I always thought Andrej Sekera was a great target in free agency. He was mobile, skilled, had good years remaining and was good enough to play up and down the lineup as required. Maybe he wasn’t a top pairing blue, but any fool could see he was bona fide top-4 D.
Now, what do you pay for free agents in Edmonton? Among the 31 teams, there are better and worse destinations for free agents, I think the market has spoken and there’s a premium in dollars and years. Sekera signed a six-year deal, $33 million for a $5.5 million AAV.
What would have have signed for with (say) Tampa Bay? Great weather, tax situation ideal. Say, four years and $4.5 million? Is that fair? Maybe we’ll make it $4.5 million times five years. So, the Lightning save $1,000,000 a year on the cap and spend one less year worrying about injury.
If we can agree those things are true, why don’t fans factor those facts in when a free agent signs here? Why do fans fail to make the connection going forward when we can all agree looking back? Damnable question, don’t have the answer.
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, here’s an incredible Offer!
- New Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Raphael Lavoie’s QMJHL coach is confident the Oilers’ No. 38 pick will prove worth the wait
- New Jonathan Willis: Having added top KHL stopper Ilya Konovalov, how will the Oilers handle a crowded goalie pipeline?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland doesn’t lose sight of the big picture in drafting defenceman Philip Broberg over a forward
- Lowetide: The heat is on Ken Holland’s Oilers for Day 2 of the NHL Draft.
- Lowetide: Oilers Draft Day 1: Getting it right at No. 8 overall and multiple trade winds for Ken Holland.
- Willis and Mirtle: Are the Oilers and Maple Leafs good trading partners?
- Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Analyzing the early Edmonton Oilers’ 2019-20 depth chart.
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ conundrum in taking Philip Broberg with the No. 8 overall pick
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evaluating the pros and cons of potential Oilers buyout candidates
- Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?
We’ve talked about Brett Connolly for weeks now as a free-agent option, I think the Oilers will have a look at him. Will the team be able to afford him? I refer you to the passages above. They may have to overpay for him because that’s the marketplace. Ken Holland can’t change the taxes and he can’t move 2,000 palm trees to Crestwood so we are here. I’m going to list the Matt Cane free-agent dollars below. PLEASE do not send me angry emails if the actual cost to Edmonton is greater than the Cane estimate.
FREE AGENT FORWARDS, VOLUME 1
Connolly should be pursued, but at what price? If he can command $4.5 million times 3, should the Oilers pursue? The club could sign Donskoi or Ennis for far less, and possibly add another free agent from this list.
So the question for today: Would you rather Connolly, or Donskoi/Carr, or Ennis/Pirri?
Magnus Paajarvi scored 11 goals for $900,000; Kenny Agostino posted 24 points for $700,000; Taylor Leier scored 22 goals in the AHL; Jean Sebastian Dea played in the NHL and flourished in the AHL; Riley Barber scored 31 AHL goals; Andrew Poturalski scored 70 AHL points; Michael Sgarbossa scored 30 AHL goals. Fussy Britches mentioned Ville Leskinen, I don’t know much about him (EP page here). Oilers have informed the agents for Tobias Rieder and Ty Rattie they’re on the Lido Shuffle, so someone is coming in. I remain convinced Tyler Benson has a clear shot at this roster.
2019 OILERS DEVELOPMENT CAMP
The kids are in town for a few days and there are lots of chances to see this year’s prospects. Details are here.
Goalies (3): Dylan Wells, Stuart Skinner, Olivier Rodrigue
Defense (7) Philip Broberg*; Evan Bouchard, Matt Cairns*, Leon Huttl; Phil Kemp, Michael Kesselring; Dmitri Samorukov*
Forwards (11) L Matej Blumel; LC Skyler Brind’Amour; R Cam Hebig; RC Raphael Lavoie; R Kirill Maksimov; LC Tomas Mazura; LC Ryan McLeod; L Graham McPhee; L Patrik Siikanen; L Nolan Vesey; R Taylor Ward.
I know some of you are likely disappointed the top 20 landed at The Athletic, but I can tell you there’s a new offer that gets you a year for less than $4 a month (link is here). The piece is 4,000 words and it’s a helluva list this year.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we’re back on the air, TSN1260. Corey Pronman, Jason Gregor and Hart from PuckPedia join us as we talk draft and free agency. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!