Don't expect billboards to start popping up around Edmonton but the Oilers have signed another AHL veteran to help bolster their AHL roster in Springfield. Defenceman Dean Arsene, a 6'2 and 210 lb native of Abbotsford BC, has 8 years of pro experience under his belt and has played 426 pro games.
I mentioned Arsene's name last week as someone I believed the Oilers were considering and tonight a fan over at HFBoards.com noticed that Arsene's name has in fact turned up at Capgeek.com as being on Edmonton's payroll. According to the handy cap-related site, it's a 1-year deal worth $500K. With today's rather late formal revelation of their Chris Minard and Matt Nickerson signings, I suppose you can expect a formal announcement from the Oilers later this week/month.
So fans will be asking two things: Who is Dean Arsene and will he impact the Oilers at all?
Arsene entered the scene as a member of the Regina Pats in the WHL. He played a year and a half with the Pats before being dealt to the Edmonton Ice in 1997-98. The big blueliner stuck with the Ice through their move to Kootenay and he ended up playing three and a half years in Cranbrook before turning pro.
Through his WHL career it is clear that you shouldn't expect any offence from Arsene as he ended with all of 8 goals through five seasons.
His pro career started in the ECHL with the Charlotte Checkers where he played 63 games. Arsene moved up a level with the Hartford Wolfpack the next season dressing for 50 games in the AHL. Back to the ECHL the next year, Arsene was back and forth between ECHL Reading and Hershey in the AHL.
The Hershey Bears have been Arsene's home since 2003-04 as he has played 5 and a half years for Washington's farm club helping them win two Calder Cups including the one picked up this past June.
Here are some of the names that Washington has had Arsene around on their farm to help groom for the NHL: Karl Alzner, Mike Green, Josh Godfrey, John Carlson, Sami Lepisto and Jeff Schultz. Clearly Arsene isn't going to show those types of players how to play an offensive style but what he was able to do was show guys how to come to the rink prepared to play a pro game, how to live and train away from the arena and the other ropes that young prospects need to be shown so they can develop properly.
As seen in the picture at the top, Arsene has been a captain at the AHL level and would be a reasonable candidate to secede Tim Sestito for the 'C' this coming year. The other photo displays another aspect of Arsene's game that will come in handy for Springfield - he's averaged about 150 PIM a season over his pro career.
This is a good signing for the Oilers, for the Springfield Falcons and most importantly, for the blueline prospects Edmonton owns that will be looking to Arsene for leadership and guidance.