Edmonton Oilers Free Agency Targets 2013- Bold Moves?
Just scoping out who we should target in FA.
(Behind the Net and Rob Vollman's player usage charts (available at hockeyabstract.com) are very helpful resources.
Apparent Needs that I can see:
I don't see any #1 LD's in FA. Very weak group.
#2 LW/RW: Yakupov seems to do better on his off wing, so I'd imagine they might keep him on the right side. LW, would be desireable, but a RW could be an option as well. I feel we need a large top 6 winger who excels in puck retrieval and scoring goals around the net. Creates space for his teammate. Does not have to rack up PIMs, or be willing to fight. Just someone who plays a hard game.
#3 C: Hard pressed to find a suitable candidate in FA. Most players seem to either be older top 6 guys looking to cash in. Anyone have any ideas in FA?
#3 RW: Really, any winger here. MPS has shown he can play both sides. Puck possession player would be nice, hopefully a big body, and someone who can be a pesky agitator on the ice.
#4 C: I'm anticipating Belanger won't be back. Faceoffs and PK skills please
#4 LW/RW: We have do have options so we won't be running Smyth/Brown every night..... or any night for that matter. Someone who can push the puck in the right direction, and can take and make a pass. We have a designated face puncher, so as long as we have someone here who won't get slaughtered in scoring chances, I'm happy.
1) David Clarkson: RW, NJD
Age: 29, 6'1", 200lbs
Has put of 2 consecutive years of respectable offence (30-16-46 in 80 and 15-9-24 in 48) after putting up relatively unimpressive numbers before. S% were 13.2 and 8.3 for those years as well. Career S% is 9.4. Very tough physical player, lots of PIMs. Posted the best Corsi number on the Devils last year, #3 amongst F's in EV ice time. He did however face the softer opposition than many forwards, ranking 10th in QoC amongst NJD F's who played more than 20 games last year. Vollman's Player usage chart indicates he was used in a "2 way" role last season.
A player like this would be great for Gagner-Yakupov, perfect if he was 5 years younger and a left shot. Nonetheless, and intriguing player. New Jersey's financial situation is well documented, and this player is probably looking for a stable (long term) contract.
My guess is he's looking for something like $20M/4 Yrs. Players regress after the age of 30, especially those who play Clarkson's style of game.
My max offer to Clarkson would be either $10M/2 or $12.75/3
2) Nathan Horton: RW, BOS
Age: 28, 6'2", 230
Long track record of being a 50-Pt player, however, injuries and an off year are concerning. However, Horton's 2013 11.4 % Shooting percentage is significantly lower than his career average (14.6). His offense should pick up a bit next year if his S% moves toward the mean. Horton posted the 5th best Corsi number on the bruins, and had comparable QoC to Clarkson. However, Horton's zone starts (60%) are much more favourable than Clarkson's (51%) Very intriguing player. Also, Horton bounced back with a very strong playoff (7-12-19 in 22) and his physical attributes are well documented. Vollman's player usage charts indicate he was used in a "2 way" role last year.
Big strong player, perfect fit if he were 3 years younger and a left shot. Nonetheless, I prefer him to Clarkson, because of his consistent offence and size.
My max offer to Horton would be either $12M/2 or $22/4
1) Clarke MacArthur: LW, TOR
Age: 28, 6', 191 lbs
Best Corsi number on the Leafs this year. After going 21-41-62 in 82, Macarthur has "under performed" with 20-23-43 in 73 and 8-12-20 in 40. S% has stayed relatively consistent during this time. He did however face a softer QoC this year, ranking 10/12 forwards with > 20 GP. He's put up decent scoring numbers, and although he is not an imposing figure, he is by no means small. Has not been used in a penalty killing role with the leafs. Vollman's player usage charts indicate he was used in a "shut down" role last year
This player is interesting, but seems more like a under-performing 2LW than a bonafide bottom six defensive player. The possibility of rolling 3 scoring lines is interesting, but if MacArthur were signed we would require a solid veteran defensive centre.
My max offer: $4.5/2 or $6/3
2) Matt Cooke: LW, PIT
Age: 34, 5'11, 205
He's old. And Short. And I don't care. Has a significantly worse Corsi than Macarthur (ranked 12/16 forwards with > 20 GP), and is offensively inferior. However, he's delivered 30 pt seasons since 2008, and actually improved upon that pace during the lockout. Bona-fide super pest, the definition of tough to play against, and a great PKer (2nd in PK icetime for PIT). Vollman's player usage charts indicate he was used in a "Shut down" role last year
if only he were younger. Definitely not a long-term solution, but you don't have to only add players 25 and under.
My max offer: $3M/1 or $4/2
3) Viktor Stalberg, RW, CHI
Age: 27, 6'3", 209
Not the CHI winger everybody wanted. But will be much cheaper. Posted the exact same stats as Bickell this year (9-14-23), but Bickell exploded this playoff while Stalberg struggled. Awful shooting percentage luck, with no goals in 19 playoff games. Still, this player does have value. Coming off of 2 consecutive regular seasons with <40 pt. pace, Stalberg is due for a raise. Big body doesn't have the mean streak that most people want in a bottom six forward, but puck posseion is more important than face-punching. 7/14 on the hawks in Corsi this year, and very good possession numbers. However, this is where it gets scary. Stalberg was dead last on the Hawks in QoC (Bickell was 2nd last FTR) and Vollman's player usage charts indicate he was used in a "Sheltered" role last year. Not the best resume for a reliable third line player, but this player is still interesting.
My max offer: $3.2/2 or $6/4
My prioritaization of players would be as Follows
Horton >> Clarkson
Cooke > MacArthur >>> Stalberg
Opinions? Thoughts? Criticisms? I'd like to hear them all!
I'm taking a break for now, but my next post will look at potential 4th line C and W candidates via FA.
the return of BadMedicine?
So Clarkson can play LW? Cause Stauffer seems to think hell be our main target but I couldn't figure out where to put him as I was under the impression he was just a RW
Blunderbore: No, I've always had an account here, I just rarely post.
Bergeron47; To the best of my knowledge, no. I have Clarkson under the heading for "#2 LW/RW" because I was looking for 2L winger options regardless of side. Clarkson/Horton were the only reasonable targets I could find in FA, and they're both RW. Yak did play on the LW for parts of last year IIRC, so our FA targets aren't necessarily confined to LW's.
Yakupov had been playing RW all his career until Ralph decided to mess up with it a bit, and we know that it amounted to nothing eventually. acquiring an expensive RW is a complete no-go by me.
I prefer not to go whale hunting and overpay Clarkson and Horton. I would rather target the Cookes and Stalbergs since they would be more realistic/cheaper to acquire.
1) Boyd Gordon, C(RH) PHX
Age: 29, 6', 200 lbs
Huh. i always figured this guy was in his mid 30's. well this works out great! Gordon is a fantastic 4C! Consistently posting offence in the 20-30 pt range, Gordon is consistent from year to year. The following are his FO % from 2012-2013 going backwards
57.3, 56.8, 58.0, 61.0, okay okay you get it.
but that's not it. Most fourth liners get slaughtered in shot differential because, well, they're 4th liners. Gordon actually posted a 6th/ 10 corsi (fwds w/ > 20 GP). He was also first on the team in PK TOI/60, and he can actually take a regular shift (11.64 EV TOI/60).
My max offer: $3.2M/2 or $3.2M/3
2) Maxim Lapierre, C (RH) Van
Age: 28, 6'2" 207
Yes i know. He's everything we hate about the Canucks. He's a slime ball. A diver. A biter. But he's also a good young 4LC who can win a face-off. Still 2nd to last in Corsi tho.
FO % from 2012-2013 going backwards:
50.6, 52.1, 46.5, 48.9
Not as stellar as Gordon, but serviceable nonetheless. Took a regular shift (10.74 EV TOI/60) and played 1.63/60 on the PK (4th among FWDs). Brings less offense than Gordon (only one season above 20pts) but is bigger and peskier.
My max offer: $2.6M/2 or $3.5/3
What say you? Up next: 4th Line Wingers
Blunderbore: No worries man, it's all good. True, but Ovechkin made a switch to his strong side wing this year and it did take awhile to adapt to, but he came back strong. I have a feeling the ability of NHL D-men to close gaps and use their stick intelligently may make Yak on RW difficult. That being said, I think he deserves the chance to prove he can play where he's most comfortable. If there is a #2LW available (Penner anyone????) I'd take him over Horton/Clarkson almost just because it means Yak can play LW. Understandable position, as it can also not work (RE: Erik Cole).
MetaOil1993: I do think the price they sign for will be more than what my max offer is, and I wouldn't go any higher than what I've posted. I think my max offer is on the generous end of "fair value" for their talents, and I do think that the #2 W will have to be addressed before TC. Hopefully they can find a LW via trade, because as much as I do like MacArthur, Cooke, and Stalberg, I would not feel comfortable going in with one of them (or Paajarvi) as the 2nd best LW option.
I don't know a bunch about goalies, but from my perspective Khudobin or Labarberra seem like the best #2G options.
I'd obviously like Lecavalier but don't believe it's realistic. The following we might not be able to get either but their is a chance:
A. Ference - #4-5 dmen
Lapierre - 4th line C
B. Gordon - 3rd line C
Clowe - 2nd/3rd line W
1 more winger - open to anyone.
Something BOLD I would try is offer Lecavalier a 1 yr deal for $7.5-8 million. I'd also offer Iggy a 1 yr deal for $5 million. And then get Penner for cheap again for 1 or 2 yrs.
Penner actually wouldn't be a bad option if he's willing to sign for cheap. He had his best year here in Edmonton and we still have a need for a player with size that can grind down low. He's not really physical but he does play a solid puck possession game.
It would come down to the dollars but I would be fine giving him a short-term deal over a 5 year, mega-bucks deal to a guy like Clarkson.
I would take clarkson happily but only if he wasn't interested in long term, I'd go a 9/2year or a 12/3year would be max for me. In a way I can see him getting way overpaid by some team long term but with the cap going down they may think twice and we might have a shot at getting him cheaper than expected. I'd do similar money/term for Horton but as long as we don't throw a whale of a contract that in 2 years bites back. With our history of free agency I don't see it as a place where we are going to get the players we need, trades seem more likely. Still holding my hope for cobourn
Our cap structure isn't going to allow to pay a guy like 6 million over 6 years. You can't have 24 million tied up on your top 6 wingers if you want a balanced team.
Doubledown: I don't know if Gordon could bring enough offence and skill to be a third line centre. Wouldn't hurt to bring him in, but it's an overly optimistic plan IMO, and a risky bet.
I don't understand the move for Ference. We need to top pairing cluster aged D man, not a 35 year old #4Dman. the only way I'd do it is if he would take a one year deal. Which, when you're 35 but able to play, you probably don't want. He probably is looking for a deal that takes him all the way to retirement. If that's the case, no thanks. Eh on Clowe, i thought about it but i doubt he could be had for cheap, and I'm almost certain he's not a top 6 fwd at this point in his career.
Cerebral: I actually really like Dustin Penner. He got dumped on a lot here in edmonton, but as a #2LW, I'd be willing to take a flyer on him. I just think MacT won't be interested.
Then again, I think setting the price of kids at 6 million could be huge going forward.
It wouldn't shock me if the cap was 75-80 million in a few years and then our kids are going to look really cheap and they will such a small percentage of the cap.
Matt Cullen for 3C, but we need to add guys that are hitting to go along with it. Guys like Laich, Burmistrov, Moen, etc. via trade. If not Cullen then you probably have to pitch seriously for Raptor Jesus.
4C: Gordon isn't physical enough for me and he will be highly sought. Lapierre is fine if you can get over his something-annoying-about-him face, but also probably will have plenty of options. But I'd prefer cheaper a Chipchura, who should be in the 1M ballpark.
Clarkson does play LW on the PP from what I've seen, seems to score his goals from all over the ice too, I think he could work on the LW, but you never know until you try. But being a natural RW, I doubt he'll take the risk of getting stuck behind Yak and Ebs, plus he's likely to stay out East.
Clowe is the only realistic option and we'll likely to regret it at some level, but that comes with most UFA signings.
Maybe add a guy like Brad Richardson, who can play C or W, physical, good depth addition, maybe can push Smyth off the regular roster.
Hall - RNH - Eberle
Laich/Clowe - Gagner - Yakupov
Moen - Cullen/Peverley - Burmistrov
Smyth/Richardson - Chipchura - Brown
As for Dmen, Coburn seems to be ridiculously valued. Maybe do a minor deal like Quincey for Horcoff with salary retained. Quincey was solid defensively while having a low offensive production year, but really fell apart during the playoffs. But just a 1y deal and could be a decent two-way dman if things click.
Another guy I'd take a flyer on is Ryan Wilson from COL. Likes to hit, decent 2-way game, could be on the outs.
Not really too interested in the FA Dmen TBH. Ference is a guy this board seem to like a lot, I see him a bit irregular, some seasons good, some seasons bad, those types usually get bad seasons in EDM.
I'd give Clarkson, Horton or someone similar Hemsky's money, but I doubt they sign for 3-4 years. Both guys could get the full 6 years.
Hmm i think i want Ference
We need to rebuild the bottom 6 and we need to do so fast
We also need another good dman
Oh and one of those goalies mentioned above would be nice maybe emery or boston's backup
Keeping in mind teemu defected to russia our bottom 6 essentially is nothing right now jones and petrell are UFA's so is Smithson
What do we got down there that isn't garbage
m Brown mps?
I am not counting horc and smyth and Belanger (they are the garbage)
Trade Hemsky to OTT for C Smith
Sign LD Ference, W Stalberg, W MacArthur, C Chipchura, W Nystrom, G Greiss & if Smith trade not available, sign C Gordon too
Hall - RNH - Yak
Paajarvi - Gagner - Eberle
MacArthur - Smith/Gordon - Stalberg
Nystrom - Chipchura - Brown
Ference - J.Schultz (R)
Smid - Petry (R)
Belov - Schultz
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