Passed Like A House On the Side of The Road

Lowetide
November 09 2011 06:14PM

This is a rare photo of Taylor Chorney in a St. Louis Blues uniform. He played in 2 games for the Blues before being placed on waivers. Chorney may end up with another NHL team via waiver. Will it be the Oilers? Is he a player of interest?

Chorney (middle) was lost to waivers by Edmonton in early October. The Oilers had decided by that point that Corey Potter was a keeper, and the decision to flush Chorney confirmed the following defensemen were clearly better than the young UND grad:

  1. Ryan Whitney (injured)
  2. Tom Gilbert
  3. Ladislav Smid
  4. Corey Potter
  5. Andy Sutton
  6. Cam Barker
  7. Theo Peckham

Since then, Jeff Petry, Colten Teubert and Alex Plante have all played at least a game with the Oilers. Petry is probably well clear of Chorney, although the waiver issue might be in play (Petry can be sent down and not have to clear). Based on the latest information available, I think the pro depth chart might look like this:

  1. Ryan Whitney (injured)
  2. Tom Gilbert
  3. Ladislav Smid
  4. Corey Potter
  5. Andy Sutton (suspended)
  6. Cam Barker
  7. Theo Peckham
  8. Jeff Petry
  9. Colten Teubert
  10. Kevin Montgomery
  11. Bryan Helmer (AHL vet, OKC signing)
  12. Ryan Lowery (OKC signing)
  13. Alex Plante
  14. Johan Motin
  15. Kirill Tulupov (OKC signing)

There. Did I miss anyone? Don't think so. Anyway, defenders 10-15 can be placed in any order because we don't have the TOI for OKC Barons. We know that Helmer isn't a likely callup, but after that how many players on this list are clearly behind Chorney. And, that answered, how many of the defenders below him have the potential to pass him on the depth chart?

Where is Chorney on the Oiler depth chart? Below NHL level, and my understanding is that's the rule of thumb we must deal with in regard to this player at this time. Chorney must be claimed for the Oilers, meaning that one of Barker, Peckham or Potter would need to be flushed once Sutton clears and Whitney is healthy.

When everyone is healthy, the Oilers D is likely to be the top 7 above (bold, italics). Even if we examine the organization at the AHL level, the top 4 is going to have Petry (first callup option), Helmer and Teubert in the group that would certainly include Chorney. So, that leaves slots 5-7 to the following:

  • Kevin Montgomery: Effective AHL defender a year ago, signed when the blue was so thin OKC was in danger of crumbling. Since coming to the Barons this season, Montgomery has supplied steady play and delivered in all areas. Mongtomery is younger than Chorney.
  • Ryan Lowery: College grad has been impressive since signing with OKC. Came from a long way back to start the season with OKC on the top pairing opening night (with Helmer), and although he lacks pro experience Lowery has certainly played well enough to be an everyday player in the AHL.
  • Alex Plante: Big man got into an NHL game early in the season, but all signs point to his falling down the OKC depth chart yet again. The issue is mobility, and big, strong and slow doesn't have the appeal it did a decade ago.
  • Johan Motin: Motin's performance in the 10 games has been noticed and he has rebounded a little as a prospect this fall. I think he's hanging by a thread.
  • Kirill Tulupov: Big Russian is an interesting player. I think the Oilers might end up signing him (he is not on the 50 man list) because Tulupov gives them the things that make Teubert and Plante attractive to them. He might spend a few weeks in Stockton if everyone is healthy.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I do not expect the Oilers to place a claim.

The Oilers no longer have first recall rights on Chorney. It means they would need to claim him on regular waivers and keep him on the roster. It might be plausible if Whitney was out long term, or if the organization were willing to make a call on Cam Barker--unlikely at this early juncture.

Chorney has shown an ability to play effectively in the AHL, and he has also shown an inability to be a consistent, reliable NHL defender. There's a job for Chorney in the organization, but it's in OKC and the Oilers can't get him there. The waiver rule has been used wisely by St. Louis, as their minor league team will benefit from the addition of a proven AHL player.

If he clears.

EDIT TO ADD: It has come to my attention that the waiver rule may indeed favor Edmonton's ability to both claim Chorney and send him to OKC. Quoting poster Ironsight at Lowetide:

  • 13.22 When a Club claims a Player on Regular, Re-Entry or Unconditional Waivers, and, subsequently, in the same season it requests Waivers on the same Player and the original owning Club is the successful and only Club making a Waiver claim, then the original owning Club shall be entitled to Loan such Player to a club in another league within thirty days without further waivers being asked; provided that such Player has not
    participated in ten or more NHL Games (cumulative) and remained on an NHL roster more than thirty days (cumulative) following such successful claim.

I am not certain, but the Oilers may indeed have a chance to recover Chorney and send him to OKC immediately.

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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 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
November 10 2011, 11:15AM
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@ubermiguel

Wait... I think I might get it now after reading it 40 or 50 more times.

So basically the Oilers have 30 days to send him down without having to expose him to waivers then? Man, legalese is very very difficult to comprehend.

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#52 David S
November 10 2011, 11:31AM
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YAY! We claimed Chorney!

*Takes monster swig of coffee, slaps self*

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#53 Jon
November 10 2011, 11:33AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

The 30 day rule applies to the Oilers in this case, not St. Louis.

If the Blues put Chorney on waivers in the same season (like they did) and the Oilers are the only team to claim Chorney, the Oilers can, within 30 days, by-pass waivers and loan him to OKC. Assuming we didn't play him in 10+ games. That's the only special right the Oilers have.

If another club grabs him he has to play in the NHL.

The CBA's confusing but it's got nothing on the insurance legalese I read at work.

Thank you, I'm glad someone can understand it! I hurt myself trying to figure it out yesterday lol.

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#54 nofool6110
November 10 2011, 08:45PM
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Well... that was quick.

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#55 Harlie
November 10 2011, 10:03PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I thought (and said) the Barker signing was a risky one, and after 14 games feel the same way. He has some major mobility issues, that's a mammoth concern. Suspect he gets the entire season, but signing him for another year doesn't look like a reasonable bet at this point.

As for Souray, I'm happy he's back and effective. Cheering like hell for him, but injuries have been his achilles in the past and he's not getting any younger.

thanks for your opinion, much appreciated!

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