Edmonton Oilers depth chart: June 2013

Jonathan Willis
June 05 2013 09:36AM

If we were to draw up what the Oilers look like right now, before the draft and free agency and the trades of summer, what would it look like? What would represent “mission accomplished” for the Oilers’ brain trust?

As It Stands

The following depth charts are meant only to give an idea of depth at each position, not to mimic line combinations. An asterisk indicates a defenceman who can play either side, UFA and RFA indicate that a player’s contract expires this summer, while BO has nothing to do with a lack of deodorant and everything to do with the player being a possible candidate for a compliance buyout.

Forwards

Defence

Projection

This is where things get a little more interesting. I have axed what strike me as the likely names at each position, and indicated positions that need to be addressed over the summer in red.

Forwards

The changes here include the following:

Unrestricted free agents Lennart Petrell, Jerred Smithson, Ryan Jones, Chris VandeVelde, Tanner House and Darcy Hordichuk are all released. Restricted free agent Antti Tyrvainen have also been let go. Eric Belanger is the subject of a compliance buyout. Ales Hemsky is assumed to have been traded elsewhere.

Retained are restricted free agents Magnus Paajarvi, Sam Gagner, Teemu Hartikainen, Philippe Cornet and Mark Arcobello. Buyout candidates Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff are both retained for the major league roster, while Ben Eager remains buried in the minor leagues.

There were a number of coin flip calls made here. Jerred Smithson is a viable candidate for the fifth centre slot on the NHL roster, though I have indicated him walking. Philippe Cornet is a player who may not be re-signed to a deal with an NHL component; I have kept him in the scenario above on the basis of age (23) and a strong second half but it’s entirely possible the Oilers send him down the line or sign him to an AHL-only deal (and if they choose to do so, that will be completely understandable).

Assuming no trades other than Hemsky, the Oilers have four slots to fill on the major league roster. The bottom three should be easy to fill via free agency; a second line winger in a power forward mould is the toughest of these to fill. Additionally, the Oklahoma City Barons employed a pair of veteran forwards (Josh Green and Jonathan Cheechoo) on AHL-only contracts; it seems sensible to assume that the Oilers will want at least one veteran forward with an NHL deal to help mentor and also to serve as a recall option should the need arise (while Anton Lander is a fine first call-up option, injury or uneven performance could rob the Oilers of recallable depth in a hurry).

Total contract count: 28.

Defence

Unrestricted free agents Ryan Whitney, Mark Fistric, Nikolai Khabibulin, Yann Danis and Garrett Stafford are all released. Restricted free agents Theo Peckham, Colten Teubert, Alex Plante and Niko Hovinen have also been let go.

The sole remaining free agent in this scenario is restricted free agent Taylor Fedun.

Again, I’ve exercised some discretion here. Mark Fistric and Corey Potter are both fine candidates for the six/seven role, but Potter is under contract at a cheap price-point while Fistric seems to be looking for significant dollars in a weak free agent market; hence I’ve opted to keep Potter. Yann Danis is a legitimate candidate for the number three role but is coming off a difficult season; presumably the Oilers would prefer a European free agent with more potential in that slot. Colten Teubert may yet be retained, but given his struggles to crack the Barons’ defence of late and the incoming class, he seems a good bet for departure. I should also note that RFA’s like Peckham and Teubert may have enough value for a trade at the draft.

The Oilers have three slots to fill on the depth chart above. They need to add a top-four defenceman, ideally a top-pairing defenceman, and that’s going to be very difficult indeed. Additionally, they need to overhaul their goaltending behind Devan Dubnyk. Finally, at the AHL level they have a good group of young defenders that are also legitimate recall candidates (I count Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin) so they may not need another defenceman on a two-way deal, but it seems likely that a veteran on an AHL contract could be brought in to stabilize a young defence corps. Both current UFA Garrett Stafford and Randy Jones (on an AHL contract) might fit the bill there.

Total contract count: 19, meaning that at all positions the Oilers would have used 47 of the 50 slots they have on their reserve list. 

Recently around the Nation Network

There are lots of interesting names on Justin Azevedo's Eastern Conference Compliance Buyout Candidates, including veteran Albertan Scottie Upshall:

Upshall was signed after a 34-point season, so it's unlikely Dale Tallon had any thoughts that he'd be an "offensive" contributor. Even so, the 10 points he's put up in Florida since signing there suggests to me that his tenure in Sunrise may be ending. Add to that his less-than-stellar underlying numbers and the Panthers' need for a top-9 roster spot and I don't see a way he isn't a UFA come July 5th.

Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#2 David S
June 05 2013, 02:45PM
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~REALLY curious to see what NewAgeSys has to say about this.~

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#4 TDSM31
June 05 2013, 02:54PM
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David S wrote:

~REALLY curious to see what NewAgeSys has to say about this.~

lol...me as well. He should be done typing in about 6 hours.

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#5 John
June 05 2013, 03:10PM
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stretch14 wrote:

Good article Willis, I think you're spot on with where the holes are in the organization and who needs to be moved/let go. If I were MacT I would try and plug the holes like this:

2nd line LW: Lucic, acquired via trade

3rd line RW: Horton, signed as UFA

4th line C: Maxim Lapierre, signed as UFA

13th FWD depth C: One of Boyd Gordon, Reasoner, Steckel (signed as UFA)

1st pairing LD: Shattenkirk, acquired via trade

Backup G: Anton Khudobin, signed as UFA

AHL G: Bernard Starkbaum, signed as UFA

why not just add stamkos, quick, weber, getzlaf and tavares via trade?

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#6 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 05 2013, 12:56PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Peter Mueller is a winger. Jonathan Huberdeau played wing this season. Marcel Goc was the team's second-line centre in 2013 and their first-line centre (Weiss) is walking out the door.

Florida is a wasteland up the middle; they can address that long-term by shifting Huberdeau over and drafting MacKinnon but it's going to be a brutal mess next year, too - maybe the worst in the NHL.

Edmonton's not adding a centre from Florida; Florida is screaming for help down the middle.

c'mon willis, dont let facts get in the way of DSF telling us how good other teams players are.

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#8 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 05 2013, 04:24PM
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DSF wrote:

Unfortunately, his facts are wrong.

Anyone else noticing how DSF seems to be "propping himself".......

He only ever gets one prop and its almost always when someone calls him out on his BS and he's feeling insecure.

Just sayin....

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#11 TV6
June 06 2013, 05:41AM
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@Jonathan Willis

I think there are some very poignant points in this blog, yet what GM on earth (other than the Finn in Ohio) would EVER trade Hemsky for Umberger..?

That is not "bold", that is just mismanagement on an EPIC level of fail.

I really do think MacT is going to do a great job with his new gig, but if he made that trade, he'd have a can tied to his ass so fast & be shown the door before the ink dried after the trade call.

There is a lot of guessing to be made regarding what the Oil are going to do moving forward this summer, but that swap is NOT amongst ANY of them.

No Chance, No How, No Way...

x6

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I think it's a mistake to let Smithson walk or at the very least not replace him. We should be using one PB spot on a center. Especially with RNH coming of surgery, and Horcoff being a guy that has problems staying healthy.

Team has been crippled at center for years now. Now is the time to take a page out of the Bruins or Kings book and employee more than 4 centers.

Edit: I know faceoffs isn't the end all, but when you are a young inexperienced team like the Oilers it sure wouldn't help to start with the puck instead of chasing it.

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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Agreed. I'm not sure what the answer is, though - basically, the team's waiting on Justin Schultz to grow into a top-pairing role. In a perfect world they'd add two top-pairing defencemen but I just don't see how that could happen.

BOLD moves I guess.

Best option outside of getting a true #1 is getting rid of the traditional bottom pairing and using 3 equal pairings that could be considered 2nd pairings. Would probably result in more moves, but should be easier to upgrade that bottom pairing to a 2nd pairing.

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#14 OilersBrass
June 05 2013, 12:17PM
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The D pairings you have listed for the AHL next season are looking pretty deadly! If those were actually the pairings next year, everyone in this forum should be excited about that, even if it is in the AHL.

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#15 Truth
June 05 2013, 12:36PM
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Potter is an AHL level defenseman, which is the entire reason he is cheap. Renney viewed him as a PP option and therefore a "skilled" defenseman. These are traits that Belov apparently employs. Send Potter through waivers, if he gets picked up, good, if not, good. They must sign Fistric or someone like Fistric. The current defense corps has zero intimidation factor, especially with Peckham's upcoming exit (although Belov can help here).

I could see a scenario where Horcoff gets traded. He was always MacT's golden boy (laughable) and some of the interviews MacT has done hint that Horcoff would be happy to be part of another team. His cap hit is high ($5.5M) and salary is less ($4M this year, $3M next) so he could be valuable to a team looking to reach the cap floor. MacT could do him a favor and get him out of town. This could obviously only happen if he is to be replaced, so it would have be done before or after another trade or later in the summer as I would not trade him and then count on replacing a center in FA.

Hemsky is as good as gone, IMO. He should not be re-signed and his value will only diminish as time goes on. I would work on trading Hemsky and a pick/propect for a better 2/3 C and trade Horcoff for the best D-man (4/5/6) you can get. Time for the kids to take over this team.

Pick BPA no matter what. Only if it's Nichushkin would I consider playing him in the NHL next year.

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#16 DSF
June 05 2013, 01:13PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

c'mon willis, dont let facts get in the way of DSF telling us how good other teams players are.

Unfortunately, his facts are wrong.

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#18 DSF
June 05 2013, 02:07PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Really? How is that Mueller took 104 faceoffs this season, than? That's half the number of Ryan Smyth, who spent less than half of the season as a fourth-line centre. Did Kevin Dineen only use the line on shifts that didn't include faceoffs?

The depth chart at centre for much of this year was Goc, Shore, Matthias, Smithson (with Weiss out). Bjugstad got 11 games in the role, and Mueller (judging by faceoffs) probably played 5-6 games up the middle.

Now, let's talk prospects:

Jonathan Huberdeau is a sophomore NHL'er who has never played centre at the NHL level. Nick Bjugstad had one point and went minus-8 over 11 games (along with a 40% win rate in the circle); the Panthers were out-shot by an average of 32-22 with him on the ice over an average hour of 5v5 play. I like Shore and Howden both, but it's probably also worth noting that Howden was pointless and went minus-11 in 18 games in Florida. It's also worth noting Howden's a winger.

So, yeah. They're in a terrible short-term position at centre. If they re-sign Weiss and draft MacKinnon, they can run Weiss/MacKinnon/Shore, and that still won't be as good next year as RNH/Gagner/Horcoff (though long-term MacKinnon is going to be brilliant).

It's worth nothing that Mueller and Howden are both listed as centres on Florida's depth chart.

Due to organizational depth at centre, Mueller has been alternately used a a centre or winger in Phoenix, Colorado and Florida.

So, let me get this straight...in your short term scenario Goc and Matthias just vanish?

If they re-sign Weiss, draft MacKinnon and keep Goc and Matthias, their centre depth would be:

Weiss McKinnon Shore Goc Matthias Huberdeau (if required) Bjugstad Howden

And, suggesting you can draw any conclusions about players who played a handful of games at the end of a season when their team was devastated by injury at forward, defense and in goal is hardly convincing.

While it's likely Hopkins should be better than MacKinnon in year one, I certainly don't think that's guaranteed.

And I don't think it's likely that Tallon would give up a potential #1D to acquire a second line centre with warts considering he already has a plethora of other options.

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#19 DSF
June 05 2013, 02:09PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ DSF:

Also: the Oilers' centre depth is incredible. Look at this:

Hall

Eberle

RNH

Gagner

Horcoff

Man, Horcoff's their fifth-line centre! See how great a team can look when we just pretend everyone's a centre!

If Gagner and Horcoff weren't on that list, you would be right.

But they are.

Now try Peckham.

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#20 15w40
June 05 2013, 03:09PM
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@stretch14

How do you pay everybody?? You have 3 players starting next year at 6 mil and shattenkirk i can't imagine signs for under 5. RNH will be looking for a big raise in year 2 and Yak a year after that. That's half your payrole tied up in 6 players 3 seasons from now.

I haven't even included Horton in this equation and after this playoff he is in for a big raise too. Unless one of the untouchables are dealt, I can't see this math working.

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#21 stretch14
June 05 2013, 04:48PM
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Romanus wrote:

~this is so easy, I cant see why he couldn't make it happen~

Do you even do any research before you post or do you negative nancy's just like to shoot things down for the sake of doing it?

@John

How is acquiring 2 good (but not great) players in any way equivalent to acquiring the elite talent of the league? The Bruins are hard against the cap next season and Lucic's contract jumps to $6mil. St. Louis has an internal cap and has multiple high profile RFA's they need to sign.

Since when is making a trade for 2 good players in one summer deemed impossible? There was once a time where the Oilers acquired Pronger and Peca via trade in the same summer.

@15w40

The Oilers have $14.125 mil coming off the books this year in Khabibulin, Whitney, Petrell, Jones, Smithson, Sutton and Souray. $15.875 mil if you include a Belanger buyout.

Another $5mil under this proposal assuming we trade Hemsky.

And once RNH and Yak need to be re-upped another $11.250mil is coming off the books in Smyth, Horcoff and N. Schultz.

Not to mention the fact that the cap is going to shoot back up the second next season is over.

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#22 Lee
June 05 2013, 05:53PM
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Throwing Ales under the bus, eh jonny boy? Why bother trading away a 3rd RW that we'd have to look to replace. If oiler fans run hemsky out of town then I give up with this fanbase.

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#24 DSF
June 05 2013, 09:19PM
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RexLibris wrote:

These roster holes look depressingly familiar.

That being said, while the roster spots are nothing new, there are some signs that the responses to the deficiencies may be.

Something as simple as the addition of Belov to provide more time for Klefbom to develop suggests that there may be some unusual (read: competent) signings and additions made this summer.

The only spot that I think may not be addressed is the first-pairing d-man, mostly due to prohibitive costs. But even then, if it happened that the Oilers were able to somehow turn Hemsky and a pick/prospect into Tyutin I can't say I would be terribly surprised. Happy, but not surprised.

Hemsky at $5m is a liability, not an asset.

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#25 RexLibris
June 06 2013, 08:02AM
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DSF wrote:

Hemsky at $5m is a liability, not an asset.

The same way that Brian Campbell at $7 million over a longer term was a liability?

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#26 NewAgeSys
June 06 2013, 08:15AM
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For the record,I wouldnt trade hemsky,he cannot be replaced,his consistant zone entry capability is critical to any team,we just need to put him in a position to be optimised for what he is ,not try to teach him to be what we ant optimally.

Very few men are worth that trouble,and some coaches would get rid of a man like that on principal alone,not me,I want to win and Hemsky can take me there if he does what i ask him.Ask him if he is comfortable in a 3rd line role,if he isnt promote him away.we need honesty and a 100% buyin.

Knowing how Hemsky plays he will likely still get his goal numbers from that line which is what we need from him and the line position most,he will be the centerpiece and the focus,playing against lesser opponents he should actually feast over 82 games,possibly being a season difference maker.

We cant trade him,as it is we need a zone entry specialist for the 4th line,we cant afford to lose our most lethal one.He IS our most lethal one,he just doesnt fit dynamiclly on the first two lines,this is how deep our talent base is now.This is the evidence we are going in the right direction,if hemmer can see this he will put put for us,he needs to see he will have more IMPACT on winning games from the 3rd line ,he wont need as many touches to score from there.

We have MPS,Hall,Hemsky as entry threats.We can mix and match them on lines as long as we MAINTAIN their positions in the line dynamic,if we move Hemmer to the 1st line against a specific team we need to manage the line around him or we lose value.Hemsky is pure speed and has an NHL reputation that is feared,elite NHL speed,Hall is top end speed and a middle threat that can spread the offensive pressure entering the o-zone who is gaining respect,MPS is top end speed with a big body who can force the defense to adjust to him he can target d-men and break them down and is defensive minded,these are our options and what they can do best for us.

How we manage them in the pecking order 1-2-3rd linewise doesnt matter as long as it is done in a manner that optimises their skillset at all times recognising that they all have a priority job as a zone entry specialist and this means we can work around other aspects of their games and accept specific tactical imbalances.

In a nutshell we need to be prepared to move entire lines with their dynamic integrity and managment tactics intact to prepare for specific teams,not just mix up our lines overall.This means building them around specific entry threats if we can.With Hemmer we can do that.I dont think I see another zone entry threat in the rest of the organisation that matches the three we have now,and we NEED one more.we cant afford to move Hemsky,not if we want to win games.it can take years to find a legitimate zone entry threat,we paid dearly for Hemmer and worked around him for years then we got lucky to get hall and EXTREMELY lucky MPS is a naturally gifted skater as a bigger man.But after that the well has run dry,keep Hemmer.

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#27 nuge2nail
June 06 2013, 10:21AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

I live in Calgary and I Love The Oilers. I don't post as much because I was tired of hearing the same intelligent fans talk about the fact we need two big mobile puck moving dman and better goaltending.

I hope this is obvious to everyone. We need to turn a goaltending weakness into a strength.

For years I watched a mediocre below average flames Team compete for a playoff spot, why... Because Kipper provided exceptional goaltending - he kept them in almost every game. This is the type of goaltending we need.

Buy out Horcoff, and spend some of the money on Halak. Go after Hiller, hell trade for Luongo and make Gillis eat some of the salary and Send Horcoff the other way? You address leadership an create a worst case scenario by bringing in a proven number one and create an asset in Dubnyk to shore Up the Defense.

I am posting because I now have hope in management, I believe macT is a smart man, and he will bring in a top guy to create a top tandem in the NHL.

No longer will I have to hear from flames Fans- "you guys need a goalie" - thanks tips.

Question: Do the oilers have an additional 8 mil in cap space because of the way the new cba is written and how elc bonuses no longer count against cap?

I've read this a few different places, would love to get my head around the cap situation and what we can expect... We could get Vanek for our #7, but that's a comment for another blog

I hope we keep the #7 pick and somehow get Monahan. Hence initializing the ripple Effect- YR1: Horcoff is bought out, money is spent on a quality goalie. YR2: Monahan develops into a top two guy, Gagner is traded for a young top 4 defenseman.

If the draft goes McKinnon, Jones, Drouin, Barkov, Nichuskin, Monahan - I seriously consider trading the pick for a Vanek type player(huge lw, 35 goal guy) or a Edler type Defenseman(young top 3). If one of those players slide- we hit the jackpot.

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#28 Spydyr
June 05 2013, 10:00AM
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Good article lots of food for thought.

I hope even a couple other moves are made beyond the ones you have suggested.Gagner getting moved and replaced with a larger more capable center .Someone with the ability of going head to head in all three zones, with the big centers soon to be in the Oilers division.Ranks as the biggest move outside your suggestions.Another would be a 1B goalie to push Dubbie not just a older back up.Even one more top four defensemen would be nice.Pushing everyone else down the depth chart and creating some depth on the back end.

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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I do agree the Oilers should have a PB spot reserved for a centre; Smithson's fine in the role but I wonder if there isn't someone else who would be a better fit. If Manny Malhotra struggles to find NHL employment, for instance, he's a guy that could be signed on a one-year with some possibility of a positive bounce.

I haven't been through all the UFA centres yet, though; Smithson just strikes me as very vanilla.

I thought Malhotra was done as a player? But whatever, there are numerous guys every year that can sit in the PB and be a real good fill in. We just need to make sure we have one.

As for being vanilla, it's a PB player if the guy wasn't vanilla he'd be an everyday #4 center.

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#31 HardBoiledOil
June 05 2013, 10:15AM
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yup, there could be significant player movement on the NHL as well as the AHL roster. would not be against seeing Hemsky, Gagner, Jones, Fistric and Peckham all gone from the NHL roster and Eager, Plante, Tuebert and Hovinen gone from the AHL roster.

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#33 HardBoiledOil
June 05 2013, 10:17AM
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Smithson didn't really do anything for me when i saw him play this year....i don't really care one way or the other if the Oilers keep him or not.

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#34 Vaclav
June 05 2013, 10:23AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Ryan Smyth and Eric Belanger wouldn't be candidates for compliance buyouts because they don't earn $3.0M+ per season. I would assume that barring some miracle trade Eric Belanger will leave under a traditional buyout where he would be paid $833K and have a cap hit of $916K in 2013/14 and $416K in 2014/15.

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Jonathan Willis wrote:

No, Malhotra's done in Vancouver; he's very interested in resuming his playing career.

Like I said, Smithson's a coin toss. It all depends how you rate him at centre vs. guys like Santorelli and Reasoner and Malhotra and Halpern and Adam Hall and Euros like Thoresen. There are just one or two guys I like better who I think you can get on a cheap contract as the 13th forward.

I like Adam Hall, but that might just be to mess with commentators. I am curious on Thoresen though, whether or not he'd come back and can he be a viable option.

That defense is just plain scary. Unless that red is someone very special.

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Vaclav wrote:

Ryan Smyth and Eric Belanger wouldn't be candidates for compliance buyouts because they don't earn $3.0M+ per season. I would assume that barring some miracle trade Eric Belanger will leave under a traditional buyout where he would be paid $833K and have a cap hit of $916K in 2013/14 and $416K in 2014/15.

3mil was just for the early compliance buyouts.

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#38 Vaclav
June 05 2013, 10:35AM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Interesting. I wonder if it would be worth using one of the two compliance buyouts on Belanger though given the relatively low cap hits this year and next with a traditional buyout. ie should they maintain those two compliance buyouts for Horcoff and someone earning more than Belanger if need be.

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Vaclav wrote:

Interesting. I wonder if it would be worth using one of the two compliance buyouts on Belanger though given the relatively low cap hits this year and next with a traditional buyout. ie should they maintain those two compliance buyouts for Horcoff and someone earning more than Belanger if need be.

That's my thinking as well.

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#40 Vaclav
June 05 2013, 10:37AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

No, Malhotra's done in Vancouver; he's very interested in resuming his playing career.

Like I said, Smithson's a coin toss. It all depends how you rate him at centre vs. guys like Santorelli and Reasoner and Malhotra and Halpern and Adam Hall and Euros like Thoresen. There are just one or two guys I like better who I think you can get on a cheap contract as the 13th forward.

I'm not sure I would offer Malhotra a contract but I would most certainly give him a training camp invite if no one else signs him. Brian Berard had a fairly productive career post eye-injury. Perhaps Malhotra could as well.

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#41 The Beaker
June 05 2013, 10:39AM
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The thing that bugs me is when filling those red spots in the lineup we know we are going to be creating others. To fill that D spot we might then end up covering over Gagner's name in red. How do we fill all the roster spots into a competitive roster that can make the playoffs without decimating our prospect pool? The FA market is fine for filling one or two spots but cant do all of them that way.

Signings like Belov if they work out could go a long way to achieving this goal but we're going to need more than that.

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#42 horndog77
June 05 2013, 10:44AM
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That center depth without Horcoff looks scary

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#43 Kosmo Kramer
June 05 2013, 10:45AM
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Jonathan

I was doing this exact same exercise yesterday but not considering too much the AHL component of things. If the Oilers can hold MacT to his word than there are three main areas that will cost major bucks. The resigning of Sam Gagner, a second winger that has some grit and scoring ability(yesterday the name Hartnell was being thrown around) and a first pairing defense(Mark Streit). I was doing an exercise keeping the 64.3 million cap in mind and unless the Oilers can shed the Hemsky contract in full and replace it with something at half the rate and shed Belangers contract expectations may have to be tempered. Were you considering the cap in your scenario's?

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#44 Archaeologuy
June 05 2013, 10:51AM
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Nichushkin on LW and Pronger in his Prime returns on Defense. Problem. Solved.

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#45 The Beaker
June 05 2013, 10:52AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Nichushkin on LW and Pronger in his Prime returns on Defense. Problem. Solved.

That list does make Nichushkin look WAY more enticing.

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#46 DSF
June 05 2013, 10:56AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Agreed. I'm not sure what the answer is, though - basically, the team's waiting on Justin Schultz to grow into a top-pairing role. In a perfect world they'd add two top-pairing defencemen but I just don't see how that could happen.

They are going to be forced to move one of the first overall picks to eventually solve this issue.

Waiting on Justin Schultz to morph from Jack Johnson into Drew Doughty is not a viable strategy since it has an excellent chance of failing.

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#47 DSF
June 05 2013, 10:56AM
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horndog77 wrote:

That center depth without Horcoff looks scary

And with him too.

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#48 DSF
June 05 2013, 11:04AM
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For those interested, Craig Button has a live chat going on on TSN.ca right now.

http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=49649

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#49 Ducey
June 05 2013, 11:18AM
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That AHL defence next year looks to be a real quality group. They might struggle a bit at first due to inexperience but its nice to have 6 D prospects on the farm.

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#50 2004Z06
June 05 2013, 11:26AM
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Gagner needs to move to the wing in favor of a big, natural center that can play defense and win a faceoff.

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