The 50-Man

by Lowetide
Oilers 50-man list mid-September 2015, as players were cut and sent to AHL or junior

The offseason in any sport is the only time one gets to assess things. My Dad used to call it the ‘lay of the land’ and most years it’s a good idea. The McDavid Oilers, having had the same problem since he arrived, are not in need of extra time to get a ‘lay of the land’ because if management doesn’t know the problem by now, they’re doomed already.

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!

OILERS 50-MAN LIST (30 + 9 RFA)

This is the time of year where we can look at each position and go blue sky a little In goal, we’re likely to see an overhaul on the current depth chart, with Mike Smith coming in and possibly Mikko Koskinen going out. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Smith-Koskinen spend a final year together, honestly. I don’t think it’s wise or efficient, but a buyout is unnecessary-surely a trade can be worked with someone. I expect Ilya Konovalov will play well in Bakersfield and maybe we see him during the NHL season. Ideally, Holland brings in Dreidger from Florida or similar, and Konovalov flourishes in Bakersfield.

Darnell Nurse is the only sure thing at LHD, although I think Caleb Jones is worth a full shot on the left side. Oscar Klefbom is the great unknown, and if you’re asking me to guess, I expect the organization will prepare as if he will not return. What does that mean? I think the remaining options (Kris Russell, William Lagesson and the kids who haven’t seen the NHL listed above) are all shy of being regulars the team can count on. What does that mean? Well, I think fans believe Jamie Oleksiak is coming to town, but would advise you to imagine Holland signing Dmitry Kulikov. Call me rain cloud, but it’s a likely play. I also believe Philip Broberg will be a bigger story than we’re anticipating at this time. More in a minute.

Ethan Bear had a far better season than most fans have given him credit for, despite a tough start and a difficult finish. Young blue who play feature roles are often in memorable (the bad kind) photos, you may recall Nurse in 2017. It’s part of the investment made in defensemen and Bear is going to help a team win those same games later in his career. Evan Bouchard is beyond ready and will slide in on the third pair with some power-play time that increases through the year. He is not eligible for the Calder Trophy, having played 7 and 14 games in previous seasons (the rule is “a player cannot have played more than 25 games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons in any major professional league”) so that’s not going to happen for Bouchard. After that, no one currently populating the 50-man list is a strong candidate for NHL work. Adam Larsson is not signed, but it sounds like he will be, and I think there’s a chance Slater Koekkoek also returns depending on what happens in the expansion draft. Tyson Barrie had a big offensive season with Edmonton but it would be a mistake to bring him back. The cap hit alone would derail other parts of the roster, and of course it would delay Bouchard’s ascension to his proper role by another year.

This is the 50-man list from August of 2018, notice Nuge on LW and Mikko Koskinen in a backup (he would play 55 games) role.

Left wing includes an eroding James Neal along with talented prospects Dylan Holloway and Raphael Lavoie, plus a lesser but interesting prospect in Ostap Safin. Tyler Benson, Dominik Kahun and Devin Shore are RFA, I expect we’ll see one or two signed but have a feeling the best one (Kahun) sails on down the line. A LW depth chart of Nuge, Blake Coleman, Benson, Shore and Neal is both better than last season and far from championship calibre. Holland needs all of Holloway, Lavoie and Benson to spike on demand and that isn’t realistic. The most fascinating position on the team.

Connor McDavid is the best player in the game, Leon Draisaitl a stunning talent who has emerged as both a complementary winger and a center who can also drive his own line. This is the heart of the order for the Edmonton Oilers. Finding two centers behind those two towers has proven difficult, but rookie Ryan McLeod appears to be a key piece. The question surrounding McLeod has to do with readiness and we’ll have to wait and see. Kyle Turris didn’t cover the bet made on him and represents a misstep by the organization. Certainly not the only one, but to have missed by this much has to be a concern. Jujhar Khaira is RFA and I expect will return on a two-year deal.

Jesse Puljujarvi is the poster example of what the Oilers need to do this season on left wing, except Holland needs to double the recipe and deliver two LW’s. Zack Kassian and Josh Archibald are both NHL veterans who play specific roles (Kassian physical, Archibald PK) including secondary offense. The problem for both is five on five scoring and that needs to get better in a hurry. It’s a stretch to call them part of the solution. Kirill Maksimov is a wild card, he has talent but needs to score consistently to establish himself. Seth Griffith is an effective AHL skill winger. RFA’s Kailer Yamamoto and Cooper Marody occupy different spots on the organization’s depth chart, both in need of new deals. Yamamoto is a key, and when he slumps (ended the regular season going 1-6-7 in 25 games) the Oilers need to have an alternative.

HOLLAND’S MEN

I think we can all agree that the next wave of newcomers from the minors/Europe will come from players drafted before Ken Holland arrived in Edmonton. Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod, Tyler Benson, Stuart Skinner and Dmitri Samorukov should be expected to establish themselves as NHL regulars or at least push in the coming season.

Beginning this fall, the “Holland Oilers” will have an impact in my opinion. Philip Broberg turns 20 in June, and his career trajectory is similar to Oscar Klefbom’s, who played NHL games at 20. Ilya Konovalov turns 23 in July, and if he flourishes in Bakersfield (his KHL resume is strong) we could see him in Edmonton during the 2020-21 season. Raphael Lavoie is 21 in September. Dylan Holloway turns 20 in September.

They’re coming soon to a rink near you.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10, we kickstart the weekend on TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck Podcast will talk about the Scheifele suspension, the World Hockey Championships and who he likes to come out of the North division. Plus the coming CFL season. At 11, Hernan Salas from TSN1260 talks Euro and the craziness that is to come. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. It all hits the radio at 10!

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Material Elvis

Is it too late for HH to hop on the Vegas bandwagon?

Harpers Hair

Yes.
I have several hundred dollars riding on the Avalanche.

Material Elvis

Is that a bet that you actually have to pay if you lose?

Seriously, though. Vegas outshot Colorado 41-25 last game and 43-20 tonight. Colorado has stayed in both games thanks to their power play and hot goaltending. Vegas looks like the better team so far.

Harpers Hair

Yes…but I’m already playing with house money since I bet 5 units on the Avalanche to win the Presidents Trophy at 14-1….oh my.

While I have always thought the VGK would be the biggest obstacle to Colorado winning the cup, we have to remember they lead the series 2-1 and teams that go down 2-0 almost always lose.

I think the Knights are one of the best 4 teams in the league but the Avalanche are among them too.

Going to be some fantastic hockey.

tsunami

Blablablablabla

Harpers Hair

The best period in hockey perhaps in years.

Wow!

Material Elvis

If a team is getting outshot and outplayed in back to back games, are they still the goods?

Ryan

What does Tuch cost? We could sure use an Alex Tuch.

Harpers Hair

What a player.

leadfarmer

Vegas got Colorado playing dump and chase

Ryan

Vegas has a big fast team. They’re dumping it in and playing the cycle game. They also have Pietrangelo and Theodore who can really transition the puck.

This game seams to have the officials from the Oilers Jets series that put their whistles in their pocket.

Size trumps skill with dead puck era officiating.

Harpers Hair

Unless you have the daggers.

DevilsLettuce

Shockingly the best team ever assembled just got their shoes hat and milk money taken.

Harpers Hair

Okay!

Time for some Big Boy Hockey!

Let’s do this!

Harpers Hair

Capacity crowd in Vegas.

Harpers Hair

Grubauer is amazing.

leadfarmer

Like 3 mil a year amazing???

Harpers Hair

What a dreadful problem to have.

OriginalPouzar

I thought he was going to sign for apx $3M or Sakic will just replace him?

Harpers Hair

Man…that was a huge amount of work to score the first goal.

Harpers Hair

And there we go.

BuckJunky

Wtf is wrong with you?

Harpers Hair

Hemmoroids have been a constant sorrow.

Randle McMurphy

They must be using French pucks or something; Hellybuck can’t stop a beachball.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Karma.

Harpers Hair

He has now stopped 20 beachballs but it’s looking unlikely Winnipeg can get anything past Price.

Bag of Pucks

Lindros Trade Part 2.

For me, the tougher rationale here is why the hell would the Canucks do this? But given how adamant they are about not trading McDavid, I doubt most Oiler fans will see it that way. So let’s start with the toughest audience first.

Going into this season, Holland’s needs were:

Build a legit Top 6
Keep the 1,2,3 C strength ideally moving RNH off the wing to 3C
Secure a true PP QB D and build a more mobile D overall
Get a legit future 1G
Add a top flight W prospect (Podkolzin)
Ice a team with top to bottom depth capable of challenging for the Cup, better positioning the team to resign pending UFAs RNH and Larsson
Provide roster shelter for the future stars (Holloway and Broberg)

Did it hurt? Fuck yeah. We traded the best player in the game but we simultaneously fixed every single roster issue. We finally have very good top 6 Ws, still incredible depth down C, two of the best young D in the game with Nurse and Hughes with two more on the way (Bouchard and Broberg), and a legit 1G emerging with vet cover.

We paid a steep price but the balance photo is here at last. LT will say not with Kahun at 2LW but he knows Holloway is on the way. Is he the Forsberg in this story?

Now, the Canucks’ rationales.

As LT is fond of saying, teams are often guilty of making decisions based on things other than winning. It was true with the first Lindros trade and it’s true in Part Deux.

Vancouver is a notoriously fickle fanbase and falling flat on its face after coming into a season so filled with promise, ownership is pissed and management desperate.

The motivations at play are money and hubris. McDavid the league’s marquee attraction guarantees 5+ years of sellotouts post pandemic and massive merchandising revenues in Canada’s second largest and most affluent hockey market. Connor is something the Canucks have never had. A Canadian born superstar. A license to print money.

The GM hates how this has gutted his roster but the owner is a very very happy man and the GM can sell that he won the trade using the old ‘best player wins’ saw.

And hubris will tell them that yes their roster has been gutted, but they kept Pettersen, and they can surround McDavid better and quicker than the Oilers did. Holtby and Koski is risky but goalies are voodoo. And by god trading Hughes and that contract hurt but we haven’t given up on Julolevi or future Norris Candidate Brogan Rafferty.

4 years later, the Oilers have won the Cup twice with the Draisaitl Horvat rotation described by Nathan MacKinnon as ‘an absolute pain in the ass.’ McDavid demands a trade to Toronto and pines for his days with Leon cashing his sweet saucers.

Harpers Hair

Benning is not the brightest light on the porch but he would never do this.

You’re also missing the actual cap hits of Demko ($5 million) and Hughes ( $7 million?).

Also, the Miller, Boeser and Horvat contracts expire in the window you’ve identified so any joy in Elkville (see what I did there…they write themselves) is very short lived.

Over and above this, McDavid would likely refuse to report and signs a personal services contract with Vladimir Putin and CSKA Moscow doesn’t lose another game for more than a decade.

Ask me about the Elks Club…I’ll be here all week…and don’t forget to try the veal.

Bag of Pucks

Cap Hits are 20/21. They’re legit. The cap hits for Demko and Hughes go up next year and the Oilers would obviously have to clear some cap in the bottoms 6 or let Nuge and/or Larsson walk.

As Miller and Boeser are coming off, players like McLeod, Lavoie, and Holloway would be coming on. Having too many good players to pay are the kind of problems you want to have.

Last edited 17 days ago by Bag of Pucks
Harpers Hair

You still only have a two year window before you have to pay Boeser, Miller and Horvat and, of course, Nurse is about to get overpaid.

I guess you can start dealing them but soon you’re right back where you started.

And I can’t see any circumstances where the Canucks would take Koskinen as part of the deal.

OriginalPouzar

Nurse is going to get paid.

Hughes is going to get overpaid.

Harpers Hair

Really?
Tell me again about Nurse’s 20 year old season.

Bag of Pucks

You’re not right back where you started because you bought two years of immediate Cup contention you wouldn’t have had, if the team wins players will want to stay, and not only were no prospects sacrificed but additional youth was added. So the plan to build out the roster with cheaper personnel in-house continues as planned. Podkolzin is another guy that’s likely chomping at the bit in two seasons.

As opposed to the current plan of we hope to be there in 3 years and we’re completely screwed if we’re not.

As far as Koskinen, if you want the best player in the world you may have to eat a toxic contract, particularly when you’ve just lost a goalie. You don’t get to bed the hottest woman without putting out some dosh.

Last edited 17 days ago by Bag of Pucks
Harpers Hair

I agree it’s far better than the current strategy but I don’t think it’s sustainable for very long.

Too many good players needing contracts in the relative short term.

I think the Oilers need to look at younger players who are about to enter their primes as I laid out in my Buffalo proposal.

What did you think of that?

Bag of Pucks

I liked the logic behind the approach but A) I really don’t want to trade Draisaitl. He’s the mythical 5 tool beast and his game sets up well to easily find chemistry with talented wingers. He’s one of the best backhand passers I’ve ever seen. McDavid’s incredible speed sometimes makes it a challenge to find compatible linemates and there are some minor warts to his game in terms of defensive coverage and size (compared to Leon). Connor’s shot is accurate sometimes but he’s more of a volume shooter / deker than Leon, and B) I’m a little leery of players out of Buffalo. I think their developmental model is fundamentally broken so you’ve got to fix what you get first and teach them good habits. I don’t see Reinhart being a player that would excel in the playoffs.

Harpers Hair

Fair enough ..but we’ve seen players absolutely blossom when they get out of a toxic environment.

Bag of Pucks

Sheldon Souray. David Perron. Devan Dubnyk. Jeff Petry. Andrew Cogliano.

Harpers Hair

The Canucks already dropped their pants and bent over in your proposal..don’t think they will also grab their ankles.

Bag of Pucks

I did give them a value contract in Yamamoto to soften the blow.

Harpers Hair

Yamamoto is a third line player that can be replaced every offseason with a failed 1st round pick.

OriginalPouzar

That’s a weird way of spelling Tyson Jost.

Bag of Pucks

Exactly the kind of player I want to be trading to the Canucks.

Bag of Pucks

I could have included Puljujarvi with McDavid instead. They seem very compatible.

Randle McMurphy

The average age of this years crop of UFA’s is 30ish. With the youngest (and there are very few) being 27.

So if no to an aging UFA then its the trade market.

Thats why for me, the term is key.

If someone like Hoffman comes here on on a one year “show me” deal at 4m, that buy’s time for our prospects to blossom ( JP, Yamo, Holloway, Lavoie)

Id take Coleman on a 3 year term. (3x 3.5m)

Last edited 17 days ago by Randle McMurphy
TheGreatBigMac

I think this team is pretty good and reasonable. https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/2391922

jp

Solid.

Bag of Pucks

Nice adds.

Bag of Pucks

I would imagine the Nordiques trade of Lindros is one that Ken Holland has thought about a lot. The soon to be Avalanche sent away a player that was considered the McDavid of his day coming out of junior. They got back a better player in Forsberg and a number of assets that would spur them to 2 Cups at a time when Holland’s Wings were their closest competition.

So, what would a Lindros trade look like in today’s NHL?

I built the following trade scenario in CapFriendly using 2020/21 effective cap hit numbers envisioning this trade occuring early this season when the once promising Canucks season started crashing on the rocks. Trade assumes Holland having the necessary roster spots available beforehand either by clearing out contracts for picks or simply not acquiring deadwood like Nygard, Haas and Koekekk in the preceding offseason. The goal here isn’t to execute the trade in real time. It’s to develop a proof of concept for dollar out dollar in value that’s achievable from a GM with stainless steel balls.

OILERS TRADE
McDavid $12,500,000 (effective cap hit)
Koskinen $4,500,000
Yanamoto $894,166

CANUCKS TRADE
Horvat $5,500,000
Boeser $5,875,000
Miller $5,250,000
Podkolzin $0 (Minors)
Hughes $916,667
Demko $1,050,000

Oilers cap shrinks by $697,501 to $1,083,332. Canucks grows by same to $2,589,168

Oilers depth chart after:

JT Miller / Draisaitl / Boeser
Kahun / Horvat / Puljujarvi
Podkolzin / RNH / Archibald
Benson / Khaira / Kassian

Nurse / Barrie
Hughes / Larsson
Jones / Russel

Demko / Smith

No Oiler draft picks or key prospect lives were lost in the making of this mock trade.

In Part 2, I’ll discuss why this isn’t as ludicrous as it appears on the surface.

Bag of Pucks

I suspect Bill James wrote that at a time when the NY Yankees could break the bank every season. It’s far less defensible logic imo in a cap system where the 20s salary costs you 4 roster solutions elsewhere.

Last edited 17 days ago by Bag of Pucks
jp

You have it backwards. The cap makes it even harder to win a trade like this.

Bag of Pucks

Such a nuanced and well expressed argument. I’ll have to take your word for it.

jp

The issue with taking an elite player and turning him into multiple good players is that the return is either 1) futures or 2) gets/will get paid far more in aggregate than the elite player.

That’s what you’ve done here. You’ve turned $19M in salary (McDavid, Koskinen and Yamamoto at ~$2M next year) into $28M or $29M in salary (next year) for the return. It can work for next season because the Oilers have that extra salary coming off the books, and you’ve vanished Klefbom and Neal.

If you break down the salary allocation, you’re effectively paying Horvat + Boeser the money you’d have paid McDavid. McDavid scored more points than Horvat and Boeser combined this year (any 2 Canuck players for that matter). IMO paying McDavid that money is a better use of resources than paying Horvat + Boeser.

I guess if you think McDavid isn’t going to figure out how to be McDavid in the playoffs than you might prefer Horvat + Boeser. But then that’s kind of a different issue and a different conversation.

I’ll admit that the theoretical trade looks more plausible than I expected (from a cap and value for McDavid perspective). I also thought initially you were ignoring the raises Demko and Hughes are getting, but your roster could fit under the cap next year.

But another issue, that’s been noted by others, is the window for that team would be just a year or two. All 3 of the big ticket forwards are UFA in 1 or 2 seasons, and after that the younger players are going to need pay bumps. McDavid is an Oiler for at least 5 seasons.

Since your McDavid trade roster added ~$10M in players, which the real Oilers can and likely will do this summer, I guess we need to compare your roster to next season’s theoretical one rather than the one we just watched.

BoP Trades McDavid
JT Miller / Draisaitl / Boeser
Kahun / Horvat / Puljujarvi
Podkolzin / RNH / Archibald
Benson / Khaira / Kassian

Nurse / Barrie
Hughes / Larsson
Jones / Russel

Demko / Smith

JP Keeps McDavid
Saad / McDavid / Puljujarvi
Nuge / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
Kahun / Ryan / Kassian
McLeod / Khaira / Archibald

Nurse / Barrie
Klefbom / Larsson
Russell / Bouchard

Ullmark / Smith

(I traded Bear and kept Barrie as you did, though I probably wouldn’t do that if I was GM).

I guess we could argue about which team is better. I think my version could actually stay intact and competitive for more years. You probably disagree.

Harpers Hair

The other option is stasis.

That is not going to work.

jp

Yup.

Two options.

Option A: ‘stasis’

Option B: trade McDavid

Seems like you’ve got things surrounded. Thanks for the input.

Bag of Pucks

Maybe. Or maybe it’s an admission that the GM could do it given enough racetrack, but time is finite and every year you fail with a flawed roster is another opportunity cost paid.

Randle McMurphy

Are you counting on the League changing it’s rules. Because McDavid has a very hard time doing McDavid like things in the playoffs. Is he a 20 in the playoffs? Not so far. And I think the League likes it that way.

Draisaitl looks to be the more established playoff performer.

Now this could, and hopefully will, change once we get a more balanced roster.

Im certainly not giving up on McDavid and Im certainly not calling him out; Hes the best player in the league. He’s only 24 yrs old. He will adapt.

He’s a 20 in the regular season (we’re blessed to have him) and as far as the business of hockey goes, hes the goose that laid the golden egg.

Im optimistic. But McDavid is a unique case. If this organization cant come up with the winning formula over the next 3 years, all bets are off. At that point anything is possible. IMO

McNuge93

Any trade with the Canucks needs to include Bogdan Rarrity. Wonder if HH will give his seal of approval.

Scungilli Slushy

The cap makes it impossible

Back in the day if you could get 3 or 4 true top level players and keep them, then I agree the team overall is better, in a sport where one or two players can’t do it alone.

But there is a cap, and if you could convince Sakic to give you MacKinnon Rantanen and Makar for McDavid, at some point the cap wrecks it and you lost the trade.

I agree with whomever gets the best player wins the trade

Dac189

You’ve basically traded away the entire Vancouver team minus Pettersen.
Vancouver would be decimated. I can’t see them making this trade

Last edited 17 days ago by Dac189
Bag of Pucks

That’s the more doubtful part for me as well. But we don’t think like NHL Owners do. Their egos crave a player like McDavid and the monetization potential of this player in that market is off the charts.

Dac189

Yeah I guess it would have to be a weird scenario involving the owners. Good thing you can’t just sell players for cash. That could go pretty poorly if one of the owners was about to go broke.

In terms of actual monetization, I wonder if bringing in McDavid would outweigh the loss in revenue associated with being a last place team for another few years.

I enjoyed reading your trade proposal btw

Bag of Pucks

Sellouts. Jersey sales. Higher television ratings in a much larger market. McDavid would be a gold mine in Vancouver.

It would actually be very good for the NHL and I would gladly take the trade off of a Cup or three.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Absolute steal for EDM. Also less pressure to sign Nuge for something stupid like $6.5M. And the icing on the cake … wait for it … since VAN is our trade partner, we get daily McD updates all season long. Offseason too.

Glovjuice

A while ago I proposed trading Drai for a bunch. I legitimately believe without 97 Drai drops off more than most think so he is the one I would use and get less in return obviously. But, this is the better path to balance.

OriginalPouzar

When McDavid was hurt last season, Drai’s point production went up as he carried the team to, I believe, a 3-2-1 record, including some big wins on a tough eastern trip.

Harpers Hair

3-2-1 is a ticket to 5th place..

OriginalPouzar

What in the world does that have. todo with Drai’s ability to produce without McDavid in the lineup?

Randle McMurphy

Kenny waits out the desperate GM’s who slug it out in Free Agency and shops in the Bargin Bin in August.

Cagguila Sheahan Reider

Fans nickname them the CSR line “Cant Skate or React”

Last edited 18 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Dac189

“Almost all of it driven by power play production and complete and utter reliance on two players, none of which is carrying through into playoff success.”

Another big and often unmentioned improvement under Holland

Goals against per season
2018 25th 3.2GA/G
2019 25th 3.34
2020 15th 3.06
2021 9th 2.75

That’s a 48 goal swing in an 82 game season. All on the defensive side

Last edited 18 days ago by Dac189
OriginalPouzar

and a material piece of that is the increase in PK with Holland, Playfair and Tip.

Holland expressly got players that could help a poor PK – that was a stated goal in his 1st off-season.

Of course, the flip side is, acquiring “PK specialists” has been a part of dearth of scoring from the middle and bottom six.

Last edited 18 days ago by OriginalPouzar
Harpers Hair

If it’s not one thing…it’s another.

  • Roseanne Roseannadana.
OriginalPouzar

Solid value add.

winchester

Can we just pass on Hyman already. He’s this years big contract that with high expectations.

We are looking for the next Hyman, not this peak Hyman.

Plenty of folks even in our little blog have identified up and coming talent that would have been a steal.

i wish Edmonton could steal the Krakens scouting reports. Undervalued talent, lots of heart and character, the odd duck that the NHL doesn’t value and will trade or leave unprotected. These are the guys we need and can get 2 of them for one peak Hyman.

Doug McLachlan

Hyman is one of the options but not the only one.

My tentative order of LW UFA options is: Hall (not happening but ~$7.5M), Nuge (if under $6M per), Schwartz (~$5M per), Coleman (~$5M per), Hyman (~$5M per), Tatar (~$4M per), Hoffman (~$5.5M per).

If we got Nuge, Schwartz and Tatar for $15M that’s impressive work, no?

Scungilli Slushy

Nuge and Tartar don’t excel in heavy play

Schwartz has a pretty good injury history

All ‘good’ players, I don’t see any as what would make the Oilers more suited playoffs than what they are now

JimmyV1965

We’re not filling the winger hole simply through free agency. Holland will have to make a trade and actually get a good player.

TheGreatBigMac

Conner and Leon have played with cobbled together wingers a long time. We should get established 1LW and 2LW options. If there is a bit of overpay so be it, just nothing obnoxious. If everything is obnoxious, then I guess we wait/try riskier options.

Scungilli Slushy

I’d rather spend to the cap than wait for the trade deadline.

Im not sure you make your team that much better without hideous prices.

Be smart with the UFA market, find the bargains, deadline if you have a major injury maybe. Make a balanced team and ride it out.

OriginalPouzar

Lets not forget, on the assumption that Klef at least starts the season on LTIR, excess cap to spend only applies if they are near the cap ceiling. Klef’s cap hit never goes away, however, if they are within $4.1M of the cap ceiling, they will be able to go over the cap by a certain amount (while he remains on LTIR).

jeetz

I think the Oilers need to make a choice (or have the choice made for them based on what is available.
Let’s assume a couple non-sure things:

Neal bought out

Koskinen bought out or traded

Kassian traded

Turris sent to minors

Kahun, Chaissin Ennis Barrie RNH not resigned for various reasons

Larsson resigned

McD, Draisaitl, JP #1 line

3of Yamo, McLeod, Benson, Holloway, Lavoie, Marody make up 3rd line ‘kid line’

Archibald, Khaira, Haas, Shore *new similar player is forth line

Nurse, Bear, Larsson, Bouchard, Kulikov are 5 of our starting 6 defencemen

Smith is resigned as the #1b goalie

The question becomes:

Are the Oilers better to:

go ‘all in’ on a true 1A goalie and a 1A defenseman (to go with nurse… always have on on the ice at all times)

Reconstruct a second FWD line that is big enough to compete in the playoffs and good enough to take on some of the scoring burden?

we have the cap space for 1 of the 2

Last edited 18 days ago by jeetz
Reja

The number 1 priority should be finding a Goaltender that is affordable and decides to have breakout year with us and gets a nice contract because of his solid play. If we try the Smith &Mikko duo we are screwed and Kenny being a former goaltender knows this.

OriginalPouzar

I wouldn’t be adverse to kicking that can one year down the road – in one year, we’ll know a lot more about Skinner and Konovalov (and Rodrigue). 50% retained on Mikko and trade him (or bury him for one year and eat the $3.3M hit) and go with Smith/Stalock.

Its high risk, I know but they have to choose which positions to “fix” right now and there is only so much cap.

Don’t buy out Mikko – I really don’t want that $1.5M on the books in 2022/23 – that’s a cup year.

JimmyV1965

That’s the thing. We will know a lot more about our own guys one year from now. Or even down the stretch next season.

ArmchairGM

Bury Koskinen and run with Stalock as 1B? Did I read that right? Is the $300k cap savings worth the downgrade in goaltending?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

What downgrade? Is there a player in the league that doesn’t now know to go glove-side high on Miko. And how can a guy so big consistently look so small as he crushes, I mean covers, the five hole? Since Tip was adamant/stubborn, as he typically is, about not giving Stalock any time at all, I have no idea what his warts might be.

I’m with Reja on this. If Smith gets hurt, we are trash.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I have long been a proponent of spending big on a goalie. Majorly disappointed when we couldn’t haul in Markstrom. But therein lies the problem, no one that’s half good want’s to come here.

It’s apparently the same with goalie gurus or at least goalie coaches. I would like to understand why former Oil goalies all of a sudden look like they know what they are doing once they leave EDM. Pretty sure it’s not something in the water. Is it poor coaching (goalie) or is it poor coaching (defensive structure in front of the goalie)?

I don’t know about Koski/Smith having opposite seasons. Unfortunately, It’s more likely that Smith moves closer to where Koski is. That’s why there should be a concern.

Goalies are like QBs in football, if you don’t have an elite one you are not going to win consistently. So even if you drafted a QB in the first round last year, if he busts you just have to draft another. There is no other option, really. Same thing in hockey. If you are mediocre in goal, no Stanley for you. So regarding chasing goalies, it’s not the chase that is the problem … it’s the inability to correctly identify what to chase. If you consistently get it wrong, yes, it contributes to 15 years of poor performance.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

…and the coaches totally mishandle the back-ups. Broissoit who was competent immediately after leaving EDM, Koskinen was mishandled as backup last year, and even Talbot was mishandled as backup to Kos after he took the starters job. Go back to each year’s goalie situation and it’s one CF after another. Nothing destroys confidence in a starter or backup like the coach making it absolutely perfectly clear that he would rather take a nailgun to the forehead than play you. The Oilers are the NHL’s premiere goaltending gong show, and while Holland was one step forward, Tip has been one step back.

godot10

One bad game is a “tough run” at the end of the season?

Koskinen, after being overplayed out of necessity at the start, was a competent backup.

I’m okay with trading him with 50% retained, or running Smith and Koskinen again one more time. Buying him out is misguided.

I think someone on this blog oftens reminds us to make sure we don’t overweight single events.

innercitysmytty

Yep should have kept Dubnyk and then should have kept Talbot. But MacT and TMac had no clue how to manage their goalies and lost 2 very good ones.

OriginalPouzar

It may not be a downgrade – Stalock could very well perform better than Koskinen did this year. He very well could not – hence why they play the games.

Harpers Hair

Cup year…heh.
Do you think Vegas, Colorado, Tampa, Boston et al are going to implode?

jp

Kings should be peaking about then too I’d think.

OriginalPouzar

Perhaps those 4 teams should play in one league and the other 28 in another.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Five teams if you include the Et Als.

OriginalPouzar

My goodness, so much to unpack and discuss from LT’s initial blog post – Each sentence has something we could discuss. Great stuff.

One thing is with respect to planning as if Klef is not coming back. I do agree with this in premise but, in practice, its kind of hard. This means that some sort of 2LD stop-gap needs to be acquired but, at the same time, they can’t really spend the money on the “legit 2LD option” unless they know that Klef isn’t coming back at all during the season. Well, I guess they could spend it but that would take away from cap allocation somewhere else.

I think they will have a better idea in July when management meets with Klef, his people and the doctors but they are unlikely to have certainty at that stage on what this coming season looks like for Klef.

For me, I think the best way to proceed is planning on him not being there to start the season but being activated part way through the season. That means they need a stop gap but its got to be a cheaper make-shift stop gap such as Kulkikov as they can’t plan on spending $4MM on a legit 2LD option as they have to plan for $4.1M of LTIR reserves (or thereabouts) to disappear during the season.

TheGreatBigMac

Yes it is hard to plan as if he’s not coming back, we definitely shouldn’t plan for him to be there at the start of the season. But, I think Klef’s verbal means he wants to come back asap and precludes a Tampa like solution where he’s out until the playoffs. In reality the plan has to be stop gap until he comes back.

If we find a “legit 2LD option” who wants to sign here, we could maybe just give Klef away.

Ice Sage

Or the Oilers could ‘Kucherov’ Klefbom – seems to be working well for TB

MushedPeas

Awesome post.

leadfarmer

Oh no!!
Joe Sakic’s stalker is back!

OriginalPouzar

Jaxon

 June 4, 2021 8:19 am

What would have to be added taken away from a trade to get Seth Jones? Puljujarvi, Koskinen to CBJ for Seth Jones? How much would we have to add? What about Klefbom?

Even with Jones 1 year to UFA status, I don’t think that is even close, not even in the ball park.

Jesse has some value but nowhere near that of a 26 year of 1RD and, of course, Koskinen has material negative value…… at half retained he may be tradeable but not for a return.

Klefbom has zero value in a trade right now. He very well could re-establish high value but, right now, he has none.

So, I would removed Koskinen, add a 1st round pick and Samorukov and maybe that provides “value” but it probably doesn’t work for the Jackets as they need a top 6 center coming back. The Oilers don’t have one to give back unless they do a sign and trade with Nuge.

jeetz

There have been lots of articles written recently of S Jones being overrated and buyer beware

OriginalPouzar

and that’s fair but I don’t think Puljujarvi and Koskinen is anywhere close.

The negative value of Koskinen almost equals out the positive value of Jesse (which isn’t even close to Jones, contract notwithstanding).

pts2pndr

Why would we be interested in moving a first and a top 6 young right winger to get Seth Jones. Somebody get into magic mushrooms! The D with just a modicum of patience will be the envy of the league in two years with internal growth! Size offence defence and plus skating!

OriginalPouzar

I’m not saying we would be – I was simply responding to what I think it may take to get Seth Jones and that Jesse and Koskinen wouldn’t even come close for the Jackets.

jp

I disagree with your valuation of Puljujarvi here OP.

He’s worth well more than 1 year of Koskinen’s salary.

Since he’s under control for 3-4 years I actually think Puljujarvi isn’t so far off of 1 year of Seth Jones. Definitely would need to add, but the add would be short of a 1st IMO.

OriginalPouzar

Bag of Pucks

 June 4, 2021 8:54 am

Expected Goals (i.e. All the woman I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve slept with)

Yes, all the goals that could have or should have been scored if not for a couple of factors – mainly goaltending.

There are other factors, of course, such as skill level of the player taking the dangerous shots, etc. but the expected goals and the “goals saved above average” as between the two teams and goalies lines up with the eye test.

Oilers played fairly good through the series, definitely didn’t get dominated or outplayed in aggregate – Connor H. looked like he was making a difference and all the numbers back that up.

Jethro Tull

“Expected Goals (i.e. All the woman I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve slept with)”

OP’s first Country hit!

OriginalPouzar

Its always interesting to me when Oilers management, in this case, Ken Holland, get criticized, and sometimes even vitriol spewed at them, for transactions that that have not been made and haven’t even been suggested by the organization but are based on 100% speculation of what Holland will or might do by fans and/or media.

Last off-season, for example, Rishaug was doing his daily sport on the Morning Show and Dusty asked him what he thought Arizona would want for OEL. Rishaug speculated that Arizona would probably want a 1st and either Bouchard or Broberg. This led to weeks of speculation including criticizing Holland for being willing to trade one of those prospects for OEL – based on Rishaug’s personal thoughts of what the Yotes would want.

Now, Holland is receiving criticism for likely offering Hyman $6MM per for term because of reports that he turned down $5M per from the Leafs.

Seems a bit of premature criticism to me.

innercitysmytty

This^^^^

JimmyV1965

I’m certainly very worried about Holland signing Hyman for $6 mill. Objectively, this fear is based on nothing. But I’m an Oilers fan. The team has conditioned me to be afraid, very afraid.

Fuge Udvar

I think I’m in the minority but I don’t see how Schiefle’s hit was considered a charge. His feet are planted from the top of the circles in and he doesn’t jump into the hit. It’s not interference and the he doesn’t appear to target the head either. It just seems like an unfortunate result. Nobody wants to see people injured but there are many dirtier plays every single game.

Going after a player who can’t defend himself (hitting from behind, hitting a guy already tied up with someone) should be punished. But Evans is coming around the net uncontested.

Side

In my opinion, if Schiefle wanted to stop the goal, he could have tried to play the puck instead of the body.

Totally looked like a “I am pissed off that we lost so I’m going to take it out on you” kinda hit. Even in his stride to Evans, he stopped moving his legs and changed his body positioning to lay a hit. If he really wanted to stop the goal, wouldn’t he keep skating to play the puck?

It was unneccesary, imo. Would be a different story if the game wasn’t in the final minute with an empty net after Evans had already scored.

cowboy bill

The puck was already in the net . The hit was unnecessary . You nailed it , he was pissed off , he had skated 200 feet full out and the empty net goal scorer was all lined up for punishment . What a bone head .

buck yoakam

I have to say I lost a little respect for the dude…He screwed up, no doubt and will pay the price for his temper getting the better of him…also let his team down big time as a captain…not unlike Kadri…I would love Kadri centring our third line though…kinda like the second coming of the rat or any pest…I think we all have distaste for Corey Perry (our divisional pest) but look at his contribution right now at that salary level….

Fuge Udvar

Isn’t finishing any check unnecessary? Or any of the slashes away from the play? The scary thing is Schiefle could have made the hit way worse. He could’ve built more speed, he could’ve jumped at his head, he could’ve led with his elbow.

The tough part for me is if Evans isn’t injured there is no suspension and probably not even a penalty. I understand people not liking Schiefle’s thought process but that’s not against the rules.

Side

Yeah I agree. I guess one could argue finishing checks or slashes after the play could make an impact to the result of the game when it’s happening during the game.

But Schiefle’s hit was after an empty netter with 50 seconds left. The game was pretty much over as soon as Schiefle saw Evans going for the wraparound. Instead, he just wanted to lay out Evans which, you are right, is within the rules but.. why? Just seems like he took the opportunity to put his frustrations into Evans.

Schiefle should have just tried to play the puck and then kept his cool for the next game.

There’s playing tough hockey laying thunderous hits that could give a boost to your team.. and then there’s unnecessary, last minute, laying a huge hit on a vulnerable player to the point where your own teammate has to try to protect the downed player…. yikes. Guarantee that Schiefle regrets that hit.

If it were 1-1 in the 2nd period and Evans tried that wraparound with Hellebuyck in the net and Schiefle laid that kind of hit. I doubt Schiefle would regret the hit as much and I don’t think it would have been punished with a 4 game suspension.

Fuge Udvar

I do agree with you that it wasn’t necessary. It’s a difficult situation to suss out. Thanks for the input.

Darth Tu

He travelled 190 odd feet heading back towards the goal at full speed to hit a player who is heading back south (at slower speed) and is looking sideways towards the net (Evans is trying to score). He’s in a vulnerable position. Imagine that’s McDavid, how are you feeling about the hit?

This isn’t a 70s “should have had your head up, bud” moment. Scheifele could have tried to play the puck with his stick to stop the goal, instead he tried to send a message.

That’s the last I’ll say on it.

leadfarmer

He was going to make Evans pay for scoring the goal. I have trouble seeing much difference between this play and plenty of other legal checks where a player “blows up” another player. We see plenty of plays were a guy gets drilled for “watching the puck” and are called good hockey plays. The intention in that situation isnt any difference. If he wanted to hit him harder he could have as he coasted for several seconds before the hit.

leadfarmer

I’m not saying this is the right thing. Personally I think a hit on a defenseless player should be treated with a suspension. I just dont see a difference between this hit and tons of “legal” hits

Jethro Tull

The Charging call was the closest thing that fit. He hit a player in a vulnerable position (proximity to net). I didn’t see much malicious intent, but I saw a poor choice made. That wasn’t a time to play the body.

Fuge Udvar

This is kind of my point. It doesn’t really fit into any of the penalty category. There has been so much discussion lately about how the refs should be calling the rulebook and being less subjective. And then this play being illegal because it was the wrong time to lay the hit.

OriginalPouzar

Technical definition of charging in the rule book speaks about “distance travelled” to make the hit. Schieffele came from a long long ways…… yes, he started off trying to make a defensive play but well before the hit he gave up on that and decided (conscious or not) to blow the player up after having come from center ice at full speed.

Glovjuice

The hit was delivered with intent to injure. Match penalty. Simple, really. Not sure why we need all this discussion about charging. The video clearly shows intent to injure. Case closed.

Jethro Tull

It looked brutal in slo-mo. But then everything does. To me, it was a stupid, stupid decision. Or every penalty is an intent to injure. One of the two.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Every significant hit in the NHL is delivered with intent to injure. Poor Evans got absolutely demolished, but from my viewing, Scheifele, stopped skating well before the dots. He got suspended for results. The guy would have been roasted mercilessly if he did nothing but try to gently poke check him. If this is a suspension then EVERY big hit on a dman after a dump-in is charging because of distance travelled and violence. The level of official pearl clutching is pretty darn high for a league that prides itself on violence.

I don’t have a problem with the suspension but what about Bennett’s hit on KK and a dozen other big hits these playoffs. No suspensions. The hit was also not late. It occurred a small fraction of a second after the puck crossed the line. If that is late, then 90% of the hits thrown in that game are late. I was honestly expecting it to be way later before seeing it. Nor was it from behind and the player could not be considered defenseless. He pretty much offered himself up on a plate to score the goal. If he’s considered defenseless then how about Gio taking the legs out on a defenseless McDavid from behind and almost ending his career.

The hit was clearly vicious but the rule as written is a joke. Charging “shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. What distance? What level of violence? I guess whatever distance and level of violence the clowns in stripes feel is appropriate at any time using game management criteria. The inconsistent and arbitrary nature of the NHL’s so called “rule book” makes Stampede Wrestling look legit. What a bush league.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Argue any which way you want. But if this keeps up, someone is going to die on the ice. And there goes hockey as we have known it.

Bag of Pucks

The OEG would love nothing more than for this fanbase to quickly move off their latest playoff collapse and start dreaming of fantastical draft picks and free agent signings.

It’s the same reason they’ve seeded PR flack into this community and focus so much of their energies on damage control messaging.

Results matter. The OEG spend a lot of time trying to convince the fanbase that they don’t, that it’s all about the process. Stay committed to the process and the results will magically appear. Art Ross seasons going to waste with no playoff victories to show for them? Not important!

They’ve learned their lesson from the coup forced upon them. They’re not going to lose control of the narrative a second time.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

t’s the same reason they’ve seeded PR flack into this community and focus so much of their energies on damage control messaging.

Whereabouts? Here? OilersNation? Twitter?

Whom do you suspect?

That’s an interesting perspective, and to be frank, one I wouldn’t doubt. If I were running the PR department, I know I would. I’m interested to hear you flesh out your statement with more substance.

Harpers Hair

I guess you would have to ask who most incessantly promotes the message that “the Oilers can do no wrong”.

meanashell11

I guess over the years you have received a paycheck from the canucks, flames, stars, and now joe sakic.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Well, at least Harper has been gainfully employed long term instead of still living in his parent’s basement.

Fuge Udvar

What are we supposed to do? Call for firings? Have a letter writing campaign? Dissect every play from the series ad nauseum? All we can do is move on and look for ways to improve the team.

Bag of Pucks

Question the ‘process’ instead of getting onboard with the propaganda. That would be a start.

People get upset with HH writing them a reality check on all of the other GMs that are passing the Oilers in the slow lane. But he’s demonstrating that the old model of slow incremental progress doesn’t work in a highly fluid cap paradigm.

DevilsLettuce

If you think what HH preaches is a reality check I feel extremely sorry for the sun, plants, moon, animals and everything else in your reality.

You can literally take any team in the league, line them up against every other franchise and find endless amounts of missteps and mistakes.

What HH preaches is just an angry man that can’t let go of a grudge or get over himself. That’s reality.

Last edited 18 days ago by DevilsLettuce
Harpers Hair

I’ll wait for your list of “endless missteps and mistakes” made by Joe Sakic.

Dac189

I won’t spend hours going through 8 years of Sakic trades.
Instead explain how his team ended up 30th in the league in 2017.
48 points and -112 goal differential.
This is after four years of Sakic.

In fact his team got progressively worse during his first four years even though they were just coming out of a rebuild.

You don’t get there without making a couple of mistakes.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers have won ONE playoff round in the last FIFTEEN years.

Dac189

Yeah I remember lol…
You said Sakic never made a mistake. I just pointed out that he must have made a couple

tsunami

and the goals posts have miraculously moved ;)…

Bag of Pucks

Sure he’s an incessant troll. Doesn’t mean he’s always wrong.

Fuge Udvar

Question what process and propaganda? I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m honestly curious but that sounds so vague. What do you mean by OEG saying results don’t matter? Who is saying that getting swept by the Jets is ok?

Munny

But he’s demonstrating that the old model of slow incremental progress doesn’t work in a highly fluid cap paradigm.

This is so wrong. No one observing our reality would describe the cap environment as highly fluid. It is the exact opposite of highly fluid.

JimmyV1965

Meh. If the Oilers screw this up with McDavid and Drai, the fanbase will be angrier than it has ever been. If the team is still getting knocked out in the first round, or not making the playoffs, a couple years from now, Jesus himself can manage the PR department and fans will still want to burn it down.

Bag of Pucks

This City has gotten overly comfortable with losing.

Getting to watch two superstars is the pacifier the OEG leverages to the hilt and it works.

The proof is the ‘Lindros’ trade scenario. You can cogently demonstrate scenarios where the Oilers immediately balance the roster in all areas with very good players by trading one of Leon or Connor. And the bulk of this fanbase won’t have it.

They’d rather have their shiny toys than Cups. Comfortable with losing.

dustrock

Yeah it will be the season ticket holders who have impact if they want change.

jp

The proof is the ‘Lindros’ trade scenario.

The Lindtos type trade could only work pre-salary cap. A ‘fair’ return for McDavid or Draisaitl will cost 2 or 3 or 4 times what they do on the cap.

I expect you’ll encounter that and be more convinced when you try to conjure something on CapFriendly.

JimmyV1965

Ridiculous take. It’s like all the Leaf fans calling for a Marner trade. You don’t win trading your best players. How do you win a Drai trade? Who are you getting from Montreal or Columbus or any other team that needs a C.

Dac189

Year, ranking, points %, goal differential.

2019 25th .482 -42
2020 12th .585 +8
2021 11th .643 +29

Seems like we’re finally getting out of the DoD and you want to blow it up…

Bag of Pucks

Almost all of it driven by power play production and complete and utter reliance on two players, none of which is carrying through into playoff success.

Dac189

What would be your recommendation?
I believe a McDavid trade would cause a literal riot lol

Bag of Pucks

There’s tons of Lindros trade type proposals on the Interwebs now, many of them on CapFriendly. I’m hoping to post the one I’ve built along with a detailed cap summation this weekend.

I already know it will be roundly criticized and dismissed because that’s the herd mentality that’s developed towards anyone who has the temerity to suggest you can improve the overall roster by trading one of the untouchables. So there’s limited upside to doing this other than inviting the abuse, but I think it will be an eye opening post for that small niche receptive to out of the box thinking.

Harpers Hair

Try Buffalo….they’re going to need a #1C as soon as Eichel leaves and Reinhart wants out.

I would try Draisaitl for Dahlin and Reinhart and a 1st round pick (they have 3)

Then flip the pick + a couple of Granlunds to someone like LAK for a young top rated centre prospect. (they have 10).

*predicated on the Pegulas being batshit crazy and there being a shit storm in the Buffalo fan base, which there is.

OriginalPouzar

Dahlin, Reinhart and a 1st?

Even I think that may be an overpay for Drai – in particular, if that is the 1st overalll

Harpers Hair

Not at all and no it wouldn’t be the 1st overall.

Buffalo is going to need another rebuild and they will be desperate and needing to sell tickets to a very disgruntled fan base.

They get a #1C with cache, draft a #1D in Owen Powers and flip Eichel to LA (most likely destination) for a young C to replace Reinhart (did I mention LA has 10) and a couple more picks since LA has 5 in the first 3 rounds.

All 3 teams are winners in this scenario.

Oilers get a modern 1st pairing D and a young top 6 forward with upside as well as a high end C prospect.

LAK has Eichel, Kopitar, Byfield and a young stud down the middle.

The Oilers might want to substitute a young D like Bear for the pick since that is the Kings area of most need.

JimmyV1965

It sounds like a decent deal. I would prefer the Sabres first pick next year. However, wouldn’t we be better off trading the assets required to get Reinhart and keeping Drai? Then we have both.

Harpers Hair

What assets are those?

The Sabres won’t be trading him for AHL bottom 6 junk.

OriginalPouzar

I do think that Reinhart should be a prime trade target of Holland. Assuming access permitted and a reasonable extension is agreed to, that’s the type of trade I’d be willing to trade a 1st rounder for (it would cost more – 1st plus Sammy…. may require 1st plus Broberg and I may be OK with that).

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I don’t think I could do that to Drai.

Randle McMurphy

Y’all want Kenny to do some cookin this summer,

Perhaps he will throw some Tatar on the Coleman.

wolf8888

Tatar looks pretty bad this year. What would you pay for him?

jp

His even strength scoring and on ice results have been spectacular for years (even this year).

But he turns 31 in December, and healthy scratches in the playoffs definitely give me even more pause.

He’ll probably command a 3+ year, $5M+ contract. I don’t want the Oilers to be the team to give it to him.

Randle McMurphy

To me, he’s in the Hoffman category.

Wait through the first wave of UFA’s and see what the money is like given the COVID Escrow thingy.

The top stars will get paid. these lesser-lights might have to take a haircut.

So the key would be can you get either guy on a show me contract like we got Barrie.

1 yr $4m

Last edited 17 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

You’re winning nothing of consequence with

Nurse Bear
Kulikov Larsson
Jones Bouchard

IMO

godot10

The OIlers can probably safely make the playoffs. It is good enough to get to the trade deadline when one can pursue a stop gap. Samorukov or Broberg might be ready by January.

I would prefer a legit young proven #2LD and would trade Samorukov and other assets to get one. But that trade probably isn’t there.

Harpers Hair

It’ll be interesting to see if Seattle can build a better D Corp though the expansion draft, the regular draft and free agency.

I would wager they can.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Cap space is a valuable tool, when wielded astutely.

We’re still digging out from the mess left behind by one ChiaPete, thankfully nearly there. Darnell long term at $5.5MM would have looked spectacular the last couple years, and that’s only one of many examples.

But you already know this.

Harpers Hair

If Seattle starts with Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Graves and Tyson Barrie, they will be most of the way there.

OriginalPouzar

So, when on the Oilers, he’s subject of criticism all season long, potentially a net negative. Now, if on the Kraken, he’s a listed part of a mid to higher end d-corps?

jp

If Seattle starts with Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Graves and Tyson Barrie, they will be most of the way there.

Those 3 players would also cost the Kracken about $17M per year.

The entire Oilers D corps above (including #7D) will only cost that.

Man, that mountain of cap space goes fast!

OriginalPouzar

The Oilers were 9th in the NHL in goals against last season…9th.

None of this “the North was weak crap” – the division included the likes of Matthews and Marner, the former of which I had to read Joe Sakic like tales of all season.

The defense above switches Barrie for Bouchard – given all I’ve read all season about Barrie’s awful defensive abilities, that should not lead more goals against.

The defense above has Kulikov replacing the 2LD rotation of Jones, Russell, Lagesson and Koekkoek…… that would be an upgrade.

Given the chance for Klef to come back, the chance for someone like Samorukov to prove legit NHL ready (i.e pass Lagesson) and Russell/Lagesson not even being in the top 6, that defense is no worse than this past season and potentially even better.

To wonder if the expansion draft defence will be better than a top 10 group in the NHL is somewhat laughable. Yes, top 10 defence – the team was 9th in goals against and the group was one of the highest scoring groups in the league…. yes, there will be drop for Barrie to Bouchard as far as pure point production but the group will be able to produce as much as last year, or thereabouts.

Harpers Hair

Good grief.

The Oilers were tied for 11/12 in GA/GP last season at 2.75

They were 21st in SA/GP at 30.7 indicating they were to some degree bailed out by goaltending which you cannot count on with a soon to be 40 goaltender.

You are also whitewashing Bouchard’s defensive liabilities like the Iraqi Information Minister.

He MIGHT be better than Barrie in that regard but claiming it as fact is ludicrous since he is -20 in his professional career including -7 in 21 games against NHL competition.

Of note…Barrie was +4 in 56 games.

Then to suggest Kulikov is actually a 2nd pairing D on a good team is beyond the pale.

Ask yourself where he would fit on the top 10 teams in the league.

Winnipeg is chronically short of defensemen and sent him packing…ditto New Jersey who loved him so much they traded him for a 4th round pick.

Do you seriously think Seattle can’t find a better defenseman than Kulikov in the expansion draft or free agency?

OriginalPouzar

The Oilers gave up 154 goals – tied for 9th in the NHL. The Oilers defensive group was not a train wreck defensively and were a high scoring/producing group. The reasonable analysis would be a fairly solid/good defence group if not better.

The defence listed above has Kulikov replacing the revolving door of Jones, Russell, Lagesson, Koekkoek – that’s a clear upgrade over last season.

As far as defensive play goes, I was told all year long how terrible Barrie was, including by yourself – reasonable to suggest that Bouchard will be no worse, likely better.

Harpers Hair

Yep tied with Winnipeg, Nashville and Dallas meaning the next team below them was 13th.

Its all well and good to proudly pronounce they were 9th but in fact they were decidedly average.

Based on the available information it is NOT reasonable to assume Bouchard will be better since he certainly hasn’t been in his NHL appearances to date.

OriginalPouzar

9th.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Bouchard could be beside Nurse in 12 months. Broburg could be beside Larsson in in a sheltered 3rd pair in 12 months. Sammy could be a mean shutdown guy beside Bear on the 2nd pair in 12 months. All of these options are possible. Some could happen, none may happen, all could happen. The Oilers defense has massive potential but the missing ingredient is time.

What do you do? I would give the kids as much playing time as humanly possible in the regular season, have vets like Kulikov, Koekkoek and Russell around for another year, and get a higher end top 4 rental dman at the deadline.

Start the year like this

Nurse Bear
Kulikov Larsson
Sammy KK Bouchard Russell

….and pick up a top 4 UFA rental for the playoffs. We’ve got to get both Bouchard and Sammy lots of reps this season and accelerate their development as much as possible. Over-ripe is fine but they have to contribute soon if we want to be a contender. I don’t see Jones or Lags in the picture at all.

Last edited 18 days ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap
106 and 106

Did Klefbom used to play RD?

How did I miss that?

Klef on the right side would be epic.

leadfarmer

It would be Epic considering # 2 LD is the biggest hole

Randle McMurphy

Poster Poll.

You can only have one of the two (no substitutions)

Nuge and Hyman are coming in at the same price and the same term. Which do you want Hyman or Nuge.

HIt + for Nuge

Hit – for Hyman.

Randle McMurphy

Hyman

Randle McMurphy

Nuge

Dac189

Nuge and it’s not even close.
C vs LW. Higher offensive production. Part of the core.

Hyman has never even cracked 50 points. 6 million would be a mistake

Last edited 18 days ago by Dac189
innercitysmytty

Anything over $4.5 million and 2-3 years for Hyman is ludicrous. If he signs with the Leafs I’m really curious to see what Dubas is willing to pay for him.

Dac189

6×6 for Hyman while dropping Nuge because there isn’t enough cap space. That is a classic Chiarelli move. I have faith that Holland won’t be anywhere near that.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Hyman has never even cracked 50 points.

To be fair, neither has Nuge.

Jethro Tull

Who wants to drive through the cactus patch?

cowboy bill

Have you considered that Hyman is also a center with a similar FO% and is right-handed / Not to mention that Nuge is a winger now .

Dac189

He’s listed everywhere as a LW so I went with that. He played 1LW with Matthews and Marner during playoffs. 33FO% this season, 44% last season.

Last 4 years:
247GP 72-79-151
vs Nuge
261GP 90-120-213

JimmyV1965

Nuge. And it’s not even frickin close. He can play centre, PP, PK, is way more versatile. Everyone bitching about Nuge’s numbers this year, but he scored more than Hyman. And everyone is pumping up Hyman. Why? Because he played in the center of the universe. 

Nuge is two years younger and has vastly outscored Hyman throughout his career. And people are bitching about paying him $6 mill.

cowboy bill

I can see both Nuge & Barrie signing with the Kraken . That’s a double whammy. That means no other picks headed to Seattle. They will need a couple LWer’s to play in the top six and a #1 goaltender . The #1 goaltender should top the to do list for sure .

Harpers Hair

Seattle can wait until after the expansion draft to sign free agents meaning those players won’t count is picks.

OriginalPouzar

Is the difference not expressly evident?

Sole negotiating rights for 3 days (but for the incumbent team) vs. all 32 teams being able to negotiate and sign?

Randle McMurphy

Been watching this years UFA’s play in the playoffs.

Based on my eye, I must say LT nailed it with his Blake Coleman call.

Coleman is what I hope Yamamoto can be sometime in the future.

Last edited 18 days ago by Randle McMurphy
OriginalPouzar

This issue with Coleman, for me, is his age. He’s going to be 30 a month in to the season and that is the age where that type of player often shows regression and, sometimes, its cliff-type regression. Its tough to play that type of style, game after game, year after year and anecdotally, the regression starts earlier than more “skilled” players.

Randle McMurphy

Agreed. Problem is the average age of this years crop of UFA’s is 30ish. With the youngest (and there are very few) being 27.

So if no to an aging UFA then its the trade market.

Thats why for me, the term is key.

If someone like Hoffman comes here on on a one year “show me” deal. that buy’s time for our prospects to blossom ( JP, Yamo, Holloway, Lavoie)

Last edited 17 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

to be clear, I’d take the risk on Coleman 3x$3.5

Oil2Oilers

Bobby Ryan, who had a decent season last year despite a tricep tear, might be a bottom 6 solution if a new home is found for Kassian. He could mentor a young center like Mcleod and provide some goal scoring prowess to cover a Yamamoto.slump.

godot10

Oleksiak is NOT a top 4 defensemen. Heiskanen can make anyone look way better than they are.

Oleksiak is a barely decent 3rd pairing D.

Bag of Pucks

Holland needs to win a trade (or 3) this offseason. That”s the only way out of this mess on a timeline that maximizes Connor and Leon.

Probably moot. With cap growth suppressed because of Covid, I see no way the Oilers can realistically contend with such a massive percentage of their cap tied up in 2 players.

The Oilers are a thrice failed tech startup with an old CEO from IBM, two talented developers, and a bunch of monkeys with typewriters.

Jethro Tull

Trade or three and an ELC or three. However, he seems loath to play the young prospects of promise. Strange treatment of Bouchard, for sure. Petry length sideburns, I suspect.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

The call ups of Yamamoto, Bear, Jones and McLeod all contrast with your statement.

Bouchard and Benson will be given every opportunity next season, likely with a full training camp and some exhibition games to get up to speed.

innercitysmytty

Strange treatment of Bouchard I’m pretty sure was mostly predicated on a strange season thanks to Covid. I doubt there are any “sideburns” issues and believe he will get a significantly increased role next year.

Jethro Tull

There was absolutely no reason to keep him on the taxi squad if the play was to wait until Koekkoek was fit.

OriginalPouzar

I disagree – Bouchard was “next man up” on the right side. He was one injury away from playing every day. It was really something that the only injury to the entire right side all season was 10 or so games with Bear.

They needed to keep Bouchard available as his services could have been required at any time – even day of (out of nowhere injury, illness, personal issue, etc.

I do think the coaching staff failed a bit by not finding a way to spot him in a few more games here and there but I don’t fault the GM for not assigning him to the AHL.

Jethro Tull

And what was Kenny touted for when coming here? The correct development of prospects. He wasn’t next man up as they waited for and played a guy who broke his collar bone. And Kris Russell.

OriginalPouzar

The GM made the decision that the player was best served being with the NHL team with the opportunity to play, one incident away (or one coaching decision away) and he even had conversations with the player and the agent.

For what its worth, I agree – I don’t think there was much left to “learn” in the AHL and 14 games in the NHL plus all the practice time with NHL players and coaches was better for him than 35 games in the AHL. Lets not forget that he did play over 20 games in Sweden as well – that isn’t nothing.

Not playing Bouchard more was on Tippett/Playfair, not Holland.

I 100% disagree that Russell and Koekkoek played over Bouchard. Switching sides on defence is not even close to switching sides on wing. Playing a rookie d-man on his off-side is the opposite of putting him in a place to succeed.

I do believe Tip/Playfair could have found a way to play him more but don’t agree that he could have/should have played over Russell or Koekkoek on left side.

Randle McMurphy

Someone needs a Snickers Bar.

But I basically agree. This 50 man roster is out of alignment.

I dont think a couple of tweeks is going to get it done. Holland must be thinking long-long term and that this thing is still a 3 year evolution type of scenario. (also making a goalie in the first round more of a possibility)

I’d keep Barrie if he’ll sign a 3 or 4 year contract at $5m or less.

Nurse Barrie
Klefbom Larrson
Broberg Bouchard
Samorukov Bear

Keep em all. Give no one trade protection.

If Bouchard and Bear meet or exceed expectations, then move any one of the RHD.

Holland will definitely bring in a new Winger in the offseason. But, in his mind, I highly doubt this is the year that he goes “all in”

Last edited 18 days ago by Randle McMurphy
OriginalPouzar

Probably moot. With cap growth suppressed because of Covid, I see no way the Oilers can realistically contend with such a massive percentage of their cap tied up in 2 players.

$9.5M
$9.5M
$8.5M
$7.8M

Tampa Bay Lightning

Stumpy Woodpuppet

Every time I see Anton Landers name I think of what might have been. If his boots didn’t walk in mud he would still be our 3rd line centre.

Randle McMurphy

Ahhheemm……something something… Ryan Strome

Harpers Hair

TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) Tweeted:
“My intention (on that play) was to try and negate a goal. There’s no intent or no malice there.”

Mark Scheifele on his four-game suspension for charging Jake Evans, saying he was ‘pretty shocked’ and adding his family has been harassed – https://t.co/QIDuipsIXa

#TSNHockey https://t.co/jIX4ENfnE4

https://twitter.com/TSNHockey/status/1400841560984539139?s=20

Jethro Tull

He made a dumb split second decision – the play was never the body there, he’d have been better diving stick out for the puck and “accidently” take the net off the moorings. If it had been him scoring and a no name 4th liner wiping him out like that, the guy would be out of the playoffs.

His family doesn’t deserve the harassment. He’s fully deserving of the ban. However, that was a split second decision. Reaves and Wilson were what they call “with malice a forethought”. They fully intended a deliberate injury. Go figure.

defmn

Agreed that the NHL seems to totally ignore intention & focuses almost exclusively on result. I think that is a mistake and causes the most outrage but that seems to be their principle – to the extent they can be said to have a principle.

Eh Team

That play was 100% intent to injure.

GordieHoweHatTrick

I agree this is the fundamental flaw in their decision-making.
If someone intentionally takes someone’s head and smashes it into the ice, but they are only moderately injured it is quite a different situation from split second decisions at high pace that result in injuries.

The principal elements in the decision-making should be intent and RISK based (the likelihood the action could have caused a significant health risk) with only some consideration on the outcome.

Brantford Boy

I agree with LT here on Kulikov, so can we agree the defense looks like:
Nurse-Bear
Kulikov-Larsson
Jones-Bouchard

However, just typing the above made this stand out…
Jones-Larsson
Kulikov-Bouchard

So if you’re Seattle and both Oscar Klefbom and William Lagesson are left unprotected, who do you take?

TheGreatBigMac

Kahun

Harpers Hair

Wouldn’t that decision be informed by which forwards are also exposed?

Remember Seattle will have access to dozens of defensemen from other teams and are unlikely to select a wounded, aging D or an AHL level player.

Dac189

It’s not like Edmonton is offering them anything much better.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle ends up signing Barrie. I believe that would take up Edmonton’s pick, right? That would make this years 1×4 deal even better.

Harpers Hair

Seattle can sign Barrie after the expansion draft…no need to waste a pick on him.

Dac189

Ah, that makes sense.
Still, in terms of the Seattle pick, Jones is probably the best player available to them. Maybe Kahun, Kassian or Khaira

Harpers Hair

Of those, I think they would select Jones since he still has some upside.

Dac189

You could make an argument for any of them.
Jones could still develop into a top 4D.
Kahun had a bad year but could revert back to the production of his first two seasons.
Kassian can be Seattle’s tough guy if they value that. Flames fans somehow love Lucic so there’s a spot of Kassian somewhere. He might even have value to a team like the Rangers.
Khaira we’ve probably seen the upper limit but he can be a decent 4c

Not much of a loss for Edmonton regardless

OriginalPouzar

They could sign Barrie after the expansion draft but, of course, if they don’t use their 3-day (I believe) window, they will then have to compete with 30 other teams.

Durag

Can we agree that defence looks awful? Both Bear and Kulikov are playing a pairing ahead of where they should be, or alternatively, Jones is. I really hope we’re aiming higher this offseason. We’re 1-7 in the playoffs under Holland and I am not on board with setting our sights on improving that to 3-11.

Brantford Boy

Sounds like you would prefer (or some combination of):
Nurse-Bear
Oleksiak-Larsson
Jones-Bouchard

Darth Tu

I feel like I’m missing something with Kulikov. As in, I want to re-sign him and feel that’s the smart play. He’s a decent 2nd pair d-man who had above average to good numbers playing on the NJD with Subban, I’m not sure Oleksiak is an upgrade on him, and would cost more.

Also with Kulikov you can likely get him done for a year, or two if we so feel. That doesn’t impede the development of Broberg/Samorukov etc. but also means we have a bit of cover if Klefbom isn’t ready to come back until later next season. Plus he has that slightly heavier style of play that helps with clearing out the netfront – to me that was a glaring issue against Chicago in the play-in.

As you say if you go:

Nurse-Bear
Jones (or Klef once he’s back) – Larsson
Kulikov-Bouchard

You all of a sudden have at least one dude with a bit of muscle on each pairing, as well as at least one excellent passer on each pair. Last year I felt that Larsson’s passing was pretty good, and Kulikov didn’t look like he had stone hands.

Kulikov is on $1.15 mill for a one year, surely he’d sign the same again? I get that Oleksiak is a man mountain (6ft 7 or whatever) so fills that big guy role, but he’s surely going to either be looking for a tonne of money, or at least 4 years in term.

Summary – I’d do Kulikov on a one year deal, then we have the option to either slide in Broberg or Samorukov onto the 3rd pair the following season. Hopefully by then Bouchard is up to speed fully and can progress to top pair, Bear and Larsson bump down a slot, the circle of life continues, Jones eventually moves down to 3rd pair and Broberg moves up.

Oilers win Stanley Cups (but not next season, I will accept 1 or 2 playoff round wins).

Jethro Tull

Are we “flush with cap space”? Isn’t this like refusing to buy food, using up what’s in the freezer and pantry and crowing about how much you’ve saved? Then having to spend that money stocking up again….

We’ve two larger contracts to sign and the same problems (albeit in different positions) that we had in 2015. Lack of skill, pace, give-a-damn.

Harpers Hair
106 and 106

Cool article. Thanks for the share. He bought ISS?

Harpers Hair

Yep…and a bunch of minor league teams.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Betting on some internal solutions is likely, but in my opinion it would be unwise to project impact roles by rookies. If that happens it’s a bonus, but to expect so would be dangerous.

Holland needs to add some veteran cover at LW and G, and a 3C would be just as crucial. All of us can see that, the interesting thing is who does Holland have in mind?

I’d like to see something along the lines of Jaden Schwartz, Erik Haula and Linus Ullmark. They should all be affordable, available and good fits on the roster. Importantly, they would be upgrades over the incumbents which would push pseudo-top6 players down the line up, improving depth.

That allows the DRY line to remain intact (in theory), gives Connor a versatile winger who can skate/pass/shoot and win board battles, a veteran 3C who can PK and leaves the 4C role up for competition between the likes of JJ/McLeod.

Trading Koskinen is key, unless there is a development over the summer that repairs the apparent lack of trust by the coaching staff. He’s a competent goalie by the numbers, especially when he’s not overworked. I think the overall poor team play in the first nine games sunk Koskinen’s stock, which is too bad because he didn’t get much in the way of support by the troops in front of him.

McNuge93

I think you are right on re Koski. He can be a decent goalie but 1)he cannot run as a number one for any significant length of time and 2)maybe because of 1 the coach doesnt trust him and will turn to the 40 yr old very quickly. And I dont believe there is much chance Konovalov can make the NHL this year. He was a backup last yr on the KHL. Needs at least a full year in the AHL.
So, I would buyout Koski if we cant work a trade and go for a Driedger, Ulmark or Ranta. Or how about big sieve Dave.

defmn

I would be shocked to see Koskinen back this fall.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Agree with you with minor caveat that Konovalov was relegated to backup due to contract status, SOP in the KHL. Regardless, giving him a year to acclimate to the culture, team tactics, and smaller ice surface by playing in the AHL is my preferred path. He could see action late in the season, or be a viable backup option inside two seasons. If not, he’s buying development time for other internal options. Competition is a good thing, been a while since we’ve had a reasonable stable in net down on the farm.

With only a year left on Koskinen’s deal, I can’t get behind a buyout. He’s good for 25-35 games, just needs to be managed appropriately. Raanta can’t stay healthy I’d prefer Kuemper if we’re targeting ARI. Yes to either of Driedger or Ullmark if the price is right and hard no to BSD. This is a prime year to target UFA goalies, we stand to do well if we can move on from MK (or don’t sign Smith).

Durag

I’d be ok with running a 4th line that is some combination of McLeod/Benson/Marody/Holloway. Clearly the organization likes McLeod, Holloway looks like the goods and Benson and Marody, while rookies, are far from kids. It’s a gamble, but a fairly low-risk one which would save some much needed cash to upgrade the top-9.

McNuge93

I’d hate to see Holloway as a 4th liner. Much rather he get prime ice time in the A.

godot10

The last place Holloway will be next year is on the 4th line.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I’d be on board with a 4L of:
Benson – JJ/McLeod – Marody/Kassian

Gives some speed, some grits, and cycle game. Not sure how much they’d score, though. And unless the two centres are both playing, there’s not much there for special teams players so their ice time would be fairly limited. Tough to be effective at evens in such a reduced role, need to keep the juices flowing somehow.

Harpers Hair

J (@Account4hockey) Tweeted:
Frank Seravalli on the DFO rundown: 

“I heard a rumour, I don’t know how true it is, that TOR offered Hyman $5M AAV and he said no” 

Chris Johnston responding: Thinks other teams will take Hyman at close to $6M on a long term deal.

https://twitter.com/Account4hockey/status/1400814180010180615?s=20

Litke 94

I have been a big advocate of trying to sign Hyman, but 6 million is insane. Oilers should definitely walk at that price.

Doug McLachlan

I’ve been impressed with Evolving-Hockey’s salary projections for the last few years. They are predicting a 4x $5.3M for Hyman.

JimmyV1965

Please please please do not let this be the Oilers thinking $6 mill.

Jethro Tull

Holland didn’t want to spend $6M on a good goalie. I think we’re safe.

Harpers Hair

Reports I’ve heard is that Holland DID offer $6 million but Markstrom preferred Calgary all along.

jp

The report was $5M x 7 I thought.

Harpers Hair

Rick Dhaliwal who covered the negotiations extensively and has great sources said it was $6M.

Jethro Tull

No, Rick reported that Markstrom was looking for $6M. The rest of the media world reported that the offer from the Oilers was $5M x 7yrs. Both Carolina and Calgary came in with last second offers at the magic number. But it’s a moo point.

Doug McLachlan

To me the more interesting part of the Markstrom story was the plan for Koskinen, as Holland clearly had a plan that did not include paying over $10M for his goalies.

Side

Source? I couldn’t find anything from Dhaliwal on this. Did he say it on a radio show or podcast or something?

Harpers Hair

He said it repeatedly on numerous radio hits.

Jethro Tull

It was.

defmn

Link doesn’t work for me.

Harpers Hair

Yeah not sure why.

Another series of tweets from Stephen Burtch has the Oilers as the front runner for Hyman of a shorter deal.

godot10

The new Milan Lucic. The new James Neal. The New David Clarkson. The New Andrew Ladd. The new Kyle Okposo. The new Louie Eriksson.

Eh Team

Tatar is the player to sign. He’s pretty underrated and likely will come in cheaper than Hyman.

Randle McMurphy

.
I will say though… Tatar has raw talent.

Last edited 18 days ago by Randle McMurphy