On the day he was hired (before the media avail), I pegged Ken Holland’s ‘needs list’ at two wingers, a RH center, a backup goalie, a RH defenseman who could move the puck, and cap room. I think that list is still relevant one month later, but the order may have shuffled. We’re about to see the great architect get to work. Stand back.
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: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?
- Lowetide: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland
- Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers roster to see which players fit Dave Tippett’s ‘aggressive, fast team’ approach
- 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.
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
- 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?
- 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.
You may recall we’re going over last year’s bottom-six forwards and giving thumb’s up or down. I’ve voted to keep Jujhar Khaira and Sam Gagner so far, Milan Lucic is our third man theme.
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.
Milan Lucic can win battles, play with an edge, and his 5-on-5 possession number is strong, even without Connor McDavid (and that’s rare). In ’17-18, he posted a 5-on-5 per 60 number that put him as a third-line performer. Everything else is strictly fourth line.
He does not PK, he no longer scores at 5-on-5, and he’s late to the forecheck. ML has been one of my favourites for more than a decade, but it’s time for him to sail on. I would not give up a monster asset (No. 8 overall) to dump his contract. There are trade winds surrounding him, perhaps the deal goes down after July 1 and the bonus payment.
HOLLAND’S TO-DO LIST
When Ken Holland first arrived, I suggested his to-do summer list looked like this:
*Two scoring wingers
*No. 3 RH center
*Top 4 RHD who can move the puck
After hearing him talk, and reviewing his plan of action (he wants to both make the playoffs and build the system), I believe the priority list is the same but the order has to be shuffled.
1 Goalie. If the Oilers are going to make the 2020 playoffs, and that’s a distant bell, a goalie is going to steal some games. I’ve suggested Brian Elliott, perhaps there’s another option. Either way, goalie is the priority.
2 Two scoring wingers. I do believe Holland will spend (money and assets to bring in some quality scorers. It might be a one and one, as in Brett Connolly via free agency and Connor Brown via trade, but there will be changes.
3 RH center. I think we’ll see a PK option who can skate and win faceoffs acquired over the summer. Maybe it’s someone Holland knows, like Luke Glendening.
4 Cap room. Most of the heavy work may have to wait a year.
5 Top 4 RHD who can move the puck. I can see a scenario where Holland and Tippett look at the internal options and decide a solution is on the roster, but 12 months away. Evan Bouchard might own that job by December 2020.
NHL.com always does an excellent job with their mocks, three individual mocks in this case. The Oilers options are fascinating, especially Philip Broberg. Why is it interesting? No one mentioned him as an Oilers option until after Ken Holland arrived. Maybe we get a surprise.