Jones and Bear change the equation

by Lowetide

The genesis of the current Oilers defensive depth chart came in 2011, when Oscar Klebfom (Edmonton) and Adam Larsson (New Jersey) were chosen in the first round. Two years later, with Craig MacTavish replacing Steve Tambellini, the club drafted Darnell Nurse in the top-10 overall. The three high picks would eventually get together when Larsson was acquired from the Devils in June of 2016.

However, a major event occurred at the 2015 draft, when Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear were drafted. Jones arrived later in the 2019-20 season and gave the team some quality option for roster construction moving forward. The Edmonton Oilers have achieved depth and balance. What does that mean? Ken Holland can anticipate moving an quality, established blue to acquire an asset that addresses an area of need.

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.

OILERS 2020-21

Let’s say the Oilers decide to retain the five names mentioned above and then hold a draft weekend auction for the extra players. Keepers are Klefbom-Larsson, Nurse-Bear and then Jones No. 5, all others are dangled.

That means Kris Russell, Mike Green and Matt Benning could be shopped, or at least Russell and Benning (Green is a free agent). William Lagesson could also be made available, he’s waiver eligible next season (2020-21).

If Holland trades Russell and Benning, signs Green and Lagesson wins the No. 7D job, that might save $2 million or more off the cap. Klefbom-Larsson, Nurse-Bear, Jones-Green and Lagesson could cost $20.5 million or thereabouts. Inexpensive contracts for Bear, Jones and Lagesson, plus the trades of Russell and Benning, ease the new Nurse cap number and the Mike Green deal. It works, but only because of Jones and Bear (plus Lagesson if he isn’t dealt). The question I have today is this:

Who is going to play defense in Bakersfield?

50-MAN LIST [36]

I have deleted Cam Hebig and Nolan Vesey, along with Broberg, Berglund and now Samorukov. There are too few players here by some margin. The Oilers will keep 14 forwards, there are 20 here. Edmonton will keep 7 defensemen, leaving five for the Condors, plus three goalies.

I’m not sure the Oilers will sign a complete group of minor leaguers because the season may be shorter by some margin. I think we might see a lot of NHL-AHL tweeners spend a long time unsigned because of uncertainty about the AHL season. Placing prospects where they’re likely to see game action may be the key, and in that light the Samorukov move makes sense.

83 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
83 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: If Russell is excellent in the playoffs he won’t want to go anywhere.

Doesn’t matter if one of the 15 teams he has to list want him. Doesn’t matter the return the added cap is the prize. ?

jp

JimmyV1965: We are so so lucky to have McDavid and Drai, the best one-two punch in the league for possibly the next decade. Hell, RNH would be 1C on close to 10 teams in the league. Adding one more top 6 winger would be fabulous, but there are teams that simply can’t compete because they don’t have a legit 1C. And we have two of the best in the league.

We are indeed very lucky to have McDavid and Draisaitl.

JimmyV1965

jp: Not trying to single you out at all Buck. But “get some wingers” has been a common refrain around here for a while. Also the related idea that current Oiler wingers are not good enough to win a championship…

I agree the prospects/system is pretty bare in skill on the wing… but the actual NHL Oilers, I’m not sure they need to improve their top 6 wingers at all.

The Oilers current top 6 wingers (under control now and for next season), sorted by Pts/game:
Yamamoto 0.96
Nuge 0.94
Kassian 0.58
Athanasiou 0.47

I’ll admit that Yamamoto may not repeat 0.96 Pts/G but something in range of 0.70 Pts/game I think is reasonable (that’s roughly a 50-55 point season). Also noteworthy, Athanasiou scored 0.71 Pts/G last season. I’d say Yamamoto’s over-performance and AA’s under-performance this year likely cancel out.

So what did those same winger slots look like on recent Cup winners? Are the Oilers obviously falling short?

This is top 4 wingers for recent Cup champs by regular season Pts/G (I included the full season numbers for deadline additions like Athanasiou, Hagelin and Gaborak).

2019 – St. Louis Blues
Tarasenko 0.89
Perron 0.81
Schwartz 0.52
Thomas 0.47

2018 – Washington Capitals
Ovechkin 1.07
Oshie 0.64
Wilson 0.45
Burakovsky 0.45

2017 – Pittsburgh Penguins
Sheary 0.87
Kessel 0.85
Guentzel 0.83
Hornqvist 0.63

2016 – Pittsburgh Penguins
Kessel 0.72
Hornqvist 0.62
Kunitz 0.50
Hagelin 0.49

2015 – Chicago Blackhawks
Kane 1.05
Hossa 0.74
Saad 0.63
Sharp 0.63

2014 – LA Kings
Gaborak 0.73
Carter 0.69
Williams 0.52
Tofolli 0.47

It seems like Oilers wingers stack up pretty well by this measure.

If anyone thinks the Oilers CAN’T win a cup with Kassian and Athanasiou as top 6 wingers… I honestly have a difficult time understanding why.

(also, the Oilers guys look like they’re going to be cheap AF for 20-21, considering their production)

We are so so lucky to have McDavid and Drai, the best one-two punch in the league for possibly the next decade. Hell, RNH would be 1C on close to 10 teams in the league. Adding one more top 6 winger would be fabulous, but there are teams that simply can’t compete because they don’t have a legit 1C. And we have two of the best in the league.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: If Russell is excellent in the playoffs he won’t want to go anywhere.

What is he hardly plays in the playoffs and is passed by Jones?

Are you going to admit that you were wrong when you said an unsigned Puljujarvi could not be claimed in the expansion draft?

Yes, I’m still asking as you’ve ignored the question (and the topic) once proven wrong and, given you double downed on the point and talked down to those that tried to show you that you were wrong, I wondering if you are willing to admit the mistake?

OriginalPouzar

Kinger_Oil.redux: – Hmmm: do you read the posts, or just strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger?

Here’s what I read:

“If Holland trades Russell and Benning”

: Keepers are Klefbom-Larsson, Nurse-Bear and then Jones No. 5, all others are dangled.”

: If Benning is traded then”

–Many many comments about trading our NHL D, for other things.

– Do you readother posts, or just post whatev at this point?

: Why do you need to post with such an adversarial tone. Geez, its just Oilers talk.”

That comment of mine that you quoted wasn’t mine, it was from the blog post of the host.

Kris Russell should be moved as he is overpriced and there are better and younger players than him (arguably) and real NHL depth at the position (less arguable). Do you agree with this?

Yes, there has been talk of trading Benning but almost noone thinks that Benning should be moved without the acquisition of a replacement, be it Mike Green or another to put a gap between 3RD and Bouchard.

It seems the trades of NHL players are essentially when there are other NHL players taking their spots, no?

Harpers Hair

Reja: If Holland eats 1.5 million on the trade before the season starts that team is essentially getting a 3rd pairing all heart D-man for free. I could see this happening in the off-season whenever that is or definitely at the trade deadline. I thought Russell played excellent in the playoffs against the Sharks and Ducks and if we go on a run and he’s a positive part of it Holland might be able to trade him outright.

If Russell is excellent in the playoffs he won’t want to go anywhere.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
I agree that its a tough contract to move. It was going to be tough pre-COVID and it will be tougher now.
At the same time, a year ago noone thought that Milan Lucic could me moved – yes we took back another anchor contract, its not like we got rid of the contract clean, but it was a clear win on and off the ice.
Point there is sometimes things happen that we didn’t think were probably at all.

I absolutely agree with this. It would be great if someone is willing to give the Oilers a 6th for Russell, and he’s willing to go there. But there are lots of other potential ways to mitigate Russell’s contract.

Attaching a draft pick or lesser prospect to him could be one way. Taking back a Russell-quality 3C (for instance Sutter, as you mention) is another. Russell isn’t useless, just overpaid, and redundant with Klefbom/Nurse/Jones/Laggeson also on hand.

Kinger_Oil.redux

OriginalPouzar: That means Kris Russell, Mike Green and Matt Benning could be shopped

– Hmmm: do you read the posts, or just strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger?

Here’s what I read:

“If Holland trades Russell and Benning”

: Keepers are Klefbom-Larsson, Nurse-Bear and then Jones No. 5, all others are dangled.”

: If Benning is traded then”

– Many many comments about trading our NHL D, for other things.

– Do you read other posts, or just post whatev at this point?

: Why do you need to post with such an adversarial tone. Geez, its just Oilers talk.”

Reja

OriginalPouzar: Why do you need to post with such an adversarial tone.Geez, its just Oilers talk.

Its not one or the other – just because some is important doesn’t mean its not hard…

I believe Holland’s number 1 off-season agenda move is trying to get rid of the Russell contract as clean as possible. Its opens up material cap space from a player that likely doesn’t even crack the healthy opening night lineup.It also creates the roster spot for Lagesson. At the same time, while Jones and Rusty have different skillsets, it improves the team as, in my opinion, the team is better with Jones and his skill-set

At the same time, I also think it’ll be a tough move to make. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Maybe there is a team with some cap space that needs a veteran guy – its only a one year commitment and, with $1M retained (not ideal), Rusty could be moveable.

Maybe there can be a deal for another bloated contract at a position of need – the Russell for Sutter deal makes alot of sense.

It doesn’t open up cap space but it fills the 3C need.Of course, Sutter comes with immense injury risk but, if he can stay healthy, he’s better than any of the current bottom 6 centers.

If Holland eats 1.5 million on the trade before the season starts that team is essentially getting a 3rd pairing all heart D-man for free. I could see this happening in the off-season whenever that is or definitely at the trade deadline. I thought Russell played excellent in the playoffs against the Sharks and Ducks and if we go on a run and he’s a positive part of it Holland might be able to trade him outright.

jp

buck yoakam:
methinks LT is referring to along came jones that the coasters did years ago…nice problem for holland to have with the sudden depth we have at defence!…now lets get some wingers!

Not trying to single you out at all Buck. But “get some wingers” has been a common refrain around here for a while. Also the related idea that current Oiler wingers are not good enough to win a championship…

I agree the prospects/system is pretty bare in skill on the wing… but the actual NHL Oilers, I’m not sure they need to improve their top 6 wingers at all.

The Oilers current top 6 wingers (under control now and for next season), sorted by Pts/game:
Yamamoto 0.96
Nuge 0.94
Kassian 0.58
Athanasiou 0.47

I’ll admit that Yamamoto may not repeat 0.96 Pts/G but something in range of 0.70 Pts/game I think is reasonable (that’s roughly a 50-55 point season). Also noteworthy, Athanasiou scored 0.71 Pts/G last season. I’d say Yamamoto’s over-performance and AA’s under-performance this year likely cancel out.

So what did those same winger slots look like on recent Cup winners? Are the Oilers obviously falling short?

This is top 4 wingers for recent Cup champs by regular season Pts/G (I included the full season numbers for deadline additions like Athanasiou, Hagelin and Gaborak).

2019 – St. Louis Blues
Tarasenko 0.89
Perron 0.81
Schwartz 0.52
Thomas 0.47

2018 – Washington Capitals
Ovechkin 1.07
Oshie 0.64
Wilson 0.45
Burakovsky 0.45

2017 – Pittsburgh Penguins
Sheary 0.87
Kessel 0.85
Guentzel 0.83
Hornqvist 0.63

2016 – Pittsburgh Penguins
Kessel 0.72
Hornqvist 0.62
Kunitz 0.50
Hagelin 0.49

2015 – Chicago Blackhawks
Kane 1.05
Hossa 0.74
Saad 0.63
Sharp 0.63

2014 – LA Kings
Gaborak 0.73
Carter 0.69
Williams 0.52
Tofolli 0.47

It seems like Oilers wingers stack up pretty well by this measure.

If anyone thinks the Oilers CAN’T win a cup with Kassian and Athanasiou as top 6 wingers… I honestly have a difficult time understanding why.

(also, the Oilers guys look like they’re going to be cheap AF for 20-21, considering their production)

OriginalPouzar

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Been busy with life, haven’t had time to enjoyr my LT indulgence lately

– Log in today: same as it ever was: Be like: Lets trade away bona fide players becasue we’ve got theseawesome new toys.See injuries, and regression, and asking players to step up as a result

–I be like: “get good players, keep good players”

– This blog be like: “trade good players and you know, get better ones, just rip off other GM’s who aren’t smart,and play the kids”

– I don’t get it

Who are people trying to trade.

Without re-reading all the comments I think there was one poster suggesting Larsson traded during next season so he’s not lost for nothing in free agency. Lots posts in favor of re-signing him.

Other player mentioned to trade was Kris Russell. Are you not in favor of trying to move that contract? Do you not think that Jones, Lagesson and Lenstrom provide sufficient cover for 3, 4 and 5 LD?

OriginalPouzar

who: So you are saying that moving Russell’s contract is a key to the offseason.
But you are also saying that trading Russell will be tough to do.
So which is it?
Do you think that the Oilers will trade Russell,and if so, what would that trade look like?

Why do you need to post with such an adversarial tone. Geez, its just Oilers talk.

Its not one or the other – just because some is important doesn’t mean its not hard…

I believe Holland’s number 1 off-season agenda move is trying to get rid of the Russell contract as clean as possible. Its opens up material cap space from a player that likely doesn’t even crack the healthy opening night lineup. It also creates the roster spot for Lagesson. At the same time, while Jones and Rusty have different skillsets, it improves the team as, in my opinion, the team is better with Jones and his skill-set

At the same time, I also think it’ll be a tough move to make. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Maybe there is a team with some cap space that needs a veteran guy – its only a one year commitment and, with $1M retained (not ideal), Rusty could be moveable.

Maybe there can be a deal for another bloated contract at a position of need – the Russell for Sutter deal makes alot of sense.

It doesn’t open up cap space but it fills the 3C need. Of course, Sutter comes with immense injury risk but, if he can stay healthy, he’s better than any of the current bottom 6 centers.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Sorry to be like OP-lite (and I love OP), wth multiple posts invading. But I add this from Fauci. For the record, I was wrong about Hockey, I thought for sure it was doen for the season. I really hope this convoluted multi-hub system doesn’t blow up on the NHL.

– The NBA (Let’s go Raptors), seems way more sensible and medical and science based than this multl-hub thingy the NHL is pitching:

“I actually have looked at that plan and it’s really quite creative what they are really trying to do — and I think they might very well be successful with it — is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble. Essentially testing everybody, make sure that you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure that there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament-type play.

“It’s not the classic basketball season, but certainly for the people who are thirsting for basketball [and] who love basketball the way I do, it’s something that I think is a sound plan. I was very pleased to see that the intent was not reckless at all. They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players and the people associated with the players was paramount. So I think that you might be able to do something like that with basketball. Could you extrapolate that to some of the other sports possibly? I think they should look at that model, see how it works, and then take it from there. Maybe modifications of that for some of the other sports.”

Kinger_Oil.redux

godot10: hould go for “safer” cities bu

– Indeed, money talks, hence this revised season. So certain was I that the season was cancelled

– So wrong was I. Best analogy is that the NHL is your local butcher shop: they open as soon as they can have customers pay. Of course that is what the butcher shop should do. The NHL ought to persue whatever path to revenue they can take.

– I totally called this wrong. Godot is right: money talks. Same as it ever was. I sympathize, and bought NY Strips from my butcher. Hope the NHL doesn’t screw it up

Just had an awesome NY strip, asperagus, brocolli, Cheese Garlic Bread and Home Made Ceasar with anchoives, with my kids and Mom and Dad at cottage. First meal with my parents and kids in three months. So good

– If you don’t listen to Chapelle’s searing and ripping piece, you are not engaged IMO:

https://www.vox.com/2020/6/12/21288941/dave-chappelle-846-new-special-netflix-george-floyd-police-brutality

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Been busy with life, haven’t had time to enjoyr my LT indulgence lately

– Log in today: same as it ever was: Be like: Lets trade away bona fide players becasue we’ve got these awesome new toys. See injuries, and regression, and asking players to step up as a result

– I be like: “get good players, keep good players”

– This blog be like: “trade good players and you know, get better ones, just rip off other GM’s who aren’t smart, and play the kids”

– I don’t get it

who

OriginalPouzar: I agree that its a tough contract to move.It was going to be tough pre-COVID and it will be tougher now.

At the same time, a year ago noone thought that Milan Lucic could me moved – yes we took back another anchor contract, its not like we got rid of the contract clean, but it was a clear win on and off the ice.

Point there is sometimes things happen that we didn’t think were probably at all.

Very much disagree on a Neal buyout but that conversation was talked out 3-4 days ago and doesn’t need to be re-hased.We both make points that are valid and we both disagree with each other.Its really a case of when and how long the pain should be spread.

So you are saying that moving Russell’s contract is a key to the offseason.
But you are also saying that trading Russell will be tough to do.
So which is it?
Do you think that the Oilers will trade Russell, and if so, what would that trade look like?

OriginalPouzar

Reja: All professional sporting events are going to get hit hard revenue wise the NHL is going to try recapture every dollar they can. Once the novelty of watching games gamesin a hub citywith no fans wears off I can see a huge drop in viewership unless their team is still playing. Once everything is said and done by this time next year I see 25 percent cut in pay for every player and the whole bonus structure being revisited and revised by the lawyers. The negotiations on the next contract are going to be nasty unless the doctors have produced a vaccine for the covid 19. I believe it was your predictions right from the very beginning that have rang true about hockey with nofans when the play is finally resumed.

I don’t see a salary roll back ala 2005 being agreed to (or compliance buyouts).

I think the Return to Play agreement will include the player/owners with a soft agreement on some CBA modifications on the economics going forward (which will include a flat cap for a few years and the owners clawing back the portion of the 50% they are “owed” over a few years).

We might see an extension of the CBA prior to the start of the 2020/21 season – I do agree that there may be modifications on contract length max, percent of compensation that can be signing bonuses, etc.

OriginalPouzar

who: I doubt Russell goes anywhere this off season.
Between the flat cap and his no trade list, the odds of a Russell trade are probably less than 10%.
And I don’t think adding an asset to move a 1 year contract is a good idea.
Far better to buy out Neal.

I agree that its a tough contract to move. It was going to be tough pre-COVID and it will be tougher now.

At the same time, a year ago noone thought that Milan Lucic could me moved – yes we took back another anchor contract, its not like we got rid of the contract clean, but it was a clear win on and off the ice.

Point there is sometimes things happen that we didn’t think were probably at all.

Very much disagree on a Neal buyout but that conversation was talked out 3-4 days ago and doesn’t need to be re-hased. We both make points that are valid and we both disagree with each other. Its really a case of when and how long the pain should be spread.

OriginalPouzar

godot10:
The fix seems to be in for Toronto (to placate Bell, Rogers, and Scotiabank), and Vegas (to help NHL’s profile as the NFL Raiders come to town).

The NHL should go for “safer” cities but money talks.

Money should talk though – its massively important.

It won’t look good on the league to go in to some places where COVID isn’t as under control as others (i.e. Toronto as oppossed to Edmonton) but, really, if the hubs are cut off from regular society to the extent they should be, it really shouldn’t matters.

Much of the “non-hockey staff” will need to be quarantined in the bubble as well. I’m sure there will be some hotel, restaurant, etc. staff that can go out of the bubble and back in but that should be limited to those with very little one on one contact.

I would think.

Glovjuice

Todd Macallan: The great, late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Sandy Lyle in that movie is a close second to his greatest comedic role as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. In my humble opinion at least.

Nah. Way funnier in Jack Goes Boating. Or Happiness (but this is VERY VERY dark – stomach churning). #isyourpussywet?

Oh, and Jones has NOT emerged. And, I caution RE Bear as a lock for the top four unless he is paired with Nurse (skating) forever.

jp

OriginalPouzar: I’d put Day in brackets at this point though – unsigned RFA.

I thought to do that actually. But then I’d have had to put Kuffner in brackets too…

On Day, I’ll say that IF Holland isn’t going to bring in any defensemen higher on the depth chart, Day is just sitting there to be signed. Day’s return isn’t guaranteed but I’d suggest that if he ends up not being re-signed it’s almost certainly because Holland plans to add someone better.

jp

defmn: So would I. This club has spent too many seasons anticipating development imo.

“Over ripen” should continue in the NHL until there is a 250-300 game track record imo. I have come to this conclusion slowly and painfully after watching too may projections fail to materialize.

Hear, hear!

I *think* Holland agrees.

jp

OriginalPouzar: Your points are valid but I still think that is too much AAV for a re-sign of Larsson for term.

Bear is already a proven top 4 guy.You are right, Bouchard may turn out just to be a 3RD and PP guy but I would bet on him being able to handle 2RD minutes for most of his 3 year ELC – the last couple of years.Could be wrong.

Yes, Larsson would be great cover but his next contract would need to fit in to the overall salary/cap structure of the team.

Look at Rusty, as it turns out, he wasn’t overly over-paid for his role on the team for most of his contract, however his $4MM for 3rd pairing this year (and, potentially for next) was (and could be) a killer.

Yes, even at $4MM for Larsson, that right side is quite affordable but I look at it in the overall cap structure of the team and not in a right D position isolation.I would expect Larsson to play a 3RD/PK game and be injury cover up the lineup. He will be valuable, however, $4MM is too much for that role even if the RD in aggregate is affordable – that cap space that Larsson is taking up, even the $1MM of overpay, could be used elsewhere.

Do you think $4M is an overpay for Larsson? Or only an overpay for the role you’re projecting him to play on future Oiler teams?

I don’t see it as an overplay for the player at all personally. I expect he’d get something more (term or $$) than $4M X 4 if he hits UFA. How much more I honestly don’t know… But he’s been a strong player, and taking on the toughs forever.

Just looking at PuckIQ now, he’s never spent less than 33.4% TOI vs elites in the 6 years PuckIQ tracks. He’s had a positive DFF% relative to team in 5 of the 6 seasons. He’s a very good defenseman.

On the Oilers salary structure, I agree that saving any money you can is important and that you don’t want to be paying your 3RD $4M. At the same time Larsson/Bear/Bouchard look likely to be a cheaper than average RD group that could also be extremely strong, if things break right (even if things breaking right means Larsson is the 3rd best of the 3). Maybe a little money could be saved by someone other than Larsson in that slot but it could equally give the Oilers a competitive advantage on the ice.

I guess my main 2 points are that 1) Bouchard/Bear may never actually pass Larsson (it could be argued that Bear did this year but he needs to sustain it), and 2) if his play doesn’t tank he’ll remain tradeable even if those players do pass him.

All of these are bets or guesses obviously but IMO Larsson is a very good bet to maintain his level of play for 3 or 4 more years. If so he remains useful to the Oilers OR useful to another team if Bouchard/Bear prove worthy of more minutes.

Reja

godot10:
The fix seems to be in for Toronto (to placate Bell, Rogers, and Scotiabank), and Vegas (to help NHL’s profile as the NFL Raiders come to town).

The NHL should go for “safer” cities but money talks.

All professional sporting events are going to get hit hard revenue wise the NHL is going to try recapture every dollar they can. Once the novelty of watching games games in a hub city with no fans wears off I can see a huge drop in viewership unless their team is still playing. Once everything is said and done by this time next year I see 25 percent cut in pay for every player and the whole bonus structure being revisited and revised by the lawyers. The negotiations on the next contract are going to be nasty unless the doctors have produced a vaccine for the covid 19. I believe it was your predictions right from the very beginning that have rang true about hockey with no fans when the play is finally resumed.

who

OriginalPouzar: I have been pumping Lagesson’s tires for 2-3 years now – ever since I saw him at prospects camp a few years ago and in the Penticton tournament.

I generally agree with your assessment but do think its a bit overstated.

I think he could definitely fill a 3LD role (i.e. replacing Rusty) but not Benning (moving him to the right side at the NHL level is likely not a good idea).

I do think he has second pairing upside – obviously a defence first defender similar to Larsson (not quite as mean) but he is a better skater and a decent puck mover. With more NHL reps, the game will slow down for him.

A key to the off-season, as we all know, is to move Russell’s contract. Jones occupies the 3LD spot and Lagesson starts as #7.

Injuries will happen, each of Lagesson and Bouch will get their reps.

I doubt Russell goes anywhere this off season.
Between the flat cap and his no trade list, the odds of a Russell trade are probably less than 10%.
And I don’t think adding an asset to move a 1 year contract is a good idea.
Far better to buy out Neal.

godot10

The fix seems to be in for Toronto (to placate Bell, Rogers, and Scotiabank), and Vegas (to help NHL’s profile as the NFL Raiders come to town).

The NHL should go for “safer” cities but money talks.

OriginalPouzar

defmn:
VISA extension requirements warning from the league.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhlers-need-visa-extensions-strongly-encouraged-return-june-21/

Thank you for this – I had posted a number of time over the last few months that the visa issue isn’t getting enough print.

The P1 visas that athletes get in North America expire with the contract (from what I read) and it wasn’t certain that the NHL and NHLPA agreeing to extend contracts would automatically extend the visa – that’s a government matter.

Patrick Russel, Markus Granlund are effected by this.

I’m not sure the impact for a Canadian on an expiring contract (of which the Oilers have many) going to the US for their hub city after camp in Edmonton (if that happens).

godot10

hunter1909:
Any word on the plan if/when CHAZ reaches and begins to administer the new Seattle NHL team’s arena?

Sonny and Cher must be proud that this new country has been named after their child.
#AllThatCHAZ

OriginalPouzar

N64:
OriginalPouzar,

If the NHL wants to close on a Canadian hub I think the feds sign off, but if not I can’t see the feds signing off just for training camps. So allowing the for training camps to open stateside I think we see the hubs selected next weekVegas and Pitt?

I’m not sure why the feds would be OK signing off on the hub/bubble but not for training camp or phase 2?

I mean, the premise would be, James Neal (in Nashville), Klefbom, Larsson, etc. could return to Edmonton at any point in time and put in their 14-day quarantine with the accommodation that, aside from being at home, they could head to the currently agreed upon protocols for phase 2 which include 22 pages of regulations, restrictions, etc.

Wouldn’t that quarantine accommodation be even more “safe” than allowing them to be in the phase 4 hub? I mean, they will be in contact with hundreds of additional people in the hub than in phase 2 (or phase 3 – camp).

With that said, the way things are going, you are likely right about two US hubs (even with Rishaug advising the feds are on board with some sort of accommodation that will work for the NHL).

N64
Harpers Hair

N64: ~ At best Chaz is performance art and Edmonton gives 1% of construction projects to art installments.~

Animal Farm by the Sea.

OriginalPouzar

jeetz:
Im really hoping they find a spot for Lagesson. He is as much of a real deal as Jones and Bear. He would be a great addition at a great price. Can easily replace both Benning and Russell, possibly higher in the line up with the right opportunity.

Lagesson is a major solution to a lot of the Oilers problems. Especially salary cap

I have been pumping Lagesson’s tires for 2-3 years now – ever since I saw him at prospects camp a few years ago and in the Penticton tournament.

I generally agree with your assessment but do think its a bit overstated.

I think he could definitely fill a 3LD role (i.e. replacing Rusty) but not Benning (moving him to the right side at the NHL level is likely not a good idea).

I do think he has second pairing upside – obviously a defence first defender similar to Larsson (not quite as mean) but he is a better skater and a decent puck mover. With more NHL reps, the game will slow down for him.

A key to the off-season, as we all know, is to move Russell’s contract. Jones occupies the 3LD spot and Lagesson starts as #7.

Injuries will happen, each of Lagesson and Bouch will get their reps.

OriginalPouzar

godot10:
//Who is going to play defense in Bakersfield?//

Todd Nelson took the OKC Barons to the AHL semi-finals with 5 ECHL D and Bryan Helmer.It would have been the finals, but for Ben Scrivens being other worldly.

But to the point in question. Some NHL teams will not operate AHL teams next year.Bakersfield and others will be shared teams.

For many NHL teams, a lot of European prospects will stay in Europe.

This could very well be the case but its far from a certainty.

The AHL may delay their season to start when the NHL starts with fans in the stands – that would be pretty much business as usual.

If they are determined to start in October, well, yes, there may be a partial team start and a dispersal of players.

Another issue with starting in October, for the AHL, is some players may still be tied up with NHL playoffs….

defmn

N64: Push is on to agree on hubs and everything else next week

Yup. A lot of pieces have to come together and committees move at the speed of cold molasses running uphill until somebody notices that if nothing is done nothing will happen.

N64

defmn:
VISA extension requirements warning from the league.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhlers-need-visa-extensions-strongly-encouraged-return-june-21/

Push is on to agree on hubs and everything else next week

defmn
N64

hunter1909:
Any word on the plan if/when CHAZ reaches and begins to administer the new Seattle NHL team’s arena?

~ At best Chaz is performance art and Edmonton gives 1% of construction projects to art installments.~

N64

OriginalPouzar,

If the NHL wants to close on a Canadian hub I think the feds sign off, but if not I can’t see the feds signing off just for training camps. So allowing the for training camps to open stateside I think we see the hubs selected next week Vegas and Pitt?

N64

defmn: So would I. This club has spent too many seasons anticipating development imo.

“Over ripen” should continue in the NHL until there is a 250-300 game track record imo. I have come to this conclusion slowly and painfully after watching too may projections fail to materialize.

We only have 3 locked in past expansion draft:

Connor 26
Drai 25
Klef 23

And these 7 to re-up. 5 of which can be protected:

Nuge 21
Larsson 21
Yam 21
Nurse 20
Bear 20
AA 20
Jones 20

Interesting to see what the cap will accommodate but way to early to think of moving out proven talent

OriginalPouzar

From accounts (The Athletic), Sportsnet’s report that that Vegas has officially been named on of the hubs is premature and not correct – its likely to end up the case but the decision has not yet been made:

https://theathletic.com/1869670/2020/06/13/with-vegas-the-frontrunner-to-host-nhls-return-which-city-is-the-second-hub/

According to multiple sources on both the league and players’ side, the NHL and NHLPA met for the first time Friday, specifically about hub cities, and the players were told that Las Vegas was the frontrunner to be one of the hubs.

However, nothing is official. The NHLPA executive board is expected to meet as early as Monday to discuss hubs, but the NHLPA has not yet agreed to any hub city, and the multimillion-dollar contracts needed to secure hotels, rinks and restaurants have not been fully negotiated, agreed upon and signed.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide:
New for The Athletic: The 2016 Oilers draft remains an enigma, but there is a glimmer of hope entering year 5 post-draft. A recent off-ice comment and a February road trip to Sunrise and Raleigh count as positive indicators for a wayward draft weekend.

https://theathletic.com/1867562/2020/06/13/lowetide-the-oilers-2016-draft-remains-an-enigma-with-a-glimmer-of-hope/

A wonderful piece with lots of great substance – great read this afternoon Al, great read.

hunter1909

Any word on the plan if/when CHAZ reaches and begins to administer the new Seattle NHL team’s arena?

OriginalPouzar

jp:
I feel pretty good about that D core.
Klefbom-Larsson
Nurse-Bear
Jones

Plus a couple more high end prospects coming.

As for the Condors, with the AHL signings they have enough bodies right now, no? They definitely need a few more higher end additions to be competitive but they have a full team worth of players I think.

(Benson)-Marody-Lavoie
Gambardella-Malone-Maksimov
Kuffner-McLeod-Safin
Stukel-Esposito-Folkes
Hamblin-Brousseau-Christiensen

Lennstrom-(Bouchard)
Niemalainen-Day
Kulevich-Desharnais
Kaldis-Jaks

Skinner-Wells
Rodrigue

Bouchard and Benson could well be with the big club but it’s no guarantee. Some NHL signings (like Jurco and Granlund this year) could also filter down to the Condors.

That crop of AHL free agents looks pretty good to me as well. Hamblin was a top WHL player. All of Christiensen, Folkes, Brousseau and Kaldis are mature college players who had real success. At least some of them will be good AHL players I think.

Very good post and I agree with pretty much all of it.

I’d put Day in brackets at this point though – unsigned RFA.

Originally I didn’t think the organization would bring him back but the right side is very thin with Berglund staying overseas for another year.

I anticipate Holland would want him on an AHL deal and the player may not want to accept a closure on his NHL chances, even if it come with a financial boost (ala Malone).

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: He’s RFA and I don’t believe they’ll sign him.

I agree, Hebig probably won’t be qualified.

He did get off to that hot start in his first year, and I’ve read credit due to chemistry with Benson and Marody but, if I remember, it was almost exclusively a PP heater. Not that a PP heater doesn’t have value but I don’t think he ever got traction at evens in his two years.

I’m intrigued to see what the likes of Hamblin, Kaldis, Folkes can do.

defmn

jp: I’d happily sign Larsson to a 3 or 4 year extension at his current salary.

So would I. This club has spent too many seasons anticipating development imo.

“Over ripen” should continue in the NHL until there is a 250-300 game track record imo. I have come to this conclusion slowly and painfully after watching too may projections fail to materialize.

defmn

godot10: We have to stop offering contracts longer than two years to anyone but core players.

That probably requires the team to abandon any hope of signing UFA’s other than last minute leftovers going into TC and annoying all of their RFA’s so they leave the first chance they get.

It may be a good policy for the team in a vacuum but I doubt it is realistic as long as players have negotiating rights.

OriginalPouzar

jp: If everything goes perfectly according to plan then Larsson could be 3RD in a year or two. We don’t know where on the depth chart Bouchard will play in the NHL yet though. He should be a legit top 4 but it’s also possible he tops out as a 3rd pair PP guy.

Larsson also has a different skillset from Bear/Bouchard. A Larsson/Bear/Bouchard depth chart is extremely affordable at least through Bouchard’s ELC and Bear’s next contract (assuming a bridge). Larsson provides cover for losing another D in the expansion draft. And Larsson at $4M should be easily tradeable if/when he’s made redundant (rumors are that he could have brought back Kapanen from Toronto this year, so a signed Larsson might also actually have considerable trade value). IMO anyway.

Your points are valid but I still think that is too much AAV for a re-sign of Larsson for term.

Bear is already a proven top 4 guy. You are right, Bouchard may turn out just to be a 3RD and PP guy but I would bet on him being able to handle 2RD minutes for most of his 3 year ELC – the last couple of years. Could be wrong.

Yes, Larsson would be great cover but his next contract would need to fit in to the overall salary/cap structure of the team.

Look at Rusty, as it turns out, he wasn’t overly over-paid for his role on the team for most of his contract, however his $4MM for 3rd pairing this year (and, potentially for next) was (and could be) a killer.

Yes, even at $4MM for Larsson, that right side is quite affordable but I look at it in the overall cap structure of the team and not in a right D position isolation. I would expect Larsson to play a 3RD/PK game and be injury cover up the lineup. He will be valuable, however, $4MM is too much for that role even if the RD in aggregate is affordable – that cap space that Larsson is taking up, even the $1MM of overpay, could be used elsewhere.

leadfarmer

Todd Macallan: The great, late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Sandy Lyle in that movie is a close second to his greatest comedic role as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. In my humble opinion at least.

Make it Rain!!

kelvjn

The Oilers need to put together a few winning seasons before they can trade away their unwanted players with any sort of value. Like it was said two seasons ago, players on crapoy team has no market, any many on that team might not get a second chance. The losers strench takes time (and success) to wear off.

It is also probably early to declare Bear and Jones a success story as they both get half a good NHL season to the name. MARICIN looked very good the first season he was called up too, went to world championship and all, but we know the rest.

It took a long time for the Oilers to put in proper veterans to compete for playing and keep young forward from playing about their abilities, I doubt they want to do the reverse at D.