There were a couple of interesting items for Oilers fans during the second intermission of CBC’s broadcast of game five between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings. First, Glenn Healy reported that Rick Bowness – a candidate to work as an associate coach to Ralph Krueger – declined a job offer, while Elliotte Friedman provided some information on a possible Shawn Horcoff trade.
The Horcoff Trade
Friedman suggested that Horcoff – who has a no-move clause – would only accept a trade to a contending team, as he has no interest in being placed in another rebuild scenario. It’s an understandable stance for Horcoff, aged 34 to take, but it does rather limit the Oilers’ trade options (Just to clarify: Horcoff’s no-move clause does not end on July 1; it allows him to submit a 10-team list).
When we looked the other day at poor contracts the Oilers might accept in trade, most of them were on second-tier teams. It seems likely in such a scenario that Horcoff would slot in as the third line centre for whichever club accepted him in trade, and that the Oilers would eat a significant portion of his cap hit in order to facilitate a move.
Reading through the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, it seems that the Oilers can retain as much as 50 percent of the salary and cap hit on Horcoff’s contract, and that money cannot vary from year to year. As I understand it (with the caveats that a) I’m not a lawyer and b) I haven’t read the whole CBA cover to cover), the percentage applies evenly to both salary and cap hit: in other words, if the Oilers do decide to retain 50 percent in a Horcoff trade, he would count against their roster as follows:
- 2013-14: $2.75 million cap hit, $2 million actual salary
- 2014-15: $2.75 million cap hit, $1.5 million actual salary
He almost certainly will have value to various contending teams in the league at that cap hit/price point; the only question is what the Oilers will be able to get in exchange.
Rick Bowness and the associate coach position
Meanwhile, Glenn Healy passed on some news on coaching that takes on added significance with the firing of Ralph Krueger yesterday. According to Healy, the Oilers offered former Vancouver associate coach Rick Bowness the same position in Edmonton – and Bowness turned them down to work in Tampa Bay instead.
Had Bowness accepted the job, would it have prevented general manager Craig MacTavish from firing Krueger on Saturday? It seems unlikely that the Oilers would have offered Bowness an associate role while they were planning to axe Krueger, because that would have married the incoming head coach to a lieutenant not of his own choosing. If Healy’s information is accurate, than it really does suggest that the decision to fire Krueger was made quickly, and it would also indicate that Krueger was *this* close to surviving what is shaping up as a turbulent off-season in Edmonton.
Recently around the Nation Network
After some talk in Toronto of moving Phil Kessel, Leafs Nation’s Jeff Veillette explains in careful detail Why You Don’t Trade Phil Kessel:
At the end of the day, the suggestion can be boiled down to this: The Leafs want to win, so they should trade their one superstar for either a centre who will need someone like him on his wing (instead of trying an already owned option), or a defenceman who will need several years to develop into what the Leafs need. But, this can’t come at a steep cost, because the most appropriate use of the Leafs cap dollars is on players in between star level and replacement level, pretty good but not great. The Leafs need to work hard, and this player was considered to not be a hard worker four years ago. By the way, this is all because of two minutes in a series that he was probably the team’s best player in, despite all the expectation that he wouldn’t. When you put it that way, it sounds like a bunch of nonsense. Because it is.
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