The Edmonton Oilers under Peter Chiarelli made their first significant moves since the end of the regular season. After drafting Connor McDavid, the new GM added three men in their 20’s: Griffin Reinhart (21), Eric Gryba (27) and Cam Talbot (turns 28 this week). The team is adding players who are either in their prime or could grow along with the McDavid cluster—that’s a great idea in theory—and hope they have added three useful pieces.
What’s next? I think the Oilers may be active this week but am unsure about how many long term deals in free agency will be offered by the team. Edmonton is more likely to spend in free agency next season, when Teddy Purcell, Niki Nikitin, Boyd Gordon and Ben Scrivens come off the books (that’s over $14M).
My guess is the Oilers kick some tires (Sekera, 29; Franson, 27; Green, 29) on younger players before trying to sign a shorter deal with Paul Martin or Christian Ehrhoff. I could see Francois Beauchemin on a short-term deal (can HE see himself in Edmonton? That’s a better question) but there are few names available who look like longer solutions for the Oilers.
I think a trade is possible and may be preferable. The obvious candidates are the Boston Bruins (Chiarelli’s former team) and the San Jose Sharks (Todd McLellan’s old crew). One wonders about Vancouver too, they’re having trouble moving Kevin Bieksa so perhaps they’ll decide to dangle another blue (Oilers appear somewhat set RH side on their second and third pairing with Mark Fayne and Eric Gryba). IF the team does a trade, it’s probably wise to assume a young player will be heading out of town.
I believe that may have been the plan, but Calgary’s move to grab Dougie Hamilton probably puts the boots to that idea. I imagine we’ll hear about Hamilton’s signing a long term deal Monday or Tuesday, can’t imagine the Flames don’t get that deal done. It was a nice dream, truly.
I think we can begin to piece this roster together, with the understanding that some of the pieces (top pairing D, possibly a two-way forward) are still to come.
- GOAL: Cam Talbot, Ben Scrivens
- LEFT DEFENSE: Oscar Klefbom, Niki Nikitin, Griffin Reinhart, Andrew Ference
- RIGHT DEFENSE: Justin Schultz, Mark Fayne, Eric Gryba
- CENTER: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid (projected), Anton Lander, Boyd Gordon
- LEFT WING: Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot, Leon Draisaitl, Matt Hendricks, Luke Gazdic
- RIGHT WING: Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Teddy Purcell, Rob Klinkhammer, Iiro Pakarinen
Areas I can see changing? The Justin Schultz position (meaning either he or Fayne moving); the Leon Draisaitl situation (bringing in that two-way winger I’ve talked about since Pisani left); the Gazdic/Pakarinen situation (Chiarelli’s Boston teams had swingmen who could play center, Daniel Paille types).
Draft McDavid Find a quality goalie option
- Acquire a legit top pairing blue
- Sign a more offensive two-way F
Ignore MacT re: Marincin (Or trade Marincin for real value and not a damn pick)
I believe Chiarelli will get a defenseman this week, but am not convinced it’s going to be a free agent. Sekera fits but few others do. Green? He’s going to be very expensive, folks. Franson? I like him, don’t know if Chiarelli would sign him without moving Justin Schultz.
I think it could happen. If you look at the defensemen Chiarelli brought in (Reinhart, Gryba) there’s a clear need for a puck-moving type defender. However, Schultz may not be the player Chiarelli wants in that spot, perhaps he’ll like a more substantial defender like Oscar Klefbom in that role (but with more experience). I think that’s a trade, to be honest. That’s the play here. Trade Justin Schultz in a package, this week.
Note: Speeds is knocking it out of the park on free agency these days, great insight for Oilers fans. His latest is here.