Where to start…
Mostly good today.
First and foremost, thanks to all who turned out to the Oil On Whyte Free Agent Liveblog Extravaganza. After a site issue, we were able to transfer it off the main land, and a good crowd turned out to say hello and talk free agency. Thanks to all who came out.
Edmonton did what I think everyone thought they were going to do with Ryan Smyth. Smyth took a significant pay cut from his expiring contract to stay a member of the Oilers (he made 4.5M in 2011-12, he’ll make 2.25M in 2012-13 and 2013-14). Reports surfaced that Smyth was ready to do ‘anything possible’ to help the team. ‘Anything possible’ in this circumstance meant to take a 50% pay cut, and a third line role with reduced minutes. Add that to the fact that Smyth got himself traded from the Kings last summer. Guy loves being an Oiler.
That’s an A+ move from both sides. Smyth ended up getting less money than I had originally thought he’d sign for and the term isn’t ridiculous. Good show by both sides.
Oilers Yann Denis 1 an / 775 000 dollars NHL, 300 000 LAH
— Renaud P Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) July 1, 2012
YANN CAN SAVE
Yann Danis spent the bulk of his 2011-12 season as the backstop for the OKC Barons, and he’ll likely get that opportunity once again after being re-upped on a one year, two-way deal. Danis will make 775K in the NHL and 300 K in the AHL. Danis held the fort down in OKC for the majority of the year, finishing with 26 wins and a .924 SV%. Not sure what a .924 SV% tuns into at the NHL level, but I’m fairly certain “serviceable” could be an applicable term. 300K is a big price tag at the AHL level, but and 775K isn’t a boat at the NHL level should the Oilers require his services. Solid deal.
AND THEN, THIS
By now, you and I have gotten to know each other a bit. I like hockey, you like hockey. We spend a lot of time talking about this thing called hockey, so I feel we need to be on the same page.
The fourth line is not for pure thuggery anymore. No, I do remember a time when you could throw three pugilists out on a line and call it a day. Let them bang each other senseless without regard for the puck or its whereabouts. It wasn’t that long ago, and if you’re over the age of 25, you likely remember a time when this was the norm.
Today, the Oilers re-signed winger Darcy Hordichuk for 850K.
What will that fourth line look like? 55-20-16? 37-20-16?
At 40-ish games a season, Hordichuk
- plays five minutes or less on most nights, and
- takes up a roster space of a guy who might play more than five minutes a night.
I’ve listened to some in the Edmonton MSM say what a great guy he is in the locker room, how he knows his role, how he was great with RNH when he was injured…and I think those are great qualities to have, but it doesn’t translate to “better on the ice”. Without trying to sound too awfully crass, couldn’t the team have hired a former player to be a motivational speaker, or a mentor to injured players without taking up a roster spot? Especially if the motivational player plays less than five minutes a night?
Prove me wrong, Hordichuk.
No big free agent splashes on Day 1. They re-signed Smyth, Danis, and Hordichuk, plus the whole Justin Schultz thing happened on Saturday. I can’t be too awfully upset with any of that.
The Oilers need to sign or trade for one more defenceman before the season rolls around. Day 2 would be a nice place to start.
Good vibes overall.
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