Photo courtesy of Steven Christy Photography. All rights reserved.
It could have been Justin Peters. It might have been Michael Leighton. Perhaps Curtis Sanford. Or maybe it was Josh Harding. In the end, it was Yann Danis that earned a spot with the Oilers. As the free agent frenzy begins today, many early signings have already caused ripples amongst the OKC Barons future roster. Yann, coming off a remarkable minor league season, wasn’t always the sure thing as the #3 goaltender in the Oilers organization. However, in the end it was the right choice. You’d be hard pressed to find a better AHL starter, mentor to young tenders, or an NHL callup than Yann Danis. And the Oilers again give him another year long contract, that somewhat solidifies the goaltending situation for the entire organization — top to bottom.
I’m anxious to see the type of money that Danis has earned. He’s certainly worth the price tag, even if it exceeds last seasons totals. Simply put, he’s proven he’s a valuable commodity, and the Oilers likely recognized this and upped his salary. Last season his two year contract had him roughly at $105,000 in the AHL and $650,00 in the NHL. That’s quite a disparity across two leagues, but not uncommon. I’d look for that AHL number to climb (certainly not higher than $125,00 would be my guess), and perhaps the NHL number does as well. There had to be some movement for Danis to remain an Oiler/Baron or perhaps there was mention of more frequent callups. The world can only speculate.
This is a good signing for two levels of hockey. The farm team gets “their” guy back after a league leading season, and the NHL squad gets a sturdy replacement when one of the top two goes down (or plays terribly). Congrats to Yann and his family. And welcome back to OKC.
UPDATE: Yann Danis will make roughly $300,000/$775,000 on his one-year contract. This will likely continue to hang near the top of the AHL salaries, but $300,000 is a pretty common tier one minor league salary base. What is more interesting is noting that he’ll likely be the only goaltender in that category this season and probably the only one over 30 on that pay scale too. Good for him.