WWYDW: Lucic or Okposo?


My friends, it’s once again time to put yourself in Peter Chiarelli’s spot and make decisions for the Edmonton Oilers based on what you think would be best for the team. This week, we’re diving into fantasy land to determine whether you would choose to sign Milan Lucic or Kyle Okposo if you were handed the keys to the Oilers’ panel van. Left or right wing – who will you decide?

After Pierre LeBrun told the world that Milan Lucic would be “open and warm” to the idea of signing in Edmonton, Oilers Twitter exploded with contract ideas, trades proposals that could happen as a result of the signing, and everything in between to try and get a deal done. One of the issues that some folks have expressed, in regards to signing Lucic, is the fact that the left wing is one of the few positions on the Oilers’ roster with any kind of depth. Having depth doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade the port side, but I wonder if the Oilers might be better served trying to upgrade the right wing instead? That’s where I need your help. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below


Left Wing — shoots L

Born Jun 7 1988 — Vancouver, BC 

[28 yrs. ago] 

Height 6.03 — Weight 233 [191 cm/106 kg]

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Drafted by Boston Bruins – Round 2 #50 overall 2006 NHL Entry Draft

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 Boston Bruins NHL 77 8 19 27 89 -2 7 2 0 2 4
2008-09 Boston Bruins NHL 72 17 25 42 136 17 10 3 6 9 43
2009-10 Boston Bruins NHL 50 9 11 20 44 -7 13 5 4 9 19
2010-11 Boston Bruins NHL 79 30 32 62 121 28 25 5 7 12 63
2011-12 Boston Bruins NHL 81 26 35 61 135 7 7 0 3 3 8
2012-13 Boston Bruins NHL 46 7 20 27 75 8 22 7 12 19 14
2013-14 Boston Bruins NHL 80 24 35 59 91 30 12 4 3 7 4
2014-15 Boston Bruins NHL 81 18 26 44 81 13
2015-16 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 20 35 55 79 26 5 0 3 3 4
NHL Totals 647 159 238 397 851 101 26 38 64 159

Milan Lucic has been on the Nation wish list for a long time, and now there’s a real chance that he could actually end up as an Oiler. Does he fit? I think so. Not only does Lucic have some touch, he also has the aggressive style of play that has been sorely lacking in the 7-8-0 for a long long time. Signing Lucic would not only add functional toughness to the roster, but also create the opportunity to trade away an asset from the left side for help on defense. Besides, it’s not unreasonable to think that Lucic could actually get a boost in production by playing with Connor McDavid, amirite?

Last contract: Three years, $6 million cap hit


Right Wing — shoots R

Born Apr 16 1988 — St. Paul, MN 

[28 yrs. ago] 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Height 6.00 — Weight 217 [183 cm/98 kg]

Drafted by New York Islanders – Round 1 #7 overall 2006 NHL Entry Draft

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 New York Islanders NHL 9 2 3 5 2 3
2008-09 New York Islanders NHL 65 18 21 39 36 -6
2008-09 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 2 1 0 1 2
2009-10 New York Islanders NHL 80 19 33 52 34 -23
2010-11 New York Islanders NHL 38 5 15 20 40 3
2011-12 New York Islanders NHL 79 24 21 45 46 -15
2012-13 New York Islanders NHL 48 4 20 24 38 -2 6 3 1 4 5
2013-14 New York Islanders NHL 71 27 42 69 51 -9
2014-15 New York Islanders NHL 60 18 33 51 12 -8 7 2 1 3 2
2015-16 New York Islanders NHL 79 22 42 64 51 -4 11 2 6 8 4
NHL Totals 529 139 230 369 310 24 7 8 15 11

If Milan Lucic is one of the best available left wingers then Kyle Okposo would likely be the best option available on the right side. For the Oilers, the right wing depth needs some work, and if you assume that Nail Yakupov and/or Jordan Eberle gets traded this summer then the right wing situation starts to look even uglier. Okposo would solve a lot of issues on the right side. He’s not as big and mean as Lucic can be, but Okposo does play a heavier style game, and he can also put the puck in the net. Is he a fit? I think so. Although contract demands haven’t been released for Okposo (that I could find) rumour has it that his agent hasn’t heard from the Islanders since the season ended, and maybe that means he gets to July 1st. 

Last contract: Five years, $2.8 million cap hit


Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 3.13.07 PM

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

For the sake of this article I’m going to ask that you suspend disbelief and assume that either of these players would be 100% willing to sign in Edmonton. Now that that’s cleared up, I ask that you tell me who you think would be a better fit for the Oilers and why – Lucic or Okposo? I’m also curious to know what kind of contract (dollars and term) you would offer to your player of choice and why you think that would be a fair deal. Both Lucic and Okposo players are the same age, were drafted in the same year, and have both put up similar point totals throughout their careers, to this point. Do you go for the guy that fills a positional need, or do you stack up on the left side? Maybe you don’t like either guy and think it would be best that the Oilers avoid both players? My friends, it’s time to play GM again. 

  • Explicit

    I’ll be happy if they don’t finish in the basement of the league. Sign Grebeshkov, Omark, Schremp, Belov… Can struds still lace them up? Bring back Ty Conklin! I simply don’t care who’s on the team. JUST STOP BEING A LOSER HOCKEY TEAM!!

    Seriously, once they miss the playoffs this year, the oilers will become the worst team in the history of the NHL. That’s sad… And hopefully they don’t smash that record so it’s unbeatable

  • Explicit

    Just had a fantastic idea! I think the oilers training camp next year should be open to anyone who wants to tryout! Broadcast it live and let the fans vote who makes the team!!! Guaranteed they’ll still be able to finish in the basement and might even be more interesting to watch!! I think this is a solid idea!

  • @Hallsy4

    If they want playoffs next year there will be a big shakeup and we are in for a crazy summer. Any big move Pete makes he will need to make another big move to address $$ or position issues. Life would be a lot easier if maroon played RW. can’t wait for stuff to start happening

  • @Hallsy4

    Maroon can play his off wing, it’s not that hard. Lucic, McDavid Maroon. Line 2 hall Drai Nuge. Trade Ebs for Hamonic, yak and Pou for vatanen. Playoffs next year, not a contender until Nurse develops into a horse.

    • Explicit

      You’d be ok with Maroon playing his off wing on the oilers first line? Maroon scored 34 goals. I don’t mean last year, I’m talking his entire NHL career. I like Maroon A lot, but he is seriously over rated by oilers fans.

      • Moe Sizzlack

        Idk how a power forward who makes 1.5mill or less who hits, fights and scored more goals in 1/4 of the year here then 3/4 of the year with the ducks can be over rated ?? The guys not making 5mill.

        Jus sayyn

        • OTOF2

          Are you not concerned with Maroons sample size as an Oiler before making any rating, whether overrated or under? I think it’s too early to tell if he will maintain the goals scoring rate he had in Edm or reverts back to his career average. There is greater chance that his Edm performance is the outlier not the new norm.

          • ubermiguel

            At 200+ games into his NHL career and at age 28 he is what he is: a 0.4-points-&-1-pim-a-game guy. He can also move up the line up on occasion without embarrassing himself.

  • Tough choice: Lucic plays that ‘heavier’ game. Not the fleetest of skaters, but he can find the Net and bring some snarl to the game.
    Okposo: Better skater. Right Side. Don’t let the numbers fool ya, he can score. Big Body, and has bite to his game as well. (not the extent of lucic.) Hell, sign ’em both. Cap be damned…:)

  • GCW

    All things being equal, the Oilers should take Okposo.

    But, they are not equal. Okposo is an American who had been enjoying life in New York for how many years? He has no ties to the Oilers in management or players that I am aware of. I just can’t see him coming to Edmonton.

    The other factor is what happens with the player Lucic or Okposo displaces.

    If you believe Lucic displaces Pouliot and Okposo displaces Eberle, the team is likely to do better in terms of returning an impact defender via Eberle.

    But, if Lucic displaces Hall, the equation flips. Hall is likely to get the Oilers a materially better defender.

    For me, I treat the game like chess, not checkers, and I sign Lucic and trade Hall to get the best defender possible. I don’t think Okposo is a valid option, and the Oilers need a clear top pair defender.

  • crackerjack14

    Assuming you can’t sign both, a contender could be assembled in 4 moves:
    1. Sign Lucic
    2. Trade Pouliot for Vatanen.
    3. Package the 4th plus for Barrie or Trouba.
    4. Trade a pick for Shaw (CHI)



    Maroon-Shaw(via trade)-Kassian





    Yak and Reinhart may be throw ins for another move. Nurse should be sent down.

    • madjam

      Congratulations : You’ve got the right idea by keeping Hall, Eberle and Hopkins and making club much better by doing so . To bad more cannot see the value of keeping them n place .

      • madjam

        It works , but we can only protect 3 defenseman for one year , before we lose one of the two defensive additions plus the players we used to get that one year rental . Even if we get an additional UFA of quality it is basically a one year rental as well , as we will likely lose him to expansion – but at least we only lose money and not additional players for nothing .

        • Randaman

          I can’t understand why everyone is so concerned with the expansion draft.

          OOOOOh, we might lose him or him or him. I’m pretty sure it isn’t the deciding factor in building a team.

          Every team will lose one player. Get over it.

          • madjam

            It is not about the one player we might lose , It’s about putting ourselves in a position of losing up to three because of the cost to perhaps get too many . Do you not see that ? Stick to losing one , not 3 .

          • Randaman

            Again, do your research! The Oilers will only lose one player if there is one expansion team and two players if there are two expansion teams.

            ONE EACH!!

            Where did you come up with three?

          • madjam

            Once again . If we get Vatanen for Pouliot and Yakupov , and Vatanen cannot be protected say if we had Faulk , then we lose all 3 players = Yak, Pouliot and Vatanen for a one year rental of Vatanen . If we got Hall for Faulk and Faulk were exposed , we end up with a one year rental and lose both Hall and Faulk in the process . Do your research ! In a nutshell : you lose also what it cost you to get that one year asset . Same scenario could be crippling on offense if we are not careful .

  • Chainsawz





    (ps – Okposo)

  • JBear

    Lucic for sure. Okposo would be nice to as he scores more than Lucic but he can’t bring what Lucic brings. You would have to move Pouliot, Yak and bring in another right winger to complete the forwards corps. That being said, no more than $6M/yr.

  • Bled Of Colour

    Here’s what I’d like to see:
    Hall (6.0) – McDavid (.925) – Okposo (5.5)
    Pouliot (4.0) – Backes (7.0) – Draisaitl (.925)
    Korpikoski (2.50) – Shaw (3.0) – Kassian (1.5)
    Hendricks (1.85) – Letestu (1.5) – Pakarianen (1.0)
    Extra forwards: Bickell (4.0), Cracknell (.6)

    Sekera (5.5) – Faulk (4.833)
    Klefbom (4.167) – Hamonic (3.857)
    Nurse (.863) – Vatanen (3.5)
    Extra Defense: Gryba (1.5)

    Talbot (4.167)
    Johnson (1.5)

    How did I get here:
    1.) trade RNH, Yakupov, Jones & #4 for Faulk & #13
    2.) trade Pouliot for Vatanen (sign to 3 yrs @ 3.5)
    3.) trade Maroon, Reinhart & #63 for Bickell & Shaw (have CHI retain 1.0 on Bickell, sign Shaw to 3 yrs @ 3.0)
    4.) trade Eberle, Davidson & #13 for Hamonic
    5.) sign Backes to 3 yrs @ 7.0 (front load & sweeten with signing bonus, no NMC)
    6.) sign Okposo to 4 yrs @ 5.5 (front load, no NMC)
    7.) sign Chad Johnson to 2 yrs @ 1.5
    8.) re-sign Iiro Pakarianen to 1 yr @ 1.0
    9.) re-sign Cracknell to 1 yr @ 0.6
    10.) persuade Jimmy Vesey to sigh as RFA on August 15th
    – top prospects line in AHL: Vesey – Caggiula – Russell

    A guy can dream, right?!?!?

    • The Whispererer

      A good looking lineup, but there are a few issues that would require changes. Remember that salaries are not the same thing as Cap hits.

      Forwards: McDavid’s Cap hit is $3.775 and Draisaitl’s is $3.4 and you have Pouliot playing forward after you traded him for Vatanen, and Shaw will want more than $3.0 (might need $4.0).

      Defense: Nurse’s Cap hit is $1.713. What did you do with Fayne’s $3.625 and Ference’s $3.25 Cap hits? Vatanen will cost more than $3.5.

      How you got there: 1) Holy Overpay Batman. RNH alone should get you Faulk, assuming he’s available. At worst you might need to add a defense prospect like Osterle or Simpson. 2) I doubt that Anaheim would be interested in Pouliot at $4.0 when they are trying to free up salary to sign Lindholm. But i’ll give you this one because of degree of doubt. 3). Chicago is trying to get out of Cap hell; they would have zero interest in adding hits of $1.5 (Maroon) and $3.213 (Reinhart). 4) Holy Overpay Batman. Eberle alone would get Hamonic, assuming he’s even available. 5) Holy Overpay Batman. 6) 7) and 8) Fine. 9) Meh 10) Wherever he signs Vesey will be playing in the NHL not the AHL.

      • Bled Of Colour

        I just used the numbers from generalfanager. Also didn’t have time to list guys I’d try to move for a draft pick. And no way RNH alone gets Faulkin my opinion….plus I’d rather my deals were overlays than most guys that try to underpay on their trade proposals.

        • Randaman

          Ok, I give up. Let’s keep the core and do nothing due to fear of the expansion draft.

          Then we can finish with another lottery pick next year and have those discussions next summer again.

          • madjam

            I do not advocate doing nothing as you should have plainly seen , but I do advocate keeping top 3 and work to get better from there , and also the ramifications that might prevail if we go overboard . For some reason you are desperately against taking into consideration all ramifications .

          • Randaman

            You’re right. I want Eberle gone. Lazy, one dimensional, call it whatever you want.

            Besides that I met him once and his arrogance is off the charts. I think he is the hidden issue in the dressing room that past veterans speak of without mentioning names.

            Now you know

          • madjam

            If we are to trade players , we need to make sure we protect those new players in expansion draft or we risk losing a lot beyond just the player only . A Ufa we just lose the player and regain the money back to replace that person – that’s not so bad even if we had said player for only a year . We can live with that . Living within our best means . If Eberle a problem then trade him , but make sure first we protect the player we traded him for , or we could lose both and end up with nothing for that trade . You think L.A . playing in West , might not like to stick it to us or others in the West ? If they are smart they would .

          • Bondo11

            Eberle’s play started deteriorating shortly after he got the $6mm deal, imo.

            In his first 3 years he showed much more grit and work ethic, when compared to the last couple of years. He never has had any sort of defensive game, but I saw more determination from him on the backcheck in his early years.

            Ebs won’t be missed as much as people think. PC would find a capable replacement to play with Connor.

          • Bondo11

            I say if Chiarelli can pull off 3 or 4 major upgrades this summer, great!

            If the cost of upgrading the team is losing 1 player to expansion, then so be it.

            Madjam, you keep saying that expansion will cost us potentially more than 1 player (due to trading for the player picked in expansion). If that occurs, it may be a Pouliot, Yak, or Fayne we lose, which I think most of us wouldn’t have a problem with. Also, anyone we trade Hall, Nuge, or Eberle for will be an impact player and will be protected.

            It’s just the cost of doing business. If the opportunity is there to improve the team, I sure hope Chiarelli pulls the trigger and doesn’t sit on his hands, paralyzed by the fear of losing a player or two to expansion.

          • madjam

            Would you have no problem losing Yak,Pouliot and Vatanen for nothing , if you kept Faulk – because that is what you stand to lose ? How is that good asset management or good business ?

            In a nutshell : Would you take a super high risk with perhaps little to less than low return ? Or would you take a low risk Ufa or player not needed to be protected , that might give you a high reward . As an astute business person that I think you are , I believe you take the latter .

          • Bondo11

            If we somehow managed to acquire Faulk & Vatanen, then it’s an easy decision, imo. I’d protect Faulk, Vatanen, & Klefbom. If Klefbom were traded for Faulk, then I’d protect Nurse in his place.

            If Sekera was lost to expansion, it’s not the end of the world, as we’re gonna need the cap space in 2 years to sign Connor….

          • The Whispererer

            Except that Sekera has to occupy one of your protected spots due to his NMC.

            Edit: Nurse doesn’t have to be protected because he is exempt as a 2nd year player.

          • Bondo11

            Thanks for that. I thought it was NTC that had to be protected.

            As for Sekera, Chiarelli has a year to figure out how he can move him, if need be. These are good problems to have.

          • McRaj

            The Oilers could choose to protect 4 D and 4 F instead of 7 F and 3 D. So are you related to Mac T? Only he wanted to keep Nuge, Ebs, and Hall as badly as you do? Also they are no longer the top 3 so let’s not call them that, They are 3 of the top 5 forwards.

          • madjam

            You could , and even a top winger if a UFA like Lucic or Okposo if you can protect them , or one not needed to be protected . I could see 3 or even 4 if a Stempniak or equivalent that might be unlikely to go even without protection . There is many avenues , but also many roadblocks/red flags that need to be avoided . Still , I keep my top 3 on squad for at least one more year and also your top 5 as you call it .

  • JermBank

    Don’t be fooled, Okposo doesn’t bring the physicality to the table that Lucic does. 90 hits last year. Lucic is good for 250+ hits while putting up similar point totals. Understood he plays the wrong side, but he’s exactly the type of player you make room for if you want to play more than 82 games a year. Given the nature of UFA deals, at some point this eventually becomes a bad contract, but PC has got to make some hay while 97 is still cheap!

  • Depends what they can get in trade. If trading Eberle or Yakupov or both gets you what you need for D men and Okoposo ends up being cheaper then Lucic, that would be the preferred way.

    But the idea of getting Lucic in Edmonton is pretty intriguing. For one, it would certainly signal the end of free agents not wanting to play in Edmonton for whatever reason. And for 2 the return for Hall would likely be more significant than the return for Eberle. Third having Lucic, Maroon, Hendricks, Kassian, and Nurse peppered throughout the line up means the Oilers would officially no longer be a soft team to play against. In fact, they would basically become one of the bigger and meaner teams in the league over night. Finally it would be rather fitting after all those years of management wasting picks trying to find the next Lucic if they just went out and got Lucic.

    Oh, and those Edmonton Vancouver games would be wild.

  • Jordanzza

    Assuming we can trade Eberle, Pouliot towards $10m for help on the back end and if we can get both Lucic AND Okposo for a cap hit of $5m on decent term here’s what the lines cost…


    Hall – RNH – Okposo / (6+6+5) = $17m

    Lucic – McDavid – Yakupov / (5+3.775+2.5) = $11.275m

    Maroon – Draisaitl – Kassian / (1.5+3.4+1.5) = $6.4m

    Hendricks – Khaira – Pakarinen / (1.85+1.5+1.5) = $4.85m

    Healthy Scratches = Gazdic, Lander = $2m

    Forward Costs = $41.525m

    That is less than $1m more than we are already paying. The catch here is if we can find a classy way to do away with the Ference & Korpikoski contracts without retaining a lot or buying out. Let us assume Andrew retires graceful and gets a golden parachute job with the organization as compensation. Lauri gets traded and we only have to retain half his salary.

    + $1.5m retained for Korpi
    + $5m for Goalies

    Defence Cost = $25.675m

    Sekera – Faulk / (5.5+4.833) = $10.333m

    Klefbom – Barrie / (4.167+6.5) = $10.667m

    Davidson – Gryba / (1.425+2) = $3.425m

    Scratch = Oesterle = $1.25m

    Total Cap hit $73.7m

    If the NHLPA doesn’t ride the escalator and the cap doesn’t rise to $74m then a combination of trading Hendricks and not signing Gryba for cheaper internal options should save us a couple $m.

    I could see Carolina taking Eberle + Reinhart for Faulk and Colorado taking Fayne + Pouliot + 4th overall to get a long term deal done with Barrie. We instantly become a cap spend team and on paper at least ready for the playoffs.

    Leon gets a bridge deal for similar cap hit next summer and we worry about
    who to move to make room for Connor’s forever deal two summers from now.

    • Bondo11

      You still need to account for Fayne (3.625mm) & Lander (0.988mm).

      If Ference is deemed healthy, I believe he’ll be bought out. That’s a savings 2.1mm this year.

      $73.7mm + $2.5mm = $76.2mm total cap

      If the cap increased by 5% to $74.9mm, you’re still over by $1.3mm.

      I don’t see PC spending right to the cap limit. I see him keeping a buffer of at least 3 million, which is another reason I see him making only 2 or 3 moves to the roster.
      I do see him trying to unload salary and acquiring more picks, if he can, but he’ll be competing with a number of other teams trying to do the same.