Thursday, March 01, 2007

What Will The Summer Bring?


Probably not this guy but you get the picture.
The Oilers are still good enough to compete for a playoff spot next year if they upgrade their roster.
But this is what I think we will see. And remember I figured right up to the moment they traded Smyth that they would sign him, so believe me at your own risk. :)
1. If the Oilers are out of playoff contention next year Jason Smith will also get moved.
2. They are going to try to sign Markannen to a two year deal. If they believed in JDD at all they would have moved him.
3. They are seriously thinking of keeping Sykora. (Well duh!) Likely they will try and ink him for two years for what he is making now.
4. They will not dip into the free agent market in a serious way.
5. They will trade for a big name player. Lowe has a ton of assets in terms of young players, prospects and draft picks. There are way too many youngsters who are ready or almost ready for their shot. There is not room for all of them.
6. While Richards is unlikely (great player but 7.8M is a ridiculous overpay) that is the type of player they will target. Quality player signed for two years plus.
7. Who, you ask? Focus on teams who may have cap issues, teams that fall short of the playoffs and teams that bomb out in the playoffs.
8. In the first case teams will try to clear space because they need to or because they want to take a run at the new UFA crop. Think Ottawa or Tampa as teams that have cap issues going into next year or any number of teams who want to give Chris Drury 7M a year.
9. In the second case there is still Philly but think of Atlanta if they fall short again as a team that may blow things up. Florida is another candidate.
10. The third case, well, this remains to be seen.
I see a situation where Atlanta decides to go in another direction and wants to move Hossa either because they are blowing everything up or to free up cash to pursue a UFA. Just as an example. And Lowe moves some youth.
And to my dismay, I don't see Lupul going anywhere. Although getting that 2.3 off the books would be a good idea.

11 comments:

Kyle said...

I'd love if the Oilers threw 6 or so at Daniel Briere if he's available, though I suspect (if he's not signed by Buffalo) that he would go for closer to 7.

Black Dog said...

The other side of this, kyle, and I am sure someone will say it so I will now.

They may also do absolutely nothing. This may be a total rebuild.

Let's hope not.

Anonymous said...

At this stage, i wouldn't completely hate a rebuild year, but Lowe has to do his part to ensure the long-term success of his franchise.
The three first round picks are a blessing, but only if used properly, which i'm kind of wary of this year with what is supposed to be a lacklustre crop of draftees. That being said, it can still be a great draft for the Oilers franchise if they were to say, trade two of their first round picks for a top 5 first round pick and take a shot at the best defenseman availible in Karl Alzner, or another London Knight offensive standout in either Patrick Kane or Sam Gagner. I'm looking at these three as the cream of the crop in this draft year, and the Oilers would do well to pick any of the three.
I think this offseason will ultimately decide Kevin Lowe's fate. Screw up the draft and UFA signing period, and in all honesty he should be on the way out come the end of next regular season. But if he makes out great in the draft as he seems to have done in every year since 2002 (not including last year, no first rounder), than he will have proven his savvy and has given the Oilers a fighting chance within 5-7 years.
- Kiprian

Kyle said...

The other side of this, kyle, and I am sure someone will say it so I will now.

They may also do absolutely nothing. This may be a total rebuild.

Let's hope not.


Even a total rebuild needs leadership though, as aluded to by LB at SSRG yesterday. I don't think it would hurt say, Shremp's development, to play with Briere.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought. The first guy who is gonna become a start to finish Oiler for his entire career is probably going to be Fernando Pisani. Think about it.

Julian said...

This trade is going to be judged on what Lowe does this summer with the space.

If the Smyth trade is actually Smyth for 2 prospects, a first and 5.5MM in cap space, then whoever fills that cap space had better be someone special. Like Lecavalier special. If he gets Jokinen or something like that, I'm gonna be Dennis-level mad.

Black Dog said...

We'll see Julian - welcome to the NHL, just like the NFL.

Seriously, note what Risebrough said yeaterday and watch the NFL for off season activity. Fan favourites get cut in the NFL all of the time. Cut outright.

The reason - cap management.

I love Smytty and everything he brings to the club and I think the negotiations were botched. But paying 5.5M for a 36 year old winger is not a good use of cap space.

SweatyO said...

My hope for the summer

- Improve the blueline while retaining Hejda.

- Bring in a star forward, or bring back Smyth if this doesn't pan out (that being said, Smyth's got to WANT to come back...don't give him six million just because you couldn't get anyone else. There's a limit to what he's worth, and this is an opportunity to go get, and God bless Smyth for what he is, a TRUE superstar forward).

- Get rid of Joffrey Lupul and Craig Simpson

Black Dog said...

sweatyo - well, this is for another post but they will have another influx of young forward and many of them like Schremp and Nilsson are of the Lupul school - paying him 2.3M when you can get someone to do the same for a third of the price, well ...

but I think because of the optics and because Lowe is stubborn Lupul gets another year

then he gets traded and has a great year in his contract year

As to Smyth - two things - if he were 28 I'd give him the money. And secondly, I don't know if you can get a superstar for that value but say you can get three years of Hossa or something of that type - I think that is what Lowe will be looking for - equivalent of Smyth or better for less term or term that does not bring the player to the other side of 35.

Katie O'D said...

I would NOT hate getting Marian Hossa. The guy's awesome. But what about that defenseman that they need? It makes sense to invest at least part of Smytty's salary in a good d-man.

I would definitely hate getting Briere. He's got skills, but his diving, among other things, makes me really hate him. He also breaks too easily.

Black Dog said...

katie - well that is the obvious point of course

multiple trades?

from my figuring and I may be off a bit - with Smyth at 5, Torres at 2 and Hejda at 1.5 but without Shaggy and Sykora they were looking at a payroll of about 42M

So with Smyth's money going elsewhere and the fact that we know this team is not going to max out to the cap - the money has to come from somewhere. Once again the obvious one to go is Lupul - 2.3M - but you might not get more then a bucket of pucks for him.

But maybe a team like St. Louis or LA might take a chance at him.