The Ugliest Problem Of Them All

Jonathan Willis
May 26 2011 01:41PM

The Edmonton Oilers have a major problem. Actually, given that they’ve been the worst team in the league over the last two years, and they have a solid track record of simply atrocious management since the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, they have a lot of major problems, but one of them towers above the rest: the defense corps.

While the Oilers’ forwards are still on an uphill curve, there is at least some major talent to work with. Taylor Hall is a star in the making, Jordan Eberle wildly surpassed expectations in his rookie season, and others like Mangus Paajarvi, Sam Gagner, Linus Omark and Andrew Cogliano could find roles going forward.

On the blueline, there is no such wealth of young talent. Theo Peckham had a good rookie season, but realistically he’s probably not a regular on a contending team right now, and the road to becoming a top-end shutdown defenseman is both long and uncertain. Martin Marincin had a slower second half to his WHL season, and is years away from regular NHL duty and even further away from being an impact defenseman – assuming that he ever is. Jeff Petry is the closest of the Oilers’ three to being a top-four defenseman; he boasts size and displayed a wide range of skills in his NHL debut, but it would be unwise to lean on him at this point, or do anything more than pencil him in going forward.

This leaves the Oilers with essentially two top-four defenseman. Ladislav Smid, Kurtis Foster, and (assuming he is re-signed) Jim Vandermeer all have good points, but all also have serious flaws that prevent them from being more than depth contributors. I still have some slight hope that Smid will develop into a player capable of complementing another defender on the second pairing, but as it stands he is in over his head on the second pairing.

Tom Gilbert was a popular whipping boy this year; style certainly played a role but I can’t help feeling the fact that he was thrown in way over his head as the team’s number one shutdown defenseman played a role. Gilbert’s been at his best in the past on the second pairing – in a role where he could focus a little more on offense and not have to handle the opposing team’s top lines all the time. Meanwhile, Ryan Whitney had a great year, but the planets aligned to make that happen and he will have difficulty repeating it. Not only that, but he got a disproportionate percentage of offensive zone starts – the point here is not to denigrate Whitney, but simply acknowledge that he wasn’t playing the toughest minutes.

Basically, the team needs an entire top pairing transplanted in, or if we make a pile of favourable assumptions (Whitney stays healthy, Gilbert rebounds, Petry, Smid and Peckham all develop) they might squeak by with just one top defender.

Where will they get that/those defenseman/men? I don’t know. I know Sheldon Souray isn’t the answer, and I have serious doubts that taking a player like Adam Larsson this year will get the job done (because of the typical development curve for defensemen, and based on some of the mixed reviews he has received). That leaves trade or free agency, though the latter has not treated the Oilers well the last few years and the former would require management to do something other than try to lose.

I may not know what the Oilers are going to do, but I do know this: the team needs to address the problem before they can seriously contend.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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 ItsTheBGB
May 26 2011, 01:54PM
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I wish we had a shot at one of the Vancouver defenseman (Ehrhoff or Bieksa). I'm still undecided on number one overall but think it's the Nuge. I'm gonna put my FIST through a wall over this.

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#2 Mantastic
May 26 2011, 02:00PM
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i agree, we have too many mediocre d-men to support and raise rookie d-men. we definiately need to move some bodies on the blue line this summer.

Ehrhoff won't help us, his +/- is pretty bad because he leaves his partner in the deep end when he jumps up in the play and we don't have someone that can back him up at the moment.

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#3 Quicksilver ballet
May 26 2011, 02:03PM
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For a guy likes to nip things in the bud before they become a problem, Katz sure hasn't used these same business principles with his NHL hockey club.

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#4 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 02:05PM
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Mantastic wrote:

i agree, we have too many mediocre d-men to support and raise rookie d-men. we definiately need to move some bodies on the blue line this summer.

Ehrhoff won't help us, his +/- is pretty bad because he leaves his partner in the deep end when he jumps up in the play and we don't have someone that can back him up at the moment.

Any capable NHL'er superior to Foster, Strudwick or Vandemeer would help us.

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#5 VMR
May 26 2011, 02:08PM
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Absolute agreement on this, I doubt you find anyone who differs.

Whitney in his half seasons work looked like he could be a top pairing d-man but with his injury history he's just not reliable enough to build your blueline around. Gilbert, yeah ideally second pairing guy. Smid, Peckham and Petry could be a decent bottom half of a lineup but that still leaves us short at least one top end guy.

Offer sheet Weber? Not likely to work, would be matched to easily. Trade? Hope Marincin or some other draft pick skyrockets in their development?

Vancouver is doing it without a superstar on the blueline so maybe enough good defenders will do the job?

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#6 Bacon Nachos
May 26 2011, 02:10PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Any capable NHL'er superior to Foster, Strudwick or Vandemeer would help us.

you may want to be specific. i believe you are referring to a huge number of defenders.

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#7 Bucknuck
May 26 2011, 02:15PM
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Yes you are right about that. Defence has been their achilles heel ever since Pronger, Bergeron, Spacek, and Tarnstrom all left after 2006 .

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#8 John Chambers
May 26 2011, 02:19PM
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I suppose the answer to this question Willis has proposed is this: The Oilers will not contend this upcoming season. I'm happy that management is committed to losing, or re-building.

Unless Kevin Bieksa is willing to sign with his hometown team, I doubt we do much to address this until after next season.

Here's to the lottery, and losing a ton of games 6-4!

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#9 TonyT
May 26 2011, 02:32PM
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I "the educated fan" am committed to losing for another five seasons. After five seasons though, I swear... Who am I kidding? I "the educated fan" am and will always be a sucker. FSTNF

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#10 Souby
May 26 2011, 02:40PM
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Couldn't agree more JW. There are too many question marks on D that need to be answered. I had a quick look at the UFA pool and it is not very deep. There are a few players that might be able to help but they are either overpriced, older or are injury prone.

The RFA pool has more depth with names like Weber, Bogosian, Doughty and Schenn to name a few, but signing an RFA is tricky and usually very expensive. Not to mention that their current teams would like to keep them on their rosters.

Trading seems to be the best option, but then it comes down to offering up guys like Hemsky or Gagner and a pick(s) in the hope that another team has a top tier defender they are willing to part with.

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#11 Pajamah
May 26 2011, 02:51PM
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If loading up on forwards/offensive assets can net the Oilers a top 4 d-man in 2-3 seasons, then I would prefer to see Tambellini stay the course.

CBA = narrow window in which to win.

If the Oilers can improve 20 points and be close to playoffs this upcoming season, and one of the big RFA d-men take a 1-2 year contract, then take a run at them in 2013

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#12 Chris.
May 26 2011, 03:10PM
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When someone drives your car off a cliff: you take away the keys and let someone else manage the "rebuild".

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#13 H.O.P.E (Hall.Omark.Paajarvi.Eberle)
May 26 2011, 03:14PM
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Offer Sheet wont happen, Weber is the cornerstone of their franchise, and would cost us too much, suggesting we are still a lottery pick next year at least. But why not try and trade for Suter? Trading would be a stronger way to go, we would save our picks (the ones not involved in the trade), we have lots of youth upfront they desperately need (cheap first contract type players) and he has one year left before hitting the open market, so his value wont be unrealistically high, but he is exactly what we need in a dman. Plus, they will already be spending more then they want on Weber and they will obviously look to resign Rinne next year as well, so something will have to give, given their "budget" (not cap).

We need to do something this year. We cant risk our youth becoming a bunch of Penners out there as they are too used to losing. I dont expect us to compete for the Cup next year, but we can sure as hell make it look like we are trying!

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#14 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
May 26 2011, 03:17PM
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Thanks tips, like we haven't been talking for over a year now about the oilers failing to do anything about #1 a center who can win faceoffs and play bottom 6, and #2 some serious defencive help.

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 03:24PM
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H.O.P.E (Hall.Omark.Paajarvi.Eberle) wrote:

Offer Sheet wont happen, Weber is the cornerstone of their franchise, and would cost us too much, suggesting we are still a lottery pick next year at least. But why not try and trade for Suter? Trading would be a stronger way to go, we would save our picks (the ones not involved in the trade), we have lots of youth upfront they desperately need (cheap first contract type players) and he has one year left before hitting the open market, so his value wont be unrealistically high, but he is exactly what we need in a dman. Plus, they will already be spending more then they want on Weber and they will obviously look to resign Rinne next year as well, so something will have to give, given their "budget" (not cap).

We need to do something this year. We cant risk our youth becoming a bunch of Penners out there as they are too used to losing. I dont expect us to compete for the Cup next year, but we can sure as hell make it look like we are trying!

The reason RFA offer *may* make sense is because you force the other teams hand, vs in a trade where both teams have to be in complete agreement.

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#16 Chris.
May 26 2011, 03:43PM
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Stu is quite high on Gudbransen. So I guess the question is: how big a drop off is there between RNH and Huberdeau?... And if Florida overestimates that drop off could our first and Plante net us Gudbransen and the 3rd overall pick? The Oilers would grab a top flight defensive prospect and still have 3 picks in the top 31 including one of Larsen, RNH, Huberdeau,Couturier, Landskog, Strome...

I guess what I'm saying is: Huberdeau and Gudbransen just might be worth more to the Oilers than RNH alone.

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#17 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 03:56PM
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Chris. wrote:

Stu is quite high on Gudbransen. So I guess the question is: how big a drop off is there between RNH and Huberdeau?... And if Florida overestimates that drop off could our first and Plante net us Gudbransen and the 3rd overall pick? The Oilers would grab a top flight defensive prospect and still have 3 picks in the top 31 including one of Larsen, RNH, Huberdeau,Couturier, Landskog, Strome...

I guess what I'm saying is: Huberdeau and Gudbransen just might be worth more to the Oilers than RNH alone.

Interesting.

I'd think it would cost us more then just Plant but would definitly be something worth looking at.

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#18 Dman09
May 26 2011, 04:00PM
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Chris. wrote:

Stu is quite high on Gudbransen. So I guess the question is: how big a drop off is there between RNH and Huberdeau?... And if Florida overestimates that drop off could our first and Plante net us Gudbransen and the 3rd overall pick? The Oilers would grab a top flight defensive prospect and still have 3 picks in the top 31 including one of Larsen, RNH, Huberdeau,Couturier, Landskog, Strome...

I guess what I'm saying is: Huberdeau and Gudbransen just might be worth more to the Oilers than RNH alone.

If they could make a deal like that happen I would be all for it. But I don't think its likely. I don't think our first and Plante would be enough for them. Maybe another prospect or a low draft pick would make it work but are the oiler willing to give up that much to get a #3 pick and Gudbransen. Personally if it was plante and say O'Marra then ya I would probably be ok with that. I'd be more willing if they would take Fraser off our hands.

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#19 Team Hall
May 26 2011, 04:06PM
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I've got two words for this article: Denis Grebeshkov. But seriously, I don't think we're getting a #2 defenseman this summer, but a #4 Andrew Ference type should be doable. Sign or trade. I would get a list of names and target them on July 1. If we get one, say good-bye to Struds and Vandy. If we don't, sign Vandy and hope for the best.

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#20 TonyT
May 26 2011, 04:06PM
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@Chris.

GM's having to fill holes? That's the kind of talk that will get you banned from Rexall...

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#21 Chris.
May 26 2011, 04:13PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Interesting.

I'd think it would cost us more then just Plant but would definitly be something worth looking at.

The Oilers would be offering Plante (or Chorney)...AND the cache value of the first overall pick. Maybe the prestige alone of making that first selection would cause Dale Tallon to cough up Gudbransen. Besides, Tallon has not even been able to sign Gudbransen to a contract yet.

I personally can't estimate the relative merits of such a deal: but I bet Stu could. If the Oilers think Huberdeau is equal to RNH... Then such a move is a no-brainer. Besides, one of Couturier, Landeskog, or Strome might end up being the best player in this draft anyway: it's a funny one this year.

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#22 Mabell
May 26 2011, 04:23PM
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Bogosain out of Atlanta continues to be an option. Althought with the move to Winnipeg, things may be up in the air....

One has to think that there is a limit to how much they want to spend on the backend - the big question is how much would it take to get him.

I'm thinking Gagner and a prospect...

Sttep price but quality for quality.

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#23 Westcoastoil
May 26 2011, 04:36PM
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Realistically the D you might want are:

Level 1) Bieksa, Erhoff - Van. will try to resign both and you'd have to huge overpay to get them. Who'd be in a rush to leave Vanc. for the 30th place Oilers.

Level 2) Wisniewski - because of the limited market he'll be in high demand with a steep price. No point as the Oil are too far away. Pitkanen - been there. McCabe & Markov (no thanks), Hamrlik (maybe for 1 or 2 years at low $, but he's oooold).

Level 3) Brewer, Hannan, Salo (always injured), Jovocop, White

Level 4) O'Brien, Hejda, Montador, Alberts (slow but played better than expected this year), Huskins

Hard to imagine Det. won't resign Ericsson given their D situation.

Some veteran presence would take a whole bunch of pressure off everyone, D, F, coaches and mgmt. I think taking 1 from Level 3 and 1 from level 4 on reasonable contracts, while not ideal, would help a ton until the team is closer to challenging.

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#24 Ender
May 26 2011, 04:39PM
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I'm thinking that the free-agent market is where we have to start. We have money and we have to at least make some offers; whether those offers are accepted or not . . . well, what will be will be but the attempt should be made.

I had a quick look at who's becoming a UFA this summer. There are a few interesting names. For simplicity's sake, I look at possible candidates in two categories: Big Fish, and Depth Defencemen.

Big Fish
Thomas Kaberle: Guy is 33 and made $4.25M this season. Pretty solid year.
Kevin Bieksa: The 29-yr old made $3.5M tearing it up for Vancouver.
James Wisniewski: $3.25M from Montreal and he's only 27.
Christian Ehrhoff: You've got to want this guy. 28 years old, $3.4M, and he should be one of the first people the Oilers call.

Also ran:
Joni Pitkanen: He's young (26) and he's available. A decent but not great season for Carolina. Depending on asking price (made $4.5M this year) maybe he turns into your franchise guy, but it's more of a gamble.
Roman Hamrlik: The other side of the age equation (36) but he's reliable and still produced for Montreal. He wasn't cheap this season at $5.5M, but maybe his price starts to go down this year.

Depth Defenders
Steve Montador: Guy is 31 and made $1.55M in a solid outing for Buffalo.

Also ran:
Jan Hejda: The 32-yr old made $2M in Columbus and earned most of it. Unspectacular but brings experience.
Jeff Woywitka: $0.7M was a decent deal for Dallas and he's only 27.
Jonathan Ericsson: Detroit paid this 26-yr old $1.25M and it was a pretty good deal for them. Not flashy but reliable.

Kind of weird that a lot of these guys have been here before. Either there's a lot more movement around the league than I usually think about, or it's a plum year for former Oiler defensemen.

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#25 K
May 26 2011, 05:01PM
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Offer sheet yandle. Sign Bieksa. Trade for bogisian

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#26 JOFA
May 26 2011, 05:01PM
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@H.O.P.E (Hall.Omark.Paajarvi.Eberle)

I agree 100 percent. I think Suter is the guy we should target. At 26 now, he'll be in his prime when the Oilers are contending. Nashville will have trouble getting Weber, Rinne, and Suter signed. They also have the defensive depth in their system to move him. I believe that he would be worth our first overall pick if he wasn't a UFA at the end of next season.

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#27 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 05:04PM
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Chris. wrote:

The Oilers would be offering Plante (or Chorney)...AND the cache value of the first overall pick. Maybe the prestige alone of making that first selection would cause Dale Tallon to cough up Gudbransen. Besides, Tallon has not even been able to sign Gudbransen to a contract yet.

I personally can't estimate the relative merits of such a deal: but I bet Stu could. If the Oilers think Huberdeau is equal to RNH... Then such a move is a no-brainer. Besides, one of Couturier, Landeskog, or Strome might end up being the best player in this draft anyway: it's a funny one this year.

I don't think it's way off... I'm just not sure Plante has that much worth at all though.

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#28 Westcoastoil
May 26 2011, 05:11PM
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JOFA wrote:

I agree 100 percent. I think Suter is the guy we should target. At 26 now, he'll be in his prime when the Oilers are contending. Nashville will have trouble getting Weber, Rinne, and Suter signed. They also have the defensive depth in their system to move him. I believe that he would be worth our first overall pick if he wasn't a UFA at the end of next season.

He's a UFA in 1 year, so unless he'll sign an extension you're only renting him for 1 season

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#29 Chris.
May 26 2011, 05:15PM
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@JOFA

How good is Suter playing apart from Weber? (I'm not trying to be difficult... it's just a question that needs to be asked.)

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#30 Ender
May 26 2011, 05:18PM
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Chris. wrote:

The Oilers would be offering Plante (or Chorney)...AND the cache value of the first overall pick. Maybe the prestige alone of making that first selection would cause Dale Tallon to cough up Gudbransen. Besides, Tallon has not even been able to sign Gudbransen to a contract yet.

I personally can't estimate the relative merits of such a deal: but I bet Stu could. If the Oilers think Huberdeau is equal to RNH... Then such a move is a no-brainer. Besides, one of Couturier, Landeskog, or Strome might end up being the best player in this draft anyway: it's a funny one this year.

Under Renney this season, by and large people actually played their position. Quite a departure from what we saw under Quinn and MacT.

~Obviously it was the wrong approach since we finished worse than last year, so logically the smart move would be to do the deal you outline above, move Hall to center, and then draft Huberdeau and put him on the blue-line. Voila!~

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#31 Dog Train
May 26 2011, 05:22PM
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I actually think that this year's UFA market is pretty good for dmen. The question is, who would actually be willing to come to Edmonton? I am hopeful that we can sign a legit top 4 dman anyways.

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#32 Chris.
May 26 2011, 05:28PM
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Ender wrote:

Under Renney this season, by and large people actually played their position. Quite a departure from what we saw under Quinn and MacT.

~Obviously it was the wrong approach since we finished worse than last year, so logically the smart move would be to do the deal you outline above, move Hall to center, and then draft Huberdeau and put him on the blue-line. Voila!~

I'd rather see Couturier in net. (He's really big).

Gudbransen at center, Hall can play with Gilbert to add tougness on the second pairing, Smid back on the wing to add some grit in the bottom six, and we should put Omark back in OKC for further development...(but fast track whoever we take 19th right onto the roster)

There. All our problems solved.

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#33 Bucknuck
May 26 2011, 05:34PM
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If the Oil are deep in forwards (and yes they are) then trading for a defenseman should be an option available as well. Trade one of our up and coming forwards for an up and coming defenseman. I hate to give up on any forwards, but without defense this team will NEVER win anything. I don't like using our pick on Larsson either.

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#34 DSF
May 26 2011, 05:41PM
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JOFA wrote:

I agree 100 percent. I think Suter is the guy we should target. At 26 now, he'll be in his prime when the Oilers are contending. Nashville will have trouble getting Weber, Rinne, and Suter signed. They also have the defensive depth in their system to move him. I believe that he would be worth our first overall pick if he wasn't a UFA at the end of next season.

The guy to target in Nashville is Jonathan Blum. Fits much better in the "window to win"

With Ryan Ellis on the way, Blum might be freed up.

Blum is big, fast and has some offense too.

Poile has already indicated he'll be looking for forwards this offseason.

The Oilers have forwards.

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#35 Chris.
May 26 2011, 05:46PM
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@Ender

Where is Arch? I've typed the name Gudbransen at least half a dozen times and the smiling Indianna Jones head still has not arrived to spit on the notion. What gives? (I hope he's okay)

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#36 madjam
May 26 2011, 05:48PM
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Chicago Hjarlmasson for Smid ( trade that almost went down once this trade deadline ) . Draft Larsson . Thats a pretty good start ! Maybe that Finnish guy as a depth d-man could also be of benefit . Cost effective , upgrades and all doable even for Tams and company . Good breakdown by the way Willis !

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#37 Bucknuck
May 26 2011, 05:48PM
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I find it interesting that Khabibulin is on the CapGeek top ten buyout list, along with Dany Heatley. Kinda makes me feel sick that the current manager would have had both of these had Heatley not been a tool.

I don't have a lot of faith in Tambo! Do you think he sees the hole on D?

I am almost afraid to say that it's worth noting that Horcoff's contract isn't on the list! So much for the "worst contract in hockey" BS I keep having to see on here.

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#38 Chris.
May 26 2011, 05:56PM
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@Bucknuck

~Is Yashin still available?~

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#39 Ender
May 26 2011, 05:57PM
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Chris. wrote:

Where is Arch? I've typed the name Gudbransen at least half a dozen times and the smiling Indianna Jones head still has not arrived to spit on the notion. What gives? (I hope he's okay)

Ahhh, there've been days when I've had to forego the pleasure of ON company to do actual work at my actual job to earn actual dollars. It sucks, but sometimes you can't avoid it.

Maybe it's Arch's day to man the doughnut run. Guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.

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#40 Westcoastoil
May 26 2011, 05:58PM
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@DSF

Blum would be perfect - question is does Nashville think he's the low cost replacement for Suter?

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#41 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 06:05PM
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Ender wrote:

I'm thinking that the free-agent market is where we have to start. We have money and we have to at least make some offers; whether those offers are accepted or not . . . well, what will be will be but the attempt should be made.

I had a quick look at who's becoming a UFA this summer. There are a few interesting names. For simplicity's sake, I look at possible candidates in two categories: Big Fish, and Depth Defencemen.

Big Fish
Thomas Kaberle: Guy is 33 and made $4.25M this season. Pretty solid year.
Kevin Bieksa: The 29-yr old made $3.5M tearing it up for Vancouver.
James Wisniewski: $3.25M from Montreal and he's only 27.
Christian Ehrhoff: You've got to want this guy. 28 years old, $3.4M, and he should be one of the first people the Oilers call.

Also ran:
Joni Pitkanen: He's young (26) and he's available. A decent but not great season for Carolina. Depending on asking price (made $4.5M this year) maybe he turns into your franchise guy, but it's more of a gamble.
Roman Hamrlik: The other side of the age equation (36) but he's reliable and still produced for Montreal. He wasn't cheap this season at $5.5M, but maybe his price starts to go down this year.

Depth Defenders
Steve Montador: Guy is 31 and made $1.55M in a solid outing for Buffalo.

Also ran:
Jan Hejda: The 32-yr old made $2M in Columbus and earned most of it. Unspectacular but brings experience.
Jeff Woywitka: $0.7M was a decent deal for Dallas and he's only 27.
Jonathan Ericsson: Detroit paid this 26-yr old $1.25M and it was a pretty good deal for them. Not flashy but reliable.

Kind of weird that a lot of these guys have been here before. Either there's a lot more movement around the league than I usually think about, or it's a plum year for former Oiler defensemen.

So in your opinion, what would be the benifit of bringing in say a Roman Hamrlik?

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#42 DSF
May 26 2011, 06:08PM
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Westcoastoil wrote:

Blum would be perfect - question is does Nashville think he's the low cost replacement for Suter?

Maybe...but I can't really see Poile not keeping both Weber and Suter.

Nashville just received revenue from two playoff series and I would think they would want to capitalize on that and try and make it three series in the future.

Hemsky and Gagner for Blum works for me.

(waits for the howls of protest that Gagner is the next Doug Gilmour)

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#43 DSF
May 26 2011, 06:10PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I find it interesting that Khabibulin is on the CapGeek top ten buyout list, along with Dany Heatley. Kinda makes me feel sick that the current manager would have had both of these had Heatley not been a tool.

I don't have a lot of faith in Tambo! Do you think he sees the hole on D?

I am almost afraid to say that it's worth noting that Horcoff's contract isn't on the list! So much for the "worst contract in hockey" BS I keep having to see on here.

That's only because buying out Horcoff's contract is too onerous.

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#44 Chris.
May 26 2011, 06:12PM
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Dudley to Bogosian: I have an interesing offer from Tambellini for you...but he wants to talk with you before we go ahead.

B to D: Hell no I won't talk to that loser. Edmonton... Phffft! I'm Zach F@ckin' Bogosian!

Severl month later... Dudley: It's official boys... Looks like we're off to Winnipeg!

Bogosian: (small voice) Is that thing with Tambi still on the table?

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#45 Bucknuck
May 26 2011, 06:19PM
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I was just perusing the oilers website, and they have a title of "Khabi-Brilliant" and a showing of his top saves from last season.

That makes me want to PUKE.

That Koolaid is just a bit too much, I think I will feed it back to Tambi and hope he chokes on it. Khabibulin has been a disaster in Oilers silks, and for the team to be pretending otherwise really pisses me off. How stupid do they think we are?!

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#46 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 06:22PM
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While Larrson would probably take a few years to develop into a top pairing Dman I still think he is the long term solution on the blueline(or at least part of the solution). I think something that gets overlooked about him is that in the SEL he plays on the larger ice surface and I think that goes against his talents. He was talking about that on the feature that was on the Oilers website and said he preferred the smaller ice at the WJHC’s. I think his game would go to a new level in the NA format after a year or two in the NHL/AHL.

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#47 Chris.
May 26 2011, 06:24PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I was just perusing the oilers website, and they have a title of "Khabi-Brilliant" and a showing of his top saves from last season.

That makes me want to PUKE.

That Koolaid is just a bit too much, I think I will feed it back to Tambi and hope he chokes on it. Khabibulin has been a disaster in Oilers silks, and for the team to be pretending otherwise really pisses me off. How stupid do they think we are?!

When I get upset at the system I find Gilbert's witty little blog really cheers me up. (Or looking at pics of Dan Tencer in full TV makeup)

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#48 Brad
May 26 2011, 06:49PM
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If Edmonton had Stamkos and Vinny or Sedin and Kelser instead of Horcoff and Gagner they would make the playoffs.

Edmonton's D ain't anything special but we've seen plenty of successful teams that got it done with a defense-by-committee.

Take Bieksa and Ehrhoff and throw them on the Oilers and they would look #4's at best.

Trade Vancouver Gagner and Horcoff for Sedin and Kelser and Vancouver's D wouldn't look so hot.

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#49 jeanshorts
May 26 2011, 06:57PM
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Has anyone brought up the fact that Tom Gilbert NEVER hits and is the wussiest wuss that ever wussed out yet?

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#50 Brad
May 26 2011, 07:09PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Has anyone brought up the fact that Tom Gilbert NEVER hits and is the wussiest wuss that ever wussed out yet?

2010/2011

Gilbert: 69 hits Horcoff: 32 hits Gagner: 24 hits

2009/2010

Gilbert: 55 hits Horcoff: 35 hits Gagner: 30 hits

2008/2009

Gilbert: 47 hits Horcoff: 30 hits Gagner: 28 hits

If we want to shed the team of "wussies" there is certainly better options than Gilbert.

Horc and Gags make Gilbert look like Jason Smith.

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