Here comes Yann: Photo Courtesy Steven Christy

Oilers Free Agency: Day One

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.



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.


We meet again. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

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.

Follow Oil On Whyte on the Twitters.

Jeff – @OilOnWhyte

Grant- @RealOilFan

Samson – @threwittki

Ian – @ibleedoil

Jonathan – @jonrmcleod

Marcus – @SportMajor

Keegan – @KeeganWiebe

Check out the Oilers Army!

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

Next Oilers Game Full schedule »
Saturday, Nov 11 Nov8:00Vancouver CanucksBuy Tickets

Tags: Darcy Hordichuk Ryan Smyth Yann Danis

comments powered by Disqus