Something to Talk About

Were a ways away from talking on-ice product, but the NHL isn't exactly quiet these days. Even the Oilers have given us some news worth taking a look at:


No more PPV's? I'm all for it.

According to a press release by the Edmonton Oilers, a new agreement between the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Rogers Sportsnet means fans can watch the remaining games on the Oilers schedule not normally broadcast on TSN or CBC without having to purchase a Pay-Per-View broadcast.

In order to view games, fans will need to purchase the newly launching Sportsnet One, but at a fraction of the price of some 13 games on PPV. Word is that somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2-$3 per month the channel will offer all the games we couldn't otherwise watch. For me, I couldn't think of a better birthday present. The channel launches on the same day and not having to buy PPV's all year is a nice treat.

Kovalchuk is a no-go, but so are others?

After the NHL struck down the ridiculous 17 year contract built to obviously circumvent the NHL salary cap, TSN is now reporting that at least two NHL GM's -- Peter Chiarelli and Mike Gillis -- have confirmed the NHL is examining the validity of contracts like Marc Savard, Roberto Luongo, Marian Hossa and Chris Pronger.

There is little doubt these contracts were also set to lower the cap of each respective player. Evidence suggests neither the team nor the player expected the full length of the term to be honored and with Kovalchuk having been denied, could we see others voided?

If so, what happens? Do players like Robert Luongo become free agents again? If so, this can't be great news for the players, who with the new trend in salary signings, likely won't receive the same cushy contracts. Would Gillis really sign Luongo to another contract in the neighbourhood of 7 million per year deal if that was the cap hit? I doubt it. Would Pronger get the same lengthy term he got before at his age? Unlikely.

Using Roberto as an example, starting in 2019, Luongo's salary drops more than 50% from the previous year and 90% from the first year of the deal. In the case of Marc Savard and Chris Pronger, the cases are even more telling as both players last couple years will be paid what could be at that time less than the league minimum.

It will be interesting to see if a trend has started with the Kovalchuk ruling and how messy this gets. Could it have a factor on the new CBA and a possible lockout? We all know the NHL can't afford another one, but the players can't be happy about this new information.

Oilers Sign Liam Reddox

Is this a minor league signing? Or as Jason Gregor suggests, is Reddox the answer the Oilers are hoping to find to the questions about the penalty kill?

There is no doubt that Reddox's game is built around hustle and effort. He lacks both the size and skill not to work his butt off. Can he be the 3rd line checker to replace Fernando Pisani or Ethan Moreau the Oilers need are seem to be missing?

I would suggest yes, but I might wonder if now is that time. Reddox could become that player. I see the same type of skill set and he lies somewhere in the middle ground between a Pisani and a Moreau style of player. That said, starting the season with him there is a huge question mark and unreliable at best. I'm not sure Reddox is more than a signing to start with the Barons right now. He'll get a chance at camp to prove otherwise.

Gagner and Cogliano Still Un-signed?

Some are starting to wonder what the delay is here. Does the fact that neither contract has been signed yet mean money is an issue?

I would suggest no. I see this more as a timeline issue and something that wasn't high on the immediate priority list of Steve Tambellini because he was well aware of how much time he had to get these signings done.

Fans shouldn't worry. Players like Bobby Ryan are RFA's still available. It's unlikely Gagner or Cogs will receive offersheets. Even if they do, not ones that make the Oilers hard-pressed to choose to match.


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