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Edmonton inks faceoff specialist

11/18/2003 - Edmonton Oilers

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Adam Oates returned to the NHL on
Monday, signing a one-year, $1.95 million contract with the
Edmonton Oilers as unrestricted free agent.

"For the last couple of months I didn't think it was going to
happen, but the last couple of weeks my agent started getting a lot
of calls," Oates told The Canadian Press. "And Edmonton showed
some significant interest and I'm really excited to be part of
it."

The 41-year-old center became a free agent June 30 when Anaheim
decided not to pick up his $3.5 million option for this season.

"Financially, it's fine, I'm happy about that," Oates said.
"But I also think the Oilers are a really good team and it's the
type of team I'd like to go to.

"Hopefully I can add to what they have -- hopefully my skills
will add to that lineup."

Oates had nine goals and 36 assists in 45 games for the Mighty Ducks last season, down from 68 points with Washington the season before. The 18-year NHL veteran has 1,402 points, including 1,063 assists, in 1,277 career games.

"Adam is a world-class passer, and is one of the best faceoff
specialists in the history of the game," Oilers general manager
Kevin Lowe said. "This is a rare opportunity for us to acquire one
of the best offensive talents in the history of the game."