Free Falling

by Lowetide

I have the Oilers with about $3.5 million in cap room, meaning the team might be able to grab one more free agent in the $2 million range. By the time you get into mid-July, players are willing to sign for less. Can Edmonton find value with the last free-agent?

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: Adding a scorer will be Ken Holland’s first big move as Oilers GM
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the Oilers’ depth chart looks like now and where they go from here
  • New Jonathan Willis: How often do goalies like the Oilers’ Mike Smith rebound?
  • New Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster moves clear the way for Oilers top prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A deeper look at Mike Smith’s comments after signing with the Oilers
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers GM Ken Holland promises long-term rewards for an approach light on short-term improvements
  • 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?

Alex Chiasson signed with Edmonton on October 2, 2018 for $650,000. He scored 22 goals and turned that season into a two-year deal with an AAV of $2.15 million annually. The Oilers have done this twice recently (Kris Russell) and perhaps it gives them a slight edge with the current free agents. Here’s my list of worthy targets.

1 LW Ryan Dzingel. Cane has him $4.2 times four, I think he’s going to be too expensive for Edmonton. Dzingel has exactly what Edmonton needs (first-shot scorer) and I think they’d be willing to live with the play away from the puck. He’s my target. Posted 2.09 five-on-five per 60 for two teams.

2 LW Michael Ferland. Matt Cane pegged him as a $4 million time four years player, so I assumed he wouldn’t be available to the Oilers. Now? Would $3 million times three get it done? He’s probably going to get more but it’s worth pondering. He delivered 1.80 five-on-five per 60 in 2018-19.

3 LW Marcus Johansson. Cane has him $4.6 million times four, I fade him for Edmonton because of injury worries (Ferland too). Strong playoff run has his value soaring but his regular season was shy of Dzingel and Ferland. He scored 1.32 per 60 five-on-five for two teams last year.

4 LW Patrick Maroon. Cane has him $3.5 million times three, but he scored only 28 points one year ago. He does have chem with McDavid and that might allow Draisaitl to center his own line or team up with Nuge. Posted only 1.08 per 60 at five-on-five last season and is not fast.

5 LW Tomas Vanek. He’s old as the hills and twice as slow, but scored 1.87 per 60 five-on-five last season. I think it’s possible he signs. Cane has him $1.99 million times one.

6 LC Oscar Lindberg. He can play center and scored nine goals a year ago, plus he’s 27 so should have plenty of track left. He scored 1.77 points per 60 at five-on-five and has the look of a productive player. Cane’s projection is $3.4 million times four.

7 LC Brian Boyle. Cane has him $1.2 times one and I think he has a chance to be an Oiler come September. The big issue will be the number of teams who are after him. His five-on-five per 60 was 1.02.

8 LC Derick Brassard. Cane has him $3.955 million times three but he scares the hell out of me. Brassard’s last two seasons (four teams, eroding production) have all the look of a free fall. I don’t like the bet. He posted 0.94 per 60 at five-on-five in 2018-19.

9 L Magnus Paajarvi. Cane estimates his contract at $1.9 million times three but one would guess it’s a one year deal and maybe less than $1 million. He scored 1.00 five-by-five per 60, he can skate and check and PK.

10 LC Riley Sheahan. Cane’s number ($1.3 million times two) is manageable and maybe he’ll sign for less. Five-on-five per 60 (1.05) is shy, but he wins 52 percent of his faceoffs and penalty kills.

11 RW Josh Archibald. Several posters have mentioned him, he’s an interesting depth option. He posted 1.3 per 60 at five-on-five, Cane has him $741,000 times one.

12 LW Kerby Rychel. In his NHL career, Rychel has 14 five-on-five points in 413 minutes (2.03 per 60). He also does other things. Cane’s estimate is $737,000 times one.

CURRENT 50-MAN (49)

The Oilers have two slides, so are at 47 at this time. As I mentioned in my article for The Athletic yesterday, a shoe will have to drop if Ken Holland is serious about making the playoffs (or pushing for the postseason) as he’s stated. Who is vulnerable? I’ll suggest a defenseman and leave it at that.

Young forwards who are in very good position to impact the NHL roster currently include Benson, Marody and Yamamoto, really anyone with skill. Nygard isn’t well known to us, but I’m doing the RE’s now and he is one of the more promising goal scorers beyond 97, 29, 93 and 39.

Which brings me to Sam Gagner. I run him as 4R in my lineups because it’s a great spot for him. If Zack Kassian or Alex Chiasson struggle, he can move up, and if Samwise is up against the soft parade you have to like him. Here’s the thing. My first run of RE for Gagner has him at 15 goals next season, partly because he’s going to get some power-play time. My measure (which is the Bill James measure plus some power-play tweaking and adjusting for age) probably gets him to 20 goals if I place him on a more substantial line.

So, our question for the day is this: Does Sam Gagner’s offensive ability trump his defensive liabilities? I think the answer is no, but Dave Tippett played him at center for a high percentage of the time and he had success. The time on ice for centers against elites that season was Antoine Vermette (36.7); Martin Hanzal (36.5); Kyle Chipchura (33.6) and Gagner (28.9) and Sam was slightly in the black in DFF%RC. Source: Puck IQ.

I don’t think Gagner is going to play center. I do wonder where Tippett will slot him though. Thoughts?

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jjmclean

I have always wondered about Gagner as a 3C against a soft parade. Pair him with Khaira or Granlund and they can take the left hand draws. Why does this get no traction with anyone in this town?
Sail on Kawhi!

OriginalPouzar

That $3.5M can/should be used on Cody Eakin is he can be pried out of Vegas for a 3rd and a 5th or a 3rd and a Safin/Berglund/Rasanen/McPhee. Onlly a $2.5M – $2.8M hit on the cap as he’ll be replacing a Cave or a Brodz on the roster.

What do we add to get a Gusev and how do we find $4M for him?

A Sheehan would be cheaper but Holland already moved on from that player once after a Rieder like season.

Lindberg, Boyle, Marleau will be a bit more expensive.

Holland is targeting a 3C – he said as much on Monday.

OriginalPouzar

Why do you include Jesse Puljujarvi on the 50 man list?

He was given a QO but, unless Jesse agrees to it (or another contract), he is without a contract and not part of the 50. If he goes back to Europe, he’s not on the 50. If we trade him, he’s not on the 50.

The only way he is on the 50 is if he signs with the Oilers which seems pretty unlikely at this point.

Andy Dufresne

According to Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now:

The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have much salary cap space and have a few RFAs to re-sign. The Penguins will likely have to go the trade route to improve their roster.

Jesse Puljujarvi – right wing RFA. Penguins have talked to the Edmonton Oilers but the asking price was believed to be Bryan Rust. Moving Rust’s close to $4 million cap hit would give them some much needed cap room.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think Gagner plays center very much either but, as far as his defensive game goes, didn’t we see him as a bit of a more mature player this past year than in the past? No, he’s not Barkov but more responsible and “smarter” than his first stint as an Oiler?

Andy Dufresne

Gee. I hope Toronto doesnt lose Khawai and Marner in the same week. That would be _______ !
(fill in the blank)

Crazy Pedestrian

Andy Dufresne:
Gee. I hope Toronto doesnt lose Khawai and Marner in the same week. That would be __________ !
(fill in the blank)

Hilarious!

condormcdavis

I don’t think it matters at this point who is slotted in the bottom six.

This team hasn’t developed the players, yet, to fill the roles required and they’ve kneecapped themselves with shit contracts for terrible players.

The Oilers will live and die by the dynamic duo’s performance, which at this point will have to be better than the incredible performances from last year and the ability for their goalers to win games.

Sam Gagner is not going to move the needle to where it needs to be, even if her is getting paid like he can.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
That $3.5M can/should be used on Cody Eakin is he can be pried out of Vegas for a 3rd and a 5th or a 3rd and a Safin/Berglund/Rasanen/McPhee. Onlly a $2.5M – $2.8M hit on the cap as he’ll be replacing a Cave or a Brodz on the roster.

What do we add to get a Gusev and how do we find $4M for him?

A Sheehan would be cheaper but Holland already moved on from that player once after a Rieder like season.

Lindberg, Boyle, Marleau will be a bit more expensive.

Holland is targeting a 3C – he said as much on Monday.

I really doubt Vegas will trade within the division without an overpay.

Dustylegnd

Lowetide: I disagree strongly. The bottom six has been giving away everything 97 builds for two fucking years. It matters.

LT, it blows me away how much of the hockey community fails to realize how important depth scoring and quality depth forwards impact success in todays NHL….

Sustained NHL success requires teams to be min 3 lines deep, legit three lines deep of scoring and forecheck back check ….they also have legit number 1 tenders with a 910 plus save percentage

This team remains a long way away form any sustained success, that is why Holland is approaching this rebuild the way he is…..he has McDavid for 6 more years…….he has 4 years to fix Chiarelli’s disaster and then the shit hits the fan thereafter…..if the Oilers are not stacked in 4 years kiss Conor Goodbye

It is what it is

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: I include him because he’s officially on the 50-man list. This is the 50-man list.

I don’t understand why he is officially on the 50 man list – the 50-man list is a standard player contract list and he doesn’t have a contract.

Capfriendly lists the Oilers are 48 but PuckPedia lists them at 49 – I think PuckPedia is wrong.

Crazy Pedestrian

The ONLY way I see Toronto keeping Marner at this point, is to trade Nylander for picks/prospects. That would get them to around $10.5M cap space. (Is Marner willing to sign that low?)

They could also trade away Nathan Horton’s IR cap hit, but that would only get them to $9M. So they would still need to trade a player with at least a $2M cap hit. That leaves only Hyman (who has a 10-team no trade list) if they aren’t trading anyone they just obtained this summer.

This would be an excellent time to strike with an offer sheet if I were Montreal/Ottawa/Columbus.
(Although Toronto might have been banking on getting the four 1st rounders in the first place).

How many people here would trade four first round picks for Marner?

Sierra

Lowetide: I disagree strongly. The bottom six has been giving away everything 97 builds for two fucking years. It matters.

+1

Andy Dufresne

To get Cody Eakin out of Vegas would cost you what assets?
His cap hit is $3.85 million.

He is “marginally” better that Brian Boyle who is UFA and may be availabe later in the summer at $2m or $2.5m and for no assets.

Eakin is younger, scores about a 15g 15a 3C with 50% possession, 52% on faceoffs, at 50% OZ 50%DZ starts at 15-16 mins/gm. xGF/xGA minus 3.8.

Boyle is bigger, scores about a 13g 8a 3C with 48% possession, 52% on faceoffs, at 35% OZ 65% DZ starts at 13 mins/gm. xGF/xGA plus 1.1.

Not sure that much seperates these two player other than age.

SO, if you’re looking for someone on a 1 yr term who you intend to re-sign and as result are ok giving up assets to acquire him, then Eakin is a reasonable target.

But if you looking for a one year stop gap at half the AVV and without giving up any assets, then Boyle is a reasonable bet.

My choice would be Boyle, or aim higher (Perrault out of Winnipeg ) if you are going to do a hockey trade.

Andy Dufresne

Lowetide: The bottom six has been giving away everything 97 builds for two DAMN years. It matters.

I think this accurately represents how McDavid must feel.

So Yeah….It Matters….ALOT!

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: Well, you should start your own site! I list him because he has been qualified. When he signs elsewhere, I will take him off. I believe, and could be wrong, that Edmonton would be in violation of the 50-man if they went over the 50 mark and that includes JP.

With respect, I don’t think that’s right.

Being qualified does not equate to having an SPC. They’ve been qualifying Slepyshev to keep his rights but he isn’t included in the 50. I don’t see a difference.

I could be wrong and you could be right but I just don’t think so.

Andy Dufresne

Lowetide:
Johansson came in right where Matt Cane said he would, still no discounts yet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15E1qqh3OfHvvhbv_pICfKT7VR1jJEVhWQOyKviWLN54/edit#gid=707766415

Steady as she goes Kenny, steady as she goes.

Dzingle
Boyle
Maroon
etc

OriginalPouzar

Glovjuice: I really doubt Vegas will trade within the division without an overpay.

Could be right but they are currently a couple million over the cap and that’s with a 20 player NHL roster. They HAVE to shed cap to get compliant. They’ve essentially given away a couple of players for picks but they need to do more. They gain some leverage with Gusev because of demand but he’s not even a player they need to trade as he’s not taking up cap space. They need to shed currently signed players so they should have no leverage. Eakins should be a target but only if there isn’t a division premium and Vegas may not be in a position to demand such a premium.

stevebergeron97

Lowetide: Well, you should start your own site! I list him because he has been qualified. When he signs elsewhere, I will take him off. I believe, and could be wrong, that Edmonton would be in violation of the 50-man if they went over the 50 mark and that includes JP.

LT has some spice this morning! And I fucking LOVE it!!

slopitch

Crazy Pedestrian:
The ONLY way I see Toronto keeping Marner at this point, is to trade Nylander for picks/prospects. That would get them to around $10.5M cap space. (Is Marner willing to sign that low?)

They could also trade away Nathan Horton’s IR cap hit, but that would only get them to $9M. So they would still need to trade a player with at least a $2M cap hit. That leaves only Hyman (who has a 10-team no trade list) if they aren’t trading anyone they just obtained this summer.

This would be an excellent time to strike with an offer sheet if I were Montreal/Ottawa/Columbus.
(Although Toronto might have been banking on getting the four 1st rounders in the first place).

How many people here would trade four first round picks for Marner?

I dont think ottawa should. Montreal and Columbus maybe not either. But New Jersey or Colorado could/should. You need to ensure your pucks are 20+ every year.

Andy Dufresne

Crazy Pedestrian:
The ONLY way I see Toronto keeping Marner at this point, is to trade Nylander for picks/prospects. That would get them to around $10.5M cap space. (Is Marner willing to sign that low?)

They could also trade away Nathan Horton’s IR cap hit, but that would only get them to $9M. So they would still need to trade a player with at least a $2M cap hit. That leaves only Hyman (who has a 10-team no trade list) if they aren’t trading anyone they just obtained this summer.

This would be an excellent time to strike with an offer sheet if I were Montreal/Ottawa/Columbus.
(Although Toronto might have been banking on getting the four 1st rounders in the first place).

How many people here would trade four first round picks for Marner?

it would have to be 4 late first round picks. So Columbus maybe. NYI maybe.

(NYI please please please please please please please)

Also, NYI would have to move the equivalent of one “Jordan Eberle” s worth of cap space to fit in Marner at $12m so…

JP and a 2021 first rounder for Ebbs? Buyout Gagner.

Hell, lets take ride this train all the way into the station; And resign Hall in free agency next summer!

#cupin2020
#Draisaitl McDavid Lavoie
#Hall RNH Ebbs
#bottomsixat6x700k
#4defensemenonELCs
#shit!!!!!lucic

Bag of Pucks

OriginalPouzar: With respect, I don’t think that’s right.

Being qualified does not equate to having an SPC. They’ve been qualifying Slepyshev to keep his rights but he isn’t included in the 50.I don’t see a difference.

I could be wrong and you could be right but I just don’t think so.

Oh good, OP fixed his quote feature. ?

Cahoon

OriginalPouzar,

I don’t think JP is quite the same as Slepyshev as I think it’s a non zero he plays in Edmonton this season. End of the day money talks, and he’ll make more in the NHL than anywhere else.

Chris

Lowetide: I disagree strongly. The bottom six has been giving away everything 97 builds for two fucking years. It matters.

Is Lowetide a Raptors fan? Seems to have his claws our this morning! Ha! Agreed 100%. What use is having a doctor when the knife-wielding maniac is still loose? 3-4 lines matter hugely.

Dustylegnd

Great article by Dom explaining the extreme value McDavids contract represents to the Oilers, Leon’s value can’t be that far behind

The sad part is the rest of the roster is so far flawed, poorly constructed and overpaid we remain hamstrung…..an Incredible feat by Chia in hindsight

Panarin being paid what he is paid vs Leon is laughable……in other news Taylor Hall might just as well order a Brinks truck yesterday…..he is going to get paid

https://theathletic.com/1062436/2019/07/04/the-price-of-a-win-and-why-it-means-connor-mcdavid-wont-always-be-the-nhls-highest-paid-player/?source=weeklyemail

dustrock

Bag of Pucks: Oh good, OP fixed his quote feature.

Ha ha ha ha

ArmchairGM

who: First of all, is he really the best bet for 2RD? He’s been given that position the last 2 years, and lost it to Russell both times.

He is. Nurse consistently gets better results with Benning than he does with Russell.

I just hope Tippett can read a spreadsheet, unlike the previous 2 dinosaurs.

OriginalPouzar

Bag of Pucks: Oh good, OP fixed his quote feature.

Nope – it works sporadically – still gives me trouble more often than not right now.

OriginalPouzar

Cahoon:
OriginalPouzar,

I don’t think JP is quite the same as Slepyshev as I think it’s a non zero he plays in Edmonton this season. End of the day money talks, and he’ll make more in the NHL than anywhere else.

Yes, he may very well play in the NHL this year as opposed to Europe but he currently does not have a contract with the Oilers and I don’t think he should be included in the 50 and technically, under the rules, he isn’t included in the 50.

If he doesn’t sign before the season and doesn’t head to Europe or anything like that, similar to Nylander last year, he wouldn’t count on the 50 – I’m not 100% certain but highly confident.

Reja

OriginalPouzar: Nope – it works sporadically – still gives me trouble more often than not right now.

That’s being way to personal on this fine morning.

Ben

OriginalPouzar: Yes, he may very well play in the NHL this year as opposed to Europe but he currently does not have a contract with the Oilers and I don’t think he should be included in the 50 and technically, under the rules, he isn’t included in the 50.

If he doesn’t sign before the season and doesn’t head to Europe or anything like that, similar to Nylander last year, he wouldn’t count on the 50 – I’m not 100% certain but highly confident.

OP, you’re technically right here: until signed he counts toward the 90-man reserve, but no the 50-man contract list.

There’s a helpful Filatov example here: http://www.sensnation.ca/a-primer-on-the-whole-50-contract-limit-thing/

That said, considering your level of output (and your quibbles with content) here, I think you totally *should* start your own blog! I’d definitely check that out. Do it! 🙂

jtblack

“, a shoe will have to drop if Ken Holland is serious about making the playoffs (or pushing for the postseason) as he’s stated”

LET’S DO AN HONEST ASSESSMENT.

Say Ken does bring in a Dzingel type. Is that really enough to get this team into the Playoffs?

Doubtful. Step in the right direction for sure, but playoffs are a “Distant Bell” (to steal LT’s phrase)

Reja

Andy Dufresne: it would have to be 4 late first round picks. So Columbus maybe. NYI maybe.

(NYI please please please please please please please)

Also, NYI would have to move the equivalent of one “Jordan Eberle” s worth of cap space to fit in Marner at $12m so…

JP and a 2021 first rounder for Ebbs? Buyout Gagner.

Hell, lets take ride this train all the way into the station; And resign Hall in free agency next summer!

#cupin2020
#Draisaitl McDavid Lavoie
#Hall RNH Ebbs
#bottomsixat6x700k
#4defensemenonELCs
#shit!!!!!lucic

Jesse,Caleb a 2nd to the Jackets for Josh Anderson. Come on Holland you weren’t brought in to be a Steve Tambellini look a like make it happen Leon and Connor are chomping at the bit to win.

slopitch

jtblack:
“, a shoe will have to drop if Ken Holland is serious about making the playoffs (or pushing for the postseason) as he’s stated”

LET’S DO AN HONEST ASSESSMENT.

Say Ken does bring in a Dzingel type.Is that really enough to get this team into the Playoffs?

Doubtful. Step in the right direction for sure, but playoffs are a “Distant Bell” (to steal LT’s phrase)

Another top 6 F would go a long way on this team. If Holland can do that and Tippet can milk out a better PK and save % from the goalies its possible. Need a couple ifs to go in our favour but they arent major asks. The hard part (McDavid) is already here

London Jon

slopitch: Another top 6 F would go a long way on this team. If Holland can do that and Tippet can milk out a better PK and save % from the goalies its possible. Need a couple ifs to go in our favour but they arent major asks. The hard part (McDavid) is already here

The hard part has already been here for a while!!

OmJo

Reja: That’s being way to personal on this fine morning.

This would have been more appropriate for yesterday’s article, no?

leadfarmer

Hope we can get some of these guys on a one year contract and trade them at the deadline

Philosophil

Andy Dufresne,

“Become the longest running Canadian soap opera of this generation, outpacing Another World and Edge of Night”.

London Jon

Allan, I would love to see you or someone else at the Athletic do an interview with Peter Chiarelli.

He has caused so much damage to this team and I would like to see him face the music for what he’s done.

At least someone like a MacT or a Lowe cares about the team and the city.

Ben

Lowetide: I disagree strongly. The bottom six has been giving away everything 97 builds for two fucking years. It matters.

No fucking kidding. In fact, the ineptitude of the Oilers’ bottom-6 has been historic.

Anyone see Gregor’s piece on this? (And by the way, though I’ve always liked him on the radio, that guy’s writing has improved immensely over the years).

“The Oilers depth scorers were the least productive since the NHL expanded to an 80-game season in 1975. So essentially the worst in the past 44 years.”

https://oilersnation.com/2019/07/05/how-will-the-edmonton-oilers-improve-part-two/

ArmchairGM

Russell for Perreault has been suggested several times, but what about Russell for Lowry? If we retained $500k the money is about even… I think he’s better defensively than Perreault but won’t score as much. As a tough minutes bottom six center who could take more pressure off McDavid and RNH, does he have more value to the Oilers?

Then the question becomes where the depth on defense comes from…. I wouldn’t mind seeing a veteran signed to a 1 year $1.3M deal to cover the youth.

Ben

London Jon: I would like to see him face the music

If you really want to hold his feet to the fire you should get Scott Oake to ask him about his summer vacation plans.

As hard as it is to accept, we all have to understand that Peter Chiarelli genuinely wanted to make the Oilers a good team. For reasons that we will *never ever know* he, umm, didn’t succeed at that.

Ben

ArmchairGM:
Russell for Perreault has been suggested several times, but what about Russell for Lowry? If we retained $500k the money is about even… I think he’s better defensively than Perreault but won’t score as much. As a tough minutes bottom six center who could take more pressure off McDavid and RNH, does he have more value to the Oilers?

Plus, he’ll be more open to a trade with Kawhi moving on. Not sure about his skating.

JimmyV1965

If Dzingel signs a one-year show me contract, I will be happy to have him. A long-term contract likely represent our next buyout candidate. He scored four goals for the Jackets, was a healthy scratch down the stretch and did little in the playoffs.