LOS ANGELES — Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini jumped in on the wheeling and dealing that’s expected to unfold over the next 72 hours by acquiring centre Colin Fraser from the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night.

The trade, not yet announced by the Oilers, will see one of Edmonton’s three, sixth-round picks — they have selections at 151st, 162nd and 166 — sent to Chicago for the 25-year-old centre.

Fraser, originally drafted in the third round, 69th overall, from the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2003 Entry Draft, scored 7-12-19 in 70 games with the Blackhawks this season.

With Tambellini talking about re-shaping his bottom six forwards for next season, Fraser, a six-foot-one, 200-pound pivot who has played parts of four seasons with the Blackhawks, would seem to fit the bill.

More on this Thursday morning.


I got a text tonight from somebody asking if I’d heard anything about Tambellini talking to Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson about what it might take to get the Oilers the fourth pick — the name being tossed out was Ales Hemsky.

File this bit of buzz under the category of "completely unfounded rumours" as of now — and there will be no shortage of those over the next couple of days.

Howson has said he’s not married to the fourth pick and Tambellini said Tuesday he’d like to acquire another first-round selection. That’s a long way from adding up to shipping Hemsky to the Blue Jackets, but it’s worth a call or two tomorrow.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • misfit

    If Hemsky gets traded on draft day (even for a top 5 pick), then the first throat in arms reach is getting punched. I’ll be watching the draft from home, and my wife is out of town so the dog better watch his ass.

  • Dyckster

    Anyone in the know,

    What does Fraser’s RFA status mean exactly when it comes to us retaining him for an extended period? We simply have to sign him at a salary agreeable by both parties? Can another team offer up more to get him? Would we then have an opportunity to match? Why is the sky blue?

    Okay, I’m done…..

    • RFA’s must be qualified by their respective teams to keep the player from becoming UFA..once a player is qualified he can still be signed to an offer sheet by another team but the team owning his rights has the right to match the offer or let the player go..

      If they let the player go the team that signed him to the offer sheet must give up draft picks…the level of draft picks depends on the amount of the offer sheet.

  • Chris.

    Fraser has played 162 NHL games and would need to clear waivers to return to the AHL. Since the Oilers have first pick of any player placed on waivers, Bowman was pretty savey to grab at least a late round pick from the Oilers…

    Love the aquisition though.

  • Eddie Shore

    Did you people not see our offence go into the toilet when Hemsky went down? Our offence, PP and overall team is NOT better without Hemsky in the lineup. End of story.


  • I dont even know why we’re gonna draft Hall or Seguin, they’re probably going to be just like Hemsky. Always puting up points and being depended on for offensive contributions. They probably go into the tough areas of the ice too. Gawd, I hope we dont get more players like that, they’re no good.

    • Eddie Shore

      Only if he practices for 3 hrs a day. He has to be the first on and last off the ice or he doesn’t care. That’s just science, man. Everyone knows that.

        • Rogue

          Exactly. That’s why Tambo will draft Seguin. Hall’s way too exciting to watch and will score way too many goals–it’ll be a major distraction in the dressing room. Plus, he said, “I want to win a cup” and, as everybody knows, there’s no ‘I’ in team. Seguin wants to be a really good two-way player, you know, like Horcoff.

          • Yeah, that’s right Seguin, who scored more goals than Hall and tied for the OHL scoring race, is definitely going to be a much less capable offensive player.

            I knew all those comparisons to Yzerman were off, it was Horcoff the whole time.

            And for the record, Horcoff isnt a two way player, he’s a one way player. Defense only. That’s all he brings now, and even that is questionable these days.

          • I’ll try. Maybe this year he’ll finally be healthy. That would be great for the team, I hope he comes back as a 50-60 point guy again.

            I dont value trying hard in the pros. If he were on my 9 year old’s softball team, I would be so proud that he tried his best. I look at it like this guy was injured, so why was he playing? It didnt help him or the team.

          • Zamboni Driver

            I stand by my point–exciting players get ripped in Edmonton: “Hemsky is soft. Hemsky is fragile. Etc.” This fan base deserves a goal scorer, a rock star, not a milk-toast, office boy to be buddies with Katz. Maybe Seguin is just as exciting to watch, but I’ve only seen him score the same three goals over and over on stock highlight reels. Hall is a stud and already a step above in profile; even Team Seguin will feel a twinge of disappointment if Hall goes to Boston.

          • Chris.

            Comparing Segin to Horcoff? Really? You’ve just lost all credibility in the Taylor/Tyler debate (If you ever had any)

            Horcoff was a fourth round draft pick! BTW Seguin scored more goals than Hall last season and waaaayy outproduced Hall in even strength offence… It’s debatable, but many number geeks belive that major junior 5 on 5 offensive production is often the best measure by which you can predict a prospect’s ceiling as they head into pro.

          • Chris.

            You’re missing my point. I’m not saying Seguin is Horcoff. I’m saying the whole team-first mentality is over-rated and should not be the deciding factor. I like Muckler’s statement from the early nineties, recently posted in the Journal, that “maybe we need some a-holes who can play.” Point being I don’t care if you are a swell guy that everybody likes and helps old ladies cross the street. I want a star. Which one of these guys exudes star qualities? Its not the guy who says, “Awe shucks, I just want to help the team.”

          • Chris.

            And you’re missing my point. Seguin also exudes star qualities… ie higher draft year goal totals, better overall ev production, etc.

            BTW hockey is a team game… just ask the pre-lockout Rangers how assembling a team full of a-holes with star quality worked out for them.

    • Zamboni Driver

      Man, the love affairs with current players is astounding.

      No one is saying Hemsky is no good. I actually said he’s very talented, and has a great contract in terms of ability to move. I would add that it’s the ONLY one (maybe Penner, too, and I’d move him in a second to Columbus, but Columbus has a WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better version in Rick Nash).

      If you’re going to make changes, you have to give something up that people are going to want. Moving Pouliot, Moreau and O’Sullivan is going to get you….

      Pouliot Moreau and O’Sullivan..or worse.

      Look forward, get value for value.

      Because, dude, the Oilers have NO other value.

      Seriously….if the Oilers offered Gagner for the #4 Howson would fall over dead laughing.

  • The only reason most of you want to trade Hemsky is because you haven’t see him play for the last 8 months. Suddenly he’s a waste–and “soft”? Really? He’s less soft than Penner, and somebody needs to teach these young guys to score at the elite level. Who’s going to do that? Horcoff? Gagner? Gimme a break. If it was for the second pick, then an argument could be made, but there is no way I want to see the team they ice next year sans Hemsky.

  • Rogue

    Pouliet at best might be a 13th forward. Like Struds would be 7th dman. He wont hurt you, but at best he is bottom 6 forward. Not what the Oil thought when they drafted him. I could see him here for 1 more year, but as this team improves, his time is limited.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Tencer was saying we tried to move one of our RFA’s for Fraser but no bite.

    On Hemsky I’m really not sure we should be shopping him as much as we should be getting a read on his value.

  • Dyckster


    Many thanks for the info…

    In other words, it’s pretty unlikely we’d make this trade and not qualify him. It’s equally unlikely another team serves up an offer sheet.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      No problemo, you’re welcome…

      I’d have to agree with you that the Oilers intend to qualify him…I’m thinking to qualify him will be very easy because his salary was likely very low to begin with. It’s probably like you say equally unlikely that anyone would come at Fraser with an offer sheet high enough to scare the Oilers away…

      But if they did for some reason then the return in draft picks would most likely be more than Fraser is worth…so I’m thinking he will be signed and be in the lineup next year 🙂

  • Chris.

    I wonder if the Fraser aquisition is just another indication that Cogliano will be delt… There seems to be a lot of centers coming to camp; and rumors persist that Cogliano will be used as a bargaining chip for the Oilers to move up in the draft.

    Would Cogliano, and the 31st pick land the Oilers a 16th to 20th overall pick and a chance at a quality defensive prospect with size?

    • Chris.

      That’s right around the spot that Dylan McIrath is slated to go…I’d love for the Oilers to get their hands on this guy, TSN has him ranked at 15 and…

      Bob McKenzie reports that: Moose Jaw Warrior defenceman Dylan McIlrath is a big, physical, mean and tough defensive defenceman who is the unanimous choice of scouts surveyed by TSN as the “toughest player” in the entire draft. He had 19 fighting majors this season and didn’t lose too many, by all accounts. Say no more.

      This IMO is one of the things the Oilers are sorely lacking. Although Cogs and the 31st seems pretty steep…but I’d love to see this guy on our team….Wouldn’t mind getting that Brad Ross either…he’s rated around 40th..

      • Chris.

        When you look at the return Bowman got for Conn Smyth candadate Byfuglien, and Eager: it would be considered a minor miracle for Tambellini to jump up in the draft over ten spots for just Cogliano.

        Edit: I know I had suggested it… but I’ve kinda thought it through more…

        • Chris.

          Yah but let’s face it…he may have been a Conn Smyth candidate but look at his regular season…Chris Kontos was a great playoff guy at times too…

          Chicago didn’t do too bad but they were also at the disadvantage of needing to dump salary…so they couldn’t exactly try to get equal value or they still would have needed to dump salary.

          They picked up a 1st and 2nd rounder plus Jeremy Morin who had a pretty good year in the OHL…oh and don’t forget they also got that Sakic clone Reasoner 🙂

          The Oilers don’t NEED to dump salary so they are not as desperate as Chicago was to trade.

  • Chris.

    The problem with Hemsky is that he is not protected. Opposing teams target him and nail him with cheap shots and there is no one there to step up. If you watch what the Calgary D do to him (hits from behind and crosschecks on the back) you can see that he takes a real beating, but continues to go to the tough areas. He is ( in my opinion) the most talented player we have had since Kurri left, and he is certainly gutsy. I hope the new coach has a different attitude from the last two about having some guys (more than one) who will protect guys like Hemmer and the young kids coming up.

  • Chris.

    Re: Hemsky

    Am I imagining this or did Hemsky not say that he took less Money to stay in Edmonton because he believes in the organization and is thankful of the opportunity Oilers gave him to pursue his NHL “dream”? Having said that, for all the players that don’t want to play in Edmonton and for the wants that would sell their first born to get out of this city, is it a crime to keep Hemsky and let him play out his contract and let him decide whether he wants to resign?

    I am getting all Jerry Macguire on you guys about loyalty but I think Hemsky has earned his keeps to pursue other options (more money) as it may be or perhaps a better opportunity to win. I understand that its a business but maybe we can use Hemsky as a way to move back towards the classy organization we once were…

    • I think the problem poeple have with Hemsky is that he is not Horcoff. He doesn’t have that hard working Canadian heart that is needed to make a champion. Everyone knows in the NHL heart is more valued over skill, you cant win championships with skill, no no no, heart is where it at. Why do you think Horcoff is our highest paid player? Its not becasue Horcoff is the best two way player, no no no, its heart and the few extra minutes after practice.

  • We are not as far away as most predict . Last year we were not that far away if we had filled but a couple of glaring voids on team. Other circumstances such as injuries made circumstances worse . It’s
    not going to be such dire straits if Tams can make the right deals . We could still end up being next years Phoenix or Colorado . Any one of you picked those two to be better than Oilers even at Xmas time last season ? No ?

    It’s still possible to rebuild and expedite process at the same time the in next several days. Lets hope Tams and staff can do it . We are finally appearing to get out of reverse gear here , and i hope we continue on that track over next couple of weeks . Gutting and cutting for upgrades and fiscal measures beyond just drafting , is also required here .

  • Jodes

    Tsn is saying that the Panthers are willing to trade their 1st round pick, and who’s pic is on their site? Penner’s..

    Also, any word on what Souray’s condition is? Did he get the green light or is he still be evaluated?