The Up Escalator

by Lowetide

Ken Holland didn’t draft any of the Bakersfield Condors who received a call to Edmonton in 2019-20, but the usage of Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Kailer Yamamoto, William Lagesson and Tyler Benson does fall in line with the “Detroit” development model. How many Condors will we see in 2020-21?

THE ATHLETIC!

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.

FROM THE STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD

Bear, Yamamoto and Jones played major roles in the Oilers season, a second place finish in the Pacific Division. Just one first-round pick in the group, also a good sign. Here is a list of players who could see action with the Oilers in 2020-21, and who played in Bakersfield a year ago. On-ice estimates and even strength goal differentials via Eric Rodgers.

I expect both defensemen will get playing time, and Benson has a clear shot at this point because the LW depth chart is not strong after Nuge and Tyler Ennis. McLeod is interesting. He looks blocked by 97-29-Turris-Khaira-Haas but things can change and I do think the Oilers are higher on McLeod than they are on Benson.

This is the group who arrived in the NHL during the final three seasons Holland was part of the DRW organization. There were more who auditioned, but the Red Wings, who are in rebuild mode, found some good players and brought them to the NHL in timely fashion. Some pain in there, but Filip Hronek (second-round pick) appears to be a big fly. Detroit is solving problems through the draft and college/entry free-agent options. This is your future, Edmonton.

What does that mean? Look to the draft. Dylan Holloway might be the solution on left wing two years from now, with placeholders like Tyler Ennis and Joakim Nygard brought in to eat Tyler Benson’s job (the No. 2 LW position should be the one Benson slides into during 2020-21).

HOLLAND TUNNEL

Holland’s additions to the 50-man are in grey. Many of these names are former DRW draft picks or players, the latest being Alan Quine. He has procured five centers, the most of any position, and four left wingers and both areas make sense. I think his next move is trading a right winger for a left winger, after that it’ll be PTO’s for training camp I expect.

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Munny

Another entire thread devoted to refuting the ridiculous and outing the outlandish… honest engagement with a dishonest agent. Like a dog chasing it’s tail, it’s mildly entertaining at first, but after months and months of the same routine, well…

Have a good day, folks.

Munny

Harpers Hair: Was 7th D man last season.

Played 8 games.

He was the 8th Dman last year.

I know, I know. Arithmetic is haaaarddd.

He only looked like the 7th because waivers.

Spartacus

London Jon: Well, that’s a surprise.

Who do you play #7D for?!

Nice.

That comment scores high on the “Steve Smith Clever Comment Scale”.

hunter1909

geowal: Thank you for the info, and for finally putting an end to this nonsensical line of reasoning.

Swedish Poster makes me wish the Oilers could ice a lineup with some seriously awesome Swedes, for once.

Larsson fits the bill, so long as the team doesn’t have to depend on his back. Klefbom is rumoured to be a first pairing guy, but I got brought up on Paul Coffey who in his day was compared to Bobby freaking Orr.

jp

hunter1909: Fantastic points. Glad to hear Koskinnen has a personality. Fusk the press.

Hilarious would be is both him and Smith had the same personality, because they’d be getting in fistfights regularly.

The next question is; what exactly would you consider a “normal, everyday” goalie situation?

Yeah two Smith’s might lead to fights. Two Koskinen’s, well I expect there wouldn’t be a lot of drama.

Normal? I don’t know. But these two appear to be opposites of the personality spectrum. Maybe it’s a good thing.

OriginalPouzar

Jaxon: The Oilers could certainly pawn off a player who will play for practically free. Hell, even if they just retain $500,000, the team who gets him will basically have an NHL vet on league minimum. That would clear up $3.5M. They could use that and their 700K cap and possibly Klefbom’s LTIR $4M ($8.2M??) to sign Bear, maybe one of Laws Dominik Kahun or Athanasiou and LD Ben Hutton. And Erik Haula!!

Yes, the actual cash outlay for Russell was thought to have made him tradeable to a few teams. At this point in time, i don’t see it happening. Firstly, at the end of the day, there are not that many teams that have ample cap room. There are teams like Ottawa and Florida that have cap room and internal budgets but its unlikely those eastern non-contending teams are amenable to Rusty and his 15-team NTC.

Klefbom injury aside, I’m confident that Holland very much wanted to and tried to move the Russell contract this off-season.

London Jon

Harpers Hair: You’ve already said the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind.

I suppose, if he believes in himself and thinks he can be a regular in the lineup going forward, he would agree to sign.

I wouldn’t think that is a very good bet with Broberg on the way.

And, I’m sure the Oilers will manage just fine…#7D are like assholes.

Well, that’s a surprise.

Who do you play #7D for?!

geowal

SwedishPoster: The top guys in the SHL Sweden are paid 200K-250K per season, usually in the lower bracket and I doubt a defensive D like Lagesson would even hit 200K. And that’s without counting players taking 12-15% solidarity pay cuts this season due to covid.

So no he wouldn’t get anything near his worst possible NHL deal in Sweden. If he stays it’s for reasons beyond money.

The places to go for money in europe is the KHL, where the paycheck can vary a lot, the best paid player in the KHL makes 1.8M, the best paid swedes around 1M (Lander at the top makes 1.2M) but Lagesson would need to either show his stuff in the K for a few seasons or become an NHL regular first to make NHL level money there, and Switzerland where the best paid players makes up to 875K but most top players are around 400-500K or so.
These are all pre-covid numbers ofc.

Thank you for the info, and for finally putting an end to this nonsensical line of reasoning.

Jaxon

OriginalPouzar: Lets say the Oilers retain $1M of his cap hit – that is 25% so the acquiring team takes on 75% of his cap hit ($3M) and 75% of the comp owed to him (so, just under $400K).

The Oilers could certainly pawn off a player who will play for practically free. Hell, even if they just retain $500,000, the team who gets him will basically have an NHL vet on league minimum. That would clear up $3.5M. They could use that and their 700K cap and possibly Klefbom’s LTIR $4M ($8.2M??) to sign Bear, maybe one of Laws Dominik Kahun or Athanasiou and LD Ben Hutton. And Erik Haula!!

hunter1909

jp: He’s also an utterly terrible interview. And appears to be as far as a human can get from ‘fiery’.

Potentially also completely unflappable. Quite the odd dichotomy of goalies the Oilers employ.

Fantastic points. Glad to hear Koskinnen has a personality. Fusk the press.

Hilarious would be is both him and Smith had the same personality, because they’d be getting in fistfights regularly.

The next question is; what exactly would you consider a “normal, everyday” goalie situation?

SwedishPoster

Harpers Hair:
Not sure Lagesson should even re-sign with the Oilers.

He’s already been passed by Jones and Broberg is coming so he would, in effect, be signing to become expansion draft fodder.

If I was his agent, I would tell him, to avoid the Covid uncertainty in North America and stay in Sweden.

If he signs a $700K contract with 20% escrow, I am sure he could get a much better deal in Sweden.

The top guys in the SHL Sweden are paid 200K-250K per season, usually in the lower bracket and I doubt a defensive D like Lagesson would even hit 200K. And that’s without counting players taking 12-15% solidarity pay cuts this season due to covid.

So no he wouldn’t get anything near his worst possible NHL deal in Sweden. If he stays it’s for reasons beyond money.

The places to go for money in europe is the KHL, where the paycheck can vary a lot, the best paid player in the KHL makes 1.8M, the best paid swedes around 1M (Lander at the top makes 1.2M) but Lagesson would need to either show his stuff in the K for a few seasons or become an NHL regular first to make NHL level money there, and Switzerland where the best paid players makes up to 875K but most top players are around 400-500K or so.
These are all pre-covid numbers ofc.

Scungilli Slushy

jp: Brian Burke thinking it was a good move means it wasn’t old school?

The oldest, though I think it was me that said that, didn’t see that in DEFMs snippet 😀

jp

OriginalPouzar: I wanted to respond to this.
I think we’ve had this almost identical conversation before – I don’t think either of us are wrong.
Yes, the Oilers had a huge uptick in 5 on 5 goal differential in 2020 but, really, we know that the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line will not be a 77% goal share line going forward. Even suggesting 60% is probably a bit fanatical. Somewhere in the 55% goal range going forward is likely reasonably sustainable.

When that line regresses to normal levels (and I mean normal levels given they are made of very good players and will be a very good line), McDavid at 50% isn’t good enough for success – in particular if the PP isn’t running near 30% (and I think its fanatical to not think that will come down a bit) or the PP doesn’t get league best goalering from Mike Smith (for real – he led the league in PK save percentage).

The Oilers were great in 2020 but I don’t think the “way they were winning” was sustainable give a couple unsustainable metrics.

Yes, I think we have had basically the same conversation. And I do appreciate what you’re saying.

But let’s take a step back.

We and near everyone agrees the Oilers PP% will regress somewhat. But their PP opportunities almost have to increase. Those will offset each other to an extent. Regardless, we (I think) agree the Oilers should remain a top 5 (or at least top 10) PP team.

The PK is likely to regress as well, but even if it’s league average the Oilers special teams will remain a plus.

At 5v5 is where the Oilers made the most gains in 2020. On December 30th, the day before McDavid and Draisaitl moved to their own lines for good, McDavid (52%GF), Kassian (55%GF) and Chiasson (50%GF) were the only forwards breaking even at 5v5.
So in the first half McDavid (1C) was at 52%GF, Nuge (2C) was 45%GF, Sheahan (3C) was 30%GF.

Once they were split, the Oilers immediately had 2 lines that could at least hold their own (and I mentioned in the post you replied to that McDavid on the season was 54%GF without Draisaitl or Nuge, so I do believe he can be in the 55%GF range ‘without help’ even though he was only 50% in 2020).
So in the last 30 games: Draisaitl 65%GF, McDavid 50%GF, Sheahan 32%GF.

Nuge/Draisaitl went from 45%GF to 65%GF. We agree that 55% is a more reasonable guess about their future results, but I still think that jump for the Oilers 2nd scoring line at 5v5 at least evens out with the regression the special teams will see.

Add in what can’t possibly be a worse 3rd line (knock on wood) than Sheahan and co. and I think the Oilers likely improved year over year. They at least treaded water IMO. That’s my take anyway.

jp

defmn: I’ll probably get in trouble for posting this because it is totally observational rather than anything I can substantiate but here goes.

The perception of Koskinen reminds me of how big forwards often get criticized for being slow or lazy.

Koskinen gets the job done with positioning and size rather than athleticism and that tends to make people underestimate the results.

If you can pick that top corner on him you get to score but he is so huge that if he gets to his spot in time that hole is pretty tight. So the perfect shot will get past him but most of the time it just hits him.

It can be pretty effective but rarely spectacular.

I think that is why his numbers exceeded his visuals this past season. He had a year to work on his angles and conditioning.

He’s also an utterly terrible interview. And appears to be as far as a human can get from ‘fiery’.

Potentially also completely unflappable. Quite the odd dichotomy of goalies the Oilers employ.

jp

G Money:
Here are my FOUR (scoring) LINES.

There’s lots of reasons why this wouldn’t work (Kassian cooled off as expected, Nygard’s injury, Neal’s age, etc), and the data is extremely thin in places, but I would try it nevertheless and see what works and what doesn’t.

Because why the hell wouldn’t you, when you can put Picard’s face everywhere with the caption THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES. (Sorry, I can’t help myself)

Of course Hockey Men would never do this, but I would. Then again, maybe I am a Hockey Man these days, I just don’t know.

Anyway, lines from last year with TOI, CF%, and DFF%:

Neal, Chiasson, Nuge: 120mins, 58%, 60%

Drai, Yamo, Ennis: 31mins, 55%, 63%

Nygard, Kassian, McDavid 30mins, 53%, 55%

Then I fasten together a fourth scoring line with Turris centring Puljujarvi and maybe Benson playing six to eight warm-butter-soft minutes a night and see what happens.

It might fail, but goddamn it, why not go for THERE ARE FOUR (SCORING) LINES. (Sorry, I can’t help myself)

But who’s going to PK???

Seriously though, I like that there are so many different options available now. Pretty cool.

I don’t think there will be 4 scoring lines, but there’ll very likely be 3.

Neal and Chiasson played well with pretty much everyone. They could be good wingers for Turris.

I was going to post some lines in reply but there are so many decent/good possibilities it gets complicated in a hurry.

Redbird62

Harpers Hair,

He earned approximately $390,000 according to capfriendly so you missed on that one. Pretty easy to look up though. Also since he has to clear waivers, if he is not the number 7 for the Oilers if he thinks he is good enough, he might believe he wouldn’t clear.

defmn

jp: Brian Burke thinking it was a good move means it wasn’t old school?

😉

defmn

Scungilli Slushy: Thanks for posting this I didn’t see it.

So we can all take a deep breath and collective exhale as Holland it seems made a good play to land a current top goalie, and wouldn’t go full old school Oiler on a deal.

Also likely drove the cost and clauses up for Treliving.

Actually some good GMing I think. Bravo.

I’ll probably get in trouble for posting this because it is totally observational rather than anything I can substantiate but here goes.

The perception of Koskinen reminds me of how big forwards often get criticized for being slow or lazy.

Koskinen gets the job done with positioning and size rather than athleticism and that tends to make people underestimate the results.

If you can pick that top corner on him you get to score but he is so huge that if he gets to his spot in time that hole is pretty tight. So the perfect shot will get past him but most of the time it just hits him.

It can be pretty effective but rarely spectacular.

I think that is why his numbers exceeded his visuals this past season. He had a year to work on his angles and conditioning.

jp

Scungilli Slushy: Thanks for posting this I didn’t see it.

So we can all take a deep breath and collective exhale as Holland it seems made a good play to land a current top goalie, and wouldn’t go full old school Oiler on a deal.

Also likely drove the cost and clauses up for Treliving.

Actually some good GMing I think. Bravo.

Brian Burke thinking it was a good move means it wasn’t old school? 😉

Scungilli Slushy

defmn:
Brian Burke Q & A.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/qa-brian-burke-maple-leafs-shakeup-oilers-goalies-halls-big-deal/

On the goalie carousel: Do you think running back with Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen is enough for the Oilers to contend?

I do. Did you never watch MacGyver? I mean, they’ve got cap issues. They’re cobbling together a solution that last year was good enough until the playoffs. Playoffs, the goaltending failed them a little bit. Koskinen had a really good year last year. So did Mike Smith. Goaltending wasn’t the reason they had trouble winning in the regular season. To me, this makes sense till they get out of cap hell.

OK. I’m still skeptical because they went hard after Jacob Markstrom.

I don’t think they went anywhere near as hard as Calgary did. I think they were talking three years, and the Seattle (expansion draft) problem they wouldn’t solve for him. Like, he does not want to go to Seattle in expansion.

Thanks for posting this I didn’t see it.

So we can all take a deep breath and collective exhale as Holland it seems made a good play to land a current top goalie, and wouldn’t go full old school Oiler on a deal.

Also likely drove the cost and clauses up for Treliving.

Actually some good GMing I think. Bravo.

Scungilli Slushy

Part of the tire fire issue to me has been that to the team has employed outdated player types on D that are hockey skill optional.

The pairs often had one that would defer the outlet to his partner. The downside is it makes forechecking easier, cut off the D to D pass and it’s tire fire or straight back in.

So close to a full puck moving D .

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Was 7th D man last season.

Played 8 games.

So much posting and just being wrong – wrong – wrong.

He wasn’t even on the opening night roster:

Ethan Bear, Matt Benning, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Brandon Manning, Darnell Nurse, Kris Russell

He was also behind Joel Persson (who was activated in the first week) and Caleb Jones, who started the season in Bakersfield with him.

He was 10D and still go in to 8 games.

Point made.

Scungilli Slushy

It’s likely Holland will not make any more changes unless a no brainer appears.

But I wouldn’t mind if the Russell slot had a better gapping, skating and passing player there. If he does that fine but he hasn’t in a while.

There has to be options available in the current climate. To me it’s now the biggest issue on the roster, the last proven weak spot and tire fire igniter.

Harpers Hair

Woodguy v2.0: And Andrew knew that as he typed.

Was 7th D man last season.

Played 8 games.

defmn

Harpers Hair: This is nonsense.

He was on the NHL payroll for 31 games and only 25 in the AHL and had a $75K signing bonus in his contract.

His total compensation was likely in the range of $650K.

If his dream is to be a #7D who will most certainly be exposed in the expansion draft at a reduced salary,then giddyup.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Your condescending and arrogant response says much about you.

If you can’t take it don’t shovel it. How many hockey boards have you been kicked off of?

Woodguy v2.0

Lowetide: No. 7D play a lot due to injuries, etc. It’s far more than an extra forward plays.

And Andrew knew that as he typed.

Woodguy v2.0

godot10:
Holland signed Kassian to that abominable new contract, so he own him too.

Truth.

Sierra

Harpers Hair: You’ve already said the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind.

I suppose, if he believes in himself and thinks he can be a regular in the lineup going forward, he would agree to sign.

I wouldn’t think that is a very good bet with Broberg on the way.

And, I’m sure the Oilers will manage just fine…#7D are like assholes.

Why wouldn’t Lagesson believe in himself?

Sierra

Don’t most, if not all, No.7 dmen have to be concerned with guys coming up behind them?

OriginalPouzar

godot10: If they pro-rate the shortened last season, I think Klefbom qualifties.Do they pro-rate last season?

I’m not sure how they will deal with this but, yes, I’m sure there will be pro-ration but there are a few ways they could go structure it. They could make the threshold playing in 42% of the team’s games over the two years (which equals the normal 70 games over two 82 game seasons).

If that’s the case, then a season with less than 70 games may get him there – right around there.

GordieHoweHatTrick

defmn: He was on a two way contract last year so he was playing for his AHL salary for most of it. That is not a pay cut for him.

And even if it was he would belong to pretty distinguished group for this season because lots of NHL players will be playing for less this year than last.

Lowetide answered most of your questions. Not that you couldn’t have answered them your self if you had wanted to.

He is young enough and close enough to his dream that walking away over a relatively small amount of money when money isn’t certain anywhere is highly unlikely.

================================

These are the kind of nonsense posts you make that serve no purpose other than to try and provoke.

Sour & bitter like liver casserole. Try and grow up. You don’t have that much more time to get there.

Hear, hear

Lags will also have a good opportunity to advertise his skills to 31
NHL teams

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: Actually I didn’t say “the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind” I said “Lagesson is No. 7 (likely) defenceman next season. That’s 50 or so games.”

Lagesson isn’t in a position to dictate his future. Surely you know this and have chosen a marginal area to argue. Bear would be a better target for your idea imo, and even then it’s a stretch.

Where do you get the 50 games with Nurse, Jones, and Russell standing in the way?

And, I didn’t propose Lagesson is in a position to “dictate his future”, but if the Oilers approached me with an offer that is effectively a pay cut and I can see the lay of the land at LD, I would certainly explore my options.

Harpers Hair

defmn: He was on a two way contract last year so he was playing for his AHL salary for most of it. That is not a pay cut for him.

And even if it was he would belong to pretty distinguished group for this season because lots of NHL players will be playing for less this year than last.

Lowetide answered most of your questions. Not that you couldn’t have answered them your self if you had wanted to.

He is young enough and close enough to his dream that walking away over a relatively small amount of money when money isn’t certain anywhere is highly unlikely.

================================

These are the kind of nonsense posts you make that serve no purpose other than to try and provoke.

Sour & bitter like liver casserole. Try and grow up. You don’t have that much more time to get there.

This is nonsense.

He was on the NHL payroll for 31 games and only 25 in the AHL and had a $75K signing bonus in his contract.

His total compensation was likely in the range of $650K.

If his dream is to be a #7D who will most certainly be exposed in the expansion draft at a reduced salary, then giddyup.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Your condescending and arrogant response says much about you.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: How would you structure a contract that is attractive to him under the circumstances?

If he signs for $700Kas some have suggested, he will face 20% escrow which leaves him just over $500K.

His NHL salary last season was $700k so at that price point you would be asking him to take a massive pay cut.

He only played 33 games total last season…25 in Bakersfield and 8 in Edmonton while effectively being the #7D.

What is in it for the player?

For about half of the season, he was making $65K, not $700K

He will assuredly get a one-way contract now and, nope, it won’t be a massive pay-cut.

You are making alot of the 20% escrow – you realize the players paid 14.5% this season, right?

I anticipate he will also look forward to once again, flying on chartered flights, staying in 5-start hotels on the road, etc. – not bussing around Sweden.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Forever is a long time…he’s only 24.

Quite likely his rights would be traded as part of another deal.

If you were Ken Holland, how would you sell him on a career with the Oilers?

“So you want to play for Edmonton…well here’s the LD competition:

Klefbom
Nurse
Jones
Broberg
LAGESSON
Samurukov
Lennstrom
Neimalainen

Whadya think kid?”

This is the exact argument that you made to tell us, with certainty, not as an opinion but as pretty much fact, that Berglund wouldn’t be signing with the Oilers.

He was about to become a UFA as well and signed with the team and intends to come over for the 2021/22 season.

Lagesson has already had his first NHL cup of coffee – it wasn’t the best but nor was Bears’ or Jones’ and its generally accepted. He is highly likely to play many of the Oiler’s games this year.

I would posit that, given his development path, he has always been, an remains, focussed on the NHL – not holding out in Europe to sign his 2nd NHL contract.

He played 3 years in North America post-draft prior to one year in the SHL and turning NHL pro.

He wants the NHL.

defmn

Harpers Hair: How would you structure a contract that is attractive to him under the circumstances?

If he signs for $700Kas some have suggested, he will face 20% escrow which leaves him just over $500K.

His NHL salary last season was $700k so at that price point you would be asking him to take a massive pay cut.

He only played 33 games total last season…25 in Bakersfield and 8 in Edmonton while effectively being the #7D.

What is in it for the player?

He was on a two way contract last year so he was playing for his AHL salary for most of it. That is not a pay cut for him.

And even if it was he would belong to pretty distinguished group for this season because lots of NHL players will be playing for less this year than last.

Lowetide answered most of your questions. Not that you couldn’t have answered them your self if you had wanted to.

He is young enough and close enough to his dream that walking away over a relatively small amount of money when money isn’t certain anywhere is highly unlikely.

================================

These are the kind of nonsense posts you make that serve no purpose other than to try and provoke.

Sour & bitter like liver casserole. Try and grow up. You don’t have that much more time to get there.

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: Oh sure, you can’t stop him from staying home and earning far less while stopping right at the doorstep of his goal. If William Lagesson doesn’t value the opportunity, and is going to force the Oilers to make him whole during a pandemic, when he has no bargaining power, then the Oilers will have to get a different No. 7 defenseman.

I think they’ll manage.

You’ve already said the opportunity is #7D with a bunch of competitors coming up behind.

I suppose, if he believes in himself and thinks he can be a regular in the lineup going forward, he would agree to sign.

I wouldn’t think that is a very good bet with Broberg on the way.

And, I’m sure the Oilers will manage just fine…#7D are like assholes.

godot10

OriginalPouzar: If Klefbom doesn’t play this coming season, I think may not meet the expansion draft exposure requirement 40 games the prior season or 70 over the previous 2.

70 out of 164 is 38% of the games and, if he doesn’t play at all next season he’ll have played 35% (based on 174 games – normal 184 less then 10 cancelled). A shortened season may change the calculation though.

Also, if he doesn’t play at all next year – a player that has a potential career-ending injury can’t fulfill the exposure requirements – I don’t think he will be deemed to have a potential career-ending injury but that’s not a certainty.

Also, lastly, assuming he is poised to resume his career after “successful” surgery/rehab, I’m not sure I could get on board with losing him for nothing in the draft – his trade value wouldn’t be great but it wouldn’t be nothing (although Holland would have to factor in the next player that would be taken in the draft with Klefbom moved).

If they pro-rate the shortened last season, I think Klefbom qualifties. Do they pro-rate last season?

Harpers Hair

Lowetide:
Lagesson is No. 7 (likely) defenceman next season. That’s 50 or so games. Oilers will get a good look at him and then we’ll see. No guarantees anywhere but he’s staring at an NHL job right now in Edmonton.

How would you structure a contract that is attractive to him under the circumstances?

If he signs for $700K as some have suggested, he will face 20% escrow which leaves him just over $500K.

His NHL salary last season was $700k so at that price point you would be asking him to take a massive pay cut.

He only played 33 games total last season…25 in Bakersfield and 8 in Edmonton while effectively being the #7D.

What is in it for the player?

who

Orion: I’m not sure how much money Holland will have next year.

If you go with a pretty basic starting point:

– sign Nuge for $7M, Barrie for $5.5M, Bear & Yamamoto $3M
– resign Ennis, Haas, Nygard for the same amount as 20/21
– fill out the roster with Benson, Khaira, Lagesson, Smith and Bouchard at $750K / ELC

You end up with

Neal/McD/Kass
Nuge/Drai/Yamo
Ennis/Turris/Pulju
Nyg/Haas/Arch
Benson, Khaira

Nurse/Bear
Klef/Barrie
Jones/Bouch
Lagesson

Kosk/Smith

And the cap space is a little over $4M.

Assume 1-1.5M for wiggle room and there’s only 3M left, unless other moves are made.

Sign Larsson for 3.5 million instead of Barrie for 5.5. Buy out Neal.
There’s an extra 5.8 million in cap space right there.

Harpers Hair

defmn: That’s a recipe for walking away from the NHL for his entire career. He might not be ready to do that.

Forever is a long time…he’s only 24.

Quite likely his rights would be traded as part of another deal.

If you were Ken Holland, how would you sell him on a career with the Oilers?

“So you want to play for Edmonton…well here’s the LD competition:

Klefbom
Nurse
Jones
Broberg
LAGESSON
Samurukov
Lennstrom
Neimalainen

Whadya think kid?”

OriginalPouzar

Brantford Boy: In short, it will always be money in, money out.

I agree, the money will probably be used on your “Nuge and Yamamoto and potentially Bear’s 3rd contract and Larssson or the 2RD replacement (be it Barrie or another) will eat up plenty. A 2nd goalie will be needed. Maybe there is room for that damn first line/top 6 scoring/2-way winger” comment.

Exposing a player (say Klefbom) frees up money (money out) and space for youth to ride “the escalator up” (Jones, Broberg, Samorukov) which I believe is the theme behind today’s post.

If Klefbom doesn’t play this coming season, I think may not meet the expansion draft exposure requirement 40 games the prior season or 70 over the previous 2.

70 out of 164 is 38% of the games and, if he doesn’t play at all next season he’ll have played 35% (based on 174 games – normal 184 less then 10 cancelled). A shortened season may change the calculation though.

Also, if he doesn’t play at all next year – a player that has a potential career-ending injury can’t fulfill the exposure requirements – I don’t think he will be deemed to have a potential career-ending injury but that’s not a certainty.

Also, lastly, assuming he is poised to resume his career after “successful” surgery/rehab, I’m not sure I could get on board with losing him for nothing in the draft – his trade value wouldn’t be great but it wouldn’t be nothing (although Holland would have to factor in the next player that would be taken in the draft with Klefbom moved).

defmn

Harpers Hair:
Not sure Lagesson should even re-sign with the Oilers.

He’s already been passed by Jones and Broberg is coming so he would, in effect, be signing to become expansion draft fodder.

If I was his agent, I would tell him, to avoid the Covid uncertainty in North America and stay in Sweden.

If he signs a $700K contract with 20% escrow, I am sure he could get a much better deal in Sweden.

That’s a recipe for walking away from the NHL for his entire career. He might not be ready to do that.

Harpers Hair

Not sure Lagesson should even re-sign with the Oilers.

He’s already been passed by Jones and Broberg is coming so he would, in effect, be signing to become expansion draft fodder.

If I was his agent, I would tell him, to avoid the Covid uncertainty in North America and stay in Sweden.

If he signs a $700K contract with 20% escrow, I am sure he could get a much better deal in Sweden.

OriginalPouzar

defmn: $700,000 first year & $750,000 second year on a one way is my guess.

Something like that – the 2nd year will be higher than the first, I’m sure.

Could even go to $800K or $850K in the 2nd year.

OriginalPouzar

Cassandra: It is even worse than.Neal’s only NHL quality skill right now is finishing.However, if he can’t get around the ice well enough to play with McDavid or Draisatl, then he can’t play on the fourth line either.There must be a dozens (hundreds) of players in the AHL or Europe who skate better than Neal.Put one of them on the fourth line to fly around and check like crazy.Even if their puck skills aren’t as good, who cares at least they can defend, puck skills don’t play if you can’t skate.

There are no scenarios where buying out Neal isn’t the right move.He isn’t an NHL player anymore and you can replace him easily.

Do those replacement level players you mention cost $2M against the cap (while not being in the org) during the years leading up to the expiration of the current McDavid and Drai contracts?

There are material negative ramifications to a Neal buyout that cannot be ignored. Everyone and anyone can do their own cost-benefit analysis regarding to determine if, in their opinion, a buyout is the “right” move or now but, even if your description of Neal above is accurate (which i don’t agree with) it is still not a black and while scenario.

I don’t care if most of them came in bunches, in October on the PP – no person that scored 19 goals in 55 games in the NHL is not an NHL player. Its very clear (at least to me) that he played a material portion of those 55 games injured, with an injury effecting his skating. He was a different skater and a different player in the play-in with foot/toe issues. He skated just fine in the play-in – was it because he was healthy or fresh or a combo? I think more the former and, if “freshness” is a need, well, load management is a thing.

I would love to reduce Neal’s cap hit to $2M and add Kahun in his place for a total of $4M spent. At this point, I am not willing to take on the future pain for that.

Neal had more goals and the same amount of points as Kahun last year (in one less game) and played much of the year injured. I’d make the switch above in isolation but not with the 3 years of pain added.