Consider it Avoided

It looks like the Oilers will be sending a defenseman to OKC sometime this week. Ryan Whitney played more than expected last night, Potter is emerging as a legit top 6 option and the blue has worn better than expected through the early stages of the season. Which defender should be sent down?

Jeff Petry is the obvious candidate–he won’t have to clear waivers–and in light of the Detroit articles I’ve recently posted it would seem he would be the best choice. Advanced stats tells us that he’s playing 2nd pairing competition 5×5,  he has a CorsiRel that ranks him ahead of Cameron Barker and an offenzive zone start of 52% (second easiest on the team to Barker).

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I still wouldn’t send him back. Reason? He’s about to turn 24 years old (that’s mature for a player just past his 35th NHL game and a future) and there’s no real reason to send him away. The advanced stats quoted from our friend Gabe Desjardins at are from a small sample size and don’t really give a clear picture of the player.

Here’s a look at Petry’s NHL numbers from last season:

Jeff Petry 10-11

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  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.21 (8th among Oil D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 1.67 (5th among Oil D)
  • Qual Comp: 5th toughest among D
  • Qual Team: 7th best available among D
  • Corsi Rel: 2.0 (tied for 4th best among D)
  • Zone Start: 49.1% (3rd toughest among D)
  • Zone Finish: 50.5% (5th best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 41 shots/1 goal 2.4% (7th among Oil D) 
  • Boxcars: 35gp, 1-4-5 
  • Plus Minus: -12 on a team that was -52

If you’re looking down the road a little, Petry’s a player the Oilers need to develop and he’s had plenty of time below the NHL to mature. 103 USHL games, 118 in the NCAA, 49 in the AHL and now 38 in the show. A RH setup of Gilbert, Potter and Petry looks pretty good from here, giving the club a chance to ice three guys capable of playing the right side without getting in there own way.

Who goes?

They could risk waivers on Teddy Peckman (he’s been poor) but that seems unlikely. I’ve wondered about his health (when NHL players have their performance fall off this badly it’s often injury) but that doesn’t appear to be an issue. The other option is Barker, a man who is slower than we might have thought from a distance.

No really. Who goes?

Petry. It’s a damn shame, he deserves to stay on age, experience and merit. But there you go. There’s an outside chance they flush a forward like Lander, but that just prolongs the inevitable (Gagner’s coming back too).

  • book¡e

    I wouldn’t bother sending anyone down, any minute now we will get a press release that Whitney stepped on a penny which resulted in a major injury which will require surgery. The injury will be unrelated to his previous foot problems.

  • This won’t be a popular opinion but I would suggest Coach Renney got caught napping last night! How does Glencrotch get away with chasing his prized 18 yr. old star around the ice trying to intimidate him? Win a game, yes, but this is a long season & the Oilers have to show push back in some of those areas. Crotch cannot get away with that stuff & we had plenty of muscle on the bench to rectify that problem. Also, in the last minute how can you not know where the face off is going to be so you can have your goalie off the ice in plenty of time? Rehearsing the post game speech? Lot’s of positives from that game but Renney’s got to make better decisions.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Ryan Johansen has played in 3 games and only about 8 minutes a night. Are the Jackets going to be sending him back to Portland again after 9 games?

    6’3″ and 200lbs, maybe Howson could be tempted now by offering 83 and 5 for their first rounder from 2 yrs ago. Hemsky should be ready to go again in another week.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Columbus’ problem isn’t unlike Calgary’s, in that, they have a Rocket Richard winner with no centreman.

      Carter is fragile, and even if he is Nash’s guy, they are still weak up the middle.

      And if Johansen comes in, does he bump Gagner to the wing? Where do Lander, Pitlick, RNH, Horcoff, and Gagner fit in 2 seasons, when everyone is still under contract (minus 89 I guess) and are still C’s.

      I don’t disagree that the better C’s push out the weaker ones, but I don’t know if the Oilers need more C’s, or if Columbus wants anything but.

    • I’m starting to wonder if you’d only ever be happy icing a lineup comprised entirely of rookies, castaways and prospects just to enjoy mindless debates about who the Oilers should pick with the #1 draft choice. Year. After. Year.

      Gotta give a guy credit though. You’ve totally bought into the whole “rebuild” storyline. However you might want to remember that sooner or later fans will figure it out and winning might just become important to them again.

      Just sayin’.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Always felt the best way to rebuild is to go the 6 lotto picks in a four yr span route. Beg,borrow or steal (trade assets) to get those two extra selections. Here we are, two years into a rebuild and we’re stalled at only two, huddled in the corner willing to build off the absolute minimum the Oilers are due for finishing so poorly. Management needs to get off their idle duffs and make their own luck/fortune, it isn’t going to happen one boobie prize at a time.

        If we agree on one thing now it must be that for the most part these first and second yr NHL’ers that are leading this hockey club now. Why the need to hang onto players that aren’t part of the future here? They’ve held onto Hemsky too long, Whitney too long, as well as Gagner. These guys all have deminished/deminishing value to this hockey club. Why the need to hang onto them just so they can walk for reducing/limited returns.

        The Oilers are going nowhere till these first/second yr kids lead then there, why hang onto these often injured veteran passengers. I woulda blowd the whole thing up in the summer of 2010 and 2011. You can find adaquate veterans easily (20,94,55,16 etc) when required.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Has their ever been a team in history that had 6 lotto pics in a 4 year span?

          I’m guessing no, so that probably tells us it isn’t the best way to rebuild.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            The Capitals hauled in 7 first rounders in only a 3 yrs span which netted them Ovechkin and company.

            The impossible is easy, it’s those miracles that’ll kill you.

          • Wanyes bastard child

            He said lotto pics, not first rounders.

            In order to get 6 lotto pics, being the suckiest of sucky teams the last few years running we would have had to give up any and all quality players that we have in order to reach your pipe dream.

            Then we could begin the “infinibuild” that you preach for. Nothing but kids to run around with no vets or leadership to show them the way.

            Your dream has an optimistic look to it but the reality to it is way to costly and would put us even further behind so im going to say “No thank you”

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Although I don’t agree with you at all… I really like your vision. It is so extreme! Embrace the rebuild like its an ethos rather than a tactic or strategy .

            There is definitely merit in dumping Hemsky now (if we are going to later) to try to get a lotto pick, but I imagine Tambi would be looking for an NHL top 4 D instead.

            All this lotto talk though should inspire LT to update the options available for next years draft… I don’t even know who is hot. anyone got an early list?

          • Quicksilver ballet

            It is a radical approach i’ll admit, and it certainly can’t be done overnight. It’s frustrating the one deal that did happen (Penner) netted the Oilers a player who’s 2-3 yrs away from making an appearance here.

            I don’t blame Tambellini for holding off on the Hemsky and Eberle for Seguin in 2010 but he gets both barrels from me for his inactivity last summer. The price to have both Hopkins and Larsson in the lineup wasn’t near as high.

            One deal, one deal that could quicken the momentum of this club. There would be some lean weeks for sure but we are already seeing these kids lead this club on more evenings than the veterans are. It certainly didn’t take long for the youth and speed to outperform the experienced and expensive contributors on this hockey club. Anything not wearing 4,14 and 91 should’ve been on the table last june.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Well my assessment stems from a general sense that it took too long for the team after 2006 to realize what a poor team we were.

            remember we just squeaked into the playoffs that year and suddenly got hot counter all expectations (what was Pisani doing scoring all those goals)…

            For me the big problem coming off that loss (after the loss itself) was a failure to realize the Oil just weren’t that good (even if Pronger, Peca, Samsonov, etc stayed on). We inflated our sense of value (hence the big contracts to Horcoff, Pisani). This delayed the rebuild realization by about 2-3 years. However, all we see as fans is failure since then and the pressure to produce wins must be immense on Tambi and co. right now.

            So, despite those lost years before the rebuild officially got under way, it feels like we have been rebuilding since 2006.

            In brief: I think we never fully committed to the rebuild until too late, and even then not with enough intensity (clean house start over – think Florida Marlins; they seem to be the model you want… draft well, build a young spirited team, develop them into superstars, win before you have to pay them big money; fire sale the whole team; piss off fans expecting wins and finally repeat… they won the series twice this way!), and now seem to be trying to exit the rebuild perhaps too early.

            In challenging Oiler decision making on this, I agree with you. They could have started earlier, with more intensity and they could definitely stand to push for another year of lotto picks.

            That said, I think you undervalue the utility of having vets around to keep the game honest (ie you have maintain some respectability as a team), help the development of the kids, etc. I also think you underestimate how hard it is to trade for lotto picks; giving away the season and our best veteran talent and/or some future potential so early seems foolhardy.

          • Romanus

            Agreed. Also difficult to build a winning attitude finishing in the bottom 5 for 6 year. Time to start forming the team now to start winning and improving over the next few years.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    To many men on the ice penalties, how many have their been called against the oilers? That in itself is a glaring indictment of the coaching. 4 in 5 games is more than a team should have in a entire season.

    • justDOit

      I think it’s more of an indicator of a young team that was juggling lines like Charlie Sheen juggles hookers.

      Better align your expectations with the reality of the team now, or you’re in for a world of hurt in the 70-some games to come.

      Edit: typo

    • I seem to recall a team taking a bunch of too many men penalties last spring in the playoffs. Anyone recall who that crappy crap team was? Oh yeah, it was the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins…

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        Well, that one instigated by Eberle in the Nashville game was just plain stupid. Those are completely avoidable penalties that don’t deserve to be coated over even by successful teams and are glaring in the case of rabidly unsuccessful teams (dead last two years in a row anyone). I wouldn’t be making any excuses here.

        • Not trying to excuse dumb penalties, just pointing out that it’s maybe not a cause for coach-firing panic. Perspective. If it continues for the next 20 games, obviously something is seriously wrong, but I doubt it will.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Oh for sure. no need for “coach-firing panic”; most likely it is more a product of kids making poor decisions, players not accustomed to new lines, bugs of the new season etc.

            nonetheless, a good coach definitely should have most of that reigned in over the course of camp and exhibition. it is a bench penalty after all and i see no reason not to hold Renney accountable for it – but within the bounds of perspective (as you say)

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    Can’t blame the goalies thus far, the defence has been solid for the most part, The Oil seem to generate more scoring chances then last year but it is not showing up on the score sheet where it most counts. Not to oversimplify, but put more pucks in the net and The Oil will win more then they loose if the back end continues to perform solidly.

  • Ducey

    According to, Petry has averaged over 20 per game, 3rd on the Oilers D behind Whitney and Gilbert (I believe he was behind Smid as well before Whitney came back), just curious if your figure removes OT TOI?

    Speeds, I took it from Behind the Net:

    14.38 (5 x 5)
    1.84 (PP)
    2.39 (PK)

    I would guess that would not include 4 x 4.

  • JDP

    So I’m sitting there waiting for them to call me in for my wife’s 5 month ultrasound(girl by the way…..hooray!)and guess whos sitting beside me…..jordan eberle. For starters I just want to say what a standup,classy guy he is. He signed the cd cover of my wife’s ultrasound image. Nice meeting you Jordan. I hope that ankle injury is just minor. All the best buddy!

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    If Whitney can come back strong the Oilers back end doesn’t look too bad. Gilbert has played ok for the amount of jerking around he’s been through. I’ve really liked what Petry’s done & Potter has been a pleasant surprise. Smid’s been steady with his aggressive play & I like that big body of Sutton in front of the net on the PK. Peckham has struggled but when your that big & aggressive patience is in order.

  • Lowetide

    Geez its not that bad. They had plenty of chances to win.Kipper did what Kipper does. Omark on the kid line did not work, and the Flames had Iggy’s line checking the kids like it was a game 7. They started to get space in the third and the pp looked dangerous at times. And the Defence – are you kidding me? 1.8 GAA after 5 games. We were missing 3 starting forwards and had players on the ice whose future is unlimited. The flames have nothing. Patience, boys, our time will come.

  • Well its official; Jeff Petry assigned to the OKC as predicted. Out of curiosity if Peckham didn’t have to clear waivers would you guys here at ON have voted him to be the D-man sent down?

    • Based on training camp and the few games played, yes! Absolutely! Nobody should be kept based on a contract. It’s the same as the Brule situation. Let Peckham sort out his issue in the AHL until he fix’s whatever’s wrong with his game right now.

  • OutDoorRink

    I would have sent Theo down. Probably about a month in OKC would get his game back and then he’d be back to where he was last year.

    Petry has looked better than expected and it must be a bit of drag for him.

    • Well, it’s not Hall. It’s Peckham, and how’s that horrible asset management? You’re telling me that a better player gets sent down to the minors based on what? Being better! How does that look from a player stand point? Better yet how do you look at your players as a coach and tell them internal competition is good as long as you don’t have a 2 way contract! You want horrific asset management, I’ll give you Hemsky!

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Well for one thing you said right in your post “Nobody should be kept based on a contract” I’m assuming that includes Hall.

        It’s horrible asset managment becaue Peckham could and likely would be plucked off of waivers, so we’d lose a decent player for obsolutly nothing.

        Besides, it’s not like Petry has been head and shoulders better then Peckham. Both have been unimpressive.

        • That’s true! Nobody should be kept based on a contract.

          Doesnt mean its right choice. Yes, you are absolutely correct in that Peckham would be taken off waivers.

          That’s not my argument here or opinion. Asked if we had a choice between the two players, not including the contracts based on play, which deserves to be here. I still say Petry.

  • Lowetide

    I don’t know that Petry will get to the airport before an injury hits, but I also like speeds 13/8 ratio to forwards/defenders.

    It’s an idea that I hadn’t thought about, but like a lot.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Alternatively we could trade Bulin and Sutton to Columbus for draft picks and Chris Mason. Bulin becomes a number 1 again and Mason gets a fresh start with no pressure.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Wow, everyone seems to bee at their best today….

    Bob Cobb “has a hunch” that the Oilers are going to send their leading scorer back to junior.

    madjam has figured out for us that the team has to “play to score and win.” Also, WTF is kiddy bar the door?? (I’ll be back after a google search)

    And Quicksilver Ballet pushes to trade our most offensively gifted player and solid defenseman (from an already thin core) for another rookie,* so we can never play a veteran on this team.

    Is there a full moon? I need a drink….

    ….and a smoke….. I’ll be back after that.

    *Although, I don’t disagree with trading Hemsky….