The Edmonton Oilers did some business today in front of the qualifying deadline (3pm our time):
- Iiro Pakarinen, one-year, one-way deal at $725,000.
- David Musil, qualified.
- Adam Clendening, not qualified.
- Luke Gazdic, not qualified.
- Kale Kessy, not qualified.
- Niklas Lundstrom, not qualified.
A lot will be made about Kessy (and the cost of acquiring him), but that ship sailed many moons ago. Gazdic may return on a two-way deal (that is my guess) and Clendening represents a righty out the door.
The young Finn (he will be 25 in August) has now reached 80 NHL games and is probably going to see many more as an Oilers winger. He was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the seventh round of 2011—70 picks after Edmonton chose Tobias Rieder (whose rights were dealt for Kale Kessy). I think management likes him enough that we can probably assume he will be 13 or 14F this fall.
At the AHL level, he is a fine shutdown defender. He may be able to find an NHL career because of his size, positioning and overall defensive acumen. His problem in the Oilers organization is his lefthandedness—well, not his, but that of others. All of the others.
This is a problem—or should be, although Edmonton does have several LHD who can play right side. With the evidence we have available, it is reasonable for us to point at this illustration and wonder if Oilers management plans to address this issue.
OILERS 50-MAN LIST (42)
- G Cam Talbot. No. 1 goalie, sounds like someone may be brought in as backup.
- G Laurent Brossoit. Should get some competition for backup role.
- G Nick Ellis: Should push for AHL playing time.
- G Eetu Laurikainen, could be on the Glendale train to Norfolk at times.
- D Oscar Klefbom. Top 4D role, as long as he is healthy.
- D Andrej Sekera, Top 4D, important part of the team.
- D Brandon Davidson, Top 4D, right side or left?
- D Mark Fayne, very likely to occupy one of the RH roles.
- D Darnell Nurse, bet third pair with Davidson for 2016-17.
- D Jordan Oesterle, he is going to push for NHL time. A good young blue.
- D Griffin Reinhart, the drafting of JP further complicates his cap issues.
- D David Musil, back for another year and looking for an NHL look. Qualified.
- D Andrew Ference, LTIR looks very likely.
- D Dillon Simpson, likely to play a prominent role in Bakersfield.
- D Joey Laleggia, Condors PP QB as early as this fall (depending on Oesterle)
- D Ben Betker, should see more time in the AHL this year.
- D Caleb Jones, WHL D. Newly signed, definite slide rule candidate.
- C Connor McDavid, he will be in his house this fall.
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, rumors abound. Abound!
- C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
- C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
- C Anton Lander, may catch on as utility forward in 2016-17.
- C Jujhar Khaira, looking for full time NHL employment.
- C Bogdan Yakimov, losing ground to Khaira, race may already be over.
- C Kyle Platzer, a strong AHL season is the hope.
- L Taylor Hall, he pushes the river and owns possession. Nuff said.
- L Benoit Pouliot, underrated winger may be vulnerable to trade.
- L Patrick Maroon, an outstanding value contract.
- L Lauri Korpikoski, still here and may play this season in Edmonton.
- L Matt Hendricks, lots of depth on the wing, will need to fight for time.
- L Drake Caggiula. High profile signing, likely to see some NHL time.
- L Jere Sallinen, Intriguing winger, seems like an energy type.
- L Mitch Moroz, some urgency for a step forward in the coming season.
- L Braden Christoffer, uncertain where he will play (AHL/ECHL).
- R Jordan Eberle, I think he could score 35 with McDavid.
- R Nail Yakupov, sail on post is idling in the driveway.
- R Zack Kassian, will play bottom 6F, Chiarelli-style rugged.
- R Iiro Pakarinen, reasonable to assume he makes the roster. Signed.
- R Tyler Pitlick, pleased he re-signed with the Oilers, one more chance.
- R Anton Slepyshev, needs to step up the offense, remains a solid prospect.
- R Patrick Russell, PF from college, will be fun to track this year.
- R Greg Chase, should see plenty of AHL time.
- R Jesse Puljujarvi, this should happen in the coming days. 2016 draft
- D Ethan Bear. Also Bob, looks imminent. 2015 draft
- R Adam Cracknell, I could see him signing back mid-July. UFA.
- D Adam Pardy. At least worth a conversation. UFA.
- D Eric Gryba, without a Fayne trade, return seems unlikely. UFA.
- D Nikita Nikitin, rumored to be signing with Omsk. UFA
- D Brad Hunt, he is such a good AHL player. UFA.
- L Josh Winquist, interesting to see where he lands. UFA.
- C Marco Roy. AHL contract seems likely. UFA.
- R Andrew Miller. The loan trade likely signaled his exit. UFA.
NHL RFAs NOT QUALIFIED TODAY
It is a bit of a moving target finding the players who have come available but there are some attractive names. Sometimes teams do not qualify and then sign the player for less (avoiding arbitration), so keep in mind this news does not mean they are necessarily immediately available.
- L Quinton Howden, Florida. Two-way winger with size and some skill.
- L Brandon Pirri, Anaheim. A nice offensive winger, shooter, Ducks likely wheel back.
- R Brett Connolly, Boston. This is a pretty nice player for just money. Size, skill.
- L Joe Colborne, Calgary. I bet they sign him this week. A nice forward, scored 19 this year and the Flames likely want him without paying him. Window of opportunity?
- R Josh Jooris, Calgary. He had a poor year after a good one, there is a player here. I think, anyway.
- G Joni Ortio, Calgary. Had a .902 SP on the CGY carousel this season, somewhat surprised to see his name here.
- D Patrick Wiercioch, Ottawa. I have seen him good many times, wonder if the Oilers want to take a chance on yet another lefty.
- R Beau Bennett, New Jersey. Injuries galore but a former first rounder.
- RD Jon Merril, New Jersey. LHD, but an interesting player for someone.
- R Michael Latta, Washington. Energy winger with attitude.
- R Devante Smith-Pelly, New Jersey. Rugged winger.
As mentioned, many of these guys will sign more reasonable deals with their teams. Still, they are out there. I will update, seems we have some stragglers. No McNeill, no Murphy.