Free Agent Blue Plate: Would Trent Hunter Be A Good Fit In Oil Country?


So the New Jersey Devils have cut ties with defender Colin White and winger Trent Hunter.

As of this sentence, it appears that Colin White has been snapped up by the Sharks.  Hunter is still out on the open seas.

Would Trent Hunter be a good fit in Oil Country?  After the jump, we’ll take a look.

Hunter - Photo courtesy NHL.com

NAME:  Trent Hunter

DOB: 05 JUL 1980 (31)

POSITION:  RW

2010-11 CLUB:  New York Islanders

2010-11 NUMBERS:  1G-3A-4PTS in 17 GP (-3). 23 PIM

2010-11 SALARY: $2M

Acquired by the New Jersey Devils for Brian Rolston on 28 JUL 2011 (contract bought out)

THE SKINNY

After over ten years of service in the Islanders system, Trent Hunter got dealt to the Devils and was promptly bought out of his contract that would’ve taken him to the end of 2012-13.  The Devils will now pay him 667K for the next four years, and Hunter is now a free man on the market.

Would he be a good fit in Edmonton for the right price?

Let’s take a look at the current crop of wingers in this town, according to the Oilers’ official website.

  1. Hemsky
  2. Eberle
  3. Omark
  4. Jones

 

There’s a certain contingent of those out there who aren’t happy with Ryan Jones being on this team.  I understand your grievance, but that 4RW is his position to lose.  I expect Hemsky to perform at his near point per game when he’s healthy, he’s a no brainer for 1RW.  Both Eberle and Omark will look to improve on their impressive rookie campaigns.

Hunter suffered a torn MCL in November, causing him to miss the remainder of the season.  This probably puts him in a position of wanting to secure a job in the NHL a little bit more, and he might be in a good enough mood to do it for a little bit less than he would had he finished out the season.  If Hunter was a predominate LW, I’d say sign him to a two way deal and let Eager and Hunter fight for who gets 4LW.  Add newly acquired Darcy Hordichuk to the mix, and it’s already pretty crowded.

FIFTY WAYS

Would Hunter take a two way deal?  Again, take everything into consideration, especially his last week.  Torn MCL to end the season, traded to division rival after season, promptly put on unconditional waivers and bought out.  He’ll be looking to prove himself after last year.  I’d be willing to bet he’d listen to an offer.  If anyone on the RW goes down (please don’t be Hemsky…again) or falls out of favour, a healthy Trent Hunter is certainly an NHL capable replacement.  Hunter scored 25 goals in 2003-04 and 20 in 2006-07, and although that seems miles away (it is), the guy has hands.  And those haven’t been injured.  Which brings us to health.

ABOUT HEALTH

Health is key if the Oilers were to entertain acquiring the 31 year old right winger.  He hasn’t played a full 82 since 2007-08.  Along with his MCL injury that sidelined him for most of last year, he suffered a broken ankle in 2008-09 and a chest injury that sidelined him for nearly 20 games in 2009-10.  Durability has certainly been an issue.

Is he worth it?  Maybe a camp invite?  If he’s willing to take a two way contract for one year at about 800K-1M at the NHL level, I’d be willing to give him a go.  At best, he’s a suitable replacement for bottom six minutes that wouldn’t look out of place stepping in.  At worst, he’s a casualty of the IR for a significant part of the season.

Have your say:  Would Trent Hunter be a worthy investment on a two way contract?  Would Trent Hunter accept a two way deal?

What other free agents would you like to see in Oiler colours?

Follow our Twitter feed @OilOnWhyte

Become a fan on our Facebook page too!

Click Here to visit our NHL main page “Too Many Men” – Fansided’s Hockey Home on the Internets

Tags: Free Agent Blue Plate Trent Hunter