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Oilers Sign Brad Malone

The Edmonton Oilers signed Brad Malone today, continuing a string of public announcements that have Oilersnation living on the edge. General manager Peter Chiarelli laid out the summer plans and has followed them with extreme prejudice.

The problem is we can count. There IS money for free agents. If you go over to NHLNumbers, it tells us the team has $12.278 million under the cap with two forwards left to sign. If you send Jesse Puljujarvi to the farm and replace him with Brad Malone, that stretches out to $15 million or so if you include JP’s bonus.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Leon Draisaitl isn’t signed but even that’s not really a major blockage. If you take out $9 million for mighty Leon, that’s still between $3.278 million and about $6 million in room. If the Oilers wanted Ales Hemsky, they could have offered more than the $1 million Montreal got him for today. Right? Brandon Pirri is out there, unsigned, he’s probably available for a one-way contract, $1 million large, and one of those Air Canada flight bags you used to get for free when flying Edmonton to Toronto non-stop during the late 1960’s.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

The Oilers are committed. They are committed to Laurent Brossoit, to Jujhar Khaira, to Drake Caggiula, to Jesse Puljujarvi maybe most of all. To Anton Slepyshev and maybe even to Mark Fayne.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Things may change when Leon signs, especially if the contract comes in at $7.2 million. That would mean a lot of freedom to sign basically anyone still available. The Oilers are pursuing the plan of action that makes most sense to them: Find some AHL forwards who can help in the development of players that have value, mostly defensemen. Commit to young men who showed they were NHL-ready in the playoffs (Slepyshev, Caggiula) and the wunderkind phenom whose time is now.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

That leads me to Brad Malone. I’ve read some pretty ridiculous things on the internet today, folks seem pretty outraged about the Oilers spelling Jaromir Jagr wrong (they spelled it Brad Malone). Malone can PK, win faceoffs and get called up and sent down without (likely) getting caught in the waiver wire.

The Edmonton Oilers have been signing expensive free agents since Peter Chiarelli arrived. This summer, they are sending their dollars to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. This is good business, and it makes sense. If Peter Chiarelli and his staff cast about looking for:

  • A veteran forward who could PK and win faceoffs in the NHL
  • Play a substantial role in the AHL
  • Move up and down between leagues without getting lost

If that was the priority, they made a good choice. The Oilers weren’t looking for Brandon Pirri today. If they were looking for him, they would have signed Brandon Pirri. Peter Chiarelli is keeping his powder dry on the free-agent front. Damned inconvenient if you ask me, but this organization is committed to Jesse Puljujarvi. That much we know without question.

  • Tombstone

    It’s all good. McDavid and Leon are enjoying the long weekend getting sh*tfaced. They will sign sometime this week.
    Oilers are going to be a team that will be more active come trade deadline, where they can add players without the cap hit.

  • Oil9744

    Well said Lowetide, I honestly believe Jesse Puljujarvi is going to be a huge star in the NHL and is a main focus on the Oilers future, Hopefully it’s next season but there is no harm in letting a future star player develop in the AHL on and off for 2 seasons, Draisaital needed some seasoning in the AHL before he became the player he is today and I expect the same or maybe even more from Puljujarvi, I Wouldn’t mind seeing someone to play on the bottom 6 with Letestu or possibly Nuge for cheap, maybe Vanek or Jagr or Iggy for 1 or 2 mill on a 1 year and go from there

    • The Whispererer

      Actually Leon played just 6 AHL games…at the beginning of his 2nd season. When he was sent down half way through his 1st season it was back to Junior not to the AHL. He did win the MVP in the WHL playoffs that year, and was also MVP at the Memorial Cup even though his team lost the final game.

    • MrBung

      I think Puljujarvi will be decent. Not sure if he will be a “star”. Big question mark around him right now. I don’t think he will be a Yakupov dud though.

  • Dr. Merkwurdigliebe

    I’ve been seeing a lot of crying lately about the Oilers’ inactivity in free agency. Ales Hemsky? Why? He had his time here. What Chiarelli is doing is correct. He used the playoffs to assess value of what he had and shipped Eberle out. Good move. He signed Lucic last year. #1 priority is getting McDavey signed. #2 is Draisaitl. I think a lot of fans are scared to death the Oilers will regress and miss the playoffs next year or something. Not a chance. McDavey and Drai will both be BETTER. We’ve got Puljujarvi in the pipeline. A young talent with a fresh start in Ryan Strome. A good young defence that just needs to hold the fort until Sekera comes back. Great goaltending in Talbot. It’s gonna be okay. I promise. 🙂

  • toprightcorner

    I am satisfied with what Chiarelli has done so far. Until Leon is signed, he should not be adding any significant players.

    > if Leon signs for less than we expect, the addition could be more significant or trade a prospect for a player
    > if Leon goes higher than expected, Chairelli still has the ability to maneuver
    > if they cant come to an agreement with Leon and he is traded, you don’t want to add someone to fill a hole that you just spent $2 mill to fill.

    The Oilers need to keep enough cap space so they can add a Neal, Green, Bozak or a Nash for a playoff push. Until they see what the younger players can do, you don’t know exactly where your biggest holes are and with limited cap space, you don’t want to guess wrong.

    • MrBung

      I think Chia’s is taking the most reasonable action given the constraints he is working under right now. He can’t really do too much until he knows what he is working with in terms of cap room. I think that given that there will be unproven and inexperience in the line up for next season, there will be a correction. A necessary one in terms of taking the hit to get these guys into the line up and determine what they can do. There is no way the Oil are in a position to win now with McDavid under a lower cap hit. They have to figure out how to have a strategy to win going forward with the McDavid/Drai cap hit. This is what Chia is doing.

  • BlueSuede11

    I thought Hartnell would have made a nice UFA signing…good Lloydminster boy that would have added some depth on a very reasonable contract…I know I’m repeating myself, but I think this was a missed opportunity.

  • Big Nuggets

    why buy out Pouliot if you’re not going to add another forward. I’m starting to wonder about Chia. Not to say these minor league signings are bad moves, just getting an uneasy feeling that Chia actually doesnt know how to assess talent. Albeit there is still lots of time before the season starts so I’ll try to be patient.

    • knee deep in it

      I think Poo and Eberle are addition by subtraction. Neither gave their all in the ducks series. We do not want that as a model for the young players. Todd and chia have an idea of the style of hockey needed to win in the playoffs and they are shipping out the guys who do not fit the mold.

    • madjam

      A lot of those assessments are being made by others in the chain such as MacT. , Green and again Howson to aid Chia in finalizing those findings and making them a reality in effect . Chia , in some, is just finalizing their assessments and approving them with some influence from McLLeland and perhaps others in scouting group . Chia unlikely to run independent of his advisors very often , but more in tandem with them
      , even cap management . More a group think type management than one might think . Seeing as Oilers made playoffs last year some cudos should also go out to the others that helped Chia in the process , the ones most complain about still being in organization .

  • LordVallko

    No Stanley for this poorly run franchise with McDollars eating all the cap and Todd reacting to smarter coaches. I say PC should trade him to buffalo for eikel and ristolynen, after that sh*t deal, I could care less about the spelling. Who wants to bet the oil don’t win Stanley as long as McDollars and Todd are ruining the show. I’m giving 3 to 1 odds and am hearing crickets.

    Todd is terrible head coach, may be a fantastic assistant coach, but head, no way. He sucks at line matching, he sucks at challenges, his win loss is better away than at home. That alone proves other coaches are better especially when home ice advantage becomes a disadvantage, think about it. And who loses a 3 goal lead in the last 3 minutes of a major playoff game, geez. Todd and Company, that’s who. Every year of Todd is a wasted year of McDollars. This team will never win a Stanley cup with Todd as the coach, again I am giving 3 to 1 odds and hearing crickets. So disappointed in this organization yet again. If only I hadn’t take the oil to win the battle of Alberta bet again this year, ouch, you win some, you lose some.

    • the reasonable person

      Yes Lowetide et al… Let’s raise this issue in an article and encourage open discussion. I’ve found myself unconditionally supporting the Oilers since basically the Hall trade and now all of a sudden I’m conflicted. The $80 concourse passes, changing the jersey colors slightly after one year of new colors, those were things I looked the other way on… Bringing back Howson after never firing him but claiming to, and putting Keegan Lowe on payroll while giving him a 2-way contract when the merits warrant an AHL only deal if that???? As someone from between Edmonton and Calgary geographically, bull crap like that makes me wonder if I should just cheer for the Flames.

  • Bob Cobb

    They arent trading Draisatl, he and McDavid will be signed and then they will sign some free agents but not Cody Franson, guy cant skate, get a clue Lowtide!

  • Prudham's

    The Oilers playoff performance to me screamed that now is the time to try to add one or two significant players if at all possible.
    – They showed they are on the cusp of going who-knows-how-far in the post season.
    – They showed this despite getting nothing from certain players. But that means they’re rolling the dice if they try that again. It means that there is still weakness, and if that weakness is corrected, it really unshackles them.

    There was still no real finisher for McDavid. How can you not bend over to fix that when the team looks poised to kill?

    • MrBung

      Who would be a “finisher” the Oilers could realistically bring in for McDavid? Anyhow, Chia can’t do anything until he settles out what the Oil are paying for McDavid and Drai. It is still in flux. If they had got the deals done, we would have heard about it from him by now.

      • Prudham's

        Well, I guess we fundamentally disagree, so I don’t know if I’ll win you over, but:
        I think you can still try to make deals even with the McDraisaitle contracts in process because once you’ve started talking (certainly by this point), you’ll know ballpark what it’s going to cost. So it’s ok to use leftover money for other things. The GM must have a hard limit on Draisaitle anyway. I know the prospect store is low, but I don’t know how you don’t offer a first and a second for Hamonic just as a for instance. I’m just not seeing much drive for adding anything significant when I look at everything that’s going on. Chris Russel is where much of your Eberle money goes? I don’t know.

  • HockeyRulz

    To me this looks all good. Not sure what he signed him for (I am guessing for cheap), but PC is working on having some solid call ups during the season, so the oil don’t have any overwhelming weakness during any absence of the starting lineup. I can’t say I have a problem with having depth in all positions…