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UFA Option: Cory Stillman


After an up and down season, Cory Stillman will hit the UFA market after Ottawa GM Bryan Murray was unable to sign him.

Stillman played in all situations for Carolina/Ottawa last season, averaging 13:45 at even strength, 1:05 shorthanded, and 4:07 on the powerplay. He averaged 2 points per 60 minutes of icetime at even strength, and 5.24 points/60 on the powerplay. He can play all three forward positions, at 6' 200lbs adds some size, although he plays a finesse game. With the exception of 2006-07, he's been a reliable 20-25 goal scorer, more through quality than quantity of shots. (He totaled 166 this past season).

At even strength last season, Stillman was playing the 3rd most difficult minutes of Ottawa forwards, so he is the kind of guy that can play against most anybody, although I wouldn't want to put him out in a power-vs-power matchup. When on the ice, Stillman's team averaged 2.27 GFON/60 and 2.50 GAON/60. He's a nice supplementary player, and if he were to be signed by the Oilers it would be as the winger on the second line.

On the powerplay, Stillman's team scored 6.62 GFON/60 and allowed 1.75 GAON/60, making him a high-risk, high-reward player, which I'm not convinced is a bad thing, especially for a second unit powerplay guy. It also wouldn't surprise me if switching teams (and strategies) midway through the season had a negative impact on Stillman's numbers. Shorthanded, his team allowed 6.32 GAON/60, which was a middling rate on a bad Carolina PK. I doubt he'd be a PK option for the Oilers.

Stillman is a nice enough player, and consistently underrated to the point where he's almost always an economy-signing by whoever gets him. However, I don't think that Stillman is a player of interest to the Oilers, for a couple of different reasons. He'd slot in on the second line, and could play tough-ish minutes, but he doesn't add shooting or physical play, two attributes that line desperately needs. Finally, at 35, he's not a long-term solution; he's a stop-gap. In other words, the kind of player who fits in nicely in a complementary role on a contending team. He should be a good signing, but not for Edmonton.