THE SEASON AHEAD

It’s down to Leon. As each day passes without an offer sheet (Carolina, New Jersey, Nashville and Arizona could still do it), the Draisaitl side must come to grips with the idea that negotiation is once again necessary. Unless an offer sheet comes calling, or one side decides to move in order to close the gap in AAV ask, we are probably going to be talking about a bridge deal.

RE GP PROJECTIONS

I’m just getting started on the RE projections, it’s an interesting process that shows areas of strengths and weakness on the roster. As you see below, this team badly needs a couple of these RW’s to emerge as scorers and there’s work to do on defense.

  • The addition of Jokinen gives structure to LW, to the point we can see Caggiula possibly getting some time on RW with skill (top 2 lines).
  • Center is rock solid if the depth chart ends up looking this way and everyone stays as healthy as I’m projecting here.
  • The starboard is the issue up front, Todd McLellan will be sorely tempted to play big Leon there. Ryan Strome has a fantastic chance to win a scoring role on McDavid’s line. I bet he’s dreaming about the opportunity coming this fall and what it might mean to his career. He’s Ken Hodge 1967, right now.
  • I’ve projected the left side of the defense with Russell, seems to me Sekera is going to miss half the season and then take some time to get back to 100 percent. Klefbom and Nurse may have some injury issues this year, injuries have been part of their early pro careers.
  • On the right side, I have Larsson and Benning running most every night, and then the third pairing being a bit of a mess that includes Gryba, Fayne, Simpson and even Russell (Ryan Stanton and Caleb Jones playing LH side for a time).
  • Cam Talbot gets 60 games by my current estimate, I’ll probably change it to 65 by the time I run the actual RE.
  • Despite misgivings about RW—McLellan may spend the entire season auditioning youngsters—the balance photo is a capable RHD away from appearing.
  • It looks like Foo Fighters for RE, I’ll start with 97 probably a week from now.

ROOM TO WHEEL

One thing we can probably begin to discuss is the Nuge exit. Adding Jokinen (who can play center) gives PC a chance to make a move should a Justin Faulk or Tyson Barrie shake loose. The Russell signing complicates things moving forward, but we may see some movement anyway next summer when the Benning and Nurse renewals come into view. It may come down to asking Andrej Sekera to waive his no move or dealing Darnell Nurse in 2018.

PULJU

Jesse Puljujarvi could benefit from another 30 games in Bakersfield but the actions of management this summer suggest he’ll go into camp with a job to lose. Added to Anton Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula, that’s three players who could play top 9F for much of the season who we really don’t know about offensively. Ryan Strome’s experience gives him a big advantage over the rest of this group. Would Jaromir Jagr help the situation? Absolutely. That said, just because all these kids have arrived at the same time doesn’t mean the Oilers can afford to make a rash decision. I honestly don’t know who is going to emerge from this group as the goal-scorer and that may mean none of them do and we’re back talking about this again summer 2018.

CURRENT 50-MAN

  • The Oilers are at 49, with two slides, meaning 47. We’re very close to the period where Peter Chiarelli will call it done, close enough for jazz.
  • I do think we might see a straggling college free agent like Teemu Kivihalme. Colorado College coach Mike Haviland: “[Kivihalme] improved defensively from year to year. He came in with offensive skills and skating, but he needed to become better defensively to be trustworthy at the next level.” Source
  • The Jokinen signing really does put this roster in a more balanced light.
  • If Edmonton doesn’t sign another mid-level defensive option in the Stanton-Simpson area of the depth chart, don’t be surprised if Caleb Jones or Ethan Bear emerge as a bona fide recall option.

CAM CONNOR

Former Oilers winger will join me this afternooon at 2:20 on SSE to discuss Dave Semenko and his passing. We’ll also spend some time looking back on Connor’s career, he was a very high pick and a power forward who had some exceptional years in the WHA.

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85 Responses to "THE SEASON AHEAD"

  1. speeds says:

    LT: Do you (or anyone else 😉 ) happen to know if Maroon has played much RW? If so, how effectively?

    Any chance they potentially look at flipping him to RW?

  2. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Cam Talbot gets 60 goals by my current estimate, I’ll probably change it to 65 by the time I run the actual RE.

    Holy crap, if a goalie wins the Richard does he also get the Vezina by default?

    🙂

    Thanks for all you do, LT.

  3. Little Poteet says:

    I’m all for a Foo Fighters RE. Huge catalog, some variance, soft, loud, intense, light. Great Band to project what is shaping up to be a great team

  4. Woogie63 says:

    Looking forward to Penticton Young Stars tournament. I heard Craig Connroy on the Fan 960 in Calgary say, do to the lack of draft picks, they told players if they attend orientation camp the Flames will bring them to Pentiction for the Young Stars tornament.

    Oilers and Jets should have the quality at this tournament.

  5. Ben says:

    Stauffer’s repeated hints that PC could look at making a move in the course of the season tells me he may be waiting for Sekera’s return to trigger something. To me, that suggests another defender moving out. Unfortunately, the most likely candidate for that kind of move seems to be Sekera himself…

  6. Lowetide says:

    NYC: Dammit! 🙂

  7. dustrock says:

    A huge huge fan of the first FF album, liked the 2nd quite a bit, found the quality dropped after that. Which is most bands, to be fair.

    The new single Ran is fantastic though.

  8. dustrock says:

    https://www.coppernblue.com/2017/7/8/15940936/reallocating-risk-jussi-jokinen-benoit-pouliot-oilers

    Might have been posted already, but Sunil with a nice point: Jokinen and Pouliot both had down years, the Oilers now betting on a bounceback from JJ at a $2.35m including the Pouliot buyout, rather than a full $4m on Pouliot.

  9. Todd Macallan says:

    Foo Fighters would be a great choice!

    Connor – My Hero
    Leon – Make a Bet
    Puju – Learn to Fly
    Nuge (I hope) – I’ll Stick Around

  10. frjohnk says:

    Georges: Oilers 5v5 GF60 w/o CMD

    15-16 1.79 (with Hall on the team)
    16-17 1.97 (w/o Hall on the team)

    So the loss of Hall didn’t affect w/o CMD goal production from 15-16 to 16-17. The Oilers scored at a better pace with CMD off the ice in 16-17 (when Hall was off the team) than in 15-16 (when Hall was on the team).

    Going into this season, Larsson is a first pairing d-man. This means Chia effectively acquired a first pairing d-man without hurting team offense (when he traded Hall for Larsson).

    Think about that. That’s some good GM’ing, no?

    That needs to be taken into context

    In 15-16,

    Oilers scored without Hall or McDavid on the ice 1.25 goals per 60
    Oilers scored with Hall and or McDavid on the ice 2.97 goals per 60
    Oilers scored with Hall on the ice 2.76 goals per 60
    Oilers scored with McDavid on the ice 3.49 goals per 60
    Oilers scored without McDavid on the ice 1.79 goals per 60
    Oilers scored without Hall on the ice 1.71 goals per 60

    The Oilers got 89 goals when at least 1 of these guys were on the ice in 1796 minutes.
    Oilers got 44 goals when neither were on the ice in 2115 minutes

    Injuries, lack of talent and depth hampered the non Hall and non McDavid ice time big time that year. Non McDavid and or Non Hall TOI had a goals for% of 34% and a corsi for % of 46%. And this was for 2145 5 on 5 minutes. Hall and or McDavid TOI 5 on 5 was 1796 minutes.

    Better depth, less injuries saw the bottom players score better in 16-17

    Oilers scored 3.18 goals for per 60 in 1809 minutes with McDavid and/or Drai on the ice.
    Oilers scored 1.87 goals for per 60 in 2145 minutes without either of those two off the ice.

    The Oilers got 96 goals when at least 1 of these guys were on the ice in 1809 minutes
    They got 67 goals when neither were on the ice in 2145 minutes.

    If the team replaced Halls offense, then someone with a lot of ice time away from McDavid would have had a goals for per 60 around 2.75. Hall had a goals for per 60 of 2.74 during his Oiler career.

    These are the players goals for per 60 away from McDavid
    Player GF60
    MAROON, PATRICK 2.25
    DRAISAITL, LEON 2.28
    LUCIC, MILAN 1.93
    EBERLE, JORDAN 2.07
    PULJUJARVI, JESSE 0.88
    CAGGIULA, DRAKE 1.59
    POULIOT, BENOIT 1.87
    KASSIAN, ZACK 2.4
    RNH 1.91
    LETESTU, MARK 2.08

    As it stands, we didn’t replace Halls offense, we bettered the bottom 6 scoring

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/07/a-look-at-nhl-teams-results-with-and.html

  11. jm363561 says:

    The Oilers have plenty of cap space this year so why buy out Pouliot and push $1.3m to next year’s crunchathon (Leon’s offer sheet protection fund seems to be fully paid up)? Someone else is coming I reckon.

    With regard to D I suspect that if Sekera was not injured Chia would have left the Top 6 and Gryba alone. They were a good unit; it is reasonable to expect further growth from Benning, Nurse and Klefbom; and another year of stability is a thing. Chia may wait out Sekera’s return and rely on Simpson and Stanton for additional depth, but I reckon a depth LD on a one year contract is the play. Hi Brandon!

  12. 36 percent body fat says:

    Auston Matthews song: The Pretender

  13. Ryan says:

    jm363561:
    The Oilers have plenty of cap space this year so why buy out Pouliot and push $1.3m to next year’s crunchathon (Leon’s offer sheet protection fund seems to be fully paid up)? Someone else is coming I reckon.

    With regard to D I suspect that if Sekera was not injured Chia would have left the Top 6 and Gryba alone. They were a good unit; it is reasonable to expect further growth from Benning, Nurse and Klefbom; and another year of stability is a thing. Chia may wait out Sekera’s return and rely on Simpson and Stanton for additional depth, but I reckon a depth LD on a one year contract is the play. Hi Brandon!

    Chiarelli makes some strange decisions. Some very good and others quite poor.

    Montreal would have traded Desharnais for a bag of pucks. They had a new coach who wasn’t playing him and wanted to beef up for the trade deadline.

    If we had traded a late round pick instead of Davidson, our blue line depth would have been far better this season. He could have kept his powder dry on the Russell contract and found another cheaper vet.

  14. anjinsan says:

    Why endlessly harp on Puljujarvi about offense????
    There is one and only one thing that will stop Puljujarvi from becoming a star — his brain.
    Is he smart and creative enough? That, and that only, is the question.

    Draisaitl, who is indeed plenty smart enough, struggled early and got sent down.
    It just takes some time.

    How about an extended piece on the smack down that Eakins put the team through?

  15. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Todd Macallan:
    Foo Fighters would be a great choice!

    Connor –My Hero
    Leon – Make a Bet
    Puju – Learn to Fly
    Nuge (I hope) – I’ll Stick Around

    I’ll stick around would be great for Nuge.

    So would Best of You. Anyone who needs a bounceback year really.

  16. Lowetide says:

    anjinsan:
    Why endlessly harp on Puljujarvi about offense????
    There is one and only one thing that will stop Puljujarvi from becoming a star — his brain.
    Is he smart and creative enough?That, and that only, is the question.

    Draisaitl, who is indeed plenty smart enough, struggled early and got sent down.
    It justtakes some time.

    How about an extended piece on the smack down that Eakins put the team through?

    I haven’t seen Puljujarvi as an effective shooter and that’s a concern. Little doubt he has all of the tools, but am still unsure where he’ll play on the depth chart. He could be a very effective two-way player who doesn’t score 20 goals a year (as a for instance).

    As for Eakins, I’ll let you handle that on your blog.

  17. who says:

    anjinsan:
    Why endlessly harp on Puljujarvi about offense????
    There is one and only one thing that will stop Puljujarvi from becoming a star — his brain.
    Is he smart and creative enough?That, and that only, is the question.

    Draisaitl, who is indeed plenty smart enough, struggled early and got sent down.
    It justtakes some time.

    How about an extended piece on the smack down that Eakins put the team through?

    anjinsan:
    Why endlessly harp on Puljujarvi about offense????
    There is one and only one thing that will stop Puljujarvi from becoming a star — his brain.
    Is he smart and creative enough?That, and that only, is the question.

    Draisaitl, who is indeed plenty smart enough, struggled early and got sent down.
    It justtakes some time.

    How about an extended piece on the smack down that Eakins put the team through?

    I don’t see his brain being a problem at all. From what I saw last year he has good vision offensively and is responsible defensively.
    The two biggest things that could hold this player back are injury and lack of confidence. His confidence in particular, took a real hit last year. I thought the oilers usage of him really messed with his head. Did not look like the same player at the world championships. Looked tentative and unsure of himself.
    Hopefully he gets off to a good start and puts last year behind.

  18. blainer says:

    Competition …. it’s a thing.

    This team depth is really looking good.

    My two predictions..

    1. Caleb Jones is the surprise at camp this year and will be the first call up if not actually making the team out of camp depending on the vet D I know we are gonna sign… or if one of the D gets injured at camp.

    2. We are Defiantly winning the cup in 2018…

  19. godot10 says:

    A bridge deal for Draisaitl is not really in the Oilers best interest. He will only be unbearably more expensive two years from now.

    Chiarelli took far more risk in the Lucic and Russell contracts, than he would signing Draisaitl to 8 x $8.5, especially since every #1 centre going forward is going to command $10 million, starting with McDavid, Taveres, Eichel, Matthews, Seguin, …

    $8.5 million and cost certainty for McDavid and Draisaitl is the way to go.

  20. Westchester Oil says:

    jm363561:
    The Oilers have plenty of cap space this year so why buy out Pouliot and push $1.3m to next year’s crunchathon (Leon’s offer sheet protection fund seems to be fully paid up)? Someone else is coming I reckon.

    I have been thinking the same thing as I have been troubled by buying out Pou a year early. I wanted to see how Oilers dead-money (buyouts, retained salary, recapture penalties, etc.) compares to other teams for this year and future years. This is what I came up with courtesy of Cap Friendly (I cant confirm 100% accuracy of these figures).

    Dead Money
    Team 2017-18 2018-24 Total 2017-24

    NYR $2.6 $10.6 $13.2
    CBJ $4.0 $8.4 $12.4
    CAR $4.7 $7.0 $11.7
    ARZ $4.6 $5.3 $9.9
    LA $2.4 $7.2 $9.6
    NJ $2.1 $6.7 $8.8
    TOR $3.3 $4.8 $8.1
    DET $2.6 $5.0 $7.6
    EDM $2.3 $4.0 $6.3
    BOS $2.7 $3.2 $5.9
    TB $1.8 $3.7 $5.5
    VAN $2.1 $3.2 $5.3
    COL $5.0 $0.0 $5.0
    ANA $2.2 $2.7 $4.9
    NSH $2.8 $1.2 $4.0
    BUF $0.4 $2.7 $3.1
    DAL $1.5 $1.5 $3.0
    CGY $1.8 $0.9 $2.7
    FLA $1.3 $1.3 $2.7
    MIN $2.5 $0.0 $2.5
    WPG $1.5 $0.6 $2.0
    PHI $1.5 $0.0 $1.5
    VGK $1.1 $0.0 $1.1
    OTT $0.3 $0.0 $0.3
    CHI $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
    WSH$0.0 $0.0 $0.0
    StL $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
    MTL $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
    NYI $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
    PIT $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
    SJ $0.0 $0.0 $0.0

    Average $1.8 $2.6 $4.4

    Comments:
    – Oilers are among the top 10 worst offenders
    – Note that (arguably) the top 3 teams of the last few years – Hawks, Pens, Caps – all have no dead money on their books
    – Dan Girardi was an awfully expensive buyout for the Rangers
    – L.A. looks semi-bad here, but its an awful situation for them going forward considering their future buyout candidates

  21. The Trade Guy says:

    godot10:
    A bridge deal for Draisaitl is not really in the Oilers best interest.He will only be unbearably more expensive two years from now.

    Chiarelli took far more risk in the Lucic and Russell contracts, than he would signing Draisaitl to 8 x $8.5, especially since every #1 centre going forward is going to command $10 million, starting with McDavid, Taveres, Eichel, Matthews, Seguin, …

    $8.5 million and cost certainty for McDavid and Draisaitl is the way to go.

    Dude give up the Russell deal its lazy and its not really going to hamper anything.

    Lucic I will give anyone especially because PC has sheered every other winger making substantial money off the roster.

  22. jtblack says:

    Well. Can this team win the Cup as is? No. Is this the most balanced photo we have seen in a decade? Yes

    If this team stays intact with this roster I think we can expect decent results. There are many questions as you always allude to LT. How about the importance of a bounce back offensive season from RNH. We know Connor will get his. We assume Leon will do well (even on his own). I know RNH plays the toughs, but that’s the point. We need him to play them AND contribute 50+ points.

    Also, make or break for Nurse? He is still young but at some point you have to show what you will be. I expect a Solid year from Darnell .. simplify, simplify …

    Love the forward group. I am not as worried about you about RW production. Solid Vets on the left side, Dynamic centers; you could put LT on the RW1 or RW 2 and he would get 20. The biggest thing to determine who emerges as your scorer is which RW gets PP1 time, it’s that simple. If that is Strome he can hit 25 Goals (Letestu had 11 cleaning up PP1 gravy).

    My concern is still the defense. Just seems like a gigantic dropoff after Klef/ Larsson. Sekera may be one of those unsung hero / underrated types. He’s very solid and helps slot in the others in their proper space …

    Great stuff. Can’t wait for the RE’s

  23. Ryan says:

    anjinsan:
    Why endlessly harp on Puljujarvi about offense????
    There is one and only one thing that will stop Puljujarvi from becoming a star — his brain.
    Is he smart and creative enough?That, and that only, is the question.

    Draisaitl, who is indeed plenty smart enough, struggled early and got sent down.
    It justtakes some time.

    How about an extended piece on the smack down that Eakins put the team through?

    With Draisatl when he struggled in his first season, you could see his strengths and weaknesses.

    While he displayed his elite passing and play making especially with his backhand, his skating wasn’t up to par for the NHL. Credit to him for making vast improvements in his skating. He also took awhile to get his decision making to match the speed of the NHL.

    With JP, it’s a very different scenario. While his size is already adequate, he’s also already a plus skater at the NHL level. He’s also shown good defensive acumen for a rookie. The question marks are around his offensive ability. He hasn’t shown flashes of anything in particular. His shot and pkaymsking abilities are big question marks.

  24. frjohnk says:

    godot10:
    A bridge deal for Draisaitl is not really in the Oilers best interest.He will only be unbearably more expensive two years from now.

    Chiarelli took far more risk in the Lucic and Russell contracts, than he would signing Draisaitl to 8 x $8.5, especially since every #1 centre going forward is going to command $10 million, starting with McDavid, Taveres, Eichel, Matthews, Seguin, …

    $8.5 million and cost certainty for McDavid and Draisaitl is the way to go.

    In fairness to Chia, he saw Lucic as added a quality vet who fit the billing as the “heavy player” Chia likes. At the time of the signing, we were lacking NHL players and many of them were playing above their ability ( ie Korpikoski, Hendriks and Letestu played top 8 minutes in 15-16) and adding Lucic would have helped solve this

    I loved the Lucic get, but the contract could turn out to be an albatross, his even strength play was very underwhelming ( 5 goals in his last 67 games including playoffs) and he really did not mesh well with McDavid, RNH or even Drai ( though they had good corsi)

    I believe he will have a better 2nd season. But I do wonder for how much of the contract does he play on the bottom half of the roster.

    EDIT: I’m really not a fan of the NMC’s for both Lucic and Russell.

  25. jtblack says:

    Also, although Letestu is great for utility I believe he got CAVED at 5×5 last year (someone can share the data with us). I would like to see Khaira there or someone who can deliver some decent 5×5 play in that slot. Pens have deployed Matt Cullen there (at 4C) for last 2 cups and he has been a tremendous advantage over the other teams. I think our 1st line is money (thanks to the McD advantage). The 2nd line is a question mark. Line 3 should be good given our depth. Our 4th line needs a decent pivot so it can run even CF% or better

  26. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Let’s turn this discussion upside down.

    frjohnk: As it stands, we didn’t replace Halls offense, we bettered the bottom 6 scoring

    Think about that. That’s some good GM’ing, no?

  27. godot10 says:

    The offense improved last year because the defense improved, and was finally of NHL quality. Basically, Larsson, a healthy Klefbom, and Russell (who is an adequate 3rd pairing D) were added.

  28. Georges says:

    frjohnk,

    The point of WG’s post was to look at with and without CMD GF60 from 15-16 to 16-17.

    5v5 GF60 w/o CMD

    15-16 1.79
    16-17 1.97

    1. In 15-16, we had Hall. In 16-17, we didn’t.

    2. Without CMD GF60 improved from 15-16 to 16-17.

    3. Losing Hall did not hurt without CMD GF60 year over year.

    Which of the 3 points is a problem?

  29. JDI says:

    godot10: Basically, Larsson, a healthy Klefbom, and Russell (who is an adequate 3rd pairing D) were added.

    Why do you hate Benning?

  30. Hockey Project says:

    Former Oiler, Mark Fistric, has moved on to his post-hockey career:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BWRM0gMFLay/

    (apologies if this is old news)

  31. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Let’s turn this discussion upside down.

    Think about that. That’s some good GM’ing, no?

    Better health and Better GM’ing. Yup.

  32. N64 says:

    godot10:
    A bridge deal for Draisaitl is not really in the Oilers best interest.He will only be unbearably more expensive two years from now.

    Chiarelli took far more risk in the Lucic and Russell contracts, than he would signing Draisaitl to 8 x $8.5, especially since every #1 centre going forward is going to command $10 million, starting with McDavid, Taveres, Eichel, Matthews, Seguin, …

    $8.5 million and cost certainty for McDavid and Draisaitl is the way to go.

    Suspect that when they closed with Chia the McDavid camp were left with a general expectation that Leon not be bridges if his premium for long term is within reason. 7.75 + .75 for 8 seams within reason.

  33. Newton says:

    Lowetide,

    Hi LT longtime reader first time poster – fantastic work on creating a fav landing spot for all things Oil – and as an Expos fan (love the recall of former expos memories on the lowdown) we had our playoff trip planned after that sweep of the Braves late before the strike in 94 – I was a super fan of Johnny W – what a fireballer. I digress….From my limited viewings of his goals in Bake it appears Pujlu has the velocity and range to be a significant shooting threat in the bigs even if that means more seasoning in Cali. This season could reveal much. Hopefully the Jokinen signing has a positive impact and we are having retro flashbacks to the 80’s….oh glory! Thanks for your contribution to Oiler fandom – keep up the amazing work!

  34. oilinthepeg says:

    godot10,

    Agree with this for sure. Although, I’m not convinced the offense improves at all because of Russell. I think he is effective at some of the things he does, but for me, ideal would be to have him on the PK and limited 3rd pair minutes 5vs5. He needs to work on his outlet passing as it feels like hot potato when he’s got the puck. His controlled zone entries allowed are also cause for concern, so that kind of hurts his defensive D status. I must admit, by eye, I liked Russell quite a bit at the start of the year, but found him hard to watch near the end when injuries stacked up and he was in over his head. Hoping for a youngster to step up and bump him down out of top 4 minutes… it makes his contract sting, but the team will have more success, I think.

    Awesome coverage, LT!

    GOILERS! Clap clap!

  35. Dino says:

    Still think this team is a good RW and RD away from contending for a cup.

    They’re relying too much on fringe players when they could just go out and sign some proven vets this offseason. No reason both Slepy and Pulju should be penciled into your top 9 if you’re serious about competing. They have skill and could surprise us but relying on a surprise seems unwise.

  36. frjohnk says:

    Georges:
    frjohnk,

    The point of WG’s post was to look at with and without CMD GF60 from 15-16 to 16-17.

    5v5 GF60 w/o CMD

    15-16 1.79
    16-17 1.97

    1. In 15-16, we had Hall. In 16-17, we didn’t.

    2. Without CMD GF60 improved from 15-16 to 16-17.

    3. Losing Hall did not hurt without CMD GF60 year over year.

    Which of the 3 points is a problem?

    On the surface you are correct.

    But like I said before, if you dig a bit deeper, one finds that we did not replace Halls offense, but bettered the bottom 6 through better health and better GMing.

    The roster without the best players ( basically bottom 6) moved from the worst in the league to average in the league. This is what I call tertiary scoring. Which means our secondary scoring took a hit.

    We still rely on McDavid way too much for our offense. 46% of our offense at 5 on 5 is with him on the ice.

    McDavid is looking like he will hover around 3.5 goals for per 60.
    If the 2nd line driver can hit 2.75 goals for per 60, we replaced Hall.

    I believe Draisaitl will do it.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Dino:
    Still think this team is a good RW and RD away from contending for a cup.

    They’re relying too much on fringe players when they could just go out and sign some proven vets this offseason. No reason both Slepy and Pulju should be penciled into your top 9 if you’re serious about competing. They have skill and could surprise us but relying on a surprise seems unwise.

    Agree, but that RW might be on the roster and Benning might change the conversation. what if he IS Dan Boyle? I’d certainly have cover, one year for Franson, but nothing more because Benning could be a big contract next summer.

  38. pocession charge says:

    godot10:
    The offense improved last year because the defense improved, and was finally of NHL quality.Basically, Larsson, a healthy Klefbom, and Russell (who is an adequate 3rd pairing D) were added.

    That’s a bit oversimplified. It helped, yes, but so did a great power play. I know that you won’t give any credit to Jay Woodcroft, though.

  39. pocession charge says:

    godot10:
    A bridge deal for Draisaitl is not really in the Oilers best interest.He will only be unbearably more expensive two years from now.

    Chiarelli took far more risk in the Lucic and Russell contracts, than he would signing Draisaitl to 8 x $8.5, especially since every #1 centre going forward is going to command $10 million, starting with McDavid, Taveres, Eichel, Matthews, Seguin, …

    $8.5 million and cost certainty for McDavid and Draisaitl is the way to go.

    Nope. That’s $1M too much based on his comparables.

  40. Newton says:

    After seeing the team effect of subtract Hall and add Larson (net positive), I am very interested to see the subtract Eberle add Strome effect….not so much from on ice individual production but overall team chemistry and wins and losses. I suspect we will again see a net positive, hunch maybe but I can’t argue with Chia’s results thus far in Hall/Larsson swap. Is Nuge the final shoe to drop for that stud D and Chia truly makes this team his own?

  41. Scungilli Slushy says:

    dustrock:
    https://www.coppernblue.com/2017/7/8/15940936/reallocating-risk-jussi-jokinen-benoit-pouliot-oilers

    Might have been posted already, but Sunil with a nice point: Jokinen and Pouliot both had down years, the Oilers now betting on a bounceback from JJ at a $2.35m including the Pouliot buyout, rather than a full $4m on Pouliot.

    Jokinen has been and likely is a better player, and can do a lot more as well. Although Joki downplayed the Finn side of it, I think that is likely the Oiler’s main motivation, especially as he had mentored Barkov.

  42. who says:

    Dino:
    Still think this team is a good RW and RD away from contending for a cup.

    They’re relying too much on fringe players when they could just go out and sign some proven vets this offseason. No reason both Slepy and Pulju should be penciled into your top 9 if you’re serious about competing. They have skill and could surprise us but relying on a surprise seems unwise.

    I read the call for more veteran signings a lot on this blog and I just don’t agree.

    The problem with signing more veterans is that the good ones cost too much to fit under the cap and the mediocre ones, while cheaper, are not going to be any better than the youngsters we have in place already.
    Why not give your young players 40 games to show what they can do. Keep your powder dry for now and if you need to add you can do so before the deadline.
    Having cap space to add at the deadline is a big deal!

  43. GMB3 says:

    godot10:
    A bridge deal for Draisaitl is not really in the Oilers best interest.He will only be unbearably more expensive two years from now.

    Chiarelli took far more risk in the Lucic and Russell contracts, than he would signing Draisaitl to 8 x $8.5, especially since every #1 centre going forward is going to command $10 million, starting with McDavid, Taveres, Eichel, Matthews, Seguin, …

    $8.5 million and cost certainty for McDavid and Draisaitl is the way to go.

    #ThoroughlyMediocreAnalysis

  44. Scungilli Slushy says:

    A difference of 1 million on your second best player is not what kills the cap. If 8.5 gets Drai for 8 years you do that. If he wants over 10, then no. 8.5 is a gamble, but there is going to be salary escalation at the top of the rosters, and in 2-3 years if he keeps scoring his number will be a lot closer to McDavid’s.

    Like any business, the best course of action depends on the actual numbers, and there is always at least some risk involved. And feelings, it is a very close small group of people for such a large business, and offending or losing a top young player over relatively small amounts is probably not a good decision.

  45. Scungilli Slushy says:

    The Oilers have 9 defencemen with at least a reasonable amount of NHL experience. They do have depth for injuries, even if some are not great players. But with the cap, how man teams have good players in the PB? It is a huge difference from years gone by.

    I have no inkling what Chiarelli does, but I could see them standing pat. Unless they trade Sekera, when he comes back a regular NHL D would have to sit. I suppose I don’t think that is likely from the Pete’s verbal. He seems to want to give players a chance and not block them, which is huge for confidence and moral, those strange things that weren’t around before.

  46. pocession charge says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    In a flat cap era, every $1M counts. Why overpay when the comparables say otherwise. Why should Leon get $2M/year more than Mark Scheifele?

  47. Thinker says:

    Drai will have to take a huge step in terms of shot volume to maintain last years offense. I would bank on him being cheaper a year from now. I don’t see a world where he is more expensive.
    Did we very find out why we burned JP’s rfa year?

  48. Professor Q says:

    Thinker:
    Drai will have to take a huge step in terms of shot volume to maintain last years offense. I would bank on him being cheaper a year from now. I don’t see a world where he is more expensive.
    Did we very find out why we burned JP’s rfa year?

    It must have been an agreement of some sort. There’s little chance that it was simply by chance that he was sent down almost immediately after making the mark.

  49. 68goatcheese says:

    So we are one “antique” UFA away from Connor playing with his dream wingers. Of course it would likely only be one shift! Lol

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Agree, but that RW might be on the roster and Benning might change the conversation. what if he IS Dan Boyle? I’d certainly have cover, one year for Franson, but nothing more because Benning could be a big contract next summer.

    With 47 contracts (49 but two slides), we are getting close to the no acquisition zone if we want to keep flexibility for later.

    Also, Jokinen was a fantastic veteran signing that should provide great value and is no risk. On the surface, it seems like another veteran add could help but, in addition to the overall contract number, we get to the place where we wonder which younger developing player that has essentially earned an NHL role will need to be sent down to make room – potentially subject to waivers.

    Pak – I’m fine with the risk there but next up is Slep/JJ – do we want to block them? Have they earned a roster spot?

  51. russ99 says:

    Could it be that the Oilers like the stability Russell brings to the defense and how he makes Talbot’s workload easier and dumping Pouliot was because they couldn’t find a taker and didn’t think he was a fit anymore?

    Just because you don’t agree with those moves doesn’t mean they don’t make sense.

    Russell should be better on his natural left side and at worst gives us a solid replacement for Sekera.

    Jokinen is a much better fit with this group and with the coaching staff than Pouliot.

  52. Scungilli Slushy says:

    At forward they now have depth to cover injuries at centre, and in goal Broissoit’s SV% was good last year.

    Again, I think they might wait and see if players step up and take a regular job. And fill in later if it doesn’t work out, but a half season seems likely.

    LT has mentioned the Bruinizing of the Oilers. Chiarelli seems to like talent, speed, size (as Bruins GM he mentioned heavy or thick, not necessarily tall) and assertiveness.

    That works for me as I like the same player types.

    Talent: The Oilers have 10 first round draft picks including 2 1OV’s, 4 top 5 picks, 43% of the roster. Slepy was considered a first round talent in his draft year.

    Speed: There are now only 4 players that aren’t considered great skaters, Lucic, Maroon, Letestu and Gryba. The first two do have straight line speed. Somebody mentioned Joki was slow, I’ve never heard that, he seems at least a competent skater. That is a big change, the Oilers are a fast team now, again.

    Size: Pete likes player to have at least weight, although he has shown that ability trumps size for him. The Oilers now have only 2 players that are listed below 195 lbs on their site, Russell and Caggiula. They are a pretty heavy team again.

    Assertiveness: Throughout the roster, there are no longer any players that aren’t, or might be called perimeter players. Not that they are all bangers or hit a lot, it’s more about being aggressive on the puck and taking time away from opponents. Doing something each shift. This was the knock on Slepy, he seems to be getting the message.

    Fayne isn’t assertive and isn’t a good skater or puckhandler, and that is why he isn’t on the team. Although LT holds out hope!

  53. Ducey says:

    LT, Ariz can’t offer sheet, unless they trade back for next year’s 2nd

  54. dustrock says:

    Yamamoto is going to get “Big Me”, right?

  55. The Hermit says:

    Leon Draisaitl – Monkey Wrench

  56. Yegfoundation says:

    Newton:
    After seeing the team effect of subtract Hall and add Larson (net positive), I am very interested to see the subtract Eberle add Strome effect….not so much from on ice individual production but overall team chemistry and wins and losses.I suspect we will again see a net positive, hunch maybe but I can’t argue with Chia’s results thus far in Hall/Larsson swap.Is Nuge the final shoe to drop for that stud D and Chia truly makes this team his own?

    I hope RNH can return us a stud D but I’m afraid just like with Hall and Eberle the value through the league will be lower than we desire.

    im shocked the 3 kids didn’t do more once they had the support of a better roster. We didn’t miss Hall and we certainly won’t miss Eberle. I also now expect if we move RNH, even for less that exoectred, they team has a chance to improve with a better 3rd line Center.

  57. Oil2Oilers says:

    A Cody Franson signing away from The Balance Photo!

    A little monkey wrench on my radio right now.

    I would trade Russell for Demerara for the same result.

  58. Scungilli Slushy says:

    pocession charge:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    In a flat cap era, every $1M counts.Why overpay when the comparables say otherwise.Why should Leon get $2M/year more than Mark Scheifele?

    I agree the all money counts, but it is far less damaging to overpay one of your best players than a more replaceable one. You and others have put a lot of effort into figuring what Drai ‘should’ get, but I think a lot of how contracts are done really comes down to current factors, things are very fluid. What a player got last year or two years ago might not factor easily into current conditions, such as Connor’s contract probably driving things up for top players. Which will drive contracts for other lesser players down because of the cap. It seems fair.

  59. John Chambers says:

    “Big me” Patrick Maroon
    “Wheels” Oscar Klefbom
    “Breakout” Darnell Nurse

    Foo’s are pretty much perfect for the Oil right abouts now

  60. jeetz says:

    I believe the lines this year will be very fluid but will be. Constructed with the 2018-19 salary cap very much insight.

    For instance, unless the oilers get desperate, we won’t see Strome with McDavid very much. The last thing the Oilers need is a massive season from Strome with his numbers propped up with mcdavid. Strome has a few contract coming after this year.

    The Oilers may get a #3-4 defenseman to go with Russel to keep Benning and Nurse in the bottom pairing. When sekera comes back, with everyone healthy that could even push one of them to #7. That will give us tremendous depth and controls nurse and bennings next contract as well

    Also, putting RNH on mcdavids wing is a no brained as it with inflate his stats incase of trade, or it will justify his salary. I think the coaches recognize they have to try this.

    Finally, in the event Draisail gets a bridge deal, we will see him starring in his own line for most of the season and make him earn every point without mcdavids help. Everyone will see his true worth good, bad or great

    Maroon McD RNH
    Lucic Drai Slepyshev
    Jokienin Strome Puljujarvi
    Khaira Letestu Kassian

    Larsson Klef
    TBA Russell
    Nurse Benning
    Gryba Sekera*

    This will maximize salary negotiations, maximizes development and is a pretty impressive lineup. Of course a losing streak and/ or a bad run of injuries changes everything

  61. Revolved says:

    A few questions for anyone in the know:

    With the cap space available, who are the RHD free agents still available besides Franson? Is there anyone worthwhile that is likely to go through waivers when training camp gets going?

    Any ideas what happened to Lucic last year? Who should we put him with?

  62. Side says:

    pocession charge: That’s a bit oversimplified. It helped, yes, but so did a great power play.I know that you won’t give any credit to Jay Woodcroft, though.

    Remember when the PP didn’t click yet and people were calling for Woodcroft to be fired and were saying McLellan and Woodcrofts PP was overrated?

    Good times.

  63. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Revolved:
    A few questions for anyone in the know:

    With the cap space available, who are the RHD free agents still available besides Franson? Is there anyone worthwhile that is likely to go through waivers when training camp gets going?

    Any ideas what happened to Lucic last year? Who should we put him with?

    Why through waivers? They have Stanton and Fayne down there already, a new hire I think would be to make the NHL roster better.

    As for Lucic, new team, struggling line mates. He is training differently, if he can drop some weight he’d be faster. In the previous 3 years his 5v5 shooting percentage averaged 14%, last year 8.4%. he should rebound a bit.

    And the whole team has a solid year of the system under their belts which helps every player, others should get closer to normal stats like Nuge who was told to focus on getting his creativity back and who Lucic will likely play with at first.

  64. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jeetz:
    I believe the lines this year will be very fluid but will be. Constructed with the 2018-19 salary cap very much insight.

    For instance, unless the oilers get desperate, we won’t see Strome with McDavid very much. The last thing the Oilers need is a massive season from Strome with his numbers propped up with mcdavid. Strome has a few contract coming after this year.

    The Oilers may get a #3-4 defenseman to go with Russel to keep Benning and Nurse in the bottom pairing. When sekera comes back, with everyone healthy that could even push one of them to #7. That will give us tremendous depth and controls nurse and bennings next contract as well

    Also, putting RNH on mcdavids wing is a no brained as it with inflate his stats incase of trade, or it will justify his salary. I think the coaches recognize they have to try this.

    Finally, in the event Draisail gets a bridge deal, we will see him starring in his own line for most of the season and make him earn every point without mcdavids help. Everyone will see his true worth good, bad or great

    Maroon McD RNH
    Lucic Drai Slepyshev
    Jokienin Strome Puljujarvi
    Khaira Letestu Kassian

    Larsson Klef
    TBA Russell
    Nurse Benning
    Gryba Sekera*

    This will maximize salary negotiations, maximizes development and is a pretty impressive lineup. Of course a losing streak and/ or a bad run of injuries changes everything

    They do have to watch as being seen by the players as sabotaging somebody’s offense to sign them to a cheaper contract. Kind of dirty pool if the player deserves to play up the order.

  65. Ice Sage says:

    Foo Fighters? As David Letterman once said “I’m so glad to have them here tonight in case we run into some troublesome Foo!”
    Catchy tunes but I always hear a diluted Wings-like offshoot of a real groundbreaking band. At least they’ve plied their craft while the Captain was alive 😉

  66. VOR says:

    Revolved,

    The guys left as RD free agents (ranked by games in the NHL):

    -Dennis Wideman (815)
    -Mark Streit (784)
    -Zybnek Michalek (784)
    -Tom Gilbert (655)
    -Roman Polak (634)
    -Matt Greene (615)
    -Cody Franson (527)
    -Nate Prosser (282)
    -Nate Guenin (205)
    -Cody Goloubef (129)
    -Michael Kostka (85)
    -Mat Clark (9)
    -Michael Paliotta (2)
    and an honorable mention to Dylan Blujus who while he hasn’t yet played in the NHL it seems very likely he will sometime soon.

    Wideman, Polak, Streit and Franson are all still mostly NHL dmen. The dark horse is Tom Gilbert who hadn’t looked good in some time but performed well above average during an extended stay with the Hersey Bears in the AHL.

  67. Dee Dee says:

    jeetz: JEETZ says:
    July 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    I believe the lines this year will be very fluid but will be. Constructed with the 2018-19 salary cap very much insight.
    For instance, unless the oilers get desperate, we won’t see Strome with McDavid very much. The last thing the Oilers need is a massive season from Strome with his numbers propped up with mcdavid. Strome has a few contract coming after this year.

    Oilers management had 10 years of that mindset, I’m so glad it’s gone. They need to put players in their best positions to succeed, not drilling holes in the boat to make sure it sinks.

    Same thing in regards to McDavids linemates, besides, someone has to play with him.

  68. VOR says:

    Revolved,

    I would probably rank those guys as Franson, Polak, Streit, Wideman, and then Gilbert.

    If I was looking to add useful prospects I’d add Paliotta and Blujus.

  69. misfit says:

    The defense got far more than just Larsson last year. They essentially added all of Larsson, Klefbom, and Russell. THREE legitimate NHL defensemen and 75% of the top 4 were added to the previous year’s roster. That’s a major overhaul. Trading Hall netted us ONE of those pieces.

  70. McNuge93 says:

    misfit:
    The defense got far more than just Larsson last year.They essentially added all of Larsson, Klefbom, and Russell.THREE legitimate NHL defensemen and 75% of the top 4 were added to the previous year’s roster. That’s a major overhaul.Trading Hall netted us ONE of those pieces.

    What about Benning?

  71. Thinker says:

    I wonder how close they see Bear being. He has a similar resume to Nurse when he turned pro. Could be a factor.

  72. who says:

    Thinker:
    I wonder how close they see Bear being. He has a similar resume to Nurse when he turned pro. Could be a factor.

    Doesn’t have near the skill set or resume. Bear had a very good junior career but is not a lock to be a regular nhl dman. I think nurse is.

  73. Gret99zky says:

    Drai: Every team over-pays some of their players. The trick is to over-pay the right ones. $8MX8 is probably an overpay, but he’s the right player.

    Lucic: He is a proud guy. Head of the table. I’m betting on a much better second season. He is training differently (with Terrell Owens I believe) and will likely come back a little leaner, faster. Now if he was training with Eberle this summer I’d be worried.

    Pouliot: I think he was let go for reasons other than winning hockey games. That buy-out cap hit had to be worth something to Pete, Todd, or the guys in the room. Jack Eichel likes to air dirty laundry so if BP is less than 100% team guy, Jack will confirm it with a press podium pout.

    Foo Fighters: Awesome! So many great tracks.

  74. Gret99zky says:

    VOR,

    The refs hate us enough without adding Wideman to the roster. Pass.

  75. Georges says:

    frjohnk,

    You seem to think there’s more to what I’m saying than what I’m saying.

    After you’ve done digging deeper (into secondary and tertiary scoring) and you come back to the surface, you’re going to find yourself in the same spot I’m pointing to: trading Hall did not hurt the Oilers 5v5 scoring in aggregate with CMD off the ice.

    As for replacing Hall’s scoring, you chose his 2.76 GF60 rate away from CMD in 15-16 as the benchmark. That’s pretty high. Close to first line production. I would’ve gone with around 2.4 as a good GF60 rate for a second line.

    How about instead of 15-16 we take 16-17 Hall’s 2.06 GF60 rate? Lucic was at 1.93 GF60 away from CMD in 16-17. That’s pretty close. Can we consider Hall replaced?

  76. Ducey says:

    Thinker:
    I wonder how close they see Bear being. He has a similar resume to Nurse when he turned pro. Could be a factor.

    7th overall vs 5th round.

    Plus Nurse was entering into a pretty wide open lineup. Bear has some depth in front of him

  77. Revolved says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    VOR,

    Thanks for the responses. It’s unfortunate, but unsurprising that none of those gents screams ability to push us to the cup. I thought of waivers, as organizations have been known not to recognize their own talent.

    The 50 man limit seems to prevent us from taking a chance on a prospect, but would a Franson signing be better? My concern is that Russell should really play LHD, and our RHD quality decreases exponentially down the depth chart.

  78. Munny says:

    Revolved:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    VOR,

    Thanks for the responses. It’s unfortunate, but unsurprising that none of those gents screams ability to push us to the cup. I thought of waivers, as organizations have been known not to recognize their own talent.

    The 50 man limit seems to prevent us from taking a chance on a prospect, but would a Franson signing be better? My concern is that Russell should really play LHD, and our RHD quality decreases exponentially down the depth chart.

    But we know, barring any other critical injuries, that Russell will be playing the right side, whenever Sekera returns.

    The LHD market is more liquid, more talented. Makes more sense to shop there.

  79. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Revolved:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    VOR,

    Thanks for the responses. It’s unfortunate, but unsurprising that none of those gents screams ability to push us to the cup. I thought of waivers, as organizations have been known not to recognize their own talent.

    The 50 man limit seems to prevent us from taking a chance on a prospect, but would a Franson signing be better? My concern is that Russell should really play LHD, and our RHD quality decreases exponentially down the depth chart.

    As Oiler fans we have been through a lot of bad times and poor decision making. You can’t win them all, but I think there is a competent, thoughtful approach now.

    We lost to the Ducks and there was envy of their young D. But I notice generally a grass is greener mentality. Benning had a really strong season with a few wobbles. The Ducks traded Montour instead of Vatanen to the Knights, and perhaps that was about the contract.

    Still I saw a lot of high level chaos from Montour and that might have been part of the Duck’s decision. I have commented before I also saw a lot of mistakes by their young blue. We lost to them because of defensive breakdowns, terrible production from theNuge line, and goalie interference not being called which was in other series.

    I don’t care about the loss now, but it is important to realize the Oilers nownhave a quality defensive group. They have 9 D with NHL experience. Anaheim’s best D is Lindholm but after its developing players no better or not even as good as Edmonton.

    If Getzlaf didn’t have the great run he did we would have beaten them, and they couldn’t beat the Preds.

    I think the brain trust is pondering what to do, and it’s not easy as so many players are emerging at once. I’m not sure one year deal type players will do a better job than those they have as has been said and there is a cap crunch coming. Maybe Franson if he’ll do one year because of his PP ability. However now they have multiple right shooters that aren’t muffin shots.

  80. frjohnk says:

    Georges:
    frjohnk,

    You seem to think there’s more to what I’m saying than what I’m saying.

    After you’ve done digging deeper (into secondary and tertiary scoring) and you come back to the surface, you’re going to find yourself in the same spot I’m pointing to: trading Hall did not hurt the Oilers 5v5 scoring in aggregate with CMD off the ice.

    As for replacing Hall’s scoring, you chose his 2.76 GF60 rate away from CMD in 15-16 as the benchmark. That’s pretty high. Close to first line production. I would’ve gone with around 2.4 as a good GF60 rate for a second line.

    How about instead of 15-16 we take 16-17 Hall’s 2.06 GF60 rate? Lucic was at 1.93 GF60 away from CMD in 16-17. That’s pretty close. Can we consider Hall replaced?

    I used 2.76 as that is what he has averaged over his career as a the driver of a line.

    Basically what you are saying is that even though Drais 2.28 GF60 away from McDavid in 16-17 is less than Halls 2.74 GF60 away from McDavid from 15-16, Halls offense is replaced by the fact that non McDavid Drai group ( two best players that year) scored at a better pace of 1.91 GF60 in 16-17 compared to the non McDavid Hall group ( two best players that year) which scored 1.25 GF60 in 15-16.

    Yes, we have replaced Halls offense in aggregate but that is because the bottom of the roster through health and good GMing is better.

    The bottom of the roster had to get better for us to compete for a playoff spot. So that was expected.

    Replacing Halls offense in aggregate is a sign that we have improved. But not replacing Hall’s contributions as a second line driver will not put us in the elite category.

    Heres the thing, take the TOI of McDavids 5 on 5 away and this is a playoff bubble team. Meaning
    we need more from the “McDavid off the ice group” to be in the conversation of the elite teams.

    If
    McDavid is at 3.5 per hour,
    our second line at 2.76 ( Halls average) which I believe Draisaitl should be able to do and the rest are around 1.9 or so, we will have replaced Halls contributions and this team should be humming along.

  81. doritogrande says:

    Foo Fighters.

    You sir, have made my night. A still expanding and deep catalog. I wish Schultz were still here to get “Low”.

  82. speeds says:

    Quick, who did well in February last year?

    Who is getting “February Stars” LT?

  83. Pescador says:

    speeds:
    Quick, who did well in February last year?

    Who is getting “February Stars” LT?

    Ebs

  84. Gross misconduct says:

    Dino,

    I hear you. But at some point you need to get the kids playing on the everyday roster if they have accomplished pretty much everything they can at the lower levels
    .

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