Elliotte Friedman let loose with an overflowing 30 thoughts earlier today, and several passages involved the Oilers. The money quote from Friedman: They’re going to look for a centre, because they don’t want to rush Leon Draisaitl for no reason.
- 21. Edmonton landed two of its top targets in free agency — Mark Fayne and Benoit Pouliot. (Someone was willing to go a sixth year on Pouliot, so the Oilers went to five to get him.) They also took a run at Olli Jokinen, who took slightly less in salary elsewhere (but in a tax-free state). They’re going to look for a centre, because they don’t want to rush Leon Draisaitl for no reason. Same goes for Darnell Nurse. Sault Ste. Marie has a good rep, so I don’t think it would bother Edmonton if he needs to go back there and try for the World Juniors.
I’m fine with the Pouliot contract. This was the lesson of David Clarkson last summer, but the club got a better player and a better match. I know the money is dear, but the Oilers need a specific player-type and Pouliot fits. It’s like Gordon a year ago. This is also the passage that mentions their third target (Jokinen) along with Fayne and Pouliot—we can discuss it later but that would appear to be a fairly nice group from this summer’s free agents.
BENOIT POULIOT EXTRA SKATER (1.80 5×5 per 60)
This is going to sound insincere but I’m glad the Oilers got Fayne and Pouliot, and am satisfied they can find a suitable player in the fall should Arco and or Leon falter. If something comes available, maybe we’ll see an addition before training camp, although I wouldn’t count on it.
- 22. Could see two University of Wisconsin alumni — Jake Gardiner and Justin Schultz — agreeing to short bridge deals.
Pleased to see this, MacT is in some danger here in regard to Schultz. With Petry less than 12 months from full fledged free agency, Schultz is the future on the RH side along with Fayne and (probably) someone from OKC (possibly treble Klef). A two-year deal for reasonable dollars allows Edmonton cap freedom and room to take on a bargain contract (should it come available) from Philly or Boston or Chicago.
- 35. Benning wasn’t going there, but it is believed both Vancouver and Edmonton tried to pry Patrik Berglund from St. Louis. With Vladimir Sobotka gone, it’s harder to see the Blues parting with Berglund. “We see our centre ice being big and the toughest to play against with Berglund in it,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. “He gives us a lot of options.” (Armstrong would not comment on specific teams that asked).
Berglund may in fact have been a target, but I’d love to see Vladimir Sabotka here instead. Reports in the previous thread suggest this bird has flown to Russia already, but a guy can dream.
So, not earth shattering but some news worth reading during a long summer without news. This reminds me of those precious days when the monthly Hockey News would arrive at Rexall, and I’d read it from cover to cover and back again.
Hurry sundown, hurry cool September. WHAT am I saying?