Edmonton Oilers sign Tyler Pitlick, the last of the RFA’s

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Peter Chiarelli took care of some housekeeping on Thursday, clearing up the last few restricted free agents the Edmonton Oilers had to deal with. After signing Brandon Davidson earlier in the day, the team announced it had agreed to terms with right wing Tyler Pitlick on a one-year deal. 

Financial terms were not released by the team, but the Edmonton Journal‘s Joanne Ireland revealed that Pitlick had accepted his qualifying offer: 

If I’m reading the CBA correctly, Pitlick was entitled to a five percent raise on his previous contract in this year’s qualifying offer, which would be an NHL salary of roughly $761,000, but would not be a one-way deal. 

Pitlick’s situation is not entirely dissimilar from Davidson’s; like the defenceman, he will need to clear waivers to be assigned to the minors and there are some obstacles to him cracking the NHL roster, particularly if the Oilers opt to run with 13 forwards and eight defencemen. 

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Eleven forward spots are virtually locked up already, and competition for the two to three remaining spots will be tight, with the following list of players all contenders:

  • Rob Klinkhammer. The veteran NHL forward adds size and speed, and has scored more in previous years than he did with the Oilers over a half-season cameo.
  • Luke Gazdic. It really depends on if Edmonton decides that it needs an enforcer.
  • Leon Draisaitl. Top prospect played a half-season at the NHL level in 2014-15; he may be ticketed to Bakersfield but he may also claim a top-nine job. 
  • Iiro Pakarinen. Like Pitlick, he’s a reasonably big, reasonably physical checking line right wing. 
  • Bogdan Yakimov. The mammoth prospect centre is likely going to get a second year in the AHL, but he impressed at training camp a year ago. 
  • Andrew Miller. Like Pitlick, Miller is a right wing who requires waivers and while neither big nor physical he brings speed and playmaking ability

Even assuming that Pakarinen, Yakimov and Miller are all bound for the minor leagues, Pitlick will have his work cut out for him, particularly if the Oilers end up running just 13 forwards.

Still, he’s far from a lost cause. Pitlick has been plagued by a baffling array of often unrelated injuries; it’s one thing to be injury-prone but items like this are just incredible: 

Those injuries may well end up costing Pitlick an NHL career, but if he can stay healthy this year he’s going to be an interesting player to watch. Pitlick has excellent skating, weighs in at north of 200 pounds and at times has looked like a really nice fit as a checking line winger who can chip in offensively. All of those are valuable attributes, particularly for the Oilers who could use an effective fourth-line right winger. Of course, it’s all predicated on him staying healthy. 

Update: TSN’s Ryan Rishaug confirms the figures on Pitlick’s deal. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • bazmagoo

    With everyone talking about this season being a make or break year for Justin Schultz, it’s likely doubly so for Tyler Pitlick. Hopefully he can stay healthy, I think there is a player in there. FIST for donairs!

    • bazmagoo

      Please do inform everyone how this is a bad move. If he plays well, we got a good deal and kept a player for the future. If he doesn’t, both move on and never look back. This doesn’t make or break the team. Same thing with Schultz. One year. Make it for break it for both. Also, MacT has no say. Cherelli is calling 100% of the shots.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I assume Pitlick is a happy, happy man.

    At worst he makes $85US to play hockey in California.

    Man, I wish I continued to play hockey. And I was 6’2″. And 200lbs. And had talent. And work ethic….

    Donair, anyone?

    • Wax Man Riley

      Hahahahahaha! Yeah me too! But my parents didn’t have the money yada yada yada…have some wine with that donair buddy! That’s the funniest thing I heard all day! Glory days! yeah they’ll pass you by glory days! in the wink of a young girls eyes glory days ahhhhhhhhh Glory days………..yeah

  • 916oiler

    Right now I would take Davidson over Schultz, and have Pitlick as our 13th forward. I hope Schultz DOES turn his game around, if not, I am sure Davidson could and would do a lot better.

  • JackB

    Great deal for the Oilers and Davidson. Hope he can stick as a depth defender.

    Resigning Pitlick reeks of poor intel. Often injured with no offence. I would of considered moving on. To me these player decisions look about the same as before. I am scared Chia is failing to augment this line-up like his predecessors. I’m hoping he utilized the buyout window, and finds some caps space to bring in a couple more pieces.

    Some of Chia’s off-seasons moves seem to be to no better then previous management. retaining Pitlick is not something that makes sense from a contract perspective. I was hoping for change.

    Props for Talbot, and Sekera. However I think MacT could of made those. I wanna some bold moves that make this team a contender. Not deals like Gryba and Korpi who are sideways moves. Marincin albeit soft can actually pass and play defence, was given away, which looked a hell of lot better as our number 6 then Ference, Nikitin.

    We need a another top four dman, and with Oduya picked up, and Erhoff the one guy left, (forget Franson at 6×5), I am seeing another inexperienced defence, when you got the thoroughbreds ready to run, and not enough Clydesdales on the backend to do the dirty work. It will be waste of Hall and Eberle if once again the backend is a disgrace or too inexperienced. Relying on Klefbom, Nurse, and unfortunately Schultz is a recipe for missing the playoffs.

    • Randaman

      So in what world did you see everything getting fixed in three months and what makes you think play-offs are even the main goal this year.

      Did you submit a resume when Nicholson took over?

      You seem to think you could do better?

      Geese, give us a break

      • JackB

        We are all armchair GM’s. Is this your first time to the site?

        I think anyone could see the Oilers were 2 experienced dmen away from being a team considered a playoff team. So then trade the analytic darling in Marincin for junk. So lets make it 3 now. Don’t need no 23 year finesse defenders with an ability to move a puck and take black hole zone starts. Bring in Gryba, who fights, and questionably can defend. Then you got your token rookies to fill in the gaps. Then they sign J. Schultz to an atrocious contract again that is 3 million too much, because he has potential. J. Schultz makes Mike Green look like Chris Pronger.

        Sekera filled in the Petry hole, and then your back to needing two capable and experienced defenders.

        I did not expect Chia to fix the mess over night. But when you got a gift horse thrown on your lap, tell me why you can’t buyout Ference or Nikitin, and why add another bad contract in Korpi for 2 years, when you got a useful player in Gordon? Chia should of kept Marincin period. At 700k he has been better then Ference, and better then Nikitin. Then he could of simply added an Oduya for 3.5 for 2 years or Erhoff for a year.

        If the Oil go into the season with Sekera, Fayne, Klefbom, Schultz, Nurse, Ference, Nikitin, then he failed period in the area that needed fixing the most. I’ll gladly eat crow if Saturday he dumps contract and signs a experienced dman. Right now he has a defence with a pile of inexperience.

        • Randaman

          First of all,

          I believe that Petry wanted out and forced MacT’s hand. I can’t blame him for wanting out if that was the case. What evidence did he have that things were going to change like they have. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

          Marincin was expendable. He was soft as butter. Gryba is what we need on our back end and have needed for a very long time. Solid defender and will stand up for his teammates. Marincin, not so much. I wish him the best in Toronto.
          Maybe Babcock can unlock his inner anger.

          Also, every team fills gaps with cheap unproven rookies. The cap world dictates that. You can’t have 22 players at 6M per.

          I do agree that Eerhoff would be nice to have for short term stability while Nurse and Reinhart mature a little more.

          Gordon from what some people have suggested here may have requested a trade. Letestu will fill that role quite nicely and add more offence at the same time. Oh, and his back isn’t wonky while being younger.

          This weekend will tell us a lot about PC’s plans I think

        • YFC Prez

          Yes we are all armchair GMs. That being said, we are also coming out of the Eakins black hole. Go back two years and look from there. You would certainly keep Jultz and Gryba may very well be a character guy who never gets noticed and blocks shots with his nuts. Give the kids a clean slate and see what they’ve done by Christmas for God sakes. I’ll be elated if we are even near a playoff spot by then instead of drowning in despair with my Halloween candies in my belly.

        • JackB

          Get ready to eat crow . . . I’ll supply the ketchup and hot sauce!!

          If Chiarelli had plans to buyout anyone, when was the deadline to put the player on unconditional waivers? I thought it had to be June 25 (the day before the draft)? If not, then it had to be by June 29th (before free agency)

          If it was before the draft, then he certainly wouldn’t have made that first move. He was going into the draft with the specific objective to get at least one NHL ready defence (and a goalie) and he wouldn’t have known if he would get his D . . . so he couldn’t waive anyone. He had to be sure he had seven warm bodies to fill the roster.

          If it was right after the draft (before free agency) he knew he had two D, but he was still trying to get a 1st pairing defence.

          I think the deadline for making a buyout decision was too early, so he couldn’t make that move in case he failed to get his new defenseman. (As it was, he got three new defensemen)

          I remember when the deadline to start the buyout process passed and he hadn’t done anything, I wondered WHAT THE HELL!! Everyone had been talking for weeks about who should be bought out. And I was pissed (sorry) disappointed.

          THE ONLY REASON he decided to take Schultz to arbitration (under the clause he did) WAS TO OPEN another buyout window. (GET READY TO EAT THAT CROW !!)

          I also think that he will buyout Ference. Why? Because he is too classy to make Ference (the obvious 7th D) sit in the pressbox – which might also make it necessary to possibly strip the “C” … another humiliation)

          And then he will waive Nikitin to the AHL (WOULD’NT THAT BE GRAND IF SOMEONE PICKS HIM UP!!) Chiarelli has to clear out TWO defensemen to make room for Griff to make the squad (and he clearly stated at the draft that he expects Reinhart to start next year) And to leave some hope for Nurse, and to leave room to pick up one more veteran defenseman.

          LIKE I SAID, I’LL SUPPLY THE KETCHUP AND HOT SAUCE !!!!!

          By the way, in your list of 7 defence . . “Sekera, Fayne, Klefbom, Schultz, Nurse, Ference, Nikitin” . . . why did you leave off Gryba (he’s experienced) . . . and why did you leave off Reinhart (he’s a horse, was great as an Oil King . . . AND HE’S GOING TO SHOW ALL THE DESENTERS . . . I love the guy)

          Maybe it isn’t quite so much “a defence with a pile of inexperience” as you put it !

          Do you also want some dejong mustard ?

          (Sorry Smokey . . . you were just a bit harsh . . . and you’re right, we are all just “armchair GM’s” . . . and thank god we aren’t running the team!!)

    • YFC Prez

      Mac T maybe could have signed Sekera. He wouldn’t have though. He is on record saying this upcoming season is another development year and he also mentioned the top pairing next season would be Schultz/Klefbom.

      Also Re Pitlick and his lack of offence. Oilers don’t need top 6 forwards, they have a lot of those. They need bottom 6 forwards in Pitlicks age group. Im hoping Pitlick can be more of a banger and grinder and chip in occasionally offensively on the 3rd or 4th line.

      One more thing, Gryba > Marincin. You speak of Clydesdales on the backend to do the dirty work and having too many thoroughbreds immediately after complaining about Marincin being sent out. Well Marincin is Charmin ultra soft and Gryba is like sandpaper.

  • oilerjed

    whats with all of the donair talk? it’s cruel and unfair as new owners took over the only donair shop in town and they are terrible….

    Glad Pitlick was resigned, he may be a good piece for the Oilers for many years and he deserves at least one more pay check after all of his injuries struggling to make the Oil..

    Now I’m hungry..

    Edit: really missing RoadRunners donairs right now.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I liked Brandon Davidson from what I saw last year. I would place him ahead of Ference.
    Perhaps I am letting my dislike of small defenders could my thinking.

  • ubermiguel

    I like that Pitlick is 6’2″ and actually uses his size and he has decent hands. Great signing, tiny risk, big upside. He could turn into a useful depth player.

  • ubermiguel

    Don’t look for points from guys like Pitlick. They start in the defensive zone and leave the next faceoff in the offensive zone for the top line. More to hockey than points.

    • YFC Prez

      Excellent comments regarding responsibility for lines 3 and 4.

      Take face offs in the defense zone and leave next face off in the offensive zone for lines 1 and 2.

      Never thought of it as that simple