Monday Mailbag – May 11th

Mailbag

It’s McDavid Monday, and you’ve all worked enough for one day as far as I’m concerned. As such, I present you with 4000 words worth of time wasting goodness! As always, I need your questions to make the mailbag work. If you have a question you’d like to ask, email me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk. Until then, grab some coffee and enjoy the break from “productivity.”

1) Karim M. asks – With Peter Chiarelli taking over as the new GM of the Oilers, he still seems to be taking a lot of flack for the Tyler Seguin trade.  While there’s no denying the player Tyler Seguin has become, it doesn’t appear the trade is as lopsided as the media has portrayed.  Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson combined for 87 points last year which is on par with Seguin’s production.   Smith is also young and it appears his best years are still ahead of him.  Given the circumstances behind the trade with Seguin’s “behavioural issues,” it actually seems like he got a pretty good return.  What are your thoughts?

Robin Brownlee:

Chiarelli traded away the best player in the deal. You seldom win those. Adding up the production of two players and comparing it to one player doesn’t work — you’re talking about two roster spots instead of one. Look at the trade after three or four full seasons and we’ll have a better idea. I suspect we’ll see it as lopsided for Dallas.

Jason Gregor:

The trade was made for reasons other than hockey. It wasn’t based solely on the players involved, but from a pure hockey trade the Bruins lost. Seguin is an elite scorer. Chiarelli has made many other solid trades, anyone who evaluates a GM based on one trade is overlooking entire performance.

Jonathan Willis:

I can’t agree. Let’s use your comparison of Eriksson/Smith to Seguin. Eriksson and Smith have a combined cap hit of $7.675 million as compared to Seguin’s $5.75 million. They take up two roster spots as opposed to just one. Smith may be young and improving but he’s still nine months younger than Seguin; if we can claim that Smith’s best years are ahead of him, surely the same is true for the best player in the package. Additionally, it’s very difficult to replace Seguin – there are, by definition, only 10 top-10 NHL scorers and the teams that have them rarely have a mind to trade them. That replacement difficulty is lowered considerably for an Eriksson or Smith; there are more than 100 guys league-wide who can contribute 45-plus points and they come available in free agency every year.

I can’t comment on the “behavioral issues” because I don’t know the details (I’ve read the various reports, just like everyone else, but I wasn’t there to see what it looked like internally). What I can say is that when we look at the L.A. Kings – from the Dry Island crew to Jarret Stoll’s recent legal difficulties – I think it’s fair to say that a player can have some extremes in lifestyle and still be a valued piece of the core.

I like Chiarelli a lot. I think he’s a good general manager who over his time in Boston did far more good than harm. It’s worth noting that another bet with a developing young star (Phil Kessel) certainly turned out well for the Bruins. But I didn’t like the Seguin deal for Boston at the time and it looks lousy in hindsight, too.

Lowetide:

Don’t trade impact players at age 20. As a Bruins fan, I can tell you it looked bad at the time and remains a bad one. I like Peter Chiarelli as a GM and think Edmonton made a terrific addition, but the Seguin trade should serve Chiarelli as a sober reminder of what happens when you trade elite youth too young.

Jeanshorts:

I’ve been parroting pretty much exactly what you said verbatim since Chiarelli to Edmonton was just a rumour, and naturally a segment of Edmonton immediately started complaining…

The only thing I would add is Joe Morrow was also part of that trade and is a former 1st round pick who has had two solid seasons in the AHL and turns 23 this December. He may not be Dougie Hamilton but by all accounts he seems to be a solid blue chip defensive prospect well on his way to regular NHL duty. 

Seguin was always going to play second fiddle to Patrice Bergeron, and Claude Julien was essentially trying to turn him into a defense-first player, similar to what we saw with Eakins and Yak. It was just a weird situation top to bottom. And honestly if the worst thing you can say about the trade is Loui Ericksson ONLY got 50 points rather than 70, how bad was the trade? (Looks at the giant pile of magic beans acquired by Tambo and MacT in return for actual useful Oilers….)

Jason Strudwick:

I have a hard time believing that the entire story is out or will ever be as to why Seguin was traded. Does it really make sense that he would have been traded without some kind of story?

Matt Henderson:

I think trying to look at “Total” production is an attempt to put lipstick on a pig. If it takes two or more people to replicate the production of a single player then it is not a wash. The circumstances are what they are but the Bruins downgraded immensely when they made that trade. There are lots of stories about what happened and some of them suggest Chiarelli’s hand was forced while others say he was complicit. Either way, if that trade was done in Edmonton and Hall was traded for 2-3 players half his ability we would be upset.

Baggedmilk:

Firstly, I think trading a 20 year old for “character issues” is pretty funny. What were the issues though? Did he just like to party, or was he going to some Eyes Wide Shut mask-wearing orgies and hoping to murder people? I don’t know, I wasn’t there. If the rub was that Seguin liked to party too much then the Bruins pulled the trigger way too fast and are now being punished for it. I can’t imagine that’s all it was, and I don’t for one minute believe that Chiarelli would make a big personnel decision like that on his own. The organization wanted to move Seguin, it wasn’t just Peter Chiarelli. Besides, that Phil Kessel trade worked out okay.

Suck

2) TheBirdofAnger asks – Do any of you believe that Justin Schultz has a future in this organization where he can contribute positively to the team? He was all hype a few seasons ago and the results haven’t been as advertised. Could he ever possibly live up to the hype that surrounded him?

Robin Brownlee:

No, he can’t live up to the hype. As for a future, what’s that? Two more years? Three? The rest of his career? I’d trade him, but I don’t get a say.

Jason Gregor:

Who cares about hype? Why blame a player because a GM made an asinine statement claiming he has Norris potential? Schultz needs to get stronger and work on his shot. He could be an effective PP guy who plays 3rd pairing minutes at 5-on-5. Use him in those roles and he can succeed, force feed him 25 minutes a night and he will struggle. Use players to their strengths not their weaknesses.

Jonathan Willis:

I don’t think he’s ever going to live up to the top-pairing defenceman hype that we heard when he joined the organization, or to Craig MacTavish’s comments at that infamous summer press conference after he inked him to that ridiculous one-year extension. 

That doesn’t mean he can’t be a useful NHL defenceman. Right now he’s probably a third-pairing even-strength option/power play specialist and he’s young enough and talented enough that it doesn’t strain credulity too much to one day imagine him as a legitimate second-pairing even-strength option.

Lowetide:

I think there’s a chance, but he needs a veteran partner who is able to cover for the mistakes and (as he said during the exit interview) to work hard on his game. Especially passing.

Jeanshorts:

He will never live up to the hype, no. But I do believe there’s still a useful player in there somewhere. He still has pretty great offensive tools, so if you pair him with a solid stay at home D-man, rather than, say, a 20 year old rookie or an AHL journeyman who skates at the speed of a glacier, I think his flaws would be less noticeable. 

And, I mean, just look at Danny Dekeyser; I recall him having a similar amount of hype as Jultz did when he finished his college career. Did he blow the doors of the league? No, but Detroit smartly put him at the bottom of the depth chart, surrounded him with ACTUAL NHLers, he learned how to play at the NHL level and he’s been a steady presence on their backend ever since. 

I think the next coach will be smart enough to use him in a way that highlights his strengths and hides his weaknesses. And if not then I’m sure the Condors will be more than happy to have a guy who lit up the AHL in his rookie pro season on their blue line.

Jason Strudwick:

This summer he needs to lock himself into a gym. Weight needs to be gained so he can compete in the areas in front of the net and the corners. This is the easy part. The hard part is adding that type of attitude on the ice.

Matt Henderson:

He can be a very good 5th defenseman one day. Either that or he could be Teddy Purcell. He had a good pro debut but looks like he doesn’t care or doesn’t know how to be any better than what he is already. I doubt he’ll live up to the hype as that hype includes “Norris Potential” talk. I have doubts about his future in Edmonton, an expansion draft could help the team out a lot.

Baggedmilk:

You don’t lead the AHL in points unless there is something going on there. Yeah, I know that Nuge, Eberle, and Hall were all in the AHL with him at that time but there’s obviously a player there. Personally, I think this is another chapter in the Oilers story of giving prospects too many minutes too soon. Schultz should never have been playing as many minutes as he has been. He should have been sheltered and playing along side a veteran that could show him the ropes, but this is the Oilers and that never happens. Remember, 28 other teams wanted Justin Schultz so is was everybody wrong, or did the Oilers screw it up? I know which way I’d bet.

ShootMoon

3) Sean M. asks – Is there such a thing as reasonable expectations for this kid (implied McDavid)? What kind of numbers do you expect from him?

Robin Brownlee:

Will depend largely on who he plays with and how much he plays. I think we could see a range of 55-65 points if he plays consistent top-six minutes, gets some power-play time and plays more than 70 games.

Jason Gregor:

Sane people have reasonable expectations. Delusional people will be upset when he doesn’t match Crosby’s 102-point rookie season, but won’t recognize that no one in the NHL scored 100 points last year. The game is different from 2005-2006. I could see McDavid scoring 70 points, and if he does that would be an outstanding/incredible rookie season.

Jonathan Willis:

McDavid’s a special player, and my expectation is that we’ll see it right out of the gate. Nathan MacKinnon had less hype but scored 63 points as a rookie (he quietly saw that number drop to 38 this year) and that’s about the range I have in mind as a reasonable line in the sand.

Lowetide:

I assume you’re talking about McDavid? I’ll say 71-80 points is a reasonable line in the sand for him as a rookie but of course a lot depends on TOI and PP time.

Jeanshorts:

I think 75 to 80 points would be a reasonable expectation for McDavid. I know that he’s the “Next Crosby” so everyone assumes he’ll put up 100 or more points, but thankfully this isn’t the year after the lockout where any time a stick came within five feet of an opposing player an obstruction penalty was called (this now only happens 70% of the time). Mark Stone (22 years old) and Johnny Gaudreau (21) led the league this year with 64 points, so for an 18 year old prodigy coming straight out of junior I think a 75 point season would be a smashing success.

Jason Strudwick:

Good question. There probably are not enough reasonable expectations for him. The organization needs to protect him and insulate him as much as you can for a player of his level.

Matt Henderson:

I’m going to assume you’re talking about McDavid. I don’t know what’s reasonable for him. 55 points? Is that reasonable? He is special. There is nothing reasonable about him. Expectations are going to vary for everyone but if we come up with something “reasonable” he will likely exceed it.

Baggedmilk:

Connor McDavid is a special player and will score a lot of points in his career, but I don’t necessarily think he will tear the league a new a-hole this coming season. The last rookie to score 75+ points in a season was Patrick Kane, and that was a while ago. If McDavid can reach 70 points in his rookie season I would declare that an overwhelming success. Again, he will be playing for an Oilers team with huge holes to fill. They have a hard enough time to get it out of their own zone as it is. 

Bestofthebest

4) Clarison asks – I feel as though Elliotte Friedman has surpassed Bob McKenzie in terms of being the best hockey analyst/insider today? What are your thoughts, or who is the best in your opinion?

Robin Brownlee:

Nope. Take a look at who breaks what over the course of a season or an off-season and McKenzie is the guy.

Jason Gregor:

Pretty sure neither broke Chiarelli signing…*cough, cough*… (that is a joke people)…No seriously, Bob and Elliott are both great. I don’t see any as the best. They have different strengths and different connections. Elliott’s 30-thoughts are excellent and he has done a great job of connecting to fans on social media. Bob, Dreger, Lebrun and Friedman all work hard at being an insider. It is a tough gig. As an analyst, I like Ferraro a lot. Excellent insight and he isn’t afraid to give an opinion.

Jonathan Willis:

I can’t comment on this too much, given that I’m employed by Sportsnet. I’ve always deeply respected McKenzie’s insight on the game and he remains a level-headed, connected and highly credible reporter. Friedman has been excellent for years; I was extremely happy to see Sportsnet bring him over from the CBC when editorial control over Hockey Night in Canada was transferred along with the NHL rights. Both are exceptional.

Lowetide:

I’m happy both are available. I’ve been reading Bob McKenzie since his Hockey News days, so he’s still my first stop in terms of breaking news. That said, Friedman is the next stop so it’s kind of a moot point.

Jeanshorts:

I would agree with that. I still have much love for Bob and his giant head filled with all sorts of hockey knowledge and amazing stories, but there’s just something about Friedman I really like. It’s probably mostly due to the fact he’ll throw in a sweet jab at Stock/Healy/Kypreos, or just straight up walk off the set when things are getting too stupid.

Jason Strudwick:

His 30 thoughts are great every week.

Matt Henderson:

Friedman is number one for me. I watch the Sportsnet broadcasts and in addition to providing more analysis of the game than the ex players he is also their most plugged in insider. Plus he has to have the patience of a saint to deal with that panel on a daily basis.

Baggedmilk:

I don’t think Friedman is necessarily “better” than McKenzie as much as I consider them equals. One thing is for sure, if Sportsnet didn’t have Elliotte Friedman that panel would be even more of a joke than it already is. 

History 2

5) Alex Higgins asks – What is one moment in hockey history that you wish you could have personally witnessed?

Robin Brownlee:

The last appearance at The Montreal Forum by Rocket Richard. The ovation they gave Rocket brought him to tears. Wonderful moment.

Jason Gregor:

Watch Bobby Orr play live. I’ve seen videos of his games and read many stories about him, but I would have loved to have seen him play live. He changed the way D-men played.

Jonathan Willis:

Just one moment? That’s brutally tough; there are so many. Mostly I wish I could have seen players in their primes; the Gretzky of my youth played for the Kings and the Rangers and I never saw Howe or Orr or Richard and the Lemieux I saw was an old man, still great but not what he once was. If I’m picking one moment, it’s hard to look past Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series.

Lowetide:

Orr beating Glenn Hall, spring 1970.

Jeanshorts:

2010 Golden Goal®. I was “there” in that I was among the thousands upon thousands of wasted revellers high-fiving everyone in sight in downtown Vancouver that day, but I can’t even imagine being inside the building when Crosby scored. I feel like my soul would have left my body for good that day and I would just be a husk in the shape of a human man (which is what I assume will happen when McDavid scores the cup winning goal in RX2 in the year 2019).

Jason Strudwick:

Jason Gregor scoring 30 goals in Jr B.

Matt Henderson:

1972 Summit Series. Henderson scores. Obviously.

Baggedmilk:

I would have liked to be in the room when Bob Nicholson told MacT that he was no longer the GM of the Edmonton Oilers. MacT had one of the biggest personal 180s of all time when he went from being a GM with McDavid in his pocked to being #2 in some capacity that we still aren’t exactly sure what that is yet.

Either that or Gretzky’s 50 in 39. Who scores five goals in a game to complete a record? Gretzky. That’s who.

    • Kevwan

      ” was he going to some Eyes Wide Shut mask wearing orgies and hoping to murder people? ”

      There’s definitely a party going on in your mind. I just hope you double check the guest list.

      Seriously though – never change.

  • A-Mc

    For Struds: re-Schultz. Does an agent go to his client and tell him “look, if you want to land the deal you’re looking for, you’ll need to get in the gym and get your shht together. It’s do or die time and what you do this summer will define your career going forward.”

    Or does an agent keep his mouth shut and just work with what he has?

    How much back and forth (career planning) does an agent do with his client?

  • The Soup Fascist

    Re: Seguin. It his well documented that Cam Neely and Jim Benning wanted him gone and made that clear to Chiarelli. Benning was assistant GM so certainly Chiarelli had the ability to override his opinion. Neely was a different kettle of fish entirely. Chiarelli had no choice but to take his comments to heart. Not saying Chiarelli wasn’t part of the process, but he was not on an island in making that call. I would agree he did not get enough for Seguin but remember he had to move a package that everyone in the league knew was marked “Damaged Goods”.

    Seguin’s after hours antics during the Toronto series in 2013 are well known. So was Seguin’s questionable social media practices in terms of detailing his umm, social life. I get that he was a 21 year old and “having fun” but there is a line for Chiarelli, Benning, Neely et al, and Seguin crossed their’s.

    Maybe Seguin has matured and cleaned up his act, but I truly believe this : Behaviour can be changed / character cannot.

    • NJ

      Are you insinuating that there are a lot of NHLers with this “character” you speak of?

      Frankly, I’d take a top 10 d man with no character vs a character #7 dman (Ference) any day.

      Not to mention that the extracurricular activities of most Nhlers won’t ever be documented however you’d probably take the character tag right off them if you knew them … Just saying.

  • freelancer

    Interesting to see the range you guys have for McDavid’s production. Completely agree that thinking he can match Crosby’s 100 points is unrealistic. On that note, I hope we don’t trade an Eberle or Yak this season. One of those guys (my money’s on Yak) is going to have a huge offensive boost next season.

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    I expect McDavid to top 60 points. I hope fans will temper their expectations. The important thing is that the Oilers improve with and around him.

    Also, where are these “Eyes Wide Shut mask wearing orgies” you speak of and do you need to wear a mask to get in????

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    We should be taking a sampling of how the Flames rebounded so expediately . As per TSN talk – Calgary rides their youth , but surrounds them with good coaching and better veterans than we have . We have been riding our youth with a dire lack of good quality veterans – especially on defense and goal tending . I say keep riding the youth but upgrade the defense , goaltending and coaching while doing so to give them an opportunity to excel – something most of our youth has yet to be priviledged to in recent years .

  • Ready to Win

    I like Freidman because he doesn’t give as much open ended statements as dreger and Mackenzie do.

    @DarrenDreger: Confirming Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton meeting with Oilers brass. Bob Nicholson reviewing all aspects of Hockey Ops. Not specific to gm job.

    He covers his butt. If chiarelli wasn’t hired, GM, just Pres, pres and gm. He’s covered!

    And people eat it up!

    And there’s lots to pick from from dredgers interviews and tweets just look for it.

  • The_Angershark_Lives

    What the hell Strudwick?
    I’m sorry to take this article away from the content and criticize someone individually. But how does any of that qualify as insight? Next time he will just put an emoji and spin around in his chair 6 times.

    Tip o the cap to the rest of the boys.

    (also my McDavid expectation would be 60-ish)

  • The_Angershark_Lives

    What the hell Strudwick?
    I’m sorry to take this article away from the content and criticize someone individually. But how does any of that qualify as insight? Next time he will just put an emoji and spin around in his chair 6 times.

    Tip o the cap to the rest of the boys.

    (also my McDavid expectation would be 60-ish)

  • Ready to Win

    I don’t know that any prediction about McDavid can be meaningful until we know who he will be playing with and how he will be deployed.

    There is a big difference between him having Hall on his wing or Purcell, being on the 2nd line or the 3rd, getting moderate competition or weak, and being on the ice 20 minutes a game or 10.

    Depending on all those factors, who the coach is and how other teams respond to him, I could see McDavid getting as few as 40 points or as many as 90.

  • The_Angershark_Lives

    Mckenzie is still the MAN.

    Elloitte provides lots of content, but you have to wade through to many of his thoughts to get ahead of topics.

    Want to be an insider?

    On Twitter follow the same 683 people Elliotte does, want to be a double insider follow the 649 people Bob does, or the 522 people Dreger follows.

    Their Twitter feeds are filled with beat writers, trainers, locals who know a team all of who are creating content.

    This is where a large part of what they are sharing is coming from.

    That and three hours a day to read all this stuff will made you an insider

  • The_Angershark_Lives

    Just a quick question and one that I’m wondering why it hasn’t been attempted yet with the plethora of coaches at the helm…why has J Schultz been tried out at RW? He has all the tools and the speed that would fit that role light years ahead of trying to be an NHL defence man.

    My hopes is that McLellan is hired and he pulls the Brent Burns on Schultz and tries it out.

    • The_Angershark_Lives

      I think it has to do with the fact that they already have a ton of small skilled wingers, especially on the right side. So if you tried him out there, who do you take off? Eberle? No. Yak? not a chance. Purcell? Maybe, but then what do you do with a 4.5 mill contract? sit him? Why?

      Combine that with the fact Edmonton does not have a lot of puck moving defencemen who can get transition the puck up, and that’s your answer.

      Brent Burns is better served at forward because he can play in the top six, and brings a quality to that second line that is missing: Size. Also the sharks have competent D to cover for Burns absence in Vlasic. So for the sharks it’s either a second pairing D, or a top six winger. For Edmonton it’s either their only puck moving D, or a bottom six winger.

      Doesn’t make too much sense.

      I hope they trade him in the off season and use his 3.675 cap hit to purchase some competent D. Everyone seems to think Franson is going to get a 6 mill payday, but I’m not so sure. I bet you could lock him up with term over dollars. Somewhere in the 4 mill range. That would be a huge upgrade on Schultz, both figuratively and literally. Franson is huge. With our forwards not getting too much bigger, it would be nice if Edmonton had a hulking defence. If by some miracle they added Sodoburg, Seabrook, and Franson over the summer, let Nikitin and Schultz go or trade them, that would be a hell of an upgrade.

      Nurse learning from Seabrook as Klefbom rides along with Franson! Wow.

  • The_Angershark_Lives

    McDavid’s points for next season could/might be as high as 60-80 on first line , but likely 40-50 on second line . Eberle was our highest last year @63 points only . 2nd liners all 33-34 points only if you use Pouliots points for both lines . A lot of production , or lack thereof , was lack of defensive production . With sheltering he probably would be around 50 points .

    • nugeformayor

      It’s nice to temper expectations, but this kid is being hailed as better than Crosby who got 102 points his rookie year. The kid has 42 points IN 15 GAMES…. IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!

      Moreover, when Sid Came into the league, he was on a line by himself. McDavid is probably going to be dishing to one of the best LW in the entire league. Or maybe they try and give him easier match ups so they pair him with Pouliot and Yak, still insane.

      Having said that, I too am tempering expectations, but 50 is pretty low. If he only gets 50 points, then all the haters exclaiming the Oilers ruined his career will have been partially right.

  • A-Mc

    The culture in Boston is strong, and if off ice issues get in the way of the solidarity of that culture, i can see all blemishes exiled. ex) Tyler Seguin.

    The culture of your organization has to come before the personnel that currently make it up. For this reason i hold Chiarelli’s Seguin trade as an example of how he is capable of doing what has to be done. Its a strong character trait and i applaud him for it. You have to think it hurt to bail the player because you KNOW he’s a solid player.. But sometimes a tough descision has to be made and he made it. Good for him, right or wrong.

    The Seguin trade in my mind is in no way a knock against PC’s GM abilities.

  • Serious Gord

    Re: Seguin Trade

    It startles me that none of the answer people mentioned that Seguin was not the first high draft pick phenom that Chiarelli has traded.

    The other was Phil Kessel.

    and that, as everyone will remember was the trade that got boston the 32 pick which became Seguin (and also hamilton).

    It seems arguable that chiarelli may have lost that trade – or perhaps some argument could be made that he got lucky in that Burke vastly over-estimated how good his team’s defense was (he’s not alone MacT was wrong bout edm’s as well). Kessel, despite his warts, is a super-elite goal-scorer.

    And clearly We don’t have enough of the story and it is too early to know whether seguin being traded was a win or a loss for chiarelli.

    What should be a greater concern or at least something to keep in mind, is that chiarelli doesn’t suffer young stars very well – he has traded two in eight years . And the jury is out on whether they were good moves.

    Will he be as ruthless here in edm with the young top picks?

    I think so.

    And i think we could see some shocking trades before this time next year.

    And some – perhaps many – oilers fans aren’t going to be happy about it.

    • A-Mc

      If they legitimately make the team better, then we’ll be able to deal with the loss.

      If the ‘stars’ are sold off and the team is still garbage.. Riots.

      We may be attached to this player, or that player but at the end of the day i think any Oiler fan just wants to see success. If that means losing Taylor Hall? Wanye divorcing Eberle? Trading the McDavid pick? It may seem absolutely crazy at the time, but if the Oilers start winning, the hard feelings will fade quickly

    • From the article above:

      I like Chiarelli a lot. I think he’s a good general manager who over his time in Boston did far more good than harm. It’s worth noting that another bet with a developing young star (Phil Kessel) certainly turned out well for the Bruins. But I didn’t like the Seguin deal for Boston at the time and it looks lousy in hindsight, too.

  • Serious Gord

    2) the biggest deficiency in shultz isn’t size or passing or his shot or lack of defensive IQ.

    It is his lack of heart. He can improve all of the above and he will remain a bust.

    And you can’t teach or train heart.

    He may develop into a more consistent player and maybe a third-liner, but he will always disappoint and under-achieve.

    • A-Mc

      The problem with what you’re saying is that we dont know he lacks passion or heart.

      He has likely been a superior player for a very long time in his hockey career/training. He probably hasn’t had to up his game very often. It’s quite possible that he just simply hasn’t hit that point where he has to start caring, or else he’s out of a job. Even when he performs poorly, he has his GM saying he has Noris potential. That doesnt scream “HEY, Fix your game!”.

      The lack of heart comment has been throw at JEberle in the past as well. One of the things i found very interesting was that the other Oilers say Eberle is fiercely competitive, about anything and everything. You wouldn’t know it when you watch him play most nights.

      The point is, judging a player by how they play doesn’t necessarily reveal what’s going on inside them. None of us know Jultz personally, so we can’t accurately and reasonably write him off. We CAN, however, trust that PC will get to the core of it and make the right call on him when the time comes.

  • 786

    Don’t think it’s a good idea to completely write off Justin Schultz at this time. He got blamed for being called a “Norris potential” D man by a clueless GM, just like Horcoff did when handed the ridiculous contract by Lowe. Can he really tell MacTavish to shut up? Or could Horcoff really tell Lowe he couldn’t take that contract? They were put into bad situations and set up for failure by bad management. I think there’s a chance Justin Schultz can still turn into a useful, or even a top 4 D for Oilers with proper guidance. I’d wait to see what Chiarelli and new head coach can do with him. He has the tools, skills and probably the brain to be a good player.

  • nugeformayor

    Charelli is luck seguin got hurt cause he was the points leader and would have been the nhl leading scorer this year next year i predict he will be number one i wish we didnt get him for gm but oh well better than tambo

  • Gordie Wayne

    From an article on Sportsnet website:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/weekend-takeaways-auston-matthews-crucial-choice/


    “There’s a lot of confusion out there over new compensation rules for coaches and executives. Basically, for an executive, if he is signed by another team “in season,” that means before the draft, the team losing the suit gets a second-rounder. So right now, Edmonton owes Boston a second in the next three drafts for signing Peter Chiarelli. If the Oilers had waited until July, the compensation would have been a third-rounder.

    For a coach, however, “in season” is defined as when the team is still playing. For Babcock, then, it’s a third-rounder to Detroit if another team signs him this month. If the Wings had waited until July (after Babcock’s contract expires) to let him talk to other teams, they would not have been eligible for any compensation.”

    Can anyone of our esteemed Oilers Nation writers confirm that Oilers owe Boston a 2nd round pick?

    • It hasn’t been reported one way or the other yet.

      Nicholson confirmed he was having discussions with Boston about draft pick compensation on the same day he hired Chiarelli. We haven’t heard anything official since; obviously the Oilers would hope they waive that right out of gratitude for not having to pay the man but it’s not clear that Boston will do that.

  • Tkachev v. Gaudreau

    Justin Schultz absolutely has a role on this team. It’s not playing 20 minutes a night, and it isn’t a Norris trophy contender.

    I have been a big proponent that Oilers need to handle Schultz the way that Washington has handled Mike Green this year. Look at Mike Green. Had struggled the past few years under Oates and Dale Hunter. But this year, Barry Trotz treated him as a 5th defenseman. He plays 5-6 defense pairing, gets lower even strength TOI, and gets major power play and O zone time.

    Mike Green this year: 60% ZS, 15 minutes 5v5 per game. Lowest QoC. Finished the season with 45 points, +15, Corsi Relative of +5.5 (compared to WAS defensemen).

    Schultz is a little better defensively because he is a natural defenseman, whereas Green was converted. Schultz handled tougher competition last year, and wasn’t horrible. But if Mclellan/Babcock can get Schultz on a similar set up (5-6 D, lower comp., ZS boost, PP time), it would make the most of his skillset and Schultz would benefit tremendously.

    Justin Schultz has skill; he has talent. The Oilers just need to exploit it and maximize it the right way.

  • B_Oliver

    I think its reasonable to assume McDavid gets about 70 points, give or take a few. I could see something like 27 goals and 43 assists. +/- 5 in either direction.