I’m beginning to think Ken Holland liked the 2019-20 Oilers. After signing Patrick Russell yesterday, the roster that finished second in the Pacific Divison has 17 signed men from the 23-man roster that ended the season. Three more RFA’s (Andreas Athanasiou, Matt Benning, Ethan Bear) could run that number to 20. Mike Smith and Tyler Ennis remain options, Riley Sheahan and Mike Green appear less likely. Yes, I’d say Holland liked his first Oilers team quite a lot.
Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.
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OILERS 50 MAN (43)
Russell doesn’t move the needle in terms of the starting 12, and nothing much changes today from yesterday. Joe Gambardella remains in chase mode for the job Russell owns (extra winger).
There are nine RFA’s remaining, I think Bear, Lagesson, Day and Kuffner get signed, Redmond, Vesey and Hebig move on. Benning and Athanasiou are up in the air at this time. I don’t list Ryan Mantha, he is also technically an RFA.
The signing of Russell means there are 17 men under contract for next year. Edmonton has six more spots and $10,323,835 to work with at this time. Or do they?
PROJECTED LINEUP 2020-21 WITH TWEAKS
This roster comes in with just over $1 million ($1,021,335) in cap room. I traded Alex Chiasson and Ilya Konovalov to Arizona for Antti Raanta, Jesse Puljujarvi to Pittsburgh for Jared McCann, Kris Russell for Eric Comrie. Finally, I sent Matt Benning and Mike Kesselring to Florida for Frank Vatrano. We can argue over the trades and values, I usually underpay on all these funzone deals. I do like this team, six forwards have scored 20+ goals at least once in their careers. Kailer Yamamoto isn’t one of them, meaning that at least one good offensive player will be alongside McCann on the third line.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning on the show, we get started at 10 on TSN1260. At 10:20, Hart Levine from PuckPedia will discuss the tweet above and how best Ken Holland can find some roster wiggle room this offseason. There are going to be some tough decisions ahead. AJ Haefele from DNVR Sports will talk Avalanche at 11 and we’ll talk Jays, NFL and more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!