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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698493 is a reply to message #698491 ]
Fri, 18 August 2017 18:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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Goose wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 17:58

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 12:46


You are right, the Oilers stayed pat with their defense. I can sort of understand why to a degree because that defense got them over 100 pts and if it weren't for suspect refing, they could have been in the conference finals. Where they will get better hopefully is the continued growth of 24 yr old Klefbom and Larsson who are entering in their prime now and in theory shouldn't have peaked yet. There is definitely room to grow for Benning and Nurse. When it comes to Russell, I keep asking who was out there for the Oilers to go get other than Russell. The UFA"s I listed were more expensive and I don't see as better options. On the trade market, there wasn't a lot.


So because they had a good season, don't change anything? I can kind of buy into that in some sense, but I guess I don't think Russell contributed as much to that success as you do. The other concern I have is the Oilers potentially hamstringing themselves in the future by having 2 of their top 4 with NMC, so when Benning and Nurse need new deals in a year, you can't clear space to make room for them.

I guess where I see a disconnect is the idea that the Oilers had to keep Russell because they had a good season but the same doesn't apply with respect to moving Eberle? That forward group got them to 103 points, so why dump Eberle for a lesser player when you don't need the cap space right now?


Or why buyout Pouliot when you don't need the cap space now. After all, he was part of that team too and that team had 103 points!

Personally, I look at what they accomplished and say it was nice to be back in the playoffs again, but I'm not satisfied with that for next year and I didn't see enough out of that team to believe they're ready to be Cup Champs this year - and they need to be contending. The time for patience is long since gone...



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
#FireLowe #FireChiarelli #FireBobbyNicks #FireKeithGretzky #FireKenHolland #FireTippett

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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698497 is a reply to message #698493 ]
Sat, 19 August 2017 00:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Goose  is currently offline Goose
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Adam wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 17:06


Personally, I look at what they accomplished and say it was nice to be back in the playoffs again, but I'm not satisfied with that for next year and I didn't see enough out of that team to believe they're ready to be Cup Champs this year - and they need to be contending. The time for patience is long since gone...


I think this really gets to the heart of what keeps me up at night with this team. They had a great year last year, but they were not Stanley Cup contenders and they had a ton of things go right.

I have a hard time looking at the roster for next year as it is and seeing where the improvement comes from. They lost Eberle and Pouliot. Jokinen is a fine addition, but he's going to be 35 and not likely to have a massive impact. I think everyone knows my feelings on Strome. The defence is essentially the same as last year.

They had career years points-wise from most of their remaining veterans (Maroon, Letestu, Klefbom and even RNH was right on his career norms if you consider his decrease in PP time. Also Talbot). So a fair chance they may see some regression there. Even if they all tread water, they can't expect to be as injury free as they were last year. Sekera is already a pretty big blow as he was their best defenceman for stretches last year. Russell will now be expected to anchor an effective 2nd pairing to start the season and his numbers were brutal away from Sekera.

Not sure that there's a ton of upside with the remaining veterans either. Kassian, Lucic and Larsson will probably all be around the same.

This means we're back to expecting incremental improvement from the young players to make the team better, which has worked out exactly zero times in the past decade, despite having really high draft picks almost every year. For sure some of them will progress, and then some will regress and it will basically be a wash.

The one bright light of optimism that I have is that if Draisaitl is able to drive a dominant 2nd line, then they'll be okay. But there's no guarantee there, and after next season there's really no margin for error.



Oilers Goal Differential
17/18: 234 GF / 263 GA (-29)
18/19: 232 GF / 274 GA (-42)
19/20 (82 game pace): 257 GF / 254 GA (+3) in 64 games
2021 (82 game pace):269 GF / 235 GA (+34) after 38 games

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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698501 is a reply to message #698497 ]
Sun, 20 August 2017 19:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
overdue  is currently offline overdue
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Their best players are young and barring injury will show improvement so lots of up side. You also have to factor in team chemistry which was obviously pretty good last season and a good reason to move certain players out, bring in more affordable and possibly just as good alternatives and re-sign players that might not make sense on paper.


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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698532 is a reply to message #698493 ]
Tue, 22 August 2017 08:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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Adam wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 18:06

Goose wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 17:58

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 12:46


You are right, the Oilers stayed pat with their defense. I can sort of understand why to a degree because that defense got them over 100 pts and if it weren't for suspect refing, they could have been in the conference finals. Where they will get better hopefully is the continued growth of 24 yr old Klefbom and Larsson who are entering in their prime now and in theory shouldn't have peaked yet. There is definitely room to grow for Benning and Nurse. When it comes to Russell, I keep asking who was out there for the Oilers to go get other than Russell. The UFA"s I listed were more expensive and I don't see as better options. On the trade market, there wasn't a lot.


So because they had a good season, don't change anything? I can kind of buy into that in some sense, but I guess I don't think Russell contributed as much to that success as you do. The other concern I have is the Oilers potentially hamstringing themselves in the future by having 2 of their top 4 with NMC, so when Benning and Nurse need new deals in a year, you can't clear space to make room for them.

I guess where I see a disconnect is the idea that the Oilers had to keep Russell because they had a good season but the same doesn't apply with respect to moving Eberle? That forward group got them to 103 points, so why dump Eberle for a lesser player when you don't need the cap space right now?


Or why buyout Pouliot when you don't need the cap space now. After all, he was part of that team too and that team had 103 points!

Personally, I look at what they accomplished and say it was nice to be back in the playoffs again, but I'm not satisfied with that for next year and I didn't see enough out of that team to believe they're ready to be Cup Champs this year - and they need to be contending. The time for patience is long since gone...

Question for you. Based on your comments, you are all about the right now for the Oilers. You didn't like the Eberle trade because the Oilers technically didn't need the cap space for the coming season. You wanted to keep Eberle to load up for a run this year, then deal with the cap problem after.

You also don't like the Pouliot buying because again they Oilers technically didn't need the cap space so they could have waited one more year.

Pouliot was not Chia's signing nor was he a guy that McLellan would have asked for. He was an Eakins guy. Chia and McLellan come in. Chia had him in Boston for 1 season, then let him go. They spend 2 seasons together, saw his role diminish, ice time diminish and penalties were always a problem. Last season, McLellan is on his case real early about penalties and his play. McLellan benched and healthy scratched him as punishment. What if McLellan has nothing but negative to say about Pouliot and given his season I can't imagine he had much positive to say. So if McLellan says get rid of him, I can't win with him, I don't want him near my players, what should a GM do? If as a GM you are paying the coach to win and he tells you a guy is useless, how do you ignore him?

The same could be said for Eberle. I don't for a second think that McLellan wanted to run him out of town necessarily. But I do think he had seen Eberle for 2 seasons, he knew his pros and cons and he didn't like the cons at all. He put up with the cons because Eberle produced a bit but when the production dipped during the season, I am sure it irked him more. He called him out on a few occasions about being better. Then in the playoffs, where Eberle was worse, disappeared even more and in some cases actually cost them goals - the soft play against the Ducks that resulted in a goal - I bet it drove him nuts and he called him out again. We saw McLellan demote Eberle off the 1st unit PP. In the playoffs, we saw McLellan, decided to drop Eberle down to 3rd and 4th line duty in the playoffs and we saw his trust level and Eberle's role drop more and more. So what if in the meeting when they talked about Eberle, McLellan says at some point we need to get rid of him. I don't trust him plus, I don't see him playing in my top 6 next year and you will need cap space. As much as it is nice to have depth, it does nothing for Eberle the player or Eberle the asset to have him on the second unit PP at best getting 3rd line mins because the coach doesn't trust him. So What do you do as a GM?





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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698541 is a reply to message #698532 ]
Tue, 22 August 2017 17:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mightyreasoner  is currently offline mightyreasoner
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RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 22 August 2017 08:58

Adam wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 18:06

Goose wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 17:58

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 12:46


You are right, the Oilers stayed pat with their defense. I can sort of understand why to a degree because that defense got them over 100 pts and if it weren't for suspect refing, they could have been in the conference finals. Where they will get better hopefully is the continued growth of 24 yr old Klefbom and Larsson who are entering in their prime now and in theory shouldn't have peaked yet. There is definitely room to grow for Benning and Nurse. When it comes to Russell, I keep asking who was out there for the Oilers to go get other than Russell. The UFA"s I listed were more expensive and I don't see as better options. On the trade market, there wasn't a lot.


So because they had a good season, don't change anything? I can kind of buy into that in some sense, but I guess I don't think Russell contributed as much to that success as you do. The other concern I have is the Oilers potentially hamstringing themselves in the future by having 2 of their top 4 with NMC, so when Benning and Nurse need new deals in a year, you can't clear space to make room for them.

I guess where I see a disconnect is the idea that the Oilers had to keep Russell because they had a good season but the same doesn't apply with respect to moving Eberle? That forward group got them to 103 points, so why dump Eberle for a lesser player when you don't need the cap space right now?


Or why buyout Pouliot when you don't need the cap space now. After all, he was part of that team too and that team had 103 points!

Personally, I look at what they accomplished and say it was nice to be back in the playoffs again, but I'm not satisfied with that for next year and I didn't see enough out of that team to believe they're ready to be Cup Champs this year - and they need to be contending. The time for patience is long since gone...

Question for you. Based on your comments, you are all about the right now for the Oilers. You didn't like the Eberle trade because the Oilers technically didn't need the cap space for the coming season. You wanted to keep Eberle to load up for a run this year, then deal with the cap problem after.

You also don't like the Pouliot buying because again they Oilers technically didn't need the cap space so they could have waited one more year.

Pouliot was not Chia's signing nor was he a guy that McLellan would have asked for. He was an Eakins guy. Chia and McLellan come in. Chia had him in Boston for 1 season, then let him go. They spend 2 seasons together, saw his role diminish, ice time diminish and penalties were always a problem. Last season, McLellan is on his case real early about penalties and his play. McLellan benched and healthy scratched him as punishment. What if McLellan has nothing but negative to say about Pouliot and given his season I can't imagine he had much positive to say. So if McLellan says get rid of him, I can't win with him, I don't want him near my players, what should a GM do? If as a GM you are paying the coach to win and he tells you a guy is useless, how do you ignore him?

The same could be said for Eberle. I don't for a second think that McLellan wanted to run him out of town necessarily. But I do think he had seen Eberle for 2 seasons, he knew his pros and cons and he didn't like the cons at all. He put up with the cons because Eberle produced a bit but when the production dipped during the season, I am sure it irked him more. He called him out on a few occasions about being better. Then in the playoffs, where Eberle was worse, disappeared even more and in some cases actually cost them goals - the soft play against the Ducks that resulted in a goal - I bet it drove him nuts and he called him out again. We saw McLellan demote Eberle off the 1st unit PP. In the playoffs, we saw McLellan, decided to drop Eberle down to 3rd and 4th line duty in the playoffs and we saw his trust level and Eberle's role drop more and more. So what if in the meeting when they talked about Eberle, McLellan says at some point we need to get rid of him. I don't trust him plus, I don't see him playing in my top 6 next year and you will need cap space. As much as it is nice to have depth, it does nothing for Eberle the player or Eberle the asset to have him on the second unit PP at best getting 3rd line mins because the coach doesn't trust him. So What do you do as a GM?





The problem with the Pouliot buyout is that now you have him on the books for four years instead of two. And years two, three, and four you need as much cap space as possible and as little dead cap as you can manage.

If things had gone so sideways with Pouliot that he had no place on the club and McLellan couldn't stand to have him here, probably the smart move would have been to give him the Mark Fayne treatment and have him in Bakersfield for a year or two. I thought Pouliot was putrid last year and I'm honestly not sure he will really be missed, but I do think his cap hit on the books in years three and four, instead of having cut ties completely, that will suck.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698550 is a reply to message #698541 ]
Wed, 23 August 2017 08:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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mightyreasoner wrote on Tue, 22 August 2017 17:17

RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 22 August 2017 08:58

Adam wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 18:06

Goose wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 17:58

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 12:46


You are right, the Oilers stayed pat with their defense. I can sort of understand why to a degree because that defense got them over 100 pts and if it weren't for suspect refing, they could have been in the conference finals. Where they will get better hopefully is the continued growth of 24 yr old Klefbom and Larsson who are entering in their prime now and in theory shouldn't have peaked yet. There is definitely room to grow for Benning and Nurse. When it comes to Russell, I keep asking who was out there for the Oilers to go get other than Russell. The UFA"s I listed were more expensive and I don't see as better options. On the trade market, there wasn't a lot.


So because they had a good season, don't change anything? I can kind of buy into that in some sense, but I guess I don't think Russell contributed as much to that success as you do. The other concern I have is the Oilers potentially hamstringing themselves in the future by having 2 of their top 4 with NMC, so when Benning and Nurse need new deals in a year, you can't clear space to make room for them.

I guess where I see a disconnect is the idea that the Oilers had to keep Russell because they had a good season but the same doesn't apply with respect to moving Eberle? That forward group got them to 103 points, so why dump Eberle for a lesser player when you don't need the cap space right now?


Or why buyout Pouliot when you don't need the cap space now. After all, he was part of that team too and that team had 103 points!

Personally, I look at what they accomplished and say it was nice to be back in the playoffs again, but I'm not satisfied with that for next year and I didn't see enough out of that team to believe they're ready to be Cup Champs this year - and they need to be contending. The time for patience is long since gone...

Question for you. Based on your comments, you are all about the right now for the Oilers. You didn't like the Eberle trade because the Oilers technically didn't need the cap space for the coming season. You wanted to keep Eberle to load up for a run this year, then deal with the cap problem after.

You also don't like the Pouliot buying because again they Oilers technically didn't need the cap space so they could have waited one more year.

Pouliot was not Chia's signing nor was he a guy that McLellan would have asked for. He was an Eakins guy. Chia and McLellan come in. Chia had him in Boston for 1 season, then let him go. They spend 2 seasons together, saw his role diminish, ice time diminish and penalties were always a problem. Last season, McLellan is on his case real early about penalties and his play. McLellan benched and healthy scratched him as punishment. What if McLellan has nothing but negative to say about Pouliot and given his season I can't imagine he had much positive to say. So if McLellan says get rid of him, I can't win with him, I don't want him near my players, what should a GM do? If as a GM you are paying the coach to win and he tells you a guy is useless, how do you ignore him?

The same could be said for Eberle. I don't for a second think that McLellan wanted to run him out of town necessarily. But I do think he had seen Eberle for 2 seasons, he knew his pros and cons and he didn't like the cons at all. He put up with the cons because Eberle produced a bit but when the production dipped during the season, I am sure it irked him more. He called him out on a few occasions about being better. Then in the playoffs, where Eberle was worse, disappeared even more and in some cases actually cost them goals - the soft play against the Ducks that resulted in a goal - I bet it drove him nuts and he called him out again. We saw McLellan demote Eberle off the 1st unit PP. In the playoffs, we saw McLellan, decided to drop Eberle down to 3rd and 4th line duty in the playoffs and we saw his trust level and Eberle's role drop more and more. So what if in the meeting when they talked about Eberle, McLellan says at some point we need to get rid of him. I don't trust him plus, I don't see him playing in my top 6 next year and you will need cap space. As much as it is nice to have depth, it does nothing for Eberle the player or Eberle the asset to have him on the second unit PP at best getting 3rd line mins because the coach doesn't trust him. So What do you do as a GM?





The problem with the Pouliot buyout is that now you have him on the books for four years instead of two. And years two, three, and four you need as much cap space as possible and as little dead cap as you can manage.

If things had gone so sideways with Pouliot that he had no place on the club and McLellan couldn't stand to have him here, probably the smart move would have been to give him the Mark Fayne treatment and have him in Bakersfield for a year or two. I thought Pouliot was putrid last year and I'm honestly not sure he will really be missed, but I do think his cap hit on the books in years three and four, instead of having cut ties completely, that will suck.


I get the issue with it and having it on the books for that long and I am not happy with it either. I firmly believe that Chia tried to trade Pouliot for a long time. Nobody wanted him because he was lousy and made too much money. I am sure if Chia wanted to give up significant assets AND retain a big chunk of his salary, he probably could have found a taker. But if he does that, not only is he giving up assets that maybe he really can't afford to give up but retaining salary kind of defeats the point. When he was bought out, 30 teams had a crack at him and 1 team signed him for 1 yr at 1.15 mill. so that tells me to trade him, the Oilers would have had to retain most of his salary.

So if you have exhausted all your avenues to get rid of him and all your are left with is keeping him or buying him out and your coach tells you he's useless and he wants him gone, what option do you have? You as a GM are supposed to be working together with your coach to build a winning team so if that is true, how do you shrug your shoulders and ignore that request? I am not trying to justify the move because I like it but I am looking at it as a what else could they do? It is easy for fans to second guess and say they could just keep him but there is way more too it. We don't know what he is like in the room or the team dynamic. I don't buy into the idea that Oilers management is full of complete morons like some seem to believe. So I believe they explored all options including keeping him for another year and once they exhausted all trade possibilities, for the betterment of the team they decided they had to buy him out.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698551 is a reply to message #698550 ]
Wed, 23 August 2017 09:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PlusOne  is currently offline PlusOne
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RDOilerfan wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 08:18

mightyreasoner wrote on Tue, 22 August 2017 17:17

RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 22 August 2017 08:58

Adam wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 18:06

Goose wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 17:58

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 12:46


You are right, the Oilers stayed pat with their defense. I can sort of understand why to a degree because that defense got them over 100 pts and if it weren't for suspect refing, they could have been in the conference finals. Where they will get better hopefully is the continued growth of 24 yr old Klefbom and Larsson who are entering in their prime now and in theory shouldn't have peaked yet. There is definitely room to grow for Benning and Nurse. When it comes to Russell, I keep asking who was out there for the Oilers to go get other than Russell. The UFA"s I listed were more expensive and I don't see as better options. On the trade market, there wasn't a lot.


So because they had a good season, don't change anything? I can kind of buy into that in some sense, but I guess I don't think Russell contributed as much to that success as you do. The other concern I have is the Oilers potentially hamstringing themselves in the future by having 2 of their top 4 with NMC, so when Benning and Nurse need new deals in a year, you can't clear space to make room for them.

I guess where I see a disconnect is the idea that the Oilers had to keep Russell because they had a good season but the same doesn't apply with respect to moving Eberle? That forward group got them to 103 points, so why dump Eberle for a lesser player when you don't need the cap space right now?


Or why buyout Pouliot when you don't need the cap space now. After all, he was part of that team too and that team had 103 points!

Personally, I look at what they accomplished and say it was nice to be back in the playoffs again, but I'm not satisfied with that for next year and I didn't see enough out of that team to believe they're ready to be Cup Champs this year - and they need to be contending. The time for patience is long since gone...

Question for you. Based on your comments, you are all about the right now for the Oilers. You didn't like the Eberle trade because the Oilers technically didn't need the cap space for the coming season. You wanted to keep Eberle to load up for a run this year, then deal with the cap problem after.

You also don't like the Pouliot buying because again they Oilers technically didn't need the cap space so they could have waited one more year.

Pouliot was not Chia's signing nor was he a guy that McLellan would have asked for. He was an Eakins guy. Chia and McLellan come in. Chia had him in Boston for 1 season, then let him go. They spend 2 seasons together, saw his role diminish, ice time diminish and penalties were always a problem. Last season, McLellan is on his case real early about penalties and his play. McLellan benched and healthy scratched him as punishment. What if McLellan has nothing but negative to say about Pouliot and given his season I can't imagine he had much positive to say. So if McLellan says get rid of him, I can't win with him, I don't want him near my players, what should a GM do? If as a GM you are paying the coach to win and he tells you a guy is useless, how do you ignore him?

The same could be said for Eberle. I don't for a second think that McLellan wanted to run him out of town necessarily. But I do think he had seen Eberle for 2 seasons, he knew his pros and cons and he didn't like the cons at all. He put up with the cons because Eberle produced a bit but when the production dipped during the season, I am sure it irked him more. He called him out on a few occasions about being better. Then in the playoffs, where Eberle was worse, disappeared even more and in some cases actually cost them goals - the soft play against the Ducks that resulted in a goal - I bet it drove him nuts and he called him out again. We saw McLellan demote Eberle off the 1st unit PP. In the playoffs, we saw McLellan, decided to drop Eberle down to 3rd and 4th line duty in the playoffs and we saw his trust level and Eberle's role drop more and more. So what if in the meeting when they talked about Eberle, McLellan says at some point we need to get rid of him. I don't trust him plus, I don't see him playing in my top 6 next year and you will need cap space. As much as it is nice to have depth, it does nothing for Eberle the player or Eberle the asset to have him on the second unit PP at best getting 3rd line mins because the coach doesn't trust him. So What do you do as a GM?





The problem with the Pouliot buyout is that now you have him on the books for four years instead of two. And years two, three, and four you need as much cap space as possible and as little dead cap as you can manage.

If things had gone so sideways with Pouliot that he had no place on the club and McLellan couldn't stand to have him here, probably the smart move would have been to give him the Mark Fayne treatment and have him in Bakersfield for a year or two. I thought Pouliot was putrid last year and I'm honestly not sure he will really be missed, but I do think his cap hit on the books in years three and four, instead of having cut ties completely, that will suck.


I get the issue with it and having it on the books for that long and I am not happy with it either. I firmly believe that Chia tried to trade Pouliot for a long time. Nobody wanted him because he was lousy and made too much money. I am sure if Chia wanted to give up significant assets AND retain a big chunk of his salary, he probably could have found a taker. But if he does that, not only is he giving up assets that maybe he really can't afford to give up but retaining salary kind of defeats the point. When he was bought out, 30 teams had a crack at him and 1 team signed him for 1 yr at 1.15 mill. so that tells me to trade him, the Oilers would have had to retain most of his salary.

So if you have exhausted all your avenues to get rid of him and all your are left with is keeping him or buying him out and your coach tells you he's useless and he wants him gone, what option do you have? You as a GM are supposed to be working together with your coach to build a winning team so if that is true, how do you shrug your shoulders and ignore that request? I am not trying to justify the move because I like it but I am looking at it as a what else could they do? It is easy for fans to second guess and say they could just keep him but there is way more too it. We don't know what he is like in the room or the team dynamic. I don't buy into the idea that Oilers management is full of complete morons like some seem to believe. So I believe they explored all options including keeping him for another year and once they exhausted all trade possibilities, for the betterment of the team they decided they had to buy him out.


Why couldnt they send him to the minors? In this case mightyreasoner mentioned it and many of us have questioned why this wasn't an option.

You say they exhausted all options but you seem to conveniently ignore this one every time one of us brings it up as a reasonable alternative to keeping him on the cap for 4 years.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698552 is a reply to message #698550 ]
Wed, 23 August 2017 09:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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RDOilerfan wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 08:18

mightyreasoner wrote on Tue, 22 August 2017 17:17

RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 22 August 2017 08:58


Question for you. Based on your comments, you are all about the right now for the Oilers. You didn't like the Eberle trade because the Oilers technically didn't need the cap space for the coming season. You wanted to keep Eberle to load up for a run this year, then deal with the cap problem after.

You also don't like the Pouliot buying because again they Oilers technically didn't need the cap space so they could have waited one more year.

Pouliot was not Chia's signing nor was he a guy that McLellan would have asked for. He was an Eakins guy. Chia and McLellan come in. Chia had him in Boston for 1 season, then let him go. They spend 2 seasons together, saw his role diminish, ice time diminish and penalties were always a problem. Last season, McLellan is on his case real early about penalties and his play. McLellan benched and healthy scratched him as punishment. What if McLellan has nothing but negative to say about Pouliot and given his season I can't imagine he had much positive to say. So if McLellan says get rid of him, I can't win with him, I don't want him near my players, what should a GM do? If as a GM you are paying the coach to win and he tells you a guy is useless, how do you ignore him?

The same could be said for Eberle. I don't for a second think that McLellan wanted to run him out of town necessarily. But I do think he had seen Eberle for 2 seasons, he knew his pros and cons and he didn't like the cons at all. He put up with the cons because Eberle produced a bit but when the production dipped during the season, I am sure it irked him more. He called him out on a few occasions about being better. Then in the playoffs, where Eberle was worse, disappeared even more and in some cases actually cost them goals - the soft play against the Ducks that resulted in a goal - I bet it drove him nuts and he called him out again. We saw McLellan demote Eberle off the 1st unit PP. In the playoffs, we saw McLellan, decided to drop Eberle down to 3rd and 4th line duty in the playoffs and we saw his trust level and Eberle's role drop more and more. So what if in the meeting when they talked about Eberle, McLellan says at some point we need to get rid of him. I don't trust him plus, I don't see him playing in my top 6 next year and you will need cap space. As much as it is nice to have depth, it does nothing for Eberle the player or Eberle the asset to have him on the second unit PP at best getting 3rd line mins because the coach doesn't trust him. So What do you do as a GM?



The problem with the Pouliot buyout is that now you have him on the books for four years instead of two. And years two, three, and four you need as much cap space as possible and as little dead cap as you can manage.

If things had gone so sideways with Pouliot that he had no place on the club and McLellan couldn't stand to have him here, probably the smart move would have been to give him the Mark Fayne treatment and have him in Bakersfield for a year or two. I thought Pouliot was putrid last year and I'm honestly not sure he will really be missed, but I do think his cap hit on the books in years three and four, instead of having cut ties completely, that will suck.


I get the issue with it and having it on the books for that long and I am not happy with it either. I firmly believe that Chia tried to trade Pouliot for a long time. Nobody wanted him because he was lousy and made too much money. I am sure if Chia wanted to give up significant assets AND retain a big chunk of his salary, he probably could have found a taker. But if he does that, not only is he giving up assets that maybe he really can't afford to give up but retaining salary kind of defeats the point. When he was bought out, 30 teams had a crack at him and 1 team signed him for 1 yr at 1.15 mill. so that tells me to trade him, the Oilers would have had to retain most of his salary.

So if you have exhausted all your avenues to get rid of him and all your are left with is keeping him or buying him out and your coach tells you he's useless and he wants him gone, what option do you have? You as a GM are supposed to be working together with your coach to build a winning team so if that is true, how do you shrug your shoulders and ignore that request? I am not trying to justify the move because I like it but I am looking at it as a what else could they do? It is easy for fans to second guess and say they could just keep him but there is way more too it. We don't know what he is like in the room or the team dynamic. I don't buy into the idea that Oilers management is full of complete morons like some seem to believe. So I believe they explored all options including keeping him for another year and once they exhausted all trade possibilities, for the betterment of the team they decided they had to buy him out.


As mightyreasoner said, you bury him in the minors. Or you pull a Lamoriello/Lupul, and develop him an injury. If you know that in the next four years, your cap crunch is going to get worse and worse, and that you don't need the cap space this year, you tell your coach to suck it up and play him in a depth role, and hope that next summer you can get someone to take him at half-price (the most you are allowed to retain in salary is 50%).

Pouliot has been a serviceable player for a long time. He had a terrible year, but he may very well recover from that. If he doesn't, he's better in the minors this year at a ~$3MM cap hit, than counting for $1.33MM for the next four years.

Even if in the end, you buy him out next year, you still only impact three years cap, which means that you have more flexibility sooner.

$1.33MM is not a rounding error here. If you have that much cap space at the trade deadline, you can bring on a player with a ~$5MM salary. Paying Pouliot for four years not to play here is just not good.

As for the coach, I'd be pointing out to him how many players have not excelled under him the last couple of years and asking him how many more he wants me to trade if he was that insistent that Pouliot go. One of his jobs as coach is to find ways to get the best out of players, and I don't think McLellan has done a very good job at that. Maybe if he's complaining about personnel to me, I'd have a great opportunity to talk about how he's motivating players and what is and isn't working.

I would definitely address the speed with which he calls players out in the media and point out that if a coach does that several times in the same season - which McLellan has, as you pointed out - it doesn't tend to have a particularly great impact - and it certainly didn't seem to work this year. It's a demotivator, rather than a motivating factor. Maybe I'd send him to a couple of leadership seminars over the summer in hopes he picks something up.

I met a guy once who helps businesses with their challenges and he told me a great story about a meeting where they complained about their sales people. He told them they had an issue in the HR department, not the sales department. If all their sales people were underperforming, then either they were hiring the wrong people, or inadequately training them - and both of those are HR functions, not sales.

I think the example holds here. When you have so few forwards performing below expectations (and even well below career averages) at 5v5, then is the biggest issue the forwards?



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698553 is a reply to message #698552 ]
Wed, 23 August 2017 11:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dragon_Matt  is currently offline Dragon_Matt
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It may also have been part of the conversation with him.
Sending Fayne down, it's possible Fayne said, "yeah sure, I'm not as good as I once was but I can help mentor the guys in the A" and it's possible Pouliot said, F this I'm an NHL player and I'm going to play in the NHL."
Although, assigning him to the A and him not showing up might have worked best for us. Isn't that cause for termination of his contract?



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698555 is a reply to message #698553 ]
Wed, 23 August 2017 15:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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Dragon_Matt wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 11:33

It may also have been part of the conversation with him.
Sending Fayne down, it's possible Fayne said, "yeah sure, I'm not as good as I once was but I can help mentor the guys in the A" and it's possible Pouliot said, F this I'm an NHL player and I'm going to play in the NHL."
Although, assigning him to the A and him not showing up might have worked best for us. Isn't that cause for termination of his contract?


Yeah, he would have had Four Million reasons to show up in the AHL and play.

I'm not actually sure that he wouldn't have been one of the top 10 forwards on the team though still and not needed to be sent to the farm. Winger depth has declined dramatically over the last couple of years.

I'm not positive that Caggiula makes him redundant yet. Similar scoring rates last year between the two players and Caggiula is pretty young still. Would have presented an option at least.

The Oilers go in to training camp with significantly less experience on the wings:

Left Wing:
Lucic
Maroon
Jokinen
Caggiula

Right Wing:
Strome
Slepyshev
Puljujarvi
Kassian
Pakarinen

Not bad on the left, but that right side is challenged. There's a good chance Puljujarvi isn't ready, and Slepyshev isn't a proven NHLer either. Pakarinen is a bubble player at best. I think it quite possible that if you didn't buy him out, Pouliot still played in half the Oilers games this year.



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698557 is a reply to message #698555 ]
Wed, 23 August 2017 15:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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Adam wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 15:15

Dragon_Matt wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 11:33

It may also have been part of the conversation with him.
Sending Fayne down, it's possible Fayne said, "yeah sure, I'm not as good as I once was but I can help mentor the guys in the A" and it's possible Pouliot said, F this I'm an NHL player and I'm going to play in the NHL."
Although, assigning him to the A and him not showing up might have worked best for us. Isn't that cause for termination of his contract?


Yeah, he would have had Four Million reasons to show up in the AHL and play.

I'm not actually sure that he wouldn't have been one of the top 10 forwards on the team though still and not needed to be sent to the farm. Winger depth has declined dramatically over the last couple of years.

I'm not positive that Caggiula makes him redundant yet. Similar scoring rates last year between the two players and Caggiula is pretty young still. Would have presented an option at least.

The Oilers go in to training camp with significantly less experience on the wings:

Left Wing:
Lucic
Maroon
Jokinen
Caggiula

Right Wing:
Strome
Slepyshev
Puljujarvi
Kassian
Pakarinen

Not bad on the left, but that right side is challenged. There's a good chance Puljujarvi isn't ready, and Slepyshev isn't a proven NHLer either. Pakarinen is a bubble player at best. I think it quite possible that if you didn't buy him out, Pouliot still played in half the Oilers games this year.

You left out Kharia who is most likely on the team as well and also listed as a left winger. Pouliot is a left winger, who exactly is he taking a spot from?

Are you related to Pouliot? I have never seen someone make the case for a marginal player who does more harm that good for a team like you are with keeping Pouliot.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698560 is a reply to message #698557 ]
Wed, 23 August 2017 16:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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RDOilerfan wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 15:34


You left out Kharia who is most likely on the team as well and also listed as a left winger. Pouliot is a left winger, who exactly is he taking a spot from?

Are you related to Pouliot? I have never seen someone make the case for a marginal player who does more harm that good for a team like you are with keeping Pouliot.


I've seen nothing from Khaira to make me believe that he's a better player than Pouliot and while CapFriendly lists him as a winger, most of his time as a pro has been spent at center.

Yes, I think he's likely on the team this year by default, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for Khaira as an NHL player, due to the fact he has no hands.

As for Pouliot, I am not related to him, and I don't think it's a particularly strong defence of the player to say he's in the Oilers top 10 wingers, or that if he was here, he might play in half the games.

With Pouliot, my argument is that he's no worse than what we have at the bottom of the roster, and I'd rather pay him $4MM now when we don't need the cap space than $1.33MM in years 3 and 4 when we really will.



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698572 is a reply to message #698560 ]
Thu, 24 August 2017 08:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
OilPeg  is currently offline OilPeg
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Adam wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 17:42

RDOilerfan wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 15:34


You left out Kharia who is most likely on the team as well and also listed as a left winger. Pouliot is a left winger, who exactly is he taking a spot from?

Are you related to Pouliot? I have never seen someone make the case for a marginal player who does more harm that good for a team like you are with keeping Pouliot.


I've seen nothing from Khaira to make me believe that he's a better player than Pouliot and while CapFriendly lists him as a winger, most of his time as a pro has been spent at center.

Yes, I think he's likely on the team this year by default, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for Khaira as an NHL player, due to the fact he has no hands.

As for Pouliot, I am not related to him, and I don't think it's a particularly strong defence of the player to say he's in the Oilers top 10 wingers, or that if he was here, he might play in half the games.

With Pouliot, my argument is that he's no worse than what we have at the bottom of the roster, and I'd rather pay him $4MM now when we don't need the cap space than $1.33MM in years 3 and 4 when we really will.


Related to Pouliot? icon_rolleyes Adam's explaining his worth not championing him for MVP...man...

I think the right side can certainly use more competition and I know it's been shot down before, but Iginla or Jagr would be perfect. They would provide middle-six depth and force Puljujarvi to earn his spot instead of being gifted one. Experienced players help young teams get better, these guys can help.

Edit: Experience like Pouliot has...yep.

[Updated on: Thu, 24 August 2017 08:07]


Skookum Jim wrote on Sat, 02 June 2012 00:29

But he (Belanger)'s as soft as room temp. margarine.

Skookum Jim wrote on Tue, 16 March 2021 18:49

Turris in the BOA will be like an ice cube in the Sahara.

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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698576 is a reply to message #698560 ]
Thu, 24 August 2017 09:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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Adam wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 16:42

RDOilerfan wrote on Wed, 23 August 2017 15:34


You left out Kharia who is most likely on the team as well and also listed as a left winger. Pouliot is a left winger, who exactly is he taking a spot from?

Are you related to Pouliot? I have never seen someone make the case for a marginal player who does more harm that good for a team like you are with keeping Pouliot.


I've seen nothing from Khaira to make me believe that he's a better player than Pouliot and while CapFriendly lists him as a winger, most of his time as a pro has been spent at center.

Yes, I think he's likely on the team this year by default, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for Khaira as an NHL player, due to the fact he has no hands.

As for Pouliot, I am not related to him, and I don't think it's a particularly strong defence of the player to say he's in the Oilers top 10 wingers, or that if he was here, he might play in half the games.

With Pouliot, my argument is that he's no worse than what we have at the bottom of the roster, and I'd rather pay him $4MM now when we don't need the cap space than $1.33MM in years 3 and 4 when we really will.


I have come to learn that you and I have grossly different opinions on players, the internal dynamics of a team and how a team should be constructed. When it comes to players, I have an opinion of you and I base this opinion on the countless debates that you and I have had on a variety of players both past and present, that opinion is I believe you feel players are a bit like robots. They come to a team and nothing around them should affect them. That the internal dynamic of the team while having some value, isn't really that important. That coming together and becoming a cohesive is nice but again, not that big of a deal. These guys are pros, they should be able to do their job no matter what.

I believe the opposite. While the skills of the players is of course very important, I have seen time and time again where less skilled teams beat WAY more skilled teams because they are cohesive. They play a team game instead of an individual game. They play for each other. Players are not robots, they are humans with feelings. If you like and get along with most of the guys on your team, you are going to be more willing to go all out for your team. It's human nature. A players home life affects him. How a player is reported in the media and seen by the fans effects him.

Now I realize that is a bold statement of mine. So here is my back up based on past debates.

Hall trade: You didn't like it. You thought the Oilers got hosed. You thought he was worth more. You list 5 on 5 scoring, points per 60, blah, blah blah on why Hall is so great. While I liked Hall, I saw him as the poster child of the woes of the Oilers. He was the alpha dog, the main guy of a team that sucked. Rightly or wrongly, he was the guy that was supposed to bring the Oilers up. He was their best player for a long time. But he was an extremely emotional guy. Very moody, the highs were high but the lows were low. When he was down, the whole team came down with him. There was plenty of rumors and former players have backed it up with extreme fractures between Hall and his crew and the rest of the team. So I believe that if you are going to shake up the team, change the culture, change the dynamic, turn the page on the negative past and bring the team together, the Oilers HAD to trade Hall because he was the alpha dog, the poster child of the past decade. So maybe player for player, the Oilers gave up the "best player" in Hall but for the team and that whole dynamic thing that I think is extremely important, they got what they needed. They got a good dman that plugged a hole but they also more importantly got a TEAM guy. A guy who goes balls out for his teammates and makes you want to play for him.

Yak trade. You felt the trade was a foolish one. They should have played him higher to try and salvage him, they got nothing for him, they ruined the player with poor development. I saw the trade as necessary. Yak wore out his welcome on they team. IN his "2nd season" where he would have been maybe 60 games into his career, he had his agent come over and complain about ice time and role. You don't do that as a guy who is technically still a rookie based on his games played. You keep your mouth shut, you listen to the coach and you play hard. You don't whine, you don't dog it, you play your butt off because you are proving you belong to your teammates. Yak never did that. He was pouty, complained, was brutal in practice and didn't listen. He never bought in and never tried to fit in with the team. He was an outsider. That effects people. If you don't like a guy, you don't want to play with a guy. If you don't want to play with a guy and he is on your line, psychologically it will have an impact on your game. It will drag you down. The coach had had enough and wanted him gone, the players had enough and wanted him gone. So whether he was a 1st overall or not, he had to go. So keeping him would have been a mistake and you sure as hell don't play him with your best player to drag him down.

Lucic. People have criticized his play They think he is overpaid and thought he had a bad season. I look at the numbers he put up and felt he earned his money. He did what he was brought in to do and that is all I ask. Others bring up his 5 on 5 scoring. He played mostly in Boston a good hockey town but its a MASSIVE City where hockey is not the one and only sport. So he could hide a bit. He played in LA where hockey is WAY down the depth chart and was in a City where most people don't know or care when Lucic is walking down the street because some movie start just passed 5 mins earlier. Well he's a person. He moved he and his family to a brand new City, to a new organization, you a City where hockey is everything. You get off the plane and all you see is Oilers stuff. You walk into starbucks for a coffee and probably get mobbed. You go grocery shopping with your family and 15 people are talking to you about the game and how you weren't good that night. His wife is getting her hair done and some other people are talking about how overpaid and lousy her husband is. That effects you and takes time to adjust too. As the season went on, Lucic seemed to get better and in the stretch drive he was a force. I expect him to be better this season because both he and his family are used to Edmonton.

There are other players that I can comment on that we debated about but I will not bother because I don't need to talk about them.

In the case of Pouliot. IS he an NHLer? Yes. In a bottoom 6 role, probably on a 4th line can he do something for your team? Yes. Could he potentially be better as a player on the Oilers 4th line than say Khaira or who gets that spot? Yes, he could. However, does he fit into the Oilers team? No. Does he as a player do things that hurt the team? Yes, he consistently takes bad penalties and lacks effort, so much so the coach benched and scratched him a ton. Does he affect the team dynamic? Yes I believe he does. When you have a player making as much money as he did there will be an automatic expectation that he should be doing more. He should be setting a better example. That expectation would come from the coaches but also the players. When he doesn't forecheck or hustle for a loose puck, there would be a human response from your teammates of "Aww, come on man." When you are down by a goal and you as a team are coming in wave after wave the the opposition is hanging on by a thread and you as a team can feel a goal coming, and then Pouliot takes a lazy, selfish hook in the offensive zone destroying your momentum, there is a let down. So while you are right, they could have kept him for at least another year and maybe he would have been better than a Khaira but I think the team needed him to go. SO maybe you sacrifice a little skill wise with a Khaira over a Pouliot, you get more because he buys in more. Much like a Hendricks which the players valued a TON, he is willing to do the little things. He's willing to block a big shot, make a big hit or take on a bigger guy who gave a Nuge or McDavid or whoever a shot. That stuff means something to a team and it falls into that team dynamic thing that I think has value but some don't think means a thing because it can't be measured.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698578 is a reply to message #698576 ]
Thu, 24 August 2017 11:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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I actually think it's funny that you believe I see players as automatons. I am the same one who talks about the importance of organizational culture, and that lack of responsibility at the top of the organization impacts those below.

I do believe that players are human, but I believe a good coach knows how to harness and direct player's emotions. I think EQ is exceptionally important in leaders, as it helps them understand how to inspire those they're leading.

I think Todd McLellan scores low on that front, and that that is an issue. I do think you're right that he's quickly decided he doesn't like certain players, and would prefer to see them gone than to deal with them, and I think it is clear he believes that embarrassing players through criticism in the media is an effective tool (which it can be, if used very, very sparingly, but when it's used too often, it just loses you player's loyalty).

I don't see Hall's emotion as a problem for a team. I see that as an opportunity - get it focused in the right way, harness it, and it's an asset. When has caring too much been a problem? Sometimes, it's incumbent on leaders to teach how to control emotions or what is an acceptable way of venting, but the fact there's emotion there? That is not a problem. For what it's worth, I don't really believe that was much of a factor in the Hall deal. I think that's a Ryan Rishaug hot take/talking point given to him by the Oilers to try to justify the deal. I think the real reason for the deal being straight up is because of a weakness in negotiating ability on the part of Peter Chiarelli.

My issue with the Yakupov trade was that it forced the Oilers to play Puljujarvi in the NHL before he was ready. We opened a spot for a kid who hadn't shown he was ready for it (and in the end, proved not to be). It also burnt a year off his entry level deal unnecessarily. Had we traded Yakupov and signed Versteeg or picked up Parenteau off waivers, it would have been more forgiveable, but the Oilers did it to clear a spot for Puljujarvi, which is unforgivably stupid.

Lucic would be a fine addition if his contract wasn't so bad. He does add an element, and the team frankly needed to sign him after trading away Hall for less than full value. He doesn't cover the bet on his contract though. He scores at a significantly lesser rate than Hall for the same money - and if you remove the PP numbers, the underlying 5v5 numbers last year were really bad. I still blame McLellan for a lot of that - I think that Lucic suffered from the same system issues that hit other Oilers forwards - but as he ages, we may see a decline in the player on a deal that eats up a big amount of cap and has a no move clause while stretching through most of McDavid and Draisaitl's prime. That's a big issue.

I think there's danger in overpays to players for certain. I think that it's bad form for Chiarelli to lobby for a discount from McDavid, and then sign Russell and Gryba and Draisaitl for top dollar and in the case of the first two, prime term too. But almost every team has 2-3 mistakes on the roster, and I think players are now probably fairly used to living with a couple guys who are making more than they contribute. I think the cap issues related to Pouliot down the road, are more important than someone thinking (rightly) that he's overpaid now. Again, I think a stronger GM like Lamoriello would have found a more creative solution to get rid of the contract (and probably of Fayne's too). The Oilers seem to always just take our lumps on these things (bad contracts, punitive draft pick compensation, etc.) whereas other teams find a way to work the system. I think again, if you have a good coach, he identifies if there are players upset about someone's contributions vs. salary and gets them to keep their focus on what's important - their own contributions to the team success.

Emotions are definitely an important consideration, and it's up to your leadership team to teach people how to use them in the right manner, rather than allowing things to divide the team. If every time you're faced with an emotion-based issue, you're making a trade or dump that makes the team worse, or that forces you to face worse cap consequences in the future, it's not a successful business model. Doing that suggests that the team wants more automatons, rather than dealing with any potential headaches and finding a way to make the situation positive.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698579 is a reply to message #698576 ]
Thu, 24 August 2017 11:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rocksteady  is currently offline Rocksteady
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RDOilerfan wrote on Thu, 24 August 2017 09:25

I have come to learn that you and I have grossly different opinions on players, the internal dynamics of a team and how a team should be constructed. When it comes to players, I have an opinion of you and I base this opinion on the countless debates that you and I have had on a variety of players both past and present, that opinion is I believe you feel players are a bit like robots. They come to a team and nothing around them should affect them. That the internal dynamic of the team while having some value, isn't really that important. That coming together and becoming a cohesive is nice but again, not that big of a deal. These guys are pros, they should be able to do their job no matter what.

I believe the opposite. While the skills of the players is of course very important, I have seen time and time again where less skilled teams beat WAY more skilled teams because they are cohesive. They play a team game instead of an individual game. They play for each other. Players are not robots, they are humans with feelings. If you like and get along with most of the guys on your team, you are going to be more willing to go all out for your team. It's human nature. A players home life affects him. How a player is reported in the media and seen by the fans Affects him.



Sorry, sorry the grammar police invaded my keyboard.

I used to think like you RD, and before I begin I appreciate you furthering your points with those case in point statements. However nowadays, I'm more on the fence.

In the years and talking to current players and even ex-players environment has little to do with how they are on the ice. Edmonton is a small city with hockey being the main sport followed, and yes everywhere you look there is an Oilers logo. That said, players are only concerned on the ice and the game at hand, they know and realize that we are a hockey mad town and a lot of players loves this while some (very few) do not, but regardless it doesn't affect their productivity on the ice.

What affects them? If a crowd boos a player playing for the home team, that DOES affect them, a la J Schultz. Home life affects them somewhat however some use that to motivate their play such as Anderson in Ottawa.

Teammates don't have to like each other to play well, but it helps. The term playing for each other is something the Oilers have not done for a long while until Connor became captain.







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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698507 is a reply to message #698491 ]
Mon, 21 August 2017 08:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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Goose wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 17:58

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 18 August 2017 12:46


You are right, the Oilers stayed pat with their defense. I can sort of understand why to a degree because that defense got them over 100 pts and if it weren't for suspect refing, they could have been in the conference finals. Where they will get better hopefully is the continued growth of 24 yr old Klefbom and Larsson who are entering in their prime now and in theory shouldn't have peaked yet. There is definitely room to grow for Benning and Nurse. When it comes to Russell, I keep asking who was out there for the Oilers to go get other than Russell. The UFA"s I listed were more expensive and I don't see as better options. On the trade market, there wasn't a lot.


So because they had a good season, don't change anything? I can kind of buy into that in some sense, but I guess I don't think Russell contributed as much to that success as you do. The other concern I have is the Oilers potentially hamstringing themselves in the future by having 2 of their top 4 with NMC, so when Benning and Nurse need new deals in a year, you can't clear space to make room for them.

I guess where I see a disconnect is the idea that the Oilers had to keep Russell because they had a good season but the same doesn't apply with respect to moving Eberle? That forward group got them to 103 points, so why dump Eberle for a lesser player when you don't need the cap space right now?

Question, why do you and a few others continually put words in my mouth? You said that you do not think Russell contributed as much as I do. All I said too many times to count is Russell played in the top 4 and did an OK job of it. That's it. That has all I have said about the guy. Is that my opinion on Russell? No. That's what happened. Russell was the Oilers #4 dman all year long last year. The Oilelrs had 103 pts and went to game 7 of the second round of the playoffs with Russell as their #4 most nights. So for that to happen, Russell had to of done an OK job of it. I never said he's great. I have never said he was a key guy. All I have said too many times to count is the guy came in and did his job and did it OK. You can't do as well as the Oilers did last year if Russell is crap.

In regards to the rest of your post, how many times do I have to say the same thing man? In the NHL on a game night, you typically need 6 dmen to start a game. I have said again and again, with Sekera out, hoping and praying that Benning and Nurse can be your second pairing every night is nuts in my opinion. Nurse doesn't even have 1.5 seasons of experience, Benning has less than a season. They need at least ONE NHL vet to play in the second pairing. Sekera will not be available until Christmas. SO WHO OUT THERE WAS BETTER?? I keep asking. I listed player who were traded and said the Oilers didn't have the assets. I listed the main players signed in free agency and how they ALL make more money than Russell and how they aren't even better. If if they didn't keep Russell, then WHO would take his spot. Even when Sekera is healthy, counting on a player like a Benning to be your #4 with his limited experience when you consider yourself a cup contender is extremely poor decision by the team in my opinion. I like Benning a lot but I do not think he is ready for that job full time.

So in my opinion, keeping Russell was more of they needed a dman. The cost to fill Russell's spot was going to cost you 4 mill + (as I showed with the UFA market). There were other dmen out there who quite frankly at best no better than Russell. In Russell, you have a player who you know exactly what he can and can't do. You know exactly how he is a as a person, you know exactly how his teammates feel about him and the coaches know exactly what to expect from him. So if there is no one else better, why would you not stick with what you know.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698603 is a reply to message #698507 ]
Sat, 26 August 2017 17:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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To me Russel displays the courage and heart you need to be a winner despite what the numbers say about him. He played well in the playoffs, yes he has limitations but I agree with you're assesment that there wasn't a better option to be had for the asking price. Maybe the term is a bit long and the dollars a bit high but not that high for a d that can play top four. It's always a bit of a gamble given the possibility of injury and unknown decline rate of older players but I really liked Russel's play last season and the team needs more players like him.(heart) So glad they got rid of some of the baggage in Pouliot and Eberle as much as I liked the skill potential of Eberle. He didn't deliver and deserved a chance somewhere else. You can't have a Pouliot setting a poor example on the farm. This team will be good and competitive this season if their goaltending holds up to last season's standard. As much as Chiarelli has paid high for some players, he has brought in several good players on very good reasonable contracts and improved the team on the bottom end that way.


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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698604 is a reply to message #698603 ]
Sat, 26 August 2017 20:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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overdue wrote on Sat, 26 August 2017 17:19

To me Russel displays the courage and heart you need to be a winner despite what the numbers say about him. He played well in the playoffs, yes he has limitations but I agree with you're assesment that there wasn't a better option to be had for the asking price. Maybe the term is a bit long and the dollars a bit high but not that high for a d that can play top four. It's always a bit of a gamble given the possibility of injury and unknown decline rate of older players but I really liked Russel's play last season and the team needs more players like him.(heart) So glad they got rid of some of the baggage in Pouliot and Eberle as much as I liked the skill potential of Eberle. He didn't deliver and deserved a chance somewhere else. You can't have a Pouliot setting a poor example on the farm. This team will be good and competitive this season if their goaltending holds up to last season's standard. As much as Chiarelli has paid high for some players, he has brought in several good players on very good reasonable contracts and improved the team on the bottom end that way.


So here's the Oilers defence depth chart, along with the amount of time each player has left on their current deal (ranked by salary cap hit):

Andrej Sekera - Age 31, 4 yrs, $5.5MM per. No move clause (full NMC first two yrs, last 2 yrs can veto 15 teams)
Oscar Klefbom - Age 24, 6 yrs, $4.167MM per
Adam Larsson - Age 24, 4 yrs, $4.167MM per
Kris Russell - Age 30, 4 yrs, $4.0MM per. No move clause (full NMC first two yrs, restrict to 10 teams in 2nd last yr, 15 teams in last yr)
Matt Benning - Age 23, 1 yr, 0.925MM
Eric Gryba - 2 yrs, 0.900MM per
Darnell Nurse - Age 22, 1 yr, $0.863MM
Ethan Bear - Age 20, 3 yrs, $0.720MM
Caleb Jones - Age 20, 3 yrs, $0.720MM

I've left out a bunch of names here, because guys like Fayne are already dead man walking in the organization, and I have little expectation that guys like Simpson, Lowe, Betker, etc. ever crack the NHL lineup in a meaningful way. Jones and Bear are the best shots at becoming NHLers in the next four seasons.

See the issue yet? What's your depth chart look like for each of the next four years? How often is Russell in your top four? He's getting paid to be in the top four and yet he should be passed by both guys 5 and 6 on this list, as well as possibly by Bear and/or Jones (and/or anyone else we acquire - the team still doesn't have a high end PP defenceman, and one could possibly become available or someone else we drafted could develop quickly).

Right now, the Oilers are completely locked in to their second pairing for the next two years, and they have limited options in years 3 & 4, even if there was interest in overpaid defencemen in their 30s.

Add to that the urgency to become a championship team before we're forced to make major concessions to the salary cap (which is coming up fast), and the deal we signed for Russell could cost us the ability to keep Benning or Nurse in the future, and it's very conceivable that #4 is earning $4MM to watch popcorn for most of the last year and a half of this deal.

Also, just for added bonus, his deal is lockout protected, as there's a million dollar bonus in year 4 - if the Oilers buy him out, they pay $2MM of the final $2.5MM owing. The NMC means that he would have to agree to be assigned to get him to go to the AHL too, so you can't even give him the Mark Fayne treatment.

That contract is a boat anchor that Oilers fans will hate before all is said and done, and I still don't understand how Chiarelli felt he had so little leverage that he capitulated on every front with that deal. He gave big dollars, massive term, no-movement AND buy-out protection. It's mind-boggling.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698606 is a reply to message #698604 ]
Sat, 26 August 2017 22:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ziltoid  is currently offline ziltoid
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Adam wrote on Sat, 26 August 2017 20:50

overdue wrote on Sat, 26 August 2017 17:19

To me Russel displays the courage and heart you need to be a winner despite what the numbers say about him. He played well in the playoffs, yes he has limitations but I agree with you're assesment that there wasn't a better option to be had for the asking price. Maybe the term is a bit long and the dollars a bit high but not that high for a d that can play top four. It's always a bit of a gamble given the possibility of injury and unknown decline rate of older players but I really liked Russel's play last season and the team needs more players like him.(heart) So glad they got rid of some of the baggage in Pouliot and Eberle as much as I liked the skill potential of Eberle. He didn't deliver and deserved a chance somewhere else. You can't have a Pouliot setting a poor example on the farm. This team will be good and competitive this season if their goaltending holds up to last season's standard. As much as Chiarelli has paid high for some players, he has brought in several good players on very good reasonable contracts and improved the team on the bottom end that way.


So here's the Oilers defence depth chart, along with the amount of time each player has left on their current deal (ranked by salary cap hit):

Andrej Sekera - Age 31, 4 yrs, $5.5MM per. No move clause (full NMC first two yrs, last 2 yrs can veto 15 teams)
Oscar Klefbom - Age 24, 6 yrs, $4.167MM per
Adam Larsson - Age 24, 4 yrs, $4.167MM per
Kris Russell - Age 30, 4 yrs, $4.0MM per. No move clause (full NMC first two yrs, restrict to 10 teams in 2nd last yr, 15 teams in last yr)
Matt Benning - Age 23, 1 yr, 0.925MM
Eric Gryba - 2 yrs, 0.900MM per
Darnell Nurse - Age 22, 1 yr, $0.863MM
Ethan Bear - Age 20, 3 yrs, $0.720MM
Caleb Jones - Age 20, 3 yrs, $0.720MM

I've left out a bunch of names here, because guys like Fayne are already dead man walking in the organization, and I have little expectation that guys like Simpson, Lowe, Betker, etc. ever crack the NHL lineup in a meaningful way. Jones and Bear are the best shots at becoming NHLers in the next four seasons.

See the issue yet? What's your depth chart look like for each of the next four years? How often is Russell in your top four? He's getting paid to be in the top four and yet he should be passed by both guys 5 and 6 on this list, as well as possibly by Bear and/or Jones (and/or anyone else we acquire - the team still doesn't have a high end PP defenceman, and one could possibly become available or someone else we drafted could develop quickly).

Right now, the Oilers are completely locked in to their second pairing for the next two years, and they have limited options in years 3 & 4, even if there was interest in overpaid defencemen in their 30s.

Add to that the urgency to become a championship team before we're forced to make major concessions to the salary cap (which is coming up fast), and the deal we signed for Russell could cost us the ability to keep Benning or Nurse in the future, and it's very conceivable that #4 is earning $4MM to watch popcorn for most of the last year and a half of this deal.

Also, just for added bonus, his deal is lockout protected, as there's a million dollar bonus in year 4 - if the Oilers buy him out, they pay $2MM of the final $2.5MM owing. The NMC means that he would have to agree to be assigned to get him to go to the AHL too, so you can't even give him the Mark Fayne treatment.

That contract is a boat anchor that Oilers fans will hate before all is said and done, and I still don't understand how Chiarelli felt he had so little leverage that he capitulated on every front with that deal. He gave big dollars, massive term, no-movement AND buy-out protection. It's mind-boggling.


And to make matters even worse, Russell is playing on his off side. Cody Franson is still unsigned... same age (30) but a right shot who posts more points and better possession numbers. (Yes, I'd rather have Franson as the 3rd pairing RHD than Russell in my lineup).

If you look at his career, Russell has always missed significant time due to injuries (he averages around 65 or so games a year), so not only does that make him even harder to move, it also means he is likely to get even more brittle as age catches up to him (30 is not young by NHL standards). Maybe he will get the Ference treatment and ride out his days on the LTIR, but I am more concerned that he suffers a Ryan Whitney -esq injury (one that's bad, but not career-ending bad) during the back half of year 2. If anything happens to Russel so that he loses even half a step, it will be utter bedlam. (His skating helps cover for a lot of bad decision-making).



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698614 is a reply to message #698606 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 09:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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I have heard people who believe in advanced stats pumping the tires of Franson for months. WHY? Because he's right handed? THE GUY CAN'T SKATE. That is not my opinion, that's his knock. He's slow. The pros on this guys is supposedly:
- Shows offensive instincts
- Has a good shot
- Moves the puck well
- Has good size.

The cons and I am copying and pasting this from his bio.

Needs to continue working on his defensive-zone coverage and overall consistency. Can at times look sluggish as a skater. Must also use his massive frame more to his advantage. Plus if you look at his career, he's a band aid.

So he is lousy in his own zone. Very inconsistent with his play, is SLOW and though he has good size, he doesn't use his size. Then I go look at this stats. 15-16 59 games, 17 pts, 16-17 68 games, 19 pts. So if someone was making a list of important things that a dman needs to have to be effective, 3 of th main things that everyone would list are defend well, skate decently and use your body. He doesn't do. They ONLY good thing he supposedly does is provide offense and he hasn't done that in 2 years.

When he signed in Buffalo who's defense is terrible 2 years ago, he didn't sign until Sept 15. Why? Because he is terrible. In the age when defense is everything, where teams want a ton of depth and right handed dmen are SOOOO coveted, if this guys was remotely good, why hasn't someone signed him. He was coming off a 3.25 mill cap hit contract in which he was brutal. His stats were lousy. So going into free agency, I doubt he was asking for a raise. As the summer went on, you have to think his ask dropped. I bet at the beginning of August, you could get him for almost half price what he made. I bet now he's take anything. Yet he is still unsigned. WHY? Because he is terrible. So if the Oilers want to bring him in and a PTO and let him battle it out for a league minimum contract, sure, giver. Competition is camp is never a bad things. But for anyone to say he is better than Russell is completely ridiculous and shows you have nothing but blind hate for Russell. Russell may lack things but he can skate, he has the ability to defend and though small, he puts his body in harms way and uses every ounce of his body to his advantage. Franson lacks everything defensively a dman needs to defend and for the last 2 seasons, does NOTHING of the very few supposedly good things he supposedly does.

For years the Oilers were a team who couldn't get anyone decent so they would sign the guys like Franson who nobody wanted because that's all they could get. They would look at his skill set, see that on a really good night, he could do a couple of good things well, they would ignore the long list of bad which chased off other teams and bring him in. Then be shocked when he sucked. A really good example is Nikitin. Nikitin was terrible, not one wanted him yet supposedly he could move the puck well, was a big body and had some offense in his game.
Here is Nikitin's bio.
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/player-bio/nikita-nikitin/bio

If you read it, does it not have a lot of similarities to Franson? Sure does to me.

[Updated on: Mon, 28 August 2017 09:21]


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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698615 is a reply to message #698614 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 11:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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RDOilerfan wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 09:02

I have heard people who believe in advanced stats pumping the tires of Franson for months. WHY? Because he's right handed? THE GUY CAN'T SKATE. That is not my opinion, that's his knock. He's slow.


It remains a pet peeve when you say an opinion isn't an opinion. Someone else may have said this too, but that makes it their opinion, not a fact.

I don't know how fast Franson is. I haven't spent a lot of time on that player. But please, please, please, for the love of Gord, don't say "it's not an opinion" when it's clearly an opinion.

Generally, I would have preferred Franson, who can apparently move the puck, to Russell, who we know is not good at that. Also, Franson is a right shot right side defenceman, so we wouldn't have to play him or Sekera out of position.

I'm not as concerned about the drop in points for Franson, because of this:

2014-15 ES/SH 2-17-19 PP 5-12-17 TOI/G - EV 16:17 SH 2:00 PP 3:05 (Note - just used Toronto for TOI stats)
2015-16 ES/SH 3-7-10 PP 1-6-7 TOI/G - EV 13:57 SH 0:44 PP 2:08
2016-17 ES/SH 2-15-17 PP 1-1-2 TOI/G - EV 16:10 SH 0:50 PP 1:27

A full half his points came on the powerplay in Toronto where he was playing on the first unit. He's now playing half as much time with lesser teammates on the second unit in Buffalo, because he's behind Ristolainen. He also clearly did not have the same faith from Bylsma that he did in Toronto, as he was used in every situation as a Leafs, while the Sabres dramatically curtailed the amount of time he saw in all positions when he arrived there. His ES time came back in 2016-17, so he was starting to win over Bylsma, but he's still not getting PK time, and playing much less with man advantage too.

He'd be the best shooting option among right shot defenders here, so there would be a good opportunity for him to rebound on the PP points.

Also Nikitin isn't a good example. That was just a terrible move by the Oilers. He'd been a healthy scratch numerous times in his final season in Columbus, but the Oilers still traded for his rights ahead of time and paid a premium to get him to forego free agency. Franson meanwhile is a free agent at the end of the summer and likely starting to get nervous he won't get a shot to play this year. We could likely get him on a cheap, one-year deal...which would be MUCH better than Russell on a four-year expensive contract.

[Updated on: Mon, 28 August 2017 11:53]


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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698618 is a reply to message #698615 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 13:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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Adam wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 11:51

RDOilerfan wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 09:02

I have heard people who believe in advanced stats pumping the tires of Franson for months. WHY? Because he's right handed? THE GUY CAN'T SKATE. That is not my opinion, that's his knock. He's slow.


It remains a pet peeve when you say an opinion isn't an opinion. Someone else may have said this too, but that makes it their opinion, not a fact.

I don't know how fast Franson is. I haven't spent a lot of time on that player. But please, please, please, for the love of Gord, don't say "it's not an opinion" when it's clearly an opinion.

Generally, I would have preferred Franson, who can apparently move the puck, to Russell, who we know is not good at that. Also, Franson is a right shot right side defenceman, so we wouldn't have to play him or Sekera out of position.

I'm not as concerned about the drop in points for Franson, because of this:

2014-15 ES/SH 2-17-19 PP 5-12-17 TOI/G - EV 16:17 SH 2:00 PP 3:05 (Note - just used Toronto for TOI stats)
2015-16 ES/SH 3-7-10 PP 1-6-7 TOI/G - EV 13:57 SH 0:44 PP 2:08
2016-17 ES/SH 2-15-17 PP 1-1-2 TOI/G - EV 16:10 SH 0:50 PP 1:27

A full half his points came on the powerplay in Toronto where he was playing on the first unit. He's now playing half as much time with lesser teammates on the second unit in Buffalo, because he's behind Ristolainen. He also clearly did not have the same faith from Bylsma that he did in Toronto, as he was used in every situation as a Leafs, while the Sabres dramatically curtailed the amount of time he saw in all positions when he arrived there. His ES time came back in 2016-17, so he was starting to win over Bylsma, but he's still not getting PK time, and playing much less with man advantage too.

He'd be the best shooting option among right shot defenders here, so there would be a good opportunity for him to rebound on the PP points.

Also Nikitin isn't a good example. That was just a terrible move by the Oilers. He'd been a healthy scratch numerous times in his final season in Columbus, but the Oilers still traded for his rights ahead of time and paid a premium to get him to forego free agency. Franson meanwhile is a free agent at the end of the summer and likely starting to get nervous he won't get a shot to play this year. We could likely get him on a cheap, one-year deal...which would be MUCH better than Russell on a four-year expensive contract.


If you are seriously going to make the argument that Franson is a good NHL dman, then sorry man, you are out to lunch. Then to blame the fact that he wasn't very good for the last 2 seasons on his past coach? You can't honestly believe that and are saying that to get a rise out of me right? A coaches #1 priority is to win. So he is going to do things and deploy players in a way that he feels gives his team the best chance to win. If he thought that Franson was good enough to help him win, he would have played him. Obviously for whatever reason he didn't think Franson was good enough.
Given the fact that 2 months after free agency opened that NO TEAM can find a reason to sign this guy, means that 31 teams don't think he is good enough to sign to a guaranteed contract.

Beuchemin who's 37 yrs old and is DONE signed a 1 yr, 1 mill deal. I bet you at this point in the season he would take a 1 yr, 1 mill or less contract. Go ahead and list off whatever stat you want. No teams wants him, that says something.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698624 is a reply to message #698618 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 16:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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RDOilerfan wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 13:25


If you are seriously going to make the argument that Franson is a good NHL dman, then sorry man, you are out to lunch. Then to blame the fact that he wasn't very good for the last 2 seasons on his past coach? You can't honestly believe that and are saying that to get a rise out of me right? A coaches #1 priority is to win. So he is going to do things and deploy players in a way that he feels gives his team the best chance to win. If he thought that Franson was good enough to help him win, he would have played him. Obviously for whatever reason he didn't think Franson was good enough.
Given the fact that 2 months after free agency opened that NO TEAM can find a reason to sign this guy, means that 31 teams don't think he is good enough to sign to a guaranteed contract.

Beuchemin who's 37 yrs old and is DONE signed a 1 yr, 1 mill deal. I bet you at this point in the season he would take a 1 yr, 1 mill or less contract. Go ahead and list off whatever stat you want. No teams wants him, that says something.


Kris Russell was in the same spot a year ago - unrestricted at the end of the summer. Was that because no one wanted him? Or because his agent suggested there might be better offers coming than he'd seen? In the end he had to roll the dice on a one-way deal (although lucky for him, the GM wasn't very hard-nosed in the negotiation to bring him on).

I think Bylsma did the right thing by playing Ristolainen ahead of Franson on the powerplay, but that doesn't mean that Franson is junk. In the last two years, Ristolainen's put up 21 and 25 points on the man advantage, so he's clearly producing at a very high level - he was 4th in the entire league among defencemen for PP Points last year, and 14th the year before.

The emergence of Ristolainen took time and opportunity away from Cody Franson. That's how these things go. There's only one puck, and there's only so much ice time available. When the Sabres signed Franson, Ristolainen was 20 years old, coming off a season where he posted 20 points, 9 on the powerplay. They may not have expected him to make the jump as fast as he did, but the fact that he did, pushed Franson down the depth chart, both at evens and on the PP.

Now Bylsma DID still play Franson, and in fact increased his icetime by three minutes a game in his second season with the team. Franson's ES production stayed similar to what he'd seen in Toronto, and most of his drop-off in points comes on the PP, which is where he lost opportunity. I don't think that should get a rise out of you...the numbers are right there to see.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698617 is a reply to message #698614 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 12:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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RDOilerfan wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 09:02


So if someone was making a list of important things that a dman needs to have to be effective, 3 of th main things that everyone would list are defend well, skate decently and use your body. He doesn't do.



I think this is where a lot of the disconnect is with respect to the defense. The games is on the back end of paradigm shift; no longer are d-men who "use their body" (read: are physical) or "defend well" the backbone of a team. Defense is all about transitions now. It's about preventing/breaking a cycle and then quickly moving the puck up ice. Teams have tried to use d-men who "use their bodies" and "defend well" to do this, but they have typically been a disaster. Russell is a "defend well" guy who can skate, but he can't transition up the ice, and he leaks chances against because of it. The new "3 main things" d-men need are (i) good skating (not decent or "well" skating), (ii) passing/transitioning, and (iii) positioning. Look at Benning. He can skate, transition, and uses his positioning to defend. He won't run you over or knock you down in the corner, but his skating and positioning helps break/prevent cycles and regains possession, then move the puck in the opposite direction.

And mightyreasoner is right... we have signed Russell (a d-man who is old and comes from the old style of play) to a deal that puts at risk our ability to sign two young d-men who are promising with respect to the new style of play. It's just bad long-term strategy.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698619 is a reply to message #698617 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 13:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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ziltoid wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 12:50

RDOilerfan wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 09:02


So if someone was making a list of important things that a dman needs to have to be effective, 3 of th main things that everyone would list are defend well, skate decently and use your body. He doesn't do.



I think this is where a lot of the disconnect is with respect to the defense. The games is on the back end of paradigm shift; no longer are d-men who "use their body" (read: are physical) or "defend well" the backbone of a team. Defense is all about transitions now. It's about preventing/breaking a cycle and then quickly moving the puck up ice. Teams have tried to use d-men who "use their bodies" and "defend well" to do this, but they have typically been a disaster. Russell is a "defend well" guy who can skate, but he can't transition up the ice, and he leaks chances against because of it. The new "3 main things" d-men need are (i) good skating (not decent or "well" skating), (ii) passing/transitioning, and (iii) positioning. Look at Benning. He can skate, transition, and uses his positioning to defend. He won't run you over or knock you down in the corner, but his skating and positioning helps break/prevent cycles and regains possession, then move the puck in the opposite direction.

And mightyreasoner is right... we have signed Russell (a d-man who is old and comes from the old style of play) to a deal that puts at risk our ability to sign two young d-men who are promising with respect to the new style of play. It's just bad long-term strategy.


Is that right? So there is no cycling in the game, no board play, no puck battles, no battling for position in front of the goal, just all stick checks? We are talking about the NHL right? Everything I described happens almost every shift. A puck gets dumped into the corner, guess who's usually the first guy to it. The dman. Using your body doesn't mean blowing up a guy with open ice hits. It's body position, using your size and reach, using your size for leverage, winning puck battles. Being strong on the puck.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698620 is a reply to message #698619 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 14:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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RDOilerfan wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 13:31

ziltoid wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 12:50

RDOilerfan wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 09:02


So if someone was making a list of important things that a dman needs to have to be effective, 3 of th main things that everyone would list are defend well, skate decently and use your body. He doesn't do.



I think this is where a lot of the disconnect is with respect to the defense. The games is on the back end of paradigm shift; no longer are d-men who "use their body" (read: are physical) or "defend well" the backbone of a team. Defense is all about transitions now. It's about preventing/breaking a cycle and then quickly moving the puck up ice. Teams have tried to use d-men who "use their bodies" and "defend well" to do this, but they have typically been a disaster. Russell is a "defend well" guy who can skate, but he can't transition up the ice, and he leaks chances against because of it. The new "3 main things" d-men need are (i) good skating (not decent or "well" skating), (ii) passing/transitioning, and (iii) positioning. Look at Benning. He can skate, transition, and uses his positioning to defend. He won't run you over or knock you down in the corner, but his skating and positioning helps break/prevent cycles and regains possession, then move the puck in the opposite direction.

And mightyreasoner is right... we have signed Russell (a d-man who is old and comes from the old style of play) to a deal that puts at risk our ability to sign two young d-men who are promising with respect to the new style of play. It's just bad long-term strategy.


Is that right? So there is no cycling in the game, no board play, no puck battles, no battling for position in front of the goal, just all stick checks? We are talking about the NHL right? Everything I described happens almost every shift. A puck gets dumped into the corner, guess who's usually the first guy to it. The dman. Using your body doesn't mean blowing up a guy with open ice hits. It's body position, using your size and reach, using your size for leverage, winning puck battles. Being strong on the puck.


Well you can't use absolutes to describe things that fall on a gradient. Of course all that stuff occurs in hockey, but it is about the extent to which a d-man relies on them. For example, Russell's big thing was pushing and shoving to try to prevent the puck from moving into the "slot" area (aka "maybe if I work the guy over enough he will struggle to move the puck into a prime scoring area"). If the puck did find its way in there, he'd lay down the body for a block. If he happened to gain possession in the corner or behind the net, it'd typically be a hard ring around the boards or up off the glass and out. This is the old style that has(is) fall(ing) out of favour. Instead, the shift is towards a more controlled defending style. Yes, you still try to keep the puck to the outside, but you do so not by working the guy over 'till you both collapse from exhaustion, but by physically backing off a bit so-as-to focus more on taking away lanes (you still make contact of course; no one is advocating players stand around and waive their sticks like a cheerleader). This is because gaining possession in some bloodbath corner battle leaves little time to make a play with the puck; people are bearing down on you and all you can really do is chip it out and hope it doesn't get knocked down by a body. In contrast, by gaining possession via lane closure, you gain a split second that allows for a quick pass and a more controlled exit.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698616 is a reply to message #698381 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 12:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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What it really comes down to is that by signing Russell to the term they did, it likely means they have to trade one of Benning or Nurse because you can't have a guy on your third pairing making $3M-$4M. I think both Benning and Nurse have brighter futures than Russell and very soon, perhaps as soon as this year, will have bigger contributions to the success of the Oilers than Russell.

I think his term likely means we move a better, cheaper defenseman to accommodate his contract. Which makes that a bad contract, IMO.

To be okay with the Russell contract, in my opinion, means being okay with losing one of Benning or Nurse as a result of it.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698621 is a reply to message #698616 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 14:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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mightyreasoner wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 12:32

you can't have a guy on your third pairing making $3M-$4M.


I am willing to bet by the playoffs we are doing exactly that with Russell


mightyreasoner wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 12:32


To be okay with the Russell contract, in my opinion, means being okay with losing one of Benning or Nurse as a result of it.


This right here is exactly why I hate the Russell deal. I think both of Nurse and Benning could be better than Russell as soon as the end of this season (hence the offer of a bet above). Next season, when the actual cap crunch comes and Chia has traded one or both of these guys while I watch Russell get turnstiled on the third pairing I am going to go from disliking Russell to flat out pissed off at the contract.

I am actually at a loss that ANYONE can defend this deal



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698626 is a reply to message #698381 ]
Mon, 28 August 2017 18:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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FWIW, I'd hate to see Cody Franson on Russell's deal also, for many of the same reasons. But on a one-year deal, at least he is a Right-handed shot and a puck mover which would compliment Sekera once he's back.

But in the end, neither Russell or Franson is the stud that someone like Justin Faulk is, someone you would be willing to let Benning or Nurse go to keep in your Top-4. And unless you have someone that basically locks down that Top-4 for the next 5 or 6 years that you are completely happy with moving forward and is a perfect fit, I think you are hoping Benning, Nurse, Bear, or Jones becomes that guy. Which means Russell or Franson is on your third pair.

Both guys would be blocking better, younger players and neither should be handed a four year contract at this stage in their career, especially on this team.



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Mon, 28 August 2017 21:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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mightyreasoner wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 18:16

FWIW, I'd hate to see Cody Franson on Russell's deal also, for many of the same reasons. But on a one-year deal, at least he is a Right-handed shot and a puck mover which would compliment Sekera once he's back.

But in the end, neither Russell or Franson is the stud that someone like Justin Faulk is, someone you would be willing to let Benning or Nurse go to keep in your Top-4. And unless you have someone that basically locks down that Top-4 for the next 5 or 6 years that you are completely happy with moving forward and is a perfect fit, I think you are hoping Benning, Nurse, Bear, or Jones becomes that guy. Which means Russell or Franson is on your third pair.

Both guys would be blocking better, younger players and neither should be handed a four year contract at this stage in their career, especially on this team.



I think that's the only reason people mention Franson here. Because if you needed a stop gap to fill that spot and let Nurse and Benning develop, he would have been a cheap, short-term option. Given what is on the horizon, the only way Chiarelli should have signed anything NOT short-term is if it was the Justin Faulk-type stud. Anything else and you're in trouble if either of those players develop as they should (not to mention if any of Bear or Jones or Paigin, etc. force their way in to the picture).

You'd think a team that just had to sit Ference for the last two years of his deal, and will ride out almost three minor league seasons for Mark Fayne, would have learned their lesson about signing mediocre defencemen to long term deals...



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698632 is a reply to message #698628 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 06:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Adam wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 21:52

mightyreasoner wrote on Mon, 28 August 2017 18:16

FWIW, I'd hate to see Cody Franson on Russell's deal also, for many of the same reasons. But on a one-year deal, at least he is a Right-handed shot and a puck mover which would compliment Sekera once he's back.

But in the end, neither Russell or Franson is the stud that someone like Justin Faulk is, someone you would be willing to let Benning or Nurse go to keep in your Top-4. And unless you have someone that basically locks down that Top-4 for the next 5 or 6 years that you are completely happy with moving forward and is a perfect fit, I think you are hoping Benning, Nurse, Bear, or Jones becomes that guy. Which means Russell or Franson is on your third pair.

Both guys would be blocking better, younger players and neither should be handed a four year contract at this stage in their career, especially on this team.



I think that's the only reason people mention Franson here. Because if you needed a stop gap to fill that spot and let Nurse and Benning develop, he would have been a cheap, short-term option. Given what is on the horizon, the only way Chiarelli should have signed anything NOT short-term is if it was the Justin Faulk-type stud. Anything else and you're in trouble if either of those players develop as they should (not to mention if any of Bear or Jones or Paigin, etc. force their way in to the picture).

You'd think a team that just had to sit Ference for the last two years of his deal, and will ride out almost three minor league seasons for Mark Fayne, would have learned their lesson about signing mediocre defencemen to long term deals...


The one thing is that I think Russell is tradeable, so the risk isn't as huge. I do think he has some cache in the league, after last year.



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2018/2019 - Another round of Drain-O, good sir!

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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698634 is a reply to message #698632 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 08:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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I think what people are missing and it shocks me that this crowd would overlook this is where the Oilers are at. I personally believe that at the end of the season, while the Oilers all along thought it would be nice to sign Russell, I don't think it was 100%. But I believe the Sekera injury changed everything. He's going to miss the first 1/4 of the season at least. Then when he comes back, he won't have had a regular offseason because he will have been rehabbing, not training, so he's probably not going to be in the same kind of shape as normal. He will have no camp or no preseason games so he will be rusty. Then every player in the league will have 20 games under their belt. So Sekera in his first game will be WAY behind everyone on his team and the league. When you blow out your knee like that, it's probably going to take him a couple of weeks just to feel confident he's OK and in all likelihood, he's going to struggle and it will take him at least a month, maybe more before he is remotely up to speed with everyone else and in reality, he will be behind the 8 ball all year. If this was the Oilers of 2 years ago who was coming off another crap year and who's goal for the coming season was to actually be in the hunt and maybe if you are lucky squeak into the #8 spot, then I totally agree with what people are saying. You bring in a short term stop gap or 2 and hope they can play above their heads for a short time. Then you bank on a Benning or a Nurse to continue on their positive path, maybe play a bit above their heads. You hope that your team can not go into the tank, you stay in the hunt and when Sekera comes back, maybe after xmas you can go on a run and make the playoffs.

But they aren't. They are in division winning, maybe win the cup mode. Rightly or wrongly, Vegas has the Oilers with the second best odds to win the cup. So with that being the case.

#1, how as a team do you walk away from a dman who helped you get to 103 pts and what should have been a conference final appearance? People don't have to like Russell but like it or not, Russell played big mins on a 103 pt team. So people can pick apart his game, you can list off some stats that are negative - stats that the team probably doesn't value - but he came in, played over 20 mins a night and the Oilers got 103 pts. You can't have a guy playing that key of a position and have him be complete garbage, he had to of done something right. NO team is that lucky to overcome a garbage guy playing that much and McDavid and Talbot can only cover up so much.

#2 You lose your 2/3 dman for 1/4 of the season minimum. Players aren't stupid, they know all about injury and recovery and how long it takes so I am sure they know that it will take Sekara a long time before he's close to being "back" once he's on the ice playing. So the first half of your second pairing will be gone/a shadow of himself for almost half the season.

As we know, Nuge played his junior in Red Deer. I live in Red Deer. Nuge met a girl in Red Deer and has been dating that same girl all this time. They live together. The second in command in my office is a big Oilers fan like me and is good friends with Nuge's gf's dad. So we talk Oilers all the time. Apparently according to the Dad of Nuge's gf, Nuge told him he blames himself for the Oilers losing the playoffs. He was the shot leader on the Oilers in the playoffs and he feels that if he could have score just a couple of goals, they would have won. I don't blame Nuge but Nuge is right. If Nuge or Eberle could have scored just a couple of goals, the Oilers would have won. If they get past the Ducks, then who knows. The Oilers were right there and the players know it. So knowing that and knowing that to players at this level, believing and confidence is EVERYTHING. How does an organization say to your players, we are right there, we are going for a division and a cup, then let the other half of your second pairing, a guy that helped you get to where you got last year walk away and have the players believe you? "Hey guys, we know that Sekera is out until xmas and won't be the same until maybe the trade deadline and we let Russell walk but don't worry, we signed Cody Franson?" Are you kidding me?

So I have said it many times. I don't love the Russell contract, I think it is too long. Based on the comments above, because I don't think that Russell is garbage like some of you seem to think and because I don't outwardly hate the contract and think it is this anchor that screws the Oilers for years, I am sure I will be blasted by the usual suspects. But in my opinion, if you look at the teams that are successful and successful for a long time. You see them moving big pieces and dismantling things, you see them tweak their roster, you see continuity and you see internal growth. When you lose one half of your second pairing for half the season due to injury and then let the other half walk away because some fans don't like him. You as a team are not showing continuity, you are not showing internal growth, you are dismantling a critical part of your team. So while I may not be celebrating the contract as a fantastic move, I get it.

[Updated on: Tue, 29 August 2017 08:48]


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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698637 is a reply to message #698634 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 11:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 08:45

I think what people are missing and it shocks me that this crowd would overlook this is where the Oilers are at. I personally believe that at the end of the season, while the Oilers all along thought it would be nice to sign Russell, I don't think it was 100%. But I believe the Sekera injury changed everything. He's going to miss the first 1/4 of the season at least. Then when he comes back, he won't have had a regular offseason because he will have been rehabbing, not training, so he's probably not going to be in the same kind of shape as normal. He will have no camp or no preseason games so he will be rusty. Then every player in the league will have 20 games under their belt. So Sekera in his first game will be WAY behind everyone on his team and the league. When you blow out your knee like that, it's probably going to take him a couple of weeks just to feel confident he's OK and in all likelihood, he's going to struggle and it will take him at least a month, maybe more before he is remotely up to speed with everyone else and in reality, he will be behind the 8 ball all year. If this was the Oilers of 2 years ago who was coming off another crap year and who's goal for the coming season was to actually be in the hunt and maybe if you are lucky squeak into the #8 spot, then I totally agree with what people are saying. You bring in a short term stop gap or 2 and hope they can play above their heads for a short time. Then you bank on a Benning or a Nurse to continue on their positive path, maybe play a bit above their heads. You hope that your team can not go into the tank, you stay in the hunt and when Sekera comes back, maybe after xmas you can go on a run and make the playoffs.

But they aren't. They are in division winning, maybe win the cup mode. Rightly or wrongly, Vegas has the Oilers with the second best odds to win the cup. So with that being the case.

#1, how as a team do you walk away from a dman who helped you get to 103 pts and what should have been a conference final appearance? People don't have to like Russell but like it or not, Russell played big mins on a 103 pt team. So people can pick apart his game, you can list off some stats that are negative - stats that the team probably doesn't value - but he came in, played over 20 mins a night and the Oilers got 103 pts. You can't have a guy playing that key of a position and have him be complete garbage, he had to of done something right. NO team is that lucky to overcome a garbage guy playing that much and McDavid and Talbot can only cover up so much.

#2 You lose your 2/3 dman for 1/4 of the season minimum. Players aren't stupid, they know all about injury and recovery and how long it takes so I am sure they know that it will take Sekara a long time before he's close to being "back" once he's on the ice playing. So the first half of your second pairing will be gone/a shadow of himself for almost half the season.

As we know, Nuge played his junior in Red Deer. I live in Red Deer. Nuge met a girl in Red Deer and has been dating that same girl all this time. They live together. The second in command in my office is a big Oilers fan like me and is good friends with Nuge's gf's dad. So we talk Oilers all the time. Apparently according to the Dad of Nuge's gf, Nuge told him he blames himself for the Oilers losing the playoffs. He was the shot leader on the Oilers in the playoffs and he feels that if he could have score just a couple of goals, they would have won. I don't blame Nuge but Nuge is right. If Nuge or Eberle could have scored just a couple of goals, the Oilers would have won. If they get past the Ducks, then who knows. The Oilers were right there and the players know it. So knowing that and knowing that to players at this level, believing and confidence is EVERYTHING. How does an organization say to your players, we are right there, we are going for a division and a cup, then let the other half of your second pairing, a guy that helped you get to where you got last year walk away and have the players believe you? "Hey guys, we know that Sekera is out until xmas and won't be the same until maybe the trade deadline and we let Russell walk but don't worry, we signed Cody Franson?" Are you kidding me?

So I have said it many times. I don't love the Russell contract, I think it is too long. Based on the comments above, because I don't think that Russell is garbage like some of you seem to think and because I don't outwardly hate the contract and think it is this anchor that screws the Oilers for years, I am sure I will be blasted by the usual suspects. But in my opinion, if you look at the teams that are successful and successful for a long time. You see them moving big pieces and dismantling things, you see them tweak their roster, you see continuity and you see internal growth. When you lose one half of your second pairing for half the season due to injury and then let the other half walk away because some fans don't like him. You as a team are not showing continuity, you are not showing internal growth, you are dismantling a critical part of your team. So while I may not be celebrating the contract as a fantastic move, I get it.


A couple questions on your analysis here:

1) You lose 30-40 games of Sekera, so the only solution is to hire Russell for four years, on a deal with a no-trade and buy-out protection? How does this make sense?

2) Eberle and Pouliot were part of the 103 point season too, as were Tyler Pitlick and Matt Hendricks. Jordan Oesterle, Brandon Davidson, Griffin Reinhart and Jonas Gustavsson all played small roles. Why walk away from any of them, when they were part of a 103 point season. I mean, Eberle was your third highest scoring player, playing a significant role on a team that got 103 points. If the most important thing is that the team got 103 points, and those 103 points are the biggest reason not to change the #4 defenceman (who wasn't particularly good), then why wouldn't the 103 point argument extend to the #3 forward - who was a bigger contributor to those 103 points.

And if Nuge was going to be upset about swapping out Russell for Franson, I imagine he was livid when we traded the #3 forward for a guy who would have ranked 10th on the Oilers in scoring last year...Why would he be more upset about losing Russell, who can't make passes, than Eberle who scored 51 points in an off-year?

Please note - once again, this isn't blasting you, this is asking you to expand on your line of thinking and deal with the incongruities therein.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698638 is a reply to message #698637 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 12:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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Adam wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 11:11

RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 08:45

I think what people are missing and it shocks me that this crowd would overlook this is where the Oilers are at. I personally believe that at the end of the season, while the Oilers all along thought it would be nice to sign Russell, I don't think it was 100%. But I believe the Sekera injury changed everything. He's going to miss the first 1/4 of the season at least. Then when he comes back, he won't have had a regular offseason because he will have been rehabbing, not training, so he's probably not going to be in the same kind of shape as normal. He will have no camp or no preseason games so he will be rusty. Then every player in the league will have 20 games under their belt. So Sekera in his first game will be WAY behind everyone on his team and the league. When you blow out your knee like that, it's probably going to take him a couple of weeks just to feel confident he's OK and in all likelihood, he's going to struggle and it will take him at least a month, maybe more before he is remotely up to speed with everyone else and in reality, he will be behind the 8 ball all year. If this was the Oilers of 2 years ago who was coming off another crap year and who's goal for the coming season was to actually be in the hunt and maybe if you are lucky squeak into the #8 spot, then I totally agree with what people are saying. You bring in a short term stop gap or 2 and hope they can play above their heads for a short time. Then you bank on a Benning or a Nurse to continue on their positive path, maybe play a bit above their heads. You hope that your team can not go into the tank, you stay in the hunt and when Sekera comes back, maybe after xmas you can go on a run and make the playoffs.

But they aren't. They are in division winning, maybe win the cup mode. Rightly or wrongly, Vegas has the Oilers with the second best odds to win the cup. So with that being the case.

#1, how as a team do you walk away from a dman who helped you get to 103 pts and what should have been a conference final appearance? People don't have to like Russell but like it or not, Russell played big mins on a 103 pt team. So people can pick apart his game, you can list off some stats that are negative - stats that the team probably doesn't value - but he came in, played over 20 mins a night and the Oilers got 103 pts. You can't have a guy playing that key of a position and have him be complete garbage, he had to of done something right. NO team is that lucky to overcome a garbage guy playing that much and McDavid and Talbot can only cover up so much.

#2 You lose your 2/3 dman for 1/4 of the season minimum. Players aren't stupid, they know all about injury and recovery and how long it takes so I am sure they know that it will take Sekara a long time before he's close to being "back" once he's on the ice playing. So the first half of your second pairing will be gone/a shadow of himself for almost half the season.

As we know, Nuge played his junior in Red Deer. I live in Red Deer. Nuge met a girl in Red Deer and has been dating that same girl all this time. They live together. The second in command in my office is a big Oilers fan like me and is good friends with Nuge's gf's dad. So we talk Oilers all the time. Apparently according to the Dad of Nuge's gf, Nuge told him he blames himself for the Oilers losing the playoffs. He was the shot leader on the Oilers in the playoffs and he feels that if he could have score just a couple of goals, they would have won. I don't blame Nuge but Nuge is right. If Nuge or Eberle could have scored just a couple of goals, the Oilers would have won. If they get past the Ducks, then who knows. The Oilers were right there and the players know it. So knowing that and knowing that to players at this level, believing and confidence is EVERYTHING. How does an organization say to your players, we are right there, we are going for a division and a cup, then let the other half of your second pairing, a guy that helped you get to where you got last year walk away and have the players believe you? "Hey guys, we know that Sekera is out until xmas and won't be the same until maybe the trade deadline and we let Russell walk but don't worry, we signed Cody Franson?" Are you kidding me?

So I have said it many times. I don't love the Russell contract, I think it is too long. Based on the comments above, because I don't think that Russell is garbage like some of you seem to think and because I don't outwardly hate the contract and think it is this anchor that screws the Oilers for years, I am sure I will be blasted by the usual suspects. But in my opinion, if you look at the teams that are successful and successful for a long time. You see them moving big pieces and dismantling things, you see them tweak their roster, you see continuity and you see internal growth. When you lose one half of your second pairing for half the season due to injury and then let the other half walk away because some fans don't like him. You as a team are not showing continuity, you are not showing internal growth, you are dismantling a critical part of your team. So while I may not be celebrating the contract as a fantastic move, I get it.


A couple questions on your analysis here:

1) You lose 30-40 games of Sekera, so the only solution is to hire Russell for four years, on a deal with a no-trade and buy-out protection? How does this make sense?

2) Eberle and Pouliot were part of the 103 point season too, as were Tyler Pitlick and Matt Hendricks. Jordan Oesterle, Brandon Davidson, Griffin Reinhart and Jonas Gustavsson all played small roles. Why walk away from any of them, when they were part of a 103 point season. I mean, Eberle was your third highest scoring player, playing a significant role on a team that got 103 points. If the most important thing is that the team got 103 points, and those 103 points are the biggest reason not to change the #4 defenceman (who wasn't particularly good), then why wouldn't the 103 point argument extend to the #3 forward - who was a bigger contributor to those 103 points.

And if Nuge was going to be upset about swapping out Russell for Franson, I imagine he was livid when we traded the #3 forward for a guy who would have ranked 10th on the Oilers in scoring last year...Why would he be more upset about losing Russell, who can't make passes, than Eberle who scored 51 points in an off-year?

Please note - once again, this isn't blasting you, this is asking you to expand on your line of thinking and deal with the incongruities therein.



To your first question. I have asked this numerous times. The response I get from you and others who have a similar opinion of Russell is this.
- A rant about how lousy Russell is happens. Some think he is 3rd pairing, some think he is barely a #6, some think he should be out of the league.
- His flaws are listed and emphasized while anything he does well is either left out or dramatically marginalized. I have even seen people try to pass off that the fundamental things he does well aren't important anymore.
- Further to focusing only on the bad and not the good. Select stats are used.

I understand that the contract isn't ideal. But the question I have asked which never gets answered is how do you get Russell or anyone in the range of Russell without the contract he got. The going rate for a dman in the range of Russell was 3-5 yrs, 3.5-4.65 mill. Alzner (5 x 4.65)got it, Smith got i (4x4.35) t, Kulikov got it (3x4.333), Stone got it (3x3.5). I believe those are the main ones. Hainsey, who's a lesser dman and who is soon to be 37 got (3x3). So people can debate who is better but regardless, Russell got the going rate. Looks to be somewhere in the middle. Not the most years, not the least years. Dollars wise, 3.5 is the low, 4.65 is the high. So again in the middle. So if you don't like Russell that is fine. But how are you getting a Russell or anyone one else without that contract? I just listed all the ones who are in the range of Russell and they all signed for similar money and term. For someone to say "Well they could have just signed him or someone else for 1 yr." No you aren't. You aren't getting anyone who's a lock to play for 1 yr and you aren't getting anyone dirt cheap. So people can complain all they want about his contract but if it wasn't Russell, it was going to be someone else with he same or more money and the same or more term. So they could have a different player who may or may not be any better. Not all UFA signings work out. So the Oilers picked a guy they knew because they know what he does well and does poorly, they know the person, they know all about him. So there is a better chance he works our rather than role the dice on someone they don't know. But regardless, nothing about their future cap situation, or having Benning or Nurse pass them in a year or 2, or having to try to get rid of a contract would be different. You would just have a different name on a jersey.

So the only alternative is to get no one. You role the dice that Benning and Nurse don't implode for the half+ season Sekera is down and not himself. Just like we all did all those years when we shredded the team when they thrusted young, unready players into prime time, they would be doing it again with Nurse and Benning and praying they can survive. The only difference is the Oilers are a cup team now, not a bottom feeder. Then the Oilers go and sign a 6-7 guy that 30 other teams pass on as a stop gap. They bring him in and hope that he can play above his head. Then the young guys crash and burn because they are in over their heads. The lousy vet dman who is past his prime, or isn't very good, hence why no one else signed him, crashes and burns as well. We watched this play out for 10 freaking years, are we not tired of it? We did it when they were a laughing stock and it didn't work ever. But now that the Oilers are a contender and teams actually take the Oilers serious, suddenly it will work? How do you figure?

For your second question when it comes to Eberle and Pouliot. Did they contribute? Yes. But I have said it before and I will say it again. The most important positions are center, defense and goal. So the contributions of wingers in my opinion can far easier be replaced than a dman. The Oilers as an organization are far deeper at forward than they are on defense. They swapped out Eberle for another forward. There are other forwards looking for more ice time. Plus wing is a heck of a lot easier for a young player to succeed at than a dman. I am not even going to bother with the rest because you listed off a bunch of minor league dmen, #7 dmen, wingers who aren't full time NHLers and a back up goalie who was replaced mid season.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698642 is a reply to message #698638 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 14:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 12:32

Adam wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 11:11

RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 08:45

I think what people are missing and it shocks me that this crowd would overlook this is where the Oilers are at. I personally believe that at the end of the season, while the Oilers all along thought it would be nice to sign Russell, I don't think it was 100%. But I believe the Sekera injury changed everything. He's going to miss the first 1/4 of the season at least. Then when he comes back, he won't have had a regular offseason because he will have been rehabbing, not training, so he's probably not going to be in the same kind of shape as normal. He will have no camp or no preseason games so he will be rusty. Then every player in the league will have 20 games under their belt. So Sekera in his first game will be WAY behind everyone on his team and the league. When you blow out your knee like that, it's probably going to take him a couple of weeks just to feel confident he's OK and in all likelihood, he's going to struggle and it will take him at least a month, maybe more before he is remotely up to speed with everyone else and in reality, he will be behind the 8 ball all year. If this was the Oilers of 2 years ago who was coming off another crap year and who's goal for the coming season was to actually be in the hunt and maybe if you are lucky squeak into the #8 spot, then I totally agree with what people are saying. You bring in a short term stop gap or 2 and hope they can play above their heads for a short time. Then you bank on a Benning or a Nurse to continue on their positive path, maybe play a bit above their heads. You hope that your team can not go into the tank, you stay in the hunt and when Sekera comes back, maybe after xmas you can go on a run and make the playoffs.

But they aren't. They are in division winning, maybe win the cup mode. Rightly or wrongly, Vegas has the Oilers with the second best odds to win the cup. So with that being the case.

#1, how as a team do you walk away from a dman who helped you get to 103 pts and what should have been a conference final appearance? People don't have to like Russell but like it or not, Russell played big mins on a 103 pt team. So people can pick apart his game, you can list off some stats that are negative - stats that the team probably doesn't value - but he came in, played over 20 mins a night and the Oilers got 103 pts. You can't have a guy playing that key of a position and have him be complete garbage, he had to of done something right. NO team is that lucky to overcome a garbage guy playing that much and McDavid and Talbot can only cover up so much.

#2 You lose your 2/3 dman for 1/4 of the season minimum. Players aren't stupid, they know all about injury and recovery and how long it takes so I am sure they know that it will take Sekara a long time before he's close to being "back" once he's on the ice playing. So the first half of your second pairing will be gone/a shadow of himself for almost half the season.

As we know, Nuge played his junior in Red Deer. I live in Red Deer. Nuge met a girl in Red Deer and has been dating that same girl all this time. They live together. The second in command in my office is a big Oilers fan like me and is good friends with Nuge's gf's dad. So we talk Oilers all the time. Apparently according to the Dad of Nuge's gf, Nuge told him he blames himself for the Oilers losing the playoffs. He was the shot leader on the Oilers in the playoffs and he feels that if he could have score just a couple of goals, they would have won. I don't blame Nuge but Nuge is right. If Nuge or Eberle could have scored just a couple of goals, the Oilers would have won. If they get past the Ducks, then who knows. The Oilers were right there and the players know it. So knowing that and knowing that to players at this level, believing and confidence is EVERYTHING. How does an organization say to your players, we are right there, we are going for a division and a cup, then let the other half of your second pairing, a guy that helped you get to where you got last year walk away and have the players believe you? "Hey guys, we know that Sekera is out until xmas and won't be the same until maybe the trade deadline and we let Russell walk but don't worry, we signed Cody Franson?" Are you kidding me?

So I have said it many times. I don't love the Russell contract, I think it is too long. Based on the comments above, because I don't think that Russell is garbage like some of you seem to think and because I don't outwardly hate the contract and think it is this anchor that screws the Oilers for years, I am sure I will be blasted by the usual suspects. But in my opinion, if you look at the teams that are successful and successful for a long time. You see them moving big pieces and dismantling things, you see them tweak their roster, you see continuity and you see internal growth. When you lose one half of your second pairing for half the season due to injury and then let the other half walk away because some fans don't like him. You as a team are not showing continuity, you are not showing internal growth, you are dismantling a critical part of your team. So while I may not be celebrating the contract as a fantastic move, I get it.


A couple questions on your analysis here:

1) You lose 30-40 games of Sekera, so the only solution is to hire Russell for four years, on a deal with a no-trade and buy-out protection? How does this make sense?

2) Eberle and Pouliot were part of the 103 point season too, as were Tyler Pitlick and Matt Hendricks. Jordan Oesterle, Brandon Davidson, Griffin Reinhart and Jonas Gustavsson all played small roles. Why walk away from any of them, when they were part of a 103 point season. I mean, Eberle was your third highest scoring player, playing a significant role on a team that got 103 points. If the most important thing is that the team got 103 points, and those 103 points are the biggest reason not to change the #4 defenceman (who wasn't particularly good), then why wouldn't the 103 point argument extend to the #3 forward - who was a bigger contributor to those 103 points.

And if Nuge was going to be upset about swapping out Russell for Franson, I imagine he was livid when we traded the #3 forward for a guy who would have ranked 10th on the Oilers in scoring last year...Why would he be more upset about losing Russell, who can't make passes, than Eberle who scored 51 points in an off-year?

Please note - once again, this isn't blasting you, this is asking you to expand on your line of thinking and deal with the incongruities therein.



To your first question. I have asked this numerous times. The response I get from you and others who have a similar opinion of Russell is this.
- A rant about how lousy Russell is happens. Some think he is 3rd pairing, some think he is barely a #6, some think he should be out of the league.
- His flaws are listed and emphasized while anything he does well is either left out or dramatically marginalized. I have even seen people try to pass off that the fundamental things he does well aren't important anymore.
- Further to focusing only on the bad and not the good. Select stats are used.

I understand that the contract isn't ideal. But the question I have asked which never gets answered is how do you get Russell or anyone in the range of Russell without the contract he got. The going rate for a dman in the range of Russell was 3-5 yrs, 3.5-4.65 mill. Alzner (5 x 4.65)got it, Smith got i (4x4.35) t, Kulikov got it (3x4.333), Stone got it (3x3.5). I believe those are the main ones. Hainsey, who's a lesser dman and who is soon to be 37 got (3x3). So people can debate who is better but regardless, Russell got the going rate. Looks to be somewhere in the middle. Not the most years, not the least years. Dollars wise, 3.5 is the low, 4.65 is the high. So again in the middle. So if you don't like Russell that is fine. But how are you getting a Russell or anyone one else without that contract? I just listed all the ones who are in the range of Russell and they all signed for similar money and term. For someone to say "Well they could have just signed him or someone else for 1 yr." No you aren't. You aren't getting anyone who's a lock to play for 1 yr and you aren't getting anyone dirt cheap. So people can complain all they want about his contract but if it wasn't Russell, it was going to be someone else with he same or more money and the same or more term. So they could have a different player who may or may not be any better. Not all UFA signings work out. So the Oilers picked a guy they knew because they know what he does well and does poorly, they know the person, they know all about him. So there is a better chance he works our rather than role the dice on someone they don't know. But regardless, nothing about their future cap situation, or having Benning or Nurse pass them in a year or 2, or having to try to get rid of a contract would be different. You would just have a different name on a jersey.

So the only alternative is to get no one. You role the dice that Benning and Nurse don't implode for the half+ season Sekera is down and not himself. Just like we all did all those years when we shredded the team when they thrusted young, unready players into prime time, they would be doing it again with Nurse and Benning and praying they can survive. The only difference is the Oilers are a cup team now, not a bottom feeder. Then the Oilers go and sign a 6-7 guy that 30 other teams pass on as a stop gap. They bring him in and hope that he can play above his head. Then the young guys crash and burn because they are in over their heads. The lousy vet dman who is past his prime, or isn't very good, hence why no one else signed him, crashes and burns as well. We watched this play out for 10 freaking years, are we not tired of it? We did it when they were a laughing stock and it didn't work ever. But now that the Oilers are a contender and teams actually take the Oilers serious, suddenly it will work? How do you figure?

For your second question when it comes to Eberle and Pouliot. Did they contribute? Yes. But I have said it before and I will say it again. The most important positions are center, defense and goal. So the contributions of wingers in my opinion can far easier be replaced than a dman. The Oilers as an organization are far deeper at forward than they are on defense. They swapped out Eberle for another forward. There are other forwards looking for more ice time. Plus wing is a heck of a lot easier for a young player to succeed at than a dman. I am not even going to bother with the rest because you listed off a bunch of minor league dmen, #7 dmen, wingers who aren't full time NHLers and a back up goalie who was replaced mid season.


Okay, two distinct discussions going on here:

1) How do you get someone better than/equivalent to Russell without overpaying? Don't overvalue the wrong things. Yes, other GMs make stupid deals too...that doesn't excuse Chiarelli.

I'd have rather had Franson. I might have rather had Beauchemin (although I didn't watch him much last year). I would have parted with the draft picks to get a better guy in Hamonic. I'd have taken Beaulieu from Montreal for extremely little. I'd have considered Dennis Wideman on a one-year cheap deal. Or Roman Polak. I'd have inquired over the health of Zbynek Michalek, and possibly given him a one-year bonus-laden contract with games played milestones.

There is no shortage of guys who are in the same situation Russell was last year who could be picked up on show-me deals. There have been several better contracts for defencemen traded this summer.

All of those don't result in a situation where you may have to choose between Russell (who has a NMC) and Benning or Nurse in the future or where you could, in the near future, have a guy playing in the 6/7 slot making $4MM per season on an unmoveable deal.

2) I think that if you were looking at contributions to the 103-point season, Eberle's dwarf Russell's. Ringing the puck off the glass 10 times a game and blocking a bunch of shots isn't as important as scoring 51 points. I don't think you can have this two ways. Either maintaining the consistency of the lineup is important, or it's not that important. If it is important, then trading Eberle is inconsistent with that. If it's not that important, then signing Russell shouldn't have been a team priority.

I think it's of little importance. Improving the team is the key thing. If you could trade Draisaitl for a definitively better player, without costing the team more money (possibly saving money, since Draisaitl is currently tied with Stamkos for the 10th highest cap hit in the league), would you do it? Or would team consistency be the hold-up?

Trades happen. Players live with it. Losing Russell would not have impacted team chemistry in any meaningful way.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698643 is a reply to message #698638 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 15:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PlusOne  is currently offline PlusOne
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RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 12:32


To your first question. I have asked this numerous times. The response I get from you and others who have a similar opinion of Russell is this.
- A rant about how lousy Russell is happens. Some think he is 3rd pairing, some think he is barely a #6, some think he should be out of the league.
- His flaws are listed and emphasized while anything he does well is either left out or dramatically marginalized. I have even seen people try to pass off that the fundamental things he does well aren't important anymore.
- Further to focusing only on the bad and not the good. Select stats are used.




As one of the "others" in this discussion that you reference above I thought I would offer my 2 cents to this section.

I think you are being a bit hyperbolic. I dont remember many times where the anti-russell (for lack of better term) group, has said he is terrible and should be out of the league.
I for one have often said that this contract is something that I dont know how it can be explained. I think he is ok at what he does but didn't do anything to warrant this level of deal
Your point on Sekera and needing a reaction/replacement to that injury was required is a good one. The issue I have is that the 4 year deal seems to be a steep overreaction by Chia. As with most here I am a pretty massive sports fan. I cant think of a comparable signing that was made by GM for 4 years and the SINGLE defense of it is that it was needed because of that injury.

You keep saying how you are amazed at how those of us on this side of the fence cant agree with you no matter how many times you explain it but that leads me to two questions I have to clarify your position on this deal;
- assuming by the playoffs the Oilers have Sekera, Klefbom, Larsson, Russell, Fayne, Benning, Gryba and Nurse.

1. What do you predict a ranking of best to worst defenceman will be from list for playoff game one?
2. I know that pairings arent always just the 1-6 best D-men. What do you think the pairings will be come playoff game one



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698644 is a reply to message #698643 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 16:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dragon_Matt  is currently offline Dragon_Matt
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I have a question about Russell, Does anyone know how many times his 'Ringing the puck around the board' has directly resulted in shots on net, or a blocked shot?

Russell's inability to progress the puck under control is one of, if not the, biggest knocks against him according to Adam. And his shot blocking is only so high due to his ineffectiveness to clear the zone, or give possession away so that you face the opposition again on their shooting attempt.

Anyone ever looked into that stat?



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698646 is a reply to message #698644 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 16:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Dragon_Matt wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 16:05

I have a question about Russell, Does anyone know how many times his 'Ringing the puck around the board' has directly resulted in shots on net, or a blocked shot?

Russell's inability to progress the puck under control is one of, if not the, biggest knocks against him according to Adam. And his shot blocking is only so high due to his ineffectiveness to clear the zone, or give possession away so that you face the opposition again on their shooting attempt.

Anyone ever looked into that stat?


I think Russell actually is a great shot blocker. Blocking shots is not just an automatic thing that happens because you're in your zone, at least, you're not gonna rack them up like Russell does just because of that. Watch him in his zone, he is extremely good at reading plays, covering players and getting in front of shots. He's very skilled at playing in his own zone. Just not great at the other 2 zones or moving that puck out of his own zone :)

I do personally think there is a place for Russell's talents on a team. Maybe not a 4x4M AAV place, but hockey is always going to be a very situational game. When you're up, you can't help but fade a bit offensively, and you can't stop the other team from getting a boost and the will to pressure harder to get back in the game. As much as coaches wish they could make their players play the same in any situation, the same kind of thing always ends up happening, especially late in games defending a lead. If you are up a goal with 30 seconds left and the puck is in your zone and the other team has possession, and you could freeze time and put any guy you want on the ice, I think Russell would be a guy you would want to drop in there.

I think he did display this value to us through last season. Perhaps you could argue maybe some games he helped the team win could have been less close at the end if you had a more offensive D to help rack up the score. That may not align with McLellan's philosophy though. He seems to like the more defensive posture when his team is up, he probably really likes having Russell for that purpose. We may disagree with the tactic, but since we have no say, I guess we can be a bit happy that McLellan has the tools in the toolbox to make his system work.

The further argument of course is that, even though Russell is extremely useful in specific situations, is that really worth having him being poor at moving the puck in the other 80% of game situations? Probably not, but Russell has still been able to make up for the poor Corsi % by somehow keeping the goals against low when he's out there still. Could just be luck. We're gonna have a few years now to find out if it is or not :)

[Updated on: Tue, 29 August 2017 16:49]


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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698645 is a reply to message #698643 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 16:35 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
RDOilerfan is currently online RDOilerfan
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PlusOne wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 15:27

RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 12:32


To your first question. I have asked this numerous times. The response I get from you and others who have a similar opinion of Russell is this.
- A rant about how lousy Russell is happens. Some think he is 3rd pairing, some think he is barely a #6, some think he should be out of the league.
- His flaws are listed and emphasized while anything he does well is either left out or dramatically marginalized. I have even seen people try to pass off that the fundamental things he does well aren't important anymore.
- Further to focusing only on the bad and not the good. Select stats are used.




As one of the "others" in this discussion that you reference above I thought I would offer my 2 cents to this section.

I think you are being a bit hyperbolic. I dont remember many times where the anti-russell (for lack of better term) group, has said he is terrible and should be out of the league.
I for one have often said that this contract is something that I dont know how it can be explained. I think he is ok at what he does but didn't do anything to warrant this level of deal
Your point on Sekera and needing a reaction/replacement to that injury was required is a good one. The issue I have is that the 4 year deal seems to be a steep overreaction by Chia. As with most here I am a pretty massive sports fan. I cant think of a comparable signing that was made by GM for 4 years and the SINGLE defense of it is that it was needed because of that injury.

You keep saying how you are amazed at how those of us on this side of the fence cant agree with you no matter how many times you explain it but that leads me to two questions I have to clarify your position on this deal;
- assuming by the playoffs the Oilers have Sekera, Klefbom, Larsson, Russell, Fayne, Benning, Gryba and Nurse.

1. What do you predict a ranking of best to worst defenceman will be from list for playoff game one?
2. I know that pairings arent always just the 1-6 best D-men. What do you think the pairings will be come playoff game one


Please tell me you aren't expecting me to comb through post after post in various threads and individually point out where someone says Russell is lousy or a 3rd pairing guy, etc. Maybe you individually didn't call him terrible fine but I never singled out anyone. But in saying that, there are a ton of people in here who have posted many, many times on how lousy Russell is. So my statement isn't wrong.

As I said in my statements. I think the Russell contract is too long personally. But as I said, I do not see any other alternative. I listed off multiple guys who are in the Russell range who got term and money similar to Russell. Agents all talk. So the Russell camp would know the range the others were getting. So you weren't getting Russell or anyone else for 1 yr or 2 at the most. As I said, if you walked away from Russell and went after someone else, you aren't getting them for less money or team than what they got from other teams. All you would be getting is a different name on a jersey and that doesn't do anything. So the only other alternative is to get no one.

Too your questions.
#1 I have never once disputed that in some metrics, Russell ranks low. I used to follow Matt Henderson who hates Russell so trust me, I know Russell ranks low in some metric. In some other metrics, he ranks better. I am sure in some metrics this season, Russell will be ranked low but in other metrics he will be higher up. He is not a perfect dman. I know that, I know there are flaws in his game. I am not disputing that.
If you want me to rank them based on no information today. Fine. Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera, Russell, Nurse, Benning, Gryba, Fayne. I fully expect Nurse or Benning to be better in some categories than Russell and weaker in others. I gave the edge to Nurse over Benning because he has a little more experience. Nurse and Benning are young dmen. Nurse 115 games, Benning 62. Playing defense in the NHL is really hard so experience counts. I hope for the Oilers sake as a team that down the road, Nurse and Benning are capable of being the Oilers second pairing taking over form Sekera and Russell. I expect both of them at times this season too look like they are ready to take over the second pairing but will also look like they aren't close. That's the ups and downs of young dmen. So I think Russell's ability to play both sides is a huge plus because I see both Nurse and Benning being in the second pair until Sekera comes back. My hope is that at some time, not this season but next season, at least one of Benning or NUrse has established himself as a nday to day second pairing guy. When that time comes, Russell will be ending his second year of his contract when the modified No move kicks in and you will maybe need to move him.

2. Playoff pairings. Klefbom-Larsson, Sekera Russell, NUrse Benning.



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 Re: Comparing Chiarelli's team without McDavid [message #698647 is a reply to message #698645 ]
Tue, 29 August 2017 16:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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RDOilerfan wrote on Tue, 29 August 2017 16:35


Please tell me you aren't expecting me to comb through post after post in various threads and individually point out where someone says Russell is lousy or a 3rd pairing guy, etc. Maybe you individually didn't call him terrible fine but I never singled out anyone. But in saying that, there are a ton of people in here who have posted many, many times on how lousy Russell is. So my statement isn't wrong.

As I said in my statements. I think the Russell contract is too long personally. But as I said, I do not see any other alternative. I listed off multiple guys who are in the Russell range who got term and money similar to Russell. Agents all talk. So the Russell camp would know the range the others were getting. So you weren't getting Russell or anyone else for 1 yr or 2 at the most. As I said, if you walked away from Russell and went after someone else, you aren't getting them for less money or team than what they got from other teams. All you would be getting is a different name on a jersey and that doesn't do anything. So the only other alternative is to get no one.

Too your questions.
#1 I have never once disputed that in some metrics, Russell ranks low. I used to follow Matt Henderson who hates Russell so trust me, I know Russell ranks low in some metric. In some other metrics, he ranks better. I am sure in some metrics this season, Russell will be ranked low but in other metrics he will be higher up. He is not a perfect dman. I know that, I know there are flaws in his game. I am not disputing that.
If you want me to rank them based on no information today. Fine. Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera, Russell, Nurse, Benning, Gryba, Fayne. I fully expect Nurse or Benning to be better in some categories than Russell and weaker in others. I gave the edge to Nurse over Benning because he has a little more experience. Nurse and Benning are young dmen. Nurse 115 games, Benning 62. Playing defense in the NHL is really hard so experience counts. I hope for the Oilers sake as a team that down the road, Nurse and Benning are capable of being the Oilers second pairing taking over form Sekera and Russell. I expect both of them at times this season too look like they are ready to take over the second pairing but will also look like they aren't close. That's the ups and downs of young dmen. So I think Russell's ability to play both sides is a huge plus because I see both Nurse and Benning being in the second pair until Sekera comes back. My hope is that at some time, not this season but next season, at least one of Benning or NUrse has established himself as a nday to day second pairing guy. When that time comes, Russell will be ending his second year of his contract when the modified No move kicks in and you will maybe need to move him.

2. Playoff pairings. Klefbom-Larsson, Sekera Russell, NUrse Benning.


I don't think you read PlusOne's point very carefully there. He didn't say no one has said Russell is a third pairing guy, or that he's not good. He said that he doesn't remember anyone saying that he doesn't belong in the league at all.

1) I think ability counts more than experience. I predict that one or both of Nurse and Benning are better than Russell consistently this year.

2) What do you think the Oilers depth chart (ie. what are the pairings) looks like for the four years of Russell's deal.



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