I tried a year ago and missed it completely. I grabbed 27 names, basically four rosters worth of defensemen, in search of Peter Chiarelli’s target. Missed it by a mile. Source. This year I’m going to try it again, hopefully with a more accurate eye. List below is what I believe PC’s list may look like based on his own past.
THE TARGET BLUE, 2017 SUMMER
- RD Mark Pysyk, Florida Panthers. There are several reasons to believe Pysyk would be attractive to the Oilers as a possible acquisition. The Panthers are drunk with righty blue, so may be more willing to deal one. Second, Pysyk performs very well in 5×5/60 SA, something the Oilers are rumored to value. Finally, he will be affordable (or should be) and can be signed this summer (RFA) for a comfortable term.
- RD Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers. The first of two defenders who I doubt are available. Gudas has been a very effective player for a couple of years now, as well as being filthy enough to be genuinely scary. Flyers have some up and comers, perhaps he could be pried away for scoring. Makes $3.35 million times three.
- RD Josh Manson, Anaheim Ducks. Rugged, effective defensively and young enough to be good for a long time. Extremely unlikely to be available. Makes $825,000 next season.
- LD Kris Russell, Edmonton Oilers. The online reaction aside, suspect Peter Chiarelli likes the season delivered by Russell as an Oiler. The key issue is cap hit, followed by length of the deal. If Russell agrees to a two-year deal with a number that starts with a three, the rest of this list is probably moot.
- RD Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild. There were rumors about him one year ago, there may be interest in him. One of the few defenders on this list who could fill the power-play hole that exists.
- RD Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. Probably the most attractive of the ‘acquirable’ puck movers this summer, his $4.833 million times three contract means another big contract has to be headed elsewhere. RNH has long been connected to the Hurricanes, that’s perhaps a possible match we could discuss in the coming days.
- RD Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. Has chaos in his game, but is also very mobile and could help on the power play. $4.875M times three may be a reason he could be available. Does not have a strong SA/60, that is something I believe the Oilers value.
- RD Chris Tanev, Vancouver Canucks. I don’t really have a feel for what Edmonton’s level of interest might be, or if the Canucks are interested in trading him to a Pacific Division rival. He can certainly help but is paid a lot ($4.45 million times three) for a player who doesn’t deliver much offense.
- LD Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins. There were rumors last summer about the big man, and if those rumors heat up again maybe PC visits the idea. Played over 23 minutes a game this past season, cap hit is $4 million in 2017-18.
THE TARGET (FA) BLUE, SUMMER 2017
- RD Kevin Shattenkirk (80gp, 13-43-56). This is the one player I can see PC breaking the bank for this summer, up to an including trading the Nuge to get him. I don’t think it wise, and doubt Shattenkirk seriously considers Edmonton.
- RD Cody Franson, Buffalo Sabres. Universally unpopular name in the comments section, I’m going to remain stubborn on him. He can help on the power play and many of his fancy stats are out of the blue and into the black. Importantly, his price point may come in at a number that Edmonton finds acceptable.
- LD Brian Campbell (80gp, 5-12-17). I think he would be an excellent mentor to Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning and other young blue. The man can still wheel.
- RD Michael Stone (64gp, 3-12-15). He is not a defenseman who shows up well in the metrics I pay attention to, but there was discussion around him as an option leading up to the trade deadline.
That’s a baker’s dozen possibles, we’ll build it out to 30 so I can be wrong and use more words this year. Personal Opinion? I like Manson, Gudas, Pysyk, Vatanen. Most likely? Kris Russell.
PETER CHIARELLI SUMMER LIST
- Get Connor McDavid signed to a long-term contract.
- Get Leon Draisaitl signed to a long-term contract.
- Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future.
- Find a way to trade Benoit Pouliot off the roster.
- Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen.
- Find a bottom 6F who can help the offense.
- Find a way to cover off buried contracts.
- Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline.
Chiarelli will have his media avail at 10 this morning (live on the Lowdown!) and I expect we’ll hear about contracts, the expansion draft and additions to the roster. Kris Russell questions will get asked, and I wonder if he says something about an offensive defender coming in. Center, draft, need to get bigger, et cetera. PC actually has far less work to do this year, although the finishing work requires a skillful touch. Cap dollahs are going to be dear.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM SUMMER
Over the years, Oilers general managers have run the entire range of failure-to-success.
- Glen Sather: A fabulous trader, he won far more than he lost. If we made a list of ’10 best’ trades in Oilers history, my guess is Slats would have eight of them. Of course, he was GM here for 20 years.
- Kevin Lowe. He was a solid young general manager through his early years, sending away talented veterans for hopeful youngsters and making out fine. His 2005-06 season was stunning. Lowe did not adjust well to the cap era, and was a victim of it.
- Steve Tambellini. Looking back, I think Tambellini may have had trust issues within his own offices. He was somewhat frozen in his movements and most did not work out.
- Craig MacTavish. He did some promising things but in the end had poor assessment skills (Jeff Petry). I know he’s a smart fellow, wonder why he didn’t spend more time learning the trade.
- Peter Chiarelli. A volume trader with riverboat gambler rising. The second guy on this list who doesn’t appear to give one damn about losing a trade.
Bottom line? Expect some trades that are unpopular in the beginning. These trades may or may not work out. If you believe Cam Talbot and Adam Larsson have helped the Oilers, then you may like what is to come. If you believe trading No. 16 and 33 for Griffin Reinhart and the Hall trade devastated the future, hold on to your hat.
Dreger ∗floats∗ idea of Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome (or someone like that)
— RCN (@akaRCN) May 16, 2017
We have discussed Ryan Strome before on this blog:
- Draft Profile here.
- I wrote this at the 2017 deadline: Jordan Eberle and Brandon Davidson to the NY Islanders for C-R Ryan Strome and G Jaroslav Halak. The money doesn’t quite work (and EDM would need a sweetener) but the idea does on a couple of levels. Halak’s contract ($4.5 million) expires summer 2018, just as Connor McDavid’s big contract kicks in. Eberle’s deal expires the following year, in 2019. Is Strome a suitable replacement for Eberle? Or could he successfully center a skill line, allowing Leon to play RW? Source
- Jordan Eberle per 82gp: 27-34-61 (18:11 TOI)
- Ryan Strome per 82gp: 14-26-40 (15:14 TOI)
The other big difference is salary, although the Oilers might have to retain some dollars. Eberle’s $6 million times two towers over Strome’s $2.5 million times one (RFA). Interestingly, Eberle is more of a volume shooter (8.03 shots per 60 over his career) than Strome (7.85 shots per 60 over his career), but the difference is slight. Note: I used hockey-reference to figure this out, so there may be a slight wobble in the number. He isn’t a strong faceoff man but is a center, he is fast and has good hands. If I were looking for a style comp for him, Eberle would be a good fit (although Strome is faster).
WOULD YOU DO THIS TRADE?
Depends on how the money works of course. Strome is a lesser Eberle, but it isn’t like trading Guerin for Carter. We know Eberle’s value is going to be impacted by the cap number, and we know Strome is younger and can grow with the current group. I like elements of this trade in the same way I liked the Pysyk trade, not quite sure Strome is the same quality. Elliotte Friedman ha more on Eberle here.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy and fluid morning, TSN1260 beginning at 10 this morning. Peter Chiarelli’s media avail is slated for 10 and we will carry it. Also scheduled are Scott Cullen and Jonathan Willis. Canada-Finland goes at noon. 10-1260 text and @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!