The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have agreed to terms with left winger Luke Gazdic on a two-year contract.
Gazdic, 24, recorded four points (2G, 2A) and 127 penalty minutes in 67 games last season. His 15 fighting majors tied him for third in the NHL. Gazdic also scored his first National Hockey League goal on his first shift, in his first NHL game on October 1st, 2013 against the Winnipeg Jets.
The 6’3”, 240-pound forward spent four seasons with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars, prior to joining the Oilers in 2013-14. Gazdic posted 55 points (27G, 28A) and 447 penalty minutes in 256 AHL games.
Gazdic was Dallas’ 6th round selection, 172nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft.
A scary situation led a young Keith Aulie to heroics. Aulie had to pull his trapped father out of icy waters on a December day a few years ago.
Watch this video on the Oilers free agent signing.
The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with 6-foot-6, 228 pound defenceman Keith Aulie on a one-year contract.
Aulie was the 116th overall selection in the 2007 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames. He has played 136 NHL games in his career, scoring 13 points (4-9-13).
The Oilers have signed winger Benoit Pouliot to a five-year deal.
“Edmonton was really interested in me and I was interested in them,” Pouliot said on TSN. “It didn’t take long to get the deal done.”
Pouliot, 27, spent last season with the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers and scored 36 points (15-21-36) in 80 games. In the playoffs, Pouliot added 10 points (5-5-10) in 25 games.
Pouliot was the fourth overall pick in 2005. He has played 371 career regular season games in the NHL with 160 points (76-84-160).
The Oilers have signed defenceman Mark Fayne to a four-year contract.
Fayne, 27, was the 155th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. In 242 career NHL games, Fayne has 48 points (13-35-48) and 99 penalty minutes.
Last season Fayne played 72 games for the Devils and had 11 points (4-7-11) and 30 penalty minutes.
The Edmonton Oilers have signed two players at the start of free agency. The club has signed defenceman Mark Fayne to a four-year contract and winger Benoit Pouliot to a five-year deal.
#Oilers agree to terms with defenceman Mark Fayne on a four-year contract and winger Benoit Pouliot on a five-year contract.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 1, 2014
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The Edmonton Oilers added long-time NHL coach Craig Ramsay as an assistant coach a few weeks ago. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins told 630 CHED that another hire could be approaching but he is undecided on which way he would like to go. Eakins says the team is considering hiring a younger coach to help connect better with the young players on the roster.
“It’s something that we’re kicking around,” Eakins said. “We do have a spot that we can fill, if we would like to. The conversation now is that we have two unbelievably experienced coaches with Keith (Acton) and Craig. Now if we do decide to add another one do we look for another experienced one or is it better off to go with somebody maybe a little younger who is more in touch with the players. I think that’s an important thing to look at too.”
Should the Oilers fill another coaching spot Eakins says it will not be on the bench, which makes it difficult to do the hiring now with bench positions still open around the league.
“It’s something right now where it’s tough to even start considering people because everyone I do talk to here at the draft, they all have their hat in the ring and are looking to fill a spot on somebody else’s bench right now. I understand that. The role that we’re looking for is going to be somebody that’s not on the bench. A lot of guys aren’t real enthused about that while there are still spots open around the league on the bench and I totally understand that. I’m just going to wait until the other teams fill their benches, see what’s available and then it gives me some more time to kick around which way we go with this.”
Once the open jobs around the NHL are fewer in number the Oilers can re-focus on what type of coach they want to bring in, if any.
“Do we want a younger guy that can maybe connect a little bit better with the players or have another heavily experienced coach that could have a little disconnect with the generation of our players,” Eakins said.
Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins was familiar with Leon Draisaitl before the club made him the third overall pick in this year’s draft.
“I already spent time with him at the interview at the combine and we had dinner with him this week and got a good feel for the kid,” Eakins said Saturday on 630 CHED. “We were excited that he was sitting there when we were picking. It’s a need for our team for the future, a centre of his size and of his skill set. We’ve filled a hole in our organization and hopefully he will be able to play very soon.”
The Oilers hope the big, skilled centre is ready to make the jump to the NHL sooner rather than later. But Eakins says the team won’t rush his graduation if he’s not ready. Eakins himself refuses to place high expectations on the rookie.
“I have no expectations and I think it is a dangerous thing to put any expectations on the kid. He’ll come into our development camp, which is more of an orientation. He’ll come in and get to know the other players. he on-ice stuff isn’t that important. It’s more to get them up and going with their summer training. Then we’ll see where he is in training camp. This is a very young player and we don’t want to rush him, we don’t want to put the weight of the market or high expectations on him. We want to just see where he’s at when he does get playing against NHL players.”
The Edmonton Oilers were more than pleased with the way the first two picks fell in the first round of this year’s draft. With Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart off the board to Florida and Buffalo, the Oilers were given the opportunity to draft just what they needed. The club selected Leon Draisaitl third overall, adding size and skill to their centre lineup.
“Very excited,” Oilers Head Scout Stu MacGregor said after the draft concluded in Philadelphia. “I think he helps fill a need. He gives us an opportunity to have a strong centreman with some size that can play ahead of or behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, whichever way it works. We’ll give him that opportunity but also have to tell you he’s still a junior-age player who may need time and we’ll just give him that time for him to become the prospect we hope he can be.”
MacGregor added, “I think once he gets the opportunity to develop and mature he’ll be a very good fit for our organization.
The Edmonton Oilers scouting department felt they needed to add some goalie prospects to the mix and so the club took a pair on day two of this year’s draft: Zachary Nagelvoort and Keven Bouchard.
Nagelvoort, taken in the fourth round (111th overall), just finished a solid freshman year at the University of Michigan where he posted a 2.20 GAA and .929 save percentage.
“He was a little bit of a late developer coming out of the North American Hockey League,” Oilers Head Scout Stu MacGregor said. “He’s a goaltender who had a tremendous freshman year. I think he had an almost .930 save percentage. They were a middle-of-the-road team but he got them in the playoffs. We look at him as a goaltender that will continue to advance with good training and initiative.”
Bouchard, taken 183rd overall, was the backup goaltender for Val d’Or in the QMJHL, which made it difficult to fully scout him. But MacGregor says he likes what he saw in the limited action.
“We had a bit of an eye on him from the previous year. I just happened to be at a game one night where he did play and he did get a period at the Memorial Cup and I saw that. He’s a guy with potential. You want to look at kids that have potential. If you saw him there he’s very fit, very strong and he’s wiling to put in the work to get better.”
MacGregor says the scouts were the ones to convince Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish to pull the trigger on the goalies.
“I had to fight with him to draft a goaltender. We just needed to add something. These guys have some potential we feel and if we can do it right and they can develop well we feel we have an opportunity to have some more depth.”