We got some news yesterday, Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts detailing Edmonton’s interest in OEL and Kuemper, Frank Seravalli delivering the latest on Andreas Athanasiou and the organization’s thought process.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: Ken Holland and Dave Tippett’s past players: Can any help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Roster projections for Oilers, including trade and free agent targets
- Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers should buy out James Neal
- Lowetide: Oilers approach 2020 draft with increased depth in important positions
- Lowetide: For Oilers prospect Tyler Benson, the past can be inspiration
- Lowetide: Stock Watch: Hot starts and safe landings for Oilers prospects
- 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?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Oilers GM Ken Holland on improving internally, the flat cap and goaltending
- 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
What could Ken Holland get with that $5 million? Well, Tyler Johnson has four years left at that number, he remains a reasonable offensive center-wing (1.79, 1.92 and 1.80 in his last three seasons five on five scoring).
Holland could trade the No. 14 pick for Darcy Kuemper straight up, although it would mean running Bouchard in Benning’s old spot and looking internally for a replacement for Athanasiou.
That’s a conversation we could have now, today. Evan Bouchard replaces Matt Benning, what do you lose? Benning is a consistent player, and has been on the ice for five on five outscoring all four seasons with Edmonton. Oilers save $1 million with this move.
Who replaces AA? Oilers have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the No. 1 left winger, he scored 2.23 points per 60 five on five and a 57 percent on-ice goal differential in the discipline. That’s good. The rest of the LW depth chart is likely to house two of James Neal, Joakim Nygard and Tyler Benson. That’s not close to good enough on lines 2-4. That’s why Holland brought in Ennis and Athanasiou:
Bring back Athanasiou? Frank Seravalli’s piece tells us Holland is looking to move AA and “teams are thinking he’ll let Athanasiou walk for nothing in the absence of a QO, limiting the return on a trade for his rights.” Rock, meet hard place.
What about Ennis? It would be great to bring him back on a $1 million deal, but if you look at his 2019-20 season it’s likely there will be significant interest in the player across the league.
Could Holland cash Jesse Puljujarvi for real help on left wing? I don’t think the big Finn has that kind of value.
What about the RFA’s who will get cut loose? We don’t know the names of those who will be set free, so here are the young LW RFA’s waiting for contracts: Jake DeBrusk, Boston; Dominik Kahun, Buffalo; Victor Olofsson, Buffalo; Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit; Anthony Mantha, Detroit; Max Domi, Montreal; Anthony Duclair, Ottawa; Ilya Mikheyev, Toronto; Warren Foegele, Carolina; Jesper Bratt, New Jersey; Dominik Kubalik, Chicago; Drake Caggiula, Chicago; Tyson Jost, Colorado; Andre Burakovsky, Colorado; Valeri Nichushkin, Colorado; Roope Hintz, Dallas; Denis Gurianov, Dallas; Mason Appleton, Winnipeg; Danton Heinen, Anaheim; Andrew Mangiapane, Calgary; Andreas Athanasiou, Edmonton; Nikolai Prokhorkin, Los Angeles; Kevin Lebanc, San Jose; Chandler Stephenson, Vegas.
Holland has to decide what to do in the coming weeks and then proceed accordingly. I’d suggest signing Ennis to a value deal would have made sense but remember he was hurt and the player acquired on left wing needs to be ready. Getting Athanasiou signed looks unlikely. This is going to be fun. A reminder of my list of Holland’s priorities: Goalie, No. 3 center, winger for McDavid. Based on the Friedman news, looks like a No. 1 defenseman is on Holland’s list as well.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running on the Lowdown. Steve Lansky from ‘Inside the Truck’ podcast and BigMouthSports will talk about the delayed replay of last night’s winning goal, the best way to approach a pandemic NHL entry draft broadcast and the Raptors place in Canadian sports history. Matt Iwanyk from TSN1260 will pop in at 11 to talk Raps, NFL Week 2, Ken Holland’s deadline deals and what they mean for the coming offseason. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!