EDMONTON OILERS IN GREAT SHAPE FOR SUMMER OF 2017 | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours


Every summer players come and go. Assets get traded, players re-sign with their teams and the unlucky ones don't re-sign anywhere and sit for three months looking and hoping for another opportunity in the NHL. This summer was busy. Next summer could be a mad-house.

Forget for a second that in 2017 the NHL will be adding a new Las Vegas-based franchise and thus holding an expansion draft that will shake up every NHL team in some way, shape, or form. There's a great deal of teams that have key players, both in their depth and superstar positions that could be on the move. Fortunately, the Edmonton Oilers are not one of them.

Edmonton's 2017 UFA List:

  • Andrew Ference
  • Matt Hendricks
  • Anton Lander
  • Jonas Gustavsson
  • Mark Fraser

There's not a name among the list that makes much of a dent as far as results will go for Edmonton moving forward. In fact, it's likely none of the players listed above will be Oilers come 2017-18. The closest thing to a tough decision might be Matt Hendricks. Then again, by the end of 2017, he'll be one of those ageing players at 36, looking for NHL work with prospects peaking up ready to take his place. 

Edmonton's 2017 RFA List:

  • Nail Yakupov
  • Leon Draisaitl
  • Zack Kassian
  • Joey LaLeggia
  • Jujhar Khaira
  • Mitchell Moroz
  • Griffin Reinhart
  • Bogdan Yakimov
  • Dillon Simpson
  • Jere Sallinen
  • Kyle Platzer
  • Tyler Pitlick
  • Taylor Beck
  • Eetu Laurikainen
  • David Musil
  • Jordan Oesterle

I've broken the RFA list up into two categories — critical decisions and not-so-critical decisions. Critical decisions include Nail Yakupov, Leon Draisaitl, Griffin Reinhart and Jordan Oesterle. Not-so-critical decisions include everyone else. Zack Kassian got some consideration on the critical side, but really, most of that came due to his style of play and name recognition. At the end of the day, if Kassian wasn't re-signed it would be a small speedbump at best (barring, of course, a massive season in 2016-17).

In some instances, the not-so-critical decisions are also in this category because many of the players on the list are easy contracts to accomplish on the Oilers side. These players are prospects with elements like qualifying offers and Edmonton doesn't need to compete with anyone else to get these players signed. They simply need to decide if they want to.

Oilers Compared to Other Teams in the NHL

Not every team has big name players to worry about, but some teams are going to see major shakeups. San Jose has Joe Thorton, Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau. St. Louis has Kevin Shattenkirk. Boston has Brad Marchand. Dallas has Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya. Florida has Jaromir Jagr. Pittsburgh has Chris Kunitz... just to name a few.

I haven't even touched the surface of some of the RFA contracts coming up, which include Ryan Johanson, Sam Bennett, Jonathan Huberdeau, Tyler Johnson, Tyler Toffoli, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alex Galchenyuk and more. These players won't necessarily be leaving their teams, but the raises they'll demand may require movement in other areas of their team's rosters. Edmonton doesn't have this issue (with the exception of maybe Leon Draisaitl).

The point here is, Edmonton is in pretty good shape when it comes to having the core of its players under control. Yes, there will be some large contracts handed out early to the likes of Connor McDavid and Chiarelli is going to have take steps carefully to afford this roster, but the ball is in Chiarelli's court. He's in a good position to make it work to not only keep his roster, but take advantage of other rosters bound for a change.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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