Wordy Rappinghood

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers enter the 2021 draft with some strong areas on the current roster and for the future. The best 1-2 center combination in the game (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl) and a significant number of handsome futures on left (Darnell Nurse, Dmitri Samorukov, Philip Broberg) and right (Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard) defense. There are even some goalies (Ilya Konovalov, Stuart Skinner, Olivier Rodrigue) and some right wingers (Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Raphael Lavoie) of note. Left wing has some issues at the NHL level, and that may be the theme of summer (again), but bubbling under are Dylan Holloway, Tyler Benson, Carter Savoie, Maxim Berezkin and others.

So then, how should Edmonton proceed at the draft?


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!


Ordinarily, I use Bob McKenzie’s final list because it reflects the industry closely. Mr. McKenzie’s list is not yet available. The final lists haven’t dropped, Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler aside, so discussing No. 19 (or later) is difficult. For now, I’m going to use the Nation consensus list from April 2021.

Edmonton doesn’t need a center, with 97 and 29 here for the next several years, plus Ryan McLeod just coming online as an NHL center. There’s also Dylan Holloway, who we talk about as a winger but he has played center much of his career.

  • Xavier Bourgault is a favourite of mine, a RHC who scores goals and is an excellent puck passer. I have him No. 14 overall on my list. Draft Pro Yearbook says “an offensive minded forward with soft hands and goal scorers drive. Plays with pace, using his smarts and strong positioning to create offense. His skating just keeps getting better but is an area of continued focus to improve.” You can read the entire yearbook here. Very detailed. I’m reading it now.
  • LW Matt Coronato is a pure scorer, great release and plus speed. Headed to Harvard. I like him plenty (have him No. 20) but Edmonton is strong at the position after a 2020 draft that seemed at times devoted to the position.
  • G Sebastian Cossa is a giant who moves quickly and has great reflexes, so unless he becomes obsessed with winning King of the Klondike he has a real chance to make it as an NHL goalie. I’ve seen comments here and there suggesting drafting a goalie during the McDavid era is a bad idea. Once again: You cannot run a business like that. If the goalie is BPA, take the best player available.
  • LC Zachary Dean is loved by everyone who talks or writes about the 2021 draft. He has speed, smarts and the work ethic of a homesteader. He is universally ranked 15-30 or so. I have him No. 58 because his offense is shy. I don’t know Tyler Wright’s list and there’s a small chance he isn’t going to email me a copy before draft day. The Oilers drafted a player with a pedestrian offensive boxcar set a year ago, and Dean (NHLE: 20.3) checks off a lot of other boxes.


Wright and his scouts did a fine job, I’ll say outstanding with the reminder that waiting five years is necessary, is delivering quality in a most difficult draft. Edmonton traded down to get an extra pick in 2020, not certain they’ll do it this time. I ranked the top four players Nos. 25, 56, 53, 122.

PICKS 115, 179, 185 AND 211

So, we only have one year of Tyler Wright, plus Holland’s impact on the Philip Broberg pick, as a guideline. As you know, I’m a fan of Edmonton’s 2015+ drafting overall, and the 2020 draft is trending very well. Here are some players who might be on Edmonton’s list based on what we know the club is looking for, using 2020 as a template.

  • RW Zakhar Bardakov, Vityaz Podolsk. Big PF with some skill. He is 20. Fits well with Berezkin from a year ago.
  • LW Eric Alarie, Moose Jaw Warriors 6.01, 196. Big PF with plus skill. I expect Tyler Wright likes him. I have him ranked far higher than anyone else, he’s a guy who could last until No. 115 based on the rankings I’m seeing. He would represent exceptional value.
  • RC Connor Lockhart, Erie Otters. He’s small (5.08, 163) and that’s out of time with Wright’s picks from a year ago, but a righty center. Fast, highly skilled, intelligent. He would be a worthwhile selection for Edmonton.
  • RC Ryan Winterton, Hamilton Bulldogs. Solid prospect, skilled and September 2003. One of the youngest players in the draft, he’s another righty center. His calling card is his shot, he can pick corners and overwhelm goaltenders.
  • LD Janis Moser, EHC Biel-Bienne. Overager, born in 2000, I think Wright and the Oilers may draft several older players this time around (more certainty). Fine skater, two-way type, he could go as early as the third round.


Oilers fans react to everything these days in an over the top fashion, suspect that will continue until Ken Holland makes an astute signing or two in free agency. I don’t agree with all of the reaction (holding up the Devin Shore signing as a misstep is one thing, but as a harbinger of certain doom is over the top), but in the case of Matej Blumel there is cause for concern.

In his draft year, and this past season, Blumel looked like a legit NHL prospect. I had him as the Oilers No. 13 prospect in my most recent top-20 prospects (trade deadline edition), and I expect he will eventually sign an NHL contract with some team. He was worth signing, Edmonton didn’t do it, we are left to find the answers.

I think you can make a case for the Oilers liking other LW’s more (certainly the 2020 draft had several impressive players who can play the position) and perhaps Blumel and his agent were in search of more money as a bonus than a normal fourth-round selection would warrant.

The problem is you develop a past. As is the case with the analytics department, Edmonton continues to look ill equipped to deal with the massive amount of work running an NHL team requires.

Today’s post should be about the impressive 2020 draft only, and should be looking forward confidently to what this staff can do at the 2021 edition.

It is not.

There’s absolutely room on the 50-man list, Blumel was drafted in the Holland era, and he was worth a contract. Did the Oilers know about the deadline? The fact it is even a question fans are asking should be of great concern to the organization.

Now. Today.


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Is HH not around arguing with OP tonight? How strange.


Going through his book of predictions he made this year trying to find one he has a chance of being right on still, I am sure.

Brewha Ha

Lol. If there is one thing that’s constant, it’s that HH is never around when proven wrong.


Oh my.


that should take a while haha 😉

Scungilli Slushy

Montreal was my team before the Oilers hit the NHL, so I can cope. It was the winning, I was very young, and the skill. The only Canadian team I would feel good about doing it now. Ottawa maybe, pretty neutral on them still.

Vegas is a team that has had success via playing as a team strongly, as the Habs have done this season and playoffs.

They have also been goalie driven when winning. They are very big overall. I don.t think they are a high skill team overall, or particularly fast. Their best players are on the downhill side of the curve.

They have some nice players, but no elite players. I think they don’t have as many good or skilled players as Montreal has. And Montreal’s are much younger.

Price is at the moment vintage Price – very hard to beat. He took away the Knight’s usual advantage IMO.

The Oilers can hang with these teams, if they decide to jettison passengers and bring in some more aggressive two way types that are disciplined enough to do their jobs, win their ‘job’ on the night, and stick to the system.

So sadly, for Godot, I’m afraid I can no longer support retaining Kassian.


Montreal has McTavish shackled in an over priced hotel room.

Bag of Pucks

Team with the worst winning .pct entering the playoffs with a chance to kiss the Cup.

Cinderella wears bleu, blanc et rouge.

So happy for my friends in Montreal. Having lived there, I can honestly say the passion for their team truly rivals that of Oil Country.

Go Habs! Go Canada!


Im hoping for a Habs Isles finals so they just trap the living shit out of each other


I don’t want the cheaters to repeat. Cheering for NYI & Eberle.


Strange days in Oil Country.

Bag of Pucks

It’s neat how your narrative completely fails to match reality.

Maybe it’s all the lead you’re farming?

Last edited 1 month ago by Bag of Pucks

go Lick your bag of pucks

Bag of Pucks

For luck?


Aside from the PP ineptitude, this series showed Vegas’ biggest weakness – a weak set of centers down the depth chart. I could see them making a play for Eichel.

Thank goodness for 1C plus 1C on the Oilers as building blocks.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Vegas got mentally messed after Fleury cost them game 4

Vegas ruled that game, one of the most lopsided in the Playoffs and then Fleury choked.

Vegas never recovered from that. They started playing the Habs game and it cost them.


MTL to the finals.

NYI one win away.

To the great many of you who rank teams as able to win the SC or not – Ready to discard your bullshit myths about the limited number of contenders yet?

Another year proving anyone can win.

Another year proving to not go for it when you have a chance is foolhardy.


For sure. The new model… Hot goalie, hot hobbits. Reasonable effort, structure. The odd A-hole.


Hasn’t that been the model most years, give or take a hobbit or two?

Last edited 1 month ago by Sierra
SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

GM Lou – too old for Toronto but back to back GM of the year awards and one win away.

I wonder if Dubas’ analytics saw that coming?


Pointing this out never gets old though. 😉


Lou would have shaved that pornstar mustache off of Captain Underpants with a straight razor himself.

Scungilli Slushy

As long as you aren’t foolhardy you always go for it when you have a chance.

Get ‘er done Holland.


Of course, “going for it” depletes the asset base limiting the ability to “go for it” in future years. Look what “going for it” at the 2020 deadline did to the ability to go for it this year – depleted the “futures” asset base. Not only that, but its deleted the asset trade currency this off-season.

Simply cannot trade material futures, year after year after year – not until there is enough organizational depth to do so.

Scungilli Slushy

I know, why I said ‘aren’t foolhardy’.


It potentially does this, but if an astute GM continues to make value signings and trades players before they deplete in value substantially, I think it can be done. There is not a set blueprint for team building in the NHL.


Doesn’t the “anyone can win” idea counteract the need to “go for it”?


Nope – as it is also true that someone must win.

Might as well be you.

Acting like there’s only 2 or 3 teams that can win each year and if you’re not one you might as well just give up is a constant narrative around here.


Habs with “Clarence Campbell Trophy” – so weird.

I don’t really want to”cheer for” the Habs but gotta love Shea Weber and his history with Team Canada – his first SCF (and maybe his last).


So if Wild lose to Vegas in game 7 and Toronto loses to Montreal in game 7 and Vegas loses to Montreal does this make Colorado not even a top 8 playoff team?
Oh my


“It doesnt matter who comes out of the North. They won’t have a chance against the overwhelming Avalanche or Vegas”



Said so many.


The old HH curse…


Ha, used to hate the Habs, have mellowed on them. Good for them. Freakin expansion team should not be in a cup final 2 times in 4 years.


So how does this work? McDavid and Matthews accomplishments are even more impressive now cause now the North is at least the 2nd strongest division?


If the Oilers played the goal-giving teams in the east (or the west) this season…..


Holy Crap – Habs in the SCF.


It does amaze me how quickly Blumel went from future Granlund to can’t miss prospect

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

So who had the Habs in the SCF?

Come on which one of you had the Habs in final? I sure as hell didn’t.

After all the drooling about Colorado and Toronto’s fancy analytics department it’s the team with hair on their ass and patience in their own end that makes it. Who would have thunk that?

The playoffs are a damn grind not an All-Star contest. Need to be tough to get through a two month bloodbath (physical and mental).

Tippett and Holland understand this. Oiler fans (maybe?) do not.

Connor, Leon and Darnell needed to learn these lessons.

The Oilers will win a helluva lot faster listening to Kenney and Dave than the Leafs, the Avs or whoever else HH is cheering for these days riffing off their spreadsheets

Team ”Culture” it’s a thing 😉


Habs were the the team I feared would chop the Oilers to pieces if they met in the 1st round. They didn’t seem very good, but dirty as hell and I figured some team was going to stomp them.

Now they have made me a 180 degree turncoat and new Montreal Canadiens fan. They are playing lights out hockey and Price is a magician.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Like the Oilers in 06

push everything to the boards, trust your goaler and be as opportunistic as possible on offense.

Oddly enough I actually think the Habs have gotten the short end of the stick ref wise throughout this playoffs.

30 straight successful PKs… that’s damn impressive.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

And to be truthful I don’t think it has anything to do with skill vs. grit. As a long suffering Saints and Yankees fan all the money and skill in the world don’t mean a lick if you can’t jive at the exact right time. Dunno if that’s culture, skill or dumb luck but it’s a thing.

I think age matters more than any other factor (all things being equal) – closer your team (and importantly the Core) is to the sweet zone of 26-32 the more likely they understand what it takes to get far.


Wow the Vegas PP is not good.


That’s the biggest story of this series

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Vegas at <9% on the PP this whole playoffs.

What a weird year.


Vegas was 22nd in the league on the PP during the regular season – 17.8%. This has been a season long problem for them.

Bag of Pucks

If Caufield’s #22 doesn’t remind you of Mike Bossy, his quick release should.

Man, what a beaut.


Speculation out there that Dougie Hamilton may come in around $7.5M give or take. Personally I think that’s a bit low and he’ll be around $8M or so but, in any event, won’t Hamilton’s contract be the absolute ceiling for what Nurse should sign for?

I love Nurse, and he was full value this season, what a season, but Dougie Hamilton has been a legit 1D for years now and Nurse hasn’t.


Agree this is good news as it regards Nurse.

I’d say it might actually make Hamilton a more plausible target for the Oilers too, if his cap is likely to be under $8M.

(glad the Oilers weren’t the team to sign Drew Doughty for $11M per for his entire 30’s).


Is it possible both the player and the team both weren’t aware? AGM or whoever classified Blumel as requirement X and communicated that to his agent. Agent did their due diligence but missed whatever minor detail caused him to actually be a Y instead of an X.

Maybe both found out when that oddity was discovered.


If that’s the case, then they could just sign the ELC now, if both parties are on-board.

I think the more likely possibility is the player did not want to sign at this point.


Nope nope nope
pretty sure Holland who is so old school that he doesn’t believe in advanced stars is running the Oilers Twitter page


Montreal are stuffing Vegas like Thanksgiving turkeys.

This is a sensationally motivated team. Everything the Oilers should be.

Bag of Pucks

If Montreal wins the Cup, do we lobby like hell for a permanent North Division with a guaranteed buy into the Final 4?


Well aside from a lot of Luck; looks at what Bergevin did in the last 12 months vs Holland.

Bergevin brought in

brought up the skill ….

Added vets at the deadline …

Still takes luck, but if Bergevin doesn’t make all those moves there is no way MTL gets this far

Bag of Pucks

Did you ever notice how the go to tactic for those defending Holland’s various contract and asset management errors is variations on the, “Hey, other teams make mistakes too!” theme?

Hardly a ringing endorsement.


The Blumel thing reminds me of when they tried to sign Tchachev (sp). I remember another pretty embarrassing error when Tambellini was GM re misunderstanding the cap, but it’s slipping my mind what it was exactly. I remember the AGM at the time was in charge of the cap.

On the brightside, if it was an oversight, decent chance Blumel would still sign with them – he’s not so famous of a prospect to have a bidding war over him, but there may be other interest.


Nothing compares to the flames offer sheet of Ryan O’ Riley…..

In the Blumel case, there is no evidence that the Oilers management weren’t aware of the expiry date (or weren’t willing to sign).


Jonathan Willis has some pieces on his twitter that add a bit more insight. Sounds like Blumel was on a positive note to continue a contract with the Oilers.

Alas, we don’t know the workings of the organization. This is where the questions arise, if Oilers were keen on signing Shore or another season, with limited impact to the cap, other than having a member of the 50, why not proceed with Blumel.


I don’t think a spot on the 50 was a factor and don’t really understand the Shore comparison (Shore was signed to impact the roster this season whereas a Blumel signing would have been non-related to the active roster, perhaps for the entire 3-year term).

In any event, to the “why not proceed with Blumel”, I would respond with the fact that the player has to agree to sign and it seems Blumel was not looking to sign in the NHL at this point in time but likely in the next few years.


That capologist would be Bill Scott, who is remains to this day in his position with the Oilers.


OP why are you digging in so hard in defence of the organization with respect to Blumel? The signing window for the player passed and then after that the posted fluff pieces in him?

If, as you imply, the signing in Paribuce was the end of the road for Blumel and the Oilers were very much aware, let’s think about how this would have played out.

The Oilers likely would have made an announcement that Blumel was not going to be signed around that time.

Failing that, at some point over the 6 months I’m sure his name came up in an interview…it would have been answered then.

Failing that, the fluff piece about him would never have been posted on social media as a well run organization would communicate things. Like this thoughout the organization.

And if for some reason it WAS posted by a social media intern you can be damn sure someone who knew Blumels contract status would have noticed and THEN it would have been retracted and/or announced.

Bag of Pucks

The call is coming from inside the house.


I’ve stated my thoughts and reasons and they are related to not believing that the org just forgot about this player and put little stock in to the piece on Oilers twitter a few weeks back.

Its a pet peeve of mine that management gets consistently criticized (hard sometimes) based on rumor, speculation, false info, etc. – based on decisions they never made.

For example, when Rishaug was on the morning show with Dusty and OEL was “On the market”, Dusty asked Rishaug what he thought it would take. Rishaug spitballed that he thought the Coyotes would ask for the 1st and one of Broberg or Bouchard.

Weeks and weeks of vitriol towards Holland for being willing to give up that package in a trade – absolutely killed in social media based on nothing.

I find it highly unlikely that a very diligent manager just “forgot” or didn’t understand the rules and there is no concrete evidence to support that.

If that is the case, shame on management but I find that highly unlikely.


Don’t deflect. I’m not talking about other situations. This one.

So you believe a well run organization would not internally communicate the loss of a significant asset within their ranks over a period of 6 months? And that organization that is very much internally aware of the loss of this asset would a) not release any statement publicly and b) green light a social media post about that asset and c) when this social media post is posted not immediately retract and make a public announcement?

Im sorry but that much dysfunction might actually be WORSE than one assistant GM/contract specialist misreading a clause of the CBA.


No, I don’t think the org would put out a statement regarding the expiry of signing rights or players – countless draftees are not signed and statements are not put out.

Lets not over-state the significance of the asset and I posit many criticizing the org on this across Oil Country could even had identified the name, Matej Blumel 48 hours ago.

I think the tweet is a complete non-issue, non-factor and meaningless.

Harpers Hair

The evolution of the tale has been fascinating to watch.

The Oilers have his rights for 4 years. Nope.

Okay, it was only 2 years but they couldn’t sign him because he signed a 4 year contract in Europe that doesn’t have an NHL out clause. Nope.

Okay a Czech fan points out it was a 3 year contract and no one has confirmed that it does not contain an out clause.

Okay, I’m sure he will sign with the Oilers eventually because they drafted him. All is well.

It doesn’t matter that the team pumped his tires on Twitter the very same day his rights expired because Ken Holland doesn’t run the Twitter account.

Why didn’t the dog bark?

Bag of Pucks

The downside of doing damage control for the Oilers? The heavy workload.

The upside? Job security,


Holland is bringing back Tippett and Smith for one last kick at the can. It is pointless wasting money on goaltending this year, or attempting to find Smith’s successor.

If Tippett is the coach AND you bring back Smith, you made your #1 goaltender decision.

Hedging it means Holland would be asking the question….you know. if you have to ask the question.


Sign Smith, get cheap competent backup or the one you have already. Draft Cossa. Have Konovalev and Skinner battle in Bakersfield.

John Chambers

This is the correct approach, or the one that seems certain anyway.
I can see Holland upgrading Koskinen at the deadline if it’s falling off the rails


That BLH story is super interesting. Must-read for all.

My thoughts:

1 – Hall being a preference of the pro scouts at the deadline jives with what Leavins had said about Hall being the best between Hall/Nuge/Hyman. Whatever Leavins is saying is coming from within the org.

2 – Holland showed poor judgement in going with a D over Taylor Hall. I’m not sure what Tippett was thinking there.

3 – This mistake might be costly. Hall has had a taste of Boston and probably prefers it.

4 – Bouchard should have played more. I was giving Tipp a bit of a break on this, but even if you absolutely must play Barrie, no reason you can’t rotate Bear and even Larsson in and out. Larsson struggled big time early in the season.

5 – Why not give Bouchard more time on the left side on the third pairing?

6 – There are a lot of young players coming and they are all important. Tipp / Holland / pro-scouts all have to get on the same page. You can’t repeat what happened with Bouchard with Broberg, Samorukov, and all the forward prospects.

7 – If guys like Benson/Marody/Samorukov and so on are getting promoted next year, maybe Woodcroft is the right guy for next season, not the season after.


Agreed, if Smith is back he’s the presumed starter for game 1 of the season. I’m not sure it means he’s the starter all season and the playoffs if they make it, however.

Last year in the bubble, Smith was the somewhat surprise game starter and only lasted a period and a half (about a period too long), and didn’t see the net again.

For the rest of the games, Mikko wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t lights out either and Tippett still played him the rest of the way.

I think if the team is playing reasonably well and losing because of goaltending, Tippett is going to change it up regardless of who is the starter on opening night.


The bringing back of Smith isn’t written in stone. Holland chased Markstom last year and I think he’ll go fishing this off-season as well and Smith is plan B again.


My hope as well. Smith had a great season. I am not betting he can do it again.


The bringing back of Smith isn’t written in stone. Holland chased Markstom last year and I think he’ll go fishing this off-season as well and Smith is plan B again.

Its not written in stone but Holland said, straight up, he wants to bring Smith back and was heading to BC about a week after they were eliminated to discuss with Smith.

Smith may dig in for a multi-year deal and/or a material increase in his base and, if that’s the case, I would hope Holland moves on but I do think Smith is part of Holland’s plan for next season.


I think Holland will go after the goalie(s) he likes in UFA, and most probably bring Smith back even if he gets his target.

Koskinen can be moved with retention or a sweetener if the moves do indeed happen.

But I believe Ullmark or similar AND Smith is Holland’s plan A.


I also think/hope that is the plan but I would prefer to move on from Smith completely.


Why though? I don’t understand your thinking there. What’s the negative to bringing him back if he’s not being relied on as the 1A?


The scouting reports on Ryan Winterton sound like a 1st round talent that will be available in the 3rd or 4th due to the Covid-cancelled season. He’d be a target for sure…

On a related note, I wonder if any surplus RFA’s could be turned into a mid-round pick? If Holland doesn’t want to retain (say) Kahun, could he qualify him and trade him for a 3rd?

Randle McMurphy

Man. Stauffer has been beating the Elvis Merzlikins drum forever and still doing so today!

I’m all shook up.

Randle McMurphy

The 2021 1st Round Draft pick + Koskinen with 50% retained for Elvis Merzlikins. ???

Randle McMurphy

Columbus in somewhat of a rebuild. 9 picks in 2021 including 3 1st rounders ( Edmonton’s pick would make 4 )

23.8m in cap space.


So $6.2 million dollars AAV ( plus Sebastian Cossa) for ONE year of Elvis Merzlikins as a #1B to Mike Smith, When you know Dave Tippet is going to play Mike Smith in all the critical games.

$6.2 million AAV and a 1st round draft pick for a backup goaltender.

I am overwhelmed with joy and relief.

Randle McMurphy

Negotiate a new contract with Merzlikins as part of the trade process.


Holland seems to have made the decision to bring back Smith. So why waste assets on Merzlikins? Merzlikins will be available as a UFA a year from now. One can get him for money only at the market price then.

Randle McMurphy

ok. 49% retained.

What does anyone think it costs to get a 27 yr old (just turned 27 in April) Goalie whose playing like he was a first round pick, and at the same time get rid of a bad contract?

I guess you could argue, why give up a first rounder when you could pick up an Ullmark or Drieger in free agency.


I may be in the minority but I am not adverse to kicking the can one-year down the road on the tenders as we should have much more information on potential and readiness of both Skinner and Konovalov at that point.

Both of these guys are 22 (Konovalov turning 23 shortly) which remains super early in the development of goalies. Yes, the high pedigree/elite generally show themselves by or around this point but I would posit the majority of legit NHL tenders were not proven NHL tenders at this age.

These guys may never be part of the answer for this org but, of course, they very well may be – starting in a year or so.

I wouldn’t pay material assets in a trade except for a legit stud nor would I commit real term and dollars to one of the UFAs given the potential of internal options – maybe Ulmark.

Yes, this path has risk vis-a-vis the upcoming season but tending can be acquired mid-season as well, if needed.


We will also have a better idea of our overall needs as a team. We may have a D that we can trade that’s surplus to our needs and we won’t have blown a first round draft choice. In this case kicking the can down the road for a year seems the most prudent course of action.


He’d be a quality add, but I didn’t realize he’s UFA in a year.


His numbers aren’t exceptional.

And isn’t he exempt from the expansion draft?

Hard pass to sending away the first round pick for him.


His numbers are pretty excellent though, .923 and .916 (this compared to .911 and .897 for Korpisalo the same years).

Last edited 1 month ago by jp

And that’s why I should have double checked. Had the CBJ tenders mixed up. Thanks for the head’s up.

Still. A steep price to pay when there are quality UFA goalies available this year and next, and we have a chance to draft a high quality goalie in Cossa.


Yeah, agreed about Korpisalo. His numbers have been downright bad as often as not. I never understand the talk here about potentially trading for him.

Beyond that, yes it would be a high price, but it would only make sense with an extension in place.


It’s summer and we are in the season of wild speculation and rumours.

Can you imagine you are a young player with thousands of future dollars on the line, your signing deadline coming up fast and not reaching out? No way. One way or another I doubt Blumel was forgotten about.

If you are the Oilers with a hungry fan base and a history of perceived poor management, why don’t you put in some controls?

How hard would it be to cut off a lot of rumours with quick updates and press release?

Start to build trust in small steps.

Brewha Ha

The Oilers did tweet out Blumels numbers in a manner that seemed almost like bragging…..and then moved forward by losing the players rights on the very same day. That my friends, sounds exactly like a team who had no idea they were about to lose another draft pick…just saying…




I would say it is highly likely the Social Media Manager of the team had no knowledge about the signing rights of a prospect. They likely were told to tweet something, maybe noticed the play in question and that it was an Oilers prospect and promptly tweeted about it.


Maybe someone in operations could have given them a head’s up, no?


Ken Holland and upper management don’t run the Oilers’ twitter account.

As has been discussed, the player chose to sign with Pardubice through the 2023/24 season – there is speculation of no out clause but that is not official as at this time.

It seems the player, himself, is fine with delaying his NHL signing and continuing his development in the Czech league.

In my opinion, its immensely more logical that (a) the player and the org had had discussions and the player did not want to sign at this point but potentially in the next few years than (b) management forgot about him.

As has been discussed in this thread, there are various logical reasons why the player may want to continue his development “at home” for now.

Brewha Ha

Don’t really care about the thousands of reasons why it happened. It’s beyond fishy….and what’s more, the Oilers are throwing away draft picks for nothing in return. It’s the bottom line that matters and the bottom line is that the Oilers continue to throw away draft picks without return.


You are assuming the Oilers made the decision not to sign him (or didn’t realize they were losing his rights). Given what we know, it seems much more plausible that the player was not looking at signing an ELC now and, essentially, having his development (and where he plays and lives) taken over.

If the player didn’t want to sign at this time, it simply is what it is and not the organization throwing away picks.

Brewha Ha

Im not assuming shit…OP. Ffs. Read the gadarn post. I’m saying they used a 4th round pick on a player, and now two years later they have exactly ZERO… NOTHING….NADA, to show for that pick. That is the very definition of “throwing away a pick”. They should not have wasted a 4th round pick on a player who they were not 100% sure wanted to play in the nhl. Again…and I won’t repeat myself. I don’t give two flying shits of the thousands of reasons why. The bottom fugging line is the club has NOTHING to show for a fourth round pick. It was wasted… nothing more…and nothing less… So stop arguing in a circle and stop putting words in my mouth to make yourself look better.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brewha Ha

Absolutely you are assuming things – you are calling it fishy and opined that they didn’t even know the rights were lapsing – total assumptions.

Yup, two years later, they don’t have anything tangible to show for that 4th round pick – of course, its a fourth round pick, many of which don’t get signed to NHL contracts and they do have the player’s words regarding hoping to sign with the Oilers at some point.

With respect to picking the guy without knowing that he many not want to sign in two years, of course, you disregard the fact that he was committed to going to college at the time of the pick which would have provided four years to sign (maybe 3, I’d have to check the CBA to see if its only 3 years for a 19 year old) – the player changing his path post-draft changed things as well.

Brewha Ha

It does not matter why. It’s a pick that’s gone. Wasted. I’m not gonna list how many 4th rounders went on to the hall of fame…nor should I have to…you been around long enough to know better than to write crap like that. It’s a wasted pick. Period.


If that’s the criteria – all teams waste picks every draft year.


Yes. Especially the Edmonton Oilers.

Last edited 1 month ago by fistycuff

The Blumel news comes following an article from TSN indicating that two teams were interested in claiming Perry off of waivers, but Perry’s agent called teams and asked them not to claim him so they didn’t.

It’s stuff like that which makes me think about how much goes on behind the scenes that we don’t know about.

Is it possible that the Oilers didn’t sign Blumel because they weren’t interested?


Is it possible the Oilers forgot to sign him?


Is it possible that someone had a conversation with Holland and asked that he not bother signing Blumel for whatever reason?

I think so.

It’s unfortunate that it happened but it’s one of those things I can’t fault Holland or the Oilers analytics department for with the information we have available.

I think the less likely situation is that the Oilers “forgot” to sign him. Wouldn’t Blumel’s agent be all over that? Pretty sure Blumel’s agent would have had the date circled in his calendar and would have been following up with the Oilers for weeks leading up to June 1 to see where they were at with Blumel.


How about this trade. RNH signed as FA and Yamamoto for RW Tarasenko for Connor.


Already worried about Klefbom’s shoulder being career ending. Starting to think the same about Tarasenko. 3 Straight shoulder surgeries.


Eberle. So much skill.

It looks like he is pretty damn good in the playoffs contrary to the rhetoric.

We were so very lucky to have him in an Oilers uniform when we did.

Bag of Pucks

Eberle is not the same player he was as an Oiler. Trotz gets everyone excelling on the defensive side of the puck. Ebs was out in the final minute last night protecting the lead and made a gritty play to get the puck out of his zone. Great to see this player having some team success now. Happy for him.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

We won the Eberle trade in a walk – getting a top 9 RHC who put up as good or better numbers than Ebs in subsequent years for half the cap hit. Problem is Chia threw the win away and traded Strome for nothing. We are still looking for someone just like him. Why can’t people acknowledge we won the Ebs trade?

Same with Kassian. Trade him and we are looking for someone just like him 5 minutes later. The coach’s job is to get him playing to his best of his abilities (big fast aggressive top 9 RW). Get a new coach if he can’t do that job. I actually let Tip go after this season, thank him for his service, and promote Woodcroft.

Holland has done exactly the right thing over the last two years. Stop gaps and saving powder for this summer when real opportunities to improve the team exist. Unlike track suit Pete who literally blew his brains out at the 2015 draft 10 minutes after he got the job trying to fix the problems in one year. Everything up to this point by Holland was done to try achieve a modicum of success (make the playoffs) until the real opportunities arrive. We are almost there and Holland’s legacy depends on what he does in the next 6 weeks.


I have posited many times that, during the 3 years post-trade, Strome outperformed Eberle, even without taking in to account a much lower cap hit. Of course, that performance was mostly as a Ranger but I think he played better than his production as an Oiler and could have been as productive if he wasn’t moved.

As far as Kassian goes, if he’s moved, they won’t be looking for a player like him 5 minutes later but a player that he has shown he can be for periods but hasn’t been in 18 months. There was zero sign of that player for the entire 2021 season (and barely in the 2020 portion of the previous season) but for one game in the play-in.

$3.2M buys ALOT more than Kassian has provided in a LONG time and I take the risk that calendar year 2019 Kassian returns – and that Kassian is value for $3.2M but not “over-value”.

Absolutely best case scenario is Kassian is value for his contract, he will never outperform his contract and the chances of his performing for value seem slim at this point.


I spit on the ground where one ties Eberle to Kassian.

We’ve been looking for a Kassian half the time he’s been right under our own noses. When he’s shipped to the Rangers at least the energy spent searching for him can be concentrated on the New York area.

If the Oilers land a Strome type 3C with Kassian, well I’ll consider not spitting again.

Randle McMurphy

I mentioned this quote from an Oilers Now show last week:

“When it comes to the third line center, I think the Oilers are going to have to acquire that player via trade. We’ll wait and see and monitor if that’s even something that’ll occur, nudge nudge wink wink, before the expansion draft. Maybe it’s an organization that’s not sure if they’re going to keep that individual and it would make sense for Edmonton said player in a 3rd line role.” – Bob Stauffer

Then from the Gregor Show (not necessarily related to Stauffer’s comment)

Ryan Rishaug: Oilers trade Ethan Bear and a conditional fourth rounder in 2022 to Philadelphia for Righty Center Nolan Patrick. It becomes a third if Patrick plays 65 games and scores 15 goals.

“Patrick is still very young and has tons of upside as a top-six winger or third line centre, or even second line centre if you want to move Draisaitl to wing at times. Patrick wins over 50% of his faceoffs, and is ripe for a change of scenery/bounce back year. A lighter touch from Tippett may help. Philly could use an upgrade on the right side on D. There is some risk/reward for both sides. I only do this deal knowing that Larsson has already signed.”


Patrick is RFA. why not offer sheet him as there is no compensation at that salary?
NHL Compensation rules – $1,439,820 or less is No Compensation. No way you trade your #1-2 RD.
BTW Patrick was 5/9=14 points and a -30 for the year.

Randle McMurphy

It’s pretty rare to find a young (22yrs old) centerman with a career faceoff % of 51.3 ( The strongest correlation to strong face % is AGE) His Faceoff % has improved every year.

Yes this was a down year. SH% down PDO down. Best time to buy (low)

His 2 previous years played he was: 

73gp 13g 17a 30pts  ( 22 at even strength )

72gp 13g 18a 31pts  ( 29 at even strength )

His career CF% 51.8 ( Rel +1.8) FF% 51.6 (Rel +1.2)

Randle McMurphy

I’d be happy if you could get him for less than Bear. But I doubt it.

Nolan Patrick 3C $1.5m

David Savard 2RD $4m


Interesting speculation.

A lot of potential upside with Patrick obviously, that type of trade could end up a fleecing for the Oilers.

But my goodness he had a tough year on the ice, both individual scoring and goal differential (and he’ll be 23 in Sept too, so not that young anymore).

A possible glimmer is that his understanding on ice numbers were much better than his GF-GA (witness, his .908 PDO).


To be clear, that trade proposal by Rishaug wasn’t related to any inside information or real speculation – that was an exercise they did on the Gregor show where 5 guys made “reasonable trade suggestions” and they discussed.

It was just guys spitballing hockey trade talk – no different than us suggesting trades on here.


I wasn’t taking it as much more, but thank you, it’s definitely good to be clear about this stuff.

Randle McMurphy

Dylan Strome had even worse numbers the year that Chicago traded for him.


I mean, they were virtually identical…

5v5 P/60
DS 0.56
NP 0.64

5v5 GF%
DS 25%
NP 24%

Strome posted those numbers in 20 games vs 52 for Patrick, and Strome was also younger at the time.

Anyway, I agree with you a trade like that could make sense, just pointing out there’s major upside AND major risk.

Randle McMurphy

Dylan Strome is actually 1.5yrs older.

If you compare Strome’s time with Arizona to Patrick’s first two years (pre migranes) with Philly, I think Strome looks worse.

But I just had a quick peek so not written in stone or anything.

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy

Strome was younger at the time of the trade than Patrick is now (if he were to be traded).

You were comparing Strome’s numbers the year he was traded “Dylan Strome had even worse numbers the year that Chicago traded for him.“. They were virtually identical.

I guess you could argue Strome’s numbers over 3 yrs/48 games were worse.

Yeah, I was just pointing out from the start that Patrick would be a risky pickup, with obvious upside.


Patrick is a good target.

His migraines have had him sidelined for a while. If they’re under control he could be poised for a bounce back season in a big way.

I’d have time for that deal depending on his health report.

We’d also need a replacement for both Bear & Barrie at that point.

Randle McMurphy

Maybe just Bear. 😉

Quite a few RD available in FA

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy

Rishaug is no Ken Chillibeck. From the smartest TSN local beat guy…

Last edited 1 month ago by godot10

We talk about “culture” a lot and make fun of it a lot, but interesting article at The Athletic talking to some very successful coaches about whether it is important (spoiler: it is)



Culture is absolutely important.

Have you ever worked in a toxic workplace? Or one where everything just seemed to hum along smoothly? The contrast is stark.

Culture within an organization is set from the top and it impacts productivity and morale.


One of the main reasons they want to keep Smith around.


Not all of us make fun of it. 😉


There are rumors as to infighting amongst the Pro Scouts, Holland and Tippett. There’s a story over on BLH. Talks of Tippett wearing out his welcome. Very intriguing.


The way they handled Bouchard last year was bush league.


Given the circumstances with COVID and the taxi squad you are in my opinion being excessively harsh. The first priority at the NHL level is to win games NOT player development. The team finished second in the North division while having to employ a revolving door policy on the second pairing left D spot due Klefboms non availability and Jones not being ready. To then try to juggle the D in such a manner as to get Bouchard the games you believe he should have had as well while still winning games is a lot harder balancing act than you make it out to be! The team also had to keep Bouchard up due the possibility of injury to a right side D. You now have the benefit of hindsight which is 2020.


We saw this with Chiarelli and McLellan – very obviously not on the same page and affects the entire organization. I’m not convinced it’s that bad with Tipp and Holland, they’re both old school and I’m sure know each other fairly well.

I was upset about Bouchard, I was upset about not reuniting Nuge with Drai & Yamo. Did Tippett sign Tyson Barrie? Was Bouchard ready to play over Larsson or Bear on a regular basis?

Scungilli Slushy

I understand that you shouldn’t rush young players. I’m not settled on that they should ‘earn it’ if they are close and better than current roster players.

Which could have easily been the case many times with how poor the bottom of the roster has been, for a long time.

Rookies make mistakes, but if the vets are also doing it, at least there is upside to growing the experience of the future. Not every young player needs marinating. Or for long.

Randle McMurphy

If this story has legs, one might expect to see Jay Woodcroft on the big club as an Assistant Coach in the fall.


No. One leaves Woodcroft in Bakersfield and lets Tippett play out his contract.


Yes. When Woody comes up it’ll be as HC.


So much vitriol towards management for letting the Blumel rights lapse. Many suggesting (and writing articles and tweeting) about the management not realizing the rights were lapsing or similar.

Criticism and vitriol based on being uninformed.

As it turns out, in 2020, Blumel signed a 4-year extension with Pardubice and the contract does not have an NHL-out meaning he is prohibited from signing an ELC with the Oilers at the time.

Also reported, at the time of signing that extension, Blumel advised of the intent/hope to sign with the Oilers once that contract is up. Of course, that’s 3 years from now so we’ll see but that is the current plan.

The chances of Blumel playing on the Oilers during those 3 years would have been minute. He will now continue to develop over in Europe and, hopefully, if things are going well, he’ll sign an ELC with the Oilers at that time. Of course, all teams will have the right to sign him but they will be subject to the ELC provision of the CBA so couldn’t really offer a “better contract” than the Oilers and, presumably, Blumel will have some loyalty to the org that drafted him.

The Oilers lose the ability to develop the player in the AHL, if they would have preferred that over Europe for the next few years, but potentially gain the benefit of having the player on his ELC for a year as an advanced player at 24 years old.


Yup. Ready, Fire, Aim……..

People look for things to get bent about. It is so ridiculous.


Thanks for this update/clarification OP.


Someone on OilersNation named Czechboy asked for your source on the 4-year contract with no NHL out clause.

Czechboy also noted that it would be very usual to not have an NHL-out clause for a contract in that league.

Do you have a source?

Here’s some google translate from that link

The agreement for several years was also signed by another eight-goal scorer of the current course of the extra league, Matěj Blümel. This year, the Pardubice offspring claimed a place in the elite formation and power play with his performances.

However, the NHL remains his dream goal for him. “I would like to continue to improve and develop. My goal is to fight for a contract in Edmonton in the NHL. We’ll see if I can do it, “Blümel concluded.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

An NHL team could also buy out that contract (it ain’t much) at any tine and sign him.


I have read that there is no out-clause but nothing official. This would depend likely on the transfer agreement provisions between the two leagues which I cannot find for review.

To Lowetide’s point above, yes, I know the Oilers no longer have his rights so, when he does sign in the NHL, if he does, whether that’s permitted now or in 3 years, he could sign with any NHL team.

At the same time, it sounds like, from the player himself, he would be amenable to signing with the Oilers.

At the time he does sign, he would be subject to ELC parameters (unless he waits until later in to his 20s) so its not like other teams could just offer better terms. Presumably he has some loyalty to the org that drafted him and, at least as of today, it doesn’t seem like the organization is an issue and, when its time, the Oilers are probably the front-runner……. lots can change between now and when he decides to sign in the NHL (if he does) but that seems to be the lay of the land today.


Right from Peter C, when they selected Bouchard, one of the main criteria they were looking for was who was the most NHL ready. This is critical as the assessment was around maturity and who will arrive first. Bouchard was to be fast tracked.

There are some unhappy folks in the org because they chose Bouchard on this basis and then he was marinated. Same folks not so happy Holland bumped their draft list with Broberg.


Disappointing with regards to Blumel from an organizational perspective, but I applaud the player for putting his interests first. The high end guys are quite astute these days financially (the Evander Kane types aside), but the medium to lower end talents still have a ways to go in being more savvy.

For Blumel, playing at home with a higher salary makes a ton of sense financially. Hockey careers are short and he can squirrel some funds away allowing that to grow into a larger nest-egg for his post-playing days.

Secondly, if he performs well he can demand a one way contract at higher dollars if/when he decides to come over.

For the vast majority of European non first round talents, IMO this is the way to go and it’s not even close. I even wonder why some NA kids don’t go this route. Great opportunity to see the world, meet interesting people, perhaps learn a language. Housing and living expenses are often covered in European leagues as well.

If the big leagues don’t work out, all you’ve done is grown a bigger network around the world. Look at a guy like Christian Dube, who was given a grinder role by NYR way back when. He’s a GM somewhere in Europe (Sweden?). Worked out well for him.


Czech league salaries max out at ~$75k USD/year. If he is chasing dollars his best bet was the AHL to have a shot in the NHL, or to shuffle over to the KHL.


Secondly, if he performs well he can demand a one way contract at higher dollars if/when he decides to come over.

I agree with your post generally but, with respect to the above, if he signs at 24 (when his contract with Pardubice is done), he’ll still be subject to the ELC parameters (although the max term will be 2 or 1 years, I’d have to check the CBA to figure out which one given his age).


Switzerland !

Wonder Llama

Wordy Rappinghood! I haven’t thought about the Tom Tom Club in a long time.

Takes me back to my nightclub DJ days. Anyone ever dance at Choppys/Jack Daniels on the south side of Red Deer in the early 80s? I probably spun your tunes.

The funky jam band Turquaz is playing Bonnaroo (Septemberoo this year) with original Talking Heads guitarist Jerry Harrison and guitar legend Adrian Belew. They will be performing a tribute to Talking Heads’ “Remain In Light” album.

Strangely, this will be the second time I will see an act at Bonnaroo specifically performing songs from that album. Angelique Kidjo was amazing in 2017, injecting authentic African spirit into that 1980 masterpiece.

Wonder Llama

Ha! Fun to know. I have many savage memories of those days (1981-85).

I played Billy Bob’s a few times in 1981 before they moved me over to Choppy’s.

I didn’t know country music very well at the time, but “Mountain Music” by Alabama was guaranteed to get them on the dance floor.


I was in all these places around the same time. My girlfriend went to RDC. The Capri Centre, have not thought of that place for a very long time!


Words of nuance, words of skill
And words of romance are a thrill
Words are stupid, words are fun
Words can put you on the run

Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz formed Tom Tom club 40 years ago, still married.
Tom Tom Club was named after the dancehall in the Bahamas where they rehearsed for the first time they were on hiatus from the Talking Heads. Had a unique sound for the time.


This comes as a surprise to me. I thought it would be Tocchet when I read they had called him for a 3rd meeting.


Dave Hakstol is the first head coach of the Seattle Kraken.


Friedman explains the connection.

Elliotte Friedman
Francis and Hakstol were together on Team Canada’s 2019 World Championship team

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn

Anybody recall what success Hakstol had in PHI?



Hakstol went 134-101-42 (.560 points percentage) in his three-plus seasons with the Flyers. He took the team to the playoffs twice, although they were eliminated in the first round each time.

Feels like an unforced error to me. Will be interesting to follow as the season(s) unfold.

Harpers Hair

Looks to me like he didn’t have the horses and the Flyers performance since Would Bear than out.

His NCAA record is sterling.


Decent goaltending goes a long way.

Elgin R

The movie was set in Chicago. Got a nice ‘anyone seen Ferris’ shirt last time I was there.


If you want to look at the Bright side, Tampa Bay drafted Stammer and Hedman in 2008 & 2009.

They got “Good” by 2015 and Excellent by 2019. Vasilevsky was drafted in 2012.

So if Cossa is BPA, you take him. FULL STOP


I agree. When you are picking in the first round BPA is the most important criterion. As far as I know it is still legal to make trades in the NHL and that is how you balance the roster.


Correct and the best way to get the assets to move is assure you are drafting BPA. The trading of draft choices while in the building stages is in my opinion is self defeating.


Xavier Bourgault – 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile
Bourgault is unlikely to be picked in the top half of the first round, but should be expected to go somewhere within the 20-30 range. Concerns over his defense and skating will hold him back a bit, as will the QMJHL’s rocky season, but another concern that may pop up is his age. He missed the cutoff for the 2020 Draft by just a few days, making him one of the oldest first-time eligible prospects in 2021.




John Chambers

Major area of need for the Oilers. I’d love for Holland to sign Wennberg to a 3-year contract, then have Bourgault replace him by 2024.
Oilers should also be drafting a RD to replace Larsson, but maybe next summer will be a more opportune time.


Wennberg to a short-medium term contract at very reasonable money ($3M AAV, give or take), would be a very very good signing in my opinion. High upside potential.

Samorukov is pretty much the Larsson replacement – other side of the ice but that’s the player with the skill-set (and potentially a broader skill-set if they translate to the NHL level).

Bag of Pucks

If we’re looking for reasons why the Oilers lack balance, we need look no further than how the org handles pending UFAs

In the 2019/2020 season, I said Holland either had to ink an extension with Nuge that offseason or package him in a trade prior to embarking on a final lame duck season, when the odds of resigning him would drastically decrease.

In other words, maximize your asset return while the existing contract still has value. Rather than buying expensive UFA seasons, this is an excellent opportunity for teams savvy enough to do it to replenish and rebalance their roster.

Instead, with RNH and Larsson, Holland stayed on the back foot.

Contrast this with Bergevin who traded Pacioretty with a year remaing on his contract for Tatar, Suzuki and a 2nd rounder. Flash forward to the present and this trade is tilting heavily in the favour of the Habs.

A LOT of posters on this board advocated trying to resign Nuge even after the two camps put negotiation on the backburner.

This is not how smart teams manage pending UFAs. Get them signed to an extension early or trade them. How much better would this team’s future look right now with a couple of excellent emerging talents like Suzuki? Instead the Oil have two expired contracts. This is exactly how mediocrity perpetuates.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bag of Pucks
Wonder Llama

Get good contracts.

Keep good contracts.

Bag of Pucks

Yep. Job 1 for the GM.

Elgin R

I have been banging this drum for a long time. Managing assets is critical to a company’s success. Just about all player contracts have diminishing asset value, and Holland has taken the RNH and Larsson values to ZERO. The shine is off the diamond that was the Holland signing. His performance looks good compared to the collection of previous Oiler GMs, but does it when comparing to other organizations?

  • Kassian contract
  • Turris signing
  • 2 x 2nd round pick for AA
  • Blowing picks at the deadline for rentals when the team is NOT a contender
  • Allowing players that you want to keep to make it to UFA status (RNH, Larsson)

Whatever happens with RNH and Larsson is now in the hands of the player – the power in the negotiations is now theirs. Holland has a significant asset in Nurse and had better not screw this one up. Offer Darnell a decent contract (say $7.5 x 7) or trade him.

Bag of Pucks

Holland is a relic from an era when you tried to maintain a sizable core under longterm contracts. Can’t do this in a cap era. Connor and Leon are the keepers. Everyone else should be viewed through the lens of ‘are they a value contract?’

Everytime a GM justifies an overpay, he is shortchanging his roster somewhere else.

Scungilli Slushy

I upvoted this but it subtracted


Oh my God. Can you imagine if we had signed Nuge to a 6X6 (if he would have signed that given the season he had) extension last year and then he had the year like he did. The hyenas around here would be out for his hide. And I seem to remember Max Pac was an over the hill loser when Montreal traded him. I think he’s done ok in Vegas. Plus we dont know if there’s a handshake agreement here. Nuge and Larsson might have deals to be signed the minute after the Kracken draft. Then it will be, that crafty old dutch, what a GM!

Bag of Pucks

Resigning will not be a signal of craftiness. Getting emerging talent on value RFA contracts is much preferable to resigning aging UFAs.

Suzuki’s cap hit is $865k. Compare that to Nuge’s! This is why the team is spinning its wheels unable to fill all of its roster holes.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bag of Pucks

Resigning will not be a signal of craftiness. Getting emerging talent on value RFA contracts is much preferable to resigning aging UFAs.

This is why the final 4 teams all traded their pending UFAs at age 27?

Bag of Pucks

This is chess not checkers. The goal is cap efficiency across the roster. All 4 teams still alive now have it.

When you get there, you go for it and hold your UFAs.

The Oilers are nowhere close or did you miss the first round sweep?


The Oilers are nowhere close or did you miss the first round sweep?

No, I saw the sweep, I just disagree they’re nowhere close.

Nuge can be an important piece on a top team every bit as much as Palat, Gourde, Killorn, Gallagher, Anderson, Paccioretty, W Karlsson, Marchessault, Nelson, Eberle or Bailey can.

Or perhaps I’m just not very good at chess. Or checkers for that matter.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp

You do know that Montreal has over 13 million annual on goaltending and will stay over 10.5 for a minimum of the next five years. Doesn’t seem to fit with your so called balance across the roster. The moving of patches had more to due to inability to afford him as it did to brilliant GMing. Your point on cap and roster construction are valid particularly in the flat cap situation which we can expect to continue for at least a couple more years.

Bag of Pucks

They added Jake Allen AFTER trading Pacioretty.

Allen is an expensive insurance policy but there was concern at the time that Price’s best seasons were behind him and it is the most important position on the hockey club.

I bet the Allen signing was strong motivation for Price as well.


True because every team needs a backup goalie. That is why I said generously 10.5 at a minimum for goal tending after next year. I don’t call that balanced when your number one has had deteriorating numbers ie the cliff. This is with a first D pairing of Weber and Petry. Montreal’s lack of balanced cap with Weber also approaching the edge with a big cap hit. Montreal is at the absolute win now or rebuild stage with their top end players!


This is chess not checkers. The goal is cap efficiency across the roster. All 4 teams still alive now have it.

When you get there, you go for it and hold your UFAs.

Wait, the Lightning have cap efficiency? I recall them “gaming the system” to get cap compliant this past season and, unless they do so again, in absolute cap hell this off-season and likely will have to pay teams to take legit positive assets in the name of cap compliance.

Similar with the Isles – without LTIR for Boychuk they were effed coming in to this season – Lee on LTIR was a massive help as well.

Those teams are far from models of cap efficiency.


Resigning will not be a signal of craftiness. Getting emerging talent on value RFA contracts is much preferable to resigning aging UFAs.

Suzuki’s cap hit is $865k. Compare that to Nuge’s! This is why the team is spinning its wheels unable to fill all of its roster holes.

Puljujarvi’s cap hit is $1.175M – compare that to Gallagher’s……..


Don’t be surprised if Kenny still signs Nuge to that contract.



Another thing I would add is look at the Red Wings in 1983. Compare them to the Oilers in 2015. https://thehockeywriters.com/the-captain-steve-yzerman/

The story is identical and it took years, many trade rumours, and injuries (broken collar bone anyone??) with Stevie Y before they became what they did.


I’m waiting for the Federov defection.


At the same time, having some guys who are slightly on the downswing is not the end of the world. You don’t get championships for cap efficiency.

Pacioretty was a different case because he had worn out his welcome with the poor playoff performances. Montreal is a tough city on its stars; look at Roy, Pacioretty, and Subban.

We often carry the bias that the younger player playing at a WAR of X is more valuable than the older playing at that same level. To carry it further, the younger player at WAR X at age Y, towards the end of his career, may after peaking at WAR X + Z be declining back to War X at age Y+10.

That younger player is more valuable for future performance, but performance in the present is identical in both cases.

This is why I don’t mind an elite talent like a Hall or a Hamilton. There may be some loss of performance, but the value is still there.

Pacioretty is a very good player still, even if the Canadiens won that trade. Look at Stone. You need some veteran players as well, even if those guys are non-peak.

Bag of Pucks

You could justify buying expensive UFA seasons for Nuge if he was filling a crucial roster need, e.g. producing as a consistent sniper on McDavid’s line enabling Leon to stay at 2C.

But he’s not doing that. He’s an inconsistent complimentary skill piece now who no longer drives his own line. Exactly the kind of asset Holland should’ve been selling high on.

The fact Holland A) doesn’t see the way his talent is trending, & B) looks likely to lose 1 if not 2 UFAs with nothing to show for it, should make everyone #QuestionTheProcess



Scungilli Slushy

I absolutely agree.

It is the only way to not have to spend years bottom dwelling.

It’s cold, but it’s pro sports. I’d rather have a strong team than watch fading vets on heavy contracts.

Bag of Pucks

The New England Patriots have set the bar on how to remain in title contention in a cap system.

They did so by making Brady their only untouchable and ALWAYS moving on from aging vets too soon rather than too late.

No doubt it’s cold and can get ugly. Lawyer Milloy and Wes Welker were two of the ugliest team/player divorces you’ll ever see. But the fans reaped the benefits with multiple titles.

You’re not stopping these players from getting overpaid. You’re just ensuring the crappy teams are the ones doing it.


Seems to me Brady went to the super bowl and acquired another ring without the Patriots. How does that fit your scenario? Who you trade and who you pay to keep is a fine line. There is no every time easy answer. You just shot your own argument in the ass!

Bag of Pucks

NE would have kept Brady if they could and Tom was smart enough to jump to a team that was stacked pretty much everywhere other than QB. None of which invalidates the model that won the org 6 Super Bowls.

I’ve already stated the Oilers should demarcate Connor and Leon as the keepers as NE did with Brady for 2 decades.


While I don’t entirely disagree with your process I think that there may be a hard decision to make when Draisaitl goes into the final year of his contract. This is one of the main reason why, in my opinion the Oilers can not afford another high cost UFA with term. To rationalize keeping both Draisaitl and McDavid long term the team cannot afford them on the same line.


Actually it validates it
Left before the cliff – too early not too late – to quote Bag of Pucks


Different stages of “contendingship” but does this apply to, say, the Avs with Landeskog and Grubauer? Or the Leafs with Hyman? Or the Caps with Ovechkin? Or the Canes with Hamilton?


As far as Blumel,
if you were able to be a free agent already wouldn’t you do it?
Unless your dream was to play in Edmonton this is a no brainer for me
and given that he wanted to stay home for a while with a long contract this is a no brainer


I think people forget that a team can offer a contract but a player still has to sign it

Jeff Chapman

you think he’s going to turn down an ELC for the czech league?

Todd Macallan

The question might be more a preference for home in the Czech league, and likely more money, than the AHL. Of course I’m just speculating and we may never know the details unless someone asks Kenny about it.


According to this he signed a 3 year extension with Pardubice back in January. https://www.eliteprospects.com/transfer/2021/01/05/matej-blumel-in-a-contract-extension-with-hc-dynamo-pardubice/438481

I think it’s entirely possible he chose to stay in the Czech Republic over playing in Bakersfield.

He’s become a feature player at home, played on the National team this spring (which is not likely to happen again if he’s playing in the AHL).

Who knows, but it doesn’t seem at all unlikely to me.


Let’s not be posting reasonable explanations here for what is obviously a failing by Oilers management that serves to confirm deeply held beliefs regarding the incompetence of the organization. 😉


You’re good!😉


you think he’s going to turn down an ELC for the czech league?

Aside from the potential signing bonus of up to $92.5K (which Blumel might not even be offered), without a realistic shot at the NHL during the term of his ELC, sure, yes. The max AHL salary on an ELC isn’t much more than he will be making with Pardubice.


Depends on his offer from the Oilers which I am sure his agent would have checked on assuming they were interested in signing him.


Depends on your skill level!😉

Jeff Chapman

the blumel thing completely puzzles me. if they wanted to move on from him, you would figure that the club would get out ahead of it and say “hey, it didn’t work out”.


Watching Admin closely for 20 years, easy to imagine someone simply missed this.


Wow. If Blumel was indeed forgotten or it was somehow missed, I will have lost all respect for the organization. Holland, who preaches grinding, grinding, and more grinding, needs to be taken out back and shot if they forgot about Blumel. I mean for Gords sake, if the fans can’t trust the organization to ensure that their 33 remaining contracts were “looked after” then someone needs to sail on. As Staples said in his article earlier, how is it possible that the team put out a admiring tweet about this player on the same day that his contract expired? This feels very much like the entire organization screwed this up. This is about as ugly as it gets if true. Not that we would ever know the truth.


There is all but no chance that Holland “forgot about Blumel” – the reasonable conclusion is this is related to his 4-year deal with Pardubice that expires after 2023/24.