directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Oilers sign rookie defensemen to 6 year 24 mil deal

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oilers sign rookie defensemen to 6 year 24 mil deal

Okay.. your probably wondering why am I posting this on a Blue Jackets blog. First let me explain what happened here.

The Edmonton Oilers just signed their rookie defensemen Tom Gilbert to a 6 year 24 million dollar deal. Gilber is a 4th round selection in the 2002 draft. He played 4 years of collegiate hockey and at 25 he's older for a rookie. As part of this deal the Oilers bought 4 years of unrestricted free agency which ultimately drove his price up.

Why is this important?

For one, this sets an early benchmark on what potential unrestricted free agents are going to get. Guys like Brian Campbell, Wade Redden, John Michael-Liles and Michal Rosival can all pretty much take what they were expecting and raise it by a mil per year.

Secondly, I think Joni Pitkanen just became "tradeable" for the Oil. Right now they have the following locked up in their defense:

Souray- $5.4 million
Gilbert - $4 million
Staios- $2.7 million
Greene- $1.150 million
Smid- $0.886 million

That's over 14 million without even singing Pitkanen and Grebeshkov.

We know Howson has experience with players from Edmonton. I think he just shot up the Jackets "most wanted" list with this move. If the Jackets do make a play though they will have to be prepared to shell out big bucks - Pitkanen as an RFA is going to want at least 5 mil per season. Howson would have to gamble a bit that he would regain the form that he had previously under Hithcock in Philly.

Here is an intersting group of stats I ran accross. Here was the average salary cap hit for all 30 NHL team's defenses last season:

ANA: 19.8
ATL: 11.2
BOS: 16.3
BUF: 12.7
CAR: 11.8
CGY: 15.1
CHI: 8.7
CLB: 6.7
COL: 12.3
DAL: 14.5
DET: 20.8
FLA: 12.4
LAK: 13.5
MIN: 14.5
MTL: 19.4
NAS: 10.9
NJD: 12.8
NYI: 9.4
NYR: 11.3
OTT: 15.4
PHI: 18.5
PHX: 17.9
PIT: 16.2
SJS: 11.8
STL: 15.4
TBL: 11.3
TOR: 18.1
VAN: 15.4
WAS: 10.9

Detroit was the highest but Edmonton will be right up there now.

Another storyline to keep your eye on.



BK said...

So Hainsey will go for what, $4.5 mil? But where does this put Hedja? He now has to be around $2.25 million.

Anonymous said...

Can't see Howson spending more than $3 mil for a second pair defenseman. But I'm sure there are other teams who would over pay him, figuring "he was 'stuck' on the Jackets" and will get better.

Good bye Ronnie.


Anonymous said...

Pitiful. The Ducks had practically more money on defense than we did playing on our roster at the end of the season.

Do they really have to wonder how we missed the playoffs.

Hainsey: #5 d man.

BK said...

Klesla $1.45 million
Westcott $1.1
Hedja $1.0
Tarnstrom $2.0
Hainsey $.9

There you go, #5

Anonymous said...

2nd Pair= top 4 d-man. Ron Hainsey is not a top 4 d man.

bk: What point are you trying to make by listing their salary?