Bridge Over Troubled Water

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers had a deja vu moment this weekend, when claiming Brandon Davidson from the Montreal Canadiens. It gives the team some interesting options, now and when everyone else is healthy. It also allows the general manager an opportunity to contemplate a truly inexpensive third pairing next season.

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50-MAN

  • We’re less than halfway through the regular season and the two locks for LW next season appear to be Milan Lucic and Jujhar Khaira. Just like we called it!
  • Mark Letestu is not an expensive player and fills a unique role on the team. Would you bring him back?
  • Jesse Puljujarvi is emerging now, we’re getting a glimpse of what he can do with skill. So far in his NHL career, he’s 38, 5-7-12, that projects to 11-15-26 for 82 games. I think he’ll post better numbers than those projections, but even if he lands there, that’s a good NHL season at 19. It makes things easier for Kailer Yamamoto to ease into the lineup next fall as well, only one unproven player at the position.
  • Brandon Davidson’s arrival gives the Oilers all kinds of options. They could run Klefbom-Sekera-Nurse on LH side when everyone is healthy, and then Larsson-Russell-Benning RH side. I’m going to bet Davidson forces his way into the top 6D, possibly in a rotation with Benning and Russell. Klefbom appears to be finding his way. The offseason may give Peter Chiarelli an opportunity to deal a LHD for a RHD.
  • The entire goalie depth chart seems uncertain today. A season can (and has) ripped the hell out of that position.

That’s the kind of trade we may see, wonder if the organization will give Brossoit the Flyers game before making a decision. The season is on the line, so there is a tremendous amount of urgency here. Neuvirth is a player who has been connected to Edmonton, mostly via free agency.

PROJECTED 2018-19 ROSTER AND CAP

  • I wanted to have a quick look at next year, recent word has the cap at $80 million and that really helps. There are some significant RFA’s (as above) but the money should work and allow the team to retain RNH.
  • Run this way, it’s easy to see why the current auditions are so important, and why the emergence of Jujhar Khaira and Jesse Puljujarvi is such a big deal.
  • The Davidson pickup is going to allow Peter Chiarelli to wheel, moving a LHD for something else in an area of need. Goalie? RHD? Sniper? Who is going?
  • Among the RFA’s, who gets the biggest contract? Would you bridge Darnell?
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OriginalPouzar

1) I’m thinking that Khaira isn’t a lock for LW next year but will, hopefully, replace Letestu as 4C and with a primary PK role (his numbers look good on the PK in a small sample size). I like Letestu (and his shootout skill adds additional value), however, in our cap situation, if we can get that 4C at $1M as opposed to $2M, that is meaningful.

2) I’d be fine with Neuvrith but we definitely cannot afford a $2.5M back-up next year – I think Philly would have to eat $1M (if not the max 50%) – especially if they are going to get back a solid propsect/bottom 6 player (with upside) in Slep.

3) I’m very curious to see where Brandon slots in to the pairings at practice today – it was interesting that he was on the 4th pairing yesterday.

Munny

I would be surprised if Hexie lends us a hand and makes a trade with the Oilers organization. Could happen, but I’d be surprised.

OriginalPouzar

Also, is it wise for us to consider Yamamoto a lock for the team next year?

I don’t think he’s a lock – or at least he shouldn’t be. I think he can earn himself a spot (as could Benson) but I really hope that management doesn’t enter the off-season thinking that one (or both) of those players will be filling a material spot.

They made that mistake this off-season – counted on Puljijarvi earning a top 6 RW spot and it cost the team early.

With Maroon not being in the future plans (I wouldn’t think), I’m not sure how we acquire a more sure bet in the top 6 within our cap structure

I think Chia has some work to do to find some real competition for the top 6 winger spots next season – its going to be really tough with our cap situation which is why we need guys like Khaira to fill that 4C spot for $1M cheaper than a guy like Letestu has.

Bad Seed

Munny,

I wouldn’t call sending Slip Slappy his way as a favour….

OriginalPouzar

Psst, Lowetide, are you on break all week?

Brantford Boy

I do not bridge Nurse… wonder if 3.5M x 7 gets it done (thus giving him the extra year), or has he stapled himself with the rest at the assigned 4.167M?

Similar for Strome, maybe 3M?… I sign him, perhaps to 4 years… Not sure where Benning fits in the salary world, would 2.5M x 3 get it done? Perhaps a bridge there too… , but bridge Brossoit for sure…

This way Todd is happy with his centre pairs on each line (except for McDavid), which tells me what Connor will be working on significantly in the off season…

who

Assuming a 80 million cap I would offer Nurse a 8 year deal at 4-5 million per year and hope he takes it.
Letestu only stays if hes willing to play for 1 year at 1.5 million. You’re basically buying time for some of the young forwards to develop and betting he wants to stay in Edmonton.
The goalie deal is tough. I would wait a week but if Ii had to make a deal I would offer a draft pick or Caggulia before Slepeshev, preferably the draft pick. We’re going to need all the cheap wingers we can get next year.
Don’t know if I trade any dmen next summer. Maybe just wouldn’t resign Davidson. Would probably wait 1 more year and then try and trade Sekera or Russell

speeds

Neuvirth would also provide some sort of insurance plan if EDM is contemplating moving Talbot.

Bruce McCurdy

Re: a trade for a goalie, I’d put it at better than 50/50 that any such deal would involve a goalie going the other way. Trade for a team’s top AHL tender, for example, well guess what, the trade partner is going to need an AHL tender. So it’s not too hard to envision e.g. a Brossoit+pick for Michael Hutchinson type deal.

Some teams might have a surplus of goalies, e.g. Toronto who added Pickard after the season started and shoehorned him in, but many teams have a set number of stoppers in the org that would need to be replenished.

frjohnk

Brantford Boy: I do not bridge Nurse… wonder if 3.5M x 7 gets it done (thus giving him the extra year), or has he stapled himself with the rest at the assigned 4.167M?

Matheson got $4.8M over 8 years, Nurse is younger and better, his agent will be looking at that and will be looking at getting $5M plus.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: No Sir. Back tomorrow.

Got it – thank you.

Enjoy your time.

I think it would be a shame to give up on Slepyshev already. We should know by now how injuries in camp can be a major issue in a young player’s development curve.

He has good tools and the Oilers invested in his development. With Yakimov toast, he’s really the only potentially good aspect of that whole scenario left. Would hurt to send him off to address backup goalie when that problem could have easily been dealt with in the offseason for far less cost.

JimmyV1965

Schleppy for Nuerverth seems like a particularly horrible deal. He’s a third round pick trending decently. Nuerverth should have very little trade value.

OriginalPouzar

Brantford Boy:
I do not bridge Nurse… wonder if 3.5M x 7 gets it done (thus giving him the extra year), or has he stapled himself with the rest at the assigned 4.167M?

Similar for Strome, maybe 3M?… I sign him, perhaps to 4 years… Not sure where Benning fits in the salary world, would 2.5M x 3 get it done? Perhaps a bridge there too… , but bridge Brossoit for sure…

This way Todd is happy with his centre pairs on each line (except for McDavid), which tells me what Connor will be working on significantly in the off season…

I don’t imagine that Nurse signs that contract – maybe though if he wants that term?

Strome will need to be qualified at $3M so that’s the minimum – I don’t think I’d lock in term with Strome – I’d hope for 2 years assuming he’s still an RFA at the end of that deal.

At this point, I think $2.5M is too high for Benning.

Chia needs to get some value deals with these RFAs and Benning will need to come relatively cheap.

Pouzar

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
I think it would be a shame to give up on Slepyshev already. We should know by now how injuries in camp can be a major issue in a young player’s development curve.

He has good tools and the Oilers invested in his development. With Yakimov toast, he’s really the only potentially good aspect of that whole scenario left. Would hurt to send him off to address backup goalie when that problem could have easily been dealt with in the offseason for far less cost.

I called this trade yesterday so it won’t happen.
But yeah it would be a damn shame to lose Slepy.

OriginalPouzar

Bruce McCurdy:
Re: a trade for a goalie, I’d put it at better than 50/50 that any such deal would involve a goalie going the other way. Trade for a team’s top AHL tender, for example, well guess what, the trade partner is going to need an AHL tender. So it’s not too hard to envision e.g. a Brossoit+pick for Michael Hutchinson type deal.

Some teams might have a surplus of goalies, e.g. Toronto who added Pickard after the season started and shoehorned him in, but many teams have a set number of stoppers in the org that would need to be replenished.

Its a good point, however, that team would be taking the risk that Brossoit doesn’t clear waivers – they might ask for Ellis instead.

Woogie63

Who is going to be a better pro in two years … at the right price between 91,18, 58? Right now that is up in the air for me.

Strome is going to be the most expensive.

OriginalPouzar

frjohnk: Matheson got $4.8M over 8 years, Nurse is younger and better, his agent will be looking at that and will be looking at getting $5M plus.

That Matheson contract pissed me off the moment is was announced and I knew/know its going to be a problem for the Nurse contract.

If Nurse demands $5M plus with term then I think we need to be prepared for a lengthy contract negotiation.

That number will likely depend on where his box-cars land at the end of the year and his even strength offence is spiking right now.

Blah!

JimmyV1965

Brantford Boy:
I do not bridge Nurse… wonder if 3.5M x 7 gets it done (thus giving him the extra year), or has he stapled himself with the rest at the assigned 4.167M?

Similar for Strome, maybe 3M?… I sign him, perhaps to 4 years… Not sure where Benning fits in the salary world, would 2.5M x 3 get it done? Perhaps a bridge there too… , but bridge Brossoit for sure…

This way Todd is happy with his centre pairs on each line (except for McDavid), which tells me what Connor will be working on significantly in the off season…

Unless Benning shows some material improvement over the course of the year I’m signing him to a one-year deal. Right now he’s a seventh dman whose playing higher up the order.

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965:
Schleppy for Nuerverth seems like a particularly horrible deal.He’s a third round pick trending decently. Nuerverth should have very little trade value.

In particular with a $2.5M cap hit next year.

We can’t take that contract on unless they retain $1M-$1.25M – how does that effect his value?

OriginalPouzar: Its a good point, however, that team would be taking the risk that Brossoit doesn’t clear waivers – they might ask for Ellis instead.

Do we really think Brossoit would not clear waivers right now?

OriginalPouzar: That Matheson contract pissed me off the moment is was announced and I knew/know its going to be a problem for the Nurse contract.

If Nurse demands $5M plus with term then I think we need to be prepared for a lengthy contract negotiation.

That number will likely depend on where his box-cars land at the end of the year and his even strength offence is spiking right now.

Blah!

Just like we pissed people off with the Draisaitl contract so I guess we’re even?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

That Toronto picked up Pickard for a late round draft pick (6th?) sours me on any regular roster player traded for a backup goalie.

OriginalPouzar

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Just like we pissed people off with the Draisaitl contract so I guess we’re even?

Except it doesn’t look like the Drai contract has been used too heavily in negotiations (i.e. Pastrnak).

frjohnk

OriginalPouzar: That Matheson contract pissed me off the moment is was announced and I knew/know its going to be a problem for the Nurse contract.

If Nurse demands $5M plus with term then I think we need to be prepared for a lengthy contract negotiation.

That number will likely depend on where his box-cars land at the end of the year and his even strength offence is spiking right now.

Blah!

Nurse has been the Oilers best D this year and if that were to be the story for the whole year then Nurse and his agent could go up to Chia and say, “well you didnt bridge Draisaitl, you paid him what he felt he was worth. Just like Drai, Im part of the core moving foward. No way am I ( Nurse) going to bridge and I am worth $5.5M to $6M.”

This probably feels steep but with talk of Karlsson and Doughty possibly getting around McDavid money ( $11M- $13M) in the summer of 2019, if the Oilers feel that Nurse is venturing into top pairing territory ( I believe this) then I wouldnt be surprised to see the Oilers sign Nurse over $5M

GMB3

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Just like we pissed people off with the Draisaitl contract so I guess we’re even?

Didn’t seem to piss off Boston when they signed Pastrnak

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
That Toronto picked up Pickard for a late round draft pick (6th?) sours me on any regular roster player traded for a backup goalie.

Yup – there are always back-up goalies available.

There are few toiling in the minor leagues, goalies that are more proven at the NHL level than Brossoit – the acquisition cost should be cheap, cheaper that Slep unless we are getting a true proven veteran back-up tender.

We do need to send a contract back though – maybe its Brossoit/Ellis, maybe its an AHL player – I don’t think it should be Slep unless we are getting a third rounder back as well.

OriginalPouzar

frjohnk: Nurse has been the Oilers best D this year and if that were to be the story for the whole year then Nurse and his agent could go up to Chia and say, well you didnt bridge Draisaitl, you paid him what he felt he was worth.No way am I ( Nurse) going to bridge and am worth $5.5M to $6M.

This probably feels steep but with talk of Karlsson and Doughty possibly getting around McDavid money ( $11M- $13M) in the summer of 2019, if the Oilers feel that Nurse is venturing into top pairing territory ( I believe this) then I wouldnt be surprised to see the Oilers sign Nurse over $5M

Hey, you could be right however lets assume Nurse plays the rest of the season like he has started it.

While he may be the Oilers best d-man on the year, he would not be considered as one of the best d-men in the league for the year. Last year, Drai produced as a top 10 player in the NHL.

They aren’t comparable negotiations in my mind.

Those numbers are too high for Nurse I think – he may demand them but I don’t think Chia should just turn around and say “OK”. He’s not putting up 50 points – if he was then he could reasonably expect more money.

The number has to come in under $5M.

Screw you Mattheson.

GMB3: Didn’t seem to piss off Boston when they signed Pastrnak

Well, that would be a good example of the opposite, right? They signed him for a lot less. The example cited was that Matheson’s contract means Nurse will get way more. But Pastrnak signed for way less and is a pretty comparable player: Drai has the centre over winger thing going for him, but Pastrnak did not play wing for McDavid for half the games, either (yes, I know Marchand and Bergeron are quality).

texmex

OriginalPouzar,

Chia actually brought up the Matheson contract when he was on Stauffer’s show talking about a potential Nurse contract. I can’t remember the exact context though. He was on Bob’s show the same day he did his media avail

OriginalPouzar: Except it doesn’t look like the Drai contract has been used too heavily in negotiations (i.e. Pastrnak).

I think you missed my point, which was exactly that. You shouldn’t use just one contract to set the market for all other RFAs. i.e. if Matheson is the only comparable for Nurse then you’re doing it wrong. Larsson, Klef, Klingberg, etc.

OriginalPouzar: Hey, you could be right however lets assume Nurse plays the rest of the season like he has started it.

While he may be the Oilers best d-man on the year, he would not be considered as one of the best d-men in the league for the year. Last year, Drai produced as a top 10 player in the NHL.

They aren’t comparable negotiations in my mind.

Those numbers are too high for Nurse I think – he may demand them but I don’t think Chia should just turn around and say “OK”.He’s not putting up 50 points – if he was then he could reasonably expect more money.

The number has to come in under $5M.

Screw you Mattheson.

Drai was a top-10 point getter. No way he was even close to a top-10 player.

Pouzar

OriginalPouzar: While he may be the Oilers best d-man on the year, he would not be considered as one of the best d-men in the league for the year.

I would love to see the argument for/against this from the stats guys especially given the uptick in EV Strength scoring. I have no idea where he ranks on any of this stuff but he looks the part.

Pouzar

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Drai was a top-10 point getter. No way he was even close to a top-10 player.

+1

Cassandra

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): I think you missed my point, which was exactly that. You shouldn’t use just one contract to set the market for all other RFAs. i.e. if Matheson is the only comparable for Nurse then you’re doing it wrong. Larsson, Klef, Klingberg, etc.

Based on past experience, “doing it wrong” is how Chiarelli negotiates contracts.

This team absolutely needs Nurse to play well, however the better he plays the bigger his contract is going to be. You can be sure that whatever the number is, it is going to be higher than we expect.

The idea that he will sign for less than 4 M is naive. If the usage and play continues as we have seen so far I expect somewhere around 5.5 M (to take a shot in the dark). In any case, we know from past experience that Chiarelli does not get RFA discounts (he paid Draisatl like a UFA) so 5.5 might be on the low end for Nurse.

Brantford Boy

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker),

This was pretty much my point… comparable to ‘our’ team… 4.167 x 8 then, fine! Sign here…

speeds

Instead of potentially trading him, what are peoples thoughts on perhaps seeing Slepyshevs slow offensive start as an opportunity to get him signed a bit more inexpensively to his next deal, now?

speeds:
Instead of potentially trading him, what are peoples thoughts on perhaps seeing Slepyshevs slow offensive start as an opportunity to get him signed a bit more inexpensively to his next deal, now?

I agree wholeheartedly.

Brantford Boy:
NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker),

This was pretty much my point… comparable to ‘our’ team… 4.167 x 8 then, fine!Sign here…

Yeah, I am definitely pointing at Adam and Oscar and saying to Darnell: will you buy in?

With due respect, F*ck the Matheson contract.

frjohnk

OriginalPouzar: While he may be the Oilers best d-man on the year, he would not be considered as one of the best d-men in the league for the year. Last year, Drai produced as a top 10 player in the NHL.

They aren’t comparable negotiations in my mind.

Thats why I see Nurse wanting to get paid $2.5 to $3M less than Drai.

Cassandra

Very interesting article on the athletic with game score ratings for every player in the NHL.

http://www.theathletic.com/174457/2017/12/04/nhl-trends-a-look-at-whos-up-and-whos-down-after-november/

These are dynamic, taking three years into account, with more recent play weighted more heavily.

Some highlights from the Oilers

McDavid is 4.25 (game score value added–I take it this is wins added over the course of a season). This is super-super star territory. Kucherov and Marchand are the only others over 4. But down from last month.

Draisatl is 2.5. This is a top line score, in a group with the best players in the game, a little lower than Taylor Hall for instance, but a step down from the very best players who are over 3 (Pastrnak, Bergeron, Crosby, Barkov, Tarasenko, Mathews)

Klefbom is just under 2 but dropping.

Nurse is just under 1 but climbing.

Model likes Puljujarvi (relatively). He’s the next best forward but basically the same as Lucic and Maroon, at just over 1 (second/third line player).

The model doesn’t particularly like Nuge, he’s in a group with a bunch of third line players.

If you look at other teams you see the model passes the smell test.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Great post LT! If Nurse wants to hang with his buddies long-term, I think a 6-8 year in the range of Larsson makes sense. There’s a pecking order of the D Oil contracts, which helps the Oil.

– While he was had an uptick in offense, his value is lower as he isn’t a PP option now (his wind-up way too slow and long to be at the point, IMO)

– Worst, if Nurse be all hard-core, they bridge him, and he gets traded at some point. He’s going to be on this roster for a few more years anyways as we still own him, so not all that fussed…

jtblack

I bridge Nurse for2 yrs around $3 – 4 Mil. Peter has to mix upnthe contracts, cant all be long term 8 yrbdelas with NMC.

I dont see Nurses vakue changing tremendously from now til then (like PK Subbans did during bridge).

Love all the comments and input.

Oilers are still in this thing. Starts with a Big win tomorrow. Scrape and Claw back to .500

anonymous

OriginalPouzar: That Matheson contract pissed me off the moment is was announced and I knew/know its going to be a problem for the Nurse contract.

If Nurse demands $5M plus with term then I think we need to be prepared for a lengthy contract negotiation.

That number will likely depend on where his box-cars land at the end of the year and his even strength offence is spiking right now.

Blah!

Pretty good since a lot of people were using Nurse as a throw in on big trade fantasies at the time of the Matheson signing.

BONE207

LT…Happy Birthday…May your celebrations be more epic than a playoff position for the Oilers in 2018.
Have a great day.

McSorley33

speeds,

Instead of potentially trading him, what are peoples thoughts on perhaps seeing Slepyshevs slow offensive start as an opportunity to get him signed a bit more inexpensively to his next deal, now?
**************************************************************************************************
That would represent a value play. And as an Oiler fan I cannot condone that.

Plus, he has size, speed and can shoot. The idea of trading that chip for a used back up goalie in the middle of a lost season – just fits.

Kidding aside, I agree.

frjohnk

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Great post LT!If Nurse wants to hang with his buddies long-term, I think a 6-8 year in the range of Larsson makes sense.There’s a pecking order of the D Oil contracts, which helps the Oil.

– While he was had an uptick in offense, his value is lower as he isn’t a PP option now (his wind-up way too slow and long to be at the point, IMO)

– Worst, if Nurse be all hard-core, they bridge him, and he gets traded at some point.He’s going to be on this roster for a few more years anyways as we still own him, so not all that fussed…

Oilers probably view Nurses ceiling as higher than Larssons. Chia or McLellansaid he had the potential to be a good 5 tool Dman. Whether or not that is true. That is how they view him.
Larson signed his deal a couple of years ago, and with comparable admen now getting more than Larson, Nirse will probably get more.

OriginalPouzar

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Yeah, I am definitely pointing at Adam and Oscar and saying to Darnell: will you buy in?

With due respect, F*ck the Matheson contract.

Here is hoping – are we holding our breath though?

Cassandra

jtblack:
I bridge Nurse for2 yrs around $3 – 4 Mil.Peter has to mix upnthe contracts, cant all be long term 8 yrbdelas with NMC.

I dont see Nurses vakue changing tremendously from now til then (like PK Subbans did during bridge).

Love all the comments and input.

Oilers are still in this thing.Starts with a Big win tomorrow. Scrape and Claw back to .500

if the Oilers are a “true talent” .504 team then they have a 22% chance to make the playoffs.

This isn’t over.