PITLICK’S BACK

PITLICK WILLIAMS1

The Edmonton Oilers signed Tyler Pitlick today. It was a good deal for team and player—more AHL money, less NHL dough—and he is back for a year. Pitlick will probably enter training camp as a Condor but could see a recall during the year. Let’s have a look at the signed Bakersfield group, and what they might look like in the fall.

TOTAL RECALL

The Oilers recalled a lot of Condors in 2015-16:

  1. C Leon Draisaitl 72gp, 19-32-51
  2. R Iiro Pakarinen 63gp, 5-8-13
  3. D Darnell Nurse 69gp, 3-7-10
  4. D Jordan Oesterle 17gp, 0-5-5
  5. L Jujhar Khaira 15gp, 0-2-2
  6. L Luke Gazdic 29gp, 1-0-1
  7. D Griffin Reinhart 29gp, 0-1-1
  8. R Rob Klinkhammer 14gp, 1-0-1
  9. R Anton Slepyshev 11gp, 0-1-1
  10. D Nikita Nikitin 11gp, 0-1-1
  11. D Brad Hunt 7gp, 0-0-0
  12. C Andrew Miller 6gp, 0-0-0
  13. G Laurent Brossoit 5gp, 3.61 .873

That is a lot of games. If a full roster spot is represented by 82 games, Edmonton had over four of their 23 spots covered by Barons. Farm teams are damned important.

PITLICK 2014-15

14-15 barons

This is the final Oklahoma City Barons roster (forwards) and their boxcars. Pitlick is mid-pack, but he played only 14 games so small sample size alert. Fair to say that when he was in the lineup, Pitlick was among the top 9F.

PITLICK 2015-16

rodgers forwards bakersfield

This is Eric Rodgers again, he did the work in both seasons and if you would like to thank him twitter usually works best.

Pitlick is the best offensive player who was unsigned until today—save Josh Winquist. We have spoken about Winquist at length, and hopefully he returns on an NHL deal. Pitlick is about the same offensively as Jujhar Khaira—who is two years younger—and both men are likely to play big parts in the Bakersfield season to come.

brossoit williams2

PROJECTING THE 2016-17 CONDORS

  1. G Laurent Brossoit. Has another year before being vulnerable to waivers. Could be in NHL. 
  2. G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup, he is signed for next year.
  3. G Nick Ellis: Newly signed college free agent. He was .936 at Providence (NCAA). 
  4. LD Griffin Reinhart, may spend another year in the minors. Bonus could hinder. 
  5. LD Joey Laleggia, Posted solid offense as a rookie pro. 
  6. LD Dillon Simpson, Gerry Fleming said he was most consistent D in Bakersfield. 
  7. LD Ben Betker, Spent most of his time in Norfolk, should be a bigger part of Condors. 
  8. C Jujhar Khaira, he could be in the NHL for much of the year. 
  9. C Bogdan Yakimov, probably spends the year in California. 
  10. C Kyle Platzer, should have a bigger role.
  11. L Ryan Hamilton. Veteran on an AHL only contract.
  12. L Drake Caggiula. fine young scoring winger from college. 
  13. L Jere Sallinen, KHL grad, unsure of what kind of role he will fill. 
  14. L Mitch Moroz, final year of his entry deal, huge for his future.
  15. L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, struggled as a rookie pro. 
  16. R Tyler Pitlick. Young veteran just signed. Bakersfield, possible recalls 16-17.
  17. R Anton Slepyshev, has NHL size and speed. Does he have enough skill?
  18. R Patrick Russell, power forward potential. Interesting new signing.
  19. R Greg Chase, should be in California all year.

roy capture

FREE AGENTS WHO MAY PLAY IN BAKERSFIELD NEXT YEAR

  1. LD Jordan Oesterle, fine young player. Should be a lock to return, may play in NHL. RFA. 
  2. RD Adam Clendening. Interesting decision for puck moving righty. RFA.
  3. LD David Musil, shutdown defender is a solid AHL player. RFA.
  4. LD Brad Hunt. Skills are duplicated elsewhere. UFA.
  5. C Marco Roy. Former second-round pick. AHL contract last year, uncertain future.
  6. L Josh Winquist. Oilers best AHL offensive prospect. Unsigned, free agent. 
  7. L Kale Kessy. Rugged winger, skills duplicated on roster. RFA.
  8. R Josh Currie Played well, looking for a contract.
  9. R Andrew Miller. No chance he returns imo. UFA

NOTES

  • The Oilers need to sign Josh Winquist. Seriously.
  • The Oilers need some RHD.
  • The AHL roster has some real talent—Brossoit, Reinhart, Khaira, Caggiula, Slepyshev—could have NHL careers.
  • Edmonton signed Pitlick ahead of Iiro Pakarinen. Some have speculated that Edmonton may take the Finn to arbitration, in an effort to open a buyout window later this summer.
  • Of the remaining RFAs, I think Jordan Oesterle is most likely to be signed.
  • David Musil is likely to get a contract.
  • Did Andrew Miller trade himself?

All photos by Mark Williams

  • Max

    I think Pitlick’s signing is the trickle before the flow. Probably everyone who is going to be signed will be in the next few days. Get the AHL business out of the way before the big stuff happens. Ethan Bear doesn’t need to be signed until next year, but I think he will also be signed sooner rather than later.

  • Strottie

    Clendening getting a two-way deal seems like a no-brainer. He’s got all of zero competition for an AHL RHD spot, and hell he’s found money at this point. Might as well have someone down there playing right side till Bear gets there next year. Oesterle showed really well in the bigs last year, I’d be more than happy to see him get top minutes in Bakersfield and the odd cup of coffee in Edmonton. Acquire good players, keep good players. Maybe he turns out to be a bonafide stud or becomes a contributing piece in a larger deal.

    I don’t see why Musil “should” get a contract: what is he doing that someone like Reinhart or Simpson is incapable of doing? He’s got size and doesn’t play the body, he’s slow, he’s part of the dying breed of defensive defencemen. We have a logjam of left rearguards on the farm – see if you can flip him for a late round pick this year or next and open up a slot for someone else.

    In regards to Pitlick, good on him, but I’d have rather seen the 720k go elsewheres. It’s been nearly 6 years since we drafted him, and nothing’s really shown for it. If the orgnization is desperate for a Pitlick, his cousin Rem should be available in the 5th round this year.

    • Seanaconda

      720k doesn’t matter it’s just Katz money.

      if he doesn’t make it in the nhl the cap is covered by the 900 ish grand you save against the cap when you send a player down.

      50 man list is really the only thing he effects if he doesn’t turn out. It’s a 2 way too so even Katz pocketbook is somewhat protected if he doesn’t make the nhl squad.

      • Strottie

        It matters when that 720k could have been thrown at another FA RHD to play on the farm ala Jakub Nakladal or Korbinian Holzer. Yes, 720k means nothing when you’re not the one spending it, but there’s an organizational need for RHD. Both the Oilers and Condors need right handed rearguards – that money could have been better spent on someone to fill a void than on a fragile, unproven RW.

        Keep in mind that in terms of AHL depth, Russell, Salinen, and Platzer were already competing for the top 3 RW spots – Pitlick doesn’t exactly fit in the mix unless Salinen ends up on the fourth line or something. They’d have been better off offering Cracknell or another vet getting up there in age the fourth-line spot to provide some defensive utility and the intangibles.

        • Kepler62c

          He probably makes somewhere between $70k – $100k if he is in the AHL… do you know how two-way contracts work?

          If they are in the AHL they make one salary, if they are in the NHL they make a different salary. Pitlick has an NHL salary of ~750k (I’m using your number not sure what it really is) but if he isn’t playing the in the NHL it doesn’t matter, Katz doesn’t pay it — and if he makes the NHL squad then Chia and Katz definitely wouldn’t be complaining about paying their 4th line RW 750K.

          That 750 doesn’t count against the cap and neither does the 70k-100k if he is in the AHL. Just to clarify that for you.

          • Strottie

            I get how the salaries work – I’m not concerned with actually paying Pitlick that money. Good on him for making 70 some-odd thousand to play hockey. What irks me is that’s a 720k contract that could have been offered elsewheres. I’d rather hand out a contract like that to a player that satisfies an organizational need than another winger. It’s not about the dollar amount of a two-way contract, but who gets it.

            Would you rather offer injury-prone, underproducing Tyler Pitlick that money or sign a RHD who may or may not turn out? That’s all my argument is: Pitlick’s ship has sailed and someone who fills a need should have been tendered one instead (one free agency opens).

          • Seanaconda

            Do you not understand that there is literally zero cap hit against the oilers if he is in the ahl. ? Can easily spend that on a different player if we have enough spots open. If we are close to 50 maybe you have a point but I don’t think roster spots is a concern yet.

            And if pit manages to make the roster and bump someone that makes more than him down it will save the oilers more cap space. Cuz it’s not like the oilers will gain 200 or whatever grand in cap for sending pit down but will save the full 900 ish if they send down someone that makes more than that instead.

          • Strottie

            Why do people keep misinterpreting “this is a wasted contract on someone not worth one” as “we spent too much on Pitlick”? The money figure is not the focus, it’s who got it. The Condors have ZERO RHD as of right now, and already had 3 more than capable right wings. C’mon guys, if we can handle the intricacies of the NHL’s CBA, then I’d expect you guys to be able to handle reading at a third-grade level.

            By signing Pitlick, you’ve now either relegated one of Russell, Salinen, or Platzer to a fourth-line role / ECHL role – of which none fit the billing. Russell was probably going to challenge for the top line, second at worst, Salinen would probably slot with Slepyshev and Yakimov (figure a KHL connection works here), and Platzer anchors the third line in a more sheltered scoring role. Where does Pitlick fit? Short answer, he doesn’t, which is where a contract tendered at a RHD for the farm to fill a hole would have been a better use of Pitlick’s 720k. The only way he does is if Platzer’s going back to the ECHL, and I don’t know how that works. Would you rather invest in an extra winger who can’t score at either the NHL or AHL levels, or a defenceman to play the right side – of which we have zero as of right now? My argument was never a money issue other than the fact that signing Pitlick was a waste of money.

            As of right now, the Oilers are at 39/50 contracts. There’s still plenty of room to work with, but I for one would rather have contract #39 filling an organizational need than giving a consistently-injured player another chance when there isn’t room for him.

      • Total Points

        It is not Katz’s money.

        He is running the Oilers at a profit and the money comes from the fans through ticket sales, TV advertising, jersey sales, etc.

        All the money to pay Pitlick comes not from Katz but the fans as well as tax payers in Edmonton and Alberta.

  • JBear

    I like the signing. I don’t see Yak staying here much longer 🙁 so he will be a call up when Yak is moved or an injury happens. And he’s got some years under his belt and he does play well.

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    Pitlick has obviously had some bad luck staying healthy early in his career. Some players get through that and develope into solid bottom six guys and go on to have solid careers. This is a cost effective move for the Oil and a good AHL player with enough skill to be a good call up when needed.