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Can the Oilers clear cap space?

This morning in the Mailbag, we were asked how the Oilers can clear cap space as they head into what will be one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. As we know all too well, there won’t be a lot of wiggle room for the new GM to come in and sign free agents/add salary in trades so he’ll have to get creative in order to make it happen.

For the purposes of this article, I wanted to take a look at some of the guys that are set to come off the books on July 1st and others that we’ll probably be hearing about in rumours as the offseason moves along. While the salary cap is expected to go up by $3-4 million, that won’t be enough to solve the cap issues that Peter Chiarelli left for us, and I’m very interested to see how the new GM will approach the situation. Are there savings to be had? Let’s look together.

PENDING UFAs

Looking at the pending UFAs, the Oilers aren’t going to get much in terms of savings with these guys coming off the balance sheet, especially if a guy like Alex Chiasson has his number doubled or more. That said, here are the guys that could walk away on July 1st.

Alex Chiasson ($650,000): If you’re being honest, there’s no way you would have ever expected Alex Chiasson to finish the year with 22 goals after rolling into town on a PTO and turning it into a $650K contract, right? It’s impossible. Now that he’s in line for a new deal, I feel like it’s fair to wonder whether or not he’ll get that in Edmonton. Personally, I’d be open to signing him for two years at about $1.5-1.75 million, but anything higher than that would be risky, especially when you factor in the shooting% heater he was on early in the season.

Alex Petrovic ($1,950,000): Petrovic only played in nine games with the Oilers after being acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick and Chris Wideman, and I can’t imagine there would be any plan to re-sign him.

Anthony Stolarz ($761,250): Unable to get into the 10 games needed to maintain his RFA status after coming over in a trade from Philly, Anthony Stolarz will now be a Group 6 free agent on July 1st and will likely be changing teams again. Seeing as the Oilers will probably go for an experienced backup to support Mikko Koskinen, the new guy will probably cost more than Stolarz did this year so I can’t see any savings here.

Kevin Gravel ($700,000): I thought Kevin Gravel did a nice job of providing depth on the left side, but I doubt he’ll be retained because they’ll likely want to open up a spot for a younger player like Caleb Jones. Any savings on letting Gravel walk would be minimal.

Al Montoya ($1,062,500): You probably forgot he was still on the books, right? Unfortunately, having Montoya head to free agency only clears up $37K since he was already buried in the minors. Figs!

PENDING RFAs

Tobias Rieder ($2,000,000): So long, Toby. After finishing up his season with zero goals, I can’t see any scenario in which the Oilers bring Rieder back. That said, someone will probably sign him on a cheap deal over the summer and he’ll go out and score the 10-12 goals that we were hoping from him this season. You know it’s going to happen.

Jesse Puljujarvi ($925,000): After having his season cut short by hip surgery, Jesse Puljujarvi’s future with the organization is up in the air. Some folks think that it’s time to sell on Jesse while his stock is still high while others feel that giving up on a 20-year-old doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Looking ahead, Puljujarvi’s next deal won’t cost the Oilers a whole lot and I think it would be worth giving him a fresh start with a new coach and a new GM.

Jujhar Khaira ($650,000): I imagine the Oilers will retain Jujhar Khaira on another cheap deal as he brings some size, toughness, and secondary scoring to the fourth line. At $650K, Khaira probably won’t be in line for too much of a raise so I’ll go ahead and assume his number will be about the same for the 2019-20 season.

TRADES

If there Oilers are going to clear some serious cap space, it’ll probably come in the form of a trade. That said, I have no idea how they’d make some of these moves work without adding on other assets. At that point, does it make a lot of sense to trade players to save space if that also means losing a more valuable asset such as a first round pick or prospect?

Andrej Sekera ($5,500,000): After returning from a torn Achilles, Andrej Sekera proved that he can still play defence at a high level. The problem is that he’s making $5.5 million, isn’t getting any younger, and still has two years left on his deal. Would the new GM try to sell on Sekera’s ability to move the puck, or would he want to bring him back as part of the solution, hoping that he can stay healthy this summer?

Kris Russell ($4,000,000): I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player quite as divisive as Kris Russell. At $4 million, you could definitely say that he makes too much money, but there’s little doubt that he’s a serviceable third-pairing defenceman on most teams. Are there teams that could use a cowboy? I can see it happening. Russell still has two years left on his current contract.

Milan Lucic ($6,000,000): We’ve been talking about this one for a while now, and while I wonder if the new GM will be able to make something happen that clears out all or most of Lucic’s $6 million contract, I won’t be holding my breath. Lucic still has a big ticket left (four years) to go along with a full no-move clause, and that doesn’t exactly give the Oilers much freedom in terms of moving on.

Matt Benning ($1,900,000): I’m not saying that the Oilers should trade Benning, I actually think he’s a decent option for the third pairing, but I can also see a scenario where the Oilers would potentially want to have that spot available for someone like Bear, Bouchard, or Persson.

Brandon Manning ($2,500,000): Dare to dream? Burying Manning in the minors next year will make his cap hit $1,175,000, saving the team $1.3 million, but I don’t think we’ll be getting out from under that deal any time soon.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6,000,000): I can definitely understand why other teams would want to take a run at Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but I don’t see how the Oilers will get better by moving their third-leading scorer. Unless the deal knocks the Oilers’ socks off, I can’t see Nuge going anywhere.

BUYOUTS

At the moment, the Oilers will have $1.63 million in dead space tied up in buyouts to Benoit Pouliot and Eric Gryba and I don’t know how much more they’d be willing to add onto that total. I know we’ve talked about buying out players like Lucic and Russell, but I don’t think that paying those guys millions to not play here is necessarily going to help all that much. For a guy like Lucic, there are years where you wouldn’t even save any money at all and that’s not a great use of space. For Kris Russell, year two of his buyout would see the Oilers eating $3.4 million in dead space because of his signing bonuses, which makes that idea less than ideal as well.

At the end of the day, I don’t know that buying guys out is going to be a realistic option for the Oilers given the age and contract length of the players you’d want to get rid of. That said, I also wouldn’t have expected the Oilers to pay for Benoit Pouliot years after he’s been moved out of town so who the hell knows what’s going to happen. All I know for sure is that buying players out hasn’t necessarily worked out so well for us so far, and starting now could actually make things worse.

WHAT TO DO?

As I mentioned at the top of this article, the Oilers are going to have to get creative if they’re going to clear cap space for next season. Unfortunately, most of the bad deals the Oilers have also come with term and they’ll probably need to add sweeteners to any trade they make unless the expectation is to swap one bad contract for another. Needless to say, the Oilers will have some very interesting decisions to make in the coming months as they try to upgrade basically every area on their depth chart with next to no money available. Whether it’s adding assets to trades or adding millions to the buyout column, the Oilers are going to be a very interesting team to watch as the offseason rolls on. How they navigate these waters will likely determine whether or not we’ll be having this same conversation again next summer. What do you guys think?

      • Not trolling here Mr Milk, I was up in Edmonton for the first time in a while last weekend, First thing I tune into was Oilers Now where I was informed that the Oilers have incredible depth in defence and goaltending and just need to address the wingers. What a pile of buffalo bagels. Have a Flames flag on my truck , and not 1 of my buddies gave me a hard time at all. Met a few people around town that are not renewing and the majority were ready to give up when they got whammied to pay triple what they used to at Rexall and the increases every year since then. Most of them were PO’d mostly about the fact that taxpayers ponied up for this , only to be gouged and have the owner disappear. Most of the ones i talked to were talking about Connors draft year, and they got sucked in again. They wont be next year, and as always. #FIRETHEMALL or the same circus will just continue, they really do treat all fans regardless of which tier as idiots and cashcows.

        • JumboJim

          The Sens will have trouble reaching the cap floor, need to stay in the tank, and are desperate for a first-round pick both because they’re rebuilding and to soften the blow of the Avs having their pick this summer. There’s a deal to be had there.

    • Kool-Aid Man

      The “new” GM will not move either player. “new” GM will be told by Bobby Nicks (via the OBC) that he’s only a figure head there to fool “stupid Oiler fans”. He will not be making any decisions regarding player personnel, he is only there to announce player personnel changes as his own. Stupid Oiler fans will not know the difference.

      • wiseguy

        OBC May also tell the new GM that Griffin Reinhart has now over-ripened after 2 years in the AHL and is ready to be an NHL star. A 1st rounder plus Bouchard should do it. That way we get a player that is more NHL ready to help us this year instead of Bouchard who may need 1-2 years in the AHL.

  • QuitForRealThisTime

    You accept the reality that 2019-2020 season will be another painful one and you forget about it, move on to making this team a legitimate contender for 2020-2021. So you do almost nothing and hope the health of the team is good enough to squeak into the playoff.
    Allow the Condors youth to thrive, adding Bouchard etc to this team and have them push for a Calder cup.
    2020 – If a lockout occurs and a compliance buyout is available great, by by Lucic. If there is no lockout and the expansion Seattle team comes in you ay be able to this as an opportunity to convince them to take Lucic for incentives.
    With Jones and Bouchard (Hopefully Benson, Marody, JP, Yamo are also pushing) now ready to take on Full time nhl roles you can move Russel and Sekera. Should in theory be easier to move with only one year left on their respective deals.
    Cap should be up at least $4mil from days cap.
    Gags, Kassin, Brodiak,Manning cap hits are gone.
    Fill in the blanks with well scouted pro talent and done.

    • ziyan94

      Agreed.

      Nobody can change this team from its current state to a contender in just 1 summer. The only way we will have sustained success is through investing in proper scouts to help us draft and develop waves of young prospects from within.

      Take the hit this year, let the new GM figure out a long term plan, clear out the bad contracts in the 2020 summer while replacing them with young, cheap players.

  • Hemmercules

    JP’s stock is high right now? Anyone who thinks JP has high value at this point and time might be the one who is high. His value dropped the instant the Oilers called his name at the draft. I can’t see any team offering much more than a mid round pick for him or an equally lacklustre project player.

    Main focus should be to offload Lucic and one of Sekera/Russel. Moving any one of those 3 opens up some decent cap space if they dont bring back any money. Keep Chiasson if the money and term doesn’t get out of hand. Let all those other UFA’s walk. Keeping JP and Jujar will be very cheap. Find a backup and a couple cheaper UFA forwards or make a small trade.

    No need to get crazy this summer. Building a contender for next season will never happen. Draft, develop and build patiently and good things will happen beyond next season.

    • Towers-of-dub

      moving out Lucic, Sekera, or Russell will open up cap space, but what do the oilers do with cap space? The sign guys like Lucic, Sekera, and Russell.

    • Rock11

      Kills me that people lump Sekera in with Russell in these discussions. Yes Sekera may be overpaid at this point but he brings actual value to the team even after two major injuries. Benning was everybody’s whipping boy early this season and then Sekera shows up beside him and his game immediately turned around. In the meantime Kris Russell is probably doing a snow angel in the street somewhere as we speak and dragging Nurse into traffic with him. If Russell can be moved he can be replaced internally by Bouchard or Persson with no drop off and an immediate $3m cap savings. Maybe we can even recoup the third that was wasted on Petrovic.

        • Rock11

          I’m surprised you are surprised. The pro Russell fans are legion. They would much rather see a guy sacrifice his body for the team as opposed to strip the puck, avoid a hit, and make a clean breakout pass. COWBOY BABY!

        • Really matters not to me, just commenting on what I saw and heard. To borrow from another poster. I QUIT FOR REAL THIS TIME. Absolute farce and gets worse every time one of these idiots opens their traps to prove they really have no clue, but wont resign for the good of the team. Sportsnet and 630 CHED have both asked for access to Katz and have been denied. The City of Edmonton should renege on the deal, but too late, quite frankly if I could pull off a scam like this using taxpayer money, i would do it in a heartbeat. No Oilers at all for me next year unless the new GM (oops , I mean puppet) cleans house, and we know it will not happen. BN should clean house before the hire, but protecting FOG and FOK’S is still more important than on ice success.

  • JBear

    Obviously, keep Chiasson if the price is right. It looks like they will need 2 forward and 1 defensive farm hand to really step up. I really liked Benning’s game at the end of the season and feel like they need to keep Sekera and Gravel just for the sanity of the fans. I know this D-core isn’t good enough to be a contender but we don’t have the cap space this season to get a #1/#1A Dman yet. Once Manning, Pouliot, and Gryba are off the books then they can think of it. I love Lucic but he’s an anchor until he’s off the books.

  • OnDaWagon

    Here is what you might be able to do. If the Leafs lose to the Bruins, you might be able to trade Lucic for Nylander. The Leafs need toughness, which Lucic will provide. The Oilers need goals, which Nylander should be able to provide. But if you believe you are going to rid yourselves of Lucic contract, without taking something back, good luck with that.

  • toprightcorner

    Gravel needs to be retained. Not signing him to make room for a young AHL dman is stupid because you don’t want those guys spending lots of time in the press box. A #7 dman is a player that can spend 10 days or more in a row in the press box. For an AHL player to make the jump, one of the top top 6 dmen have to be traded.

    Gravel is the perfect #7, cheap, steady, capable and playing less than 30 games doesn’t hurt his development

    • TKB2677

      I thought Gravel did just fine for the Oilers but I don’t see a reason to keep him. The league is moving towards dmen who can skate and move the puck. None of which he does overly well. So there than being cheap, what exactly does he bring to the team?

    • Rock11

      Best chance to move Lucic is post July 1 and trade him to Ottawa for B. Ryan. Ottawa retains a little to make the cap hits match and the deal is done. Yes it doesn’t save cap space but Ryan’s deal expires first and he can at least chip in a little offense. Ryan’s deal is a little more buyout friendly as well. Ottawa keeps the same cap hit but saves actual dollars which is right up Melnyks’ alley. Not a perfect move but better than as is.

      • cityofchampions

        I think Edmonton and Ottawa could work out something to suit both teams, but the problem is is Lucic would never agree to waive his NMC to go to Ottawa. He’d go to LA…but we’d have to take Kovy back and he probably wouldn’t agree to come here with his NMC.

  • Die Hard Oiler Fan

    I don’t think any new GM stands much chance of significantly improving our cap situation for next year.
    Baggedmilk, as you have pointed out, buyouts of some of the players (Lucic, Sekera, Russell, Manning) accomplish very little. Perhaps a team like Ottawa might have interest in Russell give that they need to get to the cap floor. Russell’s actual salary over the final two years of his contract is quite a bit less than his cap hit, which might be enticing for Ottawa. Ottawa might like some experience on the back end until their young dmen have a chance to develop. That said, no guarantee Russell waiveshis NMC, nor that Ottawa would want him.
    The Oil have a lot of promising D prospects (Jones, Bear, Bouchard, Lagesson, and maybe Persson), and need to start making room for them shortly. The question for me is, can the Oil move either of them prior to the end of their contracts (Spring of 2021). Perhaps everything is going to have to run its course, in which by the end of 2019/20 Manning and Gagner would likely be gone (over $4M off the books, allowing for burying Manning in AHL); and then Sekera and Russell ($9.5M) by Spring of 2021, along with the end of the Pouliot buyout. By then Lucic might be the only contract we would really want to get rid of (praying for the compliance buyout option as part of the Seattle expansion).
    In the meantime, draft (definitely keep our #8 pick this year, and the 2nd rounder too), and develop. Bakersfield has had a great year, but there is not that much forward depth just yet, especially, if one or two of the young prospects like Benson or Marody were to graduate.

    • Rock11

      More depth on the way actually. Maksimov and Mcleod will be in the Bake next year. I’m guessing Safin stays in Junior one more year due to the injuries. I think there is enough depth now that a player or two could graduate each year and the top line in the AHL could still all be actual prospects.

  • toprightcorner

    NO BUYOUTS!!

    Buyouts are stupid, all it does is extend how long to get full cap relief. Buyouts are only good for non-cap teams.

    Trade players and retain up to the max of 50% of their contract. There is no extra term in the cap hit and the sooner you can utilize all of your cap space.

    To do this, you have to see how much it would cost to replace that player with at least equivalent ability and if you save money, yo do the deal. If you don’t save but improve your team, you do the deal.

    I would trade the following:

    Sekera – with a $5.5 cap hit, he probably makes $2 mill too much. If the Oilers could trade him and retain $2 mill, there are likely teams that could use him as a #4 or #5 dman. Sekera is on the 3rd pair and can be replaced by Jones at around $900k. That saves the team $2.6 mill in cap, which would be a 3C.

    Russell – I like Russell, but with some of the playoff upsets we will see this year, I could see Russell being in demand. He is a perfect playoff performer. He sacrifices himself, is consistent and always gives 100% effort. A team like PIT, TBL, TOR, WPG or STL would be interested. Also teams with a young d-core could use his leadership like DAL, VAN, PHI or BUF could use his grit and compete. I don’t even think you would have to retain much salary. PIT paid Jack Johnson $3.25 until he is 37, Russel is worth at least $3.5 mill. You probably don’t have to retain much, if anything, depending on what the Oilers get back. A decent 3rd liner making $2 mill that scores 10-12 goals and retain $500k and the Oilers save $1.5 mill and fill a need. The only key is that the Oilers need to have a 2nd pairing RD before making that trade

    Manning – OTT is decimated, they need bottom pairing dman and Manning could likely make that team. OTT probably needs to add cap just to make the floor. Oilers can retain $1 mill and they save $375K compared to burying him in the minors where they don’t have room for him anyway.

    You will not be able to trade Lucic. He is stuck on your 4th line unless he finally uses a skills coach this summer and puts up 12 goals and 25 points. Then you may be able to trade him by retaining half his salary and giving up an asset.

    Benning – I don’t trade Benning this summer. Wait to see if Persson can take his spot. Benning is decent and only overpaid by about $300k so unless you have someone who can prove they can fill that spot, keep him and trade him in the middle of next season.

    Those trades save the Oilers $3.875 in cap space, after those players are replaced, which would pay for a 2nd line winger or most of a 2RD. The best thing is that no extended cap punishment.

    • TKB2677

      Interesting thoughts. I don’t see a lot of fault in any of them. For a Sekera or Russell trade, I do not think you get a lot back but that’s fine.

      For Lucic. I agree that a trade isn’t likely BUT I think teams value players like Lucic. You don’t have to look any further than the brand new team who had a clean slate, who’s execs got to sit back and watch how the league was going. Skill and speed. So even with all that, Vegas STILL went out and traded for Reaves, a career goon then went on to sign him for 2 years at 2.775 mill. He put up a career high 9 goals and 20 pts this year. Lucic who’s just as big, just as tough, just as physical and just as intimidating, had 6 goals, 20 pts. I have said it all along that I firmly believe that if somehow Lucic was moved, he would be a lot better for whatever team. Maybe not over 20 goals but teens in goals and push 35+ pts. If the Oilers retained as much as 50% I seriously wonder if a team would trade for Lucic. Always has been, always will be. Lucic has ZERO offensive confidence, to the point he won’t even shoot anymore. He had 74 shots this year, half as many as last year and 2.5 times less than when he score 23 for the Oilers his first year. He had 259 hits this year. In order to get that many hits, you have to be able to get to a guys while the play is still going on. So while his skating isn’t the best, it’s not as bad as people make it sound. Same goes for the offense. He still gets chances every game. He either misses the net, hits the post or flubs it but he is still in position to get chances, he’s just not cashing them in. If he was that slow, he wouldn’t even get chances. So I just wonder if Lucic was making 3 mill, would a team bite?

      I look no further than the Lightning. The Lightning were the run away best team in the league by 21 pts, were a full 30 points ahead of Columbus and they are getting their show run by the bigger, nastier Columbus team. It’s to the point where guys like Kucherov are getting suspended and Stamkos is sucker punching guys. You have to wonder if the Lightning went too far with 100% speed and skill. If the Leafs lose to the Bruins again and the Leafs are built solely on speed and skill, did they go too far that way? In the playoffs big boy hockey still reins supreme.

      • fasteddy

        If you’re trading Luc to save $3mill then essentially that’s the same as pretending he is a $3mill player….so why bother? Is the $3mill player you bring in just to break even any better than Luc? I doubt it. I’m not saying don’t trade him….but I am saying keeping any amount of salary doesn’t improve the situation. I’d rather see them trade Luc and a 2nd rounder and a lower tier prospect for say a 7th rounder….then they are truly gaining flexibility. (At the cost of a 2nd rounder unfortunately, but at least there’s gain on the cap)

    • A-co

      How can you mention tiger Woods and lucic in the same sentence….may as well throw Wayne Gretzky into the mix….if a great player like Wayne Gretzky can get traded there is no reason why Milan Lucic an underpaid over achieving brilliant scoring winger can’t be traded….you make me sick when you speak Maurice…HA

  • vetinari

    I honestly feel like the last year of Chiarelli was just throwing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks. We entered July 2018 pressed to the cap with only room for a few forward UFAs (Reider and Chiasson); bought out Gryba and added yet more onto our cap for two years (WTF?); we ignored our problems on defence and started the year with guys playing above their heads; Chiarelli then randomly added Manning (WTFx10???) and Petrovic for one of our few scoring wingers and picks and they both sat for most of the year; and then we signed our backup goalie with little NHL experience to starter’s pay for three more years. Bizarre. And then with the trade deadline and little prospect of making the playoffs on the horizon, we did… nothing? We could have at least maybe recovered a few picks and give the new GM some chips to use at the draft and we couldn’t even do that?

    • toprightcorner

      PC never understood the cap and didn’t care. All he did was ask if they would fit this year and didn’t care about other years. That is what BOS said after they fired him and you can see by his moves.

      This year, he didn’t care about anything but trying to get to the playoffs so he wouldn’t get fired. He didn’t care about the future cap, it was all about today.

  • Towers-of-dub

    if the Oilers get rid of Lucic, Sekera, Russell, Manning, or Petrovic, they’ll just use the cap space to sign the equivalent of those guys. They’ll over pay by $2MM/yr, but instead of having them for 2 or 4 more years, they’ll have them signed for 7.

    • Towers-of-dub

      Edmonton has to over pay for UFAs to go there. No GM is offering up 1st pairing D, or top 6 wingers in return for Lucic, Sekera, Russell, Manning, or Petrovic. Sekera and Russell can still play hockey. Play them on the 3rd pairing. Play Lucic on the 4th line and just accept it until he becomes moveable.

      • toprightcorner

        Wow, so you don’t think a GM will give up a 1st pairing dman for players another team is considering buying out? That can’t be true, I bet you package them all up and the new GM could get a 75 point winger in return!! Haha!

  • Schmidt Head

    Said it before and I’ll say it again. What the Oilers need to do this off-season is the one thing they’ve NOT done in every other off-season which is leave things alone!!

    All of Chia’s stupid moves are done and over with and can’t be undone so forget about them! For once, can we keep what we’ve got, build on it and develop the talent we have instead of trading it away in a panic for some plug that can barely skate?!

    Every year, it’s the same thing. Complete failure in the season past followed by a nervous, panicky management trying to make that one magic trade or signing that’s somehow going to turn us from doormats into champions in one fell swoop.

    And every year, it blows up in our faces!! The reason this team never gets any better is because the stupid management never learns their lessons! Could we please; just this once, not do that and just let things take their own course?

  • Serious Gord

    Essentials that RNH get traded this off season. Get max value and talent that will still be under contract 4-5 years from now because there is no way he re-signs.

    Bitter message for sure but it’s courageous moves like that that this team needs to make.

    • Towers-of-dub

      they’d still be left with the bigger problem on Non-NHL players on the roster. They’d get rid of a competent second line center, in return hopefully for a top pairing defenseman, but it wouldn’t eliminate the problem of a truly wretched bottom 6, or even a decent winger to play on the top 2 lines. I don’t see how trading RNH improves the team. I think the goal here has to be getting rid of non-NHL level players, not a 1 for 1 deal of NHL players.

      • Serious Gord

        They already have a second line centre named Draisaitl. They should ge looking for talented forwards – not defense- in three years hopefully the d prospects will fill the void.

        There are no surefire wingers in the org who can play 1-2 line – get a couple with RNH.

    • Retired Secret Agent

      @ Serious G. You don’t trade Nuge for 2 or 3 lesser players. Or worse, draft picks that are no use to the Oilers for 3 or 4 years. That’ crazy talk. “Get good players. Keep good players !”

      • Serious Gord

        When he’s a FA in two years leaving for nothing (or traded for far less at that seasons deadline come back and tell us that.)

        The orgs focus has to be three plus years out – not next season.

    • camdog

      It will take at a year of good management before an Oiler GM is capable of getting max value. When your management executive has developed a culture of losing trades other teams aren’t so giving.

  • Spoils

    Schultz, Perron, Maroon, Eberle, Paajarvi… there are a lot of ex-Oilers that are important parts of teams that would be damn useful. We need to be careful in our quest for cap space that we don’t create more problems than we solve. Trading Eberle for Strome included the idea that $2M saved was meaningful. In that case, mgt was dead wrong.

    Here’s an example: while we wait for Bouchard to matriculate, we could probably use Sekera. He might not be worth the money, and his cap hit might be easier to clear off but I’m not convinced it’s a good move. He’s a cerebral player and Giordano has certainly proved old dogs can still have bite.

    Sometimes a useful overpay isn’t the end of the world.

  • Go oilers go

    Andreas a. Dylan Larkin and Detroit’s sixth overall for Draisaitl and Benning…oil draft turcotte and zegras…is that wishful thinking or fair deal?

  • Aquavid

    Having cap space may be a danger to the team as they would be willing to use it and sign more people to disastrous results. Stay the course for one year and a couple of the bad contracts are off the books permanently. By the trade deadline next year, you might be able to clear Russel and Sekera for draft picks and prospects and you’ll be able to find good replacements in the off-season. Both McDavid and McDraistl are on long term contracts. You’ll have years of being contenders if you accept a little short term pain now.

  • Still Hate the Flames

    On an unrelated note, boy is it fun over on Flames Nation tonight. This comment so far has 12 cheers and 1 trash: “Gaudreau and Monaghan are not playoff players, because they are afraid to hit hard. They are too soft and chicken.”
    The reply was this:
    TheRock
    1 HOUR AGO
    TRASH IT! 0
    CHEERS 1
    REPLY
    “There is a name for guys like this that starts with the letter P and ends with a Y.”

    Puts a smile on my face.

  • Ben918

    I agree with Oilerz4life. Koskinen and Lucic should be the players shopped. However the only way I see this happening is if the Oilers retain salary/take a bad contract back. None of it ideal but it is the reality they have. There is a chance that they could give an asset like picks to someone if they take the contract as a couple teams have space they can fill. Still that is not ideal either. Pairing a guy like Nuge with Lucic might work but you would want to be sure you can land a big name player with the cap space. As for the NMC, there are ways to make a player want to leave. Problem is that Lucic has got his money. It is unlikely he will ever sign another contract that is a fraction of what the Oilers paid him. So you could probably bench him and he would be just as happy. Maybe that is the same for Sekeras who can pretty much bank on a career ending injury with how fragile he is. Chia really screwed us.

  • J from gp

    At next years deadline, would any teams looking for defensive depth trade for Russel, for maybe a 4th round pick? I would. That would free up 4 mil, then hopefully Bear would be ready to step in at that point.

  • This cap situation is probably the worst the Oilers have ever had. The 2019-2020 season is already looking hopeless for playoffs. Are McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, Nurse, and Chiasson going to have career years again? Don’t bank on it.

    I think we simply start looking at the 2020-2021 season, if there is one. And don’t forget about the expansion draft and adding Seattle to the division.

    So who will still be around then?

    Draisaitl – McDavid – ?
    ? – Nuge – [Yamamoto]
    [Gambardella] – [Marody] – [Currie]
    Lucic – [Malone] – [P. Russell]

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Sekera – Russell
    [Jones] – [Bouchard]
    [Persson]

    Koskinen

    Which means, will they resign Nurse or trade him or trade Sekera and/or Russell and leave Nurse?
    I would like to see Kassian stick around for veteran presence, speed, skill, and toughness, even on that top line.

  • ROILYDoGG$

    First dump money. Russel, I liked his play this year but too much money for us going forward. Need youth.$4.00
    Manning dump for anything or anyone that will take him. $2.25
    Reider -RFA gone
    Brodziak- trade to young team for a draft pick. $1.2
    Petrovic- RFA rights,trade for a draft pick
    That frees up 7.45 million for a UFA and to resign players. Not including Rieders $2.00 mill off the books.

    Bring Rattie back for another try on Nuges RH side, with almost identical stats to Pirri but 2 years younger. You can’t play either of these players on the 4th line and expect them to succeed. Which is what TMac and Hitch did.

    Chassion yes for under 1.5

    Dri McD kass
    UFA Nuge Rattie
    KHAIRA Gagne Pulj
    Lucic Cave Chassion

    Sign a scorer or elite power forward to slot in with Nuge with the
    Marody might make the Cut also. Fill in for injuries.
    One of my biggest issues was the proper deployment of players by the coaches, putting them in positions to fail. For example when the injuries happened they brought up jones,
    Gravel was fine on D yet they made stupid trades to bring in guys worse then him.

    I like the idea of trading the bad contracts to the Sens due to them needing cap dollars. Maybe we package it up for a useful player.