IT’S A NEW DAWN, IT’S A NEW DAY

Later today, I’ll begin the RE series for 2017-18. It will begin with Connor McDavid, who I am projecting to lead the team in scoring again. That’s your first bit of ‘breaking news’ on the RE, although it’s the ultimate no-brainer. I’m not going to tell you how the final RE breaks down in terms of goal differential, but will say this is a very different season to come.

  • 2015-16: 31-43-8, 70 pts (199-242) (GD: -43)
  • 2016-17: 47-26-9, 103 pts (243-207) (GD: +36)
  • 2017-18: ?

My RE projections have some career seasons, and a lot of players ending up in the same spot on the graph. Why? It’s difficult to know which of the kids are going to spike, so they are all in a row and the veterans pass them because their roster spots are more assured. I’ll probably run four or five a week and hope to be done by end August.

For me, the key to this season will come on the 5×5. I’m fairly confident the power play will outscore the penalty kill failures, and even strength is the big piece of game state. Edmonton finished No. 8 in 5×5 goals (165) and No. 9 in goals against (139) during 2016-17. In 5×5 goal differential, the Oilers finished No. 6 with a 54.3 goals-for percentage. Can the team improve on that?

ROOKIES!

I have six rookies playing at least one game, but none of them playing more than 20. It’s a more veteran group than we’ve seen in many years. Is the team better than a year ago?

UNICORNS?

I am not projecting three scoring  lines, but the inability to identify a winner among Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula produces nine forwards with 10 or more goals. This past season had just seven. This year, there are nine, but the biggest reason is that indecision among the young forwards.

 

FERENCE RETIRES

Not exactly news but Andrew Ference retired yesterday. It’s too bad Ference was unable to play at peak levels during his time in Edmonton. I got to enjoy watching him as part of the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup team in 2011, enjoyed that playoff run immensely. Ference is not your typical Albertan, or Edmontonian, or eighth-round pick. He had a fine career, got everything possible out of his abilities. Sail on, Sherwood Park Flyer, Sherwood Park Met, Portland Winterhawk.

 

KIRILL MAKSIMOV

  • Phil Myre, ISS:  “This player is showing a lot of improvement and getting more ice time. He plays on the PP and kills penalties. Excellent hands, passing and shooting. He can make plays and score. Needs to improve his play on the boards in the DZ. Smart player with a continued slow growth. Big upside”.
  • Hockey Prospect.com: Kirill Maksimov is a shoot first winger with good size and intriguing potential. Kirill possesses an intriguing combination of size and skill, which makes him a versatile threat offensively. Maksimov’s best offensive tool is his shot. It’s a shot that comes off a quickly and with a deceptive release. His shot also possesses strong velocity and accuracy.

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

My RE pushes Nugent-Hopkins numbers a little and that may bring a dilemma for Peter Chiarelli next summer. The general manager will have boxed himself in by then, with McDavid’s deal kicking in and Leon grabbing a major slice of the cap. Nuge’s $6 million deal makes him vulnerable to trade but there are ways around it.

  • Suffer through one year (2018-19) tight to the cap and then deal Andrej Sekera. Beginning 2019-20, he must give the Oilers 15 teams he can be traded to according to Cap Friendly.
  • Trade Cam Talbot. His no-trade clause includes a list of 10 teams he can be traded to beginning summer 2018.
  • Source

These are not ideal and I’m pretty sure we’re going to see Nuge’s his red tail lights heading for Spain in the next 12 months.

2017 TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

We’re several weeks from knowing but it’s fun to have a look to see what we can see out among the remaining free agents. The Oilers are now a “have” team, so there may be significance to the names. A year ago, Kris Versteeg and Eric Gryba were among the invites and Edmonton grabbed Kris Russell late in camp. The 2016 TC list is here.

Among the current free agents I would like to see in Edmonton for training camp:

  • RD Dennis Wideman. Veteran defender with a howitzer, never hurts to have a look.
  • R Jaromir Jagr. Someone will sign him, but a fan can dream.
  • RD Cody Franson. Surprised he isn’t signed yet.
  • LD Jared Cowen. If he is recovered might be able to provide some depth.
  • F Daniel Winnik. Music for the two-way portion of the roster, PK.
  • Source

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday, as we head to the weekend with lots going on. TSN1260, 10 this morning, scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Which Canadian team is in best position to win the Stanley Cup in 2018? Are the Jays sellers already? Steve’s Alberta vacation!
  • Scott Mitchell, TSN. The second half begins tonight, can the Jays close the gap in a quick hurry?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point-Counter Point today is all about the Eskimos, boxing and who plays with McDavid.
  • Jeff Chapman, Copper & Blue. Leon’s offer sheet destinations.

10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. Friday on my mind!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

85 Responses to "IT’S A NEW DAWN, IT’S A NEW DAY"

  1. Halfwise says:

    “Nuge’s red tail lights heading for Spain”?

    Sounds more like saving Ryan’s privates than saving Private Ryan….

    Looking forward to the RE and the thinking behind it, as always.

  2. frjohnk says:

    “I am not projecting three scoring  lines, but the inability to identify a winner among Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula produces nine forwards with 10 or more goals”

    nine forwards with 10 or more goals would suggest at times, during the season, we do have 3 scoring lines

    But there might be times where the Oilers run McDavid, Draisaitl, Strome and RNH all in the top 6 and that would possibly mean no unicorns.

    With good health and some guys posting career years, this should be a better year than last, but even with that, its possible we could take a slight step back

  3. raventalon40 says:

    Adding Jagr would be a dream. I would love a Jagr Oilers jersey

  4. John Chambers says:

    Love the series, LT. Big thank you for all you do.

    Why would someone choose to keep Sekera over Nuge though? Sek will be 33 when he can be traded while Nuge will be dead smack in his prime. Meanwhile our LD depth will be Klef – Nurse – Russell – Jones – Paigin.

    Why why why?

  5. Ducey says:

    I am hoping they can keep Nuge. C is a core position. Wingers can be replaced more easily. If you get rid of Nuge, its really hard to replace him. Maybe Strome really steps up. I doubt it.

    Next season Capfriendly shows they have $52 M. Add in Leon for $60 M.

    That includes
    Lucic – McDavid – JP
    xxxx – Leon – xxxx
    xxxx – Nuge – Kassian
    xxxx – Kharia – xxxx

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Sekera – Russell
    xxxx – xxxx
    Gryba

    Talbot
    xxxx

    If they sign Benning and Nurse (neither of which will score a lot) to one year deals totaling $3 M, Slepy to 2 x $2 M, Cags to $1.5M, and backup G for $1m, they will be at $67.5. It now looks like:

    Lucic – McDavid – JP
    Caggiula – Leon – Slepy
    xxxx – Nuge – Kassian
    xxxx – Kharia – xxxx

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Sekera – Russell
    Nurse – Benning
    Gryba

    Talbot
    Brossoit

    So they would have about $7.5 plus a potential cap increase, to sign three wingers (4 if you include a pop corn eater) and cover any bonuses and overages. Maybe one or two of those is Strome and Maroon. Maybe not. At that point Yamamoto is ready, maybe Benson, but certainly there would be lots of veteran Jussi types out there.

    I expect that the Oilers will be very careful not to have any bonus overages this season going into next season. The same overage as this season is worth a player in 18-19..

  6. Rondo says:

    Picking up Jagr is like musical chairs . when will the music stop.

    He is a one way player that doesn’t skate that well.

  7. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Rondo,

    He brings other things, not least of which leading by example and being a tremendous pro. Think of him as a less physical Lucic who scores about the same for half the money.

  8. vinotintazo says:

    Ducey,

    I think we can keep him for sure. following this logic I’ve gone to Capfriendly and made the roster myself there is not much room, but the key will be signing Nurse and Benning to bridge deals… and hoping Drai Stays around 7.5M

  9. godot10 says:

    John Chambers:
    Love the series, LT. Big thank you for all you do.

    Why would someone choose to keep Sekera over Nuge though? Sek will be 33 when he can be traded while Nuge will be dead smack in his prime. Meanwhile our LD depth will be Klef – Nurse – Russell – Jones – Paigin.

    Why why why?

    Because defensemen are far more important than forwards most of the time, and Sekera was the Oilers best defensemen last season, and may well be two years from now.

    Look at the OIlers for the ten years before last year. Look at the Avalanche.

    Plus, Nugent-Hopkins and McLellan don’t really fit each other. Set Nuge free.

  10. dustrock says:

    If you can’t trade Sekera in a year or two, that means failure with respect to Nurse I suspect. If Sekera comes back and has another great regular season, I’d trade him next offseason regardless.

    Sell high on an asset, he’ll never have higher value than next year.

    That being said, I think not having Sekera is going to hurt the Oilers and I don’t think they’ll hit 102 points again. We’ll likely see some time lost to injury this year as well. We’ll be in the mix again but despite McDavid, something like 94 points.

  11. raventalon40 says:

    Rondo,

    Jagr is a hall of famer with great practice habits and leadership and would be a good compliment to Captain Connor.

    Also you can never have too many forwards that are good at protecting the puck. If you add Jagr to the list of Maroon, Draisaitl, Lucic, as guys who are strong on the half boards, this will definitely help with puck possession also.

  12. Gerta Rauss says:

    Halfwise: “Nuge’s red tail lights heading for Spain”?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA78e27R_J4

  13. Jaxon says:

    UFA RHD still available:
    – Cody Franson is still out there. Doubt he’ll sign a 1-year deal and the Oilers can’t afford anything more.
    – Dennis Wideman. Personally, not a fan.
    – Darren Dietz (.88 ES Pri. Pts/60 in AHL), 6’1″, 213lbs, will be 24 at start of the season. from Medicine Hat. If you translate that using NHLE numbers (*.47 for AHL), you get .4136 ES Pri.Pts/60, which is right around Michael Stone (.4076) and Cody Franson (.387). Might be a good cheap pickup who can help and grow. Looks like he is KHL bound, though.
    – Nick Ebert (.75 ES Pri. Pts/60 in AHL), 6’0″, 205lbs, will be 23 at start of the season.
    – Michael Paliotta (.62 ES Pri. Pts/60 in AHL), 6’4″, 212lbs, will be 24 at start of the season.

    ELC RHD still available:
    – Aaron Irving (1.09 ES Pri. Pts/60 in WHL), 6’1″, 197lbs, will be 21 at start of the season. from Edmonton. Very close to Ethan Bear’s 1.11 ES Pri.Pts./60 and well ahead of Caleb Jones’ 0.77 ES Pri.Pts./60.
    – Clayton Kirchenko (0.96 ES Pri. Pts/60 in WHL), 6’1″, 195lbs, will be 21 at start of the season. from Edmonton.

  14. Jaxon says:

    godot10:
    Plus, Nugent-Hopkins and McLellan don’t really fit each other.

    I’m not sure there is evidence of this anywhere. I think the opposite may be true, and MacLellan gives Nuge the toughest assignments and sees him as his Pavelski.

  15. Halfwise says:

    Gerta Rauss,
    LT’s reference did not get past me; I was about 20 when that song came out. I just wanted to steal Mad Magazine’s “Saving Ryan’s Privates” line.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82YvF15I7W4

  16. The Hermit says:

    Jaxon: Dennis Wideman. Personally, not a fan.

    Bold prediction: Nobody signs this guy.

  17. Jaxon says:

    Ducey:
    So they would have about $7.5 plus a potential cap increase, to sign three wingers (4 if you include a pop corn eater) and cover any bonuses and overages. Maybe one or two of those is Strome and Maroon. Maybe not. At that point Yamamoto is ready, maybe Benson, but certainly there would be lots of veteran Jussi types out there.

    I expect that the Oilers will be very careful not to have any bonus overages this season going into next season. The same overage as this season is worth a player in 18-19..

    I did a quick CapFriendly using your numbers with a 77M cap. It actually puts them over by about 100k. It’s possible, but wow, that’s tight.
    https://capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/419538

  18. Gerta Rauss says:

    Halfwise:
    Gerta Rauss,
    LT’s reference did not get past me; I was about 20 when that song came out. I just wanted to steal Mad Magazine’s “Saving Ryan’s Privates” line.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82YvF15I7W4

    10-4

    Your reference went right past me..:)

  19. Yegfoundation says:

    frjohnk,

    Nuge isn’t a even strength point producer, moving him from third line Center to wing doesn’t mean the third line will score less.

  20. Yegfoundation says:

    godot10,

    Agreed, set Nuge free. What exactly is Nuge bringing to the team that makes him a difference maker? Potential? He’s a favourite, but I’d rather win a Stanley, than hold out hope Nuge can deliver more offence or improve his shot metrics.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon: I did a quick CapFriendly using your numbers with a 77M cap. It actually puts them over by about 100k. It’s possible, but wow, that’s tight.
    https://capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/419538

    Not to mention that I think some of the RFA re-signs are too conservative in my opinion.

    Nurse and Benning at a combined $3M is likely too conservative – Benning will likely be getting 2nd pairing minutes and 2PP time – either he runs with that job or this team is likely in trouble this coming year.

    Drake at $1.5M – maybe, but if he gets 14g and 34 points, he’lll be looking for more.

  22. VOR says:

    Ducey,

    You aren’t getting Benning and Nurse for $3 million combined. Not even on bridge deals.

    Let me qualify that. if Benning and Nurse both have terrible seasons then yes given their age, past history etc. you could get them for $3 Million combined on bridge deals. Mind you if they play that badly the Oilers probably are in a real struggle to make the playoffs never mind take a run at a Cup.

    So it appears Benning is starting at 2RD. If he plays there all year he will be in the $3,000,000 range all by himself. If he plays better than he played last year he would be cheap at $3 Million. Additionally I believe you will find he has arbitration rights which he will might well use if the Oilers try to nickle and dime him. Slepyshev and Caggiula also as I understand it have arbitration rights. If either has a breakout year you aren’t getting them on the cheap. And they must have played very well since you have them replacing Strome and Maroon in the lineup.

    Next up you have JP being good enough to play with McDavid on the first line. And when does his ELC expire – the next year. If he plays well then you have Draisaitl all over again. If he doesn’t play well it is really hard to see in your model who would replace him.

    In other words you can get cheap, though not as cheap as you think. However, you can’t be cheap and good as a team.

    I believe the Oilers are going to be real Stanley Cup contenders this year (I’ve got them even money to win it) and that at least some of the younger players are going to be key parts of that success. I can’t see anyway that doesn’t end up costing us Maroon, Letestu, and Strome as you have shown and also one of RNH or Sekera and a bunch of talented depth players. Whether we can lose all that depth and still contend for a Cup is the question?

  23. godot10 says:

    Jaxon: I’m not sure there is evidence of this anywhere. I think the opposite may be true, and MacLellan gives Nuge the toughest assignments and sees him as his Pavelski.

    Apart from the season that he played with a bum shoulder (before surgery), the two years under McLellan are his worst offensive seasons from a PPG perspective and an 5x5EVP/60. His offense is at dementor era levels.

    McLellan has publicly questioned his commitment, one of the very few players on the Oilers that McLellan has publicly called out.

  24. vinotintazo says:

    VOR,

    correct me if I’m wrong, but the Oilers can extend both Nurse and Benning right now… obviously I would wait untill Drai is signed. You bridge them because that’s the only way they can fit under our cap for the next couple years.

  25. GMB3 says:

    Rondo:
    Picking up Jagr is like musical chairs . when will the music stop.

    He is a one way player that doesn’t skate that well.

    Id take him for 4 mill over Lucic for 6 any day of the week.

    Jagr is also probably better on the boards in his own end than nearly every Oiler winger.

  26. Yegfoundation says:

    I’m good with the decision to keep Nuge until at least the deadline to see if he can flourish but if not, time to move on and improve the team.

  27. Ducey says:

    VOR:
    Ducey,

    You aren’t getting Benning and Nurse for $3 million combined. Not even on bridge deals.

    Let me qualify that. if Benning and Nurse both have terrible seasons then yes given their age, past history etc. you could get them for $3 Million combined on bridge deals. Mind you if they play that badly the Oilers probably are in a real struggle to make the playoffs never mind take a run at a Cup.

    So it appears Benning is starting at 2RD. If he plays there all year he will be in the $3,000,000 range all by himself. If he plays better than he played last year he would be cheap at $3 Million. Additionally I believe you will find he has arbitration rights which he will might well use if the Oilers try to nickle and dime him. Slepyshev and Caggiula also as I understand it have arbitration rights. If either has a breakout year you aren’t getting them on the cheap. And they must have played very well since you have them replacing Strome and Maroon in the lineup.

    Next up you have JP being good enough to play with McDavid on the first line. And when does his ELC expire – the next year. If he plays well then you have Draisaitl all over again. If he doesn’t play well it is really hard to see in your model who would replace him.

    In other words you can get cheap, though not as cheap as you think. However, you can’t be cheap and good as a team.

    I believe the Oilers are going to be real Stanley Cup contenders this year (I’ve got them even money to win it) and that at least some of the younger players are going to be key parts of that success. I can’t see anyway that doesn’t end up costing us Maroon, Letestu, and Strome as you have shown and also one of RNH or Sekera and a bunch of talented depth players. Whether we can lose all that depth and still contend for a Cup is the question?

    There are plenty of unknowns. We have to see if Strome, Slepy, the Drake and JP have good years this year.

    As for Benning, I doubt he gets $3 M on a one year. Russell likely goes back to 2nd pairing RHD mid season. Pysyk just signed for 3 x $2.7 M. That’s after 2 yrs at $1.15 M. Xavier Oulette just signed for 2 x $1.25 M. That’s after a one year post ELC contract.

    Trevor Daley just got 3 x $3.1 and that’s for 3 UFA years. You might say Benning is better than Daley, but that kind of misses the point. An artibrator is likely going to give Benning something in the $1 – $2 M range for a year.

    If I was Chia, I think I would be trying to lock up Benning and Nurse each right now for 2 x $1.5 M. I think they might take it.

  28. Yegfoundation says:

    godot10,

    Yes. Last chance for Nuge. Time to deliver is now. And if he doesn’t deliver (Eberle), i think the plan will be to cast about for a Hanzel/Peca type Center at the deadline.

  29. who says:

    Cap crunch is certainly coming next year when Connors contract kicks in. Trading Nuge is probably the quickest and easiest way to get some relief but I’m not sure it’s the best way. Think the Oilers will have some hard decisions to make and they are going to have to identify who they will commit long term to.
    I see the core moving forward being MacDavid, Drai, Nuge and JP up front and Klefbom, Larsson and Nurse on the back end. Basically that means I am choosing Nuge, JP and Nurse over Maroon, Strome and Benning.
    Lucic is here for at least 3 more years and Sekera and Russell are here for at least 2. That means the 2018-19 season is going to be very tight. After that the team may be able to trade their way out of some cap issues but they are going to have to find some cheap, bottom of the roster players

  30. vinotintazo says:

    Ducey: Pysyk just signed for 3 x $2.7 M. That’s after 2 yrs at $1.15 M. Xavier Oulette just signed for 2 x $1.25 M. That’s after a one year post ELC contract.

    Agree here, These guys coming off ECLs are not getting 3M+ each playing 3rd pair most of the year. Bridge them for around 3M combined it can be done easily.

    Even Davidson who had a really good season after his ELC signed for 1.45M x2

  31. Hall Awaits says:

    In my opinion, Strome was never brought in to replace Eberle, but rather Nuge next summer.

  32. VOR says:

    vinotintazo,

    I am honestly not sure. I think you are right.

    However, even if that were the case they wouldn’t agree to extensions that combined came to $3,000,000 or were short term. It would likely cost money not save money in the short term. It might be brilliant in the long term if it is possible.

    My point about Benning in particular is that he could file for arbitration next year and that means he doesn’t have to accept a bridge that is less than he would get in arbitration, in other words less than league average for a player of his skill. What we as fans, or Pete Chiarelli think about it is irrelevant. Benning has leverage if he chooses to use it.

  33. Yegfoundation says:

    godot10: Apart from the season that he played with a bum shoulder (before surgery), the two years under McLellan are his worst offensive seasons from a PPG perspective and an 5x5EVP/60.His offense is at dementor era levels.

    McLellan has publicly questioned his commitment, one of the very few players on the Oilers that McLellan has publicly called out.

    I’d like to see lowetide and others (Dennis King) who are rallying to keep Nuge to tell us why. What I’ve seen so far is mostly hopes and dreams. Nuge has the potential to look good on Mcdavids wing, etc. Well, PC is giving him the chance after back to back disappointing seasons.

  34. godot10 says:

    Hall Awaits:
    In my opinion, Strome was never brought in to replace Eberle, but rather Nuge next summer.

    Strome was brought in as a stop-gap till Puljujarvi and Yamamoto are ready. I doubt the Oilers have the cap space to re-sign him next summer.

  35. vinotintazo says:

    VOR,

    I think the Oilers Love Nurse and see him as a core player, he can play hardball with the oilers if he wants, but he doesnt put up points or plays top 4 minutes (yet) to argue that he should be getting paid more than 1.5M x 2, all he has is Draft Pedigree.

    Benning, was a FA signing and if he wants to get paid he has to wait for Sekera/Russel to come off the books, that’s why I think he will take a bridge no problem. I see him like a Justin Braun type from SJ down the road.

  36. godot10 says:

    Yegfoundation: I’d like to see lowetide and others (Dennis King) who are rallying to keep Nuge to tell us why. What I’ve seen so far is mostly hopes and dreams. Nuge has the potential to look good on Mcdavids wing, etc. Well, PC is giving him the chance after back to back disappointing seasons.

    I think Nugent-Hopkins is a really good player who doesn’t fit in with McLellan’s schemes and systems. He hasn’t been used properly under McLellan and Eakins.

  37. godot10 says:

    vinotintazo:
    VOR,

    I think the Oilers Love Nurse and see him as a core player, he can play hardball with the oilers if he wants, but he doesnt put up points or plays top 4 minutes (yet) to argue that he should be getting paid more than 1.5M x 2, all he has is Draft Pedigree.

    Benning, was a FA signing and if he wants to get paid he has to wait for Sekera/Russel to come off the books, that’s why I think he will take a bridge no problem. I see him like a Justin Braun type from SJ down the road.

    But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

  38. frjohnk says:

    Yegfoundation:
    I’m good with the decision to keep Nuge until at least the deadline to see if he can flourish but if not, time to move on and improve the team.

    Nuge will get traded.

    But no chance that happens at the deadline, unless we are out of a playoff race.

  39. VOR says:

    Ducey, vinotintazo,

    Lets start with Mark Pysyk. Similar points to Benning’s 1st year in the NHL in his fifth year in the NHL. Following four years where Pysyk was proving he could ever handle a regular 3Rd slot in the NHL. Something Benning proved beyond any doubt in his first year. A second year as good, one that proves Benning can play 2RD in the NHL and $2.7 a year isn’t going to get it done.

    I don’t think you are understanding what arbitration does to any negotiation with Matt Benning. Say you try to get him for $2,000,000 and he thinks he is worth $4 Million. He files for arbitration. The Oilers can’t risk an out of scope settlement so they give him say $3.250 million over three which is probably less than he could get in the open market. If they let it go to arbitration not only are they stuck with the arbitration award the Oilers have to qualify Benning at that the next year or let him go to unrestricted free agency.

    As for Nurse, he is still young enough, was drafted high enough, and is physically talented enough that he will get more money than Brandon Davidson. What was it LT projected – wasn’t it something like $6,000,000 for the two of them combined.

    Then there is the effect that Connor McDavid’s contract is having on salary negotiations. We know it has come up in some RFA contracts already.

  40. frjohnk says:

    Jaxon: I did a quick CapFriendly using your numbers with a 77M cap. It actually puts them over by about 100k. It’s possible, but wow, that’s tight.
    https://capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/419538

    I think the numbers are pretty close. Maybe Nurse and Benning come in around 2.5M, but highly doubt they will be lower than that.

    Man our forward depth on that roster is very scary ( in a not very good way)
    Maroon and Strome are gone

    Lucic, Drake, Benson and Malone are the left wingers? Oh boy. Unless Drake and Benson knock it out of the park in the next year, that could be the worst left wing lineup in the history of the Oilers as the latter two should be in the minors.

    Great centers.

    JP, Sleppy, Kassian and Callahan as right wingers are better than the left side, but still need a ton of improvement within the next year.

    If that is our forward depth, I could see the Oilers trading a Dman for a forward. Especially if Bear or Jone are ready.

  41. Wonder Llama says:

    I think a lot will depend on Chia’s ability to trade both Sekera and Russell to one of their 10/15 teams for 2019-20. The transition from that pair to Nurse-Benning with, let’s hope, Jones-Bear as an effective and cheap third pair will make the cap a little easier. Still too tight to mention, but at least possible.

    Who knows how young athletes will develop but I don’t think it’s crazy to posit this as a real solid NHL defense in the 2020’s:

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Benning
    Jones – Bear
    (Auvitu)

  42. vinotintazo says:

    godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

    offersheets dont happen. Oilers are a desired FA destination as much as I love benning, at this point he’s replaceable. How many offersheets so far this year? 0.

  43. Thinker says:

    Or Benning is traded to TO for a 4th, and the 4th is flipped for Gryba. Or maybe he goes to MTL for an undersized offensive center who can barely score. Best case scenario he goes to MTL for a 2nd and a 5th.

  44. Jaxon says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not to mention that I think some of the RFA re-signs are too conservative in my opinion.

    Nurse and Benning at a combined $3M is likely too conservative – Benning will likely be getting 2nd pairing minutes and 2PP time – either he runs with that job or this team is likely in trouble this coming year.

    Drake at $1.5M – maybe, but if he gets 14g and 34 points, he’lll be looking for more.

    Oh, I show Nurse and Benning at $3M each. There is no way they get signed for $1.5M each, unless they really suck this year. I agree that Caggiula is probably low too.

  45. VOR says:

    Godot10,

    Didn’t Elliot Friedman have a piece all about how offer sheets are poised to make a comeback?

  46. VOR says:

    vinotintazo,

    There are some very high quality RFAs still unsigned. With each passing day offer sheets for one or more of them become increasingly likely based on past instances anyway.

  47. Jaxon says:

    frjohnk:
    If that is our forward depth, I could see the Oilers trading a Dman for a forward.Especially if Bear or Jone are ready.

    Which is why Nugent-Hopkins, Nurse, Benning, and maybe Kassian are the only real options to trade.

    I think Maroon possibly bolts for STL and will price himself out of being an Oiler even if he explores staying. 27 goal scorers get paid, and paid well (think $5-5.5 range). Letestu, while useful, needs to be replaced at a more affordable 4th line price to save $1M, and someone needs to step into his PP spot.

    Lucic would be my first choice to go to save money, but he has a NMC until June 1, 2021. His contract is going to turn into a real boat anchor unless he really steps up his 5-on-5 scoring. Depending on how Nurse steps, up one or both of Sekera and Russell would be my next choices. but they can’t be traded until July 1, 2019. Paigin/Jones could also change the left side. Those NMCs are going to look awful on left D. Talbot is a bargain so even though he can be traded next summer, I wouldn’t do it.

    That leaves Nuge as the only contract that is moveable that would save a significant amount and bring back anything in return (Radko Gudas, Brendan Gallagher, Boone Jenner?)

  48. vinotintazo says:

    Jaxon: think $5-5.5 range

    Patrick Eaves, signed around 3Mx3 to Stay with ducks, and He put up 30 G. Why wouldn’t Maroon take the same to stay here?.

  49. Rake 2.0 says:

    Yegfoundation:
    godot10,

    Agreed, set Nuge free. What exactly is Nuge bringing to the team that makes him a difference maker?Potential?He’s a favourite,but I’d rather win a Stanley, than hold out hope Nuge can deliver more offence or improve his shot metrics.

    His shot metrics do improve when he’s not on the ice with Russel, perhaps nuge isn’t the problem. I think he would look good on mcdavids wing or centering JP and JJ. But if he can’t flourish in one of those roles then I agree that it’s time to move on.

  50. VOR says:

    Vinotintazo,

    Because Maroon’s family and his heart is in St. Louis. He might well take $3 million for 3 years to go there. He misses his young son something fierce. Every season he stays with the Oilers means another year of missing important milestones in his son’s life. He can justify that if the price is right. But one of the things 27 goals combined with UFA status gets you is a chance to go play at home for decent money. I personally think (especially after that interview this past season) Maroon is going home.

  51. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I’d let Maroon walk. Paying for past performance by that point. Have to find the next cheap guy to play shotgun with 97. They’re there every year in FA. Jokinen could put up 50+P there.

  52. Greenberg says:

    IMO, this is possible the most intelligent and mature discussion this blogspot has had in the longest time. The writers this morning have a clear understanding of the cap problems going forward and are aware of all the nuances. The disagreements have been handled with grace, without the smart-assedness. Keep it going. Best discussion of our future that I have seen.

  53. vinotintazo says:

    VOR:
    Vinotintazo,

    Because Maroon’s family and his heart is in St. Louis. He might well take $3 million for 3 years to go there. He misses his young son something fierce. Every season he stays with the Oilers means another year of missing important milestones in his son’s life. He can justify that if the price is right. But one of the things 27 goals combined with UFA status gets you is a chance to go play at home for decent money. I personally think (especially after that interview this past season) Maroon is going home.

    Fair… he also has to consider what his Wife/GF wants. IMO loosing Maroon is not the end of the world, but my feeling is… just like Kassian he will Value the oportunity the Oil gave him and be grateful and re-sign. Also I believe the Oil have helped him being close to his son bringing him in to games etc.

  54. The Trade Guy says:

    godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

    I don’t think either Nurse or Benning move the needle that much and I’d be fine with Avalanche draft picks at that point.

  55. frjohnk says:

    The Trade Guy: I don’t think either Nurse or Benning move the needle that much and I’d be fine with Avalanche draft picks at that point.

    Depends on the salary, if lets say Nurse signs a 4 year offer sheet worth $3.924M per year, the compensation is a 2nd round pick ( that is using 17-18 numbers)

    $3.9 might be too rich for the Oilers but getting only a second rounder back would be too little return.

  56. GMB3 says:

    Yegfoundation:
    I’m good with the decision to keep Nuge until at least the deadline to see if he can flourish but if not, time to move on and improve the team.

    Are you sure? Who do you replace him with? How does this better equip the team to make a playoff run?

    Lets trade Nuge, sign Draisaitl for 9 mill, and embark on a decade of mediocrity. Wouldn’t be surprised if they sign maroon with Nuge’s money and further the problem

  57. Munny says:

    godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

    Considering the amount of money it would take to convince anyone to play in Denver these days, I will happily take the 3-4 draft picks.

  58. Jaxon says:

    vinotintazo: Fair… he also has to consider what his Wife/GF wants. IMO loosing Maroon is not the end of the world, but my feeling is… just like Kassian he will Value the oportunity the Oil gave him and be grateful and re-sign. Also I believe the Oil have helped him being close to his son bringing him in to games etc.

    Fair point. As far as market value, Maroon is 29, and Eaves is 33. 4 years is a lot when you’re approaching years where productivity typically drops off. Maroon still has 4 years before he gets to where Eaves is at now. He’s also bigger and can enforce if necessary.

    Personally, I wouldn’t care one bit about gratitude if it meant the difference between being close to my daughter or not. Next summer will be the first time Maroon can dictate where he plays. I didn’t think the Oilers brought his son to any games last season. Plus, it might not be the best idea to uproot a child to see his father play hockey here and there. In fact, that is what made that St Louis interview with Maroon so impactful. I believe it was the only game his son saw all season when they played in St Louis. It made Maroon cry in the interview when they showed his son cheering for his goal. Regardless, he’ll have a tough or maybe very easy choice to make next summer. All that to say, I don’t think he signs for Edmonton on the cheap (which is the only way Edmonton can afford him), but may consider it for St Louis.

  59. Munny says:

    godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

    They also need to offer sheet at a number and term that the player is willing to sign. Players don’t like to play for bad teams, or we would see a lot more offer sheets out there than we have. Despite Friedman’s hope, this hasn’t changed.

    I don’t leave the org that has nurtured me, or leave my teammates and buddies, or leave the best player in the League, or my best shot at a Stanley Cup for the duration of the contract over a million dollars unless I’m either avaricious by nature or really desperate for money.

  60. Munny says:

    frjohnk: Depends on the salary, if lets say Nurse signs a 4 year offer sheetworth $3.924M per year, the compensation is a 2nd round pick ( that is using 17-18 numbers)

    $3.9 might be too rich for the Oilers but getting only a second rounder back would be too little return.

    Let’s say that offer is coming from Colorado. And let’s say the Oil are offering $3.1M over 3 yrs instead… Would you sign that OS?

  61. Munny says:

    Jaxon: Plus, it might not be the best idea to uproot a child to see his father play hockey here and there. In fact, that is what made that St Louis interview with Maroon so impactful. I believe it was the only game his son saw all season when they played in St Louis

    This is incorrect.

  62. VOR says:

    Munny,

    Which part of Jaxon’s post is incorrect?

    I am about to post a long response to FRJOHNK and have appended to the end a response to your excellent point about players not liking to play for bad teams.

  63. Yegfoundation says:

    frjohnk: Nuge will get traded.

    But no chance that happens at the deadline, unless we are out of a playoff race.

    Why? Who gives the Oilers a better opportunity to win the cup this season- Nuge or Hanzel (as an example). If PC and Todd feel that they need an improvement a 3rd line Center to win, why wait?

  64. VOR says:

    FRJOHNK,

    I think we will see a bunch of offer sheets over the next year and a bit.

    Next year’s unrestricted free agent crop is looking pretty thin and there are a bunch of RFAs covering the spectrum of talent. Some of those RFAs are currently playing on teams that are very cap constrained. Those RFAs could get offer sheets. Particularly the mid-range talents.

    Why mid-range talents?

    It is like there are two different models of roster building that are emerging. In model 1 – superstars eat the cap and you fill in with really cheap bodies. It has just worked great twice back to back for Pittsburgh but ever since Chicago went down that road it has been struggling to recapture its former glory. It clearly is a tricky thing to get right and Pittsburgh was close for years before they figured it out. I guess what I am saying is there are no guarantees.

    This model can’t afford to pay mid-range talents fairly. It relies on a constant stream of young guns and old vets (like Jokinen) that are largely interchangeable. All of whom are paid peanuts.

    Then you have teams, and yes they usually tend to be the ones with internal salary caps, that are going all in on the idea of roster balance and depth. Their internal problems don’t leave them much choice. Carolina is the most obvious example. That is a radically improved team making smart roster moves.

    I doubt that they would offer sheet anyone this year. Way too many RFAs of their own next year to go poking the bear. Next year, with those players under contract and knowing the changes have helped and they are a playoff team they might take a run at some lower rung RFA forwards to replace aging vets like Lee Stempniak.

    A team like Arizona might also go shopping but for D. They are deep in young talented players and acquiring a few more proven talents would greatly increase their depth. Either of Benning or Nurse would be upgrades to the lower rungs of their d-corps.

    The same is true in New Jersey. Or Colorado.

    It is easy to see teams going shopping in the bargain bin where a 2nd or even 3rd pick in compensation is too little return but the salary is just too much for the original team to match given the cap pressure. Some lower echelon team is going to do this right and get a little lucky and go to the Stanley Cup final, maybe even win it all. Balance does matter. And if they tie up the right players for the long term they could contend for years refilling with other teams (high cap pressure teams) castaways or RFAs.

    Why would these mid-range RFAs sign relatively low ball offers from bad teams? This is Munny’s question from above.

    Because the close to cap teams will be paying these sorts of players far less in the post-McDavid second contract world than they paid in the McDavid’s first contract world. A lot less. Enough to guarantee mid-level players will bolt for more money.

    The secret of success for these internal cap teams is tons of smart, low dollar roster moves using low-pick offer sheets and cheap free agents to supplement good drafting. and one major trade (or even free agent signing) to get the right superstar. Presto – a serious Cup run. Think the 2006 Oilers. If you don’t have horrible luck, maybe you get more than one Cup run.

    I’d say the exact sort of players likely to get offer sheeted are Cagguila, Slepyshev, Benning and Nurse. That is another reason (arbitration, not that it applies to Nurse, being the other) that I think any roster model built around these guys playing at a discount for the Oilers may be deeply flawed.

  65. godot10 says:

    The Trade Guy: I don’t think either Nurse or Benning move the needle that much and I’d be fine with Avalanche draft picks at that point.

    The Avalanche can offer Nurse (or Benning) 1-5 years at $3.9 million and the compensation is a 2nd round draft pick.

  66. godot10 says:

    Munny: Let’s say that offer is coming from Colorado. And let’s say the Oil are offering $3.1M over 3 yrs instead… Would you sign that OS?

    The Oilers likely can’t afford to offer both Nurse and Benning $3 million per season. The Russell contract means that both Nurse and Benning are likely to receive offer sheets next year.

  67. Munny says:

    VOR,

    Maroon’s son saw him play live in more than the one game, and also spent time with him here in Edmonton.

  68. Professor Q says:

    godot10: The Oilers likely can’t afford to offer both Nurse and Benning $3 million per season.The Russell contract means that both Nurse and Benning are likely to receive offer sheets next year.

    I guess they’d have to illegally and secretly collude with another team to do so, as I believe are the rules with the CBA. And they can’t offer sheet more than one player.

  69. JDî says:

    Pescador,

    So pour the tomatoes into a large sauce pan through a strainer. Let that drip out fully and then dump the strainer into a large bowl of water. Stir vigorously and then let it sit for a few minutes.

    Carefully scoop the tomato chunks out with a small strainer, and you’ll find a pile of seeds in the bottom of the bowl. Depending on how much time you want to spend on this, you will sacrifice some tomato pieces but it’s worth it.

  70. VOR says:

    Munny,

    Do you have a source? It isn’t often pros open up about how hard their professional can be on family life so I would like to know more.

  71. fifthcartel says:

    I’m pretty bullish on the Oilers being worse next year.

    They’re already set to have more injuries. Sekera’s is a massive one, and who knows how long he returns to form even after he hits the ice. I’m not confident in the defense past Klefbom-Larsson.

    McDavid is McDavid, but I worry about the offense sans McDavid. I think people simultaneously overrate/underrate the impact of a superstar player, but the Oilers need to be better with 97 off the ice and they haven’t improved.

    Eberle -> Strome is an inarguable downgrade. I like Jokinen, but the verbal sounds like he might play a reduced role behind Caggiula and Slepyshev, who seem like curious bets from Chiarelli.

    A lot of problems are masked if Talbot posts another ~.920 season and McDavid stays healthy, two reasonably likely things.

    I’m interested to see the season unfold, especially if RNH plays the wing. That’ll put two players who haven’t been full-time centers in positions to be counted on to do that.

    My bet is they take a step back and realize they should have added more instead of doing small tinkering, and the Russell contract looks as bad as stats people say it is.

  72. Munny says:

    VOR: Because the close to cap teams will be paying these sorts of players far less in the post-McDavid second contract world than they paid in the McDavid’s first contract world. A lot less. Enough to guarantee mid-level players will bolt for more money.

    This has yet to play out and, if it does, may take a few seasons. It requires at least a few teams with a healthy chunk of cap space (and the finances) for it to develop, and willing targets as well. Generally these are the League’s bad teams. And, of course, the more they do this, the less ability those teams have to continue to do it. Not to mention how it may affect those teams in the trade markets.

    It’s unlikely to be a simple, straightforward or quick process, if all those balls fall into place. And it might just mean GMs react by signing RFAs earlier, and/or trading those who won’t.

  73. Munny says:

    VOR,

    Google was my source.

  74. VOR says:

    Munny,

    What did you google?

    In any case, try this source. This is a truly great article filled with interesting stuff. It talks about Anthony coming to Edmonton in January. It also makes it very clear how powerful the bond between the two is including Antony helping Patrick train in the off season.

    https://www.si.com/nhl/2017/03/01/patrick-maroon-oilers-connor-mcdavid

    I am sure you know that things happen much faster these days than they used to, even in the staid NHL. There is a powerful first mover advantage here. If I am Colorado I am following all these RFAs all season looking for the perfect target(s). That is the team that has the best combination of player or players and the most cap pressure. Maybe it is the Oilers, maybe not but it is easy to game out.

    Pretend Colorado is interested in both Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning. They make an offer to Darnell Nurse first. Say Nurse signs the offer sheet and Edmonton matches. They turn right around and offer sheet Benning and Edmonton’s hands are tied.

    This isn’t huge money we are talking about relative to the cap, even for an internal cap team. I’m not really sure what the story is in Colorado. Not really germane.

    The point is the only way really for Edmonton to defend itself is to sign Benning the minute Nurse is offer sheeted, or truthfully the minute any RFA is offer sheeted since the NHL is very much a monkey see, monkey do sort of league. The best move if they are having good seasons is actually to extend them before free agency opens and maybe get them to trade term for money – that is also going to be part of the new look NHL where RFA years are valued more than UFA years and by going long you can also go cheaper (at least somewhat).

    It will be easy next year to see if I am right or wrong. But I am quite confident everything I am projecting here will come to pass over next summer. That is I am predicting offer sheets will become a real tool in the new look NHL, that there will be movement of mid-range RFAs and not just by offer sheet but also trades, and UFA seasons will be less valuable in long term contracts than is currently the case. Also that RFAs will get more money at each level of talent than ever before.

  75. jtblack says:

    fifthcartel,

    What were your predictions for last season? Just curious to know

  76. 106 and 106 says:

    Dude, link the song into this post if you name it that. Works so well!!!!!!!!

  77. 106 and 106 says:

    Re-read the post listening to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfJRX-8SXOs

    And get stoked.

  78. fifthcartel says:

    jtblack,

    I honestly can’t remember. I forget what I guessed in the points contest, but I think I had them around a bubble team for my general guess.

    Draisaitl surprised me, so did Klefbom’s health + Benning’s emergence.

    I figured Gustavsson would be Gustavsson, Russell was who he is, and Lucic let me down at ES.

  79. Munny says:

    VOR,

    Yes, that is an example of his son coming to Edmonton during the season.

  80. pts2pndr says:

    The reality of the cap world is that a dynasty quality team is no longder possible. Build a strong core group and fill in around it. It worked for L.A., Chicago and Pitt. Some very good players will have to go due cap restraints. Life will go on! Certain onerous contracts are a reality for every team not just the Oilers! Management will have to be fluid and in some cases proactive. I believe Lucic signing was required even though it may be short term gain for long term pain. Signing an aged Jagr makes no sense to me as he duplicates what we already have. Nuge may have to go for a first or second round draft choice plus a prospect thus freeing up money for Nurse and or Benning. It may not be easy and if it was everyone would be winning! Current management has changed the culture of our team for the better. Chemistry is a thing and these guys play for one another! Players are not interchangeable like auto parts! Keep the faith we are are on the right track! When you take care or today first, tomorrow sems to work out OK!

  81. 106 and 106 says:

    Nuge is definitely not fitting with the schemes. Playoff scoring similar to Ebs’:

    13 0 4 4

    0 Goals in 13 games against the non-toughs, it’s a trade-out for the Red Deer Rebel. Man, i wish it wasn’t $6 they decided on for all these cats.

    Don’t do whatever school Mac-T did for MBA.

  82. Jaxon says:

    Munny:
    VOR,

    Maroon’s son saw him play live in more than the one game, and also spent time with him here in Edmonton.

    Okay, so maybe he spent time in Edmonton, too. But, it’s likely not enough. Maroon actually said in the interview, “I don’t get to see him enough” as he broke down and couldn’t continue talking. Even if he stays in Edmonton for a few weeks when they have a homestand and sees him more than one game, that’s not much time for a father. I don’t like going a day without seeing my kid.

    http://thehockeywriters.com/sentimental-maroon-serves-simple-reminder/

    from the article by Jim Parsons:
    “Maroon has spoken in the past about the difficulty of being on the road so much with a young son. Even with the Anaheim Ducks, he realized how much of his son’s childhood he was missing.

    In an interview with the NHLPA.com, Maroon said, “It’s tough being far apart, but being able to chat with him every day is pretty great.” He added, “It doesn’t really matter what we talk about it. It’s just that we do get the chance to connect and talk about what’s going on in both our lives.””

  83. russ99 says:

    godot10: Apart from the season that he played with a bum shoulder (before surgery), the two years under McLellan are his worst offensive seasons from a PPG perspective and an 5x5EVP/60.His offense is at dementor era levels.

    McLellan has publicly questioned his commitment, one of the very few players on the Oilers that McLellan has publicly called out.

    This is why I think RNH won’t get anywhere near a scoring line this year, they trust Strome to be a better fit in the system at a lower cap number.

    godot10: I think Nugent-Hopkins is a really good player who doesn’t fit in with McLellan’s schemes and systems. He hasn’t been used properly under McLellan and Eakins.

    This is a limitation of the player, not the system. He can only consistently score or contribute to scoring chances off the rush, thus the call-out by McLellan after the playoffs.

    We’re not changing the system just for one player, he’s has to adapt or he’s gone.

  84. Bank Shot says:

    RNH hit a career high of 56 points playing basically the most minutes in the entire NHL with two solid scorers on his wings.

    He’s just not the player that everyone hoped he would be on draft day.

    50 something points is not good at all when you are getting the best opportunity that a player could possibly get.

    Then when he was relegated to second line center, he failed to produce as with numerous wingers.

    I hope he can have a huge bounce back year and prove all the doubters wrong, but we have a lot of seasons of evidence piling up on RNH and he’s not a good bet to live up to his contract going forward if you are using his past performance as an indicator.

    I hope they can keep him. If he starts living up to his contract, he has a much better chance of sticking around.

  85. Jaxon says:

    VOR:
    Munny,

    In any case, try this source. This is a truly great article filled with interesting stuff. It talks about Anthony coming to Edmonton in January. It also makes it very clear how powerful the bond between the two is including Antony helping Patrick train in the off season.

    https://www.si.com/nhl/2017/03/01/patrick-maroon-oilers-connor-mcdavid

    Great article on Maroon and what he’s gone through and what he’s going through to play hockey at the highest level. Who knows, maybe he will re-sign in Edmonton, but I’m thinking becoming a UFA next year will be his first chance to dictate where he plays and having the opportunity to play where his son lives has got to be a pretty strong incentive. I’d take a huge discount if it was the only way to be in the same city as my kid. Plus, his kid will know that he had the opportunity to come to St Louis as a UFA. Pretty hard to convince your kid that St Louis wouldn’t sign you if you offered your services at a discount. I feel for the guy.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca