The Money Program

I’m no math scientist, but if the cap remains flat the Oilers could be in more hell than a little bit. There’s so much we don’t know, but let’s address the things we know for a fact and develop worry lines from there.

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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman:Oh my God, Edmonton’s picking first’: An oral history of the 2015 NHL draft lottery
  • New Lowetide: Comparison of Oilers, Flames drafts 2010-19 closer than it should be
  • Lowetide: The most potent lines in Oilers history
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: On the time Dave Semenko fought Muhammad Ali
  • Lowetide: Why Jan Mysak could be a value pick for the Oilers at the 2020 Draft
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers overcame malice in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to join the NHL
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Remembering Jacques Plante’s brief tenure with the Oilers at age 45
  • Lowetide: Oilers need to find (or get) real value in William Lagesson
  • Jonathan Willis: Flashback: When ‘Oil Change’ revealed key details of Oilers’ 1979, 2010 drafts
  • Lowetide: Edmonton’s Sports Hall of Fame should have 3 founding members
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers forward Colby Cave dies at age 25
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘The world needs more Colbys’: Teammates and coaches mourn Colby Cave
  • Jonathan Willis: What does the Oilers best possible playoff lineup look like?
  • Lowetide: Why Jack Quinn is a perfect 2020 draft fit for the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: For one glorious fall, Alexander Selivanov was the NHL’s most dangerous scorer
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ five-on-five with and without Connor McDavid is improving
  • Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors forward prospects might need a history lesson
  • Lowetide: Craig MacTavish’s most important Oilers moment? Picking Leon Draisaitl
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: If play does not resume, 5 notable questions that will go unanswered in Edmonton
  • Lowetide: Making the call on RFA and UFA players on the Oilers’ 50-man roster
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
  • Lowetide: A look back at reasonable expectations and the Oilers fantastic special teams in 20

OILERS AND THE CAP

Assuming $81.5 million and no buyouts, Edmonton can’t afford to sign Mike Smith. I don’t have his bonuses included here, only the buyouts and retention dollars, so Edmonton may have to cut more money.

With all the teams looking at less for cap room, we might see teams attempt to make do with what they have. Oilers could walk the AA or Benning contracts and elevate Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard but that decreases depth and pushes two rookies into the opening night lineup.

Players who could benefit? Evan Bouchard and Tyler Benson, both under $1 million before bonuses. If the market doesn’t allow a Russell trade, Benning might be the defenseman sent out, perhaps Chiasson up front. How does that look? Can Smith fit onto the tweaked roster?

Note: This isn’t what I’m thinking, this is what I think the organization may see as the way forward. What would I like to see?

Eventually I think Puljujarvi would replace Kassian, someone needs to be the defensive conscience on that trio and I believe JP has that kind of skill set. Russell is dealt, Neal is bought out, a couple of rookies and maybe a lack of experience on the back end. I like my free agent goalie. You?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, I’m back on the radio, TSN1260. Vinny Iyer from the Sporting News will talk NFL draft, trades and some free agency. Michael DeCourcy (Sporting News), talk The Last Dance and how the NFL will handle spring camps and preseason. Jason Gregor TSN1260 on what will the Chiefs do at the draft and we’ll talk a little Oilers too. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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103 Responses to "The Money Program"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Before Covid-19 changed everything and when the cap was anticipated to go up only marginally to around $82.5M (as oppossed to the later protected $84M), the team was going to be in a cap crunch.

    There was going to be apx $18MM to sign 12 players after the Nurse signing. They Nurse came in around $1MM cheaper due to contract term so apx $19MM. Then Archie signed so maybe that’s down too 11 players and $17.5M Then the world turned to shit and lose another million so, without crunching numbers again maybe its around $16.5M.

    That includes a back-up goalie and Ethan Bear.

    I will crunch the numbers again today but it won’t be until later – I’m sure others will do it sooner.

    ——————

    In order to make a single material external acquisition, there needs to be a disposition of cap space. Of course, we all want that to be Rusty but a clean disposition for $4M is an even harder task than it was on January 1 – it may not be do-able.

    I’m getting on board with flipping Rusty for another over-priced player at a position of need, center, like Sutter or Perrault. I don’t know if it happens but that’s the hope now.

    Maybe there is a Neal buyout (regular course) – I hate dead cap hits.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    It seems if I read down another paragraph, LT did the math already.

    Sorry if the above is not accurate, I post my initial comments as I read the blog.

    I also realized that my calculations don’t’ include AA and his apx $3M.

    There really is no current cap space.

  3. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I will cry if Khaira is 3C, one injury from top 6 spot duty

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve been thinking about Khaira at 3C – not that I think that his play warrants such thought or that the team could or should go in to the season thinking of him in that spot but I’ve been wondering how great it would be if he could “pop” at 25 and become that player? It seem highly unfathomable but. want to have it happen.

    Bear filled a top 4 right shot puck moving D spot by surprise

    Yamamoto didn’t come out of nowhere but he filled a top 6 winger spot in an instant

    Come on Jujhar or Cooper – great things come in 3s.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    CP’s current list of All-Time overrated NHL players include: Messier, Anderson, Gretzky(provisionally) and Kevin Lowe.

    Congratulations Kevin!

  6. hunter1909 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    I will cry if Khaira is 3C, one injury from top 6 spot duty

    Holland/Tippet are consummate professionals. Neither of them, let alone both are remotely capable of being that short sighted.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Nurse might end up being moved. A horrible thought.

  8. Darth Tu says:

    Hey, hey. Long time no chat guys. I’ve still been reading the blog every day, but been insanely swamped with work. Hope you’re all safe and in good health.

    Cap crunch – we’re going to have to bridge Bear aren’t we? That’s not how I want that to go. Kicking cans down the road and all that.

    On the Smith signing as a backup – Depending on what the situation is on next season starting – if it’s going to be an abridged/late start in January or so for example, I’m not sure signing Smith is the best move. Older players coming back after long periods out doesn’t always go all that well. That said, do we really think that Smith is going to be looking for $3-4 million (including bonuses)? He has to know he’s on the downswing, and in a cap crunch league next year his options are going to be pretty limited about where he goes. I could see a one year for $1.5 million being possible, unlikely but possible.

  9. ArmchairGM says:

    There’s been a few interesting mock rosters on CapFriendly recently, most include a Neal buyout and Russell trade though. Here’s one:

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/322151

  10. ArmchairGM says:

    Forbort got a 4th and he’s half the player Russell is. I’m 100% sure Russell is trade-able this summer after his bonus is paid out. There will be several teams that need defensive help and who are operating on a budget (probably more teams than previously thought due to COVID-related revenue decline) and who won’t care much about the cap hit. Russell gets paid just $1.5M for the final year of his deal.

  11. ArmchairGM says:

    “I like my free agent goalie. You?”

    One problem: Ullmark is an RFA, not a UFA. How do you propose to acquire him? Buffalo likes him too, so he won’t be cheap.

  12. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m getting on board with flipping Rusty for another over-priced player at a position of need, center, like Sutter or Perrault. I don’t know if it happens but that’s the hope now.

    Perreault isn’t a center. Glendening might work though. And Forbort got a 4th out of CGY, I don’t think a clean disposition of the Russell contract is out of the question. COVID-related revenue decline means there will be more teams cutting personnel budgets, not fewer.

  13. JJS says:

    I expect to get hammered by this comment but I always thought Messier was a really good player but was never great for long stretches.

    He was more Iginla than Sakic. Too many mental lapses at critical times in games. But stood the test of time and racked up the accolades. I would take him any day of the week.

    Anderson was a killer. Absolute mayhem on skates. Loved him.

    Lowe was a rock. Tough as nails and as competitive as they come. A great offensive junior who settled his game to meet the needs of the team. I can’t see how this player can be overrated.

    Gretzky. C’mon.

    hunter1909:
    CP’s current list of All-Time overrated NHL players include: Messier, Anderson, Gretzky(provisionally) and Kevin Lowe.

    Congratulations Kevin!

  14. dustrock says:

    Wonder if there will be a “COVID compliance buyout”.

    And, for the 8 jillionth time, this is why you don’t give the contracts to Chiasson, Russell and Kassian.

  15. defmn says:

    I see you have Bouchard at $1,627,500 but Capfriendly has him at $894,167 with maximum bonuses of $500,000 for a total of $1,394,167.

    And, of course, Lagesson will need a new contract but I think you are right that it won’t be for much of a raise.

    That $6.5 mil in dead cap space sure sticks out like a sore thumb but I think they have to bite the bullet again this year and say goodbye to Neal.

  16. ArmchairGM says:

    dustrock:
    Wonder if there will be a “COVID compliance buyout”.

    And, for the 8 jillionth time, this is why you don’t give the contracts to Chiasson, Russell and Kassian.

    The only likely mistake on the Kassian deal is term, and that remains to be seen if it’s a mistake at all.

    Lots of Oilers fans would happily trade assets to Toronto for Andreas Johnsson, and he has had far worse results than Kassian despite playing like 75% of the time with Matthews-Nylander, with his next most common center Tavares.

  17. Eh Team says:

    defmn: That $6.5 mil in dead cap space sure sticks out like a sore thumb but I think they have to bite the bullet again this year and say goodbye to Neal.

    Buying out Neal is an obvious move.

  18. defmn says:

    ArmchairGM: The only likely mistake on the Kassian deal is term, and that remains to be seen if it’s a mistake at all.

    Lots of Oilers fans would happily trade assets to Toronto for Andreas Johnsson, and he has had far worse results than Kassian despite playing like 75% of the time with Matthews-Nylander, with his next most common center Tavares.

    And I would argue that the Chiasson contract really didn’t look that bad until the Neal/Lucic deal. Up until then Chiasson was going to be the net front guy on the PP1 I believe.

    Not ideal but really not that big a deal either imo. He is paid like a 3rd line winger and he stands in front of the net on the PP. And he is capable of settling things down when they get rough. Not sure $2.15 buys you much more than that in today’s NHL.

    Not liking the player type is one thing but the contract is not out of line with the market for a UFA with his skill set.

  19. defmn says:

    Eh Team: Buying out Neal is an obvious move.

    Six years does require a big gulp though.

  20. ArmchairGM says:

    defmn: Six years does require a big gulp though.

    Certainly does. Pray for a CBO.

  21. defmn says:

    ArmchairGM: Certainly does. Pray for a CBO.

    I think we will see one. The league gives a little, the PA gives the other little. My optimism is based upon Gary and Don both being professionals – unlike most of the history where at least one of them was either an idiot or a crook.

  22. Dee Dee says:

    The world has changed.

    Sports have changed.

    Current contracts were signed BC (Before Covid) and if the sport wants to survive it will have to change.

    No one will be sitting in stadiums this fall and will not be until a cure is found.

    Games will be played in empty arenas.

    Empty arenas = Drop in revenue.

    Drop in revenue = reduction in players salaries.

    The League in order to survive will be forced to reduce players salaries by some percentage, calculated by the % drop of revenue from not having bums in seats in the arenas.

    25%? I don’t know, calculations will have to be performed.

    Higher fee’s for watching on TV will offset it somewhat.

    Yes the players have a union and a contract but the choice will be come back under the new plan and accept cuts or sit at home and don’t play.

    The world has changed and Athletes and Musicians and Actors will discover this.

  23. Harpers Hair says:

    Dee Dee:
    The world has changed.

    Sports have changed.

    Current contracts were signed BC (Before Covid) and if the sport wants to survive it will have to change.

    No one will be sitting in stadiums this fall and will not be until a cure is found.

    Games will be played in empty arenas.

    Empty arenas = Drop in revenue.

    Drop in revenue = reductionin players salaries.

    The League in order to survive will be forced to reduce players salaries by some percentage, calculated by the % drop of revenue from not having bums in seats in the arenas.

    25%? I don’t know, calculations will have to be performed.

    Higher fee’s for watching on TV will offset it somewhat.

    Yes the players have a union and a contract but the choice will be come back under the new plan and accept cuts or sit at home and don’t play.

    The world has changed and Athletes and Musicians and Actors will discover this.

    Last season, 36.6% of NHL revenue came from ticket sales.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/193413/percentage-of-ticketing-revenue-in-the-nhl-since-2006/

    Of course, fans who won’t be going to games will also not spend nearly as much on merchandise and concessions so the drop in revenue will be much higher.

  24. knighttown says:

    Hi All. Pharmacy world has been bananas so I haven’t even turned TSN on let alone check in here or the Athletic. All that to say, this may have been discussed to death but it doesn’t seem possible that it’ll be “business as usual” for the next two years. In a hard cap world, there’s really no way to handle a drastically declining cap when contracts are guaranteed. Virtually ever team would be affected and the end result would be literally dozens or perhaps hundreds of players being buried in the AHL to save cap space. I just don’t see either the players or the league wanting that.

    I see only two ways forward:

    1. Owners agree to change delink the cap and (50%) HRR. Essentially the owners and GMs would select an arbitrary salary cap for the next 2-3 years which would allow them time to get their houses in order. Let’s say +2%, -5%, -8% for example. Owners would essentially be taking all of the COVID hit which makes this unlikely. And even the players, it would be sacrificing all of the unsigned players so that the sanctity of the signed players’ contracts stand.

    2. Some sort of agreement that allows Cap non-compliance and new contracts to be signed but that also includes a temporary rollback of existing player contracts.

    My question; since I’ve not been plugged in, what conversations are being had relating to these topics?

  25. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    As of right now I’d rather see Ennis brought back rather than Haas (whom I still have time for). He brings a more complete game and can play up and down the line up. They would be at a similar price point too. At this stage he’s a vet, and would be a solid mentor for the likes of KY and Benson. Local boy to boot. And I’d far rather have Ennis back over Samwise. Sorry Gags. Too slow.

    JP remains a (luxurious) fantasy. I’d like, no love, to see him come back and thrive, but that outcome remains foggy from my vantage.

    The soft goaltender target I’ve got in mind is Aaron Dell. He’s not too expensive, and did pretty well in SJS considering the tire fire of a year they had. He’s the right age that he could stick around for a while if he’s a fit. Semi-local being from Cochrane. I bet he could be signed for ~$2.25-2.5Mx2. That would set up a nice competition with MK for the starter’s job and contract extension, while also having a goalie to expose for expansion.

    While my heart wants to see KRusty dealt somewhere for a 4th round pick (similar value as Frolik to BUF) I know it’s a tough sell. However, Kenny the Grinder has pulled a rabbit out of his top hat before. I agree with LT that if #4 is unable to be traded (market or NTC be damned) then Benning is more likely to be dealt. I’d rather not as I believe he’s more valuable on the team and in the market.

    Regarding Neal, I would love to see a clean disposition – that would be a material boon to the teams fortunes. However, that’s more unlikely than my 4th for #4. He’s probably around another year to see if his value can be resuscitated and if not, a buyout may follow. That’s not optimal, and I’d rather see him traded with up to 50% salary retained to avoid the extra years of penalty counting toward the cap. Even with a mild to moderate sweetener, but the steeper the add the sooner the trade.

  26. jtblack says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Alberta oil has now moved into MINUS territory.

    https://www.forexlive.com/news/!/wti-extends-decline-to-40-canadian-physical-oil-goes-negative-20200420

    but it gets worse. WTI now down 90% on the day. Trading at $1.50/barrell …. that is Crazy

  27. Darth Tu says:

    jtblack: but it gets worse. WTI now down 90% on the day. Trading at $1.50/barrell …. that is Crazy

    Futures now at zero.

    I’m glad we diversified the economy here in Alberta.

  28. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    My current roster on CapFriendly is as follows (changes frequently so I never publish):

    EDIT: borrowed ArmchairGM’s idea of Chaisson to MTL for WPG 2020 3rd, signed Erik Haula for a year.
    Benning + JP to OTT for 2020 OTT 2nd and 2020 DAL 2nd
    Kris Russell to WPG for 2022 WPG 4th

    AA ($3M) — CMD ($12.5M) — Kassian ($3.2M)
    Nuge ($6M) — Leon ($8.5M) — KY ($896,166)
    Ennis ($1M) — Haula ($3.75M) — Neal ($5.75M)
    JJ ($1.2M) — Sheahan ($1M) — Archibald ($1.5M)
    Nygard ($875k)

    Klefbom ($4.167M) — Larsson ($4.166M)
    Nurse ($5.6M) — Bear ($2.75M)
    Jones ($850k) — Green ($2.25M)
    Lagesson ($750k)

    Koskinen ($4.5M)
    Dell ($2.25M)

    Salary cap: $81,500,000
    Cap hit: $81,036,165
    Bonuses: $230,000
    Cap space: $463,835

    This leaves enough cover for Benson and Bouchard to marinate until an inevitable slump or injury. Unlikely to get a clean disposition of KRusty, I know, but that’s what I’d like to see play out. Or something along those lines.

  29. ArmchairGM says:

    jtblack: but it gets worse. WTI now down 90% on the day. Trading at $1.50/barrell …. that is Crazy

    BUY BUY BUY!

  30. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    ArmchairGM,

    That’s a really good point about Forbort netting a 4th. Between that trade and Frolik –> BUF for a 4th I think KRusty should be doable for at least the same before even considering his favourable salary situation relative to AAV.

    Also, I like your CF roster even if there’s a lot of change.

    How much of an upgrade is J. Larsson over Sheahan?

    Are you seeing Smith as the defensive conscience/cycle guy flanking Connor?

    Do you see Khubodin maintaining his level of play? DAL was pretty tight defensively (read: Nelson, sigh) once they got healthy. He’s no spring chicken at this point, which is why I look to (say) Dell as someone with some tread still left on the tires.

    PS I borrowed your idea of Chaisser to MTL for WSH’s 2020 3rd. Brilliant.

  31. yeraslob says:

    hunter1909:
    CP’s current list of All-Time overrated NHL players include: Messier, Anderson, Gretzky(provisionally) and Kevin Lowe.

    Congratulations Kevin!

    Clearly we need more overrated players!

  32. Lowetide says:

    For The Athlletic (via Jon Willis and me) Discount forward options the Oilers could pursue in free agency

    https://theathletic.com/1760187/2020/04/20/discount-forward-options-the-oilers-could-pursue-in-free-agency/

  33. Harpers Hair says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    ArmchairGM,

    That’s a really good point about Forbort netting a 4th.Between that trade and Frolik –> BUF for a 4th I think KRusty should be doable for at least the same before even considering his favourable salary situation relative to AAV.

    Also, I like your CF roster even if there’s a lot of change.

    How much of an upgrade is J. Larsson over Sheahan?

    Are you seeing Smith as the defensive conscience/cycle guy flanking Connor?

    Do you see Khubodin maintaining his level of play?DAL was pretty tight defensively (read: Nelson, sigh) once they got healthy.He’s no spring chicken at this point, which is why I look to (say) Dell as someone with some tread still left on the tires.

    Teams generally pay a premium for players at or near the trade deadline.

    In the off-season, there are more players available either through free agency or prospects ripening.

  34. who says:

    knighttown:
    Hi All.Pharmacy world has been bananas so I haven’t even turned TSN on let alone check in here or the Athletic.All that to say, this may have been discussed to death but it doesn’t seem possible that it’ll be “business as usual” for the next two years.In a hard cap world, there’s really no way to handle a drastically declining cap when contracts are guaranteed. Virtually ever team would be affected and the end result would be literally dozens or perhaps hundreds of players being buried in the AHL to save cap space.I just don’t see either the players or the league wanting that.

    I see only two ways forward:

    1. Owners agree to change delink the cap and (50%) HRR.Essentially the owners and GMs would select an arbitrary salary cap for the next 2-3 years which would allow them time to get their houses in order.Let’s say +2%, -5%, -8% for example.Owners would essentially be taking all of the COVID hit which makes this unlikely.And even the players, it would be sacrificing all of the unsigned players so that the sanctity of the signed players’ contracts stand.

    2. Some sort of agreement that allows Cap non-compliance and new contracts to be signed but that also includes a temporary rollback of existing player contracts.

    My question; since I’ve not been plugged in, what conversations are being had relating to these topics?

    Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but isn’t that what escrow is set up to do?
    Plunging revenues just mean much higher escrow payments. I don’t see the need to renegotiate contracts.

  35. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Yes, it’s the traditional commodity cycle. Players at a premium at the TDL, and picks at a premium at the draft. Still though, a year of KRusty at $1.5M in real cash could be appealing to budget-conscious teams like ARI, CAR, OTT et al.

  36. digger50 says:

    Dee Dee:
    The world has changed.

    Sports have changed.

    Current contracts were signed BC (Before Covid) and if the sport wants to survive it will have to change.

    No one will be sitting in stadiums this fall and will not be until a cure is found.

    Games will be played in empty arenas.

    Empty arenas = Drop in revenue.

    Drop in revenue = reductionin players salaries.

    The League in order to survive will be forced to reduce players salaries by some percentage, calculated by the % drop of revenue from not having bums in seats in the arenas.

    25%? I don’t know, calculations will have to be performed.

    Higher fee’s for watching on TV will offset it somewhat.

    Yes the players have a union and a contract but the choice will be come back under the new plan and accept cuts or sit at home and don’t play.

    The world has changed and Athletes and Musicians and Actors will discover this.

    I actually believe the opposite. Many businesses will adapt. People will adapt. Other solutions or control measures identified. Tolerable risk.

    I think bums in seats by November.

  37. ArmchairGM says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    ArmchairGM,

    That’s a really good point about Forbort netting a 4th.Between that trade and Frolik –> BUF for a 4th I think KRusty should be doable for at least the same before even considering his favourable salary situation relative to AAV.

    Also, I like your CF roster even if there’s a lot of change.

    How much of an upgrade over Sheahan is J. Larsson?

    Are you seeing Smith as the defensive conscience/cycle guy flanking Connor?

    Do you see Khubodin maintaining his level of play?DAL was pretty tight defensively (read: Nelson, sigh) once they got healthy.He’s no spring chicken at this point, which is why I look to (say) Dell as someone with some tread still left on the tires.

    Some comments on Larsson here:

    https://theathletic.com/1760187/2020/04/20/discount-forward-options-the-oilers-could-pursue-in-free-agency/

  38. pts2pndr says:

    knighttown:
    Hi All.Pharmacy world has been bananas so I haven’t even turned TSN on let alone check in here or the Athletic.All that to say, this may have been discussed to death but it doesn’t seem possible that it’ll be “business as usual” for the next two years.In a hard cap world, there’s really no way to handle a drastically declining cap when contracts are guaranteed. Virtually ever team would be affected and the end result would be literally dozens or perhaps hundreds of players being buried in the AHL to save cap space.I just don’t see either the players or the league wanting that.

    I see only two ways forward:

    1. Owners agree to change delink the cap and (50%) HRR.Essentially the owners and GMs would select an arbitrary salary cap for the next 2-3 years which would allow them time to get their houses in order.Let’s say +2%, -5%, -8% for example.Owners would essentially be taking all of the COVID hit which makes this unlikely.And even the players, it would be sacrificing all of the unsigned players so that the sanctity of the signed players’ contracts stand.

    2. Some sort of agreement that allows Cap non-compliance and new contracts to be signed but that also includes a temporary rollback of existing player contracts.

    My question; since I’ve not been plugged in, what conversations are being had relating to these topics?

    Do like a number of sports particularly the NFL with no guarantied salaries. Problem solved.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darth Tu:
    Hey, hey. Long time no chat guys. I’ve still been reading the blog every day, but been insanely swamped with work.Hope you’re all safe and in good health.

    Cap crunch – we’re going to have to bridge Bear aren’t we? That’s not how I want that to go. Kicking cans down the road and all that.

    On the Smith signing as a backup – Depending on what the situation is on next season starting – if it’s going to be an abridged/late start in January or so for example, I’m not sure signing Smith is the best move.Older players coming back after long periods out doesn’t always go all that well.That said, do we really think that Smith is going to be looking for $3-4 million (including bonuses)?He has to know he’s on the downswing, and in a cap crunch league next year his options are going to be pretty limited about where he goes.I could see a one year for $1.5 million being possible, unlikely but possible.

    I think Holland was likely to bridge Bear even before the economic landscape changed and we were looking at a camp around $84M. I think its almost a surety now and I think it will come in around $2.5M and am excited about how much of a value contract we might have for the next year or two. Similar to Jones whose $850K contract is going to be a huge value contract for 2 years.

    There will be a ton of goalies, with varying pedigrees, available on the free agent market as well as the trade market (i.e. teams like NYR, ARI with 3 NHL goalies).

    We know that Coach T. likes Smith and Holland must as well as he did sign him, however, I would hope that Holland looks for another option – a more consistent 1B option that could also be a longer term option. As far as established, Griess would be a great option although likely too expensive.

    A trade for a goalie like DeSmith (or similar) would be a solid bet as well – acquisition cost couldn’t be too expensive.

    There is one more year until the ELCs of Wells and Skinner expire along with the KHL contract of Konovalov – perhaps one of those three is an option for 2021/22.

    I do see Smith being re-signed, unfortunately, and I don’t imagine he’ll take a base for less than the $2M he made this year (as a base) – I don’t like it but I can see it happening.

  40. Darth Tu says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think Holland was likely to bridge Bear even before the economic landscape changed and we were looking at a camp around $84M.I think its almost a surety now and I think it will come in around $2.5M and am excited about how much of a value contract we might have for the next year or two. Similar to Jones whose $850K contract is going to be a huge value contract for 2 years.

    There will be a ton of goalies, with varying pedigrees, available on the free agent market as well as the trade market (i.e. teams like NYR, ARI with 3 NHL goalies).

    We know that Coach T. likes Smith and Holland must as well as he did sign him, however, I would hope that Holland looks for another option – a more consistent 1B option that could also be a longer term option. As far as established, Griess would be a great option although likely too expensive.

    A trade for a goalie like DeSmith (or similar) would be a solid bet as well – acquisition cost couldn’t be too expensive.

    There is one more year until the ELCs of Wells and Skinner expire along with the KHL contract of Konovalov – perhaps one of those three is an option for 2021/22.

    I do see Smith being re-signed, unfortunately, and I don’t imagine he’ll take a base for less than the $2M he made this year (as a base) – I don’t like it but I can see it happening.

    Yeah, I think you and LT are right on the $2 million value. It’s wishful thinking on my part, but surely for a goalie that’s approaching the end of his NHL life he has to at least be open to take a value contract to play somewhere. Saying that, maybe the Habs take a flier on him and offer $2 mill to have him as Carey’s backup for a year.

    I have high hopes for Konovalov, but you’re right he’s at least a year out. Loved that draft pick when it was made.

    I will admit I was in the “down on Bear” camp prior to last season, I believe I was suggesting letting him be the one traded ahead of the likes of Jones and Lagesson. By the end of the year I was hoping for a long term deal to try and lock him in to a pure value contract. The bridge still works and I imagine he signs it. I guess the plus side to it is that if we are able to keep Lagesson, we have another 2 years of 3 young players on extreme value contracts that can all play at least 3rd pairing in the NHL reasonably comfortably.

    Russell is the odd one out for me, but if we have to ride out the last year of his contract I guess we can (if Benning is moved). I’d still rather see Benning stay ahead of Russell though.

  41. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think Holland was likely to bridge Bear even before the economic landscape changed and we were looking at a camp around $84M.I think its almost a surety now and I think it will come in around $2.5M and am excited about how much of a value contract we might have for the next year or two. Similar to Jones whose $850K contract is going to be a huge value contract for 2 years.

    There will be a ton of goalies, with varying pedigrees, available on the free agent market as well as the trade market (i.e. teams like NYR, ARI with 3 NHL goalies).

    We know that Coach T. likes Smith and Holland must as well as he did sign him, however, I would hope that Holland looks for another option – a more consistent 1B option that could also be a longer term option. As far as established, Griess would be a great option although likely too expensive.

    A trade for a goalie like DeSmith (or similar) would be a solid bet as well – acquisition cost couldn’t be too expensive.

    There is one more year until the ELCs of Wells and Skinner expire along with the KHL contract of Konovalov – perhaps one of those three is an option for 2021/22.

    I do see Smith being re-signed, unfortunately, and I don’t imagine he’ll take a base for less than the $2M he made this year (as a base) – I don’t like it but I can see it happening.

    I don’t disagree with any of this but I think it adds context to note that Holland had a lot of things to fix last summer without a huge amount of time or insider knowledge about the team.

    This summer he has a shorter list with more 1st hand knowledge of the personnel so I am hoping his being further ahead of the curve allows him to target those pieces he needs with greater precision. More rifle and less shotgun.

    I also think Edmonton is a more attractive destination for free agents this off season than last. That makes a difference as well.

  42. Darth Tu says:

    What about Jurco? I just realised I forgot all about him.

  43. meanashell11 says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Where are you going to store it!

  44. defmn says:

    meanashell11:
    ArmchairGM,

    Where are you going to store it!

    I assume they are just going to blow up the trans mountain pipeline on the other side of the B.C. border and let it spill into the Fraser River as predicted by so many of our neighbours to the west.

    Too much? 😉

  45. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    We know that Coach T. likes Smith and Holland must as well as he did sign him, however, I would hope that Holland looks for another option – a more consistent 1B option that could also be a longer term option. As far as established, Griess would be a great option although likely too expensive.

    A trade for a goalie like DeSmith (or similar) would be a solid bet as well – acquisition cost couldn’t be too expensive.

    There is one more year until the ELCs of Wells and Skinner expire along with the KHL contract of Konovalov – perhaps one of those three is an option for 2021/22.

    I do see Smith being re-signed, unfortunately, and I don’t imagine he’ll take a base for less than the $2M he made this year (as a base) – I don’t like it but I can see it happening.

    Really the only things that recommend Smith are his 19-12-6 record and that he’s a battler. Those don’t mean nothing but I agree he’s not worth a big contract and that there will likely be better options. Also agree it’s unlikely he’ll make less than $2M next season. (He made $2.5M this season and that’s assuming no other bonuses are paid – he’d be due something like ~3.25M if they pro-rate GP and playoff qualification).

    Griess would be good but is not barely more of a long term option than Smith.

    None of Konovalov, Skinner or Wells are trending to be ready for significant NHL minutes at this point.

    We’ll see. Tippett clearly likes Smith and Holland did sign him. You’ve also noted before Holland didn’t give Smith an extension in-season so presumably his return isn’t set in stone by any means.

  46. meanashell11 says:

    defmn: I assume they are just going to blow up the trans mountain pipeline on the other side of the B.C. border and let it spill into the Fraser River as predicted by so many of our neighbours to the west.

    Too much?

    Maybe we could pump it back into the sand!

  47. Harpers Hair says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Harpers Hair,

    Yes, it’s the traditional commodity cycle.Players at a premium at the TDL, and picks at a premium at the draft.Still though, a year of KRusty at $1.5M in real cash could be appealing to budget-conscious teams like ARI, CAR, OTT et al.

    You are ignoring the elephant in the room…revenue sharing.

    Those are three teams along with Florida among others that could plunge into bankruptcy.

    Once the Canadian dollar bottoms out after the oil price debacle, the Canadian teams will also take a massive hit to the bottom line.

    Remember how much of NHL revenue comes from Canadian teams and that the Rogers TV contract is also paid in Canadian dollars.

    What revenue sharing?

  48. leadfarmer says:

    No butts in seats means a lot of butts on the couch.
    Now it wont cover the empty seats but could mean a very big next US tv contract.
    I mean if the NHL gets on tv this year people in the US may actually watch it.

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    pts2pndr: Do like a number of sports particularly the NFL with no guarantied salaries. Problem solved.

    Then we’d only be talking about the cap hit % which makes it much easier to compare player contracts from 1 year to the next. McDavid got 16.67%, therefore no player will ever have any reason to demand more than that.

  50. godot10 says:

    knighttown:
    Hi All.Pharmacy world has been bananas so I haven’t even turned TSN on let alone check in here or the Athletic.All that to say, this may have been discussed to death but it doesn’t seem possible that it’ll be “business as usual” for the next two years.In a hard cap world, there’s really no way to handle a drastically declining cap when contracts are guaranteed. Virtually ever team would be affected and the end result would be literally dozens or perhaps hundreds of players being buried in the AHL to save cap space.I just don’t see either the players or the league wanting that.

    I see only two ways forward:

    1. Owners agree to change delink the cap and (50%) HRR.Essentially the owners and GMs would select an arbitrary salary cap for the next 2-3 years which would allow them time to get their houses in order.Let’s say +2%, -5%, -8% for example.Owners would essentially be taking all of the COVID hit which makes this unlikely.And even the players, it would be sacrificing all of the unsigned players so that the sanctity of the signed players’ contracts stand.

    2. Some sort of agreement that allows Cap non-compliance and new contracts to be signed but that also includes a temporary rollback of existing player contracts.

    My question; since I’ve not been plugged in, what conversations are being had relating to these topics?

    Escrow is the already built-in mechanism to reconcile cap dollars with the actual real dollars of HRR.

    Flat cap. Escrow at 50-75% with escrow slowing declining year over years for the next decade as revenues recovers.

    This is much preferable to an actual salary rollback.

  51. ArmchairGM says:

    meanashell11:
    ArmchairGM,

    Where are you going to store it!

    Your backyard.

  52. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think Holland was likely to bridge Bear even before the economic landscape changed and we were looking at a camp around $84M.I think its almost a surety now and I think it will come in around $2.5M and am excited about how much of a value contract we might have for the next year or two. Similar to Jones whose $850K contract is going to be a huge value contract for 2 years.

    There will be a ton of goalies, with varying pedigrees, available on the free agent market as well as the trade market (i.e. teams like NYR, ARI with 3 NHL goalies).

    We know that Coach T. likes Smith and Holland must as well as he did sign him, however, I would hope that Holland looks for another option – a more consistent 1B option that could also be a longer term option. As far as established, Griess would be a great option although likely too expensive.

    A trade for a goalie like DeSmith (or similar) would be a solid bet as well – acquisition cost couldn’t be too expensive.

    There is one more year until the ELCs of Wells and Skinner expire along with the KHL contract of Konovalov – perhaps one of those three is an option for 2021/22.

    I do see Smith being re-signed, unfortunately, and I don’t imagine he’ll take a base for less than the $2M he made this year (as a base) – I don’t like it but I can see it happening.

    If the cap goes down or stays flat I think Smith will have to sign for less than 2 million.
    If he wants a job.

  53. godot10 says:

    Darth Tu:
    What about Jurco? I just realised I forgot all about him.

    He keeps breaking. Nice skills, but he is never available because he is always hurt. Injury risk is far to high to sign him again.

  54. ArmchairGM says:

    defmn: I assume they are just going to blow up the trans mountain pipeline on the other side of the B.C. border and let it spill into the Fraser River as predicted by so many of our neighbours to the west.

    Too much?

    That way we could situate a couple of refineries in Delta where they can just scoop it out of the river…

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Forbort got a 4th and he’s half the player Russell is. I’m 100% sure Russell is trade-able this summer after his bonus is paid out. There will be several teams that need defensive help and who are operating on a budget (probably more teams than previously thought due to COVID-related revenue decline) and who won’t care much about the cap hit. Russell gets paid just $1.5M for the final year of his deal.

    For sure, for financial reasons, teams may be interested in a player that has a lower cash outlay vis-a-vis his cap hit, but I still think there will be very few of these teams.

    I mean the vast majority of teams still have the upper cap limit as their main issue and, without any retainment, Rusty is still a $4M cap hit no matter what the physical cash outlay may be.

    Let me know if I’m missing something but the situations that make Rusty’s contract attractive are:

    1) cash poor teams that need cap to get to the floor; and

    2) cash poor teams that may not need help getting to the floor but have excess cap room and think Rusty will be a help to their team.

    I’m not sure there are any teams in box 1.

    There could be a couple in box 2 but how many?

    Of those in box 2, how many will be on Rusty’s list?

    I’m not saying it can’t happen but that I don’t think there are a ton of realistic options out there,

  56. Harpers Hair says:

    Some spitballing here on what the new US TV deal might look like…about $450 million/year.

    https://frntofficesport.com/nhl-tv/

    Considering 36.6% of NHL revenue comes from ticket sales and revenue was just over 5 billon last season, that means the new TV deal won’t likely cover the lost ticket revenue.

    I would also imagine teams will have to drop ticket prices (market dependant) to get financially strapped fans back into season tickets and luxury suites.

    Not going to be pretty.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn:
    I see you have Bouchard at $1,627,500 but Capfriendly has him at $894,167 with maximum bonuses of $500,000 for a total of $1,394,167.

    And, of course, Lagesson will need a new contract but I think you are right that it won’t be for much of a raise.

    That $6.5 mil in dead cap space sure sticks out like a sore thumb but I think they have to bite the bullet again this year and say goodbye to Neal.

    Don’t forget about Bouch’s $92,500 signing bonus.

    Lagesson should come in under Jones – probably $775K or $800K.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: The only likely mistake on the Kassian deal is term, and that remains to be seen if it’s a mistake at all.

    Lots of Oilers fans would happily trade assets to Toronto for Andreas Johnsson, and he has had far worse results than Kassian despite playing like 75% of the time with Matthews-Nylander, with his next most common center Tavares.

    I would posit the 4th year was added to get the AAV down – I think a 3 year deal could have been done but the AAV would be closer to $4M.

    As far as compliance buyouts – don’t see those as an option if they go with the artificially inflated cap – the owners are already taking risk – essentially deferring their full 50% from the current season and next season.

    Neal is a no-brainer buyout and so is Rusty if he can’t be moved clean in a compliance buyout world – a world I don’t foresee mind you.

    This is assuming Katz would even authorize the buyouts – that’s no foregone conclusion anymore in my opinion.

  59. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    godot10: Escrow is the already built-in mechanism to reconcile cap dollars with the actual real dollars of HRR.

    Flat cap.Escrow at 50-75%with escrow slowing declining year over years for the next decade as revenues recovers.

    This is much preferable to an actual salary rollback.

    – I’ve thought about this a bit. While I don’t have all the numbers per se, for the purpose of examing the NHL as a business, on this blog in a 5 minute rambling post, , I’m pretty confident I get the parameters big picture. Don’t respond with nitpicks on percentages: its the big picture that I’m illustrating

    – Between the CBC and US deals, each team gets approx. $20MM of revs

    – 40% of NHL revs is gate tickets

    – For simplicity, the cap of $80MM is based on total hockey revenue per team of $160MM (50/50 split). So total Hockey revenues for the league, for the purpose of salary cap are approximately $5 billion (31 teams)

    – Last year, the Oilers gate revenue was $60MMish (Vegas was the highest with $101MM, Florida the lowest with $16MM

    – When coming up with a salary cap for next year, here is what the league, and owners don’t know:

    1) Based on a $80MM cap: if $32MM on average is gate: how much of that is coming back?

    2) What amount are the networks going to withhold from thier $20MM/team commitmments, given advertising has fallen off a cliff, down I’ve read 80% plus in the US

    3) Assuming they could play hockey in arenas with patrons starting in the fall, what is the new price point for those suckers?

    – Here’s my best estimates:

    1) Gate revenue drops to $20MM (just a normal drip like any business, and less money spent)
    2) Networks end up giving 80% of thier commitmments: so $16MM/team

    – So this works out to a $16MM min. drop in Hockey revs (all in USD$, and good luck Canada teams with 60 cent dollar and USD$ expenses, but that’s another article).

    a) Are players going to accept that they have a $80MM cap and 20% of that goes into escrow at a min?

    b) Does the league want to take that “risk” or are they going to ask for a 40% escrow, because gate might fall by 50%

    c) What if they play games with no fans: then you are asking that players escrow 60% of their salary +, becasue the league has no visibiity on revenue. And as an owner: that’s the deal I’d do with my workers, and if they don’t like it, too bad

    d) How many teams lose cash on cash money under these scenarios?

    – The players have no leverage. Playing hockey in empty areans is very difficult to get to a viable revenue number that makes sense

    – Anyway, these are some thoughts. A sports/business writer ought to do this on a comprehensive level, have multiple articles exploring all of this: that would be a fascinating read, and give us all a better understaning of the issues, much more than reading: “Gretzky hopeful for hockey this summer”

    – Are players salaries “guaranteed” next year: i.e does Conner pull in his $12.5MM regardless of if there is hockey, or the league is running financially impaired: if so that’s pretty disgusting and gross of these athletes, when everyone in the real world is getting fired, accpeting less, doing more.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Eh Team: Buying out Neal is an obvious move.

    Katz may not agree.

    I’m not positive he would agree to do it even in a compliance buyout scenario.

    Not that he’s given any reason to make me think that he won’t – he’s spent every penny he can over the years to help the team (firing and paying multiple GMs and multiple coaches at once, buying players out, paying large NHL salaries for players to play in the AHL, etc.).

    With that said, although there is cost savings over time with a buyout, it’s still paying large sums to dispose of an asset, paying a player not to play for you. There is a new economic environment in the world and we don’t know what it will look like. I’m sure Katz will continue to “afford” to be able to write that cheque but I’m not so sure he’ll leap to do it any longer.

  61. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: Don’t forget about Bouch’s $92,500 signing bonus.

    Lagesson should come in under Jones – probably $775K or $800K.

    Signing bonus is included in the $894,167 though, is it not? Only the performance bonuses sit outside the cap I thought.
    I see now, looking closer that the $500,000 in performance bonuses increase to $850,000 max for next year so the numbers make sense. I originally just looked at the bonuses for this year.

    Thanks.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: And I would argue that the Chiasson contract really didn’t look that bad until the Neal/Lucic deal. Up until then Chiasson was going to be the net front guy on the PP1 I believe.

    Not ideal but really not that big a deal either imo. He is paid like a 3rd line winger and he stands in front of the net on the PP. And he is capable of settling things down when they get rough. Not sure $2.15 buys you much more than that in today’s NHL.

    Not liking the player type is one thing but the contract is not out of line with the market for a UFA with his skill set.

    Paid like a 3rd line winger put produces like a 4th line winger (including multiple chances with some of the most elite forwards in the game). 0.87 P/60 this year. (3 previous years were between 1.25 and 1.28 – going four years back to Ottawa he was at 0.79).

    Anyways, his contract isn’t egregious given his help on the PP but its just damn tough to find a place to put him at evens – he can’t play in the top 6 and he can’t really play in the bottom 6 either in my opinion. Really tough to have him and Neal in the lineup at the same time – yes, I acknowledge the contract was signed before Lucic was acquired.

    Oh, as an aside, while a bigger guy, I don’t see Chiasson settling anything down. He’s not physical at all out there in my opinion – too slow to get any bangs in.

    10th among forwards it hits/60 (14th overall).

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dee Dee:
    The world has changed.

    Sports have changed.

    Current contracts were signed BC (Before Covid) and if the sport wants to survive it will have to change.

    No one will be sitting in stadiums this fall and will not be until a cure is found.

    Games will be played in empty arenas.

    Empty arenas = Drop in revenue.

    Drop in revenue = reductionin players salaries.

    The League in order to survive will be forced to reduce players salaries by some percentage, calculated by the % drop of revenue from not having bums in seats in the arenas.

    25%? I don’t know, calculations will have to be performed.

    Higher fee’s for watching on TV will offset it somewhat.

    Yes the players have a union and a contract but the choice will be come back under the new plan and accept cuts or sit at home and don’t play.

    The world has changed and Athletes and Musicians and Actors will discover this.

    The drop in salaries doesn’t have to be “documented” by a roll-back in existing contracts – it can be done via the flat cap (artificial) combined with crazy escrow, even upwards of 30%.

    To the extent revenues are that far down, the owners may claim the entire 30% to get to their 50% of HRR.

    High escrow combined with an artificially inflated cap is essentially a cut in salary but it allows to the league to keep a similar “salary structure” as it hits current and future contracts.

    A direct cut to existing contracts would need to come with a market change in future contracts, even those being signed right now and this “off-season”. Its a more complicated mechanism

    In my opinion.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    As of right now I’d rather see Ennis brought back rather than Haas (whom I still have time for).He brings a more complete game and can play up and down the line up.They would be at a similar price point too.At this stage he’s a vet, and would be a solid mentor for the likes of KY and Benson.Local boy to boot.And I’d far rather have Ennis back over Samwise.Sorry Gags.Too slow.

    JP remains a (luxurious) fantasy.I’d like, no love, to see him come back and thrive, but that outcome remains foggy from my vantage.

    The soft goaltender target I’ve got in mind is Aaron Dell.He’s not too expensive, and did pretty well in SJS considering the tire fire of a year they had.He’s the right age that he could stick around for a while if he’s a fit.Semi-local being from Cochrane.I bet he could be signed for ~$2.25-2.5Mx2.That would set up a nice competition with MK for the starter’s job and contract extension, while also having a goalie to expose for expansion.

    While my heart wants to see KRusty dealt somewhere for a 4th round pick (similar value as Frolik to BUF) I know it’s a tough sell.However, Kenny the Grinder has pulled a rabbit out of his top hat before.I agree with LT that if #4 is unable to be traded (market or NTC be damned) then Benning is more likely to be dealt.I’d rather not as I believe he’s more valuable on the team and in the market.

    Regarding Neal, I would love to see a clean disposition – that would be a material boon to the teams fortunes.However, that’s more unlikely than my 4th for #4.He’s probably around another year to see if his value can be resuscitated and if not, a buyout may follow.That’s not optimal, and I’d rather see him traded with up to 50% salary retained to avoid the extra years of penalty counting toward the cap.Even with a mild to moderate sweetener, but the steeper the add the sooner the trade.

    I agree with almost all of this – great post.

    Dell would be a solid option. As I’ve said a number of times, the goalie market will be flush with options, both via free agency and trade, and the options will range for all pedigrees.

    I would hope that Holland will not rush to re-sign Mike Smith knowing there are other options out there there should be just as cheap and reasonably likely to provide more consistent, if not outright better, tending – with the potential to stick around for a few years.

    I think Ennis is a no-brainer re-sign if he’s will to continue to sign short term value contracts. He had a decent year on the whole and, if he’s looking for Archie money now, I may walk – every couple hundred grand will matter.

    Neal, well, I hate buyouts and six years of dead cap is alot of years.

    Can he be traded at 3 X $2.75M? Probably not but maybe at 2 X $2.75M if he has another year around 20 goals with some of them being at evens.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    My current roster on CapFriendly is as follows (changes frequently so I never publish):

    EDIT: borrowed ArmchairGM’s idea of Chaisson to MTL for WPG 2020 3rd, signed Erik Haula for a year.
    Benning + JP to OTT for 2020 OTT 2nd and 2020 DAL 2nd
    Kris Russell to WPG for 2022 WPG 4th

    AA ($3M) — CMD ($12.5M) — Kassian ($3.2M)
    Nuge ($6M) — Leon ($8.5M) — KY ($896,166)
    Ennis ($1M) — Haula ($3.75M) — Neal ($5.75M)
    JJ ($1.2M) — Sheahan ($1M) — Archibald ($1.5M)
    Nygard ($875k)

    Klefbom ($4.167M) — Larsson ($4.166M)
    Nurse ($5.6M) — Bear ($2.75M)
    Jones ($850k) — Green ($2.25M)
    Lagesson ($750k)

    Koskinen ($4.5M)
    Dell ($2.25M)

    Salary cap: $81,500,000
    Cap hit: $81,036,165
    Bonuses: $230,000
    Cap space: $463,835

    This leaves enough cover for Benson and Bouchard to marinate until an inevitable slump or injury.Unlikely to get a clean disposition of KRusty, I know, but that’s what I’d like to see play out.Or something along those lines.

    Solid work.

    I could nit pick on a few things where I differ on opinion (i.e think Green and Haula might be more expensive, don’t see a clean disposition of Rusty, etc.) but the issue with that lineup is we are at a 22 man roster and don’t even have the cap space to bring up a single player.

    For example, a forward gets nicked up and is going to be out say 10-12 days – we don’t even have the cap space to bring up Benson.

    Its going to be really tough to get that 3C even with a clean Rusty disposition which I think will be extremely tough.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Harpers Hair,

    Yes, it’s the traditional commodity cycle.Players at a premium at the TDL, and picks at a premium at the draft.Still though, a year of KRusty at $1.5M in real cash could be appealing to budget-conscious teams like ARI, CAR, OTT et al.

    This post here kind of helps prove my point re: Rusty.

    There are very very few teams that are “budget teams” more than they are cap teams.

    Arizona is over the cap and using LTIR relief.

    Carolina is within $1M of the cap.

    Most teams that we think of as “budget teams” are not really and they lack cap space just like the Oilers.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: Do like a number of sports particularly the NFL with no guarantied salaries. Problem solved.

    Problem solved except for agreement of the NHLPA……

    P.S. I’m not expert on the NFL salary rules but there seems to be a ton more guaranteed money out there than in the past.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darth Tu:
    What about Jurco? I just realised I forgot all about him.

    I don’t imagine he’ll be re-signed after getting sent to the AHL and missing months after having hip surgery….

  69. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: Paid like a 3rd line winger put produces like a 4th line winger (including multiple chances with some of the most elite forwards in the game).0.87 P/60 this year. (3 previous years were between 1.25 and 1.28 – going four years back to Ottawa he was at 0.79).

    Anyways, his contract isn’t egregious given his help on the PP but its just damn tough to find a place to put him at evens – he can’t play in the top 6 and he can’t really play in the bottom 6 either in my opinion. Really tough to have him and Neal in the lineup at the same time – yes, I acknowledge the contract was signed before Lucic was acquired.

    Oh, as an aside, while a bigger guy, I don’t see Chiasson settling anything down.He’s not physical at all out there in my opinion – too slow to get any bangs in.

    10th among forwards it hits/60 (14th overall).

    I don’t really think PPG for bottom six wingers is as important as goals. Nobody thinks Chiasson is a playmaker. He was 7th in goals for the Oilers this year – tied with Yamomoto in about 38 more games but still in the 3rd line range for this team. You have to look at the context of the team he plays for but he was 9th in points.

    I have no idea why you think hits has anything to do with settling down other teams when they are taking liberties. I don’t see any correlation whatsoever.

    As currently constituted the Oilers have very few guys who have the size and inclination to stand up for their teammates if the going gets dirty. I know there is a feeling for some that that isn’t all that important anymore but Its funny that the skill players always say it is for them. Chaisson, Khaira, Kassian and Sheahan – if they sign him – are really the only guys like that up front. Nurse is really the only one on the back end.

    I know Chaisson is slow. I know the league is getting faster. Call me old fashioned – I still take Doan over Kelly in a re-draft. I like a mix of player types in my version of balance.

  70. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: I don’t really think PPG for bottom six wingers is as important as goals. Nobody thinks Chiasson is a playmaker. He was 7th in goals for the Oilers this year – tied with Yamomoto in about 38 more games but still in the 3rd line range for this team. You have to look at the context of the team he plays for but he was 9th in points.

    I have no idea why you think hits has anything to do with settling down other teams when they are taking liberties. I don’t see any correlation whatsoever.

    As currently constituted the Oilers have very few guys who have the size and inclination to stand up for their teammates if the going gets dirty. I know there is a feeling for some that that isn’t all that importantanymore but Its funny that the skill players always say it is for them. Chaisson, Khaira, Kassian and Sheahan – if they sign him – are really the only guys like that up front. Nurse is really the only one on the back end.

    I know Chaisson is slow. I know the league is getting faster. Call me old fashioned – I still take Doan over Kelly in a re-draft. I like a mix of player types in my version of balance.

    STL, WSH, BOS, LAK would agree.

  71. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Those are fair points to nitpick, I’m happy to provide my thinking behind the decisions for context.

    Green – I mentioned the other day that his current market value is 50% of his AAV. I said so because he was traded for a salary dump and late round pick with half of his salary retained. In light of that, his age and declining production I don’t value him much more than $2.5-2.75×1, so I added a Covid discount. He’s been making nearly $6M since 2009. He’s not going to continue to make that much moving forward, Covid or not.

    Haula – That’s a full million dollar raise. Not sure if he’d be willing to accept it, absolutely admit that’s a big part of the fantasy element in the thought exercise. At the end of the day, the exercise is an attempt to see how numbers work in various spots. It’s largely contingent on moving Chaisson to MTL cleanly. In any event, there is room to manoeuvre for a 3C/1W if Holland can dispose of a couple/few contracts for picks, not give out hefty raises to returning players and make a couple astute UFA signings.

    Roster size/cap room – I agree, that a lengthy injury to more than one forward AND defenseman could put us in a precarious position. As it sits, there would be injury cover for one of each without having to get creative with the cap for call ups. But following that thought through, beyond the killer B’s (Benson and Bouchard) the call up role call is pretty thin. Maybe a short spell of Joe G. or Marody… possibly Malone should he return could work. Holland will have to be creative and thoughtful concerning redundancies and competition. Given the situation he was in last off season, I’m sure he’ll be able to manage well in his task.

    For what it’s worth… this is a roster that I manage on the fly. Had just made the Haula addition today so there are likely to be different iterations that will cover the call up issue. Prior to trading Chaisson to MTL I had Sheahan slotted as 3C (less ideal than having a few hundred thousand to grind in cap space) and about $2M walking around money. There are other 3C candidates (NSH comes to mind) but Haula is top of mind.

  72. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Harpers Hair,

    OriginalPouzar,

    You both present solid, and informed viewpoints.

    However, Lucic didn’t have CGY in mind and was convinced to accept a trade there.

    KRusty was asked and refused to alter his NTC list last year. His list grows by 50% ahead of next season. Perhaps another year of being asked and facing a diminished role/losing ice time to young’uns like Jones and Lagesson convinces him to be more open minded. Playing versus eating popcorn with Struds in the press box can be a powerful motivator with respect to future contract prospects.

  73. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: STL, WSH, BOS, LAK would agree.

    We are both old enough to have seen the Stanley won by every strategy you can think of. But the one thing that I think every winning team has had is a sprinkling of everything. Even the Broad Street Bullies and the 80’s Edmonton Oilers – which to me represent two of the most extreme cases of unbalanced preference for attribute – had guys who were not part of the archetype on their own team. Philly had skill and the Oilers had toughness.

    It’s important that a team have an ‘identity’ imo but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for role players. If Neal is bought out this summer just who do you think Tippett is going to tell to go stand in front of the net? And it was the same when Neal got injured this past season.

    You can’t win a war without an airforce but the airforce can’t win a war without ground troops. Or so I read somewhere once upon a time. 😉

  74. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    defmn,

    I also agree with this position.

    A strong team will be well rounded, or as our gracious host refers to, balanced. Whatever that means 😉

    I like Chiasson in that utility role, but if we had a chance to bounce him (say) to MTL for WSH’s 3rd in the upcoming draft, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Someone else could fill his role for half the cost.

    We could use another guy or two who can chuck ’em but not at the expense of league-average skill and speed. You gotta at least be a threat to score is as much applicable as you gotta be able to keep up with the play. Lucic didn’t deter anything whatsoever during his tenure, except in a couple games where he turned things around. A game against NSH in particular comes to mind. That there were so few instances when he did so proves he’s either faded that badly or that role is fading in prominence (if not outright importance). STL isn’t the biggest baddest toughest team out there, but they are all skilled and most have some sandpaper to their game. That’s the formula I lean towards.

    Right now I count: Kassian, JJ, Archibald, Chaisson, Neal, and Nurse as gritty players who can muck it up. Perhaps Lagesson next year as well. Guys like Drai and Nuge can be surprisingly/effectively physical but they’re not physical players, per se. One or two more who can be a deterrent and/or distraction would be a good thing, but not at the expense of less skill and speed.

  75. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Can you offer the fortune cookie version? Paupers like me don’t have the scratch to fulfill the subscription-based media itch.

  76. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: We are both old enough to have seen the Stanley won by every strategy you can think of. But the one thing that I think every winning team has had is a sprinkling of everything. Even the Broad Street Bulliesand the 80’s Edmonton Oilers – which to me represent two of the most extreme cases of unbalanced preference for attribute – had guys who were not part of the archetype on their own team. Philly had skill and the Oilers had toughness.

    It’s important that a team have an ‘identity’ imo but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for role players. If Neal is bought out this summer just who do you think Tippett is going to tell to go stand in front of the net? And it was the same when Neal got injured this past season.

    You can’t win a war without an airforce but the airforce can’t win a war without ground troops. Or so I read somewhere once upon a time.

    Since we’re strolling down Memory Lane, the dynasty Islanders were the epitome.

  77. defmn says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    defmn,

    I also agree with this position.

    A strong team will be well rounded, or as our gracious host refers to, balanced.Whatever that means

    I like Chiasson in that utility role, but if we had a chance to bounce him (say) to MTL for WSH’s 3rd in the upcoming draft, I’d do it in a heartbeat.Someone else could fill his role for half the cost.

    We could use another guy or two who can chuck ’em but not at the expense of league-average skill and speed.You gotta at least be a threat to score is as much applicable as you gotta be able to keep up with the play.Lucic didn’t deter anything whatsoever during his tenure, except in a couple games where he turned things around.A game against NSH in particular comes to mind.That there were so few instances when he did so proves he’s either faded that badly or that role is fading in prominence (if not outright importance).STL isn’t the biggest baddest toughest team out there, but they are all skilled and most have some sandpaper to their game.That’s the formula I lean towards.

    Right now I count: Kassian, JJ, Archibald, Chaisson, Neal, and Nurse as gritty players who can muck it up.Perhaps Lagesson next year as well.Guys like Drai and Nuge can be surprisingly/effectively physical but they’re not physical players, per se.One or two more who can be a deterrent and/or distraction would be a good thing, but not at the expense of less skill and speed.

    I have no problem with the idea of replacing Chiasson with somebody who does the job for half the money. I just remember that when he was signed there was no Neal to take his job in front of the net and the idea that Yamomoto, Bear and Jones would make substantial contributions was pie in the sky so the idea that this team could be competitive this quickly was really not even on the table. Not to mention that Kassian was thought by many to be 4th line material at best or trade bait if we could get a 4th.

    From that perspective signing Chiasson – who wanted to be here – as opposed to going looking for a different UFA for a team that few thought would be in the playoffs was a reasonable thing to do given the other more serious tire fires the roster presented.

    So I guess my objection is to the original post that started this by pointing out how terrible the Kassian, Chiasson and KRussell signings were.

    They were all UFA signings. As I pointed out yesterday and several times in the past if you don’t want overpays on the team then simply refuse to sign UFA contracts because they will all look like overpays compared to younger players.

    Of course, then, the complaint will be that the team doesn’t have enough experience which is a large part of what you get for those overpays.

    A little of this and a little of that. It makes a team rather than a collection of individuals.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: I don’t really think PPG for bottom six wingers is as important as goals. Nobody thinks Chiasson is a playmaker. He was 7th in goals for the Oilers this year – tied with Yamomoto in about 38 more games but still in the 3rd line range for this team. You have to look at the context of the team he plays for but he was 9th in points.

    I have no idea why you think hits has anything to do with settling down other teams when they are taking liberties. I don’t see any correlation whatsoever.

    As currently constituted the Oilers have very few guys who have the size and inclination to stand up for their teammates if the going gets dirty. I know there is a feeling for some that that isn’t all that importantanymore but Its funny that the skill players always say it is for them. Chaisson, Khaira, Kassian and Sheahan – if they sign him – are really the only guys like that up front. Nurse is really the only one on the back end.

    I know Chaisson is slow. I know the league is getting faster. Call me old fashioned – I still take Doan over Kelly in a re-draft. I like a mix of player types in my version of balance.

    Sure, hits aren’t correlated with settling things down but I was trying to find some sort of statistical basis for the position that Chiasson does settle down other teams when taking liberties as, by memory, I don’t recall that even a little bit on the ice.

    As I said, the contract isn’t egregious due to PP work but, other than that, I just don’t agree with the positive attributes that you were positing.

    That’s OK, we can see it differently.

  79. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: Since we’re strolling down Memory Lane, the dynasty Islanders were the epitome.

    Yeah, they were a powerhouse but to me when I think of ‘team identity’ I see the Oilers as the ‘skill’ archetype and the Bullies as the ‘tough’ archetype whereas the Islanders were really balanced top to bottom, no?

    All three had all the elements but I remember the Islanders as being a smoother version of balance if that makes sense.

  80. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Paid like a 3rd line winger put produces like a 4th line winger (including multiple chances with some of the most elite forwards in the game). 0.87 P/60 this year. (3 previous years were between 1.25 and 1.28 – going four years back to Ottawa he was at 0.79).

    Anyways, his contract isn’t egregious given his help on the PP but its just damn tough to find a place to put him at evens – he can’t play in the top 6 and he can’t really play in the bottom 6 either in my opinion. Really tough to have him and Neal in the lineup at the same time – yes, I acknowledge the contract was signed before Lucic was acquired.

    Oh, as an aside, while a bigger guy, I don’t see Chiasson settling anything down. He’s not physical at all out there in my opinion – too slow to get any bangs in.
    10th among forwards it hits/60 (14th overall).

    I’ll add to DEFMN’s argument by saying:

    1) 1.25-1.28 P/60 IS 3rd line scoring. As you say… that was his scoring rate in the 3 years leading up to his being paid like a 3rd liner.

    2) Likewise, his 29 5v5 even strength goals (in the 3 yrs leading up to his deal) actually put him in low-end 2nd line territory (29 goals was tied for 158th in the NHL).

    3) AND “he can’t really play in the bottom 6″… The 5v5 GF% for Oiler forwards (>300 minutes) this season went:
    Yamamoto 68%
    Nuge 58%
    Kassian 53%
    Draisaitl 53%
    Chiasson 53%
    McDavid 52%
    A bunch of guys under 50%

    Chiasson’s most common line mates were (everyone over 100 minutes): Haas, Neal, Nuge, Gagner, Khaira, Nygard. How many of those guys were over 50%?

    I’d likely remove his contract from the roster if I could, but I don’t see the angst people have for paying him $2.15M, even if he only scored 0.84 P/60 this year.

  81. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    defmn,

    Agreed, other than the second KRusty contract. It was about a million too much and a year too long the moment it was signed. Pete was negotiating against nobody but himself at that time (pre-July 1st) and knew the player’s publicly stated preference to stay in Alberta. The fLames weren’t signing him. The fact that trade protection was included is the knife being twisted after a thousand paper cuts.

    And Chaisson was paid too much in AAV and term. If he wanted two years to sign he should have been paid $1.5M tops. Connolly was a better target to ‘overpay’ in term and dollars; the spread between player and team weren’t so severe that we needed Chaisson first. His signing could have waited a few days to fill in the roster from top down instead of bottom up. It was unwise to overpay him off a career high (half) year with a predictably unsustainable PP-driven shooting percentage.

  82. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sure, hits aren’t correlated with settling things down but I was trying to find some sort of statistical basis for the position that Chiasson does settle down other teams when taking liberties as, by memory, I don’t recall that even a little bit on the ice.

    As I said, the contract isn’t egregious due to PP work but, other than that, I just don’t agree with the positive attributes that you were positing.

    That’s OK, we can see it differently.

    If we all saw everything the same the comment section would be pretty boring. 😉

    Stats do a great job of revealing some things and not so much in other areas.

    Back in the dark ages I can remember a class where some anthropologist couldn’t figure out why the biggest, toughest chimpanzee in the group only fought about one tenth as often as the other males.

    Sometimes you just have to swing by the other team’s bench and let them know there is no point in sending anybody else out to cause trouble. But you need to look dangerous in order to carry it off.

    Chiasson does present a logistics problem in placing him because you can’t have another slow guy on the ice at the same time he is out there. But, of course, that is true of Yamomoto as well. You can’t have him playing with a guy like Gaudreau on a line.

    If Chiasson ends up on the 4th line with PP time and gets 12 – 15 goals I have no problem with the contract. I think he was in that range this season.

  83. defmn says:

    The daily ray of hope.

    Successful MERS Vaccine In Mice May Hold Promise For COVID-19 Vaccine

    https://news360.com/article/526202131

  84. jp says:

    I guess todays post and discussion is all about the holes on the Oilers roster, who could fill them, who could be moved to make space.

    I’d like to point out that it’s a relatively big deal that Holland doesn’t need to go find a starting goalie this off season. Sure we’d still like a 1B who can play 30+ games but Koskinen (and Smith for that matter) didn’t shat the bed.

    And it ran a bit under the radar but Koskinen’s final numbers were really quite good. First the numbers for Koskinen and Smith:
    Koskinen 38 18-13-3 2.75 .917
    Smith —- 39 19-12-6 2.95 .902

    League SV% rankings.
    30+ games (45 goalies)
    Koskinen 12th
    Smith —- 36th

    35+ games (30 goalies)
    Koskinen 6th
    Smith —- 25th

    Koskinen 6th among the 30 most-used goalies. That’s pretty damn impressive. Chiarelli may not have f-ed that one up after all.

    But back to the original point, I think Koskinen can start more games than his battery mate next season. And being able to find a caddy-mate for $2M-$3M vs a starter replacement for $5M+ sure makes Holland’s summer easier.

  85. defmn says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    defmn,

    Agreed, other than the second KRusty contract.It was about a million too much and a year too long the moment it was signed.Pete was negotiating against nobody but himself at that time (pre-July 1st) and knew the player’s publicly stated preference to stay in Alberta.The fLames weren’t signing him.The fact that trade protection was included is the knife being twisted after a thousand paper cuts.

    And Chaisson was paid too much in AAV and term.If he wanted two years to sign he should have been paid $1.5M tops.Connolly was a better target to ‘overpay’ in term and dollars; the spread between player and team weren’t so severe that we needed Chaisson first.His signing could have waited a few days to fill in the roster from top down instead of bottom up.It was unwise to overpay him off a career high (half) year with a predictably unsustainable PP-driven shooting percentage.

    The speculation, though, is always based upon the assumption that better players like Connolly were willing to sign with a team that virtually nobody thought would be in the playoffs for several years.

    I think such a position has little historical support. 😉

  86. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    defmn,

    By my (often faulty) memory, the issue wasn’t AAV, it was that FLA offered an extra year of term and Connolly had to decide right then and there without issuing a counter offer to other GMs to leverage the best deal.

  87. defmn says:

    jp:
    I guess todays post and discussion is all about the holes on the Oilers roster, who could fill them, who could be moved to make space.

    I’d like to point out that it’s a relatively big deal that Holland doesn’t need to go find a starting goalie this off season. Sure we’d still like a 1B who can play 30+ games but Koskinen (and Smith for that matter) didn’t shat the bed.

    And it ran a bit under the radar but Koskinen’s final numbers were really quite good. First the numbers for Koskinen and Smith:
    Koskinen 38 18-13-3 2.75 .917
    Smith —- 39 19-12-6 2.95 .902

    League SV% rankings.
    30+ games (45 goalies)
    Koskinen 12th
    Smith —- 36th

    35+ games (30 goalies)
    Koskinen 6th
    Smith —- 25th

    Koskinen 6th among the 30 most-used goalies. That’s pretty damn impressive. Chiarelli may not have f-ed that one up after all.

    But back to the original point, I think Koskinen can start more games than his battery mate next season. And being able to find a caddy-mate for $2M-$3M vs a starter replacement for $5M+ sure makes Holland’s summer easier.

    Nice post. A lot fewer holes this summer than last and a year of evaluation in the memory bank.

    For example I would bet that by now Holland and Tippett have a much stronger understanding of how Woodcroft evaluates players and therefore they are pretty sure whether or not to pencil – not ink – Benson into the lineup for next season. Same for Lagesson and Bouchard.

    Having that confidence in your farm team HC is huge for planning imo.

    If Koskinen is good for 50 games that is also something that they didn’t have any idea about going into last season. I know they had Gretzky there but it isn’t quite the same as first hand knowledge.

  88. defmn says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    defmn,

    By my (often faulty) memory, the issue wasn’t AAV, it was that FLA offered an extra year of term and Connolly had to decide right then and there without issuing a counter offer to other GMs to leverage the best deal.

    Yeah, I remember a story but I tend to put less stock in the ‘reason’ than the action. He chose Florida. How he explained it in public is kind of not that important to me.

    I say all sorts of things after I’ve done what I wanted to do so that I don’t burn bridges or make waves. I assume most people do.

    I would have chosen Florida if I were him too.

  89. hunter1909 says:

    defmn: Back in the dark ages I can remember a class where some anthropologist couldn’t figure out why the biggest, toughest chimpanzee in the group only fought about one tenth as often as the other males.

    The story of civilized mankind. Some boffin who possesses everything, unable to make sense of his inferiors.

  90. jp says:

    defmn: Nice post. A lot fewer holes this summer than last and a year of evaluation in the memory bank.

    For example I would bet that by now Holland and Tippett have a much stronger understanding of how Woodcroft evaluates players and therefore they are pretty sure whether or not to pencil – not ink – Benson into the lineup for next season. Same for Lagesson and Bouchard.

    Having that confidence in your farm team HC is huge for planning imo.

    If Koskinen is good for 50 games that is also something that they didn’t have any idea about going into last season. I know they had Gretzky there but it isn’t quite the same and first hand knowledge.

    My goodness, what a difference this summer will be for Holland vs last summer (the unexpected covid/cap-related challenges notwithstanding).

    But yes, the pipeline is there and working. He knows the team and players.

    Yamamoto and Bear are now filling core roles. Jones looks like he should play every day.

    Koskinen is at least a 1A (if not a 60 game starter).

    Kassian has 100+ games as (mostly) McDavid winger vs only 40. Plus a new deal.

    AA is in place now as a likely top 6 winger.

    Archibald and Nygard have contracts.

    This time last year the Oilers forward depth chart looked like:
    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Lucic-Nuge-Gagner
    Khaira-Brodziak-Puljujarvi

    Good Lord. The Oilers roster is in a better place. Even if there’s a flat cap and no compliance buyouts.

  91. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn: Yeah, I remember a story but I tend to put less stock in the ‘reason’ than the action. He chose Florida. How he explained it in public is kind of not that important to me.

    I say all sorts of things after I’ve done what I wanted to do so that I don’t burn bridges or make waves. I assume most people do.

    I would have chosen Florida if I were him too.

    And Florida has no state income tax.

    No brainer.

  92. Genjutsu says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I think there will be more teams that would like the structure of Russell’s contract next season than normal due to reduced revenue and general financial difficulties.

    I also think that Edmonton has an owner that will be more motivated to spend cash on compliance buyouts than most due to recent health issues and general want to see the team have success in the short term.

    Just speculation on my part but I think Rusty gets traded for a pick clean and the real deal gets a compliance buyout.

  93. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair: And Florida has no state income tax.

    No brainer.

    Yeah. That too.

  94. defmn says:

    jp: My goodness, what a difference this summer will be for Holland vs last summer (the unexpected covid/cap-related challenges notwithstanding).

    But yes, the pipeline is there and working. He knows the team and players.

    Yamamoto and Bear are now filling core roles. Jones looks like he should play every day.

    Koskinen is at least a 1A (if not a 60 game starter).

    Kassian has 100+ games as (mostly) McDavid winger vs only 40. Plus a new deal.

    AA is in place now as a likely top 6 winger.

    Archibald and Nygard have contracts.

    This time last year the Oilers forward depth chart looked like:
    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Lucic-Nuge-Gagner
    Khaira-Brodziak-Puljujarvi

    Good Lord. The Oilers roster is in a better place. Even if there’s a flat cap and no compliance buyouts.

    Yup, progress.

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    Genjutsu:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I think there will be more teams that would like the structure of Russell’s contract next season than normal due to reduced revenue and general financial difficulties.

    I also think that Edmonton has an owner that will be more motivated to spend cash on compliance buyouts than most due to recent health issues and general want to see the team have success in the short term.

    Just speculation on my part but I think Rusty gets traded for a pick clean and the real deal gets a compliance buyout.

    I understand the financial premise of why some budget teams could be interested in Rusty’s contract but, at the same time, the cap is the cap and the majority of the league has upper cap limit crunches – even two posited budget teams – ARI and CAR – upper cap limit issues.

    A $4M cap hit for a 3rd pairing d-man isn’t something many teams can fit in.

  96. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: A $4M cap hit for a 3rd pairing d-man isn’t something many teams can fit in.

    I’d like Russell moved as much as the next guy (OK, not as much as some, but I do agree he’s overpaid for the role he plays and could be replaced by Jones without much/any drop-off).

    But how hard is it to make a case for Russell being a top 4 D? Certainly a number of LT posters have been defenders of his. And I myself don’t dislike him as much as some do. Is it possible that NHL GMs might view him as a top 4, worth $4M or close to it?

    First, $4M was the 85th-90th cap hit for D this season, so he’s paid as a borderline 3/4D. Most (I think) see him as a 4/5D.

    So, TOI. He was #78 in 5v5 TOI over the past 3 years. A #3D by TOI.

    In on ice GF-GA he was -9 over 3 yrs (47.8%). Nothing special but this is with a team that was 46.8% at 5v5 over the same span, so he was positive relative to team.

    Ricki (among others) has enjoyed reminding us that Russell is a good defender. His GA/60 was 48th of 168 D to play 2000 5v5 minutes over the past 3 years (just shy of 6D X 31 teams).

    He also got the 45th (of the 168 D) most difficult zone starts. He was #4, #4 and #5 D on the Oilers in %TOI vs elites so not overly sheltered.

    He’s also been a major penalty killer (64th in the league in total minutes over 3 years). But he has not been good by GA rates.
    (the PK numbers are interesting though – of the 127 D with 250+ minutes [~4 per team] Russell is 5th worst in GA/60. Damn. But he’s also 4th worst in on ice SV% and middle of the pack in SA/60 [74th]. He was clearly the best Oilers in all PK “against” metrics this season except for GA. I don’t think he’s a bad penalty killer despite the GA number).

    He was #3 in total blocked shots and #1 in blocks/60 among regulars over the last 3 years. Some don’t like the stat, some do. At minimum it speaks to Russell being willing to sacrifice himself for his teammates.

    Now for a fun one. Russell actually scores a bit. He was 97th among D in 5v5 points over the last 3 years. He’s no Paul Coffey, but he does put up a few points (2nd among Oilers D in this period behind Nurse, and ahead of Klefbom and Larsson even in /60 rates).

    Sorry for the long Kris Russell post. Just trying to figure out how likely it is that someone will trade for/pay for his services for next season. You can make an argument for the player, I think. A trade without money retained doesn’t seem far fetched at all from here.

  97. Genjutsu says:

    OriginalPouzar: I understand the financial premise of why some budget teams could be interested in Rusty’s contract but, at the same time, the cap is the cap and the majority of the league has upper cap limit crunches – even two posited budget teams – ARI and CAR – upper cap limit issues.

    A $4M cap hit for a 3rd pairing d-man isn’t something many teams can fit in.

    This assumes that the cap structure will be the same as it is today and that as many teams as are today will be willing to spend to the cap.

    I’m of the mind that neither will be the case.

    The hockey world much like virtually everything else in life is going to change.

  98. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jp,

    Stellar post.

    I think that a GM in favour of acquiring Cowboy can make a numbers based case for the trade; one who’s against his services can also make a statistically based argument to support his position. So not all that different from the eye test.

    I think it is going to come down more than just AAV-vs-salary, stats, boxcars, roster need, character, style, seen-em-good, grits, ownership pressure, etc. This trade, if consummated, will come about because Kenny’s a grinder.

  99. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Adam Larsson’s Oilers future uncertain as ‘sexy’ options emerge

    https://theathletic.com/1758157/2020/04/21/lowetide-adam-larssons-oilers-future-remains-uncertain-as-sexy-options-emerge/

  100. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    Kenny the grinder still needs to find a willing trade partner though. I was trying to step back a bit from our fully formed Russell opinions (and rhetoric at this point in many cases) to look at the player in a league context. This helped me, I think, see some of the things GMs considering a trade might factor in.

    Your eye test point is fair to an extent, but I don’t think there are many teams that don’t look at some form of numbers (like TOI or +/-).

  101. ArmchairGM says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    ArmchairGM,

    Can you offer the fortune cookie version?Paupers like me don’t have the scratch to fulfill the subscription-based media itch.

    You can get a free trial, you know… or 40% off with a coupon I can post here if you like. But here goes:

    *****
    Johan Larsson, Buffalo Sabres

    There are several quality arrows in Larsson’s resume. His on-ice goal differential at 5-on-5 (54.55 percent) is very strong and Puck IQ tells us he spent 250 minutes (32 percent of overall minutes) playing against elites. His line battled elite to a 7-7 goal differential; that’s a victory.

    Overall at 5-on-5, Larsson ranked No. 50 among forward in goals-against per 60, meaning he was quality in goal suppression. Edmonton needs that kind of defensive player for the bottom six.

    Larsson is not a major offensive piece (1.24 points per 60 at 5-on-5) but is a regular on the penalty kill and historically successful in the faceoff circle (some wobble in 2019-20). He could slide behind McDavid and Draisaitl and share the third and fourth line duties with Riley Sheahan.

    *****

    I see him as a 4th line center upgrade on Sheahan.

  102. OriginalPouzar says:

    Genjutsu: This assumes that the cap structure will be the same as it is today and that as many teams as are today will be willing to spend to the cap.

    I’m of the mind that neither will be the case.

    The hockey world much like virtually everything else in life is going to change.

    Looks like cap structure will be similar (escrow to make up the delta over time) – although no sure thing.

    Its not that teams may not be willing to spend to the cap – they are already there – teams have commitments – sure there are free agent to re-sign, etc. but most teams will not be able to take on a $4MM 6th/7th d-man.

    And, to JP’s post above – I haven’t had time to read it all – seems well researched with plenty of info and I will read it later. I will say that Coach T. and Coach P. did everything they can not to play Rusty in the top 4. They played Persson at 2RD and didn’t move Rusty there during Larsson’s absence until they absolutely had to. They played Jones at 2LD over Rusty when Klef was hurt. The current coaching staff clearly see Rusty as a 3rd pairing guy plus PK.

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