Houses in Motion

by Lowetide
Anton Slepyshev photo by Mark Williams

The hope is to have a minor-league team that provides useful pieces in the years that follow a specific campaign. Edmonton’s first minor-league team, the 1979-80 Houston Apollos, produced Charlie Huddy, Tom Roulston and a few cups of coffee. That was a good year.

Ideally, an NHL team develops those kids, places them in a prominent role (Huddy played top-four D in Edmonton for a long time) and solves a problem. The Oilers have been a frustrating team to watch in this area, going back 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!


Of the 19 players aged 19-24 on the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2010-11, 9 of them (47%) played in the NHL by 2014. More important, players like Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl provided the club with inside solutions to roster problems. That’s a massive advantage, a GM can look two or three years down the road and let veterans go on a team timeline. Internal solutions solving problems and staying for multiple seasons. Isn’t it better to solve a roster problem for five seasons via the farm system? Music! Here are the NHL GP for that group since 2010-11:

  1. Tomas Tatar 619 games (407 with Detroit)
  2. Gustav Nyqvist 570 games (481 with Detroit)
  3. Brendan Smith 526 games (291 with Detroit)
  4. Jakub Kindl 331 games (273 with Detroit)
  5. Joakim Anderson 205 games (all with Detroit)
  6. Cory Emmerton 139 games (all with Detroit)
  7. Brian Lashoff 136 games (all with Detroit)
  8. Jan Mursak 46 games (all with Detroit)

Two things strike me as interesting. Three men delivered in feature roles, and another played over 200 NHL games. What’s more, the large percentage of those games, especially from the two gems in the group, played a long time for the winged wheel. This is a major deal for an NHL team.

Of the 23 players aged 19-24 on the Oklahoma City Barons, 13 of them (56.5%) had played in the NHL four years later. That’s a slightly higher percentage than Detroit’s but that could be explained by losing teams turning over rosters more quickly in search of success and consistency. More important, and this is incredible, 11 of the 13 (84.6%) had either been cut loose from the club or chewed through the rope to secure their freedom. That’s an insane, insane number. Here are the Barons who made the NHL, notice the number of feature players compared to Detroit and the games spent with the Oilers.

  1. Jeff Petry 735 games (295 with Edmonton)
  2. Chris VandeVelde 278 games (28 with Edmonton)
  3. Taylor Chorney 166 games (59 with Edmonton)
  4. Colin McDonald 146 games (2 with Edmonton)
  5. Mark Arcobello 139 games (78 with Edmonton)
  6. Linus Omark 79 games (66 with Edmonton)
  7. Teemu Hartikainen 52 games (all with Edmonton)
  8. Colten Teubert 24 games (all with Edmonton)

The Petry numbers make one weep, but there’s more to this story. You know, Omark and Hartikainen were damn good players who have flourished in Europe, but the Oilers didn’t have the patience to allow them to find their way in North America. Look, VandeVelde played a long time but as a No. 4 center and you can find those guys in free agency every summer for not much cap. However, trading Petry and not giving Omark and Hartikainen a full shot means a reset. Edmonton received picks that turned into Caleb Jones and Jonas Siegenthaler for Petry, and Mark Fraser for Hartikainen. The two picks turned out, but Edmonton had no NHL presence to show for several years (although Siegenthaler was part of the 2015 deal for Cam Talbot).

Since arriving in Edmonton, Ken Holland has traded the futures of Gage Alexander, Jan Bednar, Brock Faber, Aatu Raty and a 2022 pick that belongs to Chicago. He also traded several young men who are NHL players: John Marino, Caleb Jones and the asset required to acquire Warren Foegele.

I understand it’s go time in Edmonton and the pressure is on Holland to build a winner in the short term. So, the conclusion we can draw is the DRW Model of draft and develop didn’t come from Motown to Edmonton because of the McDavid urgency. What does that mean? The next four years will be devoted to winning and the development system will have fewer prospects going through the system.

At some point over the length of Connor McDavid’s contract, Edmonton will either win the Stanley or exhaust itself trying. This model, the Oilers model, hasn’t really been about proper draft and developing for coming up on two decades now. Free agency is the main source of procurement, the draft has a beginning, no middle and a sudden end, and acquiring enough talent to find a “Huddy” for plug-and-play from the minors becomes more and more difficult.

The Oilers drafting is fine. The development coaching in Bakersfield is top drawer. This team needs to stop trading picks, in order to have inexpensive talent to feed the beast that is the NHL roster. I don’t see it happening until one of two things occur: Edmonton wins Stanley, or the McDavid era ends. I’m not saying it’s wrongheaded, but Edmonton needs to get more value from these trades or the entire thing will fold like a house of cards. I wrote at The Athletic about the low value placed on Caleb Jones recently, and those words could apply to Jeff Petry, Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark, as well as dozens of players along the way.

It’s a thing. I don’t know how an organization goes about re-thinking how to value its own assets properly. It seems to me that’s a fundamental process in team building. It’s baffling.


A fun show today, with Darnell Nurse’s signing possible during or after. TSN1260, at 10 this morning. Darrin Bauming, creator of Bonfire Sports, will join us at 10:20 to talk CFL and Week One for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. At 11, Tom Gazzola from TSN1260 will talk Darnell Nurse and Oilers summer. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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jake70 August 6, 2021 - 8:47 am

Gold Canada….woohoo!

jp August 6, 2021 - 8:51 am

Congrats to them! So cool!!

jake70 August 6, 2021 - 8:39 am

Canada in penatly kicks for gold..

Ryan August 6, 2021 - 7:50 am

One thing I’m wondering about is Holloway.

In the past a player like Holloway, would have to crack the top six to make the Oilers. Now, he presumably only needs to grab a spot at 3 LW.

Holloway, Hymen, and Foegele will give this team a look we’re not accustomed to. Throw in Yamamoto, who’s a sneaky forechecker with great edges…

Those four have the potential to give opposing dmen fits.

€√¥£€^$ August 6, 2021 - 7:32 am

Does Darnell sign today?

If he signs for less than $9 million that would be fantastic, $8.75 would be the lowest I could see. I fear it is taking so long because his agent is trying to get it to $10 million AAV.

Nurse is totally in the driver’s seat here. Based on nothing being announced thus far I predict he will get $9.5 x 8 yrs.

Ryan August 6, 2021 - 7:41 am

The Nurse contract is going to be interesting.

Nurse is a big strong player who can skate. He can eat a ton of minutes and help in all game states.

On the other hand, his stats have been bolstered considerably by playing minutes with 97. Making great outlet passes has never been his calling card.

TheGreatBigMac August 6, 2021 - 8:08 am

RNH, Leon and McDavid left some money on the table Darnell needs to too, otherwise no 8 years, 6 max maybe 4.

Scungilli Slushy August 5, 2021 - 8:05 pm

Koekkoek for me doesn’t work

He’s tall but a bone rack. NHL site at 6’2 193

I’m a lanky guy that height, medium bone structure, that is a small boned person. ‘No training for strength’ and super low body fat I might get there, looking like a scare crow. That isn’t what NHL and other pro athletes do

That is only a problem if he’s not a high skill player, and he isn’t

He can’t do what the team needs which is strong physical play, mobility and puck skill, at a level appropriate for usage

So, who is that 3 LD?

defmn August 5, 2021 - 9:21 pm

KRussell & Samorukov.

KRussell is a perfectly serviceable 3LD. I think we forget that because he has been slotted too high or wrong side for so many of his seasons here.

This is Sammy’s season to break into the league. I say they split the spot depending on progression or regression.

Scungilli Slushy August 5, 2021 - 9:50 pm

I wonder if that is the plan

Russell doesn’t gap so that is hard for OMB

Sammie is a rookie, if OMB pushes to second pair then Sammie can be mentored by Ceci

If OMB can’t push up so Sammie can get cover, I don’t see Tipp using two greenhorns together

defmn August 5, 2021 - 10:00 pm

Two rookie together on the 3rd pair will probably be difficult for Tippett but not impossible. Neither one of them is a kid anymore. They should both be ready to play those minutes.

If not Broberg is the next man up.

Not saying there won’t be mistakes made and games lost. Just that circumstances say it is time to find out if we need a new plan.

ArmchairGM August 6, 2021 - 7:19 am

Tippett likes to run his top-4 hard while his 3rd pairing gets clean air. I could see him running Samorukov-Bouchard there in-season.

Bulging Twine August 5, 2021 - 7:16 pm

The Houston Apollos. Cool name, gives the feel of a different era.

Keeper_13 August 5, 2021 - 5:29 pm

You really hit the nail on the head. Beyond frustrating watching this franchise sometimes. I strongly question whether there is a long-term plan, the timing and terms of the Keith trade, taken together with squandering yet more promising prospects, strongly indicate a certain impulsiveness.

OmJo August 5, 2021 - 6:52 pm

When you the two best forwards in hockey and can’t win a playoff game let alone a series, some impulsiveness might be justified. Personally I’m glad the playoff performance (or lack thereof) lit a fire under Holland’s ass.

Reja August 5, 2021 - 7:15 pm

Still need a goalie it’s back to 82 game schedule hopefully smith groins hold out.

Scungilli Slushy August 5, 2021 - 8:41 pm

Players that can’t cover the bet on a team with talent and a good coach should be replaced

The last two seasons were not like the 10 before

The team is better now churning those players

The loss of Larsson hurts a bit yes

But if he wanted out better he’s gone than underperforming he’s verklempt

Bulging Twine August 5, 2021 - 5:26 pm

Of the 28 skaters who laced up for the Oilers, 13 are not back with them as of yet. 15 are. Still quite the roster churn as Holland/Tippett search for the roster they like.

Bulging Twine August 5, 2021 - 8:31 pm


In order of total toi:


Bulging Twine August 5, 2021 - 8:36 pm



jp August 5, 2021 - 11:53 pm

Well I know which list I prefer.

Bling August 5, 2021 - 3:46 pm

Great post LT and I agree with all of it.

One thing I will add is that a commitment to drafting and developing has to be an organization-wide philosophy that goes from end-to-end, and by that I mean from the scouts all the way to the big league head coach, GM, and executives.

You are spot on that the drafting is quite good, as is the AHL development.

The disconnect is at the big league level. The coach yields enormous power when it comes to the last step of prospect development. If the coach is making decisions based on only their own short term interests, based on their own feelings and perhaps those of a few players, then that sabotages the work that others have put in. It has to be more data driven and there need to be multiple decision-makers involved, because the stakes are too high and it’s too easy for coaches to get it wrong.

A good example of an Oilers coach who excelled with integrating young players was Todd Nelson. I wonder how Lander’s career would have turned out if Nelson had been around a touch longer.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the ruin of the defensive depth chart is Tippett’s doing. But think about that for a second — Tippett’s discomfort erased years of work by talented scouts, coaches, and others involved in the developmental process. It’s a heroic feat of egoism. Let’s not forget, Tippett’s opinion of what is needed when it comes to D was shown to be fatally flawed when he had only 3 D to play in the OT of an elimination game. A player who he himself was in favour of acquiring — Kulikov — was scratched.

This is the quandary: the annihilation of the young D depth chart is being done at the behest of a man who got it wrong before and hasn’t won anything in the playoffs.

I am guilty of repeating myself, but that incident, the irony of it, is powerful. Tippett coached every game like it was the last, but that kind of hyper short term thinking is ruinous in any field. Tippett coached the D this past season as if he trusted no one, and by the end…he had no one to trust. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. He thought it, and then he made it so.

You may be of the opinion that the defensive depth chart is better. Whatever your take, the practice of trading away young, mobile, cost-controlled D runs counter to the way the league is going. This is less TB and COL and more…I’m not sure. I struggle to come up with an example of a team that continually trades away young D without knowing them.

JP brought up Nashville once; the difference there is they trade guys at or near their peak value, not when they’re 23.

It’s an unusual situation. If you’re doing something unusual and the results are spectacular, that’s one thing. If you are doing something unusual and the results are middling…some self-evaluation is required.

I think LT is right that the self-evaluation will come later. A smart Oilers team is not happening in the McDavid cluster, but maybe after that, and probably with a new owner.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 4:31 pm

Fairly selective memory there. First of all, while no question Nelson took over a crappy team midseason, he coached them to a .422 winning percentage. He has yet to return to the NHL as a head coach. He was great in the AHL developing players, but we don’t really know what he could do the NHL yet, where job 1 is to win. Maybe he will become a great NHL coach someday. Secondly, the only rookie who played regularly on his NHL team was Oscar Klefbom. A few other rookies got a few nominal games and that is it. Anton Lander was the only call up that got meaningful time under Nelson.

Tippett, in his first season, played Bear 71 games as a rookie at over 20 minutes a night and Jones as a rookie for 43 games. Jones got into 2 of 4 playoff games as a rookie and Bear has played in all Tippett’s playoff games with the Oilers. He was the one that gave them their shots. He move Puljujarvi up quickly and he is younger than Bear and Jones. Yamamoto wasn’t technically a rookie, but he came up from the AHL onto the second line for the rest of last season and all of this season, even when he was struggling the last half of this year. MacLeod was a late season addition and suited up for all 4 playoff games as a 21 year old rookie. He gave Jones the starting 2nd pair job and Bear the first pair job out of camp and they played themselves off of it and got replaced by better options.

OmJo August 5, 2021 - 6:48 pm

Okay but this ignores the fact that the team he coached to a .422 winning percentage had a .307 winning percentage under Eakins.

And I don’t put much value into the fact he hasn’t been an NHL head coach again yet. If Eakins can get another shot in this league, there’s very little chance Nelson won’t get his. Would anybody argue that Eakins is a better coach than Nelson?

Also, I’m not trying to shit on Eakins. Maybe he’s learned from his mistakes in Edmonton. But Nelson is a pretty successful hockey coach in his own right.

Edit: I also agree that Tippett has handled the young players well for the most part.

godot10 August 5, 2021 - 7:07 pm

Hall was also injured for roughly a third of Nelson’s games, and he lost Petry at the trade deadline.

And he had to run David Musil out for 4 games because of injuries.

godot10 August 5, 2021 - 7:02 pm

I think you are allocating to Nelson MacT’s five losses when MacT was overseeing things on the bench.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 10:24 pm

I used the record shown on his wiki page. I was pretty clear he took over a crappy team and we don’t know what he could do the NHL if given a full shot, but no one has given him one in the 5 seasons since.

Bling August 5, 2021 - 9:47 pm

I’ve given Tippett credit in the past for his development of forwards and his putting them in positions to succeed early. I’ve been vocal about that.

Initially, Tippett did put Bear in a good position, but that was following an injury in training camp. When Bear had some early struggles as a sophomore (normal, IMO), Tippett had him on a tight leash. Inexplicably so. Let’s not forget almost all of Bear’s “poor play” was attributable to a bit of a lull out a training camp, plus those games following concussion. His numbers over the course of the year were not bad at all, and he left this org a bit of a broken player confidence-wise.

That isn’t coming from nowhere — clearly that’s the message that was sent to Bear, by the coaching staff, management, and maybe players, too.

A lot more opportunity and leeway was given to a guy who was on a one year deal and another who ended up leaving.

Tippett’s good work with the forwards does not absolve him of the D situation. If one of those two becomes a top 4 D, it looks bad. If both do, it looks real bad. If team defence doesn’t improve with the assets moved out and the cap flexibility that has been sacrificed, it’s a real terrible look. You could have had a very effective, cost-controlled D; that’s something that takes 5-10 years to build up, and that’s with excellent scouting, development, and some luck.

Holland/Tippett pissed away half of it in one off-season. Yeah Bouchard is here but after that it’s a bunch of prayers.

I see a defensive core that could potentially work but one that is very, very fragile and whose range of possible outcomes is very wide. The question is, why, and if this strategy is so robust why isn’t everyone doing it instead of only the Oilers?

Victoria Oil August 5, 2021 - 2:29 pm

LT, this was one of your best and most important posts, IMHO. Just wish it wasn’t so true.

LadiesloveSmid August 5, 2021 - 2:17 pm

Koekkoek-Barrie actually had alright results on the 3rd pair together. 879 PDO (Wowzer) painted a different picture to the eye. Koekkoek-Larsson was awful, not great with Bouch either.

No tough minutes RD in Bear anymore to cover for a soft mins 3rd pair.

Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 2:16 pm

PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsAHL) Tweeted:
The AHL summer meeting is later today. This season’s playoff format is among the items on the agenda.


Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 2:17 pm

PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsAHL) Tweeted:
So, the playoff format will look like this

–Five rounds
–There will be 23 teams that qualify (six in the Atlantic, five in the North and Central, and seven in the Pacific)


Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 2:17 pm

PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsAHL) Tweeted:
-The conference finals and Calder Cup final are best-of-seven


Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 1:14 pm

For the longest time, we were without style and grace.

(And then McDavid and Draisaitl happened.)

Well this IS the time, to stop walking a line.

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.” Kenneth Mark Holland*.
Leo Buscaglia
(and by proxy Chris Frantz and David Byrne)

defmn August 5, 2021 - 1:24 pm

Always betting the odds just insures that you go broke slowly. – defmn

Revolved August 5, 2021 - 1:00 pm

Great post, LT. You hit on a few things I think are very important in this one. First, the Oilers have improved their drafting and development. Hartikainen was a sixth round pick who saw the NHL in draft +3. That is rarely successful, but now we have Benson running over the AHL and still not locked on the roster.

Second, now that we have a pipeline it is essential we don’t lose these assets before they have value. I think the most important thing here is putting them in places to succeed. Hartikainen’s last season, the Oilers has a horrible bottom six. No one could succeed there. We now have the depth to spread out the skill and give new players a chance to score. I think Yamamoto shows Tippett is willing to do this.

Last, why do bad teams have such roster instability? I don’t know that they’re just constantly mixing looking for something that works. I personally think losing leads to frustration, so coaches don’t even see the things that do work. I’m clearly still annoyed Tippett went away from his game one lineup against the Jets.

LadiesloveSmid August 5, 2021 - 12:50 pm

Wonder if you could get Holden out of Ottawa for 2/3LD. Chabot – Brannstrom – Mete left side perhaps?

LadiesloveSmid August 5, 2021 - 12:55 pm

and they signed Del Zotto

Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 12:38 pm

Very surprised Holland was able to sign Barrie with no NMC or NTC’s

godot10 August 5, 2021 - 12:58 pm

Holland was likely bidding against himself already.

I doubt there was much of a market for Barrie. Carolina had DeAngelo as a leverage option against him.

And Barrie didn’t want to go to a non-playoff team.

JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 2:22 pm

There will be some GM out there willing to trade for a dman with offense. And with his contract, Barrie could actually have tremendous trade value. You know this.

godot10 August 5, 2021 - 2:46 pm

Both Shattenkirk and Yandle had to be bought out.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 3:24 pm

Shattenkirk’s contract was $6.7 million per season with a modified-NTC and and NMC clause making it much harder to trade him basically leaving buyout as the only option.

Yandle’s was a 7 year deal at 6.4 million cap hit per season with a full NMC for 6 of the 7 years and and a modified NTC-for year 7. and he was bought out in year 6 after being close to covering the contract for the first 4 seasons.

Their contracts combined with their fall off in performance made them untradeable. Both players were signed to these contracts by new teams who couldn’t really know how these players would mesh with their team long term though Yandle, as mentioned was fine the first 4 seasons. Shattenkirk was a bust immediately in New York.

The risk on Barrie is lower a) because management already knows how he meshes in the Oilers system b) his contract is shorter than both 3 vs. 4 and 7 c) his salary is 2/3 of what those guys were paid, and even less compared to the cap hit% at time of signing. and d) he has no clauses to affect his trade value.

Every contract has risk, but Barrie’s is way less risky than either Shattenkirk’s or Yandle’s.

meanashell11 August 5, 2021 - 5:46 pm

Shattenkirk is an interesting situation. Full disclosure, I know him personally, he coached two of my kids in summer hockey. He always wanted to play for the Rags and I think he just wilted under the home town hero moniker. As soon as he had any challenge in NY he wilted. It’s too bad, he is a really great guy but could not handle the pressure he put on himself.

JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 3:50 pm

Yet there were GMs willing to sign them, despite known question marks. There always are. Like you said in an earlier thread today, all it takes is two GMs to start a bidding war.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 4:13 pm

Lots of players get bought out – every style, every position, every age, every level of cap hit.

No matter how many times you mention Shattenkirk and Yandle there is nothing that makes them being bought out relevant to the Barrie signing.

Sorry, but It had to be said.

Scungilli Slushy August 5, 2021 - 6:18 pm

All about Barrie.

A rare player who seems to more into the hockey than the money. I am sure he could have found a lot more money. As the highest scoring D in the league, regardless of anything else.

Not to forget he’s already a very rich young man.

Jones is no CFP. Not even close to Nurse. Hamilton is Barrie 7 inches taller.

Scungilli Slushy August 5, 2021 - 6:20 pm

Holland probably was thinking about OMB (Bouchard) with the no clauses.

jzed August 5, 2021 - 11:47 am

8×8 or 9×4. Less for longer, market for McD window(don’t get hurt Darnell) .

meanashell11 August 5, 2021 - 12:20 pm

I am pretty sure if those were his only choices I know which he would choose

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 11:36 am

Since 2013, the Pittsburgh Penguins have had 2 out of 9 given first round picks in the draft. They have also traded away multiple 2nds and 3rds over that time period.

Between 2015 and 2021, Washington has traded away at least 2 – 1sts, 3 – 2nds, 4 – 3rds and 2 4ths.

Since 2015, St. Louis had traded away 2 – 1sts, 3 – 2nds and others. In 2019 and 2021, they had 5 and 4 total draft picks respectively.

Since 2015, Tampa has traded 4 – 1sts, and a couple of 2nds at least.

These are the 4 most recent Stanley Cup championship teams over the last 6 years. Not all those trades worked for each of those teams. There is more than one way to build a Stanley Cup contender, but trading draft picks can be a big part of it.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 11:48 am

All depends on where the team is in the building cycle imo. Winning teams trade them, losing teams collect them.

Cycle of the NHL.

Ryan August 5, 2021 - 11:50 am

Since 2019, Ken Holland has traded:

Two second rounders, two third rounders, two fourth founders, and a 5th. (excluding trading down).

One third rounder was used in the Neal Trade, the other in the Keith acquisition.

Two fourth rounders and a 5 were for rentals. The two second rounders for AA.

Yzerman used #52 in a package to acquire Nick Leddy

He turned the #45 into #51 and #97.

Basically, Holland traded away the middle of two drafts for nothing in return.

That was a lot of rentals for a team that won one play-in game against Chicago.

wolf8888 August 5, 2021 - 12:29 pm

The 3rd rounder for Neal was a Bettman scam. It shouldn’t be included, IMO

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 12:43 pm

AA wasn’t expected to be a rental since he was an RFA. Without the Pandemic and flat cap, it is very likely Holland would have QO’d him and he might still be an Oiler. He then when out and had a good enough season in LA to justify a $2.7 million salary which is pretty equivalent to his QO salary in a rising cap scenario without the pandemic. Might have been a slight overpay at 2nds, but raking Holland over the coals for that trade and the Green trade (an injury, then retires early due to the pandemic), is blaming Holland for not anticipating the pandemic and its impact and that is a ridiculous take.

Ryan August 5, 2021 - 9:31 pm

Where did I rake Holland over the coals for the Green acquisition that I previously categorized as defensible?

Anthanasiou… You omitted that that the Kings signed him for a $1.2m x 1 year then a second $2.7m x 1 year contract. Two one-year contracts. Both of these were under his previous contract amount of $3m.

You also did not mention that they didn’t protect him in the expansion draft.

Collectively though, Holland did trade two seconds, a fourth, and a fifth to grind out a single win against the vaunted Blackhawks in a play in round. That probably wasn’t good value.

AA was a poor target to acquire. If you feel that AA is a player that helps teams win, then I respect your difference in player valuation and opinion. I would also hope that you’re under the employ of the Calgary Fames or Vancouver Canucks.

godot10 August 5, 2021 - 11:51 am

All those teams were already contenders.

LadiesloveSmid August 5, 2021 - 12:24 pm

Yep, Edmonton has won zero true playoff games since 2017. Hard to compare.

Bank Shot August 5, 2021 - 12:51 pm

I feel like Edmonton would be closer if they had used a first to get goaltending or dump the Neal contract on Arizona. I’m okay with trading firsts if it can supe up the current roster.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 1:04 pm

St. Louis missed the playoffs the year before they won the cup, and finished 3rd in their division and 12th overall the year they won the cup.

In 2012, the LA Kings traded Jack Johnson and a first round pick for Jeff Carter. They weren’t even in a playoff position on the day of the trade, and made in to the playoffs as the 8th qualifier in the Western Conference. Can’t argue they knew they were a contender.

dulock August 5, 2021 - 12:27 pm

Tampa had 2 seconds and 2 thirds in 2020. Lots of years with extra second and third round picks. That’s proper asset management. Keep rolling players off the top to add picks and prospects when young guys are ready to play.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 1:19 pm

Yup. But you have to have a full cupboard first.

Scungilli Slushy August 5, 2021 - 6:22 pm

What defmn said, and no team is built one way, never has been.

It’s about making the correct choice at the correct time, more often than not, things are fluid season to season and behind the scenes.

OriginalPouzar August 5, 2021 - 10:55 am

Tatar: 2 X $4.5M

Not cheap!

Darth Tu August 5, 2021 - 11:05 am

Going by his body of work that’s probably what he’s worth. Surprised he got it beyond day 1 of free agency though, he seemed destined to be a 1 year $3 mill option for someone the longer this went on.

godot10 August 5, 2021 - 11:38 am

All it takes is two bidders for the price to go nuts.**

**There are exceptions….Keith…to every rule.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 2:53 pm

Bowman didn’t have to trade Keith, so Holland had to at least meet his hold price. Bowman and Keith have had a long enough history that Keith would understand if Bowman wasn’t going to trade him below a certain value.

Ryan August 5, 2021 - 12:42 pm

The Devils still have tons of cap space.

It’s surprising how much actually given the two $9m d men.

Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 1:05 pm

Lots I’d speculation that Lou has a drawer full of signed contracts that he is not revealing so his colleagues don’t know how much cap space he has left.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 1:18 pm

Lou who? Tom Fitzgerald is the GM of the Devils, Lou is in New York. Another unforced error.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 1:22 pm

I believe there is a rule that contracts must be registered with the league within 24 hours of them being signed but for some that is more a suggestion than a rule.

Side August 5, 2021 - 1:36 pm


Or is this from random hockey fans on twitter?

OriginalPouzar August 5, 2021 - 5:23 pm

Lots think that Lou L. has agreements with a couple of players including Palemri but they aren’t finalizing them to give Lou some sort of leverage in additional transactions.

What in the world that has to do with the NJ Devils, noone knows, and I’m confident we won’t see someone admitting their mistake.

Sierra August 5, 2021 - 5:31 pm

So he’s not coming to Edmonton on a $1-2M contract.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 10:24 am

I would think one of the most important considerations in trading draft picks is how many spots you think you need to fill 3 to 5 years out.

Right now the Oilers have McDavid, Draisaitl, Hyman & Nuge signed long term with Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, & McLeod on RFA contracts & Foegle signed for 3 years. Kassian is also signed for 3 years although his value with the team is a matter of some debate amongst fans.

This basically means that the top 7 ‘core’ positions are occupied for the foreseeable future subject to such uncontrollables as injury or trade requests.

With Holloway pushing and Lavioe possible and this year’s pick of Bourgault it would seem that the forwards are in reasonable shape going forward. Guys will be traded for various reasons but they should return value. The remaining 5 forward spots are easily acquired through FA or by some of the above players dropping down.

The rumour mill has Nurse signing long term today and Bouchard, Broberg, Samorukov are very close to becoming important members of the defence. Barrie is signed for 3 years – to much consternation for many but I doubt he is going anywhere before the contract expires. Those 3 RFA’s will presumably get raises with their 2nd contracts but they are team controlled for some years to come.

What we have in goal is a work in progress that is uncertain and may very well require a 1st round pick traded to acquire a solution.

I don’t see that the team is in trouble for the foreseeable future due to trading draft picks. The team is getting close to balance with the obvious exception of goal.

leadfarmer August 5, 2021 - 10:21 am

For some reason trolly guy didn’t feel like posting this

Todd Macallan August 5, 2021 - 10:24 am

I see 3 reasons:

1) Oilers position
2) Canucks position
3) Avs position

Jethro Tull August 5, 2021 - 10:32 am

Unfortunately, there isn’t a trophy handed out for how much of the roster was turned over in the off season. There’s a couple of ways to look at it. Your team sucked, so you had to. Management sucked, not getting the roster contracts aligned, so you had to. On the other hand, not much movement could mean your roster is solid, or you couldn’t afford and UFAs.

You might want to come up with something a little better to troll the troll. This is pretty weak sauce. 4 out of ten.

Todd Macallan August 5, 2021 - 10:41 am

The article on the Athletic is quite in depth and is about the quality of roster changes not the quantity. It’s a good read if you have the time and access.

Jethro Tull August 5, 2021 - 10:55 am

Can’t read the article, don’t have Athletic subscription. But that graph has all kinds of problems.

Added salary by, what looks like, projected additional games won over last season, I can only assume? One wonders how that metric is extrapolated. It’s kind of close to Rickie’s pounds per height against points scored metric he touted a couple of years back.

Lot of good teams in the Avs quadrant. Lot of shitty ones in the Oilers quadrant. You sure that’s where we want to be?

Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 11:08 am

While I found the piece to be informative, especially the recognition that the LAK have taken a big step forward, it is limited to players either acquired in trade or free agency.

It does not account for progression of prospects into NHL roles.

Given teams like the Kings who have an historic prospect pipeline and gave up zero of them in the offseason maneuvering, you can expect a huge amount of internal improvement that Dom has not captured.

For example, the Oilers added Derek Ryan as 3C (more realistically a 4C) while the Kings move to acquire Danault allows them to utilize Quinton Byfield at 3C protected from the toughs by Kopitar and Danaut.

So, it’s a snapshot of moves made in the last two weeks but lacks an in-depth assessment of team building.

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 12:04 pm

Don’t know why Anaheim is not higher that #13. They did sign Brogan ‘Future Norris Winner’ Rafferty.

leadfarmer August 5, 2021 - 12:37 pm

I love it
you’ve spent months talking about LAK weaponizing their cap hit
which now turned to yeah well they’ll just get better internally

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 1:26 pm

On what do you base your conclusion that Dom doesn’t take into account progression from existing players? Its not stated anywhere in his piece how he dealt with existing players, just that he ran his model so I admit it is vague on that point. However, unless you called or emailed Dom to ask him if that is the case, you are making an assumption that he hasn’t updated the GSVA of existing players, which is pretty poor reporting.

OriginalPouzar August 5, 2021 - 5:16 pm

“Historic pipeline” – haha

Todd Macallan August 5, 2021 - 10:48 am

Edit: I was mistaken in reading the graph, the Canucks don’t look bad on there. Dom’s take on their off season is pretty in line with my own. Shedded some bad contracts, like the Garland and Dickinson additions, but massive, massive risk of long term cap debacle with OEL.

JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 10:58 am

OEL will be fascinating. He’s actually going to an even worse defensive team so you might think his performance will erode even more. But the waters might have been so toxic in Arizona last year that he recovers big time in a new setting.

Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 11:28 am

I don’t think anyone would deny the OEL contract is a huge long term risk but this is a 30 year old player so it’s fair to assume his physical skills have not disappeared.

The gamble is that OEL was a bad fit in Arizona’s low event system and could perform much better in Vancouver’s high pressure attacking style of play.

I would think who he is paired with will be a prime consideration in any improvement and, at this point, Tucker Poolman who has great wheels is the most likely…we’ll see how that works out.

Also of note, in an under rated offseason signing, the Canucks hired Brad Shaw away from the CLB as an assistant coach to work on the team’s defensive structure. He has a great rep from his work with the Jackets D.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 11:39 am

Off topic but what was the problem last season with Schmidt in Vancouver? Over rated? Bad fit? Unhappy?

JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 11:48 am

Maybe it’s as simple as going from a very good team to a bad team.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 3:41 pm

Maybe. I wasn’t sure. That was why I asked our resident Canucks expert. 😉

Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 12:06 pm

Mostly a bad fit…I expect he will do better in Winnipeg.

Also some chatter that he had some issues fitting in with the group since Covid dictated a regimen of rink and home.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 12:25 pm


Bank Shot August 5, 2021 - 12:56 pm

He’s no Brogan Rafferty!

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 1:44 pm

Wow, you don’t even wait 24 hours to try to argue from the other side of a point (I’d say Good Grief, but that saying is grossly overused on this site by a certain troll to accentuate generally bad takes). Last night, signing Nurse to a long term extension for his 27 – 35 age years is a stupid idea because some model (yeah evolving wild – big whoop) says players start declining at 24, but getting OEL is a okay bet for at least a few years at 30, and he is signed thru his 36th birthday. Nurse has been a better defenseman for most of the last 4 seasons and the gap will continue to widen considerably and he will cover a much higher percentage on whatever contract he gets from the OIlers than OEL will over the remainder of his. I mean based on your math (which is often suspect), Nurse is good for at least the first 5-6 seasons of an 8 year extension.

Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 5:46 pm

Wow…your comprehension is a little lacking.

As I said there is considerable risk in the OEL contract but did not conflate it any way with Nurse.

But now that you have, let’s examine the facts.

OEL signed his 8 year extension at the exact same age as Nurse will sign his.

Worth noting that OEL received Norris Trophy votes in that season….sound familiar?

You can argue that Nurse will age better than OEL but you have absolutely nothing other than wishful thinking to back that up.

Last night I posted extensive research done into aging curves for defensemen and it hardly supports your thinking.

its also important to note that OEL is changing teams, coaches, systems and line mates and Nurse is not and posted some unsustainable counting stats last season.

Having said all that, the direct comparison for OEL is not Nurse at all. It’s Duncan Keith for at least the next 2 seasons and the jury is still out on how that will turn out.

And, of course, Vancouver cleared $20 million in cap space and added a top 6 forward in the transaction while Holland added cap space AND spent 2 assets to acquire Keith.

Yes, its a big risk but so is Keith and for that matter so is Hyman given his age and his history of knee injuries.

Connor Garland is younger, cheaper and free of injury concerns and could well outperform Hyman over the next several seasons.

Good grief.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 11:06 pm

There is the unwarranted good grief again. A simple fact of birth dates escapes your grasp so it is clearly you who has the comprehension problem. I am reminded of the insults that Wesley frequently hurled at Prince Humperdinck that would be probably suit you. Again like before, I need to spell this out slowly for you. OEL signed his extension in July of 2018, 2 weeks before his 27th birthday, but that extension didn’t come into effect until July of 2019, just before his 28th birthday and will expire 8 years later, weeks before his 36th birthday. Nurse will sign his contract now, 8 months before his 27th birthday, it won’t take effect until 2022, 8 months before his 28th birthday, and will expire in 2030 8 months prior to his 36 birthday. Lining up their NHL calendars, and adjusting for their age differences effectively, Nurse’s 8 year extension is going into effect one season earlier than OEL’s. Put another way so you really get it, Nurse’s 8 year extension will go into effect 9 seasons after he was drafted, OEL’s went into effect 10 seasons after he was drafted.

And what line of thinking of mine do you think you are refuting. I was only addressing your logic on Nurse aging versus OEL. I never made any claims in my argument about how I thought age would affect Nurse. Who has the reading comprehension problem? You were the one that is saying OEL’s skills haven’t diminished at 30 much and wouldn’t for the next couple of years after posting your extensive research to say that Edmonton would be buying 8 years of substantial decline if they sign Nurse.

You are so desperate to try and make the Oilers look bad on this blog that you make utter garbage arguments and inconsistent ones constantly. If Edmonton does it its bad – If another team does it its good. You’re incredibly transparent.

leadfarmer August 5, 2021 - 2:22 pm

Remember what you said yesterday about players in their 30s

Side August 5, 2021 - 3:40 pm

Edit: Redbird beat me to it:

For those following along at home, HH was denigrating the potential of Nurse signing an 8 year contract at potentially $9 million at the age of 26, claiming that Nurse’s physical tools will be starting to decline.

Now, he is praising OEL, aged 30, with 6 more years on his contract and is already performing poorly, by saying he is likely not to have his physical tools disappear.

Can’t make it up. Good stuff.

John Chambers August 5, 2021 - 10:45 am

The Dom interview on Lowdown should be a must-listen.

I’ve been campaigning to him to upgrade his ranking of Ethan Bear, so hopefully 74 gets love playing on a strong possession team.

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 11:04 am

What was interesting in the article, and of significant interest to Oiler’s fans, was Dom’s summary of the VGK franchise.

After several seasons of offseason improvement Vegas took a step back this summer in order to cut costs. That meant trading Marc-Andre Fleury, the mistreated face of the franchise who just won the Vezina Trophy. For nothing but cap space.
Considering the team’s tight financials, it felt like a necessary evil to alleviate the cap crunch, but to see that space used on Evgenii Dadonov felt like a slap in the face. He’s a hugely declining asset that’s not worth his current deal. He gives the team some forward depth down the wing, but that doesn’t come close to replacing the value Fleury brought to the team. 
In the end, the Golden Knights lost nearly two wins of value in the process, but only saved $3.7 million. That’s not good enough.

I, for one, am not that worried about the Canucks. Oilers should be fighting VGK for 1st place and a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Oilers finish 1st in the Pacific – GOG!

jp August 5, 2021 - 10:28 pm

I, for one, am not that worried about the Canucks. Oilers should be fighting VGK for 1st place and a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Oilers finish 1st in the Pacific – GOG!

Another thing about this is it change relative to this past season. Not all the teams started in the same place.

Vegas was a 120 point (pro rated) team. They lost (projected) 2 wins, so 116 point team (also played in the weakest division, so there should be correction there too).

Oilers were a 105 point team. Add 4 wins they’re at 113.

The Kings added 3.5 wins, but started at 72 points. So 79 points, even with the weaponized cap space. Maybe their ‘historic’ prospect pool gets them to Bettman .500.

SJ added 3 wins, also starting at 72 points. So 79 like the LAK.

The Canucks added 2 wins, starting at 73 points. Bumps them up to 77. Should be a weaker division though, so I’d guess they jump the California teams.

The Ducks lost half a win. Subtract that from 63 points. Ugly 62.

The Flames dropped 1.5 wins, dropping them back from 81 to 78.

The poor Coyotes lost 8 projected wins. Brings them all the way back from 79 points pace last year to projected 63 this season.

So last years results plus Don’s projected changes give these final standings (figured I’d put them in a proper list):
Vegas 116
Oilers 113
Sharks 79
Kings 79
Flames 78
Canucks 77
Coyotes 63
Ducks 62

Should be a 2 horse race that isn’t even close, plus one team making the playoffs that has no business being there.

ArmchairGM August 5, 2021 - 10:21 am

“The Oilers drafting is fine. The development coaching in Bakersfield is top drawer. This team needs to stop trading picks, in order to have inexpensive talent to feed the beast that is the NHL roster.”

I’d like to see established talent traded for picks as they get pushed down the roster by the upcoming prospects and / or better UFA signings. That was the system renews itself continually.

Ryan August 5, 2021 - 10:52 am

In terms of the picks traded, you can make the argument that the Kulikov, Green, and Ennis trades were defensible.

The AA trade itself is the biggest pick trading error Holland made for Edmonton. Many vehemently defend this trade, but blame Covid on the outcome. I see it differently. Make no mistake whatever your thoughts, this was actually a major blunder.

Next up to bat is the Horawful Keith trade. Losing Jones and a 3rd… This one is perplexing, but you can’t smoke out Stan Bowman… unless your name is Kekalainen.

ArmchairGM August 5, 2021 - 11:26 am

Yeah, I really wasn’t trying to relitigate previous trades at all. In principle I have no problem trading picks for players, but it should generally be balanced with trading players for picks too.

Looking into the future a little, lets say Benson, Holloway, Lavoie and Savoie all turn into NHLers within the next 2.5 years. Now the team has too many wingers: Hyman, Nuge, Foegele, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Kassian, Benson, Holloway, Lavoie and Savoie – 10 players for 8 roster spots. That’s the time to trade some of your older, more expensive players for picks/prospects and thus renew your pipeline.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 11:43 am

Agreed. The problem for Holland up until now was too many holes and not enough plugs. That has improved substantially in the last year and we are hopefully now closer to being able to make those kinds of trades.

Oil2Oilers August 5, 2021 - 11:00 am

Kassian for a 3d round pick would help both the prospect pool and the cap situation.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 11:46 am

Coming soon I would think. Holloway’s expected arrival time probably part of the calculation.

ArmchairGM August 5, 2021 - 11:58 am

That’s exactly the type of trade I’m talking about.

leadfarmer August 5, 2021 - 10:18 am

I do hope that the Nurse contract goes similar to the Mcdavid contract where they release a high number and then settle on a smaller number

jeetz August 5, 2021 - 10:39 am

I was wondering that too

JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 10:17 am

An alternate history in a different universe. Holland trades for Keith, but forces the Hawks to retain $2 mill a year. Chicago can’t afford to pay Jones $9 mill, thereby preventing the cascading set of contracts that leads to $9 mill for Nurse.

GordieHoweHatTrick August 5, 2021 - 10:45 am

“A thousand cuts”

OmJo August 5, 2021 - 11:41 am

I’ll play devil’s advocate and ask: how much did the Heiskanen extension affect the Jones, Makar, Hamilton, and Werenski extensions? Let’s not forget, he was signed before Jones.

JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 11:54 am

I’m mostly just having fun

OmJo August 5, 2021 - 12:13 pm

All good, I’ve seen Nurses new, more expensive contract linked to the Jones signing/Keith trade a few times so wasn’t sure lol

defmn August 5, 2021 - 11:54 am

I’ll see your ‘devil’s advocate’ and raise you a “how much did success of defensive teams in the playoffs against teams built on offense” affect these signings?

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 9:57 am

The Oiler’s farm system was a mess for years.

  • Sharing AHL teams
  • Having no team and just loaning players out
  • Having coaches that wanted to win at the AHL level to get a NHL job rather than developing the young talent provided
  • Poor locations

Since the move to Bakersfield and the hiring of Woody et al, the AHL team is doing what it is supposed to do. Not much mention of Keith Gretzky lately but one might assume he is also a positive contributor.

What the team did with Klefbom (oh how I miss this player – hope he is doing well) was almost perfect. Draft +1 and +2 in SHL and then split season: 48 AHL – 17 NHL (lockout year). 9 AHL games and then up for good.

Of note, Darnell ‘the future really rich guy’ Nurse played Draft +1 and +2 in the OHL.

An NHL team should a slide at least one year of an ELC and 2 if possible to allow these young men to mature physically and mentally. Then play at least a partial year (hopefully a full year) in the AHL before the permanent jump to the NHL. Bringing players up for ‘a cup of coffee’ so that they see what is expected of them is good experience.

Anyways, the system seems to be working finally and just need Holland to STOP trading away picks even the lower ones. Look at 2015 – THREE NHL dman selected after round 3.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 10:38 am

Look at 2015 – THREE NHL dman selected after round 3.

Exceptions make for fun examples but poor rules.

I don’t think you would agree to make decisions on a player based upon a 20 game heater that was different than his historical performance and highlighting the 3 guys from 2015 is similar.

It happened once. How long before it happens again – if ever?

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 11:07 am

Don’t know if the staff will out hit one out of the park like that year. However, knowing that it HAS happened in the past should not preclude the assumption that it can happen again in the future.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 11:56 am

Agreed but 1 in a hundred is not something you bet on. Teams that are already stable and stocked can do that. Teams with holes need to get there first.

GordieHoweHatTrick August 5, 2021 - 9:57 am

“I don’t know how an organization goes about re-thinking how to value its own assets properly. It seems to me that’s a fundamental process in team building. It’s baffling.”

Beautiful. Nail meet hammer. Thanks LT.

jtblack August 5, 2021 - 10:07 am

Well, this time frame referencing 3 different GM’S …..

So maybe it is the other way around; Edmonton media and fans over value their own prospects?

GordieHoweHatTrick August 5, 2021 - 10:48 am

I am a fan. But I also see the Oilers losing more trades than they win for much of the past 10 years. I think most hockey pundits would agree that the Oilers “lose more trades than they win”. Chia did it “1 for 1” and Holland just did it.

Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 9:53 am

This roster looks pretty set to me, with the additions of one or two of our AHL’ers. Benson, Holloway.

I’d be ok if Holland’s next moves are PTO invites.

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 10:08 am

I don’t know about any PTOs. They are, for the most part, replacement-level-older players and take up valuable practice time and resources. What position would Holland look at for a PTO? Maybe LD. Would the team be better off having Sammy, Broberg and Wild Bill getting reps or a PTO guy?

Also, I do not trust Tippet in this regard given his love of old vets. If there are none around he cannot default to them as he is want to do.

Sammy in particular is a concern. He is Russian and how long is he going to play for peanuts in Bakersfield when he could make much more money at home?

Another issue is Wild Bill. Is he part of the future or not? Training camp, preseason and a few regular season games should answer that question.

Going to be a wild ride!

GordieHoweHatTrick August 5, 2021 - 10:50 am

I think this may be the crux of it -> How Tippett will deploy the kids.
Given there appears to be some new found urgency in the organization for “win now”, he may be more willing to let the rookies learn their lumps a bit more in the NHL this year.

Redbird62 August 5, 2021 - 9:51 am

The NHL didn’t give up on Linus Omark, Linus Omark gave up on the NHL. The Oilers traded him 6 years after drafting him, giving him games in 3 different seasons and plenty of opportunity to round out his game, which he really didn’t work on. After being traded to Buffalo, he got 2 assists in 13 games, and Buffalo put him on waivers for assignment to the AHL, and not a single team picked him up. He was the one who refused assignment to the AHL and instead ran back to Europe. He has played his career in a league where offensive stars can get away with not adding any other element to their game. His game wasn’t good enough offensively in the NHL that coaches would overlook his constant cheating for offense or not adhering to the assignments given. He ended up in the league he deserved.

On Hartikainen, I don’t know what if anything the Oilers offered him when he chose to head to the KHL instead. He has had a pretty good career in the KHL, though I wouldn’t use any KHL numbers from this past season (by far Hartikainen’s best) as a guide. The league was riddled with much more Covid impacts than the NHL, with many teams using 40+ different players on their rosters throughout the season. I mean Markus Granlund, who couldn’t stick with the Oilers bottom 6 last year, wasn’t far behind Hartikainen.

Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 9:45 am

Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse.
Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse.
Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse.

Tarkus August 5, 2021 - 9:47 am

Have you tried calling 911, sir?

Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 9:50 am


I keep hitting this damn button, but no one shows up 🙂

geowal August 5, 2021 - 10:23 am

Do we have a pretty firm term/cap hit reported? 8x9MM?

N64 August 5, 2021 - 11:10 am

Said “Doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “Doctor, to relieve this bellyache”
I said “Doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “Doctor, now lemme get this straight”

trencan August 5, 2021 - 9:39 am

We will know about Mc David era in the end of 23-24 season. One year before the end of Draisaitl contract ends.If he doesn’t sign a new contract we all know what will be the next steps of Connor and Darnell…

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 10:12 am

‘We’ don’t know sh*t about what the players are thinking or how the team will do. Please do not include anyone else when making outrageous statements. Just use ‘I’. Thank you.

Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 9:38 am

“and the asset required to acquire Warren Foegele.”

Subtle…… (wouldn’t want to spark a wildfire)


JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 10:23 am

Bold prediction. No one will be complaining about the Bear trade after 20 games. I like Bear, but he’s small and slow. His game is built on excellent vision, anticipation and passing skills. This could lead to a long career, but it also makes his floor lower than someone with size and speed. Foegle is big, fast and tenacious. His floor is basically where he’s at right now.

godot10 August 5, 2021 - 11:24 am

I say it will be more like this with Bear.

Bulging Twine August 5, 2021 - 5:22 pm

If he plays with Slavin he’ll probably make out fine

jp August 5, 2021 - 11:01 pm

I was thinking similar about Jones. If he plays with his brother he’s probably going to look like a quality top 4 D.

Cowboy August 5, 2021 - 9:37 am

I think Holland can do better in the trading futures game as much as most but I think the narrative is getting skewed a little. Marino was not signing in Edmonton so that trade was a win- no different than trades for pending UFA rights, honestly Jones is a #6 or 7 defenseman and was a low AAV but unfortunately also only lived up to the value of his contract, I was a massive dan of Bear and maybe not the biggest fan of the Defense or that trade but I think it was a fair 1 for 1 trade. I dont see any of these as losing value- except the cap hit of keith

Regarding Bear, two weeks before free agency his agent said on his podcast he was having important meetings in Edmonton. I think he might have been looking for a new home as the agent has no other players on Edmonton’s roster but a very good relationship with OEG- the agent is heavily involved in putting on the Bull Riding that is coming to Rogers place in November.

dessert1111 August 5, 2021 - 1:41 pm

I’ve kind of gotten the feeling that Bear might have wanted out as well – I don’t think Holland would have forced a deal, but might have been him more open to pursuing a trade that was “fair enough” and perhaps even pursuing Barrie (or Ceci) harder.

Cowboy August 5, 2021 - 1:51 pm

And this is not me saying he wanted to move but when an agent with 1 player on a roster is talking about having important meetings with that team then the player gets traded. Seems to point in that direction to me.

Bear faced some ignorance and was a face of a whole culture (did a damn good job too) maybe he wanted less weight on his shoulders

Oil2Oilers August 5, 2021 - 9:34 am

The challenge for the Oilers, beyond the lack of prospects now entering the system, is the final step of development – at least on the back end – is also now missing.

For many years Oilers rushed prospects into the NHL and into positions above their ability. Some of this was need, some of this was lack of talent in the bottom 6 or bottom pair to mentor. This looks to be improving for the forward group. There is likely enough talent in the bottom 6 now to both shelter young players like Mcleod, Benson and Holloway but also not squander their offensive talent.

This is not true for the defense. It is hard to see safe landing places for any of the defensive prospects to enter the NHL for years. Can Keith successfully partner with a young D? Recent results suggest not. Can Barrie successfully partner with a young D? Not if you want any goals prevented. Playing Keith and Barrie together seems Crazy Horse.

So what spots are left for young D to develop in? Keith and Barrie can’t do it and require babysitting themselves. Nurse will be playing though minutes and babysitting Barrie, Ceci will be taking the blame for Keith’s mistakes.

I guess it falls to the Starfish Cowboy, playing either side as required is the primary mentor/training wheels defender. God speed Mr. Russell you are now the most important link to Oilers defensive future.

JimmyV1965 August 5, 2021 - 10:14 am

The big difference today of course is the forwards are much better than the D of D. New dmen playing on the team will actually get support from a far superior group of forwards. They will have to defend far less and will have a far superior group of forwards to support them.

Although you make some good points about matching up young dmen with veterans, IMO the reports of Keith’s demise are very premature. This is not to justify an absolutely wretched trade.

Oil2Oilers August 5, 2021 - 10:57 am

I genuinely hope you are right.

I also hope Klefbom comes back for the playoffs.

Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 9:25 am

I haven’t kept up. How much can we actually afford to spend in the remaining offseason, without moving out Kassian or Koskinen?

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 10:17 am

All numbers as per Cap Friendly (though not very friendly from an Oiler’s point of view).

Current: $1.549m into LTIR
Klefbom LTIR Max: $4.167m
Sub-total: $2.168m
Yamamoto: $2m AAV (estimate)
Total Left: $168k (also known as jack sh*t)

OriginalPouzar August 5, 2021 - 10:29 am

It’s not quite right though I believe – for example, the capfriendly roster has 3 goalies on it, right?

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 11:11 am

You are correct, again, fine sir! So sending Mikko to the minors provides an additional $1.250m. New total is then: $1.418m. Upgrade description to ‘walking around money’.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 12:00 pm

But they only have 12 forwards signed with Yamo making 13 so there goes the extra more or less.

Elgin R August 5, 2021 - 2:48 pm

May have to pull a VGK and only have a limited roster during the season.

defmn August 5, 2021 - 3:45 pm

Could be. There will be juggling to get compliant on Day One but it is still a long ways to the start of the season but there might still be a trade before we get there.

Randle McMurphy August 5, 2021 - 9:19 am

Number of Edmonton draft picks on current roster 10

Number of Toronto draft picks on current roster 8

Number of Carolina draft picks on current roster 6

Number of Colorado draft picks on current roster 5

GordieHoweHatTrick August 5, 2021 - 10:01 am


Revolved August 5, 2021 - 12:30 pm

Number of Tampa Bay draft picks on current roster: 11

Number of Montreal draft picks on current roster: 7

Number of NY Islanders draft picks on current roster: 11

I would list VGK, but that seems disingenuous

jeetz August 5, 2021 - 9:04 am

The whole thing is catch 22

If the Oilers keep all their draft picks, draft and develop then the only way to not miss the McDavid window id to overpay in free agency and pure hockey trades (player for player). The whole time we will be hearing McDavid is going to get frustrated and leave.


Holland can use a combination of:

Draft and develop
UFA signings
Pure Hockey trades
Trades for futures.

The key in most people’s eyes is getting proper value, maybe even winning a trade once in a while.

In the end Holland has to use all avenues available to him. I will say this however, even though we can debate the which player has been drafted with our the first round picks, Holland has done a great job of hanging on to those. Especially not trading them to move salary. The trade off, is the only value picks left to deal are 2nd and 3rd picks.

On a side note would you trade a 1st round pick for a top drawer goalie?

Lowetide August 5, 2021 - 9:09 am

I would if he was under control.

Coiler August 5, 2021 - 9:57 am

I think you’re spot on with all of your points. The only thing I would change is removing Holland’s name and replacing it with ‘every GM in the league’. Whether we want to admit it or not, being a GM in this league is like walking a tightrope. Some are very, very good at it (Lou Lamo) and others are God awful (Chia-pet).

GordieHoweHatTrick August 5, 2021 - 10:00 am

This may happen at the trade deadline or next summer, depending on what goes down between now and then in the G spot.

Harpers Hair August 5, 2021 - 9:03 am
cowboy bill August 5, 2021 - 10:13 am

Good thing with the way GM’s have been throwing around money this off season .

OriginalPouzar August 5, 2021 - 10:26 am

Yup, have been staring since last fall that the escrow balance is massive and growing and the players were silly not to negotiate the original deal.

Going to be years before a material increase.

MushedPeas August 5, 2021 - 8:58 am

Asset management is not the Oilers way

defmn August 5, 2021 - 12:01 pm

Asset management is secondary to winning.

You don’t have to win every battle – you just have to win the war.

JJS August 5, 2021 - 8:52 am

I wonder if part of the issue was the Oil always had high draftees making the team and therefore didn’t give as much attention to the next level of prospects.

And there is only so much room for the rookies and the air was taken.

This is slowly changing as our high picks are in the teens and twenties. These players appear to be on track and are being handled well.

Agree with you re trading picks. We lose many of these so unless we get a clear win for young talent, stop it.

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