Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers sign Mikko Koskinen to three-year extension

More transactions! What a day this is turning out to be. According to Elliotte Freidman, the Oilers have inked Mikko Koskinen to a three-year extension worth $4.5 million annually.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Koskinen was given a one-year, prove yourself deal in the off-season by the Oilers worth just $2.5 million. Since then, he’s taken the net from Cam Talbot, posting a .911 save percentage over 27 appearances. There have been rumours that the Oilers are willing to trade Talbot to open up cap room, and, given Koskinen’s new extension, it’s very clear which direction the organization wants to go when it comes to goalies.

At a glance, this is a very rich deal for a goalie without much of a track record. Koskinen, a second-round pick of the Islanders who has spent most of his career in the KHL, has played just 31 games at the NHL level. But this is pretty much the going rate for solid NHL goalies, which Koskinen has proved, albeit in a small sample size, that he is this year.

A $4.5 million cap hit would rank Koskinen 20th among goalies in the NHL this year, right in between Ottawa’s Craig Anderson and St. Louis’ Jake Allen. Cam Talbot is a virtually identical case to Koskinen. Talbot, who also didn’t have much of a track record, signed a three-year deal worth $4,166,667 half-way through his first season with the Oilers.

Given his down season, the Oilers could easily afford to bring Talbot back next year on a short-term deal to maintain this goaltending duo if they wanted to. Otherwise, Edmonton’s free agent options include names like Mike Smith, Cam Ward, Anders Nilsson, Antti Niemi, and Michael Hutchinson.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

As I said, this isn’t really bad money for a solid NHL goalie. The question, of course, is whether Koskinen is actually a solid NHL goalie. He has been for 27 games this year, but many times in the past have we seen goalies play very well over a small sample size. That said, Koskinen is a free agent at the end of the season, and if he does play really well down the stretch and help the Oilers into a playoff spot, he’ll only be raising his market value. This is a big risk for the Oilers to take on a player they clearly believe in.

  • Reinman

    Chia has destroyed McDavid’s Career. That will be his legacy. I mean McDavid will still have the personal achievements. But McDavid has been robbed of leading a team to do anything, as the team behind him is just not good enough. McDavid, Drai, Nuge are their only top 6 players. Their goaltending is average at best, and their defense lacks depth. (As can be seen when Klefbom is injured) It is what Chia has done to our forward group though is what has screwed this team, plus all the overpaying we can’t even afford to improve. We have few prospect/ trading pieces to get better. Chia has utterly failed and has left this team with no other options that start a rebuild from the draft. At this point we might as well start unloading assets, including McDavid. To maybe try and build a championship team in maybe 5 years time. It’s so sad.

  • VK63

    A couple tidbits for you fine people, excerpts from the non insular world of decision making.

    “its much easier to avoid stupidity than it is to chase genius”
    ^^^ evidently NOT in this case/franchise ^^^

    “rushing to an answer robs you of the opportunity to learn”
    Why did they extend him now? What was the rush? I see no rush, at all, but I do see a bunch of “free” (already paid for) information in the upcoming games.

    “Change for the sake of change is the ideology of the cancer cell”
    #culture #oilers

    • VK63

      Soon to join you in the “former” department. FOMO is zero, entertainment value is far enough below satisfactory that there is no remorse associated with not attending. But in the end, its about opportunity cost, the list of better things to do with the time and money is long. Really really long.
      Well done Oilers…..

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    I cannot believe chia made this decision on his own. A fish monger will tell you that the rot sets in at the head. How do you fire an owner? Stop buying tickets.