The Edmonton Oilers have added some impressive names to their roster so far this summer, and still have cap room, assets to trade and holes to fill. All they need is opportunities, and they may still be out there.
The Oilers this evening have $7.6M in cap room and have to sign Sam Gagner (and Taylor Fedun if there’s money left over). They are also likely to trade Ales Hemsky and his $5M cap hit (although they could also make a deal while retaining as much as $2.5M in 83 cap) although that’s not a slam dunk. It’s probably reasonable to estimate the Oilers cap number (after Gagner’s signing and the Hemsky deal) to be in the $5M range.
FLYERS STILL HAVE PROBLEMS
You’ll recall the Oilers spent much of draft day attempting to pry Braydon Coburn from the Philadelphia Flyers. Many days later, the Flyers are still trying to find a way out of cap hell and the Coburn option remains according to Frank Seravalli from the Philadelphia Daily News.
- Seravalli: "St. Louis didn’t want to move 25-year-old forward David Perron ($3.8 million) yesterday, but dealt him to Edmonton for Magnus Paajarvi to free up much-needed space. Many believe the Blues could have gotten more for Perron if teams didn’t already know St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong was being forced to make a move to try and re-sign restricted free agent blue liner Alex Pietrangelo. (Flyers GM Paul) Holmgren could be in the same situation with Coburn. Don’t be surprised if a trade pops out of the blue."
Would the Oilers have interest? One would think so based the number of conversations Holmgren and Oilers GM Craig MacTavish had during the draft. A Perron-Paajarvi style trade for Coburn (cap hit $4.5M times three years) might mean Edmonton offers a less expensive player to the Flyers in return.
NEW JERSEY HAS NEW PROBLEMS
The news today that Ilya Kovalchuk has retired to the KHL (for more money!!!) means Lou and the Devils are on the lookout for replacement talent. Again the $2.5M Hemsky (Oilers would take on half of the cap) might have real value, and perhaps Edmonton could receive some useful talent (Olesz, Loktionov) and draft picks for future use.
Adding to the fun is the new arbitration list, which includes four Los Angeles Kings (who have just over $5M in cap space). Jake Muzzin, anyone?
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers spent much of draft weekend trying to find a trade partner. We know they pursued Braydon Coburn and we know the St. Louis Blues made David Perron available leading into the draft. On the other side of free agency, it looks as though some of those same teams are now calling the Oilers. Patience is a virtue.