Off the Top of My Head

Photo credit:Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Robin Brownlee
1 year ago
Knowing Bob Stauffer’s record for telegraphing what’s to come with the Edmonton Oilers in the years he’s been the team’s radio analyst on 630 CHED, I’ve got absolutely no doubt the team will come to terms on a new contract with Kailer Yamamoto before his arbitration hearing Aug. 7. 
What remains to be seen is the term of the deal, the AAV and when GM Ken Holland and Yamamoto will get the ink done. When Bob first called the shot on Wednesday, I thought the paperwork might be done Friday before the start of the long weekend. Looking back on Stauffer’s record on such things, not to worry. It’s not “if” but “when.” From Twitter:
“Wouldn’t surprise me.” Sure. While Jesse Puljujarvi and the Oilers settling on a one-year contract for $3 million last Tuesday before an arbitration hearing leads me – and a lot of you – to believe he’s on his way out of Edmonton one way or another, it sounds like Yamamoto could be around for a while. If that’s the right read of the situation, we’ll have to see how it plays out in terms of being a good or a bad move. Might both stay? It could happen. Probably won’t.
So, what’s the right number and the right term for the deal with Yamamoto Stauffer hinted at? I imagine something reasonably tight to the $3 million AAV Puljujarvi got makes sense, although that number will increase a bit if the Oilers buy more than one or two UFA seasons. We’ll find out soon enough. What’s your term and AAV?


If you’re a fantasy league player you’ve probably spent some time reading Matt Larkin’s rankings in The Hockey News. Larkin is back, this time with Daily Faceoff, and he released the first version of his top picks Thursday. Larkin has 11 Oilers in his top 300. His second version of the top 300 will drop mid-August.
TOP 100
1. Leon Draisaitl
2. Connor McDavid
47. Darnell Nurse
54. Evander Kane
121. Zach Hyman
127. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
130. Jack Campbell
132. Evan Bouchard
228. Jesse Puljujarvi
233. Kailer Yamamoto
245. Tyson Barrie


Mar 8, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stuetzle (18) and Edmonton Oilers forward Kyle Turris (8) battle for position during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
A tip of the cap to Oilers’ forward Kyle Turris, who is having an award for community service named after him by the BCHL starting next season. Turris, 32, is a veteran of 776 NHL games and was originally drafted third overall from the Burnaby Express of the BCHL by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2007. He joined the Oilers for the 2020-21 season from Nashville.
“To have a trophy like this named after me, where it’s not necessarily what you’ve done on the ice but helping people off the ice and taking advantage of the position that you’re in to affect change, it’s very important,” said Turris. “It’s a very special part of the sport.”
As an aside, I played lacrosse against Kyle’s father, Bruce, and went to school with him. He’s in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and was a terrific basketball player for St. Thomas More Collegiate as well. One of the best athletes I’ve ever seen. Kyle also played lacrosse growing up before concentrating on hockey.

AND . . . 

Here’s hoping Bobby Ryan, who has been struggling with alcoholism for several years, can get back on track after being arrested for public intoxication at Nashville’s airport last Monday. Ryan was awarded the Masterton Trophy for his battle with addiction a couple years ago.
Ryan is an unrestricted free agent. He has played for the Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings. Anybody who has battled the bottle knows how tough it can be. It’s one day at a time with this and his new start begins now.
  • So, Ethan Bear gets a one-year contract for $2.2 million in Carolina. It’s a look-see deal. Between COVID and some physical challenges, 2021-22 was a tough season for Bear, who was limited to 58 games. At 25 with only 190 NHL games on his resume, Bear has time to get things together. As of now, he will be a RFA through 2023-24. 
  • Former Oilers and Edmonton Oil Kings’ assistant coach Rocky Thompson is joining John Tortorella’s staff with the Philadelphia Flyers. Thompson, best known as a tough guy in his playing days, will be in charge of running Philadelphia’s inept power play, which was worst in the league last season.

Previously by Robin Brownlee

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