NHL teams received their ceiling/floor cap numbers today, and it’s harsh but not as stifling as we’d hoped for back in the old pre-McDavid days. Bottom line: There will be pain among the big spenders and bargains will happen. Edmonton being a part of the action remains unwritten but they have an chance.

Let’s start with the Oilers roster as it currently stands.

oilers current roster june 23

  • 16 players (seven to be added, including No. 1 G, 3D, 3F)
  • $51,682,000 for those 16 players
  • $19,618,000 available for final seven players

There ARE players who can be added based on the current roster. UFA’s Justin Schultz ($3.675M cap hit last year) and Martin Marincin ($870,000) may be renewed, which would bring the totals to 18 players, $56,350,000 (est) leaving $15,050,000 for five players.

Connor McDavid (with bonuses) would be $3.775M and Leon Draisaitl (without bonuses) would be $925,000; that would bring us to 20 players, $61.05M (est) leaving $10,350,000 for three players: Starting goaltender, No. 1 defenseman and Carl Soderberg. That’s how I see this going, and if Cam Talbot ($1.45M) is the goalie coming in, there could be almost $9 million dollars for the No. 1 defenseman and Soderberg (and Edmonton could pay some of the Leon bonus this season, instead of burying him in the AHL to start the season in order to make sure the bonuses can’t be met—by the way, he can’t win the Calder).


When Peter Chiarelli was talking yesterday, there was a brief period where he specifially discussed defense.

  • Chiarelli: We’re going to play better defensively, we hoped to improve our defence. Our defensemen will improve, the defensive lay will improve. Source

That just about sums it up. No matter how we’ve sliced it this spring, the defense looks ghastly. At $71.4M, I think the Oilers might have $4-5M to spend on a number one blue, more if they can find a way to rid themselves of a big contract. The problem for Peter Chiarelli: MOST of the contracts we’re talking about here come off the books next year, no strings attached. Peter Chiarelli may be wise to grab a goalie, add the best defenseman he can afford via free agency and keep his powder dry for next summer.

It isn’t sexy, but it’s the right play here unless an NHL team comes calling with something too good to refuse.



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  1. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    G Money:

    Kmart, here are the population sizes:

    Goalies who started in the NHL and played at least one game between 2005 and 2014: 145

    Goalies who made it to 1,300 EV saves: 44 (we used 43 because we excluded Talbot)

    We reduced the 145 because there were a few active goalies in that set who were very likely to make it to 1,300 saves (e.g. Hammond), so it would be wrong to call those failures.

    So we approximated as 44 of 140, which is where we get the 70% failure rate from.Bear in mind, this is not the sample failure rate.It’s the actual failure rate.

    Of the 43 goalies, only one demonstrably failed to have a long subsequent career: Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.

    There are of course a few early stage goalies (Talbot included) for whom the book is not yet written and who may yet fail out.But most of them are looking pretty good at this point.The ones who aren’t and are likely failures (e.g. Fasth) are telegraphing that failure – their sv% at 1,300 is low enough that failure is the expected outcome.

    Scrivens is an interesting study.The general sentiment here is that he’s likely to fail out.My look at goalies suggests the opposite.The dip that Scrivens has gone through, while more severe than most, is not unusual at all.Many goalies dip in their intermediate careers.Because its such a distinct pattern, my theory is that it may be the pressure that comes with being a starter for the first time.Takes some time for the goalie to adapt.

    Out of the 61 goalies we studied, 44 ‘successes’ and 17 washouts, there was just a single exception in both sets, and both were – sigh – Oilers.In the 17 washouts, every single one had a lousy sv% at 50 games except one: Jussi Markkanen.

    If the size of the 50 game list and the 1,300 save list seems inconsistent, it is because the number of goalies who make it to 50 games and wash out is SO LOW, that Wheat had to go back another 7 years just to get the list up to 17.

    So like I say, the data is amazingly consistent:

    – Lousy goalies almost always wash out of the NHL before they hit 50 games, let alone 1,300 EV saves (the latter translates to closer to 60 to 70 NHL games)

    – Goalies that washout almost always have a poor sv%, less than .910, at the 50 game mark, so you can tell who is likely to fail and who isn’t

    – Once you hit 1,300 EV saves, failure rate is extremely low

    – Sv% at 1,300 EV saves is remarkably predictive of sv% at rest of career

    – Because its so predictive, its also a qualitative judgement.Or to put it another, the correlation also holds for quality.Elite goalies tend to have a high sv% at 1,300.Backups a low one.Fasth for example is near the bottom of the list at 1,300 so he’s been telegraphing his failure.

    EDIT: as noted by Wheat, only one goalie that started really high, Reimer, has sunk to backup level since.The more common direction is to improve.In other words, sv% at 1,300 saves tends to slighly underestimate career sv%.

    As I’ve mentioned a few times – when I set out (joined by Wheat) to analyze goalies and their career arcs, I never expected that the data would look like this.Not in a million years.I thought it would be all over the map, with minimal predictive value.

    That’s because I’ve always bought the common refrain, ‘goalies are voodoo’ and therefore ‘x games is a small sample size’. (for any x less than about 200)

    The first is true because as far as predictive ability goes from e.g. AHL to NHL, there is none that I can see.

    But the second is false.Once you have 1,300 EV saves under your belt as a goalie, you are no longer voodoo.

    In fact, this goalie dataset is one of the most unequivocal datasets I’ve ever come across while studying hockey.

    Isn’t it kind of eerie that the bulk of goalie “outliers” and all out flops were Oilers? Doesn’t that say something of the futility era we’ve been through?

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