The Edmonton Oilers shopped the (available) world for secondary scoring one year ago, finally uncovering some offense via a trade with the Vancouver Canucks. Samwise has a handsome contract and that makes his situation complicated. Does he bring enough to the bottom six to stick around, despite the cost?
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 OFFER IS HERE!
- New Lowetide: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers roster to see which players fit Dave Tippett’s ‘aggressive, fast team’ approach
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Dave Tippett’s coaching philosophy, how he relays information to his players and why information is king
- Lowetide: What will Ken Holland see in Evan Bouchard?
- Lowetide: Does Oilers’ signing of Joakim Nygard signal a measured approach to summer 2019?
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s roster deployment in Arizona and what it might mean for the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Why Ken Holland’s worst years in Detroit tell us the most about how he’ll fare in Edmonton
- Jonathan Willis: Three offseason scenarios and how each one would affect the Oilers salary cap
- Lowetide: Examining the Oilers’ goaltending options in free agency.
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Oilers could go the high octane procurement route but will need a driver
- Lowetide: How much can Connor Brown help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Dmitri Samorukov is off to the Memorial Cup and is the Oilers’ fastest rising prospect
- Jonathan Willis: Craig MacTavish leaves the Oilers, signalling the first major front office change under Ken Holland
- Lowetide: What kind of coach should Ken Holland hire for the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Andrej Sekera gives the Oilers much-needed defensive options
- Lowetide: Is Joe Gambardella destined to become the Oilers’ next Fernando Pisani?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
- Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
- 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 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.
Yesterday we looked at Jujhar Khaira and decided he was worthy of returning in 2019-20 inside the bottom-six forwards. Today it’s Sam Gagner. We are looking for players who can: PK, score at 5-on-5, play more than one position, forecheck, win battles and play with an edge.
Gagner can score at 5-on-5, his 1.62 total last season for two teams has him close to second-line production (there are 186 forwards at any given time who are top-six, Gagner was No. 196 at 5-on-5 points per 60. He’s a bona fide scorer in the discipline). Gags can also score on the power play, a luxury for a bottom-six forward.
Gagner is not a great center, but his faceoff percentage suggests he might be able to help on strong-side faceoffs. He remains a fine passer and has great vision.
At $3.15 million he is overpriced for the role he’ll play, but I think the offensive element he brings makes Sam a worthwhile roster player. A buyout saves $2.1 million this coming season. My vote is to keep him. You?
His contract is a major stumbling block, but also an opportunity. If the Oilers could send Kris Russell to Toronto and take on Zaitsev’s deal with no retention, surely an attractive piece would also slide west? Zaitsev’s contract is $4.5 million times five more years, so the Oilers are a goner (they can’t take on that kind of cap for so many years), especially considering Bouchard and others are on the way. So, it’s a no-go for Edmonton. Just for kicks, what does Zaitsev look like using the Puck IQ numbers?
He doesn’t bring much offense, but did have a strong PP campaign in 2016-17. Moves the puck well, skates well, never skated under 20 minutes per game in any season. Here are the Leafs numbers from a year ago:
This is sorted by DFF Rel, Zaitsev struggled in the role this season but still played more (as a percentage) than anyone but Rielly. Toronto’s left side (assuming it is Rielly, Muzzin and Dermott) looks damned good. To bring it back to Edmonton, in terms of minutes versus elites and DFF% Rel, Zaitsev is a reasonable match for Adam Larsson’s season:
Every day that passes without an announcement that Jay Woodcroft will return to Bakersfield is another nail in my heart. I’m going to suggest close to 10 prospects spiked under Woodcroft in his one Condors season, heaven help the poor bastard who has to follow him.
A coach with Dave Tippett’s resume is going to have a long list of people who he knows, we’ve heard Hakstol and Lamb as candidates before. It’s uncertain when we’ll finally get the news but with the draft and free agency ahead, suspect it can wait until summer.
HERE COMES THE SUN
My list is complete, I promised a top 100 but there are 120 names on my final list. The USHL and WHL dominate, a rare off year for the OHL but still plenty of talent from the Ontario league. It’ll be up tomorrow morning (I always publish final final June 1) and there’s a mock draft included with reasons for selections. One thing we don’t know: How much influence Ken Holland will have on the final selections.
I like Noel Hoefenmayer from this list, he’s a player my numbers liked in his draft year. I also like Jocktan Chainey, mostly because you can substitute his name for the title in this song.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we kickstart the weekend under blue skies and sunshine! I promise never to take either for granted again. At 10:20, Steve Lansky joins us from BigMouthSports to talk Raptors and SCF. At 10:45, Frank Seravalli will be live with his weekly segment, SCF, Oilers way forward and trade rumors. Matt Iwanyk talks Raptors, CFL and how he can help you be a better you, at 11:05! 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!