As the Edmonton Oilers interview free agents, chat with GMs about potential trades and set themselves up for a busy day on July 1, there are some last-minute rumors and news items hitting the social media wire.
Oilers fans have gone a little buggy over the rumors that Ken Holland has landed a backup goaltender and might be going after a veteran winger, who at one time was fantastic, but might be too slow to play the game at the speed the Oilers plan to play. It sounds like the team is out on one of their targets and might circle back to a familiar face and in the background, there is the looming trade of Jesse Puljujarvi.
Oilers to Announce Mike Smith Signing
This quote came in from TSN’s Frank Seravalli later on Sunday night: ” Expectation is Mike Smith will be in neighbourhood of $2 million base salary with potential to earn up to $2 million more in performance bonuses on a one-year deal with #Oilers, to be announced tomorrow.”
He later tweeted with confidence, Smith chose the Oilers while Cam Talbot has essentially chosen the Flames.
There was a clear need in Edmonton for another netminder when you looked at the question marks surrounding Mikko Koskinen. Koskinen was great for a short time, horrendous for a short time and ok for the rest of it. His single-season sample size wasn’t nearly enough to confirm for the organization that the Oilers had landed a starter. The old regime signed him to a multi-year contract anyway.
As for Smith, the fan base is mixed. Many feel the combination of the two isn’t steady enough to warrant as much as $8 million per season on the goaltending and others feel like Smith can get his game back up to a caliber that saw him be an NHL All-Star.
Oilers in on Corey Perry
John Shannon also reported on Sunday that the Edmonton Oilers were one of four teams to inquire about Corey Perry. Shannon says, in fact, the Oilers are going heavy after him.
This might not mean the Oilers are going to overpay him, but it sounds like a few teams would like to bring his grit and nastiness to their franchise. For Edmonton, the team hasn’t often iced that kind of player. If he can find his game, the Oilers could have a bargain on their hands. That’s if they win out over three other teams.
At the same time, Perry may have completely lost what speed and ability he has to keep up in the NHL and the Oilers could land a lemon.
Oilers Back to Chatting With Alex Chiasson
The rumors that Edmonton is still in on Brett Connolly exist but they’ve lessened with the report by Ryan Rishaug on Sunday that Connolly to Edmonton isn’t looking likely. Either another team has offered more than Edmonton was willing to pay or the Washington Capitals are back in and, as a result, the Oilers are revisiting the idea of signing Alex Chiasson.
Ryan Rishaug of TSN wrote on Sunday, “If Connolly not likely to land in Edmonton, may put a focus back on Chiasson deal, depending on who else they feel they may be able to land. Nyquist would be more $ than Connolly, perhaps too much.”
The Oilers were rumored to have interest in Gustav Nyquist but depending on the offers out there for Chiasson, he could return to Edmonton on a team-friendly deal.
Rishaug also suggested the buyout for Andrej Sekera came at such an interesting time, the Oilers might have something on the go.
Rishaug noted that owner Darryl Katz just agreed to spend $6 million on a buyout, so there must be a clear payoff for roster this year.
Edmonton might be shooting higher than Connolly now. Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer tweeted, “Don’t be surprised if Brett Connolly represented by Gerry Johansson ends up in Florida possibly on a 4-year term.” That would have been way too rich for the Oilers.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”