At first glance, Denis Grebeshkov’s time in the Kontinental Hockey League was a puzzler.
Here was an offensive defenseman in the NHL who went to the KHL in 2010; from 2011-13, he didn’t score a goal for either SKA or Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk. In a League where Kevin Dallman is Bobby Orr.
Nevertheless, Grebeshkov is back in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers, who threw him a 1-year contract life preserver to join their defense. (As was sorta leaked by Bob Stauffer earlier this year.)
Two reasons to like this move for Edmonton, beyond the term:
1. His best offensive season in the NHL, albeit in a contract year, came with Craig MacTavish as his coach. He had 39 points in 72 games and skated over 21 minutes a night. This could be a mutually beneficial reunion between the player and the Oilers’ new GM.
2. As Dmitry Chesnokov points out: He could be great for Anton Belov, the 26-year-old defenseman the Oilers signed from the KHL in June, and for Nail Yakupov, who could use a sage Russian veteran in that room.