Benson

by Lowetide
Tyler Benson photo by Mark Williams

Where is Tyler Benson on Edmonton’s LW depth chart? Who would be his ideal linemates? If he spends the year on an NHL taxi squad, how much would he play?

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BENSON AND DUBE

Dillon Dube was drafted after Tyler Benson in the 2016 draft but arrived in the NHL before him. Here are their respective NHLE’s since pre-draft seasons:

Dube shoots more and has better speed, but he is projecting as a top-9 forward in the NHL. Benson has been consistently behind Dube as a scoring forward and would fit in the top-9 forward projection. Here are their NHLE’s for goals scored:

Dube’s speed and goal scoring make him more dynamic, but Benson’s passing and ability to win battles mean he also has a story to tell. His shots per game totals are low compared to Edmonton’s NHL left wingers (five on five via NaturalStatTrick):

  1. Tyler Ennis 8.72
  2. Andreas Athanasiou 7.97
  3. RNH 7.61
  4. Joakim Nygard 6.73
  5. James Neal 6.06
  6. Tyler Benson 4.42

In the AHL, Benson finished No. 25 among regular forwards 23 and under in primary points at even strength. He is a passer. His 23 primary assists as a rookie in 2018-19 led AHL forwards 23 and under via pick224.com.

So, among centers and right wings, I think Benson will fit best with cyclers, volume shooters and puck transporters. Once inside the offensive zone, he can flourish in puck retrieval and creative passing. Among centers, Connor McDavid (8.13 shots per 60 five on five, he is the best transporter this side of Star Trek), Leon Draisaitl (6.91, the big train runs on time through the neutral zone) and right wingers Zack Kassian (6.2) and Alex Chiasson (5.81) would appear to be the ideal options. He had success in limited minutes with Josh Archibald (4.99).

Benson-Riley Sheahan-Archibald played 41:43 together, going 17-22 (43.59 percent) shot differential, 31-39 (44.29 percent) Corsi (all numbers are five on five) and 1-2 goals. Expected goals percentage for the line was 47.57 and it was 6-6 high danger scoring chances.

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jp

Ryan,

Yes I remember you were against both signings at the time.

And your take on Chiasson is totally fair. I still don’t see it as a significant error but it may well have been a small one.

And Kassian, I agree the deal has a chance of being a bad one. Also a chance of being fine/good one IMO, and I don’t agree it’s a lock to be a buyout in 1-2 years.

He’s being zoomed, sure. But McDavid has better results with Kassian than without. And Kassian scores like a true 1st line forward with McDavid (top 60 in the league in G/60 and Pts/60). I think it’s entirely possible (50/50 maybe?) that Kassian spends another two years as McDavid’s winger, then a year on the 3rd line and then one on the 4th. I’ll be completely happy with the deal if it goes that way. Of course it may not, and you clearly don’t think it’s likely.

The 3 points in half a season thing, yes that happened. Kassian also had seasons of 1.66, 1.82, 1.91 5v5 P/60 before playing with McDavid. 3 points by January is not a fair expectation for Kassian if he doesn’t play with McDavid.

Just calculated – in the 5 seasons before playing with McDavid (2013-14 to 2017-18) Kassian’s 5v5 P/60 was 1.60. Pretty damn respectable actually.

And on AA, I assumed Holland’s disappointment was him not scoring. Holland must have known AA is lacking in puck management (I don’t think that’s something new this season). The player definitely does have known warts and I expect Holland knew exactly what they were. But they were supposed to come with some goals attached. (3 or 4 or 5 in his 13 Oilers games rather than just 1).

Ryan

jp: I agree with you on most of this, but are they even perplexing?

I still think Kassian is a good bet for value at $3.2M for next season. Agreed he’s unlikely to be in 22-23, but for me the AA acquisition is a nice illustration of how not every $3M winger is going to be an improvement on Kassian.

He does like to sign guys to retirement contracts, and yes, Kassian’s is one. Chiasson’s was only 2 years and $4.25M total dollars so not really in the same conversation.

I agree Benning will be traded (as much because Tippett won’t use him as cap IMO) and AA could be too.

I still think AA is likely to stay though. And I think you’re being overly harsh on Holland on the trade. He thought he’d have ~$5M more in cap when he traded for AA and I don’t think walking/trading him would even be in the conversation if it weren’t for Covid. You’re also projecting a lot about how Holland views AA. We don’t know what he thinks and why. And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that Holland remembers the player that scored 30 goals in 18-19 as much as the player who the Oilers got this season.

Anyway, Holland is not perfect. Kassian may well prove to be a significant misstep but that’s not a given. I don’t count any other particularly notable mistakes in Holland’s tenure so far.

I didn’t contemporaneously like either the Chaser or Kassian signings. I was optimistic about AA when we acquired him.

Chiaser’s a player that, even without a flat cap, you’d already rather have the free cap space than the player. At the time, his contract signing used up the last of our free cap and blocked other potential upgrades.

Kassian was zoomed by 97. He’s poor defensively, He’s also 29 and very inconsistent. In the season prior to this one, he had something like 3 point by January.

He’s almost a lock for being a buyout candidate i1-2 years into this contract.

As for AA, Holland himself mentioned disappointment and that he thought AA would have had more impact.

You can call it hindsight, but I think basic scouting prior to the trade would have shown that AA lacks puck management sense.

He often turns the puck over at the blue line or takes bad angle shots to the far corner that lead to rushes and jail breaks against. He certainly doesn’t have great defensive awareness. We knew he didn’t PK. He also doesn’t make a lot of plays.

Two seconds was a decent amount to pay for a player with known warts, wearing the green jacket, and having a disappointing season.

He’s now 26.

jp

Ryan: Kenny does some perplexing things, but he’s fairly predictable.

I agree with you on most of this, but are they even perplexing?

I still think Kassian is a good bet for value at $3.2M for next season. Agreed he’s unlikely to be in 22-23, but for me the AA acquisition is a nice illustration of how not every $3M winger is going to be an improvement on Kassian.

He does like to sign guys to retirement contracts, and yes, Kassian’s is one. Chiasson’s was only 2 years and $4.25M total dollars so not really in the same conversation.

I agree Benning will be traded (as much because Tippett won’t use him as cap IMO) and AA could be too.

I still think AA is likely to stay though. And I think you’re being overly harsh on Holland on the trade. He thought he’d have ~$5M more in cap when he traded for AA and I don’t think walking/trading him would even be in the conversation if it weren’t for Covid. You’re also projecting a lot about how Holland views AA. We don’t know what he thinks and why. And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that Holland remembers the player that scored 30 goals in 18-19 as much as the player who the Oilers got this season.

Anyway, Holland is not perfect. Kassian may well prove to be a significant misstep but that’s not a given. I don’t count any other particularly notable mistakes in Holland’s tenure so far.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: He has already proven his ability at the AHL level. You say for too long minutes we’re given to players because of no veterans. The greatest team in Oiler history was built on a group of youngsters that hadn’tproven anything. They grew together. Your argument is getting old and tired. There has to be a happy medium.

Agreed that he has proven his ability in the AHL however AHL success does not necessarily equate to NHL readiness – we saw that with Cooper Marody and Tyler Benson.

With that said, I do think that he is likely NHL ready or damn close thereto and the opportunity should be there – the opportunity to compete for a win an NHL job. That does not equate to trading the incumbent to ensure there is a free spot available for him with no cover in behind.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: He should be signed long term at a fair price! Bridge contracts are never the bargain they seem to be!
Cost does not always equal money spent!

That would be the ideal situation and, if Holland can get him to come in for term at a discount of $3M on the AAV, sure, find the money (likely no other upgrades though).

If Kenny wants to make an external improvement or two, even low to mid-range, there just isn’t the money for this up coming season to pay Bear $3M plus.

Ryan

Ryan,

Many GMs, have issues with recency bias.

Holland now sees AA as a disappointment as opposed to a solution for a problem for his roster.

This is why he will walk away if he can’t trade him for a pick.

The same sort of effect distorts how they view players from their old teams that they “know.”

Their opinions of players they “know” is firmly rooted in how the player played for them in the last year they managed their old teams.

What happens in the interval between is often disregarded.

Ryan

jp: Absolutely agree in theory but the Oilers literally have to somehow remove the salary of a current Oiler in order to pay Bear more than $1.5M next year (and this is already assuming Sheahan and Ennis are not retained, and with Smith replaced by a goalie making under $1.5M).

We’re talking Russell traded, AA traded, Benning traded. At least one of those types of moves needs to happen before Holland can consider giving Bear more than $1.5M, unfortunately.

Kenny does some perplexing things, but he’s fairly predictable.

Some of the predictable old habits were seen in the Chiasson and Kassian contracts. He likes rewarding vets with retirement contracts. Always has… Chiasson needed an extension, because where else are you gonna find those 22 goals…even though we all now it was never going to be 22 goals ever again.

Strangely, Kenny experiences loss aversion with players more than assets.

If I don’t extend kassian, where else am I going to find a big strong winger who can skate with 97 and score some goals?

Predictably…

Kenny will walk away from Benning (if he can’t trade him for a pick) and the same for AA.

Kenny likes quick easy access to cap space (see Sekera buyout).

Unfortunately, if his plan A doesn’t pan out, the money tends to burn a hole in his pocket (buyout Sekera and spend most of the cap space on Chiasson).

Fuge Udvar

Just a point that I haven’t seen mentioned but Benson had that pelvis issue that they struggled to diagnose and treat. I wonder if that mean he is more likely to improve his skating or less likely.

He still had a pretty good season all in all. He led the Condors in pts/G (min. 15gp). And that’s as a passer on a team with only 1 player to break the 15 goal mark.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

pts2pndr,

Also his ability diminished when the team around him faded. So he’s proven that he’s a complimentary player at that level. So he’s — to my eye/way of thinking — proven that he’s not yet ready for full time duty at the NHL level. More seasoning likely required unless he has a Bear-like offseason of development, which I wouldn’t put past him with his demonstrated work ethic.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

pts2pndr,

And yet there were the Al Hamiltons, Lee Fogolins and the Stan Weirs of the team that helped build the character and ethic of the team.

I’m a Benson fan, I want him to succeed. But I want him to prove that he’s got a floor equal to the current performance level of someone like Ennis before he makes the team. Otherwise the team is better off with Ennis from a performance standpoint. If he can’t do better, then he belongs in the minors; that’s the express purpose of the AHL.

jp

pts2pndr: Darude Sandstorm

Absolutely agree in theory but the Oilers literally have to somehow remove the salary of a current Oiler in order to pay Bear more than $1.5M next year (and this is already assuming Sheahan and Ennis are not retained, and with Smith replaced by a goalie making under $1.5M).

We’re talking Russell traded, AA traded, Benning traded. At least one of those types of moves needs to happen before Holland can consider giving Bear more than $1.5M, unfortunately.

pts2pndr

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
pts2pndr,

This is essentially the same development model Old Dutch is following with Bouchard.Come to camp prepared and take someone’s job.

I’d rather have a known quantity at a level of performance that is not insignificant but not unobtainable for Benson to achieve.If Benson beats out Ennis for a roster spot, good!Then we’re looking great for depth and inevitable slump and injury cover.If not, also good!Benson can either practice in the bigs, or Covid willing, play big minutes in the AHL until he’s refined his skills to the point of being an every day player.

For far too long this team has operated under the auspices of giving too many minutes too quickly to young players simply because there wasn’t a qualified veteran for the role.

He has already proven his ability at the AHL level. You say for too long minutes we’re given to players because of no veterans. The greatest team in Oiler history was built on a group of youngsters that hadn’t proven anything. They grew together. Your argument is getting old and tired. There has to be a happy medium.

pts2pndr

OriginalPouzar: He’s coming off his ELC and, of course, has no arbitration rights.

Yup, Kenny is definitely going to grind him but I he’ll be somewhat “fair”.

While a guy like Lagesson will be forced to take his QO, I’m sure, Bear will get offered a bump above what Jones got but probably not much more than $1M – $1.5M per on the bridge.

Bear could simply not sign but there is nothing he could do but try and wait out Kenny.

I don’t see it getting to that – they’ll come to a low short term deal.

He should be signed long term at a fair price! Bridge contracts are never the bargain they seem to be!
Cost does not always equal money spent!

Munny

*is playing Darude Sandstorm… just coz*

#oneday

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: I don’t have interest in trading Russell at the deadline, I have interest in trading him prior to or during the beginning of the off-season.

Not talking about deadline

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: Expiring D always have some value.You can even retain 50% if needed

I don’t have interest in trading Russell at the deadline, I have interest in trading him prior to or during the beginning of the off-season.

BornInAGretzkyJersey
BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

I understand all that, but it was an interesting point of reference I have not seen discussed; the actual value of his QO.

I wonder to what extent Kenny could grind a Lebanc style contract where he asks Ethan to take a short term deal that’s team-friendly while we navigate the Covid-cap then he gets paid down the road.

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar:
Atta boy Tuch.

Atta boy Whitecloud.

Still can’t believe Tuch was an expansion draft throw in

BornInAGretzkyJersey

pts2pndr,

This is essentially the same development model Old Dutch is following with Bouchard. Come to camp prepared and take someone’s job.

I’d rather have a known quantity at a level of performance that is not insignificant but not unobtainable for Benson to achieve. If Benson beats out Ennis for a roster spot, good! Then we’re looking great for depth and inevitable slump and injury cover. If not, also good! Benson can either practice in the bigs, or Covid willing, play big minutes in the AHL until he’s refined his skills to the point of being an every day player.

For far too long this team has operated under the auspices of giving too many minutes too quickly to young players simply because there wasn’t a qualified veteran for the role.

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
https://www.capfriendly.com/qualifying-offer-calculator/ethan-bear

Interesting to see what is the basis of a qualifying offer for Ethan Bear.

QUALIFYING OFFER: $735,000

Does Kenny grind Bear for a one or two year deal and then offer a bigger raise once the cap starts to rise?Does Bear, with no negotiation leverage, opt to not sign the deal?

He’s coming off his ELC and, of course, has no arbitration rights.

Yup, Kenny is definitely going to grind him but I he’ll be somewhat “fair”.

While a guy like Lagesson will be forced to take his QO, I’m sure, Bear will get offered a bump above what Jones got but probably not much more than $1M – $1.5M per on the bridge.

Bear could simply not sign but there is nothing he could do but try and wait out Kenny.

I don’t see it getting to that – they’ll come to a low short term deal.

OriginalPouzar

Atta boy Tuch.

Atta boy Whitecloud.

GordieHoweHatTrick

I won’t be upset if some Knight feeds Roussel some knuckle sandwiches

tavvey tune

Any reports on Lavoie’s exhibition game in Sweden the other day?

tavvey tune

I’d like to see Connor and Patty get the band back together to see if they still have it. They clicked like PB&J.
Plus, Patty’s got the lumberjack playoff beard going, which would take the pressure off Nuge.

Glovjuice

The thing is: Maroon is fancy. His hands are slick. Especially for “a big slow man”. I loved watching his mitts make plays in tight with 97.

jp

leadfarmer: Why cant Neal Chiasson, Kassian figure it out then like Maroon?.Kassian is a much better skater and Neal is a much better natural goal scorer

Kassian has figured it out though. He’s scored better with McDavid than Maroon ever did.

Maroon career with McDavid 5v5
1393 minutes 29G 21A 50P 2.15P/60

Kassian with McDavid 5v5
1092 minutes 20G 22A 42P 2.31P/60

McDavid has also scored a little better with Kassian than with Maroon.

McDavid with Maroon
1393 minutes 22G 43A 65P 2.80P/60

McDavid with Kassian
1092 minutes 22G 31A 53P 2.91P/60

The difference comes from on ice results with Maroon vs. Kassian. In particular the GA side.

McDavid-Maroon On Ice 5v5
1393 minutes 3.49GF/60 2.37GA/60 59.6GF%

McDavid-Kassian On Ice 5v5
1092 minutes 3.79GF/60 3.35GA/60 53.1GF%

That all fits the narrative that Kassian is the root of all GA.
But (and this is a big but IMO) McDavid has also been much worse without Kassian (last 2 yrs) than without Maroon (in those years).

McDavid without Maroon (2015-15 to 2017-18)
1904 minutes 3.56GF/60 2.77GA/60 56.2GF%

McDavid without Kassian (2018-19 and 2019-20)
1326 minutes 3.17GF/60 3.26GA/60 49.3GF%

So McDavid scored similarly on ice with and without Maroon, but gave up fewer GA with Maroon. Overall his GF% was 3.4% better with Maroon than without.

With Kassian McDavid had more on ice goals scored with than without but gave up similar GA. His GF% with Kassian was 3.8% better than without.

Kassian may not be the ideal winger for McDavid but on top of that something has changed with McDavid’s game that’s leading to more shots and goals against than a few seasons ago. Kassian or some other winger could help mitigate that but Kassian is most definitely not responsible for it.

OriginalPouzar

Spartacus: Whoops!

Sometimes I forget to read ALL the words.

It seems we’re in agreement.

Now Benson just has to do his part.

He sure does. One thing we do know about him (or have least heard from his coaches), he has an incredible work ethic off the ice – strives to get better – and is smart.

I would anticipate he learned alot about what he needs to work on from his cups of coffee – if his skating can be improved, he’ll find that extra step.

leadfarmer

Watching what is on paper a fairly unremarkable Isles team outwork the Flyers really makes me want a 3c to give us some depth badly

JOFA

OriginalPouzar: Of note, Robbie Schremp has just come out of retirement – just yesterday – heading to Mogo of the Latvian league.

Interesting. I’m happy for Schremp. Maybe Holland can work his magic and squeeze Benson on to the plane😉

pts2pndr

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
As for Benson, I’d resign Ennis for a year or two at about $1M if he’s willing.

That’s Benson’s competition – the incumbent vet whose job it is to lose to the upstart.

While I don’t disagree, there are times that money is spent unnecessarily instead of giving the young player a chance. It is unrealistic to expect a rookie to beat out an older player on a regular basis. In my opinion we have sacrificed the future for the presence doing exactly this. The answer as I see it is to have a secondary plan. Being rigid on this is, once again in my opinion is or can be counter productive.

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: Its a bad buyout structure with a $3M cap hit (so $1M savings) and then the extra $500K.

The reason for that is the signing bonus nature but, with the signing bonus already paid, I wonder if that changes the calculation.

Normally the buyout window ends before July 1 which is when the bonuses get paid and this isn’t an issue (unless a 2nd buyout window is opened via arbitration submission).

Expiring D always have some value. You can even retain 50% if needed

tavvey tune

leadfarmer,

Ah! So you did….
I’d like to see him back if he’s cheap enough. Might help Kass stay focused since they would be after the same job. Different wings, but still….

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar: Its a bad buyout structure with a $3M cap hit (so $1M savings) and then the extra $500K.

The reason for that is the signing bonus nature but, with the signing bonus already paid, I wonder if that changes the calculation.

Normally the buyout window ends before July 1 which is when the bonuses get paid and this isn’t an issue (unless a 2nd buyout window is opened via arbitration submission).

Confirmed with Puckpedia that normal course buyouts this off-season will be deemed to have occurred as of June 15, before the bonus was paid.

Had a fleeting moment there (even though Holland said no buyouts).

pts2pndr

leadfarmer:
Lack of foot speed appears to be a mortal blow

I am of the opinion the greater need than speed is hockey IQ. Draisaitl gave McDavid that plus he was a shooter. To find two NHL forwards with McDavids speed is not possible and close isn’t

Fuge Udvar:
Brantford Boy,

Athanasiou has played centre for Detroit in the past. I don’t know how effective he was. But that line would probably be relying on a rookie to be the best defensive player on the line.

You have to get off the AA centre thing. It’s been tried and found wanting. I admit to thinking the same thing.🙂

BornInAGretzkyJersey

As for Benson, I’d resign Ennis for a year or two at about $1M if he’s willing.

That’s Benson’s competition – the incumbent vet whose job it is to lose to the upstart.

GordieHoweHatTrick

TheGreatBigMac:
If I was GM here’s the moves I’m making this summer:

Plan for Benson and Bouchard to make the team

1. Sign Bear for term <= 4M/year
2. Sign AA <= 2M x 2 years (otherwise don’t sign)
3. Sign JP and trade a RW (Probably Chaisson or JP)
4. Trade Benning
5. Trade Russell (if possible) and replace with Lags
6. Sign best available 3C and 1B goalie with remaining cap (with Russell trade ~5M in cap, without Russell ~2M in cap ouch!)

The team looks like this:
RNH McDavid Kassian
AA Drai Yamamoto
Nygard 3C Archibald
Neal Khaira Chaisson
Benson Hass

Klefbolm Larrson
Nurse Bear
Jones Bouchard
Lags

Koskinen
1B

I think this is a reasonable expectation for the next season roster, give or take a few pieces.

Basically in terms of W

If JP comes back, KH has to move a legit NHL RW
Kass is too expensive now
Arch is need for PK
KY is KY-not?

Leaving JP or AC for trade

On the other side
If AA OR TE get signed (it won’t be both), I suspect the cheaper option may stay
RNH – keeper
Neal – there will not likely be any trades nor buyouts
Nygaard – good cheap contract, speed, some skill – not fully assessed yet
Benson pushing for a spot….TBD

Another challenging issue is that we don’t really know the ceiling / capacity for: Nygaard, Benson, JP
I think it prudent to find out what the capacity for these 3 are, before moving from them

BornInAGretzkyJersey

https://www.capfriendly.com/qualifying-offer-calculator/ethan-bear

Interesting to see what is the basis of a qualifying offer for Ethan Bear.

QUALIFYING OFFER: $735,000

Does Kenny grind Bear for a one or two year deal and then offer a bigger raise once the cap starts to rise? Does Bear, with no negotiation leverage, opt to not sign the deal?

OriginalPouzar

doctoreye:
OP……..What would it take to buy out Rusty?

Its a bad buyout structure with a $3M cap hit (so $1M savings) and then the extra $500K.

The reason for that is the signing bonus nature but, with the signing bonus already paid, I wonder if that changes the calculation.

Normally the buyout window ends before July 1 which is when the bonuses get paid and this isn’t an issue (unless a 2nd buyout window is opened via arbitration submission).

BornInAGretzkyJersey

doctoreye: doctoreye

I looked it up for you on CapFriendly.

20/21 cap hit of $3M, followed by a 21/22 cap hit of $0.5M.

In other words, a cap savings of $150k next season with Jones as his replacement and a penalty of half a million the following year.

Not worth it, IMO.

leadfarmer

tavvey tune:
Maroon keeps getting mentioned but I haven’t seen anyone suggesting they bring him in.Maybe a good PTOtarget, at least?Assuming no one signs him first…

I did above
But no way he’s a PTO
He’s going to be a two time cup winner

tavvey tune

Maroon keeps getting mentioned but I haven’t seen anyone suggesting they bring him in. Maybe a good PTO target, at least? Assuming no one signs him first…

TheGreatBigMac

If I was GM here’s the moves I’m making this summer:

Plan for Benson and Bouchard to make the team

1. Sign Bear for term <= 4M/year
2. Sign AA <= 2M x 2 years (otherwise don't sign)
3. Sign JP and trade a RW (Probably Chaisson or JP)
4. Trade Benning
5. Trade Russell (if possible) and replace with Lags
6. Sign best available 3C and 1B goalie with remaining cap (with Russell trade ~5M in cap, without Russell ~2M in cap ouch!)

The team looks like this:
RNH McDavid Kassian
AA Drai Yamamoto
Nygard 3C Archibald
Neal Khaira Chaisson
Benson Hass

Klefbolm Larrson
Nurse Bear
Jones Bouchard
Russell

Koskinen
1B

leadfarmer

Lowetide: And Maroon’s style is the simplest of all of them. Dig puck out, pass it to 97, go to net look for pass. Don’t try to be fancy, you’ve received a gift!

Why cant Neal Chiasson, Kassian figure it out then like Maroon?. Kassian is a much better skater and Neal is a much better natural goal scorer

who

OriginalPouzar: That is pretty much what Holland has laid out in high level terms.

From the piece (and his tone of the post-season media avail), it seems pretty clear that he isn’t looking to make major moves. Speculation about moving out two top four d-men and trading core players never rang true to me.

I have been fairly solid in my position that I’m hopeful for one “material” external acquisition but even that will take cap space.I’m focussed on Russell to find that cap (or be traded for some bad cap that fills a hole at a another position).I’ve been pushing for the likes of DeSmith (unlikely) or Dell (definitely attainable) as the cap space isn’t there for even Greiss or Khudobin.

Russell may not be moveable, I know your position.There are other ways to make some small cap space – move Chiasson (hopefully with a Puljuarvi replacement), move AA (with Benson replacement).

The most material roster player potentially outI see is Larsson but that would require an external replacement at the same position which really doesn’t change the cap situation but shuffles that 2RD spot.

Well, let’s go down the list.
If they don’t buyout Neal, and can’t trade Russell what’s the next biggest salary that can be moved out?
Nurse, Klefbom and Larsson are all at 4 to 5.5 million. If you trade one of those guys, you probably have to bring in a replacement, so I don’t see a big savings there.
They could trade AA, but again, they probably need to bring in a replacement. Can you replace AA for less than 3 million? Maybe find someone who can be as effective for 2 million? I doubt that Benson is ready to fill those shoes. He would be cheaper, but that seems like a downgrade at a position the Oilers are trying to upgrade.
They could trade Chiasson, maybe. That would save about a million, over and above his replacement
They could also trade Benning. That would also save about a million. I believe Benning is much more tradeable than Chiasson, and he is easily replaced, given the number of young dmen in the Oilers system.
Thats about it for potential cap saving trades.

OriginalPouzar

JOFA: Schremp shouldn’t be in the league very long. But unfortunately he’ll be gifted an opportunity because of the current cap constraint/Chia debacle. He’ll have a solid pro career in Europe.

Of note, Robbie Schremp has just come out of retirement – just yesterday – heading to Mogo of the Latvian league.

OriginalPouzar

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: Had better hope their RW is Marian Hossa if that’s the plan. Gonna need SOME kind of defensive presence on that line.

Not that I think Neal will be a primary option there, I would note that the McDavid/Neal combo gave up less goals/60 than the McDavid/non-Neal combos.

The issue was it scored ALOT less as well

leadfarmer

Maroon and Mcdavids chemistry was undeniable
Maybe when he wins his second cup this playoffs he’ll want to come back
Playing the “simple predictable game” when playing with mcdavid is one of those things people say like play Patrick Kane physically. Sounds very easy but in reality is very hard to do
If it was just going to the front of the net and letting mcdavid bounce pucks off your behind one of our many scrubs would have figured it out by now
Maroon had a good idea what mcdavid was going to do.
The rest of our scrubs are clueless

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: Except it really isn’t if the player has other transferable skills.

Gonna be hard to transfer those other skills when you can’t skate fast enough to get the puck and the team around you isn’t good enough at moving the puck
Could he survive on Tampa’s or Colorado’s roster
Probably
On ours it’s going to be a challenge