When we talk about the Oilers filling all those holes (two RHD, a RHC, a backup G) it is looking increasingly likely the team will be forced into accomplishing a few of those things next year. Perhaps the best plan of attack? Solving one, not two of the main defensive issues. The key is to have fewer holes next summer, and from what I can tell acquiring two long-term defensive options will be close to impossible before September.
CHIARELLI’S NEEDS LIST
- Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (Jason Demers, Justin Faulk)
- Second-pairing RHD to partner with Sekera (Tyson Barrie, Sami Vatanen)
- Acquire RHC with some skill (Small group available)
- Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, James Reimer)
The solutions this summer could be Jason Demers, Cody Franson, Andrew Shaw and Chad Johnson—with only Demers and Shaw representing long-term investments. That would mean going through the expansion draft next year, then addressing the issues—hopefully fewer than this summer—that remain for this team.
Yesterday on the Lowdown, Paul Almeida suggested signing Demers and acquiring another D—with the idea that Demers would be exposed in the expansion draft next season. I am not a fan it, but it is a very interesting idea worth discussing.
CONNOR MCDAVID, STUDENT OF THE GAME
- McDavid on faceoffs: “Everyone cheats. If you’re not doing that, I think you’re just going to get beat clean. It’s obviously something that I haven’t figured out yet. Definitely looking to work on that.” Source
I love reading this stuff from young players. Connor McDavid is going to be a great offensive player in this league—hell, he already is! That quote tells you he wants to be a complete player, the best player. Music!
Key NHL dates
June 22: Awards
June 24-25: Draft
June 25: UFA interview period opens
June 28: RFA interview period opens
July 1: Free agency
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) May 18, 2016
Oilers could begin discussions with Milan Lucic on day two of the draft. I think it is a good bet the team will have procured Matt Tkachuk on June 24, and if things look promising for Milan Lucic, who among the LWs is heading out of town? Pouliot for Vatanen? Or something else? Nuge for Tyson Barrie seems to be the most likely scenario based on reading the tea leaves.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) June 8, 2016
Craig Button’s list is always a blast, he is a lot like Red Line in that it is a completely independent look. I think people don’t get Button because they think he is trying to duplicate the Bob McKenzie list. No sir. This is a scout with miles of experience projecting players based on what his eyes tell him. Crazy value there, friend. Here is a quick look at some of the interesting similarities and differences between the Button list and my own (which is here):
- Button has Jake Bean No. 12, I have Bean No. 17
- Button has Kieffer Bellows No. 13, I have Bellows No. 21
- Button has Jakob Chychrun No. 17, I have Chychrun No. 9
- Button has Brett Howden No. 18, I have Howden No. 52
- Button has Alex DeBrincat No. 21, I have DeBrincat No. 15
- Button has Will Bitten No. 25, I have Bitten No. 32
- Button has Dennis Cholowski No. 26, I have him No. 78
- Button has Pascal Laberge No. 35, I have him No. 19
- Button has Rasmus Asplund No. 36, I have him No. 27
- Button has Taylor Raddysh at No. 40, I have him No. 24
- Button has Adam Mascherin No. 57, I have him No. 22
- Button has Julien Gauthier No. 43, I have him No. 28
- Button has Max Jones No. 42, I have him No. 29
I get emails and dms and texts and such a lot these days, mostly about which asset is heading out. I always reply ‘too soon to know’ or ‘it depends’ because—in my opinion—Peter Chiarelli will have made a list and then found the ask on each player. He may now be slotting this list and then deciding the middle area—the sweet spot—where the return is substantial and the ask is acceptable. Let’s make a quick list, with an aggressive ask (these are not trade proposals):
- RD P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens. Taylor Hall.
- LD Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks. Taylor Hall.
- Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. Oscar Klefbom.
- Jason Demers, Dallas Stars. $5.5 million times five.
- Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. Nuge.
- Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers. No. 4 overall (Edm also gets Sanheim).
- Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. Nuge.
- Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. Benoit Pouliot/Nail Yakupov (Edm gets a pick).
- Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets. No. 4 overall.
Now, I am making up the asset return (and you may feel some are wildly unfair), but the idea is that somewhere in there Peter Chiarelli has a deal he likes more than the others. Which one would you choose? I remain on the Demers train, the least attractive deal is Trouba for No. 4 overall.
Folks, the forward group that includes McDavid, Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Leon and Pouliot should be kept intact—as much as possible. There are other ways to address the defense and the idea of acquiring a Tyson Barrie for RNH robs Peter to pay Paul. If they do it, and I do think it is somewhere between possible and probable, it is not using an area of strength to address need. Not at all.
Don't know about you, but I'm not quite ready to rave about the Oilers just yet. pic.twitter.com/CSoKgOARvn
— Graphic Comments (@GraphicComments) June 7, 2016
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy, fun show today on TSN1260 beginning at 10 back in the studio. Scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Hampus Lindholm, three scoring lines, what about ‘going rental’ on a couple of these positional needs?
- Rex Libris, The Oilers Rig and Flames Nation. Oilers blue, the draft, plus some Flames questions.
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. Is this the last night of the season?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!