Last NHL club: Anaheim Ducks
2012-13 stats: 21 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 points
Even though Steckel was offered a PTO by the Minnesota Wild, the Oilers could still swoop in and sign the free-agent. It would be a “bold” move to do such a thing, although not as nasty as an offer sheet to a restricted free agent, but all is fair in love and war. And for the Oilers, their war zone is about to begin in eight days and it’s time to call in the cavalry. Or in this case, a centreman in Steckel.
Steckel would bring many assets to the Oilers aside from the fact that he plays centre. He was the Ducks top faceoff man last season winning an impressive 57.1% of the draws he took, a stat that would instantly put him at the top of that category in Edmonton.
He’s not going to be your stud centreman who can put up 40 points in a season. That’s not Steckel’s game. But instead he’ll give you that much needed size and grit that we keep referring to that is lacking on this Oilers team.
At 6’6″ and 215 pounds, Steckel could play that third line role until one of the regulars returns, bumping Boyd Gordon to the second line or having Eberle fill the void. Either way, having Steckel’s presence would go a long way in helping the Oilers establish a physical presence up front.
The other nice feature about Steckel is the team could sign him for cheap. Last season he made $1.1 million while playing with the Ducks and it’s safe to say that he’d take a one-way deal worth all of that or slightly under. It’d be a cheap yet effective way to patch the hole that could sink this Oilers ship; the centre position.