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The Edmonton Oilers traded for the rights to a free agent defenceman, and got him sig
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The Edmonton Oilers traded for the rights to a free agent defenceman, and got him signed to a two-year deal, paying a premium for a shorter term contract. Jesse Gonzalez Jersey . Numbers Game looks at the Oilers inking Nikita Nikitin. The Oilers Get: D Nikita Nikitin. Nikitin, 28, played a career-high 66 games last season, an indication that hes still trying to establish his place in the league. A couple of years ago, in 2011-2012, Nikitin contributed a career-best 32 points in 54 games for Columbus (after seven scoreless games with St. Louis to start the year), playing a career-high 23:12 per game for the season putting up strong relative possession numbers while facing high-quality opposition, while frequently paired with veteran Fedor Tyutin. Thats the Nikitin that the Oilers have to hope they are acquiring. In 2012-2013, Nikitins role was decreased somewhat, and while he still logged 21:12 per game, Nikitin was then surpassed on the depth chart last season by rookie Ryan Murray, leaving Nikitin to play 17:07 per game on the third pair. Playing on that third pair didnt bring ideal results, as Nikitin was a little below break-even in possession terms, but if there is reason to hold out hope for Nikitin, it may be that his with-or-without you numbers arent bad over the past three seasons. Among the 16 skaters with whom he played at least 300 5-on-5 minutes over those three seasons, Nikitin had better possession numbers apart than 11 of those skaters, but that relative effectiveness has decreased in the past two seasons, to the point that in 2013-2014, Nikitin had better possession stats apart from just three of the 13 skaters with whom he played more than 150 5-on-5 minutes. What this would seem to indicate is that Nikitin, who has good size, can skate and handle the puck a bit, isnt necessarily one to carry the play. He could be a useful complementary player and presumably Oilers Senior VP of Hockey Operations Scott Howson (who acquired Nikitin as GM in Columbus) is a fan, but there is risk in bringing in a player with falling possession numbers to a team that already ranked 28th in Fenwick Close (unblocked shot attempts during 5-on-5, score within one goal in first two periods and tied in third period). Its not as though Nikitins play in the past couple seasons indicates that he would improve the results no matter with whom he is partnered and its reasonable to wonder if the Oilers have the right personnel to get positive results with Nikitin on the ice. If the Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin pairing goes ahead, then perhaps Nikitin gets a chance alongside Andrew Ference. Maybe that somehow works out and allows the Oilers some time to develop their young defencemen. Its entirely possible that it wont work out, though, and the short-term nature of the contract suggests that both sides recognize that risk. Signed to a two-year, $9-million deal, Nikitin will be well-compensated, particularly if he cant stick in the Oilers top four, but the downside of a two-year deal is limited compared to the longer term that will be available to other free agent defencemen. The Blue Jackets Get: A fifth-round pick. Since the Blue Jackets werent going to bring Nikitin back, getting any asset in return is a plus. The fifth-round pick, 137th overall, belonged to Columbus originally and was traded to Edmonton last season to acquire D Nick Schultz. A fifth-round pick doesnt bring a lot of value, but its something. From 1990 through 2009, just under 15% of the picks between 121 and 150 played at least 100 NHL games, so there is a little better than a one-in-seven chance of netting an NHL player. While its reasonable for the Oilers to have hope Nikitin can perform in a top-four role, it could be telling that the Blue Jackets would let Nikitin depart as a free agent. Mabye they simply didnt want to pay that kind of money to a third pair defenceman, when they have younger, cheaper options (David Savard, Dalton Prout, Tim Erixon) available and thats fair, but current Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was the Blues Director of Scouting when St. Louis picked Nikitin in the fifth round in 2004. Lots can change over time and the Blue Jackets arent likely to regret letting Nikitin go, even if he works out well for the Oilers. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Jozy Altidore USA Jersey . Two-time Olympic bronze medallists Savchenko and Szolkowy received 79.02 points to finish ahead of world bronze medallists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada, who had 77.01 points. Darlington Nagbe USA Jersey . Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Buddy Robinson scored 43 seconds apart in the second period to lead the Binghamton Senators to a 4-1 victory over the Bulldogs in American Hockey League action Friday night at the Bell Centre. http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/andrij...sa-jersey/ . The football club recently announced an increase in season ticket prices in five of the seven categories at Investors Group Field for 2014. While most increases are in the two to three per cent range, the clubs most affordable season tickets will jump from $199 to $250 — a 26 per cent leap.Former Grand Slam doubles champion and one-time Tennis Hall of Famer Bob Hewitt was indicted Friday on charges of rape and sexual assault of minors and will go on trial in February, his lawyer told The Associated Press. Attorney Alwyn Griebenow said Hewitt denies two charges of rape and one of sexual assault of girls he coached in South Africa decades ago. Walking with the aid of a stick, the 74-year-old Hewitt attended Boksburg Magistrates Court near Johannesburg and told the court he understood the charges. Hewitt was not asked to enter a plea. Griebenow said he would plead not guilty to all three charges at his trial. "Mr. Hewitt is relieved that we at least now have a trial date," Griebenow said. He said Hewitt denied having any sexual contact with the alleged victims or making any "sexual advances" toward them. Hewitt was focusing on "putting the record straight" at the trial, Griebenow added. In South Africa, a defendant is served with indictment papers before his case is sent to a higher court for trial. Hewitt was charged last year and will stand trial from Feb. 9 at South Gauteng High Court, Griebenow said. He is accused of raping a girl under the age of 16 in 1981, raping another girl under the age of 16 in 1982, and sexually assaulting a third girl under the age of 18 in 1994, all in South Africa. The first alleged offence is said to have occurred two years after Hewitt won the last of his 15 Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles titles. Two of the alleged offences are said to have occurred in the city of Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, and one in the Sun City casino resort in northern South Africca. Walker Zimmerman Jersey. At least one other woman in the United States has accused Hewitt of sexually abusing her when she was a minor. The Australian-born Hewitt won nine Grand Slam doubles and six mixed doubles titles in the 1960s and 1970s, playing occasionally with former stars Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King. He also reached the semifinals of the mens singles at the Australian Open three times and won the Davis Cup with South Africa in 1974 after moving there to live. Hewitt was inducted into the Rhode Island-based Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992 as a master of the doubles craft. He was indefinitely suspended from the hall in 2012 and his legacy stripped from the institution after an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse, during which he was interviewed by attorneys hired by the hall. Hewitt missed his earlier court dates in Boksburg citing ill health, but arrived for his hearing on Friday wearing a brown blazer and using a walking stick. His doctor said in court documents last year that Hewitt had a stroke in 2010, a heart attack in 2011, and suffered from anxiety attacks and depression among other health problems. Hewitt had to be asked twice in the courtroom if he understood the charges against him, South African newspaper The Star reported. One of the alleged victims, Suellen Sheehan, attended previous court hearings and was present again on Friday, according to The Star. The AP typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse but Sheehan, who was a young player coached by Hewitt, has agreed to be identified by the AP. "Were finally in the home stretch," The Star quoted Sheehan as saying. ' ' '
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