We (May) Have a Season!

by Lowetide

Most of Friday was spent wondering if the NHL-NHLPA would ever get through the serpentine negotiations to secure what will be an unusual season for all involved. As the sun went down, word came the two sides were close enough to proceed with votes and we should have final final by early next week. There is much news, and we know more today than we did on Wednesday about the roster and how Edmonton may approach things.


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.

Plenty in Seravalli’s article from last night, recommended reading if you haven’t already. A few things that are worth discussing as they pertain to the Oilers. The big item is roster size, $81.5 million for 23 (or less) players and a taxi squad of 4-6 players, one of whom must be a goalie. Players on the 23-man roster will be waiver eligible when moving down to the taxi squad, meaning one-way deals are de facto NHL contracts. If a player on a one-way deal starts in the AHL, he’s gone through waivers to do it.


  • Roster Goalies: Mikko Koskinen, Mike Smith
  • Roster LHD: Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones, Kris Russell, William Lagesson
  • Roster RHD: Ethan Bear*, Tyson Barrie, Adam Larsson
  • Roster Centers: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Kyle Turris, Jujhar Khaira, Gaetan Haas
  • Roster Left Wings: RNH, Dominik Kahun, Tyler Ennis, James Neal, Joakim Nygard
  • Roster Right Wings: Zack Kassian, Jesse Puljujarvi, Alex Chiasson, Josh Archibald
  • Taxi Squad: G Anton Forsberg, LHD Theodor Lennstrom, RD Evan Bouchard, C Alan Quine, RW Kailer Yamamoto, LW Tyler Benson
  • LTIR: Oscar Klefbom


This is opening day with Klefbom on the roster, teams have to make the $81.5 million cap and then Holland can LTIR the Swede. In this model, I’ve made Ethan Bear very angry and sent Kailer Yamamoto and William Lagesson to the paper farm, but am still -$148,325 over the cap. So, I think that’s why Edmonton has to trade a forward. Everyone says Chiasson, maybe it’s Khaira or someone else. Holland needs a little room to wheel.

If he can’t make a trade, risking waivers on Chiasson, Khaira, Nygard or Haas is possible. If he trades a forward for a defenseman, the acquired defenseman or one of the four names above would be eligible. To get Klefbom on the roster, I think Lagesson will be exposed to waivers.

I’ve had him as Edmonton’s top prospect on the past three winter lists, the first Edmonton player to hold the slot for more than a year:

  • Winter 2007: C Sam Gagner (844 NHL games)
  • Winter 2008: C Riley Nash (541)
  • Winter 2009: LW Magnus Paajarvi (467)
  • Winter 2010: LW Taylor Hall (627)
  • Winter 2011: C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (604)
  • Winter 2012: RW Nail Yakupov (350)
  • Winter 2013: D Darnell Nurse (350)
  • Winter 2014: C Leon Draisaitl (422)
  • Winter 2015: C Connor McDavid (351)
  • Winter 2016: RW Jesse Puljujarvi (139)
  • Winter 2017: RW Kailer Yamamoto (53)
  • Winter 2018: RD Evan Bouchard (7)
  • Winter 2019: RD Evan Bouchard (7)
  • Winter 2020: RD Evan Bouchard (7)

I never project a player more than one spot from where he is now, so won’t say Bouchard is going to be an impact offensive player in the NHL. I will say he is going to play in the league as a regular and that probably starts at some point this season.


You may also like

4.4 7 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

As per Pagnotta:

Update: If 4 of 5 provinces agree to the NHL’s plan, but B.C. health officials can’t align on protocols to allow CDN teams to travel in/out of VAN, a league-source confirms to me the Canucks could play in another CDN city to start the season to maintain the all-CDN division.


Board of Governors vote at 10am (mountain) today. GMs call to follow.


Per Rishaug:

League source says at this point the BC government remains unwilling to allow NHL teams to travel into the province for games. That may change as discussions continue, but remains their position as of now, even with the added safety protocols outlined today by @frank_seravalli

I would think that Aqullini would be “forced” to re-locate the team elsewhere in Canada as opposed to the league having to shift to a hub format for due to one team.

Harpers Hair

The most likely scenario I think is for the Canucks to play out of Edmonton.


Probably they should just move the Canucks to Kansas city for good

Harpers Hair

I thought it was curious that you would link to a graph no one can see without paying.


In the real world, last season the Oilers posted $16.9M in the black against 2.9M for the Sticks. That’s 5.8 times more, if Math isn’t your thing.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2020/12/09/nhl-team-values-2020-hockeys-first-decline-in-two-decades/?sh=6cf545d270dd

Harpers Hair

Easy to see the graph if you know how to use a computer.



I mean you probably should’ve ducked because I think that cost you some silver.

Last edited 10 months ago by Munny

Sure. If it’s only one team. But the others may reach tentative arrangements and reserve the option to delay non-bubble play. In particular they will be very sensitive to wanting to see what there own situations will be around the 12th day of Christmas. .

Harpers Hair

Manitoba and Quebec have already indicated they are prepared to host games and if Alberta is on board that leaves just BC and Ontario.


Its been reported that the four other provinces are on board with a plan with the league and just BC has objections at this point. If BC can’t “get there”, which is a real option given what happened in the summer, I would think a re-location of the Canucks would be the most logical choice than pivoting to a hub format. Not sure if that can be foisted on Aquilini.

Harpers Hair

Why would Aqulini care? Not staging games in Vancouver saves him money.


I don’t know what this means.


Quebec and Ontario are both aoparently about to announce a 2 week enhanced lockdown starting Boxing Day. I think they’ll approve or have approved training camp. But whatever they are prepared to accept for Jan. 15 I think they’ll keep their powder dry and look very hard at their post Chrustmas covid bump. Conincidently that point where they’ll know what they are facing is around the 12th day of Christmas. Not expecting them to sign off before New Year’s. As Seravelli mentioned last week the NHL needs to work out a hybrid approach Tentative deals with each province and a host city in case the numbers get in the way closer to Jan 15. Either way they should be able to get through month 1

Last edited 10 months ago by N64

It was reported yesterday that the four other provinces and the league are on board with a plan and negotiated protocols – BC being the outlier.

The governments can keep their agreement with the NHL irrespective of external restrictions.


Just Wow. That’s a big jump from reported to be on board to signed sealed and must keep their agreement. Exactly what agreement? They’ve signed off or will sign off on closed practices. Closed bubble no problem. Heck there’s one in Edmonton now. Maybe they will sign off before New Year’s But equally some of them might hold off final approval until a week after Boxing Day.If they can’t get sign off to travel in January all they need is a host city for a while.Might not even need a bubble

Last edited 10 months ago by N64

Lord of Misrule seems to be in abundance this year. A trend that is not going away.


By this I mean it is impossible for anyone to do anything right any more.


From reports the fourth other provincial governments and the NHL have agreed on a plan and protocols for the Canadian teams to travel and play in home arenas. BC has not agreed to the plan and protocols at this point.

They don’t want to go to a hub-city structure (they certainly won’t be going to a secure zone bubble), they want to play in home arenas and are working towards that goal.

The league isn’t, and can’t, wait until January to finalize the structure.

Last edited 10 months ago by OriginalPouzar

reports they’ve agreable don’t mean as you stated they have an agreement to keep. concur they won’t need a closed bubble but if they need certainty earlier than all provinces other than BC can give it they might want to have a no bubble zero travel host province lined as plan B up to guarantee start certainty. .

Last edited 10 months ago by N64

Broberg named captain of Team Sweden!




Savoie the second shooter in the SO – tries to go 5-hole with a shot and is stopped.


I have to say, if one of the reasons Savoie lasted to pick 100 in the draft is due to a perceived lack of dedication or effort defensively or consistency in that regard, after watching all of Denver’s games this season, this is becoming a non-issue.

Don’t know if it was over-stated or of Coach Carle has made a point (and Savoie has listened).


Savoie starts the 3 on 3 OT!


Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) Tweeted:
Some new key dates: Opt-out deadline is Dec. 24 for non-playoff teams, Dec. 27 for playoff teams. Group II RFAs must be signed by Feb. 11 to play this season (usually Dec. 1). And, players on one-year deals can extend on March 12 (usually Jan. 1).


Wonder if Klefbom would take the opt out? Wouldn’t have to worry about ltir, his contract could toll for a year. Instead of having so much taken into escrow and for holdback this year, he’ll have the year at the end Added and less held back than this year.


Wonder if Klefbom would take the opt out? Wouldn’t have to worry about ltir, his contract could toll for a year. Instead of having so much taken into escrow and for holdback this year, he’ll have the year at the end Added and less held back than this year.

Excellent idea.


March 12 – that’s the day Bear’s extension will be signed.

A Kevin Lebanc situation.


As far as Klefbom goes, I think the ability to opt out may be different than the summer RTP. In the summer, a player could opt out for any reason – didn’t have to give a reason.

I think, for the season, a player or family member may have to have a pre-existing condition.

Could be wrong but read a tweet from one of the main insiders yesterday that seemed to imply that.

Harpers Hair

Quite likely holdback will be worse next year since HHR will be lower for the 20/21 season than the following season when the new US TV deal kicks in.


Escrow is capped at the same level, but no 10% holdback next year.


The max escrow levels during the course of the next CBA extension are already capped. The players holding firm and not agreeing to any sort of change to what was negotiated in the summer is simply going to keep the cap flat longer, likely for the entire term of the extended CBA. The younger and mid-age players are the ones that will suffer (and those not in the league yet).

Harpers Hair

So, really there is no advantage to Klefbom opting out..he will still have to pay the holdback and escrow whenever it tolls.


If Klefbom is on LTIR, I believe his contract is covered by insurance. I think I read if a player does opt out, the team has the option to effectively cancel that year of the contract or to slide it. So in the opt out scenario, Klefbom is risking actually losing that salary altogether unless the Oilers assured him they would let it slide. If the Oilers were to cancel the one year, then it would legitimately come off the Oilers cap calculation. But I am not sure the league would buy into a player already known to be injured like Klefbom “opting out” now for COVID reasons, with the Oilers letting his contract slide a year. Lastly, if Klefbom does get healthy again to be able to play beyond his current contract, then any money he foregoes ne this season is gone forever. From his personal financial situation, in most scenarios he will be better off on LTIR.

Harpers Hair


If he opts out this season he gets paid nothing.


Yes, for opt out, it seems the team will have the option to toll the contract or let the year vest. I would think, if Klefbom does opt out, they would toll the contract (unless they don’t think he’s basically never going to be healthy enough to play again).

With that said, I’m not convinced “opting out” will be an option – I’ve read advise the implies it won’t be “no questions asked” like the summer RTP and the player will need to have personal or family health conditions.

Could be wrong on that as well – should know in a few days.

EIther way, don’t see the player opting out and risking his money in any event.


Savoie with a shot from him main spot on the PP (coming in off the left point) – goes wide but comes out the other side, a pass across and Guttman buries an empty net goal.

Savoie should pick up the second apple on that.


Savoie starting to win his fair share of battles – I mentioned the bang down low early that led to possession and a chance but he just won a great battle for puck recovery on the PP and it led to more zone time and a chance for himself – he faked the one-timer on the right wall, stepped inside and got a good snapper on net – no goal though.


If the Canadian Division comes to fruition, their roster choices are going to be more important than any other year. Making any additions during the year will be tough with quarantine protocols. They’ll be at a disadvantage compared to the US teams. The US teams will be able to make a trade and insert the player into their lineup immediately. Unless things change, if Canadian teams want to add someone immediately, they have to trade intra-division. And while those trades happen, it’s not rampant.
The NHL probably has figured it out, but I’m curious to see how it’s going to work vis a vis the cap. If a Canadian team trades for a player from an US team, while the player is in quarantine, does the players cap hit get added to the Canadian team’s cap immediately, or only once activated? If it sits in a queue until activated, you know someone like Lou Lam will figure out how to take advantage of it.


Savoie takes a pass in the neutral zone, powers/bulls his way by the d-man on the outside and almost sneaks one home on the short size – good power there by rookie.


Savoie with a nifty pass to Benning at the blueline on a PP but Benning can’t handle it – it goes for a breakaway the other way – Savoie on his horse catches up with the attacker and is able to distriburb him just enough as he was making his move.

Savoie did mishandle the puck coming in off the point for a snap shot and fanned on a one-timer on the PP – with that said, the entire Denver team was has been bobbling the puck all period – I wonder about the ice right now in the Omaha bubble.


Solid second shift for Savoie – some scrambly play in the offensive zone and the puck squirts loose below the goal line – Savoie arrives at the same time as the defender, gets a bang in and Denver gets possession leading to a HD change – Savoie then finds some soft ice and takes a pass for a medium danger shot on net.


Perused Bader’s Twitter thread, found this gem:

Byron Bader


Looked up all the goalies 6’0″ or smaller that had a 50% nhler prob by their D5… 13 out 17 played at least 100 games. So 18 examples including Konovalov. Konovalov has the 5th highest score of the 18. Good chance there’s something there.

Last edited 10 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
Gerta Rauss


 December 19, 2020 8:36 am

I think there may be a cap implication with sending Yamamoto to the farm and then calling him up (with his bonuses then applying to the cap) – I’ll need to dig in to that this afternoon unless someone else has the answer.

That same article by Gregor mentioned that Bouchard may need to start on the roster for the same reason(bonus impications applying to the cap)

If I have time I’ll post that Gregor piece if/when I find it

Last edited 10 months ago by Gerta Rauss


It is important to note that whenever you invoke LTI, whether it be before the season or after, you submit your opening day roster, your cap number is what it is at that spot, and that is important in regards to performance bonuses.

There are essentially two silos of salaries the NHL looks at. There is the salary (AAV) in one, and then the performance bonuses are in the other.

Teams often ensure that when they invoke LTI, their players with the highest performance bonuses are on the roster, because the bonuses go into that silo and that is the amount you have as a guideline. Evan Bouchard has $500,000 in bonuses this season, and $850K in each of the next two, so the NHL actually averages the three years so his amount in the performance silo would be $733,333 this year.

This is important to remember when the Oilers set their opening day roster. They would have his $733,333 along with $230K from Yamamoto and $500K from Mike Smith. The only other player with a hefty performance bonus is Philip Broberg at $850K. I could see him finishing his season in Sweden, then coming to the NHL. And when he does, the extra $116,667 in bonuses he has over Bouchard would count against the cap for purpose of cap counting. If Broberg doesn’t reach the bonus, which is likely, then at season’s end that extra $116K wouldn’t count against the cap, but it would at time of recall.


Because of the bonus implications maybe Holland actually waives a bunch of veterans for Day 1 compliance, with Yamamoto and Bouchard staying on the NHL roster.

Clearing those guys (Neal, Chiasson, Lagesson?, Archibald?, Khaira?, Haas?) on day 1 would allow more flexibility for the next month to shuffle between the roster and taxi squad (since the players have already cleared). And like in regular years every team is sending guys down that day so not many actually get claimed.


Pioneers play in 20 minutes. Savoie back at 1LW again today.

They have their moments in Thursday against Miami but we’re fairly stifled for most of the game and have produced at evens for two straight (although they were dangerous all game the previous game).

With Broberg/Holloway cancelled on Monday, this is now the “game of the week” – ha!

Harpers Hair

Different weeks.


Such a petty human being – posting solely to incite (happy) others. Posting primarily to decrease the enjoyment of others. Its so mature and childish. Its sad and, of course, disrespectful to the host who provides the platform.


From the very first time I saw him carry the puck I knew Bouchard would be a top pairing defenceman.

Nothing to make me change my mind since then.


CBC: Sharks reportedly relocating to Arizona for camp, to open NHL season
The 3 Cal teams, likely the BC team and perhaps the Kraken will relocate for season start. Everything is lining up for 2021 to open up bigly with the West Coast sliding into the Sea.


To the over-arching idea of assigning Neal and/or Chiasson (or Kass) to the taxi squad for day 1, to get cap compliant prior to putting Klef on LTIR and recalling the player, do we think that Holland would actually do it?

Of course, Holland would talk to the player(s) first and ensure they know its just a paper transaction for cap purposes and they’d be recalled, however, that doesn’t mean the player wouldn’t have an issue with it. Of course, them having an issue with it doesn’t preclude it but we want content players.

No matter who the athlete is, being exposed and clearing waivers, would be a hit to the ego – 100%. Knowing the manager was OK losing the player for nothing (or doesn’t believe any of the other 30 managers think the player is value for his contract) also probably doesn’t sit well.

I’m not 100% certain that it wouldn’t negatively effect someone like Neal. Chiasson I have less concern in that regard.

I’m not sure that Holland would go that route with his veterans.


I think if Neal doesn’t think that the manager would be super happy dumping his cap for free then I want what he’s smoking.
even if there’s a 1% chance of him getting claimed, which there isn’t, I would put him on waivers


Agree. 100 percent. Neal being put on waivers is a non issue.
Except in OPs mind.


I like how you chose my thoughts on the issue to call out. You say you have no personal issues with me but its clear that you do. In my mind only?

Well (a) except for the other posters that have expressed concern and (b) except that I’m actually on-board with waiving Neal but has wondered (i) if Neal will take to it negatively and (ii) if Holland would actually do it.

Feel free to try and find ways to call me out though. You do you!


I believe you were the first one to bring Neals hurt feelings, or pride, up in this thread.
I doubt very much that James Neal is a stupid human being. He probably realizes he is grossly overpaid in this economic environment. He can probably also figure out that a paper transaction waiver to get cap compliment is good business by the GM.
If all this escapes him, and his feelings are hurt, who cares.
It’s not like Holland is damaging relations with a core player.


I brought it up as a potential – i don’t know how Neal would deal with it – I do believe that many professional athletes are very round and/or have large egos….

At the same time, I personally don’t care how James Neal feel although Ken Holland very well might. He’s know as a manager that is fair to his veterans, etc. and its one of many reasons why he’s respected and has the relationships in the game he does. I’m not saying that Holland’s rep and ability to manage would take a hit if we waived Neal but I’m still not sure its something he would do unless forced (i.e like Johnson in Tampa).


Why would Holland go that so called route? It makes zero sense to piss off a dressing room to save what a couple hundred grand at most unless of course you think Neal’s done.


The reason he would go that route is it may be the most efficient to maximize cap space (via maximizing the LTIR relief cushion when Klef is put on LTIR) while protecting the roster depth and it would not effect James Neal as he’d be called ack up for the first game.

This would be a paper transaction for cap structuring but there would be an exposure to waivers – he won’t get claimed but could have some “feelings” about it.

I would hope he’s mature enough to not but I don’t know.


Like a poster said earlier Neal might tweak a groin but no way Holland humiliates Neal by waiving him over say a Nygard. It’s such a short training cap that there’s going to be pulled groins on every team in the league. I’m pretty sure Holland knows how to play the game after 30 years.


Humiliates, lol.

If you’re an NHL veteran (carrying a vastly bloated AAV you can’t live up to, mind) who doesn’t understand the nature of the cap landscape and prefer to put petty feelings/ego ahead of team success, you’re a primadona who ought to be traded.

A paper transaction isn’t rocket surgery.


Ah, but what if said player is essentially untradeable 🙂


I see what you did there. 🙂


Taxi squad until there’s improvement, and if you’re an Eeyore then you’re off to the… Hershey Bears.


Hummiliation is not a foregone conclusion – the discussion I’ve tried to start is if Holland would go this route and how Neal may feel about it. You clearly think it would be a big deal for Neal but maybe it isn’t. Maybe he understands the situation and has no issue with it for the betterment of the team – so they don’t risk losing a depth, but potentially useful player, like Nygard.

It would have zero effect on Neal.

I think the piece you keep missing is that he wouldn’t stay on the taxi squad, he’d be activated after Klef is put on LTIR.

Its simply and paper transaction.

Of note, Tyler Johnson was put on waivers for cap reasons – I’m not sure about his humiliation level.


Why would Neal be pissed off? He doesn’t go anywhere, it doesn’t cost him any money, and he helps the team be better by allowing them to get cap compliant?

Neal is a grown man. He can understand reasoning.


Especially after Johnson, with a lesser cap hit, was sent through waivers and went unclaimed. He knows he won’t be going anywhere, and the reasoning you bring up is sound.
He already got traded for Lucic. If that wasn’t a bigger hit to the confidence than passing unclaimed through waivers, I’m not sure what is.


A grown man not understanding reasoning? Yeah, that would be weird 😉


I’m not sure Holland would go this route either, but who would you rather piss off? Bear who is a top 4 d on a cheap contract? Or Neal who is a declining asset who is severely overpaid? For an example. I think Holland is a straight enough shooter with a particular strength in relationship building. If anyone could pull it off without angering the vets it would be him. But will he, is the question. I’m not so sure but am hopeful he’s smart enough to not waive depth and youth that would potentially be picked up by other teams.


What am I missing why does it have to be between Bear and Neal. Anyhow going from no hockey or a half dozen games in the last 9 months for most of the league with such a short training camp that injuries will be plentiful and we haven’t even brought in the Covid card.


Its not between Bear and Neal.

The plan is to sign Bear before camp but the team needs to get cap compliant on day 1 of the season, with Klef’s cap hit.

They will likely be more than $1.075M over the cap so will need to send down (on paper) two players that would normally be on the 23 man roster.

Yamamoto is likely one (no waivers) but there may be performance bonus and negative cap implications to that.

Two players will need to be assigned on paper (plus Nygard who isn’t even on my opening night 23 and part of that cap overage).


It is not just between BEar and Neal. That is one example of an overpriced vet vs up coming youth. Bear was not the best example because he is unsigned and also played as a top 4 D last year, but his example is a reminder of what an under the radar youth player can become if given an opportunity. Would any of us choose to keep Neal over Bear now? That is the possible loss if Lagesson or the like gets waived. The youth who are overripe and still underpaid are ‘worth more’ in this market where cap is king.


I definitiely do think Holland would waive Neal/Chiasson. I’m not sure how the players would react, but you’d hope they’re professionals and understand the situation.


I would agree that Neal/Chiasson are at the top of the list to be waived at the end of camp if paper moves are required to be cap compliant on Day 1 before moving Klefbom to LTIR and then bringing players back up to get 23 on the roster. Yamamoto would be the easy one as he is waiver exempt, but his potential bonuses complicate things. Even if Tippett wants Neal and Chiasson in the line-up for game 1, they probably represent the lowest risk of being claimed on that day based on their current salaries vs perceived value. Russell may be in that category as well, but I think the Oilers would view Russell as harder to replace in the unlikely event he was claimed. Maybe almost all the teams will be in similar predicaments on that day and the risk of losing others like Nygard, Haas, Lagesson etc. will be so small it won’t matter. I trust Holland to manage this correctly.


Yeah, I’d think the chance of Neal/Chiasson being claimed is lower even than Nygard/Haas/Lagesson given their larger salaries.

And agree also on Russell probably being viewed as harder to replace even if claimed. But that aside, Russell has a NMC in his deal so he can’t be waived/assigned regardless of what anyone thinks.


GMs call at 2pm (eastern) tomorrow.

Lets do this!

Harpers Hair

Pierre LeBrun


The NHL, unaware that some of us have fantasy football semifinals tomorrow, has also scheduled a 2 pm ET GMs call for Sunday.


Per Seravelli:

All indications from #NHL travel protocol drafts are that player movement in road cities will be very stringent. Players and staff will be limited to game rink, practice rink, or team hotel. That’s it. 

No outside facilities, bars, restaurants or shops. All meals in team hotel

Language in protocol continues to change, and will further with input from provincial health authorities.

No guests in hotel rooms. No use of hotel gym. No housekeeping. Assigned seats on buses and planes. In-flight catering eliminated where feasible, etc.

It’s all spelled out.


Confirmed that Sweden and Germany won’t play pre-tournament games. So much for being excited for Canada/Sweden on Monday – sigh.

Canada/Russia on the 23rd.

As the “shutdown line”, look forward to seeing Holloway line up against Pozdolkon and Amirov.

Harpers Hair

James Mirtle (@mirtle) Tweeted:
Shouldn’t the NHL have negotiated the return to play terms with local governments way before two weeks before they want camps to open? Feels like this will delay things for sure.



BC dithered last time during the summer. Why wouldn’t they dither again? Clearly it is a government that does NOT want to make a deal.

The protocols pro sports leagues use around the world now are pretty standard and reasonably effective. The NFL has pretty much proved conclusively that close contact in the actual game does not lead to spread 99.9% if the time, if strict off-field protocols are followed.

The BC government hates the Canucks as much as the rest of us do.

I guess the NHL thinks moving the Canucks to Saskatoon would constitute a competitive disadvantage…so Edmonton Hub City time again.

Harpers Hair

As always, the BC government seems to think it has to do things differently.

It seemed to work early in the pandemic but more recently BC has some of the worst infection rates in the country.

It will be interesting to see how the costs of staging games in a hub city will be apportioned.


It’s all ideological nonsense imo. The ‘party of the people’ doesn’t want to be seen making exceptions for millionaires.

And the early part of the pandemic was always luck and mirage. There isn’t another city in Canada with more flights arriving from China than Vancouver with a tight packed population in a relatively older (for Canada) city holding more street people per square metre than any other in the country.

Harpers Hair

Couldn’t agree more.

Virtue signaling is more important than common sense.


In order of number of cases and origin which they can trace. Number one was from a German dentist attending a convention in Vancouver. Number two was traced back to the outbreak in Seattle and number three to China. This was published about four months into the virus being discovered in B.C.

Scungilli Slushy

I live in BC.

Expect no common sense. Or normalcy compared to most provinces.

If you haven’t heard the former Clerk of the Legislature has been charged criminally for fraud and abuse of his position.

You don’t hear that everyday.


Disagree with Mirtle. Most govt’s have or will approve training camps with protocols. Most will approve closed bubble for the whole division. But two weeks ago none of them were going to sign off on travel to home game. They have been talking, but the correct answer is let’s see what happens in December.


I also disagree with Mirtle – the situation is evolving and the provincial restrictions that were applicable a month ago have become stricter. Any neogitated protocols that would have been required a month ago have likely shifted in the last month.


Scott Wheeler


Andre Tourigny says plan for the Holloway – Newhook – Pelletier line is still to use them in a shutdown role. Points to Pelletier’s detail, Newhook’s strength and speed, and Holloway’s speed and physical presence. They’ve practiced with them against the Dach line to test them.


Samorukov with an assist today for Russian on a Burdasov goal – Channell One Cup:



I have been watching Benson closely – he is my pick for I did not see that coming award this year. Clearly ready to graduate from the AHL BUT can he make the NHL?

I see his skills as, niffy passer, excellent on the boards, high hockey IQ, faster than Maroon as one of the best compliments to McDavid. McDavid wants the puck through the neutral ice and for his teammates to get to dangerous spot in the offensive zone.

With the expanded roster I can see Benson/Ennis platooning that spot and I can see Haas/Khaira platooning as well.


Nurse- Larsson


That would leave the only players above their battling order as Ennis/Benson and Jones. Every cap team is going to face this to start the year.


I won’t get in to the Kahun vs. Ennis/Benson for top 6 vs. 3rd line but I did want to speak to the Ennis/Benson platoon.

I’m just fine with that in premise (and have been one of Benson’s proponents and have expressed that he does have many skills that I believe are useful to play with McDavid). I don’t know if he’ll be able to play up the lineup this year but am on board with some opportunities if his play warrants it.

What I did want to respond to was the platoon issue and just bring up potential cap reasons why it may not be do-able. To the extent Ennis has been playing and Coach T. wants to give Benson a try, well, Benson will need to be activated from the taxi squad and his apx $900K cap hit will apply and he will take up a spot on the 23 man roster.

I don’t think the fact there are six extra players “with the team” allows the team to have more than 23 active players. If the Oilers are at the roster limit, they will need to assign someone and waivers are likely in play. If the Oilers are running below the max 23 man roster, they may not have the cap room to add Benson, again, without assigning (waiving) another.

Good idea in premise but may not be do-able cap and roster wise.


I wonder if the Oilers will claim Adin Hill off waivers?

I hope its contemplated but, frankly, I can’t see Holland signing Mike Smith and then waiving him so probably not.


Admin Hill to replace over the hill? Is it a hill to die on!
#sorry I couldn’t help myself


Well done Sir!



 Reply to  OriginalPouzar

 December 19, 2020 8:58 am

Cool, I couldn’t remember if Benson was among those mentioned as en route.

I’m just not sure the gap in hockey playing ability (if there is one) between Benson and Nygard/Russell/Quine/Cracknell justifies him sitting for months (well, skating on his own with the small group). Though he’s already played 2 AHL seasons so there’s probably not much more for him to learn there.

And yes, at least they’ve both been playing hockey to this point.

Yup, Benson is on his way back.

I would put Nygard and Benson in one group and Russell/Quine/Cracknell in another group.

Lets put it this way, in a normal season, with normal access to AHL call-ups, would you have Russell, Quine or Cracknell above Benson on the likely call-up depth chart? Yes, they all have more NHL experience than Benson but none of them have the potential upside of Benson or a potential future with the org like Benson.

I would be fairly sad if Benson is assigned to the AHL, essentially making him a non-option for the NHL for the year (border issues) for the likes of Cracknell or P. Russell.

I totally get it, Benson needs to be playing hockey games but, at the same time, he also needs to have the opportunity to prove himself in the NHL this year. He showed to be on the cusp a year ago, this is a big year for him to take that next step and he’s at the age and experience where his tier of forward prospect often starts to show themselves at the NHL level.

To me.


Lets put it this way, in a normal season, with normal access to AHL call-ups, would you have Russell, Quine or Cracknell above Benson on the likely call-up depth chart?

Yeah, I (and more importantly Tippett) might well have Nygard, Quine and Russell above or even with Benson.

Benson does need NHL games to see if he can translate that potential, but even if he’s only behind Nygard that’s the #16 forward and #6 LW on the depth chart. I guess part of my calculation is that he’s not that likely to be playing games if he’s with the Oilers, so he might as well be somewhere he can play. If Tippett is going to get him in the lineup then no question, he should be with the Oilers.

And again, if he were in Bakersfield I don’t see why that means he’s a non-option. Why would it? It would take 2 weeks for him to reach the Oilers if they want him, but if he’s playing exceptionally and/or there are injuries on the big club they can recall him to the taxi squad. It could rob him of a few injury replacement games but he’s not been sent to Siberia (Novosibirsk maybe) until the season is over.


The most likely lineup has Nuge, McDavid, Kassian, Kahun, Draisaitl, Yomomoto, Ennis,Turris, Kassian, Chiasson, Hass, Archibald, Khaira, and Neal for a total of $47,409,166.

Nurse, Larsson, Jones, KRussell, Barrie, Lagesson, Klefbom coming in at $23,258,666 and Koskinen and Smith at $6,000,000.

Add in buyouts and last year’s overage at 50% of $341,326 and the total cap hit is $81,592,491 or $92,491 over the cap. I did not account for bonuses because it is not required to be cap compliant on Day One for bonuses unless you are the NYR. 😉 (That’s a joke.)

So the Oilers need to put somebody, anybody with a cap hit equal or more than the amount that can be buried in the AHL which is $1,075,000 this year – I believe.

Neal will do as will many others.

So Holland’s magic number to sign Bear if he only wants to send one guy down is $1,075,000 minus the $92,491 that he is already over for a total of $982,509.

That makes the team cap compliant on Day One.

Of course there could be injuries during TC. Neal could – and probably will – pull a back muscle just before the end of TC. That has been known to happen. 😉


I’m not sure people would be happy having Kassian double shifting 😏
Does Kahun have to clear waivers? I’m pretty sure he does, but not 100%.
I think there’s going to be many players in the Nygard/Khaira/Haas tier being waived this year that I don’t think any of them would get claimed. Most teams are in the same situation. I don’t think it matters who gets sent down, we’ll get cap compliant, even if Bear is signed before camp.
Training camp ltir is different than off-season ltir. They can be over the cap by 10% through camp, on eve of regular season, place Klefbom on training camp ltir. They get cap compliant, and if I understood correctly, the same benefit from regular season ltir is gained on training camp ltir.


Neither Nygard or Haas give you the full 1.075 M in cap relief you need.

Yeah, I’m surprised I didn’t hear from Godot on double dipping on Kassian. 😉

Last edited 10 months ago by defmn

The only players that don’t have to clear waivers are Bouchard, Benson, Yamamoto, Lennstrom.

No, I don’t think that is right.

They can go over by 10% in the off-season, that is correct, and that includes training camp but there is a difference between training camp LTIR and in-season LTIR.

Training camp LTIR is the same as off-season LTIR.

They could sign Bear and be over the cap and them place Klef on LTIR to get cap compliant – their LTIR overage cushion is then locked by the amount they were over when Klef is placed on LTIR in the off-season.

Preferably, they make paper transactions on the eve of the season to get under the cap (but as close to the cap as possible) and then place Klef on LTIR on the first day of the regular season. The LTIR overage cushion would be Klef’s cap hit less the cap space they had when he was placed on LTIR.

Last edited 10 months ago by OriginalPouzar

If they go over the cap as close to Klefbom’s cap hit as possible, they add him to training camp ltir, and that’s their overage they’re allowed, same as if put on during season.
If they get up to $85.67, they put Klefbom on training camp ltir, his $4.17 comes off that, $81.5 becomes their upper limit. Once they hit $81.5, they start into Klefbom’s $4.17 of relief.

Training-Camp Equation Example
The league upper limit is $69M. A team has an averaged club salary of $71M and a player with a cap hit of $5M ($5M cap hit, $0 in performance bonuses) becomes injured and the team places him on LTIR. The LTIR relief pools are calculated as follows:

  1. Team cap hit = $71M
  2. ACSL = $71M – $5M = $66M
  3. LTIR relief:
  4. Base salary relief pool: $5M
  5. Performance bonus pool: $0

Once the team operates above $66M, they have $5M in salary relief, and $0 in performance bonus relief pools. When using the training camp formula, 100% of the relief pools are used when the player is initially placed on LTIR.


I believe that proves my point – the training-camp LTIR works the same as off-sesaon LTIR. The team is over that $69M cap by $2M. The player is placed on LTIR and they get cap compliant and the max they can over the cap is the amount they were over on that day, $2M.

As it states, once they operate above $66M, they have $5M in relief – a practical cap of $71M.


It doesn’t matter if the Oilers get to 81.4 with Klefbom, put him on ltir the first day of season, they get to go up to 85.57 as their upper limit. They can still go up to 85.57 now, put Klefbom on ltir the eve of the season, bringing the cap back down to 81.4. They can then add up to 81.4, and they can still go over the cap to 85.57. Either way, their upper limit is 85.57.


Yes, the effect of going $4.1M over the cap in the off-season (and putting him on LTIR to get cap compliant during the regular season) and getting one penny blow the cap (and putting him on LTIR during the regular season) is the same as far as their overage cushion.

Of course, in scenario 1, the team is absolutely capped out and has zero cap space to do anything. Would never be able to activate a player from the taxi squad – zero cover for injuries. Forget about in-season improvements.

In scenario 2, they call up the player or two they assigned to get compliant and now have cap room to work with.

In scenario 1, they’ve spent all the cap space in order to incur the biggest overage but the money is already spent. Sure, they could sign Bear for $3M (apx) and then use Klef’s LTIR to get compliant but they are effed during the season. Better hope for zero injuries.

Unless I’m missing something.


Once they use Klefbom’s salary to get compliant in scenario 2, they are still allowed to use up to their upper cap limit of 85.57. His 4.17 comes off, bringing their hit to 81.4. They have 4.17 to use still. And, unlike off-season ltir, with training camp ltir, they can still accrue cap space.
I don’t think I’m being clear enough.
Teams at 81.742 right now with 23 players on the roster. They sign Bear to a $3.9 contract, bringing cap to 85.642. Eve of the season, they put Klefbom on ltir, bringing the cap down to 81.472. During the season, their upper limit is still $85.642, meaning they can still add up to $4.17 elsewhere. As long as they’re between $81.472 and $85.642, they aren’t accruing cap space. But, if they opt to send down someone to have a 22 man roster, say Khaira, they’re accruing cap space on his $1.075 relief.

Two methods can be used to calculate the ACSL:

The Basic Equation

  1. The basic equation can be used throughout the NHL regular season, and during the off-season:
  2. ACSL = Salary cap upper limit – team cap space

  3. Example: The 2017-18 upper limit is $75M, a team with a projected cap hit of $74.9M places a player with an AAV of $5M on LTIR:
  4. Upper limit = $75M
  5. Team cap space = $0.1M
  6. ACSL = $75M – $0.1M = $74.9M
  7. If the team decides that they do not need to recall a player, and instead reassign a player to the AHL, they would begin to accrue cap space because they are operating below the ACSL.

The Training-Camp Equation

  1. The training camp equation can be used on the last day of training camp in preparation for the first day of the season:
  2. ACSL = Team cap hit – LTIR player’s cap hit

  3. Example: The 2017-18 upper limit is $75M, on the last day of the off-season a team has a projected cap hit of $78M and places a player with an AAV of $3.5M on LTIR:
  4. Team cap hit = $78M
  5. Player’s cap hit = $3.5M
  6. ACSL = $78M – $3.5M = $74.5M
  7. To accrue cap space while the team continues to use LTIR, they would need to trade players to get below a projected cap hit value of $74.5M.

The ACSL will always be less than or (in the optimal scenario) equal to the league upper limit. The closer the ACSL is to the league upper limit, the greater the team will be able to exceed the upper limit.


The only difference I can see between in-season ltir and training camp ltir is for in-season, you want to be as close to $81.5 as possible before adding a player to ltir. For TC ltir, you want to be as close to the player’s salary amount over $81.5 as possible before adding him to ltir. Both give you the same upper limit and are able to accrue cap relief.


You may be right but I’m still not 100% sure – I think the examples given are dealing with the ability to accrue cap space to bank to use for acquisitions and additions to the cap during the season and not speaking to the daily cap limit of the team.

Could be wrong.


Thinking about this further and reading I am not wrong.

Your examples above only speak to accruing cap space while using LTIR – which is very uncommon.

Your examples do not speak to the team’s upper cap limit using the salary reserves (which is essentially what the main issue is) – how much over the $81.5M cap (including Klefbom, as his cap hit never goes away) the team can go.


This part from the first post makes me think you are wrong:

Once the team operates above $66M, they have $5M in salary relief, 

Speaking to being able to go above the limit in the example laid out earlier.
The closer to Klefbom’s salary over the limit, the more they have to go over once he’s added to ltir on the eve of camp. That’s why so many teams with cap crunches like the Leafs trade for ltir contracts. And that’s why so many teams add contracts to ltir on the eve of the season.

Last edited 10 months ago by teamblue

Which means their upper cap limit is $71M.

If they would have got cap compliant and then placed a $5M player on LTIR, their upper cap limit would be much higher if they were close to the cap upon placement.

You are concerning yourself with the accrual limit and the ability to accrue cap space with a player on LTIR which is not the same as the revised upper cap limit (using salary pool relief) which is really what matters.

In practice, accruing cap space when using LTIR is almost impossible. It means the team has moved out enough salary to be below their adjusted accrual limit (which will always be below the normal salary cap).

Last edited 10 months ago by OriginalPouzar

If they would’ve got up to $73.9 instead of $71, their upper limit would’ve been $73.9, and once they went over 68.9, they would have $5 mil in salary relief. If the oilers get as close to $4.17 over $81.5, they’ll have the same relief as if the get as close to $81.5 on the first day of the regular season.

Last edited 10 months ago by teamblue

Why not waive both niel and kassian and run with 20 man roster


It all works if you wait to sign Bear until after rosters are set. Put Klefbom on LTIR, then more available cap space to sign Bear, plus roster space issue sorted.


I’m ready to move on from Kfefbom, he will probably be exposed at the expansion draft if he ever plays again. its unfortunate but the Oilers have so many good defensemen coming.


Cool little piece on Bouchard, LT. Nice find.

Silver Streak

Much talk about only one Provincial health authority saying no to NHL hockey this year. Friedman and others in the know mention B.C. as the outlier.
The players will not play the year in the USA, nor do they want a bubble like last years playoffs….
The obvious solution is move the Canucks to Saskatoon, friendly time zone and easy flight times. If fans in the stands becomes a thing again later, the Sask Tel Centre seating capacity is equal to MTS place, home of the Jets. !00 % sellout a guarantee.
This could accomplish several things….reopen the door (Wild Bill Hunter kicked open 36 years ago) for a possible move of a troubled Florida or desert franchise, and doesn’t
The “Saskatchewan Canucks ” just damn well sound great…


For old times’ sake, call them the “Saskatchewan Rough Riders”. 😀


If the only option they offer Bear is an $800,000 contract, they are strongly signaling to him they don’t have long term plans for him. Yes he has very little leverage, but he played well enough last season that paying him less than Jones and the NHL salary of 6 of the D on the Condors would be insulting. Even in the unusual circumstances the league is in, Bear should get a minimum of $1.0-1.2 million.

Maybe with camp only being 10 days with no exhibition, Bear doesn’t sign until day 1 of the season. The insurance in that circumstance probably wouldn’t be that expensive.

In terms of who to put on waivers to make day 1 work, Neal is probably the least likely to be picked up by anyone else at his cap hit, followed by Russell.


KRussell is probably completely safe at his cap hit but we do need him or similar for the expansion draft.


If Russell is claimed on waivers, its likely that Lagesson will play enough games to meet the exposure requirement (I’m sure the 40 games in the previous season will be pro-rated for the 56 game schedule).


Likely but why take the chance when there are others who solve the problem with less risk?


I think they should offer Bear the same as Jones, but in good faith, perhaps Katz could add a philanthropic donation to a cause close to Bears heart. This would create good will and tell him he is in future plans but cap limits them this year.. bit dodgy yes but nothing in the rules against it per se and may bridge the gap temporarily.


Dodgy and, yes, likely against the rules as well.

The play may be a Kevin Lebanc type “deal” where a cheap one-year is signed and an agreement on an extension agreed to. Sure, the player and org put faith in each other that they don’t reneg on the deal based on a change in expected performance but it could be done – SJ honored their “handshake deal” with Lebank and signed it even though he had a big drop off in performance.

1 X $900K

On March 1 (or whenever the “January 1” is for this coming season), he signs a 6 X $3.75M extension.



Labanc had a three year track record and had played 210 games when offered that arrangement. Bear had a very good year, but with only 90 games played it would be premature to commit to that type of arrangement with him. I think Holland would want to see him at least repeat if not improve his 2019/2020 performance before committing $$ and term to Bear. Even if this had been a normal off season, a bridge contract would have been the smart play. There is still a chance that the Oilers top 3 RD in 2021/22 will be Barrie/Larsson and Bouchard so Holland should not be committing to Bear long term just yet.


There is an argument that, even in normal times, a bridge for Bear is the way to go but I would suggest that a majority of Oiler fans would have been (and probably still would be) amenable to a long term deal if there was cap room for it.

It would be a risk, sure, just as it was with Klefbom, just like the flames made wth Andersson (although he has a bit of a longer track record), etc.

As far as the secondary point and Barrie goes, we’ll see. I’m quite enthused to have him on the team this year with the value contract, however, personally, I think the defensive group can flourish for the next 10 years without signing a 30 year old for term.

Depending on how Bouchard develops in his NHL games this year, I’d prefer to re-sign Larsson at a much lower AAV than Barrie (and Larsson’s current) – although I don’t think Adam will sign below $3M which is what would be required in my brain.

cowboy bill

The other thing putting Yamo in the taxi squad . Why not Chiasson or Neal ?


David Staples
The Vancouver Canucks have been traded to Moose Jaw.



The trade is one-for-zero.

And yet it’s still a bad trade for Moose Jaw.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

This is what the experts call a lose-lose trade.

Elgin R

Shame on you for saying that! Hockey fans in Moose Jaw now have a chance to watch your nephew the future Norris winner.

Harpers Hair

I expect the Canucks will play in Edmonton.

Local fans will love their exciting new young team so much that there are public rallies demanding the Oilers be permanently relocated to Lloydminster so the fan bass can adore Brogan Rafferty for many years to come.


You do live on fantasy island!


Or do Hughes, Pettersson and Demko see greener pastures as 1LD, 1LW and 2G on the other Edmonton team, refusing to re-sign with the Canucks for a reasonable number and forcing Benning to trade them.


Considering their treatment by BC, I can see them moving to Quebec or Hamilton on top of the forced dismantle. Or maybe the activists raise the ante for the team presently located in Lotusland. For now.

But I take it no one here was shocked when Trudeau announced Bromine Rapperty would be Canada’s first vaccine recipient? Sweet Baby Jasus. That man does hero before breakfast.

Last edited 10 months ago by Munny

How much would the oilers save if they sent Neal down(paper transaction)? I would think there is very little chance of him getting claimed. Would that give her enough wiggle room to sign Bear at $1-1.2M?


I believe it’s 1.075


That’s correct, its the NHL minimum salary plus $375K.

Neal, Kassian, Chiasson would each save $1.075M off the cap if assigned (paper transaction) to the taxi squad for day 1. They’d each need to clear waivers (and would – larger savings if claimed, oubviously).


I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell that they risk Lagesson on waivers. Lots of forwards to risk waivers on, with no risk of losing them. i.e. Kassian, Neal, Chiasson, Nygard, Haas, Ennis.

Kassian is the obvious choice to put on waivers to get cap compliant. Nobody takes that contract, with 4 years on it. And he comes right back on the roster when Klefbom goes on LTIR.


I agree on Lagesson – subject to a disaster at camp, I see him locked in to the lineup at 7D (and in the lineup if there is an injury to Nurse, Jones or Bear and maybe, potentially even passing Rusty, although that likely takes some time).

I see no way he’s on the taxi squad (exposed to waivers first) for the likes of Lennstrom (or even Bouchard who can be assigned to the taxi squad without being exposed to waivers – as can Lennstrom).


Neal, Kassian, Chiasson – all the same cap implications with respect to the paper transaction for cap compliance.

I guess there is a tiny chance that someone would claim Kass, unlikely given the new financial market, but you never know with some GMs.

Like it or not, Kassian is a legit option for Tip at 1RW (and likely penciled in there) – would the org be happy if he was claimed – until someone else proves capable at 1RW (be it Jesse or…….), losing Kassian probably makes the team worse. Losing the contract creates ability to improve the team in the immediate and medium term.

cowboy bill

You say you think Chiasson , Khaira , Nygard or Haas could possibly be waived . But why not James Neal ? He actually makes the most sense . I mean he is one of the oldest players on the roster plus he has no NMC or NTC . No team would want to pick up that contract .

Last edited 10 months ago by cowboy bill

The issue I see with that is needing James Neal in the opening night lineup.

That may be an aggressive use of the world “need” but, when healthy and fresh, Neal can be a big plus in the lineup – he was one of the best players in the play-in. Now, I caution others about putting too much stock in so much poor play in the play-in, however, it does show that Neal does indeed have that game, at least for stretches.

I just don’t see Neal not being in the opening night roster – subject to camp sucking.


Holland didn’t mention Jones as a comp for Bear the other day when he was asked about negotiations by Matheson? Stauffer? – can’t remember – but I’ll bet you he was thinking it.

Bear got his chance earlier than Jones because of Persson and then got a better chance when Larsson went down but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Holland sees him as a better player.

Bear seized his opportunity and outperformed expectations but it won’t shock me if his contract for one year comes in close to what Jones signed for.

The flat cap is forcing GM’s to count pennies and surplus UFA’s are forcing agents to gulp a little harder.


Jones’ 2 X $850K could be the best value contract on the team over the course of the next two years – shit, it could be one of the best value contracts in the NHL for those two years (excluding ELCs).

Emphasis on “could”.


I agree with you generally, but I have a hard time seeing a Bear contract come in at under $1M. Holland is squeezing him hard (one assumes) but he has actually played 1st pair on a decent NHL team for a full season.

Remember that when Jones signed his deal (Jan 15th) he’d only played 23 of the teams 48 games. His stats line read 23-0-3-3 -5 17SOG 13:18TOI/GP. He wasn’t nearly as established then as he is today (still not exactly established).

Of course Covid also happened since Jones signed his deal, but I still don’t see Bear having to sign for less than $1M.


I can see it. What he played last year is probably of no importance when it comes to a one year contract in this situation. Bear played first pair more out of necessity than anything else.

Bouchard is banging on the door. Vatanen and Hamonic are without contracts and he has no arbitration rights. Kahun signed for less than a million.

In the coming 2 weeks I think we are going to be amazed at the contracts players are going to have to accept.


Yeah, could be. And agreed the deals players sign in the next few weeks will be a bit shocking.

I just still don’t feel like Holland will squeeze Bear quite *that* much. My guess is that Bear is still asking for something more like $1.5M and Holland is refusing to go there.

Bear has no leverage at all though, so you could certainly be right.


We’ll learn something about Holland by how he settles this for sure.

If I had to guess I think he comes in around the figure Kahun signed for – $975,000 for one year.


Yes, agreed on learning something about Holland.

And I actually think he’ll sign for very close to $1M so we’re really only disagreeing by $100k or something. I was just figuring that $1M mark would almost be symbolic for Bear, and wouldn’t matter so much for Holland and the Oilers.


I’m not sure what Bear’s contract will come it at – a lot less that “normal market value” but I wanted to respond to the point about playing first pairing out of necessity.

Sure, he was thrust in to that role due to injury but he played it all year long and played it well – sure, there were some down games and periods and he certainly didn’t “kill those minutes” but he played admirably – 36% TOI against elites with a partner who is also not a defensive stud or legit top pairing guy and they almost sawed off – plus he was a material part of the PK.

Sure, he got the opportunity out of necessity but performed admirably in the role

Kassian was only 1RW out of necessity as well and he got paid for it. I’m not comparing the situations (UFA vs. coming off ELC with no leverage) but just to the “out of necessity” point which I’m not sure really matters.

Just my opinion


Wouldn’t it be simpler to waive Mike Smith on day 0 and dress Anton Forsberg?
i think the money works.


Simpler, perhaps, but I don’t see Holland waiving Smith after re-signing him – subject to him being awful at camp.

If he is willing to waive Smith, I would hope he would be putting in a claim for Adin Hill – 3rd goalie for Arizona.


As far as post-Klefbom roster, subject to cap battles (i.e. Bouchard making it impossible, Nygard winning the day over Khaira, etc.), I have:

23 Man Active Roster:


McDavid, Drai, Turris, Khaira, Haas
Nuge, Kahuan, Ennis, Neal,
Yamamoto, Kassian, Puljujarvi, Archie, Chiasson


Nurse, Jones, Russell, Lagesson
Bear, Larsson, Barrie



Taxi Squad

Bouchard, Lennstrom
Benson, Nygard, Russell


I like this roster best especially if you put your depth chart into lines. I think keeping RNH and Yamamoto together is a good idea and Kassian had excellent chemistry with Draisaitl. It also limits the lines to only 1 really small forward per line. Doubt we actually see it though.


I think Holland is going to need to be brutal with some of the overpriced vets and the taxi squad. Rather than risking losing a young cheaper player like Lagesson or Nygard put Neal and Russell on taxi squad through waivers as needed. Neither of those two would be claimed. Going to be interesting to see Tampa and NYI maneuver as well..


He may do that but I anticpate, for opening night, Coach T. has both Neal and Russell in the lineup. They are two players, along with the likes of Larsson and Chiasson, where there could be some load management and nights off for them (and Russell may prove to be passed on the depth chart) – at that time, I could see him trying to get those guys on the taxi squad for cap savings – not Larsson though, he wouldn’t be risked on waivers.


I agree with you that Neal and Russell will most likely be in the lineup. But regarding Russell, doesn’t he have a NMC (in addition to his L-NTC)? So even if he were passed by everyone on the depth chart he’s not going to be assigned to the taxi squad or Bakersfield.


Good point – I forget about his NMC – he could waive it “for the betterment of the team” knowing it would have no practical effect for him but, again, I’m still not sure that Holland would put any of Neal, Chiasson or Rusty on waivers even if it was a plus cap move with no practical negative.


Unless Neal comes into camp 20 pounds overweight are strung out Holland is not going to waive a vet that when healthy can still put pressure on the D with a strong forecheck and most importantly still score. I thought Neal looked great in the play-in it’s to bad that a few of the younger fellas didn’t follow his lead and just weren’t into it.


I think there may be a cap implication with sending Yamamoto to the farm and then calling him up (with his bonuses then applying to the cap) – I’ll need to dig in to that this afternoon unless someone else has the answer.

I believe the process is correct – send players down and get cap compliant and then LTIR Klefbom to maximize cap space.

I think that Holland will have to have a conversation with a couple veterans re: a paper transaction and waivers in order to get cap compliant. A trade out of a Chiasson (or similar) seems tough at this stage – Duclair just signed for less.


I think Gregor did a post addressing the Yamamoto cap implications a couple of weeks ago. His take was that he couldn’t be sent down or it was not favorable at the very least, IIRC.