The Searchers

by Lowetide

Two days ago, we were talking Brett Connolly, Petr Mrazek and Brian Boyle. Yesterday it was Mike Smith, Gustav Nyqvist and Valtteri Filppula. Today? Mike Smith, Alex Chiasson and Markus Granlund. This is where the host says something like ‘short term contracts are your friend’ and the comments section responds “where in h-e-double-hockey-sticks is the scoring winger?” and that my friends will be discussed for many weeks.

Ken Holland made some bets and some will work. If Mike Smith posts a .915 save percentage, Alex Chiasson scores a dozen, Markus Granlund pops 10 and Tomas Jurco scores seven after Valentine’s Day, we’ll still argue over yesterday.

I’m not in love with any of yesterday’s moves (Granlund and Khaira are two players I like), but the only major issue from this weekend came through raised expectations from the Andrej Sekera buyout. Making more money available and then hiring role players is a strange brew.

The Oilers didn’t use the Rej cash to get the scoring winger, but the need remains. The scoring winger needs to be in Edmonton by training camp if the team has any hope of making the playoffs. Who should fans look for as a solution? Who could be dangled? Let’s have a look.

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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trade market now most likely place for Oilers to find scoring winger
  • New Lowetide: Oilers add free agent Markus Granlund, creating a crowded depth chart at left wing
  • New Jonathan Willis: Tomas Jurco is a nice little reclamation bet by the Oilers.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How re-signing winger Alex Chiasson impacts the Oilers
  • New Lowetide: Oilers add Mike Smith to an uneasy goalie depth chart for 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Oilers buy out Andrej Sekera, look to a more dynamic free-agent frenzy.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He comes as advertised’: Philip Broberg’s skating makes him development camp standout for Oilers
  • 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
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
  • Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
  • Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?

CURRENT 50-MAN (48)

There’s one slide (goalie Rodrigue) and that means the team has room for maybe one or two more names. More likely we see a trade; it’s also possible we see a Ken Holland special, defined as a draft pick for a player, or a player for a draft pick. Jesse Puljujarvi is listed here, that may change.

PROJECTED ROSTER AND CAP

Holland will need to add a No. 3 center and a scoring winger. Three of the four RW spots are occupied by veterans (Kassian, Chiasson, Gagner) and now three veterans own the top spots on the left side (Draisaitl, Lucic, Granlund). It doesn’t matter, but I’d like to see a righty shooter added on the wing. Holland will get someone before October, that’s the job.

Ken Holland: “What I was hoping to accomplish over the summer time—and there’s still two months to go—was to get another goaltender. We need more players who can get double-digit goals. Markus Granlund’s resume says he should be able to score double digit goals. We signed Nygard. We signed Jurco. We signed Haas. We signed Jujhar Khaira. We’ve started that. I don’t think we’re done.”

OILERS PRICES AND MATT CANE

I have a theory that goes like this: Oilers have to overpay in term or AAV to get free agents to sign in Edmonton. Is that what happened this year? Here’s the signing numbers compared to the Matt Cane predictions.

Alex Chiasson $2.15M times two (Matt Cane $3.125M times three)

Mike Smith signed $2M plus bonus (Matt Cane doesn’t estimate goalies)

Markus Granlund $1.3M times one (Matt Cane $2.190M times two)

Jujhar Khaira $1.2M times two (Matt Cane $1.138M times two)

Well, sometimes my theories are wrong, and I’m man enough to admit it. In fact, I estimated Chiasson at $3.2M in mid-season and it came in far lower. Of course, when I made my estimate Chiasson had just romped through the first part of the season (33, 16-4-20) and the second half (40, 6-12-18) tempered salary expectations. Either way, it was a fun exercise.

SUCCESSFUL PAIRINGS

Now that we have something resembling the roster, let’s do a quick review on what worked last season. It’s difficult to construct entire lines, so let’s look for pairs. Here are the 5-on-5 60 scoring totals by individuals as part of tandems.

McDavid (18-29-47 3.50) and Draisaitl (21-24-45 3.35) together

McDavid (9-12-21 2.94) and Kassian (6-8-14 1.96) together

RNH (3-7-10 2.83) and Lucic (4-2-6 1.70) together

RNH (3-2-5 1.04) and Chiasson (3-3-6 1.24) together

RNH(4-1-5 1.69) and Khaira (1-4-5 1.69) together

Colby Cave 1-0-1 0.67) and Gagner (2-1-3 2.00) together

ASSETS OUT

The names discussed before free agency (Jesse Puljujarvi, Matt Benning, Khaira) may now give way to prospect assets and future draft picks. The 2020 draft is apparently a monster, so that’s something to keep in mind. Also keep in mind prospects acquired by the previous general manager are orphans, even the good ones.

I don’t think Brown warrants a second-round pick in a normal draft year, so passing on this deal is a good decision. Connor McDavid is the world’s best hockey player, but he isn’t a general manager and he is under contract to play for the Edmonton Oilers through 2026 summer. I’d rather see the team build it right and that includes offloading cap problems and building up the system. I have no quarrel with this route, beyond the previously stated raised expectations on the Sekera buyout. Also have to find a scoring winger.

PATRICK MAROON

The Maroon rumors have me wondering if there is a Lucic trade on the way. That’s the only way it makes sense.

POSSIBLE SCORING WINGERS

The names are running low now and Edmonton needs a fix (unless Jurco is the surprise solution). Ken Holland didn’t want to spend big on Connolly, et cetera, so the alternative is trade. Make no mistake, he has to go get scoring on one of the wings, otherwise this is the Chiarelli plan (with Sekera’s buyout the twist).

1 LW Jason Zucker, Minnesota. Rumored to be gone at least twice to specific teams, he’s a consistent 20-goal man and a first-shot scorer. $5.5 million for four more years.

2 LW Chris Kreider, NY Rangers. Big, strong, fast and 28 goals. He’s $4.63 million with just one year left.

3 LW Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg. Now is the time to strike, send a blue for the shooting Hemsky.

4 F Nikita Gusev, Vegas Golden Knights. They are apparently shopping him and even though he’s more playmaker than shooter, he could no doubt help.

5 RW James Neal, Calgary. If there’s interest in Lucic, then Neal would be a solid return. Risk for sure, but he’s not far removed from a productive season.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning with miles to discuss, beginning at 10 on TSN1260. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic gets us started, and John Matisz from The Score will talk about that big Maple Leafs-Avalanche trade yesterday. We’re reaching out for an NBA guest to talk Kawhi and might have another trick or two up our sleeves as well. 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

336 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
336 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ArmchairGM

JimmyV1965: He freed up cap space buying out Sekera. He chose to use a big chunk of it on Chiasson. He can still but out Gagner. He had options and he still does.

I’ve never advocated signing expensive free agents and I never will. He needed to trade for a top six forward. He still can but the Chiasson contract doesn’t make it any easier.

The buyout window has closed.

And I don’t understand your second paragraph: you are against signing a top-6 forward but you approve of trading for one? So you’re only okay with it if you have to pay assets AND cap space rather than just cap space? There are times when signing a UFA is the right move and there are times when a trade is the right move.

JimmyV1965

Professor Q: If he can’t find the cap space, that’s on him? No, that’s on Chiarelli and his gifts (as well as Holland’s foresight).

Sorry, but no. That’s not how this works. He could easily find the cap space by trading a few first round picks and top prospects but that’s not a sound strategy. Maybe he didn’t have enough space to sign a “Top 6 Forward” right off the bat, reasonably, but did in fact need to sign other players and did so reasonably (in my opinion). He also says he isn’t done.

He has spoken about obviously looking at every FA out there, but the FAs looked at to be the Top 6 forwards ended up getting more $ and more term than the League had seemingly planned for originally, and those were more than Holland was willing to pay. I think that might be the smart move.

Maybe LT is right and there’s a Lucic trade occurring. Holland did say that he’s been talking to almost every team about a possible JP trade, but there isn’t anything reasonable out there at the moment. Which means he’s likely been talking about other scenarios, too. I guess we’ll see what he comes up with. I hope it doesn’t leave too big of a long-term negative impact, is all.

He freed up cap space buying out Sekera. He chose to use a big chunk of it on Chiasson. He can still but out Gagner. He had options and he still does.

I’ve never advocated signing expensive free agents and I never will. He needed to trade for a top six forward. He still can but the Chiasson contract doesn’t make it any easier.

ArmchairGM

Jaxon:
What would everyone think if he added Marleau at $2.2M for 1 year, and Engelland at $1.9M for 1 year? $4.1M for two older prairie boys who could help shore up the team and really jump into holes while the Bensons and Bouchards of the team mature and crack the lineup.

Draisaitl/McDavid/Kassian
Marleau/Nugent-Hopkins/Chiasson
Lucic/Gagner/Granlund
Gambardella/Khaira/Puljujarvi
Cave/Jurco

Klefbom/Larsson
Nurse/Engelland
Russell/Benning
Jones

Koskinen
Smith

$1.088M remaining cap space.
If Smith gets all his bonuses, then it would be $732k over, so not by much and it wouldn’t happen until the end of the season (yes/no?) and if he goes over it could mean a great season for Smith (or really bad season for Koskinen).

I like adding those two veterans. Engelland has been a pretty steady rock in Vegas and he’d be better than Russell at 2RD. Marleau still has pretty good wheels and put up 37 points last season. It would be short term with no risk and still leave openings and cap space for the future.

I used this table for the contracts:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15E1qqh3OfHvvhbv_pICfKT7VR1jJEVhWQOyKviWLN54/edit?usp=sharing

That’s interesting. I was wondering yesterday if Marleau and Pominville could be cheap veteran “skill” targets for Holland.

GMB3

Woogie63:
July 1 – Avoid long term DAMAGE

4 UFAs signed
3 to 1 year contracts
$6.2M spent
Cleared out our 3LHD who has a bad knee for needed cap space

I think this will sound much better around November

It wont. We will be looking at draft rankings.

Jaxon

What would everyone think if he added Marleau at $2.2M for 1 year, and Engelland at $1.9M for 1 year? $4.1M for two older prairie boys who could help shore up the team and really jump into holes while the Bensons and Bouchards of the team mature and crack the lineup.

Draisaitl/McDavid/Kassian
Marleau/Nugent-Hopkins/Chiasson
Lucic/Gagner/Granlund
Gambardella/Khaira/Puljujarvi
Cave/Jurco

Klefbom/Larsson
Nurse/Engelland
Russell/Benning
Jones

Koskinen
Smith

$1.088M remaining cap space.
If Smith gets all his bonuses, then it would be $732k over, so not by much and it wouldn’t happen until the end of the season (yes/no?) and if he goes over it could mean a great season for Smith (or really bad season for Koskinen).

I like adding those two veterans. Engelland has been a pretty steady rock in Vegas and he’d be better than Russell at 2RD. Marleau still has pretty good wheels and put up 37 points last season. It would be short term with no risk and still leave openings and cap space for the future.

I used this table for the contracts:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15E1qqh3OfHvvhbv_pICfKT7VR1jJEVhWQOyKviWLN54/edit?usp=sharing

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar: From his agent, FLA was the only team to offer 4 years and, once they got that offer, they didn’t circle back with any other team to give them the option to match/beat.

CallighenMan: I don’t have the source, but yesterday I read a quote by Connolly’s agent that they got more term from Florida then Holland, but they didn’t give Holland (or anyone else for that matter) a chance to counter.

I get you are pushing your narrative, but there are always two sides in a negotiation and things aren’t always what they seem so assuming things like “Holland didn’t follow up” is just you pumping your biased negative preconceptions.

Arrgh! OP beat me to the punch by one minure!But hey! At least I got 6 hours of sleep!

That’s exactly what I said: Holland didn’t follow it up. I’m involved in contract negotiations all the time and you don’t just wait for the other camp to respond, you make sure you have an open line of communication and you follow up so you know what’s going on at all times.

CallighenMan

ArmchairGM: We could have had Connolly at a decent rate, but Holland didn’t follow it up.

I don’t have the source, but yesterday I read a quote by Connolly’s agent that they got more term from Florida then Holland, but they didn’t give Holland (or anyone else for that matter) a chance to counter.

I get you are pushing your narrative, but there are always two sides in a negotiation and things aren’t always what they seem so assuming things like “Holland didn’t follow up” is just you pumping your biased negative preconceptions.

Arrgh! OP beat me to the punch by one minute! But hey! At least I got 6 hours of sleep! ?

OriginalPouzar

GordieHoweHatTrick: Totally

Yes, Strome at 3C right now would look nice.

Cody Eakin for a 3rd and a 5th will do the trick.

We can have the 3C AND Gagner to provide some middle six skill, smarts and experience.

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM: We could have had Connolly at a decent rate, but Holland didn’t follow it up.

From his agent, FLA was the only team to offer 4 years and, once they got that offer, they didn’t circle back with any other team to give them the option to match/beat.

OriginalPouzar

Responding to the following post from digger:

This strategy is sound. I understand it and then comment from a different perspective.

You see each time we see this strategy we also see poor execution. No big contracts is good. More players that don’t help is bad. It muddies the waters and bleeds cap 1M at a time.

And then the execution fails again and we repeat.

This time we have two top players in the league. We are talking about waiting again. I’m not on board. Get better one player at a time. And then another. Waiting for the cavalry and we lose a good player we have now. Add to the core.

Even bottom six guys, they should be keepers. No reason Khaira can’t be a long term keeper once he’s slotted correctly and contributing. All this throwing spaghetti at the wall is unproductive.

_______________________

Yes, of course, execution is key, however, I don’t agree that the current moves were poor execution (if that is what you were implying. The moves don’t bleed cap $1M at a time, all of them (but for Chiasson and Smith) are fully buryable with either no cap hit or nominal cap hit. If they don’t win jobs out of camp, the likes of Jurco and Hass will be helpful in the AHL and provide NHL cover in addition to the likes of Joe G., Benson, Marody, P. Russell, etc.

OriginalPouzar

Responding to the following post from Jimmy:

The two top priorities were adding a goalie and getting a top six winger. While I have no issues with adding to the bottom six, it doesn’t move the needle. I’m not passing judgement yet, but he needs to get it done. There are still teams out there that need to move good players. He needs to get one. If he can’t find that cap space, that’s on Holland. He freed up nearly $3 mill. We’ve been keeping the powder dry for a very long time.

_______________

Obviously you disagree with Ken but his stated top priorities were an experienced goalie and acquiring depth of skill and speed for the bottom 6. He’s never stated a priority for an established top 6 guy, probably because he knows there isn’t cap space for it via free agency (expensive plus term) and he’s likely going to have to bet on a guy like Jurco and/or Benson, etc. to help with middle/top 6 production. Its the situation but, thankfully, the situation should improve over the next few off-seasons and then things will get really fun.

GordieHoweHatTrick

London Jon: The roster would look a lot better with Strome on it than Gagner. I’d say one second line shooting winger away from being decent

Totally

who

ArmchairGM: Moving Klefbom or Nurse might have been an option if Sekera was still around…

Yep

ArmchairGM

London Jon: The roster would look a lot better with Strome on it than Gagner. I’d say one second line shooting winger away from being decent

We could have had Connolly at a decent rate, but Holland didn’t follow it up.

ArmchairGM

RedNed: All these low/mid range veterans on relatively short contracts

Where are “all these” players? Chiasson and Granlund are low-range veterans, but otherwise all Holland has done is brought in players he “hopes” can make the NHL and “hopes” can play above replacement level. Nygard, Haas, Jurco – not exactly an awe-inspiring bunch.

I sure hope Holland has an ace up his sleeve, but it’s increasingly looking like he doesn’t. We wait.

ArmchairGM

HT Joe: The left looks fine but the right side… Bouchard (who hasn’t played a season yet) as our #1 RHD?Ethan Bear as #2 RHD?That’s not going to get it done.

Broberg can play right side, yes?That would make it seem more positive, not 1-2 seasons down the road, but maybe 3-4.

Agreed. Nurse wasn’t an effective top-4 option until Draft +5. It’s possible Broberg will arrive sooner but banking on him being an impact NHLer in Draft+2 seems optimistic to me. Unless he knocks it out of the park he’ll see at least 1 more season in Sweden then at least 1 in AHL, and only then will he see 3rd pairing minutes in the NHL. I wouldn’t pencil him into the top-4 until Draft+4 realistically.

It’s the same trajectory planned for Bouchard pretty much: Draft+1 in junior, Draft+2 in AHL, Draft+3 in a sheltered NHL role unless he proves he can handle more, sooner.

ArmchairGM

who: It’ll take Klefbom,Nurse or Larsson. Russell will never get it done.

Moving Klefbom or Nurse might have been an option if Sekera was still around…

ArmchairGM

v4ance: On the other hand, he didn’t give out overpriced $3 mil+ contracts with lots of years, NMC/NTC clauses or anything stupid so that’s what an average qualified GM should do which is a middling bar to overcome. But considering what we saw of Chiarelli’s performance, it’s head and shoulders better than we’ve seen in 4 years.

Here’s the thing though, Chiarelli didn’t “give out a bunch of overpriced $3 mil+ contracts with lots of years, NMC/NTC clauses or anything stupid” last summer either – and the summer before it was only Kris Russell. Which is why this summer gives me that Deja Vu feeling.

March 1 – September 1, 2017

https://www.capfriendly.com/signings/oilers/all/all/1-15/1-14500000/03012017-09012017

So he got the McDavid and Draisaitl contracts done, for which he is now universally applauded. Russell was a year or two too long and probably $1M too much, although he was coming off a $3.1M contract so it was probably naive of us to think he wouldn’t get a raise. But really it was the clauses that everyone despises. Kassian’s contract looks a lot like Chiasson’s – a 4th line guy who had a heater and got more money and term than he was worth.

Other than that the whole time was spent finding peripheral players who Chiarelli “hoped” could solidify the bottom 6, or were old and at the tail end of a bottom 6 career and it was “hoped” that they could perform as they have several years prior. Guys like Auvitu, Jokinen, Brian Ferlin, Grayson Downing, Ty Rattie, Pakarinen and Gambardella.

March 1 – September 1, 2018

https://www.capfriendly.com/signings/oilers/all/all/1-15/1-14500000/03012018-09012018

Strome’s deal was reasonable for a legit 3C, no NMC / NTC and only 2 years term. No issues there. Yet his was the only $3M+ deal signed in the 6 months of spring and summer last year.

Rieder’s deal looks a LOT like the Granlund contract: a 12-goal scorer who could PK and was supposed to solidify the bottom 6. In fact Rieder’s goal scoring history is much more impressive than Granlunds, at the time of signing he was coming off 13, 14, 16 and 12 goal campaigns. It was “hoped” that he could even possibly hold down a 2LW spot next to Draisaitl – the same “hope” has been mentioned here regarding Granlund in fact.

The Benning signing was a fantastic team-friendly deal, the Cagguila and Brodziak deals much less so. The latter 2 were supposed to solidify the bottom 6 (where have I heard this before?). But none were over $2M or 2 years, so they don’t qualify as “bad” contracts by your criteria.

The Koskinen bet looks a bit like the Smith bet if you squint a little, although Smith’s is likely to be costlier if Koskinen continues to be inconsistent.

Otherwise, again a bunch of players who weren’t legit NHLers but we “hoped” that they could hold down bottom 6 jobs: Jerabek, Currie, Gravel, Rattie.

Holland’s premise here, and Chiarelli’s before, is false: get a whole bunch of guys out of lesser leagues to compete for bottom 6 jobs. It fails when the winners of said competition are 6 guys who really belong in the AHL. A poster above said it best: hire top 6 players where you can and those guys push the likes of Kassian, Khaira, Lucic and Chiasson down into the bottom 6 – this is how you improve your bottom 6.

So in reality this summer looks a lot like last summer, and aside from the McDavid and Draisaitl contracts it looks like the summer of 2017 as well. Too many “bets” and “hopes” and not enough actual NHL players.

London Jon

PinkSocks:
Stauffer mentioned that the coaching staff asked for Chiarelli NOT to trade Strome last season.He did it anyways.The gift of PC really knows no bounds.

The roster would look a lot better with Strome on it than Gagner. I’d say one second line shooting winger away from being decent

RedNed

I’ve come late to the party and have yet to read all the comments. My take on the roster lineup kindly posted by our host is that I think I see what Holland is doing, going for the vanilla detroit model. All these low/mid range veterans on relatively short contracts, just waiting to be bumped off by blooded new bloods or burn off with the efluxion of time. Looking forward to the next couple years as it all takes shape.

Winning games in the meantime, playoffs, things that will keep us tactically interested, that’s where a bit of magic will have to happen. But the elements are all there ,except for one more scoring winger, of course!

Munny

Bob Stauffer‏Verified account @Bob_Stauffer · 2h2 hours ago

Still expect the Oilers to add one or two more forwards…
But, could totally see Tyler Benson being the best bet to make the team out of training camp out of the Oilers prospects.
Smart, elite passer, worked relentlessly to improve skating since getting healthy

HT Joe

Dee Dee:
It’s a new day, and I for one choose to at least stay neutral and will save my bitching until they actually play some games.

During the 2015 draft, I felt sick when Chia traded away the 16th and 33rd, but I figured Chia must know what he’s doing… Chia had won a Stanley Cup as a GM, so he must have known a thing or two about winning in management, if there ever was a concern. However, at this point, if there’s a move made that doesn’t seem obviously good, it should be very fair for extreme scrutiny, concern, and complaints.

If Holland is going to mortgage the future by buying out a talented blueliner, he needs to get it right by using the cap space to bring in immediate help.

Professor Q

JimmyV1965: The two top priorities were adding a goalie and getting a top six winger. While I have no issues with adding to the bottom six, it doesn’t move the needle. I’m not passing judgement yet, but he needs to get it done. There are still teams out there that need to move good players. He needs to get one. If he can’t find that cap space, that’s on Holland. He freed up nearly $3 mill. We’ve been keeping the powder dry for a very long time.

If he can’t find the cap space, that’s on him? No, that’s on Chiarelli and his gifts (as well as Holland’s foresight).

Sorry, but no. That’s not how this works. He could easily find the cap space by trading a few first round picks and top prospects but that’s not a sound strategy. Maybe he didn’t have enough space to sign a “Top 6 Forward” right off the bat, reasonably, but did in fact need to sign other players and did so reasonably (in my opinion). He also says he isn’t done.

He has spoken about obviously looking at every FA out there, but the FAs looked at to be the Top 6 forwards ended up getting more $ and more term than the League had seemingly planned for originally, and those were more than Holland was willing to pay. I think that might be the smart move.

Maybe LT is right and there’s a Lucic trade occurring. Holland did say that he’s been talking to almost every team about a possible JP trade, but there isn’t anything reasonable out there at the moment. Which means he’s likely been talking about other scenarios, too. I guess we’ll see what he comes up with. I hope it doesn’t leave too big of a long-term negative impact, is all.

Dee Dee

The new GM hasn’t even seen his team play, much less play the system implemented by his new coach.

Plug the holes and get your bases covered. Don’t get sucked into long term contracts that could bite you in the ass a few years down the road.

Find players that possess the attributes and qualities you are looking for, which isn’t really represented by the size of the contracts that are being signed.

Chiasson seems to be loathed by many but to my eye he’s a sniper on the power play and one of the reasons it was successful last year.

The other new signings look like they can skate. It’s progress because past management would have just dropped complete rookies into key spots with no backup and let them sink or swim

Now the rookies have some speed bumps they have to pass in order to make the line up and if they in fact do this, the cheap contracts can be bumped down to the AHL without killing the cap.

There are 3 more months to try to trade for upgrades and tinker. Today’s line up is not the opening night roster for sure.

Depth is being built up in the AHL, Yamamoto is the first player in forever that wasn’t just thrown to the Wolves and its resetting expectations for all the rest of the new players.

New GM, new Coach, Old Boys Club out of the way.

Tippett always gives a bump in the standings to his teams and will instill a forechecking discipline that will give results but maybe he can find a way for Lucic to buy in and get some results.

It’s a new day, and I for one choose to at least stay neutral and will save my bitching until they actually play some games.

HT Joe

Professor Q:
HT Joe,

Mac T is still helping the Oilers out right now. :p

Haha, I hadn’t considered until now the potential for MacT to become the next GM after Holland has had enough. Lordy… rebuild v5.0?

Professor Q

HT Joe,

Mac T is still helping the Oilers out right now. :p

HT Joe

YKOil: Signing Larsson, to a decent deal, would be key to shoring up that right side. Bouchard, with a couple of years under his belt, backed up by Larsson would be legit.

Health, cash, term are the issues.

The fourth issue is that if the team places well outside of the playoffs for both of the next 2 seasons, not even an Oilers overpay will keep Larsson (or RNH) in Edmonton.

HT Joe

digger50: And then the execution fails again and we repeat.

This time we have two top players in the league. We are talking about waiting again. I’m not on board. Get better one player at a time. And then another. Waiting for the cavalry and we lose a good player we have now. Add to the core.

I have loved your comments in this thread… there has to be urgency, otherwise…
– wait 1 year – what happens with Nurse’s contract? lose Kassian (defacto #1 RW)
– wait 2 years – lose #2C (RNH) and #1 RHD (Larsson)
– wait 4 years – lose Klefbom
– wait 6 years – lose Draisatl
– wait 7 years – lose McDavid

The Oilers aren’t getting new good players fast enough to offset the impending loss of talent in the coming years.

This is what drives me crazy about the Sekera buyout… when I think of actual players who are really good at their positions (and not just slotted in based on no other options), I think of the following:
– McDavid, Draisatl, RNH, Klefbom, Nurse, Larsson, and Sekera (pre-injury)

That’s 7 players on a full team… those are the guys who have wowed me during this latest iteration of rebuilds. We just bought out one… yes, one who has been injured for 2 years now, but who also looked better and better during his recent return from injury. If Sekera continues to look more like his old self during the 2019-2020 season, playing for the Stars *spits*, that’s a big damn disappointment for the first real move of the new GM.

YKOil

Signing Larsson, to a decent deal, would be key to shoring up that right side. Bouchard, with a couple of years under his belt, backed up by Larsson would be legit.

Health, cash, term are the issues.

rickithebear

Evg average over 3 yrs.
Ppg total for this year.

8 ppg forwards this year
Chiasson (2.1M) 10 evg, 8 ppg, 8.372 g/M
Dadanov (4 M) 18 evg, 8 ppg, 6.500g/M
Couturier (4.333M) 17 evg, 8 ppg, 5.770g/M
Atkinson (5.875M) 17 evg, 8 ppg, 4.255g/M
RNH (6.0M) 13 evg, 8 ppg, 3.500g/M
Skinner (9.0M) 22.5 evg, 8 ppg, 3.389g/M
Henrique (5.825M) 10.5 evg, 8 ppg, 3.176g/M
Benn (9.5M) 17evg, 8 ppg, 2.632g/M
Kuznetsov (7.8M) 12evg, 8 ppg, 2.564g/M
Eichel (10.0M) 16 evg, 8 ppg, 2.40g/M

HT Joe

Kmart99: Regardless of this season.

The team’s D core looks pretty bright just two years down the road.

Klefbom L
Nurse L
Bouchard R
Samorukov L
Broberg L
C.Jones L
E.Bear R
Benning R
Persson R

That’s a good list right there, and it should represent a great list in 1-2 seasons.

The left looks fine but the right side… Bouchard (who hasn’t played a season yet) as our #1 RHD? Ethan Bear as #2 RHD? That’s not going to get it done.

Broberg can play right side, yes? That would make it seem more positive, not 1-2 seasons down the road, but maybe 3-4.

Rebillled

Scungilli Slushy,

Very true.

I do think he’ll get more starts unless he is (not saying it).

digger50

OriginalPouzar:
Responding to digger:

It seems that we are hearing so much of we ant do this and we can’t do that. There is a lot of truth in those arguments but why do we have to be so accepting of the mediocre plan …….again and again.

Slow rebuild, this time it will be different. Why? Why will it be different this time?

We have the best player. We have the best player.What are we waiting for? Bring in some talent. We have just as good a chance as every other team.

It’s frustrating for sure.

But the GM is not finished. We’ll need some luck but a couple more players still to come.

__________________

I don’t think anyone is hoping, wanting or in favor of a “slow rebuild” but, in order to make the material higher end moves, there needs to be currency of assets and/or cap room and right now this org doesn’t have those.This lines up with cap space never being deemed more valuable and harder to acquire.

Without making things worse or taking high risk of making things worse, this issue alleviates more and more over the next year or two and it won’t take long to go from middling to contender– see Colorado.

This strategy is sound. I understand it and then comment from a different perspective.

You see each time we see this strategy we also see poor execution. No big contracts is good. More players that don’t help is bad. It muddies the waters and bleeds cap 1M at a time.

And then the execution fails again and we repeat.

This time we have two top players in the league. We are talking about waiting again. I’m not on board. Get better one player at a time. And then another. Waiting for the cavalry and we lose a good player we have now. Add to the core.

Even bottom six guys, they should be keepers. No reason Khaira can’t be a long term keeper once he’s slotted correctly and contributing. All this throwing spaghetti at the wall is unproductive.

HT Joe

Lowetide Said:

“The Oilers demonize the last guy out the door, this has been going on forever. In Chiarelli’s case, it’s unnecessary but it still goes on. Toilet plugged? Thanks, Chiarelli.”

That actually made me laugh out loud… thanks!

One caveat… I can agree with this statement if we clarify that Boys on the Bus don’t apply… I don’t remember hearing anything negative from the media about MacT since his departure as an example.

Scungilli Slushy

Rebillled:
Mike Smith looked pretty good in the playoffs this year.

First game was a shutout.
.923 in game two (39 shots) OT loss
50 saves in game 3
.942 in game 4 (49 save OT loss)
and can’t stop MacKinnon in game 5

He allowed 2 or less goals in 11 of his last 15 starts right before the playoffs.

Good luck Koski. I hope you have it from the jump.

Smith is great other than 37 and injuries are regular

Scungilli Slushy

Munny:
LT said…

Alex Chiasson $2.15M times two (Matt Cane $3.125M times three)

In other words not an overpay. Actually under in both dollars and term.

Which is great I;think Holland is better at negotiating than we’ve seen in ages.

I would prefer to have a player with a better future outlook. AC might be a guy that battles through a career or may done already. It’s always about wheels.

Always has been if not a gladiator, who aren’t in the arena anymore.

Munny

LT said…

Alex Chiasson $2.15M times two (Matt Cane $3.125M times three)

In other words not an overpay. Actually under in both dollars and term.

Kmart99

Regardless of this season.

The team’s D core looks pretty bright just two years down the road.

Klefbom L
Nurse L
Bouchard R
Samorukov L
Broberg L
C.Jones L
E.Bear R
Benning R
Persson R

That’s a good list right there, and it should represent a great list in 1-2 seasons.

who

razor:
Looking closer at the Jets newly constructed roster, it really looks like they are ripe for a trade to steal one of their coveted forwards. Right now Kulikov is their 3rd best D behind Morrissey and Buff. They can’t seriously enter next season with that roster, can they? Package up Russell and a pick or Puljujarvifor Ehlers like OP is stating and get er done Kenny!

It’ll take Klefbom, Nurse or Larsson. Russell will never get it done.

Cassandra

So now Ricki doesn’t like assists either?

Where does he think goals come from?

Like everything else he has this backwards. Guys who score without getting assists are riding the coat tails of other players, and doing it with unsustainable shooting percentages.

Mark Fistric and Alex Chiasson. NHL all-stars.

How one person could be wrong about so many things, and so arrogant and condescending doing it, is quite something.

YKOil

So, for me, I will withhold judgement until the end of the off-season NEXT year. I will comment on individual moves or even a series of them but on Holland I will wait.

I honestly don’t mind what he has done so far. Fully approve of the Khaira, Granlund, Haas, Jurco, and Nygard signings. That leaves Smith and Chiasson? Too much bonus money for one and an extra $500k for the other – small beans there.

Do wish we had been in on Panik (Washington has rocked it starting at the trade deadline imo), Carr, Pirri and… Hathaway(?) but there have been few UFA’s I really cared about getting otherwise – at least not for the term and price paid. Some of the trades were doable in regards to assets, term and salary so I wonder about those. Vesey, Shaw, Burakovsky, and – especially – Haula comprise the universe of trades to look at – not sure Vegas was going to trade Haula in-conference however and Vesey is a rental and a lefty so maybe the value wasn’t there.

So yeah, if sunshine was drying my ass it would be Smith and Chiasson out for Kinkaid, Haula and Panik. We would be done but that would have been nice.

——

As much as the Oilers do have a better farm team and better prospect depth than a few years ago that isn’t saying much – with Chia’s depletion of assets program in play, and with Yamamoto and JP struggling, the ONLY position we have any real depth in at all, prospect or pro, is LHD.

This team is still a year or two away from having the type of depth, prospect and pro, that allows us to trade a Brannstrom type to jump the team forward in a substantial way. The Cap will appear when Lucic is gone I guess. Jeebus, that’s still four years from now.

——

So, from where I sit, that leaves the rest of this off-season, the trade deadline and next off-season. With health I do think we have a solid shot at making the play-offs. I hope one of Granlund, Jurco, Haas or Nygard pops, that would be cool, but they are all UFA’s so… not cool.

Guess I can hope that Benson, Persson and Jones get some games in and show well. Yamamoto and JP need to rebound.

Ultimately, with luck we have a good season AS A TEAM – not just the same 4 to 7 guys – but can unload Russell, along with one of Smith or Gagner, at the deadline. Pile up those mid-to-late round picks and take another run at it in 2020-2021 with more, proven, depth, all new prospects and more Cap space.

Just NOT moving backwards is a step ahead for the Oilers right now. Sad as that is to say.

The list of ‘doable’ moves this off-season is pretty light when you look at it. So far, so okay.

Patience. All I have.

Rebillled

Mike Smith looked pretty good in the playoffs this year.

First game was a shutout.
.923 in game two (39 shots) OT loss
50 saves in game 3
.942 in game 4 (49 save OT loss)
and can’t stop MacKinnon in game 5

He allowed 2 or less goals in 11 of his last 15 starts right before the playoffs.

Good luck Koski. I hope you have it from the jump.

JimmyV1965

Professor Q: We don’t have $5-12 million in space to allocate for that spot for multiple years.

Do people criticize Sakic for planning ahead and not acquiring said player (in fact, subtracting a puck-moving D and 2nd line C), instead saving his insane amount of cap space for the next few years to sign RFAs and home-grown UFAs?

No.

Then why criticize Holland for doing the same, just while being handcuffed significantly more? As Holland has said, we’ll be more dangerous in a year, then even more dangerous in 2 years, and then even more in 3 years.

Bad contracts falling off, keeping powder dry, maybe even signing Hall…well, our young up-and-coming RFAs, that is.

The two top priorities were adding a goalie and getting a top six winger. While I have no issues with adding to the bottom six, it doesn’t move the needle. I’m not passing judgement yet, but he needs to get it done. There are still teams out there that need to move good players. He needs to get one. If he can’t find that cap space, that’s on Holland. He freed up nearly $3 mill. We’ve been keeping the powder dry for a very long time.

razor

Looking closer at the Jets newly constructed roster, it really looks like they are ripe for a trade to steal one of their coveted forwards. Right now Kulikov is their 3rd best D behind Morrissey and Buff. They can’t seriously enter next season with that roster, can they? Package up Russell and a pick or Puljujarvi for Ehlers like OP is stating and get er done Kenny!

Bag of Pucks

Full disclosure, watching OP flail away all day with a buggy quote feature was not entirely unpleasant ?

rickithebear

chaisson avg 10 evg is a #1.5 evg Scoring winger. On of the 100 best.
Was #42 PPG fwd last year.
For 2.1 million.

Yet you do not like him cause his EVP/60 tell you his 3-4 passes to get a goal is not very good.
Big deal.
Direct penetration with pocession yields the most efficient evg/60 rates.
You want 2 top directbpenetration players & 1 top passer.
One of the fwds on the unit requires top end speed for transition entry.

I will look at other UFA with top 42 PPG and 10+ evg a season.
Let’s see what they got?

rickithebear

When looking at productive evg forward pairs last yr
(888 min) Draisaitl 24 evg 1.62 evg/60 – Mcdavid 24 evg 1.62 evg/60 – xxx
(193 min) xxx – RNH 6 evg 1.87 evg/60 – Kassian 2 evg .62 evg/60
(305 min) Chaisson 4 evg .79 evg/60 – Mcdavid 8 evg 1.56 evg/60 xxx
(360.5) Draisaitl 8 evg 1.33 evg/60. – xxx – Kassian 8 evg 1.33 evg/60
(436 min) xxx – Mcdavid 10 evg 1.33 evg/60 – Kassian 8 evg 1.10 evg/60
(219 min) Lucic 4 evg 1.10 evg/60 – RNH 4 evg 1.10 evg/60 – xxx
(245) xxx- RNH 4 evg .98 evg/60 – Puljujarvi evg 3 evg .74 evg/60
(315 min) Chaisson 4 evg .76 evg/60 – RNH 3 evg .57 evg/60 -xxx

Sub 100 min pairs
Lucic 1.36 evg/60 – xxx – Gagner 2.72 evg/60

From this we need to run:
Chaisson – Mcdavid – Draisaitl for 860 min (58% of EVTOI)
It is the only line we’re Draisaitl & Mcdavid maintain a 1.60 evg/60 and 23 goals

Chaisson runs at .80 11.5 11-12 evg.
57-58 evg means the unit runs as a 1.33 evg /60 avg.

I do not give a heck about Points per.
High goals per win games.
goals are the most efficient pocession measure of a line.
It is stupid to put 3 low goal scorers with high pts per.
2-4 passes to get the puck into the net has a high failure rate at even.

Draisaitl – Mcdavid – Kassian for 620 min were the unit should run at 1.33 each as well. 14 evg each.

Lucic – RNH – Gagner numbers suggest the unit should operate around 1.21 evg/60 each

Chaisson .76 evg/60 – RNH 1.22 evg/60 – Kassian .62 evg/60 .87/60 as a unit

Would like to see how nygard, granlund, jurco perform with RNH.

Wonder what other center Khaira, Granlund can have success with Lucic & Gagner.

Ppgoals last year with league rank and ppg/60 for each player. 6.99 league median.
PP unit #1 2.5+ PPTOI
#6 Draisaitl 16 ppg, 8.12 ppg/60
#32 Mcdavid 9 ppg, 8.37 ppg/60
#42 RNH 8 ppg, 7.97 ppg/60
#42 Chaisson 8 ppg, 7.89 ppg/60
This should be our #1 PPunit.

PP Unit #2 1.50+ PPTOI
Draisaitl & Mcdavid getting 4.0+ PPTOI for both between 2 units.
Last 2-3 full gm reg seasons
Gagner 5 ppg, 8.22 ppg/60
Lucic 6 ppg, 7.35 ppg/60

That way we are running 3 – 7.97+ ppg/60 fwds on each unit.
For 4.00+ min.

Our only top 100 pk fwd avg over last 3 yrs.
Khaira #45 5.92 pkga/60

This PK unit needs help.
J. Archibald #12 PK fwd last 3 yrs
4.67 pkga/60
Sheahan #80 pk fwd last 3 yrs
6.53 pkga/60s

There are no opinion based correct answers they are all guesses not based on actual production facts.

Like every year I give you real fwd pair and averaged unit expected production.
Goals based the most efficient pocession measure out there.

Present these numbers going on 10 years.

Chaisson – Mcdavid – Draisaitl
Draisaitl – Mcdavid – Kassian
Top 2 units should get at least 75% of 1480 TOI
Draisaitl – XXX – XXX other 25%
XXX – Mcdavid -XXX

Lucic – RNH – Gagner generatesvat Top evg/60 unit rate. Hope for high % of TOI
Chaisson – RNH – Kassian
XXX – RNH – XXX : Jurco, Nygard,

Lucic – XXX – Gagner : Haas, Brodziak, Granlund, Khaira

XXX – Brodziak – XXX

These are facts based units.

v4ance

I’m in the middle in terms of rating Holland’s perfprmance yesterday. Like ArmchairGM, I don’t think Holland materially improved the team so that’s very Chiarelli-esque.

On the other hand, he didn’t give out overpriced $3 mil+ contracts with lots of years, NMC/NTC clauses or anything stupid so that’s what an average qualified GM should do which is a middling bar to overcome. But considering what we saw of Chiarelli’s performance, it’s head and shoulders better than we’ve seen in 4 years.

Lowetide:
The Oilers demonize the last guy out the door, this has been going on forever. In Chiarelli’s case, it’s unnecessary but it still goes on. Toilet plugged? Thanks, Chiarelli.

True story: I went to an East Indian all u can eat restaurant in NE Calgary yesterday and went to relieve myself before dinner. Standing at the urinial, I gazed to my left into the toilet. There was a solid brown streak running from the bottom of the bowl, up to the seat, across the back of the seat and halfway up on the water tank. I lost my appetite after that since I couldn’t get that image out of my head all night.

Thanks Chiarelli!

OriginalPouzar

Responding to digger:

It seems that we are hearing so much of we ant do this and we can’t do that. There is a lot of truth in those arguments but why do we have to be so accepting of the mediocre plan …….again and again.

Slow rebuild, this time it will be different. Why? Why will it be different this time?

We have the best player. We have the best player.What are we waiting for? Bring in some talent. We have just as good a chance as every other team.

It’s frustrating for sure.

But the GM is not finished. We’ll need some luck but a couple more players still to come.

__________________

I don’t think anyone is hoping, wanting or in favor of a “slow rebuild” but, in order to make the material higher end moves, there needs to be currency of assets and/or cap room and right now this org doesn’t have those. This lines up with cap space never being deemed more valuable and harder to acquire.

Without making things worse or taking high risk of making things worse, this issue alleviates more and more over the next year or two and it won’t take long to go from middling to contender – see Colorado.