by Lisa Brown on 05/02/12 at 12:30 AM ET
When it comes to the number of contracts the Oilers have, you have to know that there will be some changes. The current contracts roll over on June 30th, and the new contracts take affect July 1st. What this means is that Pelss’ contract doesn’t count until July 1st, and the same is true for the Tyler Bunz contract.
Coming off of the books this summer, potentially, are:
Ryan Smyth (UFA)
Sam Gagner (RFA)
Lennart Petrell (UFA)
Chris VandeVelde (RFA)
Taylor Chorney (UFA)
Linus Omark (RFA)
Cam Barker (RFA)
Josh Green (UFA)
Darcy Hordichuk (UFA)
Theo Peckham (RFA)
Jeff Petry (RFA)
Devan Dubnyk (RFA)
Alex Plante (RFA)
Yann Danis (UFA)
Ryan Keller (UFA)
Bryan Rodney (UFA)
Milan Kytnar (RFA)
Hunter Tremblay (RFA)
Of course there are a number of players on there that we can take off of that list; we KNOW that the Oilers are signing Dubnyk to a new contract before July 1st. The team has put the time in with this young goaltender and they, along with the fans expect him to be the starting goaltender next season.
There is concern over the fact that Smyth has not yet been signed to a contract, and so there is reason to wonder if he is not going to play another game with the Oilers. But then again, Smyth brings more to the table than on ice production and it could just be a matter of the two parties coming to an agreement on what Smyth’s role will look like going forward. I would like to see Smyth finish his career with the Oilers and sign another one or two year deal, but when the team hasn’t extended their GM or coaching staff, you have to recognize that there is more going on behind the scenes as well.
You also have to think that the Oilers would like to see Yann Danis stay with the Barons, but whether or not that means that the Oilers will sign him is a different story altogether. Then there is also the question of whether Danis would like to stay as well. Danis signed with the Oilers/Barons because he had to have believed that he would have the chance at playing a few games in the NHL. The Oilers have an older goaltender with back issues in Nikolai Khabibulin and a younger and unproven one with Dubnyk and so this could have been a great situation for Danis. Now with a career year under his belt, Danis could be looking for greener pastures and a chance at being an NHL backup goaltender.
Jeff Petry will also be another “no brainer” signing and you have to think that Sam Gagner would be in the same boat. While Gagner may be a player on the possible trade list, he still has value.
Pelss’ contract will put the Oilers at 50, but only if all things remain as they are. We all know that that is not going to happen. Linus Omark will not sign with the Oilers, he will be off of the books. Milan Kytnar has already made the move back to play in Europe and so you have to think that he is gone too. Those two alone make room to contracts for players like defencemen Martin Marincin, Bandon Davidson and Jeremie Blain who will likely all turn pro next season instead of counting as overage on their current teams.
Yes, the Oilers will sign prospects to ELCs before July 1st, but don’t despair Oil Country because it’s like a revolving door. Yes some new players come in but some will be leaving, we just have to wait it out.
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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.
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