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July is halfway in the books, the weekend has wrapped, and now it’s time to waste company time talking about the Oilers again. That’s why the mailbag is the perfect item to soak up some of that sweet, sweet hockey knowledge or argue with us in the comments section. If you’d like to get in on this segment and ask a question, you can email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk. I need questions for next week so please send them to me. Have a good week, everybody.

1) Clay asks – Do you think Ken Holland will realistically be able to add a player to the team’s top six? Looking at the roster as it stands today, I personally don’t see much improvement yet. Obviously, there is still plenty of summer left but it’s still concerning that the only plays made so far have been to add a few bottom six players and to buy out the team’s 4th best defenceman.

Jason Gregor:

A proven top-six? Unlikely, but someone who can be a complementary top-six player for a year or half season is possible.

Robin Brownlee:

I don’t see Holland creating cap space as he has and then doing nothing with it like Pete Chiarelli did in dumping Jordan Eberle. But he’s going to need a trading partner to add a proven top-six forward. Realistic? Sure. Likely? Not as sure.

Chris the former Intern:

Honestly, I think he can. This is probably me just drinking the kool-aid, but I’d like to think that the good relationships he had with other GM’s could allow him to make a trade that would help out our top six.

Baggedmilk:

I don’t know, man, but I’m certainly hoping he does add someone that can play in the top-six. Actually, I wrote about this yesterday based on some “fun” line combos Dusty threw together last week.

2) @trax123 asks – Out of the existing roster, which player has the highest odds of overperforming expectations?

Conversely, which of our existing roster players has the highest odds of underperforming expectations?

Jason Gregor:

Matt Benning. It seems many have low expectations, and I thought he played very well in the second half. He is very good in a structured system and most likely he will start in the third pair with Kris Russell.

I don’t see many, other than the top-three forwards, who have overly high expectations placed on them. But If I have to pick one I will say Joakim Nygard. I’ve seen that his NHLe projects to 19 goals. If he reaches that Oilersnation should be thrilled.

Robin Brownlee:

Under-performing? Leon Draisaitl, but only because he set the bar extremely high last season. I don’t think anybody would complain about 40 goals and, say, 90 points, but that would be a slight drop-off.

As for over-performing, how about Milan Lucic? Could expectations be any lower?

Chris the former Intern:

Highest odds of underperforming? Milan Lucic, again. Highest odds of overperforming? Mike Smith.

Baggedmilk:

I’d say Adam Larsson will be better this year because he had a really tough 2018-19 season. Here’s what else I’m expecting: Leon Draisaitl will hit 40 goals and some turds out there will complain about it because he got to 50 last year. Is that a drop off? Sure, technically.

3) Stephen asks – With the roster as it is today, how would you put together your first two lines?

Jason Gregor:

The six I put down today will likely be different than what I’d say in September as I expect some others to be added.

Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
Nygard-RNH-Chiasson

Robin Brownlee:

I don’t particularly like separating Draisaitl and McDavid, but I don’t see a choice given the lack of options on the wings. I shudder to think of having to depend on this combination, but it looks like:

Granlund-McDavid-Kassian
Draisaitl-RNH-Chiasson

Chris the former Intern:

Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Chiasson – Nuge – Puljujarvi

Baggedmilk:

I don’t like it, but this is what I’ve got.

Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
Granlund-RNH-Chiasson

4) Tristan asks – If Jesse Puljujarvi doesn’t see the opportunity ahead of him with a new coach, GM, and shallow depth chart on the right side, do you think it could be a problem with where he fits in the dressing room? Obviously, I’m purely guessing here but couldn’t that be an explanation for what’s going on?

Jason Gregor:

I’m not big on speculating if guys get along or not, especially considering the absolute garbage theories I’ve read over the years. Some are still obtuse enough to think Draisaitl and Nurse actually got into a fight. It is ridiculous. There are many reasons why he might not feel comfortable, but I won’t speculate on if there is some sort of issue in the room. I’ve never heard it, and I’ve never seen it from interactions with players. He might not be in the inner circle, but I’ve seen many players who weren’t, but were still happy in the room and also well liked.

Robin Brownlee:

It could be, but I’m not behind those closed doors so that’s only speculation. If Jesse doesn’t see the opportunity for a fresh start with all the changes you mentioned, it’s got to be something else. I’d put how he fits — or doesn’t fit — with this group of players high on the list of possibilities.

Chris the former Intern:

I want to say no, but I’m very annoyed that this is happening so maybe there’s something that we don’t know that is going on in there. The situation is definitely getting out of hand thanks to his agent’s frequent media appearances.

Baggedmilk:

Who knows what’s going on in the room. Maybe? That’s the best I can do with this one. Unless he or his agent come out and say it, and I guess that’s possible given how his agent loves talking to the press, then anything other than a guess is pointless.

5) Will K. asks – Looking at the other Pacific Division teams, how would you compare what the Oilers have done to what their opponents have done? At this point, I’d pick them to finish fifth out of the eight Pacific Division teams.

Jason Gregor:

Today I have them battling for fourth with Arizona. If they can add one or two forwards they could push for a WC spot.

Robin Brownlee:

Fourth is the best I see as of right now, but only if Arizona drops off a bit and I’m not sure how likely that is with the addition of Phil Kessel. Based on the rosters today, I see Anaheim, LA and Vancouver finishing behind Edmonton with Arizona the only other possibility.

Chris the former Intern:

There’s definitely been some improvement in other Pacific teams, but I think we’ve improved too. If we can get some production out of our bottom six then I think we have a chance to finish top four in the division.

Baggedmilk:

I see them looking at fourth place in the Pacific and I am not happy about it.

MAILBAG PRESENTED BY DAYTONA HOMES

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