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Edmonton Oilers Training Camp Battles and Salary Cap Concerns

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The Edmonton Oilers hit the ice for the forty third coaching camp in franchise historical past this morning, and they’ll have three days of follow earlier than preseason video games begin Sunday (v. Winnipeg), Monday in Seattle, Wednesday the twenty eighth in Calgary, and Friday the thirtieth at house to the Flames.

There aren’t many openings on the roster, particularly contemplating the Oilers will begin the season with a 21-man roster, doubtless even a 20-man roster on sport day, except Ken Holland makes a commerce, however there might be a battle for ice time.

The highest-nine forwards are doubtless Connor McDavid, Evander Kane, Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Ryan McLeod, Jesse Puljuajarvi, and Warren Foegele, nevertheless it is not clear who will play within the top- six. Jay Woodcroft has talked about taking part in Hyman on LW, and he was on a line with Draisaitl and Puljujarvi for the primary session this morning. Woodcroft will use the preseason to search out out which mixtures he likes. Kane and McDavid might be a duo to start out, however who performs RW would possibly change. Yamamoto begins there as we speak.

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Mattias Janmark and Dylan Holloway might push for a spot on the third line. Holloway dominated the rookie match, as he ought to, and his highly effective skating, and mushy palms, make him a powerful candidate to crack the highest 9. However there’s a vital distinction between the rookie match and the NHL common season. Holloway might be on the opening day roster, for wage cap functions, however how lengthy he stays in Edmonton depends upon his play.

Janmark is not flashy, nor as quick as the opposite two, however he has some expertise and he is constant. Coaches love constant gamers. I feel he in all probability is destined to be on the 4th line except accidents happen.

The 4th line C spot is huge open. Brad Malone, Devin Shore, Derek Ryan, and Greg McKegg will push for that spot. Ryan is likely to be extra suited to play wing at this stage of his profession, however he’s nonetheless nice on faceoffs and if flanked by two speedy wingers he might play the center.

Malone is the largest and most bodily. Woodcroft is aware of him very effectively and performed Malone forward of Shore within the playoffs final season. Will that be an element this 12 months? Shore has struggled together with his GF-GA ratio the previous few seasons, however his cap hit would possibly see him on the opening day roster forward of Malone and McKegg because the Oilers will attempt to get as near $82.5m as potential. However Shore would possibly solely be there for someday, after which despatched down relying on how he performs within the preseason.

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The seventh defender battle is between Ryan Murray, Dmitri Samorukov, and Markus Niemelainen. Murray has essentially the most NHL expertise, and he in all probability will not develop a lot anymore. He is the most effective suited to be a seventh D-man, whereas Samorukov and Niemelainen have to play video games as they’re nonetheless creating. Slater Koekkoek introduced yesterday, in a press release from his agent Wealthy Winter and browse by Ken Holland, that he’s taking time away to work on his psychological well-being and hopes to hitch the group sooner or later. He would have been in competitors for this spot as effectively.

Samorukov spent all summer season coaching and skating in Edmonton. He’s doubtless destined for the AHL, solely as a result of it’s higher for him if he performs 20+ minutes an evening in each scenario than spends most video games in an NHL press field. Niemelainen is in the identical boat, but when both of them stands out within the preseason they might begin because the seventh D-man as a reward for his or her stable play.

SALARY CAP CONSTRUCTION…

It is not ultimate to start out the season with a 21 or 20-man roster, however except a commerce is made earlier than October twelfth that’s the place the Oilers might be in for his or her first sport.

McDavid (12.5m), Draisiatl ($8.5m), Hyman ($5.5m), Kane ($5,125), RNH ($5,125), Yamamoto ($3.1m), Puljujarvi ($3m), Foegele ($2.75m), Holloway ($925K ) and McLeod ($798K) have a mixed AAV of $47.323m.

On protection they’ve Darnell Nurse ($9.25m), Tyson Barrie ($4.5m) Cody Ceci ($3.25m), Brett Kulak ($2.75m), Evan Bouchard ($863,334K) and Philip Broberg ($863,334) who mix for a $21,476,668m. Then Jack Campbell ($5m) and Stuart Skinner ($750K) in aim whole $5.75m.

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These 17 gamers add as much as $74,549,668.
Then you definitely add within the $750K of retained wage for Milan Lucic, $3,416,667 of buyouts for James Neal and Andrej Sekera, and $896K of bonus overages from final season.

That strikes the Oilers to $79,612,335 which leaves them $2,887,665 in cap area to fill out the roster. It is not loads.

They are going to decide two forwards from Ryan ($1.25m), Janmark ($1.25m), Shore ($850K), Malone ($762.5K), McKegg ($762.5), and probably Virtanen. If he earns a contract, I do not see him getting far more than $750K-$850K.

After which one D-man between Samorukov ($775K), Neimelainen ($762.5K), and Murray ($750K).

Bear in mind the Oilers have to get as near $82.5m as a result of they’re beginning the season in LTIR with Oscar Klefbom, Mike Smith, and Slater Koekkoek. If Edmonton has 20 gamers on the opening-day roster at $82m they are going to primarily waste the opposite $500K of cap area. They need to get as shut as potential to $82.5m.

Assistant GM and capologist, Invoice Scott, might be working quite a few eventualities to determine the most effective cap scenario.

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A 20-man roster would not assist them as they’d be too far-off from the cap ceiling. Ryan and Janmark (two highest AAV of gamers to choose from) add as much as $2.5m and that will have them waste $388.33. So the most effective situation, wage cap smart, could be to have considered one of Ryan/Janmark together with Malone and Murray. They’d add as much as $2,762,500. That may put them $125, 165 beneath the cap. And if you add within the buried cap penalty to Ryan/Janmark of 125K then the Oilers could be $165 {dollars} beneath the cap ceiling.

However they’d need to put considered one of Ryan/Janmark on waivers. Which one is much less more likely to be claimed?

Proper now that will be the choice for the Oilers, and with them being that near the cap it’s why McLeod solely acquired $798K and never $800K. Loopy how tight the Oilers are to the cap. You’ll be able to see the total image at PuckPedia.

It is not ultimate to waive considered one of Ryan or Janmark, however the one means they might have each on the roster is that if they begin with a 20-man roster, and hold Murray within the minors.

Because of this I feel it is extremely potential {that a} commerce will happen earlier than the beginning of the season.

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DAY ONE LINES…

The morning session noticed these strains:
Hyman-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
RNH-McLeod-Foegele
Holloway-Malone-Virtanen
Chiasson-Hamblin-Philp/Petrov

Nurse-Wanner
Broberg-Barrie
Niemelainen-Demers
Peters-Kesselring

Campbell, Rodrique and Fanti.

Wanner is filling in for Cody Ceci who’s nursing a slight hamstring challenge and will not skate for the primary few days.

Foegele did play RW in Carolina, so one thing to observe as camp progresses. I do not put an enormous quantity of inventory into strains on day one. Issues typically change through the preseason, however RNH has struggled to supply 5×5 the previous two seasons, so him beginning on the third line is not a complete shock.

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The afternoon session could have Kane-McDavid-Yamamoto as a line and Brett Kulak and Evan Bouchard as a pair. I’ll replace the remainder of the road mixtures when the second session hits the ice at midday.

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