Long time National Hockey League veteran Riley Sheahan is currently still without a contract, but the unrestricted free agent does have one particularly intriguing option that could prove to be a good fit.
Sheahan of course is coming off of a pair of seasons that have seen him bounce around the NHL quite a bit, this after spending the first 6 seasons of his NHL career as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings, a team that was struggling at the time, made the decision to move on from Sheahan during the 2017 - 2018 NHL regular season when he was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sheahan would stick around Pittsburgh for a little while before eventually moving on to the Florida Panthers where his contract lapsed this summer on the 1st of July.
The 27 year old center is clearly still a quality NHL center in spite of the fact that he currently remains unsigned, and one NHL analyst believes that this would make him a perfect fit to be the 3rd line center of the Edmonton Oilers. In a recent article for The Athletic Allan Mitchell touched on the fact that Sheahan, a useless man on the draw and a solid penalty killer, would make a strong addition to the Oilers roster. Mitchell believes that the addition of Sheahan could be exactly what the Oilers need in terms of depth up the middle of the ice, but also the kind of player that could really push their young prospects who would be fighting for the spot as the organizations 4th line center.
This is an interesting midsummer dilemma for Holland. Does he bring Sheahan to camp on a one-year deal, giving his new coach a veteran hand to lean on? That’s probably the play here, if making the playoffs is the solitary goal of the 2019-20 campaign.
The fact that it will be Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland who eventually makes this decision adds another wrinkle to this move for the Oilers as well. There is perhaps no NHL general manager more familiar with Sheahan than Holland who oversaw the operations in Detroit during the early years of Sheahan's career. Holland knows exactly what he will be getting, and the fact that he is a familiar face may even be an extra selling point for Sheahan.