The first day of unrestricted free agency is a uneasy one, especially if you're a downtrodden Oilers fan. The Oilers do not do well in free agency and tend to get swept along in the flood of really bad signings, but even worse, really bad offers that are never accepted. The feeling is akin to a car wreck in slow motion, your buddy in beer goggles, rubbernecking an accident, boarding a plane in an ice storm and the need to use the bathroom in the middle of an enormous crowd all rolled into one.
The majority of Oilers' fans, on the other hand, are excited. They would like to see the Oilers sign Brian Boyle, Steve Ott, Willie Mitchell, Steve Downie, Michael Del Zotto and Mike Rupp. Reading through Twitter makes one consider if somewhere deep in the column there's a lemming with a GPS and a spreadsheet telling everyone around him, "Guys, you realize we're all still heading over that cliff up there, right?"
The media has been selling Jeff Petry, pumping up Mark Fayne and Anton Stralman, deriding Christian Ehrhoff, and nakedly ogling Steve Ott. It's going to be a long day.
Craig MacTavish has a mountain to climb - he needs to add five players - three of which must be able to handle the heavy lifting for a team simply lacking in real NHL players (© 2007).
So what's the best case scenario?
Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Ales Hemsky,and Tom Gilbert
What's the worst case scenario?
Steve Ott, Olli Jokinen, Mike Rupp, Willie Mitchell, and Jeff Petry traded for Johnny Boychuk
Which scenario is more likely?
It's worth remembering that over the last three off-seasons, the Oilers have passed on the opportunity to add the players the actually needed deep into July, and at times in August and September. Simply by waiting and passing on the crazy early July contracts, they had the chance to sign Anton Stralman, Tom Gilbert, Ron Hainsey, Daniel Winnik, Mikhail Grabovski and Leo Komorov to incredibly cheap contracts. Do they have the patience to do the same this off-season?
Join us throughout the day to offer your comments and opinions on the moves as the happen. Copper & Blue Staff will be active throughout the "Frenzy" to discuss the day's events and we'll have posts relating to new signings as the news breaks.