In the face of an intensifying COVID-19 circumstance across most of The United States and Canada, the National Hockey League is doing it’s damnedest to resume play.
With all the complications intrinsic in trying to pull that off comes even more enjoyable topics such as what shape the Oilers lineup may take.
And for the first team in more than a minimum of a years and a half, there are more excellent choices than there are spots. Good problem to have. ?
That and more in this week’s edition of …
9. The NHL completed it’s 2019-20 season against the odds. However with the pandemic in North America even worse now, while a return is enticing for hockey fans … the prospective mistakes that feature the resumption of play are higher still. With no bubble there is even less certainty. However for this week lets take a look at this glass half-full, which they might actually be able to pull it off …
8. Tyson Barrie has actually gotten here in Edmonton and I am informed has been participating in casual workouts with a few of his new Oilers teammates. Barrie’s enthusiasm is a great indication. Tyson Barrie with a little a chip on his shoulder and something to prove can just benefit the Oilers. I, for one, can’t wait to see his right-hand shot on the power play with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
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7. Philip Broberg has actually naturally made Sweden’s World Junior club. The silky-skating Swede is 2-6-8 in 23 games, equaling his output for Skelleftea in 45 video games played season. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to betting young boys versus guys. Broberg’s level of success may choose whether his next stop is Oilers training school or Sweden for the remainder of the expert season there.
6. Dylan Holloway has made the Team Canada World Junior team. A natural center, Holloway will instead line up on Left Wing for Canada in Edmonton together with Connor McMichael, Cole Perfetti and Jack Quinn Holloway make a great deal of sense as the 3LW on this squad. Not just do the Canadians have excellent Center depth. Holloway’s defensive expertise on the 3rd line will enable him to be offered for harder match-ups. Maybe this foreshadows his pro profession as an Edmonton Oiler?
5. It looks very much as if the AHL Condors will remain in Bakersfield for 2021, if the season undoubtedly resumes on February 5th as prepared now. If that is the case it will be more difficult for Edmonton to make cross-border re-calls. The 49 th Parallel will probably stay closed for a number of more months at minimum. Having expanded rosters and a taxi squad would lessen both the danger of being left short-handed in the occasion of injury or a flurry of positive COVID tests. It would likewise avoid the cost of briefly moving the whole franchise North to Edmonton or perhaps Red Deer when cash is so much tighter for everyone.
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4. Winger Joakim Nygard has 6 objectives in his last 6 games for Farjestad BK. That after a 2-goal efficiency on Saturday. That’s a terrific indication heading into training school. If Nygard’s hot hand continues into January, however, then who on the left wing does Nygard possibly displace? Not Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. James Neal? Tyler Ennis? Dominik Kahun? Even Josh Archibald, who looked like he might swap wings what with Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian, Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson available on the best side. That will not take place now and Archibald will play. Hmmm. I believe the something it does do is make a pre-season trade that far more most likely. In a compressed schedule depth has probably never been more vital.
3. Tuning to Sports/Talk radio in Edmonton fell during Fall2020 Not a substantial surprise. Fall has actually generally been the off-season for the NHL. On top of all that, the news and sports cycle was dominated by the pandemic. While all shows experienced some disintegration, under similar situations Oilers Now expanded its lead on the rest of the pack. Bob Stauffer’s mix of ripped-from-the-headlines content and heavyweight hockey visitors averaged 31,351 listeners each day to his Noon-2 M-F program on 630 CHED (Numeris, R420, FC2 ). That is 60%more cumulative audience than the 2nd Location finisher. And runner-up Jason Gregor at TSN has double the on-air hours than Stauffer with which to build an audience. It was a tough “book” for 1260, over-all. However I’m a big follower in all radio and hope that better days are ahead.
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2. I am a fan of Ethan Bear I cheer for him to be successful. He had a terrific 2019-2020 and he stepped up when the club frantically required someone to. However I just do not get the few individuals who are off Ken Holland’s team for playing difficult ball with the Restricted Free Agent over Bear’s agreement. I anticipate that Bear will wind up with either a 1 or a 3-year deal. Far more most likely the former. Yes, he was an outright deal at $720 k in 2019-20 With no arbitration rights, there is merely no excellent service factor to pay Ethan Bear any more than $800-900 k in 2020-21 You don’t handcuff a currently budget-strapped operation when you do not absolutely need to. More cap area is coning in 2021-22 And besides … there’s an added risk to potentially over-paying Bear now due to the fact that of the coming fight on the Oilers blueline. Here’s how I see it shaping up …
1. I fully expect Evan Bouchard to be on this squad come January. I see the Oilers carrying 4RD to begin. Normally, I think Holland would begin Bouchard off in the AHL like he did Caleb Jones last year. Or Kailer Yamamoto This isn’t “normal time”. And keep in mind: The Oilers have actually just officially ended Evan Bouchard’s loan to Sodertalji of the Allsvenskan in Sweden. I quite doubt they that simply to send him to Bakersfield right away. The Condors will not play until a month after the NHL starts, if then. Bouchard has actually been getting regular game-situation minutes against professionals in Europe. Ethan Bear has been training, yes … however playing? No. Now, I’m uncertain Bouchard sticks as soon as the AHL resumes due to the fact that he still needs to get lots of reps. And Ethan Bear will start in the Leading 4. Rather of potentially fretting about his agreement Ethan had much better be prepared to go right out of the gate.
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In this cap scenario, with the COVID economy on top of all of it, a G.M. can’t manage to simply be a good man and neglect the potential consequences. There is a very current example of how “nice guy” believing got this same franchise into problem. Cast your mind back to the mid-boggling decision by Peter Chiarelli in June of 2018 to buy out Eric Gryba Had the then-G.M. just buried Gryba in the AHL, the D-man’s entire $900 k wage could have come off the huge club’s NHL books. Rather, while the buy-out attained a short-term cost savings of $600 k for the club in 2018, it really added $300 k to the Oilers salary cap circumstance in 2019-20 All accumulated, it was in fact $600 k more cap than Chiarelli required to spend. Remember how tight the cap was when Ken Holland shown up? Yeah. That.
I want to be clear: I indicate no disrespect whatsoever to Eric Gryba. He played hard for the Oilers in a mainly depth function. But Chiarelli doing Gryba a “strong” cost the club valuable cap space when the Oilers could ill manage it. It was not good company. It harmed the group. Now, you may argue that Eric Gryba was already on his way down, and Ethan Bear on his way up. Sure, fair enough. But as someone who has actually supervised budgets in the millions of dollars … I constantly understood that while you can’t always control what’s coming in, you CAN control what’s heading out.
Nope. Be delighted you have a General Manager who is fair and pays by the guidelines but who also understands when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.
Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins