Category Archives: Edm. Oilers
The first dominos of the trade market fell on Thursday afternoon, with a trio of trades being completed.
The first was Jordan Eberle to New York for Ryan Strome. The second and third were both Vegas dealing defensemen to the Eastern Conference, as Trevor van Riemsdyk and David Schlemko went to Carolina and Montreal respectively.
My initial reaction to these deals is mixed. But, we’ll take it one by one.
For the Oilers and Islanders, the logic behind the deal is obvious. Edmonton wanted to shed salary either for free agency or to re-sign Kris Russell. Trading Eberle for Strome saves them $3.5 million on the cap for next season.
As for the Islanders, this is a win-now move. Strome is under a .50 points-per-game pace for his career. Eberle, on the contrary, is nearly at .75 points-per-game for his career. Eberle and Tavares also go back almost a decade in terms of their relationship. Both player for Team Canada’s World Juniors team in the late 2000s.
The logic behind the deal is evident, but the Islanders are the winners on the surface. They are getting the more established and more consistent player. However, what the Oilers will do with the added cap space remains to be seen.
As for the van Riemsdyk to Carolina trade, it seems fair for both sides. van Riemsdyk will get a chance to thrive in a larger role in Carolina, whereas Vegas gets a second round pick back for someone that they acquired for nothing.
The deal just further exemplifies how many draft picks Vegas is stockpiling. In the first two rounds this year, they now have three first round picks and three second round picks. It is quite the head start for the league’s 31st franchise.
Lastly, the Schlemko deal is a great one for Montreal. Giving up just a fifth round pick for him is a steal.
Schlemko has three more years left on his deal at $2.1 million per. He is a fantastic skater, and, in fact, his skating is what made him so successful in San Jose last season.
Schlemko will be able to slot in anywhere between the #4 and #6 role in Montreal. He is able to play in all situations and would be a nice replacement (in a sense) for when Andrei Markov departs.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect many more moves to come in the next few days.
Luckily for the Edmonton Oilers, Connor McDavid is exempt from the expansion draft. It is just mind-boggling to even think about that to be fair — a 100 point scorer, Art Ross Trophy winner, and potential Hart Trophy winner is exempt from the expansion draft. It just goes to show the true brilliance of McDavid at such a young age.
As for the rest of the team, the Oilers should not have many problems when it comes to the expansion draft.
Up front, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, Leon Draisaitl, and Patrick Maroon are guaranteed to be protected. Jordan Eberle could go on this list too, even if he is likely to be traded after the expansion draft happens.
The last two spots could go to Zack Kassian and Jujgar Khaira.
Edmonton is Kassian’s third NHL team and he has seen time split between the NHL and the AHL over time, but he seems to have found a home with the Oilers. He was dominant as a power forward in the playoffs, especially in Edmonton’s first round matchup against San Jose.
Khaira was a third round pick in 2012 by Edmonton. He has only appeared in 25 NHL games, but he is a more attractive option to protect than Benoit Pouliot, Iiro Pakarinen, or Mark Letestu are.
As for defense, it seems extremely likely that it is Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, and Adam Larsson that will get protected. Sekera has a no-movement clause and the other two are young defensemen with plenty of time left to grow.
In goal, Cam Talbot has a no-movement clause and will be protected.
The Edmonton Oilers protection list could shake out like this:
Forwards: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Milan Lucic, Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, Jujhar Khaira
Defense: Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson
Goalie: Cam Talbot
For players that Vegas could take, Griffin Reinhart and Mark Letestu are options.
Next team: Florida Panthers
As the hockey season moves from April to May, the playing field shrinks. Currently eight teams remain, but soon enough the group will whittle down to four.
As of now, Pittsburgh, Washington, Ottawa, New York (Rangers), St. Louis, Nashville, Edmonton, and Anaheim remain. For these series, Pittsburgh leads Washington 2-0, Ottawa leads New York 2-0, Nashville leads St. Louis 2-1, and Edmonton leads Anaheim 2-1. Each of these are far from over, however the odds have begun to shift to the favor of one team per series. But the questions that begs is who, of the teams currently down in a series, has the best chance of making a comeback and advancing to the Conference Finals?
For me, it’s the New York Rangers. Although their defense, with the likes of Holden, Staal, and Girardi, is shaky, their lightning quick offense and superstar goalie could be enough to propel them on a run past Ottawa.
The Rangers and Senators have been locked in a back-and-forth series through the first two games. In Game 1, Erik Karlsson scored the game winner from the goal line with 4:11 left in regulation. Game 2 was a barn burner that resulted in a 6-5 Senators win in double overtime. The games cannot be defined as anomalies by any means, but regardless the series is not over by any stretch of the imagination.
To win the series, the Rangers need Henrik Lundqvist to go into Conn Smythe form. His save percentage in the series so far is .888, but not all of that can be attributed to him. The defensive core in front of him is less than ideal, but that is the Rangers mantra. They need Lundqvist to bail them out, which is something he did not do in Game 2.
In terms of the other teams, this is not to say that they do not have a chance to come back in the series. Each team is in the second round for a reason.
Anaheim is a rigid, experienced team that needs to take advantage of that fact against Edmonton. But, Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot are unbelievable players capable of turning a series in an instant (which they have done already).
St. Louis is in the same category as Anaheim to a sense, but Nashville is playing great right now. The series against the Blues has not come as easy as the series against Chicago did, but it is hard to bet against the Predators currently. They are using their fast paced tactics to their advantage perfectly.
Lastly, Washington has fallen into a deep hole with Pittsburgh once again. It’s hard to go against the Penguins right now given Washington’s history in the second round and against Pittsburgh in general. If they can overcome this challenge, it’s hard to argue against the fact that they will win the Cup. But it’s one hurdle at a time for Alex Ovechkin at company.
Of the teams down currently, who do you think has the best chance of moving on to the second round?
After failing to trade him, the Ottawa Senators placed 28-year-old goaltender Andrew Hammond on waivers earlier today.
In next summer’s expansion draft, teams have two options in which to protect their players. One is protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. The other choice is protecting eight skaters and one goalie. The former gives you more players to protect but you risk losing a top-four defenseman, whereas the latter allows you to hold onto that fourth (or fifth, if you so please) defenseman, but you are losing out on protecting two top-six forwards. It is a calculated risk that teams have to weigh, and there are eight teams that should choose to take the second option and protect four defensemen. Read the rest of this entry
Yes — we are just as confused as you are.
In thirty minutes, the course of the next NHL season changed dramatically. In what was likely the biggest flurry of trades in NHL history, PK Subban, Taylor Hall, Shea Weber, and Adam Larsson were all dealt. Not to mention Steven Stamkos re-signed in Tampa Bay.
So let’s start at the first trade of the day. New Jersey acquired Taylor Hall from Edmonton in exchange for Adam Larsson. This was a desperate move met by a lot of scrutiny, mostly rightful, by Peter Chiarelli. With trading chips such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, a deal involving Taylor Hall shouldn’t have been necessary. Adam Larsson is a solid young defender, but nowhere near the caliber of defenseman that should have been brought in for Taylor Hall.
Regardless, this likely makes Edmonton the firm landing spot for Milan Lucic. That’s not to say Lucic is a formidable replacement for Taylor Hall, but it is what is going to happen.
As for New Jersey, they get a bonafide first line winger. They’ve been devoid of scoring for a few years now and this is a tremendous pickup.
Just a few minutes later, rumblings from Nick Kypreos came out that PK Subban could be on the move. That happened a few minutes later when he was traded to Nashville in exchange for Shea Weber.
This is a mind boggling deal. Subban is a better player than Weber, who has significantly declined over the past few years. Weber will also be turning 31 at the start of the season and still has ten years left on his deal. It’s hard to find a rationale from Bergevin’s side when looking at this trade.
From Nashville’s side, it is a fantastic trade. They get a younger, dynamic defenseman in Subban who can anchor their top-four for years to come. Ryan Ellis, PK Subban, Matthias Ekholm, and Roman Josi is a scary defensive corps.
Moving on from trades, the Lighting also announced that they had re-signed big fish free agent Steven Stamkos to a eight year, 8.5 million per deal. This is a lower AAV than what other teams may have given him, but with no state income tax in Florida, he’ll earn a lot more than he would elsewhere.
This changes Friday’s gameplan drastically. Almost every team was going to take a shot at Stamkos, so now they all have to revert to Plan B. David Backes and Frans Nielsen just moved up the leaderboard big time.
Stay tuned for more NHL news, because I’m sure we’ll get some.
Continuing with our series, we look at Montreal’s potential trade chip Lars Eller. The Danish center has been subject to multiple rumors over the past few seasons but that all may come to fruition this offseason. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Fletcher and the Minnesota Wild are looking to get better for next season, and they may have to deal one of their defensemen to do so. With Ryan Suter eating big minutes and Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, and Jonas Brodin falling behind him, the Wild certainly have an abundance of NHL caliber defensemen. This does not include Mike Reilly, Nate Prosser, and Christian Folin either. Read the rest of this entry
Dennis Wideman of the Calgary Flames could be on the move this summer. The 33 year old defenseman has one year left on his contract at a 5.25 million cap hit and a 6 million salary. Read the rest of this entry
In all likelihood, Milan Lucic will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1st. The 28 year old winger has spent time in both Boston and Los Angeles, accumulating 647 career games, 397 career points, and 851 career penalty minutes. Read the rest of this entry
Recently, reports came out from Elliotte Friedman that Tyson Barrie is likely to be moved by the Colorado Avalanche this summer. Read the rest of this entry
The annual NHL draft lottery was held on Saturday night and for the first time in six years the team that finished last in the league won the lottery. That team was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will have the chance to choose either Auston Matthews or Patrik Laine with the pick.
There will be internal debate, but Auston Matthews is Toronto’s man. The center, currently playing in the Swiss league, will be ready to jump straight into the NHL in sheltered minutes behind Nazem Kadri (at least to start).
Interest will be there from teams to move up, especially Arizona, but I do not foresee it happening. The Maple Leafs endured a tough season and waited a long time for this to happen, and to relinquish the ability to make the first overall selection would come at a high price.
In other news and notes, the Winnipeg Jets moved up from #6 to #2. They’ll likely get the chance to take Patrik Laine, the Finnish winger that has drawn comparisons to Alex Ovechkin.
I think there was a shot that someone like Buffalo or Calgary would have taken Laine first overall, but I don’t think it’ll happen now.
Most of the teams remained in the spots they were originally at.
Edmonton is picking at #4 and Jacob Chychrun or Matthew Tkachuk would be nice fits.
Montreal got the #9 pick and will have a number of options to look at. Can things shake out so that Alex Nylander falls down to them? Entirely possible.
New Jersey is at #10. Clayton Keller would be good for them.
The months leading up to the draft will be full of preparation for the fourteen teams involved in the draft lottery plus many more as they are eliminated from the playoffs. The top three players in this year’s draft makes it an exciting one. With things like the salary cap and the expansion draft in play, there’s a lot to look forward to in terms of player movement come June.