While other NHL teams and their fans wait for High Noon with anticipation and excitement, Oiler fans must view the process with trepidation.
Why? Things don’t go well for us. It’s a case of reading (over and over) “missed it by THAT much” every July 1 in the EJ or the Sun or the blogs.
We might also read “Oilers one of three teams in on Vern Fiddler” only to see Vern (a smart guy) sign elsewhere in search of Stanley.
There’s no sin in it. Should the Oilers one day improve to the point where they are considered possible Stanley winners, the quality veterans will come to Edmonton as they did in the olden days (Linseman, Napier, Nilsson, etc).
Oiler fans would do well to look at Saturday or Monday signings. There is some talent in the deep, dark areas of this free agent season. Here’s 8 free agents I’d love to see sign with Edmonton.
- L/R Antti Miettinen (UFA, $2,333,333). Quality 2-way winger would help the Oilers kids and chip in offensively. A RW depth chart of Hemsky, Eberle, Miettinen and Jones would be very nice. He also scored 8 powerplay goals a year ago.
- D Jan Hejda (UFA, $2,000,000). I know he wasn’t stellar this past season with the Jackets, but his resume overall is quality and he’s not ancient. I’d take a chance that he could return to a level where EV and PK performance would be average plus.
- C Marty Reasoner (UFA, $1,150,000). Come back, Marty! Not just for Loxy, but let’s face it for all of us. Reasoner would be a solid checking C for the Oilers and showed signs of instant chem with youngsters when he was here last time. He could have a long chat with guys like Cogs about the “crossroads” and chip in some goals. A nice player.
- C Vernon Fiddler (UFA, $1,100,000). Zona has done an excellent job of showing us how well this center would fit. Not quite last year’s Malhotra in terms of perfect fit for massive need, but there’s a wonderful match here.
D Jonathan Ericsson (UFA, $900,000). He’s going to want to get paid and the Oilers have some dollars. Young enough to be around when this team is really good..
- D Sami Lepisto (UFA, $800,000). A nice puck moving option, left handed defender who might be effective pairing up with one of the RH veterans.
- G Anton Khudobin (UFA, $660,000). Stops pucks.
- D Denis Grebeshkov (RSL). I know there’s chaos and maybe they would need to bring Huddy back as part of the package, but Grebs could do some things.
Note: If any of these players has signed and I missed it, please pass it along.