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The Oilers Say They Had Agreement With Nylander

The Oilers released this statement this evening:

The Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club is compelled to clarify the unfortunate and unprecedented circumstances surrounding the Edmonton Oilers and Michael Nylander.
On Sunday, July 1, 2007, Kevin Lowe, Oilers General Manager, and Mr. Mike Gillis, Certified Agent for Michael Nylander, negotiated and agreed to a multi-year NHL Standard Players Contract, starting in 2007/08. Mr. Gillis confirmed same to the Oilers in writing.
The Oilers then proceeded with preparations to announce Mr. Nylander's contract agreement on July 2, and concurrently continued with the process of negotiating with other free agents based upon Mr. Nylander being an important roster ingredient for the future.
However, while the Oilers were expecting the returned, signed agreements from Mr. Nylander and Mr. Gillis, the Oilers discovered through public announcements made mid-afternoon on July 2, that Mr. Nylander had subsequently entered into a long-term contract with the Capitals.
The Oilers can find no precedent for such conduct in our history. The Oilers are examining and pursuing every course of action available in the best interest of the team and our fans.
For legal reasons, the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club will not be discussing the details any further at this time.

Well, that explains the radio report out of Edmonton late Sunday night saying that the Oilers had Nylander signed.

I'm not sure where this is going to go, but I'm going to pursue it.

Update 10:02I've spoken with a couple of sources who have indicated that there is virtually no way that Nylander's contract with the Capitals can be voided. The only thing Edmonton can do at this point is seek damages from Nylander and his agent and perhaps petition the NHLPA to take disciplinary action against Gillis.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 3, 2007; 7:33 PM ET
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