A few thoughts

by Lowetide

In an interview earlier this week, Ken Holland discussed the 2020-21 salary cap and the road ahead for the organization. “An $85.5 million-dollar cap versus an $81.5 million-dollar cap – four million dollars – is a fairly significant amount of cap space for everybody. So, it’s going to be tight and we’re going to try to find players that can play. You need cheaper players on your roster, you always do.”

THE ATHLETIC!

Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.

VALUE DEALS HOLLAND CAN COUNT ON

Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones had impressive seasons in 2019-20 and should offer value next season. Bear needs a new deal but Holland likely offers a bridge because there’s too much month at the end of the money.

Gaetan Haas and Joakim Nygard are signed to deals for next season at less than $1 million but the two men aren’t in the projected starting lineup for the playoffs. Things could change but at this point the most accurate thing we can stay about the two men is that they’re in the mix for bottom-six work in 2020-21.

Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and Ryan McLeod are in good spots for NHL jobs next season. Vulnerable forwards include Alex Chiasson, James Neal and Riley Sheahan (who is without a contract).

The other player who should be mentioned is Evan Bouchard. A player like Matt Benning might be vulnerable for the offseason with Bouchard ready to step in. I have listed him as Edmonton’s No. 1 prospect two years running but the team has been very patient with him (after an early misstep). I don’t know when he’ll arrive but at less than $900,000 (with a potential performance bonus of $500,000) having him on the roster over Benning could represent a saving of up to $1 million next season. Kris Russell is also vulnerable.

If Tyler Ennis and Riley Sheahan can be brought in around $1 million, that moves Marody and Benson to the Bakersfield Condors (and I do think something like that will happen). Assuming Russell and Chiasson can be traded without adding cap dollars (that might mean moving Jesse Puljujarvi in the Russell deal), the team above would have a cap of about $80,000,000.

Note: The roster choices above aren’t mine, but I do believe Holland will bring Smith back unless the big goalie struggles in the postseason. I held off on adding Sheahan because it’s possible the organization goes in a different direction.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We kickstart the weekend at 10, TSN1260. Blue Jays opening day! NHL playoff action is eight days away! Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will talk about the NHL bubble, the Jays and the return of Mike Tyson. Matt Iwanyk will chat Edmonton Football Club, the Yankees and the NHL’s in-game look. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

131 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
131 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto and Jones are almost certainly value deal – even if Jones doesn’t take the next step he’s a value deal at $850 – for two years, what a signing.

Lagesson could be a value deal as well – if injuries do pile up and he gets a stretch of play.

To the extent Bear comes in less than $2M, which is probably the case, that’s a massive value deal – he’s a $4M player if he doesn’t regress – he’s at least as “valuable” as that Rasmus guy down south. If he spells Klef from some PP1 minutes…….

I can’t agree that McLeod is in a good spot for an NHL job next season (at least for the first part of the year). Speed and size will alway sparkle in a camp, even a unique one like the Oilers have been performing in. He had a nice season in the AHL, an up arrow I would say, however, at the same time, he was a bottom six/middle six forward and a part time center/part time winger. Unless there is a massive “pop”, I think his goal should be full time top 6 center at the AHL level and both special teams – a material part of the Condors’ lineup. Cup of coffee, later in the year, sure, if its earned.

There has to be another way to save $1M other than not paying Benning $2M to provide depth and covor on that right side. Yes, I think most believe that Bouchard can play 3RD but pencilling him in that spot for game 1, with no cover, means he’ll be playing top 4 minutes when injuries happen and, with Berglund staying in Sweden, Jones or Rusty (if he’s in the lineup), is playing his off-side – far from ideal.

Sure, maybe Benning is a bit expensive at $2M but I think the cover and depth at the position is worth it.

To me, the easiest way to save that million is to substitute Benson for Chiasson.

ArmchairGM

“I held off on adding Sheahan because it’s possible the organization goes in a different direction.”

I mentioned Faksa a few minutes ago on the previous thread. I have conversed online with a few Dallas fans who would trade Falsa and a prospect (or pick) to Edmonton for Puljujarvi and Benning. Depending on what sort of contract Faksa gets this fall I think this could be very workable for the Oilers.

Thoughts?

leadfarmer

So if there’s no Ahl season do they adjust the cap and roster size for next year?
I mean where are you going to find roster replacements for injuries?

who

Couple of comments on your roster.
You have moved Benning and replaced him with Bouchard. And you have kept Russell. You could substitute Lagesson for Bouchard to start the year and go with a 3 lefty rotation on the 3rd pairing. If Bouchard isn’t playing on the PP I’m not sure he brings anything on the defensive side of the puck that the others don’t.
Also you still have Russell so you should still have JP. I don’t see him, or any return for him, in this lineup.
I keep coming back to one thing, because it’s still the most obvious way to create cap space. Buy out James Neal. No other move can create that kind of cap space, without giving up another asset.

OriginalPouzar

Czech U20 game – streamed live. A chance to view future Oiler Jan Mysak:

https://twitter.com/StevenEllisNHL/status/1286677735256068098

defmn

If there is no AHL next season will there be a waiver rule with the taxi squads or whatever is put in place?

If not I suspect many teams will go with 20 player squads leaving the PB guys off of the cap as part of their taxi squads. That will save close to $3M for most teams.

dustrock

Playoffs is going to be crazy:

Tortorella sees a couple of important players who haven’t been going full-throttle in practices or games. He declined to name names.

“We have to be really careful to not fall into the trap of thinking we can wade into this,” Tortorella said. “Each day is an important day. This isn’t getting ready for the regular season and trying to find your game after 15 games in the regular season. This is a sprint.

“Some guys have been dead-on right from the start. Other guys, not so much. We’re in single digits now as far as getting ready to play this game. I don’t want us to fall into the trap of wading into it. We have to be ready to go.”

“For the most part, I’ve liked what I’ve seen,” Tortorella said. “It’s just two or three guys that are pretty important people. It’s a concern of mine. The team concept … all of the things we’re teaching. I’m not sure we’ve gotten total concentration, and that’s what we’re trying to get to.”

https://theathletic.com/1949474/2020/07/24/blue-jackets-unsettled-tortorella-irritated-as-training-camp-2-0-nears-end/

jp

who:
Couple of comments on your roster.
You have moved Benning and replaced him with Bouchard. And you have kept Russell. You could substitute Lagesson for Bouchard to start the year and go with a 3 lefty rotation on the 3rd pairing. If Bouchard isn’t playing on the PP I’m not sure he brings anything on the defensive side of the puck that the others don’t.
Also you still have Russell so you should still have JP. I don’t see him, or any return for him, in this lineup.
I keep coming back to one thing, because it’s still the most obvious way to create cap space.Buy out James Neal. No other move can create that kind of cap space, without giving up another asset.

On Russell this off-season, I feel he’s a bit like Sekera last year. The money they’re being paid would be better used elsewhere, but ALSO they’re blocking young players that are ready for at bats.

IMO Benning should be re-signed for 2 years (depth and to satisfy the expansion draft Dman requirement) and Russell should be moved, even if it takes 50% retention (or in exchange for a guy like Sutter).

Even the 50% retention saves Holland a little cash/cap. Equally importantly, it opens up ice to keep Lagesson on the roster as 7D. (and Bouchard is 8D if everyone’s healthy and can move into the lineup as an injury replacement).

A Neal buyout is also quite possible, IMO.

ArmchairGM

dustrock:
Playoffs is going to be crazy:

Tortorella sees a couple of important players who haven’t been going full-throttle in practices or games. He declined to name names.

“We have to be really careful to not fall into the trap of thinking we can wade into this,” Tortorella said. “Each day is an important day. This isn’t getting ready for the regular season and trying to find your game after 15 games in the regular season. This is a sprint.

“Some guys have been dead-on right from the start. Other guys, not so much. We’re in single digits now as far as getting ready to play this game. I don’t want us to fall into the trap of wading into it. We have to be ready to go.”

“For the most part, I’ve liked what I’ve seen,” Tortorella said. “It’s just two or three guys that are pretty important people. It’s a concern of mine. The team concept … all of the things we’re teaching. I’m not sure we’ve gotten total concentration, and that’s what we’re trying to get to.”

https://theathletic.com/1949474/2020/07/24/blue-jackets-unsettled-tortorella-irritated-as-training-camp-2-0-nears-end/

Good thing Matthews isn’t up to speed either then.

hunter1909
JimmyV1965

The playoffs are a week way and already I’m getting nervous. The Oil are the better team, but anything can happen in a five-game series. If they lose, I’ll be devastated. Will be tough waiting nearly five months only to see the team lose in the first series.

leadfarmer

There’s going to be some teams that show up in absolutely atrocious shape.
This is very clearly going to favor the younger teams

LadiesloveSmid

I know Bear plays like 21+ minutes night, so it’s not quite the same but I recall some posters here calling for signing Benning long term at ~$4M after his rookie season. Might be best to bridge, both cap-wise and player projection-wise.

ArmchairGM

JimmyV1965:
The playoffs are a week way and already I’m getting nervous. The Oil are the better team, but anything can happen in a five-game series.If they lose, I’ll be devastated. Will be tough waiting nearly five months only to see the team lose in the first series.

You’ll be devastated at missing the playoffs, but then excited for the draft lottery. It’s the #Oilers way.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer:
There’s going to be some teams that show up in absolutely atrocious shape.
This is very clearly going to favor the younger teams

These were the average ages of teams when the season started.

Of course some teams have added older players since.

Given their abundance of young talent, you have to like Colorado’s chances if what you say is a factor.

COL 25.7
CLB 25.8
NYR 25.8
CAR 25.8
TOR 26.1
WPG 26.2
PHI 26.5
MTL 26.8
FLA 27.0
CAL 27.0
EDM 27.1
VCR 27.5
CHI 27.6
PIT 27.7
ARZ 27.8
TBL 27.8
WSH 27.9
STL 27.9
MIN 28.3
DAL 28.4
VGK 28.4
BOS 28.5
NYI 28.6
NSH 28.7

GordieHoweHatTrick

JimmyV1965:
The playoffs are a week way and already I’m getting nervous. The Oil are the better team, but anything can happen in a five-game series.If they lose, I’ll be devastated. Will be tough waiting nearly five months only to see the team lose in the first series.

Yup
Particularly since the oilers were basically in the playoffs and the Blackhawks were basically out.
The play in cutoffs were a little too generous to some teams on the outskirts…

OriginalPouzar

Seabrook confirms that he will NOT be going to Edmonton with the Hawks – he just doesn’t “feel comfortable enough”.

I almost a bit disappointed, I was hoping to see him in the lineup given his poor season and then 3 surgeries in a month and a half.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Harpers Hair: These were the average ages of teams when the season started.

Of course some teams have added older players since.

Given their abundance of young talent, you have to like Colorado’s chances if what you say is a factor.

COL 25.7
CLB 25.8
NYR 25.8
CAR 25.8
TOR 26.1
WPG 26.2
PHI 26.5
MTL 26.8
FLA 27.0
CAL 27.0
EDM 27.1
VCR 27.5
CHI 27.6
PIT 27.7
ARZ 27.8
TBL 27.8
WSH 27.9
STL 27.9
MIN 28.3
DAL 28.4
VGK 28.4
BOS 28.5
NYI 28.6
NSH 28.7

I’d look at the average ages and quality of season starts of each team’s top 8 to 10 players. I was looking around the leauge with this consideration and it struck me how young the Oilers are.

McDavid
Draisaitl
Nuge
Nurse
Klefbom
Bear
Larsson
Yamamoto
Kassian
Ennis(?)

Average age of 25.3. If you remove the bottom two, you’re at 24.3.

OriginalPouzar

Others feel this is a bigger issue than I do but its been confirmed that the Oilers won’t have full use of their normal dressing room – for example, the Hawks will have the room when they are the home team for game 3.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: These were the average ages of teams when the season started.

Of course some teams have added older players since.

Given their abundance of young talent, you have to like Colorado’s chances if what you say is a factor.

COL 25.7
CLB 25.8
NYR 25.8
CAR 25.8
TOR 26.1
WPG 26.2
PHI 26.5
MTL 26.8
FLA 27.0
CAL 27.0
EDM 27.1
VCR 27.5
CHI 27.6
PIT 27.7
ARZ 27.8
TBL 27.8
WSH 27.9
STL 27.9
MIN 28.3
DAL 28.4
VGK 28.4
BOS 28.5
NYI 28.6
NSH 28.7

Avg age is meaningless. Depth players that play a few minutes a night should not count the same as the guys playing 20 min plus

Reja

OriginalPouzar:
Seabrook confirms that he will NOT be going to Edmonton with the Hawks – he just doesn’t “feel comfortable enough”.

I almost a bit disappointed, I was hoping to see him in the lineup given his poor season and then 3 surgeries in a month and a half.

Any news on Crawford?

Ribs

OriginalPouzar,

I hope the Oilers don’t accidentally leave any of their audio recording equipment on!

Munny

Reja: Any news on Crawford?

There’s been nothing new this morning other than he’s still not present.

JimmyV1965

I think the long layoff adds a lot of uncertainty to the playoffs. And although younger guys will generally be better equipped to hit the ground running, I’m not writing off the older teams. Experience matters too. If the vets were diligent during the layoff, they might even be better and more refreshed than ever. All the aches and pains of a long season are no longer a factor.

However, a few teams will lose whatever momentum they had at the end of the season and will fall flat on their face once play resumes. Not sure what teams these will be, but there’s bound to be a couple.

If the Oil somehow beat the Hawks, they matchup against the worst team from the round robin and there’s a possibility that team has lost all momentum from the regular season. There’s a real opportunity for the top seed of the play ins to face a relatively weak opponent.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: Avg age is meaningless.Depth players that play a few minutes a night should not count the same as the guys playing 20 min plus

You mean like a 38 year old goaltender?

Brantford Boy

OriginalPouzar,

If true, I’m a little perplexed on how he’s allowed to do this, I thought the opt out timeline had expired. Kinda the same thing Domi did with “deciding later”, does anyone know if this is how the opt out phase was supposed to work, or if this is in violation of that timeline?

This may sound harsh, and I’m sympathetic to the players returning, just looking to find out is all.

Anyone, Bueller?

godot10

Harpers Hair: These were the average ages of teams when the season started.

Of course some teams have added older players since.

Given their abundance of young talent, you have to like Colorado’s chances if what you say is a factor.

COL 25.7
CLB 25.8
NYR 25.8
CAR 25.8
TOR 26.1
WPG 26.2
PHI 26.5
MTL 26.8
FLA 27.0
CAL 27.0
EDM 27.1
VCR 27.5
CHI 27.6
PIT 27.7
ARZ 27.8
TBL 27.8
WSH 27.9
STL 27.9
MIN 28.3
DAL 28.4
VGK 28.4
BOS 28.5
NYI 28.6
NSH 28.7

Now weight the average age by ice time.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: You mean like a 38 year old goaltender?

Yes a 38 year old backup goalie also would be considered a non core player

Munny

Seabrook is setting the stage for permanent LTIR going forward.

In other news, I hear he lives at Hossa’s housa.

OriginalPouzar

Reja: Any news on Crawford?

Hasn’t participated in camp yet (or phase 2). From Scott Powers, he’s skated once since March.

OriginalPouzar

Per Scott Powers:

Connor Murphy says he tweaked his groin in practice. He’s hopeful to play in the Oilers’ series.

Calvin de Haan says he feels good. He never expected to play again this season, but he feels ready now.

OriginalPouzar

Brantford Boy:
OriginalPouzar,

If true, I’m a little perplexed on how he’s allowed to do this, I thought the opt out timeline had expired.Kinda the same thing Domi did with “deciding later”, does anyone know if this is how the opt out phase was supposed to work, or if this is in violation of that timeline?

This may sound harsh, and I’m sympathetic to the players returning, just looking to find out is all.

Anyone, Bueller?

Yes, technically the players had 72 hours (or whatever it was to opt out) but, in practice, I don’t think any team or league official is going to cause a stir if the player decision is made a little later.

In the case of Seabrook, its not a true “opt out” but injury related. He participated in Stage 3 to see if he was healthy enough after his 3 surgeries and has determined he’s not.

He’s not really “opting out” as much as injured/Hawks not bringing him on their phase 4 roster.

Brantford Boy

OriginalPouzar,

Yes, I see the articles coming out now… this quote obviously dictates its injury related:

“Seabrook is currently rehabbing his way back from three surgeries after going under the knife for his right shoulder (Dec. 27), left hip (January) and right hip (Feb. 6).

He has been skating with the team since July 10 but added that doesn’t feel comfortable enough yet to play.”

This was obviously misinterpreted from your previous post “he just doesn’t ‘feel comfortable enough’.”, small quote, big difference…

who

jp: On Russell this off-season, I feel he’s a bit like Sekera last year. The money they’re being paid would be better used elsewhere, but ALSO they’re blocking young players that are ready for at bats.

IMO Benning should be re-signed for 2 years (depth and to satisfy the expansion draft Dman requirement) and Russell should be moved, even if it takes 50% retention (or in exchange for a guy like Sutter).

Even the 50% retention saves Holland a little cash/cap. Equally importantly, it opens up ice to keep Lagesson on the roster as 7D. (and Bouchard is 8D if everyone’s healthy and can move into the lineup as an injury replacement).

A Neal buyout is also quite possible, IMO.

I wouldn’t have a problem signing Benning for 2 years, but no longer. And I think any 2 year deal should be in the 1.7 AAV ballpark.
I’m just not sure you can move Russell, even with 50% retained. A lot of teams are going to be tight to the cap. And Russell can eliminate half the league with his NTC.
Benning is easier to move, which makes it more likely, in my mind.

meanashell11

Harpers Hair: You mean like a 38 year old goaltender?

Seriously, can you just go annoy somebody else for a while. It’s beyond the pale.

Reja

Harpers Hair: You mean like a 38 year old goaltender?

It’s probably Smith’s last chance to win Stanley can’t see Holland resigning him unless of course he gets us to the final or wins it. Unless Smith tweaks something or tells Tippett he doesn’t feel comfortable he’ll be starting until he costs us a game. The D is comfortable with his puck handling skills which changes the Hawks game plan it’s a real added game changer.

OriginalPouzar

Brantford Boy:
OriginalPouzar,

Yes, I see the articles coming out now… this quote obviously dictates its injury related:

“Seabrook is currently rehabbing his way back from three surgeries after going under the knife for his right shoulder (Dec. 27), left hip (January) and right hip (Feb. 6).

He has been skating with the team since July 10 but added that doesn’t feel comfortable enough yet to play.”

This was obviously misinterpreted from your previous post “he just doesn’t ‘feel comfortable enough’.”,small quote, big difference…

I was just going by Scott Powers’ quote of the player:

Scott Powers
@ByScottPowers
·
2h
Brent Seabrook says he will be not going to Edmonton with the team. “I just don’t feel comfortable yet, just not as comfortable as I want to be.”

jp

OriginalPouzar:
Per Scott Powers:

Connor Murphy says he tweaked his groin in practice. He’s hopeful to play in the Oilers’ series.

Calvin de Haan says he feels good. He never expected to play again this season, but he feels ready now.

A single injury to the Hawks ‘top 4’ D (Keith, Murphy, de Haan, Matta) would be a huge blow…. Fingers crossed 🙂

JOFA

Ribs:
OriginalPouzar,

I hope the Oilers don’t accidentally leave any of their audio recording equipment on!

Shhhhhhh😉

jp

who: I wouldn’t have a problem signing Benning for 2 years, but no longer. And I think any 2 year deal should be in the 1.7 AAV ballpark.
I’m just not sure you can move Russell, even with 50% retained. A lot of teams are going to be tight to the cap. And Russell can eliminate half the league with his NTC.
Benning is easier to move, which makes it more likely, in my mind.

No, not thinking long-term deal for Benning (though injury aside, you’d think he’ll remain tradeable). His QO is $1.9M and he’s arbitration eligible, I believe. I expect he’s offered that by Holland and accepts it.

I do think Russell will be movable at 50% retained, but could obviously be wrong. We’ll see. No question Benning is easier to move.

pts2pndr

defmn:
If there is no AHL next season will there be a waiver rule with the taxi squads or whatever is put in place?

If not I suspect many teams will go with 20 player squads leaving the PB guys off of the cap as part of their taxi squads. That will save close to $3M for most teams.

I don’t think this is how it works under the current contract. If it does fit however, I would agree this gives teams with a high top end room to maneuver. Hi

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: You mean like a 38 year old goaltender?

Go Home. It takes no skill to be an ass!

RonnieB

jp: No, not thinking long-term deal for Benning (though injury aside, you’d think he’ll remain tradeable). His QO is $1.9M and he’s arbitration eligible, I believe. I expect he’s offered that by Holland and accepts it.

I do think Russell will be movable at 50% retained, but could obviously be wrong. We’ll see. No question Benning is easier to move.

Small correction…Benning’s QO is $2.0
His Cap hit is $1.9 made up of $1,8 in the 1st year and $2.0 in this 2nd year of his contract. He has to be qualified at the most recent salary.

fries n gravy

I’d offer Benning longer term in exchange for lower AAV.

Benning gets his future secured & Oilers get a good contract. Limited no-trade like Russell’s if needed.

For example, 4 years x $1.8.

fries n gravy

fries n gravy,

… or 4 x $2m as per Ronnieb.

pts2pndr

fries n gravy:
I’d offer Benning longer term in exchange for lower AAV.

Benning gets his future secured & Oilers get a good contract.Limited no-trade like Russell’s if needed.

For example, 4 years x $1.8.

The problem is Bennings concussion history. Can the contract be insured?

buck yoakam

Man, all the benning bashing is so reminiscent of so many souls we let go when they were entering their prime…have we not learned anything?…thank the gords for holland and tippet…what does 2m a year get you on the rhd these days?…braggin rafartinski?

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: Yes a 38 year old backup goalie also would be considered a non core player

And a groin pull away from being the most important player on the team.

Reja

Harpers Hair: And a groin pull away from being the most important player on the team.

I think Kosh has the temperament to step right in and do the job but if I’m Tippett I’m starting Smith and it’s his job to lose. If Oilers knock off the Hawks deep down it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if the Nucks and Flames win and be out of the number 1 sweepstakes.

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM:
“I held off on adding Sheahan because it’s possible the organization goes in a different direction.”

I mentioned Faksa a few minutes ago on the previous thread. I have conversed online with a few Dallas fans who would trade Falsa and a prospect (or pick) to Edmonton for Puljujarvi and Benning. Depending on what sort of contract Faksa gets this fall I think this could be very workable for the Oilers.

Thoughts?

Maybe I am under-rating Faksa but I don’t think I’d trade Benning for him straight up – in particular if he’s going to want a raise on that $2.2M AAV.

A 30-35 point center is solid I guess, but he regressed to 20 points this season (shortened season). He was 5th on PK TOI/G and his relative numbers were all negative.

Unless I’m missing something, which I may be, I don’t think he carries the value for two good assets.