I don’t know about you but it feels like the summer fun is past due. So, in the absence of actual deals, let’s see if we can make up a few that can at least start a conversation. First, let’s have a quick review.
PETER CHIARELLI’S NEEDS LIST
We are going to separate the priorities for now, as two main items (contracts for Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl) are going to be part of July’s business. Since we are talking June events, I’m going to list only June priorities at this time.
- Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future. (Iiro Pakarinen signing frees Letestu protection, leaves Jujhar Khaira likely exposed).
- Find a way to trade Benoit Pouliot off the roster.
- Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen.
- Find a stopgap measure to replace Andrej Sekera’s minutes until he returns.
- Find a C-R who can help the offense and cover off where Leon isn’t at the time.
- Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline.
Fair? We’re going to set aside the two big contracts but let’s have a starting point before the trades go down. Here is a glimpse at the roster with Leon signed and the rest of the roster handled internally. We are going on a $77 million cap.
PROJECTED BARE BONES LINEUP 2016-17
As we have discussed before the Oilers don’t have to make a move until that move makes sense. There’s even more cap available if the club places Jesse Puljujarvi in the minors. I haven’t bought out Benoit Pouliot nor Mark Fayne, so there’s plenty of room to wheel. Looking at this roster, we can see why the needs above are noted. I am going on the premise that Griffin Reinhart is chosen in the expansion draft and that the offers for Jordan Eberle are well shy of acceptable. Let’s make some trades.
- Oilers trade Anton Slepyshev and 2018 third-round pick to Las Vegas for RHD Alex Petrovic (I’ll estimate his contract at $2M per season). I get it, Slepyshev has a lot going for him and could emerge as a 15-20 goal man in the right situation. You have to give in order to get, and the Oilers have Jesse Puljujarvi and Drake Caggiula who can play the wing. It’s an overpay, I get that too, but that jives with the Chiarelli style.
- Oilers sign Tyler Pitlick to a one-year, $900,000 deal. This serves as insurance in case Puljujarvi can’t make a go of it.
- Oilers sign Brian Campbell to a one-year, $3 million deal. I’m assuming this gets it done, possible Campbell gets more on the open market. As a one-year option, to replace Sekera until healthy, I like it. Gives the team some extra money to use during the summer, too.
- Oilers sign Justin Williams to a two-year, $8 million deal. I’m not sure of the price and it uses some 2018-19 cap, but this would be a helluva get in my opinion. I also considered Sam Gagner for this spot.
Before we post the final roster, let’s go back to the to-do list and see what we’ve done in what would become a fairly active summer.
PROJECTED IMPACT OF PROJECTED SOLUTIONS
- Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future. (Griffin Reinhart is an acceptable loss).
- Find a way to trade Benoit Pouliot off the roster. (Didn’t get this done, but I’m not that upset. Pouliot may recover and fetch a handsome return down the line).
- Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen. (I would be pleased to see Petrovic as the add, there are several out there this summer).
- Find a stopgap measure to replace Andrej Sekera’s minutes until he returns. (Campbell is an excellent choice, no certainty he’d be willing to sign with Edmonton).
- Find a C-R who can help the offense and cover off where Leon isn’t at the time. (Justin Williams doesn’t really fit, but he is such an outstanding potential addition I picked him over Gagner).
- Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline. (Sekera’s LTIR does the trick here, getting him back on the roster might require a deadline flush of a superfluous veteran).
PROJECTED ROSTER 2017-18
I like this roster and there are still ways to improve it. Sending down Jesse Puljujarvi, parking Mark Fayne in the minors, plenty of options available to improve things. One negative? If Leon moves to RW the team has no obvious center to fill. Perhaps you can find a better option (Joe Thornton?) and we’ll discuss.
PLENTY OF OFFERS FOR EBERLE
Rumors this morning about plenty of offers for Jordan Eberle, but that can be misleading. If I offer you ten cents on the dollar, that’s an offer but not a good one. Suspect Eberle is either moved for wildly disappointing return or that he remains in Edmonton for 2017-18.