Recapping Edmonton Oilers Free Agency- Week One

We're now into the first week of the offseason and the Oilers turned out to be very active in free agency, signing no less than 15 players.
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages
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Oiler ex-players

There were a few Oilers from last year who signed elsewhere, here's who they are:

RD Vincent Desharnais signs with the Canucks for two years at $4,000,000 ($2,000,000 AAV)

The Canucks had a lot more cap space than the Oilers did going into this offseason, so they had the luxury of paying Desharnais more than the Oilers did. Not to mention after Desharnais was a healthy scratch in the finals he probably saw the writing on the wall and realized that he may in fact not make the team, or perhaps only as an extra d-man. Vancouver needs depth players as their team isn't as much of a finished product as the Oilers are right now. I can definitely see why he signed there.

L/RW Warren Foegele signs with the LA Kings for three years, $10,500,000 ($3,500,000 AAV)

After the Oilers signed Arvidsson, we knew someone was coming out of the lineup when he was coming in, and that Warren Foegele would likely not stay here in Edmonton seeing as how he had become a luxury we couldn't afford, and I wasn't convinced that the coaching staff saw him as a full time top six forward, while clearly the LA Kings did. The Oilers didn't have the cap space to sign him nor did they have the roster spot to get him. Foegele then becomes a cheaper alternative to Arvidsson in LA while Arvidsson has more of a scoring track record which is what the Oilers were looking for at the end of the day.

C/RW Sam Carrick signs with the New York Rangers for three years, $3,000,000 ($1,000,000 AAV)

If I had to guess I would say the Rangers in a sense snaked Carrick away from the Oilers, however, there is a context to this. After being beaten out for fourth line center by Derek Ryan in the latter portion of the playoffs, I think the Oilers may have viewed Carrick as expendable and weren't willing to give him three years on a contract. The Rangers obviously thought more highly of him which is why they scooped him up. Henrique was the centerpiece of that trade with Anaheim anyway, so I think the Oilers are OK with Carrick going elsewhere.

Oilers buyout G Jack Campbell, Campbell signs with Detroit Red Wings for one year, $775,000

I was hoping the Oilers would be able to trade Campbell and not have to buy him out. However, word on the street is Ken Holland already tried to trade Campbell and was unsuccessful which led to Jackson buying him out, and he subsequently signed in his home state of Michigan with the Red Wings. The Oilers will see between $2.4-3.9 million in cap savings for the next three seasons before Campbell costs them $1.5 million for the next three seasons after that. Well, if you're going to sign somewhere else, where better than your hometown team, right?

In Detroit, they're still rebuilding, and they had such lousy goaltending last year that neither Ville Husso nor Alex Lyon is back this season, so far they've got three prospects and Campbell fighting for position there. I'm guessing Campbell actually has the inside track on starter for the Wings, something that the Oilers obviously didn't want to offer him. The Red Wings will be a better destination for him as expectations will be lower on him so it's a pretty good situation for him to get his game back, albeit as a meat shield for the rest of the league.

That being said, Detroit has some pretty pieces in place and they were only seven points out of a playoff spot last season so this is a nice buy-low acquisition from GM Steve Yzerman. If Campbell doesn't work out he can once again be buried in the minors with his entire cap hit, if he works out he just might put the Wings into the playoffs and close the book on their rebuild. He'll at least be a great veteran leader for whatever prospect backs him up.