Free Agents?

There were no doubt times during his career as an Oiler prospect that JDD probably felt abandoned. At this point in time, he’s likely going to join several early ’00s Oiler draft picks on the outside of the organization.

JF Jacques and reportedly Zack Stortini were not qualified today, and Liam Reddox has already signed in Europe.

During an interview with Jason Gregor this afternoon on Team 1260, Stu MacGregor told us that JDD (and Martin Gerber) would not return to the organization. MacGregor mentioned it when discussing G Frans Tuohimaa (who is two years older than the other goaler drafted Saturday).

It’s likely the Oilers will add an AHL veteran to play with newly signed Olivier Roy in OKC; in fact, JDD could sign with the Oilers but it doesn’t seem likely at this time.

Here’s a look at the Oilers UFA’s and their situation re: Edmonton.

  • F Steve MacIntyre: Great. The Oilers finally get a nuclear deterrent and the damn game changes on us. Frack. I expect Mr. MacIntyre will be set free by the Oilers, as they plan on getting more hockey players this summer. I hope he made good money as an Oiler, that’s a tough damn job.
  • D Jim Vandermeer: Dave Mitchell from CTV tweeted today that “Oil have not spoken w/ UFA Jim Vandemeer about a new contract.Last minute lowball might be coming but he likely won’t do anything till July 1.” Sounds like both sides may look around and then discuss. If the Oilers can trade for a legit top 4D then Vandermeer might be a useful player on the third pairing with Peckham, Smid or Foster.
  • D Jason Strudwick: Matty (I think it was Matty) mentioned the other day the team won’t sign him but may welcome him back in another capacity. That would have been an excellent option a year ago.
  • G Jeff Deslauriers: Have you every heard the Hank Snow song “I’ve Been Everywhere?” Well, JDD’s version of that song is still on the turntable going round and round.
  • G Martin Gerber: Played very well in OKC and in precious few NHL minutes with Edmonton. Oilers must have a plan for that #3 goalie who could get a call at any moment, but I don’t believe that player is on the roster now.
  • D Richard Petiot: Played a little with the big league club, looked like he had some foot speed and coverage issues. OKC could use him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed another contract just like the last one.
  • L Gregory Stewart: Didn’t have the kind of impact some of us expected, suspect Oilers will search for better value for the money.
  • R Ben Ondrus: Emerged as a valuable role player and a team leader. I thought he might get a call, but it wasn’t to be for him. Could easily be re-signed.
  • F Alex Giroux: Wonderful season and saw some NHL time. I’d hope the club will bring him back but these guys cost money (his AHL salary was $500,000 last season) and he may get a better offer.
  • F Brad Moran: Already bolted for Europe, he was a nice player for OKC.
  • R Colin McDonald: Not technically Oiler property, he’s the last man standing for the Oildrop from that 2003 draft (now that Zorg and Crazy Train are gone). May return via a 2-way deal.

The Oilers have not released their qualifying list this evening, which suggests to me that there may be a surprise (possibly Taylor Chorney) that they won’t qualify but rather sign to a 2-way deal. We’ll see. Reading the tea leaves, I think we’re going to have an interesting week as Oiler fans. The Vandermeer information and a restructuring of the 4line (Jacques, Stortini, MacIntyre, Fraser) could be trumped by news regarding changes at center for the big league club in the next several days.

We wait.

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