Oilers acquire Nikita Nikitin, sign him to 2-year, $9 million contract

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers attempted to upgrade their defense on Wednesday by acquiring Nikita Nikitin and signing him to a two-year contract.

The Edmonton Oilers needed to upgrade their defense this offseason and if nothing else, they can at least say they threw a bunch of money at the position.

The Oilers announced on Wednesday that they acquired the free agent rights to defenseman Nikita Nikitin from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. They reportedly wasted little time in getting a contract finished, signing Nikitin to a two-year, $9 million deal according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

That contract makes the Russian the highest-paid defenseman on the Oilers' roster and is no doubt an encouraging sign for free-agents-to-be like Matt Niskanen and Anton Stralman. If Nikitin is worth $4.5 million per year, they must be salivating at what they are going to be able to get.

Nikitin, 28, spent the last three seasons in Columbus and is coming off a 2013-14 campaign that saw him score two goals to go with 13 assists while playing in a third-pairing role.

The Oilers were were one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL last season, allowing a league-worst 3.26 goals per game and nearly 33 shots per game.

More from SBNation.com

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.