THE CONDORS CALL

by Lowetide
Jujhar Khaira photo by Mark Williams

The AHL is a distant bell on hockey’s business plan currently, there are start dates and expectations but the trains won’t move until there are planes in the air. While we have time, let’s have a look at how things might have turned out for the Bakersfield men in 2020-21. Maybe it’ll come true and we can look back someday to see how close our guesses were to top dead center.

THE ATHLETIC!

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UFA

Looking only at the AHL UFA’s (meaning Patrick Russell isn’t here), we are dealing with a pool that includes forwards Markus Granlund, Tomas Jurco, Brad Malone and Josh Currie; defensemen Brandon Manning and Keegan Lowe; plus goalie Shane Starrett.

I’m not sure any of them return. Currie is coming off a two-year deal that included a $25,000 signing bonus and a minor-league salary that averaged $130,000 a year. Why did he make so much on a minor league deal? He can deliver offense and he can play center, two important roles on an AHL team. I think Edmonton passes because the center depth chart is strong without him. Malone is on an AHL deal that will help the depth chart in the middle as well. Granlund is already gone, Manning had a tough season on and off the ice and Lowe was unable to repeat his previous performance. I don’t know what happened to Starrett but it’s unlikely the Oilers wait to see if he’s healthy. Jurco is the player I would have time for in this group.

RFA

This group includes Ryan Kuffner, Nolan Vesey, Cam Hebig up front, and Logan Day plus William Lagesson on the blue line. Angus Redmond is the lone RFA goalie.

Lagesson is a good bet to be signed, I think we could see him in Edmonton in 2020-21 but he’ll absolutely be a big piece in Bakersfield if the team can slide him through waivers. Logan Day is a righty blue and can help on the power play. I think Kuffner gets a contract because there’s been little time to evaluate him as a pro. He could be a useful piece not enough track to make the call. That’s an easy contract for the organization to sign. Vesey, Hebig and Redmond are likely down the line.

THE INCUMBENTS

This is a large group, the Farm Workers post each year spends much of its time on these men. Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod, Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Safin and Joe Gambardella are the forwards; Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov are the defensemen and Stuart Skinner plus Dylan Wells are the goalies.

Bouchard, Benson, Marody and Gambardella are NHL-ready and looking for their chance, McLeod could be there by the end of the 2020-21 season. Maksimov, Safin and Samorukov are in the ‘meander’ section of development, we’ll need to see progress this coming season. Skinner is a player the organization likes, patience must be wearing thing but Holland is notorious for waiting. Wells is in the spot where people get traded to make the 50-man balance.

THE NEWCOMERS

Raphael Lavoie and possibly Philip Broberg would be the headliners, with Olivier Rodrigue, Theodore Lennstrom and Markus Niemelainen rounding out the group. I imagine Lennstrom would have a major impact on the AHL, as well Broberg and Lavoie if they landed in California.

ADDITIONS

I think the Oilers might want to add a veteran goalie for the 2020-21 season. Rodrigue would start in the ECHL, Wells and Skinner with the Condors and the veteran No. 3 NHL goalie could start a large number of Bakersfield games—perhaps a platoon with Skinner. This player would be the first recall. I picked Troy Grosenick but thought about Laurent Brossoit and there are several other interesting candidates. I also placed a RHD on the team (Chris Wideman) because I think Bouchard will be in the NHL. The rest of the roster is prospects or AHL contracts as noted below.

PROJECTED CONDORS LINEUP 2020-21

  • Goalies (3): Troy Grosenick, Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells
  • Left Defense (7): William Lagesson, Dmitri Samorukov, Philip Broberg, Theodor Lennstrom, Markus Niemelainen, Jake Kulevich (AHL), Yanni Kaldis (AHL)
  • Right Defense (4): Evan Bouchard, Logan Day, Chris Wideman, Janis Jaks (AHL)
  • Center (5): Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod, Brad Malone (AHL), Luke Esposito (AHL), James Hamblin (AHL)
  • Left Wing (5): Tyler Benson, Joe Gambardella, Ryan Kuffner, Blake Christensen (AHL), Devin Brosseau (AHL)
  • Right Wing (5): Raphael Lavoie, Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Safin, Jakub Stukel (AHL), Liam Folkes (AHL)

The recalls are obvious: Grosenick, Lagesson, Bouchard, Wideman, perhaps Broberg, Marody, perhaps McLeod, Benson, Gambardella.

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Fuge Udvar

What a development year for anybody getting a spot on a euro team. I’d imagine if the AHL does get started late, that it will finish late. Starting with the camps in July for the qualifiers, they could be playing consistent high level hockey straight through till next June.

OriginalPouzar

One thing of note is that Ken Holland is one of a couple GMs on the AHL Return to Play Committee so he should vested of all the relevant info and options and plan relating to the AHL.

I won’t read too too much in to the loans to Europe at this point as its so early so I don’t imagine there is and sense of what may or may not be available for the AHL – they don’t even know what will and will not be available for the NHL at this point.

Woodguy v2.0

*****WARNING SPAM*****

New Because Oilers – In search of a 3C for the Edmonton Oilers.

This is an introduction into the criteria I will be using in a series of posts about potential 3Cs for EDM. Hopefully the first player post will be up later today.

https://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/2020/08/in-search-of-3rd-line-center-for.html

*****END SPAM*****

OriginalPouzar

On Starrett, I can’t remember where I read/heard it but I read/heard a statement that he was’t going to be brought back, end stop. I don’t think it was from Kenny himself but either someone employed by the team or very well connected (i.e has Kenny in his contracts).

I don’t think Starrett is coming back but I’m on the Leavins train about signing a veteran goalie for the AHL to go along with the prospects.

—————-

I hope they bring Currie back – he’s like the Nuge of the Condors – a glue player – they will miss him more than they think he will.

I’m hopeful he signs a $$$ induced AHL contract – bigger money to essentially take away his NHL option and not count on the 50 – Brad Malone style.

I do think he may move on to an org where he thinks he has a shot at NHL time.

OriginalPouzar

I think Kuffner 100% gets a contract and I think he was more than just a throw in for Holland in the deal. Holland signed him out of college in Detroit and he’s just one year removed from setting goal scoring records for, I believe, Princeton.

A really tough first year pro for Kuffner but I look for a bounce back year this year and I think he’ll be a big part of the top 6 and PP on the Condors.

—————

I think its time to move on from Logan Day – he is not an NHL option despite his skills with the puck. With that said, the right side is baren with experienced pros – I wish Berglund was coming over this season.

Lagesson is a no-brainer – I would think a two-year deal near his QO – similar to Jones.

godot10

Isn’t Lavoie committed to Sweden for the season?

who

Woodguy v2.0:
*****WARNING SPAM*****

New Because Oilers – In search of a 3C for the Edmonton Oilers.

This is an introduction into the criteria I will be using in a series of posts about potential 3Cs for EDM. Hopefully the first player post will be up later today.

https://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/2020/08/in-search-of-3rd-line-center-for.html

*****END SPAM*****

Just read your article.
Garten Haas shoots right. Don’t you watch the games? 😎

godot10

NHL teams are likely to double up their AHL teams, split conferences and divisions, and maybe play in bubbles.

Jaxon

If Benson is down on the farm, he deserves a sniper. Hopefully, Lavoie can come back once the AHL stats and maybe put him at C and put Maximove on RW. Although he had success with Marody, it doesn’t make sense to have 2 playmakers on the same line. As with Benson’s NHL possibilities, they need to give him 2 shooters to maximize the potential of any line he plays on.

Kassian may be a good RW for Benson Inn the NHL. Kassian had one of the highest shooting percentages in the NHL last season so getting him the pick more might help unlock both players. Kassian wouldn’t divert to Benson as much as he does to McDavid. Ennis, too, had a high shooting percentage, so he maybe Ennis or Shabbat could be 3C.

leadfarmer

There’s no bigger hole on this team then 3c
It’s effects percolate up and down this roster
Mcdavid and Drai lines are forced to play too many minutes and they know they have to outscore what the 3rd line gives up so they take too many chances needing to do just that
Get a 3rd line of AA 3c JP. (Someone to mentor JP and recover some value)
And watch everything else fall into place

4th line if they can play defensive minutes well and give you top 5 pk in league I don’t care if they don’t score a single goal

Ryan

Woodguy v2.0:
*****WARNING SPAM*****

New Because Oilers – In search of a 3C for the Edmonton Oilers.

This is an introduction into the criteria I will be using in a series of posts about potential 3Cs for EDM. Hopefully the first player post will be up later today.

https://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/2020/08/in-search-of-3rd-line-center-for.html

*****END SPAM*****

Agreed that 3c is both a crucial position and a big hole on our roster.

Looking at teams still in the playoffs, it’s surprising how much teams spend on 3c.

Look what Tampa spends on Yanni Gourde.

The cap situation is pretty dire next year when we consider the flaws of the roster, roster holes, and the increasing cost just to field the same team as last season in a flat cap.

There’s $2.4m more for Nurse.

Kassian and Archibald will cost $1.75m more. Bear will also be more expensive.

Considering that we were already shopping in the bargain bin last year, I don’t know how we’ll afford an upgrade on 3c.

I think Kenny will walk away from or trade Benning and AA for picks to free up cap space.

Even when he does, that money is basically already spent on covering the increasing costs of current players.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

godot10,

Correct.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Until Ryan McLeod is ready — if ever — to fill the 3C hole (I don’t view Marody as a likely candidate at this time) I’d like to see someone along the lines of an Erik Haula (whom I championed early) or blog favourite J. Larsson picked up as UFA. Or someone like Radek Faksa in trade (though I don’t think we have what DAL wants in return).

doctoreye

Is there a reason we cannot buyout Russell?

Ryan

doctoreye:
Is there a reason we cannot buyout Russell?

Yes.

The signing bonus in the last year of his contract renders his contract buyout-proof.

The buyout cap hit is $3 m on a $4m contract plus $500k the following year.

Gotta love sneaky Pete.

Rich M

doctoreye:
Is there a reason we cannot buyout Russell?

Not to be a dink, but with 1 year left on his contract, why would you do that and extend the pain 2 years? If you’re so inclined, buying out Neal yields more room under the cap to make moves.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

doctoreye,

As per my response (and OPs) yesterday, the net savings next season with Jones as his replacement is $150k with a $0.5M penalty the following season.

https://www.capfriendly.com/buyout-calculator/kris-russell

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Harpers Hair,

Get woke, go broke.

Oilman99

doctoreye,

Buyouts are not the way to go, they impact the cap for too many years down the road. A trade with retained $ is the smarter way, the guy is off the books when his contract expires. The cap is going to be flat for a couple of more years.

OriginalPouzar

Leavins in his weekly Sunday morning blog thinks that Nuge will re-sign for apx $6.5M – not sure on term.

I’m not sure how much of “an insider” Kurt is but he does generally seem to have a decent sense on some of these things.

In any event, I would be extremely happy with that cap number for any term – preferably in the 5 year range.

My position was I’d be happy with a Nuge re-sign at $7M or under and I’m hopeful it happens this off-season, or at least well before next off-season.

Of course, “perfect scenario” is the hand-shake deal that is signed after the expansion draft so that it opens up a forward protected spot. That would be great but, in this case, I’d just like to get it done well ahead of time.

Nuge is a “glue player” on this team, in my opinion – his value wouldn’t be known until he was gone. He’ll be a “young UFA” and I don’t think we’ll see much regression in his early 30s given the type of game and his skills. I’d like to have this wrapped up well before next off-season.

This was talked about briefly in the Nugent-Bowman/Holland question and answer the other day:

———–

Q: Based on your answer, I’d assume you’re taking a wait-and-see approach with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He can be signed to an extension but is under contract for one more year.

A: Yeah. I think in most cases people understand there’s a flat cap. It’s not only flat for ’20-21, it’s gonna be flat for a while. That doesn’t mean you don’t sign people. Everybody’s just gotta get a grasp on what that means for negotiations.

https://theathletic.com/2026186/2020/08/29/qa-oilers-gm-ken-holland-on-improving-internally-the-flat-cap-and-goaltending/—–

————

I don’t think a signing is imminent but I do think it will happen well ahead of next year’s trade deadline, whenever they may be.

GordieHoweHatTrick

LT, I am down with your imaginary plans for the Condors. I agree, I think Jurco should be kept around. It is within the realm of possibilities that he can still play a small role in the NHL (if LW gets decimated with injuries) and would be a good vet on the AHL club. Same with Kuffner, the book isn’t closed on him yet. They could consider seeking some balance from the leftorium, that is where I would try to make some tweaks, to strengthen some of the soft spots (G, C, RD).

GordieHoweHatTrick

Woodguy v2.0:
*****WARNING SPAM*****

New Because Oilers – In search of a 3C for the Edmonton Oilers.

This is an introduction into the criteria I will be using in a series of posts about potential 3Cs for EDM. Hopefully the first player post will be up later today.

https://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/2020/08/in-search-of-3rd-line-center-for.html

*****END SPAM*****

Thank you professor WoodGuy.
Looking forward to the posts. I don’t have fb so I will put my 👍 here.
I am hoping your evaluation for 3C will include Haas as a possibility in that role, i.e., possibly with two strong wingers (in terms of 3rd line strong W, e.g., Ennis, Kass, JP, Nyg). I think he could also be a candidate for 2nd unit PK.

Related to youR post: Looking at the potential PK situation for next year…
JJ-Archie
Nuge-KY (Haas)
Drai-X when really necessary….

Munny

I see Leavins also thinks Khaira is a top trade candidate.

And it seems 3C is the priority for the org, followed closely by goalie and potential D upgrade.

A winger for 97 must be a distant 4th as it gets nary a mention (unlike ’round here lol).

Thankfully no mention of imminent Klefbom or Nurse moves.

So I have The Most Likely to be Traded list looking like this:

1. Chiasson*
2. Khaira
3. Kassian
4. Larsson
5. Benning

(Am I missing anyone?)

How many of these would a Gm want to move in a single off-season max… 2-3? Three seems tough to do under the Covid Cap. And some of these are “or” situations… Larsson OR Benning. Chiasser OR Kass.

_______________

*(may require incriminating photo)

OriginalPouzar

Lets say there is an AHL to come back to this season, from what I’ve been led to believe, Lennstrom and Niemeläinen will definitely be coming back and I think Maksimov is slated to come back as well (which confuses me a bit given he’s got a KHL contract).

I believe Lavoie and Sammy are committed to the SHL and KHL for the year and won’t be options.

Broberg would be an option but I don’t imagine Holland re-calls him – I know they will evaluate his first few months but I believe he will spend the year in the SHL and come on over when the season is over in the spring.

Berglund would be an option but we know he plans on staying the entire year.

Puljujarvi, well, lets hope he is coming back over for the NHL camp (even if there is no AHL to come back to).

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Woodguy v2.0,

Tasty spam, more of an appetizer though. Looking forward to the main course(s).

GordieHoweHatTrick

Munny:
I see Leavins also thinks Khaira is a top trade candidate.

And it seems 3C is the priority for the org, followed closely by goalie and potential D upgrade.

A winger for 97 must be a distant 4th as it gets nary a mention (unlike ’round here lol).

Thankfully no mention of imminent Klefbom or Nurse moves.

So I have The Most Likely to be Traded list looking like this:

1. Chiasson*
2. Khaira
3. Kassian
4. Larsson
5. Benning

(Am I missing anyone?)

How many of these would a Gm want to move in a single off-season max…2-3?Three seems tough to do under the Covid Cap. And some of these are “or” situations… Larsson OR Benning. Chiasser OR Kass.

_______________

*(may require incriminating photo)

I see it like this…

1. Russell
2. Chiasson (if JP re-signs..and stays)
3. Benning
….
Since Shea is not being re-signed, JJ will stay for 4th line duty and PK. Unless they can get an equivalent return (4th liner with good PK), but then I don’t really see the point in the trade to begin with. JJ has been raised by the Oil. Keep him for the role he can perform well.

Munny

GordieHoweHatTrick: Since Shea is not being re-signed, JJ will stay for 4th line duty and PK. Unless they can get an equivalent return (4th liner with good PK), but then I don’t really see the point in the trade to begin with. JJ has been raised by the Oil. Keep him for the role he can perform well.

All through this search for a 3C, the one thing that has struck me is the redundancy of Khaira if one is obtained. I think Holly is on a mission to get one, and if he does I think it is very likely Khaira is gone. Not guaranteed mind you, but very very likely.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Munny: Dammit… forgot the elephant in the room… lol.

Here for you man…
I think JJ is a solid bet at 4C, particularly with Neal + Chia/Chia replacement (Archie)??
Oil need a good solid cycling/checking line.
I prefer the 3rd line to be more of an offensive role…but all 200 ft responsible types…with pieces for PK.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Munny: All through this search for a 3C, the one thing that has struck me is the redundancy of Khaira if one is obtained.I think Holly is on a mission to get one, and if he does I think it is very likely Khaira is gone.Not guaranteed mind you, but very very likely.

Yes, I think the 3C is a hard target. KH mentioned on his exit interview he had ” a plan in mind” ..trying to work something out. Re-signing pretty much every one but Shea was a bit of a tell…he is looking to fill this void. As per above I think JJ can be 4th line C/LW. Haas can also help out if he can’t fill the 3C shoes all by himself…
Lets see if WG can find KH a few decent options for acquisition of a legit 3C.

jp

Ryan: Agreed that 3c is both a crucial position and a big hole on our roster.

Looking at teams still in the playoffs, it’s surprising how much teams spend on 3c.

Look what Tampa spends on Yanni Gourde.

The cap situation is pretty dire next year when we consider the flaws of the roster, roster holes, and the increasing cost just to field the same team as last season in a flat cap.

There’s $2.4m more for Nurse.

Kassian and Archibald will cost $1.75m more. Bear will also be more expensive.

Considering that we were already shopping in the bargain bin last year, I don’t know how we’ll afford an upgrade on 3c.

I think Kenny will walk away from or trade Benning and AA for picks to free up cap space.

Even when he does, that money is basically already spent on covering the increasing costs of current players.

Also agree that 3C is a (the) major need, and that it won’t be trivial to clear the cap to add one. I don’t think things are *quite* as you say above though.

I posted this the other day and it’s my template to look at what the Oilers cap situation is now, and where Holland can go from here. It assumes RFAs are resigned to reasonable/plausible deals and UFAs are let walk, plus a cheap goalie is added. The team below has a full 23 man roster and 665k cap space (assumed RFA deals are indicated and the Sekera/Pouliot/Lucic dead cap is included).

————————————————————————————————————

Nuge-McDavid-Kassian
AA-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Neal-Khaira-Chiasson
Nygard-Haas-Archibald
Benson-Marody

Nurse-Bear
Klefbom-Larsson
Russell-Benning
Jones

Koskinen-Dell/DeSmith/Smith

The FA deals for the above were:
AA – $3M X 1 (his QO)
Bear – $1.5M X 1
Benning – $2M X 1 (his QO)
Dell/DeSmith/Smith – $1.25M (DeSmith’s existing deal is $1.25M)

So from there the places where we’ve discussed finding some more cap are:
Trading/walking AA ($3M)
Trading/walking Benning ($2M)
Trading Russell (up to $4M, depending if there’s $$ retained)
Buying out Neal ($3.8M for the next 3 years)
Trading Larsson ($4M)
Trading Chiasson ($2.15M)
Trading Kassian ($3.2M
Trading Koskinen ($4.5M)

————————————————————————————————————

So money needs to go out in order to bring in a 3C, a better goalie, etc. But we can field essentially the post trade deadline team from this year without needing to cut cap. Recall also that Sheahan and Ennis were bottom of the barrel UFA signings last summer (under $1M each) so those kinds of players would continue to be available even without any players/cap going out.

I think that’s a bit better team than this years even with Haas/Khaira as the depth Cs.

A few plausible moves clears enough to add a 3C and/or a better goalie. As a for instance:
$2.25M cleared from above for Russell (traded with $1M retained, replaced by Lagesson) +
$1M for Benning (traded for a pick, replaced by Bouchard) +
$1M for Chiasson (traded for a pick, replaced by Puljujarvi) +
$1.25M by not including Dell/DeSmith/Smith above
$900k for Marody to the minors

There’s $6.4M for a 3C and a pretty decent 2nd goalie.

That’s just an example obviously, but IMO it should be possible to keep Anathasiou (if Holland wants to) and avoid a Neal buyout while still improving the team. Holland has (or can make) some wiggle room I think.

Jaxon

Similar to Athanasiou, I see Ennis listed as RW, C, LW on Capfriendly. How much C have they actually played?

I know I’m a bit of a broken record regarding Benson, but I really hope they can place him with a goal scorer (or two).

That’s why I’m wondering about Athanasiou and Ennis. An in-house solution may be required in flat cap world.

Benson – Ennis – Kassian
Benson – Athanasiou – Kassian
Benson – Athanasiou – Neal
Benson – Ennis – Neal
Benson – Ennis – Puljujarvi
Benson – Athanasiou – Puljujarvi

An outside target that might gel well with Neal or Puljujarvi might be Erik Haula.

Benson – Haula – Neal
Benson – Haula – Puljujarvi

Just thinking out loud.

All these players can score goals and some have pretty high Shooting percentages. It stands to some reason that playing with a setup man might unlock a bunch of goals.

OriginalPouzar

Jaxon:
If Benson is down on the farm, he deserves a sniper. Hopefully, Lavoie can come back once the AHL stats and maybe put him at C and put Maximove on RW. Although he had success with Marody, it doesn’t make sense to have 2 playmakers on the same line. As with Benson’s NHL possibilities, they need to give him 2 shooters to maximize the potential of any line he plays on.

Kassian may be a good RW for Benson Inn the NHL. Kassian had one of the highest shooting percentages in the NHL last season so getting him the pick more might help unlock both players. Kassian wouldn’t divert to Benson as much as he does to McDavid. Ennis, too, had a high shooting percentage, so he maybe Ennis or Shabbat could be 3C.

My understanding of Lavoie’s contract with Rogle is that he’s committed for the season and cannot come back until the SHL season is done.

Unfortunately, he won’t be playing in the AHL until after April.

Woodguy v2.0

*****WARNING MORE SPAM*****

New Because Oilers – Oilers 3rd line center search post #1. Johan Larsson:

https://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/2020/08/edmonton-oilers-3rd-line-center-search.html

*****END MORE SPAM*****

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer:
There’s no bigger hole on this team then 3c
It’s effects percolate up and down this roster
Mcdavid and Drai lines are forced to play too many minutes and they know they have to outscore what the 3rd line gives up so they take too many chances needing to do just that
Get a 3rd line of AA 3c JP. (Someone to mentor JP and recover some value)
And watch everything else fall into place

4th line if they can play defensive minutes well and give you top 5 pk in league I don’t care if they don’t score a single goal

Neal/Khaira/Chiasson

In 35 minutes during the regular season they were negative possession but 3-0 in goals.

In 20 minutes in the “playoffs”, they were huge positives in possession and 1-1 in goals.

They were all used and effective on special teams.

Was it the 3rd line or the 4th line?

Is it something the coaches will want to use next year?

If so, I assume that’s the 4th line.

Will it be better with Haas over Khaira?

Can Haas be that 3C for AA and Puljujarvi (Archibald)?

Is it possible that Haas can spike to be a 25-30 point 3C?

If Puljujarvi is here then is Chiasson moved?

GordieHoweHatTrick

jp: Also agree that 3C is a (the) major need, and that it won’t be trivial to clear the cap to add one. I don’t think things are *quite* as you say above though.

I posted this the other day and it’s my template to look at what the Oilers cap situation is now, and where Holland can go from here. It assumes RFAs are resigned to reasonable/plausible deals and UFAs are let walk, plus a cheap goalie is added. The team below has a full 23 man roster and 665k cap space (assumed RFA deals are indicated and the Sekera/Pouliot/Lucic dead cap is included).

————————————————————————————————————

Nuge-McDavid-Kassian
AA-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Neal-Khaira-Chiasson
Nygard-Haas-Archibald
Benson-Marody

Nurse-Bear
Klefbom-Larsson
Russell-Benning
Jones

Koskinen-Dell/DeSmith/Smith

The FA deals for the above were:
AA – $3M X 1 (his QO)
Bear – $1.5M X 1
Benning – $2M X 1 (his QO)
Dell/DeSmith/Smith – $1.25M (DeSmith’s existing deal is $1.25M)

So from there the places where we’ve discussed finding some more cap are:
Trading/walking AA ($3M)
Trading/walking Benning ($2M)
Trading Russell (up to $4M, depending if there’s $$ retained)
Buying out Neal ($3.8M for the next 3 years)
Trading Larsson ($4M)
Trading Chiasson ($2.15M)
Trading Kassian ($3.2M
Trading Koskinen ($4.5M)

————————————————————————————————————

So money needs to go out in order to bring in a 3C, a better goalie, etc. But we can field essentially the post trade deadline team from this year without needing to cut cap. Recall also that Sheahan and Ennis were bottom of the barrel UFA signings last summer (under $1M each) so those kinds of players would continue to be available even without any players/cap going out.

I think that’s a bit better team than this years even with Haas/Khaira as the depth Cs.

A few plausible moves clears enough to add a 3C and/or a better goalie. As a for instance:
$2.25M cleared from above for Russell (traded with $1M retained, replaced by Lagesson) +
$1M for Benning (traded for a pick, replaced by Bouchard) +
$1M for Chiasson (traded for a pick, replaced by Puljujarvi) +
$1.25M by not including Dell/DeSmith/Smith above
$900k for Marody to the minors

There’s $6.4M for a 3C and a pretty decent 2nd goalie.

That’s just an example obviously, but IMO it should be possible to keep Anathasiou (if Holland wants to) and avoid a Neal buyout while still improving the team. Holland has (or can make) some wiggle room I think.

I think you have it pretty dialed in here. If your moves all came to fruition, I would be happy. Some minor variations..
Trade Russell for anything to get cap space, preferably to get a goalie (i.e., Raanta, or cheaper cap hit – we have circled the possibilities previously), or in package with LD prospect not named Jones. Bro, Lags, Sammy – IF necessary, to find a suitable upgrade at 3C.
Sign Benning (if possible ~1.5-1.75), let Bouch push him out and then trade Benning in the season, contingent on Berglund being in the mix at this point in time (can be called up for injury, but Jones and Lag can play 3RD, IF necessary)
Sign one of Ennis or AA (only if the latter can be had for <=2.5; "lets make a deal")
If JP comes back, trade Chia
Scrape the bottom of the jam jar for all cap space that can be had to get best 3C available (WG will tell KH who this is in the next few days)

I have also done the numbers on these re-arrangements and it is do-able. This new roster would be a modest upgrade on last years roster with Benson, Marody, Haas all pushing the incumbents…EZPZ 😉

GordieHoweHatTrick

OriginalPouzar: Neal/Khaira/Chiasson

In 35 minutes during the regular season they were negative possession but 3-0 in goals.

In 20 minutes in the “playoffs”, they were huge positives in possession and 1-1 in goals.

They were all used and effective on special teams.

Was it the 3rd line or the 4th line?

Is it something the coaches will want to use next year?

If so, I assume that’s the 4th line.

Will it be better with Haas over Khaira?

Can Haas be that 3C for AA and Puljujarvi (Archibald)?

Is it possible that Haas can spike to be a 25-30 point 3C?

If Puljujarvi is here then is Chiasson moved?

IF JP is here, can Arch replace Chia to the same effect as: Neal-JJ-Arch (call it 3rd or 4th line, whatevs, probably 4th with “more skill” on L3 with the other bits and pieces). He would add speed to the line and he plays quite physical for a smaller player…

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: Neal/Khaira/Chiasson

In 35 minutes during the regular season they were negative possession but 3-0 in goals.

In 20 minutes in the “playoffs”, they were huge positives in possession and 1-1 in goals.

They were all used and effective on special teams.

Was it the 3rd line or the 4th line?

Is it something the coaches will want to use next year?

If so, I assume that’s the 4th line.

Will it be better with Haas over Khaira?

Can Haas be that 3C for AA and Puljujarvi (Archibald)?

Is it possible that Haas can spike to be a 25-30 point 3C?

If Puljujarvi is here then is Chiasson moved?

Chaisson and Neal have chemistry and appear to play well together but don’t know if I play 5v5 them above 4th line over period of time.
Other than pk and some size I don’t see what Jarjar brings
4th line fine but not higher

OriginalPouzar

Ryan: Agreed that 3c is both a crucial position and a big hole on our roster.

Looking at teams still in the playoffs, it’s surprising how much teams spend on 3c.

Look what Tampa spends on Yanni Gourde.

The cap situation is pretty dire next year when we consider the flaws of the roster, roster holes, and the increasing cost just to field the same team as last season in a flat cap.

There’s $2.4m more for Nurse.

Kassian and Archibald will cost $1.75m more. Bear will also be more expensive.

Considering that we were already shopping in the bargain bin last year, I don’t know how we’ll afford an upgrade on 3c.

I think Kenny will walk away from or trade Benning and AA for picks to free up cap space.

Even when he does, that money is basically already spent on covering the increasing costs of current players.

Your premise is absolutely correct – there is no ability to improve via external acquisition without committed cap going out.

At the same time, laying out the individual increases doesn’t really provide any benefit and I simply look at the big picture. The Oilers have apx $70M committed to 16 players so they have just over $11M to sign/acquire 7 players which include Bear’s new contract, a second goalie, AA’s new contract (or asset back), Benning’s new contract (or asset back), etc.

If we want to talk about individual increases then its fair to list the cap exits (B. Manning at over $2M, M. Green at over $2M, Sheahan, Ennis, Smith, etc.).

There is likely enough cap to get AA signed for his QO (or, hopefully, slightly below), Benning signed for his QO (or, hopefully, slightly below), Bear bridged (likely at $1.75M or so) and a goalie acquired in the Aaron Dell type range.

To get that 3C, or that higher end/proven 1B goalie, or that 2-way or scoring winger, etc. cap needs to go out.

James Neal will not be bought out – Holland “highly unlikely” and he’s very cognizant of dead cap and future dead cap.

Options for cap out:

– Kris Russell – clearly the top option but highly unlikely to simply have another team take on the contract – any trade will likely be either with retained cap or a bad cap contract back for similar term – that could fill the hole right there (i.e Bjugstad for 3C – injury risk of course)

– Adam Larsson – a 3C could come back right there or perhaps they trade for futures and use the cap to acquire that 3C or scoring forward. Issue is needing a replacement 2RD which will cost that newly acquired cap or else the right side is weak (Benning at 2RD) and without depth (Bouchard as 3RD and zero RD available in behind)

– AA moved for a pick/prosect – Spot likely filled by Benson

– Chiasson moved for, hopefully, cap space – Spot likely filled by Puljujarvi (hopefully)

– Benning moved for asset – spot filled by Bouchard, however, depth depleted.

————————–

My current hopes:

– Russell for Bjugstad

– AA plus for Merzlikins and J. Anderson – obviously a massive plus but CBJ was interested in AA at the deadline so they value him. I don’t know if that plus is Puljujarvi and a d-prospect like Sammy or if the 14th is an option

OriginalPouzar

doctoreye:
Is there a reason we cannot buyout Russell?

Because there is very little cap savings – he would have a cap hit of $3M for this coming year and then a dead cap hit of $500K the following year.

It would open up a roster spot which would fill the cap saved on the buyout.

OriginalPouzar

Oilman99:
doctoreye,

Buyouts are not the way to go, they impact the cap for too many years down the road. A trade with retained $ is the smarter way, the guy is off the books when his contract expires. The cap is going to be flat for a couple of more years.

Correct in premise but, of course, need a second party to that retained cap trade with a reduced market due to Russell’s trade protection.

A buyout does not make sense in this instance but a trade, although required, is going to be a tough one to make this off-season, even with retention.

Material Elvis

Jaxon:
Similar to Athanasiou, I see Ennis listed as RW, C, LW on Capfriendly. How much C have they actually played?

I know I’m a bit of a broken record regarding Benson, but I really hope they can place him with a goal scorer (or two).

That’s why I’m wondering about Athanasiou and Ennis. An in-house solution may be required in flat cap world.

Benson – Ennis – Kassian
Benson – Athanasiou – Kassian
Benson – Athanasiou – Neal
Benson – Ennis – Neal
Benson – Ennis – Puljujarvi
Benson – Athanasiou – Puljujarvi

An outside target that might gel well with Neal or Puljujarvi might be Erik Haula.

Benson – Haula – Neal
Benson – Haula – Puljujarvi

Just thinking out loud.

All these players can score goals and some have pretty high Shooting percentages. It stands to some reason that playing with a setup man might unlock a bunch of goals.

Ennis and AA are not centers so no to that — they need a center with a decent track record. The Benson-Haula-JP line is interesting. I’m sure both wingers would get a chance with McDavid throughout the season, too. I haven’t looked at Woodguy’s piece on 3C yet but they need to nail that position down this summer. No pretenders allowed.

Woodguy v2.0

who: Just read your article.
Garten Haas shoots right. Don’t you watch the games?

Watching the game is for peasants and rubes. 🙂

I fixed it, thanks for the heads up.

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer:
There’s no bigger hole on this team then 3c
It’s effects percolate up and down this roster
Mcdavid and Drai lines are forced to play too many minutes and they know they have to outscore what the 3rd line gives up so they take too many chances needing to do just that
Get a 3rd line of AA 3c JP. (Someone to mentor JP and recover some value)
And watch everything else fall into place

4th line if they can play defensive minutes well and give you top 5 pk in league I don’t care if they don’t score a single goal

Agreed

Woodguy v2.0

Ryan: Agreed that 3c is both a crucial position and a big hole on our roster.

Looking at teams still in the playoffs, it’s surprising how much teams spend on 3c.

Look what Tampa spends on Yanni Gourde.

The cap situation is pretty dire next year when we consider the flaws of the roster, roster holes, and the increasing cost just to field the same team as last season in a flat cap.

There’s $2.4m more for Nurse.

Kassian and Archibald will cost $1.75m more. Bear will also be more expensive.

Considering that we were already shopping in the bargain bin last year, I don’t know how we’ll afford an upgrade on 3c.

I think Kenny will walk away from or trade Benning and AA for picks to free up cap space.

Even when he does, that money is basically already spent on covering the increasing costs of current players.

my first evaluation is of a guy who should be cheap and a big upgrade on Sheahan

leadfarmer

Everyone of these teams left is having their holes exposed in this round
Except one
I don’t think anyone can beat the lightning

Woodguy v2.0

GordieHoweHatTrick: Thank you professor WoodGuy.
Looking forward to the posts. I don’t have fb so I will put my here.
I am hoping your evaluation for 3C will include Haas as a possibility in that role, i.e., possibly with two strong wingers (in terms of 3rd line strong W, e.g., Ennis, Kass, JP, Nyg). I think he could also be a candidate for 2nd unit PK.

Related to youR post: Looking at the potential PK situation for next year…
JJ-Archie
Nuge-KY (Haas)
Drai-X when really necessary….

I’d like to see Hass with a full year as 4C before considering 3C.

I like track record for important spots.