July 22 2012 07:59PM
The Edmonton Oilers began July 1st like a house on fire, but cooled off quickly. Oiler fans are thrilled with the summer so far (or most are) but there's work to be done. Is this the week something happens?
So far this summer, Steve Tambellini and the management group have done some nice things.
- May 1: Signed Oil King winger Kristians Pelss. Speedy winger with a sneaky quick release, he's bound for the minors but has some nice things.
- May 31: Signed Regina Pat defender Brandon Davidson. Another part of the watershed 2010 draft, Davidson is an overager and should be able to adjust quickly to pro hockey.
- June 12: Signed Farjestads defender Oscar Klefbom. The most talented defensive prospect in the system, there's a chance he'll be here for training camp. He performed so well at the prospect camp I think there might be a plan to bring him to camp and start him in OKC this fall with an eye to getting playing time in Edmonton during the 12-13 season. Unlikely, but possible. The impending lockout could dash those hopes.
- June 19: Signed Oiler Lennart Petrell to a one-year, $825,000 contract. Petrell's contract pays him the same in OKC or Edmonton so the plan must be to play him. Likely means one of Teemu Hartikainen or Magnus Paajarvi (or both) spends some or all of the season in the minors.
- June 22: Selected Nail Yakupov #1 overall. The selection completes the "fab four" and gives Edmonton electric offense rolling out for the next decade or more.
- June 27: Name Ralph Krueger head coach. Based on what has been said since that day, Krueger has great rapport with everyone and has a plan for success. Honestly, the verbal has been incredible since Krueger was hired as head coach.
- June 30: Signed Vancouver Giant D David Musil. Musil will go back to junior unless he makes the Oilers and that's a long shot. Musil is an outstanding defensive defenseman in junior.
- July 1: Signed D Justin Schultz as a free agent. The Edmonton Oilers rarely score big in free agency, and to get a young man who can grow with the cluster is phenomenal. A high water mark for this team in free agency.
- July 1: Signed L Ryan Smyth to a 2-year, $4.5M deal. A solid deal for the veteran winger, makes it extremely likely he'll finish his career in Edmonton. His role may change this season, but the Oilers would be wise to make sure the kids earn it.
- July 1: Signed G Yann Danis. He'll be the OKC starter and first callup, giving the club a third option for NHL goaltending.
- July 1: Signed L Darcy Hordichuk to a 1-year, $850,000 contract. Oilers management wants that enforcer type and Hordichuk fits the bill. Oilers can play him 4 minutes a night and not hear a word of bitching.
- July 5: Oilers sign G Devan Dubnyk to a 2-year, $7M contract. It seemed like a lot but is in line with other goaltenders of similar experience and quality. He'll be UFA at the end of the contract.
- July 5: Oilers sign D Jeff Petry to a 2-year, $3.5M contract. This is insane value based on the role he played (and how well he filled it) in the second half of the season.
- July 16: Oilers sign D Theo Peckham to a 1-year, $1,075M contract. Peckham offers the team a great deal of toughness and reports have him working hard this summer in preparation for 12-13.
- July 20: Oilers sign C Sam Gagner to a 1-year, $3.2M contract. The two sides had discussed a longer term but both appear pleased with a shorter deal.
ARE WE THERE YET?
Steve Tambellini has a few more items on the list, like getting Nail Yakupov's entry level deal put away. There's also the matter of picking up another top 4 defender--Tambellini mentioned that early on in the process and some of us having good memories.
Jim Matheson's latest column offers us some good news on Yakupov:
- Yakupov will be signed very shortly. While other teams are signing their first-rounders and people are getting antsy for the Oilers to sign the Russian-born winger, who is back in his homeland, it’s going to get done. Likely early next week. It’s a boiler-plate, entry-level contract with a big bonus structure as the Hall and RNH deals were.
Matheson--like our own Robin Brownlee and Jason Gregor--is money when he uses that kind of language. We've heard less about that top 4D, especially since Marc Methot left Columbus. However, this week should be important for several reasons, including Shea Weber's offer sheet closure.
My guess is that some of the tumblers click after Weber finds out his final address, and the defenders like Andrej Meszaros, Fedor Tyutin, Jay Bouwmeester, Keith Yandle and Cody Franson could come available. Obviously those names range in price and quality but there are still teams with business left to do and a team like Edmonton--with plenty of forwards, cap room, prospects and draft picks--should be a player.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Keep your twitter on, have Oilers Nation on your iphone and if you're in the office check the ticker. It's a long summer and business has been slower than usual. The Weber decision might jump start some activity and Edmonton might be involved.
And we could see Nail Yakupov signed this week.