Hockey’s Homestead May Give Oilers a Player or Two

This is Jeff Friesen as a Regina Pat. He was an outstanding junior and spent the 90s and much of the 00s going back and forth with Ryan Smyth for the lead in their respective career stats.

Friesen now stands at 893gp, 218-298-516, Smyth is 788gp, 270-294-564 but Friesen hung in there plenty.

Friesen is out of work. He’s a free agent who hasn’t signed with an NHL team yet, and a brief glance at his career stats tells you a thing or two about why no one has picked him up.

He still has great speed, but injuries have set him back and he appears to be an “old 30″ because his bat has let him down. Friesen also played for the button-down Flames last year and so his offensive numbers were terrible (72gp, 6-6-12). At EV he scored .821/60, which would have ranked behind 3 rookies on the offensively challenged Oilers last season (Winchester 1.19, Pouliot 1.17, Thoresen 1.15) and he hasn’t really been an offensive player since before the lockout.

Behind the Net has him playing the 5th most difficult minutes among forwards on the Godless Flames, and he played most with Yelle this past season.

I don’t think Edmonton would take a look at Friesen, but it’s possible he has something left to give at the NHL level. Likely? Probably not. Worth a tryout?

Yes.

Which brings me to Homestead, Florida. A man named David Grabiner posted a bunch of info about the 1994 baseball strike which I read from time to time in a kind of “the day the music died” trip through the graveyard.

It’s also helpful because it accurately describes what happened in and around baseball during that time when MLB robbed the Montreal Expos of a pennant and walked away from the fans in a giant corporate FU that left the game dead to many.

Anyway, they had a bunch of free agents who had picked the wrong damn time to be available (I believe this was around the time Jody Reed pushed away from the table when LA offered him triple his worth, only to sign with the Brewers for pennies. Stupid poetic justice) and since they didn’t have a club to play with, well allow me to quote Mr Grabiner:

Because the season ended with many players still unsigned, special arrangements were made to allow these players to play. The union set up a training camp for unsigned free agents in Homestead, Florida.

So, a whole bunch of Jeff Friesen’s who had been cast away by the sport they made into a terrific career had a shot at getting back in. The NHL is in a similar situation now, as the new CBA continues to see the financial shift move from the 30s to the 20s and from the good ufa’s to the great players no matter their contract or age (Mirtle is lapping the field on this subject btw).

The problem is that no one really knows who has been working out like a bugger and who is drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo. It’s a crapshoot. The other day Kevin Lowe addressed this subject and suggested there were some players who might be interested in attending Oilers camp. Who knows which ones, but guys like Mike Johnson will get contracts I’m sure before TC opens.

So, Jim Dowd, or did he sign with someone when I wasn’t looking? Does he have anything left? Any other names out there?

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

9 Responses to "Hockey’s Homestead May Give Oilers a Player or Two"

  1. Matt says:

    He still has great speed, but injuries have set him back and he appears to be an “old 30″ because his bat has let him down. Friesen also played for the button-down Flames last year and so his offensive numbers were terrible (72gp, 6-6-12).

    I guess his numbers could have been better with another team, provided that team was the Regina Pats.

    His bat is gone, has been since a year or more before the lockout. Nice PK if you need it, though.

  2. Santa Merda says:

    I like Friesen. I haven’t actually followed his career, but if he’s a Menno then that’s good enough for me.

    I had no idea there were this many of us in hockey.

  3. godot10 says:

    //The problem is that no one really knows who has been working out like a bugger and who is drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo.//

    Thank G.. for Google or that would have driven me mad trying to get the damn melody out of my head.

    Back to “playing solitaire till dawn, with a deck of 51.”

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Tanabe & Pratt would make a dandy bottom pairing for some team.
    They’re probably better than when the Oilers wil be throwing out there
    and for less than $2mm

    Alexeev is hated by the fans [and, it appears, by the coaches],
    but certainly looks good on the number-crunching pages.

    And another Russky, the one who got away, is Saprykyn.
    He produced at the same rate ES as the wonderful Patrick Marleau
    [whilst playing with Laraque]

    Now don’t tell me I’ve nuthin to do

  5. gary b says:

    great post. awesome when you reference the Expos (even though it makes me sad), and nice usage of the Statler Bros, too.

    i was such a huge Expos/baseball fan once up on a time – i still remember Saskatchewan, 1981, French class, our teacher Lionel Hamonic wheeling in the AV rack with the TV so we could watch what would end up being the ‘Blue Monday’ game. that year’s run was likely what hooked me. what an exciting team.

    and of course 1994, one of the the biggest groin kicks (thank you, MLB) a group of fans has ever had to endure. And yet the team remained competitive, even after the subsequent strike fallout/fire sale.

    What atill steams me, though, is the last few years of the team, starting with the Jeff Loria ownership (jackass spent all his money on hasbeens, and then on his way out basically stole everything that wasn’t nailed down, right down to laptops, scouting reports, and office chairs) and the prolonged (3 year) beatdown with MLB owning the team. buh-bye Vlad Guerrero, buh-bye Grady Sizemore, etc. grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  6. Black Dog says:

    The Hat had a good list the other day – besides Johnson you also have Danny Markov and Ossi Vaananen. You also have some pretty famous players who may be done – Amonte, Jason Allison (second year running), Lindros, Anson Carter. I wonder if Carter regrets not signing to play with the Sedins a couple years back.

    Dope.

    You can always find me here and having quite a time …

  7. Dennis says:

    Is Allison just being a total idiot? There’s no doubt that he should still be able to help someone’s PP but yet he doesn’t turn up anywhere? Has he overvalued himself?

  8. Andy Grabia says:

    Has he overvalued himself?

    That’s a joke, right?

  9. Black Dog says:

    Some of these guys are funny. Allison made a ton of money back in the day – guess he’d rather sit then take less then what he thinks he’s worth. Not sure what point he’s trying to prove. And he’s now played one season in the last four or five?? Missed last year, the lockout year and one or two before the lockout with a concussion?

    That season with the Leafs – he did well on the PP but was completely useless otherwise. Skating was absolutely glacial. No clue without the puck. And not a great attitude.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca