Wayne Gretzky entered the NHL as an Edmonton Oiler in the fall of 1979. He spent nine autumns in Edmonton, the club offloading him in the summer of 1988. The kicker? He didn’t jump, the Oilers
traded sold his rights. Fast forward to the modern era, and there are rumblings that McDavid may want to sign a five-year deal (as opposed to the max plan, eight years).
- Elliotte Friedman: “One of the theories is that what McDavid might do is copy some other star players who went for five-year deals, which gives the opportunity to have another big deal when he’s 25 years old.” Source
That contract would take McDavid to summer 2023 and he would be a free agent at that time. It may be a good idea (keeps pressure on management to win) but talk of a much lower cap number is probably wishful thinking. If this second contract comes in anywhere around $10M, that’s a fantastic deal. Thoughts? Four years, $48 million? Five years, $57.5 million? At some level, this negotiation is mostly about McDavid’s map. The best hope for Peter Chiarelli? Win some Stanleys before 2023.
OILERS SIGN PAKARINEN
The Oilers have signed winger Iiro Pakarinen to a one-year deal and the impact of that one contract could be significant. It allows the Oilers to protect Mark Letestu in the expansion draft and likely expose Jujhar Khaira to the draft. Here is what the list might look like:
- Goal: Cam Talbot
- Defense: Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom
- Forwards: Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, Jordan Eberle, Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, Mark Letestu
- Ineligible: Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Drake Caggiula, Nick Ellis.
- Eligible: G Laurent Brossoit, D Mark Fayne, D Kris Russell (ufa), D Griffin Reinhart (rfa), D Jordan Oesterle (ufa), D Dillon Simpson (rfa), D David Musil (rfa), C Jujhar Khaira, C David Desharnais (ufa), L Benoit Pouliot, R Tyler Pitlick (ufa), R Iiro Pakarinen.
The big change from last time? Mark Letestu protected, Jujhar Khaira available for expansion. Las Vegas may grab Khaira (or Griffin Reinhart), some say Laurent Brossoit is most likely to go. I would keep Khaira and leave Letestu exposed (one year left on deal) but Edmonton is very likely to protect him.
CURRENT 50-MAN LIST
- UFA: LD Kris Russell, RD Eric Gryba, LC David Desharnais, R Tyler Pitlick, L Matt Hendricks, LD Jordan Oesterle, LD Mark Fraser, R Justin Fontaine
- RFA Unlikely to return: LC Anton Lander, LD David Musil, G Eetu Laurikainen, C Zach Pochiro, R Henrik Samuelsson
- Already Gone: LC Jere Sallinen (Orebro, SHL)
With the rumored interest in Czech defender Jan Rutta, I am less certain about a player like Dillon Simpson. He has AHL experience and could mentor Ethan Bear or Ryan Mantha through their early AHL games, with Mark Fayne available for Caleb Jones. That said, the turnover on defense in Bakersfield is going to be substantial and adding Rutta may mean Simpson gets squeezed a little. I suspect he signs.
Young Finnish center (and Oilers draft pick) Aapeli Rasanen scored last night for Sioux City and his playoff totals now run 12gp, 2-2-4. He was 7-18-25 in 38 regular-season games and is off to Boston College in the fall. The Musketeers won the game, forcing a deciding Game 5 on Tuesday night for the Clark Cup. Rasanen has the full skill set, with skating the reason he fell to the sixth round. If he improves the boots, he could be an NHL player. Solid investment.
Bear and his Seattle Thunderbirds played (and lost) to the Erie Otters yesterday. Erie looks like the class of the group this year. Seattle plays again today, WHL teams get the bad schedule out east (and the eastern teams get the horns out here).
Bear had some wobble early in yesterday’s game and then settled in and played well. He hasn’t been unleashing his shot from the point since his hand injury, but did make solid breakout passes and got some shots at goal. I think he’s going to need some AHL time, that should not come as a surprise.
Puljujarvi is in the lineup today for the bronze medal game. He is taking regular shifts and looks good early (lots of touches, set up a reasonable chance).
TOP 20 PROSPECTS
Edmonton’s terrific playoff run has me up against it as we approach June. There are 20 (!!) RE posts to do and they take a little longer than the average post. I also have 20 draft posts planned for June, meaning RE and draft are going to rock steady over the next 40 days. I’ll be getting ahead of some things in anticipation, including a top 20 re-set that you’ll see at 5 local time today.