I'm Sean Maloughney (Ma-lock-nee for those who are interested to know) and I'll be doing my best to keep you, the masses entertained for at least the time being (I'm still a freelancer after all). As Matt Henderson put in his own farewell quite eloquently, being a blogger is critical in this day and age of media. Those who are employed by the teams you cheer for and whose job is to promote said franchises are no longer your only source of reporting. The landscape has changed dramatically and it's great to have a site like HockeyBuzz exist where fans can gather and let their opinions be seen and discussed by all.
Now onto the Oilers stuff.
Since late November it has been rumoured that the cap would be increasing for the upcoming season to between 78-82 million dollars. Such statements have been made in the past with the cap never going up as much as originally thought but with Bettman's state of the union address a couple days ago that information looks to be accurate.
Considering every team in the NHL basically just got an extra 5 million dollars to play with, we will likely see a bidding frenzy in free agency and pre-draft deals.
And the Oilers should stay as far away from that as humanly possible.
Edmonton has roughly 10 million dollars right now to sign RFA's and make whatever additions they want to. Though not official it looks as though Slepyshev and Pakarinen are gone meaning Strome, Caggiula, Benning, and Nurse are the remaining RFA's needing contracts. Strome will likely get a qualifying offer and Caggiula and Benning will get contracts in the 1-2 million dollar range. Darnell Nurse remains the most difficult to figure out but even on a bridge deal these resulting deals will eat up most of that 10 million. Even if you add 5 million on top of this the Oilers don't have much wiggle room to work with for other signings.
For argument sake let's say the Oilers find a way to move Andrej Sekera and his 5.5 million dollar cap hit. With 10.5 million to spend surely Edmonton should then go after a big free agent name?
Andrew Ladd, Milan Lucic, David Backes, Louii Eriksson, Kyle Okposo; these represent some of the larger UFA paydays in 2016 and all of them stink to the high heavens.
Attempting to throw big money at a James Neal for a couple years to try and fix depth on the wing or wads of cash at Carlson to try and solidify the back end will only result in longer term pains that will hurt this organization for years to come.
The Oilers are much better off trying to get a Grabner or a Pirri for a lower cost in free agency and look to make changes in other ways. Hopefully there is someone within the Chiarelli brain trust who has a loud enough voice that this message can get across.
Thanks for reading.