The Cult of Hockey's "Should Edmonton Oilers keep, hold or fold with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?" podcastJun 08, 2021
let's do this the
cultby the faithful for the david stapleton the
edmontondaily and i'm here today with bruce mccurdy hey bruce hey david how are you doing today well it's a beautiful day out there we're in but hopefully we'll both be outside more sooner rather than later and uh the leafs games are coming up the leafs has game seven tonight bruce he would probably be watching some of that I see that um the leafs have now figured out a way to attract 550 health care workers from front line. there fully vaccinated totally baffling to me why couldn't they let you know it matches Montreal like you have these people fully vaccinated they are front line healthcare workers I mean get a little creative there but anyway they will discover it in their province.
I won't sell $2,000 tickets like they're in Montreal and for Saturday night, but I also bet they won't have halves fans there like they have leaf fans at the center bell on Saturday night. it will be me there will be a lot of local support so the habs just thought i somehow read somewhere they had front line workers but it must have been anyone if they know they had 2500 real tickets to sell alright well sorry ok for my giveaway um uh and we'll see what happens tonight i hope my troll wins even though i don't have that strong feeling about it i'm one of the few people left who actually remembers the last time toronto and montreal went to the game seven was in the 1964 stanley cup semifinals and the halves finished first overall third on the sheet and in the structure of the day first place third second played fourth in the first round never made sense to me and then or now and toronto uh montreal wants games one three and five toronto won games two four and six then turned the tables in game seven with a hat-trick from dave keon and a 38-save performance from johnny bau er in the toronto cage and that the leaves beat the upset halves three to one en route to their third straight stanley cup toronto maple leafs i'm speaking here and i'm also saying i'm old there's no other way to put it i was a six team nhl then and i'm thinking like any team that won their division in the nhl has now won the equivalent of winning the stanley cup in the old days essentially this year absolutely yes they've beaten six other teams so it's a lot easier back then winning the stanley cup which is never mentioned as you know rarely mentioned i
shouldsay but it's quite an achievement now to come out of the first round of the plus which the owners did on 27 2017 you know they won the equivalent of a stanley cup in the old days they beat whatever that wasn't a lot of teams to advance out of the first round of the playoffs so anyway um yeah i don't know there's a lot of fans who want ren rub it in toronto if they lose mostly for all the total bs that comes out of tor about when the greasers come out and they know the kind of goof that oh mcdavid did in
edmontonand blah blah blah all that bullshit so to join to a successful playoff program means he's coming to Toronto yeah I haven't won a fucking playoff series since before the lockout and salary cap before the salary cap era and some of the logic just escapes me but i try not to take the bait too often it's toronto's biggest hog wash goes crazy city is it's still something one of those hog town fools oh there you go and anyway we hear it all the time, so people like to bring it back. leafs fans so i try to
keepthat in mind and i think it's ok in media class there are some dumb brains and it's just that i like to
keeptrack it's fun it's good to keep track uh i think all the nonsense we've heard over the years you know of that little media clique and you know there are some fans who think the same way but most of those leaf fans are just like us they are fans of their team they love to their team and they're right they're good
hockeyfans so I don't not
holdit against the city of toronto or against the leafs fans due to the fact that there are some watches uh clucking well out of respect for the media guys everywhere but there are uh uh clucks here and there and everywhere and in any market you will find one or two i think and i mean toronto has been endowed with kelly catholic and steve simmons and a couple of other beauties but uh it uh they also have some real beauties like james myrtle ya know and and so and most of them came in my brother yeah yeah yeah my brother is a lifetime lease fan and i was until i moved to edmonton and we got our own team and i had to choose and it was an easy choice i have to say but most blade fans are hockey fans you know and there are some who like to lead with the keyboards they get under the people skins but I don't think they represent the majority so the bakersfield condors deserve some kudos they won the divisional playoffs they beat Henderson whatever they are called saber nights silver nights and um it's good , it's a strong program there.
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I mean I think this team is more than the really strong team I think it was 2018-19 this team is more built it was much more built with strong veteran players this team had a very strong backbone of adam veteran players crachdell six games ten points seth griffith six games seven points uh other veteran leaders were brad malone theodore landstrom who is you know 26 27 whatever now played apparently with a broken hand missed a few of the games at the end kevin gravel played a lot of ice time um that was the heart of this team along with a couple um players that are still in prospect class right at the end of their prospect class days tyler benson who scored a great goal wins game winning goal i n in the third period got a good sign from cooper maroti who took an extended pass from royal prospect michael kessel ring to score the game-winner uh kessel ring also h i had scored the first goal or helped score the first goal for baker bakersfield because he walked the line and i got a puck in the net that tipped into um other prospects on that team phil kemp played in the final game uh rafaela played all over the yes phil kemp scored a goal as an outside shot um rafael lavoie everyone counts raphael uh he was in the series he's like 20 he's 20 he's probably on that team the youngest player on the team and probably the best prospect that played in that game for the orders besides maybe stu skinner uh who had a really strong year bruce stu skinner this year that's the guy who had about the fifth best uh i think it was about the fifth best save percentage in the whole ahl and uh , he has one more year in which he can play in Bakersfield, I think Deuters wants to take advantage o If that and make him play there all year, although ilya konovalev comes and they have olivier rodriguez, they are going to have the problem of all three goalies but, yeah congratulations jay woodcroft has done a great job in the ahl it really is.
It served the owner organization well there is a constant stream of players coming out of that team so there are a number of people who They deserve credit, you know, Keith Gretzky, Peter Shirelli, Ken Hall, and they've all had a part in building that franchise. top of the list maybe but player acquisition has been so much better too yeah stewart skinner had the top six goals vs average in the league among rated goaltenders and the sixth best save percentage in the league 914 and really he knows there's the guys ahead of him like several two of them played 11 games so I mean I mean they set the rating bar pretty low Bakersfield actually played more games Pacific division played more games that most and they got these little playoffs in the quick playoffs, but, you know, Bakersfield, they won games two and three of their opening round series against san diego in overtime, where one mistake and they're shut out and all stretched out down and into the entrance.
Skinner in overtime never, uh, allowed that killer goal and there were, you know, two one three two game guys that they won in the finals against uh Silver Knights, I won the first game also in overtime 2-1 and then the last one game they won 3-2 and he faced 30+ shots I don't remember the exact number but henderson brought the heat you know the whole third period and Skinder had almost all the answers so that's a lot of progress on his part and, of course, he succeeded. his nhl debut this year and you know it's a big development year for stuart skinner and that's really positive in the system and obviously huge for orders because goaltending is an ongoing problem um we'll get to that in just one second i forgot a veteran who was probably his best player
ryanstanton he is a fantastic defender of the hl to the point where i think if an nhl team was desperate for a third partner
ryanstanton is just a player of very, very solid hockey, his skating.
It's a little bit, you know it's not great, but it's positionally fantastic, um, so we'll see, we'll see what happens with the Bakersfield team, there could be a lot of changes right there, you know, you never know if these veterans will come back. I never knew woodcroft been there three years now so uh he's been there for some time you might want to get that nhl itch back huh we'll see what happens huh could you come to order coaching assistant who knows how he is? he did well though he runs his own show and uh an nhl team could become a call and bruce signed a three year deal after his first year there so he has a year left but for course an ahl deal if you have a real offer from nhl it's not Many organizations are going to say no sir you have to stay stay there.
I think one team, one team, did that, but then they got promoted after the following season. Maybe it was Detroit with Blachill or it was one of those types of situations. yeah the team had invested in the guy and they said no we still have plans for that guy and we're going to enforce and maybe it was detroit but it was that uh it happened once and maybe the warrants have plans for uh jay woodcroft but i'll tell you what they don't know what plans i have for head coach until after the playoffs next year i think dave tippett is in there solid but if they go next year and bomb them in the first round of the playoffs again , then suggest that they're very quickly on shaky ground and they may be looking to, uh, the next, you know, turn the page, but we won't know until April 2022, so I'm not sure what promises can be made that too you can't you can't do anything because you know you're your forever, the real focus of everyone in the organization is Dave Tippett is going to succeed and you can't have a you know you might have a secret thought but you couldn't have a verbal conversation with another person in the organization i don't think level of conversation if the tip gets it wrong you're the next guy like this it's not going to go very well i mean this isn't game of thrones this is you gotta gotta keep it up and up i bruce i thought michael castle ring he looked good in the last game especially he wasn't playing much i watched a previous game he didn't play much but when Lenstrum went out with a broken hand I guess according to a hardcore fan of the team who is my source on that and rich refugees, right?
He would know, I think, because he follows the team religiously. puck and if he goes tyson barry which one is more like you I know I think there's a 1 in 10 chance that he'll come back but if Kessel Ring, Kessel Ring, would you think he would jump into the right position in terms of the number four members of the organization, um, wow, yeah, so could you sign, could you sign? a right shot definitely the man wanted a veteran so that's it but i think phillip uh berryland is coming who's the right shot i think he was supposed to come and of course there are other guys that can switch up and play the right side so that's you I know he's not necessarily the ultimate guy but you know theoretically he could get a call up next year if he keeps making progress in Bakersfield he has a future in this organization he knows what it is six six five six four um two two around two fifteen two twenty he's a great guy who can move the puck so he's going to need time on the ahl but i liked lavoie bruce i don't think he played particularly well at times i watched at least um uh he's going to have l looked better before in Bakersfield, like I expected more from him, playing a more physical game, more physically involved in the playoffs and, uh, I didn't necessarily see that, I think Tyler Benson on that team is just u n good hockey player. smart player hockey player not too fast but very good with the puck so i think he's a very similar player to dominic cahoon and he's certainly ready for the nhl if he's ever going to get that chance so dominic cahoon had a chance you didn't exactly crush it maybethe orders are going to go benson's direction this coming year instead of uh instead of a player like hoon for him you know someone who will be i think tyler benson is a good inspector so he can play the third or fourth In line, i wouldn't have a problem with him in that role. you know here we've had two years in the um ten holland regime dave tippett and the only rookie forwards to have officially played for the orders tyler benson played seven games last year and ryan mcleod played ten games this year that's it now uh um kata yamamoto uh who would think he was a rookie last year technically he wasn't because he died he had played too many games in two different previous seasons so he certainly was a player young graduate of the miners which is what you want but they have uh all the rookies they've brought up have been mostly defenders and yeah you know and you've got guys there certainly well macleod who is now in the c auspice, but morodi and benson seem like reasonable choices. and uh ken holland keeps bringing in these kind of mid level professionals and putting them in his path and they haven't been able to beat those guys in the jobs the gray beards bruce the big birds well yeah that's like 27 years that's n or a beard very gray you know and talk talk about gray beards when you get to be an older person like me yeah i don't know exactly what holland meant by the gray beard comment like uh anyway uh what what that is toronto you know what it's got toronto thornton's betsah simmons feline it's actually a beautiful bunch of veteran beauty there's four of them and they're all there's reason to like those guys but uh uh and the owners don't have that kind of player right they don't have eric stahl and corey perry who were watching that series, or they don't have that type of player, he's a, you know, a very experienced graybeard and I think that may be something that goes on the buyers list this summer to find a way to e bring ryan getzlaffer, you know, a guy who's been around for a long time has been there and the orders have a lot of 27-year-old professionals who don't have great resumes in terms of career accomplishments, reminds me of this. study that Came out of um, Yellowstone, I think a year ago, when they looked at wolf packs fighting, oh yeah, and found the difference was, um, if a wolf pack had a few older wolves, the wolves tended to win older ones tended to win the fight, no, and these are fights to the death, so yeah, there you have proof that orders
shouldbring proof that owners should bring some older players, that was interesting, that was unexpected, that would be the case. um so elliot friedman and bruce had some news really knew the um really news extremely news uh interview in calgary of all places on sportsnet 960 radio and he talked a lot about
hopkinsand we'll get to that but before we get there before we dig into this, he talked about buyouts and it was just a quick comment and he said, "it's possible orders buy goalkeeper miko koskinen who has a year left on a deal that pays him 4.5 million, i have to think it's koskinen, it's position It's possible he's the guy and maybe Neil but the problem with Neil is he was at your limit for four years I'm not so convinced of one I think it's more likely Koskinen who took everyone I caught off guard people in edmonton assumed at the time they were going to buy neil and not costco although four years of purchase payments in a flat cap era i can see why orders might be hesitant to do it and the other the other benefit of buying koskinen, if you're convinced he's not your goalie, um, bring back mike smith, well you know you've got a pretty decent bet for next year. but when you look at it, the funny thing about these old goalies is that when you look at them, Bruce are the ones that succeed when they're 38 39 40.
It's usually not just a year old like they can, they often put two three together. four years old when when they're that age where they're actually pretty good so we'll see if mike smith can do that but they might want another porter you know some of the names mentioned are all buffalo brands or mers leak from columbus who's who apparently a better bet than koskinen so i was interested in that and we're going to dig a little deeper into all these players in the incoming
podcasts but i can see i can see if they bought koskinen instead of neil i could see the Thought there I don't think it's crazy at least but you take my opinion it's a buy um most team pros would be neil uh open up more police space for two years like they're stuck with 5.75 million per two more years on that guy you know if they cut court like um elliott said they have to spend four years on a 1.9 a or whatever it's millions of dollars in cap
holdwhich is painful there's no getting around it o I mean, but that was the whole point of it.
The business of getting Neil was that at least he was edible and honestly, Neil, since basically, in October of the year that he came here, he hasn't really done much to really help the team. He got off to a really good start in 2019-20 when he was on fire in October and ever since, I mean since the calendar changed to 2020, he's got five goals but Bruce is his gray beard man he's his gray beard and he's a gray beard that he got benched after game two or the playoffs because he couldn't keep up so yeah yeah you got a good point i forgot when i was talking to all these other graybeards earlier you know the good thing about a big beard is when they make about a million a year and not 600 yeah right that's what you want your graveyards to make is a million a year the Toronto four combined make less than James Neal that's what you want look at Bakersfield he just did an upstate all the big beards he's got I asked them to win like Crack knows what 35 was their best player in the playoffs so you can see what they're saying but maybe I should maybe the graybeard should be Adam Crachdoll in the others next year and not James Neal. those guys but no buying anyway it's just me i haven't really done it just wanted to report the news i haven't made up my mind on who is better to buy from but i want to dig a little deeper more because all these things are, uh, another piece, they're going to buy them both, let's put it that way, but yeah, given a choice, I'd say Neil opens up more cap space he opens up cap space in the the sophomore year as well as first year and koskinen there are different ways to settle a contract you can hold on and make a trade or you can make a more punishing trade or make some kind of deal with seattle that would also be a punishing trade i guess you know that there are uh different ways to do it or maybe you just say he was uh he will be our backup going forward but he won't be our number one but as long as they don't do a poo which is buying a guy like benoit puliot and then not using the cap space is that's as far as I remember they bought them and then they didn't use the catches so they're in this diffi
cultsituation because they're going to need like they don't need the cap space to sign darnell never said yes they pull the pulley harvey and theoretical mind yamamoto and oso this next year and anyone else they're going to have to pay but they're going to need this not this year but next year they're going to need a lot more salary cap space for players so they're in a situation very tense where they can have guys on one-year deals, essentially if they bring someone in, so let's say thomas tatar, let's say, um, who's now on the bench. montreal and don't touch though some people get crazy over time let's understand that guy he said he's an analytical hero right now so let's sign him up and maybe he's a good player I don't know but he's a gamer he's a good player but him so a guy like him kind of likes it's a godsend for the orders he's benching right now because his value is plummeting but it could mean a year will bring him to a one year deal because that's what makes sense to uh the
oilersare a couple of guys on these kind of tyson berry deals that it's hard to convince people to agree to a one year deal but maybe not so much in this new nhl so the owners could sign a couple of guys two or three who are pretty decent hockey players like tyson barry on one year contracts and that should be the play i think this summer It's that wonderful one year deal, well maybe the j Your chance then is to keep Neal for the first of his two years left and just buy him out in 2021 and then you only have two years to pay them off and create some cap space right around the time the nurses e y bids. pulley yarvey, among others, will expire in a year because those guys are getting raises.
I think the guys that will beat this year are nuge larson barry. they have to pay way more than the cap they are already doing to re-sign all three combined certainly
nugentberry or sorry nugent larson i think you could probably waive them for the same dollars they were making now barry is looking for a raise and i don't think they're going to sign barry so friedman said on larsen i heard larson's number is right where it is right now so it sounds like the warrants are very close and i'm listening to us i'll talk about Larson in more detail, but I'm so glad Adam Larson is back, I mean, from the way I look at the game, he's been as valuable to the Oilers as any defenseman on the team in recent years, including Nurse Darnell. it's just his defense is exemplary he's one of the best closeouts man i think in the nhl and um he still has a couple of years left at least you know he has left you would expect him to be 29 next year you know, so if they give him a three year deal they'll sign 29 30 31 you know defensive backs are usually those pretty safe years for defensive backs after that it starts to get a bit more iffy so I'm delighted to know that Adam Larson return.
I think that's a bargain deal for a player as good as Adam Larson. personally if he signs for what he's saying now it's great he wants to come back he'll come back so um that was some more Friedman news and the latest news Bruce's goal is Edmonton is to find out which of their young players . can play Friedman said name uh chart and ryan macleod and his appointment was generally what I think they're going to do is try to deliver more to their young players and figure out who they can count on long term to me that's probably the right thing to do and cons thinking about the fact that they have tyler benson cooper morody who we didn't talk about uh dylan holloway um who wasn't just a fantastic player at the us college level last season when he was 19 um those are three forwards who could and ryan mcleod himself four forwards all young talented players who could attack and play two way hockey who can help the
oilerson the wing in theory so not the worst thing in the world to think at some point yeah let's see what we got on tyler benson come on let's not bring in you know tyler anus or adamic dominic cahoon let's see what he can do right get a top six left winger by all means yeah when b Looking for professionals to fill out your lower suits, well, you've got this. pro that you invested now five years of development time and three three of them in your entry level contract uh with just a small cup of coffee in the nhl uh so he's you know and two very good years in the ahl and anyway he is uh he is one they should certainly consider er for a full time nhl job of at least you know being on the roster and being a regular bottom six contributor now we move on to the friedman news on ryan nugent
hopkinsand um want for the last few years we did something called the keep hold or
foldseries and this is based on poker terminology and none of us play poker so we are probably wrong but my understanding is that in poker It's like when you're playing poker. you can stay because you have to know you have a pair of kings or aces and you think you're going to win the hand so you're all-in and go ahead and then holding is ok maybe you're just waiting for the right card so you're waiting to see what comes out and if things work out then you'll make the bet and then
fold, there's obviously nothing there, so you.
We're just moving on, so this is our hold or fold series and, apologies if we got poker. The minology is fucked up but that's what we're going to go on so nugent hopkins bruce brian nugent hopkins is the first player you're looking at so you're going to look at playing all player orders per turn and type of qualification. them in their season in the next uh six weeks and um the first one is nugent hopkins and keep or fold bruce keep the starter retire what's your pay uh well i know even less about poker than you um but i don't know what i am i'm going to uh, i'm going to say wait which means you make them a decent offer but it doesn't break the bank that you have to keep them at all costs and that you know you do it within a reasonable budget umbut also within a reasonable amount of time and at this point uh and this is a player i have all day for uh but now coming off his 10th season in the nhl and he showed a clear decline in his offense this year despite the fabulous opportunity and I'm reluctant to say we push a big money six or seven year deal for this player so I'm in the middle and I'm definitely in the waiting camp as well this is what Friedman said because he what you know, rocked euler oil country i'm going to suggest with his comment and asked what should order huh with nugent hopkins and he said quote i have to tell you one has been tough they were very close before the season started and they collapsed at the last second I don't know what's going to happen there whatever was on the table so I'm not let's go I'm not convinced it's on the table now we're going to have to see that it's a negotiation gone wrong I really am they tried a couple of times, I don't know how to mess that up, not really, something happened there. i think it was always the plan the nugent hopkins were going to stay and they want ed to keep it i think anyone who is familiar with this situation will tell you he thought it was going to happen and it fell apart and now and now i don't know for me i don't think be the worst if someone walks as long as you do some good with the cap room then there is a discussion like you know there are some free agents out there. you know you've got that six billion dollar hole in a flat cap area where the cap doesn't go up apparently for three four five years we'll see how that turned out but the cap doesn't go up and you've got this six million dollar slot what do you want spend it and that's really right i don't agree with friedman's essential point it's not the end of the world yes ryan nugent hopkins uh if he wants to say six and a half million or seven million dollars and over five years or six years and the orders just say lis ten based on where this was last year where or that isn't happening like we can't bet on you ryan this year because you just didn't you didn't win that kind of contract in blunt terms and um I don't I don't know how many order fans would disagree with that Bruce i think some would be intent on signing the guy but the prudent thing to do is probably i don't know what to me they could go a bit further especially me Before in the first year, well, the salary caps were averaged out, so that doesn't matter, but I'd like to see a maximum three-year contract with the new John Hopkins paying him, you know, six million a year, let's say he leaves you. go higher with the money, but for him to come back on the salary that he has in the flat cap, um, you know not, I just don't know for him to find a team, a contending team that has salary cap space and wants to use it with him long term you know the four things how many suitors are out there for ryan nugent hopkins i mean he could sign in ottawa there is a rumor you know ottawa might be interested in them how many teams are contenders with salary cap space who it will pay him over six million a year in the long run bruce there ain't none you know maybe seattle maybe maybe seattle uh is there a team out there like that?
Am I missing something because your best bet for the same amount of money might be edmonton? you know how important that is and at this point in his career where he just made 42 million dollars in seven years you know that's huh and he's still going to be well paid no matter where he goes well is that a million extra? dollars i mean maybe if it's a long term deal then you're going to take it and say i'm going you know ottawa is the next big thing in two or three years they're going to be better than where edmonton is now i mean that's the kind of question he's going to have to answer, but he's here this year and if it was the breakdown of those negotiations, who knows, david, how much of an impact that had on his uh, you know his psyche and his performance, you never really know what's going on.
He said the right things, he's always been a professional, he played longer this year with connor mcdavid than any other oiler and when he was there, uh uh, what they have uh, 20 goals to 19 against, they broke up even, you know? and that's your first and the third highest paid player on your team you have to win that part of the game you have to win that part of the game and yeah yeah anyway it wasn't the breakthrough a lot of us expected after the way he ended 1920 with You know, the great streak where he had 41 points in his last 31 30 games playing Dry Saddle and Yamamoto mostly and it still baffles a lot of us why the decision was made and it was kept so religiously to keep it with Mcdavid. for most of the year heard and far from dry settle for almost everything because when it wasn't mcdavid's when your dry cell was mine my theory is that mcdavid and this is just a theory this is just speculation conor mcdavid wanted to play you know there were two very good wingers looked like they were in the orders last year yamamoto and nugent hopkins didn't seem probably didn't seem fair maybe to coach or mcdavid have them both in the saddle not one of the mcdavids like that what spreads you know balance the team out tippett said this balance the team put nugent hopkins with mcdavid so they're probably thinking that's the best idea to balance it out and have both guys go well it turned out that both yamamoto and nugent hopkins scored absolutely crashed in that scenario, drysidle's um grade rate, shots with the same force crashed, it just wasn't working with the same force necessarily. e for any of those players and certainly not for nugent hopkins and yamamoto so bruce. on the bright side though, like the reason I'm excited about writing the return of John Hopkins and there are a few reasons, sure, and they don't have to do with him as they aren't sentimental reasons like him. being a fan favorite or wanting to finish his career in edmonton i think i've gone from that kind of view of the nhl to a sentimental view of the nhl the players need to make the right decision for themselves the teams made them need to make the right decisions by themselves and it's a big mistake to invest a lot in that kind of thinking because first of all you're going to be eternally disappointed as a fan as players leave your team and because it's the nature of hockey right now they have the freedom to go ahead they have to use it if they want to use it and the team has to accept that and the teams also have a limited amount of money to spend and they have to be very wise in how they spend it so there are two reasons why I think taking the kind of a realistic, unsentimental view of hockey right now so I'm not where I was when they sold Gretzky in '88 where I thought it was a huge betrayal you see right?
Or even when Pronger left when, of course, he had a contract. with the team so it was a little bit different so if nude wants to move on he's free to and I wish him the best and if the others decide they can't afford it and want to use money on someone else I hope so too right. I think it is a reasonable decision of the orders. All said. This is what nuge has to offer. She is not a strong defensive center. You do if you consider drysettle a center, he was the Oilers best two-way winger this year when it came to creating grade-A scoring chances, making big contributions to big chances and limiting them. i was playing with mcdavid which helps if your offensive numbers you pass the puck to mcdavid better things are likely to happen but he was a part of it he's a solid offensive player uh on the wing and he's a solid defensive player so than losing your best two way winger no I'm not excited huh y'know I'm a little worried about that I also think the owners will finally find a winger for conor mcdavid this summer it could be dylan holloway who slots in there but actually they could find that veteran guy, because they got some money to do it, who's going to fit in with connor mcdavid, so i think there's a good chance that from day one of the training cap next year we'll see the line of dynamite and although they did not play. well together this year we know nugent hopkins and yamamoto were banged up to some degree this year they both lost playing time for various reasons and i think if from day one of training camp the commitment is there to go dry fix and yes excuse me mcdavid yeah a rv pulley and you know the x end and then go with the dynamite line we might see that line get rekindled.
I don't see any reason why they can't play well together again. well in the past if there is a compromise in everyone's head to make these two different lines work like this year with the various lines they used that didn't work um nugent hopkins mcdavid and pulley harvey kahoon yamamoto and dry chair those were the two lines to the ones that committed more this year so i think nuge comes back makes the same money for the next three years i'm fine with that because i think he can still help this team win and that's what i hope happens that it's the money you want in a shorter time frame than you want.
I'm not saying you can't make money when you're 33 34. if you're still a good p cape they'll pay you then and we'll make the payment that's our commitment to you but you've got to make the right choice here too and um and then it says that if he says no to that then he says ok the offer is on the table for now look at the market and contact us maybe the offer wouldn't be on the table at that point its like take it or leave it and then we'll get contact us when you check the market we'll see we'll see where we both are at that point i guess i'm not a master of the trade obviously i think i just made that very clear but that's what i feel comfortable with as a fan of the team is short the same amount of money well the other thing is uh we tend to focus most of our attention on the five on five game when you know when the isis evens out and uh for nugent hopkins a fair amount of its the fri value ne on special teams he is very good on the power play he has been very good as the third wheel and the uh 1-3-1 system that the oils have run for the last two years and they have basically devastated the league by finishing first in rates uh power play conversion rate by practical margins both seasons he's been a part of that he's the third wheel i mean it's obviously mcdave and dry colono the key drivers but they've been working with different key men, different men in front of the net , not new, just, uh, you know, they played a big part in that power play, but you know the question is, can you replace all the different items in their game with the other one? guys you bring in because you're also going to need to find someone who can kill penalties and of course you can do it for a lot less than six million dollars a year, but it's a nice value add to a contract when that six million dollar player can also kill the penalties though the goals against results this year suggest he wasn't the best they had in that role yeah bruce i guess if you're playing yes you are so let's get it. g lets say he says yes when i think of the power play without ryan agent hopkins yes um i think of o tyson berry let's say they both lose yes um there's ahead they have that money to use on other players so there could be someone they bring in but let's just say they can't even do that they have to go with what they have right the idea of darnell nurse on point or evan bouchard on point um the idea of having bouchard on point really excites me a little bit when i'm yeah i'm completely honest and then but then you've got the left half of the wall that's there taking the place of nucha well you've got kangaroo yamamoto not a great shot but you've got yes apollo harvey who wants if who did it once some records in the red now they had it as netfront but just in finland that yesterday played in that place and it looked great in finland in the left point uh once in the park and passing the puck you could also have nurse in the point in evan bouc hard and bruce the idea of evan bouchard on the left point one timing the puck at the net i'm not convinced bouchard isn't better than ryan eugene hopkins uh in that spot on the power play now it's a risk because it's a rookie and he hasn't made it yet at the nhl level but he's a really good offensive player who has a fantastic shot and is a great puck passer so they have this guy who would fit right there.
They need someone else on point but come on let's just say oscar clef bomb comes back and just goes back to what he did which is just distribute the record well darnell the nurse might as well distribute the record I saw enough nurses here if the union cloth doesn't work, so I'm not particularly alarmed. on the power play I think there could be some decent options with that spot huh if stripping went ahead in terms of penalty you know they have guys placed there pretty consistently and it seems to be more of a systems thing where you can make theplayers move on penalty under this system they have which is quite effective and they seem to do well I think nuge is a very good penalty killer but maybe they can find other players who can play that system ryan mcleod could doing for example this and the scary thing about nudity when you think about his even strength score this year replacing the actual results I think. i think if nuge had had better luck with the puck this year bruce probably would have had 5-10 more points, it's fair to say there was just some bad luck with the puck partly because he wasn't much of a puck shooter This year, he says he's going to work on it this summer, but to replace his even strength score, he finished 343rd out of 432 regular NHL forwards, which are guys who played more than 200 million. 334 is fourth line score. g bruce was in the same class as franz nielsen adam gadette cedric paquette uh tanner pearson tanner pearson signed a three year deal at 3.25 million and was in the same scoring level as rnh and a lot of people felt pearson's deal was overpaid , so it was historically low for ryan nugent hopkins and i think there was some bad luck involved but each one i dont know if he gets a six year contract at six million dollars bruce i think its a mistake on this point like well, he had seven goals of even strength this year and this after back to back years of 13 18 19 and 15. this year it dropped to 7. now granted the season was shorter um but not much shorter so he would have had 10 yeah uh yeah and he had eight assists which equals strength and only two of those were primary assists and the others were secondary assists so when you think about the offensive opportunity he had like I said he played more with conor mcdavid than any ier another teammate including the g Oalies, you know, he played a lot on that front line and even though mcdavid racked up points at a historic rate and of course he racked it up on the power play as well but he got a ton of them with uniform force and it was not.
I'm leaking some somehow so some pretty weird stuff with this year's orders I mean yeah here's one for you. The owner's top two forwards had more points than all of the other 16 forwards combined. core number two rank four not number one rank number two forward surpassed numbers three four and five forward combined like how do you explain this? he's got work to do in terms of improving his support offense like i don't know how it could be clearer than that you know his top two aren't the problem and if you replace nugent hopkins with another guy obviously they have to bring in at least one end that can put the cookie in the basket and if you're going to move on from nugent hopkins and bring another one and put the cookie in the basket and then ok how many good leftists are there on the market and there are 32 teams out there and you want the orders get to those guys now you know they probably have to overpay and you're back in the same pot that's why friedman sing trust the younger guys like so if if dylan holloway or ryan could ryan mcleod score on the same level with same strength nugent hawkins did this year yeah i think that's pretty safe i bet you could tyler benson could it be that low level? that you want to update him certainly yeah you want a guy that's moving around you know like Nugent Hopkins did last year he won rnh that was, you know a great backup finishing plays and putting his name on the PA system on a regular basis and so on but the tail The question is how much are you willing to bet that this was just an off season and that it will bounce back with several good ones yeah bruce it's tough isn't it? uh, do you have a number in mind and a term for your contract that you like?
What would be nice? What contract would bother you? What do you think is reasonable? It's hard to imagine him paying less, even as you know. this last season as if I could point to two very strong seasons immediately leading up to this one. I think it's a more important question. until the end of time you know and you know the same as the same level as some kind of high water markets as far as I'm concerned it's a huge shame Dylan Holloway broke that finger because we would have seen it in Bakersfield but it was he broke his thumb because we would have seen him do it.
I have a better idea, like he broke it in the hl and he looks like a real force down there. We might be thinking, well, you know that's a reasonable solution. I mean Dylan Holloway crushed him in college hockey. he was one of the best players you know at that level, so, but you can't be certain right now, right? There's no chance ken holland will have dylan holloway scored anywhere near his top six for next year no chance as i'm not sure he'll have him scored on his nhl roster he's going to have all the stuff All things being equal starting in Bakersfield, if he breaks it there, then he's going to move up and play bottom of the list here, you know?
That's it, are you sure, Bruce? I've done that comparison before, but uh uh, it'll be easier to do if he could keep healing. you who got hit two different times this year which didn't help at all um when dylan larkin stormed he was drafted 15th overall yeah same very similar player um stormed red wings when i was 19 years old bruce and um very similar player same size same player profile i think philip zadina in uh his freshman year got a shot in detroit straight from the conduit um if i'm not mistaken he flopped dylan larkin he didn't do that well ken listen ken holland was a guy when he had all kinds of good players on the team and then when he didn't when he had a shitty team and he needed to put up players and he just went to what everyone goes to their best available player has a chance so i would say that there's a non-zero chance that dylan holloway um will be on the owners list to start next season and it could be if dylan larkin worked out and uh holloway might as well so we'll see which is not a plan but i don't think he's telling connor mcdavid hey connor we got your new left winger for your next season and it's going to be this guy we just drafted last year who has zero games of pro experience but we're sure it's going to work on your line, I just don't see it as the organization. strategy uh and i think it would be a flop bruce like i said i was just arguing with you because thats what i do i argue with people uh lawyer yeah and i thought of this yeah i just cant i dont see holland doing that its their kind of plan main huh i just can't see it the netherlands have a but is it too much to hope that he really pulls off a really good deal you know you know other teams do other teams figure it out and they bring really like you know toronto brought brody the year past and she's such a good advocate, isn't she? and they found a way to bring in jake mason and you know they've done it toronto brought in some good players can't the orders bring in a good player on the wing to play this guy and uh it's shouldn't be impossible shouldn't be impossible and the owners have some cap space and they know what they can so let's say they have this cap space this year it's clear they have a couple of cap spaces even if they sign nutrient hopkins they should be able to bring in one more player and then you, let's say you hold on to James Meal one year and then you buy them, then you go after him, then you have your that's where you get the cap space next year I think the cap space is tighter than what the people think I've looked at the cap space over the next few years and I think it's tighter than everyone thinks the owners have this big ball of money no I don't think they really do I think it goes away fast if when When you pay the nurse and you have to if, say, the rv pulley fails and you have a and you want to pay her you want to pay her five million dollars a year um that's the hope and I don't think it's a reasonable expectation that yes a pulley rv can continue Due to progress, we are going to see a player who scores 20-30 goals next year in a full season.
Why wouldn't that happen? It happens to other good young players all the time. when that happens you know it's not going to be easy but i think there's a way to bring in a more naked player to bring in another player now then maybe you're hard at net you don't have money for a goalie but hey and you certainly don't have the money for another lefty i don't think that's in the cards at all i mean i know people are talking about the order should get someone there but anyway yeah i think holland should bring a veteran good veteran winger to play connor mcdavid can i name that player? kind of work that they have the money and the staff that they should be doing that they should have identified who t That player is the one that has the particular attributes that can fit with mcdavid and they are going to have to think hard about that because not every player will be able to do it , but they have to find that guy that is the number one job this summer and it is and it's mostly how we're going to qualify uh ken holland well i need to find a guy that can play uh play a strong two way game uh i think and uh even if he doesn't score a million goals but if he can um uh you know if he can score goals and uh a guy like blake coleman who is in tampa bay who is going to be a free agent he is going to be uh going to get a raise And Tampa Bay isn't going to be able to give them that raise unless they can sink two or three more guys into the long-term injury reserve next year the way they did Kucherov this year, he said bitterly, but also you can look at Ta mpa Bay and maybe target a player like Andre Palat who is um, 30 years old, has a contract, I think it's capped at $5.3 million and he's from tampa. i got a reduced salary somehow and you could probably get that guy for not a very high acquisition cost i mean tampa had put tyler johnson on waivers this year because they were just trying to offload salary so you didn't necessarily have to pay player value to acquire him and then pay him that contract you'd be doing tampa uh you know the top would be looking to move guys and maybe him or alex galore and you know they have some good players that are well paid but they are well paid to be good players and uh who do you know who has been to the top of the mountain at this stage of their career? a good player from them for relatively little cost and mantapa is the obvious example of a team that might be uh susceptible to that kind of treatment i just want to see coleman's uniform strength score this year i put on the jersey so he was yeah , that's more like bruce he was um oh we're going at 54 in nhl uniform strength bruce scoring 2.47 for 60 which is more than double and hopkins nugent rate zach hyman 2.46 for 60 57 overall in the nhl sam bennett was 59 in the nhl by the way 2.45 for 60. there are a lot of players in that range and they had to target one of them and they got autographs that's as simple as that and with nugent hopkins as a listener they needed it there was a space on the top first lane they didn't did it didn't work there was a gap in the middle of the second line that didn't work either so for me the priority is this other guy who may think he can fill this gap that absolutely that's job one is to get that guy and that should be the focus which this year so we'll see who it is and that's holland has to do it so i'm down with you like you go dylan holloway if that's your plan that's a bad plan at this point huh with connor mcdavid on the planet very bad plan a and if it kills if it kills him but you can't say no and where we are we can end may you can't say it will kill him in september and october and be 100 ready you just can't make that assumption you just have to I assume it's going to need time to developing.
Here's an interesting one that daniel sprong had in washington. He didn't play that many 461 minutes but he went uh 43 and even scored for nhl forwards 2.6 strength per game. He was on waivers last year, as I recall. so there's always going to be, it doesn't show up, that having points for 60 in more than one season could be misleading we all can I think we'll agree on that but that's interesting but you know some of these other guys like Coleman have done it for a few years in a row, haven't they? and they bring the defensive element that I think you really want to have in your front line so that especially in a mcdavid line you want guys who can know how to fight and win records and who can take care of business in the defense event and in the case of blake coleman or house galoren to be a good penalty killer too, you know? that's kind of value-add, but um, when you're paying when you're investing in a winger, you want guys that bring complementary skills to what you already have and what you already have is two high-level offensive aces, yeah, and for the third. line and third and fourth lines i don't want to see them go that route where they bring in these 27 year old tweeters like they have merodi and benson and mcleod and players like this what the owners need isas a guy to turn out like mason appleton did in winnipeg that guy really impressed me the hell out as a two way winger and that's what orders should say they should find out okay? which one of you morodi benson and mcleod? our mason appleton here and come on come on try to get all three of them to compete for that role and you know i suspect one of them will be that guy who can be that guy and they just have to commit to that kind of thing so nooch naked can you know what you pay? like a second line winger getting paid in the nhl and um but you're saving you're saving your most money for the guy who's going to be your front line winner with connor mcdavid and he's instantly under capping leon dry settle down again that doesn't work so here's the way uh let's see what happens bruce yeah how what would you think if he's a rookie he signs with another team if he signs well if he decides to bet on another team in a contract a year that Breaks my heart if he doesn't know he follows the orders of that deal that would be really annoying go ahead I can't see that but I don't know I mean we are when you hear words like shattered. it means it's not all bad but it's trending in that direction contact negotiations or maybe they just have differences different value valuations and I mean probably the news camp might be thinking we should have signed that contract offer when I was there because since then his value has gone down, I didn't know he put together a platform season that a big contract offer can be based on, you have to go back to his body of work and hope that after 10 years in the league he's not at his peak at the top of the curve and starting on the way down that's a big gamble for anyone to dig into itself you can see so let's dig into that wrecked thing I think what it probably wrecked was right as the season progresses and he is not understanding, he is not configuring Mcdavid for objectives and Mcdavid is not configuring him for objectives this has to be alarming for the team and that it's probably what wrecked it, orders could have had a contract offer in there and I wonder if it didn't, there was no question about it, which would make sense for you to know at that point. yeah you have to pa and you pay for performance in the nhl so i might see that mutilation and i mean and that would be very hard for the player to accept oh sure you know it would be very upsetting and upsetting and you might even feel betrayed some level if that were the case, but what are you going to do?
I know mcdavid spoke highly of him after the season him and larson as part of the leadership group along with of course himself dry chair and nurse since you know all the guys that wear the letters and david said that so that for him by nugent larson is a vote of confidence from mcdavid it's not the worst thing they can have in the negotiations but it's not going to get everything done itself i think that's important and i think that's really what You have to keep in mind, but what's going to keep Connor McDavid happy and Leon Dry settling down happy in Edmonton is winning, and winning happens with the right call. its not what feels like the right call its the sensible call so i want kent holland to be as sensible as hes always been here and i also want nuge to be i think if they both are theres a deal to have here a short term deal for decent money and kind of a ballot vote enough like a vote of confidence in the player where I don't think he wants I'd be surprised if players that age want to establish themselves a bit so I think we're looking at three years bruce i don't know if one or two years will do it right but maybe it's three years at 5.5 million um something like that if you go if you go as high as three years or certainly four years you get five million for every year you say okay a year at 6.5 two years at six three years 5.45 four years at five that's the offer this is a fair offer and that's a fair offer offer as it really is I think huh am I crazy?
Don't answer that, but yeah, is that offer crazy? it makes sense to do it on a sliding scale like that where you know the further you go you know the player is going to be a year older every year i mean we did it we saw it with uh four year contracts that were signed by chris russell and zach cassian none of the counter contracts are considered a good light by many people, but in each case the player clearly took a fourth player for a fourth year which lowered the cap for the full term and it wasn't necessarily a case of one, two, three, four, but it was three in this money or four in that money in the fourth year it took a big part and I think that kind of contract in general for players who are, you know maybe getting a little bit past their peak makes sense , you know you want more twist well you're going to have to give in the cap on the hit side of the cap yeah and then there's a whole no-move clause aspect so you could certainly give nugent a no-move year maybe two highs after that I don't know, I don't think so, like me just you, you just can't do that because the performance wasn't there, the performance this year was alarming even in strength and, um, didn't you know there are some things? that made you think that he can definitely change it, but this is definitely some kind of change and even a force situation. we're, um, some fans say you're not going to get a better player than him on the open market, that's him, you're just not going to, ben, maybe that's true, but I don't know, um, there's the charm to play conor mcdavid right um if you're a top player and i don't think that's petty i don't think that's defeatist thinking and i think you could get a good player to come here and play if that's the tone to play lucich decided to do he wasn't the r best player but he had other deals um no uh tyson berry decided to come here and um probably at a discount probably could have gotten more at other player places so see how this goes i think we got any of the other thoughts well it's also a matter of the one you know vs the one you don't know is blake coleman a better player at this point in his career than ron nugent hopkins you know i don't know uh you know i wouldn't say well you know he wasn't even rec utado and news was the first overall pick and so on well you know what you've been up to lately and what um what you know i mean coleman got 31 points this year but 29 of them were just as strong as him . it wasn't given the power play feature okay they don't need it on the power play I guess when you have uh uh when you have stamkos and a point and so on running your power play you probably don't need it so that evington can find solutions for this part in that part i mean they had to replace clef bomb on three different tee ams they had to replace them on the five on five team the power play and penalty kill and even the team of extra time for that matter they know they had to fight who can replace him here the nurse isn't really going to do her job on the power play but we can increase her minutes on penalty you know find your solutions elsewhere part of the roster you're not just going to find a new clone you're going to sign that's going to come in and do the same things you're going to have to get a little creative yeah I think warrants have a strong bargaining position co n the player and they don't want to be idiots about it obviously they want to make a decent offer but there are a lot of options especially with this cap there are very few teams that are good teams that can bid on players they can be creative with players they have and sometimes they can figure something out i mean other teams seem to do it regularly better say with some bitterness but there will be players who will probably let go like dominic cahoon was a very good bet last year for orders he scored 2 .3 points for 60, which is the second line scoring level, and that player suddenly hit the oilers, there will be other players like that other good bets you can have for um not that much money I think there are teams that are broke and they're not going to get much better in the future they're going to have their own internal caps that are lower than the nhl salary cap which will be more common in the next few years so it's just a moment to, it's good that it's a good thing the oilers didn't sign nugent hopkins last summer, for example, for a great long-term deal, um, now they have a better chance to give him their vote, what is his real value, um, in the years to come and they also have a good chance in the next few years to find some players for one or two two or three million dollars a year who can really help this team win and we have to keep that in mind as they negotiate this difficult contract what is your bet if he returns or not? most likely not but it's by no means a piece of cake and it might take a while I mean it might take to get an offer he sits on it maybe he wants to test the market or maybe he just wants to talk to Seattle. and say you know seattle is out there like just down the road from uh from burnaby uh on the west coast you know the pacific northwest where you know i feel comfortable if they come they would say we see you as a long term fit here and we're going to offer you a six-year contract, maybe he'll sign him and then that settles at least the aspect of the expansion draft where if Seattle signs a free agent from Edmonton, then they're no longer required to give him another player. the expansion draft to at least have some value but maybe if he goes to Seattle and they say no we're going to build a different form and we're not looking for excel or anything that'll be all he needs to say and I'm not sure What is my market value?
I got this offer in Edmonton, sign it and they'll sneak in. the expansion draft like that you know I mean it's very likely very likely to go all the way like that yeah it's interesting the clef bomb comparison you mentioned was really interesting Bruce because you know who would have thought that The owners. You know, a lot of people were predicting doom there, but there was no doom, they realized, they had players that replaced them appropriately. finally figured it out the power play didn't miss a beat they brought in a player on a one year contract so i think if six million dollars is a lot of money in this in this new nhl and if nuge move on.
I think they're going to be able to figure it out um so it should be foremost on their mind and in terms of the negotiation that they're in terms of avoiding a contract that really are likely if they go long term with new ones I just think the chances that they regret are really high and I would say not only are they not personal against nudity but they are all kinds of gamers that come in at 30 they tend to fall off and some of them fall off fast so you have to be aware of that Yes, any contract you enter into. more years than 30 from a man in his 20s you're taking a chance that's how I would look at it in numbers in terms of age early 30's is fine but if you're shopping early 30's to mid 30's you know in his case he has 28. so you know a six year deal takes it to 34. no thanks no i don't want that 29 30 31 yes and then again and then re-sign him if you're still playing but the economics of the nhl change fundamentally changed i think that over the next five years maybe it will change again but the rs order has to be on top of this not behind the trend but as you know when they signed Cassie and they weren't on top of the trend so there's a bit of slack there, but yeah, David and Dry Saddle's contract.
He was hoping that the percentage of the cap that his contracts occupied was going to decrease as the cap went up and that would give the team options that didn't happen. They have these two big contracts to take a big percentage of the cap this is their reality they have to be parsimonious with the other money they throw away and it's time for that kind of attitude to prevail and continue to just make value purchases and not spread means less money for the other veteran players players luckily the big two are hedging but it would have been better if it was 21 million of an 87 million dollar cap than 81.5 yes or 90 next year who knows what would have It kept going up, but the trends were always that the cap percentage at the beginning of the contract gradually decreases over the term because the cap keeps going up and unfortunately it's gone, so the value of those two contracts goes down. but I would say they are producing value and something at that price point from those two big guys but they did better with the supporting cast aspect of the roster and especially the top six, you want to leave it there then?
Sure, okay, we'll have other free agents to talk about as we get there and of course we'll start our season reviews of player performance and we'll mainly look at free agents first because those are the ones who have to call the shots in no time yeah so you gonna write about the nooj huh adam larson mike smith yeah tyson berry tyson berryyes, and we will do uh podcasts on each of those players like well all good thanks for talking today bruce great thanks for listening to everyone and in the meantime and in between this has been another edition of the hockey cult podcast
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