Matvey Petrov

by Lowetide

Matvey Petrov is the latest in a growing number of Russian prospects chosen from that nation’s junior leagues. None of the prospects is truly famous, although Maxim Berezkin (2020 pick) may be one day, but it appears general manager Ken Holland has a very specific and vocal resource and the Russian pipeline is up and running.

Call it ‘opposite Yakupov’ as none of the choices has cost even a fourth-round selection, but there is something building in the Motherland.

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!

THE NEW RUSSIANS

I ranked Petrov No. 70 in the 2021 draft, based on his goal-scoring ability and size (6.02, 178). It was a most unusual draft, but my list valued players who could deliver offense. Petrov played in the MHL, a quality junior league and his numbers were impressive. If we compare all the young Russians drafted by Edmonton since Holland’s arrival, it gives us an idea about Petrov.

EP Rinkside said of Petrov “his game is entirely based around his offensive ability with a great release on his shot, plus good vision and puck-moving ability” and offense is why he was on my list. He’s a young man, and could develop other skills, but I applaud the choice because at No. 180 getting a goal-scorer is success.

Berezkin is going to be the star in this group, I believe. He played 31 KHL games and survived and was more than one point per game in the MHL. He turns 20 in October. Holland probably brings him over 10 years from now, in a way the toughest job of an Oilers fan/observer is remember these damn obscure guys two years after they’ve been chosen. Even the names are familiar and confusing. If I’d typed Maxim Petrov above, it would be a perfect set.

Anyway, if one of these gents cashes it’s a win. Berezkin is 6.04, 216 and has great hands. That’s something to build on.

CHARLIE WATTS

The Rolling Stones peak lineup included Mick Taylor and he left during the recording of Goat’s Head Soup, that was almost 50 years ago. So, the death of Charlie Watts yesterday at age 80 doesn’t snap the parade of elite music Taylor’s exit did those years ago, but Watts was there, aware, for all of it.

What’s more, even though he didn’t have 10-minute drum solos, Watts guided us through every note of the greatest rock and roll band in history. He and Merry Clayton gave us the scream and the gut punch of Gimme Shelter, although it was years later I realized the song was 4:35 of me anticipating Merry by keeping time with Watts. He drove that song, the rhythm section became a runaway train while remaining as tight, well, as a drum.

Watts was his own man, had his own style, and was more than content to let the front men set themselves on fire while he kept time. He was once asked if, after 25 years, he still enjoyed playing with the Stones. “It’s what I do,” said Watts. “I don’t think about it, really. It’s best not to.”

When the Stones hit their stride, best reflected in the sound on this 1968 video, Watts is all over that sound. Sympathy for the Devil, Gimme Shelter, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Tumbling Dice, Rocks Off, Miss You, on it goes. Watts wasn’t the quiet Beatle (George Harrison), nor was he the normal Stone (they didn’t have one).

He was a great musician who had great talent and attention to detail. He was the heart and soul of the best rock and roll band that ever plugged in. I miss him already.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a terrific show planned for you. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will drop in at 10:20 to discuss the anticipation of seeing Connor McDavid live at Rexall, and the impact Rod Gilbert had on the Rangers. Hailey Salvian from The Athletic Calgary will join us to talk about the Women’s World Hockey Championships and the big game between Canada and the USA tomorrow night. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will be by at 11 to talk about NFL win totals, I’ll ask him about every team but the Eagles. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

135 comments
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135 comments

rickithebear August 29, 2021 - 9:53 am

I recently remembered my fathers greatest quote!
”Opinion is for people who do not have to worry about killing people.”

In today’s modern day of Narsasitic/ Psycopath People (Politicians), I think it should be.

“Opinion rather than fact is for people who do not care if people die!”

rickithebear August 29, 2021 - 9:47 am

Bulging Twine:
Any stat that says a puck shot “directly” (not partially) into goalie equipment (allways 0%) & one shot at open space in net elevation (greater than 0%) have the same statistical value is poor analytical Science.

you cannot count 0% density shots as scoreable.
that is a Dman influence!

As a result it is clear that Dmen establish the xSave% (xGA) that a goalie performs around.
Allowing us to determine the +/-ve Openshot save % relative each defensive dmans sides xSAve% baseline.

Worse when you group xGA & xGF, you are pretending that every player regresses to the same career shooting%.
Pretending that penetration (x,y location) & targeting (y,z location) are not influences but are the same for every player is counter to 200,000 yrs of human analytics.

200,000 yrs ago Homo: Neanderthal created javelin shaped spears that provided thick skin gm killing power and superior aeronautic travel.

Being Neanderthal DNA that Bio-evo targeting understanding exists in Me!

It seems many humans have a need to reduce to poor limited variable science.
Itnresults in many of the largest affects being ignored.

Bulging Twine August 26, 2021 - 12:02 am

Despite JP’s objections here is the outgoing D’s xGF%Rel ranking amongst D teammates and their replacements (min 189 minutes to get Bouchard in there):

Larsson 6/9 –> Ceci 5/8

Bear 1/9 –> Bouchard 5/9

Jones 3/9 –> Keith 7/9

You were right JP

Bulging Twine August 26, 2021 - 12:06 am

Most common D partner rank:

Ceci 5 – Matheson 3

Keith 7 – Mitchell 6

Bulging Twine August 26, 2021 - 12:19 am

Larsson 6 – Russell 7

Bear 1 – Nurse 2

Jones 3 – Bear 1

Bulging Twine August 26, 2021 - 12:12 am

Obviously more depth is needed in this analysis, I’m just pissing around, thought I’d post my findings

jp August 26, 2021 - 8:07 am

I guess these D number poke a hole in the idea the Oilers are using xGF% as a guiding light…

Bulging Twine August 25, 2021 - 10:06 pm

I was just toying around with Natural Stat Trick’s xGF%Rel in relation to the FW’s outgoing and their replacements (as determined by 5×5 ice time) and thought maybe I’d post what I saw, may interest some:

Was looking at their rank amongst FW’s on their respective teams,

Minimum 107 5×5 min played (to allow for McLeod – not Darcy, Ryan (or is that MacLeod?) anyways….

Kahun 9 –> Hyman 1

Ennis 11 –> Foegele 4

Khaira 16 –> Ryan 1

Chiasson 13 –> Kassian 8

Hass 12 –> McLeod 4

I wonder if the Oilers got on the xG train?

jp August 25, 2021 - 10:17 pm

Neal at #10 out too.

# 1-8 on the list are all still Oilers.
#9-16, 6 are gone, only Shore and Turris remain (we’ll see if Turris actually makes the team).

Bulging Twine August 25, 2021 - 11:27 pm

So we should be xpecting a better xGF ratio?

Unless the D is worse.

I guess a guy should do this exercise with the D now.

jp August 25, 2021 - 11:33 pm

I guess a guy should do this exercise with the D now.

Please don’t.

Bulging Twine August 25, 2021 - 11:50 pm

ha!

jp August 25, 2021 - 11:35 pm

So we should be xpecting a better xGF ratio?

But yes, I think so.

Hoping for that at least (also GF%, since that’s what matters!)

Bulging Twine August 25, 2021 - 10:30 pm

But if you bring in players that produced good results, whatever the metric, on other teams to a team, the Oilers, notoriously lacking good depth at FW, won’t they just be more of the same? Or in other words….it matters who you play with.

So on that, I thought I’d look briefly at who these guys played with (at FW) to get a bit of an idea if they were coming from a more advantageous situation to a lesser one. Particularly I was interested in if they outperformed their most common linemates, in this metric, or did they get lifted by them.

Here’s what I found:

Most common linemates with xGF%Rel rank among FW’s

Ryan 1 – Leivo 2, Nordstrom 11

Hyman 1 – Matthews 2, Marner 3

Foegele 4 – Staal 12, Martinook 14

Bulging Twine August 25, 2021 - 11:29 pm

On Foegele, apparently he gets the puck to good areas and goes to good areas but is a poor finisher. I would assume he would produce a lot of rebound chances for his linemates. I wonder who has the skillset to capitalize on those?

jp August 26, 2021 - 8:06 am

On Foegele, apparently he gets the puck to good areas and goes to good areas but is a poor finisher. I would assume he would produce a lot of rebound chances for his linemates. I wonder who has the skillset to capitalize on those?

Just looking at Foegele some more now.

For his Carolina career (minus 2 games in 17-18) here is how Foegele ranks among the 15 forwards to play at least 500 5v5 minutes for the Hurricanes over the last 3 seasons:
(Note: in his first season he didn’t score much and his GF% was also way lower than his SF%/xGF%, so this look is probably underestimating the player he is).

Foegele ranks:
TOI 10th
G/60 6th (and we’re talking #3-Trochek 0.76, 4-Williams 0.75, 5-Svechnikov 0.75, 6-Foegele 0.74)
A/60 13th
A1/60 10th
P/60 10th
IPP 8th
S/60 6th
SH% 5th (so maybe he’s not such a terrible finisher?)
ixG/60 3rd (1-Svechnikov 0.92, 2-Ferland 0.91, 3-Foegele 0.90, 4-Niederreiter 0.90)
iCF/60 6th
iFF/60 7th
iSCF/60 3rd
iHDCF/60 3rd
Rush attempts/60
Rebounds created/60 2nd

Looks like he’s creating rebounds, and generally creating scoring chances. And his SH% has been solid, so maybe the lack of finishing is overstated?

jp August 25, 2021 - 7:51 pm

This is somewhat related to the 3C discussion.

A look at how many outscoring forwards (5v5) teams have and how that relates to performance.

This is the top 12 forwards on each team by TOI, and how many of the 12 had a 50% or better GF%. I also included whether the team made the playoffs, and how far they made it.

Minnesota 11 (Round 1 L)
Toronto 11 (Round 1 L)
Vegas 11 (Round 3 L)
Colorado 10 (Round 2 L)
Tampa Bay 10 (Won Stanley Cup)
Carolina 9 (Round 2 L)
Florida 9 (Round 1 L)
Nashville 9 (Round 1 L)
NY Islanders 9 (Round 3 L)
Winnipeg 9 (Round 2 L)
Washington 9 (Round 1 L)
Calgary 8 (Missed playoffs)
NY Rangers 8 (Missed playoffs)
Pittsburgh 8 (Round 1 L)
Boston 7 (Round 2 L)
Dallas 7 (Missed playoffs)
Montreal 7 (Stanley Cup final L)
St. Louis 7 (Round 1 L)
Arizona 5 (Missed playoffs)
Edmonton 5 (Round 1 L)
Los Angeles 4 (Missed playoffs)
New Jersey 4 (Missed playoffs)
Chicago 3 (Missed playoffs)
San Jose 3 (Missed playoffs)
Vancouver 3 (Missed playoffs)
Anaheim 2 (Missed playoffs)
Philadelphia 2 (Missed playoffs)
Columbus 1 (Missed playoffs)
Detroit 1 (Missed playoffs)
Buffalo 0 (Missed playoffs)
Ottawa 0 (Missed playoffs)

There’s definitely (obviously) a general trend for having more outscoring players and making the playoffs. It seems a bit noisier once in the playoffs though.

The Oilers have a lot of work to do here (hopefully much of it has already been done with the offseason moves). A good PP and PK are great, but they clearly aren’t enough.

There’s a pretty clear tier of having at least 3 lines worth of outscoring players. All 11 teams with 9 or more outscores made the playoffs. Only 5 of the 20 of the teams with less than 9 made the playoffs (though 2 of those 5 advanced past the 1st round).

3 outscoring lines is the goal. More than that is gravy, though it still doesn’t guarantee a damn thing.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:08 pm

Thanks for this. It’s a nice shorthand for depth.

Bulging Twine August 25, 2021 - 10:36 pm

It sure matters who you play with hey.? The more quality the better (obviously).

Looks pretty hard to post good #’s on Ottawa etc. and then conversely, is it hard to post bad numbers on the top teams????

jp August 25, 2021 - 10:38 pm

Yes and yes! 🙂

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 26, 2021 - 7:54 am

Holy Minnesota.

jp August 26, 2021 - 8:09 am

Yup, we just witnessed their ‘window’ (now passed).

Elgin R August 25, 2021 - 4:50 pm

There are currently 53 active Russian-born players in the NHL (5.2% of total players) as per QuantHockey. Of these players, 28 are 26 years-old or younger (4 goalies), so that leaves 24 Russian-born skaters who are 26 years-old or younger.

A review of all the active players shows that 29 of the 53 are forwards and that 24 of the 29 forwards are above 1.50 pts/60.

This appears to indicate that the high-end forwards make the jump to the NHL but not many players in the bottom 6. Is this due to the KHL not having a salary cap for many years? Now that the KHL does have a reported salary cap of $13m, will that mean that more bottom 6 types will come over? Probably.

I believe that the Eastern European market for bottom-6 players is not being fully tapped. Holland is trying to do this with the recent draft picks and it would be nice to see at least one make the NHL.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:10 pm

Had no clue KHL had capped themselves. I agree could change things significantly.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 3:54 pm

Per NHL Updates:

Per Tom Gazzola, Oilers development camp will start around September 15th and the main camp will start around September 21st. Their first pre-season game is on September 26th

hunter1909 August 25, 2021 - 3:02 pm

Oilers season ticket holder since 1983 turns in his season tickets.

Says its nobodys business whether or not he’s been vaccinated or not – especially the government’s. Wonders where the thing ends, taking the situation to hypothetical possibility of having to prove other things down the road.

Interesting.

PennersPancakes August 25, 2021 - 3:10 pm

I read that too and was surprised I forgot the Rexall Party won the provincial majority with Premier Katz at the helm. That season ticket holders argument was the perfect example slippery slope fallacy.

‘If I have to prove to a private business that I dont have a highly communicable respiratory virus to attend a packed 15,000+ person event the government will eventually ask if I have STIs!” Clearly the next reasonable step.

He ironically gets to the point but takes the wrong interpretation. The season ticket holder understands that going to the game isnt a necessity… but then insists those concerned with covid just stay home despite the fact he is in the very vocal minority when you consider 77.4% of all Albertans 12 and up have at least 1 vaccine dose.

maxwellmischief August 25, 2021 - 3:39 pm

This argument doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons… one of which being that people living with HIV are legally obligated to disclose their status to sexual partners, and would face legal ramifications if they passed on the virus to a partner, neglecting to inform them. When it comes to transmission of potentially deadly disease, the government kinda already does…

PennersPancakes August 25, 2021 - 3:47 pm

I forgot about that, how wonderful that even the most ridiculous claim he had is still a reasonable expectation that already exists when you think about it!

Material Elvis August 25, 2021 - 3:26 pm

My uncle turned in his Winnipeg Jets gold club tickets for this year, too, because he refuses to be vaccinated. In his mind, I think he was hoping that his ‘protest’ would have an impact on the Jets decision making process. In reality, he just made another fan very happy to get those seats.

maxwellmischief August 25, 2021 - 3:33 pm

I made the mistake of engaging with the *Dustin Penner Crowd* on twitter today on this topic. Much of the debate was about vaccines obviously.. but I think it’s important to note that there is no “mandatory vaccine” the option exists to provide proof of testing negative for covid. So for those who choose not to be vaccinated or can’t be, and want to gamble with their lives and, more importantly, the lives of other’s, at a mass social gathering, scheduling a private test is still an option. There still is choice.

godot10 August 25, 2021 - 3:35 pm

The surveillance state is already here. Google, Amazon, and Facebook already know more about you than you do yourself.

And once central bank digital currencies arrive, programmable money, AML and KYC, embedded, life will become an endless series of carrots and sticks from the government and neofeudal corporations.

hunter1909 August 25, 2021 - 4:06 pm

Physical fitness and health is the best preparation.

I pity those types endlessly preparing to run into the bush with their supplies to presumably live in a way that I personally would prefer to remain in the city and deal with the mob.

Am not totally convinced with the neofeudal future predictions, despite the apparent glee which its proponents are currently enjoying. There are a lot of people left in the West who still seem to be under the impression that their forefathers fought for their freedom.

It all might come down to whether or not a corrupt economic/political system will be able to continue, particularly in future when considering the ultimate fallout from current events taking place today.

Scungilli Slushy August 25, 2021 - 4:28 pm

Finally!!

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:18 pm

I agree, but that’s hardly ‘The State.’. I mean sure our elected reps and appointed bureaucrats sold our interests and protections down the river, but they themselves can’t really be arsed.

JimmyV1965 August 25, 2021 - 3:54 pm

I just hope he’s vaccinated. He’s likely in the high risk group. And it never hurts to take Vitamin D. Almost all of us are deficient.

hunter1909 August 25, 2021 - 3:58 pm

A big thank you to everyone who’s commented. This is fantastic. Real discussion about an issue I simply do not understand.

Lowetide comes through and comes through big.

I’m personally considerably more of an expert on the Afghanistan situation, but that’s for another time and space lol

Scungilli Slushy August 25, 2021 - 4:30 pm

The expertise typically needed for most things political or not is ‘follow the money’. Sad but true.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:14 pm

Well I’m glad I got here late. My contribution would’ve been: “Interesting because so dumb?” Unhelpful, obv.

I can do better.

YYCOil August 25, 2021 - 4:25 pm

Lots of seats are corporate managed. Checking with customers if they vaxxed is another level of a problem.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 5:18 pm

That’s a very interesting point.

With that said, my first did send out a survey the other week on vaccination levels and this is a major national law firm that is requesting that information.

With THAT said, I was fine filling it out so didn’t really look too closely to see if (a) it was mandatory, (b) if it was just lawyers or staff as well and (c) if it was lawyers, was it just partners (i.e. owners).

I do think it was everyone though.

meanashell11 August 26, 2021 - 5:48 am

Not really. Major global investment banks in NYC are already requiring clients to provide proof of vaccination to enter their buildings.

Victoria Oil August 25, 2021 - 2:48 pm

LT, thank you for your fitting tribute to Mr. Watts. I had the privilege of seeing him and the Stones live on four occasions. I loved watching him quietly go about his business with the occasional little smirk or shaking of the head while Mick, Keith, and Ronnie strutted and pranced about. Watts was a rock star without a rock star ego. RIP Charlie.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:22 pm

My secret hope is that if i contribute enough to the site LT might agree to be handed a loose amalgamation of facts by which to compose my sight-unseen eulogy. Work in Oil refs 1978 to present and it would land w my clan.

John Chambers August 25, 2021 - 1:39 pm

So The Athletic has released their ranking of the league’s 32 Front Offices:
2021 NHL front office rankings: Fans weigh in on every team – The Athletic

The Oilers rank … right near the bottom. Behind Calgary. Behind Ahaheim. Behind Philly.

I’m largely in agreement with the majority of the list’s rankings (TB & COL 1&2, Buffalo and SJ at the bottom), but think the Oilers are judged far too harshly here.

Holland’s moves can be rightfully scrutinized this offseason, but fans on this site largely see them as having put the chips in to WIN NOW, albeit taking on significant risk, while having major question marks in goal.

In any event, given the bearishness of the hockey illuminati, OddsShark at +2500 seems like a handsome payout for a team that may win its division and should be a significant contender if they can get a good goalie.

McNuge93 August 25, 2021 - 2:18 pm

Hard to believe we could be ranked behind Calgary. Treliving has bumbled around for several years and on what…his 4th coach. And the Flames are probably worse than they were 5 years ago, certainly not better.

PennersPancakes August 25, 2021 - 3:25 pm

Complete joke.

  • Calgarys #1 UFA signing goalie was weak last year.
  • Their captain got poached.
  • Theyve completely turned on Monahan.
  • Gaudreau is 1 year from UFA and with the team not having much of a future and all the rumors about him going back to the states im putting money down he doesnt sign an extension.
  • Their “star” has apparently been dividing the locker room, puts a target on his back and his teammates, and is due a 9 mill qualifying offer that he isnt worthy of.

Yup fans should have a lot of confidence in them.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:26 pm

Calgary’s never – well, barely – been to the promised land. Lower standards.

Harpers Hair August 25, 2021 - 2:21 pm

Many of those who ranked the Oilers that low were concerned about the D.

From questioning whether Nurse can repeat his career best season to the wisdom of the Keith acquisition as well as the asset cost to having doubts about the Ceci contract.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:27 pm

HH posts may rankle, and dart, but this one only truth.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 2:30 pm

Is this a poll of fans league wide?

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 3:03 pm

I believe any subscriber could submit a poll for any team but I presume that most would only do their home team.

Darth Tu August 25, 2021 - 3:09 pm

Yeah, I was wondering on that. So essentially it’s a poll of “how pessimistic/jaded is your fan base?”

I can 100% see Oilers fans voting down any moves Holland makes just because we’re the Oilers.

Harpers Hair August 25, 2021 - 3:26 pm

Yes. Voters were asked to rate their own team’s management as well as every other team’s.

Based on the numbers of votes it appears that’s what they did.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 5:09 pm

Thanks.

PennersPancakes August 25, 2021 - 3:19 pm

Its fashionable to shit on the Oilers. If the Oilers show good advanced metrics than its the eye test that matters and vise versa.

Recently there was an article talking about how all the Oilers UFA signings were below expected value yet the Oilers get reemed on Free Agency ratings?

Even on the Keith trade its mocked as if it was a first and broberg for Vlasic. Instead it was a 3rd (its gonna be a 2nd we all know) and a third pairing/tweener LHD which the Oilers have way too many of.

Chicago swapped 1sts (20 spots), gave up a 1st, gave up a 2nd, and gave up Adam Boqvist (a very promising top 10 pick) for Seth Jones whos numbers were just as bad as Keiths THEN signed him to an 8 year 9.5 million extension.

… and theyre still ranked higher. Its a joke, who cares.

John Chambers August 25, 2021 - 4:00 pm

That’s exactly it.

Perhaps Holland’s worst move was the Keith trade, but the asset cost was minimal. Meanwhile Philly pays a king’s ransom of draft picks to effectively swap GhostBear for Risto and they rank ahead of Edmonton? Hmmm…

I didn’t expect Edmonton’s front office to crack the top-10, but there are clearly some less-coherent management groups out there.

The ‘stink’ anyway posits a decent gambling opportunity at +2500 … provided they can find a goalie.

Lowetide August 25, 2021 - 4:15 pm

Cap is an asset cost.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 5:16 pm

I would agree – I am not overly concerned with the asst out cost but the use of $5.5M of cap space X 2 was/is the issue.

I know that Holland valued/values Keith more than, well, anybody it seems (and he brings attributes that almost no other d-man would) but he could have/should have dug in for cap retention and been prepared to walk away if Bowman wouldn’t budge.

Even $1.5M in cap retention may have been enough to, say, get Ryan Murray, as opposed to Slater Koekkoek for 3/4 LD.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:31 pm

👆👆👆🤷🏻‍♂️

PennersPancakes August 25, 2021 - 4:28 pm

How could I forget Phillys price! I think Patric for Ellis was a good move but that risto swap is brutal youre right. What was it 14 overall, 2 2nds, a 7th, and Hagg to upgrade from Ghost to Risto? Or bringing in Martin Jones to mentor Carter Hart!

Getting fond memories of the last time the Oilers added a goalie at the deadline. if theres a good goalie(especially with a little term or is open to an extension) I think that first is as good as gone.

Even if its just for the playoffs Fleury could be good if its a pure rental situation.

May have to throw a little spending money on those odds.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 5:18 pm

Perhaps Holland’s worst move was the Keith trade, but the asset cost was minimal.

It was a horrific trade, imo, and made me certain the rest of the summer was going to be a disaster.

As it turned out I can see the improvements but to be honest we went into the off season with the biggest holes at 3C and 1G and neither position was addressed, really.

McNuge93 August 25, 2021 - 5:27 pm

An actual scoring top 6 winger was a pretty significant jole as well. 3C might be OK with some luck. I agree goaltending could be a big issue, but you cant solve all the problems at once. I suspect that tending will be KH focus next summer especially with Koski contract finally gone.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 5:44 pm

I understand you can’t fix everything but the Oilers were 7th overall last season in scoring so in spite of the narrative that Connor needed a 5.5 M winger so that he could drive even more offence the idea is not to increase his scoring stats. The idea is to win more games.

A 3C is, imo, at least as important to team success as a scoring winger and usually comes cheaper.

As one of very few who was not nervous about Smith being signed last summer when everybody else was freaking out I would submit that this is the summer to freak out about the goal tending.

The team is stronger than last year while being even more out of balance because expectations are rightly higher but the weakest links were not addressed.

And, yes, I know there is time to find a goalie. Holloway or McLeod might claim the 3C role. Just saying that as things sit today the team has not done so.

jp August 25, 2021 - 6:00 pm

I understand you can’t fix everything but the Oilers were 7th overall last season in scoring so in spite of the narrative that Connor needed a 5.5 M winger so that he could drive even more offence the idea is not to increase his scoring stats. The idea is to win more games. 

A 3C is, imo, at least as important to team success as a scoring winger and usually comes cheaper.

I don’t actually disagree with you, but by the same logic the Oilers were 11th in GA last year. How badly did they need to improve the ‘against’ side of the ledger?

I think also, adding a player who can allow McDavid and Draisaitl to play apart, and hopefully also help McDavid produce more in the post season, is a very important piece. I guess I’m of the mind that the ‘1LW’ should have quite a significant effect on team success. Likely similar (maybe more than) 3C, a position that was improved, if not to the degree you’re comfortable with.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 6:34 pm

As I said I know the team is improved. I understand that Hyman brings a lot of positives along with the negatives of a 7 year contract.

And I know that investing in Hyman and Keith was Holland announcing that they think the Oilers are in contender mode.

I expect the team to be exciting to watch. Possibly at both ends of the ice.

I would have spent the money differently. This is two years in a row where Holland went big on a goalie (according to rumour, anyway) so it isn’t like he thinks the position is solid.

12th overall in GA is not contender status imo. In order to achieve that status I think both GF & GA have to be top 8 at a minimum and I have serious reservations that Smith can duplicate his season from last year.

Yes, Holland can go shopping for a goalie close to the deadline. All I am saying is that as of today both positions remain staffed by question marks.

And, yes, I know I am on an island alone with my 3C concerns. 😉

jp August 25, 2021 - 7:20 pm

Yes, clearly goaltending (which everyone agrees is a significant concern) was not addressed, aside from having 3 of them. For sure Holland agrees.

And 3C was only slightly addressed (I do think the position is improved, but definitely not by a ‘legit 3C’). You’re not a stone alone with the 3C concerns either, you’re just valuing that position a bit more than most, myself included.

Maybe this is nitpicking a bit, but I don’t think it’s so simple to define contender by top 8 in GF and GA. 2 of the final 4 teams this season didn’t meet that bar (Montreal was 17th in GF, NYI were 21st). 3 of 4 were top 6 in GA, but Montreal was 18th (they’re also an unusual case, though not that unusual).

Last seasons list of contenders would be:
Colorado 1st/3rd
Vegas 3rd/1st
Toronto 6th/7th
Tampa Bay 8th(tied)/6th

And the additional final 4 teams for comparison:
NYI 21st/2nd
Montreal 17th/18th

Certainly the teams in the top 8 GF/GA ARE contenders, but I’m not sure it’s fair to cut it off there.

The Oilers at 7th/11th(tied) were within spitting distance (6GA back of 8th), though fair enough the team could regress rather than improve on the GA side (I’m not so sure they will, but definitely understand the concern).

defmn August 25, 2021 - 7:54 pm

I agree that my top 8 is arbitrary.

That said I never regarded Montreal as a contender. More of an anomaly or peculiarity.

The NYI are definitely unique in the way Trotz runs that team.

Every season there is an outlier that sneaks in but I think my ‘top 8’ to be considered a real contender is a reasonable line in the sand.

jp August 25, 2021 - 8:52 pm

No, I don’t think anyone considered Montreal a contender. Still, how much of an anomaly they are I’m not sure.

If we look at the Cup finalists going back 10 years and where those teams ranked (I don’t know the answer as I write this):

2021
TB 8th(t)/6th
MTL 17th/18th

2020
TB 1st/10th
DAL 29th/2nd

2019
STL 15th/5th(t)
BOS 11th/3rd(t)

2018
WSH 9th/16th
VGK 5th/8th

2017
PIT 1st/17th
NSH 11th/15th

2016
PIT 3rd/6th
SJ 4th/10th(t)

2015
CHI 17th/2nd
TBL 1st/12th

2014
LAK 26th/1st
NYR 18th(t)/4th

2013
CHI 2nd/1st
BOS 13th(t)/3rd

2012
LAK 29th/2nd
NJD 15th/8th(t)

Huh, that’s even less predictive than I’d guessed. Only 4 of the last 20 cup finalists were top 8 in GF and GA (though I have no clue how many total teams made the top 8 GF+GA cut those years, beyond that there were 4 last season).

Montreal is the only team to reach the final being below average in both metrics, which of course would normally leave them out of the playoffs even (so yes, they are an anomaly).

8 of the 20 finalists were top 8 in GF
13 of 20 finalists were top 8 in GA
So not surprisingly it’s skewed towards defense (which also doesn’t bode well for the Oilers).

Maybe notable though that elite defense is much less pronounced in recent years. The last 7 cup finals, 7/14 teams were top 8 GF, 7/14 top 8 GA (this bodes better for the Oilers)

Anyway, I think top 8 in GF and GA is a great target to aim for, but I don’t think the Oilers being in the 7th/11th range is at all a death knell. And if the offseason moves have added significant offense without cratering the GA, that’s still a potential path to a championship.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 9:05 pm

Surprises me as well. Thanks for doing that.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:34 pm

ditto.

jp August 25, 2021 - 9:07 pm

For ‘fun’, here are the rankings for the powerhouse Holland Red Wings. Figured it would be interesting to see how those teams won.

Holland’s first 14 seasons as GM, starting with Detroit’s second straight (I used these years since the team had 100+ points in 13/14 years, 3 cups and another finals loss.

1998 2nd/7th Won Stanley Cup
1999 3rd/9th(t) 2nd round loss
2000 1st/10th(t) 2nd round loss
2001 5th/8th 1st round loss
2002 2nd/3rd(t) Won Stanley Cup
2003 1st/8th 1st round loss
2004 2nd/8th(t) 2nd round loss
2005 lockout
2006 2nd/3rd 1st round loss
2007 10th/2nd Conf Finals loss
2008 3rd/1st Won Stanley Cup
2009 1st/19th(t) Stanley Cup Finals loss
2010 14th/7th 2nd round loss
2011 2nd/23rd 2nd round loss
2012 7th/7th 1st round loss

Quite a run. Elite offense and defense, but more skewed to offense for the most part.

Redbird62 August 25, 2021 - 11:19 pm

Pittsburgh and Washington each won a Stanley Cup after finishing 16th and 17th overall in ga/gp in 2017 & 2018. It helps, but it’s clearly not a prerequisite.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 6:59 pm

The team was 7th in goals but that was driven by the powerplay and two elite offensive players that was carrying around non-productive wingers (for the most part). An argument can be made for Jesse but no other winger came close to producing at top 6 levels last year.

To keep asking McDavid and Drai to carry that type of load and reliance on the PP likely leads to similar playoff results.

100% a 3C is an important piece but there are a couple in-house options coming in the next few years (McLeod and Holloway and maybe Nuge depending on what position Holloway ends up playing) and getting “legit top 6 help” for McDavid/Drai has the added benefit of better players on the 3rd line to help Ryan (and McLeod).

There are various different ways to look at how the roster could have/should been constructed and I like what Tip did up front.

The additions of Hyman and Foegele (and soon Holloway) will change the way the team plays for the better – in particular in the playoffs I think.

Lowetide August 25, 2021 - 7:05 pm

The No. 3 center won’t play enough to use RNH during the McDavid-Draisaitl era, although he’s fabulous backup for 2C if Tippett decides to put the dynamic duo together.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 7:14 pm

That may be true but I don’t think it needs to be (or should be) that way. There is no doubt those two drive the bus and will play more than all other forwards, as they should, but deploying an outscoring 3rd line that can be rolled should a goal and I think its getting darn close to reality.

Is cutting two 5 on 5 min/game off 97/29 not a good thing? Both for in-game energy and over the course of an 82 game season?

Lowetide August 25, 2021 - 8:54 pm

It will be a good thing when they’re no longer able to handle the load while thriving. NO coach is going to cut the playing time or 97 or 29 for a third line that doesn’t contain them. I think the question is a good one, but not for this particular incarnation of the Oilers. It’s rare to have what Edmonton does currently.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 9:01 pm

OK, I guess we’ll have to disagree then as I think a goal should be to get the minutes down a bit and, overall, it would lead to them (and the team) thriving even more.

Yegfoundation August 25, 2021 - 11:36 pm

Disagree with what? You said we should do this, and LT said NO Coach will do this. Where is the disagreement you’re speaking of.

OriginalPouzar August 26, 2021 - 8:07 am

I disagree that its not a good thought for this incarnation of the Oilers. I disagree that it shouldn’t be an option while McDavid/Drai are thriving.

I disagree with the premise that the 3C doesn’t matter as much because of McDavid and Drai and the coach can just run them ragged.

I think there can be different deployment that may lead to more team success.

jp August 25, 2021 - 9:14 pm

I pretty much agree with that. Cutting back McDavid and Draisaitl’s ice time significantly just isn’t going to happen.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 7:47 pm

Last year Nuge played over 6 minutes per game on special teams (4:12 on PP & 1:56 on PK). If he is getting 13 minutes 5 on 5 is that 19 minutes not a bad number for him?

If Nuge, Draisaitl and McDavid all play about 4 minutes per game on PP and McDavid & Draisaitl don’t PK is 16 minutes 5 on 5 for Leon & Connor a reasonable number taking them to 20 minutes per game – down 2 minutes per game from last season?

That accounts for 45 minutes of 5 on 5 time per game plus about 8 minutes per game of special teams leaving the 4C with about 7 minutes of 5 on 5 plus maybe 2 minutes of PK time.

I guess I am thinking the advantage of greater depth up front is more balanced TOI all around.

Am I way off on these numbers?

Lowetide August 25, 2021 - 8:53 pm

If the Oilers have someone jump up to threaten Nuge’s role as 2LW then it might make sense to move him to 3C. However, McDavid-Draisaitl era No. 3 and No. 4 centers just don’t play enough because the big men are rolling over quickly. Nuge would effectively become a version of Danault in Montreal one year ago: Overqualified for the role available, with no way to move up.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 9:00 pm

LT do you not think it would be beneficial to increase minutes of the 3C (over the last few years) and decrease minutes of Drai/McDavid?

You are describing how the era has played out but that structure likely needs to change, no?

Lowetide August 25, 2021 - 9:47 pm

The results suggest 97 and 29 can handle it. If they falloff, then obviously you do it. However, coaches are wired to push and if you look at those two impact players, difficult to take minutes away. Maybe PK minutes for Leon? But not five on five and not PP.

Jmo, and of course we can agree to disagree.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 10:19 pm

Do the results say they can handle it or do the results say that, given no playoff series wins, something needs to change?

I wonder if the results, individually, and as a team, would be better if there minutes were reduced a bit in conjunction with a more productive 3rd line/bottom six.

jp August 25, 2021 - 10:35 pm

That’s pretty much an unanswerable question OP.

On thing we can say is that in the last 15 regular season games (immediately before the sweep) McDavid scored 36 points and Draisaitl *only* 23.

Not a lot of signs of fatigue there.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 10:48 pm

McDavid’s 5 on 5 minutes were reduced to below 16 min per game in those last 15……… produced at 5 P/60.

jp August 25, 2021 - 11:17 pm

Ha! Good catch, he did drop about a minute a game at the end of the season.

I’m not disagreeing with you by the way. I think McDavid and Draisaitl might be slightly more effective with fewer minutes. I just don’t think we’re going to get a clear answer one way or the other.

On top of that, I don’t think it matters because as LT says it’s just too tempting for a coach to keep throwing those guys out there.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 5:40 pm

I won’t diagree that the Keith trade was bad due to the cap space it ate up but I don’t agree that it created a summer disaster and I also don’t agree with the two biggest holes for improvement.

100% the team could use an upgrade at 3C – Ryan will help over what we’ve had there the last few years (in my opinion) until McLeod is ready (or Holloway) but, for sure, it could be upgraded.

1G from last year was 7th in the vezina voting – of course, Smith being a year older combined with a full 82 game season with more travel makes a repeat performance unlikely and the need for a strong 1B. I think it was 1B that needed to be upgraded but I don’t think it was a priority need given the following were holes going in to the off-season:

2LD
1RD (Barrie unsigned)
2RD ( Larsson unsigned)
2LD (Kulikov unsigned)
1LW (Hyman)
2LW (Nuge)

Given the need to fill all those holes, and upgrade the bottom six, we have different opinions on what the priorities were.

defmn August 25, 2021 - 6:35 pm

I see you are back to showing off your lack of reading comprehension in response to my posts.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 7:10 pm

Please, discuss the substance or ignore.

After cleaning up dozens of posts last night, I presume our host would prefer not to have personal insults tonight.

defmn August 26, 2021 - 12:07 am

Gee, OP. Is this anything like when I ask you to not respond to my posts and you inform me that you will do whatever you like?

HH gets a lot of flack around here for various reasons but he sure has you figured out.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:33 pm

I honestly believe it cost us, by way of dominos falling, 1M on Nurse.

Scungilli Slushy August 25, 2021 - 4:32 pm

Far from perfect, Holland has done a heck of a lot in a couple of years to basically completely reform/transform the org. Positively. It isn’t Michael Mouse anymore.

McNuge93 August 25, 2021 - 4:49 pm

Yes, we’ve gone from not making playoffs on a regular basis to two second place finishes in our division (short seasons). Now the problem is how to win a playoff series, so that is progress.

MushedPeas August 25, 2021 - 10:25 pm

AUG 2022, when they re-survey, will the test. As will the next couple Augusts. After that I hope against but strongly expect failing grades thereafter.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 11:25 am

The thing that intrigues me about Petrov is that he is another “shooter” – add him to the likes of Maksimov, Lavoie and Savoie in that regard as “one-shot shooters”.

How many of these guys will “make it” to the NHL? Maybe none. Maybe a couple.

If am not mistaken, he may be heading to the OHL for this year (North Bay drafted him 1st overall in the 2020 import draft). I’m not sure if that is official or if he might be staying in Russia.

I’m not sure what would be best for his development but, selfishly, I kind of want him to head to the OHL as its a bit easier to keep tabs on him.

Reja August 25, 2021 - 11:52 am

I would take Slepyshev over any of the other Russians it’s a shame he never carved out a career in Edmonton or elsewhere.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 3:01 pm

He seemed to have all the tools – big guy, good skater, plus shot, responsible, not shy for contact, etc. but it just never seemed to come together for him – reminded me of Josh Green in that respect.

Many will cite “opportunity” as the coach did seem to always give the Drake the top 6 minutes of Slep (there was offence when Drake was up there…… just as much offence against mind you).

Anyways, Slepy is a top KHL player but, then again, so is Anton Lander……

I wonder if Slepy wants to come back to the NHL when his KHL deal is up – he’ll be an NHL UFA at that time.

He seems happy in Russia though.

Reja August 25, 2021 - 6:15 pm

He sure looked good with Leon in the playoffs it’s also going to suck watching Pittlick in Cowtown. I’m glad Holland ended the speedy hobbit experiment and brought in some reinforcements for Connor and Leon Hyman, foegele, Holloway and Perlini no first round sweep this year.

ArmchairGM August 25, 2021 - 9:15 am

5v5 boxcars from the past 2 seasons for Oilers forwards:

McDavid: 120, 40-66-106 (1st on EDM)
Draisaitl: 127, 35-61-96 (2nd)
Nugent-Hopkins: 117, 22-26-48 (3rd)
Hyman: 94, 21-26-47 (5th on TOR)
Foegele: 121, 19-26-45 (3rd on CAR)
Yamamoto: 79, 14-24-38 (4th)
Kassian: 86, 17-20-37 (5th)
Ryan: 111, 10-26-36 (7th)
Puljujarvi: 55, 11-8-19 (9th – he only played 1 season)

Here are the same 9 players by P/60 (and NHL rank)

McDavid: 3.19 (1st)
Draisaitl: 2.78 (7th)
Hyman: 1.97 (96)
Yamamoto: 1.95 (99)
Kassian: 1.88 (118)
Ryan: 1.80 (139)
Foegele: 1.79 (143)
Nugent-Hopkins: 1.75 (158)
Puljujarvi: 1.53 (237)

It looks like the Oilers have eight top-6 players plus Puljujarvi in their top-9. That looks stronger than I thought it would… I’m especially impressed with Foegele actually, he had very little playing time with Aho and Teravainen and still produced very nice numbers.

ArmchairGM August 25, 2021 - 9:36 am

Looking at this by all situations P/GP, with 0.50 being the cut-off for top-6 forward, it looks like the Oilers have just five top-6 guys. Of course, 4 of those 5 are first-liners, so it isn’t all bad:

  • McDavid: 1.68 (1st in the NHL)
  • Draisaitl: 1.53 (2nd)
  • Nugent-Hopkins: 0.82 (53)
  • Hyman: 0.74 (72)
  • Yamamoto: 0.59 (127)
  • Puljujarvi: 0.45 (212)
  • Kassian: 0.45 (213)
  • Foegele: 0.41 (243)
  • Ryan: 0.38 (274)

With 0.38 being the cut-off for top-9 players, Ryan just squeaks in the door. So while scoring depth is certainly improved from last year – and it looks to be the best group we’ve seen in the McDavid years – I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of balance through the lineup just yet. Here’s hoping Yamamoto can bounce back and Puljujarvi can take another step this season. Actually once he got comfortable Jesse did score at a top-6 pace (0.52 from Feb 1st) but he has the talent to do much more. Additional PP time will certainly help.

90s fan August 25, 2021 - 10:57 am

I liked how you looked at the data in a variety of ways, to get a balanced look/ opinion of these players.

If our top guy is streets ahead of the rest, our #2 guy is a top guy anywhere else, and Ryan just squeaks in as a top 9, I’d call that a strong group.

Darth Tu August 25, 2021 - 1:32 pm

I realise we all say this all the time, but McDavid is an evil wizard sent to destroy goalie’s careers isn’t he? I have high hopes for the 150 chase this year.

YYCOil August 25, 2021 - 9:11 am

2011/12 Eric Belanger beget
2013/14 Boyd Gordon beget (with a little Will Acton sprinkled in)
2015/16/17 Mark Letestu beget (with a little David Desharnais sprinkled in)
2018 Kyle Brodziak beget
2019 Gaetan Haas beget
2020 Kyle Turris beget
2021 Derek Ryan

If you ever wonder why we can’t get a our 1C from the AHL to become the 3C in the NHL, remember these guys who play 3 shifts a period at 4C are blocking the roster spot these prospects usually begin at, as they break into the NHL.

JimmyV1965 August 25, 2021 - 10:56 am

Im skeptical anyone in this list of meh would block any true prospect. Ryan certainly isn’t blocking McLeod. If McLeod shows he belongs, he will get minutes.

90s fan August 25, 2021 - 11:24 am

Letestu played well enough to block legit prospects. But I think you want the best players playing right?

YYCOil August 25, 2021 - 11:41 am

I can think of Macabello, and Lander as the only 2 centers in the last 10 years we have developed in the AHL so it could be argued we suck drafting or choose to trot out Meh center man for the Oiler faithful

kelvjn August 25, 2021 - 10:56 am

Remember Macabello? The guy who was 5’6 and unblocked his way to 100+ NHL games all the way back from ECHL. There is no excuse the other guys of the era can’t make it.

90s fan August 25, 2021 - 11:13 am

Mark Arcobello averaged 15 min per game in his first season. He got a fair shot in his first year. 140 games total, only 1 full season though. 2013-2014. RW. Seems easier to break into the NHL as a wing.

Prior to oilers he played 4 years at Yale, 1 at Stockton, the 2 more at OKC. Took a long time to get his cup of tea.

Did you know he was in the last Olympics?

kelvjn August 25, 2021 - 12:18 pm

They had a rotating cast of tweener forwards during that 2013~2015(much like last year) and it’s a little hard to find the detailed line combo now.

In both 2013~2014 and 2014~2015 Marcabello played ~40 games. His total face off wins are 4th in the team in both year behind Gordon, RHN and Gagner(2013, the next on the list were Accton, Smyth and Lander) and Gordon, RHN and Roy (2014, the next on the list were Lander, Draisatl and Hendrick).

It is clear he took most of the face off while he was in the ice, and herefore I think he primarily played center when he was I the line up(given the rest of the center candidates at the time).

90s fan August 25, 2021 - 11:09 am

And yet would we not be upset if the prospect played the same limited minutes as these guys?

I seem to remember Hemsky being brought in slowly. When I looked he averaged 12 min in his first season. How many minutes (minimum)a game do we want the kids to get?

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 2:54 pm

Hemsky was brought in very slowly, 4th line and press box if I remember correctly, but he was also 19 that season.

McLeod, is, what, 21? Holloway is 20.

I’m not saying rush these guys, not at all, but Hemsky was a teenager when slow-played.

Bank Shot August 25, 2021 - 12:46 pm

I think the problem is that the best player to come outside the top 2 rounds in the last 20 years is Kyle Brodziak….

Good players force the issue. Oilers need to draft a couple of hits from the depth area of the draft if they plan on building a winner.

McNuge93 August 25, 2021 - 9:00 am

Anybody else have PTSD re the Ryan signing. I like it, articles suggest he will be the answer to our 3C problem. But in the back of my brain I hear whispers of Belanger, Letestu, Turris. Really causing some stress.

ArmchairGM August 25, 2021 - 9:42 am

I’m keeping my expectations low so I won’t get disappointed. He’s barely a 3rd liner according to P/GP (see my post below) but seems to produce well in the minutes he’s given. One massive red flag: he’s played less than 10 minutes per game at 5v5 in 2 of the past 3 years.

http://naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20202021&thruseason=20202021&stype=2&sit=5v5&stdoi=oi&rate=y&v=p&playerid=8478585

IMO he’s a placeholder for Holloway anyhow, on a contract that’s not burdensome even if he’s in the AHL.

jp August 25, 2021 - 10:44 am

One massive red flag: he’s played less than 10 minutes per game at 5v5 in 2 of the past 3 years.

Well, Khaira only played 9:51 last year, and Sheahan 10:07 the year before. I’m not sure why Ryan playing 9:30-11:30 the past 3 seasons would be a major concern.

Ryan winning those same minutes (or coming close) would be a big boost to the team. Sure, ideally you’d have a player able to take more minutes from Connor and Leon, but Ryan can still improve the team even if he’s not playing 13 minutes a night 5v5.

ArmchairGM August 25, 2021 - 10:56 am

Twelve forwards averaged over 10:00 per game last year for the Oilers. Less than that is not a good sign.

jp August 25, 2021 - 11:50 am

I’m not sure what the point of this is.

Only 7 forwards played 10+ minutes a night 5v5 and played 30+ games.

And my point was, the players Ryan is replacing, and the role they played on the Oilers was ~10 min a night. So him having played, those type of minutes is not a massive red flag.

Also that Ryan can absolutely make the Oilers a better team if he plays well, even if it’s only for 10 min a night.

Do you disagree?

geowal August 25, 2021 - 3:18 pm

The big difference between Ryan and some of these other guys is we’re not hoping for him to regain his form from years gone by, unlike Turris, amongst others. Banking on that in 30+ is a destiny for a poor bank account.
All that is needed is for him to do what he did last year. No sure thing to be sure, but a much better bet. So I’m optimistic we get a good year out of him.

OriginalPouzar August 25, 2021 - 2:50 pm

I believe that Ryan will indeed be able to handle the 3C better than the likes of Khaira, Sheehan, Haas, etc., in particular with better wingers than in the past (presumably) but I do believe that, at this point in time, Ryan is best suited for the 4C role.

I know LT’s premise (as he’s stated at The Athletic) is that the Oilers 3C only plays 9-11 min/game at 5 on 5 so he’ll be fine but the hope is that with a “real 3rd line”, they will take more 5 on 5 minutes and maybe not just saw off but actually win those minutes. So many benefits come from reducing the workload of the elites and taking some scoring pressure off them.

In that regard, I do think that Ryan, while a likely improvement over the last few years, is a bit shy for the role.

The hope, for me, is that McLeod can indeed continue to develop, work on what he needs to to be able to produce at 3rd line level, and pass Ryan at some point in time this season.

The other option (maybe this season but also in the somewhat near future) is Holloway at 3C or Holloway at top 6LW allowing Nuge to shift to 3C (they could also shift Hyman over to the right side and Kailer to 3rd line once Holloway pops).

winchester August 25, 2021 - 8:55 am

Good morning,

here is an exceptional read for this morning. Even includes Maroon who I wish did not get away a few years back.

How a surprise visit with the Stanley Cup delivered joy amid sadness – The Athletic

winchester August 25, 2021 - 9:01 am

Not that Lowetide is not an exceptional read. This is in addition to Lowetide.

buck yoakam August 25, 2021 - 8:43 am

Charlie Watts was an incredible musician…there is a great story of his integrity also. He was scheduled to play on David Letterman with his jazz trio…as was in his contract Paul Schaffer was going to sit in with the trio. When Charlie was told this he quickly said that was not going to happen..this was the night of the airing and Dave did his best to convince Mr Watts that it would be cool to play with Shaffer…Charlie and the band walked and they scrambled to replace his spot on the show…as a musician I applaud Charlie for sticking to his guns and respecting his music and fellow musicians enough to walk away…hard to believe Shaffer didn’t respect Charlie enough to stand aside…

defmn August 25, 2021 - 12:10 pm

Love your music industry anecdotes. Thanks.

SwedishPoster August 25, 2021 - 8:38 am

Charlie Watts. A drummer who hated drum solos. My kind of drummer.

The story of him getting a midnight phone call from Mick Jagger asking “where’s my drummer”, whereupon Watts got up, dressed, went to Jagger’s room, punched him in the face, “don’t ever call me “your drummer”, you’re my singer” and then simply went back to his room, is one of my absolute favourite stories of the rock lore.

meanashell11 August 25, 2021 - 9:00 am

Yeah, I have heard that story many times. I suggest anyone who likes the Stones should read Keith Richards biography, Life. Great stuff!

Jordan August 25, 2021 - 9:32 am

Wow that’s a great story – thanks for sharing. I would love to hear more of these snipets as have not heard any of them before.

Bruce McCurdy August 25, 2021 - 9:45 am

Ha, a true pro woulda punched the front man in the solar plexus, not the face, just saying.

#RIPCharlieWatts, what a beauty.

Fuhrious August 25, 2021 - 10:29 am

Somebody read a lot of Hardy Boys books.

I went through a period when I was 10 or 12 that I read one book every 1.5 days for a couple of months. The phrases “punch to the solar plexus” and “Chet’s old jalopy” make appearances in about 90% of them.

Darth Tu August 25, 2021 - 12:00 pm

with the bucket seats.

dustrock August 25, 2021 - 11:06 am

Can’t even imagine how much patience you’d need to tolerate working/living with Jagger and Richards for so many years.

Comments are closed.