On Bouchard, McLeod, Rieder, #Brodziback, Gravel, and whatever else has gone down
After taking last week off to prepare my body and mind for Canada Day weekend, I’m back in the office this Monday afternoon to recap what exactly happened after both the draft and the first day of free agency. We’ll start with last Friday, where — due to an incredibly lucky sequence of events — Evan Bouchard magically appeared from the clouds and solved about four to six legitimate woes for the Oilers. Here’s how it went down:
- The first three picks went basically as everyone thought. No surprises, despite this woman either passionately dreading the Kotkaniemi pick or reacting to news that her house is literally on fire:
- Ottawa drafted Matt Tkachuk’s brother. Arizona went full Arizona.
- Detroit couldn’t get to the podium fast enough and the Canucks rather surprisingly did not royally fuck up their pick.
Then we had the Chicago/New York gauntlet. If you read my draft preview blog, you’d recall that I specifically asked for the following players:
If by some goddamn miracle the Oilers hold onto the 10th pick tonight, I would like — in order — Evan Bouchard/Quinn Hughes/Noah Dobson (if any of them are there this is automatic), Adam Boqvist, Grigori Denisenko, Oliver Wahlstrom. I do not want Ty Smith, Barrett Hayton, Serron Noel.
TWO of the three players I begged for were still available with two spots to go, not to mention Oliver Wahlstrom who, quite honestly, I thought was a pipe dream as well. We were getting one of Bouchard, Wahlstrom, or Dobson. Well Chicago took Boqvist:
Wahlstom, Bouchard and Dobson all right there.
— Sascha Lichtenstein (@justcrazyenough) June 23, 2018
And then New York took something called a Vitali Kravtsov:
You guys are a fucking shitshow of an organization. The team is falling to pieces. Why not take Wahlstrom? Isn’t a forward supposed to score?? Kravtsov scored SINGLE DIGIT GOALS in 35 GAMES. YOU GUYS ARE OUT OF YOUR MINDS. GORTON MUST GO
— Chaunce Jr. (@chauncejr43669) June 23, 2018
You had 1 job, ONE JOB!!!!
— Zadina/Ronning SZN (@alexmilano21) June 23, 2018
— Alexander (@alexjuliano) June 23, 2018
— Rob Mc 🇺🇸 🍀 (@laker477) June 23, 2018
And my personal favourite:
Call Edmonton it’s not too late
— A_Mack (@mack_260) June 23, 2018
Then all I had to do was wait the longest five minutes of my life. At no point during that period of agony did I anticipate the Oilers doing the right thing but you know what? It’s comeback szn for the Pistol. Through all of his previous dumbshittery he’s left us with about five dollars in cap space and more holes than a Titanic watertight. But despite looking like he hasn’t had a meal in two weeks, Peter confidently walked up to the stage and nailed the fucking bejesus out of the pick:
Make no mistake, Evan Bouchard is an AWESOME prospect. I wanted this kid the entire time. His skating is still raw but he’s a crisp puck mover and has an absolute goddamn bazooka of a right-handed shot. He led the London Knights in scoring by 33. He was second on the team in goals. He was second in the entire OHL in shots. The whole damn league. Not just defensemen. The entire league. And the best part is, now Peter doesn’t have do something stupid like trading RNH for a box of Shreddies. We have the RHD we were looking for. He fell to us by the grace of God/by Arizona and Ottawa and Chicago and goddamn New York doing the dumb. I cannot wait to watch this kid patrol the power play for the foreseeable future.
In the second round we took a kid named Ryan McLeod (26-44-70 in 68). Ryan is a decently promising prospect who could potentially be a useful third or fourth line defensive center in the future. Then we traded up to draft goaltender Olivier Rodrigue with the 62nd pick. This move was met with nepotism controversy as his dad has some role with the team. Still, he’s a decent goalie prospect (most had him as the number one goalie in the draft) and joins an absolute carousel of goaltenders within our system now. Just once I’d love for a second round pick to turn out (four second round picks since 2011: Tyler Benson, Marco Roy, Mitch Moroz and David Musil).
Now we head into the free agency portion. Again, I’d like to reiterate that, thanks to Peter often exercising his right of being a moronic shit bag, we’re in some cap difficulties. Maybe handing out bazillions of term and dollars to glorified role players like Kris Russell and the ghost of Milan Lucic wasn’t the best plan? Thus, take what I’m about to say with a serious grain of salt. Peter hasn’t had a terrible offseason. He hasn’t fucked the pooch yet.
*knocks all the wood*
Mostly because he doesn’t have the resources to do it, and that’s entirely due to his completely idiotic method of handling assets.
I, like many of you, sat in horror as the season dwindled down and pictured him selling Nuge or giving up on Klefbom after a season in which he played with one functional arm. I imagined having to dump that boat anchor of a Lucic contract with the likes of the 10th pick or Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto just so a team like Florida or Ottawa would eat the salary. And yet, Peter played the game the… the right way? Our right way, I guess, given that Daryl sounds broke and that Peter has recently spent money like Dave Dombrowski.
Kyle Brodziak was a well-liked player on the Oilers before we shipped him off to Minnesota with a 6th round pick in exchange for fourth and fifth round picks (Kyle Bigos and Olivier Roy). Brodziak went on to carve out a successful NHL career. Last season, Bigos split time between the Jacksonville Icemen and the Quad City Mallards. Roy played parts of last season in Germany’s second tier, the DEL-2. Brodziak’s deal comes in at two years and $1.15 million per. It’s a cheap contract for an effective role player who will fill the fourth line center role beautifully and will no doubt help our historically bad penalty kill. Most importantly, Peter did not hand him a NMC. Inject a Jimmy Matheson classic HOT LEADERSHIP take DIRECTLY INTO MY VEINS.
I think the Oilers want Brodziak as much for his leadership with void in the dressing room there when Matt Hendricks left for Wpg.
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) July 1, 2018
AND DID JIMMY DOUBLE DOWN ON HIS FIRST TWEET?
A Brodziak signing would also fill leadership void after trade of Mark Letestu. Letestu is going to be a coach some day
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) July 1, 2018
Love this man’s uncanny desire to attach dressing room leadership to every single quality about the players on this team. It’s fucking splendid. It’s poetic. It’s Jimmy Leadership:
Matt Hendricks has the leadership skills to wear an A in Wpg this season even as first-year pickup.
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) September 20, 2017
Indeed if Ducks getting Bieksa, say goodbye to Beauchemin. He's one D who would look good in Edmonton for leadership.
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) June 30, 2015
OKCity could use veteran AHLer Josh Green down 2-1 to the Marlies. Still out with upper-body. Miss his leadership
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) May 21, 2012
Ladislav Smid showed great leadership on grit on oil def after gilbert went out
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) January 3, 2012
Ryan jones one of best oilers this year in walking boot after blocking shot vs isles. They can't lose his leadership
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) January 1, 2012
Joining the nostalgic Oilers return train was one Tobias “Toby” Rieder:
Toby was a fourth round pick in 2011 (the same season that Ryan Jones left in a walking boot and the Oilers lost his leadership). However, in typical Oilerz style, we traded him to Arizona for a Kale Kessy. Kessy played for the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers last year so I guess at least he did play for an Oilers team. With Rieder, you’re getting a fast, two-way player that will get you 12-16 goals and 25-35 points. I’ll remind you that he spent all of his seasons playing for an Arizona Coyotes team that was collectively allergic to the back of the net before being shipped off to LA late last year. He’ll be an interesting addition to the team. I’d like to see his speed up in the lineup, potentially with a certain fellow German. But worst case, I think he’d be a good third liner that can play up if needed. He comes in on a one year bargain at $2 million.
Our third addition yesterday was one Kevin Gravel. He’s replacing Eric Gryba, which sort of makes you question why we dumped Eric Gryba, given that Eric Gryba should never have to be replaced, or even thought of. He’s in on a one year, $700K contract. Admittingly, I know not a lot about Kevin Gravel. He is Kevin Gravel. That’s about all I know. Three points in 16 with LA last year.
So, three contracts. Two good. One Kevin Gravel. A very solid draft. Things aren’t looking apocalyptic right now, I’ll say that.
RNH – McDavid – JP
Rieder – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Lucic – Strome – Khaira
Kassian – Brodziak – Caggiula
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Sekera
Benning – Russell
PS – Sad, sad day:
— KHL (@khl_eng) July 2, 2018
It’s been an absolute pleasure, Tony. I’ll always love #TonyTime. I wish we were better to you. God luck, my friend <3.
“I will remember you… will you remember me? Don’t let your life… pass you by… weep not for, the memories…….”