FREE AGENTS AND THE OILERS 13-14

Craig MacTavish has already used free agency to re-set part of his roster: Russian blue Anton Belov has been signed and will compete for an NHL job this fall. How many holes can the new GM fill via free agents?

2013 SUMMER SHOPPING LIST

  1. Top 4D who can play big minutes and multiple roles
  2. Impact 2-way center
  3. 2line L who with size who can complement the offense
  4. backup goalie
  5. Improved depth at C
  6. Improved depth at D (already added Belov, Klefbom will compete and Fedun/Marincin up from OKC)
  7. Improved depth in G

Let’s have a look.

  1. C Valtteri Filppula. MacT could hit a big fly with this Finn C, who has skill, 2-way ability and has had tremendous success over his NHL years. If MacT is looking for a free agent option to send a clear message to players, fans, and league, this is the free agent to procure over the summer.
  2. C Boyd Gordon. We’ve talked about him so much I feel as though Gordon is already here. A strong 2-way option for any team, suspect he’ll have a lot of interest in a very competitive free agent summer. The Oilers have had success in the last 12 months (Schultz, Belov), and signing Gordon would be a large item. Expect he would see both 3rd and 4th line C duties depending on situation/how many holes they can repair this summer.
  3. L Ryan Clowe. In looking for ‘puck retrieval’ options, I didn’t find a whole hell of them. Clowe will be over priced and may be on the downside, but he’s the most attractive free agent option I could find.
  4. D Paul Ranger. I think he’d qualify under improved depth, but there does seem to be a player here. He’s 28, mobile, smart and has average size. This isn’t a major ‘name’ option, but NHL history is rife with defenders who wandered the wilderness, settled in late 20′s, and had significant NHL careers. Steve Staios arrived in Edmonton, age 28.
  5. L Clarke MacArthur. Veteran LW who can score goals and hangs in there in the tough going. Leafs may still sign him but should he come available, MacArthur may be an ideal addition to the Gagner-Yakupov duo. He’s young enough to hang around for the good times, but experienced enough to be a part of the elder statesman group MacT is probably going to bring in to replace Horcoff.
  6. L Viktor Stalberg. I know, I know. However, one playoff run is in fact a tournament of small sample sizes. If the Oilers could sign him at a reasonable number and give him the soft parade with Gagner-Yakupov I think we might be looking at another 20 goal season.
  7. G Anton Khudobin. Free agent Bruin backup may want to play in the NHL more often than he does currently, he would be the ideal solution.
  8. D Simon Gysbers. I don’t really know a thing about him, but when looking at Dallas Eakins roster for the Marlies he stood out. I know this is another Leafs player but if there’s an opportunity why not?

Here’s my list from last season, Oilers grabbed two from that list here’s hoping for two more.

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49 Responses to "FREE AGENTS AND THE OILERS 13-14"

  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    I might add Leopold to that list. If Schultz Sr is moved to acquire that 1LD (or to shed some salary) someone like Leopold could fill that 3rd pairing mentor role with Schultz Jr.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Wrote an item on Leopold but deleted it. I do think he could help, but thought he might not come here.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Three posts in one day…. what are you doing to me…?

    filling the Oiler chasm.

    good job.

  4. Lowetide says:

    It’s the damn lockout! I got stuff, man!

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Clowe over Clarkson and Bickell? Same family, no?

    Give an accounting of your preferences!

  6. Lowetide says:

    $$$$

  7. Rondo says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    San Jose liked Raffi Torres over Clowe. That is why they traded him

  8. Captain Happy says:

    I would be very wary of Filppula. He is reportedly seeking a long term deal in the $5M range which is the main reason Detroit is willing to let him go.

    He’s also only 6’0″ 195

    BTN indicates he had 58.9% Ozone starts with 51.5 Ozone finish.

    Even at that, he was outscored at even strength.

    He has one 23G 66P season but his shooting percentage that season was 16%, well above his career average of 10%.

    I certainly don’t see him as the big 2 way second line centre the Oilers need and he will be far too expensive for 3rd line duty.

  9. Lewko says:

    What about Bickell to the Penner deal, 5 x 4.25. I get that its an overpay but hes the idea lisn’t he? Does that even get him as a UFA or are we talking a 5×5? or 7 years 32.5M for him or am I off my rocker?

  10. Lowetide says:

    Lewko: I’d rather have Penner. Probably get him for less.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    $$$ is a good reason… but is he demonstrably cheaper than those other options, more attainable, or better?

    looking at these folks:

    http://capgeek.com/player/780

    http://capgeek.com/player/1246

    http://capgeek.com/player/1482

    http://capgeek.com/player/815

    http://capgeek.com/player/120

    http://capgeek.com/player/438

    I think Stalberg might be the cheapest, most available option… but unsure who would follow through the best production wise.

    At any rate, Ryane would solve our “Ryan” deficit … but that spelling irks me.

    With Filppula we can lock our Fin up, though. Can’t win without one.

  12. jp says:

    Lewko:
    What about Bickell to the Penner deal, 5 x 4.25. I get that its an overpay but hes the idea lisn’t he? Does that even get him as a UFA or are we talking a 5×5? or 7 years 32.5M for him or am I off my rocker?

    Bickell is the classic Pisani. He’s going to get hugely overpaid based on this playoff run. He’s a very solid player, but he’s not a 4 or 5 M per year player. Please don’t let the Oilers be the team to pay him that. He peaked at 83 Pts in Jr (one less than Hamilton’s career high). He’s never scored 1 point per 2 games in the NHL (aside from this playoff season), and barely cracked that rate in 4 AHL seasons (career high 39 Pts in the A). Again, solid player who can chip in some offense (like Pisani), but NOT a top 6 forward. Thus, not worth what he’s about to get paid.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Rom: I think Bickell goes for a monster $. Stalberg isn’t the only answer, but he is an option. As for the Finns, agreed. They are vital. Like oxygen.

  14. Magnus says:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but over on HF Boards there are a couple of posters claiming to have inside info, who are giving similar reports. The claim is that the Oilers already have 2-3 trades completed and are waiting for the completion of the playoffs to announce them. They add that there are an additional couple of trades still being worked on, for a total of 5 moves. The teams mentioned are Ottawa and Carolina.
    A third poster on the Oilers site also states the team has up to 5 trades on the table. He mentions Ottawa and Toronto as well as specific players: Colin Greening, Zack Smith, Joe Colborne and Ben Scrivens.

    Can’t speak for the reliability of the posters, but interesting if at all accurate. I know, anyone can claim inside info online. But its interesting that three different posters made similar statements. Plus, these kind of claims are deleted on HF unless the poster reveals their source. Take it for what it’s worth.

  15. jp says:

    “D Simon Gysbers. I don’t really know a thing about him, but when looking at Dallas Eakins roster for the Marlies he stood out. I know this is another Leafs player but if there’s an opportunity why not?”

    LT, just looked up Gysbers boxcars. I know nothing else about him, but I’m curious what stood out. His point totals suggest a guy who can move the puck a bit, but I wouldn’t have picked him out of a line(up). What caught your eye?

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Rondo:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    San Jose liked Raffi Torres over Clowe. That is why they traded him

    Raffi isn’t going to score like Clowe though…

  17. Lowetide says:

    jp:
    “D Simon Gysbers. I don’t really know a thing about him, but when looking at Dallas Eakins roster for the Marlies he stood out. I know this is another Leafs player but if there’s an opportunity why not?”

    LT, just looked up Gysbers boxcars. I know nothing else about him, but I’m curious what stood out. His point totals suggest a guy who can move the puck a bit, but I wouldn’t have picked him out of a line(up). What caught your eye?

    Powerplay and he came out of nowhere. There might be a player there because there’s not really a pro track record. College guy, could surprise. I’d take a chance on him.

  18. Rondo says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    A good GM knows when their player is beginning there downfall

  19. Lowetide says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 26s

    EDM gives Horcoff permission to talk to other teams to gauge interest…

    New era, tonight.

  20. jp says:

    Lowetide: Powerplay and he came out of nowhere. There might be a player there because there’s not really a pro track record. College guy, could surprise. I’d take a chance on him.

    He’s a top PP option? Cool. It’s certainly plausible, he’s the right age and has good size too. He could be Eakins’ Potter. He definitely improves the depth assuming he costs next to nothing.

    Lowetide:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 26s

    EDM gives Horcoff permission to talk to other teams to gauge interest…

    New era, tonight.

    Wow, it’s really happening. Fun times!

  21. Rondo says:

    I’m watching the Chi vs Boston, game a dirty hit to the head of Toews no call now he sits for the 3rd period.

    NHL is not interested in concussions only after they happen. You draft a player and in the NHL you never know how long they play.

  22. danny says:

    Lowetide:
    It’s the damn lockout! I got stuff, man!

    Everytime LT ends a statement with “, man!” my brain says it in the voice of ‘the dude’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9twTtXkQNA

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 26s

    EDM gives Horcoff permission to talk to other teams to gauge interest…

    New era, tonight.

    Is this situation typical? I’ve never heard of a player working the phones in this way…

  24. Rondo says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It’s a tough sell

  25. Lewko says:

    Magnus,

    Magnus I’m bored and wouldn’t mind reading this. Do you have links?

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Rondo:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It’s a tough sell

    Hey, go find yourself an employer and a nice little return on our investment! Cheers.

  27. jp says:

    Lewko:
    Magnus,

    Magnus I’m bored and wouldn’t mind reading this. Do you have links?

    Was gonna ask the same thing. Very interesting but not trivial to find on HFBoards.

  28. spoiler says:

    The Horcoff situation has happened many times, although usually with a specific team. Redden and Thomas were both given open permission. Jagr back in the day. I woudn’t be surprised if Luongo’s agent was quietly given the same right last summer (with Nonis having final approval).

    As for UFAs…

    Horton
    Hainsey
    Lombardi
    Weiss
    Antropov
    Cleary
    Raymond

    …Should all get consideration.

    But if the rumours are true, it sounds like the Oilers are planning to go the trade route. I don’t see how there could be that many trades on the table though, without Horcoff involved and the number of UFAs and Untouchables on the Oil.

    Stalberg plays RW by the way.

  29. fuzzy muppet says:

    3 Questions if Horcoff is gone:

    1) Will Taylor Hall be the next Captain?
    2) Will Yakupov switch to #10
    3) And who the hell will Traktor bitch about now?

  30. Lowetide says:

    Stalberg also plays LW, we’ve been through this before.

  31. spoiler says:

    The problem with Horc is that he has an. NTC and wants to go to a contender. Unfortunately most of the contenders can’t utilize his salary/cap situation.

    I expect he’s having difficulty coming to terms with his situation so has been told to look into it himself and find the closest thing to a contender he can find.

    I’d also say this means the likelihood of him being bought out has just gone up, if neither he or Oilers can be satisfied in the trade market.

  32. Captain Happy says:

    If all the speculation at HF is to be believed…the Oilers have acquired Zack Smith from Ottawa.

    25 years old, 6’2″ 215 former 3rd round pick,

    Career high 14 goals and 26 points. 52% in the faceoff circle.

    Also lots of chatter about acquiring Joe Colborne from the Leafs.

  33. Thinker says:

    I would love to see a penner and gilbert return. Both players left significant holes with their departure that we are still trying to fill (mobile top 2. Dman, big top six winger who can play possession game). MacT has to be careful with his trades, you can’t just make deletions off a paper thin roster like the oil. For example, trade gagner, and all of a sudden we have a huge hole at center. The oilers need to keep building through the draft, and try to find some ufa pieces to increase their assets to a respectable level which would allow them to make trades. Also if MacT is trading, he better not get shafted like tambo in every trade he ever made especially penner +gilbert.

  34. spoiler says:

    Lowetide:
    Stalberg also plays LW, we’ve been through this before.

    Sorry. Wasn’t aware that we had (maybe in a thread I had to leave on) I’ve seen a lot of Chicago over the past month and I have yet to notice him on the left side… Not that I’ve been examining every shift, but if he plays the left, it’s rare.

  35. Rondo says:

    Thinker,

    I wouldn’t want Penner back, it takes playoffs to get this guy motivated. I really don’t think he would work out. Literally and figuratively

  36. Zack says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    3 Questions if Horcoff is gone:

    1) Will Taylor Hall be the next Captain?
    2) Will Yakupov switch to #10
    3) And who the hell will Traktor bitch about now?

    1) Highly likely, may go a season perhaps with no captain?
    2) I think so and I’m kind of hoping!
    3) Valeri Nichushkin when we draft him at #7

    Wouldn’t that be something? From what it sounds though the Oilers are more high on other players.

  37. dangilitis says:

    Thank you for not mentioning Clarkson, LT. The guy had a decent playoffs and mammoth 15-20 games to start the season. Then, as all the chatter heated up about him being an attractive UFA, it was almost as if he was satisfied and stopped playing. His season splits tell the story of two completely different players. Didn’t we have enough of those players in the Oilers jersey in the last 6 years?

    I like this list. The answer to question #1, I presume, was the trade you pitched for Tyutin?

    I also don’t think we can afford all of these players you have mentioned, so which would (a) be your # 1 options to fill the Oilers specific role you mentioned (based on ideas and rumours of who might be in play) if money was no object? and (b) #1 option for bang for buck?

    For me, its in this order for #1 options
    1.Top 4D who can play big minutes and multiple roles: Letang (I know, wait until part 2), McDonagh, Shattenkirk, Tyutin, Girardi, Gardiner, Del Zotto, Sekera, Gilbert, Gunnarson, Yandle, Franson
    2.Impact 2-way center: Weiss, keep Gagner, Ribeiro, Briere, Roy, Filppula, Antropov
    3.2line L who with size who can complement the offense: MacArthur, Clowe, Bickell, Stalberg
    4.backup goalie: Backstrom (for next 1-2 yrs based on track record), Khudobin, Bernier, Greiss, Smith, Labarbera, Emery, Ellis
    5. Improved depth at D: Ranger, Clitsome, Lovejoy, Rozsvial, Ference (and trade N Schultz)
    6.Improved depth at C; Gordon, Kruger, Jokinen, Cullen, Wellwood, Gomez, Smithson
    7. Improved depth at G: ?Anyone? Give Bunz “suck no more” pills and pray that Kurri has been looking for goalies in Finland rather than penalty killers that provide no offence.
    8. 3rd line RW: Horton, Iginla, Kulemin, Boyes, Ryder

  38. dangilitis says:

    And if we are talking bang for the buck (some of this is guess work):
    1.Top 4D who can play big minutes and multiple roles: Gardiner, Tyutin, Girardi, McDonagh, Shattenkirk, Del Zotto, Sekera, Gunnarson (because hes too similar to Smid), Franson, Gilbert, Letang, Yandle
    2.Impact 2-way center: keep Gagner (1RFA year means something), Weiss, Briere, Ribeiro, Roy, Antropov, Filppula
    3.2line L who with size who can complement the offense: MacArthur, Clowe, Stalberg, Bickell
    4.backup goalie: Khudobin, Greiss, Backstrom, Smith, Emery, Labarbera, Ellis, Bernier (way overvalued in my opinion, offer requests were crazy)
    5. Improved depth at D: Ranger, Clitsome, Lovejoy, Rozsvial, Ference (and trade N Schultz)
    6.Improved depth at C; Gordon, Kruger, Jokinen, Cullen, Wellwood, Gomez, Smithson
    7. Improved depth at G: Danis would be the cheapest. This is not a top priority, but I think scouts need to find someone in college league or in Europe who can push for OKC spot now, unless Roy shows up in good form this year.
    8. 3rd line RW:Kulemin, Boyes, Horton, Iginla, Ryder

  39. Magnus says:

    Lewko,

    Starts on this page with a poster who calls himself Bluechip.

    http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1450011&page=33

  40. Racki says:

    Captain Happy:
    I would be very wary of Filppula. He is reportedly seeking a long term deal in the $5M range which is the main reason Detroit is willing to let him go.

    He’s also only 6’0″ 195

    BTN indicates he had 58.9% Ozone starts with 51.5 Ozone finish.

    Even at that, he was outscored at even strength.

    He has one 23G 66P season but his shooting percentage that season was 16%, well above his career average of 10%.

    I certainly don’t see him as the big 2 way second line centre the Oilers need and he will be far too expensive for 3rd line duty.

    I agree with most of this. I think Filppula is a good player, but yes, one of my friends who is a big Wings fan mentioned he’s rumored to be looking for $5M. Chances are the Wings will let him walk. He’ll be too expensive for the Oilers for what we’d want him for.

    Re: LT’s post, I actually really like Clowe. Yah, he’s seemed to have lost a bit, but I still think there’s a good player there. I also would go back to the Max Talbot near-trade that didn’t happen because of his injury. I think he’d be a good add for our bottom six to play along with Ryan Clowe, and another vet who plays with some jump. I’m not sure where he’s at in his recovery though.

    I also have this strange feeling that MacT is going to swing for the fences (in a good way) in one of his deals and land a big name at the center position. I know these types don’t move often, but would like him to be hitting the young and up and comers that aren’t quite “there” yet, like Bjugstad, Johansen, Couturier, Scheifele, etc.. Of course I’m probably just dreaming I guess.

  41. Young Oil says:

    Captain Happy,

    Any word on what might be heading to Ottawa or Toronto? I’d love to get Smith and/or Colborne.
    God, wouldn’t Hemsky (with salary retained if needed) for Smith, then to tweak Lowetide’s Gardiner trade, maybe 7th+Gagner for 21st+Gardiner+Colborne be nice? I’d love to take a run at Frattin too, but Toronto would be insane to give him up.

  42. striatic says:

    Young Oil: Any word on what might be heading to Ottawa or Toronto?

    the HF boards tipster people seem to see Hemsky going to Ottawa for Smith. I think that would work out pretty well for both sides, and assuming Hemsky stays healthy Ottawa wins the trade. bit of a risk for them though.

  43. cabbiesmacker says:

    The biggest question now might be, “How long is it going to take the Flames to bail out the Saddledome with just one Cup?”

  44. cabbiesmacker says:

    spoiler: Sorry. Wasn’t aware that we had (maybe in a thread I had to leave on) I’ve seen a lot of Chicago over the past month and I have yet to notice him on the left side… Not that I’ve been examining every shift, but if he plays the left, it’s rare.

    Spoiler? I’ve watched a lot of Hawks hockey for 40+ years and most nights I don’t even notice Stalberg “playing” let alone worry about which side. Says a lot about the player when he’s been benched for large chunks of the playoffs. He certainly wouldn’t add anything along the lines of “tough to play against” or being competitive to the Oilers.

    Hawks will lose a couple of pieces with the lower cap for sure and some decent names with larger contracts are going to be down the road. Stalberg is a good riddance move. Bolland would sting a little but Hawks have young guys waiting to step in that will cost less. I’m betting they wouldn’t be adverse to moving Hossa’s contract but who’d take it?

    Bickell won’t be going anywhere

  45. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 26s

    EDM gives Horcoff permission to talk to other teams to gauge interest…

    New era, tonight.

    I read that as:

    Horcoff: “Get me out of here”

    MacT: “Ok”

    Horcoff: “I want to go to a contender”

    Weeks later…

    MacT: “You’ve rejected every team that wants to pick you up, and every team you want to go to either doesn’t want you or wants us to carry too much of your salary”

    Horcoff: “So work harder to get a deal”

    MacT: “I’ve got the draft and 5-7 other deals to finalize, why don’t you and your agent find a deal I can live with, I’ve tried”

    Elliot Friedman: “EDM gives Horcoff permission to talk to other teams to gauge interest…”

  46. Woodguy says:

    spoiler,

    I’d also say this means the likelihood of him being bought out has just gone up, if neither he or Oilers can be satisfied in the trade market.

    I think that’s a pretty astute analysis.

  47. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy:
    If all the speculation at HF is to be believed…the Oilers have acquired Zack Smith from Ottawa.

    25 years old, 6’2″ 215 former 3rd round pick,

    Career high 14 goals and 26 points. 52% in the faceoff circle.

    Also lots of chatter about acquiring Joe Colborne from the Leafs.

    Smith as 3C and Colburne as a project/4C isn’t bad if the cost isn’t dear.

    Smith is cheap and decent results shot differential wise, got the tough starts last 2 years for OTT too.

    I don’t know Smith as a player, but his WOWYs are ok (not great) and BTN profile looks decent enought.

    Big thing is he’s only $1.88MM/yr for the next 4 years. If he can fill the 3C role at that price, that’s a big nice value pick up.

    Probably Hemsky rumoured to be the piece moving to OTT right?

    OTT is pretty weak at RW.

  48. Doug McLachlan says:

    Magnus,

    I think it was Terry Jones who tweeted out something similar last week that the Oilers had a handful of deals already completed. Given that other teams have announced deals (Streit, for example) or have made coaching hires (Torts in Vancouver is too funny) I can’t figure out the delay (other than the rumour is false) other than compliance buyouts are part of the deals (to open up the cap room on one or more teams).

    Interesting days ahead.

  49. spoiler says:

    cabbiesmacker: Spoiler? I’ve watched a lot of Hawks hockey for 40+ years and most nights I don’t even notice Stalberg “playing” let alone worry about which side. Says a lot about the player when he’s been benched for large chunks of the playoffs. He certainly wouldn’t add anything along the lines of “tough to play against” or being competitive to the Oilers.

    Hawks will lose a couple of pieces with the lower cap for sure and some decent names with larger contracts are going to be down the road. Stalberg is a good riddance move. Bolland would sting a little but Hawks have young guys waiting to step in that will cost less. I’m betting they wouldn’t be adverse to moving Hossa’s contract but who’d take it?

    Bickell won’t be going anywhere

    Yeah… I don’t really get the love. He doesn’t play with a lot of commitment at the position he knows. Pencilling him in at LW seems like unnecessary roster risk. I’d much rather we go find a true LWer with some history of success.

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