Tonight may be the final game as Oilers for several at Rogers, including Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu and Mike Cammalleri. Could we see Anton Slepyshev heading out of town? Drake Caggiula? Ryan Strome? Based on some of the teams who have been following the Oilers around lately, anything is possible.
- New Lowetide: Is speed the new size in Edmonton?
- New Jonathan Willis: The Oilers need the next Patrick Maroon.
- Lowetide: Ethan Bear making things happen in Bakersfield
- Lowetide: Nic Petan leads some AHL achievers who could help the Oilers
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: In defence of Cam Talbot.
- Lowetide: Is Ryan Strome a keeper?
- Lowetide: Value contracts in 2018-19
- Lowetide: What would Sam Pollock do?
- Lowetide: Oilers Keeper List
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Oilers draft history and the OHL
BABY BLUE, YEAR OVER YEAR
- February 2016: 3-7-0, goal differential -7 (6 points)
- February 2017: 5-5-0, goal differential -2 (10 points)
- February 2018: 2-7-1, goal differential -8 (5 points)
- February 23, 2016: Ottawa 4, Edmonton 1 (Source)
- February 26, 2017: Nashville 5, Edmonton 4 (Source)
February hasn’t ever been a stellar month during the McLellan era, a win tonight by this year’s version of the team puts them ahead of 15-16 and within striking distance of the playoff team. There were rumors of a possible Sekera return earlier in the week.
AFTER 59, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 22-31-6, goal differential -41 (50 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 32-19-8, goal differential +20 (72 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 24-31-4, goal differential -31 (52 points)
- February 20, 2016: Colorado 3, Edmonton 2 (Source)
- February 21, 2017: Tampa Bay 4, Edmonton 1 (Source)
Barring a winning streak of more than six games, it’s safe to say that this team’s outer marker (in terms of points) is about 75. On Boxing Day this team was 17-17-2 with some real issues and some walking around money, but the general manager didn’t make a move. Why? Why would a GM, who was already in an uncomfortable spot, pass on the opportunity to help his cause? More in a minute.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY
- At home to: Colorado, Tampa Bay (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
- At home to: Florida (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Vegas, Arizona, Colorado (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
- At home to: Boston, Colorado (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
- Current results: 2-7-1, five points in 10 games
Why didn’t Chiarelli pull the trigger and add a more substantial backup goalie, or a right-wing for Connor McDavid? You could argue he thought Andrej Sekera would give the team a boost but I’m not buying. Sekera’s injury is known to include subpar performance in the month or more after return. It’s an interesting question.
WHAT’S HE BUILDING IN THERE?
According to CapFriendly, Edmonton has reached the trade deadline with $8 million in cap space (and they also project it to be $37 million in deadline dollars, meaning they could take on an enormous amount of money) with some bonuses (McDavid, Nurse) eating into that total.
What was the plan? Some say add at the deadline but as the numbers above show, Edmonton couldn’t possibly spend all of their cap room if they so desired at this deadline. Possible reasons include:
- Chiarelli was told to back off and put the trade book away.
- The prices were too dear.
- All trades would have impacted future cap.
- There were so many holes the general manager decided his own team was a lost cause.
Either way, the team didn’t add a substantial backup goalie, didn’t find an upgrade on the wing and we now arrive at the deadline with gigantic cap room, but only for a minute.
PROJECTED CAP SITUATION ENTERING SUMMER
I have estimated some contracts and used Jesse Puljujarvi’s full bonus number. There isn’t much room here, I do expect the team to move Oscar Klefbom out, likely in exchange for a righty blue who can help on the power play. I wouldn’t make that move, for me Klefbom is the last defender on the trade list.
Jim Matheson has Toronto, Pittsburgh and Columbus interested in Mark Letestu, three is a fine number for your No. 4 center at this time of year. In my article for The Athletic this morning, I mention Sonny Milano of the Blue Jackets as a possible target. It would probably take more than six weeks of Letestu, but the Jackets are an interesting team to ponder.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
All hell appears to be breaking loose at the trade deadline, we’ll chat about it this morning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Heartbreak in women’s hockey at the Olympics, Oilers at the deadline.
- Rob Vollman, NHL.com & ESPN. Why do fans overrate the trade value of players on their favorite team?
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. Deadline gone wild.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!