Andrei Loktionov: Offers apparently on the table, but no decision yet

Andrei Loktionov

There aren’t many NHL centres of note still available in free agency. Michal Handzus is out there; Scott Gomez will apparently be going to the New Jersey Devils camp on a tryout basis.

The best of this uncertain lot is probably Andrei Loktionov, a 24-year-old veteran of 150-odd NHL games. Apparently he has offers, but hasn’t decided yet what he’s going to do.

News from Russia

Alexander_Graham_Telephone_in_Newyork

The last news on Loktionov came at the very end of July, when his agent Igor Larionov (who also represents Oilers winger Nail Yakupov) talked to RSport.ru. This, via the wonder that is Google Translate, is what he said:

While the recovery is ahead of schedule, and most importantly for Andrew. Play it still will not be likely until mid-September. While he a free agent, there is no rush. Hurry and panic does not make sense, because it is – a very strong player. There are two or three options in the NHL, and little interest in the League too. Such bright players, and even a central striker, needed on both sides of the ocean. decision will be behind it.

Loktionov (“Andrew”) was injured at the World Championships this summer and underwent shoulder surgery which will apparently keep him out of the lineup until mid-September. With the caveat that we’re working from a somewhat dubious translation here, it sounds like Loktionov has a couple of NHL options and some interest from the KHL, and that the interest exists in large part because he’s a centre.

The NHL options are probably not rich, one-way deals; I’m guessing that injured players who didn’t get a qualifying offer from their last team probably can’t afford to be too choosy if a one-way deal at decent money falls into their lap.

Edmonton

Team-4

It wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Oilers are one of those two or three teams with interest. There is an obvious need at centre and while Loktionov doesn’t necessarily fill it he’s another guy who could join the ‘maybe’ club with Leon Draisaitl, Mark Arcobello and Anton Lander. On a professional tryout or even a two-way deal he makes a ton of sense, and for the player there aren’t a lot of teams in the NHL where he’d find a better opportunity.

On a one-way deal it’s much harder to make that case, particularly since he’s coming off injury. He’s had decent underlying numbers, but he’s also had a lot of his shifts start in the offensive zone over the years and his offensive production hasn’t been all that remarkable for a player used in that role. It’s hard to make the case that he’s a better bet at this point than Draisaitl or Arcobello.

But there’s absolutely no risk involved in bringing him to camp if he’s willing to come.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • TheresAlwaysNextYear

    i’m just hoping draisaitl kills it at training camp, makes the team and then outplays nuge for the #1 center. friendly competition wouldn’t hurt.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Seems like a waste of time after seeing all his 7 NHL goals on video . Garbage gaoler ( floater that picks up garbage of rest of team ) with questionable physicality that does not fit the West . Not one to lead play either .We have better already in Arco and Landers for that matter . We may be desperate , but not that desperate yet .

    • Zarny

      I do not think this guy would be an impact player, but saying Arco and Lander, who have next to no NHL experience, are better players, is a HUGE reach with no basis.

  • Serious Gord

    JMHO. I believe Anton is the best one of the group and has the most upside. He just needs some confidence and coach that gives I’m a proper opportunity and not a half hearted one like he has been getting.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Really don’t know why a one-way would be the end of the world. If the Oilers are serious about bringing in some center depth, then maybe you have to suck it up and pay the guy 800k in the AHL.

    I do however think there probably will be better options on the waiver wire once teams start making cuts.

  • justDOit

    Oilers would be the last door Larianov would be knocking on. If does come a knocking, don’t answer the door. Run for the hills quick.

    If Oilers are that desperate, take Hanszus instead even if he is on his last legs.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Oilers would be the last door Larianov would be knocking on. If does come a knocking, don’t answer the door. Run for the hills quick.

    If Oilers are that desperate, take Hanszus instead even if he is on his last legs.

  • Serious Gord

    “But there’s absolutely no risk involved in bringing him to camp if he’s willing to come.”

    Tell that to they guy who doesn’t get to go to camp because this guy does. And is this guy a better option than that guy?

    • Zarny

      Considering Loktionov has at least played at an NHL level for multiple seasons and you can’t even name this mythical player who won’t get his shot at glory…the answer is yes.

        • ubermiguel

          It’s not like he’ll be taking Stamkos’ spot. He’ll take the spot of someone else who’s barely an NHL player, I’ll take that risk. I’d rather have someone show up that’s played in the bigs than some SEL/KHL/AHL flyer.

        • Zarny

          Actually, the Oilers could just bring in an extra guy to camp if they really wanted to.

          And no, the answer is not unknowable. You can’t actually name a real person who might make the Oilers on a try-out basis over Loktionov who has been an NHL player for several seasons.

          You are just hypothetically spit-balling about some mythical minor league/junior player who might not get the thrill of attending an NHL training camp where he has absolutely no hope of making the team.

          This isn’t the movies or some charity event for the Make A Wish foundation. IF there was a legit option that would get bumped by bringing in Loktionov you would know a name.

          • Serious Gord

            Re read Johnathons quote and my words. Nothing is risk free.

            And there are finite limits to how many people you bent to camp and the more you bring the less evaluation time each gets so everyone suffers.

          • Jayz

            Serious Gord…

            I have been reading this website daily for the past 4 years, including the majority of the comments section, as I normally find it to be intelligent, thought provoking discussion beyond the article itself.

            I’ve seen my fair share of unintelligent/negative comments as well, but none trump yours unfortunately.

            Lately, I’ll be reading comments and will come across one that either makes me laugh at its stupidity or cry at its incredible negative bias (normally both, I must look like a mess). I literally had to finally sign up to just to let you know that 90% or more of the time your name ends up being the poster.

            I don’t know what happened to DSF, but besides being an arrogant self proclaimed know-it-all, he at least added to the intelligent discussion, usually playing the devil’s advocate role. Now ON seems to be stuck with you.

            I wanted to comment and let you know your most basic and obvious flaw: you do not possess the ability to be humble nor accept the fact you are wrong. In this threads case, your argument against bringing loktionov was quickly destroyed in every facet, yet you STILL clutch to a few straws and shift to “less evaluation time”.

            Obviously I don’t join in the discussions, but I do read every word and please… for the love of god… give it a rest. For my sake and everyone else here on ON. Watching you get humbled day after day is entertaining, but like watching a loser in a fight constantly try and get back up, it’s getting real pathetic.

        • The Soup Fascist

          Please.

          First, teams can invite as many players as they like to camp.

          Second, even if they HAD to leave someone off the list, looking at the Oilers training camp last year, what would have been the harm if Ty Bilcke a RW from the OHL with 11 points (that is CAREER, not in a season) or Cameron Abney (one of the worst draft picks ever) who will struggle to play in the ECHL – were not invited?

          You have watched “The Rookie” with Dennis Quaid at least one too many times. No Cinderella story here.

          I am not saying I would give El Loko a shot – but certainly the risk of not inviting some sled who has ZERO chance of being an NHLer, would not be the reason.

  • Spoils

    Meh.

    Sign him to decrease injury risk, but let’s talk more about a trade.

    A big tough veteran who plays a 200ft game and can be expected to stay around in the bottom nine as kids mature.

    Trade our number one in 2016 and our number two in 2015? Maybe a package with Arco, Yakimov, and our #2 in 2015…

    I honestly am just pulling that out of thin air, but there’s got to be a move to make.

  • bwar

    I have no problem signing Loktionov to a one-way deal. To me he’s a direct and immediate upgrade to Anton Lander. He can probably slot in on either the third or fourth line. Fill in at center when needed and play some wing filling in the gaps caused by any injuries. Also opens up for the possibility of not being forced to keep Draisaitl up if he isn’t quite ready.

  • Zarny

    My preference would be for MacT to pay the price to get a bona fide 2C on the roster.

    Barring that, it certainly doesn’t hurt to bring in someone like Loktionov as insurance.

    First, it’s questionable Draisaitl and Arcobello can get the job done. Second, it’s pretty much a guarantee the Oilers won’t get 328 games from Nuge, Draisaitl, Arco and Gordon.

    Injuries are a reality. Which is why good teams are characterized by depth. At C, the Oilers are the antithesis of depth. Not a winning formula.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I can’t believe a deal can’t be made for a Brayden Schenn – even if you have to take a bad contract along with it (the Oilers still have a compliance buyout left).

    Philly has severe cap issues. Giroux and Couturier are on the depth chart ahead of him and they can’t get rid of Lecalvier. Plus they have Laughton waiting in the wings.

    While I don’t think Schenn is a perfect fit, he is a better option at 2C than anything the Oilers have and is still an RFA in 2016 at the end of his contract. At that point Draisaitl is hopefully ready to be 2C and you can decide if Schenn is your 3C or trade bait. He just turned 23, scored 20 goals last year, has reasonable size and does not have an NMC.

    Not sure what you have to give up to get him but Philly does not want an NHL contract back – or more accurately can’t take one back. So it is a question on what pick and prospects you give up. I have no idea why this deal is not there to be made ….. but I am sure someone will tell me.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      The Flyers still have 41.000 dollars left after you factor in the Pronger LTIR.

      Snieder isn’t going to let league policy get in the way of him building his hockey team. What is he to do, follow the rules and build his team after the season starts with the scraps that are left?

      No matter the fine, just pay it. Blame your capologist and hire a new one. The Flyers aren’t in as much trouble as people believe.

        • Dan 1919

          “Players, agents or employees found to have violated the cap face fines of $250,000 – $1 million and/or suspension. Teams found to have violated the cap face fines of up to $5 million, cancellation of contracts, forfeiture of draft picks, deduction of points and/or forfeiture of game(s) determined to have been affected by the violation of the cap.”

          From wiki.

          We saw NJ lose a first round pick from a bad contract signing if I remember correctly. I wouldn’t really want to find out what the penalty actually would be for going over the cap.

        • Zarny

          Nope…no loophole.

          It’s a hard cap. If the Flyers were only 41,000 under the cap to start the season and ran into injury trouble where they wanted to call up a player to fill in for a game or two but didn’t have the cap space the league simply wouldn’t allow the transaction. The Flyers would have to play with a short bench similar to what Calgary did a few years ago.

          There is no fine…you simply can’t go over the cap. There are provisions for performance bonuses however where the overage ends up counting against your cap the following year.

  • Zarny

    @The Soup Fascist

    You are absolutely correct. There is undoubtedly a deal to be made for Brayden Schenn. Simply a matter of price. I’d prefer Couturier but whatever…both would be far better than what the Oilers have behind Nuge right now.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Oh, no question.

      I take Couturier all day. Problem is Philly does too and the price to get them to think about parting with him would likely be excessive.

      • Zarny

        I agree Phi prefers Couturier over Schenn but I’m not sure the price would be excessive.

        Phi could really use a good, young D prospect and wouldn’t you know it…the Oilers have a logjam of good, young D prospects on the left side.

        • The Soup Fascist

          You sold me.

          Make the deal!

          *Crosses fingers, closes eyes and repeats phrase over and over:

          “Please please please let “Zarny” be MacT’s ON alias!”

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Sit tight and grab 2 centers off the waiver wire before the season starts. Atleast they’ll be healthy and ready to go. Hopefully one proves to be a keeper.

    The Oilers are going to get pounded on a nightly basis in the western conference. It’s not a matter of if, but when these kids start to buckle. The only guy they have who’ll play close to 80 games is Gordon, and that only because he plays at less than a hundred percent some nights.

        • Dan 1919

          “Now all we need to do is grab a 2&3C of waivers after training camp and we’ll continue our march to the playoffs.” Said no GM ever, and I really hope MacT doesn’t become the first.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Shoulder surgery in late May or even June could have something to do with it. Does he get handled with kid gloves till after Christmas like others have been? The Oilers have 2 fine examples on how long it takes for a shoulder to be close to full strength again. I have to think he’d be in tough to pass his physical only 4 months after his surgery.

        Can’t see him being all that different than a Gagner 2.0. Small’ish, not overly physical when the current 1st line center here is of the same mindset.

        Unless you want a team who’ll get ripped apart quicker than the back seat of a bus in the Bronx….I’d go with bigger and more physically capable candidates. Just say no to Loko. Need to get out of the beggars can’t be choosers mode.

        • Jayz

          Thankfully someone here sees this never ending cycle of stupid. Why is it this team has to start the year with glaring holes that even Joey can see. Last year we could have started the year with bryz and the D was a hot mess. This year ? Oh not much more than 2 Nhl centers, and 4.something wasted on a defencemen that has shown a decline the past two years and couldn’t make it on the bottom pairing on CBJ.

          When this team comes out of the blocks 2-13-1 and MacT and Klowe are still employed I wonder if the coolaid everyone has been drinking this summer will rot everyone’s collective spirits and these clowns can be run out of our fine city with 6 rings head leading the way thru the door .

          • Just a Fan

            That is your prediction –> 2-13-1?

            Have you looked at the Oilers schedule for the first 16 games.

            FLAMES
            CANUCKS
            KINGS
            COYOTES
            CANUCKS
            LIGHTNING
            CAPITALS
            HURRICANES
            CANADIENS
            PREDATORS
            CANUCKS
            FLYERS
            BRUINS
            SABRES
            RANGERS
            PREDATORS

            I would put $$$ on the fact they will do better than 2-13-1. I think you are just kicking the Oil when they are down but then again, what do I know.

          • Jayz

            Whoa guy, I think someone has been hitting the cool aid to much today. I’ve watched this team feed fans the same crap every year and I’m sorry if you can’t see simple parallels that have been played out year after year. I will change my skepticism once Jshultz is dealt for no less than Anisimov or part of a package for RJ.

          • 2004Z06

            Two separate posts, two different spellings of “coolaid/cool aid” and both of them wrong. The word is spelled Kool-Aid. Capitalized as it is a brand name.

            Perhaps people would take you seriously here if you could at least slander the fans/team with the correct spelling?

            Thanks to DB’s such yourself and Serious Gord, I rarely visit and almost never post on the site anymore.

            Well done!

          • Jayz

            Lol looks like you had the sugar free kewl aid. It’s hard to English sometimes I’m sry it offends you so. Maybe next year you can get hired on like Dellow but as the official Oiler proof reader ! Wouldn’t that be swell ?? Fingers crossed

          • Reg Dunlop

            Hey Just A Fan, can you believe the negativity here? Dudes like Quicksilver and now Jayz? Only 2 wins in the 1st 16 games? What are they thinking? Like you, I see a much hotter start. For sure we will beat Carolina, Buffalo and Vancouver(1 out of the 3 times we face them) for a 3-13 start. Way better than a crummy 2-13-1 start predicted by those buzz-killers. Mac and Kev for executives of the year!

          • Reg Dunlop

            So , should MacT have been removed the minute he let Kreuger go and hand reigns over to another coach ? You measure your GM by his trades and what they bring to team . What did he get for players like Gagner , Horcoff , Hemsky , Smid , etc.? Less than probably Tambellini might have or nemesis Feaster ? What has he filled glaring holes with is another way to assess your GM . Like Tams , they still exist and maybe are even worse ? Has the coaching carousel speeded up or still in transition ? It’s possible we might now be worse off , but that remains to be seen as yet . MacT. has a lot of work to do before he gets put into another Tams comparison results wise . Passing present roster off on fans is something you’d expect more of from Tams .

  • With all of these questions, my only hope is that for once, the Oilers can catch a break and the depth of RNH, Arco, Draisaitl and Gordon actually over perform and look like a respectable average core of centers by Mid November.

    Wouldn’t that be fabulous? Something going right for the Oil.

  • A-Mc

    Philly is an entire good player over the cap (4.9 mill). We all hope something shakes loose there, but there is likely some trickery that will play out where Pronger’s 4.9m cap hit will come off the books and put them AT the cap.

    I can’t see them bailing 4.9M worth of salary in actual players when Pronger is going to disappear as soon as the season starts.

    Didn’t someone correct us all in saying that pronger can come off the books as soon as training camp starts? And that the team will be able to do so, thus getting them to the cap for the start of the season? (Cap deadline).

    We all hope something happens in Philly but i doubt anything will.

    In Other News: Chicago is 2.2m over the cap and Tampa is 1.8!

    • The Soup Fascist

      I will happily take Andrew Shaw.

      Small but a huge pain in the a$$.

      Think of a slightly less skilled David Perron (but who can play center) on his grumpiest day ever.

    • Zarny

      The CBA gives the Flyers two options with Pronger when it comes to LTIR; use it on the last day of training camp or the first day of the regular season.

      The difference is what the Flyers would receive in cap relief.

      The best option for the Flyers is to get under the cap with Pronger built in to the opening day roster and then place him on LTIR on the 1st day of the regular season.

      For example, Phi trades Lecavalier and demotes a guy making $600K. This would leave Phi ~ $163K under the cap. They place Pronger and his $4.941M on LTIR on the 1st day of the regular season and would receive $4.941M – $160K = $4.781M in cap space.

      LTIR does not give space in excess of any cap space they may already have which is why you have to subtract. With this option the best case would be for the Flyers to get $1 under the cap to receive the maximum advantage.

      With the 2nd option the Flyers could put Pronger on LTIR on the last day of training camp while they are over the cap limit. The downside to this option is that the Flyers can only receive an LTIR advantage equal to the amount they are over the cap.

      If, for example, Phi were to trade Brayden Schenn to Edm for a draft pick but were still $2.4M over the cap limit and placed Pronger on LTIR on the last day of training camp they would only get $2.4M of Pronger’s $4.941M salary in relief. If they trade Lecavalier but were still $436k over the limit and placed Pronger on LTIR on the last day of camp they would only receive $436K in relief. Which is why the Flyers are currently $4.936M over the cap. With the 2nd option, Phi is best served by being as close to Pronger’s salary over the limit as possible.

      • A-Mc

        Thanks for explaining that. So it looks like Philly is going to do what i outlined originally: Sit tight and just put him on LTIR before the season starts so that they get to the cap. They give up nothing doing it this way.

        ALTHOUGH: if philly has any chance at all of ditching Lecavalier’s contract, that’d probably be the best option.. But its probably not the most likely.

        • Zarny

          The problem for Phi with trading Lecavalier before the regular season starts is retaining salary.

          If you place a player on LTIR before the season starts you want to be over the cap by as close to the player’s contract value as possible since you can only write off the amount you are over the cap by with that option.

          Right now Phi’s overage is only $5000 shy of Pronger’s contract value so they can pretty much write off all of Pronger’s contract this year.

          To get under the cap so they can put Pronger on LTIR after the season starts they have to trade the full value of Lecavalier’s contract ($4.5M) plus demote a player making ~ $600K.

          If they trade Vinnie before the season starts but have to retain $1M they are still over the cap and can’t put Pronger on LTIR. Well technically they could, but they’d only be able to write off $1M or whatever they were still over the cap by instead of $4.936M.

          If they have to retain salary, which I think is evident, Phi is best served by waiting. They place Pronger on LTIR on the last day of training camp and thus write off 99.89% of his contract to get under the cap. On the first day of the season they can trade Vinnie and retain $1M but still get $3.5M in cap relief or whatever the balance is instead of only being able to write off a fraction of Pronger’s contract.

  • Dan 1919

    We don’t require another soft player that is not adept at for check or back check, especially at center . We have better prospects without adding a very questionable one from outside .

  • camdog

    I really believe that MacT has a plan for the “C”, but signing this guy would not be a bad thing, especially once injuries crop up. At least we would have someone who could fill in should such an occurrence happen. Having too few back ups is bad, having an extra is good. A 2-way contract would work well.

  • camdog

    With the escalation in war rhetoric between Russia and the rest of the world, bringing in another Russian is not a good idea. If the escalation continues I could see all of the NHL Russians on the plane back home.

  • Jayz

    2-13-1

    That is embarrassing!

    Do some work BUDDY!

    when we only had 1 of Hall, RNH, Perron, Eberle, Yak injured.
    we were 13-5-4 .682 versus the east.

    We were 6-2-3 .682 Versus the bottom of the west the whole year.

    We were 1-20-2 versus the best of the west
    before we got rid of Dubnyk, Labarbera, Smid, N. schultz.

    We were
    2-1 ANA
    2-1 VCR
    1-0 MIN
    1-0 ARZ
    6-2 .750
    with

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Perron-Gagner-Pitlick
    Lander-Smyth-Jones
    Hendricks-Gordon -Gazdic/Larsen

    Marincin-Petry
    Ference/Belov-J. schultz
    Klefbom-FRaser

    Scrivens
    FasthAt the end of the year the only team we had problems with were
    SJS, LAK, STL, COl, BOS

    Gagner -> Arcobello
    Pitlick -> Purcell
    Lander -> pouliot
    Smyth -> Draisatl
    Jones -> Healthy Yak
    Belov-> Nikitin
    Klefbom -> Fayne
    Fraser -> Aulie

    GM 1,2 4-12, 14-16 are against teams we were .682% + against.
    That is 14 gm X 2 =28
    28 X.682 19PT
    Before we added
    Purcell, Pouliot, Draisatl, Arcobello, Nikitin, Fayne, Aulie
    I would hope fro 19-21pt
    GM 3 LAK, GM 13 BOS
    Hope for a split.
    19 to 23 points.
    Based on last years performance.

    There are a whole collection of silly oiler fans who spent zero time breaking down the changes in the roster. The results as changes occurred.

    2-13-1

    Pathetic!
    Offensive!
    Trolling!

  • camdog

    our record last year.
    29-44-9
    1-20-2 versus best of west
    1-9 versus east with 2 of Hall, Perron, RNH, Eberle, Yak injured.

    27-14-7 61 pt
    + 10 games VS east 13PT
    + 23 games VS. best of west 24 pt
    Aprox. 98 pt.

    I would hope we compete for a playoff spot in the west.

    Purcell, Pouliot, Draisatl gives us scoring depth equal to our healthy roster
    even when 2 of our top 9 are injured.

    though injuries and new players may affect that!