The rebuild, revisited

By , June 27, 2010 11:00 am
Decisions, decisions

Decisions, decisions..

So a post on David Staples’ blog inspired this post here. This originally was going to be a reply, but I found that my reply was far too long and would likely have been passed over by most people.

Within theCult of Hockey post, Staples questioned what the Oilers should do with the cast offs (Souray, Moreau, Nilsson, O’Sullivan), and what holes the Oilers should be filling (and David provided his opinion on both matters). Here is my take on it…

I think the Oilers biggest priority is in net, but since we’ve got our “world class all star” in between the pipes, chances are they won’t go out after anyone else. We all know already how much I would have loved for the Oilers to trade and sign Jaroslav Halak. It didn’t happen, but I think that is one piece we’re currently short on… a young up and comer goaltender. I don’t want to bail on Dubnyk and Deslauriers too early, but nothing I’ve seen has given indication that these guys can help carry a team on any given night just yet. Most of this does hinge on Khabibulin here though. I do believe he is a good enough goaltender to keep us competitive… it’s just the injuries that are a huge concern here.

Second priority is for some d-men. Biggest priority there would be for a guy who plays a solid defensive/shutdown game with the added bonus of being physical. Zbynek Michalek would be nice here. With our top pairing of Whitney and Gilbert, I could handle seeing Michalek and a puck mover on the 2nd line (we’re out of those too, aside from the scary Chorney, it would seem… perhaps this is where a cheap Grebeshkov comes in), and then close it up with Smid and Johnson with the beloved Strudwick as the 7th man (from what I understand the Oilers coaching staff/brass love him and want him around for his leadership).

If the Oilers manage to unload the Souray, Moreau, O’Sullivan AND Nilsson contracts, they’ll be sitting in a very comfortable spot on the cap, depending on who comes back. If they’re forced to take a bad contract back for any of Moreau, O’Sullivan or Nilsson, I’d suggest either waivers or buyouts instead. The 4 combined account for $10.325M in salary.

Oilers current cap situation

So, according to the wonderful Capgeek.com, that would leave us with nearly $31M in salary, minus whomever we get for Souray (and minus whomever we get for the other 3 if they go via trade, or their buyout amounts if they are bought out). Unfortunately, we’ve got a lot of RFAs to sign, as well as a forward core to rebuild up (only 5 NHLers signed at this point without the 3 forwards above!). We’d also need possibly 2 more d-men. I’d say the combined 2 would cost around $6M, leaving $25M for the 9 forwards (that include notable RFAs Sam Gagner and Gilbert Brule) and 1 goaltender to field a roster of 14 d-men, 7 defense, 2 goalies.

At any rate, this is what I’d call a rebuild. I didn’t realize how few guys we’d have left if we dumped the 4 players mentioned. They’d have a lot of choice on how to rebuild the team.

If I back up a step, $31M is the cap space available for 9 players signed. A full roster is 23 players. So that means the average salary the Oilers could pay the remaining players is $2.21M / season. I think that would be more than enough for each player, as this roster is going to include a lot of min-salary guys or guys that are on entry level deals.

So really, I think the best move here is for the Oilers to penny pinch and be frugal when it comes to the RFAs they re-sign. They might lose some quality guys like Potulny (already rumored, although I’d hate to see that happen), but they could really fill out the team and balance it a lot better than they have by re-structuring their forward and defensive groups. This starts by unloading those 4 guys we’ve talked about all year. So let’s see that get done… with waivers/buyouts being a very viable option!

70 Responses to “The rebuild, revisited”

  1. Bostonoiler says:

    chucker: Or they are thinking about the Khabbi situation….

    Yeah, you can’t let one of them go when its possible your starter is facing jail time. Plus we have no idea how his back is going to hold up. JDD and DD being QO’d was the smart move by Tambi. If Khabi is going to be ok, then we can trade one of them during the off-season for a draft pick.

  2. MetalOil says:

    chucker:
    Or they are thinking about the Khabbi situation….

    Possible I guess but that would take some serious guts on Tamby’s part. It sill just might be too early to make a call on which of these young goalies will be the right fit for this team going forward. I am not sure how they would go about this though without a 3 goalie rotation.

  3. Bostonoiler says:

    Here is somethnig else to think about. The Rangers are far apart from a deal with Marc Staal…..Tambi knows we need young defenders. Go get him Tambi. Make sure they take Souray too!

  4. chucker says:

    Still shocked that they qualified an injured Jacques, who according to Bob Stauffer, “..is miles away from coming back from injury.” Waste of a roster spot IMHO.

  5. Steve-O says:

    I’m shocked they didn’t qualify Pouliot…I may be his only fan but he could be a perfect 3/4 line center.

  6. chucker says:

    I’m surprised by Pouliot too, but really, the guy’s been here forever and not done anything. What a waste of a first round pick…

  7. Racki says:

    WE COULDA HAD ZACK PARISE! (just kidding about the angst)

    Seriously though, I’m JFJ’s only fan… I know he’s injured, but I like him as a checker. Horrible as a power forward… superb as a 4th liner. Hits everyone and everything.. fuck, even referees. Watch your back!

    And well, if he’s out for a while, he’ll be on LTIR and not tying up cap space or a roster spot, so I’m somewhat OK with that. Is he getting a backyotomy?

  8. MetalOil says:

    I agree Racki but I am concerned about his current injury.

  9. Racki says:

    That’s very thoughtful of you MO.. very thoughtful.. send him some flowers. :P

    Sorry, in a strange mood today. For sure it is a concern, but he’ll come cheap. They shouldn’t be shoving off a guy like Potulny for him though. Pouliot, for sure.. Potulny.. no. That one I’m miffed about.

  10. LateNightOilFan says:

    Wow, I thought Potulny was a keeper for at least next season. Pouliot I’m not surprised about at all though. I figured if one of the goalies didn’t get traded at the draft they would both be qualified and then one would be traded. I’ve always thought the Oilers wouldn’t want either one of them to walk away for nothing. Plus with the Khabi uncertainty they may wait a while.

  11. Racki says:

    Yah for sure that is the reasoning on the qualifying offer to J4D.

  12. Racki says:

    FYI, Robin Brownlee says he expects the Oilers to try and re-sign Mike Comrie…. thoughts on keeping Comrie over Potulny? I like them both to be honest… although one has a longer future in the NHL..

  13. chucker says:

    Racki: FYI, Robin Brownlee says he expects the Oilers to try and re-sign Mike Comrie…. thoughts on keeping Comrie over Potulny? I like them both to be honest… although one has a longer future in the NHL..

    I’d rather keep Pots, but I can understand the reasoning if they keep him. They do need some vets here that want to be here and show the kids how to be pros, especially the undersized kids.

    On JFJ; I like the guy a lot as an energy fourth liner. Like Racki said, he hits everything that moves and then some. My concern is that this is his second or third issue with his back and even had surgery on it once. I’ve been in that spot. Bodychecking and being physical is not going to be what’s best for him. I really don’t like the risk that it poses him and the Oilers for a player under contract.

    I was thinking though, maybe he’s our Kurtis Foster. i.e. It’s pretty hard to dump a guy when he injured himself going to the wall for you. Maybe he comes back just as good or better. Hopefully he does. If he does, he should be our Masterton nominee.

  14. victoriaoilerfan says:

    I don’t care if they keep Comrie over Pots. as long as they don’t pay much more and keep it short term.
    Regarding JFJ if..if..if..? he could stay healthy would be a real solid guy for the Oilers to have around and an absolute fan favorite. Frankly I had the feeling when he played he was Quinn’s big man crush many nights.
    He is just to banged up to play the style he likes and we need IMO. We really have quietly got to find a replacement IMO.
    Chucker and my guy is Shelley.

  15. chucker says:

    victoriaoilerfan: I don’t care if they keep Comrie over Pots. as long as they don’t pay much more and keep it short term.Regarding JFJ if..if..if..? he could stay healthy would be a real solid guy for the Oilers to have around and an absolute fan favorite. Frankly I had the feeling when he played he was Quinn’s big man crush many nights.He is just to banged up to play the style he likes and we need IMO. We really have quietly got to find a replacement IMO.Chucker and my guy is Shelley.

    Yup. 8)

  16. Bostonoiler says:

    Racki: FYI, Robin Brownlee says he expects the Oilers to try and re-sign Mike Comrie…. thoughts on keeping Comrie over Potulny? I like them both to be honest… although one has a longer future in the NHL..

    Comrie fits where?

  17. John says:

    I’m good with Comrie but he’s a center no? Like Boston says, where would he line up, rover of sorts? I get the impression he could be the kid who gets picked last in gym class depending on what kind of camp Eberle, MPS, Lander, Omark, Hall, etc have.

  18. Racki says:

    Comrie played the wing more last year than center.. so he can pretty much go wherever he’s needed. I think Chucker hit the nail on the head… I’d prefer keeping Potulny, but Comrie must be sticking around (if they do keep him) to help teach the kids a thing or two about surviving the league as a midget.

    He actually looked really good, in my opinion, until the mono hit. That was a big downer. He was one of few guys out there that actually looked like they belonged in this league.

  19. Racki says:

    FUCKIN EH BUBBA!

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