Peter Chiarelli is the most aggressive GM the Oilers have had since Glen Sather. The obvious play for him to make is staying patient, keeping his powder dry, waiting for those walk contracts from Teddy Purcell, Nikita Nikitin and Ben Scrivens to bleed out.
Or is it? We REMAIN in the “Cody Franson anticipation” zone and the price on this player may be dropping. It’s pretty clear he went to market at a tough time and got caught as the last man without a deal this summer. What’s the next step? Probably a two-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres or possibly a one-year contract with a club like the Boston Bruins.
What about Edmonton?
This is my original list of free-agent defensemen from July 1. It’s sorted by Corsi 5×5 % and of course Edmonton signed Sekera to a long-term deal on day one free agency. Under normal circumstances adding Franson might be overkill but consider:
- The price is no doubt less than it was
- The term appears to be established
- The need remains a very big crevice
- There may be time to trade a roster player to make room
We’ve been down this road before but it HAS to be on Peter Chiarelli’s mind. There’s a useful solution (with some risk) out there and available and the only real risks are that second year and being able to deal off the extra defenseman (who might be Nikitin but you’d have to at least entertain the idea of dealing Mark Fayne if necessary—Nikitin may not stay healthy or have trade value).
HE WAS GARBAGE IN NASHVILLE!
In 23 GP with Nashville (I’m reading War On Ice here) and was 0-1-1 with a PDO of 97% and a Corsi For 5×5 % of 57.12. I have him playing third-pairing minutes and a 57.55% Offensive Zone-start. Cherry minutes, no points but I don’t see these numbers being SO bad you’d frame this issue in a way that suggests the man has no value. And if you’re doing it for a 21-game sample then you’re going to have to be convincing in your arguments.
OILERS DEPTH AND PAIRINGS WITH FRANSON
That puts Brandon Davidson on waivers, sends Griffin Reinhart and Darnell Nurse to the farm and Martin Gernat is probably bagging groceries at the Piggly Wiggly. If you sign Cody Franson, you might have to walk Justin Schultz next summer.