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.
- New Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Left-side logjam will force the Oilers to make a choice, and perhaps a sacrifice
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s 2020 Oilers offseason report card
- Lowetide: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
- Lowetide: Why Anton Forsberg could win the Oilers’ backup job in 2020-21
- Lowetide: The 2020-21 Oilers finally deploying elite talent in the right places
- Jonathan Willis: Team Draft vs. Team Trade: Which collection of all-time Oilers is better?
- Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Oilers prospects off to impressive starts worldwide
- Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success
- Lowetide: Projected training camp roster for the 2020-21 Oilers.
- Jonathan Willis: Will the Oilers repeat their power play magic in 2021?
- Lowetide: How many ‘peak seasons’ can Oilers fans expect from Connor McDavid?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ increased focus on drafting skill is key to future success
- Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s training camp with Oilers will be so compelling
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The results
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: Goals against
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The Goals
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
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.
23-MAN ROSTER PLUS TAXI SQUAD
- 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
OPENING NIGHT ROSTER TO MAKE THE CAP
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.