Rear Window

by Lowetide

Five years after most drafts, a clear picture is available of all (or most) prospects chosen. A couple of years in junior, college or Europe, a year or so in the minors and then the build toward the NHL for 85-130 of the names chosen on draft weekend.

The 2016 draft has had more twists in the plot than a Hitchcock classic. Since it’s been five years, let’s have a look back.


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!


It was wild and crazy and it was wide open. Consider the comments on this blog leading up to the Puljujarvi pick:

  • 4pm—I am listening to the radio, and they are talking about trade rumors. Edmonton has No. 4 overall and may trade down to grab a defensemen who can help right away. I am fine with that, but want to make sure the club stays in the top 10.
  • 4:38pm—HAGS9K: Stay strong tonight LT nation. Remember whatever happens, we still have McDavid and we still have scotch.
  • 4:41pm—SPOILER posts a tweet from Lou Korac: Source: #stlblues and #oilers in talks about Shattenkirk. Oilers offering Nugent-Hopkins; Blues asking price: Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle.
  • 4:43PM—Oddspell: My heart is racing and I’m squirming in my seat.This team will be the death of me and they’re not even playing.
  • 4:45pm—I find a television and now reports have Peter Chiarelli, Brad Treliving and Jarmo Kekalainen talking.
  • 4:50pm—Reports now that Chiarelli has left the building.
  • 4:50pm—Jeremy Rutherford tweet: Jeremy Rutherford ‏@jprutherford 2m2 minutes ago Buffalo, NY—I’ve been reporting a return on Shattenkirk would be picks/prospect. They could get an established player but likely rules out Backes return.
  • 4:54pm—Bendelson:OK.1. Beer – check
    2. Bendelson draft list – check
    3. Optimism – check
    4. Dogs (to keep me grounded) – check, check
    5. Crying towel – nope (see #3)
    6. More beer – checkReady to go.
    Good times.
  • 5:00pm—The television opener anticipates something but lacks specifics. TV is awful at pretending they don’t know when they do, so I assume crickets because they are rambling. We are coming down to Tkachuk versus Dubois for Edmonton.
  • 5:08pm—SPOILER posts a Bob McKenzie tweet:Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie · 2m2 minutes ago: There is talk on the draft floor, as yet unconfirmed, that CBJ prospect Sonny Milano has been traded.
  • 5:10pm—Gary Bettman probably gets booed driving by arenas in mid-summer, but he hangs in there I will give him that much. The only thing he has ever done that I would have liked to do? Hand Z the Stanley.
  • 5:11pm—Drew: nothing stupid, nothing stupid, nothing stupid, nthing stoopid, tnithsd stoopidsnur!
  • 5:12pm—JonK: I admit the booing of Bettman makes me giggle a little. Haha.
  • 5:20pm—NYC OIL Gentleman Backpacker: Lou: “first pick of the 216 draft” We are going waaaaaaaay back.
  • 5:23pm—Stevezie (after two Montreal trades) Montreal is smarter than i hoped.
  • 5:27pm—speeds: When Bettman started with Eller, I thought he might be slow-playing the first part of a Subban trade!
  • 5:29pm—Lowetide: Well, we are about to see something. Or nothing.
  • 5:30pm—SPOILER: Christ, Laine is going to be auditioning for The New Kojak series before he’s 21. How does he feel about lollipops?
  • 5:30pm—V4ANCE posts a tweet: Aaron Portzline ‏@Aportzline now
    Now things get interesting. #CBJ on the clock shortly, with rampant speculation that a trade is in the offing.
  • 5:37pm—After an array of posts surrounding Dubois to Columbus, Smellyglove posts: Just walk up Chia!!!! Just walk up and take the Finn. Fix the D with something else, or go incremental.
  • 5:38pm—Ice Sage: LOL now watch Oilers pick Tkachuk
  • 5:38pm—Asiaoil: PLD is a beast – so glad he is out of our division. JP is a RW – perfect.
  • 5:39pm—Skidplate: Frick Ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 5:46pm—JonK:Items to watch moving forward with Puljujarvi:
    – ability to stick-handle in tight
    – placing passes onto the tape
    – hard shot with several typesBig fast winger for McDavid moving forward?
  • 5:48pm—Crazy Coach: This is awesome! Every Oilers legend needs a Finn playing the Right side!
  • 5:55pm—Lowetide: Very pleased with this pick. Also pleased to know the CBJ had Dubois ahead of Tkachuk (as my list suggested).
  • 5:57pm—Todd McCallan: I see Hossa. Wide range of skills. Absolutely cannot believe we got him.
  • 6:03pm—Lowetide:Kent Wilson ‏@Kent_Wilson 25m25 minutes agoAnd EDM gets Puljujarvi. Of course.I am an ass for posting this, because Kent is a really nice guy.
  • 6:07pm—Swedish Poster: Puljujärvis grandfather is a legendary in the fishing community of Älvkarleby. He’s also a RW(who Håkan Andersson thinks will look even better as a C due to his elite vision and hands). Puljujärvi is a great add to the Oilers, he’s not quite at the level of Laine, Matthews at this very moment but I’d argue his upside could very well be higher due to him having a wider array of skills. I’ve been beating his drum for a while now. He’s still physically immature so I truly hope the Oil don’t screw up his developement by counting on him to be a contributer from day one.
  • 6:09pm—Kmart99: Cant wait for the Oilers to just shove him in to the NHL this year and wonder why it didn’t work out.

For most of the five years that have passed since, Puljujarvi’s stock has been down and three men who went before him (Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Pierre-Luc Dubois) have been rocking in the free world and the giant mannish boy with the electric smile has been struggling to find his way.

Put into math terms, even with JP’s 2020-21 season, the four men do not resemble each other when their respective stats are placed in 82-game segments:

  • Auston Matthews: 49-37-86
  • Patrik Laine: 35-28-63
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois: 22-30-52
  • Jesse Puljujarvi: 14-12-26

Clearly one of these players doesn’t belong based on overall performance over the past five NHL seasons. However, when we isolate just last season, things begin to look up for Puljujarvi:

  • Auston Matthews: 52 games, 41-25-66 (1.27 pts-game)
  • Patrik Laine: 36 games, 12-12-24 (0.67 pts-game)
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois: 46 games, 9-12-21 (0.46 pts-game)
  • Jesse Puljujarvi: 55 games, 15-10-25 (0.45 pts-game)

Puljujarvi still trails the group, but the numbers are far closer. If the 2020-21 season had been a full schedule, JP was on a trajectory to score 22 goals. Could he score 25 next season? If the big man could deliver 200 goals over the next 10 years, with all of the other abundant gifts, that pick is going to look a lot better than it did four years after the draft.


The Oilers loved him on draft day. Bob Green: “I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, I wasn’t sure. He was sitting right there and sometimes that doesn’t work for you. I was really happy he was there for us.

Why didn’t the Oilers value Alex DeBrincat? Ryan Lambert wrote on why DeBrincat didn’t make Team USA this week for WJs, and much of it no doubt factored in to his ranking: “The probable guesses as to why have little to do with production, and everything to do with some rather tangible intangibles. DeBrincat is listed as 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds. And unlike, say Johnny Gaudreau, whose skating and speed are superlative, DeBrincat doesn’t get around at an elite level. So the feeling is that he’s a guy who’s going to score in junior, but it might not translate to the pros. Adding in the fact that he played pretty much his entire OHL career next to high-level talents, and you can see where teams rationalize the decision to drop him down the draft board.”

This conversation used to be about DeBrincat and a little about Carter Hart, but the number of players chosen in the second round of the 2016 draft who have played more than one NHL season (82+ games) now counts eight. There are seven or so more who could reach that number in the coming year.

Benson’s best opportunity to make the Oilers could be this fall. The club will add LW’s, but even with outside additions Benson should be able to get some traction. Among players who haven’t yet established themselves as NHL players from the second round, Benson’s numbers compare well:

  1. Boris Katchouk 29 games, 11-23-34 (1.17 pts-game)
  2. Taylor Raddysh 27 games, 12-17-29 (1.07 pts-game)
  3. Tyler Benson 36 games, 10-26-36 (1.00 pts-game)
  4. Adam Mascherin 37 games, 18-16-34 (0.92 pts-game)

Benson is in some good company here, and if the were a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization I’d say he would be a lock for NHL employment next season. As it is, Tampa Bay has a reputation for exhausting entry deals for some of their draft picks, then elevating them to regular duty (Radko Gudas) or trading them if they are duplicating a roster player (Adam Erne).

Ken Holland has that reputation, and the Oilers have elevated Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Kailer Yamamoto, William Lagesson, Evan Bouchard, Stuart Skinner and Ryan McLeod over his first two seasons. Benson also played in seven games, I see him as a 3-4-5 LW for the Oilers in the coming year.

Markus Niemelainen and Filip Berglund appear to be matriculating and will play in Bakersfield this winter, while Dylan Wells is already at a career crossroads despite not playing much during his entry deal. You’d like a man to get his full opportunity but it’s been a weird time in the hockey (and everywhere). Matthew Cairns and Aapeli Rasanen are still writing their stories, Graham McPhee is trying to establish himself on an AHL deal, something Vincent Desharnais has already done.

The 2016 Oilers draft hasn’t looked this promising since 2016.


My Dad was a unique and funny man. I’ve told you the box story, the trip up Pike’s Peak and several other tales over the years. I don’t think I’ve told you this one, stop me if you’ve heard it.

My Dad wasn’t one to follow social norms and that was in all situations. So my Mom would “prepare” Dad for moments when she anticipated a wrongway outcome. One of these occurred at the 100 Mile House Hospital in the spring of 1969.

My parents friend Alex was dying of cancer, and we were close with him and family. It was really sad, first time I’d been around the death of a person we knew (he was always kind to me) and around cancer. So, Mom bought him grapes (he loved grapes) and in the car before going up she said “Ira, talk about happy things, things that bring you joy. Stay positive. Offer him these grapes, he has had a craving for them, Marveen (his wife) told me.”

So, we go up. My brother is making weird sounds when pretty nurses pass, I’m trying not to breathe in anything that might kill me (I am my father’s son) and Dad is 10 miles ahead of Mom and us despite not knowing what room Alex is in.

He gets lost. We wait for him to get back to the nurses station, and by then Mom knows the room. Mom, I remember she looked so nice, told us to smile and make Alex feel better. She probably assumed Dad had been suitably prepared for the moment so didn’t offer any last minute advice.

Well. I wish I’d filmed it. Dad walks in, throws the bag of grapes at Alex, goes into a five-minute passion speech about how he bought the hat he was wearing (Fedora, small brim, it looked like someone had started out making a straw basket and then checked down) at the five and dime (second-hand store) for 25 cents. I mean Jesus. Mom was waving him off, doing the ‘reject all signals’ sign, blowing a bugle, he ran all the stop signs.

“I bought one of the Russian hats at the Robinsons for seven dollars, this one’s better,” I remember him saying.

Then Dad starts eating the grapes! Swear to God. Then he tells Alex that his son Irvin is buying a Corvair (this was not a good idea according to Dad) and Dad thought it was dangerous and he could get himself killed in that thing.

Mom came over the top with questions normal humans would ask and got things back on track, and also got the grapes away from Dad. Alex asked us about school, which in the the 1960’s consisted of hard hitting questions like ‘what grade are you in?’ and ‘what’s you favourite subject?’ and then we left.

Mom was real mad at Dad, who then sulked all the way home. I didn’t get one grape.


You may also like

4.7 18 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That was quick – Best of 3 now.


I would love to be a fly on the wall when the officials go over the game with the series supervisor.


I’m taking Perry the shrewdest off season signing to score in OT.

Ice Sage

these habs remind me of our 2006 Oilers, all horseshoes and confidence


Also getting that vibe. But where 2006 Oil benefitted I think from the calls – arguments for two multi game Torres suspensions, I’d say – this ‘next level’ NHL officiating could sink any team. It’s bad. It’s bad and the league should feel bad.


Thank you for letting us into your life and sharing! Your doing so makes this a very special place. What you wrote got me to thinking about my father who was a very special man. My father married late in life as he spent a number of years working in the forestry industry and sending money home to help his father and mother and younger siblings. My father was 37 when I was born. As soon as I was able I was my father’s shadow.
At five years of age I came running in from the barn crying and my mother asked me why I was crying. I replied that dad had kicked the milk cow for stepping in the bucket and spilling the milk and had hurt his toe. Mom replied, “why are you crying that should have you made you laugh”! I said I did and dad whacked my bottom.
My father will always be my hero and I miss him very much even though he has been gone for many years.


The Spaniard Rahm has got it going on and off the golf course.

Last edited 2 months ago by Reja

How are TOI/GP and Points/GP the only metric that consistently evaluates defensemen? Those metrics don’t even evaluate actual defense, which is incredibly important for defensemen.

TOI/GP can be heavily influenced by coaching, which is not reliable and can be considered appeal to authority. Points/GP only evaluates the offensive side of the game, and can change depending on teammate quality and the amount of powerplay time a defenseman gets a game. Barrie and Russell were not in the top 3 among Oilers defensemen this season.


How are TOI/GP and Points/GP the only metric that consistently evaluates defensemen? Those metrics don’t even evaluate actual defense, which is incredibly important for defensemen.

He’s using regression/correlation analysis to look at what metrics are reproducible for defensemen year over year. Things like GF% are not very reproducible/consistent year over year. TOI/game and points/game are the most reproducible measures of a defenseman he’s found. Georgexs can correct me if I’ve misrepresented anything, but I believe that’s the gist of it.


I’ve long been a fan of using Toi/g as a metric for comparing defensemen… dating back to some fun discussions with Gmoney ages ago.

However, at the end of the day, Toi/g is not an objective performance metric. It’s really only a proxy for who a coach thinks are his best defensemen. NHL coaches are generally very smart hockey men, however.


Yeah, I agree with all that. I guess there is no such thing as an objective performance metric though, they’re all affected by deployment in some manner or other.

That TOI/game generally holds up over years and across teams (see Tyson Barrie) is a pretty strong argument for it’s value.


Maybe a hot take, but Puljujarvi is going to end up as the 2nd best player in the top 10 of that draft when it’s all said and done.


Let the record state that I 2nd that.


this could happen but that’s a tough row to hoe.

I think we all agree that he’s not touching Matthews.

Goal scoring is hard and Patrik Laine does have a near 50 goal season on his resume – he’s “meh” defensively (although improved), incredibly streaky and a bit odd (although so is Jesse) and, no matter how Hossa-like Jesse gets to, if Laine finds his 40 goal range again – Jeese won’t touch that.

If Tkachuk matures a bit and is a consistent PPG guy, that’ll be tough for Jesse to touch as well.

The big one for me is Sergachev – that’s a top pairing d-man for a decade.


The Oilers don’t solve their defensive problems by signing Larsson to 4×4, a far marker for his peer group. That would just signal that management isn’t a good evaluator of hockey value or a good steward of the team’s resources, meaning the problems will continue. Getting better as a team starts with management making better hockey AND financial decisions in spots like these

Thank you for the work and your great post.

With that said, when you say that that contract signing would signal that management is not a good evaluator of hockey value I think it needs to add the caveat “as per the criteria that you have decided matter the most”. Maybe they do matter the most but maybe they are just part of the equation and maybe management and the coaches have other data they use and value and, of course, as much as data is helpful and informative, its not determinative.

Being part of the leadership group matters.

Having a skill-set that no other proven player in the organization has matters.

Having veterans that are still impact players and part of the core, is imperative (Klef, Nuge and Larsson are them).

Playing only 16% of his TOI with McDavid and having good results, matters, alot.

Having a veteran to help mentor the younger d-men, matters.


Renaud Lavoie
· 30m
Breaking story: ⁦@GoldenKnights⁩ GM Kelly McCrimmon received a positive COVID test. Team reaction here


I don’t feel like this describes the whole picture well. Time on ice is great and all but who gets the tough assignments? 18 min a night sledding uphill both ways that includes top pk time can be much harder than Tyson Barrie minute
Your comparables include a bunch of players who are replacement level and not actual hard minutes defensive defensemen


Larsson played:

– 9 minutes with McDavid in the playoffs and 80 minutes away from him.

– 17.5 minutes with Loan in the playoffs and 71 minutes away from him.

– 69 of his 88 minutes away from both McDavid and Drai (and won the shot share, but not the goal share).


One could just as easily ask why Tippett (Playfair) chose to play Larsson when the top teammates were off the ice – I don’t think its because they didn’t trust Larsson…..

Tough comp, negligible McDavid (and Drai) minutes, thought zone starts, a revolving door on “not established 2nd pairing partners”….. just it get tougher as an Oiler d-man?


The wowy numbers suggest that Larson might suppress the ga/60 when he plays with 97…

However, he also cuts the gf/60 on in half.

In other words, Larsson is a quiet minutes player.

You want quiet minute players on the bench when 97 is on the ice and on the ice when 97 is on the bench.


We are going to have to disagree with the value of Larsson and the importance of the minutes he played this past season. He was given the toughest minutes of the group given QoT, QoO, zone starts and faired well.

His solid, solid season this past season was also a continuance of 2019/20 – he was fantastic the last few months of that season – a quick check and he was almost 55% goal share in the last 25 games – again, non-McDavid time and much of that paried with Jones.


The miracle was also built on low GAs, no?


Maybe the Barrie minutes are the McDavid minutes, not b/c Barrie moves the needle offensively but because of Nurse.

Nurse is the team’s best d-man, all-around, and gets the McDavid minutes. Barrie has struggles with other d-men but Nurse, Nurse shines him and that is why he gets those minutes.

Others have done the work that seems to show McDavid’s offence is no better with Barrie, no?

Point is there are various ways to slice all the deployment, no?


As I recall Barrie’s numbers away from Nurse were a disaster. This may explain why Barrie has been moved as a throw in from Colorado and let go by Toronto! It would seem if he has the value you say such would not be the case!


Hard minutes and PK defenseman are two different things. If you sort the top 4v5 pk defenseman last season ,you get the Who’s who of big, hard-nosed, veteran with fast boots and passing optional defenseman with the odd exception like Devon Toews, Justin Faulk, and Adam Fox.


I agree this is a nice analysis, but a few things to toss back your way.

First, Bear falls into the C2 bin based on this past season, but he was an A1 in 19-20 (also A1 if you look at his last two seasons combined). Is it a stretch to pencil Bear into the A1 role next season when he’s done it before? Also, does Larsson playing ahead of Bear (arguably an A1) this season indicate Larsson’s B2 status doesn’t do him justice?

Second, Larsson has been very close to the 20 minute a night TOI cutoff. If you look over 3 seasons he has averaged 20 minutes a night, so a longer view would bump him up to an A2. As you showed in your reply to Ryan that’s a very different pay group than B2 (it looks like the AAV for the 6 who are 27+ is $4.2M)

Third, you’ve dinged Larsson a little with the cutoffs on both the TOI and points/game groupings. Larsson is above the 18:20 median TOI cutoff (19:39 this past season, 20:34 over 3 seasons), so 2 bins for TOI would be more favorable for him. Likewise, 3 bins rather than 2 for points/game would have Larsson in the middle group (at least in his 3 year sample, though admittedly just barely).

I think these things bring Larsson closer to fair value at $4M. If nothing else, I’m not convinced $4M x 4 should be called a far marker for his peer group.


Bouchard should been inserted for at least game 4 after Bear shit the bed in game 3 but Tippett is way to loyal it seems. Instead we have Bouchard who l think is the best right all around D out of the group watching reruns of Andy Griffith.


Bears numbers considering his recovery from concussion do not tell the story. Numbers are subject to interpretation! If you use past season only they are of little or no value due small sample size. Who a D is paired with and quality of competition also need to be factored in. Using your methodology leaves much to be desired in my opinion!


I’m not saying Bear was special, I’m saying he was acceptable, competent. By your own definition he fell into the A1 bin (last season and over 2 years in aggregate), and IMO he held his own.

I guess we likely are using different lenses/tools. SF%, GF% and xGF% are the my main ones, also TOI and scoring of course. I like to use WOWYs as well, which you don’t seem to value. And I’ve been using zone starts, but I’ll stop with that one (I wasn’t convinced they had no effect until looking at the correlations today, now I’m convinced).

In terms of Bear’s TOI drop. I know you’ve hypothesized this type of thing is a role change by coaches to mitigate a problem. But the Oilers added a 22 minute a night RD to the roster; that played a big role in Bear’s TOI drop (Larsson and Barrie also saw (smaller) drops in TOI over the previous year, FWIW). As you mentioned in another post, Bear started the year on the 1st pairing and it wasn’t until his concussion that he lost the job to Barrie. That doesn’t suggest that Tippett saw Bear at 1RD/A1 as a problem that needed fixing. And Tippett kept moving Bear up with Nurse when protecting a lead.

Bear certainly isn’t the ideal 1RD, but I don’t have an issue starting him there next season. I don’t think Tippett does either, despite some rough moments you’ve highlighted. (btw Bear had the best SF% and xGF% among Oilers D this season, which I think are important measures).

In terms of Larsson, it’s a little weird that you’re now taking about ‘disastrous 18-19 and 19-20′ (= GF%) while also telling us GF% doesn’t stick to defensemen. I was restricting my comments to your original parameters. You’re right though, by some of the measures I like to use, Larsson (and Klefbom) had a couple of awful years. The confounding thing is their SF% and xGF% were strong both years, so I honestly don’t know what to do with that. Neither of them puts up points at even strength either, but Klefbom has the skill to be part of a #1 PP. Really, I have no clue.

The TOI trending down part for Larsson, I dunno. Larsson played over 20 min in the ’20’ part of 19-20, after his injury. This past season was 19:39, but the team had 2 other guys on it who’d played 22 minutes the previous year. I don’t think Tippett cut Larsson’s time on merit, honestly.

In terms of comparable A2 salaries, even with your caveats we’re right in the range of $4M x 4 for Larsson (or $3.75M x 4 as has been equally speculated). The wisdom in those signings I guess remains to be seen. Though I guess we’ll never really know or be able to measure the value of these guys to their teams. Could be worth noting that one of the final 4 teams signed 2 of the comparables, and those guys weren’t even A2s before signing. Seriously though, it’s almost impossible to know their impact.

I guess I also value the things that OP mentioned. Probably more than you, definitely less than a lot of posters here.

So yeah, I guess we’ve established it, different lens and tools.

Bill Clinternet

Excellent work


Drove down the #303 yesterday to T’ford to visit the parents for father’s day plus hang out for a few days.

Gave your old homestead a wave after we passed the Milleton community centre. I don’t remember so many oil tanks around the last time I came thru. I miss the scrub trees that used to coat the roadsides and the former Riverside ski hill.

I told my sister the story of that stretch of road when they were first paving it. They’d got the dirt/gravel road levelled and a huge daylong rain storm hit. My dad drove thru the unfinshed site and the car started walking sideways in the mud at 50kms/hr right as we passed the community centre. He slowed to 30 but the car didn’t straighten out til we got past the construction work and got back on the regular muddy gravel road by the old gas station. My dad acted like it was absolutely no big thing whereas me and my brother were amazed my dad pulled off a feat of daredevil driving!

My sister and I both reminisced that it seemed like the BIGGEST drop and hill climb we’d ever seen in our lives while we were doing the first crossing of the north Saskatchewan. I said that car loaded to the gills with our stuff in 1980 felt like it would die on that uphill huffing and puffing.

Fond memories.

Last edited 2 months ago by v4ance
Harpers Hair

This is great stuff.


Excellent post!

My first reaction was where’s Forbort?

Then I realized he’s in the A2 category. $1m cap hit.

I definitely agree with your evaluation of the Larsson contract situation. There’s also the further issue of the player aging curve risk.

There’s a contingent of the Oilers fanbase that doesn’t think a person can be a fan of the team if they don’t have faith in that team’s management. It’s more prevalent at HFBoards, but it exists here too.

I don’t believe that Holland has it in his repertoire to walk away from Larsson at 4v4.

He likes what (in this case who) he knows too much. He also doesn’t seem to have capable professional scouting.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan

A2’s are mostly 2nd pairing D playing with a legit 1st pairing guy. Exception on your list is McDonagh and Skjei (though Skjei gets to play with Pesce).

Bear (or pretty much anyone who played with Nurse) would be on this list if he played with Nurse. Barrie ends up an A1 because of the power play and because he gets to play with Nurse. On his own, Barrie is probably a B1/C1 and Bear a B2/C3

One also needs a balance of skills in the six guys who play D. Larsson brings leadership and physicality, physicality which the Oilers are somewhat lacking on the blueline apart from Nurse.


Nurse/Bear were positive metrics across the board this past season including GF% and xGF% was almost 60%.


Thanks for that. I was wonder who comprised that group.

One other metric that I like for defenseman is ‘on the fly starts/60.’

Within teams it tends to stick to defenseman (high year-over-year correlation) with 3rd pair d having higher numbers.

However, there are some teams where it’s flat.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan

Benson is in some good company here, and if the were a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization I’d say he would be a lock for NHL employment next season. As it is, Tampa Bay has a reputation for exhausting entry deals for some of their draft picks, then elevating them to regular duty (Radko Gudas) or trading them if they are duplicating a roster player (Adam Erne).

We were told that good managers cut bait with players like Tyler Benson and move on – good organizations don’t continue to develop these dime a dozen players.

I countered with reference to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh and, not surprisingly, received crickets in response.


I know many feel Benson is not in the organization’s plans due to not getting a shot last year. That may be true but, personally, my opinion, is that it is not the case.

I believe the lack of opportunity was a function of the season’s circumstances including three things:

1) A week long camp with zero exhibition games

2) A short season of 56 games

3) For the Oilers, a mandatory 2-week quarantine for a called up player, once they arrive in Edmonton – meaning a solid 3 weeks from call-up until lineup insertion.

Dave and Ken simply didn’t have a chance for “tryouts” at camp and competition for roster spots. Benson, Marody, etc. didn’t get a single line rush during camp with a legit NHL player. The GM “hired” established NHL depth players such as Kahun and Ennis (and Haas and NYgard) for certainty in on the left side and in the bottom six.

There was simply no opportunity due to circumstances – not chance to compete for a roster pot given the nature of camp and games meaning more due to there only being 56.

All players that were sent down were told they were there for good – there wouldn’t be call-ups due to the quarantine, etc. This was simply the situation due to circumstances and the season structure.

Yes, near the end, the quarantine was reduced to 1-week and McLeod got a call-up but, really, there just wasn’t an opportunity due to the situation.

I truly believe that Benson will get a legit shot as a roster spot this coming camp and exhibition season. Right now, the only left wing is Neal. I think both Kahun and Khaira will be qualified and hope to see Nuge back but, as it stands, the only LW under contract is a guy that might be bought out.

Of course, there will be a couple of left wings signed/acquired – maybe its Nuge and Kahun, maybe its Hall had Hyman – who the heck knows right now but I do think the Benson will be in the conversation for a middle 6LW spot and maybe even a chance at a top 6 LW spot.

Holloway in the conversation as well.

Harpers Hair

Tampa drafted 4 players in the first 2 rounds of that draft.

Brett Howden – traded

Libor Hayek – traded

Yes, Katchouk and Raddysh remain in the organization but there is zero chance they wouldn’t be moved in the right deal.

You also fail to take account of the fact that making the roster of an elite team is much more difficult than that of a middling team in dire need of wingers whose GM scours European leagues for tweeners rather than promote one of your heart throbs.

The rest of your post is just a smokescreen attempting to obscure the reality that team management didn’t believe Benson was up to the task of winning a 3rd line spot on the team but instead ran out the clock on his ELC.

A player like Nils Hoglander who was also selected in the second round (years later) faced the exact same conditions of your 1,2,3 excuses and also had to deal with playing in a foreign country but managed to grab a roster spot and thrived.

At some point, reality has to set in.


Those two players are direct comparables to Tyler Benson and I was told that good organizations and top management cut bait on guys like Tyler Benson – end stop.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have not cut bait with highly comparable prospects.

So, there are three options:

1) you were wrong
2) Tampa Bay is not a good organization
3) You continue to spin narratives negatively towards the Oilers.

Harpers Hair

Howden and Hayek are much closer to Benson in draft pedigrees and they have been traded and both are better players.
Those are your comparables.

Katchouk and Raddysh were late second round picks who would have to make a stacked team while Benson was a 32nd overall pick and couldn’t even make the taxi squad of a team starved for wingers.

Your approach to all this is that Benson remains a quality prospect.

If a re-draft were held today he would have a tough time staying in the second round.

So there is only one option.


Your statement is either wrong or Tampa Bay is not a well-management organization – its as simple as that given the facts.


Tampa is a contending team. They are trading prospects to optimize an already contending roster, to try to push it over the top.

They were not dealing prospects when they were going from awful to good to contending.

The Oilers are now good. They are still not contending. It is still somewhat too early to be gung ho on trading prospects left and right.

Harpers Hair

Yes they were…the list is exhaustive and it’s been going on for a decade or more.

And it’s just not prospects as they’ve traded former 1st round picks if they see a competitive advantage.

At the same time, if they hit on a late round pick, and there are many they are not shy about giving them opportunity.

As for the Oilers, they would have been wise to trade some iffy picks before they aged out and their value dropped.


One other often unspoken factor is the expansion draft. It’s possible Holland may have been trying to obscure Benson to a degree by leaving him on the farm.

Harpers Hair

The Kraken have had two years with a crack analytics team to assess the value of every other teams roster.

You can bet they know exactly what Benson is likely more than Holland does.

Having said that, they might pick him in the draft and not qualify him or flip him in a trade for a more valuable piece as part of another deal.


This stuff about picking Benson in the draft and not qualifying him is absurd. That’s not happening, absolute worst case is he’s a high end minor leaguer for their AHL team.

A couple of more serious questions for you as well as the rest of the group:

1) Can we come up with a list of teams that are using analytics, and how long their analytics departments have been in place? Have these teams performed demonstrably better? (and potentially in specific areas?)

2) Is it possible to use analytics to identify prospects (beyond the NHLE type of thing that LT uses as a guide)? The only data available for most of the non-NHL leagues is classic boxcars (GP-G-A-TP +/- PIM). How does one do any meaningful analytics with a lack of data?

Harpers Hair

It’s not assured at all and in fact Vegas did similar things.

The prime directive in the expansion draft is to take one player from each team and meet a minimum salary threshold.

Once that is accomplished, Seattle can walk away from unsigned players or use them as trade capital.

This allows them to have maximum cap space to sign players they actually want.

As for your analytics question, there are several non-public analytics firms pumping out data on all manner of leagues…Clear Sight Analytics comes to mind…that teams can then employ in house teams to analyze.

The information is available but we can’t see it.


I have seen you mention this a few times but I think it is important to mention that the details do place limitations on this strategy. Twenty of their thirty selections must be signed for the upcoming season. This does not keep them from choosing players with contracts that can be buried in the AHL but that does cost money. Not sure how ownership would view that.

I agree with your take in general but it is not without certain limits.

Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season and those with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100 percent of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap. The Kraken cannot buy out players chosen in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.

Last edited 2 months ago by defmn
Harpers Hair

Agreed but Seattle could, and probably will, specifically seek players on two way contracts to preserve cap space.

The major difference between this draft and last is the flat cap and I’m pretty sure Seattle will take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity to exploit the misery of most other teams.

Another smaller factor in all this is that Seattle’s Palm Springs AHL franchise will not be ready to go this fall which means their need to stock an AHL team will be significantly reduced as they will share prospects with another AHL team.

Harpers Hair

Worth noting….in the VGKs inaugural season, they shared the Chicago Wolves franchise and only THREE players picked in the expansion draft were sent there.


Yeah, the cap constraints imposed by covid probably offset the lessons learned from the Vegas mistakes many GM’s made. Some of it will come down to relationships between players and team. I don’t, for example, see Landeskog bolting from Colorado. Larsson seems content in Edmonton. A lot of teams will have handshake deals that will get signed in a timely manner allowing the team to keep more of the players they want to keep.

I can’t get too worked up about the prospect of losing Benson or Jones. Regardless of whether or not they progress to become NHL full time players they are hardly franchise defining for a contending team.

Losing Nuge would hurt short term because the team is so weak on the wings & I’m not convinced the UFA class this season is full of those much or any better and unfortunately there really aren’t any superfluous spare parts with much trade value.

Harpers Hair

Yep…pretty good bet that a large number of the remaining 10 are sent packing or flipped in trades.

Cap space is going to be King here.


Should remember though that one of the things that allowed Vegas to gel quickly was that they were all rejected by their former teams. They all had that in common and I think that made them a very tight knit group from the get go.

That’s not the same thing you get when you build a team with guns for hire to the highest bidder.

Harpers Hair

Rejection can take many forms though.

For example, Nuge has been a loyal soldier for a decade and based on what we know, his dedication could well be rewarded with a second rate offer.

Im sure there are others who will feel the same way if their teams are forced to low ball them because they have misspent their cap space elsewhere.


Not the same thing at all HH.


Derek E. Spoke about that year in Vegas on the DFO Rundown last week – a good listen.


Because you can’t see it doesn’t mean squat,


It’s not assured at all and in fact Vegas did similar things.

I’m not arguing whether this is a thing Seattle could do with some player(s), it clearly is.

I’m saying they aren’t going to pick Benson, then walk him.

I’d feel comfortable putting a fair chunk of money on it. I don’t guess you’d take that bet because, well it’s extremely unlikely to pay off.

It’s pretty clear you keep suggesting it mainly to denigrate the player, and Oilers assets generally.

Harpers Hair

Benson is not special in any way.

Seattle will be selecting mostly players with significant NHL experience although in some cases will be forced to take a prospect like Benson.

What leads you to believe Benson will be among the best 30 players available?


Are you replying to the right post?

If so, this is a complete duck of everything in wrote, and a substantial shift of the goal posts.

You’re the one, after all, who suggested (today and previously) the Kraken might pick Benson and then not qualify him.


1) Every team uses analytics imo. The distinction rests in emphasis & influence & I suspect that information is and never will be public.

2)Not really. Particularly since so much of what determines success or failure of prospects is desire and the hard work required to translates skill into success. I think what Lowetide does gives a particular view of what kind of player you will get if the player continues to progress but whether or not he will continue to progress requires information that is too particular to quantify.


1) Every team uses analytics imo. The distinction rests in emphasis & influence & I suspect that information is and never will be public.

Yes, I agree that’s probably the most accurate answer. But there are a number of teams who are generally regarded to be using analytics as an important piece, it would be helpful I think, if we could establish and agree on who those teams are.

On the flip side, the Oilers are being taken to task (probably fairly) for not being one of these teams, when we really don’t have a clear picture of how many competitors are ‘ahead of the curve’ and how much it actually matters.


You have absolutely nothing other than your opinion to substantiate your statement. As they say in ranching “ Big hat no cattle”!


I cant imagine anyone paying a lot for the full price of that contract and I can’t imagine the Yotes wanting to retain much

Harpers Hair

Yep…without significant retention, it’s hard to see any kind of deal materialize.

Perhaps Arizona would take back a shorter toxic contract to make it work as I’m pretty sure saving actual cash will be their top priority.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Only way I consider is if Neal goes the other way along with a younger dmen. Would they take Bear and Neal? Gets them a cheapish young dman, and saving 3 years of the OEM contract. Get a short-term puck mover for Nurse until Bouch is ready.

Nurse xxx
OEL Larsson
KK Bouch

As for Jones…he is done in EDM folks. Too much negative stuff from his team this past season when he was not playing every day. He’s traded or picked by SEA.

Harpers Hair

Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) Tweeted:
Garrioch mentions that the Sens are watching Kadri this off-season. They may look to take advantage of teams that can’t retain certain players via the expansion draft.

Also mentions Henrique, Eichel, Monahan, Danault, Reinhart, D. Strome and Nugent-Hopkins as market options.


Dylan Strome should be a hard target for EDM if he’s likely to be unprotected.

Randle McMurphy

Strome would be nice.

Or could they be looking at taking a flier on an underperforming 1st round pick


Helsinki, Finland

HEIGHT: 6’3″
WEIGHT: 199 lbs

AGE: 23


Under contract for two more years through 2022-23

AVV $1m

Did well in Jr in Finland and at the University of Denver.

Drafted same year as Jesse. Maybe they know each other.

Chicago may be looking at protecting 4 fwds and 4 d

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Protect him? That tells you all you need to know about the state of this team😉


I think we’re looking at a classic tweener. Schremp can’t skate punto final. He’ll get his chance. Salary constraints being the main reason. I wouldn’t get too excited about this player. He is definitely a dime a dozen.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Shremp could not play defense to save his life. That, not his skating, kept him from playing several hundred NHL games


Interesting comment by Leavins in his ‘9 things’ this morning (#2) suggesting that Holland and the coaching staff were not on the same page regarding playing rookies this past season.

No indication who held which opinion but I was surprised because everything I have read seemed to indicate otherwise.


‘We don’t have enough rookies on our roster. I need more, dammit!’

-Said no NHL coach, ever.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan

Yup. That would be my assumption as well but I was intrigued by the way he wrote it implying that it was some of the coaching staff and who they were.


Tippett has to be on borrowed time we’ve been clobbered by so-so teams the last 2 years in the real season. He needs to go deep next year or Holland will use his fire one coach card 60% through his nice fat contract.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

There is a lot to be said for being confident that a team will make the playoffs. Teams who pretty much know they are in can construct and deploy the roster in the regular season with the playoffs in mind. The last two years the Oilers were desperate to simply make the playoffs. They rode the big guns into the ground. The team shifts gears this summer (or should) with more focus on playoff readiness, reducing the load on the big guns, and development of younger players.


Don’t disagree but would note that Tippett’s contract expires after next season – in his words “taking it year by year” given his age.


5:57pm—Todd McCallan: I see Hossa. Wide range of skills. Absolutely cannot believe we got him.

Years later, this is an interesting comparable given Jesse’s 2-way intelligence. Of course, he will never get to Hossa’s level (in any area of the game) but that type of player is where he has started trending.

Harpers Hair

Sam Girard shining like a diamond in that look back at the second round.

Someone in Nashville really knows how to evaluate defensemen.


Yet. David Poile. Zero cups.


He probably means someone in the scouting department, not Poile himself.


And is absolutely clueless about forwards


The exception being the time he absolutely fleeced McPhee in the Erat for Forsberg trade. Yikes.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

KMart99’s last comment turned out to be so true. JP’s body may have been NHL sized but his head needed time. Nothing wrong, we all mature at different rates, he’s just a late bloomer. I’m almost positive that’s why Columbus passed. Should have left him at home for one if not two full seasons. We’re lucky Holland was able to rescue a situation that was so badly mishandled by Oiler mgmt and JP’s agent.

Salty Fanboy

I’m a long time reader, but rare poster. As a father with my son becoming a passionate hockey fan in the last year, I felt compelled to drop in and wish all a Happy Fathers Day. I now know hockey and the Oilers will be an constant of conversation and bonding between my son and I for a life time. Since I’m posting, I want to thank you Allen for your content, your prose, your wonderful stories and your commitment to maintaining a unique corner of the internet. Your blending of hockey, family, Canadiana and plain decency is so rare but so well done. Your passion for this site is always clear and I just wanted to say I truly appreciate reading your work, the effort you make everyday and the comments from all that add to the mosaic.

Bag of Pucks

My first Father’s Day as a grandpa and the first little lass in our family. When she’s smiling, nothing else matters.

I’ve got two boys. The oldest is an Oilers fan. The youngest avoids self mutilation of that sort. We’ll eat some brisket this afternoon and then flail on some rockers in our jam space. It’s quite amazing how music can be its own language in families, communicated through osmosis and passed down through the generations. I’ve recently learned that you can teach a child perfect pitch if you start when language skills are still developing. It’s a gift I hope to give my granddaughter.

Mackenzie Hughes becoming the first Canadian to win the US Open would be an absolute Dad’s Day bonus.

Happy Father’s Day ⛳


I sure hope he blocks everything out and has a hot blade going for him today. I wonder what his odds were in Vegas on Thursday.

Harpers Hair

Rear Window.

One of the greatest Hitchcock thrillers of all time.

James Stewart was phenomenal and the cinematography was groundbreaking.

Well worth a watch for those who haven’t seen it.


I agree.

Gerta Rauss

Grace Kelly is worth the price of admission alone



I am a big fan of Jesse, have been since day 1 and I have never wavered. He will be just fine now, but if only he would do something to stop those friggin punches to the head…. It is so idiotic that those aren’t penalties or even suspension-worthy acts.

If it was a guy on the street it is called assault, but on a sheet of ice it is just “part of the game”. No other sport turns a blind eye to this act. Yet puck over glass is a far more serious offense then an unexpected punch in the head in hockey.


Surprised turtlechuk didn’t get rolled in for comparison as well.


Any opportunity to mention the $9MM qualifying offer that he is due after next season should be taken.

His contract does not get the 120% treatment as it was signed before July 2020.


If I was calagry:

I’d be looking for a way to turn him, plus whatever, into eichel

Victoria Oil

I was one of the few who were disappointed that JP fell to us as I wanted PLD. Outside of the WJC, I didn’t think JP’s numbers were that impressive.

This year, JP at his cap hit was better than either PLD or Laine. That will likely be the case next year and hopefully the years after that.


Same here, I was all aboard the PLD or Turtle train.

I think over time this may be a rare twist of fate that runs in our favour.


I didn’t really have an option on these guys back in 2016 but I do now and, with respect to PLD, I am shocked by his lack of positive impact as a Jet. I thought he was trending towards a top 10 center in the NHL and was going to be a 2-way beast.

Didn’t happen this year (and I hope it never does but I anticipate he is much better next season).


It’s early days. Best to reserve judgment on his play in WPG until next season, once he’s had a chance to get up to speed.

buck yoakam

I was playing mighty mite hockey and we made it to the finals at the edmonton gardens!…maybe first time on an indoor ice surface…(I played up until bantam knights of columbus and after coached my son and quite a few of his friends for about seven years until the politics got out of hand) I digress…anyway, I was a fairly reasonable hockey player…My whole family were in the crowd and the coach ( who will remain nameless) decided to run basically one line for the whole damn game… we won which was cool but I was heartbroken…( myself and quite a few others)…later that same night they had a get together for all the parents of all the teams from our parish…My dad had a few pops and took the coach outside and beat him rather soundly…needless to say they were never friends after that…I will never forget how proud I felt when the stories trickled down to us kids!…happy fathers day all!…thanks LT for your eloquent writing and amazing stories!…My dad was an english literature teacher as are my two girls and I often read them your posts!..thanks for all you do!

Randle McMurphy

Nuge 6 year deal at 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4 at a cap of 5.5M



Why do you keep suggesting Nuge take the biggest escrow hit possible?

Why would he sign that deal?

Mid or back loaded is more plausible.

Randle McMurphy

2 reasons.

1 escrow is a percentage and if you’re used to a certain cash flow and escrow goes up then you need a bigger paycheck just to stay even on cash flow

And 2, if I understand things correctly, because of Covid losses, the players are due to owe the league/owners some cash in the future; escrow money might be used to offset that?

But I havent looked at it closely. The opposite may be true.

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

I would sign that contract as an Oilers fan today – get er done.

Yes, it won’t be front-loaded, it will be mid-loaded as BAG mentioned.

Yes, it is true the the players owe the owners a massive debt – the Escrow Balance and they will be paying the owners back via escrow – the holdback amount each year will eventually go to the owners until the debt is paid off.

The thing is, pursuant to the MOU for the CBA extension, the escrow percentage is mandated high for the next year and decreasing over the next few years.

This will mean the players will lose all their escrow holdback for years but the amount of that holdback, as a percentage of comp, will decrease over the years.

Randle McMurphy

Look at all those user names in that timeline of the minutes leading up to the JP pick.

Where are all those guys?


Casualties of the troll vs anti-troll wars?



Randle McMurphy

Hit Plus it you would do 8yrs for Nuge at:
Annual $: 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4
Cap: 5.5M


I would like to see 6.5, 6.5, 6.5, 6.0,5.5,5.5,4.5,3.0 assuming you do 8 years. Keeps the cap hit the same but makes the buyout of the final year almost painless and seems more fair for the front end part of the contract.

Randle McMurphy

Hit Minus it you would NOT do 8yrs for Nuge at:
Annual $: 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4
Cap: 5.5M


That is basically what Leavins floated several weeks ago.


Not that it really matters but lets not forget that long term contracts will be mid-loaded, not front-loaded due to high mandated escrow the next two years.

On a 6 year contract, its likely that years 1-2 and 5-6 will be lower than years 3-4.


I will take almost any term contract for Nuge under 6. I’d prefer to keep it to 6 years but, if it got extended to 8 years to get right down to $5MM, I’m in.

I’ll take 5.75M X 5-6 – sign it.

unca miltie

happy father’s day all. kinda neat to hear about the new dads. Just came back from 9 holes of golf, course was crazy busy. Every few years, father’s day falls on my birthday and today is one of those.Got texts from the kids alreedy and most of the kids and grandkids are coming over for an outdoor event. I am truly blessed.

Wonder Llama

I’ll call my Dad in Olds today, like I do every Sunday. He will spend most of the conversation railing against Justin Trudeau, the injustice of shutting down oil pipelines, the hypocrisy of environmentalists who fly in planes, and the coddling of criminals.

If I’m lucky I’ll be able to steer him towards baseball and weather.

We’ll talk between 60 and 90 minutes and I might get in a few dozen words. It will be frustrating and even flabbergasting at points.

He’s 82 now and when he’s gone Sundays will feel empty and quiet.

Anyway, Happy Father’s Day everyone and Go Habs.


The Green New Deal isn’t even Green. That is the worst part about it. The “solution” being peddled is a fraud as bad or worse than fossil fuels for the environment.

It is really Building Back Worse.

I am older. It really doesn’t affect me. I am properly invested for the farce.

Last edited 2 months ago by godot10

It’s gobsmacking to see GM and Ford beat the tar out of each other in their war to be the leaders in EV production. GM will build only EVs by 2035, while 40% of Ford’s production will be EVs by 2030. Yet no one anywhere has done anything to expand the electrical grid. Somehow by magic the grid will accommodate the overwhelming new demand for electric power. 


Hmm, I am originally from Olds!


Your Dad is not wrong but I agree that the weather & baseball make for more entertaining conversation.

My own father died way too young. I envy you your conversations with yours.

Randle McMurphy

Godot10 is your Dad?!?!?


Jonathan Willis’ recent piece on Puljujarvi (among the Athletic links above, if you have access) is a nice complement to LTs words here.

The Oilers have a real nice young player there. Bet his dad is proud!

Randle McMurphy

I was going to say, there’s that old saying “May your memories be a blessing”

and that your’s clearly are LT.

But then I looked it up and…

“In Jewish teaching, the proper thing to say about someone passing is “May his/her memory be for blessing.”

When you say that, the blessing implied is this: it is up to those who bear his memory to keep his goodness alive. We do this by remembering him, we do this by speaking his name, we do this by carrying on his legacy.

You do your Dad proud Allan.

Happy Fathers Day

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Funny Bissonness

My dad is older than LT, but would be younger than LT’s dad. Still, yours sounds a lot like mine.

Wouldn’t be caught in a fedora (more likely an English driving cap). Definitely a grape-eater, though.

I’m lucky to still have both my parents and will do a father’s day zoom today. It will no doubt turn into my two year old talking to my mom and her dog, but that’s great too.

Thanks for another great post, LT. I always appreciate the anecdotes sprinkled in. Hockey is even more fun when you remember what matters most in life.

Randle McMurphy

I am so heartened by the physicality that JP has added to his game.

Kid plays a really solid all round game at age 23. We need to get this guy re-uped ASAP.

His career progression over the past 2 seasons has been remarkable.

He’s often kind/measured in his response to other players aggression against him. Its going to be awesome if/when he feels mature enough to “take a number”

No more Neil/Chaisson net-front on PP1 please. Ken Holland may be betting that JP could soon be our Oilers version of Thomas Holmstrom.

In the words of my friend Taber, “I’ll bet a buck”


Yes, and as you allude to, most of the time, its not even about Jesse engaging physically with intent – its just that he’s so big and strong (and fast) that he knocks people around and separates them from the puck just by playing.

If he can add a small element of “aggression” to his physicality, he could be an absolute force out there.


My father was a bit crazy, we would say no filter nowadays. There is no way I could post here some of the things he said but one time my mom was away and I was sick and missed a day of school. Back then you had to bring a note explaining your absence from your parents. My father had never written one and had no idea what I was talking about. I explained, he wrote a note and I brought it to my teacher.

As I head to my desk the teacher calls me back and said what is this and hands me the note. It says “MAH11 missed school yesterday because he was sicker than a coyote who ate a poisoned chicken. L”.

I had no words to explain my father and his usually funny sayings……

buck yoakam

that is brilliant!….when we first moved out to nova scotia I was working with a very respectable gal a bit my senior, we were swamped and she says…I’m busier than a dog with two dicks…I fell over laughing….had never heard that one but it makes so much sense


Another of his favorites when he would wake up sore (worked in the oilfield his whole life) was “I’m feeling stiffer than a wedding prick this morning”!


My home province produces many fine poets. 😉


Happy Father’s Day! My 2nd one around, she’s about 13 months now, been quite a different year to say the least!
This is the first post I’ve read since her birthday about 3.5 weeks ago, I just couldn’t handle the post mortem of the playoffs so focused on other things, slowly started following the remaining teams a little, start wondering what Lowetide will post for Father’s Day, and here I am, glad to be back. Happy Father’s Day once again and thanks LT for this place.


To all the new fathers out there, when your kids ask you why you spend so much time watching and talking about a team that mostly makes you mad, say you were sentenced to twenty years of boredom after selling your soul during the 2006 playoff run.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, and for everyone who acted as a father to anyone, you made a difference.

To everyone who doesn’t have a good father or a good relationship with their father, I hope you have some peace.

To my daughter, for all the times I’ve been a shitty father, I am sorry. I didn’t realize how difficult a job it can be, but also didn’t realize how incredible it would be.


Brainstorming. Something for your consideration.

Neal, Kassian, and Samorukov for Oliver Ekman-Larsson


I actually wouldn’t do that. OEL with five more years at $8.25 – no thanks. You could take Sammy off the table and I would still have to think about it.


I believe OEL has a no movement clause that he exercised when this came up last off season when Edmonton was mentioned.


OEL is supposedly is giving Arizona more options this summer.

It is basically cap neutral for two years, while fixing the defense.
Larsson and Ekman-Larsson have a good history of playing well together.
Fixes the Klefbom problem without expending any cap space for two years.
The NHL cap situation should be improving in two years.

The Oilers only need Ekman-Larsson to play 2nd pairing. In two years, Broberg should be ready for 2nd pairing minutes, while still on an ELC.

So Ekman-Larsson contract doesn’t really become an issue for the last three years of the six year contract. His cap space for the first two years would just be replacing existing wasted cap space.

One is basically getting Ekman-Larsson for free for two years at the cost of Samorukov.

The long tail of the contract begins hurting in year 4, but it is a back diving contract…salary for the last two years is $5.25 million.


I guess some of this depends on the resolution of Klefbom’s health but that is a big contract. I know you say it is neutral for a couple of years but I cannot see why Arizona would agree to take Neal as part of this when the idea for them is to lower their spending. I know it lets them off the hook sooner but I think that if OEL has agreed to a larger number of teams Arizona can find a better deal than one buyout candidate, an under performing winger and a ‘B’ prospect.


I don’t hate it, but who’s replacing Kassian and at what AAV?


The NHL cap situation should be improving in two years.

There is a very good chance this is not the case.

Lets not forget, the cap doesn’t raise more than $1MM, it doesn’t go over $82.5MM until HRR hits $4.8B and the Escrow Balance is paid off.

Considering the players refused to talk about “the deal” last fall and pushed their debt further down the road, from what I can gather, it seems unlikely its paid off within 2 seasons, in particular with decreasing escrow of the period.


A two way cost controlled top four defence-man has extreme value given that Nurse and Bear’s cap hits will be going up. A future left side of Nurse, Samorukov and Broberg is substantial. What you suggest is short term gain for long term pain.


A two way cost controlled top four defence-man has extreme value given that Nurse and Bear’s cap hits will be going up. A future left side of Nurse, Samorukov and Broberg is substantial. What you suggest is short term gain for long term pain.

I am just as high on Sammy’s potential and future as you are but there is one thing that I think we need to remember – he is not a cost-controlled top four d-man. We think he will be that but, as of today, he is not and there is the possibility that he just won’t be or that it will take 3-4 years to get to that point.

I am not on board with Godot’s trade at all but it seems to me that you value Sammy like a prime and healthy Klefbom – he’s not there (and may never get there).


Trying to get value out of $8.5 million in cap over the next two years, in hopes that cap inflation and more prospect development means that Ekman-Larsson would be the only bad contract in three years.

Remember. It is Ekman-Larsson effectively for free for two years. $3.5 million for year 3 (Kassian off the books, no Neal buyout on the books), $6.5 million for year 4 (no Neal buyout on the books), and $8.25 million for years 5 and 6.

Ekman-Larsson is a back diving contract so it may be tradeable in years 5 and 6, or could be bought out.

McDavid and Draisaitl are ready now. I translate 10% of wasted cap space into a top four D at very low cost for 3 years.


A buyout of OEL with two years left is a cap hit of:


This player is regressing fast recently and starting to show signs of age-related loss of durability.

Its way way way too risky for me.


Yeah his on ice numbers this year we’re not pretty. Pretty much the worst on the team.

What looked like potential erosion last year appears to have gotten worse.


I would substitute Klefbom for Samarukov and ask the Coyotes for Hill as well.
Either Klefbom, Neal, Kassian for OEL and Hill/ or Klefbom, Neal, Kassian, Koskinen for OEL and Kemper.
Gives the Oilers clarity regarding Klefbom, and kinda makes him redundant, assuming OEL is still a top pairing guy.
It’s a hell of a lot of cap to commit to for 6 more years, but the first 2 or 3 years would be advantage Oilers. You are gambling OEL is at least a top 4 guy for the next 6 years.
I imagine the Coyotes want more for OEL, but that contract already looks bad.


Ekman-Larsson is effectively free for the first two years (if Neal and Kassian both go). There are two years left on Klefbom’s contract. Don’t trade Klefbom if he is healthy. Run Nurse, OEL, and Klefbom as the left side D.

Nurse Bear
OEL Larsson
Klefbom Bouchard

That is a contending defense. Nobody overworked.


The Neal and Kassian dispositions off-set the egregious OEL cap hit for 2 years (and part of the 3rd) but $8M plus for the rest of the decade is simply too much.

It was too much before the cliff fell off and too much now.

I’m not 100% certain that OEL outperforms Samorukov over the next 5 years.


Time value of cap space. Time value of McDraivid. The point of having a rich own like Katz is to use his wealth to manage the time value of the cap space availability curve.

A trade like I have suggested one can shift the cost of the existing wasted cap space into the future, and one gets 3 years of Ekman-Larsson at extreme value for Samorukov.

Turn dead and wasted cap space into something useful in the present using a duration swap. Spend future dollars and cap space to fix the defense for three years immediately, and shift dead cap space (with now has upside optionality) three years into the future.

Both Neal and Kassian have to go in the deal though, or the deal doesn’t make financial sense.

Last edited 2 months ago by godot10

I understand the concept you are proposing, I just don’t agree with your valuations.


Happy Father’s Day and thanks for all the wonderful stories over the years. Your postings are a part of my morning routine, with my coffee before starting my work day. I’ve read just about everything you’ve written (here & The Athletic) over the last 10’ish years but seldom comment. The personal stories you weave into you writings about the Oilers are what make you a stand out and keep so many of us coming back for more. Thanks for sharing so much with us and for making it just a little bit easier, and more fun, to be a diehard Oilers fan.


Just had our first addition to the leadfarmer family 3 days ago!!
Happy Father’s Day all!!


Rolled off the 12th consecutive call day straight into an all nighter at L&D
Thankfully mom and baby are ok cause dad was ready to fall over



Randle McMurphy


We’ll all understand if your posts don’t make alot of sense over the coming months 🙂

My advice.

Get a nap. Anywhere Anytime you can.

buck yoakam

congratulations!…happy fathers day lad!


Congrats. Leadfarmer jr?


Congrats! You will not die from sleep deprivation but at times you may not be so sure!😉
Wishing you and your wife all the best! You will look back on this time as being the best part of your life try to enjoy every minute as the time will fly by!


Go HERE and register for the upcoming Oilers season. 


Only 104 days left!


My first Father’s Day. Had a baby boy just over a week ago. Thanks again LT for this great community and I hope it can keep strong for the next generation of Oilers fans!



Randle McMurphy

Congratz Kraz,

For being part of the Lowetide baby boom!

Teach him to play D right handed and to throw a ball left handed.

You may be able to retire in 20 yrs.

buck yoakam



Thanks everyone!! Means a lot