Happy Canada Day / Free Agent Bonanza Day

By , July 1, 2010 8:45 am

Happy Canada Day Folks...

Happy Canada Day Folks...


So, here it is, July 1st… one of the more fun days in the NHL world – the first day of the free agency period (starts at 10PM EST today).

As with every year, there are several players out there that are available through the UFA market. The Fourth Period has compiled a list of the top 30 available UFAs, most of which would be of no interest to the Oilers though. But there are others out there…

The Oilers could really use some of those gritty glue players, however, as well as a shutdown defenseman and possibly another puck mover (or preferably a combination of the two). Zbynek Michalek is said to be about to make a decision between the Coyotes offer and testing the market. Agent Bill Zito also mentioned that clients John Madden and Adam Burrish will likely test the market as well too, since Chicago really has minimal cap available.

Will Tambellini continue this hot week, or will there just be a lot of smoke? One thing is for certain, we won’t be going after the big gun this year (Kovalchuk). Thank you for finally learning that lesson. We can now retire the recruitment video.

Anyways, discuss the goings on of the free agent bonanza here. I’ll be away for the first hour or two of it, as I’ll be off at Ikea buying a wall unit to house the awesomeness that is my new receiver, and other things.

180 Responses to “Happy Canada Day / Free Agent Bonanza Day”

  1. gr8one says:

    Not exactly sure what the proper acronym is, but I believe it is the average.

  2. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Average Alain Vigneault

  3. Mr.Majestyk says:

    McKenzie says that the Senators are done for the day and Melnyk won’t pay out another 4 million bonus and trade the player. I guess that puts an end to the Spezza rumours. It would have been nice if Tambi’s ‘irons in the fire’ was a trade involving Spezza though.

  4. Steve-O says:

    Hey All, just looking at who is remaining (I like the Foster signing) there are a few names out there that I wouldn’t mind seeing here.

    Metropolit, Grebber Grabber, Lombardi etc. I think if Tambellini just waits a day there can be a tonne of talent available pretty cheap.

  5. Mr.Majestyk says:

    For some of the mid level players that are still out there, its entirely possible that they are getting a bunch of similar deals from different clubs. So, they have an opportunity to mull it over before deciding the destination they like. For a guy like Gonchar, the decision was easy because Ottawa gave him 3 years. Hamhuis had an easy decision because he got 6 year term from the Nucks.

  6. gr8one says:

    ffs, Scott just signed in Chicago…

    I hope that doesn’t leave us w/ Laracque.

  7. Racki says:

    Steve-O: Hey All, just looking at who is remaining (I like the Foster signing) there are a few names out there that I wouldn’t mind seeing here.Metropolit, Grebber Grabber, Lombardi etc.I think if Tambellini just waits a day there can be a tonne of talent available pretty cheap.

    Foster is our “Grebber Grabber”. We don’t need another puck mover now.. we’ve got 3 offensive guys, 1 guy that you could call a defensive d-man (Smid), 1 goon in Vandermeer, and 1 jack of all trades in Johnson (or Strudwick, who would fit under the category of sub-par defenseman/enforcer). I’d still like the Oil to scoop up one shutdown d-man. Tambellini’s done a great job recently, but that would really make the Oil look like a team.

  8. Racki says:

    P.S., I’m happy we didn’t sign Scott. Although I hope even more that we don’t get Laraque either.

  9. Bostonoiler says:

    Morrison is still sitting there….He is a good defender that we should target. I’d like to see Eric Belanger and maybe a guy like Scott Walker.

    Side note: Oilers have re-signed Colin Fraser to a 2 year deal.

  10. Racki says:

    Well, much to my chagrin, the Oilers are indeed in search of a tough guy, according to Ryan Rishaug. As long as he can play, I don’t mind.. but I don’t see too much reason to waste a roster spot on a guy like Boogaard. We could definitely use some toughness… but I like the light heavyweights like Vandermeer, Jacques, Stortini, for our team.. at least one more would definitely be nice.

    Apparently the asking price was horrible (case in point, Boogard signing for 1.5M or whatever.. that’s nuts).

    But hey, Konopka is still out there.. I really like that suggestion, as at least he can play. The Oilers would have to harness that penalty machine, however.

  11. Racki says:

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326300

    The title of the article is: “Oilers sign newly-acquired D Fraser to two-year, $1.65M deal” (in case TSN corrects that). Did I miss something? Does Fraser play defense too? I only knew him as a centreman. Or did TSN goof up?

  12. gr8one says:

    lol, I saw that too…and I’m pretty sure TSN goofed up.

    I think they might have got “Foster” and “Fraser” transposed…

  13. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Like all Oiler fans I’m excited to see what our team will look like this coming season, and we’re starting to see it take shape with the recent moves. I have to say that I am generally pleased with what I’ve seen so far, I’m not overwhelmed either. Maybe I’m just a level headed guy or something but it appears that fans are creating an unattainable expectation for the team this year, which of course sets us up for disappointment.

    I should add that I usually find this sentiment expressed when visiting the OMB, home of the hockey experts. Where players are either ‘the best ever’, ‘gonna be awesome in a few years’ or ‘sucks’.

  14. neufab says:

    A big right handed defenseman, Foster should be a nice fit, I like it.

  15. Bostonoiler says:

    Nice start. Not done yet boys. Rumors going around are that the Oilers are still looking at Spezza (I don’t think he is going anywhere though). Looking ot still add a tough guy and some AHL depth. Sould be an interesting summer. Gotta say I love the signing of Foster, and you gotta like them bringing Fraser in at a very low price.

  16. Racki says:

    neufab: A big right handed defenseman, Foster should be a nice fit, I like it.

    Oh wow, I didn’t realize he was a RHD because HockeyDB has him incorrectly listed as a Left shot.

    That is perfect. Now just to unload Souray anywhere.

    That makes our D:

    Whitney Gilbert
    Smid Foster
    Johnson/Struds Vandermeer

    Bottom pairing could be better, especially if Strudwick draws in, but I like it.

  17. Bostonoiler says:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/414502-oilers-add-depth-oilers-sign-foster-and-fraser-trade-for-vandermeer?just_published=1

    My new blog up on the Oilers moves in the past 2 days, come by and comment guys!

  18. gr8one says:

    If we signed one more D-man like Shaone Morrison I’d feel A LOT better about next season, and I’d still like a goon, and a #1 C.

    Which brings me to, Tim Connolly. I has secret hopes of Landing Spezza, and everyone knows about my Jeff Carter thoughts, but reality is we likely won’t be getting any big fish like that, they are just unavailable or would cost too much, so that brings me to Connolly as there are whispers that he is available.

    Buffalo needs a PP QB, and we have one available.

    Now, I know the guy has a major issues with his health, but he had a relatively healthy season last year and almost put up ppg #’s, and that was on a offensively challenged Buffalo team.

    I’m not sure if he is true #1 material, but at least it gives us an option to at least interchange Gagner in/out of that spot depending on his play.

    If Gagner steps up and grabs it by the horns, then awesome, we have a fantastic #2 C in Connolly, and if Gagner falters at all, he has some insulation with Connolly.

    Also, it would be nice to try out a kid line like Hall/Gagner/Eberle, but if we do, we’ll need them to play the softer minutes, so having a #1 line of Penner/Connolly/Hemsky looks pretty frecking good and they will get all of the other teams shutdown lines and bid dogs on D.

    Another good thing about Connolly is that he only has one year on his contract left, so if he bombs, no harm, no foul, but if he comes in and plays well we can re-sign him.

    Anyways, food for thought…

  19. Racki says:

    My thoughts:

    Don’t need a #1 center… let Sam Gagner handle that. If we were getting Jeff Carter, I’d be all for it, but we’re not. I saw a tweet from one of the sports broadcasters that said Gagne has played his last game there, so he’ll be shipped out instead.. which makes way more sense for them. I think Sam Gagner can handle #1 C here. Connolly would be fantastic though, even with injuries. So if Souray+ landed us Connolly, I’d be all for that.

    Goon… only if he can play. Konopka would be a perfect choice as he’s VERY good on the dot (over 60% in 400+ tries) and can play defensively.

    Shaone Morrison – pleeeeease Tambi. That would be perfect, and I agree that would make me feel a lot better too. I already feel a lot better about next year, but I think that could make all the difference in the world in making the show or not. Besides, with injuries and such, we’ll need some to stock up. :P

    With that, I’d make our D:

    Whitney Gilbert
    Morrison Foster
    Vandermeer Smid

    /w Johnson (preferably) or Strudwick riding the pine.

    Oddly enough, it’s our bottom six that still worries me a bit. Konopka might help that out a bit, but I still wouldn’t mind seeing one more guy with the skillset of Sammy Pahlsson. Perhaps on the wing though. But I think we’ll be fine next year, so long as our goaltenders don’t crap the bed. But behind (or in front of perhaps) the best goaltenders are the best d-men. So I’d say picking up a shutdown d-man should be the #1 priority. Even if nothing else is done this off-season, make that happen.

  20. gr8one says:

    Yeah, you pretty much just articulated my exact thoughts, only much better than I was able to. lol :=p

    But yeah, I do think Gagner has #1 C in him, I just think he’s probably another year away from it, and yes, of course Carter would be awesome, but not really realistic.

    So yeah, that is why thought Connolly would be perfect, instead of a clearcut 1 and 2 C like a Carter or a Spezza would, it would basically give us two 1B’s, that are interchangable…to sort of help bring Gagner along.

    Everything else you say is dead on, and man would I love our D corps if we added Morrison, although, I have a sinking feeling that Tambi might be done with our D and Struds(ugh) will be the depth guy, with some of the kids(Peckham/Plante/Chorney) getting good looks too.

    Love the idea of Konopka…not sure he is really a nuclear deterrent, but his playing ability makes up for that.

  21. gr8one says:

    oh yeah…btw, Gagne apparently has a NTC and is supposedly not willing to waive it, if that’s true, it just might still make Carter the odd man out.

    unless of course Holmgren finds some idiot GM willing to take Briere’s contract.

  22. Racki says:

    Yah, I personally once was all about having the biggest, badest tough guy in the league. But it shouldn’t be about that. How many times do you see Godard pound on Sean Avery for being a dick. Have you ever? How many times do you see Laraque avenge Kostitsyn for getting his face rearranged (maybe a bad example just because Laraque is too “honorable”). Would Richards have thought twice before hitting Booth with his head down if a nuclear deterrent were sitting on the bench? I don’t think so at all. I’m not convinced these guys do anything other than put on a side show and entertain us. I think Bic Mac tuning in Vandermeer is one of the only times in recent memory where I can think of a heavyweight taking on a non-heavyweight (and really, Vandermeer is still a tough cookie) in retaliation for hurting a teammate (namely, beating on Pouliot).

    I love a heavyweight fight as much as anyone. But really, it should be about TEAM toughness. Konopka and guys that we have already like Jacques, Stortini and Vandermeer are perfect for responding to bad hits. The best way to render a guy like Boogeyman useless is just to outskill him when he’s on the ice. And if he takes liberties with our players, well… eye for an eye, motherfucker. Send Jacques in on someone. He’ll hit anyone, anytime whether they’re looking or not. His hits border on dirty on occasion.

  23. gr8one says:

    bah…looks like Struds just signed a 1 year deal.

    I knew it was going to happen, but ffs, I just don’t get it…I don’t care how good he is in the room, he’s a pylon!

  24. gr8one says:

    They also signed another D-man, I’m guessing it’s a signing to help bolster OKC.

    Looks like he put up some good numbers in the AHL last year w/ Rockford.

    http://www.forecaster.ca/thestar/hockey/player.cgi?2535

  25. Racki says:

    gr8one: bah…looks like Struds just signed a 1 year deal.I knew it was going to happen, but ffs, I just don’t get it…I don’t care how good he is in the room, he’s a pylon!

    Yah, it’s tough to argue against what you’re saying. He is a pylon, really. I like the guy a lot though.. funny as hell. But that doesn’t win hockey games. Oh well. It sucks we’re going to lose Johnson… but hopefully he doesn’t sign somewhere else until at least after Souray is gone. I’d like him back, then Strudwick can play #7 and still entertain the dressing room. :P

    Also, I like the Petiot signing, as long as he stays in OKC.

  26. Racki says:

    Oh any details on Strudwick’s contract? I’d guess around 0.8M…?

    Hopefully a 1 year deal

  27. zackman35 says:

    Racki:
    Yah, it’s tough to argue against what you’re saying. He is a pylon, really. I like the guy a lot though.. funny as hell. But that doesn’t win hockey games. Oh well. It sucks we’re going to lose Johnson… but hopefully he doesn’t sign somewhere else until at least after Souray is gone. I’d like him back, then Strudwick can play #7 and still entertain the dressing room.
    Also, I like the Petiot signing, as long as he stays in OKC.

    I agree completely but you know what? At least we got a 6’4″, 220lb+ pylon who’s willing to fight anyone.

  28. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I agree with Racki with regards to getting payback against teams with the goons. I say do dirt with dirt. Actually, thats what Pat Quinn says, and I agree with him. Just don’t talk about it publicly or you will get fined.

  29. Racki says:

    zackman35:
    I agree completely but you know what? At least we got a 6’4″, 220lb+ pylon who’s willing to fight anyone.

    Yah good point. I presume you’re meaning Strudwick when you say 6’4, 220lb+ pylon. He’s a willing fighter. Not as good as I once thought he was, but he also getting up there in years. But he’ll get the job done and will stick up for anyone.

  30. zackman35 says:

    Racki:
    Yah good point. I presume you’re meaning Strudwick when you say 6’4, 220lb+ pylon. He’s a willing fighter. Not as good as I once thought he was, but he also getting up there in years. But he’ll get the job done and will stick up for anyone.

    Exactly and also, I hate to say it but he’s a lot more expendable especially with his cap hit if he gets injured as compared to someone like Souray. When signing someone like Souray you may be getting the full package, 6’4″ 220lb+, one of the hardest shots in the league, PP specialist and brings a physical game but you are also taking a risky because of his mean streak ala. Jarome Iginla fight. Struds may not be as offensive or even defensive but for the grit he brings at the price mine as well sign him esp. if he is a “good locker room guy” and is willing to take 1mil or less.

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