Monday Mailbag – September 21st


Your weekend is over, you’re back to work, and looking (read: needing) for ways to kill company time. Enter your old friend – the mailbag.  It’s the time where we can sit down together as a Nation and learn something. As always, I’ve taken your questions, passed them to our panel of geniuses, and waited for wisdoms to spill out of their brain boxes.  If you want to be included in the mailbag, email me at or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk. Enjoy.

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1) Gus A. asks – Isn’t it better that Peter Chiarelli set the bar low for McDavid’s production expectations in comparison to MacT’s “Norris potential” approach? Why or why not?


I think MacT’s verbal showed his inexperience in the position. Chiarelli’s approach is the better one. I do think the 40-point prediction was unnecessary — no need to downplay the generational talent. He’s an impact player, no harm in acknowledging it.

Jason Gregor:

Why not just be realistic? Setting the bar grossly low suggests to me they are trying to hard to protect him. If he said 20-40-60 no one would have been upset. Being truthful is never a bad thing.


I think it’s better to set them low, however I think Chiarelli went REALLY out of his way to set the bar too low. It’s totally reasonable to try and keep expectations in check, but to predict he’ll get roughly the same amount of points as Teddy Purcell is pretty silly. I’ve said all along I think he’ll get somewhere closer to 65-70 points, which is about in the middle between insane, Crosby-like expectations of 100 or more, and the outrageously low 40 points of Chiarelli.

Robin Brownlee:

Sure, I prefer understatement to overstatement, but Chiarelli saying he’d be happy with 40 points from McDavid isn’t close to what he expects.

Jason Strudwick:

I like that he is underselling production for Connor. If he were to say X number of points everyone would be consistently keeping tabs as to where he’s at.


If nothing else I think the reaction that Chiarelli’s prediction got was pretty funny. I think setting the bar as low as Chiarelli did was underselling to the highest degree. If Connor McDavid plays a full season in the NHL and doesn’t score more than 40 points I will be shocked. On the other hand, it definitely is nice to have a GM try and lower expectations as opposed to saying that players have Norris potential. Did Chiarelli set the bar too low? Of course he did, but I’d much rather have that than what we had before. 


2) Francis asks – With the Oilers releasing their new orange jersey this season I’m curious which version of the jersey has been your favourite over the years?


The only ones I didn’t like were late 00’s, they took the ‘hockey’ look away. Love the 1980’s blues.

Jason Gregor:

I like the blue and orange original.


The current home ones are my favourite. They combine the classic colours of the Boys On The Bus era Oilers, with the more modern aesthetics of today.

Robin Brownlee:

I liked the Heritage Classic jerseys.

Jason Strudwick:

I go back to the 80’s. I grew up loving those jerseys and I still do.


I’ve always loved the blue and orange jerseys that the team has been wearing lately. To me, and I might be biased, there is no better looking uni in the league than those crisp blue wonders. I defy you to put the classic blue and orange up against any other jersey in the league. Beautiful. 


3) Lance asks – Assuming the reports are true why would the Oilers want to lock up Oscar Klefbom to a long term deal when he has only played 77 NHL games?

**BM Note: This question was submitted and answered before Klefbom signed his new deal**


It does seem early, I agree. The Oilers may want to wait but then again the price goes up with each successful campaign. If they can get a Brodin deal done, I’d support it.

Jason Gregor:

Because they see his potential. If he has a great year, he will be in position to ask for more. I’d have no problem signing him long term now at $4 mill or close to it. It will be a bargain deal in a few years. The Oilers need a few bargain contracts if they want to be competitive in the future.


The fact that he’s only 22 years old and was arguably one of the Oilers top three defenders last year (which I’ll admit isn’t a ringing endorsement #MissYouForeverPetry), on top of all his FANCY STATS pointing towards him continuing with his rapid development into a legit top pairing defenseman,  I think it would be insane for the Oilers NOT to sign that deal immediately! Worst case scenario his ceiling ends up being a #4 D-man, but with a AAV of $4 million that’s still fairly reasonable, and an infinitely tradable contract. I legitimately see no downside to locking him up for six or seven years right now. GET IT DONE PETE!

Robin Brownlee:

They are gambling what they have to pay now will be considered a value contract two or three years from now.

Jason Strudwick:

It is a risk but if he continues to develops the middle and end of the contract will be a deal. I think betting on your own players is good.


It’s a ballsy move to say the least. The Oilers would definitely be banking on Klefbom to keep progressing and improving at the rate which he has been. If Klefbom can maintain a spot in the top four than in a few years this contract would look like a steal. 

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4) Braden asks – I am still in high school and would like to cover hockey for a living once I graduate. How would I get started? Is there any advice you can give me? Thank you in advance.


I’d start by covering your local team (maybe AJHL) and work up from there. Blogging is a good way to reach an audience too, I have found.

Jason Gregor:

If you want to write, start writing short articles on your facebook page or start a blog. I’d recommend taking Radio and Television at NAIT if you are interested in either of those, or taking journalism if you want to write.


I literally fell backwards into this current job, mostly because I stalked Wanye for a decade and have tons of blackmail in case of emergency, so I’m not sure I’d be the best source for this kind of advice. But being around the blogosphere since virtually the beginning I would say your best bet is to just start writing. Start your own blog. Pimp yourself out on social media, and once you start to get better and better, and find your own voice, and work hard, someone should take notice eventually. Don’t be afraid to volunteer either. I know there are A LOT of people who disagree with this type of thinking, but in my personal experience having a network of connections and a reputation as someone who is reliable and knows what they’re doing is far more valuable than a small paycheque from an entry level position.

Robin Brownlee:

Develop your writing skills by tackling every subject you can find. Read great writers. Find a college or university that offers a journalism program. Don’t be put off by rejection because you’ll get plenty along the way.

Jason Strudwick:

I will let the other guys fill you in on this one. My road to this career is somewhat unique.


Start writing now. The first step I would recommend would be to start a blog and start practicing. The more you write the better you will get and you can’t start working at it early enough. Get in touch with writers you like and ask questions, you never know what kind of relationship you can develop with someone. I met Wanye when ON first started and eight years later I’m working here so you never know what can happen.


5) Oilers4Life asks – Can your panel make a prediction and tell me which two teams will face off in the Stanley Cup Finals this season?


Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning. Book it!

Jason Gregor:

Preseason hasn’t begun yet, so hard to say who will be there, but I will confidently say Toronto and Arizona will not represent their conferences in the Stanley Cup finals.


I think Anaheim is just going to tear through everyone this season, and I can’t see Tampa taking a step back, so I’m going with a Ducks-Lightning final. TAKE THAT TO VEGAS!

Robin Brownlee:

I can’t. Don’t know what the teams will look like yet.

Jason Strudwick:

Tampa – Minny. I think the time is now for Tampa with their contract issues creeping up. The west is more wide open. I will take a flyer on a team I really like. I do think Minny will need to add a D man to push forward.


I’m going to go with Anaheim vs NYR. I think Anaheim is going to be a force coming out of the West and you can never count out a team with Henrik Lundqvist in net.



As if you wouldn’t want this autographed picture of Connor McDavid hanging in your office/basement/bedroom. I know I would. Quite frankly if it was me that won this I would carry it around with me at all times. Luckily, our friends at are giving you a chance to win this picture and all you have to do is follow them on Twitter at @teammemorabilia. Easy enough, right? On Wednesday afternoon we will be selecting one of those random followers to win the prize. 

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    MacT oversells and he (rightfully) takes flak for it. Chia undersells and he takes flak for it. I loved the 40 point prediction. He removed any organizational pressure in terms of his production this year.

  • Derzie

    For a GM to make a public point prediction for any player is bad form. Who does that? Focus should be on the development and team process not point totals. They probably set internal goals but they should stay internal.

  • I think it was a good move to undersell McDavid. It basically told the kid that the success of the team was not riding on him having an unreal season. Any GM who says they predict x output from their 1st overall, even a generational one is also saying their season depends on that player getting x output. By low balling it so much, Chi sent a good message to McDavid and the fans about what expectations look like from a winning club.

    I don’t think the goal is goals, I think the goal is to play McLellans brand of hockey, then the goals will come.

    • MorningOwl

      just because he didnt predict the 130 points that people here did, doesn’t mean he is underselling.

      getting 40 pts for an 18 year old would be considered very good. Yes, there are some rookies that do better – like Johnny Gaudreau, who is much older and clearly generational, but 40 pts for an 18 year old is GOOD.

      Will he get more? it IS possible… but just slow down and let him do it. nobody has put higher expectations on McD than Oiler nation addicts who were 20% thinking 70-80 pts, 40% predicting 90-120 points, and 45% predicting 130+ points.

      • Joy S. Lee

        Slow news day at Flames Nation? I don’t blame you, I sometimes pop over there to see what Kent Wilson has done.

        Having gotten our mutual respect for Kent Wilson out of the way, your opinions are at best wrong, at worst flagrantly stupid. Please note I’m not calling you stupid, just your general opinion about hockey.

        In what world is Gaudreau ‘generational’? I don’t think you know what that word means. I do not remember hearing Gretzky say Johnny, patented his name half way through his first pro season, hockey was the best player to come along in 30 years. I don’t remember Flames media asking other players on the team what it’s like to play with him.

        Guadreau rode a high shooting percentage and a ton of puck luck to his rookie point totals. At best he’ll be another Skinner. Who is also not generational despite actually winning the Calder.

        As for McDavid. 40 points, if healthy, is crazy underselling a player with a higher ppg than Crosby in junior. His playoff numbers were unreal. Even if you half his junior PPG that is still close to 100 points. Conner McDavid would need to reduce his production from junior to the NHL by 75% and even then would still get 52 points over an 82 game season.

        So yes, 40 points is a huuuuuuuuge undersell. Chi knows it, everyone knows it. It was good of him to undersell it by that much purely as a way of saying, 40 points or 100 points, the success of our team is not riding on you coming in as billed, it’s riding on you coming in and producing league average for a second line C.

        If you want to continue your ridiculous illusions about Guadreau, stop by our hockey podcast at

        I do it with a Flames fan who also think Guadreau is the greatest thing since Theon Fleury.

        • MorningOwl

          no, it isn’t so much that it is a slow news day at FN, it is just that train97 has fouled the place so bad that i come here to try and have some hockey talk without him. the only way to escape train is to come here.

          and you think McDavid is going to be better than Gaudreau? it is possible i guess. and it is possible that the Oilers arent bottom 5 this year. anything is possible at this point.

          • Joy S. Lee

            Ugh, okay fair enough on the guy ruining the comments section. I mean it is the internet and it is a hockey blog so I suppose you’re going to expect some trolling or opinions not even attempted to be backed up by anything, including empirical subjective observation.

            However, I don’t believe, even as a Flames fan you truly believe Gaudreau will be in the same conversation as McDavid. Maybe even you are looking purely at rookie years. In which case I don’t think Gaudreau is even in the same conversation as Yakipov, let alone the most heralded player to enter the league in at least a decade.

            And yes while Yak’s PPG in the lock out shortened season was .645 and Gaudreau’s was .8 over a full season. Gaudreau did it getting all the cherry minutes on the top line, Yak did it on the third pairing getting 12 min a night and no PP time.

            As for how each team’s season ends up, I guess time will tell. I suppose it’s possible Calgary doesn’t regress, and even though they just squeaked into the playoffs, the team will have another year where six players all have their best ever years. I’m sure it’s possible. I mean, I don’t think it’s ever happened before where six team members not only repeat their previous best ever marks, but maybe even improve on them. Sure, that happens all the time in hockey.

      • MorningOwl

        Please Jeff, it’s everyone despite oilers fans who are putting the pressure on Mcdavid! Look at tsn and sportsnet media, a new article on him everyday. He will be a great player don’t get me wrong,but we are not the ones who are putting the pressure on! We have been patient for 9+ years, I think we can let Mcdavid find his game.

        • MorningOwl

          there is no doubt it will be fun to watch the season unfold around him, win lose or draw. I wouldn’t kick him off our team if we had lucked into him in a similar manner 🙂

          • Randaman

            Hey Jeff,

            No worries as others pointed out we have our trolls too.

            I suggest you send a private email to the heads of the FNation. I know that worked for us here unless DSF, and Newagesystem went missing together.

            Also Brownlee is great on our site for not putting up with too much bull.

    • MorningOwl

      except, by this time, there is no possible way to UNDER-sell Mcdavid. Oiler media and oiler fans have been doint the exact OPPOSITE ever since they won the “worst team in the league” lifetime achievement award, so to suggest it is prudent to undersell him now is disingenuous

      • Joy S. Lee

        Buddy, it hasn’t been just “Oiler media and oiler fans” selling McDavid. The entire hockey world has been blathering about the kid, including in Calgary. Uh… what exactly are you doing here on ON, commenting on it?

        Oh, and nice dig there. “Worst” lifetime achievement award, eh? You always make sure to insert one of those in your comments. Is that because you are solution-oriented? Positive-minded? Clearly your words display some intelligence, and clearly you are an example of how intelligence does not equal usefulness. Thanks for going out of your way to come here to be such an inspiration to those of us trying to enjoy ourselves. We all need wet blankets in case we get cold during the winter, I’m sure you filled in admirably when the Saddledome became a toilet last year.

        • MorningOwl

          to be honest, I was trying to talk about Calgary Flames hockey over on Flames Nation, but TRAIN97 trolls so bad that all the talk there is about Oilers – he has literally ruined the sight for many, including myself,so I figure, I might as well come here and talk hockey, where Train is not near as obnoxious and on his good behaviour.

          So, i am here to talk about hockey – oilers, flames, flames v oilers, whatever.

          as long as train97 continues to poop all over FN, i will find my hockey talk pleasures here i guess.

          • Randaman


            I’m an Oiler fan to the core but you are correct when it comes to TRAIN #97.
            I have been to Flames Nation and he ruins your site comments section just as well as Ultrathin and others ruin ours.

            All good unless it comes to the point of stupidity as we have witnessed here this morning.

            What goes around comes around but lets all try to be intelligent adults about it. This would excuse UltrathinZigZag as I believe he or she can’t be an adult based on the stupidity level.

          • MorningOwl

            I admit i would much rather stay at FN and just come here for the articles without commenting, or commenting in a fun manner that is more reminiscent of friendly trash talking, but I have been so disgusted with train97 ruining of FN, i just end up here. He had agreed to a truce of trolls, but then the very next article he is again commenting more then any 10 flames fans put together, and the place sucks.

            I apologize for the flood – I wish the nations would fix it, but I am hoping to draw some attention to it and, if train has any class and/or shame, maybe he will back off, and others will back off of ON. wouldn’t that be nice? i’d love it. I would never troll here again! (except the fun, mutual trash talk kind)

            again, i apologize for the trolling – i wish the Oilers nothing but the best of luck this year, and enjoy watching the games with some of my oiler friends, which just might be less fun this year than it has been over the last number of years. I truly expect the Oilers will be better, all trash talking aside.

  • Randaman

    What can we expect from McDavid ? Consider what the team may well put forward despite McDavid in lineup . Oilers under Kreuger were 19 th in Offence and Defence . Last two years we have been 26th in offence and 30 th in defence both years . Last two years should not be repeated due to new coaching philosophy and emphasis on offense even without McDavid I would bet . Already we see early signs of entire team scoring more in junior tourney and practices . It should therefore make McDavid’s scoring higher than expected from last two seasons ( team compliment as a group ) . Can he continue on his 2.5 point per game average so far ? Depending on how rest of team does it would be difficult . Point a game seems well within the possibility range . If he can stay at or over 2 point a game preseason , I believe he will get close to Gretzky’s record first year . The main reason I remain that optimistic is the team arund him should be much more helpful this year playing the McLellan type game .

  • MattyFranchise

    Monahan scored 22-12-34 as an 18 year old center on a bottom five team. I look at this as the absolute minimum amount of points that McDavid can get. I expect McDavid to perform much better than Monahan did. 20-40-60 is more than reasonable for McDavid to get as an 18 year old center on a bottom 5 team.

    Not saying that Edmonton is going to be a bottom 5 team but that’s where my expectations are for them until the season gets underway.

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    Still love the original home white Jersey. My #9 Anderson home white is still my favorite.

    I saw a lot of the new orange in Penticton and it looks pretty awesome. My favorite alternate so far. I’m glad they added it to NHL16 too.

  • Joy S. Lee

    On the Klefbom contract, I think Gregor nailed it – considering how wide open the vault doors are going to have to swing for McDavid, let alone a number of very talented youngsters on the team still learning the game right now – when he said, “The Oilers need a few bargain contracts if they want to be competitive in the future.”

    And personally, I don’t think Oscar’s game is going to go anywhere but up. Throw in the fact that he’s a young, stabilizing leadership force on a talented, young, developing team and… it’s a no-brainer.

    77 games in the NHL, sure. A few in the AHL. A World Championships. Lead his team to WJC Gold one year, and another medal the year before, I think? In other words, he hasn’t JUST played 77 NHL games, he’s played against the best of his peer groups in various environments, and continued to get better. Oh yeah, this is a “bargain” contract, and the Oilers were very smart to do it. No question in my mind.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I wonder how people will react if Mcdavid’s corsi is lower than expected? Lol!

    Seriously though, my expectations of McDavid are as follows:

    Obtaining enough points in the season to get the Calder to be the first player in Oil history to get it. Annnnnd help the team ANIALATE the likes of the Flames, Canucks, and Leafs!

    Playoffs would be nice too.

  • Randaman

    I don’t know why PC said McDavid will only get 40 points.

    He is occupying the 2nd line center spot and needs to get more than that.

    PC should have said CM is to play 2nd line center and needs to get at least 60 points for the team to be successful. If PC can’t be confident that CM cant get 60 pts he should be send to junior.

    While on the subject of PC he keeps saying he has to rely on his staff ie- trade for Reinhardt and sign Klefbom to long term contract.

    Sounds like Mact, Lowe and the boys are still running things


  • Randaman

    Chia gives you Koolaid of 40points and the majority follow like sheep as they always do , and ask how high do you want me to jump ! Even Alexander Daigle had in 84 games his rookie season 20 goals, 31 assists for 51 points with 40PIM’s . You have to wonder if any of them know how well previous generational talents have done . A new generational talent wallowing at 60 points seems ludicrous , and it would be a bloody shame if the league has been reduced to a scenario like that .