The Edmonton Oilers could follow the St Louis model and use free agency to bolster their roster.
With the draft come and gone and the Oilers picks all spent, the Edmonton Oilers are still left with a number of needs on their active roster for the upcoming season. July 1st will likely be the next likely option to see changes to the Oilers roster. Teams always look to mimic what the last Stanley Cup Champions did and the Blues made a few simple deals in free agency that were crucial in their victory in June.
Signed July 1st – 4 Years x 4 Million Per Season
The Blues originally lost David Perron in expansion to the Vegas Golden Knights. After a 66 point season, the highest in his career Perron returned to free agency and re-upped with the Blues once more. Last season Perron was the third highest scoring for the Blues with 23 goals and their best right winger behind Vladamir Tarasenko.
In the playoffs Perron continued to produce with 7 goals and 16 points, along with 2 game winning goals, one of them being the controversial goal versus the Boston Bruins. Next season, the 31 year old Perron will still be counted on to perform on one of the Blues top two lines. Perhaps in his last season the 4 million dollar contract might prove to be pricey but so far it has certainly provided value.
Signed July 10th – 1 Year x 1.75 Million
Edmonton Oilers fans already know what a valuable player that Patrick Maroon could be. The big and lovable winger endeared himself to Oilers fans with his ability to score goals, provide physicality, and compliment Edmonton’s best players. While he was not able to score the 27 goals in a season that he did in Edmonton, Maroon proved to be an effective third line winger for the Blues with 10 goals in 74 games. Maroon only scored three goals during St Louis’ Stanley Cup run but one of the goals he scored was a massive one, with a double OT goal against Dallas in Game 7.
Maroon is set to be a free agent once more this summer but considering his family lives in St Louis and how much he clearly enjoyed playing there, it’s likely that the Blues will be able to re-up him at a reasonable rate.
Signed July 1st – 3 Years x 5 Million Per Season
After finishing a 5 year deal worth 4.2 million per season, the St Louis Blues signed free agent Tyler Bozak to a 3 year deal. At 33 years old and playing as a third line centre, this is the one free agency contract the Blues signed that should be considered an overpay. Still at only three years it isn’t a horrible deal at Bozak’s ability to produce at 5 on 5 while suppressing the opposition still provides the team with value.
Consistency has always been the key with Bozak. After scoring at a 0.52 ppg pace throughout the regular season, Bozak continued at a 0.5 ppg pace throughout the playoffs with 13 points in 26 games.
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Can Edmonton do the same?
Over the next few days we will discuss options that exist for Edmonton over free agency. Needless to say there are a number of options that the Oilers could pursue, both on the wing and at centre (specifically for the third line). Some smart signings in free agency could provide the Oilers with the exact kind of depth they need to truly make a playoff run.