Every summer, weary Oilers fans are met by a blast from the sun, signaling the annual trek to find water in enough supply to be called a lake, and the realization that hope springs eternal when it comes to the local hockey team’s transactions. Remember Dany Heatley for Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid? Remember Cam Barker signing as key free agent summer 2011? Identifying useful players, both on its own roster and outside the Oilers, has been a mystery for about one dozen years now. Edmonton’s procurement record is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re going to get.
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- New Lowetide: Predicting the late June trade that will flummox Oilers fans this summer
- New Jonathan Willis: Is Ty Rattie capable of injecting skill on an Oilers scoring line?
- Lowetide: Ty Smith a quality fit for the Oilers at No. 10 overall.
- Jonathan Willis: Edmonton’s pick at No. 10 has great value.
- Lowetide: Woodcroft walks the streets of Bakersfield
- Lowetide: The Oilers and Mikko Koskinen.
- Lowetide: Oilers summer to-do list short and sweet.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
Allow me to take you back through the past, darkly:
- June 30, 2009: Word tonight from multiple sources: Dany Heatley is an Edmonton Oiler. Senators get three NHL players in return: Andrew Cogliano, a very good young player; Dustin Penner, an inconsistent winger who does bring some things; Ladislav Smid, a young defender who has been developing at the NHL level. A lot of young talent heading the other way. Source
- July 2, 2011: Did Cam Barker ever–at any time–play tough minutes in the NHL? No. He didn’t in Minnesota and in Chicago they always had a better option. Whatever Barker’s value–real or imagined, it doesn’t appear in the secondary disciplines (that I can find). Source
- June 20, 2014: Edmonton acquires a window of opportunity to acquire Nikita Nikitin. Source
Let me ask you a question: Are you certain the Oilers pro evaluation is better than it was on the day Craig MacTavish traded for the right to make Nikita Nikitin richer? Are you sure? There are three pro scouts listed on the website (Chris Cichocki, Paul Messier and Matti Virmanen) and of course we can identify management types who would be involved in evaluation (Chiarelli, Craig MacTavish, Duane Sutter, Keith Gretzky, Bill Scott, Rick Carriere, Scott Howson). I also assume, but could be wrong, that any goalie signed (Koskinen) would be seen by not just the scout (Virmanen, surely) but also the goalie coach and consultant (Dustin Schwartz and Sylvain Rodrigue, respectively).
Chiarelli’s free agents
- Andrej Sekera signed a six-year deal July 1, 2015
- Mark Letestu signed a three-year deal July 1, 2015
- Drake Caggiula signed an entry-level deal May 7, 2016
- Milan Lucic signed a seven-year deal July 1, 2016
- Jonas Gustavsson signed a one-year deal July 1, 2016
- Mark Fraser signed a one-year deal July 1, 2016
- Matt Benning to an entry-level deal August 27, 2016
- Kris Russell to a one-year deal October 7, 2016
- Kris Russell to a four-year deal June 23, 2017
- Eric Gryba to a two-year deal June 27, 2017
- Mitch Callahan to a two-year deal July 1, 2017
- Ryan Stanton to a two-year deal July 1, 2017
- Ty Rattie to a one-year deal July 1, 2017
- Grayson Downing to a one-year deal July 1, 2017
- Brian Ferlin to a one-year deal July 1, 2017
- Keegan Lowe to a one-year deal July 1, 2017
- Eddie Pasquale to a one-year deal July 1, 2017
- Brian Malone to a two-year deal July 3, 2017
- Jussi Jokinen to a one-year deal July 7, 2017
- Yohann Auvitu to a one-year deal July 10, 2017
Men who played for the Oilers are in sky blue bold. I’m always hesitant to blame the scouts for the pro signings because you damned well know the upper management had a long look at these cats before signing them. How many of these signings were quality, in your opinion? Was that your stated opinion at the time? Peter Chiarelli has less room to wheel this summer, a great deal of the problem coming from the early contracts for Sekera, Lucic and (later) Russell. Do you trust this management group to spend wisely summer 2018?
Despite transition of Marody, Hebig, Benson and Yamamoto to Bakersfield could definitely see EDM signing higher end AHL offensive C
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) May 6, 2018
I wrote about Austin Czarnik as an option one month ago at The Athletic, mentioned his speed, forechecking ability and special teams work. Czarnik might be a brilliant addition, not just for Bakersfield but possibly for the Oilers as time goes by. I’d be all over that kind of addition, even with the knowledge it would cut down on playing time for some of the youth.
@tsnscottcullen I see your off-season gameplan for the Carolina Hurricanes has the projected roster having Jesse Puljujarvi and No Justin Faulk.
Are you thinking the Oilers make a trade to get Faulk? Or do i wait until you unveil your game plan for the Oilers and see Faulk ?
— Steve Perkins (@StevePDiggs) May 3, 2018
Cullen is a very bright guy who somehow has time to review all 31 teams as he did with Carolina here. Scott has Edmonton acquiring Justin Faulk for Jesse Puljujarvi (in a package) and it makes sense on some levels. The Hurricanes could reunite JP with Aho and may also run Teravainen to get a full boat of Finns pushing the river. I am not a fan of the trade, but can see why both teams would make the exchange.