The swashbuckler stays.
The good news is the Oilers have extended Anton Lander’s contract for another two years. While almost being shown the door earlier this year, he’s since battled his way through those tough times into becoming another fan favourite.
Some call him ‘the pirate’ on account of his buccaneer facial hair. Others call him ‘the swashbuckler,’ and he has swashbuckled his way to make $925,000 next year, and then $1.05 million in 2016-17. A pretty nice raise from his current $600,000. I’ve always thought of him more of a Musketeer.
Fans have applauded the signing and have even credited the often maligned GM Craig MacTavish with getting a good deal on a guy who is playing great.
And to think he was placed on waivers last October.
Only just six months ago, Lander struggled to accomplish much of anything. Jonathan Willis at the Edmonton Journal noted Lander had "squandered his opportunity." Back then, most fans were saying 'Thanks for coming out, but no thanks.'
Today many fans regard him as a fundamental part of the team. Or, at least, a face they’d hate to see thrashing us in a different jersey.
Lander has 6 goals and 12 assists in 34 games, and we expect his production to trend upward.
You can add Lander to a lengthy list of Oilers we are not prepared to part with. For good reason. He has worked his way into becoming a great hockey player and we got a deal on him.
However it’s all very easy to sing the praises of guys like Anton Lander, and Derek Roy, and Teddy Purcell, not to mention all the young superstars, and demand contracts to lock them in place.
The much harder question is this: What moves do you make to acquire the heavy defenseman this team desperately needs?