Monday Musings…

monday musings

The trade deadline is a week away. The Oilers have a very light week with only two games — tomorrow in Minnesota and Saturday they host the Blues. That means Jeff Petry will finish his career has an Oiler playing a maximum of 296 games. If he dresses for both he’ll sit 46th all-time amongst Oilers in games played. Only Jordan Eberle has played more games as an Oiler courtesy of Hockeyreference.com.

Petry will not be accepting a contract offer from the Oilers — why would he when he is so close to being an UFA? — so Craig MacTavish will trade him away for a draft pick, or more likely a prospect. The Oilers will be a worse team by next Monday afternoon.

I outlined last week why I believed MacTavish never felt Petry was going to be part of the long-term solution in Edmonton. That is fine to think that way — every GM will evaluate players they like more than others — but when you replace him with less talented players it looks like a very bad decision.  My main concern is the organization’s ability to properly evaluate defencemen. Petry is an example of a flawed organizational rating system.

The frustrating part for Oilers fans must be watching how the roster has gotten worse in the past two months by dealing away David Perron and Petry. At some point the Oilers need to make trades to improve the team. MacTavish did that when he acquired Perron on July 10th, 2013 for Magnus Paajarvi and a draft pick, but 17 months later he dealt Perron for a 4th liner, Rob Klinkhammer, and a 1st round pick.

One step forward, but now one step back. The Oilers have not improved from April, 2013 when he took over. Based on MacTavish’s comments last week, he feels the team is built to succeed. Time will tell, but I don’t see how.

HITS AROUND THE LEAGUE

  • Drew Doughty has to be the most under appreciated player in the NHL. I don’t see any D-man that I would take ahead of him if I’m building a team, however, since 2010 he hasn’t even been top-five in Norris Trophy voting. Doughty finished third in voting in 2010, but here’s how he’s finished since.

    2011: Tied for 10th. He had one 2nd place vote and one 5th.
    2012: He didn’t get one top-five vote. Willie Mitchell, his teammate in LA, received one 5th place vote.
    2013: He was 9th. He had one 2nd, two 3rds, seven 4ths and five 5ths.
    2014: Finished 6th. He had eight 1sts, six 2nds, 17 third place votes, 18 4ths and 23 fifths.

    The LA Kings don’t score many goals. They are 24th in goals over the past five seasons (not including this year), and only Florida (914), Minnesota (931), New Jersey (933), Edmonton (947) and Buffalo (980) have scored fewer than the Kings (993). It seems Doughty gets punished by the voters because of his low offensive totals. 

    Doughty is not going to consistently put up big offensive numbers in the regular season due to the Kings’ style of play, but how people don’t view him as one of the top-three defenders in the league is surprising.

    Just for a reference point. He’s a quick comparison of Duncan Keith and Doughty.  Keith has been in on 20.1% of the Blackhawks’ goals from 2010-2014. He won two Norris Trophies.  Doughty has been in on 19.5% of the Kings’ goals. 

  • The difference is Keith has outscored Doughty 242-194 in those five years. The Hawks scored the most goals in the NHL the past five seasons 1199 to the Kings 993. Doughty seems to get punished because his teammates don’t score nearly as often when he isn’t on the ice compared to Keith’s supporting cast. And when he is on the ice his teammates aren’t nearly as offensively dangerous as Keith’s.
  • It was a year ago today that Canada’s men’s hockey team defeated Sweden 3-0 to win Gold at the Sochi Olympics. Fun stat regarding goalies from February 23rd, 2014 to today.
    Carey Price has the best sv% at .935. Devan Dubnyk is 3rd best at .925. Granted he has only played 35 games compared to Price’s 58, but there is no denying Dubnyk is on a great streak. You can see which other goalies are in the top-20 here, courtesy of Apron Basu.
  • I’m curious to see what Colorado and Dallas do before next Monday. They are both six points out of the playoffs, with Calgary and San Jose ahead of them as well. Will they make a small tweak or do nothing and hope their recent improved play will continue.
  • The Sharks are the most interesting team to watch. They tried to deal Thornton and Marleau in the summer, but both players refused to waive their NMC. Have either changed their mind now, or will the Sharks have to look elsewhere. I’ve heard that Thornton is a bit more open to a move, but he’d still prefer to stay in San Jose.
  • I don’t see the Oilers trading anyone other than Petry. I don’t see any benefit in moving Gordon or Hendricks. I explain here.

  • Chicago is 10-10-3 since January 1st. With Kane and Toews’ contract extension beginning next season, this is their last chance to take a serious run at the Cup for a year or two. Their depth will take a major hit when Toews and Kane eat up $21 million of the team’s salary cap. The Hawks only have $1.3 million in cap space, but I expect them to use all of it an try to add some depth before next Monday.
  • The Flyers are never afraid to make moves and now that they are only four points behind Boston, I won’t be surprised if they make a deal or two to add players, rather than be sellers.
  • The two best teams in the NLL are at Rexall Place this Friday night. The Rush host the Toronto Rock in what should be a great game. Check it out.

Recently by Jason Gregor:         

    • M22

      Oh gee what great news ‘the Oill will be a worse team next Monday’. Where do I sign up for one of those $19,000 tickets? Will someone please wake me up from this never ending rebuild.

    • pkam

      Mac T and six rings need the cash to sign their Norris candidate to a long term multi $$$ contract.
      PLLLLLEEEAAASSSSEEE
      Someone stop this insanity ! They need to build a D-Core, granted Petry is not a top two pairing but fits somewhere in your top six. He should have been extended. Nikitin was a mistake but does it surprise you Howsen was the GM at Columbus and high on him when no one else in this league would take him but the Oilers because they know better and are smarter than everyone else.
      Losing Petry will leave us with another hole to fill ?? This management group is a complete joke. Clean house already. How much learning on the job can we take ??

    • WTF2

      In a perfect world the President, Lowe in this case, would publicly set a goal (such as playoffs) and a time limit to achieve same. If the General Manager (MacT) did not reach the established goal his employment would be terminated. The GM in turn would set a goal and term limit for the Coach with the same conditions.

      I know I can stop dreaming now, however this is the level of accountability the team requires in order to actually progress as an organization.

      One thing we as fans can do is continue to point out the failures of management when they see fault in their performance. Then one day MacT will be gone and the fans can rightfully say we knew he messed up way back when.

    • WTF2

      Whoever the clowns are that keep defending MacT’s Reign of Error against Gregor’s well founded assessment of his decision making, I hope you are getting free tickets or a decent salary for attempting the impossible. STOP EMBARRASSING YOURSELVES.

    • pkam

      Whoever the clowns are that keep defending MacT’s Reign of Error against Gregor’s well founded assessment of his decision making, I hope you are getting free tickets or a decent salary for attempting the impossible. STOP EMBARRASSING YOURSELVES.

      • Jason Gregor

        No kidding. They screwed up with Petry. No matter how you look at it. Should have signed him to more then a 1 year and after that should of been making offers to him sooner then last second. Started the year by benching him. Saddled him with crappy partners all the while coddling and admonishing how great Schultz was going to be. Nikitin was piss poor signing. Ference is an anchor of a contract. They under value Marincin just like Petry. And people on here are doubting these bumbling fools made a mistake with Petry?? I wonder what exactly is it gonna take for people to see how incompetent MacT is?

        And then I look over at the Poll question and see over 21 people have given him an A+ for the job he’s done? That says it all for me.

    • Jason Gregor

      Drew has 3 gold medals and 2 stanley cups. Not many men at his young age can say that. He’s one of the best young canadian hockey player’s. Top notch.

    • MacT's Neglected Helmet

      “My main concern is the organization’s ability to properly evaluate defencemen.”

      Just defencemen?

      They are also unable to properly evaluate prospects at the draft, starting goalies, backup goalies, coaches, assistant coaches, goalie coaches, and centers (they’ve shown that they can evaluate wingers fairly well).

    • Kevwan

      The Perron trades were good both times, when we got him and when he was traded and yes we are a better team since he has been gone.

      In hindsight what was Petry’s worth last summer and what would he have accepted? too much if it was over 4 mill x 5 yrs. Fans would have been upset if MacT overpaid last summer to sign him can’t have it both ways.

      Where management has failed is signing UFA’s that offer immediate help while they wait for prospects to develop and the core to mature.

      I like MacT and like where the team is headed and I understand that may not be too popular but I’m allowed my two cents too.

    • Jason Gregor

      Oh No! where will we ever find a soft D-man to cough up the puck and finish -25. Petry can be replaced with an AHL Dman and nobody would notice. His Big slap(no one timers please) shot that that hits the net 7 times a year will be hard to replace.

      Perron is an undersized forward who plays hard, on any other team you can live with that but Oilers simply cant have any more smurfs. Sorry. Klinkhammer is not great but he is a value contract that in this era you need.

      I’m so pleased with the recent moves I am actually going on Saturday to watch Petry’s last game. Petry gone is a giant step in the right direction. Trust Me!

    • paul wodehouse

      …A-Mc

      let’s say Petry wants out and wants to go to ‘another team’ …let’s say anywhere but Edmonton because of the way he’s been screwed over with no long term deal chatter… he’s gonna sign with that team he ends up going to compensation or not…at this stage in his career he’s not a rental who’s there to get 30 minutes a game and win a Cup for any team… maybe Buffalo…there’s Mike Weber who’s played as many or more games and is the same age, almost the same TOI …has one year left on his 3yr deal at 1.6 per …a 5-6 guy who’s going to maybe get top 4 minutes some day on this Dman short squad … there’s no Norris Trophy in Jeff Petry’s future so the return should be a real player with real NHL games played…no picks or prospects please…or I guess without an offer and nothin’ but an open door MacT continues to get a big flying F on his report card…

      …I’m just glad this doesn’t really bother me…my give-a-crap meter doesn’t register one way or another much until the Draft Time so

      …shine up the first overall horseshoe lads!

    • Mike Wazowski

      I find it very difficult to believe that 27 legitimate Nation members really think MacT is doing an A+ job, considering the team’s record has gotten worse in both of his years on the job. A wild optimist might generously give him a C, but an A+? What grade would these people give Nashville’s or Calgary’s GM? There is something rotten in the very heart of this Denmark. Anyone who is not under a ban here can sign up, post and vote on such polls. This is either a prank or something more insidious.

    • Mike Wazowski

      mac t gets a big fat D from me but I also think the last good gm we had was k lowe. we got roli ,spacek ,and peca back then so what’s mac t giving his coach? get us a pronger! be bold and you just might graduate to k lowe stature

    • Anton CP

      What is the reason for optimism next year? all the bad teams always say wait till next year. .I have been waiting 9 PAINFUL years.MacT is too timid a gm.Our D is a mess.We need at least 2 on the backend.Obviously Katz is gonadless.This gong show should have been put out to pasture years ago.Can Mac walk on water? if he can the playoffs may be a possibility.Dont forget there will be other teams looking for the same players as us.Just sayin

    • Anton CP

      There is one thing that has become clear. The more intense the criticism of Oiler ownership/management the more
      numerous the trolls are that come to attack anyone who discusses the squad of idiots running this team. Nicholson is just another hired mouthpiece who has no balls and is on a very short corporate leash. I wonder who tells him where to squat.

      Forensic audit my ass.

    • Anton CP

      Even if Petry’s departure is a foregone conclusion that MacT should at least pretent to negotiate a deal with him. Petry at best is only a 4th and lower on depth chart, his only value is he is a right side D. With that in mind, he is only worth the range about 2.5~3.5 per. If he is asking for anything more than that then he is being delusional. At cap era that FA will not usually getting a good value on their contracts, it took Ribeiro, Roy, and Del Zotto forever for anyone to sign them. Petry will be lucky to get anything more than 3m on open market because he is just not that good.

    • Devolution

      I fell for it last year with some minor improvements and a shiny new draft choice.

      I won’t fall for it again; there is no reason to think this team will be better next year.

      • Devolution

        Just last year. I’ve been fooled into this dream for the last 5 years. But yeah you are right, next year is gonna come with alot more skepticism by all fans I’m sure. I’m a typical oilers fan, embarrassed and shamed.

    • The Real Scuba Steve

      I bet MacT is going to trade a Petry who hasn’t peaked yet for a draft pick.
      What a joke, they always act like they got a secret weapon at the draft but always ending up shooting blanks. Wasn’t Petry supposed to play an important part of the OIlers future? JOKE!

    • Mike Wazowski

      Remember, The mistake with petry wasn’t done this year.

      It was last off season.

      Mact now has to trade Petry because he did not sign him long term last off season.

      Mact was heavily involved in the Schultz recruitment and now can’t effectively evaluate him looking through rose colored glasses

      • Serious Gord

        Would you have been happy signing Petry to a long term/big money contract last off-season? One that buys up his UFA years so you know his agent was demanding the moon? For a guy who before the last few months never threw a hit?
        I know I wouldn’t have been happy.

    • SSB1963

      Not defending Mac T,he is as arrogant and incompetent as Lowe and Eakins. I would just point out that until this season many on this site did not like Petry.

      • Serious Gord

        I dont think hes a great dman. But he is competent in a #4 role. Except he has never played that role on this team because of how bad the defense depth is.

        The most visible flaw in his game to me is his inability to act in a sound manner when he is under pressure both physically and in terms of time and space. He’s okay when the game is flowing at 85% speed but he panics and coughs up the puck when it gets much faster than that. He fails badly and often when the forecheck is really aggressive.

        Had the oil decent defensive depth I would support trading him, but not until then and not until after Shultz has been traded.

    • Serious Gord

      Here’s something to contemplate – the challenge with being a GM is how to manage within the CAP – if Petry is perceived to be a second pairing defensemen and is looking at a contract in excess of $5.0M per year and you give him that type of salary – then you effectively establish your 2nd tier defensemen at between $4.0M to $5.0M – that threshold will have a domino effect on the 1st pairing where your now in the $5.0 to $7.0M range. Petry is guilty of pricing himself out of the market and in particular Edmonton as you’ve got Nurse and Klefbom who are better slotted long term to be the #2 pairing if not the 1st tier pairing.

    • Oiler Fan 16

      Doughty may have the game to be a Norris winner, but he does not play it. He has been overplayed for years and has played a lot of games. He manages his energy by not getting more involved in the offense than he needs to. He tends to appear on the score sheet more in closer games.

      Sutter may have helped him win the Norris by allowing him to play fewer minutes at the start of the season to allow for a strong push now. Unfortunately for the Oilers, winning games out rates winning Norris trophies to everyone but MacT.

      I think if he missed a bunch of games or the Kings miss the playoffs this year, you will see an uptick in his offensive game (and therefore consideration for the Norris) next year