Oilers acquire Mark Fraser from Toronto

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Oilers have added some size to their blue line, adding Mark Fraser from Toronto.

What The Oilers Sent Away

The players going the other way in the deal were both outside of the organization’s plans, so the cost on this isn’t especially dear.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Teemu Hartikainen is having a pretty good season in Russia and has to be the guy the Leafs were interested in on this deal. He’s a big winger with some skill who couldn’t do much in 23 NHL games last season with the Oilers; he wasn’t interested in staying in the organization on a two-way deal and so he went off to Russia. I’ve been told down the line that this isn’t a player that Edmonton really had plans for, but that doesn’t mean he might not break out with the Leafs. 

Cameron Abney, the other guy in the trade, has negative value; he’s an ECHL enforcer taking up a spot on Edmonton’s 50-man list. In the Oilers’ organization he was passed as a player by Erick Lizon (currently with the CHL’s Wichita Thunder). 

What the Oilers Added

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Everybody hoping Edmonton would add a big, physical defenceman for the third pair got their wish today.

Fraser is listed at 6’4", 220 pounds. He has had three fights in the NHL this season; last year he had nine fights in the majors and eight in the AHL. He’s a stay-at-home defenceman who plays a throwback style; the new Theo Peckham on Edmonton’s blue line. 

As for what he is as a player? Theo Peckham isn’t far-off as a comparison there, either. Fraser has struggled badly this year, with regular partners Paul Ranger and Morgan Rielly both faring better without him than with him. Of interest, though, is the way he and Cody Franson played together last season, and the way his regular partners in New Jersey (primarily Andy Greene and Johnny Oduya) played with and without him. He has had a measure of success in the NHL before, even if he isn’t enjoying that this season.

For the time being the pending unrestricted free agent can provide the Oilers with physical play in the six/seven slot and provide the Oilers with a warm body if they choose to move other free agents like Anton Belov or Nick Schultz or Corey Potterat the deadline. He has familiarity with Dallas Eakins from time spent with the Marlies, so he should slot in to the Oilers system with relative ease, and his skillset is a nice fit alongside any of Potter, Philip Larsen or Taylor Fedun on that bottom pair.

This is a small trade, but it adds a dimension the Oilers were lacking at the cost of players the team didn’t really care about anyway. The player with the most potential to be an NHL difference-maker went to Toronto, but Hartikainen wasn’t going to be that guy in Edmonton and the trade market for ‘tweeners who want one-way deals isn’t as robust as it could be. 

Update – via @Steve_Dangle of Leafs Nation comes this Hockey Night in Canada segment on Fraser:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Additionally, Jeff Veillette – who covered Fraser in person when Fraser played for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies – wrote a piece on the trade for Leafs Nation.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • pkam


    Hey look, Harti’s a decent player and proven all he could prove at the AHL level and he’s doing well in the KHL. In his call ups with the Oilers in the NHL, he couldn’t get it done. Just another player with all the tools in the box and no willingness to use them all. That doesn’t mean he’ll never figure it out but I think he’s soured on the organization and all the losing. He’s young and proud and eventually he’ll figure out that other organizations are going to be wanting him to use all those tools too. That’s when he’ll either become a better pro or he’ll be going back to europe and for good this time.

    All that being said, again, if he’s gone sour it’s best to move him now for a player this team could use now. Is Fraser a bit of a reclaimation project at this point? It’s possible, with the injuries he went through. Is it fair trade value potential vs potential? At face value, no, but Fraser has a set of skills that this team doesn’t have right now and a willingness to use them whereas Harti has a set of skills that this team doesn’t have right now and absolutely no willingness to use them. At least, not with the Oilers. I’d rather have a player that can play in the NHL than another prospect that might never fully make it up from OKC in return for Harti and let’s face it, that’s all we were going to get for a guy like him. A bottom pairing d-man, an okay prospect, or a middling draft pick.

    With Edmonton’s blueline, I’ll take the bottom pairing dman with a skill set we don’t have right now.

  • toprightcorner

    People who are for the trade seem to think it was a MacT trade but I think this is an Eakins trade no?

    Sure he’s a UFA but he’s having a crap season and would probably get a crap offer or worse a 2-way deal from the Centre of Universe Leafs.

    So what we get is a Coach who convinces Mac T (and 6 Rings) with something like this:
    “Heh Gents get me Fraser for these spare parts we have no need for its low risk for us and let me get Mark Fraser back to being a good stay out home d-man. I will cut him loose on anyone taking runs at 4,93,14 – he has the green light to play nasty and mean.”

    A move that gets us to the promise land ….No. But another piece, some more progress and not a lot of risk.

    Good move Coach . . .

  • toprightcorner

    You know your team is bad when a blog post about the Oilers acquiring a press box castaway from the Leafs generates 295 posts debating the merit of the addition.

    What would happen here if MacT actually made a significant move?

    • Hemmercules

      All the trolls here assume all the talk is about the trade. It’ only has so many posts because of the lack of articles yesterday and it happens to be at the top. A lot of the talk here has been about hemsky and mactavish. I suppose I’m just feeding trolls here so I will let myself out lol.

  • toprightcorner

    I just can’t get over how intelligent the oilers organization is. The Marlies are the best AHL team there ever was. Easily better than Half The NHL. The only reason the players were on the farm is that Toronto has been such a powerhouse over the last decade. These players have really started to make a huge impact on the oilers roster now.

  • pkam

    What a stupid organization the Oilers are. They are now going out and getting all of Eakins Marlie players so they at least like the coach. It’s ridiculous, MacTavish won’t fire a bad coach so he just goes out and gets guys that talk nice about Eakins. Well done. On pace for the worst season ever 4 years into a revuild. Sickening

  • Spydyr

    Sorry, but when someone references Corsi or Fenwick, you lose credibility in your argument entirely. Those are poor representatives of a players performance, and hardly tell how a guy is playing especially defensemen (who on Edmonton never look good in Corsi). But since we’re on the topic, he had a +6 rating in Edmonton and +8 rating in Anaheim. Since we’re looking at “helping the team” he had 6 assists and was +6 for the Oilers while Nick Schultz was -13 and had 1g 8a. So if you want to go by your “effectiveness” rating scale, Mark Fistric looks a lot better than Nick Schultz does.

    Sorry but your feelings towards his “selfish play” can be said about most players, let’s look at all the times Justin Schultz pinches or moves up to the slot for a shot putting himself far out of position blows it and the other team goes down and scores or gets a break away, he does it every game. Or Jeff Petrys soft play on the puck EVERY game where he gives it away in our own zone, or because he doesn’t stand in position or cover guys in front of his net. Or we could talk about Potter deflecting every shot into our own net. Or we could talk about how a rookie prospect is the best looking defender on the team who wasn’t even supposed to play on the Oilers this year.

    Reducing your argument to petty attempts at telling me to “put down the crack pipe” or “man crush” prove just how little strengthen your argument is.

  • toprightcorner

    It’s mighty open-minded of you to believe that everyone who disagrees with you is on crack! Insecure much?

    So you want to know where the Oilers finished in the standings with Fistric in the line-up…….um….same place the did with Hall, Ebs and Nuge in the lineup. great point! So where in the standings is Anaheim with Fistric in the line up?

    How about you look at the actual stats before you berate a players ability with them here are Fistrics stats for last year you used.

    +/- – second on the team at +6

    Corsi – best of the defensemen

    hits – highest hits per game on team

    Those stats that you brought up completely contradict your point, good job.

    Fistric may not have had any offensive upside but it would be safe to assume that the grit, size and physical play he brought as a 6/7 guy would have helped considerably over softies like Grebs and Potter.

    I didn’t understand why MacT didn’t resign Fistric but if he wanted $2 mill I get it. Too bad he didn’t replace that role on the team earlier but now he sees the hole and is trying to fix it 4 months later. If Fraser can be a Fistric type player, he will help the team a lot who sorely miss that type of player on the back end.

  • Zarny

    No, actually someone doesn’t lose credibility in their argument entirely by referencing Corsi or Fenwick.

    Some of the top minds in hockey use analytics. The fact they confuse you doesn’t make them irrelevant.

    Reducing your argument to “anyone who mentions something is irrelevant” actually make you completely irrelevant.

  • Zarny

    They also state that those are loose numbers they use for reference but hardly tell the story. Are you the same person preaching Hall is on the down slide? Just laughable. Corsi and Fenwick on defense are terrible measures of performance and fairly bad estimates on forwards. Plain and simple.

    Another cheap shot attempt at saying I’m dumb, good to know you can find the facts and numbers to back up your claims at “hockey analytics”.

    I believe your entire comment is a “beautifully” written example of irony to the nth degree. Congratulations.

  • northof51

    Well I guess there’s a reason neither of us is getting paid to manage the team.

    It’s a circular argument by the way, a circle argument is one about…well a circle.

    So people don’t agree with my statements, I didn’t know this was about who can get the most popular replies? Is there some sort of prize for getting the most props?

  • northof51

    Just didn’t want you going out there into the world thinking it was a circle argument or a “Pre-Madonna” (as opposed to the “Prima donna” which is correct) and looking uneducated to your friends.

  • Joe Mamma

    Using the jokes just made on you against the guy who made the joke, such wow.

    Please tell me more about how you actually read the comments in our discussion and actually made a “contribution” to it without hoping on the crack pipe joke train.

    At least you sort of established one clear agreement that he’s better than two bad signings made.

  • toprightcorner

    my bad Joe Mamma, I missed 1 comment out of 200, and I agree $2 mill was too much for Fistric if that is what he was asking for.

    I wasn’t aware that me missing one comment was so much worse than making up stats, to support your case when the actual stats disproves your point.

    I guess I will try to be more like you and make stuff up to prove my point.

  • You also neglected clear information and evidence that made your “clear and concise” points incorrect. So I’m not sure how exactly you can get that as a take away from the discussion but sure, you’re absolutely correct, can’t fix stupid.

    Sorry I didn’t know my “ill-fated” attempts were perceived as being gibberish, I can send an English tutor your way so you can better understand and comprehend the language for future conversations.

    Says the certified comedian by trade?

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Don’t feel too bad….trolling the troll is kind of a hobby of mine…I get a kick out of it…kinda like you do….but in a less serious feel good kinda way.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Hey, is that you me? And by me I mean me, not me. Me cares what me thinks. Me is me. Me is not a nobody?……..or is he?….uh I mean me….

  • Johnnydapunk

    Is this the part where I’m supposed to be all upset by a child using his mommys computer?

    Meh, if you think that, I’m not phased, if you need to say things like that to make yourself feel important or better, fair enough. Things like that make it pretty clear that you weren’t loved enough and can only feel a sense of power hiding behind a keyboard trying to insult other people.

    Whatever floats your boat smallboy 🙂

  • toprightcorner

    I know I should just ignore you but I cant let you remain under the delusion that you didn’t try to use stats to make your point when the actual stats contradict your argument.

    you wrote “What were Fistric’s stats last year (Points, +/-, Corsi, Fenwick, etc.)? He was an inneffective 6-7 defensemen or worse”

    implying Fitric ranked terrible in these areas and thats why I corrected you in comment 198

    Fistric ranked 2nd in +/- last year, lead defense in Corsi and in hits per game. He also led the team in blocked shots per minute played so Fenwick is irrelevant. In fact his stats show he was an effective bottom pairing defenseman.

    You tried to use these stats to prove Fistric was ineffective where he played, when they actually show the opposite.

    This, my friend, is called MAKING THINGS UP, as you call it. If you want to use stats to make your point at least respect the readers by looking them up first.

    So, I admitted my oversight with Fistrics salary demands as soon as you pointed them out and even corrected that post as to not mislead others.

    You then called me out when I said you made up stats to prove your point and wanted me to quote you, which I did above.

    The question is are you going to be a man and admit it or are you going to run upstairs and cry to Joe Mamma.

    What will you do?