The Edmonton Oilers made an early splash on the free agency market by signing defenseman Mark Fayne and forward Benoit Pouliot to multi-year deals. Edmonton agreed to a four year, $14.5 million deal with Fayne and a five year, $20 million deal with Pouliot.
#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
Fayne spent his first four seasons with the New Jersey Devils, totaling 13 goals and 35 assists in 242 games played. Fayne has never been considered an offensive defenseman, in his four seasons in NJ, his highest point total was 17 (2011-12). Where Fayne shines is his ability to kill penalties and drive puck possession. With Edmonton’s wealth of offensive talent up front, Fayne could prove to be a bargain free agent acquisition for Edmonton. The Oilers have been attempting to rebuild their blue line over the last few seasons, Mark Fayne could be a step in the right direction.
Also acquired was Benoit Pouliot, who spent last season with the New York Rangers, totaling 15 goals and 21 assists. Prior to his one year stint with the New York Rangers, Pouliot bounced around between the AHL and NHL, including time with the Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season was a break out year for Pouliot, with 36 points being the highest total of his NHL career.
With Pouliot, the Oilers get a player with NHL and now Stanley Cup Final experience, without having to sign an aging veteran. With the Oilers looking to turn things around next season, they will need players who have a pedigree of winning. While his time in New York was brief, Pouliot will bring the winning mentality groomed in New York to Edmonton.