Perfect

It’s really all about presentation. The Edmonton Oilers have spent to the cap without ever once worrying about balance, but the bottom line is the masses are excited about the future.

And why not? There’s an owner who spends to the cap, who hasn’t threatened us once about a new arena (where IS Kevin Lowe these days?), who seems completely happy spending several seasons outside the playoffs to begin his regime.

I think this summer has been about running in place, about picking spots and trying to improve with “names” from the free agent and trade piles but always knowing the fallback was this large group of kids trying to find their way.

A lot of what we’ve been talking about since summer 2006 is potential: Matt Greene, Ladislav Smid, Marc Pouliot, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Patrick Thoresen and on and on. This fall, we’ll be talking about Peckham and Brule, with Eberle possible and even a Schremp sighting within the realm of possibility.

Here’s a quick depth chart with cap numbers.

GOALIES
  1. Khabibulin 3.75
  2. JDD .625

DEFENSE

  1. Viznovsky 5.6
  2. Souray 5.4
  3. Gilbert 4.0
  4. Staios 2.7
  5. Grebeshkov 3.15
  6. Smid 1.35
  7. Strudwick .700

CENTER

  1. Horcoff 5.5
  2. Gagner .875
  3. Pouliot .825
  4. Cogliano .875
  5. Brule .800

LEFT WING

  1. Penner 4.25
  2. O’Sullivan 2.925
  3. Moreau 2.0
  4. Jacques .525
  5. MacIntyre .537

RIGHT WING

  1. Hemsky 4.1
  2. Nilsson 2.0
  3. Pisani 2.5
  4. Stortini .7

That’s 23 players making $55,687,000 according to my numbers. Cap is $56,800,000 which means the Oilers have $1,113,000 in cap room. I imagine that’ll be kept for the deadline deals, and of course there’s still a good possibility there will be some moves/invites that could impact the final roster and cap number.

Also, they probably need to have some room just in case there are cap surprises (say Dubynk wins the backup job, he makes $700,000 cap).

There’s talk (Matheson again) about Smid being able to play top 4D soon, and that makes sense if we’re going to believe the plan is to sign Grebeshkov long term next summer and offload one of the big contracts sometime in the next 12 months. Other considerations are dealing people like Pisani, Moreau, Souray and Staios at the deadline should the season go poorly. We should listen very closely to everything Pat Quinn says from here on out.

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