Making It Work

by Lowetide
Stuart Skinner photo by Mark Williams

Colin McDonald’s 2010-11 contract was an AHL level deal. His AHL resume (and cup of coffee in the show) weren’t enough to warrant a two-way deal and no other NHL team was willing to spend a contract on him, so he returned to Edmonton’s AHL team (moving from Oklahoma City to Bakersfield for the 2010-11 season).

In a very real way, the Oilers said goodbye to the 2003 entry draft with that AHL signing. The architect of that draft (Kevin Prendergast) was gone from the scouting department by 2008, and his three highest picks in 2003 (Marc Pouliot, McDonald and Jean-Francois Jacques) were setting their hockey course in other organizations.

The Oilers did find useful pieces later in the draft (Stortini, Brodziak) but traded Brodziak too soon because they made the wrong decision (Pouliot over Brodziak).

We used to rage about the big spending teams like Detroit because all the good free agents landed there and that did contribute to the frustration of the 1990s and early 2000s.

It’s also true that getting less than share from the annual draft was a gigantic anvil through the brain for Edmonton in most Junes. Drafting wasn’t great, and then sending away Brodziak, Cogliano, Petry and others before their prime also hurt deeply. Have the Oilers turned the corner on this or are we in a cool down phase before ramping up again?


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.


Between RFA and UFA, Ken Holland will need to make some decisions about 21 names on the current 50-man list. That’s a lot of bother. Here’s the list.

  1. LC Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Oilers fans as a group consider Nuge the golden child they’ve been saving the university money for, so not signing him would have consequences. I think it’s Job 1 for Holland as it pertains to the free agent list.
  2. RW Kailer Yamamoto. Injuries and a quiet series against Chicago aside, Yamamoto would seem to be a part of the future on Edmonton’s skill lines. He’ll never be in the back row of a team photo but he’s a brave winger and has real skill and anticipates very well.
  3. LW Dominik Kahun. I try not to get ahead of myself here but this looks like one of those moments where a franchise gets a free player just because they were on the crosstown bus on the right morning. I think he’s going to have a solid year and get a long-term deal.
  4. LW Tyler Ennis. He was faster last year than in previous seasons and scored well in his late-season audition. If he can post 15 goals and outscore five on five while moving up and down the lineup I think he’ll be a strong candidate for another deal.
  5. RC Gaetan Haas. I have him ahead of Khaira because he’s faster and also suspect he’ll take a step forward offensively in the coming season (he and Khaira were a match five on five). I love his forechecking.
  6. LC Jujhar Khaira. RFA this coming season and I’ll guess it’s about 50/50 on a re-signing with this player. If he scores 10 goals this year (7 in 56 games) I expect they’ll sign him but the big man has to show some five on five acumen.
  7. LW Joakim Nygard. He’s in a group who are going to need to get the lead out in order to find a role. Ennis is in the same price range and there are talented wingers who are a year or two away. Oilers need to see him for an entire year.
  8. RD Tyson Barrie. Barrie’s future in Edmonton depends on performance. If he has a big season without going super nova, Holland may be able to afford him. I think he could hit 30+ points in a 56-game season and that would bring a desire to bring him back for another year.
  9. RW Alex Chiasson. I think we’ll see Edmonton move on from Chiasson. The Kassian contract added to Kailer Yamamoto’s second half and the return of Jesse Puljujarvi means too many right wingers and Chiasson could be the odd man out.
  10. RD Adam Larsson. When healthy he’s easily Edmonton’s best shutdown defender. Last year, his injury early and then against Chicago had a major impact on fortunes. I don’t know that Edmonton will sign him but will miss Larsson when he’s gone.
  11. G Mike Smith. He is unlikely to return but I said that before the Oilers signed him this time. Holland is a unique GM in that he opens the talent pool available to him by trusting old players longer than anyone. He’s been successful but I think this is the last chance Texaco.


Cooper Marody is at a crossroads, where injury meets opportunity. This is a pressure point for franchise and team, Marody might want to get a second opinion. I will tell you his first AHL season was fantastic but there’s no way to know if he can come all the way back.

Tyler Benson will go as far as his legs take him. He’s great in the corners, is physical, can pass well enough to play on a skill line and has great offensive instincts. This is the kind of player (Tyler Pitlick, etc) Edmonton flushes too soon, so I hope (and believe) Holland will make sure before moving on.

Theodor Lennstrom is an intriguing player and a Holland acquisition. I expect he’ll get every opportunity to show he can play and that means at least one more contract.

Stuart Skinner has the confidence of the organization, they are all in on this young man. His first two pro seasons were not strong, so he’ll need to show well in the coming year. I have zero doubt they’ll extend him if he can post a reasonable number in the AHL. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see him get into an NHL game in the coming season. Holland does listen to his hockey people based on some signings (mentioned Scott Howson when signing Phil Kemp) and Bob Green is in Skinner’s corner I expect. Stuart Skinner is more highly regarded than his numbers imply. Pretty sure.

Dylan Wells had the disadvantage of running his entry deal with Skinner, and his performance hasn’t been strong enough to receive great notice.

The AHL UFA’s next year are Anton Forsberg, Alan Quine, Joe Gambardella, Adam Cracknell and Patrick Russell. All but Gambardella were signed by Holland and all could return. As for Gambardella, he got lost a little last year (Russell ate his lunch) so he’ll need to show something when the Condors get back in action.


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Scungilli Slushy

Koskinen’s success totally depends on whether or not the coaches can convince the team to stick to it’s system.

Steven V’s clear sight analysis and others as well have shown that chances after cross seam and low high to the slot chances are far more dangerous chances.

When the Oilers play well and at times dominate teams as we saw last year they are doing this. Tippet said that controlling the dangerous ice is what he wants. Give them the perimeter.

Koski’s style is positional, take the net away with size. I wouldn’t be surprised if his SV% when he’s in position facing a ‘stationary’ shot is very good, and when they get him moving it drops rapidly.

I want them to be aggressive offensively but also hope a year’s maturity helps them play with more patience and trust the team system.

Hopefully also Connor and Leon play less. That would mean they have support and can press less.

And be that much more of a nightmare to play because they aren’t exhausted and forcing plays.

Scungilli Slushy

Have a good evening HH

Given your free reign here, and first comments I came across, I won’t bother with the rest tonight, for the first time in a long time

Nice job for your ‘friend’. Especially given you have your own blog to be obtuse on.

I realize that neither you nor the host are concerned about such things, but I feel good expressing it.

Enjoy your bitterness. Perhaps try some cinnamon with it.


Some strong competition getting decimated prior to the World Juniors:

BU’s Drew Commess, Alex Vlasic and Robert Mastrosimone are “not available to participate” for the US.

Karl Henriksson (who may have been Sweden’s 1C) and William Eklund out due to Covid for Sweden.



I think Holloway gets out of 3 weeks of hotel quarantine on Monday or Tuesday.

Poor kid!

Wonder what the plan is for Team Canada. A practice, maybe two, and then 15 plus cuts?

I presume games against U-Sport are officially dead.

Here is hoping the European teams can get in to Edmonton and in to the secure bubble safely – 3 charters coming from Europe, I believe, next weekend.

I guess quarantine ends tomorrow:

Love this kid. Love the way he plays. Love his enthusiasm. Love his attitude.

So well spoken!


Curious as to how the Oilers organization is ” all in” on or have “confidence” in Stuart Skinner. The first signing on Oct9 that Holland made was Anton Forsberg to take the #3 spot on the Oiler’s G depth chart. I thought that this signing proved that the Organization believes Skinner (and other G prospects) need more developmental time.


Holland was very clear for months that he planed on signing a 3G like Forsberg for some NHL experienced cover.

I think the organization still has real hopes for Skinner but its clear that he needs more development time. While he had a couple of decent stretches in the Bake last year, it was an “uneven season” at best.

Last year was only his second season of pro and he’s still on his ELC. He’s very young for a goalie still and not even close to ripe yet for a mid-tier tending prospect. A couple of years until we know for sure probably.

This is a big season for him I would think.

Harpers Hair

sports illustrated, now those guys know hockey

Harpers Hair

Amazing how often you shoot the messenger when you don’t like the message.

Features editor Sam McCaig has been a sports journalist for more than 25 years. He rejoined The Hockey News in 2017 after previously working at THN from 1999 to 2010.


Amazing how often you shoot the messenger when you don’t like the message.

Features editor Sam McCaig has been a sports journalist for more than 25 years. He rejoined The Hockey News in 2017 after previously working at THN from 1999 to 2010.

Hehe. We’re all like that to some extent.

Not sure being with the Hockey News during that decade is really much more of a recommendation though.

That said it is really just a puff piece with a sentence attached to each name describing nothing much of anything.

I find it hard to identify objective criteria for goalie performance given how much their stats seem attached to defensive play in front of them.

Blackwood at 22 seems odd to me from the few games I’ve watched. He’s good. Bishop also seems high given his injury woes. Is he that good anymore? I don’t know. I didn’t see that much of Dallas this past year. Is .003 difference in save % enough to place him 6th compared to Koskinen at 23?

Will Quick even be the starter in LA this season? Or Demko in Vancouver?

I need a lot more context for these kind of filler stories to mean much. Not that I could do any better. I think there are about 20 of the 31 starters that you could list in any order and it would look reasonable with half a dozen at the top and another 5 at the bottom.

Just out of curiosity who would your top 6 and bottom 6 be?

Harpers Hair

Is there a 2020 ranking you prefer?

Harpers Hair

Funny..other than Markstrom ranking a little higher, which I agree with, that’s pretty much what McCaig thinks too.


They know how to sell magazines and I will leave it at that!😉


I think Holloway gets out of 3 weeks of hotel quarantine on Monday or Tuesday.

Poor kid!

Wonder what the plan is for Team Canada. A practice, maybe two, and then 15 plus cuts?

I presume games against U-Sport are officially dead.

Here is hoping the European teams can get in to Edmonton and in to the secure bubble safely – 3 charters coming from Europe, I believe, next weekend.


Disgusting Mark Donnelly fired for singing the anthem at an anti-mask protest.

They’re coming for you.


Good for them.
not only is that a good stance to have but it’s also costing his employer 10s of millions of dollars as the league is nowhere near ready to start playing given the pandemic situation


Ivor Cummins


Like a dog with a bone.


The Edmonton football team should hire him once the CFL is up and running.

Don’t mind me

No one is coming for me. 😂


Hasn’t the host said repeatedly that there was to be no Covid blather?

Material Elvis

Wearing a mask indoors for 10 minutes is tyranny! How can we live with such drastic public health measures in place? Good thing he stood up to it and lost his job. Wait a minute…..


Happy belated Bday to LT!

Thank you for everything you do sir.


When speaking of Wells and Skinner, I would throw Konovalov in that group as his KHL contract expires at the end of April and he would be available to sign with the Oilers at that.

Given his bench-stapling, I would think that Konovalov is looking to sign – perhaps his desire to sign (and not to extent with Yaroslav) is a factor in such bench-stappling?

I anticipate that, at this time, Skinner and Konovalov are signed and they roll with those two plus Rodrigue (and move on from Wells and, of course, Smith) but we’ll see.

It would be fantastic if Konovalov could come over in May and get some AHL games in and give the org a sense of his abilities in North American and if there is any chance he’s ready to be 1B in the last year of Mikko’s contract.


Nuge is a “must-sign” and I believe that Holland thinks so as well and I think it will get done well in advance of 2021 free agency (and well in advance of the expansion draft).

I anticipate that Kahun will be a re-sign as well – likely at a much higher rate than his value contract this year – here is hoping he warrants a $2.5M (covid-price) contract (i.e. legit middle six LW that can help in the top 6).

I hope that Tyler Ennis is not subject to re-sign – not because I don’t like Ennis or his skill-set but because I hope that Tyler Benson takes his spot on merit.

I think that Gaetan Haas is a wild-card this year – before the Turris signing I was convincing myself that he could maybe succeed as a 3C – maybe not bring enough offence but the rest of his skill-set. I’m curious to see how he does in his second year in the NHL – can he continue to draw PIMs, will he advance offensively, can he stay healthy with the NHL grind, can he improve his faceoffs enough to be a 3C or simply a 4C, will his European PK acumen translate?

Larsson and Barrie are complete wild-cards for me as far as re-sign. I think Bouchard will establish himself as an every day NHL player and a plus offensive player on the rise. I think Bear is in the future plans.

– Assuming we see the Adam Larsson of 2017 and 2020 (excluding August), I have ALOT of time for re-signing Larsson for max 3 years but I’m not sure the contract terms can work for the role – really, a 3RD with 2RD fill in for much of the contract – that can’t be more than $2M – $2.5M

– If Barrie succeeds and puts up 50 points and, well, “does what he does”, what will that next contract look like? He’ll probably want 4-5 years and $6M AAV, give or take. Does that make sense for the Oilers – he’ll be in regression years. Assuming the reasonable progression of Evan Bouchard who will be starting the 2nd year of his ELC, would this re-sign make sense?

On the Larsson/Barrie re-sign point, it seems that Samorukov is playing almost exclusively right side in Moscow and excelling. Staples writes/pods that Sammy prefers the right side.


This adds another layer of unknown to the situation I would think.

New Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie has changed his pro representation, leaving Newport Sports Management for the CAA agency which represents Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon. That’s a pretty significant move by a player entering a “show me” season.


Ya, I read about the agency change but, really, for me, don’t think it means much of anything, at least as of now. The structure and terms of Barrie’s next contract will really but a function of how he plays this coming season and what his priorities are going forward.

If he had a “normal” season in and around 50 points with some real top 4 5 on 5 minutes, etc., he’ll re-establish his value. Will he want to “cash in” on a 5 year contract at $6M plus? If so, I wouldn’t think that would be in Edmonton no matter who his agency group is.

If he’s willing to go a bit shorter term then that might make sense for Edmonton.

Lots dependant on Bouchard’s progression this season.

At the end of the day, I think Barrie’s performance combined with the performance progression of Bouchard, Samorukov, Berglund and Bear will have more of an impact than his agency group.


It’s interesting to me in the sense that it is most likely to reflect his interaction with Newport over his decision to sign his current contract.

Naturally performance is the major factor in UFA signings but relationships also play into these things. Both between the player and the agency and the team and the agency.

And not just the progression of the young guys pushing but Klefbom’s health and decision will play a part I would think.

I am pretty much resigned to the Oilers letting Larsson walk and I am a fan.

He and Klef’s health have let both of them down to a point where I think the team has to look forward.


I’ve thought about that and I’m not so sure that Barrie’s decision to change agencies is related to a rift over the contract he signed with the Oilers. I mean, didn’t he sign within a few days of free agency opening?

Its not like he got advice from his agency about holding out for a certain dollar figure/term and ended up “missing the boat” by waiting or that he was advised to “take it and run” and then the market spiked upwards after.

We don’t know what we don’t know, I’m just not sure the agency change really means much at this point.


Of course we don’t know what we don’t know. It could have something to do with his time in Toronto as well since it sounds like it wasn’t a happy time under Babcock.

Agencies do have reputations, though, and Newports is not one that suggests signing quickly for less money than the previous contract is part of their corporate DNA.

From there I speculated that it might well have to do with how he ended up in Edmonton. I think it is a reasonable guess.


There is going to be a number of moving parts such as health of Larsson and do they re-sign him. Does Klefbom pull the plug on his career due his arthritic shoulder. What Nurse wants on his next contract and the progress of the young guys that you previously mentioned. The signing of Barrie depends on so many uncertainties it is very difficult at best to predict what the Oiler D will look like for the 21/22 season.


Bouchard with an assist on the PP OT winner in a 4-3 win. He was -2 with 3 shots on net in the win but logged almost 27 minutes of ice – over 5 minutes more than any other player.

Maskimov back in the VHL, had an assist in just under 18 minutes of ice and was even in a 4-2 win.

As always, Konovalov watched Pasquale from the bench (gave up 3 goals on 31 shots but got a 4-3 OT win).

Drai by Shooting

And Savoie had 1 and 1 last night.


Yup, I provided live updates in last night’s thread as I watched the entire game.

Both points were on the PP (and 4 of his 5 points this season are on the PP) but he improved at 5 on 5 from the first game to the second game to the third game.

Great progression so far for Savoie – very early.


I think he (Barrie) could hit 30+ points in a 56-game season and that would bring a desire to bring him back for another year.”

For his career Barrie has scored 346 points in 554 games, and has remained pretty healthy. I’d be surprised if he DOESN’T score 30 points this season. Pricing himself out of a 2nd contract with the Oilers is definitely a possibility though.


Being the QB on at least a top 5 PP almost guarantees Barrie hits at least the low 30s more like the high 30s or low 40s. I also expect to see Leon and especially Connor draw more penalties now that they’ve earned there so called veteran MVP stripes.


The power play minutes are a given. If he plays second pairing minutes as well and stays healthy he could have a career year.


He scored 68GP/57PTS and 79GP/59PTS in his last 2 seasons with the Avs. That would be 40+ points in say 54GP (so yeah, 40 is entirely possible). And agree more PP opportunities are likely, but let’s not get carried away! 🙂


As long as Barrie doesn’t get carried away and use his shot as a primary or secondary option on the PP. Yes, he has a plus shot and it being added as an option should help open up other plays, however, the PP must still run through McDavid and Nuge on the half-wall and Barrie needs to remain primarily a distributor – a more creative distributor than Klef – but a distributor.

The PP is so damn good at creating high danger chances down low – that needs to remain the primary intent.

Barrie will be on the point for PP1, I’m sure, McDavid remains the QB of the PP.


The wizard on the power play is Nuge. McDavid is the best player at gaining the zone. Adding a right shot D to go with the lefty centers gives the PP a whole new set of looks. It’s going to be fun to watch!😇


I agree – a new set of looks and option.

As long as Barrie doesn’t think that him firing away should be a primary or secondary option, in my opinion.

I believe that was a criticism in Toronto early last year – him shooting too much on the PP.


I didn’t realize that shooting too much was a criticism of Barrie in Toronto. Agreed that wouldn’t be good, and that Klefbom did well to just keep the puck moving to the guys you want to have it.

Looking into this with Barrie, there’s some truth to it, but it also looks like a bit of an unfair criticism overall.

The ‘some truth’ part is that he did have a big reduction in his shots taken through the year in TO. The first 35 games he had 7.95 shots/60 (16.8 individual corsi/60) at 5v4. In the last 35 games he had 3.88 shots/60 (11.7 iCorsi/60) at 5v4. Overall he took 5.45 shots/60 5v4.

So definitely a big change shot rate through the year. He also took over PP1 in the 2nd half when Rielly was largely injured, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison, playing with different players.

The ‘unfair criticism’ part is that his shot rates were never very high. 59 defenseman played 100 5v4 minutes last season. Of them Barrie overall ranked 56 of 59 in most shots/60. Even his first half rate of 7.95/60 would only have ranked 45th of 59.

The guy at #44 was Oskar Klefbom with 8.31 shots/60. And Klefbom took 10.36 shots/60 the previous year (also between 9 and 15.9!! shots/60 going back even further).

Barrie had just 6.82 shots/60 two seasons ago with the Avs, though he was up over 10 shots/60 the 3 years prior to that. Still, just 6.31 shots/60 over the 2 years (60th of 64D >200 minutes)

For comparison, Nurse took 6.46 shots/60 last season and 8.17 the year before (7.60 shots/60 over the two years, 51st of 64D). And Klefbom over two years had 9.17 shots/60, 39th of 64D.

It really don’t look like there’s much to worry about in terms of Barrie ‘firing away’ on the PP and keeping the puck out of McDavid/Draisaitl/Nuge’s hands. He’s shot considerably less on the PP than Klefbom or Nurse in recent years.


Fair enough- thank you.


Doug and the Slugs were maybe Canuck fans, featuring them here is better content than some Oiler fans dispense:-) imo.


Bear could well be on this list as well.


I’m hoping that Barrie can zoom McDavid.


I believe his biggest impact will be at 5 on 5, not on the PP.

Not just with his transition to start the rush but his activation on the rush – one of the best in the league in that regard.


I think the addition of Yamamoto, Ennis and Kahun is going to favor JJ Khaira over Haas. We know the template that team Holland favors and physical play is one of the desired qualities. I think they will keep Khaira as they need a couple guys that to be in the back row of the team photo as well.


If Khaira can centre a 4th line that comes anywhere close to breaking even then he’ll stick around. The ball is in his court IMO, but he needs to perform.


Khaira did exactly that down the stretch with the big heavy veteran wingers.

I think there will be some solid rotation among the bottom 5 – Khaira/Haas could spell each other and Neal/Chiasson could also be scratched for nights in the name of load management.

There is also the potential for Haas and Khaira to be on the same fourth line.

How the coaches deploy the bottom 5-6 will be very interesting.


Yup. I have nothing against small players but I am not a fan of small teams. SIze/truculence/strength etc. is part of the sport.

You don’t notice it nearly as much when you have it as you do when you don’t.


Nurse, Larsson, Kassian, Khaira, Neal – all big guys with some grit.

Chiasson, Puljujarvi also with size (in particular Jesse).

Can we count the twin towers in net?


Nurse, Kassian & Chiasson have the temperament to make sure smaller guys on the team aren’t getting abused. Neal is more sneaky dirty imo. Larsson is tough as nails but not really truculent imo. Puljujarvi needs to up that part of his game. Smith is a warrior but his position makes it hard for him to play that role.

So we have Nurse who we need to rely on as one of our top pair – so penalty time for pushing and shoving is not really recommended. Kassian is on the first line so not all that available if he wants to stay there. Chiasson who may or may not be in the lineup on a nightly basis and I guess you could say the same for Khaira. I don’t think the team is lacking but I don’t think it is an area of overabundance either.


I think we are discussing different things. I was responding to the comment re” “don’t mind smaller players but don’t want a small team” (or words to that effect) – this was evaluating the physicality/aggression of certain individual players and in the context of their need and role on the team.

In any event, while the Oilers do indeed have some smaller players, I don’t think they are a small team overall nor does the team lack overall team toughness.

I did find our analysis of Larsson interesting – I find him to be one the toughest SOB’s to play against in the league – he’s quite dirty out there – not afraid to use that lumber and play on the line.


Maybe so. I am talking about teams that think the way to neutralize skill is intimidation. There are still more than a few in the league.


I have to admit that I didn’t like Holland messing with amateur scouting and hiring Tyler Wright as that’s the one good thing Chia left him. But he’s found some very interesting prospects, and for once we beat the rest of the league to a new strategy in mining the AJHL.
We really have to wonder how the prospect pool would look if we didn’t blow the 2 2nd rounders

Harpers Hair

Joe Sakic was mining the AJHL in 2017.

Cale Makar from the Brooks Bandits.


Mining is not picking one guy with a lotto pick

Harpers Hair

Is mining drafting Colton Parayko in the third round in 2014?

Or do you have to draft two players to get your miner’s hat?


Parayko was drafted in 2012 by St. Louis. What does that have to do with Sakic?

Harpers Hair


The original claim was the Oilers beat the league in “mining” the AJHL which is demonstrably not accurate.


The original claim was a reference to choosing 2 players out of that league in the same draft which, I believe, is unusual. Two out of six picks from that league by one team in one draft is not common as far as I know.

It is undoubtedly more circumstance than ‘mining’ but I fail to see the point of your counter examples. Of course other players have been chosen from that league over the years.


Picking two guys out of a league not known for developing NHL talent and likely considered outside the top ten Junior leagues shouldn’t be considered a competitive advantage. Hopefully this is the last time.


Picking one guy and never returning to the league would hardly be described as mining.
Now we don’t know if the Oilers will continue this strategy but picking two picks in a row players developed in AJHL would be considered unusual

Harpers Hair

Yes it is unusual….and very likely a one off.

There are currently 38 AJHL grads playing in the NCAA.

That compares to well over 100 from the BCJHL which is the major feeder league.

Also of note, since you have often expressed an interest in the Minnesota Wild…I noticed this morning that the Wild have 5 draft picks playing together at Boston College.

Very early in the Hockey East season (4 games) but Matt Boldy is just killing it with 8 points.

Nikita Nesterenko who was a 6th round pick from the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCJHL has 5 points as does Jack McBain a 3rd round pick.

Undrafted D Jack Agnew is also from Chilliwack.


Solid starts for those 2018 and 2019 draftees.

I like the start from 2020 4th round pick, personally.

Harpers Hair

Of course, Minnesota has FIVE players at Boston College…not ONE.


Holloway was drafted out of the NCAA not the AJHL.


Good article tide, love the free agent or trade speculation.

I like Ennis a lot but if Kahun signs long term (which I can also see), I do wonder about their interest in Coleman last deadline and how he’s UFA this summer. We know that Tampa won’t be able to afford him so he’s going to market and he’s a perfect fit to drive play on that 3rd line along side Turris and Jesse/Zack.


We are rapidly getting to the point where we will be able to fill our holes with internal solutions ar lower cap hit. Cap room is going to be gold over the next 3-4 years.


We’ve already seen that start.

This past season, Yamamoto filled a top 6 winger role and Ethan Bear filled at top 4 RD role and, at the end of the season, Jones filled a LD slot.

If would be GREAT if one of Benson or Puljujarvi could “pop” as a legit middle six if not top 6 winger to bridge the gap until Lavoie, Holloway or a surprise (Maksimov) presents itself – a couple seasons for those guys (with Savoie and Tullio a bit later, if ever).

One would think that Broberg and Bouchard are almost locks for full time employment in the next 0-18 months (I think Broberg will be mid season 2021/22) and likely impactful by the end of their ELCs (probably earlier). Samorukov is looking like a reasonable bet to join the group in the not to distant future as well.

Last edited 10 months ago by OriginalPouzar