Paajarvi Should Have Been Held Back A Year

Jonathan Willis
January 27 2011 09:47AM

This fall, some argued that the Oilers were making a mistake inserting all three of their blue-chip forward prospects into the line-up at the same time. The player I suggested should have been given another year of seasoning at a lower professional level was Magnus Paajarvi, and given what we’ve seen so far this season I think that would have been the correct decision.

It’s not that Paajarvi’s been a bad player. He hasn’t, particularly given his age and role on the roster. With Hall (and Eberle, prior to injury) playing so well, it sometimes seems Paajarvi doesn’t get his due. He’s still a player I think we can regard as a difference maker somewhere down the road.

The problem is that the Oilers are burning a year of Paajarvi’s entry-level contract while he isn’t a difference maker to give him limited NHL minutes, when they could be saving that year for when he’s a better player and giving him virtually unlimited minutes in the SEL or AHL. From a cap management and development perspective, that strikes me as flawed thinking.

This is particularly true when there are plenty of other options available. Let’s compare Paajarvi’s performance to that of two other forwards, one currently on the Oilers’ roster and one who the team bought out last year. For ease of comparison, we’ll adjust games played to Paajarvi’s 47.

Player GP G A PTS
Paajarvi, 2010-11 47 6 13 19
Omark, 2010-11 47 7 14 21
Nilsson, 2009-10 47 9 13 22

Given that this was always going to be a burned season anyway, the difference in performance between Paajarvi and a player like Robert Nilsson or Linus Omark is a trivial thing, but the fact is the Oilers could have got comparable play from either option.

In either case, there would have been tangible benefits:

  • Paajarvi could play a much larger role on a lower-level professional team
  • Paajarvi’s ELC would slide forward another year, keeping him at a lower pay threshold for one additional season and delaying his UFA eligibility by an additional season
  • (If Omark) The Oilers would have had a better opportunity to evaluate Omark at the NHL level over an entire seaso
  • (If Nilsson) The Oilers would have saved the money used in his buyout, as well as avoided the six-figure cap penalty for 2011-12

It’s not the end of the world that the Oilers chose to bring Paajarvi into the NHL this year, and I don’t doubt it will be valuable experience for him. It just doesn’t strike me as the best option.

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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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#1 David S
January 27 2011, 10:05AM
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Oh god. Here we go again.

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#2 jeanshorts
January 27 2011, 06:16PM
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The only problem I have with this argument is the "it would keep an extra year on his ELC" part. I understand that it's a good idea to plan for the future, and in the salary cap era staying one or two steps ahead of the game is obviously ideal.

But, to me it feels like a moot point. For one no one has any idea what the new CBA is going to look like. Who knows, maybe in 3 years time the cap will be $75 million. It's highly unlikely but you never know. And whenever this argument is brought up I just feel like everyone is looking at it from a stance that all the young players are going to be making/demanding 8+ million dollar salaries and that the Oilers will have absolutely no cap room, they're going to have to jettison all the good players and we'll be stuck with a team full of Jacques and Strudwicks, etc, etc. None of us have any idea what the Oilers cap situation is going to look like, how these players are going to develop in terms of how much money they're going to warrant when the time comes, what the roster is going to look like, how competitive the Oilers will be, and so on.

I just think that "we should keep this guy in the minors so 3 years from now we'll have an extra 3 million in potential cap space to work with" isn't nearly as sound as "let's see if this kid can keep pace on the big team, and if he does then we'll keep him up". Even though this year was always going to be a wash, you might as well start building chemistry with the young guys and getting them used to the NHL game as soon as possible.

Not playing someone because you could potentially run into cap space problems 3 years down the road is akin to needing a new computer to get more work done, but holding off because a better one is going to come out in 5 years. That's the way I feel anyway.

But I agree with JW on pretty much everything else. I thought PRV could have used at least a few games in OKC by the first week of December.

/endrant

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#3 Let's Rebuild
January 27 2011, 10:59AM
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I just drank a gallon Kool-Aid so I am prepared to make this statement:

The only problem the Oilers will have with the rookies when their contracts come up for renewal would be to convice them they are taking too much of discount to stay in Edmonton and play together. Katz will have to explain to them that he can afford to keep them all and they can make more than league minimum.

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#4 John Chambers
January 27 2011, 12:18PM
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I normally enjoy your posts, Willis, but I have to say that this one lacks in terms of journalistic integrity.

What is the point that you're trying to make? That you think you're right based on an article you wrote back in October? That you're absolutely certain Paajarvi would've been better off developing in another league? That juxtaposing him against two other rookie Swedes of differing ages is some sort of model of comparison?

The whole thing comes off as an "I told you so" piece, when really, it can't be said for certain that you're even right.

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#5 Crash
January 27 2011, 01:35PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Only time will tell David before we find out who's zooming who, don't you find it the least bit frustrating watching Sam overhandling the puck?

You know, for someone who bitches and complains that so many people throw players under the bus in here your pursuit of throwing Gagner under the bus is endless. Pretty much EVERY post you put in here now is a shot at Gagner....

We get it, you don't like Gagner...but it doesn't matter how many times you make up crap about Gagner, most of us aren't buying it...

Move on already, you're not convincing anyone

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#6 David S
January 27 2011, 02:32PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Only time will tell David before we find out who's zooming who, don't you find it the least bit frustrating watching Sam overhandling the puck?

I find his sweet dishes like the pass for the Omark goal the other night by far outweigh any perceptions people might have about his "overhandling the puck". In fact, I hear alot of the same thing about Hemsky.

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#7 Bucknuck
January 27 2011, 03:56PM
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jake wrote:

"Gagner is not holding those two back. He's a better player than Linus and Magnus, and has been since his first year (i.e. he was better at 18 than they are now). I will be very surprised if either of those two players ever puts up more points than Gagner (barring injury)."

Doesn't hurt when you have (have had) a very very long leash. Gagner has had many many brutal defensive lapses since 18.

No argument on that point. He has had some serious lapses, but so did many other great players early on in their career. I remember Arnott making quite a few as well as Smyth, and they got much better. Gagner is a much better player now than he was when he first came into the league, even if his offence has not blossomed the way people thought it might.

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#8 D-Man
January 27 2011, 10:07AM
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Considering how MPS has grown in the NHL, having him play in the AHL wouldn't have hurt him... But I don't think it would have helped him either... We've heard time and time again from players that come up from OKC about how they feel they need to adjust to the speed of the game.

MPS like Hall and Eberle were thrown into the 'deep end' to develop. MPS is doing fine as a rookie. We also tend to forget that he isn't getting the minutes that Hall and Eberle are receiving. MPS also hasn't seen as much of an opportunity to play with Hemsky or Penner for greater stretches of time either - so his stats are somewhat skewed. I also note that you haven't mentioned that MPS is an 'even' player in regards to plus/minus.

Time will obviously tell us whether or not having MPS play this year was the right decision, but considering the fact that his salary only makes up 2% of our entire cap, I'm not sure whether or not his first year of his ELC is burnt this year or next is even worth discussion at this point.

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#9 JohnnyEberle
January 27 2011, 10:27AM
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POS was a negative nancy, and he definately possesed no career altering insights into the game that would have helped this team moving forward. Dropping him was the best thing management did this year. If MPS didnt score a goal all year he would have been a better choice than POS.

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#10 TigerUnderGlass
January 27 2011, 10:42AM
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VMR wrote:

I dont see the cap concerns as significant. I'm sorry but you pay players what they are worth and make it fit somehow.

The only reason I think the idea could be plausible is for development purposes. Would playing against AHL talent or another year in the SEL put a bit more finish on his shot? It's possible.

That is the precise attitude that makes me worry Tambellini will blow this rebuild.

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#11 Westcoastoil
January 27 2011, 10:44AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't a player just need to play 10 NHL games to burn the first year of his entry level contract?

If so I assume Pajaarvi would have been called up like Omark was due to injury and exceeded this amount anyways.

I supose the Oilers could have ignored how well he was doing in OKC and called someone else up but I think he would have done well enough that he would be hard to overlook.

Excellent point. Given how well Omark was doing in the AHL, and MPS play so far this year, I think it's safe to say he would have been ripping through the A at a pretty good pace and on the call up list. To then leave him down when injuries hit only so you could save a year on his contract sends all the wrong kind of messages to him and the players on the big club. Let's not underestimate the value of learning in the NHL vs. learning in the AHL - coaching, exposure to better talent/opposition.

You're off the mark on this one JW

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#12 cambosmash
January 27 2011, 10:54AM
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There's no way I would have left him in the SEL. One of the big adjustments he's had to make is not the North American game, but rather the North American language and the culture.

Why not start that learning process now so in the future when/if he's ready to be an impact player on the ice, he isn't held back by his off the ice challenges?

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#13 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 27 2011, 12:19PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I was starting to question his effectiveness on an NHL sized arena a month ago as well. The last three weeks he's started to come around and feel more comfortable in his surroundings over here. If he needed that half year to adjust then it's better that he got that over with this year instead of next year. There'll still be a raw rookie or two inserted into next years lineup so just as well this adjustment period has taken place this year.

Paajarvi and Omark really seem to have some chemistry together, maybe once Jordan and Ales are back Tom can slide speed demon Taylor Hall in the middle of those two. Magnus and Linus would benifit having their center a step ahead of them rather than a step behind. Gagner hangs onto the puck too long or gets knocked off the puck easily hindering the lines progress.

What a joke. Closing in on 24 years old, Omarks 80 game pace is 12 goals and 36 points.... and that's including lighting up one of the worst goaltending performances I've ever seen.

No one is holding Omark back.

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#14 David S
January 27 2011, 12:26PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Is it really necessary to set the bar so low, they can be better, much better. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

I see what you're getting at, but Sam could say the same thing in his defense. He was cruising at a 60 point pace before he inherited Omark and PRV.

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 27 2011, 02:08PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I know it hurts OB1, its always difficult when you have your 4th year NHL'er who can't keep pace with these first year kids. Maybe Gagner was just born 20 yrs too late. He would've just rocked the league in the dipsy doodle slower era i bet. Give me a north/south guy centering that line and you can keep your east/west kid.

What hurts is reading drivel everytime I click on the comments and see your name.

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#16 godot10
January 27 2011, 02:25PM
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Paajarvi's plus-minus is basically 0, having played most of the year with bottom six forwards on the OIlers roster. Any time that he has played with Gagner, he has looked fine offensively.

If a rookie is NOT hurting the team (or himself) defensively, he IS at the proper and optimum level for personal development.

He would only learn bad habits in the AHL playing against lesser competition.

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#17 Oilcruzer
January 27 2011, 02:37PM
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Willis, it's good to create discussion, but if you really believe what you have written, then I am shocked.

The Oil had to play youth. The season ticket base demanded that, let alone the fans.

The mgmt isn't Kreskin. They can't predict who will perform. That didn't matter anyway, as the kids have all met or exceeded expectations as a group.

This is a last place team, and the fans are HAPPY! Try that anywhere other than Green Bay or Saskatchewan.

Lastly, if you hold back Magnus PI, it would only make sense if he was in the AHL, so he learns the hitting and culture. What then? How do you make a call up and leave him there? No one would accept that.

Good thread for discussion tho.

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#18 Bucknuck
January 27 2011, 03:00PM
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I personally like the idea of them gelling as a team all at the same time and all being rookies at the same time. I don't think Paajarvi will be all that expensive when his contract is up, since I don't see him as a first line player. He looked better than some others that also stayed up, and I certainly wouldn't keep an under-acheiver like Nilsson on the payroll. I just can't see sending a guy down to the minors who is playing good enough to earn a spot on the team.

I also like the idea of him learning what North America is all about here in EDMONTON as opposed to Oklahoma. He would remember his first year overseas forever and it would be a special time, and I want it to be here. It may be that extra little something that engenders loyalty later.

As for Gagner slowing his line down, that made me laugh out loud. Have you actually watched Gagner play? I am with OB1. Gagner is not holding those two back. He's a better player than Linus and Magnus, and has been since his first year (i.e. he was better at 18 than they are now). I will be very surprised if either of those two players ever puts up more points than Gagner (barring injury).

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#19 6zeppelin6
January 27 2011, 03:54PM
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Sorry Willis I find the Paajarvi to Nilsson comparison to be quite a stretch.

I normally love you articles but this one seems to have quite a bias towards it. If you look at previous SEL players first NHL seasons you see that the transition is typically quite steep and affects there point totals accordingly. Players like Kopitar, Semin and Backstrom all struggled in their first 40 games. They did eventually have a very good last 40, but that's what I would expect see from Paajarvi as well. Better stats through the last 40ish to raise his point totals on the year.

As well you completely ignored other aspects of his game. For example his +/- which is 0 versus Hall's -10 and Eberle's -4. This is a pretty significant stat for a rookie as it is quite unusual for rookies to finish with a + +/- rating. He has major defensive upside and is extremely responsible in that end of the ice. Something Nilsson and Omark have both lacked. In terms of defensive awareness I would say he is the top rookie on the team, but it seems you have left this out.

Another thing Paajarvi has contributed is Powerplay opportunites. This seems to have cooled off as of late, but how many penalties did Paajarvi draw in the early stages of the season. On Dec 12, 2010 Matheson wrote an article which included the fact that "No player has drawn more minors for hooking and holding [than Paajarvi]"

Not sure if it was a clear case of bias against Paajarvi or just shotty fact checking but this is a quite poorly written, one-sided article.

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#20 Wax Man Riley
January 27 2011, 06:45PM
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@Milli

I agree. I wasn't sure about drafting a winger last year, but after seeing him play 2 games, it was the best decision.

He is so good already even though he is so raw. Other than his talent, which is undeniable, the thing that sets him apart is the fact that he wants to do something every time he is on the ice. EVERY TIME! He looks disappointed when he has to come off.

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#21 Ales Hallsky
January 27 2011, 09:55AM
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FISTric was a beast last night

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#22 DK0
January 27 2011, 10:00AM
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I think the one thing this misses though is the chance that you build a team of similar aged players that become friends and are willing to take slight pay cuts to remain together.

When the EL contracts are up and you have MPS and Omark being best friends and then Hall and Eberle the same, i think it would be easier as a GM to approach all 4 and explain that you want to keep the group together, but the only way to do it is to pay less then market value if we want to take a run at the cup.

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#23 Pajamah
January 27 2011, 10:03AM
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~Slowly developing players in the minors doesnt build winning teams!!1~

Taylor Hall as a #1 should be a regular NHL'er, Jordan Eberle has earned his NHL shot with his ppg numbers in the AHL.

I have no problem with players being developed, but hindsight being 20/20, you wouldn't have thought 10 games into the season that the 1 player who regularly played against men would be the least likely to make the jump.

Its funny how its blasphemy that Omark be given 4th line minutes, and he's a "top 6" type of player, but there is no discussion of Paajarvi having to play 3rd line minutes most of the season. His pedigree isn't 3rd line material.

Doubt it now, but "fist?"

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#24 Ales Hallsky
January 27 2011, 10:04AM
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I think that year one is useful for his development. Nilsson on the other hand got worse (useless) the more confidence he got. I, for one, see constant improvement when it comes the PRV.

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#25 esa tikkanen
January 27 2011, 10:05AM
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Jw

I am pretty sure if he played in the ahl it wd count against his elc.

As for the SEL... I think the oilers were afraid that if they didn't sogn him they wd risk him re-entering the draft to go to a better franchise and they didn't want to risk the embarassment ala Riley Nash, but ten times more embarassing.

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#26 Dan the Man
January 27 2011, 10:08AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't a player just need to play 10 NHL games to burn the first year of his entry level contract?

If so I assume Pajaarvi would have been called up like Omark was due to injury and exceeded this amount anyways.

I supose the Oilers could have ignored how well he was doing in OKC and called someone else up but I think he would have done well enough that he would be hard to overlook.

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#29 TonyDanzaPervo
January 27 2011, 10:14AM
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PRV has grown exponentially since receiving more minutes, is responsible defensively, and doesn’t hurt the team in any way being here. You could argue that playing at this level has been better for his development and confidence than playing in the minors as shown by his recent play and understanding of the NA game.

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#30 Theman
January 27 2011, 10:14AM
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I think Paajarvi has played good for the oilers the only reason he is not scoring at halls pace is because he gets so much less ice time give him more more time he will score did you see the last two games he was flying and his defense and back checking is already really good. I don't think tambo could put him down to the minors he,s to good its like sending omark back down. their playing to good to be sent down

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#31 TigerUnderGlass
January 27 2011, 10:19AM
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@Jonathan Willis

I'm less concerned with Paajarvi specifically than I am with the idea that Omark and Petry hanging on to roster spots as well makes 3 years from now a potentially very ugly scene.

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#32 Chaz
January 27 2011, 10:20AM
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Didn't we hear the same argument(s) earlier in the year with Hall when he was struggling a bit? I didn't agree with that angle then, and I don't agree with it now. Maggie is good enough to be in the Show, and if that's the case play him! If you start to form your lineup based on what best plays out for your contracts in three years, I think that's a bad move and the player going down to the A will resent the team for it. I don't think other players would like it much either. Any money you save will not be worth it in the long run. Maggie has a great future and will grow more as a player here than in Oklahoma IMO.

Besides, watching him skate is one of the few aspects of this team I really enjoy this year.

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#33 Horcsky
January 27 2011, 10:24AM
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Pajamah wrote:

~Slowly developing players in the minors doesnt build winning teams!!1~

Taylor Hall as a #1 should be a regular NHL'er, Jordan Eberle has earned his NHL shot with his ppg numbers in the AHL.

I have no problem with players being developed, but hindsight being 20/20, you wouldn't have thought 10 games into the season that the 1 player who regularly played against men would be the least likely to make the jump.

Its funny how its blasphemy that Omark be given 4th line minutes, and he's a "top 6" type of player, but there is no discussion of Paajarvi having to play 3rd line minutes most of the season. His pedigree isn't 3rd line material.

Doubt it now, but "fist?"

I agree with your last paragraph (before the fist fail). I always wonder why we can't have a skill guy on the fourth line. I think to myself hmm, would I rather have JF Jacques eating up nothing minutes, or Omark going out there and being as creative as he wants?

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#34 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 27 2011, 10:31AM
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I was starting to question his effectiveness on an NHL sized arena a month ago as well. The last three weeks he's started to come around and feel more comfortable in his surroundings over here. If he needed that half year to adjust then it's better that he got that over with this year instead of next year. There'll still be a raw rookie or two inserted into next years lineup so just as well this adjustment period has taken place this year.

Paajarvi and Omark really seem to have some chemistry together, maybe once Jordan and Ales are back Tom can slide speed demon Taylor Hall in the middle of those two. Magnus and Linus would benifit having their center a step ahead of them rather than a step behind. Gagner hangs onto the puck too long or gets knocked off the puck easily hindering the lines progress.

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#35 Horcsky
January 27 2011, 10:33AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I was starting to question his effectiveness on an NHL sized arena a month ago as well. The last three weeks he's started to come around and feel more comfortable in his surroundings over here. If he needed that half year to adjust then it's better that he got that over with this year instead of next year. There'll still be a raw rookie or two inserted into next years lineup so just as well this adjustment period has taken place this year.

Paajarvi and Omark really seem to have some chemistry together, maybe once Jordan and Ales are back Tom can slide speed demon Taylor Hall in the middle of those two. Magnus and Linus would benifit having their center a step ahead of them rather than a step behind. Gagner hangs onto the puck too long or gets knocked off the puck easily hindering the lines progress.

That's true what you say about Gagner, but I think Taylor Hall holds the puck as long or longer than Gags. Though I do like the speed in the middle idea.

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#36 VMR
January 27 2011, 10:37AM
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I dont see the cap concerns as significant. I'm sorry but you pay players what they are worth and make it fit somehow.

The only reason I think the idea could be plausible is for development purposes. Would playing against AHL talent or another year in the SEL put a bit more finish on his shot? It's possible.

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#37 John K
January 27 2011, 10:47AM
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JW:

I have to disagree with most of your reasoning here. According to Corsi Rel QoC he's facing the second stiffest competition on the team with a middling Corsi Rel QoT. I went over it here http://www.hockeyzen.com/2011/01/evaluating-hope-offence.html#more.

In terms of your individual arguments:

* Paajarvi could play a much larger role on a lower-level professional team

5v5 TOI/60, 8th amongst forwards. 13.15 per game. 5v4 TOI/60, 8th amongst forwards. 1.36 per game.

So maybe he gets another 3 EV mins and 2 PP mins. I doubt from a development side that is actually better for him.

* Paajarvi’s ELC would slide forward another year, keeping him at a lower pay threshold for one additional season and delaying his UFA eligibility by an additional season

No question this is true. This is the one part of the argument that is undeniable. The real question is whether or not the total performance Paajarvi delivers to the team in terms of wins/cap dollars would be statistically different starting as a 20 year old versus starting at a 19 year old. I've yet to see conclusive evidence one way or the other due to such a small sample size.

* (If Omark) The Oilers would have had a better opportunity to evaluate Omark at the NHL level over an entire season

We are getting a pretty good look at Omark right now. He's getting about the same number of total minutes per game as Paajarvi (~15). By seasons end we will have seen him for about 2/3rds of the season.

* (If Nilsson) The Oilers would have saved the money used in his buyout, as well as avoided the six-figure cap penalty for 2011-12

400K means zip to next years salary structure. We will be under cap big time, and then it dissapears. The buyout money is really ultra negligible both short and long term.

In other words the only thing I see being a concern is burning the entry level year. If someone could demonstrate that performance/cap dollars is negatively affected by starting a mid first rounder at 19 vs 20, then maybe I'd be more inclined to believe you.

In the end, to my eyes and the deeper stats he in NHL ready and playing well for a rookie.

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#38 VMR
January 27 2011, 10:52AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

That is the precise attitude that makes me worry Tambellini will blow this rebuild.

How exactly?

If you pay them for performance and not expectations they'll be fine. If you go out and spend millions on a Brian Campbell or screw up on getting RFA offer sheets in on time and it combines with the Cap actually dropping or staying level rather than increasing it could hurt your teams chances of holding on to your talent. But there are so many ways to cheat the cap that really it's not a concern. Check what Philadelphia continues to do.

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#39 Rick
January 27 2011, 10:59AM
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Just spit balling here but maybe the Oilers should have surrounded the kids with some actual NHL players so the big three aren't being looked at to do more than just getting accustomed to the NHL.

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#40 stevezie
January 27 2011, 11:04AM
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Could have tested Giroux at the NHL level too. On the other hand, it's hard to cut someone who makes the team, and Paajarvi did that.

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#41 Hemmercules
January 27 2011, 11:05AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I'm less concerned with Paajarvi specifically than I am with the idea that Omark and Petry hanging on to roster spots as well makes 3 years from now a potentially very ugly scene.

Omark, Petry and Dubnyk need new contracts a year ahead of MPS, Hall and Ebs do they not?? I don't see Gagner, Cogs and Brule getting huge raises so there shouldn't be a problem keeping almost all of them. I highly doubt all 6 rookies get huge contracts either. Tambo needs to build the defense and find another goalie prior to the big 3 getting contracts or that could be a tough time. Peckham is RFA this summer so it seems to me that the rookie contracts are rather spread out. Wouldn't have hurt to have held back MPS though and have his new conract come up a year after Hall and Ebs.

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#42 Dman09
January 27 2011, 11:09AM
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I think one of the big reasons for bringing MPS with hall and eberle was to have them grow together. Having the ability to allow the three of them to grow together could, in the long run, make them stronger as a team. Also another reason, MPS hasn't played the physical type of hockey that is in the NHL and the AHL isn't really up to par. With his size he needs to learn how to play that physical game in the NHL and the sooner he learns it the better he will be. I completely agree with him being in the NHL this year.

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#43 common sense
January 27 2011, 11:11AM
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@Ales Hallsky

Why didn't the coach insert Smac daddy yesterday. Fistric was taking liberties against the Oil and was not held accountable. There should've been two penalties against this guy especially the one where he took down Jones and Jones looked dazed afterwards. It was a rough game and simple history this season would've dictated putting Smac daddy into the game yesterday. Of course Pjaarvai should've spent some time in the minors just like Gagner and Cogliano should've spent some time down there to hone their craft ie.learn faceoffs, etc...---alas hindsight is always 20/20.

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#44 Ales Hallsky
January 27 2011, 11:22AM
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Probably because....??? Who knows, I would have played him. But my instructions would be simple: be a mean SOB!! I they dont want to drop their gloves...too bad. SMacDaddy needs to go in there wi the thought of "You either fight me or you will just get pummelled: Domi style!!". SMAC could have been a difference maker.

As for Paaj, He made the team by playing better than the others so he should play on the team.

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#45 Ducey
January 27 2011, 11:22AM
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I looked up the relevant section of the CBA prior to posting this, and the wording's fairly confusing. The ELC is a two-way deal, but on the other hand the CBA explicitly states that 10 NHL games are required to trigger it.

I am pretty sure that playing in the AHL uses up a year of the ELC. Look at Alex Plante, he has used up a year according to CapGeek and he has only played 4 NHL games.

If I am right, then the point of your article is off base. MPS needed/ needs to learn the North American game more than anything else at this point of his development.

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#46 D-Man
January 27 2011, 11:27AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

D-man wrote:

We also tend to forget that he isn't getting the minutes that Hall and Eberle are receiving.

Key point.

This was actually one of the reasons I argued against elevating all three so early - there are only so many spots open on scoring lines.

Had MPS debuted in 2011-12, Hall and Eberle would have had a year under their belts and could have handled a tougher role, letting MPS play with more devleoped players.

I'd assumed Eberle was going to be the guy getting the ugly minutes, but it's definitely been Paajarvi to date.

If we were as further along with the rebuild and could afford to do that with MPS, like Boston has done with Seguin - that argument is valid. Unfortunately, even if Eberle and Hall were in their 2nd year - we wouldn't have the luxury of depth to let MPS play with a Hemsky or a Penner. Chances are the developed players MPS could play with would have either been Hall or Eberle (or both).

MPS is one of the best nine forwards we currently have in our organization.. Granted, having him learning 'the hard way' may be unfortunate, but is probably the only way the organization can keep the 'blood thirsty' piranhas known as Oiler fans happy...

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#47 5cups7years
January 27 2011, 11:45AM
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Three years from, we could have a ton of cap space available as Gilberts, Sourays, Bhulins, Penners, Hemskys contracts will be off the books ball park figure of 30 million, assuming we dont resign them or give big contracts to other players, we should have ample cap space for everyone. Another thing to keep in mind is the Cap may also go up! The kid paid his dues playing with men at the age of 16, i dont see how keeping down would be beneficial, now its all about the NHL curve, not the SEL or AHL curve.

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#48 They're $hittie
January 27 2011, 11:48AM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

omark and pajaarvi have to accomplish what gagner has in the nhl before we can say that gagner brings the line down. with out gagner covering defense and pajaarvis skating ability omark could be -20 and the two of them would also not be allowed to run around freely

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#49 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 27 2011, 11:53AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

omark and pajaarvi have to accomplish what gagner has in the nhl before we can say that gagner brings the line down. with out gagner covering defense and pajaarvis skating ability omark could be -20 and the two of them would also not be allowed to run around freely

Is it really necessary to set the bar so low, they can be better, much better. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

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#50 They're $hittie
January 27 2011, 11:58AM
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if we cosider this paajarvis first year for example:

if he plays another year in sweden, than we have him three more years cheap, and he breaks out big in his fourth we will have to pay him alot of money, say 4M aa year (hypothetically)

Now if we use up his contract and he is not the level he would be at the end of his contract if we held him back a year than we can sign him for a two or three year deal for say 2.5M (hypothetically)

not sure on the exacts but doesnt age also have to do with becoming a UFA?

What if 89 or 67 somehow broke out to 75 points, would they not be a steal next year for their salaries this year. It works two ways.

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