Do you remember what happened August 1, 2 and 3 in 2005? I’d hazard a guess most would get one of the three news stories correct, and many would get two. Three? Well, that’s a big ask.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!
- New Lowetide: Which draft prospects will be available when the Oilers pick at No. 19?
- Lowetide: Oilers 2021-22 roster projection, including trade and free agent targets
- DNB: How do Oilers fans feel about their team’s 2020-21 season?
- Lowetide: What is a reasonable trade price for Oilers to pay for Duncan Keith?
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers draft from the OHL after a season that never happened?
- DNB: Oilers are interested in trading for Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith — at a price
- Lowetide: Finding the ideal No. 3 centre for the Edmonton Oilers
- New DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ future value to the Oilers will be defined by his adaptability
- DNB: Oilers’ Connor McDavid wants ‘more consistency’ with NHL playoff officiating
- DNB: How re-signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for eight years could help and hurt the Oilers
- Lowetide: Can the Oilers’ next wave of prospects help them win a playoff series in 2022?
- DNB: Five offseason scenarios that could upend the Oilers’ best-laid plans
- Jonathan Willis: How underappreciated Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry became a Canadiens mainstay
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers return to the WHL prospect pool in the 2021 draft?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
- Lowetide: Oilers’ prospect pipeline could be at stake as AHL coach Jay Woodcroft outgrows his minor-league role
- DNB and Dom: How the Oilers should value pending UFAs
- Jonathan Willis: How the Oilers could make a Jack Eichel-level trade happen this offseason
- Lowetide: The 7 Oilers roster spots GM Ken Holland must improve this offseason
- Lowetide: Caleb Jones, Oilers reach crossroads that could land Jones in Seattle
- Lowetide: What will Oilers do if they must replace Oscar Klefbom?
- Jonathan Willis: What comes next for the Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi?
- Lowetide: Why Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod and more prospects are options for Oilers in 2021-22
- DNB: Ten teams the Oilers should be targeting for trades ahead of the Kraken expansion draft
- Lowetide: How Ken Holland’s transaction history could foreshadow the Oilers summer to come
- Lowetide: How close to NHL-ready is Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
On August 1, 2005, the Edmonton Oilers traded LW Brad Isbister to the Boston Bruins for a fourth-round pick. That pick was eventually traded to (ahem) the Boston Bruins on August 30 for Yan Stastny.
You can be forgiven for misremembering that transaction because the next day Kevin Lowe brought in Chris Pronger for Eric Brewer, Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka. It was a franchise-altering trade, an absolute moon shot.
Next day, Lowe made another astute trade, dealing center Mike York for center Michael Peca. York was a popular player, useful, but Peca could suppress opposition offense like ringing a bell. He was an underrated part of the 2006 Stanley run.
THIS YEAR’S PRONGER, PECA
The Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks are the top candidates to make a Pronger or Joe Thornton trade this summer.
From those teams, possibly available talents include Jack Eichel, John Gibson, Jakob Chychrun. Anyone else? I’d love to see Gibson in Edmonton and Chychrun is exceptional when healthy. Not sure Eichel can be afforded.
There are other names I like, Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators was mentioned in the comments section last night and would be an excellent candidate for Edmonton. There are others.
JAMES NEAL BUYOUT
Jim Matheson checked with Neal’s agent and it’s crickets over there, and of course Edmonton has multiple buyout candidates (Mikko Koskinen, Kyle Turris, Zack Kassian).
We may also see some bloated contracts traded for each other, although I’m dubious about the idea. Zack Kassian for Paul Byron, or Kassian for Brett Connolly is interesting, but these are all men with something circled in red on their resumes at this time. I’m not certain anyone can identify the players who will pull out of their current spiral.
As for Neal, his contract comparable are names like Jonathan Quick, Adam Henrique, Duncan Keith and Gustav Nyquist. A couple of productive players in there, a lot of sweetener would be required (I would guess) to make these good things happen.
In the ‘no guts, no glory’ aisle of summer shopping we have scoring machine Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues. Per 82 games in his NHL career, the Russian marksman has averaged 33.6 goals. That’s an outstanding total. Over the past two seasons, he has played a total of 34 games, scoring 7 goals.
Injury is an issue, and the $7.5 million times two on the contract also noteworthy. James Neal’s contract is $5.75 million times two, that’s a $2 million risk that you can justify. St. Louis will get better offers, in fact my guess is there are teams willing to take on the entire deal in exchange for very little in the way of assets heading to Missouri.
Ken Holland badly needs to improve the scoring on both wings. Tarasenko’s cap hit, if Edmonton buys out Neal, would be around $2 million added to the cap. Would you do Philip Broberg for Tarasenko, a deal I saw proposed yesterday online? I would not.
Today is Friday, July 9. The buyout window is open, none that I’ve seen so far but it’s 7:15 as I write this down. There is a trade freeze that is put in place July 17 and that lasts through to the expansion draft. Teams can trade between July 17-22 but only with the Seattle Kraken.
As it stands today, Adam Larsson is the biggest name vulnerable to expansion from the Oilers side. We are now in the final week before the protected lists must be submitted to the NHL. Seattle would be wise to pursue Larsson from the Edmonton list.
I have my own ideas about who should be protected, and no one I know agrees with me. Having grown up as an outsider, this appeals to me. The signing of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has changed the flavour, but the general thrust is to leave as many appetizing players available who are not part of future plans. Here is my list:
- Goalie Alex Stalock
- Defensemen Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones
- Forwards Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson, Dominik Kahun
Stuart Skinner, William Lagesson, Kris Russell, Zack Kassian, Josh Archibald, Jujhar Khaira, Devin Shore. As of now, Edmonton is losing Adam Larsson.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A packed Friday show on the Lowdown, we start at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck Podcast will join us to talk about changes in hockey television on both sides of the border. Matthew Iwanyk will talk Euros and CFL, and Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff has plenty of rumours this morning. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!