With about one month left until the 2010-11 NHL regular season is about to begin, I feel the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup is almost set. The key word here is almost. I would still like to see the Oilers get one more third line checking forward–an experienced player that takes on more of a defensive role, who can win the odd faceoff and play a key role on the penalty kill.
At the beginning of the week, I highlighted the free agents left who I thought were cheap, and could fit well in an Oiler uniform. I isolated six remaining free agents.
Unfortunately, two of them signed this week with other clubs. Ryan Potulny (who I would have liked the Oilers to re-sign) was signed by Chicago and Jeff Halpern was signed by Montreal.
That leaves four more free agents available from my list. Steve Tambellini, please take notes.
1) Dean McAmmond–This former Oiler started his career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1992, and was later traded to Edmonton with Igor Kravchuk for Joe Murphy. McAmmond, who also played with the Flames on two separate occasions, has played with nine NHL franchises. He has 14 career shorthanded points and is a career +36. At 37, I feel McAmmond has a year or two left. As a member of the New Jersey Devils last season, he notched 17 points in 62 games in limited ice time. Learning the defensive style of game from Jacques Lemaire is an asset. The Devils gave up 93 fewer goals than the Oilers last year. In 2009-10, McAmmond made $500,000.
2) Brendan Morrison– The Oilers could use some valuable veteran leadership in the dressing room. Morrison has that from a solid 12 year NHL career. The Pitt Meadows, British Columbia native had four twenty goal seasons in Vancouver, but hasn’t really felt home as of late as he has bounced around in Dallas, Anaheim and Washington. The 35 year-old made $1.5 million in 2009-10.
3) Richard Park–Only the second South Korean born player to play in the NHL, Park has 13 years of NHL experience. He has 20 career shorthanded points in his career, including four shorthanded goals for the Islanders in 2007-08 alone. Like Morrison, Park is a former Canuck and Duck. He also spent three years in the Minnesota Wild organization when the club had a defense first philosophy. In 2009-10, Park made $800,000.
4) Kyle Wellwood–The former CHL Sportsman of the Year understands the pressures of playing in Canada, having played with the Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs previously. At 27, Wellwood has not yet entered his prime, and could be a valuable faceoff man for the Oilers on the third line. Wellwood has also played in 22 playoff games, notching 13 points– valuable stats in case the Oilers play come late April. In 2009-10, Wellwood earned $1.2 million with Vancouver.