This was requested earlier this week (can’t remember who asked for it and can’t find it now, sorry) and it’s probably time we began the process of looking forward.


G-Deslauriers (.625M)
D-Visnovsky (5.6M); Souray (5.4M); Gilbert (4M); Staios (2.7M); Peckham (.585M)
C-Horcoff (5.5M); Gagner (1.625M); Cogliano (1.133M); Pouliot (.825M)
L-Penner (4.25M); O’Sullivan (2.925M); Moreau (2.oM); Steve MacIntyre (.537M); Jacques (.525M)
R-Hemsky (4.1M); Nilsson (2.0M); Pisani (2.5M); Stortini (.700M)

Total Players: 19
Total Cost: 47.53M

RFA’s (guessing the contract)

G-Dubnyk (.700 times 2 years)
D-Grebeshkov (3.4M times 3 years); Smid (1.0M times 3 years)
C-Brodziak (.950M times 2 years)

That would make 23 players and the total dollars would be $53.58M with lots of work left to do, including a starting goalie, a checking center and Jaromir Jagr. I’ve read that the salary cap will be around 56M, is that correct? Also, any errors or omissions please let me know.

Finally, you’re welcome to argue with me about estimated RFA contracts and you could very well be correct. It’s a guess.

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23 Responses to "Ciphering"

  1. Fake Craig McTavish says:


    I also think it’s reasonable to assume there is a handshake deal in place for Jagr.

    What terms do you think might be entqiled?

  2. bookie says:

    I think they are going to try and pull some kind of ‘fast one’ one the league by paying his team in Russia a bunch of cash, who will then give Jagr a small town in Russia or something and then the Oiler’s will pay him league minimum… and Bettman’s lawyers will battle it out with Katz’ lawyers…

    I also think we need to move a D-man!

  3. Lowetide says:

    FCM: I don’t really know, he made 8.3M in his final NHL season (if I have my facts straight) but he’s clearly not making that much at his age and in the cap world.

    Is 4.5M reasonable?

  4. Greg MC says:

    Have to move one or two big contracts to give some flexability to sign free agents.

  5. Schitzo says:

    Bookie – that’s a hell of an interesting idea. What happens if Omsk signs him to a contract structured as $6 million signing bonus, $1 million salary, and then the oilers pay $6.5 million to Omsk to get his rights?

    Jagr has 6 million is in his pocket, and the Oilers can sign him for league minimum…

  6. Mr DeBakey says:

    "I also think we need to move a D-man!"
    That's a fer shur..
    One of the D-guys earning 7 figures must go,
    to be replaced by someone earning a six-digit salary.

    When moving name and dollars around the spreadsheet,
    I've been thinking Jagr one-year at $4.5.

    Of course, I've also been thinkng that Penner, Moreau, Nilsson & O'Sullivan will also be moving.
    Problem is, to where?

  7. HBomb says:

    Have to move one or two big contracts to give some flexability to sign free agents.Moreau and Staios are two that must move no matter what. 4.7 million in dead money.

    If they want to improve at forward, the two obvious and reasonable guys on the hot seat are Penner and Nilsson and their combined 6.2 million cap hit.

    And IF the Bouwmeester rumors are true, one of the big three on the blueline would have to go (I’d send away Souray, but I fear they’ll move Gilbert or Visnovsky first and, in Gilbert’s case, greatly regret it 3 years down the road).

    And if one of the “kids” at forward is a potential chip, I think it’s Cogliano. Gagner may be almost as untouchable as Hemsky at this point.

  8. knighttown says:

    There’s a loophole open for the rich teams at the moment that may never be there again. Just cause Detroit got there first doesn’t mean Edmonton shouldn’t copy, in fact, it probably means they should.

    If Jay-Bo really wants to be in Edmonton, sign him to a 12 year, 65 million dollar deal structured like this:

    1- 9M
    10, 11, 12-1M

    This contract would go till he’s 38 or 39 at a reasonable cap hit of 5.4M. If he sucks at that age (or isn’t worth the cap hit) you buy him out for, what, 2/3rds? Or send him to the minors.

    With the losing culture and the undesirability of the city, the Oilers have one weapon…a rich owner. NOT using it would be irresponsible.

  9. knighttown says:

    And to follow up, a mini-version of the Jay-Bo contract could work for Grebeshkov.

  10. bookie says:

    Jagr is under contract with Omsk for another year I believe. I am thinking that Omsk buy’s out his contract with Katz’ money and that the Oilers simply pay him 1,000,000 or something…

    Yet, I am sure that the league has a pretty foolproof set of controls on these things, something like a ‘this is BS’ clause that essentially says ‘when you do something to buypass the cap, we have the power to penalize you accordingly’. A general phrase of some sort to deal with all of the tricks.

    But I still think the Oilers are looking for a loophole!

  11. Fake Craig McTavish says:


    I don’t know about Jagr’s pride but I expect it hasn’t diminished much unless, as suggested earlier, there is some under the table stuff going on.

    I was thinking $6M and that could be the first huge error in Tambellini’s “Road to Perdition.”

  12. Bruce says:

    LT: One small error which I think is just in the individual’s salary whereas the sum is correct. That would be Patrick O’Sullivan, listed by you at $2.295 MM but whose cap hit is $2.925 MM.

    As for RFA guesses, I don’t think there’s a big chance of snaring Smid for three years at just $1 MM, surely he would only sign for one or two years max at such a rate, a la your Brodziak projection. The Grebs estimate looks pretty reasonable.

  13. Tim Thurmeier says:

    Let’s not forget that the roster size is 23 players and the current list shows exactly that… 23 players. So, for every one you want to bring in to your fantasy roster, you can lose one player on your fantasy roster, leaving you room to fit in more salary. For a second, imagine we lose Staios 2.7M, Penner 4.25M Moreau 2.0 M and Nillson 2.0M That leaves an additional 10.95 M to fund their replacements – not to mention the other 2.5M or so cap room we assume in this article.

    Smid is underpriced a bit in this analysis – I could see 1.5M per for a hit, 2.5M in additional cap room going for the starting goalie. This leaves available funds for the new boys at 10.5M per for the upgrade differential. Some doable action at that, I think….

  14. blackadder says:

    We simply have too many players on long term, exorbitant contracts. I find it hard to imagine any NHL team, especially in this economic climate, taking on the contracts of Souray, Visnovsky, Staois, Penner, Moreau or Nilsson. Tambellini needs to shed salary to overhaul the team, but the only ways I can see them doing it are to give these guys away (a Malakhov style trade for example), to buy out their contracts, or to bury them in the minors.

    The one marketable player we have is probably Tom Gilbert. He could potentially be traded for the scoring winger the team has been searching for. That is, if you believe Smid is ready for top four duty and Peckham can step into the number six slot.

    As for Jagr, Bouwmeester, Hossa or any other high end free agent, barring some sort of miracle (Garth Snow brain freeze perhaps?), I just can’t see it happenning.

  15. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’ve got Grebs at 3.25 and Smid at 1.45

    Souray and one of Staios and Moreau will be out the door, along with Nilsson and Pouliot.

  16. doritogrande says:

    Any particular reason why you’ve got Peckham and Jacques in on this analysis and have left off an RFA Liam Reddox?

  17. Undisclosed Personal Reasons says:

    Knighttown: I really hope the Oilers take advantage of that loophole now. I have a feeling the league will close it ASAP.

    I would like to see us take a run at Krejci or Kessel, they’re both RFA and looking at the Bruins roster I’m not sure they can keep both. Kessel is the better of the two but maybe the strategy in making an offer is to force Boston’s hand on Krejci and then offer Kessel a contract with a structure that exploits the loophole Knighttown mentioned. It’s a gamble, for sure, but Kessel is pedigree.

  18. pboy says:

    O’Sullivan is one player that I really want back next season. He does this really weird thing called “shooting the puck on the opposing net” and the Oilers don’t have all that many players who know how to do this. He hasn’t realized yet that if he was a part of 5 way passing play, the Oiler’s are automatically awarded a free goal, so he chooses to put the puck on the net and tries to score that way. I think he was pretty snakebiten during his brief run last year but I look for 20-30 goals out of him next year.

  19. NBOilerFan says:

    Thanks Lowetide, though I was also hoping you’d offer your take on what Tambellini will/should do. Perhaps you still will in time.

    One of the main reasons I visit here so frequently is that there is such good discussions, information and Oiler (and general hockey)knowledge. And the main reason why HF visits are so few and far between now.

    This and a handful of other blogs provide me with so much thoughful insight, it would take months to find it on HF between the drivel.

    And you guys are much more intelligent in this regard then I. I mostly am a spectator on these blogs reading everything and rarely posting because I rarely if ever have any real insight or thought provoking comments dispite the fact that I’ve been a diehard Oiler fan since 84′. You guys do a fine job of covering everything.

    I leave it up to you all and having this blogs just makes my hockey season (and off-season)that much more enjoyable. The sly humour and occasional riffs are just icing on the cake.

    Plus I’m learning alot.

  20. Gord says:

    Since I do not see his name – you decided Kotalik will no longer be playing for the Oilers?

    I thought that with his size & scoring ability, he would be under serious consideration…

  21. geowal says:

    We simply have too many players on long term, exorbitant contracts. I find it hard to imagine any NHL team, especially in this economic climate, taking on the contracts of Souray, Visnovsky, Staois, Penner, Moreau or Nilsson.

    I don’t think Nilsson’s contract belongs on this list. While he had a less than stellar season, 2 more years at 2 mil isn’t too bad. He still has “potential” to outperform given the right situation, unlike the others on that list.
    If we unload him, I would expect(hope) it is not just a salary dump but that we get something equitable in return.
    Teams like Atlanta or Tampa may have use for a player like Nilsson and be willing to throw back a checker or okay pick in return.

  22. St George says:

    Lowetide, I thnk I made a comment some weeks back (around the time of the Franzen deal) that there was a way to work around the salary cap using long-tern contracts.

    Yesterday, “Spector” laid this out in his blog in a fairly articulate (but lengthy) fashion:

    Essentially, you can pay the player the big number they want now but **reduce the cap hit significantly** by adding a bunch of cheap years on the back end of the contract. The only limit is what the NHL feels is a “believable” lifespan for the player’s career. Is Franzen likley to play the whole thing out? No. The CBA, according to “Spector”, allows a few possible:

    “Teams however do have other options. With the contract heavily weighted at the front end a buyout (following the formula provided by NHLSCAP) to buy out the final years of the deal at two-thirds the remaining value spread over twice the remaining tenure.

    If the player’s contract took effect prior to his 35th birthday he could retire in the final years of the contract without the dollars counting against the cap.

    The player could also be demoted to the minors (provided he lacks a “no-movement” clause) or loaned out to Europe in order to gain cap relief.”

    So a team with money (like Detroit) can sign a bunch of these things, and even if they have to buy out the final few years of a contract like Franzen’s, the cost is insignificant (i.e. in Franzen’s final four years, it is 2/3rds of $6 million, which isn’t much to a team that could regularly outspend most other teams).

    I think this is important to think about, because I think it will significantly impact how free agents are signed and valued over the next few years by financially well-off teams (unless the CBA is changed). Teams that have cash problems can’t do this, obviously.

    So sign Jay B to a 14-year contract where you pay him the moon for the first 7 years, you pay him $1 million for the next 7, and you have effectively worked around immediate cap problems and structured a deal either side could happily walk away from 7 years from now.

  23. CM says:

    “So sign Jay B to a 14-year contract where you pay him the moon for the
    first 7 years, you pay him $1 million for the next 7, and you have
    effectively worked around immediate cap problems and structured a deal
    either side could happily walk away from 7 years from now.”

    There is a clause in the CBA which states that you can not pay player
    less than half his salary of the previous year on a multi year contract.
    i.e. if a player makes 10M/Yr in the first 5 years he has to make at
    least 5M in the 6th year and 2.5 in the 7th and so on.

    I would suggest a 15 year deal for bouwmeester at 87M = 5.8M/yr cap hit.
    10 10 10 10 10 9 8 6 4 4 2 1 1 1 1 J-Bo would be 40 at the end of the
    deal same as franzen…

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