**This is a guest post from an old friend of the site, Micah Kowalchuk. You might know him if you’re part of some of the Oilers groups on facebook or from some of the great articles he posted when he was part of the writing staff here.**
Now, this isn’t going to be a popular suggestion, we’ve all been going on about the players we can add to make a cup run, in spite of our GM saying he had no plans to do that.
We’re now seeing guys like Boyle go for a good prospect and a 2nd round pick, and there has to be a question of “Are we good enough this year to blow that much on players”.
If the answer is yes, then carry on. But, what if you genuinely believe this isn’t the year. What we can do then is shop for future pieces and sell expiring assets for a high dollar figure.
We know the following players aren’t going anywhere:
Maroon, McDavid, Lucic, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Letestu, Kassian, Khaira, Slepyshev, Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera, Benning and Nurse.
And we know RNH and Eberle, if they are dealt, will be in off-season deals where players with term tend to get dealt.
That leaves this deadline and the following assets:
Hendricks <- soon to be a UFA, with retained salary may have depth value, and more than we thought after today (As of today’s prices, possibly a 3rd for him);
Russell <- yes, fan favorite, but what we hear from management indicates he’s not likely to sign here next year at the price we want; (As of today’s prices, outside change we might even get a low first round pick, or a 2nd and a prospect at least)
Gryba <- a warrior rental 7th defender who might be worth something to a playoff club; (Maybe we get a Polak special with him and Hendricks combined for a couple of 2nds, you never know)
And Pouliot and Fayne <- if we retain 50% on them, maybe we find a buyer to get the space off our books; (At 50% retained, some mid level picks)
So.. Let’s say we dealt those pieces based on the idea of maximizing value, what is the roster we have left assuming we could sell them all?
(We basically lose Pouliot and Hendy up front and give Lander his last shot playing with a couple of guys who he tore the AHL to shreds with. Rather than let him walk, let’s give Lander his last shot at proving he’s got something, and let’s give him that shot the best way we can. We’re not going to be taking much of a step back anyhow over Hendricks worst case). And we call up Beck as the 13th forward, another expiring asset in the AHL who’s shown he may have something.
On the back end:
Let’s face it, this won’t be much worse either, and we have a pile of 7th defenders who’ve earned time up here and done well enough in Oesterle or Reinhart or Musil or Simpson.
What we’d be doing here is going with players we might have next season and gathering as many possible assets as we could get our hands on. Maybe we land a young right shot forward asset or a young right shot D asset to try out, maybe we just get picks we can sell to Vegas towards clearing bad contracts or getting players we need.
This isn’t to say I’m recommending this strategy per say, but I’m giving some insight into what we may see PC do instead in building for the future rather than the short term, feel free to scream all you want over the idea.