The Oil once again went into free agency with a lot of talk. Their goal, the same as it has been for many years; grab a top tier defense man and a starting goalie. I know that we aren't aware of the options that the Oilers actually had. Maybe some players just refused higher money to play elsewhere. I think in a few years this will change but for now lets assume the Oilers couldn't have got what they missed out on.
Namely the only real top defenseman. Alberta born Mike Green. As well as any goalie that has experience being a starter.
What we got was left overs. We highly overpaid for an older and injury prone Petry in Andrej Sekeras. The contract amount was fair but six years and a NTC should have been a deal breaker for a team that has three arguably NHL ready defensive prospects. Players that will not benefit from six years in the minors.
Klefbom, Nurse and Reinhart join Schultz as being a solid young core. Hockey Prospects and Hockey Futures predict, and are fairly certain that the last three will be 1-2 defenders. Klefbom might be but they have less certainty suggesting he could fill the role the Oilers need for a 3-4 shutdown defender. However, for six years these supposedly top tier players are expected to bump Andrej to a 5-6 guy at 5.5 mil/yr cap hit.
Much like the Oilers in many years past we find ourselves with at least 9 NHL ready defense men and still no clear 1-2 players. I understand that Chiarelli is not to blame for our continued signing of 3-4 defenders like Sekeras at huge prices. Ference and Nikitan very well could turn out to be our 7-8 guys this year and we couldn't trade them for stick tape. We also have Fayne who was decent for the Oilers last year but he is not worth the 3.6+ mil/yr that he is getting for three more years.
The Oilers have no hope of winning the cup this year. Yes Sekeras makes the team better but for how long? At what point is he going to find himself competing to even make the team. Many scouts believe this will be in 2-3 years as Nurse should be the last to mature and even he might be ready this year. The Oilers have old has beens. They had more than enough d to play and still have experienced players in case of injury. Yet one of our young players will have to "mature" in the minors when all of them have proven that they can dominate at that level.
We were able to improve our fourth line at an increase in cap that has left us with 7 mil left and that doesn't include the RFA's that are still left to sign. We got a wild card in goal. Talbot is cheap and only here for one year. He could be as amazing as his stats suggest or he could be another goalie that looked good because the team in front of him was strong.
I guess we will see if Chiarelli continues to look like all our past GM's or if he can actually turn this team around.