We are about one year into the Peter Chiarelli era, and the range of views about his work in those 12 months is wide. Some feel there is little or no progress—and any that has taken place is due to improvement of the youths—while others feel the long road north has now been joined and it is only a matter of time. All agree that the trade and procurement record is uneven and not easily explained.
BEGGAR’S BREAKFAST, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
- Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
- Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
- Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
- Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
- Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1
- Oilers in January 2015: 5-7-1
- Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2
- Oilers in February 2015: 5-6-1
- Oilers in February 2016: 4-8-2
- Oilers in March 2015: 5-6-3
- Oilers in March 2016: 6-5-0
- Oilers after 75 in 2014-15: 22-40-13, 57 points (-71 GD)
- Oilers after 75 in 2015-16: 29-39-7, 65 points (-38 GD)
Nelson’s Oilers G76 marched into Denver and won 4-1, and at that point were running down some teams ahead of them. From tonight through the end of the year, Edmonton went 2-4-1 to finish 24-44-14, 62 points. If the Oilers can match it, and that is a tall order based on this week’s road trip, McLellan’s crew will finish 31-43-8, 70 points. The GDs remain markedly improved year over year.
- As we get deeper into this discussion, I think there is some room for a conversation that brings back Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson on LH side, and then a (mostly) new set of blue on RH side. Fair? Assuming Klefbom and Davidson are healthy?
- Mark Fayne is signed for two more years, and trading him may involve sending an extra asset or retaining. Why do that? Seems to me he could play a role here, and allow the Oilers to push down the prospects to the AHL for recall (remember, 14 D have played in Edmonton this season).
- Jason Demers is a player who looks like a reasonable bet and he costs only money. If the Oilers add (via trade) a legit defender, and run Demers and Fayne, does that work?
- Klefbom—Jason Demers
- Sekera—Sami Vatanen
- (No. 7 could be any number of players)
If you can make a deal for Vatanen, sign Demers, and keep Fayne, the starting six have plenty of experienced men, a reasonable option for the PP (Vatanen is 4-14-18 on the PP and has 133 shots on goal this year). What would it take? Don’t know.
LEFT WINGERS, 2015-16
RIGHT WINGERS, 2015-16
- Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle all scored 2.00/60 at 5×5 or damn close this season. That is a tremendous foundation for a bona fide offense—and the Oilers badly need one. The last Oilers team to outscore its goaltending? The Pronger Oilers.
- Ryan Nugent—Hopkins, Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu, Zack Kassian and a right-handed shooter for the power play might get this crazy bird turned around.
- If you could address the defense without upsetting the forwards, would you?
Can the Oilers afford to add Demers, Vatanen and Laine, while saying goodbye to only Nikita Nikitin, Andrew Ference (LTIR)—while also factoring in the additions of Talbot and Klefbom’s new deals? The NHL Cap could go as to $74.4 million according to recent estimates.
- Goal: Cam Talbot $4.167 million; Laurent Brossoit $750,000 (TOTAL: $4.917 million)
- Defense: Andrej Sekera $5.5 million; Jason Demers $5.0 million(est); Oscar Klefbom $4.167 million; Mark Fayne $3.625 million; Sami Vatanen $5.0 million(est); Brandon Davidson $1.425 million; Eric Gryba $1.0 million (estimate). (TOTAL: $ 25.717 million)
- Center: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins $6 million; Connor McDavid $3.775 million; Leon Draisaitl $3.4 million; Mark Letestu $1.8 million; Anton Lander $988,000. (TOTAL: $15.963 million).
- Left Wing: Taylor Hall $6 million; Benoit Pouliot $4 million; Patrick Maroon $1.5 million; Jujhar Khaira $894,000. Lauri Korpikoski $2.7 million. (TOTAL: $12.394 million).
- Right Wing: Jordan Eberle $6 million; Patrik Laine $3.775 million (estimate); Zack Kassian $2.4 million (estimate); Matt Hendricks $1.85 million; Iiro Pakarinen $1.0 million (estimate). (TOTAL: $15.025 million).
- OVERALL: $74,016,000.
- Is there a way to shoe-horn Kyle Okposo onto this roster? No.
- I have moved Nail Yakupov and Lauri Korpikoski from the roster for the purposes of this conversation. Yakupov should be a fairly easy move, far less certain about the Finn.
- Patrik Laine was added via No. 2 overall selection.
- Sami Vatanen was added via Darnell Nurse and sundry items. I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell this happens, but wanted to see if we could cobble together an improved defensive roster without impacting the forwards.
- I do think Nurse has substantial trade value. Having seen him live, his dynamic combination of size and speed is impressive. The fact he could be ineligible for the coming expansion draft adds to his value in a deal like the one I am suggesting with Anaheim.
- Yesterday, I made a list of assets in play, based on reaction it is probably a good time to publicly proclaim that I don’t hate any of the people mentioned in the piece, you the reader, or really anyone. Discussing trade options does not equal hatred, anger, stupidity, ‘boner’ or any such thing. Thanks.
- In this model, we address top pairing defense (Demers), second pairing plus power-play qb (Vatanen) and RH sniper (Laine). We also retain the strength at center and leave the wingers in place, sans Yakupov. I didn’t replace Lander, but Chiarelli will this summer.
DRAFT DAY TRADE IDEAS
Of all the teams that are possible I see CAR as the best fit. Faulk, #8 for Nuge, #3? CAR is loaded on the backend.
— Sean Solbak (@frozenpools) March 22, 2016
As we have discussed at length, any trade that moves out RNH must also bring back a center. If the Oilers make the trade suggested by Mr. Solbak, a Frans Nielsen would also have to be added. Not ideal, especially considering there is no guarantee Nielsen signs in Edmonton.
Feelings around NHL teams in October: Chychrun clear top d in draft.
January: 50-50 between him and Juolevi
March: Probably Juolevi is 1.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) March 21, 2016
Pronman is a smart guy and he definitely has access, so this is an interesting confirmation of what I have been reading/hearing. Juolevi’s NHLE is in the range with the other three defensemen I have in my top 10 (Chychrun, Sergachev, Jake Bean), so this (somewhat) late break should come as no surprise. It also means there is every chance we will see a ‘Cam Fowler slide’ this year—a consensus top 10 selection falling outside the top 10 overall.
I looked at NMCs and what teams could find themselves exposing valuable players to the expansion draft. https://t.co/myMDegjFYN
— Dustin Nelson (@dlukenelson) March 22, 2016
Dustin Nelson has a piece out about the expansion draft and teams who could be giving up something very good. I will write a lot about the coming expansion draft, but history teaches us that the first draft of the expansion rules has no real relationship to the final one. The chances of the final draft of that document being released before the activities of this summer are not high based on history. We wait, but Nelson did a fine job of taking a photo of the current situation.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Oilers in Arizona, Oilers over summer, Oilers when the walls fell.
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Oil Kings in Medicine Hat tonight for a one-game entry into the playoffs. The Tigers ran over the OK in the regular season. Can Edmonton turn it around?
- Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report. March Madness continues, we will talk about the upsets and the new favorites to win it all.
- Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst. I want to drill down on this movement among defensemen at the top of the draft.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!