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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – What’s going on with Jesse Puljujarvi?

Greetings, Nation friends and compadres! It’s Monday morning and that means it’s time for another fresh edition of the award winning Mailbag. As always, I’ve taken your questions and sent them off to our panel of geniuses to assess and pass along some hot wisdom that you’ll be able to carry forward with you for the rest of your life. With that in mind, I need questions for next week, so open up your favourite internet machine and send me any question you may have about the Oilers or life in general. You can get them to me through email or on Twitter — I’m good like that. Until then, it’s time to learn something. Enjoy.

1) Lloyd asks – Do you think the Puljujarvi trade rumours are a little bit silly considering the team just got a new GM and coach, which would imply that the player would get a fresh start under this new regime?

Jason Gregor:

No. He and his agent are the ones who would like a change. If a player is unhappy it might have more to do with who the HC is. If he lost trust it won’t magically come back because they have a new GM. But because he is upset now, doesn’t mean it can’t change quickly. Remember that Zack Kassian asked for a trade early last year, nothing came of it, and he finished the season very strong.

Robin Brownlee:

The clean slate/fresh start scenario hockey people talk about is a fallacy. Nobody ever gets a completely clean slate — people like Ken Holland and Dave Tippett will come in with pre-conceived notions based on what they’ve heard and seen. They may be willing to take a prolonged first-hand look at Puljujarvi before passing judgment, but they won’t be starting out with a completely neutral opinion of the player.

Chris the former Intern:

Nah I don’t think the rumours are out of line, especially for that reasoning. Technically his trade value might be a little higher due to the fact that he just got surgery and could be refreshed again. But it’s for that reason I think the Oilers shouldn’t trade Jesse.

The Nation Dan:

When you get the fun beaten out of something like JP has with hockey, you understand wanting a change of scenery. It can’t be easy spending all this time recovering from the hip issue and not just playing. I think he will be all good once he can hit the ice again and just play.

Baggedmilk:

I can see why the kids might want a fresh start considering how the start of his career has gone, but I also hope he realizes that he can get that here with a new coach and GM. I have a lot of patience for Puljujarvi, but the kid also has to realize he can play much better and needs to.

2) Geoff asks – Considering the tough start to his career, does it make any sense for the Oilers to trade Puljujarvi now or do you think he still has enough cache attached to his name that another team would give up something of value for him?

Jason Gregor:

I don’t see him demanding a lot in return. The team acquiring him likely could benefit the most.

Robin Brownlee:

I don’t think it makes sense to trade him now, but we don’t know how strongly Puljujarvi feels about staying or leaving Edmonton except what we’ve heard through his agent, and that plays into it. Right now, you’re going to get a sucker deal if you trade him. What cachet do you think is attached to his name? There is very little at this point.

Chris the former Intern:

Due to his surgery, I would give him one last crack. We’ve got a new coach again so I would like to see if Tippett can help Jesse out a bit.

The Nation Dan:

There are no untouchables on the team not numbered 97 but I like to imagine Holland won’t be dealing from a position of weakness. The return won’t match what we could see from Jesse this year.

Baggedmilk:

I doubt the Oilers would get much in return for him right now and that makes me wonder why Holland would even consider moving him at this time.

3) Ethan asks – With all the talk about acquiring a TOP 4 RHD… do you think we only need a short term guy on an expiring contract like Vatanen or Barrie etc. because we have Bouchard/Bear/Jones as the long term solution?

Jason Gregor:

Vatanen was just traded to NJ. I doubt the Devils move him this summer and Barrie will want big money in a new deal. You could acquire him for one year, but I don’t see Oilers in a spot to give up multiple assets for a one year rental. I don’t see how they would have cap space to re-sign him and Nurse next summer.

Robin Brownlee:

Assuming Bouchard, Bear or Jones are long-term solutions is a mistake at this point. Might one of them be that? Sure. Do we know now? No.

Chris the former Intern:

That’s not a bad idea. The only thing I’d be concerned about is the cap we bring in or remove for that short term guy. A big positive we have going on right now is our defensive prospects coming up.

The Nation Dan:

Honestly, any deal as long as we aren’t breaking the bank on our side, could and should be looked at. It’s weird to say we have a nicely filled defensive cupboard, yet here we are.

Baggedmilk:

I’d be concerned about the number of assets you’d have to trade to get one of those guys, only to  keep them for a short time.

4) Travis asks – We’ve been reading about a potential Lucic for Eriksson trade for a while now and I’m wondering what everyone on the panel thinks of the idea? Personally, I don’t know how much of an upgrade Eriksson would be so wouldn’t this just be akin to shuffling deck chairs?

Jason Gregor:

The obvious benefit is Eriksson’s deal is one year shorter. Other than that it would one struggling vet for another. A change of scenery could help one player, but it is hard to say who it helps. But due to the fact Eriksson’s deal is one year shorter, I’d do it.

Robin Brownlee:

Comparing contracts, you save a year. If Eriksson isn’t scoring, what else does he bring? Nothing.

Chris the former Intern:

I’m with ya, especially for the contract. The only benefit would be that Eriksson’s contract would be easier to move. I’d only make the trade if Holland has a plan to flip Eriksson somewhere else afterwards.

The Nation Dan:

The easy yes from our side is the the fact that’s Loui has one less year on his deal. Not sure why the Canucks would do that unless they’re trying to recapture the magic that Derek Dorsett gave that roster.

Baggedmilk:

Eriksson’s contract is a year shorter and he did produce more than Lucic so I can see why the Oilers might consider it. Also, Tippett coached Eriksson in Dallas so there could be something there, but I don’t know why the Canucks would do it. I guess that’s why Dreger reported that the Oilers would have to include a sweetener, huh?

5) David asks – Should we be freaking out about Connor McDavid’s injury? It was reported early in the week that he’s still walking with a limp and it doesn’t seem like we’re going to get any information out of the team itself.

Jason Gregor:

This is how it was supposed to be. He wasn’t supposed to be healed now based on the original diagnosis. I reached out to two different people in the organization and both said his rehab is on schedule. I understand if some fans would be concerned about his health. But it is only June 10th, and he still has four months before the start of the regular season. Many players just started their off-season training last week. His plan, I hear, is to be able to train hard sometime in July. He should be fine, unless there is an unexpected setback.

Robin Brownlee:

He’s walking like he’s wearing a full brace. Is that a limp or the product of lack of mobility, which is exactly why you wear a brace during rehab? Of course people shouldn’t be freaking out, but some will. It’s what they do.

Chris the former Intern:

Nah, I won’t start to panic until we actually hear some news from the team about it. Him limping could literally mean anything right now… I hope.

The Nation Dan:

The limping news came out after he refused to talk about it. Just a lot of speculation and uneducated commentary on a person wearing a brace. Honestly, if Connor was a mere mortal I might be worried, but we all know he’s better than that.

Baggedmilk:

I wonder how much of that limp is a result of that gigantic brace he’s wearing on his leg. You ever tried to walk with one of those? I did when I dislocated my kneecap when I was about 12-13 and moving around is tough.

THE 2019 DRAFT PARTY

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