Oilers Re-sign Nikita Nikitin.

The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly re-signed defenseman Nikita Nikitin to a two-year, $9 million contract. 

Nikita Nikitin gets two-year deal with the Oilers.

Nikita Nikitin gets two-year deal with the Oilers.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers acquired Nikitin’s rights from the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this month. To complete the deal, they’ve sent the Jackets a fifth-round pick.

 $4.5 million per season is a considerable raise for Nikitin, who earned $2.14 million per season on his previous contract. While a sizable (6’4″, 223 lbs) mobile defenseman with a good shot, Nikitin’s not particularly physical and must work on his defensive game.

The Oilers are obviously feeling desperate about bolstering their blueline. There’s no other reason to explain this overpayment. At least it’s only a two-year deal. If they felt the need to pay Nikitin that much to stay out of the UFA market,  it certainly doesn’t say much for their chances of attracting skilled defensive depth via free agency or trades this summer. 

4 Comments

  1. It is an over payment, but the term is good. All this is, is a stop gap deal. In two years Nurse, Klefbom, and Marincin will be well seasoned and Ference, Petry, and Schultz with who ever else they add this offseason the Oilers defence will be set.

  2. There’s gonna be a lot of pissed off gm’s cuz of this contract. $4.5 per is way to high. At least it’s only 2 years but Nikitin shoulda got around $3.5 per. Agree disagree??

  3. I think people underestimate what Nikitin brings to the table. Is he worth $4.5 million? No, but he is a better d-man than people give him credit for. I think $3.5 is too low, but he probably should have been around $3.8 – $3.9 million. Edmonton probably knows that they are not a highly desirable destination so have thus over payed a bit. I do think that people will start to take notice of his play style a bit more in a larger market, so we’ll see how things look two years from now and he’ll probably be a sought after rental player as his contract nears an end and if the Oilers haven’t made a push for playoff success at that point.

  4. Of course it’s an overpay. But term was the key.
    Interesting people in the media comparing to the Gaborik deal (front loaded and unlikely to be as effective as a 38-39 yr old when he gets 3 mil/season), but not the Matt Greene deal.

    Greene just got a 4 year, 10 million dollar contract. Nikitin is not 2.5 mil/yr better, but he can fill a 3-4 role on a bad team like Edmonton, and a 4-5 on a good team. Greene is a 6-7 on a good team. I would say Nikitin 1-1.5 mil/yr better than Greene, but LA paid less because of a term that is twice as long. For Edmonton, not much of an overpay relative to the Greene deal.