This summer is, without a doubt, the summer of Steve.
Steve Tambellini, that is.
This is the first summer in more than a decade in which Kevin Lowe isn't the guy calling all of the shots for the Edmonton Oilers.
Tambellini, the Oilers' new general manager, has done well in his rebuild, reshaping the roster, coaching staff, and even the front office. Tambellini also hasn't overpaid anyone. He has done well in trades.
With that being said, the Oilers faced two arbitration cases in the last week. One was forward Gilbert Brule, who made strides last season on the Oilers' roster.
Brule was a bright spot in a rough year. He is finally developing into that player the Blue Jackets thought they were picking at the sixth overall spot a few year back.
Many Oilers bloggers and fans figured Brule would be awarded somewhere around $2.5 million per season, a vast overpayment. The Oilers probably would have walked away from that contract. Brule understood that and wanted to remain an Oiler. So the two sides met up and agreed on a contract right in the middle.
Brule signed a short-term, two-year deal that will pay Gilbert $1.85 million per season.
This is a very good move for the Oilers. It gives them another good forward at a fair price.
Brule is a smaller guy, but he is able to play a "big boy" game, throwing hits and not getting tossed around. On top of that, Brule is also a guy that has a great shot to him, and has some finish to him. Brule could be a very good second line winger, or third line center for the Oilers this season.
Brule is still developing and is another good, young forward for Oilers rebuild. Brule will be a good forward for the Oilers this coming season.
On to the Rumors
Lets start with Andrew Cogliano.
The Avs made a call to the Oilers last week asking what it would take to get Cogliano. Obviously the Oilers would hate to deal Cogliano to a rival, What does Colorado have that is of value for Cogliano? I think a Ryan Stoa for Andrew Cogliano deal could be in the works. Stoa is a young center and would add more depth to OKC this season. Not only would he add depth, but he would also be a third line center for the Oilers in coming seasons. Stoa has a little offense to him and could be a good pickup for the Oilers.
Sheldon Souray will be seeing doctors again next week in hopes of proving to any doubters that he is healthy. Both Souray and the Oilers hope that seeing him healthy will get some teams interested in the Top Four defender. Tambellini has already said Souray, who is ready for a trade, will not play in Edmonton this season. I think as we get closer to camp, we will see a trade come along for Souray. The return? Who knows. And honestly at this point, who cares.
The Oilers were after forward Arron Asham a few weeks ago, and according to ESPN.com rumor central, the Oilers are still in the hunt. I think at this point though, the Oilers have turned elsewhere for third line help and have moved on from Asham. My guess is that Asham ends up signing with the Sharks right before training camp begins.
According to a New Jersey media source, the Oilers have had talks with UFA center John Madden. This is a very interesting move for the Oilers to consider. The Oilers have known for years that a third line center is a dire need on this roster. Madden would add Three Cup rings to the Oilers, and would be their first line, penalty killing center and their second best faceoff man (right behind Horcoff). Madden could also help youngster Sam Gagner with his faceoffs. Madden would be a good pickup for the Oilers, and a guy that could go a long way in the locker room.
A couple of last minute notes, Nik Khabibulin's court date has been moved up to Aug. 27. This will give the Oilers a better idea of if Khabi can come to camp.
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