Face Plante

Lowetide
March 02 2011 04:30PM

An NHL team's depth chart is constantly in motion. Dustin Pennner sent away=more icetime for Taylor Hall and others. Injury to Theo Peckham=calling up the best available talent for that player type. The first round pick was passed over on recall. It spells trouble for the prospect.
 

Richard Petiot (in photo above) is a 28-year old journeyman player. That's not an insult, playing defense in the AHL is no bargain (witness Taylor Chorney's plus minus as a young D) and playing it at the NHL level is like flying life and death sorties over hostile territory every three minutes.

The Oilers depth chart on the blue at the start of the season included Ryan Whitney, Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, Kurtis Foster, Theo Peckham, Jim Vandermeer and Jason Strudwick. Here's the minor leaguers listed in the reverse order of their being sent out of training camp:

  • Oct 5: Sheldon Souray
  • Oct 3: Shawn Belle and Richard Petiot
  • Sept 30: Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and Alex Plante
  • Sept 27: Jake Taylor and Johan Motin
  • Sept 20: Jordan Bendfeld

Using this as a depth chart (and understanding the 7 guys who made the big club form the major league depth chart), we could reasonably assume that Alex Plante was between 10 and 12 on the overall depth chart coming out of training camp. With the season 78% in the books, the number of NHL games played somewhat reflects the TC pecking order:

  • #8 Shawn Belle (5 NHL games this season, since traded)
  • #9 Richard Petiot (1 NHL game, played last night)
  • #10 Taylor Chorney (10 NHL games, knee issues)
  • #11 Jeff Petry (21 NHL games, in OKC awaiting recall)
  • #12 Alex Plante

Plante remains in the AHL and has been a healthy scratch at times this season. The acquisition of Colten Teubert--a very similar player--suggests the Oilers may have decided on Plante as a prospect (or at the very least felt a need to address the issue of that player type).

The tough stay at home group--which includes Ladislav Smid, Theo Peckham, Jim Vandermeer and Jason Strudwick at the NHL level and Petiot, Teubert and Plante at the minor league level--is not an area of strength. Part of the reason Teubert is an Oiler today has to do with Plante's lack of progress.

That's how I see it.

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 Team 1260.
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#1 Hemmertime
March 02 2011, 04:37PM
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Does he throw his Fists?

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#2 SumOil
March 02 2011, 04:37PM
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This season has not been a good one for Plante. After his performance last season, I expected him to be in the show by now..

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#3 TheColt45Show
March 02 2011, 04:38PM
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Hmmm...Kickapoo Casino... Gives a whole new meaning to Craps.

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#4 Travis
March 02 2011, 04:47PM
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That or they're starting to get wary of the concussion issues Smid has had and now Peckham may be traveling down the same road. Could be stockpiling sandpaper types just in case the shelf life on them may not be as long and if one or two drop due to injury, it's always good to have guys to call up who can fill that mold.

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#5 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 02 2011, 04:54PM
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As per Mr. Gregors effort last week we know that one in five from that list have a shot at making it. We all know that one is Jeff Petry, might as well add Tueberts name to that list of also rans as well. Now, if Tambellin could only find an uninformed GM like Lombardi did, we may be able to get something for some of these guys as well.

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#6 James Scott
March 02 2011, 05:01PM
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I love the move of bringing up Petiot. He should take Studs position next year. After the way he played in preseason I couldn't believe he got sent away. This guy is a late, Late, LATE bloomer. I think he could be a Yan Hejda type development curve. After the Penner trade I was bummed out, but this makes me happy again. If the plan is to suck for four straight years(which Tamby is doing a great job at making it happen) might as well give some local boys a shot at the show.

Just a thought, Lowetide do you think that because as Oiler fans we have become so used to getting rid of our talent since the 90s, that we are way to exited to get our shiney new prospects and picks instead of proven talent. I came to this self discovery after realizing Ryan Smyth is still a good player. While he is overpaid the 5.5 mil he would have signed for in Edm was a home team discount (just under a mil). Its not just the fans I think it starts at the bottom and goes to the top. I am concerned we will turn into the Isles and Floridas not the Pens and Wings if we can't break this cycle. Chicago didn't turn it around until management and ownership changed. Talon is perfect for FLA he will draft high forever and never know when to take the exit ramp chicago wouldn't have won if he stayed GM and if he would have been canned earlier they might have had a better shot at 2 or 3.

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#8 book¡e
March 02 2011, 05:21PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

As per Mr. Gregors effort last week we know that one in five from that list have a shot at making it. We all know that one is Jeff Petry, might as well add Tueberts name to that list of also rans as well. Now, if Tambellin could only find an uninformed GM like Lombardi did, we may be able to get something for some of these guys as well.

Yes, just like if a coin lands on heads, it has to land on tails the next time you throw it.

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#9 Peterborough
March 02 2011, 05:26PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

As per Mr. Gregors effort last week we know that one in five from that list have a shot at making it. We all know that one is Jeff Petry, might as well add Tueberts name to that list of also rans as well. Now, if Tambellin could only find an uninformed GM like Lombardi did, we may be able to get something for some of these guys as well.

its Way too ealy to give up on any of these kids. D-men take TIME to develope. (Duncan Keith anyone?)

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#10 David S
March 02 2011, 05:26PM
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Tuebert was what, 5th or 6th in LA's prospect depth chart? So we give up a big 30 goal scorer for another Alex Plante and a couple of maybes?

Man did we get scorched.

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#11 fuck off
March 02 2011, 05:27PM
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I'm going to call it right now, as to reserve my bragging rights:

Quicksilver Ballet is going to be eating his crow after the LA 1st rounder turns into an NHL roster player by 19 and Tuebert crushes Iggy in a regular season game.

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#12 Deeg
March 02 2011, 05:37PM
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I agree with Peterborough - this is only Plante's 2nd season in the AHL and he didn't even have a full season his 1st year. I'm glad if he gets a full season down there. Even more so with Teubert who had a few cups of coffee in the ECHL and this his 1st year in the AHL. It's too bad injuries have set them back but I like that they'll hopefully grow into their roles with the rookies.

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#13 neojanus
March 02 2011, 05:43PM
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I think Lowetide's correct in his assessment that Plante's lack of success this year was one reason they brought Teubert... but I don't think for one second it addresses anything.

I don't like the trade. I don't like the look of the Oilers defense no matter what angle I try to see the bright points.

This is a team whose blue-line has single-handedly caused more damage to its standings than anything else.

Our veteran Oiler, Gilbert, is still as inconsistent as he was when he first started playing -- except that his point production has become impotent. When I see Gilbert, I see moments of defensive responsibility marred by terrible terrible giveaways and decisions.

Whitney is a great anchor on the powerplay and is our clear number one... but his feet have a major handicap and I think he'll be prone to injury for his whole career.

Smid has developed relatively well, but he can't shutdown the top guys, nor can he score even a fluke goal. He will be permanently slotted in that 4-5 position.

Foster was a damaged prospect and despite being one of the nicest guys around and deserving a far better lot in life, he isn't really that trustworthy. His skating is suspiciously similar to Souray's and he only hits the net 6% of the time.

I omit the younger ones because their inexperience is the biggest problem... and I feel bad that they have to learn from so many mistakes from the defensive leaders on the team.

How is Teubert going to be an improvement here? His analysis is that of someone who is having growing pains in the AHL. Fine... it's a tough league, but the Oilers needed some help on their defense much sooner than Teubert is going to possibly get into the picture.

I think that one of the reasons the Oilers get into so much injury trouble is stemmed from their poor defense. The key to controlling the game is structure above anything else. That's what Lemaire has brought back to the Devils for example. Our defense lacks that ability to control the structure and it pushes the whole team out of position. Players get injured when they become vulnerable. Every time the puck goes into the Oilers' zone, we can see that vulnerability. For as long as I remember (except for the golden playoff run) the Oilers look brutally undisciplined and spastic in their own zone. This is a terrible terrible defense!

Even of the games we've won I suspect the goalie has had to make 30 or more saves. This defense needed a new leader to calm the young players down over the last 20 games and it didn't happen.

I hope to god that the Oilers address their blueline with draft trades or UFAs because until the blueline is fixed, this rebuild will never ever end.

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#14 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 02 2011, 05:44PM
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fuck off wrote:

I'm going to call it right now, as to reserve my bragging rights:

Quicksilver Ballet is going to be eating his crow after the LA 1st rounder turns into an NHL roster player by 19 and Tuebert crushes Iggy in a regular season game.

I'll take my chances that the kid the Oilers select falls into that 84%category that never become an NHL regular. We're better off packaging that pick up with a roster player and buy something that's already established.

You might be satisfied to watch your team stumble and bumble their way to multiple dead last place finishes, residing in hockey hell provides little satisfaction for me, feel free to kick up your heels and lean back in that chair and pretend everythings fine if you like. Everyonce in awhile it's okay to push that piece of poo back up the hill to where it came from.

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#15 Deaner
March 02 2011, 05:49PM
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Loved listening to you on Nation radio, you are very articulate in your articles and on the air. Looking forward to the next episode!

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#16 freeze
March 02 2011, 05:57PM
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@fuck off

noted. I hope you're right!

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#17 pelhem grenville
March 02 2011, 06:09PM
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Q...Take that Magic Beans logo down

on Gregors' show today ...Spector...the Mark of sportsnet.ca Spector has begun to dangle&caress the idea of going after Nashvilles' Shea Weber who's coming available this summer...i can see it now...up in lights

Quicksilver ballet...now offering the Hope that is Shea Weber.

wudaya think?

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#18 Harlie
March 02 2011, 06:09PM
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LTR - whats your take on Petiot?

Personally, I've liked what I've seen and I can't figure out why local media skewered him earlier in the year saying that he was never going to be an NHL player. I am hearing today glowing reviews on Petiot's game last night, for not looking out of place and just doing his job. Plus the guys has somer. I'd prefer him over Strudwick moving forward.

Thoughts?

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#19 Harlie
March 02 2011, 06:10PM
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sorry about the extra R...maybe I just see you as a long term guy!

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#20 Maggie the Monkey
March 02 2011, 06:16PM
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@James Scott

Smyth at $5.5M would be slightly more reasonable, but he's at $6.25M through until the end of next season. He's still one of my favourite players but getting paid more than Zetterberg, Getzlaf and the Sedins is nuts.

Just like I used to do with Gretzky and Kurri, I still dream of Smyth coming back when this deal is over to finish his career in Edmonton. My hopes aren't quite as high these days, though.

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#22 Fresh Mess
March 02 2011, 06:23PM
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We were all watching to see what Tambellini would do at this deadline. Many felt that ST's moves would make or break his tenure as Oilers GM. The general consensus was that IF he was going to trade either of Hemsky or Penner, it would have to be for absolute premium value.

Tambellini failed. I now feel that Lowe isn't the only problem that needs to be dealt with for this team to move forward.

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#23 Harlie
March 02 2011, 06:25PM
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@Lowetide

Interesting about the political angle. I hadn't looked at it that way. I also see a good game in this guy. Thanks for the reply.

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#24 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 02 2011, 06:27PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

Q...Take that Magic Beans logo down

on Gregors' show today ...Spector...the Mark of sportsnet.ca Spector has begun to dangle&caress the idea of going after Nashvilles' Shea Weber who's coming available this summer...i can see it now...up in lights

Quicksilver ballet...now offering the Hope that is Shea Weber.

wudaya think?

Done deal sir.

The standard fees plus gratuity still apply?

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#25 Fresh Mess
March 02 2011, 06:30PM
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I see no reason why Petiot can't give the Oil a couple of seasons of solid Scott Ferguson-esque type play.

I'm not trying to be a wise-guy here... I mean it as a compliment. Ferguson played some solid shifts here IMO.

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#26 Harlie
March 02 2011, 06:32PM
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@Fresh Mess

it's clear now why Tambellini was brought in as Lowe's underling and now the GM. Someone had to do the dirty work untying all of Lowe's loose ends. Better to get a guy from outside the org to be the dark angel than to sully Lowe's "rep" as a nice guy in the market. So in the meantime Tambo's hacked the training staff, coaches, most of the vets, the under performing contracts etc etc.

He then amassed a cupboard full of prospects and picks and he is saving Katz millions in the pocket book on his salary dumps.

Hate to say it but he's actually performing spectacularly.

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#27 Harlie
March 02 2011, 06:35PM
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p.s - i love the Face Plante headline. haha!

Forget facepalm...it's all about the faceplante!

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#28 pelhem grenville
March 02 2011, 06:43PM
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O my gawd Q

...i'm certainly NOT that powerful but could you be just that submissive?

...still howling my ass off...!!!

p.s. Weber could wear The C !!!!!

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#29 James Scott
March 02 2011, 06:44PM
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Lowetide at this point do you think that Katz and his management team believe that they have to get every core piece from the draft or as a unproven prospect. I think they should continue drafting forwards in the first couple rounds d-men later on like last year. Then trade for proven d-men as they really don't peak til they are UFAs or close to it anyway. A couple of nice ones coming in the next few years Weber and Burns at the top.(pile up enough forwards and we could give up a Schenn type in that kind of deal) I guess we'll find out if they pass on RNH. I have a feeling that Larson is going to be Hamerlik 2.0, good just not a dominant #1 d-man. I would take Larson, Hamilton, Siemens or Murphy after the top 5 picks in that order. Very possible all or none become top 3 D in 2 to 6 years. Stu will lead us out of the dessert before Tambellini does, hopefully he stays out of the magnificent ones way.

Thoughts anyone?

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#30 pelhem grenville
March 02 2011, 06:48PM
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Thanks for sore face laugh Q...have a great night

p.g.

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#31 dawgbone
March 02 2011, 06:49PM
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Harlie wrote:

it's clear now why Tambellini was brought in as Lowe's underling and now the GM. Someone had to do the dirty work untying all of Lowe's loose ends. Better to get a guy from outside the org to be the dark angel than to sully Lowe's "rep" as a nice guy in the market. So in the meantime Tambo's hacked the training staff, coaches, most of the vets, the under performing contracts etc etc.

He then amassed a cupboard full of prospects and picks and he is saving Katz millions in the pocket book on his salary dumps.

Hate to say it but he's actually performing spectacularly.

This is the same GM who is paying Robert Nilsson to stay away, paying Souray to stay away and signed Khabibulin to that awful contract.

And his reign has GM has seen the Oilers finish dead last one year and most likely dead last this year.

Spectacularly is not a word I'd use unless it was attached to awful.

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#32 David S
March 02 2011, 06:51PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I'll take my chances that the kid the Oilers select falls into that 84%category that never become an NHL regular. We're better off packaging that pick up with a roster player and buy something that's already established.

You might be satisfied to watch your team stumble and bumble their way to multiple dead last place finishes, residing in hockey hell provides little satisfaction for me, feel free to kick up your heels and lean back in that chair and pretend everythings fine if you like. Everyonce in awhile it's okay to push that piece of poo back up the hill to where it came from.

Its scaring the poo out of me that I completely agree with this.

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#34 CurtisS
March 02 2011, 06:58PM
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You see it right LT, but it wasnt hard to see when we drafted him at the #15 spot. What a terrible draft 2007 is turning out to be. IMO. We had 3 first rounders in the top 25 and only one is going to be just a OK player. (glad we got Marcirin for Nash) but it set us back a few years again. (oilers MO)

I had the pleasure of watching Plante every hitmen game as a season ticket holder and he was a terrible dman. I just didnt see the upside at all. His stats were boosted playing with Alzner (the best junior aged dman at the time). Plante couldnt pivot or skate fast at all. He was a project and may turn into a NHL player one day but it wont be one that was selected #15 in the first round.

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#35 David S
March 02 2011, 07:02PM
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Lowetide wrote:

James: I think the scouting staff has done a terrific job of building a solid foundation. Eventually they'll add some pieces but there's still miles to go.

I don't think the Oilers will add a big item for the NHL roster via free agency or trade for some time.

That must be a punch in the gut for the guy who coined the phrase "actual NHL players".

Is it your feeling our goal is to be at the NHL salary minimum next year? If so, I'd be curious to know why.

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#37 Dutchscooter
March 02 2011, 07:08PM
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I find it comical all the doom and gloom spouted here. Last years' team sucked. There's no denying that. So, as a reward we got Taylor Hall who will be an NHL force for many years to come. This year we're (standings-wise) no better. But, in the end, we ARE better. We have a lineup chock-full of rookies and AHL wannabes. At least we're not against the cap and losing this hard. It's progress, and progress takes time. It's not like 10 years ago when you could throw money at the problem and everything is rosy. It takes a few years to develop. We're not even ONE year into this and people want blood. Sheesh.

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#39 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 02 2011, 07:17PM
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@pelhem grenville

You to sir.

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#40 Harlie
March 02 2011, 07:17PM
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@dawgbone

You see my point. Someone has to take the blame and sewer us in the process. Better it be Tambo than Lowe, is the picture that is developing on my polaroid.

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#41 James Scott
March 02 2011, 07:40PM
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Andrew,

I agree but he wanted 5.5 and the oil drew the line at 5.4mil. If he was a Oiler right now he would be at 5.5 mil and would be guiding our young stars not LA's. I feel as though Lowe and Myself as a fan ( not that it matters to anyone but me ) decided he wasn't worth 5.5mil and let him go. That he could not be the highest paid player on a contender. Problem was we wern't a contender and my point is, are we, the Oilers Nation (fans and Team), obsessed with future to the point we won't ever have one. When the trade was announced Nilson had lots of promise, Omara was the WJC star who could put you through the boards and 1st Rounders are intoxicating. In the end not one NHL player to this point but it seemed like the right thing to do for the future.

We turn down our own but gladley over pay others. Penners 4.25 looks good now but not in the first 2 yrs, same goes for what would have been Ryans deal from the oil and as a long term Oiler did he not deserve to be rewarded. I won't even talk about Souray. I think Lowe learned from this as Horcs deal will atest but was so worried about what he would have to pay in the future that he signed him too Early and would have gotten a fair deal if he waited till his next year when he was playing again. Over corrected his actions.

Some how the wings manage to keep thier Stars. I remember a couple of years ago when the Wings resigned Lidstrom to a 2-year deal at 7.35ish/per year. he was at a age when players normaly have allready lost a step or two, I thought that would bite them in the ass. Obviously I was very wrong. That contract must have sent a very positive message around the league about Detroit and how they treat their players, its no wonder they can sign so many veterans cheap. What damaging message did Smittys contract situation send?

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#42 James Scott
March 02 2011, 07:46PM
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Lowetide, Who would you take #1 today

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#43 OILERSORDEATH
March 02 2011, 07:46PM
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Geez all these negative Nancys, come on how many teams have 4 young jems (Hall,Eberle, MPS, even Omark. like our Oilers. Yup that's what I thought.

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#44 David S
March 02 2011, 07:59PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

Geez all these negative Nancys, come on how many teams have 4 young jems (Hall,Eberle, MPS, even Omark. like our Oilers. Yup that's what I thought.

Or looking at it this way - Foster, Vandermeer, SMac, Strudwick, Fraser, even Khabby. Yup, that's what I thought.

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#45 James Scott
March 02 2011, 08:02PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

Geez all these negative Nancys, come on how many teams have 4 young jems (Hall,Eberle, MPS, even Omark. like our Oilers. Yup that's what I thought.

Your right, but the problem is we are going to lose this year, next year and the one after that. The positions keeping this team out of the playoffs next year are usually held by older players, Checkers and defensive D-men. If these positions were filled we may have a shot at the playoffs next year if we get a #1 center at this years draft stanley could come to town in 3 to 5. As it stands Tambo seems like he wants to draft and develope his role players otherwise he might have asked for a Simmonds in the Penner deal. He at least is a couple of years on his way to being a 2nd line option/strong 3rd liner. If we have to develope or own role players the playoffs are 4yrs away and stanley might never come as the Kids will be making huge doe by then. We'll skip Stanley and become what the hawks are now.

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#47 James Scott
March 02 2011, 08:10PM
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@Lowetide

Is that a draft for need pick?

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#48 MattL
March 02 2011, 08:13PM
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I feel Plante and Tuebert are both a coin-flip's chance from being solid 3-4 Dmen, so why not add another coin? I bet between the two of them, the Oil gets a mainstay in 2-3 years.

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#49 James Scott
March 02 2011, 08:18PM
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I worry about Couturiers skating. RNH is the one that I would take. He looks like he is 14 and he survives and doesn't back down at 160lbs against 200lb dmen. What will he do when he is 195lbs, I can imagine he will use his body very effectively as he has learned to fight for every inch on the ice.

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