I come from a family of list makers and married into a family of list makers, so chances are I have a list around this house for every possible need or calamity. Here’s a list for this spring that includes buying paint, painting, buying flowers and plants plus some gravel and pots. Here’s another one that lists possible holiday destinations for this year. It’s a sad damn list, but later entries are hopeful.
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!
- New Lowetide: How Ken Holland’s transaction history could foreshadow the Oilers summer to come
- Lowetide: How close to NHL-ready is Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
- DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers’ plans for the Kraken draft
- Lowetide: The Oilers must decide now what to do about the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl dilemma
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 2
- Lowetide: What is Kailer Yamamoto’s future fit on the Oilers’ depth chart?
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 1
- DNB: What a perfect offseason could look like for the Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers need to add four wingers to their top nine this summer
- Lowetide: Oilers enter free agency as a major buyer. Is third time the charm?
- DNB: Oilers could look quite different next season after departure of several players
- Lowetide: It won’t be easy, but the Oilers need to re-sign Darnell Nurse soon
- DNB: Ideal Oilers free-agent targets
- New Lowetide: An early look at the Oilers’ options for the 2021 draft
- New DNB: The pressure is on Oilers GM Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: What now for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
- New DNB: Connor McDavid shows his frustration as another year of his prime is lost: ‘We’re a group that expects more’
- New Jonathan Willis: The NHL gifted the Oilers Connor McDavid; six years later, they have yet to adequately support him
LIST ONE: LEFT-WINGERS
- Gabriel Landeskog: I wrote about Ken Holland’s own past in free agency for The Athletic yesterday, Landeskog qualifies as a ‘top-end’ signing and would join a long line of stunning additions by Holland 1998-2008.
- Taylor Hall: It’s my list, and I won’t list most of the players who are likely to sign with current teams, but Hall’s possible availability puts him here for me. Big time winger, pushes the river.
- Brandon Saad: There are elements to his game that make Saad a more dynamic option than the names below, and that is enough for me to place him above the one natural center on this list.
- Zach Hyman: I have faded him recently because of possible cost, but if Holland could get him on a four-year deal at somewhere near $5 million, I think he takes it. He might be the best McDavid line option on this list.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Two-way player who can help in all three disciplines, and play center if needed. He’s a power-play witch, with size and five on five offense the only issues. Quality player.
I think one of those men (likely RNH) will be joined by Tyler Benson and Devin Shore, with James Neal bought out. One more is needed. Ideally two of the above names will find their way to Edmonton, but a second top-six LW needs to be located. Perhaps it’s Dylan Holloway, but Holland might have a second left-winger list.
LIST TWO: MORE LEFT WINGERS
- Blake Coleman: In a way, he’s my top choice because for me Coleman would be a terrific winger for Connor McDavid. I see Nuge from Column A and Coleman from Column B as being a good start to summer. We’ll see.
- Mattias Janmark: Good skater with some size and skill, he is 28 and is peaking offensively a little later than most wingers. Some of that might be the Vegas bounce but he’s a good player.
- Joel Armia: I have to say that he’s kind of a bull in a china shop, sort of what Teemu Hartikainen might have been with better speed and, you know, a chance. He might be a little shy offensively for the 2line role, but he brings a rugged presence and has some ability.
- Brock McGinn: Career high is 16 goals so he’d be a reach for top-six minutes but he has a relentless quality to his play and can score goals.
- Michael Bunting: His 10 goals came on a 26 percent shooting percentage, but I’ve always liked him going back to the 2014 draft (I had him No. 72, saying “Impressive speed and skill. Probably a checker”) and he won’t cost much.
LIST THREE: NO. 3 CENTER
- LC Alex Wennberg: He scored 17 goals this season and the cap hit ($2.25 million last season) will be dear, but he has a 49.2 percent faceoff percentage and has skill. Three scoring lines begins with Wennberg.
- LC Tomas Nosek: He has developed slowly but at this point Nosek looks more like a No. 3 center based on his numbers. His 2.22 pts-60 at five on five is impressive. There’s no Alex Tuch waiting for him in Edmonton, but then again some of that scoring total can be lost and Nosek would remain productive.
- LC Barclay Goodrow: He has size and skill, can skate and has a range of skills (good on the PK). Blocks shots, good on the forecheck but is a little shy offensively (8-16-24 per 82 NHL games).
- RC Ryan Getzlaf: Unlikely to sign with Edmonton, but he checks a lot of boxes. Big, strong, mean, good on faceoffs, has plenty of experience. Slow boots the downbeat.
- LC Casey Cizikas: I don’t think he’s a fit really, but wanted to list him just in case Holland wants a pure agitating checker.
LIST FOUR: LEFT DEFENSE
- Alex Goligoski: Long in the tooth, and his performance is eroding, but the results remain solid. On a short-term deal, he can help in my opinion.
- Dmitri Kulikov: He had a good year for NJD, less impressive for Edmonton but the veteran is a solid and fairly inexpensive option. Remember when Igor Ulanov came over and looked bad after the deadline? And remember when he was far better over a full season. Could be deja vu all over again.
- Ryan Murray: He was solid if unspectacular for NJD and would be an interesting addition.
- Jake McCabe: His numbers are solid and he performs well, but injury has his immediate future in some doubt. It would depend on Klefbom for me, but McCabe is a good option.
- Jamie Oleksiak: He’s big, strong, can skate pretty well and I’d have him higher except his coverage sometimes breaks down, especially against outside speed.
LIST FIVE: RIGHT DEFENSE
- Dougie Hamilton: He’s going to be too costly, but Hamilton would be my No. 1 target. I’d buy out Neal, trade Kassian and strip down Koskinen for parts to get him here. Incredible consistent quality.
- Adam Larsson: He delivered a strong season for the Oilers, specifically performing well against elites (53.7 DFF%) in 305 minutes (via Puck IQ). He’s bona fide.
- Brandon Montour: I’ve liked him all down the line and remain onside. He has some chaos but the numbers shine like a diamond. Only downside is that he’s third pair.
- Erik Gustafsson: He’s a lefty but plays right and Gustafsson’s numbers are rock solid. Obscure but legit option.
- Tyson Barrie: He had an enormous season but the Oilers have Evan Bouchard for the role and need to spend the money elsewhere.
LIST SIX: GOALIES
- Chris Driedger: Look I know he isn’t famous and maybe he can only play this well for Florida, but I would spend the money to find out. A stunning season.
- Linus Ullmark: He’s in his 20’s, played well on a truly ghastly team in a difficult situation. I would pursue Ullmark with extreme prejudice, if only to screw up Lowetide who will keep thinking of Linus Omark for the length of the contract.
- Mike Smith: I didn’t agree with the signing last season, but he had a fantastic year and made some adjustments. I’d rather have the two names above, but Smith is a fit and comfortable in Edmonton and the coach loves him.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun, busy show gets rolling at 10, TSN 1260. I’ll talk to Scott Mitchell from TSN about Vladdy Guerrero Jr and his majestic season at 10:20. Reid Fowler from Draft Kings pops in at 11 to chat about the U.S. Open, and Andrew Grose from Newsday will talk Islanders-Lightning at 11:25. See you on the radio!!