OILERS WITH ACTIVE DAY DURING START OF NHL FREE AGENCY
By Josh Evans, OKC Barons
The Edmonton Oilers, parent club of the Oklahoma City Barons, were active during the first day of the NHL’s free agency period as they signed four forwards, one defenseman, one goaltender as well as acquired a defenseman and a draft choice.
Their first move came in the morning as they acquired defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round draft choice in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft from the Dallas Stars in exchange for centerman Shawn Horcoff.
The Oilers followed with the team agreeing to terms with defenseman Andrew Ference on a four-year contract. The 15-year NHL veteran has appeared in 760 games at the NHL level, scoring 193 points (37-156-193). Ference spent the last seven seasons with the Boston Bruins, winning a Stanley Cup in 2011.
Edmonton also signed free agent centerman Boyd Gordon who played the last two seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes. The 29-year old Gordon has 486 games of NHL experience with the Coyotes and Washington Capitals. In those 486 games, Gordon has 122 points (39-83-122).
The Oilers added Gordon’s teammate from Phoenix, goaltender Jason Labarbera. The 33-year old Labarbera has appeared in 175 NHL games with Phoenix, Vancouver, Los Angeles and the New York Rangers and has a record of 59-70-19, 2.84 goals against average and .908 save percentage.
Forward Jesse Joensuu signed with the Oilers shortly after lunch. Originally drafted by the New York Islanders, Joensuu has 15 points (8-7-15) and served 47 penalty minutes in 67 NHL games, all with the Islanders.
During the afternoon, the Oilers signed a pair of players that played the last two seasons in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. Will Acton signed a two-year contract with the Oilers. The 6-2, 190-pounder from Stouffville, Ontario played the last two seasons with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. In 136 games with the Marlies, he scored 35 points (15-20-35).
Acton’s teammate Ryan Hamilton also signed a two-year contract with the Oilers. Hamilton, a 6-2, 219-pounder from Oshawa, Ontario has played the last five seasons with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League. In 258 games during those five seasons, the 28-year-old scored 165 points (94-71-165) and served 158 penalty minutes. Hamilton, who served as the Marlies team captain for each of the last two seasons, notched a career high 30 goals last season.
For a full recap of the Oilers signings on the first day of NHL Free Agency, click here
Hockey season begins in Oklahoma City on Friday, September with the NHL Showcase presented by Mercy when the Edmonton Oilers host the Dallas Stars in an NHL Preseason game. For more information about tickets, call the Barons office at 232-GOAL.
Oklahoma City opens their 38-game home schedule with a weekend set of games October 4 and 5. In addition to the home opener, the Barons are scheduled to play at home November 12, 15 and 16 and December 20 and 21. The Barons annual Education Field Trip Day will be November 12.
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