Ken Holland’s process this offseason resembles (so far) his plan a year ago in free agency. Faced with a limited budget and specific needs, he went about his business with precision. He addressed his most pressing needs, one by one, starting with the priority. This year? It appears he has the same priority. Or does he?
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.
- New Lowetide: Stock Watch: Hot starts and safe landings for Oilers prospects
- New Jonathan Willis: There are no good shortcuts for the Oilers with Jesse Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Potential trades and partners for the Oilers’ offseason
- Lowetide: The Oilers could find a world-class agitator in the draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Should the Oilers select goalie Yaroslav Askarov 14th at the NHL Draft?
- Lowetide: A bold draft strategy for the Oilers in 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers third-line centre search should include other teams’ cap casualties
- Lowetide: Dealing a defenceman? Taking stock of Oilers’ blueline assets
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie has opted for Europe. Will others follow suit?
- Lowetide: Oilers return to traditional farming model with Bakersfield Condors
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Oilers GM Ken Holland on improving internally, the flat cap and goaltending
- Lowetide: How close are the Oilers to deploying two formidable scoring lines?
- Jonathan Willis: Can the Oilers find value picks among the 2020 NHL Draft’s impressive Russians?
- Lowetide: 10 free agent targets for the Oilers this offseason
- Lowetide: What if the Oilers went scorched earth in front of 2020 free agency?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 Prospects, Summer 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Unqualified RFAs could be top offseason targets for the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Who stays? Who goes? The most likely players to stay with and leave the Oilers
KEN HOLLAND’S FREE AGENT SIGNINGS, 2019
Holland was busy on July 1 but also added help later on in free agency. He entered the market needing a goalie, penalty killers and a couple of men who had scored 12-15 in the hockey guide and record book. Here’s how it happened.
- July 1: Goalie Mike Smith, one year $2,743,000 ($2 million plus bonuses).
- July 1: LW Markus Granlund, one year $1,300,000
- July 1: LW Tomas Jurco, one year $750,000
- July 1: RC Gaetan Haas, one year $925,000
- July 16: RW Josh Archibald, one year $1,000,000
- September 5: LC Riley Sheahan, one year $900,000
Holland grabbed his goalie, then a couple of veteran who could play a two-way game, a guy he knew in Jurco and a guy he remembered in Haas. When restricted players weren’t qualified he signed Josh Archibald (his best signing) and then, late in free agency, signed his checking center Sheahan. Back in May, he signed SHL winger Joakim Nygard after the club won his rights over several other teams.
Patience is good. Among players who are unrestricted free agents, attractive targets include Robin Lehner, Jacob Markstrom, Anton Khudobin, Thomas Greiss, Cam Talbot, Aaron Dell. That’s 6.
Trade possibilities may include Darcy Kuemper, Jake Allen, Elvis Merzlikins, Linus Ullmark, James Reimer, Frederik Andersen, Anders Nilsson, Petr Mrazek. That’s 8.
I would be impatient to acquire Kuemper, after that waiting it out and getting someone later is the better plan. More dollars made available for the No. 3 center and winger for McDavid, although Athanasiou might just get extended to cover the winger spot.
Zahorak is a worthy follow, although Swedish Poster is brilliant with the updates. I think it’s safe to begin discussions about Broberg being NHL-ready for 2021-22. What does that do to the Oilers depth chart at LHD? Will that impact this year’s offseason movies? Not sure.
All of this OEL talk has me thinking the Holland needs list differs from mine. I have two-way winger for 97, goaltender and No. 3 center as the list, but it’s clear “minute muncher” on defense is on Holland’s list and OEL might be a target.
- Goaltender (Koskinen is a suitable goalie, so there’s no panic)
- No. 3 center (This should be a clear priority despite the lack of options)
- Two-way or scoring winger (If Athanasiou signs, he may be part of the solution)
- Stud defenseman (late addition, searing cost)
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running for the weekend, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck Podcast will join me at 10:20 to talk about the SCF’s and how best to hand out the Stanley without a crowd. Matt Iwanyk from TSN1260 will pop in at 11 to chat Raptors, NFL Week One and the latest from inside the bubble. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.
We’ll also have the $20,000 Mystery Moment at 10:15, your chance to win cash with that gigantic sports brain of yours. We’re at $1,000! THAT’S REAL MONEY! Text in at 10-1260 with the secret word, then we’ll call you, play a clip from a famous sports moment and ask you for a detailed answer.