The Oilers have placed centre Eric Belanger on waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract.
When the Oilers signed Belanger two years ago, many felt he was a good addition. He’d help win faceoffs and he could chip in around 30 points. He was great in the dots, winning 55% of his draws his first year and 53% this past season, but he only had 4 goals in 104 games over two seasons. His offence was non-existent.
When he was signed I mentioned the one concern former teammates and organizations said was that he wasn’t considered a great dressing room guy. That turned out be accurate. He wasn’t a distraction, he didn’t yell at this teammates or cause friction, he just had a negative auru about him. You know the type.
That wasn’t the reason he was let go, four goals in 104 games was the main one, but the Oilers are trying to "cleanse" their dressing room and they decided they’d be better off without him.
This was an easy decision for the Oilers. I know they don’t have a faceoff specialist to replace him, but winning faceoffs didn’t result in more scoring chances. Belanger’s advanced stats were horrendous despite winning faceoffs.
I don’t believe in ripping a player when he leaves town, but I’ve mentioned for over a year that Belanger was a detriment to this team and this is one decision that I 100% agree with for the Oilers.
- Ray Emery could be a good fit with the Oilers. He’s matured the past few seasons, and last year he was outstanding with the Blackhawks. He could push Devan Dubnyk, but he’d be supportive in the back up role as well.
- Interesting situation with the Leafs. They buyout Grabovski ($14.4 mIllion) and the analytics guys hate the decision. Grabovski was overpaid, but not to the point you just give up on him. If they replace him with Bozak and Clarkson I suspect our pals at www.theleafsnation.com might need counseling. The best part is that the Leafs are buying out a guy because he is overpaid, but they will replace him with two players who will also be overpaid. Awesome.
- Darren Dreger tweeted the Stars and Bruins have a huge trade in the works involving Tyler Seguin and Loui Eriksson. Jim Nill and Joe Sakic have made some significant moves right away since grabbing the reigns in Dallas and Colorado. The next week should be highly entertaining for hockey fans.