A Town Called Malice

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

I look forward to June 1 every year, because it’s normally the date I drop my “Here Comes the Sun” annual list. For me, that means (usually) a full month of reading draft lists and rankings, with verbal, from Corey Pronman, Scott Wheeler, Bob McKenzie, Craig Button, Red Line Report and others. So much fun!

My interest in the draft goes back to 1971, and my interest in why teams draft differently goes back to Bob Gainey’s selection in the top 10 during the 1973 edition. I don’t get a lot of leisure time (stop laughing) and love this time of year as the draft approaches.

One of the reasons I publish my final list before the experts is that my list is math based, so tweaking it would be silly. If I get a strong indicator on a player, then I’ll move him but it has to be (probably) two sources. Anyway, I’m enjoying my reading time, and first stop this year is a newer player, HockeyProspecting.com.


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 expect many of you follow Byron Bader on twitter or read his blog/prospect tools at HockeyProspecting.com. I enjoy his player comparisons and wanted to delve into the site this summer to see what he’s cooked up.

Fascinating site.

The comparison tool compares the player vs. every other player that played 100+ games in the NHL and finds the closest five. I had Dillon Dube as Benson’s comp, but the age gap made Dube a better NHL bet. At the end of draft +3 (Bader tracks for five years), the most similar player was Jean-Gabriel Pageau. You see some interesting names in the closest comps as well, giving on a good idea about the wide range of possible outcomes.

Bader also tracks ‘star and NHLer probability’ and updates until the end of draft +3. Puljujarvi went from 41 to 6 percent star probability in the years after the draft, but also went from 61 to 92 percent NHLer probability. Tyler Benson’s NHLer probability increased slightly (45 to 53 percent), Filip Berglund increased from 20 to 29 percent. I’m just getting a feel for this stuff but it’s interesting to see his results across all areas, and the things he measures. Haven’t jumped in to the 2021 draft but will in the coming days. Website is here, very reasonable annual fee. His predictions are ballsy, you’ll like them. Example: Philip Broberg is ranked No. 3 in NHLer probability from the 2019 draft among Oilers picks. That’s brazen!


After a small flurry of signings, we have the list of players who are either free agents or will re-enter the draft. There are some interesting players in the group, the best (imo) being second-round selection Filip Westerlund (NHLE: 11.9) a Swedish defenseman who played in the Allsvenskan.


  • Goalie: Alex Stalock
  • Defense: Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones
  • Skaters: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Dominik Kahun, Jujhar Khaira, Tyler Benson


In 2015-16, Ken Holland’s Detroit Red Wings had a pile of rookies. Here’s a list, with the AHL GP career total previous to fall 2015 in brackets:

  • Landon Ferraro (268 AHL games)
  • Anthony Mantha (132)
  • Xavier Ouellet (122)
  • Alexey Marchenko (100)
  • Andreas Athanasiou (83)
  • Tomas Nosek (55)
  • Dylan Larkin (6)

That’s a lot of AHL games for some players who have enjoyed later NHL success. Larkin was famous at the time for going right to the NHL as a teenager, a true rarity in Detroit during the Holland era. In his two seasons with the Oilers, Holland has managed to keep teenagers out of the NHL.

I know we’ll watch Bouchard in the NHL this season, and think we’ll see Benson in 2021-22, not sure about the rest.


At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we have Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal lined up to talk weird penalties and Oilers this summer. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk revised Stanley Cup odds and a wild start to the NBA playoffs. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


You may also like

4.3 13 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scungilli Slushy

You’re all probably asleep now, still I want to post another roster, the way I think Holland can proceed. Very aggressive about serious contention next season and will be sustainable, with the requisite cap juggling that any good contending GM should have to be doing yearly.

A good GM has to pitch the candidate, which is easier than it’s ever been. I targeted players that have the traits I think the Oilers need to be serious in the playoffs.

I looked at their TOI this season, enough scoring, strong two way play, enough size, and plugged the gaping face off winning RC hole with guys that should be serviceable. Tipp can role 4 lines and 3 pairs and not burn them out.

The big thing is the 2022-2023 year Nurse can be signed at the same cap as Hamilton, everyone gets a raise that needs one. Even with no cap increase. The point is it’s completely possible.

Bouchard is not blocked as it will be 3-4 years before he’s pushing anyone out of the top four with solid two way play, like Nurse and most others. He and Hamilton can both be on PP1, gives it the right shot hammer it lacks.

Hyman (5×5) CMD Yama
Coleman (3.5×4) Drai JP
Shore (800K) (Bozak (1.5) Archie
Benson (800K) McLeod Derek Ryan (1.25M)
13/14 @1.7M

Nurse Hamilton (8Mx6)
Klef or replacement same cap Larsson (3.75Mx4)
Russell/Lagesson Bouchard

Driedger 3.5M
Smith 1.5M + bonuses

I think this team can contend. I’d bet Holloway is on it by Christmas adding more speed and skill. Koek may have Lagesson’s job.

There’s about 5.25M in cap, a bit higher salaries can be covered, I think they’re in the range. I didn’t spend that cap because there isn’t a LW UFA option that I think will contribute more offense in the playoffs than Hyman and Coleman that isn’t going to give it all back and more, or isn’t physical enough IMO for the second season.

It also leaves cap that covers Nurse’s raise and a chunk of the RFAs without a cap increase.


Yep this would be great. Of course tough to sign Hyman, Coleman, Bozak, and Driedger but we should have a shot.

I would quibble with a few details. I think Kahun > Shore, Bozak may cost quite a bit more than 1.5M, not sure what you did with Kassian and Koski a clean disposal is also a difficult task.

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac

I’d add to Mac:

Do you have a backup plan if Hamilton doesn’t want to come to Alberta?


It’s almost a guarantee that Hamilton will not come back to Alberta. Maybe someone can explain why he would?

Also, 6 free agents? I assume you traded Bear for one of them, but is the actual likelihood that the Oilers outbid so many other teams and that they would be the preferred destination over other teams? I just don’t see this as realistic.


Out of all the violence and interference, that penalty on Smith decides the game…….


So does Kenny chase Grubauer?


Colorado got worked by Vegas tonight.

Grubauer has great lateral movement and fundamentals.


So you think Joe lets him walk?

Maybe you’ve said that before? I agree in any case.

On Holland, not sure obviously. I’m going to guess no.


I’ve said before that Joe likes his goalies young and cheap.

i’m curious to see how Joe handles Grubauer and Landeskog.

Sakic abhors max term and dollar contracts on late 20’s players.

Friedman during the intermission expressed uncertainty if Sakic would sign Grubauer.



I’ve said before that Joe likes his goalies young and cheap.

i’m curious to see how Joe handles Grubauer and Landeskog.

Is this why I’m not sure where you stand? Cause I’m still not sure.

Sakic is all in this year (letting these two get to UFA without liquidating).

Agreed it will be interesting to see where he goes (my guess is Landeskog stays, Grubauer walks).

Sakic abhors max term and dollar contracts on late 20’s players.

Friedman during the intermission expressed uncertainty if Sakic would sign Grubauer.

It seems like this is what Dawson really deserves credit for (or *most* deserves credit, since we have no clue exactly what his role or impact is). But Sakic signed Erik Johnson to the typical retirement deal in 2015. He’s 33 now, with 2 years to go. The Avs haven’t done it since.

I’ll be extremely impressed if both Landeskog and Grubauer walk, for better or worse (guess you can include Saad here as well).


Joe better be careful, goalie voodoo doesn’t like to be dictated.


Omg thank you!

Admiral Ackbar

This! comment image&ct=g


Also, MyNHLDraft.com has Cossa picked at #22, so he has a pretty good chance of being available when Edmonton picks at #20 or #21 (19th or 20th player). I really hope they pick him if he’s there. I think a young elite goalie might help get the core to re-sign after their contracts are done.


I brought this up about 2 months ago and I was surprised at how many people did not like it.

Cossa should definitely be the pick if Svechkov, Sillinger, Coronato or Olausson are off the board IMO.

Scungilli Slushy

A while back I looked up if the top goalies over the last few years were high draft picks, and yes, many are.

To me it makes sense, even if goalies are voodoo, the best in the world in their draft year are likely to remain the best.

It’s just harder to get a read on them. But a tall athletic quick competitive high SV% guy is probably a high % bet.

And nobody is trading you one.


At this time, the Oilers are guaranteed to draft at #21 (and pick the 20th player as Arizona forefeits), if the Islanders win their series and end up in the final 4, then New Jersey will pick in the final 4 spots and Edmonton will move up to #20 (and pick the 20th player as Arizona forefeits). They were 22nd (picking 21st player) until one Montreal or Winnipeg were guaranteed a spot in the final 4 by Toronto losing. Is this how everyone else understands it? Sorry Lowetide, I know you love the Bruins, but Edmonton moves up a spot if the Islanders win. Go Isles!!!!


So currently Edmonton picks 20th overall. If NYI advances Edmonton will have the 18th pick, since both the Habs and Jets are below them.


I believe, only the final 4 move back in the draft, so only one of Montreal or Winnipeg will draft form 29-32. Whoever loses that series will still draft before Edmonton. So currently #21 (20th player), but could move to #20 (19th player) if the Islanders win.


Does some sort of Kerfoot for Khaira plus a B prospect (or similar) make any sense – saves the Leafs some cap and they get a physical center and PK guy. Kerfoot may be lost in expansion…..

Harpers Hair

Why would the Leafs want Khara under any cinrcumstances?


Cap management and team building.


I hope all trades aim for diamond hands. Kerfoot doesn’t move the needle enough for me personally to spend any assets on.

Kenny needs to add drivers, the Kings are coming.


This would give them room to sign Hyman so I pass.

If you really wanted to go this route, the Leafs might give us Kerfoot as a cap dump strait up and maybe a sweetener and maybe get a pick for Khaira too. Lots of Canuck fans trade for him on ACGM teams.

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac

While LA has a bunch of blue chip prospects there’s some serious high bust potential in that group and Turcotte is not very big for a center.
They will be pulling a lot of Mcdavid and Drai pucks out of their net for years to come

Harpers Hair

And then their depth will destroy the Sea Of Granlunds.

Same as it ever was.



So when do you figure the Kings will pass the Oilers in the standings? 2022-23?

Harpers Hair

Depends on who they sign in free agency.

Could be next season or not.


Could be next season. Alright then.

Harpers Hair

The speed and skill of this COL/VGK game is breathtaking.

Ice Sage

It is good hockey. Vegas back on track – can they pull a Habs/Jets suffocation on Colorado? At least the refs are making some calls – must be the light air!

Harpers Hair

Check out the Oilers second round games if it makes you feel better.



Bouchard had as many goals as Valimaki this season, in 35 less games.



Early handle on the broadcast call for Evan Bouchard goals?

I’d think a little more ‘R’.

BOUCHARRRRRRD!! Scores Again!!!


I got a chuckle from this.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

It is a great game. Whoever comes out of the North division can immediately start booking tee times.

Harpers Hair

Yep…too bad the best 4 teams in the league are playing each other in the second round.

Creates an opportunity for the Bruins to goon their way into the final.

Ice Sage

Why not, it worked in 2011… I don’t think the Bruins beat TB* who are the only eastern team that can skate with VGK – Col.

Bag of Pucks

There’s not enough complaining about the officiating. We haven’t achieved our daily quota yet. These entertaining games are inadmissible.


I may regret this HH but what is it makes you so sure on the LA Kings? I understand the have a ton of good prospects but are you that sure they are the next Colorado? You need a MacKinnon, Rantanen and Makar to rise above the legion of Girards and Burakowskys and slot the into great matchups.

Byfield and Turcotte have the pedigree but I’m not sure either gets drafted at exactly the same spot in a redraft. Still excellent prospects but I’m not sure I see MacKinnon and Rantanen here. Kaliyev looks to be tremendous value. Toffoli a good comp? Then you get into the meandering Rasmus Kupari and enigmatic Gabe Vilardi. Fagemo? I see middle six forwards here unless one pops.

On defence Helge Grans and Bjornfot should play in the NHL but it remains unclear in what role.

Dont get me wrong, this is a team on the rise but to describe this team as some “inevitability” the Oilers should just give up trying to hang with when Colorado runs into cap issues seems…a bit much no?

Ice Sage

Yep, HH, the erstwhile DSF, has been thus prognosticating for years – Dale Tallon’s Florida was supposed to have won several cups by now, and Vancouver, powered by Horvat, Sutter and Hughes were ‘locks’ for a decade of dominance…
Colorado’s been an easy pick for 3 years – we all saw the speed and skill when they waxed Calgary 2 years ago – I haven’t seen a more unanimous pick for the championship since, well, Detroit in the 90’s.
I agree with you KT, that a great prospect pool does not a future champion make- there are too many variables and crooked lines involved – Oilers, Buffalo and New Jersey are good examples of this. ‘if wishes were horses…’

Harpers Hair

All of this is bullshit…and you know it.


Yea we all know everything you say is bullshit

Ice Sage

oooh testy! all I’ve paraphrased is your ‘work’ in LT’s public record – you need a new angle or a cognitive assessment, bud

Harpers Hair

It really comes down to balance.

They have so many blue chip prospects that even if only half of them click they will be a force.

Byfield is still 18 years old and he’s going to be a beast.

They have another SEVEN centre prospects who could potentially play in the top 6. Who has that?

Obviously, a bunch of those C prospects are going to be shifted to wing but that’s a pretty nice problem to have.

They do need a stud D prospect but it’s entirely possible they are about to draft one and, if not, they have so much trade capital they are uniquely positioned to trade for one or acquire one in free agency since they have so much cap space.

They could easily sign Dougie Hamilton for example as Los Angeles is home to many museums.


Byfield had 20 points in 32 games as an 18 year old in the AHL.

Puljujarvi had 28 points in 39 games as an 18 year old in the AHL.

I’ve also been told that one of them played in an AHL that was so watered down.

Byfield is a really really good prospect but I’m not proclaiming the Kings full of NHL superstars quite yet.

Harpers Hair

That’s nice.


With your top notch scouting
thats pretty much a kiss of death


Just an awful looking hit on Evans by Scheifele


Hard to say, but he looked out when he hit the ground. Hope it’s not too serious


That’s what it looked like to me.

Victoria Oil

Multi-game suspension coming up.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

What a stupid play by Scheifele.


Surprised he didn’t try to get the puck to stop the goal. Looked like he had time but he was flying in to kill. Really bad play. There was a minute left. #hemsky


Yikes Jake Evans……

Eh Team

hope he will be okay. Schiefele looking at a long suspension


That was an absolutely disgusting hit. Yet wonder boy Parros might do nothing. Maybe a game. I have no idea how the Montreal players managed to stay calm enough to just let the game end without punching the lights out of someone.


He knew the hit was coming but he hung in there anyways.


No way he knew the hit was coming. Could have put the puck in the net without coming out nearly as far into danger.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Brutal hit. No attempt to make any kind of play on the puck. I have lost all respect for Scheifele.


Random note:

OILERS Playoff record during 1st 4 Cups.

62-14 in Playoffs


Well we found the real reason Buffalo signed Hall. I guess if he’s still in the playoffs the last non playoff team he was on gets his Lotto luck


The most amazing thing about the Minnesota Wild is everyone gives Kaprizov credit for the turnaround this year. But actually the team treaded water offensive 3.21 vs 3.16 goals per game
this is what happens when Devan Dubnyk is not in net.


This is my favorite Avalanche related blog.
I come here daily to get my Avalanche news fix
I just don’t get why some people have to bring up the Oilers here.


Trolls gotta troll.


You’re in for a sad day in a few months when it becomes a full time LA Kings blog.



The resident troll once claimed, while trolling on Sportsnet, that he was a Kings fan living in LA “three houses down from Kopitar”.

Bag of Pucks

It’s a case of the Avs and the Av Nots.

Harpers Hair

Pretty much.


Well done, Jets.

Harpers Hair

Some really smart GM is going to notice that Luke Hughes is almost a year younger than most of the other top 10 picks.

Harpers Hair

Fun fact:

6 of the top 12 picks in the upcoming draft are coming to the Pacific Division.

Harpers Hair

To some degree that’s true but then you run up against the brick wall
of the Central Division.

If you can beat the VGK in the Pacific (no easy task) next up on the dance card is likely COL and MIN is surging.

Of course we have no idea what Seattle will look like but there are some big brains leading that franchise so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they are competitive right out of the gate.

At the risk of offending the weak of “heart”, a look in the rear view mirror at the Kings is prudent because they’ve assembled the best prospect pool in the salary cap era…and it’s not even close.

That they also have scads of cap space is pretty scary if they spend their dollars wisely. That they just added some heavyweights to their analytics team could suggest that they will.

Oh, and they are about to add another blue chip prospect to that pool.


You would think it takes a tremendous amount of brain power to read someones date of birth and top it off by figuring out who was born last. Like wow.

You should start an analytics firm.

Harpers Hair

How bad are NHL teams at analytics?

I just listened to an interview with goalie guru Kevin Woodley.

He says he often gets calls from goalie coaches around the league soliciting his opinion because he has access to Clear Site Analytics and they don’t.

He says they often tell him they are afraid to tell their GM’s what they’ve learned because they fear those GMs won’t believe ANYTHING they say if the stats don’t match the eye test.

There is still a large cadre of hockey management that make decisions based on outdated methodology.

Know anyone like that?


is it the guy who traded for Devan Dubnyk?

Harpers Hair

Doubling down on that bet could be disastrous.

Harpers Hair

Holtby is the Koskinen avatar.

While Smith may well defy the laws of the universe for a while, it’s doubtful he will do so in the 2-3 year window you identified as the window of Oilers dominance.

Vancouver, of course has a solid 25 year old starter in Demko.


I anticipate that Smith will be brought back on the premise that he’ll play 2/5th to half the games – a much less strenuous workload. I don’t think he’ll be as consistent but the hope is for the 1A to be somewhat improved on Koskinen’s aggregate performance from this past season.


The NHL Guide and Record Book says experience and size/toughness are needed to win in the playoffs…… Thornton, Spezza, Simmonds, Foligno.

I’ll worry about the Kings when they are ready to be relevant at the NHL level.


Everyone knows the key to success is breaking in multiple rookies in key positions at the same time

Harpers Hair

Everyone who is actually paying attention knows that’s not what the Kings are doing.

Blake has $20 million in cap space to add vets to support his youngsters.

All the while having another 5 picks in the first 3 rounds of the upcoming draft that he can use as trade capital over and above the EIGHT blue chip centre prospects he already possesses.


You know who has more cap space available than the kings right??
add in Neal buyout, Klef Ltir

Harpers Hair

You mean players like Kopitar, Brown, Doughty and Quick?
Yeah, those guys have no experience, size or toughness.

Well, except for those Stanley Cup rings.

Of note, the Oilers have no size, toughness or experience when it counts.

But of course you will worry about the Kings after the fact because Tyler Benson and Bouchard are coming to save the day.


Check your meds you’re coming unglued!


Oh damn, with that much skill, toughness and Stanley Cup experience the Kings must be doing pretty well this season. Let me check the standings and see.



tripping over those goalpost again troll
so much for young cores and then listing off 4 guys with high cap hits at the tail ends of their careers.
In the words of Gimli. Most of these men have seen too many winters, Or too few.


The question was about smart analytics minds.

I’ve been told Kyle Dubas is one of the smartest.

Kyle Dubas acquired players with size/toughness and experience. I don’t think Joe Thornton was an analytics signing.

There is no doubt the Kings have a great depth of prospects. Of course the Oilers don’t have that depth, they are relevant at the NHL level right now – unlike the Kings

Yup, Evan Bouchard is going to be big piece of the team for the foreseeable future – along with a couple of other legit prospects. They don’t need the depth the Kings are accumulating because, you know, real players at the NHL level – that are going to be good for years.

Harpers Hair

Yeah, those 3rd pairing D make such a difference.


Yup, 3rd pairing in his ceiling – just like Valimaki was going to win the Calder and Lehtonen was going to be a difference maker for the Leafs and Rafferty was going to be a legit 2nd pairing d-man and Juolevi has “announced his arrival” – solid d-man projections.


Better than playing them first pairing like the Canucks Quinn Hughes and having him lead the team for the green jacket with his minus’s!


Taylor Hall does it again sort of. His lingering effect willed Buffalo to draft lottery success.


The demand for Taylor Hall this summer should be pretty high. Shane Wright is a pretty good prospect.


The Oilers could give up 6 power play goals and be a better team.

Last year in the regular season the Oilers scored 48 PP goals (27% effectiveness %) the league average is 20.5% effectiveness. If our PP1 played a 1:10 of a PP and then handed it to another unit, we might drop to 24% effectiveness??? The difference is 6 goals over the whole season.

In exchange you might get;

1.A more rested PP1 player – more effective 5v5 with the extra rest and time in 5v5
2.Better depth scoring – PP2 get a few goals they could grow confidence.

Last edited 3 months ago by Woogie63

I don’t think it works like that, a lot of the PP goals were late in the PP where the Oilers 1st unit eventually wore down the opponent with skill.

Oilers don’t have enough back end talent to ice a successful 2nd unit, what you’re suggesting to me would just be cutting every man advantage to around 1 minute to get anything done.

Now if Kenny goes and signs Brotep Ravolty, all bets are off.


The last two years we have had the best power play in the regular season and no secondary scoring. Part of secondary scoring is some good power play time and a few offensive zone draws.

Connor and Leon are superstars – but they are not superstars EVERY minute they play.


Secondary scoring is even strength scoring. The stuff Woodguy tracked all season on this blog.

The power play goes into the special teams bucket, NOT the secondary scoring bucket.

And the analysis in your original post is an abominable misunderstanding of how to use and apply data.


Speaking of Darnell Nurse, did everyone see what Kia did yesterday?



Can she play LW?


or goal?

Harpers Hair

Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) Tweeted:
.@cotsonika asked DeBoer why Colorado’s stars are able to perform in the playoffs while other stars around the league have been bottled up. 

DeBoer- “maybe because there’s seven of them?”


Harpers Hair

x – WhereArtThouBowers? (@MrJ_Alan) Tweeted:
@JesseGranger_ @cotsonika Let’s name them :

Landeskog, mikko, MacKinnon, makar, Girard, toews, grubuaer

Is this the 7? I’m glad we also have burakovski, donskoi, jost, nichuskin, byram.

And the future with sampo, Bowers, Newhook, and Barron



Wow so amazing, truly eye opening. They’re forgetting the biggest star of them all, Joe 10x general manager of the year Sakic.

Forgot this place is called LoweHigh.


I know but. Some Leaves fan you know needs to hear this.

Harpers Hair

I think the appropriate response would have been “Thank you for showing me the appropriate online places to post my thoughts about the Avs and discuss them”.

Its odd that you hurl more insults the day after you diagnose mental health issues and express the diagnosis in a negative, derogatory and insulting manner.


I think the appropriate response would have been “Thank you for showing me the appropriate online places to post my thoughts about the Avs and discuss them”.

That was awesome!


Cracknell signed an AHL deal for next season.

Will be great to have him back on the Condors – a solid veteran mentor and role model who helps materially on the ice.

Was on an NHL deal this past season.

John Chambers

Amazing that Katz was willing to spend money on guys like Cracknell, Quine, Stanton, Gravel and Malone. That’s a lot of AHL salary, likely invested to ease the load for developing players.
Otherwise it’s a bizarre vanity project to spend a few million to boast the 2021 AHL Pacific Division banner.



Cracknell was on an NHL contract but was $350K in the AHL
Quine was on a one-way NHL deal so he made $750K in the AHL
Griffith was on an NHL contract as well with $450K/$475K this past season and next


What Holland did was get as many of his young prospects playing in Europe, KHL etc, when it was uncertain there would be an AHL season. This was as it turned out a stroke of genius and the results of same will start to show this coming season. What he did however required him to bring in some players for the Condors when the AHL started up.

Randle McMurphy

The MLSE Cup was officially awarded this morning



Small sample size food for thought on Yamamoto/Puljujarvi.

In 5v5 minutes as the RW for Draisaitl-McDavid:

Puljujarvi (175 min)
SF% 53% (36SF-32SA/60)
GF% 57% (17GF-12GA)
xGF% 51%

Yamamoto (135 min)
SF% 61% (43SF-28SA/60)
GF% 86% (12GF-2GA)
xGF% 62%

I’m not sure about opponents or other variables, but that’s a pretty big gap in results as the 3rd wheel.


How do the goals against stats look. The GF looks damn good.


Well, 12GA in 175 minutes for Puljujarvi, 2GA in 135 min for Yamamoto. Pretty big gap.

Checking, that’s:
4.07 GA/60 for Puljujarvi, with an .872 on ice SV%.
And 0.89 GA/60 for Yamamoto, with a .963 on ice SV%.

So a lot of those GA numbers are SV%, but ‘with Yamamoto’ also had better shot against, scoring chance against and HD scoring chance against rates.

Draisaitl-Yamamoto (without McDavid) also had a SV% over .940, while McDavid-Puljujarvi (without Draisaitl) were at .890. 🤷

Last edited 3 months ago by jp

At one point earlier in the season, I dubbed 29-97-56 the ‘powerplay line.’

It was dominant when Tippett needed a goal.

Agreed that it wasn’t as effective with 13.

Without 97, 56 and 29 played 443 minutes:

SF% 46%
GF% 58%
xGF% 44%

Not terribly good other than the GF%.


Yeah they weren’t great without McDavid (mostly with Kahun).

Darth Tu

It’s a classic LT comments section where we have one thread talking about Yamamoto being put on a line with McDavid as he offers more than Jesse, then earlier in the day there’s another thread discussing packaging him up with James Neal just to get rid of two years of cap hit.

Wild times.

Personally I think the sending him as part of a deal to the Kraken is a non starter, we either buyout Neal this summer or we look at what else Seattle would want to take him. Not Yamamoto though, he’s a valuable piece.


Yup, not a lot of consensus on ‘part of the solution, or part of the problem’.

Darth Tu

I’m still landing on the “part of the solution” or at least the “definitely not hurting us” side of the coin at this moment in time.

Sure he never kept up the offence from the previous season – His shooting percentage was 25% through 27 games in 2019-20. It was 11.6% last season (not too shabby if he can up his overall volume of shots, 69 on net out of 117 shot attempts). However, I think his overall compete/puck stripping skills are more than enough to make him worth keeping. Even in the playoff round against Winnipeg I saw him good (the dreaded eye test) and he had a few chances that if he was playing anyone other than Hellebuyck would have likely ended up in the net. It’s also not like he isn’t a skilled passer.

Will we see more of Nuge-Drai-Yam next year? Possibly. Depends on who arrives as a left winger that can work their way on to the McDavid line. Could we see Nuge-Drai-Jesse and then Yam ends up on McD’s line? Also possible and is worth looking at going by the numbers posted by you above.


Yeah, agreed for sure on Yamamoto.


Oh, Dave Staples was on the Yamamoto as the 3rd player with McDavid and Drai for a while – based on GF% during the regular season.

While I was (and am) 100% against starting any game with McDavid and Drai on the same line, if it happens, I’m on board with Jesse NOT being the 3rd player. For me, its not about Jesse not working there (he does) or another player being better suited there (which may or may not be the case) but about Jesse’s skill-set likely needed on the secondary line if they go load up.

Darth Tu

Agreed on the not starting games with McDavid and Drai together and I see your point on moving Jesse off the McDavid line if Draisatl is there.

If we want to be successful we need to have two outscoring top lines at a bare minimum, with McDavid and Drai together it makes it too easy for the opposition.

I really think see who we can get as a leftwing scoring option in free agency and run them with McDavid. Let Drai and Nuge stay together and then flip Jesse and Kailer to see what the optimum mix is.


It’ll be interesting going forward.

I generally agree with you that McDavid and Draisaitl on separate lines is probably the best way forward.

At the same time, McDavid and Draisaitl together is real and spectacular.

Holland should be able to add 2 substantial forwards this off season (whether or not Nuge is one of them). The possibility is there to actually build a 2nd line (without McDavid/Draisaitl) that can truly hold its own.

If that materializes then Draisaitl-McDavid full time becomes a viable option. If, on the other hand, Holland were to add 2 pure wingers it pretty much forces Tippett to play McDavid and Draisaitl apart.

We wait. And hope.


In my opinion, based on eye test and memory, McDavid and Drai together is real and spectacular but (a) generally for somewhat short stretches and (b) generally when first placed together.

Again, anecdotal, it seems that, generally, when first placed together, they ride a wave of momentum and chemistry for a few games and then get somewhat stale -they start “looking for each other” too much (trying to get too cute) and also start to make defensive mistakes including turnovers. They get stale.

Also, when they start the game together, it takes away the nuclear option as a strategy and structure change. I find the “load up” after the PK or on an icing is more productive and substantial when its an in-game move as opposed to “the next shift”. On the same note, I find the load up late in a tie game or a game they are trailing is more productive when its a change and not just, more of the same.


Yeah, it’s possible what you’re saying is true. I don’t really know.

McDavid and Draisaitl have played together a lot though, and the results have almost always been quality.

From 16-17 through 19-20 they played 500+ minutes together each year. The first 3 of those they were better than 56% GF. Then a stumble last season and back over 60%GF this year.

Most of that time was spent as true linemates, and the results were quality.

Anyway, as I said, I generally agree the team is better with them apart. Just noting Holland’s summer moves could make it easier (or harder) to play them together full time.

Doug McLachlan

LT, Tomas Nosek is an interesting name of former Wings who will become a UFA this summer. Wonder if Holland has a sticky note next to his name on the Oilers big board?

Randle McMurphy

Go Jets Go!
Go Jets Go!


Might as well. Let them have their 2006 while the Oil are out, or not good enough anyway.


From Chris Johnston:

“That’s raised not as an attempt to diminish Montreal’s victory, only to underscore how thin the potential range of outcomes is. Put another way: The Leafs just lost a series where they scored more total goals, took more shots and shot attempts, generated more scoring chances and saw their goaltender finish with the highest save percentage.”

Evaluating teams exclusively based on who wins and who loses seems foolish when this is possible.


One of the best things about any sport is when an athlete or team that isn’t supposed to win does win. On the flip side, it also causes the most consternation and second guessing for the loser that was supposed to win.

If Oiler fans looked at the fancy stats and thought they should have won the series, it must be multiplied exponentially for the Leafs.

It will be interesting to watch the next few months to see how both the Oilers and Leafs address their off seasons. Will there just be small tweaks or are they going to change directions completely? Fun times!


It would be pretty boring if the team that is supposed to win in advance always won. On that I agree. However, it is also pretty boring when the team that plays better loses so often.

I know I’m not going to watch the Jets and the Canadians. It is June and nice outside and those teams are hot garbage.


I won’t be watching much, but Winnipeg is my Dark horse and it would not surprise me at all if they make it the Finals.

They remind me a lot of the Blues (similar vibe) from a couple of years ago.

Last edited 3 months ago by €√¥£€^$

I saw this article headline on the NHL site

“Jets prepared for ‘patient’ and ‘grinding’ series against Canadiens”

What an indictment of the NHL playoff series right there. And ironically, I bet the NHL used the headline as a way to hype up the series.

I know it gets my juices flowing as a fan watching a slow, patient hockey game filled with grabs and clutches preventing any actual plays from developing! Fuck yeah!

Harpers Hair

Of course you could just watch the COL/VGK series instead.


Oh for sure. I’ll tune in to see if Vegas will continue trying to maim or injure Colorado to help their chances of winning the series. Especially since totally qualified Parros only gave 2 games to Reaves for what he did.

Harpers Hair

Colorado pretty convincingly showed Vegas that ain’t gonna work.

Game on.


It’ll be a good game to watch for sure.


To be fair, Graves didn’t get anything for his hit on Janmark, which deserved a suspension as well.

Harpers Hair

No it didn’t.

It didn’t even deserve a penalty unless it was for “hitting too hard”.

The broadcast crew broke it down frame by frame and Graves hit Janmark .06 seconds after the puck was gone.

The hit was shoulder to shoulder but the horrified refs called it interference although it wasn’t.


Totally watching (the start) of game 1. Will decide then.


If Oiler fans looked at the fancy stats and thought they should have won the series, it must be multiplied exponentially for the Leafs.

FWIW, in their playoffs this year the Oilers had a better differential than the Leafs in corsi, fenwick, scoring chances and HD scoring chances. Leafs had a small advantage in shots for. 🤷


he’s choosing very basic measures. they don’t include quality of shot, or quality of save. there’s so much information missing in that way of thinking that it’s impossible to make a statement.

this is often the issue with stats, is that people create irrelevant narratives based on very minor data indicators.


Better stop dreaming of the Stanley life, ’cause it’s the one we’ll never know
And quit running for the Boys On the Bus ’cause those rosy days are few
And stop apologizing for the things you’ve never done
‘Cause time is short and life is cruel but it’s up to us to change

This team called malice

Rows and rows of disused sticks stand dying in the hockey rink
And a hundred lonely housewives clutch dirty jerseys to their hearts
Hanging out their old tweets on the timeline to dry
It’s enough to make you stop believing when tears come fast and furious
With a team called malice, yeah

Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere’s a fine blend of ice, I’m almost stone cold dead
With a team called malice, ooh yeah

A whole street’s belief in Alberta’s beef
Gets dashed against the Cup
To either cut down on beer or the kid’s new gear
It’s a big decision with a team called malice, ooh yeah

The ghost of a oil train, echoes down my track
It’s at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going round and round, oh

Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I’d sooner put some joy back
In this team called malice, yeah

Bag of Pucks

No offense Scott McArthur but I don’t care that you’re gay just as I don’t care that Darren Dutchysen is heterosexual. I might care if you revealed that you had an intense romantic life with the plant kingdom. That seems newsworthy and MIGHT be worthy of a 5 minute segment on Sportsnet. But I suspect that most people are tuning in for news about, well…sports. A shocker, I know.


You see the trend everywhere on the broadcasts though.

Sports used to be an escape from politics & the mess we are as a species but I fear it is no longer the refuge that it once was now that everybody is an expert on justice, equity & viral mutations.

The mute button is my best friend when watching hockey these days.

Bag of Pucks

I get it. Sportsnet wants to virtue signal during Pride (day, week, month, what is it now?) and grow their audience with a younger demographic that loves any kind of reveal as long as it’s instagrammable.

I just miss decorum. I don’t need to know what a broadcaster prefers in a sexual partner. That’s not integral to their function from my perspective. For some, knowing that about the on-air personality enriches the experience I guess. Sports broadcasting taking on elements of reality tv and social media branding, but they can’t show all the goal highlights from the only bloody playoff game on the schedule. In the words of Bill Belichick. “Do your job.”


“No offense” BoP, but I find it Interesting that you use the term “virtue signalling” in implying Sportsnet’s intention and dismiss the “younger demographic”, then you say you “miss decorum” in the next paragraph.
If you truly didn’t care, as you said in your original post, you wouldn’t have bothered to comment.

Bag of Pucks

Parse to your heart’s content. I don’t care. lol


I learned Kelly Hrudey has a wife named Donna just by watching the Sportsnet broadcasts. In fact, I see her picture every time he commentates from home.

I know Cassie Campbell is married to Brad Pascall through watching Sportsnet broadcasts.

Anyone watching Louie Debrusk over the last few years saw him talk about how proud he and his wife were of his son who plays in the NHL. Shit I think we even got to see him shed a tear because Jake scored his first goal in the NHL.

How come you didn’t post about decorum and not needing to know that they are heterosexuals then?


Ahh yes, sports has never involved politics before. For example the 1972 summit series had nothing to do with politics whatsoever. Neither did the 1955 Richard riots.

Like it or not, sports are a reflection on society and those involved are role models. Ethan Bear is a visible hero to so many indigenous people. Darnell Nurse is a visible star player who happens to be black. They are role models to Indigenous youth and black youth that aspire to be hockey players and can affirm that they have a chance to make their dreams come true without worrying about the colour of their skin.

The first openly homosexual hockey player is going to deal with a huge amount of backlash. It’s unfortunate but it will happen, but because they are openly gay, they will also receive support and that support and their struggles will encourage others. The openly homosexual players in juniors will feel their sexuality isn’t going to hold them back. Openly homosexual people will not be afraid to join hockey because they’ve seen others succeed.

Broadcasters, coaches and others who come out are paving the path to help those who are still worried about whether they can or should come out. You don’t care and that’s fine. You’re not the audience they’re addressing.


31saves gets it. Others in this thread clearly don’t and their posts here are not overtly inappropriate but are not too far off being so (and they know this). I happened to see the segment from last night and to take issue with it is stunning.


Yeah, thanks for putting words in my mouth, But, yes, I am aware that I am not the audience they are addressing.

My degrees and decades in political philosophy with a specialty in gender politics pretty much ensures that since the MSM never addresses any subject towards those who have expertise on the subject – whether it is hockey analytics or social issues or any other subject.

The MSM is designed by and for a general audience who just want to be entertained for the most part.


Well said.

Though, I don’t agree that this topic is “politics.” Capitalism vs. communism is politics. Accepting other people equally is human rights. Nobody here would call the treatment children of interracial marriage a political topic. The fact that they did call it that in 1967 in the US does not mean that it was. It was a human rights issue then and now, and so is the treatment of LGBT+ humans today.


Despite a vocally tolerant and inclusive NHL, we’re still waiting for a queer NHLer to feel comfortable enough to be public with their queerness.

I didn’t see the segment you’re talking about, but I think it’s great that Sportsnet is trying to highlight and run stories about the sports adjacent LGBTQ community during Pride month.

Last edited 3 months ago by Oddspell

What’s this we thing do you have a mouse in your pocket.


It’s “we” because it’s more that just Oddspell who thinks this, it’s a mainstream opinion whether you like it or not.

Randle McMurphy

The remote control is King.

I don’t watch any of the womens hockey highlights during in the intermissions; But I do beleive that inclusivity is important and that the world would be a better place if more women were the decision makers.


Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy

It’s funny how people only say “virtue signaling” about issues they don’t like. I bet you’ve never used that term when you see an Alberta flag on a pickup truck or some dude at a mall wearing an Oilers jersey. They are “signaling” that they are for this or that idea, so why aren’t you all over them?

Anyway, gay men and women in hockey (and elsewhere) get treated in shameful ways so TV shows talk about it to help spread the message that being gay is just a normal character trait. The idea is to let the people perpetrating the discrimination start to realize that they are alone in their judgment and to knock it off. There’s just no need to have kids committing suicide because they happen to have been born gay and they get beat up, shamed, and ostracized for it.


I think there’s an idea that queer people are fighting to get special recognition and a spotlight; and while I don’t speak for queer people, my understanding is that’s pretty far from the truth.

Queer people are still fighting for basic dignity. You said earlier in the thread:

I don’t need to know what a broadcaster prefers in a sexual partner.

But you do know the sexual preferences of almost every hetero person in broadcasting and sports. Any segment of McDavid’s girlfriend in his documentary, when Jenny Scrivens got signed to the Riveters of the NWHL, when Darnell Nurse posts social media pictures of his wife holding his new born baby, when tragedy struck and the hockey community banded together around Emily Cave, or when Sportsnet would zoom in on Carrie Underwood in the stands, or when Ron McLean or Kevin Bieksa say the words “my wife” during the intermission; all of those moments are public affirmations of hetero-ness.

Gay NHL players want to have their boyfriend or husband accompany them to the NHL awards, or get to sit with the player’s wives in the family box, or sit with them at the draft, or celebrate with them after winning the cup and achieving their lifelong dream. There are almost certainly NHL players playing today, very possibly on our beloved Oilers that don’t feel it’s worth the hassle.

I think that says a lot about where the hockey and sports community is at regarding the LGBTQ community. That’s why we have sportsnet segments, because when someone decides it is worth the hassle, it’s worth hearing and learning about.

Last edited 3 months ago by Oddspell
Bag of Pucks

I’ve tried to continue the conversation from another perspective but the post is held pending approval so my sense is LT would prefer I move on to other things.


I think it’s important to have stories about people in society who hold different views and different cultures. I know as a minority, things weren’t always pleasant in my experiences as a player and a coach. With the ideals of inclusivity making their way into sport, it is not harming anyone to present a different way of thinking. I used Pride Tape on my stick when I play and coach, to let people know that my locker room is a welcoming place where all are free to feel safe and just enjoy themselves. In my work, I work everyday with broken individuals who are addicted and homeless and just try to simply be a friend to them, because for many of them, no one wants them.

I didn’t grow up with such openness and have had to learn how to accept others. Confession, I was quite homophobic in my ’20s. What turned it around for me was a friendship that grew out of another Indigenous man complimenting me on on my braids (a big source of pride for me). Well, we became good friends and stayed good friends for the last couple years of his life. He was gay, but we shared a common bond about deflecting racist comments about our hair. That bond grew stronger as I, not h e, came to realize that deep down inside he was just another human being looking for love and a place of belonging. I was that to him in a small dose. Sadly, he was dying and died from AIDS, and one thing Indigenous communities were certainly assimilated to was homophobia and ignorance about gay people. He didn’t even get a chance to be buried at home as his village refused his body due to ignorance about AIDS. Our little circle in Vancouver scraped together some money, had him cremated, and spread his ashes in a ceremony. We prayed for him and sang songs for him, drummed for him, and even danced for him to see his way to the other side. That was a moment of reckoning and big change for me as I learned what two-spirited meant.

Now I tell you that long winded story as a person who was lucky enough to be blessed with a friend to show him a different way of thinking. Perhaps we need to show more stories about LQTB reporters, or LQTB athletes so we can pave the way to a safer path for more kids who love sports but won’t participate because they don’t feel they belong. Those kids and adults are out there already, but we just haven’t created a safe enough space for them to exist, yet.

I always tell my kids in my college class this, when they award the Stanley Cup each year, I often wonder how many men sit home and silently celebrate their partner winning it?

Kinda makes you think doesn’t it?


The manner in which people have been treated badly for everything from sexual preference to skin colour to religious beliefs etc. is really a sad commentary on humanity in general.

I lost one of my best friends to hate when he took his own life and I am old enough to remember when hatred of homosexuals was the default position for the large, large majority.

I’ve never really understood why people need to hate based upon what I consider rather unimportant or superficial differences between people when there is a pretty large group that I think of as ‘little fucking arseholes’ who should be more than large enough to satisfy anybody’s need for disliking others.

That said I agree with ‘Bag of Pucks’ post. This discussion has been going on for over 50 years. At a certain point you aren’t changing anybody’s mind. You are just preaching and preaching tends to get on people’s nerves at a certain point more than it does anything positive. Its like abortion. Everybody knows the arguments. Nobody is changing their mind based upon what somebody tells them.

Sorry to hear about your friend. AIDS took a lot of good people.


I wrote some stuff that seems to have been lost, but I think there’s something valuable here (if you’ll allow me to be self congratulatory):

We know McDavid’s girlfriend’s name. We know Jenny Scrivens played in the NWHL. We know Darnell Nurse just had a newborn baby with his wife after playing 60 minutes of icetime. We know Carrie Underwood would attend Predators games to cheer on her husband. We know Maroon’s ex and child live in St. Louis and he got to win the cup for them. We knew that when tragedy struck the hockey world, to lend our condolences and thoughts to Emily Cave.

Gay NHLers want their partners at games in the family box with the wives, or to be their +1 at the NHL awards, or to be able to post engagement photos on their social media, or any of the other completely benign rights afforded to hetero players. Unfortunately, there are almost certainly NHL players, possibly even on our beloved Oilers, who have decided it’s just not worth the hassle.

Sometimes it’s not about changing a bigot’s mind. Sometimes it’s about trying to inspire others, setting an example, and recognizing that for Scott MacArthur it is worth the hassle.

Last edited 3 months ago by Oddspell

Sometimes it’s not about changing a bigot’s mind. Sometimes it’s about trying to inspire others, setting an example, and recognizing that for Scott MacArthur it is worth the hassle.


I think it’s less about changing the minds of older people, and more about showing the younger crowd that differences aren’t evil or wrong, which they might be taught at home.

Lowetide has asked on a number of occasions to keep politics off the blog and even though he has chimed in on this discussion I try to respect this.

But, again. This discussion has been going on for 50 years & is taught in schools and celebrated in the streets. People either get it or they don’t.

All Bag of Pucks said is what Lowetide asks of posters here which is to stick to hockey & leave the social issues to other venues.

I agree with that.


I think it’s less about changing the minds of older people, and more about showing the younger crowd that differences aren’t evil or wrong, which they might be taught at home.


So the problem group for alternate life styles and racial prejudice are older people. It would seem to me that you have just made a prejudiced statement against older people. We need to acknowledge that all people regardless of age, colour, gender, religious beliefs etc are worthy of respect and equality of human rights. We must learn to celebrate our differences and become more inclusive. Bottom line is we all need to and can do better!


The Bader comparison of Benson is very interesting, wonder who the comparables are for Marody. Might just have to pay for admission. 🙂

Bag of Pucks

Man, the MSM ‘body language’ experts are coming out of the woodwork to critique the Leafs latest loss.

Tavares and Foligno missing for most of the series and that barely seems to register. Can’t let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.

Appears the bloom is definitely off the Dubas rose now.


If Montreal would have lost, do you think they would have canned Bergevin?

Bag of Pucks

Not once it went to 7. That’s a good result for the underdog regardless of who won.

I think Bergevin is fairly safe there. He’s built competitive teams without a bevy of lottery picks at his disposal.


If Kraken want “local” boy Yamamoto, do the Oilers say yes if they also take Neal?


I’m also fascinated by this possibility, but who’s out there in free agent land that replaces Yamamoto? We’d have to bring in a 2-3 RW to compete with Kassian for time, as I see it.


I would probably say yes, reluctantly.
Which probably makes it a fair trade.


I agree. Of course the motto is get good players, keep good players, but that option to free cap space is too tempting, particularly given Jesse can fill in one of the top 2 now.


I do if I have specific UFAs in mind and I feel like a deal is imminent.

Otherwise, I don’t give up our young, feisty middle six winger for the next decade so that I can sign two 30 year old third liners.

106 and 106

You would trade a decade of 2RW for 2 years of cap relief? Just buy him out next year. Keep Yamo.


Many don’t think Yamamoto is a top 6 winger, which obviously affects valuation.

The jury is still out I guess, but I think he’ll prove to be a quality top 6.


This is definitely not worth it. They would need to take Neal and Koskinen and send us a draft pick. Don’t underestimate Yamamoto. He just may have an incredible year next year and make this thought look crazy.


Yamamoto is, right now, a fantastic 3W – a good skater (great edges), high energy, great forechecker, developing a PK game, great motor and some legit skill. He has 2RW upside.

Yamamoto’s floor is a high end 3rd line winger and PK guy that can fill in on a top 6 skill line. He is already that player.

He is also, what, 22 years old and likely to be in the $1.75MM-$2MM range for the next two years.

A player drafted in the bottom 3rd of the 1st round, developed (and developing) and growing up with the org.

I am not using that player as a sweetener to get rid of a contract – is that player not worth more than $1.9M of cap space for 4 years?


In other words the small 2 way good skating winger (formerly late 1st rounder) comparison would be Cogliano?

Would you trade that away for 2 second round picks? Would you give up 2 second rounf picks to rid the Neal or Koskinen contracts?

Last edited 3 months ago by kelvjn

Cogliano’s offense peaked in his rookie season at 18-27-45. He had one other season with 21 goals and 42 points, otherwise he was a sup 40 point player.

Yamamoto has scored 19-28-47 in his last 79 games.

Maybe he’s already peaked (like Cogliano), but IMO his upside is clearly higher and he’s very likely to produce more going forward than Cogliano did.


I would give 2 2nds for both Yamamoto or Athanasiou in a flash. Same for getting rid of the Neal contract with 0 retained.

Randomly chose 3 years:

2012, 10 2nd rounders over 50 career points.
2013, 5 players over 50 points
2014, 5 players over 50 points

Devin Shore is tied for 3rd most points with 115 out of the 2012 2nd round.
Obviously defensemen and goalies but still.

2nd rounders seem to miss a lot. I’d rather trade them for established players like AA


Same. Trading serviceable roster players for picks hardly worth it when you dont have a team choke full of useful players to start with.

Scott Cullen’s draft value chart shows a 2nd has about 10% chance to turn into a top 6F or top 4 D (aka useful player). So two of them nabs you about 19% chance of getting at least one. This is slightly worse than a single late 1st round pick which has 20% to 25% of finding someone useful.

That said, would you also be up for dumping the Neal contract if the cost is a 1st?


I would give up 328 GP Cogliano to get rid of Neal. Four full seasons of somewhat static development and it seems like we had a pretty good handle on who he was when we traded him.

I wouldn’t give up 105 GP Cogliano to get rid of Neal and I don’t want to give up 105 GP Yamamoto to get rid of Neal.

Last edited 3 months ago by Oddspell

On the other hand, losing a very good 2-way 3rd line/mediocre 2nd line winger(in a Cogliano type) for two years of cap relief at 3M or so seem steep. Especially since one can never know if the player your pro scout gets will turn into the next Athenasiou, Turris, the Kassian or Chiasson with the money you saved.


Neal can be bought out for a cap penalty of $1.9M x 4. Giving up Yamamoto for that is absolutely not worth it.


George had some excellent posts at the end of yesterday’s thread. PuckIQ binning sure leads to some random looking data.

In any case, I am coming on board the George train.

Jethro Tull

Great song, but I would have gone with ‘Going Underground’ because the public wants what the public gets.

I will now be downloading more Jam, Style Council and Paul Weller.


Paul Weller is all kinds of great.


Never really got into much Style Council (other than Walls Come Tumbling Down, which is an all-timer). If someone wants to point me to good solo Paul Weller I’d be willing to listen, as I’ve not loved what I’ve heard.

The Jam, however, is one of the very best. The best bands really have their own unique sound, and just like The Clash is called a punk band, they certainly don’t sound like anything but themselves.

Bag of Pucks

Kevin Bieksa, who I enjoy much more as a commentator than I did as a player, said last night on HNIC that Jeff Petry had a Norris caliber season.

Thank you Craig MacTavish.

Whatever your thoughts on Ken Holland, please try to remember that he is still leagues better than anything associated with the OBC.

OBC. The horror…the horror…the horror.

Brantford Boy

“It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared.” — Colonel Kurtz


Yeah that move still has to be right up there with the Hall trade (although not sure anything can touch the Reinhart deal).


Its incredible, but that Petry trade might have been the lynchpin for every subsequent mistake. The Petry trade robbed us of a good competent top 4 RHD. We then trade a 1st and 2nd for Reinhart to accelerate our development since we are now devoid of D talent. We overpay Sekera and Russell to shore it up as well. The following year, our defense is still not up to snuff so we trade away Hall for Larsson.

With Petry and Klefbom in the lineup, we still likely sign Sekera and potentially Russell. Thats a decent top 4 at the time. Add in a prospect Nurse and Chabot (potential draft pick, but who knows) and we might not pull the trigger on Hall .


Bag of Pucks

Agreed. The knock on effect was huge.

Katz’s meddling shouldn’t be forgotten as well. He vetoed the scouts in favour of the Yakupov pick and hired Chiarelli with the mandate to immediately fix the D problem. Boston screws Chia at the last second on a Hamilton trade so he falls ass backward into a desperation move for Reinhart based on OBC intel.

It’s less like professional management and more like The Colonel and Elvis.


that whole draft was underwhelming tho.

Dee Dee

The Oiler Way (Previous Management)

  1. Draft/Acquire promising young talent
  2. Throw them to the Wolves without any sort of Veteran Support
  3. Watch them fail
  4. Tip off the media to get them onside for the inevitable Trade
  5. Watch the player fall apart with zero confidence in themselves and fans ready to tar and feather them
  6. Trade them for scraps
  7. Complain if they find success with other organizations

I’ll give Holland/Tippett credit for breaking out of that cycle. Players are FINALLY earning their spots and are given support and mentoring.

The cycle takes a while to break.


Exactly right. That Petry trade was asinine, and needing to make up for it caused so much other damage.


The Oilers dug themselves in a hole when they went full-on rebuild(“Oil Change”) before selling off their prime assets.

Whereas the Horcoffs and Hemskys in the world might have been over paid, their value eroded to zero as losing seasons accumulated to the point the entire roster is being viewed as sub-par.

Lowetide once wrote(and I paraphrase from memory), toward the end of one of lottery pick finished seasons, that many of the men on the roster had played their last NHL game and they might not know it. Playing in a bottom feeding team does bad things to ones reputation and the chances will be harder to come by.

This is why the outside world seem to be surprised when Dubnyk and Petrys were having success after they moved on. Few people saw quality in the Oilers roster outside if the 6 million men (and even Hall was only fetched a fading once highly touted D one-on-one).

The moral lesson? Just win. Outside of the freaks of nature who scores 40 goals a season on crappy teams, winning is the way for the players to get recognized. When the team is winning people will find all kinds of underlying numbers to “explain” why a player is valuable even if it does not show up on the score sheet.

If they keep putting a few playoff seasons in a row they might starting to have success turning redundant players into late round picks instead of watching every single one of the lower half of roster pass through waiver unclaimed.

Brantford Boy

I agree with leaving Klefbom unprotected LT. It’s very sad, but unfortunately a necessity.

Sail on Lagesson, we hardly knew you.

Last edited 3 months ago by Brantford Boy
Randle McMurphy

To protect one of Dominik Kahun, Jujhar Khaira, Tyler Benson ?

I’m not so sure about that.

I think that if Ken Holland gets a positive commitment from Klefbom, then he protects him.

Brantford Boy

I didn’t comment on LT’s forward group…

Dare to dream regarding Klefbom…


I think that if Ken Holland gets a positive commitment from Klefbom, then he protects him.

I’m on this train as well.


Klef can make all the positive forward looking statements he wants. He hasn’t played how can he know how his shoulder will hold up to a hard forecheck?

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac

For me the upside with Klefbom vs. Jones over the next few seasons is just too great.


Something tells me the GM Holland was back in the day is quite different than what he is today. Too much has changed for him, or anyone else for that matter, to be the same.

Randle McMurphy

So he has Raphael Lavoie and Ilya Konovalov ahead of Broberg??


Those players play three different positions.

I don’t project any of the three to impact the roster in 2021……perhaps a chance in the 2nd half of the season but:

1) Broberg is 19, hasn’t played a pro game in North America and had an up and down season partially due to injuries and didn’t finish strong, being 7D in the playoffs. I think he’ll shine on the North American ice and show well once promoted to the NHL, playing with better players, but I would think this high potential prospect needs some seasoning in the AHL

2) Lavoie has a solid rookie pro-season – tough to assess what his numbers in Europe mean but he showed well in his AHL time. Of course, he also showed the crazy inconsistency he was known for in the Q and would go long stretches of games being mainly ineffective and then 3-5 game heaters. He needs to learn to impact the game nightly and throughout a game. His play away from the puck needs development and that is exactly what the AHL is for. I could see a cup of coffee late next season but I anticipate he’ll have a McLeod like offensive pop in year 2 – 35-40 goal pace.

3) Konovalov – absolute wild card and definite potential. Could very well be in line to impact the roster in 2022/23 after a season splitting duties with Skinner. We’ll know more in a year.


When assessing just how good Darnell Nurse is (and has been), how much stock do we put in:

(a) how good Ethan Bear was in 2019/20 paired with Nurse and then dropped off to an uneven, inconsistent, up and down season when mostly without); and

(b) Tyson Barrie having his best even offensive production season and, while apparently being an absolute tire-fire defensively, putting up a positive goal share.

Darnell Nurse is a polisher, another asset of this 1D.

Randle McMurphy


CF% 51.5
CF% Rel 4.6
FF% 50.5
FF% Rel 2.8

an absolute tire fire??

Scungilli Slushy

I take the line stats are meant to inform, they aren’t the story.

Watching Barrie play, not my type of player. He is really loose on the details that make contenders exactly that.

I caught the end of the Bruins game the other day. Hall was out there, to score of course, and he was terrible for what I look for.

Lost every battle, poor puck management, not a chance he’d finish a check ( not to blow the guy up, to take them out of the play).

Barrie and Hall are high risk with the shiny baubles of occasional brilliant plays.

I don’t think that is what wins. The reason role players are so often playoff heroes is that the top players on good teams saw off, and for skill only players their time and space are gone when good teams meet.

I’d rather have more well balanced players for the depth, instead of as many high end players that don’t do as well in the playoffs and bottom players that can’t finish their chances.

Look at cziskas (?) top cheddar on his chance. What Oiler role player would even get it more than a foot off the ice or even hit the net?


I expect Tyler Benson to impact the Oilers lineup this coming season.


I’ll wager Benson gets picked or traded. Don’t think he’s going to play for the Oilers.


Tough to say without knowing what the LW depth chart looks like but I’m thinking in the 55-60 game range.


I think he’ll be battling with Kahun (and Holloway) for 3LW (with Nuge and ___ as the top 6LWs). Shore penciled in as 4LW (or 13/14F).


The Oilers absolutely need to graduate 1 or hopefully 2 from Bak. Would help the Cap tremendously. They have had a real issue with developing even bottom 6 forwards.

Harpers Hair

There are literally dozens of bottom 6 forwards available as free agents and waiver wire pickups…many with NHL experience.

The flat cap ensures this oversupply will last for many years.

No need to wait on a prospect when it’s likely you can get a superior player for zero assets and a league minimum contract.

If you have a prospect that projects as bottom 6 (other than #3C) or bottom pairing D, it’s best to move them when they still have some value.


There are literally dozens of bottom 6 forwards available as free agents and waiver wire pickups…many with NHL experience.

The flat cap ensures this oversupply will last for many years.

No need to wait on a prospect when it’s likely you can get a superior player for zero assets and a league minimum contract.

This sea of Granlunds you speak of.
There are many good players here?

Last edited 3 months ago by jp
Harpers Hair

Identifying the players who can make a difference is, of course, the key.



How many UFA difference maker forwards were signed this past off season for $1M or less? Pretty sure not more than a handful.

Harpers Hair

Kahun is actually a good example of this although not strictly speaking UFA.
He was miscast as a top 6 forward but I would wager he will outperform Benson next season.

Vancouver picked up a bunch of these guys late in the season to audition them for bottom 6 roles next season with predictably mixed results.

Jimmy Vesey, Travis Boyd, Matthew Highmore, Jayce Hawryluk were all available for essentially nothing.

Why wait 5 years for this kind of player when they are readily available?


Kahun is actually a good example of this although not strictly speaking UFA.

Well, he was UFA when Ken Holland signed him. This season he is not.

Why wait 5 years for this kind of player when they are readily available?

Because they might turn into something. You know, prospects, straight lines, all that.

And because the replacements most often end up in the ‘mixed results’ category. It’s not trivial to identify them, though you’re trying to make it out that way.

Scungilli Slushy

The question is what is outperform?

Kahun does almost nothing to help the team win.

This is exactly what is hobbling the Oilers.

Benson can skate as well as Drai’s mini me, and importantly has a board game.

He also has talent and hockey IQ. If he is a motivated player, and hopefully the team has told him to, he needs to work on his skating every summer, and he needs to get an NHL quality shot.

But the game in the trenches makes him a better player for the NHL, and especially the Oilers. That is where they are weak and lose when it counts.

I don’t mean hits, I mean puck possession and control. Especially in the O zone.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

He’ll sit the entire year on the bench with Tip while Turris types play and bring the veteran presence only players of that ilk can, but it will be impactful sitting.


I anticipate Turris will come to camp ready to compete for a roster spot – hopefully he’ll compete like he’s fighting for his NHL career, as he will be.

Of course, he’ll be on the outside looking in to start camp and can be assigned to the AHL for a remaining cap hit of under $500K (assuming not claimed).

The post above, to me, is simply trying to spin a negative narrative on the coach as his handling of Turris this past season shows the exact opposite of what is projected.

The coach did give Turris some rope to find his game as 3C in the first 10-15 games he then moves off him at center and tried him as wing, he then moved off him in the lineup completely and he was scratched for pretty much the rest of the year. Given the odd chance to play to show he was worthy. He did not and was scratched and didn’t play in the playoffs.

What in the coach’s handling of this player suggests he will play as you suggest?

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Turris isn’t going to Bako if assigned. He’s still being paid real coin by Nashville and has made millions. Riding a bus in the AHL….unlikely. He’ll pack it in and try elsewhere to stretch out his career. Being assigned to Bako is the end of him as an NHLer.


I’m not sure how you know what’s going on in Turris’ head but how does not reporting to Bakersfield help extend his NHL career? Sam Gagner accepted assignments to the AHL.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I think you missed the point. It doesn’t have to be Turris. It can be one or more players like him or Nygaard, Haas, Cave, Shore, Cracknel … the list goes on and on and on. Any other orgs day old bread with some NHL/EUR experience, really. Every year there is a seemingly endless reshuffling of the bottom of the lineup with no discernable improvement.

This organization has spent draft capital and/or time on guys like Marody and Benson and they have more than delivered in the AHL. I want to see them get a fair shot at the NHL before they are flushed for no return.

Last edited 3 months ago by Decidedly Skeptical Fan

It seems highly likely that Benson and Marody will get every opportunity at camp this September. As we’ve discussed, this past season was odd – there was a one week training camp and zero exhibition games and then a short season which made each game worth more. There was no time to experiment and give prospects “tryouts” and then, of course, with the two-week quarantine for most of the season, call-ups for the Oilers were very tough.

Your premise of veterans favored over kids doesn’t really hold water for me – in particular the example you used Turris.

Yes, the veterans may get slotted in first but coach Tipppett has shown every ability to move off them. Turris lost his job to Haas, Shore and then McLeod.

Kassian started as 1RW, lost his job to Puljujarvi early.

I’m not sure what listing the likes of Cracknell is for – the AHL team needs veterans.