Latest on the Oilers – April 13, 2013.

Will the Edmonton Oilers re-sign Sam Gagner to a long-term deal? Is Ryan Jones on the outs? Can the current management improve their depth?

Will Sam Gagner get a long-term deal from the Oilers?

Will Sam Gagner get a long-term deal from the Oilers?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis examines the options facing the Oilers in their contract talks this summer with RFA Sam Gagner, which are, ” Sign him to a one-year deal, and defer a permanent decision until next year. Sign him to a two- or three-year deal, buying some free agent seasons but not committing long-term.  Sign him to a long-term pact that locks him into the team’s core.” Ultimately, Willis believes they should avoid locking him into a long-term deal.

Jim Matheson reports on Ryan Jones’ decline this season, claiming the Oilers offered him to the Ottawa Senators in a failed effort to land Ben Bishop.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner is a restricted free agent this summer, but with arbitration rights, which could make negotiations more delicate. I think Gagner wants a long-term deal, and I could see his agent pushing for six years at $4.5-$5 million per season. The Oilers would prefer a two-three year bridge deal, probably around $4 million per. He could receive an offer sheet, but if he or the Oilers file for arbitration, he becomes ineligible to get one. If they don’t go the arbitration route, however, I doubt he gets an offer sheet, as to date in today’s salary cap era, only one player (Dustin Penner) has been successfully signed to one. As for Jones, he’s a UFA this summer and I don’t expect he’ll be re-signed.

SPORTSNET.CA: Mark (no relation) Spector questions if the Oilers current management can deliver the depth this off-season the young roster currently lacks and desperately needs if it is to finally become a playoff club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers fans have been patient with current GM Steve Tambellini and his rebuilding plan, but that patience is coming to an end. Fans are starting to boo the team, the local media is starting to question the club’s direction, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an Oilers blogger supporting the current management.

Yes, they’ve done well drafting and (for the most part) developing young talent, but they’ve been lacking skilled depth in veteran talent for far too long. Part of the problem is the city of Edmonton isn’t a prime destination for free agent talent, but in recent years, the Oilers tried to bring in experience and character on the cheap, and the results speak for themselves. With over $52 million invested in 16 players next season, they won’t have a lot of cap space to bring in the depth they need, especially if Gagner is re-signed, unless they go the amnesty buyout route with Ales Hemsky or even Shawn Horcoff.

Ultimately, I don’t see Tambellini losing his job this year, but the moves he makes in the off-season will determine how long he remains in the job.


  1. The new arbitration system will make things interesting. I think we’ll see less offer sheets and more players walking away from arbitration decisions to test the open market. I also think the new arbitration rules will deter teams from going to arbitration, as a judgment that lowballs what the player would receive on the open market may cause the player to walk away.

  2. The Oilers other issue is their focus on offense … they are loaded, where is the grit, the own zone play, the people to do the dirty work?

  3. I disagree a little bit. I don’t think they have done that great a job as people think on their drafting. They should have drafted Landeskog over the Nuge and Murray over Yakupov. Then Landeskog could have been their power forward along with Hall, Paarvi, Gagne, Hemskey and Eberle as their other top six. Then they could build around Murray, Schultz, Petry and Smid on the back end. Oh and Dubnyk is not the answer going forward.

    Maybe they should offer up Yakupov to the Kings for Bernier and Muzzin.

    • I agree….Oilers look at TSN mock draft the night before the draft and say…..ok, we will pick him.

      • hahaha, ya it seems like it.

  4. I’ve watched the Oilers several times this season and, in many games, they skate miles with little return for their efforts and they just seem lost in their own end. I think the coaching has a lot to do with it – as a Leaf fan, I compare the team in its own end under Ron Wilson to this year under Randy Carlyle – night and day.
    The Oilers have incredible potential but they need a change at the top and behind the bench.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I also agree they should have drafted landeskog over Hopkins. Not sure I agree Murray over yakupov, but time will tell.

      • I thought Murray over Yakupov based on their needs. They needed a D more than another soft RW.

  5. Oilers are about where the Kings were a few years ago. The Kings went thru horrible years, had high draft choices and accumulated a lot of really good young players. They made the playoffs a couple of years but were knocked out in first round. They then took some risks and traded away high draft picks and young players to get the vets they needed ( Richards, Carter, Penner) , maybe they overpaid by giving up two #1’s, Johnson, Schenn,, Simmonds, etc but time will tell, they won a cup and that just may make it worth it. Question I have is will Oilers use their #1 pick which most likely will be 10th to 14th in pecking order to acquire that Vet to get them over the hump or will they just draft another young player ?

    • may make it worth it? doesn’t matter now if they tank for the next three years, winning the cup is the ultimate. Time has already been told.
      The oilers need to trade Yakupov and their first to whom ever gets the first pick . They can then draft Jones and get back maybe a third. They then look for a couple of veterans languishing in the AHL to add some experience because they will not attract much during free agency. They could make a few trades to get those guys but what do they give up in return.

  6. Oilers have a ton of work to do this summer.


    They got some holes to fill if most of those players leave.

    • They need to keep Gagner and Paajarvi, the others not so much.

  7. That patience is coming to an end? Really? I have been an Oiler fan since their first season in the WHA (Alberta Oilers), and while I would much prefer to see them in the playoffs, not a single educated Oiler fan that I know of thought they would jump from 30th place to 16th or higher with the addition of two rookies (Yak/Schultz) and a years experience.

    As one of those fans, I consider finishing 20th or higher a great success, 10 spots in one year. I do believe that many fans, like myself, do expect the team to make the playoffs next year, and until proven wrong I am pretty sure I will be pleased next year.

    It is annoying when the media makes assumptions based on how they think the fans “should” feel. This is the same mentality that spent weeks bellowing to the world that the fans wouldnt come back after the lockout……..we saw how accurate that was.

  8. I disagree Spec. Tambellini will lose his job very soon. The Calgary loss was the last straw. The coach is too new to blame.

    • In fact, TSN reports he just did lose his job.