Between the Buttons

by Lowetide
Raphael Lavoie photo by Mark Williams

Scouts are vital to an NHL team’s success for all kinds of reasons. In fact, I would suggest a wise NHL team would ask no more of their scouts than they do today—go find talent, rank that talent, hand over the list and fight for what you believe in. After the list has been delivered to the general manager, there are some reasonable check points that can be applied to the scouts’ list.


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!


NHL general managers would do well to compile all publicly published draft lists and compare them to the scouts list produced in-house. It’s a simple double check to make sure no one was missed and to see outliers good and bad. Other things GMs should do:

  • Value skill above all other things.
  • Let math do the work. If my list found Andrew Mangiapane, then maybe find a math list you like and run that one against the team list, too. Better yet, hire a guy. Call up the U of A, find the smartest math student over there and slide him some coin.
  • Don’t walkabout in the top 100. Draft from established leagues until at least the completion of the second round.
  • In an unusual draft like 2021 make better use of those late picks.
  • If there is a shy offensive player on the team list, why?


If this year’s draft confuses, and it does, it might be an idea to spend some time with some familiar rankings. Craig Button’s list is often aligned with the Oilers, so his final list could give you an idea about Edmonton’s final list. Here’s Craig through the years.


  • Oilers at No. 1 (Connor McDavid) ranked No. 1 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 117 (Caleb Jones) ranked No. 76 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 124 (Ethan Bear) ranked No. 56 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 154 (John Marino) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 208 (Miroslav Svoboda) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 209 (Ziyat Piagin) ranked No. 71 by Craig Button

It would be fun to see the Oilers list someday, and to check and see who would have been chosen with all of the traded picks. I know people say Joel Eriksson Ek and Brandon Carlo would have been the picks, but the proof would be in the final list. You know, it’s possible Evgeny Svechnikov would have been the pick at No. 16 overall. I know they liked him. He would be a player who might be worth pursuing, seems to me there’s a player there.


  • Oilers at No. 4 (Jesse Puljujarvi) ranked No. 3 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 32 (Tyler Benson) ranked No. 44 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 63 (Markus Niemelainen) ranked No. 58 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 84 (Matthew Cairns) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 91 (Filip Berglund) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 123 (Dylan Wells) ranked No. 88 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 149 (Graham McPhee) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 153 (Aapeli Rasanen) ranked No. 52 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 183 (Vincent Desharnais) not ranked

This draft once looked like an abandoned town in the old west, nothing but creak and tumbleweeds. Now, you can see Jesse Puljujarvi having a productive career, and Tyler Benson is NHL-ready (which is different than saying he’ll play 70 games this season as a rookie). Markus Niemelainen has put himself in the recall conversation too, meaning the 2016 draft had a fantastic year. Filip Berglund is also in photo.


  • Oilers at 22 (Kailer Yamamoto) ranked No. 16 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 78 (Stuart Skinner) ranked No. 80 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 84 (Dmitri Samorukov) ranked No. 53 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 115 (Ostap Safin) ranked No. 82 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 146 (Kirill Maksimov) ranked No. 90 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 177 (Skyler Brind’Amour) not ranked
  • Oilers at 208 (Phil Kemp) not ranked

I liked this draft plenty when it happened and remain impressed by the gumption shown by the scouting staff. Kailer Yamamoto was a great departure for the organization (small forward in first round) and the big defender Dmitri Samorukov is big, fast and rugged with an NHL future. Stuart Skinner didn’t show much until this year and now we’ll see (if the organization selects Sebastian Cossa in the first round Skinner still has a couple of years to make the NHL grade before getting run over by the big man). I still hold out hope for Safin and Maskimov, while Kemp is just getting started on his pro career.


  • Oilers at 10 (Evan Bouchard) ranked No. 8 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 40 (Ryan McLeod) ranked No. 29 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 52 (Olivier Rodrigue) ranked No. 43 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 164 (Mike Kesselring) not ranked
  • Oilers at 195 (Patrik Siikanen) not ranked

This draft is about to produce a quality puck mover, and Evan Bouchard is likely to be one of Edmonton’s most prolific draft picks in the offensive defenseman division. Ryan McLeod looks to be Edmonton’s next bottom-six center as early as this fall, the only question is will he play on the third or fourth line. Olivier Rodrigue is promising but it’s too soon to know.


  • Oilers at 8 (Phillip Broberg) ranked No. 7 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 38 (Raphael Lavoie) ranked No 17 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 85 (Ilya Konovalov) not ranked
  • Oilers at 100 (Matej Blumel) not ranked
  • Oilers at 162 (Tomas Mazura) not ranked
  • Oilers at 193 (Maxim Denezhkin) not ranked

Philip Broberg takes a lot of heat from Oilers fans but his career is tracking near Oscar Klefbom’s and that’s a positive. Rafael Lavoie could be a unicorn (first-shot scorer) and that alone would make this draft. Some real buzz about Russian goalie Ilya Konovalov, too.


  • Oilers at 14 (Dylan Holloway) ranked No. 14 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 100 (Carter Savoie) ranked No. 48 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 126 (Tyler Tullio) ranked No. 51 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 138 (Maxim Berezkin) ranked No. 95 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at 169 (Filip Engaras) not ranked
  • Oilers at 200 (Jeremias Lindewall) not ranked

This has to be viewed, even now, as an impressive draft based on where the Oilers chose. Long way to go, but Dylan Holloway has signed with the team and could play in the NHL if things break right.


This draft is all over the place, I have outliers well into the first round. One suspects Holland might be better off trading down if his three or four targets aren’t on the board.

Los Angeles Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti recently told Frozen Royalty “I think 32 teams will have draft lists that look very similar for the top ten, maybe top 15. But from twelve to 30, or 15 to 40? If everybody submitted their draft lists for public consumption after the draft is over, I bet people would be amazed at the differences in them.”

Trading down might be the play this season.


A busy and fun show today on the Lowdown, we begin at 10 this morning on TSN1260. Joey Alfieri from TSN 690 in Montreal helps us preview Game 1 of the GVK-Habs semifinal at 10:20, and Jason Gregor talks NHL playoffs, Jays and Euro at 11. Legendary CFL receiver Nik Lewis pops in at 11:25 to talk AO Sports and what it brings to football fans. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Harpers Hair

Pretty good chance that this series is a Vegas sweep.


Followed by Tampa sweeping Vegas. Just for the fun of it.
The season in which the sweepers became the sweepee

Harpers Hair

Don’t think so…Vegas is the goods.


You’re right but I would love to see it


The kiss of death


Vegas better take advantage of this season, given the Kings will be the Western Conference champs for the foreseeable future.

Harpers Hair

So sad that you need to misrepresent everything I say.

Were you not loved as a child?


we know you weren’t


Just when Joes master plan is about to dominate in comes fucking Rob Blake to spit all over his egg salad.


Rob Blake would do that too.

Harpers Hair

Okay…if you could replace the dead-weight on the Sportsnet between periods panels (Cassie and Kelly IMO) who would you choose?

Last edited 1 month ago by Harpers Hair



I find Cassie’s voice so annoying I give up Bieksa & Friedman so I don’t have to sit with the remote in my hand. Kelly is more just white noise for me.

Harpers Hair

Yes…can’t remember even one “insight” she has provided.

I guess I should have been more clear in my question…who would you replace those two with?

Bieksa and Friedman are great but the other two are pretty much a waste of oxygen.

Now that Ferraro is gone is there anyone who deserves a platform?

Ice Sage


Harpers Hair

Thing is…Coach Torts when placed in that role has always turned into a politically correct pussy who just trots out platitudes.

If you could convince him to be himself, I would agree with you.

Ice Sage

yeah, the real Torts would be great – have him reporting from the players hallway, maybe?


You’d think a HC from one of the teams out of the playoffs could have been persuaded to join the panel for a couple of weeks.

Not sure who else is out there. Then again I had no idea how good Bieksa would be at this. Makes me think Mike Smith will be good once he finally gets retired. His post game interviews this past season showed promise.

Harpers Hair

At the risk of bringing down the hammer of the masses…Ryan Kesler would also be a great add if Bieksa wasn’t already there.

His podcast is great and he comes totally unfiltered and his sense of humour is piercing.

Just need to find another intelligent “I don’t give a fuck” personality but honestly I’m drawing blanks about who that might be.

buck yoakam

only part of overdrive I always catch the half hour of the guys with ferraro


Anson Carter but he already has a job.

buck yoakam

hrudey needs to put his headband back on and see if he can’t get a gig singing for loverboy…I mute him constantly….his commentary always relates to him wonderful him I am sure you have heard of him!


Wholeheartedly agree. They’re dross at best. Both drone on and on about talking points but they never say anything of substance. Considering Canada is the homeland of hockey surely there are some original thinkers available who could comment on the game for national playoff broadcasts.

MacT always gave a good interview.

I miss Adam Oates’ commentary, would imagine he’s busy with his skills coaching.

What’s Bruce Boudreau up to these days?

Harpers Hair


MacT would be awesome in that role…always honest to a fault and very quotable.

Boudreau is likely still jonesing for a coaching job so likely would be somewhat restrained.

Need to find individuals who no longer have skin in the game itself so they can be completely forthcoming.



Keenan could also be an interesting personality.

Last edited 1 month ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

Dallas Eakins


I always enjoyed Barry Melrose, wikipedia says he’s still working for ESPN and NHL Network but I haven’t seen him in a long while.

Ice Sage

Well, it’s pretty obvious now that the North division was the weakest after all.

Material Elvis

Especially when the top teams aren’t representing the division.

Ice Sage

I don’t think any of the north teams would hold up well vs VGK

Material Elvis

Vegas is likely the Cup favourite but I honestly believe the Oilers and Laufs would have given them more competition. The Habs went on a heater at the right time but their overall body of work this year was mediocre. Like the Canucks last playoffs, the Canadiens are a mirage and will disappoint their fan base next year.


Yup. EDM has matched up well against VGK icing weaker teams than they did this year.


Well, it’s pretty obvious now that the North division was the weakest after all.


Check out the % TOI vs elites for Vegas and Colorado players compared to the Oilers. There were almost no elite players in the West aside from on Vegas and Colorado.

(The Coles notes version is:
Oilers players ranged from 21-41% of their TOI vs elites
Vegas players ranged from 10-20% of their TOI vs elites
Colorado players ranged from 12-22% of their TOI vs elites)





That’s why I was okay with Holland having a quiet deadline. No one from the North was getting past the semis. I don’t think it was the weakest division, but the top teams weren’t as good as the top teams from any other division.


That’s it exactly. Collectively as a division the West was as bad as the North but more top heavy.


Random question: how many goalies have won the cup with more than one team ? One ? Roy ?


Vernon(’89, ’97), Sawchuk(’52, ’54, ’55, ’67), Glenn Hall (’52, ’61)

Harpers Hair

Hot young lady in the crowd wearing an Expos cap.

Material Elvis

How about that wedding dress……

Scungilli Slushy

If Holland brings in anything but two way players that like rough hockey, can skate and pass well enough, and shoot the puck at an NHL level, it will be a rough summer for me.

The Oilers are seriously lacking jam, outside of a few. Holland did what he could I get it. He added skill and speed. But passive players that while playing ‘correctly’ are easy to play against, just don’t cut it in the NHL on a top team. It takes a lot more than that.

For me that is players like Chiasson. Great guy, good in the room. I can see he works really hard on his game, I see it in his skating, how he plays. He listens to the coaches, he dropped the gloves I think because he thinks he needed to. He’ll rough it up sometimes. He tries to be defensively sound. But he is a non factor for the majority of his 5v5 TOI to me.

He just isn’t fast and aggressive enough in his natural style of play. I’m not taking maniac out of control aggressive, but a pain in the ass to play against and on you 24/7. And rough.

The game is won and lost in battles, especially at blue lines, and the ability to make the right play out of that, puck management. Cycling is great, but you have to generate chances from it close enough in.

A lot of it is timing and reading and supporting the play and puck carrier. If they get players that do that, Connor and Leon will keep them very happy. And won’t be shut down because they have no one to feed, and a goon on their back stopping them doing it themselves as they do reg season.

For me because the Oilers lack a good cycle game that attacks the net more directly, they play too slow, thinking too much or looking too much. The good teams play high tempo, I think it’s because the players know exactly what they need to do to manage the puck, and the timing of line changes and forecheck is more consistent.

Having active and good sticks makes a massive difference in the flow of a game. It is so disruptive and frustrating to the opponent, and saves so much work and energy, especially in the D zone.

If they end up bringing in smaller skill guys again, they’ll fall flat in the post season again, unless a miracle happens at Mission Control and they actually call the rules in the playoffs. I wouldn’t make that bet.

Last edited 1 month ago by Scungilli Slushy
Harpers Hair

Alex Tuch would be a godsend.

Scungilli Slushy



Reading your post I recall the 2013 finals when CHI beat BOS for the Cup.

BOS was (is) a rugged team, who was not devoid of skill. But CHI just dismantled them with crisp headman passes at a dizzying tempo. If BOS wanted to muck it up, CHI had answers. But they played to their strengths, which was predominantly skill.

That’s what I want to see in good ol’ our town.

Harpers Hair

Listened to an incisive discussion today about the 2011 cup final between the Canucks and Bruins.

The Canucks were easily the best team in the league that season but ran up against Boston thuggery in the finals.

In the following season, the Canucks tried to adjust to that style of play and promptly fell on their asses.

The NHL is very much a copycat league so it would seem that teams will be attempting to adopt the Vegas/Tampa model which features both skill, size and relentless play from all four lines.

Not an easy thing to accomplish.


This is big boy hockey Oilers need to get rid of the softies especially on D


If we can’t re-sign Nuge just get me Palat and Saad and I will be ok

Scungilli Slushy

Or how about Killorn? Might be affordable asset wise and not too heavy a cap hit.


Killorn is a year and a half older though, and signed for an extra year (would be his 34 year old season).


Killorn is playing well putting up better numbers than Palate at a lower cap hit. Definitely prefer Killorn but Tampa likely wants to move Palate.


Better numbers right now (playoffs), but Palat had the better season and better playoff last year.

No idea what Tampa prefers, Killorn just looks more likely (age) to find the cliff over the next 2-3 years.


I’m all right with Carey winning Conn Smythe and SC


Make it so.

Ice Sage

Yeah, looking at Vegas’ strategy, I’d be happy if he makes it to game 4

Harpers Hair

Interesting move by the SJS.

They’ve signed Jonathan Dahlen to a 1 year $700K one way contract.

The 23 year old Dahlen who was drafted by Ottawa, traded to Vancouver and then to San Jose scored 71 points in 45 games with Timra last season and 77 points the year before.

Speculation is that they signed him to expose him in the expansion draft.

Seattle….come on down!


Why wouldn’t Seattle just sign him themselves?

Harpers Hair

San Jose still held his rights.


23 year old playing well in the Swedish 2nd division eh. Sounds a bit like he’s meandering. I think I’ve even heard that called an amateur league.


Sportsnet getting the Habs fans all fired up showing the 1984 classic against Quebec. Habs are going to surprise a lot of bookies and take this series to game 7.


That would be half of the perfect scenario for the NHL. The NYI winning the other side would make it complete!


1.Trade down for a 2nd & 3rd
2.Caleb Jones
3.not re-signed
4.$4.25MM x 4yrs
5.M. Smith & A. Georgiev
6.James Neal
7.Brandon Saad ($6.5MM x 5yrs)
8.Blake Coleman ($4MM x 4yrs)
9.(1) Koskinen traded
12.Gulutzen moves on. Jay Woodcroft in.

Gamma Cassiopeiae

(July 5, 2021)

Ken Holland: “Hi Dom, I’m glad I finally got a hold of you”.

Dominik Hasek: “Hi Holly, what’s up? I moved a few years ago and forgot to give my new number to my agent. He was in a panic over something.”

Holland: “Well you know I’ve got a new gig with the Edmonton Oilers these days. A GM job. I retired, but they unloaded a truck of cash and I had to listen.”

Hasek: “Good for you. So…”

Holland: “Well Dom, here’s the thing. We’ve got this young goaltender who is still coming into his prime. He’s a great puck-mover but like all young ‘tenders he seems to have fairly extreme ups and downs. I’m looking for a steady 1A or a 1B to share the net with him. You know I prefer to have an experienced ‘tender and I’m wondering if you’re under contract now. Your agent is clueless.”

Hasek: “Holly, I’m 56 years old now. Not a chance. I haven’t played in over a decade.”

Holland: “56 years young, I say. Plenty of goalies have played into a ripe old age with no signs of wear. Our Red Wings analytics team and pro scouts have taken a good look and gave me the thumbs up to connect with you. Jacques Plante played for the Oilers a few years back and he was fine. ”

Hasek: “I guess Plante isn’t available, being dead and all.   I heard something about the water over there in the Oilers’ offices. What have you been drinking?” … “Wait, Was that the Red Wings or the Edmonton Oiler pro scouts?:

Holland: “It was the ones who work for me, of course. Here in Detroit, err I mean, Edmonton.”

Hasek: “Here’s the thing, Holly… I’d need to drop 30 pounds and start exercising. I’m not sure how my knees would hold up, and I won’t even know until I’ve lost some weight. I gotta run. My grandkid’s coming by to show me his new car.“

Holland: “Playing hard to get, eh? Well, if you ever change your mind let me know. We have a great new arena with a …” (phone goes dead)

Wonder Llama

1) OILERS FIRST ROUND PICK: Traded to Australian Track & Field for Michelle Jenneke
2) KRAKEN TAKE: Devin Shore (what were we thinking leaving him unprotected?!)
3) RNH TERMS: $1.0 MM x 5 years; $5.0 MM bonus if he scores 50 points (will never happen – shrewd cap management)
4) LARSSON TERMS: 75 cents per blocked shot 
5) GOALIE TANDEM: Devan Dubnyk and Laurent Brossoit (in a car jam) as it should’ve been all along
6) OILERS BUY OUT: all the camping boxes in Alberta for use in team-building exercises
7) MOST EXPENSIVE RFA/UFA: Taylor Hall because he cost us in broken hearts
8) ACQUIRED TOP SIX FORWARD & TERMS: Zach Hyman, $10.0 MM x 10 years, full NMC, guaranteed spot on McDavid’s wing and PP1 slot, and prima nocta rights throughout the province of Alberta
9) NUMBER OF TRADES: 17, including James Neal for Cale Makar (RFA rights) 
10) ANALYTICS ADDITION: Yes –  Derek Zona and Ricki the Bear
12) OILERS STAFF REPLACEMENTS: Archie Henderson and Tyler Wright replaced by HH and OP who must travel with the team and share hotel rooms 

Harpers Hair

I would rather remove my own gall bladder with a cocktail fork.


I am not amenable to the compensation cut.


I don’t think there’s enough bandwidth out there for the last one to happen

Wonder Llama

I’m seeing HH as Oscar and OP as Felix.

Harpers Hair

I can see him sitting on his bed cross legged in the middle of the night chanting, Bouchard, Bouchard, Bouchard over and over and over.

I would have to throw shoes at him.


LT – I really liked the year by year comparison of Button’s list with Oiler picks; plus the ‘his list – my list’ at the end for the upcoming draft. Would love you to do this with other key analysts’ lists if you find the time.

Doug McLachlan

1) Trade to Detroit to unload Neal
2) Caleb Jones
3) 4x$6.25M (term traded for a little more $ and flexibility all around)
4) 4x$3.75M
5) Mrazek and Smith
6) Koskinen
7) RNH 4x$6.25M
8) Tatar 3x$5.50M
9) Only 1, Neal, first and prospect to Detroit for later pick and cap relief
10) No
11) LTIR
12) No changes


Oilers need more D**k Hockey/60.

Figure out a way to get Virtanen+Kadri+Danault, substitute anyone else that’s gone through the Hunter/Knights program.

Turn every game nasty. Send out PP1. Done and done.


Kassian >>>>>>> Virtanen.

What the hell is happening to me?


Hunter and the Knights, eh? Somebody pull Rob Schremp’s shine box out of storage.

Material Elvis

Virtanen? Have you read the news lately? Who’s next…Harvey Weinstein to run the social media department?


No, no. Weinstein to the analytics department. Then buy low on Virtanen and DeAngelo and lure Voynov back from Siberia. Am I missing anyone? Probably I am…


Ho Sang to head up prospect development, and Peckham to run the fitness and conditioning department.


Gallant being hired as the head coach of the New York Rangers (per Larry Brooks).


A real shame he didn’t land in CGY, VCR or SEA.

A crying’ shame, I tells ya.

In all honesty, I figured he’d be a top candidate in DET but I suppose he’s more interested in coaching a franchise with a chance at competing sooner than later. Can’t say I blame him.


Dave Tippet, to his credit, has so far found success in 2 rookies per season.

Start 2020 Bear
Mid 2020 Yamamoto

Start 2021 Puljujarvi*
Mid 2021 McLeod
Honarable mentions: Jones, Lagesson

So my optimistic outlook for 2022:

Start 2022 Bouchard
Mid 2022 Holloway
Honorable mentions: Samorukov, Benson

Now wouldn’t that be nice

I am curious if Holland and Tippet believe McLeod is a good enough 3C for this season


I think they would have tried harder at the deadline for a C if they were lower on McLeod


Ideally the fourth line is Shore-McLeod-Archibald so that our third line can have hope of scoring. Acquire a 3C to go with Benson and Yamamoto.

Material Elvis

You need to copy this message and spam the Oilers inbox on a daily basis.


I’d prefer if Shore was more of a press box kind of guy who can fill in for injury or slump than a regular.

Last edited 1 month ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

Shore might be that……

Harpers Hair

A question for y’all as I see most don’t think Nuge will be back. (I don’t either).

If McDavid gets injured, who plays #2C?

Surely that should be a consideration in any free agent acquisitions,


I’d be a bit surprised if he wasn’t coming back.
Still, in that case, Holland would hopefully use that 6 million to bring in someone capable of what Nuge has been doing.
A Ryan Strome or Sam Reinhart trade. Maybe an UFA like Alexander Wennberg to fill up that 3C spot.
With McLeod able to temporarily take over the 3C spot.

Harpers Hair

Strome is under contract with the Rangers for another season and I can’t see them trading him.

Reinhart is most assuredly available but what would you be willing to give up to get him and what would you pay him considering he’s RFA with arbitration rights?

Wennberg is certainly interesting but I expect Florida will try and re-sign him and has the advantage of zero state tax and prime location.


Yep, that’s why my first choice would probably be Nuge. Most here won’t agree with me on this but I would try to sign him to a 4.8m x 8 years. (assuming he’s currently aiming for 5.75×5)
The cap is going to stay flat for about 4 more years but once it moves, I expect it to jump by ~15 million(possibly more) in the first two years.
If it were me, I’d give JP, Yam, Bou, Bear, Bro, McL, Samo… long term contracts starting in 3 years. Right before we see this giant cap raise.

As you say, acquiring the players I mentioned might be difficult but it is possible. It is up to Kenny to find something that works.

Randle McMurphy

Gabriel Landeskog

Harpers Hair

Not a centre.


Alex Ovechkin


He was 2nd on the Avs in FOs this year.

He took almost twice as many draws this season as the guy you keep referring to as the Canucks 1C did over the past 2 years.

Harpers Hair

Yeah…MacKinnon is just a winger on the team.

Who takes draws indicates absolutely nothing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Harpers Hair

A question for y’all as I see most don’t think Nuge will be back. (I don’t either).

A very HHian take on the room, considering 10 posters had indicated Nuge will be back and 3 that he departs at the time of this post.

Material Elvis

If MacKinnon gets injured, who plays 2C for the Avalanche?


Draft Day trade: Kassian+1st for Buchnevich and Strome
Strome has just 1 year left. Picks have a higher value on draft day. Kassian might be overvalued in Rangerland

By end of season:

Kahun, McLeod

Russell, Lagesson

Ullmark 5*5
Smith 2m

Neal bought out. Koski half retained.

If Klefbom plays in regular season, there’s still 4 million remaining for 1 more player.
If Klefbom does a Kucherov, that’s 8 million remaining in cap space.

You could add a quality LW and/or LD


Would love to add DeBrusk as a legit contender to fill a top 6 LW hole.

With that said, the player is due a $4.8M qualifying offer after this coming season and he is coming off a 14 point season where he was healthy scratched and his commitment to a 2-way game questioned.

This acquisition would need to be treated as a one-year rental to UFA status (given the QO) of a reclamation project where the incumbent team is trying to dump the player and his cap hit – the acquisition cost should be nominal.


I am not bullish on DeBrusk even without the QO issue.

The few times I watch Boston play, he seems to be quite sheltered. This is supported by his Puck IQ numbers.

From a numbers perspective, it’s sort of redo of the Sam Gagner situation where the player can put up offense in softer situations, but you’re always going to pay more that it’s worth for it.


DeBrusk has failed to be a top 6 LW in Boston. Playing with Krejci too, a right shot playmaking centre. And the Bergeron line attracting all the best players of the opposition.

He has a sky high QO after next season.

That is a bad risk reward proposition.

I’m not trading a real asset for that. If the Bruins give him to me as a salary cap dump, sure.


So, what i said…….

Material Elvis

The only discernible difference is you want DeBrusk for top 6 LW and Godot does not think he can fill that role.


Fair – I did say “contender” to fill a top 6 LW spot – he’d have to earn it.


1) Who will the Oiers draft in first round (or trade)?
2) Who will Kraken take in expansion draft?
3) What are terms of RNH deal (not resigend is option)?
4) What are terms of Larsson deal (not resigned is option)?
5) What is the goalie tandem for game 1?
6) Which player(s) get bought out?
7) Who is the most expensive Free agent acquired (years/$)
8) Name one top-6 forward not on team that is acquired (years/$)
9) How many seperate roster trades involving existing players are completed (name one)
10) Does the team add an analytics-focused person to staff?
11) Klef status at start of season: IR, active, retired or traded?
12) who of Tipp, Playfair, Gulutzen, Wisemen get replaced? (bonus for who)

  1. Wallstedt / Cossa
  2. Zack Kassian
  3. RNH: $5.75M x 6
  4. Larsson: $3.75M x 4
  5. Ullmark / Smith
  6. Koskinen
  7. RNH
  8. Alex Killorn: $4.45M x 2
  9. Two (Kahun + Stalock for Killorn)
  10. Analytics? The only analytics I go by is GF%. Except when I don’t.
  11. LTIR
  12. Wiseman?

1) Svechkov will be taken in the first round
2) The Kraken will take Jones
3) RNH will not be re-signed
4) Larsson will get 4M x 4y
5) Smith/Mrazek will be the goalie tandem
6) Koskinen gets bought out, Neal not
7) Frans Nielson Stephan Weiss Jonathan Ericsson Justin Abdelkader Brandon Saad 6M x 4y will be the most expensive contract
8) Saad
9) Two (Jones out DeBrusk in, indirectly) seperate trades with existing roster players will occur
10) The team will add at least one “analytics” staff member
11) Klefbom will be on IR to start the season
12) None of the coaching staff will change


1) Trade
2) Jones
3) Oilers walk away
4) 3 yrs at 3.75m
5) Kuemper & Smith
6) None – Oilers LTIR Neal before the league steps in and changes the LTIR loopholes
7) Hyman
8) Rackell – same contract
9) 3
10) No
11) Starts season
12) None – they finish the season with the Oilers

Randle McMurphy

So I take it this board goes crazy if Holland signs Triple H in free agency?

Hyman Hall Hamilton


Totally depends on the contracts given. All three players are upgrades on this year’s Oilers roster, but at what cost? Zero depth again? No goaltending upgrades? No money to re-sign RNH (2021), Yamamoto (’21), Nurse (’22) and Puljujarvi (’22)?

Randle McMurphy

1) Cossa
2) Caleb Jones
3) $5.5m x 6yrs
4) $3.75m x 4yrs
5) Smith Koskinen
6) James Neal
7) Taylor Hall
8) Taylor Hall $6m x 4
9) None
10) None. But they steal/tap Woodguy’s phone
11) IR
12) None

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

13) and Oilers sign Jamie Olesiak

Randle McMurphy

~Hall and Larsson for the next 4 years at less than 10m combined; Just like Chia planned it~

Randle McMurphy

10) Does a subscription to The Athletic count?

Randle McMurphy

RNH contract structure ( 7m, 7m, 6m, 5m, 4.5m, 3.5m )

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Harpers Hair

New contracts will be backloaded to avoid the 20% escrow.
This also helps individual owners pay less in cash while revenues recover.


Mid-loaded has been the precedent on the term contracts.

Harpers Hair

Which ones?


Every deal with material term since Covid changed the financial landscape.

Gallahger, Pieterangelo, Lehner – off the top of my head.


By the way, you are welcome – now you have the knowledge and can stop making a fool of yourself being wrong on how contracts are being structured.

Harpers Hair

My goodness…you soul is just all shrivelled up isn’t it?


No problem. Anytime. Happy to help.


_1. Svechkov
_2. Jones
_3. $5.75m /year for 6 years
_4. $3.85m /year for 4 years
_5. Smith / Koskinen
_6. Neal
_7. Saad at $5.5m /year for 4 years
_8. Coleman at $4.0m /year for 6 years
_9. None of note
10. No
11. IR
12. None

Randle McMurphy

Looks like the Oilers were drafting completely off of Buttons list in 2020.

So….Cossa it is then.


If the Oilers indeed draft him, will he become Cossa Nostra?


1) Sebastian Cossa
2) Caleb Jones to Seattle
3) Nuge Not Resigned
4) Larsson for 4yr @ 4m
5) Smith & Koskinen for the opening night tandem
6) James Neal to be bought out
7) Gabriel Landeskog, 7yr @ 7.2m
8) Ondrej Palat 1yr @ 5.3m via trade
9) One, Palat for Leggesson & a conditional 2022 2nd based on Palat resigning, could become a 2022 1st
10) No they do not add to the analytics department
11) Active roster only to be put on LTIR once the season starts for cap purposes
12) None of the current staff will depart

Randle McMurphy

I lexx it!


So you’re saying they have an analytics department?


They have the two brothers and from Mr. Holland’s availabilities with the media he seems to be content with the current size. Nothing I’ve seen or heard leads me to believe they will add to the current group of two.


How many people does it take to print off Sportlogiq reports?

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

1 Cossa
2 Barrie (Signed but counts as our pick)
3 5 years @ $5.5M
4 4 years @ $3.9M
5 Smith/Mrazek
6 Neal
7 Saad 4 years @ $5M/yr
8 Saad
9 3 trades, one being Kassian and Jones to Pitt for Kasperi Kapanen
10 No
11 IR
12 None

Bonus – Oilers sign Nick Bjugstad


Kraken signing Barrie in their 3-day negotiating window is my hope/dream/fantasy.


For Klef insurance, Should KH re-sign Kulikov, Koekoek, or both?


Kulikov. One year at the same as his salary this year of $1.15 M.


Neither is a top-4 player on a team with serious expectations. I’d go for Alex Goligoski or Alec Martinez as a bridge to Samorukov / Broberg.


I have Samorukov sliding in as the 2LD by Christmas and Broberg arriving for the last 20 games of the season so I am reluctant to spend too much on that spot.

Yes, I know that is optimistic. I just think that is the plan & I don’t think it is that far off.


Neither and definitely not Koekkoen – he’s barely a 3LD and, if they start the season with him at 2LD, that’s a big big problem, in my opinion.

Alec Martinez would be a wonderful 2LD but that’s only feasible if they know that Klefbom is not coming back at all as Martinez will be expensive (over $4M) and, if Klef is coming back and the LTIR reserves disappear, well, that will be a cap issue if Martinez is on the books.

Of course, Martinez is turning 34 this summer (I believe) and a comfort would be with a 2-year max term. I think he’ll get a longer term despite his age and that would be concerning.

To the extent Klef is likely to return during the season, Mike Riley would be a cheaper stop-gap that appeals to me if he’s not demanding too much cap.


Martinez does indeed turn 34 this summer, so 2-years would be the max I would do. At around $4M it’s entirely possible to fit under the cap, it just means being careful in other areas. Goligoski is 36 this summer so a 1-year term at well under $4M might be an option for the Oilers, and either guy would make a good partner for Larsson IMO. Reilly is a very good option too, I just figured at 28 he’s going to want to maximize AAV and term.


OK, sure, they probably could fit Martinez in but I think it would be tough to fit him in and fill the other major needs on the roster while ensuring they had the cap space to activate Klef when he’s ready and his LTIR reserves go poof.


Assuming the Kraken take Jones and Kulikov is signed on a one year deal your expectations are not out of line. The fly in the ointment is with the expansion there could be a D become available that Holland can’t pass up!


I’d prefer Mike Riley as a more legit 2LD stop-gap if its looking like Klef will be on LTIR to start the season but may be activated part way through.

Riley may be looking for too much money or term but, if Klef isn’t there, Kulikov, Russell, Lagesson behind Nurse isn’t enthusing to me (nor does a Koekkoek re-signing change that).

Sammy is coming and Broberg is coming but they need to be slotted appropriately when they make the jump.


I agree neither are legit/ 2nd
pairing without significant polishing. I would prefer the short term upgrade.


Based on the interesting and button-downed summary I’m beginning to get the impression that the oilers do a
lot of their shopping on “Craig’s List”

John Chambers

1) Xavier Bourgault (RC)
2) Caleb Jones
3) $5.25M x 8 (keepin’ Nuge forever)
4) $4M x 4
5) Smith / Kuemper
6) Real bought-out deal, James Neal
7) Taylor Hall 4 x $6.5M
8) Hall
9) Koskinen + Kemp + a 2022 1st for Kuemper
10) No
11) Injured reserve. Oilers sign Ryan Murray $2.5M.
12) None


LT the Flames already have a coach.

Brantford Boy

#1 reasonable check point that the GM should apply to the scouts’ list: Don’t drop a copy of your draft list on the draft floor!

For me, the guy that has a hard time turning the calculator on gets hyper-focused on the league (usually OHL, WHL, QMJHL) and then specific teams (London Knights, Kitchener Rangers, Soo Greyhounds, Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton Oil Kings, Kelowna Rockets, Halifax Mooseheads) with a high pedigree for great development programs, and usually (no math for backing that up) of churning out high end draft picks.

I’ve been impressed with the QMJHL the last several years. Again, I get hyper-focused on a player and doubt very much that Dylan Guenther falls to us. I have all the time in the world for Zachary L’Heureux or Zachary Bolduc this year and really hope one of the two is available when Holland gets up to the podium. I’m quite pleased to see how high Button has these players ranked.

chrisco stu

I tried a dream roster on Capfriendly. Maybe a touch unrealistic but hey who knows? It’s the offseason so we can all dream and everything is always going to break our way until it doesn’t.

I bought out Neal, traded Kassian to the Rangers for a third, Koskinen to the Sabres with a fourth. Jones went to the Kraken, Turris is buried and Klefbom starts on LTIR.

Ovechkin (4 x 9.5) – Mcdavid – Puljujarvi
Nuge (5 x 5.75) – Draisaitl – Yamamoto (2 x 2.8)
Kahun (1 x 1.75) – Danault (4.5 x 4) – Armia (2 x 2.8)
Shore – Mcleod – Archibald

Nurse – Bear
Koekkoek (1 x 1) – Larsson (4 x 4)
Russell – Bouchard

Ullmark ( 3 x 3.5)

This leaves $4,284,507 in cap space for a Klefbom return midseason.

Now back to work!


I don’t know why you all think Danault is going to come to Edmonton for some low-ball offer, when the Canadiens are going to back up the Brinks truck to pay their one and only Francophone player on the team (after trading Drouin this summer). There would be a riot in Montreal if Danault signed in Edmonton for something ‘reasonable’.

chrisco stu

Fair enough, I remember talk when Danault supposedly wanted out of Montreal that he didn’t want to play 3C anyway. Who do you think would be a reasonable target for that position? I’m also a little surprised that the part of my fantasy lineup that’s a bridge too far is Danault and not Ovechkin leaving Washington. For that matter I’d also be surprised to see Armia ditch Montreal after reaching the conference finals. My intention was to take a look at what could be done if cap space were maximized this offseason. I also enjoyed the idea of McDavid beating the dman with speed to the outside before feeding late man Ovechkin into the slot, as opposed to spending my day worrying that he’s going to end up centering Devin Shore and Josh Archibald.


I actually think Ovi is a more realistic target than Danault.

With respect to the latter … his agent has known all along that he has the leverage in negotiations with Montreal (moreso after these playoffs). The player bet on himself, and turned down Montreal’s offers … now Montreal will have to pony up … they absolutely can’t afford to lose him. There was a two game stretch a few months ago when both him and Drouin were both out, and they iced a team without a single Francophone player … the media and the provincial government went nuts there. Danault is going to get (over)paid.

Ovi is a wild card … the Caps aren’t close to being contenders in the East, and they lack the cap space and assets to improve enough to get over the hump again. Ovi could decide to go the Joe Thornton route and attach himself to a team with younger superstars at a “discount” price, for another chance at glory. Sure, he might just end up going to Toronto, but the RH sniper role is already taken by Matthews on the PP. OTOH, taking passes in his office on the PP from McDrai almost guarantees that he breaks Gretzky’s goal-scoring record in the next couple of years.

Quite frankly though, I think this free agent class is lacklustre … reminds me of the Lucic/Ladd/Eriksson/Okposo year … a lot of cap-crippling contracts are going to be signed this summer, and I’m hoping that Holland signs only some 1 year show-me deals, leaving cap-space available to weaponize later on.


To play Devils’ advocate:

1) I don’t think Kassian is tradeable for an asset (let alone a 3rd) without $750K or so retained

2) I don’t think Koskinen is tradable even with 50% retained let alone with nothing retained let alone for an asset

3) Ovechkin – that would be fun if not totally fantasy.

4) Danault – he would be one of the top acquisition targets for this team but I don’t think its coming in under $5MM AAV

5) I think $2.8MM is too high for Kailer and he’ll get a contract similar to Bear

6) Kokkoek is barely an upgrade on 3LD over Russell, if at all – if he is 2LD on a healthy lineup, the team is effect. I look at Mike Riley as a stop gap for a mid-season Klefbom return.


With that roster you better hope some of the high price forwards can also play D. What you have for D is a dogs breakfast.


– After a one year Hiatus, I thought it might be fun to crank up the annual off-season “What will the Oilers do this summer GM award” Winner gets a LT Paypal donation. Remember, this is what you think the Oilers would do, not what you’d do.

Please just reply with a separate 1-12, as its easier to complete”

1) Who will the Oiers draft in first round (or trade)?
2) Who will Kraken take in expansion draft?
3) What are terms of RNH deal (not resigend is option)?
4) What are terms of Larsson deal (not resigned is option)?
5) What is the goalie tandem for game 1?
6) Which player(s) get bought out?
7) Who is the most expensive Free agent acquired (years/$)
8) Name one top-6 forward not on team that is acquired (years/$)
9) How many seperate roster trades involving existing players are completed (name one)
10) Does the team add an analytics-focused person to staff?
11) Klef status at start of season: IR, active, retired or traded?
12) who of Tipp, Playfair, Gulutzen, Wisemen get replaced? (bonus for who)

Please answer as per below. Will keep running untill we start getting answers/no responses:




For number 2 do you mean who will they select off the Oilers roster?

For number 7 does that include free agents signed off the Oilers roster like say Nuge?


1. Costa
2. Jones
3. 7×5.5
4. 4×4
5. Smith/ Koskinen
6. Neal
7. Hall 5×6.5
8. Hall 5×6.5
9. 0
10. No
11. IR
12. No one

buck yoakam

here we go!…using my favourite resource for reference Anna Licktits…

#1 Cossa
#2 Caleb jones
#3 5 x 6
#4 4 x 3.75
#5 Smith & Anderson
#6 Neil
#7 Hall @ 5 x 6
#8 same as above
#9 DeBrusk
#10 No
#11 IR
#12 wiseman replaced by woodcroft

Go Oil!…Go Islanders!


Agree on DeBrusk. Too much smoke for there not to be fire. I think Boston has seen enough.

Of, course that makes for a crowded left side if you are also signing Hall & Nuge. 😉

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn
stephen sheps
  1. Pinelli
  2. Jones
  3. Not resigned (Oilers offer 5.75×5, Nuge sees himself worth 7 and gets it elsewhere. I am sad for the entire offseason as a result)
  4. 4×4 w/mNMC (15 team list in the final 2 years of the deal, higher salary on the first 2 seasons w/o NMC, lower salary on the final 2)
  5. Smith/Hill
  6. Neal
  7. Saad, 6.75×4 (and purchases of pitchforks suddenly skyrocket in the greater Edmonton area)
  8. see above
  9. 3 trades, including 1 on day 2 of the draft allowing Holland to get back into the 2nd round. The big trade is Koskinen and Samorukov (with 1/3rd salary retained) to AZ for Adin Hill and a conditional pick. This is part of a pre-expansion sign & trade situation given that Hill is an RFA and does not want to go to Seattle. OP cries genuine tears when he learns Samorukov is dealt.
  10. Yes, yes they do, but it’s an under the radar thing that gets zero press coverage
  11. Retired, Ryan Murray is brought in as a ‘replacement’ on a 1 year show-me deal similar to Barrie’s from last season. The money saved also allows for a massive Nurse extension announced hours before the start of training camp.
  12. None of the coaches are replaced in the offseason this year. Next season is a different story.

Bonus – Bobby Ryan is this season’s Turris (both in terms of cheap AAV and performance) and Wennberg is brought in as the Nuge replacement after Holland strikes out in the Danault sweepstakes and swings and misses on Debrusk as well.

Last edited 1 month ago by stephen sheps

I know we all think Klef is a “good guy”, and I’m sure he is, however I’m not so sure that he’s going to give up apx $8M over two years to do the club a favor and retire if he can’t play.

I don’t imagine he’s ready for games in October but, at this point, I do think its reasonable to suggest he could be activated during the year as we know he got surgery in the name of continuing an NHL career and is rehabbing/training in furtherance of that goal. It may end up being a non-starter but, at this point, that’s the process. Should know more in early July.

stephen sheps

It’s not about being a ‘good guy’ here at all, just my entirely uninformed throwing a dart at the board sort of guess about the situation.

I appreciate your optimism about Klefbom’s health, but I don’t share it. I also have a feeling that after all of the outcry about the Lightning this year (to say nothing about Hossa and the notion of “Robidas Island”), I think the league is going to try and crack down on creative cap circumvention. If Klef can’t play again (and I suspect that’s the case, but as you said, we’ll know more in July), I think he retires and insurance pays his 8M.


That’s the thing – if he retires, he doesn’t get the $8M.

If he can’t play, he goes on LTIR and gets paid in full (and, I believe I’ve read his contract may not be fully insured – doesn’t matter to him though – its either Katz or insurance but he gets paid).

Harpers Hair

Carolina gives Dougie Hamilton permission to speak to other teams.

Harpers Hair

This is a fun thread.

Jim Matheson (@jimmathesonnhl) Tweeted:
I don’t care what analytics say. Hamilton is one dimensional player


Someone is going to get a very good player.


JMO but I think Matheson has very few opinions that don’t come from others.

Either other sports journalists or Oilers staff. He has heard this somewhere – my guess would be somebody who covers the Flames from his time in that city.

Just a guess, of course.


I haven’t studied the analytics or the player (eye test) much, but the one thing that jumps out at me is that he has ALWAYS been paired with an elite defender: Giordano, Chara, Slavin. That has to lead to tainted numbers, doesn’t it?

Harpers Hair

If you follow the thread, JFresh shows that it is actually Hamilton pumping the tires.


Offensively, sure. But I’m not convinced Hamilton is a complete defender in the way Pietrangelo or Hedman or Josi are.

Harpers Hair

GF% at 5V5 captures both.

Scungilli Slushy

I think Pietrangelo is better than Hamilton, but I don’t see him as really strong defensively. The numbers from St Louis weren’t great for a few years, and Berube notched down his comp and let Bouwmeester and Parayko do that, and he killed it, Especially in their Cup win.

Watching P this playoffs, a good player but makes a lot of weak plays with the puck defensively IMO. To me he’s not in the very top level of D, certainly not those two if they are on their game. He’d be a close second to Nurse on the Oilers, not that I wouldn’t have him on the team.

I also haven’t been that impressed with Martinez either defensively with the puck. I was wondering about him as UFA, Kulikov is close enough for the cap gap if it goes that way. If you’re spending, it should be a big improvement.


Whoa, lets not get carried away here, the gap between Kulikov and Martinez is every bit as big as their cap hits are (and will) be.

Scungilli Slushy

Well that Martinez can score is a difference. I think he get Oilered if they got him and be exposed like many players.

Unless of course the coaches can up the structure a couple of notches again.