2010 NHL Free Agency: Blackhawks exodus continues as Oilers sign Colin Fraser

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NHL teams are raiding the lower depths of the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster like an alcoholic burns through a hotel mini-bar. The latest departure is marginal center Colin Fraser, whom the Edmonton Oilers signed to a two-year, $1.65 million contract.

Fraser played in 70 games for Chicago during the 09-10 season, putting up seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points. My guess is that Chicago will find a way to replace his minimal production.

Take a look at the Edmonton Oilers’ spin on Fraser.

The 25-year-old Sicamous, British Columbia native just completed his fifth professional season, amassing 36 points (13-23-36) and 108 penalty minutes in 157 career NHL games.

Fraser had a stellar junior career which was highlighted by helping Canada capture a gold medal at the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota. In 269 career games with the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels, he tallied 214 points (74-140-214) and 640 penalty minutes.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys
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The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled their new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

These new thirds won’t come as a huge shock, however. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

Colorado will debut its new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith