Eric Belanger

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Game Day: Edmonton Oilers @ Phoenix Coyotes

The Edmonton Oilers, winners of six in a row, are off to their best start in a quarter-decade. They'll be the visitors tonight at Jobing.com Arena as they face off against the Phoenix Coyotes, who after a five-game unbeaten streak fell victim to Pekka Rinne's 23rd shutout on Thursday.

The Coyotes, who were 3-1 against the Oilers last season, sent Andy Miele back to the AHL's Portland Pirates yesterday, as Cal O'Reilly is expected to start tonight.  Mike Smith will likely be the starting goaltender, and Martin Hanzal's status is still questionable. Out for the Oilers are Cam Barker, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney and Darcy Hordichuk.
 


Three new players welcomed to pack

The Phoenix Coyotes added some grit, depth and goaltending on Friday to begin their plunge into the free agency market, also bringing back a familiar face.  Raffi Torres (2 years, $3.5M), Boyd Gordon (2 years, $2.65M) and Mike Smith (2 years, $4M) were all signed to contracts, while Radim Vrbata re-signed with the club in a three-year, $9 million deal of his own.


Welcome (back, for one)! In the opposite vein, defenseman Ed Jovanovski left for Florida, veteran centreman Eric Belanger found a new home with the Oilers and Vernon Fiddler became a Star.


Oh.
 

Torres was last seen in the not-so-distant past.  The Stanley Cup finalist appe...