If A Big Name Free Agent Considered Edmonton, Would You Sign One?

The Oilers are in a serious rebuild. For that, there is no doubt. They'll be selecting first overall in this coming NHL entry draft taking either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall. In a way, it's kind of like the biggest free agent signing of the summer.

Outside of that, the Oilers have recently made it clear, that while they'll be active in the trade market and free agency, they'll be no attempting to land the big fish in Edmonton this year. Recent interviews with Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and Oilers Owner Daryl Katz back up that comment as both are on board to take the time required for a proper rebuild.

Again, they'll be no fishing for free agents.

But what if one came calling?

Let's for a second pretend, that with all the shifting that's bound to happen in a tightly wound salary cap NHL and teams like San Jose (should they not win the first round of the playoffs) or players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Tomas Plekanec at forward or Anton Volchenkov and Dan Hamhuis at defense looking for a raise, should the Oilers listen if a simple phone call results in some interest?

The goal for the Edmonton Oilers is to do two things: 1) Move out the losers and big money contracts that either don't want to be here or shouldn't be here because they were to mistakes to sign in the first place and 2) replace those players with a mixture of new young ready to play NHL talent and smarter free agent signings or trades.

Knowing that many of the faces currently on the Oilers team roster are not part of the big plans, you have to fill space with someone. Those someones aren't and perhaps shouldn't be all kids who may or may not be ready for the NHL. We've seen the Oilers try that before and it doesn't end well, often hampering growth.

If Patrick Marleau was to be moved from San Jose because the Sharks needed to shake things up and his $6-$7 million salary wasn't something they could stomach, he'd need to go and would go somewhere. If the Oilers successfully moved Souray, O'Sullivan and Nilsson, they'd have plenty of room.

Or, if the Jagr rumors were actually true and he'd consider playing here for a year or two at a decent salary (say $2.5 million per) would you bring in a proven superstar, who even if he doesn't still have the goods, can teach the young players getting ready to be the Oilers next future wonder kids?

What if Dan Hamhuis, who is sure to get a raise and the Oilers absolutely think will be a stud would consider signing a 7 year $3.5 million per contract, would you do it? He's 27 and as steady as they come on the back-end for young blue-liners on the UFA market.

If they came a knocking, would you answer? Or would you stay the course no matter how tempting with the notion that to do a rebuild, it must be done right.


The Edmonton Oilers need to NOT sign long term contracts. $3.5 Million on a seven year deal for Hamhuis.. no way, that could turn out ALOT worse then the Pisani contract. The Edmonton Oilers should only be offering 2 or 3 year deals MAX to anyone older then 25!

May 10, 2010 at 8:48 PM comment-delete

@ anonymous

I don't think there's any way that Hamhuis goes somewhere for less term than say 5 years. He's at a prime age to be a relied upon and central part of any blueline and he's proven his ability.

There was talk at one time he was under serious consideration for Team Canada at the Olympics but got pushed aside based on sheer depth at the teams disposal.

What Hamuis offers to me is worth that money. Would I like to see the Oilers maybe front load the contract and bring down the cap hit by adding a year at $1 million? Sure. But if the Oilers could move Souray at $5.4 and add Hamhuis at $3-$3.5, I'd be all over it.

May 12, 2010 at 11:05 AM comment-delete

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