A look at the Oilers transactions during the offseason:
A The dealing for Ryan Smyth for Colin Fraser - This was a deal from the heavens. They essentially got Smyth for free therefore found their mentor that can still contribute. Will fill a key role for a rebuilding Oilers team.
A- Signing of Ryan Jones - 2yr/1.5 mil/yr - Ryan Jones was a pending UFA that was essential signing for the Oilers. It gives the Oilers a PKer that can play hard on the puck. Stabilizes the 3rd line with some two-way play. Price and term are perfect.
B Signing of Lennert Petrell and Antti Tyrvainen - Petrell is an experienced European hockey player that will bring a varying amount of ability to the Oilers organization, while Tyrvainen is a prototypical 4th line, in your face, pepperpot. Both of these players will help out with OKC with, perhaps, the occasional cup of coffee in the bigs. Both will fill a role, but neither will bring a lot of offense to the table.
C Signing of Ladislav Smid - 2yr/2.25 mil/yr - Ladislav Smid was a player I had pegged for the trading block. So, when he got his deal I was a little stunned by it. Term is fine, money is a little high, but overall, likely to be a signing that, eventually doesn't pan out. Smid needs to find an inkling of offense to justify this deal. All in all, he still adds to the depth on the D.
A Signing of Ben Eager - 3yr/1.1 mil/yr - Ben Eager's signing gave me great relief, as the Oilers have finally found an agitator that can back things up. He can take a regular shift and be a 4th line veteran fixture while kids ride shotgun with him. Term is fine, money is fine. Might be a year too long, but we'll see. The PK is going to have to get better with Eager in town.
B+ Signing of Darcy Hordichuk - 1yr/825K - Initailly I thought this signing was a bit of overkill with Eager just being signed a couple of hours previous. But, nothing wrong with having two agititors if one goes down. Term is good, price is right. He'll be a good guy to have around when some vindication is needed.
B- Signing of Cam Barker - 1yr/2.25mil - Low risk/high reward signing, but unless the Oilers find another a top pairing Dman and push everyone down a rung, Barker will likely drown in the deep end this year. Barker is what he is, a cannon on the power play that will survive in limited even strength time. We'll see how his year plays out, but as it stands on July 16, 2011, someone on the D is setup to fail.
B+ The signing of Eric Belanger - 3yr/1.75 mil/yr - If the name Eric Belanger was replaced with the name Jason Arnott, I would have given this an A. Alas, it was not meant to be. The Oilers NEEDED a veteran center that could help out in multiple areas and thats what they get out of Belanger. Money is good, term is probably a year too long considering Lander will be breathing on his heels soon. Either that or they have big plans for one Mr. Shawn Horcoff. All in all, Belanger is a player that I'm happy the Oilers have put into the fold.
B The acquisition of Andy Sutton - Kurtis Foster served a purpose as a right handed shooting Dman, but he had a bad year last year. The Oilers could have still used his prowess, but I'm guessing the Oilers want to give a bigger role to Jeff Petry next year. Andy Sutton is a large body that plays tough and blocks shots. His presence will help the PK and add to the toughness quotient. But if he playing any higher than the bottom pairing, its a mistake, much like it was for Foster last year.
B+ The signing of Corey Potter - Two-way deal - Interesting signing of Corey Potter, in the sense that the Oilers can use him as veteran AHLer or he might have a shot at making the big club, mostly because of the fact that he shoots right. Led his AHL team in +/- (+25) and led his team in playoff scoring (9 pts in 12GP) as a Dman. Two very nice achievements.
C The Signing of Josh Green - Two-way deal - Josh Green was a signing that was meant to give OKC some vet depth. Problem is he'll probably be put in a position where he will relied upon to score goals, and for him those days are long gone, if they were ever there. He's a character guy that will understand his role, so in that sense its a good signing.
B+ The signing of Theo Peckham - 1yr/1.075 mil - Good money on the signing. Was hoping for more term on this one for the Oilers, like 2 or 3 yrs, but it looks like the organization still favors Smid over Peckham these days. Peckham is a jackhammer that will keep hammering his way up the depth chart. I think eventually he can become a middle pairing Dman, paired with an offensive type.
B The signing of Yann Danis - Two-way deal - The Oilers needed a goalie that can ride shotgun with Olivier Roy in OKC. Although I'm not sure if he's going to be enough of a threat to ultimately replace Nikolai Khabibulin. He'll be an interesting observation come training camp. He has posted some real solid numbers in the past.
B The signing of Ryan Keller - Two-way deal - It will be interesting to see how Ryan Keller fits in the Oilers organization. He's likely ticketed for OKC, and will be relied upon heavily to score goals down there. The question will be whether or not he can handle the pressure of doing so. He is coming off a season of 30+ goals, a solid postseason where his team (Binghampton) won the Calder Cup. He's really the only proven AHL scorer that OKC will likely boast this season.
A- The dealing of Andrew Cogliano - It was something that needed to happen and was likely long overdue. The fact that the Oilers used a lot of resources on him and the return on it was a 2nd round pick in 2013 is a little besmirching. The good news out of all of this is....the Oilers centers are getting deeper and better.
C The signing of Ryan O'Marra - Two-way deal - OKC team is getting pretty deep and I thought it would have been a good time for the Oilers to pull the pin on O'Marra. But on the other hand, the vet depth in OKC is a little lacking. He'll be a good guy to have around, I just hope he doesn't get in the way of kids that have earned their way on the team.
C+ The signing of Taylor Chorney - Two-way deal - At this stage of the game, Chorney isn't any more than an AHL Dman and he's about to start his journey towards the NHL all over again. The Oilers could use another vet Dman in OKC, so its no surprise that he is back.