by Lowetide

Jesse Puljujarvi’s 15 goals led Edmonton’s right-wingers in 2020-21, including six in his final 14 regular-season games. The team’s other young RW, Kailer Yamamoto, scored only 8 goals all year, with a solitary goal in his final 25 regular season games.

Zack Kassian, the big money RW on the team, scored two goals in 27 games and never came close to resembling the man who scored back to back 15-goal campaigns with Edmonton in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Alex Chiasson, who averaged 19 goals per 82 games over three seasons with the Oilers, is an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return.

Edmonton’s five regular RW’s scored 41 goals in 2020-21 (Josh Archibald the fifth man). What is the plan, exactly, on right wing?


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 just went over the ‘reasonable expectations’ from preseason 2020-21 (posted results at The Athletic this morning) and both wings brought plenty of surprises during the year.

As we look to next season, the Oilers RW depth chart is not close to championship quality. Using a full 82-game season for estimates, I’d project Puljujarvi for 23 goals, Yamamoto for 16, Archibald for 9, Kassian for 8. Maybe Cooper Marody or Raphael Lavoie or Seth Griffith (probably not Seth Griffith) get in a few games.

That’s 56-60 goals from right-wing in an 82-game season, after 41 goals in a 56-game season one year ago. The Oilers need help on LW, but signing a RW wouldn’t go amiss either.

Oilers mock!

  • No. 19 overall: RW Samu Tuomaala, Karpat (Sm-Liiga Jr). He’s a first-shot scorer, very skilled. There’s room to grow creatively, but he’s a bona fide offensive winger.
  • No. 117 overall: LD Shai Buium, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Big defender plays smart two-way game. He is 6.03, 214, that will appeal to an Oilers management group that appears hellbent on getting bigger blue.
  • No. 181 overall: RC Ryan Winterton, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). September 4, 2003. He had a strong WJ’s (7, 2-2-4) but did not play this season. He’s 6.02 and owns a plus shot.
  • No. 185 overall: LC Attilio Biasca, Halifax Mooseheads (QJMJHL). A fine skater and forechecker, he is an inconsistent offensive player (19, 2-6-8) in the QMJHL.
  • No. 213 overall: RW Oliver Suni, Luuko (U20 SM-Sarja). Strong winger with range of skills. I had him listed on the 2020 final rankings (No. 117) and he is No. 105 this year.

Edmonton picks No. 19 overall, moving up as the final four came into view. This is an important pick, not sure the Oilers make it. I expect Holland is more likely to trade down than out, but all options will be on the table.


At 10 this morning, we hit “play” and kickstart the weekend on TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will tell us how far the Habs can go, McDavid’s Hart chances and we’ll discuss Marc-Andre Fleury’s amazing career. At 11, Michael Chandler from The Score will talk Euro 2020 as things kick off today. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!


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Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Messed around with Shore’s numbers a bit tonight. Some strange stuff. As I expected he was far better after the first month (zero offense) but got better after Turris disappeared.

First 13 games +1 / -7
Last 20 games +8 / -10

So he was bad with Turris early on (+1 / -4) and with Chaisson (+2 / -7). Not much better with Archie (+3 / -6) but I have a feeling the minus with him are skewed to the first half. He was much better with JJ (+5 / -6). Next year I would have him with JJ and Archie on the 4th line. All three of these guys can score a bit, and if they concentrate on cutting down a few more GA at evens, they can be a positive line given their good PK skills.

…..and now the strangest Shore numbers of all

with Smith +9 / -9
with Koskinen 0 / -8

That’s just weird. Guess it was all Miko’s fault 🙂

Last edited 10 days ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

*this* put analytics back into “analytics”


I wonder how much the “Koskinen numbers” overlap with the “Turris numbers”. Both players saw more action early in the season.


A few years ago the analytic guys says hits is a bad stat as it signify the player doesn’t have the puck a lot. The modern mobile defenseman were in vogue because puck moving contributes to procession contributes to goals.

How times has changed the playoff analytics now evolved to fancy stats such as height per 12″ and weight per 16oz.

It is not exactly new information refs put away the whistle every spring. CMD never gets any calls agajnst two play offs in a row, along with howeve rmany other skilled players before him accused of playing soft and ineffective (but in reality got got mugged and not called).

Alongthe lines there us reg season players vs playoff players, I wonder how long one need to wait for reg season analytics vs playoff analytics.

Scungilli Slushy

Are goalies that hard to predict?

At least NHL goalies?

If they have a stable consistent structure in front, if they are any good, they play better. Closer to their ability.

If they have inconsistent play in front, etc etc, they don’t. As soon as they loose trust, they get out of rhythm. Like the rest of the team.

Beware of any goalie coming from Trotz or Cooper. Or any coach that can convince his team to defend well a lot.


Can u predict who will be the top 5 goalies in 2023?

Scungilli Slushy

No I can’t. Anyone can predict with reasonable accuracy which goalies will play well if they are now, and the system/team doesn’t change much in front of them.

So many players that look tops on one team don’t on another. I feel there are very few truly elite players, that rock it no mater what. If their context changes, they can be exposed for their flaws.


Tippet coaxed 0.917 out of Koskinen(2020) and 0.923 from Smith(2021). Luck or structure?

Scungilli Slushy


You don’t make the NHL if you aren’t really good. You may not succeed.


SCHEIFELE – thumbs down. Selfish play cost WPG a chance in 2nd round.

KADRI – Cost COL. Jost had to play 2C and got caved. KADRI’s 3rs selfish playoff act that has seen his team lose close series. I would NOT bring him back


ALSO. This playoff should give Holland a clear picture of what Edm needs going forward.

He cannot do it all at once, but piece by piece he should have EDM in the upper echelon within 18 mths


If any fan or person says the Avs aren’t a well built team, then they should sign up for the Oilers Analytics department.

AVS finished #1 in the League.

Lost in playoffs last year to the team that represented the West in the Cup Final.

Same thing this year (sorry Mtl fans).

The AVS are a lot closer to the 1982 Oilers than they are to a “losing” squad.

Scungilli Slushy

‘The AVS are a lot closer to the 1982 Oilers than they are to a “losing” squad.’

Being old enough to have watched those teams, and maybe you are, I can’t agree.

Sather was a straight out robber until the other GMs got spooked.

He also had a fantastic sense of who would fill a niche.

He was absolutely dumb ass lucky into who was drafted, but he also crafted those hooligans into an incredible team, he chased them out of bars, played dad, taught them to try to have class, on and on.

The Avs as has been said are built for the reg season. They absolutely missed Cole’s size and the grit and talent of Kadri.

It remains, who would think that having so many undersized skill D would work, in the playoffs?

It seems logical that it was driven by analytics. Talent and skill are the best, but there are realities to overcome in the NHL.

The main one is if you are too small, the obvious play to win, which most players, coaches and towel boys will and would do at the highest level of hockey in the world, is to try to run you out of the rink.

We have seen countless Oilers teams face this against the skill lines, been told it worked and made them shut down by our own coach then, and the coke machine lines getting hammered because they couldn’t skate at an NHL level and were puck optional. Or puck square chopping, as our fine host says.

To think back about what seemed like teams that won with skill, Pens and Hawks come to mind in the recent era, it was really the balance and depth, and hard nosed players and battle winning players that underpinned that. So the talent could put them over the top.

And when they couldn’t afford them and couldn’t talk them into appropriate contracts after playoffs, it was gone.

Holland can make the changes to put the team into serious contender position, this summer.

They have the core, it’s support, which we have always said here is the easiest part. There are credible UFA goalers to be had, the hard nosed player types we need. Klefbom is a hard thing, but that can be handled.

There is no need to block the fantastic prospects, big skilled and fast, in Broberg and Samu, or Bouchard, or the only two current forward prospects in Holloway and Lavoie (who REALLY needs to get his boots to NHL speed tout suite).

Holland can add a lot, not hurt too many feelings ( I think ‘they’ want to win more than anything else) and get to the next level with his cash. He couldn’t before, sure. But he can now. The only thing in his way is his own thinking.

Then Tipp needs to show he was coaching to his roster, and not being another Flattop. I remain unconvinced about Gulatzan and Playfair. And the goalie coach, if Smith had that turnaround from his summer coaching and work.

Kirk out. Thanks for reading.


That was deep.

The point was, in 1982 Edm wss the super skill team and lost in the playoff again. By 1983 they looked unstoppable and lost in the final. REST is history in a non salary cap era.

COL is very close. They just lost to the 2nd best Reg Season record in 6 games without their 2C.

Thamks for your input. I agree, Edm should play Broberg, Bouchard, Holloway and just Go.

The days of “building” a team over 10 yrs have changed.

Look at Tampa? $17 mil over Cap just to get a 2nd run … windows are shorter than they used to be and DIFFERENT than they used to be.


The issue with Avs is they are built for the regular season and not the playoffs
before the playoffs I predicted that they would get physically manhandled by a big physical team
the series was 1 2 3 Avs fall down. There were Avs players all over the ice
At least the Wild pushed Vegas to a game 7


Hmmm. Good job. Big physical team. Prob Vegas was the only one.

COL needs a little more grit and size. Gurantee Sakic adds. This year


OP and HH destroying the blog again today. Disgusting betrayal of Lowetide’s efforts. Shame.


Thank you for logging in to add substantive value……

Material Elvis

Is this a serious post?

Scungilli Slushy

There are a lot of comments I want to respond to.

To go deep in the play takes some luck, and capable goaler.

However narratives about windows and this and that don’t hold water.

Trotz is good werever he coaches. Massive changes in switching teams, to the good.


I commented the other other day that there are two elite skaters left to compete. Or as I see elite players – Healthy Hedman and Kucherov.

Still there are three other teams playing. All obviously have solid goalering.

But hockey is a team sport driven by players buying into a correctly chosen and effective system.

I saw a quote from Sneaky Lou that players win games and teams win championships.

It is true. If you have the system and coach and a goaler or two, it come down to buy in and discipline after that.

IF you also have elite players, they can win games for you on a more than hot streak basis.

The Oilers sit pretty. 5-6 depth players is an insurmountable summer? With cap? Hardly.

The only question is the perception and will of decision makers.

I’m convinced the core is bought in fully, completely.

Holland and scouts you’re up.

New Improved Darkness

Look up, waaay up—a guy named Kiszla is spiking the bitten melon with caustic soda this morning.

Rudely bounced from NHL playoffs, pretty Avs prove they’re built to win Ice Capades, not the Stanley Cup

Hey hey hey—you’re the next contestant on The Slice is Right. Come on down and pinpoint that blue-suede Hattori Hanzō.

His mind is tiara-twisted, he got his Pilates nylons

He got a lot of peachy, peachy whirls—shellacking Kwans’

How they dance in the killzone, silk saucer sweet

Some dance in November, some dance to compete

High-centered yet again in Heartbreak Hotel, this task is yours and yours alone. You know what you must do.

[Hands Brad a short morogulo blade of exquisite Japanese artistry.]

But we are not Philistines here, so as your intestines spool and your liver pools, here’s a gallant lament from the ferryman to ease your passing.


All my troubles seemed so far away

Now it looks as though they’re Joe’s to sway

Oh, I believe in fixit clay


I’m not half the man I used to be

There’s a shadow sweepin’ over me

Oh, I bereave in pest-dismay


Sgt. Pooper’s Forlornly Hart Club Brad

Welcome to the schlubs!

Nine years Kong not winning shit

Still better than the scrubs!

Sgt. Souper’s Forlornly Hart Club Brad

Welcome to the schlubs!

Should you vent your viscera

Puleeeeese confine it to the tub.

Reprinted from The Fairyman’s Dirge, as originally transcribed by Mark Kiszla for Ice Capades: No Gall, No Guts, No Glory (seventh reprinting, 2021).

[*] Not idly do the sponge brigades of Lothlorien tolerate a messy job, which shows up as force-feeding liver pool with a rum cutlet of Mother Goose.

Last edited 10 days ago by New Improved Darkness
New Improved Darkness

Those blockquotes look like shit, and I don’t know how to get rid of the extraneous vertical whitespace where I didn’t put it, and to put back the whitespace I actually intended. Sad. As Marvin the Paranoid Android once remarked while summoning a terrified elevator, all buttons go down. If you want something done right, climb the stairs. But those old realiable stairs seem to be gone now. Saddle bags.

Last edited 10 days ago by New Improved Darkness
Wonder Llama

Never change dude.


I enjoyed your katakana, even the bit about plastic Poncho Pilates, the Friendly Tyrant… but I fear Kiszla’s retort would be styx and stones may break my bones, but games will never hurt me. Or so raps the Denver Post Malone.

I would pay to see a fully inked Nazgul commit seppuku though.


If I was Holland, I would move Kassian for Tony DeAngelo and have NYR take a million of DeAngelos salary.
It’s a risky trade but one that benefits both teams.


Tony Deangelo can be bought out for minimal cap hit due to age
theres no way the Rags do this


No need for bad apples


I love you Zack.


Poor Rask was playing with a torn labrum out until at least January


And some here were mocking him for ‘abandoning’ his team during the playoffs last year… Basically saying he lacked committment and would never play again for BOS.


If you were paying attention you would know that Rask is in a contract year. It’s funny how contract year and commitment go hand in hand.


Where the AVS are at is exactly where KH is trying to get EDM.

KH wants them to be in the upper echelon each Reg Season and then Roll the dice each playoff season.

Looking at most of these teams, it’s clear Edm needs 3 – 5 GOOD Players to have more depth and be able to compete in the Playoffs.

So hard to get to the 3rd round or the Final.

EDM has had 2 good Reg Seasons in a row. I expect nxt year to be the 3rd year in a row.

Now EDM just needs to find some playoff success. Hopefully that begins nxt season as well. 🙂

Last edited 11 days ago by jtblack
Harpers Hair

The question then becomes can he get there before teams on the rise do?

If you look at Colorado, Sakic has been very aggressive in identifying other teams with cap issues and acquiring players at below market value and I can’t think of one example of Holland doing this.

In division, LAK bottomed out and purged a raft of good but aging players in order to accumulate the best prospect pool in hockey and a ton of cap space.
After yet another very high draft pick this summer (if they don’t trade it)
the rebuild will officially be over and Blake indicates he’s ready to add a few age-appropriate impact players.

He also has the advantage of helming a team that has always been and will continue to be a magnet for free agents due to lifestyle considerations.

As I’ve mentioned before, I expect the long standing relationship between Blake and Sakic will likely play a role in all this…for example Ryan Graves would be a perfect fit on the Kings blueline and Blake easily has the assets to pull that off.

And just down the freeway are the Anaheim Ducks who have quietly been amassing a pretty good prospect pool of their own with another key piece coming up in the draft. A little farther out but coming on.

Holland, thus far, seems to believe he has all the time in the world but he really doesn’t and the barbarians will soon be at the gates while the clock ticks on McDavids contract.

This offseason should tell us a lot about his sense of urgency or not.


Poor Kings. They didn’t even have a chance to get out of the gate and already you have applied your curse to them.


That is the Magic question.
.if he ONLY thinks D + D will get him there, then NO. Over the next 2 years he is going to have to make a few hockey trades + sign some UFA’S.

So we will see. So far he has not done well identifying NHL talent from other teams, including his old team 🤓


Joe Sakic – closing in on a decade of making roster decisions, 3 playoff series won, never past the 2nd round, a few years of generationally bad teams, seemingly wasting the career of his elite Hart Trohpy candidate who is expressing frustration with the losing.

Rob Blake – 4 years as GM and approaching a decade as AGM or GM, bottom feeding team with a ton of prospects.

Ken Holland – 2 years as GM – apparently wasting time.

Harpers Hair

If you repeat it often enough and say it loud enough, people will actually believe you.

Ken Holland – 2 years as GM – team has a 1-7 record in the playoffs with 2 elite players against substandard competition.

Thinks the answer to his problems is Mike Smith, Zack Kassian, Kyle Turris, Devin Shore, Dominik Kahun and a raft of AHL level European vets.

Used his first Oiler draft to go walkabout on a defenseman of dubious promise while the team’s most dire need was impact top 6 wingers who were sitting right fucking there.

Looks promising so far. 🙂


Yes, I would think people would believe facts – Facts are what I posted.

Facts that are relevant to a “GM wasting time” discussion.


Holland has been cap strapped the last two years. This year we will see if he lives up to the hype. It’s time to sh-t or get of the pot.


If you look at Colorado, Sakic has been very aggressive in identifying other teams with cap issues and acquiring players at below market value and I can’t think of one example of Holland doing this.

That’s the crux of the problem.

You need a critical mass of effective players who’re still mostly in their prime.

The only way to do that is to milk the draft lottery then win a lot of trades.

To win these trades, you have to have effective pro scouting and analytics. You have to.

Then you have to go out and trade your 5th round pick for Chanlder Stephenson, your two seconds for Devon Toews, etc.

I repeatedly get ratioed here when I say this, but Ken Holland is not that guy. I agree with you that he has no history of those types of trades.

He’s a sign UFA, scour garbage bins in Europe, draft, and rent at the deadline guy.

One of the quick retorts is about how he won a cup in the cap era.

That was what three years into the cap when the Red Wings were a popular destination for free agents.

It was also a different time when an ageless 37-year-old Lidstrom and 46-year-old Chelios could be on a cup winning team’s blue line. It’s was littered with old players. Hasek was 45.

The Oilers need to fix their pro-scouting problem and add some Apache helicopters to their analytics department.

Harpers Hair

Nailed it.


I don’t know the full history of Holland’s moves through the years, but he kept the Wings on top for a long damn time.

I know people like to explain that away for various reasons, and it’s possible he has fallen behind and what he did back then actually isn’t worth anything now. Still, it’s very impressive, and I do think it’s worth something (time will tell us something resembling the truth I guess).

He took over as GM with the Wings having won the Cup the previous year (a team he had a big part in drafting and building). They repeated as cup winners the next year and the Holland Red Wings had a string of 14 straight 100+ point seasons (7 before and 7 after the cap). 4 more 90+ point seasons at the end. His 2nd cup was in year 5, the 3rd in year 10 (as you said, 3 yrs after the cap was introduced).

I dunno, he must have won a trade or two during the 14 year run of 100 point seasons, or 18 straight in the playoffs.

I mean, I agree it would great if they started building a competent analytics team and started winning all their trades. I guess I’m just not convinced like many seem to be that this thing Holland is trying to build is doomed to failure.


Not one thing I said was meant to disparage Ken Holland.

I think he has a wealth of experience. I’ve said before, if I were in charge of hiring, I would have made Holland the President of hockey operations without blinking.

I do think Holland needs someone to challenge him with new ideas. I liked Laurence Gilman as GM.

I don’t care who it is to challenge him, but I want Holland to start making those types of trades involving picks for emerging talent.


You essentially said in your first post that Holland can’t build the team, while also undercutting what he achieved in Detroit.

I feel like that’s a bit disparaging, and I also disagree (I say that while agreeing with you that Holland/the Oilers doing those things would be ideal).


That’s neither an accurate nor fair representation of what I actually said. 🙂

What I said is that Holland is not the guy shopping for market opportunities for emerging talent. He isn’t and that’s not a subject for debate, it’s a fact.

He’s not looking for Chandler Stephenson, Devon Toews, Burakovsky, Kolesar, Graves, etc.

He has no track record of shopping in the aisle outside of the AA trade.

The AA trade was different in that it wasn’t an expansive look at market opportunities, just going back to his old backyard.

What else I said is that times have changed. It’s a different game. You can’t use the strategies that Holland employed in 2007-8 to build a cup contender anymore. There are not even a fraction of as many good 30+ players in today’s game.


That’s neither an accurate nor fair representation of what I actually said.

I don’t know, it’s true your post was about trading for emerging talent. But I re-read and it still looks to me like it says ‘Ken Holland is no longer capable of building a contender’.

It’s also true Holland hasn’t made many (any if you exclude AA) of these types of trades. I guess I’m not convinced those deals are essential for team building, even in 2021 (they would be nice though, no question).

But if you look at Tampa Bay over the past decade or so, I don’t see really any of the Towes/Burakovsky type moves. It’s mostly draft success and standard hockey trades.

For Vegas, there’s Stephenson, yes. But Kolesar is a 4th liner who they traded a 2nd round pick for (the pick, Alex Texier has more games and points than Kolesar). I don’t see any others.

Not sure the Islanders have any of these moves in the past decade either (though getting a couple of top 6 forwards for Griffin Reinhart is nice for team building).

We’ll see I guess whether Holland really is unable to build/finish building a contender, whether he proves more agile in trades than you’re expecting, or whether it’s still possible in 2021 to build something without Burakovsky/Toews type trades.


Nick Lidstrom happened to him.


Ken Holland (as Scouting Director) drafted him though.

Lots of luck in Nick Lidstrom becoming “Nick Lidstrom” obviously, but Holland was the guy who picked the 19 year old Lidstrom from the 3rd round of the draft (yes, Nick Lidstrom was passed over in his 1st year of eligibility).

Other things that “happened” to Ken Holland that year:
Mike Sillinger 1st round
Bob Boughner 2nd round
Sergei Fedorov 4th round
Dallas Drake 6th round
Vladimir Konstantinov 11th round

Last edited 10 days ago by jp

There are a lot of different ways to put together a winning team. The key is more about having a GM that can take advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves. It’s the same as investing, you have to consistently monitor and update your asset mix.


Ha. Ha your team got out muscled and couldn’t handle the aggressive forecheck of a well coached team.


The question then becomes can he get there before teams on the rise do?

If you look at Colorado,

How does all of this affect the Canucks, if at all?

Harpers Hair

I realize this is a jab and not a serious question but I’ll answer it anyway.

The Canucks are still a season away from being free of Benning’s bottom 6 blunders but will then free up considerable cap space making things much easier.

If you look at the basics of roster construction, they are actually at a pretty good place.

#1C √

#2C √

#1D √

#1G √

They also have 2 high end wingers in Boeser and Miller but need at least 2 more.

While Nils Hoglander had a marvellous rookie season…he would ideally be a 3rd line winger (like Yamamoto).

Vasili Podkholzin is likely to be one of the needed top 6 wingers (led his team in scoring in the KHL playoffs) and is a beast on the wall and in puck possession but they know they need another one and Benning has identified that as an immediate need.

Where things get much murkier is on D where Quinn Hughes needs defensive support.

When Hamonic came back from injury, that stabilized the pairing but Hamonic is not a long term solution

Below that the Canucks pretty much have to count on Jack Rathbone making the grade and, based on his time in the AHL and a brief time in the NHL, that looks likely.

Benning, to his credit, was able to acquire Nate Schmidt for a 3rd round pick indicating that he (and the Canucks analytics team) are paying attention to that aspect. Schmidt had an uneven season but there’s a pretty good chance he reverts to form.

Beyond that, Myers actually had a pretty good season but is overpaid for his role and Father Time has caught up to Edler although he may return on a cheap one year deal to play bottom pairing minutes.

So, what the Canucks need is a couple of top 6 forwards, a #3C and a couple of D.

They will drafting at 9 so have a pretty good chance of getting that #3C (Kent Johnson?).

Filling out the bottom 6 should be pretty easy once they get that #3C since they already have Tanner Pearson and Tyler Motte under contract and were auditioning bottom 6 options (Matthew Highmore, Jimmy Vesey, Travis Boyd) at the end of the season.

The huge disadvantage they have against LA is that their prospect pool is much thinner partially because they have hit on their more recent picks with Pettersson, Hughes, Boeser, Hoglander etc. to the extent that they are already NHL players.

I expect they can add a winger and 1 defenseman this offseason but their D will remain an issue until they more cap space in a year.

LA may have already passed them by then.

Last edited 10 days ago by Harpers Hair

It was a jab, but that’s a well reasoned answer.

Of only you could be as balanced when discussing the Oilers.

Harpers Hair

I can and do put some folks just don’t like to hear it.

It’s a given that the Oilers have two of the best players in the game but due to otherwise poor and misdirected drafting and player procurement have not been able to surround them with appropriate talent making it relatively easy to contain them in the playoffs especially if they play together.

Can you imagine any sane person who would believe that going into McDavid’s 7th year in the league he doesn’t have ONE 1st line winger to play with?

Yes, Jesse is showing promise but at his current stage of development he’s likely a third line winger with upside.

Yamamoto’s 25% shooting percentage cratered (just as I cautioned it would) and he too is more suited to a 3rd line and his performance in playoff games shows that clearly.

That leaves you with Nuge and he’s likely on the next stagecoach out of Dodge.

So, even if Holloway achieves his potential, you’re not much further ahead at least in the next couple of seasons.

I don’t need to tell you that the Oilers bottom 6 is a wasteland, borne out over and over by the stats, so I won’t bother with detail but the consensus seems to be that aged out prospects like Marody and Benson are the answer when they have not been the answer while Rome burned in the past. Why now and not sooner?

On D, Nurse who turns 27 next season finally seems to have reached his potential but as we’ve seen elite defensemen arrive much earlier and have a bigger impact at lower cap hits for a long time. Nurse is about to get paid and that will affect the rest of the D corp.

Beyond Nurse, you have a collection of defensemen who would be 3rd pairing on a championship team if they were on the team at all.

So, you are then left with the D prospects.

Let me ask you this:

In a re-draft where do you think Bouchard would be selected?

In a re-draft, where do you think Broberg would be selected?

I would wager both would drop out of the top 20 and would be much more in the vein of LT’s “draft and follow” mode.

In goal…the Oilers seem set on taking another huge gamble on Smith and, really they have little choice since Koskinen is eating up so much cap and there really are no readily available options in the system.

I’ve seen some here suggesting the Oilers should draft a goaltender this offseason but that is just insane…there is no time to wait for a goaltender to develop during McDavid’s contract.

As for Holland…he missed some real opportunities last offseason (Toffoli, Josh Anderson for example) to actually improve the team but chose not to while chasing the aforementioned Sea Of Granlund’s instead with no ne=t benefit.

While he has an admirable record of success I expect we’re about to find out if the game has passed him by.


I can and do but some folks just don’t like to hear it.

Surely you’re not trying to claim this is a balanced take?

Viewed though the glasses you use for the other 31 teams, Holloway is a sure fire top 6 LW, Bouchard and Broberg are poised to take top 4 roles on a defense anchored by elite #1 Darnell Nurse. McLeod is the 3C the team has been missing for years and Puljujarvi is a top 5 pick beast of a man that’s finally arrived.

But no, we get “Holland missed out on the opportunity sign Josh Anderson to a $38M deal”.

Anyway, carry on.

Harpers Hair

This as always is nonsense.

I do think Holloway looks like a top 6 player…in year 8 or 9 of McDavid.

Darnell is not elite…just a very good #1D.

Bouchard is not poised to take a top 4 role anytime soon as he is lagging his draft cohort by a considerable margin and couldn’t get into the lineup on an average defensive team.

Broberg is even farther away.

McLeod has great wheels but avoids contact and shies away from the hard areas of the ice exactly what you DONT want in a 3C.

Reminds me of a guy we used to know…Magnus Pajaarvi…all world speed and hands of stone.

If you threw all of those guys in a sack, Josh Anderson would kick their butts and Tyler Toffoli would finish the job.


If you threw all of those guys in a sack, Josh Anderson would kick their butts and Tyler Toffoli would finish the job.

Your point is that two guys who signed for a combined $9.75 M of cap room are better NHL players than prospects who are just getting started?


Your point is that two guys who signed for a combined $9.75 M of cap room are better NHL players than prospects who are just getting started?

Please also note that the 38 and a half million dollar man has 1 point in the playoffs and is -4.


Yeah. I am only willing to put so much effort into replying to posts like that.

Friday night & HH brings his Tuesday morning game to the board. 😉


This as always is nonsense.

Well this much I agree with.

What a joke, you trying to present yourself as a voice of reason.


In a world that contains surefire NHL star Boring Lafferty, Benson has aged out, lol.

In other news… goalpost moving has raised its game from “continental” to “galactic”.


Definitely pushing the limits in here.


Good post HH😊


What you’ve laid out seems reasonable, but I find it interesting that on the one hand you seem to portray that Holland has a past and is thus doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes, yet Benning (with a similar penchant for poor UFA signings) will learn from them and not make the same ones.

Harpers Hair

Benning was and remains the biggest threat to Vancouver’s future but he is on a very short leash.


He acquired Schmidt because Schmidt didn’t want to go anywhere else and after not getting OEL while haggling with only himself Schmidt fell into his lap
How bad would that team have been if Schmidt didn’t fall into his lap

Harpers Hair

This is complete nonsense.

Schmidt has a 10 team NTC meaning he could have been traded to 19 other teams.


Also I’m very excited in what a desperate Benning will do given his work so far


Serious question.
Are you sure Hughes is a #1 dman on a cup contender?
Doesn’t he have some of the same issues as Girard when it comes to defending against big, fast forwards?


The Kings may have a good group of youngsters, but they have a coach on a long term deal that is terrible at developing young players. Not so sure it’s going to work out as planned.

Bank Shot

I’d like to see Taylor Hall back in Edmonton as much as anyone, especially if its on a good contract.

However Hall said last that he would leave money on the table in exchange for being on a winning team, and then he signed in Buffalo for $8 million.

I guess I’ll believe it when I see it. Edmonton hasn’t exactly been knocking on the door either the last couple of playoffs so if Hall truly wants to go to a team that will win, he might be looking in a few other places first.


Without trying to start a war about it, I honestly have no idea what Hall should be paid at this point. The Hall-Krejci-Smith line was fire from the time Hall was traded until the end of the first round, and then nothing in the 2nd round.

Is he the kinda guy who’s getting a long-term major UFA contract? I’m not so sure anymore, especially with a flat cap.




Turks go home devastated!


If we go after one big name LW target and spend big dollars. Mattias Janmark looks like an interesting low cost LW option. Scores a bit more than Kahun, seems happy with short term deals.



This seems to be a hot topic today so I thought I’d share something I’ve heard in the sporting world.

”Speed gets tired in a game, size doesn’t shrink”

Go big. Go fast.


6 months ago, I had nothing against the Avs – in fact, kind of liked them as a non-Oiler team.

Now, I’m so darn happy they are out, actively cheered against them – it had nothing to do with the team or anyone on the team – total external force that has made me cheer against that team this playoffs.


I kinda still like them. They were really bad for a long time just like the Oilers and they finally managed to get it together. Seems the way they’re trying to construct their team is similar too. High skill first instead of physicality. They even have a discount McDavid in one of the best players in the world.

On the other hand, seeing another hh team lose after he cherry picked them halfway through the season… Yeah that was fun


I do wonder how many people on here cheered for Vegas just because of one poster.

Wonder Llama

Man, if that’s really how people are choosing to cheer or not cheer for a team, the troll has definitely won. I like watching the Avs because they’re a fast, skilled team. Makar is the best skating defenseman I’ve seen since Paul Coffey. The brand of hockey VGK play is far less exciting. I couldn’t care less if someone I don’t know and will never meet loves or hates the team.


They stole another city’s franchise.

Wonder Llama

And instantly won Stanley. Didn’t seem fair, I agree.

But that was a quarter century ago. I’m over it.


That’s not actually the way it works though. I never give HH a second thought, and I don’t hate the Avs, but he has kinda poisoned the waters. The gushing is a bit creepy and it sinks in.


I am disappointed that the AV’s lost out. Was so looking forward to skill winning out over tough, disciplined systems play – and better goalering. Boo hoo. I barely watch the NHL playoffs because of the unofficial dictate to ‘let the players play’. How about letting the better players play.

Harpers Hair

Just so sad for you.


Sad? Perhaps you should read again.

Please advise if you continue to struggle with comprehending the post in question.

Best regards.

Harpers Hair

I’ll feel sad for you if I want to.

buck yoakam

chaka kahn …chaka kahn…I feel for you….I think I loathe you….


No you’re just Sad! I would add pathetic but that, while being honest, might be hurtful.


Kind of sums up my feeling about this blog – moving away from something you like, respect and enjoy as great hockey discussion is replaced by trolls being fed a regular diet of snide, childish comments.

OP, read your post again man, it is pathetic – you should know you can never win a fight with a troll. Just scroll past HH’s comments like I usually do with yours.


Krejci is UFA and a Right-handed centerman. I would have time for him.
Patrice Bergeron is too, unfortunately, he has 1 yr left at 6.8

Last edited 11 days ago by flyfish1168
Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Well people are finally getting the idea that it’s not just skill, or speed, but you also need size. You also need all three in the same package (Vegas formula). Archie and Yamo are the designated small guys because they are fearless. No more. All the others (Haas, Kahun, Russell, Ennis) have to go.

It’s no surprise that in our most successful McDavid year we were a big team (but kind of slow) and fortunate to play other big slow teams in the playoffs. Which guys were generally most successful? The big guys and one very experienced small center (Letestu). But ANA finally destroyed our small defensemen and that was that (with the refs help). So where do we go this off-season.

1) Keep collecting big, skilled, fast forwards. Jessie was a big get last year. Wish we could have lured Slepy back as well. Holloway, McLeod and Lavoie are coming. Get more: Hyman, Palat, Saad, Killorn, Armia etc. Bennett would have been a good get but that bird has flown.

2) get a shutdown center instead of RNH. Talking Danault here who would impact the playoff roster much more than RNH racking up PP points in the regular season. Add Haula for 3C

3) Keep Kassian but coach has to get him sorted out with a defined role.

4) Get bigger on defense and I might be willing to trade Bear for a bigger more expensive RHD from a team with cap issues. Sign Kulikov for another year on bottom four. Got to get Sammy/Bouchard reps this year as Broburg 12 months away. Jones, Lags, Barrie all out and Russell is only spot duty.

5) get another goalie to support or maybe even replace Smith. Trade Kos. Example, ARZ has money issues (they are not alone). Trade Kos (25-50% retained) and Klef for Kuemper saves ARZ about $5 or $6 million in real dollars (they have the cap space and assuming Klef is done).

Drai McDavid Kass (don’t need a superstar at LW here)
Hyman Danault JP
Armia/Benson Haula Yamo
McLeod/Shore JJ Archie

Nurse Dumba (Bear trade – just an example)
Kulikov Larsson
Sammy Russell Bouchard



I agree but it’s not always size it’s about playing heavy our D is butter soft no one fears going to our net. I would trade Bear and Jones in a package deal while they still have trade value.


I agree that overall our D is soft. Two exceptions are Larsson and Nurse. The addition of Samorukov will help and in fairness Russel pound for pound is not easy to play against!


You’re going to struggle watching Bouchard.


I was playing around with CapFriendly Armchair GM during a meeting this morning and was pleasantly surprised with the Oilers team I came up with.

Oilers out:
Klefbom assumed on LTIR for the year
Neal bought out
Koskinen traded with 50% retained
Kahun’s rights traded for picks
Turris buried
Jones to the Kraken

Oilers re-signed:
Nuge $5.5M x 4
Larsson $3.75M x 4
Smith $2.5M x 1
Yamamoto $2M x 2
Khaira $1.2M x 1
Koekkoek $1M x 1
Benson $800k x 2

Players in:
Ryan Graves for Samorukov and 2022 2nd (Graves has 2 years left at $3.167M)
Linus Ullmark $5M x 5
Blake Coleman $3.5M x 4
Kyle Palmieri $3.5M x 3
Derek Ryan $1.5M x 2

That leaves about $2.5M in cap and the following 23-man roster:


Russell (Lagesson)


Lots of versatility up front. Coleman could move up. Palmieri could move to RW. Nuge could play C.

Now, tell me what you don’t like.


With Russell and Lagesson signing KK is redundant. Especially if Lenstrom is re-signed.

I do worry about the cliff hitting Palmeri sooner than later. The time to acquire him was when he was traded from ANA, but maybe he returns a few solid years. Price and term are reasonable, though.

Finally, I wonder if Ryan isn’t being asked to do too much. Though Coleman is probably a good upgrade in winger from playing as 4C in CGY.

Last edited 11 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

I know Koekkoek had awful season numbers, but he looked pretty good vs Winnipeg by eye and by number. I think he’s an upgrade over Russell and Lagesson.

Palmieri, yeah the cliff is a concern, but this was his only off year, and he’s been good in the playoffs. He’s 30 so I think a good bounce-back candidate.

3C could be too much for Ryan, but the cap hit is low, and Khaira/McLeod would be stacked behind him.

Scungilli Slushy

My thinking is along the same lines as yours.

My issue is size. All the right type of players. But after watching these playoffs, on wing only Zach and JP have size. Coleman is stout, and is physical, but not a big guy. The others are small.

I like the upgrade at 2LD, although I’m only familiar with Graves blowing Oilers up.

Koekkoek is ok, but again he’s tall but very light for that height, and Bouchard isn’t a physical player at this point. I’d want a bigger D to take care of the crease and crush the cycle.

I didn’t like kulikov, but he may actually be good there playing down a pair, and with more familiarity with the team.

Im not sure who else is out there that’s better.

Russell and Lags as spares is acceptable. Russell plays his deal out. Lags needs to up his skating and agro level.

I would also look to Glendenning over Ryan as he is more physical. Or better, if he can still skate, get Bozak. I would actually like two bcs faceoffs and injury concerns, not sure what winger to scrub.


Re: size up front. I know TBay has a huge D, but almost all of their forwards (especially the top 6) are small. I think Coleman, Goodrow and Maroon are their only 200 pound guys. I don’t think it’s as important up front as on the back end.

I’d have no issue swapping Koekkoek for another option, though I don’t feel like his size is a problem. Would have to be pretty cheap too. Kulikov would be solid but I’d expect he gets a little more cash and/or term elsewhere.

Bozak could be good, not sure how much he has left. Glendenning isn’t a very good hockey player. But if someone better than Ryan were available, great.


Definitely some room for Holland to play with.

That being said, I’d stay away from both Palmieri and Ryan. Is Derek Ryan a good 3C any more? He’ll be 35 next season.

If we’re UFA shopping, I want Hall and Danault.


If we’re UFA shopping, I want Hall and Danault.

Both would be great. I’m not sure they’re good value for how much they’ll cost (or if they want to come out West). They might be your only 2 forward adds too, if you’re going that route.


Are the Evolving Wild numbers out yet?

I like the Graves trade. The Avs can’t protect him, so he’ll be available. Joe needs cap space. We’re desperate for 2LD with Klefbom likely on LTIR.

I’ve always liked really liked Palmieri.Heck of a player.

I am not sure I’d sign both Palmieri and Coleman. They’re both ‘brand name’ guys with the potential to be expensive and fall off the cliff.

If you could get one of the two for a reasonable contract though. I’d go with Palmieri of the two.

I’d call in a favor with Yzerman for Koskinen. Detroit has unlimited cap space next season. We’ve already put down the deposit for this trade as well 🙂 They need a second goalie.

I myself wouldn’t go four years on Larsson. I could see him as a guy who’s either going to be injured or an expensive bottom pairing dman pretty quick for those four years. I wouldn’t sign Larsson given what his expectations are likely to be for his next contract.

I wouldn’t sign Koekoek either.

I’d really be looking to see what could shake loose in terms of players teams can’t protect in the expansion draft as well as exploring what’s available in the RFA market (to trade for).

Like last time, there’s going to be some really good defensemen who can’t be protected that shake loose.

Colorado could be in a world of hurt if Erik Johnson doesn’t waive his NMC for the expansion draft.


Shout out to HH for mentioning the Chandler Stephenson trade.

Wow. Vegas traded a 5th rounder for him.

Good teams find these trades for younger players for later round picks.

They had also traded a second for Kolesar, who’s not likely to be nearly as good, but still a big fast player with a bit of skill who’s on a cheap contract.

It’s too bad the Oilers are usually on the other wrong end of these types of trades.

Further to my point, until the Oilers are trading later picks for emerging talent (AA notwithstanding), they’re not even sitting at the table.

Last edited 11 days ago by Ryan

Further to my point, until the Oilers are trading later picks for emerging talent (AA notwithstanding), they’re not even sitting at the table.

Why AA notwithstanding? 🙂
(no need to re-hash that)

Good teams find these trades for younger players for later round picks.

It’s too bad the Oilers are usually on the other wrong end of these types of trades.

Aside from Joel Persson I don’t think Holland has traded a human (non draft pick) under the age of 30 out of the organization.

I agree he needs to start bringing them in, but that kind of bleeding out *seems* to have already been stopped by his hire.


Are the Evolving Wild numbers out yet?

If they are hopefully someone will post them.

I like the Graves trade.

Was curious what you’d think, and unsure about the valuation. Glad you like it.

I am not sure I’d sign both Palmieri and Coleman. They’re both ‘brand name’ guys with the potential to be expensive and fall off the cliff.

Risk for sure. If they want too much money or term than hopefully Holland looks elsewhere, there are other UFAs available. Also RFAs like you mention.

I’d call in a favor with Yzerman for Koskinen. 

I actually traded him to Detroit. If Yzerman is willing with less retention, well great.

I myself wouldn’t go four years on Larsson. 

Yeah. Sometimes you look something right in the face, know it might not be a great idea, then do it anyway. In any case, it sounds like Holland will sign him, so it’s probably a moot point.

Like last time, there’s going to be some really good defensemen who can’t be protected that shake loose.

That’s definitely the soft spot. Hopefully Holland is kicking tires.


I would prefer Saad over Palmeiri. Higher cap though


Yeah Saad is a nice player, but I worry about his offense and how he’ll age (maybe not fair).


I like Jesse with McDavid, Jesse is the best back checker on the team, which equates to quick transition the other way, which McDavid feasts on. Keep them together and let the wrinkles iron themselves out.

Bringing in a Hall and another gun on the right side for the 2nd line. Slap a Strome on the 3rd with Yams.


Run it back while sticking pins into pictures of ChiaPete!


A lot of time will be saved when we just identify who the Rangers are sending the Oilers way for Kassian.


So I am sure I am in the minority here but reading yesterday got me thinking harder then I usually do about all things Oilers.

First I think it is important to say that I was fine with the trade deadline this year. We all knew we needed LW but I was glad they did not spend the required assets to get an upgrade. I liked the idea of the AA trade and have no quarrels with it (would have preferred a different target but the trade was the right thinking) the trade also happened as it turns out with less than 5% of the information needed to build the 2020-2021 team but damn sure hurt that team- that does not make it wrong but rather unlucky.

Yesterday many were talking about it is a sin to resign an rfa that seemingly has good pk results and rough 5×5 but a history of getting points from the bottom of the roster. And does not change plan 1 iota on if the team can be improved- nygard was there last year and they brought in Shore same couod be done this year.
They way I see it is, as said by our host (i apologize if I am getting this incorrect) Shore, khara, archabald were 40% goal share in 80 minutes but are all good on the pk. Well O looked at the link LT shared and yes 40% share but lets be honest here it was 3 against and 2 for. Thats a -1 in likely 10+ full games whereas the pk was quite goid during that stretch. This player is not Kyle turris! He is useful.

My next point is yes you need to have all lines able to score and be a threat. But with that said its hard to expect much from your lower lines when they are rearly put in position to succed. Last year they’re were 2 – 4th lines and they got little ice maybe things would have been better come playoff time if they were used more with higher expectations than “dont get scored on” to move forward I think there needs to be 3 lines and a 4th that is useful in however the coach needs/wants them and not bleed like turris.

Assuming 10-12 minutes of special teams a game(just a guess) i would go into games with the plan that LD and Conner play at most 15 minutes, might still be too high, at 5×5 (switch wingers as needed) Then line 3rd line is 10-12 minutes and the 4th the rest. If we need 3 lines to complete in playoffs that has to be the expectation all year.

As for right wing
Kassian was bad last year, really bad and also had. A very discombobulated year with injuries. I want him to cost less and be better but am fine with wherever he is in lineup as long as the Left winger is good if on a low line or very good if up the lineup.

Yamo would be a great 3rd line winger is a good 2nd line

puju would be much more valuable on a line he drives himself or at least as an equal transporter vs 90% mcdavid. I think he is a great complement to mcD but a major skill is wasted

I hope that holland has a hard set price and term for everyone of interest, no bidding. If the Free agents do not come have the mindset of “I do not care about what fans or media says” and sit back and help out a team like tampa, LV, islanders, etc that are in bad cap shape to get good players with shorter term back to round things out. We need 2 left wings and a 3C but only 1 can be on a longer term


Great discussion here and the consensus seems to be that you need to have big defence and gritty forwards to win in the playoffs. I 100% agree but my mind goes in a different direction.

Is it not annoying to anyone else that Sam Girard goes from dark horse Norris candidate to liability? Matt Gryzlck goes from top pairing staple to series-coster. Tomas Tatar goes from top line winger to healthy scratch.

Shouldn’t a good player in November be a good player in June?

Stef Curry can still play in June.

Patrick Maholmes can still play in January.

Clayton Kershaw can still pitch in…ok that’s a bad example.

I suppose it’s just pissing in the wind but I find it hilarious that we all are just ok with the fact that we pay millions of dollars for players who can’t play for the most important 20% of the season. And it gets less hilarious when you start to think that #97 appears to be one of those whose impact is drastically reduced.


Not sure anyone is ok with it. We accept it, because what else can we do?


Nemeth is a tank. 6’3 230 lbs. He might have singlehandedly cost the Avs the series.

Vegas played an old-school Darryl Sutter cycle game against the Avs.

I also don’t think Girard was very good, but he wasn’t that bad either. He just wasn’t a good matchup for the Knights.

The Knights style of hockey is hard to counter when you trap in the neutral zone, dump and chase and cycle especially if you have big fast forwards that can retrieve pucks.

The Knights formula

  1. Have a better goalie than the other time
  2. Clog up the neutral zone with the trap
  3. dump, chase, win puck battles and cycle
  4. block shots like crazy
  5. mix in a rush skill line ‘the misfits’
  6. Have a #1 d in Pietrangelo
  7. Shut down a top-heavy number 1 line
Harpers Hair

Yep…Nemeth was the biggest issue …directly culpable for a couple of goals in the series.

What some observers are missing is that 6’4” 225 1st paring RD Erik Johnson missed all but 4 games of the season.

But to me, the most remarkable thing about Vegas is how they are so successful without “elite” centres.

When Chandler (who?) Stephenson is your defacto #1C the question arises how they are so dominant.

Think you’ll find this of interest.



if You are betting on Erik Johnson to be available when you need him you are gonna lose big.
Ending up between Stone who plays defense better than most centers and Patches is a pretty sweet landing spot


My view of winning hockey is pretty archaic compared to many on this board. I like to read the numbers because it gives me an understanding of what happened when I can’t watch. It surrounds the player’s upside & downside in some ways.

But for me hockey has always been about one on one battles when it is serious hockey. Not the hockey you see in January between a top 4 team and one out of the playoffs but between evenly matched skill. Ryan refers to it as Darryl Sutter hockey and I think that is right although I don’t like him as a HC because he makes his teams play that way all season so they are gassed come playoffs – but I ramble.

When I watch dmen in their own end I watch who comes out of the corners with the puck, along the boards which winger gets the puck out over the line when they have the chance. Who ties up the guys stick in the slot. Things like that. I love watching the beautiful plays, of course, because the skill makes watching the game fun & exciting. But the trenches are, for me, where games are won and lost once the skill becomes neutralized and the cap is the ultimate levelling tool.

I understand the Hall love in some ways but in others I do not. I mentioned once before that in all the Boston/NYI games thatI watched I didn’t see Hall win one single puck battle. Not one. I saw him fly down the wing and create clean entries. I saw him back check in his semi-competent way – he tried – and I saw him score a pretty goal or two. All of which are valuable. But I never once saw him come off the boards with the puck when it was contested.

To me that is a problem when people are discussing $6 million per season.



I am not okay with:

3.NHL Playoff Hockey Reffing


Yes, I’ve been on this train for a few weeks now.

Although its clear that (a) with Jesse, Kailer, Kass, Archie all returning this coming season and (b) with Nuge’s future up in the air and no other legit top 6LW signed and on the roster, LW is the clear primary need.

At the same time, Jesse is the only clear legit top 6 RW right now. I 100% believe that Kailer has the potential to be a legit top 6 RW, shit, he was for 27 games in 2020, he isn’t locked in as such. Further, I believe that, right now, today, Yamamoto is a legit elite 3RW – a tenacious forecheker, great motor, quick with great edges, responsible, etc. with skill – looks to be a legit PK guy.

If there was the ability to knock Kailer down to 3RW (with top 6 RW injury cover), that would be championship level depth on the right side. Once upon a time, Zack Kassian was playing like a legit top 6RW – he wasn’t just riding McDavid’s coattails for the first few months of 2019/20 but he was contributing to the line and making plays. We haven’t seen that player for a long long time – a year and a half.

If there is an opportunity to acquire a legit top 6 RW that makes sense, notwithstanding that top 6 LW is the more pressing need, Holland should make the transaction.

I am against trading the 1st round pick for a top 6 winger that is a soon to be UFA, like Rakell. On the other hand, I am not adverse to trading that pick for a younger top 6 winger with team contract.

The name the keeps coming to mind is Sam Reinhart who is an RFA. If a reasonable contract is agreed to ($5M or so for 4-5 years), I would be amenable to the 1st rounder plus a legit prospect (Samorukov maybe) in a Reinhart trade.

It would be great to somehow move Kass in that deal, or at least 75% of Kass’ cap hit.


This is a great idea.

Get some guys who can push others down in the lineup. Expectation has to be that the third and fourth lines win their minutes.


Taylor Hall is exactly what this organization needs.

He is looking to win, more than cashing in.

It is not popular in here -but I would go **hard** after him here.

Not many times you get a crack at a former league MVP.

Acquisition cost – 0


Yes. Hall is a better fit than Coleman and Tatar because:

A) He is the best of the three.
B) Highest margin of safety – if he regresses, still a great player.
C) He has played in Edmonton before.
D) Proven chemistry with Nuge if the latter swings to C.
E) As young players emerge, he can drive a third line to EV GF>50%.
F) He will take less; that will not be true of Coleman. Tatar maybe, but he’s been scratched.

The org absolutely must change its mentality on the bottom six. If you want to win a cup, you need 4 lines at >50% at evens. You need great players all over the lineup.

Hall, Nuge, Benson/Kahun/Holloway at LW is money.


Your B) is not just an excellent point – it is an excellent way to phrase it as well.
( Ben Graham thumbs up)

On this regression front – this point is crucial – he ( Hall) does not have to be the same player as we was at 25.

We are looking for a surrounding cast to 2 of the best Centres in the game.


Does a 2nd line of Hall, RNH & JP/Yamo move the needle?


IMO, most probably.

Clearly not all agree on this though.


I consider Draisaitl our 2C.

McDavid will always draw the oppositions best Dmen.

Hall – Drai – Pujur/Yammo will destroy most ( not all) teams 2nd paring D.


The org absolutely must change its mentality on the bottom six. If you want to win a cup, you need 4 lines at >50% at evens. You need great players all over the lineup.

Not possible. Your tongue lashing is sure to show up within the hour.

2 weeks ago I was condescendingly told to “get over myself” for suggesting that the bottom six need to do more than just saw off and expressly told “that no coach plans for the bottom six to outscore.”

John Chambers

He’s not the player he was but if the Oilers get Hall for $6M or less for four years or less it would be a huge win.

buck yoakam

I agree…if you are willing to spend that kind of money on tatar or hyman…ya talk to taylor…ther hopefully is middle ground somewhere… the moron who shipped him out and the OBC are history…new horizons!


I would hope that Holland wouldn’t spend that money on Tatar or Hyman.

Given recent production, $6MM is high for Hall as well.

I could be convinced to take a flyer on Hall at $6MM but one year for sure.

Jethro Tull

Like to see how we’re back to ill advised trade proposals. Dross for either dross or players the other team wouldn’t trade, with spurious pseudo-reasons as why they would take a $4.5M goalie who can’t make a save.

And you may ask yourself, “How do I work this?”
And you may ask yourself, “Where is that large scoring winger?”
And you may tell yourself, “This is not my elite Goalie”
And you may tell yourself, “This is not my time to go all in”

Same as it ever was. We expected something different and it ended up the same.

Wonder Llama

That’s not a Jethro Tull song.

Jethro Tull

It’s a little known cover. From before they were famous.

Randle McMurphy

Taylor Hall: “I’m not looking to absolutely maximize my value at this point. It’s about being a good fit rather than money or a long-term thing,” Hall said. “I just want to find a good home for the next few years.”

OP?……… can you green light a Hall aquisition based on “rather than money or a long term thing”

Im not as high on Hall as many here, but at $6m x 3 Yrs, Ill personally drive to Boston with a U-Haul to pick him up.

Jethro Tull

I’ll come. I’ll be Steve Martin when he was still funny and you can be John Candy.

buck yoakam

love it guys!…

Randle McMurphy

Done and Done!

“I Like Me. My Wife Likes Me. My Customers Like Me. ‘Cause I’m The Real Article. What You See Is What You Get.”

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

“Where’s your other hand?”

”Between 2 pillows.”

”Those aren’t pillows!!!”

Love it!!!


Yes. Bring him back. Why not him and Nuge back on identical contracts?


I’ve always been amenable to Taylor Hall on the Oilers but have always felt that his next contract would be an issue.

As I posted a few minutes ago, would be great to have Hall for 1-2 years at apx $5M per.

$6M X 3 doesn’t seem in line with his recent play and, if you took his name out of it, I don’t think he’d warrant that type of contract based on his production.


How to fix RW?

Kassian for Zucker

To free up the money and a roster spot for a better RW in trade or in the UFA market.

John Chambers

This is the best idea you’ve had in years.

It won’t happen, even if you post it every day.


The Oilers take on an additional $2.2M per year with this trade so this doesn’t free up money to obtain a better RW.


Sierra with a capital allocation FAIL in a hard cap system.


And Godot once again being a full fledged asshole when anyone remotely questions one of his comments.

Your exact fucking words “To free up the money”. 3.2 less 5.5 is not freeing up any money, which and for your reminder, is what you said.

Last edited 11 days ago by Sierra

Kassian/Zucker means you don’t add a(nother) LW (as everyone is expecting) but can put that cash towards a RW instead.


Great trade idea.

Personally, I’m sick of running into training camp wondering how Kassian will play. Even when he’s playing well offensively he is completely unpredictable defensively.

buck yoakam

hey LT…should have been Hey 19…one of the bands that could get there tunes played on the radio without sacrificing integrity…or maybe thats just me…


Ah, the cuervo gold…


The Nightfly, Donald Fagen’s first solo record, is really pretty great as well.

buck yoakam

another one of my absolute fav’s….walk between the raindrops…I.G.Y. (what a beautiful world)


My Steely Dan jam is The Royal Scam. Really like “Don’t Take Me Alive”.

Very close second is Can’t Buy a Thrill. “Do It Again” and “Turn That Heartbeat Over Again” are my favorites from their debut.

Very, very close third is Countdown to Ecstasy. “Bodhisattva” is outstanding. “King of the World” is pretty good too.

Last edited 11 days ago by Tarkus
Wonder Llama

“The Caves of Altamira” is a great song on The Royal Scam. I was recently reorganizing my Steely Dan playlist and came across an in treating tidbit: Apparently some poor young recording engineer permanently ruined a track called “The Second Arrangement” during the sessions for Gaucho IIRC. It was such a crushing development that it never got properly recorded despite either Fagan or Becker (don’t remember) stating it was the best song he’d ever written. All that survives are low-quality demos BUT you can hear an “interpretation” of it by someone named Anthony Robustelli. Very nice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYeP3Sh7qa8


Home at Last from Aja. Epic!

Bag of Pucks

Steely Dan is in that group of artists (Dire Straits, Supertramp, Billy Joel are others) that is derided by the hip hop generation as ‘Dad Rock.’

Steely Dan incorporates world class jazz musicianship, witty literary lyricism, and impeccable audiophile worthy recording.

If these qualities are considered ‘too cool for school’ these days, I’m not overly invested in conforming to the current cultural aesthetic.

Last edited 11 days ago by Bag of Pucks
Harpers Hair

Steely Dan is a long time favorite of mine.

What is not generally acknowledged is that Becker and Fagen relied to a large degree on members of Toto for their sound.


Steve Lukather, David Paich and the Porcaro brothers are criminally under rated musicians.


This is tantamount to attributing the 1977 Habs’ season results to the 1981 Canucks’ roster.

Steely Dan predates Toto, which is best regarded as a bunch of session musicians who formed a group famous for their easy listening appropriating staple Africa, a codicil to a footnote in the abridged, Reader’s Digest version of a history of popular music. If one listens more carefully to Steely Dan, there is not a lot of Toto’s famous bubblegum ringing through.


I’d say without the Toto boys, Boz Scagg’s Silk Degrees wouldn’t have happened. “What can I say” about the dirty “lowdown” when “we’re all alone”, “Lido”?

Harpers Hair

Toto members were collaborating with Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs among many others long before forming Toto,

“Boz’s breakthrough and best-selling album, Silk Degrees, was also a breakthrough for David Paich. Boz asked Paich to collaborate on the record and he ended up co-writing with Boz five of the ten songs on this album, including the perennial hits “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.”

Listen to “Lido” today and you can tell that it’s basically a Toto record with Boz singing on top of it. In fact, the whole rhythm section on Silk Degrees — Paich on keyboards, Jeff Porcaro on drums and David Hungate on bass — is Toto.

As for them being a bubblegum band….you have no idea what you’re talking about.


A valiant and spirited defense of noted top 40 act Toto. I look forward to your vociferous advocacy of The Archies and The Monkees, an appropriate soundtrack to the rest of your commentary!


Steely Dan are meh but Toto are good


I can’t agree with the first part of your post, that the hip hop generation derides groups like Steely Dan.

My introduction to Aja was from a de la Soul song (Eye Know) that sampled Peg. I had to know what was that killer sample they used, and fell in love with the album, and thus the group.

Some five years before (perhaps more) I was listening to Glass Houses on vinyl, which remains a favourite to this day.

The rest I agree with, especially the fidelity of their records. Exceptional.

Randle McMurphy


Last edited 11 days ago by Randle McMurphy

Excellent point, Randle.

Randle McMurphy

Not to be anal but…It’s a period. Not a point.

“Excellent period Randle”


If you typed that while travelling, I’d say you had a “good road period”.


You make an excellent period here, Randle.


On a mathcentric blog, a period also doubles as a point.

Side was equally correct, so I’d say his initial point stands.


I know it takes a lot of luck to win the cup, but if you look at the last 4 teams only Andy Greene is the only regularly used defensemen that is both under 6 foot and 200 lbs and he is used in a depth role and is hardly soft.
The last 4 teams blue lines are run mostly by 6’1-3 220-230 lb monsters


Seems like holland was criticized for picking big D at the draft but seems like he got the memo on playoff hockey


He was criticized because his team stood no chance of winning the Cup.

Once again, flushed a draft pick down the drain.


Was Holland really criticized for a picking big D at the draft because they were big? I don’t recall this.

Last edited 11 days ago by Sierra
Elgin R

Girard (5-10 / 170) got absolutely punked last night by the heavy-aggressive forecheck. The VGK keyed on him all night to the tune of -4. With Barrie gone, and hopefully Klefbom back, our smallest dman will be Bear (5-11 / 200). Need the big bodies to get it done in the playoffs.


I see the same thing. These small, light defensemen that the analytics crowd love, really seem to struggle in the postseason.
The thing I really noticed about Girard is how short he is. And how short his stick is. He has no reach. He will always be a good puck handler, but I think he will struggle to defend.
Matt Gryzlick is another guy who seemed to struggle in the games I watched.

Elgin R

Gryzlick with two brutal giveaways basically cost the game. The one at the blueline was certainly due to size and a short stick, but the one in front of the net was just a brain fart and great forechecking.


Losing Carlo sealed the deal


Yeah I felt bad for him. I like the player but he got owned


I miss Don Jackson


When Broberg and Samorukov arrive, the D-corps will be huge.

Randle McMurphy

Traditionally, you would draft smaller dmen for their offense.

A smaller dman who is shy on offense is sometimes a liability in the playoffs.

Ethan Bear produced at a ppg pace in the WHL; And, at 0.5 ppg in the AHL.

As things stand, he is a solid upgrade over Matt Benning at 3RD and has a nice AVV; and he’s just entering his 24 yr old season.

He will need to produce more offense, and hopefully avoid further concussions in order to to move into the top 4 IMO.


No question. Size seems to be a factor here…..


So you’re saying (insinuating) that the Oilers are in trouble with their D roster of Bear, Jones, Russell, Koekkoek and Bouchard?


Signing Bobby Ryan as a grey beard who can still score would shore up the bottom six right wing. Or trade Kassian to the Flyers for young Nolan Patrick. Both had off seasons last year, I am unsure if Vigneault would want Kassian again.

Elgin R

I think Kassian to Pittsburgh (where they will want some truculence) is the play. Penguins are in cap trouble – can the Oilers somehow get Kapanen for Kassian? Say by taking a bad contract from Pittsburgh to go along with Kapanen? Or better yet, Kassian for Jason Zucker straight up.


Can’t help but think Rangers might be in on the bidding….


I don’t see any team trading for Kassian without (a) dumping a bad contract to the Oilers or (b) the Oilers retaining $750K (or more).


RW playoff depth is having Alex Tuch on your 3rd line.

That was a fantastic game last night and the difference between those teams and the Oilers and Jets of the league is real and spectacular.

Elgin R

Yes, that was really fun to watch. The VGK just came at the Avs in waves with no let up. My thoughts exactly as yours wrt the Oilers – the team is a long way from those teams.

Randle McMurphy

Moar Bigger.

Footspeed Schmootspeed


Well put.


I think Yamomoto would qualify. 3RW who kills penalties & checks like a demon. He can play 2RW but, imo, he would be a high end 3RW on a winning team.


But as you’re fond of reminding us, you can’t have high end everything when you’re paying 2 players $21M.


True. Not without unprecedented drafting. I see a lot of people here predicting Yamomoto getting over $2 M on his next contract. I have him signing for two years close to what Puljujarvi just signed. I think the flat cap is going to return RFA signings for guys like him to what they used to be before Lowe & Burke had their barn fight. 😉


I don’t see the AAV for Kailer over $2MM but I do see it in the range. Maybe 2 X $1.75M ($1.5M and $2M so he is due the higher QO).


I hope you’re right, that would be great. Recall we were hoping Bear would sign for $1M-$1.25M before the season. Yamamoto did have a tough year though.


Where does Alex Tuch play on the Oilers?


I’d think 1 or 2RW depending on chem with 97 or 29


A team that is $20MM over the cap will be able to create that type of roster…..



That doesn’t sound like a guy who is a shoe-in to resign in Boston.

That actually sounds like a guy who will strongly consider Edmonton.


Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah, last year just before he signed for the highest possible AAV with a bottom-feeder.

I’ll believe the rhetoric when I see it, otherwise it’s just empty words.


Maybe Buffalo pulled a Chiarelli and started negotiations at the highest number they were willing to go with.


Hall sees the writing on the wall. He has 3-4 years left of contributing at a high level to a winning team.

I don’t doubt the sincerity of his words.


Hall’s best known for his influeboff the ice, i.e., in the draft lottery room.

He can probably keep this going well into his forties while on yearly “pick me” contracts.




Hall has not won at this level. He would really need to take a major discount or I would not consider him at all. Corry Perry even at his age brings more during the playoffs.


Would love to have Hall at a reasonable number. If he wants to win, Boston doesn’t appear to be the best place. I’m actually shocked that guys like Bergeron and Krejci haven’t fallen off the cliff yet


it’s Conor Garland!!!!! the Coyotes have no first round pick!!!!!!!


Can’t have too many smallish players. Hockey is still a big man’s game during the playoffs.

Elgin R

Agreed – no more Hobbits!


We sure need JP and KY to add to their totals. Both reaching 20 and more would be great to see. I just not sure if both can do it. I have concerns with KY.


I know you are just trolling here, but this sentiment seems to be widespread amongst both players and fans.

At some point we may have to realize that the attitude of Stanley Cup or bust is not reasonable with 32 teams, especially when randomness, goaltending (which is another species of randomness), and overtimes plays such a big role in who ultimately wins.

buck yoakam

I always felt for marcel dionne…such a talent and not a sniff of the cup in an amazing career…this before a lot of expansion and number of teams


He was my favourite player growing up. Sad to see him not winning


Gilbert Perrault as well


I think these playoffs are proving just how random a 7 game series outcome can be.
I’m starting to think the regular season is a better indicator of who the best teams are. Much larger sample size.
It takes a good team, AND some good fortune, to win a cup. Loading up for a 1 or 2 year run at a cup seems like a poorer bet than trying to sustain a quality team for a decade. The more chances you give yourself the better your odds at winning a cup.

Randle McMurphy

One would be amazing.

I have a bad feeling about the imbalance in the roster. It started to look kind of balanced recently…but I think that was a bit of an illusion based on comparison to previous rosters that were just terrible.

This summer ( and perhaps next summer ) will tell the tale as to if it is 0, 1, or more cups.

Taylor Hall at a hometown discount would be a huge get.

(even take another old goalie…. Anderson or Rask or Gibson)

Last edited 11 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Im betting Burke sells the farm to get Gibson in Pittsburgh.

I think he’s the originator of the phrase, “the game should be called Goalie”

Last edited 11 days ago by Randle McMurphy

Taylor Hall at a hometown discount would be a huge get.

I’m not sure it would be a “hometown” discount as he’s neither from Edmonton nor has he been playing in Edmonton…..

Further, give his play last season and this season, through the playoffs, market value is probably, what, $5M? Take his name value away and what has his actual on-ice play warranted?

I would sign him for 1 year at $5M – maybe two years.

Elgin R

Also, add in teams that circumvent the spirit of a salary cap system. Tampa – $98,840,470 (as per Cap Friendly)


Yes this is total bullshit in a garbage league


True but Holland has gotten criticized for picking bigger defensemen over small skilled players
The final will be between Vegas and Tampa with the only defenseman listed under 200lbs for either team is Theodore and he is just under that
It’s almost as if it was predictable that Avs D was going to have issues

Harpers Hair

Worth noting that Erik Johnson played only 4 games for Colorado this season due to injury.

He is 6’4” 225.


If you are betting on him to be healthy you are gonna lose


He needs to be protected in the Kraken draft though..


Small good players will always win against bad large players and always lose to good large players. There is a reason why boxing has weight classes & women don’t play in the NHL. Size matters, just as skill does.



And yet. For a third playoffs, Kadri’s undisciplined play costs his team.

Colorado and Vegas was basically a coin flip. In that context, Kadri’s absence was a big, big deal. We’ve seen how effective he is at neutralizing McDavid.

The playoffs is showing that a high quality, two way defensive C is vital (Danault, Kadri).

Same as it ever was.

Elgin R

Kadri – in for the regular season / out for the playoffs.

Kucherov – out for the regular season / in for the playoffs.

I wonder which team will do better?


Holland should “Kucherov” Klefbom next year.


But that would protecting him instead of Shore…? 😉


Or Neal.


Both! The precedent has been set!


I’d prefer Klefbom in the lineup all year…… or for half the year.

Randle McMurphy

Kadris’ got the Raffi Torres toggle switch in his brain; Cant shut it off.


+ refs flattening the divides.


Aww you ruined my surprise for HH.

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