The Edmonton Oilers might be facing some controversy on their latest move on Tuesday, however, it seems that general manager Peter Chiarelli and management do not care about a little criticism. The Oilers have made it official today by agreeing to terms with free agent goaltender Mikko Koskinen on a one-year contract.
Earlier this month, Kontinental Hockey League insider Aivis Kalnins had reported last week that Koskinen and the New York Islanders had an agreement in place so that he would sign with the Brooklyn based team on July 1st. Kalnins then wrote on Hockey Buzz that it is not the case anymore.
"Per multiple sources - Mikko Koskinen had misunderstood the situation. However, nothing has changed and the goalie still intends to make a move to the National Hockey League next season."
The 29-year-old former 31st overall pick was indeed expected to sign a two-year deal with the Oilers with an averaged salary of $2.5 M per season, and everything was finally confirmed on Tuesday morning.
The former 31st overall pick of the Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft has spent the past seven years playing in the KHL, including five seasons with SKA Saint Petersburg where he backstopped the team to two Gagarin Cup championships. The 6’7, 202 pound giant posted a remarkable 1.69 goals against average and .931 save percentage for SKA this past season. He went 24-4-1 with five shutouts. Pretty remarkable.
It’s expected that Koskinen will provide some support and help push Oilers starter Cam Talbot. The Oilers goaltender looked tired and worn out at times this past season, having a solid 1B option behind him will surely help Talbot and the Oilers in 2018-19.
While Kalnins was expecting a longer term on that new contract, he was right about Koskinen's destination for the next NHL season. It remains to be seen what the Russian goalie's salary will be for the one-year deal as the financial details have yet to be made public by Edmonton.
Chiarelli has been criticized a lot in the past seasons for his controversial trades, but one rival GM that won't be complaining is New York Islanders' Garth Snow, who managed to score big during Chiarelli's mistakes. Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome. The Griffin Reinhart for Matthew Barzal trade... do we need to say more?
However, this time around, it seems like Chiarelli's sneaky move and now latest signing in his favour of the Oilers.