Prior to their 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Place, the Edmonton Oilers announced yet another signing. The club inked forward Joakim Nygard to a one-year deal with a cap hit of $875,000. That cap hit is a $50,000 decrease over his current number of $925,000.
The native of Stockholm, Sweden has dealt with injury issues this season. Currently, Nygard is on the injured reserve with a hand injury and is considered out long-term. The hope is he can return ahead of a potential playoff series in April.
In 33 games this season, Nygard has scored three goals and added six assists for nine points. A former star with Farjestads of the SHL, Nygard provided secondary scoring and speed to an Oilers lineup in desperate need of more of both traits.
The only issue thus far? Nygard simply hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup long enough to gain the chemistry desired with any one linemate. He’s also still very much adjusting to life in the NHL.
This is a relatively low-risk move for Holland. Nygard has shown flashes, but just hasn’t been healthy enough to make a call on. This deal gives the Oilers another season to see what they have in the forward.
It’s also such a small deal that it honestly doesn’t matter when it comes to the cap. If Nygard can in fact play, he’ll be a value contract for the club. If he can’t? A year from now, the Oilers can send him to AHL Bakersfield and take no cap penalty.
It’s not a major move, but Ken Holland re-signed a capable depth forward at a very affordable price on Tuesday. It’s a small move that can only help the Oilers next season.
I also find it interesting that Holland has already re-signed pending UFA’s Nygard and Zack Kassian along with pending RFA Darnell Nurse. It’s a lot of future work done early, something that fans in Edmonton are not used to.
The Oilers are zeroing in on an extension for depth forward Josh Archibald. Radio analyst Bob Stauffer added fuel to the fire shortly after the club’s win on 630 CHED Tuesday night. The team insider hinted at a two-year extension with the Oilers, who might actually want to go three years on a new deal with Archibald.
In 47 games with the Oilers, Archibald has 14 points (7-7-14) and has emerged as a key penalty killer while providing speed and physical play. He’s a valuable piece to the bottom-six.
That said, a general rule of thumb that I like to follow is no term to depth players. Depending on the cap hit, this could be the kind of extension where you like the player, but don’t like the contract. We’ll wait and see what Holland is able to negotiate with Archibald prior to the upcoming trade deadline.