The Edmonton Oilers had a slow yet oddly some what busy day today. The Oilers signed Goaltender Mathieu Garon to a 2 year contract, and agreed to terms with Raffi Torres on a 3 Year $6.75 Contract. The signing of Garon spells the end of Markkanen as the Oilers backup, Garon brings some decent numbers with that will help the Oilers more then Markkanen was able to give Roloson a much needed break every few games. Garon is a extremely athletic goaltender that has a very good glove hand. The signing of Torres is a great signing of $2.25/year for a player that can score and at the same time bring the grit needed to spark a team.
One other big event that you couldn't have missed was the press release from Kevin Lowe about the huge mess up with Nylander. I believe Kevin Lowe went about this the right way, if in fact the Oilers did have a written agreement with a intent to sign from Nylander they have all the right in the world to be ticked about the outcome. With the NHL's head office now looking into this issue i believe nothing will really come out of it that will really benefit the Oilers. I do believe that the Oilers do deserve something because they basically lost any chance of grabbing any impact UFA because Nylander and his agent seemly had a disagreement where he should sign.
Through all the issues with the Oilers in my eyes and i believe in the other level minded Oiler fans Kevin Lowe has been very smart in the moves he has made this July. The trade to send a aging D-man in Smith a home town boy in Lupul for a bright young future star in Pitkanen ,and a reliable forward in Sanderson was the best possible way to go about it. Smith was on the down swing and was not going to get any better then he was last year , he has been in a situation in Edmonton the past few years with being one of our top 2 on the backed that nether benefited the Oilers or him. Lupul who could be a 30-40 goal scorer in the NHL some day was never going to reach his potential in Edmonton , he could not handle the pressure of being the "guy we got for Pronger" and also he would never be able to live up to the Hometown hero. Pitkanen was in a tough situation in Philly with the coaching staff running out of patience with him and his growing dislike of the way he was being treated. Pitkanen has great potential , he is capable of being a 40-60+ pointer consistently with the Oilers, since he was a 40 point d-man in a really bad Philly team. Sanderson was not in Philly's plans anymore and had a very tough year last year but given a fresh start he can return to his old self where he can chip in some important points on our 3rd or 4th line.
If you put the 2 guys the oilers got with the trade ,the signing Garon , and Torres ,Lowe has made the best of a pretty crappy situation. With being pretty much taken out of the running for any impact players all he could do is make sure he signed all of his RFA's and get some players that are able to make a minor impact. Those of you that are on Kevin Lowe's back to do something, what do you expect him to do? he has thrown money at pretty much everyone available and they were overpaid by the Yankees of the NHL , Lowe is just going to have to make trades like he predicted before July 1st to improve this team and at the same time work on some of the lower end UFA that would make a impact on the team.
Stay tuned for my blog tomorrow , message me if you would like to see me talk about other topics.