Jacques has been having some troubles putting the entire package together at the NHL level, specifically in regard to points. Or point, to be more specific.
Jacques (along with Marc Pouliot and several other rfa’s caught in the AHL) has a bit of a problem this summer. These players, with Pouliot being the case study, have not established themselves at the NHL level yet and are simply not worth the amount it would take to qualify them.
Here, let’s run the numbers on Pouliot to show the example. His NHL salary for his entry level contract (which expires after the season) is $942,000 which is almost exactly what Marty Reasoner is making. In order to retain Pouliot this summer, Edmonton must qualify him even though he isn’t in the NHL at a larger number, but if he doesn’t make the team he’ll be spending another season making AHL wages. Not long ago I asked our resident CBA expert (speeds) to shed some light on Pouliot’s situation, focusing specifically on the Oilers possibly offering Pouliot a one-way deal for far less than the qualifying offer. In a post below (2/10 Sunday Minor League Report) Michael was kind enough to supply the following information:
Yes, to keep Pouliot’s rights they will have to offer him a 5% raise, ~ 989.5K per year. According to section 10.2.a.iii, a player must have played 180 games in the last 3 years AND played 60 games the season previous AND not cleared waivers last year, to have to be given a one way QO.
If I’m interpreting that correctly it means that Pouliot need not be given a one way QO (the AHL portion of the QO has to be at least as much as he is making in the AHL this season).
Having said all that, they can negotiate before July 1st, and get him signed before they even need to make a QO, so yes, if they wanted to they could easily approach Pouliot and say “We’ll give you a one way deal, 2 years, 600K per year. What do you think?” with the understanding that if Pouliot doesn’t agree to such a deal, they can send him a QO and he may end up in the minors once again next year.
I think this might be the way Edmonton proceeds with one or two of their unproven rfa’s this summer. In the case of Joni Pitkanen (2.4M), Jarret Stoll (2.2M), Denis Grebeshkov (.950M), Robert Nilsson (.942M), Tom Gilbert (.907M) and Zack Stortini (.534M) Edmonton will probably play it straight up, offering NHL level players a small raise and in some cases (Pitkanen, Gilbert) much bigger paydays. With Pouliot, I think there’s every chance the Oilers offer him a contract in the Patrick Thoresen (.570M) range and sign him for a couple of seasons.
The Oilers roster currently in terms of F’s 10-14:
- Marty Reasoner (.950M)
- Patrick Thoresen (.570M)
- Zack Stortini (.534M)
- Curtis Glencross (.522M)
- Kyle Brodziak (.497M)
We can possibly build a case for Pouliot (or someone similar) taking the Reasoner slot if the Oilers don’t bring Marty back for another season. JF Jacques salary (.668M) isn’t as much the issue and frankly if Pouliot had been able to hold onto the job in the fall he would be in a similar situation to Nilsson currently.
He didn’t, and if his path to the show includes a healthy paycut in exchange for a one-way deal that’s a trade Pouliot should probably consider. Should he deliver on the opportunity, bigger paydays lie ahead. Jacques path is further complicated by the fact that Zack Stortini has filled the role Jacques may have been earmarked for in the summer.