I’m not sure of the exact number of additional actual NHL players Edmonton needs next season, but it’s more than nine.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. Outstanding offer is here.
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ potential roster upheaval might set a record for summer activity
- New Jonathan Willis: Teams should beware of these players at the 2019 NHL trade deadline
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Will he stay or will he go? Possible trade destination for Cam Talbot.
- Lowetide: Comparing Oilers prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto
- Lowetide: Is Ken Hitchcock helping Jesse Puljujarvi find his way as an NHL player?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What Connor McDavid’s evolving leadership qualities mean to the Oilers.
- Lowetide: It’s time for Oilers owner Daryl Katz to stand and deliver a winning organization.
- Lowetide: Setting the Oilers’ expected keeper list for the next GM
- Lowetide: Entry deal AHL forwards give the Oilers an excellent trade pool.
- Lowetide: If fast is the new big, how do the Edmonton Oilers get there in a hurry?
- Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how well Peter Chiarelli and Keith Gretzky restocked the Oilers with their draft work
- Lowetide: Finding a path to the playoffs may involve reckless use of future assets by the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
- Tyler Dellow: A deeper look at Connor McDavid and the Oilers’ 5-on-5 offensive changes under Ken Hitchcock
- Corey Pronman: 2019 NHL Draft midseason rankings
- Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
- Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
- You never call. I’ve been busy.
- It’s been a busy year for realtors. Haha funny.
- When is the last time the Oilers were this bad? Incredibly, this is shaping up as one of the more successful seasons in the cap era. If this year’s team makes 82 points, it would be the second best year (2016-17) since MacT’s last year coaching in 2008-09.
- Is this about McDavid ON/OFF again? I think you mean still.
- How bad is it? At 5-on-5, the team is 51-46 (+5) with McDavid in 934 minutes. In the 1,729 minutes without 97, the team is being outscored 46-71 (-25).
- Are they any better anywhere? Bakersfield Condors are miles ahead of last year and the success is being driven by prospects.
- Big whoop! That’s important, not this instant but for next year and beyond. Quality recall options are something the Oilers haven’t enjoyed in many years.
- What does a strong recall season look like? In 2009-10, Edmonton recalled Devan Dubnyk, Theo Peckham, Taylor Chorney, Marc Pouliot, Liam Reddox.
- What does a strong recall season look like? The most you’re going to get from a single minor league team is maybe four players (01-02 Hamilton Bulldogs produced Fernando Pisani, Jason Chimera, Ty Conklin and Marc-Andre Bergeron).
- Who will make it from this year’s Condors? We’ve already talked about that during the Farm Workers post.
- Don’t you ever get tired of it all? I still cheer for the Expos and they’re dead. When I was 12, I collected Winston Churchill stamps. I’ve been to hell and back, man.
- Seriously man, this has been like 12 years of awful. That’s like 10 percent of your life! When I was a child, my family would go to Jehovah’s Witness conventions. Friday 6-midnight; Saturday 9a-7p; Sunday 8a-4p. I used to do play by play of Expos games in my head to keep from going insane. I’m here for the long haul. Besides the heart wants what it wants.
- Sekera is almost ready. Yeah, they might have to hobble him if he doesn’t get hurt in the third rehab game.
- How will they make room? Matt Benning trade is my guess, or they demote Manning, plus trade the Gryba cap hit and the first-round pick for a nice chianti.
- What do you hope to get from Sekera? If he can return to anything resembling the 2016-17 edition, I expect impressive top-4 minutes on defense and brilliant overtime performances.
- Where would you play him? To start, third pairing with Benning, but I’d like to see the Oilers fix that second pairing. So, Sekera with the best partner among Darnell Nurse and Kris Russell.
- What do you expect from the deadline? I think the Oilers will trade Cam Talbot and Alex Chiasson, but the trades of players with term remaining is the thing to watch. Matt Benning, Zack Kassian, Kyle Brodziak and Brandon Manning need to be shopped if only to ease the cap issue for summer.
- Cap problems are overblown. Right now the Oilers have 16 NHL players signed at $71,191,300. That leaves $11,808,700 for seven players. Trading Benning and Kassian frees up close to $4 million and allows Edmonton to address needs higher on the depth chart with the savings. The new general manager is going to have to be ruthless.
- Who should they buyout? I would buyout Ryan Spooner and Brandon Manning plus Andrej Sekera if he can’t be traded, which saves about $7 million.
- What about Lucic? I would attempt to trade him. Travis Yost was on twitter last night talking about the Senators needing cap in order to get to the floor if Stone and Duchene go at the deadline.
- Giddyup! Might cost you the first-round pick though, and that pick could get you a scoring winger.
- What will happen with the prospects? Same as always. Orphans be orphans. If Keith Gretzky becomes general manager, the 2017 and 2018 picks (Yamamoto, Bouchard groups) are safe. I imagine Bob Green’s connections to names like Tyler Benson and Ethan Bear give those men cover, and Caleb Jones has shown enough to be considered a prospect of value.
- Jesse Puljujarvi? It’s an ill wind she blows.
- What would you do? I’ve already mentioned the buyout stuff and my article at the The Athletic today gives what I’m hoping will be the template the new general manager adopts. I would target one younger player in free agency who could impact next season. That might include Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Ryan Dzingel. I would also overpay Brandon Pirri, who I think is an example of MoneyPuck and could deliver value even if given a ridiculous raise. That gets me two wingers to add to Leon inside the top six forwards, and we’ll have to see if one of the youngsters can grab the other spot (or perhaps a trade gets it done).
- What about defence? It is going to be difficult to fix over one summer. The Klefbom-Larsson pairing works and Nurse-someone who can outlet the puck should settle in as a good second duo. The third pair could be Caleb Jones-Tim Heed and Edmonton could offload Kris Russell in order to pay for the second goaltender. Something like that.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
CFL free agency kicks off this morning, we’ll be balls out on coverage with lots of time to talk Oilers. Starting at 10, TSN1260:
- Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Oilers trade deadline and the new general manager.
- Darrin Bauming, TSN1290 Winnipeg. Blue Bombers making moves.
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. We’ll chat NFL offseason and the Cleveland Browns early transactions.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!