Ken Holland took a fairly conservative approach on his first-ever Free Agent Frenzy day as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. He filled the role of backup goalie with veteran Mike Smith, brought back a familiar face in Alex Chiasson, and a took a flyer on one of his old Red Wings prospects in Tomas Jurco.
At a glance, that’s a pretty underwhelming free agency period. It’s hard to imagine the Oilers a better team this year than they were last with the signings made this week. Of course, there’s still time for Holland to make some much-needed additions to the roster. Given some of the ugly contracts handed out on July 1 and Edmonton’s needs all over the roster, I don’t mind Holland being patient and waiting for free agents to fall between the cracks.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday SUNDAY EDITION question. Which leftover under-the-radar free agents should the Oilers be interested in adding? The Oilers still have a shade under $4 million in cap room left to work with this summer which could be enough room for a solid player or a couple of bargain bin additions.
Here are some names who make sense to me…
- Ryan Dzingel: Dzingel appeared poised to cash in on a big payday this summer until he had a disappointing playoff run with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite only scoring one goal in nine games with the Blue Jackets in the playoffs, Dzingel still scored 26 goals last season between Columbus and Ottawa. He’s a speedy and versatile forward who would fit perfectly in Edmonton’s top six. I would look to give him a little more term on a lower annual salary because he’s a very good buy-low, bounce-back candidate.
- Michael Ferland: Much like with Dzingel, I assumed the Oilers would be priced out of Ferland’s market a few weeks ago. But we’re a week into free agency and Ferland doesn’t have a new deal. He’s coming off of a solid 17-goal season with the Carolina Hurricanes and brings grit and bite to his game. Like with Dzingel, I would do a longer term deal if it meant a smaller cap hit.
- Pat Maroon: Maroon is a perfect buy-low option for the Oilers, who don’t have much room to work with. While Dzingel and Ferland would be a challenge to fit under the cap, Maroon shouldn’t cost the Oilers much as he’s coming off of a 10-goal season. Still, as we know, Maroon is a solid player who can play up and down the lineup and already has chemistry with Connor McDavid.
- Derick Brassard: Just a few years ago Derick Brassard was a very good second line centre in the NHL. Over the past couple of years, though, his production has fallen off a cliff. Brassard has played for four different teams in the past two years and put up just 23 points last season. He’s a fair gamble to take on a one-year deal.
- Brian Boyle: While Edmonton’s biggest need is more skill in the top-six, they could also use a very good third-line centre who can kill penalties. Boyle is known mostly for his defensive game, but he can also chip in offensively. He scored 18 goals last year between New Jersey and Nashville, adding a lot of value to both teams as a power play option.
What say you, Nation? Which leftover free agents should the Oilers be interested in signing? Is there anybody worthwhile, or should they save the free cap room for a trade down the road?