NHL EQUIVALENCIES TIP OFF FALL, PREDICT WINTER

Lowetide
July 24 2016 10:29AM

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

Jonathan Willis
July 24 2016 07:00AM

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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FREE AGENTS! ALL IT TAKES IS MONEY!!

Lowetide
July 22 2016 09:01PM

reinhart nikitin williams

Since Charlie Huddy left for the Winnipeg rail yards, the Edmonton Oilers have been mostly unable to identify useful defensemen—in the draft, or at the NHL level. I think the Oilers are very high on Griffin Reinhart (photo by Mark Williams) and Darnell Nurse, but the gap between opening night 2016-17 and their ability to contribute to wins is a worry. A possible solution? Veteran UFAs, and they are an interesting group.

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Pacific Division preview: Can the Flames be in the top three?

Ari Yanover
July 22 2016 02:00PM

All the Flames need to do to return to the playoffs is be one of the top three teams in the Pacific Division. Just beat out any four of the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, or Vancouver Canucks, and they're in.

It certainly worked in 2014-15: only the Canucks and Ducks had better records.

Well, it hasn't been just a busy off-season for the Flames; a lot of Pacific teams have seen turnovers as we transition between seasons. Let's take a look at what's gone on for the Flames' main opponents.

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Can Troy Brouwer play his game for four seasons?

Ryan Pike
July 22 2016 11:00AM

I'll be honest: when the Calgary Flames announced that they had signed Troy Brouwer to a four-year contract I didn't really see a lot of the downsides. In fact, my first reaction was, "Well, that makes sense."

You see, the Flames likely feel this signing solves two big problems: they were super-thin on their right side, and they were easy to play against. When I use the term "easy to play against," I refer you to the many games where Johnny Gaudreau was slashed on the wrists or hands (and the games he missed late in the season due to those slashes). Teams felt they could get away with it and let's be honest, they largely did; the Flames didn't have enough scoring depth to make them think twice (and their power-play was bad enough that they probably weren't worried abut taking slashing minors).

But let's not mince words: four years is a long time, and $4.5 million per season is pretty pricey. Once the Gaudreau and Sean Monahan extensions get done, he'll likely be the third-richest forward contract on the team – even if you factor in Sam Bennett's eventual extension. What has to happen to make that contract worthwhile?

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