The Edmonton Oilers signed their centerpiece in free agency today, signing veteran 2-way C Eric Belanger. It’s a 3 year deal, $1.75M per and should be considered the best deal on a very busy day. Among the fast facts: A solid faceoff percentage (55.3% in 1300 sorties), some PP and PK time and a nickname of Belly.
He scored 13-27 in 82 games last year and would have to be considered a major upgrade at the center position. This deal very likely spells the end of the line for Andrew Cogliano at center. It might mean a move to wing or to another NHL city.
Belanger was 2nd among C’s in 5×5/points per 60 in PHX (1.85); 3rd in CorsiRel; 46.6 in Zone Start and 49.4 in zone end; among Coyotes centers, he faced the second toughest opponents (Hanzal) and played with the third best options.