Free agency begins...Oilers sign Fayne and Pouliot

Jason Gregor
July 01 2014 10:02AM

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The Dallas Stars got a jump on the rest of the NHL when they acquired Jason Spezza and Ludvig Karlsson for Alec Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and 2nd round pick in 2015.

The West continues to get stronger, and if the Oilers plan to become competitive in two years they must develop Leon Draisaitl correctly. You need elite centres, two of them, to compete in the western conference. 

The Oilers won't get an elite centre in free agency, but they will try to find some quality veterans to help the Oilers young core become more competitive.

BREAKING...Oilers sign Mark Fayne to a four-year deal at $3.5 million/year and Benoit Pouliot for five years at $4 mill/year.

Former Oiler, Ales Hemsky, signs in Dallas for three years at $4 million/year 

Oilers sign Keith Aulie to a one-year deal. Good depth guy. He can be a #6/7 and it is better that he sits in the pressbox instead of a young D-man.

The Oilers will try to land a centre, a 3rd line left winger a 4th line right winger and some D-men.

They will go after players like Legwand, Goc, Grabovski, Jokinen, Boyle, Kulemin, Pouliot, Winnik, Fayne, Engelland, Stralman and Dan Boyle.

If they can land two of those players that would be a good day, if they get three would very good. We'll see what happens.

We will update you as the day unfolds.

Also, before we get to hockey I'd like to say Happy 147th birthday to The True North Strong and Free. I'm extremely lucky to have been born in this great country and make sure you celebrate our great Nation today.

BrdvKyfCAAEtdTE

QUICK HITS...

  • With Dallas trading for Spezza, this puts even more pressure on St.Louis to try and sign Stastny. I like Stastny a lot, but if he gets $7mill/year that is huge money for a guy who is a great 2nd line centre.


  • Jarome Iginla and the Bruins might have to part ways because the Bs have limited cap space. Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Colorado and Detroit are interested. The Avs really like Iginla and want his experience and if they lose out on Stastny, which seems likely, they could go hard after Iggy.


  • Dave Bolland is my pick for biggest overpayment. Who is yours?

SIGNINGS BEGIN...

  • Penguins sign Ehrhoff for one year at $4 million. Good signing for Pens, especially with Maatta coming off shoulder surgery.
  • Manny Malhotra signs a one year, $850,000 deal with Montreal. Malhotra continues to be a great feel good story....
  • Mark Fayne at four years $3.5 million is a solid signing, but I don't see him more than a #4 long term. The most important part of this signing is that means the Oilers don't have to rush their young D-men.
  • Pouliot's five years concerns me. Time will tell, but that money for five years could be an issue in the future. He has played on five teams in five years. The Oilers needed a proven NHL player and he is that, but five years is major risk, IMO. Pouliot is a former #4 overall pick, so he does have some skill. I like that he is very aggressive on the forecheck and he will give the Oilers a good puck retriever.

Recently by Jason Gregor:  

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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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#201 Craig1981
July 01 2014, 01:17PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I'm guessing with the glut of centres still out there that everyone was waiting for the Spezza/Statsny shoe to fall. Sure hope Edmonton lands one centre.

I know

Hall--RNH--Eberle........ Purcell--??--Perron........ Pouliot--Draisait--Yak...... Henricks--Gordon--Pitlick

Those lines look as good as ever, but that is a big hole in the middle.

PS, My expectations for next year realize that our back end is full of 3rd-5th defencemen,

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#202 bazmagoo
July 01 2014, 01:29PM
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Fayne is a great signing, well done MacT! Exactly what the Oilers need, and a great d partner for Ference. Pouliot deal worries me, would have preferred Raymond's contract. That term could prove to be a mistake. Hope he brings his 'eh game and proves me wrong.

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#203 The Last Big Bear
July 01 2014, 01:36PM
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Ugh. And Flames step right into the Engelland contract cow-pie.

Knew it was gonna be somebody, was just hoping it would be someone else.

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#204 Mason Storm
July 01 2014, 02:21PM
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Gagner and Dubnyk reunited in the desert where they can continue wandering together.

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#205 Johnnydapunk
July 01 2014, 02:21PM
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In more former Oiler news, Dubnyk signs with the Coyotes on a one year deal for $800 000.

I'm happy for him as he seemed like a nice enough chap who just had a career meltdown on an epic scale. Hope he gets it back on track.

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#206 Danger Pay
July 01 2014, 02:52PM
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Anyways, no Mac T presser yet, maybe another signing in the works?

*Edit* Crap it's over, still a good day

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#207 The Soup Fascist
July 01 2014, 03:00PM
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v4ance wrote:

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance Niskanen closing in on a deal with the Capitals.

Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper Told Niskanen has already turned down 7 yrs in ballpark of 35m by one #NHL club. Safe to say he'll eventually sign the richest deal this yr

(Ooooh! New candidate for ridiculous ovepay in years and dollars, coming up!)

And the "winner" for contract most likely to be bought out ..... Your Washington Capitals.

Just not sure which grossly overpaid D-man it will be.

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#208 Smokey
July 01 2014, 03:19PM
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v4ance wrote:

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance Niskanen closing in on a deal with the Capitals.

Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper Told Niskanen has already turned down 7 yrs in ballpark of 35m by one #NHL club. Safe to say he'll eventually sign the richest deal this yr

(Ooooh! New candidate for ridiculous ovepay in years and dollars, coming up!)

Glad its not Minny, where everyone wants to play. Minnosota is nice, about as nice as Detroit.

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#209 mithaman
July 01 2014, 03:20PM
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MacT did a good job today. He signed players with size and real NHL experience which the Oilers desperately needed. The term and price for Fayne and Pouliot was also very good. Comparable free agents seemed to have gotten similar dollars and term on their deals.

While these deals will make the Oilers better they are still a long way from making the playoffs in the big bad west. Fayne, Pouliot, Nikitin, and Purcell make them more competitive but they do not make the Oilers a playoff team. Just look at their competition:

La Kings - Reigning champs added Gaborik Chicago Blackhawks - 2 cups in 4 years Anaheim - Added Kesler San Jose - Perrenial Contender Colorado - Lost Stastny but added Iggy Minnesota - Added Vanek Vancouver - Added Miller St. Louis - Added Stastny Dallas - Added Spezza and Hemsky

There is a massive talent gap already between these teams and the Oilers, and all their competitors got better today. To stand a chance in the West the Oilers still need a #1 D, and a #1/2 C to guide Nuge and Draistl. Yakupov, Klefbom, Nurse, and Marincin will also need to improve and develop.

It's a shame, because the Oilers look like a playoff team in the East, but the West is just too good right now. MacT is doing a good job and we are slowly getting better. If we continue down this road we should be playoff team for a long time in 2-3 years.

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#210 Smokey
July 01 2014, 03:21PM
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v4ance wrote:

WHOA! Willie Mitchell, 37 yrs old got 2 years at $4.25 from Florida?

There's getting to the cap floor and there's going for McDavid, without wink, wink, nudge, nudge, going for it!

Florida I think will compete in a weekened Eastern Conference. Ottawa I think has to be must be 4 to 1 odds of landing McDavid, along with Buffalo.

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#211 SMOKEY
July 01 2014, 03:28PM
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mithaman wrote:

MacT did a good job today. He signed players with size and real NHL experience which the Oilers desperately needed. The term and price for Fayne and Pouliot was also very good. Comparable free agents seemed to have gotten similar dollars and term on their deals.

While these deals will make the Oilers better they are still a long way from making the playoffs in the big bad west. Fayne, Pouliot, Nikitin, and Purcell make them more competitive but they do not make the Oilers a playoff team. Just look at their competition:

La Kings - Reigning champs added Gaborik Chicago Blackhawks - 2 cups in 4 years Anaheim - Added Kesler San Jose - Perrenial Contender Colorado - Lost Stastny but added Iggy Minnesota - Added Vanek Vancouver - Added Miller St. Louis - Added Stastny Dallas - Added Spezza and Hemsky

There is a massive talent gap already between these teams and the Oilers, and all their competitors got better today. To stand a chance in the West the Oilers still need a #1 D, and a #1/2 C to guide Nuge and Draistl. Yakupov, Klefbom, Nurse, and Marincin will also need to improve and develop.

It's a shame, because the Oilers look like a playoff team in the East, but the West is just too good right now. MacT is doing a good job and we are slowly getting better. If we continue down this road we should be playoff team for a long time in 2-3 years.

Kesler is slipping, the Anaheim could arguably make Anaheim worse.

Vancouver is rebuilding. They can't compete with the big boys. Miller is worse the Schneider better then Luongo.

San Jose I wonder when the end is near. They got to get a defenseman.

ST. Louis got exactly what they needed.

Colorado is the same. Loose Stastny add Iggy. Similar ppg last year, they just saved 1.5 million.

Minny and Dallas I hate. Just not fair to ad Spezza for nothing, and Vanek makes Minny scary.

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#212 The Soup Fascist
July 01 2014, 04:16PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

You can be as offended as you want to be. Just don't expect everyone to conform to your whims.

And if you need to call out others with sanctimonious outrage to make yourself feel righteous, then expect backlash.

Not everyone is down with heavy handed censorship to appease the shrill pious types.

Because I disagree with you, I am pious and sanctimonious? How hypocritical of you.

I am not expecting anyone to conform. But don't be shocked if you get called on it if you use the word "retard" or drop n-bombs. I disagree with it but I can't control how you think or speak.

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#213 The Soup Fascist
July 01 2014, 04:23PM
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jake wrote:

Another key thing today is the fact Nuge, Hall and Ebs all have cost certainty for ++ years into the future. Had Tambellini done 2 year bridge deals for 4 and 14 back in summer 2012, this might be a whole different day.

Not sure of the tie in but I appreciate the fact you are trying to turn this back into a hockey forum.

Well done.

Those should be looked at as value contracts if those guys play well and stupid dollars continue to be handed out.

Despite the cap being a couple of million below the anticipated $71 million this year it will go up substantially over the next couple of years.

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#214 Lofty
July 01 2014, 04:25PM
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How about Tom Gilbert finding his way into a contract for $2.8 per year for a pair of years?!

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#215 The Soup Fascist
July 01 2014, 04:53PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

And the clown show the got the oil into this mess is still running things...

I can't defend the state this team was in or some of the decisions made at the highest level.

However Gord, is the team better or worse since MacT took the helm?

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#216 Johnnydapunk
July 01 2014, 05:04PM
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I guess overall I'm not head over heels about the signings, but I'm also pretty aware that until the Oil start winning and being at least competitive, it's gonna be a struggle to get players here.

I do like that depth wise the Oil improved greatly and didn't pay crazy crazy money for that, they are better then before the day begun and MacT seems to be sensible enough to make signings that are needed to make the team better. It doesn't mean that the Oil are a cup contender, but for the first time in a while, they seem to be going forward and depth signings are needed for that.

The signings make sense and in the press rhe mentioned that the search for a centre man is still ongoing so it's not like he is oblivious to what's needed.

MacT is realising the needs and dealing with them one at a time and that's nice to see, from goaltending, toughness, semi decent defenceman, protecting the young players a bit and now allowing them to develop a bit, to getting rid of not so great contracts, he has not been afraid to make a move or two.

Now is the time that the doorcrasher/ bidding war is over and the dust can settle and the prices will not be as crazy for whatever is left.

I'm not expecting miracles, but success will bring players, so hopefully there will be a bit coming up. Shame that the Western conference is sooo tough though :-p

I do think that Katz has put a bit of a timeline on that the Oil need to be successful by the time the new Arena is built though.

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#217 KozyMel
July 01 2014, 05:07PM
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All I really need to know right now is whether Mark is "Dark" Fayne or "Light" Fayne.

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#218 Danger Pay
July 01 2014, 05:28PM
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hankthetank wrote:

It's amazing all the negativity in here today. Some of you guys should take your toys and go home.

I am obviously a part of the optimistic minority who feel that MacT did some good work in the last few days...I'm excited for the start of the season.

Any one else....?

100% agree.

The one thing I don't wanna see though is Hall, Eb's and Lil Nugy talking about making a push for the playoffs during training camp, like they did last year.

The message from the "Kids" has to be and should be "It's time to take our games to the next level and put in an honest effort game in and game out" "Our focus is game one, winning that game and going from there"

I'm not falling for that "had a great summer of workouts, which should help make a playoff push" crap again.

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#219 Fresh Mess
July 01 2014, 05:44PM
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Danger Pay wrote:

100% agree.

The one thing I don't wanna see though is Hall, Eb's and Lil Nugy talking about making a push for the playoffs during training camp, like they did last year.

The message from the "Kids" has to be and should be "It's time to take our games to the next level and put in an honest effort game in and game out" "Our focus is game one, winning that game and going from there"

I'm not falling for that "had a great summer of workouts, which should help make a playoff push" crap again.

I hear what you're saying, but I don't blame the players for saying that. I agree with your sentiment about consistent effort. I do think winning should be the goal.

The ones I don't believe anymore are the management selling a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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#220 Smokey
July 01 2014, 06:44PM
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Zarny wrote:

Hey, it could be worse.

The Oilers could have David Jones signed to $4M per year.

Or worse yet, they could have given Deryk Engelland $2.9M for 3 years lol. That's over 5 X more than any GM has ever paid him to be a 3rd pairing Dman.

Engelland deal made me feel good about all our overpays. Its nice to know one GM is worse then ours.

3 million for a popcorn muncher/facepuncher makes me glad.

I can't see any Calgary fan liking this.

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#221 v4ance
July 01 2014, 06:59PM
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Smokey wrote:

Don't understand all the left wingers, and why they signed Gadzic to a 2 year deal. Frankly I'd roll with Hendricks on the 4th, seems to be extra money wasted.

You have to assume the Oilers are working on landing one of O.Yokinen, Legwand, Grabbo. Picking up these free agent wingers seems pointless if he does not don't have a insulator for Draisaitl, and I don't buy MacT would roll with Deutsch Diggler in that 2nd line center position and throwing him against the Thornton and Kopitars of the conference.

I've also wondered if there may be a deal being worked out for Berglund. Maybe Lecavalier if he would waive his no trade (not likely) and if Philly retain a third of his salary or something. Chicago has got to figure out their cap issues, I would like to think Sharp would shake loose with the signing of Richards, albeit his usage has been at wing recently.

If I'm MacT, I'm not letting Phi get out of their cap hell that easily.

IF we take Lecavalier as a salary dump, they need to send their 2nd round pick with him for a prospect like Davidson/Musil or a 4th rounder going back.

Either that or we go for the jugular and say Couturier or bust for that same prospect or 4th rnd pick. Might even be nice and send Joensuu back with the pick/prospect ;)

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#222 Mujidog
July 01 2014, 07:07PM
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MacT did well today. The roster is gaining clarity; players have more defined roles. There are less question marks like Joensuu, Belov, and Grebeshkov; MacT learned his lesson last year..

That said, this puzzle's missing pieces are smack dab in the center (pun intended). The missing pieces aren't on the edge of the puzzle where few would notice. They're right in the middle; right in the cat's face, the sailboat, the Eiffel tower. He needs to find those pieces. He has lots of time though.

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#223 KozyMel
July 01 2014, 07:42PM
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@Johnnydapunk

I agree more progress was made today than the same time last year.

Who the Anton Belov or Mark Fraser is in this group, who knows?

The only "project" I see is Auley.

Not sold on the Pouliot idea but ....

The rest are players. How good remains to be seen.

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#224 AutoOiler
July 02 2014, 02:34AM
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Oilers wrote:

So when Mac T fails, are we all going to drink Lowes koolaid for his next cronie.

If your a fan...yes. You can't fire Lowe I can't fire Lowe. The guy was willing to quit and Katz retained him. So...effectively...Katz cannot fire lowe.( Boyhood crushes are a hell of a thing.)

The NHL is an entertainment business. It has 29 other teams you can cheer for. Discussion is a good thing. Being negative, just for the sake of being negative, is a waste of time.

If this organization is not entertaining you, and only bringing negative events into your life, stop paying attention. You will feel a whole lot more fulfilled.

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#225 They're $hittie
July 01 2014, 10:14AM
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fayne and pouliot, yes!

and a great contract, not sure about 4M for that long on Pouliot.

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#226 jonny94
July 01 2014, 10:20AM
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Pricey for these guys but glad we have some much needed solid NHL players added to the roster

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#227 The Real Scuba Steve
July 01 2014, 10:31AM
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Good ones MacT, keep em coming.

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#228 Smokey
July 01 2014, 10:31AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

8.5 million on Purcell and Pouliot. Ouch. I don't get why they would sign Pouliot unless they are about to trade one of their wingers. Hopefully it's Yakupov.

I like the signing, I just hope its lower cap hit.

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#229 Waiting4six
July 01 2014, 10:38AM
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Stasny to St. Loius

How much for Bergland now..?

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#230 TonyT
July 01 2014, 10:45AM
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Purcell, Fayne, and Poulioit so far. MacT buying into advanced stats.

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#231 The Last Big Bear
July 01 2014, 10:51AM
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bradleypi wrote:

Shocker.... guy hasn't been an oiler for an hour and he's getting crapped on...I love the signings today... actual nhl players are never a bad thing...keep them coming Mact!!

Nobody's crapping on the Fayne contract yet...

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#232 v4ance
July 01 2014, 10:51AM
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Smokey wrote:

no one disputes you, its an assinine term by a desperate GM.

Remember Raymond, similar player in terms of where they slot in on your 3rd line. Got a tryout and a 1 million dollar deal last year.

Mark Pouliot is not a driven player and in no way deserves term.

Pouliot got $4M/5 yrs and Raymond just signed 3 yrs, $9.5 total or around $3.1/yr with Calgary.

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#233 Sevenseven
July 01 2014, 10:58AM
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Hope we see a #2 center coming.

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#234 gus1000
July 01 2014, 10:58AM
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Pouliot is a good player, but would rather him with Raymond's contract. An overpay, but not overly bad by year three when the cap is probably $75 mil.

Fayne fills a hole, played a lot of minutes on a good team. Big, can clear the front of the net. Doesn't turn the puck over.

So far Mac has been moving the roster.

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#235 BleedingOil
July 01 2014, 11:01AM
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still need a 2C

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#236 pelhem grenville
July 01 2014, 11:07AM
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Smokey you said"...Mark Pouliot is not a driven player and in no way deserves term..."

oilers got BENOIT POULIOT...are confusing the stench of M.A. Pouliot the oilers used to have ?

Hemsky a Star...

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#237 SlowTalker
July 01 2014, 11:10AM
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My wish came true. Hilarious!

Ryan Miller 3yr 18 Mill.

I'm going to be laughing all day!!

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#238 madjam
July 01 2014, 11:14AM
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WOW . Hemsky to Dallas for 3year - $4M/season . He'll be back with Spezza . Nill doing a good job in Dallas . R.Miller to Canucks .

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#239 a lg dubl dubl
July 01 2014, 11:15AM
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Hear with Fayne in the mix, a dman could be moved for c help. Petry?

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#240 Smokey
July 01 2014, 11:21AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Hear with Fayne in the mix, a dman could be moved for c help. Petry?

The Oilers can ill afford to trade Petry for a center. Defensive looks reasonable for once. I think Petry name was out there in order to be part of a package to get a top pairing defender.

I think the Oilers are targeting Olli.

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#241 pelhem grenville
July 01 2014, 11:22AM
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"...Pouliot signed with Florida a while ago..."

Spydyr...huh?

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#242 Danoilerfanincalgary
July 01 2014, 11:22AM
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Both Pouliot and Purcell are bigger less a defensive liability and cheaper than Gagner, looks like an upgrade to me.

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#243 SlowTalker
July 01 2014, 11:29AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Opps meant Yokinen .

I think some of you guys should take a breath or two before posting.

However I totally don't blame you for screw-ups if you are rapidly posting the shortcomings of players and teams on multiple fan boards at one time.

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#244 Will
July 01 2014, 11:41AM
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Well, unless they get someone on free agency, did the ducks just lose all their centre depth. Traded Bonino, and Perreault just went to Washington, so after that they have... Cogliano who they moved to the wing?

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#245 Will
July 01 2014, 11:44AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Funny how a much better team thinks Fedun is of use but the Oilers don't.

Nah, it's completely situational. Edmonton does not have the luxury of bringing in solid but undersized young kids to a roster bursting with undersized and skilled young kids.

He was too good for AHL, but behind the depth chart on Marincin, Shultz, Petry, Nurse, and Klefbomb. I seriously think the Oilers did the right thing not for the Oilers, but for Fedune and let him go to free agency, rather than continue to stifle his career.

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#246 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
July 01 2014, 12:00PM
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@Serious Gord

Point taken.

I just don't see how signing Hiller to replace Fasth would really guarantee both goalies' play doesn't take an unexpected hard left turn into the ditch.

I'd rather MacT use his remaining dollars to get a 2/3 C with some experience and defensive awareness that can help prevent some of the D zone breakdowns that contributed to Dubnyk looking so terrible last year...

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#247 Danger Pay
July 01 2014, 12:07PM
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@Hockey fan 1976

Fedun to flourish as a #6 or "Maybe be a #4" , Yeah the Oilers need to wait a couple more years for yet another 4-6 D man. LOL, good one!

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#248 Smokey
July 01 2014, 12:08PM
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Hockey fan 1976 wrote:

Best thing that could have happen to Fedun...I can't wait to see him go to a team where he'll flourish as top 6 maybe even top 4 D in the next couple of years and take it to the young Oilers for years to come. Brutal move to let him go Oilers. Brutal!!

Fedun will be a great top 4 in the AHL.

Has great hockey sense and leadership. Is 26 and slow and small.

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#249 Lofty
July 01 2014, 12:11PM
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YEGFan wrote:

I'm certainly not sold on the contract, but it is fair to note that it is paying for years where the player is under 32. If you're going to give a player term those are the years you should be buying.

Agree, but makes me wonder why Ehrhoff only signed a 1 year contract? Yes, he'll get his buyout money but I would have thought he was looking for 3 or 4 years. Maybe he values professional freedom more than money.

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#250 Craig1981
July 01 2014, 12:25PM
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Will wrote:

Fraser was a Huge guy, so was Fistrick, and Sutton. These number 7 defence types have not really helped our team be better. I agree with all your points, I really just wanted to make a reference to Tweeter from Varsity Blues.

Total respect for the Tweeter ref! The 7th D-man is never going going to make or break your team. You need a guy that knows his role and adds to your team quietly.

Your bottom line, PK specialist, 7th d-man, 13-14th forwards all add to your team, just very quietly.

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