Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini added a big body and a wicked shot to his defensive corps as the free agency season opened today, inking unrestricted free agent defenceman Kurtis Foster to a two-year deal worth $3.6 million.

In the 28-year-old Foster, get a six-foot-five, 230-pound rearguard who tallied a career-high 8-34-42 in 71 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season.

Foster, who overcame a badly broken left leg, suffered back in March of 2008 while with the Minnesota Wild, looks like he slots into the Oilers top four with Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Ladislav Smid ahead of newly acquired Jim Vandermeer.

Just as important, Foster is a right-handed shot who will fill the void that’s bound to be created on the Oilers power play when Tambellini unloads Sheldon Souray. 

"With Edmonton’s offer and what they were putting in front of me, in regard to where they’re going as an organization, being a Canadian kid, I mean you always want to play for a Canadian organization," Foster said.

"I always remember having my Oilers jersey as a kid growing up. I couldn’t turn it down. It’s a great opportunity. I’m just real excited to be a part of the building of, hopefully, a strong franchise for a long time to come."


Bob Stauffer, host of Oilers Lunch on TEAM 1260, had former Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet on today. Here’s what Tocchet had to say about the former Peterborough Petes defenceman.

"One of the best threats on the power play in the league," Tocchet said. "He’ll be great for the Oilers on that right shot at the top. That gives all the down-low players a lot of room.

"He had 35 or 40 points for us. I had him up at forward, actually, some games . . . for the Oilers, it’s a great move. When I heard the Oilers picked him up . . . that clean sheet of ice they have up in Edmonton, he’s going to be breaking some glass.

"The thing I like about Kurtis is he’s a really accurate guy. When we put (Steven) Stamkos and him on the point, we really became a threat on the power play. The one thing he can do is he can pass the puck. He’s got a big gun, but he can pass the puck well."

In 257 NHL games with Atlanta, Minnesota and Tampa Bay, Foster has scored 29-90-119 with 203 penalty minutes.


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


  • m3sh

    I’m late to the party I know… been away (my second-born, another boy, was born yesterday), but got to give a solid BALLSY to Tambs for actually looking like he has a plan and is executing it (nice signings all in all, JW’s comments on his first post since forever was pretty much bang on).

    And as per Darryl… he must be taking crazy pills. There’s not much to say except to echo the “Kotalik these balls” sentiment, and note the if Darryl had access to the Delorian, wouldn’t the ~most brilliant GM in the league~ go into the future to know which player(s) had the best career over this next decade and then work to obtain him/them?

    I am perhaps being too cerebral with the analogies.

    Summer of Steve continues…

      • m3sh

        Thanks man… it’s been a haul these last couple days, I had the wonderful fortune of coming down with a head cold the very evening leading into the birth. Weak-sauce. Summer cold is one thing, but right when I can hardly get any decent sleep… total bullsh*t.

  • Bucknuck

    You know. I keep getting this uneasy feeling. Everyone calling out Calgary and the Jokinen/Tanguay signings and it seems to remind me of the year we all counted Vancouver out and they kicked our collective arses all year.

    Tanguay and Jokinen catch lightning in a jar and get chemistry or some darn thing and Kipper gets his game back and Bouwmeester has a career year etc.

    I just sit here and think that everyone calling out Sutter is kinda like talking about the shutout with ten minutes left. I get nervous.

    Or maybe it’s just me.

    • Cowbell_Feva

      It’s not just you my friend. I have the exact same feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I think Sutter is an idiot (ie/ trade Lombardi and a pick for Jokinen, then trade Jokinen for Higgins/Kotalik, then buy out Kotalik and pick up Jokinen again- all the while not being able to pay-up for 39 goal man Camalleri) Not exactly text book salary cap management.

      Couldn’t happen to a better organization. BUT, Jokinen and Tanguay aren’t total,absolute bums. I’m no delusional Flamer fan thinking they are both going to get 80 point seasons, but at the same time they aren’t Patrick O’Sullivan either!

      Let’s hope Kipper pulls a groin- THEN we can without a shadow of a doubt bash away and no matter what-Cowtown will be F@CKED!


    Speaking of enforcers, I would not have mind having John Scott as an Oiler. Chicago signed him today. He may be slower skater but he can be the 7th D-man that can scare other agitators from taking liberty with our star players. On some nights in pass seasons, we certainly wished we had someone who can handle Boogieman after he lays out Hemsky or others. Being a D-man/enforcer is much more of bonus combo.

    Things are getting better already, Boogieman is gone to NYR and John Scott is in Chicago, for Hemsky sake, maybe Regehr will leave Calgary.

  • PhillipSmithson

    Solid deals for the Oilers today, Foster is exactly we needed, ans signing Fraser to a reasonable 2 year deal was great!

    The only thing left to do swap Souray out the door and get a true center (for either the #1 or #2 line). Which means bundling Sheldon with Cogliano or Penner.

    As far as the recently qualified restricted free agents go Tamby just has to make sure he doesn’t overpay. Judging from his two signings today that doesn’t appear to be an issue.

    Next up for the Oilers is the group youngsters coming to town for development camp next week. Can’t wait for that!!


    CB4 Said it best: Sweat, Sweat from my Balls!

    Good Signing. Top 2 D-man in scoring for a free agent and more than half the money of Mr. (former liberal) Paul Martin. Ok Kidding aside…

  • PhillipSmithson

    So there are a few free agent centers out there who are veteran but not old that could help the Oilers out with depth. Also, and most importantly any of these players could probably be signed on for 2 years for a really economical price tag.

    Pick one..

    Brendan Morrison – age: 34, Left hand Center, not small at 5’11. Played big minutes with Vancouver a couple of years ago and can handle dishing the puck to talented wingers (see: Markus Naslund)

    Eric Belanger – age: 32, left hand Center, again not small at 5’11. Decent player averaging a point every 2 games (how many Oilers could say that last year?)

    Dominic Moore – age: 29, left hand center, measuring 6’0. Responsible defensive zone player who can also kill penalties.

    Adam Mair – age: 31, right hand center, the biggest of these guys at 6’1. Knows how to play defensive coverage (learned from the Lindsey Ruff school of D in Buffalo), not scared to hit a player from the other team.

    Of course there is no point in signing anyone else until some bodies are cleared out or told that will be starting in Oklahoma (AHL) next season. We’ll have to wait and see who gets bundled up with Souray and who comes back from the team we trade with.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    A day late but what the hay. Strudwick signed also witht he taem and I am really pleaed with the way our backend looks. Even if Souray comes back. Bigger, sronger and will be whole tougher in the front of the net. If souray does go and Taylr Chorney steps in it may be a little dicy some nights. But with Strudwick to clean up after him it shouldn’t be too bad. I think we will find the puck alot less in the back of our net. Grebby was a giveaway machine. Vishnovsky did not have the size, and Staios had lost a step. Bodes well for us that the team is not going out and signing any high priced free agents at 5 million per season. Shows me that we are commited to a team in rebuild. We will be competitive and we won’t be a doormat.