Oilers acquire Mark Fraser from Toronto

Jonathan Willis
January 31 2014 09:06AM

TSN's Darren Dreger reports that the Oilers have added some size to their blue line, adding Mark Fraser from Toronto.

What The Oilers Sent Away

The players going the other way in the deal were both outside of the organization's plans, so the cost on this isn't especially dear.

Teemu Hartikainen is having a pretty good season in Russia and has to be the guy the Leafs were interested in on this deal. He's a big winger with some skill who couldn't do much in 23 NHL games last season with the Oilers; he wasn't interested in staying in the organization on a two-way deal and so he went off to Russia. I've been told down the line that this isn't a player that Edmonton really had plans for, but that doesn't mean he might not break out with the Leafs. 

Cameron Abney, the other guy in the trade, has negative value; he's an ECHL enforcer taking up a spot on Edmonton's 50-man list. In the Oilers' organization he was passed as a player by Erick Lizon (currently with the CHL's Wichita Thunder). 

What the Oilers Added

Everybody hoping Edmonton would add a big, physical defenceman for the third pair got their wish today.

Fraser is listed at 6'4", 220 pounds. He has had three fights in the NHL this season; last year he had nine fights in the majors and eight in the AHL. He's a stay-at-home defenceman who plays a throwback style; the new Theo Peckham on Edmonton's blue line. 

As for what he is as a player? Theo Peckham isn't far-off as a comparison there, either. Fraser has struggled badly this year, with regular partners Paul Ranger and Morgan Rielly both faring better without him than with him. Of interest, though, is the way he and Cody Franson played together last season, and the way his regular partners in New Jersey (primarily Andy Greene and Johnny Oduya) played with and without him. He has had a measure of success in the NHL before, even if he isn't enjoying that this season.

For the time being the pending unrestricted free agent can provide the Oilers with physical play in the six/seven slot and provide the Oilers with a warm body if they choose to move other free agents like Anton Belov or Nick Schultz or Corey Potterat the deadline. He has familiarity with Dallas Eakins from time spent with the Marlies, so he should slot in to the Oilers system with relative ease, and his skillset is a nice fit alongside any of Potter, Philip Larsen or Taylor Fedun on that bottom pair.

This is a small trade, but it adds a dimension the Oilers were lacking at the cost of players the team didn't really care about anyway. The player with the most potential to be an NHL difference-maker went to Toronto, but Hartikainen wasn't going to be that guy in Edmonton and the trade market for 'tweeners who want one-way deals isn't as robust as it could be. 

Update - via @Steve_Dangle of Leafs Nation comes this Hockey Night in Canada segment on Fraser:

Additionally, Jeff Veillette - who covered Fraser in person when Fraser played for the AHL's Toronto Marlies - wrote a piece on the trade for Leafs Nation.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Czar
January 31 2014, 10:39AM
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If you're still having issues with this trade or are trying to rekindle a love affair with Fistric read JW"s comments #13 and #14 a couple more times!!

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#52 DisappointedFan
January 31 2014, 10:41AM
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@Serious Gord

He made some good, he made some bad, he plugged some holes, and he left some open.

This ship is at the bottom of the Pacific and he's trying to send a dive team down to try and salvage the remains.

If he can at least take a few lessons from this first maiden voyage it should be that you don't go sailing through the open waters without the proper people in place to keep your boat above the water.

And always bring Scrivens to a Sharknado.

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#53 Zarny
January 31 2014, 10:44AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

We now go from FOKs being the overarching and only narrative to adding a new acronym FOE.

Being a friend of Eakins seems to be handy on ones CV.

Why don't they just fire the scouting staff. They seem to have little usefulness if connections/friendship with management trumps merit.

Good grief, get a grip.

You're the poster child for fans who have completely wet their pants this year.

Fraser played a whopping 50 games over 2 seasons with the Marlies. He and Eakins are no doubt BFF's.

Or more likely, the Oilers went after a player people in their organization have worked with in person.

Which pretty much every team in the entire NHL does.

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#54 DisappointedFan
January 31 2014, 10:46AM
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Czar wrote:

If you're still having issues with this trade or are trying to rekindle a love affair with Fistric read JW"s comments #13 and #14 a couple more times!!

Okay, as nice as it all sounds. Having Fistric from game one would have been miles better than having Mark Fraser at game 57. Regardless of cap hit, the Oilers took a huge standings hit by not having someone who can finish checks and play hockey. Grebeshkov, didn't work. Corey Potter, didn't work. Anton Belov, didn't work. Andrew Ference, is doing what he was brought to do but doesn't punish players with his checks.

He can tell me his cap hit was too high all you want on paper, but when he played he brought physicality that the Oilers did not have for the last 56 games.

Maybe he's paid a bit high...what else is new for the Oilers...they over pay players to carry the pucks to the ice for morning skate that do nothing else.

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#55 MaxPower417
January 31 2014, 10:46AM
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From a Leafs fan: I'm sorry Edmonton. You don't deserve this.

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#56 YEGFan
January 31 2014, 10:47AM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

Yah, but they all play like they are 5'2 most of the time. Belov occassionaly throws a hit, but never in front of his own net where it matters the most. Marincin is a bean pole still, the Schultz's are the defense sisters and Petry plays physical only when he knows no one on the other team will push back. The Oilers need a guy in the top 2 who is going to play physical.

The most important part of your message is right here: "Belov occassionaly throws a hit, but never in front of his own net where it matters the most."

Not all hits are created equal. Physical play has an obvious role in hockey, but it is a means to an end, not important in and of itself.

If Mark Fraser skates around punching and hitting people while getting lit up with goals and shots all day (which seems likely given his accomplishments so far), he will not help the Oilers.

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#57 oilersd
January 31 2014, 10:48AM
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@oilabroad

Fistric wanted 2 mil to sign with oilers. Ducks got him for 900 000. Third pairing dmen are not that hard to come by as evidenced by the current crop of oilers d. This move is strategy for a later deal IMO.

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#58 **
January 31 2014, 10:48AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

We now go from FOKs being the overarching and only narrative to adding a new acronym FOE.

Being a friend of Eakins seems to be handy on ones CV.

Why don't they just fire the scouting staff. They seem to have little usefulness if connections/friendship with management trumps merit.

For what it's worth both Ryan Hamilton and Acton Jr. are buried in the minors.

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#59 Spydyr
January 31 2014, 10:53AM
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I never was a big Mac-T fan but now he seems to be moving the team in a direction I am fond of.

Rome was not built in a day.If Mac-T can address goaltending, a top pairing defencman and some toughness with skill in the top six the team should start moving forward.

The upcoming trade deadline and this summer will be the time to restructure the team into one not so easy to play against.

Getting the top defencman will come with a dear cost but IMO it is time to make some difficult decisions.

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#60 Zarny
January 31 2014, 10:53AM
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Good trade.

Certainly not a bold move, but Hartikainen wasn't in the long term plans and MacT gets rid of Abney's contract.

Fraser is a big body D who has played well in TO at times. The Oilers get 26 games to see how he looks and if he's part of the solution.

If he is...great. If he's not...oh well...we didn't really give up anything to see. Zero risk.

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#61 Czar
January 31 2014, 10:54AM
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@DisappointedFan

Game 57 is better than not at all.

I liked what Fistric brought to the line up but he sure as heck wouldn't have made much of a difference in the standings. He turned down the Oilers offer so he wasn't an option anyway.

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#62 DisappointedFan
January 31 2014, 10:54AM
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oilersd wrote:

Fistric wanted 2 mil to sign with oilers. Ducks got him for 900 000. Third pairing dmen are not that hard to come by as evidenced by the current crop of oilers d. This move is strategy for a later deal IMO.

So you're telling me that the current crop of oilers d make hits and are physical?

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#63 DisappointedFan
January 31 2014, 10:57AM
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@Czar

I believe the term "too little too late" comes to mind on a player who's a UFA at the end of the season...

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#64 gcw_rocks
January 31 2014, 10:58AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Not buying out Hemsky? You're kidding, right?

Buying out Hemsky if no trade was available would have made sense if the team was looking to add Grabovski and one of Hainsey or Gilbert and needed cap space.

Buying Hemsky out for the sake of buying Hemsky out makes no sense.

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#65 michael
January 31 2014, 11:01AM
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Czar wrote:

The Oilers got a D-man who's willing to drop the mitts for spare parts, what's not to like?

Oiler's get tougher and still everyone complains? Wait until he bitch slaps a Canuck or Flame! Or he steps in when someone's taking liberties with one of the kids,maybe then you might come around.

Exactly my thought. Sure I want to see Klefbom play. Or Fedun. But they are better off in OKC right now than in Edmonton. We'll see what deadwood/defencemen MacT can unload/rid himself of at the trade deadline and then make a decision as to who should be recalled.

Till then Eakins has another option that he can use in games when he needs more beef than chicken in the lineup. That you Harry Potter. Remember Philly last season and turning down Hartnell for a dance.

I do not expect J.Shultz to drop the gloves and ruin that Covergirl face. But sure as heck I expected Belov to bring more grit this year than he has shown. Marincin is still a kid. He is playing well and for what he is I am delighted with the results. N.Shultz is a disaster. Larsen is so soft. Petry. Lots of skill but he scares not one single opponent with his play.Ferenve brings a complete game and were he 3 inches taller and 30 lbs heavier he would be ideal. For what he brings though I have no qualms with his game.

I would like the Oilers to find another grit guy for their 4th line. JJ just does not bring that dimension to hs game. He brings size and skill. But grit? I don't see that as part of his game and that is why he is a tweener.

Good job MacT

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#66 Joe Mamma
January 31 2014, 11:01AM
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This is a perfect example of not being able to please all of the people all of the time. This was a solid hockey move that cost us nothing guys. We traded a failing prospect and an overated one unwilling to accept his lot in life, for a roster player that fills a need. The vortex of negativity in this town is unstoppable, and getting old. Is this the big move we need? No. But it's still a good pickup.

Sometimes I think Oiler fans could do well to remember that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. We all agree that there are a multitude of issues with this club. Well, one of them was a lack of big, rugged, stay at home type dmen in the rotation. This is a good start to addressing it.

MacT has been VERY active, most of his pickups have been solid, and I doubt he's done. I'll take that over Mr. Dithers any day. I was pretty dubious when they announced him as GM, but he is definitely winning me over.

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#67 gcw_rocks
January 31 2014, 11:02AM
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What a joke. Yes, this is exactly what the team needs - more bottom pairing defencemen. Because Belov, Grebs, Larsen, Schultz Sr., Schultz Jr., Fedun and Klefbom aren't enough.

If I am Fedun, I am thinking "WTF?" I doubt we see Fedun in Edmonton for any material amount of time after this trade, if at all.

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#68 meh...
January 31 2014, 11:02AM
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Not earth shattering but a decent move. Replace a soft 6-7 defenceman with a meaner 6-7 defenceman. You want more size and grit, you're getting more size and grit.

You want Bobby Orr for Hemsky and a 3rd rounder you're dreaming...

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#69 Hemmercules
January 31 2014, 11:03AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

The trashes here are more hilarious than anything.

Blind faithers think that this is meaningful.

Trading nothing and less than nothing for another big slow cement head who can't play a lick....

The bridge to nowhere is going just great MacT.

Have your joy that your heroic braintrust is out there working hard to "Improve" things.

I don't understand the MacT hate. The guy took on a last place team of smurfs 6 months ago from a passive GM. He added Ference, Gordon, Perron, Scrivens, Brysgalov, Belov, Hendricks and now Fraser. Tried to get Bernier, Schneider, Clarkson and probably others in trade attempts we never heard about. He shipped out some underachievers in Duby, Paajarvi and Smid.

The guy is active, more so than most GM's out there as far as I can see. Not all moves will be great, not all will work out, but the guy is trying.

I seems to me a lot of people think its as easy as calling up GM's and demanding they trade their great players to us for our junk. Not gonna happen.

I want playoffs next year as much as anyone but it likely wont happen that fast. Tambloweini's team will take time to correct and I think MacT has the potential to do it.

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#70 Serious Gord
January 31 2014, 11:03AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Not buying out Hemsky? You're kidding, right?

As I have written before, there is only one buyout remaining under this cba. As the most critical cap crunch was this year, exercising the buyout this last summer would have been far more beneficial than using it this coming summer. That freed up salary and roster spot could have been used to pick up a long-term solution from a cap-strapped team (Philadelphia perhaps). Hemsky was on MacT's disposal list. Because he couldn't trade/deal him away he should have done the next best thing and bought him out.

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#71 Zarny
January 31 2014, 11:04AM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

Okay, as nice as it all sounds. Having Fistric from game one would have been miles better than having Mark Fraser at game 57. Regardless of cap hit, the Oilers took a huge standings hit by not having someone who can finish checks and play hockey. Grebeshkov, didn't work. Corey Potter, didn't work. Anton Belov, didn't work. Andrew Ference, is doing what he was brought to do but doesn't punish players with his checks.

He can tell me his cap hit was too high all you want on paper, but when he played he brought physicality that the Oilers did not have for the last 56 games.

Maybe he's paid a bit high...what else is new for the Oilers...they over pay players to carry the pucks to the ice for morning skate that do nothing else.

Sorry but having Fistric from game one would not have been miles better.

They had him last year and finished 24th.

For $2 million per year the only answer you give Mark Fistric is "get lost".

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#72 Rocknrolla
January 31 2014, 11:06AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

And while we're at it: if anything, the fact that the Oilers could add a cheaper Fraser for basically nothing graphically demonstrates how silly they would have been to give Fistric $2 million/year.

Plus Fraser actually fights! I like it...we gave up nothing and can try out a potential piece to add toughness. 25 games and see what his injuries are like.

Also with Hendricks out, it's nice to have some more toughness. 15 mins more a night.

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#73 Zarny
January 31 2014, 11:07AM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

What a joke. Yes, this is exactly what the team needs - more bottom pairing defencemen. Because Belov, Grebs, Larsen, Schultz Sr., Schultz Jr., Fedun and Klefbom aren't enough.

If I am Fedun, I am thinking "WTF?" I doubt we see Fedun in Edmonton for any material amount of time after this trade, if at all.

Actually if you're Fedun, you're thinking "great maybe Fraser will be able to knock ginormous centers like Getzlaf and Thornton off the puck...because I certainly can't do it."

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#74 DisappointedFan
January 31 2014, 11:10AM
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Zarny wrote:

Sorry but having Fistric from game one would not have been miles better.

They had him last year and finished 24th.

For $2 million per year the only answer you give Mark Fistric is "get lost".

We can't argue on the play of someone who wasn't here...but I think we have all agreed they had no physicality and got out muscled in many games that they may have stood a chance in. If he were there over an empty jersey in Potter (who deflects every shot in his own goal) or Belov (who lets guys easily skate in for a breakaway on his goalie) Nick Schultz (I don't know if he actually provides anything besides being somewhat in position and blocking shots) I think we would see a slightly higher standing.

24th looks a lot nicer than 29th or 30th...shows progression...not regression.

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#75 DisappointedFan
January 31 2014, 11:13AM
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Zarny wrote:

Actually if you're Fedun, you're thinking "great maybe Fraser will be able to knock ginormous centers like Getzlaf and Thornton off the puck...because I certainly can't do it."

Fedun wants to play in the NHL not cheer on guys who are taking his place and making his money. If you think anything otherwise you're lying to yourself.

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#76 Walter White
January 31 2014, 11:14AM
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meh... wrote:

Not earth shattering but a decent move. Replace a soft 6-7 defenceman with a meaner 6-7 defenceman. You want more size and grit, you're getting more size and grit.

You want Bobby Orr for Hemsky and a 3rd rounder you're dreaming...

The Oilers have a third rounder to trade??? I thought they have traded their round 2 to 5 picks away; I guess they don't need any more talent....

I am afraid the Fraser aquisition will put the hard earned 59 shot against record at risk.....

WW

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#77 Oasis
January 31 2014, 11:15AM
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NJ wrote:

The signing won't hurt us and freed up a contract.

Re: Fistric love. Quit kidding yourselves. MF is a number 8 d man. If I recall he's played 26 games this year while leading the Ducks In hits. Big tough yes. But only resigned because the cap is going UP. We don't need him here. Why? Because they're everywere.

Case and point? Fraser.

While not being bold, this is a reasonable move.

Add a little toughness which is always good. He can be resigned or walk away after the season is over. At 1.25m he is cheaper than Fistric and if Harty was never in our plans then we didn't really give up anything.

But at some point we need some big meaningful trades rather than the constant shuffling of the deck chairs by picking up 4th line forwards and 7/8 D-men. I expect the major changes to take place in the summer.

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#78 Lochenzo
January 31 2014, 11:16AM
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You're right that this is a move with an eye to trade deadline. Add a dman now and you'll probably see some guys get moved later for picks to replace some of the picks that were traded away away earlier in the year.

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#79 Rocknrolla
January 31 2014, 11:18AM
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Czar wrote:

The Oilers got a D-man who's willing to drop the mitts for spare parts, what's not to like?

Oiler's get tougher and still everyone complains? Wait until he bitch slaps a Canuck or Flame! Or he steps in when someone's taking liberties with one of the kids,maybe then you might come around.

I agree, not having a tough d-man on the ice has hurt us. The nice thing about tough D is that they are on the ice while the kids are out there.

How often is Gazdic out with Hall or Yak?

I remember saying when we had Andy Sutton that it was nice to have him there with the kids, and since losing him and Fistric, there was no real toughness on the D. Petry or Belov are not gonna go protect our kids. This guy will.

Me likey.

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#80 Will
January 31 2014, 11:19AM
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Joe Mamma wrote:

This is a perfect example of not being able to please all of the people all of the time. This was a solid hockey move that cost us nothing guys. We traded a failing prospect and an overated one unwilling to accept his lot in life, for a roster player that fills a need. The vortex of negativity in this town is unstoppable, and getting old. Is this the big move we need? No. But it's still a good pickup.

Sometimes I think Oiler fans could do well to remember that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. We all agree that there are a multitude of issues with this club. Well, one of them was a lack of big, rugged, stay at home type dmen in the rotation. This is a good start to addressing it.

MacT has been VERY active, most of his pickups have been solid, and I doubt he's done. I'll take that over Mr. Dithers any day. I was pretty dubious when they announced him as GM, but he is definitely winning me over.

Completely agree. Moreover, this might just be kind of a Manager deal. I can maybe see Nonis calling up MacT and saying hey, we need to offload some salary, we can take contracts back in return. Edmonton gets another bottom pairing guy at zero risk, and the Leafs maybe get enough cap room to either get something at the deadline, or get what's his name off injured reserve.

Fraser somehow in 48 games last year had 8 points and was plus 18. That is crazy. Who was he playing with on the leafs of all teams to have plus 18 in 46 games played? If that's the type of stay at home guy we are getting and can sign for reasonable dollars (see not Mark Fistric), that's great.

Oilers needed a veteran stay at home number 5/6 guy who shoot left to play with our more offensive guys. I wanted Orpik to play on the second pairing with J Schultz, but who knows.

Finally, for everyone wondering about Fedune, or this guy or that guy, well Fraser is a UFA at year's end so it's yet another no risk move for a bottom pairing guy. Either he plays good and we might resign him, or he doesn't and we don't.

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#81 Oasis
January 31 2014, 11:20AM
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@Oasis

Never got to page 2 of the comments and just saw Zarney's #60. Sorry for the repost.

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#82 Zarny
January 31 2014, 11:21AM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

We can't argue on the play of someone who wasn't here...but I think we have all agreed they had no physicality and got out muscled in many games that they may have stood a chance in. If he were there over an empty jersey in Potter (who deflects every shot in his own goal) or Belov (who lets guys easily skate in for a breakaway on his goalie) Nick Schultz (I don't know if he actually provides anything besides being somewhat in position and blocking shots) I think we would see a slightly higher standing.

24th looks a lot nicer than 29th or 30th...shows progression...not regression.

Of course you can argue on the play of someone that wasn't here. He's playing in Anh. His play warranted a lot less $$$ than he was asking for in Edm.

Overpaying for Fistric would have been beyond stupid. It would have been the next level of stupid compared to such beauts as Buf handing Ville Leino a pile of cash or Tor signing a 29 y/o undrafted player and career plugger like Clarkson to 7 years.

I certainly agree the Oilers need more size, strength and physical play. And quite frankly they need a few more guys that are flat out a**holes on the ice.

24th though does not look a lot nicer than 29th imo. Bottom of the league is bottom of the league.

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#83 Oiler63
January 31 2014, 11:22AM
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Don't get overly excited folks. He's not the same since taking the puck to the face last season. He did well last year but there's a reason he couldn't even crack Leafs' line up this year.

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#84 YEGFan
January 31 2014, 11:23AM
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Zarny wrote:

Actually if you're Fedun, you're thinking "great maybe Fraser will be able to knock ginormous centers like Getzlaf and Thornton off the puck...because I certainly can't do it."

Yeah! He can lay big hits on Thornton and Getzlaf after they've passed the puck for easy goals by Pavelski and Perry! Then I'm sure Thornton and Getzlaf will think twice before completely outplaying him again on the next shift, because, you know, tough guys on every team have been super effective at shutting centres like them down...

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#85 Czar
January 31 2014, 11:28AM
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@Rocknrolla

I'm with ya dude! Like him or not, Sutton kept the other team honest. Whether it was his size or elbows who cares, we missed that big time in our line up. @michael. 2 thumbs up!

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#86 Spydyr
January 31 2014, 11:31AM
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Czar wrote:

I'm with ya dude! Like him or not, Sutton kept the other team honest. Whether it was his size or elbows who cares, we missed that big time in our line up. @michael. 2 thumbs up!

Anyone that makes the Oilers harder to play against works for me.They have been the softest team in the NHL for far too long and it shows in their record.

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#87 Hemmercules
January 31 2014, 11:31AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

As I have written before, there is only one buyout remaining under this cba. As the most critical cap crunch was this year, exercising the buyout this last summer would have been far more beneficial than using it this coming summer. That freed up salary and roster spot could have been used to pick up a long-term solution from a cap-strapped team (Philadelphia perhaps). Hemsky was on MacT's disposal list. Because he couldn't trade/deal him away he should have done the next best thing and bought him out.

The only reason you buy out Hemmer in that situation is if you have a player as good or better coming in. They didn't have that obviously. Sure they could have just bought him out and hoped they could find another equal player somewhere between the start of the season and the trade deadline but I guess that wasnt a gamble they wanted to take.

Now they can maybe get something for him at the deadline rather than pay him millions to walk away.

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#88 YEGFan
January 31 2014, 11:32AM
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Rocknrolla wrote:

I agree, not having a tough d-man on the ice has hurt us. The nice thing about tough D is that they are on the ice while the kids are out there.

How often is Gazdic out with Hall or Yak?

I remember saying when we had Andy Sutton that it was nice to have him there with the kids, and since losing him and Fistric, there was no real toughness on the D. Petry or Belov are not gonna go protect our kids. This guy will.

Me likey.

No, he won't. "Protection" is a myth. No tough guy on any other team is scared of other tough guys. They all skate around "doing their jobs" by not being afraid of anyone else. They do not get intimidated by each other and they are all more than happy to lay a big hit on a star if they think they can get away with it and avoid a huge suspension and loss of income. Fortunately, they don't go out on the ice with the stars frequently because they get lit up so badly that the possible benefit of hitting a star is out weighed by number of goals it costs the team.

Putting assets and energy into acquiring tough or gritty players who aren't skilled is what is hurting this team most. The team is at the bottom of the league, get it through your head, no amount of tinkering with the 4th line or the bottom defense pairing is going to have any meaningful effect on this team's position in the standings.

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#89 Fresh Mess
January 31 2014, 11:34AM
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He is worth a shot. If he works he will bring something sorely lacking. If he doesn't work out, they gave up nothing to get him and his contract expires this summer.

Good move by Mactavish. Second solid trade in a row.

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#90 Joe Mamma
January 31 2014, 11:34AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

As I have written before, there is only one buyout remaining under this cba. As the most critical cap crunch was this year, exercising the buyout this last summer would have been far more beneficial than using it this coming summer. That freed up salary and roster spot could have been used to pick up a long-term solution from a cap-strapped team (Philadelphia perhaps). Hemsky was on MacT's disposal list. Because he couldn't trade/deal him away he should have done the next best thing and bought him out.

Sorry Gord, when you're in a hole, stop digging. Buying out a legit NHL forward with no replacement, for no reason other than to get him off the roster is brainless.

I agree with you that the Gagner extension and Grebs signing were legit errors on MacT's part, but this Hemsky argument is a stupid one. Frankly it just looks like you're trolling for an argument. Which you likely are.

Even a world-class cynic like yourself has got to admit that MacT has made some pretty decent moves this year, and has easily blown Tambo out of the water in 9 months on the job.

Maybe, just once, you could skip the grumpy pills with breakfast?

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#91 Bucknuck
January 31 2014, 11:38AM
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There was once this player that really hadn't done much at the NHL level. He was a big bodied tough as nails defenceman that was past his prospect due date (26 yrs old). He played for Toronto, and his skating was suspect and no one was expecting much.

Jason Smith was his name.

Now I am not saying this guy is Jason Smith, I'm just saying that a tough as nails all heart defenceman is something this team needs, and you never know what can happen when a player gets a new start.

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#92 Oiler63
January 31 2014, 11:39AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

He is worth a shot. If he works he will bring something sorely lacking. If he doesn't work out, they gave up nothing to get him and his contract expires this summer.

Good move by Mactavish. Second solid trade in a row.

I agree it's a good move. We got rid of two unwanted contracts through the trade and got someone who could potentially fill an organizational need. It's a risk worth taking.

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#93 Lochenzo
January 31 2014, 11:42AM
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Wonder if Cody Franson's name ever came up in the MacT-Nonis discussion? Here's a guy that everybody thought would easily be a top 4 guy. But then he'd crap the bed just as you started to get excited about him.

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#94 DisappointedFan
January 31 2014, 11:42AM
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@Zarny

So now he's playing on the Ducks, is 2nd on their team in hits and has played 28 games..you're telling me that wouldn't be something you'd pay for. He has 128 hits at 2nd on his team 40 hits above the next best player, and he'd be 1 hit behind Jeff Petry (team leader)...you'd be stupid not to pay somehow who goes and crushes people all day. We have more than enough non-offensive, non-defensive defensemen, they could have used one who could at least lay the body.

Mark Fraser has 66 hits in 19 games, hardly comparable. They overpaid Gagner, Horcoff, Hemsky, and on and on...overpaying a player who actually does his job is a huge plus. You get Matt Hendricks who is being paid because he's an energy player on the Oilers. I like it. He does his job and it's working for them.

Going from 29th to 24th = progression. Going from 24th to 29th = regression.

Moving up (progression) is a positive thing, so they are in the basement, they're atleast walking to the door. Moving down (regression) is a negative and shows that they like hiding in the dark and getting kicked around by their abusive older brothers (the rest of the league).

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#95 wellsy
January 31 2014, 11:42AM
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YEGFan wrote:

No, he won't. "Protection" is a myth. No tough guy on any other team is scared of other tough guys. They all skate around "doing their jobs" by not being afraid of anyone else. They do not get intimidated by each other and they are all more than happy to lay a big hit on a star if they think they can get away with it and avoid a huge suspension and loss of income. Fortunately, they don't go out on the ice with the stars frequently because they get lit up so badly that the possible benefit of hitting a star is out weighed by number of goals it costs the team.

Putting assets and energy into acquiring tough or gritty players who aren't skilled is what is hurting this team most. The team is at the bottom of the league, get it through your head, no amount of tinkering with the 4th line or the bottom defense pairing is going to have any meaningful effect on this team's position in the standings.

And the loss of which "asset" in this trade has you upset? Hartikainen in the KHL, or "who the hell is Cam Abney", because I don't think either of those players are going to come back and haunt the Oilers with their brilliant future.

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#96 MessyEH
January 31 2014, 11:43AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Signing gagner.

Not buying out hemsky.

Not getting a better goalie than dubnyk.

And probably ten others if I cared to take the time...

MacT has made far more mistakes than has made positive moves.

And it shows in the teams standings.

I don't think Hemsky is so bad, that the Oilers get better by not playing him.In fact Hemsky has been defensively solid this year.

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#97 Joe Mamma
January 31 2014, 11:43AM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

What a joke. Yes, this is exactly what the team needs - more bottom pairing defencemen. Because Belov, Grebs, Larsen, Schultz Sr., Schultz Jr., Fedun and Klefbom aren't enough.

If I am Fedun, I am thinking "WTF?" I doubt we see Fedun in Edmonton for any material amount of time after this trade, if at all.

Look again at the names you just listed, spend a little time thinking about the attributes each of those players brings, and you will have your case for why this is EXACTLY the kind of player we need in that spot in the rotation.

Frankly, who gives a crap about Fedun? I like the kid, but he's more of the same of what we already have. Which, in case you haven't noticed, isn't working so well.

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#98 Serious Gord
January 31 2014, 11:45AM
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Hemmercules wrote:

The only reason you buy out Hemmer in that situation is if you have a player as good or better coming in. They didn't have that obviously. Sure they could have just bought him out and hoped they could find another equal player somewhere between the start of the season and the trade deadline but I guess that wasnt a gamble they wanted to take.

Now they can maybe get something for him at the deadline rather than pay him millions to walk away.

None other than bill belechik has said that the most important thing in a cap league to have is plenty of cap room during the season. Having it enables one to fill holes due to injury or other unforeseen things but also to have the space to pick up players from other teams under cap space pressure - like Philly was early this season.

Having lots of cap space would have given the oil much more options. Buying out hemsky didn't require another move to be done - it should have been done in order to be ready to take advantage of future opportunities.

Part of the reason why all of MacT's in-season deals have been such small ball is because he lacks the cap room roster space to make a big ones.

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#99 Fresh Mess
January 31 2014, 11:48AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Okay, let's rein it in with the Mark Fistric love here. He wanted $2 million a year in Edmonton; the Oilers reportedly offered him a three-year/$4.5 million deal and he wouldn't take it.

Anaheim then signed him on the cheap for a year, and recently re-signed him to a deal for less money than the one Edmonton offered.

I simply can't get angry at the Oilers for refusing to pay Fistric $2 million a year. He added a nice element and I always had time for the player, but that's way too much money for the six/seven man on the depth chart.

I can't agree more or prop this enough. I am so sick of hearing about Fistric.

News flash people: HE DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY HERE.

Fistric is a marginal 6-7 dman, who badly priced himself out from playing here. He was willing to sign with a good team for half the money he demanded from Edmonton.

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#100 Rama Lama
January 31 2014, 11:52AM
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Great news, I was expecting a Brian Campbell trade.......yea like we need another small, non-physical defenceman.

This may not be bold, but it is courageous.

Go Mac T!

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