Free agency begins…Oilers sign Fayne and Pouliot

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The Dallas Stars got a jump on the rest of the NHL when they acquired Jason Spezza and Ludvig Karlsson for Alec Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and 2nd round pick in 2015.

The West continues to get stronger, and if the Oilers plan to become competitive in two years they must develop Leon Draisaitl correctly. You need elite centres, two of them, to compete in the western conference. 

The Oilers won’t get an elite centre in free agency, but they will try to find some quality veterans to help the Oilers young core become more competitive.

BREAKING…Oilers sign Mark Fayne to a four-year deal at $3.5 million/year and Benoit Pouliot for five years at $4 mill/year.

Former Oiler, Ales Hemsky, signs in Dallas for three years at $4 million/year 

Oilers sign Keith Aulie to a one-year deal. Good depth guy. He can be a #6/7 and it is better that he sits in the pressbox instead of a young D-man.

The Oilers will try to land a centre, a 3rd line left winger a 4th line right winger and some D-men.

They will go after players like Legwand, Goc, Grabovski, Jokinen, Boyle, Kulemin, Pouliot, Winnik, Fayne, Engelland, Stralman and Dan Boyle.

If they can land two of those players that would be a good day, if they get three would very good. We’ll see what happens.

We will update you as the day unfolds.

Also, before we get to hockey I’d like to say Happy 147th birthday to The True North Strong and Free. I’m extremely lucky to have been born in this great country and make sure you celebrate our great Nation today.

BrdvKyfCAAEtdTE

QUICK HITS…

  • With Dallas trading for Spezza, this puts even more pressure on St.Louis to try and sign Stastny. I like Stastny a lot, but if he gets $7mill/year that is huge money for a guy who is a great 2nd line centre.
  • Jarome Iginla and the Bruins might have to part ways because the Bs have limited cap space. Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Colorado and Detroit are interested. The Avs really like Iginla and want his experience and if they lose out on Stastny, which seems likely, they could go hard after Iggy.
  • Dave Bolland is my pick for biggest overpayment. Who is yours?

SIGNINGS BEGIN…

  • Penguins sign Ehrhoff for one year at $4 million. Good signing for Pens, especially with Maatta coming off shoulder surgery.
  • Manny Malhotra signs a one year, $850,000 deal with Montreal. Malhotra continues to be a great feel good story….
  • Mark Fayne at four years $3.5 million is a solid signing, but I don’t see him more than a #4 long term. The most important part of this signing is that means the Oilers don’t have to rush their young D-men.
  • Pouliot’s five years concerns me. Time will tell, but that money for five years could be an issue in the future. He has played on five teams in five years. The Oilers needed a proven NHL player and he is that, but five years is major risk, IMO. Pouliot is a former #4 overall pick, so he does have some skill. I like that he is very aggressive on the forecheck and he will give the Oilers a good puck retriever.

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  • Quicksilver ballet

    I’d give Craig a B- on todays efforts. He did better than I thought he might.

    He needs to sit tight now and let teams come to him now. There are more than a few clubs with cap concerns. They could have an surprise addition now that a few teams need to shed a contract or two. Be patient during this buyers market for teams who overspent.

  • paul wodehouse

    Not impressed. Team no worse. But no better. Mac t is NOT the big saviour.

    Free agency is a waste of time. Usually you over pay for junk and then are stuck with it.

    The only way to improve is with strategic trades. Look at lombardi.. oh.. we are the oilers… 9 years of Not That Smart

    • a lg dubl dubl

      It took Lombardi 3 years to get the kings into the playoffs. Ending the kings 6 year drought. He focused on trading for and signing veterans. Thus allowing his prospects the time to develop properly.

      Now let’s give MacT 2 more years. And hope he’s been paying attention to what Lombardi has done.

        • Grant

          If your a fan…yes. You can’t fire Lowe I can’t fire Lowe. The guy was willing to quit and Katz retained him. So…effectively…Katz cannot fire lowe.( Boyhood crushes are a hell of a thing.)

          The NHL is an entertainment business. It has 29 other teams you can cheer for. Discussion is a good thing. Being negative, just for the sake of being negative, is a waste of time.

          If this organization is not entertaining you, and only bringing negative events into your life, stop paying attention. You will feel a whole lot more fulfilled.

  • paul wodehouse

    OK I’m sure that many of the faithful at ON are very very happy that Mac T is in charge over Mr. Dithers! SS had regressed this organization so far back, and now we finally have someone that can actually do something……..how refreshing.

    Props for liking our current GM to have the vision and balls to do something.

  • mesa

    for any body who is bashing the oilers just to let u know that according to TSN that NISKANEN and Dan boyle and one more ufa refused to sign with the RED WINGS.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    For all those bemoaning that some of todays deals were overpayments,[ Nikitan, Pouliot], you may be right, but that’s the nature of the Free Agent Frenzy, its always an over pay, get over it.

    Further more this is a testament to fact that
    annual bottom feeders will always have to over pay for their wants.

    If MacT would have sat on his butt and did nothing you would be crying about that.

    These weren’t bold moves but decent.At least the team is bigger with out wearing the Fridge tag.

    • v4ance

      Strictly signed as #7 so Klefbom and Nurse can stay in AHL and CHL respectively and play tons of minutes.

      If either of them can flat out beat Aulie or another D above them in the depth chart for a spot, then they’ll totally deserve it. They’ll need to show that they’ve taken another great leap forward in development. If it’s even close between Aulie and either of them, they go back down and Aulie is the guy who sits in the pressbox and rotates in every few games for one of the other D.

  • Zarny

    Don’t understand all the left wingers, and why they signed Gadzic to a 2 year deal. Frankly I’d roll with Hendricks on the 4th, seems to be extra money wasted.

    You have to assume the Oilers are working on landing one of O.Yokinen, Legwand, Grabbo. Picking up these free agent wingers seems pointless if he does not don’t have a insulator for Draisaitl, and I don’t buy MacT would roll with Deutsch Diggler in that 2nd line center position and throwing him against the Thornton and Kopitars of the conference.

    I’ve also wondered if there may be a deal being worked out for Berglund. Maybe Lecavalier if he would waive his no trade (not likely) and if Philly retain a third of his salary or something. Chicago has got to figure out their cap issues, I would like to think Sharp would shake loose with the signing of Richards, albeit his usage has been at wing recently.

    • v4ance

      If I’m MacT, I’m not letting Phi get out of their cap hell that easily.

      IF we take Lecavalier as a salary dump, they need to send their 2nd round pick with him for a prospect like Davidson/Musil or a 4th rounder going back.

      Either that or we go for the jugular and say Couturier or bust for that same prospect or 4th rnd pick. Might even be nice and send Joensuu back with the pick/prospect 😉

  • utarded

    Well that escalated quickly. So much negativity here today. Griping and checking player stats will not give you any closure for the moves made today. I just wanna watch the boys in blue win this year like any of you. Maybe we’re a step closer, maybe not. It remains to be seen, but calling each other out in chat rooms over oppinions is becoming insufferably overbearing.

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    MacT did well today.
    The roster is gaining clarity; players have more defined roles.
    There are less question marks like Joensuu, Belov, and Grebeshkov; MacT learned his lesson last year..

    That said, this puzzle’s missing pieces are smack dab in the center (pun intended). The missing pieces aren’t on the edge of the puzzle where few would notice. They’re right in the middle; right in the cat’s face, the sailboat, the Eiffel tower. He needs to find those pieces. He has lots of time though.

    • v4ance

      Meszaros is a bad bet @ $4.125M but at least it’s ony a 1 year deal for the 3rd pair D-man. He’s had a lot of hard miles on him and he’s broken down worse than Nick Schultz blocking shots and playing a physical style.

      Moulson’s deal was a slight overpay and 2 years too long (like Pouliot’s deal with the Oilers) but Buffalo needed that contract along with Meszaros’ contract to reach the cap floor.

      Boyle’s deal was good value if he can play as a 3rd liner for all 3 years of the deal

  • Serious Gord

    The Oil have paid more for Pouliot and Nikitin than most other teams would have to. However, as the they have plenty of cap room, at least for this year and likely next as well, what is the downside of this? It’s just a few more $ out of the K man’s pocket. Would it have been a better result if MacT had tried to get more economical deals and come up with nothing?

  • ANYONE WHO BITCHES ABOUT THE FACT THAT PLAYERS DONTBWANT TO COME TO EDMONTON……. IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE THIS, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BUFFALO!!

    THE FACT IS…. MAC T IS A FOOL!!

    • PutzStew

      Don’t forget class shown when Pronger left? Did you folks burn his furniture? How about Comrie being asked to pay money to be traded. The Surrey fiasco. Stoll, Green, Brewer, Penner all ran out of town. Have you seen the Six ring pressers? What about MacT’s treatment of players or the way ownership screwed the city for a new rink.

      I said it in an earlier post. Edmonton Oilers is like Fort Mac. No one really wants to be there but they over pay so bad that it can be worth your while if you want to sacrifice a few years. Now these player can site back and relax while they collect their paychecks. Good for them.

    • Serious Gord

      You know I like posting on this site and enjoy the opinions of other posters also. The difference between your post and those I enjoy is that the ones I enjoy show thought, intelligence and actually knowledge of hockey.

      Spewing unintelligent thought not backed up with fact just shows us how irrelevant you are. This will be the one and only response you will receive from me ever.

      Show some class and go troll elsewhere.

  • vetinari

    Alright, enough of the p!ssing and moaning about the players who did and didn’t sign here. Here’s a few simple rules to consider when looking at the deals:

    1. players have preferences and it’s not always about the money. They have friends, former coaches and other contacts on different teams and sometimes it’s nice to be on the same team as them no matter how much money another team offers the player.

    2. Sometimes it’s about having a shot at the Cup. Ehrhoff signs for $4M with the Penguins. Couldn’t MacT beat that? Of course he could but Ehrhoff goes to a team that is almost guaranteed a post season berth because of the other players on it. Accept it and move on.

    3. Sometimes it’s about living somewhere that gives you anonymity or is just beautiful all year round. Some places give you both. Play in Florida? Sure. No one is likely to bother you when you are out with your family for supper and heck, winters would be a breeze. Same for Tampa Bay. And LA. And Anaheim. And Phoenix. And San Jose. It’s an off ice competitive advantage that is impossible to beat, so don’t even try.

    4. Sometimes it is about the money and the term. I’m happy Calgary went crazy on Engelland’s contract. Really, really happy. Just be happier that it wasn’t one of our contracts. If I worked in a career that averaged 5 to 7 years, you bet that I’d love to cash in when I had an opportunity. And when you can offer a team something that few of your competitors can, like “truculence”, it’s called having a competitive advantage and you will get paid more (see below).

    5. Finally, every contract is “market rate”. How do I know? Because up to 30 teams in the NHL and an untold number of overseas teams sets it by bidding for free agents. It’s called the free market and it is subject to the laws of “supply” and “demand”. Need a quality right shot defencemen in 2014/15? Guess what. There’s only a couple available– so gentlemen, prepare to open your wallets and guess what, if enough GMs are offering money that you can live with, factors 1 to 4 come back into the equation.