3 Thoughts – Nikitin, Cuba Gooding Jr, Charity Week


For the past seven days I have literally had nothing rolling around in my head except beef jerky and jellybeans. It wasn’t until yesterday where the machinery in my brain (picture a device similar to a cotton gin) started rolling around and figuring things out. This week, I give my thoughts on the Nikita Nikitin signing, Cuba Gooding Jr. at the NHL Awards, and Charity Week here at the Nation. 

As always, I welcome your thoughts and your debates.



This morning, news broke that the Oilers had signed Nikita Nikitin to a two-year deal. The thing that surprised me most was not that the Oilers overpaid for his services, but how much they overpaid. There were various reports from around the Interwebz that Nikitin wanted a 4-year deal, so I guess having him sign a two-year deal is a win. But $4.5 million? I guess we can count our blessings that the contract is only for two years. Luckily, the Oilers have $20 million in cap space, so signing Nikitin doesn’t mean they’re strapped for cash. Is it a great business practice to overspend just because you can? Of course not, but that’s where we’re at.

As we know, the Oilers have more problems signing quality UFAs than any of the other team in the league. There are a lot of reasons that contribute to that. Weather and geography aside, the team sucks and has since dial up Internet. Making trades and finding ways to win hockey games will change this. NHL players can get their money anywhere, but a chance at winning has to be a part of the deal. At this point, in the 12th rebuild, the Oilers have to overpay for veteran players to even answer the phone. If/when the Oilers ever start to click and make a push for the playoffs (I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing) players like Nikitin will sign here for less money.

Would I have preferred to see Nikitin sign a two-year deal for $3 million rather than signing a deal worth 200% more than what he made last year? Obviously. Unfortunately, when you’re a UFA you call the shots. Even more unfortunate, the Oilers are perennial suck knob breakers and their options are limited as far as attracting quality free agents. Fortunately, for Oilers fans, D-Katz has deep pockets and a willingness to spend the dough. The reality of the Nikitin signing is that the Oilers defence is better today than it was yesterday. Yes they overpaid and no he is not a 1st pairing defenceman, (even though they’ll likely play him as one) but let’s see where the rest of the summer takes us. The Oilers have the cash, let them spend it.



What the hell happened last night with Cuba Gooding Jr? The guy was on TV for about 10 minutes and he could have been the most interesting part of the entire award show. Nothing about his appearance made sense. I’m still not even sure why he was there? Is Cuba Gooding Jr an actual hockey fan or was he just pumped to get on TV for a few minutes? If I were to guess, the NHL awards had an open bar and the guy took to it like an Oilers fans drowning his/her sorrows.

Allegedly in my opinion, the dude seemed wasted. Why else would he rub the Moose’s head like he was hoping for wishes and close talk Andrew Ference like he was going in for a goodnight kiss? I’m not sure there was another person on the planet quite as uncomfortable as Mark Messier was with Cuba’s sweet cuddles. I can only imagine that Messier would have loved nothing more than to toss a circa 1989 elbow right to the chops – oh what great TV that would have been. On a few different occasions, Adam Graves looked at him like he was developing horns right before his eyes.

I hope that the NHL brings Cuba back next year – the guy was amazing. There were soft touches on the back, there were hugs, there was general awkwardness and it was amazing to watch. I’m still not sure what was going on with Cuba Gooding Jr, but I salute his efforts to weird out NHLers both current and legendary.  It takes a real man to act like a crazy person on national TV, and for that I salute him. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out – it’s hilarious.


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Anyone that has been reading the Nation for a long time knows that raising money for charity is a big part of what we do around here. This week we’ve got a few different opportunities to make a difference and we need your help.  On Friday, we’re hosting the annual (ugh) Draft Party at the Pint Downtown. Tickets are $20 and for the price of admission you’ll get a Draft Party t-shirt, a $20 Pint GC, and a $10 Oodle Noodle GC. We’re basically paying you to show up and drink Nation Beer all night. All ticket proceeds will be split between the Inner City Children’s Program and the Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton. If you need a ticket, you can get it by clicking here or you can get one at the door on Friday night.

The 2nd charity item we have this week is for our friend Kelty. Starting tomorrow, we’ll be auctioning off items that Nation fans have donated to help her reach and surpass the goal needed for an expensive surgery down south.  We’ve already pried a signed Eberle jersey away from Wanye and I’m working on some other great auction items as well. If you have an item you’d like to donate to the auction, email me a description of the item along with some pictures to baggedmilk@oilersnation.comma. If you don’t have the cash to give, but you do have a few shillings rolling around in your tear-aways, you can make a donation through PayPal on Kelty’s website – www.keltycan.com.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    No doubt Nikitin will be one of our first pairing defenders here. To start the season anyways, he and Petry. Lets give him till Christmas before we all pass judgement on him.

  • 24% body fat

    trade him not this season but next season at deadline for a mid round pick, when ekblad nurse and klef are all ready.

    Taylor hall not on the allstar team again is ridiculous.

    • I would say success if they trade someone like Musil for Boychuck. Draft Draisaitl. Then use the remaining cap money on a one year deal for either a big body veteran 3rd line LW (say maybe Penner or Heatly), or an all around top nine rw who can move up and down the line up, like another Perron but bigger. I don’t know who that is.

      This way they could put Lander somewhere in the top nine, along with the UFA signing, and together with an improves back end, goal tending situation, and coaching staff, could be a lot better team overall.

      • A-Mc

        You have a real Hard on for Boychuk. Almost all of your posts involve getting him in one way or another.

        PS: i’m not trading Musil for 1 year of Boychuck. no way. A Low pick at most because he’s a UFA next summer.

          • A-Mc

            If he’s worth less than the pick they used to select him, then he wont get you Boychuk.

            So it comes down to trading a young asset for 1 year of a pending UFA or a pick.

            I’m not against finding a way to bring in Boychuk, I’m saying that on principle you don’t give away young players for a single season of a pending UFA unless you’d release that player for nothing anyway. (In which case, boston likely wouldnt value him enough to do the deal either way)

        • I have been mentioning it a lot. I will tone it down. I just think its a great way to get something for nothing. And there’s a bit of a log jam in the AHL, clearing out one of those guys could help development maybe?

    • I think they’re going to need to add to the 3rd line as well. I think the competition between the 3rd and 4th lines has to be better. I’d like to see Gordon as the 4th line centre, where right now he’s the default 3rd.

  • No one in the league is scratching their head with this signing. As a free agent, he was gonna get paid in both money and term to one of the thirty other teams out there.

    Next, there are hardly any big body defenders on the UFA market, so if not Nikitin, then whom?

    third, do you really think it was Nikitin that said no more than two years, or the Oilers? And since it was the Oilers, that means he got more money.

    Fourth, the team stinks, getting a UFA to sign in Edmonton is always going to be an overpay on an overpay.

    So in this case, they had to pay to play on a bad team in a place no one comes to for the weather; they had to pay for the free agent, and they had to pay for the shorter term.

    Now that they have him, how much easier is it going to be to get another free agent that sees Edmonton might just have an actual defence core instead of a bunch of kids? This signing makes more sense than a beer on a hot day. Good for Mac T for just sucking it up and getting it done. This should help him get the next one done. Reports are that they have a meeting with Fayne tomorrow. But I am still holding on to life that they can pry Boychuck out of Boston.

  • pkam

    What do you think about the LA signing of Gaborik to 7 year 34.1M contract?

    That is 7 years at 4.875M per year on a 32 years old injury prone one dimensional skilled winger that his best days are behind him.

    I first thought he would be lucky to get around 5M for 3 years. Am I the only one who think this signing is insane?

  • Haha that’s what I was saying yesterday man! I watched CGJR debacle live on a massive big screen at earls in Fort Mac last night. It was like watching an updated Charlie Chaplin film as it was silent and the bar was full and I think I was the only person paying attention (travelling and eating alone will do that) and I loved every second of it!!

    MOAR Cuba!! Haha I noticed the Gravey sideways looks to Mess and old Cuba was not giving an inch of room at the mic for Ference. Sign him MacT!

  • pkam

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who was saying ‘what the hell’ every time Cuba Gooding Jr. was on camera last night.

    The whole award show was outright ridiculous, however I could stand more Gooding Jr. appearances if that would mean less Strombo, BBoys and crappy singer/songwriters. What an obnoxious overproduction.

  • Spoils

    glad Katz ponied up the cash it is a sign that he is willing to pay to improve the product.

    now he just needs to fire lowe and we can be friends again.

    key thing – Oilers are better today than they were yesterday.

    i like that.

    • pkam

      Where do you get the feeling that Katz is not willing to spend? If I remember, we were just 2M under the cap at the start of this season, and it is because David Clarkson turned down our 5.5M offer and signed with the Leafs for less. Otherwise, we had to dump Hemsky’s contract to get under the cap.

  • Spoils

    It was nice to see ference take time out of his busy schedule to appear at the awards. I know it’s hard work costing us goals and being useless all season #goat.

    Good guy though, congrats to him.

    • v4ance


      Are we offering over $8.5 million/year for Subban?

      Anything less and we have to re-acquire our 3rd round pick from Anaheim because of the Fasth trade.

      • v4ance

        That’s only because we suck so bad and get high picks. If we were a good team picking in the 20’s it wouldn’t be as bad of a loss.

        Sign PK Subban to 9mill x 8 years and see what happens. Atleast we’d make Montreal match a contract higher then they wanted to go.

        • pkam

          I maybe wrong but I don’t think Subban can sign an offersheet for 8 years under the new CBA.

          What is the chance there are teams willing to offer him 8M? And what is chance Subban rather takes 8M from other NHL teams over our 9M?

          • Chainsawz

            Ya I don’t know the cba at all. Just thinking of any way we can to get a first pair dman. I don’t like the idea of hoping the prospects one day might become one maybe.

  • Chainsawz

    Re: Cuba Gooding Jr

    Seriously, I thought he did alright. His shtick was right in line with my humour and I would have done the same. I don’t think he was high or anything. I liked it.

  • Chainsawz

    The Oiler’s strategy seems to be to use 3 top-4 defensemen(Petry,Marincin,possibly Boychuck or Fayne) and 3 top-6 defensemen(Ference,Nikitin,???)and rotate them every game. IDK how that will work out.

  • v4ance

    Thinking of the Nikitin overpayment, what if we follow the same pattern and offer Niskanen a 2 year deal at $6.5 million/yr or Stralman 2yrs $5.25/yr?

    Bridge the gap with a bunch of #2-5 D and to see how the prospect D develop this year. I don’t want us to trade any of Klefbom, Nurse, or Marincin until we can get a better feel for how much more growth they have in their games.

    • v4ance

      Seriously? I would trade all 3 for players between 22 and 30 tomorrow that will return even 70 percent of their “potential” what do you guys think will happen when we have 7 guys the same age coming into their own at the same time? The oilers need depth at every age from young to old skill.
      Geez man… the only way you get better is to make smart but half risky moves.
      Sitting on your eggs and hoping for studs,when you can trade a couple eggs,to let other teams bet on them, is the smart move.
      Uugh.. let’s get this ball rolling already!!