The Bruinization of the Edmonton Oilers continued today—in a very big way. Peter Chiarelli signed one of his trusted soldiers—a giant from the Vancouver docks—the two men welded together by the 2011 Stanley.
I have watched enough sports to see that teams can win championships more than one way—Whitey Herzog and Earl Weaver won in the same era and in different ways—and we are approaching a point where the ‘Bruins West’ are almost complete. Does this big team have enough skill? I suspect PC is not done yet, but from here it looks a little lean on RHD and RW.
OILERS CURRENT PROJECTED ROSTER AND CAP ROOM
- Milan Lucic is the feature presentation for this new depth chart. He is the biggest free agent signing of the modern era for the Oilers, and his cost ($6M cap hit times seven) is very big and potentially very difficult to get away from should things go sideways.
- Lucic was brought in for this coming season and the two or three after, with the remains of the day a concern for Peter Chiarelli (or the next GM) after a period of success.
- Taken with the trade for Adam Larsson, the team does have more balance—although the overall strength of the offense was made worse by the loss of Taylor Hall.
- Jesse Puljujarvi will likely be signed in the coming days, and that will impact the cap and the RW portion of this depth chart. Ryan Rishaug talked with us on TSN1260 today (and tweeted) about the possibility of the young Russian returning. It is possible we see an ongoing audition for the skill jobs on the starboard for Edmonton this year. Jordan Eberle should get the McDavid job, with Nail, JP, Zack Kassian and possibly Iiro Pakarinen working for opportunities. Do not discount Drake Caggiula or Anton Slepyshev as possible solutions in this area.
- Chiarelli said he would like to add a D who can move the puck up and help on the power play. Based on reports we have seen, it sounds like Tyson Barrie is a target and Colorado has to figure out how they would like to proceed.
Chiarelli says they are out on Demers. Still in touch with Gryba but have some other irons in fire so will circle back to Gryba camp #Oilers
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) July 1, 2016
The Oilers signed a backup goalie (Jonas Gustavsson) and yet another LHD (Mark Fraser) as smaller moves in free agency. Both moves are somewhat curious, but the truth is neither man is likely to have a massive impact on the year ahead. I would mark Gustavsson as slightly better than Anders Nilsson—but Laurent Brossoit should be able to win the backup job at some point in the coming season.
50-MAN LIST (44)
If they asked me (they won’t) I would suggest:
- Using three of the six available signings to add Jesse Puljujarvi, Ethan Bear, Josh Winquist. It sounds like Eric Gryba is in play.
- Signing Jason Demers now, the organization is waiting on Tyson Barrie. Signing Demers may mean using a forward on the power-play point (with, say, Klefbom), but getting Demers (at a reasonable number) makes sense to me.
- Trading at least one LHD (among the prospects) for a RHD. Seriously. It has to be possible, and it bothers me. Seriously. I like order. This is like leaving the dishes unwashed and heading on vacation:
Bah! That is impossible to deal with, please make it balance! And speaking of balance, Peter Chiarelli has a chance to get that so very difficult job done this summer. I will never agree with his trading of Taylor Hall, but it did put him within spitting distance of running a balanced roster this fall. If he can trade for Tyson Barrie, replace my favorite Oiler with a RHC who can play a two-way game, then we can talk about the future, a balanced team, and the playoffs. Peter Chiarelli is building this team in his own image—the Connor McDavid Oilers officially look like the Bruins team PC began building a decade ago. It would have been easier—and better—if the GM had adapted his style to the brilliant roster pieces he was gifted, but that was not to be, and we are here.
"I'm really happy with what we've done." GM Chiarelli, says he'll "let the dust settle" before looking at more potential #Oilers moves
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 1, 2016
MILAN LUCIC 2015-16
- 5×5 points per 60: 2.04
- 5×4 points per 60: 2.83
- Corsi For 5×5 %: 59.3 (No. 2 among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: toughest among regular forwards (1line opp)
- Qual Team: best teammates among regular forwards (top line)
- Corsi Rel: 11.4 (No. 2 among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 124/16.1
- Boxcars: 81gp, 20-35-55
- One final note. A tremendous amount of verbal today about Milan Lucic as a player, and I have to say it is surprising. Folks, this is an excellent player, a legitimate addition to the club. Milan Lucic is a perfect fit for the Oilers fan, I hope you give him a chance this winter. He is not Taylor Hall, he is Milan Lucic—and just as Whitey Herzog and Earl Weaver won with jackrabbits or a bloop and a blast, so too can the Edmonton Oilers win with a power lineup that is complemented with speed and skill.
- The beautiful dream died this week, I believe. You can blame Peter Chiarelli, Todd McLellan, Bob Nicholson, New Jersey, Taylor Hall, Stu MacGregor, Steve Tambellini, Dallas Eakins, the baby Jesus.
- The Edmonton Oilers are still about gorgeous hockey, but not all of the time. There is a smash mouth feel to the roster above, dump and chase, outnumber, rugged and ugly, a full day’s work. I loved the possibilities and believe those dreams could have come true.
- The Taylor Hall Oilers are gone. They are gone. That is a fact. Pray baby Jesus the new boy King gets more support than the last boy hero. I think that is what this week is about, and the man charged with the heavy work had an idea about this roster many of us did not share.
- This is Peter Chiarelli’s team, now, today.