HTR Oilers Workshop: WWKLD?

I don’t know if HTR members have the patience (or the attention span) for this sort of thing but… How about a little speculation workshop? From time to time I like to ask myself What Would Kevin Lowe Do? (I try to keep this to hockey matters but sometimes I can’t help myself) So now the question for you is what would you do to build the 2003-04 Edmonton Oilers?I went to the NHLPA website the other day to check on some salaries when I was reminded that the Oilers’ lineup is extremely fluid these days. They only have four returning forwards, six returning d-men and one returning goalie. Currently the Oilers are only on the hook for $15.84 million in salaries when they typically spend between $28-30 million per year.

I’ll give you the depth chart, the RFA’s, and the rookies of note and you can fill in the blanks. Do you re-sign vets to fill positions? Do you slot in rookies? Do you make deals? Can you do all of this while staying under budget? Just tell me which 12 forwards, 7 d-men and 2 goalies you would have on your roster and total up the damage to the owners. Suggested trades are cool, too. Just guess the RFA salaries, but be reasonable.

1. OILER FORWARDS

WINGERS CENTRES

UNDER CONTRACT FOR 2003-04

M. York ($2.0M) J. Chimera ($500K)

A. Hemsky ($1.1M)

R. Dvorak ($2.0M)

WINGERS CENTRES

RFA FORWARDS

R. Smyth ($3.0M*) M. Comrie ($1.1M*)

E. Moreau ($1.5M*) S. Horcoff ($600K*)

F. Pisani ($350K*) M. Reasoner ($900K*)

G. Laraque ($1.4M*) B. Swanson ($400K*)

B. Isbister ($1.8M*)

* 2002-03 salary (approx.) not incl. bonuses

WINGERS CENTRES

ROOKIE FORWARDS

R. Torres ($1.0M) J. Stoll ($800K)

J. Rita ($1.0M) J. Niinimaki ($900K)

T. Salmelainen ($700K)

– rookie salaries are ‘guesstimated’

2. OILER DEFENSE

UNDER CONTRACT FOR 2003-04

E. Brewer ($2.5M) C. Cross ($1.05M)

S. Staios ($1.1M) M. Bergeron ($410K)

A. Semenov ($700K) S. Ferguson ($550K)

RFA DEFENSEMEN

J. Smith ($2.2M)

B. Allen ($700K)

ROOKIES DEFENSEMEN

D. Lynch ($650K)

J. Horacek ($500K)

– rookie salaries are ‘guesstimated’

3. OILER GOALIES

UNDER CONTRACT FOR 2003-04

T. Salo ($3.9M)

ROOKIES

T. Conklin ($450K)

J. Deslauriers

– rookie salaries are ‘guesstimated’