Several posts and conversations have been rolling around in my head lately, and yesterday they all clicked together. Poster Randle McMurphy referenced my Puljujarvi posts from his draft day in 2016. Said Randle: “Look at all those user names in that timeline of the minutes leading up to the JP pick. Where are all those guys?” I thought it might be an idea to answer.
The Lowetide blog has many of the personality traits of its author. As with any human, that’s both good and bad. More in a minute.
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!
- New Lowetide: The 7 Oilers roster spots GM Ken Holland must improve this offseason
- Lowetide: Caleb Jones, Oilers reach crossroads that could land Jones in Seattle
- Lowetide: What will Oilers do if they must replace Oscar Klefbom?
- Jonathan Willis: What comes next for the Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi?
- Lowetide: Why Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod and more prospects are options for Oilers in 2021-22
- DNB: Ten teams the Oilers should be targeting for trades ahead of the Kraken expansion draft
- Lowetide: How Ken Holland’s transaction history could foreshadow the Oilers summer to come
- Lowetide: How close to NHL-ready is Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
- DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers’ plans for the Kraken draft
- Lowetide: The Oilers must decide now what to do about the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl dilemma
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 2
- Lowetide: What is Kailer Yamamoto’s future fit on the Oilers’ depth chart?
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 1
- DNB: What a perfect offseason could look like for the Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers need to add four wingers to their top nine this summer
- Lowetide: Oilers enter free agency as a major buyer. Is third time the charm?
- DNB: Ideal Oilers free-agent targets
- New Lowetide: An early look at the Oilers’ options for the 2021 draft
- New DNB: The pressure is on Oilers GM Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: What now for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
I started this blog in 2005, and wanted this spot on the internet to be welcoming. I didn’t know it would still be around 16 years later, but we got to talking and you know how things go.
I have been blessed many times over here at Lowetide, met many friends along the way and gained a more accurate knowledge of the truth about hockey. Early days it was most exciting, as many of the individuals who dropped in were discovering new measures and ways of looking at the game. I had a front row seat to what was a very special moment in the game’s history, or at least that’s the way I see it.
As years rolled along, people headed in different directions and that group stopped dropping in. Some of those people are employed by NHL teams now, and I hope one day they will be given opportunities to become general managers and scouting directors, whatever their dream. This blog, and others, witnessed some pretty special verbal from very smart people.
As it turned out, those folks used their individual and collective innovations to find dream jobs. I don’t think it was their goal, but it was the outcome. Although I did not play a part in the innovation, my association with the group and the resulting interest in analytics drove this blog to new heights and allowed me to pursue some pretty cool opportunities (some of which are not yet public).
That brings me to you. What is your vision? What do you expect to get out of these conversations? If it’s a place to come visit, awesome! If it’s a place to argue, that’s beautiful.
Some folks outgrew this little spot on the internet. That’s called the world turning as it should. I can always tell when posters get the urge for going, because conversations repeat themselves, frustration builds, sometimes I get emails.
After a time, a new group arrives with fresh ideas, full of piss and vinegar. As each new generation arrives, conversations push ideas forward and we all adopt the ones we like and allow the rest to fall by the wayside.
It’s more difficult now, because so much has been discovered, and the new innovations are behind the scenes and in the hands of NHL teams. It is their intellectual property.
So, the answer to “where is everybody?” is contained in the lyrics of the children’s song “Puff the Magic Dragon.”
It’s just the way of life. In order to keep you this blog would have to change, and the stubborn mule who runs it refuses to move on much at all.
How could I keep the blog functioning with the same people? Make it exclusive. Say 50 people who have high end brains and more than 20 hours a day to think about things they won’t get paid for at the end of the month. I choose to include everyone, mostly because if I take the smartest 50 the blog’s author will miss the cut.
I’m not going to change.
So people sail on. They World B Free. They share their knowledge with other people. That’s cool.
If those same alumni drop back in from time to time, I value it more than you know.
Anyway, that’s the story morning glory. Just follow the rules, which can be described as “respect each other”. The argument should be over ideas, nothing personal. That’s the deal. Thanks.
MY CHECK LIST
I believe in certain things, and others believe in certain other things. For instance, if you asked me what I want to know about the new winger coming to town, my questions would be (in so specific order):
- Is this season his established level of ability?
- Is he the dominant player on his team?
- Is he the dominant player on his line?
- Can he push the river?
- Who are his most common linemates
- Does his with or without tell us anything?
- How much does he play against elite competition (Puck IQ)?
- How well does he perform against all levels of competition?
- How often is he injured?
- How many concussions has he had?
- If something has changed recently in his performance, what was the reason?
- How fast is he?
- Does he have a great first step?
- Can he play special teams as well as five on five?
- Is he more shooter than passer?
- How many shots per 60?
- What is his five on five points-per-60?
- What are his five on five goal differentials?
- What are his time on ice totals in each discipline?
- What style did the previous team employ?
- Did he flourish with a RH center or a LH center?
- Has he had a recent eye test (the Alexei Mikhnov rule)?
- Is he regarded as a one-dimensional offensive player?
- Does his style resemble the Oilers head coach in any way?
- Is there any possibility he could take on a bigger role once he gets established?
There are some specific to defensemen (I still believe Corsi rel is an excellent way to measure defensemen once you know if they’re first, second or third pair) that have importance to me.
Now, that doesn’t mean I have zero regard for new ideas. I like ‘expected goals’ and use it regularly when looking at players. The biggest innovation, in my opinion, in the last decade is DFF percentage. It’s a game changer because it is a smart possession metric and if you have enough sample against elites can give you a strong indication about a player.
Those are the things I value. What about you?
MOST VALUABLE OILERS
Bill James used to put dollar values on players in some of his books, it was fantastic and I loved it. As I recall, he would have the most valuable player worth $100 and then go from there. You couldn’t apply it directly for roto baseball but he was wicked smart in his projections of individual futures.
I’m not going to try that, because there’s no way to go after announcing “McDavid $100” that anyone could agree on. So, let’s try this to start. Here are my 15 most valuable Oilers, based on their future value beginning this year and running to the natural end of their Oilers career.
- Connor McDavid
- Leon Draisaitl
- Darnell Nurse
- Jesse Puljujarvi
- Evan Bouchard
- Ethan Bear
- Kailer Yamamoto
- Dylan Holloway
- Caleb Jones
- Ryan McLeod
- Dmitri Samorukov
- Philip Broberg
- Ilya Konovalov
- Raphael Lavoie
- Carter Savoie
Now, for the question of the day: Assuming we agree on this list, who among the prospects would you considering trade worthy this summer? As in, if the Oilers were interesting in acquiring Travis Konecny (as an example), would you include Dylan Holloway? Dmitri Samorukov?
I’d love to see your list as well.