If we had a dollar for every time one of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle has been traded in print or on air, we would all be living in houses as nice as Wanye Manor. Even this spring and early summer, rumors surrounding the trio have been rampant. Could it be that Peter Chiarelli has decided to keep these gents around—at least until the day he can make a deal that makes sense?
LUCIC AND DEMERS VISIT
Today, two of the top free agents this summer dropped by to see the new arena and check out their respective offices (Lucic in front of both nets and in the corners, Demers patrolling the blue lines). Although contracts were not sent in to the NHL offices, we can be hopeful that good news on both fronts could arrive on Friday morning. Could the Oilers sign both and retain most of the rest of the roster?
- I added Lucic, Demers and Lee Stempniak
- I deleted Nail Yakupov
- The roster is over by a shilling, but Edmonton could buyout Lauri Korpikoski and get under.
- Andrew Ference will have to be active on roster opening, so the team would have to send down Leon Draisaitl and Jesse Puljuarvi to comply with the cap. It is a paper transaction, once Ference is back on the LTIR, the two youngsters can be placed back on the roster.
Does that work for you? I know from previous discussions there are men listed here that some fans would like to see gone. Mark Fayne, Benoit Pouliot, Anton Lander—this roster does not add a strong backup option. Are you fine with that? Adding two big free agents and then running (mostly) the same roster that is already in-house? You could place Pakarinen in Korpikoski’s spot and the cap would work.
One of the issues I see is power-play shooter. What about a forward? Edmonton did that moons ago and had success, and if there is no rocket launcer out there, why not? Maybe try Oscar Klefbom or Brandon Davidson, both men showed some promise in that area last year.
The pairings have been an issue, but that veteran duo of Sekera—Fayne did well enough last season (running at basically 50 percent). Could Klefbom—Demers work as the de facto top pairing? Demers was 54.2 percent in possession 5×5 Corsi for last year—59.9 percent when away from Johnny Oduya.
Most of the conversation surrounding the addition of Milan Lucic revolves around trading a LW for immediate help on RHD. What if Peter Chiarelli buys two free agents, and forgets to trade any Steve Austins?