Evening y’all! It’s morning over here in the land of stinky tofu and bubble tea, so I get the advantage of reading the day’s posts regarding the Edmonton Oilers (or otherwise interesting comings and goings) and commenting on them. To which I’ll do exactly just that!
- This is the annual preview of the u18 tournament that our good buddy from Draftgeek.ca, Brayden Sullivan, does up for us. This year’s is especially amazing because Justin Froese from Future Considerations has decided to give us a hand! These are two great up-and-coming hockey minds covering NHL prospects folks!
- Joseph Veleno (CAN), Klim Kostin (RUS), Ostap Safin (CZE), Timothy Liljegren (SWE), Michael Pastujov (USA), Nico Hischier (SWI), and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (FIN) are all potential future Edmonton Oilers who’ll look to make waves at this year’s tourney! Click the blue link above to read more on them!
CRUEL SUMMER by Lowetide
- L1: Lucic—McDavid—Eberle
- L2: Pouliot—Nuge—Draisaitl
- L3: Maroon—??—??
- L4: ??—Letestu—Kassian
- D1: Klefbom—Larsson
- D2: Sekera—Fayne
- D3: ??—Davidson
- G1: Talbot
- G2: ??
Five question marks. Too many. Seriously. Connor McDavid is a fantastic talent and I do think the defense and goaltending will be better, but why have the Oilers done so little work on the 3 and 4 lines? Comes the answer: Jesse Puljujarvi! I honestly believe Nail Yakupov on the 1 line is a strong option, doubt the Oilers feel that way.
Folks, it isn’t enough, by plenty. It is August, and the only conclusion a reasonable person can reach is that the city of Edmonton is doomed to another winter of cheering for a losing team. At least the seats are nicer and the sight lines for goals against will be clearer.
So LT is a bit bothered by the moves and/or lack thereof from the Oilers. I don’t blame him one bit. I would however cut Chiarelli some slack though. PC has, in fact, changed the fabric of this team in two off-seasons and the days of the soft but skilled forward are soon to be forgotten (once Yak has been dealt that is).
Speaking of Yak, I believe there’s still a way to salvage him and it would be in the vein or the Derek Roy experiment a couple of seasons back. Enter Jiri Hudler.
The 32-yr old Czech is still without a team. Now at this point in the off-season the players that haven’t been signed are either SOL or have handshake agreements with teams but are waiting for those teams to make moves to open up some room under their caps.
But is Hudler not nearly a perfect match for this Oilers team?
- He’s a veteran of nearly 700 NHL games.
- He’s a centre (left-handed albeit).
- He won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008.
- Was a Lady Byng Trophy winner in 2014/15 for Most Gentlemanly player.
- Accepted the award in his socks… LOLs
- Is a high-percentage shooter with career average of 15.1%.
- According to stats.hockeyanalysis.com, Hudler’s impact on his most common linemates (Hudler played over 400 min 5×5 w/Gaudreau and Monahan) was very positive.
- I think price point could be somewhat of a concern. Hudler made $4M last season but his production fell off nearly 30 points as well.
- He did much better in his time with FLA though (6g, 5a, 11pts in 19gp w/ only 2 goals coming on the PP).
So if the Oilers added Hudler at say $3M per year for 2 years, that would fill in the 3C spot and give Yak a skilled veteran centre to try to get his act together with. And Hudler’s skill set is not that far off of Roy’s.
Now you’d have:
The only issue might be Hendricks on that 4th line but if that line is only getting 6 or 7 minutes of 5×5 TOI per game, how much of an impact might they really have apart from those players getting more minutes on the PK. I think that Iiro Pakarinen, Tyler Pitlick, Jujhar Khaira, or possibly Drake Caggiula could fit that role adequately.
Then again, maybe it’s time to stop sinking money into the rehabilitation of Nail Yakupov’s career but I fear that the Oilers will do what they’ve always done with their high-profile 1st rounders and start Puljujarvi in the majors. I mean that scenario works if it’s Pulju instead of Yak as well.
I’m not as concerned about the defense as Lowetide, maybe I should be if LT is, because there’s depth there; unfortunately its young depth. Inexperienced depth. So we can only hope that the defense stays relatively healthy this year or that someone comes in via free agency as the team is on the brink of having said depth at nearly every position. But they’ll be going into next year by the skin of their asses and if that dirty pirate we call the “injury bug” sails back to port, there could be trouble.
Anyways, let me know what you think about Jiri Hudler or the Ivan Hlinka Memorial in the comments below!