Falcons Update: Forwards

Jonathan Willis
February 22 2010 10:23AM

Edmonton Oilers v Buffalo Sabres

It’s no secret that the Oilers’ minor league affiliate in Springfield has been a disaster this season, and for that matter every season they’ve received players from the Oilers. However, like last year when players like Ryan Potulny stood out and had some success, there are players on the roster who have played well.

Since the numbers for the entire season are available in a bunch of different places, I’ve decided to focus solely on how the forwards have done in the 24 games since January 1st, to see if we can identify anyone who has turned it around. Lowetide did something similar on February 14, although he only focused on a few players, whereas we’ll consider the team as a whole.

I’ve included every forward who has played seven or more games in the table below, and projected their results over 24 games so that we’re looking at comparable time frames for each player.

Projected Statistics Since Jan. 1

Player GP G A PTS +/- NHL
Charles Linglet - LW 24 8 14 22 0 No
Rob Hisey - C 24 8 9 17 -3 No
Liam Reddox - LW 24 10 5 15 -1 Yes
Colton Fretter - RW 24 8 6 14 -5 No
Chad Wiseman - C 24 2 12 14 -12 No
Slava Trukhno - LW 24 7 6 13 -1 Yes
Chris Minard - LW 24 3 5 8 -10 Yes
Colin McDonald - RW 24 3 4 7 -13 Yes
Bill Thomas - RW 24 0 6 6 -3 No
Ryan O'Marra - C 24 2 2 4 -9 Yes
Bryan Lerg - LW 24 3 0 3 3 Yes
Jason Pitton - LW 24 2 0 2 -2 No
Ryan MacMurchy - RW 24 0 2 2 -9 No
Geoff Paukovich - C 24 0 2 2 -9 Yes
Kip Brennan - LW 24 0 0 0 -6 No

Notes

I personally don’t think there’s any doubt that Liam Reddox will be the first call-up if the Oilers need to add a forward. He played well with the Oilers until a Clarke MacArthur hit threw his season sideways, and he struggled in the minors for quite some time afterward, but he seems to have recovered fully now. We’re aware of Reddox’s defensive/energy abilities, but offensively he’s ahead of everyone save Linglet and Hisey – and neither of those players has an NHL contract (indicated by the far right column).

I’m confident that Bryan Lerg is done as far as the Oilers are concerned. He was a free agent out of NCAA and a good risk for them to take, but he hasn’t worked out. He’s undersized and despite his reputed defensive acumen he simply doesn’t add enough offence to care about. If I had to guess – and I’m only guessing – I’d say he takes up playing somewhere in Europe next season.

Chris Minard hasn’t been the same player since coming back from injury; he was dominant early but we don’t see that here. Of all the things Springfield has struggled with, his injury might be the most damaging.

McDonald, O’Marra and Paukovich are all similar players; big, physical and defence-oriented. They also share lousy scoring numbers and lousy plus-minuses, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Oilers elect to let all three go over the summer (with O’Marra the best bet to stick around).

Finally, Slava Trukhno has somehow put himself in contention for a post-trade deadline job with the big club. The Oilers options for a ‘warm body’ role are incredibly sparse at the AHL level and Trukhno might get a cup of coffee at some point late in the season.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 The Towel Boy
February 22 2010, 10:43AM
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This article isn't about the Olympics!!

I'm never coming to this site again!!

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#2 Dan the Man
February 22 2010, 10:55AM
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So....Reddox appears to be our best goal scoring prospect in Springfield?

The future looks bright indeed.

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#3 Ender
February 22 2010, 11:21AM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

This article isn't about the Olympics!!

I'm never coming to this site again!!

Can I have all your minister stuff then? Except the work part; you can keep that . . .

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#4 Wanye
February 22 2010, 11:31AM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

This article isn't about the Olympics!!

I'm never coming to this site again!!

Agreed!

This site blows.

Jon: Remember when Peter White used to light the AHL on fire year after year only to suck when he got called up by the Oilers?

I wish you had been writing then, it would have been funny to watch the steam shoot out of your ears on his account.

Of course you and I were like 6 years old when he played. But still, I bet you were calculating at a 16 year old level in those days.

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#5 Lisa McRitchie
February 22 2010, 11:35AM
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@jonathan do you see the Oilers making many more call ups though? Unless its a significant injury I wonder if they would just play short handed or have Strudwick play forward for the odd game here or there.

Like most people, I don't believe Oilers brass when they say they want to win games.

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#6 magisterrex
February 22 2010, 11:41AM
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Has Slava Trukhno had any serious game time in Oilers silks before?

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#9 SportsDad
February 22 2010, 11:47AM
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I would assume there would be some sort of callup happen if Tambo can trade away bodies without taking the same amount in return.

How does it work if the Oilers wanted to call up Linglet or Hisey? would they need to offer them some sort of NHL tryout contract or would they have to offer a 1 year contract and league minimum?

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#10 The Towel Boy
February 22 2010, 11:48AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ BlueBelle:

I'm anticipating a callup or two once 'Ethan Moreau for a bag of pucks'-style moves get done.

Quoted for truth and humour.

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#11 Ender
February 22 2010, 11:58AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ BlueBelle:

I'm anticipating a callup or two once 'Ethan Moreau for a bag of pucks'-style moves get done.

One consideration for call-ups is the number of games they've played this season. Liam Reddox has burned his nine 'free' games and I believe his status officially changes when he plays that tenth game.

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#12 VMR
February 22 2010, 01:16PM
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Ender wrote:

One consideration for call-ups is the number of games they've played this season. Liam Reddox has burned his nine 'free' games and I believe his status officially changes when he plays that tenth game.

I dont think that's true cause I'm sure he played more than 9 games last season but even if it was would anyone notice or care? I mean it's Liam f'ing Reddox he's never going to be a regular on this team and on a team this bad that's saying something.

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#13 freeze
February 22 2010, 01:56PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ BlueBelle:

I'm anticipating a callup or two once 'Ethan Moreau for a bag of pucks'-style moves get done.

I think the bag of pucks will be going the other way too.

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#15 RossCreekNation
February 22 2010, 03:06PM
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Ender wrote:

One consideration for call-ups is the number of games they've played this season. Liam Reddox has burned his nine 'free' games and I believe his status officially changes when he plays that tenth game.

Huh? What does 9/10 games have to do with Reddox? Not sure I'm picking up what your laying down...

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#16 Ender
February 22 2010, 03:30PM
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@RossCreekNation

I did some checking and although it was kind of overshadowed by Hemsky's injury announcement, a few journalists pointed out that while Reddox could be 'loaned' to Springfield after playing 9 games without clearing waivers, that changed once he played his tenth game. If he plays once more this year for the Oil, he'd need to legitimately clear waivers to be sent down again. While the odds of him being claimed might not be great, it's a risk the Oil didn't want to have to take for nothing if they didn't have to. It's also why I'd be surprised to see Reddox again this season unless either A) the Oilers knew he'd be up for the rest of the season, or B) they were prepared to lose him on waivers if someone else claimed him.

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#17 RossCreekNation
February 22 2010, 05:17PM
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@Ender

Oh I C. I was not picking up what you were putting down there.

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#18 RossCreekNation
February 22 2010, 05:24PM
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Just curious...

... with some comparisons to Drew Doughty, does Cam Fowler's stock rise in the upcoming draft.

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#19 oilerdiehard
February 22 2010, 08:09PM
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I have seen the injury theory on Reddox thrown around a fair bit. Having been able to eyeball almost all Falcon games this season. It was quite apparent after his demotion that the effort level was not what it was in the AHL or NHL in the past. You would get it for the odd game or more often only the odd shift within a game. I think there was sulking and a mental funk that set in.

Liam himself recently admitted he was not doing the things he used to (ie - mainly effort level and driving with his speed).

“The Christmas break was good for me. I had lost confidence, but I tried to refocus and get back to doing what had always made me successful”

Which jives with I seen. After he decided to start bringing it every shift in the new year. It was like he was a totally different player, hustling in his own zone and constant threat in the opposite end.

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#20 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 23 2010, 09:52AM
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Ender wrote:

I did some checking and although it was kind of overshadowed by Hemsky's injury announcement, a few journalists pointed out that while Reddox could be 'loaned' to Springfield after playing 9 games without clearing waivers, that changed once he played his tenth game. If he plays once more this year for the Oil, he'd need to legitimately clear waivers to be sent down again. While the odds of him being claimed might not be great, it's a risk the Oil didn't want to have to take for nothing if they didn't have to. It's also why I'd be surprised to see Reddox again this season unless either A) the Oilers knew he'd be up for the rest of the season, or B) they were prepared to lose him on waivers if someone else claimed him.

They waived him at the start of the year, so I really don't think they are too concerned about it.

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#21 Ender
February 23 2010, 10:51AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

They waived him at the start of the year, so I really don't think they are too concerned about it.

Again, though, he didn't have to clear at the start of the year; no one could have picked him up. He just got sent straight to the farm, no-risk. It's not like that anymore.

Even today, maybe they're not overly concerned about the risk; then again, they can't really afford to lose the few assets they have either. While the odds of losing him are not overly large, the rule remains that you should never gamble if you can't afford to lose.

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#22 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 23 2010, 11:15AM
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Ender wrote:

Again, though, he didn't have to clear at the start of the year; no one could have picked him up. He just got sent straight to the farm, no-risk. It's not like that anymore.

Even today, maybe they're not overly concerned about the risk; then again, they can't really afford to lose the few assets they have either. While the odds of losing him are not overly large, the rule remains that you should never gamble if you can't afford to lose.

Actually he was waived to start the year.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=4340

Your point is still valid now, but the reason he doesn't have to clear waivers now is because he was recalled once before and I'm assuming he cleared them then and that is why the 9 games becomes a factor now. I'm also assuming he was put on re-call waivers and not on emergency callup because otherwise the 9 games means nothing.

If a player cleared waivers and is subsequently recalled during the same year, he does not have to clear waivers again unless he has either played 10 or more NHL games or has spent 30 or more days on an NHL roster since last clearing. Otherwise, he will have to re-clear waivers to be assigned.

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#23 Ender
February 23 2010, 02:57PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Good paragraph at the bottom; makes the waiver-eligibility situation slightly less murky. Thanks for including.

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