NHL Arbitration: Potential for Bruised Feelings Makes Actual Hearings Rare

Source: Bleacher Report
Date: 2016-07-24

It's easy to say "It was just business, nothing personal" in pro sports. Players are conditioned to expect criticism, and owners are conditioned to expect paying as much as a player can get. Usually, the sides come away saying "no hard feelings." The process of arbitration, though, makes it a bit more difficult for the usually hardened sides not to take things a little more personally. Imagine having done a good job at work in the past year, but going in to a meeting with management where their sole goal is to pay you less than you think you're worth, and list the reasons why to your face. All the while, trying to reconcile management's words that are essentially, "Hey, we still want you aro

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NHL Twitter Mailbag: Which Team Is Winning the Offseason?

Source: Bleacher Report
Date: 2016-07-24

We're getting close to August, which has become about the only month on the calendar when nothing hockey-related happens. July doesn't have a lot either, but there is free agency, arbitration and usually a few trades happen. August is the month when it's pretty much impossible to get any hockey person on the phone. Everybody is on vacation and doesn't want to be bothered. But until then, we can still talk some hockey here. There continue to be signings here, minor trades there. There are always barstool debates to be had too, so with that said, here is another NHL Twitter Mailbag. I take questions right off my Twitter feed and paste them in here. Let's get started.        

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NHL EQUIVALENCIES TIP OFF FALL, PREDICT WINTER

Source: Oilers Nation
Date: 2016-07-24

NHL equivalencies are a great way to put a bunch of players outside the NHL into a single category for the purposes of estimating offense. It is not perfect, but does act as a reasonable guideline for fans to project prospects into the immediate future. This year's NHLEs have one major issue, but once again give us a solid look at Edmonton's top forward prospects.

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The Latvian Peca

Source: Beer League Heroes
Date: 2016-07-24

The date was August 3rd, 2005. Mike Peca was a New York Islander at the time but Oilers GM Kevin Lowe was feeling particularly active that day given just hours before he’d acquired the deadliest defenceman in the NHL, Chris Pronger, and signed him to a 5 year deal; Lowe decided to make another call to the Islanders and offer centre Mike York and a 5th rounder for two-time Selke Trophy winner Mike Peca. The rest is history and Peca only spent the one year in Edmonton but if you remember Mike Peca’s career, he was a tough as nails shut-down centre (hence the Selke trophies) that concentrated his talents on keeping the puck out of the net as opposed to putting it in the net. He

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DIRECT HITS

Source: Lowetide
Date: 2016-07-24

At the beginning of June, Edmonton had a 50-man list of 38 players, 21 men who were associated with the organization but without a contract, and a bunch of issues. Here is a review of what happened over the last six weeks. EXITING THE SYSTEM! L Taylor Hall, expert river pusher now in swamp country. L Lauri Korpikoski, bought out and looking for work. D Adam Clendening. Not qualified, signed a two-way deal with NY Rangers. L Luke Gazdic. Not qualified, signed a two-way deal with New Jersey. R Adam Cracknell, Not qualified, signed a two-way deal with Dallas. G Niklas Lundstrom. Not qualified, signed with Bjorkloven (Allsvenskan). L Kale Kessy. Not qualified, destination unknown. D Brad Hunt.

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How well did Adam Larsson play against top opponents last year?

Source: Oilers Nation
Date: 2016-07-24

On Friday, I looked at how Edmonton’s defencemen fared when played against the best opponents in the NHL last year. Immediately and repeatedly I was asked to show how newcomer Adam Larsson did in the same role.The answer is that it’s complicated.

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Integrating Analytics into Hockey

Source: The Super Fan
Date: 2016-07-24

A couple thoughts on analytics, and how best to integrate it into hockey operations. With the Oilers cutting ties with analytics consultant Tyler Dellow, the club has an opportunity to re-set its current approach to analytics going forward. Now it was my hope that Tyler’s role would’ve expanded from a consultant position, perhaps into a director type, who would then lead a group of analysts to delve into various topics. It was my hope that the Oilers would’ve applied a more complete analytics strategy that could support and influence all aspects of hockey operations including on-ice tactics, player personnel decisions, drafting and salary cap matters. And let’s not kid ourselve

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MATTHEW CAIRNS

Source: Oilers Nation
Date: 2016-07-23

In the middle of the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft—with most of the top end CHL kids already chosen—Edmonton looked to the OJHL for defender Matthew Cairns. One month later, there are still questions about this player, and what he brings. Let's have a look.

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NHL Twitter Mailbag: Which Team Is Winning the Offseason?

Source: Bleacher Report
Date: 2016-07-23

We're getting close to August, which has become about the only month on the calendar when nothing hockey-related happens. July doesn't have a lot either, but there is free agency, arbitration and usually a few trades happen. August is the month when it's pretty much impossible to get any hockey person on the phone. Everybody is on vacation and doesn't want to be bothered. But until then, we can still talk some hockey here. There continue to be signings here, minor trades there. There are always barstool debates to be had too, so with that said, here is another NHL Twitter Mailbag. I take questions right off my Twitter feed and paste them in here. Let's get started.        

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THE WHEEL PLAY

Source: Lowetide
Date: 2016-07-23

One of the players Edmonton chose at the 2016 draft (Markus Niemelainen) is turning into a fascinating study for this blog. Not long after the draft, I mentioned an interesting and curious comparison to first-round selection Logan Stanley: Logan Stanley: 6.07, 220. 64gp, 5-12-17 107pims Markus Niemelainen: 6.05, 189. 65gp, 1-26-27 28pims Logan Stanley: Even-strength primary points per game: .094 Markus Niemelainen: Even-strength primary points per game: .108 Logan Stanley: Estimated even-strength points per 60: 0.655 Markus Niemelainen: Estimated even-strength points per 60: 1.133 Source SCOUTING REPORTS Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst: We see the reasons behind the hype — a 6’6 

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