Montgomery Burns always had a plan, a plan that often felt impervious to disaster yet somehow failed, often due to Homer J. Simpson. I have a plan, and like Mr. Burns and his plans, think it's an awesome plan. I highly doubt Tambo executes a plan at all close to mine, but I believe certain aspects will be similar. Like Tambo said at seasons end his goal was to get bigger and stronger, I share his philosophy in that regard.
First we need to look at what we have. I will only look at roster players as key components and will have them as the basis of the plans. I will also assume the cap stays at 56 million for this upcoming season.
Player Cap Hit
|Kotalik, Ales|| UFA |
|Reddox, Liam ||RFA|
Right now everything for next season comes to 47.545M for next season (28.62-F, 18.3-D, 0.625-G). This leaves us with 8.455M for next season.
Right now as it is, we have a couple of assets that could open us up on the trade market. We arguably have 7 top 6 players signed for next season, in Penner, Horcoff, Hemsky, Nilsson, Gagner, Cogliano, O'Sullivan. I think that Nilsson, Cogliano and O'Sullivan are all tradeable. Penner and Horcoff won't be traded because no other team will accept those contracts. Hemsky won't be traded unless we get someone better back which is highly unlikely. Gagner I believe is the future of this team, therefore also won't be traded, which leaves the 3 guys I mentioned.
On D, I think the only tradable asset we have is Tom Gilbert. Visnovsky and Souray both have NMC's. Grebeshkov and Smid are RFA's and Staois wouldn't fetch too much on the market.
First of all, I would resign Grebeshkov to a contract that has him at a caphit of 3.5M. I will also resign Smid to a 1.5M contract. Reddox also gets the 1M extension. I don't resign Brodziak.
First of all, I would offer Tampa Bay Penner and a 2nd for Malone. Penner and Malone have similar offensive numbers and the exact same cap hit, however Malone brings more heart and grit to the game. He's finishes his checks and gives noticably more effort than Penner. We add the 2nd to get Tampa to bite.
Next, during Free Agency we sign Marty Reasoner to a 1M caphit contract. He's the essential 3rd line center we need as Brodziak obviously wasn't able to fill that void. Reasoner also is more capable at killing PK's and defensive zone faceoffs. This would relieve pressure off of Horcoff allowing him to focus on his offensive game moreso.
Next we see if Staios and Nilsson packaged together get any type of draft picks coming back or prospects coming back. We do it. With the void Staios leaves, we sign Greg Zanon to a 2M contract.
Next we look at Gilbert, Cogliano and O'Sullivan. We could trade Gilbert to Buffalo for the rights to Drew Stafford assuming he signs long term with the Oilers. Stafford adds that grit to our top 6 along with Malone. I would assume Stafford will get a new contract in the range of 3.5M.
Now we try to also clear out Pouliots contract. Take whatever you can for the guy as he has close to no future with the Oilers.
Next we solve our goaltending issue. Theres 3 options that I believe are available for the Oilers.
1)Acquiring Jaroslav Halak via trade
2)Acquiring Jonas Gustavsson via nice contract
3)Acquring Josh Harding via offer sheet
All these scenarios have the goalie making money up to 3M. I would move Deslauriers in all scenarios and sign Roloson to a contract in the 2-3M range. I think Halak and Harding are more realistic from an Oilers perspective as Gustavsson will most likely end up in a more conisistent powerhouse franchise. If we say offer Harding 2.5-3M as I don't see how Minnesota would match when they are paying Backstrom 6M. To pay up to 9M on goaltending is most likely not in the plans for Minnesota. So let's just say we sign another goalie to 3M.
Next can either unfold in 2 ways.
1) We can offer Cogliano and O'Sullivan to San Jose for Milan Michalek. Also even though Souray has a NTC, if I were Tambo I would ask him if he would waive it for San Jose. San Jose will have to fill the void that Rob Blake leaves next season. Souray would be a valid option and I don't see how he would decline waiving his NTC when his family all lives in LA. If we do move Souray we offer Mike Komisarek 4.5M. Also if we trade Souray to San Jose for Michalek, I would move Cogliano, O'Sullivan and our 10th to move up in the draft.
2) Offer Cogliano, O'Sullivan and our 10th Pick to move up as far as we can in the draft. Then see if Jagr is willing sign here for 5M.
Both options are somewhat plausible and fit under the cap assuming Jagr signs relative cheap in Option 2 (5M). We get alot bigger and tougher in both scenarios as well. The Malone-Gagner-Stafford line is relatively young and would be able to step in to being the #1 line in the future.
Option 1 will give us 1.3M in space and Option 2 will give us 0.5M in space. To keep in mind the future, I would only resign Roloson to a 1 year contract and have his caphit go to whatever Gagner's extension would require.
Both options give Hemsky another Czech linemate. I've personally been waiting for Hemsky to have that breakout season, I think both options give him that ability.
Our 3rd line of Moreau-Reasoner-Pisani would be the essential shutdown line. Where our 4th line of Reddox-Jacques-Stortini would be our energy line. As with both options I've somewhat set up a 1a-1b line system so they can eat equal minutes. This would keep our 4th line to less than 10 minutes a game, where the other 3 lines can eat up the other 50 easily.
Our D core gets better in both scenarios as well. Although it inhinges on Peckham continuing to progress at the rate he was. Near the end of last season he was much improved as compared to his first couple of games. Zanon is a improvement over Staois as well.
As for Goaltending, it's still questionable, however most likely we acquire a goaltender with him in mind for the future. Roloson is still a good goalie, however for as many games he can steal, he can also lose for that one bad goal.
Anyways thats my plan.