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 a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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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#51 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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#52 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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#53 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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#54 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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#55 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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#56 Chris.
May 26 2011, 05:56PM
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@Bucknuck

~Is Yashin still available?~

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#57 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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#58 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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#59 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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#60 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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#61 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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#62 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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#63 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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#64 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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#65 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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#66 OilFan
May 26 2011, 07:10PM
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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?

Thank you.

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#67 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 07:30PM
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@Brad

I think it would be more telling to compare Gilberts hit totals to those of other Dmen on the Oilers. Like those of my fav Oiler Theo Peckham. Actually Theo's hit totals would make any other Oilers hit totals look bad.

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#68 sizedoesmatter
May 26 2011, 07:30PM
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What a glass half empty story

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#69 DSF
May 26 2011, 07:38PM
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ItsTheBGB wrote:

lolwut?

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

Really?

Wonder why that didn't happen?

Phone lines were down or Lowe thinks Smid is going to be a first pairing defenseman?

I guess the latter is more likely to be true.

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#70 Oilcruzer
May 26 2011, 07:59PM
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Defense lives or dies with team defensive play, puck control, and goaltending.

If you have the best D talent in the league... And If you don't work together, And if you give up bad goals,

Your six elite D are basically useless to you.

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#71 CanaDave
May 26 2011, 08:02PM
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I don't know why any veteran NHL player period would want to sign with the Oilers after seeing how they treated Souray. I don't think that Souray handled his business very well, but Tambo responding how he did still strikes me as a purely egotistical move on his part.

I still think that Tambo would actually gain respect around the league and in his own locker room by saying publicly that Souray is invited and welcomed to training camp to try and earn a roster spot, and if in the eyes of the coaches he's one of the top 6 defencemen in camp, he'll be on the opening day roster. Buying him out proves nothing to me except for that Tambo is unable to get over himself and slights towards him personally and that he's willing to let the organization suffer for the sake of his own grudge.

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#72 DSF
May 26 2011, 08:26PM
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Metal&Oil wrote:

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.

Phhhttt.

Blum scored 3 goals and 8 points in only 23 games (.35PPG) and was +8 as a 21 year old.

Smid scored 0 goals and 10 points (.12PPG) and was -10 as a 25 year old.

Smid has played in the NHL for 5 seasons and has 4 career goals. Blum has played in the NHL for 23 GAMES and has 3 career goals.

One of these is not like the other.

Getting anything for Smid would make Boston's return on Kessel look like Steven Rice.

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#73 DSF
May 26 2011, 08:29PM
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Oilers4ever wrote:

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....

Hahaha...

An injury prone player on an expiring contract and Sam Wellwood for one of the top ten defensemen in the league.

Yeah, that should work. :)

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#74 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 08:42PM
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@DSF

I didn't say they would have similar numbers. Smid will never be a points guy. His job is to stop the other teams players from posting points. He is getting there, albeit at a very slow pace.

I thsink Smid and Blum will have similar careers in term of their value to their respective teams(maybe a slight edge goes to Blum right now but we have not seen enough of him in the NHL to know for sure). Dont forget that Blum was playing for a much better team with a much better goalie. If Smid was playing on the Preds he would have a +/- that would compare with that of Blum's, probably better with his experience factored in

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#75 Rem
May 26 2011, 08:51PM
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UFA Flames Anton Babchuk: just wait: still young: Age: 27 Height: 6-5 Weight: 212lbs NHL Seasons: 4 Good shot/35 pts w/11 goals +14

This would rank 1 on the oil last year. Flames won't be able to sign him, no cap room, hes played in alta, offer a longer term deal 4 year 7 - 9 million. he may turn into a great 3/4 d-man at a good price. And best yet he is off the radar right now.

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#76 DSF
May 26 2011, 08:57PM
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Metal&Oil wrote:

I didn't say they would have similar numbers. Smid will never be a points guy. His job is to stop the other teams players from posting points. He is getting there, albeit at a very slow pace.

I thsink Smid and Blum will have similar careers in term of their value to their respective teams(maybe a slight edge goes to Blum right now but we have not seen enough of him in the NHL to know for sure). Dont forget that Blum was playing for a much better team with a much better goalie. If Smid was playing on the Preds he would have a +/- that would compare with that of Blum's, probably better with his experience factored in

No he's not.

Saying Smid would be a better player if he was a member of the Preds is just goofy.

He couldn't make the team.

Weber-Suter Blum-Klein Franson-O'Brien.

Sorry, no room at the inn.

Ryan Ellis (11th overall pick is next up)

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#77 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 09:00PM
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DSF wrote:

No he's not.

Saying Smid would be a better player if he was a member of the Preds is just goofy.

He couldn't make the team.

Weber-Suter Blum-Klein Franson-O'Brien.

Sorry, no room at the inn.

Ryan Ellis (11th overall pick is next up)

I can see how intelligent you are based on how you reply to others opinions. Feel free to disagree with me all you what but Phhhttt and just goofy are not proper responses.

Phhhttt, not worth my time

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#78 NamelessNed
May 26 2011, 09:05PM
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easy fix, cogs for weber, hemsky for stamkos, horcoff for iginla, smid for chara, joey moss for magic beans, magic beans for a stanley cup...

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#79 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 09:06PM
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DSF wrote:

Hahaha...

An injury prone player on an expiring contract and Sam Wellwood for one of the top ten defensemen in the league.

Yeah, that should work. :)

I do think it's cute that you constantly refer to Gagner to Wellwood.

Just an FYI though, Gagner has the same career points at 21 as Wellwood has at 28.

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#80 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 09:07PM
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Brad wrote:

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.

And if we had Seabrook and Kieth or Webber and Sutter instead of Vandemeer and Foster they would make the playoffs.

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#81 BlacqueJacque
May 26 2011, 09:10PM
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This is going to sound snarky but is meant as constructive criticism:

You stated the obvious.

That's it. You have to add a punchline of some kind to the article - a new look at things, a look at future options, a detailed look at how the Oilers might have gone differently in the past, etc.

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#82 DSF
May 26 2011, 09:18PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I do think it's cute that you constantly refer to Gagner to Wellwood.

Just an FYI though, Gagner has the same career points at 21 as Wellwood has at 28.

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.

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#83 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 09:21PM
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@Toro

Yeah. That seems a lil far fetched to put it mildly. If we could pull of a trade like that then anything is possible. Souray and Horcoff for Stamkos anyone?

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#84 Dutchscooter
May 26 2011, 09:29PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

Defense lives or dies with team defensive play, puck control, and goaltending.

If you have the best D talent in the league... And If you don't work together, And if you give up bad goals,

Your six elite D are basically useless to you.

See Flyers, Philadelphia this year. Without Pronger, they were nothing.

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#85 Team Hall
May 26 2011, 09:39PM
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@ Rem,

Nice idea buddy, I like it. Stealing Babchuk from the Flameballs would be sweet. Not only would he be the best defenseman we've had since Whitney, we would pay them back for that whole Glencross saga.

Good idea bud. Those are the kind of guys we should target, the off the radar types that we can overpay a little to get them here. Would help a tonne.

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#86 misfit
May 26 2011, 09:51PM
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If this team had even two or three decent vetran forwards capable of playing responsible two-way hockey, I don't think the defense would look so bad.'

Though I do think we could use one more top 4 defenseman (right or left, it doesn't matter).

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#87 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 09:53PM
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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.

Ya I'm pretty sure.

I could be wrong but as far as I know 173 = 173

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#88 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 09:58PM
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Woodguy wrote:

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.

His teammates probably had better scoring chances with Gibert on the ice because they were scared to death of having the puck enter the defensive zone and pressed harder in the offensive zone. Kinda kidding :)

I do rag on Gilbert a lot for his deficiencies but I do respect the good aspects of his game, including his shot blocking. It is something that he gets very little credit for.

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#89 rem
May 26 2011, 10:17PM
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Team Hall wrote:

@ Rem,

Nice idea buddy, I like it. Stealing Babchuk from the Flameballs would be sweet. Not only would he be the best defenseman we've had since Whitney, we would pay them back for that whole Glencross saga.

Good idea bud. Those are the kind of guys we should target, the off the radar types that we can overpay a little to get them here. Would help a tonne.

Thanks man, appreciate the feedback, I agree, glencross payback plus, lets consider if Babchuk @ 6.5 212, and only 27 he has some serious upside still

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#90 Archaeologuy
May 26 2011, 10:20PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

OB1 bringing the Heat!!

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#91 DSF
May 26 2011, 10:25PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

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?

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.

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#92 Chris.
May 26 2011, 10:27PM
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@Toro

Oh I get it. Tallon wouldn't do a deal like that as a pure hockey deal... It would be insane. I'm suggesting that maybe Gudbransen could be had in some sort of deal that involved swapping picks so that the Panther's marketing department could get to work selling hope based on a first overall selection (much like we've seen in Oil country).

The first overall selection has a TONNE of prestige...and an American market (or the owner) may not understand/care that there isn't as very clear cut first overall selection. And Tallon is, after all, the same GM who forgot to qualify his RFA's right after crippling his club with ill advised contracts to Hossa, Campbell, and Huet (around which the team was marketed). The fact that Tallon's procurement department handed him enough great prospects after 10 years of sucking to win a single cup doesn't mean he's above making a mistake.

(Gudbransen's contract issue also has me somewhat intrigued)

Would you do the 1st and the 19th for Gudbransen and the 3rd with a toss in like Chorney? It might be worth a call.

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#93 Chris.
May 26 2011, 10:50PM
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Metal&Oil wrote:

Yeah. That seems a lil far fetched to put it mildly. If we could pull of a trade like that then anything is possible. Souray and Horcoff for Stamkos anyone?

Far fetched? It depends on what value you place on dropping down two spots at the very top of the draft. Would you trade Hall for Gudbransen straight up? Hell no! Last year there was a big value gap between the player picked first, and the player picked third.

Make no mistake, there is a value gap this year also... And most GM's would rather come away from the draft with one franchise player than two solid roster guys. If Stu doesn't see much of a value gap this year, but for some reason the Panther scouts do... Perhaps Tambellini can extract a big overpayment for backing down to 3rd. It would kind of suck, though, if Stu blew the call and RNH turned into the next Hockey Jesus.

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#94 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 10:57PM
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Chris. wrote:

Far fetched? It depends on what value you place on dropping down two spots at the very top of the draft. Would you trade Hall for Gudbransen straight up? Hell no! Last year there was a big value gap between the player picked first, and the player picked third.

Make no mistake, there is a value gap this year also... And most GM's would rather come away from the draft with one franchise player than two solid roster guys. If Stu doesn't see much of a value gap this year, but for some reason the Panther scouts do... Perhaps Tambellini can extract a big overpayment for backing down to 3rd. It would kind of suck, though, if Stu blew the call and RNH turned into the next Hockey Jesus.

Ok. I guess it makes a lil more sense when you explain it like that. Good respone!!!

I will say this though. If you put Gubransen in this years draft class I think he would stand a fairly good chance of going 1st overall, maybe 2nd. The only or one of the reasons Gubs did not make the panthers this season is because they did not want to waste a year of his ELC and pay him all that money in a year where the Panthers did not have a very good chance of contending for a playoff spot.

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

Are you being intentionally obtuse?

I got my numbers from NHL.com because we were talking about PP minutes not points/60.

You claimed that Gagner was getting feed "PP minutes" and Wellwood wasn't, yet as it turns out Wellwood was getting more (far more in some years) PP minutes.

Seems clear that a guy that wants to project himself as the unbiased hockey observer hasn't done his homework.

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#96 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 11:07PM
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Chris. wrote:

Far fetched? It depends on what value you place on dropping down two spots at the very top of the draft. Would you trade Hall for Gudbransen straight up? Hell no! Last year there was a big value gap between the player picked first, and the player picked third.

Make no mistake, there is a value gap this year also... And most GM's would rather come away from the draft with one franchise player than two solid roster guys. If Stu doesn't see much of a value gap this year, but for some reason the Panther scouts do... Perhaps Tambellini can extract a big overpayment for backing down to 3rd. It would kind of suck, though, if Stu blew the call and RNH turned into the next Hockey Jesus.

FWIW Gregor was quite insistant that we couldn't even get a 2nd rounder to drop from 1 to 3/4/5 range.

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#97 Chris.
May 26 2011, 11:10PM
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Metal&Oil wrote:

Ok. I guess it makes a lil more sense when you explain it like that. Good respone!!!

I will say this though. If you put Gubransen in this years draft class I think he would stand a fairly good chance of going 1st overall, maybe 2nd. The only or one of the reasons Gubs did not make the panthers this season is because they did not want to waste a year of his ELC and pay him all that money in a year where the Panthers did not have a very good chance of contending for a playoff spot.

I guess I'm not as high on Gudbranson as you are. (I figured he was a bit of a reach at 3rd overall)

He's a great talent, but I doubt he'll put up big offensive numbers and he's already had some pretty big injury concerns missing large chunks of both his last two seasons.

Oilers could sure use him though.

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#98 Chris.
May 26 2011, 11:15PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

FWIW Gregor was quite insistant that we couldn't even get a 2nd rounder to drop from 1 to 3/4/5 range.

Then you pick first.

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#99 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 11:17PM
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Chris. wrote:

Then you pick first.

Ya for sure (though I think Gregor was out to lunch on that one)

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#100 Metal&Oil
May 26 2011, 11:22PM
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Chris. wrote:

I guess I'm not as high on Gudbranson as you are. (I figured he was a bit of a reach at 3rd overall)

He's a great talent, but I doubt he'll put up big offensive numbers and he's already had some pretty big injury concerns missing large chunks of both his last two seasons.

Oilers could sure use him though.

Yeah I might be overvaluing him a bit and I was unaware that he got another big injury this year. My point was that last years draft class was much stronger then this years draft class is thought to be.

I just think that there are a lot more unknowns about the players in this years crop then there were in last years. This is a part of the reason I would take Larrson.

Larrson has been playing against men for years now and has size on him. That's 2 less unkowns. Another reason and something that is really opinionated on my part is that I think Larrson's attributes would be more suited for the smaller ice surface. He stated he preferred the smaller ice at the WJHC's and I think he would bring his game to a new level in the NA format. I would actually rather have him then Gubranson.

I know that I am repeating myself now but I really believe this.

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