Oilers sign Grebeshkov

The Edmonton Oilers signed their most important rfa today. Denis Grebeshkov and the club settled on a one-year deal worth $3.15M for 2009-10.

We had discussed a contract in that range earlier and unless there’s a loophole that allows for complete free agency next summer (Grebs will be 27 in October 2010) it’s a good deal for the team.

The Oilers are currently handcuffed by the number of contracts, and this allows them the opportunity to make some tough decisions before the rfa landmine that is next summer. The club may trade Andrew Cogliano (and or Ladislav Smid) and the list of possible rfa’s in 2010 (Gagner, Grebeshkov, Cogliano, Pouliot) make all money decisions doubly important. At a guess, I’d say we should brace ourselves for a veteran buyout (Staios) as part of the transaction list next summer. There’s also every chance one of the two big money men on the blue (Souray, Visnovsky) will be sent away before next summer.

Either way, the key men on this year’s blue are signed and it will once again be a strength of the hockey club in 2009-10.

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56 Responses to "Oilers sign Grebeshkov"

  1. LaBellePoque says:

    bold prediction: our top 4 D outscore our top 6 F this year.

  2. PunjabiOil says:

    Boy, Kevin Lowe really left Steve Tambelleni with a mess; a mess to the extent there is literally no flexibility.

    Moreau 4 years @ 8M
    Staios 4 years @ 2.7M
    Pisani 4 years @ 2.5M

    The mistakes on those contracts were evident, and argued at the time:

    1. The Oilers were forced to bear much of the risk.
    2. The players were given lucrative terms at premium/fair value dollars on the onset, with negligible opportunity for over-performance. Effectively the Oilers CARRIED the risk of the contracts.
    3. None of the players were identified as core players; rather as role players.

    To add insult, the Oilers pushed Ryan Smyth to the back of the line – a player capable of outperforming the 5.25M that he would have asking for. Scott Howson also acknowledged that Pisani's camp in January of 2006 were asking for 1.1M, using Chris Clark as a comparable – but the Oilers refused, indicating they wanted to see how the year would play out.

    It's just sickening and makes your stomach turn when you think about it.

    Just as in the case of this off-season. No real improvement in the team, other than the young players being a year older via passage of time.

    Which of course, will not be enough.

    Looking forward to miserable losses on Tuesday nights in November.

  3. James L. says:

    I'm sure you didn't mean that Moreau was making $8M per year…

  4. PDO says:

    Really disappointed this wasn't a 3 year deal.

  5. Lowetide says:

    PDO: I'm not sure. The Oilers and Grebeshkov apparently both wanted the shorter number and the negative is that should he post a BETTER season we'll be talking about a bigger number than Gilbert's.

    The positive is that Tambellini is really trying to get some breathing room moving forward. Also, this doesn't mean they can't sign him long term before next off-season.

  6. PDO says:

    LT:

    I have a hard time seeing Grebs, Gagner and Cogliano all being RFA's at the same time as flexibility though – if anything, I think it pretty much guarantee's that one of them is dealt within 11 months.

    Now, you might say that we were already looking at one of Cogliano/Gagner being gone in this summer, and this might open up the door to keeping both; but I plain don't like that Grebs (don't RFA's tend to get less in deals too?) is headed to be an RFA, a year away from being a UFA.

  7. Lowetide says:

    PDO: Like anything else I think the GM has to make his list. I'd think Gagner is at the top of the list and that Cogliano is either two or three (Grebs in there somewhere next season).

    You've got a new coach coming in and maybe he's not sold on one of the three. Maybe he ends up liking that player halfway through the season.

    I do agree it could cost them more next summer and that's a risk. On the other hand, it may hurray a farewell to Ethan.

  8. PunjabiOil says:

    Maybe Tambellini will fit all of Gagner, Cogliano, and Grebeshkov under the second salary cap.

  9. B.C.B. says:

    This happens on the day I get my Grebeshkov's arbitration article out:

    http://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.com/
    2009/07/interpellation-of-acid-eater.html

    Damn, Tambo, for doing a good job and make me seem behind the times.

  10. PDO says:

    Vrbata dealt to Phoenix for Hale and Fedoruk.

  11. Lord Bob says:

    Hale and Fedoruk? Really? Was the computer's 't' key out so the GM couldn't type 'future considerations' and settled for the next thing?

  12. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lord Bob said…
    Hale and Fedoruk? Really? Was the computer's 't' key out so the GM couldn't type 'future considerations' and settled for the next thing?

    Dead salary for dead salary. But Phoenix gets a potential 30+ goal scorer if they can keep Vrbata motivated.

    See MC's blog.

  13. Traktor says:

    I suggested Staios for Vrbata on LT's blog a couple weeks ago.

    Opportunity missed.

  14. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Correction.

    See Mirtle.

  15. woody says:

    Not directly related to this particular blog topic but a roadblock that I just can't get navigate around in my mind when I think about the Oilers and their re-build/short term future (2-3 years) and the fact that the team is now on the back half of Hemmer's value priced contract…

    Management has long sought after a finisher for Hemsky, always to no avail. It is presumed the Hemsky is indeed a part of the core that this team is being re-built around. If I'm Ales Hemsky and this team and management group continue to circle the tower for the next two seasons and a top flight talent is not brought in long term to play with me either through ufa signing or trade, what are the odds I sign an extension two summers from now?

    At this point I'm willing to bet my house that we see Ales play his last game for the Oilers sometime in March of 2012 and that Ales Hemsky is actually not part of the core that could potentially have real success 3-4 years from now.

    I'd love to hear other's thoughts here…

  16. shanetrain says:

    If the Oil remain the same until end of summer I wouldn't mind seeing Hemsky traded for utility players and high picks.

    Popular? Probably not, but if they are rebuilding .. lets do it right.
    Hemmer arguably brings the best return.

  17. striatic says:

    it is a bit sad that this is the best news the team has had all summer.

    with the exception of the Heatley trade falling through, of course.

    on the other hand i wonder if "making news over the summer" benefits teams on average. it'd be interesting to look back over the past decade or so, look at each summer's big trades and signings and see how many of them ended up benefitting either team.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Quinn may use Hemsky in a completely different manner (versus soft parade) ala ANA with Selanne. Should they do that I think there will be several candidates who can cover that role.

  19. HBomb says:

    If the Oilers want to create instant flexibility, bury the dead weights that are Moreau and Staios in the AHL.

    Quality veterans for the farm. Cap space at the NHL level. Two birds with one stone, "respect to old warriors" be damned.

  20. HBomb says:

    If the Oil remain the same until end of summer I wouldn't mind seeing Hemsky traded for utility players and high picks.

    Terrible idea. You do NOT trade Ales Hemsky under any circumstances short of an outright refusal to ever play for the Oilers again.

  21. woody says:

    One of the real issues I have when trying to determine Hemmer's worth and value moving forward, or at least beyond his current SPC, is that I honestly still can't say that I know for sure what the Oilers have in Hemsky. What is his ceiling? Without ever giving him a bonafide sniper to work with consistently I don't know that we'll ever really know what his high water mark is? Obviously I think of him as a 'pass-first' guy. He has opted to shoot more the past two seasons, but because so much of his development time has unfolded without a finisher to swat home his elite passes, Hemsky, in my mind at least, is still a bit of an unknown. I really can't say for certain that I view him as a part of this team's core when it sould be ready for primetime (knock on wood) sometime after 2011.

  22. bookie says:

    If the Oil remain the same until end of summer I wouldn't mind seeing Hemsky traded for utility players and high picks.

    Wow, its like depression camp around here. Some of you think you are a Phoenix Coyote fan or something. You would think that the Oilers just hired Mike Keenan and signed Avery to a 20 year $200 million deal.

    This team is alright with one or two easy tweaks. The biggest tweak was eliminating the style conflict between coach and players.

    Somebody take a Prozak or something…

  23. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky is already a top quality player. He's an amazing PP performer and has contributed at EVs against tougher competition.

    He's Rick Middleton. Even if the Oilers don't find Peter McNab he's worthwhile,

  24. PunjabiOil says:

    He's Rick Middleton. Even if the Oilers don't find Peter McNab he's worthwhile

    I love this kind of talk.

  25. HBomb says:

    This team is alright with one or two easy tweaks.

    You swap out Moreau or Nilsson at 2 million for Manny Malholtra, and I'm convinced this is a playoff team.

  26. Ribs says:

    Fedoruk is a nice pickup. Local guy would have looked good banging with Stortini on the 4 line here. But I suppose we're not looking to get any tougher this off season…..Or are we?

  27. devin says:

    I did the math on this last summer in a post, but basically had Hemsky and Kovalchuk swapped PP TOI in the 07-08 season their point totals would have been nearly exactly reversed (assuming they maintained their PP scoring rates). I suspect the same might be true of this past season.

    So in summary, the only difference pts-wise between Hemsky and Kovalchuk is that Mactavish refused to use Hemsky properly. Then again, maybe 83 gets tired after a minute on the PP and needs to change ;)

  28. Bill Needle says:

    "Moreau 4 years @ 8M
    Staios 4 years @ 2.7M
    Pisani 4 years @ 2.5M"

    The Oilers continue to pay and pay and pay for the hockey equivalent of Tom Watson's performance at the British Open. Shouldn't have happened. Couldn't have happened. Almost happened. Almost.
    Except that Tom Watson will understand that his near win at the British Open was a one-time shot. Ever since the 2006 playoffs, the Oilers thought that Moreau, Pisani and Staios were the "cluster."
    It turned out to be "cluster" + four letters.

  29. Lord Bob says:

    I've got to defend Pisani's signing. He was "Instant Chemistry" for the longest damned time, and he still would be if not for the fact that – you may remember something about this – he lost most of the next season to a digestive illness that nearly killed him.

  30. oil dude says:

    Good deal for both sides, I can't figure out why some people are so angry at this signing. If Souray can have another solid year I believe it will be fairly easy (cap permitting) to move him next summer as his NTC expires after the season and he will only have 2 years left @ 4.5M, that would give us the flexability to re-up Gagner and Grebs and whoever else it still here.

    On a side note…. Rick Olczyk was on Tencers show tonight and said something like "….we still have some other RFA's we are talking to like Ryan Stone, Ryan Potulny and Liam Reddox".

    Maybe going to Europe is only a negotiating ploy for the Red Ox.

  31. Lord Bob says:

    Reddox is going to wind up with a 9 year, $105 million contract thanks to that little negotiating ploy!

  32. HBomb says:

    Pisani I've got a lot less problem with than Moreau and Staios. I'd like to see Fernando sign a new deal at a reduced rate after this one. I think he's still got something left in the tank.

    Moreau and Staios, however….highly replacable 4LW and 5D.

  33. bookie says:

    I've got to defend Pisani's signing. He was "Instant Chemistry" for the longest damned time, and he still would be if not for the fact that – you may remember something about this – he lost most of the next season to a digestive illness that nearly killed him.

    Lord Bob, your problem is that you are starting from a different point than many of the critics here. They start with the following logic Kevin Lowe signed Pisani – Keven Lowe is an idiot who only signs bad contracts that wreck the Oilers – Therefore, logic dictates that the Pisani contract must be a bad contract!

    You see Lord Bob, you and these other people use the same logical arguements, you just use different starting points.

  34. mc79hockey says:

    They start with the following logic Kevin Lowe signed Pisani – Keven Lowe is an idiot who only signs bad contracts that wreck the Oilers – Therefore, logic dictates that the Pisani contract must be a bad contract!

    You left out the part where Kevin Lowe signed a guy with a serious illness to a long term contract, with full knowledge of that illness.

  35. Bill Needle says:

    Prior knowledge or not, the Oilers have not received any kind of results close to the value of the Pisani contract. Moreau's been in a similar injury-riddled contractual train wreck.
    For those who say Pisani's been a loyal soldier, well, this is a professional hockey franchise, not EI.
    At least Staios has played, giving fans the chance to decide whether or not he has played well or poorly.

  36. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Woody,
    You're talking 3 years down the road. Alot can change in 3 years.

    Hemsky has been a great talent playing on a below average team against the toughs the last 2 years. Other GMs surely realize that. He would bring a better return than most people think, especially when you consider his absolutely sweet contract. That contract and the Pronger from St Louis trade were Lowe's 2 career grand slams.

    If the Oilers didn't have kids on the 2nd line and an average age from 2 to 4 C at 22 or so, Hemsky's and Horcoff's counting numbers would easily jump 10 to 20%

  37. bookie says:

    You left out the part where Kevin Lowe signed a guy with a serious illness to a long term contract, with full knowledge of that illness.

    KLowe did not know about the illness because Pisani did not disclose it until 2007.

    Prior knowledge or not, the Oilers have not received any kind of results close to the value of the Pisani contract. Moreau's been in a similar injury-riddled contractual train wreck.
    For those who say Pisani's been a loyal soldier, well, this is a professional hockey franchise, not EI.

    Yes, I totally agree, KLowe needs some serious flack for not being able to predict future random happenings. I suppose though, that if he were able to do that he probably would just buy lottery tickets and avoid working totally.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=416969

  38. SK Oiler Fan says:

    devin,
    Exactly,
    We know MacT was on crazy pills all year, but why did Hemsky not get more PP time???

    I could only come up with 2 explanations:
    Hemsky was not in good enough shape??? Or
    MacCrazy didn't want to coach the Oilers in 09-10.

  39. spOILer says:

    1. Ulcerative colitis can be a mild disease with very long periods of complete remission. Pisani had just finished a long playoff with no health issues. Knowledge of the disease doesn't mean foreknowlege of how things are going to turn out. Hell Koivu and Mario are candidates for re-occurence of cancer, perhaps even metastasis, but did they get paid that way?

    2. I don't get why Pisani's cap hit was an issue while he was battling colitis, and whether or not he was value for that time or now… the Oil could have placed him on LTIR, no? They could have with Souray too and they could still have to do so with both in the future. Long term injuries do not hurt cap or contract value, IMO, because the cap hits can be swapped out, if desired. Not that you want to have to keep doing that for the same player year in and year out, but long term injury isn't a cap-killer per se.

  40. PunjabiOil says:

    So what's happening with the Heatley saga?

    It's looking possible that Heatley may return to Ottawa? Is that feasible?

  41. spOILer says:

    Thanks, bookie. I was pretty sure of the same, but couldn't find a source. I was willing to accept MC's premise, even if false, because I couldn't see how it really made any difference, given how Pisani was at the time and the nature of the disease.

  42. Bill Needle says:

    bookie said: "Yes, I totally agree, KLowe needs some serious flack for not being able to predict future random happenings."
    I'm not gonna look it up, but there had to be dozens of Oiler fans just counting on Pisani to keep up that Kontos-esque goal-scoring pace he set during the 06 playoffs.
    All three hefty contracts of Pisani, Moreau and Staios were pretty much universally denounced by Oilers faithful the instant they were announced.

  43. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Hemsky was 37th in the Leauge for PPTOI/game. I know you Lowetide vets talk about Hemsky being a top PP performer, but where does he place in the league for PPPts/60?

    I'm expecting the above stats alone should have gotten MacT fired.

  44. spOILer says:

    All three hefty contracts of Pisani, Moreau and Staios were pretty much universally denounced by Oilers faithful the instant they were announced.

    Huh?

  45. bookie says:

    I'm not gonna look it up, but there had to be dozens of Oiler fans just counting on Pisani to keep up that Kontos-esque goal-scoring pace he set during the 06 playoffs.

    Nope, if he was expected to keep up that pace, he would have been signed to a $7.5 deal per year for about 7 years, something akin to Heatley. He was a very solid performer all year, who demonstrated that he can raise his game when it counts.

  46. Gord says:

    All three hefty contracts of Pisani, Moreau and Staios were pretty much universally denounced by Oilers faithful the instant they were announced.

    I liked those contracts then – I like the contracts today.

    Game 7 warriors who could not only teach – but show by example what it takes to win playoff games.

    That was worth $0.5 million per player as a playoff bonus.

    That $1.5 million overpayment cap hit for those three is not what has stopped the Oilers from making the playoffs.

    Not at all…

  47. kris says:

    Fedoruk is a nice pickup. Local guy would have looked good banging with Stortini

    Am I the only one who sees the homoerotic subtext here? :)

  48. slipper says:

    Either way, the key men on this year's blue are signed and it will once again be a strength of the hockey club in 2009-10.

    A strength pretty much wasted behind such a weak group of forwards. You can disguise a lot of warts on the back end if your team ices two solid lines.

    As for Pisani, you can make a pretty good argument that he was over paid that summer based on his run of hot dice in the playoffs, ecspecially compared to the contracts for the Mike Johnsons at the time. But until his sickness and injury he was always good to atleast live up to those dollars.

    His value, ecspecially at the time, was as a RW who could grind the good players on the opposing team to a draw and open up some ice for Hemsky's line. Which he was successful at, too. Just check Smyth and Hemsky's GF numbers at even strength in 06-07. The slayed the soft parade.

    Then Smyth was traded and it's been an unbalanced clusterfuck ever since, and the colitis and the ankle.

  49. Asiaoil says:

    Yes we should all be delighted with Tambo's summer:

    1) all of the cap-killers are still on board (Moreau, Staios, Nilsson) and it would have been nice to jettison at least one this summer. Calgary was able to do it. Return is no issue as the cap space is more valuable but EDM over-values any and every asset it has except the important ones.

    2) overpaid in dollars and contract years for an old under-performing goalie. I've grown more negative on Bulin – so what if we were still sitting here able to choose between the best guys still unsigned: Bulin, Biron, Fernadez. EDM has tuned bidding against themselves into an art.

    3) still don't have any quality vet depth at #3 and #4 C when there is plenty out there. Problem is our cap is tied up by the cap killers and we overpaid for the goalie.

    So what exactly is there to be excited or even interested in as a fan……not much.

  50. DanMan says:

    November 18, 2008: Oilers vs. Avalance at Rexall

    The Oilers are up 2-1 late in the third. Liam Reddox has scored his first NHL goal. Colorado is playing aggressively, but we keep chipping the puck out of our zone.

    A minor penalty is taken by the Oilers at the 2 minute mark of the 3rd. The Rexall crowd is undaunted and continutes to be rowdy, going nuts when we clear the puck down the ice.

    The Av's pull Budaj when they dump the puck in. Again, the Oiler's find a way to chip it out at the 40 second mark.

    At this point, the puck hops over Liles' stick giving Horcoff a partial break. Horcoff skates over the blueline and winds up at the empty net, while Hannan telegraphs the shot-block, going down like he is shot at the top of the circle.

    At this point Horcoff does not fake the shot, and skate around Hannan (as any good offensive player with patience would do) and tries to force it through him. The shot on the empty net is blocked.

    The Av's pick up the puck going the other way, and Moreau takes a minor for holding. This was a BS call (don't they all seem like that when you're at the game). From what the replay showed this was not a call to be made at the 30 second mark of the 3rd.

    Now it is 6 on 3. Horc loses the draw cleanly. The 3 guys at the top of the zone played with the puck as Smyth and Wolski watched from the side and Tucker in front. The Oilers are playing the isosceles with 2 d-men on either side of the net and Horc high.

    It is at this point that I notice some activity in front of the net.

    Dwayne Roloson is pushing Darcy Tucker out of the crease with two arms. The puck goes in through his legs, and the Av's tie it 2-2 with under 10 seconds left.

    Rexall is drowning in boos. After a boring OT, the game is officially scored a 3-2 shootout loss to the Av's.

    Games like this, in a strange way, make me optimistic about this coming season.

  51. Maz says:

    Nice to see these contracts aren't out of control like a few years ago.

    Maz
    PrimeHockey.com

  52. Dennis says:

    The problem with 34's contract is he had real value Before he went John Druce and the Oilers could have had him for a bargain had they signed him earlier in the '06 season.

    Souray's NMC expires after this season, right?

    There's gonna be a lot of movement on the backend after this season.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Agreed. Depending on how successful the season, we could see a trade followed by a long term signing. That sort of thing.

  54. Lord Bob says:

    The problem with 34's contract is he had real value Before he went John Druce and the Oilers could have had him for a bargain had they signed him earlier in the '06 season.

    You're right. That's simple "hindsight is 20-20", though. I don't think any of us predicted what Pisani would do in the playoffs. Lowe was, at least in my opinion, making a smart bet that Pisani wouldn't channel his inner Rocket Richard and the team would be better off if he didn't start hauling contract negotiations around in the middle of a playoff run.

    He lost. But that's why they call it betting.

  55. mc79hockey says:

    Lowe was, at least in my opinion, making a smart bet that Pisani wouldn't channel his inner Rocket Richard and the team would be better off if he didn't start hauling contract negotiations around in the middle of a playoff run.

    Howson has said that they could have had Pisani for $1.1MM in January of 2006. How much better were they going to do?

  56. Lord Bob says:

    Howson has said that they could have had Pisani for $1.1MM in January of 2006. How much better were they going to do?

    I did not know that.

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