by Lisa Brown on 07/02/12 at 12:45 AM ET
The Oilers didn’t make anything remotely close to a splash on the first day of free agency. Instead the team chose three UFAs to re-sign in Ryan Smyth, Darcy Hordichuk and Jann Danis. But there is however the signing of Justin Schultz. So maybe they did make a splash afterall, even if it wasn’t for your typical proven, veteran, UFA player.
There are a number of attractive UFA targets still remaining on the market, and there is no doubt that the Oilers are trying to land one or two of them, but the Oilers have always struggled to land the big fish.
The Oilers do have a lot of players that could be considered trade bait, especially with the addition of their new talent. Ales Hemsky has essentially been reduced to a third line forward and of course where does Sam Gagner fit in now, even though we have seen time and time again that the Oilers still lack depth when the injuries start piling up.
The big trouble is the holes in the lineup, and the issue of how to fill them. In order to get something and not overpay, the Oilers are going to have to give up something. Saying that Linus Omark is enough to get the puck moving defenceman is being ridiculous. We know that they will have to give up on something, or someone. Magnus Paajarvi may also find himself on the list of players that could be moved, but no one knows what kind of a player the Oilers have in Paajarvi yet. With only one full season and a partial sophomore season in the NHL Paajarvi may have come as far as he ever will, or he could be a dominating, powerful play maker in time. But the Oilers can’t keep all of their unknowns and high pick talent.
Speaking of their talented prospects, the players participating in the Oilers’ development camp all enjoyed a Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium to see the Edmonton Eskimos host the Toronto Argonauts. For some of the players, this was their first taste of North American football, but as always, this was more about bonding and forging relationships between the players. And maybe a little fun as well:
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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