Morning guys! How did everyone’s weekend go? Good? Who me? Yeah mine was ok, thanks for asking! Except for betting football, that was a total shit show that I wish to never speak of again. So I’ll talk hockey today! That way you’ll all forget that I went 4-6 ATS until next weekend.
Man, the first exhibition game hasn’t even been played yet and I already want to talk about the Oilers. Of course it is about the fat new 7 year contract Oscar Klefbom signed over the weekend. 7 years, 4.1 mil per. I love it. The Hall deal, loved it. Nuge deal, loved it. Eberle deal, didn’t LOVE it but it’s still a good deal. And Klefbom should be in this group of guys you’re going to build around.
I’ve told this story before but I’ll tell it again. Leading into the 2011 draft, about a month out I started reading about this kid who was shooting up draft boards, specifically Redline Report’s draft board. Kyle Woodleif was RAVING about this kid. What I had read (never saw him play that season) is that the safe projection on Klefbom was that he would be another Jason Smith (gritty, a leader, not flashy but effective, etc), but could move the puck a lot better. Jason Smith was one of my favorite players, so I was all in on this kid who would be picked around 19 in that draft, where the Oilers had a pick. When they selected him I was literally jumping around my buddies basement. And while I definitely wouldn’t suggest that he is a Jason Smith type, he’s the goods.
So I’m a massive Oscar Klefbom guy, and last season he showed a lot of flashes of becoming what he was projected and then some. I think after seeing him last year that he’s going to become the Oilers bomb from the point on the PP with how much he loves to fire it. The kid has a presence about him. A swagger that he plays with. All the intangibles that every team craves. So giving him a similar deal to Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Jonas Brodin and Adam Larsson is exactly what needed to happen. Brodin and Larsson he was in the same draft class as, and I would argue he has more upside than both.
So why am I writing this? Well once again, the haters for the Oilers were out once this deal was signed. I laugh when uninformed people start talking out their ass. It’s really what Twitter was built for. I have no issue with it really, but I would like to educate people yet again that just because the Oilers have been the worst team in the league for 6 years, doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING they do is wrong.
We saw this last year with the David Perron trade. Everyone was screaming for them to make a trade, then they made a trade (a guy who wanted out) and everyone hated it. While I didn’t like the value that went to the Islanders for Griffin Reinhart, I’m doing Perron for Reinhart every day if I am running the Oilers who were overloaded with average/small wingers and desperate for D.
It doesn’t just happen with the Oilers. Yesterday morning I was listening to a fantasy football show on FAN 960 in Calgary and the hosts of the show were asked a question of “who should I start?” I can’t recall who the one option was, but the 2nd option was Marcus Mariota who faced the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have one of the top defenses in the NFL. But the host apparently had zero idea of this and said (paraphrasing) “of course the answer is Mariota, the Browns are terrible”. MAYBE you shouldn’t host a fantasy football show bro, because if you don’t know something as simple as the Browns having a good D, I question how much else you know. Add to that, Mariota had played 1 game. It was a good game, but you’re just going to assume he will be amazing??
It’s just what fans do these days. They can’t pass up the chance to bash teams or players or management or owners or commissioners. Doesn’t matter how wrong they are, the thought immediately runs through their skulls “hahahahaha ohhhhh man this is going to be so funny cause they suck and everyone knows they do”.
Idiots can try to bash the Oilers and troll their fans all they want, the fact is that locking down the kids has been absolutely the right move. It might be the only thing they’ve done right this whole time. None of those contracts have diminished the players value, which is what you’re going for when signing a player. If these guys were getting contracts that made them unmovable, THEN they’re bad deals. But the fact that the team has been terrible doesn’t make the contracts bad at all. If the Oilers want to move any of them tomorrow, they can and they’ll get back great value for them.
The LA Kings have been largely built on players with these types of deals. Dustin Brown just finished a 6 year deal, Mike Richards was on a 12 year deal, Jeff Carter is on an 11 year deal, Drew Doughty is on an 8 year deal, and these were all deals done prior to any of these players winning a Cup. Brown and Richards really hadn’t done much of anything when they signed their deals. This is how you can win in this league is by signing players to deals that will have them at lower cap hits then they’re worth in the long run.
7 years of Oscar Klefbom, after this season, at what is likely going to be fair/total bargain of a contract. Excellent move by Peter Chiarelli. Looking forward to Darnell Nurse getting a similar deal in 2 years.
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