A FALSE SPRING?

Lowetide
May 10 2013 07:31PM

Teemu Hartikainen is "in the window" where he needs to step up from "quality AHL player" to "NHL regular. It's a massive step, and one I'm sure Edmonton would love to see the big Finn make this fall. The question I have is this: will Harski provide enough offense?

At the minor league level, Teemu Hartikainen is more than a face in the crowd. The young man has managed some impressive things in Oklahoma since the fall of 2010, and that is reflected in his AHL points per 82 games boxcars:

  • 82, 23-33-55, 173 shots on goal

That's a nice boxcar for the big Finnish player. If we estimate he's playing 15 minutes a game (total), that would be 2.68 points per 60 minutes of AHL play (combined EV/PP). I think it's a reasonable guess that Hartikainen's offense in the AHL suggests he should at least be capable of filling a 4line role and (to quote new GM Craig MacTavish) " In today’s NHL, even marginally, you have to be a threat to score."

THE NHL PERFORMANCE

However, the NHL numbers give a person pause about how much Hartikainen can help. If we use simple TOI and EV scoring over his three seasons in the NHL, we get this number for Harski:

  • NHL EV/60 2010-13: 0.81

The numbers by year:

  • 10-11: 1.04
  • 11-12: 1.36
  • 12-13: 0.00

A quick note: the NHL/EV number above uses the NHL.COM data for TOI and EV points, the season by season breakout is behind the net. They are not directly comparable, but do give an indication of what he's been doing at even strength/5x5 in the NHL.

IS THAT ENOUGH?

No. However, each of these season's is a small sample size. Teemu Hartikainen played 196 EV minutes this season and had zero EV points--that's not a good thing for a young player trying to impress a new General Manager. However, history tells us that minor league succes can predict major league ability, and Hartikainen's AHL numbers tell us that there may be a player here.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Teemu Hartikainen has played about 595 minutes of even strength NHL hockey over three seasons and is 4-4-8 during that time. That's below par, and the fact that he managed zero even strength points this past season may mean his opportunity has passed with the Edmonton Oilers. 

A losing team is the most likely team to flush underperformers (Steve Tambellini aside) and despite my own personal feelings that Hartikainen should get a full season to show what he can do, it may not be in the cards for Harski.

Bad timing.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 godot10
May 10 2013, 07:50PM
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Hartikainen needs to play on a line with a puck transporter able to get the puck up the ice from the Dzone to the Ozone. Hartikainen's (and Lander's) have offensive ability, but they are mediocre puck transporters because they are average skaters at best.

Hartikainen also has to play on a line with players who can support his cycle. The Oilers really only have Paajarvi at this point who is used to doing this, having been trained by Todd Nelson in OKC on how to support Hartikainen's cycle. Lander is being similarly trained right now. (Rajala is the puck transporter.) A cycler, which is what Hartikainen does best, needs a tag team partner.

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#2 Hammers
May 10 2013, 07:52PM
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Don't totally agree as there is something there but only as a 4th liner right know . Potential for 3rd is somewhere in there . Hate to loose him like glenX and bite us in the ass . McT has some big decisions but his 4th line could be in OKL right know . Its 2 top 9 we need . 1 of 3 centers may change as well as 1 of 2 wingers . That's where the real changes need to happen . Tough yea, but it could happen . Horc or Gags may go and Hemsky or Magnus . Your choice or I should say McT's choice

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#3 DSF
May 10 2013, 07:56PM
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The answer is no.

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#5 Vincheesmo
May 10 2013, 07:58PM
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Well,

With the over abundance of big forwards this organization has, especially since people don't want Petrell, Jones, Smyth, Eager, Belanger or even Hemsky back! Who is going to be n this team? My bet is that harty at least ges a long hard lock throughout training camp.

I still think he can find a roll as well. This year was a do-over. New coach, lockout, shortened season, and maturing kids with horrible bottom 6 roster spots does not make for a great work environment.

A job on the 4th line, or even the third seems his for the taking next year. My by is on the Finn, not the mullet(s), the frenchie, the Czech, or anyone else.

Add a free net or two, and voila! Line 4.

I believe we will spend money and tameable assets looking for d-upgrades, as they are a tougher commodity to find. Role players can be fond almost anywhere,

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#6 DSF
May 10 2013, 08:04PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Finally! The magic 8-ball! :-)

Good grief.

He played 23 NHL games this season , scored 1G 2A 3P and was -8.

What else do you need to see?

A disinterested Ben Eager could have easily outplayed him given the same ice time.

He's 23 and can't score a lick or keep his head above water.

Hanging on to non performing players is an Oilers curse.

Flush.

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#7 Nathan
May 10 2013, 08:07PM
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Hire AV when he gets fired from Vancouver. Start building a winning team.

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#9 DSF
May 10 2013, 08:12PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think the most likely members of the bottom 6F to return are Horcoff, Smyth and Paajarvi (if were counting Paajarvi as bottom 6 which seems reasonable).

So Hartikainen lines up as a 4line possibility, but Mike Brown is also in the mix and the new GM is going to make some moves.

Too soon to tell, but a stronger run in the NHL would have made his position stronger. Hartikainen is having a nice AHL playoffs btw.

MacT made a point of saying he wants to move out players who can't make anything happen when they are on the ice.

Hartikainen might be the poster boy for that.

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#10 FastOil
May 10 2013, 08:35PM
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Harti is not going to be a fancy scorer. Can he be Franzen?

IMO the Oilers have always soured on prospects if they don't become monster physical players or great scorers nearly immediately.

This is why we see them become productive on other teams. It's happened for years. Why we see teams turn out productive after productive player and the Oilers only do well with first rounders, and historically not even that.

There is a fundamental problem with how they view players when drafting and developing. With how they work with them. There is also a management bloodline that runs back to the glory days unbroken.

Looking at Gernat, who is 6'5", knocking it out of the park at both ends of the ice, draft and post draft, post surgery year, the Oilers and their bloggers seem tepid. How can he not be the most exciting non NHL player they control? He could be an incredible NHL player in a critical position.

I was looking through potential role players for the Oilers and noticed Dallas drafts a lot of strong effective bottom 6-9 players. Hire that guy!

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#11 voom04
May 10 2013, 08:37PM
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we need Horses, harti might be a clydesdale, but a horse non the less

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#12 moot point
May 10 2013, 08:42PM
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where is new age, i miss scrolling

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#13 Saytalk
May 10 2013, 08:43PM
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What's really holding back Hartakainen is his skating. It's not at an NHL level. Until he makes better strides :) in that area, he'll struggle to stick in the lineup.

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#14 Smokey
May 10 2013, 08:43PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief.

He played 23 NHL games this season , scored 1G 2A 3P and was -8.

What else do you need to see?

A disinterested Ben Eager could have easily outplayed him given the same ice time.

He's 23 and can't score a lick or keep his head above water.

Hanging on to non performing players is an Oilers curse.

Flush.

You guys should flush that Kassian kid too. Tom frickin Sistito was eating his lunch on the fourth line.

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#16 DSF
May 10 2013, 08:47PM
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FastOil wrote:

Harti is not going to be a fancy scorer. Can he be Franzen?

IMO the Oilers have always soured on prospects if they don't become monster physical players or great scorers nearly immediately.

This is why we see them become productive on other teams. It's happened for years. Why we see teams turn out productive after productive player and the Oilers only do well with first rounders, and historically not even that.

There is a fundamental problem with how they view players when drafting and developing. With how they work with them. There is also a management bloodline that runs back to the glory days unbroken.

Looking at Gernat, who is 6'5", knocking it out of the park at both ends of the ice, draft and post draft, post surgery year, the Oilers and their bloggers seem tepid. How can he not be the most exciting non NHL player they control? He could be an incredible NHL player in a critical position.

I was looking through potential role players for the Oilers and noticed Dallas drafts a lot of strong effective bottom 6-9 players. Hire that guy!

Good grief.

3 years after being drafted, Franzen scored 27 goals and 38 points for the Wings.

5 years after being drafted, Hartikainen scored 3 points in 23 games.

One of these is not like the others.

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#17 Smokey
May 10 2013, 08:48PM
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I forgot to mention that at least we did not trade a top six forward and.current first liner for junk. Harti was at least what a fifth rounder, whos beating.expectations. But everyone in Vanouver is patient that ZK will be the.second.coming of Bertuzzi. Only problem is Big Bert had hockey IQ when he was smashing guys.

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#18 OnlyOil
May 10 2013, 09:10PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief.

3 years after being drafted, Franzen scored 27 goals and 38 points for the Wings.

5 years after being drafted, Hartikainen scored 3 points in 23 games.

One of these is not like the others.

You forgot to mention Franzen was 29 yrs old when he scored those points that you so kindly pointed out.

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#19 oilerman53
May 10 2013, 09:12PM
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Nathan wrote:

Hire AV when he gets fired from Vancouver. Start building a winning team.

Start building a whining, diving, excuse making team? Ummmmmm no thanks!

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#20 RexLibris
May 10 2013, 09:22PM
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Nathan wrote:

Hire AV when he gets fired from Vancouver. Start building a winning team.

OR

Hire AV when he gets fired from Vancouver. Start building a whining team.

But I see that oilerman53 beat me to it.

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#21 OnlyOil
May 10 2013, 09:23PM
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LT, I agree Harti will be a fourth liner to start next year. He needs to improve his skating and start banging bodies around and he will have a nhl job for sure.

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#22 15w40
May 10 2013, 09:28PM
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Who was Franzen playing with when he got the points??

The Gospel of Mr. Negative:

"Oilers Bad"

"Everyone that supports them - wrong & should be committed and potentially rehabilitated"

"All Oilers' Players - worst ever"

"All other teams - way better"

"Team should fold - no one good will ever play here"

"Every player currently a prospect - are a bust"

There is nothing else you need to know. There should be no further threads created - no more content added to this site.

Heretofore the site should be closed and all hits redirected to

"DSF NATION"

Just a big banner with flashing lights that refer to these insights with an Oilers logo swirling around a toilet bowl.

Really it would be a public service to prevent any further corruption of the young hockey fans thinking the Edmonton Oilers should be a team to support.

YAWN

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#23 RexLibris
May 10 2013, 09:29PM
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My take on Hartikainen is that he seems like a player who always has to have either a carrot in front of him or a stick behind. He needs to be motivated by external forces, rather than finding that motivation internally. Maybe have him sit next to Hall in the dressing room. Didn't Messier use to have to work at building up Nilsson before a game?

If Hartikainen were packaged with a roster player to address a need such as a top-pairing defender or a young solid 2nd line center, I wouldn't be too upset. While he's not at the top of my list of prospects who need to be moved I think the Oilers should try to be the first to realize if he is an NHL player or not. If not, move him before all the other teams catch on.

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#25 DSF
May 10 2013, 09:47PM
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OnlyOil wrote:

You forgot to mention Franzen was 29 yrs old when he scored those points that you so kindly pointed out.

Franzen was drafted when he was 26?

How did that happen?

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#26 K_Mart
May 10 2013, 10:04PM
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Good players find a way to make something happen no matter who their line mates are, and no matter what their role is. Plain and simple. If you don't perform, you don't play. Goodbye Harti

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#27 OnlyOil
May 10 2013, 10:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Franzen was drafted when he was 26?

How did that happen?

Who knows, he was born in 1979 and drafted in 2004, then scored those 27 goals in 07/08. He wasn't a 21 yr old kid when he did that. Harti is 23 now, so it's time to show what he's made of.

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#28 otter2233
May 10 2013, 10:11PM
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@DSF

He (Franzen) was actually 24 when drafted.

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#29 Supernova
May 10 2013, 10:12PM
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DSF,

If Harti was a Canucks player he would be the best prospect in the system.

You Make a decent point about MacT saying he is going to flush players who don't produce.

Harti is one who deserves another season but at the same time he has some cache around the league. He just might net the oil something of value in a 3 for 1.

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#30 Alex Steenberger
May 10 2013, 10:14PM
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23 should be at the prime of this dudes career? 3points...... 3 points!!!!! That's it? This guy ain't a threat to score. Then again Uncle Ralph isn't the coach to bring a mean streak out of him either.

Does anyone else agree... It isn't too early to fire Uncle Ralph and go after Lindy Ruff.

This Team needs discipline!!!!!! FIRE Ralph I say!

Back to Harti. I agree with another guy who posted maybe we should package him with say Gags.. Deal him out before other teams catch on that he sucks!!

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#31 madjam
May 10 2013, 10:16PM
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He'd probably do/look good if he were paired with Getzlaf and Perry . Oilers trade him and swap first round picks for B.Ryan . Some of you might suggest trying Hartekainen and our first round pick . Would that do for a trade ? I would not , as he might turn out to be another Penner without Getzlaf and Perry . I'm not sold on Ryan or his contract .

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#32 Josh Oiler
May 10 2013, 10:18PM
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Maybe we can still get a bag of hockey pucks and water bottles for him.

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#33 Supernova
May 10 2013, 10:19PM
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Alex Steenberger wrote:

23 should be at the prime of this dudes career? 3points...... 3 points!!!!! That's it? This guy ain't a threat to score. Then again Uncle Ralph isn't the coach to bring a mean streak out of him either.

Does anyone else agree... It isn't too early to fire Uncle Ralph and go after Lindy Ruff.

This Team needs discipline!!!!!! FIRE Ralph I say!

Back to Harti. I agree with another guy who posted maybe we should package him with say Gags.. Deal him out before other teams catch on that he sucks!!

The Lindy Ruff scenario went out the door with his usage of Hall & Ebs in the worlds.

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#34 Walter Sobchak
May 10 2013, 10:22PM
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There is a solid reason why Hartikainen keeps getting sent down, and by two different coach's.

Whatever Hartikainen is in the AHL doesn't translate to the NHL, it happens.

Problem is, the Oilers can no longer wait and see, they can no longer give a player a year to see what he can do as LT suggest.

The Oilers are in the must win now stage.

I can see him being moved.

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#35 Josh Oiler
May 10 2013, 10:24PM
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Alex Steenberger wrote:

23 should be at the prime of this dudes career? 3points...... 3 points!!!!! That's it? This guy ain't a threat to score. Then again Uncle Ralph isn't the coach to bring a mean streak out of him either.

Does anyone else agree... It isn't too early to fire Uncle Ralph and go after Lindy Ruff.

This Team needs discipline!!!!!! FIRE Ralph I say!

Back to Harti. I agree with another guy who posted maybe we should package him with say Gags.. Deal him out before other teams catch on that he sucks!!

I agree.. What's the point of being a big guy that can't be a threat to score.. Maybe you're right... Kreuger is a softy European type coach, not a hard nose, tough as nails coach who wants to absolutely destroy opposing teams.

Maybe Harti would thrive under a Lindy Ruff or Kenny Hitchcock!

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#36 Alex Steenberger
May 10 2013, 10:28PM
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@Supernova

That's because the boys were dogging it.. Hallsy was dogging. He got benched as he should have. Learn your lesson young man. That's what these young guys need. That's how you advance ladies and gentlemen.

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#37 Alex Steenberger
May 10 2013, 10:28PM
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@Supernova

That's because the boys were dogging it.. Hallsy was dogging. He got benched as he should have. Learn your lesson young man. That's what these young guys need. That's how you advance ladies and gentlemen.

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#38 Supernova
May 10 2013, 10:32PM
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@Alex Steenberger

Did you actually watch the games?

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#39 Josh Oiler
May 10 2013, 10:33PM
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Maybe our problem is coaching????? Tambi brought in young super studs! Now what?

Grit: easily bought in UFA market!!

When another team signs Lindy we'll be wish we sign Super Coach Ruff while he was available!

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#40 Oiler Al
May 10 2013, 10:35PM
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Hartikainen, not a great NHL skater. Not sure if this is something that can be worked on during the summer,, so far it hasnt happened.

He`s strong along the boards and corners, but his hands are made of ham... not a great passer and no hands around the net. If he is going to be the Franzen of the oilers... you need hands around the net.

Needs to take his mean pills before the game. Way to soft for a guy his size.

Really Petrel is a better skater, and better defensively and has a decent shot., and I am not sure I would keep Petrell.At least he hits players.. not Harti.

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#41 Alex Steenberger
May 10 2013, 10:38PM
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Supernova wrote:

Did you actually watch the games?

Yes I have watch all 48 Oiler games and now the WHC. When the boys were dogging NHL reg season.. Uncle Ralph kept them in. Double shifting at times. What's the message with that.

When your playing at the NHL.. 0 margin for errors. Kids gotta learn how to play hard and be responsible for their actions on the ice.

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#42 Supernova
May 10 2013, 10:45PM
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@Alex Steenberger

I am Ok with tough love.

I am getting varying reports from the worlds. Some say they haven't been given the free reign that others in the worlds have.

Part of the problem why Ralph didn't bench them is that his other options were usually playing worse. Especially in regards to Hall.

That's the oilers biggest issue, they need more players to tilt the ice.

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#43 madjam
May 10 2013, 10:47PM
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Harti's come a long ways since we drafted him in the later rounds . He keeps getting better each year . Will it be enough if he keeps improving ? Might still be to early to let him go ?

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#44 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 10 2013, 11:05PM
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@DSF

Always had the feeling since Anton Lander was drafted.

Marcus Naslund had a rough couple seasons early in his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, they gave up on him and shipped him off to the Canucks where he had a stellar career.

Sortof see Anton in a similar light. Is that light a freight train about to mow me down, or do you see any possibility he gets it together soon, any hope for Lander here, you figure?

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#45 OnlyOil
May 10 2013, 11:12PM
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Alex Steenberger wrote:

That's because the boys were dogging it.. Hallsy was dogging. He got benched as he should have. Learn your lesson young man. That's what these young guys need. That's how you advance ladies and gentlemen.

He was turning the puck over to much, toeing dragging it when he should have been dumping it in. Hall very rarely dogs it. Ruff has the opportunity to sit guys because the roster is deep. It's stupid to sit Hall for more than a shift or two with the oilers roster.

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#46 Eddie Shore
May 10 2013, 11:14PM
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Alex Steenberger wrote:

Yes I have watch all 48 Oiler games and now the WHC. When the boys were dogging NHL reg season.. Uncle Ralph kept them in. Double shifting at times. What's the message with that.

When your playing at the NHL.. 0 margin for errors. Kids gotta learn how to play hard and be responsible for their actions on the ice.

Krueger hardly ever double shifted "the boys" , or anyone for that matter.

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#47 bwar
May 10 2013, 11:36PM
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I honestly feel that Hartikainen can work as an NHLer but only if surrounded by the right linemates. And honestly if we are talking about a 4th liner thats just not going to happen. Maybe he will develop in a few more years or can thrive in a different environment but right now I don't see him making the cut for the Oilers starting lineup unless we really strike out this offseason and if thats the case Arcobello may be a starter as well.

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#48 dougtheslug
May 11 2013, 12:09AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Always had the feeling since Anton Lander was drafted.

Marcus Naslund had a rough couple seasons early in his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, they gave up on him and shipped him off to the Canucks where he had a stellar career.

Sortof see Anton in a similar light. Is that light a freight train about to mow me down, or do you see any possibility he gets it together soon, any hope for Lander here, you figure?

He's probably too embarrassed to respond, after being slamdunked for his Hartie-Franzen gaff

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#49 Muji
May 11 2013, 12:33AM
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Tough call. I hope that he succeeds and succeeds as an Oiler, but we're getting to the point where we can't hope anymore. Tambellini was too optimistic (or too dumb).

We need players that are certainties.

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#50 a lg dubl dubl
May 11 2013, 07:24AM
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Harti seems to be doing pretty good for the Barons in the playoffs on a line with Lander.

Maybe MacT should bring in Neilson as an assistant coach next season. The guy seems to know how to get the most out of guys like Lander, Hartikinen, and Rajala.

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