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Oilers bring back Grebeshkov from KHL

Jul 18, 2013, 5:02 PM EDT


The Edmonton Oilers made a curious move on Thursday, signing defenseman Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year deal.

Grebeshkov, 29, played for the Oilers from 2007-10, followed by a brief stint in Nashville and a couple of years in the KHL with SKA Saint Petersburg and Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk, where he spent the 2012-13 campaign.

By all accounts, his time in Russia didn’t go well.

Grebeshkov, known as an offensive defenseman, didn’t score a goal in either of his last two seasons in the KHL, this despite appearing in 90 games.

So, why would Edmonton take a flier on someone that struggled playing overseas?

History, mostly.

Grebeshkov, the 18th overall pick at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, enjoyed his finest NHL seasons with the Oilers, including a 2008-09 campaign where he posted a career-best 39 points and finished with a team-high +12 rating.

His coach during that season? None other than the new Oilers GM, Craig MacTavish.

  1. colby7 - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    NHL strikes back! Who needs Kovalchuk when we have Grebeshkov.

    • letsgopens8771 - Jul 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      You take one of ours, fine comrade. We get one of yours.

  2. rockyspond - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    What? Do they need a new stickboy? Or somebody to hold the door open for line changes?
    Why waste a roster spot on him when the team has some real needs elsewhere?

    • rtookey - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      they need defensive veterans. Hes a defensive veteran…

      • rockyspond - Jul 18, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Did i misread the article ? Doesn’t it say “known as an offensive defenseman” and “didn’t score a goal …in 90 games” ?
        This must be a move to surround Yakupov with fellow Russians so he doesn’t get homesick like Kovy, or MacT is stockpiling players in preparation for a multi-player trade.

  3. ray2013 - Jul 18, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    He’s a 5/6/7 depth defenceman. I suppose it makes some sense. Not very bold though. lol

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