Across the Universe

by Lowetide

Edmonton Oilers fans are waiting for a big summer, and I’m sure general manager Ken Holland wants to deliver as much talent to his roster as possible. There’s lots of pressure, but the truth is the best solutions for the McDavid Oilers were on the 2015 draft board waiting for Edmonton to pick them at No. 16, 33, 57, 79 and 86. Edmonton didn’t use those selections, they were dealt for immediate help. How would things have looked if the club used those picks?


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!


In order to be fair about this, you’re going to have to deal with my draft day mock from 2015. Here are the picks I made the day of the 2015 draft:

  • No. 1 overall: C Connor McDavid. My guess is he’s at center ice for opening faceoff 2015-16, with Hall and Eberle alongside. Music!
  • No. 16 overall: C Joel Eriksson Ek. Impressive C, good offense and a gritty style.
  • No. 33 overall: D Travis Dermott. Effective offensive defender, can play defense.
  • No. 57 overall: D Ethan Bear. Solid defenseman, built like a brick outhouse, fine shot.
  • No. 79 overall: G Matej Tomek. Tomek and Jalad at Tanagra. He’s a good goalie.
  • No. 86 overall: C Tyler Soy. Very talented player, spiked in the second half.
  • No. 117 overall: D Jeremy Lauzon. Big defender with a range of skills. May be long gone before this.
  • No. 124 overall: R Keegan Kolesar. Tough winger with some skill, Oilers looking for this type. He can play.
  • No. 154 overall: C Alexandre Goulet. Checking C if he makes it, does a lot well at evens.
  • No. 184 overall: C Tyson Baillie. Extreme skill, hard worker, speed only average. Could be a home run pick. Seriously.

From the group, there are six NHL players, compared to four drafted by the Oilers (the scouts were fire, they did a great job). Here’s what the depth chart might have looked like last season with my 2015 draft included:

  • ????—McDavid—Puljujarvi
  • ????—Draisaitl—Yamamoto
  • Benson—Eriksson Ek—Archibald
  • Khaira—McLeod—Kolesar
  • Nurse—Bear
  • Lauzon—????
  • Dermott—Bouchard
  • ????—Koskinen

My list doesn’t have Caleb Jones, but brings in a No. 3 center and a second-pairing LH blue. That’s actually impressive for one draft, with McDavid at the top and Dermott plus Kolesar in support roles.

Now imagine if Holland had this list of holes to fill over the summer? I imagine Kassian would be ahead of Kolesar, and there are men like James Neal and Kyle Turris who would need to be bought out or incorporated into the roster.

If Holland heads to market focused on four main issues (No. 1 LW, No. 2 LW, No. 2 RHD and No. 1 G) that’s still a massive list but you can see how there might be a better chance for success.


Oilers fans are smart bunch and can see this is the first summer since 2015 where the general manager can truly wheel. For most of the spring imaginations ran wild, with Taylor Hall, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Getzlaf and Dougie Hamilton in the discussion.

As spring gave way to summer, the names are changing as news filters in. Hall and the Bruins have bonded, Landeskog and the Avalanche have work that remains, Hamilton doesn’t appear to be an Oilers target.

So, fans are checking down to other names, Tomas Tatar, Mike Hoffman, Tyson Barrie and trades are entering the conversation.

At this point, I think we’re looking at a mild free-agent procurement summer, say Mike Smith, Adam Larsson, Tomas Tatar. At this point Nuge not returning appears possible.

This is kind of a sticky wicket summer, partly due to the Seattle Kraken and the massive amount of cap room the expansion club will bring to the league. I’ve done an expansion draft for the Kraken, and there’s some built-in requirements that will force the new team to spend cap dollars (limited number of rfa’s allowed).

I’m beginning to think the play here for Holland is to address some areas while waiting to see how the expansion draft lands. We’re hearing OEL rumours, that represents high risk and low return.

Holland has $25 million in cap. Teams are going to be looking to deal away some useful pieces. I’m seeing names like Mason Appleton, Mathieu Joseph, Alex Kerfoot, Jared McCann, Vince Dunn and others.

Eriksson Ek and Brandon Carlo are long gone, but Holland can sign some bigger names and (more importantly) find some mid-20’s players who will be productive for more than short term.

If Edmonton doesn’t spend a dime on the first day of free agency, you might consider it a blessing. If the top end (Landeskog, Hall, Hamilton) is heading elsewhere, Holland would do well to keep his powder dry for a time. He’ll need to get a LW, RHD and a goalie early, though. Patience on the center, No. 2 LW and No. 2 LHD may be the better plan.


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I wonder if the best approach might be prioritizing center/versatility, rather than 1LW and 2LW. This would mean embracing Drai/Connor/Yamamoto as a line. They are clearly players Connor trusts, and Draisaitl has proven to be the best player in the world to play with the best player in the world.
There is somewhat of a misconception in the media that Connor is an easy player to play with… when we as Oilers fans have only seen a handful of players help to make Connor a better player. Players who have been able to create space on the ice for him, think the game at the same speed/level, and who transition through the neutral zone effectively. Maroon, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi and I would honestly argue in favour of Yakupov’s obvious chemistry with McDavid, but that’s mostly to be controversial. Nuge had his big chance this year and bummed it. The stat that stands out to me is his 2 primary assists at even strength. Yikes.
Puljujarvi was very good with McDavid, but if you’re committing to playing Drai to McD, I think Puljujarvi could be the driver on a second line that can work the cycle. Danault comes to mind for me immediately. He will be expensive, but moving on from Nuge and with the cap space already available to The Oilers this summer, Holland can afford a couple contracts. Nolan Patrick is another name of interest. I just get the feeling whoever lands Patrick is going to get a good player for the long haul, and it would be nice to win one of those trades (ryan spooner).
You would still have to add to the wing. For me a guy like Tyler Johnson once he is bought out fits the mold of what Edmonton is trying to do. The eye test in the playoffs suggest to me he could still contribute in a top 9 role. He can also take draws. Jaden Schwartz will probably be available for a reasonable price.
I just think you think strength down the middle and the wings automatically look more secure. Then count on the young guys from the system, namely, Holloway, Benson, Mcleod to be swing men. I think it puts them in a better position to succeed.


you could use the #3LW is open for whoever is rolling (or a guy like Barclay Goodrow but I’m running out of money). The whole 4th line is up for grabs. I saw the suggestion the other day that it would be an interesting experiment to play the Condors line together…might just work? Also I want to be controversial again. Lavoie could play himself into the picture. Maybe there is a suitor for Zach Kassian?

In this scenario Edmonton loses Jones to Kraken, and Ethan Bear to Philly in Patrick trade. I don’t want to see Bear go, but Barrie on a reasonable deal might be Holland’s preference, if Barrie is, in fact, keen on returning… James Neal is bought out. Koskinen retained to play out his deal. Jamie Oleksiak is brought in to bring some size, athleticism and compete to the back end. Larsson and Kulikov resigned.



I think this shakes things up enough, without sacrificing the “continuity” that Holland has shown to value. You add 4 players who have been to the cup finals in the past 3 seasons. It doesn’t fix goalie long term, though. I’m not sure yet what the creative way out of the Koskinen deal is? If Cossa is off the board at 19… maybe Koski with the 19th gets you Merzlikins?

Anyway if you made it this far thanks for reading my first post. I had a lot building up to say apparently.

Last edited 3 months ago by maxwellmischief

I like the thinking behind this.


Just an awesome read:

Spoiler alert. When adjusting for GSVA and draft position, the Oilers were 3rd last. 2005-16).

The Oilers were last at drafting outside of the first round.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

Awesome….thanks for that.

What really stands out to me is how well Anaheim drafted and then pissed it away.


Manson would be a fantastic addition.

Scungilli Slushy

I would like to kick the person who invented nested comments, right in the bum, with the Australian Big Boot.

Harpers Hair

So we have a new Canadian record high temperature set today in Lytton B.C. at 46.1 degrees.

For those who rush to blame this on global warming, the previous record was set at 45 degrees in Saskatchewan 84 years ago.

A relatively balmy 39 degrees at our place today but 41 expected tomorrow.

Gerta Rauss

38 in Squamish today

Harpers Hair

Sereina (@SereinaCambell) Tweeted:
It’s so hot in Campbell River, a rotisserie chicken just flew by my window. #BCHeat #BCStorm


Going up there in a couple of weeks. Is there a decent hotel you can recommend? Just need it for one night.

Gerta Rauss

I’m afraid I can’t be much help-I’ve lived in the corridor for 30+ years, I don’t have much hotel experience

All I suggest is you book early

The corridor is jam packed, and it’ll get busier as the border(s) open officially

Lots of Alberta and Ontario plates the last 7 days- when the US border opens it’s gonna get crazy up here

Last edited 3 months ago by Gerta Rauss

Thanks. Yeah, I booked a week or so ago but thought you might have a insider’s perspective. We’re just going for a drive since neither my wife nor I have ever been up that way.

Thought Squamish would be a fun place to have dinner and spend the night.

Gerta Rauss

The Watershed Grill is good food and a unique setting on the river

I haven’t been up the Sea to Sky gondola yet but hear it’s a thing to do while in town

My sister is coming from Vernon in a couple weeks and we plan to go up


Thanks for that. The Watershed looks like fun.


Saw that earlier today. It hit 34 here in White Rock.

Harpers Hair

Was wondering what where you landed.


Excellent dim sum supplies just 30 minutes away in Richmond.

Harpers Hair

First thing I always do when I cross the moat is go for Dim Sum In Richmond.

Thanks for the heads up.


Ah, this is not a restaurant. Frozen supplies that they sell mostly to restaurants. Very few dim sum restaurants make all of their own menu.

Harpers Hair

Works for me.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve
comment image
Scungilli Slushy

41 today and calling for a run at the Canadian record Tuesday or Wednesday here in the interior.


Kamloops is going to take a run at 47 on Tuesday.

Victoria Oil

I believe Victoria was 38, hottest day on record.

I have a little place in Osoyoos where it was at least 42 today and projected to hit 47 on Tuesday.


The droughts of the 1930’s were accompanied by temperatures that still stand as records. It wasn’t just one day – it was years.


Very few heat records have remained since the 1930s it looks like.

These current temperatures are beating “old” records from 2000s to 2010s


Yeah, that wasn’t my point. Your link refers to this specific date only.

The dirty thirties weather – drought & heat – went on for years. It was the most devastating event precipitated by climate conditions in the last hundred years – if not longer.

This is not a comment on climate change and whether or not it is anthropogenic in its genesis as many believe.

It is simply a statement of fact. The 1930’s destroyed many people’s lives across the interior of North America due to drought & extreme heat.


That decade long drought was also caused — arguably in large part — by intensive mono-crop agriculture relying heavily on ploughing and the newfangled Haber-Bosch derived chemical fertilization.

Those revolutionary techniques recommended by the USDA served to not only destroy the topsoil through erosion, but also the water infiltration and levels of soil organic matter. The dustbowls of the 30s were actually very preventable.

Your point does still stand though, it was a brutal decade marked by little respite from heat and drought. It’s timing also coincided with widespread economic destitution, and a run up to the most brutal World War in history. Tough times.


If the Oilers has kept their draft picks in 2015, not signed Lucic or Traded Hall, I suspect we would have had a few deep playoff runs already🙄


I’m on the Montreal Canadiens bandwagon.

If I’m Hall I offer myself up to the ghosts of the old Forum and sign there(instead of perpetual loser Boston).


And Kingston is almost Montreal, right?

Harpers Hair


Speaking with a few sources, I sense odds of Oscar Klefbom starting the season are quite low. Surgery went well in regards to being able to do normal every day things (like pick up kids, he said), but being able to play in NHL without doing more damage seems low. #Oilers

Harpers Hair

Jim Matheson

Ken Holland has suspected for long time that Klefbom’s shoulder surgery would allow to life his life but playing hockey has always been very much up in air


He’s riding off in the sunset on a white stallion to LTIR land where Kesler and Lupal among others are there to greet him.

Last edited 3 months ago by Reja

On Thursday or Friday, Gregor was 99.9% sure that Klef wasn’t coming back. Now he is saying odds are low he starts the season.

This is positive news on Klef vis-a-vis Gregor.


Well even with most shoulder surgeries he wouldn’t be able to start the season

Harpers Hair

If, say, he wouldn’t return until half way through the season, it will be almost two years since he played a hockey game.

With only one more season left on his contract you have to wonder if he would even try.

Harpers Hair

I’d wager Klefbom has.


Do the end times coincide with Klefbom’s contract expiring?

If he wants to play hockey and is able, why on earth wouldn’t he sign another deal just before his 30th birthday?

Harpers Hair

I dunno.

His contract was backloaded with over $5 million due in the final year.

Once that’s done he will have banked over $40 million so not sure how eager he will be to jeopardize his health for a bit more.


Why hasn’t he already called it quits then?

Why the ruse about coming back if he’s content with the money he’s made?


because that’s the spin that is negative to the Oilers.

Harpers Hair

Because he’s still getting paid.


I meant to include LTIR in brackets above, I know he won’t retire.

If he doesn’t feel he’s fit to play he can say so, there’s no need to tell everyone he wants to play again and he is doing everything he can do do so.


Competitive people do have trouble giving up. I’m sure he heard that there was a chance and is doing everything he can to make that happen.

How realistic that is is the question of the summer.


Absolutely. All we’ve got for now is tea leaves to argue over. We should get an update from the horses mouth(s) within the next few weeks. And if Holland signs a LD for term that will be a clearer indication.


I’ll be shocked if he signs one for term. Maybe I am more optimistic than warranted but I have high hopes for both Broberg & Samorukov and expect at least one within half a season.


Yeah, but not as a top 4? Or is that what you mean?

In any case, fair enough not to block those guys going forward (signing a Martinez or Oleksiak for 3-4 years has been floated a lot here, I haven’t really been thinking about that or the implications myself; it doesn’t make a lot of sense now that you point it out).


I think Kulikov or similar is back on a one year. It is easy and Holland has a lot of other spots to fill that have no internal solution coming.


Yeah I’ve been expecting similar, but more because Klefbom might return.

I think 2 years for a higher end stop-gap could also fly, but you’re right that locking in for 3-4 years makes little sense with Broberg and Samorukov right there.


The player had surgery with the express goal of playing in the NHL again. He knew that there was no certainty he’d be able to but that was the goal, as stated by the player himself. He updated the public after the surgery. It went well. He was rehabbing and going to train with the aim of playing at some point this coming season, again, no certainty but the continuation of the goal.

If he is able to come back during the coming season, no one would be wondering why, it was the goal the entire time.

The amount of money he’s made is of no consequence to this discussion – it hasn’t changed since he stated his clear goal.


Apropos to nothing speech is often used to deflect from the truth for any number of reasons ranging from deliberate deception to internal denial.

People say all sorts of things they don’t believe on a fairly regular basis.


Can’t imagine Holland protects him in the expansion draft if this verbal is even close to true.


Maybe this stuff is speculation.

Maybe it’s totally true.

Maybe it’s some posturing in advance of not protecting him in the expansion draft.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

A return was always a very long shot. The new surgery will probably allow him to lead a relatively normal life, but will not include getting his shoulders crushed regularly by large angry NHL wingers. Nobody will be happier than me to be wrong, but this outcome was always the most likely after hearing about the type of surgery he needed.


But we still don’t know what type of surgery he had, do we? (please, fill me in if I missed something)

It’s likely he never does return, but we simply have no idea. This new verbal from the media isn’t encouraging, but until we here something directly from the player or team I don’t think there’s much point speculating.

Also, it’s clear the surgery wasn’t a shoulder reconstruction. I’m not sure why we’d think the joint would be weakened particularly.

I keep coming back to this: Klefbom has had issues with this shoulder for a long time, and he played through them for a long time. If the surgery improved things at all, it’s likely he’ll return. We have no idea one way or the other, but I don’t see why we should rule it out.


Yup. Either way it leads to the same conclusion. They are not protecting him in the draft imo.


Yes, that’s pretty clear I think.

It would be kinda funny if they protect Nurse/Bear/Jones and then all of Klefbom/Larsson/Barrie end up returning.

Harpers Hair

Can’t imagine Seattle selects him either unless they have a deal to flip his contract to a team in need of LTIR money.


That works for the Oilers too.

Sad because I liked Klef as a player even if they always had to play him above where he should have been slotted. That said he is too young to risk living in pain for the next 40-50 years and with prudent financial planning should be able to make a go of it with his multi-million dollar bank account.

Sucks for him not being able to keep doing what he clearly loved to do though.


Unlike some other sports it makes the decision not to play a lot easier when your still pulling in a cool $75000 a week.


The trick is prudent financial planning. 😉

Scungilli Slushy

Unless he was definitely coming back to start the season it wouldn’t make sense to protect him.

With the doubt alone there is no good reason for Francis to take him. They need to get off the ground correctly and I doubt the owners want to pay Oscar millions to frolic in Sweden if the gamble fails.

It is highly unlikely even if he comes back he’s 100% or will play many more seasons.


That would be my take. That said if the Oilers don’t protect Klefbom and Larsson waits until after the expansion draft to sign who does Seattle take from the Oilers? I assume that would make it 7-3-1.

Gerta Rauss

It’s a dog’s breakfast isn’t it..?

The plan should be 7-3-1 and leaving not much of anything that is appealing to Seattle

“You want Kassian..?..Kris Russell..?..Archibald..?…Koskinen..?….be my guest..”

Maybe that’ll make Seattle more amenable to discussing trade options ie:we’ll leave player X exposed if you take on player Y in a separate deal”

Gerta Rauss

I’ve come around to leaving Klefbom exposed

The chances of Seattle taking that risk is minimal, and even if they do take him, that’s $4M more cap space and the certainty that comes with a clean disposition of him

And you get to keep Benson/Jones/Lagesson etc

buck yoakam

If we make one major move this offseason please lets start in goal and take it from there…we missed out on markstrom (but by the sounds of things , not for lack of trying)…goaler then winger for Connor..third line centre (preferably right handed)…and I am a happy camper…let the kids form a bottom six line ..ok …I said one move …lets do three…yup!…


That’s exactly what I see as well Holland needs to pull his thumb out of his ass and earn that 5 million he’s receiving.


James Neal and Tyler Benson for Evander Kane.

Is the OIlers room strong enough to handle a rogue actor?


one rotten apple can spoil everything. turlechuk is killing the phlegms


I’m just brainstorming ways to get rid of the Neal contract without buying it out. There is no good way of doing it. Only trying to speculate on ways that may be less bad.


What is the league’s policy on a player retiring and being hired the next day by the team as a scout at the same pay? 😉

(Yes, it is a joke.)

Harpers Hair

Is it?

See Roberto Luongo for reference.


Don’t know but I have wondered. Remind me about Luongo.

Harpers Hair

Luongo “retired” with 3 years left on his contract rather than go on LTIR which was an obvious benefit to the Panthers.

He retired on June 26/2019 and 4 months later was hired as a “Special Advisor to the General Manager”.

Not suspicious at all. 🙂


Then it is just Darryl’s money?

Harpers Hair

Pretty much if you convince the league it’s legit.


Don’t we need a VP in charge of scouting for Sweden. Can’t be cheap to hire the right guy. 😉



Gerta Rauss

Neal for Drouin may be less bad

I’m not sure what’s going on with Drouin but if he plans to play hockey next season I’d certainly have that conversation


I’m not sure why the Habs would do that – am i missing something?

Gerta Rauss

Drouin is a distressed asset

The Oilers would have to add I think

What’s a 26 year old with $11M owing on a contract worth in today’s market..?

I don’t know why he took a leave of absence- MTL has stated publicly it is not COVID related

I doubt MTL will have a strong demand for this player if he doesn’t want to play for MTL next season – or NHL hockey at all

Worst case scenario the Oilers buy him out and save a few thousand a year on the buyout

Perhaps MTL is reluctant to buy him out with 2 years left on his deal, and would rather have a skater on the roster (and whatever asset the Oilers would send their way)

I’m just spiballing, I wouldn’t send Montreal much of anything

Last edited 3 months ago by Gerta Rauss

If we move into the trade realm, I could see something like this being reasonable

To Oilers:
OEL (2M retained by Yotes)
Rights to Garland
2021 2nd
2023 2nd

To Coyotes:

The Oilers take on 31.5M in salary and free the Yotes up to shed costs while giving them an NHL goalie and a cheap Dman, and a question make in klefbom – either a salary cap freebie or a great cheap top 4 Dman with injury history.

The Oilers get some high draft picks, a decent top 4 Dman to replace Kelf on 2nd pairing and a good middle six winger. And a goalie to platting with Smith for a year.

It’s not a panacea trade for either team, but there’s value for both organizations. I’d say it’s riskiest for the Oilers, b/c of OEL and Kelfboms potential return, but that’s part of the gamble IMO.


I have a hard time seeing a trade for the Coyotes that’s motivated by shedding salary that also involves them retaining 12m of OEL’s contract and taking on 8.5m of a contract of a player that may never play a game for them.


Easy pass for Arizona


This is quite terrible for AZ
Klefs contract is probably insured though


I mentioned the other day that I had read that it isn’t & OP suggested that he remembered reading the same thing. If his shoulder injuries go back as far as I have read he might have not been insurable.


You’re right it’s not insured


ARZ isn’t rebuilding, They have needs as well and taking our left overs isn’t a plan.
Jones is the only substance in that trade.
Kuemper is a top 10 goalie on a bad team and OEL at 6 plus million is a missive overpay
specifically when you have to Re-up Nurse.
I wouldn’t give OEL more than Klefbom $$ there virtually the same player.


Yup, I feel bad for Gorton, he may have built another successful core only to be given the “heave ho” again before the team sees the fruits of his labour. Lack of patience mixed with opportunism has doomed him. If anybody hasn’t seen my case for Gorton vs Chiarelli as the author of their cup let me know and I’ll lay it out. He’s also made some very astute moves for the Rangers. I’ve really liked his drafting in the past few years as well. I couldn’t believe it when they fired him. I’ve become a big fan.


Even if you had Ek and 16, and Barzal was on the board, would you not have taken Barzal?


Ask Don Sweeney. He had 13,14 & 15.


Jim Rutherford won a cup as the GM of Carolina in 2006, then twice with the Penguins. Lou Lamoriello is pretty solid and could still get the Islanders over the hump, and maybe Toronto would be doing better in the playoffs with him helping Dubas. Marc Bergevin was the assistant GM in Chicago for 3 cups, and maybe he gets one this year.


Great. So basically what you’re saying is that it’s next to impossible for a GM to win with two different teams in the expansion era, unless your Rutherford 🙂

Kenny is definitely not the GM that will win a cup with the Edmonton Oilers.


I agree that comparison Leavins made was a complete joke. He also talks about Holland pitching a “fastball” this summer while speculating they could lose RNH, resign Barrie and trade for OEL? Makes zero sense

Wonder Llama

Does anyone have a handle on the market value for TBL forwards?

Most of the AGMs on CapFriendly have them shedding guys like Killorn, Palat, or Johnson, with Gourde and Cirelli mentioned a little less often.

Almost everyone assumes that the ask for, let’s say Killorn, will be quite low since TB is desperate to get cap compliant.

But since all the other GMs know this, could there not still be some real competition to take advantage of this, driving the prices up?


Not a lot of teams with cap space
Johnson is the guy they would most love to move and least likely guy to be wanted
They won’t be free but won’t cost market value either

Wonder Llama

I agree Johnson is who they most want to “dispose of.”

Every year we overestimate the number and quality of UFAs the Oilers could potentially sign.

I’d overpay some for Hamilton (it might take 9M) and Saad is my favorite LW target, but I agree with those saying KH needs to make at least one hockey trade.

Killorn or Palat from TB and maybe Donskoi from the Avs?

Harpers Hair

Johnson is likely to go to Seattle in the expansion draft.


Only if they add Cirelli


If Seattle just picks Johnson in the expansion draft at least we don’t have to worry about them being competently run

Eh Team

Exactly- there would have to be a pretty big kicker involved for Seattle to take Johnson

Harpers Hair

Repeating the same mistake you made when the Canucks acquired JT Miller.

Because Miller was playing 3rd line minutes in Tampa, his scoring was suppressed..13G and 47 points in his final season there.

In the very same season, Johnson scored 29 goals and…wait for it….47 points.

Of course, when seeing 1st line minutes in Vancouver, Miller scored 27 goals and 72 points.

While Johnson may well not reach those levels, it’s a pretty good bet he would thrive with 2nd line minutes.


Johnson is a cap dump at this stage
similar players can be picked up for 1 year at a fraction of the cost


Sure the Johnson from 3 years ago absolutely
but you would be getting the current Johnson

Harpers Hair

3 years ago Cirelli was just establishing himself so Johnson was getting more minutes.

As Cirelli and Point exploded, Johnson and his cap hit became expendable in the same way that Miller’s did.

I’m pretty sure that a 29 goal scorer isn’t done at 30.


Tyler Johnson passed through waivers.

While he can surely still play some decent hockey, it is not disputable that his contract creates negative value for the player.

Harpers Hair

Pretty much every team has a player with negative value that would not otherwise be except because of the flat cap.

Hell. the Oilers have four.


Johnson would likely be available at low cost in a trade after the draft. The play would be to take another piece in the draft and trade for johnson afterwards, wouldn’t it?

Harpers Hair

Likely the best path forward and I would imagine Tampa might attach an asset to Johnson as well.

This is, looking over expected exposure lists, there are very few centres available so that adds some value.


So you go from absolutely ton of value to need to attach an asset in just a few hours. yup that makes a ton of sense

Harpers Hair

No one said he has a “ton of value” but you.


If you backpedal any faster you’re gonna fall flat on your face


I’m a big proponent of having 3 Dmen who could theoretically play 30 minutes any given game as part of the path to success.

You could make it work to have Nurse, Hamilton and Ristolainen on this team next year. That’s what I’d be shooting for. Higher end than what they currently have, more likely to be healthy/sturdy, work better with the forward makeup.


If you have Ristolainen playing 30 minutes/game, you’re in big trouble. He’s become one of the worst defensemen in the NHL. Almost every Sabre’s results get worse with him on the ice.


I’m disregarding the results of many talented Buffalo players for the last couple years. It’s a shitshow. You get caught in it.

We know first hand that those sort of seasons often don’t tell the truth.

Last edited 3 months ago by LMHF#1

Ristolainen’s poor results aren’t a result of Buffalo. He’s part of the problem.


Figuring this year but with Nurse and Ristolainen both needing raises next year and needing the D to remain no higher than approximately 24 to 26 million to allow for the forward improvement and upgrade in goal. Budget for balance of the D is going to be minuscule.


Acquisition cost would matter for Ristolainen of course.

And yes, you wouldn’t spend much on the remaining 3. Don’t need to.

Part of my argument is that giving 97 and 29 what they need in terms of the puck coming to them in the right way and having the opposition blue held is just about as important as a top 6 winger – and more important than the bottom 6.


I am still waiting for somebody to tell me why they think UFA Hamilton would pick Edmonton. If I thought there was any chance of him doing that I could get behind the idea but I just don’t see it.


Doesn’t really matter to me. I’m interested in what they *should* do. Hyper-realistic or otherwise. He’d be a great fit.


Oh, OK. I’d like Hedman from TB to anchor the defence and Matthews on McDavid’s wing then please.

Last edited 3 months ago by defmn

He still has friends in Calgary, so perhaps it might help get him here.

And #27 is available….

That’s all I’ve got…


That is more than I had. 😉

Having just moved from Calgary I’m not sure living there is a positive for Edmonton because those nasty Calgarians say a lot of bad things about their neighbours to the north.


Yes, but their children are all wearing orange jerseys with a 97 on the back 😊


Also, I been living here now for 11 yrs and there are lots of Oilers fans down here… So much so that I thought 7 years ago an Oilers-themed sports bar could be profitable in Calgary….


We know the comparable for Barrie on a Stanley Cup contending team.

Tampa signed Kevin Shattenkirk to a 1 year $2 million dollar deal. Note: they didn’t re-sign him at a higher number. They let him walk.

The big money big duratioin contracts given to Karlsson, Shattenkirk, and Yandle were all disasters. Karlsson, one could argue was due to injury, but he already had that injury when San Jose offered it.


The big money big duratioin contracts

I haven’t seen one person here in favour of big money or big duration for Barrie.

I have seen those opposed claim that is what it would take but I haven’t seen one person in favour of re-signing him advocate for that kind of contract.


Please, please, please, Seattle, sign Barrie in the negotiation window.

Just do it.

Randle McMurphy

This is seriously what you should be hoping for.

Barrie going to either the Kraken or the Oilers has a probability of 60% or higher imo.

Scungilli Slushy

Thanks for looking that up

Size isn’t the complete picture. Montreal and Tampa’s forwards are a lot more aggressive and grittier than the Oiler’s smaller players overall.

Also a better skating group IMO. Smaller, less aggressive and slower sums up the Oiler’s issues there.

Also Bear not being a skill D particularly or that good a skater, and Barrie being one dimensional and also an average skater, IMO.


“Size isn’t the complete picture”

This is what I’ve been telling my wife😉


Is she as tough on you as you are on Benson?


Who’s Benson?😉


So, yes? 😉


Haha you might be onto something 😃

Scungilli Slushy



Dont spent on UFA day and dont give term to 28+ year olds. Could pin that to the top of the home page from now to opening whistle. It applies every year.

Also keep Bear. Keep Bouchard.


I’m thinking it’s Nurse and company that really enjoy playing with Barrie ( best 5 man unit since the Russian army) I called it the moment they signed Barrie that if he hit it out of the park he would resign. Then I said either Bear are Bouchard would be traded and since Bouchard never played which lowed his value that it would be Bear traded with Mikko plus ( draft pick) for a Goaltender.


McDavid is worse with Barrie. Nurse is like Pronger. They take turds and make them smell good.


I think Bear’s done he couldn’t handle the heavy forecheck in his corner. His contract and being right handed plus his minutes on 1st pairing makes him one of the few trade chips we have.


Brilliant idea. Let’s trade away our best RHD on a value deal. What could go wrong?


That’s why you’ll get some value in return it’s not what you give it’s what you get.


Probably gets flipped for that depth center we for some reason have so much trouble finding


Get he win a face-off?


Yet Bear is a rock on the PK. After sitting for several period, pulled off the bench in double OT in the deciding game to kile a penalty instead of Barrie.

D need support to handle a heavy forecheck.

Harpers Hair

The Athletic surveyed their hockey writers about the cup final and various other topics.

Interesting that the final survey question was which team will win the Stanley Cup NEXT season.

70% picked the Colorado Avalanche.


And like 50-60% picked them this year
didnt get very far did they

buck yoakam

why don’t you marry them!


But from all accounts they were suppose to win it THIS season and failed miserably at it.

There’s nothing on the horizon that suggests NEXT season will be any different for the Colorado Joe’s.


‘member when Seravalli picked the Oilers to win the Cup after nearly advancing to the conference finals?
comment image

Harpers Hair

Ahhh…most of the Mean Girls showed up.


Good movie, btw.


will win presidents trophy and fail to advance past 3rd round because they are built for regular season and not the playoffs


Any fair weather fan can jump on and off teams at will. It’s the fans that stick with a team through thick and thin Cubbies, Red Sox, Blues that make a team special.

Randle McMurphy

How many picked the Canucks?

Do you have any units left to bet on the Avs next year?

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy

By units I think you met fingers, since I think the bookies took them all


Does Sakic survive the 2022 offseason if they don’t win a Stanley?


Win a Stanley?
can he win more than a round!!


Curious what a OEL trade would look like.
my dream scenario of course would be Hamilton at 7.5-8 per. But I would put money down on LA getting him.
I don’t see much in free agent pool otherwise.
clearly if Klef returns I would just stick with him
OEL has been crap the last few years but been on some tough teams and I think he could recover some value.
now clearly I would require retention but at 6.5 per I would have time
him and Larsson have played well internationally together
im sure he’d rather stay in AZ but I think you can only be told so many times you are not wanted


6.5 for your second pairing D with the term he has remaining and the good young left D we have matriculating shoul be a non starter in my opinion!


If Klef isn’t playing next year we have a gaping hole at 2LD that will not be filled by any matriculation
2nd pairing D isn’t quite a fair description as he would likely play 22 min a night plus


So he has been struggling and the answer for him as an Oiler is to cut back Nurses numbers. OEL may be fair value at 6.5 for 2 years of his remaining contract and then a worse anchor than Neals contract!


There is no way Holland is gonna go Larsson Bear Bouchard on right without upgrading that 2LD hole
now it may be Klef if healthy but if he’s done you need someone that can drive the pairing for 2 years


You don’t trade for a OEL with that price tag and hope he recovers and it was just Arizona holding him down. Too much at stake.


Trading for OEL is a lot like signing Turris to be your 3rd line center.

You’re betting on previous results from 3+ years ago when they were a lot younger. Why take the risk?

Randle McMurphy

It will not surprise me if Holland revamps the D.

If Klefbom/Bear/Jones are all questionable (LTIR,Trade and Kraken respectively)

I could see Kenny adding 2 more dmen (on top of Larsson and Barrie) from what looks like a pretty good list of UFA (RFA) Dmen

David Savard (30) RD
Alec Martinez(33) LD
Vince Dunn (24) LD/RD
Brandon Montour (27) LD/RD
Derek Forbort (29 ) LD

Just to name a few.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Cole or Nemeth are the way 🙂

Last edited 3 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual
Randle McMurphy

Nurse Barrie

Martinez Larsson

Oleksiak Bouchard


Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

A bit too much spent on D for my tastes. That’s looking like at least 4.5mil for each Barrie and Martinez and ~3mil for Oleksiak. Even if we shoot low on all the contract predictions, that’s still 10mil.

Randle McMurphy

I dont know what the combination will be. I just think Holland will/does prioritize Defensemen above all else. I think he might spend accordingly.

Not to mention, besides the powerplay, McDavid and Driasiatl seem to prefer to score off of the rush, in particular, the counter attack.

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy

After watching the playoffs, if Holland is looking at revamping the D before finding some scoring forwards or a #1 goaler, it’s all fucked.

Randle McMurphy

I’m not saying a revamp is likely….just that it would not surprise me.

I think we spent about $23m on Dmen this past season.


Nurse $7.5m Barrie $4.5m
Martinez $4m Larsson $4m
Oleksiak $3m Bouchard $1m
Samorukov $1m
Lagesson $1m
Broberg $1m

Is $27m….so about a $4m upgrade

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Also won’t be surprised if in this scenario, if both goalies (Walstedt and Cossa) are gone at 19, Holland takes another RHD in the draft, some like Corson Ceulemans

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

technically, Nurses raise doesn’t come into effect next year, so its just a $2m upgrade. Still lots fo monies left for LW, C, G


Patrick Russell, come on down.


Like five of them.


Why would you ever choose Barrie over Bear when Bear is younger, cheaper, and better with less minutes with 97?

Randle McMurphy

Is that you Ricki?? 🙂

Why did Bear get less minutes with 97?


Because our coach recognizes that Barrie needs to be heavily sheltered in order to succeed.


Of course he needs to be sheltered defensively. I don’t think anybody questions that.

Of course if he provided the same offence and didn’t need to be sheltered his name would be Hamilton and we would be back to talking about $8 M long term and that he is unlikely to sign here.


Bear has no offence play dies on his stick unlike Barrie who’s a point magnate and Bouchard who’s also a sponge when it comes to points.

Eh Team

Barrie is the 4th best defence man out of Bear,Larsdon, Bouchard and Barrie.


Bouchard is the best all-around D he came into training cap in game shape and for some unknown reason he was treated like a benchwarmer. I like Tippett but he’s refusal to play Bouchard and to also reunite the Leon line puts him on a short leash.


The reason for his deployment is well known. Just because you don’t agree with the reasons doesn’t mean they aren’t known.


Did the Oilers ice the best team possible I’m watching the Habs making a incredible run and it’s all on Bergevin who had the balls to create a playoff team. Do you actually believe Bouchard has been handled properly. He should of been played in the Chi-Town series when Larsson went down and been a regular all-Season including the playoffs. Please tell me this is how you treat a player of his pedigree Tippett and Holland avoid this question unless put in a corner then give a bullshit blah blah blah answer to why Bouchard is benched.


Tough to argue against playing any of the three right shot D that played in the playoffs.

Lou L. and Barry Trotz treated an exact equal pedigree player that same way last season, seems to be working out just fine.


Will see if Holland’s golden boy Broberg gets the Bouchard treatment. I have a shitload of loonies and Toonies in coffee cans over the years that I would gamble that Broberg is allowed to make mistakes without benching him. I remember when Coffey would get heckled in his first couple of years for coughing up the puck but everyone knew he would be a star just like anyone can see Bouchard is way to talented to be on a taxi squad. Bouchard is going to be 22 in October he’s not a kid anymore in the hockey world.


Broberg, who was in Edmonton in January but not even invited to training camp?

Bouchard wasn’t benched for making mistakes – he was simply 4th on the right side depth chart. He filled in for injury but, when the top 3 were healthy, the rookie was watching and learning.


Barrie is the 4th best defence man out of Bear,Larsdon, Bouchard and Barrie.

You really seem to believe this. I find it just amazing you think this is true.

Forget this season, how do you explain all of Barrie’s coaches over him career playing him so damn much. 7 years in a row he’s been over 21 minutes a night.

You think all the coaches were wrong and Barrie is in fact close to a replacement level player?

Last edited 3 months ago by jp
Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Draft talk!

I’m close to being all-aboard the Oskar Olausson train: elite shot, strong skater, and is noted for a mature two-way game (EDIT: by some accounts; less so by others). Excels at carrying the puck up the ice, too. Compares favourably with Filip Forsberg.

Last edited 3 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I had convinced myself in Early April that OO would be the Oilers target, athletic, size speed & 2-way acumen.

However, after rooting around a bit the FF comparisons are off base, his offense is shy and does not have the same kind of shot. He was on an early SHL heater and then cooled off considerably. He may not be a top 6 winger but he will be an NHL player (think Paajarvi).

My top 5 list: Cossa, Svechkov, Sillinger, Coronato, Ceulmans.

Last edited 3 months ago by €√¥£€^$
Randle McMurphy

If Walstedt and Cossa are gone before 19, Ill bet a buck on Ceulmans.


LT I wonder if you’d do a Free agent shopping expectations piece but for 2nd day and later only. So how could Holland reasonably fill the needed roles if we stayed away from day 1?

My store is closing bargain shopping

1 LW – Schwartz $4 mill 4 years
2 LW – Tatar $3 mill 1 year
2 LD – Murray $3.5 mill 2 years
3C – trade for Johnson (50% retained so $2.5 mill). Yes I’m fixated on this being a solution.
G – Mrazek $2.5 mill 2 years

Not anyone’s ideal. But is this a more balanced and improved lineup if you subtract Nuge and don’t spend on the top guys. Would keep Holland’s powder dry for a deal later and gives a ton of cap flexibility if Tatar is on a 1 year and Mrazek and Murray are on 2 year deals.


Man, those hobbit forwards just keep multiplying, and more older expensive ones.

Brandon Saad should be the target. Incredibily consistent, healthy, and reliable over a long period of time for three different organizations. Then a hobbit for the second guy if Nugent-Hopkins cannot be signed.

Buy one in the premium aisle, and then bargain shop.

Saad McDavid Puljujarvi…job #1 for Holland.

Nugent-Hopkins Draisaitl Yamamato…job #2 for Holland
(My prefered option if Nugent-Hopkins cannot be signed is Granlund).

Everything else can be stop-gapped if necessary.


I like your options but Schwartz plays bigger than his frame. Probably contributes to his seemingly annual injuries. He’s also exactly the type we need in the alleyways of playoff hockey.


He never plays though. Availability is an attribute of a player.


If the top 2 lines last year were +50% goals, shouldn’t the #1 priority for Holland to fix the 3rd line? What am I missing?


If one maintains a top tier top six over time, the third line will take care of itself with players falling out of the top six, and players rising up from the AHL.

The OIlers left wing depth chart at the moment is Devin Shore and Tyler Benson. You are apparently missing this.


Should we not assume that those players falling out of the top 6 and onto the 3rd line to be paid like top 6 players? That’s not sustainable in the cap world.


Contract management is a skill. Top six player sliding out of the top six matched with a ELC player coming up from the AHL. It is just data, one should have models for a roster out five or six years, with the models telling you what duration and salary players should be paid.


Aren’t you essentially describing the ‘white board’ Holland has talked about on numerous occasions?

I’d hope all GMs have some form of a model like this.

The problem, of course, is it’s impossible to adhere to since actual player development, improvement, aging, etc. are never terribly predictable.


Yup. You create a model so that you know when actual events require you to re-set it.

Failure to re-set is a common mistake.

Last edited 3 months ago by defmn

Yes, for sure.

Re-setting to soon also I guess 🙂


So copycat league that it is, whom will we copy? Tampa or Montreal? Of course key issue being not having a too 5 goalie. But each team has 3 lines that can score and one grind them to dust with enough skill line on the 4th.

Someone mentioned Yamamoto being unsure about top 6 role. Looking at Montreal
2 skilled centres and one who is a great two ways player.
Scoring on one wing
Two way size or speed on the other wing.

Draisatl is our two way centre with crazy skill. Huge advantage. I’d love it if we played him like Danault. Matched against other teams top centres.
McDavid is the top player in the world. Get him a scorer and a two way player (Jesse may be the two way).
We need a skilled right handed centre for the third line. Yamamoto may be the best fit as a 3RW there.
And need to supplement the wings, not necessarily with high end on both sides, but with complementary players.

So for Draisatl adding either Nuge or Saad as the two way player. Needs a scorer on the right side. Tatar can be the fall back 2LW for him. Fills two way role.

For McDavid he needs a scorer on the left. Which is why Draisatl works so well. Who is the best scorer for his wing available? That’s the big signing up front. Ensures Draisatl plays 2C and balances our group up front.

The 3C i expect to come from trade.

Randle McMurphy

I get that people don’t like judgements based on size, but it can be said of both small wingers and small defensemen, “What value do they bring if they are not scoring / not offensive threats?”

All the players we like to compare Yamamoto too, St Louis, Gallagher, Caufield, etc are all scoring machines.

Most diminutive defenseman have significant offensive upside.

Of course the Yamamoto story is still being written. He may well return to form and continue his career trajectory as a top six winger. But if he doesn’t produce offensively, is he of much use in the bottom six?

For the record, my guess would be that he adapts his game and finds success in the top six.

And then there’s health. Guys like St Louis, Gallagher, Theron Fluery, are/were built like (as my grandfather used to say) brick sh*t houses.

Then there’s the Gudreau’s and Caufield’s, but they have prolific scoring going for them.

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Scungilli Slushy

Canfield is small but he’s stocky from what I’ve noticed about him.

He also has very high hockey IQ. He’s made some good defensive plays from positioning instead of trying to hit.

His chip play on his goal was brilliant. Avoided possibly getting lit up (I think McNabb had him in the cross hairs) and created a lane to the net the also not fast McNabb couldn’t close.

I think the Oilers as an org still want everyone to hit, whether it’s smart or not. Not every player needs to to be effective, or should if they aren’t built for it, or it’s not their game.

They are also obsessed with blocking shots. It has its place, but actually being in lanes on time, consistently is far more important and effective.

You don’t have to block as many if there aren’t so many times when players have time and space to tee up.

I would wager the Oilers are blocking more in reg season games than the teams in the playoffs still do in a typical game.

Of course the more critical things are the more you sacrifice. But when it isn’t, live to fight another day (and don’t have as many injuries from it) has a lot of value.

Being smart and playing better as a team has far more value than old school bravado.

I remember Cherry even thinking it’s not the right way to play as a game plan, that says a lot.

Scungilli Slushy

Agreed. Like you years of watching leads me to judge what I see, based on experience and outcomes.

Some players are better at what the NHL demands. And have their abilities better aligned and practised.


In the regular season, the Oilers were 5th in the league in blocked shots per 60 at 14.26. Vegas was number one at 14.89. In the playoffs, Minnesota leads with almost 20 shots blocked per 60. Vegas is in 3rd with 17.6 shots blocked per 60 followed by Montreal in 4th at 15.9. Even Tampa, which only blocked 11.4 shots per 60 in the regulars season, is blocking more shots per 60 (14.49) than Edmonton did in the regular season.

Scungilli Slushy

Thanks for looking that up.

I know the Oilers aren’t the only team doing it, of course, I should have added ‘playing goalie’. Trying to make a save as Larsson broke his leg doing.

Being in the lane and getting hit is a blocked shot just as sticking your leg out of ‘closing the 5 hole’ as Larsson did when he got walked these playoff for a for a crushing goal against.

Taking the body, the normal play, was a far better option.


The two most effective LW with McDavid were Maroon and Draisaitl. The only thing they have in common is size!


Brandon Saad!


He would be my choice


I would say hockey sense more than size. They knew where to go to get the passes that they knew were coming.


Draisaitl is a phenomenal offensive player. One of the best in the league.

He’s not a good two-way player. I’m not sure where that’s coming from, but I’m guessing it’s his inflated +/- due to a ridiculous oiSV%.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great player, but most of that comes from offense. He’s nowhere as good defensively as Danault.


This article was very depressing for someone who’s been dreaming of Hamilton and Hall.

And then LT mentions Nuge leaving..yeesh!

So, the same team is returning except Nuge and Bear are gone and we get Tatar for our troubles..?

Tell me, with limited trading assets and a mediocre prospect pipeline, how does this team improve?

We’ve been waiting for internal growth for 15 years!


We have our top end players. Nurse, McDavid & Draisaitl. How many top end players can we afford with all the past mistakes still on the team in a capped league. This team needs strong complementary players and to fix the goalering.

Last edited 3 months ago by defmn
Randle McMurphy

Pools of sorrow,?


I agree with LT and defmn. Anyone dreaming of even one of Hall or Hamilton is likely going to be disappointed. The shopping list is well known – G, 1LW, 2LD, 3C – and which can be fixed depends on who is available, when, and what price. There are a lot of moving parts and I expect a long slow summer as Holland waits to see who shakes loose; the Nuge, Larsson (and Barrie?) negotiations; the health of Klefbom; and the Seattle pick and them taking on a contract. A top 6 LW with term for our 2021 first rounder+ would be my wild card.


Having Yamamoto as a top six winger at this stage is not a safe bet, come post season a bigger body is a necessity.


That is a secondary problem, that can be ameliorated at the trade deadline, or by Lavoie.

Fix the left wing.


I see Lavoie as a LW at the NHL level – played quite a bit LW for the Condors.

Woodguy v2.0

If you take away from these playoffs has been “need bigger wingers” I think you’d should look at the rosters of the final 4 and watch some games.

Top 15 scores from the playoffs so far:

Nikita Kucherov 5’11”
Brayden Point 5’10”
Alex Killorn 6’1″
Steven Stamkos 6’1″
William Karlsson 6’0″
Nathan MacKinnon 6’0″
David Pastrnak 6’0″
Tyler Toffoli 6’0″
Mathew Barzal 6’0″
Josh Bailey 6’1″
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 5’10”
Gabriel Landeskog 6’1″
Mikko Rantanen 6’4″
Anthony Beauvillier 5’11”
Nick Suzuki 5’11”

Yammo is smaller than these men, but its not a line up of large men. I have concerns about Yammo’s body holding up in the NHL given the abuse taken when getting to the scoring areas.

If any narrative about size should be coming from these playoffs its this:

“You need a Dcorps of 6’2+ agile Dmen who can pass”
“You need a forward corps who have good edges to beat the other team’s large Dmen to the scoring areas before said Dman whacks them”

VGK has some larger forwards, but on average the teams are not large up front on the whole at all.

Dmen is a different story. The final 4 team had one Dmen under 6’0″ among them and the top 4 of the final 4 teams averaged 6’2″ and most can skate too (Weber excepted)

Randle McMurphy

The term “Large” needs some definition.

Those are mostly large men on that list. Eyeballing it, they would average 6′ 190lbs. But that aside.

What they all have in common is offensive skill; They are all scoring forwards.


Size is being confused for winning battles
you need forwards that can win board battles can stretch the defense and play the whole ice


When the striped shirts put away the whistles the advantage at winning said battles goes to the larger play at least 8 out of 10 times!


Brad Marchand disagrees. Hall is not small. He loses almost all of his puck battles.


Outliers. Marchand is a rat and the refs protect him because Boston.Hall has so much skill he has never had to play in the trench’s much.


The thing is that outliers always exist and make those who only play the odds doomed to middle of the pack with all the other odds players.


Small men play this game very successfully.

Small teams? Not so much.

Rejecting a player because he is small is a mistake. Thinking there isn’t a limit on how many small players you can have on the ice at one time is the other end of the mistake.

Randle McMurphy

No need to answer now. But what do you think of Nolan Patrick as a 3C ?

Scungilli Slushy

I’m not sure the argument was ever about large, but more about not small, or really small.

What you say is true, but a lot of these guys are normal weight or heavier players.

Those that aren’t are typically top end talents or not quite, that are still 180 plus.

Really it’s more about style. If you aren’t elite you have to be in there. All forwards need to be aggressive. Not stupid, but those that get after the game, particularly the role they need to play.

Aggressive to forecheck, backcheck, have some finish when the chance comes, play the system as hard as they can.

The Oiler forwards outside of the top 2 and JP are far from this as they have been forever. The GA goes down (core hitting prime, goalies better) and the rest suck still.

I am concerned it may be partly coaching. What they are being assigned with.

Still, having skill isn’t enough. Hard two ways, aggressive, or maybe assertive. Have some finish.

The OIlers iced a lot of forwards that bigger or smaller were MacTavish non factors, for whatever reasons.

And skating. There are many games where Archibald, outside of the dynamic Duo, is mroe noticable than the rest, because he can skate well and is a buzzsaw, which gives him the right combo for his ability.


I am concerned it may be partly coaching. What they are being assigned with.

Are you thinking of Kassian?

Watching the NYI against TB I was struck by how much Clutterbuck and Martin fed off of each other in the hitting department.

Kassian must feel lonely on the Oilers.

Last edited 3 months ago by defmn

Watching the NYI against TB I was struck by how much Clutterbuck and Martin fed off of each other in the hitting department.

Kassian must feel lonely on the Oilers.

He shouldn’t, he’s looking up at Khaira and Archibald as far as hit rates.


Archibald does hit a lot and hard for his size. That is true.

I am surprised that is true of Khaira though. Hits have always been hard to quantify, of course. Like shots on net they are not all of the same quality.

Scungilli Slushy

I wasn’t referring to hitting but Kassian hasn’t been like he was used to be since before the Hawks round.

The refs aren’t treating him neutrally, I wonder of they told him to play (because he can at a decent level) and it’s messed his jam up.

Or he’s become the genius lazy artist – did you say that or BoP?


It would be great to have a better option and knock Kailer down to 3RW but there are likely more pressing needs that’s top 6RW (and we need to dispose of Kass to add that).

Caufield and Suzuki are proving that not all productive forwards in the playoffs need size.

Randle McMurphy

No. They just need to score.

Do you think Kailer does much scoring at 3RW?


Potentially sure – given him Wenberg and Benson and there could be some production.

Scungilli Slushy

Suzuki is 208 lbs

Elgin R

I would love to see Holland hold his cards this summer until the craziness is over after the first day or two or free agency. There are teams with good players that are not close to being cap compliant – looking at you TBL and your $98m playoff team.

Even with the Kraken bringing cap space to the league there will still be many opportunities to make the Oilers much better at the expense of other teams. As an example. Colorado acquired Devon Toews from the NYI on October 12th for 2 x 2nd round picks.

Until proven otherwise, I will believe (hope and pray) that Holland can and will significantly improve the team this off season. Keep your powder dry Kenny until a great deal presents itself.

Randle McMurphy

I’ll try not to be too obsessive about the titles, but

“Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me”

Does capture the myriad of thoughts and opinions and the obsessive compulsive nature of the task at hand ( roster construction/projection )

So enjoyably frustrating.

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

The two titles, yesterdays “Bargain” and todays “Across the Universe” are both spiritual in nature.

“Bargain” according to Townshend, is a love letter to God.

“Across the Universe” is a Beatles homage to their Guru and, I believe, Transcendental Meditation

Randle McMurphy

“Bargain” = “Naked, Stoned and Stabbed”


Tatar is definitely a day 3 or 4 signing. Best shot at a Barrie type of show me deal.

Nuge being done early means Holland can be patient. If he isn’t we risk the Lucid style deal happening early.

Goalie to me is too day 1 priority. Go get Ullmark or Drieger on a 2 or 3 year deal. Circle back to smith afterwards and deal with Koskinen issue later in summer when teams know what they Re willing to do cap wise. Koskinen at half salary retained and a mid level prospect would work for a team like Detroit or Buffalo.


I agree it would mean Bear dealt.

Agree also that’s probably not a good thing, but what’s the return for Bear? That could soften the blow certainly.


How can you say that’s a mistake until you know what you get for him. The Oil have some excellent young D prospects. I’d be willing to put one or two of them in the right package. It’s obviously going to be very interesting.


I guess I meant that if he were part of a “package”. Of course he wouldn’t get you a 2nd line winger without a huge diff in cap cost.


Some here rate Bear as a 1LD, others a 1/2LD. If either of those are true shouldn’t the return be more substantial than Jake DeBrusk?

Last edited 3 months ago by Sierra

Some here rate Bear as a 1LD

Nobody rates him as a 1LD 🙂

Randle McMurphy

I agree.

You don’t think other GM’s see that value?

I would think GM’s on Cap strapped teams would be licking their chops.

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy