Another Rookie?

Lowetide
December 19 2010 07:05AM

This is Wally Pipp. Legend has it that (while the Yankees starting first baseman) he asked out of a ballgame due to a headache. Although there is evidence that the real story had more to do with a batting slump, the headache story sounds better so most go with it.

Replacing Pipp in the Yankee lineup on June 2, 1925? Some college kid named Lou Gehrig, who would go on to play 2,130 consecutive games at the position. Soon Pipp was off to the National League and Cincinnati, where the story goes he never asked for a day off again.
 

This is Jeff Petry. He might be the next rookie to impact the city of Edmonton in what is quickly becoming the season of the unshaven. Although his ETA was supposed to be 2011 fall, the college kid (college kid!!)  is a quick study and at this point is starting to do things normal humans cannot at the minor league level. An example is here.

I'm of the belief that major league organizations should elevate players the moment they've proven they can impact the game at a lower level. There is no level between AHL and NHL, and the latest numbers suggest Petry is ready:

  • 31gp, 7-13-20 has him 5th in team scoring.
  • 3-3-6 +4 in 8 December games
  • tied for 8th in points among all AHL defensemen
  • tied for 7th in points among all AHL rookies
  • His coach (Todd Nelson): “He’s playing with more confidence. He has the skill set. We all knew that he has the skill set. You can see the way he skates. He just explodes. He’s got a great shot. He moves the puck like a pro. And he’s just playing with more confidence.”  The full story is here.

THE MODERN PIPP?

Jim Vandermeer was playing his best hockey of the season when struck by injury. In his last 8 games before the ankle injury, the big veteran posted 1-2-3 +8 numbers. That's a strong linescore in any league. Vandermeer has had ankle problems before and although I'm having a little fun here with Vandermeer/Pipp comparisons it should be mentioned that at this point in his career injuries are a huge item for this player. In 06-07 he missed the final 33 games of the year with a broken right ankle, and he broke the left one in 2008-09. 

This is no laughing matter.

Jim Vandermeer--like a lot of Oiler blue--had a tough start to the season but he'd really turned it around in the last while. All joking aside, one hopes he returns to the NHL quickly.

There are 4 candidates for callup (the Oilers may make the call today). Shawn Belle has already played for the Oilers this season and would seem the most likely candidate. Jeff Petry is coming on strong and the organization may want to reward him for his efforts.

Alex Plante is a similar player in style to Vandermeer, although his HS for OKC last night is probably a tell in terms of how the organization feels about him at this time. Also, Taylor Chorney is kicking about in the AHL and has in fact had a nice season with the Barons. From this group, he boasts the most NHL experience.

I'm not including Richard Petiot on the list, as he has just returned from injury (he's played the last 2 games for Oklahoma City).

Coach Nelson: "They’ve all been playing well. It depends on what they’re looking for if they want to call someone up at all.”

Spoken like a man who wants to keep his defense intact. We'll find out in the next few hours if the Oilers are going to make a move. The club might run with Strudwick through the next couple of games and make a decision after Christmas.

The news we got about Vandermeer about  December 14 was that this was a two week injury (meaning he'd be ready around the end of December) so they may choose to stay the course.

If they do call up Belle it might be the last time Petry watches another Baron defender punch his ticket. When Jeff Petry arrives at the International Airport from Oklahoma City, I suspect he'll be staying for years. The Edmonton Oilers "season of the rookie" rolls on.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
December 19 2010, 01:45PM
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GSC wrote:

I seem to remember several so-called "rational" Oiler fans didn't want to see Glencross re-signed because of "small sample size"...

I remember you tooting Brule's horn because he was "fiesty with a good shot" and you "knew what you are looking at out there".

So what's your point?

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#52 Bill up North
December 19 2010, 01:54PM
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Ahhh, good ol' hindsight. Handing GlenX $1.5 million per after 20 good games would have been very risky. It's so easy to look back and say mgmt shoulda done this or shouldn'ta done that.

Now, where did I put that time machine???

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#53 Skidplate
December 19 2010, 03:38PM
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Wanye wrote:

If you think Lowetide needs an avatar prop this comment.

BOOM

What's an avatar?

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#54 Harlie
December 19 2010, 03:49PM
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I'm still confused why we signed Colin Fraser to a 2 year deal at 850 per when we could have had Potulny back on a 1 year for 500 per?

I at least noticed Potulny out there and the guy produced at a decent clip. Fraser has a good background but I've yet to see any of it happen with us.

I know Potulny is not playin right now but I still don't see how Fraser is worth more and worth 2 years versus what we could have gotten out of Potulny on a 1 year.

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#55 Harlie
December 19 2010, 03:56PM
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I shoulda said Fraser at $825 per..

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#56 PaperDesigner
December 19 2010, 06:19PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I've always argued that KP was a little better than average at the draft table. Although his misses were usually at the top of the draft--and that's what killed him as the director of scouting imo--the club had a very nice run of depth picks through the years.

Petry might end up being one of his finest choices.

Might this indicate that the scouting staff as a whole is pretty strong at finding area picks and players that their head scout doesn't do much more than generally approve of? I mean, generally, the later you get into the draft, the more you have to trust fewer and fewer scouts. Perhaps it is telling that Prendergast's regime had more success the further away from his influence they got?

I think Prendergast's problem was probably that he never saw the negative side of things. Of course Niinimaki's upside carry him out of oblivion! Of course Pouliot would figure out how to use his tools to be an effective top six hockey player! Of course Schremp would translate his dominant offensive junior game to the NHL! And of course prospects could develop in a split affiliate. He never seemed to think that the things that could go wrong would, and when they did, he was unprepared. That kind of thinking probably isn't bad in later rounds, when you need everything to break right for these kids to become NHL players anyway, but when you're drafting in the first round? Deadly.

I think the mark of MacGregor's era is that the depth scouting is on track to be as good or better (not all the kids are going to turn out, but enough of them are tracking well that there's likely going to be at least as many good players and possibly more in later rounds as in the past), but the real massive improvement is that they've correctly identified the player that's an absolute God-given gift for them to draft at that position. Both Eberle and Paajarvi would likely go higher if there was a re-draft of their respective years than they did, and right now, it seems they made the right decision between Hall and Seguin. That might be three years in a row where they legitimately drafted the BPA, which is stunning (there may be a few late round stars that emerge, but if they were drafted in the fourth round, the question should be why the Oilers didn't draft the player in the third, rather than the first).

But if they found their Duncan Keith in Martin Marincin, they just might collectively be geniuses.

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#57 PerryK
December 19 2010, 07:04PM
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I walk amok wrote:

RE #17 Glencross is having issues with the Flames by the way. Maybe we can sign him in the off season as he seems destined to test UFA again. I am curious how the situation is between him and our management.

If the Oilers get Glencross back ( Im still choked about that) I will buy season tickets. My solemn vow.

I agree! Me too.

Although, I was going to any how.....

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#58 PerryK
December 19 2010, 07:13PM
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Lowetide wrote:

For the record, I'd keep both Penner and Hemsky. But I think the Oilers will have to choose between them for cap reasons and reading between the lines Hemsky seems like the better bet.

For the record, I can see that is the way that this management thinks.

Doesn't make it right! Look at Chicago, they lost a lot but still managed to keep key players like Kane, Toews, Keith, Seabrooke and Hossa! Even when saddled with an immovable expensive contract like Campbell's.

In my opinion, if we want a serious shot at the Cup, we need both Penner and Hemsky.

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#59 Wanye
December 19 2010, 07:24PM
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Lowetide wrote:

14 props. If it gets to 20, I'll make my son figure out how to post one.

22 props Sir. If you want to be Kim Jong Il, you can have my avatar. If you want to look like Robin Brownlee, i'm sure he will trade you too.

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#60 Wanyes bastard child
December 19 2010, 07:55PM
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Wanye wrote:

22 props Sir. If you want to be Kim Jong Il, you can have my avatar. If you want to look like Robin Brownlee, i'm sure he will trade you too.

Ooh, ooh!

I'll trade you a Jeanshorts and a cableguy for a Robin Brownlee :)

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#62 Archaeologuy
December 19 2010, 08:29PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I've made my choice.

Is it Gandalf? You strike me as the Gandalf in this fellowship.

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#64 Wanyes bastard child
December 19 2010, 08:54PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Clearly no. Although I have chosen my avatar it doesn't appear. Nothing Gandalf about that!

I see a kid with his tongue stuck to a pole.

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#65 Sheldon Oilers Fan for Life!!!
December 20 2010, 09:35AM
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Lowetide wrote:

14 props. If it gets to 20, I'll make my son figure out how to post one.

Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop Prop That all Folks

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