There are so many interesting players still available this summer–NHL free agents, 20 year old graduating juniors without contracts–the mind actually boggles. Will the Oilers be active in these areas? MacT’s aggressive summer of 2013 should continue through these weeks in August, and the final TC invite list may offer some surprises.


Back on July 3 I made a list of 15 for the Oilers, and there are a couple of names remaining. However, it’s very doubtful Edmonton would add a defenseman at this point, and goaltending appears to have been addressed in Edmonton and Oklahoma City.  So, it’s the forwards–and there are a lot of them still out there.

David Steckel has to be considered a player of interest for the Oilers based on his penalty killing ability and the fact that he’s money in the facceoff circle. My original list had Peter Mueller as an option, and he’s still available. Would he come to TC on an invite? At this point in summer these free agents have to be getting a little concerned, so perhaps another week or so and that option will be available. Kaspars Daugavins is an interesting option on the wing, he’s a 2-way type who can agitate and his some nice minor league numbers.


There are two exceptional talents currently available as free agents, and both would benefit the Oilers. I’ve rambled on all summer about Mikhail Grabovski–then again pretty much all of the Oilogosphere is united behind that idea. Another player of note in the high end district is Vinny Prospal who could add a lot to the forward group despite being 38 years old. He might light it up with Hemsky.


There are a lot of 20 year old graduating juniors who are now free agents, I’d suggest Cameron Brace is a player worth looking at, Brock Otten at OHL Prospects agrees.


The Oilers have some holes in their roster that could be filled by inexpensive free agents, and some 20-year old junior graduates still looking for work. With the 50-man roster close to full, there’s not a lot of wiggle room. However, if there’s something worthwhile allowances can be made, and with the exceptional number of unemployed hockey players available this late in August, opportunities exist.

Hold on to your dresses, ladies, bold is still possible.

  • DC

    Nothing to lose by at least offering a tryout. Even if it doesn’t work out it can only look good for the organization. I don’t see any downfall if players view the Oilers as a team willing to give a guy a shot.

  • Toro

    I don’t understand why there isn’t any interest in Brendan Morrow , is he asking for too much money or refuses to come here? I think he would be a perfect 3rd liner for us and would provide some toughness and leadership , and if all fails we could send him to a contender at the trade deadline if we are sellers.

  • Toro

    I am very interested in Peter Mueller. There must be something else going on with him, why hasn’t any signed him yet. Still young, needs to work on foot speed and other than concussion issues, I see him as a better player than Ryan Jones.

  • Toro

    The day MacT signs Toby Petersen, that will be the day the straw finally broke the camel’s back for me and I will ignore the Oilers until the entire management corps has been burned to the ground. Him or Liam Reddox, both.

  • Toro

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Kevin Dallman come to Oilers from KHL , along with his agent wife . Turned into quite the offensive defenceman at 31 . Best in league apparently , above Belov .

  • oldhippy

    Grabovski would be excellent.

    Trading Nick Schultz and adding Grabovski would leave the team contract nuetral and the cap differential should be managable.

    Grabovski would give Gagner a serious run for his money as the second line centre, which would be a very good thing. If he had any chemistry with Yak, Grabo would likely supplant Gagner bumping Gagner to the third line. Would we really complain about a third line of Gagner- Gordon- Hemsky? Provided of course Hemsky’s tragic corsi from last year was a Krueger thing.

  • oldhippy

    Would love to add prospal and graboski . Buy out or trade Shultz and then our 3rd line is graboski , prospal and hemsky. Pushes jones , smyth and Gordon to the 4th. Looks like a way better bottom 6 then what we may run with now

  • 99thOilerfan

    Scene: Me in same room with Megan Fox.

    Me: Ugly dress, Megan………………
    Megan: I hate it too ( Dropping dress down )…………………………………
    Me: Way better look for you! Go Oil!

    End scene.

    – Excerpt from my dream tonight.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Besides the guys who play 4 to 10 minutes a night were not our problem last year.

    Rookie dmen Schultz jr and and a subpar whitney getting 21 and 16 minutes a night is what killed us. Only having 3 actual NHL defensemen is what killed us.

    Now we have 4. Hopefully Belov is everything he’s suppose to be that would make for 5 guys that are 3or4 dmen. The rest are 5 to 9s.

  • Quicksilver ballet




  • Quicksilver ballet

    Just imagine the possibilities. Steckle, Grabovski, Duagavins, Mueller…..with all the cap space the Oilers have, maybe we should temper our enthusiasm and bring Ryan Whitney back for the little that’s left, eh?

  • We really shouldn’t have signed Ference. Then we could have had the cap to go after Grabbo and Prospal for a very nice third line, and a very good fourth line in Smyth, Jones and Gordon. Instead we got Bruin scraps.

    Everyone, please do yourself a favour and watch this fine compilation to see why Ference and his former teammates are cancer to the game of hockey. Oilers should be embarrassed they signed one of these clowns.

  • If the Oil found a way to bring in Grabovski, would he be #2or#3 C?

    While Nuge is out he could save moving Hall to centre and he and gags could split the top minutes. But what happens once Nuge is healthy? One of Gags or Grabbo is going to win the #2C job and the other will likely whine and moan (especially grabbo) about getting brutal ice time.

    Grabbo is an OK option, but far from a slam dunk.

    • Lowetide

      He’d be a 2, with Gagner moving to RW imo. The Oilers under MacT are extremely likely to have natural C’s playing wing.

      MacT LOVED having guys play center and wing. Examples of going the other way (Smyth, Pisani) are almost as commmon as the other way (Kilger, Carter, etc).

  • Lowetide

    Here is the issue with Nick Schultz – he didn’t do what he was supposed to last year. He was supposed to stabilize the pairing with Justin, and instead he kept going walkabout and leaving J Schultz high and dry at a time of the year when fatigue and adjusting to the NHL was taking its toll on him. He failed to do what he needed to do, and now I personally don’t trust him with top 4 minutes.
    You would have to think top 4 time is going to Smid, Petry, Ference and J schultz. Basically they had to pay big dollars and bring in Ference to do what was initially felt to be Nick Schultz’s job. Sound familiar? Because they had to trade for Fistric to take Peckham’s spot and next thing you know Peckham is gone. They brought in Smithson to take Belanger’s role and now he’s gone. I strongly believe MacT would love to get rid of Nick, in spite of Yzerman’s assessment of “saw him good” at the WHC years ago.

    What also scares me is listening to Klefbom telling reporters last year that he was intently watching N Schultz and that he was hoping to model his game after his. That would have been acceptable 4 years ago but at this juncture this is a bad mentor who did not lead by example last year on the back end. Another reason why I think Ference was brought in and why Schultz will or should be gone by trade deadline.

    The other irony here, and I presume half of you will disagree, but I would much rather have Tom Gilbert as a 4-5 Dman than Nick Schultz. I actually trust he can play top 4 minutes if J Schultz falters early or Ference is not all he’s cracked up to be. And I believe that Gilbert could be had at a contract equal to or less than Nick’s current contract. If the Oilers could trade Nick away for anything (even a 6th round draft pick), then they could sign Gilbert for similar dollars and then, in a twist of dumb luck, could actually claim that they started with Gilbert 2 years ago and ended up with him again while adding a draft pick or prospect in the process.

  • toprightcorner

    But at the end of the day, Grebeshkov and Belov are equally likely candidates to take #5 spot with a chance to move up to top 4 minutes as needed, and give Klefbom an outside chance at this as well. Which means that Gilbert would be redundant (although I think he is still a better player than the Russians above), and that I agree with those here who are suggesting getting Nick’s contract off the books and using that money to add a 3rd line veteran. I like Grabovski but I think he’s holding out for lots of money and will happily go to the KHL if he doesn’t find it in NHL. Prospal and Morrow would be great stop gap solutions to me. Can’t trust Joensuu as a 3rd line winger…

  • toprightcorner

    Right now, my main concern is quality depth at centre for the 4th line so Lander can grow with more quality minutes with OKC

    Steckel would be a great addition, size, faceoffs and PK.

    I would offer Maholtra a PTO. He has nothing to lose and will compete as hard as he can. If he can come back to even 80% of what he was, he will add a lot to this team defensively and on the dot. he could be a diamond in the rough.

    Either of these guys would give us two 55%+ face off guys in the bottom 6 which would allow us to win 15% more faceoffs than in the past.

    If we are looking for any wingers in the bottom 6, they need to have grit, excellent 2-way game and PK strengths and high compete level. we don’t need a mainly offensive oriented player on the third line right now as it seems to be the plan to have that as a high quality shut down line.

    I would rather add someont that could help reduce defensive zone time and help reduce goals against by 15-20 then add a player who can score 5 more goals for.

  • toprightcorner

    Imho I think SRs sloppy play, had more to do with Kruegers sloppy system.

    I think some of you need to look back had how Gilbert left. And how lousy he played last year. There must be a really good reason another team hasn’t picked him up.