IT’S A NEW DAWN, IT’S A NEW DAY

by Lowetide

Later today, I’ll begin the RE series for 2017-18. It will begin with Connor McDavid, who I am projecting to lead the team in scoring again. That’s your first bit of ‘breaking news’ on the RE, although it’s the ultimate no-brainer. I’m not going to tell you how the final RE breaks down in terms of goal differential, but will say this is a very different season to come.

  • 2015-16: 31-43-8, 70 pts (199-242) (GD: -43)
  • 2016-17: 47-26-9, 103 pts (243-207) (GD: +36)
  • 2017-18: ?

My RE projections have some career seasons, and a lot of players ending up in the same spot on the graph. Why? It’s difficult to know which of the kids are going to spike, so they are all in a row and the veterans pass them because their roster spots are more assured. I’ll probably run four or five a week and hope to be done by end August.

For me, the key to this season will come on the 5×5. I’m fairly confident the power play will outscore the penalty kill failures, and even strength is the big piece of game state. Edmonton finished No. 8 in 5×5 goals (165) and No. 9 in goals against (139) during 2016-17. In 5×5 goal differential, the Oilers finished No. 6 with a 54.3 goals-for percentage. Can the team improve on that?

ROOKIES!

I have six rookies playing at least one game, but none of them playing more than 20. It’s a more veteran group than we’ve seen in many years. Is the team better than a year ago?

UNICORNS?

I am not projecting three scoring  lines, but the inability to identify a winner among Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula produces nine forwards with 10 or more goals. This past season had just seven. This year, there are nine, but the biggest reason is that indecision among the young forwards.

 

FERENCE RETIRES

Not exactly news but Andrew Ference retired yesterday. It’s too bad Ference was unable to play at peak levels during his time in Edmonton. I got to enjoy watching him as part of the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup team in 2011, enjoyed that playoff run immensely. Ference is not your typical Albertan, or Edmontonian, or eighth-round pick. He had a fine career, got everything possible out of his abilities. Sail on, Sherwood Park Flyer, Sherwood Park Met, Portland Winterhawk.

 

KIRILL MAKSIMOV

  • Phil Myre, ISS:  “This player is showing a lot of improvement and getting more ice time. He plays on the PP and kills penalties. Excellent hands, passing and shooting. He can make plays and score. Needs to improve his play on the boards in the DZ. Smart player with a continued slow growth. Big upside”.
  • Hockey Prospect.com: Kirill Maksimov is a shoot first winger with good size and intriguing potential. Kirill possesses an intriguing combination of size and skill, which makes him a versatile threat offensively. Maksimov’s best offensive tool is his shot. It’s a shot that comes off a quickly and with a deceptive release. His shot also possesses strong velocity and accuracy.

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

My RE pushes Nugent-Hopkins numbers a little and that may bring a dilemma for Peter Chiarelli next summer. The general manager will have boxed himself in by then, with McDavid’s deal kicking in and Leon grabbing a major slice of the cap. Nuge’s $6 million deal makes him vulnerable to trade but there are ways around it.

  • Suffer through one year (2018-19) tight to the cap and then deal Andrej Sekera. Beginning 2019-20, he must give the Oilers 15 teams he can be traded to according to Cap Friendly.
  • Trade Cam Talbot. His no-trade clause includes a list of 10 teams he can be traded to beginning summer 2018.
  • Source

These are not ideal and I’m pretty sure we’re going to see Nuge’s his red tail lights heading for Spain in the next 12 months.

2017 TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

We’re several weeks from knowing but it’s fun to have a look to see what we can see out among the remaining free agents. The Oilers are now a “have” team, so there may be significance to the names. A year ago, Kris Versteeg and Eric Gryba were among the invites and Edmonton grabbed Kris Russell late in camp. The 2016 TC list is here.

Among the current free agents I would like to see in Edmonton for training camp:

  • RD Dennis Wideman. Veteran defender with a howitzer, never hurts to have a look.
  • R Jaromir Jagr. Someone will sign him, but a fan can dream.
  • RD Cody Franson. Surprised he isn’t signed yet.
  • LD Jared Cowen. If he is recovered might be able to provide some depth.
  • F Daniel Winnik. Music for the two-way portion of the roster, PK.
  • Source

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday, as we head to the weekend with lots going on. TSN1260, 10 this morning, scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Which Canadian team is in best position to win the Stanley Cup in 2018? Are the Jays sellers already? Steve’s Alberta vacation!
  • Scott Mitchell, TSN. The second half begins tonight, can the Jays close the gap in a quick hurry?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point-Counter Point today is all about the Eskimos, boxing and who plays with McDavid.
  • Jeff Chapman, Copper & Blue. Leon’s offer sheet destinations.

10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. Friday on my mind!

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Jaxon

VOR:
Munny,

In any case, try this source. This is a truly great article filled with interesting stuff. It talks about Anthony coming to Edmonton in January. It also makes it very clear how powerful the bond between the two is including Antony helping Patrick train in the off season.

https://www.si.com/nhl/2017/03/01/patrick-maroon-oilers-connor-mcdavid

Great article on Maroon and what he’s gone through and what he’s going through to play hockey at the highest level. Who knows, maybe he will re-sign in Edmonton, but I’m thinking becoming a UFA next year will be his first chance to dictate where he plays and having the opportunity to play where his son lives has got to be a pretty strong incentive. I’d take a huge discount if it was the only way to be in the same city as my kid. Plus, his kid will know that he had the opportunity to come to St Louis as a UFA. Pretty hard to convince your kid that St Louis wouldn’t sign you if you offered your services at a discount. I feel for the guy.

Bank Shot

RNH hit a career high of 56 points playing basically the most minutes in the entire NHL with two solid scorers on his wings.

He’s just not the player that everyone hoped he would be on draft day.

50 something points is not good at all when you are getting the best opportunity that a player could possibly get.

Then when he was relegated to second line center, he failed to produce as with numerous wingers.

I hope he can have a huge bounce back year and prove all the doubters wrong, but we have a lot of seasons of evidence piling up on RNH and he’s not a good bet to live up to his contract going forward if you are using his past performance as an indicator.

I hope they can keep him. If he starts living up to his contract, he has a much better chance of sticking around.

russ99

godot10: Apart from the season that he played with a bum shoulder (before surgery), the two years under McLellan are his worst offensive seasons from a PPG perspective and an 5x5EVP/60.His offense is at dementor era levels.

McLellan has publicly questioned his commitment, one of the very few players on the Oilers that McLellan has publicly called out.

This is why I think RNH won’t get anywhere near a scoring line this year, they trust Strome to be a better fit in the system at a lower cap number.

godot10: I think Nugent-Hopkins is a really good player who doesn’t fit in with McLellan’s schemes and systems. He hasn’t been used properly under McLellan and Eakins.

This is a limitation of the player, not the system. He can only consistently score or contribute to scoring chances off the rush, thus the call-out by McLellan after the playoffs.

We’re not changing the system just for one player, he’s has to adapt or he’s gone.

Jaxon

Munny:
VOR,

Maroon’s son saw him play live in more than the one game, and also spent time with him here in Edmonton.

Okay, so maybe he spent time in Edmonton, too. But, it’s likely not enough. Maroon actually said in the interview, “I don’t get to see him enough” as he broke down and couldn’t continue talking. Even if he stays in Edmonton for a few weeks when they have a homestand and sees him more than one game, that’s not much time for a father. I don’t like going a day without seeing my kid.

http://thehockeywriters.com/sentimental-maroon-serves-simple-reminder/

from the article by Jim Parsons:
“Maroon has spoken in the past about the difficulty of being on the road so much with a young son. Even with the Anaheim Ducks, he realized how much of his son’s childhood he was missing.

In an interview with the NHLPA.com, Maroon said, “It’s tough being far apart, but being able to chat with him every day is pretty great.” He added, “It doesn’t really matter what we talk about it. It’s just that we do get the chance to connect and talk about what’s going on in both our lives.””

106 and 106

Nuge is definitely not fitting with the schemes. Playoff scoring similar to Ebs’:

13 0 4 4

0 Goals in 13 games against the non-toughs, it’s a trade-out for the Red Deer Rebel. Man, i wish it wasn’t $6 they decided on for all these cats.

Don’t do whatever school Mac-T did for MBA.

pts2pndr

The reality of the cap world is that a dynasty quality team is no longder possible. Build a strong core group and fill in around it. It worked for L.A., Chicago and Pitt. Some very good players will have to go due cap restraints. Life will go on! Certain onerous contracts are a reality for every team not just the Oilers! Management will have to be fluid and in some cases proactive. I believe Lucic signing was required even though it may be short term gain for long term pain. Signing an aged Jagr makes no sense to me as he duplicates what we already have. Nuge may have to go for a first or second round draft choice plus a prospect thus freeing up money for Nurse and or Benning. It may not be easy and if it was everyone would be winning! Current management has changed the culture of our team for the better. Chemistry is a thing and these guys play for one another! Players are not interchangeable like auto parts! Keep the faith we are are on the right track! When you take care or today first, tomorrow sems to work out OK!

Munny

VOR,

Yes, that is an example of his son coming to Edmonton during the season.

fifthcartel

jtblack,

I honestly can’t remember. I forget what I guessed in the points contest, but I think I had them around a bubble team for my general guess.

Draisaitl surprised me, so did Klefbom’s health + Benning’s emergence.

I figured Gustavsson would be Gustavsson, Russell was who he is, and Lucic let me down at ES.

106 and 106

Re-read the post listening to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfJRX-8SXOs

And get stoked.

106 and 106

Dude, link the song into this post if you name it that. Works so well!!!!!!!!

jtblack

fifthcartel,

What were your predictions for last season? Just curious to know

VOR

Munny,

What did you google?

In any case, try this source. This is a truly great article filled with interesting stuff. It talks about Anthony coming to Edmonton in January. It also makes it very clear how powerful the bond between the two is including Antony helping Patrick train in the off season.

https://www.si.com/nhl/2017/03/01/patrick-maroon-oilers-connor-mcdavid

I am sure you know that things happen much faster these days than they used to, even in the staid NHL. There is a powerful first mover advantage here. If I am Colorado I am following all these RFAs all season looking for the perfect target(s). That is the team that has the best combination of player or players and the most cap pressure. Maybe it is the Oilers, maybe not but it is easy to game out.

Pretend Colorado is interested in both Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning. They make an offer to Darnell Nurse first. Say Nurse signs the offer sheet and Edmonton matches. They turn right around and offer sheet Benning and Edmonton’s hands are tied.

This isn’t huge money we are talking about relative to the cap, even for an internal cap team. I’m not really sure what the story is in Colorado. Not really germane.

The point is the only way really for Edmonton to defend itself is to sign Benning the minute Nurse is offer sheeted, or truthfully the minute any RFA is offer sheeted since the NHL is very much a monkey see, monkey do sort of league. The best move if they are having good seasons is actually to extend them before free agency opens and maybe get them to trade term for money – that is also going to be part of the new look NHL where RFA years are valued more than UFA years and by going long you can also go cheaper (at least somewhat).

It will be easy next year to see if I am right or wrong. But I am quite confident everything I am projecting here will come to pass over next summer. That is I am predicting offer sheets will become a real tool in the new look NHL, that there will be movement of mid-range RFAs and not just by offer sheet but also trades, and UFA seasons will be less valuable in long term contracts than is currently the case. Also that RFAs will get more money at each level of talent than ever before.

Munny

VOR,

Google was my source.

Munny

VOR: Because the close to cap teams will be paying these sorts of players far less in the post-McDavid second contract world than they paid in the McDavid’s first contract world. A lot less. Enough to guarantee mid-level players will bolt for more money.

This has yet to play out and, if it does, may take a few seasons. It requires at least a few teams with a healthy chunk of cap space (and the finances) for it to develop, and willing targets as well. Generally these are the League’s bad teams. And, of course, the more they do this, the less ability those teams have to continue to do it. Not to mention how it may affect those teams in the trade markets.

It’s unlikely to be a simple, straightforward or quick process, if all those balls fall into place. And it might just mean GMs react by signing RFAs earlier, and/or trading those who won’t.

fifthcartel

I’m pretty bullish on the Oilers being worse next year.

They’re already set to have more injuries. Sekera’s is a massive one, and who knows how long he returns to form even after he hits the ice. I’m not confident in the defense past Klefbom-Larsson.

McDavid is McDavid, but I worry about the offense sans McDavid. I think people simultaneously overrate/underrate the impact of a superstar player, but the Oilers need to be better with 97 off the ice and they haven’t improved.

Eberle -> Strome is an inarguable downgrade. I like Jokinen, but the verbal sounds like he might play a reduced role behind Caggiula and Slepyshev, who seem like curious bets from Chiarelli.

A lot of problems are masked if Talbot posts another ~.920 season and McDavid stays healthy, two reasonably likely things.

I’m interested to see the season unfold, especially if RNH plays the wing. That’ll put two players who haven’t been full-time centers in positions to be counted on to do that.

My bet is they take a step back and realize they should have added more instead of doing small tinkering, and the Russell contract looks as bad as stats people say it is.

VOR

Munny,

Do you have a source? It isn’t often pros open up about how hard their professional can be on family life so I would like to know more.

JD_Wry

Pescador,

So pour the tomatoes into a large sauce pan through a strainer. Let that drip out fully and then dump the strainer into a large bowl of water. Stir vigorously and then let it sit for a few minutes.

Carefully scoop the tomato chunks out with a small strainer, and you’ll find a pile of seeds in the bottom of the bowl. Depending on how much time you want to spend on this, you will sacrifice some tomato pieces but it’s worth it.

Professor Q

godot10: The Oilers likely can’t afford to offer both Nurse and Benning $3 million per season.The Russell contract means that both Nurse and Benning are likely to receive offer sheets next year.

I guess they’d have to illegally and secretly collude with another team to do so, as I believe are the rules with the CBA. And they can’t offer sheet more than one player.

Munny

VOR,

Maroon’s son saw him play live in more than the one game, and also spent time with him here in Edmonton.

godot10

Munny: Let’s say that offer is coming from Colorado. And let’s say the Oil are offering $3.1M over 3 yrs instead… Would you sign that OS?

The Oilers likely can’t afford to offer both Nurse and Benning $3 million per season. The Russell contract means that both Nurse and Benning are likely to receive offer sheets next year.

godot10

The Trade Guy: I don’t think either Nurse or Benning move the needle that much and I’d be fine with Avalanche draft picks at that point.

The Avalanche can offer Nurse (or Benning) 1-5 years at $3.9 million and the compensation is a 2nd round draft pick.

VOR

FRJOHNK,

I think we will see a bunch of offer sheets over the next year and a bit.

Next year’s unrestricted free agent crop is looking pretty thin and there are a bunch of RFAs covering the spectrum of talent. Some of those RFAs are currently playing on teams that are very cap constrained. Those RFAs could get offer sheets. Particularly the mid-range talents.

Why mid-range talents?

It is like there are two different models of roster building that are emerging. In model 1 – superstars eat the cap and you fill in with really cheap bodies. It has just worked great twice back to back for Pittsburgh but ever since Chicago went down that road it has been struggling to recapture its former glory. It clearly is a tricky thing to get right and Pittsburgh was close for years before they figured it out. I guess what I am saying is there are no guarantees.

This model can’t afford to pay mid-range talents fairly. It relies on a constant stream of young guns and old vets (like Jokinen) that are largely interchangeable. All of whom are paid peanuts.

Then you have teams, and yes they usually tend to be the ones with internal salary caps, that are going all in on the idea of roster balance and depth. Their internal problems don’t leave them much choice. Carolina is the most obvious example. That is a radically improved team making smart roster moves.

I doubt that they would offer sheet anyone this year. Way too many RFAs of their own next year to go poking the bear. Next year, with those players under contract and knowing the changes have helped and they are a playoff team they might take a run at some lower rung RFA forwards to replace aging vets like Lee Stempniak.

A team like Arizona might also go shopping but for D. They are deep in young talented players and acquiring a few more proven talents would greatly increase their depth. Either of Benning or Nurse would be upgrades to the lower rungs of their d-corps.

The same is true in New Jersey. Or Colorado.

It is easy to see teams going shopping in the bargain bin where a 2nd or even 3rd pick in compensation is too little return but the salary is just too much for the original team to match given the cap pressure. Some lower echelon team is going to do this right and get a little lucky and go to the Stanley Cup final, maybe even win it all. Balance does matter. And if they tie up the right players for the long term they could contend for years refilling with other teams (high cap pressure teams) castaways or RFAs.

Why would these mid-range RFAs sign relatively low ball offers from bad teams? This is Munny’s question from above.

Because the close to cap teams will be paying these sorts of players far less in the post-McDavid second contract world than they paid in the McDavid’s first contract world. A lot less. Enough to guarantee mid-level players will bolt for more money.

The secret of success for these internal cap teams is tons of smart, low dollar roster moves using low-pick offer sheets and cheap free agents to supplement good drafting. and one major trade (or even free agent signing) to get the right superstar. Presto – a serious Cup run. Think the 2006 Oilers. If you don’t have horrible luck, maybe you get more than one Cup run.

I’d say the exact sort of players likely to get offer sheeted are Cagguila, Slepyshev, Benning and Nurse. That is another reason (arbitration, not that it applies to Nurse, being the other) that I think any roster model built around these guys playing at a discount for the Oilers may be deeply flawed.

Yegfoundation

frjohnk: Nuge will get traded.

But no chance that happens at the deadline, unless we are out of a playoff race.

Why? Who gives the Oilers a better opportunity to win the cup this season- Nuge or Hanzel (as an example). If PC and Todd feel that they need an improvement a 3rd line Center to win, why wait?

VOR

Munny,

Which part of Jaxon’s post is incorrect?

I am about to post a long response to FRJOHNK and have appended to the end a response to your excellent point about players not liking to play for bad teams.

Munny

Jaxon: Plus, it might not be the best idea to uproot a child to see his father play hockey here and there. In fact, that is what made that St Louis interview with Maroon so impactful. I believe it was the only game his son saw all season when they played in St Louis

This is incorrect.

Munny

frjohnk: Depends on the salary, if lets say Nurse signs a 4 year offer sheetworth $3.924M per year, the compensation is a 2nd round pick ( that is using 17-18 numbers)

$3.9 might be too rich for the Oilers but getting only a second rounder back would be too little return.

Let’s say that offer is coming from Colorado. And let’s say the Oil are offering $3.1M over 3 yrs instead… Would you sign that OS?

Munny

godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

They also need to offer sheet at a number and term that the player is willing to sign. Players don’t like to play for bad teams, or we would see a lot more offer sheets out there than we have. Despite Friedman’s hope, this hasn’t changed.

I don’t leave the org that has nurtured me, or leave my teammates and buddies, or leave the best player in the League, or my best shot at a Stanley Cup for the duration of the contract over a million dollars unless I’m either avaricious by nature or really desperate for money.

Jaxon

vinotintazo: Fair… he also has to consider what his Wife/GF wants. IMO loosing Maroon is not the end of the world, but my feeling is… just like Kassian he will Value the oportunity the Oil gave him and be grateful and re-sign. Also I believe the Oil have helped him being close to his son bringing him in to games etc.

Fair point. As far as market value, Maroon is 29, and Eaves is 33. 4 years is a lot when you’re approaching years where productivity typically drops off. Maroon still has 4 years before he gets to where Eaves is at now. He’s also bigger and can enforce if necessary.

Personally, I wouldn’t care one bit about gratitude if it meant the difference between being close to my daughter or not. Next summer will be the first time Maroon can dictate where he plays. I didn’t think the Oilers brought his son to any games last season. Plus, it might not be the best idea to uproot a child to see his father play hockey here and there. In fact, that is what made that St Louis interview with Maroon so impactful. I believe it was the only game his son saw all season when they played in St Louis. It made Maroon cry in the interview when they showed his son cheering for his goal. Regardless, he’ll have a tough or maybe very easy choice to make next summer. All that to say, I don’t think he signs for Edmonton on the cheap (which is the only way Edmonton can afford him), but may consider it for St Louis.

Munny

godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

Considering the amount of money it would take to convince anyone to play in Denver these days, I will happily take the 3-4 draft picks.

GMB3

Yegfoundation:
I’m good with the decision to keep Nuge until at least the deadline to see if he can flourish but if not, time to move on and improve the team.

Are you sure? Who do you replace him with? How does this better equip the team to make a playoff run?

Lets trade Nuge, sign Draisaitl for 9 mill, and embark on a decade of mediocrity. Wouldn’t be surprised if they sign maroon with Nuge’s money and further the problem

frjohnk

The Trade Guy: I don’t think either Nurse or Benning move the needle that much and I’d be fine with Avalanche draft picks at that point.

Depends on the salary, if lets say Nurse signs a 4 year offer sheet worth $3.924M per year, the compensation is a 2nd round pick ( that is using 17-18 numbers)

$3.9 might be too rich for the Oilers but getting only a second rounder back would be too little return.

The Trade Guy

godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

I don’t think either Nurse or Benning move the needle that much and I’d be fine with Avalanche draft picks at that point.

vinotintazo

VOR:
Vinotintazo,

Because Maroon’s family and his heart is in St. Louis. He might well take $3 million for 3 years to go there. He misses his young son something fierce. Every season he stays with the Oilers means another year of missing important milestones in his son’s life. He can justify that if the price is right. But one of the things 27 goals combined with UFA status gets you is a chance to go play at home for decent money. I personally think (especially after that interview this past season) Maroon is going home.

Fair… he also has to consider what his Wife/GF wants. IMO loosing Maroon is not the end of the world, but my feeling is… just like Kassian he will Value the oportunity the Oil gave him and be grateful and re-sign. Also I believe the Oil have helped him being close to his son bringing him in to games etc.

Greenberg

IMO, this is possible the most intelligent and mature discussion this blogspot has had in the longest time. The writers this morning have a clear understanding of the cap problems going forward and are aware of all the nuances. The disagreements have been handled with grace, without the smart-assedness. Keep it going. Best discussion of our future that I have seen.

LadiesloveSmid

I’d let Maroon walk. Paying for past performance by that point. Have to find the next cheap guy to play shotgun with 97. They’re there every year in FA. Jokinen could put up 50+P there.

VOR

Vinotintazo,

Because Maroon’s family and his heart is in St. Louis. He might well take $3 million for 3 years to go there. He misses his young son something fierce. Every season he stays with the Oilers means another year of missing important milestones in his son’s life. He can justify that if the price is right. But one of the things 27 goals combined with UFA status gets you is a chance to go play at home for decent money. I personally think (especially after that interview this past season) Maroon is going home.

Rake 2.0

Yegfoundation:
godot10,

Agreed, set Nuge free. What exactly is Nuge bringing to the team that makes him a difference maker?Potential?He’s a favourite,but I’d rather win a Stanley, than hold out hope Nuge can deliver more offence or improve his shot metrics.

His shot metrics do improve when he’s not on the ice with Russel, perhaps nuge isn’t the problem. I think he would look good on mcdavids wing or centering JP and JJ. But if he can’t flourish in one of those roles then I agree that it’s time to move on.

vinotintazo

Jaxon: think $5-5.5 range

Patrick Eaves, signed around 3Mx3 to Stay with ducks, and He put up 30 G. Why wouldn’t Maroon take the same to stay here?.

Jaxon

frjohnk:
If that is our forward depth, I could see the Oilers trading a Dman for a forward.Especially if Bear or Jone are ready.

Which is why Nugent-Hopkins, Nurse, Benning, and maybe Kassian are the only real options to trade.

I think Maroon possibly bolts for STL and will price himself out of being an Oiler even if he explores staying. 27 goal scorers get paid, and paid well (think $5-5.5 range). Letestu, while useful, needs to be replaced at a more affordable 4th line price to save $1M, and someone needs to step into his PP spot.

Lucic would be my first choice to go to save money, but he has a NMC until June 1, 2021. His contract is going to turn into a real boat anchor unless he really steps up his 5-on-5 scoring. Depending on how Nurse steps, up one or both of Sekera and Russell would be my next choices. but they can’t be traded until July 1, 2019. Paigin/Jones could also change the left side. Those NMCs are going to look awful on left D. Talbot is a bargain so even though he can be traded next summer, I wouldn’t do it.

That leaves Nuge as the only contract that is moveable that would save a significant amount and bring back anything in return (Radko Gudas, Brendan Gallagher, Boone Jenner?)

VOR

vinotintazo,

There are some very high quality RFAs still unsigned. With each passing day offer sheets for one or more of them become increasingly likely based on past instances anyway.

VOR

Godot10,

Didn’t Elliot Friedman have a piece all about how offer sheets are poised to make a comeback?

Jaxon

OriginalPouzar: Not to mention that I think some of the RFA re-signs are too conservative in my opinion.

Nurse and Benning at a combined $3M is likely too conservative – Benning will likely be getting 2nd pairing minutes and 2PP time – either he runs with that job or this team is likely in trouble this coming year.

Drake at $1.5M – maybe, but if he gets 14g and 34 points, he’lll be looking for more.

Oh, I show Nurse and Benning at $3M each. There is no way they get signed for $1.5M each, unless they really suck this year. I agree that Caggiula is probably low too.

Gayfish

Or Benning is traded to TO for a 4th, and the 4th is flipped for Gryba. Or maybe he goes to MTL for an undersized offensive center who can barely score. Best case scenario he goes to MTL for a 2nd and a 5th.

vinotintazo

godot10: But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

offersheets dont happen. Oilers are a desired FA destination as much as I love benning, at this point he’s replaceable. How many offersheets so far this year? 0.

Wonder Llama

I think a lot will depend on Chia’s ability to trade both Sekera and Russell to one of their 10/15 teams for 2019-20. The transition from that pair to Nurse-Benning with, let’s hope, Jones-Bear as an effective and cheap third pair will make the cap a little easier. Still too tight to mention, but at least possible.

Who knows how young athletes will develop but I don’t think it’s crazy to posit this as a real solid NHL defense in the 2020’s:

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Benning
Jones – Bear
(Auvitu)

frjohnk

Jaxon: I did a quick CapFriendly using your numbers with a 77M cap. It actually puts them over by about 100k. It’s possible, but wow, that’s tight.
https://capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/419538

I think the numbers are pretty close. Maybe Nurse and Benning come in around 2.5M, but highly doubt they will be lower than that.

Man our forward depth on that roster is very scary ( in a not very good way)
Maroon and Strome are gone

Lucic, Drake, Benson and Malone are the left wingers? Oh boy. Unless Drake and Benson knock it out of the park in the next year, that could be the worst left wing lineup in the history of the Oilers as the latter two should be in the minors.

Great centers.

JP, Sleppy, Kassian and Callahan as right wingers are better than the left side, but still need a ton of improvement within the next year.

If that is our forward depth, I could see the Oilers trading a Dman for a forward. Especially if Bear or Jone are ready.

VOR

Ducey, vinotintazo,

Lets start with Mark Pysyk. Similar points to Benning’s 1st year in the NHL in his fifth year in the NHL. Following four years where Pysyk was proving he could ever handle a regular 3Rd slot in the NHL. Something Benning proved beyond any doubt in his first year. A second year as good, one that proves Benning can play 2RD in the NHL and $2.7 a year isn’t going to get it done.

I don’t think you are understanding what arbitration does to any negotiation with Matt Benning. Say you try to get him for $2,000,000 and he thinks he is worth $4 Million. He files for arbitration. The Oilers can’t risk an out of scope settlement so they give him say $3.250 million over three which is probably less than he could get in the open market. If they let it go to arbitration not only are they stuck with the arbitration award the Oilers have to qualify Benning at that the next year or let him go to unrestricted free agency.

As for Nurse, he is still young enough, was drafted high enough, and is physically talented enough that he will get more money than Brandon Davidson. What was it LT projected – wasn’t it something like $6,000,000 for the two of them combined.

Then there is the effect that Connor McDavid’s contract is having on salary negotiations. We know it has come up in some RFA contracts already.

frjohnk

Yegfoundation:
I’m good with the decision to keep Nuge until at least the deadline to see if he can flourish but if not, time to move on and improve the team.

Nuge will get traded.

But no chance that happens at the deadline, unless we are out of a playoff race.

godot10

vinotintazo:
VOR,

I think the Oilers Love Nurse and see him as a core player, he can play hardball with the oilers if he wants, but he doesnt put up points or plays top 4 minutes (yet) to argue that he should be getting paid more than 1.5M x 2, all he has is Draft Pedigree.

Benning, was a FA signing and if he wants to get paid he has to wait for Sekera/Russel to come off the books, that’s why I think he will take a bridge no problem. I see him like a Justin Braun type from SJ down the road.

But if Colorado’s defense is as awful next summer as it is this summer, they can offersheet him at a number that will be impossible for the Oilers to match.

godot10

Yegfoundation: I’d like to see lowetide and others (Dennis King) who are rallying to keep Nuge to tell us why. What I’ve seen so far is mostly hopes and dreams. Nuge has the potential to look good on Mcdavids wing, etc. Well, PC is giving him the chance after back to back disappointing seasons.

I think Nugent-Hopkins is a really good player who doesn’t fit in with McLellan’s schemes and systems. He hasn’t been used properly under McLellan and Eakins.