16
Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers sign Brad Malone and Shane Starrett to one-year contracts

Ken Holland got some housekeeping done today, as the Oilers have inked Brad Malone and Shane Starrett to one-year, two-way contracts. Both figure to start the 2019-20 season in the AHL but could be in the organization’s plans for call-ups as the season goes along.

Malone has spent the last two seasons with the Oilers organization as an NHL/AHL tweener. He’s been solid in that role, filling in nicely at the NHL level when needed while also providing quality depth at the AHL level. Malone scored 25 points in 43 games for the Condors this season but exploded for 13 points in 10 playoff games. I don’t think he’ll crack the team next year, but he’s perfectly fine in that emergency call-up role.

I figure Cooper Marody and Ryan McLeod will be Bakersfield’s top two centres next season, which slots Malone in nicely as the team’s third centre. As a veteran, he would make an ideal centre for Oilers’ winger prospects Ostap Safin and Kirill Maksimov as they break into professional hockey.

Starrett is a more interesting case. He was an undrafted free agent out of the United States Air Force Academy who is coming off of his two-year entry-level deal. Starrett wasn’t thought of as much of a prospect until his breakout season with the Condors this year. In 42 games for Bakersfield, Starrett posted a 0.918 save percentage and has put himself on the map as a legitimate prospect.

As I wrote about earlier today, the Oilers will likely sign a veteran goalie to split the net with Mikko Koskinen in a 1A/1B format. That said, if Starrett continues to play well in the AHL, we could definitely see him get a chance at the NHL level in the case of an injury. Here’s to hoping we have some kind of Jordan Binnington situation with Starrett next year.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Nothing wrong with either deal. Especially Starret. He took a big leap this past season and I expect him to continue growing. Just keep Shane away from Schwartz.

        • OilTastic

          problem is that our goalies have a good season, but then the league figures them out, where the weaknesses are, and it goes downhill from there and Schwartz doesn’t seem to know how to fix it. i think THAT is the big complaint with the guy!

    • OilerForLife

      Holland is getting some really good short-term two-way value contracts in place on some legit players with very decent upside. This is a really smart because it’ll be very simple to change things up quickly if things aren’t working, or subbing in players in if injuries become an issue, without any fear of the waiver wire. Giving some bona fide prospects a chance of some playing time in the top league in the world is the reason the Oilers landed Persson and Nygard. They have found a way of taking advantage of having some holes in the lineup. Things are most certainly looking up!

  • OilCan2

    Both are good signings with more upside in Starrett. Let’s hope Ken’s plan unfolds with more low key contracts. The Swedish Speedster is another good example of building a strong foundation.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Starrett was a no-brainer re-sign – he was arguably the best goalie in the AHL last year. Kudos to him for earning a one-way contract and a guaranteed $700K. It a bit unfortunate for him that Koskinen is such a complete wild card. If the team had an established #1 tender, the team could run with an NHL rookie back-up like Starrett, however, given Koskinen hasn’t proven to be even an average NHL goalie, as Holland has confirmed, they will be acquiring an established 1B type goalie (for cost).

  • OriginalPouzar

    I’m find with the Malone re-sign as he is a fantastic AHL player and a big part of the Condors’ team. At the same time, its clear that his skills simply do not translate to the NHL level and I can’t agree at all that he’s been solid when asked to fill in.

    In 2017/18, he was downright awful – his only noticeable contribution were 3 bad penalties, one that cost a game.

    He wasn’t awful in his 16 games this past season but he was simply a non-factor – not able to get in on the forecheck, always a step late, etc. He can’t kill penalties effectively at the NHL level, etc.

    He’s been passed for that tweener fill in role by Currie and P. Russell (who they need to re-sign, he’s a Group VI UFA) and, of course, Joe G. who is an actual prospect still.