Craig MacTavish has already used free agency to re-set part of his roster: Russian blue Anton Belov has been signed and will compete for an NHL job this fall. How many holes can the new GM fill via free agents?
2013 SUMMER SHOPPING LIST
- Top 4D who can play big minutes and multiple roles
- Impact 2-way center
- 2line L who with size who can complement the offense
- backup goalie
- Improved depth at C
Improved depth at D(already added Belov, Klefbom will compete and Fedun/Marincin up from OKC)
- Improved depth in G
Let’s have a look.
- C Valtteri Filppula. MacT could hit a big fly with this Finn C, who has skill, 2-way ability and has had tremendous success over his NHL years. If MacT is looking for a free agent option to send a clear message to players, fans, and league, this is the free agent to procure over the summer.
- C Boyd Gordon. We’ve talked about him so much I feel as though Gordon is already here. A strong 2-way option for any team, suspect he’ll have a lot of interest in a very competitive free agent summer. The Oilers have had success in the last 12 months (Schultz, Belov), and signing Gordon would be a large item. Expect he would see both 3rd and 4th line C duties depending on situation/how many holes they can repair this summer.
- L Ryan Clowe. In looking for ‘puck retrieval’ options, I didn’t find a whole hell of them. Clowe will be over priced and may be on the downside, but he’s the most attractive free agent option I could find.
- D Paul Ranger. I think he’d qualify under improved depth, but there does seem to be a player here. He’s 28, mobile, smart and has average size. This isn’t a major ‘name’ option, but NHL history is rife with defenders who wandered the wilderness, settled in late 20′s, and had significant NHL careers. Steve Staios arrived in Edmonton, age 28.
- L Clarke MacArthur. Veteran LW who can score goals and hangs in there in the tough going. Leafs may still sign him but should he come available, MacArthur may be an ideal addition to the Gagner-Yakupov duo. He’s young enough to hang around for the good times, but experienced enough to be a part of the elder statesman group MacT is probably going to bring in to replace Horcoff.
- L Viktor Stalberg. I know, I know. However, one playoff run is in fact a tournament of small sample sizes. If the Oilers could sign him at a reasonable number and give him the soft parade with Gagner-Yakupov I think we might be looking at another 20 goal season.
- G Anton Khudobin. Free agent Bruin backup may want to play in the NHL more often than he does currently, he would be the ideal solution.
- D Simon Gysbers. I don’t really know a thing about him, but when looking at Dallas Eakins roster for the Marlies he stood out. I know this is another Leafs player but if there’s an opportunity why not?
Here’s my list from last season, Oilers grabbed two from that list here’s hoping for two more.