THE MADNESS BEGINS....

Jason Gregor
June 18 2013 04:13PM

The free agent frenzy officially began yesterday with reports the Flyers had signed Mark Streit to a four-year, $21 million contract. The Flyers can't officially announce the signing until they shed some salary, which should happen when they buyout Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov.

Briere is an easy buyout. His cap hit is $6.5 million for the next two seasons, but he's only owed $5 million in cash over both years. The Flyers can buy him out for only $3.33 million, while Brzgalov is a much larger hit at $23 million. Despite the massive payment to Bryzgalov you can expect the Flyers to eat that since they desperately need some cap space.

Briere will garner a lot of interest, but will Bryzgalov get another NHL deal?

I think a lot of teams will give Briere a two-year deal, and if Mike Smith doesn't re-sign in Phoenix I could see Bryzgalov return to the desert.

Prior to his entertaining and not overly productive seasons in Philly, Bryzgalov was very good for the Coyotes. His SV% in his four seasons was .921, .906, .920 and .921. Bryzgalov is only 32, and while a KHL team could offer him more money, I suspect he feels he has something to prove in the NHL.

If Smith leaves Phoenix and Mikka Kiprusoff officially retires, would the Flames or Coyotes offer him a contract? The Flames are high on Kari Rammo, but would they enter the season with Rammo and Joey Macdonald?

QUICK HITS

  • Streit is 35 years old and not a great defender, but he can move the puck and his contract illustrates that free agents will still get paid this summer. I suspect the most sought after guys will still get large contracts, but I'm curious to see if teams can show some restraint/patience and sign lesser-lights to more reasonalbe contracts?
     
  • With Teemu Hartikainen signing in the KHL would the Oilers re-sign Ryan Jones? The two sides are expected to talk again next week, but at this point it seems like the Oilers will look elsewhere. The Oilers will be hard-pressed to find a guy who will score 17/18 goals for the same price point as Jones.
     
  •  Could Jones turn out to be the next Curtis Glencross? Glencross signed for $1.3 million/year for three years while the Oilers failed to sway Marian Hossa to sign in Edmonton. I'm not saying Jones will score 25, but considering the solid 3rd line players the Oilers have let leave Edmonton (or traded away) in the past five years it is a concern.
     
  • David Krejci is one of the most underrated passers in the NHL. Watch him closely, his passing skills are incredible.
     
  • Solid deal for the LA Kings. They signed Slava Voynov for $25 million over six years. Would you rather have Streit for the next four years at $5.25 or the 23-year-old Voynov. The Voynov and Roman Josi ($28 million over 7 years) could be good comparables for the Oilers and Justin Schultz.
     
  • I don't see any reason that Schultz should get much more than Voynov, unless Schultz has a huge season. Voynov's two-way game is better than Schultz's at this point.
     
  • The Oilers need at least two significant upgrades on their blueline if they want to compete next year. At this point I wouldn't put Oscar Klefbom in the "significant" category, mainly because it would be a big risk to have two players in your top-four with fewer than 50 combined NHL games.
     
  • The Oilers haven't had any luck landing UFA goalies. They've tried to sign Eric Hartzell (signed with Penguins), Antti Raanta (Chicago) and Joacim Eriksson (Vancouver), but couldn't land one. They are looking to sign a #2 and #3 to build some organizational depth. Anton Khudobin, Tukka Rask's backup is unrestricted and he'd be a great fit for the Oilers.
     
  • Dallas Eakins wanted to spend last week talking with Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger to get a sense of their strengths and weaknesses and decide if they would be part of his staff. I'd be surprised if both were on his staff. He will add an associate coach with NHL experience, and most likely one assistant. It would make sense to announce the staff before the draft and especially free agency. I keep hearing Paul Maurice is a strong candidate.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Twoskidoos
June 19 2013, 10:28AM
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@mr. common sense

All I'm saying is that his numbers are likely inflated because of those players. I didn't say anything about Lidstrom or Coffey being average players, they're two of the best to ever play.

What I'm saying (without saying it) is that Letang likely wouldn't be as good on the Oilers for a myriad of reasons.

One of those is that his partner won't likely be that great and his team isn't as good, generally speaking.

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#102 WhattaMike
June 19 2013, 10:36AM
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Another guy I like for the Oil at a more reasonable trade situation is Hamonic from the NYI instead of Letang or even say...go back for Tom Gilbert as he is seemingly maybe being bought out by Minnesota this year too.

Also, I see Colorado wanting one of three top forwards now and not Jones...and they night trade down their #1 pick as well...Interesting!!

Bryan Murray is advising he/Ottawa wants to definitely trade up and use one to two of his top prospects...Interesting!!!

Ottawa maybe has some excellent players to bargain with...such as Ben Blood, Cody Ceci, etc....plus include the #17th pick

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#103 Twoskidoos
June 19 2013, 10:40AM
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@WhattaMike

They have Silfverberg, Zibanejad, and so on.

Murray's a pretty darn good GM and I bet he'll make a big push to move up.

I'm with ya.

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#104 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2013, 10:42AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

@sunterryjones: Sure sounds like Craig MacTavish has a couple of deals done and is just waiting for the Stanley Cup to end so he can announce them.

I don't think he has sweet muck all put together. If he had something done, there's nothing preventing them from announcing it/registering it with the league, and move onto the next task on their list. MacT's just blowing smoke and winging it, waiting for something to come their way, rather than get off their duff and make their own luck. Same ship different summer.

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#105 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2013, 10:52AM
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Kris Letang is smoking crack if he thinks he's worth anywhere near what Shea Weber is getting. Weber's twice the D'man Letang is.

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#106 Tikkanese
June 19 2013, 10:57AM
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@Twoskidoos

Zibanajed is probably on every team's wish list. A rare power center with hands. The price may be to steep to get him. I'd love him here. Could be our 3C until they figure out what to do with Gags(if anything).

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#107 WhattaMike
June 19 2013, 11:00AM
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To...Twoskidoos... Yep those are excellent other prospects as well from Ottawa. I think if Murray gave the Oilers a package of one to two of those plus the #17, there will be a trade down. I think though that MacT will want a centreman in the deal and then pick a good defenceman at #17 if there was a deal.

Or and then...after that Ottawa trade possibility...the Oilers use that now dealt for #17 and one of the 2nd round picks...together...to move back up into the late first round again.

To...I'd rather have Shock and Awe, over just Bold....

I think MacT has something tradewise set up with Horcoff in mind but he can't advise this as yet because of the contract and limited NMC issue un til July 1st to 5th. It's similar like Philadelphia with Streit not being official as yet.

Any type possible deal with Hemsky and/or Gagner and/or N. Schultz involved... will be most likely at the draft than beforehand.

Also, I wish to see MacT start going with a deal for Bernier from LA or get the rights to Khudobin from Boston...

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#108 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2013, 11:08AM
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@WhattaMike

I hope you're right Mike. I'll take Khudobin with fries and a cola please. Bernier appears to me to be someone who thrives in that backup role. He could be a letdown when he's under the spotlight of being a starter.

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#109 Lochenzo
June 19 2013, 11:09AM
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I wonder if we could pry Leddy from the Hawks. Watching the Finals, it's pretty obvious that the Hawks are missing a legit #2 centre. So if they look to fill the #2 centre hold and if they resign Brian Bickell to big money, maybe they'd move an existing salary in Oduya or move a guy that will be looking for a raise this summer in Leddy. Now I've said that moving Sam Gagner to the Hawks is extremely risky. Gagner and Kane had some magic together in London, as if there already isn't enough to worry about on this Chicago roster. The Hawks are very young, so their window of opportunity to win overlaps a large portion of the Oilers window of opportunity. Meaning the Oil will probably have to beat the Hawks just to make the Cup finals. But if the return for Gagner justifies the risk, then do it.

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#110 mr. common sense
June 19 2013, 11:09AM
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WhattaMike wrote:

I am one who does like Letang verey much as he is an excellent defenceman .... but.... if I am a GM, I won't pay him $7 million a year period.

To me and totally why I won't pay or trade an Eberle, Marancin, plus a #7 for him and at $7 million a yr... he is not a Bobby Orr, not a Coffey, not a Weber, not a Pronger, not a Lidstrom, not a Scott Stevens, etc.

He does have an excellent team to help him get many points as well just as that he helps them too. But like the names just mentioned...does or can Letang totally lead a team by himself ???? ... without a Malkin or Crosby as can the other defence type names stated above??? No...sorry he does not/he definitely complements those stars and the team.

This is why I would not go for him as like some have already wrote...the Oilers have a younger version in J. Schultz starting out.

I would try to trade for Tyutin or PetroAngelo or Shattenkirk type player. It takes six/seven defence on a team to win in almost all cases and the oilers have upcoming excellent players already...just get one at a good price

Letang is 6'1, 201 lbs and just turned 26. He is about to hit his mark and is ALREADY a norris finalist.

Lets examine the final four and see if they have a stud Dman....maybe you are right.

Chi: Keith/Seabrook Bos: Chara LA: Doughty Pitts: Letang Oil: Lady and Shultz?

=reality

Letang to Edm for Ebs and the 20something pick...sign Letang for 7M and delete Alice and Shawn and voila...imagine this pp

Hall-Nuge-Yak-J.Schultz-Letang

=playoffs

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#111 Gaz
June 19 2013, 11:11AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I'll take one of the most connected reporters in the City over you any day of the week, thanks.

You think TJ's articles come out by accident? That all of his prescient timing has been by luck?

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#112 mr common sense
June 19 2013, 11:15AM
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Twoskidoos wrote:

All I'm saying is that his numbers are likely inflated because of those players. I didn't say anything about Lidstrom or Coffey being average players, they're two of the best to ever play.

What I'm saying (without saying it) is that Letang likely wouldn't be as good on the Oilers for a myriad of reasons.

One of those is that his partner won't likely be that great and his team isn't as good, generally speaking.

i hear you....what im saying is, the true peak of Hall, Yak and Nuge can be met by having an ace like Letang on the back end. Anyone who plays hockey knows the importance of a Brian Leetch to rush the puck and control the play from the back end. The oil are hoping J. Schultz becomes Letang....why not just get the real one.

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#113 Taylor Gang
June 19 2013, 11:20AM
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Did you guys consider that Pittsburgh doesn't want to trade him? And never mind giving him up, what could we offer that Pittsburgh doesn't already have in spades? The only thing that Pittsburgh actually needs to improve is defense.

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#114 Eddie Shore
June 19 2013, 11:24AM
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@Taylor Gang

Read this article by Rob Rossi who covers the Pens...

http://triblive.com/mobile/4210621-96/letang-shero-penguins

From the article...

"Shero is fairly confident Letang has become a must-move player.

That is true because Letang is not the consensus best defenseman on the Penguins, at least in the eyes of management and coaches.

That is true because the Penguins are deepest on defense among top prospects, including a couple of first-round picks from last summer (Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta)."

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#115 Lochenzo
June 19 2013, 11:25AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Did you guys consider that Pittsburgh doesn't want to trade him? And never mind giving him up, what could we offer that Pittsburgh doesn't already have in spades? The only thing that Pittsburgh actually needs to improve is defense.

You're absolutely right. If anything, Pittburgh is looking to add the same guy Edmonton is looking for. A left-shooting mobile Dman.

I don't think Shero would even listen to the Oilers' offer unless it included Justin Schultz. And even then, I doubt if Pittsburgh would do it.

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#116 Tikkanese
June 19 2013, 11:28AM
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Is there any euro UFAs left bothering to go after for our backup?

Plan A: Khudobin UFA Plan B: Greiss UFA Plan C: Trade for a Bernier, Scrivens etc Plan D: Theodore UFA

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#117 WhattaMike
June 19 2013, 11:28AM
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To mr common sense...

I am not saying Letang would be a bad fit as a player bud...but... him wanting $7 mil per year long term is not a good deal for the Oilers with the studs they have coming up.

The Oilers can get a top type young player in a trade for like Hamonic (10 pts this yr), Petroangelo (24 pts), Shattenkirk (23 pts), Nikitin (9 pts), Jack Johnson (19 pts)maybe even try to see about Del Zotto (21 pts).

Note that these pt totals are for 48 games this yr not an 82 game schedule.

There is also Tom Gilbert maybe being bought out as well and he can score like Letang does with the Penguins ...with this Oiler team.

All these players eat up big tough minutes as well which is good for the Oilers and the best part..is that they won't cost anywhere as high to get as Letang would...

Ya don't trade for Letang then pay him $7 mil as he seemingly wants.. as like those who said to trade for him with ...Ebs, Marancin, the #7 pick... especially when the Oilers know they have two to three studs for offence/quarterbacking powerplays...very near to ready full time with Schultz (22 yrs old) here now... Marancin (just turned 21 yrs)being almost here...and then there's Gernat (19 yrs) upcoming.

They each will not command $7 mil now like letang and they can put up the same to better pt scoring numbers.

Thus, ya don't trade ebs who is here for 6 more yrs at he is only 22 now and Marancin and the #7.

Also...just listened to Kypreos and MacLean say that LA wants at least a 1st round pick for Bernier and no bad contractsgoing to them. Unless the Oilers can deal next yrs first rounder for bernier I would seek to get Khudobin more so now.

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#118 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2013, 11:29AM
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Gaz wrote:

I'll take one of the most connected reporters in the City over you any day of the week, thanks.

You think TJ's articles come out by accident? That all of his prescient timing has been by luck?

Large eh, when did the tail start wagging the dog. Mr. Yesterdays news today guy.

Flyers already announced their Streit post dated deal. They've already moved on from that deal. Put the friggin thing in the rear view mirror so they can do more important things July 5th, and even the draft for that matter.

For a team that can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, this is nothing but a distraction for the next couple weeks.

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#119 mr common sense
June 19 2013, 11:31AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Did you guys consider that Pittsburgh doesn't want to trade him? And never mind giving him up, what could we offer that Pittsburgh doesn't already have in spades? The only thing that Pittsburgh actually needs to improve is defense.

wrong. Shero is a shrewd mother.....when J. Staal took 2 days to consider the Pens offer, he was dealt. Shero knows he can entice ufa's to his team easy with Cindy and Malkin and he is seriously considering a shakeup in net. also, if they take ebs and lose letang, they save $1M (assuming Letang wants $7M) and then can move on from Iggy and Morrow and they will have a lot of money to go after dmen. with ebs signed long term....this is a great move for them. heck, maybe we dont even have to give away ebs!...but one thing is for sure....letang will be made one offer and if its not accepted, he'll be gone

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#120 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2013, 11:38AM
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@mr common sense

How about Petry and the Oilers first in 2014, for Letang?

I know Petry shoots right, but guys often play both sides depending on zone. Right guys play the left side on the pp, and vise versa.

This helps trim some fat from Pittsburghs budget. Pens would be doomed if they had half their budget tied up in only 4 players.

Letang should to be in that 5.5 realm, not anywhere near 7. He could remain a Pen, if he came to his senses.

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#121 mr. common sense
June 19 2013, 11:40AM
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WhattaMike wrote:

To mr common sense...

I am not saying Letang would be a bad fit as a player bud...but... him wanting $7 mil per year long term is not a good deal for the Oilers with the studs they have coming up.

The Oilers can get a top type young player in a trade for like Hamonic (10 pts this yr), Petroangelo (24 pts), Shattenkirk (23 pts), Nikitin (9 pts), Jack Johnson (19 pts)maybe even try to see about Del Zotto (21 pts).

Note that these pt totals are for 48 games this yr not an 82 game schedule.

There is also Tom Gilbert maybe being bought out as well and he can score like Letang does with the Penguins ...with this Oiler team.

All these players eat up big tough minutes as well which is good for the Oilers and the best part..is that they won't cost anywhere as high to get as Letang would...

Ya don't trade for Letang then pay him $7 mil as he seemingly wants.. as like those who said to trade for him with ...Ebs, Marancin, the #7 pick... especially when the Oilers know they have two to three studs for offence/quarterbacking powerplays...very near to ready full time with Schultz (22 yrs old) here now... Marancin (just turned 21 yrs)being almost here...and then there's Gernat (19 yrs) upcoming.

They each will not command $7 mil now like letang and they can put up the same to better pt scoring numbers.

Thus, ya don't trade ebs who is here for 6 more yrs at he is only 22 now and Marancin and the #7.

Also...just listened to Kypreos and MacLean say that LA wants at least a 1st round pick for Bernier and no bad contractsgoing to them. Unless the Oilers can deal next yrs first rounder for bernier I would seek to get Khudobin more so now.

my friend....pietrangelo? are you nuts? St Louis will NEVER trade him.

im looking at this from a straight biz perspective.

lets say we get Letang for 8yrs/7M....that is the window we have to maximize our run. If the Oil have not won or been in the finals in year 5 of Hall and Ebs' contract, both will bolt..for sure. Now, if you focus your big moula on 3 fwds (hall, yak, nuge) and 2D(letang, shultz) then look for a niemi type (i dont have faith in dooby)....this is the blueprint for a championship team. sprinkle some Ott's and Glencross's and they will be set. Bottom line, the oil need a SUPERSTAR D....not a pretender....and we have a 5yr window starting this year to become a championship team. In that analysis....Letang fits the bill. I love Ebs, but he will command the quality we need

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#122 mr common sense
June 19 2013, 11:43AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

How about Petry and the Oilers first in 2014, for Letang?

I know Petry shoots right, but guys often play both sides depending on zone. Right guys play the left side on the pp, and vise versa.

This helps trim some fat from Pittsburghs budget. Pens would be doomed if they had half their budget tied up in only 4 players.

Letang should to be in that 5.5 realm, not anywhere near 7. He could remain a Pen, if he came to his senses.

maybe, not a bad idea. Petry is v good and skates well. i think Petry + Maricin could do it actually but then the oil will spend over the credit card limit with ebs, hall, yak, nuge, letang and j schultz, therefore...doesnt make sense for us. we need to stagger the salaries....

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#123 Gaz
June 19 2013, 11:46AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I totally get that you are trying to be clever and edgy and whatnot, but try to avoid sacrificing good grammar.

TJ has made plenty of calls that are well-timed. I wouldn't call him yesterday's news guy myself, but whatever floats your boat!

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#124 Taylor Gang
June 19 2013, 11:54AM
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mr common sense wrote:

wrong. Shero is a shrewd mother.....when J. Staal took 2 days to consider the Pens offer, he was dealt. Shero knows he can entice ufa's to his team easy with Cindy and Malkin and he is seriously considering a shakeup in net. also, if they take ebs and lose letang, they save $1M (assuming Letang wants $7M) and then can move on from Iggy and Morrow and they will have a lot of money to go after dmen. with ebs signed long term....this is a great move for them. heck, maybe we dont even have to give away ebs!...but one thing is for sure....letang will be made one offer and if its not accepted, he'll be gone

If I'm not mistaken, Staal didn't want to be signed long term because he thought he could play bigger minutes in a new pond. And why wouldn't he want to leave? Jordan Staal is much better than a third line player. So I don't think that's an ideal example to compare Letang to.

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#125 WhattaMike
June 19 2013, 11:55AM
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To mr. common sense...

I like Letang lots and to have him play for Edmonton would be fabulous...but.. I agree with..."I'd rather have Ahock and Awe than Bold" ... that letang ain't worth $7 mil biut rather more like $5 to $5.5 mil per year of which then this changes the dynamics...

I see J. Scultz scoring better than letang in the next twop yrs as will Marancin very soon eventually as well.

Who knows...Klefbom may just be that top stud we always wanted and he is just getting here now. Brodin (Minn) says K-man is better than him.

I also agree with him and you now on a possible deal for him (at long term of 6 yrs at $5.5 mil)... dealing with Petry and Marancin and... say plus the next yrs' first rounder.. from the Oilers.

Keep Ebs..dude... cause he is gonna be a 90 pt plus scoring top winger as will Yakupov who will be up there too...and Hall and RNH. Teams cant lose top talent skills and offence in this league anymore.

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#126 Taylor Gang
June 19 2013, 11:57AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Read this article by Rob Rossi who covers the Pens...

http://triblive.com/mobile/4210621-96/letang-shero-penguins

From the article...

"Shero is fairly confident Letang has become a must-move player.

That is true because Letang is not the consensus best defenseman on the Penguins, at least in the eyes of management and coaches.

That is true because the Penguins are deepest on defense among top prospects, including a couple of first-round picks from last summer (Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta)."

I didn't know that. I don't think that's in the best interests of our team considering his asking price and Shero's

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#127 Tikkanese
June 19 2013, 12:21PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

How about Petry and the Oilers first in 2014, for Letang?

I know Petry shoots right, but guys often play both sides depending on zone. Right guys play the left side on the pp, and vise versa.

This helps trim some fat from Pittsburghs budget. Pens would be doomed if they had half their budget tied up in only 4 players.

Letang should to be in that 5.5 realm, not anywhere near 7. He could remain a Pen, if he came to his senses.

I'll have some of whatever you're smoking. How about Ryan Jones and the 1st for Malkin while you're at it?

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#128 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2013, 12:46PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I'll have some of whatever you're smoking. How about Ryan Jones and the 1st for Malkin while you're at it?

I know, that came across a little on the frugal side. Petry+ and the first in 14, is that better?

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#129 Twoskidoos
June 19 2013, 12:47PM
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@mr. common sense

No sir, wouldn't trade Eberle for Letang.

As for those of you who think I'm on crack for thinking Letang's numbers are inflated, check out Gregor's latest... he says the same thing.

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#130 RomZ
June 19 2013, 03:15PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

To mr. common sense...

I like Letang lots and to have him play for Edmonton would be fabulous...but.. I agree with..."I'd rather have Ahock and Awe than Bold" ... that letang ain't worth $7 mil biut rather more like $5 to $5.5 mil per year of which then this changes the dynamics...

I see J. Scultz scoring better than letang in the next twop yrs as will Marancin very soon eventually as well.

Who knows...Klefbom may just be that top stud we always wanted and he is just getting here now. Brodin (Minn) says K-man is better than him.

I also agree with him and you now on a possible deal for him (at long term of 6 yrs at $5.5 mil)... dealing with Petry and Marancin and... say plus the next yrs' first rounder.. from the Oilers.

Keep Ebs..dude... cause he is gonna be a 90 pt plus scoring top winger as will Yakupov who will be up there too...and Hall and RNH. Teams cant lose top talent skills and offence in this league anymore.

Not many guys in the league get 90+ points in a season, and to suggest that our guys will all reach that plateau is crazy.

Believe me I would love nothing more for our core to light up the league but I think we need to temper our expectations of these guys.

Do they have the potential to get 90+? Sure, but that remains to be seen. Having a top 10 power play sure didn't help our cause since our 5 on 5 play was lacking severely.

That said, I think Letang would help balance this teams attack but at that price point I would be hesistant. I would not want to sign players coming to Edmonton more than what Hall or Ebs were making.

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#131 Matt
June 21 2013, 09:08PM
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@mr. common sense

You r retarded

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