The Oilers announced a trio of free agent signings on Wednesday, with one of them helping out their immediate roster, heading into training camp. Ladislav Smid signed a 2-year deal with the team (no financial terms disclosed) as a restricted free agent, while Gilbert Brule and Ryan Stone each signed a 1-year, two-way deal.
Smid, a new regular blueliner in the Oilers organization, played in 60 games last season, registering 11 helpers. He should be a regular fixture for the Oilers going forward.
Both Brule and Stone spent most of the 2009 season in the AHL, but both did see some limited action with in the NHL. Neither player is carrying much for expectations into the 2010 season.
The Oilers are battling some salary cap issues this summer, having 21 players signed on to their roster before Smid, at a salary cap hit of $54.4 million. That leaves only $2.4 million remaining for Smid and one more player to fill out their 23-man roster. Smid would likely be in the $1.5 million range for his new deal, which leaves a rookie or minor-league player enough room to jump in. Either Brule or Stone could be that player to fill in, as they both will likely be in the $600,000 range.
Smid is ranked pretty low on the defenseman totem poll for pool rankings. His 11 points only put him 156th among all defenders last season, but with a full season under his belt in 2010, he should be able to increase that sort of production. Still, I would wait for him to actually do something with his season before picking him up. He could be a very valuable mid-season pick-up.