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Oct 29, 2017
Oct 9, 1995
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This smells like it was written by one of three members of the Oilers media, which isn't a good thing.
I disagree with the philosophy entirely: there needs to be a much more dire need to win from this management group, and a majority of that is going to require maximizing what the dollars on this roster are actually doing.
I don't think Hall's the guy they need (I'd still love to have him) but a #1LW, a genuine #1G, and a viable #3C are so sorely needed. I think this year highlighted this: the duo of McDavid and Draisaitl have enough magic between them to push the Oilers to this calibre. It's the supporting cast that's going to put them over the top (rather: should more be asked of Connor and Leon to make this a cup-winning team?).
I'll echo <a href="/users/CD282" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">@CD282</a>: Koskinen's more than fine enough as a #1B. He can be infuriating at times, but I think this has more to do with the coaching staff, Holland's piss-poor handling of Forsberg, and the Oilers' goalie coach (who's survived two too many cullings for my liking). His expiring $4.5M hit makes managing contracts next year much easier, especially when the current expectation is for the winner of Ilya Konovalov vs Stuart Skinner is anticipated to be the backup on a sub-$1M cap hit in 2022-23.
Until the cap starts going up, Benson, Bouchard, Broberg, McLeod, and Samorukov have nothing in the way of arbitration rights. Shorter-term deals at lower AAVs must be used to weather the short-term pain that a talent-laden roster must endure. The worst Nurse and Bear do is in the neighbourhood of costing $4-5M extra between the two of them, which is covered by the combination of ELCs and the expiration of dead cap over the next two seasons. Walking away from the historical trend of multi-million-dollar fourth liners is something this organization needs to adopt in order to accommodate some raises too: neither Archibald or Khaira should be making more than $1M on their next contracts. The Leafs have routinely shown that you can find value contracts to play 4th-line minutes: the cost difference between three league-minimum players and the Shore-Khaira-Archibald setup Edmonton likely runs next year could be the difference between keeping Puljujarvi and having to trade him for assets elsewhere.
Burying Russell to free up an extra million dollars needs to be discussed more. Lagesson is cheaper and equally as effective.
Personally, if this is the best Holland can do over the course of the summer, Daryl Katz needs to be having conversations as to whether or not Holland is an effective GM. Leaving $11.6M on the table when you have the two best players in the league in their primes is a waste and looks even worse with the hindsight of the deadline rhetoric "we didn't have the guts/assets to make a trade at the 2021 deadline, we'll make our mark in the summer".
I don't even think the criticism of the UFA market being bad is an excuse: there are teams on the cusp of being bent over the salary cap barrel (hi Tampa, you again?). The 2021 pick, Benson, Marody, hell the Lightning probably see value in Stalock's low hit; everything that isn't immediately contributing 20 minutes or 20 goals to next year's roster needs to be put on the table. Get creative. Find a winger that teams can't afford anymore, get Neal to retire or permanently put on LTIR, and do whatever it takes to ice a contending roster next year.
I know it's all conjecture and "the sky is falling", but if Edmonton still hasn't made any real damage in the playoffs over the next three years, why shouldn't Draisaitl and McDavid start considering greener pastures at the end of their current contracts? Holland must make meaningful moves this summer in order to fuel the dividends of the next 5 years.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Claesson4Norris</b></div><div>Sure, you could make the argument that they would have been better served taking a forward 5th last year, and take a D this year, but you can't really plan moves out like that. They decided that the most pressing long-term concern was defensive stability, and they had the opportunity to select a guy who projects as an elite level defender and an incredible transition D. He fit the bill of what they really needed, and they didn't want to gamble on someone maybe being available in a year, especially when they weren't planning to be this bad this year.
If they get better goaltending, especially in the first month or so they could have been where Calgary is in the standings this year. The Sens have mostly been competitive aside from that first 15 game stretch. It's much harder to fill the role Sanderson projects to have with a mid round pick. Now the opportunity is still there for then to add another forward they could use, or they can still build further on their Blueline. Having lefties playing the right side isn't that big a deal, especially if it's two elite D like Chabot-Power. They could even trade some assets, like Brannstrom perhaps to acquire an impactful forward to balance things out.</div></div>
I don't inherently disagree with most of your second paragraph beyond the idea of "if if's and but's were candy and nuts...". A lot of literature pointed at the Sens having misappropriated assets at Murray, but accounting for the injuries is beyond any mortal. I will point out however, that quality defenders are more frequently found in the mid-rounds of drafts than forwards are with the same selections. The quality there exists, and it's usually because specific, fixable elements of defenders are scrutinized much more than their forward contemporaries. Off the top of my head, Edmonton found Jones, Bear, and Marino with very late picks in the 2015 draft, which was supposed to see a lot of talent identified and capitalized on within the first 100 picks. Top-pair guys? Most likely not, but are there more than 15 bona-fide #1 defenders in the league today? Top-four guys for sure though.
I think the Senators should have realized they were likely destined for a top-10 pick this year, which was known to be heavy on blueliners as of two years ago. I don't think an ever statistically-declining Murray, what was left of Dadonov, and an 18 year-old Tim Stuetzle was near enough to declare the team remotely competitive, especially in what was then only going to be the Atlantic Division. The Sabres' drop off wasn't expected by most anyone, so at best they were hoping to be better than Detroit and in the running for 5th with Buffalo and Montreal. I think any expectations of keeping pace with Boston, Florida, Tampa Bay, or Toronto over the course of any length of season is very unrealistic.
I do support the notion of thinking a bit more "big-brained" and taking Sanderson last year though (again, money now is worth more than money tomorrow). I liked the pick, even if BPA trended more towards Raymond.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>BCAPP</b></div><div>BPA. Having Sanderson and powers and both panning out isn't a bad thing. Worse case scenario you trade one at 22 for a boat load</div></div>
I fundamentally agree with the logic, but Sanderson wasn't the 4th best player available last year. All signs should have pointed to Ottawa taking Raymond. If all that's really missing from the long-term core of young Senators is another top-six RW and maybe a more sure thing in net, I'd be taking a much longer look at Guenther, who just ranked tied for 2nd on today's TSN midseason draft.
A parallel to the business side of the game, money now is worth more than money tomorrow. Power checks a lot of boxes, but the Sens have a comparable player in Sanderson and an organizational need. Can you get fair value in a trade if the loser of Sanderson/Power doesn't come as advertised? Do you eliminate as much risk as possible and take from a position of need knowing there isn't a massive disparity between the 1st and 3rd picks this year? In a vacuum, having Sanderson-Power long term is a phenomenal problem to have, but the presence of Brannstrom and Chabot makes such a luxury gratuitously excessive. Taking another premier defender more or less tells your scouts that you don't trust them to identify forward talent and that you'd rather gamble on development curves.
Now, all that said, I'm operating under the guise of the Senators not having the #1 pick in this draft, which may be a bit dishonest for this kind of exercise. I'm kind of anticipating the Sens to fall closer to #5 or #6 overall, as I suspect they'll catch up and pass the Devils and Ducks rather handily. The Canucks and Red Wings are starting to look in range too.
If they end up with the #1 pick, and it was entirely up to me, I'd be taking Guenther. You have the horses on the back end and I prefer to refrain from taking defenders 1st overall. A name like Dahlin may be the exception, but I think both the Panthers and Sabres would be much happier with Draisaitl and Svechnikov than their respective 1st overall defenders. Ekblad's great, and Dahlin will get there, but the payout in terms of value and production vastly favours forwards.