Training Camp Hopeful No. 3: Cooper Marody

by Lowetide
Cooper Marody photo by Mark Williams

Cooper Marody is a good hockey player. In the two years he was healthy and playing for the Bakersfield Condors, he scored 40-60-100 in 97 games. He got a recall in 2018-19, played six games while management was firing the coaching staff into the sun and the new coach pleaded for Jesse Puljujarvi.

Marody hasn’t been ghosted by the organization, Edmonton qualified him and it appears Marody will get a contract and a look in training camp. Does he have a chance?


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!


  1. He can’t skate! I saw Pierre Bouchard, Teddy Purcell and Patrick Maroon skate. You can’t tell me Marody isn’t worth 60 games in a single season to see if he can move the needle. The man posts offense in a very good league. He’s earned the opportunity.
  2. Who could he be? Rem Murray.
  3. Oh go to hell. Seriously. Offensively, Murray peaked with 39 points in 78 NHL games. Last season, Marody’s NHLE (82 games) was 21-16-37. I think Marody could have that kind of career.
  4. Murray arrived in the NHL much earlier. Marody is 24, Murray turned 24 early in his rookie NHL year.
  5. He can’t skate! We already did that.
  6. Where could he land an NHL job? Right wing with the Oilers. Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian and Josh Archibald are the incumbents. I have Marody as next man up, first recall if someone gets hurt or slumps.
  7. He’s going to get run over by the kids! Behind him on the RW depth chart are (depending on where the team deploys them) Raphael Lavoie, Kirill Makskimov, and of course there are names like Seth Griffith and Ostap Safin also in photo. I think there’s a window of opportunity here for Marody.
  8. He isn’t good as a two-way player. Thanks to the hard work of Eric Rodgers, we have all three seasons of Marody’s AHL career covered. Aside from being a quality scorer, he has been an outscorer in his two healthy seasons. Beginning in in 2018-19, he on-ice even strength goal differentials were: 60-26 (69.8 percent) in 2018-19; 15-23 (39.5 percent) in 2019-20; 39-21 (65 percent) in 2020-21. When healthy, Marody is a dominant AHL player at even strength.
  9. So, if he’s so good why isn’t he in the NHL already? I think his timing was bad as bad can be on the first recall. He came up under Todd McLellan, played two games in October and was sent down. In November he was recalled and played two games under McLellan (over 12 minutes versus Vegas) and played the Nov. 20 (McLellan was fired earlier in the day) and one more game under Hitchcock. That’s all she wrote. Bad timing, that’s all.
  10. Do you really believe in Cooper Marody? Yes, I believe he’s earned 500 at-bats, a full season in the NHL to see what kind of impact he can have in the world’s best league. If he can’t make it, at least you’ll know.
  11. Will he make it? Don’t know. He looked like a goner but the Oilers qualified him. That suggests there’s value placed on him, and maybe that turns into NHL work. We’re still learning about Holland, and we do know that the DRW deployed men in the minors for a long time and still considered them solutions. I think he could fill-in on a recall if there’s an issue with one of the right-wingers, and the fourth line doesn’t have to be all PKers now that there are a few more sprinkled in the top-9 forwards.
  12. Will he make it? This is a big year.

My preference would be Koekkoek, but both men have value. It will impact William Lagesson, who will likely play in Bakersfield this year, and could impact Kris Russell and Evan Bouchard. Koekkoek can play both sides.


At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we have a fun two hours planned and maybe we get some Oilers news, too. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal stops by for his weekly visit, we’ll talk about Brendan Perlini, Cooper Marody and remember Tony Esposito. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will tell me how much to hit the over early in the NHL season on teams with high octane offense and defensive holes. Can’t think of any specific teams, but that will be an interesting conversation. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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eidy August 11, 2021 - 10:55 pm
Pescador August 11, 2021 - 11:49 pm

Ethan Bear is just the tops
Through & through

Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 6:49 pm

Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) Tweeted:

Agent JP Barry on Pettersson comments : Do not read too much into it, he was not going to say he wants to be part of a losing organization. Elias says what he feels and he wants to win now, not later. He is excited about next year.

Bank Shot August 11, 2021 - 7:50 pm

EP trade request confirmed!

Side August 11, 2021 - 7:52 pm

This is called damage control.

Ice Sage August 11, 2021 - 10:02 pm

There’s no way to spin this positively for the Dys, and JP is an old master – he repped the Sedins in a similar spot a decade ago (and to be fair, it almost worked out – Vcr upgraded and got to game 7)
EP is flexing because he sees the team is as crappy as last year again and he’s gonna get pushed around, maybe injured some more. As Oiler fans, we ‘ve lived this movie!
EP’s gonna get paid but where?

jp August 11, 2021 - 10:18 pm

Presumably he wants to go play with Larsson in Seattle. Fair?

90s fan August 11, 2021 - 6:49 pm

Hey OP, who is Gianis?

90s fan August 11, 2021 - 7:11 pm

Lol. Thought you were quoting a philosopher! Giannis is awesome!

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 8:08 pm

Philosophy? This guy? Not a chance.

leadfarmer August 11, 2021 - 8:20 pm

The hero of Milwaukee

Scungilli Slushy August 11, 2021 - 6:26 pm

What I consider a good defensemen is this.

Firstly all players need to be effective and put pressure consistently on the opponent. ‘Usually’ that means they skate well and aren’t puck optional.

Defenseman don’t drive play or create offense outside of a rare few. 5v5 is where they provide their value.

Good D are hard to play against from the far blueline back. They disrupt in the N zone and gap hard at their blueline. They disrupt forechecks and cycles and get the puck back in the hands of the forwards in a helpful way, ie good passing and good decisions.

Really good D can also join the rush and keep offensive pressure by keeping the puck alive in the O zone and making good decisions at the line with where they move the puck.

They also get shots through consistently.

D that can’t do this may have decent GA lines but absolutely kill play forward and kill momentum that their teammates get energy from.

This has been the story of the Oilers forever it seems. Part is poor forwards support yes. But it goes hand in hand.

So for me each D pair needs to complement each other. Nurse and Keith can carry players, but who maximizes them? Because you should always look to maximize the best players not try to carry the lesser ones if possible.

holland has loaded up the forwards group well I think. So whomever is to play with OMB needs to do what he needs for help.

Why is it that the at least 3 of the last semi finalists had what used to be considered lesser talent D groups that were sort of thuggish and big? Not stats darlings of the past.

Because they were hard to play against and could defend the kill zone. They were bigger and tough and forwards had to pay to get close.

That being said they also had to be able to move well enough and handle the puck well enough.

OMB needs a tough decent partner, experienced, and for me KK Wild Bill and Russel (on a regular basis) aren’t that.

I wish every player could succeed, but I prefer the team dominates like it should with the elite talent we are blessed with.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 5:29 pm

Mike Smith spoke a while ago about not having his family with him all season long last year, not getting to see them at all. A main reason he wanted a two-year deal was for some stability so he could move his family to be with him.

Is there any concern regarding him now having his wife and numerous kids with him for the season. Of course, absolutely, be with your family and many NHL players have families but I wonder if a part of his success last year was being “alone” (moreso with pandemic restrictions as well) and the ability to get laser-focussed.

TheGreatBigMac August 11, 2021 - 6:11 pm

That’s a concern but not really our business. Mike needs to come prepared and that’s on him. But he’s been around a while and if his wife managed without him, I’m guessing she is very capable.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve August 11, 2021 - 6:47 pm

This could be a paragraph from a Mark Spector article. Yikes. Be better OP.

The biggest factor last season for Smith was the extended Covid vacation. More time to train and rest.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 7:10 pm

Family dynamics cannot be discounted.

pts2pndr August 11, 2021 - 8:59 pm

Wrong way thinking! I have personally been in a similar position and also in charge of young men with families away from home for an extended period of time. Family separation makes it more difficult to concentrate. While the ability to communicate over long distances is very good, long distance relationships are difficult. Easy to say separate personal life from work life but not always that simple. Good mental health is key in performance. Maintaining good mental health when separated from family for an extended period of time is difficult.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 9:17 pm

Sure – that sounds great and is probably right for many/most but we know that “no two people are the same” and this won’t apply to all, right?

All i know is that Smith talked about doing nothing but focussing on hockey and preparing for games, etc. and he had a much better year overall that the prior season.

Of course, I can’t prove cause and effect but I can’t fully discount it either.

jp August 11, 2021 - 10:58 pm

How old are his kids? I guess he’s had some good seasons while he’s had a family around him.

jp August 11, 2021 - 11:09 pm

I can’t find their exact ages, but he had all 4 of his kids already when he played with the Flames (there’s a pic the family with them all in Flames gear – shows one baby and 3 kids that look 3+ years old).

So it seems like he had 3+ kids in his household for the 14-15 through 17-18 seasons. He was good all 3 years and had an overall .915 SV% (22nd in the league, among 55 goalies who played 60+ games over those 3 seasons).

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 11:46 pm

Smith mentioned in a recent interview that he changed his training regimen in order to prevent injury; this was the key to his success last season. Specifically, he said that he spent less time working out in the gym with heavy weights. It’s an interesting theory — hopefully he can repeat that performance this season.

defmn August 12, 2021 - 1:05 am

I’m hoping that too but I would feel a lot better about this if he was pencilled in for 32 games rather than 50. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what Stalock can do in TC.

I know this goes against everything that is believed about goalies but I heard somewhere during the last season that with the compressed schedule they found it beneficial to practice with a third goalie on game days so as to cut down on the workload of their top two goalies.

In other words the third goalie was always meant as just a practice goalie.

I’ve always wondered why a roster of 23 with 3 press box players had two extra forwards in these days when you can get a guy up from the farm in one day. Maybe it is time to re-visit the extras and have one dman, one forward and one practice goalie if your starting goalie is 39 and your backup is not made for playing an extended length of games.

Ranford.85 August 11, 2021 - 5:28 pm

Nice to see OEL crack the top 5…. list of worst contracts in the NHL, per the Athletic.

Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 6:49 pm

Darnell Nurse hit the honorable mentions.

I wonder how that contract will look in 5 years.

defmn August 11, 2021 - 6:56 pm

Depends on what happens with the cap. Every 8 year contract is a risk imo.

Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 8:33 pm

Virtually every long term retirement deal for an aging defenseman has turned into a disaster.

Karlsson, Subban, Vlasic, Weber, OEL, Suter..the list is long and growing.

And all were signed in the belief the cap would keep on rising.

Much better to lock up young guys like Makar and Fox early before the inevitable decline begins.

defmn August 11, 2021 - 8:54 pm

Nurse is not an aging defenseman so I’m not sure what that list proves. He is 26.

In spite of your obsession with the idea that young dmen declare themselves early I am not convinced since almost all of those examples you have used to make that point involve undersized players.

Undersized players tend to declare themselves early – not sure it has anything to do with their position so much as that their bodies reached maturation sooner than larger bodies which takes athletes longer to reach their potential.

Every 8 year contract comes with risk. Injury is a very real risk but Nurse has proven to be pretty durable up until now.

If your argument is that his play will drop off in the 7th and 8th year when he is 33 and 34 that is not impossible but so what?

If you want to suggest people worry about retirement contracts you would be better off pointing to Hyman’s or Nuge’s new deals. They actually are retirement contracts.

Personally I have a hard time worrying about things that might happen 5 years down the road. Life is not that predictable that their won’t be worse things to worry about by the time we get there.

You and I may not last long enough for us to care for that matter.

You can wish me a belated happy birthday if you like. I made it to my 70th year a week or so ago. 😉

wolf8888 August 14, 2021 - 10:17 am

Well said and Happy Birthday Young man!

defmn August 14, 2021 - 11:14 am


Numenius August 11, 2021 - 11:21 pm

Suter’s, Weber’s and Vlasic’s (to a lesser extent) contracts would have been fine if they had ended at 35 like Nurse’s. I don’t think Montreal minded having Weber on their blue line this year. It’s the extra years beyond 35 that are the problem.

Subban’s contract is absolutely an overpay, but it is hardly a retirement contract, and it has been movable.

True, Karlsson’s contract really is bad and so is OEL’s. But the problem in their cases appears to be health, and Nurse seems to have much more longevity in the mold of a Suter or Weber.

Nurse’s contract is an overpay, but not at all a disaster at this point.

godot10 August 11, 2021 - 6:59 pm

It will look better than any contract Quinn Hughes signs.

Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 8:33 pm

Pretty bold statement based on zero information.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 9:09 pm

Considering it seem that Codi Ceci outperformed Quinn Hughes at 5 on 5 (by alot with immensely “worse” linemates) and will almost assuradly sign for much higher dollars…..

Saving grace might be that Hughes may very well look for the Boeser type deal to get out of town ASAP – 3 year bridge with high QO to walk him to arb rights one year from UFA status.

Also, based on “zero info” isn’t as “bad” as based on made-up info…….

defmn August 11, 2021 - 9:17 pm

Pretty sure godot is right on this one if he is referring to the contract Hughes will sign when he is the age Nurse is now.

flyfish1168 August 11, 2021 - 10:14 pm

Hughes is the same mould as Barrie. Anything above 4.5 is an overpayment. Hughes also hasn’t proven he can do what Barrie has done offensively over multiple seasons

jp August 11, 2021 - 11:27 pm

Pretty bold statement based on zero information.

Quinn Hughes has provided us with a lot of information.

meanashell11 August 12, 2021 - 6:41 am

Like most of yours

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 7:10 pm

In Nurse’s prime with the cap likely starting to rise – probably pretty good.

Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 8:37 pm

The latest aging curves indicate Nurse has already hit his prime and much of it is based on playing with McDavid while his stats without are pretty pedestrian.

That the contract is already drawing attention as one of the worst 15 in the league does not bode well.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 9:12 pm

Aging curves are great – of course, watching the player would lead to the conclusion that he hasn’t even hit his prime as he’s continuing to improve and, of course, is 26 right now.

Not to mention, we know what elite skaters that are in the top rung of fitness and conditioning due to aging curves.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 4:55 pm

Jets requiring fans to be fully vaccinated to attend games.

Crazy Pedestrian August 11, 2021 - 11:06 pm

“No children allowed in this coliseum!”

In all seriousness, I wouldn’t mind if this was adopted at all of the NHL coliseums.

Bank Shot August 11, 2021 - 4:43 pm

I see Benson, Marody, and Perlini in the same vein. These aren’t really young guys anymore by NHL standards. They are officially in longshot territory now.

Perhaps one will surprise and become a solid NHL contributor, but my expectation at this point, is that all three will just kind of fade away.

Reja August 11, 2021 - 5:01 pm

Its usually Goalies that take the longest to develop then D-man then Centres and finally Wingers who arrive early and blast out of the gate from 18-25. Benson is a winger that’s 23 his window of opportunity is closing quickly and if he’s doesn’t receive a honest opportunity this year he needs to leave Dodge and try elsewhere. As for Marody the Oilers hooped him.

Bank Shot August 11, 2021 - 5:16 pm

I feel like Holloway is going to eat Benson’s lunch.

Lots of almost good enough players out there. That’s probably the level that Marody and Benson are residing in.

pts2pndr August 11, 2021 - 5:31 pm

In fairness both Benson and Marody played through managerial and coaching upheavals. They also got caught in the Covid pandemic and flat cap era. Whatever could go wrong through their development did. Benson had the additional injury problems as did Marody for one year. In life timing of events can drastically alter were we all end up in life!

Reja August 11, 2021 - 6:57 pm

Hollaway is making the team out of camp what the hell is he going to learn in Bakersfield besides picking up trashy women. Holloway is the Golden Retriever that helped Caulfield gain confidence and momentum to jump right into the playoffs and shine.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 7:14 pm

Considering the known jump from amateur hockey to the AHL, I would say there are numerous things Holloway could learn in the AHL.

Holloway didn’t play with Caufield at Wisconsin except on the PP.

Reja August 11, 2021 - 7:59 pm

And spoon fed him for some nice looking goals. Are you saying Hollaway won’t make a impact like Caulfield has I for one being a Oiler fan hopes he outscores his buddy Caulfield next year. If you want to place a friendly bet I’ll take the long shot Hollaway out points Mr Caulfield for the year.

JimmyV1965 August 11, 2021 - 8:16 pm

I doubt Holloway outscores Caufield. Maybe. But I do know Caufield will go way too high in my draft. The pressure to score there will be excruciating. For Holloway, he doesn’t need to score bunches. We’ve got those guys already.

ArmchairGM August 12, 2021 - 7:05 am

Holloway was ahead of Caufield in P/GP this year until he got injured near the end of the season. He still played the last 4 games, but didn’t get any points, dropping his scoring rate to #2 on the team (and from #1 to #3 in NCAA). This in his draft+1 seasons, and despite playing with vastly inferior linemates. Here’s a 30,000′ view of the top-6 in UW:

Line 1
Caufield: 1.68 P/GP
Weissbach: 1.32
Pelton-Byce: 1.29

Line 2
Holloway: 1.52 P/GP (was 1.84 before injury)
Ahcan: 0.85
Caufield: 0.55

Very, very impressive season from Holloway.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 8:20 pm

No, I’m not saying the Holloway won’t make an impact as a 20 year old rookie but I not going to equate instant success in the NHL at 20 for Caufield to Holloway doing the same – he very well may but they are different player and will have different development paths.

I also watched almost all the Badger games (and I know you didn’t) and believe your assessment of Caufield in college and Holloway’s impact on his college career is simply off-base.

I’m very high on Holloways – I watched all his games last year – Caufield was 100% full value for his success.

Bank Shot August 11, 2021 - 8:24 pm

I’ll take that bet. What’s the wager?

JimmyV1965 August 11, 2021 - 8:14 pm

Gotta admit I laughed at the “picking up trashy women” line. I have no idea what it means, but I thought it was funny.

90s fan August 11, 2021 - 4:42 pm

Peterson wants to join a group that can already win. We are all wired this way. Join an organization that is already great. It’s just easier.

But every now and again someone comes along and changes an entire organization, single handedly.

Enter Connor. At every stage he has shown his willingness to build it from the ground up. That’s gonna be part of his legacy. Something Lebron couldn’t even do.

My two cents.

90s fan August 11, 2021 - 4:43 pm

Actually that sells Connor short. He had to first endure it being ripped down, and cleared out out. Then misbuilt and ripped down again.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 5:21 pm

Gianis says not ALL are wired this way but, yes, point is valid nonetheless (and basketball is a different sport where a superstar has more of an impact).

90s fan August 11, 2021 - 6:44 pm

I’d like to know more about this Gianas fellow. Care to share?

DevilsLettuce August 11, 2021 - 5:33 pm

Cleveland thought surrounding Lebron with Mo Williams and a Fat Shaq was winning basketball ofc he left.

Then he came back and dragged Delly and Mozgof to game 6 of the finals.

Every big trade Cleveland made to bring in broken and useless pieces was after they struck out trying to get anything that could help. Lebron wanted them to get Amar’e Stoudemire they fumbled and ended up with a busted down Ben Wallace. He doesn’t want them to trade Kyrie, and he damn sure didn’t want them to trade for an injured Isiah Thomas.. Then they did. It’s like Trading Leon for Phil Kessel and a signed Evander Kane pic but somehow even worse.

Dan Gilbert should of been forced to sell the team after fumbling the bag so badly.

And how New Orleans somehow thought David Griffin was the man to hire as GM to keep Zion happy, what a shit show. Zion’s camp already wants out, worst coaching hires you could imagine, trade out the players Zion wants around. Let Lonzo Ball sail off when Zion’s been pleading in nearly every interview to keep him. NBA is wild.

I don’t think Connor would spend year 8 suffering though that stuff either lol.

90s fan August 11, 2021 - 6:48 pm

I hear ya with Cleveland. But I also think LeBron has never had interest in building teams from the ground up. He has always brought his gang in. I guess there is nothing wrong with this. Also NBA has a culture of this. I would honestly do the same. But it does highlight the stark contrast with McDavid from others.

Also, McDavid hasn’t endured bad management?

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 4:12 pm

Reading through Bruce’s piece on Benson and he made a good and interesting point. Benson’s new contract is for almost $200K less than his qualifying offer and only for the one year. I think Benson made the decision to take less to give him a better shot at making the team.

Also are QO’s not always one-way deals? Did he risk an AHL salary of $150K by doing this?

I’ll need to do a bit of research to confirm that QOs are one-way offers.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 4:29 pm

Just did the work – there can be two-way qualifying offers in various circumstances and Benson would have fallen within those parameters so he likely had no choice but to take a 2-way deal – he did, of course, have a choice of signing for more than league min for the NHL portion.

Lowetide August 11, 2021 - 5:48 pm

Signing for $750,000 gives him the best chance of making a team.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 6:51 pm

Yup, at per my post: I think Benson made the decision to take less to give him a better shot at making the team.

Randle McMurphy August 11, 2021 - 2:00 pm

Cooper Marody couldn’t make the roster on our very weak bottom six.

We should be looking at the Cooper Marodies of the top 8 teams in the league.

ChupaCabra August 11, 2021 - 2:36 pm

To be fair, the quarantine protocols really limited movement between Bakersfield and the Oilers. I think we would have seen some of Benson and Marody in Edmonton in a normal year.

Elgin R August 11, 2021 - 2:41 pm

Absolutely. Once Turris let down everyone (including himself), in a normal year there would have been callups.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 2:47 pm

I discount last year because the decision had been made by Tip/Holland prior to camp – the likes of Marody, Benson, etc. were going to be assigned to the AHL without the chance to compete for a spot. Due to the one week camp and no exhibition games, management/coaching decided there was no time for “tryouts” and ensured there were established “pros” such as Kahun, Ennis, Turris and even Nygard, Haas, etc. for the NHL team.

I can’t say for certainty that these two will be given a legit shot this camp but I sure hope so – there is time and there are spots.

Reja August 11, 2021 - 3:02 pm

It’s just excuses after excuses if they had faith in either one of them making the team better they would of been up on the big club. Holland had no problem having Turris, Bouchard and the rest of the cheerleaders wave their pom-pom in the hotel room for most of the year.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 4:24 pm

I don’t think you understood the post.

pts2pndr August 11, 2021 - 5:36 pm

Sure easy to coach and manage from the bleachers!😉

Scungilli Slushy August 11, 2021 - 1:45 pm

Marody is in a tough spot

He can’t crack the top 6 I don’t think

He’s not that big, not a plus skater

He will have to show really strong two way play to push anyone

Balls in his court. If he doesn’t push in I think they should trade him, on some teams his skill could be out to use. Get a pick.

Elgin R August 11, 2021 - 2:42 pm

Teams will not give up a pick for a player like Marody – the can just claim him on waivers.

Scungilli Slushy August 11, 2021 - 5:51 pm

Only if he makes the team.

If he can’t or Benson they start in the A. I don’t see how two top scoring AHL players are worth nothing, especially if one is youngish.

How many teams can use a skill RHC? Sharks, Ducks, Jackets, Yotes etc etc

Holland needs to change the org MO of placing no value on talented players that they don’t want.

A 4th, 5th, a second for a developed 2nd rounder like Benson ready to play and skilled.

It only doesn’t happen with our team.

doctoreye August 11, 2021 - 3:39 pm

The best place for Cooper is Nashville.We May be able to get a pick for him.As far as his music talent,it would also be best for his other career.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 1:38 pm

Pettersson might not want to be in Vancouver long term but Quinn Hughes definitely wants to be there.

*rewatches Luke Hughes draft party*

No no, I don’t think he wants to be in Vancouver long term after all.

Elgin R August 11, 2021 - 2:43 pm

First Brogan Raffety and now Hughes (maybe). What losses for the Canucks.

Coiler August 11, 2021 - 2:58 pm

Could you see an Eichel for Petterson trade?

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 4:35 pm

Interesting. I could see Benning attempting something like that but I’m not sure either player wants to play for losers.

Ice Sage August 11, 2021 - 6:08 pm

I think McD’s schooled Eichel enough that he’d veto a trade to the Pacific…

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 3:22 pm

You’ve got to think that Quinn tries to get to NJ somehow?

DID I SEE THEIR UNCLE MARTY HUGHES PLAY FOR DUNDEE?! I never put two and two together until now but turns out I did. What a world. What a league the old BNL was. Eventually Dundee went off to join the Elite League (via a bit of a detour), I used to go to Braehead/Glasgow Clan games regularly before moving to Edmonton. What a pleasant trip down memory lane this has been.

Fun fact, the current Glasgow Clan starting goalie is none other than Shane Starrett.

meanashell11 August 11, 2021 - 4:10 pm

When I lived in Scotland they did not even have skating rinks. When curling finished we were allowed to go out with skates on until they resurfaced the ice for curing. There were little bumps all over the ice to help the rocks move. Not great for skating on.

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 6:38 pm

The ice rinks were indeed rough. I used to play at the Magnum Centre, Galleon in Kilmarnock, Auchenharvie etc. Ice Rinks were for curling like you say, and then “ice discos” for the drunken 15-18 year olds.

Lowetide August 11, 2021 - 5:50 pm

I love hockey so much. GREAT post.

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 6:36 pm

Thanks LT – there’s long been a cult following for hockey in Scotland (and parts of the England), I was born in Ontario, but moved to Scotland when I was 4. Through trips back to Canada to visit friends and family I kept up my love of the hockey, eventually playing for a bit as a young teenager. Let’s just say the cost of kit in Scotland at the time made it a bit hard for me to continue playing (I wanted to be a goalie somewhat compounding issues).

Needless to say I kept up my following of the sport (and my obsession with goalies) and here I am. In Edmonton, an Oilers fan. Fun fact. I’d seized on the Oilers as the team for me as a result of my love of CuJo.

As for Scottish folks and hockey, the Vancouver Olympics seemed to be a big turning point for the game back home, for whatever reason, more than other Olympics, hockey seemed to click with people. Not sure if that momentum has continued post my move to Alberta, NFL seems to be the big dog there now.

Ryan August 11, 2021 - 4:11 pm

Pettersson said that he wants to play on a team that’s winning and has a chance to go far in the playoffs.

That would exclude Vancouver.

pts2pndr August 11, 2021 - 6:14 pm

Maybe he’s still struggling with his post concussion syndrome.😉

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 11:09 am

Benson – 1 year, at $750k – 2 way Show me time. Man, I hope he makes the team!

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 11:10 am

Ah gah, I missed OP posting this below.

Well, point still stands I’m behind this player. I hope he can pass Perlini and Shore, would love to see him playing with McLeod.

defmn August 11, 2021 - 11:27 am

I haven’t seen the AHL salary yet on the two way deal. I think that will tell us something about management’s expectations for him.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 1:03 pm

Of note, Perlini gets $250K in the AHL and Benson $150K.


Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 1:24 pm

Fewer Buck Owens records?

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 1:29 pm

$100K more for Perlini.

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 2:18 pm


Seriously though, I guess it’s more incentive for Benson to be training like crazy to make the big league. Perlini also gets enough to bring him over to play AHL for a year and not be missing out on too much Euros money. Seems like nothing to see here.

Reja August 11, 2021 - 2:24 pm

It means Perlini is higher up on the food chain. I believe Perlini was in Phoenix at the same time as Tippett and that’s a big reason why he’ll be given a legit chance to make the team.

godot10 August 11, 2021 - 3:21 pm

Perlini was a UFA. Benson was an RFA.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 4:21 pm

I don’t think that was it – Benson could have signed his QO for a higher NHL salary (potentially one-way but I haven’t had a chance to research to confirm) – Benson took less “NHL money”.

lenko August 11, 2021 - 11:06 am

Marody would have been better than some of the plugs we had!

Reja August 11, 2021 - 2:26 pm

He’s not the first guy to be washed out of the league.

jp August 11, 2021 - 10:17 pm

He’s not gone yet, lol.

DevilsLettuce August 11, 2021 - 10:52 am

Pettersson is not interested in taking discounts to continue Benning’s ability to sign the Tucker Poolman’s.

Agents working towards a 4yr deal that brings him to Ufa.

Beautiful morning.

OmJo August 11, 2021 - 11:24 am

Agents working towards a 4yr deal that brings him to Ufa.

He’s going to the KHL?


Side August 11, 2021 - 11:59 am

It’s funny. I don’t know how many times I have read that Vancouver is a preferred destination over Edmonton/the Oilers, yet, players seem to be wanting out and don’t seem to want to commit to long term contracts or want to do the team any favours in taking less.

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 12:26 pm

Hehe. Well, if the sources of the preferred destination chat amounts to the equivalent of Russia Today, or Fox News then you kind of know how far you can trust the sources.

That aside, I think Benning is the one screwing up Vancouver as a destination choice. Long may it continue.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 1:35 pm

Not true. Beagle, Roussel, and Ericsson all signed long term deals. Oh sorry, you likely meant *good* players.

Side August 11, 2021 - 2:09 pm

You got me. I should clarify – for good players who want to win, Vancouver doesn’t seem to be a desirable location at the moment.

For players who are not good, I could see how Vancouver would be a nice retirement spot.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 1:33 pm

He stated that he’s only interested in playing on a team that’s winning. Sounds like the fans’ attitude is rubbing off on the players. He could come play in Edmonton as the 3C perhaps….

Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 3:16 pm

Not at all what he said.

He did say he’s happy to sign in Vancouver for now and then said he wants to play for a team that wins in the playoffs.

That would preclude the Oilers at the moment.

Side August 11, 2021 - 4:29 pm

It would preclude Colorado as well it seems.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 4:46 pm

Lol. Vancouver isn’t even a playoff team so start the clock.

Harpers Hair August 11, 2021 - 5:00 pm

In the past 2 seasons, the Canucks have won 7 playoff games.

The Oilers have won 1.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 5:24 pm

and two years ago the Lightning won zero playoff games.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 5:37 pm

In the past 42 years the Oilers have won 5 Stanley Cups and the Canucks have won 0(zero). At least the Canucks are consistent.

DevilsLettuce August 11, 2021 - 5:38 pm

In the past 50 years the Canucks have won absolutely nothing and that’s the bottom line.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 10:40 am

Marody still waits for his deal but Benson signed today: 1 year, 2-way deal ($750K, league min, at the NHL level).

I think Marody might be trying to get himself a one-way deal (he is older).

dessert1111 August 11, 2021 - 10:53 am

Or a higher AHL salary – would be nice insurance for him if he could get something like Skinner is getting or a bit more.

GordieHoweHatTrick August 11, 2021 - 11:28 am

Yes. A nice reward for the players that making key contributions to the Condors AND getting a little older…plus it may provide a (very modest) deterrent from some waiver claims

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 10:38 am

Similar to with Benson, it would be interesting to see if Marody gets a real shot at camp – by real shot, I mean, some line rushes and exhibition games with real NHL talent and skill – not NHL tweeners but established NHL players.

These guys have never received that opportunity and have always been paired with the likes of P. Russell, Griffith, etc. at camp.

Its tough to say if Marody does have a decent 2-way game – yes, his goal share is spectacular but, in 2018/19 and 2021, both years, his line was just so dominant that they rarely played in the defensive zone – they always had the puck. Its similar with Benson – he has rarely spent much time in the defensive zone.

Also similar to wondering if McLeod worked on his main deficiency – engaging in battle, willingness to engage physically, etc. – last year, he never had to battle or engage at the AHL level, his line was so dominant, they always had the puck.

PennersPancakes August 11, 2021 - 10:24 am

Re Ethan Bear. Oilers brought back Barrie so that’s a wash from last year. They went Larsson -> Ceci, Bear -> Bouchard.

Cecis numbers look good last year after years of being put in rough spots on rough teams. Did we get a Petry? I’ll miss Larsson but this seems like an okay 11th hour replacement.

I’ll put my name out there that I think Bouchard is a better player than Bear right now today let alone in 2 years from now.

flyfish1168 August 11, 2021 - 10:53 am

I’m going out and staying positive that Ceci will be better than anticipated and we will be very pleased with his contract.

Prairie_Sentinel August 11, 2021 - 11:08 am

Personally, I would have kept Bear, based on his ability, potential, cheap contract, and the fact he’s a homegrown talent, but I see the reasoning behind the Ceci signing. I would have started the season like this:

Russell/Bouchard (Russell or another defence oriented d-man)

I suggest this based on Bear’s past ability to play with Nurse. If Bouchard progresses the way everyone hopes he does, you flip Bouch and Bear partway through the season.

I would have steered away from Barrie, and in a normal non-COVID year, unless I was all in for a deep Stanley Cup run (I would argue that the Oilers weren’t quite there last season), I would have traded Barrie at the last trade deadline for pick(s)/prospect(s). To me, those one year “show me” contracts are made to be cashed in for this type of package. I’ve stated here previously that Barrie’s defensive shortcomings are many, and they’re not going away anytime soon. The fact that the Oilers weren’t really looking at re-signing Barrie until after Larsson’s move to Seattle tells me all I need to know, really.

If you really think Bouchard can be that 1RD guy, you give him room to grow into the role. Trading Barrie would have given Bouchard a spot to get his feet wet last season, and you would have a better idea what kind of player he is. I think and hope that Bouch will take Barrie’s job over time, and the sooner the better. If Bouchard can provide half the offence and 2x the defence, he and the team will be better for it.

All this being said, I’ve heard some local rumors about Bear being unhappy about his treatment by some so-called “fans” after his admittedly poor playoffs, and after reading his comments, I think a fresh start for him will be good.

Buckle up, next season is gonna be interesting. If you think I’m nuts, let me know.

PennersPancakes August 11, 2021 - 12:12 pm

Definitely not crazy. Different approach is all. It will be interesting to see Bears contract after this season. Does he sign for more and longer than Barries current contract?

I wouldn’t have been angry with your suggestion we seem to agree Bear and Barrie can’t both be on the roster. It’s tough to walk away from the defensive scoring leader though.

I think there may be even more locker room/environment in general factors in these decisions. Barrie appears to be loved by the core and if rumors are to be believed asked for him to come back. Then you have who Bear was traded for and it’s the Ontario Boys training partner. After reading the Evander Kane article I’m all for a team that loves to play with each other. (Not that the team disliked Bear or anything along those lines).

Agreed its going to be interesting and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

who August 11, 2021 - 7:51 pm

Totally agree with your take on Bear and Barrie.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 8:13 pm

I could imagine what the reaction would have been if Holland would have sold the league’s top scoring d-man for futures going in to the playoffs – even if the Oilers weren’t one of the top contenders.

Of note, I think Barrie was one of the team’s better defensive d-men in the playoffs this past season.

Prairie_Sentinel August 11, 2021 - 10:30 pm

I’m kind of assuming that the plan wasn’t for him to be re-signed, therefore cash him in while his value is high. Your point is valid, it would have depended on what the return would have been.

Elgin R August 11, 2021 - 10:13 am

The hill is probably too high to climb for Marody with the Oilers. Even if there are injuries to the 4 incumbent RWs, other (better?) options exist for Tippet. Both Hyman and Foegele have played significant RW with success and can be shifted over – Hyman is a natural RW. Would Perlini, who was over 1 pt/game in the AHL and 1.17 pts/60 in 239 NHL games be a better option? What about Benson or Holloway?

I think we have seen the last of Cooper and Turris in Oiler silks (regular season and playoff games). No matter if Cooper ever plays for the Oilers again, he will still be part of the lore from the song for Colby’s wife. Hope Cooper gets claimed and can find NHL employment.

Ryan August 11, 2021 - 10:06 am


Reply to  Ryan

August 10, 2021 8:13 pm

I know you know this.

I do.

But those types of minutes are usually played with stone hand forwards and associated with suppressed GF + GA, no?

Larsson predominantly soaked up the 3/4 line minutes.

If you look at Benning’s last two seasons with the Oilers.

He played 346 minutes with 97 and 1086 minutes without

With 97: GF/60: 5.54; GA/60: 3.12
Without 97: GF/60: 1.88; GA/60: 1.77

Those without minutes are actually quite reasonable for a bottom pairing defenseman.

We can see that not much offense happens without playing with 97

With Draistaitl. 409 minutes. GF/60: 5.57; GA/60: 2.2
Without Draisaitl. 1023 minutes. GF/60: 1.64; GA/60: 2.05

Certainly the massive spike in GF/60 on with 97 and 29 suggests either Benning had an offensive impact on those two greater than Erik Karlsson in his prime or he was gifted some on the fly starts with those guys when the puck was headed the right direction.

We can also see here that the offense dries up without 29.

jp August 11, 2021 - 11:40 am

Larsson predominantly soaked up the 3/4 line minutes.

I mean, Benning played about 60% of his minutes (59%) without McDavid or Draisaitl (I’m still using the 3 year sample I started with; looks similar in the 2 years you show above). Benning played lots and lots with the Oilers awful 3/4 lines.

He played 346 minutes with 97 and 1086 minutes without

With 97: GF/60: 5.54; GA/60: 3.12

Without 97: GF/60: 1.88; GA/60: 1.77

We can see that not much offense happens without playing with 97′

Certainly the massive spike in GF/60 on with 97 and 29 suggests either Benning had an offensive impact on those two greater than Erik Karlsson in his prime or he was gifted some on the fly starts with those guys when the puck was headed the right direction.

Yeah no question most of the offense happened with McDavid/Draisaitl.

Benning’s GF/60 was the highest (by far) of the Oilers main D with McDavid, and his GF/60 with McDavid off was the 2nd best after Nurse.

I’m certainly not claiming he’s Karlsson, but I do think he had a positive effect. Recall my original post was disagreeing with the statement that he’s an offensive black hole (grouped with Russell and Larsson). I wasn’t trying to pump Benning, just disagreeing that he’s an offense suppressor.

In terms of Benning’s good on ice GF numbers being explained by OTF starts, I’ve always thought that effect was overstated. I remember arguing with WG (maybe you too) when the Dellow article first came out.

Not that the effect doesn’t exist, just that it seems to be very modest. Perhaps some 3rd pairing defensemen are just good relative to their (3rd pairing) peers, hence their good results. (I guess Georgexs also called into question [pretty convincingly] whether defensemen own their on ice results at all…).

But back to the bigger picture on OTF starts, Benning was 12th in the league in OTF starts/60 in the 3 year sample. Of the 20 D with the highest OTF starts/60, 16 of them had a negative rel GF/60. Benning was 1 of 4 with a positive GF/60 rel. Actually only 6 of the 20 (including Benning) had a positive GF% rel, which doesn’t support Dellow’s original conclusion very well.

Anyway, I don’t feel like it’s fair to explain away Benning’s on ice results due to OTF starts.

Ryan August 11, 2021 - 1:03 pm

Credit to Benning, he won his 3rd pairing minutes.

I think that’s a difficult way to compare Benning using your methodology.

First, I’ve looked at OTF starts for various teams. There’s a wide discrepancy in terms of how coaches deploy their dmen from some teams seemingly rolling d pairs to other teams like the Oilers putting great effort into sheltering their 3rd pair like with Benning.

When you sort dmen league wide by OTF starts/60 as you suggest, at the top you do get a sampling of a wide variety of your 12 to 13 min per night (5v5) 3rd pairing defensemen.

Here’s where I would agree that there are way too many variables to compare them on their rel GF/60 data.

I am not even sure if GF/60 rel is a useful stat.

Benning had the highest GF/60 rel on each of his 4 years playing on the Oilers.

And yet he was a 13 minute per game defenseman. Either his coaches were really stupid, or his GF/60 rel is indicative of something else…like him playing and winning his 3rd pairing minutes along with getting played with 29/97 when they’re headed North already.

On the predators, he graduated to 16 minutes per game. His GF/60 rel was the second worst on the team, after Roman Josi. His GF% rel was 3rd worst on the team out of 9 defenseman who played more than 200 minutes.

I feel like I am slicing cuts through noise here using GF% rel and GF/60 rel.

Back to Dellow’s conclusion. Again to reiterate, not every team employs OTF starts in this manner. The ones that do, do it to varying degrees. Measuring its impact on 3rd pairing defensemen is complicated by a variety of variables.

Conversely, I think it was more intended to raise questions when you see data on a player like Benning. Otherwise, you can end up vastly and incorrectly overrating 3rd pairing defensemen wrongly expecting to acquire these fancy stat studs to play in your top four.

YYCOil August 11, 2021 - 9:51 am

I would like to see the 13 and 14 forward as Benson and Marody and the 7th dman as Sammy. Their AHL/KHL time is done.

Bling August 11, 2021 - 10:26 am

I agree, but will point out that common sense and what Tippett will do rapidly diverged last season.

Our only hope is that Holland has reined Tippett in. The “you are playing Bouchard next season,” directive is a start, but ideally Tipp has zero say in who makes the team next season.

One funny thing about the Winnipeg series is that Tippett made more tactical errors than Ethan Bear, yet it was Bear who was lambasted in the press, drew the ire of teammates, and was eventually traded. Bear actually was accountable; Tippett deflected and blamed others.

I remember Carlyle making a mistake not taking a TO with the Leafs — he took responsibility in the post-game presser. Tipp? Not a chance. He is who he is. I’m fine with him being coach so long as he is the Manchurian candidate; no way should he have as much autonomy as he had last season.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 3:10 pm

Tip didn’t play Bouchard that much last year because he had:

Barrie – leading scorer in the league

Larsson – part of the leadership group and the team’s top defensive d-man having a great year.

Bear – team’s top pairing RD the previous year.


We may not like it but the reasoning behind Bouch’s playing time last year is clear and obvious, is it not? 100% I agree that Tip could have worked Bouch in to a few more games but its tough to sit one of the healthy 3.

In any event, my point is really that Tip isn’t adverse to Bouchard, he doesn’t need to be told by the GM to play him. He’ll play Bouch and, presuming he plays well and learns from his mistakes, he’ll gain the coach’s trust and get more and more ice and responsibility.

Rich M August 11, 2021 - 4:36 pm

Agree on Benson and Marody. If Sammy is not playing every night, you send him to Bakersfield so he adjusts back to the smaller ice surface and plays top pairing minutes in all situations so he’s ready when the first injury/call-up is needed.

Coiler August 11, 2021 - 9:44 am

I hope Marody does get a legitimate kick at the can this year. I think the team needs players like him…players who are hungry to prove their worth and will skate through a wall to stay up with the team.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 11:29 am

I don’t think his skating is good enough to go through a wall.

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 9:42 am

If management signs Koekkoek and uses him to block Bouchard, the calls are once again coming from inside the house.

While I’m not enamoured of our D corps, you can see the rough outline. Whilst some of us (myself included) were against how Bouchard was used last season, others pointed out other possibilities to why the coach seemingly forgot Bouchard existed. These were mostly fair counter points to mine, which was, “I don’t believe the coach or the GM is sold on Bouchard.”

I think Kenny thought Larsson was in the bag. I think there was a deal already in place for Bear. I think Kenny thinks Russell, KK and Benn are all better than Caleb Jones.

We’ve lost:



Either KK or Benn

I guess camp will tell us a little more, but not as much as the opening night roster……

Durag August 11, 2021 - 9:58 am

A couple things:

-Koekkoek and Bouchard play different sides and are not going to be cast in anything close to the same role
-I don’t know how you “lose” Klefbom’s 0 games played last season
-Cody Ceci exists in corporeal form

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 10:23 am

Thanks for reminding me we have Ceci. I had forgot about him.

It was hopeful that Klefbom would return, but KH has that surrounded pretty quick to his credit. But any chance you have of having a player of his caliber in your line up and then you don’t, then you have lost him.

It has been explained AND demonstrated corporeally that KK has and does play both sides.

It has been demonstrated in both Detroit and Edmonton that KH prefers his prospects arriving late and will play veterans of a lesser ability before he judges the time is right.

PennersPancakes August 11, 2021 - 10:27 am

Holland has also stated in Detroit he had the option to over ripen prospects.

With not cap and multiple hall of famers those prospects had to really shine. No need for a value elc to fit into the cap, no need to risk a rookie when your vets are slaying the league. Things are different now, how long did Larkin sit before plying in the nhl?

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 10:42 am

I agree. We have exactly two players that slay the league. The rest barely manage to saw off. Hopefully some of the changes will help with that. But Detroit have been paying dearly for the lack of prospect development, by which I mean prospects that weren’t direct replacements for those HoFers.

defmn August 11, 2021 - 11:12 am

In a capped league you pretty much always pay for great success with great failure.

Usually before and after.

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 11:30 am

Pretty much. Unless you’re Tampa Bay.

defmn August 11, 2021 - 11:35 am

They had their ‘before’ and just haven’t gotten to their ‘after’ yet. They are on their ‘great success’ run at the moment and part of that definition is sustain. They will be very good for some time yet.

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 11:41 am

Isn’t that just a self-fulfilling prophesy? Tampa have been good for a while. Also Vegas, straight out of the box.

Give Ken his due, the Wings were pretty stable under him for a long time. But if you wait long enough, all teams will rise and fall.

Reja August 11, 2021 - 11:18 am

Holland was always drafting late in the first or he traded it for help in the playoffs. It takes late round draft picks longer to develop and make the NHL most of them don’t that’s why there late rounders.

Durag August 11, 2021 - 10:43 am

But if you’re talking changes from last year, it would be far more accurate to say

Out: Jones, Bear, Larsson
In: Keith, Ceci, Bouchard

I understand the inherent pessimism in being an Oilers fan, but I would bet my house that Bouchard is on the opening night roster and, barring injury, plays 65+ games. The 3rd paring defenceman predicted would be a replacement for Russell, not Bouchard.

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 10:58 am

Maybe not your house, but a pint?

Bet Conditions –

1). Bouchard is on the opening night roster – in uniform, either on the bench or the ice.

2). Will play 65+ games, unless injured – I will include 65 as well, as gesture of good faith!

Durag August 11, 2021 - 11:15 am

A pint of diamonds maybe. I’m a high stakes kinda guy.

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 11:28 am

Pint of Black Diamond Blonde it is!

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 11:33 am

I don’t think you can have a pint at Diamonds anymore — it burned down last year….

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 11:34 am

Wasn’t that Diamonds, the “Gentleman’s Club” in Grande Prairie – so I was told.

Seriously, that is sad news if true. Their website is still up and running.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 5:17 pm

Kind of. Just substitute GP for Edmonton Gateway Blvd and there you have it.

Reja August 11, 2021 - 11:29 am

If Bouchard is not on the opening night roster other than injury there will be a riot in downtown Edmonton unseen since the Richard riot.

flyfish1168 August 11, 2021 - 10:13 am

Holland has stated many times EB will be in the lineup. DT will be using him.

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 10:26 am

Talk is cheap. It’s time to move to Missouri and “Show Me”. I believe KH when he says he will play.

There is a country mile between “in the line up” and “will be our 1st/2nd/3rd line RD”.

The fact that he’s looking when we have a little depth tells you what?

defmn August 11, 2021 - 11:13 am

Tells me that we have an experienced GM who tries to mitigate injury disaster.

Jethro Tull August 11, 2021 - 11:30 am

The situation in goal would suggest otherwise.

defmn August 11, 2021 - 11:44 am

Stalock is pretty good insurance as a third goalie imo.

As much as I dislike the goalie configuration going into this season it has to be the most difficult position to miitigate injury disaster.

Most teams lose their season if their starting goalie goes down for any length of time.

Holland would be a poor GM if he doesn’t know what it will cost him to make a trade should Smith suffer injury though. I suspect it is just more than he wants to pay but I doubt he doesn’t have a plan.

There are voices here who lament his seeming lack of interest in their preferred player evaluation techniques but the thing you always get with people who have a history of success is a plan in the event of disaster.

It’s just how us old guys have learned to think.

Elgin R August 11, 2021 - 2:48 pm

Stalock has better stats than Mikko in the same number of NHL games (123 each – weird). Definite battle for NHL work and money as Smith’s backup, Mikko may end up being sent down. Now if some team would hire Chia-Pet maybe he gets claimed!

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 3:04 pm

Jethro Tull

While I am not “all for” a Koekkoek signing (for reasons I’ve expressed a number of time, including in this thread), a potential signing has nothing to do with Bouchard.

Koekkoek would be battling with Russell/Lagesson/Samorukov for 3/4LD.

Sure, he “can play the right side” – just like Russell “can play the right side” – we know Tip generally avoids doing that and, if I remember correctly, Koekkoek played one game on the right side last season.

I see all but zero chance he (or any other leftie) would play ahead of Bouchard.

Holland has sung Bouchard’s praises all off-season and, two weeks ago, Tip did the same thing publicly. He even stated that he sees Bouch moving up the lineup through the season.

Tip is the same coach that played Bear on the top pairing as a rookie for most of the year. If the player, even a youngster, is playing well and earning it, he’ll continue to play, even up the lineup.

EDIT: I just checked, Koekkoek played apx 17 minutes last season with another left shot d-man – that’s the one game I remember and shift changes.

MushedPeas August 11, 2021 - 9:10 am

Well. Glad everyone’s happy.

ps Delete if me link dropping violates LT etiquette. I’m a little murky.

tileguy August 11, 2021 - 9:22 am

That article makes me feel like we have been oilered again.

Tye August 11, 2021 - 4:29 pm

Pure homerism has a tendency to do that if you’re fool enough to take it at face value…

Elgin R August 11, 2021 - 9:40 am

Actual hockey trade that filled the needs of both teams. Both players will be expected to grow their games with the new teams. Going to be fun to see emerges as the winner. I am hoping for a home-run tie.

My Bear jersey can now hang in the ‘trade’ section of my closet beside the Gretzky, Coffey, Hall, Eberle etc.

Coiler August 11, 2021 - 9:40 am

Amazing article. This guy deserves a Pulitzer for this in depth analysis. The writer gushes over Bear like a waterfall yet admits he hadn’t seen a whole bunch of Bear play as an Oiler.

I can’t say that I followed Bear very closely during his time as an Oiler, but the tape that I’ve watched since the trade was announced has me very excited about how he’ll fit in the Canes’ system”

So based on some youtube videos which only show highlights of a player, he’s ready to pronounce him the second coming of Bob Gainey. Please…

Just because the guy has an outlet to get his opinion published, doesn’t make him an authority on anything. Let the next few years play out before we pass judgement on this trade.

Bling August 11, 2021 - 10:08 am

I think the article is a very accurate representation of this trade and Bear’s potential value going forward.

I watch a lot of games and very much agree with what the author has said. I suspect Bear will excel with Slavin, who plays rover less than Nurse and is very solid defensively.

Foegle is a good player, but you lose the trade if Bear continues to be a good top 4 RHD and it’s a Fleetwood Mac Landslide if he excels on the top pair. That’s objectively true, we don’t need to wait four years to say that.

Ice Sage August 11, 2021 - 11:58 am

LOL, he’s in Shremp-land…

PennersPancakes August 11, 2021 - 9:41 am

Quotes that stand out to me

“I can’t say that I followed Bear very closely during his time as an Oiler”

“He’s a smart and efficient two way presence who doesn’t take many unnecessary risks” (wpg turnover?)

Tbh this feels like a fluff piece to make Carolina fans happy about the trade as if it’s an absolute home run. I disagree but obviously I’m not the target audience.

Bling August 11, 2021 - 10:05 am

I think that piece is objectively correct, not sure why you are saying it is fluff. A lot of what is said there has been said by those of us here who do watch a lot of Oiler games and pay attention to the stats. That isn’t just myself, but a whole host of others. If you don’t like our opinion, then maybe you value Tippett’s opinion, who played Bear on the top pairing for long stretches.

The problem with this trade is that Bear is likely going to play a top 4 role in Carolina out of the box, possibly/probably even top pair. Playing next to Slavin will give him more leeway to play an offensive game, which he never really had here.

Foegle has to pass RNH and Hyman to play a top 6 role. Maybe Hyman flips over to the other wing. I still find it unlikely that Foegle will be a better player than Holloway over the course of the next three years. That’s to say nothing of guys like Lavoie and even XB, who have better pedigree than Foegle.

Foegle is a good hockey player and he will help the bottom six, which is important.

However, moving a young, cost-controlled top 4 D, and a RHD at that, is just about the worst possible way you can address the bottom six, strictly from a valuation perspective.

Even if Bear doesn’t improve, by playing solid top 4 D it’s a win for Carolina. If Bear improves, it’s a blow out. To call that “fluff” is off the mark.

PennersPancakes August 11, 2021 - 10:16 am

Agree to disagree I suppose. If you want to appeal to authority with Tippet why don’t you bring up benching him in the biggest game of the season that went to triple OT?

I dont feel comfortable with Bear on the top pair. Him on the top pair is the result of him being carried, not his natural ability to be a top 2 defender. Carolina had something like the top 3 PK AND 3rd fewest goals against? Despite that they moved 2/3rds of their defense and both of their goalies. He may be playing over his head because of team composition again.

Foegle doesn’t have to be top 6 to be value. If he’s an elite 3rd liner that plays both wings, can play spot duty up the line up, and pks that’s one hell of a player.

Honest question, is Bear cost controlled? He has 1 year left at 2 million then what?

We clearly view Bear differently and that’s fine. I’ll be happily proved wrong because he seems like a great human being. I just see a smaller slower dman who apparently has world class passing but doesn’t put up points.

defmn August 11, 2021 - 11:09 am

I think that piece is objectively correct, not sure why you are saying it is fluff.

I don’t think you designate a piece as fluff or not based upon whether or not the conclusion is correct so much as the reasoning and research that builds the argument to reach that conclusion.

I have read a lot of academic papers in my life (unfortunately) and I disagree with their conclusions on a regular basis but I also recognize the work that went into building the argument. They are not fluff pieces by my understanding of that expression.

On the other hand I also read things where I think they stumbled on the right answer without having the slightest idea why it is the right answer. They just guessed right.

So, in my long winded way, I guess I am trying to say that although the author of the piece (and you) might be right about the trade (I think it was a good hockey trade, myself) PP is correct to call it a fluff piece because he admits that it is based upon little research outside of youtube highlight videos and second hand info. If he is right it is just because he guessed right as opposed to actually knowing what he is talking about.


Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 11:44 am

Bear had one season in the top 4, playing with a stud. I don’t think we can call him a solid top 4 D without improvement in his game.

Fuge Udvar August 11, 2021 - 11:55 am

Which stats? The one where Bear has never outscored the opposition at 5v5 or the one he doesn’t win the corsi battle? Bear has some upside but Carolina definitely expects him to improve.

leadfarmer August 11, 2021 - 10:05 am

Thats a fluff piece that normally comes out of a Canadian city.

Darth Tu August 11, 2021 - 11:03 am

I eagerly await the DeAngelo fluff piece.

Kert August 11, 2021 - 10:13 am

Bear is a flawed NHL player. He is very good at quick outlet passes in high traffic. He has some offense. Low speed, decent mobility. He does good things when he causes a turn over, but he struggles to make those turnovers happen.
If you’re just looking at at a highlight reel, (like most players) he’s going to look like a hell of a player.

He is an NHL player, but he’s a flawed NHL player. Just like Foegele. Foegele also does a lot of things well, and looks good on a highlight reel, but has he ever scored from more than 10 feet from the net? (hyperbole, btw)

Both players can be a significant part of a winning team. Elgin has it right, “Actual hockey trade that filled the needs of both teams.” My heart doesn’t like losing Bear, but my brain sees forward depth as a bigger hole on last year’s roster. Both players have a chance at taking a big step forward and making this trade look unbalanced, but as it stands today both teams might be better for it.

JimmyV1965 August 11, 2021 - 11:29 am

IDK. This article seemed like a typical fanboy piece – we made a fantastic trade and gave up nothing for a future stud. 

In reality, I would say the trade will work out fine for both teams. What can’t be denied is that Foegle is bigger and faster than Bear. Nothing can change that. I love Bear because he’s smart, creative and makes a great pass. While his ceiling might be as high as the writer believes, his floor is very low because he lacks size and speed. 

But when the writer says Bear plays with a fiery edge or he’s a smooth skater, he’s flirting with some fanboy hyperbole. 

What struck me the most though was his dismissive attitude toward Foegle. Here’s the comment that really caught my attention:

“It’s super unrealistic to assume that placing Foegele in a new environment at age 25 will magically help him develop the hockey sense and puck skills that held him back from a top-six role in Carolina.”

But we know this happens all the time. Players get pigeon holed on the team that drafts them, or can’t live up to draft expectations, and they fail to reach their ceiling. Florida got two of them last year alone, with Sam Bennett and Carter Verhaeghe. 

And this is precisely why I love the trade. The Oilers FINALLY traded for a player with oodles of upside, who played well for his original team but maybe failed to meet expectations.

What makes the trade fair IMO is that Carolina did the same thing. However, the floor is super low for Bear and that carries risk. 

Side August 11, 2021 - 12:50 pm

That quote stuck out to me too. There must be a lot of magic going around the league as this seems to happen quite a bit.

I wonder if the writer of the article heard of someone named Pat Maroon before? Pat must be a wizard or a sorceror of some sort.

Material Elvis August 11, 2021 - 11:36 am

The article would be more accurate if it said “Hurricanes strike oil-rubbed bronze”.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 2:54 pm

Ya, I saw this first thing this morning.

No OIlers are there (although an honourable mention for doc).

Side August 11, 2021 - 2:59 pm

No Oilers in the top 10? I was given the impression the Oilers would occupy a good chunk of the top 10…

Durag August 11, 2021 - 4:12 pm

You need to stop talking to so many Oilers fans 😉

Rich M August 11, 2021 - 4:32 pm

Or Harper’s Hair.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual August 11, 2021 - 8:47 am

Not to shit on a player too hard, but when were these stretches where Koekkoek played well? He was worst among Oilers D in goal share (4-12) and chance share (38.4%) and 2nd worst in Corsi (41.6%) to go along with his 1 5-on-5 goal, 9 hits in 18 games. His pairing with Barrie was VERY rough and the result of most of that goal differential (1-6) but he never really settled down by my eye.

There’s likely a case to be made based on prior seasons, but I have to push back against what seems to be the narrative that “he played well” at any time. Count me in the ‘aim higher’ camp.

GordieHoweHatTrick August 11, 2021 - 8:49 am

I want to see Sammy get a very solid look at 6/7D during camp.
Maybe they could get KK as a PTO…just in case Sammy is not ready.

jtblack August 11, 2021 - 9:08 am

Stretches means “minutes at a time”….

You know. He played well for 4 mins one night. 2 mins another night 🤣

Elgin R August 11, 2021 - 9:25 am

Koekkoek is what he is – a replacement-level vet. There is probably no further upside with this player. He has played 167 games over a 7-year NHL career and has been found wanting by 4 different organizations.

2021 Season with the Oilers
Games / 5v5 TOI + Goal Differential / PK TOI + Goal Diff / All Strengths TOI + Goal Diff
Slater: 18 / 196:40 and -8 / 34:58 and -4 / 236:57 and -12
Wild Bill: 19 / 242:16 and 0 / 23:12 and -1 / 268:51 and -1
(Above data from Natural Stat Trick)

For me, goal differential is THE defining stat for a bottom pairing or bottom 6 player – McDavid and company can outscore the competition and the bottom players just need to saw it off.

Lagesson is bigger, younger, has upside and was demonstrably a better player last year with the same team and virtually the same usage. Why is Koekkoek even in the discussion?

Best usage is having Sammy and Broberg playing big minutes in the AHL. Why would Holland sign a replacement-level player that will have a cascade effect on AHL LD TOI for the players the organization is trying to develop?

Bling August 11, 2021 - 10:19 am

Good post. I also don’t like Koekkoek.

Russell is a better 7D because he can play both sides and probably a better 6D because he’s a good penalty killer. SK’s upside is limited. That 3 LHD job should be Samorukov’s, but we saw Tippett pull the pin on the grenade whilst holding it in place last season when it came to managing young D, so unless directives start coming from up high — and we already saw a pre-emptive one with Bouchard — I’m not optimistic about next season being any different.

Holland and Gretzky need to save Tippett from himself and tell him who is playing next season. In the MLB, the front office has a direct line to the manager and I’m not sure why it’s so different in hockey. Tippett’s style is manage every regular season game like it’s the last and every playoff game as if it’s the first. LT’s quote about five years experience and one year of experience five times is a particularly apt descriptor of Tippett. Clearly, whatever control/power he has (Tippett, not LT) needs to be reined in, particularly given his now solidly mediocre body of work.

Development disasters like the prior season cannot be repeated going forward, too much on the line in terms of quality coming through. If there is a guy to screw it up, though, it’s definitely Tippett.

Scungilli Slushy August 11, 2021 - 12:26 pm

I didn’t see him very good either.

For me while he’s tall he’s physically not strong, light. Ok skating.

He doesn’t have enough skill to play higher up and really isn’t the type you want in a non skill role on a D Corplike the Oilers.

Bouch needs a heavy that can skate and use the puck in game play. Boards and net front duty.

KK and Russell (who can’t gap anymore) are not good partners IMO. My Habs fan buddy who was an accomplished hockey player likes Benn. I haven’t seen him enough to have an opinion.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 2:53 pm

To the earlier post in this thread – Koekkok played “well” in his first game or two – blocked a bunch of shots, made some plays, etc. and endeared himself to many fans. After that first week, well, the numbers show the caving (of course, he was likely playing most of his minutes with the bottom 6 but he was part of the caving).

To the very last post and the reference to “can’t gap” – well, that is one of Samorukov’s prime skills – closing the gap and defending the blue. Of course, it was his heel when he started his pro career in the AHL, being overly-aggresive and getting burnt but he learned to pick his spots better.

I have little doubt that we’ll see a Koekkoek, Hutton, Benn or Stone brought in and, as I’ve been saying, with those “replacement level guys”, although they bring experience, I’d rather not put another block in front of Sammy – if the team blows through Russell and Lagesson as 3/4 LD, Sammy should be up.

Scungilli Slushy August 11, 2021 - 6:00 pm

I mentioned Hutton last season, I am not sure he’s a defender that brings enough defending.

Samu might be ready, it’s too bad he got hurt. Because of that he won’t start out of camp. They want sure bets as this is an all in year, as much as Holland could manage.

I don’t know if Benn can skate well enough, but if he can he’s the best bet to cover OMB to start and play a third pair defensive thing with Ceci once OMB eats his lunch.

Wild Bill blew his chance methinks. For now. Russell is vet cover but if he is relied on it won’t be pretty.

Those bad results in the depth part of the roster are the result of the players they played, so a lot are gone.

Its at the point that being a good guy won’t get you minutes, hopefully.

OriginalPouzar August 11, 2021 - 6:58 pm

Did Lagesson blow his chance?

I mean his played almost exclusively in the top 4 last season – all but 33 of his minutes were with Larsson last year – so pretty much all 2nd pairing. He played a total of 24 minutes with McDavid (and almost 22 without).

I know his goal share over-states his possession numbers by a large amount but he played uber tough minutes and sawed off on goals.

yamfry August 11, 2021 - 8:37 am

I’ve always had a soft spot for Marody. Hope he gets a chance this year.

Also, I’d be happy to see Koekkoek back. I consider him a stronger option than Lagesson, whom I don’t hold in as high esteem as I did last year.

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