Since Charlie Huddy left for the Winnipeg rail yards, the Edmonton Oilers have been mostly unable to identify useful defensemen—in the draft, or at the NHL level. I think the Oilers are very high on Griffin Reinhart (photo by Mark Williams) and Darnell Nurse, but the gap between opening night 2016-17 and their ability to contribute to wins is a worry. A possible solution? Veteran UFAs, and they are an interesting group.
#Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli expects to see Reinhart in NHL this season. “He’s ready to play & he’s going to be a very good part of our D.”
— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) June 27, 2015
Part of the issue for Edmonton’s defense this coming season is that the young blue behind the established help has not yet shown itself to be capable. That is an issue, folks.
Reinhart and Nurse played third pair opposition and their possession numbers were not strong. Now, that is an issue, but we have to make allowances for the rookie status of both men. Just because you are not reaching 50 percent in possession as a rookie does not mean you won’t get there. You know what might help? A veteran free-agent signed to a one-year deal who can take on those depth minutes until the young blue is completely NHL-ready.
NHL FREE AGENTS
- RD James Wisniewski, Carolina Hurricanes. Eight goals and 34 points in his last full season. Major shot and if healthy he should be able to help—if he is recovered from his knee injury and can wheel.
- RD Dan Boyle, New York Rangers. Old as the hills and twice as dusty, if you look at his numbers (aside from the birth certificate) there is an interesting player here. Could Edmonton bring him in on a PTO?
- RD Jakub Nakladal, Calgary Flames. He is a vague player, with less than 30 NHL games to go on. Big defender, reasonable defense and a big shot from the point.
Mile High Sticking.com: So, signing Tyson Barrie to a two-year deal worth the high amount of
even 5.5 mil a season (hypothetically) is not that much of a bad thing. Although you would hope to lock him up long term at that price, the likelihood of that happening is very slim. Source
I have a feeling that Colorado Avalanche observers and bloggers have this issue surrounded, but remain unsure if the Avs themselves have the truth surrounded. Could Edmonton grab Tyson Barrie for a combination of young blue and picks?
I am beginning to wonder. We wait.