Cutting Through the Bottom Six Mess

12-Klinkhammer-3

Thursday’s game against San Jose was notable in a few different ways, and one of them was the changes to the forward lineup. The arrival of Zack Kassian and return of Nail Yakupov, combined with the waiving of Rob Klinkhammer gave Todd McLellan a few more options up front and the Oilers a better shot at a functional bottom-six.

There’s more work to be done, though.

Edmonton has had 16 forwards play at least 100 minutes of even-strength ice-time this season, and I tend to divide them into two groups, based on scoring ability. If we array them by points/hour at five-on-five, they break down neatly and in this order:

  • Scorers: Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov, Teddy Purcell, Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
  • Supporting Cast: Lauri Korpikoski, Matt Hendricks, Iiro Pakarinen, Mark Letestu, Rob Klinkhammer, Jujhar Khaira, Luke Gazdic and Anton Lander

The former group gets most of the attention, but I wanted to dig into the latter group. With Edmonton now seven points back of the Sharks (with San Jose holding three games in hand) it seems fair to turn our focus to next year and ask which, if any, of the latter group should be back.

The Supporting Cast

28-Korpikoski-2

Korpikoski leads the group in terms of points/hour, but every line he joins gets destroyed on the shot clock. Letestu’s Corsi drops five points (from 47.3 percent to 42.3 percent) the moment Korpikoski joins his line. Lander’s Corsi drops 10 points (50.2 percent without, 40.3 percent with). Both Letestu and Lander start more shifts in the defensive zone when playing with anyone other than Korpikoski. The Finn is gritty, has some finishing ability and is signed for another year, but he’s been a millstone in the bottom-six and should not be back to complete his contract. He’s a poor man’s Ryan Jones.

23-Hendricks-7

Hendricks has been fantastic, and not just as a physical guy, faceoff winner and penalty killer. He has a whopping 52.1 percent Corsi and 38.1 percent zonestart away from Korpikoski. I was highly skeptical when the Oilers acquired him; I was wrong. He’s been a great fit in Edmonton. At age 34 he’s not going to be around for the long-term, but he has another year on his deal and unless someone comes in with a shockingly high offer at the deadline he should stick around.

62-Pakarinen-1

Pakarinen has had his moments, and like most of the guys on this list his shot numbers are pretty good away from Korpikoski (four percent increase). He’s big, physical, only 24 years old and shouldn’t cost much coming off his entry-level deal. I like him as a fourth-line right wing.

55-Letestu-2

Letestu has two years left on his contract. He wins faceoffs, he helps special teams and if he could score a bit at even-strength there would be no reason for concern about this contract. To me he looks more like a fourth-line centre than third line guy, but he will be back and he can help.

12-Klinkhammer-2

Klinkhammer cleared waivers this morning, and I wonder if his NHL career is at an end. I wonder how much injury affected him this year; he missed a lot of time and never really found his legs. At his best he’s big, physical, fast and cheap but was utterly ineffective this season and turns 30 in August. Lots of fringe NHL’ers end up falling out of the league at around this point in their careers.

54-Khaira-3

Khaira is just 21 years old and at the beginning of his career; he’ll be back though it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he started next season in the AHL, particularly since he’s finally starting to show some offensive game and since Todd McLellan hasn’t been shy about scratching young players in the majors. He’s big, physical and if he can be even a serviceable two-way guy he’ll play for a long time.

20-Gazdic-1

Gazdic has had a good season when he’s played, so much so that he held on to his NHL job over Klinkhammer on merit. He’s in the last year of his deal with Edmonton and may or may not be back; it’s hard to fault him as the No. 13/14 forward but with enforcers well on the way towards extinction the Oilers may prefer to use his roster spot on a special teams guy (running 11 forwards and seven defenceman with Brad Hunt in the offensive role didn’t work badly, as an example). I wouldn’t bring him back, but it would be hard to be too upset if Edmonton did.

DBCooper

Lander misses Todd Nelson. He’s been brilliant for his long-time coach at both the minor and major league level, but under any other coach his offensive game has disappeared more completely than D.B. Cooper. He wins faceoffs, he’s a strong penalty killer and he’s a fierce competitor. He’s cheap enough to slot in as the No. 5 centre, which is why I’d bring him back for the last year of his deal but it will be tough to argue if he gets sent to the AHL at some point.

TL;DR

23-Hendricks-6

Outside of perhaps Letestu, nobody on this list is absolutely safe. For next season, I’m in favour of a fourth line featuring Hendricks, Letestu and Pakarinen, with Lander potentially back as the No .5 centre because his cheap one-way deal has a final year to play out. Nobody here should be promoted to more work, several should be allowed to depart and something should be done to get rid of Korpikoski.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • TKB2677

    This type of article is what bothers me about corsi and advanced stats. While I think there is some place for advanced stats, I also think they don’t tell the whole story about a player.

    What is the definition/role of a 3rd/4th line player? I always thought that what you want in a 3rd liner was grit, some physical play, have a little bite to his game, be able to play on the teams and chip in the odd goal. Do I think that Korpikoski is the best 3rd liner out there? Not a chance but I don’t think he’s complete crap like Willis says he is. Willis even lists Korpikoski has doing many of the things you want in a 3rd liner. He’s chipped in some offense 6 g, 12 pts. He’s got 51 hits, so he plays with some physicality to his game, he’s feisty, he’s got good speed. He kills penalties which the Oilers have had decent PK. Gets spot duty on the PP. He’s even only a -6 which isn’t great but not bad considering he plays a ton in the D zone. If you extend his stats over the rest of the season, he probably scores low teens in goals, 30ish points and has close to 100 hits. Isn’t that what you want your 3rd line to give you? He supposedly brings down others corsi. So that’s a reason to dump him? Maybe it’s a combination of both guys. Again, he’s not the best 3rd liner but I hardly think he’s garbage.

    Then to further my skepticism of this article. JW goes on to say that Lander would be a good guy to keep around as a #5 center. WHAT? Lander wins faceoffs and kills penalties. Great. He brings you ZERO offense. IN 44 games and playing a fair amount of PP time, he has 2 assists. That’s it. He’s not physical, or tough, he doesn’t hit much, he doesn’t play with much edge to his game and he’s a blackhole for offense and brings the rest of his line down. You can’t have a guy giving you nothing for offense. I’m sorry, disagree all you want but just because he’s a nice guy and has a cheap NHL deal, doesn’t mean you keep him as your #1 call up. To me, a #1 call up should be a guy that can CONTRIBUTE and is on the cusp of being a full timer on the team. Not a guy who’s now proven he’s basically an extremely limited player in the NHL.

    • For Pete's Sake!

      What bothers me about people that criticize corsi and advanced stats is that they seem to think decisions should be made solely on these.

      I’m not a stats guy but JW presents information that I hope is certainly considered at the management level of the Oilers. I’m not saying they should make a decision on it just based on stats. It’s that it brings a possible concern to someone’s attention and likely should be considered further, along with a bunch of other factors (cost, injuries, ability to replace, etc).

  • Ever the Optimist

    to project the bottom 6 I think we need to have some ideas about the top 6. If you assume eberle and more for shatenkirk and berglund. Also keeping our center depth.

    So that will project

    Hall – Drai – ?? FA like Backes

    Pouliot – McD – Yakupov

    Berglund – Nuge – Kassian

    Hendricks – Letestu – Pak

    This gives us 2 FO options that are better than current choices and a balanced forward corps. The cap hit would be around 38m plus bonus for rookies.

    The Defense still needs another rh and Hamonic is the best option there if a deal for klefbom or the 2016 pick can be worked out.

    Sekera – Shatenkirk

    Nurse – Hamonic

    Davidson – Reinhart

    That runs the cap hit for defense to 20 mil approx. with a pp quarterback and much better defensive options.

    Goalies can both be resigned at likely 5 mil. for both. Extras would be Fayne, Lander and Korp. at 7.5 mil

    Total cap hit around 70.5 with money for McD’s reup coming from the backes contract(overpay at 7 mil but short 2 year deal), Shatts reup money will have to come from a trade to get rid of fayne and Korp.

  • pkam

    “During the NHL All Star Game-break Omark, along with his visiting friends (who also recorded the MPS crib video) are headed to the Rocky Mountains. Fellow Oiler Ryan Jones was friendly enough to borrow them his Jeep for the trip and this is how they described it..

    The car lacks speed, roadability, comfort and not to mention sound isolation. BUT, it’s the most f**king amazing car either one of us have ever driven.”

    http://swedishoil.dohfos.eu/post/2977094153/ryan-jones-jeep

  • pkam

    Apparently Edmonton offered RNH to preds for Jones. Bad mistake, if chia is comfortable with mcdavid and drai to consider trading RNH, org is in trouble. RNH needs to be here for awhile yet.

    • You are wrong. Bob Stauffer said that the Oilers could have got Jones for RNH. Chiarelli said no. I’ll take Bob’s word on it.

      What’s your source??

      BTW I thought this article was about the bottom 6?

      Jones is a 3-4 defenceman with some uncertain potential. I’ll take RNH over that any day.

      • Oil City Roller

        The only thing I’ll take Bob’s word on is how many slices of Royal Pizza a man can cram in his pie hole at once.

        As for not trading Nuge I just don’t get it. The Oilers are last in the west and 27th overall. No matter what Chia does they could not be worse. If Chia traded everyone for a pack of hotdogs, then put those hotdogs on the ice the results would’t be worse. People don’t seem to realize you can’t get worse than last.

        • Shameless Plugger

          I’m with you my friend. I’ve been lambasted on here for it. But at this point anybody not named Mcdavid can be shipped out. Providing it equates to more wins. I’ve given up my love affair with particular players. Wins matter most. And if you trade a Nuge or a Eberle or a Hall and we start winning more than losing I won’t miss any of them one iota. I’ll be to busy celebrating wins to notice they’re gone.

      • pkam

        Nuge must be the nicest guy in the world. The Oilers media and many fans refuse to critique him.

        If you keep Nuge, then you have a face-off specialist or two in the bottom six. If you trade Nuge, and bring in a veteran centre, then you don’t need a Lander or Letestu necessarily, because the veteran C can win key faceoffs.

        For the record, McDavid is terrible at face-offs too, but you accept that from a rookie phenom. The kid gloves shouldn’t apply to a $6m centre.

    • Jason Gregor

      He needs a Dman more than three centres. Would hurt to lose RNH, but if he can get a legit top-four Dman for RNH, Hamonic for example, I can see why he would do it.

      Need D to win…Team won’t win games by run and gun. Very few teams do it. Dallas is, but their D supplies a lot of offence, and Oilers D provides very little right now.

      • pkam

        I agree with this, but it does raise a question for me. Is it that the Oilers did not believe that Jones was a legit top-4? Yes to Hamonic, but no to Jones type of thing.

      • AJ88

        Well, sucks to be Nuge today. We tried to trade you but Nashville didn’t want you. “Maybe next time, but make sure you give it your all until we do trade you”. Either classless Oiler organization or classless media. My guess would be media, have to be top of the heap on hockey news. Typical Spector….

        • Spoils

          My guess is that this would be great news for RNH and he would be very excited. The very thought of the Oilers trading him would mean he can fplay with another franchise that will potentially offer him the opportunity to finally win. That opportunity currently does not exist for him…

          • AJ88

            Spector’s job is to report the facts. If he is certain he has the facts, then I would blame the Oilers for leaking something like this. In any case you still want your players to perform at 100% do you not? Do you think a player/teammates can be affected negatively from such media comments. “Nugey’s feelings”, I am sure you would make a great leader….

          • AJ88

            And what if Nuge’s agent went public about wanting a trade? How would that be perceived by the Oilers and media? Basically that is what happened to him. Nuge, I believe will be the professional in this case, unlike the rest of the hockey world.

          • AJ88

            True enough, though RNH did not ask to be traded as Hamonic’s camp did. I have no doubt RNH will act professionally on this but I still wish organizations/media would be a little more tight lipped on actions such as this. It cannot help RNH’s game to know you are being shopped especially if you do not want to be. I know, I know it’s a business, right?

  • Zarny

    Nice breakdown. First thing I noticed with the Oilers’ numbers is after Nuge (8th) the offence really dies. Got me wondering how do they stack up against the top offensive teams?

    Based on points/60, the Oilers top 8 are perhaps the most potent in the league at 5 on 5. Beyond that the opposite is true; production from 9-12th ish is abysmal.

    I agree Hendricks-Letestu-Pakarinen is a serviceable 4th line. No one listed in the supporting case is a top 9 player. If the Oilers lose Purcell Chiarelli should target 2 top 9 players; and both need to be significantly better than Korpikoski.

    • Oil City Roller

      You realize Stauffer is an employee of the Oilers Entertainment Group and is paid to spout the party line.

      The only thing connected is Bob’s lips to Katz’s arse.

  • pkam

    Hall/Draisaitl/Pakarinen

    Yak/McDavid/Kassian

    Pouliot/RNH/Eberle

    Hendricks/Letestu/Korpikoski or Lander

    Klefbom/Hamonic

    Sekera/Byfuglien

    Nurse/Fayne

    Gryba

    Talbot/Nilsson

    Davidson + 2nd in the offseason

  • Spoils

    I like Letestu Hendricks + warm body on the fourth line, the problem is THAT IS OUR THIRD LINE!

    Once McJesus returns and pushes everyone down the line, the bottom 6 starts to look pretty good.

  • McChickenpi

    Would anyone trade Eberle, Davidson, and 2016 1st (for the purpose of this study assume it turns out to be 5th-8th overall) for Drouin, Stralman and Callahan?

    • a lg dubl dubl

      That’s obvious, no? Smart GMs build from the net out. Quality goalie, strong blueline with at least one elite defender, strength down the middle and last fill out the wings.

      Smarter than smart GMs build from the wings, then at centre, then the net and lastly, the blueline. It’s the patented Oilers re-build. Guaranteed to work in fifteen seasons or your money back.

    • CMG30

      To give you a fill answer we’d have to go year by year. Last few years have seen epic goal-tending failures. This year, key injuries are taking their toll.

      There are a few overall themes though. Successive GM’s have demolished the blue line by trading the few remaining good defensemen for plugs with ‘grit’ and no plan to replace them.

      There has been a coaching carousel which saw an amazing 5 coaches in 6 years.

      They’ve been unable to stop themselves from playing rookies too soon then flushing them when they don’t succeed right away.

      Successive GM’s have been making decisions about the team for reasons other than hockey.

      Some of the blame lies at the feet of the players though. Throughout the years the Oil have shown a tremendous propensity to play down to their opponents. They’ll show up to play hockey if their opponent is someone like Chicago, but when it comes to the Toronto’s and the Buffalo’s of the league, they just roll over and show their belly.

      Finally, they just keep find new and interesting ways to lose. Like scoring all 5 goals in a game – but 3 of them on themselves.

      • Oil City Roller

        The goaltending comments are a bit misleading. If have to say that Talbot and Nilsson are better than Scrivens/Fasth, but the biggest problem has been their terrible D. It hasn’t improved under Chiarelli.

  • The problem with most of the proposed mall trades is the best you could get back for Bonnie doon or Abbotsford is some pathetic hell hole like Calgary’s Westbrook which despite its self proclaimed status as ‘Calgary’s Premium Shopping Destination”, is really just a Walmart, a Boston Pizza, and a dollar store sharing a parking lot.

    Damn. I think I just convinced myself we need to update the bottom six. I am assuming Letestu is like the Walmart, Ladner is the Hut, and Klink is the dollar store.

    Oh for a Norstroms type player,

    at Old Navy prices though.

  • Trading RNH for Seth Jones……..this would have been a terrible trade, for the Oilers.

    Hey I like Seth Jones, but he is a defensive defenceman and will be a good 3/4 defenceman. I would do Eberle for Shatenkirk, but to trade a centre is dumb, dumb.

    You can never have enough centres…….if need be move RHN to the wings. Look at the Sharks!

    If Spector is right……..I have just lost a lot of respect for PC!

  • Oil City Roller

    I don’t understand the love for RNH. If we could get a top 4 D for Nuge, do it.
    He can’t win faceoffs, can’t play a physical game, doesn’t provide enough offense for $6M a year.

  • Oil City Roller

    So PC offered RNH for Jones interesting.

    Confirms that PC has written of this year as he was willing to play at least a couple of weeks with Mark Letestu as 2C.

    PC has seen enough of Drasaitl to convince him he is the real deal

    PC continues to chase Dmen (as evidenced at the most recent draft)

    The concept of the core is dead.

    Preds thought Johanssen a better player, or at least better value for $.

    • AJ88

      I notice that the focus is primarily on Nuge’s lack of size. It’s not his fault he is 5’10, 180.

      Two problems with that narrative though. If you look at some of the Preds sites, Nuge’s production and contract were the bigger issues.

      GMs don’t mind under-sized centres who can score, but $6m for a 56 point producer is not great value.

      The bigger issue is that there have been three high-quality top-4 RHD that Chiarelli has chased that he has failed to close. Hamilton? Fail. Jones? Fail. Hamonic? Ongoing fail.

      • Jay (not J)

        Too early too call those all fails. Hamilton sure, but it turned out that the cards were stacked against Chiarelli on that one. Hamonic hasn’t moved yet so that is still open possibly. Now if rumors out of NYC are accurate and there is a framework in place on an Eberle/ Hamonic deal then maybe offering more than RNH for Jones would have been excessive. Still, I think that we have to accept what management has said all along and this is an assessment and planning season and it is less important who the team finishes this season with on defence than it is who they start with next season. Right now this maddening inaction is prudent browsing but if the Oilers start next season without making a major upgrade on the blue line I will agree with you 100% that Chiarelli is coming up short. I think that making that accusation now though isn’t giving him enough time to do the job. There’s no point in rushing to try and save this miserable year.

        • pkam

          We are still in a race for a playoff , and had Chia made a timely trade or two this year , we might still have saved this season with McDavid due back shortly . He who hesitates is lost perhaps ? Looks like we are determined to try and get one at least of Puljujarvi or P.Laine thru the draft . Chia also having a real problem riding our team of members we appear not to want . In fact , I do not believe he has rid us of any to date .

          • Spoils

            Players PC has rid the Oilers of:

            Ben Scrivens
            Nikita Nikitin
            Andrew Ferrence (technically no, but de-facto yes)
            Martin Marincin
            Boyd Gordon
            Rob Klinkhammer

            And I’m not including a number of players who left but were likely to leave regardless of who was in charge (guys like Fasth, Aulie Matt Fraser).

            At the end of last year the Oil D was more or less Ferrence, Nikitin (injured but MAcT had him slotted as a top 4 player this year), Fayne, Klef, Schultz, Marincin. Of these only Klef and Schultz remain with Fayne on a part time basis. Good chance by the start of next year Klef will be the only one remaining.

          • Jay (not J)

            What timely trade was available? Hamonic for Klefbom seems like an incremental improvement at best and may have required sweetening on Edmonton’s part. Every report suggests that Hamonic for Eberle would not get the deal done over the last 6 months and if they offered Nuge for Jones then I think that he was probably explored as an option in this deal as well. Until Snow budges on getting an equal defense man in return there is no deal in New York that’s worth the Oilers’ consideration. If RNH wasn’t enough to get Jones do you really think that Poilie would have been fooled into taking one of our chump defense men as a sweetener? If they had a conversation about Nuge they must have talked about Hall at some point too. This year’s playoffs would be great and I really mean it, but Chiarelli can’t GM for it and some prices are too high. Next season needs to remain the focus and the priority. Trading away Hall, Nurse or Klefbom is not going to improve the team and as frustrating as it is to watch Chiarelli do nothing it’s important to see that right now he’s doing nothing stupid.

        • pkam

          He whiffed on Hamilton and missed on Jones. Those would have been 2 quality RHD that would have improved the team. If we believe the rumors that Chiarelli has been trying to trade for Hamonic since last off-season, and still hasn’t closed, then we can’t consider that a success.

          I don’t expect them to be in the playoffs this year. I don’t think they should make a trade just to make a trade. Add a player or two that makes this team better in game one of next season. Adding Hamilton or Jones would have done that. Adding Hamonic now would do that. Shattenkirk would do it.

          If Sekera, Gryba, Letestu and Korpikoski, Talbot and Nilsson were all playing well, Chiarello would have taken all the credit. Now that we can see these moves haven’t improved the team (28th last year, 28th now), now it’s an evaluation year. Simpson nailed it. They should be doing better, and they have run out of excuses.

      • OILFANMEXICO

        What does that tell you? When these #1 RHD come available 29 other teams get into a bidding war as they are worth their weight in gold. Can’t blame Chiarelli for losing out, so did 29 other teams G.M’s. This is why we need to offer Nuge and a pick etc, even then it may get rejected.

        Shattenkirk, HAS to get signed by the Oilers. Tell him you will sign him 8 yrs@ 8.5 if he’ll take it. Give the Blues Nuge and our 1st(if it it’s not top 5). God we need this guy in the worst way and Hamonic doesn’t even come close in comparison.

        • Jay (not J)

          If Shattenkirk will resign here then he is worth a hell of a lot to this team and they should move heaven and earth to get him. If he won’t though, or even if he’s luke warm about it the Oilers have to pass and hold out for someone that they have a few more years of control over.

  • Speed Junky

    The master plan has worked.

    no D = 1st pick year after year

    what luck. # 4 then 93 then 10 then 97

    oh ya 29 and 25 too.

    we sign Big Buff and 1 more = playoffs

    McDavid will change this. he really is a

    Awesome. look at October.

  • Hmmm. I’m a bit disturbed by the MMM on this latest development.That perhaps RNH was offered straight up for Seth Jones. When the deal for jones was made with the jackets…oiler media, and the talking heads that cover the team, had this question pUT to them . “If you were Chia would you have traded RNH FOR Seth Jones ? ” The resounding reply from the blurbs I caught (and I caught alot) was NO WAY ! MMM in this town was totally against it.Here’s the rub. I suspect if the preds and oilers made that deal …MMM would’ve been singing the praises of how great that trade was for the oilers. Especially Stauffer,who is hand cuffed from having an opinion that might rub the oilers the wrong way. But their were alot of others who weren’t having any of that preds-oil exchange. I truly believe the vat majority of the media who do some coverage of the team would have been delighted with that deal ( Rnh-jones) I call that playing both sides of the coin. No integrity there .

  • toprightcorner

    The Oilers 3rd line was supposed to be their 4th line meqaning the 3rd line coming out of camp had been crap. That means everyone should slide down a spot, meaning out the door for a couple.

    When McDavid comes back, put him with Yak and Kassian. In the summer add a UFA like Brouwer would be perfect and can easily move into top 6 with injuries. Kassian/Letestu and Hendricks would be one of the best 4th lines in the league.

    If Yak, Ebs or Nuge get traded for a dman in the summer, those third liners move up and you add a gritty scoring 3rd liner that can score 12-16 goals.

  • Jay (not J)

    The so-called ‘pre-Nicholson’ core not only doesn’t look competent to get anything done but fail in the NHL, they don’t appear wanted by anybody else. Unless it is a fire-sale trade of course.

    Apparently $6 mil midgets aren’t wanted anywhere. Lowe and MacT have been a day late and a dollar short for 10yrs and counting.

    I would love to hear the whispers in the offices on Kingsway as this weak-ass team gets disassembled player by player.

    Chiarelli’s inaction or at least his inability to make progress is concerning but he has a near-impossible job ahead of him even if he is any good.

    • … midgets aren’t wanted anwhere….

      Try Chicago they seem to be doing OK with their
      midgets;

      Kane= 177 lbs 5.11

      Panarin= 170 lbs 5.11

      Shaw= 179 lbs 5.11

      Tervainen= 178 lbs 5.11

      So much for midgets playing in the NHL. There are dozens of others around the league.Jonny Hockey, Gallegher etc.

      PS, Kane is taking home double of what Nuge is paid.. good wage for a midget.

    • Apparently $6 mil midgets aren’t wanted anywhere. Lowe and MacT have been a day late and a dollar short for 10yrs and counting.

      Interestingly some pro scouts from around the league were polled after the Johansen deal regarding who they’d prefer between Johansen and Nuge and the majority picked Nuge.

      The suggestion that nobody wants Nuge because he’s not 6’4 is stupid.

  • AJ88

    So maybe the really question here is why did the Oil leak this information to Spector? Was this from freelancers in the org that owed Spec a favor? Or was this orchestrated by the Oil to send a message to the “core” that things are changing and no one should be assume they are untouchable.

    • pkam

      Rome has Fallen…break…Rome has Fallen…break…initiate “Protocal Copper Rain”…full stop.

      What “message” could the Oil possibly send to the Core with the exception of an APOLOGY for undermining ALL of their optimal career curves?

      The days of strong-arming are over.You cannot dictate from underground and this once Proud Franchise has fallen so far Managements “messages” are coming from a sub-terranean locale now.

      Transparent does not even begin to describe the changes we have seen over the last year+.

      There was only one singular message to be sent this season….that HONESTY was entering the equation and that building a winning team was more important than the business side of things…..the only message Katz has sent of this type has been to Management…..NOT to the men in the Trenches.

      There is no EXTRA-ORDINARY environment being provided to optimise this extra-ordinary group of Players.

      There has been no regard spent on the manifestation,design,evolution or management of a winning Esprit de Corps.

      This reflects on management a level of disregard for the Cores uniformitarian evolution bordering on derelict.

      Heres a “message”……it is impossible for the Oilers Management group to have missed the boat in terms of NHL cutting edge evolution which has developed since 2012….when it BEGAN IN EDMONTON…..it is not POSSIBLE….the fLames,Yotes,Kings,Hawks,Blues, and MANY MORE NHL Teams have managed to connect to this cutting edge evolution.

      There are NO EXCUSES….a huge effort was made by Katz to right his ship because he was in a Storm of unimaginable proportions…or so he thought…..maybe really someone was sabatoging his Rudder control from the INSIDE and still is?Because the rocking of the boat by some un-natural force has NOT STOPPED…..and this is NOT the wave-action the rest of the NHL is encountering by any means.

      Who in their right mind wouldnt want the hades off of this perennially floundering Ship of Ill-Repute ??

      What kind of “message” would any advocate give to the Crew of this ship besides “ATTENTION ALL HANDS …ABANDON SHIP” ?

      What Pro Manager would expect his Client to endure the levels of ridicule which have been forced upon Oilers Players by Ownership?

      Katz tried to re-arrange the deck-chairs on his own personal Titanic and he ordered the Band to play a different tune…..but the ship….well she is still slipping south on him.

      Nothing against the Player….but Kassian?

      The message was clearly sent that the Edmonton Oilers Dynasty Spirit is DEAD FOREVER…..we thought nothing could ever tarnish that BEAUTY OF HISTORY…..but it has been done…by some unimaginable power , it has been accomplished.

      Maybe when the Oilers Esprit de Corps was strong and powerfull bringing in Kassian might have flown….but jeepes Messier is almost a Cloudwatcher now and only a Leader like him could accommodate these types of moves….this is something done by someone who is holding on to memories which are begining to shift and fade as time passes….this is simply sad.

      This group of tyranical megalamaniacs will NOT STOP…there is to much to lose for them and they have the juice to push the dynamic till they retire and dont care anymore.

      Managements scorched earth policy is burning up their assets concurrently not consecutively….this IS the worst case scenario.

      Everyone is giving up….but someone doesnt know what this means….it means everyone is MOVING ON…..the BLUFF HAS BEEN CALLED and everyone went all-in……Kaz needs to fold now before he loses his bankroll….sure he has a bottomless wallet…but this roll is done.

      How many years are people going to wait? Till the cronies retire huh?…..lol….badly played hand IMHO…..because I see stormclouds building and I feel the “Copper Rain” is about to begin falling.

      If you though no real quality NHLers would ever come to Deadmonton before….wait till the “Copper Rain” stops falling….yes Dorothy things can still get much much worse.We could see another 2 decades of absolute denial from NHLers….and if they do come it will be STRICTLY FOR THE MONEY and Esprit de Corps will NEVER BUILD itself into a winning dynamic.

      Katz can order 20,000 little expensive boxes of parts for his dream Delorean and stack them all up nice and neat…..but he and we will be long gone and pushing up Daisys before those boxes ever unpack themselves and auto-ssemble into anything recognisable.

      Without a dream driving an artist into concieving of a superior idea working with an engineer to build a plan working with a mechanic to put it together working with a driver to operate it working with a Pit-crew to maintain it …..well you get it right?

      Run Forrest run….those arent chocolates in the box!!!!Right color wrong substance.

  • pkam

    JAFO – if I was a coach and was presented this information on Korpikoski, I’d be paying more attention to what happens when he’s on the ice. Then, maybe I could pick up why these numbers are like they are.

    Then maybe we could adjust his name to correct whatever isn’t working. Or maybe JW Dellow is right and he should be released. Either way, just use the numbers to help. Not make the decision.

    Or maybe Korpikoski seems fine to my eye and we decide what Korpi brings to the team outweighs the numbers.

    • a lg dubl dubl

      When I was a coach I didnt allow this type of data into my wheelhouse or my peripheral processes.

      I would not want my Players to believe that i was in the business of dwelling on things they had done in the past…good or bad…because those things have absolutely no bearing on the future ,…”a lesson learned is a a moment burned”{yes you may use it} so of what use is waxing poetic of moments you will never be able to utilise or gain forward impetus from again?.. this I drove into everyone to ensure I could count on uniformity of urgency and intentions at all times .

      There is nothing to be gained from a mistake….nothing…all you do by remembering and honoring via proxy numbers a mistake is teach yourself how to repeat it by giving it more cerebral tenure than something you would never want to revisit.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    How about Letestu and Lander on the same line, doing most of the heavy lifting in the Dzone. They can switch out centre based upon which circle they’re dropping the puck. The RNH line is another defensive zone consideration, sheltering McDavid and Draisaitl from tough zone starts.

    In terms of additions, I’d like to see a winger with size and jam to complement the scorers on this team.