Tuesday, 3 July 2012
07/03/12 Odd & Ends: Hordichuk, Suter, Parise, Smyth
We're still waiting on the two biggest UFA names to choose their new homes. On the Tuesday edition of Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer, Steve Tambellini was asked if the Oilers were in pursuit of Ryan Suter.
If you didn't hear the interview, listen here. Tambellini indicated that he doesn't feel that either Suter or Parise will be signing in Canada, which means that barring something unforeseen the Oilers are out of the mix. It's unfortunate that Suter, in particular, will be bringing his talents elsewhere, but it's not the end of the world. The number being thrown around for these two players are in the $100 million range, with heavily front-loaded deals. $100 million spread over 12 years is still an $8.33 million cap hit, which is rather unwieldy for any team; let alone one with four budding stars on it and more on the way.
Despite the fact that the Oilers missed out on Suter, all is not lost. If Shea Weber signs another one year deal in Nashville he will be a UFA after next season. The BC native shouldn't have too many issues with playing North of the border, and it may in fact be a selling point for him. Stauffer also mentions later in Tuesday's show that he feels the Oilers would be a very strong candidate to land Weber in the future, and that he could be the final piece of the puzzle.
The contracts of Andy Sutton and Ryan Whitney end after next year, which will open up $5.75 million in cap space. Even at an $8 million cap hit for Weber the Oilers would be spending only $2.25 million more if they allowed Sutton and Whitney to walk. The wrinkle is that Ladi Smid will need a new deal as well, but when you could potentially land a perennial Norris Trophy candidate, you find a way to make it work.
- The Oilers re-signed Darcy Hordichuk once they knew the price that a player like Jordin Tootoo would command on the open market. Detroit ended up giving him $1.9 million per season, which the Oilers wisely declined to do. Coming off a career-high 30-point season, Tootoo brings a lot more to the table than does Hordichuk. Hordichuk has just 41 points in 538 games, while Tootoo has collected 125 in 486 games. The general feeling is that Hordichuk will be more utilized by Ralph Krueger than he was under Renney, but even under ideal circumstances this player type is not needed, and takes up a roster spot and contract on the Oilers' list. It will be extremely uncommon for Hordichuk to actually affect the outcome of a game, and therefore Edmonton's position in the standings.
- Having touched on Zach Parise earlier, it must be said what a breath of fresh air this Free Agent Frenzy has been in Edmonton. Not only was the team heavily involved in the race for a big name UFA, but they won the race. And perhaps just as satisfying as that is the fact that Oilers fans don't have to worry about where Parise decides to play. There was a time when the Oilers would have been clamoring to sign every free agent because there were so many holes in the team, but at least now the big name forwards can decide not to sign in Edmonton without driving fans to drink.
- So far the only UFA forward of any consequence to sign in Edmonton was Ryan Smyth. With all the bitterness that was growing between the fans and Smyth because contract negotiations were drawing out, many of those same fans will be glad to have Smyth back. He still provides leadership, professionalism, some scoring, and can be used in every situation. Getting all that for a $2.25 million cap hit is a bargain, especially because a comparable player like Shane Doan will certainly get more somewhere. Smyth got $175,000 more than Todd Bertuzzi's annual cap hit, which was a contract a lot of fans and analysts pointed to for guidance. Could Smyth have gotten more money from another team? He probably could have. The fact that he wanted to play in Edmonton meant that he took the discount, but he's also coming off a five year deal that paid him $31,250,000. He won't have any trouble making the mortgage payment on time. This new contract is a good one for both sides, and it's good to have Smyth back.