Oilers sign Josh Archibald to a one-year deal

Ken Holland has dipped into the bargain bin, inking former Arizona Coyote and Pittsburgh Penguin Josh Archibald to a one-year contract.

Archibald was originally drafted by the Penguins in the sixth round of the 2011 draft but only played 14 games with the NHL club. He was sent to the Coyotes in the middle of the 2017-18 season where he’s played the brunt of his NHL career. With the Coyotes, Archibald has played 107 games, scoring 17 goals and putting up 33 points.

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As Jason Gregor points out, adding Archibald is about adding a forward who can help kill penalties. Archibald spent last season as a key player on the league-best Coyotes’ penalty kill, averaging 1:36 minutes of shorthanded ice time per game. With Tobias Rieder not returning next season, the Oilers needed another winger who can kill penalties. I would venture a guess that Archibald could not only fill Rieder’s role on the penalty kill, but also chip in a little more offence than he did last year too.

Jokes aside, Archibald’s 12 goals would have been fifth on the team last year among forwards. If he can come in and provide that level of offence again, that would be a nice, cheap addition for the Oilers.

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    • Leichs

      McLeod most likely cracks the roster as 3C. Dude almost made the team last year out of camp. He’s got good speed and size and battles hard. His favourite player growing up was Ryan Smyth. That says all you need to know about his character.

      • NoBuBlackOPS

        I would agree with you based off of his first training camp last year. Based off this year I’m a little more sceptical he wasn’t as dominant as I was thinking he was going to be at the junior level.

        • Ken Holland

          Archibald has scored more even strength points per game in the past two years than any Oilers forward not named Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

          In that time, Archibald at 1.52 points 60 ranks 274th out of 450 NHL forwards for even strength scoring.

  • bazmagoo

    I’m really impressed with Holland so far. He’s doing what I’ve wanted to see done for years. Lots of 1 year deals, create as much competition for spots as possible, and if we fall out of the playoff picture he can flip these 1 year deals for picks. Talk about being dealt lemons and making lemonade! He’s the 1st GM we’ve had since Sather who has the right combination of brains and balls.

    • macinmillwoods

      Yup. By my count we have 6 guys trying to fill 9 spots on the first 3 lines and 10 guys vying for 3 spots on the 4th line. Its Ok…wake me when its 2021.

  • vetinari

    None of Holland’s moves since he was hired have been sexy but you can see the focus and game plan… get a truckload of defensive forwards and if you can cut the goals against by 30, that’s as good as getting two 15 goal scorers into the lineup. Winning a game 2-1 is better than losing a game 6-5.

    • SmyttysMulletsRevenge

      Not sold on that. Especially with 2 giant question marks in goal.

      The roster is full of 4th line fringe 3rd line players,

      Not a recipe for success.

      We actually dont even have a legitmate 3rd line center even.


  • ed from edmonton

    Assuming the Oil will make at least one and possibly two moves to bolster forwards. One move will likely be to pick up one forward via salary or dump possibly a UFA. If so the opening day line up might loo like:

    Nygaard CMD LD
    Benson RNH Chaisson
    Lucic TBA Kassian
    Khaira Haas//Cave Archibald
    Cave/Gagner Brodziak

    Klef Larssen
    Nurse Jones
    Russel Benning

    Another move might be to trade a D for forward. Most likely forward to move might be Benning is so line up might look like:

    LD CMD Kas
    Nygaard RNH Chaisson
    Benson TBA TBA
    Lucic Haas//Cave Archibald

    Klef Larssen
    Nurse Jones
    Russel Perrson

    These configuration along with questionable goaltending suggests more likely lotter than playoffs.

  • El Oilero

    why? why did they pay him $1m and not league min? why do we need even more bottom 6 players and marginal NHLers?

    the priority has to be a winger for Nuge, a 2RHD and a goalie. Everything else is just at the margins.
    I have never felt so much lack of hope going into a season. It feels like December when the season is declared dead.

  • CMG30

    People are cranky that Holland didn’t make a big splash. People should take a step back and realize that it’s the whole team that’s needed not another ‘great hope’ to pin all the hopes then eventually blame for all the failures. It’s far more important to shore up the weak links at the bottom end than it is to overpay at the top.

    • TKB2677

      I am really glad that Holland hasn’t made a big splash. It’s been proven time and time again that teams who go big game hunting and make a big splash with a UFA usually end up grossly over paying both in money or term or both. The odd guy works out but most big UFA signings end up being bad. Then with trades, I am glad he is being patient rather than go Chia, jump the gun and do a stupid trade like the Hall trade.

      The key to success is build within and make subtle adds.

  • TKB2677

    I don’t see the point in making lines on July 16th when there is 2 months to go before came and 2.5 months till the season starts. There easily could be moves coming.

    I also think it’s foolish to decide that the Oilers offseason was a failure just because the Oilers didn’t go out and over pay in free agency like lots of other teams did.

  • Kevwan

    RHS, good skater, good on PK and apparently Tocchet loved him. This is the kind of player that can outperform their contract and turn a profit (like Chiasson did last year)

    My concern is that according to Cap Friendly the team is at 49 of 50 contracts now. It’s getting close to no wiggle room.

  • OilCan2

    So Josh was a key member of the BEST PK in the league last year,….. AND he went 12-10-22. 1$M. All the naysayers please line up at the diving board over the cliff please.

    • FutureGM

      Couldn’t agree more!! Everyone here is pouty because Holland didn’t spend big bucks for a 20G scorer. We secured a PK guy that can chip in 10G for a million.
      Guess theses ‘fans’ don’t understand that the Islanders returned to the postseason by preventing goals, not scoring them…

  • Oiler Al

    Line up a mile deep at the ticket wicket, to see Archibald play.This guy is no better than Malone per say. As Tippet pulls out the “Trap” playbook. Fun was had by all, and McDavid looking for directions to the G M’s office…he has a request.

  • Boba The Fett

    Everybody whines that KH isnt making the big flashy move to address a top 6 winger or 2RHD but I ask, what salary cap space does he have? In order to make this move he would need to clear space but with so many teams pressed up against the cap this year and needing to move out salary I would say this is probably the toughest year in recent memory to move out a bad contract. Instead KH has decided to address the leagues worst bottom 6 by adding speed and guys that have shown capable of scoring double digit goals. If these guys can score at a better pace than our bottom 6 last year (not a high bar) and help reduce goals against 5v5 and 5v4 then what is not to like. Not every move needs to be flashy to have importance.

      • Reg Dunlop

        The same could be said about the rest of Holland’s signings. It is also fair to say that if these longshot unknowns turn out to be busts then we are staring directly into the mouth of another lost season. I think the more prudent decision would have been to wait until late August and offer lowball and PTO contracts to real NHL players desperate for a gig next season. Cost would be similar and the odds of success would be FAR higher. But if the goal is another 1st overall, maybe to ease the pain of a valuable player wanting out, then we are on the right path.

        • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

          We’re already staring into a lost season. Ken Holland has failed in his first off-season as GM SO FAR. I’ll only watch just so I can laugh at this clown for thinking 6 bottom 6 forwards will somehow get us into the playoffs. Then I’ll cry when we have to pick in the top 10 again

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Archibald signing I think could have been cheaper, but this looks like more of show us what you can do deal, and it’s only for a year so if it doesnt work out, then he doesnt have to be resigned. Could be Holland hasnt found any trade partners so in the interim looked for guys that could fill roles that arent too expensive on cheap deals. You never know playing in canada and him being from Sask might ignite the fire in him. I am sure he would like to find a steady home to play

  • KootenayDan

    What is wrong with 12 goals for 1 million and one year? Chicago just traded for 31 year old Zach Smith 9 goals last year and 2 years left for 6.5 million, who would you rather have. Nothing wrong with 10 goals if that’s what Archie has to give better than ole Toby’s big zero output plus he kills penalties. Small steps has to work for now that’s the reality of KH’s budget again thanks for nothing Chia.

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      Funny, we were saying the sameness thing about Tobias before last season began. But nah, we let the great and powerful Bob Nicholson convince us that Reider was the issue

  • YFC Prez

    Granlund and Archibald are better forward penalty killers than anyone on the roster not named rnh. I think with what KH has done so far it may be reasonable to assume oilers pk goes from rock bottom to at least middle of the road this season if not better.

    I know everyone wants a scoring winger but I’m looking to the day I don’t feel deflated when the oilers take a penalty like they’re guaranteed to be scored against. Pk and bottom six were terrible last season. At least there is low risk competition in the bottom 2 forward lines now. Can’t hurt. I like the signing.

      • YFC Prez

        I appreciate the insight but just for fun why don’t we have You further elaborate on that comment. Which current oilers forwards aside from nuge are better penalty killers than the 2 I mentioned?

        What flavour kool aid am I drinking in thinking that Granlund and Archibald immidiately improve our penalty kill?

        Who am I missing? Who are the hidden gems forwards on the last place penalty kill oilers better than Granlund and Archibald?

        Please. I would like some enlightenment to go with this delicious kool aid.

  • toprightcorner

    Adding a 20 goal scorer would cost $3.5-$4 mill and they would replace an 8 goal scorer. that is only a net of 12 goals. In the bottom 6, Lucic was the leading scorer with 6 and the average was 4 goals. Adding 3 bottom 6 players that can score 12 goals increases goals for by 24. that is a much more significant increase in goals and those 3 players cost the dame as the one 20 goals scorer. Grandlun and Archibals will also improve the PK and cut goals against.

    This is and was the plan for the 1st year. Next year will get a better idea of the develpment of the dmen and a better idea of Benson. Then Holland will be better equiped to know exactly what he needs for the top 6. Blowing your wad now, just to have a top six 20 goal scorer is very risky becasue they may not fill the right hole and it puts you in worse cap trouble

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    I’m so glad you guys are totally okay with going into next season looking like this.

    Draisitl-McDavid-4th liner
    4th liner-Nuge-4th liner
    4th liner-4th liner-4th liner
    4th liner-4th liner-4th liner


    Overpaid goalie
    Injuried plaugued goalie

    Yeah this lineup is definitely playoff caliber. I feel so, so bad for McDavid, Draisitl, and Nuge.

    • Joy S. Lee

      You are aware that the building of a team is not ONLY through free agency and trade but that they have prospects in the system, right? And, if the system is good, prospects arrive on schedule to ‘build’ the team? And, not all the prospects are destined to be “4th liners”? That is the model Ken Holland is trying to bring to Edmonton, and frankly, it’s the only model that works if you want to build long-term success.

      You have to start somewhere. Holland is starting that model from an inherited mess, and transforming it to function within the long-term model, so it’s not sexy for a year or two, but it actually gets better because the foundation is strengthened throughout. While you’re feeling badly for a few star players who suffer the losses but have a lot of other benefits, maybe it’s because you don’t understand the concept of building a winner. And in the meantime, you get to see if those three guys can help carry the team through it’s growth stages and then lead it when the prospects start collectively panning out. It helps to keep one foot in reality – what is – when jumping to conclusions – what is possible. At least Holland’s plan is foundational, and not the quick-fix model we’re accustomed to in Edmonton that has put the team in the position it finds itself.