Oilers trade for Nikitin's rights...

Jason Gregor
June 20 2014 12:36PM

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The Edmonton Oilers have acquired the negotiating rights to pending unrestricted free agent Nikita Nikitin. If they sign him, they will need to give the Blue Jackets a draft pick most likely.

Basically the Oilers got a window of opportunity that allows them to negotiate exclusively with Nikitin. They are able to try and negotiate a contract with him up until July 1st. Starting next Wednesday, other teams can talk to Nikitin, but they can't offer formal contracts.

Scott Howson traded for Nikitin when he was the GM in Columbus, and he knows him well. If the Oilers sign Nikitin before the draft they will surrender a pick this year, but if they sign him after the draft then it will be a pick next year. Either way it will be a late round pick. If they don't sign him, Columbus gets nothing.

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Gagner to the wing?

Jason Gregor
June 19 2014 10:18AM

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Sam Gagner would like to forget last season. After Zack Kassian broke his jaw in preseason, he missed the first 13 games of the season. He returned to the lineup on October 29th, but he admitted afterwards that he came back too early.

Gagner was seemingly playing catch up all season and he finished the year with 37 points in 67 games, an ugly -29 ranking and his advanced stats, CF% and FF%, were both 44. It was a tough season.

Gagner's struggles have led to much speculation about trading him, and I believe the Oilers will move Gagner, but it might not be where people expect.

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What is the value of a draft pick?

Jason Gregor
June 18 2014 11:25AM

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The 2014 NHL entry draft is nine days away, and there has been a lot of discussion about the possibility of the Oilers, Flames, Panthers and Islanders possibly trading up or down. We rarely see much movement within the top-five picks, so it it unlikely these teams trades spots, but in the past we have seen many teams trading up or down once you get past the first ten picks.

Most of those trades occur in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds, and often we debate if it was a good move. The Columbus Blue Jackets' director of hockey administration and resident analytics guru, Josh Flynn developed a chart that would rank the value of a draft pick, and it gives us some insight into whether those draft day deals involving picks are good moves or not.

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What is Stralman worth?

Jason Gregor
June 16 2014 11:03PM

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Anton Stralman turns 28 on August 1st. He's already played 394 regular season games and 55 playoff games. He is pending UFA, and there has been some great debate over how good he is.

Let's start with what most of us agree on, he is a solid second pairing D-man. However, the debate heats up when you discuss how good is he, how good can he be in the future and how much should a team spend on him in free agency?

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Next season begins now

Jason Gregor
June 16 2014 11:45AM

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The NHL's busiest three-week stretch involving player movement is upon us.

The compliance buyout period starts today. Keep in mind teams need to put a player on waivers before they can buy him out, and only Aaron Rome (Dallas Stars) was on waivers as of 11:15 MDT, but a team could announce its intent to use one later today.

The buyouts are just the beginning.

Free agent interviews, the 2014 draft, player elected arbitration, free agency and multiple trades will all occur before July 6th.

It should be an exciting 21-day stretch.

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