June 2017 – TheOilKnight.ca
 

Month: June 2017

This is your Oilers Week in Review in case you missed anything I’ve got you covered….

A lot has happened in the last week or so, here’s a recap:

 

DATE

PLAYER

POS.

TRANSACTION

6/29

Benoit Pouliot

LW

Waived, For purpose of buying out contract

6/27

Eric Gryba

D

Contract extended, Two-year contract extension

6/26

Zack Kassian

RW

Contract extended, Three-year contract extension

6/23

Kris Russell

D

Contract extended, Four-year contract extension

6/22

Ryan Strome

RW

Traded from Islanders, for Jordan Eberle

Courtesy CBSsports.com

06/22Jordan Eberle traded for Ryan Strome. The Eberle trade was the first big move this offseason for Chiarelli. It was a necessary move not only because of the player’s perceived ‘bad fit’ in the system or poor playoff performance but the expensive $6 Million price tagged attached to him. For a more detailed breakdown of the deal check out here: https://theoilknight.ca/2017/06/22/eberle-traded-for-strome/

06/23 Kris Russell signs 4 yrs, $16 Million. For more details https://www.capfriendly.com/players/kris-russell

A deal that really only costed the Oilers a 900K raise. Made a tonne of sense on how contract was constructed – basically Oilers could move him if they had too after 2nd year. With Hamonic commanding 3 top draft picks there’s no way the Oilers could give that up with McDavid & Draisaitl raises coming and the need for entry level contracts increasing. Some bloggers hate the deal – so what. Nice player, good fit, team loves him low risk.

06/23-06/24NHL Entry Draft. Oilers got some nice prospects my favourite being Kiriil Maksimov who has some real sleeper potential. Draft recap here: https://theoilknight.ca/2017/06/24/entry-draft-results-oilers-edition/

06/26Zack Kassian re-signs 3 years, $5.85 Millionhttps://www.capfriendly.com/players/zack-kassian

A fan favourite and a guy who will stick up for his teammates getting Kassian for another 3 years at under $2 Million per is a steal in my opinion. Great glue guy. Heart & soul type. Can’t see how anyone complains about this.

06/26Edm qualify 4 including Bogdan Yakimovhttps://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/879400336259076096

May be interesting that Yakimov was qualified. Think it just means if he does come back to North America the Oilers retain his rights. He’s already commited to playing in KHL next year.

06/27Eric Gryba re-signs 2 years, $1.8 Millionhttps://www.capfriendly.com/players/eric-gryba

Another great glue guy. Limited a bit depending on opposition but gives you everything he has all the time. Teammates love him and on a 2 way team friendly deal definitely a bargain. Great follow on twitter too! @grybes02

06/29Benoit Pouliot put on waivers for purpose of buyout. This was a must in my opinion. Again, analytics people hate it but what else is new? They all loved it when he signed a couple years ago “most underrated free agent signing ever” they said. Now they can’t admit they were wrong it’s just easier to criticize the GM instead. Pfft, arrogant imbeciles. Pouliot has been in TMac’s doghouse for 2 years. Anyone suggesting he should stay ANOTHER year is only looking at a bar graph not at the big picture. This player’s work ethic, lack of production and salary make him an easy cut from this team. Opens up a roster spot for a younger player to flourish hopefully at a fraction of the cost. Personally, my blood pressure approves this move.

With that, next up are the McDavid & Draisaitl contracts along with Free Agency July 1st. McDavid has already reportedly come to terms but I will post once it is actually official. A lot of rumours Draisaitl signing for 5 years but time will tell. I don’t see the Oilers being very active in FA at all but might add one or two depth players. Either way should be fun to watch.

 

To comment you can do so via Twitter @TheOilKnight

With the offseason upon us, the Expansion draft & Entry draft in the rearview mirror and Free agency on the horizon I thought it would be a good time to take a peak into the future to try and predict what McDavid’s next contract would look like. Obviously, that has and will be a major factor into how Chiarelli does business (as will Draisaitl’s) moving forward so let’s take a look.

There’s been a lot of talk that McDavid should be the highest paid player in the league while others have suggested he take a “hometown discount” to help his team build a winning roster. Could he command $14 Million? Absolutely and it would be hard to criticize him for it. Why shouldn’t he be the highest paid player in the league? He won the scoring title in his 2nd year with 100 points. At age 20 he is already the face of the franchise in Edmonton and is the future face of the NHL. The question is, if he and the Oilers can keep the Cap hit at a manageable number while still giving him his well deserved raise. Also something to consider is that the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in 2022 so that will definitely affect how his extension is drawn up. They could go several ways with this but to take a best guess at which route they may go let’s look at Sidney Crosby’s first contract:*

 

(*all figures are according to spotrac.com)

In 2008, Crosby’s contract extension kicked in. He signed for 5 yrs, $43,5000 with a Cap hit of $8.7M. The 5th year he decided to take a lower base salary $7.5M in order to keep the overall cap hit down as it is spread out evenly over each year of the contract (His $7.5M was adjusted to $4.39M that year due to labour strike). The cap was around $56.9M that year meaning he took much less than the maximum 20% he could have got. By not breaking the bank it allowed the Penguins to sign Malkin for a similar amount the following year. The CBA at that time was set to expire before the 2012-2013 season meaning the lower salary Crosby agreed to in his final year of the contract was Post-CBA renegotiations.

After a frustrating labour strike and new CBA Crosby then signed a new contract for 12 years worth $104.4M:

(*all figures are according to spotrac.com)

Notice once again he took a higher base salary the first few years in the contract and took significantly less at the end to help keep the cap hit manageable. His base salary initially was much closer to the 20% cap but his overall cap hit did not change from the previous 5 years. The Penguins were able to maintain a competitive roster without having to dump big salaries despite having Two of the top players in the league. Adding impact players on entry level contracts through the draft certainly has helped too.

Although the roles are reversed somewhat for the Oilers with Draisaitl being due first, I think both contracts are done around the same time and we will see something similar with McDavid as we did with Sid. This current CBA is set to expire September 15th, 2022 or before the 2022-2023 season. Now I do realize both the league and union have options to opt out early but for argument’s sake let’s assume neither exercise that option. What could we realistically expect a McDavid contract to look like? Here’s my pure guess:

5 years, $55 Million with an annual Cap hit of $11 Million

2018-19  $11.5M base

2019-20 $11.5M

2020-21 $11.5M

2021-22 $11.5M

2022-23  $9.0M base

Some have suggested he follows Sid’s lead and goes for a Cap hit that matches his number ($9.7M). That does make some sense as we all know how highly he respects and admires “Mr.Crosby.” However, while that would be cute and would do the Oilers a huge favour I just think that number is a bit low.  Sid’s first contract extension was 10 years ago. I do think McDavid cares about building a team around him so he doesn’t go for the full $14M. Plus with Draisaitl also due a big raise I think he certainly takes that into consideration. Also, as we mentioned the CBA is up in 2022 so I would fully expect him to get the maximum base salary at that time. Something like 12 years $170 Million. But for now, I don’t think McDavid is looking to break the bank. I truly think he wants to help his team maintain competitiveness so he settles for $11 Million cap hit for 5 years. Again, it’s just a guess but if he can come in at around $11M a year and Draisaitl somewhere around $7-$8M per, the Oilers should consider themselves very fortunate.

Whichever route he goes he deserves it in my opinion. I would hate for any fans to turn on him if he did take the maximum he is entitled to. From a competitive standpoint it would sting a bit but would just increase the need to keep our draft picks and continue to draft well in the future. We will need as many guys on entry level contracts as possible to offset he and Draisaitl’s cap hits either way. I highly doubt he does go for $14 Mill a year but you never know. Either way I’m just happy he plays for our team.

UPDATE: Multiple Sources report McDavid will sign for 8 years, $106 Million. 

OFFICIAL: McDavid gives the Oilers a discount and signs for 8 years, $100 Million.

 

 To discuss or feel free to hit me up on Twitter @TheOilKnight (more…)

With the Entry Draft wrapping up today here is my take on how it all went down. Again, I am not a professional scout by any means but I do watch a ton of OHL games live and on TV living in London and scout as a hobby. For more information on what I look for feel free to check out the Scouting Tab on home page.

Here’s who the Oilers took and who I would have took based on how the board fell. Not saying either is right or wrong only time will tell on that.

1st Round

Oilers select: RW Kailer Yamamoto

OilKnight selects: RD Conor Timmins

I get the Yamamoto pick it makes a lot of sense to me (unlike the Benson over DeBrincat pick last year but I digress). I do not have as much exposure to the WHL admittedly so after hearing his post draft interviews, watching many highlights and reading his scouting reports I see why they went that route. I can’t argue it wasn’t a good pick. Sticking to my board I still would have went with the puck moving defencemen Timmins who ended up going 32nd to Colorado. Both likely will be impact NHLers.

2nd Round

No selection

3rd Round

Oilers select: G Stuart Skinner

OilKnight selects: RW Ivan Lodnia

After drafting G Dylan Wells last year and signing Nick Ellis as a FA I question the need to waste a 3rd rd pick on another goalie. Skinner may well be a good player just question the need that’s all. Lodnia is a dynamic player who was buried on the 4th line on a very deep Erie team. He is a relentless player who high end skill, good hockey IQ and is a gritty 2 way player. I feel the Oilers missed out here on a potential big time sleeper. Time will tell.

(2nd selection)

Oilers select: D Dimitri Samorukov

OilKnight selects: RW Maksim Sushko

Samorukov reminds me of Markus Niemelainen in that he LOOKS the part but is raw and is purely a project at this point. I do look for guys with translatable NHL skills and having watched Samorukov live a couple of times – he does have the big shot and size but he doesnt appear to be a great skater and questionable puck moving skills IMO. Lodnia was taken the very next pick after Oilers took Samorukov. Dammit. Sushko would have been my pick assuming I already took Lodnia earlier. Gritty forward with nice speed and good hands he is another kid that should have a breakout year next year. Dynamic playmaker.

4th Round

Oilers selects: RW Ostap Safin

OilKnight selects: RD Markus Phillips

Markus Phillips ended up going a round later than I thought but I would have definitely taken him here. I love how he moves the puck and he really seemed to take over late in the season. He such a smooth skater and has a good shot from the point. Surprised he went later than he did. No idea about Safin at all but Phillips went 3 picks after Oilers selected Ostap. Oh well. EDIT: My buddy @bpry8 provided this highlight reel of Safin:

Safin Highlights

 

5th Round

Oilers selects: F Kiriil Maksimov

OilKnight selects: F Kiriil Maksimov

Absolutely ecstatic about this pick. In my mock, I wanted him to be selected in 3rd round he has that kind of talent. Funny, how it all played out. This kid is a pure goal scorer who caught fire when traded to Niagara late in year last season. Scored in all 4 playoff games. I caught a few Niagara games live scouting Mantha late in the year and this kid stood out each time. Elite skill. Very pleased with the selection easily my favourite pick of our draft.

6th Round

Oilers selects: Skyler Brind’Amour

OilKnight selects: Skyler Brind’Amour

The 2nd prospect I pegged to Edmonton correctly. I just had a feeling Chiarelli would be tempted to go US hockey in later rounds and Brind’Amour has the measurables and pedigree worth the selection. If he’s anything like his dad this kid has a chance.

7th Round

Oilers selects: D Philip Kemp

OilKnight selects: D Matthew Brassard

With Batherson and Crawley long gone from my board Brassard would have been my selection here but he also went earlier in the round. I don’t know anything about Kemp but not surprised Chiarelli once again dipped into US hockey late. Can’t argue with the pick here since it is the 7th round.

 

RECAP

Overall I don’t think it was a bad draft for the Oilers at all. If I had to grade it I would give it a ‘B’. In terms of talent, I think they did a good job of getting quality prospects. Yamamoto is only 148 LBs which scares the hell out of me but I think he can at least bulk out to be our version of Johnny hockey so I like the pick he fills a need. In terms of value, I question the Skinner, Samorukov and Safin picks would have went elsewhere but that is just my opinion doesn’t mean it was the right move. I do think the Maksimov pick was a home run and am excited to follow the player very closely this upcoming year.

Now if we can just sign Spencer Foo that would add even more to our prospect depth….

Next up: Free Agency next week! Looking forward to it.

 

Let me know what you all think via Twitter @TheOilKnight

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