WHAT IS AND WHAT MAY BE

We’re just over 12 hours away from free agency 2015, and the Oilers must have some idea about where they stand with their target free agents. It is NOT a strong group but that’s not the same as saying all hope is lost. There are two free agents who could help Edmonton in 2015-16 and the club should be targeting them.

SEKERA AND FRANSON

numbers from blue

IF the Oilers go the free-agent route tomorrow, I think these two fit the bill for Edmonton. Sekera is a wonderful possession player and in his prime, and I can see him doing a nice job with Mark Fayne on the ‘veteran duo’ that would likely serve as the team’s top tandem in 2015-16. The Los Angeles Kings are trying to sign him (the Mike Richards/Slava Voynov situations have given them a window) but if they don’t get it done, I would hope Edmonton pushes hard to add the veteran.

Franson is the best power-play option on available by point total
(5-12-17, tied with Mike Green) he’s probably ideally suited to second pairing and a
zone-start push. I’m not certain there’s room for Franson and Justin Schultz on
the same team but that shouldn’t stop us from talking about Franson as
an option. If there’s a chance, Edmonton should be in there like a dirty shirt.

THE NEED FOR SPEED

Edmonton acquired Lauri Korpikoski tonight, he’s a $2.5M (times two) winger coming off two subpar seasons with the Coyotes. The price tag for him was Boyd Gordon, who costs $3M with a year left. I don’t think the $500,000 saving was the reason for the deal and as the Vollman Sledgehammer tells us it wasn’t about Korpikoski’s strong season in 2014-15.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER  ARI

That’s not a sweet spot, he’s taking on tougher ZS’s and is in the ‘shut down part of the graph, but struggled badly (his Corsi for 5×5 % in 2014-15 was 44% and ranked well down the list of Arizona forwards).

Source

I think Peter Chiarelli is trying to find Todd McLellan some fast trains and some checkers, men who are on the right side of the puck. Korpikoski’s addition probably squeezes Leon Draisaitl, Rob Klinkhammer and Teddy Purcell, although Purcell’s offense is far superior.

I’m pleased the Oilers have finally found another Pisani-type, a checking winger with enough offense to play with skill. The possession numbers are a concern and something we’ll need to discuss in the coming days.

  • Alsker

    Sekera would be really nice(not holding my breath though). Wonder if the Gordon deal was a good will gesture to the Coyotes. If we land Franson/Sekera they can take NN or the Captain off our hands. Keep up the good work LT.

  • Van isl Oiler

    I have a feeling Chiarelli is going to be saying “I did not make that deal” ALOT tmrw when all the Dmen feel low balled and compare Nikitin’s Contract,

    Wishing the Oilers The Best for tmrw!!! *Cheers*

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Buying on July 1st rarely works out. Stay away, especially with this UFA class. This years Sekera may well end up the same as last years Nikitin. Oh what we wouldn’t give to shed that salary.

    Focus on wheeling and dealing for a legitimate top pairing blue liner.

      • ATL Oiler

        Seems all but certain Franson returns to the Leafs. Sekera will be highly sought after.. Price will be dear. But I like the add just not sure of the long term cap implications here. He will likely garner $6 Mill? Too much?

    • O.C.

      Exactly. You can also say to others “why lock into that garbage at that price and term? Our selection is much cheaper. We will even hold salary on a couple of these.”

      Opportunities to sell are immense.

      • O.C.

        I think Chiarelli is looking to make a substantial trade? Names on twitter are B.Sutter, Oshie, Shattenkirk. Not sayin it will happen. But there is some logic to these names and the Oilers. It also means a major piece of the Oilers would have to be going out…. It could also mean they are “attempting” and its being leaked. So hang onto your hats!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Tomorrow and they rest of the summer to follow is gonna be interesting. I like how Chai doesn’t leak news. Makes him look smart if it’s the right decision. I see sekera as being part of the deal with Richards on draft day. Oilers could have still bought out Richards or made them keep salary but also could have signed sekera before free agency. Sekera maybe a oiler tomorrow.

  • Jaxon

    Craig Buttons list for worst buys are lead footed Franson and disappearing C.Stewart (shows up for 20 games and disappears for forty ). Sounds like a good target for our Oilers – not . Don’t see the love affair some people have for Franson or Stewart.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Sure he (Stewart) was streaky, but he was NEVER playing along side Connor McDavid!!!

      And when he ain’t scoring he is still making hits, talking trash and shedding the mitts for his team mates!!!

      That’s Why!!!!!!

      Have a nice day 🙂

    • Kevwan

      Korpikoski can skate and hit. 141 hits last year led Coyotes F and would have been 3rd on Oilers F. The one trait PC seems to think the Oilers needed to upgrade was physical play. I can’t argue with him.

      Maybe it’s memories of last summer but I am paranoid about the lack of C depth. That can’t happen again.

      • Jaxon

        Yes, but they could have signed someone like Blake Comeau (he’s fast, had 188 hits (2nd on Oilers) & 16 goals last season) to play that role for about $1M and traded Gordon at the deadline. Really not crazy about this deal.

        • Kevwan

          I like Comeau but I think he may be a 2.5 mil/yr + guy as a UFA. I think whoever gets him is paying a premium for the “Malkin Factor” in his stats. PC probably knows his ask but we’ll see.

          Gordon was a good soldier for the team. Always played hard and I thought McLellan would want to keep him. Maybe they think he’s getting a little old and starting to break down. I thought he’d get better value at the trade deadline also.

          Anyway best of luck Boyd. And PC get another C.

    • hagar

      Hopefully his attitude about wanting to play for the excitement that is the oilers holds true.

      We have a crap load of players on our own team that suck because the team itself sucks.

      He might be a player like yak that needs motivation to shine, and he wasn’t getting his vibes in line with the yotes. Never know.

  • McSaviour

    Many times over the past few years I have heard the MSM and others refer to the Oilers as a fast club. From my perspective that is incorrect.

    We have some players with speed (Hall, RNH, perhaps Pouliot). However, part of the reason we had problems with our fore check was that we lacked the speed necessary to exert constant pressure.

    This years SCF clearly demonstrated that speed is critical on both sides of the puck. Hope Chiarelli keeps looking for functional speed.

  • ATL Oiler

    Oilers’ makeover continues by getting Korpikoski from Coyotes for Gordon

    http://www.brandonsun.com/sports/breaking-news/edmonton-oilers-trade-boyd-gordon-to-arizona-coyotes-for-lauri-korpikoski-311064101.html?thx=y

    Lehto said Korpikoski played through a high-ankle sprain this past season and that his play has been hampered by injuries. He said Korpikoski is “training like he’s an animal” in Turku, Finland, and will be healthy for the start of Oilers training camp.

  • Jaxon

    Pouliot – RNH – Eberle

    Hall – McDavid – Stewart

    Korpikoski – Lander – Yakupov

    Hendricks – Matthias – Klinkhammer

    Lander, Matthias, and Korpikoski can rotate if need be, as in Lander-Matthias-Yak, and Korpikoski bumps Hendo to centre if needed.

    Sekera – Fayne

    Klefbom – Franson

    Reinhart – Gryba

    Davidson

    Talbot – Scrivens

    We’re not getting a Top 2 D in a trade be honest. If you were a GM, D Men are more valuable is this league more than ever. And if you’re Edmonton’s GM, you have two players who have potential to become Top 2 D in Reinhart and Nurse with Klefbom being a strong 3rd Dman. We don’t need to trade and lose assets like , Yak, and Draisaitl. We just have to develop our own. Grabbing Sekera and Franson along with Fayne will teach young Reinhart, Nurse, Klefbom how to properly play they’re positions.

    • hagar

      Stewart ahead of Yak? HUH?

      Fayne top pairing? HUH??

      you do know there is a salary cap right? You don’t want Nikitin, Ferrance nor Schultz. What do you do with them?

      Schultz is a better NHL player than 3-4 Dmen you list. Stop trying to make him what he is not. Make hm better at his strengths.

      Eakins stench will take time to wash off of this team. Nelson already started. It will continue.

  • Jaxon

    No basis to rationalize trading the best 4th line center in hockey for another inconsequential winger while keeping garbage like Nikita and Ference.
    Chiarelli is as incompetent as MacTavish.
    this team will irrelevant by the end of October.
    the real issue should have been the defence, that requires trading the likes of Hall or Eberle. Instead we fumble with the bottom end forwards.
    pathetic

    • McSaviour

      You don’t even know why he did that yet. Rambling off like an idiot doesn’t make the trade right or wrong. Perhaps tomorrow he brings in a solid center to replace Gordon and we got a fast, strong winger for cheap?

    • O.C.

      3 things you could possibly consider.

      1) The Goal is not to win the cup this season. It is in 2-3 Seasons at best.

      2) By not buying out Nikitin we will have zero cap hit for him after this one. Small term pain for long term gain. Also we have cap space to handle him and send him to the AHL if need be.

      3) There are moves still to be made. Possibly a major trade. Rumours are swirling tonight.

      Saying Chiarelli is as incompetent as MacT after 2 months on the job says it all about your mind set. Far too emotional. Need to chill out and wait and see how things go here. Small incremental improvements are better for building a long term winning organization.

  • Jaxon

    Why is nobody talking about Oduya? I would take him over Franson and Sekera 10 times over. What have they done for the inflated contracts they will likely get? Throw in Irwin too please….Bang we’re back!

    • hagar

      Plus it always sounds like the play by play guys are saying (I’d do ya) when they say his name… that never stops standing out in my head no matter how many times I hear it. Ha!

  • hagar

    Have been thinking about the Gordon trade. Didn’t like it at first as I have loved Gordon, but assuming PC fills that hole with a cheaper contract I get it – you can’t have that much dough tied up on your fourth line. 2.5 is about right for a 3rd line winger, although still a bit on the high side. We’d pay that for a FA anyway. Right-sizing the roster is a good thing.

    Can’t wait for more news tomorrow – what a couple of months.