Do The Strand

by Lowetide

In the early 1970’s, an English art-rock group released a song called “Do The Strand” that had a cold intro, a forceful energy and many suggestions about where you could do it, as well as some interesting establishments one might want to visit while in Europe.

The song did not tell us what The Strand was supposed to look like, and pop history has many songs that spend a lot of time on the exact movement (The Twist) involved in getting it right.

Not so the strand. Do it. I do believe a saxophone is supposed to be involved, possibly French royalty too, but beyond that your interpretation this morning in your kitchen will be as authentic as anything produced in 1973.

What does that have to do with the Oilers? Do the strand and find out.


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!

  • New Lowetide: Did the Oilers find the new Fernando Pisani when signing Derek Ryan?
  • New Jonathan Willis: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore and the 4-year difference between a prospect and a has-been
  • Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Zach Hyman in his first season?
  • Lowetide: Dylan Holloway headlines new arrivals for Bakersfield Condors in 2021-22
  • Lowetide: Will the Ethan Bear trade be the latest shortsighted move that haunts the Oilers?
  • Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should expect more trades and a deep playoff run this season
  • Lowetide: How much playing time will Evan Bouchard get with the Oilers this coming season?
  • Lowetide: What are reasonable expectations for the 2021-22 Oilers?
  • Lowetide: What are the Oilers’ ‘perfect lines’ for next season?
  • Lowetide: The Oilers and value contracts. Three now, two later
  • Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Zack Kassian could be an important part of the Oilers’ scoring
  • Lowetide: Oilers sign Darnell Nurse to a massive 8-year contract extension
  • Lowetide: How many goals will Jesse Puljujarvi score for the Oilers next season?
  • Lowetide: What are Oilers’ ideal defence pairings for 2021-22?
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021-22 depth chart
  • Lowetide: Warren Foegele acquisition possible key to improving the Oilers third line
  • DNB: Ethan Bear on being traded, his time with the Oilers
  • DNB: Ethan Bear out, Cody Ceci in, Tyson Barrie stays
  • DNB: ‘Ultimate competitor’ Zach Hyman signs with Oilers
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects, summer 2021
  • DNB: Oilers draft day notebook


Dom Luszczyszyn has an amazing piece up at The Athletic right now (here) rating confidence level in the 32 NHL teams front office personnel. Dom quotes two sources, NHL fans overall and Oilers fans specifically.

It’s fascinating. I won’t give away the surprise as it pertains to the Oilers, but will say it points out the gap all fans (in any sport) have in evaluating their team’s prospects.

It happens to all of us. In 2010, I was strong on Edmonton’s draft right away and wrote the following:

Overall impressions: A good, good draft. Hall clearly is going to be the story of this draft, but nice value in the second round (Pitlick, Marincin) and later (Davidson) tell us the Oilers set up their draft board well. I also like the Hamilton and Bunz selections, leaving only the Martindale pick as a question mark (they drafted for need) among the team’s most dear selections. Blain, Czerwonka, Pelss and (Kellen) Jones are probably scouts picks, payment for all those nights driving to little towns all over the world in search of the next Taylor Hall. These men are going to be under pressure to deliver more than an average number of NHLers to the show for the next several seasons and it looks like they’ve delivered this season. Report card day is around 2015 summer. See you then.

Four men would play significant NHL games, but only one (Hall) delivered in a prominent role for several seasons. I will say Brandon Davidson was tracking in a good way before multiple injuries, but my estimate of this draft was far too hopeful. Should NHLE have saved me?

  • Taylor Hall 19-30-49
  • Tyler Pitlick 10-8-18
  • Martin Marincin 1-3-4
  • Curtis Hamilton 7-8-15
  • Ryan Martindale 8-18-26
  • Jeremie Blain 1-13-14
  • Tyler Bunz .898 (WHL)
  • Brandon Davidson 0-17-17
  • Drew Czerwonka 2-4-6
  • Kristian Pelss 1-2-3
  • Kellen Jones 2-7-9

If those numbers had been available (not all were), the players who projected as being real NHL prospects are Hall (a lock), Martindale and Davidson. Pitlick, Hamilton and Blain would have been of interest and Marincin as a shutdown type wouldn’t have been fairly reflected by NHLE.

So it turned out about as expected, as Davidson (the deepest choice who played in the NHL) was identified by the methods I was using (bloodletting, pink flamingoes and a concoction that included NHLE when I could get it).

A total of 107 players drafted that year made the NHL, Edmonton’s total was six. That’s a big total, but the draft needed a second legit NHLer of 500+ games in order to deliver on my prediction.

What about now? Using the draft seasons of the three most recent Oilers picks, can we find a ‘line in the sand’ that is trusted?


  1. Xavier Bourgault 16-16-32
  2. Tyler Tullio 12-16-28
  3. Raphael Lavoie 11-16-27
  4. Matej Blumel 13-13-26
  5. Carter Savoie 12-11-23
  6. Jake Chiasson 10-12-22
  7. Filip Engaras 10-9-19
  8. Maxim Berezkin 7-9-16
  9. Dylan Holloway 6-7-13
  10. Matvey Petrov 6-5-11
  11. Maxim Denezhkin 6-5-11
  12. Jeremias Lindewall 2-3-5
  13. Tomas Mazura 1-2-3
  14. Shane Lachance 0-1-1

The top forward from this group, Dylan Holloway, doesn’t show well here. What does that tell us? I’m of the opinion that Holloway was both undervalued by NHLE (he closed well in his draft year) and probably overvalued by his draft +1 NHLE (13-29-42). Thoughts?

We also have to do something with the USHL numbers. Rob Vollman never published one, the NHLE Calculator I use has it but with an asterisk. For the coming season, I’m thinking of omitting the USHL from my NHLE conversations. If I know the number isn’t trustworthy, then using it is careless. Same with all of the asterisks. AJHL, Allsvenskan, lots of leagues.

Thoughts? I appreciate your opinion, these leagues are getting started so time’s a wasting.


At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we have a great two hours planned for you. Tom Gazzola from TSN1260 will talk to us about Oilers rookie and training camps in September, Matthew Scianitti from TSN previews this weekend’s CFL action and Anthony Mingioni from Center Ice Philly will talk F1 and Flyers. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Bank Shot

I’ve got a good feeling about Chiasson. Nice to see his NHLE closer to the top of the class than the bottom.

Bulging Twine

Patrick Bacon recently created a new extensive NHLe I believe.
He has some lengthy posts going into full detail about his calculations and methods used.

Bulging Twine

His NHLe for the USHL is .143

same as the MHL, .002 higher than the WHL, .001 lower than the OHL

Last edited 30 days ago by Bulging Twine
Bulging Twine

BCHL is .080

Bulging Twine

After his rookie season, free agent forward Dominik Kahun looked like he’d be a decent secondary player in the NHL but things haven’t gone well for him since then. As a result, it appears that he could be heading overseas as a report from Blick in Switzerland has the 26-year-old nearing a three-year deal with SC Bern of the Swiss NLA.


He’s been traded for Perlini!

Harpers Hair

Who could possibly have seen that coming😁


What happens to you when you play on the perimeter and don’t ever get your hands dirty.


Won’t be long till Hoglander joins him back in Europe. Just like Kahun, mediocre top 6 player and not a role player for the bottom 6.

Harpers Hair

What absolute twaddle.

Hoglander outscored Kahun by an almost 2-1 margin last season at the age of 20…Kahun is 27.

BTW…Hoglander outscored Yamamoto last season too.


I’d think Podkolzin is more of a flight risk than Hoglander.

It’ll be really interesting to see if he can be a decent NHLer in line with his draft pedigree, or whether his scoring in Russia is more indicative of what he is.

If it’s the latter, one would think he’s famous enough that he’ll have pretty competitive offers to return to SKA.

Harpers Hair

When given the opportunity in the KHL playoffs he led his team in scoring once politics took a back seat.

He’ll be fine.


When given the opportunity in the KHL playoffs he led his team in scoring once politics took a back seat.

What was his shooting % on that short playoff run though? Surely way above what he’s posted otherwise.


That would be 17.6%.

Up from 8.8% in the regular season.


OK, thanks. So his SH% doubled during the heater, essentially the same as Yamamoto’s.

The main differences being that Podkolzin’s heater was shorter, it came in a worse league, his low/high SH%s were worse than Yamamoto’s, and his low/high scoring rates were worse than Yamamoto’s. Sounds about right.


Don’t forget his playoff heater though – not sure it covers up for two years of meandering, stagnating and disappointment.

With that said, one could see at the World Juniors the power forward skill-set that he does posses – he could be more suited for the small ice. Will be interesting to see how he does in North America this season.

Bank Shot

Brogan Rafferty? :D:D


I like NHLEs with context for which estimates are more/less reliable. I’m surprised there isn’t a good USHL one, or even European tier 2 leagues yet.

What else would need to be known?
– which players from those leagues played games in the NHL
– point totals in all their leagues and games played
– total points received or goals scored in those leagues that year
– decision on weighting certain years more than others

Are there NHLE based calculations that predict how many points a player will receive in his draft +1, draft +2 years etc if in the NHL, or age-adjusted ones? Or even strength only ones? I’d also be curious if anyone has done “AHLE”s for the transition from junior to the AHL.

John Chambers

The Keith trade & Holland’s summer

I’ll say that the Keith trade was probably the ‘worst’ move Holland made this summer. Every other signing & trade was justifiable from the perspective that it made the team immediately better, based on objective analytics.
From an analytics PoV it’s easy to pan the Keith trade – Holland traded the younger player and a pick for the privilege of taking on a bloated contract. This line of thinking is fair and valid.

But as YYC points out below – what move did Holland make at 2LD that would ‘excite’ McDavid, RNH, etc? It wasn’t signing Ryan Murray, or promoting Caleb Jones, or preserving cap space … it was getting a proven player to engage the team’s core. It was a move for The Boys.

You can both dislike the move from an analytics perspective and still see the wisdom in giving the Oilers core players some candy.


Time will tell but I have to think Keith at 2LD will be better than Kulikov or Russel or Jones or Lagesson were last year. Yes, it costs cap space, that is the valid criticism.


Lost in all this discussion is the delta between Klefbom’s AAV and Keith’s.

Keith is here to replace Klefbom, so any criticism of cap inefficiency should be within the context of the increase over what was being paid to Klef.

I’m not saying it will be an improvement or a wash or a failure. Just that the context of the minimal increase isn’t being included in the discussion.


I agree with this, as much as Holland lost that deal, by a lot. It keeps mcdavid and drai happy. Bringing in the player I can see as a good move contrary to analytics. The cost on the other hand…


Dube in Calgary for $2.3 per for 3 years.


Wow – that’s a great deal (except the term for the flames as I would anticipate that walks him to one-year from RFA with arb rights – similar to Tkachuk – and I guess, without looking, that the 3rd year is probably over $3M).

Actually, check that, 2 years from UFA upon expiry and not a big 3rd year salary – wow, great deal for Treliving.


What does that mean for Yamamoto?

Harpers Hair

Nearly identical stats last season although Dube didn’t always play top 6 and is 1 year older.


Mr.Nickel and Dimer that’s why they don’t go the extra mile.

Ice Sage

Not a quantitative take, LT but the USHL is akin to the CHL in talent level. Maybe use that same conversion with an * until someone grinds out the data.


I really like to see the NHLE numbers and hope LT keeps posting them. Asterisks are good for discussion and will be important as more diverse leagues get mined.

The USHL is a moving target, as it is too heavy and few players have stepped straight into the NHL from it – all of which have been high end talent. This messes with the NHLE formula of I understand correctly.

Ice Sage

Part of that is because elite USHL players, particularly from the US, keep their NCAA eligibility by going that route, and go to college at 18, 19 instead of remaining in Junior hockey.
Thanks to those later who dug up some USHL NHLe which are in line with CHL after all!


Its still crazy to me that the NCAA considers the CHL a “professional league” because there are players in it that have signed an pro contract. A player can go from the NCAA to the CHL but not the other way.


Here is an interesting question for the group.

What is the ideal allocation of cap to each position on the team?

If we take the $84 million cap, and divide it by 23 roster players, then we end up with $3.65 million per player.

Obviously some players are worth more than others. You’d pay your #1 center and #1 defensemen more than the 14th forward and 7th D-man.

But assuming you could put a perfect cap-spaced player in each position, what does that look like? for me its:

Forwards: $46.3m total

$5 million – $10million -$3 million
$5 million- $8million- $3 million
$2 million- $3.5 million – $2 million
$1 million- $1.5million- $1 million

Extras: $0.65 million- $0.65 million

Defense: $31m total

$8 million -$8 million
$7million- $3.5 million
$2 million- $1.5million

Extra: $1 million

Goalies: $6.5m total

$4.5 million
$2 million

The above roster has a cap hit of 83.8. Tight to the cap, but to me it is strong down the middle with 2 elite centers and a good 3c, 3 elite D-men and at least two extra D-men that are competitive, and two good goaltenders. The wingers are mainly fill in the blank, with two potential star wingers, two above average and a couple fill in the blanks.

Now obviously the NHL is not clear cut and dry like this. Good luck acquiring 3 defensemen worth $7-8million, PLUS 2 centers worth $8-10M. The interesting question that comes up for me, is if this is my ideal cap deployment, Where do you make sacrifices when a player like McDavid comes along and earns $12.5 as a 1C? Clearly hes worth it, but where do you sacrifice that additional money?


Any model, based on scarcity, all other things being equal, would say, on average, the #1 and #2 RW would earn more than the #1 and #2 LW. Ditto for #1RD vs. #1LD, and #2RD vs #2LD.


Like I said, hard to find exact comparables in the NHL, but a roster with this cap scheme would look like this. Which I think would be pretty good.


I’ve done something like this every year for years although I usually do it as lines and pairs and usually have the 14 forwards closer to twice the cost of the 7 dmen.

The main value of the exercise, imo. is so that the capologist can provide a template for the GM prior to contracts being signed. That it gives him a visual representation of how close to balancing the positions are in terms of value.

As an exercise in roster construction involving actual players it is pretty much a non starter as soon as you have an exceptional talent because his salary cascades into all sorts of compromises.


If you keep the D under at or under 26 million and subtract another three million from you forward budget it allows you an eight million float that you then use to upgrade at whatever area makes your team stronger ie goal, offence and or defence. This allows at least one franchise player at one of the areas while also a small contingency fund.


Lots of interesting debate lately on the Oilers’ roster construction lately…

Do you need good defensemen when you have an abundance of forward depth, particularly if you have a minute munching #1d?

That is the question.

Always reminds me of Coughlin’s law Woodguy’s law, ‘you need four actual top four NHL defensemen if you want to make the playoffs.’

The 16-17′ Penguins won with a pretty mediocre d corps led by Jultz (Letang was injured)

They had 35-year-old Ron Hainsey.

It will be interested to see how this goes.


It will be interested to see how this goes.

Likewise whether the Oilers top 4 D might actually be ‘actual top 4 D’, despite the numerical evidence.


Based on last years usage Oilers have retained their top pair, add a weak teams #1 by TOI and also added another RHD who battled (and won by end of season) second pairing duties behind Letang. Either of us could be right but sounds like a top 4 to me.

Ive mentioned it before but Jeff Petry was traded at 28 and was a decent defender who took another step forward. Schultz a bit younger was traded at 25 who went forward to make another big step. I think it depends if people view Cecis last year as an abnormality or him starting to put it together.


For sure. And how much the weak teams #1 has left in the tank. Personally I’m more concerned about Ceci than Keith, but 🤷


Yeah, even the confounding variables of Keith playing over his head as a #1d (sort of, at least by toi/g) on a bad team (vs aging out) as well as the buoyancy provided by possibly having an actual 3rd line..


It will definitely be interesting.

Harpers Hair

Philly extends Couturier 8X$7.75 million.

Contract kicks in when he will be 29.

This won’t end well.

John Chambers

I’d rather have Nuge on his ticket.
Scheifele will end up being the highest-paid of the 2011 draftees. He will be a $70M+ signing.

Harpers Hair

One is an elite two way centre and the other is a defacto second line winger so the disparity in value is understandable.

However, neither contract is likely to have a happy ending.


By your previous statements, Nuge was going to get paid $8 million to be Seattles elite two way centre.

It’s weird how his value in your eyes significantly diminishes because he signed with the Oilers…


The cap must be going up to 90 plus million over the next couple of years the way these G.M’s are going long. I wonder how much the advertising on jerseys will bring in as well as the Kraken money.


Inflation is coming from every direction.

Harpers Hair

I’ve seen a couple of projections that the cab could hit $100 million in 3-4 years but I’m not sure committing to that with players in their mid 30’s is very smart.


You have to take a chance on somebody are else you lose them. It’s hard to stay competitive unless your dealt Bullits.


UFA signings are a ‘can’t live with them, can’t live without them’ story.

You see how often you read warnings here about signing 28-29 year olds to 8 year contracts.

About the same amount as posts worrying about whether or not McDavid or Draisaitl will re-sign here for 8 years as 28 -29 year olds. 😉

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn

With the Nurse Nuge and Hyman commitment I can easily see Leon and Connor resigning but what it may come down to is the one wearing the pants in the family and if she wants out of Edmonton kiss the resigning goodbye.


Not sure that was the point I was trying to make. 😉


No matter how much HRR is generated, the cap doesn’t rise more than $1M in a season until the Escrow Balance is paid off which is NOT happening in the next couple of years.

Material Elvis

It’s *almost* OEL bad.


But it’s not actually.


The problem for the Flyers started when they signed Kevin Hayes for 7 x $7.15. Now way you could pay Couturier less.

Victoria Oil

Flyers sign Couturier to the same 8 x $7.75 mln contract that the Canes gave to Svechnikov.

Dee Dee

Management wears their decisions forever and their actions can not be erased.

One of the advantages of being a Fan is that History does not remember what they say and it conveniently gets forgotten over time.

The Oil were wandering the desert for over a decade, wandering around in a circle, in the dark, getting sand kicked in their faces. And entirely replacing the entire organization, multiple times, did nothing to fix the problem.

Year – Position
2006 – 25 Lowe
2007 – 21
2008 – 21 Tambelini
2009 – 30
2010 – 30
2011 – 29
2012 – 24
2013 – 28 MacTavish
2014 – 28
2015 – 29
2016 – 8 Chiarelli
2017 – 23
2018 – 25
2019 – 12 Holland/Tippet
2020 – 11

12 years of Old Boys Club, Tambellini and Chiarelli resulted in ONE playoff appearance. The stars aligned once for Chia then he fell back into the tank.

The team averaged 25th place over 2006-2018, was 25th in the first year of that range and ended at 25th in the last year.

All Holland and Tippet have managed to do is make the playoffs twice and finish 11th and 12th.

Oh, and they have also allowed a serious amount of talent to ripen in the Minors instead of throwing rookies into the lake to sink or swim.

And now expectations are high, this years Team is expected to do better than “merely” make the playoffs and the Team is knocking on the door of the Top Ten in the League.

Two and three year contracts are mere blips. Kassian/Koskinen/Sekara/Lucic/Keith/Russell will be gone before you know it.

Holland has rolled his dice and gone for it, history will show if he finds success again or if he gets shown the door like all of his predecessors.

This is the best Oilers team I remember since at least the 05/06 cup run and that team only gelled at the trade deadline for about 4 months.

John Chambers



If Holland would of dumped Mikko on Chi-Town or at least half his salary and picked up a solid goaltender to share duties with Smith I would have been pleased with his moves. With Hyman and Nuge signings up front this is our team externally for the next 4 years, we need our ELC’s to hit up front and it starts this year with Holloway.


How would he have dumped Mikko on Chicago without Chicago agreeing to the same?


Don’t make the trade Keith had the Hawks over a barrel and Holland had Bowman bent over instead Bowman ended up on top.


I am surprised this false narrative continue to be floated out there and be accepted by so many. The evidence since the trade is there was an auction for Keith.

Seattle – choose a 37 year old LHD with 1/$6.75M
Vancouver – trade for a 30 year LHD at 6/$7.3M
Calgary – Lost Captain Gio and his 1/$6.75M, and the defense is weak

To cling to the thought that Stan Bowman, with his 20 years of management experience wouldn’t create an auction for Keith is on the edge of naïve.

If Bowman went to Keith and said I tried to get you to Edmonton, but I couldn’t get the deal done – you are going to Seattle/Vancouver/Calgary because it is better for the Blackhawks … I don’t think Stanley would lose a minute of sleep.

If a basement blogger see can the bind that Bowman was in – It seems Holland would understand the business conditions.

Given the new cost of defensemen and the loss of Klefbolm and Larsson there was a need for a $4-5M top 4 defenseman.

Bowman over the barrel, 4 weeks later seem to be wrong messaging.


Bowman did seem awfully focused on getting Seth’s brother which only Holland could provide.


If Seth couldn’t play with his brother do you think he turns down the $76,000,000 offer to play in Chicago?


Don’t know. I know Bowman thought it was important.


What is your source that confirms that Bowman thought it was important?


The fact that it happened. What other source would be needed?


So important that he wanted Bear and McLeod (and not Jones) as his offer to retain salary for Keith, which Holland rejected.


I never saw that rumour confirmed by either team.

Did you?

How trade negotiations go down are always conjecture on the part of fans.

To me the Jones ask was tied to Bowman’s interest in Seth.

Which was widely mentioned in various reports at the time.


Yes, Caleb Jones being a piece vis-a-vis a Seth Jones acquisition was indeed mentioned in various reports but, they weren’t confirmed by either team just like the reports on McLeod being part of the ask at one point weren’t confirmed by either team.

I am with Redbird here, as I’ve previously opined. I’m confident that, yes, Bowman thought getting Caleb couldn’t hurt in his acquisition of Seth but I don’t think he targeted Caleb in that regard or that him being a sibling was any sort a material aspect.

Seth had no say in the trade (too young for trade protection) and I imagine he had no issue signing with Chicago without his brother (even without taking in to account the massive contract he was offered).


Let’s see I have the one opportunity to play and develop my little brother. I’m going to make over a 100 million regardless where I go. If anyone doesn’t think the chance to play with Caleb wasn’t a important factor in the signing in Chi-Town obviously doesn’t have any younger siblings.


So, if Caleb Jones wasn’t traded to Chicago, Seth would not have signed the contract so that he could ensure to sign with Caleb’s team next July?

I am happy you have the relationship you do with your brother – I would caution against extrapolating that to any other relationship.


Popeye Jones played 12 years in the NBA Caleb and Seth both choose Hockey let’s just say they came from a well off sports family. If you don’t think Seth wasn’t in the drivers seat on how this deal went down from start to finish then your more naive then I thought.


I’m know all about their family and its sports background and I’m not sure what that has to do with the sibling relationship. They very well could be BFFs, i don’t know.

Either way, I don’t think Caleb in Chicago was the factor that got Seth to sign the $76MM deal in a top US city with a historic franchise and 2 Hall of Fame forwards still on it and I feel confident Seth would have signed even if Ryan McLeod was on the team and not Caleb Jones.


I don’t have to watch his first or next interview I already know what he’s going to say that he couldn’t be more thrilled coming to Chicago and being part of the Hawks organization with their historic history and playing with the likes of Kane and Toews but he’s especially looking forward to playing with his little brother and he couldn’t be happier that there on the same team.


So, if Caleb wasn’t acquired, you don’t think the deal gets done with Seth?


You would have to ask Seth but he was holding all the cards. It’s even comparable to Nurse do you think he signed the extension just for the money he could of probably got more in so called nicer cities are was it a combination of him continuing to play with his Bro’s Leon and Connor.


Yes, Seth is the one that would know but yet you keep telling me that he signed with Chicago because of Caleb……

No, I’m not so sure Nurse could have got more elsewhere.

In fact, Nurse was very honest that he was looking for a 4 year deal but ended up signing for 8 given the money that was offered.

Last edited 30 days ago by OriginalPouzar

Could it be Nurse was looking for a 4 year deal because that’s when Leon’s contract is up and Connors is a year away.


Yes, quite likely and, then, when long term big money was thrown at him, that became primary – thank you for helping my point (in a different, but similar, context).


In a negotiation people say one thing and want another it is part of the dance. The truth is, nobody knows what was really important to Bowman.


I called the Jones brothers would be playing together just like the Watson’s and Potvin’s 3 years ago.


Keith approaches Bowman and says my ex is got me over a barrel can you get me too western Canada or I might or even I may retire. I don’t think Seattle would have been a option for Keith or else he stays in Chi-Town. If you want to believe Holland initiated the trade all the power to you but no way in hell Holland didn’t do Keith and Bowman a solid.


Keith personal situation is several years old.

I didn’t say Holland initiated the trade, my point is Bowman created an auction for Keith’s services. Holland paid the market rate – no solid was done either way.

Do you have any evidence that Holland did a “solid” and spent $11M of Daryl’s Dollars?

Given the actual transactions for a LHD in Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton
Francis, Benning, Treliving, Holland AND Bowman would have to be a sleep at the switch. Is it your belief there was not be an auction for Keith?

We are all playing detective here but given all the evidence; sleepy Kenny got crushed by slick Stanley seems to not match what has happen in the four weeks since the trade.


After buying out Neal and Covid economics I wonder if Keiths contract specifically entices Holland/Katz. Swapping Lucic for Neal cost a bit of cap but a lot of real dollars while Keith is owed 4 million real dollars over an 11 million cap hit.


Its been suggested and, sure, it’s a possiblity but, if true, it would be a complete 180 to how Katz has funded the Oilers since he bought the team – from paying multiple coach’s and managers one time, to massive signing bonuses, to big money buyouts, to burying NHL salaries in the minors, to signing expensive AHL veterans, to signing players to large guaranteed minimums in the AHL, to taking on bigger cash outlays for even cap trades, etc.


A lot of folks on here talk about the boys on the bus club and how rotten the Oilers are blah blah blah if you don’t think there’s not a OBC league wide then there’s nothing left to say.


The whole discussion by Oiler blogger is Holland woke from a nap and gave up to much cap space and got beat on another trade.

Another angle on this trade is the Oiler’s might have been moving on from Caleb. He regressed last year and lost the confidence of the coaches. The Oiler’s needed to deal with a 24 year defensemen that they had no room to develop further. The whole league saw Caleb struggle and be healthy scratched.

When the club moved on;

Petry returned picks
Bear returned Foegele a 3rd line player
Jones returned Keith a 2LHD


Do you actually believe there was this elaborated bidding war where Bowman sat in his office with his feet up smoking a big fat stogy giggling to himself while all the teams out west fought for the services of a 38 year-old D at a 5.5 cap hit for the next 2 years. I like Keith as much as the next person but from my NFL friends C’mon Man!


We will see what song you sing as the season moves on. There is no way given Keith’s numbers and age that he is guaranteed to be a top four left D for the next two years and if he isn’t Edmonton may not be a very friendly place for him to play! Holland took all the risk in this transaction with limited to no upside. The Oilers did not get the Keith of old but an old Keith. As an Oiler fan I will cheer for Keith to win another cup in an Oiler sweater!


I agree he had the option to not make the trade, and I’ve opined that he should have done exactly that.

That doesn’t force Bowman to retain or take Mikko.

It just requires Holland to look elsewhere for 2LD.

Harpers Hair

Carolina signs Svechnikov….8X$7.75 million.

Great value.


F’ing perfect!

Harpers Hair

Get back to me when Yamamoto has another season with 25% shooting percentage.


It’s 13.6% in the posted comparison.


Reading…. It’s a thing.

Harpers Hair

Yeah..that includes Yamamoto ‘s heater.


Hahaha. Alright then.


It would be nice to get the updated protocols on when a portion of player’s body of work should be discounted (and when it should be counted).

I presume the answer the protocol is: “determine which analysis is negative to the Oilers or positive to their opposition”.


“Updates will be provided as deemed necessary for the current narrative “.


Good job but you were fishing in shallow water!😉


And his slump. Everyone’s season average includes both.


And he has played about 1 season now.

Last edited 30 days ago by Redbird62

So Mr Hair you like to jerk other peoples chain and you get upset when they return the favour! Very classy, very classy indeed!


I’m inclined to think “Doing the Strand” was meant to involve a beach in some way, perhaps a beach dance of maybe just a beach run of sorts, given its translation in Dutch/German (and geology)


Tippett has had fantastic special teams and poor 5v5 for 2 seasons. We all know how well that went in 2 years of trying to win a single playoff game.

With this roster, he has to be on a short leash.


Tough to get outstanding 5v5 results when the bottom six gives back the gains of the top six.


Agreed. Well to both comments. I think Tippet is on a short leash if Oilers dont make the playoffs or dont make it past the first round (of course barring catastrophic events).

But I also dont know how much 5v5 his fault considering the abysmal bottom 6. Even giving Turris his short leash to prove he was incapable of 3c resulted in something like a 1-13 goal spread, thats a tough hole to dig out of let alone having a few players who left for lesser leagues (Nygard, Haas) and a few more who are still without a contract (Chiasson,Neal, Ennis)


Tippett is on an expiring contract. That’s about as short a leash as it gets.


Agreed, barring an absolute implosion at the beginning of the season hes the coach this year. Unless we go conference final, or theres an impressive coaching performance and strong second round showing Id consider someone else.

The one nice thing is I think Tippet is on record of only wanting to do 1 year contracts after this one so not true commitment. Im enticed by Woodcroft and wonder if he can be our Cooper.


I think the the “deeper forward group” which includes acquisitions (Hyman, Foegele, Ryan) and the progression of incumbents (Jesse, Yamamoto) and perhaps some “popping prospects” (McLeod, Holloway Benson) should really help the 5 on 5 goal differential.

The bottom six should not get caved and may even outscore (well, the 3rd line).

The PP should be similar but the PK, well, who knows. The loss of Bear and Larsson on the PK will hurt. The forward depth of PK guys is sensational though even with the loss of Khaira: Archie, Hyman, Nuge, Foegele, Ryan, McLeod, Yamamoto, Drai.

The coaches and players talk alot about the PK success being systems driven – lots about the players knowing where to be and the goalies knowing where the shots are going to be coming from.

PK should be good at least.

Bulging Twine

It is interesting that Tippett is going year to year on one year deals.
Could be many reasons why.
It sounds like it is his choice as he was the one who mentioned it.


Is that true?

I thought he signed a 3-year deal which is up at the end of this year (but they haven’t talked extension as, at this point, he wants to take it year by year – his words from near the end of last season).

Bulging Twine

Oh. You must be right. I was just going off of what was probably the same as what you heard where he was asked about contract and that he wants to take it year by year. I didn’t realize he was still on his first deal and hadn’t signed a new one yet.

Last edited 30 days ago by Bulging Twine
John Chambers

“Cap space is the asset”
The one that Holland has sacrificed, and why he’s getting a low grade from the hockey punditry.
Thing about cap space is it’s useless if unused, and manages to replenish itself over time (eg. it’ll be easier to trade Koskinen with just a few months left on his ticket / the Keith cap pain gets alleviated when it comes time to pay Evan Bouchard).

Dubas paid a 1st to gain cap space, while Philly likewise paid a premium to acquire cap space only to squander it (while paying a premium) to acquire Ristolainen.

Seattle has all kinds of cap space and their roster sucks.

Thus far Holland has parted with no top picks or prospects in the name of getting out from under the contracts of Koskinen or Neal. His most concerning use of cap space is for Cody Ceci and Zack Kassian, both of whom are making FMV but are likely overpaid in term. Manoevering out from their contracts, if needed, doesn’t seem like an impossible task, however.

So you have to ask yourself – is Cap Space as an Asset overvalued? Is it really fair to mark the Oilers front office so hard for walking a tightrope?


Yes, just like drinking water is to life, not important until you don’t have it and need it!

John Chambers

Indeed. However the long-winded point I’m trying to make is that creating cap space seems like an always-available option, and that salary brokers like Seattle, Detroit, or Buffalo will be poised to make a deal to take Mikko or Turris off our hands in the future.

By February, with 60% of the season in the rear-view, I doubt the cost to offload those contracts are anywhere near as high as they are in August.


Mikko shouldn’t be considered a cap dump, the last 4 games notwithstanding. And Turris can be buried in the minors for a fairly negligible cap hit ($500k or so) and provide injury cover, there’s no reason to spend a draft pick to move either guy.


The Oilers and Holland, in particular, has a contrarian view on the value of cap space.


Not sure I understand this. Are you saying that Holland doesn’t know how to unload bad contracts or am I missing something?


I agree with this –

No quality player in their prime of their career want to play on a team that isn’t spending to win. No fan wants to drop a $1000 a night for seats, dinner, parking and a beer to watch cap space.


I’m not understanding the conversation here – was there a suggestion that, if Holland didn’t spend the $5.5M on Keith, he wouldn’t have spent it?

I think its clear that, if he didn’t acquire Keith, that space would have been spent on another 2LD acqusition and, here is the thing, it likely would have been in the UFA market and an overpay for term.

The one main benefit of Keith is that its a two-year stop gap and the presumption is Sammy/Broberg are arriving behind Nurse.


OP I was arguing the Keith position above with Mr. Reja and Mr. Defmn.

In this thread I am just stating my strong preference for the teams I support to spend to the cap. As I can’t get clients to come watch capSpace….at +$100,000/season ear marked for tickets, dinners, parking and beer, if cap space means a less competitive team, I am all for spending the owners money so I can justify the money I spend.


I don’t disagree with any of that.

Where I was confused is the implication that the Oilers would have material cap space going in to the season and I don’t think that was suggested (or was a realistic option).

The issue with the Keith trade was (for me, and others) cap space. Not spending $5.5M of cap space but spending on $5.5M of cap space on Duncan Keith.

I don’t think anyone wanted them to hold the space for a rainy day but to use on a different player (or players).

Wonder Llama

Eno-era Roxy! You never cease to surprise and delight, LT!

I, too, am weary of the waltz and mashed potato schmaltz.

Do the Strand!


Defn posted his thoughts on Holland yesterday, and I largely agree. The Keith move was wasteful, Hyman is a huge risk, and while the team is better, they are pot committed forever with a roster that is incomplete. A big down vote for me.

That said, looking at what free agents signed for Holland was boxed in and it isn’t that easy to find better alternatives to the Keith, Hyman, Ceci, no goalie set of moves.

For instance:

Goalie: I would have signed Ullmark for 4×5. However, that isn’t that cheap and if you can’t get rid of Koskinen, do you buy him out? That seems wasteful. As for Smith, in theory I probably wouldn’t have brought him back, however in practice how do you not bring him back after the season he just had? Plus Tippett loves him, so if you don’t bring him back you have a fight with your coach. If I am being fair, the Koskinen contract puts them in a real bind here.

Keith: I would have signed Jake McCabe.

Ceci: I would have kept Bear. I don’t have the Foegele trade, and I think the equation is not Bear vs. Foegele, but Bear vs. Foegele + FA replacement. The problem is that I don’t like Ceci as the replacement.

So now I’ve saved around 3 M on the D and I my D is better, but I don’t have Foegele anymore. I do have his money though, which gives me about 11 M to get a couple of forwards. The two best signings at forward this year were Hall and Buchnevich. But Hall was locked into Boston and Buchnevich isn’t a realistic fit with the Oilers.

Given that, Hyman is the player I like the best of the free agents. The problem the Oilers have is that they are so top heavy that there isn’t playing time for another skilled forward. McDavid, Draisatl, and RNH are going to play almost all of every power play. Given this, a 4th skilled forward is not going to get the icetime to justify their salary. I like Sam Reinhart, but is Tippett going to put him in front of the net? I don’t think so. And you can’t pay Reinhart or Buchnevich or Hall if they aren’t going to play on the powerplay.

So I guess I sign Hyman (who is a player I really love) anyway despite the length of contract and get Nick Ritchie to replace Foegele. I’ve saved some money which I would like to use on a better D or a better goalie, but I can’t find one.

Forwards are pretty much the same (though Foegele is better than Ritchie) and my D is better, but my coach is angry because I’ve kept Jones and Bear, and the goaltending is the same.

If we are being fair there is no magic bullet. Teams sometimes get something for nothing (this year that was the Buchnevich trade) but that doesn’t really help the Oilers.

Like every team in a cap world, the Oilers need prospects to turn into good players. The problem is that the team is in win-now mode and the coach doesn’t have any patience for young players.

The last game against Winnipeg was an atrocity of a coaching performance.



How does your comparison look vs McCabe vs Keith? Also what would you do with the leftorium if you signed McCabe to the same 4 year contract. No room at the inn for all of Samroukov, Jones, Laggesson, Broberg. His numbers may be swayed by Buffallo being hot trash but he is negative corsi relative, negative expected goals for etc etc.

Similar question to by what criteria/metrics/eye test is Bear better than Ceci? Not saying he isnt but I dont remain convinced. End of the season and playoffs Bear got sat/reduced minutes while the inverse happened for Ceci. If we werent Oilers fans would we be so high on Bear? I never heard opinions from other fans that the Oilers sold low/gave up on Bear so its an interesting move.


It’s fair to prefer an alternative roster construction, and yours is absolutely fine, but not knowing if McCabe or Ullmark would sign here makes it tough to fairly judge Holland’s work.

I too would have preferred some different personnel, but I’m okay with the moves and seeing how it all plays out during the season. Too bad about the term for Hyman and the lack of retention on Keith, but what’s a fan to do.


Holland’s problem to solve was that he had no surplus assets to use in trade due to poor drafting for many years. All of the best prospects are needed by the Oilers in fairly quick order for their own cap balancing act.

People point to the two 2nd rounders used on Athanasiou but they weren’t going to fill all the holes the roster needed to have filled.

And, of course, the Larsson decision added an additional complication.

There were options though. I would have used next year’s 1st on Reinhart and moved Puljujarvi into the net front presence passing on Hyman. I liked the Bear trade. I agree that 3C was difficult. Driedger seems like a missed opportunity although with risk – goalies always seem to come with risk. Ceci is an unknown for me so I wait on him.

My point was simply that the two weakest links on the team from last season are still waiting for something to be done but I do think the team is stronger than last years.


Do you make that trade if you have to add a Lavoie or Samorukov level prospect to the 2022 1st (i.e Levi level)?


Forwards are pretty much the same (though Foegele is better than Ritchie) and my D is better, but my coach is angry because I’ve kept Jones and Bear, and the goaltending is the same.

Your D is better, in your opinion. Fair?


“I would have signed X”.

With respect its tough to center an argument and position around that isn’t it? I mean, I would have signed Ullmark and McCabe as well but there is absolutely no assurance either of those players could have been signed anywhere near the contract terms proposes and, frankly, its probably much more likely that they would not have signed.


Using unreliable data is concerning – but only if you don’t disclose the concern

There are so many smart people on this board that may identify a trend if you keep the numbers visible with your disclaimer

I say keep posting the NHLE for all with the asterisk group in a sub group/cluster

Elgin R

Going all the way back to the 2015 draft (the greatest lottery win of all time), the Oilers have only drafted one player (excluding goalies) in the first 3 rounds under 6′ and that was Yamamoto. The 1st rounders and most of the 2nd and 3rd rounders are also listed as good skaters with the exception being Benson.

The 1st and 2nd rounders from the last 4 drafts (excluding goalies) average 6′-2″ and 197 lbs. (as listed today).

Big and fast is a long way from the Coke-machine era and with Woody et al coaching these prospects there is a reasonable expectation of quite a few making the show. Size and length are certainly more important with dmen, but big-fast forwards to forecheck and pound on the opposition D is a vital component in today’s game.

The team will need ELC contracts to balance out the $54.575m in contracts that run to at least the end of 2023-24.


Lowetide and OriginalPouzar – apropos to your conversation in yesterday’s thread about the 3C, what do you think of this proposal?


Totally hear what you’re saying and no doubt Tippett would load up 2 lines, but consider this: over the past two year, the Oilers have averaged 49:51 of 5v5 time and 10:09 of special teams per game. Also over the past two years, McDavid has averaged 16:36 at 5v5 (2nd most in the league), Draisaitl 16:19 (5th) and Barkov 14:10 (45th). Add those totals up and it comes to 47:05, which is less than the 49:51 that is available. So theoretically it is possible to run these guys 3 deep (with the 4th line available for the 2:46 remaining 5v5 plus 5:55 PK duty, up to 8:41 total) without cutting their minutes at all.

The idea that there aren’t enough minutes just doesn’t hold up.


I think one of the biggest problems on the roster is that McDavid and Draisaitl are playing so much and you are now using those big minutes as justification for why we can’t have a better third line. Those legs need to be fresh in triple OT next spring and I agree with AGM that running three primary skill lines more equally would be a good way to reduce their minutes and out score. We have the skill on the roster to run RNH as 3C this season, but most here would prefer a mix of Ryan and McLeod.


Agreed, Barkov is on another level. I just feel the goal should be to have three out scoring lines the coach is willing to roll until game state changes the equation. Killer centers are needed for this even if they might be better than some of their wingers.


Hyman, Foegele,Yamamoto, Puljujarvi, Kassian would be the 5 names that I think we could claim have top nine pedigree as wingers if McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge line up at centre. I know some would disagree on Kassian but I think he can be included.

Depending on Holloway, McLeod, Benson or Perlini I think three offensive centre driven lines is in sight. If Nuge continues to get 2 minutes a game on the PK as he did last season and you add the 4 minutes he spent on the PP plus 12-13 minutes 5 on 5 I think that optimizes his TOI over the regular season.

With 16 minutes of 5 on 5 for Leon and Connor added to their 4 minutes of PP time that knocks 2 minutes off of their totals from last year.

These are averages, of course. The score will determine individual game TOI.


Yup, I agree with defmn that we have five and need to find one more in the pile. For this season, I put Benson on Draisaitl’s wing since he’s the best passer available for our best finisher. I agree with you that last years production likely overstated Holloway’s offensive potential. I expect Tippett to play McDavid and Draisaitl to death again, though.


The idea that Keith will retire after this season doesn’t strike me as at all reasonable. FWIW.


I agree that I dont think retirement is likely but I view is as possible. If Keith can still be a top 4 defender I think he comes back no problem and is either value for the last year or at least pretty close and everyone is happy.

If the gas tank is for sure empty then that leaves playing for respect of his contract/Bowman (in the middle of a organizational SA scandal), or for the 1.5 million hes owed after the 70 something million hes already made on contracts alone. He seems to value time with his son as mentioned near the trade so in this scenario is the opportunity cost of spending more time in the Okanagan with his kid worth being third pair/healthy scratched for 2% of his career earnings? I see a non zero chance he retires.


Yeah I agree the chance of retirement isn’t zero. IMO though it’s small enough as to be not worth discussing.

As OP says below LTIR is far more plausible if things were to go terribly.

I agree money’s not the issue, though I do think not screwing the Hawks with cap re-capture would be a big factor.

Scungilli Slushy

He won’t retire at the end of his contract if he can still play well enough. 7th D on the Oilers, but instead of league minimum Holland will pay him 1.5 – 2M which is way too much.

Book it!


Lots to unpack in this thread:

1) I don’t think Keith will retire after this season, mainly due to him not wanting to screw the Hawks with that crazy recapture. With that said, if the year goes terribly for him, he only makes $1.5M next season so it is possible. He’d probably find a way to go on LTIR instead of formerly retiring (which would be FAR less ideal).

2) I agree about reducing the minutes of McDavid/Drai so that they have fresher legs for the 3OT, etc. I also think it will help them over the course of a season and within games which is kind of my entire point.

Of course, Tip will, and should, ride those two horses but I would guess/presume that he would like to scale them back a bit – just a couple of minutes per game (most games). If he has a more effective 3rd line, whether that center is Nuge or Holloway or what – a third line that can outscore – that creates so many benefits.


If he has a more effective 3rd line, whether that center is Nuge or Holloway or what – a third line that can outscore – that creates so many benefits.

Or Ryan?


Yes, I guess, or Ryan. Of course, we’ve discussed this and I see Ryan as more of a reach at 3C but very likely better than the likes of Sheahan, Khaira, Turris of last year, Haas, etc.

Ryan at 4C would be best but that’s unlikely the case to start the year.

In time, he will likely be passed by at least one of McLeod or Holloway (or Holloway becoming legit top 6LW allowing for a Nuge 3C if they don’t move a Hyman to the right side to knock down a Kailer).


Of course, we’ve discussed this and I see Ryan as more of a reach at 3C

Yes, we didn’t reach consensus 😉

I think we can all agree it would be ideal if he was penciled in as 4C, but Ryan’s had excellent on ice results, underlying numbers, scoring rates, for essentially his entire career.

It seems the only major strike against him is he only played 9:31 at 5v5 last season. No guarantees obviously, but I don’t see any reason he can’t be part of an out scoring 3rd line again this season.


Sure, fair enough, and I hope that he is.

Well, I hope he is for a few months, and then he’s passed by McLeod who takes on that role and Ryan helps to drive a “saw-off 4th line”.


If he doesn’t get run out of town due to his cap hit over the next 2 seasons I could absolutely see him getting another deal.

I won’t speculate on his role or cap hit at that point 🙂


Shoutout to Bohologo for posting Petrov highlights yesterday:

Wow does he remind me of Raphael Lavoie!