Thursday, June 24, 2010

Holy Mackerel!

The Oilers added Colin Fraser from the Chicago Blackhawks for a sixth round pick last night. Fraser is basically a fourth line centre. He scored seven goals and twelve assists this year in seventy games but when Bolland returned from his back surgery he lost his spot in the lineup, not surprising considering the Hawks lined up at centre with Toews, Sharp, Bolland and Madden. Rumours have been that the Hawks were going to hold onto Sharp and Bolland and try and move wingers to fix their cap issues (a strategy which is a good one I think) and last night's 'other' move in which Byfuglien, Sopel and Eager were moved to Atlanta for picks, prospects and Marty Reasoner seems to be the big one for them in terms of clearing space.

Reasoner slides into Madden's spot and if Huet goes to Russia, as rumoured, then the Hawks' cap crunch is almost under control. Great move by Bowman. Sopel and Eager did good work for Chicago this spring but of course both are absolutely replaceable parts and while Byfuglien did some excellent work for sure he was probably the most expendable of the expensive Hawk forwards. He's not as versatile as Versteeg and while he presented a difficult case for opposing defences he has not shown consistency and he gets extraordinary icetime in terms of where he starts his shifts. I think Troy Brouwer, who scored more goals than Byfuglien this year, steps in and replaces him just fine.

For the Oilers this is a depth move and its a fine one. Fraser is a solid fourth line centre. I have only seen him good. He can skate, he's hard on the puck, he's an agitator, he does the little things. I believe that he also is a PK guy. In short he is a good fourth line centre to have.

Its likely the first of many moves Edmonton makes and I think we are going to see a purge of forwards. Tambellini has said that in FA he is going after a couple of guys to play in the bottom six. Seeing as the majority of the Oilers' forwards are bottom six and a few of them are centres I think we are going to see a bit of a bloodbath between now and the beginning of July - Moreau, Pisani, Potulny, Pouliot, O'Sullivan, Nilsson, Stone, Jones, Jacques.

Holy mackerel we have a lot of bottom end forwards!

A couple will survive. But the acquisition of Fraser makes that number one less.


B.C.B. said...

I noticed that you didn't include Zorg in the potential bodies of the blood bath, or Brule. That makes 3 of the botton six (or eight) filled up. There might be more bodies then I expected.

Black Dog said...

Yeah I think Stortini is safe. Jones probably is as well to be honest.

Brule I think will be in top six or maybe not but yeah I think they hold onto him as well.

Who the fuck knows? I don't have Cogliano on that list either.

What a mess.

hunter1909 said...

Anyone coming to the team is a big improvement over Nilsson or O'Sullivan - both of who should seriously be offered a spot in the Oilers new women+men's hockey team, in their new league the XXXXXXXX <--- open to suggestion Hockey League.

Alice said...

Today Mackerel, tomorrow we get some bluefin.


spOILer said...

I think it probably came down to the fact Versteeg was under contract and Byfuglien's recent performance would bring a better return. So you have a guy you don't have to face arguing paydays with out the door for more than Versteeg would bring.

Deano said...

So, Huet has to go to Russia for his money and the Russian team picks up a portion of his contract.

Is that it?

spOILer said...


Is it just me or does Magnum PS look like Kaka, aka "The Baby-Faced Assassin".

macaotim said...

Until POS, that POS, is gone, I hold out no faith. However, this move is a good one for the bottom end. Lord knows we need a good, strong, durable bottem end...we've been taking it there for too long!

I sure hope Storts is here for a while. His work ethic and desire is a positive I'd say ("skill"-set also not duplicated in the line-up). Same with Horc. We've go a lot of kids coming and we need guys who are not only not afraid of hard work, but who thrive on it, to show them the ropes.

Black Dog said...

Deano - I think the Russians pick up some of the money, yes.

spOILer - yeah I had this debate last night with a buddy of mine. He rates Byfuglien higher than I do but we both agreed that likely Bowman could not move Sopel in a Versteeg deal plus the return may have been less. Byfuglien was the guy who Dudley was willing to give up a lot and take a lot for.

So that's why he went.

Black Dog said...

Tim - I don't think Storts is going anywhere, POS won't survive the month as an Oiler

spOILer - don't see the Kaka (hehe) thing.

macaotim said...

Doggy, I think, hope and pray you're right!

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