Friday, July 20, 2007

Last Big Piece of the Oil Well

The Oilers managed to put pen to paper with young defenseman, Joni Pitkanen, on Friday. Pitkanen rounds out a blueline which should give the Oil faithful a little more hope in the coming season. Pitkanen signed a 1-year, $2.4 million deal, which will let both sides avoid arbitration in the coming weeks. As outlined earlier, the Oilers were only really waiting on Pitkanen to sign before they had a full squad that they could line-up on opening night (October 4, home to the Sharks).

Pitkanen was the key to the deal at the beginning of the month for the Oilers. He'll bring some offensive skill to the table, especially since he'll have Sheldon Souray on his side as well. The Edmonton blueline has gotten to be something to worry about for the opposition when taking penalties.

This signing leaves the Oilers well under the cap and should give them plenty of room come the trade deadline, if they find that they are in the mix for the playoffs or on the cusp of making them. The Oilers have roughly $42 million set aside for the line-up this year, which should be good enough to compete in the heavy Northwest Division.

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