On the gold standard for NHL roster construction, the Edmonton Oilers, and the vast gulf between the two


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Some parallels there to the Jesse Puljujarvi situation, though J.P. did not walk out on a current contract the way Drouin did. Still, Ken Holland played it in a similar manner, holding his cards and pressuring the player to return to his original NHL team before considering a deal. Hard to imagine he’ll turn his asset into a Sergachev, though, isn’t it? Wow.

EDM: Another mixed bag of veteran mercenaries. The showpiece trade here was the acquisition of Larsson, who cost the Oilers a former first-overall draft pick in Taylor Hall. Kassian was an early Chiarelli trade who largely worked out, managing to stick around for three contract extensions. Neal was the big-ticket return for the failed free agent Lucic.

The other three were all acquired by Holland at the most recent trade deadline for a variety of future picks — none of them first rounders, thankfully. None has a contract for 2020-21, with Green having already formally retired.

Summary

A final look at the full rosters shows a couple of strong trends for the Lightning, who added no fewer than 9 useful forwards on their current Stanley Cup contender on either on the second day of the draft or as undrafted free agents. Their blueline group on the other hand came almost entirely from the larger pool of experienced NHLers, with three signed as UFA’s and five more acquired by trade. The superstar Hedman is the only original Bolt, though Sergachev arrived with just 4 NHL games to his credit so may be considered an honorary member of that club.

On the Oilers’ side of the equation, the key group is the first-round picks. The first five members of that list can be considered the core of the team, with all but Klefbom drafted in the early going. That’s more a product of Edmonton’s constant position near or at the bottom of the standings than a testament to any sort of brilliant scouting. The relatively weak performance of Day 2 of the Draft stands out, though recent arrows may herald the winds of change.

There are other interesting comparisons between the two organizations in the areas of salary cap management, buried contracts and other dead cap space which are enough to warrant a separate post, dangerously assuming I’m not too depressed to write it.

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