In the real world, the Oilers aren’t in the mix for John Tavares. In the real world, the Oilers don’t need John Tavares. In the real world, the Oilers cap situation would never allow them to pay John Tavares. The good news is that this isn’t the real world, this a blog, where I can live in my own little fantasy world. A world where the Oilers could actually pull this off and just for fun a world where I get a “Donair A Day” gift card at any shop in Edmonton.
Here are the five steps required for the Oilers to land John Tavares.
STEP ONE – THE REQUEST
The only way John Tavares ends up in Edmonton is if he picks up a phone, calls Daryl Katz and tells him he wants to be an Oiler. Highly unlikely, but without step one the rest of this article would be a complete waste of my time, if it isn’t already.
STEP TWO – CLEARING THE CAP SPACE
In this little fantasy world of mine, I’m going to guess that if Tavares is crazy enough to ask the Oilers to sign him then he would also be willing to take a little bit of a discount. So let’s pencil him in at $10,000,000 on the nose.
I could spend time trying to nickel and dime my way to a reasonable solution with the cap but let’s just skip right ahead to the end result. Bye, bye Leon Draisaitl.
After signing their RFA’s I believe the Oilers will have around five million in cap space to work with.
STEP THREE – TRADING LEON DRAISAITL
Let me begin step three by letting everyone know that I would rather have Leon Draisaitl than John Tavares for the next seven seasons but that’s not what this is about. It’s John Tavares plus whatever you get in a trade for Draisaitl.
The trade value on Leon Draisaitl should be through the roof. He’s 22-years old and coming off what some people would describe as an off year in which he still finished with 70 points. If Evander Kane is worth $7,000,000 a season than Draisaitl’s contract would have to be considered completely reasonable around the NHL right now.
Remember, the reason Draisaitl is being moved is to clear up the space to sign Tavares, so you can’t have a massive salary coming back in this super realistic deal.
I know what most of you are thinking right now: Draisaitl to the Coyotes for Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but that won’t work financially. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but hey, this is my fantasy.
Let’s talk Carolina Hurricanes instead, as they should be in the market for game breaker like Draisaitl.
To Carolina: Leon Draisaitl, the 10th overall pick and Andrej Sekera (who waives his NMC to go back to a place he has played before).
To Edmonton: Elias Lindholm, Justin Faulk and the second overall pick
Lindholm is an RFA who likely gets around 3.25 million. I’m not a big fan of Faulk but he has to come back to the Oilers in this deal. With the second overall pick, the Oilers take Svechnikov.
Carolina gets Leon Draisaitl, who could centre a line with Aho and Teravainen. Aho can play both on the wing and down the middle but I believe Lindholm was centring that line at the end of the season for the Canes. Sekera provides a young blossoming blueline with a familiar veteran presence.
The cap situation looks like this.
Lindholm 3.25-ish mill
Faulk 4.83 mill
Draisaitl 8.5 mill
Sekera 5.5 mill
The Oilers come out of this with about 5.92 million in additional space. Why would Carolina take on that additional salary? I think they end up moving Jeff Skinner in the off-season in a cost cutting move, which would free up the cash they need to make this deal work.
STEP FOUR – SIGN TAVARES
The Edmonton Oilers are happy to announce the signing of John Tavares to a 7-year contract worth $70,000,000.
STEP FIVE – PUT THE LINES TOGETHER… AND MAKE THE PLAYOFFS
If my voodoo math is correct the Oilers will be left with about a million in cap space but their roster would look like this:
Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Svechnikov
Lucic – Tavares – Lindholm
Aberg – Strome – Puljujarvi
Caggiula – Khaira – Kassian
Nurse – Faulk
Russell – Benning
This seems like a blueprint that Peter Chiarelli can work with as long as the following things happen.
- John Tavares very badly wants to be an Oiler.
- The Hurricanes are willing to take on salary to get Draisaitl.
- Sekera waives his NMC.
Ok, back to reality. Draisaitl to the Canes straight up for Faulk. ROTFLMAO.