Ciphering 2009

The Oilers are going to need some help in terms of “value contracts” this coming season. With the organization seemingly obsessed with tracking down another big name it becomes imperative to have at least 6 good value contracts.

There is a very small window of opportunity for these Oilers. The two first rounders from the middle of the decade (Gagner, Cogliano) have one more season at entry level prices and there are a few more among the group who might offer value that exceeds their cap number.

As we get ready for the madness that is the Oilers in summer, here’s the list with cap number from nhlnumbers.com. Media members please add one million to Shawn Horcoff’s total. Why stop now?

Forwards
  1. Shawn Horcoff 5.5
  2. Dustin Penner 4.25
  3. Ales Hemsky 4.1
  4. Patrick O’Sullivan 2.925
  5. Fernando Pisani 2.5
  6. Robert Nilsson 2.0
  7. Ethan Moreau 2.0
  8. Sam Gagner .875
  9. Andrew Cogliano .850
  10. Marc Pouliot .825
  11. Zack Stortini .700
  12. Steve MacIntyre .537
  13. JF Jacques .525

That’s 27,587,000 for 13 players. Kyle Brodziak (who’ll probably be around 1M), Liam Reddox, Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp and Tim Sestito are listed as RFA by nhl numbers. Other minor leaguers who might be in the conversation at some point are Ryan Potulny, Ryan Stone, Tyler Spurgeon and junior star Jordan Eberle might get a shot in the fall.

Defense
  1. Lubomir Visnovsky 5.6
  2. Sheldon Souray 5.4
  3. Tom Gilbert 4
  4. Denis Grebeshkov 3.25-est
  5. Steve Staios 2.7
  6. Theo Peckham .560

That’s 21,510,000 for 6 players. Too damn much. Ladislav Smid is RFA (cap hit .886 last season) and should come in reasonably this summer. The Oilers may sign a Jason Strudwick type to round out the group at a number well shy of 1M.

Goaltenders

  1. Jeff Deslauriers .625

This position is wide open. The Oilers are apparently talking to Dwayne Roloson and reading the tea leaves it might be something like one-year, 4M.

So, the current cap hit for 20 players (I’m including Grebeshkov because we have the number surrounded) is 49,722,000. Add Roloson’s 4M and we’re at just shy of 54M. It was 56.7M this past season and the NHL said at the end of May it could drop by 2.5M (although the nhlpa has other thoughts).

Any corrections, please let me know. Any new info re: cap, please pass along. These things aside, Kevin Lowe didn’t leave much wiggle room. The Oilers trade a big number in the next 2 weeks. My guess would be one of Souray, Visnovsky or Penner, plus another player or two. Stay close to the Al Gore.

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