I have no idea what I want to write, so I am just going to share my Oilers thoughts off the top of my head, as they come to me.
1. Jack Eichel is about the get an eight-year extension from the Buffalo Sabres. Whatever money he gets should be roughly what Leon Draisaitl can ask for and get. Eichel and Draisaitl may or may not be comparable with respect to how they play, but they are roughly equals in terms of talent and ability. If Eichel gets $64 million for eight seasons, Draisaitl should get $64 million for eight seasons. I think Eichel might actually get more than that, which is scary if you're the Oilers capologist.
2. I read every single day half of Oilers fans on social media demanding the team sign UFA forward Jaromir Jagr. It's not going to happen. Unless...
3. ...Oilers GM and President of Hockey Operations Peter Chiarelli said not so long ago he was laying the ground work for some deals. No deals have happened since then, which tells me something is holding them up. The Draisaitl contract? It's the only piece of business Chiarelli has left this summer. Well, unless he's also trying to sign extensions with other players in the last seasons of their contracts, which he might be trying to do.
4. If Chiarelli trades Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, it is to open up cap space for the future. Trading Nuge for a player or players that have significant cap hits now would make no sense. If Nuge gets moved, it's either for prospects or draft picks...
5. ...Which might be fine if the Oilers plan on using Ryan Strome as the third line center this season.
6. And if the Oilers use Strome as a center, there is a possibility the Oilers could bring in Jaromir Jagr, or Jarome Iginla, or Shane Doan, or Thomas Vanek, or some combination of these. There are question marks around the players who could play on the right side on the top two lines. Do you feel comfortable with Drake Cagguila, Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev and/or Zack Kassian playing on the top two lines?
7. Considering the Oilers right wing options this season, Kailer Yamamoto does have an outside shot of making the team this season, unless Oilers management brings in someone.
8. Chances of Nugent-Hopkins being on the Oilers roster to start the season? I'll say 30%. I think he's going to Arizona. I'd say Montreal, but the Habs have awful prospects to choose from. The Coyotes could trade a high-end prospect and a draft pick to Edmonton and never miss them.
9. I believe Chiarelli is working hard to try and extend a few guys. Patrick Maroon is a definite. Keeping Mark Letestu makes sense to me, because right-shooting centers that can win face-offs and play in all situations are hard to find. He's only 32, so it's not like he has nothing left. Strome will be an RFA next summer, so perhaps there's less urgency to try and extend him now. Mind you, if you wait and he has a huge season, he could price himself off the team.
10. People drowning in fear of the Oilers salary cap situation probably don't realize Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell have no movement clauses that end two summers from now. Both can be dealt in 2019. Both will be dealt. The Oilers have so many great young defensive prospects. The next two years buys the kids time to prepare for the NHL. Moving Sekera plus Russell opens up $9.5 million in cap space.
11. The Oilers defense for 2019/2020 will be Oscar Klefbom/Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse/Matt Benning, and some combination of Caleb Jones/Ethan Bear/Ziyat Paigin. Sekera in 2019 would have trade value. Russell will likely be a player the Oilers need to give away and eat some cap in the process. Both will be gone because the Oilers have too many talented kids.
12. As much as it sounds like I'm bashing Russell, I'm not. The Oilers contract with him this season made sense. The Oilers get a veteran for the next two seasons, and Russell gets the financial security of being paid $4 million per season for the next four years. People insulting the deal don't understand the intention behind it. It wasn't to keep Russell here for four years; it was to ensure he signed with the Oilers because we need him now.
13. Every time I read a blog or news article saying the Oilers need to acquire more defensemen, I realize the writer has no clue about the Oilers. Unless injuries occur, Larsson, Klefbom, Sekera, Russell, Nurse, Gryba, Benning, plus Keegan Lowe, Dillon Simpson or Yohann Auvitu will be used in Edmonton this season. Not to mention that I believe Paigin in NHL-ready now, and he might provide Oilers management with a conundrum during training camp if he is. If Paigin is ready the Oilers could potentially ask Sekera to wave his NMC when he returns from injury to make room for Paigin on the roster.
14. If the Oilers make moves shipping out veterans, it will be to bring in prospect forwards. The organization has no prospect forwards of quality outside of Yamamoto and Puljujarvi. If Tyler Benson could stay healthy, I'd say he has a shot... but he can't stay healthy.
15. Why can't I order a new Adidas jersey yet? It's bad enough that the new Oilers jerseys don't look as good as the old Oilers jerseys. I'd like it if I could order mine now to get it over with. Rumor is, the Oilers organization already wants to get rid of the orange one in a few years and go back to blue.