Linus Omark Recalled

Jonathan Willis
November 06 2013 08:01AM

 

So. That happened.

It feels like it's been a long time coming, but the Oilers have decided to call-up Linus Omark.

The Lineup

The interesting item here (or at least one of them) is the timing. Ryan Smyth played last night, which went some distance toward neutralizing the Oilers' need for a left wing. Here's what the forward lines looked like against Florida:

  • Hemsky - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
  • Smyth - Gagner - Yakupov
  • Jones - Gordon - Arcobello
  • Gazdic - Acton - Eager

Where does Omark fit in that group, and who comes out for him?

The first task is to find him a spot in the top-nine, and that seems pretty straight-forward even if we assume no injury. The fourth line struggled badly last night, and I'd guess that Ben Eager rotates out and Ryan Jones moves down to right wing. Smyth gets bumped down to the third line with Gordon and Arcobello, and Omark slots in with Gagner and Yakupov on an all-offence line.

There are other ways to do it, but there seems at least to be a spot for him in the rotation.

The window for Omark to make an impression is narrow here: Taylor Hall and Jesse Joensuu and David Perron are all out of the lineup with injury, and if even one or two of them get back and Omark hasn't done much he'll be on his way back to the farm.

More to Come?

Rumour has it the Oilers and the New York Rangers have been talking trade, with the Rangers in bad need of a skilled winger. Could it be that there's a trade in place for one of the Oilers' wings? 

Because that's certainly one way to read this recall. If an Ales Hemsky (or maybe even Nail Yakupov) is heading out of town, there's suddenly a slot on a skill line that needs filling and Omark's the only really viable candidate for the role. 

Maybe there's nothing more to this than the coach being unhappy with his lines and deciding those guys from the farm did such a nice job injecting some scoring into the lineup that it makes sense to add one more. But it's certainly possible that there's another shoe left to drop.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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 madjam
November 06 2013, 08:07AM
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No surprise I suppose , as call ups seem to be doing more than incumbents .

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#2 Talbot17
November 06 2013, 08:07AM
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When i saw he was recalled, the music off of Step Brothers when Will Farrell looks at Dale's drums went off in my head.

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#3 Jeremy S.
November 06 2013, 08:10AM
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Omark has been recalled so the Oilers can finally pull the trigger on that Shea Weber deal. It is about time!

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#4 The Towel Boy
November 06 2013, 08:11AM
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oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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#5 The Towel Boy
November 06 2013, 08:11AM
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oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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#6 Keon14
November 06 2013, 08:23AM
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Gagner and Yak have been a disaster. Why would a defensive minded coach such as Eakins put these two together? Does adding Omark to the line make defensive sense? Would it not make more sense to put Gagner on the wing with Gordon at center? Can anyone explain Eakins thinking?

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#7 oilerjed
November 06 2013, 08:24AM
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I wonder if Sather wants to have an NHL look at Linus before he gets thrown in with a package?

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#8 Spydyr
November 06 2013, 08:25AM
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Please drop the other shoe. This team is in terrible need of heart, grit and some mean. Let it be Hemsky or Gagner gone.

I would also love to see Dubnyk waving goodbye like he waved at the third Florida goal last night.

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#9 shanetrain
November 06 2013, 08:26AM
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I give up trying to figure out what the hell these knuckleheads are doing.

Indifference is bliss.

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#10 Shooter
November 06 2013, 08:32AM
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Perfect. The Oil are badly in need of an undersized, offensive minded forward who doesn't back check. What the hell, bring him up. This is just another example of how poorly constructed this organization is. It's ok for a team to have a couple guys like that. Tampa has St. Louis, Chicago has Kane, Dallas has Ray Whitney. But with Oil it's three full lines worth of wimpy, gritless, undersized stick handlers. No team in the NHL ever won a cup with a team like this. No team in the NHL ever made the playoffs with a team like this.

Great win in Florida last night by the way. Way to hold a lead. Now all they have to do is win 19 more in a row and they're back in contention.

Here's the new chant I hope the fans start doing at Rexall.

"Kevin Lowe has got to go, Kevin Lowe has got to go, Kevin Lowe has got to go!"

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#11 Benny Botts
November 06 2013, 08:33AM
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•Omark - Gagner - Yakupov

That is an absolute D-Zone nightmare! If those 3 are a line they better only be getting offensive starts and facing some soft competition on the other end. Yikes..

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#12 Spydyr
November 06 2013, 08:38AM
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Benny Botts wrote:

•Omark - Gagner - Yakupov

That is an absolute D-Zone nightmare! If those 3 are a line they better only be getting offensive starts and facing some soft competition on the other end. Yikes..

They better score five because the other team is going to score four.

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#14 Ales Hallsky
November 06 2013, 08:42AM
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I like to think to myself, "self, maybe they are bringing him up because at least he tries to win battles in the corners"

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#16 bubba
November 06 2013, 08:52AM
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GREGOR!!! Omark recalled!! If he scores you better be wearing one of Strudwick's Sweaters!!!

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#17 smytty's halfclapper
November 06 2013, 08:55AM
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Can anyone clear this up for me - why don't we have Arcobello playing center and Gagner on the wing? Gagner won 22% of draws last night, and 9% the game before. He's not a great skater, and while Arcobello isn't much better, he does have more of a presence at the faceoff dot.

I cringe every time Gags takes an O-zone draw, especially on the PP... wasted chance!

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#18 Duke
November 06 2013, 08:56AM
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I can't figure this move out at all. There is no arguing the consensus that the Oilers need to do something to get bigger, instead we keep on getting smaller.

Id Robbie Schremp still available? He's probably next.

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#19 Keon14
November 06 2013, 08:57AM
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Jon: do you know if Yak has to clear waivers to be sent down to OKC? If not, then a stint in OKC could boost his confidence.

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#20 Mr common sense
November 06 2013, 08:58AM
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Spydyr wrote:

They better score five because the other team is going to score four.

Wow, the shortest, physically weakest and worst defensive line in the history of the NHL

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#21 Spydyr
November 06 2013, 08:58AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Let's compromise.

You can have heart, grit and some mean if I can banish the entire fourth line to the minors where they belong and they're replaced with actual NHL players.

I like compromise and have no argument concerning the fourth line going. Even with the fourth line replaced the team still needs functional toughness in the top six. At least two players who have some nasty and can play the game.

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#22 Mr common sense
November 06 2013, 08:59AM
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Steve Ott

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#23 Spydyr
November 06 2013, 09:00AM
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smytty's halfclapper wrote:

Can anyone clear this up for me - why don't we have Arcobello playing center and Gagner on the wing? Gagner won 22% of draws last night, and 9% the game before. He's not a great skater, and while Arcobello isn't much better, he does have more of a presence at the faceoff dot.

I cringe every time Gags takes an O-zone draw, especially on the PP... wasted chance!

It is because he is the coach's son. Oh wait that is the other lousy center. You are exactly right IMO.

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#24 oilerjed
November 06 2013, 09:01AM
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@JW

Is there any word if LO will play tomorrow night?

Hemsky/Hall-RNH-Eberle Smytty-Gags-Yak Acro-Gordon-Omark Gadzig-Acton-Jones

If hall comes back move Hemsky to 3L and Acro moves to 4C. Acton and Eager can share popcorn.

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#25 Spydyr
November 06 2013, 09:03AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Just a personal observation here. I know it's fashionable to slam smaller players that aren't overtly physical as gritless, gutless wimps.

But I can't help noticing that Sam Gagner has come back early from a broken jaw, and the last few years has done things like fight to avenge a dirty hit.

I can't help noticing that Ales Hemsky throwing himself into a shot block and then making a pass from his knees started the rush that led to Taylor Fedun's goal last night.

I couldn't help noticing Linus Omark gritting through a vicious hit to the head, then multiple leg injuries and keep playing. It was funny talking to the guy after the game, with ice-packs strapped at various places, and listening to him explain how frustrated he was - not that he was taking a beating, but that he was generating chances and they weren't turning into goals.

I get that the Oilers are lopsided in favour of guys that lack size and perhaps cheat a little too frequently for offence. I get that sticking a Wayne Simmonds-type in the lineup rather than an Ales Hemsky-type would add an extra dimension that the team is currently lacking.

But for the most part, I don't get the attacks on the character of these guys. Yes, Gagner and Omark and Hemsky are all on the small side, and all can be frustrating to watch at times. But do we really believe they're terribly lacking in heart?

They are hockey players. Professional NHL players. It is expected , that is why they are millionaires. Guys do the same stuff in a beer league for pride and their teammates. Something the Oilers could use. Playing and standing up for each other.

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#26 Doomoil
November 06 2013, 09:06AM
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Keon14 wrote:

Jon: do you know if Yak has to clear waivers to be sent down to OKC? If not, then a stint in OKC could boost his confidence.

He's not eligible to go down to OKC and would have to return to Juniors.

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#27 Keon14
November 06 2013, 09:10AM
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Doomoil wrote:

He's not eligible to go down to OKC and would have to return to Juniors.

Oh - RNH played in OKC last year vs returning to junior!

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#28 Starving Student
November 06 2013, 09:17AM
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WHO'S PLAYING IN OKC?!

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#29 Lochenzo
November 06 2013, 09:22AM
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Doomoil wrote:

He's not eligible to go down to OKC and would have to return to Juniors.

Wow, he's still junior eligible?!?! I hope everyone realizes just how young he still is. He's not getting the slack that Hall, Eberle and RNH received as they went through their growing pains in their first 82 games in the league.

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#30 mrBacon
November 06 2013, 09:23AM
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I had the most terrible nightmare where the Oilers were so bad that they actually had to call up Linus Omark.

May God help us all.

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#31 GriffCity
November 06 2013, 09:26AM
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I dont mind this call up. I liked what we saw in Pitlick but he got injured in the PHX game and I hope Omark can contribute. Who is getting sent out of town? It better not be Ales Hemsky, this guy had dont everything he has been asked this year, including sacrificing his body to block shots. I am hoping that we will see Yakupov sent to NYC for Del Zotto. I really wanted Yak to turn into that Bure type player but I dont think he will and frankly, we dont have time to wait for his development to maybe happen or not. I would hate to see Hemsky go at this point, I do not think he is part of the problem.

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#32 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 09:30AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Just a personal observation here. I know it's fashionable to slam smaller players that aren't overtly physical as gritless, gutless wimps.

But I can't help noticing that Sam Gagner has come back early from a broken jaw, and the last few years has done things like fight to avenge a dirty hit.

I can't help noticing that Ales Hemsky throwing himself into a shot block and then making a pass from his knees started the rush that led to Taylor Fedun's goal last night.

I couldn't help noticing Linus Omark gritting through a vicious hit to the head, then multiple leg injuries and keep playing. It was funny talking to the guy after the game, with ice-packs strapped at various places, and listening to him explain how frustrated he was - not that he was taking a beating, but that he was generating chances and they weren't turning into goals.

I get that the Oilers are lopsided in favour of guys that lack size and perhaps cheat a little too frequently for offence. I get that sticking a Wayne Simmonds-type in the lineup rather than an Ales Hemsky-type would add an extra dimension that the team is currently lacking.

But for the most part, I don't get the attacks on the character of these guys. Yes, Gagner and Omark and Hemsky are all on the small side, and all can be frustrating to watch at times. But do we really believe they're terribly lacking in heart?

Remember that embarrassing display by the Flyers vs. the Caps?

You know, where the Flyers got destroyed 7-0?

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=2013020191-X-h

http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-11-01-capitals-flyers

Where they managed to lose two key top 6 forwards to injury in some futile display of toughness:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=435687

Yea… that game.

Now create a Venn Diagram in your head.

In one circle put people that watched that game and identified with the Flyers and consoled themselves with words like "they put up a fight" "they weren't going to get pushed around" etc.

In the other circle put EDM media personalities and fans committed to not simply improving the Oilers but specifically to the faith that "toughness" in and of itself is an improvement.

Want to bet on how large the overlap is?

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#33 Lochenzo
November 06 2013, 09:32AM
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GriffCity wrote:

I dont mind this call up. I liked what we saw in Pitlick but he got injured in the PHX game and I hope Omark can contribute. Who is getting sent out of town? It better not be Ales Hemsky, this guy had dont everything he has been asked this year, including sacrificing his body to block shots. I am hoping that we will see Yakupov sent to NYC for Del Zotto. I really wanted Yak to turn into that Bure type player but I dont think he will and frankly, we dont have time to wait for his development to maybe happen or not. I would hate to see Hemsky go at this point, I do not think he is part of the problem.

I'm greedy. For me to part ways with Yak, I want one of the Rangers' top pairs, Ryan McDonaugh. Del Zotto is a great Dman, but he's currently in a 3/4 pair.

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#34 derrickhands
November 06 2013, 09:40AM
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In part it has do to do with Omark size, but on the whole Omark is a puckhog that likes to hold on to the puck too long looking for the perfect shot. This results all too often of him getting stripped of the puck giving the opposition a odd man rush advantage. He still hasn't learned that hockey is a team game and to play in his own end.

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#35 Deep Insider
November 06 2013, 09:48AM
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Jeremy S. wrote:

Omark has been recalled so the Oilers can finally pull the trigger on that Shea Weber deal. It is about time!

Wrong!!! Big Oiler-Ranger trade going down in hours - involves 8-10 players in total!

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#36 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 09:54AM
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Deep Insider wrote:

Wrong!!! Big Oiler-Ranger trade going down in hours - involves 8-10 players in total!

No, no… the entire 23 man roster of both teams is being swapped and then swapped again, but the second time only 22 players are swapped, one remaining (like in musical chairs). they'll do that 22 more times until they are back to where they started except they will have exchanged vendors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3eNPO8nAE0

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#37 Todd
November 06 2013, 09:59AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Just a personal observation here. I know it's fashionable to slam smaller players that aren't overtly physical as gritless, gutless wimps.

But I can't help noticing that Sam Gagner has come back early from a broken jaw, and the last few years has done things like fight to avenge a dirty hit.

I can't help noticing that Ales Hemsky throwing himself into a shot block and then making a pass from his knees started the rush that led to Taylor Fedun's goal last night.

I couldn't help noticing Linus Omark gritting through a vicious hit to the head, then multiple leg injuries and keep playing. It was funny talking to the guy after the game, with ice-packs strapped at various places, and listening to him explain how frustrated he was - not that he was taking a beating, but that he was generating chances and they weren't turning into goals.

I get that the Oilers are lopsided in favour of guys that lack size and perhaps cheat a little too frequently for offence. I get that sticking a Wayne Simmonds-type in the lineup rather than an Ales Hemsky-type would add an extra dimension that the team is currently lacking.

But for the most part, I don't get the attacks on the character of these guys. Yes, Gagner and Omark and Hemsky are all on the small side, and all can be frustrating to watch at times. But do we really believe they're terribly lacking in heart?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAryFIuRxmQ

Slow clap. Well said.

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#38 Spoils
November 06 2013, 10:03AM
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smytty's halfclapper wrote:

Can anyone clear this up for me - why don't we have Arcobello playing center and Gagner on the wing? Gagner won 22% of draws last night, and 9% the game before. He's not a great skater, and while Arcobello isn't much better, he does have more of a presence at the faceoff dot.

I cringe every time Gags takes an O-zone draw, especially on the PP... wasted chance!

Why not just have Arco take the key draws as a winger? People get tossed out of the circle all the time.

At least until his numbers go up.

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#39 NJ
November 06 2013, 10:17AM
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RE Yakupov getting traded.

79 Games. 23 Goals. 23 Assists.

Those are Steven Stamkos rookie year stats.

Until Yak has AT LEAST 82 games under his belt, he gets a pass in EVERY way. He competes more than most on the oilers and the days that he doesn't seem lost, he shows some brilliant flashes. One day he'll learn to use his team mates to set him up and it'll be one time city all night long.

Currently he is ahead of Stamkos statistically (in rookie year, 82 game comparison)... to part with him now may be us parting with a future 40 or even 50+ goal scorer.

I'd rather see Eberle go than see Yak go. We know exactly what Eberle is and brings, and while he is probably a 30 goal scorer on a good team and I've always loved him being Mr. Clutch... Yak hits and shows REAL passion. I believe in a couple years, he'll be that transformed number one guy with more size than he currently has and he'll be every goalie's nightmare.

SO. Unless a #1 d man is coming back (Seth Jones would be a good fit, but I prefer him playing with Shea Weber for the year), Yak should stay and any of Eberle, Hemsky, Gagner and whatever d prospects should be on the trade block.

My .02.

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#40 DSF
November 06 2013, 10:26AM
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NJ wrote:

RE Yakupov getting traded.

79 Games. 23 Goals. 23 Assists.

Those are Steven Stamkos rookie year stats.

Until Yak has AT LEAST 82 games under his belt, he gets a pass in EVERY way. He competes more than most on the oilers and the days that he doesn't seem lost, he shows some brilliant flashes. One day he'll learn to use his team mates to set him up and it'll be one time city all night long.

Currently he is ahead of Stamkos statistically (in rookie year, 82 game comparison)... to part with him now may be us parting with a future 40 or even 50+ goal scorer.

I'd rather see Eberle go than see Yak go. We know exactly what Eberle is and brings, and while he is probably a 30 goal scorer on a good team and I've always loved him being Mr. Clutch... Yak hits and shows REAL passion. I believe in a couple years, he'll be that transformed number one guy with more size than he currently has and he'll be every goalie's nightmare.

SO. Unless a #1 d man is coming back (Seth Jones would be a good fit, but I prefer him playing with Shea Weber for the year), Yak should stay and any of Eberle, Hemsky, Gagner and whatever d prospects should be on the trade block.

My .02.

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

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#41 David S
November 06 2013, 10:39AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Just a personal observation here. I know it's fashionable to slam smaller players that aren't overtly physical as gritless, gutless wimps.

But I can't help noticing that Sam Gagner has come back early from a broken jaw, and the last few years has done things like fight to avenge a dirty hit.

I can't help noticing that Ales Hemsky throwing himself into a shot block and then making a pass from his knees started the rush that led to Taylor Fedun's goal last night.

I couldn't help noticing Linus Omark gritting through a vicious hit to the head, then multiple leg injuries and keep playing. It was funny talking to the guy after the game, with ice-packs strapped at various places, and listening to him explain how frustrated he was - not that he was taking a beating, but that he was generating chances and they weren't turning into goals.

I get that the Oilers are lopsided in favour of guys that lack size and perhaps cheat a little too frequently for offence. I get that sticking a Wayne Simmonds-type in the lineup rather than an Ales Hemsky-type would add an extra dimension that the team is currently lacking.

But for the most part, I don't get the attacks on the character of these guys. Yes, Gagner and Omark and Hemsky are all on the small side, and all can be frustrating to watch at times. But do we really believe they're terribly lacking in heart?

I tried to prop the living h3ll out of this comment but alas only one got through.

Gagner shouldn't really be playing. It was pretty obvious last night that with even a slight bump in his face he's in real pain (which I suspect is why he can't forecheck right now). On top of which he has that stupid full-face shield which is no doubt throwing him off. Tough little bastard if you ask me. I've gained alot of respect for Sam over the last couple of games.

Half the guys here call in sick if they wake up with the sniffles.

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#42 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 10:41AM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

This is a completely valid point. Age is a very good indicator of true talent. That's why you don't evaluate "rookies" (for example) when one is 18 and the other is 24 (unless you are giving away meaningless awards).

Age is a great caveat to this conversation. As are birth month and things like lockouts.

All that said, we need to add even more caveats and ask why you are making the four month difference in age between the two do so much work here? It makes your analysis sketchy at best and certainly clouds the value of it.

A couple of factual questions for you: what counts as a player's "age year" for you?

Why not simply use "draft year +"?

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#43 tileguy
November 06 2013, 10:42AM
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DSF I would be interested in your thoughts with the rangers on who should come back for Yak. Hemsky is off the table as he has low value to all teams except the oilers.

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#44 TigerUnderGlass
November 06 2013, 10:44AM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

...and Dustin Penner has the best +/- in the league. What is your point exactly?

The argument that Yakupov is a bust because he hasn't destroyed the league before completing a whole season is absurd.

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#45 TigerUnderGlass
November 06 2013, 10:46AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Why not simply use "draft year +"?

Because that doesn't help him here. He will do so when it is beneficial, not before.

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#46 bwar
November 06 2013, 10:49AM
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Yakupov straight across for Rick Nash. Immediately after the trade, Rick Nash calls a press conference to announce his retirement.

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#47 Word
November 06 2013, 10:54AM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

Everybody pay attention! DSF has enlightened us with the absolute fact that age trumps experience. Ergo, Gagner is awesome again!

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#48 Word
November 06 2013, 10:58AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

This is a completely valid point. Age is a very good indicator of true talent. That's why you don't evaluate "rookies" (for example) when one is 18 and the other is 24 (unless you are giving away meaningless awards).

Age is a great caveat to this conversation. As are birth month and things like lockouts.

All that said, we need to add even more caveats and ask why you are making the four month difference in age between the two do so much work here? It makes your analysis sketchy at best and certainly clouds the value of it.

A couple of factual questions for you: what counts as a player's "age year" for you?

Why not simply use "draft year +"?

I have to think that people trashed you before they read the entire post. I "propsded".

Propers.

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#49 DSF
November 06 2013, 11:09AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

This is a completely valid point. Age is a very good indicator of true talent. That's why you don't evaluate "rookies" (for example) when one is 18 and the other is 24 (unless you are giving away meaningless awards).

Age is a great caveat to this conversation. As are birth month and things like lockouts.

All that said, we need to add even more caveats and ask why you are making the four month difference in age between the two do so much work here? It makes your analysis sketchy at best and certainly clouds the value of it.

A couple of factual questions for you: what counts as a player's "age year" for you?

Why not simply use "draft year +"?

Generally speaking, although there are certainly exceptions, the physical maturation of young men changes drastically from the age of 18 to 20.

Often, observers of the draft miss the obvious that one player taken may be almost a year older than another and then are amazed when the younger player takes a major step forward.

While "draft year +" makes it easier to compare players, it lacks the age context.

In any event, Yakupov played 70 professional hockey games last season and, while he performed quite well, much of his production came in garbage time and against teams that were already comfortably in the playoffs.

Using your "draft year +" approach even with the caveat that Yakupov is older than Stamkos in the year, the comparative production looks pretty dreadful for Yakupov.

Now, some of that difference may be team effects but it's worth noting that Stamkos posted his numbers on a team that finished 25th overall that season but Stamkos managed to finish 4th in league scoring with 95 points and led his team in scoring.

I don't think there is any danger than Yakupov will do any of those things.

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#50 DSF
November 06 2013, 11:10AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

...and Dustin Penner has the best +/- in the league. What is your point exactly?

The argument that Yakupov is a bust because he hasn't destroyed the league before completing a whole season is absurd.

Who exactly, said he was a bust?

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