5 takeaways from the beginning of free agency for the Oilers

With the first day of NHL free agency in the books, we take a look at the good, the bad and the surprising of what transpired for the Edmonton Oilers.
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages
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We're essentially just a week removed from the Edmonton Oilers having their hearts ripped out, falling just short of the comeback to end all comebacks in the Stanley Cup Final. However, as per the oft-repeated saying, the show must go on.

In this respect, the Oilers -- like the rest of the NHL -- have been extremely busy since their season concluded. There's been a draft where they moved into position to select in the first round, making qualifying offers to their restricted free agents, and buying out Jack Campbell.

On top of this, there was the not so small matter of free agency, which began in earnest on Monday. As per Stephen Whyno and John Wawrow of the Associated Press, this resulted in a furry of activity that saw teams combine to commit to a record $1.12 billion in contracts.

As for the Oilers specifically, as we've already written, their marquee signing was arguably Viktor Arvidsson at a bargain price of two years and $8 million. However, let's now break down day one of free agency overall for the organisation, with our five takeaways:

1) A sneaky good signing

Of all the signings the Oilers have completed so far, we would contend Jeff Skinner is the most underrated one. In fact, at just $3 million for one season, we'd even argue he's one of the top underrated signings of NHL free agency full stop.

While Skinner hasn't always been the most consistent of players, overall he's still produced well enough during his 14 seasons in the NHL. He's an excellent skater with a terrific shot; he's good for around 30 goals per season, something which should easily be achievable given who he'll be playing alongside in Edmonton.

In this respect, it was only last season when the 32-year-old had a career year. He set single season highs of 47 assists, 82 total points and a +15 rating, along with a 60.5 Corsi For % in All Situations.

Skinner won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2010-11 and is the youngest ever player to appear in the NHL All-Star Game. He does also hold the distinction of the most games in NHL history without a playoff appearance, but you'd like to think this drought will end in 2024-25.