Saturday, April 12, 2014

Seasons end

Tonight the season ends for the Edmonton Oilers and a whole new season begins. For the Oilers it will be a off-season and for the lucky 16 teams who have worked hard and smart enough it is called the NHL Playoffs.

With yet another season outside of the playoffs looking in (from afar), this team has a lot of rebuilding to still do. Each year we hear the same kook-aid. One more year, it didn't go as expected! Who is to blame for that? The players? Well if its the players isn't it the managements job to get new players? I hear many say it isn't so easy! No? Then why have management at all? Why do other GM's and organizations make the transactions needed? It is really time to look further then just coaches.

Tonight the Oilers take on the Canucks and this is the 1st time since the Gagner draft that I actually do not want the Oilers to win a game. Especially 1 game that means absolutely nothing positive. Ending with a 1 game win streak or losing the last game will not make or break this teams confidence. This team needs the best chance it can get at either a Top 2 d-man or a top 2 centerman. Granted the Oilers could falter to 3rd if someone other then them or Buffalo win the lottery but then they get Leon Draisaitl as a consolation at worst.

I don't want to make any predictions as to next year's line-up but don't expect too much on the backend. Petry, Ference, Schultz are 100% here unless one gets traded and the most likely would be Petry. Klefbom and Marincin stand a very high chance to have a very good chance as well again next year to start in Edmonton. I give them about a 80% chance. That's 5 defencemen. I know there is big talk about MacT swinging for the fence for a top 2 d-man but good luck unless he is trading Petry and a top end forward.

Next week after the lottery, we will know at least where we are picking and then we can better dissect this team we all love so much in Oil Country!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson to trade positions?

Ok, before i am crucified for starting a ridiculous rumour and everybody starts freaking out, let me explain. Is it even possible that the Oilers organization could actually flip these two coaches? I have searched the Internet and tried to find if this rumour has been swirling anywhere. I did not come up with this idea on my own. In fact, last night after speaking with someone who is a little more in the know, I started to examine the thought of this as a potential possibility. This is someone that has been involved in hockey for sometime (including the coaching fraternity). There is a lot of reasons why this makes no sense at all and lots of reasons why this could be a really good idea. I am not stating this as a legitimate rumour but wanting to at least examine this closer.

Let's examine the pros and cons and the information that has occurred over the last couple years before just tossing this possibility aside.

Jonathan Willis has a interesting read on OKC Barons bench Boss Todd Nelson

While I agree with Jonathan that adding Nelson to the current staff could be a good thing, Todd Nelson himself in a article written by Ryan Dittrick would prefer Head Coaching in the AHL to being a assistant in the NHL as he has already been a assistant coach with the Atlanta Thrashers.

To further add to Ryan's interview with Todd Nelson. Robert TychKowski also quoted Todd nelson but only after he was not selected for the Oilers Head Job. In this interview he speaks about opportunity and it does not sound like a coach who wants to take a couple years as a assistant coach in the NHL for only a maybe position.

Where does that leave us since MacT has gone on record as saying Dallas Eakins is not going away? Terry Jones reports on this.

Mike Baldwin, a reporter in OKC when interviewing Todd Nelson himself, quoted much of the same as our local guys except does mention the possibility in a couple years as working as a assistant coach.

Enough on the articles written. What are some common threads we are hearing or seeing on this team and around the city of Edmonton and in behind closed doors that leaks still seem to come out from?

What do we know? Dallas Eakins has seen this team's Powerplay drop significantly with a even better team this season then the previous. The team has dropped significantly in the standings looking to have taken a step backwards once again. We also know Barons head coach Nelson has continually had to deal with his best players being called up to Edmonton and at crucial times in the season. With the Oilers it seems just when their is a push for the AHL playoffs each year, they end up with a string of injuries or Nelson contends with those injuries on his AHL team. Bottom line? Nelson has an established track record with 50% of the Oilers NHL team and is known to be well respected and liked among them all.

You always hear rumours that can not really be substantiated. The young players party too much! The players have tuned out Dallas Eakins and do not respect him to get the best out of their game. The argument you hear to that is the NHL player is a professional and needs to be self motivated and shouldn't need a coach to pull the best out of him.

My take? I am sure Dallas is a wonderful person and even a really good coach. I just don't think that he is the right coach. From the moment he walked into this job, we heard how he was going to change this team. Their fitness level was too be intensified and their compete level was to be through the roof. In fact he really did IMO come off as arrogant and rude and his comments insinuated to me he was saying the last couple coach's did not demand that or couldn't teach that. Also he didn't really seem to know the players well enough of who has brought what to this organization with their gifts and talents. Even his systems play were truly flawed that he insisted would work and gave the reasons why.

Has Dallas learned on the fly? Absolutely and while I do think it's time we just quit firing coaches, I really did disagree we should have fired Ralph at all. Renney before him was a firing that happened to save Tambo's job for the following season. Tamby made Renney his scapegoat!

My take now? It's a tough decision to make and a tough pill for MacT to swallow if he were to replace his head coach but IMO if we are to bring in a young up and coming coach from the AHL, it should be from within the organization not from another one. At least we know what we have from within and it does look good.

Could Nelson accept a Assistant job? It's possible, anything is possible. If Todd does come in as assistant, you know at least a couple assistants are on their way out. What is most likely? I think Chabot and Bucky are on their way out.

However, what if Todd nelson were to take the Head Coaching job of the Edmonton Oilers should it be offered by MacT? What would happen with Dallas Eakins and the remaining part of his contract? The scoop I was told is Dallas gets sent to OKC to take on the Barons. I can hear some people right now saying 'no way!' Dallas didn't come to Edmonton to return back to the AHL. Maybe not but he also didn't perform and to me doesn't sound like a guy who is very accountable for his many mistakes as a rookie head coach. What happens to a player who under performs? He loses his job outright or gets demoted. They are paying Dallas so sending him to hone his skills within their AHL team isn't the end of the world. Eakins benches players when they under perform maybe it's time to do the same?

Not for a minute do I claim to know what WILL happen but this rumour could have some validity to it but only time will tell. In the meantime and in between time, that's it…for another edition of 'Oilers Jambalaya"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Greg Chase transferred to 'OKC Barons'

Preparing for my first blog in almost a month, I ran into some interesting news that I didn't notice on the main blogger sites. If late news then I am just late to the party…lol

Greg Chase according to has been signed to Oklahoma City on a ATO (I am assuming). They call it a transfer but as mentioned by other bloggers around the Oilers he is in the same shoes as Eberle in the past. He is eligible right now to play but not next year in the AHL. Likely he plays out this season and next year is with the Hitman again for one last year as a over ager in the WHL.

RSS RSS feed

04/01/2014 Josh Winquist (F)Everett SilvertipsOklahoma City BaronsATO   0
04/01/2014 Mitch Holmberg (F)Spokane ChiefsOklahoma City BaronsATO   0
04/01/2014 Greg Chase (F)Calgary HitmenOklahoma City BaronsATO   0
04/01/2014 Jiri Hanzlik (D)HC PlzenRetired 0
04/01/2014 Garrett Thompson (F)Ferris State Univ.Ottawa SenatorsEntry Level   0
04/01/2014 Johan Pettersson (D)Kiruna IFKalix UHC

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

REVS Top 15 2014 NHL Prospects #12.Jared McCann

 REVS 2014 NHL Draft Prospects (August 10/13)
1.Sam Reinhart
2.Aaron Ekblad
3.William Nylander
4.Roland McKeown
5.Jake Virtanen
6.Blake Clarke
7.Nick Ritchie
8.Leon Draisatl
9.Michael Dal Colle
10.Jakub Vrana
11.Ivan Barbashev
12.Jared McCann
13.Anton Karlsson
14.Joshua Ho-Sang
15.Sam Bennett 

Honourable mentions:
Oskar Lindblom
Haydn Fleury
Nick Schmaltz

RECAP update of players we have looked at
(stats official as of March 4/14)
Sam Reinhart
6'1, 183 lbs
Kootney Ice- Games 53 Goals 34 Assists 60 Points 94
Canada U20- Games 7 Goals 2 Assists 3 Points 5

Aaron Ekblad
6'4, 216 lbs
Barrie Colts- Games 52 Goals 21 Assists 26 Points 47
Canada U18- Games 5 Goals 2 Assists 2 Points 4
Canada U20- Games 7 Goals 1 Assists 1 Points 2

William Nylander
5'10, 170 lbs
MODO J20- Games 1 Goals 0 Assists 0 Points 0
MODO- Games 19 Goals 1 Assists 4 Points 5
 Rögle- Games 18 Goals 4 Assists 4 Points 8
Södertälje Games 17 Goals 11 Assists 8 Points 19
Sweden U18- Games 7 Goals 6 Assists 3 Points 9

Roland McKeown
6'1, 195 lbs
Kingston Frontenacs- Games 58 Goals 9 Assists 31 Points 40
Canada U18- Games 5 Goals 0 Assists 1 Points 1

Jake Virtanen
6'1, 210 lbs
Calgary Hitmen- Games 64 Goals 40 Assists 24 Points 64
Canada U18- Games 5 Goals 0 Assists 1 Points 1

Blake Clarke
6'1, 190 lbs
CHL- Games 48 Goals 2 Assists 10 Points 12

Nick Ritchie
6'3, 236 lbs
CHL-Peterborough Petes - Games 55 Goals 35 Assists 32 Points 67

Leon Drasaitl
6'1, 209 lbs
Prince Albert Raiders - Games 57 Goals 30 Assists 58 Points 88

Michael Dal Colle
6'2, 180 lbs
Oshawa Generals - Games 63 Goals 36 Assists 53 Points 89

Jakob Vrana
6'0, 187 lbs
Linkoping HC (SHL) - Games 19 Goals 2 Assists 1 Points 3
Linkoping HC J20 (Superelite) - Games 19 Goals 12 Assists 9 Points 21

Ivan Barbashev
6'03 185 lbs
Moncton Wildcats (CHL) - Games 48 Goals 25 Assists 43 Points 68

The player I listed in August at #12.
Jared McCann
6'0 174 lbs
Saulkt Ste.Marie Greyhounds (CHL) - Games 60 Goals 26 Assists 31 Points 57

McCann is a consistently effective player. He has a number of offensive skills and possesses quick acceleration speed when cutting through the middle of the ice. With excellent vision and high level of hockey sense McCann reads the game at a level higher than most of his peers and it shows in his creativity and execution. He  possesses an rocket of a wrister with a lightning quick release 

McCann is not afraid of corners or battles in front of the net against bigger opponents. He is also very reliable in the defensive zone. Strong in the face-off circle and hopefully if he can put on some more solid muscle, will be a strong bet to play in the NHL one day. Due to his ranking, it is unlikely Jared is even around when the Oilers select with their second pick but definitely there is not enough to be seen to select him in a top 5. A good player that will likely have a couple years to develop even more in jr hockey with some NHL club.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Yakupov VS his 'Draft Class and Rookie competition'

What do the following players have in common?

Nail Yakupov 55 games = 23 pts / Avg PPG =.42
Ryan Murray 58 games = 19 pts / Avg PPG =.33
Alex Galchenyuk 44 games = 23 pts / Avg PPG =.52
Morgan Rielly 51 games = 19 pts / Avg PPG =.37
Hampus Lindholm 57 games = 21 pts / Avg PPG =.37
Jacob Trouba 43 games = 22 pts / Avg PPG =.51
Filip Forsberg 12 games = 5 pts / Avg PPG =.42
Mikhail Grigorenko 18 games = 3 pts / Avg PPG =.17
Zemgus Girgensons 56 games = 17 pts / Avg PPG =.30
Cody Ceci 27 games = 6 pts / Avg PPG = .22
Tomas Hertl 35 games = 25 pts / Avg PPG =.71
Olli Maatta 57 games = 23 pts / Avg PPG =.40

Each one of these players were drafted in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Also each one of these players has played NHL games. Which then brings us to another question. Which of those players are in their sophomore season having played their first year in 2012/13 ? The reason is, we often see a player enter their first year on fire and drop in their sophomore one.

Nail Yakupov 48 games = 31 pts / Avg PPG =.65
Alex Galchenyuk 48 games = 27 pts /Avg PPG =.56
Filip Forsberg 5 games = 1 pt / Avg PPG =.20
Ryan Murray 58 games = 19 pts / Avg PPG =.33

When combing these same players combined NHL games to date your totals look like this on a PPG basis…

Nail Yakupov 103 games = 31 pts / Avg PPG =.52
Alex Galchenyuk 92 games = 50 pts /Avg PPG =.54
Filip Forsberg 17 games = 6 pt / Avg PPG =.35
Ryan Murray 58 games = 19 pts / Avg PPG =.33

While Yakupov certainly rose to the top in his rookie season, his sophmore season has been a disappointment. Alot different on his PPG pace then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who also struggled in his sophmore season.

Ryan.Nugent-Hopkins 102 games = 76 pts / Avg PPG = .75

 I can list so many great players that struggled their second year but we don't have time to go into the excessive numbers that fall into that category.

Nail Yakupov last year was a rookie but other then he and Galchenyuk, he was required to compete for rookie of the year against older drafted players coming into the NHL at a older age. Lets look how they fared as a rookie against Yakupov but a year older or more...

Jonathan Huberdeau 48 games = 31 pts / Avg PPG = .65
Jonas Brodin 45 games = 11 pts / Avg PPG = .24
Sven Baertschi 20 games = 10 pts / Avg PPG = .50
Vladimir Tarasenko 38 games = 19 pts / Avg PPG = .50
Charlie Coyle 37 games = 14 pts / Avg PPG = .38

Having said that, since he competed against older players in his rookie year, let's look at their sophomore year totals for a total combined total and included is Nail's draft year comrades. This would mean no matter the age, all those players who have entered the NHL along with Nail, we are comparing their PPG. 

Nail Yakupov 103 games = 31 pts / Avg PPG =.52
Alex Galchenyuk 92 games = 50 pts /Avg PPG =.54
Filip Forsberg 17 games = 6 pt / Avg PPG =.35
Jonathan Huberdeau 104 games = 53 pts / Avg PPG = .51
Jonas Brodin 101 games = 27 pts / Avg PPG = .27
Sven Baertschi 46 games = 21 pts / Avg PPG = .46
Vladimir Tarasenko 92 games = 53 pts / Avg PPG = .58
Charlie Coyle 84 games = 32 pts / Avg PPG = .38
Ryan Murray 58 games = 19 pts / Avg PPG =.33
Tomas Hertl 35 games = 25 pts / Avg PPG =.71

With the exception of a small sample of Tomas Hertl, taking a look at these totals, I think we all can agree that while Nail started this season with some difficulties he is not that far off from other players struggles as well when we look at the bigger picture here. I think it is also fair to say that his offence has sacrificed some at the expense of learning a better defensive game. All in all I believe that Nail's trade value is not down but in fact just about to start turning in a upward arrow. is in no way, shape or form associated with the Edmonton Oilers, Oklahoma City Barons and the Bakersfield Condors. This is a fans blog for fans. We happen to love those teams, so we write about them.