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Peter Chiarelli’s Summer To-Do List

My friends, we’ve reached that horrible lull between the season ending (yeah, yeah Stanley Cup something something) and the NHL Draft and I thought that we could use this time to put together a to-do list for Peter Chiarelli.

Even though I know that Peter Chiarelli probably has a list of goals he’d like to accomplish in the coming months, he hasn’t reached out to any of us for our feedback and that’s where he went wrong. We know what needs to be done around here, and we know what it’s going to take to make it happen, so why not use our collective mega minds to put together a list that’s on point for Chiarelli to take care of throughout the summer. Cool? Cool.

I’ll get started.

THE MCDAVID EXTENSION

This is one of those things that we all know needs to get done, and I think it will get done, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it. If he can get a contract signed that starts with a ‘nine’ then I’ll start building the Chiarelli statue myself. I made a clay elephant once when I was in Grade 1 so I think I can handle it. Personally, I think it will fall somewhere around $10-10.5 per year but we’ll see how close I get.

THE DRAISAITL EXTENSION

If Connor is the franchise, then Leon Draisaitl is likely slotting in at a close second. Unlike Connor, Leon needs a new deal before next season and the question will be whether or not they take him to the eight-year max or not. Last summer, there were questions about whether or not Drai could produce away from Taylor Hall and he responded with gusto. This year, people are wondering if Big Sexy can keep rolling with his development, so there’s a potential risk of going too long on a deal. Will he answer the bell again? I wouldn’t bet against him.

THE SEKERA PROBLEM

With Andrej Sekera out for 6-9 months with a torn ACL then I’d like to know what Chiarelli’s backup plan is for the time he’ll be out of the lineup. Let’s not just go into the season assuming that Darryl or Reinhart (if he’s still here) will be able to handle those minutes reliably without the Sekera security blanket. What are the options? What’s the plan?

PP SHOOTER PLEASE

Even though the Oilers did reasonably well on the power play this past year (MARK-LE TES-TU *👏-👏-👏👏👏), just imagine how good they could be with a big shooter from the point (or half-wall, I’m not picky). Adding a player that is a legitimate threat to shoot would go a long way to open up space for the other players on the ice, as well as bolster the power play numbers. Who is that guy and how can we get him?

THE EXPANSION DRAFT

While the Oilers are in a decent spot in regards to the Expansion Draft, they’re still going to lose a player that can help. We already know that the Oilers are likely to go with the 7-3-1 approach, so which forwards/defencemen will end up exposed? Are you going to protect Mark Letestu? Are you willing to lose Griffin Reinhart and leave yourself open to further criticism after losing that trade?

WHAT ABOUT 💩?

If it hadn’t been for Jordan Eberle’s lacklustre playoff run, then Benoit Pouliot would be way higher on the list of 7-8-0 whipping boy targets. Peter Chiarelli moved on from Pouliot once already in Boston and I wonder if he’s going to work any magic to rid himself of that contract this summer. With two years left at $4 million per, the Oilers would likely have to take back a bad contract in order to move on, but maybe that’s a risk that Chiarelli will deem necessary? Maybe nobody wants Pouliot? Maybe the Oilers will make up some injury that will banish him to never-never-land like the Maple Leafs did with Joffrey Lupul?

FREE AGENCY

Even though this year’s crop of free agents isn’t the strongest in recent memory, there are still some names out there that could be in the mix. If the Oilers trade Eberle, would they try to chase TJ Oshie? It’s unlikely, but it’s possible. Would Chiarelli want to bring in a dusty old Jarome Iginla as a piece for the bottom six and also a mentor for some of the young players? Maybe Ales Hemsky would be interested in getting the band back together? If the Oilers are looking to add centremen that can play in the Western Conference, then maybe Martin Hanzal (he’s so hot right now) would make sense?

KEEPING SOME SPACE

Even though there are new contracts to get done and potential free agents to sign, Peter Chiarelli needs to make sure that he leaves himself some cap space so that he can make some moves at the deadline. Whether the cap remains relatively flat at $73 million or gets a slight bump to $77 million there will be some tough calls to make to ensure that the Oilers are in a good cap spot moving forward. With the 2017-18 season being the last cheap McYear of Connor’s ELC, the Oilers need to make a legitimate push at advancing beyond the second round. A big part of that will be making sure that the salary cap is managed successfully.

WHAT DID I MISS?

I know there are things that Chiarelli needs to do that I’m spacing on right now, and I need you guys to point them out for me. Maybe you just think I’m nuts and want to tell me my list sucks, but I don’t think that’s the case, and I think if you look deep within yourselves you will know that I’m right. Either way, I’d like you guys to tell me what else Peter Chiarelli has to think about or get done before the start of next season to make sure that the Oilers can not only repeat the successes of this past year, but exceed them. Taking the next step will likely take a bunch of work, but that’s why I’m glad it’s ol’ Swag Daddy that has to take care of it – we just need to make the list.

  • McDavid_POTUS_2018

    Think he also needs to have a strong draft… I feel like if there isn’t a top 4 RD prospect or a top 6 RW prospect available when Edmonton picks at 22 then they should trade down for a later 1st round pick with a sweetener or if possible a couple of second rounders/early 3rd rounders. Can’t have enough prospect depth on a young and developing team.

    • madjam

      I think either big Klim Kostin (6’3″} or bigger N.Popugayev {6’6″} would fit well in top 6 in a couple of years if we draft either , and both play RW .

  • ed from edmonton

    I find it interesting that there frequently seems to be lingering doubts about LD long term prospects. i.e. ” if Big Sexy can keep rolling with his development, so there’s a potential risk of going too long on a deal”. There is always risks in long term deals and Oil faithful see it every game with the residue of the Lowe-Tambo-MacT fiasco still lingering. But, why single out LD? He was arguably better than McD over the last 30 games. His desire to excel and to be the “German Gretzky” is off the charts.

      • ed from edmonton

        Well no McD is also considered to be a 8 year deal player, but there is no concern about his ability to develop. I’m not suggesting that there should be concerns about McD, just that concerns about LD are puzzling to me.

        • Kepler62c

          The concern would be that he played shotgun to Taylor Hall 2 years ago and to McDavid this past year. Yes, with and without McDavid he looked like a very strong and different player this year. But the question is if you go 7Mx8y on him does he cool off and become a 45-55 point player? Does he struggle to lead his own line?

          I love Nuge, but he is a good recent signing that highlights the dangers. He looked like an elite player that would be a 1C at one time, he’s a great player, not elite, and that’s ok – but he was paid based on being better than he was this past year. Would he get 6M after the season he just had? Maybe, but not likely.

          • ed from edmonton

            Before McT signed RNH he had 4 goals in an highly abbreviated season due to lock out and injury. But 4 goals is 4 goals. Can’t compare RNH to LD.

            So if you were PC, what would be your preference for LD and 3 year bridge knowing you might have to pay him mega bucks later, or take the plunge now. I think you can tell I am bullish on LD and have no problem going long term now.

        • Kepler62c

          And there is no concern about McDavid because he just won the Art Ross trophy in his second year in the league, has been a dominant player since he stepped on NHL ice, and is everything and more than what he was expected to be. The only concern with him is how low will he go?

  • Aussie Oil

    Don’t we only have a couple weeks to sign Svodoba or else he becomes FA? That dude put up unreal numbers last year, albeit in the Czech league. But definitely good enough to be brought over to see what he can do over here. Especially if we might lose LB to Vegas.

    • McPoilers

      Not sure how much hope we should put in Svoboda. I mean he put up some great stats, but it was in the Czech 2nd league and I’m not sure how that compares to other leagues. He signed with a team in the top Czech league for next season, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can put up similar numbers there.
      On the other hand, Ondrej Kase in Anaheim came over after a decent season (37gp, 7-14-21) in the Czech 2nd league and he’s been alright for the Ducks so it might be worth taking a shot at Svoboda.

        • ed from edmonton

          There are certainly similarities between Hemmer and Ebs. Both players completely defined by their scoring contribution as there is nothing else to their games(i.e. if they are not scoring they are not contributing). Hemmer a much more gifted player who can show world class talent on occasion. Hemmer was famous for being the last one on and the first off during practice. I think Hemmer defined the term “fly-by”.

      • Harry2

        Ill kick your ass.

        Hemsky is a peice of crap who through a bunch of rookies to the wolves with his comments in the media.

        Heres Hemsky, a guy still in his prime at the time, saying that its time for Hall and company to take over the team. I dont think Hall was even out of his ELC.

        Gutless

    • Jaxon

      As an expansion team, I’d bet Vegas will want the best goalies they can possibly get as that goalie may face a lot of rubber next season. I’m pretty sure they won’t have to worry about losing Brossoit as there will likely be good to amazing goalies up for grabs with a longer and better track record than Brossoit, like Murray, Luongo, Grubauer, Raanta, Howard, Dell, Domingue, Hutton, Halak, Hutchinson, Pickard, Ward and Niemi.

      Vegas is also given a pre-expansion draft window to try to sign UFAs and RFAs. This means that they will get first shot at offering money to Miller, Budaj, Bishop, Bernier, Condon, Mason, Nilsson, Kinkaid, McElhinney, and Johnson.

      Many of those goalies are quite young (for goalies, at least). Those are a lot of options before they even start sniffing around Brossoit. I think they’ll get their 3 or 4 goalies from that list without even considering Brossoit.

      Plus, Ellis, who outplayed Brossoit in the AHL last season isn’t far behind him, developmentally.

  • TKB2677

    I think they need to bring in someone to take over for Sekera while he is away. Best case scenario, he’s back in December but it could be longer. Plus when he gets back, he’s probably going to be lousy for the majority of the time. He would have missed all of camp plus over half the season. I don’t care how good your conditioning is or how hard you skate in practice, nothing replaces game shape. So it will take a long time for him to get up to speed. Maybe by March he would be up to speed. So I think the Oilers need to bring in a solid vet. If they could somehow find a guy like Russell (not Russell) but a solid vet who you sign to a 1 yr deal for decent money. That would be ideal. Then you can platoon Nurse/vet in the second pairing. I think counting on Nurse to just take over the second pairing spot is wishful thinking. I hope he can do it and I think by seasons end he will be able too but you need back up.

    I think for the PP and for the good of the team in general, they need to bring in a good, right shot 3rd line center that can consistently win faceoffs. I do not see Nuge as a full time center on this team. He makes WAY too much money to be on your 3rd line and I think the 1-2 punch of McDavid and Drai similar to the Pens is the way to go. McLellan talked about maybe Nuge could be a Pavelski type that can play center but plays on the wing. Next season its time to do that and stick with it. So if that is the case, they need a 3rd line center and it needs to be a right shot. If Letestu has shown us anything, you don’t need to be an elite shooter to excel on the Oiles PP. All you need to do is to be a right shot and be able to one time the puck a bit but in general, get the shot off fast and McDavid will find you. Too bad Eberle couldn’t figure out that all you have to do is find an open spot, be ready for a pass and shot quickly and you will pile up the goals. Instead, he has to take all the sweet passes from McDavid, fool around a little, then decide to shoot. So I would use Eberle to bring in that guy. If you can get a decent skating, faceoff winning, decent defending, right shot center who can play on your PK and PP, making less than Eberle I think that would be HUGE for the Oilers and good value. If Letestu who’s a good 4th line center but not a 3rd line center can ring up 11 PP goals on the Oilers PP while missing a good 1-2 months while Eberle fooled around, why can’t a good 3rd line center do that.

    I would like to see a right shot on McDavid’s line. Again, it doesn’t have to be a guy like Eberle who’s a good scorer. The Pens have shown you don’t need high priced winger to score when your centers are as good as McDavid. Crosby turns 15 goal scorers making a couple of mill into 25+ goal scores, so why can’t McDavid. I don’t buy into the BS that I hear some media guys saying “In a bad year, Eberle scores 20 goals, who’s going to replace his offense.” Eberle makes 6 mill. When you have McDavid and Leon probably going to be making close to 20 combined, you can’t have too many high priced wingers. That’s just reality. You have to find cheap guys and take advantage of the fact that McDavid is sooo good, he makes mediocre scoring guys into good scoring guys. As I stated above. If McDavid on the PP can turn Letestu, a 4th line center into a 16 goal scorer and Letestu missed time on the PP while Eberle took the spot, what could McDavid do with a career 15+ goal scorer who’s a right shot on his wing? 25 or 30?

  • TKB2677

    One thing I don’t buy into is the Reinhart trade and worried about saving face. No doubt they paid up to get him. I think there is a player in Reinhart. I think he is slow developing which some guys are. I think his high end is maybe a decent #4. I think Chia got some bad advice from all the scouts thinking he was ready when he wasn’t so I agree that the price was high to get him. That being said, he gave up draft picks. People can say they missed out on Barzel. Until he plays in the NHL and is a good player, I won’t sweat it. Yakupov was the consensus #1 overall by all scouts in 2012 and based on how he is right now, I am not convinced he is even a full time NHLer. Maybe he can turn into a bottom 6 guy if he improves big time but you don’t draft a player #1 overall to play on your 3rd line at best.

    Regardless, worrying about maybe protecting Reinhart to save face doesn’t make sense. Every GM makes a bad signing or trade. This looks to be a bad one. But overall Chia has WAY more good than bad as an Oiler.