New Favourite

by Lowetide
Kailer Yamamoto photo by Mark Williams

If I had to identify the first NHL draft pick I tracked all the way to the NHL, it was probably Bernie Federko. I listened to the radio (CFQC, Saskatoon) during his junior career and Federko was a major talent for the Saskatoon Blades. I listened to the broadcasts on my Anik radio and followed the draft closely by then, so he was the first player I was connected to before his draft day.

Not a bad connection.

We all have favourites, maybe it’s a style or a specific skill. Since I was a kid the two-way centers have special appeal and I do like the shutdown types on defense.

It’s easy to cheer for Bobby Orr and the players who were touched by God in each generation. What about those kids who are pushing but may not get there? For me, that’s such a big part of being a fan. Who do I like on this year’s Oilers team?

THE ATHLETIC!

FAVOURITES

There are lots of reasons to like a specific player. I remain impressed that the Oilers had the vision to draft Kailer Yamamoto, and fans should hope he works out well.

Why? When organizations expand the talent pool to include undersized players with a great deal of skill, opportunities arise. Edmonton’s choices at No. 22 overall in 2017 included forwards Yamamoto, Kristian Vesailainen, Eeli Tolvanen and Klim Kostin, goalie Jake Oettinger and defender Henri Jokiharju. So far, Yamamoto is covering the bet.

If he has a strong year in 2021-22, perhaps the Oilers will consider taking another undersized skill player in the first round.

Jesse Puljujarvi is a favourite for multiple reasons. His handling by Oilers management was poor, but he overcame it. The Oilers found a way to retain this talented young winger even as the relationship seemed fractured. JP is one of the few people on the roster not named Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl who could carry a line in the future. As good as he was, I think he has another gear. Finally, his personality. Puljujarvi enjoys life and hockey in a way we could learn from. It’s no sin to enjoy the moment, be larger than life, slam a pizza. I admire this young man and will cheer for him no matter what teams he plays for in the future.

Evan Bouchard is a favourite because he makes amazing look stupid. It’s rare to see a player who can make brilliant passes while also seeing plays develop as soon as Bouchard does routinely. I don’t remember the last time Edmonton had this kind of pure offensive talent on the blue line. His passes are exceptional. Can’t wait to see what kind of numbers he’ll post in a full season.

Among the prospects, I’m looking forward to seeing Dylan Holloway, Philip Broberg and Ilya Konovalov in Bakersfield or Edmonton this year. And from the 2021 draft, Xavier Bourgault (who has played in one pre-season game for Shawinigan) has a nice range of skills that puts him somewhere in the Bernie Federko family. Hockey has a way of renewing itself each fall. Pick a favourite, and enjoy the journey. Sometimes everything rhymes and that’s the best thing of all.

LINES FROM 2020-21

One of the things I like to look at this time of year is last year’s lines and what the coach might be thinking for the year to come. Who played well together? Here are the top-10 lines last season by five on five time on ice and their results.

  1. Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto: 293 minutes, 47.9% Shot diff, 60% goal diff, 2.45 goals-60
  2. Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi: 259 minutes, 54.2% Shot diff, 48% goal diff, 3.02 goals-60
  3. Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi: 177 minutes, 53% Shot diff, 57% goal diff, 5.76 goals-60
  4. Draisaitl-McDavid-Yamamoto: 135 minutes, 61% Shot diff, 86% goal diff, 5.35 goals-60
  5. Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto: 103 minutes, 46% shots, 44% goal diff, 2.32 goals-60
  6. Ennis-Khaira-Archibald: 89 minutes, 46% shots, 71% goal diff, 3.36 goals-60
  7. Neal-Haas-Chiasson: 83 minutes, 48% shots, 67% goal diff (2-1), 1.44 goals-60
  8. Shore-Khaira-Archibald: 80 minutes, 39% shots, 40% goal diff, 1.5 goals-60
  9. Nuge-McDavid-Kassian: 67 minutes, 52% shots, 50% goal diff, 2.65 goals-60
  10. Kahun-McDavid-Puljujarvi: 67 minutes, 56% shots, 56% goal diff, 2.9 goals-60

The McDavid-Draisaitl combination works with everyone, best with JP or KY a year ago. Nuge-McDavid-JP didn’t work but it should have. Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto won the goal share handsomely but didn’t deliver the kind of offense that would earn them more time.

Thoughts? The additions (Hyman, Foegele, Ryan) make this a team that should have three significant lines. How would you populate the McDavid, Draisaitl and Ryan lines?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have some big stories we’re following. Corey Pronman from The Athletic will join me to talk about the Oilers prospect depth chart at 10:20, and we’ll have a Blue Jays guest, plus Women’s WC hockey preview. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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LMHF#1

Anyone care to claim Nurse is nearly 3 million per year better than Parayko?

Nice deal for St. Louis.

WedgeAntilles

The brief discussion of Dan Currie and Jani Rita got me thinking about some of the old Bulldogs I wrote about. Anyone remember Ralph Intranuovo? Guy had some really good AHL stats, but sweet baby Jeebus was he frustrating to watch. And then there was Chris Hajt. Serviceable AHL defender, and I can say I was in the building when he scored his first AHL goal. Only took him three and a half seasons.

geowal

Looks like Chuba Hubbard has made the Carolina Panthers, final cuts were today

Harpers Hair

Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) Tweeted:

Next season, @JasonPayne67 will be the only Black coach of a professional men’s hockey team in North America. The GM who promoted him? The only woman serving as GM in the ECHL, AHL or NHL.

I talked to Jason for tonight’s @SportsCenter https://t.co/PAy7zCb2TE

https://twitter.com/emilymkaplan/status/1432852335118651396?s=20

Ranford.85

“Pick a favourite, and enjoy the journey” seems very fitting this off season.

On one hand, a decade favorite in RNH signs long term and hopefully retires an Oiler. On the other, Bear moves on and now I’ll be keeping an eye on the Hurricanes and the rest of his journey.

OriginalPouzar

Wow, the Canadian women dominated that 3rd period and OT – a well deserved goal medal. Beauty snipe to end it.

Reja

What’s the odds that Mikko would of had the glove quickness to stop that snipe by Poulin?

OriginalPouzar
Reja

That was one athletic save looked like Hasek for a second. I can’t believe Dominik is 56 years old.

flyfish1168

Congratulations to the Canadian ladies hockey team

Last edited 1 month ago by flyfish1168
geowal

Now that we know who LTs favourites are, we can start to narrow down who are candidates for his new Smid (we all know he hated Smid) 😆

geowal

Ha! And plenty will be rooting against them wanting to see Broberg or Samorukov! Works!

Genjutsu

I hear ladies loved him.

PennersPancakes

I felt this since the draft and seeing no additional trades. Does anyone else feel like Francis was handed a golden ticket and he did his best to lose it? Yes teams are “smarter” than they were with Vegas but even then there has to be some middle ground between the two teams.

Vegas ended up with a better team, way more picks and better prospects. Seattle seems to have the 28-32 group locked up so what you see is what you get with a lot of players.

Part of what has made Vegas so strong is the absolute stockpile of picks and players they were able to acquire to make good trades to bolster their roster like Pacioretty, Stone, and Martinez. Seattle doesnt have the horses to make those trades without heavily sacrificing their future just in time for their good old players to age out into dust.

As part of deals Vegas received notable assets such as:

  • Reilly Smith
  • Gusev (flipped for a 2nd and 3rd) as well as Tampas 2nd and 4th
  • Islanders 1st and 2nd
  • Shea Theodore
  • Alex Tuch
  • Columbus 1st and 2nd
  • Winnipegs 1st and 3rd
  • Peinguins 2nd
  • Carolina 2nd
  • Dallas 2nd
  • Nashville 3rd

So thats 3 1sts, 6 2nds, 3 3rds, 2 top 6 forwards and a #1 dman. Seattle got what, a 2nd for Vanecek (while unprotected Dillon went for 2 2nds) and a 4th for Pitlick?

And this doesnt include astute draft picks such as Miller (traded for 2nd and 5th), Karlsson, Eakin, Marchessault, Haula, Neal, Fleury, Perron, and Schmidt.

leadfarmer

Francis got greedy and teams like Arizona stole his lunch.
he got lucky with the draft lotto but otherwise has almost no futures to spend on immediate improvements

leadfarmer

And add a whole pile of blunders like picking Vanecek to trade him back for a 2023 2nd round pick instead of grabbing Dillon who went for 2 2nd round picks

Side

Just you wait! Francis is going to weaponize his cap space annnnyyyy day now! Then you’ll see…

You’ll ALL see!

DieHard

Does logging in last for 10 minutes or what. Third time logging in since 10ish this morning. Been that way for a while. Better than database error.

Cassandra

Any lineup exercise has to come with two sets, it is inevitable that McDavid and Draisatl will play together much of the time.

Myself, I would start with that. Other teams load up, the players obviously prefer it, you finally have the depth to have a decent second line, and if you don’t start with it the pressure to it is going to be so strong you are going to end there eventually anyway. Might as well start there and see what you can get out of the other lines, and if you have to split them up you can at least say that you tried.

So:

Draisatl–McDavid–Yamamoto
Hyman–Nuge–Puljujarvi
Foegele–Ryan–Kassian/Archibald
Benson–Mcleod–Marody

You get your dominant line, a line that can play against anyone, a veteran line, and the rookie line you can hide that gives the young guys a chance.

I would go with this, especially at home.

But if you insist on splitting up Draisatl and McDavid then you can go with:

Hyman–McDavid–Puljujarvi
Nuge–Draisatl–Yamamoto

with the rest the same and see if the Dry line can rekindle the magic. But I think this puts McDavid in a bad spot not having enough skill to play with. Hyman and Puljujarvi are excellent players, so good they can carry their own line, but do they bring magic to McDavid?

And if you don’t like the rookies and you want to split up McDavid and Draisatl you could go with 3 centers deep on the road:

Hyman–McDavid–Marody
Foegele–Draisatl–Yamamoto
Archibald-Nuge–Puljujarvi
Benson/Mcleod–Ryan–Kassian

I know, I know, what kind of crazy person puts Marody, who isn’t even going to make the team, on the first line?

Marody has been the best player on the best line in the AHL two different years. He deserves a real chance.

Brendan Perlini has a long and established record of being a minus player. He was somehow -17 in 21 games in the swiss league last year. Now this was a bad team, but this plus/minus stands out as the worst of the bunch.

jp

if you don’t start with it the pressure to it is going to be so strong you are going to end there eventually anyway.

Agree the team needs to be prepared for it, and with your lines if they do put McDavid-Draisaitl together.

I disagree it’s an inevitability though (for significant stretches).

Since Yamamoto was recalled after Christmas 2019 they’ve played less than 30% of their 5v5 TOI together.

OriginalPouzar

For sure, McDavid and Drai will spend much time together, as they should – the ability to load them during certain game states (offensive zone faceoff, in particular after an icing, after a PK, etc.) and, of course, when a goal is needed or a momentum change is required – that is a premium strategy to be able to employ.

At the same time, the ability to deploy that strategy is, essentially, taken away for games where they are playing together from puck drop. It become, “just another shift” and doesn’t create energy/momentum.

I am fairly adamant that, given a healthy roster, they should almost never be regular 5 on 5 linemates – they will still play together plenty, even at 5 on 5.

Darth Tu

I’d love to see Marody make a career of it with the Oil in the NHL, but top line with McDavid screams “Ty Rattie” to me. I’d love to be wrong though but I think Puljujarvi or Yamamoto are the lads for McDavid’s right wing.

I will say, I don’t hate the other line options now with Drai and McDavid stacked together. We know it will happen at some point and at least it won’t now end with them on ice for 4 mins, off for 3 while we scramble in our own zone, them back on etc.

Hyman-Nuge-Puljujarvi should in theory be a solid second line.

Count me in the keep McD and Drai separate as much as possible crowd though.

kelvjn

Jesse Niinimalki

After years of inept drafting the then new MBS regime finally found a useful player in Hemsky. I was really hoping they knew what they were doing with the pick.

Seeing that Boyd Gordon, Dennis Grebeshkov, and Ben Eager (drafted just after Niinimaki) ended up playing for the Oilers, I always think these were they players on their radar and they want a do-over.

The Oilers 2nd round picks of JDD, Stoll and Greene weren’t bad picks neither.

Elgin R

It would be so good for the team, and really fun to watch, if Kassian can regain his form. So, continuing the late-August suggestions for Tippet by this blog, the following lines are presented for consideration.

Hyman – McDavid – Kassian

  • Let Kassian unleash his inner Tom Wilson

Nuge – Draisaitl – Yamamoto

  • Nuge and KY both regain their form and the line gets on fire early and often

Foegele – McLeod – JP

  • JP is the driver of an excellent 3rd line that should definitely outscore the opposition by a considerable margin.

Benson – Ryan – Archie

  • Should be able to saw it off, or close
Jaxon

Hyman / McDavid / Puljujarvi
Nugent-Hopkins / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
Foegele / Ryan / Archibald
Perlini / McLeod / Kassian
Shore
————————————–
Benson / Holloway / Lavoie

– I think Holloway and Benson will challenge for a roster spot, but I wouldn’t mind seeing what Benson could do with those two for a while in the AHL. But that would risk losing Benson on waivers, so I hope he starts in the NHL.

Nurse / Barrie
Keith / Ceci
Russell / Bouchard
Koekkoek / Stone

Smith
Koskinen

Harpers Hair

So the sports books are out with their over/under odds for the upcoming season.

Pacific Division

Vegas 106.5
Edmonton 97.5
Seattle 92.5
Calgary 90.5
Vancouver 88.5
Los Angeles 88.5
San. Jose 80.5
Anaheim 70.5 (oof)

Ice Sage

Seems about right with an * for Seattle.

I’ll take a page from your book and post an athletic link:
https://theathletic.com/2799247/2021/08/31/have-the-hurricanes-trolled-their-way-to-heel-status-a-22-question-gentille-mailbag/

The NY Mets of the NHL is a particularily astute answer.

Harpers Hair

Yeah…Seattle is a pretty big unknown.
They still have almost $10 million in free cap space.

If they don’t use it in the offseason, they will begin accumulating additional space and end up with as much as $38 million at the trade deadline allowing them to make significant additions as the season progresses while taking advantage of teams that become sellers.

Reja

If you don’t think a Francis run team isn’t going to be competitive well your to young to have not watched him through his early days in Hartford playing with his buddy Tippett.

Redbird62

The Carolina Hurricanes missed the playoff every season he was an executive with them. Director of Player Personnel, 2011 to 2014 and GM 2014-2018. I think that is more relevant in assessing his experience than his playing days. Who knows, maybe he learned from his mistakes.

Harpers Hair

Francis was instrumental in building the Hurricanes into a contender but got canned for taking too long.

He was also an early adopter of advanced analytics with Tulsky in the fold and his first moves as Seattle GM was to populate a leading edge analytics team.

Redbird62

Three years after he left, they have 3 meaningful players still on the team that he brought in. They clearly loved what he did.

PennersPancakes

With what assets? They have barely any prospects, not many young players that look promising to make the next step, and they barely got any additional picks through the draft.

Francis fumbled the bag, if he wants to trade away futures so he squeaks into the playoffs thays goof for everyone else because that team doesn’t have anything in the pipeline.

jp

With what assets? They have barely any prospects, not many young players that look promising to make the next step, and they barely got any additional picks through the draft.

An offer sheet to one of those young unsigned RFAs might be the only way.

PennersPancakes

Im all for it as my #2 team is team chaos. Especially if its one of the Canucks wonder boys. I think you could really pressure the Canucks if you offer sheet one of them, wait for the match then offer sheet the other given both deals are long term. I feel like it would be a lose lose for both teams so I hope it happens.

Harpers Hair

Quinn Hughes is not eligible for an offer sheet.

Harpers Hair

Central Division

Colorado 110.5
Minnesota 97.5
Dallas 95.5
St. Louis 94.5
Winnipeg 92.5
Chicago 91.5
Nashville 84.5
Arizona 69.5

Harpers Hair

If these hold true the 8 playoff teams:

Colorado
Minnesota
Dallas
————-

Vegas
Edmonton
Seattle

————-

Wildcards

St. Louis
Winnipeg

Harpers Hair

If these all hold true in the playoffs:

First Round
Colorado defeats Winnipeg
Vegas defeats St. Louis
Minnesota defeats Dallas
Edmonton defeats Seattle*

Second Round
Colorado defeats Edmonton
Vegas defeats Minnesota

Third round
Colorado defeats Vegas

Ice Sage

Careful, that’s almost an Oiler endorsement, there, HH…

Harpers Hair

That they’re one and done in the playoffs?

leadfarmer

So pretty much what we’ve been telling you all along

Elgin R

I would take the under for the VGK and the over for the Oilers. Nothing real concrete about the rest of the Pacific – who knows where it all shakes out, but 1st and 2nd places are pretty much set.

Side Note: I will also take the Oilers to finish 1st in the Pacific.

Harpers Hair

The bookies are awaiting your contribution.

Ice Sage

that’s not a bad bet, VGK got worse, Oilers better and recency bias suggests a gap remains. The games between these teams will be must-see

OriginalPouzar

Taking away Seattle, I would have:

Calgary lower than Vancouver
LA higher than both Calgary and Vancouver.

I guess I’m predicting:

VEG
EDM
LAK
VAN
CGY
SJS
ANA

No idea about Seattle.

Flames did very little good this off-season – could/should be worse than last year.

Canucks made a bad trade for the future (limiting their ability to get better in the long term via cap hit and giving away a top prospect, Guenther) but it should help them in the now (Garland is good and OEL, while unlikely to be worth $7 plus, should help).

Harpers Hair

Yeah…if I am betting on one team that could surprise its LAK.
Not sure they’re quite ready yet and, of course, I’m no fan of their head coach.

As stated, Seattle could disrupt things in a big way depending on how they use that cap space.

PennersPancakes

Hmm so not Vancouver. Finally something I think we can agree on.

Darth Tu

I agree, I’ve been calling LAK as coming 3rd in the division since before the draft, and I’ll keep taking those downvotes that I seem to get every time I bring it up.

My bed is made.

VEG(reville)
EDM
LAK

and none of the rest make the wild card slots.

Harpers Hair

Even if they fall a bit short this season, they are entering true contender status.

Next offseason they have $29 million in free cap space and a prospect pool that makes grown men weep.

They have moved beyond carrying dead money (less than a million next season) and have acquired 2 top 6 players without touching their prospect pool.

The cleanest rebuild I’ve ever seen.

OriginalPouzar

Two players that have produced at top 6 levels but were both below 0.5 P/G last season and, for Arvidson, at or below 0.5 P/G for two consecutive seasons.

The jury is out on whether either will bounce back producing at top 6 levels.

Harpers Hair

By now…you should should know that winning is about outscoring the opposition.

Danault is an elite centre who takes on the toughs and outscores them…GF% 59.6…no need for a bounce back.

http://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20202021&playerid=8476479&sit=5v5&stype=2

More question marks about Arvidsson but he will be playing with much better centres in LA and should thrive.

OriginalPouzar

By now…you should should know that winning is about outscoring the opposition.

Yamamoto is an elite right winger who takes on the toughs and outscores them…GF% 57.14 and 68.18% last two years…no need for a bounce back.

Faced elite competition 38% and 39% of the time those two years.

http://naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20202021&thruseason=20202021&playerid=8479977&sit=5v5&stype=2

http://www.puckiq.com/woodmoney?season=20192020&positions=clr&team=edm&group_by=player_season_team

Harpers Hair

During that period of time, one of these players scored 47 points and the other scored 79 with zero PP time.

Can you guess which is which and which one rode a 25% shooting percentage heater?

Harpers Hair

If you can come to grips with the fact that Danault isn’t a goalscorer, you’ll see that he ranks 12th in the NHL in assists/60 over the last three seasons, during 5-on-5 play. Looking specifically at first assists, he’s a Top-30 player. In terms of points/60, Danault ranks directly between Sebastian Aho and Mark Scheifiele over that span. While he might not post eye-popping totals, the fact is, at even strength he’s been a very productive player.”

https://lakingsinsider.com/2021/07/29/already-one-of-the-nhls-leading-two-way-players-phillip-danault-ready-to-make-his-mark-in-la/

jp

If you can come to grips with the fact that Danault isn’t a goalscorer, you’ll see that he ranks 12th in the NHL in assists/60 over the last three seasons, during 5-on-5 play. Looking specifically at first assists, he’s a Top-30 player. In terms of points/60, Danault ranks directly between Sebastian Aho and Mark Scheifiele over that span. While he might not post eye-popping totals, the fact is, at even strength he’s been a very productive player.”

Seems these aren’t even your words. But it’s interesting that his linemates have scored 2.49 (Tatar) and 2.48 (Gallagher) P/60 over the past 3 seasons while Danault has only scored 2.16 P/60.

Shockingly, when he’s not playing with this others his P/60 drops (1.44 without Gallagher for instance). Mercifully I can’t check the number when he plays without both of them, but I guess it’s approaching replacement level, much like his on ice metrics are.

We’ll have to wait and see how things go in la la land.

OriginalPouzar

That’s a nice quote from the LA Insider on the King’s new player.

Not sure what it has to do with knowing that winning is about outscoring the opposition and that Yamamoto is an elite forward who takes on the toughs and outscores them…moreso that Danault.

jp

During that period of time, one of these players scored 47 points and the other scored 79 with zero PP time.

Can you guess which is which and which one rode a 25% shooting percentage heater?

Who are you talking about?

Danault has 41 points in 86 games since Yamamoto was called up (Yamamoto has 47 points in 79 games).

And no, Danault didn’t rely in a SH% heater because he only scored 8 goals in those 86 games.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp
jp

Shit.

I hope Yamamoto’s not holding out for $6M, using Danault as a comparable…

Harpers Hair

Well based on your diatribe he should be.

OriginalPouzar

The diatribe is based on your parameters.

OriginalPouzar

By now…you should should know that winning is about outscoring the opposition.

Yamamoto is an elite right winger who takes on the toughs and outscores them…GF% 57.14 and 68.18% last two years…no need for a bounce back.

Faced elite competition 38% and 39% of the time those two years.

http://naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20202021&thruseason=20202021&playerid=8479977&sit=5v5&stype=2

http://www.puckiq.com/woodmoney?season=20192020&positions=clr&team=edm&group_by=player_season_team

jp

Danault is an elite centre who takes on the toughs and outscores them…GF% 59.6…no need for a bounce back.

He didn’t exactly do it alone though.

Over 3 seasons, without Tatar and Gallagher, the Canadians only managed 47% of the shots and 34% of the goals with Danault on the ice.

https://www.naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20202021&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=n&team=MTL&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2021-01-13&td=2021-05-19&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8476479&p2=8475193&p3=8475848&p4=0&p5=0

It seems the Kings didn’t exactly add the straw that stirs the drink.

Harpers Hair

No shit.

You mean players have team mates? Who knew?

Now tell me how Yamamoto performed on the 3rd line.

jp

He’s essentially never played on the 3rd line.

He played 30:01 with Turris, they outshot 14-13 and Yamamoto had 3 SOG, but no points.

Also, Yamamoto’s not going to be paid $5.5M to be the player he was in a different city with different linemates.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto without McDavid and Drai and Danault without Tatar and Gallagher have highly comparable shot metrics and goal shares (2-7 vs. 2-6).

Wow, enlightening, these players seem to have almost the exact same effect on the game – I’ll give Danault a slight edge because he’s a center.

Redbird62

Don’t know what you’re reading, but the Kings have $4.5 million dead cap this coming season (Carter, Phaneuf, Richards), ~$2 million next season (Phaneuf, Richards) and then drop to just Richards for 2 more seasons ($700,000).

They will also have Doughty on the books at $11 MM till he is 38 absent an expensive buyout or them trading him to one of the 7 teams on his list when his NMC rolls off and his M-NTC kicks (which would likely require retainage). He had somewhat of a bounce back season, but since you crap all over contracts like Nurse’s, I would think you’d try to be consistent about aging defenseman (oh wait, I forgot, age is only a problem for you if its and Oiler player).

And for a two way player, its kind of strange that Danault had the highest GA/60 of all the regular Habs centers, both this past season and the past 3 seasons.

Last edited 1 month ago by Redbird62
Harpers Hair

Not sure why you can’t comprehend the phrase NEXT season.

Richards cap hit was incurred because he was caught at the border with illegal drugs and was not part of the rebuild process.

Doughty is 31 not 38 like Duncan Keith and with improved team mates should contribute to better results.

In any event, disposing of his contract is years away and the Kings may have won another cup by then.

Redbird62

Wow you make a lot of mistakes for someone who is so arrogant. My post clearly states the seasons I was referring to as this coming season and next season. Your post says quote, “they have moved beyond carrying dead money” which is factually incorrect if they have $4.5 million of dead cap for 21-22, which is still in the future and can still be interpreted as next season right now since it hasn’t started yet. Even if your next season is referring to 22-23, you were still wrong that it is less than a $1 million, since the Richard’s money is dead cap space no matter how it was arrived at and you desperately try to spin it otherwise after your error being pointed out to you. Hard to believe you won any awards in journalism considering how often you make errors on this blog and how often your writing is very ambiguous, though I imagine that is intentional so you can change the interpretation if anyone calls you on it.

Bill

“ a prospect pool that makes grown men weep.”
What exactly are you smoking?

Harpers Hair

Old socks.

dessert1111

Betting the under on Seattle seems like value.

DevilsLettuce

Drai/Nuge/Yams
McD/Hyman/Pools
Ryan/Foeg/Kass
Mcleod/Benson/Arch
Shore/Marody

If either Pools or Yams falters Kass and Foeg will be given every chance to rotate in.

hickey99

For lines I’d like to see;
hyman-mcd-kassian
benson-drai-pulju
foegal-nuge-yamo
mcleod-ryan-archie

Last edited 1 month ago by hickey99
cowboy bill

This might not be a popular view . But however you slice it , it looks like Holland is ready to move on without Yamamoto . I see 5 LW ( Nuge , Foegele , Benson , Shore & Perlini ) and possibly Holloway soon . 5 RW ( Hyman , Puljujarvi , Kassian , Archibald & Turris )
4 C ( McDavid , Draisatl , Ryan & MacLeod ) However you want to line them up they will be fine . Defensively it wouldn’t surprise me if we see something like this , Nurse & Barrie , Keith & Bouchard , Broberg or Samarukov ( whichever is best prepared) & Ceci with Koekoek & Russell . Hopefully goaltending will be adequate . In other words ,Yamamoto better take what Holland is offering or he might be headed out of town .

defmn

I think Kassian as more vulnerable than Yamamoto, no? I guess it depends on how you see the function of the 3rd line but Yamamoto can PK and Kassian cannot. Not to mention cap hit considerations.

cowboy bill

Kassian is signed.

defmn

I believe you are allowed to trade signed players.

jp

This might not be a popular view . But however you slice it , it looks like Holland is ready to move on without Yamamoto .

You’re off your rocker man!

cowboy bill

If Holland wasn’t prepared to move on without Yamamoto he would absolutely be off his rocker . It’s better to be safe than sorry.
It’s a good thing .

Last edited 1 month ago by cowboy bill
jp

OK, sure, Holland is ‘prepared’ to move on without.

That doesn’t mean he wants to, expects to or will move on without.

You’re using flawed logic if you’re taking Yamamoto not being signed as meaning anything about his spot in the lineup or on the roster this coming season.

cowboy bill

My point is that he is clearly prepared either way .

jp

You’ve been consistently talking about Yamamoto leaving so I assumed the same here.

I will agree that Holland has brought in enough depth that Yamamoto needn’t be relied on too heavily.

But again, I don’t think there’s any connection between Yamamoto not having a contract today and Holland’s view of his future and place on the team.

Redbird62

Yes Holland does hold most of the cards here, but Yamamoto is not the only ELC graduate not to sign yet. Hughes, Tkachuk, Batherson, Hronek, Petterson, Dahlin, Thomas, Kaprizov (special case) and nine other RFA’s are still waiting to sign. Someone has to be last to sign for a team. Happens every season. As long as he is signed before camp, there is no issue. Bear signed just before camp last season and that may have impacted his start, but it was a unique season due to the travel restrictions and the short camp. As of right now, I don’t think Yamamoto would have the same issues. I see no evidence that Holland is ready to move on. Holland may have plans in case things don’t work out, but realistically, Yamamoto is likely to sign and Holland’s base plan is to sign and keep him.

OriginalPouzar

cowboy bill

 August 31, 2021 12:28 pm

This might not be a popular view . But however you slice it , it looks like Holland is ready to move on without Yamamoto .

May I ask why? Is it because he’s not signed? Its August.

Gustaffson, Beauvillier, Tkachuk, Petterson, Hughes, Dahlin, Marody, Kaprison, etc. – all unsigned RFAs

cowboy bill

You’re right there’s less then a month before training camp. No worries. We can wait and watch how thing transpire. It’s no biggie. Holland has everything under control.

OriginalPouzar

I know you are being facetious (and condescending) but, yes, agreed.

I am hopeful that it gets done right away but i don’t start getting concerned until mid-September.

At this point, I am highly confident Yamamoto will be there for day 1 of camp.

cowboy bill

But there’s still the possibility Yamamoto will never play another game in an Oiler jersey . Stranger things have happened , like Larsson & Bear even Gretzky . Only the shadow knows BWAAAHAHA .

Reja

“So let it be written, so let it be done”

stephen sheps

Yeesh, guessing on lineups around here is like smoking a cigarette beside a gas pump; not guaranteed to explode, but the odds aren’t great…

what the heck, I’ll try it (and then read everyone else’s guesses after).

Going old-school LT style, C-L-R, just for fun

McDavid-Hyman-Moto (feels similar enough to when Hyman played with Matthews & Marner, which was a very successful line for the Leafs, at least at 5v5)

Drai-Nuge-JP (If Moto is on L1, JP makes sense here, plus I think his tenacity/pick pursuit skills and straight line speed will create space for Nuge to use his elite vision to be the key playmaker on the line & keep Drai locked in as the transporter & the shooter)

Ryan-Foegele-Archie (speed, defensive conscience & sneaky out-scoring potential)

Bonus 4th line – McLeod-Benson-Marody (the new kid line, they earn it in camp and we know they already have chemistry based on how well they played in the A last year. Sure, it might not translate to the NHL, but what if it does?).

Kassian & Shore are the 13 & 14, Perlini doesn’t make it to Bakersfield (lost on waivers or back to Europe) but Turris sure does.

cowboy bill

Sure they could also throw MacLeod between Shore & Kassian.
BOOM .

Last edited 1 month ago by cowboy bill
David

C-L-R is so wrong.

I love the idea of a Benson-McLeod-Marody line. Probably zero percent chance it happens.

stephen sheps

right

Harpers Hair

Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) Tweeted:
REPORT: Jake Virtanen receives KHL contract offer from SKA https://t.co/ZpuVUYupvQ https://t.co/kDVR3dAPUz

https://twitter.com/passittobulis/status/1432587847844831232?s=20

jp

Replacing Podkolzin?

Harpers Hair

Looks like it.

Reja

It’s off to the Gulag league for you Jake.

DieHard

Holloway/ McDavid / Hyman
Nuge / Leon / Jesse
Foegele / Ryan / Kassian
Benson / McLeod / Archie

jp

Yamamoto traded?

For?

Reja

Traded to Seattle. Holloway and Kassian take his place in the top 6

Harpers Hair

Seattle’s RW depth chart:

Eberle
Donskoi
Tanev
Appleton
Lind
Geekie

I don’t see a pressing need there.

defmn

It’s probably just me but I always find it strange that RW seems to have no shortage of skill across the league but RD seems to have a shortage every year.

Harpers Hair

Perhaps a function of wingers more easily playing the position independent of their which way they shoot?

jp

Seattle’s RW depth chart:

Eberle

Donskoi

Tanev

Appleton

Lind

Geekie

I don’t see a pressing need there.

Uhh.

Tanev is a left shot who plays both wings. Even without Yamamoto he’s likely on the left side.

I’m told Appleton is a C.

And Lind/Greekie are older prospect/fringe NHLer, not sure what they’ve got to do with the conversation.

Harpers Hair

If Tanev plays LW their LW depth chart is:

Jaden Schwartz
Jared McCann
Calle Jarnkrok
Brandon Tanev

I know you are aware that Appleton plays both wing and centre so your snark is silly.

If Yamamoto was a centre they might have more interest but, as I said, they would have little interest in another middle 6 winger when they already have a ton of them.

jp

McCann will play C, no? Given they have a shortage there.

Yamamoto has more scoring potential than most of them, and is a local boy, so saying Seattle would have little interest is just disingenuous.

jp

We all know what you think of Yamamoto. I’m curious what DieHard did with him.

What would you expect from Seattle for him btw?

Reja

I don’t mind Yamo and I cheer for him but the only time he scores is when Leon or someone else puts it on a platter with a shiny ribbon on it. Leon is in his prime give him wingers that can put the biscuit in the net 20-25 goals at the least should be scored by Leons right winger. No one is saying Yamo is not skilled and works his ass off that’s why he may be desirable especially with his cheap labour. We need a Goalie if you can dump 1/2 of Mikko’s salary in a 3-way involving Seattle with Yamo as bait and get a capable 1-B-A goaltender in return I would do that trade yesterday.

jp

A reminder that Yamamoto has scored 19 goals in his last 79 games, mostly as Draisaitl’s winger (with almost no PP time).

If you can dump Koskinen’s salary and get a quality goaltender for him it could be something to consider though.

OriginalPouzar

Reja

 Reply to jp

 August 31, 2021 2:10 pm

I don’t mind Yamo and I cheer for him but the only time he scores is when Leon or someone else puts it on a platter with a shiny ribbon on it.

Of course Yamamoto just finished his ELC and is a developing young player.

You continue to (and consistently) discout the likelihood that Yamamoto is going to, you know, develop and get better.

Reja

Well he didn’t offensively develop last year. Maybe the league has figured him out. How long do you keep him in the top 6 if he can’t score? This isn’t a participation league I’m a Oiler fan and if Yamo isn’t cutting it in the top 6 than Tippett might have to hurt his feelings and get a right winger with more mustard. We need to form some real chemistry with Leon on line 1-B or A and come at the opposition in waves the way Tampa and Vegas play.

OriginalPouzar

Reja

 Reply to  OriginalPouzar

 August 31, 2021 4:47 pm

Well he didn’t offensively develop last year. Maybe the league has figured him out. How long do you keep him in the top 6 if he can’t score? This isn’t a participation league I’m a Oiler fan and if Yamo isn’t cutting it in the top 6 than Tippett might have to hurt his feelings and get a right winger with more mustard. We need to form some real chemistry with Leon on line 1-B or A and come at the opposition in waves the way Tampa and Vegas play.

That’s alot of conclusions based on a half of season of poor offensive production (while still contributing to a material outscoring line).

My answer to “how long do you keep him in the top six?” would be longer than half of a shortened season of poor production.

I’m certainly not giving up a player’s potential due to a 2 month slump on his entry level deal.

100% his leash in the top 6 is shorter and he is definitely no lock to stay there but, my goodness, he’s a developing kid still.

P.S. He has shown chemistry with Leon in the very near past.

DieHard

Yamamoto is 13th forward unless a good trade can occur. He can rotate in and out as needed. I would take a 1st and 3rd for him. Packaged for a goalie of the future?

jp

13th forward, wow.

But still potentially worth a 1st and a 3rd..

Obviously I don’t agree, but thanks for the answer.

DieHard

I don’t think Yamamoto fits any more. I believe we have better options. Can only play 2R/3R. No PP or PK or size. He just gets destroyed with heavy playoff hockey.

Redbird62

He actually kills penalties, netting 45 seconds per game and was okay overall but not great. He also filled in on the number one PP unit occasionally and it still scored at a rate of 10.7 per 60 when he was on, which is still outstanding but it was a somewhat small sample size. In total he spent about 39 seconds per game on the PP including the first and second units. His line won the possession battle in the playoffs, but were outscored 0-1. He didn’t get the job done, but he was no worse than most on the team not scoring 5 on 5 – the team only scored 6. I think he will have a bounce back season.

OriginalPouzar

I believe he 100% fits – in particular given he’s showing to be a very high end defensive player which makes him a very good 2-way player.

If he is only a 40 point player year, well, that’s a great player to have in the middle six/3rd line.

Yamamoto has already PKd a bit a the NHL level and i anticipate he’ll be used more regularly on the PK in the future – I think he will be an elite PK guy pretty soon.

I’m not sure the sample size is large enough to conclude anything about his ability to perform in the playoffs.

The kid just finished his ELC – he is developing and, presumably, getting better.

OriginalPouzar

DieHard

 August 31, 2021 11:34 am

Holloway/ McDavid / Hyman

Nuge / Leon / Jesse

Foegele / Ryan / Kassian

Benson / McLeod / Archie

For me, this could happen “in time”, once Holloway is ready.

I’ve been saying, once Holloway is ready for the top 6, it gives the ability to either (a) shift Nuge to 3C or (b) shift Hyman over to the right side (and Yamo down).

It seems unlikely this is available in October but maybe its available by March (or October 2022).

Reja

I thought they were going throw Holloway into a ziplock and marinate him in the crisper at the bottom of the fridge with Benson and Marody until he’s almost overripe.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t know what their plan is for Holloway but I never once suggested that management would, nor should do what you describe.

I presume, if Holloway makes the team, or is called up, and doesn’t produce on a line with McDavid or Drai for 10 games that you will be looking to move on from the player?

Reja

That’s the thing when natural talent plays with the same as one poster mentions on here they show themselves early especially when it comes to wingers. Leon’s back is getting sore he needs someone to ease his pain.

Brantford Boy

LT: :We all have favourites, maybe it’s a style or a specific skill. Since I was a kid the two-way centers have special appeal and I do like the shutdown types on defense.”

It’s hard for me to not just completely agree, when in fact I feel the same. There’s no question about my love of the shutdown defenseman, and probably why I’ve loved the Nuge since draft day. The obvious answer 97 times out of a hundred is McDavid – full stop. When I watch O’Reilly and Bergeron it really is a thing of magic, thus the hardware those players have accumulated.

I am most excited to see Bouchard play this fall. Perhaps he reminds me a little of Paul Coffey, my favorite player of all time. When I was a kid and everyone throwing sticks at the rink to determine teams wanted to be the hometown kid. I played defense so Coffey was the natural choice. One great friend chose Kurri consistently, another Lemieux (he even died his hair like him), and another went off the board with Dino Ciccarelli. Both the latter two were very small but extremely skilled hockey players. If both their sticks ended up on the same side of the ice you knew you were in a lot of trouble. Sadly, in those times there wasn’t a ton of room for these 5’6″ 160lb guys back then (and were told such by coaches), when teams were taking Chris Gratton away from town. So it’s good things have changed, and these players have carved out a niche in the worlds best league.

As LT somewhat directed the centres, I’ll go with:
Hyman-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Foegele-Ryan-Kassian

Playoffs:
Foegele-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Hyman-Draisaitl-Kassian
Holloway-NugeYamamoto

jp

Pretty similar to Melman, I’d give the first try to:

Hyman-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Foegele-Ryan-Kassian
xxx-McLeod-Archibald

In hopes that Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto can rediscover magic, and that Kassian will be a real contributor.

(xxx being whoever of Shore/Benson/Perlini/Turris plays best in camp).

If those lines don’t jive I’d also be interested in seeing:

Hyman-McDavid-Yamamoto
Nuge-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
Foegele-Ryan-Kassian

and/or

Hyman-McDavid-Yamamoto
Nuge-Draisaitl-Kassian
Foegele-Ryan-Puljujarvi

Tons more options beyond these obviously.

leadfarmer

If only we could human centipede Bouchards elite passing, Brobergs elite skating and Sammys elite defending we would have a ridiculous prospect

godot10

Broberg has the upside potential to do it all. (I said potential, folks). It might take awhile, as it did with Nurse. I don’t think it will be like Heiskanen just stepping on the ice in North America, and its all there immediately.

OriginalPouzar

godot10

 Reply to leadfarmer

 August 31, 2021 12:33 pm

Broberg has the upside potential to do it all. (I said potential, folks). It might take awhile, as it did with Nurse. I don’t think it will be like Heiskanen just stepping on the ice in North America, and its all there immediately.

I agree with you but I don’t discount a more immediate impact because I think his skating will be MUCH more material on the North American ice (like Hieskenan – see his 1st NHL shift).

I’m not saying he’s Hieskenan, but his skating is there and he no longer has to deal with the great mitigator of speed and skill, the large European ice.

Reja

How are the hands? So far that seems to be the only tool he doesn’t have in his bag so far.

defmn

Would that be a $13 M cap hit or would it take $14 M? 😉

jp

And you’d still need 4 more defensemen then too!

OriginalPouzar

Chris Pronger…….. (but a better skater).

OriginalPouzar

For two years running now, Drai without McDavid has had sparkling goal share results – results that outpace the shot metrics. Drai is always going to have a high shooting percentage given, well, a great shot and the fact that his presence on the ice creates better scoring chances. He’s not a volume shooter so the shot share metrics will always be outpaced by the goal share.

Drai with Yamamoto (and Kahun), did produce offensively at the pace they could have, or should have, however, they were dominant defensively and killed the goal share once again.

Drai without McDavid is real and is spectacular.

With the addition of Hyman, it allows Drai to have Nuge and that could work for both McDavid and Drai – it could be sensational.

Just wait until Holloway joins the conversation!

OriginalPouzar

I agree with that description of Bouchard’s passing – its tough to reconcile that with a description of below average puck skills but that’s OK.

Bouchard is real and he’s spectacular.

—————

AHL TV is a must again this year as the Condors should be so much fun to watch and track. They likely won’t have the veteran presence of a Gravel and Stanton on defence but, my goodness, Broberg, Samorukov, Niemelainen, Berglund, Kesselring, Kemp….. maybe Lagesson, wow!

Holloway and Broberg being the main high end prospects to watch, 100%, I add Samorukov to that group.

Also look forward to Lavoie taking that step in his 2nd pro year as often happens and the darkhorse for me, Krill Maksimov – his time is now and I hope he grabs a top 6 winger and PP spot – battling with Lavoie for those minutes.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

Very much looking forward to watching the Condors this year. Can’t wait to watch Manson coaching the D prospects. Reminds me of when Charlie Huddy was coaching in Edmonton, he just makes them better.

OriginalPouzar

JP is one of the few people on the roster not named Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl who could carry a line in the future.

Yes, this is something I agree with. I have been of the position that, when Drai and McDavid are together at 5 on 5, Puljujarvi should not be the 3rd player on that line as, in that situation, he should be used to help drive results on a secondary line.

The above still stands as my position but I will also add Hyman to that category as his time in Toronto shows that he has the ability to help drive results on a secondary line as well.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, Holloway will be added to this group as he has that type of skill-set but, of course, has not yet played a pro hockey game and will still be a teenager when training camp opens.

anonymous

Dan Currie, I think it was Dan, was the last prospect I let myself get excited about. Aside from Connor. I was a cocky kid and was so sure he’d be a perennial 50 goal scorer.

WedgeAntilles

I was all-in on Jani Rita. We all have our Kryptonite.

jp

I was pretty certain Rita was going to be quality too.

Paajarvi too for that matter.

stephen sheps

We all remember my misplaced Yak fandom, but Anton Lander was my guy. I really thought that despite the slow boots, he’d become a premier 3C and future letter-on-the-sweater kind of guy, which is exactly what he became…

… in the KHL

jp

Yeah I thought Lander would AT LEAST make it as a very good 4C.

Mats Lindgren is another guy I thought could be written in at 3C for a long time.

So many things can go wrong for these guys.

MushedPeas

Ditto. That quarter season in the bigs under Nelson – though he had arrived.

SwedishPoster

Rita didn’t turn out as an NHLer but still one hell of a meter maid.

Tarkus

Like Brent with Wayne G., he couldn’t fill the shoes of his older brother Jari.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

Great scorer, but kinda soft and looked lazy on the ice. Oilers coach at the time was mostly Teddy Green…..

Mystery solved?

elgruntus

Ron Carter for me. That was a lonnnnng time ago

Melman

As your day-to-day:
Hyman-McD-JP
Nuge-Drai-KY
Foegle-Ryan-Archie (I don’t think Kass will have the game)
Benson-McLeod-Kass/Turris

For times when the coach wants load up with a different look/feel
Drai-McD-KY
Hyman-Nuge-JP
Foegele-Ryan-Kass/Turris
Benson-McLeod-Archie

Speaking of the non-elite players on the squad, I’ll be curious to see what kind of game Turris shows up with this year. A summer of working out hard is great, but will that translate into actually picking up his man in the slot or finishing a check? Those were noticeably absent traits to his game last season and, I would argue, unless he fundamentally changes his style of play to stay in the league, I’m not sure being in better shape makes much of a difference if you continue to peel away from a check, or play cactus in front of the net. Tough for a former offensively minded player to flip the switch at 32 to play a bottom 6 style of game, and it’s hard to imagine him playing any higher than 3rd line at his best. Not hard to see him heading out the door for a late round pick at the deadline to open up some cap space, but for he and the team I hope he comes in and forces his way onto the roster with solid play.

Has the pro-Kassian chatter out out there this off-season been done in the hopes the big fella walks from his slumber and decides to give his best effort this season? Sadly, that’s been a theme throughout his career. However, I have no problem if he meanders his way through the regular season so long as he shows up as a difference maker in the playoffs as he did once upon a time.

OriginalPouzar

With Turris, I am also intrigued to see how his game is (and to see if Covid really did have an effect on his fitness and ability to compete).

With respect to the defensive responsibilities you mention, I would note that, for me, if he’s on the roster and in the lineup, its likely on wing, not center.

Kert

LT, it has been 18 years, are you ready to fall in love with another “wide-range-of-skills” center from the QMJHL drafted at #22?

jp

He appears to be talented enough. We’ll see.

New guy had better scoring numbers in his draft year. I do like the pick.

Ribs

18 years! Wow!

MrEd

Hyman-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Foegele-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
RNH-Ryan-Kassian
Shore-McLeod-Turris

Nurse-Barrie
Keith-Bouchard
Keokkoek-Ceci

Eh Team

In what world does Turris actually get a roster spot? He was way below replacement level last year and is a year older. He’s supposedly in “the best shape of his life”, but if so, why wasn’t he last year?

Primetime

I think Turris’ answer would be “COVID” but I agree, can’t see him taking a spot. This lineup leaves their best PKer Archibald out of the lineup. That skill alone is more valuable than anything Turris brings, let alone his physicality and ability to actually hit an open net.

To me, Turris’ only chance at playing (barring injuries) is at the “Veteran RH 3/4C” slot. He only gets a game if Ryan is struggling terribly

jp

I think Turris’ answer would be “COVID” but I agree, can’t see him taking a spot. This lineup leaves their best PKer Archibald out of the lineup. 

Agree with the answer, and also that it’s unlikely (though far from impossible).

Agree also that Archibald won’t be the one sitting. My guess (if Turris were to make it) is that Shore would see the PB and Archibald slides to LW.

Durag

Nuge drops to the third line and he’s still on the wing??!

OriginalPouzar

With respect to Turris, I can 100% see him on the roster. Its 100% NOT a surety/given but it definitely could happen. He should be in a real battle for a roster spot with the likes of Marody.

If he is the Turris of last year, of course, he gets waived and assigned but there is every chance that he’s better.

He scored at a 0.5 P/G the previous year and was serviceable as a bottom 6 center.

I just can’t discount the possibility that his terrible performance last year was largely due to his bout with Covid pre-season. I’m purely speculating but it could have kept him from proper training/preparation for the season and its tough to catch up during the year fitness wise. It could have had lingering effects on his health/fitness, etc.

He may be done, for sure. He may not be.

We’ll know soon enough.

flyfish1168

JP personality is refreshing. I love the picture on Twitter of him and the large trout he caught.

https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/1432008759765831680

Last edited 1 month ago by flyfish1168
Scungilli Slushy

The pizza pick rules

SwedishPoster

JPs dad was incredible when it came to fishing according to the legend in the part of Sweden where the family lived before moving back to Finland. Seems some of it rubbed off on Jesse.