Just as I did yesterday with Lowetide’s defense targets for the Oilers, I’ll do the same today with his forward targets for the Oilers but I’ll add one more to make a nice round 30!
So if you haven’t read the previous post on the defensemen, I’ll let you know what I’m doing here.
Basically, I’m taking a list made up by the Legendary Lowetide (you can find that here) and I’m just simply commenting on each player but with the added bonus of another name inserted by myself based on what I’ve been reading or hearing from my sources.
- LC Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche. Please please please Baby Jesus.
I’d love me some Matt Duchene as well but he would cost something in the range of RNH+Klefbom, surely.
- RC Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche. UFA 2023. Would cost the moon.
Not sure why LT would have this name on his list. Would love him but ZERO chance he gets moved ahead of Duchene or Barrie.
- RC Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning. RFA 2017. 56 points per 82 games.
An interesting option for 2C if the Oilers decided to move Leon to RW on a permanent basis. Tampa has their work cut out for them. Who stays in FLA? Palat, Drouin, or Johnson?
- R Justin Williams FREE AGENT (80gp, 24-24-48). Luxury.
I could see the Oilers having major interest in Justin WIlliams but I have a feeling he’d be happy to stay out East with Ovechkin and the Caps. They’re still a very strong team. Reminds me of the 90’s Red Wings right before they became a Stanley Cup winning powerhouse.
- R T.J. Oshie FREE AGENT (68gp, 33-23-56). Not affordable.
This boy be demanding major skrilla. I’m betting if he’s not a cap in 2017, he might be a Golden Knight. But an Oiler? No, not unless they can find a taker for both Nugent-Hopkins AND Jordan Eberle whilst bringing in minimal $$$ on the return.
- R Patrick Eaves FREE AGENT (79gp, 32-19-51). Volume shooter!
Here’s a player the Oilers were in on at the trade deadline. I like that he’s a tad older and I love that he shoots the lights out. He’s got that compete that McLellan and Chiarelli love too. Then there’s the beard… Epic!
- LC Martin Hanzal FREE AGENT (71gp, 20-19-39). Has to be high priority.
If the price is right, Martin Hanzal will be an Oiler. But I have a feeling Montreal could get in on this one. Perfect 3C for almost any team.
- L Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres (70gp, 28-15-43). Buy low power forward.
I think if the Oilers were going to buy low and sell him off in the summer, he’d be a good candidate for acquisition. Shoots, hits, fights, and he has rockets on his skates. Just not sure about the “other stuff”.
- RC Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers. Averages 46 points per 82gp.
Having just picked him up by the Rangers for Derrick Brassard. New York shouldn’t be moving him on so quickly. He had a pretty strong playoffs I thought.
- C-R Ryan Strome, NY Islanders (69gp, 13-17-30). Rumors.
The brother of McDavid’s BFF. Can’t go wrong there. He’d be cheap and he’s still young.
- LC Vladimir Sobotka, St. Louis Blues. Signed to a nifty $3.5 million times two.
Sobotka to the Oilers used to be an annual rumor. I dig this player. Skilled enough to be a middle 6 floater. Can play wing or or centre. Doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
- R-L Thomas Vanek FREE AGENT (68gp, 17-31-48). Offensive option.
Numbers folks will tell you to look away from the inconsistent production and hockey people will tell you that he’s a tad lazy. 3rd line wing and PP1 option doesn’t sound bad to me if he’s on a cheap ticket.
- L Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey. Splendid KHL season, he’s coming back.
Pipe dream. Not as fast as he once was and he’ll be expensive but he’s got an epic shot and he put the Devils on his back and took them to the finals in 2012. Personally, I reckon he should just play the regular season out with the Devils, get reaclimated to the NHL, then have the Devils trade him for a better return at the deadline.
- R Radim Vrbata FREE AGENT (81gp, 20-35-55). Scorer.
If Vrbata could come in on a cheap deal like he has been doing as of recent, I’m all for the Oilers adding him.
- LC Nick Bonino FREE AGENT (80gp, 18-19-37). Two-way C.
I wouldn’t mind having a Nick Bonino filling in at 3C so as long as the Oilers aren’t paying him over $3.5M per year. I’d probably prefer a Brian Boyle to be honest.
- R Brett Ritchie, Dallas Stars (78gp, 16-8-24). Shoots the puck a lot.
Big boy. Would be interesting to see him lined up across from his brother Nick when the Oilers meet Anaheim in the playoffs again. I don’t see him as anything more than a bottom 6 winger though and the Oilers sure have enough of them.
- R Jaromir Jagr FREE AGENT (82gp, 16-30-46). Now 70, still going.
Jags is probably set to spend the rest of his career in the Eastern Conference if he wants to play until he’s 50. Still effective but slower than molasses. I wonder if Chiarelli would want him again, Jagr had 9pts in 11 games after being acquired at the deadline in 2012/13 and then he added another 10 assists in 22 games in the playoffs as the Bruins lost to Chicago.
- R Sam Gagner FREE AGENT (81gp, 18-32-50). PP savant.
Fans love a comeback story and now that Gagner’s role in the NHL has changed, he’s really taken to it. The Oilers could use another bottom-6 forward with some skill. A better option than Pakarinen.
- R Kris Versteeg FREE AGENT (69gp, 15-22-37). What he brings has value.
Versteeg would probably not be welcomed with open arms in Edmonton by the fanbase but he’s a veteran player who can float throughout the lineup. The Oilers know what they’d have in him from last year’s training camp. I would not be opposed to Edmonton adding him.
- R Ales Hemsky FREE AGENT (15gp, 4-3-7). Still brilliantly creative.
I wonder how much Hemmer has left in the tank. Is he a better option that Puljujarvi?
- RC Derek Ryan FREE AGENT (67gp, 11-18-29). Fine utility player.
The Oilers really wanted to pick Grant up at the deadline but Carolina’s ask was too much. He’d be a perfect utility forward.
- LC Dominic Moore FREE AGENT (82gp, 11-14-25). PK and FO option.
Excellent veteran option but I believe the Oilers would get even slower by adding Moore and that’s not what they need.
- R Drew Stafford FREE AGENT (58gp, 8-13-21). Chiarelli type.
Stafford has been on the Oilers radar for so many years but none of the many GMs have been able to pick him up. I’m not sure why. He has trouble staying healthy and he doesn’t score very much.
- LC Brian Boyle FREE AGENT (75gp, 13-12-25). He is on their list.
Another player the Oilers tried for at last season’s trade deadline. He would’ve been very helpful in the Anaheim series when the Oilers centres were getting worked on the faceoff dot.
- R Brett Connolly FREE AGENT (66gp, 15-8-23). Inexpensive scoring on RW.
Disappeared in the playoffs and is nowhere near my list of players the Oilers should have an eye on. Good regular season in 2016/17 though.
- R Jarome Iginla FREE AGENT (80gp, 14-13-27). He can still shoot the puck.
Iginla is going to be mayor of Calgary someday unless he signs in Edmonton.
- L Patrick Sharp FREE AGENT. Depending on health and price.
I wonder what the price point would be on Sharp. I love his experience, he’s grittty, he scores, and he adds more leadership to a young team.
- R Tyler Pitlick FREE AGENT (31gp, 8-3-11). Finally emerged, could return.
One more year in Edmonton is what Pitlick deserves. He was playing like a beast before his injury last season. I’d like to see one more year before cutting bait. I wonder if he’s an option for Vegas.
- R Jordan Weal FREE AGENT (23gp, 8-4-12). Eastern Pitlick.
I honestly don’t know much about this player. LT says he’s the Eastern Pitlick but I’m not sure if that refers to playing style or injury history or what.
My no.30 is left-handed center/wing Alexander Galchenyuk.
The Habs are trying to deal the 6’2″ 205lb RFA like mad. He hasn’t been able to fit into their system over in Montreal and they feel it’s time to move on from him. He played 61 games last year and put up 17 goals and 27 assists for 44 pts.
I feel like Montreal has had their eyes on Nugent-Hopkins for quite a while and they have around $22M in cap space going into next season, so they’d definitely be able to fit him in.
Okay I am not saying this is going to happen but would you think the Oilers RNH a good fit for Habs. 3rd line C can't work in Big E for RNH.
— BrianWilde (@BWildeCTV) November 22, 2016
I’m torn between Galchenyuk and Gallagher as the return I’d prefer from the Habs for RNH. On one hand, how can you not love the way that Brendan Gallagher plays the game? He’s a throwback player in some senses and would really add another element for the Oilers’ opposition to deal with but then we look at Alex Galchenyuk’s production.
- 2013/14 – 31pts in 65gp
- 2014/15 – 46pts in 80gp
- 2015/16 – 56pts in 82gp
- 2016/17 – 44pts in 61 gp
Compare that with Nugent-Hopkins’ stats in that time frame and keep in mind that Nuge had already played two partial seasons by Galchenyuk’s rookie year. The two aren’t separated by many points…
- 2013/14 – 56pts in 80gp
- 2014/15 – 56pts in 76gp
- 2015/16 – 34pts in 55gp
- 2016/17 – 43pts in 82 gp
Where would he fit in on the Oilers though?
Being as the Canadiens couldn’t figure out where to deploy him, that could also be a point of bother for the Oilers. He’s brutal on the faceoffs (career FO% of 45.5%), so I’d have to imagine he’d play the off-wing. Perhaps lining up on the right side.
If that scenario were to carry out, the Oilers would need a 3C and they’d need to be committed to having McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on their own lines. This might result in having Eberle beside Draisaitl and Galchenyuk alongside McDavid for a period of time depending on how much the Russian-American would sign for and if Eberle was even on the roster.
I think any scenario where Jesse Puljujarvi can be eased into his role on the Oilers is a good one for me and the one above would do just that.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!