Breaking Down First Day Of Free Agency For The Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images)
Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images) /

Yesterday was the official opening of free agency for the NHL. Lots of players got signed by the teams. The Edmonton Oilers also made four signings. They didn’t sign any of the big-money players as they didn’t have the cap space to do so.

Even though they didn’t have the cap space to get a big player, doesn’t mean the Edmonton Oilers couldn’t address some of the issues on their team.

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Edmonton Oilers Signing #1-Lane Pederson

Lane Pederson started his NHL career when he was signed as a free agent by Arizona, on October 13, 2016. After that, he travelled around the NHL. He was then traded to San Jose by Arizona for a 4th-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, on July 28, 2021. Followed by a trade to Carolina by San Jose with Brent Burns for Steven Lorentz, Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, on July 13, 2022. He was moved again to Vancouver by Carolina with Ethan Bear for a 5th-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, on October 28, 2022. Finally, he was claimed off waivers by Columbus from Vancouver, on January 28, 2023.

The two-year deal for Pederson has an AAV of $775,000. Being the league minimum you can’t really have any complaints about this deal. Worst case he ends up playing in Bakersfield, best case he is on the Edmonton Oilers bottom six. He only has played 71 NHL games and has 4 goals and 11 assists.

Edmonton Oilers Signing #2-Connor Brown

There is a whole article talking about the Connor Brown signing and where he fits in right HERE. In short, I think this is a good signing. The way I see it is you traded away Kailer Yamamoto and Klim Kostin in order to sign Connor Brown.

Brown has shown he can score at the NHL level. This is something we haven’t really seen in a second-line right winger. In the last few seasons the Edmonton Oilers have been hoping for Yamamoto or Puljujarvi to get hot and take over that role, it just never happened.

Edmonton Oilers Signing #3-Drake Caggiula

Just like with Brown, there is an entire article related to the Drake Caggiula signing. You can find that article HERE. For the Edmonton Oilers this is another no-loss deal. Caggiula is not only signed for the league minimum, but he is on a two-way deal. This means he can go from Bakersfield to the Edmonton Oilers without having to clear waivers every time.

I believe he is going to play a similar role to Devin Shore. He is more of a 14-15 forward. There is going to need to be multiple injuries in order for him to play, but if he needs to play at least he has NHL experience.

Edmonton Oilers Signing #4-Ben Gleason

Ben Gleason is another cheap depth signing for the Edmonton Oilers. He will mostly be playing in the minors this season. He only has played 4 games in the NHL and that was back in the 2018-2019 season.

He is still fairly young, but I wouldn’t get your hope up that he is going to be a staple on the Edmonton Oilers roster. Here is a little highlight package of him playing for the Texas Stars, the AHL team of the Dallas Stars.

Was It A Good Day For The Edmonton Oilers?

Although the Edmonton Oilers made a number of signings, only one of them is going to be a player you see on a regular basis in the NHL. That isn’t bad news though. The Edmonton Oilers were a Stanley Cup favourite last year. This means there wasn’t much room to improve.

They did improve in an area where they needed to improve on, and with the cap space they had, I think they did a good job of improving in that spot. There is still lots of time in the offseason, so there still may be some moves, but I wouldn’t expect anything major.