Ken Holland made an interesting move yesterday, qualifying Cooper Marody (among others) thus retaining his rights. What does that mean? Marody could be part of a trade in the next few days, or he could get a real shot at making the roster in the fall. Edmonton needs skill in the bottom six, Marody and Tyler Benson (also qualified) could be part of the solution. The team declined to qualify Jujhar Khaira and Dominik Kahun, one wonders if a contract for one or both gets signed in the coming days.
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: Ideal targets for the Oilers on Day 2 of the 2021 draft
- New DNB: Oilers come under the microscope after passing on Jesper Wallstedt
- New James Mirtle: Zach Hyman is leaving the Maple Leafs, expected to sign in Edmonton shortly
- New Jonathan Willis: Zach Hyman, by the numbers
- Lowetide: If the UFA market fails, can the Oilers find their 3rd-line centre internally?
- New DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason
- New DNB: The Oilers must act fast to address their hole on defence
- DNB: Replacing Adam Larsson
- 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
- 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: 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: Finding the ideal No. 3 centre for the Edmonton Oilers
- New DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason
- DNB: Five offseason scenarios that could upend the Oilers’ best-laid plans
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
- Lowetide: The 7 Oilers roster spots GM Ken Holland must improve this offseason
CURRENT 50-MAN LIST (38)
- Goalies (6): Mike Smith, Mikko Koskinen, Alex Stalock, Stuart Skinner, Ilya Konovalov, Olivier Rodrigue
- Left Defense (8): Darnell Nurse, Duncan Keith, Kris Russell, William Lagesson, Philip Broberg, Dmitri Samorukov, Markus Niemelainen, Oscar Klefbom (inj)
- Right Defense (5): Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard, Filip Berglund, Phil Kemp, Mike Kesselring
- Center (5): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan McLeod, Tim Soderlund, Seth Griffith
- Left Wing (7): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, James Neal, Devin Shore, Tyler Benson, Dylan Holloway, Raphael Lavoie, Ostap Safin
- Right Wing (7): Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian, Kyle Turris, Josh Archibald, Cooper Marody, Kirill Maksimov
Theodor Lennstrom, Dominik Kahun and Jujhar Khaira were not qualified, my guess is player and team may circle back to see if there’s a match later in free agency.
50-MAN ON HOLLAND’S FIRST DAY (35)
- Goalies (3): Mikko Koskinen, Dylan Wells, Stuart Skinner
- Left Defense (8): Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Andrej Sekera, Brandon Manning, Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Keegan Lowe, Dmitri Samorukov
- Right Defense (7): Adam Larsson, Kris Russell, Matt Benning, Joel Persson, Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard, Ryan Mantha
- Center (6): Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kyle Brodziak, Colby Cave, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod
- Left Wing (5): Leon Draisaitl, Milan Lucic, Tyler Benson, Nolan Vesey, Ostap Safin
- Right Wing (6): Zack Kassian, Sam Gagner, Kailer Yamamoto, Josh Currie, Cameron Hebig, Kirill Maksimov
Olivier Rodrigue would be signed two weeks after Holland’s arrival, fair to call that deal to have been in the works previous to arrival. RFA’s were Tobias Rieder, Jujhar Khaira, Tyler Vesel, Colin Larkin, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ty Rattie, Robin Norell and Shane Starrett.
UFA’s were Alex Chiasson, Kevin Gravel, Alex Petrovic, Anthony Stolarz, Brad Malone, Patrick Russell and Mitch Callahan.
We can discuss if or how much Holland has improved the roster, but Oilers fans these days have baked in opinions on everything so doubt we’ll move the chains.
For me, I think Holland’s big progress was watching over kids who emerged as solutions. Ethan Bear, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto and now Bouchard, McLeod and possibly Benson and Marody represent good usage of the prospect pipeline. However, the big story in all of this is about to happen. In the coming hours:
- James Neal buyout
- Zach Hyman signing
- Tyson Barrie signing
- No. 1 goalie trade or signing (Linus Ullmark?)
- RHD signing for second pair
- No. 3 center trade or signing
Holland waited out several contracts and filled with low-cap solutions for two seasons, getting himself to free agency. He spent a substantial amount in assets and cap on Duncan Keith and that was an unusual decision based on Keith’s age and recent resume. I do think Keith will perform better than many expect, and would place him with Ethan Bear. Nurse and Bear may be the top pairing, with (say) Russell-Bouchard third pair. Who plays with Keith?
That is the question. Nick Jensen has been suggested, but I believe Holland would be looking for more of a shutdown type. Could Josh Manson be pried away from the Anaheim Ducks? And how about those Ryan Getzlaf rumours? Oilers are going to have 10 guys who qualify for the pension if this keeps going, but Getzlaf is the best available No. 3 center if he in fact would fly northeast.
I’m a fan of this move because it brings in a skilled player at no cost. Burns is a small playmaking center with great passing skills, he can also score goals. If Edmonton had chosen him in the seventh round no one would have flinched, so maybe they get him next draft. Either way, Edmonton is shopping in skill aisles consistently in procurement. That’s a good thing.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
It’s going to be a massive day in the wide world of sports, we get only a two hour slice on the Lowdown but we get our swings in starting at 10, TSN1260. Gerry Moddejonge from PostMedia will talk Edmonton Elks and the CFL’s coming season, and Jason Gregor from TSN1260’s Jason Gregor Show will talk about all the loud noises that should be happening by 11 when he pops in. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!