Another opinion for Grebeshkov?

It’s obvious the Edmonton Oilers and defenceman Denis Grebeshkov aren’t as close to a done deal fans as we’ve been led to believe in reports that have been circulating for weeks.

While there’s been talk since before the season ended that Grebeshkov and the Oilers were closing in on a multi-year contract — that it, in fact, was done and the ink was a formality — a list of 20 players who have requested salary arbitration was released by the NHLPA today and Grebeshkov’s name was on it.

From the NHLPA:

20 PLAYERS ELECT SALARY ARBITRATION

TORONTO (July 5, 2009) – The following players have elected Salary Arbitration:

Anaheim Ducks

James Wisniewski

Atlanta Thrashers

Colby Armstrong

Boston Bruins

Matt Hunwick

Buffalo Sabres

Clarke MacArthur

Carolina Hurricanes

Tuomo Ruutu

Chicago Blackhawks

Aaron Johnson

Columbus Blue Jackets

Marc Methot

Detroit Red Wings

Jiri Hudler

Edmonton Oilers

Denis Grebeshkov

Minnesota Wild

Kyle Brodziak

Montreal Canadiens

Tomas Plekanec

New Jersey Devils

Travis Zajac

New York Islanders

Nate Thompson

New York Rangers

Ryan Callahan

Nikolai Zherdev

Phoenix Coyotes

Nigel Dawes

Daniel Winnik

Tampa Bay Lightning

Matt Smaby

Vancouver Canucks

Kyle Wellwood

Washington Capitals

Milan Jurcina

The deadline for Club-Elected Salary Arbitration notification is July 6, 2009 at 5 p.m. ET. Hearings will be held in Toronto July 20 to August 4, 2009.

WORK TO DO

Grebeshkov, 25, is coming off a season in which he scored 7-32-39 and was paid $1.5 million in the final year of a contract he signed with the Oilers after having his rights obtained from the New York Islanders in the Marc-Andre Bergeron trade. He averaged 21:10 per game in ice time and was plus-12 in 2008-09.

Grebeshkov’s 39 points was third among Oilers defencemen behind Sheldon Souray (53) and Tom Gilbert (45). His ice time ranked behind Souray (24:50), Gilbert (21:58) and Lubomir Visnovsky (23:00).

Obviously, Grebeshkov feels he’s worth more than the Oilers have been offering until now — speculation has been he’d come in at a salary of about $3 million. It’s not known how large a financial gap the Oilers and Grebeshkov have to bridge, but it’s considerable enough he’s included on the NHLPA list of 20 players opting for a hearing.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.