The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Josh Archibald to a one-year contract. Archibald became an unrestricted free agent when the Arizona Coyotes decided not to issue him a qualifying offer earlier this offseason. The contract will pay him $1MM according to PuckPedia.
Archibald, 26, will be the latest low-cost winger the Oilers will try and squeeze some offensive production out of, after he scored 12 goals and 22 points in 68 games for the Coyotes last season. In 121 NHL games the former Pittsburgh Penguins forward has 36 points, with a lot more experience on the penalty kill than the powerplay. Archibald may very well get a chance to find some chemistry with Edmonton’s top centers though, as his only real competition on the right wing currently is Alex Chiasson, Zack Kassian and perhaps Sam Gagner or Markus Granlund, depending on how the team deploys their forward group. With Jesse Puljujarvi still not looking like he’ll play for Edmonton this season, that group certainly doesn’t have a clear order in terms of skill level.
While Archibald is a useful player at the bottom of a lineup that can help out in a variety of ways, his signing does seem a bit puzzling when the Oilers have little cap space and several options for the bottom-six. It doesn’t come with a ton of risk as the entire deal can be buried in the minor leagues if necessary, but it’s hard to imagine that Archibald will be a real difference-maker on this team. With 23 players now projected for the NHL roster, the team has just under $3MM in remaining cap space and a roster that looks generally the same as last season. Obviously the hope is that head coach Dave Tippett can turn things around, or that riding out some of these contracts will put them in a better position down the road.
Archibald will be an unrestricted free agent after the contract expires.