July 1st in Canada means two things that both start with the letter F, fireworks and free agency! Well it probably means three things that start with the letter F but I won’t go into that. The Edmonton Oilers still have some holes to mend in the line-up so let’s take a look at who’s out there this year!
Before we get into the candidates I think it would be prudent to look at the Oilers lineup as it stands today. Players marked with an asterisk (*) are players whose futures on the roster are a bit cloudy going into the 2015/16 season.
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I expect Iiro Pakarinen and Tyler Pitlick to push for a spot on the roster this year. They showed quite a bit of potential last season. Hopefully Pitlick can stay healthy enough to make a significant contribution. I think a lot of us really want to see Leon Draisaitl make the team and have an impact but it’s not realistic in my opinion. There are far to many young players on the team and Draisaitl would be much better served spending time in the AHL as a no.1 center.
If Edmonton is going to be successful this season and really make a dent in the standings, they’re going to have to upgrade that 3rd line because that is a line that is going to have to do a bit of everything. Anton Lander is going to need a couple of very industrious wingers that can put a puck in the net and score the dirty goals. Maybe the Oilers won’t have to dip their toes into the fee agency pool here. Perhaps Iiro Pakarinen and Tyler Pitlick could be those guys. Value Contracts folks! If you’re wondering how the best teams in the NHL stay the best… Value Contracts.
Possible Signings: Daniel Winnik (LW), Michael Frolik (RW), Justin Williams (RW), Matt Beleskey (LW), Joel Ward (RW)
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You’ll see here that Darnell Nurse isn’t in the top 6… Yet. I reckon he’ll force his way on to the team. Unlike the newly acquired Griffin Reinhart, Nurse was a dominating presence in the AHL playoffs for the now defunct OKC Barons (RIP). I would not be surprised at all if it was Reinhart with Mark Fayne and Darnell Nurse with Eric Gryba at some point next season but I’m thinking that could end in disaster. Signing a veteran defenceman short term wouldn’t hurt unless his name is Nikita Nikitin or Andrew Ference…
Possible Signings: Andrej Sekera, Mike Green, Barret Jackman, Cody Franson, Christan Ehrhoff. Francois Beauchemin
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The goaltending here is pretty straight forward. Talbot to start and Scrivens to back up. Barring anything ridiculous, this is how it will stay for the year. Maybe Laurent Brossoit will get a few games in but he’ll be numero uno in Bakersfield next season.
Possible Signings: None unless Scrivens gets dealt which in that case I like Kari Ramo or Micheal Neuvirth.
I think it would be great to go into next season signing 2 or 3 veteran bodies to help these kids move along to the next level. The Oilers sit at $56 million right now and that will give them about $15 million to play with minus the qualified Justin Schultz, Brandon Davidson and Tyler Pitlick yesterday so say $10 million or so. That’s enough to add quality to the team this year.
Just quick one today folks! Hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments below what you think the Oilers roster will look like going into training camp. And don’t forget to add us on Twitter @beerleagueheroe or Like us on Facebook.
Take care everyone!