Well with the free agent market opening tomorrow I'm thinking a lot about who the Oilers should sign and if they should make any trades. With MacTavish trading Horcoff today he lifted the spirits of fans but he still has a lot of work to do.
The Oilers have 16 players under contract as of right now with 40, 791, 666$ tied up with them. They have 21, 860, 233$ of cap space available to sign the rest of the players they need.
Going into the weekend their roster is.....
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
_______ - Gagner - Yakupov
Paajarvi - ________ - Hemsky
Brown - Lander - ________
Smid - J. Schultz
N. Schultz - Petry
Belov - Larsson
This is based on the Oilers resigning Gagner and Paajarvi. Gagner's negotiations are all about no trade clauses now and it's a pretty general consensus his dollar value will be 4.75 million. Add 3 million for Paajarvi to make the clubs salary around 48.5 million with approximatly 14 million of cap space. We can work with that. The biggest hole is on the 2nd line. More specificly LW. I personnally think that the Oilers should sign a veteran presence like Iginla or Jagr to be role models for the kids. Jagr would be great. Did you see what he did with Giroux? Turned him into a top 10 player in the league.
Before he left for the KHL he expressed a interest in playing for the Oilers because of fellow countryman Ales Hemsky. He could still be interested and apparently MacTavish is talking to him so he could be completly plausable. 5 million in a 1 year deal sounds good making the Oilers salary 53.5 million with 9 million dollars of cap space. Decent.
Now if we where to sign Jagr we would have to keep Hemsky to make him happy. Be interested to see how he reacts after MacTavish went public saying he was going to trade him. We don't want a Luongo situation. Anyway, if we keep hemsky we would only need a 3rd line center. If we don't have Hemsky for trade bait we won't get Smith from Ottawa so Edmonton would have to go free agent shopping. I would stay away from the overpriced Bozak's and Briere's so we would have to go with a cheaper piece. I'm gonna go with Clouts here and say Mueller. He's young and if he can refind his game could be a terrific 3rd line center. Sign him for 2 million for 1 year and if he doesn't pan out the Oilers can just wish him on his merry way. No risk. This would make the cap hit 55.5 million with 7 million of cap space.
Now the 4th line. Aaron Asham just went on waivers. Functional toughness and some skill. Perfect. Claim him and he only adds a million to the cap.
Now goaltending. Dipietro. Yah I know. He's no good, but as a back up he could refind his game and return to his previous form. Could be a steal. 2 million for 1 year. There's no gamble.
Now that's the whole roster coming in at 58.5 million with 4 million cap room. Now this is all good but I still see a hole on defense. We have enough but the Oilers are missing another true 1st pairing defense. We won't find this through free agency so the Oilers would have to make a trade. Being Schultz's friend and having already played with him in the past would make Jake Gardiner a good option. We could get him from Toronto with Smid and Rajala because Smid fills the hole left by Gardiner and Rajala would be a great addition to Toronto's roster. Small and skilled. Seams like Toronto's type of player. Doing this would actually save Edmonton 2.5 million in cap and put them way under the cap.
The roster would look like this after Free Agent Frenzy if Edmonton makes these moves....
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
Jagr - Gagner - Yakupov
Paajarvi - Mueller - Hemsky
Brown - Lander - Asham
Gardiner - J Schultz
N Schultz - Petry
Belov - Larsson
This roster would be a contender for a playoff spot and would easily fit under the cap. Oilers fans would love the chance at some playoff hockey.