Oilers free agent signing(s)..

By , July 5, 2013 10:17 am
Looking forward to some of this..

Looking forward to some of this..

Just going to try and cap up the signings… so far just one:

The Oilers have signed local boy Andrew Ference to a deal. The Edmontonian is a left shot D who will bring a physical game and a defensive skillset to the team. He can log a lot of minutes. I see him likely replacing Nick Schultz on the 2nd pairing (he really can play 1st pairing minutes, but I just like Smid with Petry). The deal is for 4 years at $3.25M per year. Over payment, yes, but not terrible over payment.. yet. We’ll see if that pays off.

Also, it sounds like the Oilers are working on signing goaltender Jason Labarbera.

Word out there is the Oilers are also out of the David Clarkson sweepstakes. I’m sorry, but THANK GOD. The rumor is the deal he signs could be up to 7 years long and in the $6M range per year. That is a massive over payment that we should avoid.

UPDATE @ 10:30AM: The Oilers have signed Jason Labarbera to a 1-year deal. Hard to keep up, as they also announced the Oilers signed Boyd Gordon for 3 years. Not sure the cap hit of either deal. Labarbera will be a good backup here, and Boyd Gordon should replace either of Eric Belanger or Jared Smithson.

UPDATE @ 11:12AM: Former Islander and big, left shot, finnish winger Jesse Joensuu signs for 2 years with Oilers

UPDATE @ 12:06PM: Contract cap hits updated below..

UPDATE @ 12:50PM: Next unimpressive signing.. Will Acton, son of new associate coach Keith Acton. I am hoping this is intended to be a deal for the Barons. Doesn’t seem like he has much to offer, but I don’t know that either. I know nothing about him, and won’t pretend to.

UPDATE @ 13:15PM: Acton’s deal is a two-way deal. Pretty sure he’ll be playing in OKC.

UPDATE @ 15:50PM: Oilers sign Ryan Hamilton (LW). This is a big winger who has scored well at the AHL level. Hasn’t been able to do it in limited NHL action.

Current signings list:
Andrew Ference (D): 4 years at $3.25M/year
Boyd Gordon (C): 3 years at $3M/year
Jason Labarbera (G): 1 year at $1M/year
Jesse Joensuu (Winger): 2 years, $950k
Will Acton (Center): 2 years, cap unknown, 2-way deal.
Ryan Hamilton (Left Wing): 2 years, cap unknown, likely a 2-way deal.

31 Responses to “Oilers free agent signing(s)..”

  1. Metal&Oil says:

    Boyd Gordon might be on the way and I very much would approve of that. Perfect replacement for Horc’s

  2. Alan-NottsUK says:

    I’d expect the D to look like this

    Smid – Petry
    Ference – J. Schultz
    Belov – N. Schultz

    This essentially means Klefbom can play in the AHL for the entire year. I’d like to see N. Schultz moved out for a vet RHD to balance the pairs out.

    And next year there will be some serious competition for places on the left side.

    in terms of more signings, as much of a dick as he is I’d like to see the Oilers sign Matt Cooke.

  3. Racki says:

    630 Ched figure $2.5M-3m for Gordon. Not cheap, but oh well.

    Jesse Joensuu also signs for 2 years. Big, Finnish winger. No one saw that one coming!

  4. Alan-NottsUK says:

    Bozaks 4.2m per for 5 years should help get a better deal with Gagner.

  5. Racki says:

    Bozaks 4.2m per for 5 years should help get a better deal with Gagner.

    Tough to say.. Bozak is clearly the more well rounded player, but I think Gagner’s offense is a more reliable bet.

    That said, I have been repeatedly saying that I don’t want Gagner back as 2nd line C next year. I’ll definitely take him on the wing though. But I hope the Oilers are interested in Filppula or someone like that. Need someone with 2-way skills and fo%. Gagner would be fine on wing, but only if he’s not being paid $5M/year.

  6. NorwegianOiler says:

    Aaaand we have an overpay: Gordon. Not enough offense to warrant 3M. Now he cannot ever fully satisfy a 4th line role, for which he is best suited. He might just end up as the mini-Horcoff, playing a line above his offensive capability, carrying a cap hit he cannot justify. Meh. I like Gordon fine, but not at 3M.

    Ference: Nice signing, if just a bit overpaid too. At least he can play 20 minutes and do well with his time.

    Johensuu: If he fights for a 4th line role at 1M or less, fine.

    Labarbera: Not visibly better than Danis, who we already had as a backup. Too bad we couldn’t pick up Emery for 1.65M, but he wants to start games and will surely be able to beat out Mason?

  7. Metal&Oil says:

    Boyd Gordon spent a lot of time as the Yotes 2nd line center last season. Don’t sell him short.

  8. Racki says:

    Danis was a horrible option for backup in the big leagues. But I’m not convinced that we’re done with goaltending. I have a suspicion that Labarbera will wind up in the AHL, and we’ll have someone slightly more proven here, but still not spectacular. Maybe Theodore.

    Either way, Labarbera had a steady, good SV% in Phx, albeit in limited action. Danis was a train wreck in the few games we saw here. I think if i recall one game was good but short, one game was SCARY bad, and the other was OK, but not great.

  9. Racki says:

    Player six now for Edmonton (Ryan Hamilton).

    Definitely nothing bold yet.. but I’m not being a cynic, like most Oil fans. This is day one of free agency.. lots of time to go.

    Bold will have to come via trade, probably. It may involved Gagner, Smid, some other hard to move names.. but that’s what I see between now and October. They need the big C… and the big defenseman would be a very nice to have.

  10. NorwegianOiler says:

    Yep, absence of boldness. Tambellini could have done this…so far.

  11. Racki says:

    Yep, absence of boldness. Tambellini could have done this…so far.

    This is true, so perhaps I ease off on Tambo a bit. But I’m happy at least in a way that MacT is a bit more open about what he intends to do to the team… so fans aren’t left wondering.

    Half the battle is wanting to do it, another half is being able to do it. In trades, we need a willing partner. In the FA market, we need players to want to come here for the right price. Some missed deals out there (Khudobin would be one, maybe Jeff Schultz another.. possibly.. I like Ference though). But I’m glad they didn’t swing for the fences on Clarkson or Clowe.

  12. Metal&Oil says:

    At least when you overpay on depth players it doesn’t burden you cap room as much as players like Clarkson ect….

  13. dawgtoy says:

    Somewhat shocked at the expectations Oiler fans have on UFA day. The player has the ultimate right of refusal. An excellent example of this is Clarkson. According to Pierre LeBrun during the TSN broadcast, he stated Clarkson left money on the table to sign in Toronto. The Oilers offered more, but he took less to go where he wanted to go. We obviously can’t be a fly on the wall to know what Edmonton is offering or who they’ve targeted. To me it isn’t fair to be this critical of the GM 6 hours into free agency. He’s filled a few holes. Overpays come with the territory unfortunately. I’d guess he has more irons in the fire in terms of signings and trades. He has a lot of cap space, and is far from finished IMO.

  14. john says:

    This team (most teams actually) do not get deals on “Free Agent Frenzy” day so not sure what everyone was expecting to get these guys for but don’t think MacT did too bad. Like Racki pointed out, any big aquisitions/moves the Oilers make next will likely require some heavy duty trading; that’s when we’ll really have to talk about whether they end up with value signings or terrible overpayments.

  15. dawgtoy says:

    “@brianlawton9: On a day like today the smart GM’s that are willing to lie in the weeds, wait and have cap space and cash to spend should really clean up!”
    Kinda sounds like us now doesn’t it! Now is not the time to panic.

  16. dawgtoy says:

    This team (most teams actually) do not get deals on “Free Agent Frenzy” day so not sure what everyone was expecting to get these guys for but don’t think MacT did too bad. Like Racki pointed out, any big aquisitions/moves the Oilers make next will likely require some heavy duty trading; that’s when we’ll really have to talk about whether they end up with value signings or terrible overpayments.

    Completely agree!

  17. Racki says:

    To me, today was about the deals we didn’t make. I’m pretty sure the Oilers offered David Clarkson $6M/yr. No thank you. Good player, but not that good.

    This is maybe what our lineup looks like right now, with a couple holes to fill:


    Smid – Petry
    Ference – J. Schultz
    Belov/N. Schultz – Larsen/Potter


    I personally feel that Gagner is not our #2C (I’ve said this many times)… but he could be our #2 winger if he signs for ~$4.25-4.5M. Is it possible? Maybe now that a guy like Bozak signed for $4.2M.

    So trade target #1 for me is still a big center. I still consider a guy like Nick Bjugstad or Sean Couturier to be a good target, in the right age range.

    Last need is a 4th line center.. I kind of thought that would be Boyd Gordon, based on numbers, but he’ll suffice on line 3. I’m still not sold on Lander being ready for the NHL and don’t want the same ol’ same old happening here. It could be that Keith Acton’s son, Will, earns that spot, if he turns out to have what it takes to be a 4th line NHL C (good faceoffs, strong defensive skills).

    I would actually like to see a slightly better goaltender here, and push Labarbera down to the AHL, but it’s doubtful that’s the Oilers’ intentions.. so I’ll forget about that. The Oil do need an AHL goalie though. I’d imagine the Oilers are going to solve this goalie problem by scouring the euro market.

    In the end, I really like the Gordon and Ference signings, even though they are higher on the cap/term. The other signings feel insignifcant to me, but not bad either. Joensuu could be a wildcard/surprise.

    Other wishlist item would be a rock on the blueline… the new Pronger.. without the douchey/fuckyouedmontonimouttahere side of him

  18. LateNightOilFan says:

    Overall, I’m fine with the day’s results for the Oilers. I really like the Ference deal. Some may feel 4 years is too long, but the price is not a back-breaker and it won’t be a 35+ deal, so if it doesn’t work out it should be fixable.

  19. Racki says:

    Addendum to forward lines, due to tip off by MacT that they think Joensuu can play 3rd line:


    Still a fair bit of work to do, if you ask me. That 3rd line strikes me as a line that will challenge the Belanger triangle for worst offense

  20. Racki says:

    One possibly unemphasized point with Ference. He’ll be here for 4 years.. could be a really good influence on Darnell Nurse as a leader. Joe Haggerty, Bruins media guy, spoke really highly of his leadership and influence on players (I’ll just presume he didn’t talk to Seguin ever lol).

  21. hemmerlady says:

    D!!!! Finally. Good. Need more help at Centre still though. Agree with Racki re: Gags.

  22. Metal&Oil says:

    Gotta say that I am very disappointed in my team today. The Oilers fired there web guy ( Ryan Dittrick ) today because of this:


    Very Harsh IMO. Ryan has always been a stand up guy and is very good at interacting with the fans via Twitter.

  23. Racki says:

    I don’t know the details behind the incident, so can’t really say anything in his or the Oilers’ defense. I think Ryan Dittrick was a decent guy with the fans though, yes. But there is likely more to this than we will know. Never nice to see someone lose their job, but that’s all I’ll say there since who knows what factors there were in this decision.

  24. Racki says:

    The Barons have their goaltender now, it seems. Former Dallas backup Richard Bachman has signed on.

  25. john says:

    The Barons have their goaltender now, it seems. Former Dallas backup Richard Bachman has signed on.

    Good move if Bachman can pick his game up from last season. I think we all had enough of Danis even though he did well for the Barons, they need a guy who can win at the NHL level in emergency back up situations which with this team could be several times a season!

  26. john says:

    Another AHL move; Bigos for Moffie via SJ

  27. Racki says:

    The Oilers next “Free agent signing” is of one of their own… Ryan Jones returns next year! Glad to hear that. I think the one bad year he had last year is more an anomaly. He isn’t a big scorer, no, but he’s good for the bottom six.

  28. john says:

    Doubt Jonesy would be back if Oilers signed Clarkson but glad he’s back! Even nicer to hear him admit he sucked last season & is going to train his ass off all summer & get his mind back on being a high energy shit disturber next season.

  29. Racki says:

    I want to first off say that I firmly believe Jones can come back to his form from a year ago (not this past year, but the two before it). But talk is cheap.. Whitney said the same thing.. I believe Smyth did too… they both fell flat. I think Jones has always been a guy that needs to give big effort to succeed, and I think he does that almost every night, so I think he’ll be just fine here. Looking forward to having him back.

  30. Racki says:

    The Oilers have signed a D-man, Brad Hunt. 5’9, 185lbs. Cheap contract.. pretty sure he is AHL bound. Should be great for OKC. He had 33 points in 65 games with the Chicago Wolves last year.

  31. Alan-NottsUK says:

    If the Oilers have no luck moving Hemsky I’d push for Jagr and try rolling something along the lines of this:

    line matching would be key, but I think it could work out well.

    My Custom Lineup
    Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan N.-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m)
    Magnus Paajarvi ($0.851m) / Sam Gagner ($3.200m) / Nail Yakupov ($3.775m)
    Ales Hemsky ($5.000m) / Anton Lander ($0.900m) / Jaromir Jagr ($4.550m)
    Jesse Joensuu ($0.950m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Ryan Jones ($1.500m)
    Ben Eager ($1.100m) / Ryan Smyth ($2.250m) / Mike Brown ($0.737m)
    Ladislav Smid ($3.500m) / Jeff Petry ($1.750m)
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Justin Schultz ($3.775m)
    Anton Belov ($1.525m) / Corey Potter ($0.775m)
    Philip Larsen ($1.025m) /
    Devan Dubnyk ($3.500m)
    Jason Labarbera ($1.000m)
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $63,687,167; BONUSES: $9,150,000
    CAP SPACE (24-man roster): $5,435,333

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