How Does Eric Belanger Fit Long-Term?

Jonathan Willis
March 02 2012 11:02PM

One of the more disappointing side points of the Oilers’ 2011-12 season has been the play of veteran centre Eric Belanger. Going back to before the lockout, Belanger has been the model of modest offensive dependability; his point totals per season starting in 2002-03 are 35, 33, 37, 35, 37, 36, 39 and 40. Eight straight seasons in the 33-40 point range undoubtedly made Oilers management confident of what they were getting; confident enough to sign Belanger to a three-year contract.

There’s more to hockey than points, but with just 13 through 60 games prior to tonight's matchup against Dallas it’s clear that Belanger is not delivering as expected. How does he fit long-term?

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March 02 2012 11:46AM

The Dallas Stars wander into Rexall Place tonight with a record of 33-26-5, clinging to the 8th place in the Western Conference. They are mildly hot with a record of 5-3-2 in their past 10 games and players like Jamie Benn and Mike Ribiero are taking care of business as best they can given their inferior skills and dim wits.

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Robin Brownlee
March 01 2012 08:50PM

Fans will boo Sheldon Souray when he steps on to the ice with the Dallas Stars Friday in his first appearance back at Rexall Place since his messy split with the Edmonton Oilers.

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March 01 2012 05:11PM

There was a time when the Edmonton Oilers could find a good defenseman at midnight in a snowstorm. Last night, Cam Barker's "pinch of sin" drove home the fact that the Oilers ability to identify useful blue may well be a thing of the past.

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Position of Strength, Position of Weakness

Jonathan Willis
March 01 2012 11:01AM

The Oilers have a wealth of young offensive talent in the NHL. They have a shortage of young, NHL-ready defensive talent. At some point, is the logical decision to send away one or two of the former to add one or two of the latter?

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