Ramblings: “Slide” candidates down to two, Yanni’s out of his Gourde, and why is Skjei producing now? (Nov 05)

Dobber

2018-11-04

Ramblings: “Slide” candidates down to two, Yanni’s out of his Gourde, and why is Skjei producing now? (Nov 05)

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I remember when Barry Trotz coached the Predators. Year after year the prognosticators, myself included, would put the Preds near the bottom of a playoff spot, or just missing. Nashville always had a solid enough team, but not enough in the way of eye-popping stars that dazzled on paper. And yet almost every year they made the playoffs, often easily (they just didn’t go very deep, but that’s a different conversation). Is anyone truly surprised that the Isles are doing what they’re doing? Truly? I see lots of discussion on here about the tough schedule, and the PDO (luck) numbers so I don’t want to beat a dead horse. But I think it’s wrong to count out a Barry Trotz-coached team.

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We’re down to Robert Thomas and Brady Tkachuk when it comes to “slide” candidates who can be sent down before they play their 10th game thereby delaying when the entry-level deal kicks in. We all know Tkachuk is safe (he’s back soon). I mean…six points in four games? So that leaves Thomas, who I had in the Guide as playing nine games (initially) and later adjusted to 39 games (the second contract-related deadline) as he had a strong preseason. In the last week or so we’ve seen Alex Formenton, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Evan Bouchard and Kristian Vesalainen get sent down before their 10-game cutoff. Jordan Kyrou was also sent down at the nine-game mark, but he wasn’t a slide candidate and the decision was unrelated to that.

I would have said that Thomas was for sure getting sent down, but two games ago when he played with Robby Fabbri the Blues had a bonus scoring threat they could throw out there and it really worked. But then Saturday Fabbri bounced around on the scoring lines and Thomas was left as a spare part. Thomas has nothing left to learn at the OHL level, but I’m 50-50 on what happens to him.

Qualified prospects who got through that barrier? Max Comtois, Kailer Yamamoto, Henri Jokiharju,