

And the Oilers need a #2LD if Klef isn’t a go. Maybe a stopgap like Nemeth or Kulikov is good enough to get to the trade deadline.

Monitor who is available in Tampa. (Especially, if Sergachev becomes available).

Sutter might/would/probably be okay if the OIlers can’t get Getzlaf.

Last edited 3 months ago by godot10

Seven centers but only one right shot, the leftorium reimagined! lol


Taking the Kadri idea LT floated in earlier columns, what if we retained 50% of James Neal ($2.875M) and traded for Kadri ($4.5M). We would need to sweeten this a fair amount.

What would we have to offer Colorado (in addition to the $1.625M in 2021-22 cap space) to eat Neal’s extra year?

Taking my earlier idea on Cirelli from TB, factoring in Klefbom’s salary (LTIR only helps us if we are at/ above the cap) and trading for Kadri could be possible for ~$3M in 2021-22 cap space.

We need to be aggressive now while teams are tight to the cap, build out a better two-way top nine


Why on earth would Colorado trade a guy with a prorated 46 points/82 games at $4.5m cap hit for a negative value contract even with salary retained?

If you’re getting Kadri from Joe Sakic, you’re not also going to dump a bad contract on him unless you’re including a substantial piece like Broberg.

Sakic, when he trades Kadri, will likely be for an expansion-exempt prospect and/or picks.

If Sakic and Dawson like your prospect, you probably don’t want to make that trade.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan

We all know Elk would have been better, but the logo rules and I can definitely live with Elks over many of the other options


comment image

Bag of Pucks

Is Elks plural a thing? It sounds wrong.

Randle McMurphy

The common usage in the plural is “elk”.

But I think eptimologists (wordy folks) accept “elks” as a plural because there are several/many sub-species of Elk. ( including six from North America and four from Asia.)

So when you’re referring to a group of elk, the plural is “elk”.

But when referring to the many species of Elk, the plural is “Elks”


So is beers a number of English words that are both singular and plural are bastardized!

Randle McMurphy

I’m just glad I can keep all my EE gear. That shits expensive.


If we’re spending $5 mill on a LW, are we not better off getting Saad than Hyman? Honest question. Maybe I’m wrong.


This is the $5 million dollar question for the summer! (not necessarily just between these two target).

Randle McMurphy

For me with both guys it depends on price and term.

If Hyman insists at 5x$5m and you can get Saad at 3x$5m, you probably go with Saad, No?


As much fun as people are having trolling Marner and Matthews and McDavid and Draisaitl as “not being able to step up” can we talk about where this game is headed?

Which team has a better chance in the playoffs after spending 23 million this way..

Team 1

X- McDavid- X
Nurse- Barrie

or Team 2

X- Danault- X
X- Pageau- X
X- Lowry- Appleton
X- X- X
Chiarot- Pionk

I’m not sure Team 2 even makes the playoffs but if they do, and if they are coached by Barry Trotz, I think they sweep Team 1.

This Trotzification of the league is becoming a major major issue. Unless you can create such an overwhelming collection of talent like the Avs have, these Islanders-like teams can turn every series into a coin flip that hinges off which shin pad is grazed at the right angle.

I’m not going to give Matthews and Marner grief, just like I don’t give 97/29 grief and I didn’t give the Sedins grief when they lost the Bruins.

I don’t think there’s a single player (or duo) in the history of the sport that, when the right member of the opposition has one single purpose (stifle offense) and has been coached (well) through hundreds of hours of your tendencies, could score consistency. And that’s not even factoring in the reffing.

It is just so much easier to destroy than create.