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.

  • Al77

    So as a kid I use to sneak and stay up late and watch the old rerun black and white versions of the twighlight zone with the original Hitch and his monologues lol,Little did I know my hockey team is and apparently will forever be in some weird alternate reality where your work performance as a GM no matter how bad will always lead to promotions and pats on the back despite being worse than Mike Milbury and a joke of a professional sports franchise for the last 12 years!

  • Heschultzhescores

    I like Kosk, but I had no idea they’d sign him for that crazy an amount. Is Chia nuts? He overpays for everyone. I’m sure they could have got him to sign for much less.

  • Arfguy

    Koskinen has definitely been the better goaltending option than Cam Talbot this season. The team looks like they actually play a little better in front of Koskinen.

    Having said that, I’d have tried to get him at $4 million AAV. Then again, what do I know? Maybe Koskinen works out and maybe this is just another terrible move by an incompetent GM.

  • Alberta Ice

    Glad to know there are no worries about the goal tender position for the next 3 years. Will PC now act quickly to sign Chiasson for 5 million for next year before he gets away too soon for too cheap a price?

    • GK1980

      No worries? Koskinen hasn’t even played a full NHL season yet. Talbot is now gone but they still need a pro goalie that can push Kosky. I’m not confident he can be a number 1 yet.

  • 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 …

  • Prairiechicken

    I wonder how much more Pete would have given him if he hadn’t just given up 8 goals in 1.5 games on the weekend?
    And people suggesting sign and trade clearly don’t know Pete well enough. As if that contract doesn’t come with a no move.
    Why is this clown still allowed to make moves?

  • 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.

      • OTOF2

        How about his dismal track record? Was gifted numerous talents and still managed to move this franchise backwards. Are you blind? Pro sports is about winning.

    • Jobu

      Good point. If Chai is truly about to swing from the gallows then why not wait until the offseason to sign him?

      Oh wait. That whole “lack of starting goaltender” thing.

      Judging by the term we’re looking at a 3 year rebuild (of the rebuild (of the rebuild))

  • Loil

    Wow… How is this organization so completely inept!? I’d give him an extension, sure, but not at 4.5 mill and not at this point of the season.

    What a hot mess this organization is.

    • Randaman

      Ok, upcoming UFA, has played very well considering the hot mess on D in front of him. He has been lights out in many games according to the announcers on both sides. How much would’ve you paid and you do realize that as a UFA, someone could’ve snapped him out from under? We could pay Bobrovski 7 or 8 if that would make you all feel better. Sometimes I really wonder what side of the fence the idiots are on…

  • Peter:”How much do you want?”
    Koskinen:”I’ll start at $4.5M”

    If it was past the draft and we were in June during the re-negotiation window then I’d get it but the fact that he gave him $4.5M in January shows he has 0 bartering skills.

      • Guest

        Last year the 76ers GM was posting on websites and Twitter to defend his terrible moves (much like this one). And was fired.

        I’ve seen two adamant defence posts from you about this signing. It’s clearly ridiculous and a far off market deal.

        Do you work for the team? I wouldn’t be surprised…

  • Total Points

    Wayne Gretzky has his finger prints all over the Oilers. I followed the Coyotes when he was there and many moves that he did didn’t make sense much like the Chai moves.

    Gretzky is god in Edmonton and many fans wont believe this but check it out, the last about 1 to 1/2 years that he as there.

  • Axe

    Clearly Chiarelli still has the keys to the wagon still and I am gonna go out on a limb and say he watched too many replays of the koskinen behind the back save on Saturday night.. I like koskinen but like most ppl here have said maybe wait a bit longer and slightly less money… Pretty good chance Talbot will be moved very soon.. And yeah something bigger is coming… I am scared..

    • President & General Manager

      Peter had Mikko locked up to a three-year extension worth $3.5 million annually but Hrudey wouldn’t shut up about the behind the back save. Mikko’s agent used that as leverage for a million more. If you don’t like the contract, blame Hrudey not Peter.

  • Ron Burgundyz

    What is with this @#$%#% management team and giving away cap flexibility??? One of the only relief valves we had coming up was having no goalies signed, which means we could have been selective in the off-season and picked the best available option. That might have been Koskinen, but it might not. He’s played 31 games! How about you let him play 30 more and see what that gives you – I disagree with the comment that he’ll raise his market value if he plays well, as Chia is already paying at the top of that market. When will this end!

    • Ron Burgundyz

      Also here’s an amusing anecdote – Devan Dubnyk has a cap hit of $4,333,333 for this year and two more. Deep-rooted organizational incompetence – examples abound!

  • A-co

    So what was the rush to give this guy an extension with the balance of the season to play and get a further look at him? And with pistol pete supposedly on the hot seat why are they giving him the authority to be handing out contracts?? The timing of this deal is confusing…BUT just another day in oil country where rational thinking and this team don’t go hand in hand….don’t trade the 1st rounder for this season PLEASE!!!! I said PLEASE!!!!!!!!

    • the reasonable person

      There’s really not much confusing about this. The Oilers don’t have an NHL goalie under contract for next season, Koskinen has proven he can play, other teams would be interested in him in the off-season, and Koskinen could leverage the oilers for not having another option in the off-season even if he doesn’t play great down the stretch and get them into the playoffs, which could happen. Also starts the bidding war for Talbot ahead of the trade deadline. There might not be much of a market for him but it let’s Chia find out what the market is.

      • A-co

        If he doesn’t know what the market is for talbot ALREADY he is not doing his job….confusing maybe isn’t the word I should have used…disappointed is the new word…koskinen hasn’t showed enough to deserve a 3 year contract extension at this point in time especially with almost half the season left to assess what you have since his numbers as of late do not scream $4.5 per year over another 3 years…and I think that’s more than reasonable guy