18
Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – Make the call on Alex Chiasson

My friends, it’s that wonderful time of the week again where we answer all of the biggest questions you’ve always wanted to know about the NHL and about life in general. Feel free to think of us as a much cheaper alternative to a college education if you can. This week, we look at Alex Chiasson’s next contract, Mike Gillis, keeping fans excited, and more. As always, this feature depends on you guys so I need you to submit your questions. If you have something you’d like to know you can always email me, or DM me on Twitter. With that out of the way, it’s time to learn something. Enjoy.

Mar 23, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers right winger Alex Chiasson (39) celebrates after scorin a against the Ottawa Senators goalie during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

1) Stacy asks – If you were to guess, what do you think will happen with Alex Chiasson? Will the Oilers re-sign him? If so, for how much?

Robin Brownlee:

The Oilers should try to sign him for two years with an absolute top end of $2M per season. You can’t pay him like a bonafide 20-goal scorer because as of right now, that’s a one-off. If I’m Chiasson, I look around first and then decide where the money and the fit works best.

Jason Gregor:

I think they re-sign him. Better to go with what you know that hope a UFA has the same impact. I see a two-year deal around $1.8-$2.1 mill/year.

Cam Lewis:

I’m not a fan of paying for players after career seasons. When the Oilers moved on from Patrick Maroon, they endeavoured to find the next cheap, under-the-radar guy to fill that same role. Chiasson ended up being that guy. Like with Maroon, the Oilers need to find the next Chiasson rather than being the ones who overpay for his career year. That said, if he would stick around at two years and $2 million, I would do it. If not, you have to let go.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think the Oilers will re-sign him, but I bet he will be a little bit more expensive than we think. I would like to see Chiasson back on a two-year deal with a cap hit of around $1.5m, but I would bet the Oilers end up paying him closer to $2 million. I don’t think they should be in a rush to sign him though. I can’t see another team out there being willing to offer him more than $2 million since a lot of his success this year came because he was on the ice with McDavid and Draisaitl. I have a little bit of hope that the Oilers will get him signed to a good deal, but I also won’t be surprised when they give him a little too much money.

Chris the Intern:

I hope, and I do think the Oilers will re-sign Alex Chiasson. I don’t know if he’ll be able to put up 20 goals again for himself next year, but he certainly made a good case for himself for his next contract. I think a good deal for the Oilers would be 2 years at $1.5mil per year, however I can see him getting something more like $2M per year.

Baggedmilk:

Ideally, you’d like to see him with a cap hit around $1.5 or less but who knows with the way the Oilers negotiate. I can see him getting a $3 x 4 with a full NMC because, well, you know…

2) Clint asks – Are there any UFA options that you could see the Oilers chasing this summer?

Robin Brownlee:

I’m looking at making hockey trades before I look at UFA’s. The Oilers don’t have the room to take a big swing in the UFA market until they shed some salary. The approach will depend largely on the philosophy of the new GM and how long he’s been in place before free agency season opens.

Jason Gregor:

They will need a backup goalie. Mrazek would be my first choice, followed by Brian Elliott.

Cam Lewis:

The Oilers are in an ugly cap bind so I wouldn’t want them to make any major investments. It’ll be a few years until the team can make major signings again, so I would look at under-the-radar guys on one-year deals. Guys like Daniel Carr with great numbers in the AHL, Brandon Pirri who seem to get overlooked, and Anthony Duclair who have bounced around the league would all be good, cheap bets.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I really like the suggestion of Brett Connolly. I think he might be a really good fit in this teams middle six and I still think he has the potential to make an impact on a skill line. There are the big guns out there like Gustav Nyquist, but I’m not sure the Oilers should risk giving out big money to a winger. The last thing they need is another albatross contract. Someone like Brandon Pirri interests me as well. Low cost, but could inject some skill into the Oilers bottom six. I would prefer if they got their high-end winger via trade and then signed two cheaper wingers in free agency to round out their forward core.

Chris the Intern:

Honestly there aren’t a ton of guys on the list that catch my eye. I think the Oilers need to try move guys out just as much as they need to bring skilled players in. Using trades should be their best option.

Baggedmilk:

I can see Brett Connolly being a cheaper option they could try. I mean, really, there are some really good players out there this year but the Oilers won’t have the space to get any of them unless the GM can pull off a miracle at the draft. There’s Eberle, Panarin (wouldn’t come here anyway), Skinner, Duchene… again, all of them would be great but won’t be options so the Oilers will have to find value in the bargain bin.

Edomton Oilers’ Kevin Lowe is apologizing for suggesting there are two types of Oiler fans: those who buy tickets and those who don’t. (IAN JACKSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)

3) Yves asks – What do you make of the rumours that some in Oilers management are against bringing in Mike Gillis for an interview because he was the agent during the Nylander situation from 2007?

Robin Brownlee:

I make very little of it. Oilers have to interview the best people and if something from that long ago sours them on even talking to him, they’re not doing things right. Gillis is somebody the Oilers should consider, but I don’t see him as a short-list favorite. Gillis had some success in Vancouver running their show, although he inherited a pretty good core of players. He’s not a top-end get in my books.

Jason Gregor:

I was told he is on list of people they will interview. So rumours are true some aren’t. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t interviewed.

Cam Lewis:

It’s just another reminder not to believe the Old Boys Club aren’t actually all that involved narrative we’re being fed. It’s also dumb because all Gillis did was do the right thing for his client.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Oh, I would believe them. The Oilers front office is full of egos and in their minds, Gillis wronged them over a decade ago and they don’t want to do business with them. If the rumours are true, it just further illustrates how awful the “Oilers Culture” really is.

Chris the Intern:

If the rumours ARE true than it’s ridiculous and petty. I’d like to think the Oilers brass is better than that, but you never know.

Baggedmilk:

Would you really be surprised about this group holding a grudge like that for 12 years? Let’s be honest, Gillis was Nylander’s agent and his entire purpose was to make his client happy regardless of what the team thought. Very Oilers.

4) Craig asks – After the season we’ve witnessed, I need something to feel good about heading into the offseason. What silver lining would you sell to Oilers fans to keep them excited about this hockey team?

Robin Brownlee:

McDavid being McDavid. RNH. Draisaitl, Kassian, Chiasson. Chiarelli’s disastrous tenure is over.

Jason Gregor:

They have two of the top-five scorers in the NHL. That makes the GM job enticing. Bob Nicholson is actually going to interview people, and if he is listening he will learn a lot about his franchise. I believe there will be actual changes in the management. Also, it seems moving forward they won’t rush young players. That alone should give Oilersnation reason to smile.

Cam Lewis:

Peter Chiarelli getting fired is the big one for me. It was incredibly difficult to have hope for the team with him calling the shots as he always seemed to find a way to outdo himself when it came to terrible decisions.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Think of the injuries to the blueline (Sekera, Russell, Klefbom), think of the goaltending inconsistency, and the lack of scoring from 75% of their forward group. All of that went terribly wrong and they’re just six points out of a playoff spot. If they can stay healthy next season and find some depth scoring, they could win three more games next year. That’s my most optimistic take on things. The pessimistic side of me says that they got great seasons from Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, and Draisaitl yet still fell short of the playoffs in a year where the Western Conference was awful.

Chris the Intern:

This season has proved that we have two of the most offensively skilled players in the game. Next year they should be even better.

Baggedmilk:

McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent-Hopkins are all magic.

5) Reid asks – If you were going to pick one of your fellow Nation writers to be the new GM of the Edmonton Oilers who would it be?

Robin Brownlee:

Gregor. He’s solid with the eyeballs and uses the numbers that matter to back up what he sees. Doesn’t wear cheap shoes. Positive Fridays.

Jason Gregor

Wanye. He would fire all the old boys club, then he would hire a GM with hockey knowledge and he’d become President of Hockey Ops.

Cam Lewis:

Literally a potato could have done a better job than Peter Chiarelli so I would be happy with any of our writers assuming the gig.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Gregor. Simple as that. Just imagine how much fun that would be.

Chris the Intern:

I would choose Evan the Intern cause he’s got SPUNK.

Baggedmilk:

Me. I knew that trading Jordan Eberle for Strome and then for Spooner was a terrible idea and that Peter Chiarelli was awful and should have been fired a year and a half before it happened.

MAILBAG BROUGHT TO YOU BY BACKSIDE TOURS

Tired of going through the usual hassle of dealing with plans and booking hotels for your next trip? We don’t blame you. That’s why we have put together a ton of winter getaways to change the way you approach the winter. Let us do all the work, so you can have all the fun. Check out Backside Tours for more details.

  • Darcy yaceyko

    I like chaisson. Keep him. As far as the team goes, I really dont see how this team moves forward with the current management in place. They are more worried about themselves than the team.

  • percy

    To bad management can’t be traded or put on waivers at least. There are two types of management personal, ones that know what their doing and ones one don’t have a clue.

  • percy

    Keep Chaission, here we are, swinging our fists in the air again. I can see management is getting frustrated with the mess they created. Now they are thinking of trading away our secondary scorers for hope. There are a couple of players with NMC that we should be trying to move instead. What a mess

  • FanSince72

    Need a goaltender and a few wingers. My thoughts… Reider, Cave, – gone, keep Chaisson, and have Lucic on long term injury reserve, meaning if 12 forwards get injured, he gets to play. He was too slow two years ago. Also, get rid of Larson just so we can stop thinking of that disaster.

  • Serious Gord

    4. The only truly good news would be the removal of ALL the FOK and FOG.

    5. Anyone who would do the above is good enough for me. Gregor is probably not one of them.

  • Odanada

    I think Mikko Koskinen might make a good GM.
    I mean, look at the deal he negotiated for himself?
    If he could apply those negotiation skills on the other side of the table, he just might be gold, I tell ya, GOLD.

  • Offensively and on the PP, Oilers are average.
    Defensively and on the PK, Oilers are near the bottom. Much of that this year was due to injuries, but even with a healthy d-lineup, it’s still not good enough. It’s too fragile.

    Klefbom and Larsson are a 2nd pair on most teams.
    Russell drags down Nurse. Nurse has issues transitioning the puck up the ice.
    Sekera is good where he is and boosts Benning.

    I’d look at upgrading the D before wingers. That’s where the imbalance is. Have all the scoring wingers you want but if they first can’t get the puck from the D, who cares.

  • Rama Lama

    I suspect signing Alex Chiasson will be exactly like St Louis signing Maroon. He caught lightning in a bottle……..next year I doubt he gets 10 goals. Opportunity has to be given to some youth coming up through the system. Save the money for a legit top six forward.

  • The Whispererer

    For those who are thinking of Brett Connolly as a bargain target for the Oilers, Lowetide wrote a column last week for the Athletic in which he estimated Connolly’s next contract at a $5 million AAV for 5 years. Yeah, i know what you’re thinking but that wasn’t an April Fool’s joke.

  • Billsbills

    I like Chaisson but having him locked in at $2 million a year is not a good option for this team. He’s likely to regress back to a 10-13 goal scorer in a bottom six role. You can’t pay that guy $2 mill a year. Not on this team.

  • TKB2677

    The Oilers gave Rieder 2 mill and I don’t think I saw anyone who wasn’t rejoicing at the Rieder signing and calling it a great deal for the Oilers. Rieder was coming off a 12 goal, 25 pt season and over his career hovered around 13 goals, 30 pts.
    Chiasson is having a career year at 21 goals, 36 pts. Over his career if you take out this season, he’s around 11 goals 25 pts most of which was 5 on 5 scoring because he has never got a lot of PP time. Not like he has with the Oilers. So his production is ever so slightly lower than Rieder but darn close. So I just wonder how at the time of the signing, fans can rejoice the Rieder signing last year calling a good deal at 2 mill but say there is no way Chiasson should get Rieder money?

    I don’t want the Oilers to overpay Chiasson and I see the 2 mill as the top but if they signed Chiasson to a 2 yr, 2 mill deal, I wouldn’t be upset because I was one of those fans who thought the Rieder deal was a good signing.