MAKING GOOD BETS

Lowetide
August 10 2014 11:59AM

millerandrew

This is Andrew Miller. He might be the least famous forward on the Oilers North American depth chart, and yet the club re-signed him this summer. Why? Part of the reason may come from his second half performance. Miller seemed to turn a corner, to establish himself, after New Year's. The Oilers had several prospects spike in the second half, and that could bode well for the coming year.


SPLITS.....

The following numbers are pre-New Year's and post, by player.

Andrew Miller
2013 
  33GP, 5-12-17 .515
2014
  19GP, 3-14-17 .895 

That shows genuine progress. Miller is a college grad, somewhat similar in style and size to Mark Arcobello, and worth watching in the coming season.

Anton Lander
2013 
  18GP, 9-6-15 .833
2014
  28GP, 9-28-37 1.321

Lander stepped up in a big way during the season's second half, and earned his NHL contract for 2014-15. These numbers also show he can deliver at the AHL level in offensive situations. Will he be the one to take advantage of the lack of center depth? He seems the least likely candidate, but you never know.

Tyler Pitlick
2013 
  15GP, 1-5-6 .400
2014
  24GP, 7-9-16 .667

It was a big season for Pitlick, as he worked his way to the NHL for the first time. This fall will be a defining moment in his Oilers career, as there is a job waiting for him to win on the right side.

Brandon Davidson
2013 
  27GP, 0-2-2 .074
2014
  41GP, 5-6-11 .268

For a defenseman like Davidson, who plays less of an offensive role, increased boxcars usually indicates more playing time. He has a very difficult road, but improved his NHL chances markedly this year.

David Musil
2013 
  20GP, 0-3-3 .150
2014
  41GP, 2-7-9 .220

As with Davidson, David Musil's second half spike suggests he played more and was a bigger part of the team. For Musil, as an AHL rookie, that's a very good sign.

Oscar Klefbom
2013 
  27GP, 0-3-3 .111
2014
  21GP, 1-6-7 .333

Klefbom struggled in November and early December based on reports, and then seemed to take a step forward. He would eventually play his first NHL games, and the season overall was a success.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

snake

It's important to resist overvaluing the splits, but they do offer some insight. Coach Todd Nelson was using men like Davidson and Musil more often in the second half (based on these numbers) and Lander, Miller and Pitlick were finding the range more often.

Can they sustain it? It's a better question for these players to answer than the alternative. 

(Miller photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).

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 Lofty
August 10 2014, 12:05PM
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The upticks are also likely a result of quality coaching in OKC.

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#2 David S
August 10 2014, 12:13PM
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Man does that snake destroy the balloon!

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#3 Craig1981
August 10 2014, 01:11PM
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"Lander stepped up in a big way during the season's second half".

Maybe in the AHL, but in his nhl call-up I saw a player that reminded me of so many former highly praised oilers prospects that couldn't hack it in the NHL, even with great players for linemates.

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#4 bwar
August 10 2014, 01:41PM
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I think we just won a stanley cup.

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#5 J.R.
August 10 2014, 02:07PM
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David S wrote:

Man does that snake destroy the balloon!

Balloons vs snakes....always mortal enemies.

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#6 oilcountryforlife
August 10 2014, 02:45PM
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Sure liked that snake....reminded me of Ken Linesman

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#7 The Soup Fascist
August 10 2014, 02:56PM
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oilcountryforlife wrote:

Sure liked that snake....reminded me of Ken Linesman

What is the difference between Alexandre Burrows and a snake?

One is a cowardly cold-blooded reptile who bites it's victims when threatened ......

..... and the other is shown attacking a water balloon above.

* Cue the rimshot

**(settle down Canuck fans ..... a rimshot is not what you think it is).

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#8 Oilcruzer
August 10 2014, 03:35PM
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oilcountryforlife wrote:

Sure liked that snake....reminded me of Ken Linesman

And Johnny Referee.

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#9 Rocket
August 10 2014, 05:17PM
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I'm really pulling for Pitlick this year.

I can't back it up with stats (cause I'm lazy) but it does seem like the Oilers are developing players better more consistently.

With a solid coaching staff and (hopefully) improving scouting, The Oilers are heading in the right direction IMO.

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#10 Dwayne Roloson 35
August 10 2014, 05:55PM
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really nice to see how far along our prospect development has come. Wasnt too long ago that we didnt even have our own farm club an expected just rob schremp to be the guy to save us.

the guys in okc have done an amazing job. we're stocking the prospect pool big time.

We also recently bought the Bakersfield Condors. Guys that get sent down there will be given assignments and will be developed to play for the oilers. of course this may get us 1 out of the blue gem but it all helps.

Seeing stuff like this is what gives me hope. One day we can trade our prospects for rental players to go on a long playoff run. imm not saying that will be next year or even the year after but we're legitimately headed in the right direction IMO.

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#11 Max
August 10 2014, 07:28PM
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Well, the world is on the brink of universal war, planes are crashing on a daily basis and all I can think about is that there are 60 days to season opener. I really don't care about analytics, I don't care about prospects, I don't even care about a 30 year cup reunion, ALL I care about is a season where we turn things around. I am starved of information - Mattheson's post from June 28 is still on the Journal Oilers' page, but I want NEWS, I want signings, I want more new players and I want HOPE AND FAITH. I want to see the players from last year upping the ante, I want to see Scrivens and Fasht become THE goalies of the year, I want to see the new guys coming through on their promises, I want to see Eakins doing a complete turnaround with his new staff and I want to see us beat the snot out of the Flames at season opener (and every other game this season) I also want the Canucks to lose to us every game they have lost at season's end previously. Also, I'd like to win the lottery as well.........

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#12 Max
August 10 2014, 07:30PM
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Meant to say re the Canucks; as they have lost every last game of the season recently to us......

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#13 hemi
August 10 2014, 07:46PM
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Ah yes, the upcoming season! Kool-Aid be damned. How can one not look at the roster and not be happy to some degree that the team is looking better than it has for years? Just from a long suffering fan, I just hope the Oil can beat the snot out of the following teams:

1/ The laffs....I have for my entire life, hated this team. 2/ The habs....again, hated all my life. 3/ The nuckleheads....grew to hate in the last five years based on their obnoxious fans. 4/ Last but not least, the Flamers simply because they are Flamers!

I can stomach loosing to other teams in the league but the above noted four.....argh!

GO OIL!

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#14 Sevenseven
August 10 2014, 07:55PM
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I bet you Macts bets this summer turn out better then Belov, Grebeshkov, labarbera and the others he choose last summer.

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#15 HardBoiledOil
August 10 2014, 08:01PM
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everyone....get excited about Andrew Miller and Brad Hunt!!

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#16 max
August 10 2014, 08:12PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

everyone....get excited about Andrew Miller and Brad Hunt!!

I don't give a toss what their names are, I don't give a toss about their stats or their potential. I care about winning, I care about players who want to win - does that make me weird? I don't think so - so Hunt, Miller, or whoever you are, win for the Oilers and you WILL be remembered, if not, welcome to obscurity.

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#17 God
August 10 2014, 08:57PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

What is the difference between Alexandre Burrows and a snake?

One is a cowardly cold-blooded reptile who bites it's victims when threatened ......

..... and the other is shown attacking a water balloon above.

* Cue the rimshot

**(settle down Canuck fans ..... a rimshot is not what you think it is).

Best comment of the day!!

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#18 Dallas Reakins
August 10 2014, 09:00PM
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I wish that balloon was Six Rings head!! I'd watch that all day every day until the season starts!

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#19 gongshow
August 10 2014, 10:38PM
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Mark Arcobello showed up to OKC in late January and lit the league up. How much did his presence help turn the tide for these players listed?

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#20 MrBent
August 11 2014, 01:32AM
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Im going to write a middle of the night blog for y'all free of charge. First of all, and i mean this, Relax. Next. Taylor Hall is a top 10 player in the league and he plays for the Oil. When other hockey markets have a top 10 player they sleep easy. 2014/15 will be the first year he is solidified as such so yes this is different that last year. Nugents Hopkins, Eberle will be better as well. The way i look at it not only is the Oiler core better year by year right now but current cup champions and contenders are worse year by year. Dont need to look farther then Vancouver to prove that. Next. Forget about a High Draft pick next year. The race to the bottom will be fierce. Florida, Buffalo, Vancouver, Arizona, New Jersey and about 5 other teams will be dismantled by there GMs during the season next year to the extent that any amount of effort or good coaching will still fail. Calgary is not smart enough to do this. Next. The off season additions make the Oilers a true NHL team and do it in a way that wont unsettle the core. Most, if not all the new players, are under 30 and bring size. Next. I estimate that it will be a team contending for a playoff spot in 2014/2015 in a Stanley Cup Final type atmosphere. I estimate a near surety of a playoff run in 2015/2016 and finally...just in time for the new Rogers Place Oilers Arena a Stanley Cup run in 2015/2016. Then the modern day Oilers Dynasty begins once again 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020 Stanley Cup Champions. Pro Log : Alternate Jersey - Black : Hall (C) NugentHopkins (A) Eberle (A) : New Arena, New DJ, New Hot Dogs

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#21 Bi-Curious Gord
August 11 2014, 07:25AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

What is the difference between Alexandre Burrows and a snake?

One is a cowardly cold-blooded reptile who bites it's victims when threatened ......

..... and the other is shown attacking a water balloon above.

* Cue the rimshot

**(settle down Canuck fans ..... a rimshot is not what you think it is).

Also, the snake's arsenal doesn't include pulling Duncan Keith's hair

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#22 tileguy
August 11 2014, 09:28AM
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That shows genuine progress. Miller is a college grad, somewhat similar in style and SIZE to Mark Arcobello, and worth watching in the coming season.

Stop right there!

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#23 OilPain
August 11 2014, 10:21AM
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MrBent wrote:

Im going to write a middle of the night blog for y'all free of charge. First of all, and i mean this, Relax. Next. Taylor Hall is a top 10 player in the league and he plays for the Oil. When other hockey markets have a top 10 player they sleep easy. 2014/15 will be the first year he is solidified as such so yes this is different that last year. Nugents Hopkins, Eberle will be better as well. The way i look at it not only is the Oiler core better year by year right now but current cup champions and contenders are worse year by year. Dont need to look farther then Vancouver to prove that. Next. Forget about a High Draft pick next year. The race to the bottom will be fierce. Florida, Buffalo, Vancouver, Arizona, New Jersey and about 5 other teams will be dismantled by there GMs during the season next year to the extent that any amount of effort or good coaching will still fail. Calgary is not smart enough to do this. Next. The off season additions make the Oilers a true NHL team and do it in a way that wont unsettle the core. Most, if not all the new players, are under 30 and bring size. Next. I estimate that it will be a team contending for a playoff spot in 2014/2015 in a Stanley Cup Final type atmosphere. I estimate a near surety of a playoff run in 2015/2016 and finally...just in time for the new Rogers Place Oilers Arena a Stanley Cup run in 2015/2016. Then the modern day Oilers Dynasty begins once again 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020 Stanley Cup Champions. Pro Log : Alternate Jersey - Black : Hall (C) NugentHopkins (A) Eberle (A) : New Arena, New DJ, New Hot Dogs

What have you been smoking, bro? You're going WAY too far in the future. I'd just concentrate on making predictions for this season, as we all know that the future is uncertain.

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#24 A rye morning
August 11 2014, 10:28AM
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@MrBent

Taylor Hall was not even the tenth best Canadian, let alone tenth best in the league.

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#25 oilers2k10
August 11 2014, 10:54AM
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I think the Oilers should be real careful with Anton Lander. Some say he has no offence at the NHL level..same was also said about him at the AHL level..until last year. Maybe he's a Detroit style slow bloomer..alot of Swedish players tend to me slay bloomers offensively..not because they dont have the skill but instead because theyre always taught defensive play first..or at least that how it was for a long time.

Lander plays well defensively..he's cheap.and will be cheap for another 3 yrs at least. I think he's a keeper..he'll never hurt his team.

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#26 MGD
August 11 2014, 12:12PM
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A rye morning wrote:

Taylor Hall was not even the tenth best Canadian, let alone tenth best in the league.

According to last year's boxcars, TH was tied for 6th best in the NHL; therefore, in the top 10... according to boxcars

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#27 Ed in Edmonton
August 11 2014, 12:30PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

I think the Oilers should be real careful with Anton Lander. Some say he has no offence at the NHL level..same was also said about him at the AHL level..until last year. Maybe he's a Detroit style slow bloomer..alot of Swedish players tend to me slay bloomers offensively..not because they dont have the skill but instead because theyre always taught defensive play first..or at least that how it was for a long time.

Lander plays well defensively..he's cheap.and will be cheap for another 3 yrs at least. I think he's a keeper..he'll never hurt his team.

This will be the last chance for Landner to show he is an NHL caliber player. He turns 24 by the end of the upcoming season and if he hasn't shown the ability to succeed at an NHL level by then he probably never will.

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#28 Sorensenator
August 11 2014, 12:42PM
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I didn't want salmon, I said it four times!

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#29 Craig1981
August 11 2014, 12:46PM
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A rye morning wrote:

Taylor Hall was not even the tenth best Canadian, let alone tenth best in the league.

Can't believe your ratio of trash to props. It isn't even a question. With all the complaining and hatred of some coaches, players, and management it surprises me.

Malkin, Crosby, Stamkos, Keith, Petroagilio, Kane, Toews, Doughty, Webber, Getzlaf, Suter, Bergeron, Krejci, Ovi

I can't see anyone making a reasonable argument that Hall is better the FOUR of those players......and that is not including goalies.

Like you said, he didn't even make team Canada last year

That said he is a really good player an maybe top 10 at one point in his career

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#30 BillHK
August 11 2014, 01:22PM
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MrBent wrote:

Im going to write a middle of the night blog for y'all free of charge. First of all, and i mean this, Relax. Next. Taylor Hall is a top 10 player in the league and he plays for the Oil. When other hockey markets have a top 10 player they sleep easy. 2014/15 will be the first year he is solidified as such so yes this is different that last year. Nugents Hopkins, Eberle will be better as well. The way i look at it not only is the Oiler core better year by year right now but current cup champions and contenders are worse year by year. Dont need to look farther then Vancouver to prove that. Next. Forget about a High Draft pick next year. The race to the bottom will be fierce. Florida, Buffalo, Vancouver, Arizona, New Jersey and about 5 other teams will be dismantled by there GMs during the season next year to the extent that any amount of effort or good coaching will still fail. Calgary is not smart enough to do this. Next. The off season additions make the Oilers a true NHL team and do it in a way that wont unsettle the core. Most, if not all the new players, are under 30 and bring size. Next. I estimate that it will be a team contending for a playoff spot in 2014/2015 in a Stanley Cup Final type atmosphere. I estimate a near surety of a playoff run in 2015/2016 and finally...just in time for the new Rogers Place Oilers Arena a Stanley Cup run in 2015/2016. Then the modern day Oilers Dynasty begins once again 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020 Stanley Cup Champions. Pro Log : Alternate Jersey - Black : Hall (C) NugentHopkins (A) Eberle (A) : New Arena, New DJ, New Hot Dogs

Mighty potent plants you grew in the basement. What special fertilizer did you use?

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#31 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
August 11 2014, 01:23PM
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On the subject of Taylor hall... he is hands down the best LW in the NHL. Imagine if he played in L.A. or Chicago.... Crazy. Taylor will be instrumental in making the Oilers mighty again.

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#32 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
August 11 2014, 01:44PM
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How many Vancouver & Calgary trolls are on here?

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#33 Craig1981
August 11 2014, 02:08PM
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@ONTARIO OILERS FAN

Hands down?? Ovi, Zetterberg, Benn,... sure you don't want to rethink that statement?

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#34 Craig1981
August 11 2014, 02:17PM
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MGD wrote:

According to last year's boxcars, TH was tied for 6th best in the NHL; therefore, in the top 10... according to boxcars

Toews was 27 best in the league then eh? And doughty was like about 100th then? You don't think that holds water do you?

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#35 Bob Cobb
August 11 2014, 02:18PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Hands down?? Ovi, Zetterberg, Benn,... sure you don't want to rethink that statement?

Well Points wise, Taylor Hall is the best Left Winger in the NHL. Go to the NHL Website, he's number 7 in points overall and number 1 overall for all of Left wingers.

In overall all game I wouldn't put him at number one, his +/- is atrocious but it will get better. It takes time to learn the 2 way game, give the kid time.

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#36 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
August 11 2014, 02:21PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Hands down?? Ovi, Zetterberg, Benn,... sure you don't want to rethink that statement?

No I will not rethink.

Taylor Hall will be instrumental (not on his own though) in making the Oilers better. He is a leader, a top 10 NHL player, a future captain and a good candidate for the Hart trophy one day, so yes, no need to rethink any statement.

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#37 Ed in Edmonton
August 11 2014, 02:24PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

This will be the last chance for Landner to show he is an NHL caliber player. He turns 24 by the end of the upcoming season and if he hasn't shown the ability to succeed at an NHL level by then he probably never will.

For those of you who trashed this comment, what age or how long should a team wait for a player to show NHL ability before calling it quits? If not after 4 years and at 24 years of age, what would you suggest? 25, 35???

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#38 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 11 2014, 03:28PM
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If I recall correctly, Hall is top five in points per game over the last three years or so. Among the likes of Crosby, Toews, Malkin. The guy's elite.

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#39 Rickithebear
August 11 2014, 03:46PM
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Craig:

Weber? Weber? Weber?

Average EVGA/60 2.33 top 10 1.61 EVGA/60 Weber 2.79 EVGA/60 bottom 5th.

Weber!

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#40 Craig1981
August 11 2014, 04:11PM
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Rickithebear wrote:

Craig:

Weber? Weber? Weber?

Average EVGA/60 2.33 top 10 1.61 EVGA/60 Weber 2.79 EVGA/60 bottom 5th.

Weber!

Yes, with all the trade talk that goes on here (and the fact he really is one of the best players out there) I should of remembered.

It is really to bad we let go of Omark and Hemsky so we can't offer any of these trade proposals people came up with to Nashville and get him

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#41 Craig1981
August 11 2014, 04:23PM
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ONTARIO OILERS FAN wrote:

No I will not rethink.

Taylor Hall will be instrumental (not on his own though) in making the Oilers better. He is a leader, a top 10 NHL player, a future captain and a good candidate for the Hart trophy one day, so yes, no need to rethink any statement.

I agree with most of your statements, but I doesn't make mine any less true. Yes, he will challenge for the hart, yes he is a big part of the team moving forward, yes he will lead.

No, he isn't easy the best left winger now. Why would Yzerman not of taken him then??? Yzerman is constantly talked about as potential GM of the year, so if Hall was the best (easy) then Hall would of been on the team. That doesn't even include non-canadian players.

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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

For those of you who trashed this comment, what age or how long should a team wait for a player to show NHL ability before calling it quits? If not after 4 years and at 24 years of age, what would you suggest? 25, 35???

I would say the time to 'give up' on a prospect is when his development curve plateaus. If the guy is still showing improvement at 24, 25 or 26, then keep him. Everybody/every prospect is different.

In Lander's case, he still seems to be finding his offensive game at the AHL level. If the guy is a true professional; working out, working at meeting the goals the coaching staff establish with him, putting in the time, then why assume he's a finished product at 24?

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#43 Wax Man Riley
August 11 2014, 05:12PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I agree with most of your statements, but I doesn't make mine any less true. Yes, he will challenge for the hart, yes he is a big part of the team moving forward, yes he will lead.

No, he isn't easy the best left winger now. Why would Yzerman not of taken him then??? Yzerman is constantly talked about as potential GM of the year, so if Hall was the best (easy) then Hall would of been on the team. That doesn't even include non-canadian players.

Have not of.

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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Have not of.

Have [comma] not of

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#45 Wax Man Riley
August 11 2014, 10:34PM
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The 90's were worse (Formerly Oilers need Ogie Oglethorpe) wrote:

Have [comma] not of

Hahaha... Just seeing who's paying attention. ;)

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#46 Ed in Edmonton
August 12 2014, 12:34PM
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The 90's were worse (Formerly Oilers need Ogie Oglethorpe) wrote:

I would say the time to 'give up' on a prospect is when his development curve plateaus. If the guy is still showing improvement at 24, 25 or 26, then keep him. Everybody/every prospect is different.

In Lander's case, he still seems to be finding his offensive game at the AHL level. If the guy is a true professional; working out, working at meeting the goals the coaching staff establish with him, putting in the time, then why assume he's a finished product at 24?

One must be careful to apply generalization to specific cases, but most forward's peak years are from 24 to 30. That doesn't mean Landner won't be an exception, but you can't wait for ever.

With the limit of 50 contracts every team has to make decisions about when to give up on a prospect. What if one year hence the Oil have to make a decision to either give Landner a contract or a younger prospect? What should their decision be?

No-one knows the answer to this question today. But I would suggest that it will be difficult to keep a 24 year old who has not shown NHL ability in place of a 20 year old whose potential is yet to be understood.

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#47 Britts94
August 13 2014, 11:01PM
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Should've traded up for a 3rd round pick this year and drafted Leduc boy Brandon Hickey. Just skated and spoke with him breifly. He is gonna be a stud. (His brother plays in Leduc, and so do I, and he was out there at conditioning camp helping out. He's insane.)

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