A universal truth for Oilers fans right now is that there is no cap space. The Oilers have very little wiggle room. This lack of cap space has forced the Oilers to seek less prolific targets in free agency. There have been rumors swirling all week about which players the Oilers will look to acquire on July 1, 2018. And how much money they can afford to spend.
Chief among those targets was Kyle Brodziak. Reported to be a person of interest earlier in the week, many Oilers fans have been looking forward to the possible return of the former Oilers player.
Today, the Oilers signed the 34 year old centre to a two year contract. The first year will be a 1.1 million dollar cap hit and the second year will be 1.2 million pay day. This is most definitely a conservative contract for the first day of free agency. A smart move for the Oilers to set the parameters of what they can feasibly accomplish. (Please note I don’t say the Oilers are doing something smart very often.)
Brodziak returns to the team that drafted him 13 years ago after being traded to the Minnesota Wild 9 years ago. Most recently, Brodziak played for the St. Louis Blues. A potential fourth line centre for the Oilers, Brodziak has been touted as bringing veteran leadership and depth to the struggling Oilers organization. Brodziak has 287 points (123 goals and 164 assists) in 847 NHL games played.
Brodziak will not solve all of the Oilers issues, but he does have the potential to help mitigate the Oilers issues in fielding a bottom six. It’s particularly important that Brodziak have a contract which fits the Oilers cap space concerns. And for once the Oilers don’t seem to have added a 200k extra for no apparent reason. Whether or not Brodziak will be able to compete at an NHL level, or will be another Jusi Jokinen situation, will be determined when the Oilers return the ice in the fall.