The world continued turning as it should today, North America’s most northern major city enjoying a lovely afternoon. Blue skies, sunshine, colorful clothing and music and laughter. A good day for the roses. On the hockey front, all hell broke loose and mister, it figures to get a whole lot more interesting in the hours to come.
Ducks re-sign defenseman Sami Vatanen to a four-year contract extension.
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) June 18, 2016
Bob Murray says in a Facebook Live session that a priority is getting a left-shooting left wing. "High quality left winger if possible."
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) June 18, 2016
Taken together, this is not necessarily good news for the Oilers. Vatanen was a target, as was Tyson Barrie as was Justin Faulk and they are all apparently off the market. I never really believe this stuff—Travis Hamonic remains on my list of possibles—but the Vatanen contract is a pretty nice one and I do believe Anaheim will keep him.
I am okay with Vatanen being off the list, for one main reason. Although he is a sublime puck mover, it is my opinion the team needs that two-way solution more. When I list the Chiarelli needs, the two-way defender (the Hamonic) is always first on the list for that season.
I was talking to Cam Thompson (Rivers Q) on twitter awhile back, and he reminded me of the days when MacT would run four forwards—one on the point. MacT would try it, have a great deal of initial success, and some damned idiot would score a SH goal and MacT would go back to the button down solution. It can and will work, and Edmonton needs a shooter on the point—forwards can help there.
THE D LIST
- LD Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks. Perfect fit, if available.
- PK Subban, Montreal Canadiens. If available, shoot the moon.
- Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. Perfect fit, if available.
- Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues. He solves the issue, would cost the moon and has one year left. Problematic solution.
- Jason Demers, Dallas Stars. Wilford Brimley: The right thing to do.
Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. Nuge? LD Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars. He would be an outstanding option.
- Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers. Strong, effective defender.
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. Would be higher, question availability. Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. Solid offense, not completely proven. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets. Strange year for a talented young player.
- David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets. Range of skills.
- LD Keith Yandle, NY Rangers. Offensive defenseman.
Michael Stone, Arizona Coyotes. Major knee surgery.
- LD Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers. He is effective.
- Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils. A nice underlying option.
- Mark Pysyk, Buffalo Sabres. The numbers imply there is a player here.
- Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders. Big shot from the point has high value. Very young.
- Ryan Murphy, Carolina Hurricanes. Some chaos, but good speed and puck-moving ability.
- Brandon Montour, Anaheim Ducks. This could be a special player.
- Cody Franson, Buffalo Sabres. That hammer from the point would come in handy and he fits a real need.
- Jordan Schmaultz, St. Louis Blues. Puck-moving prospect.
- Anthony DeAngelo, Tampa Bay Lightning. Another player with a puck-moving element to his game.
- Colin Miller, Boston Bruins. With the other Miller signing, maybe he is available.
- LD David Schlemko, New Jersey Devils. Depth D, has some nice things.
- Eric Gryba, Edmonton Oilers. I think management likes him.
- Ville Pokka, Chicago Blackhawks. Young defender in the Chicago system.
- Ryan Sproul, Detroit Red Wings. Puck-moving defender in the AHL.
- Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames. A year removed from a fantastic offensive season.
- RD Dan Boyle, New York Rangers. Retiring, but he is the player they are looking for—early, not late in his career.
SUH-WING AND A MISS!
We talked about this the other day, but in light of the Vatanen signing I wanted to mention it again. Right now, Peter Chiarelli has plenty of options—including simply signing Jason Demers and Dan Boyle as free agents. Not ideal of course, but keeping that forward group intact (McDavid, Hall, Nuge, Leon, Eberle, Pouliot) is a grand idea. Once he makes his big move, then all other options fly away. Better to be sure, and since one of his major bargaining chips plays out one week from now, probably wise to slow play the future.
I keep coming back to No. 4 overall. It is the key to the draft highway this summer. Whether or not Columbus chooses Jesse Puljujarvi or trades down, Edmonton remains the sweet spot. A team looking for Matt Tkachuk or Pierre-Luc Dubois—Winnipeg, Montreal, Buffalo, Philadelphia—have to make that call to Peter Chiarelli.
History tells us that No. 4 overall pick will have its ultimate value on the draft floor, after 4:30 our time Friday afternoon. Peter Chiarelli, veteran GM, would do well to keep his powder dry, make certain he extracts true value, and then pulls the trigger on the best deal. The best deal should involve a RHD who can help those brilliant forwards pummel the Vancouver Canucks senseless—and that is for sure.
Bakersfield Condors signed (F) Josh Currie to a one-year AHL contract #AHL
— nhlfreeagents (@NHLFREEAGENTS) June 18, 2016
Another Bakersfield addition, like this player and good for him. He did not get an NHL deal, but rather a chance to impress the 30 NHL teams on a pretty big stage. Here are the men who have signed into the organization this spring (NHL or AHL) and will probably spend the fall and winter in California:
- L Drake Cagguila, North Dakota (NCAA) (39, 25-26-51)
- R Patrick Russell, St. Cloud State (NCAA) (41, 20-21-41)
- L Jere Salinen, Jokerit (Sm-Liiga) (50, 8-11-19)
- G Nick Ellis, Providence (NCAA) (36, 1.80 .936)
- L Ryan Hamilton, Bakersfield (AHL) (60, 20-13-33) (AHL)
- F Josh Currie, Bakersfield (AHL) (53, 10-14-24) (AHL)
- W Joey Benik, St. Cloud State (NCAA) (41, 23-25-48) (AHL)
- D Colton Waltz, Saskatoon Blades (WHL) (65, 5-25-30) (AHL)
- R Iiro Pakarinen, he should get signed in the next while. RFA
- D Jordan Oesterle, I think he has passed most of the picks. RFA.
- D Adam Clendening. Foot speed will cost him. RFA.
- D David Musil, his skills are duplicated multiple times. RFA.
- L Luke Gazdic. He is in tough at this points. RFA
R Tyler Pitlick. Young AHL veteran now. RFA
- R Adam Cracknell, he brings some toughness and reliability. UFA.
R Rob Klinkhammer. Off to Russia. UFA.
- D Adam Pardy. He played well, doubt there is room. UFA.
- D Eric Gryba, UFA. A chance he signs. UFA.
- D Nikita Nikitin, UFA. Ufa alright.
- D Brad Hunt. Skills are duplicated elsewhere. UFA.
- L Josh Winquist. Best offensive prospect in the AHL currently—but does not have an NHL deal.
R Josh Currie At 23, he forced his way into the lineup and played very well. Can also play center.
- C Marco Roy. Began slowly, but fought his way up the depth chart and emerged as a solid option.
G Niklas Lundstrom. Signed with Bjorkloven for next year.
- L Kale Kessy. Rugged winger, skills duplicated on roster. RFA.
- R Andrew Miller. He may have traded himself. No chance he returns imo. UFA.
L Ryan Hamilton. May receive another deal from the Oilers. G Keven Bouchard. 2014 pick needs to be signed. L Daniil Zharkov. Own his rights.