The Edmonton Oilers are full steam ahead for the Stanley Cup Finals, but the off day gives us a chance to look ahead at the summer. Peter Chiarelli was very active in the summer of 2015 and 2016, but I think we’ll see fewer moves in the coming months. The Oilers are still in need of balance and depth, we will see if the club can fill in the remaining holes over the next five months. They do have a position of depth—left defense—and they do have some free-agent options, in-house and on the open market.
ONE YEAR AGO
Last year at this time, I made a list of players who might have been on the market. I wanted to repeat the list, because so many of the men from last year’s list remain. Not many men walked back their situation in the 12 months that have come and gone.
- Benoit Pouliot
- Mark Fayne
- No. 4 overall selection (used on Jesse Puljujarvi, but was in play)
- Young LHD (Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart,
Brandon Davidson) Cap space
- 2017 1st round selection
- Jordan Eberle
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Leon Draisaitl
PETER CHIARELLI’S SUMMER 2017 LIST
- Get Connor Mcdavid signed to a long-term contract. ($10-13 million times 8?)
- Get Leon Draisaitl signed to a long-term contract. ($7-9 million times 8?)
- Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future. (Griffin Reinhart, Jujhar Khaira, Mark Letestu)
- Find a way to trade Benoit Pouliot off the roster. (trade with LV or buyout)
- Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen. (Hamonic, Franson, Kris Russell)
- Find a bottom 6F who can help the offense. (Cizikas, Sutter)
- Find a way to cover off buried contracts. (Fayne)
- Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline.
In the last two summers, we have been talking about substantial talent in and out. More and more, I think this summer is going to be about money.
POSSIBLE 2017-18 OPENING NIGHT ROSTER
- This might resemble the roster we see in fall. Edmonton will very likely have just one expensive winger (Milan Lucic) opening night—unless Leon Draisaitl plays RW on that evening.
- Men like Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev and Tyler Pitlick are going to get a real chance to play wing this fall.
- Jesse Puljujarvi makes the roster without a throw.
- Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot are the most likely exits, Mark Fayne is probably on a list of trade options or buyout options.
- Rookies next season may be limited to Jujhar Khaira.