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!

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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!

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hunter1909

who: Neals role on that PP is easily filled by any number of Oilers.

…like Benning with his 15 goals scored over the last 4 seasons lol

who

OriginalPouzar: Oilers PP wasn’t historically good before Neal joined the team – the other 4 members were on PP1……

Of course, Drai is a more important member of the PP but the argument to just take away Neal’s stats and assume that others can replicate them for nominal money is a stretch.

Are you kidding me?
The presence of James Neal vaulted the Oilers into the number 1 PP in the NHL?
Neals role on that PP is easily filled by any number of Oilers.

who

OriginalPouzar: You nailed it at the end, Tippett tried every right shot D-man, including Joel Persson before he finally moved Russell over to the right side for a stretch. That includes Matt Benning who played a few games with each of Klefbom and Nurse this past season.

I don’t think Holland goes in the 2020/21 season without a fourth NHL-proven (or presumed NHL-ready) right shot d-man. Benning (or replacement) is likely there plus Bouchard.

So then why keep Benning as 3RD if the coach isn’t willing to play him at 2RD in an emergency.
You just proved my argument.

OriginalPouzar

who: This is a terrible argument.
Draisaitl IS NEEDED on the powerplay.He is one of the key drivers on it.
Neal, or Chiasson,are very small parts of the leagues best PP. The Oilers PPwould function just fine without them.
Surely you can see this?

Oilers PP wasn’t historically good before Neal joined the team – the other 4 members were on PP1……

Of course, Drai is a more important member of the PP but the argument to just take away Neal’s stats and assume that others can replicate them for nominal money is a stretch.

OriginalPouzar

who: And if they are better than Bouchard on the right side next season do you think the coach will insist on playing Bouchard ahead of them because he shoots right?
Your thinking is very rigid. The coach says he prefers lefty righty, so you interpret that to mean all of our RD have to shoot right?
Let’s look at last year when Larrson went down.
How many people thought Bear was ready for top 4 minutes? Maybe Bouchard is ready next season.
And if he’s not, and Larrson or Bear gets hurt, what makes you so sure that Benning moves up to 2RD? Cause that’s not what happened last year. Tippet essentially tried everyone there except Matt Benning. Including Joel Persson!

You nailed it at the end, Tippett tried every right shot D-man, including Joel Persson before he finally moved Russell over to the right side for a stretch. That includes Matt Benning who played a few games with each of Klefbom and Nurse this past season.

I don’t think Holland goes in the 2020/21 season without a fourth NHL-proven (or presumed NHL-ready) right shot d-man. Benning (or replacement) is likely there plus Bouchard.

OriginalPouzar

jp: I feel like you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth a bit.

Neal is a 4th line winger who’s absolutely not good enough to play with Nuge at 5on5.

Then Neal is a 20 goal scorer who’s worth more than $2M.

I get that both can have some truth but it’s tough to argue both sides on consecutive days.

He has scored at 4th line rates at 5 on 5 the last few years. At the same time, he proved to be a big part of the best PP in the league this year and PP goals count.

He’s a bottom 6 five on five player that can score on the PP – he’s probably worth around $2M on a short term contract.

Munny

OriginalPouzar: I don’t think your numbers are accurately setting out the cap situation of the teams.The Rangers have $14.3M of cap space, yes, but that is with only 15 players on the roster – they need to add 8 players including Strome and DeAngelo who will likely cost close to $10MM.

I’m not going to go through each of the teams but I imagine the scenario is the same for most.

2/3 of NHL teams were either over the cap this season using LTIR or within a few hundred grands.Ya, there is cap space as contracts fall off but those players need to be re-signed (usually at a raise) or replaced.

We’ll just go by your guesses then

who

OriginalPouzar: Take Drai off the PP and he’s got 27G and 66P – still great numbers but not Hart Trophy.

He’s not “needed there” but he’s good there and produces there.

This is a terrible argument.
Draisaitl IS NEEDED on the powerplay. He is one of the key drivers on it.
Neal, or Chiasson, are very small parts of the leagues best PP. The Oilers PP would function just fine without them.
Surely you can see this?

who

OriginalPouzar: We don’t know if they can play the right side better than Bouchard right now – and “right now” is actually next season.

And if they are better than Bouchard on the right side next season do you think the coach will insist on playing Bouchard ahead of them because he shoots right?
Your thinking is very rigid. The coach says he prefers lefty righty, so you interpret that to mean all of our RD have to shoot right?
Let’s look at last year when Larrson went down.
How many people thought Bear was ready for top 4 minutes? Maybe Bouchard is ready next season.
And if he’s not, and Larrson or Bear gets hurt, what makes you so sure that Benning moves up to 2RD? Cause that’s not what happened last year. Tippet essentially tried everyone there except Matt Benning. Including Joel Persson!

jp

OriginalPouzar: That post was taken out of context – that post was in relation to having enough wingers for three scoring lines if Nuge was placed at 3C.

Neal still scored 19 goals and would have been over 20 in a full season (even with playing injured and then missing time due to injury). He is a 4th line scorer at 5 on 5 but was a part of 2nd best PP in history.

I would love to be rid of Neal’s contract but to take on 6 years of a dead $2M cap hit is egregious to me and not a great option.

I feel like you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth a bit.

Neal is a 4th line winger who’s absolutely not good enough to play with Nuge at 5on5.

Then Neal is a 20 goal scorer who’s worth more than $2M.

I get that both can have some truth but it’s tough to argue both sides on consecutive days.

OriginalPouzar

Munny: Habs will have something like $19 million in cap space this off-season.Domi to sign.

Rags will have $14.3M in space, Strome and Deangelo to sign.

Red Wings have $35.3M in space.Mantha the biggest name.Howard too if they choose to ink him.

That was the first three I checked… *keeps looking*

Buffalo has $34.3M.Lots of UFAs they could wave goodbye to.

Devils have $26M.Panthers $21M.Sens $39.5M. Avs $22.4M. Kings $20.7M. Sharks $14.8M. Cowtown $16.9M. Minny $16.2M, Dallas $19.5M. Jets $15.5M.

lol…Are we at a couple yet?

I don’t think your numbers are accurately setting out the cap situation of the teams. The Rangers have $14.3M of cap space, yes, but that is with only 15 players on the roster – they need to add 8 players including Strome and DeAngelo who will likely cost close to $10MM.

I’m not going to go through each of the teams but I imagine the scenario is the same for most.

2/3 of NHL teams were either over the cap this season using LTIR or within a few hundred grands. Ya, there is cap space as contracts fall off but those players need to be re-signed (usually at a raise) or replaced.

OriginalPouzar

Eh Team: Take Neal off the powerplay and he has 7G- 7A this year.That’s really easy to replace.And they don’t need him on the powerplay.

Take Drai off the PP and he’s got 27G and 66P – still great numbers but not Hart Trophy.

He’s not “needed there” but he’s good there and produces there.

OriginalPouzar

who: Yeah, you said that.
If Jones and Russell can play the right side better than Bouchard right now, why are you so sure that the coach will play Bouchard ahead of them.

We don’t know if they can play the right side better than Bouchard right now – and “right now” is actually next season.

OriginalPouzar

jp: Wait now… This guy

IS worth more than $2M per?

That post was taken out of context – that post was in relation to having enough wingers for three scoring lines if Nuge was placed at 3C.

Neal still scored 19 goals and would have been over 20 in a full season (even with playing injured and then missing time due to injury). He is a 4th line scorer at 5 on 5 but was a part of 2nd best PP in history.

I would love to be rid of Neal’s contract but to take on 6 years of a dead $2M cap hit is egregious to me and not a great option.

Jaxon

I really like that lineup. Trying Neal with Benson could be found gold (and a great playoff story). Khaira or Haas as their center would be okay for now. I like the combo of Benson’s vision with Neal’s one-timer on the right wing. If Benson can’t play C, it would be nice if they found a 3C with a bit of a goal scoring touch or if they drafted one this fall. Connor Zary would appear to be a perfect match, a puck possession pivot who scored 38 goals this season.

Admiral Ackbar

Harpers Hair:
I’ll just leave this here.

https://twitter.com/FarhanLaljiTSN/status/1286856608744529921?s=20

You really are the Tucker Carlson of this comment section. Your goal is clear, your execution is actually not bad, but it still begs the questions: why bother? and Isn’t there something better to do?

Munny

I want Neal to pop 8-10 goals these playoffs in a long run for the home team.

Then maybe just maybe there’s a steal of a real deal where we can unload him for 2-2.5 retained.

I’d start him on PP1. Time to pump some tires.

OilClog

Munny: Habs will have something like $19 million in cap space this off-season.Domi to sign.

Rags will have $14.3M in space, Strome and Deangelo to sign.

Red Wings have $35.3M in space.Mantha the biggest name.Howard too if they choose to ink him.

That was the first three I checked… *keeps looking*

Buffalo has $34.3M.Lots of UFAs they could wave goodbye to.

Devils have $26M.Panthers $21M.Sens $39.5M. Avs $22.4M. Kings $20.7M. Sharks $14.8M. Cowtown $16.9M. Minny $16.2M, Dallas $19.5M. Jets $15.5M.

lol…Are we at a couple yet?

OP’s terming for couple is the same as the NHL having 93% of the league qualify for the playoffs lol

OilClog

Harpers Hair:
I’ll just leave this here.

https://twitter.com/FarhanLaljiTSN/status/1286856608744529921?s=20

Oilers 10th defender does this in his sleep. You should seek therapy.

Munny

OriginalPouzar: Except there aren’t many such teams – maybe a couple.

Almost all teams have the upper cap limit as their limiting factor – there are very very few that are even able to take on bloated contracts (low cash outlay or not).

Ottawa and maybe Florida if they shed cash outlay at the owners’ request – don’t imagine either are not on Rusty’s prohibited list.

Habs will have something like $19 million in cap space this off-season. Domi to sign.

Rags will have $14.3M in space, Strome and Deangelo to sign.

Red Wings have $35.3M in space. Mantha the biggest name. Howard too if they choose to ink him.

That was the first three I checked… *keeps looking*

Buffalo has $34.3M. Lots of UFAs they could wave goodbye to.

Devils have $26M. Panthers $21M. Sens $39.5M. Avs $22.4M. Kings $20.7M. Sharks $14.8M. Cowtown $16.9M. Minny $16.2M, Dallas $19.5M. Jets $15.5M.

lol…Are we at a couple yet?

€√¥£€^$

Eh Team,

Taking this a bit further to illustrate how his production dropped off after a good start, Neal scored 3 goals and 5 assists 5 v 5 after the 8th of November.

Eh Team

defmn: Depends whether they get back the early season Neal or the post injury Neal imo.

One is not replaceable for $2M while the other does make sense to buy out.

We will know more by the end of the season I would think.

Take Neal off the powerplay and he has 7G- 7A this year. That’s really easy to replace. And they don’t need him on the powerplay.

Eh Team

OriginalPouzar: I’m not so sure 20 goals can be found that cheaply.

Neal isn’t producing 20 goals next year either. Benson is more than adequate to replace Neal.

defmn

Eh Team: A Neal buy-out seems like an obvious solution.Cap savings of $4m over each of the next 3 years, then a cap hit of $2m over the following 3 years.Net savings of $6m pushes the cap consequences 3 years down the round.Plus Neal can be replaced for less than $2m/year easily.

Depends whether they get back the early season Neal or the post injury Neal imo.

One is not replaceable for $2M while the other does make sense to buy out.

We will know more by the end of the season I would think.

who

OriginalPouzar: I wouldn’t – that leaves Bouchard as the third right shot D on the depth chart and no right shot D in the organization even close to NHL-ready (well, except Berglund who won’t be available).

Yes, I know, both Russell and Jones “can play the right side” but both of them have shown to be inferior players on the right side and our head coach values leftie/rightie.

Yeah, you said that.
If Jones and Russell can play the right side better than Bouchard right now, why are you so sure that the coach will play Bouchard ahead of them.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
There are arguments on both sides of this one and I’m on the side that a $2M dead cap hit for six years is too egregious even with the $3.8M savings for the first 3.

I’m not so sure 20 goals can be found that cheaply.

Wait now… This guy

OriginalPouzar:

7) Neal – 4th line scoring rates at 5 on 5 – even with plenty of McDavid/Drai time

IS worth more than $2M per?

jp

Kinger_Oil.redux: – Russell : buying him out when the cap is tight to play a rookie isn’t the same as Sek IMO. He’s so cheap next year. And that has value. I go on record as saying they don’t buy him out. The math doesn’t favour this approach

Ryan kind of has this covered. But literally no one said anything about buying out Russell. You can search the thread.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think anyone suggested buying out Russell – the buyout cap hit for next season would be $3M.

There would be more savings by burying him in the AHL (not that they could though – NMC).

The math for a buyout certainly isn’t there but he’s definitely not cheap, via-a-vis the cap, which is what matters for on-ice product.

OriginalPouzar

Eh Team: A Neal buy-out seems like an obvious solution.Cap savings of $4m over each of the next 3 years, then a cap hit of $2m over the following 3 years.Net savings of $6m pushes the cap consequences 3 years down the round.Plus Neal can be replaced for less than $2m/year easily.

There are arguments on both sides of this one and I’m on the side that a $2M dead cap hit for six years is too egregious even with the $3.8M savings for the first 3.

I’m not so sure 20 goals can be found that cheaply.

Ryan

Kinger_Oil.redux,

You’re too funny.

I can’t wait for the upcoming “I called it again” post.

Meanwhile, The fact that Chiarelli made the last year of the contract buyout proof with the signing bonus is old news.

Kinger_Oil.redux

After the jays win their first game I go to my regular sites to get details. Nothing up on the Jays.

– as for the jays playing in Buffalo I get the whole we are in the big leagues we need to play in the big leagues. But they can make a sick temporary structure adjacent with amazing gym kitchen lounge where the players can hang

– Russell : buying him out when the cap is tight to play a rookie isn’t the same as Sek IMO. He’s so cheap next year. And that has value. I go on record as saying they don’t buy him out. The math doesn’t favour this approach

OriginalPouzar

Eh Team: Except Sutter isn’t an actual NHL player.Looks like he will be a healthy scratch in the play-in round.If Russell isn’t accommodating bury him in the AHL (or taxi squad or whatever exists at the start of next season)

Sutter is an NHL player when healthy – he’s a better 3C option than anyone Khaira, Sheahan or Haas when healthy.

Russell has a NMC so cannot be send to the AHL without consent (and it would only save just over $1M on the cap).

OriginalPouzar

who: If they can trade Russell, great.
But if they can’t, I’d rather have Jones and Lagesson at less than a million, than Benning at 2 million.

I wouldn’t – that leaves Bouchard as the third right shot D on the depth chart and no right shot D in the organization even close to NHL-ready (well, except Berglund who won’t be available).

Yes, I know, both Russell and Jones “can play the right side” but both of them have shown to be inferior players on the right side and our head coach values leftie/rightie.

Eh Team

OriginalPouzar: I can’t get on board with the Neal buyout at this point – 6 years of a dead $2M is too much for my liking, even with the savings for the first three years.

A Neal buy-out seems like an obvious solution. Cap savings of $4m over each of the next 3 years, then a cap hit of $2m over the following 3 years. Net savings of $6m pushes the cap consequences 3 years down the round. Plus Neal can be replaced for less than $2m/year easily.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair:
I’ll just leave this here.

https://twitter.com/FarhanLaljiTSN/status/1286856608744529921?s=20

There’s plenty of Canucks blogs out there you should move to
No one care what Blowdoll Gafferty are for breakfast

Eh Team

OriginalPouzar: I think the best case is bloated contract for similar bloated contract – Russell for Sutter for example – neither player worth near their cap hit but both have some value on the ice and are NHL players.

Except Sutter isn’t an actual NHL player. Looks like he will be a healthy scratch in the play-in round. If Russell isn’t accommodating bury him in the AHL (or taxi squad or whatever exists at the start of next season)

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair:
I’ll just leave this here.

https://twitter.com/FarhanLaljiTSN/status/1286856608744529921?s=20

You really need to leave

Harpers Hair
who

OriginalPouzar: I agree 100% on Benning and Russell.

Russell needs to go for both reasons stated above and, the more I think about it, to “fill the 3C hole” with a player like Sutter would be a great swap – I think I like it better than the $2M retained (which it may take).

Benning may be a bit over-paid at $2M but, for me, that’s not the place to try and shed some cap – the “blocker” for Bouchard so that he isn’t playing in the top 4 when the first injury hits on the right side, is important.

I can’t get on board with that “3-leftie rotation” for the third pair – I don’t think the coaching staff would like that either – Tippett talks often about preferring righty/leftie.

I can’t get on board with the Neal buyout at this point – 6 years of a dead $2M is too much for my liking, even with the savings for the first three years.

If they can trade Russell, great.
But if they can’t, I’d rather have Jones and Lagesson at less than a million, than Benning at 2 million.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: Mike Smith is done and will easily be replaced
So we really don’t care about your trolling

Exactly my point.

Thanks.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: Mike Smith….902…even less to write home about and his blacktop ran out years ago.

Demko is 24…just getting started.

Mike Smith is done and will easily be replaced
So we really don’t care about your trolling

OriginalPouzar

Scungilli Slushy: I would imagine many budget teams will want cap hits while taking low cash payments.

Get to the floor and discount salary. For an NHL caliber player.

One thing Chia did right.

Except there aren’t many such teams – maybe a couple.

Almost all teams have the upper cap limit as their limiting factor – there are very very few that are even able to take on bloated contracts (low cash outlay or not).

Ottawa and maybe Florida if they shed cash outlay at the owners’ request – don’t imagine either are not on Rusty’s prohibited list.

OriginalPouzar

Scungilli Slushy:
Krusty’s bass salary is 1.5M. He has a bonus of 1M.

I imagine the bonus is a signing one. The Oilers pay it and a team has a decent NHL D for 1.5.

That’s a tradeable contract IMO.

It depends on who needs what.

————

I am not surprised Chayka is in trouble.

Too young, too fast. No hair on ass.

And with conflict of interest with his company providing data to anyone.

Sure, he’s not involved, it’s all his wife……

Yes, the cash outlay for a team acquiring Russell is only $1.5M, however, the cap hit is still $4M and, even when the cap was projected to increase, there were few teams that weren’t restricted by the upper cap limit and, now, there are very very few.

If Rusty wanted to, he could weaponize his NTC and essentially block any straight up trade and force the Oilers to retain in order to get the move done (or take bad bad cap).

I think the best case is bloated contract for similar bloated contract – Russell for Sutter for example – neither player worth near their cap hit but both have some value on the ice and are NHL players.

jp

Scungilli Slushy: I would imagine many budget teams will want cap hits while taking low cash payments.

Get to the floor and discount salary. For an NHL caliber player.

One thing Chia did right.

But there were no teams that needed to get to the floor this year. Not even close actually (the cap floor is $60.2M, the lowest payroll in the NHL was $72.7M). I’m not sure that will change going forward.

It’s quite possible there are teams that won’t spend to the cap, so his real salary could be more relevant (vs Cap) to some teams but it won’t be a terribly long list I wouldn’t think.

Scungilli Slushy

jp: I think Russell is tradeable too, but his $4M cap hit is far more important than his $1.5M/$2.5M salary though, right? His cap hit doesn’t become $1.5M once his bonus is paid, unfortunately. That’s the real hurdle.

I would imagine many budget teams will want cap hits while taking low cash payments.

Get to the floor and discount salary. For an NHL caliber player.

One thing Chia did right.

jp

Scungilli Slushy: Krusty’s bass salary is 1.5M. He has a bonus of 1M.
I imagine the bonus is a signing one. The Oilers pay it and a team has a decent NHL D for 1.5.
That’s a tradeable contract IMO.
It depends on who needs what.

I think Russell is tradeable too, but his $4M cap hit is far more important than his $1.5M/$2.5M salary though, right? His cap hit doesn’t become $1.5M once his bonus is paid, unfortunately. That’s the real hurdle.

Harpers Hair

pts2pndr: Your veracity at best is questionable. Not worth the time it takes to check. There will be people that continue to interact with you I will no longer be one of them unless it is to call your crap!

That would be nice.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Demko s record was 13-10-2

Some losing.

Your veracity at best is questionable. Not worth the time it takes to check. There will be people that continue to interact with you I will no longer be one of them unless it is to call your crap!

pts2pndr

OriginalPouzar: That matters only to Daryl Katz though…..

A lot of shuffling prior to replacement. Not disagreeing but could be a detriment to the team as well.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: That’s barely 500
905 sp is nothing to write home about
He was a very promising G prospect once, sucks that injuries have taken that away

What was once a future starting G for Canucks now he probably doesn’t get a sniff by Seattle

Mike Smith….902…even less to write home about and his blacktop ran out years ago.

Demko is 24…just getting started.