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 Bucknuck
July 05 2013, 03:25PM
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THE SUMMER IS NOT OVER YET.

What a bunch of whiners. Holy sh!t. I'm glad they got a centreman and a decent D and a backup goalie. Gives them some depth and more certainty so they can pull the trigger on a trade. How could he make a trade before he knew whether he could replace some the players through free agency or not?

You'd think everyone would be overjoyed that he traded the "untradeable contract" named Horcoff and picked up a cheaper replacement.

To steal from Braveheart "If you call yourself (fans), then I'm ashamed to call myself one."

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 03:08PM
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Oilers- 36 contracts and nearly 14 million in cap space

Philadelphia- 43 contracts and currently 1.3 million over the cap.

This concludes this public service announcement.

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#3 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 02:46PM
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MKE wrote:

People who think Ference is a 5-6 will be in for a nice surprise.

Ference played the third most minutes in the playoffs for a finalist. Ference will defiantly be top 4 here for 2-3 years.By then the AHL kids should be ready.

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#4 Oilfan
July 05 2013, 12:59PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

RNH, Gagner, Gordon, Lander/Acton. That is not going to be good enough, not to mention Gagner hasn't even signed yet.

The even bigger concern is that the first game of the season is tonight and the current roster is final with no options to adjust. No, wait...

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 02:48PM
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bill wrote:

Typical Oilers.

1. Make a lot of noise about change and 5 cups

2. DO NOTHING

3. Over pay for Boyd and post Apex Ference

4. Still not addressing the goaltending or size up front

result: missing the playoffs AGAIN

C'mon Bill, don't beat around the bush. Tell us how you really feel. Don't hold anything back, both barrels or bust. We can take it bud.

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#6 Mikey
July 05 2013, 12:30PM
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Smokey wrote:

Gordon is better in faceoff's and what else. I don't watch the caps enough. 3 mil for 0 offence.

Must not watch much hockey. He was in Phoenix.

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#7 Old Soldier
July 05 2013, 12:29PM
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I dont understand the criticism of the signings so far. The reality of Free Agent Frenzy is that every single signing is an overpayment to some degree. You have 30 teams all fighting for the same small group of players, and no individual team has a foot up on everyone else anymore.

The Oilers had holes to fill, and there is little argument that each signing is an improvement to some degree over the previous player. Gordon is an overpayment, but a big strong solid 2 way center isnt going to come cheap today, same with Ferrence. I really like the Ferrence signing, as much for his presence in the dressing room than for his on ice skills, and that is no slight to him either. Watching the playoffs this year, it can be argued that he and his partner ended up taking over top pairing from Chara.

Perhaps the best move so far, has to be the Horcoff trade, not so much for the return, but the fact is that they got that contract off the books without having to use a compliance buyout, which is still good for another year.

I think one of the big issues for teams moving forward to the next CBA negotiations, is how many and how frequently teams are using buyouts. When you have teams signing Clarkson for 7 years, Horton for 7 years and Giroux for 8 years, these teams will be regretting some of these contracts in 3 or 4 years, and will undoubtably use buyouts in some cases. As easy as that seems to fix the problem, those buyouts add up, if you buyout 1 player every summer, considering each buyout takes twice the term and does count against the cap (not the compliance ones), you could in a few years, have 4 or 5 buyouts taking up a big chunk of cap space. And there is no fix for that.

I would rather teams like the Oilers overpay in Cap hit, than in Term. A 4 year contract is easier to deal with than a 7 or 8 year, and especially when talking about players entering their 30's.

There hasnt been a single contract signed in the last 4 years that had a term greater than 5 years, that hasnt come back to haunt the team ....

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#8 Bonvie
July 05 2013, 01:31PM
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Time to offer sheet Pieterangelo for 8 mil for 7 years.

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#9 The Soup Fascist
July 05 2013, 02:08PM
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Benny Botts wrote:

Who reported this?

From what I can see ....... gretzlover's cousin's brother-in-law whose accountant's aunt knew a guy who went to school with Iggy's sister's best friend's badminton partner.

Book it!

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#10 Ducey
July 05 2013, 02:14PM
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fig pucker wrote:

missed the boat on bobby ryan to. i mean silverburg + 1 and a first round pic we couldn't put a competitive package together? all of these big deals snd were in on none of them.

It was Silverberg, Noesen and a 1st.

Ryan is a RW. Last I checked the Oilers had Ebs and Yak there.

This place is comical. No matter who goes to another team, some lugnut always has to say "MacT sucks! Should have got him!"

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#11 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 02:20PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I think it may be his howitzer from the point...check that, no, it's the intimidation factor/the numerous thundering bodychecks he throws on a nightly basis, check that, no, it HAS to be his pp point totals...

Sorry, I forgot, what were we talking about again?

Maybe its his undying loyalty to an NHL job/paycheque?

Oh I thought it might be he is one of the top players in the NHL for block shots.His competitive nature.The way he comes to play every night.His willingness to stand up for a teammate.Playing every night against the top players in the NHL. His playing through pain and the respect his teammates have for him.Just ask his goalie what he thinks of Laddy.

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#12 Benny Botts
July 05 2013, 03:05PM
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bill wrote:

Typical Oilers.

1. Make a lot of noise about change and 5 cups

2. DO NOTHING

3. Over pay for Boyd and post Apex Ference

4. Still not addressing the goaltending or size up front

result: missing the playoffs AGAIN

My guess is your uneducated on the NHL, and free agency...

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#13 MKE
July 05 2013, 03:47PM
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bill wrote:

Well in a must win game at home, you guys lost to our AHL team. Enough said, the Oilers are post apex. Enjoy 3 mill for Boyd Gordon, Burke was right when he said stupid moves are made on free agency day. Hope those 2 goals a year are wroth it, SCORE!

Ya and 5 years from now that will still be the only highpoint of being a flames fan

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#14 bored
July 05 2013, 03:57PM
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@Bucknuck

"Every man dies...not every man REALLY lives"

- William Effing Wallace

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#15 Bucknuck
July 05 2013, 04:17PM
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The Flames finished behind the Oilers this last year. It makes it so much easier to deal with the Southern Alberta blowhards. Now it is their turn to suck, and I think Feaster is just the man to do it.

Seven new players have been added to the Oilers in the last 24 hours. Most of them depth players, but when was the last time the Oilers really had decent depth. This is a good sign.

Now that all the "free" players are getting gobbled up, teams will be forced to turn to trades to address their needs, and the Oil will need to be in the discussion.

I'm disappointed the Oil didn't get Clarkson, Ryan or Clutterbuck, but there's still a few players who will be moved, and I know the Oilers will be in the mix.

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#16 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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#17 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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#18 Smokey
July 05 2013, 12:36PM
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Mikey wrote:

Must not watch much hockey. He was in Phoenix.

I pretty much don't watch Pheonix, lol, do you? I got a choice between paint drying and yotes. Easy choice, go paint.

These days I watch Oil, Flamers, and eastern contenders. I just don't get into Pheonix games. That entire division was brutal.

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#19 jonny94
July 05 2013, 12:51PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Oil sign Will Acton, centre from the Marlies

Says Will Acton is a left winger?

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#20 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 05 2013, 01:07PM
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@bazmagoo

Mclaren signed somewhere already, can't remember where though

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#21 Mikey
July 05 2013, 01:12PM
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Smokey wrote:

I pretty much don't watch Pheonix, lol, do you? I got a choice between paint drying and yotes. Easy choice, go paint.

These days I watch Oil, Flamers, and eastern contenders. I just don't get into Pheonix games. That entire division was brutal.

Brutal is right. But flame games?

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#22 Gretzlover
July 05 2013, 01:24PM
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Oilers close on two year 6 mill contract on JAROME!!!! Suck that flames!

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#23 OilersBrass
July 05 2013, 01:36PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Sure to bad he can't get around the ice anymore.Just say no.Between him and Smyth they would be so slow.

So you honestly wouldn't want Iginla on the Oilers?

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#24 bazmagoo
July 05 2013, 01:49PM
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Bonvie wrote:

Time to offer sheet Pieterangelo for 8 mil for 7 years.

I'd do it, we'd be a playoff team immediately if we could pull that off.

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#25 madjam
July 05 2013, 02:00PM
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You dole out for Gordon almost triple his salary for a marginal 3rd line center , but wouldn't dole out $3M for two seasons for Iginla ? Your probably the same group that also likes Jagr at $5M plus - and remind me of how many goals he scored in playoffs this season.

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#26 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 02:12PM
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Hurricanes sign Anton Khudobin, 1 year, $800,000. Wish the Oilers would have gotten him instead of Labarbera.

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#27 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 02:39PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Understood, but that was when there was so little else here, he was expected to be the Oilers best player. With what's here now, that weight wouldn't be on his shoulders anymore.

Play him anywhere you want, 2nd,3rd, 4th line LW. He could spot in on any line.

I spotted him once in a line.At a donair shop.Pass.

Another agree to disagree?

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#28 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 02:58PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Amen to that.

The Oilers blueline youngsters have the role model now. If Coburn ends up here, it's only because he's bringing Couturier with him. Puck Holmgren.

We finally agree on something.I'm keeping my eye out for lightning.

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#29 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 03:00PM
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bill wrote:

Typical Oilers.

1. Make a lot of noise about change and 5 cups

2. DO NOTHING

3. Over pay for Boyd and post Apex Ference

4. Still not addressing the goaltending or size up front

result: missing the playoffs AGAIN

2)According to TSN they signed more free agents then any other team.

3)Every free agent is an over pay.You are not giving up anything for them.See Clarkson 7 years at 5.5

4) They signed an NHL back up.I would have preferred someone to push Dubbie.

6)They signed at big Finn Joensuu, 25, is a 6'4" 209 lb .

Rome was not built in a day.After things calm down and the NHL cottage break is over look for some trades before camp.They have holes yes many but they did not make any stupid moves.

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#30 Spydyr
July 05 2013, 03:09PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Oilers- 36 contracts and nearly 14 million in cap space

Philadelphia- 43 contracts and currently 1.3 million over the cap.

This concludes this public service announcement.

Rubs hand together vigorously with and evil grin, chuckling.

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#31 Benny Botts
July 05 2013, 03:10PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

C'mon Bill, don't beat around the bush. Tell us how you really feel. Don't hold anything back, both barrels or bust. We can take it bud.

Go on, tell me how you feel MacT failed to make an EA Sports NHL all star team on the first day of free agency.

That was meant for Bill by the way.

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#32 2004Z06
July 05 2013, 03:21PM
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Is Iginla and upgrade over Ryan Jones?

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#33 michael
July 05 2013, 03:22PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Oilers- 36 contracts and nearly 14 million in cap space

Philadelphia- 43 contracts and currently 1.3 million over the cap.

This concludes this public service announcement.

No pressure Holmgren but we would like to help you but we feel that we should kiss you before we deliver the coup de gras. I like Brayden and Luke Shenn. 2 fer is good by me.

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#34 Bucknuck
July 05 2013, 03:34PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

To steal from Braveheart "If you call yourself (fans), then I'm ashamed to call myself one." _________________________________________________________________________________________

My favorite line was.... FREEEEEEDOMMMMMMMM! Man, that guy's the bees' knees of actors.

That was such a great movie. A lot of good lines in it too.

"Well we didn't get dressed up for nuthin'"

"He wasn't right, in the head."

"It's MYYYY Island. Mine."

"So your mom's been telling stories about me again, eh?"

EDIT - I forgot: "Burn it" in a thick Scottish accent.

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#35 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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#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 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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#50 DevoKnows
July 05 2013, 11:50AM
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Clarkson signs with Leafs 7yrs . $40 Million!!!!!!!! OUCH!!!!!!!!!

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