On the Edmonton Oilers …
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Some changes to watch for this offseason.
Head coach Todd McLellan is likely coming back but there will be some new assistant coaches.
The Oilers will continue to look for an offensive defenseman. They might have to trade one of their left-handed defensemen like Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse to get a right-handed defenseman. Or they could try a first-round draft pick in a package for left-handed Oliver Ekman-Larsson if he becomes available.
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie is an obvious trade target, but with 2016 first-round pick Cale Makar returning to school next year, it’s unlikely that the Avs would move Barrie.
Carolina Hurricanes Justin Faulk has seen his stock fall and the Hurricanes would likely want a “live body” back in a trade – a forward and not a defenseman or draft pick.
The Oilers are at about $60 million with 14 players signed (Rattie signed after the article was posted – around $61 million with 15 players signed now). Nurse, Matt Benning, Ryan Strome, Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev are RFAs. Their deals could put the Oilers at around $71 million. There isn’t a lot of salary cap space left for a James van Riemsdyk or James Neal.
There have been some talks of buying out Milan Lucic, but that isn’t going to happen. He’s owed $30 million over the next five seasons.
Would the Oilers or the Arizona Coyotes do a Nurse or Klefbom and a first-round pick for Ekman-Larsson?
The Oilers shouldn’t trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins though some teams might be interested. The Blues, Coyotes, Hurricanes and Canucks could all be looking for a center.
If goaltender Cam Talbot has a good year next season, could expect a four-year contract extension in the range of $5 million a season.
Zack Kassian has two years left on his deal at a $1.95 million cap hit. That is too much for a fourth liner and they could look to move him.
The Oilers likely won’t re-sign Iiro Pakarinen.
They could offer Anton Slepyshev a contract, but they aren’t completely sold on him and could look to trade him.
Unrestricted free agent Mike Cammalleri could retire.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: TSN 1260’s Dean Millard: “Received a DM from a former NHL executive today who told me McLellan has already made his choice and the guy who runs the PK is the sacrificial lamb, so that would be Jim Johnson. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Mark Spector reported that Bob Nicholson doesn’t want to fire Peter Chiarelli or Todd McLellan. Nicholson has stated that he’s not firing Chiarelli.
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Elliotte Friedman was on 630 CHED talking about the Edmonton Oilers and how he’s curious as to who is holding the power.
“So that,s the first thing I’m curious about is who’s got the power to do what,” wondered Friedman as it relates to the Oilers. “The second thing I am curious about – and I saw that Nicholson said yesterday that he believes in Peter’s plan – I am curious to see if there’s been any change in can Peter just do what wants to do.
“Like if he says, ‘I want to do this trade,’ can he just do it. Every GM – and he’s the president of hockey ops too – everybody has a boss, right. But I do wonder if there’s anything been done to say, ‘Before you do this, we need to run it through some people.’
“That’s the other thing I’m curious about.”