When I was young, there was a song by a group called the Five Man Electrical Band called Signs. Whenever I hear it, and it shows up more often than you think, it instantly takes me back to 1971. In 1971, hair had elevated importance. Don’t ask me why, but it did. In my house, it was a major issue, as my brother wanted to grow his hair long and my Dad felt it was a sign of the (gasp) generation gap and a lack of respect. It was the single biggest reason for my brother leaving the house at 16. Hair. The point: Sometimes even the adults make poor decisions. In 1971? Made zero sense. None at all. Now that I’m older, it still makes zero sense. None at all.
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: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
- New Jonathan Willis: Which Condors made a good first impression on Oilers GM Ken Holland?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
- Eric Duhatschek: Why any talk of Ken Holland being yesterday’s man should be put to rest.
- Lowetide: How will Ken Holland proceed in Year 1 as Oilers general manager?
- Jonathan Willis: What does the arrival of Ken Holland mean for the Oilers coaching search?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Prioritizing the roster issues that await Ken Holland in Edmonton.
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Bakersfield production line: Elevating Jones and how long will success take?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s procurement list for his rumored move to Edmonton will include front-office personnel
- Jonathan Willis: A Milan Lucic trade is at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers’ next GM.
- Lowetide: Should Oilers practice more patience in adding Evan Bouchard to the roster?
- Jonathan Willis: Is Ken Holland yesterday’s man or the ideal GM candidate for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi and his uncertain future with the Oilers
- Lowetide: ‘I see something special’: Are Oilers prepared to make Caleb Jones a fixture on the roster next season?
- Jonathan Willis: Gritty comeback performance sends Edmonton’s farm team to the second round of the AHL playoffs.
- Lowetide: Dylan Cozens might be ideal fit for Oilers at No. 8 overall in the 2019 draft
- New Lowetide: Is this the season the Oilers take the plunge and draft a USHL player in the first round?
- Lowetide: Red Wings front office shuffle could impact Oilers’ future.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick
Today we’re going to Hollandaise the roster. We know the new general manager has as a priority: A free-agent goalie, secondary scoring up front and more good players. Let’s begin with the rfa’s.
1 LW Tobias Rieder. He went 67, 0-11-11 as an Oilers forward and wasn’t a gigantic help on the PK. As much as it would be fun to see Bob Nicholson’s reaction, Rieder won’t be signed.
2 Jujhar Khaira. He was 60, 3-15-18 and posted some interesting numbers against Elite competition (via Puck IQ). A no-brainer to re-sign, although his trade value might mean he’s down the line in a trade.
3 Joe Gambardella. He went 15, 0-3-3 in Edmonton and had a strong year in Bakersfield. His huge night in front of Holland last night is good news, but one suspects he was going to be signed anyway.
4 Tyler Vesel. He scored 61, 5-13-18 in Bakersfield and that’s not a lot of offense for a player who just turned 25. Vesel is a solid checking forward in the AHL, but I think his chances of staying are below 50 percent.
5 Colin Larkin. He went 46, 2-12-14 in the ECHL, and at 25 he’s not close enough to the NHL to close the gap in time.
6 Jesse Puljujarvi. He posted 46, 4-5-9 with Edmonton and Holland’s hiring might be his last chance Texaco with the Oilers. I trust the new general manager will keep him unless the offer to trade is significant.
7 Ty Rattie. He was 50, 4-7-11 this past season, disappointing run and that may spell the end with the organization. However, his 5-on-5 points per 60 in the two Edmonton seasons (1.52) suggests he might be useful as an end of the roster option.
8 Robin Norell. Part of the Brandon Manning trade, he won’t be signed. I’m also assuming Ryan Mantha’s contract will end.
9 Shane Starrett. I think he’s a lock to get another contract. That said, remember that new GM’s have players in mind for the roster. That puts the roster at 39:
Next up we’re going to discuss roster players who could potentially be bought out or dealt by Holland.
1 Milan Lucic. He went 79, 6-14-20 last season and each season that passes features career lows in boxcars. Based on his own words I think ML may be ready to move on. Vancouver?
2 Kyle Brodziak. 70, 6-3-9 last season but his slow boots will probably see him play in Bakersfield next year. Damn shame, one of my favourites.
3 Sam Gagner. A buyout saves $2 million and that puts him in the ‘possible’ pile. However, his 5-on-5 per 60 scoring in Edmonton last year (1.74) put him No. 4 (behind the big three). Could Holland sign a better play in free agency for around $2 million?
4 Andrej Sekera. Posted 24, 0-4-4 after coming back, he wasn’t 100 percent but did show veteran savvy during those 24 games. The cap savings for the next two seasons on a buyout ($3 million) is substantial.
What a night for the Condors! A massive comeback, capped by a William Lagesson overtime winner, have Bakersfield back in the series. Joe Gambardella (3-2-5, +4) had the biggest impact on the game, he and Brad Malone (1-3-4, +4) are crushing opponents this spring.
Prospects who had success include Tyler Benson (1-2-3), Caleb Jones (0-1-1 with steady play and good boots), William Lagesson (scored the winner) and Ethan Bear (now has goals in two consecutive games). Jon’s story (link above) offers a complete overview of a great game and a promising group of prospects.
I think Jones will be on the team in the fall, suspect it’ll be LH side but it’s an option for RH, too. As for the roll call, I think it’s unwise to read too much into who is and isn’t on these flights. Having all hands on deck through the draft and into free agency makes sense unless Holland is allowed to bring his own trusted people from Detroit right away. I don’t imagine that is the case. More likely we see a summer shuffle, or slam, depending on how many names exit.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning as we gear up for the NHL semfinals. TSN1260, beginning at 10 this morning. We’ll welcome Frank Seravalli from TSN at 11, Michael Smith from the Carolina Hurricanes at 10:40 and Nick Sulsky from Monkey Knife Fight at 11:25. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!