Brand New Day

by Lowetide

“Ladies and gentlemen, the General Manager has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please stow your ulcer drugs and demon alcohol underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt, and take one giant breath. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position. Check horizon in case of falling anvils.

If you are seated next to an emergency in waiting, please read carefully the special instructions card located by your seat and memorize the number for Bakersfield’s front desk. If you do not wish to perform the “are you sure that’s a good idea?” function described in the event of an emergency, please ask a flight attendant to reseat you.

We remind you that this is a non-weeping flight. Rage is prohibited on the entire aircraft, including the lavatories. Tampering with, disabling or destroying the plan is prohibited by law. Also we all have regrets and no need to hear yours, please and thanks.

If you have any questions about our flight today, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our flight attendants, who can be seen now disembarking the aircraft. Thank you.”


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!


I’ve added RFA’s Foegele, Benson and Yamamoto, Klefbom is on LTIR and there’s $453,000 still to be spent. I don’t think Holland is done. My suspicion is that Holland will sign a LH veteran and put him in Russell’s spot, and spend time trying to get a better goalie option. Worse comes to worse, maybe they take Foegele or Marody to arbitration and buyout Koskinen but that’s a drastic measure.

I’ll give you my opinion on the team. I like the top two lines, and am heartened by the Foegele and Ryan additions to the third line. If that group can get close to 50 percent in five on five goal share, this Oilers team is going to look much better in 2021-22.

On defense, the top pair should perform as a year ago, and the five-man unit had success. I’ve seen numbers on Keith that are positive in moving the puck, but Cody Ceci as his partner screams third pair and I do believe that might be where things happen for these two.

What does that mean? I think the Oilers need one more defenseman. Left side, to partner with Evan Bouchard on what will be the second pair pdq. I think Ryan Murray is the best option out there. We wait.


This is a wild and crazy set of draft lists, not sure I’ve seen anything close to the 2021 draft in my lifetime. Maybe before Central Scouting started in the mid-70’s but I wouldn’t have known about this kind of massive congregation of outliers and distant bells moving up and down the charts maniacally.


The first time I noticed Ethan Bear was in a WHL boxscore, he filled all of the columns with a crooked number and began posting substantial boxcars early in his draft year. Edmonton got him in the fifth round of a deep draft, and his junior career rolled out after his draft like something close to a dream.

Despite being a later choice, albeit in a deep draft year, Bear showed early in those Bakersfield games that his trajectory would include the NHL. In his two seasons in the league, Bear has shown to be a fine two-way defender and a player who should have a long and successful career.

We all have favourites, Bear is one of mine. I wish him great success, suspect he’ll reach some significant heights with the Carolina Hurricanes. Sail on, POE Academy Bantam, I thought we’d have more time, making this parting more difficult. We’ll always remember you.

The Oilers crushed my list, and in fact this draft was exceptional considering how much was traded away. Ken Holland has traded all three defensemen now, so this tracking is just for the scouts and congratulations to all on a job well done.

Edmonton’s assets from the draft, as of today, are Connor McDavid, Duncan Keith, Warren Foegele and Shane Lachance. Holland is racing through Edmonton’s past successful draft picks, what does that tell us about the 2016 , 2017 and 2018 drafts?

History tells us that Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Benson, Kailer Yamamoto, Dmitri Samorukov, Stuart Skinner and Evan Bouchard are perhaps not destined to spend the heart of their careers in Edmonton. That’s a cynical take, but there’s something about human nature that puts more value on what you personally have experienced than things you’ve inherited.

Ken Holland will place higher value on Philip Broberg, Dylan Holloway and Xavier Bourgault because his management and scouting team arrived at those destinations. That’s human nature. Getting mad is not the answer, and replacing the general manager only means more orphans.

The Oilers have been sending away Andrew Cogliano and Jeff Petry and now Ethan Bear for most of this century. Jason Chimera was traded that way, and on it goes. There are many ways to win, my preference is draft and development. I don’t think the Oilers have been in that business since about 2005, although one always hopes and Bear was a true example of how things should work. Maybe Broberg spends his career in Edmonton, or Savoie.


At 10 this morning, we’ll put together the pieces of yesterday and discuss Edmonton’s next steps. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will stop in and we’re working on other guests to discuss exactly what happened across the hockey landscape yesterday. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Over in the comments thread at the Athletic, LT dropped this bomb. Unicorns?



Those wingers look like a real pain in the ass for opposing d.

That looks like a Dave Tippett dream.


Absolutely Nuge should be mentoring Holloway!!


Jordie benn?

Koski, savoie and our 1st


Dreideger? (I would entertain whatever cost is…gives a million in cap and a possible longer term goalie solution…with 2.2 mill left we could maybe be in running for one year on someone missing a dance partner when music starts slowing down)

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite

I’d wait to see which goalie shake loose from Dallas.


Is it just me or is does Boston have to many LW? Or does DeBrusk play 3rd or 4th line?
Guessing the B’s trade him before camp.


DeBrusk is the opposite of a bottom 6 player.


A bottom 9 player?


9 wottoq player1


You may be right, but tell me, where is he playing LW on that team? better yet, tell me where the coach plays him on that team?

He’s not playing in a shut down role, so he wont be playing on the 3rd line.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bobcaygeon

Now do Edmonton’s left side…… don’t forget, Debrusk’s cap hit is over $3M and he’s due a qualifying offer of $4.55M next June.


I’m not saying DeBrusk is coming here, (although that would be great) so I apologize if I lead you astray. I’m simply saying DeBrusk is getting shafted as a Bruin hard.


Chris Johnston
· 8m
Big deal for Zach Werenski: He signs a six-year extension with #CBcomment image carrying a $9.583M AAV.

Crazy Pedestrian

I was literally just going to post this.
I don’t know guys. This seems like an outrageous overpay. But then again, Seth Jones just got the same AAV on his extension with the Hawks.

Hamilton is suddenly looking like a steal for New Jersey at $9M.

Kinda wondering if this changes the ask of Nurse’s camp on his next extension, and not in a good way.

Le sigh…😩

Scungilli Slushy

8.5 x 8

He’ll do what Nuge and Connor did

Crazy Pedestrian

Reports were saying that they were close on signing a 4 year extension (was probably around $7M before this signing, but Nurse is better than Wereski)

Last edited 1 month ago by Crazy Pedestrian
Scungilli Slushy

Right forgot about that


Were there reports that they were close to signing or simply that Nurse was thinking in the range of a 4 year term.

I don’t think I read/heard that a deal was close – they’re just staring to talk, I believe.


I don’t know about that
Werenski is very good
not far from each other


These recent d-signings are sure not helping things with Nurse – my goodness.

With that said, if he wants to get paid at that level of AAV, he’ll need to go longer than the 4 years we’ve been reading about, like 7-8 years I would think.

Yes, this is a player I want to sign to the full 8.



That contract is almost Marner bad.

Except Zach was one year away from being ufa and in an undesirable nhl city on a rebuilding team.

Columbus had to pay the tax with how the players have been jumping ship.


That’s a great contract for them. He’s better than Seth Jones. They’ve universally been rejected by all their players so who cares if they overpay by 1.5 mil.


Tom, meet Mr . Reaves, he’s a big fan of yours, would like to meet up with you…… at center ice.

Last edited 1 month ago by jzed

Elliotte Friedman
Ryan Reaves to NYR for a 3rd, as announced by the team


No Kassian now.


Boston has been my guess all summer.


With all the thugs playing in the east, some team from the east is going to come calling for Kassian.


The next time I see a player involved in some kind of controversy or antics, I’ll just assume he’s trying to make the Habs.

DeAngelo (tried to get him at the deadline and had interest in free agency)

Bergevin is establishing a pattern.


You do realize the Habs made it to the final. Results matter unless your playing in the every team gets a participation ribbon league.


None of those players were on the Habs yet, but sure, results matter. But then again, if that’s all that matters, why didn’t the Rangers keep DeAngelo? Why did Ottawa trade Hoffman? Why wasn’t Wideman in the NHL last year? Why did no other team pick Mailloux? There are numerous reasons. Sometimes, even organizations that want to win have a moral compass. Sometimes, organizations recognize that toxic players make a toxic work environment for their teammates, or create unwanted distractions for their team. Sometimes, organizations know that some of their fanbase will turn their backs on the team or sport if they reward shitty behavior. Sometimes, organizations actually care not to cause pain to some of their fans by rewarding behavior that is similar to behavior that has caused others pain. Sometimes, organizations simply think, “F that, I don’t want that as$hat playing for my team”. Sometimes, organizations respect the wishes of a young player who may be trying to rehabilitate himself. Sometimes, organizations realize that sport is a business that thrives on popularity, which is based, not only on winning, but on narrative, and ideals, and morals. Many fans want to cheer for players they like as people, not just as goal scorers. Sometimes, winning isn’t everything. Sometimes, organizations are just that. They are businesses that have human resources and must take measures to ensure the well-being of their employees and players, and don’t want lawsuits for creating a hostile work environment. It seems Marc Bergevin doesn’t run one of those sometimes organizations. But others do. Only 1 team in the entire NHL was willing to give DeAngelo, one of the most productive D in the NHL, a 1 year 1 million dollar contact. The other 31 teams don’t want to win? He’s certainly worth more than that if all that matters is winning and it’s not a participation ribbon league.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jaxon

Is Voynov next?


You are way over thinking this………as our host has been known to say, there is always some GM or coach out there that thinks that they can rehabilitate players with character flaws but that have talent.

On a more philosophical note, there always has been and always will be shitty people that live among us – you hope that they find a better way along their journey but it is not up to society to fix them. If you are one of those people that wants to fix everyone that doesn’t buzz along your frequency then you are wasting your life – it is too short – focus on what you can control and the important people in your life.

Scungilli Slushy

Finding value because he’s not unnecessarily judgmental?

Bill Clinternet



So you are saying he would take Kassian back?


This is easily the best Oilers roster to start a season that I can remember since being a kid in the glory days.

Two 25 minute star centers and a 30 minute athletic specimen on d in their prime

now we just need some streaky goaltending and some good fortune in the playoffs.

Let 2022 be the year.

Scungilli Slushy

Baaahlans piktuuur

Harpers Hair

Not with those goaltenders.


This is true.

not balanced going into the season.

but still easily best roster Oilers have put out to start that i can remember.


7th in Vezina voting

Harpers Hair

Only a very poor poker player would wager on Smith repeating that and there is a very good reason Holland has spent months trying to replace Koskinen.


Yet somehow, just somehow, those two are the goaltenders on a team that continues to be near the top of the division.

Damn bad bets.

Harpers Hair

And can’t win a playoff games to save their lives.

Very bad bets.


Good bet, bad bet
From what I hear, you don’t pay either way

Harpers Hair

Here is an illuminating Twitter thread about the goalie mess kicked off by DNB.

Im sure you’ll read it with an open mind.

Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) Tweeted:
“The only way I can get into the goaltending market is if I trade a goalie. Mike Smith’s got a two-year deal at $2.2 (million) and Mikko Koskinen’s got a one-year deal at $4.5 (million). I could not get into the golden carousel if you wanted me to because of contracts.” – Holland


Yeah, DNB wasn’t very happy when Holland responded to his question by explaining to him that he had already explained to him that LTIR did not allow in season additions other than money in/money out.

I guess DNB didn’t like being talked to like he was a little slow but then embarrassed himself by tweeting this quote from Holland where he used the word ‘golden’ rather than ‘goalie’ which is what Holland said.

Not his finest moment.

I get the distinct feeling they don’t like each other and definitely see the game differently.


Only a very poor poker player would wager on Smith repeating that and there is a very good reason Holland has spent months trying to replace Koskinen.

The weirdest thing in all this poker stuff is that the Oilers have had above average goaltending in each of the past 2 seasons (by overall SV%, and also by won/lost record).

Based on how everyone talks you’d think they had Holtby in net or something, but quite the contrary.


It is obvious that Oilers management does not trust Koskinen. It is also pretty clear that that opinion is shared by most of the other GM’s in the league.

I am on record as saying that I have serious doubts about Smith replicating last season’s results but I would be fine with him as the backup.

That said it is the end of July – not the middle of October let alone the middle of February. Holland is unlikely to sit and do nothing if goal is sewering the season.


Yeah I agree with all of that.

Holland does have a history of having success with sub-elite goaltending, and I think he also takes a longer view (that Koskinen had a .917 SV% in 19-20 and that he isn’t actually dog shit). That to say, he has more patience/tolerance for the current tandem than most.

Agree also it’s extremely unlikely he’ll be idle if goaltending is a major weakness between now and playoffs 2022 (and it’s quite possible he addresses it even before the season starts, it’s more than clear he’d like to).


Driedger has to be on his mind. The cost may be prohibitive.


Yes, surely. And could well be. Other options could open up as well (potentially not until in-season).


I’ll just add that goaltenders get injured, and sometimes the Zamboni driver has to play net. Mid-season, an injury or two, and Koskinen on an expiring contract is very moveable.

Scungilli Slushy

Balance doesn’t mean perfect players in each spot

It means NHL level players in each spot

They are there


I think its more that just NHL level players in each spot, I think it means NHL players, appropriately slotted for current abilities.

We might have some “issues” in that regard with:

2RW (Yamamoto)
3C (Ryan or McLeod)
1RD (Barrie)
2RD (Ceci)
2LD (Keith)

I’m not positive that Jesse is a legit 1RW also.

Some of those players may indeed cover the bet and some may push up in to a spot (i.e. Bouch proving top 4).

Harpers Hair

You forgot Bouchard.

He is not a proven NHL player at this time.


He’s likely to be a legit top 4 NHL D by the end of the season.

Harpers Hair

Maybe…lots of things can change on the way to Grandma’s house.


Really? It is incessant. Can you never chose to not take a shot? You look like a tool.


I think you look for balance in lines and pairs & positions more than in the individuals that comprise them.

Balance for me encompasses size, age, cap hit, skill and fit.

Harpers Hair

Almost any team can field 23 actual NHL players but the doesn’t mean they would all be good.

Bank Shot



We have Vladislav Tretiak in the minors who’ll be the starter after Smith pulls 2 groins and Mikko finds out he has a parasite in his stomach that make him shit the bed for a week straight.


Given your track record I guess we are winning the Cup!


The forwards are excellent for sure.

Jury is out on the D and goalies. We’ll have to see. Keith has a lot to prove and we have to see if Barrie can handle the defensive duties of a #1 RHD.


I didn’t say they were perfect.

but name the last year the Oilers put out a roster at the start of a season that is comparable.


Lot of bad Oiler teams over the years. If your comparison is them, this roster is better.

I’m still concerned about the D and goalies. The goalie alone can sink your season. Bad defence will also kill you.

Keith not being able to play 2 LHD would be a big, big problem. And we’ll see how Barrie does without Bear as a safety blanket. That role falls to Ceci, who had a good year but didn’t jump up to play top pairing.

Bouchard, hilariously, may now have to PK to get special teams time.

Ken scrambled, all right, and Tipp/Playfair deserve to sort out the mess.


Keith has a lot to prove and we have to see if Barrie can handle the defensive duties of a #1 RHD.

Agree Keith has something to prove (at least for fans to believe in him). But didn’t Barrie just play 1RD?

He doesn’t really need to do anything differently, just replicate.


97’s GA/60 spiked while he was playing with Barrie. Willis had it on twitter the other day. That’s with Bear spelling him in the tough defensive situations.

Barrie will need to be better, or Ceci will have to be better in the Bear type role.


I’m aware of the numbers, but McDavid-Barrie were still 55% GF together. Bears numbers with McDavid were a bit better, but it’s not like Barrie cratered McDavid’s season.

Barrie doesn’t at all *need* to be better.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp

We can argue all day how many Goals Foegle will get or Hyman; or how bad Hyman will be in the 6th year of his Contract.

KH brought in REAL Proven NHL players. Hyman – great track record
Foegele – good solid player
Grant – solid bottom 6 player
Keith – debateable whats left in the Tank; but we all know he has the Ability
Ceci – played 2nd / 3rd RHD on a Good Pitt Team

We wont know how this works out for a year or 2 or 3.

But I Gurantee McD and LEON and the rest of the Core is ECSTATIC with KH’s work.



Would Derek Grant have been better than Derek Ryan?


🤣 🤣
My bad OP !

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I am pretty excited to see Bouchard full-time this season.

On a related note: is Bouchard still Calder eligible?


Joe G. signed a 2-way deal with Phillly (for 2-years).

Good on him for getting another NHL contract. He will be missed on the Condors.



He’s heading home (even better)!


Realistically Ceci ( a stretch) Nurse, Barrie, Keith and Bouchard could all score 30 plus points, when’s the last time we had this much offensive talent on the backend.

Last edited 1 month ago by Reja

Point parasites, all of them.


Fantastic article LT. I read a lot more than I post and often enjoy your prose for its own sake while also admiring your ability to communicate your positions clearly, respectfully and unapologetically.


I will 2nd that LT. You bring Great Joy to my life and a measured opinion!


If Ennis gets picked up by Philly and then gets sent to their AHL affiliate, will he then be known as “The Phantom Ennis”?


I gotta Han that to you.

Something to Chewie on.


Is this the season Hunter is forced to rename his website?



Last edited 1 month ago by Dac189

If anyone has missed a period, there it is

Ice Sage

I do see the point of this

Harpers Hair

Seems pretty final.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

Point taken.


Dac189 posted on the dot

Wonder Llama

My favorite thing about this post is that it has been edited.

So it must be either the second or third period.


The talk of Foegle’s upside is amusing. Barely a PPG player in the OHL, sub PPG player in the AHL (though 28 goals — that’s impressive). What Foegle is — and I think he is a good player — is probably what he is. Middle six winger.

Of course, Bear won WHL D of the year, was effective in the AHL from the get go, played on the top pairing as a rookie, and actually had a pretty wonderful sophomore season if you ignore his play immediately following concussions, where he probably should have been rested more.

It isn’t just me who thinks that — Tippett and Playfair wanted Bear on the ice in high leverage situations, and then they punished him, Jones, and Bouchard when things went awry. Pretty unfair work environment for Bear in particular, no? Imagine at work you take on assignments above your pay grade and experience level and are lambasted when things go wrong. Pretty terrible feeling.

There is upside on this deal, but it isn’t on the Oilers side. I don’t know how anyone can reasonably argue that.

Innercitysmytty said below, well, is it really misinformation if we disagree on Bear’s skating? I’ll say this – if you watch games and don’t think Bear had the best edges amongst D-men, you weren’t watching the right player. If you think Bear is any slower than Barrie, a guy who led the NHL D in scoring, and you think that skating ability will make it impossible to be a top 4 D, well, yes, I think it’s a complete fabrication.

By the way, Oilers MSM is famous for this garbage. Player leaves and suddenly flaws are front page news. If you want to really follow them by the letter, you just invent something — probably because you don’t watch the games — and this thing with Bear’s skating is right up there in terms of complete fiction.

Can’t remember if it was here or somewhere else, but someone likened Bear to Benning. Hell, it may have been Spector, so don’t feel too bad if it was you also. Actually wait, you should feel terrible 🙂

Anyways Benning and Bear are completely different pedigree wise, in terms of their skating, and in terms of their offensive upside. Remember, Bear did not get much of a push offensively; his chief job was to put out fires, which he did rather well. Benning is a solid third pairing guy (I loved him), and to Bear I feel strongly there is something more.

All this is to say is: I don’t know what will happen. But when you trade D with 132 GP and 93 GP experience because you think you have them surrounded, and when both those guys have already played effective top 4 minutes? And one of them has played top pairing minutes?

You’re playing with fire.

And when you have to make up things about players to justify your position? Well, you’ve already lost the argument IMO.


Well put Thank you

Material Elvis

No offense but this is a prime example of arguing from authority.


Right. Except for any qualitative observation, you are appealing to an authority (the observer). We can take out the noise by averaging against multiple observers. I’m not the only person that thinks Bear is a good skater, far from it.

I’d also like to add – my position on Bear’s skating has been the same since he started playing as an Oiler. Look at old game threads, I always make note of those break out plays he is able to make, and a lot of it is borne out of his skating.

This is to say, my observation of the player’s skating has not changed.

All these people coming out of the wood work saying Bear skates poorly, I don’t remember this volume of criticism towards the player this year or last. So. I call bullshit, and I do that because I’ve seen this show before.

If you don’t like my qualitative observations btw, look at Bear’s underlying numbers over two seasons. Pretty good, despite some concussion issues sprinkled in.

Rich M

Late to the party on this but let me offer an observation as someone who has coached d’men. Bear’s edge work is very good, but his vision is more impressive than his skating as he makes passes a lot of d-men can’t because his eyes are up ice.

On the debit side, he can be easily overpowered, and I’m sorry but he does not have elite hockey speed. With the right D partner he may very well be a solid 2nd pairing d-man. No shame in this.

I’ll have to look deeper, but there have been several hockey people far smarter than me, that have pointed out that his underlying numbers indicated he was playing above his head when out with Nurse. To paint a picture that all his issues are due to concussions misrepresents things. He was over his head playing top competition too early in his career. He hung in, but he was tasked with too much and teams took advantage of this.


Pretty much this. Good player. Complementary guy on a good 2nd pair would be his ceiling imo.


Like making up things such as Bear can skate as well as Barrie. Not even close. I am not arguing that Barrie is good defending without the puck or getting it back when the other team has it, but when he does have the puck, he is excellent at moving it forward and gave it way at 65 percent of the rate of Bear despite actually handling way for often.

I like Bear but I am not making this stuff up now. I don’t buy into MSM any more than I buy into amateur bloggers who think they know the game better than very accomplished coaches and GMs. I form my own opinions by watching games and supplementing with various stats. It was obvious last season that Chicago targeted Bear’s corner (as some of us pointed out last year) and Winnipeg did itagain this year. He’s still young and could get better but he is no where close to being a first pair defender yet and just didn’t fit into the need the Oiler’s had with Larsson gone. It is still possible had they signed Larsson he still may have gotten moved. McDavid, Draisaitl and Nurse all wanted Barrie back. While Holland has to go with his own opinion, their views have a lot more weight and value than any of ours does.


I’m not enough of a student of the game to puck up on stuff like that – that they targeted Bear’s corner in the two playoffs series but I trust your analysis. My question is, why was that just a thing in the two playoff series? Shouldn’t that have been a nightly thing during the regular season?


Intensity goes up during the playoffs some players can turn it up and some can’t.

Bill Clinternet

Toronto was doing that in every game last year vs the Oilers


Not even close? I hope you don’t mean to say Barrie is an elite NHL skater and Bear middling. I’ve never seen Barrie pull a Makar on the rush as an Oiler, have you? I certainly haven’t seen him manoeuvre in tight the way Bear does.

If we’re going to argue player quality based on giveaways I give up. There are so many examples running contrary to what you’re saying.

If you dump the puck in the corner, you have to pick one, and if I had to choose between Nurse and Bear I would pick Bear as well. But if it were Nurse – Barrie, are you suggesting that Chicago would choose Nurse’s side more? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

The targeting of a corner has nothing to do with the overall quality of the player. That is a completely situational thing. They could be doing that because Bear is the younger, inexperienced player; they could be doing it because he is smaller and less likely to withstand the physicality. I certainly would not use this observation from a total of 2 playoff series (less than 10 games) to make a decision on whether to move a guy.

Larsson has nothing to do with anything, unless you’re Holland. Bear is a good D on his own merits. He is getting better. Very few D are established as top 4, never mind top pairing, after 132 GP. Darnell Nurse was not. Would you have traded Darnell Nurse after 132 GP because he didn’t have “it” yet?

I don’t buy that Holland and Tippett have special insights. I respect their experience, but they are frequently wrong. Tippett is/was completely inconsistent with how he punished players for mistakes last season. If he knew exactly what was what, why did he put himself in a position at the end of the season where he was playing 3 D in OT? Bednar in COL took Zadarov out of his lineup and rolled young D, so the “wisdom” of Tippett and Holland you are appealing to is certainly not universal even amongst experienced hockey men.

McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nurse are players, not managers. Their opinion should not dictate the roster, because they have biases. What do you think Andrew Ference would have said about Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle? And vice-versa? I don’t think Stamkos told BriseBois to trade for Coleman, just a guess. If that’s how Holland is running things, it’s a bad look.


Probably too late for you to read this, I was out most of the evening but I will respond to 2 items. On the dump in to whose corner, I agree that if I had to chose between dumping into Nurse’s corner vs Barrie’s corner, all things being equal I would forecheck Barrie. Thing is in Winnipeg series, that didn’t work too badly for the Oilers even when Winnipeg tried that. Barrie and Nurse had very positive possession metrics, but more importantly they had a 67% goal share only giving up 2 goals in 120 minutes of 5 on 5 time. In both series, when challenged, Bear faltered under the pressure. That’s like the French having the Maginot line and the Germans just waltzed around through Belgium. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like Bear. He is 24 and could still get better. I have been rooting for him for 6 seasons, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think someone else can help the team more.

And since you responded to every part of my post you clearly read it all, but misunderstood a lot. Its a major leap from McDavid’s etals’ opinions carrying more weight with Holland than yours or mine to Holland lets them dictate the roster. I stated, “While Holland has to go with his own opinion …”. every good boss who makes a decision consults with those around him or her, and weighs that to come up with what he or she thinks is a good decision. Holland is been around long enough, he is ultimately making the final decisions based on what he thinks is best for the team. I am sure for roster decisions he relies more on Tippett, the coaching staff and scouts, but player’s opinions are not worthless.


I am a HUGE Ethan Bear fan.

I’ll miss those splendid outlet passes. He was the first Oilers d in forever who could make an outlet pass and I have long viewed defensemen as “transition men.”

I think Woodguy made a gif of that one incredible outlet pass through a player’s skates to McDavid on the tape. Just a sick pass.

I think with Bear, two years ago when playing with Nurse, he looked noticeably quicker that year. That extra little quarter step faster he gained in the offseason, didn’t seem to be there last year.

The Oilers don’t seem to be very focused on analytics. I watched the one Holland interview about trading for Keith. He said that he talked to Hitchcock, talked to some guys that played with Keith, talk to this person about keith and that person…yadda yadda…. That’s his process talking to different people about players which is fine, in part.

Lowetide said it very eloquently years ago something I’ll butcher with my recounting as singular moments in time stand out disproportionately in the mind’s eye.

I think that’s what Bear fell victim to. I called his impending trade right after the game 4 loss to the Jets in a thread here. I knew his performance in the playoffs would end his Oilers career, unfortunately.

When you sit around and talk to the guys about a player, that’s what happens. Lowetide nailed it years ago, those singular moments in time stand out disproportionately.

Jonathan Toews (during the play-in) walking right thru Ethan Bear when driving the net from the corner of the offensive zone and scoring. The game 4 outlet pass that was picked off by Blake Wheeler leading to the tying goal.

All that being said and as much as I’m a Bear fan, I’m still not sure what his ceiling is. Last season, he was a 1/4 step slower ostensibly from not training as hard. He is small and not fast though he has good edges. That’s still a tough combo for top four duty.

We’re getting way past the TL:DR territory.

I think trading Bear will likely prove to be a mistake, but at least the return wasn’t a second and conditional 5th.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ryan

I think Woodguy made a gif of that one incredible outlet pass through a player’s skates to McDavid on the tape. Just a sick pass.

I think that was Jones…..


So this is what I’m talking about. We’ve seen so many D come through and that ability of Bear’s was definitely special. Sure, maybe he tops out as bottom pairing but the thing is he did something at a level many of our top 4 D could not do over years and years.

My question is, when you see something special…why move from it? What’s true in life is true for hockey, too.

And now…the well is being poisoned. I don’t know what the rationale is for that, but that’s what it is. It’s just lazy, and I think the perpetrators of certain fictions ought to be called out a bit more.

Bear being a touch slower…maybe that was the case early in the season. Maybe. I just saw mistakes being made by not only Bear and Jones, but by Barrie, Larsson, and even Nurse. I mean, Larsson in particular was brutal for the first 10 games before settling in. Why was there no narrative for Larsson — in fact he was sent off a hero — but for Bear there is this bizarre, elaborate story? It’s so non-sensical to me.

When you look at the numbers at the end of the year…and DNB pointed this out in his interview with Bear…the numbers were pretty good.

Bear felt awful and was…remorseful, almost, in that interview. That’s because he was benched or scratched after every single mistake. He thought he had had a poor year. I thought in some ways it was a great year, he showed great character and determination in bouncing back from the concussions. He played top pair only in high leverage situations, i.e. when it’s easier (not harder) to make a mistake and where GF are much less likely to happen.

Thing that pisses me off with Tippett is his selective loyalty. Well Bear saved him in his first year, and he can’t find it in him to stick up for the guy? Yikes. We’ve all heard of bosses like that.

Anyways he’s better off with a smart organization and a smart coach. That isn’t the Oilers right now and hasn’t been the Oilers for some time.

I respect what you’re saying, but here is where we depart. At least it wasn’t a second and conditional fifth. Very few other fanbases think that way. And that’s how guys like Holland and Tippett and Chiarelli get chance after chance, because some optimist sees something redeemable in their dubious ways.

I read your entire post, wasn’t too long for me, btw 🙂


The same smart organization that a lot of smart people believe let the best available defencemen walk away free?

Wonder Llama

Other examples of the phenomenon you describe:

That one playoff game where Kassian ran over everyone, scored goals, and had that Rocket Richard murderdeathkill look in his eyes. Result = bloated contract.

Eberle’s lack of playoff scoring in 2017. Result = trade.

Koskinen’s four goals on four shots. Result = ?


= can’t get rid of him?


Th general “soft” consensus around here is that Nurse polished Barrie. Is your post insinuating that Nurse also made Bear look better 2 years ago when they played together more often?


I believe that, yes, Nurse had an effect on both Bear in 2019/20 and Barrie in 2021. Of course, many of those “Nurse minutes” are also “McDavid minutes” but they are also “top comp minutes” – either the other team’s elite or their top shutdown.

Scungilli Slushy

Depends how you see NHL hockey.

For me every player has to have enough mobility for their skill set.

I prefer fast fluid skaters.

Size does not determine that. Kassian is that, Foegele, McLeod, Holloway, Hyman, yada yada.

For me ideally only high talent players can be smaller than average. Otherwise normal size with plus skating and high tempo.

Players have to contribute something to success. Which is why Tipp wants PK out of bottom players.

5v5 players need to pressure the opponent. Be it via speed, hitting, take their time away and make their forward progress as difficult as possible.

In the D zone disrupt and take the puck back and make a play forward.

I like this forward group a lot more.

I also like the D group more. I think Ceci is more helpful than Bear. Keith is better than anyone last season except Nurse at LD.

Bouchard will make mistakes but is a great talent, can move and has size and mentors to teach him, and most importantly shelter. He does need the right partner.

I’m not a Barrie fan, because I don’t appreciate one way D. Unless they are Orr or Coffey.

He is stout physically and perhaps will put more effort into coverage, and if he does no problem then. But everyone has to defend first. Or you can’t win in playoffs.

I’m not an advocate of banging everything in site, you take them if they are there, but finishing checks is really important.

Barrie did not do that enough last season. He skates away from players when the puck is gone. Sometimes you should hold the players up a second to take them out of the play.

Kirk out.


+582 in 657 games…I don’t think Orr is a one way D.

Scungilli Slushy


I was referring to the scoring

Orr could also kick butt

The perfect D man


My takeaway from this rich, marbled thread: Um. I wish Hitchcock would just fuck off?


Entertaining thread.

Bear for Foegele will be litigated for a long time … by both teams fans.
This is the rare trade in which a fan favourite home-grown talent plucked from the depths of the draft, who were success stories of their minor league development programs, get traded for each other.

Foegele seems like the perfect winger for McDavid – a dogged forechecker with just enough juice on offence to roll with Connor. Last guy who had that profile was Maroon, and Foegele is a better skater. The Oilers zeroed in one this player, a guy who we later learn is training with Connor in real time. He’s an elite PKer to boot. He’ll push to play higher in the lineup then he was afforded in Carolina, but he doesn’t need PP time to produce. Sounds like a cheaper version of Hyman … perhaps that 5.5 million should have been used for a goalie? Then again perhaps two Hymans are better than one, and goaltending is voodoo anyways.

For me, this trade wasn’t about Barrie in, then Bear out … it was about getting Foegele. Bear was the asset needed to do that.


I agree. As I have said several times over the summer I expected Bear to be traded and Barrie re-signed. Larsson leaving was unfortunate but incidental to Bear being moved imo.


As far as that player fit with McDavid, you’ve also described Hyman and Holloway…..

As far as being an elite PK guy, yes, I know that Foegele as those SA and GA numbers at the top of the league but he wasn’t a primary PK guy in Carolina, in fact, he was 8th for TOI/G among forwards playing 1 min/game.

McGinn and Staal were the clear first pair on the PK, then Aho at 1:38 per game and then 5 guys between a minute and minute and a half.

He likely wasn’t facing the top units, etc.

I’m sure he’ll be used on the Oilers PK and will likely help but I’m not so sure he was really elite given useage.


Yamo,J.P; Foegele,Hyman, Holloway add in Leon, Connor and RNH is that not the hardest forechecking team we’ve had in 28 years.


I am enthusiastic for this, if little else.


Oiler drafted players on the team that Holland didn’t draft: McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Nugent Hopkins, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, McLeod, Klefbom, and Bouchard. There are a number more in the minors. As someone pointed out, the Oilers have more of their draft picks in prominent roles than most teams in the NHL (picking high in the first round frequently helps with that). No meaningful Oiler in the team’s history has played their career with the Oilers. The dynasty was disbanded for economics, but even beyond that the Oilers aren’t much different than most teams in the NHL. If Holland believes the overall team will be better by trading a prospect or a partially developed player, then he has to do that no matter how the team acquired the player, but I don’t believe it is due to his loyalty to only those players he drafted.

If that phenomenon occurs, it is more likely to do with different GM’s having different philosophies on what types of players they want and value attributes differently. If the prior GM drafted “coke machines” to use a phrase seen here before, then I can see the new GM moving some of them out. But if the prior GM drafted players that fit the mold of the team the current GM wants to build, he will have as much loyalty to them as any player he drafts himself. Holland worked miracles to get Jesse back in the fold. Yes he might have traded him if someone offered him enough, but that was more due to the risk that Jesse might never play for the Oilers than him not liking Jesse as a player.


I’m surprised that Dom has the Hyman contract as the 2nd biggest win of the day after Hamilton

Material Elvis

Do you trust the accuracy of any of Dom’s models?


I think they are better than most
better than Jfresh models which are pretty crappy


Yup. It’s a good deal, the right player, money, everything.


I know that Foegele plays hard what is his upside 20 goals. Does he kill penalties and is he reliable to shut down the opposition.

Wonder Llama

Is he quick with a joke or a light of your smoke?


As long as there isn’t someplace he’d rather be.


He only plays powerplay and when he sees the other teams best he heads straight to the bench as he has the humility to know he doesn’t belong out there.


Zach Hyman, I hearby bequeath upon you a new title from Godot. From now on, you will be known as ZeroHedge.


He’s either cheech or Chong.

New Improved Darkness

Larsson bolting under cover of darkness is yet another example of how the curse of Chia keeps on giving. So now the hidden costs of the Hall trade are off the books—as if it needed any hidden costs to salt the wound—while we’re still stuck in a groundhog-day loop settling the final tab on the Looch fiasco.

Windows, we’ve had a few. What we’re now left with is one of those small airplane windows, not rated for impact with hefty Canadian geese.

Remember this one from 2018? Co-pilot sucked halfway out broken windshield at 30,000, while actually wearing his seat belt. Cockpit frontage is not supposed to fail at 30,000 feet, but somehow it found a way.

An unplanned partial exit happened to a passenger, too, only months beforehand, when an engine threw a rod in flight, which punched out a nearby slab of transparent sand, reconfiguring in a snap the nearest sap into a frosty human cork.

They say with puncture wounds not to pull the offending object out without professional care, lest you bleed to death. They also say that the hallmark of human intelligence is our flexibility of mind and facility with metaphor. But sometimes we’re afraid to go there without the aid of unintended affect emanating from the mad-scientist peanut gallery.

Marvin the Paranoid Android: Textbook puncture wound. Aluminum hull instead of sloppy skin. Wide hips instead of basket-hilted bastard sword. Metaphorical moral: Do not extract frosty human cork in mid-flight. Brain the size of a planet, and this is barely a grade-school warmup exercise.

Here’s the problem with the human intellect. Someone merely had to tell that irritating talking toaster than Marvin simply adores toasty bread products, and Marvin would have hit the mattresses in an unknown swamp on Dagobah for a thousand years. (As the surrounding universe lets out a long-suppressed sigh.)

Our problem seems to be that we get so discombobulated we can’t think straight, and then even the simplest of all possible solutions slip slides away through our clenched fingers. We sent that annoying toaster packing before we understood its true gift.

Most of us suffer from discombobulation, except perhaps for the natural-born aeronautical engineer.

For example, the fire suppression system on the Mars Base Elonstark is dead simple: a featherweight osmium–titanium alloy axe head with a miniaturized rail-gun recoil handle affixed to the wall beside every gigan glass porthole.

“Do not break glass except in true emergency.”

There’s nothing much on the other side. Not even so much as a Bugs Bunny water pistol. That’s the whole point. Works a charm in averting possible ignition sources in the first place—through the infallible conduit of libertarian geek psychology.

[*] Fine print at bottom of fire-suppression safety label: May not have intended effect on arithmetic ostriches.

Suppose you’ve filtered out the ostriches successfully, yet a fire breaks out regardless. Ask yourself this as your wrest the unobtainium musk-axe from its secure mounting bracket: Do you feel like a frosty human cork today? Well, do you, punk? If not, maybe you shouldn’t have boarded that gossamer aluminum keg soaring through the stark beyond to begin with.


[*] In the airline scenario, with a slight change of relative scale between passenger and portal, the outcome would less resemble a frosty cork and better resemble a bronze-cut linguini noodle, minus premature prune filling.


[*] Gigantopithecus has traditionally been restored as a massive, gorilla-like ape, potentially 200–300 kg when alive.

Hence gigan glass is even tougher than gorilla glass, but due to its unusual electrical properties, it’s entirely unsuitable for use in tiny touch screens.

Strange but true: all the old factories that used to make incandescent bulbs now make smart phones. We hoped for the best, but it turned out like always. Creative destruction: where there’s a will there’s a way.

Last edited 1 month ago by New Improved Darkness

Thank goodness for my transmogrified
incandescent bulb.
Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to read your mind expanding prose.
Thanks NID,
the darkness feels very improved today


It’s like bastard child of vonnegut and then James Joyce.

Has the fire, intelligence and intrigue Which makes you fascinated to chase along but then …ultimately brain shuts off and I can’t be bothered to continue reading hoping to decipher there being an actual substantive point.

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite

Seems more like David Foster Wallace to me.

Do you like footnotes? DFW is your huckleberry. Infinite Jest is the motherlode of footnoting–like a couple hundred pages’ worth.

Craig The Keg

I’m surprised no one is talking about Lagesson taking the next step and filling in for that 3LD position. Is everyone over him already?
I get that having two rookies as your third pair isn’t ideal but the NHL is a young man’s game now. Look at Montreal putting young players in prominent positions to succeed. Lagesson is 25 years old and already played 92 AHL games. He has 27 NHL games under his belt too. If I were GM I would keep my powder dry and run Russell to start but give Lagesson every opportunity to eat his lunch.

Also we need a goalie.


I’m not sure there is another level for Lagesson to get too. He was given opportunity this year and he was…average. To top it off, he is not a Holland draft choice, so will not be given extra rope as LT described.

I think there is every possibility that Samurokov outplays him in camp, and Lagesson hits the waiver wire on his way down to the Bake. Not really a huge loss.

If that happens, do the pairs become Keith-Bouchard, Samurokov-Ceci?


He’s a Swede and we all know how much Holland likes he’s Swedes and Russians..

Last edited 1 month ago by Reja

Cursory review of Ceci’s 2021 stats in Pittsburgh would suggest he was 3rd pair RD as claimed by many on here. He started there, but by just past the midpoint of the regular season he had taken over from John Marino as the 2nd pair right D behind Letang. For the season at even strength Marino averaged 17 and a half minutes to Ceci’s 16 minutes. But Ceci was playing well enough that over the last 20 games of the season he was playing 19 minutes a night at evens to Marino’s 18. In the playoffs, the contrast was even more stark with Ceci playing 20 minutes a game at evens to Marino playing just above 15 minutes a night. Pittsburgh’s coach clearly believed at this stage of their careers Ceci over Marino was his second best option on the right side behind Letang. Ceci has been a second pair D most of his career. If Bouchard passes him on the right side, it will more likely be because Bouchard has hit it out of the park, than Ceci playing over his head. The Oilers will not need that to happen, but it would be a nice bonus if it did.

And Duncan Keith, is almost certainly (no guarantees) still more capable as a second LD than anyone the Oilers put on the ice last season (though not necessarily better than Russell at preventing goals against – he is still exceptional at that). All credit to Larsson for staying afloat with the partners he had most of the season. I think it is better than 50/50 that Ceci/Keith can outperform overall Larsson/pick your poison from 2021 as a decent second pair. I will concede, the new pair will have the luxury of lining up behind forwards as total group more capable of helping tilt the ice in the other direction.


Thank you for looking into that. Maybe it will turn out okay.


Larsson/pick your poison probably looks good with our new forward lineup as well, so it just means get good players, keep good players. Within the cap of course.


Will Keith be any better than Caleb Jones was two years ago? That would be great if he were as good. Let’s track it next season.

The next question is, wait a second. Why didn’t we just keep Jones? The answer to that is this organization looks at D the way an Atlantic City grandma looks at slot machines. Now, D as a casino can be a smart strategy (collect as many D as you can, X number will break out), but the Oilers do it in basically the dumbest sense of the analogy.


Keith will be far better at one thing and that is making opposition pay a price to be in the Oilers end of the ice. Jones would have been better suited as a major league pitchers as he is a natural at no hitters!😉


A very good summary. Ceci became quite a fan favourite at Pittsburg and there is a fair bit of grief he is leaving. Your point that playing behind – on the face of it – much better forwards will help any defence has hardly been made here. I think we will be ok.


Who is the net presence on the P.P since Neal and Chaisson are gone will it be Yamo,J.P Hyman, Hollaway or even Foegele


Hyman will likely occupy Ryan Smyth’s old office.

Elgin R

Hyman and JP will probably share those duties. With ZH getting the majority.

Darth Tu

Yup, Hyman likely. Then Jesse is probably another option, I feel like he’s the shooter on PP2 though. I don’t mind Kailer as another option too, he’s tough and fights for the puck, can win it back if it gets knocked towards the corners.


Jesse was getting auditioned in that role last season, spelling off Chaisson with Neal out all the time. The first unit scored at a decent ~9+ G/60 with Jesse on it, not as prolific yet as with Chiasson/Neal >12 g/60.

Toronto stacked their first unit with all skill forwards (Marner, Tavares, Nylander and Matthews) with Hyman getting on later in the PP, like Jesse or with the second unit. That may explain Toronto’s PP strategy not being as effective – they had no forward who understood that their job was clearly defined as do the dirty work first. Foegele got next to no time on Carolina’s PP.

I would expect that in camp, the Oilers would try Jesse/Hyman to see if they can replicate Chiasson/Neal. I know Tippett often mentioned they liked switching that guy up to change the look to make it harder to defend.


Of note, Hyman wasn’t a mainstay on the Leaf’s PP1, I don’t. He did get some PP time but he wasn’t a full-time piece. Also, if I’m not mistaken, the Leaf’s PP was not very good and an issue for them (could be wrong).

Either way, while I think Tip/Gully will probably use the shiny new toy, I think Jesse should get many at bats at the role early.


I am pretty sure my note clearly states that Hyman was not with the first unit. But like with Jesse, he would still get out with some of the first unit after about a minute of PP time. He still played his most at 40 pp minutes with Tavares, and Nylander and and 24 minutes with Marner and Matthews, but also time with Spezza and Thornton. He was the change of pace not a regular on the first unit.

If you weren’t responding to my note, you really need to pay attention to that. You do that a lot where you want to respond to in a thread to some comment, but you hit the reply button to another person’s comment in the thread and it is damn confusing. That’s why in the response you gave it specifically says Reply to: Redbird62 – that is whose comments you need to be replying to, not someone else’s in the thread. You can’t read my comment, then read your first sentence without thinking you replied to my comment but didn’t really read it.


If I’m not mistaken is Warren Foegele the first Warren we’ve ever had. I’m really excited about this upcoming season with the new additions Hyman and Foegele add that to Yamo, J.P and Holloway and we have a forechecking machine .


Foegele is the second.

This guy came first.


I don’t remember him and I listened to Rod Phillips faithfully for the first 10 years we were in the league.


I just seen that John Short is still alive at 84 I used to love his live show after the game with call-ins.


Ahhh… Warren Scoreagainstme….:)

Last edited 1 month ago by VanIsleOil

Pretty sure this guy came first.


Warren Skorodenski, a goalie from the ‘Peg. I always thought he was better than Murray Bannerman with the Hawks. But, Warren was never given much of an opportunity.


I remember watching him as a 6 year old win the Calder Cup in Moncton. One of my earliest live hockey memories


Yah, having some forwards that can get the puck back will make everyone’s life easier.

Wonder Llama

That Saad contract is very nice. Would prefer that over Hyman’s. 

Would prefer to still have Jones, Larsson, and Bear as well but when you break it down as a straight comparison of what should be on the ice with the combination of signings, trades, and developing players, 2021-22 is looking so much better than this last season.  

Crossing off the identical players, let’s assume that things like the potential Smith regression is balanced by, say, a Puljujarvi improvement and that it all more or less zeros out. That leaves: 

Hyman > Kahun (IIRC he started as 1LW)
Ryan > Khaira
Foegele > Chiasson
McLeod > Haas
Holloway > Nygard (probably)
Benson = Ennis (very possibly better)
Healthy Kassian > injured Kassian 
Absence of Neal > Presence of Neal 

Keith > Jones (probably, for now at least)
Bouchard > Bear (or will be by the quarter-pole)
Ceci < Larsson (but not by as much as many of us fear) 

The money could’ve been spent a little more efficiently, especially on D, but this has the potential to be one hell of a shift.

I’m feeling strangely fine.  


Actual quarter pole (distance remaining) or how most people are incorrectly using the term (distance covered)?

Wonder Llama

I know something now I didn’t yesterday – thanks.

Yeah, I (incorrectly) meant by the 20-game mark or so.


Stick with quarter pole,
can’t go wrong


Cool. I was genuinely curious, but it is also difficult for me to turn down an opportunity to be a pompous ass.

Elgin R

I have been conditioned to fear another off-season blunder(s) due to the outstanding work of previous Oiler GMs. Holland has alleviated those fears for the most part with some fine work.

The team on paper looks much better than last year – and only the Oilers have McDrai. EPIC Oiler playoff run coming. GOG


I can see this being a dominant regular season team. Defence might be too small for long playoff run. We have some big boys coming up though.


Ceci better than Larson? No.

Material Elvis

You might want to re-read Llama’s post.



Wonder Llama

Cut and paste oversight – not intended to be, you know, “bold” bold.

Fortune favours the font.

Harpers Hair

An amazing musical milestone now with more than 1 billion views.


It deserves about 6.8 billion more views.

Elgin R

Of course that is something you would like – Rick Astley really! I guess there is no accounting for the taste of some Canuck fans.

Oiler fans will stay away from this and go with a little Zeppelin and other classic rock or maybe even some classic country – but never, never mid-80s dance music.


There is something special about a Canucks fan. So much so, an article was done on it:

Psychology Today: Examining the mind of a Vancouver Canucks fan

Material Elvis

Rick has the whitest dance moves of all time.


Wonder if Dutch can pry Driedger out of Seattle now that they also signed Grubauer for 6 years. Don’t think Driedger wants to be a back up.


That’s a tough one. Francis is greedy.

How much would it cost to pry Driedger out of Seattle while also dumping Koskinen on them?


1st round plus ?


McDavid and a 3rd that turns into a 1st if he fails to win the Hart trophy.


Hopefully Holland can “grind” Francis down to that.
Greedy fuck


Kraken already traded their 3G back to the Caps. I assume they want Dacord in the AHL. I don’t see them trading Drieger.


One of the main attributes to love about the Hyman and Foegele acquisitions is their versatility – both can play LW or RW equally well and both can move up and down the lineup – in particular Hyman who can play with elite skill in the top 6 and help but can also anchor and drive a 3rd line.

I’m not quite sure Foegele can be a legit 2nd line winger but, then again, he is still on his development upswing and he may “get there”.  At the least, a “couple game fill-in” should be in his wheel house.


Versatility seems to be the name of the game with these forwards:

Drai – Center or either wing
Nuge – LW or center
Hyman – either wing
Foegele – either wing
Archibald – RW but has spent time at LW
Shore – LW or center
Holloway – LW or center
Lavoie – either wing apparently


And then there’s McDavid who only plays center. What a scrub

Ice Sage

He actually plays all 3 F positions at once… (no D though…yet)


He is the rover on the Power Play but often back at the point and is also frequently there for PP faceoffs. So that leaves the goalie position.


Oilers are cap-in, cap-out from here on out. The answer to any “can they bring in this guy” should be met with “no, not until they move X”. X being Koskinen or Kassian or whoever.

I can’t see them bringing in anyone other than a cheap Koekkoek type player unless they move money. And Holland has not be able to add cap space in a trade since he got here. Probably a 25-30% chance he can get another team to take Koskinen.


I disagree with the Bear takes
While he did have a decent first step he is quite slow for a guy his size and quite weak for a guy that slow
he does have a big brain and able to see things well which allowed him to anticipate well Defensively and knew exactly where his forwards were to make a pass
Looks like Carolina will have to put him on pk which is a definite weakness


I really thought Mikko would be heading out with Bear are Jones as young D that are cheap especially Bear are a commodity. Holland has burned through draft picks like a drunken sailor so we can’t go that route to dispose of Mikko. Could they bury Mikko if he shits the bed to start the year. Why didn’t they give Stalock a few starts to gauge him last year. Between not developing Bouchard not giving Benson and Marody a NHL cheque and not playing Stalock were my 3 beefs with my beloved Oilers last year.


Stalock had COVID-19 pericarditis .. he may or may not have been completely recovered, which could have influenced their decision to put him in net at that time.
This year, however, it should be an open competition between him and Mikko – if Koski can’t improve his glove hand (the whole NHL knows the book on him by now), then hopefully Stalock has returned to form and has his conditioning back up.


1) Yes, they could bury Mikko which saves $1.125M on the cap – most of which would be taken up by Stalock’s cap hit.

2) Stalock was cleared for play and worked his butt off to get back in “game shape” – he never got a game in but he was cleared to play 7 plus months ago


D Depth. I think they should look at adding a depth RHD like Michael Stone.

Berglund could be the solution for insurance and injury (by mid-season?), but I think they’d want a veteran on the right side just in case.

They’ll take a chance on Bouchard (which is a very good chance), but should have some reliable cover.

Nurse – Barrie
Keith – Ceci
Russell – Bouchard
______ – Stone (press box)?
Samorukov (LH callup #1?) – Berglund (RH mid-season callup #1?)
Lagesson (LH callup #2?) – Kemp (RH callup #2?)
Broberg (LH callup #3 or mid-season callup#1?) – Kesselring (RH callup #3?)
Niemelainen (LH callup #4?) (AHL press box?)
Cairns (AHL? ECHL?)
Junior Prospects
Munzenberger – Wanner

Stone is in the press box most nights. They have 3 possible LHD call-ups in Lagesson, Samorukov, and Broberg. Although Niemelainen had a great season last year, he’ll have a tough time passing those 3. Berglund could be a mid-season callup after he gets some North American ice under him. I’m not sure Kemp or Kesselring will have the game to make it, at least not this year.

So they don’t really have a good option to call up for RHD at the start of the season. I know some LHD have played the right side in lower leagues, but I’m not sure it’s what you want when starting them in the NHL.


I agree
need for rhd depth > need for lhd depth

106 and 106

Like waves over rock, they eventually wash away.

Sail on, Bear.

It’s silly to get emotional over players, but… human.


That forward group is legit and could be one of the best in the league. So much depth and speed. And if guys like like Puljujarvi, Yamamoto and McLeod keep progressing watch out!

But that D core to me is ugly. We have Nurse who is a good #1 but after that there is a huge drop off in ability. Keith, Ceci and Barrie are all useful players but they are all suited best as being #4 or #5 type dmen and as of now you will have a second pairing of Keith and Ceci playing way above their ability. The only way I see this group having success is if Nurse takes another step and has a Norris like season again and can easily carry a guy like Barrie, and if Bouchard goes supernova and can carry a guy like Keith on the second pair. But who knows and I’ve been wrong before and maybe Keith has a lot left in the tank and can anchor the second pairing.


I’m still going to beat the drum all summer that these very insistent claims that Keith is a third pairing dman seem strange to me. Where is the confidence behind this assertion coming from?

My bet is Keith is a “strong” second pairing d this year. Might be wrong and have to own that but that seems to be the smart bet as of now.

I’m cautiously optimistic on Ceci. Don’t like the term for him one bit though.


A chance for Bouchard, captain of London, to show his quality.

Darth Tu

I approve of this quality reference.

Material Elvis

Hopefully Bouchard does better this season than poor Faramir did attempting to recapture Osgiliath.

Darth Tu

I look forward to seeing Ken Holland eating fruit in a weird way.


I would be quite content if we got Georgiev out of New York
Sign Tatar while you’re at it

Harpers Hair

Where would the cap space come from?

Foegle and Yamamoto still need new contracts.


Koskinen traded back at equal cap hit


And why would NYR do that?


Unfortunately Larsson refusing to sign caused a bit of a shuffle on RHD. Barrie doesn’t pk Bear was our worst pker after Turris and Bouchard is a rookie
Ceci was on the top pk unit last season and was their best pk D at GA/60 7.16
most will remember him as a very bad defenseman miscast as a #2d in Ottawa and a rover in Toronto
but his EV gf numbers in Pitt are pretty impressive 60% GF with Matheson his most common d partner and 65% Gf without him while Matheson dropped to 53% without Ceci
hope we play him what he is
A Ricki D that can make a pass


Awesome, I needed to read some positivity today.
Preferably steeped in math facts.
Thanks Leadster
Just looked,
Pitt was bottom 5 PK% last season.
Sad emoji.

Last edited 1 month ago by Pescador

Unfortunately they did stuff like Kris Letang killing penalties with a Kyle Turris like 11.08 GA/60 and played over 1:30 a game
Cecis 7.16 number is tops on the team
Not saying he will be Adam Larsson good but should be a reasonable option

Material Elvis

The Leadster. Lead-ayyy. Mr.Lead, makin’ copies. The Leadster. Leadman. Lead-o-Rama. Leadoramavich.


I’m not sure there was a huge gap between Nurse and Bear last year.

Nurse – 2:24 toi/g

7.55 ga/60; 81.24 FA/60

Bear – 1:50 toi/g

8.34 ga/60; 82. 65 FA/60

Willy Lags had some otherworldly PK stats.

1:11 toi/g

2.65 ga/60; 42.32 FA/60


Pretty significant drop IMO
Nurse isn’t a great pker either but over 8 GA/60 on second pk unit for Bear is quite terrible
unfortunate because Larsson is an elite pker every year


With respect, this post shows exactly why these types of numbers cannot be trusted, on their own, to evaluate hockey players.

I mean, I think Bear was OK for much of the season, some good stretches as well, but I watched all 56 games and there was a sizeable gap between Darnell Nurse and any other Oiler d-man.

There are no “numbers” that will convince me otherwise – the eye test, watching hockey games, will never not be the primary method of analysis.
With respect, this post shows exactly why these types of numbers cannot be trusted, on their own, to evaluate hockey players.

I mean, I think Bear was OK for much of the season, some good stretches as well, but I watched all 56 games and there was a sizeable gap between Darnell Nurse and any other Oiler d-man.

There are no “numbers” that will convince me otherwise – the eye test, watching hockey games, will never not be the primary method of analysis.


EDIT: Check that – sorry – didn’t realize this was just PK related. I was speaking to their overall games – not just to the PK. I have no “eye test opinion” on who was the better PK guy.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

Holland honestly came from a long way back, behind after the Keith trade for me, and manage to come out okay here.

For the next 2 years:

Hyman McDavid puj
Rnh drai yam
Foegle ryan/McLeod kassian
Benson ryan/McLeod Archibald

Holloway on deck between him, brnson foegle and possibly McLeod (maybe rnh slides to 3C) all really prime age LW kind of now a position of strength.

Nurse barrie
Keith ceci
Russel/lags/ufa Bouchard

Broberg & samorukov on deck…one should start being established on left side.

Russel is off after this year. maybe year 2

Nurse barrie
Samorukov Bouchard
Keith ceci

Keith off
Year 3

Nurse Bouchard
Samorukov barrie
Broberg ceci

Basically torch passes from russel to Keith to ceci of vet bottom pair that can spot cover top 4 spot.

I’m not as rabid that goaltending is a concern this year unless wheels do fall of Smith. then so be it, suck up price to pay Kemper out of Phoenix.

Smith earned right to go into season with the ball in hand koski properly relieving him should be solid enough. Next year hopefully a lot closer to minor tweaks required with group outside of goalie upgrade.


Worse comes to worse, maybe they take Foegele or Marody to arbitration and buyout Koskinen but that’s a drastic measure.

I believe the 2nd buyout window only opens if its a player-elected arbitration (not team filed) – I think the deadline for player filing is Aug 1 (or Aug 2).


If its player elected it only take 1 arbitration, if the player received a QO and its club elected it only takes 1, if no QO it takes 2 arbitration’s to open up the window.

Can find the details here.


Not really any goalies left of much interest so might as well stick with Koski.


Is not the best defence a great offence. I may not have quoted that right. Anyhow, our top 9 is formidable, haven’t had the opportunity to say that for a while. If it’s in their end our d and goalies look great!!!


Balance in a different lens – new line up

Much more experience through the key pats of the line
Start Benson and Marody as 13/14 forwards is much improved from last
Start Samorokov as 7 defenseman and platoon with Russel – upgrade from last year
Broberg, Holloway, Lavoie,Skinner, Konovalov all start in the AHL and are mid year options
Kassian as 2RW and Yamamoto as 3RW is an interesting option


Did somebody say balance?


balance – optional

Harpers Hair

Brandon Saad gets a 5 year deal in STL.

Harpers Hair

5x$4.5 million


Perry gets 2 years in Tampa AT $1M per.


There will never be a day people aren’t trying to pigeon Nuge into the 3C hole.

To me, Nuge is a top 6 winger that will fill in 2C when Leon is up with McDavid.

Nuge at 3C is just a waste.


Based on past experiments, have to agree. Based on length of contract, may be inevitable (if he doesn’t slot down to bottom six wing).


him showing Holloway how to play is hardly a waste


RNH playing third line center would make him one of the very best 3C’s in the entire league.
Oilers center depth in the NHL?
#1 with a bullet


If the big 2 can have useful wingers to drive their lines, Nuge putting up 49 points as 3C against 3rd pair D would be golden.


How did you think RNH performed playing LW with a God last year?

His even strength scoring was abysmal. He needs a big, big rebound next year.


The Stanley Cup champs just had Yanni Gourde playing 3C.

If there are 4 legit top 6 wingers among Hyman, Holloway, Lavoie, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, etc. at any point, then, 100%, 3C with PP and PK is just fine and makes the team very very formidable.



 Reply to DevilsLettuce

 July 29, 2021 2:36 pm

How did you think RNH performed playing LW with a God last year?

His even strength scoring was abysmal. He needs a big, big rebound next year.

Yes, a terrible 5 on 5 year.

Of course, top 5 in P/60 in the entire league for 3 months the prior season.

He needs to bounce back, of course, but its far more likely than not, no?


Things are a bit less black and white. If the 3C has only plug wingers it is Ryan Strome revisited – epic fail. RNH with Foegele and Good Kass would likely be something.


The addition of some skill and grit in the top 9 are much needed additions to the roster.
Holloway and Benson are going to have to battle hard to get into the line-up. I have some minor concerns that in the never ending quest for balance the ship may be teeter-tottering for another year or so as there is now a very similar player type throughout the LW depth. Hyman and Foegele can both flop over to the RW, if necessary (i.e., Holloway pops), which is a nice option. Many permutations of possible line-ups with the entire forward group. I suspect sometime soon we will see a RW leave the team, maybe contingent on Holloway or Benson demonstrating they can play in the top 9.

The D roster is rather uncertain. I am not a Barrie fan because of his significant defensive play liabilities and I am very saddened to see Bear leave. Like many are saying, Bouchard can’t move up the ladder fast enough. I believe he can do it and the hurdles are not too high, but he cannot be rushed. Too bad last year he spent so much development time in the press box as more at bats last year would have given him some areas to work on this summer, rather than next summer. I sincerely hope Tippet shows more patience with him than he did Jones and Bear when they made mistakes. My hope is Sammy can push in camp to stay in the top 7 and he gets rotated into the line up with KRusty. Although they may have to wait for playing Sammy until Bouchard can establish and move up from 3RD.

This year will be high event hockey for the Oilers, which is the opposite of the coach’s general style. Should be interesting. Can the coach adapt to his roster or will he push his approach? I have no doubt they can make the playoffs. The success in the playoffs will largely be determined by their capacity to play team defense and the goaltending (of course).

Looking ahead, their is already a jam in cap space for next year, so I will no longer get “emotionally attached” to any players on the roster. As our gracious host mentions, the GMs that inherit players have much less attachment to them than their own. Human nature, but an unfortunate consequence for long-term team building.

Last edited 1 month ago by GordieHoweHatTrick

Well which teams have “Balance”?

Very few if any.

In the Cap world it is always a teeter totter


If they buy out Koskinen, could they get Ryan Murray and Perrault? Go with Smith and Stalock, they both move the puck so no change in style affecting team play when they switch. If we’re all in ……


Buyout window is closed.

Unless Foegele files for arb by the deadline (Aug 1 or 2), there will be no second buyout window.


Is it possible to snag Ryan Murray on a one year show-me deal to rehabilitate his value, a la Tyson Barrie of a year ago (and KRusty before him)? Although he’s kind of made of glass and not an elite crease clearing machine, or boards cycle breaker, so would he be an ideal fit as a mentor for old man Bouch?

Chara? Is there even a glimmer of a chance?

Merrill? Djoos?


Murray is one of the few “available” that I would be on board with – for the most part, I’m fine with Lagesson/Russell/Samorukov battling for 3/4/5LD – I think Sammy will earn that spot on merit shortly.


I’ve always thought Murray would be good as an Oiler, and he’d be an upgrade on Russel. But, the team is missing a bigger, more physical player. I think Merrill would fit that role better. Merrill probably wouldn’t cost much, maybe less than Murray. But Murray is from western Canada whereas Merrill is American, so who knows if he would want to sign here.
Ideally, they would sign Merrill and Michael Stone which would add some truculence to the defence and some cover if one of the other d falters.

Holland Tunnel

Jim Nill signs Suter and Holtby.

Seems Kenny isn’t the only Red Wings alum with a fondness for the rocking chair brigade.


Interesting to read the Ceci, through his agent JP Barry, approached Holland for the position and not vice versa. It is an example of a player that “wants to play in Edmonton” (often a rarity!). Another interesting aspect is that JP Barry is also Larsson’s agent.

Brantford Boy

Is this forward lineup out of the question?

Hyman / McDavid / Kassian 
Foegele / Draisaitl / Puljujärvi 
McLeod / Nugent-Hopkins / Yamamoto 
Benson / Ryan / Archibald
Devin Shore / Holloway 


If that’s your starting lineup, I don’t think Kassian makes it out of game 1 on the top line.

I also think Holloway should be playing, so if he’s starting in the press box, just send him to the AHL and let him succeed and play 20 minutes a night. I’d swap him for Marody.

I do like the idea of Nuge as 3C with some quality wingers though. +1

Darth Tu

McLeod is likely happier on the right wing than left, so You could in theory end up in a land where he’s to the right of Nuge and Holloway is in on the left. Bump Yam back up with Drai and Jesse with McDavid. I think we’d all rather have Foegele on 2nd line LW, but you never know.

edit, Foegele on 3rd line LW. Sorry.

Last edited 1 month ago by Darth Tu

Sub in Holloway for Benson and we are looking not bad.

Not a slow set of boots in the top 9


If Kassian could regain his form from October-December 2019, that would be AMAZING. Those 3 months were the best hockey of his career – he was adding to the McDavid line not just riding coattails.

If he could play like that, again, and bump Kailer down to 3RW, that forward group would be among the tops in the league.

Of course, we haven’t seen that Kassian for a long time – yes, many excuses, “needs the fans”, in and out of the lineup with injury, etc.

Would love for that to happen – certainly can’t count on it (but can see how the big guy looks up there in camp, if he’s earning it).

Harpers Hair

Corey Perry 2 year contract in Tampa Bay.