HERE COMES SUMMER!

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers are full steam ahead for the Stanley Cup Finals, but the off day gives us a chance to look ahead at the summer. Peter Chiarelli was very active in the summer of 2015 and 2016, but I think we’ll see fewer moves in the coming months. The Oilers are still in need of balance and depth, we will see if the club can fill in the remaining holes over the next five months. They do have a position of depth—left defense—and they do have some free-agent options, in-house and on the open market.

ONE YEAR AGO

Last year at this time, I made a list of players who might have been on the market. I wanted to repeat the list, because so many of the men from last year’s list remain. Not many men walked back their situation in the 12 months that have come and gone.

  1. Benoit Pouliot
  2. Mark Fayne
  3. Nail Yakupov
  4. No. 4 overall selection (used on Jesse Puljujarvi, but was in play)
  5. Young LHD (Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Brandon Davidson)
  6. Cap space
  7. 2017 1st round selection
  8. Jordan Eberle
  9. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  10. Leon Draisaitl
  11. Taylor Hall
  12. Source

PETER CHIARELLI’S SUMMER 2017 LIST

  1. Get Connor Mcdavid signed to a long-term contract. ($10-13 million times 8?)
  2. Get Leon Draisaitl signed to a long-term contract. ($7-9 million times 8?)
  3. Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future. (Griffin Reinhart, Jujhar Khaira, Mark Letestu)
  4. Find a way to trade Benoit Pouliot off the roster. (trade with LV or buyout)
  5. Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen. (Hamonic, Franson, Kris Russell)
  6. Find a bottom 6F who can help the offense. (Cizikas, Sutter)
  7. Find a way to cover off buried contracts. (Fayne)
  8. Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline.

In the last two summers, we have been talking about substantial talent in and out. More and more, I think this summer is going to be about money.

POSSIBLE 2017-18 OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

  • This might resemble the roster we see in fall. Edmonton will very likely have just one expensive winger (Milan Lucic) opening night—unless Leon Draisaitl plays RW on that evening.
  • Men like Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev and Tyler Pitlick are going to get a real chance to play wing this fall.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi makes the roster without a throw.
  • Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot are the most likely exits, Mark Fayne is probably on a list of trade options or buyout options.
  • Rookies next season may be limited to Jujhar Khaira.
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Dennis King

I hope Nuge doesn’t read this blog or else he’ll take one look at that and retire:)

russ99

5. Find a defensively responsible second pairing RH D with puck moving acumen.

IMO, to replace Russell with a solely Corsi-positive Pysyk or Demers type would be reducing defense to add offense.

While it would be great to acquire stout defense and better offense (like a Hamonic), we can’t backslide defensively and still contend for a cup.

Especially since 2-3 of our defenders will be younger, still developing, still shaky, own-zone players.

Seismic Source

Bling: Leon’s new contract kicks in next year, but McDavid’s wouldn’t kick in until the following season.

There are two more seasons of Pouliot at a 4 million cap hit. I would keep him next season (McDavid not getting paid), then try to move him in the off-season OR buy him out.

If you buy him out with one year remaining at 4 million, the cost is 1.3 million over two years, leading to a cap savings of 2.7 million.

That savings, incidentally, is greater than that of replacing Eberle with JP next season (or whomever; I would think a replacement for Eberle would cost at least 3.5 million, and that’s being optimistic).

Thanks. Well put.

18-19 scares the shit out of me. So many RFAs with an entire season next year to drive their cost up. I wish there was more stagger.

Gordies Elbow

JDI Хоккей,

Capfriendly’s site helps a great deal, but yeah, would make for a good Hunter game…

€√¥£€^$

JDI Хоккей,

Not baaaad, or you could stare at goats while doing this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ttSQ8cFG33E

EtownDre

PUCKSTOPSHERE,

I like this idea. The irony just drips off it lol

LMHF#1

serum114:
I haven’t heard much talk of Justin Williams as an FA target (though I could well have missed it, my comment reading is far from religious). If Eberle is a luxury they decide they can’t afford, Williams at ~half the cost over 2-3 years seems like he could fit in to right side with any of Connor, Leon, or Nuge. And with the Oilers ascending, I think they would be a desirable landing spot for a vet looking to win.

He was mentioned several days ago. Would be an excellent choice on the right contract.

JD_Wry

Gordies Elbow: This is based upon my guesses

So you’ve predicted the entire upcoming roster for the VeeGees?

I smell an off-season Hunter contest.

Gordies Elbow

JDI Хоккей,

This is based upon my guesses, based upon players available, and could change.

That said, goalies are worth more, but Edmonton doesn’t have a goalie that I think would be taken with a pick. Then comes defenders, and GR is high on that list. Then centres, and Jujhar Khaira is high on that list.

As I mentioned earlier, a trade of Eberle and a pick/prospect for requiring LVGK takes Pouliot and the rights to Calle Jarnkrok might be the best outcome for Edmonton. Clears $8M in cap, adds a value contract, and fills in a hole at RHC. Don’t know what the pick/prospect would need to be, though.

JD_Wry

Gordies Elbow: I’d take GR as my pick.

But you can’t say that without knowing all the players available from the other 29 teams. Those are the known unknowns.

Gordies Elbow

Ryan: I wondered that too at one point.

Khaira and Reinhart are younger players with contract control and some benefits compared to a Letsetu.

You could make the argument that Reinhart and Khaira are not proven NHL players/ players with low ceilings if they do make it (4rth line winger/bottom pairing defensemen).

In that regard, Letestu is an actual NHL player, right handed centre, and someone Vegas could parlay into a draft pick at the deadline.

What could you trade Letstu for at next year’s trade deadline? Maybe a 2nd rounder depending on the market?

What would you realistically get back for Khaira at this point? I’m rooting for Khaira, but no way you could trade him for anything resembling either a second rounder or even a 3rd.

One other thing, if I”m GMGM, I’d remember that gambling on the market (e.g. Vrbata for Canucks, Russell for the Flames,) isn’t a guarantee.

GMGM could pick up a player, and the market simply isn’t there for that player that year. I’d take younger, controlled players, and fill in my roster with more expensive UFA’s.

godot10

Reinhart is a tradeable asset by Vegas to a team they pick a defensemen from or a team that is going to lose a defensemen in free agency.

The Capitals are losing Alzner. Vegas can trade him there. The Jets might be looking for a cheap left shot D, and they have a plethora of young forward prospects. St. Louis might lose a D in the expansion draft. Vegas can trade them Reinhart back for a forward. Florida could use a left shot D. Reinhart is likely better than the 3rd pairing guys on Ottawa, and he will be cheap.

Gordies Elbow

Ryan,

I get that – but Gryba was 27 when traded, and had enough experience that you pretty much knew what you were getting when he was traded. GR is 23, and a borderline NHL player. Not really sure what you’re going to get with him.

Personally, I’d like LVGK to take another player, that said, if I were GMGM, I’d take GR as my pick. Defender, big, close. I wouldn’t be shocked to see that the commentary is about the player lost in the expansion draft, not what was given up to get him, in the not to distant future.

serum114

I haven’t heard much talk of Justin Williams as an FA target (though I could well have missed it, my comment reading is far from religious). If Eberle is a luxury they decide they can’t afford, Williams at ~half the cost over 2-3 years seems like he could fit in to right side with any of Connor, Leon, or Nuge. And with the Oilers ascending, I think they would be a desirable landing spot for a vet looking to win.

Ryan

Gordies Elbow:
Ryan,

I’m not sure that an NHL GM would look at Reinhart’s development as you have. 23 year old, 6’4″, 212lb defender who by all accounts played well in the AHL this season and is RFA.

I would expect that he’s worth more than Gryba, who returned a 4th round pick when traded, due to age and contract.

If I were GMGM, he’d be near the top of the list of players to take, and for good reason. Cheap, close to NHL, and controllable long-term.

Well, you never know. I wasn’t completely ruling out interest in Reinhart for Vegas, but suggesting a reason why Letestu might be an option for them. Also, in fairness to me I did suggest maybe a 3rd rounder which is more than Gryba returned. Who knows, maybe they could even get more for him in trade.

As a counterpoint to you, Gryba only returned a 4rth and he is 6’4″ 228 lbs and he plays with a serious edge. He also has the coveted right hand shot and had already played 165 NHL games.

When even dudes who comment on hockey blogs like us all know that it’s rare for a defensemen drafted in the first round to do much after they haven’t cracked an NHL lineup in their draft plus 5 season, I am sure this is no secret to GMs.

Gordies Elbow

JDI Хоккей,

Is he one of the top 7 defenders for LVGK? Wouldn’t shock me, based on what’s available.

PS: AFAIK, LVGK is limited to the number of RFA players not under contract that they can select. GR might not be the player that they’re looking at as he’ll be an unsigned RFA. Anyone know the specifics of the rules?

PPS: Honestly. which “waiver exempt tweeners” do you think they’ll take?

Professor Q

JDI Хоккей:
Professor Q,

What do modern hockey broadcasts look like in 240i?

I usually watch on my phone, or notebook (GameCentre). But when I did watch it in this tube it actually looked fine! It had Rogers Cable so it wasn’t all that bad (yes, sorry Lowetide, I know you’re a Bell Media guy…).

Professor Q

JDI Хоккей:
Professor Q,

Holy carp – you have a WOODEN TV?

Good ol’ RCA Twin Tuner PIP Home Theatre HP.

About a 32″ screen only, but the box itself is ~57″.

JD_Wry

Gordies Elbow,

But he’s waiver eligible next season, no?

So if he doesn’t make the team, it’s a risk he’ll be lost.

Aside from the proven NHL players, it’s been suggested that the Vags will be looking for waiver exempt tweeners.

Gordies Elbow

Ryan,

I’m not sure that an NHL GM would look at Reinhart’s development as you have. 23 year old, 6’4″, 212lb defender who by all accounts played well in the AHL this season and is RFA.

I would expect that he’s worth more than Gryba, who returned a 4th round pick when traded, due to age and contract.

If I were GMGM, he’d be near the top of the list of players to take, and for good reason. Cheap, close to NHL, defender, and controllable long-term.

JD_Wry

Jethro Tull: Remote viewing is what the NHL uses to reviews Oiler’s coach’s challenges.

Need more acid.

JD_Wry
Ryan

Gordies Elbow:
Woogie63,

Why would McPhee take one year of Letestu at $1.8m, when he has picks like Reinhart, Khaira, etc. available?

I wondered that too at one point.

Khaira and Reinhart are younger players with contract control and some benefits compared to a Letsetu.

You could make the argument that Reinhart and Khaira are not proven NHL players/ players with low ceilings if they do make it (4rth line winger/bottom pairing defensemen).

In that regard, Letestu is an actual NHL player, right handed centre, and someone Vegas could parlay into a draft pick at the deadline.

What could you trade Letstu for at next year’s trade deadline? Maybe a 2nd rounder depending on the market?

What would you realistically get back for Khaira at this point? I’m rooting for Khaira, but no way you could trade him for anything resembling either a second rounder or even a 3rd.

Reinhart, it’s hard to say. He’s certainly no longer worth the 1st/2nd round picks Snow obtained for him. With his development flagging combined with the expansion draft, he wouldn’t be worth much prior to the expansion draft. After if Vegas selected him, maybe a 3rd for a flagging high profile pick.

Overall, if you think of these assets in terms of what they could get back in draft picks, it changes your perspective.

Gordies Elbow

Woogie63,

I’d take a player under control for more than 1 year if I were the GM of an expansion franchise. They have no development network (aside from signing free agents.) and have excess cap to play with.

Personally, I’d pick players 20-25, and fill in the team with more expensive free agents.

PS: Love Letestu, hope he’s not picked, but can’t see LVGK taking him due to him only being under contract for 1 year.

Jethro Tull

JDI Хоккей: Correct – it is not.

Remote viewing, something both the US and USSR invested a lot of time and money into, as a defense project.

It’s also a decent movie.

Remote viewing is what the NHL uses to reviews Oiler’s coach’s challenges. Scrying causing crying.

The staring thing doesn’t work. You can tell by the lack of dead referees on the ice.

JD_Wry

Professor Q,

What do modern hockey broadcasts look like in 240i?

Professor Q

JDI Хоккей: That’s okay – you need baking soda anyway.

But I don’t think the power is acidic. Just clean it up with a damp rag.

Now back to trying to cipher woodwn…

I did mean soda, in its powdered form, yet alas. My Professor title surely is taking a hit tonight…

JD_Wry

Professor Q,

Holy carp – you have a WOODEN TV?

VOR

Johnny Stomper,

You are probably trolling but in case you are serious, as a fan I agree with you. However, this blog has established itself as a place where math and statistics are valid and valued tools in discussion and debate. So what the math says:

Give both players equal luck. Give both players equal time on ice. Any remaining difference is down to skill.

Getzlaf is shooting 23.5%, so reduce him to his career average of 11.8%. He has 34 shots in 24+ minutes a game. So he would go from 8 goals to 4. Eberle is shooting 0%. Take him up to 13.4% his career average. He has 21 shots in 14+ minutes a game. So at 13.4% he would be at 3 goals. But wait, we need to adjust for the difference in minutes played. Oddly, Eberle, once we adjust for minutes played, has almost the same number of shots per game as Getzlaf with 35.

Both are elite generators of offensive opportunities. So you would expect their scoring opportunities to be relatively similar per minute played and they are. Getzlaf is the more valuable player without question but without lady luck hugging Getzlaf like her father on his death bed he isn’t having an extraordinary playoff, with out lady luck giving Jordan Eberle the finger like he stood her up on a date he looks like a rock solid offensive player who can play against the toughs and more than saw off.

A lot of people seem to be letting a failure to understand the role luck is playing in the outcomes of this series blind them to the reality, Jordan Eberle is actually playing quite well.

I am merely suggesting that any analysis of Eberle’s relative economic value and future impact on the team or as a trade asset needs to allow that over time the influence of luck tends to wax and wane.

JD_Wry

Professor Q: No baking powder in the house, either.

That’s okay – you need baking soda anyway.

But I don’t think the power is acidic. Just clean it up with a damp rag.

Now back to trying to cipher woodwn…

Professor Q

As a side note, currently dealing with a *different* type of acid.

So I’m actually an idiot, and this is all a façade.

Left batteries on the woodwn TV for too long, and only noticed the white powder right now. Sigh. No baking powder in the house, either.

Forgive me, Woodguy, for I have failed thee.

Scungilli Slushy

Derek: I hope Ebs hasn’t punched his ticket out of town by going cold at the worst time of the year.

IMO a move would have a lot more to do with the tastes of the new GM, having McDavid and Leon, and the need to move some bigger salaries, than Eberle’s sideburns and struggles that others are also having.

Professor Q

Scungilli Slushy: The goats or the starers? Or both?

Well this changes everything…

Woogie63

Gordies Elbow:
Woogie63,

Why would McPhee take one year of Letestu at $1.8m, when he has picks like Reinhart, Khaira, etc. available?

I see Letestu as a great pick up for VGK, seasoned vet, plays PP and PK win’s face offs

Lots of questions marks on Griffen and JJ. McPhee would have control over the contract, but frankly they are good AHLer with upside. The list on CapFriendly looks full of this type of player.

Do you see it differently?

Thorin

I come here just as much for the colourful commentary as for the actual articles. Both are fantastic! Sometimes the comments go off the rails a bit, and usually when they do I’m late to the party and a whole new post is up so there’s no point in me posting to the old thread because no one will read it.

But the below just had to be picked up out of the last thread.

khildahl:
I feel like I’ve entered the Thunderdome, but all of the pointy and/or sharp weapons have been replaced with horse carcasses in varying states of decay.

Kudos to Khildahl for this awesome imagery.

Showerhead:
khildahl,
We’re all a bunch of neigh-slayers.

And then Showerhead knocks it out of the park!

—–

and then as I’m typing this a whole conversation about goats, psylocibin, and staring develops!

Professor Q

JDI Хоккей:
Professor Q,

But not just LSD. Psilocybin, mescaline, cannabis and classic rock. Boston works well.

So it really IS more than a feeling, eh…

JD_Wry

Derek: I hope Ebs hasn’t punched his ticket out of town by going cold at the worst time of the year.

He showed a lot more jump against the Sharts.

So for me, the most rational conclusion is that he’s afraid of Ducks.

Derek

VOR:
I can’t help wondering if we have all suddenly given up on math and decided instead that seen them good is now the gold standard:

Some Eberle facts:

-this season Eberle had the most shots he has ever had (208) while playing fewer minutes than in the past particularly on the power play.
-he was second on the team in shots on net.
-he was third on the team in shots attempted.
-he was third amongst regulars in CF% and also in FF%.
-his shooting % plunged to 9.6% from 14.5% in the previous season.
-had he shot as well this year as last he would have had 29 goals. Even if he had shot his career average of 13.4 he would have had 28 goals.
-why his shooting cratered is a good question but it is worth noting that it isn’t part of a trend because last year was the second best shooting year of his career.
-this season the on ice save percentage (92.7 -career high) when Eberle was on the ice was spectacular so even with a terrible on ice shooting% (7.7 -career low) he had a PDO of 100.4
-Eberle’s heat maps over the years are fascinating. They are remarkably consistent up until 2015-2016. In that season he shoots a reasonable amount but it is a pale ghost of former heat maps, the shots don’t come from a few red hot spots, they are unfocused and “fuzzy”. There is almost nothing from the right side of the crease which is one of his two go to areas in all other years, the other is the left hand side of the crease. He still went there, a lot, but didn’t get as good an outcome and it is probably partly because his heat map is about a foot broader and far more unfocused. This season slightly more of his shots came from the high slot or the hash marks or behind the net than in past years. His go to area on the right hand side was still largely missing in action and the left hand side of the crease remains a bit “fuzzy”. It all looks washed out versus the red hot heat maps of his early years.
-the trend to widening his offence has continued in the playoffs but it isn’t as big a difference as people seem to think and it doesn’t indicate a perimeter shooter. The hash marks, high slot and behind the net are not places players go to hide. His degree of difficulty fell by about 2% season over season and has fallen roughly another 1% in the playoffs. That is overall about 3% less of his shot attempts are from the HDSC Box. He is still going into the land of tall trees routinely but just not with quite the same laser focus.
-there is also some evidence that his teammates aren’t getting him the puck in the same parts of the ice as in previous years. He keeps going to the crease but doesn’t get the puck in the slot or the crease. Though he is certainly opening up ice for RNH.
-what is really striking is that he is shooting the puck on net roughly 21% less in the playoffs than during the regular season
-this isn’t because he hasn’t had the puck, his possession numbers indicate that he is maintaining a now well established pattern as a dominant possession player
-he actually leads the Oilers in some possession stats for the playoffs and is close to the lead in others
-his drop off in shots per minute (a measure of volume shooting) from 0.15 shots per minute on net during the regular season to 0.12 during the playoffs is partly due to taking fewer shot attempts from 0.28 shot attempts per minute to 0.24 shot attempts per minute but is also due to missing more shots and being blocked more often in the playoffs than he was in the regular season
-his successful shot ratio (shots/shot attempts) fell from 55% to 49%
-he is definitely giving up slightly more high danger scoring chances than he is generating but it amounts to three more HDSC conceeded than generated in 12 games and against above average opponents. Against San Jose he had the Pavelski line most commonly and against Anaheim it is the Getzlaff line
-what has gone wrong is his on ice sv% has once again cratered (he has had some bad goaltending luck when he has been on the ice) and his on ice sh% has fallen off the face of the earth, far more than the facts I have just recounted would suggest it should have
-the most likely explanation (given there has been no mention of sickness or injury and he has posted really good possession numbers) is he is playing in exceedingly bad luck
-Oilers fans maybe need to look at the Oilers’ overall possession and shot metrics. The Oilers generate the most or nearly the most shots, scoring chances etc. of any team in the playoffs but they are dead last or close to it for every against metric. And in fact they are getting out played even once you allow for score effects
-can the team really afford to get rid of one of the four guys it has who tilts the ice the other way?
-I would want to know if there isn’t a coaching change that explains the increased shooting volume, the widening of shot orientation focus, and the trips through the HDSC Box where he never sees the puck before I got rid of this player and I would certainly wait for his shooting % to normalize.

Thank you for this and the posts afterwards. You seem to have done a bit of work to put all that together and all you’re getting in return is “LOL watch teh gamez nerd”. So thank you.

“Saw him good” seems to suffer quite a bit of emotional bias, and the emotions are cranked to 11 for players and viewers during the playoffs.

I hope Ebs hasn’t punched his ticket out of town by going cold at the worst time of the year.

Pouzar

Ryan: Really, it’s crazy. I’m one of the biggest cynics here and I can’t explain it.

Just a few years ago, Pouliot – Nuge – Eberle was a serviceable poor man’s top line (when Hall was injured).

Now they collectively can’t piss a single drop in 12 playoff games.

Pouliot is 30. Eberle 26. Nuge 24.

$16m cap hit. Zero goals.six points total.

Absolutely baffling.

+1

Ryan

VOR:
who,

Just for context, Ryan Getzlaf shot from 25.89 feet on average this year and is shooting from 33.3 feet in the playoffs.

I will say it again, Jordan Eberle is not a perimeter shooter.

Really, it’s crazy. I’m one of the biggest cynics here and I can’t explain it.

Just a few years ago, Pouliot – Nuge – Eberle was a serviceable poor man’s top line (when Hall was injured).

Now they collectively can’t piss a single drop in 12 playoff games.

Pouliot is 30. Eberle 26. Nuge 24.

$16m cap hit. Zero goals.six points total.

Absolutely baffling.

Scungilli Slushy

Professor Q: I’m fairly certain they did LSD to do this.

The goats or the starers? Or both?

JD_Wry

Professor Q,

But not just LSD. Psilocybin, mescaline, cannabis and classic rock. Boston works well.

Scungilli Slushy

N64: Or they could be targets for goat hunters that zero in on isolated numbers rather than the net results relative to role.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of a new sheriff in town who moves the riverboat gamblers out of town. There is always another poker game down the road for a gambler that still has bank.

Bling

Seismic Source:
Bling,

Yes but, If Vegas doesn’t bite who’s taking Pouliot? We could very well be stuck with that one. Eberle is movable.

And I’m not assuming JP sticks next year or that Chia won’t resign Russel.

Leon’s new contract kicks in next year, but McDavid’s wouldn’t kick in until the following season.

There are two more seasons of Pouliot at a 4 million cap hit. I would keep him next season (McDavid not getting paid), then try to move him in the off-season OR buy him out.

If you buy him out with one year remaining at 4 million, the cost is 1.3 million over two years, leading to a cap savings of 2.7 million.

That savings, incidentally, is greater than that of replacing Eberle with JP next season (or whomever; I would think a replacement for Eberle would cost at least 3.5 million, and that’s being optimistic).

Gordies Elbow

Woogie63,

Why would McPhee take one year of Letestu at $1.8m, when he has picks like Reinhart, Khaira, etc. available?

Woogie63

I think next year is about shedding contracts and continuity.

Letestu is the VGK pick. Need to find some way to shed Pouilot and Fayne, we are set.

36-97-14
27-29–98
19-93-44
42-54-15

77-6
25-2
8-83

33
1

Eberle is struggling I just don’t see another 1RW in UFA or that a team might want to trade
This would be the team for the next couple of years

Professor Q

JDI Хоккей: Correct – it is not.

Remote viewing, something both the US and USSR invested a lot of time and money into, as a defense project.

It’s also a decent movie.

I’m fairly certain they did LSD to do this.

Seismic Source

Bling,

Yes but, If Vegas doesn’t bite who’s taking Pouliot? We could very well be stuck with that one. Eberle is movable.

And I’m not assuming JP sticks next year or that Chia won’t resign Russel.

Johnny Stomper

VOR:
who,

Just for context, Ryan Getzlaf shot from 25.89 feet on average this year and is shooting from 33.3 feet in the playoffs.

I will say it again, Jordan Eberle is not a perimeter shooter.

Really you are using that stat to compare Eberle and Getzlaf like it actually means something when we’ve all seen how both are playing in this series. One is making a difference and the other is making a difference for all the wrong reasons.

JD_Wry

Professor Q: Is this not an innuendo for taking LSD?

Correct – it is not.

Remote viewing, something both the US and USSR invested a lot of time and money into, as a defense project.

It’s also a decent movie.