EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers added some needed depth to their defence Monday, acquiring Mark Fistric from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft.
“A lot of people are looking for the same type of addition to their depth chart,” Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said. “Defenceman at this time are difficult to find. We want to be in a proactive mindset, if we could get something now, obviously work him into this group as quick as possible, the better we will be.”
Fistric, an Edmonton native, joins an Oilers team with a wounded defence corps. Already missing blue-liner Andy Sutton, Edmonton was dealt another blow when defenceman Theo Peckham left the ice with an injury during Monday’s practice. Tambellini said he Peckham aggravated a hip flexor.
Tambellini called it “a typical type of injury you would see when guys are trying to ramp up for an NHL season.”
“I think it probably confirmed what we were thinking, most likely you will see some people in and out of the line up over the next month because for some players it’s going to be a shock to their system, not doing that type of workout or training a few times a week but every day,” he said.
Fristic played 60 games with the Stars last season, putting up two assists and 41 penalty minutes and posting a minus-3 defensive rating. In 257 career games with Dallas, he has 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) and 220 penalty minutes.
“We know he’s a difficult player to play against, he’s a penalty killer and a defensively minded player,” Tambellini said. “He’s a heady player. We think we needed to add at least that to compliment what we have right now on defence.
“I like the fact he’s versatile and not locked into one side. Our right side is pretty defined I think … this just adds to the balance of puck moving and skill and we’re looking for some heaviness.”
The six-foot-two, 232-pound defenceman was selected in the first round, 28th overall, by Dallas in the 2004 draft.
He played minor hockey with Edmonton’s Maple Leafs Athletic Club before joining the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants for five seasons, where he recorded 58 points (11 goals, 47 assist) and 453 penalty minutes in 214 games.