THE LAST CHANCE TEXACO

From the moment he arrived in Edmonton, Peter Chiarelli has been shredding prospects past while trying to build prospects future. From the moment he took over, the 46 names who were on the 50-man list have been sliced and diced. Here are the remaining players from that list:

  1. G Laurent Brossoit (AHL starter at the time)
  2. D Mark Fayne (NHL defenseman at the time)
  3. D Oscar Klefbom (One of the most promising names on the roster)
  4. D Dillon Simpson (Young pro D at the time)
  5. D Darnell Nurse (Top 10 draft pick about to turn pro)
  6. D Ben Betker (Just about to turn pro)
  7. D Joey Laleggia (Entering pro hockey as a defender)
  8. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (He was a bona fide NHL center)
  9. C Leon Draisaitl (Impact prospect)
  10. C Bogdan Yakimov (Big center prospect)
  11. C Jujhar Khaira (Big forward prospect)
  12. C Kyle Platzer (newly signed two-way center prospect)
  13. R Iiro Pakarinen (Checking prospect remains on the roster)
  14. R Greg Chase (Gritty forward just turning pro)

Chiarelli has been very aggressive about offloading Edmonton’s youngsters, from Martin Marincin to Nail Yakupov and everywhere in between. I usually write this later in the year, but last fall PC dealt Nail Yakupov before the season (partly to make room for Kris Russell) so I think next year’s RFA contracts are worth discussion.

2018 SUMMER RFA’S

  1. LD Darnell Nurse. I think he’s inner circle McDavid and that means we’ll see a long-term contract next summer. Others feel he could be dealt with an uneven season. I’ll bet he signs no matter the campaign result.
  2. RD Matt Benning. Zero doubt in my mind Benning signs a second deal, all  of his arrows are pointing in a very good way. Benning, along with Ryan Strome, has the best chance of blowing his cap number out of the water with a massive season. Sign. him. a-sap!
  3. C-R Ryan Strome. Important to remember Chiarelli acquired him and Strome is apparently going to get the McDavid push. His success in that role might be substantial and that could price him out of the Oilers’ market (money’s too tight to mention next summer). My guess is they sign him long term.
  4. R Anton Slepyshev. He was a surprise keeper in year one under Todd McLellan, has progressed since. Slepyshev may be that rare player drafted outside the first round who emerges as a skill player. I think he gets another contract with Edmonton.
  5. R Drake Caggiula. Signed by the current general manager and used in several roles by the coach, Caggiula is poised to establish himself with Edmonton. It’s a smart bet he will get a reasonable contract next summer.
  6. G Laurent Brossoit. His contract will depend completely on his season. Brossoit is in control of his destiny, but a year of struggle could impact his future. He’ll get a contract.
  7. G Nick Ellis. If he has another strong season, it might create a big of a logjam and we could see a trade (either he or Brossoit). Ellis will get a second contract unless the wheels fall off.
  8. R Iiro Pakarinen.  Todd McLellan likes him, math is less enamored. He is unlikely to be an expensive player to sign, but I’m not sure what role he will play. I’ll estimate his re-signing at 70 percent.
  9. LD Keegan Lowe. His playing style is a good fit for the Chiarelli Oilers and I think we’ll see him emerge as a recall option this season. Chances of return are 70 percent.
  10. R Ty Rattie. He’s in a good spot but the opportunity isn’t eternal. A year from now the RW situation will either been solved or have a new batch of candidates as possible solutions. I’ll say 50 percent to return.
  11. L Joey Laleggia. Complete wild card but he can score goals, at least at the AHL level. It’s almost impossible to know where he lands, so I’ll put it at 50 percent to return.
  12. R Patrick Russell. His first pro season was a disappointment but he posted 150 shots and may have been experiencing Pitlick-level bad luck. I’ll say he’s 50-50 to re-sign.
  13. LD Dillon Simpson. I’m not sure he has a path to the NHL at this time and there’s a chance someone (Keegan Lowe?) could replace him as a recall option. I’ll say 50 percent.
  14. LD Ben Betker. Oilers seem to collect more defensemen than the previous admin, but Betker is probably in a bit of a spot with all of the defenders still to come. He could be cast away in favor of William Lagesson next summer. I’ll say 40 percent to sign.
  15. R Brian Ferlin. It’s really impossible to say how he’ll respond after an injury-riddled season. I’ll estimate him at 40 percent to re-sign and we can adjust as we roll along.
  16. R Greg Chase. In his first two pro seasons, Chase hasn’t moved the needle much. Success for him would be a regular AHL shift and some solid boxcars. I think he’s about 30 percent to get another contract.
  17. RC Kyle Platzer. As is the case with Chase, Kyle Platzer hasn’t been able to push into a feature role at the AHL level. He was a third-round pick on draft day with a good two-way reputation, but hasn’t been able to post enough offense since 2015 fall. 30 percent chance of a contract.
  18. LC Grayson Downing. Because I don’t know much about him and because his most recent season was not fabulous, I’ll put his chances of re-signing at 10 percent.
  19. L Braden Christoffer. He hasn’t been able to score enough to establish himself as an AHL regular, so it would seem unlikely he would be re-signed. I’ll put his chances at 10 percent.

It seems to me next summer is going to be a massive opportunity for the general manager to adjust the roster. If he decides to trade RNH, then getting most of the names above signed would seem to be a much easier task. If not, tougher row to hoe.

There are other considerations. Will Bogdan Yakimov return? Do the Oilers move out one of these RFA’s for William Lagesson? What about the graduates? I count Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson, Dylan Wells, Markus Niemelainen, Filip Berglund, John Marino, Tyler Vesel, Aidan Muir and others may also turn pro.

I cheer for all of these prospects, it’s a blast to see them reach the NHL (Jujhar Khaira is the one I’m hoping for most this fall). They can’t all make it, suspect we’re going to see a massive turnover come spring and summer 2018.

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62 Responses to "THE LAST CHANCE TEXACO"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wow, 32 players under contract when Chiarelli took over are gone – yup, he’s turned over the organization, that’s for sure.

    Yes, McDavid is the biggest reason for the giant leap last year but one superstar does not provide a giant leap – not to get in to individual moves but the man has built a good hockey team from a not good hockey team.

    Actually, check that, the man has built a good organization from a not so good organization – the amount of depth in the organization is astounding compared to where it was – the defence and the goaltending is incredible compared to where it was and now the forward depth organizationally is coming.

    He did that while forefitting a couple of valuable picks for stupid league rules that have since been changed.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    How amazing would it be if Rattie got an opportunity this year and parlayed it in to a nice offensive season rediscovering some of his WHL scoring touch and rejuvenating himself as a legit scoring option in the NHL?

    You know what, I’ve decided to cheer for that scenario (but no until the inevitable top 6 injury that creates the opportunity).

  3. GCW_69 says:

    Craig Button was on TSN1050 this afternoon and was critical of Chiarelli on the Draisaitl deal. Called the deal an “outlier” and said Chiarelli “failed to use the Oilers leverage” .

    The full crew roasted Chiarelli for doing Leon after McDavid. Unanimously agreed that Lou should do Nylander and Marner before Matthews so they can avoid the “sure he’s not as good as McDavid / Mathews, but he isn’t $6M less valuable” which is what Button thinks happened with Leon.

    Button also looked at Leon vs Schiefle and said even if Leon is a little better than Schiefle, the difference in cap hit makes Schiefle much better value.

    Found it really hard to argue most of what they said.

  4. Jaxon says:

    I think I’d guess that Simpson and Betker should be ahead of Russell and Lowe should be behind Russell. Betker impress me every time I see him play and his size and mobility are pretty decent. If he develops a bit more offence (and is part of the big men take longer to develop group) it may be worth holding onto him for a couple more years.

  5. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    The forfeit, plus the Talbot and Reinhart deals, expansion… maybe I have some homer eyes on the prospect list but I really think he has done an admirable job.

    OriginalPouzar: You know what, I’ve decided to cheer for that scenario

    I wouldn’t have drafted for him, but I’m cheering for the man. The right side could use some help, and he’s got a chance at being a real value contract going forward.

  6. Lowetide says:

    GCW_69:
    Craig Button was on TSN1050 this afternoon and was critical of Chiarelli on the Draisaitl deal. Called the deal an “outlier” and said Chiarelli “failed to use the Oilers leverage” .

    The full crew roasted Chiarelli for doing Leon after McDavid. Unanimously agreed that Lou should do Nylander and Marner before Matthews so they can avoid the “sure he’s not as good as McDavid / Mathews, but he isn’t $6M less valuable” which is what Button thinks happened with Leon.

    Button also looked at Leon vs Schiefle and said even if Leon is a little better than Schiefle, the difference in cap hit makes Schiefle much better value.

    Found it really hard to argue most of what they said.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt PC overpaid. He said he did (to Bob McKenzie). Button’s points are well made.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Awwwww, man, are we going to be discussing Leon’s contract in both threads today?

    On the day training camp opens and there are numerous Oiler interviews up including the coach?

  8. OmJo says:

    I didn’t fully realize that Chia changed the roster and depth chart that much in the short time he’s been here. That’s a lot of bodies moving in and out of this organization. This is definitely becoming his team now.

    But the Leftorium remains XD

  9. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Let’s talk about the Hall trade instead!

    *evil laugh*

    Actually, much like the Hall trade was the hot topic throughout last season, the Draisaitl contract will likely be the hot topic this season – in between Mcdavid’s shifts.

  10. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Awwwww, man, are we going to be discussing Leon’s contracts in both threads today?

    On the day training camp opens and there are numerous Oiler interviews up including the coach?

    You are welcome to quote and discuss and link those interviews, I have a policy of not writing an article about that kind of thing the day they are released. I’ll have a few quotes on tomorrow morning’s blog, but my content rarely runs in lock step with the mainstream media.

  11. Georges says:

    Jaxon:
    I think I’d guess that Simpson and Betker should be ahead of Russell and Lowe should be behind Russell. Betker impress me every time I see him play and his size and mobility are pretty decent. If he develops a bit more offence (and is part of the big men take longer to develop group) it may be worth holding onto him for a couple more years.

    I read this and thought, wow, this is a new low for the Russell sucks contingent. Simpson and Betker should be ahead of Russell now!! Patrick Russell. Oooohh. Heh.

    (Cue the well they should be ahead of him comments.)

  12. OmJo says:

    Georges,

    Anton Belov should be ahead of Russell.

    I’ll see myself out.

  13. Todd Macallan says:

    Off topic x2:

    1) Today on TSN there was a short reaction video from Connor’s NHL ’18 fake fan video, basically Lucic and Todd laughing about how good it was. Todd said he especially liked the “analytics guy” that Connor played, and asked if he resembled anyone in the Oilers analytics community. It should be noted that this “fake” character was named Allen (HA! Despite difference in spelling). The media responded with “all of them”, to which Todd replied “are any of them here? No? I guess they don’t come to the rink.”

    No controversy here I just thought it was hilarious, both the video and Todd’s remarks. Great to have the coach poke fun when it’s all in good spirits.

    2) Even further off topic, but a question for you LT. Last year when you spent the day with Connor for the CIBC skate you mentioned there was a conversation between you that you would discuss at some point. Apologies if I missed it already, but I’m very intrigued at how that went.

    Perhaps this inspired him to name his “analytics guy” after you.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    From McLellan, Slepyshev has improved greatly and, while he isn’t expected to skate tomorrow, Coach lists him as day to day.

    To me, it sounds like there is a decent chance he’ll be able to participate in a material portion of camp which is music.

    On the other hand, Coach also said he will open camp with Drake at RW.

    We know Strome will be a top 6 RW to open and JP very likely be 3RW so I believe that Caggulia and Slep are fighting for the other top 6 RW job with the loser getting 4LW.

    Once change could be a big offensive advance by JP in camp that has him moving up to the top 6.

  15. Georges says:

    GCW_69:
    Craig Button was on TSN1050 this afternoon and was critical of Chiarelli on the Draisaitl deal. Called the deal an “outlier” and said Chiarelli “failed to use the Oilers leverage” .

    The full crew roasted Chiarelli for doing Leon after McDavid. Unanimously agreed that Lou should do Nylander and Marner before Matthews so they can avoid the “sure he’s not as good as McDavid / Mathews, but he isn’t $6M less valuable” which is what Button thinks happened with Leon.

    Button also looked at Leon vs Schiefle and said even if Leon is a little better than Schiefle, the difference in cap hit makes Schiefle much better value.

    Found it really hard to argue most of what they said.

    Didn’t PC say they were trying to sign Leon for a long time? What possible reason could Leon have had to sign before CMD? The goodness of his heart. What leverage did PC have over Leon? Guess I don’t know what it’s like to build around a generational player. I think Leon was in a perfect spot that was part luck, part his own doing. The #2 in PIT makes more than their #1. By that standard, PC did OK.

    Maybe Nylander and Marner will sit tight too. What’s the rush? Matthews will set the pay scale there the way CMD set the pay scale here. There’s two of them so maybe Lou can hit them with the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Todd Macallan:
    Off topic x2:

    1) Today on TSN there was a short reaction video from Connor’s NHL ’18 fake fan video, basically Lucic and Todd laughing about how good it was. Todd said he especially liked the “analytics guy” that Connor played, and asked if he resembled anyone in the Oilers analytics community. It should be noted that this “fake” character was named Allen (HA! Despite difference in spelling). The media responded with “all of them”, to which Todd replied “are any of them here? No? I guess they don’t come to the rink.”

    No controversy here I just thought it was hilarious, both the video and Todd’s remarks. Great to have the coach poke fun when it’s all in good spirits.

    2) Even further off topic, but a question for you LT. Last year when you spent the day with Connor for the CIBC skate you mentioned there was a conversation between you that you would discuss at some point. Apologies if I missed it already, but I’m very intrigued at how that went.

    Perhaps this inspired him to name his “analytics guy” after you.

    Haha. That analyics guy is hilarious. As for my McDavid interview, I have spiced it into several posts over the months, most recently in my debut effort for The Athletic.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looking forward to seeing how Coach splits the players for the first on-ice session tomorrow – 2 groups or 3.

    If its two groups we may be able to get a decent sense of the split squad lineups (or not).

  18. treevojo says:

    GCW_69:
    Craig Button was on TSN1050 this afternoon and was critical of Chiarelli on the Draisaitl deal. Called the deal an “outlier” and said Chiarelli “failed to use the Oilers leverage” .

    The full crew roasted Chiarelli for doing Leon after McDavid. Unanimously agreed that Lou should do Nylander and Marner before Matthews so they can avoid the “sure he’s not as good as McDavid / Mathews, but he isn’t $6M less valuable” which is what Button thinks happened with Leon.

    Button also looked at Leon vs Schiefle and said even if Leon is a little better than Schiefle, the difference in cap hit makes Schiefle much better value.

    Found it really hard to argue most of what they said.

    You mean this same Craig Button?

    http://www.tsn.ca/video/button-on-draisaitl-you-pay-for-quality~1188707

    Looks like somebody talks out of both sides of his mouth.

  19. jfry says:

    Feels like sleppy and the six are mirror men. Unless Drake is better than strome?

  20. jp says:

    Georges: I read this and thought, wow, this is a new low for the Russell sucks contingent. Simpson and Betker should be ahead of Russell now!! Patrick Russell. Oooohh. Heh.

    (Cue the well they should be ahead of him comments.)

    Same 🙁

  21. jp says:

    Georges: Didn’t PC say they were trying to sign Leon for a long time? What possible reason could Leon have had to sign before CMD? The goodness of his heart. What leverage did PC have over Leon? Guess I don’t know what it’s like to build around a generational player. I think Leon was in a perfect spot that was part luck, part his own doing. The #2 in PIT makes more than their #1. By that standard, PC did OK.

    Maybe Nylander and Marner will sit tight too. What’s the rush? Matthews will set the pay scale there the way CMD set the pay scale here. There’s two of them so maybe Lou can hit them with the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

    1) I noticed that comment from Chia too. Sounds like Leon was being difficult with the contract.

    Also, nice point about Pittsburgh.

    2) Re: Toronto, the good thing is that Draisaitl > Nylander/Marner, and McDavid >> Matthews. So fuck those guys.

  22. Todd Macallan says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks for clarifying. I was foolishly expecting a post here at some point titled “My McDayvid With Connor” (or something clever) chronicling the conversation in one lump sum, but the slow release over time is definitely better.

    Speaking of The Athletic, a belated congratulations is in order. This is the first and only paywall service I subscribe to, and only went for after I heard of the Edmonton contingent. I’ve been rewarded handsomely.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Todd Macallan:
    Lowetide,

    Thanks for clarifying. I was foolishly expecting a post here at some point titled “My McDayvid With Connor” (or something clever) chronicling the conversation in one lump sum, but the slow release over time is definitely better.

    Speaking of The Athletic, a belated congratulations is in order. This is the first and only paywall service I subscribe to, and only went for after I heard of the Edmonton contingent. I’ve been rewarded handsomely.

    Glad to hear. I am delighted to be in that company.

  24. JustWatt says:

    Georges: The #2 in PIT makes more than their #1. By that standard, PC did OK.

    I don’t think this is a very fair comparison. Malkin maxed out his contract or close to it but Crosby took a big pay cut (don’t remember how much it was rumored to have been) in order to stick to his 87 superstition and to give the team cap room to build a winner with (much like McDavid but a substantially larger cap %, again, if I remember correctly).

    I believe completely that Draisaitl’s camp made negotiations tough, no other way to explain how long it took to get the deal done or the number. And I give credit to Chia for getting McDavid at 8 years and Connor for not pushing a max deal or even the one initially rumored. But I think it’s giving out too much credit to Chia for Crosby taking way less than his market value. Not that any of this is a big deal though, just thought I’d chime in.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gregor is reporting that Khaira has a wrist issue and is unlikely to play in the early pre-season games.

    He speculates this could open the door for Kelly which, to me, is a perverse result.

    Slepy and Khaira sound like fairly minor injuries but it seems like this season is just not going to be as healthy as last (already have a more material injury than all of last year). I have zero interest in Kelly getting a contract as I’d prefer any contract spot to be used on a depth d-man.

    I’ve been nervous about accumulation of injuries for a while now and this type of news isn’t helping.

  26. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Awwwww, man, are we going to be discussing Leon’s contract in both threads today?

    On the day training camp opens and there are numerous Oiler interviews up including the coach?

    Taylor Hall, Taylor Hall, Taylor Hall….

  27. Mustard Tiger says:

    Question for anyone, is there many similarities between Draisaitl’s and Puljujarvi’s rookie seasons?

    It seems so long ago now, but are there any hints about Puljujarvi’s future?

  28. Georges says:

    JustWatt: I don’t think this is a very fair comparison. Malkin maxed out his contract or close to it but Crosby took a big pay cut (don’t remember how much it was rumored to have been) in order to stick to his 87 superstition and to give the team cap room to build a winner with (much like McDavid but a substantially larger cap %, again, if I remember correctly).

    I believe completely that Draisaitl’s camp made negotiations tough, no other way to explain how long it took to get the deal done or the number. And I give credit to Chia for getting McDavid at 8 years and Connor for not pushing a max deal or even the one initially rumored. But I think it’s giving out too much credit to Chia for Crosby taking way less than his market value. Not that any of this is a big deal though, just thought I’d chime in.

    What if Connor had a 97 superstition and Drai still got 8.5? Heads would explode, then they would reassemble, then explode again.

    I liked your reasoning in the morning thread by the way. I was in the Drai shouldn’t be paid much more than Gaudreau camp. Now that it’s played out, I can sort of grasp how it played out. It’ll be fun to watch those two young men take on the best in the league for the next 8 years. Sure beats watching the best in the league kick sand in our faces and snicker for the past 10.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Mustard Tiger:
    Question for anyone, is there many similarities between Draisaitl’s and Puljujarvi’s rookie seasons?

    It seems so long ago now, but are there any hints about Puljujarvi’s future?

    There are connections, both men had poor luck around the net (paltry goals total for both is deceiving). Both also played with outstanding talents, suggesting the coach felt they might be capable of making the leap.

  30. digger50 says:

    The Oilers now have 5 centers who are very good to elite at thier respective roles. Can’t wait to see how they are deployed and used.

    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    Nuge
    Letestu
    Strome is a spare or termed the mirror man

    Usage should be to roll three skilled lines and the fourth stacked with penalty killers. Thus there are different positions to fill here. Fourth line could see the most rotation based on need for PK, or size, or speed depending on opponent. Chris Kelly, JJ Khaira could make the team over a Sleppy or Drake based on this type of need in the line up.

    But if Todd is going to fully utilize three talented centers then likely three lines get the majority of 5×5 play.

  31. Mustard Tiger says:

    Lowetide,

    If Puljujarvi becomes anywhere near as good as Draisaitl, we’ll be cooking with gas

  32. frjohnk says:

    Mustard Tiger:
    Lowetide,

    If Puljujarvi becomes anywhere near as good as Draisaitl, we’ll be cooking with gas

    If Pulijujarvi becomes anywhere near as good as Draisaitl, Chia will overpay him and some will say Chia is sniffing gas.

  33. godot10 says:

    digger50:
    The Oilers now have 5 centers who are very good to elite at thier respective roles. Can’t wait to see how they are deployed and used.

    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    Nuge
    Letestu
    Strome is a spare or termed the mirror man

    Usage should be to roll three skilled lines and the fourth stacked with penalty killers. Thus there are different positions to fill here. Fourth line could see the most rotation based on need for PK, or size, or speed depending on opponent. Chris Kelly, JJ Khaira could make the team over a Sleppy or Drake based on this type of need in the line up.

    But if Todd is going to fully utilize three talented centers then likely three lines get the majority of 5×5 play.

    Strome has NEVER been a competent NHL centre for an extended period of time. Lots of talent and potential. Not much production.

    Strome is one of those “in need of a 2nd opinion” players. Cogliano, when the Oilers traded him to the Ducks. Niedereiter, when he was traded to the Wild. It might work out. It might not.

  34. Gret99zky says:

    Overpay?

    It’s simple. Leon and his agent were comfortable with being expected to put up top 10 numbers in the league for 8 years.

    Chiarelli obliged. Paid him up front. And now it’s Leon’s turn to deliver.

    Go Leon!

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    Mustard Tiger:
    Lowetide,

    If Puljujarvi becomes anywhere near as good as Draisaitl, we’ll be cooking with gas

    and he may and he may provide the same level of value to the team in different ways without putting up top 10 scoring – different skill sets but maybe just as talented in different ways.

    Who knows what JP will become or even how this season will go but he should be set up for success more than last season (acclimating to culture, language, ice, etc. but, also, coming off a summer of rehabbing a material knee injury).

    I anticipate, he will leap to be a 35-50 point player this year – I believe there is precedent for top 10 drafted Swedish/Finnish players to spike in their 2nd seasons in North America.

    Lets not forget, JP was the absolute youngest player in both leagues he played in last year.

  36. Mustard Tiger says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    All good points. It’s easy to be disappointed by his rookie season, but in my mind Draisaitl’s felt similar so hopefully he makes the next step.

    By no means am I expecting him to be a point/game player, but it solves so many problems if he can at least be a solid top 6 RW at some point.

  37. Mustard Tiger says:

    godot10,

    Having Strome as your “extra” center is a luxury. He’s not locked in as the second line center or anything.

  38. Chachi says:

    Gret99zky:
    Overpay?

    It’s simple.Leon and his agent were comfortable with being expected to put up top 10 numbers in the league for 8 years.

    Chiarelli obliged.Paid him up front.And now it’s Leon’s turn to deliver.

    Go Leon!

    I hear that Leon has to be a top 3 scorer in the league every year of his contract or else he will be a massive failure and he… sorry I can’t even… it’s only the first day of camp and things have gone completely off the rails.

  39. Bad Seed says:

    I hope Puli is kept away from McDavid or that top 3 player Draisatl or we won’t be able to afford his second contract.

  40. jtblack says:

    Mustard Tiger,

    Draisatl, Puljujarvi, Smyth ..There is a long list of Rookies who struggled big time and went on to have impactful careers .. There is also a much longer list of Rookies who struggle and then struggle some more and don’t ever amount to their initial draft hype …. We wait on JP.

  41. digger50 says:

    godot10: Strome has NEVER been a competent NHL centre for an extended period of time.Lots of talent and potential.Not much production.

    Strome is one of those “in need of a 2nd opinion” players.Cogliano, when the Oilers traded him to the Ducks.Niedereiter, when he was traded to the Wild.It might work out.It might not.

    Strome is unproven as are so many we are gambling on this fall. But roll out the centers we have all been pining for. Audition the best wingers and let’s roll.

    Let go of the contract talk already. It’s like we are unfortunate to have Drai. Folks have already traded Nuge. The cap troubles are coming so the time to act is now. Time to jump in n with both feet. The depth signings are done. Get us something good with that 8m cap space. Make a move, spend some pics.

    Otherwise we peak out without reaching the goal and we bleed talent for three years hoping the cap goes up so we can afford another run.

    No need to bitch about Drai, bitch about us not getting significantly better over the summer.

  42. frjohnk says:

    Bad Seed:
    I hope Puli is kept away from McDavid or that top 3 player Draisatl or we won’t be able to afford his second contract.

    If JP were to light it up in his 2nd and 3rd years of his ELC not unlike Draisaitl, does he get paid like his comparable around the league, or does he get paid relative to what Draisaitl gets paid?

  43. JustWatt says:

    Georges,

    Thanks. I lurk daily but rarely comment. When I do I try to put some thought and editing in before I hit post but like all forms of writing and debate, it’s all much harder to do than it appears. And as much as I’m firmly in the “Drai was overpaid” camp, it’s not eating me up inside (yet). I just don’t see how the arguments for the other side hold water. Doesn’t mean he can’t be fantastic and a critical team leader or that the Oilers can’t win Stanley. Just practicing my online convo skills.

  44. JustWatt says:

    frjohnk: If Pulijujarvi becomes anywhere near as good as Draisaitl, Chia will overpay him and some will say Chia is sniffing gas.

    Oh oh! Me me! /s

  45. treevojo says:

    frjohnk: If JP were to light it up in his 2nd and 3rd years of his ELC not unlike Draisaitl, does he get paid like his comparable around the league, or does he get paid relative to what Draisaitl gets paid?

    What a wicked problem to have.

    We can only hope it happens.

    Chiarelli has already made his big bets.

    The rest of the contracts coming up will all have to fall in line with the oilers salary structure.

    The agents for these rfas in coming years aren’t going to like negotiations.

    I see a lot of bridge deals on the horizon.

  46. slopitch says:

    The Oilers don’t need JP to score like Blake Wheeler. But they could sure use a Silvferberg type. If lines 2-3 start outscoring this team goes from “make the playoffs” to “content for cup”. JP can be a big part of this. IMO LT’s estimates from the team are based on growth from 97 and the rest of the team staying relatively flat. If Drai plays 2C all year (and 1PP) and JP emerges, get ready baby!

  47. Oil2Oilers says:

    Sweat Baby Nuge’s car wash video;

    He now looks like a young man not a young boy. I posited years ago that the Oilers will win a cup when Nuge can grow a beard. That day is coming.

    How to improve Nuge’s 5×5 scoring? Don’t play him with Russell.

    How to improve Russell? Play him on the left hand side.

    I am excited for Monday’s games already.

  48. JustWatt says:

    digger50:
    No need to bitch about Drai, bitch about us not getting significantly better over the summer.

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said before this. I don’t think that we should need to complain about not improving season over season either. I know they didn’t pick up anyone sexy (although I love the Jokinen pickup) and that we dropped Eberle but there are just too many young players with potentially big leaps forward to think that they shouldn’t at least tread water this season. Not all of them will get better of course but I think they can cover the loss of Eberle and Sekera’s injury and possibly then some. I think its unlikely that most of McDavid, PJ, Nurse, Slepy, Caggs, JJ, etc don’t grow incrementally. I’d be more worried about blocking at-bats for these kids if any more pickups were made.

    Add in last season’s playoff experience and I think they might have the recipe for improvement.

  49. digger50 says:

    JustWatt: I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said before this. I don’t think that we should need to complain about not improving season over season either. I know they didn’t pick up anyone sexy (although I love the Jokinen pickup) and that we dropped Eberle but there are just too many young players with potentially big leaps forward to think that they shouldn’t at least tread water this season. Not all of them will get better of course but I think they can cover the loss of Eberle and Sekera’s injury and possibly then some. I think its unlikely that most of McDavid, PJ, Nurse, Slepy, Caggs, JJ, etc don’t grow incrementally. I’d be more worried about blocking at-bats for these kids if any more pickups were made.

    Add in last season’s playoff experience and I think they might have the recipe for improvement.

    Yes, that’s the play this year isn’t it. Hope these young players come through. And it looks like a fairly reasonable plan too.

    The problem is that it contradicts the verbal discussion around cap hell and the fact we may lose good people and lose talent, actually becoming a worse hockey club as soon as next season .

    Who will we bring in 18/19 season to get better? Who might we lose and get worse?

    This has me believing that the time to act is now. I too want to see the young talent emerge. And depth has been put into place. But if I take myself back to May I had higher hopes for the summer.

    This team is good, they may do it “as is”. But they may not, and if they don’t all the verbal supports the fact they they may have a few tough years as they digest these salaries. So many smart posters here tell us what’s coming, thus we should all have been hoping for more this summer.

  50. who says:

    Re Drais contract.
    Not worried about it at all.
    When I look at this team I see Macdavid locked in for 9 years, Drai locked in for 8 and Nuge for 4. I also see Klefbom locked in for 6 and Larrson for 4. This makes me smile.
    Then I think of Lucic locked in for 6 and Russel locked in for 4 and I frown a little. But there are a lot more positives than negatives.
    When we get to next summers contracts I would bridge Nurse, Benning, Slepyshev and Caggiula.
    If JP shows some decent progress I would strongly consider offering him 8 years at 4 mil before he really hits his stride. I know it’s risky but may be the only way we can afford another impact forward.

  51. frjohnk says:

    treevojo: I see a lot of bridge deals on the horizon.

    and trades.

    Guys like Nuge with big cap hits could be traded for picks/prospects/lower cap hit player.
    or
    Some UFAs may price themselves out of Edmonton, Maroon could have another great year and test free agency.
    or
    some RFAs could price themselves out of Edmonton as well, one if not more in the group of Strome, Sleppy, Drake, Nurse and Benning could knock it out of the park and not be looking for a bridge deal but looking to get paid. Oilers may have to ship out that player.

    Looking at the cap space we have this year, Id be very surprised it Chia does not make a big splash for a rental or even rentals and go for it at some point in the year as next year could possibly be an “adjustment period” but hopefully not for too long.

  52. Munny says:

    Oil2Oilers: How to improve Nuge’s 5×5 scoring? Don’t play him with Russell.

    I can’t tell if you’re being facetious or not, but if you are, please disregard the following…

    One particularly cringe-worthy abuse of Math from the early summer was the saddling of Russell with Nuge’s poor 5×5 scoring while together. I desperately want the quest for effective advanced stats to gain mainstream credibility but the community can sometimes shoot itself in the foot with ridiculous claims.

    The notion that a defenseman is responsible for a teammate’s shooting percentage while they’re on the ice together is one such example.

  53. Jaxon says:

    Georges: I read this and thought, wow, this is a new low for the Russell sucks contingent. Simpson and Betker should be ahead of Russell now!! Patrick Russell. Oooohh. Heh.

    (Cue the well they should be ahead of him comments.)

    Haha, I know I’m a bit critical of Kris (or at least his contract), but not that critical.

  54. VOR says:

    Treevojo, Who,

    I keep trying to make this same point. All the people who think we can avoid cap hell through bridge deals next year are forgetting that Caggiula, Slepyshev, and Benning have arbitration rights. You can’t actually force a bridge deal on them.

    Any sort of low ball bridge offer will lead to the player filing for arbitration. The arbitration settlement will be more than the team was prepared to pay in the original contract negotiation. This is what happens in most arbitration cases. The Oilers will lose the player to free agency if the team won’t match the arbitration award. Even if the Oilers did match the award player might just do what is known as arbing out. They will go to arbitration each year until they reach free agency. Each year will be more than the last and they will go UFA at the earliest possible date..

    Nurse isn’t arbitration eligible but he is also the least likely of next years RFAs to be bridged. See Lowetide’s comments above for an explanation of why this is the case. I think our host is right. Nurse is part of the McDavid cluster.

    The Oilers need the cap to go up, way up, or they are looking at losing some very good hockey players without any obvious options to fill their roster spots.

  55. VOR says:

    I am not sure where the walk away number is now. It is probably any contract over $4,000,000 the team can walk away from. It is adjusted every year by the percentage average salaries increase. Below that the team must honor the award. I think, anyway.

    Additionally, filing for arbitration means you can’t accept an offer sheet. And the process can get very ugly. But still my basic point is valid. Arbitration rights help balance the leverage of the two parties.

  56. Thinker says:

    GCW_69: Sch

    If Eichel signs for 9, or 9.5 (Or Drai’s 8.5), does that make him more valuable than Connor? The disparity in NHL contracts is getting ridiculous.

  57. kgo says:

    So Calgary has an impressive top 4 D…but we all know how many D are required to get through 6+82+4 games…(see what I did there?)

    Who, and how good is Calgary from 5-12? Does it hold a candle to our squad?

  58. Pretendergast says:

    This team looks playoff worthy if things break right, i dont like the fact Chia is banking on hopes and dreams to come through.

    Hes done well for gaining depth, but most of it is not close to making an nhl impact this and potentially next year.

    This is the cheapest Mcdavid will ever be and were not all in?

    I understand believing in the group, but i think its fair to criticize that we’ve seen this mentality before.

    Everyone saying 1 more year of the austins= better team. It didnt happen and its unfair to expect players other than mcdavid to do the same now.

    I dont think this team can win the cup, Chia should get veteran help ala Neal, maybe Zetterberg, etc. Otherwise i see a conference final max, which with Mcdavid is not good enough imo

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Thinker: If Eichel signs for 9, or 9.5 (Or Drai’s 8.5), does that make him more valuable than Connor? The disparity in NHL contracts is getting ridiculous.

    Eichel’s cap hit will be north of those numbers. Both he and Mathews will get north of &10M but less than $12.5M – of thatvom fairly confident.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    kgo:
    So Calgary has an impressive top 4 D…but we all know how many D are required to get through 6+82+4 games…(see what I did there?)

    Who, and how good is Calgary from 5-12?Does it hold a candle to our squad?

    I think the Oilers have much depth to fill in on the third pairing – I’m comfortable with 3-5 players playing games on that 3rd pairing. Where an issue will come is when one of the three remaining top 4 get hurt and players are getting bumped up the lineup, again, combined with numerous fill ins in the bottom pairing.

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    Anyone concerned that we already have three roster players injured even if two are not serious (Slep and Khaira)?

    We haven’t even had an on-ice session.

    I want to wrap Klef, Larsson and Benning in bubble wrap right now.

  62. Oil2Oilers says:

    Munny: I can’t tell if you’re being facetious or not, but if you are, please disregard the following…

    One particularly cringe-worthy abuse of Math from the early summer was the saddling of Russell with Nuge’s poor 5×5 scoring while together.I desperately want the quest for effective advanced stats to gain mainstream credibility but the community can sometimes shoot itself in the foot with ridiculous claims.

    The notion that a defenseman is responsible for a teammate’s shooting percentage while they’re on the ice together is one such example.

    I know I am way late responding. But this comment was based on style more than stats. Both play low in the defensive zone. This combination struggles to exit the zone.

    Shooting percentage does not matter in your when you can’t exit your own zone.

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