New management will need to add scoring forwards this summer, and it’s probable we’ll see a free-agent signing on July 1. If we estimate an outer marker of $6 million for the “key” addition, is there an answer there? Or would it be best to acquire two $3 million forwards and spread the wealth?
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: Jesse Puljujarvi and his uncertain future with the Oilers
- New Lowetide: ‘I see something special’: Are Oilers prepared to make Caleb Jones a fixture on the roster next season?
- New Jonathan Willis: Gritty comeback performance sends Edmonton’s farm team to the second round of the AHL playoffs.
- New Lowetide: Dylan Cozens might be ideal fit for Oilers at No. 8 overall in the 2019 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Hard to please, but easy to work for’: How Sean Burke’s philosophy as a GM would benefit the Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A dogged realist, Kelly McCrimmon’s resume makes him an attractive candidate for the Oilers GM job
- New Lowetide: Is this the season the Oilers take the plunge and draft a USHL player in the first round?
- Jonathan Willis: Top Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard stars in his first AHL game as Condors dominate.
- Lowetide: Adam Larsson’s importance to the Oilers and why trading him is a bad idea.
- Lowetide: Tyler Benson’s comparables offer Oilers fans plenty of hope for the future.
- Lowetide: Making the call on the Oilers’ RFAs with a new general manager on the way.
- Lowetide: Red Wings front office shuffle could impact Oilers’ future.
- Jonathan Willis: Potential coaching candidates and why the Oilers don’t need to rush the GM search to get one
- Lowetide: What would Glen Sather do with these Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Some creative solutions to address the Oilers’ goalie problem
- Lowetide: The Milan Lucic saga rolls into Year 4 for Oilers with no easy answers
- Jonathan Willis: Who stays and who goes? An early projection of which players will remain on the Oilers’ roster in 2019-20
- Lowetide: How high can these Condors fly?
- 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.
These kids tell us who they are, over time. Samorukov was the third player chosen by Keith Gretzky in his first draft as Oilers scouting director, there’s a chance he’ll be the best player Edmonton picked in 2017.
Although Kailer Yamamoto and Stuart Skinner were selected ahead of Samorukov, the chapters he’s writing in junior suggest his relative youth (he is about nine months younger than Yamamoto) on draft day has resulted in a higher ceiling. We’re early days, but this year has seen separation. Draft +5, but we can count arrows.
SIX MILLON DOLLAR MEN
A week ago I looked at free agents (including all positions) and came away with five free agents (Brett Connolly, Brandon Pirri, Joonas Donskoi, Brandon Tavev, Brian Elliott) who could elevate the depth of the team. Today, let’s look at home runs, including free agents and trade options. We’re looking at $6 million men, and using this spreadsheet as a guideline for free-agent outer markers.
1 F Gustav Nyquist. He posted 2.10 points per 60 at 5-on-5 this season and is a wizard with the puck. He’ll turn 30 in September and his cap hit on his last contract was $5.5 million.
2 F Mats Zuccarello. He’s 32 in September and posted 2.01 points per 60 at 5-on-5 this year. Injuries have had an impact and he’s an older player. I like him as a complementary winger with any of the big three centers.
3 R Jordan Eberle. He’s 29 on May 15 and will be looking for a big contract. I’m not sure he gets $6 million and I’m really not sure he’d come back to Edmonton, but he’s in the range and is a proven 20-goal winger.
4 L Taylor Hall. He would be No. 1 on this list, but is the first player in the group that would need to be acquired via trade. If NJD can’t get him, perhaps something around the No. 8 overall pick + could get it done. I’d love to see him back in Edmonton.
5 L Nik Ehlers. I don’t think the Jets will move him, the cap issues can be solved by saying goodbye to the right free agents and trading Mathieu Perreault. That said, if Winnipeg moves him, the new GM should be all over the opportunity.
6 L Jonathan Huberdeau. He’s a great player and the Panthers would be crazy to move him, but there’s a management change and that might mean peculiar happenings. He would be a solid fourth with 97, 29 and 93.
7 RD Dougie Hamilton. He seems to be on my list every year, but this is a quality RH defenseman. His numbers against elites, and his puck moving ability, makes him a quality player.
PROJECTED ROSTER 2019-20
We talked about small steps on defense and in goal, and with this plan Edmonton could add only one impact player (and I added Nash because the team needs a No. 3 C).
McLeod damned near made the NHL team a year ago, he returned to junior without a contract and we are here. McLeod’s year over year numbers were flat, there’s a growing suspicion offense will be his NHL hurdle. NHLE’s the last season (26.1) is in the range of Tyler Pitlick in draft +1 (27.2) but you’d like to have seen a spike this year offensively.
Rod Pedersen’s tweet caused quite a stir yesterday, but every hockey insider I heard or read disputed the idea. I know Pedersen well enough to suggest he wouldn’t pull this out of the ether, so maybe there’s some wayward intel from Saskatchewan.
On the other hand, those insiders are paid handsomely to get scoops, and their intel is running counter to Pedersen. In the absence of a second confirmation, I generally stay away from this kind of reporting.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that Mark Hunter, Kelly McCrimmon and Sean Burke have impressed and that Keith Gretzky is still in the mix. It was probably a quick conversation with Holland, and he made his decision to stay in Detroit. Barring a change of heart by Holland, that’s the most likely lay of the land based on what we know. I checked with Pedersen, he’s absolutely standing behind the story and is confident in his source. We wait.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A big and busy show, 10 this morning on TSN1260. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic gets things started at 10:20, followed by Doug Hicks who is once again part of the Hockey Helps the Homeless fundraising efforts this year. More on the event here. We’re also looking for a guest to chat Raptors and maybe a surprise or two as well. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!