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Nation Thoughts: Who Should the Oilers Sign Next?

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Photo credit:Andy Devlin/NHL
Liam Horrobin
4 months ago
Ken Holland wasted no time signing five players on day one of free agency. Brett Kulak and Evander Kane each re-signed to new four-year deals, Jack Campbell signed a five-year deal from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Greg McKegg and Cal Pickard signed two-way contracts.
The Kulak $2.75 million per year contract and the Kane $5.125 million per year deal come in at a team-friendly cost which helps this team massively. The rumour of Kane wanting a seven-year $7 million deal would never work in Edmonton, and thankfully Holland got the deal done at a better cost.
The goaltender position, the most significant need for the Oilers, was finally addressed by signing Jack Campbell to a five-year, $5 million per year deal. No doubt Campbell comes with question marks, having played only 135 games in the NHL to this point. Statistically, he’s been consistent over the last three years while averaging a 0.914 save percentage and 2.51 goals against.
With the main part of the free agency in the back window, the Oilers filled some needs in critical areas but work still needs to be done. The defence could use some help, the RFAs need to be signed, and signing another depth forward should be essential.
Let’s see who the Nation thinks Holland should sign before the summer is over.
The question was asked on Wednesday before Dylan Strome signed in Washington. It’s too bad the Oilers couldn’t bring him aboard, but once they re-signed Evander Kane, that dream felt over.
Oil Country would love to see Sam Gagner back in an Oilers uniform. Do the right thing, Ken!
Having Phil The Thrill on the roster would be a delight; however, he seems like the type of player that wants to stay away from the spotlight. Don’t be shocked if he re-signs in Arizona or even joins Johnny Hockey in Columbus. Somewhere very low-key is what he wants.
While Kessel might not be an option, plenty of talent remains available for the Oilers to pick from. Defensively, Holland needs to strengthen the backend, specifically the bottom pairing. Last week on Nation Thoughts, I suggested that keeping Tyson Barrie wouldn’t be such a bad idea. My opinion has changed, and now moving Barrie should be essential over the next couple of weeks. Freeing up his $4.5 million cap hit allows you to bring in one or two defensive solid defencemen, which takes the blueline to another level. Waiting until preseason to find out Philip Broberg and Barrie won’t work well together isn’t a good idea.
Secondly, Holland tried to add more forward depth by acquiring Connor Brown, who was eventually traded to Washington, and he should continue to do so. The best option for this is re-signing Ryan McLeod, Kailer Yamomoto and Jesse Puljujarvi and trading away Warren Foegele. The Foegele project hasn’t worked out in Edmonton; scoring 12 goals and 26 points in 82 games last season, so moving on could be best for both parties. Some options to fill that void could be Rem Pitlick, who had nine goals and 26 points in 46 games with Montreal, and Sonny Milano, who the Anaheim Ducks didn’t qualify.
Overall, the offseason has been almost perfect for Ken Holland, and with that, fans should be excited.

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