Identity Theft

Craig MacTavish has been doing what feels like a media blitz since taking over as general manager, making a point of communicating his message clearly and frequently to the Oilers’ fan base. On Friday he appeared on Oilers Now and said a lot of interesting things, though what stood out to me were his comments on team identity.

Chasing

Success is always in vogue. You look at the New Jersey Devils when they won, you had to play a more conservative, trapping style of hockey, a less aggressive style of hockey. Then it transitioned to the Wings, and then you had to play a more skill-level game, a more puck-possession game. Now, the Los Angeles Kings have won the Stanley Cup last year and are threatening again this year with a big, heavy team. I think there are a lot of different ways you can get the job done.

Whenever a team wins the Stanley Cup, there is a lot of time spent dissecting how they won – by fans, by the media, and doubtless also by NHL management. Sometimes, the story is ‘they just won, how does [Team X] we become more like them?’ To a certain degree, it’s healthy – Stanley Cup winners tend to be very good teams, and there’s generally a lot of value in identifying their strengths and seeing how Team X stacks up against them.

But, as MacTavish points out: there are a lot of different ways to win. He mentions three specific examples, but Chicago and Pittsburgh and Anaheim and Carolina and Boston all won Cups during the last CBA, too, and they all had a slightly different way of getting there. It’s a mistake to always chase after the most recent winner; teams can’t always be reinventing themselves or moving the goalposts simply because the most recent winner happens to play the game a certain way

The Future

I think first and foremost you have to know what you are as a team, and that’s the most important thing. From my perspective and our organization’s perspective, we’re a team that’s a highly skill-driven team, a team that is going to play a puck-possession game.

MacTavish sees the Oilers as a skill-driven, puck possession team. And it makes sense. Looking at the Oilers’ key players – the youth brought in via lottery picks, plus Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle – there simply isn’t a base to build a club like San Jose or Los Angeles or St. Louis. Looking at the Kings’ win last year, the smallest of their five most used players was Drew Doughty (6’1”, 208 pounds). Looking at their top nine forwards and top six defencemen, three were under 200 pounds (and one of those guys weighed 199). The Oilers can bulk up all they want, but as long as Eberle and Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are playing big minutes they aren’t going to be the Kings.

So they shouldn’t even try.

That’s not to say they don’t need to get bigger – to an extent, I think they do – but they’re never going to beat teams like Los Angeles and Boston by being a poor man’s Bruins or Kings. They have a high-end core, but it’s a core built for playing a different style of game, the style exemplified in the West in recent years by Detroit and Chicago.

The good news for the Oilers is that Craig MacTavish knows that. The vision he’s outlined for the team this summer – bringing in mobility and puck sense on defence, bringing in bottom-six forwards with size that can also contribute offensively, overhauling spots two and three on the goaltending depth chart – are not changes aimed at turning the Oilers into a team that plays a dump-and-chase, grind-it-out game that the top-six simply isn’t built for. They’re changes aimed at supporting the current talent, and evolving the team into the best possible version of itself, rather than a pale imitation of something they aren’t.

Streakcred

Don’t forget that it’s not too late to play StreakCred – the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Now it’s only $10 and a portion of the proceeds go to Edmonton Charities. Sign up here.

Recently around the Nation Network

Over at Canucks Army, Thomas Drance talks about the news that Manny Malhotra Hopes To Continue His Playing Career

Malhotra intends to hit the unrestricted free agent market on July fifth, and though I’d suggest he’ll struggle to secure a one-way contract, he clearly still wants to play and still wants a chance to end his career on his own terms.

 Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

      • Quicksilver ballet

        In terms of fairness, in my opinion because of Myers’ decline in play (albeit he has had injuries):

        Jordan Eberle and both seconds for Tyler Myers and the 8th

        Allows us to possibly trade up for Barkov or draft 2 of Monahan, Lindholm, Nurse, Ristolainen.

        Or.

        Use both the 7th and 8th with Gagner to get a REAL good centre, such as a Tyler Seguin. Entertain the use of Seguin in this scenario as Boston may be able to use Gagner since they have a better defensive team with more size to overcome Gagner’s shortfalls.

        Sign Bickell and Horton (pipe dream)

        Hall Seguin Yakupov (fastest line in hockey)?
        Bickell Nuge Horton
        Paajarvi Horcoff Jones
        Brown Lander Don’t care

        Myers Schultz Jr
        Petry Smid
        Schultz UFA signing

        Klefbom and Marincin perhaps being 1-2 years away can slowly replace that bottom pairing. Then into the top 4 and have Petry and Smid be the bottom pairing.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Oilers have only 11.5 in cap space available, and need 9 players to shore up the roster next season. This tells us a lot about the quality of these replacements coming in. Lets see, 5 for Gagner, 1 for Paajarvi, leaves 5.5 with 7 more to go.

    Unless they double that and rid themselves of 83, 10 and 89, there will be no significant changes to next yrs team. Losing culture lingers for atleast on more year.

    • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

      As an example only : B.Sutter , C.Neil , J.Boll or D. Carcillo would take up less than 6.0 M or about 7.0M for the four of them . . I doubt Gagner will get above 4M for starters . Paajarvi will be closer to 2.0M I suspect . We’d still have room for a marque player or two if Gagner and Paajarvi are in play . .

  • DSF

    The Blackhawks won the cup with Teows and Kane still in their entry level deals. Hall and Eberle are entering their second contract and still haven’t made the playoffs. Btw I think Hall an Eberle are equally as good if not better than the tandem if Teows an Kane. But the Hawks had BIG BUFF when they won.

    Maybe our problem is coaching???

    Lindy Ruff is still available. Although he is talking to the Dallas Stars.

    What are the Oil Brass waiting for??? Lindy will bench your a$$ if you don’t play to expectations.

    THAT’S WHAT THESE KIDS NEED! A Ken Hitchcock Lindy Ruff hard nosed in your face coach!

  • Well.

    Mac-T ” we need to be a puck possession skilled team”……………

    Doesn’t that mean we actually have to be in possession of the puck!

    Doesn’t that mean winning face offs.

    Being able to break the cycle in the defensive zone.

    Having possession coming into the opposition zone

    What I take out of that conversation.

    The Oilers need to get bigger down the middle.

    The Oilers need skilled two way centers who can win draws, regain possession, help down low and push the play in the right direction.

    The Oilers need better skilled defense who can break a cycle, gain possession and move the puck quickly.

    Can obtain one from draft if they move up.

    • OilClog

      All this talk about size and the important piece is missing to be a puck possession team we will need to win draws with at least 1 of our top 2 centers. I like Gags and Nuge but neither can win a draw and yes maybe Nuge will get better with growth . But how are you going to have the puck if after every whistle you have to chase it down? Size is not the end all to our solutions. The middle needs to be better along with the D.

      • RNH face off’s will come, it’s his defensive game that’s already superior to Gagner.

        The Oilers second, third and fourth line centers are terrible.

        I’m not a DSF fan but he’s right, size and skill will always trump.

        The Oilers have a shot at another skilled center with size, they have to move up.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    In need of help.

    My spaceship crashed, and I need money for parts to get back home.

    Are Transformers required to carry Life, or automobile insurance?

    • Alsker

      Thanks Rogg,

      Well, Mike Brown is one of the best things to happens to Edmonton since they changed Klondike Days to Capital Ex!

      The guy plays hard and is tough as nails willing to fight anyone anytime anywhere. Irreplaceable!

      Can’t believe we got him for only a 4th rounder? Dave Nonis should have been fired.

      Give me another 22 Mike Browns and we have a team!

  • Alsker

    Krueger was not the problem. He wasnt the ones losing faceoffs, or the ones not coming back defensively, etc, etc.

    Yeah his coaching this year wasnt topnotch but look at this team and tell me now….would Hitchcock, Ruff, Vigneault, etc, have gotten this years Oiler team into the playoffs?

    The special teams were each upper league good, even tho the PP slowed down by the end. I would say at the least that we need one more coach.

    Anyways, this team needs skill and size and toughness/meanness no matter what. Every blogger or fan or media guy all get to this fact every single day.

    Realistically….Hemsky, Horcoff, Belanger, Eager all get traded or let go and this opens up more than enough cap space for the next yr going forward.

    Khabby, Whitney are gone, Sourays contract is finally over, Petrell, Jones, are probably gone and this, again opens up cap space.

    I say the Oil go to bat and realistically/fiscally try to put the following mock lineup together:

    (Hall – RNH – Bickell)
    (Stalberg – Barkov/Monahan/Lindholm – Yakupov)
    (R. Smyth – K. Chipchura – MPS)
    (R. Jones – Lander – Hartikainen)

    Brown/McGrattan = extras

    (Klefbom – Mark Streit)
    (Alzner – J. Schultz)
    (Smid – Petry)

    Fedun/Potter as extras

    Mike Smith/Khudobin and Dubnyk for goaltending

    Thats a great up[grade with talent and skill and toughness ready to be inserted anytime

  • Alsker

    Big error as I forgot to put Eberle in the lineup so now, if Bickell is not picked up then Stalberg is good enough. BTW, Horton may be young and good but those concussion issues stand out.

    The following should have been:

    Hall – RNH – Eberle) (Bickell/Stalberg – Barkov/Monahan/Lindholm – Yakupov) (R. Smyth – K. Chipchura – MPS) (R. Jones – Lander – Hartikainen)

    Brown/McGrattan = extras

    Sorry

  • Reg Dunlop

    Man, it would be awesome to land Horton and Pietrangelo, Weber and Bickell, Barkov and Luongo… wow am I excited, I can’t wait for training camp! Here’s how I see our roster looking come October:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle

    Yak-Gagner-MPS

    Smyth-Horc-Hemsky

    Jones-Blancmanger-Harski

    Petry-Smid

    SchultzX2

    Klefbom-Potter

    DD-Khabbi

    Playoff bound? Or is it too early to be vapid for McDavid?

    • Quicksilver ballet

      EXCELLENT assesment of a fine potential set of dynamiclly matched lines from a player perspective.

      I would give my left walnut to see this exact lineup supported for 82 games in terms of keeping the trios together and moving them in their entirity to adjust to opponents,keep em together through thick and thin,Make lines 1 and 2 carry opposite dynamic impacts systemiclly so they can be effectively switched up for pure systemic tactical reasons.
      The 3rd and 4th line should be the same way,two distinct and seperate dynamic impacts that are consistant for 82 games and are managed as entitys unto themselves within the system,and presented to opponents situationally,this in essence gives us a system within a system so to speak.We should have the ability to present a 1st and 3rd line that are offensively catalysed{less physical} and a 1st and a 3rd line that are defensively catalysed{more physical}.If we plan to dominate the NHL we need this flexibility.Our structiral dynamic template should include this presentation,instead of managing four lines we only need to manage TWO.we reduce the workload cerebrally and systemiclly at the same time this way.

      We want to develop two system presentations that are identical in form and function but different in flavor,we dont want to have to make systemic adjustments to present a more physical intent,we need to meet this dynamic managment challenge head-on and it seems the Oilers are trying to do just that,kudos to them finally.

      Details and habits are what our tools are to work with and systemic integrity and consistancy must be maintained tightly while these components are adjusted game to game opponent to opponent.

      I am looking at Harski and Jones together and I am afraid Harski doesnt throw em enough to provide us with the physical impact one of the bottom two lines must present,Harski is an offensive support guy on the 4th line and we dont need that if the 3rd line is set.Our 3rd or 4th line must be defensively and physically catalysed.The 3rd looks to be a fastbreak traditional presentation with excellent veteran prescence.This mean we need to change the 4th lines flavor,no one would mess with that 3rd line,it is definately an NHL playoff teams 3rd line.
      We need to build the 4th line in a way that allows us to bring up the beasts if we need to ,no spreading this impact out as we already tried to do,we want clearly defined tools to work with,just like the 2nd line needs to present a more shutdwon defensive posture as opposed to the 1st lines presentation so we can move entire lines where we need them and maintain chemistry and dynamic continuity.

      We dont need black and white differences here,we need impactfull differences that fall within systemic managment norms with NO EXTRA ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED.When I say bring the Beasts up I dont mean 6’5 behemoths at all,I am talking about impact that is tacticlly catalysed and planned and executed by non-behemoths but with that type of effect.This is more of a gear change ability we are looking for than an engine or transmission replacement.
      we want our 4×4 to be engaged on the fly,we dont want to stop and lock the hubs to make it through the deep waters.We want a smooth trsnsition here so we need to define the dynamic template we want to manifest FIRST with consideration to systemic impact not body impacts.

      You dont try to dominate Ali with the jab,but if you dont at least produce a jab that is 75% of his you havent got a chance,you dont need to beat him clearly on every corner but you need to be close in every department to allow fate to favor the bold.

      We dont need to fight sheer power with sheer power,it doesnt work that way,its all about transference of impact.For the best example in the world mac-T should google “electric car racing Indy car” and see a tangible example of this principal in action,ha ha ha ha ha ha.

      Seriously ,what the electric car does to the Indy car is what the NewAge Hockey system will do to any current NHL system of play,and for the EXACT same reason.

      The electic car FREAKING HAMMERS THE INDY CAR INTO THE TARMAC.

      Because the electric car has a smooth and consistant transference of impact combined with sunstantially less weight,a dynamic is manifested that that creates a canyon sized performance divide.This is what the Oilers need to develop,this type of superior dynamic managment.

      Propely catlysing and managing the sphere of influence connected to Motion as related to the transferrence of power is the key to defeating a sheer weight,size and power disadvantage every time.

      Goddam Google eh?It makes everyone think they are a professional,hell maybe that is exactly what it makes you if you learn enough eh?No more trade secrets,ha ha ha ha,you can learn at your own pace and your performance envelope is dictated by passion not time constraints and traditional delay and deter tactics.We are all born with incredible cerebral potential that can be sidetracked very easily and in the past millions and millions of people were abused just this way.Now there are Overnight sensations in every arena imaginable,just the way things are supposed to be,hell there are kids in Africa learning to be doctors who havent even seen what a school here even looks like,they just dont need to waste 18 years educating themselves in needless areas anymore,no one ever really needed to do that,it was just another method of class seperation based on fiscal ability,ways to keep people pigeon-holed into poverty by denying free acess to education and advancement.

      The old guard are falling upon desperation tactics as their support webs fall to pieces in the face of this cyber-onslaught of cerebral supremacy.The floodgates have been opened and anyone anywhere can acess the EXACT data and support they require no matter what the traditional process used to be,today you just let your fingers do the walking and let your checkbook to the talking when you find the perfect fit to your needs.The market place is now a level playing field where true results finally rule the day,and pro-active disclosure is becoming the norm not an anaomaly.

      The internet is forcing everyone to be HONEST,all you need to do is avoid data brokers like Barkhorse who try to make you pay for what is already free,as in the old days that is pure deciet and userage.The rewards fiscally and otherwise belong to the owner of the intellectual material,not to the scammers who “scrape up”a free advertising type of data resource and sell it ,creating a profit to keep that belongs to someone else.The free data online is just that ,a free sample,who the hell wouuld pay money for that?It is free!!

      If you try to take a free sample of something and re-create that product in its entirity exactly based on simply a sample sized data bite,you will have invested substantial resources in a very risky endeavour,you cant take a cookie and think you can break it down and recreate it as good as it was when you found it,ha ha ha,you need the recipie not just the ingredients,if you try to take piecemael bits of free data that have been scalped and re=packaged and utilise them as if they were absolute tools,you are setting yourself up for failure.Both long and short term.Integrity will always rule the day no matter where the sun rises.Keep it straight ,keep it narrow,keep it focused and keep it honest,the rest will tske care of itself.Start playing with the devil and you will begin to feel the heat in places you dont want to.

      Give a man a fish{Barkhorse}and you feed him for a day,teach a man to fish{Moma2 and the NewAge Hockey System}and you feed him for life.

      • Wax Man Riley

        EXCELLENT assesment of a fine potential set of dynamiclly matched lines from a player perspective.

        I would give my left walnut to see this exact lineup supported for 82 games in terms of keeping the trios together

        I think your sarcasm detector is broken or needs a tuneup. That is the same lineup that would have finished 30th if they played a full season this year.

        • Maddog

          This is not the same line up at all,it is the same roster players but the lines we iced were not in this order and did not maintain continuity in this order all year long,please spare me the injuries caused the popcorn popper to come on by itself BS again.

          After game 3 this season i was all over Ralph to use these exact lines for reasons he seemed to completely let fly over his head but under his radar.

          Ralph refused to put hemsky on the 3rd line early enough to give us the offense and zone entry dominance we needed from there,he also chose not to put and keep the 2nd line of MPS-Gagner-Yakupov together early which deprived them of chemisrty building time and offense,there was also mismanagment of the 1st line to an epic degree for most of the abbreviated season with hall taking the reins when Nuge should have been holding them the entire way.

          There is this little thing called Intuitive Dynamic Managnent and Ralph failed to inject enough into his lines when he matched them together.The dynamic compatability is more important than the statistical BS that Ralph was relying on.

          The Oilers fail to properly utiise their farm team and support personell,they prefer to scramble all their dam lines when one man goes down instead of replacing him with a replacement who is a dynamic template fit,because they DONT EVEN KNOW what a dynamic template is for christsakes.

          Yes the names are the same but the line combos and their integrity were not represented last year by Ralphs actions.Had they been I believe we were a playoff team.We didnt lose our playoff shot during the horrid skid when we were finally at the door,we lost it earlier in the season pissing away games for reasons of poor dynamic managment on many fronts in fact on a goddam connstellation of fronts,from simply knowing which players to put together to how to manage them from shift to shift,period to period,and game to game.This trouble ALL stems from poor Intuitive dynamic managment of personell when selecting line combos early and when deciding how long to keep those trios intact.Ralph made a critical error in is “pairs”innovation and it killed him,he knew darn well he had to match a zone entry specialst with other dynamic impacts,but he used statistical inputs to choose those men and their combos instead of the Intuitive inputs that told him to identify and priorise the zone entry specialists he built around in the first place,he only used HALF of the required data and tactical knowledge.This is because he didnt have the entire NHS database to work with,just bits and pieces.

          You can either use statistical inputs to design your lines or Intuitive inputs,but you need to make a choice,you cannot have both,and considering the natures of stats and Intuition,my suggeston is to use stats to review and analyse your system performance after the fact seeing as that is all stats relect is things after the fact and leave them at that door.

          Intuitive inputs ALWAYS begin a dynamic template and statistical inputs always end it.If you want to win then you need to use the winning formula.

  • The Soup Fascist

    What are the chances that the NHL ever decides to force or allow officials to call the game to allow speed and talent to shine in playoffs? Watch the game after the 05 lockout and watch it now. Interference was not allowed let alone the tackling and bear hugs in these playoffs.

    LA and St Louis featured some great hits but a ton on guys getting tackled and leg humped and flat out mugged. Same with LA and SJ. Boston interferes every 30 seconds. Detroit is playing a boring trap game. “Close checking hockey” is boring and often illegal hockey. Leave in the big hits and the occasional scrap. But get rid of the crap.

    As DSF alluded that is the Oilers only hope if / when they make the playoffs with this many smallish skilled guys. Yak or Eberle can dangle all they want but if Z wraps them in (an illegal) bear hug the play stops. The NHL needs to decide what product they want to sell. Right now they are fine with plodding pedestrian hockey.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Thank you Mac-T,I will sleep tonight.

      The Interference and the illegaly catalysed tactics can be overcome with player utilisation of their spheres of influence away from the puck,they can simply utilise movement without the puck to find ways to defeat those lowball tactics.It is more challenging if you consistantly utilise traditional set plays,much less difficult if you do not.We need to remember to keep our finger on the pulse of the NHL and its officiating trends this is critical because the evolution is ongoing and subtle.

      The NHL follows the officiating dynamic template defined by the Commisioner among others.Part of the responsibility of all NHL teams is to contribute to the accuracy,form and function of officiating trends by providing accurate and correct feedbact to the league .That is how we handle officiating issue and the buck stops there,we provide feedback like every other NHL team and that is all we do.It is the responsibility of the league to define the evolution of their own managment path.

      It is nice to have the UFC and other comparative dynamics to utilise here.
      So two men in the 180lb weight class enter the octagon,one is 6’3 and the other is 5’10.Their weights are identical,if you are a UFC fan,which is as real as it gets,then you already know that size differentials can be defined outside of weight considerations alone.That stringbean in there is going to get landed on his ass the first time Husky gets his hands on him and can use leverage to down him,but this is the crux,what the hell happens when they hit the ground?Getting there may be something size can accomodate but what happens there is much less defined by weight and leverage and more by timing body mechanics managment,body types come into play every step of the way as much as weight and muscle distribution.To ilustrate this,stringbeans commonly try to bait men trying to shoot on them so they can end the fight with an immediate and terminal submission,many times the takedown is dynamiclly managed by the man going down,just something as seemingly simple as the hip that hits the floor first can define winning and loseing from the bottom,the key being that bothe winning AND loseing can be catalysed from the bottom with tactical intent and managment.The same applies to hitting in the NHL. Recovery from physical contact is a defined skillset at the NHL level and can be worked on,it is only one detail of many.Proper managment of a players sphere of influence combined with proper recovery execution negates size differentials and holding and other delay tactics.

      Mac-T is absolutely right,there is no facet of the NHL game that cannot be countered with systemic focus and intent combined with execellent communication and a fine eye to details and dynamic habits.You cannot disenfranchise managerial impact with statistical factiods.

      As far asd I am concerned this is the first time in many many years anyone on the Oilers has given me as a fan an acceptably presented valid statement of intent systemiclly to accurately define a baseline from which to asess and analyse the players,coaching and managment staffs acumen and performance.Thank you very much Mac-T,this looks like the beginning of an organised and structured template,congratulatons this is the right path.

      This is what I would define based on past situational dynamics surrounding systemic focus and intent being related to player and managerial accountability as a BOLD MOVE.

      In one fell swoop the Oilers have clarified and simplified the jobs of both the coaches and the players and at the same time they have given their fanbase a finite statement of organisational intent systemiclly thereby reducing the volume of speculation and critique directed at Oilers managment and personell by a substantial degree.Now Coaches,players and fans alike can all begin to gravitate towards a properly defined stakeholder dynamic template.We are all beginning to look down at the same page finally,excellent.

      I like it when resources are properly quantified and dynamiclly managed and this is what i feel is happening here.This is the most challenging area of managing an NHL club,and it is a core value component of developing a superior communication platform.When resources and intent are accurately and consistantly quantified and defined it is easier to accurately manage them and it reduces the volume of miscommunications organsationally that can happen during this dynamic managment action.

      The Big Bad Wolf will bust a nut trying to blow down a properly catlysed house of Bricks,and this is the beginning of a solid
      foundation for just that.

  • The Soup Fascist

    By his comments, MacT is acutely aware that a ‘size/skill’ combo is ideal. He has supported the notion that the team needs to get bigger and stronger. His point in this quote is that our core identity has to be clearly established (in our case, skill and puck possession). Currently, we have no identity. This is order of business number one for MacT and should be based on the existing core we have secured. We still add meat to the line up but it has to be part of a larger system. One of the weaknesses of the previous GM is that he added spare parts without taking into consideration how the part would fit within our team.

    • Alsker

      Lets not blame ex GM for all those decisions . Most were probably joint efforts , and yes , MacT. was probably part of that process and evaluation himself occasionally .Have we had Smithson here long enough to render a decision on him returning to lineup ? He is still better than Landers at this stage . Landers and Brown were our two worst forwards in offensive zone losses – a whopping 75% of the time . Puck possession personnel needed ?

  • 106 and 106

    I wish Mac-T would say “Corsi.” Even sneeze it. Queen’s MBA Program has a Statistics Component – hopefully he’s understanding more than he’s letting on about.

  • Alsker

    I look back to the Glory Days when Sather (similar player to MacT )was GM/coach . KISS management – one person making majority of decisions . We did mightily well in retrospect . Does MacT. have that sort of flexibility , or does it have to go thru “to many cooks in the kitchen” ?

    Has this caused us to miss on several occasions on adding personnel , while others jump and beat us to the punch ?

    • Quicksilver ballet

      The game has change a lot since the 80’s. They need all these “teachers/support staff” to help implement the latest system they’ve chosen to use. Systems play has made talent much less important in the game today. The dead puck era is alive and thriving again.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    This could happen ? Oilers make deal with Buffalo to get their 8th and 16th pick by dealing our 7th plus ( you fill it in ) .

    We draft R. Ristolainen at 8th ,and M.Domi @16th . Ristolainen lowdown : 6.03 , 210 lbs. Safe bet to be long term top 4 defenseman minimum . NHL ready now and has body aand frame and is effective in transition game and jumping into thr rush . Zadorov and Nurse still evolving , probably not NHL ready like Risto appears to be. Domi at 16th would be a nice addition as a sore and major playmaker with grit , and still not overly small at current 6.0 -185lbs..

  • Wax Man Riley

    BTW… Where is the word-count limiter?

    @NHS

    Please shorten it up. Nobody reads posts that long; you are wasting your time typing that out. Keep paragraphs short with more separation, and get to the point.

    Just trying to save you some time, buddy.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    @NewAgeSys

    I cannot believe I just read somebody talking about hockey (supposedly) and stating that an NHL head coach should have used a little thing called “Intuitive Dynamic Management”. Really?

    Really?

    I didn’t read the rest of your thesis statement, but to try and say the Oilers would have made the playoffs if Krueger just kept the same lines all season long is assinine. When the team plays as bad as they did, including the kid line, why would any coach keep them in tact?

    Seriously man, keep the rants down to less than 14 pages and people might actually read them.

    • Maddog

      I was saying a bit more than that ,dynamic line managment and continuity was lacking last year.These are basic simple team sport concepts.Not rocket science.

      The 1st line was poorly managed for 2/3 of the season.The 2nd line was like a popcorn popper.Hemsky never hit the 3rd line where he belonged with smyth and Horcoff.

      Hall needed to give line leadership to Nuge and alow him to magage it his own way,that didnt hapen till late in the year,Halls points didnt suffer but the rest of the line sure did.

      Yakupov-Gagner-MPS should have been put and kept together after the first 3 games,thats when i saw the hole and commented,history shows i was dead on.

      The 3rd lines lack of offensive production and dynamic impact on games was a big part of our failures last season along with the 1st lines mismanagment and lack of optimisation.Hemsky needed to be on the 3rd line with his zone entry ability and single handed scoring ability.