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Tom Gilbert, 6yrs, 24 million

Tom Gilbert was signed by the Oilers today to a 6-yr, 24 million dollar contract. Other players recently signed in similar dollars & years range :

CGY - Robyn Regehr - 20mil/5yrs (4)
CHI - Brent Seabrook - 10.5mil/3yrs (3.5)
COL - Brett Clark - 7mil/2yrs (3.5)
MIN - Brent Burns - 14.2mil/4yrs (3.55)
MIN - Nick Schultz - 21mil/6yrs (3.5)
SJ - Matt Carle - 13.75mil/4yrs (3.44)
STL - Barrett Jackman - 14.4mil/4yrs (3.6)
VAN - Kevin Bieksa - 11.25mil/3yrs (3.75)

Most of those guys compare fairly well with what Gilbert is, but most also have more of a track record. This signing isn't as bad as I first thought, but still isn't great. Worst of all, between the Oilers commitment to Staios and Souray, we're looking at 12.2 million a year in cap hit for the next three years. That's basically 25% of the cap on three defenceman, none of whom is really established as a top-pairing guy. My guess for next season:

Gilbert-Grebs-Staios-Souray-Smid-Greene-Roy, with the young guys and one of Allan Rourke/T.J. Kemp in the minors in case of injury. So long, Joni Pitkanen, we hardly knew you. (As a further note, it is a really, really, good bet that my prediction of Pitkanen going in a 1-for-3 trade comes true at the draft).