I've been patiently awaiting news that Sheldon Souray has officially been bought out, knowing full well that he was not the only NHLer to be bought out this week. When I look at who the Edmonton Oilers have bought out and will buy out, it makes me wonder how we can sometimes get excited at picking up a player who was recently bought out by another team. Enter defenseman Cam Barker. Barker a product of the Medicine Hat Tigers hockey system started his NHL career being selected third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2004 NHL entry draft, behind only Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. In 2010 Barker was traded to the Minnesota Wild, and that is where things really went downhill. This past season in 52 games played, Eager had 1 goal and 4 assists.
The Wild fans quickly soured on Barker, well if what we hear from our Hockey Wilderness counterparts is to be believed, and honestly why shouldn't it. Barker was bought out. Yesterday. I do still think myself a glass is half full kind of person, and sometimes another man's trash is another man's treasure. I do feel that the Oilers did well picking up Ryan Jones from the Nashville Predators who were said to buy the winger out. This may not be horrible, Eager may still have a lot of games and grit in him, this is just not the best way for a player to be introduced to a new club.
Barker was bought out with a price tag of $1.083 from his final $3.25 million on his 3 year deal signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009. Today, Barker signed a one year $2.25 million deal. In two days, Barker has now made $5.5 over the next year. You wish the Oilers had picked him up on waivers if they had this kind of intention to sign him.
Looking around twitter and the rest of the internet, I do see that several fans are excited about this signing and believe that the Oilers have now added some toughness. I hope that these fans are right, I hope that this works out well for the Oilers, of course I do I'm an Oilers fan after all. I hope that Barker hits Edmonton and turns it around, especially since he was bought out and he sees just how close to playing in Europe because he had to, he might have been. At the same time, maybe he wasn't close to having no other options, he was signed on the first day of free agency. Maybe there is something that some of us just aren't seeing.
No, the sky is not falling, the Oilers may have added some toughness to their blueline, but we have to wait and see how this team comes together over the summer.
Kittens don't bark, I hope that Barker can still be a big dog, at least for one year with the Oilers.