Today’s By The Numbers segment will take a look at 2009-10 Stanley Cup winner Colin Fraser.
The fun starts after the jump.
NAME: Colin Fraser
SWEATER NUMBER: 16
DOB: 28 JAN 1985 (26)
NUMBERS: 3G-2A-5PTS, 60 PIM in 67 GP
2010-11 SALARY/CONTRACT $825,000, will be RFA on July 1st, 2012
Just a year ago, the franchise was ushering in a new era of ‘rebuilding’. Another season of what we’ve seen over the past two, and the word “rebuild” may be some form of a slur against the Oilers, but if you could put a dollar value on ‘hope’ at that time, you’d be a rich man. The club drafted Taylor Hall, the world was safe, crime ceased to exist, and everybody got along with everybody’s neighbours, including the ones with the loud toolboxes at 4:30 AM while you were trying to get sleep. Or something like that. You should’ve seen it. It was wild.
Acquired for a meagre sixth round pick, Colin Fraser was brought in to shore up a fourth line that needed a lot of work. Here you had a guy who just won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks (his stock couldn’t have been higher at the time), his stock couldn’t have been higher, and all he had to do was make the fourth line look presentable. Granted, that’s a tall task.
I think he had two that night.
Unfortunately for Colin Fraser, manning the fourth line on an Oilers team that was pretty lean didn’t quite look like it did in the brochure. Fraser struggled at the faceoff dot, winning 44.6% on the year. Fraser wasn’t known for his scoring prowess, but he averaged about one goal per 20 shots. Either that’s a cue to start shooting the puck more, or…magic! Fraser wound up getting around ten minutes of ice time and fifteen shifts a night, both pretty good numbers for a 4C. Fraser’s linemates weren’t of the chippy, scoring variety either. Scratch that, most nights they were plenty chippy, but his linemates made Fraser the most likely (and probably most reluctant) scoring catalyst on the fourth line. This was a role that Fraser hadn’t had to be a part of with the Hawks, and it showed in his first year with the Oilers.
WHAT COULD BE
All is not lost. If Fraser’s faceoff win percentage can increase…four or five points between now and October first, it will likely translate to
good better times on the fourth line. Getting paired up with linemates like MacIntyre, Jacques and Stortini is a fun story to tell people, but those three guys have a role to fill, and scoring isn’t it. You put a checking centre on a line with a puncher and someone else, say Andrew Cogliano, and you’re going to have some interesting endings.
It’s going to be a cloudy training camp if Fraser has to compete with young guys like Chris VandeVelde , who had a decent callup late this past season. I’d expect Fraser to open the season on the big club, play in about 60 games this year, and finish with in the single point totals once again. If his faceoff win percentage improves, that’ll be a great victory.
DEREK BOOGAARD: 1982-2011
Unhappy news to pass along: as you are all likely aware, Rangers tough guy Derek Boogaard has passed away. At 28 years of age, Boogaard had his life in front of him. There’s no other information as to why he passed, and until we hear, there’s no reason to speculate.
Boogaard’s passing is a sad event in not only the NHL, but the entire sports world. Thoughts and prayers go to his family, friends and fans.
Guys: enjoy every day you have on this planet, and tell those who you love that you love them. You just never, never know.
We’ll pick up with #22 J.F. Jacques next time.
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