Grebeshkov signs 1 year, $3.15M deal to avoid arbitration

As reported by TSN...

The Edmonton Oilers have signed restricted free agent defenceman Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year contract worth $3.15 million.

The signing avoids salary arbitration between the Russian defender and the club.

Last season the 25-year-old scored seven goals and 32 assists for 39 points in 72 games.
Grebeshkov made his way to Edmonton in 2007, via a trade with the New York Islanders in exchange for Marc-Andre Bergeron and a third round selection in 2008.

Originally drafted 18th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Grebeshkov has played in 176 games over four NHL seasons with Los Angeles, New York and Edmonton, talling 10 goals and 53 assists, as well as 80 penalty minutes.

To me this smells of uncertainty on the part of Denis Grebeshkov. The Oilers, who were obviously interested in keeping the offensive defenseman for longer than one year sign Grebs at $3.15 million for just this next season? Grebeshkov who was set to hit arbitration must have taken a look at his case and decided that his numbers were worth less than what he was going to get by settling early. Either that or he is unsure he'd like to stay in Edmonton for the long haul as the Oilers would have been granted a two year contract based on an abitrator decision.

For the Oilers it introduces a few questions. Do they hang on to Grebeshkov for the one year possibly letting him go at the end of the season when the cap decreases? Or do they trade him at some point to help fill their need for a top six (hopefully top three) forward.

Fans who wanted to see Grebeshkov remain an Oiler will likely be mixed in their reaction. How does this only happen for one year will be one side, while the Oilers will likely be happy with the amount and the fact that it gives the Oilers some cap relief at the end of the season, keeping him only if he proves for one more season to be an offensive defenseman of the future, on the other.


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