With the bye week snooze fest in full swing, I thought I would take a minute to look at the Oilers’ items listed in this week’s 30 Thoughts over at Sportsnet.
As he does every week, Elliotte Friedman looked around the NHL and dropped little truth nuggets about your favourite hockey team right into your eyeballs. When it comes to the Oilers, Friedman only had a couple of items but they could end up meaning big things depending on how they shake out.
As we all know, Brandon Davidson’s name has been coming up in trade rumours lately. That was going on before the All-Star Break, but this was one of the first times where we’ve seen his name attached to a specific team. On Davidson, Friedman said:
Finally on the Avalanche, there’s a certain logic that they are one of the teams taking a run at Edmonton’s Brandon Davidson. Davidson, a great story who’s carved out a nice niche, is not someone the Oilers want to trade, but someone they may be forced to move.
Wait a minute. I’m going to stop you there, sir. Forced to move? I mean, they’re not really FORCED to move Davidson but I can see why he’d say that if the plan is to keep Russell over Davi. As a workaround, the Oilers could try to swing a gentleman’s agreement with Russell (if that’s the direction they really want to go) where he signs after the expansion draft as a means to try and keep both players but maybe that’s just me being a dreamer again.
First, it will be tough to protect him in the expansion draft. Second, he’s going to be due a raise, but so are Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers also want to keep Kris Russell. You can’t keep everyone, so the Oilers are being proactive. Davidson will help someone.
Yeah, he could help the Oilers for a long time but I digress.
LET’S THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MINUTE…
According to NHLNumbers, Brandon Davidson has one more year left on his contract at $1.425 million. While he would likely merit a raise after next year is done, would it really be breaking the bank? Based on history, some educated guessing, and Eklund-esque projection, I just can’t see any raise that Davidson gets being more than double what he makes now. And even that would still be less than the 4×4 Russell speculation that Stauffer was putting out there this week.
For me, Andrej Sekera has been so good this year that it hasn’t really mattered who his partner has been, he’s been able to carry them. Do we really believe that Davidson wouldn’t be just as effective next to Sekera as Russell has been? What about Oesterle? What about Nurse? If the Oilers are looking to save money then there are internal options that I see that are just as good, if not close, as Kris Russell. Why lose the cheaper option when you know you have some big contracts to pay soon?
Anyway, back to the speculation…
Colorado is interesting because I’m not sure who the Oilers would be after if Davidson is the centrepiece of the deal. Would we want guys like Duchene, Landeskog, Barrie, or any of the other names floating around out there? Of course we would like those guys, but it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than Davidson to get them in Oilers silks, so let’s look at some of the players that might be available in that kind of deal and what their contract status is going into the summer.
|Left Wing||Centre||Right Wing||Defense|
|Mikhail Grigorenko (RFA)||John Mitchell (UFA)||Jarome Iginla (UFA)||Fedro Tyutin (UFA)|
|Rene Bourque (UFA)||Joe Colborn (1 more year @ $2.5)||Blake Comeau ( 1 more year @ $2.4)||Francois Beauchemin (1 more year @ $4.5)|
|Carl Soderberg (3 more years @ $4.75)||Eric Gelinas (RFA)|
As you can see, the list of options for the Oilers to realistically acquire from the Avalanche is limited, so I’m curious to know who you think would be the target? Did I miss someone that you think should have been there? Let me know in the comments section.
For those of us that were thinking the Oilers might take some big swings at the deadline, we are likely to be disappointed. On the idea of the Oilers being overly active at the deadline, Friedman said:
When it comes to Edmonton and the trade deadline, remember the club could have some serious bonus overages affect the salary cap for next season. GM Peter Chiarelli will be conservative if he can’t move out a big salary.
Every dollar matters in the Connor McDavid era and I know that Peter Chiarelli is well aware of that fact but, with that said, those limited dollars should make ideas like a Russell 4×4 extension non-starters. If the Oilers are actually looking for ways to scrimp and save then they need to be finding value deals and not creating boat anchors to throw at themselves as they’ve done in the past. Regardless of what happens, Peter Chiarelli has some big decisions to make in the coming months, and it will be interesting to see what the roster might look like come deadline time or even when September rolls around again. Until then, we wait.