by Lowetide
Photo by Rob Ferguson

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.

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!


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Ryan Murray: He was solid if unspectacular for NJD and would be an interesting addition.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Erik Gustafsson: He’s a lefty but plays right and Gustafsson’s numbers are rock solid. Obscure but legit option.
  5. Tyson Barrie: He had an enormous season but the Oilers have Evan Bouchard for the role and need to spend the money elsewhere.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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!!


You may also like

4.7 15 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Randle McMurphy

Bob Stauffer yesterday, saying “a pre-expansion draft trade, with a team that may not be able to keep said player”

If its because of expansion draft protection issues, it likely involves the Oilers moving a prospect who doesnt require protection and or assets, no?

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy

Bravo LT I loved this one, you’ve had very many over the years but I really enjoyed this one.


Palat with a goal.
Can we please please get him on this team

Gerta Rauss

7 Tampa Bay players on the ice when the puck went in the net LoL

What a league


It made of for the first PP.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Bottom line is that this is a huge off-season for the team and Holland. He has a chance to remake the roster because of a set of circumstances that rarely comes along. The expansion draft and COVID fall-out will free up good players that can be had for lower than usual prices.

I go 7-3-1 and don’t sign any of our UFA until after the expansion draft. Only goalie I protect is Skinner as a better goalie than Smith might be available. A good vet LW like JVR with only a year or 2 left could be had. A RHD like Dumba who could play with Nurse on the top pair might be available. Obtain 2022 or 2023 UFA at a bargain price and then extend them or cut them loose. It’s a way of getting a big contract with less risk on term.

We have the slots available as the only forwards we absolutely need to protect are McDavid, Drai, JP and Yamo. That gives us 3 forward slots to play with. Only Nurse and Bear might need to be protected withBarrie and Lars UFA and Klef maybe done. Even after the draft I might try trade Bear for a more expensive dman who can play top pair with Nurse.

We have lots of options out there and Holland needs to be creative. We win a cup or two in the next 4 years based on how he does. The next 6 weeks will be the most important period for this franchise in a generation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap
Harpers Hair

comment image


Flyers left winger Oskar Lindblom, who battled back from cancer to return to team’s lineup full-time this season, has won the 2021 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.


Players I’d like see in Edmonton

RHD – DeAngelo
RHD – S.Jones
RHD – Manson

LW/C – Jenner
LW/C – Haula
LW – Hyman

RW – Arvidson
RW – Rackell

I would like to see C. Jones run at 3rd pairing LHD
trade Russell so the coach can’t put him in when Caleb makes a minor mistake.


I too would like to see Caleb Jones as a regular on the 3rd pair next season but the part about benching him for a minor mistake doesn’t really ring true.

By number, he was the d-man with the highest rate of mistakes on scoring chances against and this does line up a bit with the eye test. These mistakes often ended up in the back of the net and Jones also had a penchant for making “the same mistake twice” which was (is) a problem.


Jones and Bear will both be gonzo along with Mikko.

Brantford Boy

I was thinking about saving this for discussion tomorrow, but seeing how everything aligned today thought I’d get a rare afternoon post in.

I see Woodguy mentioned his 3rd line center search from last year earlier today:

I also read the 31 Thoughts today, specifically:
18. Had an interesting conversation with a scout who was at Worlds. He was very impressed with Canada captain Adam Henrique, who had a very hard season in Anaheim and ended up on waivers at one point. He said it was clear Henrique was re-energized by the captaincy, the team’s success and his defined role in it. He added that he wouldn’t be surprised if interest in Henrique picks up because of this performance.

I believe I read over at the Athletic the possibility of playing McDavid together with Draisaitl permanently on the wing. That would obviously leave us in search of a 2nd line center as indicated in the article.

Would Adam Henrique be a remote fit? I’ve always liked the player (possibly the Brantford connection), obviously not thrilled about the contract with his results this season. If it worked I think it’s fair to say we would have two exceptional lines:

What would the acquisition cost look like, hopefully with salary retained. Unfortunately that basically pencils in McLeod for 3C. Not sure if anyone has any fancy stats on Adam Henrique at their fingertips?



Questions like this expose how narrow my window on the league has gotten over the years. Henrique? Brantford you say?


Would Adam Henrique be a remote fit?

What would the acquisition cost look like, hopefully with salary retained. Unfortunately that basically pencils in McLeod for 3C. Not sure if anyone has any fancy stats on Adam Henrique at their fingertips?

He doesn’t look too bad actually. Could be a decent addition if the Ducks were willing to retain a couple million. And if the asset out cost was low. I haven’t actually watched him play in a while mind you.

Harpers Hair


COLUMN: After Taylor Hall & David Krejci quickly gelled together, the B’s are crafting plans to retain both pending UFA’s: “We’ve expressed mutual interest in having [Hall] back. We would like to make it clear this is the place [Krejci] should play”

Jethro Tull

“It’s not just about money. It’s about a fuck ton of money.”

Taylor Hall. Probably.


“For the money, for the glory, and for the fun…..mostly for the money”

Burt Reynolds, Smokey and the Bandit


I wonder what Boston’s analytics department has to say about committing to both of them who are looking for term.


“All in, right now, cause this core is aging out fast”.


2-3 years from now it will be somebody else’s mess to clean up
and what a mess it will be



If they can get a Stanley out of it there won’t be much complaining though. Well, not for 2 or 3 years anyway.


Even with those 2 they aren’t a Cup calibre team at this point.


This is true, but they’re in range. They could get lucky. They need a goalie too though.


Who is on your “cup-caliber” list, besides the Bolts and Knights?

Scungilli Slushy

Good points about Barrie blocking Bouchard and Hamilton not as much.

The thing is Bouchard is years away from being a solid top 4, which is normal. He’s very young.

The job he will be taking is Larsson’s. Say in four years Bouch is ready, Larsson’s contract will be done if Holland has any brains.

In a year after Bouchard is ready to take Hamilton’s job, trade Hamilton for a king’s ransom, and replenish the system.

Where bouch is affected most is PP. But they can both play PP 1. It would be great to have one of them hammering shots from the Ovie spot.

Bouch can learn, or start running PP 2. It wouldn’t be unfair to pay a few dues given he’s not a Fox or Makar.

Eh Team

Bouchard is going to be very good, very fast. He’s already a more than capable NHL top-4 offensive d’man and great breaking the puck out of his own end. Needs to play without the puck, but we shouldn’t assume that won’t come along also.

He’s a better all around player than Barrie right now.

Scungilli Slushy

All round I agree

I don’t think better yet

Hs doesn’t show the D chops at the NHL level yet, which to me means he’s a normal young D: but with huge O upside.

It remains the Oilers don’t need offense as much as defensive play, at least to me.

Still between goalers and brain farts regularly giving up a goal or two every game or two.

Not good enough.

Harpers Hair

Will the Kraken stockpile defensemen like Ron Francis did in Carolina and Vegas did in the expansion draft.

Elliote Friedman thinks they might.


I think so too. The expansion draft temporarily lowers the trade value top 4 (due to the protection schemes). That’s the point to free up top 4 d for the Kraken. After the draft is over though, demand will return. It’s an ideal way to buy low and sell high for the Kraken.


Is Nuge really a power play witch still?


Very curious what the point production difference would be if let’s say you put Yamamoto on the pp


Can anybody explain how Ryan McLeod is expected to be a better player than Mark Jankowski? If not, why not sign Jankowski for league minimum and have one at center one at Lw, two big fast depth forwards that can Pk

Jethro Tull

Maybe Tippett and Holland can explain why a rookie is a better option at 2C when you’re playing for your playoff lives. Especially when you have a former #1 OV who was drafted as a center.


Jankowski is fast?

Has he improved his skating over in Pittsburgh?


One thing I was thinking about the other day WRT the VGK is William Carrier.

By the eye test, Carrier really looks like a pretty ideal 4rth line player. He’s big, fast, and gets in on the forecheck quite nicely.

Where do you get a Carrier? He’s a former 2nd round pick from 2013 by the Blues.

VGK plucked him from the Sabres at the expansion draft. He was part of a package Buffalo received from the Ryan Miller trade.

He’s part of a 4rth line that doesn’t bleed at 5v5 (50%), if you’re into that sort of stat 😉

What’s interesting about Carrier?

He had a 47.83 GF% in 2016-17… on the Buffalo Sabres (26th/30 teams). His xGF was 50.3%

He played with a mishmash of players in 2016 though he did get a fair amount of minutes ROR.

Still, how do you identify these sorts of players that don’t produce a ton of offense, but don’t bleed defensively?

If you can get a Carrier in the heart of his career, you get a player that can keep your fourth line afloat without costing you very much money.

It’s easy to brush this off and say he’s just a fourth liner… but if they’re undervalued both by the league and agent, is there an opportunity here?

Jethro Tull

If we get a Carrier, I shall call him ‘Water’. Next we’d need a Chopper….


In other words, wouldn’t you want to Oilers to find 3 guys who’re big, fast, cheap and capable of playing 10 or so quiet minutes per game. That’s your fourth line.

It doesn’t sound earth shattering, but it’s better than what we have now.

Elgin R

Seems obvious – but can the Oiler pro scouts and Holland actually achieve this. Recent history is not on their side (see Turris, AA). We are now firmly in the summer of Holland. The team needs to fo into next season as an obvious contender for at least home-ice advantage in the playoffs.


List Six: Love the list other than Smith. I know he had a season nobody thought he still had in him but going back for another miracle is too much risk for me.

I think I go after Ullmark as my first choice though. 27 is the age where a lot of goalies settle in to their peak years and he has a longer track record than Dreidger but one of them & Stalock works for me. Konovalov/Skinner sitting there as backup plan.


Is Danult not on the center list because he is likely to re-sign with the Habs?

As far as roster fit, he would be an idea get in my opinion – 3C and top 6 winger mix who checks all the other boxes (2-way play, playoff performer, PK guy, etc.).

I expect he’ll be over $5M for term though.


Its too tough to formulate an opinion on a LD acquisition until Holland and his team speak with Klefbom and his team in a couple of weeks or so.

Of course, its unlikely that a concrete timeline will be established but there should be more information on a realistic path forward of (a) not coming back at all this season (or ever) or (b) looks like he’ll be able to come back, or at least give it a shot – not for the beginning of the season but at some point during.

Option (a) requires a substantial 2LD acquisition (Martinez would be great) but option (b) requires a less substantial acquisition as the Klefbom LTIR reserves can’t be spent in that scenario – I’m thinking a Mike Riley type acquisition.

I wouldn’t go long term on any substantial acquisition on left D due to Samorukov and Broberg coming at some point over the next 0-2 years and both with realistic potential to play in the top 4.


Good post. Just looking at the numbers and I’m not sure Mike Reilly is a less substantial player than Martinez. He might be a really good target this summer.


Reilly is sneaky good, I wanted him for the playoff run and as a Klefbom replacement.


After looking more closely, Reilly was VERY sheltered in Boston. Not sure if that’s just a feeling-out process with the coaches (and his TOI went way up in the playoffs), but it’s something to think about as it no doubt colours his stats vs Martinez.


I would have zero issue keeping Smith for another year, but in this case, you absolutely have to move on from Koskinen somehow. Either by trade or even buyout. Neither of these 2 will be a part of the team in the 2022/2023 season, so having our 1a as someone with a chance to be our starter long term would be my goal.

Hamilton is absolutely a guy we should be chasing hard in free agency. If it means Bouchard doesn’t get as much PP time as expected, then so be it. He’s not Pronger, but he could have a similar affect on the roster. Any time you can add a meaningful upgrade at the top of the roster, especially when you have the cap space and can add without giving up anything in return. This would be my absolute top priority this offseason.


Yup. Hamilton is exactly the guy. Go get him.



Plus #27 is still available


I enjoyed the post, I’ve really been pondering how many UFA’s we can sign this year without Chia’in ourselves.

I think a 3rd Line C isn’t necessary if McLeod has strong responsible wingers.

Barring Koskinen can be traded without retaining more than 1.5M and Neal gets bought out, I’d love to see:

Nuge 5.7 x 4 (2LW)
Coleman 4.2 x 3 (1LW)
Armia 4.0 x 3 (3RW)
Larsson 4.0 x 4 (2RD)
Kulikov 1.4 x 1 (3LD)
Ullmark 4.4 x 4 (1G)

The team would undoubtedly be better. But looking at it written down, not sure if that is affordable or wise. Might be better off waiting in the weeds for good players/waivers to happen.

I really want to resign Kahun, but is Holloway better than him right now? For third line duties, I want to say yes. Benson might be more capable of a 4LW role than Kahun. Just can’t find a spot for the guy, especially if he’s going to want more than 2M season


No Kulikov

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

List Six should be List One. Don’t put off the most important task just because it’s likely the hardest.


All of this talk of lists and no mention of High Fidelity? I am outraged!

Top five side one, track ones:

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of an upgrade on RD also. I feel like there’s a high probability our depth chart looks like it’s gonna be Bear, Larsson and Bouchard. The problem is that none of those guys have shown they can handle top-pair minutes for the long haul. I’m wondering if maybe they could add someone, maybe at the expense of moving out Bear (I only suggest him because I like the other 2 so much). Bear might be pretty close to his ceiling as it is. And If Bouchard shows some wobble, there’s even more pressure on the other 2 to eat minutes.

Rasmus Ristolainen, Anthony Deangelo, or maybe Josh Manson?

If Klefbom is able to return at some point, they could start the playoffs with this D:



i don’t want Ristolainen
Especially not in a top role

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I can’t get the link to open, but will concede it’s stats saying not to add him. I was just kinda looking at guys in this price range that might be available, and playing with Nurse can hide a lot of warts in a guy’s game. But I’m open to anyone who can handle the job. If we don’t add someone, one of those RD is gonna be punching out of his weight-class.

Eh Team

Yes, Risto is not very good at hockey, despite being paid a lot.


Top 151 Prospects for 2021 NHL Draft: Owen Power leads Corey Pronman’s final rankings


It won’t happen, but Landeskog ( a real winger – direct sub in for RNH ) and Hall would elevate this team dramatically. I am positive both our big Finn and Kailer will see improvement next year.

Holloway can play 3LW and combine with McLeod for an incredibly speedy 3rd line. Saw it off line -but with size. Its a young mans game with size.

Some growing pains maybe in the first quarter of the season – but dividends in the last half of the season I bet.

Dramatically better than the Turris lead 3rd line from last year.


Holloway Mcleod and Yamamoto look like a great young line to me…


It would, but adding 3 top 6 forwards (to push Kailer down) is a pretty tall ask.



While I do think Kailer definitely has top 6 upside, and its a solid fill-in at 2RW today, I think his skill-set would also make him an elite 3RW, in particular if he has some skilled/fast/energetic linemates (and not the Shore’s, Turris’ Chiasson’s of the world as linemates on the 3rd line.

If only Kass was October-December 2019 Kass all the time. He’s not even that a bit of the time now.

Sam Reinhart would be a fantastic addition to the top 6 right wing, pushing Kailer down. Assuming Reinhart would sign 5 X $5.5M (give or take), I’d trade the 1st plus a good prospect for him. Samorukov would hurt but it would probably take him to get that deal done.

Given the more pressing need for top 6 talent on the left side, that pick currency may be best served in that regard even though the following would be amazing:


Somehow get Kass traded to the east for “truculance” – probably do-able with $750K retained.


Bob announcing in his own peculiar little way this morning that Barrie will not be back next season. 😉

Bob Stauffer

defenceman with the highest offensive ceiling is Evan Bouchard. He needs to play EVERY game next season. Don’t bet against him!



Harpers Hair

It will be fascinating to see what kind of offers Barrie gets.

Many of the teams with cap space have well developed analytics operations so Barrie might be accepting much less than he expects.


Offence always gets paid. Law of nature.

Harpers Hair

I’m not sure that still applies in the current environment.

We shall see.


Hall got $8 M last season in the same environment. There is always a GM that is desperate and can’t get the guys he wants to play for his crappy team so he moves down the list until he finds one.

One of the reasons it takes so long to climb out of the hole.

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn

You think Vancouver opens up their wallets to him again like they reportedly did last offseason?

Harpers Hair

Actually they didn’t..and Barrie would be a very poor fit there since Hughes will get the PP time.


EJ: The best thing (for the Oilers) that Barrie can do is sign with the Kraken….That’s my hope.


Pronman’s new list has Cossa ahead of Wallstedt and both way earlier than I anticipated…10 and 11.

Are Detroit or San Jose willing to take a goalie at 6/7 with so many holes? Maybe.

Kings 8 Peterson, Canucks 9 Demko, Sens at 10 committed to Murray…so I’d say no chance.

Hawks at 11…is Lankanen the real deal? They might do it.

Calgary 12/Philly 13…no chance with Markstrom and Hart unless Philly trades Hart

Dallas 14 might do it

NYR 15 Shesterkin, Blues 16 Binnington, Jets 17 Helly, Preds 18 Askarov I’d list as various degrees of no chance.

If Wallstedt makes it past Detroit at 6 there’s a real good chance the Oilers get whichever one is left.


So Detroit and San Jose pass on a goalie because of so many holes …but the Oilers don’t?

Half of our forwards cleared waivers last year.

I count quite a few holes for Edmonton, no?


Because the forward or defenseman you can get at #6 overall is a heck of a lot better than the forward or defense you can get at #19. Detroit may be choosing between Luke Hughes, a potentially franchise altering defenseman, and the goalies. We’ll be choosing between Brennan Othmann (projects as a second line player) and the goalies.


Out of all the years, the difference between #6 and 19 might not be too large.

Not a lot of hockey played….time will tell

This team is desperate for forwards who don’t make McDavid and Drai cry – when they are on the bench.

Harpers Hair

I’ve seen quite a bit of speculation that Detroit will indeed take him.

Yzerman has no choice but to be patient so waiting a bit on a goaltender is not a big deal.


I do agree this is a possibility which is why I included it. It just hasn’t been done by an NHL GM in what…10+ years? It would be very ballsy to pass on a frachise altering forward or defenseman which the Wings will have access to. Unless, of course, they are convinced Wallstedt will be a franchise altering goalie.

Harpers Hair

Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) Tweeted:
Per source, Todd Nelson’s second interview for the Coyotes’ coaching job will be held on Wednesday.


Man. I know an NHL head coaching job is an NHL head coaching job, but I wish better for Todd than Arizona.


Are they hiring MacT to babysit Todd on the bench as well?


Kulikov is often mentioned here as a stop-gap for 2 LD…

Does a player who was healthy scratched for game 4 want to sign a contract here?

Do the Oilers sign a guy they health scratched for game 4 and played Russell and Koekkoek instead?



Same with Kahun. Scratched during regular season. Scratched during playoffs.

The bottom half of the roster is Waiver wire fodder.

And you get scratched ?

Aim Higher.


Kulikov looked really good in his debut, and then markedly worse in his second game. The notable goals against in the playoffs seemed to mostly be miscues and communication issues. Coach came out and said he was adjusting to the system.

With a situation like that, I think it’s realistic to think he may have more to give after a full off season to settle in.


I watched a ton of Kulikov playing for the Jets. He makes many bonehead plays…as a 3d, ok. But not a true 2d. Move on….aim higher.


Maybe the OIlers should go hard after Sam Girard. (and Kadri).


Kadri and Graves are the names most pundits suggest will be exposed for the draft. I would be all over trading for Sam Girard if he’s available, but I would be very surprised.

Harpers Hair

People tend to forget Girard just turned 23 last month and already has 168 NHL games to his credit.
Recency bias at play over a couple of rough games.

Ice Sage

Yep, sounds like a Bear comp. pass, we’ve got one of those

Harpers Hair

Much more talented than Bear..

Harpers Hair

Bear has played 132 NHL games and has scored 32 points.

Girard despite being drafted a year later has played 273 NHL games and has scored 116 points.

One of these is not like the other.


One of these is not like the other.

Almost like comparing Graves to Nurse.

Some people, eh?

Last edited 1 month ago by jp
Harpers Hair

Graves is better too.


Than Bear?

That’s quite possible.


Depends on how far away you think Samorukov and/or Broberg are does it not?

If you think that one or both will be ready at some point during the season does a KRussell/Kulikov/Lagesson/Jones group suffice? I know it is not optimum. I don’t think anybody does but it isn’t like it is the only hole to plug with limited resources either.


>I see Nuge from Column A and Coleman from Column B as being a good start to summer. We’ll see.

I especially like how Column B starts with Coleman, B.

Randle McMurphy

I think Holland enters the season with Smith Koskinen.
I think he and Tippet believe this is an above average regular season tandum.

They may test a Skinner or Konolonav at some point, and then pull the trigger at the deadline if nothing rhymes.


Konovalov is an interesting piece. There’s a non-zero chance he is ready for an NHL back up job some point this season. Unfortunately, it’s not prudent to bet on that. But Drieger-Konovalov or Ulmark-Konovalov is exciting to think about.

Randle McMurphy

As a Klefbom replacment, Kulikov is the easiest to resign/procure.

But like Wennberg, Olesiak has two things Oilers Mgt. love. Size and draft pedigree. Also 14th overall.


Is Heiskanen coming with Oleksiak? If not, then why Oleksiak?


I don’t want to sign Oleksiak for term either, but the WOWYs (this past season at least) don’t show that at all.


Oilers need to move on from Kulikov. He is not a 2d. Makes too many mistakes. Aim higher.

buck yoakam

glen rather was a master at reclamation projects ( craig mctavish probably the most prolific)…having said that I would certainly have time for Kadri and I think he needs to be a target albeit that would have to be done by trade…think a fellow like tippet could turn the beat around as far as his lack of judgement…he would be a sick third line centre and could move up and down…


Depending on acquisition cost he is my 1st choice for 3C as well. I wanted Bennett for that role for the last few years but that option is gone. This team needs a serious upgrade in nasty.


Why would Bennet not be an option? I think we’re more likely to get him from Florida than Calgary. I’m not even sure Florida can protect him.


I think Florida really likes him and would be reluctant to trade him. He may be exposed in the entry draft – I haven’t looked at Florida to see what they might do – but that is different than being willing to trade him after just acquiring him.

Harpers Hair

I know you don’t patronize the Athletic but Scott Morrison broke down their expansion draft protected list and doesn’t think there is any way Bennett is not protected.


Thanks. That was my assumption when I said the ship had sailed on Bennett.

Randle McMurphy

The good news is the bounty of potential LW’ers.

I especially like the order you’ve listed them in.

I would take any of the top 4 in front of RNH.

If Holland gets any two (including RNH) of the players on the top five list, thats a winning formula.


Dreidger is a hard pass for me, even at three years. Goalies are voodoo and his track record is very small. Even his numbers in the minors are pretty meh prior to 2019. His playoffs this year we’re not so great either. Maybe he put it altogether in 2019 and he’s the real deal, but that’s risky IMO. This is where pro scouting comes in I guess. 

Harpers Hair

He will be exposed in the expansion draft and Seattle will likely claim him.


That’s not the conclusion of the Athletic article about the Panthers and expansion that you literally just posted, lol.

Randle McMurphy

Really good lists. Thanks LT.

Wennberg is the only Center listed that is of any interest to me. Making him worth a slight to moderate overpay. ( looks like a Ryan Strome equivelant) He’s got two things Oilers management seem to love. Size and draft pedigree. 14th overall. And at age 27 (at start of 2021 season) is primed to be part of the McDavid/Draisaitl/Nurse cluster.

All of this makes him a prime target.

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy

Yet numbers show he is not very good. Hard pass for me.

Randle McMurphy

I like Dougie Hamilton alot (like everyone here).

Just curious, how is it that Tyson Barrie blocks Evan Bouchard, but Hamilton does not?

I get that Hamilton is a much better all round Defensemen than Barrie. But blockage is blockage.


I picture stapling Bouchard to Neal and sending him to NJ or somewhere with some cap room, if they could land Hamilton.

Or buyout Neal and trade Bouchard for some help up front. I am a bigger fan of Bouch than most, but this team needs work (that I don’t trust Holland to do).


Because (IMHO) Barrie and Bouchard would occupy the same role, at least defensively.

This assumes signing Hamilton means not signing Larsson, then you run Hamilton-Bear-Bouchard.

Bringing back Barrie means you’d probably bring back Larsson too because you need a solid defender, so with Bear, Bouchard is again blocked.

Hamilton is a true #1 defender and Bouchard be damned anyway, Hamilton is my #1 hard target.


Hamilton can kill penalties. Barrie cannot.
Barrie is a 3rd pairing D defensively with elite offense
Hamilton is a 1st pairing D with elite offense.

Bouchard needs that 3rd pairing D (defensively) that Barrie would occupy.

Todd Macallan

My thought was Larsson and Barrie walk, that money goes to Hamilton. New RD of Hamilton, Bear, Bouchard. No blocking, all great pick movers.

That is a world I would one day like to live in.


Hamilton replaces Bear. Bear becomes a feature piece in another trade


Yeah, that would be my expectation as well if Holland adds Hamilton or another RD to the top of the depth chart.


Remember when Igor Ulanov came over and looked bad after the deadline? And remember when he was far better over a full season.

I’ve been thinking of Ulanov as a Kulikov comparable. Also in terms of the head shaking mistakes throughout seem to be part of their games.

Ulanov was a good player, I think Kulikov is too. He’s my pick/guess for the Klefbom stop-gap.


Ordinarily, I would agree with you. I think that Kulikov makes sense as a stop-gap for 2 LD.

On the other hand, he was a healthy scratch for the last playoff game. That’s a tell IMO.


Agree that’s not a great look.

Man, it would be so nice if Klefbom can come back at some point during the year.



Agree that’s not a great look.

Man, it would be so nice if Klefbom can come back at some point during the year.

Yup, get Mike Riley in as a stop-gap and, when Klef is activated:


Sammy waiting, maybe in the picture.

Rilely will probably get term somewhere though, and maybe even term for $3M

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

Use Kulikov as a 3d and were ok. Use him as a 2d and we in trouble. Kulikov is not the answer. At all. We are trying to make the team better.


Yes, Kulikov is the stop-gap option. So you don’t have to pay another guy 2-3x the salary, for 3-4x the term.

Kulikov only makes sense at 2LD if you think there’s a decent chance Klefbom returns at some point during the year.


Where is Mike Reilly and Alec Martinez (LHD)? Haula and Zajac (C)? Tomas Tatar (LW) and Philipp Grubauer (G)?


Mike Riley is my 2LD stop-gap target if it looks like Klef will be activated during the season.

Martinez would be a 2LD stop-gap target if Klef isn’t coming back but he’s likely looking for term and cap and that contract may be scary.

Tatar is my check-down as a potential LW acquisition on the “Barrie-style show me” contract – 1 year, low money to play with Connor and/or Leon and put up points to re-establish value. One year only $3MM or less.

I note that Tatar has struggled in the playoffs during most of his career.

Harpers Hair

Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) Tweeted:
Coaching carousel stops in Anaheim. Former Flames head coach Geoff Ward to join Dallas Eakins staff. Kirk Muller was also a candidate before accepting the job in Calgary.


I do hope we get a good veteran winger that can mentor Holloway when he breaks in in a year or so.


Driedger has just 38 games of NHL experience. I’d be very wary of throwing either AAV or term in that direction.

Last edited 1 month ago by ArmchairGM

You’ve gotta kick the tires to see what it costs though.

And if it’s in the $3.5M x 3 range you’ve gotta take the chance on a big payoff.

My guess is it’ll cost more, and I agree his track record isn’t long enough to have much confidence.


You know who’s a really good comparable for Driedger at the same age?

Cam Talbot


There’s been a few of those goalies over the years, who don’t emerge until pretty late. Roloson and Tim Thomas are a couple more that come to mind. Zero clue if Dreidger ends up joining that group.


You know
we either have access to these articles or they are behind a paywall.

Woodguy v2.0

I looked at Nosek last year:

Didn’t like him much.

This year his results are slightly worse, but he’s still among the most sheltered on his team. Full time 3C is a big step up.

Connection to Holland as Holland drafted him.


Just had a quick look at Haula (who I was meh on) and Bozak (who I liked)

Haula – better goal results, worse expected goal results – 11th most TOI% vs Elites. Still not ideal

Bozak – fell off a cliff last year, he’s 35. Pass.


It’s possible he just wasn’t able to get up to speed after the concussion and whatever his other injury was this season, but yeah, could very well actually be the end of the line for him.


I would add David Savard to the RHD list. He may be a saver signing health wise than Larsson.

Woodguy v2.0

I would also add Forbort to the LHD list


WG, I’ve been banging on the Forbort drum here for awhile. 🙂

Last year, he played fairly similar minutes to Larsson for the low price of $1m.

Bruce McCurdy

Yep, Forbort a good target in my books. I suspect Jets will keep him, but they will have to pony up to do so. He was very good value at $1 million, over 20 minutes a night, tough comp, solid results.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

…but the guy skates like he’s wearing bricks.

I assume Klef is done.

Kulikov (or similar) is OK for one year because we absolutely must fast track Sammy this season if he is anywhere near ready. Broburg is on the way next year and could use a year in the AHL. Our defensive depth is OK but it’s all coming at the same time and this needs mgmt.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Why assume Klef is done? He stated himself that his goal is to get back to play in the NHL, he had surgery in the name of that goal and, from accounts, is rehabbing/training in the name of that goal.

He very well may not be able to fulfill that goal but, it is his goal and he is working towards it.

We should know more in early July when Holland and Klef speak – probably nothing concrete but some information on progress and maybe a realistic time line.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

At this point it’s far safer to assume he’s gone for good than hoping for medical miracles. Those happen occasionally, but the odds are against him. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst. We will know more in a few weeks.

I still think that Klef’s contract (which I assume is insured) will have value to a team with both money issues and available cap space like ARZ. A trade of Klef for Kuemper could save them a ton of cash. Might even be able to dump Kos if we retain salary.


I think “medical miracle” is a bit aggressive – they aren’t re-attaching a severed limb here.

I don’t think they can formulate a real off-season plan until they have more info on Klef which is supposed to come in early July. If things are proceeding fairly well and they are tracking towards a mid-season return, that will need to be taken in to account and his $4M of LTIR reserves disappearing.

I believe I read somewhere that his contract isn’t fully ensured but I might be mixing that up with another player.

Also, the Yotes have $50MM of cap commitments to 12 roster players for next season……. they don’t have a ton of cap space as they need to build most of their defence.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

True but it’s probably the equivalent of Tommy John surgery……before Tommy John. I can’t think of anybody playing well or long with a shoulder as badly mangled, or anyone who has had this new type of surgery. Not saying it’s impossible, but I can’t see any track-record. They are taping him back together and he would probably count himself lucky if he can live pain-free and normally from here on out. We’ll see soon enough and I’ll be happy to be wrong.

But if Klef is done then trading him for Kuemper frees up over $4 million immediately (if insured) and another 4+ if ARZ wants to go over the cap when the season starts. We can toss Jones or Lags into the conversation as you correctly point out they have only 3 NHL dmen signed at this point.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

I’m not sure where you are getting that information on his surgery – to my knowledge, the exact nature of the surgery, what the prognosis is, its history, any timeline, etc. have not been made available.

Also, as I said, I believe I heard/read the contract isn’t fully insured (although I am not positive on that).


What “information” are you referring to. The poster is sharing his opinion. I think that’s pretty clear.

Its also clear that you don’t agree with that opinion, that you have a much more optimistic opinion. What gives you such optimism?


Not really – he’s talking about noone playing with a shoulder this mangled or anyone having this type of surgery. We don’t know what type of surgery he had or what they ended up doing.

I don’t have “such optimism” but I’m not catastrohpizing based off of incomplete information.

What I do know is that he had the surgery, in the name of playing in the NHL again, the surgery went well and he is rehabbing and training in the name of trying to play again.

We don’t know if he’ll be able to to play again but we also don’t know that his shoulder was more mangled than everyone before him and that he has some sort of new type of surgery. That’s not the information provided to us.


What is the concern with Larsson’s health?

He broke his leg blocking a shot and only missed 2-months. Other than that, he’s missed, what 10 gams in his career with a bad back? That’s not chronic.

Larsson has been quite durable throughout his career.


I agree with most of those players. If only I had confidence that Holland sees things the same way.

Why isn’t Jayden Schwartz on the LW list?


what injuries?

Brantford Boy

I like lists too… especially lists that are already done for me… most of my lists are retained in my head until things get a little long then the draft emails comes out. Today, I have exactly 100 drafts in that folder… so I guess I procrastinate a little… time to be more productive and make a list.

My list from LT’s:
Brandon Saad
Blake Coleman
Barclay Goodrow
Dmitri Kulikov
Adam Larsson
Chris Deiedger

However, if you asked me tomorrow I’d probably forget I listed Blake Coleman and name Joel Armia.


Good lists! Let’s all hope we can reel in a few big fish at decent rates!

There seems to be a fair amount of enthusiasm for Ullmark. His numbers are great for a bad team. Buffalo has Mike Bales as the goalie coach who was also the goalie coach in Pittsburgh for their last cups. Murray’s game went south after Bales left so that gives me pause. This is more rumor from the interwebs than any personal knowledge.

Last edited 1 month ago by TheGreatBigMac