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2018 Oilers’ Free Agency Recap: Day One

No cap space? No problem.

Los Angeles Kings v New York Islanders
The Oilers picked up a couple of forwards and defenceman Kevin Gravel
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Nearly six hours into free agency, the Oilers have made three signings.

They’re all pretty good, too.

Peter Chiarelli has next to zero cap space to work with. so any signings would have to be on a shoestring budget. So what’s in the bag?


It’s been nine years since the Oilers and Brodziak were last together. The St. Paul Alberta native comes back for a two year deal with an AAV of 1.15 million. Brodziak spent the last three years with the Blues, he put up 33 points in 2017-18. I wouldn’t expect Brodziak to put up 30 points on the fourth line in Edmonton, but Brodziak will bring some stability to the bottom six At 34, a two year deal might be a year long, but the Oilers solidify the 4C position. Two thumbs up.


I thought the Oilers would be well out of this race, what with Jim Bennning’s penchant for throwing wads of cash at bottom six players. Tobias Rieder agreed to a one year deal at 2MM with the Oilers. Did the allure of playing with Leon Draisaitl help coax Rieder back to the team that dealt him for Kale Kessy five years ago? Maybe. Just 25 points for Rieder between the Kings and Coyotes last season, but he’s got two seasons of 30+ prior. It’s nice having another NHL player to play at right wing. One year at two million, and the Oilers will retain his RFA rights at the season’s end. Two thumbs up, again.


With just 70 games played in the NHL, the 26 year old left shot defenceman comes to the Oilers on a one year deal after spending his career in the Kings organization. A fifth round selection in the 2010 draft, the 6’4” Gravel projects to be a depth addition to the left side of the defence. A one year deal for Kevin Gravel costs the Oilers 700K. It’s a low risk signing.


The Oilers signed three free agents today, it cost 3.85MM towards the cap in 2018-19. This leaves about 7MM left to sign Ryan Strome and Darnell Nurse. That is, unless Chiarelli is able to make some extra room by unloading a contract tomorrow.


Two decent signings and a dice roll on Kevin Gravel. I can handle that. Brodziak and Rieder are definitely going to see plenty of minutes and it didn’t break the bank. It’s a shame that the Oilers are up against the cap ceiling right now, but Peter Chiarelli had a good day in a vacuum today.

Now get ready for tomorrow.