The Edmonton Oilers announced that they signed veteran forward Adam Cracknell to a one-year two-way contract on Thursday morning. The move comes after about a week of speculation that the team was in talks with the forward.
The #Oilers have signed forward Adam Cracknell to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2020-21 season.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 10, 2020
The 35-year-old played with Kunlun Red Star of @khl_eng in 2019-20, scoring 10 goals & 14 assists in 52 games. pic.twitter.com/qQZ4dGPPo0
Cracknell spent this past season in the KHL where he 24 points in 54 games. A respectable number for a player of his age, but there is question as to why the Oilers felt like he was a player worth adding. He hasn’t been an NHL regular since the 2016/17 season, where he played 69 games with the Dallas Stars, and it is hard to believe there weren’t better targets out there for the same price.
It is also notable to bring up that this will be Cracknell’s second term with the Oilers. He was brought on during the 2015/16 season where he played a total of 8 games with Edmonton.
Cracknell will most likely spend the majority of this deal in Bakersfield and will add a veteran presence for the plethora of young players that the Oilers have percolating in the AHL. He will remain a call-up candidate for the bottom-six.
This acquisition doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I understand that they have a few players that won’t be returning to the AHL club, but Cracknell hasn’t shown NHL potential for the better part of four years. It seems strange that the Holland would seek out a middling 35-year old in the KHL to be a veteran presence.
Other than taking up one of the team’s 50 contracts, the signing is otherwise low-risk low-reward. I don’t expect Cracknell to have a renaissance season at 35 and he will most likely spend the entire year with Bakersfield.