Oilers acquire Mark Fraser from Toronto

Jonathan Willis
January 31 2014 09:06AM

TSN's Darren Dreger reports that the Oilers have added some size to their blue line, adding Mark Fraser from Toronto.

What The Oilers Sent Away

The players going the other way in the deal were both outside of the organization's plans, so the cost on this isn't especially dear.

Teemu Hartikainen is having a pretty good season in Russia and has to be the guy the Leafs were interested in on this deal. He's a big winger with some skill who couldn't do much in 23 NHL games last season with the Oilers; he wasn't interested in staying in the organization on a two-way deal and so he went off to Russia. I've been told down the line that this isn't a player that Edmonton really had plans for, but that doesn't mean he might not break out with the Leafs. 

Cameron Abney, the other guy in the trade, has negative value; he's an ECHL enforcer taking up a spot on Edmonton's 50-man list. In the Oilers' organization he was passed as a player by Erick Lizon (currently with the CHL's Wichita Thunder). 

What the Oilers Added

Everybody hoping Edmonton would add a big, physical defenceman for the third pair got their wish today.

Fraser is listed at 6'4", 220 pounds. He has had three fights in the NHL this season; last year he had nine fights in the majors and eight in the AHL. He's a stay-at-home defenceman who plays a throwback style; the new Theo Peckham on Edmonton's blue line. 

As for what he is as a player? Theo Peckham isn't far-off as a comparison there, either. Fraser has struggled badly this year, with regular partners Paul Ranger and Morgan Rielly both faring better without him than with him. Of interest, though, is the way he and Cody Franson played together last season, and the way his regular partners in New Jersey (primarily Andy Greene and Johnny Oduya) played with and without him. He has had a measure of success in the NHL before, even if he isn't enjoying that this season.

For the time being the pending unrestricted free agent can provide the Oilers with physical play in the six/seven slot and provide the Oilers with a warm body if they choose to move other free agents like Anton Belov or Nick Schultz or Corey Potterat the deadline. He has familiarity with Dallas Eakins from time spent with the Marlies, so he should slot in to the Oilers system with relative ease, and his skillset is a nice fit alongside any of Potter, Philip Larsen or Taylor Fedun on that bottom pair.

This is a small trade, but it adds a dimension the Oilers were lacking at the cost of players the team didn't really care about anyway. The player with the most potential to be an NHL difference-maker went to Toronto, but Hartikainen wasn't going to be that guy in Edmonton and the trade market for 'tweeners who want one-way deals isn't as robust as it could be. 

Update - via @Steve_Dangle of Leafs Nation comes this Hockey Night in Canada segment on Fraser:

Additionally, Jeff Veillette - who covered Fraser in person when Fraser played for the AHL's Toronto Marlies - wrote a piece on the trade for Leafs Nation.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#301 MessyEH
February 01 2014, 06:26AM
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300 posts over a nothing trade?

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#302 Hemmercules
February 01 2014, 06:48AM
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MessyEH wrote:

300 posts over a nothing trade?

All the trolls here assume all the talk is about the trade. It' only has so many posts because of the lack of articles yesterday and it happens to be at the top. A lot of the talk here has been about hemsky and mactavish. I suppose I'm just feeding trolls here so I will let myself out lol.

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#303 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 01 2014, 07:23AM
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^^Exactly.

It was the latest article yesterday, the comments were more just general Oilers chat, as they usually are.

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#304 camdog
February 01 2014, 07:30AM
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pkam wrote:

Regarding Fistric, what is MacT supposed to do other than let him walk? Sign him to 3 years at 2M? This is what happen when you can't agree with the contract term with a UFA. Fistric is no different than any other UFA, like Iglina. If you are not interested in him, don't talk to him. If you are interested, you try to sign him to a contract you think is reasonable to you. If you can't sign him to a contract you think is reasonable to you, then you move on to the next one. How complicate is it?

You think Fraser is worse, obviously MacT thinks otherwise. Fraser not only will hit, he will drop the groves and stand up for his teammates. How many time did Fistric drop the gloves to protect his kids? If you have to choose between Mike Brown and Fraser, who would you rather have? Both the Oilers and the Sharks have to give a 4th rounder to get Mike Brown, do you think any team will give a 4th rounder for Fistric?

I am not sure what the right to Hartikainen will get us. What did we get for Omark? futher consideration, inw, a 6th/7th rounder. This summer MacT release Toni Rajala to Europe. I was quite upset because although Rajala is small, he, imo, is our best forward in OKC. If MacT can let Rajalo go, it is just a matter of time that we will do the same to Hartikainen. Since he is not part of our plan, therefore the roster spot has more value to MacT than his right.

I was never a fan of either player so I am totally okay with it. Perhaps you are a fan of those 2 players, or MacT hater?

I'd take Brown over Fraser. Oilers traded a third rounder for Fistric. Not sure what you are saying about the organization that traded a third for a guy you state nobody would trade a 4th for?

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#305 Zangetsu
February 01 2014, 10:46AM
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I just can't get over how intelligent the oilers organization is. The Marlies are the best AHL team there ever was. Easily better than Half The NHL. The only reason the players were on the farm is that Toronto has been such a powerhouse over the last decade. These players have really started to make a huge impact on the oilers roster now.

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#306 pkam
February 01 2014, 02:08PM
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camdog wrote:

I'd take Brown over Fraser. Oilers traded a third rounder for Fistric. Not sure what you are saying about the organization that traded a third for a guy you state nobody would trade a 4th for?

How many minutes does Brown play per game? 5? The only reason he is iced is to stand up for his teammate and fight. Fraser will do the same and play the #6 D. But before Fraser even plays one game for us, you already like Brown more. What else can I say?

What I think about the trade for Fistric, never like the trade for Fistric and Smithson.

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#307 nick
February 01 2014, 04:08PM
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What a stupid organization the Oilers are. They are now going out and getting all of Eakins Marlie players so they at least like the coach. It's ridiculous, MacTavish won't fire a bad coach so he just goes out and gets guys that talk nice about Eakins. Well done. On pace for the worst season ever 4 years into a revuild. Sickening

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#308 camdog
February 02 2014, 09:14AM
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pkam wrote:

How many minutes does Brown play per game? 5? The only reason he is iced is to stand up for his teammate and fight. Fraser will do the same and play the #6 D. But before Fraser even plays one game for us, you already like Brown more. What else can I say?

What I think about the trade for Fistric, never like the trade for Fistric and Smithson.

I watched them both play in Toronto. Suffice to say I don't expect them to change the player they are now that they are here in Edmonton? Fraser will bring some nastiness, both in terms of physically and his below average skill set.

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#309 Still Hopeful
February 02 2014, 01:33PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

I don't understand the MacT hate. The guy took on a last place team of smurfs 6 months ago from a passive GM. He added Ference, Gordon, Perron, Scrivens, Brysgalov, Belov, Hendricks and now Fraser. Tried to get Bernier, Schneider, Clarkson and probably others in trade attempts we never heard about. He shipped out some underachievers in Duby, Paajarvi and Smid.

The guy is active, more so than most GM's out there as far as I can see. Not all moves will be great, not all will work out, but the guy is trying.

I seems to me a lot of people think its as easy as calling up GM's and demanding they trade their great players to us for our junk. Not gonna happen.

I want playoffs next year as much as anyone but it likely wont happen that fast. Tambloweini's team will take time to correct and I think MacT has the potential to do it.

All Mac - T has done is trade 4 liners and nobody's for 4th liners or nobodies. You could put the 4th line of the Oilers on any NHL team and their record and standings would not change.

It is the first 3 lines and the top 4 D, that make the difference.

It is called ICE Time.

The reason no free agent will come here is because the Oilers have the worst management team and record to show for that in the league. The players know this, the agents (who know more inside information than the players) also know this. If I were an agent, would I give advice for any of my players to go to the worst team in the league over the past 14 years who have the same management or choose another team for the same salary.

People, use your heads. This is Lowe's team. He has been in charge of everything since he took over as GM and has been involved in every decision with the GM who he has hired since. The Oilers are going nowhere until Lowe, Mac-T, et. all are gone.

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