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

  • toprightcorner

    This is a fair contract for a starting goalie. I would have liked to see the first year at a higher amount and a lower than cap hit 3rd year to make it easier for a trade if needed.

    Talbit has struggled for 2 years, they we’re not going back to him. He will likely be traded if there is a buyer it an injury. Teams realize they need to have a decent backup with experience to make a long playoff run.

    You can’t trade Talbot unless Koskinen is signed, that is why he is signed now. His cap % is lower than Talbots was with similar NHal experience but Koskinen has a lot of successful pro experience in KHL.

    I am fine with the signing and hopefully trading Talbot will free up some cap space

  • a fish rots from the head down

    Can anyone even attempt to argue that Chiarelli isn’t some type of crazy plant hell-bent on ushering in a new decade of despair at this point??

    • Quoteright

      With the second highest ticket prices only to crazy Toronto were it’s all business and once a year crazy fans. Here, it’s the same pissed off suckers who just can’t cheer or enjoy this train wreck. All the pressure leads to line blending, firing, turnover and general lack of culture. No heart in the oil, just black mud….hmmm Oilers
      Maybe it’s the name
      Maybe Oil is cursed

  • Total Points

    I am tired of the players saying “we have to find a way”. This goes on in every interview, not matter if is to “find a way ” to score more goals or get pucks in deep or get on the forecheck………..

    They should find a way.

    If I had employees or co-workers saying we need to “find a way” they would not be around me much longer. I would straighten them out ….

  • Play Dirty

    OBC#1: Wow, I still can’t believe we sucked so bad for that long?
    PC: What was it? Like 10 years out of the playoffs?
    OBC#2: Yeah! We couldn’t be that bad again if we tried.
    PC: Hold my beer.

  • ed from edmonton

    This signing seems premature to say the least. Why rush into this? Would he be any more expensive if he plays wells through the last 30 games? I rather doubt it. Would any team be willing to buck up substantially more that what Big K got today even if he has a good last 30 games? I seriously doubt it.

    If big K plays wells through the last 30 he will still be considered a question mark next year as a starter, as we have seen one good year does not necessarily make an NHL starter. If he doesn’t play well, OMG.

  • HeavyChevy

    31 games spread out over 9 years and two teams earns you the salary of an average, proven NHL goaltender?? Really? What team was breathing down Chiarelli’s neck threatening to scoop Koskinen out from under him unless he drew up this contract? THIS is a priority? Sure, trade Talbot if you want to, but you couldn’t shop him around without signing Koskinen to this deal? Fire Chiarelli already!! He cannot make this team better, but he can sure make it worse if left in charge of this mess.

  • nijames

    Another ridiculous contract by PC. Koskinen is not a $4.5 million goalie. PC has kinda jumped the gun on this one. I can’t believe they still let PC make deals and sign players.

  • MMAX

    When is Bettman going to step in and drop the hammer on these incompetent asses? Remember the arena? He stepped in there and told them to get the deal done. This is a sh*t storm happening to one of the franchises in his league. For the love of God, Gary please take Daryl out behind the wood shed and put your foot up his ass.

  • Hockeysense9393

    I come hear in peace. I just want to say how sorry I am about how this team is being run. That guy has got to go before he does any more damage! There has to be some way to start a petition for change?

  • Serious Gord

    With this signing and even more with the waiving of Rattie and spooner (two chia acquisitions) I am beginning to wonder if Chia has become a sock-puppet GM. PErhaps someone or a group of someones are now calling the shots.

    Leaving the raw kids puljujarvi and Yamamoto, who are contributing very little and may be suffering damage from premature exposure to the challenges of the NHL, and sending down the players chia had intended to play makes me wonder if maybe even the owner is calling the shots.

    And why sign Koskinen now? He’s a player recommended to the chia by Kurri (via Gretz or maybe even the owner?). Did someone also recommend to chia that he get locked in?

    Has chia become tambellini 2.0?

  • tkfisher

    Last Years UFA goalie signings had a) a better NHL track record b) signed for less c) had the entire league bidding up the contracts and competing. This situation is the Oilers bidding against themselves, with no pressure to act and a guy who has played like garbage the last month (which is roughly 1/3 of NHL experience) and they still gave him more than they should have.


  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Chiarelli needs to be fired BEFORE he can do any more damage. This is going to hurt our long-term ability to be competitive. Think it’s bad now – this year? How about adding 4.5 Million dollars to what will likely be our back up for the next 3 years. Fire Chiarelli NOW!

    • Shameless Plugger

      There is no salary added. Talbot makes 4.1 mil. Koskinen makes 2.5 for a total of 6.6. Talbot is good as gone. So if they sign a backup cheaper than 2.1 you will actually save money against the cap next year.

      • Mike Modano's Dog

        Koskinen WILL BE the backup – at 4.5 Million…leaving us hamstrung to find a starter for 3 years at least, depending on what stupid move management does then. Unless this entire management group is fired THIS is exactly the type of move you can expect for the entirety of their employment.

        We are officially screwed for the salary cap even AFTER they are all canned…for many years until all of their signings have ended their contracts.


    such a tire fire, the oilers are so screwed for so long with the cap, they waste / destroy careers, mcdavid will waste his best years as an oiler. talk to Hall about that. then there are the flames, who have made great trades, nice signings, developed in the ahl, have depth…bye oilers..no longer relevent. Love ur GM, wow he rocks…hahahahaha

  • Ramskull

    What a mess this organization is. I’m a life long Flames fan and even I feel pity for Oilers fans. There’s no cap space, it’s missing large pieces to a championship “core”, the prospect pool isn’t that deep, the prospects aren’t ready, and it’s put itself into a position where it can’t pull the plug on the season and tank for a high end prospect without enraging it’s fanbase.

    There’s no GM alive than could take what little assets this team has and trade its way to being a contender. The next GM is going to have to be savvy when it comes to finding legit players and rebuilding the Oilers depth.

    This teams championship window is still years away.

    • MrBung

      Quite frankly. The amount of damage and bad contracts this will never be a championship team. It will be a struggle to just make the playoffs in the next several years.

  • camdog

    If he can start 60 plus games a year this would be a good contract. Problem is I don’t know how many games a year he is good for, nobody does. KHL schedule is not a comparable. There also the question of how he’ll do once he’s been scouted. The Oilers should have waited until Klefbom was healthy and defence was stable before making this deal. It might work, it might not, Oilers like to go all in on “might” way too much.

  • MrBung

    Whatever hope was left for this organization with the drafting of McDavid have been snuffed out by Chia and management. There is nothing to look forward to with this team. They will likely win just enough to not make the playoffs but get a poorer draft pick with less value.

  • camdog

    This was a group decision if PC gets fired deal still gets made. Organisation pays/trades for players based on what they hope they become rather than what they are.