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.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 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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#2 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 07:46PM
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Blum and Smid will probably have comparable careers. Trading Hemsky and Gags for Blum would make Boston's return on Kessel look like Steven Rice.

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#3 Woodguy
May 26 2011, 09:49PM
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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?

The wussiest wuss that ever wussed out was 10th in the NHL in blocked shots.

Link : http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20112ALLSASAll&sort=blockedShots&viewName=rtssPlayerStats

What a pansy. Getting in front of 172 shots. Just doesn't have a man card does he?

Also,

Almost every single player on the Oilers this year had better scoring chances when they played with Gilbert than when they played without him.

Link: http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/5/26/2191431/tom-gilbert-scoring-chances-2010-2011

Terrible Gilbert. Making all those players better.

I wish he skated over the puck and threw hits like JFJ. That would be a good hockey player.

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#4 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 10:08PM
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DSF wrote:

Are you sure about that?

In his first 4 years in the NHL, Gagner has scored .59PPG In his first 4 years in the NHL, Wellwood scored .53 PPG.

That's far too close for comfort when you consider Wellwood was not being fed the primo icetime and PP minutes that Gagner has.

Oh and Wellwoods PP min/game his first 4 years:

3:14

4:17

3:01

3:03

vs Gagner

2:48

3:03

2:36

2:56

Is that your game? Lying on the internet to try and prove your point?

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#5 Ender
May 27 2011, 04:59PM
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Metal&Oil wrote:

For one year at least. I want Larrson anyways and want him on the big club next year too (after a lil stint in the "A".

I want to go out to my truck after work tonight and find it filled with money. I've got a hunch we're both going to be dissapointed.

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#6 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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#7 Toro
May 26 2011, 09:15PM
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@Chris.

Hahahah DREAM ON! you know who else is high on Gudbransen? FLORIDA lol he was the 3rd overall pick behind Hall,and Seguin in last years draft and you guys honestly think Florida moving there 3rd this year and there 3rd last year to move up 2 spots in the draft and get a plug like Plante who aint even gonna pan out is worth it for them? I just cant believe how many of you actually thought that deal had a chance...

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#8 Crash
May 26 2011, 09:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Are you sure about that?

In his first 4 years in the NHL, Gagner has scored .59PPG In his first 4 years in the NHL, Wellwood scored .53 PPG.

That's far too close for comfort when you consider Wellwood was not being fed the primo icetime and PP minutes that Gagner has.

Gagner has had 4 yrs of producing in the league and still hasn't reached the age that Wellwood started his career.

Wellwood's first 4 yrs are "NOT" an equal comparison to Gagner's. He may have averaged .53PPG in his first 4 yrs but his first 4 yrs are age 22 to 26.

Get real with this it's far too close for comfort...it's not close one iota...Gagner and Wellwood both have 173 nhl points as of right now and Wellwood is 28yrs old....so you figure Gagner won't get anymore pts in the next 7 yrs?

Also where did you get this idea that Gagner has been fed the primo icetime and PP minutes. Gagner's first 4 seasons his avg on ice PP time has been 2:48, 3:03, 2:36 and 2:56 while Wellwood's was 3:14, 4:17, 3:01 and 3:03. Primo PP time goes to Wellwood, from age 22 to 26

Get a clue

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#9 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 11:05PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

OB1 bringing the Heat!!

Always the same games with that guy.

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#11 Chris.
May 26 2011, 11:32PM
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In Stu we trust. Although I do find it funny that some people point to Hedman as a reason why not to select Larsson. (Sure wish we had a solid 20 year old kid who could play almost 26 minutes a night in the conference finals). Of course I'd also like a top flight play making center...

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#12 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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#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 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 Brad
May 26 2011, 07:13PM
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OilFan wrote:

Thank you.

See post 50

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#18 ItsTheBGB
May 26 2011, 07:32PM
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DSF wrote:

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)

lolwut?

At the trade deadline we almost traded Smid for Blum straight up. You must be joking!

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#19 Team Couturier
May 26 2011, 07:50PM
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I think you have to draft the Nuge or Couturier, and then work those phones like mad dangling Gags or Hemmer for a legit defensive prospect. If you trade Hemmer AND Gags for Bogosian, not bad I say. Then you have a legit top line center (Nuge), a legit top line winger (Hall), and a legit first pairing defenseman (Bogo) at the prospect level. Bodes well for the future, doesnt it? Makes us comparable to Stanley Cup champs from years previous in about 4 years.

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#20 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 08:04PM
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Team Couturier wrote:

I think you have to draft the Nuge or Couturier, and then work those phones like mad dangling Gags or Hemmer for a legit defensive prospect. If you trade Hemmer AND Gags for Bogosian, not bad I say. Then you have a legit top line center (Nuge), a legit top line winger (Hall), and a legit first pairing defenseman (Bogo) at the prospect level. Bodes well for the future, doesnt it? Makes us comparable to Stanley Cup champs from years previous in about 4 years.

I understand that it would be wise to try and fill some holes using players from positions that have more depth but Gagner in his first 4 years in the NHL has more points then each of the Sedin's in their first 4 years in the NHL and Kesler too. It could be argued that Gags also played with less quality linemates then those 3 did in their first 4 years as well.

This Season Gags was well on his way to a career year before getting injured and also did that centering 2 rookies for a large portion of the year as well(MP & LO).

Gagner will probably be a Career 2nd line center but he will be a good one & it is much too early to give up on Gags and I think we could pry Bogo with just Hemmer and say a 2nd round pick but I really don't see this trade happening anymore as the Thrashers are on their way into our division(in 1 or 2 years) and I don't see ether team trading these types of players within their division.

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#21 Oilers4ever
May 26 2011, 08:22PM
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ItsTheBGB wrote:

lolwut?

At the trade deadline we almost traded Smid for Blum straight up. You must be joking!

Yeah... sorry Hemsky and Gagner for Blum would be overpayment big time... Blum ain't that good.. sorry.. maybe Hemsky and Gagner for Suter and a 3rd round pick.... or better yet those two for Weber....

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#22 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 10:29PM
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DSF wrote:

Not sure where you're getting that info but Behind the Net has Gagner at 2.81/60 last season (second among Oiler forwards.)

But Kyle Wellwood, in his 4th NHL season, played 2.91/60.(5th among Canuck forwards)

Almost identical, which was my point.

No, Your point said:

Wellwood was not being fed the primo icetime and PP minutes that Gagner has.

You seem to be kind of full of it. Anything to make your posts seem more accurate I guess LOL.

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#23 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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#24 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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#25 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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#26 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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#27 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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#28 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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#29 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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#30 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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#31 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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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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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#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 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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#44 K
May 26 2011, 05:01PM
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Offer sheet yandle. Sign Bieksa. Trade for bogisian

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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 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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#50 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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