WANTED: VOLUME SHOOTER

As long as I live, the Oilers will not have a more important first round than 2015. I remember thinking all day about what it would mean to the city and to the team. As important as McDavid the cornerstone is to the organization, it is vital for the team to keep cashing draft picks for useful players. Edmonton grabbed Leon Draisaitl from the 2014 draft, Connor McDavid and a parade of interesting defensemen in 2015, and a nice range of players in 2016 (led by Jesse Puljujarvi).

DRAFTING FOR NEED

At some point in May, Oilers scouts traditionally get together to ‘finalize’ their list. They don’t call me, but I think the Oilers should load up on shooting forwards and mobile defensemen, as well as a center or two or a goalie.

SHOTS LEADERS (2016-17)

  1. Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City (USHL) 246 in 52gp (4.73)
  2. Owen Tippett, Mississauga (OHL) 284 in 60gp (4.73)
  3. Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound (OHL) 275 in 60gp (4.58)
  4. Jason Robertson, Kingston (OHL) 300 in 68gp (4.41)
  5. Nico Hischier, Halifax (QMJHL) 231 in 57gp (4.05)
  6. Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound (OHL) 261 in 65gp (4.02)
  7. Source

There are no WHL stats I can find, but two CHL leagues and the USHL give us this list for 2016-17. I haven’t adjusted my rankings based on this information, but if the Oilers grab Robertson (as a for instance) you’ll have a pretty good indication they are looking for a shooter.

OILERS AT THE 2017 DRAFT

  • First Round: No. 22 overall
  • Third Round: No. 82 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)
  • Third Round: No. 84 overall
  • Fourth Round: No. 115 overall
  • Fifth Round: No. 126 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)
  • Fifth Round: No. 146 overall
  • Sixth Round: No. 177 overall
  • Seventh Round: No. 208 overall
  • Source

I’ll have a new list (and the final one before the final list, which appears first week of June) this afternoon unless something breaks. The Oilers will get a good player at No. 22, and I bet PC will try to combine No. 82 and No. 115 in order to move into the second round.

FREE AGENTS FOR EDMONTON (INTERNAL)

The Oilers are going to be spending a lot of money on Leon Draisaitl this summer, so cap room is going to be an issue. If we can agree the shopping list includes a second-pairing defender and a center who can play wing and help in a two-way role, we can proceed with our first list of possible targets.

  1. LD Kris Russell. I think the Oilers would sign him if they could ($4 million times three) but Russell is probably going to get a bigger offer (possibly from the Calgary Flames). We’ll see, perhaps PC has a more attractive option out there, but the sense I get from parsing verbal from coach Todd McLellan and management is that there is an appetite to have Russell return.
  2. RD Eric Gryba. If Griffin Reinhart is lost in the expansion draft, and McLellan doesn’t see Jordan Oesterle (or other) as a viable 7D option, Gryba could be back for another year.
  3. R Tyler Pitlick. I am confident Pitlick returns, partly because he rehabbed with the team all through spring. It tells me he wants to be a part of things and the Oilers consider him to be a member of the team.
  4. LD Jordan Oesterle. His foot speed and offensive ability make him an interesting option for Edmonton. Oesterle is a UFA, so it might cost more to keep him than the team wants to spend on a 7D, but the assurance of a one-way deal may be enough for Oesterle.

FREE AGENTS FOR EDMONTON (EXTERNAL)

  1. R Patrick Eaves (79gp, 32-19-51). He will cost too much for Edmonton, but the man had 360 shots this season! Put that guy on McDavid’s line! Volume shooter!
  2. LC Martin Hanzal (71gp, 20-19-39). He may or may not be the top option for Peter Chiarelli, but adding Hanzal gives Todd McLellan myriad options. I think he is the one free agent whose price point may be in the realm of affordable for Edmonton this summer.
  3. RD Kevin Shattenkirk (80gp, 13-43-56). This is the one player I can see PC breaking the bank for this summer, up to an including trading the Nuge to get him. I don’t think it wise, and doubt Shattenkirk seriously considers Edmonton.
  4. R Justin Williams (80gp, 24-24-48). It would be sweet music to grab this guy and have him score a big goal in G7 SCF to help this team get over the top. Remains a fine player, offense a little more consistent lately, that may fall off quickly.
  5. R T.J. Oshie (68gp, 33-23-56). Had a big season and is going to get paid. I don’t think the Oilers can (or will) afford him, it would be a more attractive option if Oshie was more of a shooter (143 shots in 68 games).
  6. R Kris Versteeg (69gp, 15-22-37). I know he jumped last fall, but that is a business decision. What he brings has value and a reasonable contract makes sense.
  7. R Radim Vrbata (81gp, 20-35-55). He is always under the radar and there is some question about whether or not he wants to leave the desert. Worth a call.
  8. LC Nick Bonino (80gp, 18-19-37). Among the players listed, I think Bonino (and Kris Russell) may actually be the most likely to sign with Edmonton. He would be a solid option, with the only negative being that he is LH. Still more likely to sign with Penguins.
  9. R Jaromir Jagr (82gp, 16-30-46). He is 100 years old now, perhaps a smaller urban option is finally a reasonable option. I love him as a player, would be thrilled to see Jagr as an Oiler and nothing you can say will change my mind.
  10. R Sam Gagner (81gp, 18-32-50). Laugh if you wish, Gagner could help push that power play even higher. 4R and 1 PP? The Letestu role times two? Interesting, might not be possible.
  11. LD Brian Campbell (80gp, 5-12-17). I think he would be an excellent mentor to Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning and other young blue. The man can still wheel.
  12. RD Cody Franson (68gp, 3-16-19). Puck mover is affordable and the metrics I value show him in a good light this season. Lacks the consistency you hope for, but as a stopgap until the youngsters are ready to step forward? He is worth putting on the list.
  13. R Ales Hemsky (15gp, 4-3-7). Want to feel old? Ales Hemsky is 33. Still brilliantly creative, still shoots about twice a game. I think it is extremely unlikely, but he is an interesting option and could keep up to 97.
  14. RC Derek Ryan (67gp, 11-18-29). He had a strong season, is righthanded and does a lot of useful things.
  15. LC Dominic Moore (82gp, 11-14-25). He posted a fine season in a support role, would give Edmonton another PK and FO option.
  16. G Anders Nilsson (26gp, 2.67 .923). He is a good goalie.
  17. R-L Thomas Vanek (68gp, 17-31-48). He has had a strange journey in recent seasons, but the skill is clearly there. Depending on price point, he could be an interesting addition.
  18. RD Michael Stone (64gp, 3-12-15). He is not a defenseman who shows up well in the metrics I pay attention to, but there was discussion around him as an option leading up to the trade deadline.
  19. R Jarome Iginla (80gp, 14-13-27). He is edging closer to 40 and Iginla has very little speed left. He can shoot the puck, so there is a role for him. Edmonton would seem a distant bell destination.
  20. R Drew Stafford (58gp, 8-13-21). Had a poor year but recovered after the deadline deal. He is a very good fit for a Chiarelli team, I suspect some interest depending on price.
  21. LC Brian Boyle (75gp, 13-12-25). I think he is more of a 4C option than third line, but that may not be the opinion of Oilers management.
  22. G Chad Johnson (36gp, 2.59 .910). My own personal opinion is that Edmonton doesn’t sign a backup, preferring to go with Laurent Brossoit in that position. That said, Johnson would be a person of interest.

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54 Responses to "WANTED: VOLUME SHOOTER"

  1. speeds says:

    I went through some thoughts re: Shattenkirk on Twitter a couple days ago, the string starts here if anyone’s interested:

    https://twitter.com/hockeysymposium/status/863071205506535425

  2. Dino says:

    Every year some lucky team finds a Grabner or a Marchessault. A cheap player that can contribute tons of offensive juice to the roster.

    If I had to guess I would say this year that player could be Colorado’s RFA Sven Andrighetto. He was traded to them from Montreal on the deadline and went on to put up 15 points in 19 games. His speed is killer and he has good offensive instincts. I hope the Oilers take a look at him and find a way to scoop him up from Colorado.

  3. jtblack says:

    How about Derek Ryan? All of the other guys seem to be “Past Due”. Certainly they would help immediately but most would want 3- 6 yr deals. And they are on the wrong side of 30. We already took that risk with Milan.

  4. 36 percent body fat says:

    I think Gagner will go the Kassian route. Loyal to the team and coach that got them going again. Interesting that these two would be in the same paragraph again.

    Unfortunately, we have a lot of bottom 6-9 depth on the RW. But would be perfect on the powerplay.

  5. Stud Muffin says:

    We’re talking Volume shooters but no mention of Ilya Kovalchuk?

    Also when you say they can’t afford some of these guys are you assuming Eberle and Pouliot are still around?

  6. Ducey says:

    Oshie has talent but he is gonna get paid based on 26% shooting this year. Stay away.

  7. jtblack says:

    I guess Derek Ryan is 30 now. Free Agent market is always high risk, questionable reward. The problem with signing to many Vets is that is doesn’t clear room for younger, (cheaper) guys to break through. Last year when the Pens won the Cup they had 5 guys who were in the AHL at Christmas on their winning team. Now that is rare, but I think the Oil will need the JP and Jhaira’s and maybe 1 or 2 others breaking in this year.

    Also, PC loves size; which is great; but it’s clear the League in General is moving to speed as the biggest factor. Small and slow (DD, Ebs, etc) is not good. But small and Fast seems to be ok now. wonder if PC can find some speed for the bottom 6 (Grabner, Dzingel style).

    Love all the commentary.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Wonderful Mom’s out there.

  8. Klima's_Bucket says:

    If you can’t handle Benoit Pouliot’s o-zone penalties.

    Jaromir Jagr will make you think Pouliot is not just a saint, but he is Christ himself.

  9. jtblack says:

    Dino,

    This is exactly the type of guy PC should bring and see if it’s a fit … would be cheap, he’s young and he’s got the boots … Why not? At least if a player like this does not work out, he’s easy to move.

    Look at almost ALL Big time Free Agent signings. Rarely if ever are their stats better post signing. I think PC should stay away from any free agent who wants more than 3 yr deal. And if that means all of them, so be it …

  10. John Chambers says:

    The Oilers can start to budget around their core of:
    McDavid – est $10M
    Draisaitl – est $7M
    Lucic – $6M
    Nuge – $6M
    Puljujarvi – $3M
    Larsson – $4M
    Klefbom – $4M
    Sekera – $5.5M
    Nurse – est $3.5M
    Talbot $4.5M

    The core costs $53.5 M and is largely committed to (or will be) long term.

    Players coming off ELCs next year include Caggiula ($1.5M est) and Benning (2.5M est).

    Small luxuries include Kassian ($2.5M), and possibly Maroon ($3M).

    So now we’re at $63M with roughly $10 M to spend on four wingers, a centre, two D, and a backup starting next summer.

    Ergo, they can’t afford any long-term contracts beyond summer ’18.

  11. Diablo says:

    Stud Muffin:
    We’re talking Volume shooters but no mention of Ilya Kovalchuk?

    Also when you say they can’t afford some of these guys are you assuming Eberle and Pouliot are still around?

    I’d love Kovy here – he has the size, shot and perhaps still the speed to be the perfect compliment to McDavid. The problem is we don’t know why he’s coming back – is it to play for a Stanley Cup? If so then lets get a deal done. Eberle for Kovy is fair for both sides.

    But if its to get another big payday then Chia should stay far far away.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    John Chambers:
    The Oilers can start to budget around their core of:
    McDavid – est $10M
    Draisaitl – est $7M
    Lucic – $6M
    Nuge – $6M
    Puljujarvi – $3M
    Larsson – $4M
    Klefbom – $4M
    Sekera – $5.5M
    Nurse – est $3.5M
    Talbot $4.5M

    The core costs $53.5 M and is largely committed to (or will be) long term.

    Players coming off ELCs next year include Caggiula ($1.5M est) and Benning (2.5M est).

    Small luxuries include Kassian ($2.5M), and possibly Maroon ($3M).

    So now we’re at $63M with roughly $10 M to spend on four wingers, a centre, two D, and a backup starting next summer.

    Ergo, they can’t afford any long-term contracts beyond summer ’18.

    Thank you for that analysis.

    I wonder how many other Oilers fans beside me are finally at peace with the management/coaching of the team. I feel as confident with this group(with McDavid+Draisaitl) as I used to remember with Slats – or at least in the ball park.

    With the Oilers finally showing their legit credentials, they’re going to be the toast of the UFA parade come next summer.

  13. jtblack says:

    Trades Ebs to Islanders for Hamonic. Probably other pieces involved. Save some $$ on the Cap and solve RHD, Hamonic has 3 yrs left at $3.8.

    Sign Derek Ryan. RHC. He made $600k last year. Get Andrigetto out of COL, he made $650k last year. JJ Khaira will be on ELC – $875k. Keep JP in minors til Christmas so he cant’ his bonuses and ripens a bit in the minors. then pull him up – $875k.

    Now you have 4 players in your lineup for under $3 million. If you do free up some cap space on an Ebs trade, this may allow you to pay a Shooter for a couple years.

  14. jtblack says:

    Diablo,

    PC can probably get a decent read on what type of dressing room guy Kovy is from Larsson. They were together for the Devils 2011 Playoff run. I think there is huge risk bringing in Big Personality Alpha Dog like Kovy. Could work out like Radulov, but if it doesn’t it can throw everything off that the Oilers built up this year.

  15. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Not sure if he’d leave SJ unless they don’t want him back, but Patrick Marleau is a shooter, can play Centre and wing, is big, and can still skate.

    Would be a nice fit for McDavid or provide cover for Drai at Centre.

  16. leadfarmer says:

    jtblack:
    Diablo,

    PC can probably get a decent read on what type of dressing room guy Kovy is from Larsson. They were together for the Devils 2011 Playoff run.I think there is huge risk bringing in Big Personality Alpha Dog like Kovy. Could work out like Radulov, but if it doesn’t it can throw everything off that the Oilers built up this year.

    I’m guessing he wants a decent paycheck and throwing more money at wingers isn’t something we can afford. I don’t see us being high in the kovalchuk sweepstakes. The team that needs Kovalchuk the most is oddly enough the Devils themselves

  17. jtblack says:

    leadfarmer,

    Yah, I am just fine if we don’t go after him …. Prob wants $6 mil per … There is one other major issue .. Kovy is 34; Radulov was 29 last year … Big Difference …

  18. John Chambers says:

    hunter1909,

    My conclusion is that to start the ’18-’19 season the Oilers cannot afford any of:
    – Pouliot at $4M
    – Russell at anything over $2.5M
    – Eberle at $6M, or any subsequent contact at anything other than a massive hometown discount. Even trading this player implies we can’t take back a bloated contract like Bjugstad’s.
    – any long-term UFAs with declining value such as Hanzal, Shattenkirk, or other. Signing such a player means Nuge gets traded and that’s a move the Oilers will regret.

    Paying as little as possible to offload Pouliots contract is a necessity. If GMPC can get it done by paying a 2nd rounder that’s a win. If it costs Caleb Jones or the 2018 first, then so be it.

    Hopefully the Oilers can get some value for Ebs and I think they can. A young low-cost player at C, RW, or RD would be ideal.

    Getting into the playoffs was a key for Chiarelli last summer. Modelling the core into a perennial cup contender is the new ladder to climb, and the key is to avoid contract landmines.

  19. flyfish1168 says:

    Ovechkin must be tired of losing and probably needs a change in scenery. He is the king of R handed volume shooter. Send Ebs, JP, Pou and this years 1st. Would be interesting to see or chat about. JMHO

  20. Brantford Boy says:

    Yes please:
    Jonah Gadjovich (OHL)
    Justin Williams
    Derek Ryan

    No thanks:
    Nick Bonino
    Kevin Shattenkirk
    Thomas Vanek

    On the fence:
    Martin Hanzal
    Radim Vrbata
    Drew Stafford
    Chad Johnson

    Meh:
    The others

  21. Diablo says:

    LT – I think you’re going to be disappointed at what Hanzal actually signs for this summer. No reason why he shouldn’t get 5 million x 5-6 years in a UFA market where he is the best available centre.

    – I’d also stay far far away from Eaves – he’s going to want to cash in on his only 30 goal season at the tender age of 33.
    – Shattenkirk is not coming here.
    – Oshie is a 6 x 6 million dollar sand trap.
    – Vanek needs to be heavily sheltered now – he makes Eberle look like a Selke candidate.
    – I can’t see any reason why Williams would leave Washington, unless they do something crazy like trade Ovie.
    – Jagr can’t keep with Lucic let alone McDavid. He can still use that big backside to cycle the puck effectively, but he’s not quick enough to get off his shot anymore
    – I hate the idea of bringing back former Oilers – I’m just not sentimental about the past. There is a reason why we got rid of Hemsky and Gagner in the first place. Time to turn the page.
    – I’m starting to come around on Franson – but only if he will sign for 3 million or less. Otherwise no.
    – Ryan played his rookie season in the NHL at the age of 29. He’s not the answer at 3C.

    Sorry to be such a downer – its just that this is one of the worst UFA crops ever. I want Chia to stay away and maintain cap flexibility for next summer – Tavares, Turris, Kane, Neal, Little, JVR, Backlund, Atkinson, Hornqvist, and Carlson – obviously not all of these guys will get to UFA, but if even half do its a much better crop than what’s available this year.

    Also keep in mind that next summer all of these guys will be one year away from UFA status:
    – Doughty, Karlsson, Panarin, Pavelski, Couture, Duchene, Seguin, Skinner, Wheeler, Myers, OEL, Nyquist, McDonough, Pacioretty, Zuccarello, Stralman, Simmonds, Silfverberg, Lee

    Again most of those guys will get re-signed before that point, but some of them may be made available for trade. If even 1/4 of these guys reaches UFA it will be a historically great UFA crop. With Eberle coming off our cap that year, we’ll have money to go big game hunting.

    If we’re going to dip our toe in the UFA market, I’d like us to commit to 1 year deals only.
    As JTBlack pointed out – most of these UFA signings end up looking terrible 6 months later.

  22. SkatinginSand says:

    jtblack,

    If Eberle could get you Hamonic, it would have been done a year and a half ago.

    If Sam Polluk would have just been smart enough to trade Pierre Bouchard for Brad Park and Arnason, Gardner and Rota for the French Connection line, they would have won nine straight cups and LT would be really bitter.

  23. Nuclear leak says:

    There’s a guy that can come in and pot 40 maybe 50 running alongside Mcdavid, but because he has an apparent bug personality.. no dice. Lol

    The calm cool collected Mcdavid, his twin Talbot, Lucic and Kassian bebop and rocksteady, but grinning Maroon..

    Worried about Kovalchul ruining that? Lol

    Guy is returning at 34 and wants to win, I imagine they could more then handle the ‘big personality’

    If you’re a fan of hockey, you want to see a sniper like Kovalchuk running with Mcdavid. Or you’re nuts

  24. Diablo says:

    jtblack:
    Diablo,

    PC can probably get a decent read on what type of dressing room guy Kovy is from Larsson. They were together for the Devils 2011 Playoff run.I think there is huge risk bringing in Big Personality Alpha Dog like Kovy. Could work out like Radulov, but if it doesn’t it can throw everything off that the Oilers built up this year.

    Yep – totally agree. The amount that he signs for is going to be a big tell. If he’s willing to do 5 million x 2 years, it means he’s back to win a Stanley. If he wants 6 million x 5 years, then he’s back for a pay day.

    The thing is this – he has to negotiate a contract with the team that is trading for him BEFORE a trade goes down. If Chia decides to inquire about Kovy, he will know what he is buying beforehand.

    IF he is back for a Stanley, he would be ideal – RH shot with the size and skill to create his own space (doesn’t need McDavid to do that for him). Doubt anyone could offer NJ better than Eberle in return either.

  25. Professor Q says:

    Stud Muffin:
    We’re talking Volume shooters but no mention of Ilya Kovalchuk?

    Also when you say they can’t afford some of these guys are you assuming Eberle and Pouliot are still around?

    Kovalchuk here would be awesome if a good trade and contract price could be had. I know people are worried about him being 34 but honestly he seems like he still has it and hasn’t lost a step. Even Datsyuk would probably be fine playing in the NHL still, and they both played in the KHL for family reasons.

    He’d be the perfect shooter for McDavid next to Ovechkin, at a lesser price of acquisition and contract. But of course how much cheaper the acquisition is is to be determined (I’d love The Great 8 here too, but again, contracts – and #71 isn’t that bad of a compromise).

  26. Diablo says:

    SkatinginSand:
    jtblack,

    If Eberle could get you Hamonic, it would have been done a year and a half ago.

    If Sam Polluk would have just been smart enough to trade Pierre Bouchard for Brad Park and Arnason, Gardner and Rota for the French Connection line, they would have won nine straight cups and LT would be really bitter.

    Exactly.

    The same goes for these RNH for Faulk trade ideas.

    Just wishful thinking.

    Neither Faulk nor Hamonic nor Trouba are getting traded to Edmonton.

  27. oilersfan says:

    I would sign radim vrbata to a one year $2 million deal

    Given Derek Ryan’s faceoff and offensive ability I wonder if he could
    Be a guy who was all offense at lower levels but could potentially be a very good shutdown guy later in life? I wonder if he can kill penalties?

  28. Diablo says:

    oilersfan:
    I would sign radim vrbata to a one year $2 million deal

    That’s great – but would Radim Vrbata sign a for 1 year x 2 million?

    Don’t take this the wrong way – I’m not trying to mock you – but you should try to understand things from the player’s perspective as well. He’s 35 years old and doesn’t have much time left to earn big bucks. Sure a Stanley would be nice, but you’ve got to think about your family’s future as well. He just had a very good season, and now has some leverage to negotiate for a better deal with guaranteed money and term – and this is probably his last shot to do so.

    Just because we the fans want the players to sign on for cheap to experience the glory of winning a Cup, doesn’t mean that the players have that as their #1 priority.

  29. Connor says:

    Patrick Sharp says “HELLO!?”

  30. Diablo says:

    Connor:
    Patrick Sharp says “HELLO!?”

    Yep – Sharpe is worth a call. If he’s recovered from his injuries and willing to sign in Edmonton on a show-me contract then he would be a great target.

  31. oilersfan says:

    Diablo: That’s great – but would Radim Vrbata sign a for 1 year x 2 million?

    Don’t take this the wrong way – I’m not trying to mock you – but you should try to understand things from the player’s perspective as well. He’s 35 years old and doesn’t have much time left to earn big bucks. Sure a Stanley would be nice, but you’ve got to think about your family’s future as well. He just had a very good season, and now has some leverage to negotiate for a better deal with guaranteed money and term – and this is probably his last shot to do so.

    Just because we the fans want the players to sign on for cheap to experience the glory of winning a Cup, doesn’t mean that the players have that as their #1 priority.

    My response to Diablo:
    You know He signed for $1 million last year right?
    And he played on a bottom team in the league right?
    You know the year before he had 27 points and was
    Minus 30 playing with the Sedins and the Canucks Could not give him away at the trade deadline right?
    And that this year nobody would give phoenix a fourth round pick for him right?
    Who do you think will give him money and term given the above facts?

    This would double his salary, put him on a contender, and give
    Him a chance to play with the best player in the world?

    I am looking at it from his perspective and have no idea why he wouldn’t jump at the chance

  32. Scungilli Slushy says:

    As I read these great comments I keep thinking what sense does it make to trade Eberle to replace him with an older version at basically the same cost?

    If they can’t trade him for a 2 RD or 3 RC, or maybe a first, I’ll bet we see him at camp.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    The key for the off-season, after the Leon and Connor contracts, is 2RD.

    I would like an improvement on Rusell, preferably a player with some offence but first and foremost, a player that can move the puck. While Matt Benning may prove ready, we can’t count on that going in to camp and he should be pencilled in as 3RD with some compete to move up.

    Money is the clear issue for 2RD and its important not to regress in that spot.

    I’m not one that thinks Eberle has to go and I do think he will have a better offensive season next year when his shooting percentage comes back, however, money needs to be found somewhere and I think there are two ways:

    1) Eberle is traded and minimum cap hit is taken back – Nuge is moved to top 6 winger and a cheaper 3C ($3M give or take) signed/acquired. We loose a bit of overall scoring depth potential in the top 6 but not vis-a-vis last season.

    2) Pouliot is moved with a $1M salary retention – This will save around $2M taking in to account a 4LW replacement at apx $1M.

    Fayne cannot be bought out – I cannot fathom adding a dead cap hit when McDavid’s second contract come in to play – lets not extend the term of that contract.

  34. Showerhead says:

    To me, the most important thing is for Edmonton to show that they know McDavid’s ELC is the single most valuable gift they’ve ever been given – IE, even though they’ll be good for a while, THIS year is the one where the odds are most stacked in their favour.

    As noted, Chiarelli has a history of action so I expect news, whether big or small, regularly throughout summer. If he can exit summer 2016 with a good top-4 and an addition to the forwards without signing any albatross contracts, I’ll feel good heading into the Fall.

    It can feel absurd, I’m sure, to acknowledge that Edmonton is in “win now” mode immediately – most people I know seem to think it’s about a long, slow build – but to win with a cap means to be more efficient than everyone else and the Oilers have the single most efficient contract this decade this year. They’ve got to convert.

  35. Showerhead says:

    Showerhead,

    I guess this post is kind of boring, in a way. I have no stone-set opinions on any UFA player. Do they represent good value? It depends what they cost. Can Edmonton make any additions through subtractions? I don’t believe it. The players people are sick of all have value. Any departures will have to be weighed re: how that value was used, IMO.

    So yeah. Long live vanilla!

  36. blainer says:

    Looks like no JP for Finland today.

    That is disappointing to say the least.

    Have to wonder how he is not cracking that lineup. They don’t seem to be a very strong team.

  37. Rake 2.0 says:

    blainer,

    He clearly has sideburns. That’s three coaches this year that don’t want to play him.

  38. leadfarmer says:

    blainer:
    Looks like no JP for Finland today.

    That is disappointing to sat the least.

    Have to wonder how he is not cracking that lineup. They don’t seem to be a very strong team.

    I do like the talent coming from the non hockey powerhouses. Draisatl and Ehlers are probably the most talented players that Germany and Denmark has produced and Andersen and Bjorkstrand are no slouches either

  39. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Nurse , JP and a second for MacKinnon

  40. Diablo says:

    oilersfan:

    You’re overlooking the fact that he took a 1 million dollar deal + bonuses which totalled 3.25 million.

    Arizona might give him 3-4 million with term. They have endless amounts of cap space and he’s been a very productive player for them. He can help break in their young guys like Strome.

    Now if Arizona wants to low-ball him again, then he could hit the market and take a deal like the one you’ve mentioned. But I’m starting with the assumption that Arizona will do right by Vrbata.
    Definitely worth calling his agent. But in such a poor UFA market, where Vrbata stands out as one of the most productive players in it, I’d fire my agent if he couldn’t get me multi-year deal.

    Supply and demand – demand greatly outstrips supply in this year’s UFA market – buyer beware.

  41. godot10 says:

    Showerhead:
    To me, the most important thing is for Edmonton to show that they know McDavid’s ELC is the single most valuable gift they’ve ever been given – IE, even though they’ll be good for a while, THIS year is the one where the odds are most stacked in their favour.

    The Oilers have about $5 million in inherent internal cap growth this year, and over $15 million dollars next year….over $20 million in the next two years.

    So if one is going for the Cup this year, one better be going for guys whose contracts are expiring, or where money in is roughly equal to money out.

  42. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I think Eberle for Hamonic didn’t happen a year ago because the expansion draft wasn’t quite looming and Hamonic wasn’t coming off a garbage season.

    NYI either loses like Brock Nelson or DeHaan/Pulock to Vegas, depending on how they choose to protect. Trading a D for an F, might make going 7-3-1 easier.

    I’m not a giant Hamonic fan but for cap sake if Edmonton could pull that off, they don’t need to drop big money on a RHD UFA. Maybe snag Craig Smith out of NSH, as I don’t think he could be protected, to help fill in RW.

  43. blainer says:

    Rake 2.0:
    blainer,

    He clearly has sideburns. That’s three coaches this year that don’t want to play him.

    Yup. I am now officially concerned a bit for this player. I know its early but he has still not grasped the language yet either.

    He has to train his ass off this summer for sure and learn to speak English better. I hope he doesn’t think talent alone gets him his spot. I actually believe one of the many reasons Yak was a bust was his ability to train correctly in the off season.

    I really hope Drai can help him in this area.

  44. blainer says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    I think Eberle for Hamonic didn’t happen a year ago because the expansion draft wasn’t quite looming and Hamonic wasn’t coming off a garbage season.

    NYI either loses like Brock Nelson or DeHaan/Pulock to Vegas, depending on how they choose to protect. Trading a D for an F, might make going 7-3-1 easier.

    I’m not a giant Hamonic fan but for cap sake if Edmonton could pull that off, they don’t need to drop big money on a RHD UFA. Maybe snag Craig Smith out of NSH, as I don’t think he could be protected, to help fill in RW.

    I think there is gonna be quite a few trades before the expansion draft.

  45. jtblack says:

    Diablo,

    I don’t know who is or isn’t available and try to keep my comments to potential real deals that could happen. Not many people expected Hall / Weber or Subban to be available.

    The premise of my thinking is that if PC is going to pull of a big deal, it will most likely be with a team from the East …. Again not sure who would play ball or who is available …

  46. Gerta Rauss says:

    LadiesloveSmid: I think Eberle for Hamonic didn’t happen a year ago because the expansion draft wasn’t quite looming and Hamonic wasn’t coming off a garbage season.

    Additionally, as soon as their season ended last year, Hamonic retracted his trade request, so I don’t believe Snow was making him available

    As you mentioned, a poor year and the expansion draft may have changed things

  47. Showerhead says:

    godot10,

    Good points here. If we wake up on July 1st and McDavid years 4->future are hamstrung with bad UFA signings, there would be tragedy involved. Doesn’t change the fact that they will never have a better value contract than the reigning Art Ross winner on an ELC.

  48. McSorley33 says:

    speeds,

    Very interesting thanks

  49. Diablo says:

    jtblack:
    Diablo,

    I don’t know who is or isn’t available and try to keep my comments to potential real deals that could happen.Not many people expected Hall / Weber or Subban to be available.

    The premise of my thinking is that if PC is going to pull of a big deal, it will most likely be with a team from the East …. Again not sure who would play ball or who is available …

    Completely agree – spit-balling these trade ideas and UFA signings does nothing but create unrealistic expectations.

    My summer for Chia looks like this.
    1) Get Draisaitl’s and McDavid’s extensions done.
    2) Find a way to dump Pouliot’s contract. I liked the idea of trading Pouliot for Niemi.
    3) If you can find a taker for Fayne – great! Otherwise let his contract run its course in the minors – no buyouts. Life’s tough when you’re making over 3 million to ride the buses in the minors.
    4) Sign another forward (Pakarinen) so you can protect Letestu – he’s earned it and he’s going to be impossible to replace if we lose him in expansion
    5) Let LV take whoever – neither Reinhart, or Khaira are big losses worth being concerned about
    6) Don’t trade for any more picks – this draft year looks like the Yakupov one; not much quality. Draft centres and D.

    7) Pass on the overpriced, or soon to be in decline UFAs like Shattenkirk, Hanzal, Oshie and Eaves.
    8) Once the GMs with too little sense blow their cap space on the few UFAs of note, then go shopping in the bargain bin.
    9) If Russell is still available after the dust settles on the UFA market, then sign him to something reasonable
    10) There are GMs of teams who are going to want to make a splash to validate their existence as GMs – Snow, Sakic, Bergevin, Sweeney, Botterill, Blake, Benning – there should be a window to move Eberle and/or Nuge for cheaper forwards and D, prospects and picks in next years draft (which is reportedly much deeper in talent than this year).
    11) If you can’t find a good deal for Nuge or Eberle that addresses the needs of the team today, and provides something for the future (cap space, prospects or picks), then stand pat – this roster has seen enough turnover in the past 2 years. I expect both Nuge and Eberle to work hard this summer to prove their doubters wrong.
    12) Save your cap space and your trade ammunition – as I outlined earlier, there are a lot of premier F and D about to come on the market in the next two years – even getting just one of those guys would push this roster ahead significantly.

    I’m prepared to be patient – this roster was good enough to finish 4th overall in the Western conference and make it to the second round, where the refs totally hosed us. Chia’s in the drivers seat now in terms of bargaining position with both UFAs and other GMs. He doesn’t have to do anything except take care of his own house (items 1-6 above) and sign a couple of cheap free agents from the bargain bin to 1 year deals, and this team will go into next season as a bonafide contender.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Diablo: Completely agree – spit-balling these trade ideas and UFA signings does nothing but create unrealistic expectations.

    My summer for Chia looks like this.
    1) Get Draisaitl’s and McDavid’s extensions done.
    2) Find a way to dump Pouliot’s contract. I liked the idea of trading Pouliot for Niemi.
    3) If you can find a taker for Fayne – great! Otherwise let his contract run its course in the minors – no buyouts. Life’s tough when you’re making over 3 million to ride the buses in the minors.
    4) Sign another forward (Pakarinen) so you can protect Letestu – he’s earned it and he’s going to be impossible to replace if we lose him in expansion
    5) Let LV take whoever – neither Reinhart, or Khaira are big losses worth being concerned about
    6) Don’t trade for any more picks – this draft year looks like the Yakupov one; not much quality. Draft centres and D.
    7) Pass on the overpriced, or soon to be in decline UFAs like Shattenkirk, Hanzal, Oshie and Eaves.
    8) Once the GMs with too little sense blow their cap space on the few UFAs of note, then go shopping in the bargain bin.
    9) If Russell is still available after the dust settles on the UFA market, then sign him to something reasonable
    10) There are GMs of teams who are going to want to make a splash to validate their existence as GMs – Snow, Sakic, Bergevin, Sweeney, Botterill, Blake, Benning – there should be a window to move Eberle and/or Nuge for cheaper forwards and D, prospects and picks in next years draft (which is reportedly much deeper in talent than this year).
    11) If you can’t find a good deal for Nuge or Eberle that addresses the needs of the team today, and provides something for the future (cap space, prospects or picks), then stand pat – this roster has seen enough turnover in the past 2 years. I expect both Nuge and Eberle to work hard this summer to prove their doubters wrong.
    12) Save your cap space and your trade ammunition – as I outlined earlier, there are a lot of premier F and D about to come on the market in the next two years – even getting just one of those guys would push this roster ahead significantly.

    I’m prepared to be patient – this roster was good enough to finish 4th overall and make it to the second round, where the refs totally hosed us. Chia’s in the drivers seat now in terms of bargaining position with both UFAs and other GMs. He doesn’t have to do anything except take care of his own house (items 1-6 above) and sign a couple of cheap free agents from the bargain bin to 1 year deals, and this team will go into next season as a bonafide contender.

    There are so many things I agree with in this post including, without limitation:

    2) Finding a way to dump Poo – I’m not sure about taking a big cap hit back but I’d retain maybe $1M which opens up $2M (including the $1M 4LW replacement).

    3) No buying out Fayne – that cap crunch doesn’t really start until 18/19 – there is zero point in extending the term of that contract in the McDavid 2nd contract era – further, he is an NHL capable d-man if we can’t find a 4RD via acquisition, Griff gets taken by Vegas and our depth starts to get challenged via injury

    4) Signing Pak – we need to find a way to protect Letestu (and exposing Eberle is not an option).

  51. OF17 says:

    Eaves would be an incredible fit for the McDavid line, but I’m worried about the repeatability of this year. He scored 32 goals this year, but his previous high was 20 from 05/06. Third best was 14 in 14/15. Did he really change his game that much this year?

    The other issue is that Eaves hasn’t made much money over his career yet. Roughly adding the capfriendly numbers, Eaves has made around $12.5M since 05/06. Nice work when you can find it, but after subtracting a big chunk for taxes and twelve years of living expenses, I bet Eaves doesn’t have a full war chest for the rest of his life. I’d be surprised if he couldn’t find $4.5M for two years after the season he had, and I bet he takes it. Winning the Cup is a powerful motivator, but so is setting your family up financially for the rest of your life.

  52. OF17 says:

    Another thought: we’ve been looking for a RW for McDavid, but it might make more sense to look for one for Draisaitl. Looking through the UFA list, I see guys like Williams and Jagr that I would love to have but that don’t play the blazing-fast game that McDavid requires. Put them on a line with Lucic and Draisaitl, though, and I can see great things happening. That moves Slepyshev up to the McDavid line, which is a great fit for him, because he does play that blazing-fast, shoot-from-anywhere type game that McDavid needs.

    It also might be better from a matchup perspective. No matter who his wingers are, the opposition will want to hard match against McDavid. Loading up the Draisaitl line means they need to pick their poison carefully, and that’s not even accounting for Nuge/Hanzal/whoever substantial is at 3C. If we somehow acquire a Viktor Arvidsson, absolutely play him with McDavid, but I think the more attainable solution is to find Draisaitl a better RW and go from there.

  53. Diablo says:

    Ryan,

    Lol I need an editor for my longer posts.

  54. MrEd says:

    OF17,

    I like this post.
    (It’s not saying much but) no one name comes to mind when it comes to a wing-man for Crosby.
    CMD feels like the same type of player.
    No need for a specific wing-man.

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