Portland, ME – The last of last year’s free agents with the Portland Pirates has finally moved on. The Edmonton Oilers announced yesterday that they signed forward Colton Fretter to a one-year AHL deal that will see him play for the Oilers farm team in Springfield, MA.
Fretter, 27, was a valuable piece of the Pirates last season as he provided grit, toughness, some scoring and a work ethic that was infectious in the locker room. He was one of only four players for the Pirates last season to play in all 80 games as he scored 24 goals, 16 assists for 40 points – all AHL career highs for the Harrow, Ontario native.
Fretter joins the rest of the free agents signing from last year who have bolted the Buffalo Sabres/Portland Pirates for other teams either in Europe or another team in North America.
Tyler Bouck was the first to make the move after he signed with the German club Ingolstadt ERC of the DEL. Joining Bouck in Germany was Colin Murphy, who signed with Augsburg just a few weeks later. Mathieu Darche signed a contract with the Montreal, but Darche will most likely be in the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario, playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs.
NOTES: When the Buffalo Sabres offered qualifying offers to their restricted free agents, Mike Funk, Mike Card and goalie Adam Dennis were not among the group that were tendered an offer, but all have landed on their with feet, signing one-year deals for the upcoming season.
Funk and Card both were labeled as damaged goods by the pundits after suffering multiple concussions, missing the majority of last season, but Funk has signed with the Vancouver Canucks and will play in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose. Mike Card signed overseas with Ingolstadt ERC, joining Tyler Bouck and another former Pirate defenseman Bruno St. Jacques. Dennis went to Italy, signing with HC Fassa.