I’m not one to believe the general manager in the exit meeting, although sometimes the summer works out as described. Craig MacTavish, a smart man as sure as I’m sittin’ here, telegraphed too much and that’s my opinion. Sometimes a general manager will tell you what he thinks and then things don’t work out as planned.
- Peter Chiarelli 2016 on the summer plan: “I’m looking at all options. We’ve got to improve now but there’s some pretty good future players out here and elsewhere. There’s a lot of chatter going on right now and we’ve got a month and a half to go, so we’ll see what happens, but I have to listen to everything. The Oilers have drafted in the top three in five of the last six years. The team will be moving into a new building for 2016-17 — Rogers Place — and with a promising young core already in place, the possibility is there for Edmonton to trade their first round pick this year for more immediate help. Would I look to move it? We want to win. I took the job in Edmonton to win, so as I said earlier, we’ll look at all options. There’s some pretty good players that are going to be available at four but we may look to move down and still use a pick to get an asset as part of a larger deal. We owe it to the fans to get better in a relatively short period of time and we’re going to look at all options to allow us to do that.” Source
Now, I imagine we’ll spend all damn day talking about what was heard or what was implied last summer, but let’s spend a minute on what we actually know.
- Elliotte Friedman: I’m not sure Colorado ever got past Subban’s contract. Same with Edmonton. Chiarelli wouldn’t comment, but multiple sources said conversations between the Canadiens and Oilers did not last very long at all. The Oilers did not like the ask, and they know McDavid could become the highest-paid player in the NHL. They were not interested in pairing whatever that number will be with Subban’s $9M. An Edmonton-Montreal deal was never close. Source
Jim Matheson of the EJ talked specifically about a trade involving Subban:
- They would have the No. 4 draft pick and presumably either winger Taylor Hall or centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to dangle —Montreal likes French-Canadian forward Pierre-Luc Dubois who will not be there at the Habs’ No. 9—but Bergevin seems adamant Subban will be a Canadien. He needs a big centre and the Oilers also have Leon Draisaitl who would interest them, but no dice. He won’t be going anywhere. Chiarelli would likely be leery of moving young Oscar Klefbom as well. Source
I think, and did at the time, that this deal wasn’t close. Point of interest: I would have been all-in on a Subban deal, to the point of dealing Leon and Oscar and exchanging picks. My idea doesn’t look as good today, but for me there was (and is) a lot of value in contemplating an Oilers team with Subban and Hall as part of the future. That was yesterday, but I wanted to revisit the Subban portion of last summer as an example of ideas explored and paths not chosen. If you believe Peter Chiarelli has mapped out this summer with certainty, you are going to be disappointed.
PETER CHIARELLI’S SUMMER LIST
- Get Connor McDavid signed to a long-term contract. ($10-13 million times 8?)
- Get Leon Draisaitl signed to a long-term contract. ($7-9 million times 8?)
- Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future. (Griffin Reinhart, Jujhar Khaira, Mark Letestu)
- Find a way to trade Benoit Pouliot off the roster. (trade with LV or buyout)
- Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen. (Hamonic, Franson, Kris Russell)
- Find a bottom 6F who can help the offense. (Cizikas, Sutter)
- Find a way to cover off buried contracts. (Fayne)
- Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline.
POSSIBLE ASSETS OUT
- Jordan Eberle
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Jesse Puljujarvi
- No. 22 overall
- Caleb Jones
- 2018 first-round selection
- Anton Slepyshev
- Jujhar Khaira
I think we could see any of these elements sent away over the summer, in the interests of pushing for Stanley. The window is open, Edmonton no longer has Taylor Hall to shop, and increasingly I am thinking the most valuable piece might be a prospect (Puljujarvi, Jones, Slepyshev, Khaira). Vegas is going to want young players who are NHL-ready, and both Eberle and the Nuge are in a period of lower value. The play here might be Jesse Puljujarvi, and no one is predicting that outcome. I don’t think we can make very many predictions we know to be true about this summer, because we don’t know the landscape. This expansion draft makes anything possible, dream and nightmare.