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.