Sale On Sail On, Sailor

Every week or so, other NHL teams are extending their soon-to-be free agents and restricted free agents. Recent examples include David Krejci in Boston, Victor Hedman in Tampa, Niklas Kronwall in Detroit and Braydon Coburn in Philly.

The Edmonton Oilers have all kinds of things to do in the next few months. I imagine one of them will be to evaluate their soon-to-be free agents and offload those who aren’t in the long range plans.


UFA

  1. Ales Hemsky: I think he’s gone. My sincere wish is that they sign him to a 2-year deal at reasonable dollars and then make a decision the summer RNH goes super nova (should that happen) at the bank.
  2. Ryan Smyth: One assumes after trading himself Smyth will also negotiate with himself. I can’t imagine the eruption that would take place if the Oilers botch a Smyth re-signing, and trading 94 would be a violation of the management-fan Geneva conventions.
  3. Lennart Petrell: Love the Finns but he’s gotta go. Petrell has been owned 5×5 according to our friend Corsi and the organization should have enough penalty-killers by next fall. I doubt he has any actual trade value at this time.
  4. Darcy Hordichuk: I’m fine with bringing him back. I don’t think the Oilers need this player type, especially when they have an effective powerplay–and that looks possible if RNH is for real with the man advantage. However, coach Renney ran two of them in NYC and has two in Edmonton, so it’s better to have a 4 minute a night guy than someone like Jacques who the coach likes enough to play a lot. Hordichuk has no deadline value.
  5. Andy Sutton: I’m undecided about him. Sutton does some good things but his injuries and suspensions have made him less reliable. On a team that already has issues with player availability among veterans, I’d pass on the opportunity. Sutton is exactly the kind of player teams trade for at the deadline, his value would probably be a mid-round pick.
  6. Corey Potter: I like him despite the falloff in performance. I can certainly see him among the top 6 next season even with an upgrade for the Whitney pairing. Potter should have decent value at the deadline should the Oilers choose to deal him.

Oilers also have three minor league UFA’s in Yann Danis, Ryan Keller and Josh Green.

RFA

  1. Sam Gagner: I know he’s a divisive player among Oiler fans, but my vote is to sign him to a contract that suggests he’s part of the future in Edmonton. I think the decision to trade him is unlikely to occur at this year’s deadline.
  2. Cam Barker: I don’t think he’s shown enough to warrant another contract. He can’t have any trade value,  I think that’s clear.
  3. Theo Peckham: He’s a tough call, but they’ve invested this much time and Peckham has improved as a PK defender. If they decide to hurry up the process on the blue, perhaps he’s a guy they offload but otherwise signing him is the play. I do think Peckham has some trade value.
  4. Jeff Petry: Developing player who has a nice range of skills. Oilers need him to climb this depth chart as soon as possible. Trading him would be insane, this is what they need to add.
  5. Devan Dubnyk: I think they should sign him with the idea that he’s the starter of the future. Trade value would be fluid, extremely unlikely to be dealt.
  6. Linus Omark: Sign him and plan for him to be a regular in 12-13. This is a player I can see being traded at the deadline or over the summer.
Gilbert Brule, Alex Plante, Chris VandeVelde, Taylor Chorney, Ryan O’Marra, Hunter Tremblay and Milan Kytnar are also RFA. Among the players listed here, I’d say Hemsky and Sutton are the best bets to go as we approach the deadline.

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