Random Thoughts: Alex Chiasson is PTO daddy, Evan Bouchard’s deal is done, and is it October yet?

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
8 months ago
How about a fresh dose of Random Thoughts to kick off your Wednesday morning? Are you excited? I’m excited. This time around, I’m diving into Evan Bouchard’s new contract, Alex Chiasson’s latest PTO, excitement for the 2023-24 NHL season, and a whole lot more.


Dearest, Evan Bouchard,
Thank you for finally signing a contract so that we can stop arguing about how much you’re going get paid and move on to the next thing to be mad about. Even though I personally was hoping for something south of $3.5 million so that the Oilers could table a 22-man roster, having you locked in for two years at $3.9 million isn’t crazy either. In fact, I actually think that’s a reasonable deal given how many points you’re likely to put up over that time. Listen, pal, no matter what you signed for there were always going to be people that get pissed off about it, so I’m just happy this back-and-forth is over with plenty of time to spare so that the loud ones in the back have some time to cool off.
I’m looking at you, Jay.


This morning, I heard a little rumour that my boy, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, has become a girl dad to a healthy baby. While we’re still waiting for the name, details, and a picture of our new princess, I wanted to quickly say “congratulations” to a guy that just had himself a hell of a calendar year. Congrats to the Nuges!


Yesterday, the Oilers announced via their social media channels that Tyler Wright and the organization were mutually parting ways and that he was being replaced by Rick Pracey as the team’s new Director of Amateur Scouting. It was the kind of move that doesn’t normally draw a lot of attention outside of hockey-mad markets, but around these parts, seeing a swap in the scouting department was enough to kick off an argument on Oilers Twitter that was both unnecessary and hilarious. Personally, I don’t have a strong opinion on the matter because I’m not smart enough to know how the amateur scouting world works, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying what some of you were talking about.
Whether it was arguing about why Tyler Wright was a good scout for Edmonton or proving that he was a bad one, the passion on either side of the ledger was fun for me to follow because of how long it generally takes for prospects to go from being drafted to playing in the NHL. In my head, we won’t know how Wright truly did as the head of our scouting department until many years from now. Given that many of the players drafted under his watch haven’t even turned pro yet, I’m not so sure we can definitively put a grade on his tenure one way or another. Then again, what the hell do I know? Maybe the new guy rolls into town and shows us all where the bear shits with a string of Dingers in all rounds of the NHL draft, but I’d be willing to bet that’s unlikely given how much of a crapshoot the draft is on an annual basis. Either way, I love this fanbase and how we can turn anything into an argument. It’s the best.


Yesterday, word came down on Twitter — I’m not sure what we’re supposed to call X.com these days — that former Oiler, Alex Chiasson, had signed at PTO with the Boston Bruins, something the guy knows more about than seemingly anyone else. If you remember, Chiasson first came to Edmonton on a professional tryout and converted that chance into a 22-goal season and an eventual two-year contract worth $4.3 million. Immediately after that deal was done, Chiasson turned another tryout opportunity into a contract with the Canucks. Needless to say, if there’s anyone that turns the lemons of a PTO into lemonade it’s Chiasson, and I’m legitimately curious whether or not he’ll be able to pull it off again with the Bruins. Heading into his 12th NHL season, Chiasson will look to crack his eighth NHL roster and I think that’s not only an incredible story but also a fantastic Puckdoku answer to keep in my pocket for later.


Yesterday at HQ, I was hanging out with Kennedy and Liam, and we started talking about how excited we all are for the upcoming NHL season. It’s not just that we’re looking forward to watching Connor McDavid and the boys doing their thing again, but also because we’re looking forward to the Oilersnation Content Machine® coming back to life. As much as I have a good time writing about nonsense all summer, I’m very much looking forward to having actual Oilers news to discuss and real games to talk about. Not only do I think the Oilers have a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup — I even bet on it a little while ago — but I cannot wait to show everyone all of the new content we’ve been working on over the summer. Over the last couple of months, we’ve been busy planning the upcoming year and with training camps right around the corner, the countdown is to launch the new stuff and I’m very excited about it.


Just because the Oilers aren’t giving us anything to talk about doesn’t mean I don’t still have plenty of useless information to talk about. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you get podcasts. New episodes coming up later this afternoon.


Much like every time we’ve ever done a trip like this, our first-ever #NationVacation to Seattle is going to sell out quickly so you’ll want to get your spot locked in as soon as possible. Need some details on what’s going down? No problem:
  • When: November 10 – 12th
  • Where we’re staying: Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle
  • What you get: Your flights, three nights at the hotel, a ticket to the hockey game (Edmonton vs. Seattle), and a ticket to the football game the very next day (Seattle vs. Washington).
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1999 per person (based on double occupancy) 
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.

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