Oilers Sign Brule

The Edmonton Oilers have signed Gilbert Brule to a 1-year, two-way contract. Reports have the dollar amount at a very friendly $800,000. Brule can apparently be sent down and not clear waivers, although the CBA’s language seems to contradict that statement. I think it’s also fair to suggest Brule has a terrific opportunity to make the big league club this fall. The competition includes men like Steve MacIntyre, Liam Reddox and Ryan Stone (also signed today).

It should be remembered this player cost the Oilers an actual NHL player (Raffi Torres). Hopefully he can become one, starting this fall.

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24 Responses to "Oilers Sign Brule"

  1. speeds says:

    It would be pretty interesting to know how this contract was negotiated. To some extent it may depend on Brule's waiver status, but I'm not sure how big a factor it would have been.

    Haven't heard the exact terms yet for Brule, I wonder if he simply signed his QO, as that would be ~800K, 803.5K if his salary was the 765K reported at nhlnumbers.com for the 2008/9 season.

    I can imagine Brule asking for a one way contract at less money, say 600K, but the Oilers refusing because they aren't as sure about him and because they want to maintain flexibility.

    I can also imagine the Oilers approaching Brule, offering him a one way deal at 600K, and Brule refusing, assuming he has to clear waivers, if he thinks he's a near certainty to be claimed on waivers if EDM decided to waive him. Why take a 200K paycut, in that case?

  2. Matt N says:

    With Brodziak being moved the 4th line center spot is Brule's to lose at this point. I am really pulling for this guy. He was an absolute stud in the WHL. I would love to see him find a foot hold in the NHL and then grow into his potential.

  3. uni says:

    Brule just had too many arrows pointed in the right direction to fall completely off the rails.

    He had that extremely small sample when he first saw NHL action where he looked like something special, up till that horrendous injury. He was handled so badly by the BJs that it should be criminal.

    I'm still hoping he regains more of his confidence and continues to develop (although he's already lost a lot of development time). A Cleary type renaissance would make us all happy, anything beyond that is even more unlikely and would be gravy.

  4. Peter says:

    Based on the number of games he's played, I think he would have to clear waivers, so the two-way deal is irrelevant. If we don't give him a shot, I'm sure someone else would. If not for injuries and Doug MacLean, he'd be an NHL player by now.

    He was brought up at 18, played really well, then broke his collar bone. He was sent back to the dub after 7 games, absolutely dominated, then the Blue Jackets proclaimed him absolutely NHL ready for his 19 year old season. Not only was he too small, but he wasn't ready. He missed a chance at world juniors, and since he couldn't transition to the AHL (players coming out of the CHL can't play AHL till age 20) he had a wasted year in the NHL. Then he regressed further in 07-08 leading to his being dealt.

    If he can stay healthy, there's no doubt that this guy will have an NHL career. He's fast and skilled, with a good shot, good puck skills, and no fear. Problem is that his aggressive style leads to injuries on a guy who's 5'10, 185ish. Maybe he won't make it with the Oilers, but I think it would be foolish not to try him. He's been around a while, but he's still only 22. Maybe the light will go on.

  5. Sean says:

    Torres may well be an actual NHL player but he was more of a salary dump IMO.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    I think what Bobby Orr said about 18 year old players getting rushed into the NHL should be branded onto the arm of every GM/coach in the NHL.

    With few exceptions, almost no one should be thrown to the wolves before they're 21-22 years old. Especially those smallish guys like Brule, who play without fear.

    if only the blockheads running the Oilers could realise that these kids need to PHYSICALLY mature, lol, like wine, us fans wouldn't have to see the concussion parade we've all become painfully used to over the past few seasons.

  7. Matt N says:

    With few exceptions, almost no one should be thrown to the wolves before they're 21-22 years old.

    In the cap era there is also the problem of throwing away first (cheap) contract years on development time. See the Florida Panthers and how that worked out for them. Losing JayBo and about to lose Horton years before necessary because of having them in the league to early.

    Sam Gagner will be a UFA at 25.

  8. NBOilerFan says:

    This is a great signing for both sides I think. Of course there is still that looming somewhat uncertainty reagrding his waiver status (which Matheson eighed in on today as well, echoing what I believe Gregor was hearing from the Oilers, that he only has to clear waivers after he plays 3 more NHL games) but that has been beaten to death.

    Even if he was sent down and claimed, I view that as another positive as far as sheding another contract and if he is sent down, then he obviously is still not ready and it's time to cut the cord anyway.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    They should have a policy of not playing rookies unless they're incredibly(Gretzky, Coffey) talented, below the age of 20. 21-22 is more about right for the majority of rookies.

    Gagner clearly hasn't been ready for the NHL, and like the poster mentions, they've lost 2 out a measly 7 years before he hits UFA. That's just plain bad management.

    I'm constantly reading people hoping Oilers to become "more like the Red Wings" lol. Well my fellow posters, the Red Wings never rush any of their players. In short, they're taking hunter's advice.

  10. shep says:

    off topic but anyway… MAP suffered a minor injury playing squash. google translate:

    "Timrå young star Magnus Pääjärvi-Smith sprained foot when he played squash.
    But it is nothing serious.
    - We expect him to be back up and running on one, two weeks, "says Örjan Timrå doctors delight to Hockeykanalen.se
    "

  11. shep says:

    err… MPS

  12. digger says:

    Sam Gagner will be a UFA at 25.

    In theory, yes. In practice, teams invariably sign their young stars to long term deals that make the 'UFA at 25' thing moot.

    Odds are the Oilers could sign Gagner to another 3 yr deal after his ELC runs its course, then from there sign him to something in the 4+ year range if he progresses as expected. Or, they might cut to the chase and give him a 6+ yr deal directly after his ELC is done.

    It'd be an interesting exercise to see what the trend is for how long teams sign their prospects after the end of their ELC, and if the length of that 2nd deal goes up or down depending on the age they first enter the pro ranks.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    Based on the number of games he's played, I think he would have to clear waivers, so the two-way deal is irrelevant.

    YOU ARE WRONG

  14. Coach pb9617 says:

    By the way – has anyone heard from Dennis lately?

  15. doritogrande says:

    Svensson = swedish Smith?

    Cool, I learned something today. Thanks, Google translator!

    I'd be perfectly happy if Brule was brought along now as Hemsky was at 19. 4th line sheltered with veteran players and, if he progresses, then give him something more to work on.

    By no means am I comparing Brule to Hemsky, but I think the development path would work for both the player and the organization. He could be a 50-point guy for us playing smash-mouth hockey.

  16. Ribs says:

    He commented in the last thread, Coach. He lives!

    I wish someone would get a definitive answer on the Brule waivers thing. Things just don't add up there.

  17. uni says:

    I think what Bobby Orr said about 18 year old players getting rushed into the NHL should be branded onto the arm of every GM/coach in the NHL.

    Hunter has it bang on here. You'd be happy to know that in an interview last year when asked about what he sees in the new NHL as important, Patty Quinn came right out and said drafting right and developing players from within, and he sees young players being rushed into the NHL as marketing ploys or otherwise, and that it should absolutely not be done, and that they need time to mature. He also segued into being patient and not mortgaging the future to win now, and specifically referenced the Owen Nolan trade as an example of what not to do and he was wiser for it.

  18. B.C.B. says:

    I do not know more then the Oilers' staff, but here is the exact wording and then my interpretation:

    "13.4 Exempt Players. Players who meet the criteria set forth below are exempt from
    Regular and Re-Entry-Waivers:
    SKATERS
    Age – Years from Signing –NHL NHL GamesPlayed
    18 – 5 – 160
    19 – 4 – 160
    20 – 3 – 160
    21 – 3 – 80
    22 – 3 – 70
    23 – 3 – 60
    24 – 2 – 60
    25+ -1
    As used above, NHL Games include NHL Regular Season and NHL Playoff Games.
    . . .
    Note:
    1. For purposes of this Article, a "year" of exemption shall mean a playing season.
    2. For purposes of this Article, "age 18" means a Player reaching his eighteenth birthday between January 1 next preceding the Entry Draft and September 15 next following the Entry Draft, both dates included; "age 19" means a Player reaching his nineteenth birthday in the calendar year of the Entry Draft; "age 20" means a Player reaching his twentieth birthday in the calendar year of the Entry Draft; and "age 21" means a Player reaching his twent y-first birthday in the calendar year of the Entry Draft.
    "

    So Brule signed as an 18 (he was born Jan. 1, 1987) and has played 157 games). That is really close, but this is what I can see:
    a) Gilbert has only played 157 games, so unless he plays 3 more that clause does not kick in but once he does he is eligible for waivers regardless of his age.
    b) Note 2 of the CBA states that the player age is determined between Jan 1 and Sept 15 (inclusive). Brule age would apply to this because birthday is on Jan 1, 1987.
    c) The next thing is to determine when he was drafted and went he signed his contract. According to TSN web site Gilbert was "30-JUL-05 DRAFTED BY THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS IN THE 1ST ROUND (6TH OVERALL) IN 2005" and "03-OCT-05 SIGNED BY THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS TO A THREE-YEAR, ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT."
    d) That means he would be have been 18 on the day he signed his contract but the waiver-age is depended on how you read this statement:
    "For purposes of this Article, 'age 18' means a Player reaching his eighteenth birthday between January 1 next preceding the Entry Draft and September 15 next following the Entry Draft, both dates included"
    What the hell does 'next preceding' mean?
    e) 'Next' seems to imply the future tense, while 'preceding' can mean either "2: to be, go, or come ahead or in front of or, 3: to be earlier than" (from merriam-webster.com). The statement would be oxymoronic if the 3 definition was used, so we can assume that it the second definition. Making the statement read the waiver-age is based on the age of the player that they will be between Jan1 and Sept 15 of the year following their entry draft (assuming the are signed and play in the NHL).
    f) My reading of this is that Brule would be consider a 19 year old, because he signed his contract in the Oct following his draft, played 7 games, but the age is counted from his birthday in the New Year not the day he signed his contract.
    g) That would give him four years of waiver-exemption, which he is used up based on 7 games in 2005-06, 78 games in 2006-07, 61 games in 2007-08, and 11 game in 2008-09. He is eligible to for waivers this year, based on years not games.

    The one loop hole I can think of is: That if they do not count the the 2005-06 season as "a year" because it was not a playing season. How could they do this? I could be because05-06 is not a playing season based on the fact he played 7 games before he was returned to the WHL. IF that is the case, the Brule still has one more year (or 3 games) of waiver exception left. Sorry about the length, I hope I was clear.

  19. Smytty777 says:

    BCB: The section states that you have to play in 11 regular season games to qualify as a season for an 18 or 19 year old.

    Isn't that the answer right there? Maybe I'm missing something.

    From the CBA

    For purposes of Regular Waivers and Re-Entry Waivers, the five (5) year
    exemption for an 18 year old skater and the four (4) year exemption for a 19 year old
    skater shall both be reduced to three (3) years commencing the first season that the 18 or
    19 year old skater plays in eleven (11) NHL Games or more. The next two (2) seasons,
    regardless of whether the skater plays any NHL Games in either season, shall count as the
    second and third years toward satisfying the exemption.

  20. hunter1909 says:

    It's simple body mechanics. No way was I able to physically start to hold my own against grown men until I was 21-22, and really I never even hit my stride until I was 23.

    Especially as older guys know those mean tricks that leave the teenaged rookies with broken bones, and flattened skulls. Try that shit on a 23-24 year old with Brule's natural talent for roughing, and my money says the older dude ends up with his ass on the ice.

  21. B.C.B. says:

    Smytty777: I must of missed that part, I think you figured it out. Great job: I am going to assume that you are right about a what a year is, and that Brule has 3 games or one more season of waiver-exception left.

  22. quain says:

    For purposes of Regular Waivers and Re-Entry Waivers, the five (5) year
    exemption for an 18 year old skater and the four (4) year exemption for a 19 year old
    skater shall both be reduced to three (3) years commencing the first season that the 18 or
    19 year old skater plays in eleven (11) NHL Games or more
    . The next two (2) seasons,
    regardless of whether the skater plays any NHL Games in either season, shall count as the
    second and third years toward satisfying the exemption.

    06-07: 78 GP
    07-08: 61 GP
    08-09: 11 GP

    Did I read it wrong? It seems like that section makes it pretty clear he has to pass through waivers this season.

  23. Smytty777 says:

    BCB: I don't know that Brule has 4 years given the wording of that section. It would seem to me that he has 3. Although it is pretty badly worded so I'm not positive.

    Meaning he would be waiver eligible this year. The CBA has two examples on page 68, neither of which accurately describe Brule's situation.

  24. Smytty777 says:

    I should mention that the two examples on page 68 (while not exactly Brule's situation), taken together would indicate that Brule is waiver eligible this year as Quain outlines above.

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