It’s hard enough to suss out a team’s summer list of priorities when a general manager is in place. Without a general manager indicating his priorities? Well. It’s not mission impossible, but you can see it from there. Let’s have a lash.
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.INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!
- New Lowetide: How high can these Condors fly?
- Lowetide: Ron Hextall’s patient approach as GM would be shock to Oilers’ system
- Jonathan Willis: Michael Futa’s success at the NHL Draft makes him a credible GM candidate for the Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers possible summer trade pieces, and which longtime players might be saying goodbye.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick.
- Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson mostly says the right things, but stalls on making changes to the Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The pressure’s squarely on Bob Nicholson to make right GM hire for Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Report Cards: Few passing grades remain in season full of failure.
- Lowetide: How winning the draft lottery and drafting Jack Hughes could transform the Oilers.
- Lowetide: The Oilers have a trio of Condors blue pushing and all three are tracking well. How does this group compare to the Petry, Chorney, Wild college men from a decade ago?
- Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid’s frustration should be seen by the Oilers as a warning of possible disaster.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers have another problem to solve: Lifting the cloud over a clearly frustrated Connor McDavid
- Lowetide: What Mark Hunter’s draft record in Toronto means for his Oilers GM candidacy.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers, the republic of Finland and the 2019 draft.
- Lowetide: The Oilers made a rare move and shopped the QMJHL at the 2018 draft. It could happen again.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
ABOUT THE GM
We are flying blind. The new man may say “we need a goalie!” and we’re off in that direction. The new general manager could spend $6 million on Robin Lehner or trade for Juuse Saros and Edmonton will have a $4.5 million backup. It’s important to remember everyone not named Connor McDraisaitl-Hopkins among forwards is vulnerable, with a lot uncertain on blue and in goal.
AREAS OF STRENGTH
Again it depends on general manager and coach, but if the organization chooses an “up the middle” path, Edmonton isn’t far from balance.
I like this group a lot. The center four lack a righty, but Brodziak didn’t help the PK so unless someone else emerges that’s the best quartet. The left side of the blue is quality, veteran and balanced, while the right side brings a tough veteran who gives no quarter. Now, the new GM might trade one of these men, but we’re going to assume this is the cluster’s inner circle.
Now comes the difficult part of the roster. There are good players who can be added to this group, as well as quality youngsters who have earned the right to compete for NHL jobs. There are also men with cap hits that sewer the ability for the new GM to wheel. Let’s add the good players, the best of the youngsters and the deals that appear to be unavoidable.
There’s about $10 million left and a No. 1 LW, No. 1 RW, No. 14F, No. 7D and No. 2 goalie to add to this group. Now, the “group” is fatally flawed, and that’s the big part of the problem.
Among the forwards eligible for buyout, who is likely to be the most effective next season compared to the cap relief purchased for 2019-20?
Same thing, with defencemen:
Buying out Russell isn’t something the Oilers would do, as the disaster that awaits them in year two is Lucician. So, if the Oilers buyout Lucic and Sekera, the savings is $5,375,000 and that’s most or all of Brett Connolly. The team would need to rely on some kids, but they would be relying on a group who showed they were quality in the AHL this season.
I’m buying three free agents (Connolly, Panik, Elliott), I’m sure you’ll have your own favourites. This roster relies on the three best Condors from this season (Benson, Marody, Jones) and that’s as it should be year to year.
I understand the defense is no better, in fact without Sekera that third pairing is far less impressive. For me, all of the external options are just too damned expensive. It’s like trading for a center. No sir. Evan Bouchard, Joel Persson, Ethan Bear, the right side will be solved in due time, internally. In the words of the great philosopher Mel McDaniel Roll Your Own. I’ll have an article up at The Athletic on the Condors later today.