Now that the current NHL season is down to the proverbial final four, talk of off season moves is starting to heat up. The Edmonton Oilers have needs throughout the line-up and one avenue they can fill these needs through is free agency.
Today we look at our first series of free agent targets. Over a series of features, Oil On Whyte will profile prospective targets, by position. We start with Center in our first look:
The Nashville Predators traded David Legwand to the Detroit Red Wings for Patrick Eaves, Calle Jarnkrok and a conditional 3rd round selection in 2014. He had a decent year, amassing 51 points (14 G, 37 A).
Should the Oilers target him? Yes. He brings size, offense and experience, qualitites that are in short supply with the Oilers roster as it is. He could be an excellent third line center for the Oilers as he averages over 50% on the faceoff dot. After spending his entire career with Barry Trotz and the defensive style in Tennessee, he shares that mindfulness on the ice.
At the same time, Legwand had a brutal -17 rating in 2014, something of concern. But, he also landed with a new team in the Red Wings so a little bit of slack can be given in that regard. Besides, +/- is only a part of the statistical story, where Legwand fares well.
The type of player Legwand represents is the sort of NHLer that the Oilers have had trouble acquiring for many years now. A sound journeyman with offensive upside, a quiet injury history and consistent play. Legwand is all of these things.
DO THE OILERS SIGN DAVID LEGWAND?
No. Legwand is now a part of the storied Red Wings organization. Their last big free agent center, Stephen Weiss, was a bit of a bust. Couple that with the fact Detroit is Legwand’s home town and the copper and blue suddenly are in tough to get him. An overpay is possible with a shallow pool of free agents this year, but a safe bet is Legwand signs in Hockeytown.