The Edmonton Oilers have some quality reaching rfa status. These young men were drafted by the team in the ’00s and are now delivering at a level that suggests a bigger payday is on the way. What will the Oilers do with them?
This summer’s rfa list has some talent that is worth keeping around. The Oilers have to decide how to proceed and in some cases the dollars could be dear.
- Sam Gagner: Making $2.275M this season and having a solid campaign Gagner’s offense is often maligned or overlooked–when did we get so cynical about a young C who can do the things he does–the team has a big decision on him. Should they draft a big center in the lottery–Grigorenko will probably be available–Gagner would be a prime trade asset for a defender.
- Jeff Petry: The Godsend that keeps on giving. Mobile defender with nice range of skills, he’s certainly not a shutdown defender and still makes mistakes but a huge raise is on the way. Soon.
- Devan Dubnyk: Making $800,000 this year, I don’t think he’ll be terribly expensive this summer but it is important to get him signed. Edmonton hasn’t really produced a quality NHL starter since Grant Fuhr, and DD’s late season performance could mean the light is on.
- Cam Barker: I can’t imagine the club will retain his services, but the entire decision to sign him in the first place was curious. Sometimes NHL teams do weird things for weird reasons, maybe Barker is Edmonton’s Pierre Bouchard.
- Theo Peckham: Of the young group, he’s the guy I’ve cheered most for and the guy who has been most disappointing. Looks lost, suspect his roster spot is extremely vulnerable.
- Linus Omark: If the Oilers have plans for him, they certainly have a strange way of showing it. Omark looks like a player an NHL team can use, just not this one. I don’t think he’ll be back.
- Chris VandeVelde: Minor league center got late recalls two years in a row anblad may serve as the “O’Marra” option for injury callup next season. Looks like a guy who might be able to win a 4line job someday.
- Alex Plante: Had his strongest AHL season (made the All-Star game mid-season) and at the very least is back in the conversation for NHL employment. Foot speed will be his downfall, but there’s a chance.
- Hunter Tremblay: Agred for a prospect, he certainly impressed in a few areas (5-2-7 on the PK. Lordy) and one would have to think there’s another AHL contract for him.
- Milsn Kytnar: Already back in Europe, always cheered for him and glad he got into an NHL game.
Things have improved for the Oilers. The first rounders aren’t reaching rfa status with the resume’s of Schremp, Pouliot and Niinimaki, and some of the depth guys are delivering feature performances.