BELOV!

The first official move of the MacT era rolled off the assembly line today–Anton Belov’s signing is an unusual and interesting first step.

He’s 26, 6.04, 215 played for Russia at the WHC and someone is leaving Edmonton. Here’s the D depth chart before  the signing:

  • Smid-Petry
  • Schultz-Schultz
  • Klefbom-Potter
  • Peckham

With Belov now on the scene, it pushes Klefbom down the depth chart, or possibly makes a veteran LH D available for trade.

  • MacT: “We need more footspeed to play the style that best suits our skill-set. We have to move the puck quicker and the defencemen have to skate into open ice to get them the puck. We didn’t get back hard enough on breakouts.”

Belov and Klefbom would seem to reflect that nicely, and we do know he likes Belov enough to sign him as one of 7 NHL D options for 13-14.

Belov served as an alternate captain (to former Los Angeles King Alexander Frolov) in Omsk and played with a number of NHLers during the lockout, including Sergei Kostitsyn and Nikita Nikitin.

The wise question of course is this one: is he an actual NHL hockey player? It’s an interesting resume, folks.

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63 Responses to "BELOV!"

  1. yegCopywriter says:

    Yes!

    No!

    I don’t know.

  2. dulock says:

    Hopefully this signals a shift to looking at skilled Russians and Europeans that other teams won’t touch. There are lots of useful players there. If I were them, I’d draft Russians heavily in rounds 5,6 and 7 as there are many good players that the knock is might not come over instead of drafting might not be able to play types. With the new CBA giving rights to European draftees for four years, it’s a pretty solid strategy.

  3. Racki says:

    Hopefully his defensive game isn’t too far Belov average….. ho ho ho!

    All seriousness, worth taking a stab at as a depth guy. Another Grebeshkov ?? Good to see us beat another team to the punch on a player. Speaking of punching, good to see he didn’t break out the bongos when dealing with Yashin.

  4. striatic says:

    it sounds like he should do well in a 3rd pairing role.

    if he’s better than Fistric, it is a good signing.

  5. striatic says:

    and jesus .. look what Belov [77 in dark silks] does in this fight after jersey-ing his opponent.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a40dRpxAerg

    i’m hoping that looked worse than it was.

  6. Doug McLachlan says:

    Does this toe dip into the Russian waters make a Nikushkin draft pick more likely?

  7. striatic says:

    Doug McLachlan: Does this toe dip into the Russian waters make a Nikushkin draft pick more likely?

    i think Nikushkin is gone before 7.

  8. FTO says:

    Stauffer tweeting that the Oil are one of three teams left in the Antti Raanta sweepstakes, could be a kickoff to a sick summer.

  9. striatic says:

    FTO: Stauffer tweeting that the Oil are one of three teams left in the Antti Raanta sweepstakes

    who are the other 2?

  10. FTO says:

    striatic,

    Haha sorry read the tweet again and it just says 3 teams, nothing about the Oilers or anyone else. We can hope though lol.

  11. Smarmy says:

    striatic: who are the other 2?

    I bet Philly is one. Maybe Tampa?

  12. DBO says:

    Gregor had a Russian sports guy out of washington on this afternoon. Said Belov may have been the best D man in the KHL this year. Compares him to Emelin in Montreal in that no on in Russia is a stay at home type, but that he is experienced enough to be able to play a more defensive game in the NHL. He was a top pairing dman on his KHL team and in the WHC.

    Seems to be a very nice pickup. At worst he is a #7. At best a #3/4. Which would be a great addition and fits our age range very well.

    So what does our 7th overall and Shultz the elder get you? Can it move you to 4 so we get Barkov? Would Nashville do that? Carolina more likely. Doubt the top 3 move out of their spots.

  13. Racki says:

    I don’t know anything but Raanta, but I’d bet the Oilers are one of the teams involved.. those are some really impressive numbers. Led the Finnish Elite League in GAA and SV%.. sure, I’d give him a shot here.. definitely.

  14. FTO says:

    Smarmy: I bet Philly is one. Maybe Tampa?

    Yeah could very well be, really wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers were in the talks as well though. Seeing as the tweet came from Stauffer. Man wouldn’t that be awesome!

  15. Lois Lowe says:

    If either he or Klefbom can manage to play better than Ryan Whintey then I’d consider the Oiler’s defence improved. Maybe only marginally, but improved nonetheless.

  16. Racki says:

    Paul Maurice interviewed with Oilers (per Bob McKenzie) for associate coach role, Oilers sign Belov… possibly looking at Raanta.. MacT has been busy. He’s probably doing more in his first month than Tambi did his entire tenure (not really, but if he keeps it up, he’ll probably get more done in a month than Tambi could in a year or more). So far he’s owning up to promises.. or at least attempting to.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    Paul Maurice interviewed with Oilers (per Bob McKenzie) for associate coach role, Oilers sign Belov… possibly looking at Raanta.. MacT has been busy. He’s probably doing more in his first month than Tambi did his entire tenure.

    I was thinking the same damn thing. Not to be a jerk, but pull up your sleeves and get on the stick!

  18. Captain's Log says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Does this toe dip into the Russian waters make a Nikushkin draft pick more likely?

    striatic: i think Nikushkin is gone before 7.

    Okay but that doesn’t answer the question. It can still be more likely that Nichushkin is drafted by the Oilers ;)

    Say there is a 75% chance he is taken before the Oilers. But then there is a 1 in 4 chance he is available…and given that maybe it’s more likely in those scenarios that the Oilers draft him given this move.

    Personally I would say that YES this signing increases the chances the Oilers draft Nichushkin. Having had success with Russian players in the past and going forward I think the Oilers would feel more comfortable with another Russian player.

  19. B S says:

    Lowetide,

    I’ve generally not been a fan of throwing Tambellini under the bus given we don’t know what he tried and what he passed on, but the last trade deadline episode of Oil Change certainly gave the appearance that Tambi didn’t know what the hell was going on. He seemed genuinely surprised at some of the trades that happened, some of which were for assets the Oilers certainly needed. I don’t want a Burke-like trade for the sake of trading, but I do hope MacT is savvy enough to get in on some of the trades that are out there rather than sticking his head in the sand and hoping a borderline team can magically start winning when two of their centers go down.

  20. Woodguy says:

    I like that he was good enough for RUS at the WHC.

    That speaks more than being on a #1 pairing in the KHL.

    Interesting signing, takes my boy Grebs out of the picture, but he looks like a better version, so I’m still happy.

    I like that MacT is talking about playing puck possession hockey and now accumulating players who can play it.

    This will be a much, much different team at TC.

    Thank Gord.

  21. Moose says:

    Would be curious to know how much he played and how he was used in prior seasons. Looking at his stats, it seems he put up little to no offense before this season. Increased role/ice time or one season anomaly? Better team perhaps?

  22. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 3m

    Told Belov is a big smooth skating d-man with a big time shot, but not expected to be pp guy. Likely a 5 or 6 to start.
    Expand

  23. Cobbler says:

    I like that this signing kind of comes out of nowhere. Perhaps showing they are looking for value contracts and under appreciated talent outside of the NHL.

    Does anyone know who the pro-scout for the KHL is?

    Looks like the Pens were interested???

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/5/30/4379426/reports-pens-close-to-signing-russian-defenseman-anton-belov

  24. Moose says:

    Terry Jones has an article up at The Sun sight, with some quotes and tidbits stuff from MacT. Good read.

  25. striatic says:

    Lowetide: Likely a 5 or 6 to start.

    that sounds right.

    i don’t think he signs in Edmonton if he thinks he’s going to be #7, but i also don’t think you can slot him top 4 until you can get a good look at how he does on NHL ice against NHL offense.

  26. striatic says:

    Cobbler: Looks like the Pens were interested???

    he’s had to sign in Edmonton where he has the best chance at sliding up the depth chart and getting more minutes. Pens have tons of quality D.

    similar situation to J. Schultz, where the lack of depth is something of an asset in attracting skill.

    chances of getting Antti Raanta have to be lower for the same reason.

    if i’m Raanta, there are other teams with more precarious goaltending situations than the Oilers that i would prefer to go to.

  27. Cobbler says:

    striatic,

    Yes makes sense with the turnover on the D.

    In his article Jones indicates that the mentor role to Yakupov was important in signing him. Does anyone know if there is a direct connection to Yak?

  28. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 9m

    Belov cap hit will be around 1.525 m bonuses included.
    Expand
    Ryan Rishaug Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 15m

    Belov apparently can also play both sides effectively though he is a left shot. Went from 0g 6 pts last yr to 9g and 26 pts this yr.
    Expand

  29. Racki says:

    I think MacT’s going to be using all resources possible, and that’s maybe where the MBA people like to poke fun of will come in handy. He’s already got his nose in a few things, and this is a more recent trend for the Oilers… we’ve watched good names that we could easily have used pass by… now the Oilers seem to be in the mix for everyone… Schultz, DeKeyser, likely Raanta, coaching staff… this is exactly what I wanted to hear. Of course the first two on the list happened under Tambellini’s watch, but just saying.. it’s a new trend for the Oilers, so the arrows are pointing more upward, finally. Whether that has to do with a philosophical change, or MacT coming in, I dunno. But it’s good.

  30. fifthcartel says:

    Hopefully Mac T has been working on Raanta as well. That would be a huge start to this off-season.

  31. Ribs says:

    “It’s part of the overall package. From everything we hear of him, his character is outstanding.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3r44G5whC94

    Haha, love it.

    That’s Yakupov’s buddy he’s kicking by the way.

  32. Rondo says:

    It looks like MacT wants mobile Dmen, after watching the Memorial Cup and it is hard to watch Dmen on TV. Zadorov looked slow , he did not have the lateral movement of Seth Jones nor the speed. However after watching some video on Darnell Nurse he looked good. I have to think Oilers would be interested in Nurse, if they cannot get the centers they want.

  33. striatic says:

    Lowetide: Jones. Holy.

    helluva article.

  34. striatic says:

    Ribs: Haha, love it.
    That’s Yakupov’s buddy he’s kicking by the way.

    between the jerseyed knockout and the Kuznetsov kicking, they guy seems to have a mean streak that borders on the psychopathic.

    he also was suspended for PED use so i wonder if the Oilers are biting off more than they can chew with this guy.

  35. OilLeak says:

    Lowetide,

    Jones with the QuickDraw.

  36. OilLeak says:

    Too bad the oilers won’t have Belov’s rights after this season, can sign anywhere he chooses.

  37. Melman says:

    Mironov version 2013!

  38. Lowetide says:

    OilLeak:
    Too bad the oilers won’t have Belov’s rights after this season, can sign anywhere he chooses.

    Suspect that would have been the case with any of the teams he’s signing with. Belov is taking a cut in pay to come over.

  39. GordM says:

    Woodguy:Thank Gord

    you are welcome.

    Forget all this analysis…I want to know what Don Cherry thinks of the move.

  40. Racki says:

    striatic: between the jerseyed knockout and the Kuznetsov kicking, they guy seems to have a mean streak that borders on the psychopathic.

    he also was suspended for PED use so i wonder if the Oilers are biting off more than they can chew with this guy.

    According to Dmitri Chesnokov, he was suspended *until it was determined he wasn’t aware he was using PEDs*. Bare in mind that there are many performance enhancing drugs that are just over the counter drugs, and not steroids, so it could have been anything. I haven’t heard what it was, but given that info from Chesnokov saying he was let off the hook, I’m guessing it wasn’t anything serious to be concerned about.

  41. Melman says:

    I just hope someone gives him the proper dope on the do’s and don’ts of the Joey Moss Cup!

  42. Henry says:

    Nice signing with minimal downside. Wonder if Jones asked Mac if they were all scouting and talking with Thoreson at the WHC.

  43. RexLibris says:

    That was a nice kick by Belov. Surprised Tillman didn’t trade a 1st round pick for him last year.

    Seriously though, if he does that throw-down on Glencross (absent the kick) this coming season, I will be very pleased.

    This may be getting ahead of myself, but can we perhaps sit him for the Joey Moss Cup. You know, just to be on the safe side.

  44. gogliano says:

    Here is hoping for a Jan Hejda type moment.

    On the surface it looks like a good signing. No risk and decent chance of him being an NHLer. The KHL is a nice league and making the Russian team isn’t easy. And he is just hitting the age where Dmen start to flourish.

  45. asiaoil says:

    I’m very much in the “show me” camp with regard to MacT as a GM – but this appears to be a solid move. Nice thing about it is that “all” we need is a top pair dman to move everyone down the foodchain one notch and the defense looks good. I still sign Fistric if possible (and this signing is good leverage) as Fistric and Belov could be a very unpleasant 3rd pair to play against. Potter/Fistric/Belov as the 5/6/7 is fine with KBomb in the AHL until he’s ready. Peckham is so gone.

  46. RickDeckard says:

    Melman,

    Yakupov will

    “is no hitting, just goal”

  47. WeridAl says:

    Could it be that Belov is coming to the NHL, because of the non-existent drug testing in the NHL. Was suspended in the KHL about a year ago for a failure of a drug test.

  48. striatic says:

    WeridAl: Could it be that Belov is coming to the NHL, because of the non-existent drug testing in the NHL.

    won’t matter this year.

    everyone is getting tested going into Sochi, even the NHLers.

  49. Jordan says:

    WeridAl:
    Could it be that Belov is coming to the NHL, because of the non-existent drug testing in the NHL. Was suspended in the KHL about a year ago for a failure of a drug test.

    I think this signing paves the way for Grebs to come back.

    Him and Belov can be roid & acid buddies!

    Excellent role models for Yak and the boys… D:

  50. WeridAl says:

    I saw this somewhere else, so I cannot take credit for it.

    Why did Belov sign with the Oilers? The unlimited supply of drugs from Katz’s drug stores.

  51. G Money says:

    Bohologo:
    Good news, but people: can we please stop assuming that signing one guy from Russia will make another guy from Russia happy?

    You under-serve the value of home cooking when you’re far away from home.

    If you lived in Russia, and you ran into someone from T.O., or Calgary, or Vancouver, etc. – you would *probably* (not guaranteed, but highly likely) get along well with them, just because you have so much more in common with them than most of the folks you deal with everyday. Even if you would not hang out with them at all when here.

    I’ve certainly experienced that during stints in Asia, the Caribbean, and even the US.

    It’s not a coincidence that during the lockout, Hall/Ebs/RNH/Schultz – all good W. Canadian boys – hung out together, while the Nordic Connection MPS/Lander/Harti did the same.

    So
    a. Khabi probably did help make Yak more comfortable this year, and
    b. Since Khabi is toast, bringing Belov on board will probably do the same next year (and vice versa)

  52. Cobbler says:

    Bohologo,

    I get your point on overplaying the Russian buddy thing, but MacT has indicated that Yakupov was a factor in his signing. So the notion would seem to have some weight.

  53. Woodguy says:

    Bohologo,

    From the Jones piece:

    He (MacTavish) said having a veteran Russian player to complete the buddy system with Nail Yakupov “is a big element for us. It’s not the reason we signed him but it does help to have a player like him to mentor Nail.

  54. Ducey says:

    Things are going to be tougher for the Barons now:
    http://theahl.com/andersson-nyquist-pearce-to-griffins-p184101

  55. mumbai max says:

    Bohologo,

    Finns ARE Nordic, they are not Scandinavians.

  56. PigeonCamera says:

    Regarding his RFA/UFA status…as this is still an ELC, and he doesn’t have the pre-requisite number of games played, does he not become an RFA after this season? Can someone clarify?

  57. Melman says:

    Ducey:
    Things are going to be tougher for the Barons now:
    http://theahl.com/andersson-nyquist-pearce-to-griffins-p184101

  58. Melman says:

    Ducey,

    That’s good. the more our young guys play against top competition the better they can measure themselves and see where they need to get to to become NHLers. I hope they ram it down the Griffins throat.

    Nice to see Nelson’s comments on Eager on the ON article. It would be great to see him recover his career.

  59. godot10 says:

    PigeonCamera:
    Regarding his RFA/UFA status…as this is still an ELC, and he doesn’t have the pre-requisite number of games played, does he not become an RFA after this season?Can someone clarify?

    I think the fact that he will be 27 on July 1,2014 makes him a UFA next summer.

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