With last season in the rear view mirror after witnessing Dallas Eakins set this franchise back even further I thought I would take a look at the roster and who I believe will have a bounce back season and/or will is ready to take a step forward in the their career. I believe there are a bunch of players who will have greatly improved seasons so let’s do this!
I really hope that Chiarelli takes a page out of Blue Jays’ Anthopoulos’ playbook and makes the essential needs to get the Oilers into contention by the trade deadline of the 2016-17 season. I mention the year after next because this season he is weighed down by contract anchors Teddy P and Nikki Nikitin. But, the time frame is secondary to the actual overall concept: making moves to make your club better, regardless of the cost and the potential of both roster players and prospects.
The Edmonton Oilers new general manager Peter Chiarelli was handed a team full of holes and went straight to work. A goalie and a few defencemen were his biggest priorities and he managed to upgrade both. Brought in were Cam Talbot, Griffin Reinhart and Andres Sekera. All three are clear upgrades but are they enough is the question…??? I want so badly to believe that it’s good enough and that Darnell Nurse will be ready but the Oilers have sucked for so long that I just don’t know if I can believe in a team that continues to disappoint.
I saw a tweet that posed the question to fans and media: would you rather have Franson on a 3 year deal or Seabrook on a 7 or 8 year deal. This author’s position was he would rather have Franson on a short term deal. This is the kind of thinking that makes me giggle as an Oiler fan. I hear it all the time, or read it on Twitter. Just because we want it as Oiler fans doesn’t mean anyone else involved does. Franson could likely get $5-$5.5 on a 2 or 3 year deal from anyone – so, why would he choose to come here? Would we want to overpay in order to make the deal work over 3 years? Doubtful. Franson is looking for term, like every UFA his age always is.
The Oilers have a lot of NHL defensemen (contract and potentially) and not a lot of viable options on what to do with them if they want to further tweak the back end. Ference, Nikitin and Schultz represent contracts that don’t have much bang for the buck. Buying anyone out this year doesn’t make any sense. The new brass needs to see how the on-ice product looks and how the team plays together before they make any more little tweaks that cost the team long term money. Buying out players this year makes no sense. We don’t know if we have a contender or a pretender. I would assume that the Oilers will move forward into the new season status quo, unless a Seabrook extension is not reached in Chicago and they decide to move him.
This evening, the Chicago Blackhawks traded Patrick Sharp and his $5.9 million cap hit to the Dallas Stars for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt. The Stars retain half of Garbutt’s salary and now the Hawks are sitting with about a 1/2 million in cap space and 14 forwards, 5 defensemen and 2 goalies signed.
So, it is sounding more and more like there are actual talks between Chicago and Edmonton regarding the all-star rearguard. It seems like there is growing debate between Oiler fans and media regarding Seabrook’s value long term.