Some signings today (Isbister to VCR an example) tell us that you can get a “replacement level” NHL player for less than $600,000 in the new NHL. That group is big but finite and while a guy like Isbister has NHL experience he also brings his own headaches and limitations.
The kids they can offer are making that or more and won’t be able to help a team much this season due to inexperience but I suspect some of them have enough upside to get the job done in terms of trade value (possibly as part of a package).
That’s why a kid like Marc Pouliot might be a little bit in danger here. He’s got some NHL experience and looks like he might be a guy who can help you win hockey games. A team shopping their $4M veteran might ask for a Pouliot over someone like Rob Schremp (as an example) because he has NHL experience.
The Oilers have several forwards and defenders either ready or close to ready for NHL action. Among those “most ready” we’d have to put Robert Nilsson($1.013M), Marc Pouliot($942,400), Tom Gilbert($907,500), Jean-Francois Jacques($668,333), Kyle Brodziak($516,500), Mathieu Roy($475,000).
From that list, I bet Pouliot is the guy they’re after.