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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – How do the Oilers get cap compliant?

Happy Monday, dear Internet friends, and welcome to a long weekend edition of the Mailbag to help you get your week started and break down everything that’s happening with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re looking at the Oilers’ cap situation, reasonable expectations for Dylan Holloway, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.

1) @RivetGuru asks – How do the oilers get cap compliant? This seems like kind of a big deal that isn’t being talked about.

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Robin Brownlee:

It isn’t being talked about? It’s been discussed plenty. Oilers need to be cap compliant before the puck drops on the new season Oct. 12. Not today, not tomorrow and not next week. Watch the team take shape at camp and in pre-season.. Then Ken Holland does his job.

Jason Gregor:

I do think it has been discussed. Currently they have 12 forwards at $49,875m, and seven D-men at $26,393,668 (I have Murray as 7th D-man), two goalies at $5.75m, $896K in bonus overages and $4,166,667 in buyouts or retained salary. That puts them at $82,914,335m. So they are $414K over the cap and still need to sign Ryan McLeod. They need to make a trade. Holland has been in talks with other GMs.

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Cam Lewis:

Eventually, somebody is going to get traded. There are dominoes left to fall as there are plenty of restricted free agents without deals yet and teams need to see how players look at training camp before deciding if they should acquire a player last minute.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

They could manipulate the waiver wire a little bit, which is something that Lowetide has talked about a few times on his show. That’s a possibility but it would make it very hard to make moves throughout the year, granted that’s already going to be difficult. The easiest path is to trade Warren Foegele for nothing and then use that saved money to sign McLeod and another top-nine winger that’s still sitting in free agency.

Baggedmilk:

I’m still going to guess that it’s Warren Foegele getting traded, but the longer this goes on, the less confident I feel in that prediction. Honest answer? Who the hell knows.

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2) @Browndelorian asks – What’s a reasonable expectation for Dylan Holloway’s first season with the Oilers? 15-21-36?

Robin Brownlee:

Tough to say as there’s no guarantee he makes the season-opening roster. I’m more interested in the process than the points total right now. The Oilers don’t need Holloway force-fed into the line-up to have enough offensive production. Also, if he does stick, there’s a big difference between playing in the top six than on the third line. In addition, need to allow for the possibility his wrist might not be 100 per cent to start the season.

Jason Gregor:

I don’t think it is a guarantee he plays in Edmonton this year. He will be on the opening day rosters, for cap purposes (If he isn’t then if he is recalled during the season his cap hit is $1.425m instead of $925K). So he will be here for a day, but there is no guarantee he plays all season in Edmonton. He needs to earn a spot in the top-nine to stay here. I don’t see them playing him limited minutes on the 4th line, and likely no special teams, when he could play close to 20 minutes a night in the AHL.

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If he does play in Edmonton all season and can score 12-14 goals that would be quite good considering he likely won’t get much PP time.

Cam Lewis:

It’s hard to say because we don’t know if he’s going to play the whole year on the team. Given Edmonton’s depth up front, I would assume he starts in the AHL and earns a call-up and then doesn’t go back down, much like Kailer Yamamoto did in 2019-20. With that in mind, my prediction for Holloway would be something like 10 goals and 30 points in 60 games.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

That is entirely dependent on how many games he plays but if he breaks camp with the team and ends up playing 70-80 games, then expecting 35+ points isn’t unrealistic at all. If he only plays 30-40 games and they’re all on the third line, then anything around 8-10 goals and 10-15 assists would be impressive.

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Baggedmilk:

If he gets to 15 goals this year, I will be absolutely thrilled. My bold prediction for him this season is just that he makes the team out of training camp. Anything outside of that, especially a productive rookie season, would be gravy.

May 8, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Detroit Red Wings goaltender Calvin Pickard (31) defends the net against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 1st period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

3) Stephen asks – Is Calvin Pickard enough insurance just in case Stuart Skinner struggles in his first NHL season?

Robin Brownlee:

Sure. Skinner is the back-up to Campbell. Pickard is a .903 goaltender in 116 career games.

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Jason Gregor:

If you are asking if Pickard could play 20 games, I’d say yes he’d be serviceable.

Cam Lewis:

Probably, yeah. I don’t think most teams have a better third-string option. If the team did, that goalie likely doesn’t get through waivers, as we saw with Anton Forsberg a couple of years ago.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

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Stuart Skinner really didn’t struggle last season, posting a .913 save percentage in 13 games. I think he should be more than capable of keeping his sv% above .905 and that means Pickard won’t need to be counted on, unless there are injuries. If either Campbell or Skinner were to go down a considerable amount of time, then I would say that the Oilers look towards the trade market before they just run with Pickard for any significant stretch.

Baggedmilk:

I hope we don’t have to see Pickard even one time, and that’s what I’m banking on. Dare to dream.

4) Marc asks – Who gets more points in 2022-23: Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto? Yams had more points but the Bison King had a better points-per-game number.

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Robin Brownlee:

Not sure all of Puljujarvi’s points this season come with Edmonton, so there’s that. Yamamoto will have more points.

Jason Gregor:

I’d say Yamamoto. I think Puljujarvi will start the season (if he is in Edmonton) on a line with McLeod.

Cam Lewis:

I would guess that Yamamoto gets more playing time in the top-six, so he’ll likely wind up producing more. I doubt they’ll be that far apart, though.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

If they both stay healthy, I’m going to say Jesse Puljujarvi. I think they’re going to try make it work with him and McDavid one more time and if they click, Puljujarvi could go off this season. Honestly, even if Puljujarvi finds a home on the third line with either Ryan McLeod or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, then I think he could have a very good season. A third line of Hyman – Nugent-Hopkins – Puljujarvi could actually produce really well considering they might get gravy matchups.

Baggedmilk:

I’m going to say Puljujarvi but not by much. I believe in both of these kids so I actually think it will be more of a coin flip.

5) Yves asks – This mailbag will go up on a long weekend and I want to know which long weekend is the best of all? My vote goes to Thanksgiving every single time for the food without the hassle of buying gifts.

Robin Brownlee:

Canada Day long weekend.

Jason Gregor:

I like August long weekend. Usually it is really warm and everyone is in a great mood in the middle of summer.

Cam Lewis:

May Long! It always feels like that’s when summer gets started.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I’ll take any of the summer ones. An extra day to go golfing and not have to work when it’s beautiful out? Hell yeah.

Baggedmilk:

I’m going to say the Family Day weekend just to be different because it happens in one of the coldest months of the year and gives me an excuse to stay in bed all day.

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