The Monday Mailbag – Hamonic or Shattenkirk?

Mailbag

It’s mailbag time again, my friends. I’ve taken the questions you’ve sent me and fired them over to our writers to get all the answers you’ve always been looking for. I say it every week, but this segment is entirely dependent on you guys to make it work, so send me your questions. You can email me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.com.

1) Shaun M. asks – With the desperate need for depth at RD and Ethan Bear’s progression to a nearly PPG pace, is it likely we will see him in Bakersfield next season and possibly get a cup of coffee with the Oil? Or is it more likely he will play as an overage player with Seattle? I’m excited to see what he can do at the AHL level and find out if he can make an NHL impact with proper seasoning ala Brandon Davidson.

Jason Strudwick:

I just had a conversation about Ethan Bear this week. Sounds like he has some good traits but I don’t get the sense he could be playing NHL games next year. Lets see him in camp and go from there.

Robin Brownlee:

You used “cup of coffee with the Oil” and “proper seasoning” in the same paragraph. Ethan Bear will be 19 when next season starts. What’s the rush?

Jonathan Willis:

Bear doesn’t even turn 19 until June. Let’s give it two or three years before we start thinking about him as an Oiler.

Jason Gregor:

Bear is not an option. He is not an overage next year, he will be 19 and is only eligible to play in junior or the NHL and the Oilers won’t rush him. He had a very good season and they hope it builds on it next year by making the WJC team.

Matt Henderson:

I have been intrigued by Ethan Bear since I got to see him play in the open Rookie camp. He stood out even then as a decent defender. His offence is really exciting. If the Oilers cut a few people (Musil) loose then I could see Bear going to the AHL. The thing is, I don’t know if there’s a bad decision there. I’m happy to let Bear develop as long as he needs to. Edmonton has been burned rushing players up into the pro ranks before.

Lowetide:

Bear will be a 19-year old in the WHL next season (turns 19 in June). He is not eligible for the AHL until 2017-18. The fact we are talking about him in these terms is encouraging though. A strong draft plus one season.

Jeanshorts:

I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve read about him this year. Obviously as an 18 year old in junior you would hope he would progress and put up some numbers and by all accounts he’s exceeded most expectations. I can’t sit here and tell you what is going to happen at training camp next year, but at the very least I’m really excited that there finally seems to be a decent crop of young defensemen in the Oilers pipeline that should be competing for pro jobs VERY soon (Caleb Jones is also having a stellar 18 year old junior year).

I’ve got a lot of hope for Ethan Bear in the near future, so I’m excited to watch him continue to develop and see what happens. I definitely don’t think an AHL job is out of the question, but we’ll see!

Baggedmilk:

I’ve been keeping an eye on Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones all season. If you don’t read Lowetide’s Weekend Updates then you’re definitely missing out. As for Bear, he’s had an excellent draft+1 season and I’m excited to see how he’ll do next year as a 19-year old. There’s no need to rush this prospect though. Let him develop slowly, and see where he ends up. The first step is to see how he responds to a great year in junior.

2) Reagan asks – Many people have tried to link players like Travis Hamonic or Kevin Shattenkirk to the Oilers because of their obvious lack of defensive depth but I wonder which would be the better fit? In your opinion, which d-man would be the better fit for the Oilers if the cost to acquire them was relatively similar?

Jason Strudwick:

If we toss aside what it would take to get them and the difference long term in what the contract could be, I would go with Hamonic. The Oilers need a minute munching steady D man. He would put the other D men into better match ups every night.

Robin Brownlee:

People haven’t been trying to link Hamonic to the Oilers. Chiarelli has already talked to the Islanders about him. Hamonic wants to play in the west, close to home. That’s the link. Hamonic has a cap-friendly contract. He makes more sense for the Oilers than Shattenkirk does.

Jonathan Willis:

I think Hamonic is a stunning fit. He’s a first-pair shutdown defenceman who would do wonders to stabilize the blue line. The only bad thing: he isn’t is a top power play quarterback.

Jason Gregor:

Hamonic because he is a great defender first. Oilers need to keep the puck out of their net first and foremost. He can add some offence as well, but mainly he will help them cut down on their goals against.

Matt Henderson:

Both. Take both. Find a way to pay the price two times. If it’s one or the other I take Hamonic because of his contract, I guess. Hamonic’s contract is so good that his agent should be fired. He’s a big minute, possession controlling, physical defender. Shattenkirk is a PP quarterback that produces offensively. Oilers need both and might even have the assets to get both if they’re willing to part with their pick and one high end forward.

Lowetide:

For me it is Hamonic. The contract and skill set are a nice match to Edmonton’s needs, and I am not certain Shattenkirk would sign with the Oilers when he reaches free agency. Part of the issue for Hamonic is the contract — it is a sweet deal. Acquiring him allows some nice cap room.

Jeanshorts:

I personally would rather have Kevin Shattenkirk. He’s got more offensive upside, which I think puts him ahead of Travis Hamonic. Hamonic has zero power play points this year and has barely even gotten any PP time, whereas Shattenkirk is the quarterback on the Blues first unit (which is just slightly behind the Blackhawks for fifth in the NHL). I’ve also seen some talk that has Hamonic as a #3-4 D-man, rather than a true top pairing guy, which Shattenkirk firmly is. Hamonic obviously has an unbelievably attractive contract, whereas Shattenkirk becomes a UFA at the end of next season, which is a huge consideration. And realistically I think Hamonic has a much better chance at being an Oiler next year, but with all things being the same I would much rather the Oilers acquire Shattenkirk.

Baggedmilk:

For me the best fit is Travis Hamonic because he checks off more boxes that the Oilers desperately need. Hamonic won’t put up the points that Shattenkirk can but he’s still a top pairing d-man on a very reasonable contract. Hamonic’s deal still has term on it and there’s no guarantee that Shattenkirk would re-sign in Edmonton after this last year of his contract. With every penny being valuable in the McDavid era I think Hamonic would be the best fit.

3) Brooklyn B. asks – How do you think it will affect viewership (if any) that there likely won’t be any Canadian teams in the playoffs?

Jason Strudwick:

I do think it will be lower after the first round. We will watch some games but hard for most to stay engaged.

Robin Brownlee:

Numbers in Canada will be way down. Don’t see as much of a ripple in the US.

Jonathan Willis:

Less people will watch the playoffs on TV in Canada, and viewership will probably be down overall as a result.

Jason Gregor:

I’d say a fair amount. The first round is usually the most exciting so people will watch, but I suspect only the diehards will watch after that. Casual fans will watch when their team/city is playing, and some might even watch to see a rival Canadian city lose, but I suspect the numbers will be way down.

Matt Henderson:

Well I’m not in the TV industry, but my guess is it affects viewership negatively.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Lowetide:

It will be a big hit, I expect.Canadians love the SC playoffs, but we also like cheering for (or against) the Canadian teams. I hope the Oilers make the playoffs soon.

Jeanshorts:

I think it’s going to have a pretty decent impact. According to this article, when there were five Canadian teams starting the first round last year, TV ratings jumped 36% over the year prior, when the Habs were the only Canadian team at the dance. I know personally I will be much less invested because I don’t really care who wins the cup this year, whereas if a team like the Leafs or Canucks were in I would tune in to hopefully watch them crash and burn in the first round. Mostly I’m just looking forward to not seeing a bunch of “THIS IS WHY (insert team) IS CANADA’S TEAM AND YOU SHOULD CHEER FOR THEM” articles this spring.

Baggedmilk:

I’ll probably watch the first round with a high regularity but after that I don’t really care which of LA or Chicago will win the Cup this year. That being said, if Washington makes the finals I’ll be watching because I’d like to see Ovi get a ring.

4) Alexandre asks – This season started with so much hype and promise that finishing 30th again has left a real sour taste in my mouth. Are you at all looking forward to the end of the season? What are you looking forward to in the summer?

Jason Strudwick:

I predicted 82 points which they won’t hit. Even getting to low 70s might be a stretch. It is not fun to be playing in these games so I will be happy for the players when the season ends. I am looking forward to seeing how PC molds this team into his vision. After a whole year he knows who we wants to keep, send off and what the team needs to add to have success.

Robin Brownlee:

I’m waiting to see how Chiarelli addresses the need for a first-pairing guy on the blue line and wondering what that’ll cost and who goes the other way.

Jonathan Willis:

I’m looking forward to doing some serious stats work; with all the games it’s hard for me to find the time to do it during the season.

Jason Gregor:

Very much looking forward to the end. Playoffs emerge and there will be some great matchups. This summer should be different than previous ones because the Oilers will make a significant move, maybe two. I don’t see Chiarelli just tweaking with the edge of his lineup, I believe he will uproot the nucleus.

Matt Henderson:

I am very much looking forward to this ride stopping. Problem is I still have to write about them. It would be a lot easier to do if there were games being played until June. Try writing daily from mid-April to mid-September about a sports team that doesn’t actually play games during that time. It’s a nightmare. Then add in the fun fact that they’ve been crappy for a decade and you’ve probably already written what you want to write last year and the year before that. Wait, what’s the question? Oh, I guess I’m looking forward to Game of Thrones (thanks for never interfering with an episode, Oilers) and the new Uncharted game.

Lowetide:

This is the summer you want to pay attention. There are going to be some major transactions. I am looking forward to seeing what Peter Chiarelli does to address weakness, and also believe the team needs to have a strong draft to re-stock the shelves.

Jeanshorts:

I think once that golden ticket turned around, and when Chiarelli and McLellan joined the team that a lot of peoples’ expectations became unrealistically skewed. I thought I had set a pretty low bar for the Oilers this year, and they still managed to somehow not even meet those meager expectations, but I also think they’ve been trending upwards far better than most fans give them credit for. Case in point: it hasn’t felt like nearly as much of a chore watching the last stretch of the season as it has been in years past. With the emergence of Patrick Maroon, Cam Talbot being a revelation, guys like Jordan Osterle and Iiro Pakerainen coming up from the farm and looking competent at the NHL level, and the 95% chance that Connor is going to do something unbelievable at any moment of any game, these Oilers have been much more fun to watch down the stretch. The moves Chiarelli made at the trade deadline, combined with a more or less certainty that the cap will only see a meagre rise at best this summer, has also given me tons of optimism that this team will improve by leaps and bounds this summer. I know that having optimism for next season is a cardinal sin around here that has been beat into the ground for seven years, but I’m nothing if not an optimist! Chiarelli is going to do awesome this off-season, I can feel it!

Baggedmilk:

I’m looking forward to the end of the season, if I’m being honest. Writing Wrap Ups isn’t nearly as fun when everyone hates the team and watching the games can actually be a chore. I’m also looking forward to the summer to see what Chiarelli will do to this roster. There’s a shakeup coming and I’ve got a feeling it may be substantial. Keep Nuge, though. Always keep Nuge.

5) Craig asks – With the Batman vs Superman movie coming out this week I wonder who is your favourite Batman and why? Mine is Christian Bale from the most recent movies.

Jason Strudwick:

Danny Devito

Robin Brownlee:

Adam West. There is only one original.

Jonathan Willis:

It’s hard to compare across Batman movies because the Christopher Nolan ones were so good (and the less said about Batman Forever, the better). I’ll go with Will Arnett in the Lego Movie.

Jason Gregor:

Michael Keaton. He was the first one I saw and I thought he was great, plus Jack Nicholson as the Joker made the movie even better, and I thought Kim Basinger was incredibly gorgeous.

Matt Henderson:

Adam West and Christian Bale are tied. Props to the guy who plays the cartoon version, he obviously has a great voice.

Lowetide:

I liked Adam West, and then Michael Keaton. I assume no one else will answer this question the same way, and so should confess I have not seen all of the Batman movies. Bob Kane was a genius, though, that I know.

Jeanshorts:

We answered this question on the North x NorthGretz podcast a few weeks back, and mine is definitely Michael Keaton. His Bruce Wayne was basically perfect, and his batman didn’t take himself too seriously. I love the Christian Bale/Chris Nolan Batman trilogy, but that first Tim Burton Batman is just so much damn fun!

Baggedmilk:

Michael Keaton was easily the best Batman. Batman Returns is a great movie and if you haven’t seen it you’re missing out on a classic. Strangely, the Batman I’ve watched the most is Batman Forever with Val Kilmer because I used to spend summers at my mom’s place and she had basic cable and not many movies to choose from. I would watch that wondeful piece of shit at least two or three times per summer.

  • Oilerchild77

    Hamonic. All day, Hamonic. And I don’t think Ethan Bear should be turning pro yet. He’s only turning 19 in June. Would he even qualify for the AHL at that age?

    • Seanaconda

      With a contract. If we can’t get him signed before the deal we should just wait till the trade deadline and sign him when he’s cheaper. Or as a ufa if he will come here the next year.

      No point in overpaying for a one year deal when we aren’t winning the cup next year.

  • MessyEH!

    Shattenkirk is going to get paid too much next year and isn’t going to be worth it.

    Hamonic fills a lot of the Oilers needs If it costs more than Eberle, than it is overpayment

    The Islanders may be forced to take what they can get. I can’t see the Jets parting with Trouba. So that puts the Oilers in the position to make a true hockey trade that fills needs on both teams.

    Hopefully Snow feels a strong pressure to improve his forward depth. Eberle with tavares as his center is going to keep scoring 30 goals a year. Don’t ever sell that short. Chia Pete has the assets to make this happen. The question I still have to ask us why it didn’t happen this season.

    Chia wanted to trade Eberle for the Seguin pick when he was in Boston. Maybe he’s “Seen him good” on Eberle.

    Injuries on the Islanders defense would have made Snow hesitant to trade a member of his top 4.

    • Word to the Bird

      The reason it didn’t happen in season is because the team was making a playoff push. Once Okposo walks in free agency then they might be more inclined to get a first line RW.

  • Shattenkirk or Hamonic, why not both of them? We have tons of guys who are fringe players, we have a top draft pick and will we really notice a loss of a top 6 forward with the added structure on the blue line?

  • Serious Gord

    Shattenkirk. Obviously. One of the greatest hockey names ever.

    Adam West was not the first batman. Lewis Wilson was in 1943 in a hilarious serial series. Mr. Mom was the worst batman. Bale maybe was the best, but also arguably the worst depending on whether you prefer the campy batman or the dark batman.

    I think I am right in saying that this is the first NHL playoffs ever to have no Canadian teams. It will have a very large impact on viewership – especially if the bluejays get off to a good start.

    This summer will be very interesting in oiler land – perhaps even rivalling last off season as there almost certainly be a major purge of the roster much as there was of management in 2015. I will be paying some attention, but the primaries,’conventions and election in the US are vastly more interesting – historically so.

    • Jay (not J)

      You’re putting the Batmans of Val Kilmer and that cheesy guy from Rosanne in front of Michael Keaton’s? That must be an interesting set of criteria you have there. Keaton’s probably my favourite, I thought that he balanced the cartoony crap with the overwrought dark drama crap better than anyone else who’s put on the ears. Bale gets a special mention but his goofy batvoice holds him back.

  • .

    You used “cup of coffee with the Oil” and “proper seasoning” in the same paragraph.

    Indeed, coffee is technically a spice full of essential oils and volatile substances but many folks actually season their coffee with just a hint of cinnamon and a pinch of salt to remove bitterness that may come from oils released by beans under extreme pressure.” — José Barista

    “Adam West. There is only one original.”

    There is only one original, but it’s not Adam West.

    Who knew that this was the kind of comment that got one banned from ON. Thin skin some pundits have. LOL.

    • MorningOwl

      nothing worse than a pinch of salt in the coffee. any ‘bitterness’ from good beans made right is part of the juice and should not be eliminated. my god, what next, sugar??? ugh.

  • freelancer

    Definitely think Hamonic is a more direct needed player. As for finding a PP specialist, I think the Oilers should pursue a guy like Michael Stone from the Coyotes. A bottom pairing guy who is a PP specialist.

  • Jay (not J)

    Both! Both! Both! (or 1 and another that’s comparable to the one they don’t get)

    I can hardly wait to get this boring BS hockey out of the way so I can get back to the numbers that I love.

    WTF!?!

  • MorningOwl

    do either of Hamonic or shatenkirk have a no trade or no move clause, because, well, you know.

    Also, NY has said they want a decent Dman in return to take hamonic’s position- that is what they ask for as they try to do a favor for Hamonic… you expect to get them to take a cast off under performing, attitude problem, quitting, soft forward for him?

    • MessyEH!

      I expect them to take a consistent offensive producer to fill the hole left by Okposo departing. Both RH wings.

      Okposo is expecting 7m a year and has been clear he’s hitting free agency. Eberle with a true #1 Center will be dynamite. He’s soft but no one, not even a flames fan with a family tree that looks like a flag pole, can deny Eberle is a skilled gap toothed man.

  • GK1980

    Shattenkirk vs. Hamonic.

    Both offer different skill sets that Edmonton need. Hamonic will push all current D down one spot which would help immensely but Shattenkirk will give the PP a much needed boost.

    Goals win games, but Edmonton might already have a Shattenkirk in the making. Both would be ideal.

  • fisherprice

    Seems to be some confusion about Shattenkirk and his skill set in Oilers-land. I understand, considering the Blues’ tendency to absolutely paste the Oilers, I usually turn those games off early too.

    While Shattenkirk is a PP specialist, he is not ONLY a PP specialist. He has great underlying numbers at 5 on 5, plays the PK, and has already proven he can log true first pairing minutes. I think Hamonic is a slightly better shut down defenceman, but only slightly. Shattenkirk, by the numbers, and by my personal eye test seems to be a clearly superior player to Hamonic.

    The thing though, like everyone has brought up, is contract. Assuming Shattenkirk will probably be making upwards of $7 million AAV on his next contract, you have to ask if he is worth something like $3 million against the cap over Hamonic, which seems like a pretty firm “no”.

    Honestly, I hope Chia goes after both, I hope he’s kicking tires on every good RHD in the league. This team just needs one so bad that I am actually totally okay with dropping a long term big money contract on Shattenkirk. Just, get something, anything, done with this sieve of a defence.

  • You get both Shattenkirk and Hamonic. BOTH! I don’t want to hear about “Shattenkirk and his One year..blah, blah and freaking blah.” You might, no, you will over pay. Who gives a crap at this point and time? You wanna compete with the Kings, Ducks, Blues and the BlackHawks? YOU. GET. BOTH. I will continue to yell at the top of my lungs about the need for a Shut Down, Minute Eating Defenceman, and a puck moving, PP, scoring Defenceman. Until that happens? It will be 11 years and counting until the playoffs. Some of you need to wake up…

    • Seanaconda

      If he’s only signed for one year I hope we wouldn’t give much for him. Sure if we made the playoffs next year it would be cool but then we lose our rental dman and we are back to square one minus whatever we gave. Sure Calgary fans think it’s way better to make the playoffs randomly once ever 10 years but I’d rather actually build towards a cup. At least let chia talk to kirk before you make the trade.

  • Could we see Ethan Bear on the roster on opening night? It sounds odd but put him in Andrew Ference’s spot for a week or two. You surround him with an NHL environment without rushing him. That way we can send him down to Seattle and he knows what he should work on

  • Walker8Geoff

    The greatest Batman question of all is why they made the George Clooney Batsuit with nipples. Was it to take away from the rest of the movie being so awful?

  • Anyway best (honest) comments on the Oilers by far from Bill Simmons et al. on his Podcast today.

    Objective description of McDavid and the Oilers as a whole. A must hear – google The Bill Simmons Podcast Episode 82…(min 22.00) he discusses McDavid.

  • Dr. Drai

    Get both. Harmonic has a cap hit of 3.857mil. More than likely we are parting with a 6 mil player. That’s a cap savings of $2.143 mil. Apply that to, let’s say 7 mil for Shattenkirk. That leaves a cap increase of 4.857 mil. If your cap increased by less than 5 mil and you improve your d by that much, you do it every day. Don’t forget that Nikitin and his 4.5 is coming off the books. That knocks it down to a 0.357 increase.