Reasonable Expectations: The Blue

Lowetide
August 22 2010 10:27AM

A year ago the Edmonton Oilers defense seemed to adopt the signature line from this young woman: "resistance is futile."

Steve Tambellini has turned over a large part of the blueline roster since the beginning of March: gone are Denis Grebeshkov (Mar 1 for the draft pick that turned into Curtis Hamilton), Lubomir Visnovsky (Mar 3) and Steve Staios (Mar 3). The club still has several experienced defensemen as we head into training camp. Here's the complete list of possible defensemen and their NHL career games played:

  1. Sheldon Souray 650
  2. Jason Strudwick 631
  3. Jim Vandermeer 374
  4. Ryan Whitney 354
  5. Tom Gilbert 258  
  6. Kurtis Foster 257
  7. Ladislav Smid 253
  8. Taylor Chorney 44
  9. Theo Peckham 31
  10. Richard Petiot 13
  11. Shawn Belle 11
  12. Alex Plante 4
  13. Johan Motin 1
  14. Jeff Petry 0

In terms of actual NHL experience, the top 7 defensemen are very good (2,777 games). Opening night 2005-06 Edmonton boasted 3,333 NHL games experience but the following season (fall 2006) the opening night lineup could manage only 1,871. And it showed.

Now the current group has a lot more 6's and 7's than the 2005-06 group and there are only a couple of Jacks and no Kings. Having said that, there's a working group here and an addition of a veteran defenseman in exchange for Sheldon Souray would go a long way to making this group successful.

Over at Lowetide, I've just completed my look at the forwards (the rookies were featured at ON here) and today I'll post the boxcars for the blue in this post. A couple of things: I'm not going to use Sheldon Souray in the group. I don't think he stays here. If he does, I'll update this post later into the fall and we'll have a more impressive offensive projection. Second, the Oilers group of blue isn't offensively gifted, so some of the PP minutes were devoted to forwards (one of the  F's on defense during the PP) which will account for the lower number.

  1. Tom Gilbert: A very impressive season one year ago, in which the coach asked him to spend some time out of his comfort zone and he delivered at a high level. Tough opposition with mid-to-poor help from his own mates, Gilbert's secondary numbers (RelCorsi, etc) were top drawer. Gilbert played a more comfortable role after the trade deadline and went 21gp, 3-17-20 in March and April and his final 7 games saw him deliver 2-10-12 totals. Before that, it was a matter of Pat Quinn trying to turn him into Don Awrey. Reasonable expectations: A complete season on the 1PP and a quality partner in Whitney means Gilbert should have his best NHL season. Of all the players on the 2010-11 Edmonton Oilers, I'd bet on Tom Gilbert to have a season that exceeds expectations. He's experienced, he has exceptional skills and he has been an effective NHL player two years running. 24 minutes a night, he plays in all situations and he flourishes. 80gp, 9-33-42.  Total Minutes: 1920.
  2. Ryan Whitney: I knew we were going to like Whitney the first time I heard him speak about coming to the Oilers. He told the gathered media that he was looking forward to coming here, being a leader on a young group and building something worthwhile. Agents should record his first media conference and use it as a template. He followed it up with a solid performance on the ice and really shone in a tandem with Tom Gilbert. He's an exceptional passer and can help the powerplay. There are many reports about his coverage gaps, but he is an experienced NHL player with a solid track record. Whitney has a nice range of skills, meaning he can play in any situation. Reasonable expectations: 24 minutes a night, plenty on the PK and quite a few on the PP. He and Gilbert will face the toughest forwards in the game, meaning lots of Sedins. This isn't a top flight shutdown pairing, but certainly good enough to compete based on their late season showing. 70gp, 8-26-34.Total Minutes: 1680.
  3. Kurtis Foster: He is a very important piece to the Oilers D puzzle this year. Foster played easy minutes a year ago, delivering some very nice numbers. Edmonton will need him to perform in a top 4 role (meaning he's not going to see many easy minutes) and Foster will be under the gun far more often than he was a year ago. It's a very good bet, but not a sure thing. If Foster can increase his level of difficulty and deliver at a reasonable level, Edmonton's blue will be much better than last season. Reasonable expectations: More minutes at even strength and fewer on the powerplay, so we should expect lesser boxcars this coming season. Foster was on for only 13 EV minutes a night one year ago (4 a night on the PP) so that's a pretty drastic ratio. We know about his injury history but he's coming off a solid NHL season. 64gp, 6-12-18. Total Minutes: 1280.
  4. Ladislav Smid: Ladislav Smid gets hurt a lot. These aren't small injuries and no one questions his toughness. However, when your resume includes concussions, a broken hand, a neck injury, arm injury, knees, legs, shoulder it isn't a stretch to suggest that the hits will keep on coming. When looking at Ladislav Smid, injuries are a major consideration. Laddy played in the best possible circumstances a year ago (Lubo was his partner and they played the soft parade) and delivered very well (RelCorsi and plus minus are excellent). He`s now an NHL defenseman with experience and may be ready for more difficult minutes. If he can handle second toughest opposition and be a solid PK contributor the Oilers will have a nice top 4: Gilbert-Whitney; Smid-Foster. None of them are old men and all of them have legit NHL experience. These are nice arrows. Reasonable expectations: There will be difficult moments, this is a step up in terms of competition and we can`t forget the injury worries. Still, the things that kept me from endorsing him as an NHL player (experience, making the same mistakes over and over) seem to be fading with that experience. 53gp, 0-6-6. Total Minutes: 1113.
  5. Jim Vandermeer: He brings toughness, grit and effort to every game. He can play defense, although footspeed exposes him at times when those fleet wingers do their outside flybys.Vandermeer is one of those guys who everyone thought would be long gone from the 'new NHL' but they always survive when the rubber hits the road because coaches like preventing goals. I slotted him 5th because he's ideal for the role. He could be moved up when Smid or Foster have injury troubles and he can spend a few nights in the pressbox when the kids below are on a good run. I like this player for that role. Reasonable expectations: In baseball terms, he's an innings eater. Maybe a knuckeballer who goes 11-11 and pitches in 3 blowouts so his ERA is 5.11 but the manager loves him. 60gp, 1-3-4. 1080 minutes
  6. Theo Peckham: I've chosen Peckham over Chorney, Belle and Plante because the organization is very concerned with the physical element. Also, Peckham has enough AHL experience and should arrive in training camp in shape, healthy and ready to go. His time is now. The organization has been very vocal about Peckham. Last fall, Rob Daum was on Bob Stauffer's show and suggested conditioning was an issue. He even mentioned conditioning was an issue when Peckham was healthy. I think the problem may have come from not being able to workout due to the pre-training camp injury (ankle) but either way it was enough of an issue for management to say it out loud and that's a pretty big deal. Later on in the year, Pat Quinn: "When I first saw him (in an Oilers uniform), the scouting report was that he was a tough kid who didn't really know how to play. When he came back (on his most recent call-up), he showed us that he had a little bit more than just being a tough guy. As he played and gained our confidence, he was gaining his own as well. They were really good minutes for him."  I thnk Peckham gets the push if everything checks out. A very confident player. Reasonable expectations: A 5-7 slot on the 10-11 Oilers D. He can bring some attitude and a mean streak to every game and he doesn't hesitate to drop them. He'll be a waiver problem if he doesn't make it, but I think Peckham earns his way onto to the roster. Not yet an everyday player, he'll be in the mix for playing time all year long. 50gp, 1-1-2. 800 minutes.
  7. Taylor Chorney: My pick for first recall, Chorney needs to fly more AHL sorties with a team that knows what it is doing. His pro numbers are awful, but he's never played with a team that was any good since turning pro. Chorney paired with a veteran (not Strudwick and not facing tough minutes) should be able to turn things around and get them going in the right direction. I don't think he makes the big club, but gets called up when Strudwick retires. Reasonable expectations: A regular shift after his recall and a nice improvement from the disaster that was last season. Oilers will give him sheltered minutes, which is what they should have done a year ago. NOTE: More than anyone else on this list, Chorney's position depends heavily on what EDM does with Sheldon Souray. If the team trades him for a veteran defender, then Chorney spends the season in the minors or is traded. 34gp, 1-4-5. 544 minutes.
  8. Jason Strudwick: I have a hard time getting him onto the roster. I think Strudwick may see some time at forward, especially on the PK. It seems that his role is somewhat duplicated on the roster by Vandermeer and that the team signed him as counsel as much as what he brings to the ice. My guess is that he starts the season in the pressbox, plays a few games and then in mid-season joins the coaching/scouting staff. Everyone thinks highly of Jason Strudwick, but I think this is his final season. Reasonable expectations: 42gp, 0-1-1. 546 minutes.
  9. Shawn Belle: The more I think about Belle's signing the more I think he might end up having a career in Edmonton. The Oilers have been spending high picks on skill forwards forever, and really haven't devoted a top selection on a defender (save Alex Plante) in forever. So, the forwards (who mature quickly compared to defense and goal) are going to be pushing the puck in a good direction in a couple of seasons. By that time, Edmonton will still be bringing along their young D. Belle is 25 and has played over 300 AHL games. There's a real opportunity here, and it begins in the fall. Reasonable expectations: There's a chance he makes the big club out of camp (especially if Souray isn't here) but I'm betting he's a recall due to injury. I wonder how much he's played on the PK in the minors. 40gp, 1-3-4. 520 minutes.
  10. Alex Plante: Of all of the Oilers men who turned pro a year ago, Alex Plante did the most to improve his standing in the organization. Plante had a solid year in difficult circumstances in Springfield, and there is some evidence he was playing tough minutes by the time he was called up to the NHL. Once in Edmonton, he played well and made many of us question some of the words in his original scouting report ("raw", "awkward", "lacks coordination") based on his solid play. It could be that he's just developed a lot in that area after his draft day. We haven't seen him much, but Plante deserves another look this season. Reasonable expectations: A mid-season callup or trade deadline recall that sees him spend an extended period in the NHL. 16gp, 0-0-0. 240 minutes. 
  11. Jeff Petry: His much anticipated pro debut came in the spring, and Petry (like so many of the Oilers college kids) seemed overwhelmed in the AHL. In fairness, the same problem that plagued Taylor Chorney (unable to adjust quickly to the physical style and forced into the deep end of the pool in terms of toughness of minutes) may well have applied to Petry. The organization thinks very highly of him, and he would be a likely callup during the season if only to give him an idea about what awaits him at the NHL level. Reasonable expectations: If he can show some ability to keep up at the AHL level, I think the Oilers call him up for an extended look. 15gp, 1-1-2. 177minutes.

As you can see, there will likely be a lot of turnover at the NHL level again this season. Sheldon Souray is not on the list, but should he and the Oilers mend fences or if they trade him (more likely) we'll have to amend these projections.

Since I've pubslished all of the offensive numbers now, lets have a look and see how the projections match up against last season's totals:

DEFENSE

  • 09-10 Stats: 32 goals, 108 assists
  • 10-11 RE: 28 goals, 90 assists

FORWARDS

  • 09-10 Stats: 174 goals, 246 assists
  • 10-11 RE: 184 goals, 290 assists

Last season, the Oilers scored 206 goals. This season, I'm projected them to score 212. I suspect this total is easily the most conservative estimate available. My reasons include extreme youth, injuries (again. This team still has a large list of the injury prone) and the amount of time the puck will be in Edmonton's end. The Sheldon Souray trade and any other transactions may change things in the next few weeks and I will adjust accordingly.

I know this was a long item, so if you're still here thanks for reading. I look forward to your input.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 TSN 1260.
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#2 David S
August 23 2010, 02:46PM
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@Ender

SUPER Facepalm - Star Trek stylez...

http://roflrazzi.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/129069867644019597.jpg

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#3 Matt Henderson
August 22 2010, 10:40AM
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Did I read this whole thing before someone wrote "Fist" or was it deleted?

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#5 Matt Henderson
August 22 2010, 10:45AM
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Foster will really be under the gun if he follows up a 42 point season with an 18 point effort. I see a Lupulesque response to that kind of year.

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#8 Matt Henderson
August 22 2010, 10:57AM
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@Lowetide

I see your reasoning, I think the logic used is good reason to temper expectations. But Foster will be answering questions everyday about "what's wrong" from reporters if he's sitting on 10 points at Christmas. I just see a lot of pressure and public outcry if that's the case. Gregor and Stauffer will be fielding a lot of phone calls this winter about Smith and Renney ruining the guy.

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#9 brocktw
August 22 2010, 11:00AM
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Why isn't Motin on here? Is he not in the same group as Petry, Plante, Belle & Chorney?

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#11 fuck off
August 22 2010, 11:13AM
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@Lowetide

What's the reasoning behind the Oilers NOT using Foster as strongly on the PP? I know the organization is going to want more development and varied usage out of him but why not put a PP specialist where he does his best work?

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#12 Arby
August 22 2010, 11:16AM
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LT, do you think there's any chance that Strudwick embraces playing in OKC? Or is that moot due to the vetran rule down there?

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#15 Spartacus
August 22 2010, 11:29AM
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Mmmmm... Seven of Nine (drool, drool, slobber, slobber)

Quiet weekend on the trade front. No Kaberle deal, and the 3-way we were hoping for didn't happen (just like in my real life).

Even with Souray reminding everyone that he's still waiting for a team in shining home whites to sweep him off his feet there were still no takers. Too quiet on the western front.

Come on, training camp!

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#16 SumOil
August 22 2010, 11:35AM
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If foster is able to handle a top 4 role without getting killed, I doubt 18 points will be that much of a sticking point. Foster has never really been that much of a point producer anyways. Last season was a major breakout for him. Even if he is used in the same way as he was used in Tampa, duplicating 40 points is going to be hard for him. Though I too think that if he plays 70+ games, there is a good chance he ends up scoring 20-25 points.

@brocktw: I think the Motin is comparable to the 8-11 group, but others have things like draft pedigree(Plante, Petry) and experience(Belle, Chorney) over him. There will have to be many injuries for Motin to be able to play a significant part in NHL. Also if and when Plante and/or Petry are in NHL, he will have to play well in OKC. I think from an organisational point of view, Motin is the least important prospect D-man.

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#17 Dan the Man
August 22 2010, 11:47AM
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If we subtract Souray's (possible trade) and Strudwick's (Limited role and possible retirement) 1281 combined games played that leaves us a top 7 with somewhere around 1500 games experience.

Let's hope a proven vet comes back in any trade scenario.

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#18 PabstBR55
August 22 2010, 12:02PM
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At some point the re-build will be over and the Oil will start to construct a team that goes for it.

Next summer, CHARA is a free agent. Too soon? Perhaps. But adding a stud like that to anchor the defense has to be a priority at some point.

Preferably, if we have to trade Penner or Hemsky at some point, we could seek a return of John Carlson, Alex Pietrangelo, or the second coming of Drew Doughty.

Until then, this team doesn't have a true #1 and won't be able to compete for the big prize until they do.

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#19 spOILer
August 22 2010, 12:03PM
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I don't know LT, I kind of agree with some of the guys above.

Firstly the Oiler PK is going to be under the gun far more than their PP.

Gilbert has shown himself to be an excellent PKer in the past.

I do agree, with the present roster, we're likely to see a F at the point on the PP.

But I think Whitney and Foster will get more PP time than Gilbert.

And I would say your RE for Foster is the one I differ with the most (including Fs).

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#20 Bar Qu
August 22 2010, 12:07PM
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Do you have less reasonable expectations here, b/c at your other site you have the team down for 184 goals. Not that I mind so much, because I think the team should easily eclipse the 200 goal mark (both for and against).

I'm still uneasy about everything from the Oilers' blue line back to goal. I don't think this team is a good developer simply based on that. Too many goals against hurts development too.

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#23 spOILer
August 22 2010, 12:14PM
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Well, we're missing two big shots from the point. One we traded away, the other is hovering in Limbo.

Neither Gilbert nor Whitney replaces those sledgehammers, and the one guy we have with a shot (Foster) is nowhere near as good facing vaunt at EVs.

Hence, he gets more PP time.

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#25 spOILer
August 22 2010, 12:25PM
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Any thoughts as to the forward?

It might be a way to get Brule some PP time.

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#26 Mitch
August 22 2010, 12:43PM
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I would have Belle rated ahead of Strudwick and Chorney. I also think this is the best set of defenders we have seen in years. More emphasis on toughness and ability to defend first as opposed to puck carriers.

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#28 Arby
August 22 2010, 12:44PM
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@spOILer

"One in Lubo, one in limbo"

you're a poet, and didn't......realize it.

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#29 Black Gold
August 22 2010, 02:42PM
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I'd rather they sign someone like MAB than have Chorney recalled. I'd also rather the PP minutes goto guys like Foster and MAB or even Hall or Brule. (I worry about any of those 4 being the last man back though I really like Gilbert and Whintey, but I'd like to see most of their minutes at evens and PK. It seems much easier to find players that play well with the puck, and much harder to find players who play as well as Gilbert away from the puck.

MAB played with garbage against garbage, and that's fine, that's all we'd be asking him to do. He can do it better than any of our skill D that aren't Gilbert or Whitney. I worry that the bottom end of our D won't be able to get the puck moving in the right direction once they do get possession deep in our own zone.

(Also, MAB could have some value at the deadline..)

Maybe I'm still in love with this hit..

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#31 Matt Henderson
August 22 2010, 03:27PM
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So I've been thinking about the projected top 4 guys and I'm worrying more and more.

For 3/4 of the past season Tom Gilbert was so-so. He picked it up a lot at the end and I think there is reason to believe he will do well, but just as much reason to believe he can be as bland as he was at the start of the last year.

Ryan Whitney had an OK 19 games as an Oiler but there has to be a reason that 2 teams that have won Championships in the post-lockout era have given up on him. Are we finally going to see what it was that made him expendable? Will his surgically repaired feet hold up?

LT has made a pretty fair argument for why Foster wont be as productive as he was in Tampa Bay. I like the signing still and hope he can prove the conservative estimates wrong.

And that summary of Smid's recent injuries is more than a little scary.

Just as much as these 4 can pull it together and help define their careers this season, they could just as easily sh*t the bed.

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#32 @NateInVegas
August 22 2010, 03:32PM
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@ Lowetide,

Glaring omission = Adam Larsson.

Unless there's a drastic improvement on faceoffs, this group of defense will struggle moving the puck.

Jury's out on Whitney until after winter IMO.

I'd like to see Hemsky play the LD on PP1.

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#34 Racki
August 22 2010, 05:27PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Well I think the die is cast. This is another season for evaluating imo, with all the one year contracts in the chute. The Oilers aren't serious about contending, and that is the plan.

If the preceding statement is incorrect, we have to assume the Oilers either have no plan or are terrible at putting it in action.

This summer was about Hall, nice tinkering moves and clearing cap space. We're either waiting for next season or whale hunting.

If you're correct in what you're saying (and I'm not too sure about that.. just because they've finally been going after those "glue" players like 3rd line faceoff/pker, for example), then I sure as heck hope that we don't see much of the new kids this year.

edit: I might have misunderstood.. I just think that the Oilers are going with the "let's see what they can do" attitude... neither looking to finish last again nor trying to be contenders. Not sure if you were meaning to say that the Oilers were going for another top-5 pick.

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#36 Racki
August 22 2010, 06:55PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Racki: I like Tambellini's moves this summer, but if he were truly devoted to making the playoffs EDM would have a few more penalty killers on the wing.

And maybe he picks those guys up or invites them to camp. Or maybe he signs another NHL defenseman and tells Souray to park it until a trade happens.

Basically, he didn't go far enough this summer to rebuild the team. And I'm okay with that, because if they can solve some of the problems this season on the roster it'll be a less difficult chore next year.

IF Gagner emerges and Smid can play top 4 minutes and Dubnyk is well clear of JDD. That kind of thing. I think we're in the period of transition period as opposed to pulling out all of the stops.

Not a bad thing. And they can't come out and say it to the season ticket holders. But I think it is there.

While I do agree that this team definitely needs PKers, bear in mind, that Tambellini did make some effort to sign one or two. John Madden is one guy that comes to mind in that regard. I guess you can blame him for not succeeding... but the attempt being there makes me think that he did have it in his mind to at least make this team a competitor. I kind of think that closer to training camp is when we'll see one of those guys signed, and hopefully at a bargain price (a la Mike Comrie last year - and no, i'm not calling Comrie a PKer).

Anyways, I have been on ST's case as much as the next guy, but I think he's done a decently good job in making this team look more competitive (on paper obviously). There are definitely some holes to fill on this team, but I think with what we have it looks like the team is more of a gamble then a lock for any sort of position. That's kind of why I think the "plan" is to just see what these guys can do. But I do think that even just a slight tweak as adding some PK help could make this team a lot better. I think that's still on Tambellini's to-do list though (i.e. I think he still plans on adding that piece).

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#38 Racki
August 22 2010, 07:22PM
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Yah, it's nice to have a bit of cap space for once, isn't it? I also thought that this offseason's "addition by substraction" will have some benefit not only salary wise, but on the team as a whole.

It's also nice that Tambellini has given up on landing the home-run free agent. That was something I've never really agreed with. I think the team has turned a corner, despite the obvious holes we can both see. And you're right, I don't think we really disagree on much here. If anything, I think I lean a bit too much towards the kool-aid drinking side of things at times though.

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#39 madjam
August 23 2010, 07:21AM
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Revamping Oilers first line and PP . The Hemsky Horcoff duo has to go .They are both the same type of player . Neither drives the net and they have always relied on Smyth (in the past)and now Penner to do that for them while they both play a periphery game . They are just to predictable and easy to defend . Horcoff did his contract year and became an all-star , but thats not the game he wants to play anymore . So it's time to break them up . Hall is a better bet for Hemsky as he will drive the net , and he has a far better touch when it comes to scoring making for a better PP as well, with many more dynamics and unpredictability !

Omark and Svensson both drive the net well on a second PP, and have shown exceptional chemistry and results in recent worlds . That allows Horcoff to still play his periphery style but more in a deep slot area instead of on the side beyond the face off circle . This should be a very effective line and PP combination .

That still leaves us plenty of talent to divy up on other two lines . But so far the chemistry and dynamics are to much the same as last years failures as lines . and they also have to change . We know what didn't work in he past , so how about coming up wth some new combo's for the rest that dynamics will work and make them more effective .

Where would Fraser and perhaps a Hartikainen fit in , as opposed to Gagner and a Brule/ Cogliaqno at center ? Hart and Fraser definitely add more size to center position for starters . If they can handle the center position then new dynamics that might work can and maybe should develop making us very hard to play against and defend .

Oilers can really change the dynamics of the team simply by breaking up the Horcoff Hemsky duo .

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#40 RossCreekNation
August 23 2010, 07:26AM
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Via Kypreos... Bryan Little agrees to 7.15 over 3 years. 1.65M/ 2.5M / 3M. Cap hit is 2.38M

Sam Gagner numbers?

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#41 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
August 23 2010, 08:12AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Via Kypreos... Bryan Little agrees to 7.15 over 3 years. 1.65M/ 2.5M / 3M. Cap hit is 2.38M

Sam Gagner numbers?

Really tough to say, but I think that is a real good deal from ATL standpoint.

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#42 madjam
August 23 2010, 08:31AM
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My third and forth lines might look like this, going with top nine to perhaps top 12 for starters . Gagner , Fraser and Eberle . Forth Brule , Cogliano and Stortini / Hartikainen . Biggest if ,is can all four lines also be defensively responsible as well ? Strudwick carried as additional forward or defenceman .

Of concern is the Oilers inability to make trades . Seems like Oilers ability to even make bad trades is questionable ? We seem to have an abundance of roadblocks even trying to give away players ? Oilers , i believe have the pieces offensively already to be upper eschillon this season in retrospect , but still look bottom of the league on backend by quite a margin .

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#43 Ryan2
August 23 2010, 09:29AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So I've been thinking about the projected top 4 guys and I'm worrying more and more.

For 3/4 of the past season Tom Gilbert was so-so. He picked it up a lot at the end and I think there is reason to believe he will do well, but just as much reason to believe he can be as bland as he was at the start of the last year.

Ryan Whitney had an OK 19 games as an Oiler but there has to be a reason that 2 teams that have won Championships in the post-lockout era have given up on him. Are we finally going to see what it was that made him expendable? Will his surgically repaired feet hold up?

LT has made a pretty fair argument for why Foster wont be as productive as he was in Tampa Bay. I like the signing still and hope he can prove the conservative estimates wrong.

And that summary of Smid's recent injuries is more than a little scary.

Just as much as these 4 can pull it together and help define their careers this season, they could just as easily sh*t the bed.

Good points, Jonathan. Count me as another one who is worried both about the quality of our current d-corps, and the relative lack of top end blueline talent in the system. It is kind of funny that just a year ago we had a surplus of d-men, and now that Tambi has traded a lot of them away it is an area of weakness.

It was too bad that we could not make a deal for a second 1st round pick around #6 - #10 to snag one of the d-men that was hanging around since it seemed to be a position with decent top end depth in the draft. Hopefully there is some talent in the coming year's draft so we can address this need.

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#44 Woodguy
August 23 2010, 09:30AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Oh I think Foster gets PP time, but I don't think he'll get as much as Gilbert or Whitney. And I do think that Renney will run 4 forwards on the powerplay fairly often.

I'd wager 12 very cold Stella that Foster is on PP1 rather than Gilbert.

Both he and Gilbert are RH (yay!), and Foster has a much, much heavier shot. He's essentially the point replacement for BigSexy.

If Gilbert is playing PK1, then they might want to not put him on PP1 to limit his ice time a bit.

For sure he'd be on PP2.

I can see them putting Gagner on the point as the 2nd puck distributor on PP1 with 83,27,Hall up front.

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#45 D-Man
August 23 2010, 10:30AM
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Not sure I'd have Chorney ahead of Strudwick on the depth chart... He really hasn't proven much of anything at the NHL level... Unless he's "lights out" in the AHL, I'm not sure he'd be my first call-up. Plante or Petry would be my first choices, depending on who is hurt and who plays well in Oklahoma....

Also not sure we'd want a forward playing the point this year on the PP... I think we're all in agreement that Foster, Gilbert and Whitney should see time on the first two units, but I'm not sure we have any forwards strong enough to play the back end. Considering we won't be too close in fighting for playoffs, we can't afford to lose many games from giving up those brutal PK goals against. We might need to see if Smid is ready to take a step forward on the PP. Granted, he'll be a fish out of water for the first twenty games on the 2nd unit, but at least we won't be giving up too many PK's against... Thoughts Oilersnation??

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#46 6 ring circus
August 23 2010, 10:41AM
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So Souray thinks he is going to get traded before training camp,and he is still pissed at Oilers management because they have not addressed his concerns and spoken to him. http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/08/21/souray_waiting_game/ WTF is he thinking? no one wants him,or he would have been gone already.

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#47 RossCreekNation
August 23 2010, 10:46AM
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Today's survey...

What would Oil fan give up for Luke Schenn? With the Leafs deep on D and looking for help up front, could/should the Oil explore those options?

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#48 Racki
August 23 2010, 11:11AM
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Ross: would love to see Schenn here. I think he would be that missing piece we could use for the rebuild. Well, other than a goaltender that can not only stop the puck, but play more than 40 games a year.

As for what to give up, it would probably be difficult, given how Burke can be.

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#49 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
August 23 2010, 11:12AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Today's survey...

What would Oil fan give up for Luke Schenn? With the Leafs deep on D and looking for help up front, could/should the Oil explore those options?

Why Burke would move Schenn is beyond me. Schenn is still very young and would be a corner piece of their defense for years to come, or has that been given to Phaneuf now?

As for a trade, I don't know. I can't see the Oilers moving any of the kids just yet, does something around Penner get it done? Do we want to move Penner before knowing what Hall and MPS bring to the left side?

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#50 madjam
August 23 2010, 11:18AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Today's survey...

What would Oil fan give up for Luke Schenn? With the Leafs deep on D and looking for help up front, could/should the Oil explore those options?

Keeping Souray and adding a defenceman like a young Schenn would be nice . Even adding a Mitchell , Biecksa or Kaberle would also make for a reasonable back end and PP . Only problem is, Oilers unlikely to keep Souray or add any of the others . I would probably think the Oilers have probably tied to add the odd one with no success . Not looking very good on the backend, with current personnel offensive thrust .

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