Craig MacTavish hasn’t been on the job long, but he’s certainly going about the task at hand with some vigor. It’s easy to forget just how many transactions have happened (or not happened) since his arrival.
- April 15: Oilers move MacTavish into GM role.
- April 17: Sign college free agent Andrew Miller.
- April 20: Sign D Martin Gernat (2011 draft pick).
- April 25: Sign G Frans Tuohimaa (2011 draft pick).
- May 4: G Niko Hovinen signs with Metallurg Novokuznetsk (KHL)
- May 22: D Andy Sutton announces his retirement.
- May 30: Oilers sign D Anton Belov as a free agent.
- June 6: L Antti Tyrvainen signs with Jokerit (SML).
- June 10: Hire Dallas Eakins as head coach.
- June 10: Teemu Hartikainen signs a two-year deal in UFA (KHL)
He’s added two guys who cost only money (Miller, Belov) and may have an impact on the team, two 2011 picks who would have gone back in the draft (and passed on Samu Perhonen from the same draft) and made some room on the 50-man cap list. Plus of course the coach. There’s lots of work to do, but the rfa and ufa list is interesting because the club isn’t signing anyone from those lists–yet.
- C Sam Gagner (rfa looking for a big raise)
- L Magnus Paajarvi (rfa looking for a nice bump)
- D Theo Peckham (rfa persona non grata)
- R Ryan Jones (ufa looking for employment)
- L Lennart Petrell (ufa looking for employment)
- C Jarred Smithson (ufa looking for employment)
- D Ryan Whitney (ufa looking for employment)
- D Mark Fistric (ufa looking for employment–and a guy who cost a 3rd rd pick)
- G Nikolai Khabibulin (ufa looking for employment)
MacT has already told us that Whitney and Khabibulin won’t return, leaving UFA’s Jones, Petrell, Smithson and Fistric as decisions that have to be made (or have been made but are not public information at this time). Among rfa’s we know MacT values Gagner and suspect he values Paajarvi. Peckham is in tribulatióne. Plus of course Horcoff and Hemsky who are about to exit the system.
Here’s what’s interesting. Have a look at transaction totals for the last off-seasons (April 15-Sept 1, draft not included but all transactions otherwise a part of the number below):
- 2010: 28
- 2011: 23
- 2012: 19
- 2013: 5
My guess is MacT hits 30+ this summer.
The interesting thing about MacT is that only two of the moves will have an impact on the Oilers 2013-14: Eakins and Belov. If we make a “keeper” list of Oilers who are under contract and likely to play in the NHL for the Oilers this season, it might look like this:
- C: Nuge
- L: Hall, Smyth
- R: Eberle, Yakupov, Brown
- LD: Smid, N Schultz
- RD: Petry, J Schultz, Belov
- G: Dubnyk
That’s 12. We could add Gagner, Paajarvi and Klefbom, but we’re not certain that MacTavish will go that route. Massive number of transactions on the way.
By the time we get to this point in the draft season, we usually have an idea about what the Oilers are thinking. A year ago, we were talking about Mitchell Moroz because there was enough information in the Edmonton ether to reasonably suggest that was an option. We also had enough on the #1 overall pick to make statements like this one.
This year, there appears to be three reasonable options Edmonton will/is considering:
- trading up to #4 or #5 for Barkov
- staying at #7 and selecting Monahan, Horvat or Nurse
- dealing down (#13 and #43 from Winnipeg, Toronto deal we discussed yesterday) and getting a prospect they value highly later in the first round.
Based on the conversations we’ve had on this blog in the last few days, dealing up has universal appeal and dealing down is extremely unpopular unless immediate and impressive help is on the way.
We’re just over two weeks from the draft, and we’re likely a little over a week from the end of the NHL season. This is the calm before the storm.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE (10am to Noon) ON TEAM 1260
Scheduled to appear on today’s show:
- Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus will discuss draft options and some ‘under the radar’ selections and his #1 goalie in this draft.
- Scott Taylor from the Huddle.co will talk about the Blue Bombers, that terrific new stadium and the Jets at the draft.
- Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report will talk about the very interesting Redline top 10 defensemen in this draft.
- Sarah McLellan from the Arizona Republic. We’ll talk about the Coyotes, ownership, Maloney and Tippett.