16
Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – Trade Deadline Rentals

It’s Mailbag time again and we’ve got another dose of wisdom for you right here on the ol’ Internet machine. This week, we’re looking at deadline rentals, Devin Shore, the NHL playoffs, and more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.

1) Ed asks – What are your opinions on the wisdom of playoff rentals? It seems to me that playoff rentals rarely work out and put the buyers into prospect and/or draft pick deficits. The Leaves gave up three picks this year and went out in the 1st round as usual. Oilers gave up their fourth for Kulikov.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Robin Brownlee:

Easier for teams truly in contention to pick off one or two players that can push them over the top. When it works, the GM looks brilliant. When it doesn’t, people question it. Also, what do you need and what are you giving up to get it? You don’t always have to give up draft picks for a rental. A common problem when there is one is getting the player acquired accustomed to new linemates and a new city in time to make a difference.

Jason Gregor:

The Islanders will say it was worth it to acquire Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. Tampa got David Savard while Montreal added Eric Staal and Erik Gustafsson for a 3rd, 5th and 7th. Vegas added Janmark.  Toronto and Pittsburgh and others proved deadline deals won’t guarantee success, but the final four teams have shown a deal can help. It all depends on where a team is at and how close they think they are. Toronto lost in seven, but if Tavares and Muzzin were healthy it might have been different. I think when a team feels they are close it is worth it.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Tyler Yaremchuk:

It’s kind of like doubling down at the blackjack table in a way. You think you’re in a great spot, so you spend a little bit more to try to max out what you can win. If it works out, then you’re a genius but if it doesn’t, the loss stings even more and can really hurt you. Really though, there’s only one team who can win the ultimate prize, but every season and handful go all-in at the deadline. It’s a big risk but if you want to win a Stanley Cup, you have to take it.

Baggedmilk:

It’s funny, right? Sometimes going for it with a big swing works out and your team advances beyond where they maybe should have, and then other times you dip out in the first round again. Personally, I think it’s good to try and give your group a boost at the deadline but there is a limit on what should get moved out to make that happen. If I’m trading a first, as an example, I’d like to be for a guy that could be around my team for longer than a month or two.

Mar 18, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Devin Shore (14) and Winnipeg Jets forward Nate Thompson (11) battle in the face-off circle during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

2) Crystal asks – The Devin Shore signing really seemed to show the divide that exists between an analytics-based approach and the eyeball test. Where does everybody stand on the debate?

Robin Brownlee:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Devin Shore is only one move that will be made to address the bottom-six group of forwards. It’ll take a lot more than that. The reaction by some of the analytics crowd was way over the top. The numbers are the numbers, no room for debate. Shore is a good bet, but not a sure thing, at a reasonable price. Let’s see what’s next.

Jason Gregor:

I think many overreacted to a depth player getting a depth player contract. The best analysis combines both. I find there are those two far on either spectrum, and sometimes they are the most vocal. They don’t represent everyone on either side. Like I wrote here it didn’t move me either way. On it’s own, the deal at worst means Shore plays in minors next year and doesn’t count against the cap. At best he is a 4th liner who can kill penalties and chip in 7-10 goals. (A Look at the Devin Shore Signing).

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think everyone is just too stubborn. Numbers are great and a huge help, but if you never watch the games then you’ll never know the full story. My take on this debate is that everyone is a little bit right and everyone is a little bit wrong.

Baggedmilk:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The reaction to that signing was so funny — I loved it. Personally, I think having an analytics team gives your GM another method of evaluating players but is by no means the bible for how to make things work. That said, if you don’t have an analytics team at all then are you really giving your team all of the available resources to make decisions? I’d argue not.

Jan 30, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Brandon Saad (20) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

3) Rene asks – Since very good teams like Colorado and Boston were just knocked out in the second round of the playoffs, do you think that changes the approach Ken Holland should take to roster construction? Should that matter?

Robin Brownlee:

No. Holland’s core group is different than the core group in Colorado or Boston. That’s the group you build around. Depth matters — a lot of the best top-end players in the league, like McDavid and Draisaitl, weren’t enough to help their teams advance. Different teams, different needs. Edmonton has the best two players but not the depth of many contending teams.

Jason Gregor:

I don’t see how Boston or Colorado impacts the Oilers. Edmonton has to re-vamp their roster regardless. All Colorado reinforced was that you can’t win with too much inexperience on the blueline. It helps to have skilled size and experience.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

No, it shouldn’t. Ken Holland has to focus on doing what he believes will turn the Oilers into a legit Stanley Cup Contender. He can’t worry too much about which teams got knocked out at what point in the postseason. I understand the idea of learning from other teams and seeing what works in the playoffs but just because a team like Montreal is going deep thanks to some great play from Carey Price, that doesn’t mean you should try to build your team the exact same way that the Habs are built.

Baggedmilk:

I hope not, but we do know that the NHL is a copycat league. Now, if only we can find a way to go $17 million over the cap like the Lightning did right before the playoffs started. *wink*

Mar 14, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) watches the puck as he is defended by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (65) during the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports – 12347833

4) Gregg asks – Who does everyone have going through to the Stanley Cup Finals?

Robin Brownlee:

I have Vegas and Tampa Bay as SC finalists.

Jason Gregor:

I have Tampa and Vegas. But I don’t feel overly comfortable about either. I think NYI and MTL will give them a run.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I’ll go with the easy choice: Vegas and Tampa Bay. They’re so good and I want to see two loaded teams go head-to-head in the Stanley Cup Final!

Baggedmilk:

Tampa and Vegas, but I’d like it to be Vegas and New York for the fanbases. Those crowds have been a lot of fun.

5) Jeff asks – BBQ season is here and I’ve been cooking outside almost nightly, so I want to know what you’re all putting on the grill if you were ever to host an Oilersnation BBQ?

Robin Brownlee:

Crow for some. NY strip for others.

Jason Gregor:

I love BBQ chicken. I lather it will some avocado oil, then have a mix of spices topped off with Frank’s Redhot sauce. I also BBQ zucchini on the top shelf and roast mini potatoes in an old school cake pan. Mix up a Caesar salad (no croutons) and then homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Steak! I love steak. Ribs are a close second for me. I’m not a good cook though, so I’ll let one of the resident dads (Gregor, Brownlee, WANYE?!) handle the cooking.

Baggedmilk:

Homemade burgers and fancy dogs! I’ve been messing around with different homemade burger recipes a lot over the past year and I think I’m finally starting to get them where I’d like my burgs to be.

OODLE NOODLE IS OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY

During this time of pandemic, Oodle Noodle will be donating a portion of all takeout and curbside delivery sales will be donated to local charities on a weekly basis. To order pick up, call into the store directly or order at the till. If you’re staying in and practicing your social distancing, no-contact delivery is available at www.oodlenoodle.ca.