Episode 7: Lucky – Bag of Pucks Podcast

In this episode of the Bag of Pucks Podcast, the guys talk luck. They place way too much weighting on PDO and other fancy stats, while Alson learns how bad his idea of stats are. Is Patrick Laine unlucky, or are teams starting to figure him out? Is Ryan Getzlaf elite anymore? How does Alson know so much about slot machines but doesn’t gamble? How does Geoffrey know so little about slot machines?
The guys finish up the podcast with their playoff predictions and Draft Lottery Predictions, and spoiler alert: Alson doesn’t want the Kings to win the lottery.

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Episode 4: Is Pierre Dorion A Wizard?

In Episode 4, Alson delivers some hot takes, with a questionable idea about the Ottawa Senators and their draft picks. Is Pierre Dorion such a genius we don’t understand him? Geoffrey has no idea how to say a name so he calls him Mr. P for an episode.

Finally, we find out that Alson is actually terrible with Trivia.

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Check us out on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/bag-of-pucks/id1454580877?mt=2
Check us out on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2ib3yq4quqK62RAC6465es

Maybe Pierre Dorion Was Right?

Change My Mind

At Not Your Average Hockey Blog, we’ve always tried to change it up a bit. I love considering the what-ifs in various storylines in the NHL. One of the biggest storylines in the NHL currently, is how the Ottawa Senators chose to convey this year’s first round draft choice to Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche instead of last year’s. The Senators fan base have not forgotten this trade at all. According to the fine folks over at Senspicktracker, the Senators’ pick have a 18.5% chance of being the 1st overall pick, 16.5% chance of being the 2nd overall pick, 14.4% chance of being the 3rd pick, and a 50.6% chance of being the 4th pick. With a weighted average, the Senators likely pick is 2.971 rounded up to the 3rd overall pick. The pick that the Senators could have conveyed last year was the 4th overall pick.

Analysis by TSN has shown that statistically speaking, the 3rd overall pick will be a top six forward, with a basic guarantee that they will play 100 games in the NHL. The 4th overall pick will statistically be a top nine forward with a 84% chance of being playing 100 games in the NHL, and a 24% chance of being a 4th line player or worse. The analysis shows one thing clearly, there is a statistical benefit of picking third vs picking fourth. With that being said, the analysis does not take into account the strength of the draft class. The 2019 draft is expected to be deep, but not very top heavy. The 2018 draft on the other hand, was not very deep, but rather top heavy. The first fourth picks in the 2018 NHL draft are all regulars in the NHL, with the fifth pick Barrett Hayton; being returned to the OHL after being scratched for his first two NHL games. The Ottawa Senators may not have their first pick, but they will have Columbus Blue Jackets’ first round pick; which is expected to be in the teens. Of course a top four pick is much more valuable than a mid-round pick, but what if the trade balance is the 4th overall pick plus the 15th overall pick for the 3rd overall pick and a replacement level player? Suddenly, it isn’t as bad as it looks!

The next step is to consider the value of the players involved. According to hockeyprospect.com, ISS Hockey, Future Considerations, McKeen’s Hockey, and TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Russian winger Vasili Podkolzin is the projected third overall pick. The comparison with the Ottawa Senators draft pick Brady Tkachuk will have it’s strengths and weaknesses. It is beneficial that they are both wingers, and play similar games, but they play in different leagues and Podkolzin has a relatively small sample size of 29 games this season. Using NHLe as a way to normalize point values, Podkolzin has an NHLe score of 20.97. (For our readers unaware of NHLe, a quick guide is available here.) Looking at Brady Tkachuk’s Hockey East stats in his draft year, he has an NHLe score of 23.5135. What the statistics show us, is that offensively, Brady Tkachuk had a stronger offensive year in his draft year than Podkolzin has had this year. However, as previously mentioned, there are factors that NHLe has not taken into account into it’s formula, such as the few games that Podkolzkin has played this year, and the instability that Podkolzin has had this year, with him playing in three teams this season alone.

My argument here isn’t that the Ottawa Senators are amazingly run, and they have a competent owner. If you have a few minutes, check out Episode 2 of our Bag of Pucks podcast. I spend forty minutes calling out the Ottawa Senators. However, my argument here is that maybe the option to convey the fourth pick instead of possibly the expected third overall pick is not as big of a deal as it sounds. What do you think? We would love to hear from you! Comment below, or tweet me directly here.

Episode 1: Trade Deadline/What Are We Doing? – Bag of Pucks

Not a fan of reading? Well the folks here at Not Your Average Hockey Blog have got a treat for you. We’ve created a new podcast, where we banter about hockey, have some hot takes, and make uneducated comments. The first episode is about the Trade Deadline and a little background of us. We hope that if you enjoy it, we would love if you share it, comment, and follow us on Twitter: @hkyblogger and @bop_pod.

We will try to keep future episodes at 30 minutes, but the first one is a little longer.

People Like Don Cherry Are Why The NHL Lacks Popularity Compared To The Big 4 Leagues.

Don Cherry isn’t a fan of the Hurricanes celebrating post game. Yesterday on Coach’s Corner, he blasted the hurricanes about the celebrations stating ” There guys, to me, are jerks ” followed by ” They better not do this in the playoffs….This is a joke. ”

It’s not just Don Cherry. Many senior executives in the league and senior media have ripped the Hurricanes for their post win celebrations. The same media that if the Hurricanes had an arena with only 8,000 fans would rip the city for not deserving a team and to relocate. The celebrations keep fans staying in their seats post game, give the fans a chance to interact and join the team in celebrating a victory.

Earlier this season, Brian Burke went on record to rip the Hurricanes too, calling the celebrations ” Pee wee garbage stuff ” followed by saying ” I don’t think it belongs in our league. ”  The grandpa’s in the NHL definitely need to step away when it comes to PR in the game and it’s something that definitely hurts the NHL when it comes to popularity compared to other leagues.

Another person in the league that has a lot of outdated dumb rules, Lou Lamoriello. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lamoriello and his resume speaks for itself, but he’s a very boring leader. He doesn’t like his players wearing numbers over 30. He doesn’t like his players having beards. Why? he sees it as flashy. Kyle Dubas took over the general manager duties for the leafs and encouraged his team to grow out their beards and show their personality. Soon after Lamoriello resigned, Matthews was posing for GQ, and it makes me wonder if that would have happened sooner had Lamoriello not been GM.

Lamoriello took over for the Islanders and John Tavares left on July 1st, a little over a month after Lamoriello’s hiring. Did Lamiorello tell Tavares he couldn’t wear number 91 anymore? Or that he couldn’t keep a stubble? I mean, he did make Barzal go see a barber after he got hired. However, with all that being said and him not wanting the team to have much fun, it’s worked for the Islanders as they sit 1st in their division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference just behind Tampa Bay.

Basically, All I want to get across is old people around the league don’t like it when the young guys have fun. Ovechkin celebrating his goals, the way the Capitals celebrated their Stanley Cup victory, Evander Kane having fun in Vegas or even that blown out of proportion media scramble about Kane’s tracksuit in Winnipeg. The league needs faces that have personality and charisma in order to gain popularity to the level that the NBA and NFL has. In the 80’s, Gretzky, the face of the league for 2 decades, was on cereal boxes, TV shows, late night talk shows. He was vocal, engaged with fans and was recognized by even non hockey fans. Crosby and McDavid need to get out there and show some energy, show some character. We have it all, fast speed, fighting, flashy dangles, the league just needs to do a better job getting it showcased on social media, and that starts with its star players. It’s doing just fine in Canada, But the U.S. can use some work.


What’s Next For The Oilers?

photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees

The most Stock photo representation of the Oilers I could find.
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

The inevitable has happened. Peter Chiarelli was fired as the GM of the Edmonton Oilers. Keith Gretzky has been named the interim GM while the brain trust finds a permanent replacement.  Chiarelli is the first fired Edmonton Oilers’ GM to not be retained in a limited fashion since Glen Sather left in 2000. In the past 19 years, Kevin Lowe, Steve Tambellini, and Craig MacTavish have all been re-assigned instead of being fired, with Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish still remaining with the team. This is significant, as Chiarelli will not have any influence on the team moving forward, unlike Lowe and MacTavish.
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Edmonton Oilers’ CEO Bob Nicholson has stated that he would like to change the organizational philosophy, and today’s move has done so. Kailer Yamamoto has been sent down to gain more seasoning.

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With the possible change in philosophy, what are the long term steps for the Oilers? We’re here today to explore that, and we’ve come up with a few ideas.

    1. Turn a new leaf, with new management and new philosophies. When it comes to the Oilers and the last ten years, they’ve become infamous for two main reasons; being terrible, and winning the first overall pick. Teams with winning records and backgrounds don’t get known for these things; just ask the Detroit Red Wings. For this, the Oilers will have to tear it all down, and start from the beginning. How much appetite does the organization have for a teardown like this? This has to be initiated from the top at ownership,  and there does not seem to be too interest from Katz. To do this, the Oilers have to hire externally for their next GM, and avoid hiring a former Oilers star to take his place. Their ideal GM would have a proven track record with a big market, and has a speciality in trading. The Oilers of the past have been alright when it comes to drafting, but if the Hall and Eberle sagas have said anything; they need help with player retention. For the prospective GM, the main selling point would have to be, Connor McDavid, and the thought that, “Hey, we’ve bottomed out, what can I do to make it worse?”. It’s an interesting proposition, and I would say there’s a 30% chance of this happening.
    2. The same old remains the same old. The Oilers hire someone within the organization to lead the organization. Why? Because why not. Stop making tasty wines Wayne Gretzky and come on down! Stop trying to fix the defense on the ice and come up to the front office Paul Coffey! Come down the hallway Craig MacTavish! I suppose it has something to do with the name recognition and the ability to excite fans, but your GM should not be what excites people! It should be the players! People pay hard-earned money to watch the players play on the ice, and not the GM make some phone calls. Besides, this has totally worked in the past, why can’t it happen again? Right? In all honesty, this is the path I would not want to see. There comes a point where you just kind of feel bad for the team, and we’re getting real close to there. It’s never really worked before and we understand psychologically why. The organization needs a new direction, as the old one clearly hasn’t gone so well. Unfortunately, past behaviour is usually the best indicator of future behaviour, and is the most likely scenario, I give this a 55% chance of happening.
    3. So I’m going to preface this with this idea being a total long shot, but it would be the absolute greatest. I’m also going to preface this with I hope Eugene Melnyk is reading this, because he could save a whole bunch of money with this idea. Darryl Katz becomes the new GM of the Edmonton Oilers. Why? Because it’s totally worked in other sports. Look at Jerry Jones and how successful the Dallas Cowboys are. They’re America’s Team, and with Darryl Katz at the helm of the Oilers they could become Canada’s Team, oh, absolute shivers down my spine. (Editor’s Note: How you interpret the shivers is up to you the readers). Ignore the fact that the owner of the Stanley Cup winning Capitals said that, “If you’re making the decisions and you think what you know is more than your coach and general manager, then they can’t work for you.” Ignore that! You can do better than that! With the braintrust of Bob Nicholson, Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, etc. You could definitely manage the team! It’s like managing a large drug store right? I would like to say after my convincing and arguments, the likelihood of it happening is higher than 5%, but 5% is already pushing it and I am not going to push my luck much further.

So there you have it folks, the Oilers are at a crossroads, and need to do something. What can they do? I personally would say do number three. That’s definitely the best option for the fans (of other teams), financially, and hockey wise. Do you have any ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

With the end of this post, I’m going to start a new segment with a completely outlandish trade rumor that Twitter users believe. I hope you like it, and hey maybe I’m the crazy one here.

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