LOUD NOISES 5: BLOWING YOUR BRAINS OUT IN FREE AGENCY

We’ll know sometime soon about Nikita Nikitin, as the deadline has either passed or is winding down this evening. According to a published report (I don’t use that phrase enough) in the Columbus Dispatch, the Oilers were given a 48-hour window sometime Thursday:

  • On Thursday, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen granted the Oilers a 48-hour window to negotiate with Nikitin. If they sign him, the Blue Jackets will receive a fifth-round draft pick, likely the 137th overall pick that they traded to the Oilers in March for defenseman Nick Schultz. If Nikitin does not sign, the Blue Jackets receive nothing.

If the clock started ticking at midnight Thursday, then the deal would have to be completed (and the trade made, I imagine) by midnight tonight. If the club does acquire him, I think it may raise more questions than it answers:

  • MacT said not so long ago that the club needed a puck mover to help Justin Schultz. Did he mean Nikitin? As in “he’s a veteran like Nick Schultz and Ference, but he’s also a little more adept at the ol’ tape-to-tape”? Is that what he was saying?
  • If that isn’t the case, does MacT plan on adding a puck mover, Nikitin and a shutdown defender?
  • Is Nikitin the shutdown defender? Surely not.

I don’t really have an answer to this, but the thought occurred to me this afternoon: what if he’s going to add Ehrhoff, Nikitin AND Engelland?

  • Ehrhoff-Petry
  • Marincin-Nikitin
  • Ference-Schultz
  • Engelland

I could get behind it. Seriously. It isn’t perfect, you’re asking a lot of Nikitin and Oiler fans will flat out hate that top pairing, but yes please. I know the idea of hiring your defensemen via trade has a downside (assets), but there are NHL teams who will blow their brains out July 1 and Edmonton has to come over the overpay to get their man. Or at least history tells us.

This article says “when free agency opened last July 5, NHL teams wasted little time in spending $412 million on new contracts.” Shudder. I’m a MacT guy, but he spent heavily on Boyd Gordon one year ago, and traded for the right to overpay Nikita Nikitin yesterday.

This can’t end well.

 

 

 

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50 Responses to "LOUD NOISES 5: BLOWING YOUR BRAINS OUT IN FREE AGENCY"

  1. VanOil says:

    I am surprised by the league wide silence in signing RFA’s. I would want my house in order before I started drafting, dealing and chasing rainbows with pots of gold.

    Signing Petry before the draft would make my week. I am indifferent to Schultz or Nitikin signings.

  2. Yak2 says:

    With the way the Blackhawks are heading, having to sign Toews and Kane to new, more expensive contracts, would they trade Seabrook or keep him and trade Sharp, Bickell, etc.? Cause if Seabrook becomes available, we should be ALL OVER it.

  3. Ben says:

    I truly just don’t see the appeal for NIkitin not to go to FA. Maybe the Oil end up offering the best deal – but there’s no way of knowing what more favourable situations might be out there unless he gets to the 25th. (Despite E-Ville’s sunny beaches and championship calibre team).

  4. Younger Oil says:

    Nikitin, on paper, would probably be the third or fourth best defender on the team if he was signed today. He’s an upgrade on what we have, and it shelters our young defenders even more. Odds are he’ll be better than Ference, and will (hopefully) have a similar price tag. MacT is a smart guy, I’m sure he realizes he needs to add another very good defender in order to properly address the back end. Even after Nikitin, if we got a player like Boychuk (as a minimum skill level, I just use him as an example because he has been mentioned as a defender that can be had for cheap), that would give us a depth chart of

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Schultz
    Ference-Boychuk
    Klefbom

    and while that group lacks a stud #1 Dman, I would argue that this group is miles better than what we were icing for the majority of last season, and I personally think that is an average defensive depth chart in the NHL. It’s very well rounded.

    If Nikitin is MacT’s biggest move of the summer, then that is reason to worry, but I really think that MacT is going to do some good things this summer.

    Also, while Boyd Gordon’s contract was a bit of an overpay, I think he was worth every penny. He had a hell of a season, and filled a big hole in our lineup.

  5. spoiler says:

    VanOil:
    I am surprised by the league wide silence in signing RFA’s. I would want my house in order before I started drafting, dealing and chasing rainbows with pots of gold.

    Signing Petry before the draft would make my week. I am indifferent to Schultz or Nitikin signings.

    Might be the cap announcement holding things up. That and seeing what trades will come out of the draft, keeping your powder dry. MacT’s recent verbal has me hopeful, but then again he has spoken with forked tongue this off-season.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I had the same thought in my Nikitin post…

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/06/oilers-acquire-nikitins-rights/

    which is Nikitin supposed to be? the puck-mover or the defensive-defenseman?

    Or, is this some kind of ad lib?

    Right? maybe MacT’s idea of getting two D (one puck mover via trade; and a defensive-D via UFA) was the ideal and looking in on Nikitin is more of a reality-based plan.

    maybe that reality based plan looks more like Coburn and Nikitin than Campbell and Stralman?

    I have no idea.

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    When do we start having to worry about arbitration on the RFAs?

  8. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    When do we start having to worry about arbitration on the RFAs?

    Qualifying happens right after the draft.

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Qualifying happens right after the draft.

    good to know so many boxes were ticked off when there wasn’t much going on…

    lordy.

  10. WeirsBeard says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    When do we start having to worry about arbitration on the RFAs?

    Who is on Speeds’ RFA offer sheet hit list this year? Aside from Subban, I suppose.

  11. Younger Oil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I had the same thought in my Nikitin post…

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/06/oilers-acquire-nikitins-rights/

    which is Nikitin supposed to be? the puck-mover or the defensive-defenseman?

    Or, is this some kind of ad lib?

    Right? maybe MacT’s idea of getting two D (one puck mover via trade; and a defensive-D via UFA) was the ideal and looking in on Nikitin is more of a reality-based plan.

    maybe that reality based plan looks more like Coburn and Nikitin than Campbell and Stralman?

    I have no idea.

    I’m kind of thinking that MacT saw the opportunity to just improve our defence in general at virtually no cost, and went for it. IIRC, what he says in press conferences and interviews is rarely what actually happens.

    Another positive way of looking at it is that MacT could be bringing in another Russian to make things more comfortable for Yak, or to make Edmonton more appealing to Grabovski and Kulemin.

    Also, there are a lot of players on Columbus that could really help the Oilers. It’s never a bad thing that MacT is building a bit of a connection with Kekalainen.

    Unless MacT’s next move brings us Umberger :D

  12. sumaclab says:

    Drinking koolaid on a Saturday night but here it is. If your the Chicago Blackhawks the time to trade Patrick Kane is right freaking now, The Sabers have the #2 pick this year and the Islanders first round pick next year. I would trade kane for those 2 picks and some combination of prospects in a New York minute.

    The Sabers would fall all over themselves to aquire Kane. The Hawks know that they cannot keep their 4 core players till the end of their careers . Who better to pillage than Buffalo who have a deep pocketed owner looking to make amends with his fanbase after some seriously stupid FA signings.

    Ehrhoff will bring back some nice assets if you need to sweeten the deal.

    Just saying there is no time like the present.

  13. Hammers says:

    You said they overpaid to get Nikitan . They haven’t paid anything until a deal is done and if they don’t get him for the 5th they loose nothing . Still say I would give Nitkini $ 10 mill over 3 years . He proved he could get 32 points and I don’t think Fraser , M. Green . Engelland will get 32 points ever . This was/is a good gamble by McT . We will have an answer tomorrow ; probably no but cost nothing to try .

  14. sumaclab says:

    As far as FA and the Oilers goes. Forget about the A list and focus on the bridesmaids come JULY 1st. If anything fnd a complimetary player for BG and MH. Englund is the only guy I have interest in because he can play wing and Defence

  15. Lowetide says:

    Hammers:
    You said they overpaid to getNikitan . They haven’t paid anything until a deal is done and if they don’t get him for the 5th they loose nothing . Still say I would give Nitkini $ 10 mill over 3 years . He proved he could get 32 points and I don’t think Fraser , M. Green . Engelland will get 32 points ever . This was/is a good gamble by McT . We will have an answer tomorrow ; probably no but cost nothing to try .

    I said they “paid for the right to overpay” which is sound reasoning. Nikitin would be an idiot to sign now unless there’s a sweetener, either in dollars or term.

  16. Hammers says:

    Younger Oil:
    Nikitin, on paper, would probably be the third or fourth best defender on the team if he was signed today. He’s an upgrade on what we have, and it shelters our young defenders even more. Odds are he’ll be better than Ference, and will (hopefully) have a similar price tag. MacT is a smart guy, I’m sure he realizes he needs to add another very good defender in order to properly address the back end. Even after Nikitin, if we got a player like Boychuk (as a minimum skill level, I just use him as an example because he has been mentioned as a defender that can be had for cheap), that would give us a depth chart of

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Schultz
    Ference-Boychuk
    Klefbom

    and while that group lacks a stud #1 Dman, I would argue that this group is miles better than what we were icing for the majority of last season, and I personally think that is an average defensive depth chart in the NHL. It’s very well rounded.

    If Nikitin is MacT’s biggest move of the summer, then that is reason to worry, but I really think that MacT is going to do some good things this summer.

    Also, while Boyd Gordon’s contract was a bit of an overpay, I think he was worth every penny. He had a hell of a season, and filled a big hole in our lineup.

    Plus he cost less than Horc and did the same job .

  17. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: I said they “paid for the right to overpay” which is sound reasoning. Nikitin would be an idiot to sign now unless there’s a sweetener, either in dollars or term.

    Yea but there are always idiots out there and either way nothing to loose unless you think $ 10 mill is to much for 3 years . I don’t so I think its a good gamble .

  18. FastOil says:

    WeirsBeard: Who is on Speeds’ RFA offer sheet hit list this year? Aside from Subban, I suppose.

    Offer sheets are like hitting on your buddy’s girl. It only causes damage, either up front or behind the scenes.

    There are only 30 teams in an old boy, who you know league. Why burn a bridge? Or should the only Canadian affected major sport go even further down the road to win at all costs? Too ugly for me.

    Sign UFA’s or make a fair deal, for the benefit of the future, and the quality of the league. MacT seems confident that players that are interested in the relatively short experience of being an NHL player can be sold on Edmonton, the intensity, the tank and it’s results, and I personally don’t want a player that is looking for lifestyle.

    First, because given the money and length of career, they can live wherever they want, while active, for 1/3 of the year. Second, because after that they can do what they want, unlike most of the rest of us. The idea of the relative discomfort of living in a cold city, only in winter, becoming insanely wealthy from a game played on ice, offends me.

    What would happen if skiers demanded to live in California or Spain or Mexico all year round?

  19. spoiler says:

    I would much rather we had gotten the rights to speak to Stastny or Grabovski instead of NIkitin. Not going to happen as both their rights holders sound intent on at least trying to re-sign their respective properties. But that would have been my wish.

  20. spoiler says:

    FastOil: The idea of the relative discomfort of living in a cold city, only in winter, becoming insanely wealthy from a game played on ice, offends me.

    They have wives, families. Which has worked in our favour too, but can’t be discounted. It’s not like Van is a bad winter city, or weren’t contenders prior to this year, but Luongo still wanted to be with his wife.

  21. Andy P says:

    FastOil: What would happen if skiers demanded to live in California or Spain or Mexico all year round?

    They probably would if they could ski there during the competitive ski season :)

  22. Lloyd B. says:

    Lowetide,

    He is an idiot if he gets more money in FA. What if…we offer xx and xx term and he says no…I’ll wait til free agency thinking the Oilers offer is his baseline. Then nobody offers a better deal. Money or term or both. Then he comes back cap in hand saying ok…I’lll take your deal. Except then MacT says nope…that was then…this is what we are offering now. Then who is the idiot. I suspect an agent will be short one client.

  23. MrEd says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Lowetide,

    He is an idiot if he gets more money in FA. What if…we offer xx and xx term and he says no…I’ll wait til free agency thinking the Oilers offer is his baseline.Then nobody offers a better deal.Money or term or both.Then he comes back cap in hand saying ok…I’lll take your deal. Except then MacT says nope…that was then…this is what we are offering now. Then who is the idiot.I suspect an agent will be short one client.

    14M over 4yrs. 5,4,3,2. Negotiate with bonuses. Oilers have drawn their line in the sand. If NN thinks that the market will pay more then so be it. Let other clubs blow there brains out.

  24. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: …either in dollars or term.

    Or a good situation. Detroit will get him for less than MacT might offer, for example.

    Unless Katz is secretly building a subterranean Las Vegas under the Oildrop, the Oilers will be lacking in this area for a while yet. Let’s just start with some winning, and see where that goes.

  25. justDOit says:

    Andy P: They probably would if they could ski there during the competitive ski season

    Don’t look now…

  26. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Pity LT when he gets up to Loud Noises 31 or will it be Very Small Whimpers 9 by then.

  27. justDOit says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴,

    Well there does come a time when loud noises are no longer loud.

  28. Deadman Waiting says:

    Younger Oil:
    what he says in press conferences and interviews is rarely what actually happens

    What he said was that it was up to Eakins whether to make changes among the assistant coaches, and then that’s exactly what happened.

    I have a lot of trouble imaging the average work environment if the big cheese makes two statements:

    A) It’s up to Dallas.
    B) I like Bucky and Steve.

    and the vast majority of people hearing this assume that (B), an expression of personal sentiment, rides shotgun over (A), his formal statement of delegation.

    I better get on my horse informing the half dozen people in my social circle involved with mediation and conflict resolution that they’re badly out of touch with the masses.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    so… like 1 (or 3 depending on time zone… wait maybe 4 if they use PST) hours left?

  30. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ben:
    I truly just don’t see the appeal for NIkitin not to go to FA. Maybe the Oil end up offering the best deal – but there’s no way of knowing what more favourable situations might be out there unless he gets to the 25th. (Despite E-Ville’s sunny beaches and championship calibre team).

    You’re right, he’ll be able to talk to all the teams on Wed.

    That Dispatch piece said that several teams had inquired about him, and the permission granted to MacT was not exclusive. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nikitin has talked to more than 1 team, and probably has a good idea of what the market is for his services. He may want to wait, but he may feel he has enough information and be ready to sign a contract.

    We wait

  31. Gerta Rauss says:

    Gerta Rauss: You’re right, he’ll be able to talk to all the teams on Wed.

    That Dispatch piece said that several teams had inquired about him, and the permission granted to MacT was not exclusive. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nikitin has talked to more than 1 team, and probably has a good idea of what the market is for his services. He may want to wait, but he may feel he has enough information and be ready to sign a contract.

    We wait

    And it wouldn’t surprise me if the ‘NHL sources’ is the players agent.-he’d want to chum the waters and bid up his client

  32. Hammers says:

    Seems most everyone agree the Oilers have to overpay especially with an 8 year loosing track record . McT know this as well as anyone as his been here for years . Here is his tightrope and that is how much above say Detroit or even Vancouver does he pay . We all agree Gordon has been great but basically is overpaid . Agree or don’t but guess what he more than earned his money . My guess is most players McT goes after will have a good idea what they are in for . All we can do is hope he makes the right choices be it trades or UFA players. This next 11 days will be a time to remember me thinks .

  33. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    so… like 1 (or 3 depending on time zone… wait maybe 4 if they use PST) hours left?

    I think three at the outer marker, but this is the NHL.

  34. jake70 says:

    FastOil: Offer sheets are like hitting on your buddy’s girl. It only causes damage, either up front or behind the scenes.

    First, because given the money and length of career, they can live wherever they want, while active, for 1/3 of the year. Second, because after that they can do what they want, unlike most of the rest of us. The idea of the relative discomfort of living in a cold city, only in winter, becoming insanely wealthy from a game played on ice, offends me.

    What would happen if skiers demanded to live in California or Spain or Mexico all year round?

    Interesting…was listening to Tim&Sid on SN360 couple of days ago. They (well Tim), was really ripping players for not wanting to play in Canada (the Spezza situation). But they were commenting that it was the media, not the weather, for this trend. I can understand the players and the Canadian city fishbowl thing….. but it was also good to hear some media ripping them. It was also interesting that Spezza did not specifically put Toronto or Montreal on his no-fly list…..knowing he wouldn’t be traded intra-division to a rival….thus his list is a defacto 12 team list, not 10.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Little known fact*. the NHL uses Finnish time. So, the window expired hours ago.

    *not a real fact.

  36. Racki says:

    The D pairings in the article are the best we’ve seen here in a while. I would definitely be behind that.

    If this quote was from MacT “he’s a veteran like Nick Schultz and Ference, but he’s also a little more adept at the ol’ tape-to-tape” … I don’t think it was about Nikitin. Almost positive. Nikitin isn’t what I’d call a vet by anything other than age. He’s still a work in progress. Ehrhoff? That’s a vet. Definitely a big step above Nick Schultz and Ference though, so that doesn’t sound right either. But I’m all for bringing in Ehrhoff. I think he makes the D a lot more legit. You can’t put enough value on a player like that, even if he isn’t upper tier D. It’s kind of like having Visnovsky here. He’s not elite talent, but he’s a legitimate NHL defenseman that makes his pairings better and creates calm for his team when on the ice.

  37. David says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-draft/kadri-package-not-enough-to-get-no-1/

    Just goes to show how many varied opinions there are out there. This article claims two NHL scouts who would have Ritchie number one and two who would have him at number two. There are probably scouts who have someone like McCann number one or Honka top five.

  38. lance says:

    I think some of my fondest memories are the day they signed Souray, the day stauffer? announced he saw Renney and OTC climbing out of the car, and or course the Vanek deal.

    I hope MacT blows his wad. I really do. Those were fun times. I have no remaining aspirations for playoffs. Just entertainment. A 100M offer sheet to Subban would be the total cat bouncing meow.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Some draft stories over the years

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/6/21/odds-and-ends-1

  40. raventalon40 says:

    I must be the only person who misses Philip Larsen. I thought he was an (surprisingly) effective energy winger and decent spot point duty on the 2nd PP unit.

  41. misfit says:

    raventalon40:
    I must be the only person who misses Philip Larsen. I thought he was an (surprisingly) effective energy winger and decent spot point duty on the 2nd PP unit.

    Really? The guy should’ve never been given PP time IMO. He was awful.

  42. Broiler says:

    raventalon40:
    I must be the only person who misses Philip Larsen. I thought he was an (surprisingly) effective energy winger and decent spot point duty on the 2nd PP unit.

    I also thought he might of earned a job as a utility player, 7th defence an emergency winger

  43. Hammers says:

    Should be a fun week for all hockey fans .Really like the idea that talking (Officially ) before July 1st was brought in . Should mean deals come in the first few hours . Hopefully McT & Howson are both on the phones . Set there $$$$ limits now, divide the players and go .

  44. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    David:
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-draft/kadri-package-not-enough-to-get-no-1/

    Just goes to show how many varied opinions there are out there. This article claims two NHL scouts who would have Ritchie number one and two who would have him at number two. There are probably scouts who have someone like McCann number one or Honka top five.

    One of the reasons I like Button’s list as idiosyncratic as it is.

    Remind us that aggregate lists aren’t a “consensus” in the sense that a group has gotten together, argued it out and reached a conclusion. They are simply the aggregate of a series of individual opinions.

    They smooth out all the noise. But, it’s still there.

  45. frjohnk says:

    nycoil:
    Loud noises from Garth Snow
    http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/islanders-gm-garth-snow-looking-to-trade-1.8528053

    Put Gagner and Joensuu on the table for the 5th pick and see how crazy Snow really is.

  46. ashley says:

    nycoil:
    Loud noises from Garth Snow
    http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/islanders-gm-garth-snow-looking-to-trade-1.8528053

    A greedy J Schultz and Gagner for 5OV and Bailey. Maybe a third rounder thrown in somewhere.

    The J Schultz contract is going to sandbag this rebuild for the next 5 years.

  47. spoiler says:

    Hammers: Set there $$$$ limits now, divide the players and go

    You cannot negotiate dollars during the grace period. I have no idea what you mean by “divide the players”.

  48. speeds says:

    spoiler,

    Based on this article:

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/263862641.html

    Sounds like you can talk about money and term, but can’t make binding offers or promises.

  49. spoiler says:

    speeds: spoiler, Based on this article:http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/263862641.htmlSounds like you can talk about money and term, but can’t make binding offers or promises.

    I have seen this presented the other way around in many places. Friedman also points out you can’t discuss money or term during the grace period in his latest 30 Thoughts, but also points out that it is almost impossible to enforce.

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