David Musil re-signs with the Oilers


The Edmonton Oilers took care of their last bit of unfinished restricted free agent business on Friday, signing David Musil to a one-year contract extension.

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In some ways this is as-expected. However, the contract details shared above also reveal a little bit about the Oilers and how they view this particular player. 

First, the as-expected part: Musil will only make $600,000 if he plays in the NHL next season. As Stauffer notes in his tweet, Musil’s waiver exemption is burned up, so there’s a very real chance they keep him at the NHL level even if the only job available is a pressbox assignment. That’s how Brandon Davidson started out a year ago, and he managed to parlay it into a far more significant gig only after an early run as a healthy scratch. 

Keeping the NHL money low (the $600,000 figure is lower than his qualifying offer would have been) makes Musil more attractive if he’s placed on waivers, but it also makes it easier for Edmonton to keep him in the majors because he won’t cost much. 

The really interesting part about this deal, though, is the way it differs from the one-year deal given to Davidson last year or the contract Edmonton signed with Jordan Oesterle this past summer:

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  • Davidson (2015-16): $585,000 NHL / $85,000 AHL
  • Oesterle (2016-17): $585,000 NHL / $85,000 AHL / $100,000 guaranteed
  • Musil (2016-17): $600,000 NHL / $75,000 AHL / $85,000 guaranteed

If Musil plays all of next season in the majors he will make more money than Davidson did or Oesterle would. However, if he’s in the minors, his deal will be less favourable than those of either Oesterle or Davidson. 

(At first glance his contract looks identical to Davidson’s, but unlike Davidson if Musil only gets spot duty in the NHL the first $10,000 of it confers no bonus above what he would have received in the AHL.)

The Oilers willingness to play hardball with regard to AHL money is a fairly recent development for the team, but a sign of a more professional approach to player contracts. The one kicker is that it probably also makes Musil more attractive to any budget teams out there in need of defencemen. Sometimes a lot of AHL money can function as a poison pill designed to get a player through waivers; in Edmonton’s case, it would seem that if Musil can’t crack the team out of camp the Oilers really won’t care much if he’s claimed by some other club. 

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My read is that the team expects Musil to be on the opening night roster. His waiver status is a mark in his favour, and the way the waiver-exempt Oesterle’s contract was sweetened to a guaranteed $100,000 in the minors suggests that the Oilers expect him to spend at least some time in the AHL. 

It’s a great opportunity for Musil. If it doesn’t go well, it’s also likely his last with Edmonton. 

      • 24% body fat

        haha both comments classic.

        Even with the skills Willis quotes in his comments those skills are useless if he can not get to the player on time.

        Even though he has a good hockey IQ i dont think it is enought that he is always in the perfect position to make up for his lack of speed.

        • BlueHairedApe

          Yep absolutely ‘classic’ alright. Both comments I’m sure will go down in history as the most brilliant ever made in a commenting section. By tomorrow sometime I will stop laughing and hopefully by then he/she comes up with something else. Yawn.

          • 24% body fat

            if thats not funny to you than maybe you should look at how mact and tambo wasted picks in the 2nd rounds on maybe 7th defenseman. That is funny.

            Laughing at the how stupid management has been in the past is all us oilers fans have left. Because we have not been winning.

            Good teams do not have discussion around players like this, nor do they need to worry about losing them on waivers because they have a real amount of depth with NHL players.

            Sad, that this player might make the team (nothing against the player) but this sums up the oilers defense.

          • Explicit

            I get that your miserable and like to complain, but you don’t think good teams have discussions or worry about losing young dmen that can potentially fill a role for cheap? Nothing wrong with having depth and competition is there?

          • 24% body fat

            good teams do have conversations about filling number 7 defenseman with cheap contracts. However they did not waste a 2nd round pick on acquiring them, and they fill this spot with NHL defenseman. Not AHL quality players.

            Research about how he was picked. The scouts wanted 2 players. Both were forwards. Tambo said no get me a d. they gave him a name. Tambo went up and picked his own guy. The scouts did not want him.

          • Bubba Train

            Huh? spyderman what happened?

            You were the Debbie downer before, always harping on the negative. Sounds like you turned a corner. was it the Hall trade? I’m not over that one by the way.

            Your new optimism is good to see, I hope the Oil do not let us down.

          • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

            Jesus, I cant believe this was said in a public form…….

            Can I play?

            The best this team ever finished with Connor McDavid was 29th!!!

          • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

            What happened three years ago is why the Oilers are in the postion they are in, so it’s incredibly relevant today. How else do you hold people accountable if your not looking over there body of work?

          • BlueHairedApe

            Because Tambellini and MacTavish are no longer managers that’s why. They were both held accountable, they were both fired from their positions. Everybody is aware of their failings, at least anyone that follows hockey and has a pulse. So what’s the point in continuing to beat a horse that was already dead by the time Chiarelli was hired? Besides no one knows what the ceiling of Musil will be at least for another couple years. The people on this site that bash management for rushing defensive prospects are the same ones who come down on a player while he’s still developing.

        • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

          yep, you’re right…..Back in the 80’s and 90’s wasn’t so much of a issue, now its a the difference between the AHL and the NHL.

    • He’s big, he’s physical and he’s smart.

      He’s also a less-is-more puckmover who will always face questions about his skating.

      I’m inclined to think he’ll be fine as a No. 6/7 defenceman but I also figure his ceiling is sharply limited by the limitations we’ve discussed.

    • pkam

      Hard to tell until he plays a few games. He is as good or as bad as Davidson was at this time last year.

      From what I remember, he was okay when he was recalled for a few games a year ago.

  • I agree with JW, this is bubble contract for a depth defensemen. It gives Musil the incentive to show up at camp (ala NHL money) or more than likely end his time in Edmonton with an easy to move AHL contract.

    Defensive signings are never sexy, unless its that rare game changing stud.

    • fran huckzky

      You are definitely correct in saying that signing depth dmen is not sexy. At the same time,if you do not have depth and skill in your 6,7,8 dmen,you are screwed. WE have proven that for the past few years but I believe that this year we will turn the corner on D.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I see no reason to get constipated about Musil signing. He does the same job as Gryba or Reinhart for significantly less coin. He could even be this year’s Davidson. We have to learn to separate a player’s acquisition cost from what he can contribute.

  • Pouzar99

    Virtually every team builds the best Top 4 D they can and looks for good, cheap value contracts for the third pair and the extras who will play when the inevitable injuries hit. That is all the Oilers are doing. Musil will get a chance to show he can fill that role. If he does, fine, and Oesterle will get some development time in Bakersfield if everyone else is healthy. If Musil struggles he will go back to Bakersfield and might get taken on waivers. Not a big deal, but defensive depth is important. The small stories count too.

    • FISTO Siltanen


      In my perfect world the Oilers resign Gryba and find one more right-handed shot for the backend. That gives them 4 RHD and 3 LHD (Klef, Davidson and Sekeras) and everyone else would be on the farm. With the best of the bunch getting recalled when injuries.

      Short of getting 4 RHD, the Oilers get at least one more RHD and give the 7th defence man role to someone like Musil who doesn’t have much more to learn in the minors.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Musil was taken back when the old boys club was taking sons of former Oiler players like David Musil and Dillon Simpson. never liked the pick and still don’t. have a feeling he’ll play a few NHL games this year and be gone by next year.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    The problem with Musil is that he was taken by the old management group who were( still are)very loyal to each other to a fault, this is not a bad thing but it’s also a terrible thing at the same time.

    If we follow Mackenzie’s draft list there are three players with greater skill and at the time greater need than Musil, making Musil a reach pick around 45ish that year.

    Boone Jenner was ranked around 22nd OVA and the Oilers took Musil at 31 making that an extreme reach pick by almost +20 spots.

    The same can be said for Sadd who was projected 26ish by Mackenzie, again making the Musil pick a reach.

    I realize the hindsight, but these are picks that were gifted to the Oilers for being terrible, these are the picks that complete a teams roster, the lower end picks that turn a team around and the Oilers have crashed and burned with these picks and its killing them today.

  • I am Batman

    Its clear that all of us are so tired of losing that even a stupid “house keeping” signing throw us off for a spin… I am guilty of that.

    I am tired and sick of this team as much as I am tired of people praising the players, if they were all so good as we like to think (looking at ALL of them except McDavid) we would not be in the basement. Yes, we can blame management, the D, or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that it is the players who are on the ice. Everybody here has praise to some extent for Klefbom, Eberle, Nuge, Drai, Nurse, Talbot, Maroon, Davidson (latest) and before for Hall… you would think that with 7 or 8 of these very good players (a third of the team, and I did not mention McDavid) we would not be talking 29th place, it is insane if you think about it, to blame anything but those very same players.

    4 years ago my (then) 7 year old daughter asked me why we cheered for Edmonton (we lived in Calgary). I just had to say “because they are awesome” and she took that answer face value. Now that is not an answer and I think she is embarrassed of being an oiler fan.

    I need a break from all this, wake me up when we have 85 points, yes in ONE season.