Dean Arsene (and possibly heard)

I always watch with interest when the Edmonton Oilers sign defensemen. From the time Kevin Lowe took over in the summer of 2000 until this summer, the number of quality signings and acquisitons has been impressive. A team like Edmonton (or like my other favorite team, the Montreal Expos) must look under every rock to find items of use. As a fan of the Oilers, it makes sense to closely examine each and every free agent signing that involves a defender.

There’s usually exceptional value in this area, as the complete list reflects:

  • July 5, 2000: Scott Ferguson from Cincinnati (AHL).
  • July 19, 2000: Terran Sandwith from St. John’s (AHL).
  • May 29, 2001: Marc-Andre Bergeron from Shawinigan (QMJHL).
  • July 12, 2001: Steve Staios from Atlanta (NHL).
  • August 29, 2001: Elias Abrahamsson from Providence (AHL).
  • August 21, 2003: Dan Smith from Springfield (AHL).
  • August 23, 2004: Rick Mrozik from Rochester (AHL).
  • July 14, 2006: Jan Hejda from Khimik (RSL).

So who is this fellow, anyway? Based on the comments about him as he heads out of Hershey, I’d say the Oilers got an exceptional character player:

  • “He was a warrior in every sense of the word,” Bears head coach Mark French said. “He carried that into the community and was a consummate professional. You hate to see a guy like that leave. He was a great person in the room. We’ll miss him, but we understand the circumstances both ways.”

It also looks like Arsene had very specific requirements moving forward and has an idea about where he stands with his new organization:

  • “I talked to [Bears president-GM] Doug [Yingst] before I left. He said he wanted to have me back. I was honest with him. I said I would love to be back, but it has to be an NHL contract. I wanted to get my chance, like everybody else. I don’t know if it’s so much to stick in Edmonton right off the hop. I think it’s more of a depth-player signing. I’m going to go down to Springfield and play as well as I can to be the first to be called up. I don’t have stars in my eyes to think I’m going to stick out of camp.”

We don’t know this player well, but he’s certainly among the top three or four possible callups from Springfield based on resume. Theo Peckham and Jake Taylor are probably the best defenders headed to Springfield, with the organization committed to the talented but flawed Taylor Chorney.

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29 Responses to "Dean Arsene (and possibly heard)"

  1. R-Gib says:

    Wow! That is a blast from the past for me. Dean played junior for the Kootenay Ice (WHL) in my hometown of Cranbrook. I believe he was an overager (20 yr old) on the 2000 Ice team that won the WHL championship. That was a great team, with Stoll, Jason Jaffary, Steve McCarthy, and Dan Blackburn between the pipes. Dean was a Staios-type from what I can remember… big stay at home defenceman, solid reliable player, great leader, stuck up for his teammates, good fighter. Now that was 10 years ago, but I'm looking forward to see what he has to offer the Oilers/Falcons now.

    I agree LT, it looks like another quality depth signing on D.

  2. B.C.B. says:

    I am first….maybe

    I like his comment on being a depth player. good old blue collar Dmen. Can't have enough of them (oh, I like having a few that can pass to play with them).

  3. Smytty777 says:

    Seems like a very good signing. Do we have a sense of what the top 6/7 will look like in Springfield?

    Not in any particular order…


    Will Petry be in the AHL this year after his college season?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Smytty777: I'd think the Oilers (and Falcons) depth chart might look something like this:

    1. Visnovsky
    2. Souray
    3. Gilbert
    4. Grebeshkov
    5. Staios
    6. Smid
    7. Strudwick
    8. Peckham
    9. Taylor
    10. Arsene
    11. Chorney
    12. Young
    13. Nickerson
    14. Motin
    15. Plante
    16. Wild

    or some such.

  5. Smytty777 says:

    Thanks LT, I'm not as familiar with how Springfield stacks up, but I agree with your Top 8. Although I'm hopeful that Smid can take another step and move ahead of Staios on the depth chart, ala Matt Greene.

  6. B.C.B. says:

    LT, what worries me about your depth chart is that Plante and Motin won't get enough time for a proper development in the AHL if they are ranked so low in the depth chart.

    I would like to see them alternated as the sixth d-man, and preferably played with a vet (Talyor/Arsene) to teach them to read the play better (and cover their mistakes). This way if injuries happen (and they will, either in the NHL or AHL) Plante and Motin have more experience and could fill in the AHL 4-6 without too much problems.

    I would have the AHL pairings like
    Arsene – Peckham
    Chorney – Nickerson/Young
    Taylor – Plante/Motin
    Two of the doubles sitting and with Wild in the ECHL to start. Who ever continuous throws strikes gets to stay in the line-up and who ever is eaten alive by double A hitting is set to Stockton (and replaced by Wild). Unless injuries start pilling up.

  7. Lowetide says:

    BCB: For several years now I've noticed the AHL seems to rotate about 8 defenders through. The Falcons certainly did it and in fact some of the veterans and better defenders were in the rotation.

    At a guess I'd say Motin will be fine, but we should prepare ourselves for Plante to see the bench fairly often and possibly spend time in the ECHL. Junior is also a distant possibility imo.

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    I said I would love to be back, but it has to be an NHL contract.

    What, exactly, does this mean if he signed with the Oilers?

  9. raventalon40 says:

    If placed on an even playing field I'm not so sure Chorney will outperform Wild in the development process. They've both got a lot of tools to work with.

  10. Steve says:

    What, exactly, does this mean if he signed with the Oilers?

    Today's Journal reported that it was two-way, so I'm as confused as you are.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Coach: it means the contract he signed is a two-way deal. His previous contract was one-way AHL. I understand that he's going to be paid well in the AHL though, something like $150k.

  12. DBO says:

    coach:it means he signe a two way deal. Some of the AHl guys sign just AHL deals, for not as much money. he'll get the $500 k in the show and over $100k in the minors.

    one great thing about a rich owner is you can spend a bunch on minor league two way deals that allow us to find solid guys who might have an impact at the NHl level.

  13. Steve says:

    Coach: it means the contract he signed is a two-way deal. His previous contract was one-way AHL. I understand that he's going to be paid well in the AHL though, something like $150k.

    Is there any downside to giving out two-way contracts? Does it affect waiver rules or something? Because it seems to me that you can offer guys you know are staying in the AHL all the two-way contracts you like without it costing you anything.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Steve: I believe a two-way deal counts toward the 50 man list.

  15. bookie says:

    Cool, this is like AHL contract school today!

    Anyone have any stats or links that outline the average AHL salaries? I am just curious.

  16. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Ive never seen it published (AHL numbers) but this site is very helpful for the 50 man list:

  17. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: it means the contract he signed is a two-way deal. His previous contract was one-way AHL. I understand that he's going to be paid well in the AHL though, something like $150k.

    I thought that was the case. I don't like that he's against the 50 man, but it's good that he's going to help Wilhortry.

  18. DBO says:

    LT: funny, i just went there myself and was going to link to it. Good way to see what room we have. Nice to know we have some contract room. 4 contracts left. Now sign a 3C, and move some kids for a 1LW (preferably Gagne).

  19. bookie says:

    To follow up on my own question in case anyone is interested (I got googling).

    Here is the AHL minimum salary and benefits

    Here is the ECHL minimum salary and benefits

    Here are the salaries for the Moose. Salaries for all players are at the bottom of the article.

    Interesting stuff, it looks like you better be using your coupons if you are in the ECHL.

  20. NBOilerFan says:

    Completely unralated, but does anyone know what date Grebs arbitration hearing is scheduled?

    I know the hearins are all being held between July 20th and Aug 4th. Also I believe Tambellini has until 5pm EST on July 20th to get a deal signed or its off to arbitration.

    Just was curious if the actual date was posted anywhere when his hearing is scheduled.

  21. PDO says:|EDM|home

    Positives: Only 11 B2B's.

    Negatives: Not much for home stands, a long string of road games at the end, several extended road trips.


  22. Ben says:

    Maybe a silly question, but does the AHL operate under a salary cap?

  23. doritogrande says:


    Not that I'm aware of. I live in an AHL city (Winnipeg) and have a bit of expertise in the area.

    Where we lack a salary cap we have what is loosely known as the "Veteran Rule". Whereby a team can only dress five players who have played a total of 250 games or more in any pro league (AHL, ECHL, and Europe leagues). I understand this is to make the AHL more of a development league, to differentiate it from the leagues in Europe who to my knowledge have no such rule.

    LT: According to Jaosn Gregor's post at ON (, Arsene will be making approximately 170K in the Minors. Also, if anyone is interested, our other AHL signings will be making 275K (Chris Minard) and 95K (Nickerson).

  24. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I counted 10 b to b, but I believe everyone of them requires travel after the first game (once to Cal). You can pretty much throw 8 to 10 points out the window there.

    I wonder what the winning % is for the second game of the back to back for the team that has to travel between games.

    I'm betting it's south of .200.

    I know geography plays a big part of the schedule, but the Oilers sure seem to be just "fillers" for the NHL year after year.

  25. TC91 says:

    Offtopic but did anyone see this:

  26. bookie says:

    Wow, I said Reddox was done, but I thought I was joking!

    No AHL cap because the salaries are paid by the NHL teams and the AHL team simply pays a standard fee to the NHL team to cover all costs (such as salary). This allows the NHL team full flexibility.

    There is however an ECHL cap.

  27. bookie says:

    I wonder what the winning % is for the second game of the back to back for the team that has to travel between games.

    I'm betting it's south of .200.

    My instinctual guess here is that it is not that bad. Teams have a 'suck it up' motivation factor in these situations and I often remember teams coming in at 4am and winning.

    I could be totally wrong.

  28. Rick says:

    Nice pick-up. Arsene's a nice player.

    He'll certainly help in Springfield, and may even make his way onto the big club as the #7 guy at some point.

  29. steve says:

    Not familiar with a few guys on your list LT but Arsene sounds a lot like Allan Rourke. Also there seems to be a bit of a quality difference between the guys picked up from the AHL vs elsewhere on your list.

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