The salary cap is moving up to $71M next season, giving the Edmonton Oilers miles of room to sign their free agents and improve the team significantly. I wonder what the 23-man roster might look like next fall?
TWENTY-THREE MAN ROSTER FOR 2014-15 (PROJECTED)
- Devan Dubnyk ($3M)*
- Ben Scrivens ($3M)*
- Christian Ehrhoff ($4.0M)
- Justin Schultz ($4M)*
- Jeff Petry ($3.5M)*
- Andrew Ference ($3.5M)
- Mike Weaver ($2M)*
- Anton Belov ($2M)*
- Taylor Fedun ($700,000)*
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6M)
- Boyd Gordon ($3M)
- Matt Stajan ($3M)*
- Mark Arcobello ($1.2M)*
- Anton Lander ($800,000)*
- Taylor Hall ($6M)
- David Perron ($3.8M)
- Roman Horak ($800,000)*
- Jesse Joensuu ($950,000)
- Luke Gazdic ($635,000)
- Jordan Eberle ($6M)
- Nail Yakupov ($2.85M)
- Ales Hemsky ($5M)*
- Tyler Pitlick ($800,000)*
That puts the total at $67,545,000 for the group. I’m just making stuff up here, but dealt Gagner and a pick/prospects for Christian Ehrhoff and spent the free agent money on Scrivens, Weaver and Matt Stajan, plus added the Oiler free agents I’d like to return to the team (including Dubnyk, because I like him). I’ve kept Hemsky as well, so kill me it’s my list. You’re welcome to come up with your own, I tried to add Phaneuf but it’s going to cost too damn much so I sent the kids away and added Ehrhoff and Weaver while keeping some other veterans.
The defense is improved, the goaltending should be very good, there’s a center added (plus it gives Arcobello a chance) and I love these wingers (Horak can also play center). The cap could be very good for the Oilers if used wisely.
HALL’S HEARING IT
- Taylor Hall: “I made the point that you can make anybody look bad on video. You can make a guy who had five points look like the worst player in the world with a couple of clips. It’s obviously tough when it’s a big stage like that and someone points that out, but I honestly feel I’ve been playing well defensively. I’m really not too mad about it. I think I’m trending upwards. I’ve definitely improved in my own end since the start of the year.”
This is a reaction to the Cassie Campbell video presentation on HNIC Saturday night postgame (Hall’s Dad told him). I have zero problem with the quote, and he’s definitely better than earlier (center, injury) but he’s not back to last season’s levels. I expect that Hall—being human—bristled at the criticism privately and will use this moment as a reason to shove it up the collective’s ass. Kid’s got swagger and has been touched by God, I will NEVER bet against him. I think the NHL community, better known as Mensa International, have already thrown him out for Olympic consideration. He’d be on my team, warts and all. He can push the river, we know this; it’ll come, my guess is last week is the beginning of a great run.
PM Bouchard is on waivers this morning, I imagine he’s at the airport waiting for his flight to Winnipeg. I’d take a chance on him, it might mean Jones would be in roster trouble but for me Joensuu is the guy to send out. Matty doesn’t want him because vitals but I don’t give a rat’s ass about size; bring him in, see if he can play with skill and let’s go! The guy killed us about every 10 minutes when he was in Minny.
SHOTS ON GOAL
We don’t spend much time on this stat, but it’s an important one and some of these Oilers are having good seasons sog.
- David Perron 98 (on pace for 283)
- Taylor Hall 89 (on pace for 278)
- Jordan Eberle 82 (on pace for 217)
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 61 (on pace for 168)
- Ales Hemsky 58 (on pace for 153)
Taylor Hall led the team in their last full season (207, in 2011-12) and the last time any Oiler hit more than 283 was Wayne Gretzky (288) in 1986-87. Hall’s number is also outstanding and increasing lately, with Eberle showing well too. I put Nuge’s number there because we might see a bump if he starts hitting the net more (his scope still isn’t quite there) and Hemsky’s number will be his best since 2008-09 if it continues.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
The last time I recall talking Oilers-Hurricanes I got my heart broken. Let’s hope things turn out better tonight. This morning at 10 we preview the game on TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. Game preview, expected goals, mistakes that cost valuable possession seconds.
- Guy Flaming, The Pipeline Show. World Junior’s, struggling 2013 picks and 2014 risers.
- Jungle Jim Hunter, some impressive Canadians winning during the lead up to Sochi.
- Alan Hull, Copper and Blue. Jekyll/Hyde Oilers, Hall for the Olympics.
- Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report. Iginla back to Calgary, 2014 picks from New England worth attention.
- Bob Wage, Canes Country. Looks like there’s a new #1 goalie in Carolina, and I’ll ask about Riley Nash and Radek Dvorak.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Hope you can tune in!