IN OKLAHOMA USA (WITH SHIRLEY JONES AND GORDON MACRAE)

The Edmonton Oilers signed rugged center Travis Ewanyk to an entry level deal. Ewanyk’s signing is the fourth from the 2011 Entry draft for the club, as he joins RNH, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil as bona fide pro players.

Ewanyk is a good fighter and a very physical player. Edmonton may see him in a depth (4line) role as an enforcer type who can handle a regular shift, he centered the club’s shutdown line this season and clearly the Oilers like what they’ve seen.

The issue for Ewanyk will be offense–is there enough? Desjardins NHLE suggests we’re looking at a marginal offensive player:

DESJARDINS’ NHLE

  • 82, 3-7-10

There are a couple of things this signing signals: first, the club is going to turn over a lot of players year-over-year from their 50-man list. Second, it’s very likely the club will pass on signing a few 2011 selections and allowing them to re-enter the draft.

OILERS 2013-14 50-MAN LIST WITH RFA’S

  1. Taylor Hall
  2. Jordan Eberle
  3. Shawn Horcoff
  4. Ales Hemsky
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  6. Justin Schultz
  7. Nail Yakupov
  8. Devan Dubnyk
  9. Nick Schultz
  10. Ryan Smyth
  11. Eric Belanger
  12. Jeff Petry
  13. Corey Potter
  14. Mike Brown (end of “roster” reserve list)
  15. Oscar Klefbom
  16. Ben Eager
  17. David Musil
  18. Tyler Pitlick
  19. Curtis Hamilton
  20. Anton Lander
  21. Ryan Martindale
  22. Martin Marincin
  23. Toni Rajala
  24. Olivier Roy
  25. Tyler Bunz
  26. Brandon Davidson
  27. Cameron Abney
  28. Kristians Pelss
  29. Travis Ewanyk (end of “non-roster” reserve list)
  30. Colten Teubert
  31. Phil Cornet
  32. Teemu Hartikainen
  33. Magnus Paajarvi
  34. Taylor Fedun
  35. Mark Arcobello
  36. Niko Hovinen
  37. Antti Tyrvainen
  38. Theo Peckham
  39. Sam Gagner
  40. Alex Plante (end of “rfa” reserve list)

This leaves 10 players to be added to the list before the club has to offload a player. Now, they can buyout a player, choose to non-tender an rfa (a likely route based on the number crunch) or trade players, send players back to Europe or a player may choose to retire (and in some cases with a helping hand). Here are the free agents and possible additions via signing of drafted players:

  1. Ladislav Smid
  2. Ryan Whitney
  3. Mark Fistric
  4. Andy Sutton
  5. Nikolai Khabibulin
  6. Ryan Jones
  7. Lennart Petrell (end of “roster” UFA list)
  8. Darcy Hordichuk
  9. Yann Danis
  10. Chris VandeVelde
  11. Tanner House
  12. Dane Byers (end of “non-roster” UFA list)
  13. Kyle Bigos
  14. Kellen Jones
  15. Samu Perhonen
  16. Dillon Simpson
  17. Tobias Rieder
  18. Martin Gernat
  19. Frans Tuohimaa
  20. Mitchell Moroz
  21. Jujhar Khaira
  22. Daniil Zharkov
  23. Erik Gustafsson
  24. Joey Laleggia
  25. John McCarron (end of “drafted” list)

As well, the Oilers will no doubt want to make room for NHL free agents, minor league free agents and college free agents over the spring and summer. I think there are several rfa contracts Edmonton may choose to walk from (Hovinen, Plante, Tyrvainen) which would leave them at 37 contracts. Let’s see if we can fill in the blanks from there:

  • #38: Ladislav Smid
  • #39: Mark Fistric
  • #40: Ryan Jones
  • #41: Lennart Petrell
  • #41: NHL calibre backup goaltender
  • #42: Kyle Bigos
  • #43: Tobias Rieder
  • #44: Martin Gernat
  • #45: AHL regular #1
  • #46: AHL regular #2

Leaving the club 4 spots for free agents, college free agents and to add via other means. I think there’s a chance things will be even tighter because of the exceptional season being put in by Dillon Simpson and that may impact who gets signed from the 2011 entry draft.

Among those unlikely to get signed from the 2011 entry draft (my list is only Perhonen and Tuohimaa), there’s a chance the club signs one of them (perhaps Tuohimaa) which further complicates things.

SOLUTIONS

There are a few:

  • A 3-for-1 trade that moves quantity off the list in exchange for quality.
  • Deadline trades that send away veterans for picks and prospects (again).
  • The organization cutting to the bone in terms of culling the herd.

 

The Oilers 2011 draft is now 4 (signed) players deep, and if the Oilers are signing Ewanyk I’m fairly confident contracts for Martin Gernat, Tobias Rieder and Dillon Simpson will arrive in time. That would mean 7 players from the 2011 draft–added to the 8 from 2010′s draft–for a total of 15 (or 30% of the Oilers 50 man list).

That group of 15 includes outstanding talents like Taylor Hall and the Nuge, but there are some signed contracts that are going to need to go away. Simpson, Khaira and Moroz are on their way.

Best of luck to Travis Ewanyk, I’ll be cheering like hell for you young man.

In Oklahoma U.S.A. with Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae

The Barons are in action tonight, a playoff spot is in their reach but wins are hard to come by and o so dear. We might see Anton Lander on the red eye after tonight’s game, sounds like the Nuge’s flu is the kind that hangs around. Hope he doesn’t have Poo’s mono.

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44 Responses to "IN OKLAHOMA USA (WITH SHIRLEY JONES AND GORDON MACRAE)"

  1. Halfwise says:

    Mrs. Partridge used to be hot. Who knew?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Stretch (Deck, Green) tied at 1

  3. bluenotenorth says:

    One more solution – buyout, as in Belanger and perhaps Smyth.

  4. sliderule says:

    At the oiler development camp Moroz and Khaira looked overwhelmed.

    Zharkov looked good and played with confidence.He then played well and got more ice than I thought he would at WJC .His boxes ate better than the other two and unless he shits the bed next year the oil will sign him.

    Ewanyk signing doesn’t make sense for me.He just doesn’t have the body build to dish out hits without getting injured..

    Good for him tho as he will get a few bucks.

  5. VanOil says:

    Good news Calgary is losing 5-1 Bad news we are chasing Columbus. Calgary seems to be in a Oiler like death spiral right now.

  6. spoiler says:

    Best of luck to the Calgary Flames this season.

    Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

  7. Hayek says:

    I just don’t get why this spot couldn’t be filled by some proven veteran. Why do you attempt to develop players with only 4th line career potential.

  8. fuzzy muppet says:

    sliderule,

    Ewanyk signing spells the end of the VDV era

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=42147

    Ralphie after the skate today
    -Nuge is very doubtful for tomorrow
    -Belanger appears to be ready to go tomorrow

  10. Captain Happy says:

    Beware the Blue Jackets.

    Hardest working team in hockey.

    They finally found a goaltender and have just a ton of goods things on the horizon.

    Their young core will soon be augmented by:

    Boone Jenner

    Ryan Murray

    David Savard

    And 3 1st round picks in the coming draft.

  11. bookje says:

    Could you elaborate on this 3 for 1 trade idea? I haven’t seen that suggested before and I was wondering how such a thing might work.

  12. Hayek says:

    Oh, don’t refer to Robin Brownlee a homer while responding to his posts on Oilersnation, otherwise comments magically get deleted, and your IP is blocked. What a classy fellow.

  13. BlacqueJacque says:

    Ach, the Flames are supposed to fall out of contention *after* the trade deadline. Otherwise they might actually rebuild.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Gernat has 3 assists.

  15. Southern Oil says:

    bookje:
    Could you elaborate on this 3 for 1 trade idea?I haven’t seen that suggested before and I was wondering how such a thing might work.

    I think it works something like this – we trade Hemsky, Gagner and Smid for a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. Do I have that right?

  16. regwald says:

    Lowetide:
    Gernat has 3 assists.

    Ewanyk with a goal. Moroz with goose eggs in a 7-0 OK lead.

  17. Lowetide says:

    regwald: Ewanyk with a goal. Moroz with goose eggs in a 7-0 OK lead.

    According to the game broadcast, Moroz got a piece of that last one so it might change. Helluva night for Gernat.

  18. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: According to the game broadcast, Moroz got a piece of that last one so it might change. Helluva night for Gernat.

    How about Stephane Legault? 6 pts and its still in the 2nd!

  19. regwald says:

    Ducey: How about Stephane Legault?6 pts and its still in the 2nd!

    7 pts now for Legault.

    LT, still no scoring change for Moroz.

    Lazar and Samuelsson with goose eggs in a 9-0 game. Who would have thunk it ?

    Looks like Laxdal has the boys ready to defend their title.

  20. FPB94 says:

    Ovechkin with 2 goals against tonight.

    The guy’s not done being a superstar.

  21. regwald says:

    Just when you were wondering if the Wings were in tough, they go and play a statement game. 3-1 over the Ducks 3 minutes into the 2nd period. Fasth just yanked.

  22. regwald says:

    And since I am score surfing, MH goes into Saskatoon and won yesterday 4-1 and now leads 2-0 with 3 minutes left in the third. Shocker.

    Maybe the Blades figure they would like a month off before hosting the Mem Cup.

  23. Kitchener says:

    I saw Rieder’s Rangers win their playoff opener tonight. A few notes:

    - He played 1st line center instead of Dallas 1st-rounder Faksa all evening. His jumbotron slide calls him RW.
    - He played on the 1st PP unit on the point to start and then at RW in 2nd half of the game.
    - Two official assists, plus a 3rd or 4th assist on another goal, all on the power play.
    - Good night in the faceoff dot: 6 wins, 2 losses, 2 draws (on faceoffs I saw)
    - Some time on PK, but not a lot.
    - Shies away from scrums & intimidation stuff, but takes a man or goes to the tough areas when needed.
    - Rangers win 5-2 over stupid Guelph. Guelph played dirty and Kitchener made ‘em pay with PP goals galore.

    He remains one of the team’s best all-around players. He has excellent hand-eye coordination and soft hands when sending or receiving passes.

    Will he make the NHL? Who knows? I still hope so.

    When I talk to NHL scouts at these games, everyone wants to talk about Puempel (Ott), Faksa (Dal) and Murphy (Car.) When I tell them Rieder is the best player on the team, they say “Edmonton has too many small forwards already.” Good thing Rieder is several years away from being ready – the winger logjam may look different in 2015.

    If I were GM, I would retain his rights. If he needs to be signed to do so, that should be an easy decision. Whether the OHL or AHL is better for his development next season, beats me.

    At this level, the kid’s an A+.

  24. VanOil says:

    Kitchener,

    Thanks for the update. I love hearing about skilled prospects excelling. He sounds like he has more than earned a pro contract.

  25. Ice Sage says:

    Captain Happy:
    Beware the Blue Jackets.

    Hardest working team in hockey.

    They finally found a goaltender and have just a ton of goods things on the horizon.

    Their young core will soon be augmented by:

    Boone Jenner

    Ryan Murray

    David Savard

    And 3 1st round picks in the coming draft.

    What kind of captain jumps from his failing ships (Florida, Vcr) to the latest motorized vessel? A well-used seaman-for-hire, I’d say. Don’t change but you know, this internet thing is forever, right?

    Funny how Columbus grew when they jettisoned Nash – he cast a long shadow as a ‘go to guy’. No one on the Oilers like that anymore, though.

  26. fifthcartel says:

    I wonder if Edmonton develops Rieder as a center. I can’t remember if Edmonton asked Kitchener if they could play him there, but this could be interesting.

  27. bookje says:

    LT- where’s the game day post? It’s almost 5am and some of us are waiting!

  28. gcw_rocks says:

    They should buy out Abney as a non compliance buy out. The impact on the cap is negligible and it frees up a spot for Ewanyk. If you are going to churn through prospects and you aren’t up against the cap, buy outs of prospects that clearly aren’t going to make it after 2 years is a viable strategy if you are too close to the contract limit.

  29. Ducey says:

    gcw_rocks:
    They should buy out Abney as a non compliance buy out.The impact on the cap is negligible and it frees up a spot for Ewanyk.If you are going to churn through prospects and you aren’t up against the cap, buy outs of prospects that clearly aren’t going to make it after 2 years is a viable strategy if you are too close to the contract limit.

    What is a non compliance buy out?

    They could just send him off in the next trade along with the cost of his salary….

  30. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    Like I’ve been saying all year. That Columbus team is not as bad as advertised, I’ve been paying more attention to them since I am moving there in June. But we all know how 3 1st round pick in one draft can turn out, especially with Columbus’ drafting record and 2 of those picks being late 1st round and their own pick probably be out of the lotto.
    Dont get me wrong, I hope that franchise can build itself into relevance since its in the north part of the country and you could actually grow a good hockey environment, before bettman decides to move them south and turn them into the San diego Fish or something of the sort.

  31. leadfarmer says:

    Oh yeah, and get out of bed LT; Would you. I’m at work and dont have a new post to read and I might have to start being productive otherwise.

  32. Captain Obvious says:

    The Ewanyk deal is terrible and symbolic of everything wrong with the Oilers. There is no upside to this pick. If every single thing goes his way he turns into a generic fourth line player, the kind of player that is available on waivers every couple of weeks for free.

    This goes to show how fucked up the Oilers are. This season has been torpedoed by their ignorance of the waiver wire. The supposed reason for not making a waiver claim is the 50 contract limit, which is filled up because the Oilers insist on drafting and signing guys like Ewanyk and Abney instead of picking them up on waivers when they need them.

    So instead of picking up Blair Jones to play on their fourth line the Oilers are going to invest three years on Ewanyk not playing on any line. Useless hockey player on a useless team. Because Oilers.

  33. godot10 says:

    Hayek:
    I just don’t get why this spot couldn’t be filled by some proven veteran.Why do you attempt to develop players with only 4th line career potential.

    The UFA market is expensive, and you always have to give one year to many in term. And you can’t bury the contracts anymore. Hard cap is all about value-for-money.

    I don’t mind the experiment of trying to develop and train a bottom six forward from scratch, rather than waiting for a failed scorer prospect to realize they will have to turn themselves into a checker to have an NHL career.

    It took Marty Reasoner a long time to realize that he had to be a checker. He came out of college as a scorer. And by then they are almost all the way to free agency anyways, and you really don’t get a bargain value-for-money checker for very long.

    If the Oilers can develop Ewanyk in the minors into a box six player in 3 years, they will have a cheap value-for-money bottom six forward for 4 years. Ewanyk is going to have no illusions of being an NHL scorer. His entire development focus as soon as he gets to the AHL will be on becoming a physical, PK’ing, shutdown centre.

    I’m not claiming it is going to work. I’m just claiming that it will be an interesting experiment in player development.

    There is nothing wrong with trying a few things outside-of-the-box occasionally.

  34. cabbiesmacker says:

    leadfarmer:
    Captain Happy,

    .That Columbus team is not as bad as advertised, But we all know how 3 1st round pick in one draft can turn out, especially with Columbus’ drafting record and 2 of those picks being late 1st round and their own pick probably be out of the lotto.

    Dont get me wrong, I hope that franchise can build itself into relevance since its in the north part of the country and you could actually grow a good hockey environment,

    Sad as it is to say the BJ’s are already ahead of the Oilers and the three first rounders could help them stay that way for a while.

    You scan that roster and it’s hard to say why outside Goalie Bob driving things or Richards being that much better than Ralphie. With Wisniewski coming back I suppose a case could be made for their D being better than the Oilers.

    The fans there deserve it. KInda like the fans here do but with the management team in place here? Davidson and Kekalainen vs the Three Stooges? I like the BJ;s chances.

    Sad commentary on the Oilers with three #1 OV’s in the lineup.

  35. cabbiesmacker says:

    godot10:

    I don’t mind the experiment of trying to develop and train a bottom six forward from scratch, rather than waiting for a failed scorer prospect to realize they will have to turn themselves into a checker to have an NHL career.

    It took Marty Reasoner a long time to realize that he had to be a checker.He came out of college as a scorer.

    At least Marty had talent at some point in his career.

    Are we really at the stage where these sorts of justifications become the mantra? Developing 4th liners? Really?

    I find that rather amusing but totally symbolic of what OIlers management would have us believe.

    Next we’ll be developing trainers and locker room attendants. That was a Tambellini priority at one time wasn’t it?

  36. godot10 says:

    cabbiesmacker: Sad as it is to say the BJ’s are already ahead of the Oilers and the three first rounders could help them stay that way for a while.

    You scan that roster and it’s hard to say why outside Goalie Bob driving things or Richards being that much better than Ralphie. With Wisniewski coming back I suppose a case could be made for their D being better than the Oilers.

    The fans there deserve it. KInda like the fans here do but with the management team in place here? Davidson and Kekalainen vs the Three Stooges? I like the BJ;s chances.

    Sad commentary on the Oilers with three #1 OV’s in the lineup.

    Columbus is moving to the Eastern Conference. Along with the Red Wings.

  37. leadfarmer says:

    With the salary cap going down and individual salaries staying the same or even going up (look at anaheim) it is going to be even more crucial to develop players and fill gaps with players on entry level contracts.

  38. hunter1909 says:

    cabbiesmacker: Sad as it is to say the BJ’s are already ahead of the Oilers and the three first rounders could help them stay that way for a while.

    I’ll take that bet.

    Three 1st overall picks, each of whom possesses legitimate star quality vs a lunchpail team playing a hot goalie with 3 low 1st round picks(low relative to 1st).

    With respect, Blue Jackets haven’t yet actually made the playoffs, and until Oilers are doing worse than their recent handful of games my money backs Oilers v Blue Jackets.

    For what little it’s worth, I hope the Jackets become a powerhouse with those crazy 7th cavalry type unis. Ohio is one of my all time fave states.

  39. godot10 says:

    cabbiesmacker: At least Marty had talent at some point in his career.

    Are we really at the stage where these sorts of justifications become the mantra? Developing 4th liners? Really?

    I find that rather amusing but totally symbolic of what OIlers management would have us believe.

    Next we’ll be developing trainers and locker room attendants. That was a Tambellini priority at one time wasn’t it?

    There is nothing wrong with trying an occasional experiment with one or two high character players who have a good physical toolset and can skate.

    The Patriots drafted a rugby player and in his rookie year he played safety in some dime coverages.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    PS: I don’t actually bet money on sports. Tried it a few times, and it blows. I managed to come out ahead in horse racing(mainly each way bets which payback shite but who the hell’s crazy enough to bet on the nose). Also in boxing but that was horrible also – waiting for the stupid fight and the odds were appalling.

    One thing I liked was live horse racing when you can watch the nags do a loop before running to the cashier window like Stirling Hayden in The Killing. Got lucky once, which cured me of ever wanting to return.

  41. Captain Happy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Captain Happy,

    Like I’ve been saying all year.That Columbus team is not as bad as advertised, I’ve been paying more attention to them since I am moving there in June.But we all know how 3 1st round pick in one draft can turn out, especially with Columbus’ drafting record and 2 of those picks being late 1st round and their own pick probably be out of the lotto.
    Dont get me wrong, I hope that franchise can build itself into relevance since its in the north part of the country and you could actually grow a good hockey environment, before bettman decides to move them south and turn them into the San diego Fish or something of the sort.

    You have to remember that Kelalainen and John Davidson will be in charge of the Columbus draft,

    Their record is stellar.

    The Finn was in charge of STL scouting from 2002-2010 and produced David Backes, Roman Polak, David Perron, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ian Cole, Alex Pietrangelo and Jake Allen.

    Not too shabby.

  42. cabbiesmacker says:

    godot10: Columbus is moving to the Eastern Conference.Along with the Red Wings.

    Lucky for us? Oh wait. Wpg’s coming west.

  43. cabbiesmacker says:

    godot10: There is nothing wrong with trying an occasional experiment with one or two high character players who have a good physical toolset and can skate.

    Like 11 of 12 players the Oilers drafted in 2003 you mean?

    Disaster. You’d think they might have learned

    Then they trade the only decent one of the 12 drafted for peanuts.

    Astute

  44. dessert1111 says:

    fifthcartel:
    I wonder if Edmonton develops Rieder as a center. I can’t remember if Edmonton asked Kitchener if they could play him there, but this could be interesting.

    Edmonton requested it. From the games I’ve watched I thought Rieder was the most complete player on the team, definitely better than Puempel (a scorer). They’ll sign him and put him in the AHL (no reason for returning him to Junior for his overage year I wouldn’t think), unless they are pretty dumb about it.

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