After making the final cuts, the Edmonton Oilers’ season-opening roster is set, but hardly cast in stone

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After some eleventh hour maneuvers by the Edmonton Oilers before Monday afternoon’s deadline, the NHL club’s season-opening slate is clear.

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The Oilers announced that they had loaned two forwards Devin Shore And the James Hamblin to an AHL club in Bakersfield, releasing veteran defenseman Jason Demers from his professional experience.

Shore cleared waivers on Monday afternoon, while Hamblin is on an entry-level contract exempt from waivers. Their reassignment that allows the Oilers to swing their way under the NHL salary cap. barely.

Turns out, the season’s opening roster consisted of 23 players (only 21 of them healthy) selected in This post From September 24, before the puck fell in the first preseason game. Here’s the list as expected next:

After eight pre-season matches, the team is the same as expected at the time. Lines and pairs are a bit different, mind you, but exactly 21 active players.

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I will add that most of the credit for this prediction goes to salary cap expert Hart Levine PuckPedia.com. Levin was far-sighted enough to see a change in him coming sometime before, when he accurately predicted several days before that. Ryan MacLeod He will sign a one-year extension at an exact figure of $798,000. When MacLeod struck a deal with that exact number, it became clear to this observer that Levin was up to something.

Follow up in more detail on the day McLeod signed, which means in the hour before the Oilers took to the ice on the first day of the on-ice sessions, the stretch was left until the last minute.

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Let’s revisit this tweet point by point:

  • Dylan Holloway It is on the list, as is its fellow baby boy Philip BrobergBoth youngsters were required to be included in the season-opening roster so that these bonuses ($500,000 and $850,000, respectively) could be included as future expenses in the excess bonus pool with only their salaries counting against the cap; On the other hand, a call-up for during the season would be for the full amount of salary bonuses plus the maximum bonus, which could be a major hurdle to making such a call-up. (Evan Bouchard He’s also on a bonus-filled contract, although he mainly worked with the team last year, so his presence in the team was never in doubt.)
  • Brad Malone And the Greg McKeag It made an identical $762,500 hit that one needed to make a 21-man version of the A-list. Both cleared waivers, first McKegg, then Malone. One must be formally called, with cap friendly among other things suggest that Malone had “won” that battle for a spot on the roster, albeit temporarily.
  • Dmitry Samorokov ($775,000) Was waived first, and eventually traded to the St. Louis Blues.
  • Devin Shore ($850,000) Was a late cut, waived yesterday, and cleared today. He won’t be on the season opener roster, though he’s still very much in the picture. (More on this in a minute.)
  • one of Derek Ryan or Matthias Janmark (each $1.250 million) It was expected that one of them would make the list would be an odd man out. The latter turned out to be Janmark, who had been relinquished a few days earlier. Ryan stays.
  • Prediction was the easiest Oscar Cliffbaum And the Mike Smith To the long-term injured reserve. (Tyler Benson He’ll also start the season on this roster, after suffering an injury in camp.) Being on the LTIR means the Oilers have to be consistent every day of the season, with no possibility of cap space building up over time. So they will be walking that tightrope for the foreseeable future.

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All I did in submitting the above list 16 days ago was correctly answer the two “either/or” questions that Levine left hanging, namely Malone over McKeag (at least for now) and Ryan over Gunmark. The full scenario is shown, including acquisition, salary retained, and buried ceiling over here.

Ironically, the season opening menu is not necessarily the season opening menu. It’s just an opening jab at becoming camp-compatible while qualifying critical rookies for the bonus pool. GM Ken Holland, medical scientist Bill Scott, and the rest of the front office all got it done with precious few.

However, expect some changes by Wednesday night’s season opener. One is to reassign Broberg, who was not on the practice ice Monday for what coach Jay Woodcroft cited as roster management reasons. Hmm.

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Meanwhile, Malone, Shore, Hamblin and Demers are all on the ice, this is before news of Demers’ release and the others’ (albeit temporary) reassignments.

The situation remains fluid with Broberg ($863,333) likely to be sent to Bakersfield with Markus Nimellainen ($762,500). Niemelainen hasn’t asked to send any concessions earlier, nor does he have any bonus issues.

Such a move would unlock about $100,000 in cap space, which would allow the Oilers to trade Malone for one of Shore ($850,000) or Hamblin ($807,500) on opening night. Both had excellent camps. The best guess here is that Shore will get the first slot, though the team is flexible with both players at least the first 10 games of the season.

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It’s also possible that the Oilers can remember Janmark alone rather than both Niemelainen and Shore/Hamblin, which would mean a 20-man roster for the inaugural season with all active players dressed. In other words, there is the least amount of room for a little bit of flexibility around the edges of the list; As long as the club is compatible with campers on the day, all is good.

Here’s the crazy part: Despite the impressive feat of the Oilers reducing their cap to 0.0002% of the cap, at least three other teams have lowered it even finer.

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Let’s just say teams are getting pretty good at this.

In other news, Ryan McLeod is now unhappy that his contract wasn’t $798,164! (Just kidding on this part; MacLeod has accepted his place in this complex equation with the utmost professionalism, remaining in the good graces of his employers who were very much between the proverbial rock and the hard place while gambling on his continued improvement and future arbitration rights for a much stronger negotiating position after year from now).

Another note for future reference: if players suffer short-term injuries, the injured players will remain on the roster without leaving much room for a replacement to be called up. Per league policy, a club is required to play an abbreviated game in one game, then is allowed to make call-ups to players who make no more than $850,000 to fill roster spots vacated on an emergency basis.

As for the lines and pairs, posted on Monday morning, the fourth line was in a flux for the reasons discussed above:

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The opening move was made, even as random order remained in the final list. Find the other shoe to drop on Tuesday.

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Follow me on Twitter @Bruce McCurdy

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