Based on what I’m reading, this blog’s author might be the only living human who is pleased with the Edmonton Oilers’ summer. I checked the news every day of summer, and know for certain there was no “Jesse Puljujarvi dealt for Oliver Bjorkstrand” deal and draft day didn’t see Edmonton trade No. 10 overall for Mike Hoffman.
I know this isn’t fun and there are going to be growing pains. The price of poor drafting (followed by trading draft picks in 2014 and 2015) is the organization is being forced to fritter away some prime McDavid years. There are no alternatives, the organization has to be patient and build through the draft, having wasted the entirety of the McDavid entry deal in an effort to make the playoffs quickly. If the 2015 entry draft had been given to the scouts, I’m convinced this team would be pushing for the top of the division.
- Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai: Frankly, the consensus of opinion is that it’s impossible, but we’ll certainly give it a go. After all, we mustn’t forget that we’ve wasted over a month through an unfortunate disagreement for which I was not to blame.
The Athletic made some big additions last week, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman joining the Edmonton staff. Daniel, Jonathan Willis, Minnia Feng, Pat McLean and me will deliver prose all winter long and there will be tons via the national desk from Tyler Dellow, Corey Pronman and Dom Luszczysyn. Special offer is here, less than $4 a month! Also, don’t forget to join us later this month (September 24, The Rec Room south side) for a get together and general merriment. I’m thrilled to be part of this group, hope you join us.
- New Lowetide: RE 18-19: Ryan Strome and the Oilers long journey to competent third and fourth lines
- New Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers fail in 2018-19, it will probably be the same reason they failed in 2017-18.
- Eric Duhatschek: Connor McDavid knows what ails the Oilers and how to improve it.
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Leon Draisaitl and the pursuit of a second outscoring line in ’18-19
- Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers improve in ’18-19, they’ll do it on the back of special teams
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Ethan Bear is providing inspiration for Indigenous youth through his hockey camp.
- Jonathan Willis: The arrival of Alex Chiasson gives the Oilers a crowd up front
- The Athletic Cross Canada Tour Will hit Edmonton!
- Lowetide: RE 18-19 Can the McDavid line lead the 2018-19 Oilers to the playoffs?
- Lowetide: For Oilers young forwards, it’s what you create versus what you leave.
- Lowetide: Ryan Mantha’s injury and uncertain recovery.
- Lowetide: Oilers rookie camp roster offers options and balance.
- Corey Pronman: The most intriguing prospect to watch at camp for every NHL team.
- Jonathan Willis: Three different KHL stars, three different paths to NHL success.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Bringing something different to the Oilers beat.
- Dom Luszczyszyn: 2018-19 season preview Edmonton Oilers.
- Lowetide: Who will win the McDavid-line lottery?
- Lowetide: The 2018-19 Oilers and what may come.
- Lowetide: The 2015 draft and what was lost
- Lowetide: Projecting the 2018-19 Oilers opening night roster
- Lowetide: Where will Tobias Rieder land on the Oilers depth chart?
VALUE CONTRACTS (CANDIDATES)
- LC Connor McDavid $12.5 million. The value of McDavid to this franchise is enormous. On many nights this winter, the 20+ minutes 97 contributes will be enough to overcome the overall roster problems and grab two points. He’s incredible.
- LD Oscar Klefbom $4.167 million. Healthy and with few alternatives on the roster, Klefbom has a job on the top pairing 5-on-5 and top unit power play. Can he deliver 40 points? If he can help form a strong duo with Adam Larsson and post crooked numbers 5-on-4, this contract will be a strong value deal.
- R Tobias Rieder $2 million. Likely the best free-agent money spent by Edmonton this offseason, I placed him at 2R in my RE series (for much of the year). If he can score 15 goals, penalty kill and offer a two-way conscience for the Draisaitl line, Rieder will get paid handsomely next summer (hopefully by Edmonton).
- RC Kyle Brodziak $1.15 million. He’s 34, so erosion is already underway and players like this tend to fall off a cliff (remember Eric Belanger?) as opposed to fading slowly. Still, his skill sets are a perfect marriage to team need, so there’s a chance for a strong value season.
- R Jesse Puljujarvi $.925 million. He comes with an exciting $2.5 million in possible bonus dollars. He’s 20, has acclimated over two seasons, and the general manager has maneuvered the roster in a way that welcomes the young man’s talents. It’s go time, JP’s emergence as a productive player would represent one of the true positives for the coming year.
- R Ty Rattie $.800 million. Massive chance to help the Oilers and himself this season, Rattie developed some chem with 97 and 93 on the top line and will get the same spot in the batting order to start the year. We could be dealing with a major story in Rattie.
- L Jujhar Khaira $.675 million. He was a revelation last season, providing some 5-on-5 offense, penalty-killing acumen and playing well on the No. 3 line when required. Another season like that one would be real value.
- L Pontus Aberg $.650 million. He scored well after coming over and brings speed to his line. He could get lost in the crowd but with so many opportunities available, Aberg could over deliver on his cap number.
Scottie Upshall (knee) fails medical in EDM today.
It does not automatically end his PTO with Oilers. But unable to participate for a few weeks, his opportunity is, for all intents and purposes, expired this fall in EDM.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) September 14, 2018
That sucks for Upshall, he spoke to several outlets about how much he was looking forward to being a part of this team. Hopefully he’s close and will join the team later in the year.
There has been some buzz that the Oilers will make a move for a veteran dman when Sekera goes on the LTIR. Not a sure thing but I've been told they are seriously looking at that option.
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) September 14, 2018
Faulk has been a rumor for some time, I’m not sure he’s going to help a great deal and I wonder if it might be wise to keep that Sekera money for a rainy day. What if the goaltending fumbles? Spending those dollars on Faulk blocks the team from addressing other needs as they arise.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy Friday morning as we get going with the daily routine of a hockey club in town. Oilers news items will break during the show, although the Nurse signing likely goes during Jamo’s show (shakes fist!). Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 at 10 this morning:
- Jesse Marshall, The Athletic-Pittsburgh. Our final Metro stop is in the land of Crosby and Malkin. We’ll talk Jack Johnson and expectations.
- Dan Ralph, Canadian Press. CFL weekend and is there a team in this league where Johnny Football can start?
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point Counter Point on Nurse, the Oilers expectations and CFL weekend.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!