TAMBELLINI ON A ROLL: FOSTER SIGNS ON

Robin Brownlee
July 01 2010 03:17PM

Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini added a big body and a wicked shot to his defensive corps as the free agency season opened today, inking unrestricted free agent defenceman Kurtis Foster to a two-year deal worth $3.6 million.

In the 28-year-old Foster, get a six-foot-five, 230-pound rearguard who tallied a career-high 8-34-42 in 71 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season.

Foster, who overcame a badly broken left leg, suffered back in March of 2008 while with the Minnesota Wild, looks like he slots into the Oilers top four with Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Ladislav Smid ahead of newly acquired Jim Vandermeer.

Just as important, Foster is a right-handed shot who will fill the void that's bound to be created on the Oilers power play when Tambellini unloads Sheldon Souray. 

"With Edmonton's offer and what they were putting in front of me, in regard to where they're going as an organization, being a Canadian kid, I mean you always want to play for a Canadian organization," Foster said.

"I always remember having my Oilers jersey as a kid growing up. I couldn't turn it down. It's a great opportunity. I'm just real excited to be a part of the building of, hopefully, a strong franchise for a long time to come."

WHAT THEY SAY

Bob Stauffer, host of Oilers Lunch on TEAM 1260, had former Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet on today. Here's what Tocchet had to say about the former Peterborough Petes defenceman.

"One of the best threats on the power play in the league," Tocchet said. "He'll be great for the Oilers on that right shot at the top. That gives all the down-low players a lot of room.

"He had 35 or 40 points for us. I had him up at forward, actually, some games . . . for the Oilers, it's a great move. When I heard the Oilers picked him up . . . that clean sheet of ice they have up in Edmonton, he's going to be breaking some glass.

"The thing I like about Kurtis is he's a really accurate guy. When we put (Steven) Stamkos and him on the point, we really became a threat on the power play. The one thing he can do is he can pass the puck. He's got a big gun, but he can pass the puck well."

In 257 NHL games with Atlanta, Minnesota and Tampa Bay, Foster has scored 29-90-119 with 203 penalty minutes.

 

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

 

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#101 m3sh
July 02 2010, 12:09AM
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I'm late to the party I know... been away (my second-born, another boy, was born yesterday), but got to give a solid BALLSY to Tambs for actually looking like he has a plan and is executing it (nice signings all in all, JW's comments on his first post since forever was pretty much bang on).

And as per Darryl... he must be taking crazy pills. There's not much to say except to echo the "Kotalik these balls" sentiment, and note the if Darryl had access to the Delorian, wouldn't the ~most brilliant GM in the league~ go into the future to know which player(s) had the best career over this next decade and then work to obtain him/them?

I am perhaps being too cerebral with the analogies.

Summer of Steve continues...

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#102 Bucknuck
July 02 2010, 12:19AM
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You know. I keep getting this uneasy feeling. Everyone calling out Calgary and the Jokinen/Tanguay signings and it seems to remind me of the year we all counted Vancouver out and they kicked our collective arses all year.

Tanguay and Jokinen catch lightning in a jar and get chemistry or some darn thing and Kipper gets his game back and Bouwmeester has a career year etc.

I just sit here and think that everyone calling out Sutter is kinda like talking about the shutout with ten minutes left. I get nervous.

Or maybe it's just me.

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#103 SLURVE
July 02 2010, 12:20AM
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Speaking of enforcers, I would not have mind having John Scott as an Oiler. Chicago signed him today. He may be slower skater but he can be the 7th D-man that can scare other agitators from taking liberty with our star players. On some nights in pass seasons, we certainly wished we had someone who can handle Boogieman after he lays out Hemsky or others. Being a D-man/enforcer is much more of bonus combo.

Things are getting better already, Boogieman is gone to NYR and John Scott is in Chicago, for Hemsky sake, maybe Regehr will leave Calgary.

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#104 PhillipSmithson
July 02 2010, 12:23AM
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Solid deals for the Oilers today, Foster is exactly we needed, ans signing Fraser to a reasonable 2 year deal was great!

The only thing left to do swap Souray out the door and get a true center (for either the #1 or #2 line). Which means bundling Sheldon with Cogliano or Penner.

As far as the recently qualified restricted free agents go Tamby just has to make sure he doesn't overpay. Judging from his two signings today that doesn't appear to be an issue.

Next up for the Oilers is the group youngsters coming to town for development camp next week. Can't wait for that!!

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#105 Victoria
July 02 2010, 12:25AM
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"The thing I like about Kurtis is he's a really accurate guy."

You mean we have a person on our team who can actually hit the net with a shot?

SOLD!

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#106 Reagan
July 02 2010, 01:01AM
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CB4 Said it best: Sweat, Sweat from my Balls!

Good Signing. Top 2 D-man in scoring for a free agent and more than half the money of Mr. (former liberal) Paul Martin. Ok Kidding aside...

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#107 PhillipSmithson
July 02 2010, 01:08AM
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So there are a few free agent centers out there who are veteran but not old that could help the Oilers out with depth. Also, and most importantly any of these players could probably be signed on for 2 years for a really economical price tag.

Pick one..

Brendan Morrison - age: 34, Left hand Center, not small at 5'11. Played big minutes with Vancouver a couple of years ago and can handle dishing the puck to talented wingers (see: Markus Naslund)

Eric Belanger - age: 32, left hand Center, again not small at 5'11. Decent player averaging a point every 2 games (how many Oilers could say that last year?)

Dominic Moore - age: 29, left hand center, measuring 6'0. Responsible defensive zone player who can also kill penalties.

Adam Mair - age: 31, right hand center, the biggest of these guys at 6'1. Knows how to play defensive coverage (learned from the Lindsey Ruff school of D in Buffalo), not scared to hit a player from the other team.

Of course there is no point in signing anyone else until some bodies are cleared out or told that will be starting in Oklahoma (AHL) next season. We'll have to wait and see who gets bundled up with Souray and who comes back from the team we trade with.

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#108 Librarian Mike
July 02 2010, 01:36AM
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@m3sh

Congrats on your new baby!

(my little girl is my avatar pic...kids rule!)

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#109 m3sh
July 02 2010, 01:48AM
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@Librarian Mike

Thanks man... it's been a haul these last couple days, I had the wonderful fortune of coming down with a head cold the very evening leading into the birth. Weak-sauce. Summer cold is one thing, but right when I can hardly get any decent sleep... total bullsh*t.

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#110 Cowbell_Feva
July 02 2010, 04:43AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

You know. I keep getting this uneasy feeling. Everyone calling out Calgary and the Jokinen/Tanguay signings and it seems to remind me of the year we all counted Vancouver out and they kicked our collective arses all year.

Tanguay and Jokinen catch lightning in a jar and get chemistry or some darn thing and Kipper gets his game back and Bouwmeester has a career year etc.

I just sit here and think that everyone calling out Sutter is kinda like talking about the shutout with ten minutes left. I get nervous.

Or maybe it's just me.

It's not just you my friend. I have the exact same feeling. Don't get me wrong, I think Sutter is an idiot (ie/ trade Lombardi and a pick for Jokinen, then trade Jokinen for Higgins/Kotalik, then buy out Kotalik and pick up Jokinen again- all the while not being able to pay-up for 39 goal man Camalleri) Not exactly text book salary cap management.

Couldn't happen to a better organization. BUT, Jokinen and Tanguay aren't total,absolute bums. I'm no delusional Flamer fan thinking they are both going to get 80 point seasons, but at the same time they aren't Patrick O'Sullivan either!

Let's hope Kipper pulls a groin- THEN we can without a shadow of a doubt bash away and no matter what-Cowtown will be F@CKED!

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Jason Gregor wrote:

Where did you read the Flames signed those two. No news of it anywhere???

I read it on twitter, can't remember who though.

Oddly enough TSN still doesn't have this on their UFA tracker.

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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'd prob go with McGrattan or Peters off this list if the goal is nuclear deterrent. May rathe look elsewhere (StL - Janssen/King) instead tho.

Pure speculation on my part, but is McGrattan clean? I just have to wonder why CGY replaces him with Ivanas. I mean hockeyfights has him losing two fight last year one to Boogard and one to Colton Orr. And he went against a lot of top guys, even if hockeyfights is a bit out on their results I'd think the videos of McGrattan prove that he can go with the top heavys.

Seems to have a better fight card overall and I just can't see why they'd replace him unless there is some sort of issue.

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#113 michael
July 02 2010, 10:34AM
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A day late but what the hay. Strudwick signed also witht he taem and I am really pleaed with the way our backend looks. Even if Souray comes back. Bigger, sronger and will be whole tougher in the front of the net. If souray does go and Taylr Chorney steps in it may be a little dicy some nights. But with Strudwick to clean up after him it shouldn't be too bad. I think we will find the puck alot less in the back of our net. Grebby was a giveaway machine. Vishnovsky did not have the size, and Staios had lost a step. Bodes well for us that the team is not going out and signing any high priced free agents at 5 million per season. Shows me that we are commited to a team in rebuild. We will be competitive and we won't be a doormat.

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