The Flames have kept on rolling on day two of free agency with the announcement of another player signing.
The team announced that they signed 31-year-old defensemen Jordan Oesterle to a one-year, one-way contract worth $925,000.
Oesterle most recently played for the Detroit Red Wings last season where he logged 52 games and scored 11 points. This move clearly was made to replace Troy Stecher and Michael Stone’s minutes in the lineup as both will be moving on from the franchise.
As for Oesterle, the signing is a bit perplexing as his underlying numbers the last few seasons have been simply terrible:
In terms of maintaining control of the puck and generating chances, he has not very good so far in his NHL career. He has been able to put up a number of high TOI games, but that shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence. Teams have been critical of his consistency at the NHL level and his inability to be more physical in his own zone. That being said, he’s not projected to be a top-four defensemen or relied on for large amounts of offensive production.
The Flames must see something in the player that we do not, maybe due to him playing on a rough Detroit team. Over his career, he hasn’t played on very good playoff-contending teams for a consistent amount of time. That doesn’t bode well for the Flames next year, but maybe in the right role, like an Erik Gudbranson, he could find success.
Teams always like to have extra defensemen on their roster, and having one like Oesterle who can log minutes is important. How much he will play remains to be seen, but if the Flames are trying to move a defensemen like Noah Hanifin or Nikita Zadorov he may be thrust into a more significant role. The fact that he is left handed piques some interest as the team has depth on the left side already with Noah Hanifin, Oliver Kylington, and Nikita Zadorov.
As a sixth or seventh defensemen, you’re hoping for someone that can just mitigate risk. Let’s see if Oesterle can do that next season.