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Monday Mailbag – What does a Vincent Desharnais extension look like?

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
1 month ago
Happy Monday, Nation, and welcome to another brand new Mailbag to help get your week started and keep you updated on all things Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re discussing our favourite Robin Brownlee memories, Vincent Desharnais’ next contract, offside reviews, and more. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk , and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
1) James in Peterborough asks – Very tough Thursday with the news about Robin Brownlee and John Short – we will miss them both. What was something about either or both of them we may not have known as fans of them and their work?
Jason Gregor: I’m not sure I have something new that I haven’t talked about or written about either of them. Maybe I never mentioned how when I first started working with John, I noticed how when speaking to a guest he was always writing down numbers. I thought he was taking notes. One night he didn’t put his papers in the garbage, so I did, and when I looked at his sheets none of his doodling made any sense. It was just numbers with lines or circles around them. I chuckled. He just liked to stay busy I guess, or maybe they meant something to him. I never asked him.
Robin took, and kept, a lot of photos. He has thousands of photos in his home from his life. He was great at capturing moments of his career, which is something I’m not good at. I never remember to take photos, but he did and he had many. He’d send me photos of different times of his life, even before he was a journalist, and it was great to see how well he chronicled his life. What an amazing gift for his family now that he has passed.
Tyler Yaremchuk: John Short is one of the main reasons why the sports media community is as strong as it is in this city. Simple as that. Robin Brownlee was one of the best sports writers this city has ever seen and his personality was truly one of a kind. I’m very lucky to have gotten to call him a teammate. They’ll both be missed tremendously.
Zach Laing: Everyone’s talk of Brownlee’s gruff exterior and kind interior is spot on. I’ll miss his messages about typos in my articles and, even more, the ones giving me props for well-written pieces.
Liam Horrobin: I did not have a chance to really know either man, but I’ve certainly enjoyed hearing and reading the stories over the last few days.
Baggedmilk: I didn’t know John Short at all, but I can certainly tell you I know the legend of John Short. Without that man, we probably wouldn’t have had sports radio in this city and that’s incredibly important for so many of us that came afterward.
As for Brownlee, he was way funnier than I think people knew. We all know that he was a great story teller, but he also had an uncanny way of turning a phrase that never failed to make me laugh. As I wrote yesterday, he was also incredibly generous with his time and always seemed to know what to say at just the right moment. I’ll miss that.
Jan 13, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard (2) celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the overtime period at the Bell Centre.
2) Yves asks – The Oilers have had two extended win streaks in a row but still find themselves sitting in a Wildcard position. At what point does the NHL need to revisit the way points are issued for wins, losses, and OTLs? It seems wild to me that teams with more losses than Edmonton are still on par or ahead of them in the standings.
Jason Gregor: They are there because they were 5-12-1 to start the season. The first winning streak just put them back at .500. LA and EDM have the same number of regulation wins. LA is ahead because they are tied more often after regulation and they aren’t good in shootouts. If the NHL had a 3-2-1 point system, (three for regulation win, two for OT/SO win and one for OT/SO loss) LA would have 66 pts and EDM would have 67. They’d still be separated by one point, just EDM would be ahead. By the end of the season, the team with more points in this system would have more in the 3-2-1. The system is fine. I don’t want teams getting zero points for losing in a SO or OT, since 3×3 isn’t what is used in the playoffs.
Also, keep in mind the Oilers have four games in hand on Nashville and Vegas. Edmonton has the same number of regulation wins as Nashville and one more than Vegas, but the fewer GP has them below in the standings. They have a higher P% than Nashville are just below Vegas.
Tyler Yaremchuk:  It should have been done yesterday. Give me a 3-2-1-0 like the PWHL has please and thank you. Playoff races would be so much better. Imagine divisional games being potential six point swings!? UNREAL!
Zach Laing: You shouldn’t get a point for an overtime loss, and we could make that change anytime now. In the meantime, in-season NHL standings should be organized by points percentage. That’s an easy fix.
Liam Horrobin: The NHL can’t even get its best players to the all star game and are also calling a four team international tournament best on best. They also said that board advertisements are fine and have no errors. With all of that, I don’t think they will ever change it because the NHL is perfect in Garry’s eyes.
Baggedmilk: I think it’s time to discuss the 3-2-1 points system since so many games get decided in OT or the shootout. I have no problem with the loser point, but teams that win in regulation should be rewarded for it more than if you didn’t.
Nov 22, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jordan Martinook (48) and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais (73) chase after the puck during the third period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
3) Taylor asks – I was listening to Oilersnation Radio on Friday, and the guys mentioned Vinny Desharnais’ contract is up at the end of the season. What’s your prediction on what an extension might look like, and is he a fit with the team beyond the next year or two?
Jason Gregor: I could see him signing a two-year extension for about $1.5-$1.7m year. He might be able to get more on the open market though. His play has really improved under Coffey, and he’s still very raw. Considering how much Gudbranson got on the market, Desharnais could get more than $1.7m based on his size. There aren’t many right shot D in the league with his size and speed.
Tyler Yaremchuk: I’ll say two years at $1.95m per season. Maybe a little rich, but I actually think the market for him will be solid.
Zach Laing: Desharnais is a unique case, given his lengthy journey to the NHL and emergence at 27 years old. For as solid as he is — and he’s a very solid 6/7 — these players aren’t paid a whole lot. There are 23 defencemen who have played more than 10 games, averaging 30 seconds of Desharnais’ 14:32 average ice time. Their average salary is $1.44-million. That seems like a fair number for him.
Liam Horrobin: I believe it comes in between $1 to $1.5 million, and yes he is a fit. He’s played really well in that role on the third pairing with Brett Kulak. Don’t think his ceiling is high but if he’s your bottom pairing defenceman for years to come then you don’t have a problem.
Baggedmilk: I think Vinny is absolutely a part of the Oilers’ future provided that he doesn’t get dollar signs in his eyes after what has been a pretty solid season.
Nov 6, 2023; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Referee Kelly Sutherland calling a penalty on Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) in a game against the Vancouver Canucks in the third period at Rogers Arena.
4) Blake asks – How can the NHL fix offside reviews?
Jason Gregor: Only watch them in slow motion, not super, duper slow motion frame by frame, and they can only review for 90 seconds. If it isn’t obvious, then leave it. The point of the rule was to eliminate the glaring ones, not ones that need frame-by-frame, five-minute reviews.
Tyler Yaremchuk:  The review booth gets three looks at the two best camera angles, in real time. If there isn’t a conclusive call after those quick viewings, then the call on the ice stands. Stop the egregious missed calls and stop taking goals off the board because of a fraction of an inch.
Zach Laing: By getting rid of them.
Liam Horrobin: You can change the offside rule to make it easier. The puck must enter the zone before your feet.
Baggedmilk: 1) Having a time limit on the review. 2) You can watch the replay at full speed only.
October 20, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) shakes hands with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) before the game at Chase Center.
5) Oil Is My Blood asks – Do you think the NHL should create an in-season tournament similar to the NBA?
Each division has a tourney, points are given for each of the first games against the other teams in their division, and the winner of each division tourney goes to the league tourney, perhaps lengthening the Christmas break. Pros and cons?
Jason Gregor: I don’t see why. I love the NBA, but it didn’t make me more excited to watch. I don’t think it proved much or changed anything to be honest.
Tyler Yaremchuk: I like the idea of each year, the season starts with every team playing their first seven games against their division rivals. After those seven games, which still count in the standings, then the top teams advance to a quick final four tournament in a neutral site. The winner of it all gets a five point bonus in the standings.
Zach Laing: I don’t. I tried to follow that NBA tournament, and it made no sense. Plus, after the LA Lakers won it and raised a banner, they got rightly ridiculed.
Liam Horrobin: I wouldn’t be against the idea. The pros would be that it makes games against Eastern Conference opponents more interesting and I don’t see the cons because it doesn’t change much on the schedule, from my understanding.
Baggedmilk: I don’t even understand how the NBA tourney worked so I’m going to have to say no. The NHL would find a way to mess it up somehow, and I’d rather not waste time on the distraction.

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