Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Be The GM, Part I

Over the next few days, I am going to try my hand at being Kevin Lowe. Today, I lay out some preliminary thoughts, gather information, as well as identify my resources and soon-to-be free agents. Tomorrow I'll look at who I want to keep, who I will have to let go, and who else is available around the league. On the last day, I'll reveal my roster, in full knowledge that it is an ideal one, uninhibited by competition from other teams and the needs of a demanding wife.

Preliminary Thoughts

• We know that there will be a league-wide salary cap of $44 million for 2006-2007, with a team minimum of $28 million.

• I have no idea what the Oilers are planning on spending. I really only even have a ballpark idea of what they spent last year, as I don't know how much they had to pay for partial seasons from Spacek, Tarnstrom, Roloson, and Samsonov. I'm going to guess that Kevin Lowe's budget for 2006-2007 is between 35-40 million. Others can let me know if I am wrong, and I will adjust.

• So much depends on a few players. I don't have the time to speculate on every single move, but a couple of signings or trades--Ed Jovonoski, Wade Redden or J.S. Giguere, for example--will dictate how the rest of the cards fall.

• Will any GM try the normally unthinkable and attempt to sign RFA's from other teams?

• What effect, if any, will the Chris Pronger desertion have on the Oilers, in terms of their ability to convince players to stay or come to Edmonton, and on other team's decision making?

We know these two are not going to be back.

Important Dates
June 21-30: Contract Buyout Period
July 1st: UFA Period Begins
July 15th: Qualifying Offer Deadline

Important Links
2006-2007 Team Salaries
2006 Free Agents: Complete List
2006 Free Agents: Complete List (if above link doesn't work)
2005-06 Depth Charts and Salaries
Eastern Conference UFAs
Western Conference UFAs
Oilers 2005-2006 Roster & Salaries
Oilers 2006-2007 Salaries (NHLPA)
Spector's Trade Rumours

Oilers 2006-2007 Payroll Commitments

Player2006-2007 Salary (US$)
Chris Pronger
$6.25 million
Ryan Smyth
$3.5 million
Jason Smith
$1.976 million
Steve Staios
$1.615 million
Ethan Moreau
$1.026 million
Marc-Andre Bergeron
Raffi Torres
Matt Greene
Jussi Markkanen
Todd Harvey*
Total (Minus Pronger)

*No decision has yet been made on whethere to qualify Todd Harvey. It frees up an extra half-million if he is not signed for next year.

Oilers Free Agents As Of July 1, 2006*

PlayerTypeAge2005-2006 Salary (US$)
Mike Peca
$3.99 million
Sergei Samsonov
$2.77 million
Jaroslav Spacek
$2.25 million
Dwayne Roloson
$1.672 million
Dick Tarnstrom
$1.6 million
Radek Dvorak
$1.596 million
Ty Conklin
$1.14 million
Georges Laraque
$1.083 million
Shawn Horcoff
Group II RFA
$1 million
Ales Hemsky
Group II RFA
Igor Ulanov
Fernando Pisani
Jarret Stoll
Group II RFA
Rem Murray

*I did not place minor league players in this list.

Oilers Depth Chart As Of June 28, 2006**
(click image to enlarge)

**Only regular starters under contract are on this depth chart.

***Update***Based on the the information in this Journal article from today, several updates will be made. The Oilers are looking to spend about $39 million this year, they did not exercise the option on Conklin's contract, making him a free agent, and no decision has been made yet on Harvey. By the time you get to read this, it might already be reflected in the graphs. Thanks to Pat from BDHS for the alert.


How the hell is Samsonov a UFA? I never quite understood that. Did he file for some seldom-used Group IV/V/VI type of deal, or what?

Andy - Oilers ahd an option on Conklin that they declined. He's gone.

kirks - Blake is a UFA but no thanks anyhow

doogie2k - Samsonov would not have been under the old CBA but now he is - same as nearly all of the UFAs now

kriks - Blake is a UFA, so he is not worthwhile in a trade.

In fact, all the stud defencemen Redden, Chara, Blake, Jovanoski are all UFA.

[i]Samsonov would not have been under the old CBA but now he is - same as nearly all of the UFAs now[/i]

Is this a years of service thing? Because he's only 27, and I thought the age this year was 29. Also, why would he simply be "UFA" whereas everyone else is Group III? I know that's to do with that one site, but I wonder why he's separated from the rest on that list.

Oilers had [sic] an option on Conklin that they declined. He's gone.

That is awesome, but why do TSN and Brolund still act like we have him? Do you have a press release on that or anything, Pat?

I get into all the UFA's in my next post. But yes, Pronger for Blake won't happen.

Sigh. TSN now has new numbers--including Conklin--that are totally different from the numbers they had up yesterday. They also have Pouliot up there. I have him as a commitment in my last post, but I have no idea why they have him down on there, and not other minor-leaguers we have commitments to. Like say, Schremp.

Hmm. TSN numbers seem to be based on the NHLPA numbers, which also were not up when I started this thing. The NHLPA has us down as owing $1.9 million to Conklin. Yet it doesn't tell us if it counts against the cap or not. Same deal for Harvey

Sweet. Here is the story on Conklin, and Harvey. It turns out that what I was willing to pay for Horcoff, Stoll and Hemsky is about right.

I should just post Part II and III now--as people will jump ahead in the conversation-- but I was hoping to milk three days of posts out of this.

doogie, it is a years of service thing, I believe. Dude's Geocities page used to have the explanation up. IIRC correctly, he (and a half-dozen other guys) have served their time but are not at the age. There's no practical difference, but they're classified differently.

Yes, Matt is right. I see that Brolund (the Geocities "dude") has updated his site, and the explanations are no longer there. He is also just calling Samsonov a Group III now, not a total UFA. Same thing, but it does have to do with years of service. The weird one to me is Pisani, who was a rookie two years ago, and is now a Group III.

The weird one to me is Pisani, who was a rookie two years ago, and is now a Group III.

Well, he's of age. But I thought there was a minumum level of service, as well?

Also, thanks for clarifying Samsonov's situation, Matt.

doogie2k - I believe (you can correct me if I'm wrong but I'll eat a bug if I am) then Pisani is an age one - it can be either / or

I think

Andy - they are including Pouliot, I think, because the assumption is he'll be with the big club next year - I'd say unless he pulls a Tkachuk that's a surety

Rumour mill says Pronger got a local Edmonton reporter pregnant during the season, and so his wife said they have to leave or she is leaving him. Proof is in the fact that this reporter is actually pregnant....I hate spreading rumours, but this one has wings.

Yes, I have him in the lineup next year, too. It's just an interesting assumption on their part.

Anonymous, we have covered this one a million times. It belongs in the other threads, not this one. This one is about moving forward.


BTW AG, regarding your depth diagram

Torres is a LW not a RW. When Samsonov arrived, they played Torres on the right, but he was far less effective.

Ya, I have him placed on the left in a graphic to follow. I just put him there for now.

Before the pronger news broke, lowe talked about making change, that change was good, and that their were some prospects knocking.

I thought to myself that maybe 3 rookies in your rotation was safe as long as you have a very strong defence. I wonder if you look to reduce your inexperience risk without a warhorse like CP.

Anyhow, using lowetide's list suggests Schremp (C), JFJ (LW), Pouliot (C) as possibles to get long looks.

You need some depth veterans to put in the rotation if these guys falter. Don't be surprised to see both Reasoner and Murray kept on.

I say they keep Harvey too, since he won't be hurt by being a health scratch and can play a smart game in some high risk games. Although it would be better to have a utility guy who can PK.

Why buy guys you know nothing about when you can get guys you know for the same price?

Nam, slow down. That stuff is for Friday's post.

You're killing me here!

I don't blame him - love the hot stove.

Ya, me too. I am so tempted to just post everything. I could spend days thinking up scenarios.

I already have the Oilers going back to the finals and winning with a D including Aucoin, Mitchell and Philips, Mark Bell up front and Barker and Toews either on the farm or in college.

And I could make it happen, damn it!

Originally had Boynton but then he got traded. That's ok - Phillips is better.

This is what I think about all day.

I'm a loser.

JR wants to play in Canada. How would u like to see JR in Oiler Silks?

• Will any GM try the normally unthinkable and attempt to sign RFA's from other teams?

No, I really don't think so, in part due to the huge number of UFAs that are out there this summer. (There probably isn't any need to break 'the GMs code' on RFAs.)

sorry andy, i'll slow down.

Other items for your charts -- showed Winchester on an NHL contract regardless of where he played. Don't know if this is the case.


Carry on.

It's too bad no one wants to break the RFA code. Makes the whole thing essentially pointless, doesn't it? I've always thought it weird.

So I guess no one other than me would advocate placing an offer sheet in front of Ryan Miller then, eh?

JR wants to play in Canada.

Good god almighty! It's true!

Let's sign Roenick. He can have $22,000 and all the TV reporters he can impregnate.

The Roenick story is hilarious. I remember when he came in with the Hawks - jeez he was something.

At TSN he basically says he's a drunk who has never lifted a weight or ridden the bike in his life.

But he's a new man now.

He swears!

This story should help those worried about a Pronger for Kaberle swap rest easy.

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