Let me start off this blog by telling anyone who reads this that I have had difficulties separating my blogs into paragraphsrnrnThe Stanley Cup finals is in its final stretch of games and I find myself wondering about the upcoming summer. As a Oiler fan I've thought about countless scenarios that I thought would change the fortunes of this lowly franchise. However, Ive never written them down or really try to show people my armchair GMing of the Oilers. In this blog I plan to convey my ideal summer as the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. I will cover the draft and free agencyrnrnLets get to the big stuff first. The 2014 NHL entry draft is, as always, a pivotal event for the Oilers as they once again find themselves holding a very delicate 3rd overall pick in the first round. As we have all heard in oil country there are two possible scenarios. Scenario one is the best scenario, in my opinion, and Ekblad falls to the Oilers. Scenario two is Ekblad is taken before #3 and the Oilers choose one of Bennett, Reinhart or, Oilers heartthrob, Leon Draisatl. I wont go into much detail of why Ekblad falling to the Oilers is good as it quite simple: Oilers need defence and Ekblad is the best defenceman in the draft. The Oilers would then have an impressive crop of up and coming Dmen with the likes of: Ekblad, Nurse, Schultz, Marincin and Klefbom. Scenario two is a little more complicated. Talk around Edmonton is that the Oilers are shopping former 1st round pick Sam Gagner. IF these rumours are true then that leaves a considerably large hole on the second line....and second line centers don't come cheap these days. If Ekblad is taken it gives the Oilers a freedom of choice about who could step in and replace Gagner. There are three potential player the Oilers could pick and as I would say that Samuel Bennett would be the ideal fit I highly doubt he drops to number 3. I don't want Edmonton even going around Reinhart because we have an exact copy of him in RNH. This leaves Drasaitl as the guy I, and apparently Oilers management, believe should fill that top six void. Draisatl fits alot of what Edmonton wants, big center that can hold onto the puck and go to the dirty areas of the ice. In a top six where size is lacking I think the Oilers will be fine with the 6'1" 209lbs german purebred.rnrnNow for the part that everyone seems to know better than Edmonton management. Free Agency. Last year we witnessed a rather busy Craig Mactavish as he signed gritty faceoff machine Boyd Gordon and now captain Andrew Ference. Well this year I expect an even busier free agency. Before we get to the fun part lets deal with the UFA's and the RFA's we have coming up. The two real big players that need signing are restricted free agent defencemen Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry. Schultz is a must to be signed as he is still evolving into a potentially deadly offensive dman. I expect a Subban like bridge deal at around 2.5 to 3.5 mil a season for 3-4 years. Jeff Petry has arguably been our best defencmen this past year and I dont find it crazy at all if we sign him to a deal worth 3.5 mil for the next 2 years. Another deal is to be made with UFC-I mean young NHL* heavyweight Luke Gazdic. I expect nothing to big, probably 800,000 to a mil for 1 year. Ok lets hit the open market, after signing Schultz, Petry and Gazdic the Oilers will have about 20mil in free cap to fix up their bottom six and their defense. The big name I keep saying to myself is Paul Statsney. How nice would it to be to have RNH and Statsney as a 1-2 centermen. This however is banking on the outcome of the draft. If Edmonton picks Ekblad I see this situation as a bigger possibility but, if they draft Draisatl I feel its more unlikely. Nonetheless I would overpay and get Paul inked to a contract worth 6.5mil for 4 years. That salary may sound scary but if you move Gagners current contract out it doesn't seem as bad. My next move will be to pray and hope that Matt Niskanen tests out free agency and to sign him to a 5.5 deal for 3 years. That leaves us with 12 mil to fill out a third line and 1 fourth line RW. I am going to ditch the idea that we need a gritty third line and I am going to try to roll with three scoring lines. My first two additions might throw you off but I am looking to sign both the Jokinens to man the third line. Jussi will be signed to a 2 year deal worth 3mil an Olli will be at a cheaper price of 2.4mil deal at 2 years. To finish off the third line I will sign RW Radim Vrbata to a 3.4mil 2 year deal. Lastly I sign RW David Moss to a 2mil 1 year deal. When this busy summer of spending is all said and done the Oilers will have 1.5mil left in cap space. The new lines would be the following: Line One- Hall-RNH-Eberle Line Two- Perron-Statsney-Yakupov Third line- J.Jokinen-O.Jokinen-Vrbata Fourth line- Hendricks-Gordon-Moss.......Defensive pairings would be: 1- Ference-Schultz 2- Petry-Niskanen 3-Marincin-Klefbom/Nurse/potential return in trade.........That is all. Please leave your thoughts and I do apologize for the formatting of this blog.
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