This is a blow. Adam Larsson suppressed offense, and even though we don’t have a pristine way to measure defensive excellence, Puck IQ’s tracking of this player over the years shows an impressive resume. Sail on, Skelleftea AIK throwback blue, I know you’ll enjoy Seattle and carving Kraken opponents in the coming years.
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!
- DNB: Replacing Adam Larsson
- Lowetide: Why Dominik Kahun is the best Oilers expansion option for the Kraken
- Lowetide: 5 players outside the NHL who could help the Oilers
- New DNB: Adam Larsson and free agency? Who’s on the expansion list?
- New DNB: Oilers talking to Zach Hyman’s camp
- Lowetide: Lessons learned from Oilers’ previous drafts
- Lowetide: What did the Oilers sacrifice in sending Caleb Jones to Chicago in the Duncan Keith trade?
- Jonathan Willis: Duncan Keith, by the numbers
- DNB: How Ken Holland’s overpay for Duncan Keith limits the Oilers’ offseason options
- Lowetide: 10 free agents for the Oilers to target this offseason
- Jonathan Willis: Yes or no? Have your say on 10 hypothetical Oilers trades
- Lowetide: Is this the year the Oilers find a world-class agitator in the draft?
- 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?
- 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: How re-signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for eight years could help and hurt the Oilers
- DNB: Five offseason scenarios that could upend the Oilers’ best-laid plans
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
- 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
- DNB: Ten teams the Oilers should be targeting for trades ahead of the Kraken expansion draft
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
THE DAYS AHEAD
The thoughts come quickly in the moments after surprising news, getting those thoughts in order is difficult, writng them down damned dangerous.
You’re going to hear many things about why this happened, and it’s fair to be critical of the organization for not getting a deal done. I would only say that the money ($4 million times four years) was exactly what we’d discussed on this blog going back to the beginning of the offseason.
So, I think we can speculate Larsson chose a new day, away from Edmonton where there are some tough personal memories and where his partner in crime (Oscar Klefbom) no longer plays. Sometimes it’s about finding a new home, a new place in the sun, putting sad days behind you.
I wish him the very best.
Suspect Ken Holland will check down to Tyson Barrie and it will probably cost more for the Oilers to sign the puck mover than the defender.
I mentioned previously (on the Lowdown and I believe here) that a Duncan Keith-Ethan Bear tandem was a good fit and suspect we’ll see that come to fruition. It’ll be a small pairing, and at some point Dave Tippett may shuffle, but for me that’s a pairing that should be able to move the puck. Bear is badly underrated by the fans in Edmonton at this point, one good thing is the young man isn’t going to be dealt anytime soon.
Tippett will want another shutdown blue, and Jamie Oleskiak is also off to the left coast. There are names out there, and Holland has $4 million to use if he doesn’t sign Barrie, but one suspects we’ll see a Dmitri Kulikov level player added and the organization talking about Kris Russell and William Lagesson.
Dmitri Samorukov and Philip Broberg would be considerations, but the RH side on the third pair is Evan Bouchard. It’s unlikely Tippett will run that kind of combination.
Finally a few words on Ken Holland’s summer. Signing Nuge to that contract was a solid start, the Duncan Keith transaction (in my opinion) too much by plenty given up for a player who isn’t a lock to cover those tough second pair minutes.
The Larsson exit will be seen as an extreme body blow and that’s absolutely true. Always remember that in life it isn’t what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.
Ken Holland won’t have Adam Larsson patrolling the right side defense in 2021-22, but he does have two quality youngsters who play the position. I’d bet good money on Edmonton opening the 2021-22 season with Nurse-Barrie, Keith-Bear and Russell-Bouchard on defense. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dylan McIlrath signed as No. 7 defenseman in the coming weeks, although Lagesson is valued by the organization.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A loaded show this morning, we begin at 10, TSN 1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will drop by at 10:20 to talk Larsson’s exit and Holland’s next step. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will have a full slate of topics including NBA, CFL and MLB. Corey Pronman from The Athletic will join me at 11:20 to talk 2021 NHL draft and your comments are welcome at 10-1260 text or at Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!