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Matt Henderson wrote a great blog on how the Oilers should offer sheet Seth Jones. While there were many different opinions on the logistics of such a deal, the fact remains that there are going to be some teams with cap issues... which for the NHL really isn't anything new. In the salary cap world, every summer there are teams who have to make tough choices; and teams that will take advantage of that. A big reason we see teams run into cap issues is because they overpay players on contracts that are too long.

The new wrinkle will be the Expansion Draft that is almost definitely going to happen next summer. The NHL looks geared up to announce a Vegas team (my money is during the awards show in Vegas). I won't get into all the bells and whistles of how the such a draft would work. Here are the two things you need to know:

1.) A team can protect 7 forwards, 3 defenders, and 1 goalie
2.) Only 1 player maximum can be taken from a team

So, when this is officially announced what does this mean? Teams are going to overpay even more players and offer bad contracts - because now they have an out.

Now to bring this back to the Oilers angle I shall write this for the millionth time, "the Oilers need to address their defense." Many names have been brought up to be the ideal guy. This player is usually in his mid 20's with at least 4 years of NHL experience and a right shot. Other names that have been brought up include Yandle, Phanuef, and Goligoski. The biggest mark against these guys is that they would be overpaid... see where I'm going with this.

Hypothetically, the Oilers could offer a guy like Goligoski a 6.7 million dollar 4 year deal. Not sure how many teams would match that because many have cap restraints and quite frankly that is an obscene amount to offer him. Let's also say they acquire Tyson Barrie because why not. Next season you can run Goligoski with Sekera moving to the right hand side and Klefbom with Barrie. The expansion draft happens that summer and I'm pretty sure you can guess who the Oilers wouldn't protect out of those four.

Is this an ideal scenario? Absolutely not. The obvious way this plan goes south is the Vegas team doesn't take Goligoski and now the Oilers are in cap hell. On top of that what I am suggesting is acquiring a player for 1 year as opposed to a long term solution. What this does do is allow the Oilers to acquire a guy who can play top minutes and even more importantly shelter Klefbom so he doesn't have to be their de facto top guy. Next season the Oilers would have an average NHL defense, while setting the bar low, is still leagues better than what currently exists.

This is just one more option for Chiarelli, and another reason it will be inexcusable if he can't find a way to meaningfully address the defense for next season.
Filed Under:   oilers   defense   expansion   draft  
June 3, 2016 9:43 AM ET | Delete
Few things wrong with this plan. The big free agents know there is a chance for expansion so you wont see much short term deals and more expansion protection clauses in free agents this summer. Also if you were to bring in 2 more top 4 defensemen, which three do you protect? Sekera needs protection because of his no movement clause and you dont want to lose either Nurse or kelfbom. Even if they are overpriced teams wont look away at talented defensemen and the oilers will be back at square one.
June 3, 2016 1:02 PM ET | Delete
Great points with the NMC. That in itself will make free agency interesting. Will we see less overpays or teams trying to make smaller dealers because they have to add a no move clause? As far as who to protect Nurse does not need to be protected. As of right now I protect Klefbom and Sekera. If the Oilers add two top right shots I protect the better of the two. At that point it would not be the worst thing to lose a number 4 guy.
June 3, 2016 8:22 PM ET | Delete
Not your worst blog.
June 4, 2016 12:01 AM ET | Delete
Nurse will need protection since at the earliest the draft will be next summer and he will be entering his 3rd pro season. Same for mcdavid eichel nylander larkin etc. Maybe nurse is the piece going out to get a experienced top 4 defenseman.
June 4, 2016 12:04 AM ET | Delete
Edmonton needs to find 3 defenseman they believe will form the core of a winning team this off season. I am unconvinced it will be sekera klefbom and nurse. Maybe a nurse for barrie swap might work.
June 4, 2016 10:55 AM ET | Delete
Wissler. The only player that needs protection out of the players you named is nylander. Nylamder will have finished his third year and everyone else would be finishing their second.
June 4, 2016 1:01 PM ET | Delete
The definition of eligible players states players entering their 3rd year not finishing their third year. Basically players who were rookies this season are eligible. Mcdavid eichel larkin domi duclair etc all need protection.
June 4, 2016 5:56 PM ET | Delete
None of the players you just listed need to be protected. Players who have would be finishing their second year are protected.
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