Lennart Petrell returns to the Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Willis
June 19 2012 11:12AM

This morning the Edmonton Oilers announced via their official Twitter feed that pending unrestricted free agent Lennart Petrell had been signed to a one-year contract extension.

The team did not announce financial terms of the deal, though it seems probable that Petrell will earn something close to the $900,000 he got on his first contract – my guess would be that he gets a little less but that it’s a one-way deal, meaning that the money is guaranteed.

Petrell had some nice points playing as a fourth-line forward last year. He brings good size and a willingness to play a physical game to the table, as well as excellent work on the penalty kill. He struggled at times five-on-five – particularly when it came to producing offensively – but he’s a serviceable defense-first energy player.

Late last month I suggested that Petrell’s good points weren’t quite enough to compensate for his struggles 5-on-5, but there are ways to mitigate those struggles. In Vancouver, Alain Vigneault has made good use of players like Petrell by deploying his fourth line as a specialty unit that only plays in the defensive zone – and between Petrell and Eric Belanger, the Oilers have two pieces well-suited to that sort of work. It will be interesting to see how the Oilers use the big Finn next season.

In any case, as an end of roster option it’s hard to be particularly critical of Petrell. He fills a role, and as an older veteran can be shuffled in and out of the lineup without much concern, and seeing the signing today I’ll admit that I wasn’t at all disappointed at the thought of him spending another season with the Oilers.

A special bonus to the Petrell signing? More Petrell-related hilarity at the Twitter feed of the Oilers’ Russian captain, Shawn Horcov. Horcov was thrilled with today’s signing, declaring: “Was just talk to Petrell on phone. Are giggling like schoolgirls Komrades. Oh shenanigans and hijinks and capers we will do for next year.”

This week by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Next Year Country
June 19 2012, 11:18AM
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I like the move. Petrell works hard, isn't afraid to throw a hit, seems to be a smart player in that he would anticipate and be in good positions to break up plays or get in the way of opponents trying to make play. Good team guy, who from what I can tell, is well liked by his teammates. A useful player at the right price point.

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#2 Oilers Coffey
June 19 2012, 11:21AM
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FIST! I like the signing! He brings a solid big game to the 4th line!

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#3 vetinari
June 19 2012, 11:31AM
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I like Petrell and can easily live with another year of him working the fourth line for us... the bigger question is: how come the Oilers finished the Petrell deal before locking Smyth up?

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#4 Next Year Country
June 19 2012, 11:35AM
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vetinari wrote:

I like Petrell and can easily live with another year of him working the fourth line for us... the bigger question is: how come the Oilers finished the Petrell deal before locking Smyth up?

Because Petrell accepted a reasonable offer.

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#5 Reg Dunlop
June 19 2012, 11:44AM
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For those Tambi-haters out there; yessss, Steve is hard at work signing vital difference makers like big LenPet. Irreplaceable.

What number does MacKinnon wear?

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#6 vetinari
June 19 2012, 11:48AM
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Naah... that can't be it... Smytty is worth at least 2 1/2 Petrell's so paying him in that range would be worth it!

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#7 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 19 2012, 11:56AM
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Guys with size, who can play, are hard to come by. A fridge on skates is available for our viewing pleasure in every beer league game.... and now, once again, on the Edmonton Oilers.

Thanks, ST!

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#8 Smokey
June 19 2012, 12:07PM
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Why to sign your 13th forward to a contract, Tambo. We bit of an overpay. How about signing the heart and soul to a contract. Hope the Oilers got number 12, Yakupov stitched onto a retro jersey for friday. Looking forward to the first round like a kid at Christmas. I hope they let McBastard make the announcement of the first pick instead of Dithers. Can`t wait to see the Nuge there too.

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#9 Toro
June 19 2012, 12:08PM
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Good signing , The guy hits and plays good defensively , and is solid on the PK , I was worried that we weren't gonna sign this guy, good job Tambo.

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#10 Walter Sobchak
June 19 2012, 12:25PM
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Meh, I would have preferred something with a little more truculence and dangerous on the ice.

Tootoo would have been a better fit.

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#11 Kodiak
June 19 2012, 12:26PM
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So Lennert Peterson I mean Petrell signed. No questioning MacT is back.......

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#12 RexLibris
June 19 2012, 12:26PM
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I was hoping Petrell would return.

He is very effective on the penalty kill and has enough of an upside that I feel his presence will deter the team from promoting a player out of the AHL before they might be ready.

One more year of Petrell is a good thing if it buys more time for players like Hamilton and Hartikainen to develop and earn a roster spot.

Belanger, Horcoff, Jones and Petrell as PK forwards is a decent upgrade on where the Oilers were two years ago.

As for signing Petrell before Smyth, I'd rather have a management team that makes an offer and has the strength of their convictions to stick to it. Smyth is not today to the Oilers what he once was.

Assuming that next summer Weber is a UFA and the Oilers are interested, I would like to see Tambellini (or his replacement, if it comes to that) take the same approach. Make an offer that fits in to the rest of the salary cap needs for this offense-heavy group as the core gets older, and stick to it. If the player wants to win more than cash cheques, then they will sign. If not, too bad and best of luck.

I'm not interested in whale-hunting anymore.

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#13 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 12:36PM
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I feel kind of "meh" about Petrell. Glad to see someone on the fourth line who knows how to block shots and has some size so that's all good I suppose.

"I’ll admit that I wasn’t at all disappointed at the thought of him spending another season with the Oilers." It kind of sums up how I feel about Petrell.

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#14 Spydyr
June 19 2012, 12:44PM
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Hope he stays on the fourth line.Where he belongs.Along with the triangle.

Now excite the fan base by drafting the BPA.

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#15 rickithebear
June 19 2012, 12:47PM
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Pettrel was the 10th worst pk winger in the league last year.

but his progression from 13.00Ga/60 to 8.00Ga/60 by the end of the season means he was likely top 30 for last half of the season.

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#16 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 01:01PM
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Trivia! His first goal was against Jonathan Quick!

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#17 vetinari
June 19 2012, 02:05PM
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Ahhh... Petrell just needs some good PR and some spin to get his contributions recognized by Oiler Nation. Maybe a nickname will help him out?

The Heavy Petter and his Magic Stick?

L_Pet?

Belanger's Pet?

Petrol? (like in "petroleum")

The Petster?

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#18 Cody anderson
June 19 2012, 02:13PM
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Good depth signing. Looks good on a physical energgy line and on the PK

I was very excited when they got Smyth back.....but....I don't see a place on the team for him without hurting someone else's development. If they do sign him I hope it is for one year at 2.5 million or less.

I would like to see Paajarvi on either the 1st or 2nd line for at least the fist quarter of the year. We need to put him in a position to succeed. I don't think he is a 3rd or 4th line player. I think Hartikainan is ready to step into a fulltime role. I don't think he is an upgrade offensively over Smyth for next year, but a couple years down the road he will be. in the mean time he is a big, physicall winger which is something the Oilers need more of.

I would like to see the Oil start out with Paajarvi, Hall, Hartikainan, Jones as there left wingers, and if they decide to sign Smyth to a one year extension I would like to see him shift to right wing and replace Hemmer on the 3rd line. Anything over 2.5 million is an overpay for a 3rd liner that does not fill a huge need for us at this time (Size and grit)

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#19 Rama Lama
June 19 2012, 02:25PM
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At least he is more offensively talented than Horcoff and can be a mentor to even a less talented individual.........Belenger!

Tamby is on fire.

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#20 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 02:28PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

At least he is more offensively talented than Horcoff and can be a mentor to even a less talented individual.........Belenger!

Tamby is on fire.

More offensively talented than Horcoff? I hope you don't really believe that. He's not even close.

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#21 Cody anderson
June 19 2012, 02:40PM
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Lander is a role player, which this team is lacking. If we are counting on him to be a high point producer we are in trouble. He is ideally a 4th liner and we require some physical, defence first, energy players.

This is not the homerun everyone is waiting for, but it is a quality signing. Obviously if this is the only thing that happens in the off season we are not a playoff team. This is a small piece that helps the Oilers. I am happy with this signing.

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#22 Pouzar99
June 19 2012, 04:35PM
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This is hardly a game breaker but is a good signing. Look at the guy's numbers for hit and shot blocks in very few minutes. Two things the Oilers desperately need more of. Anybody watch the playoffs? It was a shot blocking and hitting festival. If the Oilers pick Yak they will have a dynamite top 6 and need a cheap, rugged, defensively solid bottom 6, with some offense punch from the third line and a little from the 4th. Petrell is a small piece of this puzzle and an excellent penalty killer. It is a one-year deal, surely for under $1 million and does not rule out signing a Tootoo, a Prust or a Konopka. A no brainer, but the big work is ahead. Looks like super agent Don Meehan is again convincing Smytty to ask for too much so he can go elsewhere for more money and less happiness.

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#23 StHenriOilBomb
June 19 2012, 05:34PM
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@RexLibris

@ RexLibris "One more year of Petrell is a good thing if it buys more time for players like Hamilton and Hartikainen to develop and earn a roster spot."

Agreed. Competition for spots is sorely needed.

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#24 Oilerman53
June 19 2012, 06:32PM
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I would absolutely love for the Oilers to take a run at Tootoo! A big hitting dangerous buzzsaw type player who likes to muck it up and isn't afraid to drop the mitts and throw paws. Tambe-Lowe-Ni, should look into making a play for Tootoo and have him take Ben Eagers spot. Not to sound too pollitically correct here but Edmonton does have a high First Nation population and acquiring Tootoo would play perfectly for that demographic.

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#25 Copperblueandwhite
June 20 2012, 10:15AM
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Bam, Stanley Cup!

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