Jordan Eberle signed an entry-level deal today, clearing the way for him to join Springfield for the remainder of the season. It’s a signing that may have some ramifications for players on the bubble.
The NHL imposes a 50-contract limit on NHL teams, meaning that any team can have no more than 50 players signed to contracts with an NHL component in any given year. The official website of the Nashville Predators did a very good breakdown of the rules governing rosters and contracts, and it’s well worth a read for anyone interested.
In any case, this issue has come up a couple of times with the Oilers; as an example, last summer Grant Potulny was allowed to leave for Europe because he wanted a contract with an NHL component and the team was too close to the 50-man limit.
As far as I can tell, this is the list of players currently under contract to the Oilers (much of the information courtesy of nhlscap.com). Contracts that expire this summer are in bold, and players are ranked by position and then NHL cap hit (the exception being Jordan Eberle, who signed for an undisclosed amount):
Total Players Under Contract: 51
The Oilers now have fifty-one players under contract, but because Jordan Eberle’s entry-level deal doesn’t kick in until next season, they have not surpassed the 50-man limit for this year. One would suspect that some of the deadwood is going to be cleared out of the system; David Rohlfs, Carl Corazzini and Stephane Goulet will certainly be let go while some of the other names in bold (McDonald, Roy, Young, Bisaillon, Sabourin in particular, but others as well) are on the edge.
The Oilers could stand to be a little more discriminating when they offer contracts; Bryan Pitton, who is signed for three more years has been eclipsed by the undrafted Andrew Perugini this season. Perugini was signed to an AHL-ECHL deal out of training camp because there was no room for him in the NHL system. Names like Tim Sestito and Geoff Paukovich stand out in a similar manner.