Jul 29, 2013, 9:02 AM EST
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish made a curious move a couple weeks ago when he handed 29-year-old defensemean Denis Grebeshkov a one-year, one-way contract worth $1.5 million.
Grebeshkov is an offensive defenseman who previously spent parts of three seasons with Edmonton from 2007-10 before heading briefly to Nashville and then the KHL. The problem is that he didn’t do particularly well in the KHL, recording just eight points in each of his last two seasons.
Inking Grebeshkov also gives them seven defensemen signed to one-way contracts, not including Justin Schultz, who will almost certainly make the team, and Anton Belov, who was far better than Grebeshkov in the KHL.
So why did MacTavish sign Grebeshkov in the first place? In part because he thinks Grebeshkov has something to prove.
“What I see with him is he had a bit of a rocky year last year in the KHL, but he’s coming back as soon as we get his immigration (worked out) and he’ll be training virtually the whole month of August here,” MacTavish said.
“He’s going to be highly motivated on just a one-year deal and I’m sure he wants to make a career over here. He’ll be a good role model for Yak (Russian forward Nail Yakupov). Denis is a hell of a guy.”
MacTavish was the head coach of the Oilers during most of Grebeshkov’s tenure with the team and MacTavish has “always liked Denis.”
MacTavish added that Belov could be a pretty good defensive partner for Grebeshkov, so clearly he still thinks Belov has a shot of making the team. Unless the Oilers make a trade this summer, they’ll be going into training camp with a significant defensive logjam.
- Video: Ovechkin becomes sixth fastest player to 400 goals in Caps win 14
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 16
- Assault charges against Varlamov dropped 32
- Carlyle on HBO presence: ‘It’s not normal what we’re living right now’ 7
- Orpik: First days after Thornton attack were ‘miserable’ 70
- Video: Dustin Brown ejected for kneeing, Tomas Hertl won’t return (update) 66
- No supplemental discipline for Caps’ Wilson 33
- Habs healthy scratch Briere for first time this season 7
- Chiarelli says he’s not trading Marchand 21
- Schenn to play tonight; Oates maintains Wilson hit was ‘totally clean’ 54
- Updated: NHL suspends Thornton 15 games for Orpik attack (155)
- Reports: Thornton will appeal 15-game suspension (107)
- Lucic addresses fight video, says he’s ‘disgusted and outraged’ by Vancouver (104)
- Cam Neely questions length of Thornton’s suspension (78)
- Video: Penguins defeat Leafs, Bortuzzo called for illegal hit to head (71)