Free Agency Brings Changes to the Edmonton Oilers

Well, Edmonton Oilers fans – you were promised bold moves. After getting off to a good start with the Horcoff deal to Dallas, GM Craig MacTavish continued to put his stamp on this new Oilers team with six signings on Free Agency Friday.

Among the players signed wasAndrew Ference. The former Bruins defenseman signed a 4 year deal today, with an AAV of $3.25 million. Ference is from Edmonton, and actually grew up tagging along to Oilers practices with his neighbor Petr Klima.

The Oilers also added two former Coyotes – center Boyd Gordon (3 years, $3 million AAV) and goalie Jason LaBarbera (1 year, $1 million), filling a hole at center and providing goalie Devan Dubnyk with a reliable backup.

MacTavish wasn’t done, however. After adding free agent  F Jesse Joensuu, a former  New York Islander (2 years, $950,000 AAV), MacTavis went on to sign two former Toronto Marlies forwards – Ryan Hamilton and Will Acton. Acton is the son of new Oilers assistant coach Keith Acton, and Hamilton served as the Marlies’ captain for the past two seasons. Both played under Eakins during their time in Toronto.

The moves made today by the Oilers address a great many needs within the organization – experience and grit on defense, depth at center, a backup goalie, more size and grit at forward – but there are still many moves to make. MacTavish said today that he hasn’t yet done all that he wants to make the team “tougher”, so there is undoubtedly more action in the team’s future. For today, though, the job seems to be done.

Oilers Trade Captain Shawn Horcoff

In yet another trade made today by Dallas GM Jim Nill, the Oilers have sent their captain Shawn Horcoff to the Stars in exchange for D Philip Larsen and a 7th round pick in 2016.

New Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said shortly after taking the reins that he would like to move both Horcoff and veteran winger Ales Hemsky, preferring to give both of them a “fresh start”

elsewhere, rather than keep them in a situation potentially detrimental to both the players and the club. The trade appears to be a genuine “hockey trade”, fulfilling needs for both teams, giving the Oilers much-needed fresh blood on defense and the Stars depth at center.

Horcoff has two years left on his contract with a cap hit of $3.5m AAV. The Oilers managed to free up that space without having to eat any of the former captain’s cap hit, and got a 23-year-old right shot, puck-moving defenseman out of the deal, as well as a future draft pick. Time will tell if the trade is as good as it looks for the Oilers, but at the moment, it certainly seems MacTavish is making good on his promise to make “bold moves”.

NHL Awards: Our Picks

The NHL Awards are nearly upon us, and while due to the lockout we don’t get a fun show in Vegas this year (say it with me – “Thanks, Gary!”), the awards are still being given out. The lovely Julia and I have made our picks below – sound off as to whether you agree or not!

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Friday Night Flow & Fights: Sidney Crosby

Okay, okay. Sid isn’t exactly the first person that anyone thinks of when the topic of conversation is “fights”. But tonight is do or die for the Pens, and I’m trying to get as much luck going as possible.

Besides, not only has he grown some pretty terrific flow lately, he’s also just plain hilarious when he tries to fight.

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Friday Night Flow & Fights: Brandon Prust

Tonight’s post is coming at you a little late, but look at that almost-mullet. Doesn’t that make it worth it?

Brandon Prust signed with the Montreal Canadiens last summer, and he’s been making my life super enjoyable ever since. I don’t know that everyone enjoys terrible hair the way I do (keep an eye out for my upcoming “Patrick Kane: International Man of Mullets” retrospective, coming soon to a blog near you), but you have to admit that on a guy like Prust, it’s pretty fantastic.

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It’s Time To Get Weird

It’s time for jittery nerves, for OT-induced sleep deprivation, for adrenaline hangovers. It’s time for shushing family members till intermission, for screaming obscenities at the television, for following every tiny superstition that you have. It’s time for playoff beards.

It’s time for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

One team is now 15 or 16 wins away from hoisting Lord Stanley. Who do you think it’s going to be?

Friday Night Flow & Fights: Kris Letang

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Happy Friday, folks. We’re starting a new weekly series over here on Beauty Move called “Friday Night Flow & Fights”, and it only felt right to have our first featured dude be Pittsburgh Penguin Kris Letang. I wanted to kick the series off with someone who fell into both categories, and boy, does he ever.

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