In past summers, the Oilers have telegraphed exits. We knew in 2016 Taylor Hall was in play, certainly by the time the name Milan Lucic leaked. In 2017, this blog ran Ryan Strome’s numbers against Jordan Eberle’s 10 days before the deal was done. Last year, Ken Holland mentioned Philip Broberg long before the draft and there was a sense Milan Lucic was headed to Vancouver or Calgary. This year? Let’s have a look.
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: A reasonable trade price for the Oilers to pay in pursuit of OEL
- Jonathan Willis: Could it make sense for the Oilers to trade Oscar Klefbom?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Breaking down my ballot for the 2019-20 NHL awards
- Lowetide: Rising talent, acquiring picks key to Oilers’ success at draft
- Lowetide: European leagues are open, and Oilers prospects are everywhere
- 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: 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: 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
Who is a lock to be traded? Kris Russell. He is a guy who other general managers will value. Oilers won’t get much but the cap relief ($4 million) is the key for Holland. Caleb Jones makes it impossible to keep Russell as anything more than insurance on the left side, emergency on the right. The nature of his contract (very little money out) makes him attractive. A team could acquire Russell, play him most of the year and then trade him at the deadline, possibly for more than they gave up to get him. GM’s will factor that scenario into the acquisition equation. Winnipeg is a solid option in my opinion.
Who do you think is in play? I’ll say Jujhar Khaira, Alex Chiasson, honestly we could see a name go to make the money work. James Neal. Zack Kassian. Andreas Athanasiou unless they sign him. Matt Benning.
What about the high end guys? Maybe Larsson but the Oilers have no roster replacement for him. Can Dave Tippett run Bear-Benning-Bouchard on the right side? If I’m Holland I check with the coach. The thing is, Larsson can defend, that has value. Overall, I think these big trade ideas, for the most part, will fall flat. Klefbom? Man, you’d need the moon to deal the guy.
What are the Oilers looking for? Goalie, No. 3 center and I believe at least one left winger. Many believe the club wants to add a stud blue like OEL, that may be a Holland priority. The OEL stuff is legit.
You don’t agree the defense needs a tuneup? I don’t think it’s close to the weakest portion of the team, and the youth coming will make it stronger. However, there’s more than one way to win at hockey. The Oilers have never been built around a dynamic stud defenseman save for the Pronger year. However, Holland won some Stanleys with a stud blue, so maybe we’ll see a change in the weather.
When will these trades go down? I think it’ll be a slow week Saturday to Saturday, maybe one deal goes down. Beginning Monday October 5 we should see action.
So you think Holland is pursuing OEL? Friedman confirmed interest, I think Arizona will want a first-round pick and to send away money. The Oilers could accommodate.
You think Holland doesn’t like the Oilers defense? Yeah, I think he may want to change the look a little. More speed, better outlet passing. If you see Bear’s outlets and Jones wheels, and then ask yourself how many of the veterans pass like Bear or skate like Jones, well, how many average skaters and pedestrian passers can you afford? I think the answer is one. Larsson, for what he brings defensively.
Why would you say Holland is focused on improving defense? Well, he drafted Philip Broberg even though the prospect forest at forward is basically Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. And, with all of us talking goalie, No. 3 center and a scoring winger, Friedman says the team reached out on OEL. Holland and Tippett have had a year with the team, if there are changes to be made, it’s logical now would be the time.
Last major June Holland acquisition? June 30, 2001. Holland traded Slava Kozlov and a first-round pick to Buffalo for Dominik Hasek. Helluva trade. Hasek won all 16 games in the 2002 Stanley run.
What are your expectations of this team in 2019-20? I think the template is to improve enough this offseason to push for the division title. Tall order, but if they get the second goalie right and find a No. 3 center, if a two-way winger can be found to play with 97 or 29, then we’re looking at a contender.
Predict the next 14 days. There’s one pre-draft trade, it’s Kris Russell to Winnipeg for minor league center Michael Spacek. At the draft, Edmonton picks Seth Jarvis, Yan Kuznetsov and Maxim Beryozkin. Holland gets Andreas Athanasiou under contract for two years, signs Braden Holtby and deals Matt Benning on the draft floor. Much disappointment in Oiler land, team finishes second in the Pacific Division 2020-21.