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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Edmonton Oilers - What To Do With The Free Agents?

The Edmonton Oilers have too many Free Agents at the end of this year.  What does Steve Tambellini do about this mess?  Does he just ride it out and try and re-sign as many as he can at the end of the year?  Does he trade them away for equal or better value (or in some cases, no value)?  What to do???

Here is a place to go to see the what the Edmonton Oilers Players are making. (Cap Numbers)

Unrestricted Free Agents

Fernando Pisani UFA ($2.5 million cap hit) I would not keep him.  Sorry, but his time is up here.

Mike Comrie UFA ($1.25 million cap hit) I would not keep him.  His coming home was nice.  But he's not a fit here.

Ryan Stone UFAVI ($600,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him for $1 million a year for two years.  He somehow makes the team better, so we best keep him.

Jason Strudwick UFA ($700,000 cap hit) I would not keep him.  He's slow and he's not able to keep up with most of the plays.  He's a funny guy though.

Dean Arsene UFA ($386,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him to a two way deal for $600,000 a year for two years.  I liked what I saw in his brief stint with the Oilers.

Restricted Free Agents

Sam Gagner RFA ($1.625 million cap hit) I would resign him for no more than $3.5 million a year for 5 years. He just might be the "future" of the Oilers.  Sign him long and cheap.

Andrew Cogliano RFA ($1.133 million cap hit) I would re-sign him for no more than $2 million a year for 3 years. He's a keeper even though I hear he's been shopped around.

Marc Pouliot RFA ($825,000 cap hit)  I don't think I'd keep him either.  Maybe try and include him in a deal this season.

Gilbert Brule RFA ($800,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him to $1 million a year for two years.  He has emerged this year and should have to play well for the next two years and then get rewarded.

JF Jacques RFA ($525,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him for $750,000 a year or under. Great hitter and is a physical player.  As long as his injuries don't keep coming back, he's a keeper.

Ryan Potulny RFA ($595,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him for $750,000 for two years.  I like his style of play.

Liam Reddox RFA ($515,000 cap hit) I would only re-sign him on a two way for under $600,000.  With the rise of Stone and Potulny, he's now expendable. Can he be included in a deal?

Colin MacDonald RFA ($550,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him to a two way for under $600,000 for two years. Good player for the Falcons.

Ryan O'Marra RFA ($1.22 million cap hit inc. bonus) I would re-sign him to a two way for $750,000. Anything more than that and I'd let him walk.  He needs two more years in the minors, at least. And let's be real... $1.22 million a year?  That sounds like a Kevin Lowe contract.

Denis Grebeshkov RFA ($3.15 million cap hit) I would re-sign him for the same amount, $3,150,000 to two year deal.  I like his play, but I think the Oilers would trade him if given a chance. The guys like Chorney are making decisions harder.

Theo Peckham RFA ($600,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him for $750,000 a year over three years.  I like what he brings to the table, but he has lots of room to improve to warrant big money. 

Jeff Deslauriers RFA ($625,000 cap hit) I would try and trade him.  If not, then try and re-sign him to a two year deal for $750,000.  He's good, but I like Dubnyk better.  Maybe I'm wrong.

Devan Dubnyk RFA ($700,000 cap hit) I would re-sign him to a three year deal worth $750,000.  I think that in time, he will be better than JDD.  Either way the Oilers will have to decide which of the two they will keep.  Signing Khabibulin to a four year deal makes no sense.  Why lose a good prospect for a set of old balls?

Before anyone freaks out about what I just wrote, there is a lot of work to do with this hockey club.  Trades are sure to happen and no one can predict who's around at the start of next season.  These are just my opinions and I have no idea what the Oilers cap numbers will look like next year.  Granted, if the Oilers were to sign all the people to the deals I have just said, then other people will have to go. I can tell you right now all these deals, plus the existing one's, would put the Oilers over the cap.  I just haven't got that far yet.



  1. Smokin Ray, I disagree quite a bit with what you said. I am going to respond on today.

    Enjoyed reading it though.


  2. I look forward to reading it TBH.

  3. Hey, do you want to grade the Tampa game tonight on the 1-10 scale? I've got a wicked deadline here, so I'm not sure how much I can watch.

    Short notice, I know, but if you can do it, great.


  4. Hey guys, good thoughts.

    Sam Gagner's kind of a tough one. Based on his current level of play as a small, skilled, one-dimensional, inconsistant offensive player, I do think that $3.5 million cap hit is a huge overpay. Maybe, I'm wrong. Obviously, it would be the type of contract that you hope he grows into.

    For the past three seasons, he's tracked around the same pace (~.6ppg). He's on pace for 16 goals and 33 assists this year playing top power play/line minutes. He's also on pace for a plus/minus of -16.

    I'm not great at guessing player contract values... Derick Brassard of the CBJ strikes me as an interesting comparison. His next contract kicks in 2010 for four years/$3.2 million cap hit.

    He was at a .8 PPG pace/ plus/minus 12 when he signed the new contract. This year though, he's not playing as well.

    Ryan Clowe recently signed a 4 year/$3.6 million contract, but he's a big winger in the prime of his career (signed at age 27).

    Well, that's my 2 cents, but knowing the Oilers, Gagner will get a five-year contract at $4.5 millon.

  5. Knowing the Oilers, Gagner will get a 10 year deal worth $55 million.

    I know what I wrote (in the post) was an overpayment for Gagner, but let's be put this in perspective. There is always an overpayment to those type of players. Is he going to be a top #1 center? Don't know. Is he going to be a complete player? Again, don't know. There is lots of questions to ask, but I'm glad that I don't have to answer them.

  6. Hey Smokin' Ray,

    I wasn't being critical of your number at all as it could end up being a realistic number.

    If anything, I was simply being critical of what I think Gagner's worth at this stage in his career. As you note, if they do sign him to a contract like that ($3.5), he might grow into the cap hit after a couple seasons.

    Heck, he might even end up being a very good value for the last two or three years of it.

    well, like you, I'm glad I don't have write these contracts either.


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