Last night’s news that Ales Hemsky had signed a 2-year, $10M contract to stay with the Oilers ignited a flurry of tweets and posts about 83′s surprise signing. The Oilers from summer 2006 through yesterday spent deadlines bloodletting and moving the cluster back one desperate year at a time. Last night, management sent a strong signal to the fanbase, joining the masses in one giant “we’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” refrain.
Finally! The Oilers are keeping their actual NHL players, and that is news. After YEARS of offloading–you know the list–they signed Ales Hemsky and brought hope back into the conversation. What does it mean? Well, come summer the holes won’t be as plentiful as past summers and the team will perhaps address holes and find a way to establish balance. Sweet, beautiful balance.
The forwards and defensemen signed, rfa with merit and the UFA who is certain to stay:
- G Nikolai Khabibulin
- G Devan Dubnyk (rfa)
- D Tom Gilbert
- D Ladislav Smid
- D Ryan Whitney
- D Jeff Petry (rfa)
- D Andy Sutton
- D Corey Potter
- D Theo Peckham (rfa)
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- C Sam Gagner (rfa)
- C Shawn Horcoff
- C Eric Belanger
- C Anton Lander
- L Taylor Hall
- L Ryan Smyth (ufa but signed soon)
- L Magnus Paajarvi
- L Ben Eager
- R Ales Hemsky (yay!)
- R Jordan Eberle
- R Ryan Jones
I always forget someone, but think that’s right. Barker is RFA but unlikely to stay, and Hordichuk, Petrell are UFA. Anyway, you can see there’s some nice things here and guys like Hartikainen, Omark and others may help out too. Man, it’s good to be going into the summertime with an eye to building instead of trying to catch up to what was flushed at the deadline. I think the Oilers need a defenseman who can play plenty of evens and at least one of the special teams.
RNH plays today, that should be good. He’s slipped in the Calder rankings but honestly if he can just stay healthy now through the end of the season I expect he’ll win the day.
- Pat mentioned this last night on twitter, but the Taylor Hall verbal seems to have been a turning point.
- Hemsky may not be popular in some circles but his teammates certainly appear to have wanted him to stay.
- This is great news for Jordan Eberle. Hemsky’s ability to face the tough music and post numbers 5×5 means #14 can facer softer comp and hopefully kill it like he’s done his year. Eberle’s home road splits (36 points in 27 homes games, 24 points in 29 road games) gives us a view to how important having a veteran option is for these kids.
- I think this sends a message to both players and fans: the Oilers are done with adding bullets for bullets sake and we’re going to see more nights like the Flames and Flyers tilts earlier this week. Not all the time, but the climb is underway.
- Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun and perhaps the hottest twitter account in Edmonton. Terry will help us put this week into perspective and I’ll ask him how he sees the trade deadline working out with 83′s signing.
- Kent Wilson from Flames Nation. Kent always gives a unique perspective on the Flames and all things NHL. We’ll discuss the Flames week, what Jay Feaster might do if they let him near the telephone and that tweet about Hemsky from Flames official site.
- Richard Pollock from Illegal Curve. The Jets have been such an interesting story and arrive at the deadline as a clear buyer. I’ll ask Richard what that might mean for Jets fans over the next 72 hours.
- James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail. James will handle the Leafs portion of the deadline drama, and that could fill an hour but we’ll only have 15 minutes. I’ll also ask James about an interesting article about what it’s like to get traded at the deadline.
- David Staples from the EJ’s Cult of Hockey. David always has a unique opinion and backs it up with logic and reason. I’m looking forward to his view of the Oilers at the deadline.
- Cam Charron from Canucks Army. Vancouver is the one Canadian team that could stand pat and still deliver an impressive playoff 23, but from the sounds of things they will be active.
Emails welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can leave items in the comments section here. I’m also @lowetide_ on twitter and @ItsNationRadio. Should be fun.