What to do about Alex Chiasson?
Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal: Few can believe Alex Chiasson came into Edmonton camp last year on a PTO. However, he did and once he grabbed a roster spot, Chiasson never let go. His 22-goal season while shooting nearly 18% was a revelation. Alex Chiasson’s ability to hit the blue paint was uncanny.
Can he do it again? That is the question Ken Holland must answer. What do you pay the forward? He earned $650,000 and should double that salary at least. It boils down to what the two sides can agree on.
An RFA conundrum?
Rattie got the prime Connor McDavid role and promptly fumbled it away with a shooting percentage less than 5% along with injuries.
Rieder worked out poorly in Edmonton and is all but out the door.
Then, there is Khaira who dropped off in the second half but is a perfect “worker bee”. A one-year buy-low contract would not surprise.
Find me a penalty-killing center…
Allan Mitchell of The Athletic: Edmonton has limited funds at about $3 million.
Philipp Danault would be the best choice for his offense along with penalty killing ability (53 points). His salary is ideal at just over $3 million but the cost could be at a premium.
Adam Lowry and Jean Gabriel-Pageau are also right around $3 million. Pageau would be easier to pry away from Ottawa as Lowry may cost a bit much.
Building the defense around Connor McDavid
Allan Mitchell of The Athletic: Ken Holland does not have the luxury of waiting a year in Edmonton. He must make on the fly observations and hope for the best.
Could he trade Adam Larsson for help? That’s plausible. Matt Benning needs a boost in minutes more to see what he can deliver. After that, Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom should bounce back. Klefbom and Andrej Sekera have significant injury concerns.
Philip Broberg is a player Ken Holland covets so one of Nurse, Klefbom, or Larsson likely goes eventually. Needless to say, this is a decision Holland must get right.