It’s Monday of draft week and your name is Peter Chiarelli.
They say an NHL general manager builds his team in the summer, and then simply augments it during the season. Well, the summer starts now, and you are fully aware that — in Year 4 of a five-year deal — you’d better get it right his summer.
The narrative of a building team that makes a huge jump to 103 points two seasons ago, then falls back for a year before tasting long-term success can work for you. But you have to make it work, because it is either that storyline in 2018-19 for the Edmonton Oilers, or the theme of a departing management team that has wasted another year of Connor McDavid’s career.
Chiarelli is in control of which conversation prevails this coming season. Now, it is his time to make the favourable scenario play out.
Here is a look at some names that are on Chiarelli’s tongue as he works the phones this week.
Let’s work backwards on this one, shall we?
With five years at $6 million per remaining on his contract — and a np-movement clause in place — whether or not the Oilers wish to move on from Lucic is irrelevant. The decision is in the hands of Lucic, and he and his agent Gerry Johannson have been silent.
The rumours are that he wants out. If this were not true, experience tells us the agent and player would have quietly — our perhaps loudly — quashed these rumours. They have not.