Edmonton Oilers Free Agent Kotalik Signs With The New York Rangers

Jonathan WilliamsCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2009

MONTREAL- MARCH 10:  Ales Kotalik #21 of the Edmonton Oilers skates with play stopped during the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on March 10, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Canadiens defeated the Oilers 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Earlier this afternoon Ales Kotalik, the trade deadline signing of the Edmonton Oilers, was signed by the New York Rangers for three years at $3 million per season. 

This loss while not a devastating one does bring to mind the loss of gritty fourth line winger Curtis Glencross. He left the Oilers last season for the Calgary Flames.  For some fans the loss of Glencross was a big mistake that took away something the team sorely needed.

On this occasion Kotalik seemed to be meshing well in the second line with Sam Gagner and Patrick O'Sullivan. Whether that success was going to continue is debatable of course, but there is no mistaking that his exit leaves the team short on goal scoring once again.

The Oilers major reason for taking the risk at signing Dany Heatley seems to be predicated simply on the need for someone to put the puck in the net. The team has no snipers except a defensemen in Sheldon Souray.

The loss of Kotalik sees the Oilers down three every day players from last season with only one player, Nikolai Khabibulin, in return.

It definitely leaves one to wonder what exactly the Oilers planned for this off season.  So far one thing it has not done is bring the toughness into the team, which is what the Oilers said they wanted.

Minor Moves 

While of less fanfare, the Oilers also made a trade tonight sending minor leaguer Tim Sestito to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for some to be announced conditional draft picks.

This trade appears to strictly be about the numbers of contracts the team has. T hey are looking at changing the dynamic of the team in Springfield, which was a complete disaster last season.