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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  • 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!!!!

  • 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.

  • YFC Prez

    No sense buying out NN, if he comes into camp out of shape and ineffective he can be sent to the minors…then off the books totally at the end of the season. Same with Purcell who is going into his contract year, why buy him out when he’s playing for a contract and at the very least can garner a second round pick at the trade deadline.

  • 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.

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    Brandon Carlo : Best defensive defenseman in the draft . Great skater and heady/smart , with exceptional lateral mobility and balance not generally seen on such a big frame of 6ft.5inches . Right handed defenseman who will just get better as he creates more offence . Physical when required and sound positionally. Very good passing skills and headmaning the puck to forwards . My choice for #16 , or definitely #33 if somehow still available .

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Canadian Hockey Fan

    I am also getting tired of people saying the Oilers won’t make it next year. I think they will be there come next April. Remember the days when a 33-37-12 record was good enough to make it in. The Oilers and Sharks were the last two teams with losing records to make the playoffs, which I believe was in 1999. Would like to see that happen again so we could see some real upsets.

  • 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 ?

    • 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?

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    Sounds like you have been drinking too much of the trading coolaide that infected Mike Milbury (when he was Islander’s GM) and the whole Philly organization (for the last two decades)!

  • 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

    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

  • 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 .

  • 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

    If this draft is as deep as they say it is, well then we better be getting back somethign pretty incredible for the number 16 pick. In 2003 some names that went around 16th or later are Parise, Getzlaf, Burns, Perry, Boyle, Eves, Eriksson, Bergeron, Crawford, and of course Weber.

  • bradleypi

    LT, why the continued emphasis on goaltending? Hasn’t history (the Oilers’ in particular) shown that if average goaltenders are surrounded with a solid core/system that they will often have success (or the opposite in the Oilers’ case)?

    Just look at all the journeyman goalies that made the playoffs this year. IMO, unless you’re courting Lundqvist, Price or perhaps Luongo, having a solid defense will produce a larger impact on wins and losses. The era of the goalie is long gone.

    As it stands now, I feel like the Flames have 5 defensemen that are better than every D-man on the Oilers. That’s a much larger problem than Ben Scrivens and I’d prefer to see Chiarelli address that shortcoming.

  • Jaxon

    Trades – Don’t trade the future for next year.
    Next year we’re not winning the cup. Good young players will be worth more in a few years once they have proven themselves. Make those trades once you are close to the cup.
    Have a plan and stick to it.
    Pay too much for what we want now.

  • iamSean

    IMO buying out a player is not necessary unless we are desperate for cap space now. Try to make a trade happen, retain some salary, get something in return. In Nikitin’s case I doubt we could trade him even retaining salary: see if he plays better this season without injury, buy him out if we need the cap space.

  • El Pindo

    Keeping Andrew Ference probably means you can’t sign Paul Postma to play with Marincin/Davidson/Nurse.

    Any of those three paired with Postma would rock 3rd pairing minutes.

  • bradleypi

    LT – I think you threw that MacTavish/Howson comment in there just to rile people up. (Is that trolling?).

    – No buyouts.

    – No choice. They have to pick up at least one goalie. I think they’ll be okay with Scrivens, as long as he’s a 1b or a 2.

    – They will try to sing UFA Free Agents. Probably won’t have much luck. Any of your Franson/Sekera/Green would be good news.

    – Trades. That’s going to be tough. I’m sure draft picks are on the table. Roster players, only if good value. It’s not that they won’t be in the market shopping, there just is nothing that will get much in a return, unless they deal from the top of the deck.