Oilers Free-Agent Rumors: Brenden Morrow & Mason Raymond

The free-agent frenzy has crawled to a halt and it has a faint heartbeat at the moment despite a few headline names that still remain unsigned.  Two of those names are Brenden Morrow and Jaromir Jagr and granted we’ve already discussed the latter, another name has been floating around as a potential signing for the Edmonton Oilers; former Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond.

It was linked on Sportsnet.ca late this week that both Morrow and Raymond could be of interest to the Oilers and that the hockey club may not be finished reshaping their roster just yet.  But keep this in mind. The source came from Richard Cloutier in the form of a tweet.

It’s difficult to get overly excited about this when Cloutier’s rumors haven’t always materialized in the past.  I’m not sure what his batting average would be, but it may be lower than the Mendoza line.  In other words, his sources that he claims have information rarely turn out to have much merit to them.  I’ll give him credit, he did mention the Perron deal but even he admitted that he didn’t break the story and was merely suggesting that the deal could go down based on the Blues salary cap situation.

When looking at the two players, Morrow would be the preferred choice. He brings an element of physicality that is often unmatched in the NHL and not to mention his leadership qualities are among the best in the game.  Talk about the perfect third line role player that MacTavish is trying to land.

But it won’t be easy if in fact the Oilers are in on the Morrow sweepstakes.  Reports earlier last week had Morrow’s camp contacting the Montreal Canadiens about exploring the possibilities of him signing there.  His wife is from Quebec which is a factor in where he’d like to end up playing next season and Montreal is said to be at the top of his wishlist.

He’s also stated that he prefers to play for a legitimate Stanley Cup contender which in itself could eliminate the Oilers.  This club is making improvements and we are still a long ways away from the drop of the puck, but on paper it’s difficult to say that as of right now, these Oilers would compete for Lord Stanley.

Mason Raymond on the other hand is a viable option for Edmonton to pick up this summer especially if the Oilers can move Ales Hemsky and free up the $5 million owed to him next season.

Coming off a one-year deal with the Canucks that saw him earn $2.275 million last season, Raymond will likely be in the market for a raise, albeit a modest one.  The 27-year old is surely wanting some security in the form of a multi-year deal so throwing an offer to him of 3-years at $8.75 million or $2.75 MM annually is reasonable.

He’s a third line player who brings a solid two-way game to the table that would help shore up the Oilers own end problems (at least for their third line).  What he does not bring is a physical element to the ice, registering just 18 hits in 46 games for the Canucks last season.  Suddenly he’s not that great of an option when it’s clear the Oilers need to get bigger and tougher.

If anything more comes of this we’ll keep you posted right here at Oil on Whyte.  For now, let’s wait and see if anything materializes or if it’s just another bad rumor circulating the web.

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