The news last night in regard to Milan Lucic should not have come as a surprise, to me the big winger reflects a Peter Chiarelli team very well. A big contract offer is very likely coming from Edmonton, should Lucic reach free agency. It also gives us a clue about who about who might be in play for a trade (Hall, Pouliot), but miles to go.
If Lucic is acquired by Edmonton, it will mark the second year in a row that Peter Chiarelli addressed need in a curious way. Last summer, with obvious defensive issues, the GM traded for LHD Griffin Reinhart, a young player who was not NHL-ready. Edmonton had several lefties in a similar spot, and in fact both Darnell Nurse and Brandon Davidson landed jobs ahead of the new hire—effectively derailing the big draft day trade of 2015.
The difference? No doubt in my mind that a Lucic addition would indicate one of Taylor Hall or Benoit Pouliot heading out of town. Defensemen who might be in play? Using Frank Seravalli’s list, I would say P.K. Subban and Hampus Lindholm are the only two known blue who might fit into a Hall trade conversation. Thoughts?
Mikhail Sergachyov measures in at 6.2 221 at the combine and turns 18 in a few weeks. That's a lot of muscle already.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) June 4, 2016
Sergachev is my top defenseman for the 2016 draft (I should have my final list up tomorrow some time). He is a lefty, but Red Line Report lists him as RHD because he plays there a lot. Our own Centre of Attention has viewed him playing RH side in all situations on video. Our conversations this spring surrounding handedness are compelling enough for me to believe Sergachev should play his LH side, but for me he is also worthy of consideration at No. 4 overall. One of the compelling reasons to trade down is that he might still be available at No. 7 overall. If the Oilers deal No. 4 for No. 7 and No. 27, and grab Sergachev and Tyler Benson in the first round, I think it would represent terrific asset management on draft day. Agree? By the way, this post at The Hockey Writers on combine heights and weights is fascinating.
Olli Juolevi met w/ #Oilers at combine. Enjoyed meeting Chiarelli & staff. “It was pretty nice… I had a good feeling after the meeting.”
— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) June 4, 2016
A lot of angst and anger about Peter Chiarelli and his Oilers management group these days, and I think that is understandable. I want to address two things this morning in regard to PC: Your expectations for this month and what we can agree on as progress.
- Peter Chiarelli helped build a winner in Boston, but also made curious deals all down the line. At the 2011 deadline—on the way to Stanley—he dealt a second-round pick for checking forward Chris Kelly; Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart for Rich Peverley; Joe Colborne plus first round (Rikard Rikell) and second round (Mike Winther) selections for Tomas Kaberle.
Last summer, the new GM brought in Andrej Sekera, Cam Talbot and Mark Letestu, moves I view as being positive (fairly certain most disagree with at least one name there). I also felt the Eric Gryba addition helped the defensive depth, but the acquisitions of Lauri Korpikoski and Griffin Reinhart (the trade only made sense if he could help immediately) were clear misses.
What would a strong summer’s work by Peter Chiarelli look like? Here is my answer:
- Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (sign Jason Demers)
- Second-pairing RHD to partner with Sekera (Tyson Barrie/Sami Vatanen, but a secondary/less proven option like Anthony DeAngelo also has value. Mark Fayne could play second pair, with the puck mover lining up with Brandon Davidson, third pair)
- Acquire RHC with some skill (Small group available. Andrew Shaw? Tommy Wingels? Tyler Bozak?)
- Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, James Reimer)
- Offload unwanted contract (Lauri Korpikoski)
If Chiarelli can do these things, keep the forward group together and add enough depth to force young blue like Nurse and Reinhart to the minors, I would call that an outstanding summer. You? What would you like to see?
What would a poor summer look like? Trading Taylor Hall—unless an impact player like Subban is the return—makes no sense from here. Changing the culture has not and is not the problem—adding actual NHL players, reaching balance and a roster overrun by rookies and sophomores has always been the problem.
QUALITY OF THE DRAFT
- Bob Green: “We’ve liked the draft right from the very beginning. Obviously, the top end is very good. Everybody’s going to get a good player in the first round. There’s depth to it. You know that some of the kids later on are going to turn into players, you’ve just got to figure out which one it is.” Source
The mention yesterday in regard to the importance of the third-round selections along with this from Green is encouraging. It suggests management is aware of just how poor the prospect list is at this time, and the need to aggressively add as many as six legit NHL prospects this spring and summer. Drake Cagguila is one, five to go.
NAMES TO REMEMBER
Currently, the names rattling around for Edmonton are Milan Lucic, Hampus Lindholm, Matt Tkachuk, Olli Juolevi, Tyler Benson, Mikhail Sergachev. I like all of those names, but absolutely question Taylor Hall’s prominence in current discussions. Ridiculous, unless Subban is coming here—and I like Lindholm plenty. Hey Anaheim, if you want Hall for Lindholm, what are you adding? That is my question.