Oilers feature heavily among best NHL free agency contracts

The opinion around Oilers was already positive in terms of their free agency moves, but they're now receiving praise regarding some of the specific signings.
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you'll be well aware the Edmonton Oilers have had a terrific free agency so far. Jeff Jackson has worked wonders in his stint as interim general manager, to the point people like us are suggesting he should take on the role permanently.

Jackson has stressed he has no interest in this, but regardless, the roster is now arguably better than the one which just came so close to winning it all. It was a stroke of genuis -- or should that be several strokes -- that the Oilers were able to get so many players to agree to team-friendly deals.

Which brings us to the subject matter for this article. The Daily Faceoff's Scott Maxwell undertook a task earlier this week to find the best contracts signed so far in free agency, and wouldn't you know, there were three Oilers deals involved.

Honourable Oilers

First, among the nine honourable mentions Maxwell including Mattias Janmark and Viktor Arvidsson. (For what it's worth, he also included Vincent Desharnais, who left Edmonton and signed a two-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks.)

Beginning with Janmark, Maxwell writes that the forward isn't a steal, but is still excellent value for the Oilers. Along these lines, he signed a three-year deal with an annual average value of $1.45 million and will continue to provide solid depth.

If anything, we're more surprised that Arvidsson has only been included as an honourable mention. Maxwell explains that his deal is relatively close to his market value, but we genuinely feel that at two years and $4 million annually, the forward is an excellent signing.

Yes, we appreciate that the 31-year-old has had his issues with health over the years, but he's usually good for around 50 points per season. In fact along these lines, just the season before this one he set single-season career highs of 33 goals and 59 total points.

It's more about the intangibles that Arvidsson brings, as the type of line-mate Leon Draisaitl has been desperately looking for seemingly forever. He's also tough, tenacious and able to play on the special teams units as and when required.

Skinner makes the main list

In any event, of the five players Maxwell named as the five best free agent contracts, the list includes Jeff Skinner. Maxwell even goes as far as to say the winger was the biggest lock for this list even before he signed a deal with anyone.

It's tough to disagree with this assessment, when you consider Skinner is an excellent skater with a terrific shot. He can get you close to 30 goals every season, which will only make the Oilers' attack even more dangerous.

Next. Oilers have happiest fanbase among Canadian NHL teams. Oilers have happiest fanbase among Canadian NHL teams. dark

In any event, even if the 2010 seventh overall draft pick performs slightly below his usual form, he still represents fantastic value at $3 million for next season. And for a player with the longest career in NHL history without a single playoff appearance, he stands to not only break this drought next season, but doing it in style with a genuine chance at winning the Stanley Cup.

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