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.
LaBarbera> Khabibulin, mainly because he stays healthy.
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.
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.