Numb as a Statue

by Lowetide

I ranked Jake DeBrusk No. 20 for the 2015 entry draft, saying “Quality scoring prospect. Reminds me of Eberle.” In his first three seasons he averaged 21 goals (he played an average of 68 games), but in 2020-21 scored just five goals in 41 games.

It appears the young winger has arrived at an early career crossroads. Oilers fans have discussed the possibility of acquiring him this summer, and it’s an interesting option to contemplate. One of the things we have to look at is deployment. How was DeBrusk used in 2020-21? How much time did he spend with Boston’s skilled centers? Did he flourish?


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!


The Boston Bruins deployed two high-skill centers in 2020-21, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. After that, Charlie Coyle and Sean Kuraly were the main options. The five on five on-ice goal differentials tell part of the story, with Bergeron (46-24, 66 percent) lapping the field with high-event domination. Krejci (29-11, 72.5) and his line won the goal share but the volume wasn’t at ’11’ like the top line.

The third line (Coyle, 19-26, 42 percent) and fourth line (Kuraly, 14-25, 36 percent) struggled badly and (like the Oilers) Boston at five on five could be two different teams depending on what line was on the ice.

How did DeBrusk do with each center in 2020-21?

  1. DeBrusk with Bergeron: 0-1-1 in 52 minutes (1.15 pts-60), 2-2 goals (50 percent)
  2. DeBrusk with Krejci: 2-1-3 in 103 minutes (1.76 pts-60), 4-0 goals (100 percent)
  3. DeBrusk with Coyle: 1-2-3 in 164 minutes (1.09 pts-60), 4-5 goals (44 percent)
  4. DeBrusk with Kuraly: 0-2-2 in 67 minutes (1.78 pts-60), 3-6 goals (33 percent)

DeBrusk with Krejci would have been worth pursuing but the Hall trade and Boston’s issues with DeBrusk’s play (going back some time) meant a regular shuffling of lines for the talented winger.

In the three seasons previous to last year, DeBrusk scored 31-30-61 in 1782 five on five minutes with Krejci (that’s 2.05 pts-60) with an on-ice goal differential of 82-57 (59 percent).

Those are good numbers. Now, Krejci is older, so wasn’t delivering last year as he had in the past (until Taylor Hall arrived), but DeBrusk has ability and can fill a role as a complementary scorer.

What didn’t Boston management like about DeBrusk?

It’s important not to overstate it, the Bruins clearly value the player and his performance against the Washington Capitals showed his value even in a tough year. Fluto Shinzawa at The Athletic wrote a revealing piece that is a powerful read on the subject.

DeBrusk is a streaky scorer (hello Eberle!) and that can frustrate in a short playoff series or an important part of the regular season. He appeared to be more a perimeter player this past season, that may be a reason his power-play time (which fell from 2:33 to 1:25 per game) was cut in half.

For me, I’d like to make sure the Oilers have a RH center to run with DeBrusk as a safety valve. The last Bruins winger who played with Krejci and then came to Edmonton seemed to miss that element of the game.


  1. McDavid line 64-48, 57 percent Bergeron line 46-24, 66 percent
  2. Draisaitl line 22-16, 58 percent Krejci line 29-11, 73 percent
  3. Khaira/Turris 21-33, 39 percent Coyle line, 19-26, 42 percent
  4. Haas/Shore/McLeod 17-32, 35 percent Kuraly, 14-25, 36 percent

I’m using centers as proxy for lines, it’s a little cleaner with the Bruins. Kind of hilarious that we spend so much time talking about the third and fourth line improvement and the Bruins are just hammering opponents with their top two lines (68 percent goal differential). Edmonton’s top two lines are good (57 percent) but there’s room to grow. Both teams need to work on their respective bottom lines.


Montreal’s win last night featured fine goaltending and effective defense. Plenty of talk about getting bigger and defending better, but those things have always had value. What has changed is the need to be able to pass the puck and make quick decisions.

That’s why Jeff Petry is such a valuable player. It’s also one reason why Darnell Nurse has been more effective recently, as his passing improved (more accurate, better touch) markedly in 2020-21. He also improved in hitting corners with his shot, a big factor in his goal-scoring spike.

Montreal has intelligent defensemen. Edmonton has intelligent defensemen too, and a nice variety of talents. Ethan Bear is undersized but battles, and can pass very well. Adam Larsson had a GA/60 at five on five of 1.99 in 2020-21, and much of that came against elite competition. Shea Weber is 2.2, Jeff Petry 2.36, all fine numbers.

Ken Holland drafted Philip Broberg and speaks highly of Dmitri Samorukov. He also values Evan Bouchard. Goal and shot suppression is important, but so is getting that puck out of the zone under control.


Benson’s career in the NHL appears poised to get underway for real this fall, and it’s interesting to see so many experts suggesting Sam Steel (who was coming up in the Edmonton minor hockey system at the same time as Benson) will be made available by the Anaheim Ducks.

Timing is everything, and no one can argue Benson isn’t well prepared to compete for an NHL job. Increasingly, I think the Oilers will give him a full shot at establishing himself in the world’s best league. If you’re going to invest that kind of time in a player, best see how he shines before making a drastic decision.


You may also like

4.6 9 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Oilers needs this summer:

– top line LW with size and scoring to play with McD (eg JVR)
– 2nd line LW to play with Drai (eg Coleman, Debrusk)
– RHD to pair with Nurse
– short-term 2nd pair LHD to give Sammy and Broburg time
– 3C to play with Benson and Yamo on a new line
– goalie (Kuemper or Ullmark)

I see the need for at least 2 or 3 significant trades and not much UFA action. On the table is our #1, Bear, Kass, Klef’s contract if he’s done etc etc. Not a lot of assets. Holland has a huge summer of work ahead if this team is to make a real step forward and not just lean on Drai and McDavid. Make or break summer.


I can’t imagine Anaheim trading for Eichel which would require something like Zegras and their first and keeping Eichel happy while the team rolls around in the division basement with Vancouver

Material Elvis

It just doesn’t make sense. The assets that it will take to land Eichel will be staggering. Buffalo will want top roster players, top prospects, and draft picks to move him. The Ducks don’t have the roster depth and prospects to land Eichel, and then become competitive.

Harpers Hair

Zegras and a first should do it.


I can already imagine the reaction in Buffalo.

“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Sabers fans suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

Imagine trading away Draisaitl for Zegras and a first…


Watching Dobson and wondering how good Evan would look with the Islanders If the picks were reversed. The way they treated Bouchard and Benson is not the proper way to develop players of their pedigree.


Dobson was healthy scratched for half of the Isles games last season.

I do agree that Tip should have worked to get Bouch a few more games this past season but it is what it is.

Bouch will impact the lineup materially next season and, with a full training camp and exhibition games, Benson will have every opportunity to do the same.

Bouch still has two years left of his ELC and Benson just finished his – lots for road ahead for these guys and they will be just fine.

Harpers Hair

Not sure how long you think you can get way with spinning this yarn.

Sure Dobson was a healthy scratch for the Islanders at times but Bouchard didn’t play for the Oilers AT ALL.

Dobson now has 80 NHL games to his credit and counting while Bouchard is at 21.

Not only was Dobson picked after Bouchard but he is younger and will benefit from NHL experience going forward.

Thing is Dobson is already impacting his team “materially” THIS season and is getting playoff experience against an elite team.

There is no substitute for that.


Islanders are a funny comparison given how much popcorn development time was given to Dobson and Wahlstrom being healthy scratched for most of the playoffs
Bouchard did get an NCAA seasons worth of games in this “lost” season


Tyler Benson doesn’t have exceptional pedigree.

Last edited 4 months ago by LMHF#1

He was close to getting exceptional player status going in to the WHL.

Harpers Hair

You can find a Benson under almost every rock in the offseason.

Smart GMs cut bait on these guys early and often.


Just like Tampa cut bait on Killorn when he was playing in the AHL at 23?

Just like they are cutting bait with Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk?

Harpers Hair

Bad choice of comparable.

Tampa’s lineup is stacked from top to bottom and they very often trade prospects and picks to keep it that way.

The Oilers have one of the worst bottom 6 groups in the entire league and Benson hasn’t been able to crack it while Holland signs waves of Granlunds instead.

Tells you everything you need to know.


My suggestion to LT to save this space is to require that the oblivious narcissists OP and HH cease from responding to each other/commenting on each other’s posts. It’s the only solution.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

But where is the fun in that?


Says HH


Any logic that puts any other human being into the same bucket as HH is flawed.

Harpers Hair

I’ll take that as a compliment.


Sounds like they have made their choice.

Elliotte Friedman
Sounds like Rick Tocchet has a third meeting scheduled with the Seattle Kraken. Nothing done, but seems like a good omen for him.

Last edited 4 months ago by defmn

Has there been any official word on whether or not Klefbom needs to be protected given him missing the season. I find the wording from the league less than clear.


No but, unless its 100% certain in July that he won’t be playing again, he won’t be exempt – I think the rule is clear but the application thereof not as much as there is double league discretion – first the league has to deem the player’s injury career-threatening and then the league may deem the player exempt.

Seems unlikely to me.

Harpers Hair

Pretty much confirms Francis was waiting on Brind Amour


Looks like. As widely speculated.


Hard pass on Hyman. Salary and term will be a huge issue.


Is there a number you would say yes to? 4.5M x 4?


Holloway will provide what Hyman does, and more, for cheaper, within a couple of years.


You need more than one as this offseason shows


Do we have time to wait? I would like two of Hyman/Halloway type of players


So would I. One is coming internally and the other is about to be overpaid in term and AAV as he approaches 30 with multiple knee injuries.

I’d like Hyman but he’s going to be a massive risk with the contract he is likely to sign.


So we are waiting a couple of years to fill the gaps?


Not necessarily – signing the all of a sudden famous, soon to be 30-year old with multiple knee injuries to a bloated contract (in AAV and term) is not the only option.

Material Elvis

Sign a short term stop gap until something more substantial presents itself.


2 x $4 million. Hyman has only done it on one team playing with Auston Matthews. And has been unproductive in the playoffs over and over again.

Material Elvis

As long as the term is one to three years, I’m less concerned with the dollar amount.


I would think that chances of him signing in Edmonton for that term would require an AAV over $6MM and, for me, no bueno.

Material Elvis

You could be right about that and I certainly don’t think he’s worth $6M/year. That said, I would overpay in dollars rather than term for Hyman or any other UFA. The 4-6 year deals are absolute killers.


I’d prefer not to overpay materially on either side.

Yes, I acknowledge the need for two top 6 LWs (one may be Nuge) but Hyman isn’t the guy I take that risk on given his age, injury history and the fact that, really, he tops out as a 20-25G/50P guy even with playing with elites.

Harpers Hair


Congratulations to Rod Brind’Amour – the winner of the 2020-21 Jack Adams Award as “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success”.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Where did Tip finish in the voting? What … no votes?

Harpers Hair

Really can’t imagine why Trotz doesn’t win this thing every year.


Trotz getting only a single vote tarnishes the result imo.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Agreed. And Maurice gets none? Wow.

Harpers Hair

Fun Fact:

Dave Tippett’s coaching record in the playoffs is .437

Material Elvis

These awards are based on regular season performance, not on playoff performance. But you knew that already, of course.

Harpers Hair

In theory.

But a coaches body of work would also be at play in voter’s minds.

Material Elvis

So if the Oilers went 68-10-4 next season, the voters would consider this season’s playoff performance?


Whatever Sybil… Responding to your own posts again I see.

Harpers Hair
Harpers Hair

Lots of chatter today that Jack Eichel is on his way to Anaheim.


From a rebuilding team to a rebuilding team.
that will make Eichel happy

Jethro Tull

Another player to experience Dallas Eakins after Ralph Krueger.


I can see the headlines now for the Eakins experience:

“Jack Eichel out indefinitely due to neck injury suffered while chopping wood and carrying water”


Eichel has his best season ever under Krueger. Then he hurt himself training for this season.

Harpers Hair

He would likely be happier living in Huntington Beach and going to the rink in shorts and flip flops than slogging to work in a snowstorm.

Have you ever been to Buffalo?

Material Elvis

The players care about winning, not weather.


Where are you hearing that?

Harpers Hair

Again Thomas Drance…the potential return is Trevor Zegras.


That’s who Holland should of drafted instead he takes a walk about and picks the raw kid Broberg.


A little early to make that call is it not?


Anaheim must be pretty sure the injury is short term. Has to be more than just Zegras though, no?

Harpers Hair


Material Elvis

That makes zero sense for Anaheim. They are rebuilding; Eichel is the kind of player that needs to go to a contender. Trading for Eichel will only close the gap on their last place finish.


Impatient owner?

Wouldn’t be the first time with big name players that the owner overruled the GM.

Material Elvis

I suppose it could be owner-driven. If that’s the case, I’m sure glad they’re in our division.

Material Elvis

Oh really? Then why hasn’t Buffalo made the playoffs since they drafted Eichel?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan



I agree with you here. Eichel probably has 10 years of playing high level hockey ahead of him, it’s silly to suggest he would somehow screw up a rebuild. Naturally, the cost of acquisition has to be considered.

Harpers Hair

And the acquiring team has cost certainly for the next 5 seasons.

A no brainer to acquire if he’s healthy.

Material Elvis

They would have to unload their future talent to acquire Eichel. That would make sense for a contender but the Ducks aren’t there yet. Plus they really don’t have the roster players that Buffalo would want in return. I don’t see a trade fit at all.

buck yoakam

you should know

buck yoakam

all right you kids get your pj”s on it’s bedtime!….no backyardigans if you don’t!!


Not all rebuilds last the better part of two decades

Lol, ouch

Harpers Hair

No Penticton summer tournament as per Thomas Drance.


Thanks. My wife was asking just yesterday if it was back on and if we were going this September.


Sam Steel would be a nifty acquisition.

6 EV goals last season in 42 GP with a 16% shooting percentage. 12 EV points in 42 GP is a step up from his prior season, when he had 13 points in 65 games.


18-19: 1.56
19-20: 0.95
20-21: 1.39

*In 19-20, his shooting percentage was 6%, explaining the drop in his EV scoring. He shot 16% and 16.2% in his first and third seasons. Let’s double his shooting percentage from 19-20 to his near career norm; that would put him around 1.23 EV points/game.

Steel has been remarkably consistent with EV assists/60, hovering between 0.65 and 0.69 in his three years in the league. Interestingly, he has scored 6 goals in each of his first 3 season as well (varying GP).


18-19: 35
19-20: 46
20-21: 47


18-19: 63
19-20: 42
20-21: 45

Doesn’t look too impressive, but an xGF of 47 would be behind only McLeod and Archibald (marginally) among our bottom six crew.

Even without getting better, Steel is an upgrade on most of our bottom six. Unlike some other guys out there, he has a lot of upside.

Shooting 16% in the NHL is not nothing. Makes me think he has some real skill and has already translated it.

Bag of Pucks

Nice breakdown.


He’s got one of the best names in hockey too.


Thank you. Nice breakdown.

Is it easy to tell what would differentiate him from, say, Kahun (who had 8 ES goal this year – Drai thought) or even Benson’s potential to produce and play 2-way?


Here’s a good question .Give the Oilers Leon, Connor, Nuge, Yamo, Jessie up front, what help would be the most valuable:

1. Top goaltender

2. Big tough mobile top 4 defence as in Montreal

3. A top line 25 goal winger

4. Three Middle depth players, fast, two way, dependable with a touch of offence

What would be the Most valuable to the team as it sits today.


Isn’t this what we have been discussing for weeks?


Joe Sakic just openly disrespected like that.


I got sidetracked and couldn’t support my post.

anyway, most of the talk has been about finding wingers. By setting priorities some things get clearer.

Mike Smith delivered good goaltending and that was crucial, yet it wasn’t enough to go far. So must get a goalie sure.

Top line winger last year would have been nice, but can it overcome holes on defence? Could better top line winger overcome bottom 6 giving away goal share? Doubtful

I was justbtjinking that #4 might be what we should be focused on. Solid two way players to fill out the line up. Kadri, Killorn, Armia, Goodrow. Bring in an entire third line that will outperform.

use Kahun as streaky scorer instead of DeBrusk.Use Benson and Holloway instead of Hyman.


I’ll play.
Top Goaltender

Randle McMurphy

I can’t believe Button missed on Cossa going at 18th. It’s SO obvious.

Harpers Hair

For some reason the Wild pick a goalie

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Thank you for the link.

Randle McMurphy

Jake Debrusk is what he is:

54GP 5g 9a 14pts +1
TOI 15:24
GF% 53.6
oZS% 63.7


Shooting %

17/18 11.2
18/19 17.3
19/20 11.8
20/21 5.4

Randle McMurphy

He averages 22.5g 22.5a 45pts per 82 games played

And approx 65% of his points are scored at even strength

Moonlight Overthrow

Definitely had a down year. The hope is you find the next Sam Bennett.

It’s a risk, but has potential upside.


A list of rookies throughout the years. Over 20 games will list the player to that year. Brossoit and Draisaitl the exceptions.

Martin Marincin
Mark Arcobello


2016 Todd McLellan
McDavid (Doesn’t really count)
Draisaitl (2nd NHL season. First successful season)
Davidson (Failed)
Pakarinen (Failed)

Slepyshev (Left after 2018)
Puljujarvi 1.0 (Failed eventually)
Brossoit (8 games this season. 14 next. left after)
Pitlick (Up arrows. Left)
Oesterle (17 games. Left)

Yamamoto was given 9 games

Bouchard was given 7 games. Yamamoto was given 17 games. Marody 6 games. Gambardella 15 games. Jones 17 games.

2020 Dave Tippet
Bear (Full season)
Yamamoto (27 games)
Jones (43 games)

Puljujarvi 2.0
McLeod (10+4 games)

In conclusion, Oilers development has amounted to:

2015: Klefbom
2016: McDavid*, Draisaitl**, Nurse
2017: Benning, Caggiula
2018: Khaira 
2020: Bear, Yamamoto. Jones?
2021: Puljujarvi 2.0. McLeod?

Outside of McDrai25, Todd McLellan was unable to develop a single top 9F or top 4D in four years.
His only success was a generational talent, a 3rd overall and a 7th overall. 
Khaira, Benning and Caggiula as replacement level players.
Perhaps it is not all his fault but I am amazed that any GM would put him in charge of a young and developing team.

NHLers lost for nothing due to management incompetence:

Puljujarvi 1.0

Future potential: Bouchard, Broberg, Samorukov, Jones, Holloway, McLeod, Benson, Lavoie, Konovalov.
Already a major improvement over previous years. If we can see 2-3 prospects develop every year then that is a big step for this franchise.

2022: McLeod, Bouchard, Holloway, Benson and Samorukov.
Might be a crazy year.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dac189
Randle McMurphy

Bob Stauffer also stating his belief that there is a market for Kassian.


My money is on NYR. Would be pretty nice if Kenny turned his biggest blunder into a win.


My money is on Seattle


There would be a trade market for Kassian, if the Oilers retained $750K (or more).


comment image

Last edited 4 months ago by Ryan

Of course there is.
Big fast physical is what everyone wants
the question is can you unlock that again?


Rangers, full cap hit.

Randle McMurphy

“I ranked Jake DeBrusk No. 20 for the 2015 entry draft, saying “Quality scoring prospect. Reminds me of Eberle.” 

You nailed that one.

Streaky one-way perimeter player

(Seinfeld: Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy

I would welcome DeBrusk, however I’d question he has the right fit.

Connor, Leon, Nuge, Yammo, Jessie.

A streaky perimeter player does not add much to this recipe.


Kahun can be a streak one-way perimeter player with similar offense for $1 million, 70% off sale on DeBrusk’s AAV


Eberle has had seven seasons better than Debrusk’s best season.

The gap between Eberle and Debrusk is too big for words. You are both undervaluing Eberle and overvaluing Debrusk.

Randle McMurphy

Bob Stauffer alluding to, (pretty much declaring) a pre-expansion draft trade by the Oilers.

For a 3rd line center who’s current team may not be able to afford to keep him moving forward.

Randle McMurphy

My guess would be Florida.

Sam Bennett or Alex Wennberg


Bennett or Kadri is exactly what this team needs and I’m sure Bennett would love trolling Calgary

Randle McMurphy

kadri fits the bill. 3rd line center. Avs may want to move on from him.


Would love Bennett here. Put him on a 3rd line of



Florida can protect Bennett; Wennberg is a UFA. I wouldn’t bet on either being the subject of this allusion.


Florida just aquired Bennet and he’s done well, doubt he’s on the block. Toronto would love to move Kerfoot, they need cap to sign Hyman. They are hoping Seattle takes him but might trade him to us early. 3.5M x 2

Moonlight Overthrow

Can’t afford financially, or can’t afford to protect and subsequently lose in the expansion draft?

Randle McMurphy

Stauffer was pretty emphatic…..Pre-expansion draft trade.


Tyson Jost may be an expansion-draft related disposition.

Randle McMurphy

He’s a candidate.

Inexpensive in terms of AVV $874,125

Improved his FO% to 46.8 (ok for Age 23)
CF% 58.7
oZS% 49.9

15 of his 17 points at even strength.

He’s a lefty C. But if you’re looking for young, low-cost with room to grow.

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy

He’s 5ft11 and plays small!

John Chambers

Ive noticed several comments regarding UFA contract values that probably don’t align with reality. GM’s will overpay on AAV, as they always do, however I think the term lengths will only be 5-6 years for top players.

John Chambers

Im guessing contracts will actually be signed in this range:
Landeskog – 9M unless he signs with Col then it’ll be 8 or close to. If I’m Seattle this guy is my top target.
Hamilton – see Landeskog
Hall – At least $6M if he stays in Boston, $7+ if he wants to be an Oiler, $8.5+ if he elects to play for a lousy team. At least 4 years on his real.
Nuuuuuge – He’s worth 5x$7M to somebody. Oilers will need to give him more term to get it to $6M AAV.
Barrie – $5-$6M for at least 4 years
Danault – $5M +, maybe even 6. Really.
Savard – $4.5 -$5M for at least 4.

Schwartz, Saad, Coleman, Tatar, Hoffman will all fetch between 4 and 5.5M, on varying contract lengths. This end of the pool costs less but with good reason.

Wennberg, Oleksiak, Larsson, Armia can all expect to cost $3.5 – $4.5M and term will be between 3&5 years.

UFA’s will get paid and if you have some willing to take hometown discounts you should probably take them up on that.


These numbers sound fairly close. I’ve been high on Saad lately and wondering why you put him in the costs less pool, what is the good reason?


This isn’t what happened last year. Almost every UFA last year signed for significantly less than they would have in previous years.

There isn’t enough money out there for all these guys to get paid what you are expecting. Some might, but most of these guys are coming in at less than these numbers.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan


Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Chia lost his GM gig, so no team is giving Nuge $7M. Not even one that needs a power play witch. 5 x 5 is where the rubber meets the road. The smart teams will use that 7M on two quality players, one of which will probably outperform Nuge at a little over half the price. Even the dumb teams won’t pony up more than $6.5M


True. The McDavid factor now puts an asterisk besides any player that put up points beside him.


IMO these numbers are very very high. Hall might get $6 mill. No one is giving Landedkog $9 mill. Saad et al will get the Toffoli contract of $4.25 mill

John Chambers

The low amounts doled out last summer were a reflection of the flat cap AND the uncertainty of the times.

UFA contracts will normalize back to crazy because:
1) There is a whole team joining the league with an $82M payroll. That’s $82M more being spent and only 28 or so fringe NHL players now having full time employment. Seattle also needs stars and should be prepared to dole out $9M/year for a Hamilton or Landeskog.
2) More big contracts are coming off the books. Getzlaf will no longer be paid $8.5M, Boston, Columbus, Winnipeg, and New Jersey all have a lot of new cap space this summer to work with.
3) The supply of top-line or top-pair players is still just a handful. There is a drop off in talent and that second tier will be paid $4-$5.5M, but the top-bracket UFA’s will get Alex Pietrangelo money in the middle of Armageddon.

Material Elvis

The $81.5M Seattle payroll increases overall player salaries to $2.61B, up from $2.53B (assuming all teams are spending to the cap in this scenario). That’s a 3.1% increase in player salary, which is a fairly paltry increase. This isn’t even considering all the escrow money that the players owe the owners. Basically, the cap is staying flat and Seattle won’t make any difference. They will be able to overpay UFA’s if they want but there is no guarantee that they will take that approach. The numbers you are spitballing are way too high.


A normal year with a cap increase from 81.5m to 85.5m (4m increase) would see the total cap rise from 2.53B to 2.65B.
When comparing to the 2.61B Seattle raise, it is actually pretty similar.
Chambers is 100% right. This offseason will be very normal.

Material Elvis

Yes and no. In a normal year, the cap would rise for 31 x 23 = 713 players. The ‘normal’ cap increase you are referring to is for 32 x 23 = 736 players. There is no increase per player.


Yes but the quality of the player lowers. The 713 to 736th players that are now added into the league are replacement level players making under a million. These players would normally not be good enough to make the NHL (or they were too young/old or were never given the opportunity). He alludes to this point in his first bullet point when mentioning 28 fringe NHLers.

The biggest difference IMO is contracts such as McDavids. When he signed 12.5×8, one of the points was that it would look really good in years 7-8 (as the cap increases). This will not be the case for the next 4-5 years of flat cap.
What I believe though is that we will see a 15-20million cap jump in the first two years of cap movement. So this is another aspect GMs should take advantage of, just not yet.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dac189

$7M for RNH. 9M for Landeskog. 8.5 for Hall.

These all seem WAY too high.

Wonder Llama

So that’s it?

No one’s going to talk about Jeff Petry’s eyes?

Mrs. Llama was traumatized last night.

Jethro Tull

The Ddrama!


Well they did look pretty weird


What evidence is there that Sam Steel is better than Cooper Marody?

Marody is only one year older, and when they were in the same league he was clearly the better player.

If you are the best, or one of the best, forwards in the AHL, you can play in the NHL.

If you have that player in your organization already why wouldn’t you give them a chance?

Cooper Marody should be on the Oilers next season. There is no way he would be the worst player on the team.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Hitting on all cylinders today, Cass.


Love this post. Why doesnt Marody get any love? He cost a third. It’s funny how we and an org falls in love with “their” guys.

Of course they stuck their necks out on Benson and with success of Debrincat they would love to be able to defend choosing Benson.

but back to Cooper , use him or trade him, he shouldnt be at the point in his career where he moves to wing so the rookie Macloud can pass him.


Because terribly slow players no longer make the NHL even WITH great skills.


But terribly slower skaters with bloated contracts do play in the NHL, I.e., Neal.
It would be great to see the players that have been developed for a few years in the AHL and have done very well in the AHL for multiple seasons, like Benson and Marody, get truly legitimate chances to try out for the NHL. Neither has been given enough time in their NHL tryouts with the Oilers. I am pretty sure Benson will this fall. I would like Marody to get the same chance. The team is desperate for a RC; however, I feel management has already made up their mind on him.

Material Elvis

He was moved to the wing in Bakersfield this year. McLeod supplanted him as the 1C. You need to be able to skate to play center.


And who do you think would want him in a trade! While I understand your thinking the reality is most if not all teams have a similar player in their minor league system. For the NHL teams it’s merely changing personnel for the sake of change. Marody has the option to play out his contract and move to the KHL or elsewhere in Europe. It is not like he is slave labour.


What evidence is there that Sam Steel is better than Cooper Marody?

One has played 129 NHL games over the past 3 seasons. The other has played 6.

when they were in the same league he was clearly the better player.

That was one season, 3 seasons ago. And is there any context around this one season? Steel had 13 points in 16 playoff games that year.


Its really tough to say what is going to happen on the left wing – they could sign Nuge and a higher profile LW, they could let Nuge go and sign a high profile LW or two or zero. Who the heck knows how its going to turn out.

I will say that I do agree with LT that Benson will have a legit shot to make the Oilers roster out of camp in October. He very well could be competing with the likes of Kahun, Holloway, maybe even McLeod, etc. for the third line left wing or middle 6 left wing but there is also the potential that there will be a competition for a top 6 LW spot (depending on the external acquisitions or potential lack thereof).

I am not of the opinion that Benson’s foot speed is prohibitive of an NHL career or even a top 6 NHL career – lots of solid to plus NHLers that are far from burners – Mark Stone comes to mind.

Bag of Pucks

Sam Steel Scouting Report

Sam Steel is an outstanding skater with strong speed and great acceleration. He is smooth on his skates and also shows outstanding edge work and agility. Once he gets a step on a defender, he’s gone. Steel takes advantage of this on the rush where he can take defenders wide and cut to the front of the net. He can also make a quick cut and take the inside route to get there. Steel has a powerful stride, with good balance and the ability to fight through checks. It could even improve with a little more leg strength as he matures.

Steel has outstanding stick-handling ability and very soft hands. He combines this with the skating to weave through traffic and create plays off the rush. Sam Steel also has a good wrist shot and a quick release, allowing him to use defenders as a screen and fire it on net if they back off too much. Add in excellent vision and passing skills and Steel excels as a play maker. In fact his play making ability is probably the biggest strength in his game right now.

Steel has outstanding hockey IQ, and thinks the game a step ahead of others. He seems to always make the smart play with the puck on his stick. Steel is also a very hard worker, who constantly keeps his feet moving and is involved in every aspect of the play. He is strong on the forecheck, and uses his good puck protection skills to make plays down low on the cycle game. He has a bit of peskiness to go along with that high end skill and always seems to be in the middle of the after the whistle scrums.

Sam Steel has shown the willingness to compete on the backcheck. He is good in the face-off circle, and works hard to apply back pressure to support his defence when defending against the rush. Steel is willing to work to contain opponents down low, but sometimes struggles with bigger forwards. He could stand to add some upper body strength to be better in containment against a strong cycle game.

Sam Steel could be a top six centre if he can improve his strength, and continue to work to develop his game. He has the tools necessary to be able to contribute at both ends of the ice.

The issue with Steel is that some games he can be the best player on the ice, and in others he seems to disappear. He really needs to work on putting in a consistent effort on a game in and game out basis. This will be the difference between him being and legitimate NHL player or not. In terms of style, Steel is comparable to Nick Bonino. However this is a style comparison only, and not one based on skill.


Another casualty of the dementor.


Did you write that or do you have a source?

It looks like it’s from here.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ryan
Bag of Pucks

Like much of social media culture, the use of the downvote ‘feature’ here is pretty laughable.

I got a downvote yesterday for asking another poster a question (ie what he thought of Toffoli as a UFA signing). Seriously.

It’s pretty evident that some posters are just petty people who cast downvotes based purely on whether they like an individual poster or not. There’s no other rationale explanation for the amount of innocuous comments that receive downvotes.

So childish, but whatever floats your boat I guess.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Worth considering that maybe they’re not posters here but one of the many lurkers who don’t post (for whatever reason). It seems you can upvote and downvote without being logged in. For lurkers who choose to not engage in the discussion, they only have one way to “voice” their opinions- upvotes and downvotes.

This comes across as a very trivial complaint- especially when looking at the original post’s -1 (at the time). Downvotes aren’t an attack; don’t view them that way.

Last edited 4 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual
Moonlight Overthrow

I gave you an upvote for using a semicolon.

Bag of Pucks

An anonymous like or don’t like on the interwebs means less than zero to me. It’s why i described it as a laughable ‘feature’ and not an annoying one.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

By the 10 (and counting) down votes, it appears you have proven your point. Maybe Ryan could come up with a way that shows the names of those who voted when you place the cursor over the plus or minus symbols. That would be revealing, wouldn’t it?

Bag of Pucks

It might be revealing but I have my doubts. Stimulating and insightful conversation is not a popularity contest. ‘Features’ like this incentivize pandering or controversy. The extremes are what drives engagement.

The perception of polarization in modern culture is increasing not because people in general are becoming more extreme but because a small % of the population is disproprotionately invested in creating content that provokes a reaction (ie the 90/9/1 rule).


The most disappointing thing about the votes is that they don’t foster conversation. If someone doesn’t agree then for the love of Gord state why so there is more discussion.

Material Elvis

For what purpose? So you could challenge them to a fight in Sylvan Lake?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I can’t fight a lick in the water. I’d be doing well just to get back to shore.


Caring about the votes is in the same category as how the votes are distributed, no?


Yeah. Agreed. Looking at the votes is entertaining for me and this is mostly about entertainment so actually caring about the votes is thinking too much and taking it too far. HH always has negative votes even when he makes a great post – that entertains me. OP gets positive votes even for an average post – that entertains me. Are you not entertained? as a famous Russel once asked.

Bag of Pucks

I would imagine -votes are a badge of honour for trolls.

Similarily +votes probably feel like a white hot spotlight for narcissists.

Jethro Tull

While net zero means nobody cares about your opinion?

Bag of Pucks

Being ignored online: a fate worse than death for social media pundits. Gotta prove your ‘influencer’ cred!


All of this angst because someone may have accidentally downvoted your question about Toffoli while scrolling through LT with their thumb?



Last edited 4 months ago by Side


Material Elvis

Most people who take the time to complain about downvoting, then state that they don’t care about downvoting, really fuckin hate getting downvoted.




I upvoted this just in case you are a nihilist hoping for net zero.

Material Elvis

What about a guy like HH, who is a narcissistic troll?

Brewha Ha

I upvoted this because of your ability to form gooder paragraphs, and also because of the bestest grammar. But the main reason was because I want to see you fight someone in Sylvan Lake. Im always up to see a lil brewhaha.

Last edited 4 months ago by Brewha Ha
Bag of Pucks

And to think I had the temerity to suggest that some posters were petty…

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Well, you certainly received some fun responses on the voting topic. A few had me laughing pretty good.

Bag of Pucks

Some serious junior high level wit on display, no doubt.


You have given me great entertainment! Thank You!


I would be pleased to have Jake DeBrusk on the roster competing for a top 6 LW spot at camp. He has the potential to be a great fit as a shooter on a skill line.

At the same time, his contract is a major factor when determining acquisition cost.

Firstly, coming off a 14-point season with questions surrounding his commitment to work ethic and commitment to develop a responsible 2-way game, his current cap hit is bloated. Its not terribly egregious given his past production be he vastly underperformed his cap hit this past season. Yes, as LT points out, there is deployment reasons to factor in but, still, 14 points is 14 points.

Secondly, as we’ve talked about, this player is due a qualifying offer of, I believe, $4.8MM next off-season. Sure, if acquired, there is the ability to negotiate an extension for term that is under that QO but there are so many unknown factors in that scenario (the player may want to test the UFA market if unqualified, the performance in Edmonton may not warrant that type of extension, etc.).

Given the foregoing, there is a big rise that the acquisition needs to be viewed as a one-year to UFA style type acquisition.

Factor in the fact that the Bruins would be trading the player materially in the name of cap space and, seriously, the acquisition cost would have to be nominal.

I’m talking like Caleb Jones is probably too much (unless he’s going to be left unprotected and we factor in his likely low value to the current org).

Sure, I’d trade Kassian for DeBrusk in half a second – Kassian’s contract contains even more negative value given the 3 years of term left. I don’t see any scenario where the Bruins want to add $3M for 3 years when they are looking to clear cap space.

So, as much as I’d like to the player at Oilers’ camp, and would even take his bloated cap hit risk for one season, it just doesn’t make sense to pay any material cost even though there is upside potential.

Am I wrong?


You’re wrong about not trading Jones for him.
But I doubt the Bruins make that trade anyway.
Unprotected dmen have very little value until after the expansion draft.


So, as much as I’d like to the player at Oilers’ camp, and would even take his bloated cap hit risk for one season, it just doesn’t make sense to pay any material cost even though there is upside potential.

Am I wrong?

Pretty much how I see it which is why I proposed Kassian who I consider to be a Bruins type player. I don’t think he gets it done by himself but I think there is a deal that could surround those two. Both players with disappointing seasons and the teams thinking a second opinion might be good from both sides. I add Jones in a heartbeat if that is the ask.

But, yes, if Kassian is going the other way DeBrusk’s QO is a non issue. He either rebounds and is worth it or the team moves on.

Last edited 4 months ago by defmn

$4.8M QO sounds like he’s not being qualified. Maybe just sign him next off-season.


I agree with OP.


Can we just ask Louie what he thinks, especially on the work ethic question?

Jethro Tull

He has a shooter mentality.


Post of the year.


Jethro with the post of the year.

Material Elvis

Maybe post of the week but there are some very strong candidates for post of the year.


When you are correcting a lawyer, it is mandatory to include “I REST MY CASE!”

Banging a gavel afterwards is a bonus.


I have been wrong on his qualifying offer being at $4.8MM.

I knew about the 120% over average cap that has been put in place and was correct that it is grandfathered and only applies to contracts signed after July 10, 2020.

What I didn’t realize is that DeBrusk signed his contract after that date, in November 2020 so the rule applies.


I’ve learned the old guy isn’t wrong very often. No shame in second place.


– 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 tabulate

1) Who will the Oilers 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:


4.4×3.75 limited no trade.
7.Hamilton 5×8
9.Kassian, Bear – Buchnevich, Reunanen. Plus 2 others. 10.yes, Mij Batherson.
12.Tipps has another playoff burnout, he’s cooked. Whoever plans their half court offense, cooked.


Holland has his faults as a GM, but I think he is wise enough to be casting doubt on Klefbom’s future – even if he knows more.

On the balance of probabilities the combination of the best surgeon in the field, a years rest and Klefbom being a physical specimen means a bionic man result is more probable than a Bo Jackson result.

Elgin R

Agreed that Holland knows the current state of affairs and is just blowing smoke.


We just need to send Klefbom to Kucherov Island so that he can be perfectly rested and healthy, yet surprisingly rust-free, for day 1 of the playoffs.

Last edited 4 months ago by PokeCheck

DeBrusk is pretty interesting. Quality numbers over 3 seasons before this one. Not yet 25. Even with this season his career boxcars project to 82-22-23-45.

In a lot of ways this is the kind of trade folks have been clamouring for Holland to make, plucking talent entering its prime years from other organizations.

Lots of talk about his QO being too high, but according to CapFriendly, QO’s are capped at 120% of the AAV (hat tip to Gerta). Again, according to CapFriendly, this applies to deals signed after July 10th, 2020, which would apply to DeBrusk’s. (

That still makes his QO $4.4M, but it’s a bit better than $4.8M. And as Oil2Oilers mentions below, those numbers start to look a lot less daunting when you compare to UFA prices for guys entering (or already in) their 30’s.

It’ll be interesting to see if Holland can get something done.


I have been wrong on his qualifying offer being at $4.8MM.

I knew about the 120% over average cap that has been put in place and was correct that it is grandfathered and only applies to contracts signed after July 10, 2020.

What I didn’t realize is that DeBrusk signed his contract after that date, in November 2020 so the rule applies.

Hat tip is correct.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

Bear for Debrusk straight up? Then sign Barrie and Kulikov and hope Klefbom comes back.

D evolves from opening night:

To Playoffs:

To opening night 2022:

You might get Debrusk to sign a decent contract at this point, but is Bear an overpay?

And I know we all would probably pass on Barrie, but he brings more to the table than Bear IMO. He led the league in D scoring. Moving Bear opens a spot for Bouch and helps the top 6. Letting Barrie walk because we have Bear really gets us no further ahead.


I’d love Barrie back and I don’t understand the opposition, other than the fact that Oilers fans detest offensive defencemen. I actually thought Barrie was quite a good 1 on 1 defender. The problem is someone is going to offer him something north of $7M with term, and that’s not something the Oilers can do.

I’m not as high on Bear as some, I don’t see him being a top pairing guy, and I like the idea of Debrusk, but Bear for Debrusk is an overpay.


Most of the defensemen who played with Pronger were not 1st pairing guys.

No one is arguing that Bear is a 1st pairing guy or will ever be a 1st pairing guy. Bouchard will get that spot as soon as he gains experience.

Barrie isn’t a 1st pairing guy. He is a 3rd pairing guy defensively.

Bear has the potential to be a solid all around 2nd pairing guy on his own merit, who can play higher (like Barrie) when paired with a stud like Nurse.


I think the NHL is getting faster every year, Bear seems a little slow on his skates. Maybe he will improve, but I’m not sure of him.


Bear and Mikko for a Goaltender I don’t know which one but that’s my big trade this summer.

Randle McMurphy

To opening night 2022:


I feel like I’m an owl and I just heard another owl hooting from miles and miles away.

Keep the faith brother.

There are more of us out there than people realize. (And Ken Holland and Dave Tippett may be among the believers).

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Barrie is not a 1st pairing dman. Bear isn’t either but I think he’s just as good as Barrie.
And I’d much rather pay Bear 2 million next year, as opposed to 4 million for Barrie.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I’d rather pay 4M for Barrie. Bear has one year left, and then he’ll be around 4M. In 2 years we’re probably looking at around 6M for Barrie, and 4M for Bear. And Bear will never lead the league in scoring. Despite his warts, Barrie has value.


Whoever gets PP1 time with the Oilers is going to rack up the points. That does not make that player better, it just gives them a chance to pad their stats. I was far more impressed with Nurses scoring last year than Barries.
People keep using Barries scoring as a reason to re sign him. “He led the league in points by a dman. We have to keep him.” That seems to be the theme. I don’t think points are a very good way to evaluate dmen. And even if they were, does scoring the most points make Barrie the best offensive dman in the league? I don’t think so.


I’m in the ‘thanks but no thanks’ camp on Barrie too, but Klefbom and Nurse had those cherry PP1 minutes in previous years and they didn’t end up leading the league in D scoring. Not even close.


Barrie won’t be $4M next year though. Your argument is flawed.


No Kulikov. It would be a mistake.

Randle McMurphy


Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy

A large part of the appeal in a trade for Debursk would be dampening the possibility of a high risk UFA signing.

Jones + Kassian (1M retained) for Debursk

Would mean Holland, after signing his own UFA’S, is only shopping in the high cost – high risk goalie UFA market and the lower risk and cost bottom 6 RHC market.


That doesn’t appeal to me at all.


Oh my, how things change. Just 5 months ago Jones was seen by many as a top 4 defenseman. Now he’s a throw-in for a forward reclamation project who is very likely to be gone after 1 year because of his high QO ($4.41 million); plus, the Oilers who are desparate for Cap space should retain $1 million for 3 years to help the Bruins Cap situation?


I seems to remember that Nuge was a third of the best line in hockey the season before this.

Things change fast on the internet. 😉


I love Jones to bits, and think he will make it as a top 4 defender. The Oilers seem bound to get rid of him this summer, possibly for nothing. Getting any sort of return is a result.


Getting rid of the Kassian contract is also the precursor to the Reinhart addition.

Elgin R

Losing Jones to the Kraken is a real possibility. If Jones is traded who does that leave for the Kraken to take? Probably Benson and that would be a shame after all the time and money that the organization has invested in him. Maybe they take Kassian and then trade him – that would be ok.


They probably go 7-3-1 in that case and Benson is protected. He best be protected over the likes of Kassian, contract considering.

Can’t imagine the Kraken taking Kassian.


Edmonton fans over value Jones, he is too prone making the same mistakes over and over, not sure the Kraken would be interested. The teams in the final four are living proof that you need size and skill on defence if you want to succeed in the post season. Jones is not big enough or physical enough.


Do you feel the same way about Bear because they are both about the same weight & Jones has more room to add since he is taller?


I would also add that, yes, I agree, Jones has a penchant for making the same mistake more than once and I think that is what has driven his reduction in role and trust from the coaching staff. With that said, while not raw rookie, Jones is still fairly young (just turned 24) and definitely still developing.

Presumably he is able to learn from his mistakes a bit better as he develops and gains experience (although, if he can’t, and maybe he can’t, that’s prohibitive of a really career despite his skating and puck skills).


Yup. He has to clean those errors up without doubt.

Of course we spent years here anguishing about Nurse’s inability to master back door coverage and it really wasn’t until this past season that that subject kind of disappeared from the comment section.

You never really know until about the 250 – 300 game mark with dmen imo.


Yes, of course, although I will note that Nurse has (had) top 10 pick pedigree, a physical stature that Jones doesn’t have and was a good enough player that he played those 250-300 games as a 21-23 year old, not a 23-25 year old like Jones will be.

I agree about Jones and needing more games to develop but I’m not so sure pointing to a top pick and current elite d-man is fair – Nurse developed earlier.


Just pointing out that dmen develop over time & the tendency fans have to over rate or under value players based upon their last season.

As I pointed out earlier today the season before last Nuge was an important part of the best line in hockey according to many here and a year later the mood has changed.

I think GM’s tend to take longer views – for better and worse.

Bag of Pucks

If the price is right, Sam Steel is exactly the type of player that Holland should be acquiring.

Best case scenario, the goal scoring he showed in junior finally pops and you’ve got a top 6 finisher on a value contract.

Worst case scenario, ala Danny Cleary and Andrew Cogliano, he reinvents himself as a bottom 6 player with a nice skillset. I certainly like Tippett’s ability to teach defensive coverage more than Dallas Eakins. Swarm! Chop Wood! Swarm!!!

Nothing better than a young skilled player coming in on a cheap contract with a ton of motivation.

And he’s a hometown boy!

Last edited 4 months ago by Bag of Pucks
Scungilli Slushy

I would think Bouchard Bro Samy are the mid term future of the Oilers D, Nurse is the anchor.

Read the 30 thoughts and Gregor’s piece on D. Confirmation bias yes, fits with that I think some D shake ups could really benefit.

I like Larsson, but he is shy with the puck. For his pair to be strong he needs a puck mover. Preferably that can help defend and is a better skater than him.

If Holland is true to his form they’ll break one in a season, Bouch, Samu, Bro, perhaps the last two flip.

This all depends on Klef, if he’s back Holland’s life is much easier, I am not confident in that at all. If he’s not or not close enough to what he was, an acquisition blocks the youth. Kulikov isn’t any better than platooning what they have or can resign. If it’s a one year cheap fine, doesn’t change much either way on the ice.

So LD probably is left as is, bringing Kooks or using the remainder of Jones Lags, limping through.

I still feel RD needs stronger help. Bear is good, but while when playing well doesn’t get hammered with Nurse, I still would like a bigger more experienced guy there that would give Nurse more freedom to grow again instead of carrying.

I’m not sure what type of 2 way Steady Eddy type is available by cash or deal, but I’d go that route and use Bear to get forwards.

I’m not hot on Barrie coming back unless it’s dirt cheap and maybe not even then, defense optional D don’t cut the mustard for me, especially smaller non physical ones.


Bear needs to go back to the gym and come into camp like he did in his rookie season. It feels like he got comfortable and didn’t have the same edge as the rookie season. He looked too slow.


Hunter1909’s Infamous Death March™ is NOW accepting registration/prediction for the upcoming 2021-22 NHL Oilers season.

Please go to the site.

Harpers Hair

Aaron Beard (@aaronbeardap) Tweeted:
(AP) The Carolina Hurricanes have reached an extension with coach Rod Brind’Amour, keeping the longtime franchise fixture on the bench another three years aftre three straight playoff bids.

Harpers Hair

I think Ron Francis was waiting to see how this played out before hiring a head coach for the Kraken.

Expect we’ll see the new Seattle coach hire shortly.

Jethro Tull

“We’ll see who he’ll Seattle for.” – G. Principe

Jethro Tull

Holland values Bouchard the same way McTavish valued Petry.



Jethro Tull

It was a sick (side)burn, bro!


I disagree.

Jethro Tull

That’s fine! It’s ok to. But why? Weren’t you a proponent of Holland’s perceived image as a draft and development guru? The choices Ken has made with Bouchard are truly baffling. His supposed “slow matriculation” method does not hold up under scrutiny.

If he and Tipp had no intention of playing him, he should have been in the Bake. They literally waited for a guy to recover from a broken bone instead of playing him. He is better than a large chunk of our D. And they sat him in limbo. Too sweet for Peter, too sour for Paul.

I think Ken isn’t hot on him because he didn’t draft him. Or Ken’s famous gut feeling.


For one, MacT challenged Petry publically whereas Holland has talked about Bouchard as being a big part of the future.

I don’t agree at all that the methods were baffling and don’t hold up to scrutiny.

I was on record well before the Barrie signing that acquiring a 4th shot right side D was a must. I was 100% on board with going with Bouch as 3RD to start the season but there needed to be some injury cover and poor play cover. Starting the season with Bear, Larsson and Bouchard and zero other right shot D options in the org was not an option in my mind.

I did not think that a player that magnitude of Barrie would be the RD acquisition but, that player at that contract (AAV and term), that’s a no-brainer sign. If pushed Bouchard to 4RD from 3RD, however, it was reasonable to assume that Bouch would get 30 plus games from injury cover alone. The fact that the entire right side of the D missed a total of 10-11 games with injury is a spectacular one-off.

I do think that Tippett could have worked to get Bouch a few more games but I don’t think the Barrie signing and Tippett’s deployment take away from the GM’s value of the player.

Its fairly clear that a Barrie re-sign for next season has never really been something Holland was (or is) contemplating which, itself says more about what Holland thinks of Bouch than anything – alot.


2 words. Taxi squad. If Bako was in Canada, Bouch would have played whole season on farm. Holland needed Bouch for possibility of injury. End of story really. Bouch a victim of Covid.


Bouch would have been recalled when Bear was hurt for sure but, yes, his taxi squad time would have been spent dominating the AHL.


Stauffer and others have been stoking the DeBrusk rumours for most of the season. A trade built around Kassian – LW for RW – seems the obvious play if/when Hall is signed by Boston.

‘Aim higher’ is the likely retort but cap & assets dictate that not every hole is going to be filled by the best option available given that there are 31 other teams also trying to improve & many of them have both more cap & trade assets available.

If one year of DeBrusk gets Edmonton out of 3 years of a contract they may already be regretting then I am sure they will be happy to sweeten the deal to get it done.


Kassian is a hot commodity if you want to get him off the Oilers.


I can. The Bruins got out banged by NYI. They don’t like that in Boston.



I don’t see any team feeling a need to add Kassian at 3 X $3.2MM let alone a team that would be trading a higher potential and much younger player partially in the name of cap space.

As for trading Kass to other teams, with $750K retained, I think some would be interested – the return would be nominal I’m sure.

That contract is “no beuno”.

Randle McMurphy

Debrusk for Kass (and the 2022 3rd) ? Yes please.

The Bruins may have soured on Debrusk, but there are still plenty of teams out there that will pay something for him.

Calgary, Buffalo, Arizona, Philly, etc etc

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Kass is going to the Rangers 🤷‍♂️


Just listened to the latest Cult of Hockey podcast. Depressing to say the least. Both Bruce and David Staples are less than enthusiastic about the team’s pro scouting dept, and worry if Holland is up to the challenge that faces him this summer. Can’t say I blame them for feeling this way. Please, please don’t screw this up Holland. 

Last edited 4 months ago by JimmyV1965

Why are they worried about the Pro Scouting Dept?

Been a problem for 7 yrs +; but curious why they are worried now


Less than enthusiastic is every episode of Cult of Hockey. I love Bruce’s spots on Lowetide and his very informed opinion and recall of history, and the work that goes into the Cult of Hockey game breakdowns, but depressing is the baseline for that podcast. Which is kind of the opposite of his Lowetide spots where he can be rather cheery and upbeat and literally waxing about the waning of the moon. And it’s not always about the content (when they lose) but about the delivery. I wish they’d up the energy a bit. They are not broadcasters/announcers by nature and it shows. They need a bit of coaching on how to bring their energy up, especially when the Oilers lose. Sometimes, I feel like I just wanna end it all when listening to them. They sound suicidal some nights. And I just wanna scream, “Get a grip, guys, it’s a game, it’s for entertainment.” But… but, it is informative and I crave all things Oilers, so I tune in anyway. Bruce, if you read this, it comes from a place of love. Your podcast can be way better and it starts with the energy. I think you two feed off each other’s negative energy sometimes and it just spirals downward from there. It gets to the point that it seems like you don’t want to be there some nights. Which is fair as a fan, but not as a professional. Your fans/listeners are probably already down after a loss. Maybe make a promise to each other to keep the tone positive even if the content is negative? I dunno, am I reading too much into this. I have directed TV in the past and I would be all over them about the energy in their performance. Maybe do some light exercise before you go live? I hope I don’t sound like an asshole and too harsh. I’d really like Cult of Hockey to continue and thrive. I can’t help feeling that they might have lost some fans and that I’m not alone in this feeling.

Randle McMurphy

Wall of Text Alert

I know we all know the value of Gabriel Landeskog. But in this article in The Hockey News, I was struck by the similarities to Nuge, and the differences. It’s like Landeskog is what we would all love for Nuge to be.

Landeskog ( Age 28, 6’1″ 215) 54gp 20g 32a 52pts  37 even strength pts 8 gwg

Is an effective top line left winger, creating turnovers and getting pucks to his linemates in scoring position. He can also drive to the net, deflect shots, score on rebounds and draw penalties. In addition, he can play either left wing or center on a line more concerned with checking. He is often on the first penalty-killing unit and takes a number of big faceoffs. Landeskog is a powerful skater with quickness and the ability to make tight turns in confined areas; His speed is fine and is above average in straight-ahead situations.

Landeskog has good hands in tight situations. When he causes turnovers, he can keep possession of the puck. He can elevate rebounds effectively and deflect shots. His playmaking is good, but it’s not at the elite level. His shooting can be erratic. If he is required to release a shot quickly, his accuracy is inconsistent. 

Landeskog displays characteristics of a captain of a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. He is noticeable on virtually every shift of a game. He is the ideal complement to elite first line talent. Landeskog can skate with them, get the puck to them and create turnovers to get the puck back to them. He plays the game at a high tempo. 

Landeskog is also very effective centering a line with middle six talent. Landeskog forechecks diligently and can play whatever role you want in the defensive zone. Even when he is playing left wing, he is used for some key faceoffs. 

Landeskog goes to the greasy areas and gets his nose dirty. In an era that values puck possession, the most compelling statistic is takeaways versus giveaways; Landeskog has a plus-136. Landeskog has a high rate of shots blocked per game as well as hits per game. His face off win percentage for the past two seasons 56.4 and 56.6 

Landeskog is a top-level player who can enhance the play of his teammates. He can play on an offensive line or a checking line. He is equally effective at left wing and at center. He can be used in all crucial situations in a game. Elite players benefit from Landeskog’s ability to create turnovers, his net-front presence and the knowledge he will protect them on the ice. 
Tom Thompson, The Hockey News (Tom has been an NHL scout/director/assistant GM since 1985)

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

If I were Holland, I might consider stringing out the RNH negotiations in order to see what’s truly available in Free Agency.

This guy (Landeskog) checks all of the boxes as to what this team/roster needs. Its like getting Hyman,Danault and Saad all rolled into one.

Like a perfect piece to the puzzle.

I’d take a hard look at Landeskog. $8m x 6yrs.

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy

If Nuge or his agent get the impression that Holland is stringing out the negotiations he will simply move on as well. A bird in hand and all that.

I understand all of the concerns about Nuge’s deficiencies – as well as his pluses – but I have yet to see a viable alternative named.

I don’t believe Landeskog has any interest in locating to Edmonton. He will stay in Colorado or head to LA or similar.

Randle McMurphy

“If Nuge or his agent get the impression that Holland is stringing out the negotiations he will simply move on as well. A bird in hand and all that.”

Move on to what?

“I understand all of the concerns about Nuge’s deficiencies – as well as his pluses – but I have yet to see a viable alternative named.”

Gabriel Landeskog

“I don’t believe Landeskog has any interest in locating to Edmonton. He will stay in Colorado or head to LA or similar.”

Chris Pronger?


Chris Pronger was traded to Edmonton and left as soon as possible.

There will be many suitors for Nuge. Unlike those who post on blogs GM’s realize that you can’t sign every ‘first choice’ UFA on your wish list. There are probably 20 teams who would be interested in signing Nuge.

Randle McMurphy

We just have to keep Landeskog away from local female news reporters.


You assume it was a female reporter.

I believe it was DSF that Pronger had an affair with and that’s why DSF is so bitter about the Oilers management.

The Oilers traded away the love of his life and he’s going to make them pay… via this blog.

Harpers Hair

Can confirm this

in an Athletic article, the Avalanche beat writer expects Landeskog to take a discount to keep the band together in Colorado.

If that doesn’t work out, perhaps a sign and trade deal between COL and LAK might be in the cards given the close relationship between Sakic and Blake.