Thunder Road

by Lowetide

Yesterday we were talking Brett Connolly, Petr Mrazek and Brian Boyle. Today? Mike Smith, Gustav Nyqvist and Valtteri Filppula. Such is life in the fast line.

Yesterday fans were grumbling about how slow the pace, the Andrej Sekera buyout served as a sudden slap upside the head, and now we’re in business.

Some fans are shocked Mike Smith could make $4 million, but the final $2 million is tied to performance thresholds. If Smith makes $4 million in 2019-20, you’re going to love him.

I would not have signed Mike Smith. I wrote about him at The Athletic and that story will be up this morning (and we’ll have the entire day covered). That said, I’m thrilled it appears to be a one-year deal. Let’s chat.

THE ATHLETIC!

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 add Mike Smith to an uneasy goalie depth chart for 2019-20
  • New Lowetide: Oilers buy out Andrej Sekera, look to a more dynamic free-agent frenzy.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He comes as advertised’: Philip Broberg’s skating makes him development camp standout for Oilers
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers have a tough decision to make as the NHL buyout deadline looms
  • Lowetide: Analyzing the free agent options Ken Holland may consider as he builds a bridge to the future
  • Jonathan Willis: Brett Connolly could be a good fit for the Oilers at a reasonable price-point.
  • Jonathan Willis: Five free-agent goalie options who might make sense for the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: What we learned about the future of NHL at the 2019 Draft
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers plan to skew younger on defence could open the door for Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov
  • Lowetide: Taking stock of Oilers prospects ready to graduate with a clear shot at an NHL job in 2019-20
  • Jonathan WillisOilers keep two, cut five, and potentially add new targets as qualifying deadline passes
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Raphael Lavoie’s QMJHL coach is confident the Oilers’ No. 38 pick will prove worth the wait
  • Jonathan Willis: Having added top KHL stopper Ilya Konovalov, how will the Oilers handle a crowded goalie pipeline?
  • Daniel Nugent-BowmanKen 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?

CURRENT PROJECTED ROSTER, CAP

This is going to change a lot today, we could see any number of players traded (Edmonton still hasn’t signed the two rfa’s) over the next 24 hours. I’ve added Mike Smith in, keeping the bonus out of the conversation for now.

The money can be tweaked (Manning sent down, saving $1M or so) but I do believe we’ll see a trade at some point (and some free agent signings). I wonder about some of those secondary names we discussed earlier in the week (Brandon Pirri, etc). Bottom line? This team needs a scoring winger. RFN.

FREE AGENTS

Frank Seravalli’s list is here, names in play for Edmonton are Gustav Nyqvist (No. 12), Mike Smith (No. 15), Brandon Tanev (No. 21), Alex Chiasson (No. 29), Brian Boyle (No. 31), Valtteri Filppula (No. 34), Noel Acciari (No. 38).

Frank’s final trade list is here. Jason Zucker (No. 2), Chris Kreider (No. 7) and Nikolaj Ehlers (No. 11) all fit the Oilers needs, all unlikely to be dealt to the Alberta capital today.

He posted a 1.09 points per 60 at 5-on-5, played most often with Jake Virtanen and Tyler Motte. He posted a 48.70 Corsi for 5-on-5. Puck IQ has him playing 26.6 percent of his overall 5-on-5 time against elites, 47 percent DFF and +5 DFF RelCorsi%. He’s just 42.8 percent in the dot on around 350 faceoffs, and lefthanded. I think he’s competition for Khaira, Nygard and Benson, not the No. 3 center. Reports have the deal at $1.3 million times one year. More on him as the day goes on. The Athletic has you covered all day with articles on the roster moves, stay tuned!

RADIO

TSN1260 will hit the airwaves at 10 this morning, Dave Jamieson hosting a cast of many over the hours of free agency. I’ll be chiming in, as will Ryan Rishaug, Jason Gregor, Jason Strudwick and others. Stay tuned!

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Jethro Tull

In Mike Smith, at last the Oilers have someone who is genuinely bad in the dressing room.

Professor Q

Jason Spezza with Toronto, Panarin with the Islanders or Rangers (are they then a contender after this Summer thus far?!), Ottawa signing and trading for Toronto players, Lee looking to get over $1 million more AAV than Duchene, Flames and Oilers swapping players (Talbot at $2.75 vs. Smith at $4?!), and everything else today.

It’s a Topsy Turvy Day.

OriginalPouzar

Granlund at $1.3M to start the day.

Decent start – 4th line scoring rates last year but with Virtanen, Motte and Russell as most common linemates.

Almost 2.5 min per game on PK which is key.

Darth Tu

Jethro Tull:
In Mike Smith, at last the Oilers have someone who is genuinely bad in the dressing room.

On the Smith trade, credit to Holland for thinking outside the box. We needed more players that could score goals, having a goalie that can do that is one step in the right direction.

Granlund – not the sexiest bottom 6 option going by those point and possession totals. At least he’s the right side of 30 (unlike me).

Andy Dufresne

Looking at his fancies, I can’t see much to recommend Granlund.

Nothing stands out. Bad at face offs. Is mostly a Winger not a Center.

Dont know……

On the positive side:

He just turned 26 in April, so 2019 will be his 26 yr old season.

He was getting alot of Dzone starts in the last two yrs.
62.5 and 58.3

And his takeaway ratio is positive 23 to 4 at evens.

Stauffer said/hinted that they “might” look at a couple of inexpensive Dave Tippett “types” of players for the bottom six. Is Granlund a Tippet type? Guess so.

Kenny Holland said he likes guys that have what he calls “motors” (like the terminator) an endless supply of energy and tenatiousness. Does Granlund have a “motor”?

From RYAN:
12 goals would have been good for 6th on the Oilers last season. There’s that. He shot under 10%.

At least he’s cheap, in his prime, and a 1-year contract. He was third in Toi/g on the Canucks in PK.

Granlund doesn’t look like much of an add, but he appears to be an upgrade on Rieder.

OriginalPouzar

Spend the rest wisely.

I’m OK with solid $5.5M for Nyqvist if it’s only 3 years.

Find a way to get Cody Eakin and, come on, Pirri needs to be signed to this org.

OriginalPouzar

Performance bonuses vesting for Smith likely means we love him but not for sure.

They could be tied to games played and it could mean more about Koskinen than Smith and that is a very bad result even if Smith is serviceable.

Will have to see what the bonuses are and time will tell if Koskinen can indeed improve over last season – please.

OriginalPouzar

Manning sent down doesn’t save $1M as a replacement 7D would be added.

Persson is likely the replacement – essentially a sawoff on the cap.

texmex

Sekera to Dallas

Ben

Over $4M in buyouts…the Oilers have mismanaged being a spend-to-the-cap team so badly that they’ve unwittingly turned into a self-imposed-cap team.

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar:
Manning sent down doesn’t save $1M as a replacement 7D would be added.

Persson is likely the replacement – essentially a sawoff on the cap.

I mean, it does though. Yes, you fill it otherwise, but you do save that from his full cap hit. You just play a better player in his place.

The semantics game doesn’t really work that well in this case.

Pouzar

Donksoi to COL.

McNuge93

Wow, looking at our forward roster is depressing. (Pulu, Cave, P Russell, Brodziak,) Some smart cheaper signings like Granlund, Pirri, etc may help it somewhat. And as we are all saying one decent winger is needed.

Then we hope the defence and goaltending holdup for 82 games. That’s a big ask.

Pouzar

Carr to NSH

texmex

McNuge93:
Wow, looking at our forward roster is depressing. (Pulu, Cave, P Russell, Brodziak,) Some smart cheaper signings like Granlund, Pirri, etc may help it somewhat. And as we are all saying one decent winger is needed.

Then we hope the defence and goaltending holdup for 82 games. That’s a big ask.

Deep draft next year!!!!

Andy Dufresne

OriginalPouzar:
Performance bonuses vesting for Smith likely means we love him but not for sure.

They could be tied to games played and it could mean more about Koskinen than Smith and that is a very bad result even if Smith is serviceable.

Will have to see what the bonuses are and time will tell if Koskinen can indeed improve over last season – please.

I know bonus values are published, But are the actual terms of the bonus structure also made public?

blainer

This team must focus on getting the PK fixed. We were 30th in the league last year. getting us to even middle of the pack at 16th would a massive upgrade IMO.

We also need a faceoff winning RT shot center or a center who is strong on both sides for the draws.

We must also get a scoring winger.

If Smith can give us league average tending i think we are going into the season looking good.

Don’t screw up the term please on any of the contracts..

Jethro Tull

Darth Tu: On the Smith trade, credit to Holland for thinking outside the box.We needed more players that could score goals, having a goalie that can do that is one step in the right direction.

Granlund – not the sexiest bottom 6 option going by those point and possession totals. At least he’s the right side of 30 (unlike me).

I’ll give him Granlund. Nice bet. But Smith?

jp

OriginalPouzar:
Spend the rest wisely.

I’m OK with solid $5.5M for Nyqvist if it’s only 3 years.

Is there any chance he signs for just 3 yrs though? Slim to no chance I’d think.

Nice player, 21-29-50 per 82 for his career. I think he’s coming, but expect we’ll be disappointed with the term.

RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!!

Andy Dufresne:

Stauffer said/hinted that they “might” look at a couple of inexpensive Dave Tippett “types” of players for the bottom six. Is Granlund a Tippet type? Guess so.

I don’t know much about Tippet and I keep seeing references about Tippet type players. I’m like a 9th tier fan and the extent that I follow hockey is the extent that I follow lowetide. Anybody willing to explain what a Tippet type is and if it squares with “find good players, keep good players”?

thanks

Andy Dufresne

Andy Dufresne: From RYAN:

Granlund doesn’t look like much of an add, but he appears to be an upgrade on Rieder.

Ooooooooh. Is that a shot at Godot ? ….I think that was a shot ?

( Dan Aykroyd in The Great Outdoors…”Was that a shot?….I think that was as shot”)

OriginalPouzar

Andy Dufresne: I know bonus values are published, But are the actual terms of the bonus structure also made public?

I’m not sure but I think so. We’ll find out not long after the contract is made official.

Derek

Jethro Tull:
In Mike Smith, at last the Oilers have someone who is genuinely bad in the dressing room.

He could be a major player at the wine summits however. Allegedly.

Chico21

Is this maybe a signing partially to try and appease Pulijarvi? Put him on the third line with a Finnish center he can talk too? Or has that ship sailed?

Rondo

Granlund is a lazy player. Has some flashes but mostly lazy.

OriginalPouzar

jp: Is there any chance he signs for just 3 yrs though? Slim to no chance I’d think.

Nice player, 21-29-50 per 82 for his career. I think he’s coming, but expect we’ll be disappointed with the term.

Probably not and I would hope Holland moves on.

Rishaug tweeting the numbers are getting too high.

Jethro Tull

Andy Dufresne: Ooooooooh. Is that a shot at Godot ? ….I think that was a shot

( Dan Aykroyd in The Great Outdoors…”Was that a shot?….I think that was as shot”)

If Granlund scores 1 goal, he’s an upgrade on Reider. *Blows smoke over barrel of six-shooters*

Andy Dufresne

RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!!: I don’t know much about Tippet and I keep seeing references about Tippet type players. I’m like a 9th tier fan and the extent that I follow hockey is the extent that I follow lowetide. Anybody willing to explain what a Tippet type is and if it squares with “find good players, keep good players”?

thanks

Good Question.

Im not sure ethier.

I think I’ve heard

a) Two -way players, who play well in 5 man units, up and down the ice

b) Discipilned, Work the system

c) Good takeaway vs giveaway ratios

d) Tippet is good at getting the most out of / maximizing the skill sets of bottom six / offensively challenged type forwards

OriginalPouzar

Carr to Nashville – damn.

Gotta get Pirri.

Jethro Tull

Rondo:
Granlund is a lazy player. Has some flashes but mostly lazy.

Need to put numbers to that. Like is he Hemsky lazy or Schultz lazy?

npanciroli

OriginalPouzar,

Ooo forgot about Pirri.

Rondo

Jethro Tull,
Live in Vancouver saw alot of him.

Andy Dufresne

Its believed offere sheet is ready to go on AHO says Lebrun

Montreal one of the suitors

OriginalPouzar

$1.5M for Sekera in Dallas with $500K potential in bonuses. I think the bonuses are available for him even though not 35 due to lack of games played the last few years.

Great signing by Dallas.

Andy Dufresne

Andy Dufresne: Good Question.

Im not sure ethier.

I think I’ve heard

a) Two -way players, who play well in 5 man units, up and down the ice

b) Discipilned, Work the system

c) Good takeaway vs giveaway ratios

d) Tippet is good at getting the most out of / maximizing the skill sets of bottom six / offensively challenged type forwards

Tippets gotta LOVE RNH !………No?

Reja

Andy Dufresne: I know bonus values are published, But are the actual terms of the bonus structure also made public?

You would think min played, wins, save pct, wins to loss pct, total shots on net, total saves.Come on what else am I missing.

Andy Dufresne

OriginalPouzar:
$1.5M for Sekera in Dallas with $500K potential in bonuses.I think the bonuses are available for him even though not 35 due to lack of games played the last few years.

Great signing by Dallas.

Sounds like the market disagrees with you on the value of Sekera.

Glovjuice

Hitch Hikin’ off of the recently released Bruce Springsteen album Western Stars is a glorious song.

Andy Dufresne

Connolly at 4 x $3.5 million to Florida ( tax advantage) is equivalent to what in Edmonton?

4 x $3.85m ? More? Less?

Reja

Jethro Tull: If Granlund scores 1 goal, he’s an upgrade on Reider. *Blows smoke over barrel of six-shooters*

That’s counting exhibition and inner squad games as well.

Andy Dufresne

Glovjuice:
Hitch Hikin’ off of the recently released Bruce Springsteen album Western Stars is a glorious song.

Thunder Road glorious?

Ben

Jeff Marek is so good. Only host that can hold a candle to Ron Maclean.

Jordan

Andy Dufresne:
Connolly at 4 x $3.5 million to Florida ( tax advantage) is equivalent to what in Edmonton?

4 x $3.85m ?More? Less?

That’s a pretty good estimate on the straight Tax different on State and Federal Tax in florida and the provincial and federal tax in ALberta.

However, I was unaware how the effects of current location on bonus structure significantly implact those taxes, so depending on where the player’s “permanent residence” is on July 1 (for signing bonus purposes) the actual taxes they pay on the salary as a whole could be significantly less than either the combined tax rates.

So, short answer is if you’re playing fairly, 11% is the difference. If you’re playing smart, there is next to no difference.

who

I think I would have given Connelly 4 years at 3.5 million. I am terrified about how much term they are going to give Nyquist.

Professor Q

Andy Dufresne:
Connolly at 4 x $3.5 million to Florida ( tax advantage) is equivalent to what in Edmonton?

4 x $3.85m ?More? Less?

This tax advantage thing is becoming way more than overblown.

OriginalPouzar

Stralman an close to 3 X $5.5M.

$2M, as suggested, was without reasonableness but that does seem a bit high.

Andy Dufresne

Jordan: That’s a pretty good estimate on the straight Tax different on State and Federal Tax in florida and the provincial and federal tax in ALberta.

However, I was unaware how the effects of current location on bonus structure significantly implact those taxes, so depending on where the player’s “permanent residence” is on July 1 (for signing bonus purposes) the actual taxes they pay on the salary as a whole could be significantly less than either the combined tax rates.

So, short answer is if you’re playing fairly, 11% is the difference.If you’re playing smart, there is next to no difference.

Awesome answer. Thank You.

greenshifter

Ben:
Jeff Marek is so good. Only host that can hold a candle to Ron Maclean.

+1

jp

Andy Dufresne:
Connolly at 4 x $3.5 million to Florida ( tax advantage) is equivalent to what in Edmonton?

4 x $3.85m ?More? Less?

Really curious whether Holland balked at paying him that, or whether Connolly chose Fla despite similar offers.

Professor Q

I wonder where Simmonds ends up?