Oilers Sign Chris VandeVelde and Alex Plante

Linus Omark: expert photobomber.

The numbers aren't out yet, but the Oilers have announced via Twitter that both Chris VandeVelde and Alex Plante have been signed to one-year contracts. Both players received qualifying offers in late June, but both let the deadline pass without signing. I thought that was a defensible decision by Plante, and a really poor one by VandeVelde. As such, I tend to see Edmonton's decision to sign Plante, who came in at #23 in our Top 25 Under 25, as reasonable and their decision to sign VandeVelde as poor.

The Oilers really didn't need VandeVelde. At twenty-five years old, he's already in his prime, and yet he still hasn't established himself in the NHL; honestly, he hasn't even established himself as a player that can deliver half-way respectable offense at the AHL level. Even if you were inclined to use that contract spot on an AHL player, choosing a forward instead of a defender doesn't make a lick of sense when you look at Oklahoma City's depth chart:

Magnus Paajarvi - Josh Green - Teemu Hartikainen
Dane Byers - Mark Arcobello - Tyler Pitlick
Curtis Hamilton - Anton Lander - Philippe Cornet
Antti Tyrvainen - Chris VandeVelde - Tanner House
Kristians Pelss - Ryan Martindale - Toni Rajala
Cameron Abney

Dan Ringwald - Colten Teubert
Martin Marincin - Alex Plante
Brandon Davidson - Taylor Fedun
Teigan Zahn

There was really no particular need to add to the forward group here. The club had plenty of options up front, and especially at center. Both Tyler Pitlick and Tanner House played that position in the past, including parts of last season. Contrast that with the defense where inexperience reigns, especially on the left side. It seems to me that the Oilers would have been better off signing Plante and adding a second veteran defender instead of a veteran fourth-line center. Regardless, it'll be pretty interesting to see the numbers on these deals.

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