The Edmonton Oilers announced they have signed defenseman Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year deal according to team’s official website. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Yes, it is the same Denis Grebeshkov that played in Edmonton from 2007-10, the same Grebeshkov that wore the tinted visor and the same Grebeshkov that fled the NHL after the 2010 season to play in the KHL.
In 190 games played with the Oilers, the now 29-year old scored 16 goals and added 60 assists to go with a modest minus-2. He also racked up 86 penalty minutes during his stint in Edmonton.
The move to bring back Grebeshkov to the copper and blue is a perplexing one as the blue line is suddenly a crowded place to be. The Russian native now makes eight legitimate defensemen that could all suit up for the Oilers on opening night. Many Oilers’ fans on Twitter are quick to point out that over the past few seasons the injury bug has depleted the Edmonton blue line so having too many quality d-men may not be a bad thing.
The move could also mean a trade if forthcoming that would likely see a defenseman sent packing, something we’ll look at later here at Oil on Whyte.
There is the outside chance that a player like Oscar Klefbom or Anton Belov doesn’t crack the Oilers roster right out of the gate, making room for Grebeshkov who would be joined by Nick Schultz, Justin Schultz, Ladislav Smid, Corey Potter, Andrew Ference and Jeff Petry. That is still a crowded blue line in Edmonton and suddenly the idea of trade happening can’t be over looked.