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Photo Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s Get Optimistic

This past off-season wasn’t exactly a positive one around Oilersnation. They didn’t make any big additions, instead opting for a series of small bets and hoping that some of their young players can take big strides forward and a group of key veterans can have bounce-back seasons.

Lots will need to go right this season for the team to make the playoffs, but today, I want to stay optimistic. I will be throwing on the Oilers coloured glasses and listing ten reasons why this team will make the playoffs.

It’s the start of the season and fans should be filled with optimism when it comes to their favourite teams. So let’s get going Oilersnation.

1 – CONNOR McDAVID

He is by far the biggest reason Oilers fans should be optimistic about the upcoming season. Every night Connor McDavid gives this team a chance to win and that is a massive luxury.

The list of players who can almost single-handedly drag a team to the playoffs is very short, but McDavid probably tops it.

Last year, he posted 108 points. 84 of them came at even strength, 4 came shorthanded, and just 20 came on the powerplay. I expect McDavid to take another step forward, which means he could score even more at even strength, but he could really run away with the scoring title if the Oilers powerplay takes a stride forward.

Last year, the Oilers PP was 14.8% and dead last in the league. If they were to improve to an average PP (let’s say it’s 20%) it would boost their total production from 31 goals to 42 goals. That could give McDavid another boost in offensive production.

He’s the best player in the world, and the #1 reason fans should be optimistic about this season.

2 – CAM TALBOT

Last year, Talbot played in 67 games. In his first 34, he posted a 3.09 GAA with a 0.902 SV%. It was a horrible start and I won’t even make excuses for him. He was a big reason the Oilers season got off to a bad start.

If his final 33 starts of the year, his numbers got better. He went up to a 0.913 SV% with a 2.96 GAA. Although it was a slight improvement, it’s still not quite where the Oilers need Talbot to be.

The Oilers need Talbot to be a Vezina calibre goalie or at least close to it like he was in 2016-17. We all know he’s capable of doing it.

The issues that plagued Talbot last year were slow starts to games and horrendous play on the penalty kill. So far this preseason, Talbot has looked much more comfortable in net, which leads me to believe that mentally, he is in a better state then he was last year

That combined with a better penalty kill means the Oilers should be more than confident with Cam Talbot between the pipes this season.

3 – CENTRE DEPTH

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will start the year as the number one and two centres, and that is one of the best duos in the league. Very few teams have two centremen who can both push a point a game.

If Leon falters, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could move back to the middle of the ice where he’s both very comfortable and very effective.

In the bottom six, Ryan Strome will centre the teams’ third line. While he doesn’t create a lot of offence, he’s a more than capable 3C. We’ve also seen Jujhar Khaira play centre at times and while I’m not sure how much he’ll be used there, he gives them more depth down the middle of the ice.

The team also signed Kyle Brodziak to be their fourth line centre and I believe he is an upgrade over Mark Letestu. While he won’t contribute on the powerplay, I think he’s a more reliable option at even-strength, which strengthens this teams centre core.

A good mix of high-end skill and reliable bottom six players is what I see with the Oilers, and with a couple centres playing the wing right now, there should never be a shortage of quality centremen in the Oilers lineup.

4 – AN IMPROVED PK

The Oilers penalty kill was historically awful in the first half of the 2017-18 season, but in the second half of the year (the last 41 games to be specific) they had the third-best percentage in the league.

They started to figure it out and now that proven PKers Kyle Brodziak and Alex Chiasson have been added, along with a brand new coaching staff, I’m very confident the Oilers could have a top ten penalty kill this season.

In total the team allowed 57 goals while shorthanded. If they can drop that by ten goals, it will go a long way in improving their chances of making the playoffs.

5 – A LOADED PP

Mar 18, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom (77) skates with the puck during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the powerplay was really bad. This preseason, they haven’t been much better. But when I look at players like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Kailer Yamamoto, I have a hard time believing they won’t find a system that makes them a very efficient powerplay.

They need a defenseman to emerge, and that could easily be Oscar Klefbom, who was an elite powerplay defenseman in 2016-17.

They also need a big body to wreak havoc in front of the opposing goalie, and I think they have two capable pieces in Milan Lucic and Jujhar Khaira.

The pieces are all there and it’s not unreasonable to expect this team to have a top ten powerplay this season.

6 – AN EMERGING RIGHT SIDE

The Oilers group of right-wingers was their biggest question mark heading into training camp. Was Ty Rattie really going to be the answer? Could Kailer Yamamoto make the team out of camp? Would this be the year Jesse Puljujarvi jumps forward?

Well, each of those players came in and had outstanding preseasons, combining for 17 goals in 15 games. The right side doesn’t look as weak as it did a month ago.

I know, it’s only preseason (remember when Anton Lander led the NHL is preseason goals a few years ago?) but it’s been a very encouraging start for the Oilers right side and there’s much more hope that they can score lots of goals for the Oilers this season.

7 – GOALS FROM THE BOTTOM SIX

Mar 29, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Strome (18) warms up against the Vancouver Canucks Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The top two lines seem pretty set right now, and there’s no doubt they have a group that can score goals. But what about the bottom six?

The third line will likely feature Jesse Puljujarvi and Ryan Strome, two players who have pretty good offensive instincts. Strome isn’t necessarily a drive, but so far this preseason Puljujarvi is looking like one. Throw an emerging Jujhar Khaira on the other wing and I could that third line being very effective in the offensive zone.

The fourth line seems pretty strong as well. Zack Kassian and Kyle Brodziak are both proven fourth line options who know how to be effective on the forecheck. Add in either Drake Caggiula or Alex Chiasson, and I think you create a fourth line that can really force the opposition into making mistakes with their strong forechecking.

8 – A JAM PACKED WESTERN CONFERENCE

On the surface, a highly competitive western conference seems like it would be a bad thing, but remember, I’m trying to only be optimistic about the upcoming season.

Last season, the final playoff spot in the west needed 95 points. The Blues finished 9th with 94 points, the Stars were 10th with 92 points, and then it dropped off to the Calgary Flames who were at 84 points. That’s a pretty big drop off.

This season, every team in the west except Vancouver seems poised to compete and I believe that could actually knock down the number of points needed to get into the playoffs.

Instead of that big drop off between 8th and 11th, we could see a whole slew of teams sitting around 88-92 points when the season ends.

That works in the Oilers favour in my opinion because it puts an emphasis on divisional games, which they’ve been good at winning over the past two years.

In 2016-17, they went 20-6-3 against the Pacific and in 2017-18 they went 16-11-2 within their own division. Both of those records give me hope they can beat their own division more often than not this season.

9 – RELAXED SCHEDULE

It sounds weird to say their schedule is an advantage considering the fact the team is starting their season in Germany, but once they return to North America, they actually have one of the better schedules in the league.

This graph from InnefectiveMath on Twitter illustrates my point:

There are 18 games this season where the Oilers will play a “tired” team, which means they’ll likely face a lot of backup goalies throughout the season.

A tired team with a backup goalie against a rested Oilers team with Connor McDavid? I like their odds.

10 – ROOM TO ADD

With Andrej Sekera likely heading to LTIR, the team will have a little bit of cap space to play with this season. If they’re in the hunt around the trade deadline, they could be in a great spot to add an impact player to their lineup.

It seems small, but it’s another reason to be optimistic about the team this season and they look to crack the playoffs for just the second time in the last decade.

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      Please. Most of the users on here don’t know the meaning of the word optimistic. I’m the most positive guy one here (particularly when it comes to a certain #27) and yet I get trashed for my efforts.

      • Opi

        Did you see anything … anything at all that makes you believe that Looch is due for a rebound this season … ? He’s no faster … he’s not thinking the game faster either … the guy appears to be an albatross around the hapless Oilers neck, yes …

        • The internet is my only friend

          In all seriousness Opi. Have you ever seen a doctor for your sickness? It’s a mental health issue no doubt. No normal human being spends 10 or more hours a day commenting on a team they don’t like. You are either dealing with past family issues hence your anger for the oilers and it’s fans. Or it truly is some sort of mental health issue. I’m not here to bash you. I’ve just seen you at this for almost 5 years on multiple websites and I think it is getting worse. I will be your friend even if no one else will. Just seek help my friend.

          • The internet is my only friend

            What? I’m the very best? That doesn’t make sense. We can talk about what has been bothering you for so long opi. We all need a friend in this world. You can’t go on hiding behind names like Opi, Oil spilly, crazy Hank, Damon mace, SL cal and dozens more. Let’s talk Opi.

          • The internet is my only friend

            Let’s talk Damon, I mean Opi. Don’t ignore the fact that it is out of this world that you have anywhere from 20-50 accounts between here and SN. The oilers should be the furthest thing from your mind. I know if this was a SN article you would have hit your favourite button by now. It starts with an “F”. Instead of single handily ruining another website let’s instaed talk about what happened to you to make you become this way. Surely it just can’t be that the flames have been one of the worst sports franchises of all time. Has to be bigger than that. Was it that we got Gretzky and Mcdavid in your lifetime? Cmon Spilbert let’s talk.

      • OilerForLife

        Not to worry, more will step forward as the team starts winning in the regular season, and as with you, I believe they will. The days of the expensive free agent in this town is over, and players are developing right before our eyes to fill those spots now. Drafting, developing, and trading if it results in an asset that will help, is the new direction that the team is taking. The strength in our depth is starting to show, in that; other teams are interested in players that didn’t make our team. Acquiring Gretzky was key in turning our drafting around, and astute pro scout eye deals, has added players like Rattie as a prime example of low risk value contract. No question we are headed rapidly in the right direction, and upbeat fans will return in droves

    • TKB2677

      NO kidding. Optimistic and an Oilers fan site are 2 things that don’t usually go together. You probably do but if you want to see negative, go to Oilfans. Yikes.

      For the Oilers, it all comes down to goaltending for me. With Sekera going down AGAIN, the blueline is looking suspect. I am confident in both Kelfbom and Larsson having good seasons. Both those guys are coming off brutal years thanks to injury and personal tragedy. They have looked strong in preseason. I am pretty confident that Nurse will take another step. I don’t see a lot more offense, I just see more consistent defensive play. Nurse is of the age and going to be over 200 games of experience where usually dmen take a big step. The question is who will be that 4th guy. Maybe I am being overly hopeful but I think Benning will be decent. I think he will be a decent 4-5 dman over his career. I also think a move for a dman is coming as soon as Sekera goes on LTIR. I do not think the Oilers or more correctly Chia will do what he did last year. He admitted he should have did a move last year.

      But like I said, it all comes down to goaltending. Talbot was around .900 until February last year. You can’t win with that kind of goaltending. Then I look at the Jets. Everyone has been raving about the Jets and their “depth” for years. They were a fantastic team last year, the year before with almost the identical line up, they missed playoffs. What was the difference? When they missed the playoffs, their goaltending sucked. Last season, Hellebuyck had a vezina caliber season.

  • Daryl Katz

    I’m eternally pessimistic with this team. Other than that 100+point season a few years ago, it’s been let down after let down! Too many question marks for me to be optomistic.

    • Opi

      Excellant post! The proof has historically been in the pudding …
      1990-91′ … 80 points
      1991-92′ … 82 points
      1992-93′ … 60 points
      1993-94′ … 64 points
      1994-95′ … 38 points (48 games)
      1995-96′ … 68 points
      1996-97′ … 81 points
      1997-98′ … 80 points
      1998-99′ … 78 points
      1999-00′ … 88 points
      2000-01′ … 93 points
      2001-02′ … 92 points
      2002-03′ … 92 points
      2003-04′ … 89 points
      2004-05′ … Oiler season cancelled
      2005-06′ … 95 points
      2006-07′ … 71 points
      2007-08′ … 88 points
      2008-09′ … 85 points
      2009-10′ … 62 points
      2010-11′ … 62 points
      2011-12′ … 74 points
      2012-13′ … 45 points (48 games)
      2013-14′ … 67 points
      2014-15′ … 62 points
      2015-16′ … 70 points
      2016-17’ … 103 points
      2017-18’ … 78 points …

      • Hemmercules

        I find it funny you spend so much time here. Deep down you love the Oilers, just admit it. Are there losers like you over at FN trash talking the Flames??

      • The internet is my only friend

        In all seriousness Opi. Have you ever seen a doctor for your sickness? It’s a mental health issue no doubt. No normal human being spends 10 or more hours a day commenting on a team they don’t like. You are either dealing with past family issues hence your anger for the oilers and it’s fans. Or it truly is some sort of mental health issue. I’m not here to bash you. I’ve just seen you at this for almost 5 years on multiple websites and I think it is getting worse. I will be your friend even if no one else will. Just seek help my friend.

  • GK1980

    Good pre season it we all know what kind of gauge ore season can be for the upcoming season. The number one key to a successful year is Talbot. He doesn’t have to be a god in net just better then average.

  • Hemmercules

    I don’t know if I would call the schedule relaxed. Maybe over the course of the entire season but right after they return from overseas they spend a month fighting the juggernaughts of the east. If they can get out of October with a decent record I will feel a lot better about their playoff chances.

    As for the team, I’m actually feeling a bit optimistic which scares me a little. Let see if they can carry the preseason chemistry and confidence into the real games.

  • Opi

    Optimistic … I’d settle for reality, yes … for the hapless Oil to make the playoffs all players would have to over achieve again like their playoff season awhile back. That’s a mighty big ask … I think the Oil will improve slightly over that horrific 78 point season last year but still be well out of the playoffs … which will be more than enough to satisfy the vast majority of Oil Nation members … baby steps, yes … ya, baby steps …

  • That's My Point

    They won 36 games last season; need to win 25% more.
    They’ll need 9 more wins to give them 45 wins.
    There were 2 teams with 44 wins last season that didn’t make the playoffs.
    After October’s 11 games against top teams they may only have 3 wins so uphill the rest of the way.
    They’ll need to have a 42 W and 29 L record the rest of the season; possible sure; optimistic?? maybe there’s a chance?
    I guess that’s why they have to play the games.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      We don’t play a divisional game until November. If the Oil can come out of the eastern games with a good record, our history with the Pacific division should set up for a good start… (I believe that’s why Bouchard in the first 9 games is a gamble, we made that mistake last year with Yamamoto.) Early in the regular season is NOT a time to be experimenting, it’s a time to set the tone to a great season…. Garrison is a fairly stable D… The Eastern Conference in general relys so much on a strong defense.

  • OilerForLife

    I think the Oilers will prove their critics wrong. I think that all of the 10 reasons will succeed in inching the Oilers into a playoff position. Very astute of Yaremchuk to organize all these areas of improvement and each one of them will either be a huge factor or will have a subtle factor in moving towards the goal of making the playoffs.

  • 0pi

    As mother always says “Opi, wipe that smile off your face and get back in your room” and I think that’s a good reminder to us all that optimism is a concept employed by the weak to simply survive another day. Go flames!

  • Abagofpucks

    The Oilers season looks good to me i believe they make the playoffs,as much as i think Milan will have a reasonable year i don’t think he should be in the top six.
    The Oilers aren’t done making changes to the team, I think there’s a trade coming, what? who knows, with litr money and the recent departure’s of Pontus and Jerabek’s contract’s it’s wide open, i just hope whatever they do it will make sense.

  • Protect the Future

    Thanks for the optimism! Fully expect oilers play to chase away all of the pre season trolls. If that fails, there are other ways muzzle little doggies.

  • Moneyball

    The team looks good and the biggest weakness has been turned into a strength, namely the right wing depth. The only other thing I would like to see is the addition of a veteran dman. The oilers will be competitive this season for sure. I’m predicting 98 points.

  • Steve-O

    I feel pretty good about this team. The two biggest areas for improvement (a historically bad PK and shaky goaltending) are the two areas that seem most ripe for improvement. If those two things happen the talent and depth is there. Playoffs, baby.

    (I still think Chiarelli should be launched into the Sun, but there’s no denying that the team’s point total should be vastly improved over last year.)

  • TKB2677

    What I find surprising is how many people are picking Vegas to not really miss a beat. They had an amazing season. BUT. Their entire forward ranks had career years ALL at once.
    Karlsson had 43 goals and 78 pts. His career high before was 25 pts and 9 goals. He had a 23.4% shooting percentage. One of the best goal scorers of all time in Ovie, hovers are 13-14% which is good. What are the chances he duplicates that? Zero. So if he goes to a normal decent shooting percentage, that’s a HUGE drop in goals. Erik Haula had 29 goals, 55 pts. His previous career high was 15 goals and 34 pts.I doubt he pushes 30 goals again. I could keep going. Their defense is missing their #1 minute playing guy in Schmidt for 20 games because he cheats. They had Engelland playing top 4 and doing decent last year. He’s NEVER been better than a #6 in his career until last year. He’s 36 this year. Then Fleury was a .927 goalie last year. He’s going to be 34 in November and before last season, he NEVER posted those kind of numbers.

    I do not think Vegas is going to be a bottom feeder but I think they are going to drop off into the low 90’s. No team is going to take them lightly anymore. Every team has been to Vegas now to play, so they won’t have the excuse of being distracted by playing in Vegas for the first time. They aren’t going to have an entire team have career years all at once again and because they made the finals, they are going to see every teams BEST. Just like the Oilers did last year.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      i agree with you on Vegas, I watched the Knights Sharks game and Vegas took the Sharks to the cleaners, They looked and played much like they did last year. Have they lost some players, yes but it doesnt seem to have affected their style of play.Do I think they will do as good as last year, no I think teams will not take them so lightly as they did last year, but I would bet Vegas will be in the playoffs

      • Glencontrolurstik

        Me too, it’s never mentioned but I remember them being goalie ravaged for much of the season. Fleury was injured and they went down to their 5th string? Heck, they even brought a guy up from the Blazers for a game or two…
        Was it them that put the accountant in net? Whatever, during that 5th string goalie stretch, they still kept a winning record… That is a great team, that can do that. It’s funny how quickly that was forgotten and seldom mentioned when speaking of the Golden Knights.

  • Alberta Ice

    There are a lot of reasons for an Oilers fan to be optimistic and Conner has to be always reason #1. But as said, Cam Talbot and the goal tending question will be the real key (as goal tending is for any contender). Cut the talk now; on with the season!!!!

  • NotWinning

    It’s funny because everybody that’s not in the Oilersnation safety bubble doesn’t believe this team will make playoffs.
    Lucic is still slow and can’t shoot or skate.
    The RW is still dry
    And the Defense is worst than last year.
    The back-up is terrible.
    A few pre-season games against the worst teams in the leagues playing AHL players and everyone here believes this team is a playoff team. Hahahahaha.
    Only in the Oilersnation safety bubble.

    • Ratt McNuge

      Last year everyone was picking the Oilers to be Cup contenders, and they were wrong. Last season, NOBODY picked Vegas to get to the finals. What does that tell you about predictions? They are fun, but ultimately useless.

    • maxedison

      I definitely have seen a split with everyone predicting vastly different Western Conference standings. If you immediately discount the Oilers having a sniff at the playoffs despite what you have already seen then you are in a bubble at LEAST as thick as anyone here.

  • toprightcorner

    I don’t understand how fans actually thought the Oilers would make any big moves this summer. There was minimal cap room and unless they traded one of Nuge, JP or Nurse; there was no possible way a big move could have been made. The only option they had was small moves and I think Chiarelli did well in the small move department. If you are disappointed there were no big moves than you were fooling yourselves right from the beginning.

  • toprightcorner

    Please do everyone a favour and don’t react or trash any of Opi’s comments. If we completely ignore him, he will go away. If we feed him attention, he will remain forever.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    “This past off-season wasn’t exactly a positive one around Oilersnation. They didn’t make any big additions, instead opting for a series of small bets and hoping that some of their young players can take big strides forward and a group of key veterans can have bounce-back seasons.”

    I think that’s a bit of a leap to make … that an off-season cannot possibly be positive because the Oilers opted for small bets, reasonable expectations of younger players and bounce-back seasons for the veterans. They made the moves they could make based on salary cap realities, yes, but also because there was a collective realization in the organization that almost everyone outside of McDavid didn’t show up for long stretches of the 2017-18 season. This season has been put on the players now – the ones who made the playoffs two years ago. I think that’s fair and reasonable, if not positive.

    And, while we’re at it …

    “Lots will need to go right this season for the team to make the playoffs, but today, I want to stay optimistic.”

    Good on you for your optimism, but c’mon. It’s not that much of a leap. “Lots needs to go right for the team to make the playoffs” describes the squad-goals of, conservatively, 25 or 28 of the teams in the league right now. In a 31-team league where 16 make the playoffs, you need a combination of career years, luck, a healthy lineup, and goaltending. Great Bearded Jesus, the goaltending. Everyone’s been riding their goaltending – way, way too much – since the Dead Puck Era of the early 2000s.

    And sometimes … it’s a matter of a-lot-needing-to-go-right but also a-lot-not-going-wrong. The Oilers had way too much that was in their control last year go wrong. They flat out didn’t show up for a good 10 or 12 games (that stretch right after Christmas did them in) and it cost them dearly. They were their own worst opponent. Way more scary than the Flames or the Ducks or the Sharks.

    I’d say if the Oilers can stay healthy, get decent goaltending, solid contributions from players not named McD, and, most importantly, remember to show up for all or most of the 82 games, there will be playoff hockey here again.

    One thing’s for sure – they’ll be underestimated A LOT this year. The pundits around the league have already written their obituaries for the 2018-19 season. That should serve as motivation for the players. Yes, they need to get a lot right. But it doesn’t require a leap of faith. Just everyone pulling their weight. They can do that.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Sorry but the LTIR relief doesn’t really create a ton of cap space. It looks like they will be able to go over the cap by apx $4.5M, depending on how they finalize their roster in the next 6 minutes and if Chiasson is signed (and Bear demoted on paper for compliance). Either way, a few mechanical portions of LTIR to note:

    1) when using the LTIR cap relief cushion (the ability to go over the cap), they will not actually accrue any cap space on a daily basis. In the normal course, when a team is under the cap, the amount of cap hit is calculated daily and cap space is accrued and banked – that is why a team that has, lets say $2M in cap space all year, will be able to acquire players with an apx $10M cap hit at the deadline. This does not apply when LTIR relief is used. If the Oilers are, lets say, $2M under their adjusted upper cap limit, they will only ever be able to acquire a $2M player.

    2) the LTIR cushion does not provide relief for performance bonuses – if they are using LTIR relief and going over the $79.5M cap and any of the players vest performance bonuses (Jesse, Kailer, Evan, Bear) then the team incurs a direct cap penalty reducing next year’s cap. The latter three have nominal bonuses but Jesse has the potential for apx $2.5M in bonuses. Most are unattainable but, given the impending, “pop” its not unreasonable to think he could vest apx $1M worth of performance bonuses.

    3) If Sekera does come off LTIR this year (and none of us know with any certainty if he will), the LTIR relief goes away immediately) – this could lead to the need to dipose of players immediately (and, of course, no material players would be added).

  • OriginalPouzar

    Sorry but the LTIR relief doesn’t really create a ton of cap space. It looks like they will be able to go over the cap by apx $4.5M, depending on how they finalize their roster in the next 6 minutes and if Chiasson is signed (and Bear demoted on paper for compliance). Either way, a few mechanical portions of LTIR to note:

    1) when using the LTIR cap relief cushion (the ability to go over the cap), they will not actually accrue any cap space on a daily basis. In the normal course, when a team is under the cap, the amount of cap hit is calculated daily and cap space is accrued and banked – that is why a team that has, lets say $2M in cap space all year, will be able to acquire players with an apx $10M cap hit at the deadline. This does not apply when LTIR relief is used. If the Oilers are, lets say, $2M under their adjusted upper cap limit, they will only ever be able to acquire a $2M player.

    2) the LTIR cushion does not provide relief for performance bonuses – if they are using LTIR relief and going over the $79.5M cap and any of the players vest performance bonuses (Jesse, Kailer, Evan, Bear) then the team incurs a direct cap penalty reducing next year’s cap. The latter three have nominal bonuses but Jesse has the potential for apx $2.5M in bonuses. Most are unattainable but, given the impending, “pop” its not unreasonable to think he could vest apx $1M worth of performance bonuses.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Sorry but the LTIR relief doesn’t really create a ton of cap space. It looks like they will be able to go over the cap by apx $4.5M, depending on how they finalize their roster in the next 6 minutes and if Chiasson is signed (and Bear demoted on paper for compliance). Either way, a few mechanical portions of LTIR to note:

    1) when using the LTIR cap relief cushion (the ability to go over the cap), they will not actually accrue any cap space on a daily basis. In the normal course, when a team is under the cap, the amount of cap hit is calculated daily and cap space is accrued and banked – that is why a team that has, lets say $2M in cap space all year, will be able to acquire players with an apx $10M cap hit at the deadline. This does not apply when LTIR relief is used. If the Oilers are, lets say, $2M under their adjusted upper cap limit, they will only ever be able to acquire a $2M player.

    • OriginalPouzar

      2) the LTIR cushion does not provide relief for performance bonuses – if they are using LTIR relief and going over the $79.5M cap and any of the players vest performance bonuses (Jesse, Kailer, Evan, Bear) then the team incurs a direct cap penalty reducing next year’s cap. The latter three have nominal bonuses but Jesse has the potential for apx $2.5M in bonuses. Most are unattainable but, given the impending, “pop” its not unreasonable to think he could vest apx $1M worth of performance bonuses.

      3) If Sekera does come off LTIR this year (and none of us know with any certainty if he will), the LTIR relief goes away immediately) – this could lead to the need to dipose of players immediately (and, of course, no material players would be added).

  • Opi'sMother

    Opi, who may be seen as slow, is not slow, he just failed a couple of grades and barely passed high school. He works at a job that makes him miserable so he tries to strike misery he feels inside on everyone else.

  • Hemmercules

    I dont think any team could afford all of Hall, Nuge, Barzal, Mcd, Drai, Ebs and Tkachuk. Theres something in the NHL they call a Salary Cap. That defence looks suspect too (considering Sekera is basically a non factor for missing two seasons in a row). I guess if they had that forward group maybe they could just outscore the other team every night no matter what they let in.

  • Glencontrolurstik

    Since the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989 they have won a whopping 4 playoff rounds…
    (that my friends, includes a trip to the cup final in 2004… )
    Not really a history to brag about Opi… Yes?

  • Glencontrolurstik

    In that same period (since 1989) the Oilers have won a total of 14 playoff rounds.
    That’s what? 350% more playoff rounds than the Flames?
    Just a reminder that teams play the whole league & not just each other? By the way, how many times have the Flames beat the Oilers the last couple of seasons?
    “Say it with me”… Flames Suck & the arena smells like socks, yuck!!!