OILERS SCORE IN FREE AGENCY

The Edmonton Oilers have had success so far in this year’s free agent window, with two quality players choosing them and the club deciding to go with what they know in the 3G and enforcer slots.

Before the weekend began I suggested 9 names that Edmonton might look at, and the club signed the #1 and #4 players on the list. The remaining names would be exceptional additions–Ryan Suter, Daniel Winnik–but GM Steve Tambellini has suggested the club will look to the trade market over the next few days.

I hope the club called Ryan Suter to see if there was a level of interest and also hope they are pursuing him if there’s an opportunity. That said, the additions so far have addressed need and represent a reasonable solution to roster problems real or imagined:

  • Justin Schultz is a Godsend, a defenseman whose age and development are a perfect match for the Hall cluster. Music!
  • Ryan Smyth keeps  mailing himself to Edmonton, this time with a very friendly contract. I wouldn’t bet against one more after this one, but we finally seem to have closure on the question of where he’ll end his career.
  • Yann Danis is a solid choice for 3G and came at a dear price (he’ll make about triple his AHL salary of one year ago). I’m just so pleased the organization is bringing reasonable thinking to these seemingly minute decisions that can have an enormous impact later on. This signing–and the way they structured the contract–is a clear tell they realize the Khabibulin concern.
  • Darcy Hordichuk was the most controversial signing on the day, but for me it is a good fit. I’m not a fan of adding an end of the roster player for the enforcer role, but the club feels a need to have a deterrent on the bench and Hordichuk’s skill (he can take a pass and make one) and his ability to avoid being a penalty sink hole make him a wise move in this specialized area of the game.

Some free agent years leave Oiler fans in a bad place. Thoughts of flying to Hawaii and crying themselves to sleep flash through their minds–and I’ll admit to that feeling yesterday when there were rumors flying around about Hemsky headed to the Jackets at the same moment we were hearing Marc Methot was coming from Columbus.

I have to say that this summer has been satisfying. Yakupov at the draft along with a couple of Lucic bets, a long tall Russian winger with skill and three college kids; Justin Schultz as the bridge between the draft, free agency and a major addition to the central cluster; and the return of Smyth, Danis and Hordichuk who in different ways contribute to the roster’s success.

What will day 2 bring? It could be Hemsky’s final day as an Oiler, or maybe they sign a free agent or two (Suter and Winnik please) or it might mean that long awaited trade that sends away two or three players and brings in a top quality player.

There’s growing confidence in the management team. What will they bring us next?

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

241 Responses to "OILERS SCORE IN FREE AGENCY"

« Older Comments
  1. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    Cochrane to EDM in under 3hrs.

    Dude, I would have bought you a beer if I had known you were here.

  2. Traktor says:

    striatic:
    would Burke?

    I could see Burke being interested in Jones and because Kulemin wants to be paid for his 2010/2011 season I can see Burke willing to deal him but we would need to add.

  3. striatic says:

    godot10,

    true, but are the Oil’s *2nd* line wingers better than Winnik .. ; ]

  4. striatic says:

    Traktor,

    so Jones + a pick for Kulemin.

  5. Gret99zky says:

    Lowetide,

    Did you make it to Millenium Place the last few days? Thoughts?

  6. Traktor says:

    stevezie:
    Jones’ numbers make it seem fair, but since the guy can’t even gain any traction here I’m not too confident in his valuable reputation around the league.

    Glencross and Brodziak weren’t valued by the same crowd that hates on Jones. I’m sure at least a few NHL teams are smarter than that even if Edmonton isn’t one of them.

    He has value.

  7. spoiler says:

    speeds: I like the idea of Hall playing C, because playing C he’ll be around the puck more and in a couple of years as he adds strength I think he’ll be willing more than his share of puck battles.

    With his speed he can catch up to the rush better than most/nearly all players.

    If he proves to be incapable of playing C well enough to justify moving him from LW, then fine, move him back.

    I also don’t really buy the Jokinen argument, because if Hall works out at C I think you’d have an easier time finding a LW via UFA in a year or two than a C via UFA.

    Speeds,

    Admittedly, I’d have to reserve judgement till I saw how it looked, but thus far to my eye, Hall looks like a natural born winger. And thus far, all his coaches have agreed.

    I’m also not sure he has the vision for the position, although he could be more of a shooting centre like Jokinen.

  8. godot10 says:

    striatic:
    godot10,

    true, but are the Oil’s *2nd* line wingers better than Winnik .. ; ]

    Yep…Yakupov is better than Winnik, and some combination of Paajarvi and Hartikainen is better also. Renney was clueless, which is why he will be bantering with Duthie this winter.

    In the two OKC-Marlie playoff games I saw, Hartikainen and Paajarvi were the best forwards on the ice, and Frattin was playing for the Marlies.

  9. jonrmcleod says:

    Ducey,

    That was good. Actually LOLed.

  10. Thinker says:

    Wish the flames still played in atlanta. Perfect team to milk with a ridiculous trade.
    Iginla for omark and martindale? Idiots.

  11. striatic says:

    CAPGEEK.COM USER GENERATED ROSTER
    My Custom Lineup
    FORWARDS
    Taylor Hall ($3.750m) / Ryan N.-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Jordan Eberle ($1.158m)
    Nikolai Kulemin ($2.250m) / Sam Gagner ($3.775m) / Nail Yakupov ($3.800m)
    Ryan Smyth ($2.250m) / Shawn Horcoff ($5.500m) / Ales Hemsky ($5.000m)
    Ben Eager ($1.100m) / Eric Belanger ($1.750m) / Lennart Petrell ($0.825m)
    Darcy Hordichuk ($0.850m) /
    DEFENSEMEN
    Matt Carle ($5.000m) / Jeff Petry ($2.000m)
    Ladislav Smid ($2.250m) / Justin Schultz ($3.775m)
    Ryan Whitney ($4.000m) / Nick Schultz ($3.500m)
    Andy Sutton ($1.750m) /
    GOALTENDERS
    Nikolai Khabibulin ($3.750m)
    Devan Dubnyk ($2.000m)
    BUYOUTS
    Sheldon Souray ($1.500m)
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $70,200,000; CAP PAYROLL: $65,308,333; BONUSES: $9,112,500
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $4,891,667

    i can see more clearly now why the Oilers aren’t buying and are waiting to trade.

    the above roster represents a Kulemin/Jones swap, re-signing Gagner, Petry, Dubnyk and picking up Carle as a 5m UFA, putting the team into Cap Hell when Eberle and Hall need their raise.

    basically the Oilers can’t afford to be buyers right now.

  12. Kris11 says:

    “Glencross and Brodziak weren’t valued by the same crowd that hates on Jones.”

    Can you name someone in this crowd? WG, MC79, LT, and lots of other didn’t like Jones because of his poor wOWY, and Corsi, and by eye he can’t play in his zone and falls down a lot. (That negativity has softened a bit do to Jones improvement as a PK’er)

    But I seem to remember these same folks liked Brodziak and GlenX. The consensus on these latter 2 players, if I remmeber, is that they were solid 4th line options that could”ve been replaced reasonably easily, but management did not replace them, and we have had shit in the bottom 6 for a long time, especially “Zorg.”

    There was a debate about how good the GlenX-Brodz-Zorg line was. Some of their results were luck, But no one denied that anyone from that line but Zorg was a good player to keep on the roster.

    Correct me, anyone, if I’m wrong.

  13. Lowetide says:

    They can do a few things though. Carle can be signed because Sutton and Whitney come off the books and Smid could too although they’ll want to re-sign him.

    and with Winnik, he gives the team a chance to run a Horc-Smyth-Winnik designated hard match line something they don’t have with Jones.

  14. Kris11 says:

    Striatic,

    Can you get Kulemin in at 2.25MM?

  15. Woodguy says:

    stevezie,

    I think trading Hemsky is improbable.

    Lowe and MacTavish know what he is.

    That’s why everyone is calling about him.

    He’s not playing with Horcoff either.

    I’d wager Hall-Gagner (or substitute if 89 is traded) – Hemsky, is a line coming out of TC.

  16. Kris11 says:

    To Brodz and GlenX’s crcdit, they have improved as players, too. (Not so much Zorg. Jones still gives away alot at ES, but can score and PK and is thus a league-average 4th line guy.)

    There was no reason to deal Brodziak. GlenX left because Lowe went blind while whale hunting. Brodziak was a home grown prospect. moved for nothing. He has always had a ceiling, but there’s no reason to move a kid like that for beans.

  17. Gret99zky says:

    If Kyle Bigos can learn the double fist in the solar plexus without losing position, we may have a deterrent.

  18. striatic says:

    Kris11,

    probably not. maybe 2.5 to 3? his current cap hit is 2.3 and he’s coming off a poor season, worse than the one that got him his 2.3 but you’re probably right that’d it’d take more dough.

    i think the Oilers could feel comfortable going to arbitration though, if it came to that.

  19. Kris11 says:

    What are the odds that Whitney gains most of his form? I think that’s a huge question to answer before signing more UFA’s or trades.

  20. uni says:

    striatic,

    Only if he receives massive brain damage. Kulemin would cost a lot.

  21. striatic says:

    Lowetide:
    They can do a few things though. Carle can be signed because Sutton and Whitney come off the books and Smid could too although they’ll want to re-sign him.

    Smid will need a raise, which will eat heavily into the savings from losing Whitney and Sutton.

    Carle would create cap complications no doubt.

    i like Carle a lot and wish there was a way to make it work clean but i just don’t think there is.

  22. franksterra says:

    Jones, Anaheim 2nd rounder 2013, D prospect other than Klefbom for Kulemin?

  23. striatic says:

    uni,

    Kulemin’s points are on average lower than Glencross when he signed his contract, which is a 2.5m cap hit.

    i’m not sure how one would justify taking Kulemin higher than 3m in arbitration, given a comparable like that.

  24. Halfwise says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    I don’t pretend to know what was actually on the minds of Oiler Management. I am just noting the actions they took, and writing a narrative that might explain them as part of an arc of strategy as opposed to a hopscotch of unrelated events.

    Glass half full? The Tambellini = pinata meme wears on me, I have to say. Blogs like this one can be a service to the Oilers but not if half the postings sound like those Grade 7 punks on that school bus last month. Lowetide is the most dignified of the three that I read regularly.

    The Gilbert trade would have been useful in pursuing any UFA, not just for a rifle shot at JS. TG’s absence from the depth chart would have made it easier to pitch JS, and the potential availability of JS would have made it easier to justify trading Tom Gilbert. Compelling? Not at all. Trading him away just to make it easier to replace him with a younger version doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    Nonetheless as a pursuit strategy, I would be out there telling JS that we moved TG out within a plan to strengthen our club, and that our considerations included believing that JS was coming available and believing that we had the best opportunity for JS. Hard for anyone to claim that TG > NS + JS.

    The big-picture part that irks is the notion that a poor product was put on the ice by design, while rubes like me still paid full price for tickets. I grudgingly admire Katz for his ability to read the market, at my expense. In our family, going to Oiler games has been part of the Edmonton lifestyle since WHA days and the price per game just means we spread our tickets across more people, and attend fewer games per year.

  25. stevezie says:

    franksterra,

    I’d call that an overpay, unless Kulemin deserves Selke consideration and I’m one of the thousands who doesn’t know that yet.

    I’d like to see Jones (or even better, Eager) upgraded, but not just given away. I’d also rather trade for a guy with an expiring deal than a guy who needs a new one.

    Smid is a defencive defenceman with little scoring, those guys are valuable but they don’t typically break your bank. Won’t Sutton’s savings cover most of that?

  26. striatic says:

    stevezie:

    Smid is a defencive defenceman with little scoring, those guys are valuable but they don’t typically break your bank. Won’t Sutton’s savings cover most of that?

    Bryan Allen got 3.5m this year, Beauchemin has a 3.5 as well. Josh Gorges, probably the best comparable, got 3.9m

    best to assume Smid will be around 4m to re-up.

  27. DSF says:

    PDO: Of course they trade away Bouwmeester and suddenly have a below average defense.

    Talking out of both sides of your mouth again I see.

    Hudler is a midget forward that’s poor defensively and despite playing 70% of his ice time with Zetterberg, having a career year in shooting % (19.3), the second highest on ice shooting % among Wings forwards at 5v5 and the highest on ice shooting % among Wing forwards at 5v4… put up a whopping 3 more points than Gagner.

    The Flame’s just spent $16,000,000 on a poor mans Gagner.

    Well, I’m not quite sure how you know what Feaster will get in return if he trades Jaybo, so we’ll leave that alone for now but lets’ take a look at your “poor Man’s Gagner comment.

    Gagner:

    QC – 8th among forwards.

    QT – 5th

    Off Zone Start – 54.1

    GFON/60 – 2.74

    GAON/60 – 2.24

    ONSV% – .923

    Hudler :

    QC – 6th

    QT – 6th

    Off Zone Start – 55.1 (6th All Detroit forwards had a zone start above 50 percent, fancy that.)

    GFON/60 – 3.56

    GAON/60 – 2.56

    ONSV% – .910

    So, last season, Hudler played tougher competition and had a much better goal differential despite Gagner having a significantly better ONSV%.

    In terms of career numbers:

    Gagner:

    PPG – .60

    GPG – .21

    Hudler:

    PPG – .52

    GPG – .31.

    While Gagner has an edge in points, Hudler has a significant edge in goal scoring which I’m sure you will agree has more value.

    Looks to me like Feaster signed a “rich man’s Gagner”.

    While there is certainly time for Gagner to improve, calling Hudler a “poor man’s Gagner” doesn’t wash.

    Interesting that Gagner’s contract hasn’t been extended yet…curious to see if you call it an overpay if he gets anywhere near $4M.

  28. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: Dude, I would have bought you a beer if I had known you were here.

    Was busy at a family reunion. 150 people who are directly related to the 9 kids my great grandparents had, was still only 65% attendance.

    Next time I’ll give you a heads up.

    Eating some McKay’s Maple Walnut ice cream right now. Real cream. Love it.

  29. Woodguy says:

    DSF,

    If those numbers are a rich man’s Gagner, I don’t think you’re retired yet, despite living on the island of those with nothing to do in the afternoon.

  30. PDO says:

    DSF: Well, I’m not quite sure how you know what Feaster will get in return if he trades Jaybo, so we’ll leave that alone for now but lets’ take a look at your “poor Man’s Gagner comment.

    Gagner:

    QC – 8th among forwards.

    QT – 5th

    Off Zone Start – 54.1

    GFON/60 – 2.74

    GAON/60 – 2.24

    ONSV% – .923

    Hudler :

    QC – 6th

    QT – 6th

    Off Zone Start – 55.1 (6th All Detroit forwards had a zone start above 50 percent, fancy that.)

    GFON/60 – 3.56

    GAON/60 – 2.56

    ONSV% – .910

    So, last season, Hudler played tougher competition and had a much better goal differential despite Gagner having a significantly better ONSV%.

    In terms of career numbers:

    Gagner:

    PPG – .60

    GPG – .21

    Hudler:

    PPG – .52

    GPG – .31.

    While Gagner has an edge in points, Hudler has a significant edge in goal scoring which I’m sure you will agree has more value.

    Looks to me like Feaster signed a “rich man’s Gagner”.

    While there is certainly time for Gagner to improve, calling Hudler a “poor man’s Gagner” doesn’t wash.

    Interesting that Gagner’s contract hasn’t been extended yet…curious to see if you call it an overpay if he gets anywhere near $4M.

    So… I bring up the ridiculous shooting %’s he has tailing him around, and you counter with GF totals.

    Never change DSF.

  31. DSF says:

    Guess you were sleeping earlier when that was discussed.

    Hudler scored 23 goals in 08/09 with a reasonable shooting percentage.

    Gagner has never scored 20.

    You can pull one outlier out of your butt to try and pump Gagner’s tires but in 5 seasons in the NHL, Hudler has scored substantially more goals (87) than Gagner (77).

    Of course he’s a poor man’s Hudler. :)

  32. PDO says:

    87 goals to 77 goals.

    in 5 seasons.

    2 goals a season.

    Earth shattering difference.

  33. DSF says:

    PDO:
    87 goals to 77 goals.

    in 5 seasons.

    2 goals a season.

    Earth shattering difference.

    So, what you’re saying is Hudler is NOT a “poor man’s Gagner”?

  34. PDO says:

    Their goals per game is actually identical.

    Yup, much better goal scorer.

  35. PDO says:

    DSF: So, what you’re saying is Hudler is NOT a “poor man’s Gagner”?

    I’m saying Hudler played with Zetterberg for 70% of his shifts and had huge %’s following him around to get the same results Gagner got offensively.

    Gagner didn’t have those percentages, nor did he have anywhere near Zetterberg’s capability on his line.

    Gagner is a better player, has a better future, and also isn’t known to have work ethic issues that have seen him sent back to the KHL with a strict note of get your shit together or get out.

    Detroit also had no issue letting Hudler walk.

  36. PDO says:

    Gagner is 22 years old.

    Hudler is 28 years old.

    Even if we said they’re even; calling Hudler a lesser version is pretty fair considering Sam is the player Hudler is with 6 less years experience.

    When Hudler was 22 years old, he had a total of 4 NHL games under his belt. When he was 23, he had 15 Goals, 10 apples in 76 games.

    Gagner has been worlds better than Hudler at every step of their careers year-to-year, I fail to see any reason that changes.

  37. Maverick says:

    PDO:
    Gagner is 22 years old.

    Hudler is 28 years old.

    Even if we said they’re even; calling Hudler a lesser version is pretty fair considering Sam is the player Hudler is with 6 less years experience.

    When Hudler was 22 years old, he had a total of 4 NHL games under his belt.When he was 23, he had 15 Goals, 10 apples in 76 games.

    Gagner has been worlds better than Hudler at every step of their careers year-to-year, I fail to see any reason that changes.

    Just a quick side note to Gagner. Before the draft on June 15th, Lowetide had a blog titled Justin Schultz and at that time we discussed the idea of Gagner`s contract being around the $4million for 4 years. It seemed like it was high to some people but after the recent signings, I think that number is not that far off. If so, I like Gagner but at $4Million a season, no thanks, I would rather trade him for a defenseman than tie up $4million on Gagner.
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/06/justin-schultz.html

  38. Cactus says:

    spoiler: Speeds,

    Admittedly, I’d have to reserve judgement till I saw how it looked, but thus far to my eye, Hall looks like a natural born winger. And thus far, all his coaches have agreed.

    I’m also not sure he has the vision for the position, although he could be more of a shooting centre like Jokinen.

    While I also agree with Spoiler that Hall is better at LW, my bigger issue is the following:

    Hall-Gagner-???

    is better than

    Hartikainen-Hall-???

    Gagner didn’t look so hot on the RW, so I’m assuming that he’s either our 2nd line centre or he’s gone. Unless there’s a plan to get a better LW in all the wheeling and dealing, Hall to C is a total waste of time and a misappropriation of talent.

  39. DSF says:

    PDO:
    Gagner is 22 years old.

    Hudler is 28 years old.

    Even if we said they’re even; calling Hudler a lesser version is pretty fair considering Sam is the player Hudler is with 6 less years experience.

    When Hudler was 22 years old, he had a total of 4 NHL games under his belt.When he was 23, he had 15 Goals, 10 apples in 76 games.

    Gagner has been worlds better than Hudler at every step of their careers year-to-year, I fail to see any reason that changes.

    I knew it wouldn’t be long before you played the age card.

    Let’s be honest. Despite an incremental increase in his defensive capabilities, Gagner has one year’s experience five times.

    Trotting out Hudler’s early year’s when you know full well that Detroit doesn’t throw its rookies into the deep end is a huge red herring.

    Hudler was a prolific scorer in the AHL recording a 36 goal 96 point season when he was 21.

    Since graduation he was stuck behind Zetterburg, Datsyuk and Filpulla at centre. ( you know he’s a natural centre, right?)

    With Jokinen gone, he’ll get much more opportunity to play top 6 minutes with some very gifted wingers and I would think more PP time.

    I would be happy to entertain a bet of $100.00 to the LT Beer Fund that Hudler outscores Gagner next season despite being a”poor man’s” version.

    What do you say?

  40. DSF says:

    PDO:
    Their goals per game is actually identical.

    Yup, much better goal scorer.

    P.S.

    Which player in the NHL scored the highest number of ES goals last season?

    Claude Giroux or Jiri Hudler?

    Gagner scored 12.

  41. Kagato says:

    DSF: P.S.

    Which player in the NHL scored the highest number of ES goals last season?

    Claude Giroux or Jiri Hudler?

    Gagner scored 12.

    Does this make Hudler a poor man’s Claude Giroux? Obviously goals are more important than assists so I think this is what you are saying… :P

    Gagner has outscored Hudler in significantly less games. Hudler has had the benefit of playing with all star talent all these years.

    Barring significant injury to Gagner, I think he will outscore Hudler so I’ll put my money where my mouth is and take you up on that bet, DSF!

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca