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.

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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

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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:

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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.

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    • Zarny

      Okay, as nice as it all sounds. Having Fistric from game one would have been miles better than having Mark Fraser at game 57. Regardless of cap hit, the Oilers took a huge standings hit by not having someone who can finish checks and play hockey. Grebeshkov, didn’t work. Corey Potter, didn’t work. Anton Belov, didn’t work. Andrew Ference, is doing what he was brought to do but doesn’t punish players with his checks.

      He can tell me his cap hit was too high all you want on paper, but when he played he brought physicality that the Oilers did not have for the last 56 games.

      Maybe he’s paid a bit high…what else is new for the Oilers…they over pay players to carry the pucks to the ice for morning skate that do nothing else.

      • Czar

        Game 57 is better than not at all.

        I liked what Fistric brought to the line up but he sure as heck wouldn’t have made much of a difference in the standings. He turned down the Oilers offer so he wasn’t an option anyway.

      • Zarny

        Sorry but having Fistric from game one would not have been miles better.

        They had him last year and finished 24th.

        For $2 million per year the only answer you give Mark Fistric is “get lost”.

        • Rocknrolla

          We can’t argue on the play of someone who wasn’t here…but I think we have all agreed they had no physicality and got out muscled in many games that they may have stood a chance in. If he were there over an empty jersey in Potter (who deflects every shot in his own goal) or Belov (who lets guys easily skate in for a breakaway on his goalie) Nick Schultz (I don’t know if he actually provides anything besides being somewhat in position and blocking shots) I think we would see a slightly higher standing.

          24th looks a lot nicer than 29th or 30th…shows progression…not regression.

          • Zarny

            Of course you can argue on the play of someone that wasn’t here. He’s playing in Anh. His play warranted a lot less $$$ than he was asking for in Edm.

            Overpaying for Fistric would have been beyond stupid. It would have been the next level of stupid compared to such beauts as Buf handing Ville Leino a pile of cash or Tor signing a 29 y/o undrafted player and career plugger like Clarkson to 7 years.

            I certainly agree the Oilers need more size, strength and physical play. And quite frankly they need a few more guys that are flat out a**holes on the ice.

            24th though does not look a lot nicer than 29th imo. Bottom of the league is bottom of the league.

          • Joe Mamma

            So now he’s playing on the Ducks, is 2nd on their team in hits and has played 28 games..you’re telling me that wouldn’t be something you’d pay for. He has 128 hits at 2nd on his team 40 hits above the next best player, and he’d be 1 hit behind Jeff Petry (team leader)…you’d be stupid not to pay somehow who goes and crushes people all day. We have more than enough non-offensive, non-defensive defensemen, they could have used one who could at least lay the body.

            Mark Fraser has 66 hits in 19 games, hardly comparable. They overpaid Gagner, Horcoff, Hemsky, and on and on…overpaying a player who actually does his job is a huge plus. You get Matt Hendricks who is being paid because he’s an energy player on the Oilers. I like it. He does his job and it’s working for them.

            Going from 29th to 24th = progression.
            Going from 24th to 29th = regression.

            Moving up (progression) is a positive thing, so they are in the basement, they’re atleast walking to the door. Moving down (regression) is a negative and shows that they like hiding in the dark and getting kicked around by their abusive older brothers (the rest of the league).

          • Joe Mamma

            This a useless argument. $2mil a year for Fistric is a joke, and the Oil were right not to re-sign him. Period.

            If they had agreed to that deal, for a guy who lays the body and NOTHING ELSE, we’d be burning MacT in effigy by now.

            Fistric and Hendricks are not comparable situations. All Fistric does well is hit (usually at the cost of positioning). Hendricks hits, fights, takes draws, plays center or wing, kills penalties, provides leadership in the room, and wins battles at both ends of the ice. He’s been a nice addition, and is worth his contract to this team. For #150K LESS than Fistric wanted.

          • So we complain all year because we have no one who lays the body and then defend the decisions not to pay a guy who lays the body and plays the same level of Defense that other players on this team do.

            Okay so don’t compare a forward and defensemen, let’s compare him to the current 5-6 defensemen or even 3-4 defensemen who don’t lay the body, are complete pushovers in their own zone, and are the constant reason why we get man handled in every board play in our own zone. Maybe you can show a few Oilers D-men (exception Marincin) who are actually meeting expectations at something.

            If the only reason is bang for you buck on, I think you’re forgetting just how bad Oilers management is a paying players their worth (Sam Gagner).

          • Zarny

            Yes I’d pay for that…about $900K-$1M and not a penny more.

            Paying double that which is what Fistric wanted would be stupid. I wouldn’t even consider that for a nanosecond.

            Simply looking at 24th vs 29th as “progression” or “regression” is ridiculous.

            Both equate to the same thing…bottom of the league. The Oilers were 24th after 48 games and plummeting. They finished 6 pts ahead of 29th.

            Moving down doesn’t show they like “hiding in the dark”. That’s possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Are you really stupid enough to think that was the plan or what the team wanted?

            They started the year with their top 2 C on the IR and their starting G played like absolutely garbage. Had Gagner not been hurt and had they gotten decent goaltending the Oilers would have 5-7 more wins. That would put them in 24th or 25th which is where there were last year and is what they are this year.

            Context is a beautiful thing.

          • Zarny

            Your opinion and that’s fine.

            They were also 10 points back from a playoff spot, it was a close year last year. They had a rough patch at the end where they played highly competitive playoff teams and lost out, they were still looking like a team that could be promising this year, hence why everyone thought for a possible playoff push.

            Am I stupid enough to think what was the plan? Losing? Well they certainly didn’t think they’d be competitive with a no-experience defensive team, or a small top six, if that’s what you’re going for. (Poor way to debate someone I may add, calling them stupid. Proves little more than you have no argument besides cheap shot attempts)

            You really think Gagner has been the decision maker in any game this year? He was the decision maker in his 8 point night, he hasn’t done anything special any year he’s played here. Don’t kid yourself. Having Nuge down was a huge blow, which set the team back a few games, but the other 50 games where they have lost the majority of everything doesn’t really say a lot to your side of this point.

            They may have come out better had they had their top 2C to start and it could have carried them slightly stronger than without. But as it stands they didn’t have them, came out flat, and have stayed there because they lost confidence in their goalie then defense and now coaching staff. Hence, a regression in their rebuild.

  • Spydyr

    I never was a big Mac-T fan but now he seems to be moving the team in a direction I am fond of.

    Rome was not built in a day.If Mac-T can address goaltending, a top pairing defencman and some toughness with skill in the top six the team should start moving forward.

    The upcoming trade deadline and this summer will be the time to restructure the team into one not so easy to play against.

    Getting the top defencman will come with a dear cost but IMO it is time to make some difficult decisions.

  • Zarny

    Good trade.

    Certainly not a bold move, but Hartikainen wasn’t in the long term plans and MacT gets rid of Abney’s contract.

    Fraser is a big body D who has played well in TO at times. The Oilers get 26 games to see how he looks and if he’s part of the solution.

    If he is…great. If he’s not…oh well…we didn’t really give up anything to see. Zero risk.

  • Joe Mamma

    This is a perfect example of not being able to please all of the people all of the time. This was a solid hockey move that cost us nothing guys. We traded a failing prospect and an overated one unwilling to accept his lot in life, for a roster player that fills a need. The vortex of negativity in this town is unstoppable, and getting old. Is this the big move we need? No. But it’s still a good pickup.

    Sometimes I think Oiler fans could do well to remember that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. We all agree that there are a multitude of issues with this club. Well, one of them was a lack of big, rugged, stay at home type dmen in the rotation. This is a good start to addressing it.

    MacT has been VERY active, most of his pickups have been solid, and I doubt he’s done. I’ll take that over Mr. Dithers any day. I was pretty dubious when they announced him as GM, but he is definitely winning me over.

    • Joe Mamma

      Completely agree. Moreover, this might just be kind of a Manager deal. I can maybe see Nonis calling up MacT and saying hey, we need to offload some salary, we can take contracts back in return. Edmonton gets another bottom pairing guy at zero risk, and the Leafs maybe get enough cap room to either get something at the deadline, or get what’s his name off injured reserve.

      Fraser somehow in 48 games last year had 8 points and was plus 18. That is crazy. Who was he playing with on the leafs of all teams to have plus 18 in 46 games played? If that’s the type of stay at home guy we are getting and can sign for reasonable dollars (see not Mark Fistric), that’s great.

      Oilers needed a veteran stay at home number 5/6 guy who shoot left to play with our more offensive guys. I wanted Orpik to play on the second pairing with J Schultz, but who knows.

      Finally, for everyone wondering about Fedune, or this guy or that guy, well Fraser is a UFA at year’s end so it’s yet another no risk move for a bottom pairing guy. Either he plays good and we might resign him, or he doesn’t and we don’t.

  • Zarny

    What a joke. Yes, this is exactly what the team needs – more bottom pairing defencemen. Because Belov, Grebs, Larsen, Schultz Sr., Schultz Jr., Fedun and Klefbom aren’t enough.

    If I am Fedun, I am thinking “WTF?” I doubt we see Fedun in Edmonton for any material amount of time after this trade, if at all.

    • Zarny

      Actually if you’re Fedun, you’re thinking “great maybe Fraser will be able to knock ginormous centers like Getzlaf and Thornton off the puck…because I certainly can’t do it.”

      • Rocknrolla

        Fedun wants to play in the NHL not cheer on guys who are taking his place and making his money. If you think anything otherwise you’re lying to yourself.

      • YEGFan

        Yeah! He can lay big hits on Thornton and Getzlaf after they’ve passed the puck for easy goals by Pavelski and Perry! Then I’m sure Thornton and Getzlaf will think twice before completely outplaying him again on the next shift, because, you know, tough guys on every team have been super effective at shutting centres like them down…

    • Joe Mamma

      Look again at the names you just listed, spend a little time thinking about the attributes each of those players brings, and you will have your case for why this is EXACTLY the kind of player we need in that spot in the rotation.

      Frankly, who gives a crap about Fedun? I like the kid, but he’s more of the same of what we already have. Which, in case you haven’t noticed, isn’t working so well.

  • Zarny

    Not earth shattering but a decent move. Replace a soft 6-7 defenceman with a meaner 6-7 defenceman. You want more size and grit, you’re getting more size and grit.

    You want Bobby Orr for Hemsky and a 3rd rounder you’re dreaming…

    • Rocknrolla

      The Oilers have a third rounder to trade???
      I thought they have traded their round 2 to 5 picks away; I guess they don’t need any more talent….

      I am afraid the Fraser aquisition will put the hard earned 59 shot against record at risk…..

      WW

  • Rocknrolla

    You’re right that this is a move with an eye to trade deadline. Add a dman now and you’ll probably see some guys get moved later for picks to replace some of the picks that were traded away away earlier in the year.

  • Oiler63

    Don’t get overly excited folks. He’s not the same since taking the puck to the face last season. He did well last year but there’s a reason he couldn’t even crack Leafs’ line up this year.

  • Spydyr

    He is worth a shot. If he works he will bring something sorely lacking. If he doesn’t work out, they gave up nothing to get him and his contract expires this summer.

    Good move by Mactavish. Second solid trade in a row.

    • Oiler63

      I agree it’s a good move. We got rid of two unwanted contracts through the trade and got someone who could potentially fill an organizational need. It’s a risk worth taking.

  • Bucknuck

    There was once this player that really hadn’t done much at the NHL level. He was a big bodied tough as nails defenceman that was past his prospect due date (26 yrs old). He played for Toronto, and his skating was suspect and no one was expecting much.

    Jason Smith was his name.

    Now I am not saying this guy is Jason Smith, I’m just saying that a tough as nails all heart defenceman is something this team needs, and you never know what can happen when a player gets a new start.

    • Zarny

      Before Jason Smith there was guy named Crag Muni. Before him a guy named Don Jackson.DJ could absolutely punish you physically. he was dirt mean.

      There were nights when him and Wier just punished guys. They had Semenko back in the day but they had complimentary players through out the lineup who could and would just tear off your head when required.

      MacT understands that and sees a need for a grittier hard nosed dman who can bring that to the lineup for 15 minutes a night.

      RJ has come around and that grit that was buried after his eye injury has returned. Add Matt Hendricks. Gazdic and now Fraser and we might not get our lunch taken away by the other teams bully boys ever night.

      Your 3rd and 4th lines now have 3 guys who can bring that grit.Add a dman or 2 with those same qualities and we might be able to win a few of those scrums in front ofour net.And not have our dmen pushed over like bowling pins(Belov)when the other team comes calling in our blue paint.

    • A decent analogy, although only time will tell just how much upside young Fraser will eventually display.

      The same circumstances — almost exactly — also apply to the acquisition of one Craig Muni, who was also a Leafs castoff.

  • Joe Mamma

    Wonder if Cody Franson’s name ever came up in the MacT-Nonis discussion? Here’s a guy that everybody thought would easily be a top 4 guy. But then he’d crap the bed just as you started to get excited about him.

  • YEGFan

    Great news, I was expecting a Brian Campbell trade…….yea like we need another small, non-physical defenceman.

    This may not be bold, but it is courageous.

    Go Mac T!

    • If you think this team can’t use Brian Campbell, you need to get your head checked.

      Seriously. He’d be the best blueliner on the team by a mile and the only legitimate top-two defenceman on a team loaded to the gills with Nos. 4-6.

      I get why people go ‘6’3″! ZOMG!’ but at some point hockey-playing ability matters. I personally think that point is when a team without a legitimate top-two rearguard adds one, but hey maybe it’s me who is crazy.

      • Word to the Bird

        Look, I get that Campbell is a good defenseman, maybe even a top pairing defenseman, but he is massively overpaid and you know it. Why hinder our ability to add better bang for your buck players down the road with a player that has maybe 2-3 good years left in him? We should certainly look for top 4 defensemen, but our top 2 for the future is Nurse.

          • Word to the Bird

            Yeah but the entire core is probably two years away from contention anyways.

            I do agree that a stop gap is needed, but don’t you think there are better options out there than Campbell? Players that spring to mind for me are Matt Niskanen, Trevor Daley, or even Andrew MacDonald

          • Word to the Bird

            But he’s expensive! Horrendously expensive. With the amount of holes the Oilers have in their lineup, I wouldn’t feel comfortable if Mac-T invested that much money into an aging defenseman such as Campbell.

          • YEGFan

            Top two defensemen are worth 6M plus. There’s no getting around it. Once one is established he will get paid.

            The ONLY reason anyone would ever consider moving someone like Campbell is because he is a little over paid (not horrendously by any stretch).

            My opinion is that an actual top 2 defenseman would have a monumental difference on this team’s success. A slight over pay for two years is completely worth it.

            With the cap going up top pairing defensemen will be earning 9M on the open market in a couple years. They are simply that valuable and difficult to acquire.

          • Word to the Bird

            Nick Schultz is worth a million less than what he’s paid and Hemsky is worth about 2.5 million as well. You’re comparing two overpaid players to one.

          • OilClog

            What is wrong with you.. Dense much

            It’s not anything to do with abilities with being able to absorb Campbell’s contract. It’s that the Oilers are paying more for the two currently then what Campbell’s contract is worth. Understand. If we move the two, bring in the one. We actually will be paying less.

            If Campbell is available he’s definately worth looking into, there are a few other players I try to shake loose first though.. Subban, Weber, that guy Montreal traded for Gomez, Big Buff..if they can’t be had, I’d grab Campbell.

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

            I’d take Campbell on an expensive two year deal…..problem is he’s going to be looking for a 4 to 6 year deal and that is where he may not be a good fit.

            Campbell is not the big tough 1-2 Dman that most of us are dreaming about, but if it’s a two or three year deal then we cannot let our pursuit of perfection get in the way of a seriously good upgrade.

            Edit: Joe Mamma

            Right you are. Thank you. He is under contract for two more years after this year at $7.15 million per season.

            So then the questions for me are, does he have a no trade or limited no trade contract, and what would we have to give up to get him?

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

            Right you are. Thank you. He is under contract for two more years after this year at $7.15 million per season. And he has a limited No Trade clause in his contract. According to Cap Geek he can provide the Panthers with a list of 8 teams that he WIIL accept a trade to.

          • Joe Mamma

            The good news is that if you trade for Campbell now, you have him on the aforementioned expensive two year deal (signed through the next two seasons already), and can likely move him as a rental at the end if need be.

            Though my hope would be the Oilers will be done offloading players as rentals to other teams in two years time.

          • Zarny

            Keep in mind the 2nd year of that expensive deal coincides with the 1st year of Yak’s next contract.

            As well, MacT is not going to get all of the pieces required by next season. He’s going to be looking for more pieces in 2015-2016.

            I agree you can’t have blinders on looking for perfection but Campbell’s cap hit could be a serious hindrance to adding other required players give he’s not the ideal D the Oilers need.

          • pkam

            If the price to get him is cheap, I am not too worry about his 7.1M contract.

            If Pens can afford 7.25 for Letang and Leafs can afford 7M on Phaneuf, why can’t we afford 7.1M for Campbell? Worst case scenario, sign Yak to a one year bridge contract.

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

            You’re right that managing a roster in the cap era is more like completing a Rubix Cube than it is a two dimensional board game. At the two dimensional level, I was thinking that all the expiring contracts we have which is about ten I think, and the increase in the Cap for next year would accommodate a couple of $7 mil contracts and Yak, but I could be wrong…really I haven’t done the math.

            Edit: just had a quick look…we actually have 16 contracts expiring at the of this season.

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

            Doing a quick add, it looks like you are correct Zarny. The numbers are tight.

            In the last year of Campbell’s contract, assuming we sign Yak to something like a two year bridge deal at $5 million a year, with our current roster minus Hemmer we will be spending approx $42 million on the forwards, $16 million on Defense, and $3 million on Goaltending. Total approx $61 million against a projected $70 mill cap.

            Of course, this does not include paying for a #1 Goalie or a 1-2 Dman like Campbell

            So is we add in $7 mil for Campbell and an additional $5 mil for Goaltending then subtract Gags $5 mil…..it all looks doable…we’d be in around $68 mil

            But like I said, mine is a very simplistic 2 dimensional view of things.

          • 2004Z06

            Don’t forget to remove the salary of the player(s) that will have to go to Florida to get Campbell. The cap will be 71 mil next year and at least 76 mil the following. There is lots of room.

          • Zarny

            Yeah I have only taken a cursory glance at the numbers for 2015-16 and of course we don’t know what the cap will actually be.

            I think it’s fair to say the current roster minus Hemmer + Campbell and a #1 G isn’t enough.

            With Campbell’s weaknesses I still see a need for a 2D that plays physical and cheats towards defense. And I see subtracting Gagner’s $4.8M as a shell game since he’ll have to be replaced.

            Perhaps younger, economical players get those jobs done but if they don’t and the Oilers are tight to the cap MacT’s hands are tied.

            As a player Campbell is better than we have and a good option, but I want nothing to do with that contract. Too much risk.

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

            Is the risk that bothers you the risk of the overspend bringing us up against the cap and thereby limiting our future options? Or, the risk of the player himself?

          • Zarny

            It’s the risk of being tight against the cap and knowing you will need to add more players.

            The Oilers are not Brian Campbell + a G away from being Cup contenders. They will need to add additional players. I want nothing to do with overpaying Brian Campbell $2-3M preventing a necessary move.

  • Eddie Shore

    “Hartikainen is a pest with limitless energy and a willingness to hit everything in sight, with some ability to contribute offensively” from Leafsnation.

    That is not the Hartikainen I watched…

  • 2004Z06

    Moving the franchise forward? From boys on the bus cult following to I want to be part of wanker eeeeeekins boys club cult!!!

    Replacing NHL players with marlies wanna be close to Eakins is not a path forward.

    This guy iis a clown, just like Eakins system of methodical defense

  • Spydyr

    Hemsky’s 5 million looks great next season off the books. Add Eager,N.Shultz(3.75),Smyth at 2.25(I think he is resigned at 1.5).Grebby,Belov,Potter,Larsen(1.1)and whole whack of other guys.We’ll save on the goaltending.DD was 3.75. think you can sign Scrivens and one other goalie for a lot less than that.I see Gagner being shown his hat at the draft.There goes 4+million.

    My point is that cap space even with having to sign RFA’s will be plentiful.Hemsky’s return if its a 3rd is fine by me.Its better than nothing.

    Eakins quote “Fraser adds a growl back there”

      • I really don’t think I am wrong.I think Smyth has accepted his role on this team. A fourth line guy who gets PP time.

        Last year and earlier this season Smyth was playing out of place. He initially was playing with Hall at center along with Hemsky. What a disaster.

        You look at effective Smyth has been on the 4th line and you can see why I am saying he’ll be back.His ice time is way down. He gets some Pp time. He along with Gazdic and JJ have been effective.

        He is a bridge for the younger players to current management. His work ethic is a good example to them also.I really think his role currently on the 4th line is exactly what it should be.

        MacT signs him but for less cash.

    • Johnnydapunk

      I’m 50/50 on some of your points, but 2 goalies for under 3.75mill ? I think the Oil currently have the lowest payroll for goalies as of now, Scrivens is even having part of his contract paid by the Leafs, but for a proper number one and backup, you are looking at minimum 6 mill, realistically I would think 7 mill.

      As for the RFA hunt, it depends on what year the compensation draft picks are for, as the Oil don’t have any picks in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round for 2014 and compensation for signing an RFA is usually one of those, so depending on the year those compensatory picks are for, would determine if the Oil can make any RFA offers.

  • 2004Z06

    Hilarious. People bitch Gagner is an overpay, Ference is an overpay, Hendricks is an over pay and in the same breath say that Fistric would have been an acceptable overpay at 2 mil?

    Put down the bong!

  • Czar

    @ Serious Gord

    I don’t know why you are so hard up for using the last compliance buyout on Hemsky. If you want to believe Mark Spector, Hemsky is worth at least a 3rd round pick. I think that Hemmer is worth more than that. I would only use the compliance buyout on guys that you couldn’t even give away.

    • That is why players are bought out, i.e. they have zero value as a trade (other than a unique situation like Souray).

      There is, however, an interesting point wrt to Hemsky. He might fetch more at the trading dealine that he would have last summer as his boat anchor contract is now almost done.

      Nonetheles,s I don’t see any good argument as to how not buying out Hemsky has hurt the Oil this year.

      • Serious Gord

        Whether buying out hemsky would have helped is unknowable. Having lots of room early in the season could have gotten the oil a good piece from the flyers early in the season when they were really struggling, but who knows? It’s impossible to prove either way. It’s whether the strategy is sound that is the question. I think it is.

        • A-Mc

          If it is unknown how it would have affected the team by buying out Hemsky, then by that same logic you can’t possibly conclude that it was a bad move to NOT buy him out; so please drop it.

          You’ve said your piece. We’ve all read it in many of your posts prior to the ones in this article. There is no reason to continually repeat yourself.

          • Serious Gord

            Flawed logic on your part. The strategic aspect of buying out hemsky should not be measured by the tangible tactical result.

            Not having ample cap room during the season is a big – strategic – mistake.

          • pkam

            MacT has made 2 salary dump trades. One is Horcoff to the Stars. One is Perron from the Blues. If MacT could acquire Perron without buying out Hemsky, why must we?

            We are about middle in salary when the season started. Can you tell me how many teams below us in salary stole a player from a team who needed to dump salary?

            Can you tell me how many team above us in salary got frozen in a trade due to the cap problem?

            You keep saying we can have the cap space to get some players from the Flyers if we have bought out Hemsky. There are at least 15 teams below us in salary. Which team got a player from Flyers?

            Perhaps you can tell us what other salary dump trades made by any other teams, not just the Flyers, that we could have made, cause I am not aware of any. Since you are so sure that not buying out Hemsky is a big mistake, why not support your argument with some facts, instead of BS.

          • Zarny

            Give it up.

            Not buying out Hemsky didn’t impede MacT from making any trades.

            The Oilers had the cap room to make a trade with a team like Phi at the beginning of the season if Phi was actually going to pull the trigger.

            They had ample cap space to go sign Bryzgalov.

            There was no strategic aspect to buying out Hemsky.

          • Serious Gord

            Some – rishaug et al say that smid was traded to make room for Bryz.

            As mentioned above the bonuses issue clouds what the real free cap room the oil has is.

          • Joe Mamma

            Speak for yourself, I like reading Serious Gord’s comments. I may not agree with him, but I like that he has an opinion and can express why he has those opinions.

            If you don’t care to read his comments, kindly skip over it and allow those of us who do to read it and comment accordingly.

            Who the hell are you to speak for the rest of us?

          • A-Mc

            Who said anything about speaking for the rest of you? You’re welcome to say what you want.

            I’m tired of reading the exact same message that is posted every single thread. It’s the same negative BS and it’s not gaining any traction with continual repeats.

            I’d have PM’d him if it were possible but it’s not.

        • Johnnydapunk

          And then what, sign David Clarkson to an $8 million dollar contract for 7 years, and then wish we still had a compliance buyout to get rid of him this summer.

          Val Filppula you could make the argument for signing. But Val had a limited resume in terms of being a high level player, so the signing wasn’t without risk.

  • james_dean

    Apparently there are FOKs (friends of Katz) but there are also FOEs (friends of Eakins)…

    Jokes aside, I agree with this trade, even if we lose Fraser for nothing at the end of the season. Our players look like a bunch of little girls when the Oil are playing teams like the St-Louis Blues. Fraser brings a little bit of toughness and it may rub off on the other players for the rest of the season. Besides, it cost the Oil practically nothing.

  • No harm done, if the guy isnt part of the future he is gone at the end of season if need be. Oiler get to audition the guy for remainder of the season.

    Hendricks sandpaper rubbed off on almost all of the team, and Fraser may add to this demension. Heck he might even drop the gloves if need be. Certainly Gadzic hasnt done much of it lately, and has left it up to guys like Jones and Hendricks.

    Different postitions but Fraser will add more to this team than Gadzic, for what its worth.

  • While this isn’t the “bold” move yet to be seen, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Give the guy a chance, don’t run him out of town before he lands here. Bring Fedun up, and play them together, their opposite style of play would surely compliment each other. As for Belov and Larsen – I’d certainly like to see them go, and as much as I like Potter’s massive shots, he probably has to go as well. This team is like a jigsaw puzzle, several pieces missing, which makes it frustrating, but man oh man, after Ben’s amazing night, I dare to hope and dream. Save the negative comments IF he doesn’t pan out – he surely has to be an improvement on what we have now.

  • Serious Gord

    JW, Lowetide etc –
    Could one of you gents that is way smarter than me do a comparative analysis of Fistric, Smid and Fraser? Does Fraser add something that these these other two didn’t? Does he provide the same results but at a discount? Did MacT covet Broissoit and/or Horak and figured Smid was a replaceable piece?

  • Joe Mamma

    It always makes me laugh how crazy people get for these small signings.

    I remember people going crazy for giving up a second round pick for Fistric, now they’re going crazy for giving up…?

    As for this Campbell business, Willis do you think overpaying in free agency – which is really just the nature of free agency and not so much the player or management’s fault – is the way to get a top 2 guy, or do you think there’s a trade out there to get one of those guys. I have been enjoying the hard target articles for this very subject matter.

    Do you think there is any hope in hell that if Callahan hits free agency we could get him, and if so would that make one of our RW expendable to trade for a top 2 guy? Say perhaps a certain Ketih Yandle?

    • A-Mc

      i think it was a 3rd we gave up for Fistric! just FYI =)

      PS: you have a real chubby for Callahan.. Haven’t you asked about him in almost every thread you’ve replied to over the last week or so? LOL

      • Chainsawz

        Awe, that’s nice. Someone is reading my posts.

        Yeah I kind of latch onto an idea and then yell loudly about it until it either gains traction or becomes moot.

        I’ve been shouting about Yandle for a couple years now.

        Last season I was yelling to take Nichuskin, trade Gags for help on D, then sign Antripov and have a Canadian and Russian line as our top two.

        This is why I’m not a GM I guess.

        I think my overall point is that Mac T is doing a good job of building the 2006 cup run style Oilers around the top end talent we have which has been a big complaint levelled against the club in past years (i.e. no grit, no heart, something the 2006 version had in spades). What’s needed though besides a good amount of ancillary moves is something risky.

        They are going to need to balance out the top 6 somehow. Perron was a good start in that he’s an awesome agitator with some incredible skill and drive to win, and he’s pretty good two way. But the team will still need, IMO replace one of Gagner, Yak, or Ebs, with a more physical and two way thinking player. Hopefully one with some size and veteran leadership. Again IMO no other player available fits that better than Callahan.

        With that, they have trade options for that elusive number two d man. I like the suggestion by Willis to just pay for someone like Campbell, but I also hope they do better.

        For this particular trade, I look at Fraser’s number’s last year and think man I hope the concussion he took hasn’t irrevocably changed his game. But if it has, well, they can just not resign him next year and the team really didn’t lose anything.

        What do you think is a reasonable route to fixing the team? Are they still far away or maybe one or two big moves?

  • JW:
    Fraser is a box protection Dman.
    The league average success rate of shots:
    0-10 ft 17-18% are goals
    10-20 ft 23-24% are goals
    20-30 ft 8-9%
    >30 ft 3-4%
    Box dmen protect 20 ft in.
    20-30 ft is a shared responsibility D and Fwds
    > 30 ft is about forwrds.

    Strong defenceses like BOS, LA have great box protection D who limit the shots inside 20 ft to 30% or less.
    They have physical and lane dominate Dmen who reduce the success rate of the shots inside 20ft.(the box)

    An elite Dman like Chara allows 14% or less success rate for shots inside 20 ft plus there are less than 30% shots from inside 20 ft.

    Mark Fraser faces 3rd comp and shows signs of an elite box protection Dman.
    he gives up less than 14% success rate for shots inside 20 ft. he has an inside 20ft shot rate of 28%.

    As a result in his time in NJ and 1st year in TOR he was a top 30 EVGA Dman. Yes against 3rd comp. but that gives flexibilty to the top pairs to be less elite on EVGA.

    He was top 30 both years he played PK on D.

    Mark Fistric and potter were the best EVGA D pair in the game.1.57EVGA/60
    we tried to sign fistric to a 3 yr 1.25M contract.
    Anahiem got him he is a 1.9 GA/60 Dman. they extended him to a 3 year contract.

    Fistric left and our 3rd pair is
    3.17 Ga/60 .74g/gm versus .44g /gm last year.

    .30 increase in team GA.

    fraser 2 years nj and first in TOR
    1.67EVGA/60; 1.65EVGA/60; 2.33 EVGA/60

    we sure could use that.

    • Joy S. Lee

      That’s really interesting, and something I never would have known if not for your posting.

      I really appreciate new insights into the game, and this is one of them, thanks. Sure a different tune than some who call him a minor-league plug.

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

        Ricki the Bear does some amazing work digging up this kind of analytical material. I usually have to read it twice and even then I have no way of assessing how meaningful it is….but at face value Rickis stuff is fascinating….he always brings a different perspective.

  • Bucknuck

    I agree with the notion that the Oilers need to add a top pairing Defenseman. Until they do, they will be on the outside looking in.

    That said, i do like the direction MacT has been heading with his personnel moves. Perron, Hendricks, Gazdic, Fraser, Ference, and Gordon are all hard to play against.

    The experiments are all on one year deals: Grebby, Belov, Scrivens and Bryzgalov. If any of them work out it’s a bonus, if not they are gone.

    I’ve been impressed.

    • Joe Mamma

      Hendricks, Gazdic, and Fraser are all hard to play against?

      Three of those guys are replacement level players, two of which can barely play hockey and one who can’t. The are hard to play against how? The dirty looks they give all the players who skate around them?

      Ference is fast approaching the time where d-men of his type fall off a cliff, but he is under contract for 3 more years with a NMC.

      • Joe Mamma

        I find your lack of faith disturbing…pray I don’t alter the deal further.

        Seriously though, you don’t like his moves? I have 2 words for you: BEN SCRIVENS!

        Go ahead, say “it was only one game” – name a goalie who’s done that for the Oilers in the last few years?

      • YEGFan

        I agree with Bucknuck…. keep going MACT!!!!!! FRASER is TOUGH and can go with ANYONE……!!!!!Beautiful!!!!!!Love you MACT…not like that…. as a GM!!!!!Keep bringing in these TOUGH SOBS and LEADERS!!!!!!!Wooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The Real Scuba Steve

      Agreed but MacT has to make the jump for seasoned stud defensemen, I know It is an impossible acquisition for the Oilers but that is what makes a G.M.
      Lowe did it in 2006, MacT has to pull lighting out of his ass, or else we going to way of the Islanders and Thrashers and our owner doesn’t look like he cares.

  • ubermiguel

    Grebs had a connection with MacT, but MacT’s not drawing up the Xs and Os any more. If Eakins says this guy is an improvement on our current 6/7 guys that’s enough for me.