Happy Boxing Day, campers, and welcome to a brand new edition of the Mailbag to help you start your week and break down everything that’s happening with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week we’re looking at gifts we hope the Oilers got from Santa, Stuart Skinner’s new contract, and a whole lot more. If you’ve 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.
Oct 29, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Evander Kane (91) against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
1) Ed asks – The Oil continue to struggle on the blue line. Did Holland make a mistake when he used the Kieth retirement money (about $5M) to sign Kane rather than backfill a Dman?
Jason Gregor:
I don’t think so. Kane is on a good value contract.
Robin Brownlee:
Not a mistake. Kane was a bargain signing. You make that deal every time and run to the registry fist-pumping like there’s no tomorrow.
Cam Lewis:
We all saw how good Kane was down the stretch and it’s noticeable how much the team misses him right now, so signing him wasn’t a bad move. The trouble is that Holland gambled Philip Broberg would be further along at this stage than he is.
Baggedmilk:
No, I don’t think it was a mistake. If Kane was healthy and playing we’d see exactly how big of a steal his contract is for this franchise.
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Nov 30, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Philip Broberg (86) celebrates with goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
2) Yves asks – How do you feel about the Oilers goaltending duo now that Skinner is locked in for the next three years? Is it good value to have Campbell and Skinner at $7.6 million or is that too high given the current salary cap situation?
Jason Gregor:
If Campbell can find his game then yes, otherwise it could be a problem. The thing with goalies is from year to year, outside of a select few, we see peaks and valleys. Edmonton will need one of them to be going well each year and they should be fine.
Robin Brownlee:
It’s in the top third of the league for money spent on goaltenders, but it’s fine. Would be better value if Campbell came around sooner than later.
Cam Lewis:
The Skinner deal looks like excellent value but Campbell needs to start performing otherwise it doesn’t look good at all.
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Baggedmilk:
If Campbell can bounce back a little bit then I think this is a fair value for the Oilers. The big question, however, is if Soup can get back to where we need him to be.
Dec 1, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) and center Leon Draisaitl (29) look on prior to the game against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
3) Trent asks – Woody finally split up McDavid and Draisaitl to drive their own lines, and I saw a lot of Oil fans were happy about the change. Since these two obviously like playing with each other, is it fair to them that the only time they see the ice together is on the power play?
Jason Gregor:
They care about winning more than playing together. They were put together out of necessity, but long-term I expect they will run their own lines.
Robin Brownlee:
Fair to them? That’s a distant second to what is best for the team. Mercy.
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Cam Lewis:
All that matters is winning and Woodcroft needs to ice the lineup that’s most likely to win.
Baggedmilk:
How about what’s fair to us? The team is better when those two are anchoring their own line and it makes a world of sense for Jay Woodcroft to split them up.
4) Samantha asks – What do you hope Santa left under the Oilers’ tree for Christmas? I’m hoping they unwrapped a shutdown d-man but I’ll take a little bit more depth scoring.
Jason Gregor:
Scoring isn’t a big issue. It has to be a solid defender. Maybe two.
Robin Brownlee:
The Oilers score plenty and will have Kane back for the stretch drive. Can’t have too many quality D-men who can play in the top four. Oilers could use one with some physicality and edge.
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Cam Lewis:
Maybe a box of red bull drinks so they can start games on time.
Baggedmilk:
Consistency. Health. Depth scoring. Any of those options would be fantastic.
Connor Bedard is just the seventh player ever to make the cut for Canada’s world junior team at age 16.
5) Cliff asks – The World Juniors Championship kicks off today and I’m wondering what is the most memorable game or moment that everyone can remember?
Jason Gregor:
The punch-up in Piestancy when Canada and Russia brawled in 1987. It was wild. I’ll never forget it. They tried turning the lights out to get them to stop fighting, which of course didn’t work.
Robin Brownlee:
I covered the 1991 tournament in Saskatoon and that was a lot of fun — round-robin format with Canada winning gold thanks in large part to a 3-2 win over the Soviets. That game stands out. Some memorable players there — Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, Doug Weight and Ziggy Palffy.
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Cam Lewis:
I was at the outdoor game between Canada and the United States in Buffalo a few years back and it was a blast.
Baggedmilk:
Has to be the Eberle goal, right? I remember watching that game with my buddies and having all of us nearly hit the ceiling when that goal went in.

NATION VACATION TO TORONTO

Do you want to come with us to Toronto in March for an HNIC matchup that we’ll be watching in a suite? Of course you do. That’s why I’m telling you to sign up for the #NationVacation to T.O. and join us for a weekend that no one will soon forget. Check out the details you need right here.