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.

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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.

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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.

    • All Ice

      Lowe, is that you? About have another rant about 2nd tier fans? So we can remind you that the owner taking all that taxpayer money to make a rink with too few washrooms and bar space makes every taxpayer in Edmonton a tier 1 fan?

        • All Ice

          I honestly don’t want to do the math but I can put together the dollar amount and percentage of income I’ve put directly towards this team for a mediocre amount of entertainment in return. Had to stop at some point. A lousy in game show with expensive drinks and an organization that shows more loyalty to friends than fans. When some that changes I’ll give them my dollars again. Until then I’ll watch at the bar

  • Randaman

    Hey folks, let’s throw Koskinen under the bus and run his confidence through the wringer now that we signed him to an extension. Why? Because that what we do around here. With some D in front of him, he could be a real good signing.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    I know many of you will wait to hear what the nattering nabobs of negativity have to say, but there’s nothing out-of-line with this signing. Koskinen looks like a decent goaltender and the Oilers had no one at the NHL level under contract for next year. If they got all the way to July 1 without one under contract, they probably would have paid this much – or more – for a goaltender with similar numbers.

    The Oilers needed a goalie for next year, they now have one that they had the luxury of auditioning for the past few months.

    I think many of you need to can the hysterics. Leave them to Dustin Neilson and others trying to clickbait you.

  • Abagofpucks

    Of course you guys realize this doesn’t count against the cap this year right. So it’s not that big of a deal as long Koskinen performs and the Oilers can make cap space next year.

    • Bluetomorrow

      Its kinda of a big deal when DeSmith with better numbers just signed 3 year 1.25M AAV. Losing another 1.5M off the cap(believe Koskinen should have got standard 3x3M) plus Spooner and Manning wasting another 5M. Add up that wasted cap and you now have the space to add a top 6 winger, Pete has done nothing this season to help the Oilers now and is handcuffing the team next year

  • OmarZaitoun

    I don’t mind this signing. Koskinen has shown that he can play. He didn’t quit on plays when the Oilers were down over the weekend. He was pretty much left out to dry. He can play well with proper defense in front of him. I usually question deals like these, but this one looks good to me. Maybe im delusional after watching horrible hockey over the weekend. I will reserve judgement after Klefbom and Sekera return. We need depth. It’s obvious. For now, we need to pray that nobody else gets hurt.

  • Alfonso

    So, in the month that Koskinen has gone .891 save % Chia decides to go all in with this guy for the next three seasons by paying him an AAV of 4.5 per while McGreedy has no wingers to play with & the hapless Oil sport an AHL D most nights … it boggles the mind … do you think that Chia is simply trawling Oil Nation … ?

    Koskinen would NOT have made 4.5 per X three as a UFA next summer but Chia gives it to him now … the guy has only played 31 NHL games, 27 with the hapless Oil … what if he goes .891 the rest of the year …or worse … how will this look then … never mind that Chia once again messed with the ceiling for inexperienced NHL tenders …