This feels like those Saturday nights at the lake in my youth. It’s probably going to be fun, anything can happen, try not to drown. We enter the weekend with Connor McDavid’s eight-year deal a promise waiting to be kept, Ty Rattie the likely early signing, and Leon Draisaitl somewhere between the moon and New York City.
STOP THAT TRAIN!
Brian Lawton caused a fire storm with a tweet last night and Oilers fans are upset about possibly losing Leon Draisaitl to an offer sheet. This is a sticky wicket for all involved and has every chance to turn out very badly for all involved. Here are the facts as I see them:
- The tweets from Mr. Lawton suggest to me at least some effort to drum up business or apply pressure.
- There may be an offer sheet to come but Peter Chiarelli tells us he will match.
- If the OS exceeds $10 million, suspect we’ll see the Oilers match and trade Leon at a later date.
- Leon is a wonderful player with great value, but $7.5 million is the range we should be talking about here. His playoff run was a lot of fun to watch but the problem is that run seems to have created a monster.
- There is a very real chance Leon Draisaitl is 12 months or less from playing for another NHL team. Remember, the cap crunch on 97’s deal begins fall 2018.
- If Peter Chiarelli ends up trading Draisaitl this summer, you should at least consider that result as being best available (depending on return). Simply matching the OS loses value once you reach $10 million and a trade may be a more preferable outcome.
LEON DRAISAITL WOWY 97
- Leon Draisaitl with Connor McDavid: 10-15-25 2.24 5×5/60 (53.7% Corsi for 5×5)
- Connor McDavid with Leon Draisaitl: 11-23-34 3.04 5×5/60 (53.7% Corsi for 5×5)
- Leon Draisaitl without Connor McDavid: 3-12-15 1.80 5×5/60 (47.9% Corsi for 5×5)
- Connor McDavid without Leon Draisaitl: 10-19-29 2.72 5×5/60 (52.1% Corsi for 5×5)
That’s the number (1.80 5×5/60) that should worry Leon Draisaitl and his agent. If someone signs him to an $11 million per year offer sheet, they are getting a very fine young player who was zoomed by Connor McDavid. Leon can’t take 97 with him and that’s kind of the reason signing him to a massive contract is balls out stupid. We wait.
PETER CHIARELLI’S SUMMER LIST
- Finalize long term deal for Connor McDavid. This is JOB ONE.
- Finalize long term deal for Leon Draisaitl. This is JOB TWO.
- Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future. (Griffin Reinhart fits this description. Mission accomplished).
- Find a second pairing RHD with two-way acumen.
- Find a stopgap measure to replace Andrej Sekera’s minutes. (Kris Russell fits this description. His being signed to a four-year deal does not match the ‘stopgap’ portion of the requirement).
- Find a C-R who can help the offense and mirror Leon. Ideally a first-person shooter. (Ryan Strome falls under the umbrella of this description).
- Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline. (Eberle for Strome cut $3.5 million, the Pouliot buyout added about $2.667 million to the cap room).
PETER CHIARELLI SECONDARY SUMMER LIST
- Re-stock the shelves via the draft. Universal positives on the Oilers draft. Three good-to-great trips to the annual selection have helped overall quality and depth.
- Improve overall team speed. Yamamoto certainly does, and most of the draft this year had speed as a positive. Ryan Strome had good speed on his draft day (Luedeke: Excellent skater who can beat defenders with his speed or elusiveness) and remains a good NHL skater.
- Offload Benoit Pouliot. Chiarelli got the job done, but via buyout. That’s no ideal.
- Improve goaltending depth. This is quickly turning into a team strength, credit to Chiarelli. Added college man Shane Starrett and drafted Stuart Skinner. Since arriving in Edmonton, PC has traded for Cam Talbot, signed two college free agents and drafted three goalies.
- Improve AHL quality. If the rumors are true and Ty Rattie is signed to a two-way deal today, that’s a start. I expect we’ll see several similar signings over the next few weeks.
- Cull the LHD herd. Griffin Reinhart, Andrew Ference, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Mark Fraser are gone. There is more balance on the defense than there was a year ago.
Jordan Eberle Griffin Reinhart
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Cap Space
- Jesse Puljujarvi
- Caleb Jones
- 2018 first-round selection
- Benoit Pouliot
- Anton Slepyshev
- Jujhar Khaira
- Ethan Bear
The Oilers youngest and newest head to Jasper today for orientation camp. We get some interviews and photos, with the gathered media offering insight into who has hit the weight room and who is healthy. I wrote about the invites the other day, the following is a re-print:
- G Miroslav Svoboda: Drafted but not signed by Edmonton, this may be his last visit. Or maybe they sign him later.
- LD Mark Auk. He was at rookie camp a year ago, Michigan Tech LHD, he is 22.
- RD Sahvan Khaira: Huge defender (and Jujhar’s brother) went 70gp, 1-16-17 for the Swift Current Broncos. Has one more year in junior.
- L Jake Lucchini: Undersized winger scored 11 goals for Michigan Tech, he is 22.
- LC Brandon Saigeon: Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) forward is 19 and scored 49 points in 66 games this past season.
- RC Steve Owre: WHL skill center is now finished in junior and at 21 this is a nice opportunity (especially if it turns into a rookie camp invite). 88 points in 71 games.
- RC Ethan Szypula: One of the more promising names on this year’s invite list, he went 11-36-47 in 64 games for Owen Sound (OHL). Brock Otten: Szypula is not a big guy (5’11, 170ish), but he plays a big man’s game.
- RC Tyson McLellan: Todd’s son is undersized and his U. Denver numbers (43gp, 5-7-12) are fine for a freshman (he played and that’s important).
- C Kevin Klima: Small skill center is 20 years old and scored 36 points in two QMJHL stops this season. He has a twin brother you’ll read about in a second and they are both Petr’s boys.
- R Kelly Klima: Small skill winger is 20 years old and scored 49 points while with two teams in the QMJHL this year. Petr Klima did play in Edmonton the year these kids were born.
- R Davis Koch: Edmonton Oil Kings winger has improved each season (he is 19) and scored at almost a point-per-game this year. Should be one of the better skill forwards.
- R William Graber: He is 21, 6.03 and had 19 points in 29 games at Dartmouth as a freshman. An older prospect, interesting resume.
- R Chad Butcher: Small winger (5.10, 172) was a Penticton invite one year ago. Speed main weapon.
As for the names you know:
- Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells and Shane Starrett will join Svoboda among the goalies. Always interested in the new hires and comments from the goalie experts.
- Ethan Bear will attend but not play, still recovering from injury.
- Filip Berglund is a player I’ll pay special attention to in terms of news. He is 20 now, so we should be able to gauge things like foot speed against men like Caleb Jones (who is a fast train) to see how much of a gap we’re looking at with him.
- Dmitri Samorukov has quite a bit of positive verbal from respected sources, how does he move the puck?
- Ryan Mantha has a similar skill set to Bear, how is his footwork? Shot?
- Tyler Benson couldn’t take part one year ago, how does he look this year? Probably the number one question heading into this camp.
- Do the Klima kids wear the correct buckets and tape their sticks the right way?
- Aidan Muir remains a mystery of some sorts, is he healthy and does he stand out physically from the younger men at the camp?
- Graham McPhee. How skilled is he? I hold out real hope for this player.
- Roster is here.
- R Radim Vrbata (81gp, 20-35-55). Scorer.
- RD Christian Folin (51gp, 2-6-8). Young, available, skilled.
- RD Cody Franson (68GP, 3-16-19). One-year deal? I would do it.
- C-L Brandon Pirri (60gp, 8-10-18). Low-cost scorer.
- LC Dominic Moore (82gp, 11-14-25). PK and FO option.
- R P-A Parenteau (67gp, 13-15-28). Can still score.
- LD Yohann Auvitu (25gp, 2-2-4). He looks like a player.
- LC Mikhail Grigorenko (75gp, 10-13-23). Good faceoff man, young, had utility.
- R Alex Chiasson (81gp, 12-12-24). Has some value.
- R Ty Rattie (9gp, 0-2-2). Sounds like a two-way deal.
If the Oilers plan to spend money today (it doesn’t sound like it) you might see Patrick Marleau, Drew Stafford, Brian Boyle or Jarome Iginla being mentioned. Remember, Peter Chiarelli likes older players plenty.
Note: I will update as we go, but won’t have a new post until 6pm unless the signing/trade is major. I will be part of TSN1260’s ongoing free-agent coverage at noon, Dave Jamieson and Matt Iwanyk kick off coverage at 10 this morning. Enjoy the day and happy Canada Day!