Value Deals

by Lowetide
Darnell Nurse photo by Mark Williams

The happiest man in the Oilers organization on the day the team drafted Darnell Nurse was general manager Craig MacTavish: “He gives us an element we’re sorely lacking. He’s a guy who, over time, if we’re patient with him, is going to provide us with toughness. He’s a guy that will ride shotgun for a lot of our first overall picks and our skilled players for a lot of years. But our overriding draft philosophy is still to draft the player who is going to have the greatest impact on our team over time. Based on that philosophy, I still thought Darnell was the player who is going to have the greatest impact on our team.”

These years later, new management signed Nurse to a contract that could see him spend the entirety of his career in the organization. Management has constructed the roster we’ll see for the next four seasons. What general manager Ken Holland needs to do, has room to do, is find players who can help an NHL team win for less than $1 million a year. Is there anybody out there?


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!

50-MAN LIST (41)

Aside from these 41 men, the Bakersfield Condors signed a rather large group of players to AHL deals. They include defensemen Vincent Desharnais, Yanni Kaldis, plus forwards Adam Cracknell, Brad Malone, Devin Brosseau, Luke Esposito, James Hamblin, Matteo Gennaro and Dino Kambeitz.

Last season at this time, Edmonton had 26 forwards on the 50-man, currently it’s at 21. Perhaps those AHL deals are going to take the place of four or five NHL deals, or maybe Holland plans on signing a bunch of college men next spring. It’s weird though, we’re pretty much through signing season. I would expect Slater Koekkoek and not much else from the NHL side.

Edmonton’s cap situation is fine for this year, the roster is set. Next year? If there’s a plan to sign Jesse Puljujarvi and get an upgrade in net, there’s going to be some offloading of overpriced veterans. Zack Kassian would be the logical candidate, maybe Klefbom’s contract gets dealt. If we assume Yamamoto is signed for $2 million this summer and everyone else gets $1 million or less, there will be room for extensions next summer.

Last season, Edmonton used 10 defensemen. If the club repeats that number in 2021-22, we’ll see the NHL debuts of Dmitri Samorukov, Philip Broberg and one of Markus Niemelainen or Filip Berglund.

Aside from Koekkoek, players who remain free agents and could be considered for No. 3 LHD, 7D or lower are Zdeno Chara (dare to dream, he would be a fantastic addition) or Jordie Benn.

Among remaining forwards, I’d like to see Edmonton take a shot at Evgeny Svechnikov, Jayce Hawryluk, Josh Williams, Nathan Dunkley.

The Oilers are about five signings behind. I’ve been waiting for activity. Suspect we’ll see Slater Koekkoek, uncertain after that addition. Holland used to be aggressive with college recruitment, and maybe there’s a Euro out there who will get a late summer contract. The cupboard is a little bare at forward.


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Bulging Twine

Cody Ceci is 100% on face-offs in his NHL career!


Hilariously, so was Adam Larsson. Ceci has big shoes to fill, but he might just be able to do it.


Interesting tidbits from Leavins on the regular Saturday gem “9 Things” at CoH. Simon Kubicek, who had played for Seattle in the Dub, but stayed at home to play in the Czech League this past season, is expectex be a TC Invite. He was traded to the Oli Kings and will be with them in the upcoming season. I double-checked, HE IS a RHD.

Here is a report from Steve Kournianos from the 1st day of the 2020 WJ Tourney:

LHD Simon Kubicek

How good was Kubicek against the Russians? For starters, he opened the scoring with a blast from the point that whizzed by Yaroslav Askarov’s glove. From then on, he was excellent in all three zones while paired with fellow 2020 draft prospect (and WHL’er) Radek Kucerik. Kubicek is a non-nonsense 200-foot defenseman who played a game-high 22:20 and 37 shifts. He was physical; displayed quick feet while handing onrushing or driving Russian forwards; and he was used on both special teams. It says something when a coach with a ton of pressure on him like Vaclac Varada was willing to entrust a first-year draft eligible with most of the defensive-zone draws and penalty kills during the late stages of periods. If you haven’t seen him play for the Seattle Thunderbirds, you’re missing out — the kid is a stud.


Thanks for this!


My pleasure!

Other Kubicek stuff, he played on the PP in Seattle, apparently displaying good offensive skills, but not an aggressive offensive player, prefers to stay back to “guard the house” where he is seen as an above average physical defender.

His offensive numbers are miniscule, despite at least one scouting report stating he makes pinpoint breakout passes. I wonder how much offense he would post with EOK, where they have so much depth….

His stats:

16/17 yrs old 61 9 19 28 57 +17
2018-19 Seattle GF: 231 GA: 245

17/18 yrs old 50 7 20 27 54 -19
2019-20 Seattle GF: 175 GA: 240

18/19 yrs old 21 1 2 3 26 – 11
2020-21 Ceske Budejovice HCBrutal team, dead last (relegated), 6 wins in 52 GP, also average age of the 8 other Dmen who played at least 19 games was 29.25 yrs old.
GF: 128 GA: 240

In his first season in North America he played on team with 4 20+ & 1 40 goal scorer. He was 2nd in D scoring, the top Dman had 2 more points in 20 less games. None of the top scorers have notable players, some are 5th round picks and all have very small scoring numbers in the ECHL or U-Sport.

In his second season he lead the D in scoring by 10 points on a very weak team.

In his 3rd season he played on by far the worst team in Czech 1st division. He was 18 yrs old to start the season (December birthday) on a team filled with 30 somethings.

I think he is extremely intriguing, some reports said he was a great skater, another said he wasn’t very fast. I guess we will find out soon enough, but he is a prospective prospect and it would be a good move to offer him a contract, especially with so much room right now and he is certainly a much better bet than the draft pick spent on Matt Cairns…


one Thing that should be discussed and hasn’t yet

Holland sends Caleb Jones + 2nd so Hawks can bring in his bro
hawks sign Bro for big $$$ and set the market for D
other D get signed to big $$$
nurse gets signed for big $$$

why can’t we get ahead on this ?
obv agents aren’t dumb and they were in no rush but Holland is no Chess player


Caleb Jones + 2nd

The Oilers will have reached the Cup Final next spring with Keith playing top 4 minutes if the trade ends up being Jones + 2nd (it will be a 3rd otherwise).

Bank Shot

Scouting reports say Perlini is 6’3″, has plus skating and good hands. The problem must be one of effort.

Someone get that man a plane ticket to New Market where he can be enrolled in McDavid’ Camp Mendaulbaum for the rest of the offseason!


Yamamoto at the JP deal of 2x$1,175,000 is a value deal


If he can’t contribute offensively it’s trade time are out right cut loose time.


Holy shit man, recency bias?


Lol calm down Reja😉


I don’t know why he gets a pass he’s playing with one of the best play making centres in the league needs to cash in more. He seems to have hands of stone was Mr. invisible in the playoffs times ticking if he can’t score at least 20 playing with Leon find someone than can.


The reality is in the playoffs if they didn’t kill someone there was no harm no foul. He was interfered, with held along the boards in the same way Connor was. He took abuse that would have been called and should have been called. His effort was stellar. In my opinion you are way off base!


He had a good run a couple years ago with RNH and Leon to inflate his mediocre numbers. He tries hard but the numbers aren’t there. Quick name the last big goal scored by Yamo .


This thinking and attitude has caused us to lose players that excelled elsewhere. Taking him out of a successful situation and moving him around is not on him. If the effort or previous success wasn’t there I would agree. That is not the case!


Personally, I’ll give the 22 year, recent 22nd overall pick, a bit more time to find some consistency at the NHL level. He’s one season (a shortened season) removed from being among the best 5 on 5 producers in the NHL for 3 months and he’s going to be very cheap next season.

This is the exact type of player not to flush.


Not to mention Tipp took one of the best lines in the NHL and broke them up with almost zero success. With Hyman, Tipp does not need to play Drai with McD.

Scungilli Slushy

I agree but it’s not a participation league.

You have to be able to play regardless of the circumstances. Connor doesn’t get a pass if he doesn’t score just because he is the most abused player in the league.

He still scores, usually, and the team addressed the circumstance in which he got shut down. But he has to learn and play his role still and utilize the help given. Yama already had the help in a 210 pound tank of a centre.

It sucks, but that is the game.

Which is why larger players are preferred and fare better in the playoffs even with less skill. It happens year after year. And the two or three little guys that are able perform – Point, Gallagher, etc. do their thing consistently.

It’s to easy to box guys 30-50 pounds lighter and 6-8 inches shorter, especially if the refs will let you cheat and the player can’t skate well enough to create separation.


I don’t know why he gets a pass he’s playing with one of the best play making centres in the league needs to cash in more. He seems to have hands of stone was Mr. invisible in the playoffs times ticking if he can’t score at least 20 playing with Leon find someone than can.

He’s scored 19 goals in 79 games with (mostly) Leon as his center.

He’s the number 4 scoring Oiler forward, and 108th in the NHL, since he was called up.

Last edited 2 months ago by jp
Harpers Hair

Those 19 goals were the result of a 25% shooting percentage.

He, predictably, couldn’t replicate that.




Those 19 goals were the result of a 25% shooting percentage.

Nah, he’s had a high shooting % all down the line. He doesn’t waste shots.

He’s still managed to outscore every Canuck aside from JT Miller at 5v5 over the last full season of games. He’ll be fine.

Harpers Hair

No one shoots 25% consistently in the NHL.

No one.

Yamamoto is a 3rd line player.


No one shoots 25% consistently in the NHL.

No one.

Yamamoto is a 3rd line player.

Of course not. His SH% will most probably fall between his 2 partial seasons. Hence me quoting his 79-19-29-47 boxcars across both.

He also has more 5v5 assists than any Canuck besides JT Miller, by the way.

The last part is nothing more than your always biased opinion.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

I tried, I really tried.

You actually have added a lot over the years to this forum and until recently thought you brought more positivity and much needed balance, context and nuance to what goes on here in this discourse. Yes you’ve often been troll-y and had moments, but overall brought more good than harm, IMHO.

However, lately… you literally have been nothing more than the ultimate troll that adds nothing but contrarian views for the sake of being contrarian and provoking negativity.

I feel sad for you. I hope you find the hug that you need to not bring you back from the abyss of ultimate douchebaggery.


Harpers Hair

Please don’t feel sad for me…I’m just fine.

Whether or not you believe Yamamoto is a top 6 forward on a good team says more about you than me.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville


Rube Foster

Don’t pay heed to Reja’s schtick.

He’s literally the old guy in the neighbourhood who sits at his front window, waiting to yell at people for stepping on his grass.

As many of you you can recall he said many, many horrible things about young Puljujarvi and his challenges as a teenager trying to find his way in the worlds toughest Hockey League.

Reja wanted to fire Jesse into sun, and also wanted to kick Jesse in the balls prior to the aforementioned Sun shot just for good measure. Apparently the young Finn hurt Reja’s feelings by taking the control of his hockey development and future into his own hands.

I imagine that Reja’s been leading the charge to get rid of good players for deficiencies real or imagined for years. From, Poti, to Souray, to Petry, to Schultz to Jesse and now apparently Yamamoto.

The Big Onion can be tough place to play NHL hockey. Reja’s “that guy”. The exact type of fan that makes it difficult for some players to find success in our Market.

With that said, I do respect and share Reja’s passion and long-standing commitment to a team that’s made it hard for a generation of devoted fans.

I thinks it’s best to think of Reja as the ultimate “Company Man”. He’s got lots of company in this City, but that doesn’t always make him right.


The Oilers have 1W 7L in the last 2 playoffs if you were paying attention you could blatantly see the opposition keying in on Connor and Leon. They double teamed them, shadowed etc which gave opportunity for the others to step up to the plate Kahun Yamo J.P RNH but there was no glimpses of Pisani in the group. Holland knows this and brings in 2 gamers Hyman and Foegele add in Hollaway and possibly Lavoie and these players will be in the core. I wouldn’t get to attached to J.P as his stock has risen and it wouldn’t surprise me if old school Holland just like Bear moves him by this time next year.

Harpers Hair



That’s a better record then yours, depending on how you look at it.

Your curse is undefeated.

Harpers Hair

My bookie would argue otherwise.


“My bookie says otherwise” says the man who lies on a regular basis and demonstrated he doesn’t pay his bets.


Randle McMurphy

Your bookie owns you.

How many fingers you have left?


for All those being down on yammers I’ll take you to exhibit A
Jordan Kyuru 2.8 x2
kid didn’t break in last year and had a descent season this year going up and down the 2nd and 3rd line. He scored better than yammers so 2×2 for yammers is reasonable
we will see what Robert Thomas signs for

and the arguments of whether yams is top 6 is just plain silly bc at 2×2 it doesn’t really matter. the bet is covered

I expect him to take a step fwd next year. Sophomore slump is a thing. He battles hard every night and he still learning the ropes

for Raj or any fan to be rip on this young man at this phase of his career is dumb dumb dumb. Would he benefit from playing against lower grade comp, at least till his confidence returns, I would say yes

Funny Bissonness

Brendan Perlini! I’ll take that at league min. Big inconsistent power forward who can score. Not a great defender. Tippett has worked with him before. He’s only 25. If he can figure out the defensive and grinding side a little bit more it could be an excellent value deal.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Like this deal a lot. These are the kind of bets to make. Pretty sure Perlini’s shooting percentage will be better than the 2% he managed last year.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

As an aside, this can’t make Benson very happy. Shame he couldn’t get a look last year. Likely going to have to find his way in another organization.


Cheering for Benson but you are bang on the money. Sometimes it’s a cold world!

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

You are right. The point is we likely aren’t getting anything near full value for a high second round pick. Woodcroft and his staff did their jobs. So did Benson. But Holland/Tippett refused to give minutes to Benson last year to find out what exactly they had. That is piss poor asset management … once again.


If he can’t beat out the other players for a job even at the practice why is it piss poor management. We all are aware the NHL is a fast league and if you don’t have the boots to get in there to do your job someone else will. The position was never his unless he wins it.

Jethro Tull

That would depend on whether the GM has a history of playing veterans over prospects. If the GM takes an unbiased view, then sure.

What’s KH’s history here?

Harpers Hair

The Foegele signing was Benson’s death warrant.

Harpers Hair

Foegele is signed for 3 years and is almost assuredly a 3W for that time.

Do you think Benson has the skill set to play wing on a 4th line?


“Death warrant” seems a tad melodramatic. Maybe the end of ‘his time with the Oilers’ is more accurate?

I can see a small chance he gets this season with the team depending on how Tippett chooses to deploy Nuge. If he decides to go with strength down the middle and tries to employ 3 scoring lines that gives Beson a small window.

Hyman – McDavid – Kassian
Foegele – Draisaitl – Yamomoto
Benson – Nuge – Puljujarvi
McLeod – Ryan – Archibald

I don’t think it is likely but the absence of a true shutdown 3C does make the possibility worth considering.

We’ll see.


Foegle can play the right side.

Hyman can play the right side (from accounts, better).

Nuge can play center.

Plenty of opportunity in the lineup if Benson is among the 6-8 best wingers.

Randle McMurphy

Our right side


Not Bad! 🙂


Well, yes, maybe, if both Foegele and Hyman are over there.

That provides a left side depth chart of:


Not sure both Hyman and Foegele will be over on the right side at the same time.


Foegle or Hyman can both play the right side (Hyman a natural right winger). Nuge can play center.

There is plenty of room for Benson if he earns it.


I like the competition. We need better players and competition will bring it.


Dang LT is ruthless 😉

and yet competition at all positions is a good thing
I like the signing. There was a good article discussing coaching gig in Rochester talking about how important veterans in the AHL are. This signing covers that bet too


Benson will be on a one-way deal (I presume) and Perlini on a two way deal.

If Benson can’t beat out the likes of Shore and a mid-20s player that played in the Swiss league last year then Benson is not what I think he is.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Well we all know pre-season games are meaningless so we’ll just have to see how many NHL minutes Benson gets to show what he has to offer.


This is Benson’s replacement in the A…..

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

So, what’s the deal with Galchenyuk?

I was perusing the UFA bin on capfrienfly and his name kind of jumped out at me? Only 27, plays all fed positions, has put together some nice seasons, could play up and down the lineup, seems like he’d be a good signing for the right price, or am I missing something about him that I don’t know?

Randle McMurphy

He misses Yak. 🙂


I have referenced a couple of times today, the Penguins who won two cups with their big 3 having over 40% of the cap (at signing) and their top 5 having over 50% of the cap in the first season they won. Like the Penguins, the Oilers will need some inexpensive players to add value. For the Penguins, in the first cup it was Sheary, Rust, and Maata for less than $1 million each, and Bonino provided good value at $1.9 million. The next season Jake Guentzel hit the ground running on his ELC, scoring 33 points in 40 games after being called up mid season, then scored 21 points in 25 games in the playoffs.

Paying excellent players high salaries can still lead to a cup success, but LT is right about needing value contracts to help bring it home. Can Holloway, Benson, Marody, Broberg and/or Samorukov be for the Oilers what that group above did for the Penguins.

Last edited 2 months ago by Redbird62

I also missed Dumoulin, who was only getting paid $800,000 per season for both the cups and playing over 20 minutes a night in the playoffs.

Harpers Hair

All the teams you referenced had elite goaltending and were paying for it.


Or just Murray pretending to be elite for short stretches


The Blackhawks, who were paying big pucks to their top 5 won the cup in 2010 paying Niemi $827,000. They were paying Crawford $2.7 million when they won their second cup and finally $6 million when they won their 3rd. And neither is one I would consider truly elite.


how to get good players for under a mil?
its not rookies
it’s a winning pedigree

just ask Pat Maroon or the newly sign Corey Perry


McLeod, Benson, Holloway, Bouchard, Samorukov, Broberg may change that statement above.


Meant to mention other day Riley Nash at 750000 seems like a solid bet.

Happy at idea of nurse and rnh signing up for long stretch honestly. Even at tail end it’s still an odd thought thinking we may actually finally see a player or two play whole career as an oiler. There is something of value in that stability. Also willing to bet there is some thought in it given to the fact that it could really be a factor in McDavid and drai having a stronger desire to maybe sign up short or long when contract is done to continue playing with their lifelong teammates. After a decade together its just not as easy to wave goodbye on a whim, if we are indeed in higher tier level competitive bracket.


Where have all the hobbits gone? Long time passing. #HobbitCleansing

John Chambers

The Oilers have forever been a “young” team with their best players under 25, and often a small team save for the big but faulted 16-17 Lucic-Maroon-Kassian-Gryba goon squad.

The Oilers, for the first time in memory have a team of big AND skilled players, mostly in the prime of their careers.

Perhaps this is what we’ve wanted all along?


I suspect we’ll see a few PTO’s, but not much in the way of contracts. Gusev really intrigues me. I think he would fit extremely well with Leon on Nuge on the right side. I doubt he wants to play on this side of the border, plus Connor stole his number 😁

I am really excited about the NHL forward group coming in and if Benson will seize the day. And if Marody will make a case for himself in Training Camp.

The Foegele addition will surprise. He has a ton more skill than he is given credit for, where Hyman is basically bashing in most of his goals on rebounds, Foegele is cashing with pretty sick shots, often from in very tight to the net. Although I do not know how many rebounds he gets to and is unable to cash….I think he will pot 20 goals, I am super stoked we got him.

I’ve been following Bear for close to a decade, he is in a very good place today, but I knew he wasn’t long for this organization, even before the playoffs and all the BS that followed. We did way better than I could ever anticipate we could have in that trade. Foegele is a bigger, cheaper Coleman, IMO.

My guy Holloway is very intriguing, I know he will take the next step, but not sure how much he will force the issue right out of the gate. I expect he will.

Maksimov is not mentioned much, but he has a shit ton of tools, I hope he makes some noise in TC and I expect he will.

The D, with all the young studs pushing gives me more hope than I’ve ever had for this organization, and that says a lot. Holland has stumbled, but there is so much quality pushing up the roster it may not matter for 2 or 3 years.

Oil fans should have high expectations, this team is poised to ascend to the pinnacle of the NHL elites, it could very start this year, old balls n all.


It’s should be a fun season if 3/4 defense pairing carry their water or young backenders excel and the goalieing holds league average or better.

Last edited 2 months ago by maudite

Bear for Foegle was a great trade… for Carolina.

Whatever happened to the “Future Considerations” that Holland was supposed to receive when he gave the Hurricanes one of our goalies for free?

What the future considerations that the Oilers will trade a much more valuable player for a 3rd line utility winger?

More brilliant work by the world’s worst GM.


Just can’t get over how dominant Warner was in the decathlon and this article, written pre-Tokyo, shows just how dedicated he was.

Great story.


Warner jumped 8.24 in the decathlon’s second event. In the open long jump, the bronze medal mark was 8.21. Prior to that he ran the 100m in 10.12, which would have put him in the semi-finals of track’s premier event. Warner is world class at events he does part-time, because you know he’s putting in the work on technically demanding events like discus, hurdles, and the terrifying pole vault.

He is the world’s greatest athlete.

Elgin R

In my mind if there was to be crowned an ‘Olympic Champion’ it would be as couple – the winners of the decathlon and the pentathlon.


So… you think the Oilers could get him on a PTO for camp, or would they need to offer him a contract?


The Oilers also have 2 of the top AHL scorers ready to push for NHL duty which will be an interesting development that assists with the low cost contract needs. The other huge item is avoiding future deadcap costs. $4.15M is a huge number


Barrie, Kassian, and Ceci are likely to keep the dead cap number high in the medium term.

That is one pipeline the Oilers alway manage to keep full.


Barrie and Ceci can be moved easily in the next two years for draft picks if necessary. Kassian more difficult to move.


Cmon man. All three of those guys can be traded. We might have to retain on Kassian. You’re whole thing on the Barrie contract is annoying. You’re not stupid. I don’t get the rigidity.

Lewis Grant

Godot logic:
Nurse, 36 points, $9.25M/year: good value
Barrie, 48 points, $4.5M/year: bad value
Got it?!


All three of those guys can be moved
return is questionable


Setting decades-long frustrations w Oilers decision-making aside, I am legit excited to watch the upcoming season play out, and not just for what promises to be high-octane offense.

This roster is so far outside the range of what I’d imagined for Fall 2021, I’m liable to be fascinated w the team whatever the on-ice outcomes. Can’t say Ken hasn’t made it interesting.

Petri dish fandom as a response to FanFic GM’ing.


I am as excited for the group of forwards as I’ve been since probably 2005. It’s the D and G that have me worried.


Remember when we were certain we were set on defense for the next 5 years but had no wingers?

Was that really only last summer? 😉


hahaha sure do!


Holland trades Barrie next year and that covers the Nurse cap hit. It leaves a gaping hole in the right side, but this is the price you pay to keep Nurse. Holland paid the market rate for Nurse. There’s nothing he could have done except trade the guy and that’s not an option.


If we run Smith Skinner/Konovalov next season, there is room to keep everyone as is. What would have to happen to be somewhat comfortable with the idea of Skinner or Konovalov in an NHL 1B role next year? 15 games with a .910+ save percentage playing in Edmonton this season and Smith having a decent season?

Last edited 2 months ago by TheGreatBigMac

Let’s keep betting on a 40+ goaltender. What could go wrong.


Yeah, pretty sure an existing contract will need to be moved/included to add a goaltender in the next 12 months.

Next season will actually be the 1st bet on a 40+ goalie though.


See Johnny Bower 1967!

Lewis Grant

$9.25M was not the market rate. The market is not set by the most recent bad contract (i.e. Seth Jones).


Vancouver sitting there looking at Quinn realizing they’ll need about 11 million a year to retain him.


…oh my


They obviously don’t expect to pay by the pound!😉


Vancouver will derive the benefit of paying for RFA years, if they indeed go long term with him. More likely that Hughes gets a bridge and sets himself up for an even larger haul once the cap starts to rise once again.

Harpers Hair

Most likely a 3 year bridge deal.


Why would he bridge when the other guys are getting paid!

Harpers Hair

His defensive struggles last season would limit his return.


So Quinn Hughes is a less effective younger Tyson Barrie?


That’s what Dom said yesterday

Harpers Hair

You mean this Dom?

The Dom who panned the Nurse contract.

That Dom?

Harpers Hair

dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) Tweeted:
going on vacation starting next week and pre-wrote my annual “10 worst contracts” story earlier this week
then the oilers did this on a friday

the audacity


What does Dom’s thoughts on Nurse’s contract have to do with Dom’s thoughts in Barrie and Hughes? How insecure can you be? lol

Harpers Hair

At Hughes age, Barrie was primarily playing in the AHL but had scored 21 points in the NHL.

Hughes has never played an AHL game and has scored 97 points in the NHL.

Yeah, exactly the same. 😜


He had defensive struggles as a #1 D do tell! You are so full of yourself and your judgement is at best questionable when not completely laughable. Good thing you got your awards when you still had your right mind!

Randle McMurphy

Your bridge?


Given the officiating in the playoffs we may see teams shying away from smaller less physical D.


Hughes is elite though.

Elgin R

Hughes is a young Barrie and that is not bad but you don’t pay elite money for that. If there is an ask in the Makar range Benning should get out of this now and trade him to the Devils for a major return.


According to HH. Maybe Hughes is his illegitimate son!🤭


The 2018 draft was fascinating because of the number of small dmen who went early. Will be interesting to see how it evolves. I’m thrilled we got one of the bigger guys.


He bridges himself in Vancouver until he’s Ufa and it’s off to join his brothers.


Does Slater KK give the Oil anything they can’t get out of Lagesson (aside from experience – which brings round to the age-old question of how do you get experience without experience)? I think we’re done on LD, especially with the ability to rely on KR. Let’s let Willy have his at-bats. If needed, Holland can always deal during the season.


I think Lagesson is going to be Samorukoved during TC.


That may very well be. In any event, I think it underlines the point that we probably don’t need the extra set of hands at LD at this point. Let’s roll with what we’ve got, and if anything add another set of talented hands up front.


Agreed. At some point you have to trust the kids. KRussell is a reasonable buffer. If things go bad it is not that expensive to find a trade for a 3D.

Randle McMurphy

Done like “set” ?
or done like “f#cked” ?



A little bit of column “A”, a little bit of column “B”. 🙂


Good Question
i would think wild bill earns 7D
if not he’s lost on waivers
the brass has the book on both and would trade wild bill before that happens


I’m not so certain Lagesson wouldn’t clear waivers – alot more famous names that Wild Bill Lagesson seem to clear every year in October.


Yeah I was thinking the same.

This is really the identical conversation as Perlini vs. Benson (though Lagesson is already 25).

I think LT’s answer on Benson/Perlini was correct, and applies equally here.


It’s all coming together!

Brantford Boy

Seems like he has decent scoring ability up until last year the wheels fell off:

Had to look back at the draft to find out more… wow Draisaitl is so far above the rest, talk about a value deal.

LT, do you recall where you had this player on your final 2014 Here Comes The Sun list?


Looking at the draft list, it is interesting to see those top players who fell. In 2014, that could be Victor Arvidsson at #112, who didn’t make LT’s top 120. LT…do you ever look back at these types of players who fell but excelled to figure out where the math/scouting failed?

Also of note, 81 on LT’s list in 2014:

C Colby Cave—Undersized checker. Lots of those! He has some nice things.

He has some nice things indeed.


I’ve been watching him for a few years, he is very meh. This is very similar to the Jurco signing, the difference this time is actual forward depth. Barring injuries, I will be extremely surprised if he sees any NHL games. However, he might help the Condors reach the Calder Cup!

I honestly would have rather have seen a Svechnikov signing. I wonder if he signs in Carolina.

Harpers Hair

That may be difficult.

Vancouver has loaded up the new Abbotsford team.


Loaded up the canucks with AHL talent, too.

Good luck, DipShitFan.

Randle McMurphy

Starts with a P, has 2 i’s and an n

We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die.


Oilers sign Brendan Perlini. Notification from Score app.

1-year, 2-way deal.


Last edited 2 months ago by Tarkus

A note on AHL signee Matteo Gennaro:

He was a teammate of Stuart Skinner on the Swift Current Broncos squad that won the WHL title three years ago. Both players were acquired in a flurry of trades just before the Dub’s trade deadline that year. Both players were integral to the Broncos championship squad, Skinner especially.

One of the assets the Broncos traded away during all that trade activity was their 2020 1st round pick to the Regina Pats. Said pick turned into whiz kid Connor Bedard.


Pretty sure I taught him in power skating…was good even then.

Randle McMurphy

Circle back around to Dominik Kahun then call it a day Kenny

Scungilli Slushy

I think the Perlini signing shows us how Holland and Tipp felt watching a bunch of not fast undersized forwards play the perimeter and lose at all aspects of the game.

At least Perlini is big and fast, even if a mediocre NHL player. He has at least as much skill than Kahun, being a first rounder.

If you can’t get anything else done, at least you can be a pain and physical presence forechecking and aren’t getting pushed around on the ice.


Can someone who has pulled stats (Woodguy perhaps) list any team in the past few years that has won the Cup paying their top 5 guys half the available salary cap? This deal for Nurse has the upside that he wants to stay in Edmonton, but at a premium cost. Maybe he keeps progressing like Leon and makes it a good contract (if the salary cap starts going back up rapidly after this year) but Holland doesn’t have the cap space to even get a true No. 1 goalie. (No offense to Smith but he’s won ZERO games the past 2 post seasons) I look at the teams in the West (Vegas/Colorado) that will still roll the Oilers even if they win a round, we don’t have the same level of depth throughout the lineup or a top 10 goalie which recent history shows is key to advancing to Finals. So KH has to rely on rookies knocking it out of the park? Maybe they do, but 31 other teams hope for the same thing every year.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I do not know how to look up old cap numbers.

Off the top of my head, the Caps had Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetzov, Carlson, and Holtby signed to big deals when they won.

Penguins had Crosby, Fleury, Malkin, Letang, and Kessel.

Tampa Bay had Vasi, Kuch, Stamkos, Point, and McDonagh. (They circumvented the cap so I am not sure if they count).

It is possible to win with a very $$$ core. The biggest difference is that all the teams mentioned had significantly better goalies.


Last season, Tampa’s top 5 players were 51.6%% of the $81.5 MM cap but they did manage to get away with an $90 MM payroll in the playoffs due to Kucherov not being “healthy” enough to play till 1 day after the season ended. So their top 5 were 47% of the total salaries. Tampa’s top 5 this year will cost them 55% of the cap.


In 16/17, the salary of Pittsburgh’s top 5 was 52.6% of the $73 million cap and that is accounting for Toronto absorbing $1.2 million of Kessel’s salary.


The combination of limited games and going from an escalating cap to a flat cap is uncharted waters. There will be a drastic adjustment in the next 4 to 10 years due to the gap widening between rich and poor. How this plays out is difficult to forecast. The NHL in my opinion is in an enviable position insofar as their bottom line has not been as driven by Television revenue as some of other sports. The ability of the middle class to buy season tickets could be affected. What will advertisers be willing to pay for adverting both TV wise and board and facility naming rights etc. The Canadian market should be able to sustain the ticket sales whereas the American teams may struggle due the competition for the fans dollars. Hockey is number one in Canada and lucky to be in the top three in most American markets. The answer may be the NHL going international.


I think Anaheim and Chicago got in that situation, as well as LA, in addition to the teams mentioned below…


Long before Chicago extend Kane/Toews (signed in 14 to come into effect 15), Chicago was already dedicating a big chunk of their salary cap to their top 5. Kane, Toews, Hossa, Keith were all signed or extended before they won their first cup and Seabrook was extended right after the first cup, and represented almost 50% of the teams cap hit at signing.


Unless there’s a drastic,
unforeseen rise in the cap, the Nurse contract suggests that Draisaitl will be gone. The window is now set.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Alternatively, Drai re-signs and the team goes the way of Chicago.


When Crosby, Malkin and Letang re-upped for their 3rd contracts with Pittsburgh in 2012 and 2013, they represented 40% of Pittsburgh’s cap. They have won 2 cups and been relevant every season since. The Nurse/Drai/McDavid contracts (once Nurse’s goes into effect) represent 37% of the cap and a raise to $12 million for Drai, if he goes that high would be 40% of the current cap and less of the cap then. Are McDavid/Drai Nurse more like Kane, Toews and Keith, or the above trio?


Drai, if he goes that hai…..

If the team snags Stanley will 29 & 97 try and get richer, or will Gretzky’s words from a few years ago give them pause and motivate them to go for sustained success….

Time will tell


Matthews has to sign his next contract before Draisaitl. MacKinnon also.

So those two will set the market, and the upper bound for Draisaitl’s contract.

One also figures that Kenny, Leon, and Connor will have a few conversations about how to divy up the cap space if both intend to re-sign.


There are countless other ways for this to play out in 4 years for now.

To directly equate Nurse’s contract with Drai’s departure in 4 years from now is a wild wild bit of gymnastics.


I think it would be an aggressive you of the word “fine” to say “I’m fine with the Nurse contract” but I get it. There wasn’t much choice but to get the deal done and this was the range it needed to be in given recent signings.

Jones, Werenski – I would put Nurse above those two the past season and couple of seasons. Hamilton, if he wasn’t a right shot, I would put Nurse right there with him recently. Makar and Hieskanen signed RFA deals and are not direct comparables. Nurse was also a massive value deal during his RFA years (moreso than those guys might be during their prime RFA years given their numbers).

Looking at the following list (which will have some additions in the likes of Payakho, Riley, etc. by the time Nurse’s contract kicks in):

At $9.25M in 22-23, Nurse becomes the 5th Highest Cap Hit D next year:

Karlsson $11.5M
Doughty $11M
Werenski $9.58M
Jones $9.5M
Nurse $9.25M
Josi $9.06M
Hamilton $9M
Makar $9M
Pietrangelo $8.8M
Heiskanen $8.45M
Ekman-Larsson $8.25M

Right now I put Nurse ahead of Karlsson (injuries killed him), Doughty, Werenski, Jones, OEL. Makar and Heiskenan were RFA deals and not comparable.

My main issue with “the deal” is structure. I mean, can Kenny not grind for something? There is no doubt he got the very top of the reasonable market in AAV, could Kenny not have dug in and said, come on Darnell, we can’t give you all signing bonuses in the last two years. We can’t see us buying this out but, come on man, we need to mitigate some risk?


This looks like a contract that was written by Nurses agent

Harpers Hair

Haha…exactly what I was thinking.

Ken agrees to the dollar amount and then goes for a red wine while the agent fills in the terms.


If that were the case, Holland would have been having drinking with Stan Bowman and Tom Fitzgerald (remember he is now the Devils GM, not Lou like you mistakenly said the other day). That way the Nurse’s agent could be with agents for Jones and Hamilton to look over their structure handiwork.


It’s like which part of the contract did you actually negotiate on.
I get not nickel and dimeing players but this is a “it’s gonna be someone else’s problem” kind of a contract.

Victoria Oil

This is why I had earlier proposed that part of a GM’s compensation should be deferred and based upon how the team performs after they leave.


You think? Wow, never knew.


He just faxed it over and Holland signed it.

Yes, he FAXED it. Kenny doesn’t go in for newfangled novelties… like analytics or technology.

Harpers Hair

The Karlsson, Doughty and OEL contracts were inked during a period when teams thought the cap would continue to rise indefinitely.

The Heiskanen, Makar and, soon, the Adam Fox contracts reflect the new reality where smart GMs are locking in players at an earlier age to extract maximum value during the players’ prime years.

So that leaves Nurse is a cohort of:

Hedman $8M
Pietrangelo $8.8M
Hamilton $9M
Josi $9.06M
Nurse $9.25M
Jones $9.5M

The value of those deals is likely ranked from top to bottom.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I do not understand how Stan Bowman has remained a GM for so long.


He wont be for long after this little legal issue in Chicago


Holland and Chiarelli make Bowman seem like a genius.

That’s how.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

You can tell that Holland learned how to GM when there was no salary cap.

For Holland, the cap is a weird nuisance that he does not understand and has no desire to understand.


Did you compare the structure of Nurse’s deal to any of Jones, Hamilton, or Werenski? Jones’s contract is pretty much buyout proof with full NMC for 8 years. Hamilton is buyout proof till the last season, but even then the savings aren’t great. Werenski is younger, so the risk is less, but his also appears to be buyout proof. Apparently those structures are the current market for defensemen in this category.


Subban should still be on the list. He has 1 more year.


How did that work with Larsson?


I don’t mind paying for elite talent, which I consider Nurse to be. I was of the same opinion with Draisaitl’s deal.

A number like 7.5 might make everyone feel better, but it’s a 1.75 difference on your cap, or around 2%. Yes you can’t be reckless with the cap, but there is air coming with Koskinen off the books, Keith retiring/playing out his deal, and Kassian.

I agree with you completely on the deal structure. Silly stuff from Holland. I suspect Nurse’s play will make it moot. I’ve said before; he keeps getting better. The best is yet to come.

Incidentally, doesn’t trading Bear look even more foolish, now? The cost of top 4 D is in the process of being reset, both the UFA and RFA markets. A second pairing D, never mind top pair, may be around 5-6 million. If Bear plays at that level, that’s what he’s worth. The potential value over a guy like Foegle is for sure higher.

Another reason to hold onto cost-controlled D.

Elgin R

Interesting to note that none of the listed men won a cup when on those big contracts.

chrisco stu

When Nurse signed his first bridge, I worried it was high, he was over rated, and then he outperformed it. Then he signed the second bridge and I thought “good play, he wants more than he’s worth and will end up signing a more reasonable deal at the end of it”. Then he outperformed that contract as well. I really hope that the trend continues.


Current LD Depth Chart:


Current RD Depth:


For me, Kesselring, Kemp and even Niemelainen are not real NHL options this season. I guess I can’t shut the door completely on Niemelainen, he did show quite a bit in the AHL last year, but I think it would be best for another full year unitl he’s even a thought. Kesselring is a real prospect but so raw and Kemp is a distant bell unless he can take a few steps with his skating.

Looking at the above, where does Koekkoek fit in? Between Russell and Lagesson? Koekkoek is an established NHL D, I’ll give him that. At the same time, although he had some nice fancies in 2019/20, he got caved last year in the bottom pairing (a bit in the top 4). To the extent the Oilers blow through Russell/Lagesson, I think Samorukov should have a clean shot and not be blocked by a “veteran 6/7D”, no?

I would almost prefer a veteran on the right side for injury cover to keep (a) Berglund in the AHL and (b) ensure we aren’t moving Kris Russell over to the right side.

Elgin R

Replacement-level veterans, they are what they are and have little to no upside. If Holland signs them, Tippet will play them rather than seeing what is there in the young guns and developing them.

Many people state that the NHL is not supposed to be a development league. Well, has Darnell not ‘developed’ right before out eyes? Sammy has played a lot of North American hockey and has upside. Is the team further ahead with him available for the team instead of playing a replacement-level guy?

People have also stated, just sign these types of guys and bury them in the minors. Would they not then take playing/development time from the young players?

Holland should sign Yamamoto and then call it a successful summer. Now it is up to the players!

Last edited 2 months ago by Elgin R

That Nurse contract is going to require that he keeps improving and salary cap starts increasing rapidly to be even value


The Nurse contract is value because he is in an Oiler uniform for 8 years past 2022 and not leaving as UFA somewhere else.


Wouldn’t it be nice for the team to sign a deal or make a trade where there doesn’t have to be a bunch of hope language added afterward?

Just a – ‘good trade’ trade. A ‘nice number’ signing.

Wishing and hoping and overpaying is a recipe for mediocrity.

Last edited 2 months ago by LMHF#1

I have no complaints with the Nuge signing.


There is always risk in any trade or signing – if the player was that good the teams wouldn’t be letting them go. The only time you’re going to see a deal where there is more positivity about a players upside is with a team like Tampa where they can’t afford to keep everybody. The other 30-31 teams are in a constant cycle of trying to get there…..


Further to that comment, everything else is speculation. Take Bear and Feogle for example, everyone refers to the great numbers Ethan put up 2yrs ago, hopefully he develops back to that – but there is a real possibility that he won’t – we won’t know until time plays out. The other side is Foegle who I heard someone say recently has the potential to be the next Hyman – the flip side is he could become an inconsistent Kassian type………we don’t know what we don’t know as our host likes to say. Only time will tell and we have to realize that it is our own biases that are scewing the narrative. Some people love certain players and naturally think/hope they will reach the higher levels of their potential. Other people aren’t happy unless they are mad and will choose the negative road most of the time. It’s not difficult to look in the mirror and see which direction you are predisposed to, just look at your comments and see what type of bias is there the majority of the time….