The Day After: Looch, Goose, and the Nuge

I remember all those years ago when we’d bitch and moan that we didn’t have a guy like Milan Lucic on the team. Now we do and I can’t be happier. To put it in context, I as happy that Lucic is an Oiler as the fanbase was sad that Taylor Hall was traded. Honestly, it’s game f*cking on in Oil Country and I truly hope that the rest of the teams in the NHL are ready for the juggernaut that is about to roll through the league come October.

lucic oil

FREE AGENCY DAY ONE

Signed:

  • Milan Lucic – 7 years at $6 million per year
    • The thing I dig about this contract is that is front loaded. In those final three years, the ones that the stats community are worried about, he makes an average of just over $4M per year.
  • Jonas Gustavsson – 1 year at $800k per year
  • Mark Fraser – (2-way) 1 year at $575k per year
    • This is a two-way deal. Some are suggesting it’s cover in case of injury but I have to wonder if it’s something more than that. He’s a leftie and the Oilers quite simply have too many left-handed shooters on D right now. I wonder if there’s a trade in the works to move a prospect like Griffin Reinhart, Dillon Simpson, or David Musil…

I love the Lucic signing and see him as the Semenko to McDavid’s Gretzky. The Gustavsson signing I’m not too sure about. He doesn’t have the same pedigree at backup goalie as Talbot did before the Oilers traded for him. I’ll have to reserve judgment on Fraser as I have no idea if he’ll even play a game next year for the team. He’s a big guy, not afraid to muck it up and isn’t the worst defenseman to sign.

The Oilers are still left with the task of finding a right-shot puck moving PP defenseman and possibly a third line centre who’s also a right-shot. They have a shade over $8 million left in cap room, so if they wanted to they could add another substantial contract. They’re also only sitting at 43 contracts out of 50.

THE OILERS DEPTH CHART TO DATE

L1: Lucic – McDavid – Eberle
L2: Maroon – Draisaitl – Yakupov
L3: Pouliot – RNH – Puljujarvi
L4: Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian
Extra: Lander, Pakarinen

D1: Klefbom – Larsson
D2: Sekera – Fayne
D3: Nurse – Davidson
Extra: Reinhart, Fraser

I think there’ll be a few of you that will ask about the forwards being lined up as such. I believe that the days of the traditional line set up is over. There’s no scoring line 1, scoring line 2, shutdown line, checking/energy line. Now each team must have three lines that can contribute. That is why I have Puljujarvi with RNH and Pouliot. He’ll need to be insulated in his first year or two at least. You can’t throw him to the wolves and the top line of Lucic, McDavid, and Eberle is a bona fide top scoring line in the NHL. You could toss Yak up there and see what he does but I reckon Ebs is firmly entrenched there for the time being. The Draisaitl, Maroon, Yak line could be taken advantage of by the opposition as it’s not the fastest or the most defensive.

THE COLORADO AVALANCHE

The Avs are going to move a defenseman, it’s not a matter of IF but WHEN. Yesterday that added left-shot Fedor Tyutin (recently bought out by Columbus) and fancy stats darling and right-handed shot Patrick Wiercioch. So the Avs D corps. looks like this right now:

Erik Johnson – Nikita Zadorov
Francois Beauchemin – Chris Bigras
Fedor Tyutin – Tyson Barrie
Eric Gelinas – Patrick Wiercioch

I don’t get this team. I loved Sakic and Roy as players but they’re bending this roster over and going in dry with the way their treating its stars. Are they seriously thinking of taking Tyson Barrie to arbitration? For real? They must be a sucker for losing because Barrie is going to wipe the floor with them in that case.

Edmonton needs to get on this and if you follow Ryan Rishaug on Twitter you’d think the deal is already in the bag.

I couldn’t tell you what the return might be here. I think if you’ve got your ear to the ground you’d probably say Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins but I have to wonder if Chiarelli will try to sell Colorado on Yakupov or Reinhart.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • HockeyWiz

    I agree the Lucic contract is trade friendly the way it’s front loaded, but it’s still 6mil of cap space for a guy who will playing on the third line and scoring ten goals. We’re essentially betting on his hands, if not his body. In the here and now though, it the price we had to pay to change the culture.

    Don’t read too much into Mark Fraser. He was brought in to ensure that same culture is being emulated in the minors. Most of the dmen down there are pretty soft.

    Your cap number is optimistic. You haven’t included the 3mil we’re going to be paying Puljajarvi this year with bonuses. It will be tricky to stay under the bonus allowance with all of our young guns playing up.

    If we pick up Barrie for a forward we have to be prepared to expose either Reinhart or Davidson to Las Vegas next summer. I think one of them gets included in a potential Barrie deal, and from what I hear the Avs like Reinhart. His bonus laden deal is a little prohibitive, though. For the sake if argument if it’s Nugatory and Reinhart, will Colorado want to take on 9mil in salary while moving out Barrie? This deal might be a little more complicated than first glance, and have another sweetener somewhere.

    I think we should go all in if we can snag Barrie on a reasonable long term extension – something like the Sekera deal. Barring that however, our safest course may be to add a PP guy on a one year deal… Weiznewski and Boyle are two options that will only cost us dollars.