2012 NHL Free Agency Open Thread - Mr. Freakshow or Sunny Side of the Street?

TORONTO - APRIL 13: Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini awaits the announcement for the first overall pick during the NHL Draft Lottery Drawing at the TSN Studio April 13, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images for NHL)

That is a look we all know very well. That look has led to nothing but disaster since 2009. That's the look that's acquired Nikolai Khabibulin, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, and, ugh, Cam Barker. That's the look that's given Gilbert Brule double what he was worth and Nikolai Khabibulin and Cam Barker quadruple what they were worth. That's the look that's traded Kyle Brodziak for nothing, Dustin Penner for trinkets and Tom Gilbert for the most commonly-available type of defensemen in the NHL. That's the face that wrecked the dealings with Sheldon Souray.

That's the look the Oilers left in Edmonton when it came time to sign Justin Schultz, because when you're parading Taylor Hall, Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey and Kevin Lowe in front of a player, the last thing you want the kid to see is the furrowed brow of last place.

So what will it be this summer? More of the freakshow, or will Steve Tambellini finally stop making bad moves and give the Oilers a chance to win?

My wish list is relatively simple: Two forwards, two defenders, and a goalie.

I'll take Ryan Smyth & Daniel Winnik up front. There will be no signings of Jordin Tootoo. Please.

Edit: Step one, complete!

The defensive class is going to be all about Ryan Suter, Jason Garrison and Matt Carle. I don't think the Oilers will win on any of those three, but I'll settle for Matt Taormina and either Brett Clark on a one-year deal or a trade (where the Oilers aren't absolutely pillaged) for Andrej Sekera, Chris Butler or Jay Bouwmeester.

In goal, Scott Clemmensen, Erik Ersberg, or Vitaly Koval fit the bill. Do not try something cute like trade for Jonathan Bernier.

Other things of note:

  • Dallas has a ridiculous amount of cap space and an owner who wants to be competitive. Don't be surprised to see them get Sheldon Souray, Matt Carle, Shane Doan and Jiri Hudler or something similar to that.
  • Detroit needs so much help on defense now and their fans are acting like Ryan Suter is in the bag. If Detroit is still a free agent destination, Suter will sign and they'll snap up another high end defenseman relatively quickly.
  • Zach Parise is going to get a pile of money from the Penguins. He'll get Justin Schultz-like treatment from the Wild
    .
  • Columbus is going to have to deal Rick Nash as soon Parise signs. Nash won't go back there, but Howson is still asking the world for him. He should have the Wild, Leafs and Flyers on speed dial if they all miss out on Parise.
  • I mentioned Taromina as a player I'd like the Oilers to sign and Souray as someone the Stars will target. I think those two are the bargains available this summer.
  • The Flames had nine defensemen on one-way contracts. They have to deal at least two of them and that's going to happen this week.
  • Like Rick Nash, Roberto Luongo is going somewhere, and should move as soon as Parise and Nash move. When the desperate teams turn away from forward, Mike Gillis should have a whole bunch of trade partners for Luongo.

Let's bet back to the Oilers: will it be more of Mr. Freakshow? Or the Sunny Side of the Street? Who are your targets for the week?

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