Peter Chiarelli is somewhat unique among Oilers general managers who came before. The most successful GM in team history, Glen Sather, was very good at controlling the message. Breaking news about trades or contract disputes wasn’t so much leaks, as information strategically set loose on the media and then the masses.
Kevin Lowe’s front office had leaks, you kind of knew what was going to happen, or had a hunch about the possible range of outcomes. Steve Tambellini’s regime was very secretive, I am uncertain if the Oilers knew what the Oilers were doing when he was the head man. Craig MacTavish, a clever man with a gift for timing and humor, was perhaps too humorous, entertaining and revealing in his media avails. We not only knew what he was thinking, but so did his players and opponents.
Peter Chiarelli appears to have a different view about information, especially when it comes to trade or draft targets. Did any of us know about Adam Larsson as a trade target? David Desharnais? Most of us were convinced Edmonton was focused on Pierre-Luc Dubois at the draft, but the post-draft chatter had EDM preferring Mikhail Sergachev (if Jesse Puljujarvi didn’t fall). We also heard about a Montreal trade for Subban, but what was the return? Plenty of rumors, and what may have been overheard, but nothing concrete and no one to swear on a stack of Bibles.
DID YOU HEAR THE NAME DESHARNAIS?
I did not. TSN had him at No. 37 on their Feb 21 list, but that was about it as far as I can recall. Interesting then that the Oilers must have been scouting him, and we could probably track back and find out how many times EDM scouts were in the pressbox. None of this really matters, but one thing that I do believe to be true: Peter Chiarelli keeps his opinions close to him, and one could guess that the number of men who know exactly what he is thinking is a very low number.
NEXT YEAR COUNTRY
First, allow me to apologize in advance for what I am about to say. Due to unusual circumstances, we are going to have far less time to focus on the draft and projecting the fall lineup over the next several weeks. Now, I am going from memory here, but it could be well into the spring before we can really focus on the cap, the roster, and what might happen in the summertime. Amazing.
Since we have an off day this afternoon, let’s spend a little time on the roster possibilities. I won’t include cap numbers today, but we will begin to project the cap hit and overages as they might impact 2017-18.
PROJECTED LINEUP 2017-18
- Goal: Cam Talbot, Laurent Brossoit. Both signed for next year and will come in around $4.9 million.
- Defense: Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom, Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse, Cody Franson, Griffin Reinhart. I am going to guess they come in around $20 million.
- Center: Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, David Desharnais, Mark Letestu, Drake Caggiula. Having the best player in hockey centering your top line is an amazing luxury, and Nuge has the complete range of skills. Adding Desharnais (or similar) allows Leon to play RW. I estimate the cost for next season to be $15 million.
- Left Wing: Patrick Maroon, Milan Lucic, Benoit Pouliot, Jujhar Khaira. I know many (not necessarily the folks who read this blog) would like to see BP sent away, but there are two years left and he is under 50, so it seems reasonable to bring him back and hope for a rebound season. Milan Lucic will want to have a stronger year as well, and we can hope Maroon duplicates his career year. Estimated cost: $12.5 million.
- Right Wing: Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Anton Slepyshev. This moves Leon to RW but also gives the team another option (Slepyshev, or Pitlick, who may end up on the roster) should Leon emerge as a C who can carry his own line. At the same time, if JP pushes LD off the McDavid line with strong performance, this allows for that with Kassian and the Russian stepping in. I estimate the cost at $18 million.
- Total roster: 23.
- Total cap estimate: $70.4 million.
- Estimated cap: $73 million.
A few things: There is zero chance this will be the roster, but each man listed above represents reasonable where I have placed them in the batting order. We don’t know about overages, and we do know Peter Chiarelli is going to trade someone and won’t tell us or anyone who is going to gossip to us about it. Thoughts?
I would like to find a certain way to get Leon back to center, because Puljujarvi-Eberle should be the goal on RW for the skill lines. That may happen, but Desharnais (or other) represents some insurance. And who knows? Maybe Drake Caggiula forces his way in at center or wing.
CONDORS PROSPECTS SINCE JANUARY 1
I like to do this every once in awhile, seems to me organizations push their prospects a little in the new year and we have had some impressive gains. Prospects only, here we go.
- Jesse Puljujarvi 22, 9-11-20
- Joey Laleggia 22, 11-6-17
- Jordan Oesterle 17, 1-13-14
- Griffin Reinhart 20, 6-7-13
- David Musil 23, 2-5-7
- Patrick Russell 23, 5-1-6
- Greg Chase 20, 1-5-6
- Scott Allen 17, 3-3-6
- Dillon Simpson 16, 2-4-6
- Jere Sallinen 22, 2-3-5
- Kyle Platzer 19,, 0-2-2
- Jujhar Khaira 2, 0-2-2
- Braden Christoffer 11, 0-1-1
- Henrik Samuelsson 5, 0-0-0
- Anton Slepyshev 1, 0-0-0
- Nick Ellis stopped 426 of 461 shots, .924
There are some fine numbers being posted here since the new year. I would point out Jesse Puljujarvi, Nick Ellis, Joey Laleggia, Jordan Oesterle and Griffin Reinhart as posting a strong couple of months. A nice weekend for Greg Chase, too.