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How can the Oilers create cap space?

The Oilers are up against the salary cap and near the bottom of the Western Conference. They have a handful of problem contracts and need to get better if they don’t want to waste Connor McDavid’s prime years. The Oilers’ cap situation isn’t good, but I think it gets exaggerated. Milan Lucic’s contract is the only contract I’d consider among the worst in the league. There’s a lot of expensive contracts, but I believe most could be moved without significant salary retained or assets included.

How can the Oilers create space to improve the roster?

First, lets stress that neither McDavid nor Leon Draisaitl’s contracts are problems. McDavid’s contract is a steal and would still be even if he took the league maximum. The Oilers didn’t use all their leverage when they signed Draisaitl, but it’s still not a problem. Sure, you’d like to see him centering his own line and playing less with McDavid for $8.5 million a year, but he’s scoring and his contract is fine. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has two more seasons after this one at $6 million per year. That’s fair for one of the Oilers’ only scoring threats.

Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson provide value for their $4.167-million cap hits. Darnell Nurse has another cheap season before he needs to be re-signed.

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Those players aren’t the issue.

Kyle Brodziak
Contract:
$1.15 million for one more season
Concern Level: Very Low

I didn’t mind the Brodziak contract. It’s low enough where he can be buried in the minors without a large cap penalty ($.025m). Brodziak has been okay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in the minors and they wanted a faster, cheaper option as the fourth-line center next season .

Matthew Benning
Contract:
$1.9 million for one more season
Concern Level: Fairly Low

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Benning’s contract isn’t a huge deal, but could the Oilers move him and replace him for less than $1.9 million? Probably. Benning’s a capable third-pairing defenceman and shoots right so teams would be interested. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers traded Benning for a draft pick. Nashville’s third pairing has Dan Hamhuis ($1.25 million) and Yannick Weber ($0.675m). You can save money with a cheap third pairing and the Oilers might need to do with multiple years left on Kris Russell and Andrej Sekera.

Zack Kassian
Contract:
$1.95 million for one more season
Concern Level: 
Mild

Like Benning, the Oilers could save money on their fourth line by trading Kassian. Kassian’s been on a scoring run playing bigger minutes recently, but his career suggests he’s mostly a fourth-line guy. Kassian is fine if he’s your third-line right wing making $1.95 million. He’s making too much to play on the fourth line, especially when you can get a player near league minimum to do everything he does.

Kassian’s contract isn’t a big issue but trading him seems reasonable and would clear almost $2 million for a more significant addition. The Oilers would finally be selling high on a player for once.

Tobias Rieder
Contract: RFA after this season, needs to be qualified at $2.2 million
Concern Level: Low

Rieder was a smart buy-low option. He’s having an extremely unlucky season. Last season was Rieder’s worst before this season and he still scored 12 goals. He’s on pace to not score a single goal this season. He’s played 48 games! Rieder’s 11 assists in that time isn’t good enough and qualifying him at that price wouldn’t be smart. It’s entirely possible the Oilers don’t extend a qualifying offer and cut ties with Rieder, but I’d see if he’d take another cheap contract for $1-1.5 million. There’s no way he lost his skill this year and he provides a lot of elements the Oilers need, including speed and penalty killing.

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Brandon Manning
Contract:
$2.75 million for one more season
Concern Level: 
Low

Manning is overpaid and the trade that brought him to Edmonton was bad. Manning is another third-pairing guy who doesn’t bring anything the Oilers don’t already have in their glut of third-pairing defencemen. A buyout would clear $1.33 million cap space but adds another $0.666 million in 2020-21. Unless Peter Chiarelli gets another job, a Manning trade is unlikely. The Oilers can simply bury him in the minors for a year and only $1.75 million will count against the cap.

Sam Gagner
Contract: $3.15 million for one more season.
Concern Level: Low

Gagner returns to Edmonton as part of the Jordan Eberle trade tree. Ryan Spooner was a big disappointment and Gagner should provide more scoring than Spooner. Seeing as how both Spooner and Gagner cleared waivers, no one is trading for Gagner without another overpaid player coming back.

Gagner is useful and can play some center and wing. I don’t mind Gagner in a middle-six role on right wing. A Gagner buyout clears $2.133 million in cap space next season, but adds $1.066 million the season after. I’d resist and just keep Gagner on the roster. I’d even consider re-signing him for cheap if he was interested in staying in Edmonton.

Kris Russell
Contract:
$4 million for two more seasons
Concern Level: 
Medium

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Russell has a place on an NHL roster, but the Oilers need an upgrade and he’s too expensive for a third-pairing role. Russell has two years left after this season at $4 million per year. His salary drops to just $2.5 million in the last year of his contract. Russell can be a useful player and I bet there are a few general managers who admire his shot blocking and tough style of play. I think there’s a reasonable chance the Oilers could move Russell with no salary retained.

Mikko Koskinen
Contract:
$4.5 million for three more seasons
Concern Level: 
High

Koskinen’s contract is perplexing, but he’s here and it’s extremely unlikely the Oilers would move, or be able to move, Koskinen before his contract kicks in. The Oilers need a goalie for next season and apparently liked Koskinen enough to overpay him significantly. Koskinen’s .909 save percentage isn’t good enough or worth $4.5 million per year. If his save percentage is near .908 next year the contract will look even worse. Koskinen isn’t going anywhere.

Andrej Sekera
Contract:
$5.5 million for two more seasons
Concern Level: 
Medium to High

Sekera’s play down the stretch should help the Oilers decide their path with the veteran defenceman coming back from two major injuries. Sekera has two more years at $5.5 million after this season. That’s not too bad of a price for a top-four defenceman if he can regain form. The Oilers have a few options. They could simply bring him back as a veteran guy in more of a depth role. Sekera should be more than fine in a third-pairing role and they could revisit a trade or a buyout after the season.

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The Oilers could buyout Sekera this summer.

Season Savings Cap Hit
2019-20 $3,000,000 $2,500,000
2020-21 $3,000,000 $2,500,000
2021-22 -$1,500,000 $1,500,000
2022-23 -$1,500,000 $1,500,000

A Sekera buyout wouldn’t be the worst way to open up space. The Oilers get $3 million in each of the next two seasons and only add $1.5 million in years three and four. That’s manageable with the salary cap going up and both the Eric Gryba and Benoit Pouliot buyouts off the books in 2020-21.

A trade would be preferable, but difficult. The Oilers aren’t going to be contenders in 2020 so I’d hold onto Sekera for another year and explore a trade or buyout then.

Milan Lucic
Contract: $6 million for four more seasons
Concern Level: 
Very High

Lucic’s contract is the pièce de résistance of Chiarelli’s tenure as Oilers general manager. It’s by far the most difficult contract to move and the biggest obstacle the Oilers will face when they want to improve their roster.

The key with Lucic’s contract is his actual salary is lower than his cap after his signing bonus is paid on July 1st.

Season Signing Bonus Total Salary Cap Hit
2019-20 $3,000,000 $6,000,000 $6,000,000
2020-21 $3,000,000 $4,000,000 $6,000,000
2021-22 $2,500,000 $5,000,000 $6,000,000
2022-23 $3,000,000 $4,000,000 $6,000,000

After July 1st, Lucic’s salary is $3M, $4M, $5M, $4M.  $26 million of his $42 million will have been paid off and his salary will be at least a million lower than his cap hit going forward. That could be attractive to teams looking to reach the salary floor like Arizona, Ottawa, and Carolina. Ottawa has traded a ton of salary and will need some money to reach the salary-cap floor.

A Lucic buyout doesn’t accomplish much.

Season Original Cap Hit Cost Savings Cap Hit
2019-20 $6,000,000 $625,000 $2,375,000 $3,625,000
2020-21 $6,000,000 $625,000 $375,000 $5,625,000
2021-22 $6,000,000 $625,000 $1,875,000 $4,125,000
2022-23 $6,000,000 $625,000 $375,000 $5,625,000
2023-24 $0 $625,000 -$625,000 $625,000
2024-25 $0 $625,000 -$625,000 $625,000
2025-26 $0 $625,000 -$625,000 $625,000
2026-27 $0 $625,000 -$625,000 $625,000

A Lucic buyout offers minimal cap savings. The best option is a trade and retaining salary might be the way to entice another team.

There’s talk about attaching Jesse Puljujarvi with Lucic to try and trade him. I’m not sure that’s the avenue I’d take, but it’s an option.

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Should they stay or should they go now?

I’d explore trades for Kassian, Benning, Russell. Bury Manning in the minors and keep Brodziak, Gagner on the roster. Re-sign Rieder to a cheaper one-year deal or don’t qualify him. Heavily consider a buyout for Sekera and explore a resolution to the Lucic situation.

I don’t think next year will be a contending year so I would hold off on adding a lot of salary for 2020. Focus on building a contender for 2021 and beyond.


  • Alfonso

    That’s ridiculous … Brodz & Reider bring nothing so very much deserve a high rank …Benning is a plug … high … Manning is deplorable … high … Russell is overpaid by at least one million per season … Koskinen deal is mystifying …

    • Christian Pagnani

      Brodziak has one year left at an AAV that can be almost entirely stashed in the minors. Rieder’s a restricted free agent so the Oilers can just not qualify him, which I expect them to do. Burying Brodziak and letting Rieder walk creates almost $3 million in space.

      There’s far more concerning contracts. Brodziak and Rieder aren’t significant.

  • Oily Reign

    I don’t get the desire to trade Kassian. Sure, as only a 4th line plug, he’s not worth his contract. But, usually he’s not on the 4th line. He moves up and down the lineup, PK, and a beast during the playoffs (when officials let players play real hockey).
    If we trade him, we will then be looking for a player just like him (At a higher salary I’m sure).

  • Kybra

    Priority 1: Attach a prospect dman to the Lucic contract. It’s going to hurt, but it’s the area of expendable strength.
    Priority 2: Buy out Sekera. A 1.5M cap hit in years 3 and 4 is good value for 3M savings in the first two.
    Priority 3: Trade the first rounder for a reliable scoring forward. First choice is Huberdeau, followed by Hoffman. Need a long term veteran solution that can fit under the cap.

    • The Rookie

      The problem here isn’t just the cap of someone you buy out or bury in the minors, it’s also the cap of their replacement. To buy out Sekera and save $3M in years one and two, what’s his replacement going to cost? I’d think at least $3M. And in that case now you haven’t made any cap relief because you are paying the same in years 1 & 2 and more in 3 & 4. So it’s a negative move. Trading Lucic needs to be appealing to Lucic AND the team getting him. I still believe the only way to accomplish this is a three team deal where the oil eat $1.5M, the next team get a pick or a prospect to eat $1.5M and the third team gets Milan Lucic at a $3M cap hit with only $2M actual salary. Lucic has to waive his NTC. So what team wants to take Milan for four more years at $3M that he would also be willing to go to?

      • Up North

        I do believe no matter who retains what on Lucic his cap hit is and will always be 6M based on the total amount of his contract and the years signed.
        If the Oil and another team retained 1.5 each a team could have Lucic for very cheap 3M/1M/2M/1M and if they wait until after July 1st 2019 the first year they get him for free the 4M over the last three years.
        If I am broke and needing to hit the cap floor Lucic actually looks very attractive to me.
        There will be a market for him If the new GM wants to trade him.

  • TKB2677

    I would absolutely trade Benning. I don’t have a problem with him in a 3rd pairing role. He’s an NHL dman who is OK but doesn’t do anything overly good and he’s not the best skater. I just think that you can replace him internally with someone way cheaper. Like a Jones as an example. Jones is a lefty but has played a ton on the right in the minors. Jones came up, looked pretty good. He skates way better, moves the puck way better and has more offense. Plus he makes 720K so you save 1.2 mill and at minimum you probably get the same defensively with the potential for more offense. They also have Bear who’s coming who’s a righty and makes 720k. They have the offensive dman Persson who’s coming over next year, signed for 1 mill, been playing and lighting up the Swedish league which is a real good league. So I think they have options. I also think that if you packaged Benning and say a pick, you could probably get a useful bottom 6 forward.

    I would look at Kassian. Yes he is scoring more lately but it’s because he is with McDavid and let’s be honest, he has 17 pts. Ideally he’s a bottom 6 guy and as soon as he’s in his correct role, he doesn’t score. At 1.95 mill is pretty rich for a 4th liner.

    I absolutely think they will trade Russell. He can be a decent dman, ideally in your 3rd pair but has shown he can elevate to a second pairing and do alright for a bit. He still skates well. I think he has some value. Teams are always looking for dmen and for a team near the bottom of the league in cap, the fact his salary drops while the cap hit stays at 4 mill is attractive.

    Call me crazy but I think the Oilers find a way to get rid of Lucic. It will cost them an additional asset and maybe they eat a little salary but with Chia gone, I think it happens. I do not think Chia wanted to get rid of his boy Lucic because they have a good relationship and he was his first big prize free agent.

    I’d strongly consider a buyout for Sekera. He’s been OK since coming back which is a pleasant surprise but given his age and 2 major injuries to his legs 2 years in a row, I just don’t see him being capable of being more than a really good 3rd pairing dman. At 5.5 mill, you can’t have that. If you can’t have Russell at 4 mill in your 3rd pair, you definitely can’t have 5.5 mill in your 3rd pair. If you can find a trade, do it but I doubt it.

  • CaptainCanada94

    Amazing how San Jose regrouped after we bounced them in the playoffs. How are they not in cap hell and we are? Thanks a lot Chiarelli.

    This whole cap situation is inexcusable. 1-2 years minimum before we are able to see some light. So long as we dont keep digging our hole deeper. (AKA Koskinen)

    Sad that an optimistic viewpoint= is that Oilers merely compete for a playoff spot next year. Following year squeak into playoffs. And the next year potentially win a round or two.

    A competent GM would have had the Oilers as Cup contenders this year, next year and the following year.

    • Peter simply didn’t know how to negotiate. Nobody was going to get in a bidding war with us for guys Kassian, Benning, Caggiula, Koskinen, and even Nurse and yet he gifted them generous deals. Overpaying those guys by 500K or $1M doesn’t seem like much but it adds up alot. It’s important to retain your guys but it’s also to save any dollar you can.

  • Darcy yaceyko

    On a positive note. Want to send a shout out to carey price for granting a dying mother’s wish for her son to meet his hero Carey Price. All class as always.

  • TrentonL

    Need to take advantage of teams who hover around the floor and want to save money.

    Trade 1:
    To Ottawa: Lucic, Russell, Kassian, Benning, Draft Picks (3rd could be convinced to a 2nd)
    To Edm: Ryan ($500k retained), Smith, Pageau, Gaborik (LTIR ~$1.25k cash cost over 2 years)
    -This nets out to Ottawa saving ~3.74mm in real cash while Edmonton saves ~$0.75mm in cap space.

    Trade 2:
    To Carolina: Manning
    To Edm: Darling (Retained 50%)
    -Darling is owed ~$7.1mm over 2 years (cap hit $4.15mm) but was in AHL before going on personal leave. I’d take a chance on his bounceback at ~$2.075mm cap hit vs having Manning cap hit of ~$2.25mm. Worst case scenario you bury him this year and buyout the next.

    Trade 3:
    To Carolina: Puljujarvi, Sekera, Draft Picks (2nd)
    To Edm: Hamilton

  • ed from edmonton

    Thanks for laying this out for us. Certainly addressing the tight salary cap situation will likely be on the top of the new GM’s to do list. I don’t think the new guy should be too concerned about the team performance in the 19/10 season, it is already lost. Going further on this theme I would hope the new guy is frank with Nicholson et al and say there is no quick fox here, it will take time. So I wouldn’t do much in the short term just to open up cap space for 19/20. The new guy also ahs to keep in mind that Nurse will be due for a big raise starting the fall of 2020 and he needs a plan to deal with this. In the sort term a hockey deal is available that also open up cap space is obviously the objective. I could see a possibility of a getting a good return for Russel or Sekera at next year’s deadline if the fit is right. Say a team like teh Arizona or the Canucks that may be a playoff contender next year with cap space available could see value in guys like Russel or Sekera.
    I don’t think Lucic will be moveable for a least 2 more years. Even then he has a NMC and any trade would include either taking back a problem or adding in a sweetener. Only hope for Lucic if there is a painless buy out period due to ne CBA or expansion draft.

    • ed from edmonton

      Agree that Broziak is not pert of the solution. The danger that Paganinini has fallen into is comparing Brodziak to other Oil forwards, not to NHL caliber players.

  • FlamesFan27

    The Lucic and Koskinen contracts are both really bad. At the time, the Lucic contract didn’t seem that bad for the first half – in hindsight it’s much worse. But, I think a lot of GMs have done similar things (Neal in Calgary for example). The Koskinen contract is a complete mystery – it’s at least double of what it should be. The other issue for the Oilers is the glut of “minor” overpays; those 0.5M and 1.0M overpays add up. It will take people way smarter than me to figure a way out in anything less than 3 years.

  • All Ice

    Next season may have to be a sacrifice but after that things open up.
    Benning can be properly evaluated and signed for less than 1mil or let go.
    Russel will have to provide a list and might be attractive to a team trying to hit the floor due to his lower actual wage.
    Sekera can be evaluated post injury and a buyout is much more attractive after next year is he’s failing. Why go for savings for next season if you’re not competing?
    Kassian can be evaluated and resigned or let go.
    Reider the same but for close to league minimum or gone.
    Brodziak will be gone.
    Gagner contract will be over and can be evaluated and signed for an appropriate amount if he’s been useful and agrees to stay on.
    Koskinen and Lucic are the only real problems that would remain. Possible CBA negotiations could lead to compliance buyouts, that would really be the only hope there.
    Sacrifice next season, do what you can, plan for a much more reasonable cap situation in 20/21 and start doing what should’ve happened when McD was drafted

  • Rockinghockey

    EDM should of traded Kassian at the deadline.
    Taking a look at UFAs there are not many top six players available that would probably sign here unless you over pay and it is not a good idea to do that. EDM will have to look at trading for players. I would look at Zucker to trade for.
    I would move players like Benning, Kassian, Russell and bury Manning. Of course trading Lucic would be a huge win.

  • Heschultzhescores

    How are guys like Chiasson making under a million, yet 2x as talented as the guys we sign for a several million? Because they were not overpaid by their previous team. I think we overpay virtually every player other than McD and Drai. We can get out of cap hell slowly by paying what guys are worth and what we can afford. If guys dont like it, they can move on to AHL salaries.

    • Spydyr

      Chiasson has not scored in a month so there is that.

      Chiasson was a walk on he had a PTO that is why he is so cheap. Some foolish team will pay him much more this summer.

      Nuge is a bargain at six million.

      • Heschultzhescores

        The point is, and you can go check this. The most he was ever paid as 1.2 million by Ottawa. His career average is around 800k a season. Calgary and Washington also paid him under a million. The point is, guys like Chiasson, who are real NHL players can be had for around a million to 1.5. Why are we always jumping guys into the 3 to 6 million range with virtually no scoring abilities.

  • Clayton

    Connor’s salary is a steal? I think not! I agree that Connor’s 12.5M/season isn’t the reason the Oilers are in CapHell…but to classify it as a ‘steal’ is ridiculous! Here are some ‘Steals’:
    1. Nikita Kucherov – $4.8M for 104 points so far this season. Yes…that jumps to $9.5M next season, but for this season it is a steal.

    2. Johnny Gadreau – $6.75M for the next three seasons. Currently is only 5 points back of Connor for half the contract. That is a steal.

    3. Nathan Mackinnon – $6.3M per season for the next 4 years. Sits 6 points back of Connor for half the contract. That is a steal.

    Don’t get me wrong, Connor’s contract is not the cap issue for the Oilers and for the excitement he brings to the rink every night is worth the investment for sure. But to call it a ‘Steal’? What a JOKE!

    • The Plan

      It all goes in cycles. The Oilers were one of the first teams that had to “pay up”. The opposite will be true when CMcD is still making 12.5 and the other guys sign for $15-17MM in four years.

  • FanBoy

    Trade 1: Lucic, Puljujarvi, Brodziak, Manning + 2019 1st rounder to Ottawa for Pageau, MacArthur, 2019 2nd rounder.

    Ottawa gets JP, and a top 10 pick, saves money from LTIR MacArthur, and Lucic would waive his NMC to go there with a promise he’s not staying. He’s only going there so they can eat part of his cap hit. EDM shelves MacArthur on LTIR because it’s easier than finding trades for Brodziak and Manning. Pageau becomes 3rd line shutdown centre who can chip in 15 goals.

    Trade 2: Vatanen retained (UFA at season’s end) for Russell, Bear, Wells, Safin, and conditional 2nd that turns into a 1st if he resigns in Edmonton. NJD adds 4 young assets and takes on Russell for 2 years who could play on their second pairing. Sekera could go in this spot too if they prefer him. EDM gets a guy Yawney worked with and can move the puck well to pair with Nurse or Klefbom.

    Trade 3: Connor Brown for a 3rd rounder so he can play in the top 9.

    Sign two top 6F in UFA, I really like Eberle because he’s a guaranteed 20 goal a year guy, and another playmaker that could slot in the top 6.

    Johansson (5M) – McDavid (12.5M) – Brown (2.1M)
    RNH (6M) – Draisaitl (8.5M) – Eberle (6M)
    Khaira (1M) – Pageau (3.1M) – Kassian (1.9M)
    Rieder (1M) – Cave (675K) – (Gagner) (3.15M)

    Klefbom (4.16M) – Vatanen (3.5M – retained 1.3M from NJD)
    Nurse (3.2M) – Larsson (4.16M)
    Sekera (5.5M) – Benning (1.9M)

    Koskinen (4.5M) – Stolarz (900K)

    Extras: Gravel (800K), Currie (675K), Persson (1M)

    Approximately 81M in cost

    • FanBoy

      I would leave the entire Condors team alone and not graduate any of them next season. They’re having a great season, I would like to see a second straight season before proclaiming any of them will be NHL ready.

    • IRONman

      Lucic, Sekera and reider can go. No salary retained. Uses picks. 2 more season to get the junk out. Cap 2022 time to hit it. 97 and 29 worth every penny. Nuge is worth 6 million. Leon has 39 goals. Tavares got 11 million. Leon at 8.5 rocks. Leon in 23 yo. Future looks bright. Sam can stay. He brings heart like Nuge. Currie is a catalyst. Lov n it

      • FanBoy

        If someone offered a prospect or even a 3rd rounder for Sekera or Russell with no salary retained, I would take it. The greatest asset we’re getting back in the deal is cap space. However, we should be mindful that we don’t just trade them for cap space because there’s not a lot of UFA dmen out there this summer. Only Myers and Stralman would fit the bill to pair with Nurse on the second pairing. One of Russell or Sekera with Benning would form a solid third pair. The other I would ship out to get a puck moving dman.

  • Oil9744

    NO point in trading Kassian at all, he’s playing really good hockey right now on the top line with Mcdavid for 1.9 mill, plus his edge he brings to the team and has proven before he’s a playoff player. Edmonton has cap issues but Kassian at 1.9 is not one of them to say the least. What player can you possibly get for that cap hit that would do a better job then Kass? You want that cap hit gone then move Benning. Rieder???? Hahahah WOW…..the guy seeks himself out in to corners now he’s so lost, again a player making more then Kassian and not nearly as affective to say the least, Reider should be sitting in the press box and NOT get another contract with this team. I don’t know how you even value saying that. There is a lot of players on the farm team who should come up next season and easily take his spot and would do a lot better then ZERO goals. Benson or Gambradella, even Jujhar is a better option. No need to give contacts to players that ain’t doing crap. It’s not like he hasn’t been given the chance to succeed here, he had been playing with Draisaitl who has scored the most goals in the whole NHL this last month.

  • Rick Stroppel

    YOU ARE ALL LOOKING AT THE PROBLEM FROM THE WRONG END

    Step 1: Fire Nicholson. He started working for the Oilers organization almost 5 years ago, in June of 2014. He has accomplished nothing. The great “forensic audit”, announced in April of 2015, was a joke. What is the point of keeping him?

    Step 2: Find out EVERYONE who had knowledge of the Koskinen deal, the Manning deal and the Petrovic deal before they happened. Fire the all. If that includes K. Gretzky, W Gretzky, McTavish, Messier, Messier’s brother, any or all of the pro scouts…fire them all. They are incompetent.

    3. Fire K. Lowe. I don’t buy the idea that he has zero input on hockey decisions. He is always at the draft. What in the heck does he know about running a business? Has he ever run a business? Fire Lowe and bring back Pat Laforge to do what Lowe is supposedly doing.

    4. When Katz was trying to wheedle money out of the taxpayers of this city he had a lot to say. Remember Seattle? Remember him appearing with some players in front of city council? Now he has his arena deal…the team is a steaming pile of manure…and Katz has nothing to say. He sends foolish Nicholson out to say “we are right there” (unbelieveable). Katz needs to make a sincere public apology for the state of team, and back that up by ACTUALLY GETTING RID OF ALL THE INCOMPETENT HANGERS ON.

    • Step 1, there was no audit, Step 2 do it anyways just to be sure, would not want to see another stick boy fired. Step 3 any professional franchise would have tied a can to his ass immediately after the Lord Of The Rings Press Conference. Step 4 I will be shocked if any of it ever happens.

      • Spydyr

        Not only did they not Fire Lowe after the worse press conference in the history of press conferences Katz promoted him and brought in Burger Bob to be the teams mouthpiece.

        • Don’t know why you would get a trash on this. The whole world know’s they need to be fired if they wont step down. And I was serious, any other team would have fired him immediately after that PR debacle, never mind the 1000 or so other debacles. I swear , every time one of them speaks, they say something stupid, fire Lowe so we know for sure Keegan wont be the GM someday. Take that money and invest in a PR firm, it would be a much better use of the funds. If they are all still here next year, and they will be, we can expect about the same results, except maybe we can have a Coach quit partway thru a game and set another new NHL precedent like the 27 or 28 first shot goals.

  • Rieder: let him walk. Save $2m
    Brozdiak: trade him by 2020 deadline for a 5th rd pick
    Kassian: If not in playoff contention, trade him by 2020 deadline for a 4th rd pick
    Lucic: trade in package and retain salary. $???

    Chiasson: sign a 2 year $1.5m AAV.

    Manning: trade him for pucks or bury now. Save $2.5m.
    Benning: trade him by 2020 deadline for a 4th rd pick. He’s a good stop-gap for Bouchard/Bear development.
    Russell: July 1 trade him for 3rd rd pick. Save $4m.
    Sekera: July 1 trade him for 2nd rd pick + prospect. Save $5.5m.

    Petrovic: walk. Save $1.95m
    Gravel: resign to a 1 yr $1m

    To start 2019/2020:
    $13.5m (not including Lucic) in saved capspace to sign a winger UFA like Brett Connolly at $2m or Eberle at $5m and throw money and a few years for Karlsson, although I doubt any of them would come to Edmonton.

    The D could look like:
    Klefbom – Karlsson
    Nurse – Larsson
    Gravel – Benning
    Jones

  • rnj

    Sekera has value as a veteran who can help the young d core improve. The right move is to keep him unless we’re making a run and need to clear space for a winger

  • FutureGM

    Any discussion of buying out Sekera is ridiculous. He is 3x the player Russell is for not a lot more money. More stabilizing and defesively responsible than KBom too. Trade Russell for anything and let the veteran Sekera groom some of thees young guys. He has patience and poise with the puck none of our other Dmen have.
    Personally, if I couldn’t trade Sekera I ship our Russell for a pick/prospect, KBom or Nurse for a scoring winger then allow Sekera to do his capable thing on the 2nd pairing and have Set Jones as my 3LHD