Puff the Magic Dragon

by Lowetide
Photo by Rob Ferguson

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.

THE ATHLETIC!

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 BLOG

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):

  1. Is this season his established level of ability?
  2. Is he the dominant player on his team?
  3. Is he the dominant player on his line?
  4. Can he push the river?
  5. Who are his most common linemates
  6. Does his with or without tell us anything?
  7. How much does he play against elite competition (Puck IQ)?
  8. How well does he perform against all levels of competition?
  9. How often is he injured?
  10. How many concussions has he had?
  11. If something has changed recently in his performance, what was the reason?
  12. How fast is he?
  13. Does he have a great first step?
  14. Can he play special teams as well as five on five?
  15. Is he more shooter than passer?
  16. How many shots per 60?
  17. What is his five on five points-per-60?
  18. What are his five on five goal differentials?
  19. What are his time on ice totals in each discipline?
  20. What style did the previous team employ?
  21. Did he flourish with a RH center or a LH center?
  22. Has he had a recent eye test (the Alexei Mikhnov rule)?
  23. Is he regarded as a one-dimensional offensive player?
  24. Does his style resemble the Oilers head coach in any way?
  25. 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.

  1. Connor McDavid
  2. Leon Draisaitl
  3. Darnell Nurse
  4. Jesse Puljujarvi
  5. Evan Bouchard
  6. Ethan Bear
  7. Kailer Yamamoto
  8. Dylan Holloway
  9. Caleb Jones
  10. Ryan McLeod
  11. Dmitri Samorukov
  12. Philip Broberg
  13. Ilya Konovalov
  14. Raphael Lavoie
  15. 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.

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Freddy

Hey Lowetide

I don’t comment often but love your blog.

Its great to get different perspectives and to have healthy discussions about the game. Your math approach is completely valid as far as I’m concerned and is an extremely important piece of information that should give a GM pause. If a player doesn’t match his list in comparison to the math list he must ask himself why? Is the GM sure his team has got it right? It may well be the case but it’s worth the discussion.

BTW I’ve mentioned this before but I especially admire your storytelling approach. Hockey after all is just a game and life is so much more important.

Anyhow, regarding your list I have two comments.

In your list is the consideration of who the player plays with. I often think that although it’s on the list, that doesn’t get enough consideration sometimes.

Key example. Khaira “never” plays with the top 3 or 4 forwards when he’s 5×5.

And yet his offensive numbers are pretty decent. If he got to play with a winger or two with some real talent, just how good might he be? Although it’s also an issue of style. He’s definitely strongest as a cycle player.

My second comment is the importance of and how to assess hockey IQ. Players like Stone and Tkachuk are average skaters at best. But they are elite players who are always in the right place at the right time. They make up for their skating with an elite sense of the flow of the game. The Gretzky quote of “skating to where the puck is going to be, not where it is”. Similarly there are so many players with elite puck handling skills or speed that are not effective. Nail Yakupov. Great skill, speed, positive attitude. And lost most of the time he’s on the ice.

Anyhow super hard to measure but anabsolutely key skill that I don’t think gets enough discussion.

Finally a coaching comment or two. All organizations love internal competition. And fair enough. It can be very healthy for a team to push players to consistently give their best efforts.

But as Eberle commented after his trade, confidence has a huge effect on a player. A good coach must find the balance of pushing a player to be at his best but also help him be confident in himself and his abilities.

In my view players are too quickly benched in a game or substituted out of the line up. And given how toxic social media can be, even an amazing talent like Eberle can struggle. Speaking of which it’s too bad more fans didn’t think about how they could support their players instead of destroying them.

Also when we look at the good teams we often know who the third line players are. And the fourth line too. Because they play together consistently. Elite players are so good they can usually adapt immediately. For everyone else chemistry and knowledge of your line mate’s tendencies is important. In my view a good coach should not be changing lines every single game.

Anyhow keep up the fantastic work on the blog.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

To what degree can the noise in this data be attributed to goals scored during or near shift changes? Is that even possible to correlate?

hunter1909

Dear Lowetide,

Have been updating the death march site with the idea that with another wack season over it might as well be possible for disgruntled fans to be able to make a prediction for the game asap.

How often do you think I should stick a link in over the summer to come? Once a week? Once a fortnight? Once a month?

Asking for a friend.

hunter

Ryan

At the end of the day, we underestimate how much we rely on ‘what the coach thinks’ when we’re looking at data.

Toi, on the fly starts/60–both are a product of the coach trying to optimize player deployment to win.

Puckiq can appear confusing when looking at Gf% for player vs Elite vs Grittensity.

There’s a lot of variables at play. Variance too.

Hockey, obviously, is a team game played by a five-man unit plus a goalie.

What I look at, when I use PuckIQ, is predominately who the coach likes to play against tough opposition and how do they fare in this scenario.

Now this won’t help you validate their PuckIQ model.

It won’t even tell you, specifically, if player X is actually good.

But it will tell who whether or not, coach X thought that player x was one of his best available options to play tough opposition… and whether that player succeeded in that role on a five player unit plus goalie.

Find good players. Get good players.

Ryan

That’s the beauty of putting models out in the public domain. They’re forced to get battle tested by the peer review process.

I think you’ve raised some fair questions.

I’d subscribe if there was a pay per view podcast with you and Gmoney having a discussion about analytics and PuckIQ.

I’ve followed analytics for a long time. I can’t remember when, but I do recall a convincing article that suggested who you play with matters more than who you play against. I’ll agree with you there.

jp

What I look at, when I use PuckIQ, is predominately who the coach likes to play against tough opposition and how do they fare in this scenario.

That’s largely what I use PuckIQ for as well. % TOI vs elites for deployment. Not so helpful if the binning is off, but it seems to pass the eye test as far as I can tell.

I also use DFF% (and DFF%rel) for all situations. That tracks pretty well with SF% and xGF% but adds a little more I think.

Definitely agree with Georgexs that looking at results within tiers isn’t helpful.

Jaxon

Discussing potential, I just wanted to revisit Holloway’s extraordinary season. His NHLe in the NCAA in his draft+1 season puts him in elite territory. Very few players that have scored at that rate, at that age, with size and speed have not carried it forward to the NHL.

Draft+1:
#-PLAYER-PPG-NHLe
1-Kyle Connor (LW)-1.87-63
2-Jaden Schwartz (LW)-1.57-53
3-Dylan Holloway (C/LW)-1.52-51
4-Michael Cammalleri (W/C)-1.52-51
5-Zach Parise (LW/RW)-1.49-50
6-Chris Higgins (LW)-1.46-49
7-Dany Heatley (LW/RW)-1.46-49
8-Clayton Keller (W/C)-1.45-49
9-Brock Boeser (RW)-1.43-48
10-Jonathan Toews (C)-1.35-45
11-Dylan Larkin (C)-1.34-45
12-Thomas Vanek (LW/RW)-1.34-45
13-Thomas Bordeleau (C)-1.29-43
14-Colin Wilson (LW/C)-1.28-43
15-Alex Newhook (C)-1.24-42
16-Patrick Eaves (RW/LW)-1.21-41
17-Henrik Borgström (C)-1.16-39
18-Colin White (C/RW)-1.16-39
19-Matt Nieto (LW/RW)-1.14-38
20-Adam Fox (D)-1.14-38
21-Jason Zucker (LW/RW)-1.13-38
22-Danton Heinen (W/C)-1.13-38
23-Veeti Miettinen (RW)-1.11-37
24-Brandon Pirri (C/W)-1.10-37
25-Trent Frederic (C/LW)-1.10-37
26-James van Riemsdyk (LW)-1.10-37
27-Trevor Zegras (C)-1.09-37
28-Ron Hainsey (D)-1.09-37
29-Luke Kunin (C/RW)-1.09-37

Harpers Hair

You’re mixing positions, leagues and eras.

Jaxon

If I had the time, I’d love to adjust for NCAA league and for era. You’re welcome to do it, though. And really, forward isn’t good enough for points comparison? Many of the NHL wingers may have played C in NCAA before they got moved to the wing in pro hockey, so really it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try to divide them that way. And nobody has really separated NHLes of wingers vs C, so it’s a bit of a… bullshit thing to nitpick.

Harpers Hair

Yeah..no doubt Chris Higgins was a superior scorer to Danny Heatly.

Jaxon

Yes, that’s what I’m saying. And Jonathan Drouin and Sven Andrighetto are both superior scorers to Nathan MacKinnon. And Sam Reinhart is a superior scorer to Leon Draisiatl. JFC! You must be a blast at parties. Sarcastic asshat.

Material Elvis

If Holloway was a Kings prospect, HH would have taken out a paid ad on this website to post these numbers.

Jaxon

First time Holloway NCAA Comparables scored 20 goals or more in the NHL:
# – PLAYER – D+ – GP – G – A
1-Kyle Connor – D3 – 76 – 31 – 26
2-Jaden Schwartz – D4 – 80 – 25 – 31
3-Dylan Holloway D2?D3?
4-Michael Cammalleri – D5 – 80 – 26 – 29
5-Zach Parise – D4 – 82 – 31 – 31
6-Chris Higgins – D4 – 80 – 23 – 15
7-Dany Heatley – D2 – 82 – 26 – 41
8-Clayton Keller – D2 – 82 – 23 – 42
9-Brock Boeser – D3 – 62 – 29 – 26
10-Jonathan Toews – D2 – 64 – 24 – 30
11-Dylan Larkin – D2 – 80 – 23 – 22
12-Thomas Vanek – D3 – 81 – 25 – 23

Heatley(26G), Keller(23G), Larkin(23G) and Toews(24G) contributed 23 or more goals in their D+2 season.
Connor(31G), Boeser(29G), and Vanek(25G) contributed 25 or more goals in their D+3 season.
Schwartz(25G), Parise(31G), and Higgins(23G) contributed 23 or more goals in their D+4 season.
Cammalleri took until his D+5 season to score 26 goals, but his D+3 season was cancelled due to the lockout.

Maybe Holloway has a chance to contribute 20 or more goals this upcoming season.

Another thing I noticed is that most of these players peaked in their D+5 or D+6 season with between 32 and 50 goals. That would be the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons for Holloway.
D+4
Vanek 43G
D+5
Connor 38G
Larkin 32G
Toews 32G
Schwartz 28G
D+6
Heatley 50G
Parise 45G
Higgins 27G
D+8
Cammalleri 39G

Food for thought.

DevilsLettuce

He’s going to crush Quinn Hughes and score plenty of goals, excellent.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Anyone hear how his hand is doing?

GordieHoweHatTrick

Sweet lord someone invoke the mercy rule! Isles getting crucified.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Connor McDavid
Leon Draisaitl
Darnell Nurse
Philip Broberg
Ilya Konovalov (please Gord!)
Jesse Puljujarvi
Evan Bouchard
Dylan Holloway
Ethan Bear
Dmitri Samorukov
Kailer Yamamoto
Nuge
Ryan McLeod
Raphael Lavoie 
Carter Savoie

leadfarmer

DSF talks about how every team in division is going to improve but then Tkachuk goes out and wants a trade as being reported by sportsnet
Ooooooooooops and oh my

leadfarmer

I’m sure Markstrom is in no way regretting his choice

Harpers Hair

Depends entirely on what they get back for him.

Sam Reinhart + would be a reasonable bet.

leadfarmer

That would be a huge win
For Edmonton

Harpers Hair

Nah…Reinhart is the goods.

Would just make Kassian feel better.

leadfarmer

You have a very low bar for “the goods”

leadfarmer

You would think the goods would have at least 40% 5v5 GF%

tsunami

you mean the goods like Joe Colborne ?

defmn

Drssing room problems in Calgary all season long with Tkachuk. Couldn’t happen to a better bunch.

Harpers Hair

I’m pretty sure he will enjoy Buffalo in January.

defmn

I wouldn’t make that trade if I was Buffalo but I think they would.

Harpers Hair

They may have little choice.

defmn

Which is why I think they would do it but Tkachuk, for all his positives, is an asshole off the ice as well as on it, imo. A spoiled child in a lot of ways.

Being an asshole on the ice has its advantages. Off the ice? It only takes time to go bad.

Harpers Hair

JFresh
@JFreshHockey

here’s the plan

OTT trades #10 + Batherson and some other stuff for Matthew Tkachuk
OTT trades some stuff for Nazem Kadri

Tkachuk – Kadri – Tkachuk lines antagonizes everybody in the league

Harpers Hair

Reinhart is coming off a $3.75 million contract and is an RFA with arbitration rights.

Tkachuk has one more year at $7 million and then is an RFA with arbitration rights.

Calgary could get a lot of cap space in the transaction.

defmn

Reinhart coming off of $5.2 I believe.

Gerta Rauss

and Tkachuk is getting paid $9M in salary next year (7M cap hit)

His qualifying offer to retain his rights is $9M

Last edited 1 month ago by Gerta Rauss
Eh Team

Tkachuk at $9m/year isn’t going to have a lot of value to the team acquiring him

jp

It’s a really tough one hey? It’s almost like he’d be a 1 year rental. It’s hard to believe he’d be walked, but are the Flames or whoever really going to pony up that $9M QO? I really don’t know.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp
meanashell11

What happened to he only wants the west coast??? Now all of a sudden calgary is ok and edmonton is not? suck a hack.

Randle McMurphy

i’ve heard the ask is an Iguana and a Horny Toad.

Randle McMurphy

He’s asked to be traded to either the Avalanche, the NYI or the Vegas Golden Nights.

Because he wants to play for a contender you ask?

No.

Because the State Reptile for

Colorado: The Western Painted Turtle

New York State: The Common Snapping Turtle

Nevada: The Desert Tortoise

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
DevilsLettuce

Quality.

JimmyV1965

He might be doing Calgary a favour. His next contract will be a massive overpay. I think he has to be paid $9 mill

GordieHoweHatTrick

I think this is a great and exciting list and I enjoy many of the permutations below…
Unfortunately this team will not be a contender until there is a G in the top 10 at least!
The Oilers need to have a few plans moving to secure a legit Goalie to start 2022-23 at the latest!

Randle McMurphy

Wondering in a 6-0 game some scores will get settled tonight.

Randle McMurphy

Barzal just cross checked Rutta in the face after the period ended.

5 and a game.

Suspension coming?

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
leadfarmer

Barzal decided he’d rather watch next game from the stands

Eh Team

Barzal deserves a suspension. Chances that he gets one are pretty slim.

Then again, you could probably find another half dozen similar cases where someone should have been suspended in this year’s playoffs, too.

Randle McMurphy

They’ve decided to call penalties tonight.

Lightning 6 Islanders 0

Wilde

I stopped doing mind combat here because of how few people want to partner up with me now :[

maudite

Came to oiler blogs for the laughs (covered in oil)
Stayed for the intelligent and thoughtful writing (here primarily)

It’s crazy how much better I understand the game compared to where I started.

Much thanks to you and too many commentators I used to be excited to see post.

"Steve Smith"

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.

Of course, others were just here to delight in the sound of our own voices, and to compare Rob Schremp to small European countries.

Yeti

My Linus is bigger than yours.

Harpers Hair
Bag of Pucks

Woh! Speak of the devil.

If you have a moment counsellor, can you advise the other practioner on the board why it’s important the conversation here digress to music on occasion? 😎

Randle McMurphy

I would add 1 to the list of 25.

Perhaps its so obvious that it didnt need to be on the list.

The players age. (Birthdate)

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
jm363561

Great article LT .. sort of. I found the discussion of MVPs depressing as once you remove McD, Leon and Nurse you are in wing and a prayer territory. Your list excludes Nuge and Larsson but they do not really change the fact that the Oilers currently have only three high value, seasoned pros. Otherwise, my two cents worth:

JP will likely be bona fide. Too soon to say for Bouch but looking good.
Yamo and Ethan Bear need a major step change. Ditto McLeod.
Six of the 15 have not played an NHL game and two only a handful.
All teams have future prospects they are high on – Broberg, Holloway, etc. There are just too many on the list.

McD and Drai years are being burned and we still look like Operation Rebuild – fucking Chia and fuck whoever recruited him. UFA’s are usually nothing but pain. Trade the 1st; trade promising D; use the money to resign Nuge (and Nurse). Bring back Anton Lander😀

jp

McD and Drai years are being burned and we still look like Operation Rebuild

Rebuilding teams don’t usually run at a 105 point pace and have home ice advantage to start the playoffs though. Even if they get swept.

Just sayin’.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp
Glovjuice

This team is definitely still rebuilding. A bottom six this bad and a slow right D one through three – STILL – is rebuilding.

jp

Still building, I’ll give you that.

It’s like you weren’t around for the DoD or something.

Harpers Hair

Covid mirage.

jp

How so?

Harpers Hair

Ottawa was very poor early and the Oilers took advantage.

Vancouver was without its best player for more than half a season and then the entire team was hit by Covid and the Oilers had multiple games against them afterward.

The games against Toronto were a much better measuring stick.

The Kings were very good down the stretch and will be competitive this season if Blake is successful in free agency. No reason to doubt that he will be as LA is a magnet for free agents.

If, as expected, only 3 Pacific Division teams make the playoffs next season, Seattle and Calgary (who the hell knows what they will do)
could be tough outs.

Only ANA and SJS look like also fans but Anaheim should start to make some noise soon given their prospect pool.

jp

Ottawa was very poor early and the Oilers took advantage.

Vancouver was without its best player for more than half a season and then the entire team was hit by Covid and the Oilers had multiple games against them afterward.

OK, well the Sens were worse early, yes. Though after the Oilers won the first 2 vs Ottawa the Sens split vs the Canadians. Then lost 2 more to the Oilers, split vs Winning and won their next game against Toronto. They weren’t totally helpless, even early.

The next times the Oilers met them (and went 4-0) they were playing .500 hockey vs the rest of the division.

And the Canucks, they were surely feeling the effects of their condensed schedule after their COVID outbreak. Still, I think them giving up on their turd of a season at that point was playing a role as well.

I’m not buying that the Oilers should give back many of these points.

The rest is totally irrelevant to the Oilers 2020-21 season, so I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up honestly.

Side

I like how you used covid as a catch all excuse for teams all season.

Team doing poorly = covid mirage
Team doing well = covid mirage
Team performing as expected = covid mirage.

Last edited 1 month ago by Side
Harpers Hair

How many teams had a team wide Covid outbreak?

Side

What does that have to do with you crediting the Oilers performance for “covid mirage” in response to jp?

Oilerguy

Dany Heatley fiasco days is when I arrived. Rarely ever missed a day of reading post and all the comments.

Bag of Pucks

LT, just curious as to what held my post for approval? Was it the length, the profanity, the Trump reference, or all of the above? 😬

Wilde

Genius.

Side

What? I thought you said a certain penis pill would get caught in the filter, too.

So many quality posts that could have been…

Material Elvis

Verdad2.0 is a penis pill?

Randle McMurphy

Was just in the local Shoppers picking up a few things, when an announcemnt came over the PA system.

Not verbatim but….

“It is now 2:15pm.

On this National Indigeonus Peoples Day.
Will you please join us in 215 seconds of silence,
to honour all those who were either victims of
and or affected by Residenial Schools across the nation”

23 non-aboriginal people stood silent with each other for the 215 seconds. Some heads bowed.

Wasn’t expecting that.

It was really quite moving though.

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
TheGreatBigMac

Not knocking it, the whole thing is both worthy and tragic, but I just have to say, only in Canada.

godot10

We are bringing in 300-400K new settlers every year, mostly BPOC.

There is no “I” in BLM.

tileguy

Advance analytics tell me where a player has been and not so much where he is going. Many will point out how WG showed us that Turris would fail, but didn’t the saw him good crowd also know that? The signing was a gamble, and as it turned out a bad bad gamble, bad scouting me thinks.

Litke 94

Been a regular reader here for 8 years or so. Got a desk job in 2013, started listening to 1260, discovered your brilliant show, and have been a daily reader ever since. Thanks for all you do.

Lots of interesting lists here and interesting patterns emerging. I’ll toss my hat into the ring:
1) McDavid
2) Draisaitl
3) Nurse
4) Bouchard
5) Puljujarvi
6) Broberg
7) Yamamoto
8) Holloway
9) Bear
10) Konovalov
11) Lavoie
12) Jones
13) Samorukov
14) McLeod
15) Skinner

I put extreme value in Bouchard and Broberg. Jesse loses out to Bouchard, only because of the position premium. Yamo over Bear was tough, but I can’t rinse 2019/20 Yamo from my brain.

If Sebastain Cossa is drafted, he immediately occupies a top 10 spot – not sure where.

Lastly, if Nuge was signed, I would probably put him ahead of Yamo – but behind Broberg.

Darth Tu

1 – Connor McDavid
2 – Leon Draisatl
3 – Darnell Nurse
4 – Jesse Puljujarvi
5 – Evan Bouchard
6 – Dylan Holloway
7 – Ethan Bear
8 – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
9 – Kailer Yamamoto
10 – Philip Broberg
11 – Ryan McLeod
12 – Oscar Klefbom (hopefully….)
13 – Dimitri Samorukov
14 – Ilya Konovalov
15 – Raphael Lavoie

If Nuge and Klef are gone then I add Benson and Savoie to the bottom of my list. Jones I assume is off to Seattle.

Although he’s majorly stepped up for the Condors this year I still have a feeling that Konovalov is going to be the better option for potential NHL work in the next few years, he’s been doing it in the K!

Bag of Pucks

Looking back is definitely fun.

It feels like the analytics wave was still starting to crest when I arrived here. Dellow still posted regularly. Vic occasionally. Speeds was killing it with the cap and contracts. Woodguy’s WOWY obsession was in full bloom. Gmoney and I talked about Rush way too much. Steve Smith was the board’s resident lawyer at that time.

My professional background at the time was being the bridge between business and data stakeholders. I had just project managed a SAS BI enterprise initiative and enjoyed that challenge of being the ‘interpreter’ between executives and eggheads. In many ways, the balancing act and passionate debate between those two perspectives is what I enjoy the most about this community that LT has created, though the balance has definitely swing more towards the eyes than the spreadsheets in recent years.

I’m paraphrasing LT badly here but the objective HAS to be for the data to confirm what the eyes are seeing AND vice versa.

Early in Eakins tenure for instance, the Oilers were a volume shooting perimeter team. Because they often won the corsi battle, the numbers centric crew were convinced for a time that the team was moving in a positive direction. That assessment didn’t pass the eye test though as new data would later reveal, Eakins’ swarm bled high danger scoring chances against like Hardy Aastrom on a bender.

Conversely, for years, my ‘saw him bad’ eyes could not understand how REL Corsi could possibly be painting Tom Gilbert in a positive light. I was convinced Gilbert would slide down the depth chart if playing on a better team and I felt some modest validation when that was exactly how his career played out after leaving the Oilers. But I also knew damn well that I was not the smartest man in this room by a long long shot, so over time, I concluded there simply had to be cognitive biases at play in my harsh assessment of Tom Gilbert.

I also remember vividly discussing an Eberle contract extension with Dellow. Tyler patiently and correctly predicting the shooting percentage regression to come that was set to make Jordan’s contract an overpay, while I remained naively convinced that Ebs was that rare sniper savant that would overcome the odds. Math will make you it’s bitch if you let it. And that’s a good thing. There’s nothing better than allowing our opinions to be changed by verifiable facts. The world would be in a much better place if more people were open to logical enquiry imho. The entire Trump era would never have existed!

But most importantly, whether we start with the numbers or the eye test, cognitive biases influence us all. This is why simply committing to analytics isn’t enough to guarantee success for any team or individual for that matter. There also has to be the rigorous application of critical thinking skills and the scientific method in equal parts. If not, we run the very real risk of big data simply serving as a tool to confirm our biases.

This is why I believe the analytics movement is STILL very much in its infancy in the NHL. There’s likely a handful of teams at best for whom the data carries equal weight in the decision making process. The numbers have a seat at the table now but most NHL orgs are not driven top down by an analytics culture. To accomplish this, you either commit to hiring staff in all areas with more analytics fluency OR you create BI tools that are exceedingly easy for managers, coaches, and scouts to extract actionable output from. If it helps them win or get better at their job, they’ll assimilate it. I suspect this is where most gains are being made, by external analytic consultants with turnkey intelligence services targeted at specific operational subsets (in game, cap, player procurement, etc.).

And by all means, use those damn Woodmoneys more. I found Mackenzie Weegar before he was a thing using that special sauce. That stuff is the shiznit and one of the many great legacies that LT has helped foster. And to think it all started with a little rotisserie baseball and some battered copies of the Hockey News.

Ryan

Oh to reminisce… Yeah Dellow was still here when I started reading this blog. I had a few discussions with him back in the day. That would have been 2009.

When I first arrived here, there wasn’t a lot of air in the room, it was what many referred to as an intimidating place. I know of lots of people who ‘lurked’ here for months before making their first post. I recall actually putting effort into most of my posts rather than writing the first thing that pops to mind using some sort of primary process thinking.

In the old days, the punishment for writing something inane was to be ignored… and the silence was deafening.

The challenge was to try to write something interesting enough that the ‘regulars’ would actually read and respond to.

Vic also popped in from time to time, but he didn’t post anything specific, just about his time on ice website updates or something. He seemed ‘quirky’ or ‘eccentric’ but maybe that was his mysterious persona.

I recall some discussions that Dellow and I had regarding Timo Seppa’s new metric at the time which was something like Even Strength Total Rating if memory serves. It never really caught on. From what I recall, it was a metric that was comprised of a number of other weighted player stats. Dellow wasn’t too keen on that idea.

Most of my discussions with Dellow involved me trying to dig up new stats or analytic work from somewhere else. I was enthusiastic and he politely and swiftly debunked anything I brought forward. Loved reading MC79Hockey blog.

Gilbert… I remember having discussions about his inflated second assists in his contract year.

As for Eakins, I remember getting eaten alive, IIRC you did as well, when I proposed that players or coach were gaming Corsi.

Woodguy and I have had some discussions here back in the day that probably would have ended with me getting punched in the face if they were in ‘real life.’ but I enjoyed them immensely. He’s the only person here that I’ve subsequently met in real life though Lowetide still owes me a Tim Horton’s coffee, I think.

GMoney was one of my favorite posters here as the in house analytics department. If I could think of it, he’d dig up the data. Awesome guy. He actually was on a podcast recently which is a great listen.

I am still waiting for Original Pouzar to teach me how to get a six pack back now in my 40’s. I think I had him asked to start a blog about it.

I’ve never minded Harper’s Hair stirring the pot most of the time though things get out of control late at night.

Great virtual times all.

Bag of Pucks

It was definitely a more intimidating place back then, but I always felt it was the jargon moreso than the posters.

Most of the experts were more than happy to teach us noobs which was great. But it was definitely not a place you wanted to be trotting out weak anecdotal arguments. Seem to recall strawman and ad hominem making much more frequent appearances back then : )

I also recall the excitement when the MSM got involved, whether touting the analytics movement or more often pushing back on it. There was a real sense that the narrative was starting to change around this wonderful game that is ultimately the reason we all care.

It really was egalitarian in the best way. Freemasons without all the weird rituals. lol

Ozoil

1. Mcdavid
2. Drai
3. Nurse
4. Bouchard
5. JP
6. Holloway
7. Yamo
8. Broberg
9. Bear
10. McLeod
Gap here
11. Sami
12. Benson
13. Lavoie
14. Savoie
15. Skinner

jp

Might be my favorite list so far.

Ozoil

Haha top 5!

jp

I totally didn’t get that at first.

Had zero to do with me liking your list, great answer though, haha!

dustrock

Damn, late to the blog today after being out hiking near Nordegg for a few days.

Would have been begging for a Top 50 LT Commenters ranking ha ha ha ha

Ozoil

Great article as usual LT. I know it’s off topic but I’ve been curious and there are a lot of smart hockey people here. Without an oiler bias, this isn’t about Dylan Holloway. Where would people pick the top say 15 picks in the 2020 draft after this last season? Would Stutzle go at 1? Would Holloway actually move up a spot or two? Perfetti up a few?

Material Elvis

2020 draft +1 is very difficult to re-order because of Covid. Many of the players didn’t play much or at all. I do think that Stuzle would go 1st overall. Holloway would go in the top 10. Anton Lundell would likely go in the top 10 as well.

Ozoil

Lundell and Holloway may be two of the biggest risers in the top 15. I remember being a neutral on the Holloway pick but a year later I’m very happy with it. He brings an element that the oilers have been lacking since the cup run.

jp

That and his scoring EXPLODED!!

winchester

Would Josh Manson be a good target for Edmonton? I believe so but have not seen him play for ages.

jp

Different player type, but potentially also Hampus Lindholm. Both 1 year left on their deals.

stephen sheps

Being a regular here for at least the last 13 years has opened up more opportunities for me in my real life than I ever imagined. My first big sport publication would not have been possible without this place. I wrote to our host offline this morning to remind him of how grateful I am for all that he’s done for me. A facilitator and catalyst for brilliance.

The 15 most valuable Oilers based on their future value beginning this year and running to the natural end of their Oilers career – great thought experiment.

  1. Connor
  2. Leon
  3. Bouchard (this is likely controversial, but if he works out the way I hope he can…)
  4. Nurse
  5. Jesse
  6. Holloway
  7. Bear
  8. McLeod
  9. Yamamoto
  10. Jones (though he’s not long for this roster)
  11. Broberg
  12. Lavoie
  13. Konovalov
  14. Maksimov
  15. Samorukov

If a trade for Konecny could be made (I love this player and I think the math does too, or at least it did before Covid got him last season – he regressed a bit but his PDO was also shockingly low, especially against elites according to puckIQ), I trade anyone after and including Yamamoto to get him, but that top 8 is untouchable for me. That’s the future core to build around.

Last edited 1 month ago by stephen sheps
Glovjuice

Not trading Bear for Konecny is ludicrous.

Side

LT and Ryan, as an FYI was unable to see the article today and had to sign in to see it.

Ryan

Hey, who forgot to flush the…. cache. 🙂

Side

Hmm, I will clear my cache the next time it happens and see if it works. I have tried clicking ‘Remember Me’ to keep me signed in to avoid having to sign in every time but that never seems to stick either (and I don’t clear my cache after clicking ‘Remember Me’)

Thanks, Ryan.

Yeti

My kids forget to flush their ‘cache’ all the time. Then they blame each other and I’m expected to become the poo detective who studies their dietary habits and bowel timelines to determine the true culprit. Drives me nuts. Just press flush, Ryan.

Side

The culprit is your significant other.

Case cracked.

Harpers Hair

David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) Tweeted:
There hasn’t been much progress yet on a contract extension for Oilers D Adam Larsson. But I’m told Edmonton and Larson‘s camp will resume negotiations this week.

https://twitter.com/TheFourthPeriod/status/1407056618035027982?s=20

leadfarmer

It’s called I will pretend like I didn’t know if I was going to sign this player before expansion draft

Harpers Hair

Likely…and Seattle may respond in kind by not signing UFAs until after the expansion draft.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Unlikely. The exclusive negotiation window is an advantage that no other team has. They will likely use it to work out deals in advance, or just sign player(s) before they’re competing with other teams.

Harpers Hair

They can reach a handshake deal and wait a few days to formalize it.
That has happened forever as evidenced by the flurry of signings announced within minutes of free agency opening.

Those deals weren’t negotiated in 5 minutes.

Material Elvis

Looks like management might have read Georgexs’ posts and backed off the crazy $4Mx4 that was thrown around the rumor mill.

winchester

Hi also had a post out the other day attempting to look at prioritizing team need. We had so much time and effort into top wingers and third line centers. I liked Bruce’s right up at COH in regards to focussing back on the lack of depth scoring going back for years.

A good question face and Ken Holland right now is to get those top line different makers or just use the money to bring in better players all around and upgrade the entire team. Yes the order still have other needs however if lines 3 and 4 were out scoring or opposition or even breaking even at 50% this team would still be playing hockey right now.

entire line of a Killorn, Coleman, Armia might be what they need to put them over the top. (Think I have little too much $) in my example but point made.

winchester

I look at The list of 15 names and I’m not so much thinking about what my list would be rather I’m thinking what is this this tell us about the team.

Every player name was drafted by the team, there’s not a single player in there it was acquired by trade.

If some such as Larson we’re under contract perhaps they would make the list, I can see why UFA are not there as their contract to take away substantial amount of value

If Ryan strong was on the roster perhaps he would be example of a successful trade and keep. Still I’m very surprised there’s no trades in those top 15 names. what does it tell us.

Material Elvis

Interesting blog post today LT. Neat to follow the history of your blog. Although I’ve always been an Oilers fan, I didn’t start following your blog until Taylor/Tyler. Some very interesting and smart people around back then. There still are many wonderful contributors to the community these days. I do wonder what the future holds for the advanced analytical types. Specifically, can the human compete with the Artificial Intelligence for data gathering and interpretation?

jimdewger

That’s when I found this corner of the internet too. Wonder what it was at that time that brought us in

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Lack of insight by the legacy media. So much hot air about regular boxcars, intangibles, and reputation, or other such fluff instead of driving down on the details that make a player more likely to succeed than any other.

Material Elvis

Definitely a place to vent frustration with management in a more civilized tone. Many of the other blog sites at that time were very negative or clownish. LT provided such a measured take on all the bad management moves — the ‘wall of fuck’ being his only exception 😀

defmn

For data gathering, no.

For interpretation, yes and no as judgement is easily the most unequally distributed attribute of our species. 😉

who

The most interesting thing about LTs list is the placement of Broberg. I’m surprised to see players like Bear, Yamamoto, Jones and McLeod ranked ahead of him. I gotta believe Broberg has more trade value around the league than any of these guys.
My list
1. McDavid
2. Draisaitl
3. Nurse
4. Bouchard
5. Puljujarvi
6. Hollaway
7. Broberg
8. Samarukov
9. Bear
10. Yamamoto
11. McLeod
12. Klefbom
13. Lavoie
14. Savoie
15. Kesselring
Have no clue on the goalies and Klefbom would be top 5 if I was sure he was healthy.

Moonlight Overthrow

This exercise was interesting on a number of levels.

McDavid
Draisaitl
Nurse
Holloway
Bouchard
Broberg
Puljujarvi
Yamamoto
Bear
McLeod
Samurokov
Lavoie
Savoie
Konovalov
Jones

I omitted the UFA’s, as the contract is a significant contributor to value. Otherwise, both Nuge and Larsson would make an appearance. Klefbom as well, if we knew he was still alive.

I think there a several names on this list that have less value around the league than we would anticipate.

What is also interesting is how few players I’m attached to, and would be ok if they were traded. It’s really no more than a handful.

Scungilli Slushy

Nice post LT

Also Bruce over at COH

I me too the other day I wanted to load up the D. I think a large part of the bad bottom 6 is not good enough D after Nurse.

More stable better luck moving pairs will help forwards in better breakouts and more O time.

Ancient Oilers Fan

I’m not sure when I started reading Lowetide but it was some reference on another blog which piqued my interest. Since arriving here I have been a daily reader.

I also commit the heinous crime of using adblocker. For that privilege I donate $10.00 per month. I don’t do it monthly but in periodic lump sums. My first donation, after a bit of a windfall, was a 10ish year catch up and I hope it actually got Mrs Lowetide a better Christmas present.

The reason I tell you this is only to put $10.00 per month into perspective. That amount is about $0.33 a day or say 4 cheap cups of coffee a month. I doubt anyone of Lowetides followers gets less than $0.33 a day of enjoyment from this blog.

If that is too much my analytics skill tells me that $5 a month is about $0.16 per day.

If a thousand people donated $10 a month, which of course may be happening I don’t really know, we would provide a decent amount to our host’s coffers.

We maybe even could get two posts a day again, the thing I miss most because it refreshed discussion.

I do not subscribe to any sites, except I made my one exception to that rule when Lowetide started writing for the Athletic.

Not everyone can afford to make a donation but imagine the smile on our host’s face if on December 1st of each year those who can, give him a Christmas donation equivalent to one year at the rate they choose. Ziggy would get the best of everything, ah she does already I’m sure. Even $10 a year just to say thanks adds up if there are enough of them.

This blog is my only addiction and we all must pay for our addictions.

Our Edmonton Operation

I’m here to see the bloody balance photo someday!

No, seriously, I’ve been lurking here since probably close to the beginning. I was really looking for an Oilers support group, and this blog was, and is, the best of the bunch. I don’t have much to contribute. I just like to know there are other people who bleed Oilers like I do.

Moonlight Overthrow

The balance photo is like Joe Mayo. Frankly, it sounds made up.

Elgin R

No it was the 1978 Montreal Canadiens!

Randle McMurphy

The Balance Photo.

Man that is one genius piece of marketing. 🙂

“Just Do It” – Nike
“Where’s the Beef?” – Wendy’s
“A Diamond is Forever” – De Beers
“Coming soon: The Balance Photo” – Lowetide

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Some days I feel pessimistic about this Oilers roster

“It’s coming on the end of August
Another summer’s promise almost gone
And though I heard some wise man say
That every dog will have his day
He never mentioned that these dog days get so long

I don’t know when I realized the dream was over
Well, there was no particular hour, no given day
You know it didn’t go down in flame
There was no final scene, no frozen frame
I just watched it slowly fade away”

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

God’s Speed Kenny!

unca miltie

i remember being excited when Bill James arrived. While I have a very good background in math, i did not and do not have the patience or attention span to do the work. Thus, I sit on the sidelines, let others do the work and learn from them. When I first came across this site I let it be know that I was in the “saw him good” camp. I appreciate all the work others have done and certainly have learned from posters here.

I was fortunate enough to have seen Bouchard and Samorukov play live with the Condors a couple of times. Quite interested to see others rate Sammy quite highly as well. my first Condors game was in November of 2019 and I liked Sammy better than Bouchard. He was more aggressive and intense than Bouchard. The next time I saw them was in Ontario, California against the Reign. By that time Bouchard’s intensity level was raised considerably and IMO they were close. Bouchard certainly has more skill. I was excited to see the reports on Sammy last winter from his start in the KHL.

it would appear both have a future in the NHL. I also remember watching Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch play for the Roadrunners. Sadly, less than 160 NHL games between the two of them. Injuries happen and ruin careers.

This is a long way of saying I would trade either of them for the right player if said player was in the prime of his career and had some time left on a contract.

Moonlight Overthrow

This is where the ranking became challenging. Samurokov will probably have more value within the Oilers organization than he would around the league.

I would think Bouchard has more value to due draft pedigree, counting numbers, and perceived NHL readiness. Being a RHD also helps.

pts2pndr

This is why when trading young players that we know have a high upside it is prudent in my opinion to not trade that player until you can get full value. We cannot in my opinion be the farm team for the NHL and expect to stay competitive. It is imperative to get value back for value out. An example would be Samorukov who after showing well in the KHL appears ready for the next step which is NHL games. His value appears about to increase substantially!

OriginalPouzar

Samorukov is the d-man prospect with some value that can be traded to help the middle six wingers but, at the same time, I am so damn high on Sammy and think he can impact the roster this season (and there is a reasonable chance that he’s a legit 2LD within a few years, in the Adam Larsson mold with better skating and puck skills – that may or may not translate).

Yes, futures for help does have to happen at some points, and I’m not saying no, it would just be hard to say good bye to Sammy just as he’s about to arrive.

unca miltie

i also really like Sammy and actually almost wrote that he was like Larson though a beeter skater. I do think he is a tough guy to play against.

pts2pndr

The answer is very simple move Jones instead! Jones got a great audition and proved not ready. He was used in the AHL as a rover because of his inability to play good defence. He is butter soft in the defensive zone and forwards own him! Nurse’s sister is more physical than Caleb. Yes he may get there in a couple of years but given the current team situation is that prudent? I say only if your goal is mediocrity!

godot10
  1. Draisaitl
  2. McDavid
  3. Nurse
  4. Holloway
  5. Broberg
  6. Puljujarvi
  7. Bouchard
  8. Nugent-Hopkins
  9. Lavoie
  10. Samorukov
  11. Bear
  12. McLeod
  13. Yamamoto
  14. Skinner
  15. Benson
Randle McMurphy

Its like some wierd psychology experiment or something.

LT leaves RNH and Klefbom off of his list and the rest of us follow suit. Group Think?

Until Godot10 rightly (imo) adds RNH back into the list: And Jim Dweger adds in Klefbom.

leadfarmer

Klef has no value until we at least get info on what surgery he even had and whether he may ever play again
Other UFAs (Barrie Larsson) are not on the list so I wouldn’t put Nuge on mine if I felt like making a list

Randle McMurphy

You’re probably correct. UFA does seem to be the demarcation point.

Yamo RFA is on the list.

Randle McMurphy

Group Think Definition:

“Blessed are the cheesemakers!”

godot10

Nugent-Hopkins isn’t gone till he’s gone. I assumed Klefbom is done. I debated putting Larsson on. The list criteria were loosely defined. Larsson isn’t on the critical path anymore. Everybody I left on still has upside potential.

defmn

Agree with your first 7. Broberg/Holloway is a judgement call at the moment based upon whether or not Holloway plays wing or centre when he gets here.

Not sure if Nuge is meant to be included in the exercise but if so that is where I would place him as well.

9. Samorukov
10 Yamomoto

After that I am not sure any of them are important to a contending franchise although I admit Skinner is a mystery to me.

ArmchairGM

Finally a list that appreciates Broberg. Thank you!

jp

I agree. Though I’d still have Puljujarvi and a signed Nuge ahead of two guys (Holloway and Bromberg) who’ve never played an NHL game.

Randle McMurphy

For a Konecny:

I would not give up JP, Bouchard, or Holloway

I would give up Yamamoto, Bear, Broberg or Samorukov

Elgin R

Bear – we currently have two RHD ( Bear and Bouchard) signed so trading one may not help the ‘balance’ photo.

Yamamoto – Konecny is a little bigger but still a Hobbit and scores at a 2.07 5v5 pts/60 for $5.5 x 3. KY scores at 1.58 5v5 pts/60 and is RFA with a 0.875m QO. Is 0.49 5v5 pts/60 worth $4.5m? Holland could probably get more bang for his buck.

Broberg / Sammy – will probably have a positive impact on the team while on ELC value deals so trading them for Konecny may not be the answer. Even if Klef comes back he only has two more years so will probably need these guys.

Harpers Hair

The crux of the issue:

@Woodguy55

Final 5 team’s 5v5 goal share for their bottom 6 this season:

TBY 55.2%
NYI 51.5%
MTL 47.1%
COL 68.1%
VGK 53.2%

EDM 34.8%

Wanting EDM to upgrade their bottom 6 shouldn’t be a controversial opinion.

Its not “analytics thinking”, its goals and winning thinking.

godot10

Which way do you do it though?

Does on add in the top six to push people down, or add in third line.

I’m think I’m looking for 2nd line left wingers or higher.

Harpers Hair

I think the most reasonable path forward is to add in the top six while pushing Yamamoto down and hoping Holloway could play 3C sooner than later while relying on a cheap winger like Kahun (or replacement) or Benson on the other wing.

That would have the added benefit of pushing McLeod down to the 4th line.

Lots of risk involved but the status quo is certainly not acceptable and, of course if Nuge leaves you’re looking for a brace of top 6 wingers.

But it is doable with current cap space and very smart acquisitions.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Who would you add?

Assume RNH returns at a similar AAV.

Harpers Hair

I would start with Brandon Saad and Mikael Granlund.

jp

Granlund can also play 3C, if that shakes out as the best deployment.

who

This. All day long.
The bottom six is not the problem.
Improve the top 6 and the bottom 6 will improve due to the trickle down effect.
The Oilers haven’t been able to find 4 wingers to play with McDavid and Draisaitl. Why are we fixated on the bottom 6? Fix the big problem first.

Harpers Hair

Plugging in a couple of solid late 20’s wingers also provides cover as draft picks develop.

DieHard

This is what we are. In need of a second line.

Harpers Hair

Should add buying out Neal is crucial and finding a new home for Kassian would be a blessing.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

This is the best option.

That way in case of injury or slump there are qualified candidates to play up the order instead of guys being asked to do too much.

Sierra

Agreed, the Oiler need to add a 1/2 LW.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sierra
Sierra

Sure doesn’t look like those top teams are just trying to saw-off when the bottom 6 are on the ice, no matter how much a certain poster or two lecture us on it.

Harpers Hair

The Islanders FOURTH line is killing it.

defmn

I cannot believe a 33 year old Clutterbuck is still playing like a 23 year old Clutterbuck.

Ryder

I am enjoying the love that Bear is getting in the value rankings. I know it’s an intangible but I think it’s really important to have players who have “overachieved” their projected ability as most cup winners seem to have these glue guys in spades. Add that to his unique story and breaking many glass ceilings, I think he adds a ton to any room plus being a solid asset on the ice that you know will always be trying to improve!

Randle McMurphy

I dont know why I feel this need to bend the rules.

Connor McDavid/Leon Draisaitl
Darnell Nurse
Sebastian Cossa
Evan Bouchard
Jesse Puljujarvi
Dylan Holloway
Philip Broberg
Dimitri Samorukov
Kailer Yamamoto
Ethan Bear
Raphael Lavoie
Ryan McLeod
Tyler Benson
Caleb Jones
Ilya Konovalov
Carter Savoie

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Its the age old question: Who was more valuable towards winning Stanley Cups, Wayne or Mark?

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Gretzky never won a Stanley Cup without Messier. Messier won 2 Stanley Cups without Gretzky.

~Analytics People!~

~W/WO~

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Ryan

A lot of the “Lowetide alumni” are on Twitter.
I don’t keep up on Twitter, but here’s a few that I know of.

  1. NYCOIL
  2. Woodguy
  3. GMoney
  4. Dennis King
  5. Jonathan Willis
  6. Bruce McCurdy
  7. Sunil Agnihotri
  8. Michael Parkatti
  9. WheatNOil
WedgeAntilles

I’ve never commented much on the blog, but I’ve been here from the early days. Migrated over from Hockey’s Future, where I was a contributor for a bit. I don’t do any hockey writing anymore — life has taken my writing in a very different direction than my old “Bulldogs Reports” at HF — but I try to keep tabs on prospects and this place (both the actual blog and the comment section) has been a wonderful source of info.

I’m also proud to say I told everyone to keep an eye on Pisani before he ever played his first NHL game 😉

Brantford Boy

I must admit, I saw that quoted comment yesterday and took note, and made my own internal comment. I’ve been reading since around 2009-10, commenting maybe the last 5-6. Please don’t make the site exclusive LT as there’s no way in HE-double hockeys sticks I make the smartest 50 and get cut. I like the site content everyday and I can’t say I would change anything, but if you do, I’ll be here regardless unless you’re required to solve an algebraic equation upon sign in.

I’m too am not going to change. But coming here daily for the last decade I have learned SO much! I think all anyone needs to do is read the comment section on a Christmas, Mothers/Fathers Day morning, to realize how much we all appreciate your daily thoughts LT, as it might not be mentioned everyday.

Take the winger checklist, I probably can say roughly 10 items on it I learned by coming here. Could I explain those 10 things to other people (DFF), nope. But maybe 5 things I could. You’ve learned me good LT, and folks, so thank you.

Onto hockey, my winger checklist is:
1. Can he help this team win a cup

My list:
Connor McDavid
Leon Draisaitl
Darnell Nurse
Evan Bouchard
Jesse Puljujarvi
Dylan Holloway
Ethan Bear
Kailer Yamamoto
Ryan McLeod
Caleb Jones/Tyler Benson
Dmitri Samorukov
Philip Broberg
Ilya Konovalov
Raphael Lavoie
Carter Savoie

My trade… for Konecny: Kailer Yamamoto (small in, small out) and Raphael Lavoie.

Note: Caleb Jones taken in expansion

Last edited 1 month ago by Brantford Boy
Randle McMurphy

Opening paragraph aside. This is one of the best posts I’ve read here in a long time.

Absolutely love the description of the genesis, evolution and purpose of the blog.

Absolutley love the personalized “Check List” .I’m going to print it and save it; Because it really hammers home, why I so often value LT’s opinion even over my own.

The humility tinged with humour……well it humbles me….”I choose to include everyone, mostly because if I take the smartest 50 the blog’s author will miss the cut.”
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Most valuable Oilers list….Pure entertainment. (imagination take flight)

As for Puff. I loved that song when I was a kid. It made me feel so melencholy. How the heck can you feel melencholy at the age of 9???

Turns out melencholy is one of the defining characteristcs of my personality at age 60. Go Figure.

Now back to the game.

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

“some of which is not public”…….hmmmm

Randle McMurphy

Chapter One: Bill James
Chapter Two: Top Twenty Hits “A Career in Radio”
Chapter Three: The Old Al Gore
Chapter Four: Math Makes My Head Hurt
Chapter Five: The Truth Revealed
Chapter Six: Spill the Wine
Chapter Seven: Everything I Ever Learned About Sports and Music (and Almost Forgot)
Chapter Eight: Ziggy Plays Guitar (My Family and Other Personal Stories)

Forward Written by Bruce McCrudy

Back of Dust Cover…….Wait for it……… “The Balance Photo” (McDavid balancing the Stanley Cup above his head)

Harpers Hair

Yeah, surprised more folks didn’t pick up on that straightaway.

LT subtly dropping a bomb.

Harpers Hair

“Not YET public”.

Randle McMurphy

Christmas release?