Oilers Pick Up Colin Fraser and July 1st Just Got A Lot More Boring

The Edmonton Oilers made the first of what I hope is many great depth trades by picking up Colin Fraser from the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. I won't go into a ton of detail about Fraser as there are some great reviews here and here.

Fraser does a lot of things for this organization that they haven't been able to do since Kyle Brodziak left. An even better comparison might be elements he brings since Jarret Stoll left.

No, he won't score like Stoll can, but Fraser is just hitting his prime and his potential could be fantastic considering he was buried under a huge depth pool at center in Chicago. Fraser seems to be taking steps in the right direction to already improving on what he does well -- faceoffs, penalty killing, crashing and banging and forechecking -- but he also looks as though he might be adding an element of scoring touch.

As is, this trade gives the Oilers a much more viable depth option at 4th line center. Pouliot and Potulny were taking turns trying to fill that role, but neither were the crasher/banger type that meshed well with the like of a Ryan Jones or Zack Stortini. Fraser should do well here and get plenty of chances to move up the depth chart.

Fraser is an RFA, which means something in the neighborhood of $900,000 for two years ought to get a deal done, but time will tell, and a 6th round draft choice to pick up a 25 yr old with veteran and winning qualities is a great pickup.

We're wondering if this means either Pouliot or Potulny won't be returning or that a trade for Andrew Cogliano is imminent.

Marleau and Pavelski Remain Sharks

Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski will remain San Jose Sharks. These were two players that would have fetched some interest come July 1st, which leaves very little left outside of what happens with Ilya Kovalchuk to get excited about.

Marleau signs a 4yr deal for $6.9 million per season. This is an interesting one as the trend was to hand out longer terms to decrease the cap hit per year, but Marleau's deal does nothing of the kind. At almost $7 million, that leaves the Sharks with Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle all dancing in and around that $7 million mark.

The Sharks will free up some space when they choose not to bring back goalie Evgeni Nabokov, but this is a lot of money tied up in 4 players. Could Joe Thornton be on the move? If not, does Wilson do this deal knowing that the increase cap for this season and Thornton a UFA next season still gives him some options?

I have a feeling the Sharks will still do a lot before the start of the season.

Souray Gone?

It is being reported that Sheldon Souray is about to be shipped to either Dallas or the New York Rangers.

Souray flew from L.A. to Edmonton yesterday to get a final examination done on his hand to clear him for a trade. I don't expect the Oilers to do something like that unless their is a trade proposal on the table and it's a matter of the final steps to complete it in the NHL's eyes.

Jim Kerr from New 880 in Calgary is reporting that Tambellini is hoping to deal Souray by the weekend.

Here's to hoping its to Dallas who has far less crappy high end contracts to send back and the Oilers might actually get something of value besides Rosival or Redden.

Kaberle Trade Odds Go Up

I reported about 60/40 that Kaberle gets traded on Friday. I think those odds went up to about 80/20 as TSN is reporting that Brian Burke has as many as five offers on the table for Kaberle's services.

At this point the offers are not packed enough to make the trade happen, but one or two of those teams will throw in a draft pick or prospect to get it done.

Montreal Deciding Who To Keep?

The Montreal Canadiens have made qualifying offers to forwards Maxim Lapierre, Tom Pyatt and Sergei Kostitsyn, as well as goaltender Carey Price; all of which are set to become restricted free agents on July 1.

The only name surprisingly absent from the list is Benoit Pouliot who played extremely well for the Canadiens after coming over from Minnesota part way through last season.

Ales Hemsky To Columbus?

This is nothing more than a rumor right now, but Robin Brownlee is reporting that Tambellini made a call to Scott Howsen about what it might take to get the 4th overall pick in this years draft. The name that came back was Ales Hemsky.

I wouldn't do it, but Tambellini might and I could see his argument if he does.

The Oilers with that pick will obtain a franchise defenceman. They need one, far more than they need a winger who may or may not stay with the Oilers after the next two seasons. When Hemsky is ready to make his decision, the Oilers should have a group of talented young wingers ready to step in and at that point, perhaps Hemsky becomes a bit more of a luxury than the need he currently is for the Oilers.

I would like to see what Hemsky can do with whomever the Oilers draft first overall, but that's just me. The other option that is still out there is Jason Spezza to Columbus for the 4th, but my guess, is that Howsen chooses Hemmer over Spezza.

Hemsky brings a smaller cap hit, less term and a familiarity with the Blue Jackets GM. I've also read that Ottawa GM Murray has stated only one team has expressed interest in Spezza and that if not traded before July 1st, when Spezza gets his $4 million dollar bonus, Spezza won't be traded period.

Savard about 50/50

TSN's Darren Dreger reports he does have confirmation that Marc Savard has been discussed in trade possibilities with other teams, but that Chiarelli isn't pushing a trade thanks to Savard's respectable cap hit.

I can see that Boston gets a ton of offers for Savard, which is why I placed the odds around 50/50. Toronto is kicking tires I'm sure, and I would hope so is Edmonton. A $4 million dollar cap hit for a 90 point player signed long term is a great player to have.

The only downside to Savard, is his age and how old he'll be when his contract expires in 2016. Injuries and lack of production will catch up to him and he'll be a far greater bargain during the first half of his deal than the second half.

More to come... I have a feeling this is just getting started.


Who is reporting on the Souray trade?

June 24, 2010 at 1:09 PM comment-delete

No trade is confirmed by any means, but both David Staples of the Edmonton Journal and Jim Kerr from the New 880 radio station in Calgary have picked up on the story.

June 24, 2010 at 2:23 PM comment-delete

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