The Edmonton Oilers have already started the procurement portion of the offseason, adding Finnish goalie Eetu Laurikainen, signing Russian flyer Anton Slepyshev and winning the draft lottery. New GM Peter Chiarelli and new coach Todd McLellan have miles and miles of miles and miles to go before the fall roster is ready, and that process begins soon. As in, now!

nikitin capture

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This could happen soon baby soon, and there are candidates. Surely Niki Nikitin is under consideration, although both Craig MacTavish and Scott Howson remain in the room when decisions are made, so perhaps we’ll see a stay there.

Andrew Ference is not able to play top 4D at this point in his career but I suspect the organization will keep him for at least another year. You may feel that’s a bad idea, and the team needs to infuse youth into the lineup if they’re going to get better, but my guess is there’s one more year for the captain as a reward for time served (don’t shoot me, I’m just reading the tea leaves).

Teddy Purcell gets some mentions from fans in regard to a buyout, but for me he’s miles from the problem. Overpriced? Oh yeah. Unproductive? I don’t think you can make that argument. He’ll be here one more year at the $4.5M number and then sail on down the line. There’s no real reason to buy out Purcell unless the coach wants to improve foot speed at all costs—and if that’s true there’s a mile of players who are in trouble. 

talbot capture

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I believe this is the first thing we see from Chiarelli—a trade for their starting goalie. If we read the tea leaves and believe the ‘goalie shopping’ rumors, then it makes sense Edmonton isn’t going to wait for free agency—and that Antti Niemi isn’t likely coming here.

The Oilers may have some free agent blue they’re interested in—I’ll guess Cody Franson, Andrej Sekera, Mike Green—and that will likely delay a trade for defense. Goalie? One suspects we’ll see a trade and it might include a 2015 draft pick. 

chara capture


Great question. I do think the Oilers may make a move in the next few days, giving them a chance to address some of their significant issues. Why? If Peter Chiarelli goes into the draft/free agency with all of the current holes/issues, getting things done might be an issue. Consider:

  • A starting goalie
  • A veteran defenseman, prefer a RH
  • Another D if he’s available
  • Someone resembling an NHL forward for the Matt Fraser role

That’s a lot to do in a one week period. Getting a goaltender seems like the first option from here. Make sense? I think it does.

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  • YFC Prez

    Why is everyone so eager to trade Draisaitl? For years the big want that every oiler fan had on his list was BiG SKILLED CENTER.

    We finally have one in the pool. One that has looked amazing since going to junior and everyone wants to trade him. I don’t get it.

    • Rocklobzter

      I agree he looks amazing, but with McDavid and Nuge up the middle for the forseeable future, can we afford another potential 6M centerman in Draisatl? I’d argue probably not… Before the Oilers won the lottery I would have agreed that Draisatl was untouchable but now we just have an embarrassment of riches down the middle. Only makes sense to shore up a weakness using a strength, no?

      • Alsker

        I don’t think there can be any argument that the Oil will move some forward talent to shore up some of their weaknesses. It’s just a matter of when.

        The risk of dealing LD now is that he is unproven and could be better than RNH.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Embarrassment of riches ?
        We went into last season with 2 proven NHL centres. We will be going into next season with two proven NHL centres. We need the flexibility of breaking in McDavid or Draisaitl on the wing. We only hope that two out of McDavid, Draisaitl and Lander work out at centre. What happens if one of the centres gets injured after you have traded Draisaitl ? Plus, at the end of next year, if not sooner, Gordon is gone, and we’re back to 4 centres.

  • B_Oliver

    I wish I had a program that could have one of those spring-operated punching gloves just pop out of someones screen automatically whenever they typed the words “Hall” and “trade” in the same sentence.

  • Alberta Bound Edmonton

    Who are we trading for Seth Jones? How about Drai and #33.? Nashville is crying for a #1 centre and here we are with just what the doctor ordered. Would Nashville entertain such a trade?

  • Natejax30

    What if…we got Ramo and Talbot as our goaltending duo next year…I like the look of that tandem, and let them battle for starts…

    Also, on defence, wouldn’t it look good to do what the islanders did last year with boychuck and leddy?

    Maybe a seabrook and an Odouya? Or a Seth Jones and a cam fowler? Something like that…we can wish big, realistically I think we are 2 good d-men away from something pretty special.

    I am tired of the talk that Edmonton won’t be a playoff team next year…that should never be acceptable, use what you have to build a playoff team. Hall and ebs aren’t kids anymore, they are 5 year vets, and it’s time to get to the show, enough already.

  • bradleypi

    I wonder if Seabrook is tired of playing second fiddle to Keith. His comments after game six almost sounds like he is ready to move on. Maybe reading to much into it. We can dream

  • JasontheSchoolTeacher

    Do not use your assets to get a goalie(draft picks or players). We should sign a UFA goalie like Ramo, Neuvirth or Niemi. Next we need at least 2 new d-man because without drastically improving our defensive core, I really don’t think any of the available goalies are really going to make a huge difference. We need to sign a UFA d-man, maybe Franson or Green. Then we make a trade possibly using the number 16 pick to get another quality d-man. Buyout Nikitin and get rid of Schultz and then I think we have an acceptable defense.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    What is with the massive hard on for OEL?I understand dougie but OEL REALLY?trading our cans in the cupboard for him is not worth it!move the 16th or 33rd or maybe both but don’t move our assets that may give us success or trading leverage. Trade future top picks as well? Come on! Are people still drunk from the draft lottery? I’m just as excited about McDavid but that doesn’t mean we throw all our eggs in one basket and ditch anything you all claim to be expendable. If history taught us anything its that we don’t make rash decisions and go balls deep by trading away potential picks. Move what we can but don’t kill the farm team…..who ever said move hall for OEL needs to get their head checked.

    • Lowetide

      VERY. I just don’t know if it’s this summer. Might be Christmas. This team doesn’t have a lot of balance, PC’s Bruins teams did have that balance. He’ll get it.

      • B_Oliver

        Thats why I said first 2 seasons. People are all hyped about THIS off season, Ladies and Gents, I hope your buckled in tight for 2016-2017. This coming season is testing the waters so to speak. Plug some gaping holes, as in Talbot and 1 or 2 defenseman yet to be named are probably coming into the organization. Realistically this is all we can expect.
        By Christmas Nurse might be pittying the foo [Nikitin] and be enjoying his life as an NHL defenseman. Draisaitl could make the opening roster as a 3rdLW or tear up bakersfield as a centre. I prefer the second option, and then Drai graduating from bakersfield in march around the deadline, when we conviently offload Gordon and Drai can bump Lander down to 4th centre. Maybe Slepyshev gets a short NHL stint in april and scores a hat trick? Who knows. All I know is next year is going to be crazy.

        Thanks for the response though, as always I love reading your stuff.

  • bradleypi

    Wow I just can’t believe the hatred for ference on this site. Can’t wait till the 3 most hated dmen in oilersnation history prove every single one of you guys wrong under a new coach and actual system. And it’s hilarious that purcell makes 4.5mill and in my eyes is not half the player he was 3-4 years ago and everyone on here gives him a free pass for who knows what reason. He was as big a defensive liability as anyone else on the team last year. As the oilers have a plethora of forwards in the system he in my mind should be bought out immediately. He’s easily replaceable. Nikitins size and shot are not easily replaceable. If petry is making 5 mill as a 2nd pairing dman, I’m fine with Nikitins salary. There’s only one free agent dman I’d pursue and that’s franson. He was putting up solid numbers before his trade to Nashville. Pug him back with some offensive players and the sky’s the limit. Love his size too.


        I don’t recall Pronger getting booed as an Oiler. Imo we need to buyout Nikitin and hang on to the rest of our players and evaluate them under Mclelland. If anything their value will increase for trade deadline etc.

    • El Pindo

      Have you ever in the history of your life used numbers to back up your statements (other than the prehistoric +/- stat)? Or do you just constantly spew uncontrollable verbal diarrhea? I’m genuinely curious and would greatly appreciate a response. Thanks.

      • bradleypi

        Exactly what stats do you need me to look up for you? Name them and I’ll Google it bro. Purcell had 30 points last year? Give or take a few. That’s not worth 4.5mill in my opinion. Especially for a player that’s as soft as him. Pretty sure franson had 30 points in 50 games with the leafs before the trade. Give or take a few. So I’m assuming you disagree with everything I think? Please elaborate on what you think the oil should do. But I’m gonna guess it goes like this. “Give away Schultz for nothing, buy out nikitin and make ference a healthy scratch.” Am i close?

        • El Pindo

          Lol that’s actually pretty close, but despite how much I’ve disliked his play I do keep Schultz, I do scratch Ference when I can, and as tempting as the buyout for Nikitin is it’s not worth the extra year of 1.5. Also Petry makes 5.5, has way better possession numbers and is actually in good enough shape to get into position to line someone up for a hit when compared to Nikitin. Purcell is overpaid but is nowhere near this team’s biggest problem, especially with this being his last year on contract (that’s the main point I’m getting at – Purcell hurts more as a buyout than on the roster).

          I honestly don’t have much better suggestions though that would leave us with any cap flexibility, so I’ll concede that.

          Franson is a great option but we will all be complaining about his contract in two years time when it comes time to extend the new batch of youngsters and he’s got 5 years left at 7 (or whatever ridiculous number he gets as ufa).

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Is there a trading patner that would be our holy trifecta?

    1) In cap trouble,

    2) Has a least 3 dman that could be a 1-2-3 ie might give up one

    3) Has two solid goalies either on of which would be an upgrade on Scriven.

    Our one stop shop for a trade….

    NYR, Chi and STL fill all these requirements

  • Rocklobzter

    The one move I think I would love is if Chiarelli goes big and deals Draisatl to TOR for their pick if Hanifin is still on the board. As dreamy as the big German is, imagine Nurse-Hanifin for the next decade.