Quiet Storm

by Lowetide

One of my favourite times of year is training camp. It’s the one time all year when the coach is thinking of the season in broad strokes. You could hear it from Dave Tippett yesterday, Evan Bouchard is going to be a key, Tyler Benson is looking good, the men he envisioned competing for jobs all showed up in great shape.

By the first period of the first game of the regular season, it’ll be all out war and a shortened bench and that’s the way the world goes round. I can’t wait.


In the late summer of 2007, then Oilers coach Craig MacTavish gave his view of the season ahead. It’s fascinating to look back on his words and how things turned out.

  1. “I’d like to see (goalie) Mathieu Garon play possibly 40% of the games ideally, maybe a little less than that. You’re looking at maybe 2 out of every 5 games I think is a good balance for a very capable backup. We’re pretty optimistic about our goaltending, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a game or two out of Deslauriers or Dubnyk at the NHL level.” He would play 47 games (Roloson 43) and post a strong season, with a 26-18-1 record and a save percentage of .913 (Roloson .901). He would struggle the following season and get dealt to Pittsburgh at the deadline. DD and JDD did not play.
  2. “JFJ has always been fit and strong and powerful, he has to get a little composure in his game.” Jean-Francois Jacques was big and could skate, and that’s important in hockey. For some reason, many other things evaded him. He scored 24 goals as an AHL rookie, but he didn’t score in three NHL auditions (53 games) and by score I mean any points. MacT knew something. He played nine games in 2007-08, never pissed a drop.
  3. Marc-Antoine Pouliot is almost the polar opposite of JFJ, he’s got lots of composure and lots of hockey sense but he’s got to train himself as a pro. This is his 4th camp coming up and he’s been behind physically through each of his previous camps. He’s exhibited the work ethic to start to train like an NHL player, he’s been to California with Chad Moreau to train. We have three of the best conditioned guys in the game in Shawn Horcoff, Jarret Stoll and Ethan Moreau, and when you see these guys train it has to be an eye opener for these players to realize the depth of the commitment physically that you have to have to play at this elite level. Pouliot is at the wheel, if he comes and is anywhere near as fit as the average NHL player he’ll be a big help for us.”  I was all-in on MP, he was an excellent passer and smart enough to play center if he made it. MacT had concerns, as above. Scored a penalty shot goal in Toronto, that would have been his career highlight. Disappointing he didn’t make it, lots of usefull skills. He would play 24 games (1-6-7) in 2007-08.
  4. We’re still going to be preaching responsibility to Robert Nilsson, Rob Schremp and Andrew Cogliano. It’s all a game of what you create minus what you give up. If you’re creating a lot you’re going to get more latitude to try and create offense, but if you’re not productive then the balance is out of whack. We want to win hockey games. We need one of those guys to develop.Cogliano turned into a fine two-way player, his speed was such an asset for him. Nilsson had great puck skills, but he cheated like hell for offense, even the next gen kids who came to Edmonton would have been embarrassed but his lingering at the center line. Cogliano scored 18, Nilsson 11 and Schremp played in two games, having hurt himself training in California summer 2007 and getting injured.
  5. “My initial hope is that Dustin Penner can come in and fill in some of the strengths because of the Ryan Smyth departure. Maybe it’s a bit of a gamble but a calculated one, and one that we had to make in my mind.” I don’t think MacT ever really warmed to him, Penner was fairly passive despite his size. I saw several games that season live, and Penner’s hands were good. He wasn’t Smyth but he had some real talent. He would score 23 goals in 2007-08.


  • Hyman-McDavid-Puljujarvi. The smart move is to get these three together and play them from the start of training camp through much of the preseason and (if there’s chem) into the year. This line might produce a 40+ goal man and two more who hit 20+ tallies. That’s a monster.
  • RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto. The logical second line, although names like Warren Foegele and Zack Kassian may find their way into the conversation. Can the wingers score 20? Does Leon have another 50-goal season in him? Incredible talent on the top two lines.
  • Foegele-Ryan-Kassian. The obvious third line currently, Josh Archibald being unavailable. Foegele is the best player on the line, but Ryan is a player no one should overlook. Kassian is looking for redemption and I hope he finds it. More talent on this third line than we’ve seen in several years.
  • Perlini-Shore-Turris. This is one of two units that could reasonably be called the fourth line. Perlini impressed with his size and speed, but so did J-F Jacques at every training camp before his back started giving him trouble. Shore is not a strong five on five performer, but is golden on the PK and Tippett holds that game state as being vital. Turris has arrived ready and fit, we’ll see how this plays out. Archibald’s absence, should it continue, would benefit him. Not as a replacement in style, but in terms of a roster spot being available.
  • Benson-McLeod-Marody. The new ‘Bulldog’ line is going to get a look, Godspeed to all. Benson is fitter and faster, looks like he’ll get a long look and that’s good. I will say the entire summer was devoted to his position, so things didn’t get any better. McLeod is as close to a lock as a rookie can get in my opinion, he is a speedster and can grow with the group. Marody has strong competition even if Archibald stays away, all one can do is cheer him on. He is the most purely talented forward to come through the system in some time but he arrives in an era where the Oilers have elite talent at the top and suddenly a substantial support group.
  • Esposito-Malone-Sceviour. Sceviour begins on an AHL line.
  • Nurse-Barrie. They’ll play a ton. I think some believe Bouchard will eventually take over from Barrie on this pairing, but imo that’s a next year option. Huge minutes from these two expected. Like 25+ a night.
  • Koekkoek-Bouchard. Tippett is hyping Bouchard in a big way, and that does signal to me that the bottom two pairs are going to be equal in playing time at the end of the season, if not sooner. The coach said this pairing asked for the McDavid minutes, which is kind of like joining the penal system in French Guiana one hundred years ago.
  • Lagesson-Ceci. Lagesson is the Duncan Keith marker, he’ll be looking for a No. 7 role on this team that may not come. Ceci is probably the third or fourth most important defenseman on the team, depending on how much of a role you expect Bouchard to play this season.
  • Broberg-Berglund. This is the sport where miracles come from. Tippett and Holland can’t expect it, can’t say they need it, but they surely do.


At 10 this morning, our slicks hit the blacktop with the engine floored and headed for the weekend on the Lowdown. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will talk Ryder Cup, Jays and the Oilers as training camp gets underway. Matthew Iwanyk will talk CFL weekend, the NFL and Ryder Cup. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday!!


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Hunter1909’s Immortal Death March™

…has been set for the past summer and currently will expire in 8 days

The team is doing everything to reset this but as of yet its 8 days left only





“Last year you dissed us for resetting the deadline… wait until it expires 10 days before the start of the season lol”


The Filip Berglund shot that Connor Zary blocked broke his ankle and Zary is out week to week.


And Zary a tear was shed.

Bulging Twine

I thought that this article by Justin Bourne at Sportsnet was really good. The title describes what it is about



For those of you who aren’t aware, Bruce McCurdy has been doing write-ups of his impressions from camp, which he’s been watching in person. It’s excellent stuff, very good reading for us die hards and one of my favourite pieces of writing each year (last year be damned). Some nice words for Benson and Turris today.




Waivers: Marody/Archie


I really enjoy the Cult of Hockey especially the morning after we play. Keep it up and hopefully you grade the boys all the way to the final.


Why I hate Training camp:
“Best shape of my life”
“Worked on my skills”
“Had nagging injury all last year, rehabbed it”
” Have a lot to prove”
“Looks really good/flying/lots of confidence”


I’m wondering how many of these comments end up resulting in player fizzling out in 4 weeks


The D really could go either way:

Positive Kinger:
Nurse: Going to play like to the contract he derved, 5-tool D
Barrie: Great chem with Nurse, going to score a ton on PP
Koek: Just an astute legit top-4 D
Bouchard: Rookie of year, marinated, and hungry
Ceci: top-4 D legit, bounced around now he’s set up
Keith: Cehlios 2.0, Holland gets value from vets, leader, heart, a lot to prove

“I know better” Kinger:
Nurse: best suited with a solid, responsible D, not a “franchise D”
Barrie: D liability, all he does is score
Koek: depth defender, never been a full-time D and 27, ideal 3rd pairing spare, tweener
Bouchard: like all rookies, will be both good and bad, needs a solid vet D to get established, ideal 3rd pairing
Ceci: ideal 3rd pairing
Keith: not getting vaxxed doesn’t show leadership, misses part of camp, ideal 3rd line pairing

Bank Shot

I’m sure it’ll be some of column A and some of column B. I wasn’t thrilled with the Oilers taking on Keith’s entire cap hit but I think he’ll be decent in a top four role. I think Ceci will replace Larsson without anyone noticing.

Hopefully Bouchard can outperform Bear. He has the tools to do, just have to wait and see if he can pick up the urgency.


Bouchard is not a rookie this year (not eligible for the Calder).


idk if you guys covered this already, but i’m appalled at how Jim Matheson phrased the questions to MK.
“Oilers fans don’t want you here, miko,…”
MK may not be a top 10G. He may be a career backup or not. But for goodness sakes show the guy some respect. He’s an NHL goalie.
And every goalie has up and down games/seasons etc. Shameful & Disrespectful..!!


The whole handling of that part of the press conference was appalling, to be honest. I’d kind of expect as much from Matty at this point, his best before date has long since passed. But a guy like Reid Wilkins should have done better too. Show some class.


Oh my. If that’s how he phrased it then shame on him. There’s a hundred ways to ask a difficult question without being a complete prick about it.


I did not here this interview but if your report is accurate apologies should be issued. Totally disrespectful conduct for media professionals….


He must have been taking some ‘lessons’ from Terry Jones.

Bulging Twine

I heard that too. Was feeling bad for Koskinen


Although I would prefer to see the talent spread out more across the three lines, these at least look like lines that could stick together and reoccur throughout the season. The players prefer stability and the data shows that winning teams have stable lines. Since there has been a notable lack of numbers in the comments lately, I will re-post my work showing the correlation between line stability and winning from 2020/21:

I’ve been tracking line stability at 5×5 across the NHL for a few years now. To do this, I just look at the percentage of time each team’s top two centres play with their top two line mates. For example, McDavid played 938 minutes – 553 with Puljujarvi and 391 with RNH, while Draisaitl played 910 – 578 with Yamamoto and 343 with McDavid. This gives an average of 50.5% of their time with their top two line mates. Here are the results from this year:

Vegas Golden Knights 80.3
Pittsburgh Penguins 70.0
Boston Bruins 66.4
Colorado Avalanche 61.9
Minnesota Wild 60.7
New York Rangers 58.5
San Jose Sharks 57.8
New York Islanders 57.3
Florida Panthers 57.0
Calgary Flames 54.7
Toronto Maple Leafs 54.3
Los Angeles Kings 53.6
Carolina Hurricanes 53.5
Tampa Bay Lightning 53.5
Dallas Stars 53.1
Vancouver Canucks 52.9
Nashville Predators 52.6
St Louis Blues 52.2
New Jersey Devils 51.7
Montreal Canadiens 50.6
Edmonton Oilers 50.5
Buffalo Sabres 50.0
Anaheim Ducks 50.0
Ottawa Senators 49.0
Chicago Blackhawks 45.4
Winnipeg Jets 44.8
Philadelphia Flyers 44.0
Columbus Blue Jackets 41.7
Washington Capitals 40.0
Detroit Red Wings 37.9
Arizona Coyotes 32.4

Here are the correlations (1 is a perfect positive correlation, -1 is a perfect negative correlation and 0 is no correlation) between standings rank and various metrics in 18-19 and 20-21:

Correlation with standings rank
Metric – 18-19 – 20-21
Line stability – 0.52 – 0.56
PP% – 0.28 – 0.57
PK% – 0.30 – 0.44
CF% – 0.67 – 0.55
SF% – 0.67 – 0.70
xGF% – 0.62 – 0.70
SCF% – 0.70 – 0.69
HDCF% – 0.50 – 0.61
GF% – 0.95 – 0.92

As I’ve said before, line stability is unique here because it not a results based metric. Coaches can use their players however they want, but good teams tend to keep their lines together. I’m sure there is both cause and effect mixed together here, but I think it shows the Oilers should make it a goal to keep their lines stable.


I am a total believer in line stability. It makes sense, the players always praise stability and knowing exactly what their linemates are thinking, how they are reacting. A curse upon the player blender!


As much as I love seeing Mcdavid and Leon do there magic you’ll never win a cup with only 2 people it’s not Basketball. Tippett needs to give more responsibility to the others and we need a shutdown line late in games as well as face-off man. It will be well worth Ryan salary if he can win most of the important draws. If Tippett can get 4 lines rolling and involved this will take off a few minutes from Leon and Connor and will be beneficial come play-off time.

Randle McMurphy

Nice work. Thank you.

My takeaway…. advanced analytics involves math and chemistry. 🙂


My pleasure. I love that we are now all represented by goofy heads with googly arms now on this blog, at least when viewed on a PC. I am pink heart head spring hair triangle arms! It seems appropriate and I hope it sticks.


The best thing is that HH’s avatar is /exactly/ how I picture him in real life.


Is this not a great example of the difference between correlation and causation? If the team is winning, why would you change lines? But does the stability in line combination CAUSE the winning or is it a product of the winning?


I wonder what number Rusty will wear once 4 is retired.




I know Benson scored as well:

Jack Michaels
Couple thoughts on scrimmage…
*Foegele-Ryan-Yamamoto were not only effective as a line today, but one we could see during the season if Kassian earns top six minutes.
*Benson (on a line w/McLeod & Marody) had an impact throughout, playmaking, anticipation, etc.


Benson asserting himself – I like it:

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
“This is where I belong.” — Tyler Benson.


I sure hope they give him a real opportunity if not trade him. Like the kid I’m sure believes that he’s done his time in the minors it’s go time.


Holland says he’s pencilled on the team and would need to play himself off the team.

He’s getting solid reps at early in camp and will likely play most of the early exhibition games.

I’d like for him to get some reps with some more established NHL skill but one thing at a time.

Scoring in camp scrimmages from down the lineup is a good arrow.


Go Benson Go!😊

Randle McMurphy

Stay Benson Stay! 🙂


Tony Brar
Tyler Benson says seeing his Fitness Testing results this year instilled a sense of pride.

Came into camp five pounds lighter and worked on his explosiveness this off-season. Says he put in a lot work and the NHL is where he belongs. #Oilers

Harpers Hair

One has to wonder why he didn’t do this years ago.


Ah, come on old man. You and I both know the penny drops at different ages for different folks. Some of us need to see the ‘last chance Texaco’ sign in big red letters before we get serious and covid has disrupted more than a few time lines the last 18 months.


I wonder when Juolevi will get on board.


His medical problems existed because of too much too soon! Benson had to learn where the middle ground was. His work ethic has never been in question! His physical maturity will now allow him to push. The young man is easy to cheer for because the effort has always been there!


Totally. Significant injuries have slowed his development and training down a bit. Sounds like he is ready to rock now!


I’m sure Benson has always trained hard. These guys don’t get to the show by slacking. I bet most NHL, AHL and ECHL players have training regimes that would kill most of the posters here. It doesn’t mean these guys can’t take another step, or train a different, more effective way. Get a different trainer, different nutritionist, etc.

Always hate to see internet warriors picking on NHL players training regimes. You have literally no idea what it’s like to train as an NHLer so keep yer yap shut there bud.


Not sure who’s picking on Benson here, but an on-ice official in the WHL who knows Benson told me he was often injured due to training too hard while too young. He’s got two older brothers that he trained with and pushed himself too hard.


What exactly does Fitness testing entail OP I believe I’m asking the right person?


I can’t answer that in any sort of detail but I believe its similar to the combine type testing – VO2 max, etc.


Each team likely has their own protocols for testing it could be any of the following:
FMS/Y balance test or some other movement assessment tool.
VO2 Max is very likely.
Wingate test.
Some kind of power measure like a vertical jump or broad jump. May even do a lateral bound.
Some sort of strength baseline measure: front squat, rear foot elevated split squat, trap bar deadlift, pullups, pushups, or even bench press. These would be used to help gauge training loads in season.
Maybe an RSI – reactive strength index.
Maybe a flying 10m sprint to go along with on ice testing.


Definitely rooting hard for Benson.


*Foegele-Ryan-Yamamoto were not only effective as a line today, but one we could see during the season when Kassian is demoted to the pressbox for indifferent play.


Or when Kassian is moved to the top 6……


@Lowetide or anyone half decent with numbers. After reading the latest Archbilad vs Sceviour article I had a quick question.

Does a pulled goalie situation still get counted as even strength or 5v5? Archibald had 13 points last year all at even strength BUT accorindg to nhl.com stats that included 3 empty net goals and 2 empty net assists. Yes they still count and help seal the game but are they indicative of a players skill? Obviously you need to be trusted by the coach to be put in that situation but still, 8 points in 52 games is even more… meh.

Archibald had the same 3 ENG and 2 ENA in 19-20 as well but managed 21 points in total instead.


NHL.com counts them but on places like Natural Stat Trick, they will not be included in 5 X 5 stats, etc.


Can anyone tell me if any of Oilers Training Camp is open to the public, and if so where to find schedule? Thanks

Harpers Hair

Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) Tweeted:
Eichel has made it clear he’s willing to go anywhere to facilitate a trade. One of 1/2 doz teams involved tell me a trade is doable as long as the @BuffaloSabres are willing to add “conditional” clauses around how he performs after surgery. ie .. games played, scoring etc.


My money is on Calgary.

Harpers Hair

Yep…me too.


They are the stealth candidate for sure

Bank Shot

Seems unlikely to me. Eichel is apparently not getting surgery until he is traded.

Calgary isn’t going to give up a big chunk of their team for an injured star player while they are still in the playoff race, and they probably won’t start falling hopelessly out of the race until the trade deadline.

I think a move will happen before that time.


Eichel has 5 years left on his contract. To the extent the flames have a deal for him that they like, they should look past the extreme short term and pull the trigger.

With that said, any trade for Eichel does come with risk given health issues.

P.S. Flames are pretty much out of the 2021/22 playoff race already – pretty close.

Randle McMurphy

is the first pre-season game (Calgary) on TV? Oilers TV? other?


Two Vancouver games


There are two games on SN and the other 6 games will all be streamed on the regular platforms.

Randle McMurphy

Thank you both JOFA & OP

Randle McMurphy

I’m interested to see how $2.5m Nick Ritchie performs in particular in relation to Hyman, Foegele, and Kassian.

Would have liked to see left side of



The Oilers are already paying Kassian $3.2 million for like the rest of eternity. Of what use would be a 2nd Kassian in Nick Ritchie? One useless player is enough.

Randle McMurphy

Kyle Dubas begs to differ.

Can’t build a contender with Tobias Rieders.

Randle McMurphy

Foegele-Ryan-Yamamoto 🙂

Randle McMurphy

“our slicks hit the blacktop with the engine floored ”

Somebody grab the bleach!




Play the greatest and longest game for fan participation in the NHL today


Now that I am more or less over the loss of Bear and Larsson, I am getting jacked for the season. Can’t wait to watch this team play!
This roster has a few uncertainties, like all teams, but good golly the roster has enormous potential.
I am trying to temper my expectations, but that top-9 is gold. PK should be solid. PP should be dynamite. Sufficient F depth. D will be “different”, but not necessarily “worse” than last year. G spot is voodoo, so who knows, but as I just posted – Don’t count MK out just yet.


Wouldn’t it be a pleasant outcome if MK were to regain his performance level of 2019-2020?
It certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.
He hasn’t given up on himself, it would be great if the fanbase wouldn’t. I would like to see MK get a fair shake from fanbase and MSM this year. Blame PC for the contract, not the player. Last year was tougher on everyone than any season in recent decades.


Not if certain members of the MSM get their way.. definitely wasn’t a fan of Mikko’s media availability, and not because of Mr.Koskinen.

He is a decent backup, that likely will be able to give the Oilers 30 games, around 15-18 wins, steal a handful, lose a couple and give about league average goaltending. He’s a good backup to 1B goalie who’s overpaid, but thats not his fault!


Yeah, outside the first 12 games where he played every second night with no relief, Koskinen posted a .910 last season. And that includes the 4 goals on 4 shots debacle late in the season, too.


Todays hot take:

MacT would have been a top tier NHL Gm and honestly still might be if he had the opportunity to learn the job more before he was thrown into the fire. He had some creative ideas, including trading a 5th for Nikitin’s rights, the 2013 draft trade-down, Paajarvi for Perron, then Perron for a first in 2015. He was willing to think outside the box and take creative risks, which I think would have set him up for success.

He had some stinkers too, the handling of Dubnyk and Petry come to mind, the Schultz Norris talk and actually signing Nikitin… But if he had been given a year or two as an assistant GM underneath a Sather, a Holland, even a Chiarelli, I think he would be a top tier NHL Gm todayl


Unfortunately MacT went to the Ken Holland school of defence evaluation. Nurse-Barrie, Keith-Ceci top 4 is akin to MacTavish’s “reasonably comfortable” Ference-Schultz, Nikitin-Fayne top 4

I like Nurse less than most. MacT wouldn’t have traded Hall or for Griffin Reinhart I don’t think, at least.


I respectfully disagree with that assessment. I take Barrie, Keith and Ceci over anyone in MacT’s top 4, and personally I value Nurse as a top pairing (top 60 D-man) in the league.

I do wonder about the Reinhart trade, I remember there were some rumors that was an old boys club acquisition.


Wow. This is a scorching hot take.


Better let them cool down a bit before you dig in!

Litke 94

I don’t think the Ference-led D is anywhere close to the current D core. Like not even in the same planet.

Nurse is a legitimate #1D in the NHL. Ference was never anywhere close to that, even in his prime. Barrie, as much hate as he gets, averaged 21 minutes of ice a night, led all defencemen in scoring, was north of 50% in Corsi & Fenwick, and double digits positive in both of those metrics relative to his teammates. I absolutely take today’s Barrie over then Schultz, and I take today’s Barrie over today’s Schultz as well.

I don’t love the Keith addition, but Nikitin was one of the worst defencemen I have ever seen on the Oilers. It is going to take a monumental collapse in Keith’s game to reach Nikitin levels. Lastly, Mark Fayne wasn’t pretty, and I have no idea what to expect from Ceci, so we will see there. However, I think we are going to quickly be talking about Bouchard as the 3rd or 4th best dman on this team, and I will gladly take his chops – even in their raw state – over Fayne.


I would be 45% corsi playing 70% of even strength minutes with McDavid

McDavid had a 67.7% xGF away from Barrie, 53% together, Barrie 44.48% w/o 97.

Justin Schultz would have gotten Norris votes with Barrie/Nurse’s deployment. We’d have called him a bonafide #1D.


Is this not a quality of teammate and quality of competition argument?

If Barrie plays 70% of his time with McDavid who is he playing the other 30% with? Turris? Shore? Khaira? Haas? Similar thing with McDavid. Doesnt Tippet go power vs power so it would be Mcdavid and the first pair vs the most elite competition then scraps against other teams bottom 6 here and there? I could be mistaken as I didnt have the time to dive into these minutes.

Either way Nurse and Barrie played a lot with McDavid last season. McDavid led the league in points by A LOT and Barrie led the league in dman points all the while the Oilers finished 2nd in their division.

Litke 94

We have seen several players try to play with McDavid, who simply couldn’t keep up, nor produce the sheer volume of points that Barrie did.

Tyson Barrie brings an element that is seriously underappreciated by fans. He passes like a rocket, keeps the puck in on the blue line like a wizard, and has great chemistry with the big guns. I think the bulk of his time being spent with McDavid is a reward of his good play from the coach, rather than an attempt to hide him. Good players like to play with good players.

I see these arguments about GF% w/ and w/o, but I think there is more to the story. It also doesn’t jive with both Connor and Leon badgering the dude to re-up in Edmonton. Generally speaking, I tend to think the guys on the ice know who they prefer to play with, more so than any of us do. Especially players of that ilk.


I completely agree with this. I also think we are far too critical of MacTavish’ actual time here. He was much better than what came before or what came after.


You are what your record says your are. Look at the won loss record, as GM. Eakins, Ference, Nikitin, Fayne, Joenssu,


Agreed but you have to add drafting Nurse & Draisaitl when many thought Bennett and Ristolainen were the correct answers.

It doesn’t take away the negatives but those are two fairly significant positives.

Material Elvis

He wouldn’t have done as much damage as Chiarelli; no question about that. But he made obvious blunders (Petry, Eakins/Skype call, Ference, Nikitin, standing over Todd Nelson’s shoulder) so at best was ‘passable’.

Bank Shot

MacT stunk as a GM. Only reason he got the job was because he was buddies with Lowe.

Dark times in Oilers history for sure.


MacT was in actuality a good GM . His arrogance aside he was an above average GM that was able to assess NHL player ability. He was sold a bill of goods by the Toronto media on the next great coach ( Dallas Eakins) . He then doubled down on said bet and in doing so sewered his own managerial career.

Material Elvis

I doubt MacT made that decision based on the Toronto media. He made that decision based on one single meeting in the lobby of a hotel in Toronto.


Above average?

Surely you jest.


MacT did an excellent job of sewering a very strong forward group and collected the most significant collection of draft picks in the NHL going into the 2015 draft. And he walked out of that draft with at ticket for Connor McDavid to join his team.

Then he got turfed for being really good at managing at team and getting the golden ticket.

I don’t know how much of that was planned, and how much was poor performance, and how much was dumb luck. But, I do know that I’ve never gotten the impression that he was anything but a smart and thoughtful man. So, based on my assessment of him, his actions, his words, and his results, I am biased to think he planned a lot of it and things broke well for him, until he was removed.


Let’s try to clear this up before it gets out of hand:

Subtract- Gretzky/Messier/Anderson/Kurri/Coffey/

And Lowe+MacT both rocket up the Oilers depth chart as skilled players.

Litke 94

Absolutely loved Tippet’s presser yesterday. I don’t always love his deployment decisions – as to be expected – but I do strongly value his words.

I agree that his hyping of Bouchard is an indicator of big things to come. Even more encouraging is that Bouchard and Koekkoek took it upon themselves to want to immediately jump into the fire against the McDavid trio. I believe that this type of behaviour is partially coached in as well, and is a testament to the development work of Tipp and Woodcroft.

This is the last year of Tippet’s contract and I am not sure if he will be coaching next year. If he does leave, I will definitely miss his talks.

Litke 94

Should add, I really enjoy when you post these old transcriptions of MacT’s words, LT. Fascinating to read his evaluations at the time, with today’s perspective.


Tippett might not win a cup, but he’s capable enough to coach in the NHL by any metric.

Compared to the Eakins/MacT/OTC(great suits)/and that guy from San Jose who won 1 round then shit the bed in the 2nd round etc etc cough cough




That’s the surest way to win a coaches confidence in training camp – ask for the toughest comp and then defend the blue paint with a vengeance.


So, Archie is just out of quarantine and Tippett said he won’t join the group until he’s up to speed fitness wise. For me, that’s buying a bit more time to see if Josh will change his mind. I am thinking, by the end of the weekend or early next week, to the extent he won’t, Holland may just tell him to stay away and he’ll be waived when the time comes. There will be a dead cap hit of apx $500K.

I could be wrong.

Anyways, as far as the open RW spot, if this does happen, I know that Colton S. is here on the PTO but, for me, he is just a worse Josh Archibald and that switch doesn’t really help the team. The Oilers have a ton of PK guys and they don’t need to this spot filled with another guy (in particular if they are keeping Shore mainly on the premise of his PK and “give a shit” meter).

I’d prefer, of course, subject to cap performance, that Marody/Turris get a real shot at that spot – some more skill.

From Gregor, Marody was kind of meh yesterday (Benson more engaged and looking more like an NHL player) but Tip did say he’s going to get lots of reps and will play some center. Turris, from accounts, was “stronger on his skates” and I think he has a real shot to provide some production on the right side (I can even see him filling in at 2RW, I can see it working).


I haven’t read LTs article on Sceviour yet, but quickly looking at his numbers after his invite showed they were surprisingly decent. He looks more like a solid bottom 6 guy than someone who should be on a PTO.
It’s great to see Marody and Turris getting the reps (early at least) with the ‘NHL’ linemates, but I don’t think Sceviour would be a bad add were he to outplay in camp and earn a contract.
He certainly hasn’t been the black hole numbers wise that guys like Shore and say Chiasson were when they joined the Oilers.

Darth Tu

Yeah, if Archibald is definitely done with the OIlers then I don’t mind a potential Sceviour add at all. There will be injuries and with him you know what you get, he might not light the world on fire, but he can certainly do the model pro sit in the press box and step into a 4th line role and not be shredded.

Yes Marody and Turris should get a look ahead of him, but if either or both don’t work out Sceviour is an adequate fallback position.

The short version of what I’m trying to say is that I don’t imagine he’s going to be any more than a 14F if signed – and that’s a-ok. If Archibald does what he needs to do to stay a part of the team then I’m more than happy to see him back.


I’m wondering if there’s not a trade to be had for Archibald to an American team where his unvaccinated status is less an issue. He’s a useful player that can help a team, maybe he’s worth a 4th round pick to a team in a red state with an owner that is open to that possibility? Without doing any homework, not knowing which teams that aren’t rebuilding are barring unvaccinated players and have “free-thinking” owners (Rocky Wurtz would have absolutely bought low here), let’s call that team Dallas?


Teams may be wary of paying for him and then having the rules change. Maybe there’s some clever strategy to get/keep his rights for March or whenever the nerds predict case loads should have dropped low enough to not worry about rules.

Bank Shot

Oilers might have a tonne of PK guys, but there is something to be said for having a 4th line loaded with Pkers….

If guys like Hyman and RNH and Yamamoto and Ryan are all playing big minutes on the PK that can disrupt the rhythm of the top 3 lines. Nice to have a couple guys on the 4th line to throw out there.


“By the first period of the first game of the regular season, it’ll be all out war and a shortened bench and that’s the way the world goes round. I can’t wait.”

No doubt – if the Oilers have one goal through two periods, we’ll see McDavvid/Drai re-united and it will last weeks…..


I guess OEL is a little out of shape.


Yup, we talked about that yesterday – HH explained to us exactly how this works, what happened and analyzed the performances with respect thereto. Analysis confirmed this shined a positive light on OEL.


I didn’t mean the first one to be in reply to you, oops. I missed yesterday’s thread, if it just a heaping helping of HH dung I think I’ll leave that one unread.