No Time to Think

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers may revive the NHL career of Brendan Perlini in 2021-22, as he’s been on the outside of the league looking in since 2019-20. Per 82 games, Perlini has scored 16-10-26 in his NHL career (total games: 239).

Since 2009-10, the Oilers have been the final spot on the NHL tour for 21 players, with three additional candidates trying to catch on currently (or face extinction). Let’s go through the past, darkly.


  • New Lowetide: Why Oilers can expect an offensive rebound from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • 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


Here are the men who finished careers with Edmonton, I’ve posted their totals per 82 regular season and in brackets GP totals. The point leaders (forwards and defense) are in yellow, the men on the verge of extinction are in dark blue. This isn’t a complete list, but rather those who spent 200+ games in the league.

  • 2009-10 Robert Nilsson: 12-27-38 (252 games)
  • 2010-11 Jason Strudwick: 2-5-7 (674)
  • 2010-11 Martin Gerber: .263 .911 (229)
  • 2011-12 Andy Sutton: 5-13-18 (676)
  • 2011-12 Josh Green: 9-9-18 (341)
  • 2012-13 Darcy Hordichuk 3-3-6 (542)
  • 2012-13 Eric Belanger 14-22-36 (820)
  • 2013-14 Ryan Smyth 25-29-54 (1270)
  • 2013-14 Ryan Jones 13-12-25 (334)
  • 2013-14 Denis Grebeshkov 6-24-30 (234)
  • 2013-14 Ben Eager 9-8-17 (407)
  • 2015-16 Nikita Nikitin 5-19-24 (259)
  • 2015-16 Andrew Ference 4-16-20 (907)
  • 2016-17 Anton Lander 4-9-13 (215)
  • 2016-17 Mark Fayne 4-10-14 (389)
  • 2017-18 Jussi Jokinen 16-33-49 (951)
  • 2018-19 Jason Garrison 7-17-24 (555)
  • 2018-19 Kyle Brodziak 12-14-26 (917)
  • 2019-20 Brandon Manning 5-10-15 (255)
  • 2019-20 Oscar Klefbom 7-27-34 (378)
  • 2019-20 Markus Granlund 14-11-25 (335)
  • 2020-21 James Neal 28-26-54 (850)
  • 2021-21 Alex Chiasson 14-15-29 (564)
  • 2020-21 Tyler Ennis 17-24-41 (643)

I was going to ask for your favourite player on the list, but decided to give everyone a break from typing in Ryan Smyth 900 times in the comments section.


Happy birthday to Glen Sather. He is one of the names we would include in a list of “there would be no Oilers without….” along with Bill Hunter, Allan Hamilton, Wayne Gretzky, Lee Fogolin, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, Doug Weight, Ryan Smyth and Connor McDavid.

Slats was a utility forward in the NHL, his role not unlike Josh Archibald’s role with Edmonton (although Archibald is a regular). He found his calling as coach-general manager and then GM with Edmonton. His style and swagger were a big part of the glory Oilers, he found a way to channel attitude to a group of young men who were touched by God, and the rest is history.

Happy 78th birthday to a giant.


This isn’t my idea, but I’ve seen it kicked around the internet recently. Nuge at center would require a significant step up on the wings by some unproven types, or veterans who have been flagging would need to turn back time. Here’s how I think it might look:

  • Zach Hyman-Connor McDavid-Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Dylan Holloway-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto
  • Warren Foegele-Nuge-Josh Archibald
  • Ryan McLeod-Derek Ryan-Zack Kassian
  • Extras: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore

I think you’d need to keep Hyman on left-wing to make this work, and would love to see a stronger option for No. 3 right wing. It does open up the idea of bringing in a winger on a PTO, and as always there are more wingers than centers in the free-agent pool. Thoughts?


I was going to do a ‘training camp hopeful’ on him but there wasn’t enough material. I didn’t get far.

  • What kind of player is he? A big winger with goal-scoring ability, he’s fast but one dimensional. Based on the numbers, I’d estimate he’s a member of the Zack Kassian family as a checker.
  • Rude. Well, there are high picks who have turned it around mid-career, famously Marty Reasoner was waived by Edmonton and then adapted to a two-way role.
  • Is that what is happening here? Hard to say, Perlini would be known to Tippett (coached him in Arizona) so there’s the connection.
  • What kind of season did Perlini have for Tippett? The season was 2016-17. Perlini was shy offensively five on five (1.25 pts-60) but did score goals (.83 goals-60) in that game state. His possession numbers weren’t good, and relative to teammates he was subpar throughout his NHL career to this point.
  • Special teams? Played a lot on the PP as a rookie, with fine scoring (1.82-60) results, and those totals blossomed even more in year two and three with the Coyotes.
  • Why was he available? Middling results at the end of his NHL time but he only missed 2020-21 so it isn’t like he’s been away forever. His last good scoring season was 2018-19, when he had 14 goals in 68 games.


A busy and fun morning on the Lowdown, we get started at 10. Guests include John Horn, our tennis insider to talk US Open and flooding in NYC, Darrin Bauming from Bonfire Sports to talk CFL Week 5 and Dom Cosentino from The Score to talk rookie NFL QBs who may begin the season as starters. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Lowetide September 3, 2021 - 7:16 am

NEW for The Athletic: What should the Oilers expect from Cody Ceci in his first season?

Henry September 3, 2021 - 8:12 am

That was a very nice breakdown on Ceci. Thanks!

flyfish1168 September 2, 2021 - 9:36 pm

Training camp is coming up soon and the nucks have yet to sigh hughes or petterson. If I was a canucks fan I would be WORRIED

leadfarmer September 2, 2021 - 10:03 pm

Given that Hughes probably wants to join his brothers they should be worried

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 6:45 pm

Michael Russo
Reading the NHL COVID-19 protocols, let’s just say vaccinated and unvaccinated players will be treated very differently this season.

Different protocols, no pay if unvaccinated player gets sick, 50% of costs associated will be charged to players’ share of HRR, etc.

N64 September 2, 2021 - 6:56 pm

it’s not only being sick Unvaccinated players take all risk, even public health restrictions that block travel

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 7:10 pm
OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 6:43 pm

Fully vaccinated media will have access to the locker room this year – I’m sure they will be very happy about that.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 6:29 pm

KHL is underway and Yaroslav Locomotiv is playing as I type. Looks like Berzkin is a “substitute”. Great he’s starting the season in the KHL but I fear limited ice this season.

Denezhkin starting in the VHL – from what I can tell, he’s on the 2nd line in preseason.

Berezkin did see the ice – a total of 31 second.

It is unknown how much of an impact he had in the 3-2 win……

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 6:09 pm

Every once in a while, it pops in to my head that Daryl Sutter is the coach of the Flames, and he is signed to head coach the flames for two more seasons.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 7:57 pm

Every once in a while it pops into my head that Darryl Sutter has won two Stanley Cups as a coach while Dave Tippet hasn’t won any.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 8:03 pm

now reconcile that with your constant arguments about how much the game has changed when posters make comparison to 10 plus year ago.

Good Grief.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 8:22 pm

Hard work and systems play never go out of vogue even if the players are younger and more talented.

Tippett should be embarrassed about his record in the last two playoff seasons.

By golly.

Lowetide September 2, 2021 - 8:30 pm

Tippett had a bad series against Winnipeg, no doubt. I’ll blame readiness of players for the Chicago series. Absolutely need to deliver this postseason. The team is not yet balanced, with really only the deadline to add goaltending and defensive help. It’s going to be an interesting winter.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 8:43 pm

How would you measure success?

Winning 2 rounds could be quite a chore.

Lowetide September 2, 2021 - 9:10 pm

I think it depends on how the team performs. If they win a round and then injuries hamper another win, then you factor that in. The organization needs progress but I’m not certain what the line in the sand will be. Partly because I don’t think the team has its playoff goalie yet.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 9:38 pm

Joe Sakic has never won two rounds in a season as a manager.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 9:42 pm

Dave Tippett has never won two playoff GAMES as the Oilers head coach.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 9:48 pm

Yes, two seasons and eight season are the same.

Noone here is touting Tippett as a genius and best in the league, as opposed to Sakic who has been touted as such but has put together one of the worst teams of the generation in his tenure and never a team that has played past the second round. 9 seasons coming up.

Bling September 2, 2021 - 9:01 pm

I agree with HH here. As Oilers fans, we don’t get to take snipes at other coaches.

Tipp did some good things early in his tenure but it’s been undone and he’s since doubled down on his own questionable moves by having Holland commit to even bigger question marks.

He hasn’t had balance, fine, but I see real weakness at RHD in the event of injury and that’s a harder spot to cover than 3 LW, particularly with Holloway/Benson/Lavoie all nearing maturation.

What’s your line about five years experience versus one year’s experience five times? The Oilers are doing the equivalent of that with acquisition errors; instead of making a mistake once and learning from it, they are determined to make the same kind of mistake every few years.

Can you trade Foegele for a young, cost-controlled RHD next season? No way.

So Tipp’s made his bed and boy he better win.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 9:10 pm

I love the fact that the flames hired Daryl Sutter, and gave him a 3 year contract. What HH thinks of Dave Tippett has no bearing on that, zero.

Warren Foegele is more cost controlled than Ethan Bear who has one year until his 3rd contract. Foegele has 3 years, in his prime, at $2.75M.

I’m not sure what that has to do with Daryl Sutter, but that’s OK.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 9:39 pm

A 2RD has much more value than an average 3rd line winger.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 9:45 pm

Ethan Bear is not solidified as a 2RD.

Of course, now that he’s not an Oiler, in your mind he’s rocketed up all depth charts.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 10:07 pm

Always liked Bear and have said so here.

Being a reliable 2RD is hardly “rocketing”.

Material Elvis September 3, 2021 - 12:18 am

Remember last year when you wouldn’t trade Rafferty for Bear? Lol.

tsunami September 3, 2021 - 12:40 am

that’s how much he likes him ;)…

JimmyV1965 September 2, 2021 - 10:52 pm

Foegle is much more established than Bear. He’s also bigger and faster. Bear is small and slow. He overcomes that with great vision and a good first pass. Unfortunately, his floor is much lower than Foegle’s.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 8:47 pm

Flames points percentage was worse after hiring Sutter than before.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 9:38 pm


OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 9:43 pm

I remember being told the flames were primed for a run up the standings – it never happened – probably coaching.

Material Elvis September 3, 2021 - 12:27 am

Jonathan Quick won the Cup for them in 2012. They were an okay team; he put up a staggering 0.946 save percentage in the playoffs. It wasn’t Sutter.

Bank Shot September 2, 2021 - 8:50 pm

Why are you always trying to antagonize OP you wanker?

yeraslob September 2, 2021 - 9:55 pm


Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 10:05 pm

Yes he does.

Somehow, his statement that Sutter was a huge mistake has morphed into a specious comparison with Joe Sakic’s record as GM although the Avalanche are considered the cream of the NHL crop and possess one of the best prospect pipelines in the NHL…you know…the GM’s job.

Amazing deflection.

Redbird62 September 2, 2021 - 9:31 pm

Does it ever pop into your head that Ken Holland has won 4 Stanley Cups, one as an assistant GM and 3 as a GM? Probably not, given your nature, or if it did, you wouldn’t talk about it on here, since that’s not your M.O. And spare me the B.S. your likely to come about pre- and post- cap era.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 9:44 pm

Since you brought it up…winning in the cap era is a very different animal that loading up a team with unlimited pizza money.

Redbird62 September 2, 2021 - 10:05 pm

Your bookies don’t have Sutter getting the Flames to the playoffs (for the second season in a row, despite your unfounded confidence that Sutter would turn the team around last season). You went on and on about that, over and over again, week after week, time after time, ad nauseum, like a broken record. You now claim it is meaningless, but what an embarrassment for you (except you can’t be embarrassed because trolls never are – you probably don’t believe most of what you post on here). And those same oddsmakers have Holland’s team comfortably in. And brag all you want about how much you make betting – it is believable as everything else you post.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 5:58 pm

Elliote Friedman reporting unvaccinated players will have until October 1 to opt out of the season.

Their contracts would be extended by a year.

kelvjn September 2, 2021 - 3:48 pm

Why not


The prospect of putting together an Axis Power line is too good to pass up

Messier11 September 2, 2021 - 4:08 pm

Looks good. Seems we are 1 top 6 LW away from having some real scoring depth.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 5:14 pm

Well, the center depth is best in the league and the RW very good (Jesse the Yamamoto can be flipped depending on performance) but the LW has a 3rd liner as 1LW and a non-NHLer at 2LW.

Sure, Foegele and Perlini may prove to be more that described (and would likely be zoomed by their elite centers) but, until they prove more, they are a 3rd liner (that can fill in in the middle six) and a tweener.

Holloway is the key to filling out the roster – here is hoping that he does indeed become a legit top 6 player (or elite 3C) within the next few years (or earlier).

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 5:28 pm

The Oilers still don’t have a legit #3C so while McDavid and Draisaitl are elite that does not constitute centre depth.

More than a few teams have 5 legit centres.

Bank Shot September 2, 2021 - 5:55 pm

Brogan Rafferty1!!!!!

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 5:56 pm

Harpers Hair

 Reply to OriginalPouzar

 September 2, 2021 5:28 pm

The Oilers still don’t have a legit #3C so while McDavid and Draisaitl are elite that does not constitute centre depth.

More than a few teams have 5 legit centres.

LOL – the lineup posted had the following at center:


That would be the best center set in the league.

Ryan McLeod in behind. Dylan Holloway in behind. Shit Kyle Turris and Devin Shore in behind.

My goodness.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 6:18 pm

Just minutes ago you said RNH is now a winger and not a centre….pick a lane.

Nuge also is not a prototypical 3C because he can’t win a draw to save his life.

At least you have slotted Ryan as a 4C as that is exactly what he is.

When you have to reach for McLeod and Turris you know you’re cooked.

Bank Shot September 2, 2021 - 6:18 pm

Brogan Rafferty/!!!!!

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 6:38 pm

I believe, because of the Oilers roster and recent usage, he will play the wing but, of course, he’s played center most of his career including a good 7 or so season in the NHL full time.

I don’t care how prototypical he may be, he’d likely be the best 3C in the NHL and no matter how you spin if for your narrative.

We were talking about a lineup that had Nuge as 3C and it being the best center depth in the league – that is the context of the conversation.

You brought up teams that were 5 centers deep – that it he context of McLeod in this conversation and Turris as 7C.

There is no argument that the four centers listed would not be the best in the NHL. I would like to see teams with better 5Cs than McLeod and better 7Cs than Turris (shit, maybe 8C).

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 6:52 pm

LOL…McLeod can’t score and Turris proved conclusively last season he is done.

But keep counting zeroes and calling them heroes.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 7:09 pm

5C and 8C.

I look forward to reading about all those teams 5 deep and better.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 7:33 pm

Okay try this.


I won’t even count the Finns and Russians because they’re distant bells but I count 13.

Kopitar and Danault are stars and Byfield projects as an elite #1C

The next 5 on the list are already NHL players who leave palookas like MacLeod and Turris in the dust.

The next 5 all project as NHL players although are likely going to have to play wing.

Now that you’re pumping Nuge as a 3C let me ask you who you think will be more productive over the next EIGHT years between him and Byfield?

THAT is centre depth.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 7:50 pm

LOL – that is hilarious.

I didn’t realize we were doing prospect rankings – I thought we were doing NHL level center depth.

Danault is NOT a star.

McLeod was better in the AHL than Byfield or Turcotte last year – playing the same teams.

100%, I project Byfield ahead of McLeod in his career but we are talking about today and listing Byfield as a 3C and comparing that to McLeod as 5C.

There is no NHL team that can match:



Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 8:06 pm

Don’t let the facts stand in the way of your narrative.

EIGHT of those players already have NHL experience and all of them are better than Ryan never mind McLeod who has conveniently been omitted from your previous list of superstars.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 8:39 pm

Not a single GM looking to win this year would take

Kopitar, Danault, Byfield, Turcotte


McDavid, Drai, Nuge Ryan

The latter would be the best in the NHL for 2021/22.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 8:45 pm

You can ride that horse until it drops but it’s not even close.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 8:49 pm

I agree, its not even close.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 8:46 pm

LA would and did.

Material Elvis September 3, 2021 - 12:40 am

No, they would trade their okay guys for our elite superstars everyday of the week.

JimmyV1965 September 2, 2021 - 10:59 pm

I’ll kick myself for asking, but do you honestly believe Kopitar, Danault and Byfield are better than McDavid, Drai and Nuge?

Material Elvis September 3, 2021 - 12:38 am

That list is not impressive. Danault is the 2C — he is not an offense generator. The other guys are unproven prospects and AHLers. An awful rebuttal to McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH, Ryan.

Reja September 2, 2021 - 7:39 pm

Usually as a Centre you get better at winning draws as you get older you learn the tricks of the trade how to legally cheat. RNH seems like a really nice young man and looks like he’s never hurt anybody’s feeling but after 10 years you think you could win a face off when it Counts C’ Mon Man!

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 8:08 pm


Winning draws as a 3C especially on the PK is a critical part of the job unless you want to have Draisaitl do the job for him.

tsunami September 3, 2021 - 12:36 am

pick a lane ? that’s (very) rich coming from you lol…

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 6:20 pm

And good grief….go take a gander at Tampa’s centre depth even after losing Gourde.

Bank Shot September 2, 2021 - 6:36 pm

Broooooooggaaannnnn Raffferrttyyyyy!!!!!

Side September 2, 2021 - 6:04 pm

You should probably stick to posting other peoples work and opinions.

leadfarmer September 2, 2021 - 6:45 pm

While I don’t like our options at 3c Holloway is a spectacular prospect for that spot and will probably play there at some point this season.
If he was a Nucks prospect you’d never shut up about him

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 8:13 pm

The Canucks recognized the issue and acquired Jason Dickinson who is an elite penalty killer who wins north of 55% of his draws.

Bringing back Brandon Sutter as 4C on a cheap contract was also a good move.

Agree that Holloway is a very good prospect but he has yet to prove it in the NHL.

We’ll see.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 8:43 pm

Agree that Holloway is a very good prospect but he has yet to prove it in the NHL.

but yet, Byfield and Turcotte as 3C and 4C are cited as part of better current centers than the Oilers.

You can’t make this stuff up,

Redbird62 September 2, 2021 - 10:35 pm

Dickenson, the Dallas player who had a 44% face off winning percentage the last 3 seasons, with his best season at 46%. And on the PK, he is even better at 31%. Did you just make that stat up, or have trouble reading numbers. The internet does have some facts on it. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. And elite penalty killers don’t get scored on at a rate of 7.9 ga/60 leading Dallas all the way up to 19th in PK%, I am sure the Oilers PP are petrified about having to face him after racking up a rate of almost 30% effectiveness last season against the Nucks.

pts2pndr September 2, 2021 - 6:26 pm

In your your opinion how do they prove they are capable if not given a chance? This is the kind of lineup you try in preseason and if it doesn’t work revert to the tried and true. What I have found interesting is the hue and cry when Connor is not given a premium winger and the willingness for most posters to stick Draisaitl with the dregs!

PennersPancakes September 2, 2021 - 4:49 pm

I love Foegs but that LW depth is b-r-utal. Gonna be fun to see what lines end up happening since theres a lot of good unknowns this season.

I do like the idea of Pulju being the puck carrier on the third line. I feel like its a big strength for him but it gets overshadowed when he play with McDrai.

kelvjn September 2, 2021 - 8:30 pm

Foegele and Hyman are both from Markham. Foegele played junior hockey with McDavid coached by McDavid dad, so I bet there is chemistry somewhere. Wouldn’t be surprised if Hyman and McDavid crossed path similarly.

Both of these guys have the hustle and could play the Chris Kunitz role.

Bank Shot September 2, 2021 - 5:57 pm

Hopefully a guy like Holloway arrives with a vengeance. Perlini likely isn’t going to cut it.

If Holloway shows up as a legit NHLer early, all of a sudden the Oilers can cobble together 3 very solid lines.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 3:34 pm

Rhys Jessop (@Rhys_Jessop) Tweeted:
Beyond excited to be joining the @Canes this season. A huge thank you to Don Waddell, Darren Yorke, and Eric Tulsky for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get back in rinks and help bring a Stanley Cup back to North Carolina!!

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 3:36 pm

Eric Tulsky (@EricTulsky) Tweeted:
This set of hires and promotions is fantastic news for the organization. In particular, I’ll call out a couple of changes to the pro scouting staff that might otherwise fly under the radar for many of you.

Bobcaygeon September 2, 2021 - 3:10 pm

RNH only works if the Oilers trade for Debrusk & Hyman moves over to RW.
then you can drop Yammer down to 3rd line.
Anything short of that, I believe won’t work.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve September 2, 2021 - 5:22 pm

What a bizarre take.

What about Debrusk specifically unlocks RNH??

Melvis September 2, 2021 - 2:12 pm

Kinda off topic but hockey related. I love Biz and Whit, sandbagger golf and spitten chiclets. That said, the latest episode is special. The Jose Theodore interview was enlightening, as they all are, but Whit’s eulogy for Jimmy Hayes was off the fuckin charts. I cried and cried. And then I cried some more…

Messier11 September 2, 2021 - 2:09 pm

I think McDavid needs the least help, he is going to outscore, no matter who is on his line. Leon is awesome but no McDavid, so I would give Leon more help.

Archie-Derek Ryan-Yamamoto

Reja September 2, 2021 - 2:21 pm

Maybe It’s Perlini that pulls a Maroon out of his ass and opens up the ice and crashes the net for Nuge and Leon. Leon needs help I think Yamo’s permanent time in the top 6 is over. It wouldn’t surprise me if Yamo is traded for G help in the near future.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 2:55 pm

Stranger things have happened. We do have a lot of right shot wingers.


Reja September 2, 2021 - 3:02 pm

Secret to stopping the Oilers is shadow Leon and Mcdavid that no longer applies with the added muscle of Holloway, Hyman, Foegele, Perlini and a relaxed Nuge plus a fresh Kassian changes our team completely

defmn September 2, 2021 - 4:51 pm

You would remember how Gretzky dealt with teams shadowing him.

Reja September 2, 2021 - 5:56 pm

Yes but you need to competent wingers. Remember Steve Kasper and how much ink he received for being a shadow.

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 3:31 pm

Fernando Perlini?

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 3:22 pm

Does Leon need the most help?

I know that the GF/60 wasn’t great for Drai/Yamamoto last year but it was sensational the year before and, for the second straight year, the GA/60 for the duo was indeed sensational and the GF% was approaching 60%.

Two years in a row Drai/Yamo materially outscored the opposition – and the 2nd year was with the offence being lower than expected.

Perhaps that offence picks back up without Kahun on the left side and Nuge there – we know they have had crazy success in the past.

For me, McDavid could use the GA/60 help – he’s got Jesse and give him Hyman who is a plus 2-way player and go from there.


I am a big fan of the Foegele addition and think he’s going to be very good piece to the championship puzzle but, at the same time, I’m not on board with these line structures that have him in the top 6 to start (let alone the top line).

I know he’s got some skill and some top 6 upside but he was acquired to help the middle six depth and help the middle 6 not get caved.

He was a middle six guy/3rd liner in Carolina and that is where he has developed his game and shown success.

I would start him in a position to succeed – once injuries hit, 100%, he could be an option to fill in but putting him on the top line, to face the best defenders in the world, isn’t a great idea to me.

The hope is he becomes the next Zack Hyman but he hasn’t show to be there yet.

Messier11 September 2, 2021 - 4:15 pm

It has been shown one does not need to be a top 6 winger to play with McDavid. He makes everyone good. And, Yamo would be on the 3rd line providing that scoring depth we want. Also, not sure Foegele was acquired to help the middle six, maybe he was acquired for the top line. At 5 on 5 Foegele outscored both of our top 6 LW last year.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 5:19 pm

I understand the premise (although not every player has shone playing with McDavid) and I’m one that has been talking about moving Yamo to 3RW once a Holloway arrives for a month now.

True, I don’t know what Foegele was acquired for (well, except for both the coach and GM talking about him helping the middle six and depth), and I’m not against trying options, I’d just prefer to have players play in spots that match their established level of ability (and projected near term levels of ability).

The Oilers have two legit top 6 LWs right now, in Hyman and Nuge. They have one legit top 6 RW in Puljujarvi and two that have performed in stretches, in Yamamoto and Kassian.

I’m not against thinking outside the box but, to start this season, I would prefer players slotted in to more reasonable slots.

Holloway, when he arrives, that creates all sorts of additional options.

As far as Foegele’s scoring rates, I would caution against equating P/60 in bottom six roles to the top six – see Kahun for example.

Reja September 2, 2021 - 5:13 pm

If you give Leon two aggressive forwards with hands they will become the De facto number one line. I believe Leon can centre the best line on our team. I know a lot of people will think this is ridiculous but with the proper line mates Leon’s line will control the game.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 5:33 pm

I think Leon can center the best on line on team with various different types of players.

He centered the best line in the NHL for 2.5 months, for 27 games, with Nuge and Yamamoto as his wingers.

Reja September 2, 2021 - 5:43 pm

Perlini has 46 goals and 30 assists I found this to be interesting.

BornInAGretzkyJersey September 2, 2021 - 10:02 pm

239 46 30 76

105 20 32 52

68% of the points in 44% of the games.

I found this to be interesting.

pts2pndr September 2, 2021 - 6:32 pm

History does not show that to be true when not paired with Draisaitl !

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 1:38 pm

The OHL suspends controversial Canadiens draft pick Logan Mailloux.

GordieHoweHatTrick September 2, 2021 - 1:00 pm

RE: Benson / Perlini / Shore

Competition is a good thing. I think Benson has the edge on these 2 for skill and 2 way play. Having these 2 to compete against for 4LW will not make it a gift. That should be enough…hoping he gets a fair shake. He will have to work hard. Shore is an ideal 13th forward that can spot in. HE is not needed for PK. My only concern is potential favoritism from the coach…

defmn September 2, 2021 - 12:47 pm

This is probably old news for many but I had not heard this so thought maybe others missed it as well.

Plagued with dangerous complications from COVID-19, the former first-overall #NHLDraft pick Nail Yakupov was sidelined for the entirety of 2020-21 KHL postseason. Now he’s back to show his best in 2021-22.

Darth Tu September 2, 2021 - 1:40 pm

I have not heard that either. Thank you for the update, here’s to Yakupov being fighting fit and maybe discovering some magic. I want him to succeed!

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 12:33 pm

I would like to think the Benson, as a player drafted and developed by the organization would have a leg up on the LW roster spot but Perlini does have a history with the coach, scored goals in the NHL while playing for the coach and is big, fast and has a good shot.

Big and fast is good but is it good when it doesn’t come with any 2-way ability and leaks?

Perlini was a great interview – a great spot on the radio with Dusty a number of weeks back. If his 2-way game has matured, like he says, then he’s got a real shot.

Maturing a game in the Swiss League isn’t necessarily translatable to the NHL.

We’ll find out soon.

The hope, my hope, is that Benson gets as much an opportunity as Perlini but would anyone be surprised if Perlini lines up with, say, McLeod and Kassian while Benson lines up with Shore and Cracknell?

Bank Shot September 2, 2021 - 2:33 pm

I don’t really care either way. Perlini is 2 years older than Benson, but has 4 years of NHL experience to none.

I’ll take whichever one plays best. I imagine if they get drastically different line mates it will be because the coaches decide one is in a higher tier based on camp.

I feel like its probable that both will get similar bottom six/tweener linemates in camp. That’s who they will get in NHL games so its all good to me. If either player is the goods they will demonstrate that regardless of line mates IMO.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 3:08 pm

I’ll take whichever one plays best. I imagine if they get drastically different line mates it will be because the coaches decide one is in a higher tier based on camp.

My issue is the opportunity that each receives during camp and the exhibition games they play. I could see Perlini getting line rushes and games with legit NHL players whereas Benson gets tweeners and AHL veterans, like usual.

I hope it doesn’t turn out that way.

Who they play with at camp will make an impact on how they show, presumably.

Reja September 2, 2021 - 5:27 pm

This could be Perlini last chance to play in the NHL. He will be hungry and he will be focused but he also knows if he plays the way Tippett wants him to play he will make the team and he will get ice time

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 5:55 pm


 Reply to  OriginalPouzar

 September 2, 2021 5:27 pm

This could be Perlini last chance to play in the NHL. He will be hungry and he will be focused but he also knows if he plays the way Tippett wants him to play he will make the team and he will get ice time

I have no doubt he’ll be hungry and focussed and will get an opportunity from his old coach.

Whether his game has actually matured to the level needed is an entirely other matter. Here is hoping.

BornInAGretzkyJersey September 2, 2021 - 2:45 pm

Has Perlini’s two way game improved? Wasn’t he something like -17 last year in the Swiss league?

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 3:10 pm


 Reply to OriginalPouzar

 September 2, 2021 2:45 pm

Has Perlini’s two way game improved? Wasn’t he something like -17 last year in the Swiss league?

I don’t know the answer to that question which is kind of what I was getting at in my post. If his game has matured in that respect, he has a real shot of an NHL career. He talked about maturing but we know how much that means.

I know his plus/minus was very poor but his team was very poor – he wasn’t at the very bottom, I’ll give him that.

BornInAGretzkyJersey September 2, 2021 - 10:05 pm

I know his plus/minus was very poor but his team was very poor – he wasn’t at the very bottom, I’ll give him that.

Yeah, that was the gist of my comment. Bad player, bad team, or both? We’ll find out soon enough.

Scungilli Slushy September 2, 2021 - 12:28 pm

Curious LT, why do you have Hamilton on the ‘without’ list?

Lowetide September 2, 2021 - 12:50 pm

His signing was the first major addition to the Alberta Oil Kings. He was a legit NHL player, Hamilton’s signing meant we could go to the rink and see a player capable of playing well in the NHL. Plus he was locally famous and helped bring credibility to the franchise from the get-go.

judgedrude September 2, 2021 - 1:50 pm

I think the more prudent question is….

Stan doesn’t make the “without” list?!?!

defmn September 2, 2021 - 1:56 pm

An unpopular position, I am sure, but I think the absence of Peter is the most noteworthy.

On a more positive note Cal is also a name that fits onto the list.

BornInAGretzkyJersey September 2, 2021 - 2:48 pm

Peter is definitely controversial but you’re right. Without him there would be no Gretzky and no dynasty.

I know there are some with a long standing grudge against Cal from his time at the helm, Woodguy amongst them. But the fact is Cal was running the ship during the EIG days and the team is still in town. So he too probably belongs.

Scungilli Slushy September 2, 2021 - 7:56 pm

Cheers LT

Years ago I commented on meeting him before a game my grandmother took me to. She was the basis of my love of Edmonton clubs, Elks and Oilers.

Even though she was really a Roughriders fan being from Sask.

Al H is my great grandmother’s nephew, so I was curious. Thanks for that.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 12:27 pm

I agree with the opinion on “Nuge at 3C” and have been saying for a while now – Dylan Holloway is the key to increasing the forward depth to championship level in the near future.

When Holloway arrives as a legit top 6 option on the wing it allow for either:

1) Nuge to play 3C – championship level center depth


2) Hyman to move to RW allowing Yamamoto to be 3RW – championship level right wing depth

How quickly this happens, I don’t know. It could be October 2021 but that seems a bit aggressive and unlikely. It could be January 2022 or maybe October 2022.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 12:16 pm

KHL is underway and Yaroslav Locomotiv is playing as I type. Looks like Berzkin is a “substitute”. Great he’s starting the season in the KHL but I fear limited ice this season.

Denezhkin starting in the VHL – from what I can tell, he’s on the 2nd line in preseason.

Fuge Udvar September 2, 2021 - 12:12 pm

I like the idea of Nuge at 3C. He didn’t have a great year on the wing last year and has said he prefers playing C.


For once they won’t have interchangeable 3rd and 4th lines. That 3rd line ought to be able to win the goal share against the opposing 3rd/4th line. Along with a healthy shave of the 4th line minutes and that should fix the bottom 6 scoring issues that have been sewering them for years.

Bruce McCurdy September 2, 2021 - 12:04 pm

Slats was a utility forward in the NHL, his role not unlike Josh Archibald’s role with Edmonton (although Archibald is a regular).

LT, I am puzzled by this. After a 5-game trial in 1966-67, Sather became a full-time NHLer the following season & remained one for the following 9 years, during which time he played 653 games, with a low point of 63 with the Habs in ’74-75. He then wrapped up his playing career by playing all 81 (!) games for the WHA Oilers of ’76-77, becoming playing coach for the final 18 games before hanging them up to be full time head coach.
By my math that’s 734 of a possible 779 games, which is north of a 94% attendance record. Surely Slats was a “regular” in any sense of the word.

Lowetide September 2, 2021 - 12:30 pm

During those seasons, teams ran 11 forwards, three lines and two extras. Those extras would get marbled into the lineup for special teams and sometimes replaced a struggling or injured player. You have a WAY better memory than me, but that’s my recall and explains the scoring gap between expansion (Pittsburgh, St. Louis) and strong original six teams like Montreal and NY Rangers.

Bruce McCurdy September 2, 2021 - 1:16 pm

Gotcha. No TOi for those days so there is no way to confirm directly. My own definition of “regular” is “in the line-up”, though that has changed in the modern days of 4 full lines & 3 full defence pairs vs. 2 extra forwards & 1 spare defenceman.
There was a clear dichotomy between Original 6 v. expansion teams during most of Sather’s career, & it’s logical he would have been designated an extra forward outside the top 9 on many nights with the former. But unlike many expansion era players he kept tuyning up on (strong) Original 6 teams in Boston, Rangers, Montreal & played some 60% of his NHL career on such teams.
One way to confirm role *indirectly* from available statistics is that Sather scored 5 of his 6 career shorthanded goals with Original 6 teams & 8 of his 9 powerplay goals with expansion clubs. That suggests (speculatively) that he had more of a specialized role with the former & feature role with the latter. Not too many Alex Chiasson-style 4th line powerplay specialists back in the day.

BornInAGretzkyJersey September 2, 2021 - 2:57 pm

Describing his role as being “marbled into the lineup” is a delicious euphemism that I appreciate as both a hockey fan and livestock producer.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 12:03 pm

Pronman has now rolled out his pipeline snapshots for all 32 teams.

The Pacific Division stacks up this way.

32 Seattle (for obvious reasons)

26 Calgary

25 Edmonton

22 San Jose

19 Vegas

10 Anaheim

7 Vancouver

4 Los Angeles

Buffalo moves into top spot after a very strong draft and, if they finally get around to moving Eichel, should solidify that position for years depending on the return in prospects.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 12:06 pm

Where is his cutoff for calling a player a prospect? No NHL time? Age?


Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 12:45 pm

Player Eligibility: All skaters who are 22 years old or younger as of Sept. 15, 2021, regardless of how many NHL games they’ve played, are included. Player heights and weights are from NHL Central Scouting measurements.”

defmn September 2, 2021 - 12:59 pm

Thanks again. I would have thought Anaheim would be higher on that list but its not that much different than a list that would be made from compiling draft position for the last 3 – 4 years.

I feel bad for Buffalo fans. Potential turns to dust in that town as it did in Edmonton for so many years.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 1:13 pm

Anaheim suffers because some of their young players have aged out (barely).

Sam Steel, Troy Terry and Max Jones are all 23.

Vancouver is somewhat notable in that they’ve traded their 1st round picks in 2 of the last 3 drafts but have had success in identifying players in later rounds.

Vegas is also interesting at 19 considering they have been in “go for it” mode since day one and haven’t been shy about trading picks and prospects for veterans.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 1:32 pm

True about Vegas but imo they are still living off of the fruits of their entry draft bonanza.

PennersPancakes September 2, 2021 - 5:07 pm

Vancouver got lucky with Lanky Pete and Gadjovich barely making the cutoff. That will be a drastic downgrade next season.

Plus questionable rankings such as Hughes having High-end Hockey Sense. Maybe High end offensive hockey sense but Hughes makes Barrie look good at defending.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 1:23 pm

Also interesting that Colorado ranks #8 despite having an already stacked team.

Pronman makes mention that the Avalanche prioritize elite skating in their player selection process.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 1:35 pm

Pronman makes mention that the Avalanche prioritize elite skating in their player selection process.

That’s how the Oilers managed to snag Steve Kelly.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 1:40 pm

A Mexican pick.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 1:52 pm

Just saying that focusing on one attribute is not a winning strategy imo. A team built on just one strength is not a path to glory imo. You need a bit of this, a bit of that so that you can win in a number of ways.

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 2:00 pm

Holland appears to be doing some of the same with the Broberg and Holloway picks. Elite skating along with good size.

Harpers Hair September 2, 2021 - 2:46 pm

Went back and checked.

Pronman has Broberg rated “very good” and Holloway rated “average”

Remember he ranks skating as elite, very good, average, below average and poor so average translates as average NHL skater.

Also, we have seen young NHL players improve their skating with the help of more advanced coaches.

BornInAGretzkyJersey September 2, 2021 - 2:59 pm

Wright has also made mention of those attributes being priorities, along with athleticism.

PennersPancakes September 2, 2021 - 5:10 pm

Stacked team that cant get past the second round. Those prospects cant come soon enough.

dulock September 2, 2021 - 11:51 am

I love seeing everyone’s lineup predictions for opening night before camp starts because the actual lineup is always so far off and totally unexpected. It’s usually something like this and everyone wonders what is going on.




Darth Tu September 2, 2021 - 4:56 pm

If this was the lineup I’d stick some money on Bouchard’s stick getting broken at some point during the game, him being handed a left shot one to use until he can grab a new one from the bench. As a bonus he scores a goal with said left shot stick. He will also score a shot with his regular right shot stick. A trivia question is born.

Here’s a good summarising article on players shooting from either side in hockey, but I’m not sure anyone’s ever scored from both stances in one game. Maybe Howe if any of them?

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 11:17 am

Nuge in the bottom-6 is a possibility of course, but I’m certain we don’t see it in the first 40 games if at all.

I think the best top-6 set up is

Hyman – McDavid – Yamamoto
Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

as it best balances size, speed, skill and physicality.

Jordan September 2, 2021 - 11:43 am

I disagree.

We’ve seen how challenging the defense groups that are put out against the McDavid line are, and IMO that’s part of the challenge that KY has in being effective last year.

He’s a very good player, but he’s small and easily neutralized by larger players – especially if they’re sneaky about their interferance.

Honestly, I want to see him on the second line, or 3rd line if we’re going PvP so he’s getting the 2nd / 3rd defensive pairing – less capable of managing his forechecking, speed and passing.

For this reason I like Kassian or Jesse on the top line R-wing.

Benson McLeod Yamamoto might be a great deployment option for the Oilers to outscore vs 3rd/4th lines and 2nd/3rd pairings.

IMO, Yams on the top line is the path to a first round playoff exit.

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 12:29 pm

In small samples McDavid-Yamamoto is an elite duo if you look at their underlying stats. I don’t know how Hyman fits in so I can’t say for certainty if this configuration works, but I’d give it a shot for sure.

Also, having Nuge and Yamamoto on Draisaitl’s wings leaves him with two smaller guys who can’t dominate the boards. I think some size on the wings on both lines is needed.

Primetime September 2, 2021 - 1:13 pm

Also, having Nuge and Yamamoto on Draisaitl’s wings leaves him with two smaller guys who can’t dominate the boards. I think some size on the wings on both lines is needed.

Agreed, which is why I would give Kassian a shot on the Drai line and move Yamo down to 3rd line

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 3:05 pm

In small samples McDavid-Yamamoto is an elite duo if you look at their underlying stats. I don’t know how Hyman fits in so I can’t say for certainty if this configuration works, but I’d give it a shot for sure.

I was just taking a look at that after we reading the original post.

Ya, McDavid/Yamamoto were 75% goals last season but that was mostly with Leon.

McDavid/Yamamoto w/o Leon only played 36 minutes and got scored on twice but they absolutely killed the underlying numbers (and had an eGF% of close to 70% and higher than with Drai).

jp September 2, 2021 - 12:33 pm

I can’t really argue the point that Yamamoto will be neutralized in the playoffs (since we’ll just have to wait and see). But I can say that McDavid and Draisaitl were better with Yamamoto than the other options (mostly Puljujarvi I guess).

McDavid+Draisaitl+Yamamoto 135 min 61% shots 86% goals (12GF-2GA)
McDavid+Draisaitl(noYamamoto) 208 min 55% shots 58% goals (21-15)

McDavid+Yamamoto without Draisaitl also had 70% of the shots in a small sample (36 minutes), though they did get outscored.

I’d personally like to give Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto another chance, but I think Yamamoto would be a really good option with Hyman-McDavid as well (that’s the 2nd place I’d put him, myself).

IMO he’ll be fine in the heavy hockey so long as he has skill around him. With a better LW than Kahun there should be more space and less need for Yamamoto be holding/carrying the puck. At his best Yamamoto barely has the puck on his stick, it’s off to someone else or to the net, and with linemates that can better open space (with size and/or speed) he can be a real asset.

That’s my take anyway.

godot10 September 2, 2021 - 3:17 pm

Yamamoto is too weak in his own zone along the boards for McDavid. Puljujarvi gets the opposition to turn over the puck all over the ice, and his size represents a permanent distraction for the opposition defense.

McDavid may dislike the guy, but Puljujarvi is the best winger he has played with, not named Draisaitl, for him.

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 3:37 pm

Draisaitl needs a guy like that too, and Holland went out and signed Hyman to be that guy for McDavid. I don’t see why you’d put two of those guys one line 1 and none on line 2.

Of course, once Holloway comes up Tippett could have 3 big bodied forecheckers in the top-6, making this conversation moot.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 4:08 pm

May I ask the implication of Yamamoto being “weak in his own zone along the boards”?

I mean, he was 1.92 GA/60 last season and 2.01 GA/60 the year before – any issue on the defensive board is not leading to goals against.

Yamamoto also helps turn pucks over in the offensive zone and creates chaos in the offensive zone.

I’m not saying Yama is better for McDavid than Jesse but I just don’t see any defensive zone issues – I presume you are getting at breakouts.

PennersPancakes September 2, 2021 - 5:12 pm

I think implying Mcdavid dislikes Pulju based on one shift he yelled at him is pure speculation lets chill a bit.

Darth Tu September 2, 2021 - 10:23 am

I’m more on board with the Nuge at LW on the Draisatl line. I like the idea of later in the year once we inevitably call Holloway up, we end up with something like:


Take your pick on which Ryan is which, McLeod or Dez.

dustrock September 2, 2021 - 10:15 am

Byron Bader suggesting Yamamotor get the Farabee contract as they have very similar progression and comps across the board.

Ryan September 2, 2021 - 10:56 am

Does Bader consult for Yamamoto’s agent?

Gregor espoused the idea that GMs put a lot of weight on the most recent season in creating these contracts. There are pros and cons to this approach, but it makes sense intuitively.

The pitchforks would be out if Holland signed Yamamoto to a 6 year x $5m contract after having a 0.4 ppg season, prorated to 12 goals / 82 games.

That would obviously be a terrible idea.

Not to mention that Farabee is a year younger draft class and scored 20 goals in 55 games (though not likely at 16.4% career shooter ahead).

dustrock September 2, 2021 - 11:30 am

His comp charts suggest they’re very similar, year over year.

Ryan September 2, 2021 - 12:27 pm

Paying for heaters is how teams lose, especially when the heater was the prior season.

Bader conveniently left out the draft +4 for Yamamoto. I get that there is no draft + 4 for Farabee yet, but leaving out data seems like a silly idea.

Yamamoto shot 25% over 27 games in his draft + 3 season on a line that scorched the NHL before burning out.

No one in the NHL is a 25% shooter.

There is risk in the Farabee contract too, but unlike Yamamoto, Farabee is 6′ tall.

Ryan September 2, 2021 - 12:46 pm

The other issue is the Bader is blending the NHLes from NHL/AHL data which is misleading.

In his draft +2, Farabee played 52 actual NHL games, he had 52: 8-13-21 (+6) vs Yamamoto, 17: 1-1-2 (-6)

Farabee also played more NHL games in 2 seasons than Yamamoto has in 3.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 11:47 am

That comparison is the template for how statistical comparison can lead to questionable decisions.

Ryan September 2, 2021 - 12:49 pm

Well, I think it’s exceptionally misleading to imply that Yamamoto and Farabee had nearly identical draft +2 seasons as his chart suggests.

Redbird62 September 2, 2021 - 11:03 am

I am sure Yamamoto’s camp would love to use Farabee as a comp with his 6 x $5 million. I can’t say I have seen much of Farabee, but that looks like a steep price to pay based on what he has done so far. Seems risky . Regardless, I think the Oilers are looking for a bridge deal for Yamamoto so he has comparables like Comtois, Kuokkanen, or Jost.

Bruce McCurdy September 2, 2021 - 11:50 am

Casey Mittelstadt just signed a 3-year bridge at $2.5 million, maybe that’s the better comp. No way Yamamoto is signing long-term at this point.

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 1:37 pm

Dube signed something similar. The Oilers would have enough space, but just barely – and only if they played their cards just right October 1st.

Bulging Twine September 2, 2021 - 1:26 pm

Bader is a Flames fan. Perhaps he’s trolling

defmn September 2, 2021 - 10:13 am

Moving Nuge to centre and playing Hyman on his natural shooting wing really exposes how weak LW is on this team. One of the reasons I have beat on the DeBrusk trade drum all summer. 😉

Foegele – McDavid – Hyman
Holloway – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Benson – Nuge – Puljujarvi
McLeod – Ryan – Archibald

Foegele gets the ‘Kassian role’ to start. Long shot? Yes. Might it work? Maybe.

Puljujarvi gets to see if he can drive his own line. Too soon? Don’t know.

Maybe Hyman prefers LW after playing there in Toronto.

Lots of questions but I always think the first half of TC should be used for asking questions.

Bill Clinternet September 2, 2021 - 11:10 am

I’ve watched 90+% of the Bruins games over the last 5 years. Stay away from Debrusk. He’s a very streaky scorer and when he’s not scoring he does nothing else of value on the ice except float around

defmn September 2, 2021 - 11:48 am

Isn’t that pretty much the definition of a second line winger?

Bill Clinternet September 2, 2021 - 2:32 pm

On a contending team it isn’t. There’s a reason the Bruins made the trade for Hall. Also, Debrusk wasn’t playing on their 2nd line, Ritchie was.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 3:20 pm

There is no doubt that DeBrusk had a lousy year this past season. If he hadn’t there would be no talk of Boston trying to trade him. In his previous 3 seasons I would say that he scored at a 2nd line rate.

Whether or not he forechecked or backchecked as Redbird62 mentions you would know better than I would. There was a fair amout of smoke around Edmonton as a destination early in the summer but I admit it kind of died away as the other signings took place.

Bill Clinternet September 2, 2021 - 4:05 pm

Debrusk has the speed to forecheck but usually he is quite disengaged. His forecheck is just waving a stick at the guy instead of skating at his body or using his own body for contact. To me he’s a project like AA was. Stylistically they are similar players. Both always show you flashes but then leave you wanting more when they go invisible for 5 games.

Better to try picking him up next summer once Boston doesn’t qualify him due to his next contract needing to be requalified at 4.85 (or whatever number it is) that he is not worth.

On a 2-3 million dollar contract as a mid 6 reclamation project I think he would be worth it

Redbird62 September 2, 2021 - 2:42 pm

Some quality second line wingers actually lay the occasional bodycheck, forecheck and backcheck. Debrusk isn’t really known for any of this.

McNuge93 September 2, 2021 - 12:19 pm

With the signing of Hyman and extension for Nuge, and Holloway on the way I cant see any point in getting DeBrusk.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 12:38 pm

Hyman shoots right.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 2:59 pm

Moving Nuge to centre and playing Hyman on his natural shooting wing really exposes how weak LW is on this team. One of the reasons I have beat on the DeBrusk trade drum all summer. 😉

Yes, if you move to left wingers to a different position, it will weaken the left wing.

Yes, I know, Nuge has been a center but he is more of a winger now.

Yes, I know, Hyman is a natural right winger but he’s played more LW in recent years and was signed as a RW.

I don’t think anyone has suggested that both players should be moved off of left wing. There is the possibility to move one, if someone like Holloway shows he is ready to contribute.

There could/should/might be more coming as well. In a year, Lavoie is likely in the conversation. I think Maksimov might “pop” in the AHL this year (but we can’t count on that one as much). Savoie could be putting himself in the conversation in a year (more of a RW).

defmn September 2, 2021 - 4:58 pm

Yes, I know you have very little imagination.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 5:24 pm

Cool personal shot.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 5:28 pm

More of an observation, actually.

dustrock September 2, 2021 - 10:00 am


“I once told Glen,” Wayne Gretzky said in The Battle of Alberta, “for a six-goal scorer, he had tremendous hockey sense.
“He was harder on us than our parents were,” Gretzky continued. “The very first phone call you ever made if something bad happened, or something wasn’t right, if you called Glen he was going to take care of it. So he really became a father to all of us, especially those of us who were here at 18, 19, 20.”

“I just kept asking for more,” Sather said.

That was how Sather did business. I also can recall him saying “never be afraid no matter how early to admit a player who you traded for isn’t working out and quickly move him along to somebody else.” That happened with a good, veteran defenceman named Moe Mantha. The Oilers acquired Mantha from the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the big Paul Coffey trade package on Nov. 24, 1987. He lasted two months. Mantha was gone on Jan. 22, 1988, to the Minnesota North Stars for Keith Acton.

“There was very little teaching in regular-season (from Muckler) either. In the playoffs we had to buckle down. We had some structure. Not in regular-season. Literally in practice, Glen would have us running the same six drills over and over again. It was get on, make it fast. I can remember going into Hartford a long time ago and Larry Pleau was in the stands watching our pre-game skate and he said ‘your pre-game skate is faster than we’ve ever practised.’’

Lowe recalled how he and Mark Messier showed up late for a practice during a road trip in Los Angeles.
Sather was unimpressed, he said.
“He told me and Mark, ‘I want you to climb the stairs at the L.A. Forum with your skates and equipment on, and watch practice today, since you weren’t interested in practice today, you can sit up there and watch,’ ” Lowe said.
“After we did that for about five minutes, he called us down and put the whole team in the stands and he left Mark and I out on the ice to skate. I don’t know if that’s crazy,” Lowe said.

LMHF#1 September 2, 2021 - 10:23 am

The blueprint. Simple. Direct. Work hard. Focus on what matters.

Brantford Boy September 2, 2021 - 10:32 am


Awe… thanks buddy!

Reja September 2, 2021 - 12:13 pm

Sather is the King there should be a statue of him along side Gretzky. I worked and had a lot of buddies who were born and raised in Calgary and 9 times out of 10 when I asked them who they hated most on the Oilers was it Messier, Mcsorley, Semenko etc no it was Sather and that smirk he always had on his face when the Oilers were kicking ass.

dustrock September 2, 2021 - 9:52 am

There’s a hope eternal every fall that some prospect will be able to take the step to play as a 2nd line winger and guys, it’s a tall order.

Holloway has a bright future ahead of him and I’m hoping for a huge surprise out of preseason but it seems pretty unrealistic to me.

Also, Tippett.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve September 2, 2021 - 10:15 am

What do you mean by Tippett?

Tip has given many young Oilers opportunity. Bear played top-4 minutes for two seasons. Mcleod played 3c/2c at the end of last season and in the playoffs. JP played 1RW for most of last season.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 10:24 am


Nobody survives as a HC as long as Tippett has if they are unable to figure out which players help the team most to win games. I doubt Tippett looks at birth certificates when he fills out the line up card.

Consistency, yes; age, no.

dustrock September 2, 2021 - 10:27 am

Sure, but there’s a limit to the number of young players a coach will rely on during the season. He already has Jesse, Yamo, and McLeod to worry about.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 10:34 am

He has even more to riding on the performance of Smith & Keith.

The question Tippett needs to know the answer to is if he has enough talent to get into the playoffs given that rookies and young guys make mistakes that sometimes cost points.

I think he does. If he thinks he does then it is time to play them and find out if they grow into their roles during the season.

EDIT: I do think Holloway starts in Bakersfield though.

dustrock September 2, 2021 - 10:51 am

I wonder if he trusts the forwards more, or thinks any “big mistakes” won’t be as costly. Felt that all of Caleb Jones, Lagesson and Bouchard had pretty short leases. And Bear, who was theoretically first pairing RHD.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 11:45 am

Bear was never a first pairing Dman in my mind so I guess we viewed him differently. Third pairing dman with ability to play up with a strong partner was what I saw. Pronger – Bergeron was the archetype for a strong – weak pairing but Nurse – Bear was of that family for me. Nurse – Barrie is the same thing only Barrie is better offensively and more prone to mental mistakes defensively.

Jones & Lagesson are still trying to establish themselves but I doubt they are more than 3rd pair on a middling team.

Bouchard’s story is the intriguing one for me. I guess we get to see what that was about this fall. Somewhere between the ‘we had better RD’ and ‘he should have played all season’ narratives would be my guess.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 2:55 pm

Agreed in principal – the seasons that Bear (2019/20) and Barrie (2021) had playing with Nurse show how valuable Nurse is. Yes, those are also McDavid minutes but Nurse makes his partner better.

godot10 September 2, 2021 - 3:03 pm

Look at Tippett’s playoff record. #RegularSeasonCoachOnly The Oilers needed to become a team that makes the playoffs, so kudos to Tippett from that, but I don’t think he has the improvisational boldness to win in the playoffs after watching the play-in and the loss to Winnipeg.

Conservative coaching and vision helps in the regular season, but it gets one to the golf course early in the spring.

OriginalPouzar September 2, 2021 - 2:51 pm

Agreed – difference that we are seeing now is that there is a hope that prospect will pop but not a “requirement”. If Holloway demands a top 6 spot with his play, fantastic, if he’s not quite ready yet, the Oilers have legit top 6 options.

I don’t agree with “but Tippett”, he has proven to give the opportunity to the higher pedigree players.

Yamamoto was recalled and started on the 3rd line – after one game was moved to the top 6 where he excelled.

Puljujarvi came back after a season away, started on the 3rd line and, within 10-13 games was moved to the top 6.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR September 2, 2021 - 9:24 am

My second-born is named after Ryan Smyth. Never shared that fact with my wife when I convinced her on the name though!

Victoria Oil September 2, 2021 - 1:17 pm

When my wife was pregnant, I was going to an Oilers game one night and I told her that we should name our baby after the first Oiler that scored that night. Ryan Smith scored all 3 goals in a 3-0 win. So ‘Ryan’ was the leading contender if we had a boy…but we ended up with a girl.

Darth Tu September 2, 2021 - 1:52 pm

and her name is Rhiannon 😀

MrEd September 2, 2021 - 8:58 am

I think I’m mad at Archibald.

leadfarmer September 2, 2021 - 8:58 am

Nuge as a mentor for Holloway is a thing that should happen.

Ranford.85 September 2, 2021 - 9:12 am

Very different style of player, definitely wouldn’t want Nuge passing on his faceoff prowess.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve September 2, 2021 - 9:33 am

I mean, Drai would also make for a pretty great mentor…

There is not really a bad spot for young forwards to land on this team.

leadfarmer September 2, 2021 - 11:39 am

Teams tend to hard match our top two lines so easy minutes 3rd line would be nice start

MrEd September 2, 2021 - 8:56 am

With RNH at C I always end up covering him for face-offs with Ryan. The result is that it opens a spot for Perlini/Holloway and amplifies my internal Yamamoto/Kassian conversation.


Ranford.85 September 2, 2021 - 9:10 am

I like your thinking, though I’d keep both Kass/Yam and have them flank Drai. Let’s Holloway get some AHL time and keeps Perlini in the press box. Feogle 3LW, Arch 4RW.

Kert September 2, 2021 - 9:15 am

Perlini, Holloway, and Shore.. but no Benson?

ArmchairGM September 2, 2021 - 11:33 am

I don’t think Shore has anything nailed down. He’s got some tough competition for that spot, mainly from Tyler Benson but also from Perlini.

defmn September 2, 2021 - 11:51 am

Agreed. All three come with question marks or deficiencies. Pulling for Benson.

Comments are closed.