Saturday, October 08, 2016

Oilers Nail Down Russell

The Edmonton Oilers didn't waste any time spending some of that extra cap space that they acquired in their trade last night, by signing unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell to a 1-year deal, reportedly worth $3.1 million.

The shot-blocking defenseman was sitting on a lot of offers, by the sound of things this summer, but must have been waiting for the Oilers to do something about Nail Yakupov (or something like it) for the player and the team to come to terms with a new deal.

The 29-year old split the 2016 season between Calgary and Dallas, playing in only 62 games and picking up 19 points and he certainly has some potential to be a pool worthy player, more so than last year, where he was on the bottom end of the spectrum.  Playing with some offensively gifted players is certainly going to boost his potential and his projections, where I have him early at the 30-point mark.

This signing will give the Oilers a little bit more credibility at the back, but Russell isn't quite known as the defensive anchor of a team, despite his shot-blocking ability.  He'll be able to help move the puck out of their zone, but that just doesn't figure to be enough.  We'll see.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Jordan Eberle 6.000 Andrej Sekera 5.500 Cam Talbot 4.167
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 6.000 Adam Larsson 4.167 Jonas Gustavsson 0.800
Milan Lucic 6.000 Kris Russell 3.100
Benoit Pouliot 4.000
Patrick Maroon 2.000
Leon Draisaitl 0.925
Connor McDavid 0.925
Mark Letestu 1.800 Oscar Klefbom 4.167
Zack Kassian 1.500 Mark Fayne 3.500
Anton Lander 1.238 Brandon Davidson 1.425
Darnell Nurse 0.863
Jesse Puljujarvi 0.925 Matthew Benning 0.925
Drake Caggiula 0.925
Anton Slepyshev 0.925
Iiro Pakarinen 0.725
Zach Pochiro 0.663
Matt Hendricks 1.850 Andrew Ference 3.250
Kris Versteeg PTO Eric Gryba PTO
Ryan Vesce PTO

Pool worthy, non-pool roster players, assumed roster fill-ins injured/retired cap hits, in the system

Salary CapHeading into Saturday's roster decisions, which one would assume they would be making, before the play the Canucks in preseason action on Saturday night, the Oilers are not very far away from being done.  The now 30-man roster they currently have at camp, as seen above, still has $3.9 million in cap space left, so that's not an issue.  Players can come and go without much consequence.  Ference will be looking like a season-long IR player, but the Oilers don't need much help yet, so he likely won't be hitting the LTIR for cap help, unless there is a mid-season spending spree.
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