Oilers sign Marc-Andre Bergeron

By Dean Belanger
The Oilers reached both highs and lows recently when they signed highly regarded free agent defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron from the QMJHL, but then saw Christian Chartier sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Oilers were unable to come to terms with Chartier on the June 1st deadline so he became an unrestricted free agent. You would have to assume that the Leafs were probably as good a scenario for Chartier to come too, perhaps even better than the Oilers, due to their lack of play making defencemen.

Bergeron brings an impressive resume to the Oilers, posting 42 goals and 101 points in 69 games this past season. The 42 goals were actually a single season record for goals by a defenceman. He was also a very impressive +47 and kicked in a whopping 185 minutes in penalties. His career stats were: 1997-98 to 2000-01 in the QMJHL with Shawinigan and Baie-Comeau, he scored at almost a point-per-game pace with 86-144-230 in 249 games and played in both the 1999-00 and 2000-01 QMJHL all-star Games. The signing of Bergeron temporarily gave the Oilers the best defenceman from each junior league, until Chartier chose not to sign.

Bergeron would have to be considered a top prospect in the organization now behind only Alexei Semenov. Both players will be in camp this fall to challenge for a roster spot on the blue line.

Other recent signings for the Oilers Kevin McDonald. Kevin McDonald is a tough, physical forward from Olds, AB. He has primarily played in the ECHL, and will act only to add depth to the organization.