Tracking Anders Nilsson

Anders Nilsson was drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL draft. He played two more seasons in Sweden, before coming to North America to play in the New York Islanders organization. He played 75 games in the AHL and 25 in the NHL over three seasons with New York, but left of the KHL last year.

The Oilers acquired him from Chicago on Monday and promptly signed him to a $1 million, one-year, one-way contract.

I knew very little about him, other than watching him play for Sweden at the World Championships, so I asked goaltending guru, Kevin Woodley, for some insight on Nilsson.

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Gregor: What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Woodley: His size is his strength. He has a really good athletic
base, he moves very well for his size. That is the strength, the weakness, at
least early in his career in the NHL was that he moved too much. When you are
that big and that long and you move too much you are opening up holes. Pucks go
through you as opposed to using your size effectively, and you tend to open up and
create more holes than you need to.

It is a fine line for bigger goaltenders, in terms of how
long it takes them to realize how to use their size efficiently. When you move
as explosively as Anders does, sometimes the saying less is more is applicable, it can take a
while to figure it out and learn it at the NHL level.

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Gregor: Devan Dubnyk told me last summer he realized he needed to move less, so how will a
goalie coach go about teaching Nilsson to move less?

Woodley: There are a couple different parts here.

One is positioning. That is the tactical side of the game.
You have the technical side which is how you move, how you track pucks and how
you close up holes. The tactical side is where you play in certain situations
on the ice. For a guy with Anders size there really isn’t much need to play near
the edge or on top of the crease. You can play a more contained, controlled

In theory, that should allow you to move less and open up
fewer holes, because everything is shortened, all your movements are shortened.
Play inside the blue ice, shorten the movements, shorten the distances you have
to travel and minimize the holes you open up. The bigger the goalie is the more
that principle, in general, comes into effect. Unless of course you are Pekka
Rinne who is huge, and yet he is so explosive and can get away with playing a more
aggressive game.

Within the technical framework you have many different
elements. One of the elements is how you track the puck. It is interesting you
mention Devan Dubnyk, because I’ll be on the ice with him tomorrow. One of the
things that he changed in his game from being almost out of the league two
years ago to being a Vezina trophy finalist last year, and again I’m not saying
it is all of it, but it is part of it, is the new buzzword and a new way of
tracking the puck called head trajectory.

Anders has been exposed to it. In layman’s terms it is not
just following the puck, it is how you move your head when you follow the puck.
It affects all the physiology of a goaltender…whether we close down on the puck
and keep those holes closed, or whether we turn off of the puck, imagine
pulling away from it with our shoulders as we move to the left and open up

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Anders was exposed to this his last season with the New York
Islanders when he was in the American League with Steven Valiquette, who is one
of six coaches who has learned this technique. Anders learned it. I talked to
him about it and he really seemed to adopt it well and embrace it. He went on a
really good run using it and got called up to the Islanders, and unfortunately
the Islanders I don’t think they had anyone in the NHL level to teach him to
use his size. They really do have a
philosophy for their goaltenders to let them figure it out on their own. He
goes on this run, he is using this new technique and it is helping him in the
AHL, but he arrives in the NHL and he has no support for it, and is on his own
to figure it out. And the next year he is in the KHL.

A long winded story here.

I don’t know how much he followed
up with head trajectory in the KHL, but the interesting connection is…When I
said there is a half dozen goalie coaches who are on the inside of this
philosophy, one of them is Dustin Schwartz, the goaltending coach with
the Oilers. He would be aware of the work that Anders did with Valiquette and
the way he embraced it. It is a foundational piece for all goaltenders, but it
can really be a massive difference maker for big goaltenders. It teaches them
to move without opening their frame, track pucks better and use their size more
efficiently, both in terms of tracking the puck off the release and the way
they move around on the ice as the puck is passed.

I wonder how much of Schwartz knowing he had been exposed to
head trajectory played a part in the Oilers acquiring him.

Parting Shot…

A few things.

The Oilers haven’t officially announced anything, but I’m told Schwartz will be staying on as their goaltending coach. They are very high on him and believe he is an excellent young coach. Combined with Woodley telling us he is one of a few goalie coaches who specialize in head trajectory training it makes sense to have him on staff.

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It will be interesting to see Nilsson in training camp. If I was him, I’d come to Edmonton early and spend more time working with Schwartz. Cam Talbot is a student of the head trajectory philosophy as well, having learned it from Benoit Allaire in New York, so he too won’t have much of an adjustment working with Schwartz.

The best part of the Nilsson acquisition is it creates real competition for the both goaltending spots on the roster. Those two along with Ben Scrivens will come to camp knowing only two of them will stay in the NHL, and I believe competition makes players better.

For far too long the Oilers haven’t had much competition for roster spots, and Peter Chiarelli has added depth in goal, on the blueline and up front so players will compete, not only for a spot on the roster, but also for icetime.

For those going to the Eskimos game tomorrow, read this for a recap on rule changes, but also positioning changes for the officials.

Recently by Jason Gregor:     

  • Poutine Gravy

    Curious – with the length (1 year) and type (1 way) of contract, wouldn’t it mean that Chiarelli is already envisioning him as a backup?

    He’d have to get some ice time this year so they can evaluate, and I assume they may not want to risk waivers, so realistically backup seems like the only logical placement?

    • Jason Gregor

      No, he can be just like Jacob Markstrom was last year. Sent down and cleared waivers. Most teams have two goalies they are set on at coming out of training camp.

      If he doesn’t play well they won’t keep him and risk losing Scrivens who played better.

      The one-way deal was enticement to return to NHL and show him he has legit chance to make the team, but it isn’t a guarantee. If he goes to minors he only counts $50,000 against the cap.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Head trajectory sure is a weird goalie buzzword now. I tried to read more about it, being a ball hockey goalie myself, and all you can really get is articles where Dubnyk mentions it, vague praise about it being “revolutionary,” and message board posts from guys trying to figure what exactly it is. Most of the latter end up concluding that it sounds like you follow the puck with your head instead of just your eyes, and that leads to better positioning.

    It honestly doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. But I suppose it’s nice that the Oilers have a goalie coach who’s more on the cutting edge now, as opposed to Pete Peeters and Frederic Chabot, who seemed to be more “work harder! Get confident, stupid!” kind of coaches. Whether or not they can turn Nilsson into something will be an interesting test.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      You’ve got a slight edge on most when it comes to understanding tenders, being a goalie yourself. But I would argue you were doomed from the start. I’m pretty sure Nietzsche was talking about goalies when he wrote about staring into the abyss.

      • Joy S. Lee

        Oh, Woodley’s explanation is fine. Srelio in the above comment explains it well too. I’ve read similar explanations before.

        What I’ve been looking for is a bit more in-depth analysis, I guess. Is it really “revolutionary”, or is that hyperbole? How does it really differ from what a lot of goalies are already taught? Did it really differ that much from what Dubnyk was already doing, or was it just another way of thinking that helped him focus and get his confidence back? If head trajectory is so great, why doesn’t everybody do it? Isn’t it really just another way to label something guys were really already doing?

        I mean, butterfly goaltending was revolutionary; it was something completely different to what goalies were doing before. Head trajectory seems like just another way to focus your positioning, though. Like, instead of worrying about squaring your hips and/or shoulders to the shooter, you just worry about your head and rely on your crouch/posture to have you in the right position to make a save.

        It’s kind of interesting, particularly when you’re talking about it in the context of Dubnyk, who obviously went from almost out of the league to Vezina finalist after working on head trajectory for one summer. I think Nilsson is probably more analogous to another goalie you mention in a comment, Gregor, and that’s Markstrom. He’s got similar size, just not the same minor league success. Like I said, it’ll be interesting to see if Schwartz and the Oilers can turn Nilsson into something or not.

        • OilCanFan1

          It seems to me, although I come from a different sport, that goalies should already be tracking this way. Perhaps the big thing is someone actually coining a term for this and coaches spotting the players that don’t do it.

        • srelio

          Its not revolutionary but its also not something I would have ever thought about if i hadnt worked with schwartz. The simple fact is its easier to move your eyes than your entire head so thats what most people do. Realistically it only makes a milliseconds difference but in the nhl that could raise your save percentage significantly. With Dubnyk im guessing it was just something new to focus on instead of just fixating on his problems as its easy to fall into when the pucks down the ice (which carries over to when its in your zone). Being a goalie gives you a lot of time to think which is a bad thing because you need to be reacting. If youve thought about making a save the pucks already in the net. It probably stopped him from over thinking the play to be able to focus on improving just one thing. Its also much easier to recover from a slump if you can see a tangible improvement in one aspect of your game (in Dubnyks case head trajectory). Of course anything regarding Dubnyk is pure speculation.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Another brilliant move. We now have very solid goaltending. Potentially three starters. The best two will be kept and the third will be moved for a first round pick. Maybe to the Lames.

    • Jason Gregor

      3 starters! Are you kidding me? All three have a combined what 200 NHL games? Talbot has shown “potential”, I’m still not sold on any of our goalies yet. They need to steal some games for us this year for once.

  • Jason Gregor

    It’s a walk away contract.

    As in, if it’s a bust, it’s easy to walk away from.

    Worst case there’s a three headed monster and one can be packaged into a trade.

    • JackB

      No, a one year one-way contract is not a “walk away contract”. (Except at the end of the year)

      All NHL contracts are guaranteed. If we tell someone “go home we aren’t going to play you” he would still be on our 23 man roster (and one of our maximum 50 contracts allowed) AND … we would have to pay him while he sits at home, watches TV (and plays email back and forth with ultrathinzigzags!!) “Walking away” wouldn’t free up a roster spot to bring up another player.

      As far as I know, a one way contract simply means the player is paid his full NHL salary if playing in the AHL, and a two way contract sets the amount a player earns in the NHL, and a lower amount he earns in the AHL. I don’t think a “one-way” contract says “we can’t send you to the minors”??? Do you know Gregor??

      As well, a two-way contract doesn’t allow us to send a player down and bring him up whenever we want. It only determines the amount he earns. It doesn’t matter if the contract is a one-way or a two-way, a player may have to clear waivers.

      Waiver exemption depends on the number of years since a player signs his first NHL contact and/or the number of NHL games played. We could have a 19 year old who is subject to waivers and a 24 year old who is not. Pitlick (23) is subject to waivers and Pakarinen (23) is not. Davidson (23) is subject to waivers and Nurse (20) is not. Sometimes a GM has to make decisions on who to send down based on waiver eligibility, not on talent . . . and of course on what is best for the personal development of the player . . . (BUT I SURE HOPE NURSE stays . . . or gets here REAL SOON !!) I digressed …

      NO WE WONT have your worst case scenario … “a three headed monster”. We merely send either Scriven’s or Nilsson down to the minors. If someone picks up whoever we send down, then we lose an asset (we did pay something for Scrivens – draft picks – and something for Nilsson – a B-grade prospect – so they are both “assets”). If Scrivens and Nilsson are equal by the start of the season, a decision might be made on the basis of how much we gave up to get each one? (and we didn’t give up much to get Nilsson) Or might be based how much each one’s salary is and how likely are they to clear waivers based on the salary the other team has to pay?
      I certainly hope the decision is based SOLELY on “performance”.

      IT IS NEVER WORTH carrying three goalies … (in the hope that some team MIGHT need a back-up) … (sometime in the future) … (because of injury) … (then we’ll get something in return) . . .

      Keeping 3 goalies would keep one prospect off our roster (like a Nurse or a Davidson or a Slepyshev etc). We tried it one year and it was HELL!

      SO I AM SURE whoever doesn’t earn a spot by the start of the season . . . THEY GO DOWN !

      By the way, welcome back ultrathinzigzags. (I see you are back on our site again today!!) . . . HAVE FUN! . . . (OR NOT)!

  • RCN

    Stauffer had Ritch Winter on yesterday & he said Nilsson worked with Lyle Mast last summer. Schwarz comes from the Mast tree, so good chance he had some inside knowledge on him.

  • freelancer

    When I first heard about this signing, I passed it off as a depth AHL signing; a way to light a fire under Scrivens but inevitably Nilsson would be sent down. The more I hear, especially after reading this interview it looks like Chiarelli absolutely expects him to push for an NHL spot. I’m really rooting for Scrivens to bounce back, hopefully this is good motivation.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    for all the bitching about hiring this goalie and whether he is worth it or whatever what is nice to see is that for once in about 9 years it seems we have an actual plan in place and that they are actually following that plan. It’s like waking up from a long nightmare.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      The plan seems to be picking up “mud” from different organizations goaltending depth charts and flinging it at a wall hoping something sticks. Good luck with that..seriously.
      Just feel a bit bad for Scrivens really as the fan base has run him out of town a year after being happy to give him the keys to the car. Good luck Scrivens, you are now in with Dubnyk in the tarred and feathered and carried out of town on a rail club

      • Randaman

        Boo Hooo….your false sadness for Scrivens breaks my heart. What’s a matter? your out of school and already your bored?…try the lego again…or maybe ask your Mom if you can play outside.

      • Zarny

        LMAO…oh the irony.

        Given the Flames goaltending consists of mud from Ana and TB who Treliving tried to but couldn’t get rid and who no one else wanted via free agency.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Ya. The goalies who took the Flames to the second round of the playoffs. You know, those games that are played after the regular season. Oh ya, Oilers ….

          • JackB

            OTOF wrote:
            Ya. The goalies who took the Flames to the second round of the playoffs. You know, those games that are played after the regular season. Oh ya, Oilers ….

            And how did it work out for you in the end?

            Typical Oil fan, been out of the playoffs for so long don’t even know how to appreciate them anymore. Trust me, playoffs are awesome.

          • SSB1963

            No that would be a typical flames fan who acts like they won something but won nothing! And don’t you worry we know all too well about the pain of not being in the playoffs.

      • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

        Can someone please ban this guy? seriously.

        It wouldn’t be bad if he offered up an argument as to why The Oilers shouldn’t pick up so and so player but he doesn’t.

        He highjacks the thread and takes away from a well written and interesting article and the opinions that follow.

        People take time out of there busy schedules to come on here to read interesting and knowledgeable post, but instead have to listen to this guy fart out of his mouth.

      • Randaman

        Hey Flamer! Did you catch my song at the stampede! NO! OK I’ll sing it for ya…Twang Twang Twang Mama’s don’t let ur babies grow up to be flamer fans ahhhahhh they never stay home and there always alone and they have only one cup! Twang Twang Twang!…Now electric guitar(Areosmith) The Oil are back in the saddle again yen… THEIR BAAAAACK!!! REPEAT…sounds better live but you get the picture! Don’t cha FLAMER! LOL! See ya at the rink Johnny Hockey!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    For all those who dont know head trajectory is the idea that a goalie should track the puck by moving his head instead of moving his eyes. The eyes should remain centered in their sockets at all times except when the puck is behind the net. This is because when the head is turned the shoulders and upper body naturally follow resulting in the goalie being effortlessly square to the shooter at all times. Additionally it helps ensure the proper technique for blocker and glove save with the hands held in front of the body. This both cuts down the angle and allows the goalie to track the puck all the way into the glove/blocker save. When tracking with your eyes it is easy to let your hands fall back however if turning your entire head its easier to hold your hands forward instead as turning your head far enough to make a save beside you would be uncomfortable. Finally it improves rebound control as the goalie will watch the puck all the way in resulting in it being centered in his vision when it hits him. If a blocker save is made this means the goalie will already be rotating his upper body to the blocker side when the puck hits him, putting him in the ideal position for recovery. If the save is made in the body the act of turning your head down both cushions the puck and will result in the goalie leaning over it when it drops infront of him so it can be easily smothered.

    This technique was developed off the theory that cats have a much higher success rate when tracking prey than dogs because of head trajectory. This was attributed to the fact that dogs can move their eyes in their sockets while cats cannot. Therefor cats would be using head trajectory to a greater extent while tracking their prey (pouncing) than dogs resulting in a higher success rate.

    Source – i did some work with dustin schwartz back before he was hired by the oilers

    • Joy S. Lee

      This may be trivial, but I thought about all of the times I played goal in a game of ball hockey or even street hockey or shinny, and when I recall playing goal, I did that quite naturally – followed the puck/ball with my head. And I think it works, I seemed to be fairly successful with it. But if it was a natural thing for me to do without thinking about it… is it that unnatural for real goalies? It seems it was kind of automatic, for me… is it really that unusual??

    • freelancer

      Your example Cats vs Dogs FALSE!

      Felix (The Cat) Potvin vs Curtis (Cujo) Joseph….

      I’ll take Cujo all day…

      In all seriousness I totally get the science behind it.

    • I spent at least 5 minutes jerking around in my office chair whilst chuggung a Cream Ale. Imaginary pucks flying everywhere. Yes moving your head squares you to the shooter. Ask thin paper guy he’s trying it right now.

      Anyone else refreshing Oiler related pages? I may have an unhealthy addiction 🙁 Bloody Nicholson

  • Also forgot to add that head trajectory also helps with movements. When a goalie moves they are suppost to rotate their body to be square to the puck then push straight across the crease. With head trajectory this rotation happens naturally. This is especially usefull in close for containment of movements because when the puck is in close the focus shifts from staying square to moving as fast as you can to get in front of it (like for a pass across the slot). If the goalie is trying to get across the crease to make this save its better although slightly counterintuitive to be in a worse position and to be square than the other way around. The result is a contolled save made by leaning into the puck instead of sprawling across the crease. As a result this method is especially beneficial to big goalies because they take up most of the net anyway. Of course this will also mean they are better prepared to stop any rebounds than the goalie that tryed to make a sprawling save

    • toprightcorner

      Thank you for the explanation. As the father of a college goalie, I really appreciate the explanation of this subtle change in technique.

      While some may feel it is should be obvious, it is a subtle change in the way most young goalies are trained.

      Yes, they are generally taught to follow the puck with their eyes. The next movement would be to turn the head and body.

      By concentrating on head trajectory, you can when proficient in the technique elminate one step in the save process.

      Turning the head, will cause the shoulders and upper body to follow.

      The technique isn’t that far off teaching young skaters to turn their head into the turn when starting to learn cross overs. turn the head, turning the shoulders and hips and everything else follows.

  • OilCanFan1

    What a pathetic life one must have waiting around for decent articles about a team you hate just so you can put in some stupid insult that perhaps a 7 year old could think was clever. Wow. Someone like that should be banned.

  • OilCanFan1

    As long as either goaltender did NOT attend the Tommy Salo school of stoping beach balls, I’m good with goaltending.

    I like the fact that we have some good options in goal this year……….Talbot should be interesting. Talk about pressure?

  • OilCanFan1

    It will be interesting to watch how the goaltending situation unfolds. I think there is a whole lot of potential in these 2 new goalies and I’m pretty certain Scrivens will bounce back from that crappy year. Hopefully Scrivens will learn to move less and limit his stickhandling.

  • Zarny

    A really good article, many thanks to Kevin Woodley for his contribution and explaining a lot of things that are often overlooked. Schwartz was hired at the end of November so he has had half a season to work with Ben Scrivens, yet Ben imploded even moreafter he was hired. I don’t know if it was the lousy defense or just not getting the head trajectory system. I really hope it was the lousy D. Hopefully, with more coaching during the off season, we should see whether Ben has caught on to it or not. I have been vocal about getting an NHL proven goalie coach, but after reading this, I am now inclined to agree that Schwartz should have a longer period to prove his work.

  • CapeBretonOilers

    I used to be a goaldie in Cape Breton .. I followed the head trajectory theory because it would let us drink more while playing and we wouldn’t get dizzy as much 🙂

    C-ya all in the fall 🙂

  • CapeBretonOilers

    My love for ON is fading fast. An interesting piece by Gregor and after a few comments we are into the sandbox with the Calgary trolls again and I stop reading. There is no longer much room for adults here.

      • Jason Gregor

        Listen bud my Flames are gonna pound your soft little Oilwrs into oblivion again this season. McDavid will try dangling and BOOM – no more dangling! My boys have got the toughness and pugilistic abilities to back this up! Waitt till fall baby- it’s gonna be fun!!!!

      • bradleypi

        So you’re saying I’m a troll? Because I didn’t understand why oilersnation loved petry and hated Schultz? And because I know more about the oilers and hockey than you? Seeing as how petry is gone and Schultz is still here, it seems I may have been onto something…. I just like to talk hockey and the oilers man. But I guess if disagreeing with the masses on oilersnation makes me a troll then so be it. I always thought a “forum” was a place to express your opinions…..

        • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

          No, you weren’t onto something. The Oilers are taking Schultz to arbitration, while Petry just played monster minutes in the playoffs on Montreal’s top 4, and earned himself a new contract.

        • Jason Gregor

          I don’t think saying Schultz is still here and Petry isn’t suggests you were correct. The guy, MacT, who was in charge and liked Schultz better is no longer in charge.

          I’d be very curious to see an argument that states Schultz is better than Petry. Please show me.

          • bradleypi

            Well pick any stat that applies to defencemen to start with. And in all reality, did petry make the Habs any better than they were before he got there? They got lucky to beat Ottawa in the 1st round because Hammond choked big time and then were dispatched pretty easily in thd 2nd round. They can have him. But that’s the thing, it’s not that I think Schultz is so much better, it’s I think Schultz’ potential is greater. Petry is 28 and what you see is what you get. Average physicality, average shot, doesn’t make a good first pass outta the zone. Schultz’ offensive awareness is what seals the deal for me. Under a new coaching staff that know how to run a good power play I think the sky’s the limit. Oilersnation will realize on 2 years that petry leaving isn’t gonna cripple the franchise. That’s all I was trying to say.

          • Randaman

            I would like to think that with a full season of being properly coached, Schultz could become a top 4 guy.

            It’s up to him though. He obviously has the talent and smarts. No?

            We threw one away due to ineptness of management. Let’s not be too hasty to repeat that same mistake.

            When Klefbom and Nurse are ready, he can be that third pairing guy and PP specialist, while being able to play top 4 when injuries or suspensions (Nurse LOL) occur?

          • bradleypi

            Lol. Just because you say it, it doesn’t make it true. You have your opinion, I have mine. Let’s revisit this conversation in 2 years and we’ll see. Montreal had no better option to play in their top 4. That’s why they traded for petry and hoped he would help. Shocker! He didn’t…..

          • Randaman

            I have to disagree with you. Is Petry worth 5.5M? No

            He did however play well as he became more comfortable with systems, D partner, etc.

            Don’t let your dislike of Petry cloud your perspective as a whole.

            Just an observation

          • bradleypi

            And by began to play well, do you mean was very average and didnt do enough to help the habs get past the 2nd round? My perspective isn’t clouded at all. And why do you assume I dislike petry? I never hated on him. That’s oilersnations job to hate current oilers. I didn’t blame him for the oilers being crappy like oilersnation blames jultz and ference. I just disagreed when everyone on here was talking so highly of him when he had the worst stats on the team. It made absolutely no sense to me. Petry had his chance to be the guy here and he couldn’t make it happen. Montreal will want out of that contract in 2 years. Book it.

          • Randaman

            Water under the bridge now. I was just going by what the so called experts on TV were saying. No, not Hrudy LOL.

            Time will tell I guess.

            I really like Schultz and hope he proves you right.

        • Randaman

          @ bradleyPi,

          I for one think you have valid points sometimes.

          I think the thing that pisses people off (including me) is the arrogant, I’m smarter than you attitude you post with.

          Try making your point in a more respectful manner and you will avoid being called a troll!

          Schultz definitely has great potential and has been developed poorly. I hope and believe this will change with McLellan and His staff.

          Petry was a lot better than you ever gave him credit for and like Schultz was rushed to be something beyond his capabilities.

          Enjoy your evening

    • Jason Gregor

      I have no idea why a guy saying he thought it was Lindback irks you so much. It is a lame chirp, but it is not offensive.

      We can’t ban everyone you don’t like because they don’t agree with you. If you see his name as the author don’t read his post. You don’t have to read it.

      We have editors who delete and ban posts that are offensive or attacking. We won’t ban someone because he cheers for Calgary and makes lame chirps. For those complaining he hijacks a thread…Don’t respond to him…He is desperate and needs attention. Ignore him.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        The trading Klefbom for Seabrook scenario. This mentoring issue is lame duck soup in the big picture. Every player pulling on that jersey the first week of October wants to win/compete now. Why the need to keep differing for future maybe hopes?

        Brent makes the Oilers much more competitive starting immediately. It isn’t a lock Oskar will ever even get close to that Seabrook level, and there’s still plenty of kids like Nurse and Reinhart and Schultz he can mentor. I’d have no problem sending Klefbom or Draisaitl as the primaries in a trade like that. It improves the Oilers now, and certainly beats waiting for a train that may never ever come. Seabrook is also the ideal every night top pairing contributor the Oilers have so desperately needed.

        Where’s Kevin Lowe with his patented (When you have the opportunity to land a player of Jeff Woywitkas/ Brent Seabrooks pedigree. You do it) phrase when we need it.

        Timing is everything i guess. A proven leader for a blue chip prospect. Brent Seabrook is a major upgrade over Oskar Klefbom.

      • Oilerz4life

        Jason – I like the articles you right, but I suspect I spend a lot more time on the comment sections than you do and this trolling is turning into childish mush. I never respond to the trolls, but many people here do, so that whenever a good discussion gets going it is dumped in favour of a sandbox fight. Of course you have picked today’s most lame and harmless example for your response, as if it was representative of the problem. It isn’t.

        This has NOTHING to do with agreements or disagreements with Calgary fans and your apparent ignorance of that proves my initial point. You are out of touch with this issue. Trolls don’t make arguments, they just stir the pot. I have no problems with Calgary fans coming on here and contributing to the discussions respectfully and there are a few who do. I don’t always agree with what they say, but they are welcome by my lights. You also apparently haven’t noticed that the people who are complaining are not the ones who respond to the trolls. It is the adults who are complaining. The gaping hole in your argument is that you do not distinguish between the odd lame joke, arguments we don’t agree with and persistent mindless trolling, which are very easy to distinguish if you read the threads regularly.

        There are a number of real ON posters whose comments I don’t particularly like and I am sure there are a number here who aren’t crazy about mine, and all that is fair enough and part of any well run site, but you raising that is a total red herring. Allowing trolls to come on here and hijack multiple threads every day is another matter. I can’t make people stop getting sucked in and responding in kind, although I have certainly tried. This site is a commercial operation which belongs to ON management and the writers it pays, so you can do whatever you think is good for business. Perhaps alienating a growing number of your regular posters because trolls produce more comments or add to the members count, or whatever, may be profitable in the short term, but I think it stinks.

        • Joe Mamma

          Sorry Gregor, but the man is right. You cherry picked a pretty marginal example, and like it or not these trolls are becoming a huge problem on this site.

          Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t change this fact, and looks pretty bad on you. And trying to blame pouzar like he’s somehow trying to silence dissenting opinion is the same kind of garbage argument that the trolls use. Be better man.

  • Oilerz4life

    There’s a big difference between the KHL and NHL. There’s a big difference between the KHL and AHL. I would argue that the AHL produces more skilled hockey players suited to NHL hockey than the KHL. There is absolutely no guarantee that Nilsson makes the Oilers. For all we know, Brossoit may be more NHL ready at this point than Nilsson and Nilsson may end up as a back up in the AHL if he doesn’t earn a spot at camp and clears waivers. His numbers for his last stint in the NHL aren’t very good. He is a gamble and there is no guarantee. Maybe he makes it, maybe not, but Scrivens isn’t going to just roll over and play dead. Sometimes the best thing for a goal tender is a break from the mental aspect of the game. The pressure. Scrivens may return back on his game.

    One encouraging sign is the quote from Glen Sather where he stated that nothing bothers Cam Talbot and that he will be the starter, that to me is a good sign. Maybe Chiarelli picks up another better, more proven defenseman, there are good prospects and the Oiler’s development system is improving (look at how the Barons finished last year) so the compass is turning Northward, where it should be. Hockey analysts are saying Edmonton is going to be an absolute force in a few years, a contender for the cup itself. We may even see Brossoit playing full time for the Oilers in the near future, which would be awesome. At this point though the goaltending situation in Edmonton is shakey, although the Cam Talbot deal is promising.

    • freelancer

      I think you can look at it a few ways. Typically you see KHL forwards and defenceman struggle more when they first come to the NHL because it’s a much more physical league and players don’t have as much open ice as they are used to.

      With the open ice you usually see alot more of a north and south game with teams trading chances. Goaltenders in this league (I am assuming) have to deal with a higher amount of quality shot attempts. The fact that Nilsson has done very well in this regard should translate well to the NHL.

      I wonder if his biggest issue will come with the tougher, shoving in front of the net, deflections and the shots created as a result of those things.

      • Oilerz4life

        I can see your point, it’s just that Nilsson’s numbers in his last stint in the NHL weren’t very good. I guess there is a shot, but the Oiler’s goaltending situation right now is shakey. Talbot presents some hope. I’m just not sold on Nilsson yet, unless he proves himself. But, Scrivens may come back strong, who knows. It’s to bad Bachman is gone, I think he would have been better than either Scrivens or Nilsson. I’m not totally sold on the goaltending situation just yet, hopeful in Talbot, Sather says nothing bothers him and that he will start, which is a good sign. I’m just hoping Chiarelli picks up another bona fide defenseman and is able to find someone who will really challenge Talbot, whoever that may be.

  • Johnnydapunk

    Was just looking at FA goalies in 2016 and there are quite a few available, and the Oil don’t have any goalies signed last next season. Guess Scrivens and Talbot will be proper playing for a new contract and what was I think an impressive move by Chiarelli and not said by many, is that Nilsson would be an RFA next year so if he works out, the Oil have almost first rights to sign him, as well as rights to compensation of another team signs him. I think a very good risk free move.

    It was a surprisng move, but I like that he did it, it was and has been a disaster in the past when the goalies had no competition, that season with Dubnyk and LaBarbera was a shocker… This is going to be fun to see how it pans out.

  • toprightcorner

    If Schwartz teaches and supports head trajectory than keep him for sure. That seems to be the thing that is making big goalies blossom over the last 2-3 years with Dubnyk, Talbot, Bishop and Mason all using some parts of it.

    Dubnyk proved how the proper goalie coach can help them meet their full potential.

    • Kevwan

      Not trying to slag on Schwartz but I didn’t see much improvement in Scrivens game (or Fasth’s) after he took over last year. If the goalie play isn’t signicantly better this year then it’s time for an experienced, succesfull goalie coach.

      @ Johnnydapuck

      Good point about Nillson’s RFA status next year.

  • toprightcorner

    Do not respond to trolls in anyway not even a trash and don’t read their garbage and you know who they are it will only perpetuate their need to make comments. Obviously this must be payback for the Oiler trolls that go and do the same thing on Flames nation, we should learn to hate each other nicely without lowering ourselves to hurtful comments.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Not sure this head tracking thing is as applicable for the few ball hockey goalies that have chimed in. When i played there were guys who could really make that orange ball sing a tune. Against the Playboys, they had this centerman guy named Malcom. He could put a spin on that ball so it would curve as much as 6-8 feet right or left when he fired it in from your side of the center red line. The Nordiques had some guys who could play tricks with that ball as well. You had to stay in your crease with the few guys who really knew how to shoot the ball, well, atleast until they gained the zone/floating blue line. Those were fun years playing hockey year round back then……where does the time go.

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      That is absolutely true. There are guys who can just rip it and put a crazy spin on it. Just last week I had a guy fire an orange ball and nail me in the mask right on the right cheek and bent my cage. It was crazy. Head trajectory probably wouldn’t have helped me too much with that one.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Keep the troll remarks coming. I find there comments and ON responses quit entertaining. We have 2 months before training camp. What are we going to do, oh and ah over McDavid and Nurse, speculate line combinations, goaltenders, etc for 60 days. Anyone not getting a laugh out of the trolls are taking this way to serious

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    They won’t ban the trolls. Arguments in the comments = page views = ad revinue.

    Tell them how big of an idiot they are, then continue with your post.