Happy Monday, Nation, and welcome to a fresh Mailbag to help you get your week started and break down what’s going on with the Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re looking at Kailer Yamamoto’s extension, Calgary’s big splash, Warren Foegele, 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.
May 4, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto (56) tries to carry the puck around Los Angeles Kings defensemen Mikey Anderson (44) during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
1) Clay asks – First thoughts on the Kailer Yamamoto contract extension in regards to term and dollars?
Jason Gregor:
What I expected after the Puljujarvi signing. If Yamamoto remains a 20-goal, 45-point player contract will be solid.
Robin Brownlee:
As expected. Fair money. It sets the table for a longer term if both sides are happy.
Cam Lewis:
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I used Andreas Athanasiou from when Ken Holland was in Detroit as a comparable to Yamamoto this summer, as both players were coming off of one-year, show-me deals, and Yamamoto’s deal wound up being almost exactly as expected.
Baggedmilk:
I like it. Locks him in for a couple of years while also keeping his rights at the end of the contract. I do get nervous that he may blossom over the course of this bridge deal but we’ll deal with that problem later.
2) Gregg asks – I’d love to know everyone’s opinion on the Jonathan Huberdeau contract extension that he just signed. Isn’t that a lot of money and term for a player that will be 30 years old by the time this contract gets going?
Jason Gregor:
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I understand the cap hit, but the structure of the deal is odd to me. It really benefits the player. He gets $10.5m every year. I thought the Flames would have front-loaded it a bit, so if the final year or two he started to age then a buyout was possible, and Huberdeau would have got majority of his money early so even if he gets bought of $4m/year in cash the last two seasons, he’d still re-sign with another team for around $1.5m and he’d still get all his money. This deal they can’t be bought out so that isn’t ideal for the Flames in the final few seasons.
Robin Brownlee:
I like the player, I just don’t like the term and this deal will take Huberdeau from age 30-38. History tells us that player’s most productive years are in the rear-view mirror by age 34-35, so the back half of this deal will likely be a challenge.
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Cam Lewis:
You’re paying for the player he is right now, which is somebody who scored 115 points and finished fifth in Hart Trophy voting. If Calgary didn’t give him elite player money, somebody else would have next summer. These contracts almost always age poorly but that’s just how unrestricted free agency works.
Baggedmilk:
Calgary fleeced the Panthers in that trade and I still don’t understand what Florida was doing. The Huberdeau deal is too long and for too much based on his age, but whatcha gonna do? We’ll be doing the same thing with Leon in three years.
May 4, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) during warm up of game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
3) Mitch asks – Jack Campbell’s current career high in games played is 49 from this past season with the Leafs. What do you think would be an appropriate split between he and Stuart Skinner?
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Jason Gregor:
Ideally he plays 55-57 games and Skinner comes in around 25-27. Can Skinner give the Oilers 25-27 solid games is likely more of a question than can Campbell start 55-57 at this point.
Robin Brownlee:
Unless performance dictates otherwise, nothing wrong with penciling Campbell in for about 50 again and Skinner in for the rest.
Cam Lewis:
The ideal play would be 50 games for Campbell and 30 games for Skinner but there’s obviously no guarantee that’ll happen. Campbell has had injuries in the past and he’s struggled when taking on a larger workload so the Oilers are going to need Skinner to be a good 1B this season. They have a solid insurance option in Cal Pickard, as well.
Baggedmilk:
Campbell has to play at least 50 and that’s a tall order for a guy that’s never done it before, so I just hope he can stay healthy and give us some consistency. I think Skinner will be ready to handle whatever gets thrown his way.
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Mar 7, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Warren Foegele (37) during the face off against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
4) Thomas asks – Where do you see Warren Foegele fitting on the team right now? If Dylan Holloway cracks the roster, he could see himself playing 4th line minutes, no?
Jason Gregor:
I still think EDM has too many wingers, which is why one might get dealt. I see Foegele starting on the third line with McLeod, but his play will determine how long he stays there.
Robin Brownlee:
Sure. He’s a third or fourth liner. What Mattias Janmark does will also have an impact.
Cam Lewis:
I’m not sure it’s a guarantee that Holloway cracks the roster right off the hop. Ken Holland is conservative with his prospects and might like the idea of Holloway earning his spot as opposed to dealing away a guy like Foegele in order to gift it to him. That said money is tight and someone needs to be moved before the season starts. It’s difficult to say who that’ll be.
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Baggedmilk:
Whenever Holloway cracks the team, Foegele will start on the fourth line and I don’t think that’s a great spot for a guy making $2.75 million. I’d bet Gregor’s money on him being the one that gets moved.
May 24, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN;Edmonton Oilers defensemen Tyson Barrie (22) moves the puck in front of Calgary Flames forward Michael Backlund (11) during the second period in game four of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
5) Richard asks – If the oilers really want to make a push for a cup this year or next they need to look at their defence and make 1 or 2 upgrades.
Would trading for any of the following Dumba (min), Chychrun (AZ), Theodore (LV) or Seth Jones (big ticket purchase) make any sense? In a trade, you can lose Barrie, JP, a #1 pick (an extremely low one if a cup is won) and a prospect. LV is in a serious cap crunch now and a quality defender could be had even if you send back a good prospect D-man. Chi is rebuilding and we all know if the right offer comes for Jones and you can get them to hold 30-50% cap hit and give them some pieces they can use long term and short term some they can flip for more pieces. AZ looks still to be in tank mode so it could well be a place to dump a salary or two and get some value pieces back that will put allow the cup window to remain open for several seasons.
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We all know draft picks are valuable trade chips, but when the window opens for a shot at a cup, do you push everything thing in and go big, or do you get on your knees and pray to the hockey gods, and that what you got from the discount bin at the dollar store can pull you thru?
Jason Gregor:
I don’t see a significant trade (return) coming before the season. Also, Vegas won’t deal Theodore to EDM, and I’d be surprised if Minny deals Dumba either. Jones likely will want out of CHI as they are in complete tear-down mode, but they won’t retain 30-50% for eight years. Chychrun seems the most likely of the four, but ARI has asked for a lot thus far and teams haven’t been willing to give them that. The price will need to come down before acquiring him I suspect.
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Robin Brownlee:
Seth Jones? He’s grossly overpaid and there’s no room for that kind of money with the Oilers. He’s not that good. It’s a fair question, but it’s it’s the second week of August and you make a lot of assumptions about where MIN, AZ and CHI might be and who they might be willing to move. Let’s see where those teams and the Oilers are 20 games in and go from there.
Cam Lewis:
I don’t think a big move will come until the trade deadline. Holland and Co. need some time to see what on the team is working and what isn’t. The big move might need to be a goaltender, it might need to be a defenceman. It depends on injuries and performance.
Baggedmilk:
I want Chychrun but it doesn’t seem like we’re allowed to have him… yet.
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