One of the best lines in NHL free agency: “How would you like to play on a line with Connor McDavid?” That’s an attention getter and Ken Holland may be using something like it on Brett Connolly today. If Edmonton signs Connolly, I suspect most fans will like the player but not the contract.
The Matt Cane prediction was $3.472 million times three for Connolly, the media rumor is $4 million times four. I said this could happen (here) and if it does, then I think it’s important to drill down on how much of the overpay is on management and how much is a tax on signing with the Oilers. It has to be one or the other, or both. I think it’ll be an interesting conversation should it come to pass.
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: Taking stock of Oilers prospects ready to graduate with a clear shot at an NHL job in 2019-20
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers keep two, cut five, and potentially add new targets as qualifying deadline passes
- 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?
NHL teams walked a thousand men yesterday and some of them can play. I can’t get to every player worth discussing but here are a few who caught my eye.
LC Nick Cousins. He posted 1.27/60 5-on-5 scoring, played 30 percent of his time against elites and delivered 55 percent in possession. That’s good. While it’s true he played most often with Keller and Galchenyuk, Cousins was superior without at 5-on-5. He won’t cost a lost, and is 26.
R Ryan Hartman. He delivered 1.43/60 5-on-5 scoring, and in Nashville played 33 percent of his time against elites (48 percent in possession). I don’t know what the hell is going on with this player, but very recently he was good.
R Pontus Aberg. A 1.52/60 5-on-5 scorer for two teams, he played 29 percent of his time against elites and won 47.9 percent of the overall 5-on-5 possession. He had some chem here, people.
R Josh Archibald. He scored 1.30 5-on-5 per 60 while playing 49.6 against elites in 260 minutes against them. I don’t know him really but this is probably worth a contract because of shooting percentage (13.8).
LC Marko Dano. He’s 24 now and has only averaged 11 NHL goals per 82 games, but he has speed and skill. Long shot at this point.
R Sven Andrighetto. He scored 1.64/60 5-on-5 most often with Kerfoot and Jost. Oilers could buy out Sam Gagner, sign this fellow for $1 million and save a million. I like Gagner more, but there is an opportunity here.
L Dmitrij Jaskin. Big, strong and with great skill, I’ve been watching him for years and am still not sure what he does. Posted a 1.32/60 at 5-on-5 last season and might be the best pure talent on this list.
L Kerby Rychel. I’m not absolutely certain he is a player, but there is some evidence here. At 5-on-5 over his NHL career, Rychel has 14 points in 415 minutes. That’s 2.02/60.
CURRENT 50-MAN (43)
There is one slide (Olivier Rodrgiue) and it sure sounds like Edmonton is going to sign RHC Gaetan Haas. My article at The Athletic today identifies several Condors who are in very good position for roster spots this fall. That could change, but this depth chart is fluid. Edmonton has room for (my guess) five more names on the 50-man.
Ken Holland has signed Joakim Nygard and Logan Day, plus re-signed Gambardella, Malone, Patrick Russell, Shane Starrett. We knew he was beyond careful (he made one trade all summer 2018) and the new general manager may just sign some free agents. If the club gets Connolly and a legit goalie, I think we’ll see a buyout.
A LITTLE MORE ON PHILIP BROBERG
HockeyProspect.com: He’s been playing in a somewhat sheltered role for AIK in the HockeyAllsvenskan, where he had 2 goals, and 7 assists in 41 games. Broberg has got good size and excellent skating abilities, with a smooth, strong stride he likes to use to his advantage. He advances the puck up ice creating distance between him and his opponents, often going wide and around defenders. It’s really his north-south skating that stands out as he often takes the shortest route towards his destination.
Red Line Report: Huge, smooth skating defenceman has a terrific combination of great size and obvious skills. Lugs the puck up ice on dangerous rushes frequently, and generates lots of offence from the back end. Fires laser wristers on the PP, walking the line laterally to open up lanes.
Corey Pronman: In Broberg, the Oilers get an immensely talented defenseman and a unique player in terms of how elite his skating is for 6-foot-3. He’s not a high-end puck skills or passer, but he gets a bad rap in that area. He has skill, he makes plays, he can operate on a power play. His game is projected to be a top-pair guy who can drive play.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running with great guests and 50,000 watts of talk and droll on TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey will stop by to talk prospects camp, the draft and free agency to come. We’ll also be joined by Kris Abbott from OddsShark to talk NBA and NHL offseason. Cam Lewis from Blue Jays Nation will also pop by and we’ll chat about losing teams and what they can get out of losing seasons. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!