It won’t be a busy weekend in Edmonton but it could be an important one for Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli.
We are starting to get a good idea of what may happen with the Oilers this weekend so let’s take a look at what fans could end up seeing over the next 48-72 hours. When you look at their current depth chart it looks as though they will need to sign two, possibly three forwards, and a depth defenseman.
Four names up front have been solidly linked to the Oilers over the past two days.
We had Mark Spector get ahead of things on Kyle Brodziak.
UFA Centre Kyle Brodziak will take his list down to 3 teams today. Very good chance he signs with hometown Oilers, who drafted him back in ‘03.
The 7th rd pick has played 847 NHL games.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) June 29, 2018
Colorado based Adrian Dater linked the Oilers to former Avalanche forward Blake Comeau.
Heard there could be some interest from Edmonton in signing Blake Comeau on Tuesday
— Adrian Dater (@adater) June 28, 2018
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug is getting a sense that Jason Chimera would like to return to Edmonton.
Have heard Jason Chimeras name surface over the last few days. Sounds like he’d love to come back to his hometown, and sounds like the Oilers are looking into him as an option. 39 year old had 20 goals 2 seasons ago, can still skate and kill penalties, always healthy.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 28, 2018
And last but certainly not least, yours truly, with some information about former Camrose Kodiak Joe Colborne.
From two different sources now…Oilers are one of at least three teams that have reached out to Joe Colborne. Big fella needs to stay healthy. I'm guessing he's going to have to settle for a two-way deal somewhere. Chiarelli originally drafted him, Oilers were in mix 2 years ago
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) June 29, 2018
I must say it’s weird quoting myself in a piece. I’ve also heard some rumblings linking the Oilers to Antoine Roussel. I’m waiting for a reply from Roussel’s agent so for now, I’ll put that on the back burner.
The Oilers don’t need to sign all four of the guys mentioned above so let’s take a quick look at what may end up making sense.
Brodziak certainly fits the bill as a bottom six veteran who can take faceoffs and kill penalties. The former Oiler will likely come in at close to $1,000,000 after scoring 10 goals and finishing with 33 points in St. Louis last season.
I identified Blake Comeau as a possible target for the Oilers in my first free agency preview earlier this month. Comeau can play both wings, kill penalties and has scored in double digits in three of his last four seasons. He would probably come with the largest asking price of the forwards that have been mentioned but it should still be a number the Oilers can work with.
Chimera is just one year removed from back to back 20 goal seasons with two different clubs. I have no worries about his skating but what about the rest of his game? I’d expect Chimera to cost no more than the league minimum at this stage of his career. We could see a scenario where he is a fall back plan if the Oilers can’t land both Comeau and Brodziak.
Joe Colborne is an interesting case because he’s been linked to the Oilers multiple times over the last three years. The Oilers attempted to sign Colborne after he scored 19 goals with the Flames in 2016. He ended up inking a 2-year deal worth $5,000,000 in Colorado. The former Camrose Kodiak struggled in 2016-17 and had to battle concussion issues this past season finding himself in the American Hockey League. Chiarelli attempted to acquire him via trade from Colorado during the 16-17 season. I know that the Oilers have reached out Colborne again as Chiarelli, who drafted him in Boston, obviously has faith that he can bounce back. The likely scenario would see him sign a two-way contract that would pay near the league minimum in the NHL.
Let’s take a look at what the Oilers line up may look like if they can land three of these four forwards.
Nuge – McDavid – Rattie/Yamamoto
Lucic – Draisaitl – Caggiula
Khaira – Strome – Puljujarvi
Comeau – Brodziak – Kassian
In a perfect world, I’d like to see Caggiula and Puljujarvi flipped here but I have a sense Caggiula may get another push offensively.
Colborne could be a swing guy who gets called up from Bakersfield when there is an injury. His presence would allow the young kids in Bakersfield to stay focused on the American Hockey League as opposed to being shipped back and forth.
Outside of the names mentioned above let’s quickly look at one more tweet.
On top of targeting a veteran C like a Brodziak as per @SportsnetSpec mentioned.
I could see the Oilers providing an opportunity for a RW ready to take the next step to the NHL.
Evan Bouchard's arrival lessens the need to add a 6/7 D…at least in the short term IMO.
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) June 30, 2018
Who would be the winger ready to take the next step? I’d guess it’s one of Austin Czarnik or Daniel Carr. There will likely be quite a bit of interest in Czarnik, a player Chiarelli signed to his entry-level deal in Boston. Carr produced well when given opportunity in Montreal but could use a little work on his skating.
Ok, you’re ready, let the underwhelming madness begin.
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