Rain Delay

by Lowetide

Every few months I like to do a post where I tell you my thoughts. During the season there’s little time and during the early summer we’re building to the draft, so now, in the ultimate rain delay, this seems a good time. Stand back!

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 Athletic, check it out here.

  • New Lowetide: Projecting Oilers prospects Raphael Lavoie and Kirill Maksimov
  • Lowetide: What does Jesse Puljujarvi’s Liiga season tell us about his future?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Oilers plan to help arena workers unclear with games postponed
  • Lowetide: NHL season on hold might impact Oilers evaluations, summer plans
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Key questions surround Oilers in wake of NHL’s coronavirus suspension
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: GM Ken Holland on Oilers’ playoff push, offseason plans and Hart thoughts
  • Jonathan Willis: Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson and more: 20 observations on the Bakersfield Condors
  • Lowetide: Caleb Jones represents Oilers template for development success
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Determining Connor McDavid’s linemates remains a pressing and perplexing problem
  • Jonathan Willis: Which players pose the biggest threat to Leon Draisaitl winning the Hart Trophy?
  • Lowetide: Is the OHL still the Oilers’ primary resource at the draft?

GOALIES 2020-21

A reminder this is my opinion, so will run counter with my other posts when I talk about what Ken Holland might do over the offseason. All kinds of things I don’t know, such as interest in Edmonton by free-agent goaltenders.

I entered the season thinking one of Mikko Koskinen or Mike Smith would not return. Buying out Koskinen was an option for me, but now I’m thinking keep the Big Finn and set sail on Smith. I have plenty of math to back me up and some money to sign someone like Linus Ullmark. Would you consider spending over $8 million on two goalies?

At the AHL level, I think Stuart Skinner and Olivier Rodrigue will emerge as the best in a group. They’ll have one year to prove themselves before Ilya Konovalov comes over and flattens the entire depth chart.

DEFENSE 2020-21

This is such a different conversation compared to one year ago. The emergence of Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones changes the entire depth chart in a big way.

I’d find a way to offload both Adam Larsson and Kris Russell, effectively ending the ‘pure shutdown’ era of Edmonton defense. A strange item for me to endorse, but I’m trying to catch the ‘mobile blue’ train and am guessing the team can get better results with strong outlet passing and transportation.

So, I deal Larsson for a legit scoring winger, and we’ll call him Brett Connolly. Russell is dealt for a pick and there might be some retention but I bet you he returns a pick far better than most people think (let’s say a third).

My NHL pairings are Klefbom-Bear, Nurse-Mike Green (who signs) and Caleb Jones-Matt Benning. I start Evan Bouchard in the minors and use either William Lagesson or an inexpensive veteran as No. 7D.

My AHL pairings are Ryan Stanton-Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov-Filip Berglund, Philip Broberg-Paul Ladue (free agent pickup). My No. 7D is CHL grad Noel Hoefenmayer, an OHL overager who is a free agent at this time.

CENTER 2020-21

This is the key to Edmonton’s success, because the top two men are so damned good other teams simply cannot compete. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are impossible for an opponent. The key acquisition of summer (along with Ullmark and Connolly) is the third-line center. I choose Erik Haula, your mileage may vary. I also run Jujhar Khaira as No. 4 center, pass on Riley Sheahan if the money is too tight but if he’ll sign for $900,000 again Oilers should be able to afford him. That’s McDavid-Draisaitl-Haula-Khaira/Sheahan at center.

In the AHL, Colby Cave, Cooper Marody and Ryan McLeod can all play the middle and the team can sign someone to a minor league deal for the other spot. I also sign Brett Neumann out of the OHL. Small, but fast and skilled.

LEFT WING 2020-21

I think Ken Holland had the right idea at the deadline, and my first choice (Taylor Hall) is likely too expensive. So, on the portside I’m going to borrow from the great Winnipeg philosophers BTO and Let it Ride. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored 22 goals, James Neal 19, Tyler Ennis 16, Andreas Athanasiou 11. Let it ride. If push comes to shove for the cap, buy out James Neal and run Joakim Nygard or Tyler Benson.

I’ll say LW in the minors has Benson to start the season, plus Joe Gambardella and Ostap Safin. Maybe Ryan Kuffner returns.

RIGHT WING 2020-21

Brett Connolly is my big forward addition, I figure Dale Tallon wants a tough defender (Larsson) enough to move a pretty good winger who scored 19 goals last season. Kailer Yamamoto scored 11 goals in 27 games, doubt that happens again but he’s a bona fide NHL skill winger. Josh Archibald and Zack Kassian return and Anton Slepyshev signs to make things interesting. Alex Chiasson is dealt for a pick.

Kirill Maksimov and Raphael Lavoie would join Josh Currie as the skill options, I liked Aapeli Rasanen as a center option but as a winger he’s not as strong a prospect. I’ll sign him and we’ll see.

OILERS 2020-21

CONDORS 2020-21

In the coming days I’m going to drill down on the prospects and the 2020 draft. I don’t think we’ll see a lot of college and CHL signings in this part of the year, although typically we’d start seeing those things go down in the next six weeks. What would you like to read, here or at The Athletic? Please let me know. I have plenty of ideas but would like to hear yours. And to add, and hopefully without sounding like an egomaniac, I have been told by writers from other sites that the comments section is a goldmine for ideas. So, your opinions are being read!

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning on the Lowdown, beginning at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Our plans are to deliver you two hours of entertainment while also informing you of the latest, most accurate information about coronavirus and its impact. Guests today include Zig Fracassi from Sirius/XM NFL, we’ll talk free agency. Jason Rogers from NBC Washington and Japers Rink will have the news from the Capital, and Jason Gregor from TSN1260 will chime in on one of the weirdest Mondays of my life. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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ArmchairGM

defmn: Slepyshev gets two years at the $1.3 mil OP assures us is the equivalent of his current KHL contract

The current equivalent is $1,198,874.57, but that’s without taking into account Russian taxes. One of our Russian-based correspondents could clarify, but I was under the impression that their taxes were quite a bit lower than ours.

In any case, it looks like Slepyshev’s pocketbook will have to take a hit to pursue his NHL dream.

Munny

There has been a lot of FX disruption since OP first published this number.

ArmchairGM

Lowetide:
New for The Athletic

How do you propose acquiring Ullmark? He’s not a UFA this summer.

Yegfoundation

northerndancer,

Well played and very true.

defmn

Munny:
defmn,

I think Holly will be able to get Bear for less than your numbers for each of the respective term lengths.

I think he should be able to as well but I was certain that the consensus here had it considerably higher and I was going to be laughed off the site at the numbers I used. He’s 30 games of opportunity ahead of Jones who he has been progressing alongside since they were drafted. I think that is important to the contract discussion. The role he played this past season is the other side of the discussion.

Munny

Fortunately, that role wasn’t an offensive one. TOI, however, seems to be getting paid lately.

(And is the principal reason why I think the Nurse contract was fair).

Munny

defmn,

I think Holly will be able to get Bear for less than your numbers for each of the respective term lengths.

Munny

Two cases in Cochrane (where I live) originating from the French Immersion school (K-8).

All families with élèves in the school have been asked to self-isolate.

I believe these two cases are included in the 18 new cases today.

Exposure is believed to be March 10.

leadfarmer

Ryan,

The main difference between medical grade and non medical grade is fluid resistance so unless you are expecting a stream of fluid such as in surgery for routine patient care you are probably not going to notice a difference

Munny

Good info, thank you.

defmn

This in from Boston Globe hockey writer Kevin Paul Dupont @GlobeKPD: “A week ago tonight, Bruins finalized plans for media and players to remain 6-feet apart for interviews. Tonight, no NHL game will be played until mid-May at earliest. All players have been told they can leave their respective cities to live elsewhere next 6-7 weeks.”

defmn

OriginalPouzar: This is a solid post and I appreciate the effort that went in to it.

I will nitpick on a couple points:

– I think its far from certain that there will be a free buyout (not that you implied it was certain) and I don’t think getting rid of an anchor $5.75M will be that easy.

– I can’t imagine AA signs for any term under his QO – why would he lock in for a second year based off of a poor season. If he was a UFA, he’d get more than $3M and for term – he’ll happily take a 1 year deal at at least $3M and be confidant in himself and a much bigger next contract – I would think.

Thanks for the compliment. I was sure I would get more pushback on the Bear contract than AA.

You could very well be right on AA but you will note I have him signed at only 300,000 less than his QO so it doesn’t materially affect the overall gist of what Holland has to work with.

I went with the buyout for each team because they did it before and it seems to me one of the simpler solutions to help them figure out a transition year. Far from certain but I wouldn’t regard it as a huge surprise if it came to pass. If not I bite hard and accept the 1.9 mil penalty for 6 years. No, not happy about it but the team is close to a contender imo and in a cap league I think you have to make your move when the window opens.

Anyway, I thought adding the numbers gives some context to what is possible. Unlike Lowetide I don’t know what is available for the positions we are looking to fill so had no names to suggest but I could at least show what kind of money could be involved so that if somebody had a better player for Green, for example, at half the cost then we can build from there but as you – I think – mentioned there is little possibility that the cap will be allowed to go down and even less that it will go up so I am working from 81.5 for now.

OriginalPouzar

Pescador: I bet we see a healthy improvement in Ethan Bears skating by the start of next seasons training camp.
Guaranteed he is well aware of the need to improve that part of his game.
Bet he works his ass off to make it stronger

Didn’t he already do this last off-season?

I mean, he’s got the drive and work ethic but how many off-seasons in a row can a player improve his skating at this stage of his career?

defmn

OriginalPouzar: Assuming a normal summer schedule (which won’t happen), a trade of Rusty after his bonus paid is far less than ideal – Holland needs that cap space opened up for the beginning of free agency so he knows how much walking around money he has.

He can have the trade in his back pocket for KRussell and go over the cap by 10% if necessary until the season starts. I think that works as well.

OriginalPouzar

defmn:
Here’s a long ramble about my best guess for what I think Holland is aiming for this summer. I guarantee it will not be to everybody’s taste.

Because nobody knows how this is all going to play with the cap next year out I am going to suggest a hypothetical.

I am going to set the cap for next season at the same rate as this year’s and in order to allow for signings each team will be allowed to buyout one contract without any cap implications.

Were this to happen where does it leave the Oilers?

xxxx – McDavid – Kassian – ??? – 12.5 – 3.2 = 15.7
Nuge – Leon – Yamomoto – 6 – 8.5 – .9 = 15.4
AA – xxxx – Archie – ??? – ??? – 1.5 = 1.5
Ennis – Khaira – Chaisson – ??? – 1.2 – 2.1 = 3.3
Nygard – Slepyshev – .87 – ???

Klefbom – Bouchard – 4.2 – .9 = 5.1
Nurse – Bear – 5.6 – ??? = 5.6
Jones – Larsson – .85 – 4.2

Green – ???

Kosskinen – ??? – 4 + ???

Bad decisions made by previous management – $3.8 if Calgary uses their buyout on Lucic which I think is a reasonable supposition.

The above scenario leaves me with 3 unknown players – 1st line LW, 3rd line C and 1B G and negotiations for players currently on the roster not signed for next year – AA, Ennis, Green and Bear with Slepyshev pencilled in as per rumour.

Neal was thanked for his services and bought out. Benning and KRussell traded for whatever Holland can get.

So even though I abbreviated salaries above to the nearest $100,000 the total committed to the 15 currently signed players comes to $59,330,332 according to CapFriendly. Lets say Holland wants to keep $1.2 mil in the contingency fund for TD moves leaving him with $21 mil to fill the 8 slots above. I expect him to sign more than 8 guys but I think it will look a bit like this year where the salaries are all under or close to the max that can be sent to California as and when needed giving the team some depth without cap impact.

I start, of course, with the 4 guys currently on the roster to see what that is going to cost or if I have to do more shopping. AA & Bear are RFA so I start there and offer two year contracts for different reasons. With AA it is because he has had a disappointing season and I want him to bite on a chance to redeem himself. His QO has to be for $3 mil so I offer him 2 years at $2.5 each and we settle at $2.7 for two years. If that doesn’t get it done I tender the QO and get ready for arbitration but I think that is unlikely. Very few players file after disappointing years.

Bear is the most interesting case by far. Opinions run from 1st pair money for 8 years to my own view that he and Jones are still comps in many ways. That said my initial offer is for 2 years at $2.7 per and I go to $3.2 for 3 years if necessary. He has no arbitration rights this year. Jones contract looks like a steal at this point.

Ennis was bought out by Minnesota two years ago and signed by Toronto for league minimum the following year bumped to $800,000 by Ottawa this year. He had a pretty good year but he is one of the guys whose contract has to fit under the max for burying in Bakersfield if it doesn’t work out. Not sure what that number will be next season so I just pick $1.2 mil as ‘close enough’.

Green buys Holland’s pitch that he can extend his career by signing with the intention of playing 40 – 50 games for $2.4 mil. I’m not sure of the rule on bonuses for players over 35 and how that works. Green and Holland know each other and Green turns 35 on October 12 this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they negotiate the ‘Smith’ contract the day after that date if they are not allowed to do so this summer. Something to watch for.

Slepyshev gets two years at the $1.3 mil OP assures us is the equivalent of his current KHL contract so that almost all of it can be buried if necessary.Some security for him and nothing but money out of Katz’s pocket if it doesn’t work.

So now my roster looks like this.

xxxx – McDavid – Kassian – ??? – 12.5 – 3.2 = 15.7
Nuge – Leon – Yamomoto – 6 – 8.5 – .9 = 15.4
AA – xxxx – Archie – 2.7 – ??? – 1.5 = 4.2
Ennis – Khaira – Chaisson – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 = 4.5
Nygard – Slepyshev – .87 – 1.3 = 2.2

Klefbom – Bouchard – 4.2 – .9 = 5.1
Nurse – Bear – 5.6 – 3.2 = 8.8
Jones – Larsson – .85 – 4.2

Green – 2.4

Kosskinen – xxx – 4 + ???

Although not necessarily those pairings or lines.

When I add the five salaries up I am at $70,130,332. Rounding off I have $10 million to go shopping for my 3rd line centre and 1B goalie and possibly a 1st line LW if AA doesn’t work out.

This is a pretty conservative estimate in terms of roster change. It goes into the offseason with only 3 openings if Green, Ennis & Sleppy are interested in signing on. I am not even totally convinced that Holland sees the 1st line LW spot as a priority thinking that one of Slepyshev, Nygard, Ennis or AA might do the trick.

I expect the most pushback on my Bear contract estimate. For me, that and the 3rd line centre acquisition are the key items to keep an eye on in terms of getting to know our new GM and how he views this team.

This is a solid post and I appreciate the effort that went in to it.

I will nitpick on a couple points:

– I think its far from certain that there will be a free buyout (not that you implied it was certain) and I don’t think getting rid of an anchor $5.75M will be that easy.

– I can’t imagine AA signs for any term under his QO – why would he lock in for a second year based off of a poor season. If he was a UFA, he’d get more than $3M and for term – he’ll happily take a 1 year deal at at least $3M and be confidant in himself and a much bigger next contract – I would think.

OriginalPouzar

Munny:
Post bonus.Especially with team revenues down.

Assuming a normal summer schedule (which won’t happen), a trade of Rusty after his bonus paid is far less than ideal – Holland needs that cap space opened up for the beginning of free agency so he knows how much walking around money he has.

Munny

Deal-in-principle.

leadfarmer

Well we’re already being asked to conserve and reuse N95 masks and we this virus just got here.
But all the healthcare workers will be happy to hear about all those masks sitting in the back of people’s closets.

Hide at home everyone. All the PPIs are in Europe or in peoples basements

Ryan

You mean you American doctors actually have N95 masks to reuse?

Is that for suspected or confirmed cases?

We’re told in these parts that droplet precautions are adequate.

Surgical mask/ face shield / disposable gown and cross your gloved fingers.

In BC, I don’t think they have any PPE at the clinic level.

Ryan

Also, my understanding was that one of the major facilities for manufacturing N95 masks is just outside of Wuhan. I’d assume those masks are now being diverted for use in China.

All of the N-95 masks people are stockpiling from Home Depot, those aren’t yet approved for medical use.

pts2pndr

defmn: I anticipate Holland trying to sign him for less on a two year before the date when he needs to be qualified. If that doesn’t work I qualify him and go from there.

Interesting concept but I can’t see him doing it. Would be worth a try.

defmn

OriginalPouzar: I imagine that AA would much rather take 1 X $3M than 2 X $2.5M.

If he was a UFA right now, even coming off this very poor year, I bet you he’d be able to get more than $3M and with some term.

I would imagine he is quite confident he could get even more after a full season with the Oiler – a bounce back year of at least some sort almost a certainty and the potential for a really plus year if he stick with 97 or 29.

————–

I don’t see the Neal buyout and a trade would be difficult (is he tradeable at 3 X $2.75M if the Oilers retain half?).

I see Neal being on the team next year.

I could be wrong but more dead cap, ughhhh.

With that said, I didn’t think Holland would buy out Sekera either.

————–

Green can’t sign a bonus contract.The cut off for a “35 plus contract” is turning 35 by June 30 prior to the contract kicking in. He’ll be 34 until October.

Thanks for the clarification on the 35 rule. I couldn’t remember the date. The buyout of Neal was suggested as part of a league wide policy to allow one per team. Not sure if you caught that.

who

OriginalPouzar: I’m not “for” trading Larsson unless the return is real and the trade makes real sense – duh.

I agree that trading both Rusty and Larsson exposes the group but a veteran depth guy would have to be added (same with trading both Rusty and Benning).

I don’t think Green is or should be that guy – I think he’s too expensive and over-rated by current management/coaching staff. I don’t see him a a 2RD, maybe a potential injury fill in 2RD but not the 2RD to start the season.

I’d prefer a Demelo, Edmundson type signing – cheaper and depth.

What are you basing your opinion of Green on?

Woodguy v2.0

Pescador: Grout?

Ever seen grout while it’s still in the bag without any water added?

Pescador

I used to be a tile setter,
never occurred to me that people snort it
Don’t knock it I guess

OriginalPouzar

defmn: If AA isn’t interested in signing for 2 years at less than $3 mil then I qualify him and negotiate from there but I am not convinced that he wouldn’t prefer a two year contract at a slightly lesser number. I think we have all been accustomed to the Chiarelli overpay. We’ll see what transpires but the uncertainty around the cap makes this all speculative.

I’m not a Benning fan so whether it is Green or somebody else I am moving on from him. He has pretty much proven that he is competent as a 3rd pairing RD. Is that worth the $2 mil or more it will take to sign him? The reason I prefer to go with the ‘grizzled veteran’ is because of the verbal about how much the addition of Smith and Neal added to the psychological toughness of the roster. I think that aspect gets downplayed on this blog since it cannot be quantified but in any group dynamic I have ever been involved in there are times when the voice that has seen it all is very important. If Smith and Neal are gone – and that would be my preference – then that still needs to be addressed by another player added. And I don’t see Green as an everyday addition. I am pretty comfortable in my belief that Bouchard will be the everyday 3rd pair RD by Christmas at the latest so I see Green playing 40-50 games max for injury and maybe the first half of the season. His 35th birthday is Oct 12 this year. Not sure how that works in signing him to a one year bonus laden contract but it is worth thinking about.

I know you are skeptical that Russell can be moved without retaining but I don’t think it is going to be that difficult. I don’t expect much back but I don’t expect we have to eat any of his cap after the July 1st signing bonus has been paid.

I imagine that AA would much rather take 1 X $3M than 2 X $2.5M.

If he was a UFA right now, even coming off this very poor year, I bet you he’d be able to get more than $3M and with some term.

I would imagine he is quite confident he could get even more after a full season with the Oiler – a bounce back year of at least some sort almost a certainty and the potential for a really plus year if he stick with 97 or 29.

————–

I don’t see the Neal buyout and a trade would be difficult (is he tradeable at 3 X $2.75M if the Oilers retain half?).

I see Neal being on the team next year.

I could be wrong but more dead cap, ughhhh.

With that said, I didn’t think Holland would buy out Sekera either.

————–

Green can’t sign a bonus contract. The cut off for a “35 plus contract” is turning 35 by June 30 prior to the contract kicking in. He’ll be 34 until October.

OriginalPouzar

John Chambers: The cap could be UNDER $80M next season.

I suspect there’ll be something of a buyout frenzy, and top-tier players like Taylor Hall and Alex Pietrangelo taking 1-year deals for $7 or $8M while the pay scales re-calibrate.

Chris Kreider will be happy he signed when he did.

From accounts, its highly unlikely the cap will go down next year – I posted why (from accounts) a bit earlier in this thread.

Pescador

Lowetide:
New for The Athletic:Five roster spots Ken Holland might look to ease cap issues this summer.

https://theathletic.com/1679425/2020/03/16/lowetide-oilers-challenge-could-be-finding-relief-with-a-low-cap-ceiling/

You harvested ideas from your own blog to write about at the Athletic?
For shame,

Pescador

Scungilli Slushy: This is very true.

To me there are caveats. I’m no expert but to me the pattern of regression and spikes not sustained that look like progress are so often related to skill set deficiencies.

Bear has the head and skill, but skating is a worry. He is stuck in the middle of being short for a typical D and not a plus skater like other offensive minded D that don’t have height but are stocky.

The point is that if Jones can make reads and grow in that he may be less likely to spike and regress. Because he has the same tools offensively and is a very good skater and is marginally taller giving more .reach.

Reach matters for D a lot more than forwards because the main part of the job is to disrupt. Any limitations mean skating has to compensate which is why I say skatersunder typically NHL sizeusually succeed because of boots.

These says not many can outbrain it.

I bet we see a healthy improvement in Ethan Bears skating by the start of next seasons training camp.
Guaranteed he is well aware of the need to improve that part of his game.
Bet he works his ass off to make it stronger

Pescador

You mentioned in your blog post that eyes are spying the thread for Athletic content.
With most of the population encouraged to self quarantine,
now might be a good time for another round of 40% off a years prescription limited time offers.

defmn

Here’s a long ramble about my best guess for what I think Holland is aiming for this summer. I guarantee it will not be to everybody’s taste. 😉

Because nobody knows how this is all going to play with the cap next year out I am going to suggest a hypothetical.

I am going to set the cap for next season at the same rate as this year’s and in order to allow for signings each team will be allowed to buyout one contract without any cap implications.

Were this to happen where does it leave the Oilers?

xxxx – McDavid – Kassian – ??? – 12.5 – 3.2 = 15.7
Nuge – Leon – Yamomoto – 6 – 8.5 – .9 = 15.4
AA – xxxx – Archie – ??? – ??? – 1.5 = 1.5
Ennis – Khaira – Chaisson – ??? – 1.2 – 2.1 = 3.3
Nygard – Slepyshev – .87 – ???

Klefbom – Bouchard – 4.2 – .9 = 5.1
Nurse – Bear – 5.6 – ??? = 5.6
Jones – Larsson – .85 – 4.2

Green – ???

Kosskinen – ??? – 4 + ???

Bad decisions made by previous management – $3.8 if Calgary uses their buyout on Lucic which I think is a reasonable supposition.

The above scenario leaves me with 3 unknown players – 1st line LW, 3rd line C and 1B G and negotiations for players currently on the roster not signed for next year – AA, Ennis, Green and Bear with Slepyshev pencilled in as per rumour.

Neal was thanked for his services and bought out. Benning and KRussell traded for whatever Holland can get.

So even though I abbreviated salaries above to the nearest $100,000 the total committed to the 15 currently signed players comes to $59,330,332 according to CapFriendly. Lets say Holland wants to keep $1.2 mil in the contingency fund for TD moves leaving him with $21 mil to fill the 8 slots above. I expect him to sign more than 8 guys but I think it will look a bit like this year where the salaries are all under or close to the max that can be sent to California as and when needed giving the team some depth without cap impact.

I start, of course, with the 4 guys currently on the roster to see what that is going to cost or if I have to do more shopping. AA & Bear are RFA so I start there and offer two year contracts for different reasons. With AA it is because he has had a disappointing season and I want him to bite on a chance to redeem himself. His QO has to be for $3 mil so I offer him 2 years at $2.5 each and we settle at $2.7 for two years. If that doesn’t get it done I tender the QO and get ready for arbitration but I think that is unlikely. Very few players file after disappointing years.

Bear is the most interesting case by far. Opinions run from 1st pair money for 8 years to my own view that he and Jones are still comps in many ways. That said my initial offer is for 2 years at $2.7 per and I go to $3.2 for 3 years if necessary. He has no arbitration rights this year. Jones contract looks like a steal at this point.

Ennis was bought out by Minnesota two years ago and signed by Toronto for league minimum the following year bumped to $800,000 by Ottawa this year. He had a pretty good year but he is one of the guys whose contract has to fit under the max for burying in Bakersfield if it doesn’t work out. Not sure what that number will be next season so I just pick $1.2 mil as ‘close enough’.

Green buys Holland’s pitch that he can extend his career by signing with the intention of playing 40 – 50 games for $2.4 mil. I’m not sure of the rule on bonuses for players over 35 and how that works. Green and Holland know each other and Green turns 35 on October 12 this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they negotiate the ‘Smith’ contract the day after that date if they are not allowed to do so this summer. Something to watch for.

Slepyshev gets two years at the $1.3 mil OP assures us is the equivalent of his current KHL contract so that almost all of it can be buried if necessary.Some security for him and nothing but money out of Katz’s pocket if it doesn’t work.

So now my roster looks like this.

xxxx – McDavid – Kassian – ??? – 12.5 – 3.2 = 15.7
Nuge – Leon – Yamomoto – 6 – 8.5 – .9 = 15.4
AA – xxxx – Archie – 2.7 – ??? – 1.5 = 4.2
Ennis – Khaira – Chaisson – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 = 4.5
Nygard – Slepyshev – .87 – 1.3 = 2.2

Klefbom – Bouchard – 4.2 – .9 = 5.1
Nurse – Bear – 5.6 – 3.2 = 8.8
Jones – Larsson – .85 – 4.2

Green – 2.4

Kosskinen – xxx – 4 + ???

Although not necessarily those pairings or lines.

When I add the five salaries up I am at $70,130,332. Rounding off I have $10 million to go shopping for my 3rd line centre and 1B goalie and possibly a 1st line LW if AA doesn’t work out.

This is a pretty conservative estimate in terms of roster change. It goes into the offseason with only 3 openings if Green, Ennis & Sleppy are interested in signing on. I am not even totally convinced that Holland sees the 1st line LW spot as a priority thinking that one of Slepyshev, Nygard, Ennis or AA might do the trick.

I expect the most pushback on my Bear contract estimate. For me, that and the 3rd line centre acquisition are the key items to keep an eye on in terms of getting to know our new GM and how he views this team.

Scungilli Slushy

workaroundaccount:
Never trust a young dmans first year.

This is very true.

To me there are caveats. I’m no expert but to me the pattern of regression and spikes not sustained that look like progress are so often related to skill set deficiencies.

Bear has the head and skill, but skating is a worry. He is stuck in the middle of being short for a typical D and not a plus skater like other offensive minded D that don’t have height but are stocky.

The point is that if Jones can make reads and grow in that he may be less likely to spike and regress. Because he has the same tools offensively and is a very good skater and is marginally taller giving more .reach.

Reach matters for D a lot more than forwards because the main part of the job is to disrupt. Any limitations mean skating has to compensate which is why I say skaters under typically NHL size usually succeed because of boots.

These says not many can outbrain it.

Pescador

Melvis: yayo, blow, grout, weinstein

Grout?

defmn

pts2pndr:
I believe he has to be qualified at 3M. Depending on the economy re Corona virus players may be forced to take less than would have been the case. Bad luck for those players becoming UFA this summer.

I anticipate Holland trying to sign him for less on a two year before the date when he needs to be qualified. If that doesn’t work I qualify him and go from there.

workaroundaccount

Never trust a young dmans first year.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr:
For me it would depend on Berglunds performance in the AHL and wether he had any playing time at the NHL by that time due injury. A lot of variables that would be considered.

Sure, I get what you are saying but, at the same time, the premise is still selling a roster player at the deadline for futures – a move that makes the current team worse while gearing up for a playoff run.

Unless Larsson is having a terrible year and has been passed by many, I don’t see any sort of “selling” by Holland if this is a playoff team – in particular a playoff type d-man in a league where 10 d-man may be needed for a long playoff run.

pts2pndr

I said earliest but moving Larsson depends on the return. Given current situation it might be prudent to extend him if you can at a reasonable cost. A two year extension might be something Larsson would be interested in given he would still be young enough for a big contract and things should be closer to normal by then. In the short term it gives Larsson security.

Scungilli Slushy

Harpers Hair: Vancouver has too many bottom six centres…Gaudette, Sutter, Beagle and Zack MacEwan all on the roster.

They reportedly want to move Sutter who has a cap hit of $4.375 million for one more season.

If the Canucks were to retain half that might be an answer if they’re willing to trade within division.

I’m not sure a 31 YO with his health is ideal. Good player though.

ArmchairGM

Ullmark is an RFA this summer. How do you plan on acquiring him?

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr:
The cap hit by the trade deadline would be very small and he would be easy to move to a playoff team. The oilers may have to bite the bullet until the trade deadline however there will be teams in rebuild that might be interested in him as a short term fill knowing they can acquire a draft pick for him at the trade deadline. Just as an example to Ottawa with a fourth round draft choice for a fifth round draft choice. Then Ottawa moves him at the trade deadline for a fourth. Ottawa would get two draft choices for next to no salary which the owner would love and Edmonton gets cap relief. There are innovative ways that he can be moved question is what Holland considers what the added cap is worth.

Oh, goodness, Rusty on the roster to start the season?

Yikes.

In any sort of positive off-season plan, Rusty has to be gone in the spring so that $4M (less what’s retained) can be used.

I wasn’t thinking of trading him next February but this June.

Munny

Post bonus. Especially with team revenues down.

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar:
I think its clear that Mikko will be back next season.

A few weeks ago, there was some verbal from “the inside” about the potential re-sign of Mike Smith but, as we learned on Holland’s spot on The OilCan podcast, while Holland does want to bring back some impending UFAs, he wasn’t going to re-sign anyone else in-season and wasn’t in negotiations with any other current player.

To me that is good news as I don’t think there is any rush to re-sign Smith, even if I was on-board with bringing him back to start with. The market looks to be flush with goalies this off-season, goalies of various pedigrees and likely cap hits, depending on how much cap Holland has to commit to this position.

Not to mention, a few teams out there with multiple goalie options that may want/need to dispose of one – such as a DeSmith.

Plus one Rangers goalie, one Islanders goalie one Coyotes goalie, etc. I’m thinking that it’ll be a buyer’s market this summer for goaltending.

Harpers Hair

Just a follow up to an earlier discussion about BC Ferries.

Times Colonist
@timescolonist
·
4h
Passengers on B.C. Ferries will be allowed to remain in their cars in the coming weeks

N64

globe and mail:

“Latitude on the issue already exists for larger vessels.”

Van to Island crossings make sure your boat has an open level and that your vehicle can be directed there.

Pescador

Don’t forget the piss jugs

OriginalPouzar

Munny: If the cap contracts, all UFAs will be taking some sort of pay cut over the normal bidding for their services.

From accounts, the cap won’t restrict. The CBA and ancillary provisions contain procedures to move away from a strict HRR calculation and “negotiate a cap” for “the good of the industry”.

Munny

And I don’t think it will either, but it is also not an impossibility. Unusual times.

Even a flat cap and an uncertain future can take a bite out of contracts.

N64

New Improved Darkness: Memorizing fancy words is idiotic.

Figuring out the minor shades (mirror shades?) between naked and nude: priceless.

Just a quibble. But for the generation that perambulated to and through a family dictionary (the thicker the better) did anyone stop with those 6 syllable shady words or did they explore all those shadows of words. Petty sure at that age I was blinded by the light

http://www.word-detective.com/2008/09/light/

ArmchairGM

SkatinginSand: and when to deny passing lanes.

That just creates road rage. Please don’t.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: MacKewan isn’t a center at the NHL level but that’s not really the point.

Sutter the player would be a fine 3C for the Oilers and at not much over $2M would be a fine price – of course, his inability to play close to a full season for the last three is an issue.

Of course MacEwan isn’t a C at the NHL level because, as I stated, VCR has too many of them.
He’s been a centre throughout his career.

Hell, JT Miller is a natural centre and takes almost all the draws on the Petterson line.

But Sutters injury history is certainly a concern

Munny

18 new cases in Alberta. Total now 74, at least one in every region.

This is a good number–mathematically–but it might merely be an artifact of weekend testing.

N64

Dr H. said recently they are pretty steady around 1000 tests each day trying to increase capacity and in the meantime using the residual capacity to sample a little bit differently each day. Anything they or the private sector to double that again and again is going to be key. Our public labs gave us a huge head start with the US way behind us on testing capacity. The US is at least a week further down the epedmic curve and the failed testing blinded their track. But when they catch up per capita they have more clout to accelerate. No room for complacency. We desperately need to pursue as many paths as we can to add capacity quickly.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/test-test-test-who-says-as-us-flounders-with-covid-19-response/

As the United States continues to struggle to ramp up basic testing for COVID-19, experts at the World Health Organization on Monday emphasized that countries should prioritize such testing—and that social-distancing measures are not enough.

“We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (aka Dr. Tedros) said in a press briefing March 16.

Dr. Tedros noted that, as the numbers of cases and deaths outside of China have quickly risen, many countries—including the US—have urgently adopted so-called social-distancing measures, such as shuttering schools, canceling events, and having people work from home. While these measures can slow transmission and allow health care systems to better cope, they are “not enough to extinguish this pandemic,” Dr. Tedros warned.

What’s needed is a comprehensive approach, he said. “But we have not seen an urgent-enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which is the backbone of the response,” Dr. Tedros said.

“The most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the chains of transmission,” he went on. “And to do that, you must test and isolate. You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected.”

Munny

It’s the tracing aspect that has me concerned about bars, casinos etc.

Transmission by an infected person who has attended one of those venues adds a layer of difficulty to the task of tracing contact.

I know there are privacy concerns, but if I were the AGLC I would at least be requiring these venues to scan ID at the doors and save the records, while they remain open. (Some of the bigger city ones already do something like this)

defmn

OriginalPouzar: I agree that 3C is the main external acquisition. I would love the Oilers to get their hands on the last year of Eric Staal’s contract.

I also agree with not buying out Neal unless than $3.8M in savings is required for something that truly makes the team better in the short and medium term. 6 years of a dead $2M cap hit – gross.

Do you not qualify AA then and let him got if he isn’t willing to sign for under $3M (which I’m sure he won’t – he could easily get that as a UFA if the Oilers don’t qualify him).

I don’t know if I want Green at $2.4M or Benning at $2M.

I guess a deciding factor could be that moving on from Green gets the team nothing and moving on from Benning gets the team an asset.

I just fear that a Green re-signing would be on the premise of bigger minutes than I think he should be playing.

I agree that Russell the player likely has more value for GMs than us as fans (in aggregate) label him with – at the same time, his $4M derogates from that value. I’m not so sure a draft pick can be acquired without retaining or taking on an anchor (equally short term though).

If AA isn’t interested in signing for 2 years at less than $3 mil then I qualify him and negotiate from there but I am not convinced that he wouldn’t prefer a two year contract at a slightly lesser number. I think we have all been accustomed to the Chiarelli overpay. We’ll see what transpires but the uncertainty around the cap makes this all speculative.

I’m not a Benning fan so whether it is Green or somebody else I am moving on from him. He has pretty much proven that he is competent as a 3rd pairing RD. Is that worth the $2 mil or more it will take to sign him? The reason I prefer to go with the ‘grizzled veteran’ is because of the verbal about how much the addition of Smith and Neal added to the psychological toughness of the roster. I think that aspect gets downplayed on this blog since it cannot be quantified but in any group dynamic I have ever been involved in there are times when the voice that has seen it all is very important. If Smith and Neal are gone – and that would be my preference – then that still needs to be addressed by another player added. And I don’t see Green as an everyday addition. I am pretty comfortable in my belief that Bouchard will be the everyday 3rd pair RD by Christmas at the latest so I see Green playing 40-50 games max for injury and maybe the first half of the season. His 35th birthday is Oct 12 this year. Not sure how that works in signing him to a one year bonus laden contract but it is worth thinking about.

I know you are skeptical that Russell can be moved without retaining but I don’t think it is going to be that difficult. I don’t expect much back but I don’t expect we have to eat any of his cap after the July 1st signing bonus has been paid.

pts2pndr

I believe he has to be qualified at 3M. Depending on the economy re Corona virus players may be forced to take less than would have been the case. Bad luck for those players becoming UFA this summer.

Munny

Woodguy v2.0: Yeah, if Tippett doesn’t like him you can probably recoup a 2nd and chalk up the other 2nd to “rental cost”

I’ve saw him much better without the puck last 2 games.

Mr. Tippett is a wizard.

I think this is more of AA simply learning the system and making plays to where people should be becoming more automatic.

He looked like he knew the structure better the past two games to my eye and that was the difference-maker (plus the help that knowledge gives to making confident plays)

Woodguy v2.0

I agree with that.

Tippett still has a tall pointy hat.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Vancouver has too many bottom six centres…Gaudette, Sutter, Beagle and Zack MacEwan all on the roster.

They reportedly want to move Sutter who has a cap hit of $4.375 million for one more season.

If the Canucks were to retain half that might be an answer if they’re willing to trade within division.

MacKewan isn’t a center at the NHL level but that’s not really the point.

Sutter the player would be a fine 3C for the Oilers and at not much over $2M would be a fine price – of course, his inability to play close to a full season for the last three is an issue.

OriginalPouzar

Munny:
There’s no doubt he’s our future bet for that slot.I can’t see him being ready for it next TC.

But let’s say he is… ideally he’d start on the 4th line and not the the 3rd, and possibly at wing (a la Horcoff back in the day) and learn the trade at the major league level before raising his quality of competition.

Ya, with respect to the prior post, McLeod isn’t really a viable NHL option out of camp let alone a 3C.

He wasn’t even playing center full time this year in the AHL.

Next year I expect him to be the full time 2C and have a solid development year playing in all situations.

Woodguy v2.0

Melvis: yayo, blow, grout, weinstein

Yes.

If you’re accepting 3 word branches then “the more more” works.

Woodguy v2.0

PennersPancakes: That would be crazy. Horrible asset management. You definitely re-sign him and hope to get the most out of him an try to re-create a 30 goal season. (Aim for 20).

Yeah, if Tippett doesn’t like him you can probably recoup a 2nd and chalk up the other 2nd to “rental cost”

I’ve saw him much better without the puck last 2 games.

Mr. Tippett is a wizard.

Woodguy v2.0

John Chambers:
I could see the NHL and NHLPA agreeing on amnesty buyouts to enable teams to adjust to a lower salary cap.

The PA will not agree to something that has a regressive effect on salary, regardless of how much is held back in escrow as tomorrow is better than today in terms of actual revenue.

Non-starter.

Woodguy v2.0

John Chambers: The cap could be UNDER $80M next season.

I suspect there’ll be something of a buyout frenzy, and top-tier players like Taylor Hall and Alex Pietrangelo taking 1-year deals for $7 or $8M while the pay scales re-calibrate.

Chris Kreider will be happy he signed when he did.

The NHL and the PA would never go backwards.

That is chaos for everyone involved.

They’d increase escrow.

Woodguy v2.0

OriginalPouzar,

I’d prefer a Demelo, Edmundson type signing – cheaper and depth.

Those are two very different players.

Are you referring to cost?

Also,

If Chevy is smart Demelo won’t hit the market.

wolf8888

How many games a year does Sutter actually play. I wouldn’t take him.

Woodguy v2.0

New Improved Darkness,

I couldn’t find a synonym tree for panty remover. But one site helpfully suggested “ponder over

I can understand the lack of single word branches.

If two words are allowed then when I was 18 I’d suggest “Lemon Gin”

Now that I am near 50 the women whose opinion I value on this exact issue (had 3 conversations about exactly this lately) is “Pink Whitney” , a pink lemonade/vodka mix that clocks in at 30% ABV.

Created by none other than ex-Oiler Ryan Whitney.

It’s like Lemon Gin but without the grimacing (purple or not) if it’s not mixed with talent and care.

Perhaps one branch would be “alcohol” but that seems gauche.

northerndancer

consent