Do You See What I See edition IV

Would Blair Betts be a good roster addition for the Oil?
Would Blair Betts be a good roster addition for the Oil?

The past two weeks have been a blur for me.

I find out the citizens at OilersNation wanted more Draft coverage so they paid to send me to Montreal, then Brodziak gets traded (okay not a major story but Oilers fans are so passionate that even a trade involving #51 gets people fired up) and then Heatley-gate.

Just when you think you know how passionate Oilers fans, they do something that makes me shake my head in admiration and wonder. The Draft was awesome and then the Heatley fallout had such a wide range of emotions and opinions it was fascinating.

I finally had some time to breathe this weekend and here’s what I’ve seen from the past two weeks.

Winning faceoffs isn’t key to a good PK

Many Oilers feel Blair Betts would be a great addition to the line-up because he’s a good faceoff guy and a good penalty killer. And while his penalty killing is good, he isn’t a dominant guy on draws.

He was 49.3% in the dot last year, and while on the PK he won 149 and lost 196 faceoffs which is 43.1%.

I’m not ripping Betts, rather it seems that winning faceoffs doesn’t equate to PK success.

The Rangers killed off 87.8% of their penalties last year, which was tops in the league. As a team they won 258 and lost 350 draws, which is only 42%, while down a man. And Betts took more than half of those draws.

The Rangers only allowed 40 PP goals last year, while the Oilers gave up 76. The Oilers were 77% on the PK, while the Rangers were 87%. The Oilers allowed almost twice as many goals in virtually the same amount of chances.

The Oilers were 46% on faceoffs when down a man. They won 38 more draws than the Rangers did as a team, but gave up 36 more goals. The Wild were also 87% on the PK this year and they only won 45% of their draws. The odds are you will lose more draws on the PK strictly because a team has one less guy to battle for the puck if the centreman is tied up, but faceoffs were not the reason the Oilers sucked on the PK. They lost too many battles in front of the net.

In 2007/2008 the Oilers were 5th in penalty killing. They gave up 56 goals and as a team were 47% in the draws that year. The only won 18 more faceoffs that year, than they did this past season. Many of us thought it was the faceoff prowess of Stoll and Reasoner that was missed on the PK, but in fact the faceoffs were almost even. The problem was positioning, and toughness on the puck.

Lombardi surprise

Kings GM, Dean Lombardi made it clear in June that he would add a big contract in the form of a sniper come July. Many thought it would be Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat or even Dany Heatley, but he surprised everyone when he acquired Ryan Smyth on Saturday.

While Smyth doesn’t possess the flashy skill like those other four, he’ll bring a dimension the Kings need up front; Grit and determination.

Last year only Alexander Frolov (12) and Jarret Stoll (10) had double digits in PP goals for the Kings. They were a respectable 14th on the PP, but they didn’t score many garbage goals, and that is Smyth’s forte.

Smyth has three years left on his deal, and his $6.25 million cap hit is overpriced, but I suspect he’ll be a nice fit in LA. He scored 26 goals last year, without Paul Stastny or Joe Sakic for most of the year. The Kings top six will include Smyth, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Frolov, Justin Williams and possibly Oscar Moller.

The Kings gave up two D-men, but they have lots of talent on the backend, and this deal will make the Kings another team that will push the Oilers for the final two playoff spots.

UFA winners, losers, and ?

  • Kudos to Chuck Fletcher, the rookie GM in Minnesota, who made some solid signings last week. Greg Zanon is a steal at $1.93 million for the next three years, and Havlat at $5 million looks solid. Zanon will play 20 minutes a night and be a solid contributor, while Havlat will bring some excitement to Minnesota.
  • Hossa, John Madden and Tomas Kopecky will help the Hawks next year, but Dale Tallon will have to be a cap genius next summer. Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews will all need new contracts next year. The Hawks have committed $35 million for ten players in 2010/2011, and with the cap going down they will have to move some bodies. I bet Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland could be on the move next year.
  • The Lightning needed some help on their blueline, and Brian Lawton made some decent signings. Matt Walker played over 16 minutes a night in Chicago last year, and for only $1.7 he will give the Bolts some much needed toughness on the backend. Lawton is praying that Mattias Ohlund retires before his contract expires, but he is great outlet passer and with all the firepower up front in Tampa he’ll play a big role. Toss in Victor Hedman and the Bolts could have a big turn around. That is if the Owners can play nice with one another.
  • The Flyers have the best offensive depth in the league, a trifecta of blueliners with Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn and the Human Rake, but once again they have major questions in goal. Ray Emery and Brian Boucher, are they better than Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki? Unless a year in exile has given Emery a better perspective on life I don’t see the Flyers getting close to the Cup next year.
  • Was Bob Gainey partying too much with his new owners? He trades for Scott Gomez and his horrendous $7.3 million dollar contract, and then signs Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri. The Habs were small last year, but somehow Gainey made them smaller by signing these three smurfs. They might do okay in the regular season, but in the playoffs they will get man handled.
  • I like Khabibulin a lot more than Biron, Craig Anderson or Scott Clemmensen, but the 4th year of his deal could hurt the Oilers. His signing shows me that one of JDD or DD probably won’t be here next year. If JDD plays solid in his 20-28 games, and DD is stellar in Springfield I’d bet that DD would want a chance to play in the show, and both can’t play in Edmonton.
  • Rick Nash at $7.8 million dollars for the next eight years is a horrible signing. Nash is solid but he has never scored more than 41 goals, he has never had an 80 point season and he isn’t close to being a point-a-game player over the course of his career. Nash has done nothing to deserve that type of money, and unless he becomes a big scorer that contract will hurt the Blue Jackets for years.
  • SierraRacs

    I really wish the Oilers would get off the want of Heater and perhaps get the best LW that is still a free agent and sign Alex Tanguay. He's 29 and has at least 4-5 years left (if he remains healthy). I've not seen his name come up in any kind of discussion on the fan boards… am I missing something about this guy? (Please be kind, I'm still a noob to posting)

  • Ogden Brother

    SierraRacs wrote:

    I really wish the Oilers would get off the want of Heater and perhaps get the best LW that is still a free agent and sign Alex Tanguay. He’s 29 and has at least 4-5 years left (if he remains healthy). I’ve not seen his name come up in any kind of discussion on the fan boards… am I missing something about this guy? (Please be kind, I’m still a noob to posting)

    We'd probably need to move 2 bodies up front to fit him in. He's like a softer Hemsky, not sure if the team wants to make a shuffle for that.

  • On a non-hockey related note, the Rush will announce that Derek Keenan will be their new head coach and GM. Keenan is the cousin of Mike Keenan, and is a former coach and GM of the year in the NLL. He'll be a good hire.

  • Nick Dynasty

    I still think Malhotra is the guy to get. He's good for 10 goals and 30 points with a positive +/- raiting and near 60% in faceoffs. Let him play 3rd line center and somehow teach Cogs to play wing on the second line. Cogs is too talented to not be playing 2nd line, and too small to be playing 3rd line anyway. Unless of course you know what happens…

  • Kyle wrote:

    I must ask you is there any talk about signing another body? or do we need to wait for some bodies to get shipped out before we see anything….

    It seems that between now and the start of camp there will be a new body or two coming in and a few going out. But who and when is a mystery. They would love to get a nit nastier and bigger, but I don't see anyone who fits that bill that can play in the top six.

    Homie wrote:

    No doubt it is a slight overpay, but the Jackets need to build around someone. And he’s only 25. I believe in paying for potential – not waiting until he is 30 and has his best years behind him. Its not like Crosby and Malkin had years of production before the Penguins signed them to long term, high priced contracts.

    Crosby had 102 and 120 point seasons his first two years. Malkin had 85, then 106 when he signed his big deal. Nash isn't close to those guys.

    Jeremy wrote:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if Ohlund retires before his contract is up, but after he turns 35, aren’t the Bolts on the hook for the whole contract?
    If that is the case (again, please correct me if I have this wrong) wouldn’t Lawton be hoping and praying that he doesn’t retire before the contract is up?

    Ohlund signed his deal before he was 35, so if he retires afterwards it doesn't count against the cap. It only counts against the cap if a guy signed the original contract after his 35th birthday. Ohlund was 32 when he signed.

  • LOIL

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    LOIL wrote:
    Ogden Brother wrote:
    Right, Smid and Cogs value is soooo high that we needed to reduce their value in order to = Heatly.

    There is a huge difference between a players skill value and their contract value in a cap world. HUGE. It has nothing to do with "reducing Smid and Cogs value". But I would venture to guess that if Tambi offered Cogs and Smid without Penner then Murray would have preferred that. But I doubt that was offered because the Oilers needed a salary dump to take on Healtey's salary and Penner, being one of the most overpaid players in the NHL, was just that. A huge salary dump.

  • Waldorf

    @ Jason Gregor:

    Hey Gregor,

    Any validity to the rumour of Souray going to the Kings? Or is it all baseless speculation?

    With Smyth there now, would the Oil be able to pry Frolov out of there?

  • Ogden Brother

    LOIL wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    LOIL wrote:
    Ogden Brother wrote:
    Right, Smid and Cogs value is soooo high that we needed to reduce their value in order to = Heatly.
    There is a huge difference between a players skill value and their contract value in a cap world. HUGE. It has nothing to do with “reducing Smid and Cogs value”. But I would venture to guess that if Tambi offered Cogs and Smid without Penner then Murray would have preferred that. But I doubt that was offered because the Oilers needed a salary dump to take on Healtey’s salary and Penner, being one of the most overpaid players in the NHL, was just that. A huge salary dump.

    What?

    If you say Ott would have preffered just Cogs + Smid but had to take Penner too, you are saying that Penner reduces their value.

  • Ogden Brother

    Waldorf wrote:

    @ Jason Gregor:
    Hey Gregor,
    Any validity to the rumour of Souray going to the Kings? Or is it all baseless speculation?
    With Smyth there now, would the Oil be able to pry Frolov out of there?

    I can't see them taking Souray after also adding Smyth. If they did, they would officially be in worse salary cap shape then the Oil.

  • Archaeologuy

    I think Nash is being undervalued by some of the guys here. He is doing everything by himself in Columbus. The guy got overpayed, but thats because Columbus wont win anything for a long time. The guy is a goal scorer like a Vanek, who might only top out at 80 points in his best season, but will consistently grab around 40 goals. Nash isnt going to be Ovenchkin or Crosby, but he's still an elite talent that likely wont be seen again in Columbus until they luck out in the lottery and draft another one.

  • Ogden Brother

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    Homie wrote:
    No doubt it is a slight overpay, but the Jackets need to build around someone. And he’s only 25. I believe in paying for potential – not waiting until he is 30 and has his best years behind him. Its not like Crosby and Malkin had years of production before the Penguins signed them to long term, high priced contracts.
    Crosby had 102 and 120 point seasons his first two years. Malkin had 85, then 106 when he signed his big deal. Nash isn’t close to those guys.
    Jeremy wrote:
    .

    Nash is probably "overpaid" based on comparables, but to the Malkin/Crosby contrast, Nash also gave up almost his whole prime UFA years. Something Crosby/Malkin didn't do. Both Crosby/Malkin could cash in for cap max in 4 and 5 years respectivaly… which could easily be 14+ million/year.

  • Kurri_17

    Re: Nash — When I've been to Columbus to watch games (3x over 3 years), half the fans are wearing Nash jerseys. The guys sells a lot of tickets in Columbus and they are not likely to reach the cap limit anyway on an ongoing basis (I could be wrong here).
    I think for the team, it's a good fit.

  • NonMint

    LOIL wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    LOIL wrote:
    Ogden Brother wrote:
    Right, Smid and Cogs value is soooo high that we needed to reduce their value in order to = Heatly.
    There is a huge difference between a players skill value and their contract value in a cap world. HUGE. It has nothing to do with “reducing Smid and Cogs value”. But I would venture to guess that if Tambi offered Cogs and Smid without Penner then Murray would have preferred that. But I doubt that was offered because the Oilers needed a salary dump to take on Healtey’s salary and Penner, being one of the most overpaid players in the NHL, was just that. A huge salary dump.

    I don't think this was the case. Murray was rumored to have asked for Penner. A big, physical LW could make the Senators harder to play against, and Murray had Penner in Anaheim so he knew what he was getting.

  • Archaeologuy

    As far as the Penner talk goes, all the guy has ever done is score goals and outscore his opponents. If memory serves me correctly he led the team in +/- and over 60 minutes of ice time the Oilers outscore the other team roughly 3-2. He isnt overly physical, he isnt in the best possible shape, but he's effective. Considering how often MacT crapped on the guy for doing his job the only way he knows how, he did an alright job. Obviously he makes too much money, but maybe a new coach will get more out of him. Maybe the new coach wont try to change his game completely, but actually figure out how to use Penner's game to its max.

  • LOIL

    NonMint wrote:

    I don’t think this was the case. Murray was rumored to have asked for Penner. A big, physical LW could make the Senators harder to play against, and Murray had Penner in Anaheim so he knew what he was getting.

    Physical ? I must have missed those games haha.

  • LOIL

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    If you say Ott would have preffered just Cogs + Smid but had to take Penner too, you are saying that Penner reduces their value.

    He is of little value and carries a large contract. You seem to want to make an equation out of this so here it is based on hypothetical skill values given to each player.

    100(cogs) + 50(smid) + 1(penner) = 151 value points haha.

    Im not saying penner reduces the value of cogs and smid but what he brings to the table skill wise is far outweighed by the size of his contract. "Pound for dollar" Penner might be one of the worst contracts in the league. And one that no team "wants".

  • LOIL

    That all said i really do hope the new coach finds a way to get the best out of penner. Because if he starts to use his size to his advantage and puts up even close to 30 goals then his contract wont look near as bad.

  • Ogden Brother

    LOIL wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    If you say Ott would have preffered just Cogs + Smid but had to take Penner too, you are saying that Penner reduces their value.
    He is of little value and carries a large contract. You seem to want to make an equation out of this so here it is based on hypothetical skill values given to each player.
    100(cogs) + 50(smid) + 1(penner) = 151 value points haha.
    Im not saying penner reduces the value of cogs and smid but what he brings to the table skill wise is far outweighed by the size of his contract. “Pound for dollar” Penner might be one of the worst contracts in the league. And one that no team “wants”.

    I don't know why I'm going to bother, but.

    You are saying he reduces their value, you are saying Ott would preffer just Smid+ Cogs which must mean

    Smid+Cogs > Smid+Cogs+Penner

    He's overpaid by what? .5 million? 1 million? Way overblown by fans (as usual)

    Also, unless you were involved with the negotiations, you really have no idea if Penner was a want to have or a have to take.

  • Ogden Brother

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    What would Penner get as a UFA? 3 million? 3.5 million? I’d guess right in the range of the latter. He’s overpaid, but not to the point of being an albatross.

    Bingo, and as the Smyth and Gomez trade shows us, big ticket players can garner a healthy return inspite of what the internet world thinks

  • Scott Wood

    I couldnt disagree more with the rick nash statement. he is much more to that team than a hired gun. He is a franchise player for that team and makes guys around him better. It may be a high doller contract but it is on a team where those big ticket contracts are non existent.As the team gets better and he matures more his ppg stats will be at a point per pame. turn the tables around and comparing contracts who would you rather pay 7million+ to? shawn horcoff or rick nash. both are good players but its really not a comparison.

  • Ducey

    @ Scott Wood:
    "who would you rather pay 7million+ to? shawn horcoff or rick nash"

    Horcoff averages 5.5 Million. That's the cap hit and the only number that matters.

    Go build another straw man.

  • Ogden Brother

    Ducey wrote:

    @ Scott Wood:
    “who would you rather pay 7million+ to? shawn horcoff or rick nash”
    Horcoff averages 5.5 Million. That’s the cap hit and the only number that matters.
    Go build another straw man.

    The real relavant question: Is Nash 41% better then Horc?

    (2.3 extra over Horcs 5.5)

  • Scott Wood

    Ducey wrote:

    @ Scott Wood:
    “who would you rather pay 7million+ to? shawn horcoff or rick nash”
    Horcoff averages 5.5 Million. That’s the cap hit and the only number that matters.
    Go build another straw man.

    and horcoff's cap hit should be at 3.5 million and not 5.5. Horcoff is a helluva good hockey player and maybe can be worth the kinda money that the oilers are paying him but he hasnt shown thats the case. the cap hit isnt the number that goes to players heads when they decide to get soft and not play up to their potential, its the number that goes into their bank account. he had injuries last year and i hope he bounces back this year because there is no question that the oilers are stuck with him, as of right now he has ZERO value in the trade market, even with a cap hit of 5.5, whereas rick nash would had 29 suitors immediatly at 7.8million. i am currently building one right now

  • Cam

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    As far as the Penner talk goes, all the guy has ever done is score goals and outscore his opponents. If memory serves me correctly he led the team in +/- and over 60 minutes of ice time the Oilers outscore the other team roughly 3-2. He isnt overly physical, he isnt in the best possible shape, but he’s effective. Considering how often MacT crapped on the guy for doing his job the only way he knows how, he did an alright job. Obviously he makes too much money, but maybe a new coach will get more out of him. Maybe the new coach wont try to change his game completely, but actually figure out how to use Penner’s game to its max.

    I agree with you 100%. Penner has way more upside and value than Edmontonians seem to see. He reminds me of Arnott. A total whipping boy while he was here for all the same reasons that Penner is, yet it seems we gave up on him just in time for him to become a really great player.

  • Ogden Brother

    Scott Wood wrote:

    Ducey wrote:
    @ Scott Wood:
    “who would you rather pay 7million+ to? shawn horcoff or rick nash”
    Horcoff averages 5.5 Million. That’s the cap hit and the only number that matters.
    Go build another straw man.
    and horcoff’s cap hit should be at 3.5 million and not 5.5. Horcoff is a helluva good hockey player and maybe can be worth the kinda money that the oilers are paying him but he hasnt shown thats the case. the cap hit isnt the number that goes to players heads when they decide to get soft and not play up to their potential, its the number that goes into their bank account. he had injuries last year and i hope he bounces back this year because there is no question that the oilers are stuck with him, as of right now he has ZERO value in the trade market, even with a cap hit of 5.5, whereas rick nash would had 29 suitors immediatly at 7.8million. i am currently building one right now

    60 point Gomez at 7.5 fetched a healthy return. I'm pretty confident 53 point Horc could do the same at 5.5.

  • Cam

    Scott Wood wrote:

    …rick nash would had 29 suitors immediatly at 7.8million.

    You are talking American dollars right? Not some currency that is worth 0.60 USD? Right?