Category Archives: Edm. Oilers

Three teams that could claim Andrew Hammond off waivers

After failing to trade him, the Ottawa Senators placed 28-year-old goaltender Andrew Hammond on waivers earlier today.

“The Hamburglar”, as he is more well known by after his impressive run late in the 2014-2015 season that left him with a 20-1-2 record, played in two games for Ottawa this year. In those two games, he posted a .793 SV%.

Although the last two seasons haven’t been ideal for Hammond, he still provides value. He has a reasonable cap hit at 1.35 million for this season and the next.

Injuries have been at a premium in the NHL early on this season, so there are certainly teams looking for goaltending help.

The most notable is the Los Angeles Kings. Jonathan Quick is still out for a few more months. Currently, the Kings are rolling with Peter Budaj and Jeff Zatkoff in net, although Zatkoff is just returning from injury. They also have former first round pick (of Dallas) Jack Campbell in the minors.

Claiming Hammond would be a relatively low-risk move for the Kings. He could return to form in front of a strong defense comprised of the likes of Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty, and his cap hit is low enough not to hurt Los Angeles in the long run.

Another team in search of goaltending help is the Philadelphia Flyers. Michal Neuvirth is slated to be out another four to five weeks, and organizational trust in Steve Mason appears to be waning. Anthony Stolarz, who has been good in the AHL this year, is currently with the team, but it is uncertain if he is completely ready.

Hammond would provide another NHL-caliber option in net for Philadelphia. It allows Stolarz to continue to grow in the AHL while Mason and Hammond work the NHL. The only issue the Flyers face is that they would have to waive Hammond in a few weeks when Neuvirth comes back and that would create a logjam in the crease down in the minors if he were to clear.

Lastly, the Edmonton Oilers may have a use for Hammond. After starting off the season hot, the Oilers have gone into a tailspin, having lost their last five in a row.

Currently in net, the Oilers employ Cam Talbot and Jonas Gustavsson. Talbot has been fantastic, but after the three games Gustavsson has played, he sits below a .900 SV%. With no immediate option other than Laurent Brossoit looming, the Oilers could provide a longer term home for Hammond.

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Eight teams that should protect four defensemen in the expansion draft 

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

Recap: Hall/Larsson and Subban/Weber trades, plus Stamkos’ signing 

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. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Trade Possibility: Lars Eller 

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

Trade Possibility: Jonas Brodin

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

Trade Possibility: Dennis Wideman 

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

Milan Lucic’s new contract has the potential to become a disaster

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

Colorado’s Barrie generating tons of interest 

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

Toronto wins lottery, Jets move up to No. 2 

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. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

The Oilers missed a golden opportunity to trade for Seth Jones 

The Columbus Blue Jackets traded Ryan Johansen to the Predators earlier today in exchange for Seth Jones. This is one of those deals that works out for both teams on paper and likely will on the ice, too. But there was one loser: the Edmonton Oilers. 

It’s no secret that Edmonton needs defense. They have McDavid, Draisaitl, Hall, Yakupov, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins up front, but have had a tough time keeping puck out of their own net. They have given up the third most goals in the league, although bright spots like Darnell Nurse have helped pad that stat a little. The Oilers missed out on a big chance today with Seth Jones. 

The ideal player at this point to be traded for defense is Jordan Eberle, but that hasn’t picked up steam in quite some time. With McDavid and Draisaitl (a natural center) in the wings, it may not have been a bad idea to try to swing a Nugent-Hopkins for Seth Jones trade. I’m sure they tried, but they could’ve gotten the deal done if they really wanted to I presume. 

Nugent-Hopkins was the first overall pick in 2011 and has 216 points in 298 NHL games. Johansen, the fourth overall pick in 2010, has 193 points in 309 games. Pretty similar numbers, although RNH has the slight advantage. 

Peter Chiarelli probably didn’t want to part ways with a stud center, but that’s the give you need to take away a stud defenseman like Seth Jones. The Oilers year hasn’t gone well and playoffs are a long shot, and the Connor McDavid injury didn’t help. If they could’ve gotten Jones to add to Nurse, while picking up another forward in the draft to play alongside McDavid, Draisaitl, Hall, Eberle and Yakupov in the top-six, they could’ve been in good position for next year. 

The Oilers are going to have to break up their forward group eventually to improve on the back end and they may have missed their best opportunity here, even if it meant adding another small asset on top of Nugent-Hopkins. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Oilers shake-up may not be far away

The start of the year has not gone too well for the Oilers. 

Edmonton sits dead last in the league again, but is only one point behind Colorado and two behind Calgary in that regard. Losing phenom Connor McDavid after just 13 games hurt, but the team still needs to be doing better at this point. It’s the first year under the Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli regime, and the team still sits at an abysmal 3.13 goals against per game, second to last in the NHL. 

The Oilers weren’t going to re-become a playoff team overnight, but it is time for them to get out of the cellar. They’ve had four first overall picks in six years and still can’t seem to find the right combinations to get everything to click. 

Peter Chiarelli’s hand may be forced here. The defense has bright spots like Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom, and Brandon Davidson but it still isn’t strong enough to move out a body back there. However, outside of players like Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl, how safe is the forward group? Jordan Eberle is the only one out of the big-five that wasn’t a first overall pick, and his name has come up in trade discussions before. Teddy Purcell is there, but he doesn’t hold much trade value. Nail Yakupov has found his game over the past few months, so it’s doubtful he moves. 

Defense is the issue, and as it stands right now, Jordan Eberle moving appears to be Chiarelli’s best bet. Travis Hamonic is a good fit, but more moving pieces are required. They could also take a flier on a young defenseman from New Jersey like Jon Merrill or Eric Gelinas but the Devils would likely have to add and may not want to try to fix what isn’t necessarily broken. 

The Oilers are going to have to make a move sooner or later. When the core continues to fail, changes need to be made. From this point forward, it becomes if they want to continue on the path of another top-three pick or try to improve their team at least a little bit. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

McDavid’s Injury Opens Up Calder Race

The 2016 rookie class was always a good one, but things have changed dramatically in the Calder race during these past 24 hours. On Tuesday night playing Philadelphia, Connor McDavid crashed into the end boards after losing an edge and getting tied up with Michael Del Zotto. McDavid left the game and was later pronounced out ‘months’ with a broken left clavicle. Slated to be the next ‘Great One’, McDavid’s injury opens the door for other rookies to step in and seize the Calder. 

The obvious new pick is Jack Eichel. Eichel just turned 19 last week and was drafted one pick behind McDavid. Eichel’s size makes him a dominating presence although he only has four points (all goals) through his first twelve games. There’s plenty of time for him to turn it around and he’s already on a good path even if the scoresheet doesn’t show it. 

Max Domi has also made waves in his first season, keeping up with Connor McDavid and notching 11 points in 11 games for the Coyotes. The polar opposite of his dad, Max has shown signs of brilliance offensively and will combine with Anthony Duclair to be a lethal force for this season and beyond. He probably won’t continue at point-per-game numbers, but he’ll certainly be high up in the rankings for Calder votes. 

Forwards Oscar Lindberg (NYR) and Artemi Panarin (CHI) have also gotten off to solid starts. Each have played 12 games and Panarin has 11 points while Lindberg has 9. They’re both long shots, but they’ve put up solid numbers to start the year and who knows where they’ll end up if they keep up on that pace. 

Dylan Larkin has also been lighting up the scoresheet with 9 points in 12 games for Detroit. The 2014 draft pick was the first Red Wings teenager to score on his opening night since Steve Yzerman in 1983. He may see reduced ice time once Pavel Datsyuk which will hurt his statline. 

Colton Parayko, Nik Ehlers, Jared McCann and Ben Hutton all have also gotten off to good starts. 

McDavid could still easily come back and take it, but his injury opens the door for some of these young players to swoop in and take the prize. My guess from this point forward would be either Domi or McDavid. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles