Drai Pou and What Are The Oilers To Do?

First off, I want to send out my thoughts and condolences to the Semenko Family. The Oilers family lost a dear member yesterday.  Dave Semenko was a like a character out of a storybook for me. I was too young to ever watch him play for the Oilers but that didn’t stop me from learning about the legend that was Dave Semenko. Luckily with the old Boys on the Bus movies from when I was a bit older and

Dave Semenko was a like a character out of a storybook for me. I was too young to ever watch him play for the Oilers but that didn’t stop me from learning about the legend that he was. Luckily with the old Boys on the Bus movies from when I was a bit older, the help of books like “The Glory Days” by Douglas Hunter, “Champions” by Kevin Lowe and Stan Fischler, “The Battle of Alberta” by Mark Spector, or “The Game of Our Lives” by Peter Gzowski, and nowadays Youtube, I’ve learned on my own why he didn’t have to fight as much as people think he did.

“Do you wanna go for a canoe ride?” I learnt this was Dave’s line on the ice if things got out of hand from Bruce McCurdy on yesterday’s Lowetide show. I think it is such an original line if there ever was one!

Through those aforementioned mediums, we also learned what a big heart he had and how great of a person he really was. We’ll miss Dave Semenko not only for his cinder block-like fists but also his knack for the net 😉

Once an Oiler, Always an Oiler. RIP Dave!

The Edmonton Oilers have finally had enough of trying to peddle Benoit Pouliot to the rest of the NHL and bought him out eh? Well, I’ll tell ya, I’m indifferent on the subject. Actually, no I’m not. I’m a fan of the buyout and had Griffin Reinhart not been selected in the expansion draft, I think we’d be sitting here today talking about Mark Fayne as the one being bought out.

The Oilers have a few more wingers that are primed to be given golden opportunities to become full-time Oilers. I’m talking Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev, Jesse Puljujarvi, and JJ Khaira. Paying Benoit Pouliot $1.4M for the next two seasons not to play for the Oilers, not to get offensive zone penalties at the worst times, not to get injured, and not to disappear completely during games is fine by me.

Now, in defense of Pouliot, there were times when he looked really great out there but then again there were times when Hall, Schultz, and Eberle looked great too…

What will the Oilers do with the extra money they’ve acrued from trading Eberle and buying out Pouiot?

Well, they could go out and sign a Patrick Marleau to a 3 year deal but I believe Ryan Rishaug when he says the Oilers are probably done tinkering with the roster and as much as I’d like to see Chiarelli add some more bodies this summer and make things interesting, he’s going to give the steering wheel over to the young guns and let them steer the ship.

If that faulters, or even if it doesn’t, expect Edmonton to be active at the trade deadline with these possible players hitting the market due to their upcoming UFA status:

  • Mike Green
  • Zdeno Chara
  • Cam Fowler
  • Patric Hornqvist
  • Cam Atkinson
  • Rick Nash
  • The Sedins
  • Evander Kane
  • James Neal
  • JVR
  • Lars Eller
  • Mikael Backlund
  • John Tavares
  • Kyle Turris
  • Bryan Little
  • Mikko Koivu
  • Paul Stastny
  • Carey Price

That’s a bloody crazy list of players going UFA next summer potentially! Edmonton would definitely be in on any one of those players should they be made available at the trade deadline next March but for the time being Peter Chiarelli will be keeping the powder Drai…

Can we talk about Leon Draisaitl for a moment?

Hey, remember that time when a prominent wood salesman in Edmonton compared Leon Draisaitl to Blair MacDonald?

Done laughing? Too much time with the lid open on the wood stain will make you say silly things kids. Be forewarned.

So this Draisaitl contract is going to be an issue one way or another, right? Be it too much money, not enough term, an offer-sheet hovering over negotiations or a holdout, the folks have Leon Draisaitl pointed in a very dangerous direction but if you remember the Jonathan Drouin saga; you’ll know that they are not afraid to go that route.

Leon will get paid because that’s what his agency does but I feel like it’s going to tarnish his image amongst the fans a bit until they win a Cup.

I feel like Connor should take a million or two less to help the team but that’s just me. His contract will usher in a new era in the NHL where the elite players get paid what their worth and the middlemen get less, with the bottom 6ers getting even less.

Is it his job to take less? Of course not and he’s worth every penny he earns. It is Peter Chiarelli’s job to build the team around him and make it as successful as possible but neither person needs to make it harder on the other to do their jobs. In fact, if they worked together, I’m sure the club would benefit greatly because of it.

Back to Leon, should he take less? I guess it depends on what is being offered and what they are asking? I have to believe that they are smart enough not to ask for more than the $ 7.5M that Tarasenko in STL is making. Leon is right in there with the Scheifeles, the Monahans, and the Gaudreaus of the NHL in terms of production, that’s for sure.

What I do think will happen is that he very well may take a 5-year deal or possibly something shorter. A contract akin to what the media has been discussing when referencing Crosby’s 2nd deal. I think Stamkos, Kane, and Toews also went that route as well.

So perhaps the Oilers don’t have to buy any free agent years but their team control of the player will be a shorter frame of time which will work both ways, right? Draisaitl can work his ass off to become the Malkin to McDavid’s Crosby and the Oilers will have to stump up big or he may digress into Nick Bjugstad too and the Oilers will be free of that huge contract scare.

You might be the type of fan that says the team is better off without Leon if he’s going to be demanding/willing to sign that kind of deal that handcuffs the team. To that I would question your ability to judge how good Leon Draisaitl is.

Was he the beneficiary of a lot of points from Connor? Sure. But who was leading the Oilers in the 2nd round of the playoffs against a Ducks team that looked unstoppable and refs that looked unbeatable. It wasn’t Connor, Eberle, Lucic, Klefbom, Nuge or Maroon. It was Leon and when the games get tough and the Oilers need a clutch player, Draisaitl is that man. The guy won the Memorial Cup MVP on the losing team!

If Leon does sign an offer sheet, the Oilers have to match it and deal with the consquences after and that might mean Patrick Maroon gets dealt as well as RNH or Darnell Nurse. It’ll probably mean that the Oilers Cup runs will have to wait until the salary cap is in the $90M range but if PIT can have Malkin and Crosby run their show for so long, Edmonton could do it with 97 and 29.

I do have one question about Leon’s relationships on the team though if he does sign such a deal. How would Patrick Maroon feel if he knew he was out the day Draisaitl signed his contract and now they have to play the year out together. What about a couple young guys like Nurse and Benning, who will be looking to re-up with the Oilers next summer and won’t get as much as they’d like because their raises are going to Leon’s bank account?

I just wonder how each player’s contract affects the locker room dynamic.

I just hope that each party does the right thing. This I do know though, players/agents that have mucked around with management come contract time in Edmonton never stayed there long… So I’m intersted in seeing how Chiarelli handles this very unique situation given his downfall in Boston came at the hands of poor salary cap management.

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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!