Magnus Paajarvi should start 2013-14 on the third line

Jonathan Willis
May 15 2013 07:27AM

When it comes to building hockey teams, I’m a firm believer that (to the extent possible in a salary cap world) every general manager should be a pessimist. If it’s a 50/50 bet that a player can recover from an injury, or return to his offensive form, or stay healthy, the G.M. should bet against his player. That way, if things go badly, he’s covered; if things go well, he has a pleasant surprise that can either help his team win or can be used to address an area of weakness.

That proclivity for pessimism is why I think the Oilers would be well-advised not to start Magnus Paajarvi in a scoring role next season.

Goal Scoring

Season League GP G Shots SH%
2007-08 Swe. 35 1 25 4.00%
2008-09 Swe. 50 7 103 6.80%
2009-10 Swe. 49 12 160 7.50%
2010-11 NHL 80 15 180 8.33%
2011-12 NHL 41 2 79 2.53%
2011-12 AHL 34 7 100 7.00%
2012-13 AHL 38 4 86 4.65%
2012-13 NHL 42 9 75 12.00%

We looked at Magnus Paajarvi’s shooting percentage during the lockout; the chart above is an update on what was done there. While it’s true that going to the net with the puck is an evolving part of his game, and could help produce more robust shooting percentage numbers going forward, it’s not something I would be comfortable betting on at this point.

Until proven otherwise, Paajarvi just isn’t a good enough shooter to be relied on in a scoring role, despite his uptick in the NHL in 2013.

The Other Things Paajarvi Brings

I’m going to include a Todd Nelson quote from the Dec. 10 edition of Oilers Now because I think it nicely sums up the development of Paajarvi as a player this season:

[Paajarvi’s goal-scoring is] a bit of a concern. You and I talked about the process, right? He’s doing some good things that he wasn’t doing last year. He’s finishing all his checks – he’s not killing guys but he’s being very consistent with that, where last year it was not very consistent. And he’s taking the puck to the net, he’s driving the puck to the net, he’s not afraid to go to the danger areas. I think that part of the game will come, he’s had some very good opportunities and just hasn’t found the back of the net yet.

Paajarvi’s willingness to go to the net was one of the things that Oilers’ head coach Ralph Krueger highlighted over the course of the year, too; he was repeatedly quoted on broadcasts as saying that Paajarvi was the Oilers’ most consistent forward when it came to crashing the crease.

The addition of an increased willingness to use his frame was a nice development for a player who does a lot of things well already. Outside of his shot, Paajarvi is certainly a plus player with the puck; he has pretty good vision and the combination of his speed and his willingness to skate the puck up the ice is highly valuable. He’s also defensive-minded (almost to a fault) which is an excellent asset in a third-line player, though it isn’t always in a top-six guy.

Paajarvi’s a player I have a lot of time for. He just doesn’t seem like a guy who drives offence; he’s a complementary player who can move up as needed at this stage of his career but not a guy who should be relied on in a scoring role.

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Recently around the Nation Network

There's some interesting stuff up lately - for instance, the Canucks Army Podcast recently had Jim Hughson on as a guest - but in light of the comments section on Lowetide's piece last night I thought it couldn't hurt to remind everyone that Nashville isn't likely to trade Shea Weber

Ultimately, it comes down to this: either the Predators made a terrible mistake, Poile’s being disingenuous, and the team plans to try and get a better return than four first round picks after spending $27 million for 48 games or they really have no plans to trade Weber. The latter seems more likely to be reality than the former. None of that means the Oilers shouldn't ask, but it does mean not much is likely to come of it.

Click either link above to read more, or check out some recent pieces here at Oilers Nation:

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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 HardBoiledOil
May 15 2013, 07:32AM
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FIST!! this is one guy i'd like to see the Oilers NOT trade! i'd like to see what we eventually end up with in Magnus. big, fast guy with some talent who can be effective on the 3rd line if he's not afraid to use his physical tools. i know a lot of people would like to trade half the team away and are growing weary of this long rebuild, but in some cases we need to still be patient and Magnus is one of those cases.

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#2 CalgaryOilersFan
May 15 2013, 11:49AM
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DSF wrote:

P/60 5V5:

Magnus Paajarvi 1.54

David Steckel 1.55

Pretty tough to win much when one of your top 9 forwards is producing at the level of a knuckle dragger.

P/60 5v5:

Players on playoff teams with equal 5v5 stats to Paajarvi;

CHARLIE COYLE 1.52 Tyler Bozak 1.55 David Backes 1.57 Patrick Marleau 1.45 Patrick Berglund 1.39 David Perron 1.58 Mike Richards 1.58

Not sure what the point was as it seems teams with top 9 players with P/60 in the range of 1.54 win just fine

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#4 The Beaker
May 15 2013, 08:33AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

FIST!! this is one guy i'd like to see the Oilers NOT trade! i'd like to see what we eventually end up with in Magnus. big, fast guy with some talent who can be effective on the 3rd line if he's not afraid to use his physical tools. i know a lot of people would like to trade half the team away and are growing weary of this long rebuild, but in some cases we need to still be patient and Magnus is one of those cases.

I'm not one campaigning to trade him but there are a lot of players on this team that fans would like to see the Oilers NOT trade. I think we all need to sit back and look at what the Oilers have to trade that can bring back some value in a package.

Keep in mind I'm not advocating trading all of these players, just compiling a list of what we could send out for a decent return.

Hemsky (keeping half his salary is a big part of getting a return for him IMO)He's got half a broken foot out the door already it seems

Gagner (Probably the highest value piece we have at the moment) If the return is right I think you send him out in a second.

MPS (There's a chance his value is higher than Gags because his contract will be smaller)If we are getting a piece back that can help us now and we know exactly what we're getting instead of waiting to see what we get then we have to do it if the player coming in makes sense.

Petry (Again, I dont see him being a guy thats likely to be moved but stranger things have happened)

Harsky (I see some value but its probably not huge at this point)

Klefbom (Return would have to be substantial, dont see him getting moved)

Marincin (I doubt the Oil would be looking to move him but again, if the return is right to get this team over the hump then you have to look at it)

Musil/Gernat (Prospects of note to be sure)

Draft Picks (the 7th has to have value as has been explored here on this site recently)

After that it is B grade prospects or less (unless I'm forgetting someone)

NHL players that have little to no value - Eager, Belanger, Peckham and anyone who thinks we are getting value for the rights of Omark, Whitney, Smithson, Petrell, Fistric needs to quit smoking things.

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#5 Jerod
May 15 2013, 08:51AM
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You look at SJ and how they developed Logan Couture. Oilers have never been good a taking 1 step back and 2 steps ahead.

If Oilers pick Sean Monahan in the draft this year, I can see them bring him along too fast.

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#6 FastOil
May 15 2013, 09:05AM
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Agreed about Pajaarvi. He is a good player but not top 6 good right now.

A lot of people mention playing Hall and Yak together. I think they ideally are on different lines to spread the offense and give teams two lines with a very dangerous player to worry about. Yak will likely be better than Eberle, but why not have two first lines in a way?

That physical 2LW hopefully with some experience and ability to fore check would be a nice compliment to Yak and whatever centre he gets while RNH is out.

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#7 CalgaryOilersFan
May 15 2013, 11:56AM
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@DSF

All these players are in the top nine in avg ice time for these conference final teams and all have P/60 in the 1.54 range, some significantly less

TIM KENNEDY S.J 12.41 0.74 JARRET STOLL L.A 12.28 1.12 CHRIS KELLY BOS 12.3 1.15 TREVOR LEWIS L.A 12.33 1.22 BRANDON SUTTER PIT 12.86 1.26 TOMMY WINGELS S.J 12.49 1.26 DUSTIN BROWN L.A 14.7 1.33 PATRICK MARLEAU S.J 13.75 1.45 MIKE RICHARDS L.A 11.84 1.58

Hope that helps

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#8 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 15 2013, 02:09PM
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When it comes to building hockey teams, I’m a firm believer that (to the extent possible in a salary cap world) every general manager should be a pessimist. If it’s a 50/50 bet that a player can recover from an injury, or return to his offensive form, or stay healthy, the G.M. should bet against his player. That way, if things go badly, he’s covered; if things go well, he has a pleasant surprise that can either help his team win or can be used to address an area of weakness. That proclivity for pessimism is why I think the Oilers would be well-advised not to start Magnus Paajarvi in a scoring role next season.

Two points, JW:

1) There is a potential category error here in your analysis.

You begin with a discussion of "building hockey teams" and discuss the need for "every general manager [to] be a pessimist" and "bet against the player."

However, you use this premise to discuss what appears to be a coaching decision: "the Oilers would be well-advised not to start Magnus Paajarvi in a scoring role next season"

Perhaps you can clarify.

FWIW I think starting Magnus on the 3rd is the right choice.

2) Why are you so determined to nix the elusive "three scoring lines" unicorn?

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#9 gcw_rocks
May 15 2013, 07:51AM
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The thing I was expecting to see, but I haven't seen from Paajarvi is some strong skills passing the puck. When he is blowing down the wing, if he could learn to stop launching that weak wrist shot and instead mix up some smart passing with occasional crashing towards the net, he could really generate some offense.

I suspect playing on a steady line would help with that, since his vision does not seem to be elite and thus knowing what his linemates are likely to do would be valuable to him.

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#10 Racki
May 15 2013, 07:57AM
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Both Paajarvi and Gagner had an increased nose for the net last year... that seemed to help both. I agree with you JW that it wouldn't be a good choice to bet on Paajarvi picking up where he left off. And really, about 1/3 - 1/2 of that shortened season was good, the rest is still pretty unflattering. I like Paajarvi, but he's definitely a work in progress and it's still unknown if he can be anywhere near what we hoped (the same I'd say about any of the nordic trio). Paajarvi should be a plan B, with hopes that he'll pan out. Line 3 sounds about right.

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#11 Hammers
May 15 2013, 07:59AM
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Been saying the same thing for some time . McT needs another winger for RNH & Ebs leaving Gags , Hall & Yak on 2nd and Magnus with Horc & Hemsky (if still here) Magnus has the tools and at his age can play both wings and move up in the rotation if injuries occur .Most important is he will be most cost effective (cheapest )in the top 9 . Unfortunately if I was a trading partner with the Oil he would be the one I wanted.

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#12 Will
May 15 2013, 08:25AM
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What is everyone's expectation or I guess hope for Paajarvi? Is it net crashing hard hitting second line LW that scores about 20 goals a season? Or is it 3rd line utility player that kills penalties, can jump up and down the line up into different positions, and is good for about 11 goals a year?

I really like Paajarvi and it seems he's done all that has been asked of him without getting any of the breaks the winder kids get. He never gets to play on a consistent line, and he has had to for long stretches play with the Belangier's of the team.

I like the idea proposed of having a big mean LW with some skill on our top line, and keeping Yak and Hall together. Will Paajarvi as a utility player.

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#13 YFC Prez
May 15 2013, 08:32AM
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I wasn't impressed at all by Paajarvi until this season but he really stepped up. He has finally started to use his size and speed to his advantage. If Paajarvi takes another step forward and gets some more grit in his game the oilers will finally have a half decent PF in their line-up.

Can someone please explain to me where this FIST thing comes from? Oilers nation fist? typo "first"

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#14 The Beaker
May 15 2013, 09:36AM
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YFC Prez wrote:

I wasn't impressed at all by Paajarvi until this season but he really stepped up. He has finally started to use his size and speed to his advantage. If Paajarvi takes another step forward and gets some more grit in his game the oilers will finally have a half decent PF in their line-up.

Can someone please explain to me where this FIST thing comes from? Oilers nation fist? typo "first"

It's kind of an inside joke. The whole "first" thing was/is going around the interwebs and some people picked it up here and a typo or two and correlation with the ON logo later and we get our own little OilersNation meme...It doesnt help that the site kinda split into two factions, fisters and non-fisters... it's prevailed so long mainly because it bugs some people.

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#15 rickithebear
May 15 2013, 09:54AM
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two things: 1. if you are going to trade a player you better be able to replace there production. - Gagner PK results reduced PKGA by 8 goals versus the average for the season. With DD giving us 73% 2GA startrs or better. That is 6 games that are now 3GA games. That is alot of points in the standings. -ryan smyth same 8 goals.

2. the Cap structure for playoff teams is very consistent. 17-18M fwd 1-3 13-14M fwd 4-7 7-8M fwd 8-14

Forwards with size who are on rfa contracts and scoring less than 18G can be had for lower rfa contract size. MP fits that 7-8 cap role that is needed as the big 4-5 get large contracts.

You are most critically trying to get high EVP production in 7-9 fwds.

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#16 Quicksilver ballet
May 15 2013, 09:55AM
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Dustin Penner would probably be the second best left winger on this hockey club if the Oilers saw fit to bring him back. Should be interesting to see if MacTavish, like Kevin Lowe, lets all this personal b/s get in the way of him doing his job.

Why wouldn't you explore the idea of bringing Penner back if only Taylor Hall would slot in above him in this lineup? Taking into consideration Hemsky's out of the picture.

Is it Penners fault the Oilers don't like playing in the spring (playoffs). Hopefully we're not getting the same bullship GM ,like we have as a president right now. If Lowe would look back and see, when he got personal about his dealings, is when he hurt his hockey club the most. Do your frigging job Craig, we don't care about all your little bullship battle of wills with the players. He'd probably score as many goals as Taylor Hall with second line duty.

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#17 oilman3
May 15 2013, 10:26AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Dustin Penner would probably be the second best left winger on this hockey club if the Oilers saw fit to bring him back. Should be interesting to see if MacTavish, like Kevin Lowe, lets all this personal b/s get in the way of him doing his job.

Why wouldn't you explore the idea of bringing Penner back if only Taylor Hall would slot in above him in this lineup? Taking into consideration Hemsky's out of the picture.

Is it Penners fault the Oilers don't like playing in the spring (playoffs). Hopefully we're not getting the same bullship GM ,like we have as a president right now. If Lowe would look back and see, when he got personal about his dealings, is when he hurt his hockey club the most. Do your frigging job Craig, we don't care about all your little bullship battle of wills with the players. He'd probably score as many goals as Taylor Hall with second line duty.

i don't understand the people that want to bring penner back. what this team needs is players who hold nothing back and are willing to pay the price to win. there has been way too many half assed efforts here and dustin penner is the poster boy for being a floater the majority of the time. i'm not questioning his skill level but it's time this team develops an identity. i hope that identity is one that refuses to quit and plays with passion.

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#18 YFC Prez
May 15 2013, 10:45AM
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@The Beaker

thanks for clearing it up. That's kinda on the lines of what I figured it was.....count me in as one of the "non-fisters" folks here at the nation. Strange ritual it is

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#19 OilLeak
May 15 2013, 10:47AM
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The Beaker wrote:

I'm not one campaigning to trade him but there are a lot of players on this team that fans would like to see the Oilers NOT trade. I think we all need to sit back and look at what the Oilers have to trade that can bring back some value in a package.

Keep in mind I'm not advocating trading all of these players, just compiling a list of what we could send out for a decent return.

Hemsky (keeping half his salary is a big part of getting a return for him IMO)He's got half a broken foot out the door already it seems

Gagner (Probably the highest value piece we have at the moment) If the return is right I think you send him out in a second.

MPS (There's a chance his value is higher than Gags because his contract will be smaller)If we are getting a piece back that can help us now and we know exactly what we're getting instead of waiting to see what we get then we have to do it if the player coming in makes sense.

Petry (Again, I dont see him being a guy thats likely to be moved but stranger things have happened)

Harsky (I see some value but its probably not huge at this point)

Klefbom (Return would have to be substantial, dont see him getting moved)

Marincin (I doubt the Oil would be looking to move him but again, if the return is right to get this team over the hump then you have to look at it)

Musil/Gernat (Prospects of note to be sure)

Draft Picks (the 7th has to have value as has been explored here on this site recently)

After that it is B grade prospects or less (unless I'm forgetting someone)

NHL players that have little to no value - Eager, Belanger, Peckham and anyone who thinks we are getting value for the rights of Omark, Whitney, Smithson, Petrell, Fistric needs to quit smoking things.

The Judge, Simpson, and Rajala are prospects of note.

Eager and Belanger are signed, but have no value. Peckham is RFA and has no value Whitney, Smithson, Fistric, and Petrell are UFA and have no value. Omark is an RFA, market value could be a 4th or 5th round pick, I'm assuming.

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#20 Quicksilver ballet
May 15 2013, 10:49AM
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@oilman3

Penner may pace himself during the 82 game exhibition season, but who else on this team doesn't? Hemsky,Horcoff,Smyth, all guys that have played well inside their comfort zone, for years now, guys whom we never see in that 95 -100% effort level. They live at that sub 90% effort level.

Penner has won two Stanley Cups, on two different teams, so we know it wasn't a fluke. Players all have ups and downs during the 82 game pre-season. The stronger the team around him, the more effective Penner can be. He has two Cups to prove it. He has size, he'll lean on people, and possibly get you 30 goals, all that for 3 mill or less.

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#21 oilman3
May 15 2013, 11:05AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Penner may pace himself during the 82 game exhibition season, but who else on this team doesn't? Hemsky,Horcoff,Smyth, all guys that have played well inside their comfort zone, for years now, guys whom we never see in that 95 -100% effort level. They live at that sub 90% effort level.

Penner has won two Stanley Cups, on two different teams, so we know it wasn't a fluke. Players all have ups and downs during the 82 game pre-season. The stronger the team around him, the more effective Penner can be. He has two Cups to prove it. He has size, he'll lean on people, and possibly get you 30 goals, all that for 3 mill or less.

i don't think horcoff and smyth hold anything back. the fact that both of them have had major league careers is a testament to their hardwork since neither of them are going to win any skill competitions. the sad thing about smyth is i really feel he is giving everything he has, but unfortunately that isn't enough anymore. age and punishment on his body have obviously caught up with him. hemsky possesses a very high skill level but appears to float far too often. i do think he's trying harder than it sometimes appears, but we need more relentless players who will never give up on the puck and do anything to keep it or get it back. it would be so nice to have a team where the compete level is there consistently.

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#22 DSF
May 15 2013, 11:24AM
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P/60 5V5:

Magnus Paajarvi 1.54

David Steckel 1.55

Pretty tough to win much when one of your top 9 forwards is producing at the level of a knuckle dragger.

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#23 Quicksilver ballet
May 15 2013, 11:38AM
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@oilman3

I could never understand the people that wanted Penner gone. He accomplished way more than the current deadwood types have. Horcoff,Hemsky,Smyth,Belanger, why so patient with these guys. Why send the most productive of these 5 characters down the river?

I noticed you used the word "had" productive careers. Why the need to hang onto these yesteryear types. The 4 should be put out to stud, cause they sure aren't any good at their current vocations.

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#24 Oiler Al
May 15 2013, 11:39AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Dustin Penner would probably be the second best left winger on this hockey club if the Oilers saw fit to bring him back. Should be interesting to see if MacTavish, like Kevin Lowe, lets all this personal b/s get in the way of him doing his job.

Why wouldn't you explore the idea of bringing Penner back if only Taylor Hall would slot in above him in this lineup? Taking into consideration Hemsky's out of the picture.

Is it Penners fault the Oilers don't like playing in the spring (playoffs). Hopefully we're not getting the same bullship GM ,like we have as a president right now. If Lowe would look back and see, when he got personal about his dealings, is when he hurt his hockey club the most. Do your frigging job Craig, we don't care about all your little bullship battle of wills with the players. He'd probably score as many goals as Taylor Hall with second line duty.

Penner is a fat lazy ass slug!. He is out of shape and can barely fisnish one shift on ice, before waving his stick to come off.

Never hits anyone, and yes he is tough along the boards, but so is Hartikianen. I'd sooner have Eager than this Pancake muncher.

He played sucess on the coatails of others[ Ducks] and score 30 goals one year standing infront of the net on power plays and bouncing pucks of his fat butt.

Suter is no dumb dumb, and thats why he had him the press box most of the season.

I'd say there are hundereds of other options besides Penner.

His most obvious option will be the beer league in Winkler Man.

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#25 oilman3
May 15 2013, 11:48AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

i absolutely agree with you on those four guys. there's no chance belanger is coming back and i would be happy to say goodbye to the other three as well. the problem is we need capable players to replace them. they can't just throw more kids into these positions if they have any hope of being competitive. i'm really looking forward to see what mactavish has up his sleeve and hope he can come up with something a lot better than penner.

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
May 15 2013, 11:51AM
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@Oiler Al

He's also a 2 time Stanley Cup champion, whose made close to 28 million dollars to date. Call him what you want if it'll help you feel better about yourself.

Hundreds of other options besides Penner eh?

6'4, 230, potential 2nd line 30 goal scorer, for around 3 mill per season.

We await your wisdom Al. What a load of rubbish....

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#27 Quicksilver ballet
May 15 2013, 11:54AM
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@oilman3

MacTavish has nothing up his sleeve. These 4 all have guaranteed contracts for next season. These guys are here, if only to save managements faces for signing them in the first place. It's lipstick on a pig for yet one more year. MacTavish is a puppet just like the rest.

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#28 Will
May 15 2013, 12:01PM
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Gonna weigh in on the Penner thing. I think for what he was paid while he was here for what he produced (what he get that one year like 34 goals or something) was great value. You'd be hard pressed to ind a better contract for that type of output.

However, going forward with the group we have, I think the criticisms of 'lazy Penner' are justified. I couldn't handle watching him Hemsky his way around the ice and think if we are going to bring in anyone, they have to come with a compete level that Penner just doesn't have outside of the playoffs.

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#29 Quicksilver ballet
May 15 2013, 12:05PM
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@Will

Grapes called Mario Lemieux a floater for awhile as well. Sometimes those who know, don't know. Is it at all possible, us fans are wrong, have to believe so.

Get rid of all the deadwood on this team, and Penner will be fine. Oilers need a couple bargain types.

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#30 Will
May 15 2013, 12:20PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Grapes called Mario Lemieux a floater for awhile as well. Sometimes those who know, don't know. Is it at all possible, us fans are wrong, have to believe so.

Get rid of all the deadwood on this team, and Penner will be fine. Oilers need a couple bargain types.

If LA wins another cup, do you really think A) Penner will be a bargain, B) they won't resign him, C) he'd even want to come back to an organization now run by the guy who openly mocked his ability and compete level, and D) that other teams around the league wouldn't want him?

He only came here in the first place because we were going to give him more money than the Ducks were willing to offer. As a UFA, however, I can't really see him choosing the Oilers unless we overpay which kind of defeats the purpose in the first place doesn't it?

I'm not saying I don't want him here, just that I would never want us to overpay to get him here.

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#31 The Beaker
May 15 2013, 12:38PM
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@OilLeak

Yep. Not sure who "The Judge" is but I'd imagine Simpson wont have a huge cache outside of the Oilers org until he shows more at a pro level. Rajala likewise probably will go from being a "guy who can put up AHL numbers" to "prospect with value around the league" if he gets a few cups of coffee and puts up some modest point production.

Thats why didnt include those guys on that list. I think they WILL have value but at this stage are probably more valuable here then they are as trade bait.

If we could get a fourth rounder back for Omark at this stages I'd be impressed with MacTavish.

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#32 The Beaker
May 15 2013, 12:41PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Grapes called Mario Lemieux a floater for awhile as well. Sometimes those who know, don't know. Is it at all possible, us fans are wrong, have to believe so.

Get rid of all the deadwood on this team, and Penner will be fine. Oilers need a couple bargain types.

I don't believe Grapes has "known" anything for a long while. I'm of the believe that hes like Nostradamus, if he says enough things hes bound to get some right sometimes.

Toronto clearly didn't win game seven because they didn't have a fighting major. (Dumbest freaking comments I've heard in a long time.)

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#33 Eddie Edmonton
May 15 2013, 01:26PM
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Is it just me, or does anyone else believe that Willis and DSF are the same person?

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#34 NewAgeSys
May 15 2013, 01:31PM
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Magnus is a lock of the 2nd line winger spot.He is top 6 material all the way and is just beginning to hit his stride.No way is he going anywhere and no way is he playing bottom 6 minutes on this team,he is much to talented and physically gifted.He brushed harti off with his offensive skillset like a bug even when the coaches were supporting hartis role execution.

We will focus on improving the bottom 6 next year immediatly.I expect MPS to be bigger and heavier and even more effective next year,he is the type of player who will keep improving as his comfort level increases.He also has a mean streak we havent seen all of yet,he will soon learn to keep his elbows and stick up and he will damage people breaking to the net.

Magnus provides us with an exceptional zone entry option,a unique one, big fast and smart.Much different than Hemsky or Hall or our other zone entry specialists.Magnuses zone entry and zone transition numbers must be very good,I am not a stats person but that is what he does best so the stats will bear this out.

The statistics support Willisis perspective in my opinion,but when i temper them with the Intuitive evolution I see in Magnuses game the story reads a little differently.

I see a zone entry specialist who will become the anchor of the 2nd lines zone entrys and transitions if given the opportunity,and I see as Willis does a 3rd line player who can also anchor that slot with his zone entry skillset,I am less concerned with his offense because of the areas he is consistantly going to now more than any other Oiler is,he is going into teams wheelhouses all the time now and scoring the types of goals we need from him. I prefer to see MPS using his skillset to make room for more offensive players in the top 6,it is this zone entry skillset that we need to distribute evenly through all 4 lines,we need a specific specialist on every line,so far we have MPS,Hemsky,and Hall,we need one for the 4th line in my opinion.I have Hall on line 1 MPS on line 2 and hemsky on line 3.

Believe it or not I think Omark could be the man for this 4th line specialty position,his skillset is definately NHL caliber and he is able to execute specific possesion-spin moves proven to dominate NHL defensemen,there is no solution to Omark like many smaller men before him,Fluery comes to mind.Zone entry specialists are the exceptions to the size rule,they are that critical.

I like the comparative stats articles,they are very supportive of the dynamic changes players make to their games.They can be used to accurately track a players dynamic evolution within the system,and to predict potential deviations in the evolutionary curve,because system understanding is all that matters this can be viewed as a critical area.

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#35 YFC Prez
May 15 2013, 01:51PM
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@NewAgeSys

divide that into 3 different posts and it would be a lot easier to read and a little more fitting in a comments section on a blog like this.

I'm curious about this "mean streak" you are talking about. I have never seen anything remotely mean from MPS, I would love to see him play with an edge!

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#37 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 15 2013, 02:49PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

1) The only way the Oilers can reasonably start Paajarvi on the third line is if management decides to bring in a better left wing for L2.

2) I like three scoring lines, but I think I'm the only one.

1) I considered that, however, it would still be up to the coach to decide on the make up of his lines, no?

I mean Pat Quinn made some bizarre line choices. Renney put Petrell on the 1st line for a game or two. etc.

But maybe that's being pedantic.

2) you are not alone. maybe we could start a support group?

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#38 Will
May 15 2013, 03:03PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

1) The only way the Oilers can reasonably start Paajarvi on the third line is if management decides to bring in a better left wing for L2.

2) I like three scoring lines, but I think I'm the only one.

Three scoring lines is a great idea if you have three lines that can actually score. This last season it seemed either the kid line was scoring, or the yak line was scoring. Hardly ever in the same night, and even less time was it all three lines chipping in for wins.

Paajarvi, Horcoff, Hemsky / Jones / Hartikinen is not a scoring line on paper. It's a Hemsky scores every once in a while when he's not injured and Paajarvi and Horcoff are defensively responsible. It's the type of line Krueger would put out to hold a one goal lead with fifteen minutes left in the third, especially if he could work Petrell and Whitney into the line somehow.

Point being we need to get at least 3 new bodies in our top nine before we can talk about three scoring lines. Besides have a big third checking line that plays shut down and wears out the opposing top line and defence with hard forechecking is something this team needs to invest in.

Or am I way off base here?

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#39 Wax Man Riley
May 15 2013, 04:39PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Pretty sure it's only you. I didn't have a man-crush on Dale Tallon last year that I don't talk about this year.

Injuries, Willis! Injuries!

Dale Tallon is the best GM in the league! His team was just plagued by injuries this year.

When the Oilers have injuries, it boils down to lack of depth, but if any other team has injuries, it is a valid argument.

Get it?

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#40 Jimmer
May 15 2013, 05:09PM
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Spot on Willis!

A third line of Horcoff-Yakupov-Paajarvi will help Yakupov and Paajarvi more than anything else next year.

Horcoff is a good teacher. His maturity and knowledge of the game will rub off on both of them.

By the trade deadline don't be surprised if this is one of the best third lines in the Western Conference.

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#41 Oiler Ala
May 15 2013, 05:41PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

He's also a 2 time Stanley Cup champion, whose made close to 28 million dollars to date. Call him what you want if it'll help you feel better about yourself.

Hundreds of other options besides Penner eh?

6'4, 230, potential 2nd line 30 goal scorer, for around 3 mill per season.

We await your wisdom Al. What a load of rubbish....

Mr Clean, I could never rely on Penner to "feel better about myself", trust me!.

But to your point , 2 Stanley cup rings , and $28 million , you would have to ask your self "how in the world can he be sitting in the press box most of the year"..Is he that bad? I guess Suter thinks so.

He's had a couple of good years, but only scored 30 plus once in his career.

Hopefully he saved some of that $28 million, wont see that kind of money again, thanks to Mr Lowe. Hell, Burke didnt think he was worth that.

Right now at best he's $2milion max.

His problem he has less passion about the game than a frozen horse apple on the road.

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#42 bwar
May 15 2013, 06:35PM
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Currently I feel Paajarvi is a good third liner or a poor second liner. He's young and I feel his physical play greatly improved last year. In another year or two I think we will be playing a very important role for this team. He's a decent sized player and with all the discussion about the Oilers getting bigger I think it would be pretty hypocritical to trade him away, he's not the player we need right now but I think in a year or so he will be the exact player we need.

Also tough to pen him in any where but the third line when you look at our potential roster for next season:

Hall-RNH-Eberle

Yak-Gagner-Hemsky

PRV-Monahan?-Jones?

Smyth-Horcoff-Brown

Now things probably won't look exactly like that but you get a decent idea of where our guys should slot in. Our draft pick most likely plays somewhere in the bottom 6 with the old men pushed down to the fourth line.

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#43 Quicksilver ballet
May 15 2013, 09:47PM
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@Oiler Ala

Not even one other example Al. You're nothing but a lot of hot air so far Al. You have levelled some criticism in Penners direction, but you haven't provided any alternatives whatsoever.

So, he's fat, and lazy but you haven't provided us with any better, more in shape alternatives.

Maybe you could pot 25 goals this coming season for the Oilers, no? Are you better than Pens himself?, or are you even fatter and lazier than Dustin?

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#44 madjam
May 15 2013, 10:15PM
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Penner appears to be one of those playoff players only - not much thru regular season contribution . Avoid a return unless you get him at trade deadline and have a playoff locked up . He will disappoint again thru regular season .

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#45 TigerUnderGlass
May 15 2013, 10:40PM
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Oiler Ala wrote:

Mr Clean, I could never rely on Penner to "feel better about myself", trust me!.

But to your point , 2 Stanley cup rings , and $28 million , you would have to ask your self "how in the world can he be sitting in the press box most of the year"..Is he that bad? I guess Suter thinks so.

He's had a couple of good years, but only scored 30 plus once in his career.

Hopefully he saved some of that $28 million, wont see that kind of money again, thanks to Mr Lowe. Hell, Burke didnt think he was worth that.

Right now at best he's $2milion max.

His problem he has less passion about the game than a frozen horse apple on the road.

Yet there he is, solidly in the top 9 for the playoffs. Weird how Sutter keep playing him when it counts.

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#46 GVBlackhawk
May 16 2013, 01:26AM
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The Beaker wrote:

Yep. Not sure who "The Judge" is but I'd imagine Simpson wont have a huge cache outside of the Oilers org until he shows more at a pro level. Rajala likewise probably will go from being a "guy who can put up AHL numbers" to "prospect with value around the league" if he gets a few cups of coffee and puts up some modest point production.

Thats why didnt include those guys on that list. I think they WILL have value but at this stage are probably more valuable here then they are as trade bait.

If we could get a fourth rounder back for Omark at this stages I'd be impressed with MacTavish.

Jujhar Khaira.

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#47 NewAgeSys
May 17 2013, 03:53AM
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bwar wrote:

Currently I feel Paajarvi is a good third liner or a poor second liner. He's young and I feel his physical play greatly improved last year. In another year or two I think we will be playing a very important role for this team. He's a decent sized player and with all the discussion about the Oilers getting bigger I think it would be pretty hypocritical to trade him away, he's not the player we need right now but I think in a year or so he will be the exact player we need.

Also tough to pen him in any where but the third line when you look at our potential roster for next season:

Hall-RNH-Eberle

Yak-Gagner-Hemsky

PRV-Monahan?-Jones?

Smyth-Horcoff-Brown

Now things probably won't look exactly like that but you get a decent idea of where our guys should slot in. Our draft pick most likely plays somewhere in the bottom 6 with the old men pushed down to the fourth line.

You are on track for sure.

Magnuses true value is in his elite zone entry and traverse ability at the NHL level ,something no one could have predicted would evolve so quickly.

Right now we have in order of current systemic value,MPS-Hemsky-Hall-Omark.

I am refering to specificlly zone entry specialists and nothing else.

I see the only reason we turfed this past season being poor overall team managment.

Last season I immediatly read Ralphs mistakes in his line choices and after game 3 I posted the reasons Ralph needed to put MPS-Gagner-Yakupov together as a consistant 2nd line and also the reasons we needed Hemsky on the 3rd line with Smyth and Horcoff,also the reasons Hall needed to change his game to balance his lines performance pointswise,all of this after the 3rd dam game.We needed the zone transition ability spread across 3 lines and MPSs style matches better with gagner and Yakupov,Hemmer is to puck dominant to play with Green Kids,Hemmer is an executioner type of player,he is a hitman who doesnt plan on sharing the puck ever if he can say so.

Hall-Nuge-Ebbs

MPS-Gagner-Yakupov

Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky

These are the lines we should have run with last year and kept consistant.As we should do this coming year.We need scoring from the 3rd line and also from the 4th line.

The Oilers biggest need right now is a kick in the Crown Royal Bag,they are so disconnected they cant see the the changes they need to make.The defense needs to convert to a stand-up style,and the forwards all need to learn how to backcheck and support different areas of the ice than the current system has trained them to instinctively do.We need scoring from all 4 lines and thst needs to be clear from day one.

I would roll out Omark-Lander-Cheechoo for the 4th line,in 40% of the games over an 82 game season,and roll the knuckles for 40 % of the remaining games while Rookie intros can eat up the last 20% of 4th line icetime.

But if the top 9 are left intact as i listed we have an NHL playoff roster cooking.The 4th line is the swing vote,either skill or Knuckles,we need to be able to present both during the appropriate stretches of the season.

Last year Ralph got prissy and he refused to build his lines this way in the face of reason.He spent the entire season trying to get his lines set and it killed him from a dynamic standpoint.All of his productive moves were retarded for some reason and came to little to late.

Gagner and Ebbs will fight for the team points lead with this dynamic line setup.Hall will need to be muzzled early and often to keep Nuge and Ebbs involved,in fact hobble the little SOB for the first 20 games because we severely need Nuge to score a normal volume of goals this year and Ebbs needs to keep sharp himself.Last year Taylor tried to carry the line and it lost its dynamic balance,he did fine but the rest of the line sucked until Hall changed his approach,we cant have this happen again,Nuge needs to be the general of that line every night.Gagner can hold the 2nd line and hemmer can add enough pop to the 3rd for us,and Ralph can play with the 3rd and 4th lines as much as he wants as long as he leaves the top 6 intact.

Remember the value of the zone entry specialists we have and then try and fit them into the equation based on this core value.

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#48 NewAgeSys
May 17 2013, 04:10AM
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@YFC Prez

@ the Yak

Yak,you needed to be paying specific attention to magnuses adjustments in OKC,you need to understand the specific changes he made to his game,the specific moves and what they did to and for his game and confidence.Magnus evolved into a leader in OKC,and he showed his teeth doing it,and when he returned to the NHL he was getting in the wheelhouses of some pretty tough customers and that continued the entire season.

There are a lot of reasons one could have predicted and even supported MPSes development and evolution,I am not going into specifics because they are Intuitive reads,screw Darkhorse and their "scrapeing"the internet for data.

Magnus will continue to evolve and his mean streak will begin to project itself more and more next season in a noticable way.MPS believes the ice belongs to him and that you have to take it away from him,and he is a very big boy and only getting bigger.he is terratorial when he enters the playaction and opponents know it now.He will defend this aspect of his game and this will bring out the yard-dog in him he will not relinquish his roster spot to NHL opponents pressure,he will dominate them or break trying.

Remeber Magnus is developing a gritty edge and a territorial attitude AGAINST his natural grain,and for a big man in the NHL that is quite a statement.That is called player evolution and adaptability.

I think Magnus will put on a few pounds this summer and impress everyone,he looks like a late bloomer to me,from what I have seen he can muscle up still and he hasnt filled out yet.I think if he tried he could add ten pounds of muscle to his frame and lose no speed or mobility.Possible bit of lateral expolsiveness but that is a worthy sacrifice if he bulks up as his game is predominantly north/south ,as long as he keeps his long range speed he will be ok.

No one is stopping the MPS Express train next year,this will be Magnuses breakout year in the NHL.We better put a Killer with him against some teams as he has already been targeted with dirty hits as teams are recognising what he can do to them, we need to DEFEND that,not expect him to fight his way out alone because he is a big man,we want him ON THE ICE,not in the box,so we need to hurt teams who target his zone entry ability by trying to hurt him with chesp shots,especially when he goes to the net,we need to defend that like rotten yard-dogs,every time teams react to him we need to bite them hard.And keep sending him there.

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