UPDATED: OILERS SIGN SIX...

Jason Gregor
July 05 2013 11:25AM

Andrew Ference (@FerKnuckle) tweeted this picture of himself at 10:15 a.m, officially announcing he was a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Safe to say he grew up an Oilers fan, and easily the best way to announce you've signed with a team.

The Oilers have also signed centre Boyd Gordon and goalie Jason LaBarbera.

I mentioned all three of them as leading candidates to fill some of the Oilers holes.

Ference signed a four-year deal at $3.25 mill/season. That is one year longer than most expected, but that is usually the case in free agency. Teams either overpay in price or in term.

Gordon signed a three year deal, terms **edit** just announced at $3 million/season. Gordon is very good in the faceoff dot. He isn't flashy, but he's solid defensively and a huge upgrade over Eric Belanger.

LaBarbera got a one-year deal and he trains with Dubnyk, so they will get along well and push one another. LaBarbera is 33 years of age and his last four seasons he's had SV% of .923, .912, .909 and .928 in Phoenix. He's mainly a backup.

None of these are huge signings, but they are upgrades over the guys they replaced.

Gordon> Belanger
LaBarbera> Khabibulin, mainly because he stays healthy.
Ference>Peckham,Fistric.

You need to improve every element of your team if you hope to become successful, so I'd say so far MacTavish has done a decent job. He still needs to find another centre, some size in this top-six and likely a big, strong physical D-man.

I received this text from an eastern conference player when I asked about Ference, "He will help them. He isn't naturally skilled, but has tremendous work ethic. Harder to play against than people think."

I suspect the Oilers next big moves will come via trade. With Ottawa losing Alfredsson to Detroit, they have a void at RW. The Ales Hemsky rumours to Ottawa will heat up. Also, Phoenix needs a RW with skill.

UPDATE...

The Oilers just signed free agent winger Jesse Joensuu. He is 6'4 and 225 pounds. He's played 67 NHL games with the Islanders and was the 60th pick in 2006 draft.

(3:00) The Oilers have signed Ryan Hamilton and Wil Acton to two-year contracts. Both played for Eakins with the Toronto Marlies last year. Team stats are here...

Andrew Ference will become the 10th player (I think)  to play for the Oilers after suiting up for the Flames.

Mark Lamb played 235 games, including playoffs, while Dwayne Roloson (211) Frank Musil (77), Jim Vandermeer (62), Kent Nilsson (44) Aaron Johnson (19), Len Esau (14) German Titov (12) and Nick Fotiu (1) were the others.

Are there others?

Also Lamb only played one game for Calgary before playing in Detroit for 22 and then in Edmonton, but he still did play for both teams.

**UPDATE...Michel Petit played 18 for the Oilers after playing for Flames. Jim Dowd played 75 games with Oilers after being in Calgary. Brian Glynn played 105 games.*** Keep them coming.

QUICK THOUGHTS ON OTHER DEALS...

  • Columbus gives Horton a 7-year deal, but he won't be able to play until December. Wow.
     
  • Typical Flames. They could have picked up Kris Russell on waivers, elected not to, and then traded a 5th round pick to St.Louis today to get him. That is a head scratcher.
     
  • Haven't heard much from the Kings or Blues. Both are interested in Iginla.
     
  • Doesn't sound like Ryan Jones will be coming back to Edmonton.
     
  • Shawn Horcoff will be on my show today at 4 p.m. to talk about his time in Edmonton.
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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 tileguy
July 05 2013, 11:30AM
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Still plenty of room for one massive overpay of Katz's money.

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#2 Walks
July 05 2013, 11:34AM
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Not sure why so many people are on the hate train with the Ference term and deal. Yes it's 4 years for an older defensemen but the cap is going to go up and we still have plenty of space for our upcoming RFA's.

At least we didn't overpay a fortune for Clarkson like Toronto is about to.

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#3 Czar
July 05 2013, 11:34AM
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They might not be bold but they are moves in the right direction.

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#4 G Money
July 05 2013, 11:35AM
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Solid progress for the first two hours.

A big Finnger to replace the one that bolted to the KHL. Hope this one has a mean streak.

Hear the Oilers are talking to Grabovski ... if so, that would mean the end of Gagner I would think. Then again, if that means Gagner is swapped for that big physical D-man (Coburn?) or a big physical 2L, that would make sense.

I hope the Oilers are talking to Lapierre as 3C/4C to platoon with Gordon. I hate that son of a b*tch Lapierre, which means he's exactly the kind of yappy scrappy irritant the Oilers lack.

If the equation ultimately is:

Oilers - Khabi + Labarbera - Belanger + Gordon - Fistric + Ference - Whitney + Belov - Horcoff + Lapierre - Petrell + 4R (Joensuu?) - Hemsky + big 2L (and possibly - Gagner + Grabovski + Coburn)

I would think this unquestionably qualified as BOLD

and the equation sums to

= Playoffs

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#5 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 11:36AM
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Small improvements over time make the team better.They still need to fill the centre hole.Not sure why they never took a goalie in the draft this year.Cupboards are pretty bare in goal.

Looks like they are giving Dubbie on more year.A mistake IMO but time will tell.

At least they did not waste their time on white whales this year.Maybe they are learning.

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#6 Ducey
July 05 2013, 11:39AM
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The fourth year for AF doesn't concern me that much. Vet defenseman with Stanley Cup experience and great character can always be flipped at the trade deadline.

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#7 Lochenzo
July 05 2013, 11:40AM
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I'm guessing Clarkson is not coming here. $6 million is Taylor Hall money. Hard to justify that.

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#8 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2013, 11:42AM
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Solid work, as usual, identifying all three guys early on.

Wondering now, via trade as you mentioned, if Zack Smith from Ottawa comes into play.

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#9 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 11:42AM
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Hopefully Craig has some irons in the fire on Filppula. Would be better fit than Clarkson.

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#10 Walter Sobchak
July 05 2013, 11:42AM
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Still need a top 6 LW - Please trade for Dubinsky

Still need a centre - Please trade for Couturier

Need a defensmen - Please trade for Colburn

This would conclude the summer of Craig!

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#11 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 11:44AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I'm guessing Clarkson is not coming here. $6 million is Taylor Hall money. Hard to justify that.

TSN's Mckenzie is saying Edmonton and Ottawa are out but Toronto is looking good to over pay.

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#12 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 11:45AM
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TSN Clarkson has agreed to a 7 year deal in Toronto.Terms to be announced.

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#13 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 11:47AM
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@Spydyr

Oh well, sometimes the best deal is the one you didn't make.

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#14 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 11:49AM
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OILERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH F JESSE JOENSUU

The Oilers have agreed to terms with forward Jesse Joensuu on a two-year deal.

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#15 Ducey
July 05 2013, 11:49AM
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I Like the signings, but other than Joensuu, I am not seeing any size and grit.

Assuming Hemsky is gone, MacT still needs at least two (maybe three) more forwards.

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#16 DevoKnows
July 05 2013, 11:50AM
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Clarkson signs with Leafs 7yrs . $40 Million!!!!!!!! OUCH!!!!!!!!!

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#17 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 11:51AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Oh well, sometimes the best deal is the one you didn't make.

I agree 7 years of over pay is a anchor.

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#18 Walter Sobchak
July 05 2013, 11:53AM
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Stalberg to Nashville.

Clarkson is a ridiculous boat anchor of a deal, two years and the Leafs fans will run him out of town.

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#19 TonyT
July 05 2013, 11:53AM
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Good signings, but we are still way too small. I'm expecting several more signings today, unless MacT has a trade in play bringing in 5 more NHL bodies.

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#20 Golden Seals
July 05 2013, 11:54AM
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decent signings. seem to be reasonable in both length and term.

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#21 DonDon
July 05 2013, 11:55AM
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So far, this isn't very impressive.

Four years for Ference? These aren't the quality of players mentioned in the posts or required to move the rebuild forward.

I hope there are actual "bold" moves to come.

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#22 Charlie Huddy
July 05 2013, 11:55AM
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A few more over pays and bad signings from Van, Cal and T.O and my day will be made. Doing nothing all day at work will just be the icing.

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#23 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 11:56AM
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TonyT wrote:

Good signings, but we are still way too small. I'm expecting several more signings today, unless MacT has a trade in play bringing in 5 more NHL bodies.

Joensuu, 25, is a 6'4" 209 lb forward there is some size.

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#24 Bandwagon jumper
July 05 2013, 11:57AM
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Yann gone to Philly. Are the young kids ready to backstop the farm team?

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#25 G Money
July 05 2013, 11:58AM
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Ducey wrote:

I Like the signings, but other than Joensuu, I am not seeing any size and grit.

Assuming Hemsky is gone, MacT still needs at least two (maybe three) more forwards.

Ference lacks size but has 'grit'. I'll take that over size any day.

The only place where we truly need someone with size as well as grit and skill is on the second line to complement Gagner and Yak, and even that's more about having a strong puck-retrieval and possession guy moreso than actual raw size. A Ryan Smyth in his prime would do nicely.

We don't lack for size on our third and fourth lines or on our defense.

It was often our big guys that were lit up the worst last year.

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#26 oilerjed
July 05 2013, 12:02PM
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Stalberg signed with Nas for 4 years @12 mil. Hopefully looking at a trade for some forwards, not much left out there worth paying for.

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#27 CaptainLander
July 05 2013, 12:04PM
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@DonDon

Ference is the exact type of player this team needs, and the oil forwards are so good that a defensive specialist like Gordon at center is not needed. Oil fans need to have a superstar at every position before they will be happy.

Great signings, still work for Mac T to do, for sure. But good start.

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#28 Ducey
July 05 2013, 12:06PM
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G Money wrote:

Ference lacks size but has 'grit'. I'll take that over size any day.

The only place where we truly need someone with size as well as grit and skill is on the second line to complement Gagner and Yak, and even that's more about having a strong puck-retrieval and possession guy moreso than actual raw size. A Ryan Smyth in his prime would do nicely.

We don't lack for size on our third and fourth lines or on our defense.

It was often our big guys that were lit up the worst last year.

We don't have third and fourth lines yet!

Right now they have:

Hall - Nuge - Eberle

Yak - Gags - ?

MPS - Gordon - ?

Smyth - ? - ?.

There is Brown, who would be best as a part timer, Hemsky is tradebait, and Lander needs another year in the AHL. That's it.

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#29 G Money
July 05 2013, 12:06PM
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Would still like to see Lapierre at 4C.

I heard a rumour that Hemsky might be Boston-bound but they wanted the Oilers to keep some salary if so.

Any thoughts/ideas on what would be coming back the other way if so???

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#30 Walter Sobchak
July 05 2013, 12:06PM
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Still need to fill some huge holes, got a feeling the Oilers are done with UFA season.

Better make some trades here.

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#31 oilerjed
July 05 2013, 12:07PM
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3years @ 3 mil for Gordon according to Bob Mackenzie. Good price?

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#32 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 12:08PM
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Clarkson 5.25 million per for 7 years.Partial no trade.

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#33 Fresh Mess
July 05 2013, 12:11PM
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# MILLION FOR GORDON ???? PATHETIC. TERRIBLE

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#34 bazmagoo
July 05 2013, 12:11PM
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oilerjed wrote:

3years @ 3 mil for Gordon according to Bob Mackenzie. Good price?

Bit of an over pay in my opinion, but not much. Probably worth $2.25 - $2.5 million for what he brings to the table, but the Oilers needed to fill that 3rd line centre spot.

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#35 Eddie Shore
July 05 2013, 12:12PM
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Gordon made $1.325M last year. Yes $3M is a little rich.

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#36 OilersBrass
July 05 2013, 12:12PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Still need to fill some huge holes, got a feeling the Oilers are done with UFA season.

Better make some trades here.

I'm still praying for Filppula for 2nd C and having Gagner on his wing.

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#37 Oilcan
July 05 2013, 12:12PM
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Any talk out there on morrow? Wouldn't Mind him for 2 years. Gordan for 3 mill is a little pricey but such is life for free agents.

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#38 Walter Sobchak
July 05 2013, 12:13PM
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@Ducey

Agreed, the Oilers have to start making big trades.

I think as soon as UFA day is over and the smoke clears the Oilers will make those "bold" trades.

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#39 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 12:13PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Gordon made $1.325M last year. Yes $3M is a little rich.

Horcoff is making 5.5 Gordon at 3 is cheaper and better.

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#40 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 05 2013, 12:14PM
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@Spydyr

I would have taken him at that price, not sure about 7 years though

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#41 G Money
July 05 2013, 12:14PM
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@Ducey

My point on the third and fourth line comment is that the 'need for size' is overrated.

We do need size on the second line to complement Gagner and Yak - though that size is only useful if it actually leads to better puck retrieval and possession.

But last year, our 3rd and fourth lines and most of our defense pairings averaged well over 200 lbs, and yet they usually got lit up like Xmas trees.

Another possibility for the 4R is Ben Eager. Though he was pretty bad last year, he has been a serviceable fourth liner with size/speed/grit in the past, and it is arguable that the concussion last year is what set his whole year back. Sounds like he was generally pretty solid in OKC, and since he's signed, might as well bring him to camp and see if he can reclaim that spot.

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#42 Walter Sobchak
July 05 2013, 12:15PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

I'm still praying for Filppula for 2nd C and having Gagner on his wing.

Filppula would be good, I think the Oilers have a different player in mind that will come through trade, who that is I have know idea?

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#43 French Toast Mafia
July 05 2013, 12:16PM
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Grabovski on the 3rd/2nd line would be something To look at if you could get him somewhere between 3.5-4.5. Good player, can play other teams top guys and chip in a bit of offense.

The Gordon signing was great but 3 million per season? way too much for a 4th line center...

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#44 French Toast Mafia
July 05 2013, 12:16PM
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Grabovski on the 3rd/2nd line would be something To look at if you could get him somewhere between 3.5-4.5. Good player, can play other teams top guys and chip in a bit of offense.

The Gordon signing was great but 3 million per season? way too much for a 4th line center...

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#45 John Chambers
July 05 2013, 12:16PM
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Craig Berube ... was at least property of both the Oilers and Flames.

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#46 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 12:17PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I would have taken him at that price, not sure about 7 years though

7 years scares the crap out of me.Especially for a role player.It was a good pass IMO.We just traded Horcoff's albatross contract.they don't need another.

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#47 OilersBrass
July 05 2013, 12:17PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Filppula would be good, I think the Oilers have a different player in mind that will come through trade, who that is I have know idea?

Well if it's from a trade he'll have to be better than Filppula, so i'd be tickled pink with either or!

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#48 washed up
July 05 2013, 12:19PM
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Boyd Gordon will be my goat pick for the 13/14 season

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#49 vetinari
July 05 2013, 12:20PM
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Gordon may have got an extra 20-25% on a contract but the term isn't too bad considering we needed to replace Belanger/Horcoff... Ference is a good price with probably a bonus year in term (would have loved to see a three year deal with him)... LaBarbera is a decent addition and Joensuu adds some beef in the bottom six... I suspect Joensuu was added as a result of input from Eakins since Joensuu's been an AHL regular for years... none of these contracts are boat anchors, and none of them have NTC's if we ever have to move someone... still need an AHL/NHL#3 goalie, another depth centre, and perhaps a defensive forward... suspect trades within the next 48 hours to fill holes... and Philly is over the cap-- go trade us a defenceman, MacT!

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#50 Smokey
July 05 2013, 12:20PM
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So all we need is Laperrier 3x2.25m or Kyle Chipchura 1x1.5

Beniot Pouliot 3x2.75m

Matt Cooke 3x3.5m

Jagr 1x5.25.

Keep Hemsky too.

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