by Lowetide

I expect the earth is moving under Ken Holland’s feet this morning. The trades yesterday, massive reduction in cap dollars from several teams who will be in competition for Zach Hyman, Adam Larsson and others, and the missed opportunity to add to Edmonton’s own protected list during a busy trade deadline Saturday.

I entered this offseason expecting some good, some bad. I think every organization has moments when the tumblers click and golden moments flow. I even think some teams have more of those than other teams because those teams make smart bets and increase their odds. Those teams are still prone to the luck of the draw, but stack the deck as much as able.

I expect Holland tried to acquire some help before the trade freeze, and I also expect he’s become aware of those shifting sands. How much for Zach Hyman? Gabriel Landeskog wants what? Free agency Day 1 is where general managers perish.


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!


Last year, day one free agency was nuts, as always. Even in the pandemic, the richest deals could choke a horse. Here are the top-10 deals from day one:

  1. St. Louis Blues signed D Torey Krug to a seven-year, $45-million deal ($6.75-million AAV)
  2. Calgary Flames signed G Jacob Markstrom to a six-year, $36-million deal ($6-million AAV)
  3. Toronto Maple Leafs signed D T.J. Brodie to a four-year, $20-million deal ($5-million AAV)
  4. Calgary Flames signed D Chris Tanev to a four-year, $18.5-million deal ($4.5 million AAV)
  5. Vancouver Canucks signed G Braden Holtby to a two-year, $8.6-million deal ($4.3-million AAV)
  6. Washington Capitals signed D Justin Schultz to a two-year, $8-million deal ($4-million AAV)
  7. Anaheim Ducks signed D Kevin Shattenkirk to a three-year, $11.7-million deal ($3.9-million AAV)
  8. New Jersey Devils signed G Corey Crawford to a two-year, $7.8-million deal ($3.9-million AAV)
  9. Minnesota Wild signed G Cam Talbot to a three-year, $11-million deal ($3.67-million AAV)
  10. Dallas Stars signed G Anton Khudobin to a three-year, $10.5-million deal ($3.5-million AAV)

How many of those look worthwhile a year later? Players who were a little or a lot disappointing included Markstrom, Holtby, Shattenkirk and Crawford. What about the days that followed? Well, the big name was signed after day one, but after that teams didn’t spent much more than $3.5 million at the high end. Better value was available after the fever broke:

  1. Buffalo Sabres sign LW Taylor Hall to a one-year, $8-million deal ($8 million AAV)
  2. Montreal Canadiens sign W Tyler Toffoli to a four-year, $17-million deal ($4.25 million AAV)
  3. Edmonton Oilers sign D Tyson Barrie to a one-year, $3.75-million deal ($3.75 million AAV)
  4. Detroit Red Wings sign G Thomas Greiss to a two-year, $7.2-million deal ($3.6 million AAV)
  5. Boston Bruins sign F Craig Smith to a three-year, $9.3-million deal ($3.1 million AAV)

If Holland can avoid spending $7.5 million on Gabriel Landeskog, or going $6 million times six on Zach Hyman, things should begin to ease once Brandon Saad and Tomas Tatar are the top options. There are a pile of goalies, so Holland might grab a partner for Mike Smith in the $3 million range.


  • July 1, 2015: Andrej Sekera ($5.5 million times six years); Mark Letestu ($1.8 million times three years)
  • July 1, 2016: Milan Lucic ($6 million times seven years)
  • July 1, 2018: Tobias Rieder ($2 million times one)
  • July 1, 2019: Mike Smith ($2 million times one)
  • October 10, 2020: Tyson Barrie ($3.75 million times one)

I think Peter Chiarelli put himself in a tough spot through July 1 free agency (and the second Kris Russell deal) when he couldn’t make a move by 2017 for just money. Holland has been frugal in the first two seasons, but set up this summer as ‘go’ time.


  • Goal: Stuart Skinner
  • Defense: Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Duncan Keith
  • Forwards: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Josh Archibald, Zack Kassian

I would have Tyler Benson over Zack Kassian and Alex Stalock instead of Stuart Skinner, and believe Dominik Kahun offers the most value for Seattle Kraken.

As has been the case since the signing of Devin Shore early in the offseason, reaction to Edmonton not getting involved in trades before the freeze was instant and angry. No doubt there was real talent moving yesterday, I think Jared McCann and Barclay Goodrow would have been excellent acquisitions. Goodrow, more of a center than McCann, would have filled the No. 3 center spot for Edmonton and came at the cost of just a depth pick.

Both men would have taken some dollars from the cap, without addressing the team’s top needs. As the top end of free agency appears to be running wild, keeping his powder dry before he signs key pieces makes sense. I would be remiss in not mentioning the enormous cap cost for Duncan Keith here, that’s a deal that is going to look beyond expensive as free agency dawns.

Edmonton has to acquire a scoring winger for Connor McDavid, a checking center for the third line, Adam Larsson or replacement, Mike Smith and another goalie. That’s five men, for about $11 million in cap.

Now, we know the club can buyout James Neal, send Kyle Turris to the minors and trade Mikko Koskinen (maybe), but may not do all of those things. Here’s a possible roster when the dust settles.

This sends Mikko Koskinen to Nashville for Borocop, keeps Turris on the roster, adds Linus Ullmark and Zach Hyman. It is not an especially creative summer, and brings back Adam Larsson and that’s currently in doubt. James Neal bought out. There’s $2.2 million in cap room. Klefbom LTIR.


You may also like

4.1 14 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

With Zach Hyman in Edmonton visiting the #oilers today, as
reported, there remains a possibility of a sign-and-trade scenario with the #leafs that could get him a max eight-year term.

Crazy Pedestrian

Huh. Staff Writers are picking Devin Shore to be Seattle’s pick from the Oilers.

Maybe their secretly Oilers fans trying to sway Seattle from picking Benson or Khaira. Picking Devin Shore would be the equivalent of Vegas choosing Griffin Rein…

Bulging Twine

I wonder if Poile has made a trade with Seattle to take Duchene


I was thinking that if the Kraken picked 30 players, some must be sent to the AHL. If this happens to Benson, the Oilers could claim him back and give him his shot (assuming no other claims).

But this got me thinking, will the Kraken farm team play Bakersfield? Not next year. They are sharing the Charlotte Checkers with Florida while they wait for their new stadium to be built in Palm Desert, CA (which is rebranded as Palm Springs).


Oilers would be apx 20th in the waiver order – he’d probably to Edmonton though.


From what I’m hearing from OP,
about what he is hearing from DFO,
and what they’re hearing from around the league…

We might be losing both Khaira and Kassian through expansion draft and trade.
While that seems good, it leaves us with Nurse as the only guy capable of really fighting.
Nurse should not be fighting anybody though.

Really hope we don’t lose Khaira – even though he shouldn’t be fighting anymore either… (concusions)


I agree that Nurse shouldn’t be fighting. Not sure we need to be too concerned about fighting in general though. You don’t have to fight the monsters and you can always engage with people your size. Sam Gagner has 10 NHL fights after all.


I think it’s just good to know that it is an option if necessary


Nice, go Sam!


I’m not overly concerned with “fighting” – I guess a team still needs a couple of guys but they had 13 fights last year…. what’s that, one every 3.5 games?

If Khaira is cleared to play then he’s cleared to fight as part of his job – his career hanging on by a thread due to head issues cannot be a true narrative – if so, then the docs clearing him better check their liability insurance, etc.

Of note, Kass fought once last season – the staged fight after his coach called him out…. Chiasson had 2 (Khaira 4, Nurse 3, Lagesson 1, Archie 1, Neal 1).


Would be nice to see Chiasson back and with Kassian leaving it is likely. Khaira at 4 and Nurse at 3 proves my point a little bit though.

Nurse should be protected and Khaira with 4 in an injured/shortened season would be missed


I can only care so much about having “fighters” when it happens once every 3-4 games and that will probably go down with teams playing less intra-division games, less “series style games” and every team in the league.

If both Kass and Khaira are gone though, yes, I do so the point. Here is hoping the Kraken take Russell.

Also, even with Frank’s tidbit tonight, I’m sure its far from 100% that Kass is dealt.


Can’t judge the requirement for physical players able to stand up for their team mates by the number of fights. Many altercations get down graded to roughing. The willingness to step in also acts as a deterrent. Almost a guarantee that without the players to step in there will be more liberties taken by the opposition. It is the law of the jungle a watered down version of eat or be eaten!


DFO podcast dropped early. Ummmm, Seravelli with a bomb re: Larsson going to market and Barrie a good chance to stay……. also, somewhat likely that Kass is on the move after the roster freeze ends

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

I guess that would lead to
Nurse – Barrie
Keith – Bear
x – Bouch

I like that for next year, not sure I love signing Barrie to term though.


Ya, I would think so.

It would probably be Russell/Bouch and, if Russell is gone in expansion, Koekkoek is signed to play with Bouch.

Sammy in the conversation but, of course, two rookies on a pairing doesn’t seem very Tippett/Playfair like.


KK doesn’t have to be signed, simply because he’s been around the organization, any more than Kulikov does.

There are plenty of 5/6 LD available in any given year for about $1Mx1yr.


Sure, I think Koekkoek would be cheaper than Kulikov and i think the staff likes him (notwithstanding he got caved most of last year).

Todd Macallan

If things shake out as above I wouldn’t mind seeing Ryan Murray signed to be the 3LD, maybe on a 1 yr Barrie type show me deal. Could provide some stability on the back end if healthy.

Bulging Twine

Not sure how much it means to Larsson to have some Swedish brethren on the team, but his good buddy Klefbom, who he speaks to “almost every day”, may not be back and the only other Swede is Lagesson who may not be on the team. Broberg and Berglun likely not making the team.


Not surprised
some still values that skill set


As self proclaimed chairman of the Tyler Benson fan club I’m obviously still incredibly frustrated with the decision to lead him unprotected.

The typical arguments against Benson seem to be:

  1. He’s just like all of our other failed prospects that fans fall in love with and overhype. In reality he’s the most substantial forward prospect that has been given the develop in the minors treatment. Perhaps Oilers fans are used to the Oilers bringing all their shiny new toys up to the big show to early (Drai, Yamo, Puljujarvi). Just because these players worked out in the end doesn’t mean that development requires or should require being thrust into the NHL too soon. Maybe because Benson didn’t get a prolonged stint when he was 20 has fans thinking he’ll never make it. Actually it is a good thing that he was left to develop.
  2. He’s too slow (sigh). Perhaps Benson is too slow, but most people seem to be certain that he is because hockey fans exist in a narrative echo chamber in which everyone who doesn’t have McDavid speed has been criticized as too slow. Draisaitl and Yamamoto were both labeled as too slow by many online “skating experts”. Many thought Matthew Tkachuk wouldn’t amount to much in the NHL because he was too slow. As I said, it may be the case that Benson is too slow, but I put zero stock in the general online label of a player being too slow. The designation is meaningless, and as I said, it just gets accepted as truth and parroted.
  3. He didn’t do anything when he was called up. One assist in seven games (as a 21 year old)is not all that impressive to be sure. Neither was Yamamoto’s one goal and one assist in seventeen games (as a 20 year old). But Yamo went back to the minors and then came up the next year, got a prolonged look on a serious skill line and crushed it. Players aren’t ready til they are. Since Benson’s seven game stint he has a whole AHL season of growth that he crushed as a point per game player. This doesn’t mean that he will succeed if on the team, but the performance in the seven game stint a couple seasons ago for a young developing player doesn’t mean they’ll never make it. Just that they weren’t ready.

If anyone bothered reading this far, I don’t know that Benson will make it as an NHL player, but I believe in his dominant youth performance, strong junior performance in spite of severe injury troubles, very strong AHL numbers (especially at 20), great work ethic and attitude, and I think the internet label of slow boots is a poor disqualifier. You can bet against him, I’ve been wrong about many players, but I believe the process is in Benson’s favour.


I’m not part of the executive like you, but I am a card carrying member of the Tyler Benson fan club. I absolutely believe he should be given a shot as third line LW. As you say, he has held his end of the bargain with respect to being a good pro. He has not had an easy road with all the injuries he sustained as a teenager.

His AHL numbers stack up favourably with many good players who will be on the UFA market.

At some point you have to ask what the fear is about. If you don’t have time for a prospect who is near a ppg in the AHL, you won’t have time for a lot of good prospects.

Get him in there, give him a shot and see what he can do.


Glad to see membership going up.


What bothers me is that the critics always use slow boots to slag Benson but fail to see his strengths such as elite passing skill and his ability to win board battles. His hockey IQ and passing ability are key in a left winger for Connor. A winger that can move the puck to Connor in stride and win board battles is paramount to the lines success. His skating while not elite is NHL caliber by what I have observed.

Scungilli Slushy

I think Benson will make it. That he is on the radar over also skilled RC Marody is a thing.

His issue isn’t so much that he isn’t a great skater, it’s that he’s that and also on the smaller side.

Double whammy. I still think he’ll do it, with a bigger C is best case. He’s probably safer than Khaira as an Oiler.


Well, Marody is pretty much a winger now……. lost his center job McLeod.


For what its worth, Gregor thinks SEA picks Russell and Seravelli thinks Khaira (and it seems most of the chatter out there is Khaira).


That’s the best news of the day. If you’re reading this Francis, Benson is definitely too slow…


Eric Francis? How many times do we think he’s seen Benson play? Once?


Even the idea that he’s a smaller player – 6’0 and 190 is miles from the 5’9 175lbs players that carry that concern. McDavid is listed at 6’1 193.

By all accounts, Benson is thick and doesn’t shy away from battles.


Benson is VERY good on the boards (at least at the AHL level)….. sneaky dirty as well (in a James Neal type of way).

Scungilli Slushy

True. But usually smaller players have plus speed.

There are set in stone parameters. But there is a reason players follow patterns, it’s what works in the NHL as it is.

Benson is shorter and lighter than average for forward. Which is fine, he has to work with what he’s got. He’s only a couple pounds heavier than Nuge, same height.

To hit the thick category for me it’s more the Coal Harbour 6 feet 200 or Suzuki at 5’11 208.


I agree with everything in your post and will add two things:

1) the narrative that he is too slow is, in my opinion, vastly over-stated – how many of these people that keep trotting out that excuse have actually seen him except for those few NHL games where he was just finding his was as a pro? From watching him in Bako, his skating isn’t nearly as “bad” as the narrative.

2) I’m not so sure he wasn’t ready this past season and, prior to the season starting, I was adamant that he (and Bouch) should stay on the taxi squad as, once assigned to Bako, that means the player was practically lost for the season due to quarantine, etc. If he was on the taxi squad to start the season, I see every chance he would have made more of an impact than the Ennis/Kahun/Nygard/Neal LW combo.


 If he was on the taxi squad to start the season, I see every chance he would have made more of an impact than the Ennis/Kahun/Nygard/Neal LW combo.

See every chance…

Do you think he’s actually better than some/all of these players? Or do you mean you think there’s a chance he’s better? Just curious, I don’t have particularly strong feelings on Benson one way or the other.


I think there is a strong chance he could have earned playing time over them.




Young Tyler talking about Seravelli and Gregor on the DFO Rundown:

Tyler Yaremchuk
They just finished the #Oilers segment… and I was very surprised.

They had some very interesting expansion picks & on top of that, Frank has some fresh info on what the Oilers blueline could look like next season

Episode drops bright and early tomorrow morning

WOAH! And a rumour about an Oilers forward getting traded…

‘You don’t expose players that there is interest in’ – @frank_seravalli


Kassian trade????


I’ll take a Kassian trade for one of those shiny G Seattle picks not named Holtby

Scungilli Slushy

Chaser is another great guy, team guy, straight ahead decent speed skater with edges like Lucic.

Contributes in a few areas at a replacement or below level.

His three Oiler seasons PPG he is .31 .17 and .20 at evens. He’s -14.

Makes a solid play or two a game – a game.

What’s the definition of insanity?

Harpers Hair

Jim Matheson (@jimmathesonnhl) Tweeted:
Suspect Oilers will circle back on UFA winger Alex Chiasson after free-agent doors open July 28. If he’s in the $1.1 mil range after making $2.1 mil, that would be better fit on the cap. He can still be a PP net-front presence.


To be our 5RW?

The All Kraken team
projected standings 35 points


Hehe. Skinner as the 13th forward.

Neal as 2nd line RW but on the positive side Koskinen didn’t make the team so there is that. 😉

Harpers Hair

Matt Larkin (@THNMattLarkin) Tweeted:
I would recommend not overreacting to certain “surprising” players left exposed. I suspect in many of those cases the teams have already made side deals and/or know whom they are losing?


Don’t see many surprises though
see lots of useful players with cap hits much larger than their usefulness


That’s a really good way to put it, leadfarmer.


Well, now that THAT is over it’s time to focus on the amateur draft. Assuming the Big 9 and the tendies are gone I’m lighting a candle for one of;

1. Cole Sillinger- terrific offensive toolkit, good size, good brain, average skater. Likely a playoff type middle six winger.
1B. Matt Coronato- he sounds very similar to me. Maybe a little smaller but a top-end engine. Both sound like playoff style middle sixes that could get you 20-25 if they explode.

3. Fyodor Svechkov- LTs math may not like him but this sounds like a defensive forward wizard who could have some offence hidden in there. Building a Phillips Danault style outscoring line should be a goal and this guy seems like a nice piece.

4. Chaz Lucius- much like the top 2, Lucius is as good a finisher as anyone in this draft. Two knocks; skating is just average and he’s had some injuries already in his short career. Without the injuries he goes top 12. He’s got Elias Lindholm comparables.

Either goalie or one of these four would make me happy. Three snipers with engine, grit and size or a Danault clone.


Sillinger Coronato or one of the goalies please


My predictions for Seattle’s roster after the expansion draft (Prediction: 4th in the Pacific)

Domi – Gourde – Donskoi
Nino – Henrique – Dadonov
Jarnkrok – McCann – Kase
Benson – Blackwell – Namestnikov

Gostisbehere – DeMelo
M. Pettersson – Dunn
Kulak – Lyubushkin


I don’t see Seattle touching Price and his contract.. Money is very valuable in a flat cap era.

Protecting Benson over Archibald/Kassian is a lot like the Shore signing. It won’t ruin the season, but it’s a symptom of a bigger problem.


What’s the cap on this?

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite

So the Price picture is getting a little more clear
Has a hip injury and may miss a significant chunk of next season


Will find out if getting surgery
but MRI showed a injury
probably a labrum


Traveling to see an expert and won’t know until after Seattle draft


So you’re saying HH doesn’t know what Price is thinking afterall? And it seems Price doesn’t want to move?

Weird, usually HH’s predictions and speculations and mind reading is bang on………….




Wonder how many teams will Seattle rescue from previous terrible decisions
lots of bad contracts to choose from

Scungilli Slushy

If you’re using stats properly you have to put them in a context of some sort.

Just throwing random numbers from random places is less than informative.

There aren’t many stat lines that are bonafide beyond doubt.

Many or even most aren’t 100% verified and remain well disputed. I don’t think their authors understand even deeply them. There are just too many holes and bad results.

Just think of all the awesome pts/60 numbered players that look far from good on the ice.

For example Khaira, who is barely an NHL player game in and out for Pete’s sake. Looks like a champ for a game or two and looks like he should be a Condor for longer stretches.

If he’s not back on the Oilers let’s see how it goes for him. Good teams don’t usually have 5v5 struggling types (all aspects not just scoring, on a consistent basis) for just for PK.

Great guy, great story, very marginal NHLer.


Agreed. But he’ll be missed.


It’s mostly coaching deployment with Khaira to me, looked much better with Ennis then Shore to my eye. Looks more at home with wings that like the board play rather then avoid it.

A strong RH 3C like Getzlaf for a season or 2 would really help Khaira iron his games. Lots of intangibles and veteran tricks he can pick up on 😎


Completely disagree that Khaira fails the eye test. He’s a big guy who can make plays at evens, plays physical, and is elite on the PK. He’s everything that Holland wants Kassian to be and more.

A smart organization (TML) was interested in him (Khaira) once upon a time.

Khaira’s offensive output (particularly last season) is fine for a bottom six player. He is unusual in that he seems to play better as a C than as a wing.

Your comment about consistency is funny. If 20 goal scorers could be more consistent, after all, they would score 40-50. Doesn’t change the fact that you need 20 goal guys in your lineup. Consistency is a skill in and of itself.

Overall, Khaira is an ideal bottom six guy, particularly if he is at 4C and not at 3C. I think he could be productive at evens with good linemates, same as many good bottom six guys.

Scungilli Slushy

I was really pulling for JJ. In his 4 more or less full time seasons, he’s .21 PPG.

I see his shifts where he makes plays and keeps the puck in the good end.

I also see lots of shifts where he does nothing, maybe gets the odd hit. Like most of his colleagues in the bottom of 6.

.21 is a replacement level player. I am so sick of not getting there. It’s got it get better. I don’t see how running too many of the suspects changes things enough. That’s all it is.


Replacement level production but add size and physicality and top end PK go with the ability to play center or wing – that’s a player I’d like to bring back from $1M (which It think Holland is trying to do).


Well at least we didnt trade futures for Matt murray, sign him to a ridiculous contract, and leave him exposed hoping he gets picked up


The contract Matt Murray signed after being acquired by the Sens was out of this world mind-boggling. Only matched by the Josh Anderson contract signing upon acquisition.


Great lecture from Leavins in his article today telling fans how smart GMs are and how “nasty” a segment of the Oilers fanbase is. Boy I was impressed by Leavins’ CV. Tremendous, I don’t know what it has to do with anything, but tremendous.

Oilers management and MSM talking down to fans: will they ever tire of that schtick? Has anyone told them that for all their talk their moves frequently don’t work out?

You would think losing so much would teach some humility…turns out not really, it just makes you stubborn and in Holland’s case more prone to fits of rage. Leavins’ point about GMs being brilliant minds is well-taken, I’m sure if Holland weren’t spending time snapping on DNB he would be curing disease or pioneering cold fusion.


To have not see the large sample size gang and the next shift gang air their different view last week, is to miss the forest. From my outsider POV there are more than a few large sampler that that aggressively talk down to the hoi polloi.




My jaw dropped reading that article.

Can you imagine doubling (tripling?) down on “trust the GM because he’s super smart” in a town like Edmonton when we’ve seen Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic and Ryan Spooner?

Then the ice cream on top.

“I too am incredibly smart (here’s my resume) but I can barely keep up in a conversation with Holland because he’s basically Stephen Hawking”.




Some have been saying this for years….Edmonton media enables Terrible Oiler Management decision making.


I wonder how little actual intelligence some of these people encounter in their professional lives. Must be a sad, sad existence.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Spot on.

There is a good reason fans are so critical, the Oilers have been the laughingstock of the league for over a decade (also, Holland has not won a trade since the salary cap was put in place, at a point, one develops a history).



This might be one of the best posts of the year.


Yeah, I think maybe Kurt needs to take a break from twitter.


At the end of the day if Leavins (whoever he is or thinks he is) writes something like this don’t give it airtime. One look at the guy’s twitter feed and it’s pretty clear he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room which tells you all you need to know. Good for him, he has some connections and got a job. Means jack shit in terms of his competency, intelligence and opinion on the team that season ticket holders like myself are paying for.


Twitter is a dangerous place to play if you have a super competitive nature that requires you to win every argument.


Or if you have so little self esteem that you can’t admit you don’t know everything

Harpers Hair

Haha…I once got into with him on Twitter and he started to tell me how many RTNDA awards he had.

When I told him that I had 3, he blocked me.


He may think he’s the smartest person in the room but is that any different than many of us in this community?


Was going to say the same.

Every room is 50-odd % ‘smartest man’ it seems.

Bulging Twine

I agree that article was incredibly arrogant and condescending. Wow!


As a franchise, the Edmonton Oilers have lost the right to expect the benefit of the doubt. As noted above, they’ve been one of the worst run teams in North American sport for over a decade.

No, we cannot trust that they know what they’re doing — history has proven them wrong too many times. No, it’s not because we’re ruled by our non-objective emotions that we question the Keith trade.

This is a franchise that burns through GM’s like they’re made of dry paper asking it’s fans to be patient. To sit quietly as the adults work. To trust in their (management) team.

This team has the best, most electrifying, hockey player on the planet and yet it’s hard to be an Oilers fan. It’s hard to be emotionally invested in them.

And that’s on management – 100% on management. And no authority-deferring writer talking down to a fan base like ours will change that.

Material Elvis

The article was a bomb for so many reasons and I usually like Leavins’ weekly. Not his finest writing.


Imagine being a fan of Kahun today….how many 4th line pluggers have been protected in previous expansion drafts?


Oilers protecting both Kassian and Archibald…..

Wonder if Ron Francis threw a chair a seeing Holland’s List.


Draft poll:
If you were the Seattle Kraken, who would you pick between Benson, Khaira and Kahun.
Click + on the name below


Tyler Benson


Jujhar Khaira


Dominik Kahun


William Lagesson


Adam Larsson


Nailer Yakumopov.


Tyson Barrie

Bulging Twine



Lennart Petrell


the kraken arent taking Benson and his 7 GP in the NHL and Holland knows it. They will take Khaira who is big tough pks and will be a hit in the community.

Goodrow wants 4 x 6 and might get it from the rangers. Def going to be over 3. If you hate kassian at 3 youll love Goodrow for 6 years at 4 million.


Why wouldn’t they take Benson? It’s nothing but upside. There are a hundred JJs in the league and one of them is available anytime. We know exactly who JJ is – a good PKer and a bunch of meh. Benson likely flames out, but his ceiling is high.


Ive rooted for Benson from day one but from the outside he is a slow ahler and Khaira is not.


His ceiling isn’t high with that lack of foot speed. If he improves in that area he may become a decent player.


Josh Archibald?

Imagine being a Tyler Benson fan today.


Last edited 1 month ago by McSorley33

Hey, we need someone who can score empty netters. Sacrifices had to be made.


Tippet’s pet


Somewhere, in a parallel reality… #HereComesTheKraken

Palat – Duchesne – Tarasenko
Voracek – Statsny – Johansson
Zucker – Krejci – Eberle
Neal – Getzlaf – Domi

Extras: Kerfoot Skinner Stepan Ladd

De Haan – Hamilton
Giordano – Stralman
Edler – Subban

Extras: Johnson DeAngelo Schultz Pateryn Stall


“The Kraken approach their first NHL draft a mere $103M over the cap.”


That is an awesome team.
Like 5-7 years ago


That’s how my draft turned out too, can’t just pick the big names or you sail over the cap. Will be very interesting what Seattle does.


Yeah, I was being purposely cheeky and exceeded the cap by around LA with more than half the league left to pillage. I suspect they’ll only select 3-4 of the above players, if even that.


The way it is shaping up the Kraken may have a 3d string goalie that is better than Oilers starter.


I like the guys they get to pick for Goaler.
Guess they will try to sell some of the others back but the prices will probably push everyone away

Harpers Hair

Jim Matheson (@jimmathesonnhl) Tweeted:
I think restricted free-agent winger Dominik Kahun is one and done here. Chances of Oilers qualifying him are less than 50-50.

Scungilli Slushy

They must have watched him play.


He contributed more than Kassian

Scungilli Slushy

Depends on how you see it.

Being a poor scorer and otherwise invisible playing a lot with the NHL’s two best scorers isn’t exactly contributing.

Kassian given the same minutes scores as much and at least provides a presence the D have to pay attention to.

But in the end they both underperformed.


I guess Matty read Nugent-Bowman’s piece from yesterday where he advised of the same after talking to Oiler management.


I wouldn’t risk qualifying him. But I would bring him back for $1 million or under.

Harpers Hair

Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) Tweeted:
Ryan Strome (protected by #NYR) drawing decent amount of trade interest. Ottawa among those teams. #goSENSgo

Harpers Hair

And, hey, whatever became of Ryan Spooner?

buck yoakam

heard he was looking for space under that bridge with you?


He just had what looks like a great season for the Dinamo Minsk.
36GP 6g-33a-39p


I think the Kraken will take Khaira – there’s a big Punjabi community here in Lower Mainland BC – they’ll be looking to poach some Dys fans – won’t be too hard, since we all know they’re a bunch of bandwagon jumpers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Diablo

It won’t be that hard they’ll have an actual NHL team to cheer for especially after the genius moves Francis will make. At least that’s what HH has been selling!😊

Randle McMurphy

Big day for HH.

He now has 31 teams to like better than the Edmonton Oilers.

Harpers Hair

I’m fairly indifferent to Anaheim.


And the whack-a-mole that some people choose to engage in with him just got around 3% more challenging.


He’s gonna wear his Dys forever.Zero attention for his weak side hustles.


I’d really like Benson to have NHL success. That said- am I right when I say that he has a 1st line skill set and has played 1st line minutes the ENTIRE career?


Over the last few months of looking at how the roster may play out at training camp, one of the things that concerns me: Why does Buffalo not re-sign Ullmark?


I’m sure they want to, but he has to agree.


Yeah, the better question is: why would Ullmark sign in Buffalo?

Harpers Hair

Rhys Jessop (@Thats_Offside) Tweeted:
Where does a Giordano-DeMelo/Pettersson-Stecher/Dunn-H. Fleury blueline rank among the Pacific teams? 2nd behind VGK?

Harpers Hair

Rhys Jessop (@Thats_Offside) Tweeted:
Given this much value being available, it could change the equation for SEA a bit. For example, I might take Adam Larsson from EDM as a UFA gamble, since replacing Fleury with him basically pulls SEA into a dead heat with VGK, and further buries a divisional rival



Crazy Pedestrian

Or… it gives Holland more money and an open roster spot to sign Hamilton.

Harpers Hair

Do you think Hamilton would sign in Edmonton?


No one knows, especially you
But I would love to hear those wailing cries from vancouver island or wherever trolls live if he did


You don’t know what Hamilton is thinking.


Only in your twisted reality!


Strong D weak at center


Better question is who the fuck is Rhys Jessop and why should I give a shit?


So weve found a way to give two expansion teams nothing of value.


Four years apart. That’s progress.


My prediction is that Khaira will be taken off the Oilers list.


It would suck a bit. I like JJ and he can contribute to the PK, energy line and has speed and “truculence”. He has demonstrated for a few years that he will fight anyone in the league to support his team.

I guess one of Khaira, Benson, or Kahun most likely??

I think Benson has the higher ceiling of the three. Losing him will suck a bit more from the Oilers perspective, simply because of the current uncertainty of what he “could be” in the NHL.

Scungilli Slushy

Other than he’s a borderline NHL player. Scoring a little bit 5v5 means you get a few season’s look. His PK adds a bit.

I say this because to me every player has to pressure the opponent. The problem with
too many Oiler players is they are in invisible in too many games.

Maybe JJ suffered from bad linemates. Maybe he’s not a good enough C and that’s the problem. Maybe it’s because he’s a Lucic type freight train skater.

Maybe it’s coaching and systems. I want players that are like Archie. After the opponent and puck always. At least take their time away, every shift.

Last edited 1 month ago by Scungilli Slushy

Agreed SS.


Solid intel from Leavins this morning that Bear is now back in Edmonton training….. he was back in the Okanagan earlier this off-season and that is where he spent last off-season.

Lets not forget, we believe a big reason why he popped coming in to 2019/20 was the reported lifestyle change and great summer of training he had. That occurred in Edmonton.

Last off-season, he prepared for the season in BC and, from accounts, was not in the same type of shape when he showed up to camp.

The fact he’s back in Edmonton is very encouraging, at least to me – I may be straw-grasping but still.


This is very encouraging. I don’t think you are grasping at straws here. Also last year he did not have a contract with the team. Maybe a “technicality”, but I think it affects his mindset a bit.


Good cause im still halfway worried that we bring back both Larsson and Barrie

Randle McMurphy

Bigger concern is that they bring back neither.


I think he spent that first offseason on general fitness, cardio etc. Last summer I think I read he was working more on beefing up to deal with the the perception he got pushed off the puck a bit easy in one on one battles like by Toews in the play in series. Might have neglected the cardio a bit and with any extra bulk it might have affected his quickness and conditioning compared to the prior year. Sometimes it’s better to to improve what you are good at to offset a weakness rather than trying to do something your body may not be cut out for.


That was my read as well!

Harpers Hair

Pierre LeBrun


It’s a hefty contract to be sure, but I’m told the Seattle Kraken are taking a deep dive internally on whether or not to take Carey Price in the expansion draft. My guess is they don’t in the end,

Eh Team

I wonder if they pick Price and then flip him back to Montreal with salary retained for picks and/or younger exempt players


NMC, doubt Price wants to be used and abused like an asset and they would need him to play along

Harpers Hair

There is growing speculation that Price actually requested this move.


Sure he did, Sure

Scungilli Slushy

For the Kraken Francis has an MO, he will add skill first with a mind to the cap and flesh it out as he goes.

He ends up with decent forwards to choose. Is he able to offer to take Tarasenko if St Louis retains? I’m not sure but if he is but wouldn’t be surprised.


Just as there are/were several surprises in the team protected lists.
I fully expect a number of head scratchers on Seattle’s final selection list.


There’s $2.2 million in cap room. Klefbom LTIR.

If they can make paper transactions to get cap compliant on day 1 and then LTIR Oscar (and the “cap room” would be $4.1M minus the amount they were below the cap when they placed Oscar).

This would likely include sending Bouchard, McLoed and Holloway down for day 1 to get under the cap, LTIRing Oscar and then calling those players back up.

An issue is I believe that calling players up with performance bonuses that weren’t on the roster on day 1 actually has cap implications where some of their potential bonuses vest vis-a-vis the cap. I’m not exactly sure on this and will follow up with Puckpedia to figure it out.

Randle McMurphy

Is that you Chris Drury?


If they plan to waive Kassian to get cap compliant at Day 1 (in which case 31 teams could get him for nothing), why protect him in the expansion draft when only 1 team could consider taking him for nothing?


Everyone will have filled out their roster by then and presumably wouldn’t have the cap space to claim him.


Waiving someone you just protected would be funny, but in a sad way.

Scungilli Slushy

He’s too likely to be claimed. He needs to bring back assets.

Trading picks is fine, but you have to trade to get some back.


Scungilli Slushy

 Reply to Lowetide

 July 18, 2021 1:52 pm

He’s too likely to be claimed. He needs to bring back assets.

Trading picks is fine, but you have to trade to get some back.

Assets back? In a trade for Kassian? Sure, if the Oilers retain $1M so the contract is $2.2M X 3.

I don’t think the Kraken would take him if he was exposed and I’m not so sure he doesn’t slide right through waivers.

His contract likely provides negative value – at the very most, its tradeable for nothing without retention – in my opinion.

Scungilli Slushy

Maybe but I have heard multiple sources Oiler related or non that feel there are GMs that would trade for Kassian.

The NHL still loves big fast brutes and he has some skill. His contract isn’t that onerous.

If he was given top 6 minutes he would have scored as much as the ‘snipers’ Connor and Leon dragged around last season. And playoffs.


I have heard all the talk from guys like Stauffer that there would be interest in Kassian – I don’t disagree but I don’t think that means there is interest in him straight up – I think that likely means interest in Kass with salary retained.

Scungilli Slushy

Retain a bit perhaps but take a pick back.






 Reply to OriginalPouzar

 July 18, 2021 12:32 pm

Waive Kassian. It’s a simple move

Its as simple a move as exposing him in expansion, right?

I agree about that move but I don’t think current Oiler management would expose him to the rest of the league.

I would have loved if the Kraken would have taken him and Ken Holland went in to the draft and free agency with an additional $3.2M X 3 of walking away money – Ken Holland disagrees.

I would love if Kassian was exposed to waiver in October and claimed – Ken Holland very likely disagrees.

Randle McMurphy

Was this same/similar scenario available last year? and they didn’t do it?


Yes, but how do they get 18m OVER the cap- it is a copycat league after all…


Turris and Koskinen can also be waived/sent down on Day 1 if they are still on the roster. Probably not too hard to get close to full value out of Klef’s LTIR money.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jarvis

LT’s roster already has Turris assigned and Mikko traded – so, in his roster example above, those aren’t available.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

I think one of the challenges with being an LT disciple Oiler fan like most of us is that their team building is discordant with the way we’d build a team. Discordant in the most literal sense in that the moves they make make clanging noises in our brains. They are almost polar opposites to what most of us would do.

But I think most of us have to realize we’re in the vast minority. Every single Oilers writer believes in their heart that Keith’s Cup rings means more than Graves’ analytics. I’d have to assume 90% of paying Oiler fans do too. And I’m not an Edmonton guy but I can promise that almost all Sirius XM hosts, ex-players and guests would build a team the same way Ken Holland would.

We want them to trade Kassian for Filip Chytl but you all must be aware at some level it’s far more likely we move Yamamoto for Ryan Reaves.

We want some big brain like Tulsky to use our mounds of cap space to free Toronto of a 1st rounder to hold Patty Marleau for 10 minutes but we must know that concept has never even crossed an Oiler managers mind.

We hoped for our equivalent of Dubas to buy McCann for a 7th guaranteeing they’ll have someone at least as good and cheap as McCann to play 3C or have Kerfoot and only lose a 7th in expansion.

Nicholson and Holland (and Staples and Leavins and John Shannon and Shane O’Brien and so on) aren’t stupid per se they just fundamentally disagree with the way you or I would build a team.

Whats interesting is that more of us don’t follow our brains into fandom. I KNOW I like the way Carolina and Tampa and Toronto build their teams. I’ve been to Edmonton once in my life. Besides 97/29 what makes me an Oiler fan?


Vegas pretty much walked all over Graves in the playoffs, and he was playing with one of HH’s three Norris-men of the Avalanche.

Harpers Hair

Some walk.


GF% 55.56

SCF% 50.36

HDGF% 50.00

On Ice SV% .898

OZ Starts 15

DZ Starts 24


Graves is a number 4 D, playing with some elite players.

His ability to take a puck in the offensive zone and target another players shinpads/60 is through the roof
he is known as the Shinpad Slayer


Agreed and posting some mostly team driven metrics says very little about the player’s ability. We’ll see how he does on his new team. I find it interesting that the same poster thinks Sakic is one of the most intelligent GMs in the league, the player is excellent and yet for some reason Sakic is trading the player (yeah I get the expansion list conundrum he was in).

Harpers Hair

You have answered your own question.


The analytics’ gang results have been mixed at best. I looked at four of the hockey men closely associated with analytics (from my very limited POV).

Play-off record;

Dubas 7 years with the TML
DNQ x 2, SCQ loss, R1 loss x 4

Chayka 5 years with AZ Coyotes
DNQ x 4, R1 loss x 1

Dellow 1 year with Oilers and 2 with NJD
DNQ x 3

Eric Tulsky 7 years with Carolina
DNQ x 4, CF loss, R1 loss, R2 loss

Randle McMurphy

Really thoughtful and thought provoking post.

Fandom is fandom. It’s not rational.

What surprises me is that more owners don’t insist on building the way Toronto, Tampa, Carolina are doing/have done.


Acquiring elite players through the draft??
No one has thought of that before

Randle McMurphy

This comes to mind…

“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” (Voltaire)

Scungilli Slushy

Dubas signed a lot of character and they couldn’t help. Tavares was an absolute cap fiasco with who they already had.

Added ‘multiple’ past their prime good guys.

Holland added one that isn’t on a huge long term deal. The Leaf’s character guys other than Tavares, for a while, are all fourth liners , maybe third, can’t stay in the heart of the order.

Chayka added a fading and couldn’t stay on a team Phil the Thrill. How’s that working out?

So, let’s make sure we encompass the whole story when we’re whitewashing ‘analytics’.

And that said I am a firm believer in them, been here for years, but like everything new or newish it gets taken way too far.

Where is the Jetson lifestyle anyway?


I really don’t understand this post. Billionaires own hockey team. If it was just money to buy insights one of the thirty-one owners would have spent that money by now.

If it was a matter of $.5M in salaries/contracts to build out a department and $.5M for a data base, every owner would have moved to full analytic to gain a significant advantage. These owners are not dumb.


You like the way Toronto has built their team? They have some nice talent at the top of the roster that they have drafted and Dubas has done well with bringing in good value bottom 6 players. Do you think Dubas has and will get good value out of the Marner, Matthews and Tavares contracts. Very good players, but given the term of the first two and the age of the third, I think Dubas has overpaid fairly significantly on all three deals. Their D, although better this year, still isn’t great and they’re pinning their goaltending on an inexperienced Campbell. All GMs and teams have blind spots.


I think there is a non-zero chance that Kyle Turris is on the roster when the season opens.

He was outright awful last year but I can’t discount his bout with Covid and the potential effects it had on his training, his game shape and his play. There seems to be quite a few NHLers that had real bouts with Covid and poor seasons.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no way that Turris can be “counted on” to be a positive impact player but maybe he could survive. From accounts, he’s stayed in Edmonton this off-season and is training quite hard.


Goodrow, more of a center than McCann, would have filled the No. 3 center spot for Edmonton and came at the cost of just a depth pick.

If he would have signed with Edmonton – he may have zero interest in signing with Edmonton even if they did acquire his rights. He very well may be amenable to signing with the Oilers but very well could not be and will be waiting for 30 other teams to join the conversation, right?


I am concerned about what the Mike Smith contract may look like if/when it gets done.

Reports that Smith is looking for (a) multiple years and (b) “starter’s money”.

If he does get multiple years that means that there cannot be performance bonuses included – combine that with “starter’s money” and are we looking at 2 X $3M – on a plus 35 contract where there is no cap relief when assigned to the AHL or retirement?

This is looking at as much a “must walk-away” as Ducan Keith at full cap hit was…… ugh…


Reports that Smith is looking for (a) multiple years and (b) “starter’s money”.

lol yeah I would too seeing how the Keith situation was treated.

Harpers Hair

Starter’s money does not start with a 3.


You sure about that” Mr. Grubauer will sign for 3mill”?

Harpers Hair

Chris Cuthbert (@CCpxpSN) Tweeted:
Kraken will have more long term plan, but if signing Landeskog to a deal with $9 million cap hit, is this playoff ready?

Landeskog Johansen Tarasenko
Drouin Henrique Eberle
Kerfoot Gourde Tanev
Sheary Eakin Fast

Butcher Larsson
Clifton De Haan
Hagg DeMelo 


Looks like a team closer to cap hell than competing
But being in a division with two actual playoff teams with Vegas and Edmonton should get them a playoff spot


This looks like someone who has been saying how much he values cap space really not giving two shits about cap space


Has Cuthbert been talking about the value of cap space?


You and Chris don’t know what Francis is thinking.


Its true The Canucks do suck


Alright tried to do quick dirty cap friendly draft.

-Find as many RFA’s that could be resigned
– as competitive as could think of 1st year
-as few expiring contracts as possible (with players likely still able to be useful for remaining contract)
-fit under cap


1. Palat Henrique Eberle
2. Athanasiou bjugstad donskoi
3. Byron mcann Appleton (I like this line)
4. Connolly stenlund pitlick

Left over forwards selected (that might be better than one’s picked for lineup or traded with some cap retained to boost picks/prospects?):

-Carl hagelin
-Jake virtanen
-frank vatrano
-vladislav namestnikov
-ondrej kase
-nick Merkley (the devils looked like a wasteland but probably missed better selection here)


Ghost- Colin Miller
Giordano – Deangelo (getting paid to take him)
Jake Gardiner- Benning

-radim simek
-Vince dunn
(Had dekeyser might be better than deangelo pick had to swap around to fit under cap)


Ben bishop
Anton forsberg
Casey desmith

1.69 in cap space.

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite

Hard not to take tarasenko for sure

Obvious bottleneck is RHD and centers

Also sure I missed some RFA waiver exempt prospects that would be better fit than some players chosen)

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite

Sir, Appleton is the 3C of the future.


Mcann and Appleton are interchangeable parts and I like both of them as 3rd line options.


No one is going to pay you to take D’Angelo. That contract is made to be bought out


Dekeyser it is then!

Or sign barrie and Larsson and cheap out on some of extraneous picks I made just to fill.

Giordano barrie
Ghost larrson
Jake Gardiner Miller

That works backend to compensate for weak center depth options available by building a defensively geared team…

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite
Harpers Hair

A former AHL coach with a complete expansion draft breakdown.

It’s a one but revealing Twitter thread.


If you go up to Minnesota and you select Bjugstadt you need to get slapped


I don’t know if I’m pencilling Turris but If I was him I think I got the message loud and clear
Hopefully this translates into him taking his offseason training seriously


From various accounts, he has stayed in Edmonton and has been training hard for quite some time now.


Of the available selections for Seattle, who compares with the option of them signing Barrie?



Definitely be high on list looking over available and fact I’d rather sign either of those ufa’s than take what is left by oilers

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite

Kassian averages about 7.5 goals per season and 9 assists over his career.

As an Oiler for 6 seasons, he averages 8 goals per season and 11 assists.

He’s never played an entire 82 game slate, 4 seasons over 70 games played.

Best 2 seasons are leading up to covid, he’s scored in double digit goals 4 times, 2 years running shot gun to McDavid.

He’s had more penalty minutes then games played in all seasons but his 1st and last.

His first season with EDM he had 114pim in 36 games.

Last season he had 15pim in 27 games played.

I hope the Rangers aren’t reading this.

Victoria Oil

Protecting Kassian over Benson is another unforced error by Holland this week. My confidence in him is dropping fast.