The Oilers tacked an extra year on Kris Russell’s contract yesterday, some people went a half bubble off plumb but most saw the big picture. For the record, no one complained about Kris Russell per se, it was Kris Russell’s no movement, four-year deal paying $4 million a year that caused the crazy.
Those $4 million dollars were the only thing left between Peter Chiarellia and a paralyzed roster, and he signed the deal anyway. That’s not on Russell, but it is a conversation piece when the contract is being discussed.
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: Can Kyle Turris centre an outscoring No. 3 line in Edmonton?
- Lowetide: Tyson Barrie’s skills and how Oilers coach Dave Tippett will deploy him
- Jonathan Willis: Can Oilers unlock James Neal’s scoring potential at five on five?
- Lowetide: Why is Ilya Konovalov no longer starting in the KHL?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
- Lowetide: Finding Connor McDavid’s optimal linemates among 2020-21 Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: A cautious free agent period boosts an Oilers team still on the upswing
- Lowetide: Oilers bring back Mike Smith for another year.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Tyson Barrie to a team-friendly deal.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Kyle Turris, Tyler Ennis in early hours of free agency.
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi signing overshadows a strong day for Oilers at draft
- Lowetide: Oilers draft Dylan Holloway on Day 1, with trades possible Wednesday
This offseason has been a series of rumours, followed by an action, and then more rumours. The period leading up to Jacob Markstrom’s signing in Calgary saw the Oilers rumour mill moving like a weather vane in a hurricane.
At that point, I was preparing to write an article called “Markstorm in, Koskinen out?” but it never came to pass. The $6 million that would have gone to Markstrom landed with Tyson Barrie, Kyle Turris and Tyler Ennis.
I believe this is a far better route, due to my new policy on free agent contracts: If the deal looks nothing like the Lucic deal Chiarelli signed, then two thumb’s up!
My question is “will Holland do anything else?” and by that I mean add a player with a chance to make a difference. So that would be Anthony Duclair, Dominik Kahun, Slater Koekkoek or Jacques Plante. Is there a move like that out there?
There’s still $2 million plus left over after signing Kahun and moving Oscar Klefbom to LTIR. That means another move could be made if a player wanted to sign in Edmonton during training camp or preseason. There are going to be some astounding names coming in on PTO’s heading into the 2020-21 campaign.
I wonder if there’s a goalie the club could invite. I don’t know about Craig Anderson, Jimmy Howard or Ryan Miller (all remain on TSN’s free-agent board) but maybe Zane McIntyre is worth a look. I’m on record as believing Edmonton will have three or more goalies playing during 2020-21, might as well look at everyone.
I think the playoff showed no one really knows who has been working out like a bugger and who is drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo. It’s a crapshoot.
I also think there’s a chance some of these late 30’s goalies are going to contemplate retirement. One wonders if a mid-season call to one of them will be among Holland’s options in case of injury/inconsistent play.
Hell, invite a bunch of guys on a PTO, something similar to Buck Rodgers and he did with the Expos pitching staff spring 1987 when Pascual Perez, Dennis Martinez, Bob McClure, Joaquin Andujar, Lary Sorensen and others were invited to see if they could make it all the way back to the big leagues. Martinez became the ace of the staff, Pascual Perez was brilliant down the stretch and McClure found a home in the bullpen. The rejects went 27-10 and the Expos won 91 games. PTO’s could be a big damned deal.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A packed show this morning, we begin at 10, TSN1260. Aaron Bronsteter from TSN will join us at 10:20 to discuss Khabib-Gaethje at UFC 254. Daniel Gallen from Penn Live pops in at 10:40 to talk about NFL Thursday Night Football. At 11, Frank Seravalli from TSN has the latest on free agency and NHL’s upcoming meetings that will decide the start of the 2020-21 season. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!