It has been nearly two months since Ken Holland took over as Edmonton Oilers, and so far his regime has been "stable as it goes". Signed by a European free agent (Swedish wing player Joachim Nygard), maybe another in the bush (Swiss Headquarters Gaeten Haas). Several of his free agents have been liberated (RFA Ty Rattie and Toby Rieder, UFA Alex Chiasson, Alex Petrović, Kevin Gravel and Anthony Stolarz); the pair has issued qualifying bids (Jujhar Khaira, Jesse Puljujarvi) but has not yet been signed; and a bunch of tweeners reappeared in two directions at or near the NHL Minima (Joe Gambardella, Patrick Russell, Brad Malone, Logan Day, Shane Starrett). Finally, the NHL draft that saw him kept and used all six of his legacy bets when making zero.
Small, incremental decisions, each of which can be defended, but if you see the name in the previous paragraph that will change the season at Oilers, well, I certainly missed it. As Canada's Day approaches, and the Unlimited Free Agent season opens wide, the pressure on the Netherlands is increasing to find some proven NHL talent to replenish Edmonton's small, but elite core groups.
In other words, can Holland tunnel his way out of the NHL country?
The problems faced by GM's experienced specialist are multiple: lots of filling holes and very limited space with which this can occur. Ergo, there are no quick and obvious repairs like throwing huge pile of cash on top of the free agents.
It's always a good starting point for reviewing the list because it stands at the top of a free agency, so let's do it here:
This is "Let's find the guys where they are really ready to set up" the version of the list, unlike the "list-by-list" version, which has 6 centers that make $ 32 million, and five left them $ 19 million war veterans, and broadly open places everywhere else. However, experience and purposefulness tell us that it is reasonable to project Leona Draisaitla on his left wing, where he finished fourth in All-Star voting; and Sam Gagner on the right where he finished the season. Meanwhile, Kris Russell is on the left side of the defense set to the right for good 80-90% of his current 218 games as Oiler so we could consider him RD, even as much as he likes in the Oil Country term .
Then there are only 9 contenders, including unchallenged Joachim Nygard, and only one lone goalkeeper.
The key figure here is a cap suitable in the lower right corner, which is shaded by over $ 73 million for 18 guys per contract. This leaves about $ 8 million for signing the goalkeeper and up to four forwards.
As usual, I evaluate players in each position primarily by the majority of the remaining contracts on their contract, and then by AAV. It is important to note that nine Oilers were supposed to withdraw more than $ 4 million in relation to the upper limit, each of them being contracted by at least 2021. That means nothing works in the "friction cap". Never Nikitin or Andrew Ference or the Mark Fayne pact, which is set to open space with a simple highlighting function. No sir. All big cards have a term and then more terms.
The closest they had to that was Cam Talbot, whose three-year $ 4.167 million contract really expired on Sunday, but it became irrelevant to the three-year $ 4,500 million extension extended by Mikko Koskinen in January. This prompted the launch of a few things, particularly the release of Peter Chiarelli the next day (coincidence or not?) And inevitably disposed of Talbot's cap that was temporarily hit by GM Keith Gretzky. When the Netherlands arrived, the names changed, but the budget remained the same.
However, the defeating gap in the Auxiliary Goalkeeper is a high priority situation to be solved. At his credit Holland – I was a former goalkeeper – consistently identified netminder at the top of his shopping list. It's pretty clear he wants a proven guy with lots of NHL experience, given that his current president has only one season in the league, and # 3 man, Shane Starrett, has not yet made his debut at NHL.
Two names that have been consistently identified are Karolin Petr Mrazek and Calgary's Mike Smith, who will be on the open market Monday. Mrazek had long experience with Holland in Detroit, while Smith was Chief Oilers Dave Tippett in Arizona. Other features include Mrazek's partner in Karolini, Curtis McElhinney and possible Colorado's former Semyon Varlamova. Meanwhile, it seems likely that Cam Talbot, who himself is a freelance agent, could reveal Smith's old job in Calgary all over the place.
Eight defenders were mentioned, all in one-way contracts in seven numbers. The most intriguing "move" here is what we saw last season when Brandon Manning was dismissed from NHL and stationed at Bakersfield where he barely played. If repeated, such a move will allow Oilers to bail $ 1.075 million, and will probably replace it with a cheaper player (either an attacker or an attacker) in the range of $ 700K, opening another $ 300,000 + in the precious space of the cap.
Though there were various trade guilts in which Edmonton's defenders rescued Joel Persson's newcomer, it's about veteran twin Andreja Seker and Kris Russell who were most often prominent. Each of them has two years, at $ 5.5 and $ 4.0 million, and each will see its status change on Monday from the ban on a total ban on moving to a modified trade ban clause. Each of them retains a certain level of control, but not the full power of veto they have had so far.
Most of the Sekera surrounds the possibility of redemption, which would free up the $ 3 million space for the next two years. It is a sad fact that the devastating injury of the last two years had a small trade value, especially for such a big hit. Russell is an inferior player in the eyes of many but has a relatively low kick; moreover, he remained relatively healthy and approached to cover the betting. Some think he's worthy of a trade chip, maybe not in full swing, but maybe in exchange for a veteran of a similar type, ie Proven, but with a heavier price than it could possibly be.
Cult hockeyDavid Staples has studied in detail the possibilities of buying for Sekera, Russell and others this post so I will not go deeper except to recall the first and primary deadline for the purchase is June 30 so if something happens, it will happen quickly.
It is difficult to believe that Oilers have $ 32 million tied to six potential centers, and it seems that they still need 3C. They had one, but Chiarelli waved a magic wand and the man disappeared.
I think 3C would be a very optimistic prospect for Gaetan Haas, and the guys with the NHL, which are proven in the market, become there for ages. Guys like Val Filpule and Brian Boyle had a good season of goals, but both of them are 35 years old this year. Derick Brassard is a little younger at 32 and hits the market after a long-time big money leap but was a significant minus player in three different NHL cities last season, apparently exhausting his welcome in each. Keep a gap.
What a mess. The wings at the top of each side are turned into centers. Only three natural wings are contracted at the NHL level, led by Milan Lucic, who is ready to be near by 2023. Behind him on the left is Joakim Nygard, whom I have listed on the NHL list even when it is two-way. under contract and has exactly zero NHL match under his belt at the age of 26. On the right, the talented but unusual Zack Kassian stands just as a natural RW stone. After that, the cards are deep like Josh Currie and Patrick Russell, each of whom made their NHL debut last year, but they are not soon projected as top-six guys. The question is whether they are even designed as NHLers. (More about tweener per minute.)
Oilers have exclusive NHL rights over the two young wings that have issued qualifying bids, though only one of them is likely to return to Jujhar Khaira. In the perfect world, Jesse Puljujarvi could solve several problems on the right, but only in "The Earth of Oil" and "the Perfect World" can not coexist in the same universe, let alone the same sentence.
However, it is expected that the Netherlands will use part of its limited summer budget after at least one proven NHL wing. It will not be high-end, there is simply no room for it. The central wing like Brett Connolly, which was often debated, could fit into the bill, but only one rival team would need to say "we really have to get that and it's a game over. After all, we are talking about July 1st. Already it sounds like there is interest in the Joonas Donskoy league, middle-winged sharks have paid for themselves for reconstruction. Brandon Tanev is an interesting alternative as well as Chiasson if he tests the market and thinks he does not respond.
Lower-price markets may include smaller class snipers such as Daniel Carr, but Oilers' own experience with Ty Rattie and Valentin Zykov suggests they can throw a cube but can not count on 7, 11 or doubles.
Add all this, mix it in a few tweeners to make a list, and Oilers still have more than half of their "natural wings" in a single player, Milan Lučić's budget. There was a lot of mess at the store, a whisper of interest here and there, but nothing concrete. He said it had long been mentioned that Lučić became more desirable to buy a store on 02 July, when he would pay him the latest accumulated bonus from Oilers. On 1 July, they have to pay a $ 3 million lump sum to the player, reducing the balance due to his $ 16 million in minus escrow, while his upper limit for the same four years is $ 24 million. This might be appealing to the budget team, especially near the floor of the cap, not that there are many teams that qualify. Any agreement would certainly still include some kind of heavy premium, but it would have shrunk in a few days. So, even if there is a shop in the works (which I think is unlikely), it seems completely understandable that there has been no realization yet.
Add Gagner, Seker, Russell, and Manning to a list of people whose target height is higher than their real value. The problem is that there is not much market for such players, and not without keeping the pay (and the cap) as proposed by Staples, and / or taking the ugly contract in exchange. That fairly floating exchange for Lucic-to-Loui Eriksson would not do anything to mitigate the situation in the cap this season. As with Talbot / Koskinen, the names would change, but the hit would remain the same.
Exactly four signed boys at each position without the need for creative mixing. In this case, my long-term reference format first throws a deep map on his ear, as the guys listed the first entry in the ELC and are theoretically far ahead of the NHL. The five skaters in the top row were last year at the junior, with signed contracts allowing skating. Everyone is addressing the fall; only Bouchard can be considered "likely" to play NHL games in 2019-20, although some also see Samoruk as fast. There are high chances that both will spend at least one part of the season in AHL.
The rest of the list is spotted with types that are pretty close, the vast majority of them being, slightly above, or even slightly below the new NHL minimum of $ 700,000. That's $ 375,000 below the "bounty" amount for NHL contracts, which means that if such players can win an A list such as Manning or Kyle Brodziak, there would be real savings. Among the most prominent are the guys who had a decent look in the past season: Caleb Jones, Kailer Yamamoto, Cooper Marody, Joe Gambardella, Josh Currie, Patrick Russell, Brad Malone.
The best advantage of any of them could be a fellow who did not play a minute in bigs, namely Tyler Benson who seems ready to make a jump at some point in 2019-20. The beginning of the season seems doubtful with regard to the Dutch results; to remember those open spaces on the main list on your lap? It would be useful to fill at least one or two of these openings inside.
Two top lists show 42 players under contract and two on hold. Make room for Khair, but not for Puljujarvi, which refers to 43; The deprivation of Olivier Rodrigue will certainly return to the junior team and return to 42. As most of the teams are reluctantly using all 50 – which seriously limits their future flexibility – it seems that seven, more likely, six contracts to capture July begin . Haas could be one. The goalkeeper is sure, and probably a few wings, but without any moves to free up the goal area, there is simply no budget that would make a lot of serious deals to the likes of players.
It is as if the Netherlands is in charge of pulling out of a prominent telephone booth while wearing gloves pads and using a large paddle. But I guess that's why they pay big sums. At least this does not count with the cap.
Recently on the Cult of Hockey
STAPLES: Big Money NHL UFA signing is more likely to flop than succeed
McCURDY: Hebig comes to Billy Moores Cup at Oilers Dev Camp
STAPLES: 31 worst NHL contract in the payroll
STAPLES: Two big and obvious holes for the Netherlands
STAPLES: Does Brett Connolly have any sense of milkshake?
McCURDY: Oilers allegedly offer contract to the Swiss center Gaetan Haas
Follow me on Twitter @BruceMcCurdy