? and the Mysterians

This is Alexei Mikhnov playing for the Russian National Team. He’s still big, he still has talent and he still lives in Russia.

Mikhnov is coming off a good season playing in the KHL for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. In 52gp, he went 16-19-35 and ranked third on his team in points (Yashin led the team with 47 points).

Mikhnov is one of the “players of interest” for the Oilers this summer.

  1. Will the Oilers sign Alexei Mikhnov and bring him over? Maybe, but the questions of last summer remain. Edmonton has already given one-way deals to enough fringe forwards and Mikhnov can probably make more in Russia than he would make in the AHL. They’ll be shopping for size, though.
  2. Will the Oilers sign Alex Plante or let him fall back into the draft and take the 45th overall pick as compensation? They’ll sign Plante. Although this is a deep draft, Plante has played well and the Oilers said on draft day they knew he was a project. I’d expect Plante to be one of the top 6D for the Oilers’ AHL team in the fall.
  3. Will they sign Milan Kytnar? No brainer. Kytnar projects as a solid checking center in pro and might have an NHL future. Oilers sign him for sure, and if he can’t make the AHL team, he might be in Stockton or Europe playing pro this fall.
  4. Will they project Theo Peckham as the 7D in the fall? I think they’ll turn over one of the big 4 during the summer (one of Lubo, Souray, Gilbert and Grebeshkov) and possibly one or both of the 5-6D (Staios, Smid). Peckham will make $585,000 with a cap hit of $600,000 (both totals courtesy nhlnumbers.com) and would have to be considered a strong contender for the inexpensive end-of-the-roster blueliner.
  5. Will they keep Dustin Penner? This depends completely on Craig MacTavish. If the Oilers make the playoffs, I suspect the coach stays and it is hard to imagine the coach keeping Penner in the fold. Should MacT receive his walking papers, Penner is likely to return. The math says he’s been effective in both of his Oilers seasons, although the money is, was and will be an overpay. He’s flawed but he brings some things.
  6. Will they sign Roloson? Yes. I think this is pretty much a slam dunk, to the point where I could see them giving him two seasons.
  7. Who will be the latest star brought in? Since summer 2005, the Oilers have acquired Chris Pronger and Michael Peca (2005), Dwayne Roloson and Petr Sykora (2006), Sheldon Souray and Dustin Penner (2007) and then in 2008 it was Lubomir Visnovsky and Erik Cole. This summer? My guesses are they re-sign Dwayne Roloson and Denis Grebeshkov, sign Jagr and offload Penner plus Staios. Think “mixed bag” and you should be in the neighbourhood.

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33 Responses to "? and the Mysterians"

  1. mjsh says:

    Couple questions. Do we think Roloson will want to re-sign with the Oilers? Does Jagr have anything left?

    I would be interested in knowing how long it took Bertuzzi to become a player. That is how much time the Oilers should give Penner. IMO Penner has a huge upside, not to be confused with backside and I would so much hate to see him reach his potential somewhere else.

  2. Scott says:

    If Penner’s breaking even on the first line and performing adequately on the PP I think his contract is actually good value. He and Hemsky are both paid a bit less than most top line forwards so if they can break even, hopefully the money we’re spending elsewhere will help to put us ahead of those other teams. I agree that the Penner contract was an overpay, but I think that the overpayment was in the value of the picks and less with regard to his actual salary.

    The same is true of value goaltending which the Oilers may be able to achieve by signing Roloson or a number of other options.

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    Alexei Mikhnov? No. There are better options in the KHL. Evgeny Ketov for example.

    Alex Plante? They’ll sign him, but he’ll play another year of junior [won't count among the 50]

    Milan Kytnar? Yes. That appears to have been an excellent pick.

    Theo Peckham? Maybe, depends how serious they are about the stronger AHL thing. Staios goes. And hold onto all of the Big-4 if possible.

    Dustin Penner? You nailed it.

    Roloson? Ditto, but one year only. $2,000,000?

    Star? Malone, Jagr, Armstrong, Malkin

  4. Lowetide says:

    mjsh: Roloson may indeed get a better offer, but I suspect the Oilers will make a strong one.

    I’m all for keeping Penner, to be honest he’s been a better player than I thought he’d be (and he’s certainly not perfect).

  5. mjsh says:

    LT. I am concerned that since Rolly left his family in the east this year that he might sign in the East. Yes, most of his career success has come in E-town but family might be important to him. Cujo is done so Toronto might like to have him

  6. Lowetide says:

    mjsh: I’d be okay with that, too. Oilers have a lot of options imo in regard to G (with Roloson the obvious solution) with quite a bit of money free if Rolson doesn’t sign.

    They could make a trade of sign a mid-level UFA.

  7. godot10 says:

    Under no circumstances do you sign Roloson for more than one year, especially with the cap going down in the second year. There is NO way to get rid of the cap hit for the second year if something goes wrong.

    Roloson (or his agent) can read the CBA. He has to understand that a 2-year deal is impossible.

    You just offer him enough money on a one year deal.

  8. Lowetide says:

    godot10: I woudn’t sign Roloson to 2 seasons, but imo the Oilers would and may. I don’t know that Roloson is the right way to go with this team, even for one more year.

  9. oilerdago says:

    LT: Interesting comments on the blueline. I think you are right that they’ll move one of the big 4, but I’d hate to see Grebs moved – he’s coming into his own and has lot’s of upside. Give Lowe credit in grabbing him for MAB.

    You can see how much the team has been hurt w/out Viz and they can’t trade Souray (he wanted to come to Alberta and he’s a recognized leader) so my guess is if they have to move someone – it’s Gilbert (and because of his contract he can bring the most back).

    If that happens, I can’t see them also moving Smid – who’s coming into his own too because all of the sudden our blueline is too old and we can’t count on 44 and 71 both making it through a full season healthy at their age.

    One question for you. What happens with Omark next season? He want’s to come over so does he wind up in the AHL?

    Goalie will be very interesting next year given Roli’s age and JDD. If they get that resolved, this team should be in the thick of things in the west next season.

  10. Lowetide says:

    oilerdago: I can’t see Omark making any kind of an impact in 09-10.

    Gagner, Nilsson, O’Sullivan, Cogliano are all smaller and will play top 9 minutes for sure (unless traded).

    And are we SURE that Omark will be better than, say Nilsson?

    I think Omark is a guy who comes over, plays in the AHL and maybe gets the call mid-season or later when injuries hit the skill guys.

  11. oilerdago says:

    Thanks LT. Makes sense to me.

  12. Bank Shot says:

    1. No. I can’t see the Oilers offering up a one way contract to bring Mikhnov over, and he’s alreay done the AHL thing and it didn’t work for him.

    2. Yes. He appears to be tracking alright despite missing a year of development. There’s likely always a place in the NHL for a great big defensemen that can handle the puck alright especially in the new NHL were they allow some clutch and grab in the corners and infront of the net. I think it’s unlikely they’ll find something better with a second rounder. In for a penny and all that.

    3. Yes. He’s got an outside chance to compete for a roster spot, and he’s shown improvement year over year. They’ve signed worse.

    4. No. They’ll probably project Peckham as the 6TH defencman, because the Oilers organization apparently hates depth. They should keep him at 8th on the chart where he can get some more big minutes in the A and maybe a couple of more NHL games next year.

    5. Yes. I believe this season MacT accepts a promotion if they makes the playoffs, and he possibly gets promoted even if they don’t, but would more likely resign. Penner gets another chance under a new bench boss.

    6. No. I think they’ll try which would likely be a bad bet epecially on a multi year pact, but Roloson doesn’t consider the offer and signs out East instead.

    7. Jagr might happen I guess. I can’t see them aquiring a legit star with good years still ahead of him though. Gagner taking another step might give them some more star power.

  13. oilerdago says:

    //5. Yes. I believe this season MacT accepts a promotion if they makes the playoffs, and he possibly gets promoted even if they don’t, but would more likely resign. Penner gets another chance under a new bench boss.//

    That would be ideal Bank Shot – and I’m with you.

  14. PunjabiOil says:

    You know, the playoffs are really in jeaopardy now. The Oilers needed a win in the past two games to be comfortable; they didn’t.

    Anaheim and Minnesota both win today. Anaheim moved ahead of the Oilers, making tommorow’s game a must win (with JDD apparently starting). Anaheim also plays Colorado at home on Sunday – so effectively they’re 3 up, with the Oilers having 2 games in hand.

    The next 3 games will be vital in deciding whether the Oilers will make the playoffs or not.

  15. bookie says:

    Wow, are you guys ever stupid, you haven’t been paying attention all year. Isn’t it obvious that the goalie of the future in Edmonton is JDD.

    I hope my sarcastic overtones are proven uterly incorrect and JDD becomes the best goalie ever and lead the Oil to 4 cups. I was wrong about Roli being too old this year so maybe…

  16. bookie says:

    I also think that MacT is going to find himself too tired to continue and need some family time. He will end up being Head Future Coordinater of Development or somethign of the sort.

    I just think that he is going to look at this last season (along with Lowe and Katz and Tambi) and see that things are not progressing the way he would have expected and that he may not have the desire to slog it out for a few more years while the team builds…

    Or something like that.

  17. Oilman says:

    IMO, Josh Harding is prime for the taking now with Backstrom signed for big money long term. Someone will take a stab at him with an offer sheet this summer and it may as well be the Oilers:o)
    There also seems to be a glut of 30 year old+ UFA goalies out there this year as well – so the market shouldn’t be too nuts when it comes to a number for Roloson.
    And, some intriguing other RFAs that might not be offer sheet worthy but could be had in trade – Dan LaCosta from Columbus perhaps – he’s burried behind Mason now.

  18. Oilman says:

    And oh yeah, Scott Clemensen just had a hell of a year in Jersey and then got burried in the minors – I imagine he signs elsewhere at a fair price.

  19. DBO says:

    Makes you think about next year. as to your points, a few things I’d like to see.

    - No to any mid level prospect who needs a one way deal. Seriously, who was going to give Pouliot or jacques a one way deal.
    - No to rollie on a two year deal. At his point we need to address our long term goalie situation. personally I’d like to seea pitch for Josh harding from minnesota or Ellis from nashville. Will cost us $2 mill, and have long term potential.
    - Bye bye MacT. At this point it’s Charlie brown teacher syndrom. And for that matter clear some of the old school. Time for a change in the room and behid the bench. None of the assistants should stay around. find a career coach and go in a different direction. And by different I mean have a direction.

    - penner should stay. if MacT does stay, then send him packing. unfortuantely, like selling your stocks today, you are getting 60 cents on the dollar so I say hold him till his value comes back to at least par.

    - Bring in some bangers and let’s get back to smash mouth hockey. We ar not skilled enough to play Detroit hockey, so get some young, fast guys who can hit. make it ugly to play in our barn, which this year is not the case.

    - And finally, deal one of Grebeshkov or Gilbert for a skilled forward. In fact, I’ve said it a few times, but you package Cogliano and Grebeshkov and you bring in a top line scorer. I’d like to see us move those two for someone like Simon Gagne from Philly. they have major cap issues next year, and need to move a money player. Gagne is everything we need as a #1 LW.

  20. Dennis says:

    I’ve got a feeling we’re gonna ink 37 on the somewhat cheap – there’s a new climate coming and I don’t think anyone will blow his doors off – and that 77 will be the one moved. Gilbert will have two pretty good counting stats seasons under his belt – and he’s at the very least a top four guy – and the Oilers will want to keep both 44-71 because they’ll want to have a vet presence somewhere throughout their lineup.

    So, you’ll have those two plus 37-5 and I imagine they’ll keep 24 and have him mentor Peckham on the third pairing. So, the deal is gonna be how 5 steps into the top four.

    Now, we just have to find a team that will have the scoring depth up front and dearth on the blue that will make for a good Gilbert trading partner. Or, we move him for a real fucking prospect and we throw 77′s money on a one year deal to Jagr. But, you know, the kid we’d pick up would have to be a 25 goal scorer and plus player by at least the 2011 season.

  21. Coach pb9617 says:

    I just dropped by to say that 96 Tears is so good it makes me jealous of ? Mark’s ability.

  22. Tania says:

    I’m hoping one of you guys are “in the know” since calling the Oilers and emailing your contact doesn’t work.

    If you had a mini-pack, and then get selected (unfortunately) for playoff tickets, the only option is a one time payment for all tickets (16! Like they’ll have home ice advantage IF they make the playoffs then play the full 16, but I digress), will your credit card be reimbursed for the games not played or will they somehow manage to hold onto your money for future games even though there’s no guarantee you’ll get the pack again next season?

  23. Jon says:

    My summer predictions (kinda feels premature as the season is not over yet)

    1. Sign rollie to a 2 year deal

    2. Sign Grebs and Smid and Peckham

    3. MacT resigns or is moved upstairs and they keep Penner

    4. Trade Nillson+ for Harding out of Minnesota

    5. Jagr uses us as leverage to sign with the Penguins (there was an article midseason about how he feels he owes Mario a favour and would play for him)

    However, expect the unexpected with this organization.

  24. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Tania said…
    I’m hoping one of you guys are “in the know” since calling the Oilers and emailing your contact doesn’t work.

    If you had a mini-pack, and then get selected (unfortunately) for playoff tickets, the only option is a one time payment for all tickets (16! Like they’ll have home ice advantage IF they make the playoffs then play the full 16, but I digress), will your credit card be reimbursed for the games not played or will they somehow manage to hold onto your money for future games even though there’s no guarantee you’ll get the pack again next season?

    They will keep your money to apply against future ticket purchases unless you write a snail mail and ask for a refund.

    Nice.

  25. doritogrande says:

    You’ve tackled the Plante signing angle well LT. But how do you feel about our NCAA prospects that are coming of age? Riley Nash and Chris VandeVelde are both coming off strong seasons. Do you think we have room to bring one or both of them into the fold?

    I’d be tempted to leave Nash where he is to keep him happy. He hasn’t exactly killed ECAC opposition yet and the jump to the AHL might be a bit much to expect of him at this point.

    VandeVelde however, looks to be ready for the jump. Big centre with faceoff ability is something the prospect system really, really needs.

    Also of note is Petry. I’d rather they kept him in college for his Junior year so the Falcons can focus on developing only one rookie D (Plante) for a change.

  26. Gord says:

    My gut feeling is that MacT is not here to start next season.

    Considering our top six forwards signed for next year have only one over the age of 26, we continue with Hemsky / Horcoff / Penner for tough minutes & Sullivan / Gagner / Nilsson for soft minutes. Kotalik is gone – he was just a rental player that justified a 2nd round draft pick in the hopes he would get us to the playoffs.

    Cogliano's talent continues to be wasted as they train him in his SH role. In the long term, this is a small price to pay. Not sure how the rest of the bottom six unfolds but I suspect Stortini plays a bigger role.

    Roloson only gets a one year deal – nobody is going to sign a 39 year old goalie to a two year deal.

    On defense, my suspicion is that we keep all of Gilbert / Grebeshkov / Souray & Visnovsky on the top four. Smid & Staios round out the top six. Peckham gets broken in slowly & will play when injuries occur or we need his toughness against certain teams.

    Something to note is that Staios's value increases over time in a dropping salary cap era. In 2010 / 2011 he only costs $2.2 million yet has a cap hit of $2.7… There will be teams trying to cut corners who would love that savings as they try to stay near the bottom of the salary cap.

    What you are reading is what I believe; the Oilers top players are young – management will give them another year to mature.

    Of course, if the Oilers do something stupid such as signing a big name rental player (i.e. Jagr), all my salary cap considerations fall apart.

  27. PunjabiOil says:

    Please…no summer talk. There will be long, dreaded summer days to critically analyze and predict what the Oilers will do.

    Right now, we’re in the midst of a playoff push. Let’s focus towards that.

    Kthxbye.

  28. Lowetide says:

    dorito: I think there’s something of a disconnect between the organization and Nash, so wouldn’t be surprised to see him dealt (sort of similar to Carolina and Johnson).

    They keep talking about how much he’s wasting away in Cornell and yet his numbers are improving, the team is advancing to the final 16 and Nash is a big part of it.

    But the Oilers keep talking about him needing to put on weight and how the NCAA season is bad for him (although the Oilers haven’t mentioned it previously that I can recall).

    VVV seems like a much stronger candidate to leave. He’s a big, strong center and has improved in college (lots of guys go backwards or sideways) so might be a candidate.

  29. Schitzo says:

    The thing with Plante is that you have to make him an offer before you can get the compensatory pick.

    It’s new in this CBA. If you just let his rights expire you get nothing.

    So you can lowball him, but Plante should fire his agent if he turns down any contract at this point.

  30. LMHF#1 says:

    Bringing over Mikhnov and actually letting him play would be a beauty move; he was a few power skating lessons on technique away from being effective. I doubt it’ll happen just because it would be so intriguing.

    I’d grab the pick for Plante and trade it myself. A second can be valuable in the summertime.

    Peckham’s gotta be on this squad. He already should be playing ahead of Strudwick.

    Making the playoffs shouldn’t make a difference for the coach. 2 points one way or the other doesn’t mean much in terms of your overall positive or negative impact on the team as a coach. If we go into the first round and lose, it’s just as bad as missing.

    I’m hoping for the miracle of not giving Roloson the chance to repeat 07-08.

    Jagr works, though I’m scared he comes over, gets frustrated and bags it after 10 games.

    Or we could have a legit star, 2 100-point men and a division title…

    Keeping Visnovsky healthy next year would be the biggest thing that could happen. He really helps this team.

  31. spOILer says:

    Jagr won’t be coming here now from the sounds of things. He has stated that he is committed to playing in the KHL next year and that the talks with Lowe this winter were between Lowe and his club on a rental deal for cash payment like we more commonly see in european football.

    Unless the Hitmen have some more good Dmen coming up and unless we cut some of our Dmen in the system, I think Plante will stay for his last year of junior.

    Kytnar will be signed. Omark gets a year in the A unless he astounds at TC.

    The D is the big question. I think it partly depends on whether they move Penner in the off-season, who goes with him and what comes back. Penner’s contract is going to be a tough swallow for a lot of teams unless we’re taking more salary back, like a Malone for example.

    I can’t see Gagne coming here, as much as I would like it. Flyers have no need for a Cogliano and the Flyers will be looking to dump Lupul types, even Briere, before Gagne.

    Roli will be signed. They probably could’ve had him for a 1 yr extension at $1.3M say about end of November, but now he will cost at least $2M, maybe more if they get in and he steals some playoff games or even a series.

    Sorry if the above has been covered by a recent comment. Started this a while back and clients kept walking into my office, the bastards.

  32. spOILer says:

    Mikhnov is Penner without the grit…! Hehe. I have no interest in him at all.

  33. speeds says:

    My guess for an Oilers summer splash, amongst players I haven’t heard mentioned much as possibilities for the Oilers, is Gaborik.

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