Riesen to Believe 2021-22 (Vol. 2)

by Lowetide

I believe Kris Russell is going to play a large role on the Edmonton Oilers in 2021-22, especially early in the season. The top-four D is likely to be Darnell Nurse-Tyson Barrie, Duncan Keith-Cody Ceci, and one suspects Russell, Slater Koekkoek and Evan Bouchard will be in some kind of dizzying rotation designed to make Bouchard fans pursuing interests that are less maddening, like chess or understanding the Davis Cup process.

THE ATHLETIC!

  • New Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal scoring
  • New DNB: Mailbag.
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ potential Olympians are a small group with maximum possible impact
  • Lowetide: What should the Oilers expect from Cody Ceci in his first season?
  • 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

GOALIES

  • Mike Smith, 39. There’s not much to say, Edmonton is going to ride Smith like the guy at work who still owns and operates a 1974 Datsun. It’ll work until it doesn’t. Smith made the stops, and apparently has turned back time physically. There is no way to predict the end, the car turns over in any kind of weather and the man stops pucks. Chances of making team: 95%.
  • Mikko Koskinen, 33. I predict he’ll have better numbers than Smith, but Koskinen is the goalie Edmonton will send away at the deadline. Unsure who Holland will pick up, but doubt he risks a third playoff with this duo. Chances of making team: 95%.
  • Alex Stalock, 34. He hasn’t played an NHL game since March 7, 2020 and has to be considered a wildcard. Chances of making team: 10%.
  • Stuart Skinner, 22. He played one game a year ago, then played well in the AHL. He is probably the starter in Bakersfield to open the season and first recall, although it could change. Chances of making team: 0
  • Ilya Konovalov, 23. This fellow is a fine goaltender, Edmonton has a need. I think he’ll need to establish himself in the AHL, but this could be a bigger story than many believe. Chances of making team: 0.

LEFT DEFENSE

  • Darnell Nurse, 26. He’ll play a major role on this year’s team, his offensive numbers likely to fall off while his minutes could climb. There is a chance he’ll make the Olympic team, selfishly the rest might help him get through a very busy NHL season. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Duncan Keith, 38. He is a good passer and should help the second pair in outlets. He can also battle and play with an edge and I think he could have been effective with Adam Larsson or Ethan Bear. So much has been said, everyone has decided on him, I’ve always been a fan and hope he has a good year. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Kris Russell, 34. I think he will play more than most believe, at least until he gets hurt. Russell’s goal suppression numbers haven’t been trusted but he has in fact delivered under 2.00 GA/60 at five on five for the last two seasons. The former puck mover doesn’t impact the outlet game positively but if you look at what doesn’t happen when he’s on the ice at five on five, it’s a good bet he’ll play more than anticipated. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Slater Koekkoek, 27. Koekkoek had a good season with Chicago, and at the time Edmonton signed him the first time, he was the best available free agent. His season with Edmonton wasn’t good, helped along by an injury sustained against the hooligans from Calgary. He’ll be better than he was a year ago. Chances of making team: 60%.
  • William Lagesson, 25Lagesson spent 209 minutes with Adam Larsson at five on five and the numbers were crazy: 8-8 goals, 37.7 shot differential. Away from Larsson, Lagesson’s shot differential was 28 percent. Like Koekkoek, there’s no chance he will be as bad as last season. As compelling as that bullet point is, it might not be enough to get him an NHL job opening night. Chances of making team: 50%.
  • Dmitri Samorukov, 22 The third pairing and extra defenseman spots are open and Samorukov has the most promising resume from the group of hopefuls. I can see him jumping over both Lagesson and Koekkoek, but can’t see him opening the year on the third pairing with Bouchard. Chances of making team: 5%.
  • Philip Broberg, 20. Big, fast defenseman who has more success in North America than back home, I think he has a chance to play this season in Edmonton. If he plays well in Bakersfield, Broberg could pass Lagesson and Samorukov as first recall, but I think he’ll spend the season in Bakersfield. Chances of making the team: 5%.

RIGHT DEFENSE

  • Tyson Barrie, 30. He led NHL defensemen in points one year ago and will have a chance to finish high on the list again in the coming year. He is not strong defensively, gets beaten to the net even when he has position, his outscoring numbers at five on five a year ago (54-49) should be stronger based on linemates. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Cody Ceci, 27. His five on five GA/60 in the last two seasons (2.27, 2.03) are excellent. I don’t believe he’ll be suitable as a Larsson replacement but could help on defense and in moving the puck. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Evan Bouchard, 21. I’m hopeful he will get a chance and if he does, I expect Bouchard will be one of the major stories surrounding the Oilers this season. He is such a good passer and makes plays out of nothing that often surprise teammates who weren’t expecting the puck in a good place. He thinks the game incredibly well. Chances of making team: 100%.

CENTER

  • Connor McDavid, 24. The best player in the game, he’s beyond human. I’ve been watching games from last season and McDavid is Dr. Manhattan without the accident at the nuclear plant. I’ve long since run out of words to describe what he does, and can only say nothing that came before him is comparable. He’s alone. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Leon Draisaitl, 25. Draisaitl combines brains, power and precision to form something diabolical. Best suited to playing with McDavid, he is also a dynamic center and the team is more difficult to handle when 29 is pivot on a second scoring line. Lots of options this year, suspect Nuge-Yamamoto will be the wingers, especially to start. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Derek Ryan, 34. His numbers are impressive and he has a great deal of utility. It’s been a long time for the Oilers at No. 3 center, Boyd Gordon through Gaetan Haas. Ryan is a good bet, while also falling short of being a guarantee. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Ryan McLeod, 21. His speed is a weapon, and I was impressed with his quickness to loose pucks. In looking at his offensive progress, I think we may see a season that includes some struggles in this area. Chances of making team: 90%.
  • Devin Shore, 27. A strong penalty killer, Shore is death valley in five on five possession. His expected goals in the discipline is just over 40 percent and from this vantage point Shore is a fringe player on this roster. Chances of making team: 90%.

LEFT WING

  • Zach Hyman, 29. I’m intrigued by the addition of Hyman and the opportunities it might open up. McDavid can create offense out of nothing but Patrick Maroon always seemed to complement his game with puck retrieval, on the forecheck or driving to the net in a timely fashion. This could be a strong pairing. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 28. His expected goals last year (55.5 percent) was miles from his goal differential (48.4) so one hopes regression has him above level. I’ve looked at his season through several complete games, and he seemed to hesitate more than losing quality on his shot, so if he can get rid of the hitch then 20 goals should be attainable. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Warren Foegele, 25. His five on five pts-60 last season (1.60) and expected goals (55.6 percent) suggest he is well suited to an outscoring third line. That makes him a unicorn in Edmonton, he could be a key piece to success. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Brendan Perlini, 25. He is a wild card entering camp. Perlini is big, fast and can score goals. His NHL numbers suggest he isn’t going to be effective in a two-way role and that’s all that will be available, so a mid-20’s change in attention to detail will be necessary. It happens (Marty Reasoner) but it’s rare. Chances of making team: 60%.
  • Tyler Benson, 23. Benson can bring skill to the bottom-six forwards and he’s a smart player with and without the puck. Sam Pollock rarely traded a player before he knew what that player could do in the NHL. There’s no chance the Oilers know what Benson can do over a complete NHL season. Chances of making team: 60%.
  • Dylan Holloway, 19. He will need to be cleared to play after his season ended with a wrist/hand/thumb injury in the spring. Holloway is more dynamic than most of the names on this list, it’s only a matter of time. His time is unlikely to be this fall, chances are the Oilers handle him as they did Kailer Yamamoto fall 2019 (no game action in training camp). Chances of making team: 5%.

RIGHT WING

  • Jesse Puljujarvi, 23. He delivered an impressive season across the board in 2020-21, and played a strong complementary game alongside 97. There’s enough smoke around Zack Kassian getting a chance on the top line that it’s probably being considered, but cream rises and Puljujarvi is the class of the group. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Josh Archibald, 28. Utility forward can do everything, and that includes goals on depth lines. His GA/60 at five on five last season (2.65) was among the better bottom-six F totals and his goal differential in this discipline (43 percent) trailed only Jujhar Khaira among depth forwards. King of the empty-net goals. Chances of making team: 100%
  • Zack Kassian, 30. Rumours have him moving up to the top line, I don’t see it being successful. He has scored just three goals in his last 35 games, with suspensions, harmful penalties and blown coverages part of the recent resume. The contract seems to be an albatross, and he’s 30 now so it’s more and more likely his career peak will be 2018-20. Chances of making team: 100%.
  • Kailer Yamamoto, 22. He has no contract, so I can’t say he’s a lock to make the team. Yamamoto didn’t score much in the second half of the season but his overall numbers were fine. He’s a solid young winger, but his 2020-21 season (projected to 82 games, 13-20-33) won’t be enough for him to keep the job on RW with Draisaitl. Chances of making team: 80%.
  • Kyle Turris, 32. Turris has impressive skill but he’s also at a point when offense begins to fade. Things are breaking well for him early, with some uncertainty in what the RW depth chart will look like due to Yamamoto’s contract and Kassian’s moving up the lineup. Uncertainty anywhere helps him. Chances of making team: 70%.
  • Cooper Marody, 24. He has skill and can play center, but his opportunity came when the Oilers were changing coaches and about to fire their general manager. He’s a long shot. Chances of making team: 25%.
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hunter1909

Prediction:

Looking at the 5 new Oilers additions only Ryan looks like a possible dud.

If Ryan is the real deal the other 4 are set to play good to very good to great hockey with: connormcdavidandleondraisaitl

leadfarmer

The 4th period has a rumor that the Coyotes are asking for 2 1st round picks for Chychrun.
That is a crazy low price

leadfarmer

If this is true he must have quietly asked for a trade

Harpers Hair

Quite possible and Arizona should accommodate him.

Harpers Hair

Depends on your point of view.

Next year’s draft is shaping up as historically good.

The Coyotes already have 3 first round picks and another one could set them up for a decade.

They know they won’t be competitive any time soon so taking it down to the studs is a very smart move under the circumstances.

leadfarmer

FFS Have some consistency man!!
2 days ago the first rounder and second rounder they got from MTL you claimed were not worth much

Harpers Hair

Nonsense.

Two teams in very different stages.

Montreal is by demand and design in win now mode while Arizona is starting all over again.

Chychrun is a great player on a fantastic contract but will be a UFA if and when the Coyotes are in contention.

If Arizona can get 2 first round picks now, it would make perfect sense to maximize his value and move him now.

Abandon your tunnel vision.

leadfarmer

Until tomorrow when first round picks are worthless again huh?

Chychrun is great, but a first round pick could be anything. You may even get a Chychrun!!

Harpers Hair

Or two!!!

hunter1909

THE MCDAVID draft year is arguably better.

Harpers Hair

Arguably…but Shane Wright is tracing to be the next McDavid and having 4 shots at him must be tempting.

Harpers Hair

*tracking*

leadfarmer

That contract is a steal and that’s a top 10 d in the game

OriginalPouzar

The internal battle between Nurse and Chychrun for that last LD spot on Team Canada…..

Harpers Hair

Nurse is competing with Morgan Reilly for 4LD.

Chychrun is a lock.

OriginalPouzar

You can have that opinion.

Redbird62

But he doesn’t have that opinion. He just wants to be a contrarian about everything Oilers. It is tiresome BS.

Harpers Hair

I do and so do hundreds of others.

Redbird62

As you like to say, irrelevant!

JimmyV1965

That sounds like a bet, but no thanks.

Oddspell

I’m just going to say it: Chychrun for Eichel seems like a match made in hockey trade heaven.

Harpers Hair

Actually no.

Eichel is too expensive for the Coyotes who are tearing things down.

And Buffalo already has Dahlin and just drafted Owen Power.

The most logical destination would be the LA Kings.

They could use a legit #1LD and have little use for more draft picks considering their pool is absolutely loaded.

They could easily put a killer package together for Chychrun.

Side

I thought the “logical” destination was Calgary.

You also poo poo’d on LA acquiring Eichel because they already had such “elite prospects” or some nonsense.

Did you forget to log onto your alt account to make this post?

Harpers Hair

Apparently you have comprehension issues.

LA is loaded at centre but shy on LD.

Chychrun would be a perfect addition considering they just drafted RD Brandt Clarke.

If you go back and read carefully you might discover at no point did I suggest Eichel to LA.

Did you park your brain before this nonsensical post?

Try and be better.

Side

Oddspell suggested a trade for Eichel. Your post seems to ramble about trading for Eichel, and then discussing a trade for a #1LD

Given your demonstrated inability to identify what positions players play in, I wasn’t sure if you just had another HH moment (‘LA Kings Iced a Very, Very Young Lineup’, ‘Weber is a LHD’, etc. Etc.)

And then just suggested at the end that LA could put together a package for Chychrun.

It gets difficult to follow your posts when you have a history of making errors, moving goal posts, or illogical trains of thought.

My bad.

Last edited 20 days ago by Side
hunter1909

FINAL DEATH MARCH™ SEASON:

We’ve had enough!

Still time to register before training camp starts.

http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com/marches/2021-22

PS: If you are pissed at ending Death March give this post a big fat – to let everyone know how we feel

godot10

So you are hoping for the best, with your last Death March. You know how it always turns out.

hunter1909

The last playoffs Death March™ didn’t have a single prediction anywhere near 0-4 which voided the game.

Victoria Oil

In the 2020 playoffs, I correctly predicted the Oilers would lose in 4 games, but I heard nothing afterwards. Didn’t cost me anything so I’m not really complaining but I’m not sure what the point was of having the contest.

hunter1909

Congratulations. That makes you a winner in the 2020 contest.

Please contact us at the website and you go to the top of the list.

ps: I remember you as a very good player.

Last edited 20 days ago by hunter1909
Dee Dee

So what’s the Death March on the Death March?
Can we give predictions on that?

hunter1909

lol

hags9k

Mike Smith the Datsun. That’s gold LT.

I wouldn’t be so quick to give up on a 30yr old Kassian. He would be the Supercharged Hemi you shelled out too much for and it’s been in the shop most of the time and you haven’t forgiven it since it didn’t start that night at the DQ when you had the hot date. But fresh out of the shop, with a fresh coat of wax, it’ll whip anything else on the main strip.

hunter1909

It’s not like Kassian has been exerting himself as an Oiler lately, so he should be good to go when the season starts.

Reja

He’s saving it for his 2nd stint in fun Montreal

hunter1909

Was watching the 1985 SC Final game on Youtube…

“Gretzky to Coffey” has to be a top 3 all time NHL duo.

Kert

Are the other two top three combos, “Gretzky and Kurri” and “Gretzky and Tikkanen”?

Reja

It was B.J MacDonald for a magical year.

hunter1909

There might be a few Lemieux/Richard Howe Orr combos,,,

My fave 2nd line ever: “Messier to Anderson + anyone”

hunter1909

Gretzky has a slap shot that is so accurate and deadly it makes Bobby Hull’s seem primitive and ineffectual.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Cooper Marody, 24. He has skill and can play center, but his opportunity came when the Oilers were changing coaches and about to fire their general manager.

What opportunity was that, LT? I may have blinked.

John Chambers

As much as I think the club could benefit by adding Alex Chiasson as a 13th forward, I believe the Oilers owe Marody a few months of an NHL paycheque and 150 at-bats.

Benson – McLeod – Marody torched the AHL together and I’d love to see them get a shot together as an NHL 4th line.

hunter1909

NHL 4th lines make excellent practical development opportunities for young players…

They get to play limited NHL minutes where they should be able to at least hold their heads above water. meanwhile star players are germinating right in front of everyone.

The AHL being of zero interest to over 90% of fans, an NHL 4th line is also a good way of fans seeing the future of the team.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Right there with you, John.

meanashell11

Completely agree John and DSF.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide

Author

 Reply to Decidedly Skeptical Fan

 September 6, 2021 3:06 pm

He was on the roster and playing pretty well in the run up to McLellan’s firing. A couple of appearances under Hitchcock and that’s all she wrote. His numbers, in very few games, were encouraging. It’s surprising to me he never got another shot.

The interim Hall of Fame coach needed to make room on the roster to call up the teenager that he assured us he could fix after his four games in the AHL (where he was dominant).

Reja

Marody and Benson window is almost closed, Holland wanted his own people getting the opportunity Nygard,Hass, Jurco, Perlini and A.A I know I’m missing a couple more. Anyhow there’s only so many invited to the dance and Marody and Benson just don’t have the right look for Holland. I’ve been saying for awhile if your not going to give these two a honest look do the right thing and trade them.

OriginalPouzar

Tippet’s second year with the team was a Covid-Protocol year where roster decisions needed to be made, prior to camp with no ability to compete for the bottom of the lineup.

Benson (and Marody) had no chance last year, due to circumstances. Their times are now, if ever.

Reja

Could you imagine Tippett going with the sizzling line of McLeod, Marody and Benson the Jets may not of had a answer. Ooh let’s also throw in a fresh Bouchard for a tired looking Bear.

OriginalPouzar

I’m thinking the addition of Benson and Marody to the lineup would not have changed the series.

Reja

We lost 3 games in OT all it would have taken is 1 goal by a well rested individual and not a completely whipped Leon and Connor.

OriginalPouzar

I’ll continue to believe that adding Marody and Benson to the lineup would not have changed the series outcome.

Reja

I’m saying Edmonton gave every look they had to the Jets in the regular season. It was easy pickings coaching against Tippett that’s why I wanted Holloway and Bouchard to play and give the Jets a new look.

Redbird62

Mikko Koskinen may end up with some better numbers like save% or even GA average, but at the end of the day the only ones that truly count are wins and losses. Smith is 40-18-8 since he arrived and Koskinen is 31-26-3. The gap is even more stark since the team got untracked at Christmas 2019, with Smith being 33-9-6 vs 18-19-1. The team has just flat out played better overall in front of Smith and Smith’s style and confidence helps that.

Granted in the 2 seasons’ playoffs, Koskinen has won 1 and Smith none. But the whole team lost both those series. The Oilers goalies were both out played by the other team’s goalie, especially Chicago, but that is because they were both exceptional, or at least the Oilers shooters made them look that way.

I can see Holland wanting other options at playoff time, but If a change gets made midseason, for it not to be Koskinen the one losing out, his win loss record and the team’s confidence in his play will have to improve (assuming both are healthy).

Last edited 20 days ago by Redbird62
defmn

There’s not much to say, Edmonton is going to ride Smith like the guy at work who still owns and operates a 1974 Datsun. It’ll work until it doesn’t.

Yup. Do we believe last season’s performance or do we believe the birth certificate?

I think it is injuries that make me most nervous about his season. Groins have a tendency to object to the kind of sudden motions and stretches that playing goalie requires.

YYCOil

Does anyone outside of Oiler fans really think of Larsson as nasty?

competitor, strong, hard on board battles sure, but nasty?

hunter1909

He played bad tempered game.

But don’t worry. Oilers fans might get to see more of it this coming season lol

Reja

They’re still laughing at us for trading Hall for him.

John Chambers

Thing about Larsson on a 4-year contract is that when he’s injured he’s bad, and he’s been injured about half the time.

I didn’t sweat losing Larsson to Seattle because we were only losing a quality defender for the fits and spurts where Larsson was quality.

If folks recall the Chicago series, the Larsson – Klefbom pair cost us dearly in GM 1.

YYCOil

When Larsson is done playing – I bet more players say they enjoyed playing against him, he was hard nosed, skilled guy that was hard competition but he didn’t break the rules.

hunter1909

Watching the 1971 SC Finals on Youtube…it appeared as if from nowhere…

Washed up you would think Henri Richard scores the game 7 and cup winning goal, which might help make the modern Oilers fan understand the need for veteran playoff pedigree like Duncan Keith has.

hunter1909

@ Lowetide: Could you please let us have a current email address? Thanks!

hunter1909

kk thanks

Scungilli Slushy

So many unknowns with the roster. Of course with that many changes it has to be that way.

It’s up to the coaches to get the players invested in the hard work and details and create a team.

‘Lou’ said players wins games, but teams win championships. So true. After the ‘experience’ the Oilers have had in two playoff stompings, I hope it’s hit home, deep.

I’m always optimistic at this time of year about the team. If Ceci can skate and has some puck skills, and isn’t a defensive tire fire, I like the look of the D group. It’s taller, more mobile, and more skilled than it has been in yonks.

I think Bouch will do well. There will be mistakes yes. There is a lot of desire for other teams prospects and youth here at times. I think most of us only see the highlight reel stuff, and don’t see the mistakes they are making, but we do see out guys mess up.

Koskinen remains the wink link for me. I firmly believe if Stalock is healthy he’s a better NHL goalie. Also has the puck handling like Smith which I think is easier on the skaters, they don’t have to change style as much.

Koski isn’t a bad goaler, but the aggregate numbers hide that weak glove (which is a problem when the team isn’t organized in front of him) and hides his shaky confidence. He shares with Talbot that first shot, string of weak goals trait.

Like Koski Talbot can be brilliant. But I think the players are on edge with a goalie like that, waiting for the shoe to drop. To me it shows in their play. We’ll see what magic Ken has.

defmn

Koskinen remains the wink link for me. I firmly believe if Stalock is healthy he’s a better NHL goalie. Also has the puck handling like Smith which I think is easier on the skaters, they don’t have to change style as much.

Koski isn’t a bad goaler, but the aggregate numbers hide that weak glove (which is a problem when the team isn’t organized in front of him) and hides his shaky confidence. He shares with Talbot that first shot, string of weak goals trait.

Like Koski Talbot can be brilliant. But I think the players are on edge with a goalie like that, waiting for the shoe to drop. To me it shows in their play. We’ll see what magic Ken has.

This pretty much nails what I think as well. When a goalie is sub .900 or over .920 Sv% you know the numbers mean something but within that range it is when the saves are made and what kind of goals are going in that sink teams and destroy the confidence of the players in front of the goalie. They change the way they play because they don’t know what to expect from the guy in goal and none of that benefits the team.

Reja

You could see the team visibly drop their shoulders after playing well only to see Mikko let in a stinker. There were a few games where it looked like the team gave up on him. It’s Tippett job to ice the best possible team to win games and if that means Stalock is in and Mikko is sent a bus ticket to Bakersfield so be it.

Scungilli Slushy

Funny the responses get negatives and the comment none.

Anyone who has ever played a sport that has a goalie knows what a not good or unpredictable goalie means.

Walking on eggshells. I agree with Holland that the difference between goalies other than the few elite ones is negligible and not worth paying extra for.

Because there is no confidence that can be placed in return for cap used.

Still you can see the soft goals and try for better. After ‘Pete the ‘Stache’s’ gift that keeps on giving expires.

Many of you are those that make bigger deals. Am I wrong that some are good at getting value (not meaning fleecing the other) and some aren’t? Holland seems to fall into the old Oilers mindset.

Even when players are driving the deal like Keith.

At least limit movement clauses. Like none past 4 years if you aren’t elite. Have some cajones.

Last edited 20 days ago by Scungilli Slushy
Reja

It was like a big hurry to sign Mikko before Pete was shit canned. Me thinks that the great Kurri’s fingerprints were all over bringing him overseas and then his juicy contract. Mikko is in a contract year and if he has a comeback year there’s a good chance he’ll sign with someone but I don’t think it’ll be the Oilers. I would like nothing more than Mikko going on a year long heater and shutting me up and gaining my faith in him back again.

defmn

Am I wrong that some are good at getting value (not meaning fleecing the other) and some aren’t? Holland seems to fall into the old Oilers mindset.

I’m still on the fence on that one. I think what is definitely the case is that teams that feel they have holes that they have to fill pay more than teams that trade when opportunity knocks.

And, of course, teams that draft well always look like they make better trades because they don’t create holes when they fill a hole.

The flip side of the coin is teams that think they are contenders at the TD who willingly and knowingly overpay because that is what their opponents are also doing and the lure of winning the cup drives their willingness to do so.

As this team approaches balance I am hoping to see Holland more attentive to value in his signings and trades because he won’t feel the pressure so much and because players will want to be Oilers.

Except at the TD, of course. Everybody overpays if they think they are close. 😉

defmn

Agreed on the players targeted.

Randle McMurphy

How so curious? The adds make good sense to me.

defmn

I have my own list but would also like to see LT’s answer.

Harpers Hair

Not addressing goaltending likely the fatal blow.
Agree completely with the rest.

OriginalPouzar

Hasn’t been fatal either of the last few years.

Could be fatal this year, we don’t know, but to state that its “likely” is clearly narrative driven.

There is also a 3G that won 20 games in half a season as a starter on a middling team not too long ago – he’s fighting for a contract and motivated (and healthy).

Harpers Hair

The goaltending was dreadful in two consecutive playoff series.

Why do you think this season will be any different?

Juju?

OriginalPouzar

Dreadful? Please.

Not even worth a conversation.

defmn

The terms of the Keith trade was a disaster imo.

Not buying out Koskinen was an error in judgement that will follow the team until corrected.

Surprised that Hyman for 7 years didn’t make the list. Reinhart was just sitting there for a 1st and a bit.

I like the Bear/Foegele trade and the Barrie signing.

Harpers Hair

Yep.

The assets given up for Keith and eating his entire cap hit were atrocious.

The thing with the Koskinen situation is that it will be difficult to resolve in season with the Oilers already into LTIR.

The Hyman contract (and Nuge to a lesser degree) are moves normally made by teams on the brink of a cup not a team that has major concerns in net and on D.

I agree with LT on the Bear/Foegele transaction…a 2RD has much more value than a 3rd line winger.

The problem I see with the Barrie signing is the potential for 2 RD who are below average defensively basically providing the same skill sets and neither of them are good potential partners for Keith who has defensive issues of his own.

To me, Holland has made a huge bet on Ceci and I’m not convinced that was a good wager.

We will soon see.

defmn

I agree with LT on the Bear/Foegele transaction…a 2RD has much more value than a 3rd line winger.

Everybody agrees that a 2RD has much more value than a 3rd line winger. You, however, are on record on a number of occasions that Bear is a 3RD – which I agree with.

You can’t have it both ways.

There is always a way around the cap in acquiring a player – you just have to be prepared to pay the extra. Which is why I think it should have been done this summer. The players have no confidence in Koskinen. Right there you start in a hole every time he is in net.

I’m in wait and see mode on the right side of the defence.

I haven’t seen Ceci play in several years,

Barrie gives up but he also creates.

Bouchard is a high draft rookie which means he gives up and also gives. His story hasn’t even begun to be written.

I think you have a lot more confidence than I do that the numbers commonly used to describe dmen tell us very much. Wrong tool for the job imo. Especially defensive dmen where I think analysis based upon stats is pretty much of no use at all.

OriginalPouzar

The thing on Koskinen is he doesn’t have to play.

Sure, Holland could have paid assets to get rid of him or bought him out and extending his contract. He chose not too and he’s currently on the 23 man roster.

Thing is, they have a 3rd goalie who could prove to be better than Mikko was last year.

The coach has the option of not playing Koskinen even as he remains on the org. Yes, that would be “wasted cap space” for this season but the contract isn’t extended to 2022/23 nor were valuable assets spent to dispose of the negative value contract.

Harpers Hair

The best defensive D on the Oilers appears to be Kris Russell.

Take Nurse away from McDavid and things ain’t pretty.

Bouchard may evolve but his professional career to this point shows him under water.

We’ll see.

OriginalPouzar

Take Heiskanen away from Pavelski and things ain’t pretty.

OriginalPouzar

Its very hard to look at Ceci’s numbers from last season (and in multiple seasons in the past) and determine that he’s below average defensively – well if one is trying to be honest in the conversation..

Last edited 20 days ago by OriginalPouzar
Harpers Hair

Thing is, given the makeup of the Oilers D, he will have to be well ABOVE average.

Is he?

OriginalPouzar

Speaking of getting value in a trade (not necessarily a flogging, but value), I think the Bear for Foegele trade is that.

There are very few solely “hockey trades” made these days where contract terms, and future contract terms, are not a very big part of the evaluation.

This was a hockey trade, in the name of acquiring a player with a skillset that the team has been looking for for a while to help in the middle six/3rd line, with room to improve, going in to prime years, etc.

They gave up good and real value for the player acquired but also got very good value.

Its impossible to know who will “win this trade” at the point – hell, both teams might win the trade (for their needs and goals).

I don’t like the “narrative” that the Oilers gave up a young 2nd pairing d-man for a 3rd liner. That discounts the fact that (1) Bear is not yet fully established as a legit 2nd pairing guy – likely to get there but not yet fully established and (2) Foegle is established as a very high end 3rd liner with clear ability to help drive an outscoring third line, is trending up and has real top 6 potential. He may never get there but he’s more than “a 3rd liner”.

Bear’s upside gets taken in to account (and he’s listed as something he hasn’t quite established yet) while Foegele’s upside is discounted (and his current established level is downplayed).

In my opinon.

defmn

Knowing OP you will get to re-visit long before then. 😉

OriginalPouzar

Cool value add!

defmn

Only for those with a sense of humour.

Harpers Hair

Here it comes.

Randle McMurphy

Everything you say is reasonable. And I disagree with almost all of it. 🙂 I will try and post a more detailed response tomorrow.

OriginalPouzar

As he makes his way to Edmonton for rookie (and main) camp, Ty Tulio signs his 3-year ELC. I’ll need to look at his age and stuff to see if he’s a one-year or two-year slide candidate.

OriginalPouzar

He’s already 19 so just the one-year slide and, of course, given he’s in his draft plus 2 year and will be 20 near the end of the year, he’ll be AHL eligible for 2022/23.

Todd Macallan

Tu-tu-tullio! (For all you Phil Collins fans out there)

Reja

I hate that song! Phil Collins should be strung up for a public flogging every week for the rest of his life.

Bulging Twine

Tullio got 77 PIM’s in 19 games as an 18 year old in a men’s league last season. I take that as a good sign.

OriginalPouzar

Brendan Perlini, 25. He is a wild card entering camp. Perlini is big, fast and can score goals. His NHL numbers suggest he isn’t going to be effective in a two-way role and that’s all that will be available, so a mid-20’s change in attention to detail will be necessary. It happens (Marty Reasoner) but it’s rare. Chances of making team: 60%.

Tyler Benson, 23. Benson can bring skill to the bottom-six forwards and he’s a smart player with and without the puck. Sam Pollock rarely traded a player before he knew what that player could do in the NHL. There’s no chance the Oilers know what Benson can do over a complete NHL season. Chances of making team: 60%.

Does Perlini bring that 2-way game. I mean, I know he’s big and he’s fast and, if he brought that 2-way game in the past, he wouldn’t have washed out of the league.

I can’t say I remember seeing him enough to form a real opinion on his game but, from my understanding, 2-way play hasn’t been his game in the past.

If he brings that 2-way game, shows the willingness to compete in battle, shift after shift, then this player may be in the Hyman, Foegele, Holloway style of play that will endear fans – I’m just not sure he is that player.

Yup, Benson’s shot is likely “skill in the bottom six” and I don’t think the door should be closed on “skill in the top six” – that’s been his game his entire career. Of course, I don’t think the current coaching staff will him any real opportunity to earn that type of role.

OriginalPouzar

Apologies, I mis-read: I though you said “is” going to be effective in a 2-way role.

Now I agree, 100%.

OriginalPouzar

Devin Shore, 27. A strong penalty killer, Shore is death valley in five on five possession. His expected goals in the discipline is just over 40 percent and from this vantage point Shore is a fringe player on this roster. Chances of making team: 90%.

Here is the thing, even with the loss of the likes of Khaira and Haas, I don’t think the team needs to bottom six or 4th line to have special teams skills.

The PK has the following options:

Archie, Hyman, Foegele, Nuge, Ryan, McLeod, Yamamoto, Drai.

I mean, if Shore is in the lineup, he should PK but I don’t think that he needs to get in the lineup due to PK.

He get caved at 5 on 5 last season but, even with that knowledge, I think the head coach trusts him at 5 on 5 – results notwithstanding – something about hard work and good veteran and compete.

OriginalPouzar

Cody Ceci, 27. His five on five GA/60 in the last two seasons (2.27, 2.03) are excellent. I don’t believe he’ll be suitable as a Larsson replacement but could help on defense and in moving the puck. Chances of making team: 100%.

If his season from last year in Pit was not a one-off and was a function of a now mid-career d-man settling in and finding his role in the NHL, then I do think he will be a fine replacement as he heads in to his prime years.

Nope, not as strong a defender as Larsson (and definitely not as nasty to play against), but he can defend on a 2nd pairing role and he provides a better 2-way game with good puck transition – at least he did last year in Pit and it came with really strong 5 on 5 production.

This team will miss Larsson’s nastiness – there isn’t much of that left on the roster, is that an issue?

————

With Bouch, three spots with Tip and one with Playfair in the last month and, in all of them, they talk about how important Bouch is going to be to this team and how they think he’ll progress like Jesse did last year and earn a bigger and more substantial role on the team.

Its starting to be clear that the verbal is a bit targeted and I wonder how much of it is “real” and how much of it is knowing what the fan-base wants to hear?

Don’t get me wrong, no matter was the coaches and management actually project for this player, he is so substantial that he will force that playing time on merit.

jp

Its starting to be clear that the verbal is a bit targeted and I wonder how much of it is “real” and how much of it is knowing what the fan-base wants to hear?

The Holland Oilers haven’t really shown any evidence of catering to fans have they? I expect the verbal is genuine, and of course great to hear.

OriginalPouzar

I agree, Holland has generally not catered to the fans but it seemed a bit much when Playfair, on OilersNow (the show with the biggest “viewership”) essentially paraphrased exactly what Tip had said in his last few hits. Compared Bouch this year to Jesse last, talked about how important he was and how they expect him to take on more responsibility through the year, etc.

Reja

There trying to make up for lost time. They need Bouchard and once he’s settled in and relaxed we have at least 7 years of not being worried about the right side. He will deliver and he’s part of the core that are going to win 2 cups before the decade is over.

leadfarmer

With covid protocols in place and pandemic still raging I can’t imagine starting the season with less than 3 goalies especially with Ahl call up in a different country

jp

Yes, it would be really helpful if they expanded the rosters so the Oilers can keep 3 goalies 🙂

OriginalPouzar

I think 3 goalies is a very real option (and this is a great year for the Oilers to be “forced” to do that).

It does suck though as we lose a skater off the roster and will only carry 13F and 7D.

If they don’t go with 3 goalies, I think there is a chance they go with 8D and keep Benson but 3 goalies will take away that option and the standard 14F/7D option as well.

OriginalPouzar

I’m glad to see Lagesson at 50% as, based on the verbal from Playfair this past week, he is definitely in the mix. When Stauff suggested a Koekkoek or Russell and Bouch 3rd pairing, Jimmy P. immediately mentioned Lagesson in that mix.

I agree that Samorukov starts the season in Bakersfield but I’d be shocked if he didn’t play.

I wonder if they consider him an option for injury cover on the right side. I’m always very very cautious about translating off-side results in non NHL leagues to the NHL but Sammy did play the entire season in the KHL on the right side in the top 4. I’m not saying I think he should be that option but I wonder what the coaching staff thinks.

GordieHoweHatTrick

My memory is failing. Was it Dr. Gregg or Chuck Huddy (both LHS) that played RD? Did they always play RD or just to fill the need til they could get back on their natural side.

OriginalPouzar

I find the 95%/10% for Koskinen/Stalock interesting. I do believe that Mikko will start the season as the 1B goalie but do we think there is no chance at 3 goalies on the 23 man roster? I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept 3.

Assuming they do just keep two goalies, per normal course, i hope there is a real competition and Stalock is given a chance. If he outperforms Mikko in the exhibition season, given he was the better goalie in 2019/20, shouldn’t he be given the job.

That doesn’t even get in to the few hundred grand cap savings and, importantly, the better puck-handling, presumably helping the team play the same puck-retrieval structure nightly.

jp

If he outperforms Mikko in the exhibition season, given he was the better goalie in 2019/20, shouldn’t he be given the job.

I agree with you, but you slipped here.

Koskinen had the better numbers in 19-20, but you’ve been saying that Stalock’s 19-20 was better than Koskinen’s 20-21 (which is also true).

Anyway, I do agree that Stalock should/does have a legitimate shot at making the team, and his chances are far better than 10%.

OriginalPouzar

Sorry, what I meant was, Stalock’s most recent season (2019/20) was better than Koskinen’s most recent season (2021).

JimmyV1965

I wonder if Samaroukov could possibly crack Russia’s roster. The left side looks decent, but Zaitsev and Zadorov are projected for the right side.

OriginalPouzar

I agree, 100%, K. Russell is going to play alot for the Oilers this seasons and the coaching staff will be criticized for it. He may start as the 4LD/7D but injuries will happen and, at the point, he is likely the first injury cover on the right side.

I fear the day that the 3rd pairing is Koekkoek/Russell with Bouchard getting a “night off”

jtblack

I agree but don’t think K russell helps edm much … he will play tho … and that could cause a problem

jp

I agree but don’t think K russell helps edm much … he will play tho … and that could cause a problem

My goodness.

In addition to being a fixture on the PK his whole time in Edmonton, Russell was 50% in 5v5 goal differential last year.

Over the last 3 seasons Russell, Benning and Barrie are the only 3 Oiler defensemen who’ve played 25+ games who are 50% or better in goal differential.

It’s amazing how much crap he gets for a guy who isn’t actually being outscored.

Beyond that there are numerous options to replace him if he does end up struggling.

jtblack

What are his 5×5 Goal numbers the last 3 years

jp

18-19 50GF-49GA
19-20 20GF-21GA
20-21 17GF-17GA

Last edited 20 days ago by jp
jtblack

Yah that works.i have looked at his possession numbers which are Not Good …

But those 5×5 are fine.

Thanks for clarifying

meanashell11

I keep hearing about a condensed schedule because of the Olympics but have they not stretched the season to add two weeks for the Olympics?

Redbird62

It’s not condensed. Season is spread over 199 days instead of the normal 184 with a 15 day break for the Olympics. Those playing in the Olympic will have more games and more travel, but the spacing between NHL games in unchanged.

meanashell11

That is what I thought. So the schedule is not condensed.

GordieHoweHatTrick

So much potential with the forwards this year. It is a smorgasbord of elite skill and complementary skill.

One of my most significant concerns is RD PK. It can’t be Barrie (he can’t even play defense 5v5). Ceci have much experience there? I don’t know. We have seen KRusty flounder on PK on the right side for about 3 years. I guess if Barrie is slated to be the PP darling, then lets hope old man Bouch had some great Manson whispering PK secrets the last 2 years. Oh wait. Last year he just sat in the press box. Anyway…maybe one of the plethora of forwards that are great PKers can slip back to RD (just kidding, sort of ;)).

buck yoakam

me thinks RD on the Pk will be Ceci’s to lose or possibly Keith and Russel?…does not have to be a Rd in that role…

GordieHoweHatTrick

Yes, but we need 2. A first PK unit and a second PK unit. Plus, Gord forbid, a 5 min PK.

CopperandBlue

What’s the chances they bring in Gudbranson on PTO for PK?

jp

Ceci has PKed tons throughout his career.

Pretty sure the primary options will be Nurse and Keith on the left and Ceci and whoever of Russell or Koekkoek is 3LD on the right side.

Redbird62

Coaches have already indicated they expect to have Bouchard killing penalties which he did in Bakersfield and London. They do have cover with Russell. While paired with Nurse on the PK 3 seasons ago, they did not fare well, but the whole team was bad on PK. Since Tippett arrived, Russell has done okay PKing on the right with Klefbom, Nurse, Lagesson, Jones and KoekKoek.

Last edited 20 days ago by Redbird62
OriginalPouzar

To the original post:

1) Ceci PK’d for Pit last year (and in the past).

2) Russell on the right side is an issue at evens but the off-side is less of an issue on the PK and he’s had success there in the past

3) Tip expressly mentioned getting Bouch up to speed on the PK and using him there.

OriginalPouzar

CopperandBlue

 Reply to Lowetide

 September 6, 2021 9:57 am

What’s the chances they bring in Gudbranson on PTO for PK?

I do think someone like Gubrandson or Stone could be brought in but, if they sign another player to a contract, where is everyone going to play.

Assuming full health (which is a BIG assumption, I know), there are already issues with ice for player that need to play at the AHL level:

NHL: Nurse, Barrie, Keith, Ceci, Russell, Bouchard, Koekkoek

That already leaves Lagesson, for example, out.

They could carry 8D or, if they carry 7, that leaves the following in the AHL:

LD: Lagesson, Samorukov, Brogerg, Niemelainen
RD: Berglund, Kesselring, Kemp, Deharnais, Kaldis

Deharnais and Kaldis are not “real prospects” and don’t “need to play” – 100% Kemp and Kesslring need to play ahead of them but icetime is getting thin.

Add another NHL contract (Stone or Gubrandson) and it clusters things up even more. Not to mention, there is talk about adding a veteran to the AHL (Stanton/Gravel replacement).

Bulging Twine

Speaking of Gravel, he got himself an NHL contract this year (Flames)

OriginalPouzar

Yup, a 2-way deal but at least he’s an NHL option….. I hope to see him in the lineup against the Oilers this season!

jtblack

I still don’t know what to make of the D men….. a wide range of outcomes is possible.

Forwards look better than ever ..

Hope G is like last year.

Let’s get camp going !

fishman

Can’t wait for start of training camp! Really hope Benson has a good camp and cracks the line up to start the season. The RD does not inspire a lot of confidence (except Bouchard) but hopefully can hold up….

OriginalPouzar

I have confidence in the right side D give (1) Bouchard is a stud that is going to take huge strides this year (2) Barrie is far from perfect but he does contribute the offence in a dynamic way as proven by his production and (3) last year’s Ceci was a very solid middle d-man and, if we get that player, heading in to his prime years, he should fit in very well.