PIONEERS

One year ago today, the Edmonton Oilers signed Joey Laleggia. The former Denver Pioneers defender had a major impact during his college career and posted solid numbers (55, 7-17-24) as an AHL rookie.

Today, the Bakersfield Condors signed  RW Joey Benik from St. Cloud State. One of the reasons he chose the Condors (and he did have options) is Laleggia:

  • Benik on a conversation with former Penticton Vee teammate Laleggia: “I spoke with him in the afternoon and let him know my situation and I got his opinion on how he liked it and how things are there. He’s having a good experience.” Source

I have mentioned a few times that in conversations with Tom Lynn on the Lowdown he has mentioned the importance of these college kids getting a chance. News travels fast, even good news. So, when a Mark Arcobello or Andrew Miller or Jordan Oesterle gets an NHL chance, that gets noticed. This is going to be very important for Peter Chiarelli, as he tries to recover enough talent to stock a minor league system next year (and beyond).

  • Joey Benik
  • Age: 24
  • RW
  • 5.10, 175
  • 41, 23-25-48 (NHLE: 82, 19-20-39)
  • ATO this season, one-way AHL deal for next year (Bakersfield) and if an NHL team comes calling with a full deal, he will be released from the contract. (I think that last portion is universal).

He will be an interesting player to follow, the NHLE suggests he can help offensively.

Ah, yes. Memories. I have to say that March 2, 2015 was a tough day for Oilers fans because that quote represented another tough year. As it turns out, one year later Oscar and Fayne are still standing (although Oscar has spent much of the year not skating) and Justin, Nikita and Andrew are gone or on the outs.

A year ago we began the conversation about summer, and what might be added by Craig MacTavish and then Peter Chiarelli. Here is my suggested list from March 5:

  1. G Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings: He narrowly beats out Antti Raanta because Jones’ resume is so consistent. The least successful season he’s had as a pro is this one and it’s still good. I understand this is shopping at the same store as a year ago but I don’t believe flushing Ben Scrivens is a good idea either. Devan Dubnyk recovered, so can Ben.
  2. D’s Andrej Sekera and Patrick Wiercioch: If MacT is serious about Klefbom—Schultz and Ference—Nikitin, then the team badly needs a strong, strong top pairing/shut down option. Sekera—Fayne might be that duo and Wiercioch will be needed when the veterans fail.
  3. L Matt Beleskey: A solid even-strength scorer who could play up and down the lineup (Oilers top two LW’s, Hall and Pouliot, had a hard time staying healthy this year), he can clearly deliver on a skill line.
  4. C Derek Roy: He’s helping Yakupov and that’s no easy task. Much has been made about Roy’s WOWY number but he’s 50% away from Yakupov for the year (including all games) so I’m hopeful they sign him and commit to the young Russian (MacT’s comments in this regard are very encouraging).

Peter Chiarelli went a different route (Cam Talbot, Andrej Sekera, Eric Gryba, Lauri Korpikoski, Mark Letestu) and of course the team drafted Connor McDavid (something we didn’t think of in early March). This summer? I think the list is longer and here are my suggested hires:

  1. Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (Jason Demers)
  2. Scoring winger from free agency (Lee Stempniak)
  3. Offload unwanted contracts (Lauri Korpikoski)
  4. Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, but may cost too much)
  5. Re-stock the system partly through college and CHL signings (Benik, but also Winquist, et al)
  6. Build up the system (especially forwards) via draft (Laine, Tyler Benson)

I believe the second pairing should be Sekera—Fayne and the organization should retain the Nuge.

  • Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Jordan Eberle
  • Taylor Hall—Leon Draisaitl—Patrik Laine
  • Benoit Pouliot—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Lee Stempniak
  • Matt Hendricks—Mark Letestu—Iiro Pakarinen
  • Oscar Klefbom—Jason Demers
  • Andrej Sekera—Mark Fayne
  • Darnell Nurse—Brandon Davidson
  • Cam Talbot—Jonas Ehnroth

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40 Responses to "PIONEERS"

  1. Stelio Kontos says:

    How about Cole Benson?

  2. Ducey says:

    I think your proposed list and lineup is reasonable, LT. I think Gryba or Pardy will be back too.

    I don’t know much about Stempniak, or why you would see him a fit over others. Maybe he could be a subject in coming weeks.

  3. Acumen says:

    I do really hate to say it but Nuge is the 6mil man it just makes sense to move if there’s a suitable higher end two way 3C to be found out there. We have two top line Cs from now until forever who compliment each other very very well.

    I’m not saying I want to hand him away, mind. But if you can get someone like Pietrangelo for him? Goes a long way to solving the problems we have here.

  4. Concur says:

    No Kassian?

    I would rather see 8 defencemen on the roster opening night than. 14 forwards. They need the flexibility.

  5. Jaxon says:

    I like your plan. I disagree on a couple names but I like it. I’m leaning to Puljujarvi (speedy right hander with a complete game) and think Chad Johnson would be a perfect fit as Talbot’s backup (Alberta kid, big, played very well for Chiarelli, played with Talbot for 3 seasons already, 29 yrs old).

    I’d sign Demers if I could and then I’d take a run at a couple more big young right hand D with some offensive ability to compete for jobs.

    Davidson & Khaira to BUF for Mark Pysyk & Justin Bailey.
    Yakupov & Musil to WSH for Madison Bowey & Riley Barber.
    Korpikoski & Caleb Jones to CBJ for Michael Paliotta & Kerby Rychel.

    That would stock the RD prospect cupboard with close to NHL ready players with plenty of upside.

    RW would become Eberle, Kassian, Puljujarvi and one or two of IIro Pakarinen, Riley Barber or Justin Bailey.
    LW would become Hall, Pouliot, Maroon, Hendricks (traded at next deadline?), and Slepyshev or Rychel.
    C would become McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, Letestu, and Yakimov or Lander.

    And then try to sign Brent burns next summer.

  6. jonrmcleod says:

    New York Islanders @NYIslanders
    #Isles Injury Update: Travis Hamonic will not return to tonight’s game (lower body).

    All the D targets are going down. First, Demers, now Hamonic.

  7. Water Fire says:

    II i

    Acumen:
    I do really hate to say it but Nuge is the 6mil man it just makes sense to move if there’s a suitable higher end two way 3C to be found out there. We have two top line Cs from now until forever who compliment each other very very well.

    I’m not saying I want to hand him away, mind. But if you can get someone like Pietrangelo for him? Goes a long way to solving the problems we have here.

    LT has a way of listing lines that isn’t about usage per se. In that roster No he is 1C because he has vet wingers and he’s the only talented vet C. That line has to play toughs more often than not.

    I wonder why Stempniak gets moved so much despite consistent strong numbers. I thought about him but would bet he doesn’t get signed.

    Edit – thumbs too big today, No is Nuge and all the other typos

  8. Woodguy says:

    Acumen:
    I do really hate to say it but Nuge is the 6mil man it just makes sense to move if there’s a suitable higher end two way 3C to be found out there. We have two top line Cs from now until forever who compliment each other very very well.

    I’m not saying I want to hand him away, mind. But if you can get someone like Pietrangelo for him? Goes a long way to solving the problems we have here.

    GoalsForOn/60p Away from Hall:

    McDavid 3.52
    RNH 1.92
    Draisaitl 1.28

    Saddle can’t carry a line.

    He might in a couple years.

    The Oiler cannot afford to trade Nuge today imo.

    Maybe by the end of McDavid’s ELC, but not today.

  9. godot10 says:

    Demers is NOT enough, IMHO. One needs two new right shot D.

  10. Dicky94 says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Just us fans talking about them being Oilers next year gets them injured. They should fit in great with this injury prone team. (Kidding of course… Sort of).

  11. AsiaOil says:

    If you have solid criteria to guide your decisions – the summer “to do” list is pretty clear:

    Forwards
    – big salaries ($6million+) are only for river pushers who are well rounded and make lesser linemates better. In my books this is is only Hall with CDM in line and perhaps Drai (depends on year 3 performance)

    – protect centers in the expansion draft at all costs and deal off or expose non-elite wingers. RNH is overpaid given his offense – but he’s well rounded and centers have value. Keep him unless an offer knocks your socks off. Hall is the only winger we must absolutely protect.

    – complementary guys in top 6 roles require complimentary salaries (max $4.0 million) as they do not push results on their own and have holes in their game (defense, size, grit, offense). I would put Ebs and RNH in this class as guys who could be replaced by players with a lower cap hit. Pouliot is complimentary but paid as such, Maroon is complimentary and a deal for now, Yak is complimentary and could have been a deal if properly utilized but he’s gonzo.

    – RW is almost as big a problem as RHD. The bottom 6 is unsettled and the top 6 is one-dimensional with an over-paid complimentary player (Ebs) or a dysfunctional complimentary player (Yak). Needs to be fixed. Need skilled-size RW for the top 6 who are paid appropriately (divide Ebs salary into a $4 million dollar guy and a $2.5 million guy). Need a bigger, cheap 4th line RW (Khaira?). I’d resign Kassian who may be a bit overpaid for a 2nd/3rd line role – but I like the crazy he brings to an otherwise overly tame lineup.

    Defensemen
    – find and protect as many quality dmen as possible (minimum 4) both young and mid-career (Sekera, Klef, Nurse, GR, Davidson are candidates on existing roster)

    – consider trading a LHD for RHD alone or in package (but not Nurse as he’s expansion draft exempt).

    – we can give NYI a dman as long as it’s Fayne/Davidson/GR. If Davidson and Yak gets Hamonic then you think hard about that deal. Eberle for Vatanen is another deal I consider.

    – not sure on Demers as a UFA signing unless he signs for less than $5 million (doubtful). We have to be careful about more longterm deals with older guys as we already have Sekera tied up and young guys are getting nearer their 2nd contracts. Need a value contract like Hamonic. If we could acquire Vatanen for Ebs and he was willing to sign a 2 year / $8 million deal for his last 2 RFA years – I’d be tempted to do that and deal with the UFA issue down the road.

    Goal
    Protect Talbot and sign a legit NHL backup to compete with LB (best guy gets the job in honest competition at TC).

    It will be a busy summer for Chia…..

  12. MrEd says:

    is it just the NHL or do other leagues hamstring teams as far as planning? Cap projections are offered only months before seasons begin. Also with the prospect of expansion… GM’s need to know.
    Right? RIGHT? Geez.

  13. Lowetide says:

    There may be no expansion.

  14. MrEd says:

    Stempniak is fine but only because he’s flushable IMO.

  15. MrEd says:

    Lowetide,
    Exactly. But yet…
    *shakes head*

  16. Water Fire says:

    godot10:
    Demers is NOT enough, IMHO.One needs two new right shot D.

    You have to strategize for the expansion draft. Acquiring two quality D has to incorporate a plan for someone of established NHL quality going.

  17. Water Fire says:

    Lowetide:
    There may be no expansion.

    I am sure it can’t be up in the air, or how can the 30 owners of the corporation plan? Not a chance IMO it is a surprise. GM’s will act accordingly. Perhaps not 2017 and that makes projecting guesswork for us.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Keven Bouchard, in four Q playoff games, has a SP of .913. That is unpossible.

  19. Kmart99 says:

    Draft Auston Matthews. Play Leon on RW.

    Hall-Nuge-Drai
    Pou-Connor-Ebs
    Maroon-Matthews-?yak?
    Dontcare-Dontcare-Dontcare

    Oscar Klefbom turns into a Norris trophy winner?

  20. Centre of attention says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/refs-review-sabres-goal-twice-call-off-twice/

    This is instantly “no goal” and withstands 2 reviews. Sparks is a rookie goalie.

    Brossoit gets a good goal call right away and the Ref has the nerve to admit to Todd afterwards that it was interference? The way Todd explained it they never really did give him a reason why. Apparently Brossoit needed to “make a different selection of save”

    It seems they just pick favorites.

  21. Water Fire says:

    Kmart99:
    Draft Auston Matthews.Play Leon on RW.

    Hall-Nuge-Drai
    Pou-Connor-Ebs
    Maroon-Matthews-?yak?
    Dontcare-Dontcare-Dontcare

    Oscar Klefbom turns into a Norris trophy winner?

    If Matthews gets drafted Leon will likely be traded, Nuge has more range at this point. Same player type as Leon, Matthews will walk in as good as Leon having man league experience and has a much higher ceiling. Both left hand.

    I am not advocating anything, but trading Leon and Nuge and acquiring a C that can saw off against quality for a few years would bring tremendous assets. It would really change the org top to bottom. It has to be considered at least, but only for a fair return.

  22. Gret99zky says:

    godot10:
    Demers is NOT enough, IMHO.One needs two new right shot D.

    Throw in league average man games lost to injury and one needs even more NHL D.

  23. Kmart99 says:

    Water Fire: If Matthews gets drafted Leon will likely be traded, Nuge has more range at this point. Same player type as Leon, Matthews will walk in as good as Leon having man league experience and has a much higher ceiling. Both left hand.

    I am not advocating anything, but trading Leon and Nuge and acquiring a C that can saw off against quality for a few years would bring tremendous assets. It would really change the org top to bottom. It has to be considered at least, but only for a fair return.

    A significant forward definitely has to be traded, but part of me just wants to say ‘fuck you’ to the whole league and keep all the talent we can. If the league doesn’t want the Oilers to have all the top picks, then stop beating them at Hockey. :):):):):):):):)

  24. godot10 says:

    Water Fire: You have to strategize for the expansion draft. Acquiring two quality D has to incorporate a plan for someone of established NHL quality going.

    If I am acquiring Demers (or equivalent) for only money, big money, it is extremely unlikely that he gets claimed in an expansion draft. He won’t have to be protected. Just make sure you don’t give him a NMC. No one will be offering him an NMC this summer, so the OIlers wouldn’t have to.

    OR if one D,

    Sekera, Klefbom, Demers, Davidson (plus Nurse doesn’t have to be protected)
    Hall, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle (plus McDavid).

    OR

    If the second D is acquired, one of the four protected forwards is probably gone, one can protect 5D and three forwards. (choice left is between the remaining 4th forward and a cheap Reinhart).

    OR

    Or just leave Demers unprotected. Give them the choice of an expensive Demers or a cheap Reinhart or your 5th forward.

    OR

    Offer Demers or equivalent UFA a really large two year deal and leave him unprotected. #theNikitinManouvre

    i.e. Acquiring two D is not an expansion draft problem if done correctly.

  25. Stelio Kontos says:

    Hope our boys can pull though for the 20%. Remember if you beat the opponent, they win.

  26. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Keven Bouchard, in four Q playoff games, has a SP of .913. That is unpossible.

    Crazy. How the heck did he get into 4 playoff games?

  27. jp says:

    Water Fire: If Matthews gets drafted Leon will likely be traded, Nuge has more range at this point. Same player type as Leon, Matthews will walk in as good as Leon having man league experience and has a much higher ceiling. Both left hand.

    There was talk the Coyote’s would trade OEL for Matthews, no?

    You’d have to do that, wouldn’t you (it it’s true). Though I guess an expansion draft might change everything…

  28. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    There may be no expansion.

    “THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!”

  29. Richard S.S. says:

    It’s all about McDavid for one line and Hall for another. Everyone else only matter if they fit with McDavid or Hall, really fit. It matters if Chiarelli has cap room giving him the option to sign Steven Stamkos. That’s playoffs. Size matters, but it’s useless without top skills. Skills are overshadowed when size is lacking. Top Defenseman are extremely expensive, but are worth the price. Leon or Nuge have extreme trade value as top centers. A Top Three Pick in the 2016 Draft has extreme trade value for whom they acquire. From this point on, it’s all about Chiarelli.

  30. Evilas says:

    I think the LD side is set. I hope the best for K-Bomb, but many of us here saw him as potentially injury prone before he came to North America . Hopefully (how many years now have we collectively hung our hats on hope, again?) he is able to recover and is able to stay healthy. One thing for sure is that he is a mentally tough young man.

    The question is, do you trade him for Hamonic, use Davidson as your 2LD and Reinhart as 3LD. Sign Demers and keep Fayne? Sign Pardy & Gryba for insurance and have Oesterle and Nurse as call-ups?

    But is this good enough?

  31. StixMalone says:

    Centre of attention,

    Centre of attention:
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/refs-review-sabres-goal-twice-call-off-twice/

    This is instantly “no goal” and withstands 2 reviews. Sparks is a rookie goalie.

    Brossoit gets a good goal call right away and the Ref has the nerve to admit to Todd afterwards that it was interference? The way Todd explained it they never really did give him a reason why. Apparently Brossoit needed to “make a different selection of save”

    It seems they just pick favorites.

    Centre of attention:
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/refs-review-sabres-goal-twice-call-off-twice/

    This is instantly “no goal” and withstands 2 reviews. Sparks is a rookie goalie.

    Brossoit gets a good goal call right away and the Ref has the nerve to admit to Todd afterwards that it was interference? The way Todd explained it they never really did give him a reason why. Apparently Brossoit needed to “make a different selection of save”

    It seems they just pick favorites.

    I hope the NHL comes up with a better mandate for this crap. NHL refs are not capable of these decisions. Maybe the league needs a ref school or mandatory yearly exams. This I blame the NHL 100%. Improve this for next year please!
    Same with this B.S. appeal process to suspensions. It makes a mockery of the leagues justice dept. Should just have a court system with lawyers (NHLPA side and NHL side), judge and a jury system. When the sentence is handed down the process is done and both sides happy. (Of course this doesn’t even happen in the real world). But I can see tougher longer sentences being handed out to offenders by the league knowing the appeal process will reduce the punishment anyway. So player A who should get 20 games will be given 30 games. Appeal gets it knocked down to 20 which is what league wanted originally!
    On that appeal note, who in the world and why in the world are there”independent arbitrators” ??? How does one get into this position? With this sour economy perhaps a career change might be in order. I think I could enjoy doing this and getting paid too….lol

  32. BONE207 says:

    Woodguy,

    I dunno…I still see 5. Must be too much reading these articles and not enough commenting.

    Hey LT…why do you hate…?? Kidding. Now that you have changed the way you will conduct your writing/commentary on players, if you are really pissed or tired of the shit someone projects toward you, perhaps use a line like this: That Dave Keon guy spilled half his Crown Royal on my shoes!!

  33. LP says:

    AsiaOil:
    If you have solid criteria to guide your decisions – the summer “to do” list is pretty clear:

    Forwards
    – big salaries ($6million+) are only for river pushers who are well rounded and make lesser linemates better. In my books this is is only Hall with CDM in line and perhaps Drai (depends on year 3 performance)

    – protect centers in the expansion draft at all costs and deal off or expose non-elite wingers. RNH is overpaid given his offense – but he’s well rounded and centers have value. Keep him unless an offer knocks your socks off. Hall is the only winger we must absolutely protect.

    – complementary guys in top 6 roles require complimentary salaries (max $4.0 million) as they do not push results on their own and have holes in their game (defense, size, grit, offense). I would put Ebs and RNH in this class as guys who could be replaced by players with a lower cap hit. Pouliot is complimentary but paid as such, Maroon is complimentary and a deal for now, Yak is complimentary and could have been a deal if properly utilized but he’s gonzo.

    – RW is almost as big a problem as RHD. The bottom 6 is unsettled and the top 6 is one-dimensional with an over-paid complimentary player (Ebs) or a dysfunctional complimentary player (Yak). Needs to be fixed. Need skilled-size RW for the top 6 who are paid appropriately (divide Ebs salary into a $4 million dollar guy and a $2.5 million guy). Need a bigger, cheap 4th line RW (Khaira?). I’d resign Kassian who may be a bit overpaid for a 2nd/3rd line role – but I like the crazy he brings to an otherwise overly tame lineup.

    Defensemen
    – find and protect as many quality dmen as possible (minimum 4) both young and mid-career (Sekera, Klef, Nurse, GR, Davidson are candidates on existing roster)

    – consider trading a LHD for RHD alone or inpackage (but not Nurse as he’s expansion draft exempt).

    – we can give NYI a dman as long as it’s Fayne/Davidson/GR. If Davidson and Yak gets Hamonic then you think hard about that deal. Eberle for Vatanen is another deal I consider.

    – not sure on Demers as a UFA signing unless he signs for less than $5 million (doubtful). We have to be careful about more longterm deals with older guys as we already have Sekera tied up and young guys are getting nearer their 2nd contracts. Need a value contract like Hamonic. If we could acquire Vatanen for Ebs and he was willing to sign a 2 year / $8 million deal for his last 2 RFA years – I’d be tempted to do that and deal with the UFA issue down the road.

    Goal
    Protect Talbot and sign a legit NHL backup to compete with LB (best guy gets the job in honest competition at TC).

    It will be a busy summer for Chia…..

    This. Exactly this.

    Crazy to read that MacT quote 1 year later…

    Makes me feel better going forward with Chiarelli.

  34. highgloveside says:

    Sorry LT but your projected lineup wold be considered a joke if that is all PC accomplished. The forward group is currently not the right mix and everyone knows PC wants size and aggression, your lineup shows none of that being added. The defense is terrible Adding Demers helps but won’t make it even close to competitive enough to push for playoffs and thats including the return of Davidson and Klefbom. It would be dumb to think Klefbom will come back in Oct and be his usual self, heck, he may not be ready to play by then. 2 RD should be added, no if ands or buts.

    Also, there is no way Nuge will play on 3rd line, it is 2C or 2RW or he will be traded. $6 mill on 3C with minimal supporting cast is plain stupid

    On the defense, I see a couple being gone.

    As LT said, we have super depth on LD and expect one of Nurse or Davidson being traded, likely Davidson in a package for a dman as a top d trade usually wants an up and comer coming back as well.

    PC will do what MAcT said he would but didnt take the little blue pill to get it done.

    I think this is closer to what PC will want as a roster with Eberle traded

    Lucic – McDavid – Okposo
    Hall – Draisaitl – Maroon
    Brock Nelson – Nuge – Laine
    Hendricks – Letestu – Pakaranin

    Sekera – Hamonic
    Klefbom – Vatanen
    Pardy – Fayne

    Nurse and Reinhart in AHL for at least 40 games

    Eberle + Davidson for Hamonic + Brock Nelson
    Pouliot + Yak for Vatanen + 2nd
    Korp to ARI 4th rd

    Roster with Getting Matthews and Nuge, Draisaitl and Eberle traded.

    Lucic – McDavid – Okposo
    Hall – Matthews – Maroon
    Brock Nelson – Coyle – Neidereider
    Hendricks – Letestu – Pakaranin
    Sekera – Hamonic
    Klefbom – Faulk
    Pardy – Fayne

    Eberle – Davidson – Hamonic + Nelson
    Nuge + Pouliot for Faulk and
    Draisaitl + Yak for Coyle + Neidereider
    Korp to ARI 4th rd

    The players probably are not all right but I think PC is wanting to make this many and these types of moves to change the team. The entire 3rd line cap hit is just a bit higher than Nuges cap and they all have multiple years left. The Oilers are not good enough for only tweaks, they need an identity change, bigger throughout lineup. every player added (except drafted players) are all over 210 lbs, its the type of dimensional change the team requires

  35. spoiler says:

    LT said…

    Peter Chiarelli went a different route (Cam Talbot, Andrej Sekera, Eric Gryba, Lauri Korpikoski, Mark Letestu) and of course the team drafted Connor McDavid (something we didn’t think of in early March). This summer? I think the list is longer and here are my suggested hires:

    1.Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (Jason Demers)
    2.Scoring winger from free agency (Lee Stempniak)
    3.Offload unwanted contracts (Lauri Korpikoski)
    4.Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, but may cost too much)
    5.Re-stock the system partly through college and CHL signings (Benik, but also Winquist, et al)
    6.Build up the system (especially forwards) via draft (Laine, Tyler Benson)

    Pretty good article, you laid it out nicely.

    I have some concerns… if we’re not getting 2 RD, then IMO Demers doesn’t look good enough. He’s a good defenseman don’t get me wrong and would push Fayne down the batting order… but he looks like he’s playing 2nd pairing in Dally and his PP numbers don’t look all that great.

    Your analysis shows how key it is to move Korpse’s contract. Tough to improve the team without that space.

    A second good RD means another contract of size must go. As I’ve said before, it would be tough to justify Fayne’s money on the 3rd pairin and I’d rather move him than one of the star forwards. Run Gryba and Reinhart at 3 RD.

    Whether Fayne has enough value is another story. GMs seem to think differently in the off-season than they do in-season with less cap space. There’s a need to shuffle the deck too. So I don’t put too much stock in the pass through waivers. He’s played better since his return too.

    And we have to consider Yak’s request too.

    On Kassian, I think the Oil probably know far better than we on how he’s doing personally. I think, if he’s doing well I would keep him because he’s likely to be dirt cheap and can do some things.

    I think Chris Stewart might be the RW UFA Chia targets.

    We should be able to find a cheap backup option, it’s usually a buyer’s market in the off-season.

  36. jp says:

    highgloveside:
    Sorry LT but your projected lineup wold be considered a joke if that is all PC accomplished.The forward group is currently not the right mix and everyone knows PC wants size and aggression, your lineup shows none of that being added.The defense is terrible Adding Demers helps but won’t make it even close to competitive enough to push for playoffs and thats including the return of Davidson and Klefbom.It would be dumb to think Klefbom will come back in Oct and be his usual self, heck, he may not be ready to play by then. 2 RD should be added, no if ands or buts.

    Also, there is no way Nuge will play on 3rd line, it is 2C or 2RW or he will be traded.$6 mill on 3C with minimal supporting cast is plain stupid

    I don’t like your tone young man.

    Also, I’m not sure the $ adds up with your additions.

  37. GCW_69 says:

    I don’t understand why people look at the salary cap protections of their rosters for just one year. Leon needs a new contract next summer. The example line up shown pushes the problem out one year, but if Leon had any kind of year and ends up with a $6m deal or higher then one of the existing $6m men gets pushed out anyway, but what’s the return at that point, only prospects and picks because there is no cap room left?

    The more you look at that lineup, the more I think the team needs nurse to succeed because they are going to need to dump salary when it’s time to pay Connor, and swapping Sekera out and nurse in is one way to free up some cap space. The team needs to plan assuming McDavid’s contract starts with $10m.

    Certainly the Oilers need to have a transition plan to where they pay their third and fourth lines like Chicago does. No unicorns here, I don’t think, unless those unicorns come in the form of cheaper ELCs.

  38. Chachi says:

    I like the suggestions where the Oilers take on half the New York Islanders roster. Even better, why don’t the Oilers get half the 1980 New York Islanders roster! Bossy, Nystrom, Trottier and Potvin would do wonders for this team! Also, signing guys in their 60s might actually come under the cap unlike the ridiculous idea of bringing in a bunch of UFAs and RFAs who are goong to want in the 5-6 million dollar range to play for the Oilers.

  39. GCW_69 says:

    1.Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (Jason Demers)
    2.Scoring winger from free agency (Lee Stempniak)
    3.Offload unwanted contracts (Lauri Korpikoski)
    4.Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, but may cost too much)
    5.Re-stock the system partly through college and CHL signings (Benik, but also Winquist, et al)
    6.Build up the system (especially forwards) via draft (Laine, Tyler Benson)

    I like this list, but I think they need two defenders, not one. I was a big Fayne advocate when they signed him, but the game had evolved where puck moving ability is so critical and he has none. He is also way too expensive for third pair. The only reason to find a way to keep Fayne for the third pair is if the goal is to expose him in the expansion draft.

    Ideally, I would like to see the Oilers grab someone like Severson for that third pair RD role, maybe as part of the Yakupov trade.

    A defence of:

    Klefbom – Hamonic
    Sekera – Demers/Vatanen
    Davidson – Severson
    Nurse

    makes a lot of sense to me. Every one of them can move the puck. No one is crazy expensive and while you may have to pay Demers or Vatanen a number in the low $5s, I don’t think you need to give either anything more restrictive than a limited NTC. If that’s true, that gives the team options should Severson develop where he could push up to second pair.

    Working that model means a defence and goaltending group that costs $27-$30m for the next three years or more.

    That leaves $40m to $43m for the forwards.

    A smart budget would look to pay forwards 10-13 about $4m total (the Oilers have never been smart budgeters). If you assume the Oilers continue their bad habits, bump the number to $6m

    That leaves somewhere between $34m and $39m for nine forwards for the next two years. After that, I would assume McDavid gets $10m which means you are budgeting $24m to $29m plus any cap increase for eight forwards from 18/19 on. Do that math, and the number of $6m forwards you can carry is gets small pretty fast.

    Of course, that’s over simplifying a bit. You sign a Severson to a long term cap friendly deal and he pushes Demers/Vatanen out and any savings can go to the forwards. Sign Nurse to the same deal as Klefbom and he pushes Sekera out and you have $1.3m more that can go to the forwards. But still, the oilers are headed to a world where the forwards are gonna get squeezed. It’s just a matter of time.

  40. Jaxon says:

    Just to provide a little perspective on the injury bug that hit this team this season.

    The Oilers basically lost the equivalent of 3 of their top 10 players (1.5 seasons of top 6 forwards and 1.5 seasons of top 4 D) for the entire season. That would be tough on any team and definitely affects the win/loss columns. They lost 4 complete seasons of their top 15 (top 9 fwds and top 6 D). It was a brutal year and I think their record would be better had they even had an average amount of injuries.

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