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Forecasting the “Frenzy”

It won’t be a busy weekend in Edmonton but it could be an important one for Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli.

We are starting to get a good idea of what may happen with the Oilers this weekend so let’s take a look at what fans could end up seeing over the next 48-72 hours. When you look at their current depth chart it looks as though they will need to sign two, possibly three forwards, and a depth defenseman.

Four names up front have been solidly linked to the Oilers over the past two days.

We had Mark Spector get ahead of things on Kyle Brodziak.

Colorado based Adrian Dater linked the Oilers to former Avalanche forward Blake Comeau.

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug is getting a sense that Jason Chimera would like to return to Edmonton.

And last but certainly not least, yours truly, with some information about former Camrose Kodiak Joe Colborne.

I must say it’s weird quoting myself in a piece. I’ve also heard some rumblings linking the Oilers to Antoine Roussel. I’m waiting for a reply from Roussel’s agent so for now, I’ll put that on the back burner.

The Oilers don’t need to sign all four of the guys mentioned above so let’s take a quick look at what may end up making sense.

Brodziak certainly fits the bill as a bottom six veteran who can take faceoffs and kill penalties. The former Oiler will likely come in at close to $1,000,000 after scoring 10 goals and finishing with 33 points in St. Louis last season.

I identified Blake Comeau as a possible target for the Oilers in my first free agency preview earlier this month. Comeau can play both wings, kill penalties and has scored in double digits in three of his last four seasons. He would probably come with the largest asking price of the forwards that have been mentioned but it should still be a number the Oilers can work with.

Chimera is just one year removed from back to back 20 goal seasons with two different clubs. I have no worries about his skating but what about the rest of his game? I’d expect Chimera to cost no more than the league minimum at this stage of his career. We could see a scenario where he is a fall back plan if the Oilers can’t land both Comeau and Brodziak.

Joe Colborne is an interesting case because he’s been linked to the Oilers multiple times over the last three years. The Oilers attempted to sign Colborne after he scored 19 goals with the Flames in 2016. He ended up inking a 2-year deal worth $5,000,000 in Colorado. The former Camrose Kodiak struggled in 2016-17 and had to battle concussion issues this past season finding himself in the American Hockey League. Chiarelli attempted to acquire him via trade from Colorado during the 16-17 season. I know that the Oilers have reached out Colborne again as Chiarelli, who drafted him in Boston, obviously has faith that he can bounce back. The likely scenario would see him sign a two-way contract that would pay near the league minimum in the NHL.

Let’s take a look at what the Oilers line up may look like if they can land three of these four forwards.

Nuge – McDavid – Rattie/Yamamoto
Lucic – Draisaitl – Caggiula
Khaira – Strome – Puljujarvi
Comeau – Brodziak – Kassian

Aberg/Colborne

In a perfect world, I’d like to see Caggiula and Puljujarvi flipped here but I have a sense Caggiula may get another push offensively. 

Colborne could be a swing guy who gets called up from Bakersfield when there is an injury. His presence would allow the young kids in Bakersfield to stay focused on the American Hockey League as opposed to being shipped back and forth.

Outside of the names mentioned above let’s quickly look at one more tweet.

Who would be the winger ready to take the next step? I’d guess it’s one of Austin Czarnik or Daniel Carr. There will likely be quite a bit of interest in Czarnik, a player Chiarelli signed to his entry-level deal in Boston. Carr produced well when given opportunity in Montreal but could use a little work on his skating.

Ok, you’re ready, let the underwhelming madness begin. 

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Previously by Dustin Nielson:

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        Yes. I guess we could go into the season with question marks again but relying on Pakarinen and Slepyshev screwed us. They have 20 career goals combined in like 250 games.

        Let’s go withnrodziak and Comeau who have a combined 250 goals. Tired of watching question marks fail.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Once the Oilers are finally out of cap hell (a season or two I’m hoping) my hope would be that they sign higher profile guys to shorter terms and higher AAV than these near decade long cement shoes that teams seem willing to handcuff themselves with.

      • TruthHurts98

        We’ll never be out of Cap Hell as long as PC is the GM. The signing of the unproven backup goalie is continues to confirm he can’t do budget contracts sadly.

        • camdog

          The back up contract makes more sense everyday. If there’s no money to spend on July 1st you can’t sign a big contract that you’ll regret in 2 days that’ll hurt the team for years. There’s an adrenaline rush that people get at an auction when they outbid everybody, even if the purchase is junk. Some people just can’t help themselves, it’s like an addiction.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    That…actually looks good. Admittedly it’s by no means stellar, but on paper (and that’s the most important thing to remember here boys and girls) it’s a decent lineup that could make a playoff push. Add in Bouchard for 9 games on the D-side and I’m actually happy with this. Let’s make a deal Peter

        • camdog

          It’s sad but true, this is the time of the year that we fans think highest of the Oilers team each and every year. Usually things change 2 weeks into the season. Just for fun Spyder you should check out the parade route when the carnival is in town in a few weeks, this might be the year…

        • Bills Bills

          You mean the time people may actually have something positive to say about the team they love? Why does that have to be a season? Anyone who is overly critical about something they claim to care for, I am sure have personal issues.

          Pointing out flaws constantly is not a sign of intelligence.

          I hope people don’t respond to the ones they care about so critically, it would be severely damaging to their relationships.

          • Spydyr

            One playoff appearance and ten years.Decades of incompetent management. If you are not overly critical you are seeing things as through rose colour glasses.

            It is the same every year my posy gets lots of trashes and negative responses between now and November. Them people see the truth yet again.

            The truth this year is unless there are changes and not just over the hill free agents another Connor prime year will go down the sewer.

            Keep you head in the sand though.

          • Bills Bills

            I am not sure why I can’t reply to Spydyr’s comments. But just because I am not complaining about the Oilers, doesn’t mean I don’t know where their weaknesses and problems are and my head is certainly not in the sand. Quite the contrary actually. But I choose to see things in a positive light. I have a pretty great life full of positive and happy people. If I was coming on the internet every day and constantly making negative posts, whether about hockey or anything else, it is not conducive to positivity in life. My incredibly sexy and hot wife would probably be wondering what is wrong with me. 🙂 That’s why I have started to not visit this site so much. I really only read Jason and now Dustin because they don’t beat the exact same negative drum every time they write something. It is really tiring to constantly read negative posts. Especially about something you care about. I am honestly not sure why someone would subject themselves to that.

            Besides this is sports. If anything, you should know that the unexpected can and usually does happen (Vegas). I am expecting a home playoff date in 2019 for the Oil. Go Oilers!!

  • rivid

    Just looking at some of the other cheap free agents out there makes me wonder why we signed Caggiula. I just don’t understand why they give this guy minutes. To me there’s is not a lot of upside to his game and guys out there that can do the same and more available.

  • The Future Never Comes

    These signings would make it look more akeen to an NHL roster. Pak played alot last year and couldn’t score to save his life (KHL caliber player), Slepyshev- we had hopes for but he just couldn’t hack the NHL either, Aberg looks more like a 13th/14th forward to keep players honest and come in and out based on injury/underperformance. Three of the above would be pretty much plug and play NHL players,. which not sexy we can agree, is more established as a group. Also, all would have a veteran presence which could help with the on/off ice stability.

    • oilerjed

      He has to get a shot there doesnt he? Jp Yamo Kassian Cags and Auberg all will get a shot at it to see who sticks, unless they sign a RW. Not ideal but at least there is competition to push the young kids

  • toprightcorner

    Brodziak would be perfect here, and allows Khaira to play 3rd line wing.

    I think Comeau will be too expensive. If they can sign him to around $1.3-$1.4 then sure. They have to move Kassian if they want to add Comeau

    I would really like to seem them add Carr or Duclair. You can probably get Duclair on a 2-way deal at $900k NHL/$300k AHL for 1 year or a 1-way at $700k. This is a no-risk signing and could turn into a Maroon turn around story.

    Car could be had for around $1 mill and has lots of upside and good numbers.

    Both Car and Duclair could be sent to the AHL if they don’t work out and basically not affect the cap at all.

    • crabman

      This is exactly my thinking. A couple of bottom 6 veterans that can provide some stability and leadership in the bottom 6 while helping the PK. And another 2 or even more younger players with potential upside on short low dollar deals that can be buried in the minors if they don’t work out. There isn’t room for major additions so Chiarelli will need to get creative to fill holes and find skill.
      Adding a few younger skilled wingers that haven’t found consistancy yet to the same type of young wingers we already have will provide competition and more chance that at least a couple of them will provide enough offence in the middle 6 to add scoring depth to the team.

  • It might be a good time to see if they can pry Myers out of Winnipeg. The Jets are salary dumping so it would be interesting to see what the Oilers would offer. I don’t think the Jets would need a roster player, but a high draft pick or an A prospect.

    • The Whispererer

      Considering that the Oilers are struggling to find space to add a couple of cheap aging players, I’m curious how the Oilers would fit Myers $5.5 into the Cap without sending an expensive roster player back in the trade.

  • BringitbacklikeSlats

    Dustin,

    I’m as dubious as most on the question mark of Cagiula being a top 9 player (I believe he can be a 3rd line guy).

    But why gift Pulijarvi a spot on the 2nd line so long as there are options? Perhaps it’s the “options” options but nonetheless players need to earn on merit. Especially young ones.
    One can argue putting a young player in a position to fail is tantamount to at least as bad an infraction as any other at mishandling assets. Look at the Red Wings and how long they’d let players develop…

    • Rock11

      So sick of this “gifting” concept. JP has played in the AHL and at times has shown the ability to be an offensive option on a skill line. There are people though who think he shouldn’t play on a skill line until he scores 30 goals on the third line. Guess what, playing with Strome and Caggiula aint exactly conducive to scoring a lot of goals. He was drafted to be a top 6 forward. He is in year 3 now so its about time to find out if he can be that guy. If this coaching staff doesn’t give him an uninterrupted run with either 97 or 29 soon then they will have forever turned a promising, big, fast, talented top 5 pick into a third liner.

      As for the Wings can we please stop with that now too. Once the horseshoes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg got old name for me one single Red Wing player who has been developed into a star, or even a very good player, in the last decade. The “Red Wing” way led them to a bottom 5 finish last year. The Detroit model is as big a myth as Sasquatch.

      • Arfguy

        Agreed. I think it’s time for the coaching staff to trust that Puljujarvi is the winger for Draisaitl. I like the idea of him being on McDavid’s wing, but I think what Jesse needs is a passer and I think Draisaitl is the best passer the Oilers have. In 2-3 years, I foresee Bouchard as being the type of power play defender the likes of John Carlson and Shea Weber. A constant threat. If what I’ve read about Bouchard being a good passer, he can also be the guy who sets up Puljujarvi in the slot.

        Puljujarvi just needs to be given the chance to be the guy. He was being played on the 3rd line and expected to put up bigger numbers so he can earn top line minutes. Unfortunately, I don’t think Strome did such a great job of setting up Puljujarvi for his best asset: his shot. This upcoming camp will determine if Jesse gets the shot he needs to excel.

          • Big Nuggets

            if he can play on a skill line in the AHL it is a good indication. Last season his game was incomplete to put it nicely. Why does everyone hate playing guys in the AHL. It is a great development tool, often times it is essential.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    The underwhelming names in this article are names that might be out with less than a minute left in the game taking faceoffs or blocking shots to preserve a win. Those guys are necessary to win, especially in the playoffs.

    But, if there was one player on the Oilers roster I am leery about it is Sekera. He looked like a shell of himself, and why wouldn’t he? He just got over major knee surgery and rehab, and is on the wrong side of 30. His$5.5 cap hit is one of the hand cuff contracts on the team. If he could ever get swapped (assuming he allows it to happen) I think it would be a benefit to the team, especially as the remaining years on his contract start to kick in and he is just that much older. (I would assume Chiarelli would take back a Dman that is an NHL player in the trade to not hurt the team short term). Heres to hopin’

    • Arfguy

      I do think that if Sekera were to be traded, it would have to be towards the trade deadline. I do think that Sekera will bounce back this year. I do not like the idea of writing players off just because they are 30. He played on some pretty poor teams (Carolina and Edmonton) and produced well. He should not have been brought back when he did. I think if Chiarelli wants to trade Sekera, he should wait to see how he does. I think Sekera gets back to being the primary power play defenceman, like he was in 16-17. I think his points will go up and if a move is necessary, then he will have the most value then. Not now.

  • Svart kaffe

    I look at it like any other job: you need to have some real-world experience in the work force. Twenty kids fresh out of college aren’t going to get the job done anywhere. At least not when you run into trouble which always happens eventually.

    Personally, in all the places I’ve been, no matter the formal education or requirements, I’ve really learned the job from those guys who’ve been around for a while.

    That’s why I think the Oilers really need to keep 2-3 cheap veterans around. They don’t have to produce, they just don’t have to screw up.

  • Arfguy

    I really do hope that the Oilers seriously considers re-signing Nail Yakupov to a low-dollar contract. At 24, there is no way he could be any worse than some of the potential right-wingers the Oilers might put on the roster. His 9 goals last season would have placed him 2nd amongst right-wingers and 3rd among points on the right-wing. Yakupov has a ton of speed and I think if he had a good centre like Draisaitl to play with, he can sink a lot more goals. His time on ice offers better scoring results than someone like Aberg, Kassian or Puljujarvi.

    If the Oilers want some value contract, I think Yakupov is definitely someone to look at. Who knows? Maybe he might surprise people. If not, low AAV would make it easier to bury the contract.