"Anything less than $9M will be a surprise" – Dreger on Draisaitl (1260)
— RCN (@akaRCN) July 4, 2017
This from Darren Dreger’s spot on the Neilson and Fraser Show on 1260 this morning. It isn’t really shocking news is it? If you listen to Ryan Rishaug when he’s been on Jason Gregor’s show lately, he’s described the negotiations between the Oilers and Leon Draisaitl’s agent, Mike Liut, as “knock ’em down, drag ’em out”…
So as we’ve been saying for months, expect the unexpected.
$9M per year is a shat ton of cash for Leon and as a fan, we’re probably going to come out two ways on this:
- That’s too much, trade him!
- We haven’t had a bonafide no.2 center here since the dynasty days! Pay the man!
Now, I’m getting tired of this drama already and we’re a week into free agency. I’d much rather have Leon Draisaitl than not have him and there aren’t many players that I’d prefer over him that would be realistic trade options to be honest.
So the Draisaitl options are:
– Lock him in at huge risk.
– Expect Chiarelli to win a deal with a skill F.
– Bridge him.
It isn't close.
— Cameron Thomson (@ThomsonCam) July 4, 2017
- I don’t see the risk myself. Draisaitl has improved each year in the NHL and has been relatively healthy whilst doing so.
- Chiarelli hasn’t received dollar for dollar in any of his big deals yet and before you rip on me for that, in the Hall/Eberle deals, those trades were made out of a necessity to change the culture, save cap space, and fill needs within the team. I don’t see Chiarelli feeling the need to do any of that with a Draisaitl trade. Only reason to trade him is because he’d be pricing himself out or an offer sheet.
- I don’t have any problem signing Leon to a 5yr deal and not having to deal with signing both him and McDavid in close proximity to each other time frame-wise.
I mean, if Ryan Johansen is reportedly going to be asking for $8.5M from Nashville, then Leon is right there with RyJo. The Oilers wouldn’t be getting Matt Duchene AND Tyson Barrie from Colorado for Leon, so forget that. But would Carolina pay Sebastian Aho AND Justin Faulk? Or maybe you try to pry Ristolainen out of Buffalo… I don’t know.
There’s a pretty big reason I want Draisaitl to stick with the Oilers and that being, he shows up in the playoffs. Yeah, I know, they’ve only gone to the playoffs once but you can’t forget what he did in Junior with the Kelowna Rockets, winning the Memorial Cup MVP on the losing team AND his performances against the Sharks AND carrying the Oilers vs. Anaheim while McDavid was nursing whatever injury that was that knocked him down a peg.
I believe that if the Oilers had made it past the Ducks that they had a very good chance to make it to the Stanley Cup Final where Leon would still have been driving the team’s offense and it would’ve been between him or Cam Talbot for the playoff MVP IF the Oilers won.
The record books will show us that didn’t happen but if you’d like it to be a reality someday, we should be hoping the Oilers sign Leon ASAP.
When you have a talent the likes of a Leon Draisaitl, you pay him and deal with the consequences later and if that means Milan Lucic, Kris Russell, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Andrej Sekera, Jesse Puljujarvi, or any other prized player from the Oilers to fit him in, so be it.
Don’t let anybody tell you that Leon can’t drive a line on his own and that it was all McDavid because Patrick Maroon had a big hand in it as well, as did Adam Larsson.
Chiarelli has shown us that he’ll do whatever it takes to build this team into a winner and I have complete faith in him because he’s done nothing but do exactly what he’s told us he would do when he was hired. You can criticize his moves all you want to and this IS a huge test for him, possibly the biggest one of his career, but he’s a winner and he’s brought that mentality to the team through player personnel additions and coaching additions.
I’ll say it one more time. This team is a better team WITH Leon Draisaitl than without and if the Oilers are to compete in the Pacific Division, they’ll need the big German!