The Edmonton Oilers have signed center Brad Moran to a one-year contract. Moran is 31 years old, only 5'11'', and has only eight career NHL games to his credit. He's not a prospect. That said, his last four seasons have all been very successful in lesser leagues. In both 2006-07 and 2007-08, Moran played for the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, scoring 165 points in 162 regular season and playoff games. Moran was one of the top two scorers on the team in both seasons and was also in the top five in plus/minus. After the 2007-08 season, Moran left for Europe and spent two seasons with Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League. Moran was again one of the top two scorers on the team in both season, scoring 42 points in 55 regular season games in 2008-09 and 40 points in 55 games in 2009-10.
He's not a prospect, but he's got some skill. He's also the second very good tweener signed in the last several days and, much like Alexandre Giroux, Moran should push the young players in camp to earn their way on to the NHL roster. Whatever the result in camp, this signing is great news for fans of the Oklahoma City Barons who will have another very capable player on their roster, be it Moran or one of the young rookies.
Although the terms of Moran's deal haven't yet been disclosed, he's coming back to North America after two successful seasons in Sweden so it seems likely that this deal will either be a one-way contract or a two-way contract that pays him very well at the AHL level. It would seem, then, that the Oilers are serious about spending in order to put a better AHL club on the ice than they were able to a year ago. Given the lack of activity at the NHL level, I think I know where some of that money is coming from. This signing gives the Oilers forty-three NHL contracts, seven short of the fifty player maximum.