It brings me much pleasure to say that the Oilers didn’t crap the bed on the first day of free agency.
Clean sheets after the jump.
I’m quite pleased with how the first day of the NHL’s free agency period went for the Oilers. We tackled the Ben Eager signing in the last post. Let’s take a look at the rest.
ERIC BELANGER (C) – 3 YEARS / $1.75M PER YEAR
2010-11 NUMBERS – 13G-27A-40PTS, 36 PIM in 82 GP
You get right out of town.
This is my favourite pickup of the day. Here he is, he’s a bottom six centre that can win faceoffs. It’s been a year and a day (times two or three) since the Oilers have had one of these guys, and Belanger has three years to do it in Edmonton. Rumour has it that the man can kill penalties too. Belanger joins his sixth team in the Edmonton Oilers, and it’s not a day too soon.
The money’s right, the player is right, and the guy’s got forty points likely being the 3C. I can’t find any fault with this signing. At all.
DARCY HORDICHUK (W)- 1 YEAR / $825K
2010-11 NUMBERS – 1G-4A-5PTS, 76 PIM in 64 GP
Darcy Hordichuk is a fourth line candidate along with fellow tough guy Ben Eager, so I’m not quite sure what the team had in mind when they inked Hordichuk to a one year deal. The term isn’t catastrophic, and falls under the “oops, I gave my baby honey” style of faux pas. Worst case scenario for Hordichuk is that he doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on the big club.
Still, I’ll be interested to see what the guy brings to camp. Hordichuk is cruising right around 500 career games, which isn’t too shabby at all for a guy with his role.
CAM BARKER (D) – 1 YEAR / $2.25M
2010-11 NUMBERS – 1G-4A-5PTS, 34 PIM in 52 GP
This one has the paintings of a tremendous upside, or an absolute bust. Barker gets his knocks (some deservedly) for being the third overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and not living up to the bill. (you know, the one with Ovechkin and Malkin). $2.25 for this cat might look to be a bit high. We’ll call it “Ladislav Smid” high, although Smid didn’t have to live up to the hype of being the third overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Take solace in knowing that if it’s a horrific bust that’s it’s just for one year. Contracted goaltenders, take note.
Corey Potter (D) has also been signed as a depth defender who will likely spend time in Oklahoma City. Terms are not yet known.
So there you have it – The Oilers’ day one nabbed them a bottom six centre who can win faceoffs and kill penalties, two tough guys (with one likely to see significant time on the big club), a depth D for OKC and a defenceman who has yet to find his wings. Or something like that. I’m very proud of the club for not locking themselves into an embarrassing deal that can’t be bought out, or a ten year deal for a defenceman who very well might be buried in the minors by year four.
This has been day one.
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