Starting The Clock: Jordan Eberle

Jonathan Willis
July 28 2009 04:18PM

The salary cap era has been interesting, to say the least. One of the common themes of it has been that it pays off far more to develop younger players because they generally make less money due to a more restrictive contract.

That’s true, but many people take it to mean that young players should get more of a shot as a result. In point of fact, the opposite is true – at least for junior-aged players.

It’s because of the basic career curve. Will a player be better from the age of 18-20 or from 19-21 or from 20-22? In virtually every case, the player aged 20-22 will outperform the player aged 18-20.

Take Nathan Horton of Florida as an example. He was drafted in 2003, and spent the 2003-04 season in the NHL (55GP – 14G – 8A – 22PTS). Because of that, when the lockout came in 2004-05, he spent the year in the AHL (21GP – 5G – 4A – 9PTS). In the final year of his entry-level contract, Horton broke out offensively (71GP – 28G – 19A – 47PTS). That ended his three year entry-level deal, and burned three of his RFA years too, taking him closer to unrestricted free agency.

Now, let’s say that he had not been added to the NHL roster until 2005-06, when he was really adding some offense and competing in a top-six NHL role. His three seasons on his entry level deal would have looked like this:

  • 2005-06: 71GP – 28G – 19A – 47PTS
  • 2006-07: 82GP – 31G – 31G – 62PTS
  • 2007-08: 82GP – 27G – 35A – 62PTS

That’s a lot more bang for buck. The Panthers pay the same amount of money regardless, but in the first case they paid it for a player who only contributed top-six minutes for one year of three. In the second case, they pay it for a player who could be counted on for 27-31 goals every season. Additionally, it would have kept Horton a Panther longer – adding two more years of restricted free agency before he could test the open market. Meanwhile, if the Panthers really needed a 22-point scorer in 2003-04, they could have signed one cheaply via free agency; Horton simply wasn’t good enough to provide something the Panthers could have gotten for the same (or given that high-end rookies make considerably more than league minimum, less) money.

This is just an example, but it’s one case of many.

An argument against the policy that seems so sensible from a financial perspective is the development angle. Granted, I haven’t done a full-scale study, but from what I’ve seen and read it seems just as likely that a prospect will have his development derailed by injury in the NHL as he is by slow progress in junior. Horton had both his 18- and 19-year old seasons cut short by shoulder surgery; that may have happened in junior but it would have been much less likely. With a little more weight and physical maturity (which he would have had if he’d come into the NHL at 20) the injury trouble might have been avoided entirely. In the worst-case scenario, a player like Gilbert Brule can see his career completely derailed.

Sam Gagner is another example. He was lucky enough to avoid serious injury – a concussion suffered on a Nicklas Grossman hit during his rookie year turned out to be minor. He’s been more prolific offensively than Horton too, scoring 49 and 41 points.

That said, he was overmatched as a rookie. Those 49 points came along with a -21 rating; a rating that improved to -1 just a year later. He becomes a restricted free agent next year, at age 21. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the age of 25.

The Oilers will probably keep him. They got lucky on the injury front, and they’ll find the money from somewhere. But would the team have been better off to delay his entry into the NHL until he was 19? Probably. His 49 points looks impressive, but that -21 rating was both deserved and wasn’t helping the team win any games.

The point here is not to make this mistake again. The organization is making noises that Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson won’t even get a look until 2010-11. That’s a good thing, but it doesn’t get them out of the woods. Jordan Eberle is getting some attention as a roster option next season, and I think that would probably be a mistake. His 74 points isn’t exactly lighting the league on fire; players drafted this past year (Kane and Schenn to name two) posted better numbers than that. He isn’t big, and he probably isn’t going to be a good defensive player right away; he went -5 in just 9 AHL games this past spring.

If he’s ready to contribute – and I mean really contribute, contribute enough offense while not looking totally clueless in his own end – than by all means play him. But don’t bring him up if he’s going to chip in 30 points and be a liability in his own end – like Ales Hemsky was when he was rushed into the league at 19.

It’s stupid to start the clock on these kids ticking before they can actually help the team win games.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 11:17AM
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@ West Coast Oil:

Pouliot's fine, but he's been playing wing. Schremp's been a winger for all of last season and most of 2007-08 IIRC.

Adding minor-league centres to the tally is silly anyway; how much time did MacTavish spend coaching the prospects? A bit in TC, sure, but all of the in-year work would be done by Buchberger/Truitt/Daum over the past few years.

Really, MacT hasn't had a bad faceoff man outside of the Gagner/Cogliano duo. I think you're overstating the Oates effect and underrating MacT's coaching in that dept.

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#102 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:19AM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: So that is 1 pretty good centre since. My point is Oates came into the organization and helped Horcoff and Stoll become two elite face off men in the league. If you consider (just of the top of my head) we have Gagner, Cogs, Pouliot, Brodziak and Schremp and only 1 can be counted on for pressure face offs. I wont put Brule on here because he wasn’t a prospect from the start and I even wondered about putting Schremp on here but then realized if he was a half decent face off man he may have seen some more time. My entire point was that MacT in my eyes was not the best development coach but had good people around him to teach the skills in the areas the Oilers used to excel in. i.e. Huddy and Oates I would love for the Oilers to bring in an Adam Oates as a face off consultant to help the kids improve…

Pretty weak man. Your basic point is centerd around Cogs/Gagner being weak on the dot (MAP is fine). That's little to no proof of MacT's development ability. I'd also note that Horc/Stoll were also alot older/probably alot stronger then Gagner/Cogs when they first broke in.

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#103 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:20AM
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Prospal on our top line? Jesus u must be joking!!11

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#104 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 11:21AM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

I also question why we were unable to develop a face off winning center after Oates left. If you do not hold the coach liable who do you? The Oilers are so deep in center prospects how can they all be so bad at winning face offs?

The only young faceoff man breaking in with Oates was Jarret Stoll. That's it.

Since then, MacT has had four rookie centres: Brodziak, Pouliot (mostly a winger), Cogliano and Gagner. Brule for a few games.

I don't think you can say anything conclusive about MacT's faceoff coaching ability from that sample.

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#105 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:22AM
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No Pouliot is not fine, not by a long shot. He contribute not a thing to our team. How he is in the NHL and Brule had to play in Springfield is a joke.Pouliot is a player without an identity doesn't hit, doesn't score, and most importantly doesn't deserve to play

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#106 Darcy
July 29 2009, 11:24AM
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Pierre is gay

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#107 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:25AM
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Josh wrote:

No Pouliot is not fine, not by a long shot. He contribute not a thing to our team. How he is in the NHL and Brule had to play in Springfield is a joke.Pouliot is a player without an identity doesn’t hit, doesn’t score, and most importantly doesn’t deserve to play

He's fine taking FO

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#108 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:25AM
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Josh wrote:

No Pouliot is not fine, not by a long shot. He contribute not a thing to our team. How he is in the NHL and Brule had to play in Springfield is a joke.Pouliot is a player without an identity doesn’t hit, doesn’t score, and most importantly doesn’t deserve to play

Also, he's very similar to Pisani.

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#109 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:30AM
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@ Ogden Brother: Fernando is a solid third line player don't even put Pouliot in the same class as him, I would wager anything that Pouliot will not make the team this year!!!!!!!!1

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#110 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:31AM
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Josh wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Fernando is a solid third line player don’t even put Pouliot in the same class as him, I would wager anything that Pouliot will not make the team this year!!!!!!!!1

The do the exact same thing though. Don't hit, score at a third line pace and play quiet but competent defense.

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#111 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:34AM
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I actually pray he doesn't make the team, Brule is a way better hockey player with a tremendous offensive upside if he can develop that part of his game. The only reason Pouliot is even in the NHL is because he was fortunate enough to play with Crosby in junior, which fooled the shit out of our tremendous scouting staff, who opted to draft him over oh i don't Mike Richards. Give me a brake Pouliot is a bum end of story

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#112 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:36AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Josh wrote: @ Ogden Brother: Fernando is a solid third line player don’t even put Pouliot in the same class as him, I would wager anything that Pouliot will not make the team this year!!!!!!!!1 The do the exact same thing though. Don’t hit, score at a third line pace and play quiet but competent defense.

Did you watch any Oiler games at all last year. R U seriously suggesting that Pouliot is as valuable as Fernando

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#113 Darcy
July 29 2009, 11:36AM
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I don't know how Pouliot even has a job in the national hockey league, soft soft player,

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#114 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:39AM
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Pouliot in 63 games put up 8 goals 12 assists, Fernando in 38 games had 7 goals and 8 assists, give ur head a shake man Pouliot is a waste of roster space. I would rather have Liam than Marc!!!!!!!!!!

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#115 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:40AM
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Josh wrote:

I actually pray he doesn’t make the team, Brule is a way better hockey player with a tremendous offensive upside if he can develop that part of his game. The only reason Pouliot is even in the NHL is because he was fortunate enough to play with Crosby in junior, which fooled the shit out of our tremendous scouting staff, who opted to draft him over oh i don’t Mike Richards. Give me a brake Pouliot is a bum end of story

MAP was drafted before playing with Crosby.

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#116 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:40AM
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Josh wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Josh wrote: @ Ogden Brother: Fernando is a solid third line player don’t even put Pouliot in the same class as him, I would wager anything that Pouliot will not make the team this year!!!!!!!!1 The do the exact same thing though. Don’t hit, score at a third line pace and play quiet but competent defense. Did you watch any Oiler games at all last year. R U seriously suggesting that Pouliot is as valuable as Fernando

No, I'm suggesting he's a younger version of him and in 5 years will likely be as valuable.

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#117 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:40AM
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@ Darcy: Thank god someone else in here who realizes the type of player he is right on man

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#118 Josh
July 29 2009, 11:42AM
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@ Ogden Brother: U would want to hold on to him and develop him for 5 years in the hope he can turn into a Fernando type player, good god.

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#119 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:44AM
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Josh wrote:

Pouliot in 63 games put up 8 goals 12 assists, Fernando in 38 games had 7 goals and 8 assists, give ur head a shake man Pouliot is a waste of roster space. I would rather have Liam than Marc!!!!!!!!!!

And those are 3rd line numbers

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#120 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:44AM
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Josh wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: U would want to hold on to him and develop him for 5 years in the hope he can turn into a Fernando type player, good god.

I'm indifferent if they hold onto him, he's a "meh" player. But that doesn't change the fact that he plays a similar game to Pie.

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#121 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:47AM
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Also, for some reason a previous comment is in purgatory:

MAP was drafted before he played with Crosby.

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#122 West Coast Oil
July 29 2009, 11:47AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

West Coast Oil wrote: @ Jonathan Willis: So that is 1 pretty good centre since. My point is Oates came into the organization and helped Horcoff and Stoll become two elite face off men in the league. If you consider (just of the top of my head) we have Gagner, Cogs, Pouliot, Brodziak and Schremp and only 1 can be counted on for pressure face offs. I wont put Brule on here because he wasn’t a prospect from the start and I even wondered about putting Schremp on here but then realized if he was a half decent face off man he may have seen some more time. My entire point was that MacT in my eyes was not the best development coach but had good people around him to teach the skills in the areas the Oilers used to excel in. i.e. Huddy and Oates I would love for the Oilers to bring in an Adam Oates as a face off consultant to help the kids improve… Pretty weak man. Your basic point is centerd around Cogs/Gagner being weak on the dot (MAP is fine). That’s little to no proof of MacT’s development ability. I’d also note that Horc/Stoll were also alot older/probably alot stronger then Gagner/Cogs when they first broke in.

Strength is a big factor but If Im not mistaken the technique and timing is more important hence why smaller centres like Datsyuk can beat bigger men like Thornton. I remember hearing that from one of the top face off men but unfortunately I can't remember who.

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#123 Shifty203
July 29 2009, 11:48AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I know its a bit of a stretch, but I was wondering if you could pull Schremps faceoff numbers from when he did play center. I am curious as to how they compare to Brule's. I believe they pulled him off of center because he wasn't comfortable defensively in the center position and the felt winger was easier to play in your own zone, or something along those lines.

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#124 West Coast Oil
July 29 2009, 11:49AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Josh wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: Josh wrote: @ Ogden Brother: Fernando is a solid third line player don’t even put Pouliot in the same class as him, I would wager anything that Pouliot will not make the team this year!!!!!!!!1 The do the exact same thing though. Don’t hit, score at a third line pace and play quiet but competent defense. Did you watch any Oiler games at all last year. R U seriously suggesting that Pouliot is as valuable as Fernando No, I’m suggesting he’s a younger version of him and in 5 years will likely be as valuable.

Wasnt the main problem with Pouliot that he didn't want to be a defensively sound 3rd line type player? Thats why MacT had issues with him?

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#125 West Coast Oil
July 29 2009, 11:52AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

West Coast Oil wrote: I also question why we were unable to develop a face off winning center after Oates left. If you do not hold the coach liable who do you? The Oilers are so deep in center prospects how can they all be so bad at winning face offs? The only young faceoff man breaking in with Oates was Jarret Stoll. That’s it. Since then, MacT has had four rookie centres: Brodziak, Pouliot (mostly a winger), Cogliano and Gagner. Brule for a few games. I don’t think you can say anything conclusive about MacT’s faceoff coaching ability from that sample.

Not sure how this became a face off conversation, when my original point was that MacT was unable to develop skilled players. Great at 3rd line defensive style forwards, Huddy was awesome with defencemen but their track records with skilled forwards leaves much to be desired.

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#126 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:53AM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Josh wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: Josh wrote: @ Ogden Brother: Fernando is a solid third line player don’t even put Pouliot in the same class as him, I would wager anything that Pouliot will not make the team this year!!!!!!!!1 The do the exact same thing though. Don’t hit, score at a third line pace and play quiet but competent defense. Did you watch any Oiler games at all last year. R U seriously suggesting that Pouliot is as valuable as Fernando No, I’m suggesting he’s a younger version of him and in 5 years will likely be as valuable. Wasnt the main problem with Pouliot that he didn’t want to be a defensively sound 3rd line type player? Thats why MacT had issues with him?

Never heard that

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#127 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 11:54AM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: West Coast Oil wrote: I also question why we were unable to develop a face off winning center after Oates left. If you do not hold the coach liable who do you? The Oilers are so deep in center prospects how can they all be so bad at winning face offs? The only young faceoff man breaking in with Oates was Jarret Stoll. That’s it. Since then, MacT has had four rookie centres: Brodziak, Pouliot (mostly a winger), Cogliano and Gagner. Brule for a few games. I don’t think you can say anything conclusive about MacT’s faceoff coaching ability from that sample. Not sure how this became a face off conversation, when my original point was that MacT was unable to develop skilled players. Great at 3rd line defensive style forwards, Huddy was awesome with defencemen but their track records with skilled forwards leaves much to be desired.

I think the counter was that he was never given skill to work with.

ie no top 5 DP/one top 10 right before he was fired. Never given a guy that scored 30+ multiple times elsewhere.

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#128 MattL
July 29 2009, 12:05PM
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Pouliot is like Patrick Sharp minus two-thirds the talent.

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#129 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 12:12PM
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Josh wrote:

No Pouliot is not fine, not by a long shot. He contribute not a thing to our team. How he is in the NHL and Brule had to play in Springfield is a joke.Pouliot is a player without an identity doesn’t hit, doesn’t score, and most importantly doesn’t deserve to play

For starters, I was talking about faceoffs.

Secondly, you're way off base here.

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#130 Wyseguy
July 29 2009, 12:14PM
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MattL wrote:

Pouliot is like Patrick Sharp minus two-thirds the talent.

only similarity I see is they both have a "P" in their name

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#131 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 12:14PM
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Shifty203 wrote:

I know its a bit of a stretch, but I was wondering if you could pull Schremps faceoff numbers from when he did play center. I am curious as to how they compare to Brule’s. I believe they pulled him off of center because he wasn’t comfortable defensively in the center position and the felt winger was easier to play in your own zone, or something along those lines.

The centre has to skate more than the winger and is also generally the high man in the offensive zone. Neither of those play to Schremp's strengths.

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#132 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 12:17PM
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Quick, somebody tell me:

What makes Kyle Brodziak better than Marc Pouliot?

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#133 West Coast Oil
July 29 2009, 12:23PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Quick, somebody tell me: What makes Kyle Brodziak better than Marc Pouliot?

~Brodziak is gone and Pouliot isnt!!~

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#134 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 12:24PM
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While we're at it:

Pouliot's a better shooter than Schremp, a better passer than Brule, and better defensively than either of them. He's like Liam Reddox with size and a high-end passing game.

I realize he ain't Parise, folks, but that's no reason to pretend he's not anything at all.

As for being a soft player, I'm just going to assume most of you folks saying that sort of thing haven't followed his career because that's crap. He's not a big hitter, but soft he ain't.

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#135 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 12:26PM
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@ West Coast Oil:

So you're saying that Oilers management thinks Pouliot is better than Brodziak?

Personally, that means little to me, but all of you "if Biron was so good he would have got more offers" people ought to be putting faith in that, especially since all Brodziak brought in was essentially a late-round draft pick.

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#136 Bob Cob
July 29 2009, 12:27PM
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Couple things I've noticed, someone mentioned Hemsky in the same sentence as Moreau and Staios, in that that core is not usefull to the team. Hemsky's is 26, his best years, mark my words, are easily ahead of him, some people just dont think before they type, also known as the "Avery Syndrome".

Secondly, how can people think Pouliot is on equal importance to the team as Pisani. Pisani has a better shot, a better scoring sense, better defensively and is a better all around player. All Pouliot has going for him is that he played with Sidney Crosby in junior.

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#137 Shifty203
July 29 2009, 12:31PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Jonathan Willis wrote:

Shifty203 wrote: I know its a bit of a stretch, but I was wondering if you could pull Schremps faceoff numbers from when he did play center. I am curious as to how they compare to Brule’s. I believe they pulled him off of center because he wasn’t comfortable defensively in the center position and the felt winger was easier to play in your own zone, or something along those lines. The centre has to skate more than the winger and is also generally the high man in the offensive zone. Neither of those play to Schremp’s strengths.

I understand the difference between the two defensivly, but I was curious as to what his actual faceoff percentages are. From what I remember, they said teaching faceoffs is quiet difficult, and usually a natural skill. It doesn't look like they are bringing in anyone new at the moment, so I was wondering what we already had in the system. I guess at the end of the day it doesn't really matter, becuase if Schremp isn't willing to skate like they expect him to, then he will never make the team regardless of what one or two things he is good at.

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#138 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 12:35PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

Secondly, how can people think Pouliot is on equal importance to the team as Pisani. Pisani has a better shot, a better scoring sense, better defensively and is a better all around player. All Pouliot has going for him is that he played with Sidney Crosby in junior.

Two points:

1) Nobody said Pouliot was equal to Pisani. Just that they compare well stylisticly, which is true. 2) The scouts raved about Pouliot (and drafted him) well before he played with Crosby. He was the best player on a misrable team, a two-way leader who scouts worried might have trouble with discipline because of his on-ice passion.

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#139 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 12:36PM
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@ Shifty203:

Schremp's (meagre) NHL faceoff numbers are available at NHL.com, but I don't know that his AHL numbers are available anywhere.

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#140 DanMan
July 29 2009, 12:39PM
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Shifty203 wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: I know its a bit of a stretch, but I was wondering if you could pull Schremps faceoff numbers from when he did play center. I am curious as to how they compare to Brule’s. I believe they pulled him off of center because he wasn’t comfortable defensively in the center position and the felt winger was easier to play in your own zone, or something along those lines.

Schremp was 1-0 for 100% at defensive zone faceoffs last year.

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#141 ronaldo
July 29 2009, 12:43PM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

~Brodziak is gone and Pouliot isnt!!~

@ Jonathan Willis: I think WCO is saying Broziak is better because we no longer have him and we'd be be better off without both. Read it with a rimshot going off in your head afterwords.

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#142 West Coast Oil
July 29 2009, 12:43PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ West Coast Oil: So you’re saying that Oilers management thinks Pouliot is better than Brodziak? Personally, that means little to me, but all of you “if Biron was so good he would have got more offers” people ought to be putting faith in that, especially since all Brodziak brought in was essentially a late-round draft pick.

um I was being ~sarcastic~ I liked Brodziak actually and would have rather seen some others go first..

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#143 West Coast Oil
July 29 2009, 12:49PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I think the counter was that he was never given skill to work with. ie no top 5 DP/one top 10 right before he was fired. Never given a guy that scored 30+ multiple times elsewhere

My point was he cant develop any scoring wingers and who wants 30+ I would be happy with 20 plus! If he had 30+ goal scorers handed to him it wouldn't be developing. Stating that though if you look at Penner's numbers before coming here he was a 30 goal scorer and he was handed to MacT and we know how that turned out. If you want to bring non prospects in Cole, Sykora and Lupul are all players who stagnated or back stepped in Edmonton. Our top 6 has changed how many times over the year and we never keep the players because they cant succeed. Is this all the players or is it the coach?

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#144 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 01:04PM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: I think the counter was that he was never given skill to work with. ie no top 5 DP/one top 10 right before he was fired. Never given a guy that scored 30+ multiple times elsewhere My point was he cant develop any scoring wingers and who wants 30+ I would be happy with 20 plus! If he had 30+ goal scorers handed to him it wouldn’t be developing. Stating that though if you look at Penner’s numbers before coming here he was a 30 goal scorer and he was handed to MacT and we know how that turned out. If you want to bring non prospects in Cole, Sykora and Lupul are all players who stagnated or back stepped in Edmonton. Our top 6 has changed how many times over the year and we never keep the players because they cant succeed. Is this all the players or is it the coach?

And my point is you can't develop what isn't their. The (vast) majority of high end scores are taken top 10, with a high concentration in the top 5.

Penner had his highest point total here.

Syokora put up roughly career avg numbers here.

Lupul... I'll put a some of the blame for his season on MacT, but he certainly never helped himself

Look at Coles numbers in the PO, it should be starting to come clear that he just doesn't "have it" anymore, I'd be willing to bet that is crystal clear after this coming season.

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#145 Fiveandagame
July 29 2009, 01:09PM
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@ West Coast Oil:

I'm with you WCO, I think MacT had a problem coaching skill. He even said last year that this was probably "the most skilled hockey team" he's coached. And we all know how last year turned out.

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#146 DanMan
July 29 2009, 01:17PM
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@ Fiveandagame:

I think it takes a more "hands-off" approach to coach skill. If you always give skilled players assingments, matchups, and micromanage them to no end, they will never reach their offensive potential. Hockey players, like all of us, can only think about so much while playing a game at a high speed. Some offensive players have that 6th-sense to fly out of the defensive zone before we even have posession of the puck. It's called anticipation, and MacT rarely allowed that kind of freedom on the ice (occasionally with Hemsky, but it didn't look like he trusted anyone else like that)

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#147 Fiveandagame
July 29 2009, 01:28PM
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@ DanMan:

I second that whole heartedly.

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#148 Ogden Brother
July 29 2009, 01:31PM
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Players who had their best offensive season under MacT

Torres Grebs Nilsson GlenX Moreau York had his 2 highest PPG seasons here Marchant Comrie Penner Niinima Grier Rem Murray Brewer Reasoner Staios J Smith R Smyth Weight

All had their best offensive seasons here under MacT and have played at least a couple seasons elsewhere for comparisions sake.

Dvorak 2nd highest point total in a 14 year career here Stoll had far better years here then he did in LA

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#149 Jonathan Willis
July 29 2009, 01:33PM
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@ DanMan:

Does Jacques Lemaire (a skill guy back in the day) know how to coach skill?

And if the answer is yes, how does that jive with your theory?

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#150 Bob Cob
July 29 2009, 01:35PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

2) The scouts raved about Pouliot (and drafted him) well before he played with Crosby. He was the best player on a misrable team, a two-way leader who scouts worried might have trouble with discipline because of his on-ice passion.

I guess that is just another example of how much of a shot in the dark it is to try and get a good read on prospects before the fully develop. At the same time it makes you respect even more what the Red Wings have been able to do through their scouting staff.

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