Edmonton Oilers: Looking at expiring contracts – UFA edition

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Russell #52, Edmonton Oilers
Patrick Russell #52, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

RW Patrick Russell, expiring contract $700,000

Boy, it just is raining forgettable bottom-six forwards the last few names, huh? We’ve gotten now to arguably the most invisible bottom 6 forward of them all – Patrick Russell.

Russell is best described as what is commonly called a “coke machine” of a player. This is a holdover from guys in the 80s and 90s who could hit and/or fight but not play any actual hockey. Russell has turned out to be such a player.

I heard he told Ken Holland in his exit interview last year that he was capable of more offence. Well, that hasn’t really materialized. He’s played 59 career NHL games and over that span has produced 0-7-7. Eight of those games were played last season, and he produced two of his seven assists in that span.

Russell didn’t even hit that much last season, only 13 hits and 10:38 of ice time in the whopping eight games he played.

As expected, he doesn’t play much on special teams. I suppose his 1 redeeming quality is his +/- rebounded to 0 from the -11 two seasons ago when he played the most amount of NHL games of his career.

Holland might bring him back, but I can’t see the justification for it now that the Oilers want to take the next step to winning a playoff series and bringing back coke machines isn’t going to do that.

Chances he’s re-signed – 5%. That’s probably a liberal number, and only because I can’t completely rule it out.

Predicted contract – 1 year, $750,000. Only because this is the NHL minimum salary for next season and that’s a big IF he gets another contract, which IMO he won’t.