Fly at Night, in the Morning we land

by Lowetide

How many recalls will Edmonton make from the Bakersfield Condors this winter? I think at least one goalie, two defensemen and a forward will be sent north to Edmonton during the year. That isn’t much in a normal year, but last season’s recall list (Ryan McLeod) came under special circumstances. What can we expect this year?

THE ATHLETIC!

  • New Lowetide: Projecting the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers opening night lineup
  • Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should be excited about the progress of Maxim Berezkin
  • Lowetide: What should Oilers expect from Duncan Keith in his first season?
  • Lowetide: Did the Oilers find the new Fernando Pisani when signing Derek Ryan?
  • 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: 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?
  • 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
  • DNB: ‘Ultimate competitor’ Zach Hyman signs with Oilers
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects, summer 2021

THREE AHL COACHES

Julien sent five solid prospects to the NHL and not one of them was a first-round pick. I believe he’s the best in this group, but it isn’t an easy selection. Todd Nelson did a fine job with the group he coached in Oklahoma City over 4+ seasons, and he had some bad luck (Klefbom, Pitlick) with injuries to some of his best prospects. Woodcroft is just getting started, but I like what he’s doing. Seems to me good young players get plenty of action with the Woodcroft Condors.

One interesting item: From the Julien list, I see Horcoff and Pisani as the two men who played the heart of their careers with the Oilers. From the Nelson group, only Oscar Klefbom from the group who played a bigger number of games did it in Edmonton. The Woodcroft list has already been culled by trade, with Yamamoto and Bouchard the most likely to stay.

PROJECTED CONDORS OPENING NIGHT LINEUP

  • Brendan Perlini-Dylan Holloway-Cooper Marody
  • Raphael Lavoie-Adam Cracknell-Seth Griffith
  • Kirill Maksimov-Brad Malone-Ostap Safin
  • Tim Soderlund-Luke Esposito-Devin Brosseau
  • Extras: James Hamblin, Matteo Gennaro, Dino Kambeitz
  • Dmitri Samorukov-William Lagesson
  • Philip Broberg-Filip Berglund
  • Markus Niemelainen-Vincent Desharnais
  • Extras: Yanni Kaldis, Phil Kemp, Mike Kesselring
  • Alex Stalock, Stuart Skinner, Ilya Konovalov, Olivier Rodrgiue

If this ends up being the roster for Woodcroft and crew, I would bet the recalls are any and all of Holloway, Perlini, Marody and Lavoie among forwards; Samorukov, Lagesson, Broberg and Niemelainen among defensemen, and Stalock, Skinner and Konovalov from the goalie group.

My opinion is this: Holloway is likely to stay in Bakersfield longer than Leon Draisaitl did at 20. Actually, Draisaitl didn’t play any games at 20 in Bakersfield, he was 19 when playing all six of his AHL games. Turned 20 three days after his final game for the Condors. Holloway plays 20-40 games in the minors and then begins a productive NHL career.

I’m not sure how the Samorukov-Broberg ascension order will go, but expect both will see at least a cup of coffee before the playoffs. Both Mike Zanier and Corey Pronman have suggested to me that Broberg may benefit from some time in the AHL this year, and Samorukov’s KHL season ended with a shoulder injury. Both men likely begin in Bakersfield and we’ll see from there.

Lavoie, Maksimov and Safin will be fighting each other (and some established AHL types) for playing time. In the playoffs, Lavoie posted strong numbers in six games (1-3-4, 24 shots) and Safin (six games, 1-1-2) also played a regular shift. Add Maksimov into the group and there’s an interesting trio of forwards to watch. I won’t predict a recall, but wouldn’t count it out if one of these fellows spikes.

Markus Niemelainen is another defender who could get a cup of coffee. Kesselring and Kemp will need a year at least, that’s my opinion. If either got a call, I’d bet on Kemp who seems to have his game figured out.

In goal, I’m on the Konovalov train but do believe the organization is convinced of Skinner, who had an excellent season in Bakersfield. I can’t wait for the Condors season.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll celebrate Gold for Canada in women’s hockey, shot putt and swimming. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will chat about Raphael Lavoie, Dmitri Samorukov and Marie-Philip Poulin, as hockey begins to take over again with September mornings arriving. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk about new betting options in Canada, Super Bowl odds and whether you should bet on the Orioles this week. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

86 comments
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86 comments

LMHF#1 September 1, 2021 - 9:27 pm

Ack – post wound up on the wrong day.

Anyone care to claim Nurse is nearly 3 million per year better than Parayko?
Nice deal for St. Louis.

leadfarmer September 1, 2021 - 9:35 pm

lot of risk on Paraykos back

leadfarmer September 1, 2021 - 9:36 pm

I wonder if they could get insurance on that contract

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 5:44 am

Parayko is coming off a poor season and doesn’t bring a lot of offense in a good season. He’ll be 29 when the contract starts, so this is paying him through his 30’s. Maybe a better question is: is Parayko going to be worth $1.5M more than Nugent-Hopkins through to age 37?

defmn September 1, 2021 - 8:30 pm

Nice article on the importance of data interpretation. As it has ever been – its not the information that counts so much as knowing how to sort the information to extract value from it.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/nhl-teams-data-ever-figuring-matters-new-challenge/

Kinger_Oil.redux September 1, 2021 - 11:00 pm

– There is such a great quote in this that applies to all industries: ” Similarly, right now it’ll be about the quality of people teams have internally, not whether they have people or not. There’s useful information in tracking data, and those with good people will get ahead, those in the middle won’t fall behind, and you know what comes after that.”

– Sadly I’m certain of where our current organization falls on this.

– It’s so frustrating that the team I love is just so backwards. In real life, I get to to pick the companies that have good people, ahead of the curve, and punt those that aren’t.

– McD and Drai going supernova is this teams only “delta”, and that’s based on previous ineptness that got rewarded.

Lowetide September 1, 2021 - 11:50 pm

Yes. Oilers current ownership authored an ineffective and wasteful decade.

Kinger_Oil.redux September 2, 2021 - 12:00 am

“We strive to discover exceptional goal-oriented, driven individuals that share our passion for growth and success. We provide extensive on-the-job training and reward outstanding performance. The next innovation could come from anyone.” This is from the CEO of one of my investments, looking to get people to add more value. Why can’t our team have some of this ethos?

€√¥£€^$ September 1, 2021 - 5:05 pm

Condors are auctioning off Young Stars jerseys. For those interested the bidding starts at $250 USD. Shipping to Canada is $40 USD. There appears to just be a total of 4 bids so far.

https://www.bakersfieldcondors.com/news/young-stars-jersey-auction/

SwedishPoster September 1, 2021 - 3:14 pm

Was looking around to see if Jeremias Lindewall made any waves in tonight’s preseason game for Modo, seems like he didn’t but I found this clip from earlier in the summer when he played with the swedish U20 team that at least I had missed https://mobile.twitter.com/SpokedZ/status/1421547986157514753

Not the greatest gap control from the player defending but nice creative play from Lindewall.
That’s the type of plays that makes you think he has a chance, the bell is miles and miles away as you’d expect with a 7th rounder but it’s there. He makes those type of quality plays from time to time just needs to show it more often.

So far this preseason with Modo he’s been pretty quiet, the team has only been playing teams that are clearly better than them so far so not a lot of room to shine though.
To feel he’s on track as a prospect you’d want to see him at least push for top 6 duty in Allsvenskan by New Year’s or so, all is not lost if he doesn’t but he’d have to make a pretty major jump in his development next year if he’s still just a bit player in Allsvenskan by the end of the season. Big year for his NHL chances I’d say.

Sadly I’m not fully convinced Modo in their current iteration is a great spot for him or any young player which is a shame because for years they used to be the place in Sweden when it came to developing talent, Peter Forsberg, Markus Näslund, Viktor Hedman etc etc says hi. The org is in a bit of flux and it seems like they can’t really decide if they want to get back to the SHL by developing their homegrown talent or just bring in established players for a hard push. It’s not a great sign when their two most talented younglings, the two Williams Strömgren and Wallinder, left this summer after Mattias Norlinder left last summer. Yes, they all left for good SHL clubs, but I doubt they would have if the team had a good plan for developing them and giving them prime spots in the lineup. At least not all of them. On the positive they have a new coach who’s a local guy but has been having strong results with other teams before returning this season and comes off as a smart coach. Let’s hope he’s smart enough to give Lindewall a major role…

Lindewall has a small chance of making the swedish WJC team btw, I wouldn’t count on it but if he shows well to start the season he’s in the conversation.

Since he’s the only Oiler prospect left here after last year’s extravaganza of Oiler players left and right I’ll get my full scouting fix from Lindewall this year. So this 7th rounder will get his fair share of reports. Longshot be damned.

Henry September 1, 2021 - 6:50 pm

I really value your posts. Thank you.

LadiesloveSmid September 1, 2021 - 2:18 pm

Parayko should have been better buddies with STL’s best player! Could have netted him an extra $3M per year!

leadfarmer September 1, 2021 - 2:27 pm

That’s a good deal even before this crazy off-season. Now it’s a great deal

PennersPancakes September 1, 2021 - 4:09 pm

Contract doesnt kick in until after next season so 29 year old for 8 years x 6.5M. My gut instinct its a decent/good deal. I think hes a little un-tracked from 17-19 when he looked unreal.I would still definitely sign this given the alternatives but after missing half of last season (played 32 games) to back injuries there has to be some worry about if he fully recovers.

You dont hear of too many people who used to have back problems.

Reja September 1, 2021 - 5:31 pm

Usually it cost a player a few bucks who doesn’t have the pedigree of let say Nurse they can be exactly the same player but usually pedigree gets payed more. Anyhow I feel like Parayko who is one fine D has capped out where it looks like Nurse is just getting started and will only get better.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 6:01 pm

I personally don’t think that pedigree with Parayko’s new contract – its his third contract and 2nd big money for term contract. Slater Koekkoek has pedigree, he was drafted 10th overall in the same year as Parayko.

At this point, I take Nurse over Parayko but not by $3M per – Blues did very well, in my opinion.

Reja September 1, 2021 - 7:21 pm

If Slater wasn’t drafted so high in the first round and had no pedigree he would be playing 2nd pairing in the North Korean league with defence partner Choi Sung.

Lowetide September 1, 2021 - 6:26 pm

Parayko’s back cost him some do-re-mi imo.

godot10 September 1, 2021 - 1:54 pm

Todd Nelson also took prospects…suspects…left for dead, Colin McDonald and Taylor Chorney, and resuscitated them to 150 game NHL careers.

Marc Arcobello, undrafted college grad, to 130 games.

Bank Shot September 1, 2021 - 2:08 pm

Todd also had the worst big club, so the highest chance of graduating players.

Maybe I’m on an island here but I’m starting to believe more and more that 95% of developing a player is picking the right one on draft day.

PennersPancakes September 1, 2021 - 2:12 pm

Thats a good point. A good club wont have as much time for tweener try outs. Have to think within the decade of darkness that a Benson and Marody would get NHL time if the Landers and Pitlicks did. Same thing with Lagesson vs Oesterle/Marincin.

David September 1, 2021 - 5:32 pm

At the same time, the Oilers for all their suckitude, we’re probably not the best landing spot for Omark. He had real NHL skill, needed to find a better team that just had a second line hole and he might have thrived.

It might not be so much about how good or bad the team is and more about positional need.

Scungilli Slushy September 1, 2021 - 2:14 pm

I agree. Skilled players aren’t necessarily in short supply, but skilled players with NHL mindset, drive and adaptability are. Especially those with the size and boots as well. Like any sport at it’s highest level.

One summer of training changed Bear’s path, and one summer of lesser training derailed him somewhat. It’s no accident that the best players in the game are also the hardest working.

YKOil September 1, 2021 - 2:25 pm

Had a lot of time for Todd Nelson. Thought he did very well for the Oilers and that he got a lot out of the players he was given.

The only dark cloud that can be attached to the drafting of McDavid – while, absolutely not the fault of McDavid in any way – was the Oilers head office losing their mind and immediately bringing in Chiarelli and McLellan.

I didn’t mind McLellan as a hire but I absolutely hated giving up a 3rd rounder for the privilege and would not have done it.

Viewed the Chiarelli signing with even more disdain, and that was before I knew how bad he would be as a GM. Just objected to giving up the 2nd rounder.

Between acting without due caution, and then paying a 2nd and 3rd for the privilege, it is a wonder Nicholson receives a paycheque. Boggles my f&*king mind.

PennersPancakes September 1, 2021 - 4:19 pm

Nicholsons only on-ice related achievements are picking from the worlds best group of coaches and players. You could make a Canada Team B for most tournaments and have a decent shot at gold and silver.

I know there’s some pure business decisions he may have done well with Team Canada but I dont see them here in Edmonton. I get annoyed hearing his name or Muppet voice after deflecting blame. The Rieder comments alone are embarrassing enough let alone the few years of absolute failure with McDavid.

Everyone gives Chia shit for giving Koskinen Term, Money, and Trade Protection mere days before getting canned BUT Nicholson himself said:

“Peter did not make that deal all by himself….We made that decision to go with Mikko and sign him to a three-year deal,”

Nicholson: Koskinen extension was approved by organization (Jan 23, 2019)
So this guy helps the organization make awful hockey decisions as well as burgers.

Victoria Oil September 1, 2021 - 1:27 pm

I know it was yesterday, but kudos to the Canadian Women’s team. Especially to Marie Phillip Poulin: both goals in the 2010 Olympic gold medal game, the tying and OT goal in the 2014 Olympic gold medal game and now the OT winner in the World Championships. Talk about a clutch performer!

leadfarmer September 1, 2021 - 1:26 pm

So the guy the Canucks gave away is +3300 and the monster contract they brought in and gave up a grade A prospect for is nowhere to be found. Oh my

Harpers Hair September 1, 2021 - 1:47 pm

It’s okay if you have the 5th ranked D on the list.

Im surprised that the oddsmakers have so little regard for the Oilers soon to be $9.25 million man.

Side September 1, 2021 - 1:56 pm

And by “okay” you mean they will miss the playoffs by an even bigger margin this year?

I didn’t click the link but can you tell me where OEL is on the Norris odds list? Is he, as a $8.25 million D, higher or lower than Nurse on the list?

leadfarmer September 1, 2021 - 1:57 pm

Because that 5th ranked player is not a defenseman.

Darth Tu September 1, 2021 - 2:52 pm

http://www.puckiq.com/players/8480800?player=8480800&season=all&group_by=player_season_team

Look at the beauty of a year he had. It’ll be some amount of a bounce-back if he’s winning the Norris.

Reja September 1, 2021 - 2:03 pm

What about a marinated Bouchard on his minimum wage contract will he surprise and receive some votes?

Reja September 1, 2021 - 1:59 pm

I’ll take a fresh Ekblad as a semi long shot now that Florida is being noticed more and more by the Hockey World.

Bank Shot September 1, 2021 - 2:06 pm

WHERES BROGAN RAFFERTY?!!!!!ONE!!!111!

Lewis Grant September 2, 2021 - 4:57 pm

We just paid $9.25M for the 28th best defenseman in the league.

This contract is likely to fall into the “Shawn Horcoff” category of contracts. Good player, bad contract.

I truly hate to say anything positive about HH’s comment, but even a blind pig finds an apple every once in a while.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 5:23 pm

He most certainly wasn’t the 28th best d-man in the league last season – he was certainly the best d-man in the North and, from what I saw, full marks for his 7th in Norris.

Do I anticipate he is a perennial top 10 Norris vote getter? Nope.

I do anticipate that he plays at or near established levels of ability though, continues to stay healthy and be an absolute all-situations minutes muncher or good team.

fishman September 1, 2021 - 12:08 pm

For those of you interested my wife was able to book her 3rd Covid shot this morning by calling 811. Her first shots were Astrazenca/Phizer which some some countries are not accepting. Her 3rd shot will be Phizer so she no longer can be rejected for having a mixed vaccination.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 11:52 am

Ron Francis weaponizing his cap space with Sheahan for $850K.

PennersPancakes September 1, 2021 - 12:21 pm

Thanos Francis collecting all the Infinity Stones 4th liners. Watch out world.

defmn September 1, 2021 - 12:29 pm

I see Lou finally opened his bottom right drawer and sent a bunch of faxes to head office.

Sorokin, Cicikas, Palmieri, Beauvillier all crowded into his office early today to sign their contracts at the same moment.

Side September 1, 2021 - 1:10 pm

Just you wait! Seattle has the 11th most cap space in the League! Annnyy day now and it will be weaponized in a way you can’t even imagine!

LadiesloveSmid September 1, 2021 - 1:36 pm

6.5 Sheahans for 1 Duncan Keith

Scungilli Slushy September 1, 2021 - 2:18 pm

I’m stupid, what does that even mean?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan September 1, 2021 - 7:02 pm

You are not stupid. OP just weaponizing his vast intellect and the rest of us mere mortals got caught in the collateral damage.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 7:32 pm

I have no idea what anyone’s issue is here.

Scungilli Slushy September 1, 2021 - 7:50 pm

I have no issue

You are a lawyer and I am a person who highly values words

Because I believe they need to be used correctly to convey what is specifically meant

Buzz words sicken me, they become meaningless in a LT quick hurry

It seems such a strong statement. Many use the term.

To me it should refer to attack. As in how the Canes attacked Montreal with the offer sheet, and vice versa.

Using cap isn’t weaponizing is it?

Am I missing something?

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 8:02 pm

It has long been suggested by some (well, one) on here, that Francis will be “weaponizing his cap space” and any positing that he may not met with ridicule and condenscation.

It was simply a light play on that narrative.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan September 1, 2021 - 10:21 pm

Scungilli Slushy states that he highly values words. I will assume that he also values the use of those words in a manner that provides clear, concise, straight answers. So let me help to clarify. It was an attempt at troll baiting.

defmn September 1, 2021 - 8:11 pm

I think we all agree on that.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 11:42 am
I’m not sure how the Samorukov-Broberg ascension order will go, but expect both will see at least a cup of coffee before the playoffs. Both Mike Zanier and Corey Pronman have suggested to me that Broberg may benefit from some time in the AHL this year, and Samorukov’s KHL season ended with a shoulder injury. Both men likely begin in Bakersfield and we’ll see from there.

For me, I’d be very surprised if Samorukov wasn’t called-up prior to Broberg and I would be disappointed (as that likely signals that Samorukov isn’t as advanced as many of us feel). Sammy is two years older, with a full AHL season and a full KHL season (in the top 4) under his belt. Broberg is going to absolutely kill the North American ice, I believe, but he’s never played a pro game in North America and just turned 20.

If Samorukov can bring anything at the NHL level at this time, its alot of what was lost with Larsson as well.

Both may see time, I agree, but I would anticipate, and hope, that Sammy is first – will depend on their player though, presumably.

Lavoie, Maksimov and Safin will be fighting each other (and some established AHL types) for playing time. In the playoffs, Lavoie posted strong numbers in six games (1-3-4, 24 shots) and Safin (six games, 1-1-2) also played a regular shift. Add Maksimov into the group and there’s an interesting trio of forwards to watch. I won’t predict a recall, but wouldn’t count it out if one of these fellows spikes.

At this point, Safin is a distant bell for me but he could re-establish himself.

I think Lavoie will probably need most of the year to work on his play away from the puck, his consistency (within a game and from game to game), and, hopefully, his strength on his skates). There are quite a few older prospects for him to pass in order to get that call-up (Marody, Perlini and, while not older, he will have to “pass” Holloway).

Would love for Lavoie to be at 0.8 P/G (0.5 G/G) and earn himself a call-up later in the year.

Markus Niemelainen is another defender who could get a cup of coffee. Kesselring and Kemp will need a year at least, that’s my opinion. If either got a call, I’d bet on Kemp who seems to have his game figured out.

While I am so happy that Niemelainen put himself back in the conversation, it appears I remain more guarded that on his potential that most. I need to see more than half of a shortened season of OK AHL play (he was hurt for most of the 2nd half and his play was good, not great – he was a good, not great puck mover which made it seem great given the pre-AHL verbal).

With Russell/Koekkoek/Lagesson/Samorukov/Broberg in the mix, that’s alot of players to pass.

Kemp, well, here is hoping he’s improved a couple of tiers in that skating as, wow, he makes Benson/Marody and Matt Greene look like Bure and Hieskenan.

I have Kesslering as much more likely to make the NHL than Kemp – neither in the conversation this year though.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 11:32 am

Brendan Perlini-Dylan Holloway-Cooper Marody

Raphael Lavoie-Adam Cracknell-Seth Griffith

Kirill Maksimov-Brad Malone-Ostap Safin

Tim Soderlund-Luke Esposito-Devin Brosseau

Extras: James Hamblin, Matteo Gennaro, Dino Kambeitz

Dmitri Samorukov-William Lagesson

Philip Broberg-Filip Berglund

Markus Niemelainen-Vincent Desharnais

Extras: Yanni Kaldis, Phil Kemp, Mike Kesselring

Alex Stalock, Stuart Skinner, Ilya Konovalov, Olivier Rodrgiue

Assuming no injuries (at the AHL or NHL level), which is unlikely, I think this looks about right. A couple of my thoughts:

1) I have been posting about Maksimov making a splash, and even competing with Lavoie for 1LW and PP1. In that regard, I would like to see Marody moved to center (and Cracknell down) so that Maksimov can play in the top six (perhaps Perlini to right wing). Cracknell is a very good AHL player and a good linemate for kids but I would like to see Kril in the top 6, if he’s earning it.

2) On defence, for me, Kesselring has to play over Deharnais. Kemp as well. Deharnais is a giant and is a find AHL defender (and was good last year) but he is a massive distant bell to ever play in the NHL (more than Kemp) and he’s on an AHL-deal, not even an NHL contract. Kesselring, a real prospect, and Kemp, on NHL deals have to play ahead of Deharnais, no?

3) I imagine Rodrigue is in Wichita. I’m not sure Stalock clears waivers, Mikko would. If they do assign one of those two to Bakersfield, they just can’t take starts away from Skinner/Konovalov, can they.

There is a chance for 3 goalies on the NHL roster which would be far from ideal. Hopefully some sort of Covid-protocol allowing a 3rd goalie to stay without impacting the cap or the 23-player roster limit.

Bruce McCurdy September 1, 2021 - 11:00 am

Condors defence is gonna be huge.

Desharnais 6’7
Niemelainen 6’5
Kesselring 6’4
Kemp 6’3
Broberg 6’3
Samorukov 6’2
Lagesson 6’2
Berglund 6’2
Kaldis 5’11

One of these things is not like the others.

ArmchairGM September 1, 2021 - 11:04 am

One small note, Berglund is listed at 6’3 on nhl.com.

Bruce McCurdy September 1, 2021 - 11:27 am

I was using hockeydb, but have seen both listings for Berglund.

PennersPancakes September 1, 2021 - 12:36 pm

I like it. A lot. Im not one to beat the drum of size size size but the d corps that went deep last year had it while the Oilers got swept and for at least one game all had Russell, Bear, and Barrie playing. Didnt help the Oilers they also had Kahun, Ennis, Yamamoto, Haas, Nygard lacking size too (yes Yamamoto still tries but he got knocked around fairly easily).

You dont need to be physical and staple everything within a 6 foot radius but its tough to deny reach advantage when the Logan Stanelys of the world can just hold and poke to their hearts desire. As well as somehow getting a stick on every puck within 10 feet.

Jordan September 1, 2021 - 12:56 pm

That’s true – big difference between 6’7 and 6’4 😛

Confused September 1, 2021 - 10:37 am

Bakersfield looking stacked, with lots of big bodies.

JimmyV1965 September 1, 2021 - 10:16 am

Just wanted to give a shout out to Penners Pancakes for his excellent post yesterday comparing Seattle and Vegas.

PennersPancakes September 1, 2021 - 12:23 pm

Appreciate Jimmy! Just glad my rambles make sense on paper the way they do in my head.

defmn September 1, 2021 - 10:10 am

The ‘after Christmas’ line up is definitely more fun to speculate on than in past years.

With both Holloway and Samorukov injured late last season it makes some
sense to ship them south to start the season but I will be disappointed if they are still there by mid-January.

I am hoping that Skinner & Konovalov drive each others games higher as they compete for top dog in Bakersfield and what happens to the Stalock/Koskinen backup spot in Edmonton remains to be seen but lets all hope it is not resolved by a Smith groin strain.

Darth Tu September 1, 2021 - 10:22 am

I’ve kind of wondered if there might be a chance of the league and the NHLPA looking at letting teams carry 3 goalies all year on the regular. I get that there’s a whole barrel of cap issues then with AHL/NHL salaries etc. Still, I kind of like the idea of teams being able to draw from 3, and maybe have an extra guy on hand in case someone is last min injured in warm up without having to go to the zamboni driver to see if they can lace them up.

Yes I know it was a good story a few years ago with the Leafs, but jeebus, does any other major sports league end up in situations like that?

defmn September 1, 2021 - 10:34 am

I think 2 extra forwards is more an anachronism than a necessity, personally. No reason why a team can’t have one forward, one dman and one goalie in the PB.

Yes, I know, the NHL is very conservative. New ideas about as welcome as a STD.

pts2pndr September 1, 2021 - 12:07 pm

By what I have read the difficulty in carrying three goalies is the lack of practice time. Part of it could also be years of tradition unhampered by progress.

Darth Tu September 1, 2021 - 1:49 pm

Lack of practise time because there’s only two nets – sounds about right 😀

Seriously though, surely even if there is some sort of slight knock on practise time that’s a-ok when your 3 potential main squad goalies are Mike Smith (39), Koskinen (33) and Stalock (34).

defmn September 1, 2021 - 5:28 pm

That is the traditional reason but last season in a more compressed schedule lots of teams used their taxi squad 3rd goalie as the practice goalie and let the starting goalie skip practice on game day. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work over 82 games as well. Especially with a group of older goalies.

Redbird62 September 1, 2021 - 10:45 am

After an NFL game in 1990 in which Washington’s 2 QB’s were hurt, and the team had to go with a RB to play QB for the rest of the game, the NFL established a 3rd QB rule, allowing a non-roster player to be designated to be a QB sub. They abolished the rule in 2011 after the game roster was expanded to 53 players. It had happened a few times before, and this past season, COVID knocked out all of Denver’s QB’s and they had to go with a wide receiver at QB who played the position back in college.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 3:30 pm

I’ve kind of wondered if there might be a chance of the league and the NHLPA looking at letting teams carry 3 goalies all year on the regular. I get that there’s a whole barrel of cap issues then with AHL/NHL salaries etc. Still, I kind of like the idea of teams being able to draw from 3, and maybe have an extra guy on hand in case someone is last min injured in warm up without having to go to the zamboni driver to see if they can lace them up.

I’ve been posting about this as well and I do think there is a chance the NHL provides for teams to carry a 3rd goalie with them (which doesn’t hit the 23 man roster limit nor carry full cap implications – similar to last season with goalies but, hopefully, without the waiver fiasco issue).

While the season will look more normal, there are still going to be Covid-protocols that are being worked on. There won’t be taxi squads but there may be the ability to carry a 3rd goalie.

As was mentioned in the thread earlier, there has been accounts that 3-goalies is not great, i.e. practice time (and I heard Joaquin Gage mention in the last week or so that he hated when the team had 3 goalies).

At the same time, there were accounts that the 3 goalies worked well for the team last year as goalies could be a given a full day off and the team could still practice as per normal.

I think this would be an ideal for the Oilers this year given their goalie situation – if they could carry 3 but only 2 counted on the roster and the cap (well, Mikko would still count close to $3.5M on the cap but you know what I mean).

Redbird62 September 1, 2021 - 4:00 pm

Do you think there is a chance because some insiders have been discussing it, or because you think it is a good idea? Certainly it would require an agreement between the NHL and NHLPA to make happen, but I do not know if these 2 parties are discussing it. It would be a complicated discussion.

For the past season, the extra rest created by having an extra goalie was beneficial particularly because of the condensed schedule (even with the rescheduling that occurred due to COVID protocols, team still have several stretches of more than 1 game every 2 days). With a normally spaced schedule, this may be less of an issue. The schedule is spread over 199 days with a 17 day Olympic break and would drop back to the normal 182 days if the NHL does not participate.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 5:07 pm

I had heard it as a possible parameter – can’t remember if it was pure speculation or something with more teeth.

I do know that the league and players are still working through Covid-protocols for the season but have zero idea if this particular subject is part of discussions.

I’m not sure whey it would be overly complicated though?

Redbird62 September 1, 2021 - 6:48 pm

The compromises worked out the taxi-squad for last season were because both sides recognized the difficulties of the pandemic and everyone wanting to have the extra players on hand so they could actually have a season. They worked out all the issues regarding waivers, pay, stipend etc. If I recall, taxi-squad players were treated like they were on the farm except for the stipend, and players that had cleared waivers could be moved back and forth freely to the roster for ~30 days (or possibly a set number of games). Any player on a 2 way deal, got paid NHL salary while on the 23 man roster, and their minors salary while on the taxi-squad. I am not sure the NHLPA would agree to those terms, especially the 2 way treatment for the extra goalie if this was becoming a permanent move to address a separate problem. Game playing always goes on, so everyone would be looking at what loopholes might exist and how to structure rules to prevent them.

Any attempt by one party to negotiate even a simple change to contract or agreement almost always results in the other party trying to extract something for agreeing to a change. Maybe they work out another 1 year temporary deal that allows the extra goalie for this season due to continuing Covid issues, but I can’t see them making any permanent CBA changes before this season starts and this thread was more about a permanent change.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 7:27 pm

Yes, your explanation of the taxi squad is bang-on – player on the taxi squad, for almost all CBA type purposes were essentially like being assigned to the AHL except (a) they got their NHL per diem and (b) they were physically with the NHL team.

That was part of the agreed upon Covid protocols that weren’t, for lack of a better term, “collectively bargained” but deal with by the NHLPA and the league working together – this ins and out of the massive protocols weren’t voted on by the player as a group.

With respect to your second paragraph, lets not forgot, the league and players association are currently in discussion with respect to Covid-protocols for the 2021/22 season. This wouldn’t be a one-off change to a normal season, it would be in conjunction with the protools currently being discussed and negotiated.

This season will look much more normal than last season but, at the same time, it will be far from normal – in particular for the players that will still be going through altered protocols. There will still be a high level of Covid-test, I’m sure.

The issue here is a goalie testing postive on game day – what happens then when there isn’t a 3rd goalie around? EBUG? Far from ideal.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve September 1, 2021 - 8:48 am

If Holloway lights it up in the AHL I could see him being recalled mid-season to centre the Oilers second line so Tip can load up the top line.

After Holloway recall:

Drai-McD-JP
RNH-Holloway-Hyman
Foegele-Mcleod-Yamo
Shore/Benson-Ryan-Archie

ChupaCabra September 1, 2021 - 9:06 am

That would be a very best case scenario! I’d prefer to see him eased in on the fourth line than the second line of a (hopefully) playoff competing team.

meanashell11 September 1, 2021 - 9:24 am

I would be more comfortable if he started on the wing before a switch to center. Mark Messier started out as a left winger in the NHL.

Reja September 1, 2021 - 12:30 pm

Arnott popped 33 goals as a left winger at 19 years old and came second for rookie of the year to Martin Brodeur. It’s a good thing Sather marinated him for a few years, oops wrong all of fame G.M. You start Holloway in the top 6 as a winger let him play with talent and he will flourish do not start him with shrubs as many posters believe should happen and that he should work his way up the ranks b.s. Our window starts now we need to crush it in the regular season and beyond.

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 3:24 pm

Reja

 Reply to meanashell11

 September 1, 2021 12:30 pm

Arnott popped 33 goals as a left winger at 19 years old and came second for rookie of the year to Martin Brodeur. It’s a good thing Sather marinated him for a few years, oops wrong all of fame G.M. You start Holloway in the top 6 as a winger let him play with talent and he will flourish do not start him with shrubs as many posters believe should happen and that he should work his way up the ranks b.s. Our window starts now we need to crush it in the regular season and beyond.

Yes, there are many examples of players starting and doing well in the NHL when they turn pro. Probably more common for top 5 or top 10 picks (like Arnott, 7th overall) but there are, of course, other exceptions.

100%, Holloway could very well be ready for the NHL and a top 6 role right now. Of course, decades of history would indicate that would be more the exception than the norm.

No matter how many random one-offs are provided would not change the fact that its the exception, not the norm.

Holloway will show what he can do and what he’s ready for.

We’ll all find out.

——————-

As far as “window starts now” and needing to crush it in the regular season – 100% agreed. Normally that does not include sticking 19 year olds (well, he turns 20 during camp) in to the top 6 with zero pro games experience and requiring them to produce.

Maybe Holloway will be the exception, we’ll find out.

ArmchairGM September 1, 2021 - 9:34 am

I think there’s a better chance that one or both of McLeod and Ryan will have a disappointing first half and that’s where Holloway will slot in – at 3C. But only after Tippett tries Turris and Shore at center for a few games first.

fishman September 1, 2021 - 9:39 am

A call up is certainly possible but highly unlikely (in my opinion) that he plays second line centre. That would be a pretty big leap. More likely a wing in the bottom 6.

cowboy bill September 1, 2021 - 10:10 am

Don’t think he would play center on a line with Nuge as his LW . I’m pretty sure Nuge could teach him a few things about being a second line center . That would be a tremendous experience for a rookie playing with Hyman & Nugent-Hopkins .

ArmchairGM September 1, 2021 - 11:06 am

McLeod played center to Nuge in the playoffs…

cowboy bill September 1, 2021 - 11:37 am

Thanks for that .

PennersPancakes September 1, 2021 - 12:29 pm

True. That made me question Tippets decision making more than it made me question Nuges ability to play center

Darth Tu September 1, 2021 - 10:18 am

I was about to say, please, no more of the C-L-R thing when I looked at that second line, and then I realise that you have RNH as the winger here.

Carry on.

Kert September 1, 2021 - 7:41 pm

I’ve always preferred C-L-R.
It was just another little reminder that this place is different. (In a good way)

OriginalPouzar September 1, 2021 - 3:18 pm

100% I could see a Holloway recall but I would be surprised if he’s playing center on the 2nd line (perhaps 3C but I would presume he starts in the NHL on the wing or bottom six center).

I do anticipate Holloway getting a/the call at some point during the season and it leads to many options including Nuge to 3C or Hyman to the right side and Yamamoto at 3RW.

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