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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    • 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.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned yet, but they should try and move up for a shot at Provorov. Hadn’t gone through and read all the comments yet, sorry. Can that Finn at the top of the page speak russian by any chance? (in my best Kevin Klein Fish called Wanda russian accent) We many have russians now.

    • B_Oliver

      I don’t think Chia plans on trading down. I could see them making a selection at 16 before the possibility of trading down is even considered. I honestly hope they can get a deal together and bring in a worthwhile defense asset with the 16th, though.

    • Alsker

      I get that you love Provorov’s abilities but moving up from 16 to 4(Leafs prob scoop him if AZ doesn’t) means giving up a lot and taking back Dion. Too heavy a price to pay.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        I dunno. Shanny’s hanging himself out in the breeze for someone to come along and swindle him. He’s too smart to hire a GM, isn’t that something that PC or someone else can work with? I have a feeling that someone is going to make him look stupid before the season starts. I’d love for it to be the Oilers.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        I think its New Jersey that might need to be greased. I’m gambling he’ll still be on the board at 6. Need to get ahead of Philly and Columbus. No way he makes it past 8.

  • Spoils

    prepare to trash this post…

    Conventional wisdom says you can’t trade for a #1D. I believe that is wrong. Let’s take the yotes. Why not trade OEL for a reboot. Leon Draisaitl, #16, #33, and next year’s first two picks, plus Marincin…

    Or how about shining all the light on the McDavid cluster by trading Taylor Hall and Marincin for Seth Jones – you reduce injury risk and give Nashville much needed offence. In this case we are going after an unproven D with less than 200 games.

    Coffee, Chara, Pronger, Jack Johnson, Tyler Myers, James Wiesnewski

    OK – it basically never happens.

    just look at what Keith, Doughty, and Chara mean to the last 5 Stanley Cups

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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).

  • vetinari

    Chiarelli will likely do most of his shopping at the draft when all 30 managers are assembled together, jostling to either shed salary (due to the cap or to pursue UFAs), to pursue trade targets or to look at filling holes in the lineup.

  • bradleypi

    Who is more ready to be a NHL 3rd line LW?

    A former third overall pick who is a 19 year old CHL grad, with a Memorial Cup MVP trophy and 37 NHL games under his belt….


    A 21 year old former KHL number 1 over all pick, with 159 pro games under his belt?

  • Boom76

    Fully support Hall for OEL.
    It should be the signature move of this off-season.
    Offer sheet for Hamilton.
    Offer Draisatl for Hanifan.

    Use all other picks for functional defensemen.

    Flush Ference and Nikitin from the system before the week is over.

    Schultz for almost anything. Addition by subtraction.

    Not a rebuild but a re-invent.

  • Boom76

    #16 pick
    #57 pick

    For Dougie Hamilton

    #33 pick for Cam Talbot

    Sign Chris Stewart 3mil x 5 years as protector for McDavid and Hall

    Sign Curtis Glencross to add compete and toughness to 3rd line

    Sign Francois Beauchemin 5mil x 2 years as top pairing LH Dman

    As result;




    • bradleypi

      Wow! That is bold. And interesting. I thought glen cross could replace matt Fraser, but glencross got moved from calgary for a reason I guess. Talbot though? Less than 40 games played? Hasn’t worked out for the oilers the past few years with inexperienced goalies.

  • Johnnydapunk

    Totally off topic but looks like the tickets for the draft party sold out as I just tried to buy mine and said they were nearly sold out but when I tried it wouldn’t allow me sadly, any chance of more being released ?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rocklobzter

    Pouliot – RNH – Eberle

    Hall – McDavid – Stewart(FA, 3 years, 3.5M AAV)

    Lander – Soderberg(FA, 2 years, 3.5M AAV) – Pitlick

    Hendricks – Gordon – Klinkhammer


    Klefbom – Schultz

    Nurse – Burns (Marincin, Yak, and maybe picks?)

    Sekera(FA, 3 years, 4.5M AAV) – Fayne


    Lack (33rd or 57th overall) – Bachman(FA, 1 year, 1.0M AAV)

    I’ve been playing lots of NHL 15 lol

    • Quicksilver ballet

      How about you come to terms with the fact that your pipe dream trade will result in having a potentially prolific LW sniper in the same conference as us?

  • 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

  • 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

  • Alsker

    In Yzerman style I am gutting our team with McDavid and Klefbom and perhaps Nurse only survivors . My wish list of new bodies . Goalies : Neuvirth and Ramo . Defence: Hamilton , Larsson, Zadorov 20, Gudbranson 23 , B.Carlo 19 -basically all 6ft.5inch . LW: B.Saad (6Ft 4in.)21 , C.Kreider 24(6ft.3In.) ,E.Etem 22 (6ft 1in.), M.Boedker 23 (6ft.0In.), RW – V.Nichushkin(6ft.4in.)20 , T.J.Oshie 28 . N.Neidereitter (6ft,2in.) 22, J.Silferberger (6ft.0in. ) 24 , Center – R.O’Reilly 24 , C.Soderberg ( 6ft.3in.)29 ,T.Toffoli ( 6ft.1in.)23 .

    Out with the old failures A.S.A.P..

    • Alsker

      2 years ago the Bolts finished 28th, isn’t that what the Oil did this year? A rapid rise is possible. I don’t agree that a total gutting is needed, but with the correct moves and improvement from a few key players a rapid rise is not impossible. The Bolts didn’t get the McDavid shot the Oil will be getting.

      • gord

        I would say Stamkos and Hedman were a nice group for Yzerman to start with , would you not agree ? All the rest were gutted . We have started with group of five for years now , and they are soft players , often prone to injury and with little defensive abilities . If it were not so , positive results would have certainly been noticeable by now . More patience is going to lead to more poor results . My wish list takes us away from soft players , with youth already NHL worthiness with the size to boot . Certainly we would never get them all , but many we could and benefit by doing so over incumbents in place now . How much further would we get with just McDavid added in slow process ? Perhaps all the way to 5th last in league – whoopee .

  • B_Oliver

    I for one hope that the 16 th pick is not dealt away to lightly. This has more to do with all of Lowetide articles getting us all lathered up about some of the great prospects in this year’s draft.

    It’s all your fault Allan that I do not want to see any trades involving draft picks!!!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jaxon

    The more I look at it the more I like the idea of an offer sheet for Hamilton. Finding that player is almost impossible even very high in the draft. I really think they should give him a $7.5M x 5 years offer sheet.

    Think of it as a trade. Conventional wisdom says the team that comes out with the best player wins the trade. If the Oilers are fairly agressive this summer and shed some contract while acquiring a solid goalie and adding another D besides Hamilton along with McDavid, their new coach, older versions of Draisaitl and Nurse, etc. thena climb up the standings to 18th in the league is very conceivable. That would most likely have Edmonton drfating 13th next year and maybe 22 or later the following year.

    I think anyone that looks in any detail into Hamilton’s stats, his style of play, his offense, his size, his responsibility sees him projecting as a #1 elite D in the vain of Hedman, Doughty, Chara, Subban, Keith, Pronger, etc. That is a player that is almost impossible to acquire.

    The compensation for a $7.5 offer would be Two 1st, one 2nd & one 3rd. Ouch, I know that sounds like a lot. Now go back over the 13th to 30th pick of the last 10 drafts as I doubt Edmonton will pick higher than that. See how many elite level players you can find. I found 8 over 6 years from ’05 to ’10. Rask, Giroux, Varlamov, Shattenkirk, Karlsson, Eberle, Carlson, Tarasenko. Of those 8, I would only consider trading 4 (Rask, Giroux, Varlamov and Karlsson), and if I was really forced to make a deicison I’d probably say no to all of them.

    Goalies more than anyone can turn around and have a terrible season so I wouldn’t be comfortable trading a valuable minute crunching Hamilton for Rask or Varlamov. Giroux, maybe but still no. Karlsson is amazing but I think I’d rather take my chances that Hamilton is going to turn into the next Chara, Weber, Pronger or Hedman than have Karlsson, even though he is great. So out of 108 draft picks in the 13th to 30th range from ’05 to ’08 I’ve found no players I would trade for Hamilton.

    That does not make me feel confident that those 2 first rounders, a second rounder and a third rounder are nearly as valuable as Hamilton.

  • El Pindo

    I doubt very much that the 16th overall pick gets traded unless somebody knocks PC’s socks off! Lots of value will be left on that draft board & somebody’s got to be giving up an established quality #2 / #3 d-man or a proven NHL tender to get that pick. There might be add-ons to make something happen but I just don’t see #16 being moved.

    Now I can see the 2nd round picks being moved to pick up established players from cap trouble teams. Who that might be is anybody’s guess.

    Purcell is never going to be physical but he plays the corners well & controls the puck very well. At least for the start of the season he would be an excellent winger to go along with Hall & McDavid. He has skill enough & veteran savvy to complement Connor.

    I agree with bradleypi as well, Nikitin is not that bad a d-man & I hope the Oil keep this veteran on the roster.

    Speaking of the roster, I see 4 maybe 5 changes at the most heading into next season. We definitely need an upgrade in goal & that could be 2 new tenders. I see one d-man being added through UFA or trade & I see Nurse making this squad on the third pairing to start. And then there’s McDavid up front.

  • crackerjack14

    Let’s all just take a breath. Yes, goaltending will be addressed. Yes, PC will work to pick up a first pairing defender. A couple of UFAs may be picked up. Then they’ll let it ride for a while. I can see Purcell and Gordon being traded away at the deadline for futures, which will signal the elevation of Draisaitl and Nurse to the big club.