The Edmonton Oilers have another spot open on their 50 man list (now at 46 if Nurse and Khaira slide) after Toni Rajala is taken from it. This spot could be filled in the spring by a college free agent, or maybe the Oilers make a deal during training camp for a roster player (in exchange for a pick, for instance). The other possibility? Grabbing one of the free agent names currently still on the board–there’s plenty of interest.
Let’s approach it from the pov that MacTavish–former coach–and Eakins (the current one) are satisfied with their G and D depth, and that they wouldn’t mind another C and another 2-way winger added to the group. The player acquired could be signed, invited to training camp, or sign a PTO depending on quality and competition for said player. Here’s my list.
- L Vinny Prospal: All kinds of possibilities–he could play on a skill line with Hemsky (and say Gagner) and he could also play on a 2-way line (with say Gordon and Hemsky). Prospal’s shot differential a year ago was solid, and despite being 38 years old the Czech winger still has the hands. Ridiculous he’s still available.
- L Mason Raymond: You can say that don’t need him, I don’t care. Skill guy, speed demon, he can play with skill. Sign the man.
- R Peter Mueller: Whenever I mention him there’s a bunch of reaction (soft, concussed, etc) but I think he’s worth a shot. Skilled, scores when healthy and he’s a bigger guy who can push the pace.
- L Guillaume Latandresse: A big man with skill, he’s bounced around a little too much (lollygagging, foot speed) but he’s an interesting player and there’s little doubt he can play with skill.
- R Chuck Kobasew: Played with dregs and didn’t have a good Corsi, but the WOWY shows there was some good things happening when he got a chance with actual hockey players. Can play either wing.
- C David Steckel: Man he played with some slosh last season. Big guy, center. He might be able to help, and it would mean Lander begins the season in OKC–and that’s a good thing.
- L Kaspars Daugavins: Big man has an unusual skill set that might fit this Edmonton roster. Agitates, can win puck battles and penalty kill. A goal he didn’t score for Boston will be in my memory for a long time, but he’s an interesting player.
- C Jarred Smithson: Bruce McCurdy wrote an interesting article on him and he’s been on my mind since. I think he’d be a nice option—not the first option–for the 4line job that currently belongs to Lander or Will Acton.
- R Anthony Stewart: A big man, he’s hung around the NHL for over 250 games with up and down results. Sometimes these big men blossom in their late 20′s and sometimes it happens in new surroundings. Worth a shot?
- R Nick Palmieri: Big man with some offensive ability, he’s very physical and has a plus shot. He appears to be a hockey player.
- L Stefan Della Rovere: Hasn’t done a blasted thing in pro hockey, and doesn’t have ideal size for the pro game. Still, if you’re looking to add grit via free agency he makes the list because he’s a game rooster.
I think it’s reasonable to expect that the Oilers–if they’re serious about the post-season in 2013-14–are in fact in conversation with some of the available free agents. Any of the available players catch your eye?