— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 1, 2014
Coming off a couple of bigger moves early in free agency the Oilers have now added Keith Aulie to their blue line. Aulie played for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season - dressing in 15 games and recording one assist - but wasn't given a qualifying offer making him a free agent. Enter the Oilers who got his name on a new contract this morning for one-year and $800k.
Aulie is a big body, listed at 6'6" and 228 lbs, but the reality is he's nothing more than a depth defenceman, a number seven on a good day, so I'm a little surprised the Oilers would bother with a deal like this right now. There are lots of Aulies out there every summer, take your time find the best one, there's no need to rush into anything. The Oilers clearly think differently.
As I see it, the upside with this deal is that Aulie's existence potentially pushes Darnell Nurse down one more spot on the team's depth chart, and all the way back to Sault Ste. Marie follwoing training camp next fall. That could very well be Aulie's most significant contribution to the Oilers next season.