Free agency: Let's be realistic

Jason Gregor
June 30 2014 09:54AM

ed4

The lunacy known as free agency begins tomorrow. Million dollar contracts get handed out more freely and recklessly than pipes at a crack house.

Management and fans get addicted to the belief that the woes of their team will be solved via free agency, and many are willing to do it at any cost.

This year will be no different.

The 2014/2015 salary cap will be $69 million, and in 2012 teams knew the cap would be $70 million. Here is a quick look back at some of the insanity that was handed out back then.

Jason Garrison got $27.6 million over six years. Less than two years later he was given away for a 2nd round pick.

Aaron Rome, Jordin Tootoo and Greg Zanon got three, three and two years contracts, but all of them were bought out before the deals expired. Ray Whitney was 40 years old, but he got a two-year deal worth $9 million. He scored nine goals in the final year of that deal.

Chris Kelly got four years at $3 million and a partial NMC. A third liner gets a NMC. Insanity.

OIlers fans don't need to re-live the horror of free agency in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but Eric Belanger, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Nikolai Khabibulin and others give you a sense of how things can go wrong.

IT WILL NEVER CHANGE

I don't expect this week to be any different. Teams have cap space and they want to use it. The NHL is very competitive, and GMs and owners get caught up in the competition of overspending and they can't help themselves.

Matt Niskanen will likely get close to $5.5 million/year on a six or seven year contract. He is a good player, but he is not a franchise D-man. Anton Stralman possession numbers have some people drooling, but when a team signs him for $4.5+ they will increase his icetime and expect the same results. Usually that is a recipe for disappointment.

I constantly hear the phrase from media and fans, "the cap is going up," as if it is some sort of built in excuse for the idiocy that will arrive tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. MST.

FYI, this year's cap is lower than it was two years ago, so why are players suddenly worth more today? Hell, some people are already throwing out next year's cap, projected to be $75 million due to the new TV contract, in advance of the overspending. "Don't worry, we can over pay this player for seven years, because the cap is going up in 2015." That sounds completely reasonable.

I'd rather overpay on a short term deal than get locked into a five, six or seven year deal, but rarely do we see shorter terms for the supposed impact UFAs.

WHAT ABOUT THE OILERS

We all know they need and want to sign a centre. Ideally they will sign two quality centres, but I don't think that is realistic, or if they think it is even necessary. I get the sense Leon Draisaitl is penciled in to be one of the top-three centres. (More on that another day, but I don't think it is a good plan to guarantee him a spot. At the very least have four other proven NHL centres in camp, and make him compete for a job.)

If Craig MacTavish doesn't land Paul Stastny some will deem free agency a failure.

News flash: The Oilers have missed the playoffs for eight seasons. They aren't the first choice for a 28 year-old UFA. Players want to win, and even if the Oilers are willing to pay $500,000 more per season, that likely isn't enough to attract a player like Stastny.

The realistic centre options are more likely players like David Legwand, Mikhail Grabovski, Brian Boyle, Marcel Goc, Derek Roy, Vern Fiddler or Olli Jokinen.

They all have NHL experience, but none of them are superstars and they all have some warts in their game. The Oilers need improvements in many areas, so don't should expect one centre to make the Oilers an instant contender.

I'd consider a one-year deal on Peter Mueller, but nothing more. I'd need to see if he matured playing in Europe.

The Oilers could also use another top-nine winger and at least one, possibly two veteran NHL defenceman.

Names like Nikolai Kulemin, Kyle Quincey, Mark Fayne or Andrej Meszaros have been tossed around. They are proven NHL players, but not franchise players. Signing them would help, but the Nation needs to maintain realistic expectations on their production, regardless of what type of contract they get.

If you are expecting the Oilers to land the best free agents, you will be grossly disappointed. I truly hope they do, and if they land a big fish I will be pleasantly surprised, but I won't be shocked when they don't.

If the Oilers can land two quality, serviceable forwards and two steady NHL defenders, then MacTavish will have done an outstanding job. Signing one of each seems more realistic.

PARTING SHOTS...

frustrated kit

I've read lately how some are down playing the Perron deal because it was for the #10 and the #33 pick, and somehow that means it was a bad trade.

Are you freaking serious. If you believe that you must be from the crowd who constantly overrates the value of a draft pick.

If a player was drafted at #10 five years ago, but hasn't performed well, is he still valued as a 10th overall pick today? Umm, no. And now Ivan Barbashev is suddenly the guy the Oilers desperately need in their organization. Please.

Under that same delusional thinking the Oilers made a great trade when they dealt Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders for three first round picks.

Or I guess the Oilers won the Chris Pronger trade because they got four 1st rounder for him. #facepalm

Perron has played 418 games and scored 112-143-255. They gave up Paajarvi, 218 GP and 32-38-70 and a draft pick who might be in the NHL in three years.

The Oilers have made many bad trades, but trying to argue that Perron deal was bad because they gave up a 10th and 33rd pick is asinine.

QUICK HITS...

  • Brian Sutherby has always maintained Dave Tippett was the best coach he ever had. He knows how to connect to players and he gets them to play how he wants them to. Tippett will be Sam Gagner's 6th head coach in eighth season, but he might be the best thing for Gagner. He needs to improve his defensive play, and Tippett has a good track record of getting the most out of his players in both ends of the ice. Gagner has NHL talent, and sometimes players need a trade to realize they how hard they must work for that talent to appear. I'm curious to see how Gagner does in Phoenix. I believe he will do well.

  • The Coyotes are only paying Gagner $3.2 million (Tampa pays the other $1.6 mill), so the Coyotes expectations of him, and his production, will be more in line with his salary.

  • The Lightning are making room to add a free agent. They must have had good chat with some UFAs during the interview period, but of course they didn't discuss real term or dollars, because that is not allowed. I chuckle when someone mentions teams, players and agents can't discuss formal offers, and actually believes that they don't.

  • Has any GM done a worse job of handling a goalie situation than Mike Gillis? A year ago Gillis had Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo. Today, he is no longer with the Canucks and Jim Benning needs to sign Ryan Miller or Jonas Hiller to give his team a chance at getting back to the playoffs. Gillis' handling of his goalie rivaled Steve Tambellini's free agent signings.

  • I will never understand rating a draft the day after is happens. How can anyone say with certainty if a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th round pick will pan out. I can understand if you break down first round picks, especially the top-10, but after that there is a lot of luck involved. Some players continue to develop, while others have reached their peak. Some get injured. Some lose their confidence when they go to the next level and don't have instant success, while others simply don't get a good opportunity within an organization.

    All I know is that getting drafted is a huge accomplishment. Only 210 players in the entire world heard their name called on Saturday, and I hope they are all proud of that. The majority of them won't play in the NHL, because it is extremely hard to make it the Show, but that shouldn't stop them from celebrating a very important first step in their dream to play in the NHL. Congrats to all the players drafted. You and your family should cherish the moment, and hopefully it inspires you to work even harder to take the next step.

  • Do you want to Volunteer? I'm been helping out the Great White North Triathlon for the past four years. It is a great event. The organizers have told me they are short 5-7 volunteers/course marshals to help out on race day. The race is this coming Sunday. It is in Stony Plain. If you are interested in helping out, it is a great time, send me an email to gregor@tsn1260.ca. Thanks.

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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#1 copper
June 30 2014, 10:27AM
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Gregor, I. Am one who thinks we gave up too much for Perron. I do believe Perron is a better (or maybe just different) player than MP. But, the Blues were in a cap crunch and had 3 important FA's to sign. I feel MP or pick should have been enough.

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#2 Lowe Expectations
June 30 2014, 10:27AM
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Good article on the hockey side. Could have done without the pipes at the crackhouse analogy. I have a friend who is fighting a battle with addiction and is winning for now, so I find the comparison to hockey management unnecessary.

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#3 Old Time Oil Fan
June 30 2014, 11:11AM
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Another oiler success: Trading a first round (6th overall) pick for an undrafted player. And only in oil country this is perceived as a good thing. Congrats MacT. Way to go Oilers. Thats how championship teams are built!

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#4 Dman09
June 30 2014, 11:11AM
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Here's a question,

WHY THE HELL DID EDM TRADE GAGNER FOR PURCELL WHEN IN REALITY THEY COULD HAVE GOT HIM FOR A 6TH ROUND PICK?

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#5 oilboy69
June 30 2014, 10:53AM
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how about trading Marincin and a 1st for Coburn and 70% of Lecavalier's contract? I know it's bad, but the Flyers need to off load contracts and we'd get a top 2 d man and a 2nd Line C (even though he had a down year). MacT should also sign Jokinen and Goc off Pittsburgh

Hall - RNH - Eberle Perron - Lecavalier - Purcell Jokinen - Goc (or Draisaitl) - Yakupov Hendricks - Gordon - Lander/Arcobello Gazdic

Coburn - Petry Ference - Schultz Nikitin - Fayne Klefbom

Scrivens - Fasth

Not the best D core, but definitely too 15 in the league

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#6 Fresh Mess
June 30 2014, 12:20PM
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4.5 for Nikitin is looking dumber by the hour. MacT/Howson must really think he has another gear. Volchenkov now ufa.

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#7 Talbot17
June 30 2014, 10:30AM
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Dave Boland would look good on this team as a 3rd line working with Gordon.

Goc would also look solid. if you can get blue collar guys who've played in the Western Conference before it may work out this summer for the Oil.

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#8 Dman09
June 30 2014, 11:25AM
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Seriously though, Gagner could have got you a 2nd or a 3rd from another team easy.

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#9 Reds
June 30 2014, 10:01AM
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I'm glad you posted this Gregor.

I completely agree with the Stastny point. It would take a severe overpayment for him to come here because it reflects where the team currently stands.

It isn't a great destination right now. I'm also all for the secondary free agents, such as Grabovski (personally, I have #1 priority.) and Mark Fayne.Hopefully that changes when the team becomes more competitive.

Also will be interesting via the trade route. If anything MacT has shown is that he is not afraid to make a move. Trade wise, he looks pretty decent on that front (besides the Smid trade).

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#10 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
June 30 2014, 10:41AM
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MacT's shopping list:

-2nd line C -Top pairing D -Top 9 winger who can play physical

My guess is we land another 4/5 D, a declining 3rd line LW, and throw Leon to the wolves as the team's 2C this year.

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#11 BringBackSlats
June 30 2014, 10:56AM
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Perron Trade was a STEAL... There is no room for argument there. Sorry but Magnus isn't suddenly going to develop into an all star and Perron gives us a ton of what we lack. Best trade done last year by any GM imo.

Can't say I agree with you on what the Oilers should be looking at now. I feel you highly under estimate our need for a legit number one/two defenceman. We missed Eklblad (i heard you say on the radio to Strudwick you wouldn't take him...yikes). You get paid to talk a lot of hickey and you're pretty good at disecting the nuances of the market and the business of the game... Not sure you actually have much in the hocley IQ dept. With sentiments like that. You have little concept of the defensive game and you overvalue offense at every turn. Hopefully MacT sees things differently ie. correctly. Surely he does or we'll be losing forever.

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#12 Guy Lafleur
June 30 2014, 10:12AM
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I bet Gagner scores 4 goals a game next year !!!

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#13 Gary Stene
June 30 2014, 12:43PM
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I think I signed up as "coal miner" can verify that? My ame is Gary Stene and my email is stene70@shaw.ca. Thanks

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#14 The Soup Fascist
June 30 2014, 10:37AM
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Reds wrote:

I'm glad you posted this Gregor.

I completely agree with the Stastny point. It would take a severe overpayment for him to come here because it reflects where the team currently stands.

It isn't a great destination right now. I'm also all for the secondary free agents, such as Grabovski (personally, I have #1 priority.) and Mark Fayne.Hopefully that changes when the team becomes more competitive.

Also will be interesting via the trade route. If anything MacT has shown is that he is not afraid to make a move. Trade wise, he looks pretty decent on that front (besides the Smid trade).

I am not asking to be a smart a$$, I just honestly am not sure why. Why all the love for Grabovski? Everyone seems to think he is the elixir the Oilers need as a 2C to right the ship and I just don't get it.

He is a small, semi-productive center who has a spotty record of getting along with teammates and coaches. I think he will get absolutely owned going against the big teams in the west as a 2C.

I think David Legwand, warts and all, is a better fit, IF (big if) MacT could sign him.

P.S. Add Kulemin to the same wtf? list. He is big but does not play that way. He and Grabo are always lumped together as "fixes".

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#15 Dman09
June 30 2014, 11:28AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

It didn't work that way because it couldn't work that way. It was a three way trade by necessity - we had what Tampa needed; Tampa then had what PHX needed and vice versa

You trying to say edm doesn't have cap space or a 6th round pick??????

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#16 madjam
June 30 2014, 11:28AM
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If a reasonable contract could be struck , I wouldn't mind V. Lecavalier or B.Richards for a couple of years .

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#17 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
June 30 2014, 10:01AM
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I love the TSN free agent frenzy. Words like paint dry and grass grow come to mind.

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#18 Quicksilver ballet
June 30 2014, 11:33AM
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The sexy season is upon us.

The vision of impact players coming your way is a lot like intimacy for a middle aged couple. You're hopeful you'll get that green light and indulge in the festivities, but you know chances are, you'll probably just end up seeing it all happen on Sportscenter.

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#19 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
June 30 2014, 12:15PM
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Zarny wrote:

@The Soup Fascist

No worries...I don't think it can be stated enough that judging players by where there were drafted 5-10 years ago is absolutely ridiculous.

That's like saying a team should draft a certain player at 18 y/o because he went higher in the bantam draft at 14.

While I agree with you, I feel that the point being made earlier was more to judge the organization on how they handle their players (assets) rather than judging the players directly. Naturally, both go hand in hand though.

As a general trend, it seems Edmonton has done a terrible job over the past few years of managing assets. They've consistently taken talented kids, ruined their confindence, put them in over their head (often overpaying them), before eventually trading them away for magic beans.

Some of the blame goes to the player for not rounding out their game effectively. But I think most of the blame goes to the organization for making them play for a new coach every year and turning the asset into a liability with a bad contract.

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#20 The Last Big Bear
June 30 2014, 12:26PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I am not asking to be a smart a$$, I just honestly am not sure why. Why all the love for Grabovski? Everyone seems to think he is the elixir the Oilers need as a 2C to right the ship and I just don't get it.

He is a small, semi-productive center who has a spotty record of getting along with teammates and coaches. I think he will get absolutely owned going against the big teams in the west as a 2C.

I think David Legwand, warts and all, is a better fit, IF (big if) MacT could sign him.

P.S. Add Kulemin to the same wtf? list. He is big but does not play that way. He and Grabo are always lumped together as "fixes".

Grabovski gets props from fans because a) he works hard, b) he can bang in 20 goals, c) he passes the eyeball test with flying colours, and d) his advanced stats back it all up and validate him as being a solid player.

He fits with the Oilers because he is a veteran, he plays a skill game, he drives offence, and while he's not exactly leading the way with physicality he can take a hit like a champ (after all, Brian Burke is the guy who gave him his payday).

Off-ice issues with coaches,, attitude, etc? I have no idea. Never met the guy. The fact that he took a 1-year fairly cheap contract from Washington is not really in line with his on-ice performance, so there may be some truth to this.

But on-ice he seems like the Oilers' realistic best-case-scenario in terms of UFA centres.

Him and Derek Roy are about the only UFA centres available you can describe as 2nd line centres while keeping a straight face.

Although to be honest, I haven't been able to keep a straight face since Gagner's trade value was clearly established three times in the same day, once being traded for a buyout candidate, once when his new team said they were going to buy him out, and once when a team wouldn't give up a 6th rounder for him unless he had retained salary and another NHLer was included.

Hey Zarny, do you like apples?

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#21 freelancer
June 30 2014, 10:35AM
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I would consider this free agency to be a success if we can sign Kulemin and Grabovski.

Hall-Nuge Eberle, Perron-Grabovski-Yak, Kulemin-Drasaitl-Purcell, Hendricks-Gordon-Gazdic.

When is the last time we had that many actual NHLers in our forward corps. I believe that would actually give us three lines that could all contribute. Drasaitl gets paired with two guys who are both bigger guys that can protect him and be defensive. That line would be very responsible defensively.

Lastly if we can make one trade to bring in a guy like Boychuk, someone who can easily slot into a top role on this team and provide a couple years of solid play.

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#22 bazmagoo
June 30 2014, 10:55AM
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In MacT I trust. He got something for Gagner, that was good enough for this off season.

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#23 RexHolez
June 30 2014, 01:06PM
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Is this really an article telling the fans of the worst team in the league this decade to be "Realistic"? Dont worry Gregor, I have absolutely no delusions that this management has any clue how to build a winning team, or even to slightly improve it. I imagine they'll sign a 4th line centre to big money and play him over his head. Is that realistic?

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#24 theoil
June 30 2014, 10:03AM
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The voice of reason in an insane world... Good article Gregor

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#25 Zarny
June 30 2014, 11:08AM
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Good article with sage advice.

In the NHL, rookies are capped and stars don't take max contracts. So GMs with cap space always overpay middle tier players because they can. Thus, free agency will never be a good way to build a team.

I think the Oilers should certainly talk to Stastny but realistically he's not coming to Edm for an extra $500K. Maybe for an extra $1-1.5M but Stastny isn't good enough for that kind of money.

The realistic C options are either stop-gaps like Legwand who will be gone in 3 years or perhaps a player like Boyle or Bolland who would be playing over their head as a 2C but are good defensively and could transition to 3C as Draisaitl matures.

And yes, it's ridiculous to suggest trading a 10th and 33rd overall pick for a proven player like Perron is a bad trade.

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#26 Rob...
June 30 2014, 11:09AM
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Tennis Play-by-play, really TSN? Couldn't you find old episodes of Bob Ross's 'The Joy of Painting' to radiocast? They would be infinitely more exciting.

'That evergreen tree is coming out beautifully. The strokes, perfectly executed... branches appearing and overlaying the brown trunk, yet never obscuring it completely. The layering... dear god the layering! Masterful!'

I'd have added something that rhymes with 'ripple inflection' but it'd likely get my post auto-blocked.

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#27 Spydyr
June 30 2014, 11:29AM
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Guy Lafleur wrote:

I bet Gagner scores 4 goals a game next year !!!

Me too and he will end the game -3

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#28 R U Kidding Me!
June 30 2014, 12:16PM
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Sam's Gagner. In MacT we trust.

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#29 Ktell
June 30 2014, 10:14AM
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Gregor, you and I both know no-one rivals Tambe's bold moves.

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#30 Rama Lama
June 30 2014, 10:23AM
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Free agent day should be changed and called "losing you mind day"! The biggest bust in UFA hunting has to be Brad Richards and for that matter any player that NYR acquire on this day!

I for one hope and pray along with you Gregor, that Mac T very strategically acquires what this team needs in another veteran centre capable of moving up and down the line up...........oh yea we have one of those named Mark Arccabello.

Never mind.........just add another defenceman and let's call it a day!

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#31 rickithebear
June 30 2014, 12:21PM
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Hall and Yak were most Successful with linear defecnsive Centers. Horcoff and Belanger. Best offensive production and goal differential. they won faceoffs.

Gagners 46% FO and RNH 41.4% causes such a pocession disadvantage.

Been hoping for Boyle 53%; can center Hall-Boyle-Yak or go on the wing for Boyle-RNH-Eberle

with 1300 faceoffs per line. a switch to boyle is 90 more pocessions in a season and boyle with Rnh is 150 more pocessions per season.

one that is interesting is Boghdan Yakimov. With the elite 18 year old season in russia. a linear center who talkes a tough XZone start role in KHL and WJC. had a 59% FO % in KHL against men. How long is he in AHL before that skill and size is called up!

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#32 Vinotintazo
June 30 2014, 10:36AM
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copper wrote:

Gregor, I. Am one who thinks we gave up too much for Perron. I do believe Perron is a better (or maybe just different) player than MP. But, the Blues were in a cap crunch and had 3 important FA's to sign. I feel MP or pick should have been enough.

I believe Perron's contract value is a steal.

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#33 ubermiguel
June 30 2014, 10:36AM
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The Todd Nelson extension is probably more important than any free-agent signing. He's pretty good at turning AHLers into NHLers. Our high picks can fill the top of the roster, we need Todd to help with the bottom.

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#34 Tyler
June 30 2014, 11:05AM
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Lowe Expectations wrote:

Good article on the hockey side. Could have done without the pipes at the crackhouse analogy. I have a friend who is fighting a battle with addiction and is winning for now, so I find the comparison to hockey management unnecessary.

I'm glad to hear that your friend is fighting the good fight. I would like to say that I find your comment as equally unnecessary. Don't get me wrong I know how you feel, as alot of us have gone through similare situations, and I am one of the biggest Gregor haters on this website. But the guy was simply writing a metephor, its probably safe to say he has never mentioned crack before and probably won't again. By commenting on it only brings more attention to the quote. I feel for you and your freind, but don't make the guy feel guilty about it, just read it and move on.

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#35 The Soup Fascist
June 30 2014, 11:25AM
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Dman09 wrote:

Here's a question,

WHY THE HELL DID EDM TRADE GAGNER FOR PURCELL WHEN IN REALITY THEY COULD HAVE GOT HIM FOR A 6TH ROUND PICK?

Because they did not want two guys (Gagner and Purcell) who are struggling to find their respective games making just shy of $5 million each.

One is plenty.

And please, stop yelling. I have a hangover.

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#36 Ivan Drago
June 30 2014, 11:31AM
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Old Time Oil Fan wrote:

Another oiler success: Trading a first round (6th overall) pick for an undrafted player. And only in oil country this is perceived as a good thing. Congrats MacT. Way to go Oilers. Thats how championship teams are built!

Omg you cannot go by that logic!! What is wrong with you? So if you traded away Zetterberg (210 overall) for Cam Barker (3rd overall) you would say you won the trade?

I can picture it now as you (being a GM) walk into your owners office, he's called you in because rumor around the league has it, you've made a very stupid move.

But you can tell him, hey sir, Henrik was picked 210 for crying out loud, Cam was 3rd overall! We won this trade by a landslide, it doesn't matter if Henrik is an all-star and Cam couldn't crack the freaking Oilers d corps, he was 3rd, its simple economics!

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#37 Zarny
June 30 2014, 11:36AM
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Old Time Oil Fan wrote:

Another oiler success: Trading a first round (6th overall) pick for an undrafted player. And only in oil country this is perceived as a good thing. Congrats MacT. Way to go Oilers. Thats how championship teams are built!

Umm no.

The Oilers didn't trade a first round (6th overall) pick for an undrafted player.

They trade Sam Gagner, a 24 y/o undersized C with offensive upside and a production rate of 50 pts per 82 games and a very good shortened lockout season but who has never actually topped 50 pts and was poor at faceoffs for Teddy Purcell who is a 28 y/o RW in his prime who has actually produced 51-65 PT for multiple years.

Where either was drafted is completely and utterly irrelevant 7+ years after the fact.

By your insane logic Edmonton would win a trade if they shipped Martin Marincin (drafted 46th overall 2010) to Colorado for Duncan Siemens (drafted 11th overall 2011).

I know exactly what you're saying...Duncan who?

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#38 bwar
June 30 2014, 12:28PM
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If we could get Legwand hat would be incredible. A consistent NHL commodity that is fully capable of being the 2C? Yes please.

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#39 rickithebear
June 30 2014, 12:42PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

4.5 for Nikitin is looking dumber by the hour. MacT/Howson must really think he has another gear. Volchenkov now ufa.

Fresh Buddy:

LAK have 5 of 10 best EVGA/60 Dmen. Quick is #7 save% versus chance/box shots.

Scrivens was #4 last 3 years.

Nikitin versus 2nd comp last 3 years. 1.31 EVGA/60 best in league.

Dumber by the Hour.

Nice insight Buddy!

In journalism they say write to a grade5 level. I understand why!

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#40 Fresh Mess
June 30 2014, 02:09PM
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rickithebear wrote:

Fresh Buddy:

LAK have 5 of 10 best EVGA/60 Dmen. Quick is #7 save% versus chance/box shots.

Scrivens was #4 last 3 years.

Nikitin versus 2nd comp last 3 years. 1.31 EVGA/60 best in league.

Dumber by the Hour.

Nice insight Buddy!

In journalism they say write to a grade5 level. I understand why!

I'm sure you intended to make a point. Keep drinking your milk. You'll get there some day.

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#41 Oilbaron
June 30 2014, 06:56PM
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Hey Gregor, its Purse-ul, not Pur-sell

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#42 vetinari
June 30 2014, 10:28AM
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I'm guessing we will add 2 to 3 marginal free agent role players (at centre and at defence) once UFA season opens but I think where MacT may actually make some progress with this team is in the trade market as teams line up to overpay Stastny and Niskanen and then need to off-load other salaries. Teams like Philly, Toronto and Boston hate to stand on the sidelines for the "next big thing" and that's where we may be able to help them out-- send us Boychuk and you'll have money to go after Niskanen or whoever-- win/win, right?

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#43 clyde
June 30 2014, 11:09AM
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Excellent article. I agree Edmonton probably won't get one of the top free agents but at this stage, should not need to. They have drafted elite talent for a number of years, signed Schultz and traded for Perron. Bringing in solid complementary players should be the goal. I wouldn't overspend at this time. Getting a player like Kulemin would be a clear win. It is imperative that the high end guys continue to develop and management surrounds them with the right guys. Then, at the point where they are in a spot to compete, they pull the trigger on a high end defender whether through trade or free agency. That's just my opinion.

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#44 Aitch
June 30 2014, 11:18AM
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@Talbot17

Bolland on the 3rd line with Gordon? Really? So, which guy would you move over to LW? And considering that MacT wants Gordo on the 4th line and Bolland wants a $5M+ salary, I don't agree that it's a good fit.

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#45 Zarny
June 30 2014, 11:24AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Free agent day should be changed and called "losing you mind day"! The biggest bust in UFA hunting has to be Brad Richards and for that matter any player that NYR acquire on this day!

I for one hope and pray along with you Gregor, that Mac T very strategically acquires what this team needs in another veteran centre capable of moving up and down the line up...........oh yea we have one of those named Mark Arccabello.

Never mind.........just add another defenceman and let's call it a day!

Mark Arcobello was a nice surprise last year but he's an undersized player who was undrafted and has all of 42 NHL games experience while starting next season at 26 y/o.

Realistic expectations starts with players like Arcobello. He should be given props for persistence but undrafted players who don't make the NHL till 25 y/o typically have a 3-5 years window while they are in their prime and that's it. Marty St. Louis is still the extreme exception to the rule.

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#46 Andy7190
June 30 2014, 11:25AM
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Reds wrote:

I'm glad you posted this Gregor.

I completely agree with the Stastny point. It would take a severe overpayment for him to come here because it reflects where the team currently stands.

It isn't a great destination right now. I'm also all for the secondary free agents, such as Grabovski (personally, I have #1 priority.) and Mark Fayne.Hopefully that changes when the team becomes more competitive.

Also will be interesting via the trade route. If anything MacT has shown is that he is not afraid to make a move. Trade wise, he looks pretty decent on that front (besides the Smid trade).

Yeah, but that Smid trade now makes more sense. It looks more like a salary dump by EDM and a salary pick up by CGY at a time when Giordano was hurt and they had a severe lack of experienced D-men.

The Flames took on the entire salary, and still are below the salary floor assuming Cammy goes elsewhere.

Actually, Edmonton could use a guy like him right now. Seriously.

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#47 The Soup Fascist
June 30 2014, 11:28AM
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Dman09 wrote:

Seriously though, Gagner could have got you a 2nd or a 3rd from another team easy.

Then why didn't Tampa just mosey out and grab that "easy to get" 2nd or 3rd rounder once they acquired Gagner?

Because Yzerman is stupid?

Gagner and his contract are not especially valuable, especially with the cap being $2 million less than everyone thought.

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#48 Nick
June 30 2014, 10:43AM
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Would be nice to see the Oilers go after Brian Boyle, the guy has come out and said he'd like to be used more to score goals (http://www.bcinterruption.com/boston-college-hockey/2014/6/17/5818338/nhl-free-agency-brian-boyle-new-york-rangers-boston-college) and drafting a big Draisaitl would still be best to go back to Junior, and take this big C in the #2 hole, its not like we're making the playoffs yet and Boyle plays a very good game, he would be nice to give a shot at while Draisaitl can develop a bit. And then we'd be silly not to take a run at David Moss to get the 2nd F. If our F's looked a bit like Hall-RNH-Eberle Perron-Boyle-Purcell Moss-Gordon-Yakupov Arcobello-Lander-Hendricks

that would give us some good options at Centre, round out all the positions, and make us competitive, not a cup winner but at least we're be steering in the right direction

on D it would be nice to resign Petry and Schultz, and add Ehrhoff

Ehrhoff Petry Nikitin Schultz Ference Marinicin

Thats me playing arm chair GM for free agent frenzy :)

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#49 Dman09
June 30 2014, 10:48AM
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Ya I wouldn't mind see Edm sign Erhoff. It would be a big boost. I also think one more defensman signing would be nice. If Marincin beats any of the 6 then he can have a spot but make him earn it by being better than a proven NHL player.

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#50 Dman09
June 30 2014, 10:56AM
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oilboy69 wrote:

how about trading Marincin and a 1st for Coburn and 70% of Lecavalier's contract? I know it's bad, but the Flyers need to off load contracts and we'd get a top 2 d man and a 2nd Line C (even though he had a down year). MacT should also sign Jokinen and Goc off Pittsburgh

Hall - RNH - Eberle Perron - Lecavalier - Purcell Jokinen - Goc (or Draisaitl) - Yakupov Hendricks - Gordon - Lander/Arcobello Gazdic

Coburn - Petry Ference - Schultz Nikitin - Fayne Klefbom

Scrivens - Fasth

Not the best D core, but definitely too 15 in the league

I don't think Coburn was Top 2 in Philly. He's likely a 3 at best. I think there may be a lot more upside to Marincin that people think. Only time will tell but if all goes well he gets better and bigger(muscle wise) I think his upper limit is #2 D-man.

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