In 2004 the Chicago Blackhawks drafted Cam Barker 3rd overall. With the Tigers he tallied, 47, 65 and 48 points in three full seasons, and today the Oilers signed him to a one-year deal worth $2.25 million.

Barker has played 271 games since entering the NHL with the Hawks in 2006. He has ten goals, 92 points and 263 PIMs in his career. So far he has been a disappointment, but like many D-men, you wonder if he will start to find his game now that he has turned 25.

You would assume Barker will come to camp feeling he has lots to prove after the Wild bought him out earlier this week.

I like the Barker signing. The rewards far outweigh the risks. If he doesn’t pan out, the Oilers walk away next summer and say they tried. This signing also gives them the option to shelter Jeff Petry and not rush him. And if Barker pans out then the Oilers will have added a former top-five pick for nothing.

They also signed aggressive winger Darcy Hordichuk to a one-year, $800,000 deal. Hordichuk knows his role, and while he isn’t as tough as Steve MacIntyre, he will fight anyone and likes to intimidate. I suspect he will become a fan favourite in Edmonton based on his interviews, quotes as much as his one ice play.



The Oilers have traded Kurtis Foster to the Ducks for Andy Sutton. Sutton makes $2.25 million, and he will the 3rd physical D-man along with Ladislav Smid and Theo Peckham.

Tambellini then pulled off his fifth move of the day, when he signed Eric Belanger for three years at $1.75 million per season.

This has been the best day in Tambellini’s tenure, because draft day is more on scouting staff in my opinion. Tambellini recognized he had some holes to fill and he has filled them, and he also made up for the bad Fraser and Foster signings of last summer by shipping both of them out of town this week.

I give Tambellini a lot of credit for not being stubborn, admitting those signings weren’t great, and then taking action to replace those players.

He isn’t done though. He has too many forwards now, and I’m curious who he trades this summer. The obvious candidates are Andrew Cogliano, Gilbert Brule and Linus Omark. They don’t have room for all of them, but I wonder if he shocks us and trades an even bigger name?

  • Morning Coffey

    What is management’s obsession with former first round picks? Time to start judging veterans by their recent NHL performance and not by what they did in the junior 4+ years ago.