The Montreal Canadiens signed Alexander Semin today, for $1.1 million over a year. Insane value contract for a team that needed offense—even if he doesn’t work out that’s very little money. We’re one week from August and there are a lot of good players still available. Will Edmonton sign one? Probably not, they’re at 47 contracts and may have a move or two to come, but if the Oilers were calling around, what players would be on the other end of the line?


If we’re talking about possible Oilers, let’s assume that Christian Ehrhoff and Cody Franson aren’t coming here. Why? If they were coming to Edmonton, the buy out window would have been handled differently. Peter Chiarelli kept his powder dry, suggesting:

  • The team has an ace in the hole acquisition at some point before the season
  • Chiarelli feels the best course of action is to run out the mistake contracts and take a run at free agency next season.

Either move makes sense, but let’s (for the sake of argument) assume Edmonton has two roster spots open (we’ll say Luke Gazdic/Tyler Pitlick up front and one defensive slot that we’ll use if and when one of the veterans hits IR).

Who should Edmonton call among the still available group?

  1. L Curtis Glencross: His speed and skill means he can play with the good players on this roster and that’s a very good thing. I’d love to see the Oilers sign him. Right now.
  2. L Jiri Tlusty: Coming off a strong season (31 points) so he won’t be cheap. Still, a nice two-way winger who can play with skill, he’s 27 so has more time in his peak years. I’m astounded he’s still available.
  3. D Jan Heda: Veteran defensive defender isn’t a sexy player, but he’s effective and a veteran. Could help at evens and on the PK, plus if paired with someone like Fayne could form a nice shutdown pairing—effectively giving Todd McLellan a chance to use Andrej Sekera as an offensive option most of the time.
  4. R Lee Stempniak: A skill winger who could help the Oilers drive the idea of three scoring lines. One negative: Nail would have to move to LW (he’s better on his off wing).
  5. C Jarret Stoll: I know he’s had some issues but Stoll would be a nice depth add, wouldn’t cost a lot and he could teach a generation of kid centers how to win faceoffs. Don’t discount this option, Stoll could help.
  6. C Derek Roy: If he’s willing to sit some nights, I like the idea of having a terrific skill player on the bench. Plus, we know he has chem with Nail.
  7. D Brett Bellemore: Inexpensive depth defender. He’s a good option.
  8. L Phil McRae: Has some things on a PF resume, Edmonton is low on that player-type.
  9. D Colby Robak: I know the Oilers have plenty of defensemen in the system, but this is an interesting player and certainly worth a two-way deal.

Thoughts? Did I miss anyone?

  • bazmagoo

    There are an awful lot of people on here stating as a fact that various named Oilers were coke users. No doubt some of our former players did use, but you shoudn’t be naming names even if you saw him snorting with your own two eyes unless he got charged. Just because Jack the bartender and Joey the dope dealer or some other loser says Oiler X is a coke user it doesn’t make it true and if you can’t prove it you shouldn’t say it. Grant Fuhr has admitted his former coke abuse and Stoll has been charged with possession in what looks like an airtight case. The rest is just talk. Some of it may be correct, but without proof, it is still just talk. A word of advice. When you smear a wealthy public figure on a public forum you damn well better be able to prove it, which is not easy. If I was running this site I would take down any post that names a player as a coke user, who hasn’t been convicted or isn’t in Stoll’s position. Otherwise you will also be culpable if a lawsuit is filed. These people’s reputations are worth a lot of money.

    • hagar

      I guess messiers thing was just incredibly documented, but never any charges. As for anyone current, I have zero interest in getting sued, and that’s why I don’t run my mouth about it.

    • Oilerz4life

      Pffft! Ya, ok pal. Messier did the cocaine, oh please don’t sue me, look out ON Messier did the cocaine, the COCAINE, MESSIER did, Fuhr too and Stoll, please, please don’t sue me, it was the cocaine. COCAINE.

    • hagar

      Better be careful there guy… sounds like you are referencing Stoll for being in trouble for coke.. he has a lot of money, and the courts said he is not guilty of the “situation” you are referring to.

      You do not want to get sued and all.

  • hagar

    It doesn’t matter if Messier did or didn’t do that in the end. All that matters is if Stoll is a liability because of it.

    I sure wouldn’t want any kids thinking it was ok because a pro hockey player did it. Lots of messed up people that went that route, and are dead or ruined because of it.

    Lots of lives to use as examples, not trying to glorify the success stories, and nobody should.

  • hagar

    Oh, and by the way.. if anyone wants to argue that Stoll was rumored of having drug issues in edmonton, to tie him to a recent arrest, then don’t call the old oilers thing a rumor while using Stoll’s past rumor as evidence for why he shouldn’t be hired.

    Stoll has zero coke convictions, the drug charges got dropped.

  • Anton CP

    I’m more or less surprised that Semin remains in NHL. However it looks like Semin willing to do anything to stay in North America. Unless Chiarelli can dump Purcell somewhere that I don’t see many available openings for value contract on forward lines.

  • Anton CP

    I was/am a Glencross fan and was a tad pissed when the Oil let him walk. Just something about his style of play that I have always liked.

    However, hindsight being what it is, he has gotten a little long in the tooth and I am a true fence sitter in reference to having him in Oil silks again. With his best years behind him, is he still considered a contributor or seen as bagage?

    If I were King for a day, I would probably sign him and mainly because I really like him as a player. I also think that if he was in Oiler’s silks, he would step up to the plate everytime the Oil play the flames.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    I believe it was KLOWE not Tambellini that let Glenncross walk…he was too actively trying to sign Michael Nylander to some god awful contract and “forgot” about Glenny. Horrible considering all he did was score against Calgary and throw good body checks.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    As far as this whole drug issue with hockey players…. there’s a simple fact in all of sports.

    They are human too. Except they are paid exorbitant amounts of money and get lauded by fans and media as hero’s. Is it really that unrealistic to think that some of those people would endulge in substance abuse, just like some of the general population does??

    I think some people on here are naive to the fact that it does happen frequently with sports figures. I don’t need a court case proving somebody is charged with possession of something to know that MANY people do it. All I can hope, having young children, is that our young core group can be solid, clean, stand up citizens of Edmonton and be positive role models. #97 is going to be that guy.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Why isn’t Eric Fehr on your list, LT? Did I miss him signing see here or do injury issues take him off the board?

    Decent size, versatile, some offence. Should come cheap.

  • Johnnydapunk

    Explain how the Oilers don’t make it an absolute priority to make the playoffs this upcoming season?
    Chiarelli proved himself to be basically as inept as MacTavish by hanging on the threesome garbage of Ference, Nikitin and Schultz.
    At a minimum had the Oilers flushed these three they would have gained by mere subtraction.
    Worse is that functional free agents are still available.
    The fans of Edmonton have suffered for a decade by incompetence.
    Sadly, we see that continue.
    Chiarelli has no sense of urgency.
    There is no sense of present value in this organization. Endlessly, waiting for some future has ruined this organization for a decade.
    Worst of all MacTavish is still an active member of this management team.
    That alone justifies Chiarelli’s dismissal.
    Expect little improvement this upcoming season.
    Until the Oilers defence is fundamentally fixed, nothing else matters.
    I have long advocated the trade of Hall for OEL. It should have been and at least tired to have been made.
    But worst of all has been the decision to hang on these three garbage defence men.

    • Randaman

      Sooooooo, you think you could have traded Nikitin, Ference (NMC), and fixed all the issues in three months?

      If you like OEL so much, buy the centre ice package and cheer for the Coyotes.

      See ya

    • Cowbell_Feva

      I agree with a large part but not all of what you’ve said….I do think we as fans have definitely put up with enough of the “sit and wait and have patience” mentality.

      I have a LOT more confidence in Chiarelli than the previous regime. He did add some size and grit in Gryba and Reinhardt and Korpikosky. A better option in net with Talbot.

      However, as you noted, a lot of things will not change until the defense is addressed. I am sick of the 5,6,7,8 defenseman trying to be top 2 defenders. Given the fact that we are still without the much needed top 2 Dman I have a very hard time thinking we are able to make any noise in the Western Conference. Sekera is a minor upgrade to me over Petry, and we weren’t exactly stellar with Petry in our lineup!!

      Unfortunately Taylor Hall would be the only guy (other than RNH) that would fetch that top stud Defenseman, but having RNH and #97 as your 1-2 pivots is more necessary than a winger.

      I feel if they had bought out Nikitin and signed Ehrhoff it would have shown some signs of competing for a spot until later in the season at least….this defense corps says another long year to me.

      • Word to the Bird

        Short term pain for long term gain.

        I would bet that Chiarelli has considered the options of signing Ehrhoff or Franson, but decided in the end it wasn’t worth it due to cap space for upcoming potential free agents next year (looking at you Seabrook). You can’t buy a championship team; Rome wasn’t built in one day.

        • Cowbell_Feva

          Dont get me wrong, i dont love either Franson or Ehrhoff, but i would take Ehrhoff for a short term deal to make the transistion into the Nurse-Klefbom Era much less bumpy.

          I agree that they are looking at next year as the year to make that move. But to use the term short term pain is rediculous. We will set an NHL record for futility if/when we miss the playoffs again next year….a decade is not short.

          Also, Seabrook has been able to make big plays in the playoffs, but having Keith log nearly 40 minutes a night is the only reason that Seabrook is looked at in the same light as he is. I don’t think he would be the right guy for Edmonton. Wrong side of 30 and he would be relied upon much more heavily than ever before in his career. That could spell disaster, especially if hes asking north of 7 million per….

    • Blue Bullet

      Maybe because a buy out creates a cap hit that extends beyond this year? He added some nice pieces without getting rid of any good ones. Aside from McDavid, he added a starting goalie ( Talbot), a soon to be ready for the NHL prospect ( Reinhart), a rugged checking winger ( Kourpokopski) and a decent shut down center ( Letestu), a Legit Top Pair D-Man ( Sekeras) and a solid bottom Pair D ( Gryba)…….no urgency?

      Think about this for a second, why buy out Nikitin and deal with the cap penalty this year and next when we can just walk away in 12 months with zero penalty? You do realize that was Nikitins WORST hockey of his career, right? I have no expectations except that he might actually play better this year, and hopefully good enough to flip at the TDL for a 4th round pick.

      Pretty sure MacTavish butthole knows more about Hockey than most of the Haters on here will ever know. Chiarelli sees the value in him.

  • I find Glencross to be somewhat bipolar. He is a good penalty killer while simultaneously being a poor defensive player 5×5.

    A bit like sammy gagner was but not as bad at either discipline as young Sam.

    Also…. Curtis has put on some hard miles and bandaid issues have crept into his usefulness. Frankly I don’t know if he is wired to work for cheap but that bridge is about to get crossed. He could be a veritable steal if he gets some passion back into his game.

  • bazmagoo

    Fehr would look great playing with Hall and McDavid, a defensive force so they can explore the offensive zone. Plus he can play right wing or centre, giving the roster more flexibility. Get it done already Chiarelli!

  • Cowbell_Feva

    The issue is not one of guilt or innocence.

    The issue is whether Stoll has good character and should the young Oilers knowingly be exposed to this type of person in the locker room.

    Frankly, Stoll has shown his character and should not be even considered as an Oiler player.

    When you are paid big bucks it comes with big expectations.

    • Johnnydapunk

      I can actually agree with that. With what he does on his own time, I have no issues unless it affects his teammates and the team, I don’t know what he is like in a locker room so hard for me to judge that.

      Regarding what he was arrested for, again I’m maybe a bit liberal that way and if he didn’t do anything that harmed others and just partook in something that is an illegal substance, not really fussed about that. If he went out on the booze and did some drunk driving or did something to hurt another person, then I would have more issues.

      One of the two things he allegedly had is pretty harmless, the other a bit more harmful but primarily to the person taking it as opposed to others so yeah, not gonna use that as a judge of character.

      In the end as a player, don’t think the Oil need him, irrelevant of what his character is, will be interesting where he ends up though.

  • Blue Bullet

    Best to pass on Stoll at this point. Being friends with a former teammate of Stoll’s from the Kootenay Ice I know the stories of his days in Edmonton.