The last time we saw Petr Nedved, in 2004, the guy almost single-handedly pushed the Oilers over the playoff hump, scoring 15 points in 16 games. Being a unrestricted free agent at season's end, Nedved chose to move on to Phoenix, reportedly because his model wife Veronica Varekova wasn't too keen on living in a northern outpost without a half-decent Givenchy boutique anywhere near it.
Since then, Nedved has a had a rough go of it in the last couple of seasons. When he hasn't been hobbled by groin problems, he's put up mediocre offensive numbers, getting tossed around the waiver wire like a loose coin in the dryer. He's never been very good defensively, and at the age of 35 he's lost a step or two. And oh yeah -- Petr and Veronica Varekova divorced last summer. Ouch.
So the million dollar question is: why did we take him? He's cheap, for one. The Oilers only pay half of his $2.3 million one-year deal since he was picked up on waivers, and its pro-rated, so the Oilers are looking at something like half a million or so. The other possibility is that the Oilers are going to make a trade with one of their forwards, and have signed Nedved to fill the gap (the Oilers press release makes it sound like Nedved's here to stay).
As we all know, the Oilers' most pressing need is a puck-moving defenceman that can get a shot within five feet of the net on the powerplay, but this sounds more like a Kevin Lowe lark in lieu of anything else. I'm inclined to believe that Nedved isn't worth our time, just like Adam Oates or Jiri Dopita, but he still has a great shot (isn't that why we got Lupul?) and may be able to spark something with his Czech pals Ales Hemsky and Petr Sykora. It's a low-cost gamble, for sure.
My verdict: the Oilers couldn't play much worse these days, so it's better than nothing.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Posted by mike w at 11:45 AM