Saturday, 25 June 2016

2016 NHL Entry Draft - In The Books

So it's done.  The picks:

__4 .. Jesse Puljujarvi _ (18) May 7 _ RW
_32 .. Tyler Benson _ (18) Mar 15 _ LW
_63 .. Marcus Niemelainen _ (18) Jun 8_ LD / can sub RD
_84 .. Matt Cairns _ (18) Apr 27_ LD
_91 .. Filip Berglund _ (19) May 10 _ RD
123 .. Dylan Wells _ (18) Jan 3 _ G
149 .. Graham McPhee _ (17) Jul 24 _ LW
153 .. Aapeli Rasanen _ (18) Jun 1 _ C/RW
183 .. Vincent Desharnais _ (20) May 29 _ RD

Picks I really like:


Elite RW fits BPA and need.


Beats his rankings handily so is well in the range for a BPA.  Multi-role, right-handed center with decent size also fits need.  Great pick.  Reminds me of the Tobias Rieder pick of way back when.

Picks I like:


Beats his rankings so BPA isn't really a question.  Huge defenseman who can really skate.  LD who can also play RD so mitigates a need (rather than meeting a need).  Not a banger but also not a wallflower.  Played through some challenging situations and kept his head up.  Real potential here.


Beats his rankings so BPA isn't really a question.  RD who has decent puck control skills and seems to 'get' the transition game so he fits a need.  Big guy with some skating issues.  Also wonder if his big year is an outlier.  May be issues with how well he controls his space (i.e. not a physical guy).  While I don't like the number of red flags that are attached to this guy I like the pick number more.

Picks I am okay with:


Within the range for his rankings so in the range for BPA (i.e. not that big a deal).  LD with a really long development road ahead (by virtue of his career path - not by virtue of him being a bad player) so should overcome issues in his game.  Does not fit a need but the time factor means that 'need' isn't really an issue.

Picks I do not like:


I don't like using 2nd round picks on lotto tickets.  Also do not like not using this pick to fill holes in the active line-up or even to move up or move back.  Liked the Arizona trade for DeAngelo.  So unless this guy pans out in a great way it was a wasted opportunity in my mind.

Ugh.  Just.... ugh.


Way too early to pick this guy imo.  Goalies are voodoo at the best of times.  What I REALLY don't like however is that they passed on Sambrook (who went to Detroit at #137).  This will bug me for a long time.


This guy will not play in the NHL.  Would it have been too hard to use this pick and the #183 to move up to take Sambrook?


Not his fault.  Chiarelli did someone a favour.


Overall I like the draft.  Puljujarvi alone makes it a winner.  Rasanen is a winner.  If I could switch out DeAngelo and Sambrook for Benson and Wells then this draft would mark a huge win for the Oilers in my mind.

Where I could be really wrong: Benson

Where I think Chiarelli outright whiffed it: not taking Sambrook

We'll see.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The RHD Conundrum

I remain convinced that the path to success for the Oilers is to remain patient.  It appears RHD have become the new 'must have' for all GM's everywhere.

The obvious gets remain Demers (UFA) and Savard (CBJ cap-hell).

Outside of that I see a couple of paths forward using Yakupov as the trade piece (pick one):

To Montreal:

Juulsen and Minnesota 2016 2nd (#45) FOR Yakupov and Pittsburgh 2016 3rd (#91)

To Buffalo:

Pysyk and Minnesota 2016 3rd (#76) FOR Yakupov

Savard-Fayne-Pysyk is light-years ahead of last years RHD group if that is the line-up out of training camp.

I also think they should sign Clendening; guy will come in at less than a $1 million a yr for 2 or 3 and at that price the depth is more than worth it - especially since you can bury him in the minors to alleviate (the vast majority) of the cap hurt if you need to.

Here is the big question - what do you add to Nurse to get Ristolainen?

Monday, 11 April 2016

Oilers 2016 Offseason - Some Notes

Two words for Mr. Chiarelli: be patient.

A good many pundits will be calling for big changes to the team, the talk of the summer will be full of,"the Oilers need to trade 'x' for 'y' if they want to improve" or "the Oilers need 'w' and that will cost 'z', trade talk.

Fact is the team has three big changes coming right up:

1. Second full year of TMac coaching (this will be HUGE for Fayne if they keep him)
2. Health
3. McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Talbot and Davidson all starting the 2nd year

With any luck Chiarelli can find a home for Korpikoski and just having the team rid of him and Schultz for the full year will make a difference.

So be patient.  Why should the Oilers be trading away guys like Yakupov when their value is low.

Makes no sense.

Would much rather the roster be shored up with smaller deals and get the value back to where it should be.  Am I a fan of Jason Demers (ufa) - yes, but - I am also a fan of Kevan Miller (ufa).  Miller isn't as good as Demers but Boston doesn't have as much cash with which to keep him and so if a Demers signing falls through there is always Miller.

Sami Vatanen (rfa) has the goods but I am also fond of Damon Severson out of New Jersey.  If a trade is being made maybe a Severson trade won't require the same asset value as Vatanen.

Just saying - barring the ability to make a true block buster for a Subban or a Parayko, there is no value in selling wholesale while buying at retail.  Not worth it at all imo.

Also, beware the expansion draft.  7.3.1 works right now (as McDavid and Nurse are protected), but get a big name RD and all of a sudden you are working overtime to protect your core 4 (Sekera, Klefbom, Davidson and new RD).

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Kelfbom and Hamonic

(Was feeling lazy so most of this is re-posted from a reply I made on a Jonathan Willis post on Oilers Nation [ adding the Ference bit here.)
FTR, I would not trade Klefbom for Hamonic.
That said, I do think Schultz could still be a factor in this.
While it would seem like a lot, an offer of Purcell and Schultz for Hamonic (season with a draft pick and/or salary to taste) could be very tempting for Snow.
- Schultz gives him a big minute RH d-man - Purcell gives him another scoring winger on the right side and insurance if Okposo goes down
If Schultz is worth a 2nd round pick and Purcell is worth a 1st (a la Perron) then Snow is getting a 1st and 2nd equivalent for Hamonic - the fact that those picks are already productive NHL players is a huge plus.
Especially for a team with play-off aspirations.
Snow also gets to see Purcell up close if he decides not to make a play for Okposo as a FA and if he does decide to stay with Okposo he isn't tied to Purcell.
This might seem like a lot to pay for Hamonic but Schultz isn't coming back regardless while Purcell is a UFA anyways.
When you need - you need and that is all there is to it.
Contrary to many here my only real complaint about Chiarelli was that he didn't spice up the Hamilton trade pot a bit more. A top-6 of Sekera, Klefbom, Nurse, Davidson, Hamonic and Hamilton would be formidable.
Also, would like to thank LA for showing the way on a Ference trade (if he agreed to waive his no-trade clause).  If I could I would trade Ference for a pick (late) or prospect (middlin') wherein I pay the rest of his salary this year (or as much as I could) and the equivalent of the buy-out amount next year (would go as high as half of next years salary).
Such a trade clears him off the books faster, I save money overall and possibly I am even on the effect on next years cap.  Small price to pay.  In a perfect world that trade is Ference and a 4th for a 3rd (middlin' to late).

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Middlin', With Feeling

Coach Craig MacTavish, as I best remember him as a Coach, did two things I will never forget:

- The first was how he taught me what line matching was all about.  How he kept those undermanned teams afloat all those years when all he had was a 1st line, a 3rd line and 3.5 defensemen was beyond me.

- The second was how, after years of begging management for help and getting told to f&*k off (my interpretation), he basically gave management the middle finger right back and played Moreau 1,000 minutes a night


After tonight I am getting the same feeling from McLellan in regards to Schultz.  No way Schultz should be playing those minutes - at least not without a babysitter of the calibre of a Jason Smith.  And yet he is.

And he is getting exposed in every way.

Which means someone is learning something.  Maybe it is Schultz himself - how far he has to go to be a top-pair guy.  Maybe it is management, who are being shown that Schultz is not a highly skilled puck-moving defenseman or a guy who can anchor a d-pairing or a guy who can man a #1 powerplay unit.  Or maybe McLellan is simply telling management exactly what he thinks of being saddled with guy who needs perfect playing conditions to play to his potential.

With feeling.

In terms of Schultz himself, my read, is that he is a decent $2-to-2.8 million a year #4 d-man who can play #2 pp minutes (as long as the other guy has a decent point shot) and can get you places as long as he has a baby-sitter holding the fort.  Schultz NEEDS a lot for him to be effective.  He would have been a great add to a veteran team.

Friday, 25 December 2015

On the Eve

11:55 here. Long time no post.

 Just wanted to say that the Oilers should stay patient.

 Drop the dead weight - sure. Understood. But Nuge stays.

 Not every GM will be a dumb-ass like Sweeney. Eventually the d-man you want will pop free and you will get him then.

 Triple middle threats are rare and precious. Don't screw that up.

Oddly enough however, were he to consent, I would consider Sekera for Hamonic.

Just the way I think about these things.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Using the Cap and Budget to Advantage

(IF he had ended up on the westcoast... marketing doesn't get any easier than that)

The NYI are, supposedly, in the hunt for Kovalchuk. They also, factually, have to meet the Cap floor of (59.4 - 16.0 =) $43.4 million.

Current team salary stands at ~ $36 million and when role players are factored in that number should settle in at ~ $39 million. That leaves some $4.4 million to make up.

Why are they after Kovalchuk again?

Edmonton desperately wants to dump Souray ($5.4m Cap / $4.5m Sal), Chicago wants to dump Huet ($5.6m Cap / $5.6m Sal), Anaheim would love to dump Blake ($4.0m Cap / $3.0m Sal), etc.

The Isles are desperately in need of young, cheap, high-end talent. Kovalchuk ain't that. 1st round draft picks tend to be.

If I were Garth Snow I am spending a great deal of time talking to Anaheim and letting them know that Blake is a guy they can send my way at the cost of a draft pick(s) upgrade. Something like this:

Blake, ANA 1st round pick 2011 and ANA 4th round pick 2012
.. OR (Anaheim's choice prior to 2011 draft)..
Blake, ANA 2nd round pick 2011 and ANA 1st round pick 2012
NYI 3rd round pick 2011, NYI 5th round pick 2011

Anaheim dumps the Blake contract - allowing them to use the money for Ryan - has protection in case they fall apart in 2010/11 and the option to dump their pick in 2011 regardless (being a weaker draft class).

Islanders get a guy who won't help them much regardless - thereby not affecting their own draft pick standings - get much closer to the Cap floor (relatively painlessly) and stock up on higher quality draft picks.

The Isles don't have any, real, short-cut options on their rebuild. Using the Kovalchuk money to snag good picks and prospects from teams that need to dump salary is the best option. Full stop.


Have a great evening everyone.