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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers can clear money if they get creative

Baggedmilk dug into whether the Oilers can clear salary or not on Monday. He outlined movable and anchor contracts. It will be difficult. The Oilers can move salary, but only if they get creative. The organization needs to systematically change how they think and operate if they want to get out of salary-cap jail.

Edmonton’s salary cap situation isn’t good, but it’s salvageable. The Oilers have made their bed, but I’m bullish on them being able to turn things around. They need to fundamentally change how they manage and utilize the cap more efficiently, but there’s a way out. No more big free-agent contracts or bloated restricted free-agent deals without exploiting the leverage they have.

It’s unlikely the Oilers will be contenders next season, but they can open cap space to get there in the next few seasons.

Terrible contracts are always movable. Just like Wayne Gretzky was traded (twice), so was David Clarkson and his albatross contract. Sure, it took trading him for a player who was effectively retired, but the point remains: anyone can be traded.

Nov 24, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Milan Lucic (27) against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Buffalo beats Edmonton 3 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers have a glut of players on poor contracts: Milan Lucic, Sam Gagner, Andrej Sekera, Kris Russell, Brandon Manning, Mikko Koskinen.

Gagner and Manning only have a year remaining on their deals. Burying Manning in the minors is a $200K difference compared to a buyout, which adds $666K to the cap in 2020-21. A buyout is pointless unless the goal is to save Daryl Katz money.

Gagner’s contract isn’t great, but he scored at a 32-point pace after being reacquired by the Oilers. $3.15-million is a little expensive for a third liner, but for one year it’s not a big deal. A Gagner buyout clears $2.1 million next season, but adds $1.06 million in 2020-21. The Oilers do not need more dead money, even if it’s only a million or so. They’ll have at least $1.33 million committed to buyouts to Benoit Pouliot and Eric Gryba for the next two seasons. I’d even consider re-signing Gagner for cheap if he was interested.

We don’t need to relitigate Koskinen’s extension. It wasn’t good or necessary, but that is the only contract I consider unmovable. The hope is Koskinen gives the Oilers something near league-average goaltending.

Bad contracts always exist, but teams are always there to lend a helping hand. History shows Milan Lucic, Kris Russell, and Andrej Sekera are all movable in some capacity.

Lucic probably won’t be moved at his full $6-million cap hit without significant assets attached with him. The key is retaining enough salary to entice a team and gain more cap relief than a buyout yields. Lucic has a $3-million signing bonus on July 1st. His actual salary is lower than his cap hit from then on.

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

Lucic is a fourth, maybe third, line player at this point in his career, but he’s still Milan Lucic. Teams know he’s not the same 45-point guy who is a menace on the ice, but he’s still has name recognition and by all accounts seems like a good teammate.

Could there be compliance buyouts with a new collective-bargaining agreement? Possibly. There won’t be a restructuring of the salary cap, but compliance buyouts mean the player gets paid in full, can get a new contract, and teams have more space for to pay other players. Banking on that is a risk.

Underperforming players making $4 or $5 million get moved frequently.

The Carolina Hurricanes managed to turn Victor Rask and his $4-million-per-year contract into Nino Niederreiter. Rask is four years younger than Lucic and can play center, but he had 31 points in 2017-18 and just six in 26 games (an 18-point pace over 82 games) with Carolina before being traded. He scored three points in 23 games with Minnesota. Rask has three years left on his contract. Niederreiter scored 30 points in 36 with the Hurricanes.

Dion Phaneuf has been traded twice in the past three years. Toronto didn’t retain any salary when they sent him to Ottawa, they but picked up a few short-term contracts with mid-level money. The second Phaneuf trade is probably more applicable to the Oilers. The Senators retained $1.75 million of Phaneuf’s contract and took back Marian Gaborik’s contract. Gaborik played 16 games for the Senators in 2017-18, but he’s been on long-term injured reserve since.

The Los Angeles Kings traded Tanner Pearson, with two more years at $3.75-million left, to Pittsburgh for Carl Hagelin, who is on an expiring contract. Pittsburgh flipped Pearson to Vancouver for Erik Gudbranson and his $4-million cap hit for two more seasons. The Kings dumped a struggling, expensive player during a rebuilding time, while the Canucks saved a bit of cap space to take a chance on a skilled winger in exchange for an overpaid, limited defenceman.

The Oilers don’t need to dump all of Lucic, Sekera, and Russell before next season, but resolving the Lucic situation and trading one of Sekera or Russell should be a priority. Trade down in salary and take a reclamation project like the Canucks did with Pearson. Pearson had 9 goals and 12 points in 18 games with Vancouver.  Peter Chiarelli is gone. There’s no obligation left to the players other than their no-move clauses.



      • crabman

        @Trainreck,
        I didn’t trash your comment, and agree this management team is/has been a trainwreck of it’s own, but I’m taking this time before a new gm is hired to be optimistic that he will clean house when he arrives and hire a competent group who know what they are doing.
        I know history has shown us that the Oilers don’t make the right decision but thos is the time of the year we can dream of a new day in the Oilers front office. Atleast until Nicholson hires a buddy and we are no further ahead than we were.

          • crabman

            @trainreck,
            I know not directed at me. I was just prefacing my statement. And I agree this management has zero credibility at thos point. I’m just choosing to be optimistic at this point. If not I may be passing up my only opportunity this off season to do so.

        • JuniorSplash

          A GM can’t fire ppl above him…this is where most of our problems lie. A president hiring is what this team needs…and a capable president can hire the right GM and so forth…not the buffoon in Nicholson we have calling these shots.

          • crabman

            @JuniorSplash,
            No, but unless the team also hires a POHO the GM will be responsible for everything hockey related. And if the team isn’t talking about hiring a POHO already, and that is who normaly would be hiring the GM, I’m lead to believe that they don’t plan on hiring one unless it is a dual role of GM and POHO. Either way the new hire would be able to get rid of everyone except Nicholson on the hockey side. And everyone except Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Lowe of the old boys club would be fireable because they are on the business side.

  • Homer

    I also agree Lucic can be moved, Reeves in Vegas is making 3 mill a year and is nowhere near the player Lucic is. Teams like Tampa will be all over trying to get team toughness, speed don’t win unless you can also grind it out

      • JuniorSplash

        Reeves is also always talking, getting under ppls skin, on and off the ice. Getting in ppls heads, He puts ppl on edge, all the things Lucic has forgotten how to do.

      • crabman

        @Oilmann99,
        Reeves had a great season by hit standards and had a career high 20 points. Lucic had an awful year by his standards and had a career low 20 points. I don’t think there are many people who would actually think Reeves is a more skilled player than Lucic. If a team was willing to trade for Reeves at $3M a year there is still hope that a team would take Lucic at half salary retained leaving him as a $3M player. I’m sure if it was just 1 or 2 years remaining on yhe Lucic contract it could be moved fairly easily. The difficulty comes with the fact there is still 4 more years remaining.

    • JuniorSplash

      Toronto are a bunch of wimps…give them Lucic, yammamoto and our first this year for the underachieving Nylander. At the end of the day is Yammamoto ever gonna be NHL ready? 8th overall pick is a couple years away from being an impact….if we don’t screw up the pick again. Also Tampa might be a candidate needing a nuclear deterrent.

        • JuniorSplash

          Sekera, Russell, Lucic…these are all salaries that should be attempted to move. Our problem isn’t Lucic’s salary, it’s where he’s playing in the lineup with his given salary. Nylander would fill that need for the winger this team needs.

    • TKB2677

      I completely agree. When Reeves who is a career goon can get picked up by a brand new team like Vegas, get almost 3 mill to be a goon and on your 4th line AND PLAY a regular shift, teams value what they do still. Lucic is a better player than Reeves. He just makes WAY too much money. So while it won’t be easy, if the Oilers retain salary, I think there is a chance that Lucic would move.

  • Consultant

    It should be the first question to all new GM candidates, “what would you do with Lucic”.
    Our new GM believing our players have value is key, no more just giving them away or taking a huge loss to move them. Lucic does have value to some team, go out and find that team, be proactive, be innovative…

  • TKB2677

    I think Russell will get moved. Russell has warts but he’s an OK 4-5 guy who can play on both sides, is a heart and soul guy, gives you everything he has, sacrifices his body for his team and he blocks shots. When I see the amount of praise that Marner got for blocking a freaking shot at the end of game 3, I know teams and especially coaches value what he does. If you put him with a steady partner who can move the puck and preferably don’t force him to play is off side, I think he can be alright. There were times when he and Nurse were decent but I think part of it was because Nurse is still inconsistent and Russell had to play his off side and was expected to be the steady guy, they had problems.

    • russ99a

      It would be smart to keep Russell because his salary goes way down in another year, which makes him attractive to cap rich, money poor teams at the next trade deadline, right when at least one and maybe more of the prospects in the AHL will be ready to take on an NHL role.

      Sekera has the heftier contract and there’s still a risk he gets injured, or doesn’t get back to the same level of play a year after his surgery which is the usual expected complete recovery time. He is the better player at 100% but what if he doesn’t get there? Also his cap hit is higher and his NMC opens up to more trade possibilities in July than Russell’s NMC downgrade.

      • TKB2677

        My preference would be to get rid of both because I think the Oilers need to add at least 2 new dmen who can skate and move the puck. Sekera is a decent passer but the footspeed isn’t there. He was never the fastest guy but after 2 leg injuries, his footspeed has to have taken a hit. I just don’t know if anyone would take him. A lot of unknowns of what he will be. If he can play in a top 4 role, then maybe but at his age and given the severity of injuries he had to his legs, being a top 4 guy might not be in the cards.

        At least with Russell, he’s younger, mostly healthy, is a way better skater so you know what you get with him.

      • Rock11

        Russell is simply not nearly the player Sekera is. It isn’t close. Consider that when they were free agents Russell was forced to sign a one year prove it deal after camps opened and Sekera signed long term for $5.5m the first day of FA. That is how the leagues views these players. I get that a certain % of Oiler fans fetishize the grit of blocking shots over the finesse of stealing the puck from an opponent and making a quality first pass but at some point don’t we have to realize that Russell is not a 4-5 but more of a 6-7 type guy. Tough guy. Good teammate. Zero ability to move the puck. All you need to do is look at Benning’s turnaround with Sekera as his partner to know how valuable Rej is. Don’t underestimate a healthy summer to train to help with his mobility. If it is either or in moving a D-man it should be Russell all day.

        • russ99a

          Also have to remember Russell has been playing on his off side the last two years, and when he’s been on the left side he’s put up much better offensive numbers. If we can find a 2RD we could do a lot worse for our 3LD until someone takes his place around the deadline.

  • Spoils

    Sekera is a player we need to be careful with. His contract is more manageable despite the NMC. His buy-out is nowehere near as onerous as Lucic’s. But, Giordano’s ability to be an outstanding DMan in his mid-30s should provide at least some reasons to reconsider… Chara, Weber etc. value can be extracted from old D.

    Maybe that idea could be sold to a team that needed D. Maybe a trade to get a scoring forward back along with some cap space… Sure his 15-18min TOI is not worthy of the $5.5M cap hit…

    Interesting asset and how Sekera is handled will be a great early signal regarding our new GM.

    • TKB2677

      Giordano is a way better skater than Sekera and didn’t blow out his ACL which takes about a year to fully recover from, then follow it up with blowing out his achilies. Those are 2 MAJOR injuries to Sekera’s leg. Plus what Gio is doing, it not the norm.

      • crabman

        My concern with Sekera is amplified by the fact that the league keeps getting younger and faster. Even 5 years ago I would be less concerned by the leg injuries. Sekera was never more than an average skater to start with but more than made up for it with his reads and positioning. The concern is, will he still be able to make up for his lack of speed this way. I still feel he has more value to the team than Russell though and will be a good D partner and mentor for one of our young D on the bottom.pairing next year.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    If I were the Oilers, I would trade Larson and Benning. Gravel can fill Benning’s spot and Gravel is cheap, he isnt flashy but he is steady and he can shoot the puck. I would see how Russel is during the season, if it is a mixed bag even though I like 75% of Russel’s game and I can move him to a team that needs what Russel brings then you make a trade. Rattie and Reider I wouldnt bring back. Brodziak I would bury in the minors his better days were long behind him and I dont see him making any real contributions next year based on this year. Stolarz, if you could sign him to a tow way that might not be bad if we need some goaltending help in the AHL and maybe just see what he could do down there for a potentail back up spot down the road, and he’s cheap. Lucic contract is buyout proof so unless a team needs to meet the cap floor or thing having Lucic would help their younger guys a trade could be had, but I think Lucic is back here next year. Sekera I would hang onto, he is steady on defence and he moves the puck, pair him with someone like Gravel r someone else and they could be a good tandem, you could always trade Sekera down the road if needed, but the Oilers need a guy who can move the puck. Gange I like, but if I can find someone to take him, I do it. I think guys like Currie and those of his ilk out there that are young , hungry and have something to prove are what we need and they are inexpensive. I think Currie would have fared better but I didnt understand Hitch burying him on the 4th line with linemates where his chances to score were limited. The money saved by moving Gagne could be used better elsewhere.

    Cave you keep I think the kid is okay, and he is cheap and can with draws and isnt afraid to go into the dirty areas and makes plays with the puck. PoolParty I think will want a one way deal and short term so if he doesnt get going he can get out, I dont see his agent wanting him to sign for less or long, I think he will end up in Europe unless Jesse wqants to play here. I’d love to see the Jesse we saw in the preseason making plays lots of confidence and who knows maybe camp will show us that guy, but I think his agent will lean on him to go to europe and try and get a trade done, I will be suprised if poolparty is back here next season outside of camp

    Chaisson I would try and resign, didnt understand the Oilers not signing him way back for cheaper, it will be more money now to sign him when I believe we could have gotten him for less and will he get scooped by another team, I would suspect other teams are going to try to get him JJ you re-sign, I think his injuries dragged him down last season, get him healthy and if he can be like he was the year before, then your golden. Kassian I am torn on, he wanted out and disappeared for a season and a half, so which Kassian are we going to see next year? The one that showed up in the latter half of the season or the one that dissapeared for a season and a half. I see how it goes with him and if he dissapears he goes. The Oilers need to get Kskinen working with a proven NHL goalie coach during the off season and they need a poroven NHL goalie coach before camp, Schwartz has to go and then the Oilers better be looking for a 1B that can do at least 30 games if not 40, because I would be lying if I said I am not concerned about Koskinen right now. The Oilers need to stop with the retread projects, pinning are hopes on Brodziak and who ever it was that couldnt pass their physical is assinine, most of those guys are on their last legs and how much do you expect them to bring to the table?

  • camdog

    When other teams clear cap space it’s too sign their young players to raises. When Oilers try and clear cap space it’s so they can sign more over priced free agents. Unless your getting rid of Lucic or Manning the other moves seem like lateral moves. Until prospects start to develop into good NHL players, the Oilers will always be behind the curve.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I didnt like the way Chia re signed Benning , Strome, Kassian and Cagguila to more money than was necessary at the time, no teams were banging down the Oilers door for any of them, so there was no reason not to get them with signed with nominal increases…. still dont understand why he did it

  • OilCan2

    Trading off big, bloated contracts is going after the symptom. Go ahead and pull a rabbit out of a hockey helmut if you can; but….Keep Russell and Sekera and let someone like Jones or Bouchard (or both) go for a 5/6D spot. The answer for the Oilers is to win games and up and coming players on low $ controlled contracts are the way to get there. No more big splashy signings. Forget UFAs. Guys like JJ, Jesse, Yamo, Benson & Marody have to give us team scoring. Now let’s talk about drafting ALL OF OUR PICKS on the west coast this summer.

  • FanBoy

    what does ON think of this:

    Lucic (3M retained), Manning, 2020 2nd rounder to Ottawa for futures. Helps Ottawa reach cap floor with Manning, and if they promise to trade Lucic to a contender by retaining another 1.5M of his contract, he could waive his NMC. Couple teams that could use him MTL, TOR, NSH, or other constant playoff teams needing toughness. Lucic at 1.5M over 4 years isn’t a bad contract. Ottawa makes this deal to add a 2nd rounder from the Oilers and if they trade Lucic at 1.5M, they could get another late round pick so basically eating 1.5M for 4 years would get them 2nd rounder and 5th rounder.

    Russell I believe is a useful player that is overpaid by a million dollars. If he was paid 3M, I believe he’d be valued at 3rd rounder. But since he’s overpaid by a million, I believe it lowers it down to 4th or 5th rounder. For argument’s sake, MTL has a need on LHD. Russell would look good on 2nd pairing with Petry or 3rd pairing with Juulsen. We could trade him for our 2019 5th rounder that they have.

    Sekera imo is not a dead contract. I like his influence on our blue line and I would hold onto him for another year until Jones proves he’s ready. My ACGM roster looks like this:

    Draisaitl/McDavid/Kassian
    Nelson (5.5M x 5 years, he’s only 27)/RNH/Chiasson
    Tanev (2M x 3 years)/Copp (2M x 3 years, traded Gambardella for a 3C/Puljujarvi
    Cave/Khaira/Gagner

    Klefbom/Larsson
    Nurse/Stralman (4M x 2 years, 6M NTC in first year, 2M 15 team NTC in second year)
    Sekera/Benning

    Extras: Brodziak, Persson, Gravel

    Goalies: Koskinen/Nilsson (2M x 1 year)

    I think this fits under the cap for the most part but one thing to note, all our prospects will be in the AHL until they force their way up. And we keep our 2019 1st rounder/2019 2nd rounder to add to our prospect pool.

    AHL F: Marody, McLeod, Safin, Maksimov, Benson, Yamamoto, Hebig, Currie
    AHL D: Jones, Bear, Samorukov, Bouchard, Lagesson
    AHL G: Starrett, Skinner, Wells

    • The Whispererer

      What you are proposing is that Ottawa would pay out $4 million ( Lucic @ 4 x $1.0 on a $1.5 AAV )* plus $2.25 million for an AHL defenceman ( Manning ) in exchange for a 2nd and 5th round draft picks ?

      * Re Lucic: Oilers retain 50% of $6 million Cap hit ( so 4 X $3 Cap for 4 years which means 50% of the $16 million remaining salary; Ottawa trades Lucic with 50% of their $3.0 million retained Cap ( so 4 X $1.5 Cap for 4 years which means 50% of the remaining $8 million salary ); Ottawa therefore gets $500,000 annual Cap relief X 4 years.

      • crabman

        @The Whispererer,
        I think it will take a bit more to get Ottawa to take on the salary. From.us it might be a 2nd and a prospect..And I believe they could move Lucic at $1.5M for more than just a 5th. A move like this would be a tough one to pull off with so many variables but also probably the best the Oilers could hope for. And for Ottawa I think 1 year of Manning’s $2.25M and 4 years of $1.5M×4 cap hit for Lucic would be worth a 2nd another mid round pick and a prospect or 2. Ottawa is rebuilding, jave a cap hit just above $45M for next year with only 1 significant RFA to sign next year
        And that’s counting Gaborik and McArthur on LTIR. They will have a hard time reaching the floor and every pick and prospect has more value on a rebuilding team.

    • crabman

      If my math is right, and the cap goes up to $83M, they will have between $4.5, if no money to retained in Russell trade, to sign Chiasson, Khaira, and Puljujarvi. Gravel. Would be tight but possibly doable. I don’t love the roster but it is an improvement on this years but a lot of work to get done in one off season. We can quible over who the new players the team should target are, I don’t think the defence got significantly better, but the moves out may be the best the team could hope for. Retaining half of Lucic salary would be the only hope to move the contract, and it would still be difficult. I would put more work into making the backend faster. And I would move Benning to make room for Jones right away. The team needs to start graduating defensive prospects next year and a bottom pairing of Sekera and Jones would be a good place to start. If Jones forces his way into a top 4 role by midseason graduate another to the bottom pair RD spot. All goes well and Sekera proves value in that role he will be easier to move him next off season When he only has 1 more year remaining on his contract. That would be best case scenario but also possible.

      • FanBoy

        my thoughts exactly. Rather retain half of Lucic than buy him out. and as for the 4.5M, I think Chiasson gets 1.8 on a 2 year deal, Khaira gets around 900K, and JP gets 1.2M. Gotta find a bargain bin defenceman to fit it all in for league minimum.

  • toprightcorner

    It’s easy to make a statement saying bad contracts can be moved, some examples would have maybe given you a bit of support but without them it is just a dream.

    Coming up with an actual trade is only half the battle, theyse players have NMC so that makes it twice as difficult. All Lucic would have to do is make his 10 team list the ones with the least cap space and he isn’t going anywhere. No way Lucic agrees to be traded to OTT.

  • TrentonL

    Assuming these guys are willing to waive NMC/NTC…

    -The best home for Lucic is Ottawa in a deal for Bobby Ryan. After July 1 signing bonus’ paid Ryan is still owed ~$20.5mm over 3 years while Lucic is owed ~$16mm over 4. Melnyk wants to save money in the next 2 years.

    Lucic Option 1: Lucic + Russell ($6.5mm cash over 2 years with $4mm cap hit) + 2nd Rounder for Ryan + Zack Smith ($3.25mm cash and cap hit / year for 2 years). Menlyk saves ~$4.5mm Oil cap hit up by ~$0.5mm for years 1-2 up by $1.25mm for year 3 and free and clear for year 4.

    Lucic option 2: Lucic + Sekera ($9mm cash / $5.5mm cap hit over 2 years) + 2 * 3rd rounders for Ryan and Smith. Melnyk saves $2mm cash, Oilers cap hit down by $1.5mm for years 1-2, same as above after.
    With either option the Oilers can save ~$400k in cap hit for years 1-2 if Ottawa retains half of Smith and Edm retains ~20% of Lucic cap hit (Cash change is same on both sides). This of course leaves Lucic retained salary in years 3 and 4, but buying out Ryan in year 3 (if Seattle doesn’t take him) still leaves the Oil with lower cap hit then keeping Lucic as is. Keeping some of Lucic salary makes it look better for Ottawa and makes him more attractive to Seattle.

    -I’d attach whichever of Sekera and Russell that isnt traded above to Puljujarvi, and the 8th overall for a high end RHD like Hamilton.

    -Manning to Carolina for Scott Darling (~47.2% retained). Oil get cap hit of ~$2.16mm (vs Manning at $2.25mm) so slight savings. He’s got an extra year on his contract but worth the risk in case he turns his career around like Dubnyk did. If not bury him and you still save on Manning buried. Probably need a 3rd goalie like Elliot in case Darling and Koskinen don’t pan out.

  • toprightcorner

    Russell is an easy contract to trade. He isn’t overpaid by very much and with the amount of upsets in the playoffs already, Russell is a guy that some of these teams would want to add. He puts his body on the line, gives 110% effort and will sacrifice everything for his team. That is valuable in the playoffs and is likely why he got the contract he did. TBL, PIT, TOR are teams tat wishe they had a Russell on their team. If Jack Johnson got a long term contract and Gudbrandson was traded for, Russell would be welcomed as he is a better player than both of those guys. Oilers would not even need to retain any salary, just take a player with some money in return.

    TBL has 4 dmen that are UFA’s and I think they could use a player like Russell. There are two types f trades you can make. 1) you can trade Russell for a solid bottom 6 player that doesn’t have much salary. That means TBL are not giving up a ton for a #4/#5 dman. 2) You package up Russell with something else to get one of their offensive players who has been passed by younger players or is duplicated already.

    Tampa is strictly looking at adding a few pieces that can help them in the playoffs, so losing a trade on paper is fine if that piece helps them win a cup.

    Option 1) Russell for Paquette. Paquette is a 4C PK specialist who had 13 goals this year. One of the besPKers in the league. He is an RFA and would be a huge upgrade on Brodziak.

    Option 2) This may seem a little far fetched, but TBL have a plethora of top 6 forwards that they actually have too many now that Pointe and Gourde have emerged. If TBL could trade a $5 mill contract for a dman that is a difference maker in the playoffs and gives them something they don’t have, I could see them doing it. If the Oilers throw in a quality prospect so it limits the salary TBL take back, then it could work. A player that has been rumoured to be traded is Tyler Johnson. He makes $5 mill for the next 5 years and has been passed by Point, Gourde and JT Miller. That make what he brings to the team expendable. If the Oilers added Bear and Samaroukov, two high quality prospects that the Oilers may not have room for, and TBL saves $1 mill and gets the type of grit needed for the playoffs, they just might do that trade.

    As far as TOR goes, they too could use Russells grit in the playoffs and definitely need to upgrade their backend. A straight across deal of Russell for Connor Brown could work with both teams.

    • Gravis82

      Trade them all for draft picks or future considerations. We are losing nothing. All of these players were signed, not traded for. You have to restart and you dont want to do that with another teams cast aways