Godspeed

Lowetide
January 06 2012 02:42PM

One of the true joys of living in Alberta is that glorious blue sky. Anyone who has spent a week on the coast during rainy season knows what a lack of sunshine can do to the soul. This week, blue skies across Alberta meant something special for Edmonton Oilers: defensive help is on the way, and blue, blue skies are on the horizon.

The Edmonton Oilers have drafted some of the truly phenomenal offensive players in the game's history. However, they've wasted a lot of draft picks on defensemen who never developed. Between Kevin Lowe (1979) and Oscar Klefbom (2011), Edmonton hasn't devoted a lot of picks to first round defensemen:

BARRY FRASER ERA

  • 1979 Kevin Lowe (1254 NHL games)
  • 1980 Paul Coffey (1409 NHL games)
  • 1982 Jim Playfair (21 NHL games)
  • 1983: Jeff Beukeboom (804 NHL games)
  • 1984: Selmar Odelein (18 NHL games)
  • 1988: Francois Leroux (249 NHL games)
  • 1989: Jason Soules (DNP in NHL)
  • 1993: Nick Stadjuhar (2 NHL games)
  • 1996: Mathieu Descoteaux (5 NHL games)

KEVIN PRENDERGAST ERA

  • 2007: Alex Plante (10 NHL games)

STU MACGREGOR ERA

  • 2011: Oscar Klefbom 

Incredible, isn't it? The Oilers have used fewer than a dozen first round selections in their entire history on defensemen. Their success rate early was splendid, Lowe and Coffey with Beukeboom is just a really nice cluster. And you can't get upset at some of the failures, because kids like Odelein were injured and lost along the way. It's a tough damn position to play with everything in place, and some of these guys had severe injuries over the years.

Alex Plante's story has yet to be written, and the Klefbom just started dropping around New Year's.

WHAT'S THE TIMELINE FOR THE BLUELINE?

It depends on the player. Lowe looked like a veteran as a rookie, Coffey drove Slats around the bend and back again. You kind of knew footspeed would be an issue for Francois Leroux but I'm not going to pick on him because he's played 249 NHL games than me.

A good rule of thumb is at least two year's after draft day for defensemen to make their first NHL appearance, and then another one to three (entry level deal) in order to prove they're worth keeping on the everyday roster. College kids trigger later because NHL teams often bring them out only when ready (some college players sign at 22 or later).

There is so much luck--good and bad--involved. Injuries, opportunity, events like this WJ championship that no doubt lend themselves to gaining experience. They all contribute.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

We have ways to measure these kids (boxcars) but the advanced stats aren't really available. We don't have time on ice, and in many cases the coach doesn't say much about specific players in the media we read thousands of miles away. There are things we can track, I call them "arrows" both good and bad. Oscar Klefbom had some injury issues early in the season, that's a down arrow. He was named to the WJ All-Star team today. That's a good arrow.

Godspeed, Oscar Klefbom.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 Quicksilver ballet
January 06 2012, 02:45PM
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My genius is like lightning.....one brilliant flash, and it's gone.

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#2 D
January 06 2012, 02:55PM
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LT,

In your opinion, do the Oilers have to do anything else with the Forward position(s) to compete for Stanley down the road? Or is all that is left is work on the D and in goal?

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#3 Kish
January 06 2012, 03:00PM
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Wait, isn't 11 dfensemen as first round picks in 33 years about the same percentage as defensemen on a roster (8 out of 24 = 33%)? Isn't that about what it should be? I mean, I see your larger point, but the overall that seems about right, no? The other question that I don't know the answer to is how many first round picks they've had in all those years.

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#4 dohfOs
January 06 2012, 03:01PM
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If Fowler was ready last year, Larsson this - I see no reason why Klefbom won't be come autumn 2013, at the latest.

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#5 freeze
January 06 2012, 03:28PM
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Is this Mr. Klefbom's last year in his Swedish deal?

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#6 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 06 2012, 03:48PM
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Good for OK. He looked good in the gold medal game. I saw him jump up in the rush a few times and lord knows we could use a D with a bit of offence down the road.

I wonder if you could do a comparison with other teams... is 11 first round D picks in that amount of time unusually low? 11 in 33 is 33% or 1/3... as a pure guess that doesn't seem out of synch with what I would expect (i'm guessing the majority of the rest of the picks are forwards with the rare G thrown in)

Somewhat off topic...

LT any word on Barker's progress; and is Fedun up and walking yet? how's his progress going.

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#7 RexLibris
January 06 2012, 03:49PM
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It seems to me that bringing Klefbom in next year might be a little too early. I would be inclined to move Peckham at the draft with the intention of replacing him with either Plante or Teubert (it'd be break-even at the very least, if not an improvement) and then re-sign Sutton. Having Klefbom, presumably Marincin, and perhaps also Musil play in OKC for a year would hardly hurt their development.

I would like to see Tambellini pitch the Oilers to Ryan Suter (if he is still available) in the off-season with the following idea that this is a young, upcoming team that needs a player of his abilities. If he is willing to sign a 4 or 5 year contract for, perhaps, 5 million a year then he is welcome to join our Quest for the Cup. If he wants to sign somewhere else for more, fine, but for this team, you have to want to win more than cash in. It might not work, but I don't want us to have a Brian Campbell contract issue when we're looking at RFAs and UFAs in our core.

LT, any thoughts about Murray's open-for-business sign and what they might ask for Fowler?

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#8 MAC962
January 06 2012, 04:02PM
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ELPH - Again, already. I never thought we would make the playoffs this year but, i did think we would be in the running into Feb at least. There is so much work to do yet with our D and in goal, this could turn into another 3 years before we compete for a playoff spot.

I will never abandon my devotion to the Oilers but this is so hard to take. You look at Ottawa, the have the makings of a fine team already. Granted they didnt blow things up. It could be worse, we could be the flames, same story for them, mid to late first round pick Iggy another year older. I expect him gone soon However. I see Washington as the likely destination.

Just chating- frustrated we are done already. Rattle off 6 or 7 in a row boys and make it interesting. Go Oil !!

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#9 misfit
January 06 2012, 04:13PM
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freeze wrote:

Is this Mr. Klefbom's last year in his Swedish deal?

I believe either he or Bob MacKenzie said he only had one year left (the current one) on is deal at the draft.

That only meant that if he didn't make the Oilers, they would've had to return him to the SEL instead of being able to assign him to the AHL. I don't believe they even had him in camp this year. That contract year is up, but I don't think leaving him in Sweden for another year is such a bad idea.

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#10 bazmagoo
January 06 2012, 04:13PM
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If I remember correctly I think that during his draft interview on TSN, Klefbom said he had two years left on his SEL contract. It's quite possible the Oil could see him during prospect camp next season and make a decision on whether or not to bring him to training camp with the idea of offering an entry level contract poten.

Probably depends on whether the player wants to see out his contract and/or whether the Oilers decide to offer him an entry level deal. I'm not certain but I'd be pretty surprised if an entry level NHL contract wasn't more bucks that Klefbom's SEL contract.

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#11 Truth
January 06 2012, 04:17PM
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I could be wrong but I do remember something saying Klefbom had 2 years on his contract in Sweden. Therefore he could not come over until the fall of 2013.

It would be nice if they start playing him a lot more over there, from everything I have read he's well short of playing top pairing minutes.

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#12 Truth
January 06 2012, 04:17PM
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should have refreshed...

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#13 Peacecountry
January 06 2012, 04:18PM
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@bazmagoo

I'm not sure that Linus Omark would agree

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#14 wow
January 06 2012, 04:22PM
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On an unrelated, but equally important note; who is this girl on the side scroll window with the burger in hand? Yes, there is a burger. I had to look hard to find another way to refer to her other then the obvious.

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#15 bazmagoo
January 06 2012, 04:31PM
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"Shortly after being drafted by the Oilers, members of the media had the opportunity to talk to Klefbom about his future development and goals. Klefbom was quick to state that he planned to play the remaining two years of his contact in Sweden, and Oilers’ head scout Stu MacGregor felt that this was a great option for the young defenseman."

http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/patch/comments/klefbom_to_miss_world_juniors_camp/

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#16 Joel S
January 06 2012, 04:32PM
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If Klefbom was in this years draft (2012) where would he rank in the first round?

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#17 bazmagoo
January 06 2012, 04:35PM
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Peacecountry wrote:

I'm not sure that Linus Omark would agree

Fair point - I doubt he would, haha

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#18 jr_christ
January 06 2012, 04:41PM
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DUI charges for Bunz...

perfect media attention for the oilers now... sheesh

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#19 Truth
January 06 2012, 04:51PM
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jr_christ wrote:

DUI charges for Bunz...

perfect media attention for the oilers now... sheesh

The incident apparently occured in May of last year in which he is pleading not-guilty. I don't believe it garners much attention until after trial.

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#20 Rama Lama
January 06 2012, 04:55PM
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I hope that the Oilers develop a real strategy for dealing with defense. We have some prospects that look promising........ all we need is a solid veteran with some milage left and this can be obtained prior to the deadline.......without giving up too much??

Having said that we could make a play for a solid up and coming defenseman such as Doug Hamilton.........this guy is going to be a solid Chris Pronger like defenseman for years to come! If ST had a plan in mind to get this guy.......I would cut him some slack.

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#22 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 06 2012, 05:13PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think Pitlick and Hamilton will/could follow Hartikainen and Lander up the ladder, and there's always a chance someone surprises.

If they end up drafting 5th overall this season, I'd bet big money it's on defense. I asked Jason Gregor the other day, and he said outside the top 3 it would be a Dman. That's probably spot on.

Meaning they'll probably ride with what they have unless Nail falls in their laps.

Carolina has been playing decent and the NYI have games in hand... 28th might be just around the corner.

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#24 RexLibris
January 06 2012, 05:38PM
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@Lowetide

Thanks.

Yeah, I wasn't certain what the cost might be, but I was wondering about Paajarvi for Fowler. Their draft pedigree is very similar (both projected high and fell) and both would fit into the role required by either GM (for Murray a roster-ready player who has a promising future and is very affordable and for us, a D-man who can make a 10ft pass).

I suppose if we were staring at a choice of Reilly or Reinhart when it comes time to draft then perhaps a trade like that might make sense (pick for player +), but I wouldn't so much as breathe on a trade like that without heavy consultation with Stu MacGregor first.

For the record, Boston isn't one of my favourite teams (they were when Sinden ran them because it seemed like he and Sather were the only two sane GMs in the league, trying to keep salaries in check) but with them having now broken the hearts (and backs) of both the Canucks and Flames in under a year, well, it kind of makes me smile a little.

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#25 Harlie
January 06 2012, 05:57PM
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So the moral of the story kids, is that Prendergast sucks.

That is all.

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#26 Ken
January 06 2012, 05:58PM
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Until this world junior I had seen nothing of Klefbom.After what I have seen if they don't get him signed ASAP they are just stupid Eight months younger than Larson and only two months older than Murray he is a gift to the oil. In the games I saw he looked like a man among boys.When he felt he had to takeover he made some great plays,headman passes ,accelerating up the ice with the puck,pinching he did it all. Last year I watched Larson closely as I thought he might be our pick.Klefbom looked like he was just so much better. He is ready to play nowGet him signed

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#27 mackb
January 06 2012, 06:16PM
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Likely not the right spot, but it looks like the NHLPA has rejected the realignment:

http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/sharks-talk/post/NHL-realignment-denied-by-NHLPA?blockID=626406&feedID=5881

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#30 The Real Scuba Steve
January 06 2012, 06:42PM
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Paul Coffey, great memories watching him when played for us.

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#31 D
January 06 2012, 07:12PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think Pitlick and Hamilton will/could follow Hartikainen and Lander up the ladder, and there's always a chance someone surprises.

If they end up drafting 5th overall this season, I'd bet big money it's on defense. I asked Jason Gregor the other day, and he said outside the top 3 it would be a Dman. That's probably spot on.

Meaning they'll probably ride with what they have unless Nail falls in their laps.

That's good to know LT. I am fine with the Oil riding this new forward group. I guess that means we are a D or 2 and a solid goalie away from completing the puzzle. Probably looking around 2015 for a deep run?

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#32 a lg dubl dubl
January 06 2012, 07:43PM
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I still think dealing this yrs 1st as part of a package to get the likes of Suter or Fowler would help this "rebuild" alot more than drafting a dman and waiting for him to develop. Imo the Oilers need to push this rebuild to the next level, even if they lose in the 1st or 2nd round for a yr or 2 at least the players(Hall,Eberle,RNH) will understand what it takes to win in the playoffs.

Bottom line, what looks like 3 yrs straight of drafting in the top 5 is getting really frustrating to watch as a fan. ST needs to take this thing to the next level or get the @$%# out of the kitchen.

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#33 I tried it at home
January 06 2012, 08:47PM
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wow wrote:

On an unrelated, but equally important note; who is this girl on the side scroll window with the burger in hand? Yes, there is a burger. I had to look hard to find another way to refer to her other then the obvious.

If you can look away from her burgers for a moment, you'll see thats an ad for the new breastaurant on Whyte Ave, the Tilted Kilt. I was/am a fan of the Twisted Kilt on the west side, but after trying them both over the holidays, I have to give the edge to the Tilt. Both have great food (IMO)and lovely scenery, but the attitude seems slightly friendlier and less hurried. But, I am willing to be swayed :)

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#34 Walter Sobchak
January 06 2012, 09:02PM
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LT..If the Oilers keep sliding and there's no reason why they wont at this point.

If the Oiler's once again hold last spot, do the Oilers take Nail Yakupov?

I watched Murray closely and he never really stood out. Yakupov however did! The guy can just absolutely fly. I have never been a fan of drafting Russians. I don't know why, maybe just a bad stereotype I guess.

I know the Oilers need to draft a Murray, but I know Gregor has often said that a top 4 defense man can be picked up by trade or UFA.

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#35 Walter Sobchak
January 06 2012, 09:14PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I still think dealing this yrs 1st as part of a package to get the likes of Suter or Fowler would help this "rebuild" alot more than drafting a dman and waiting for him to develop. Imo the Oilers need to push this rebuild to the next level, even if they lose in the 1st or 2nd round for a yr or 2 at least the players(Hall,Eberle,RNH) will understand what it takes to win in the playoffs.

Bottom line, what looks like 3 yrs straight of drafting in the top 5 is getting really frustrating to watch as a fan. ST needs to take this thing to the next level or get the @$%# out of the kitchen.

Suter's a UFA at the end of the season if I'm not mistaken, so giving up a 1st for him might not be in the best interest of the Oilers. I do agree the Oilers need to become aggressive in getting quality players. especially defense.

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#36 a lg dubl dubl
January 06 2012, 09:14PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

LT..If the Oilers keep sliding and there's no reason why they wont at this point.

If the Oiler's once again hold last spot, do the Oilers take Nail Yakupov?

I watched Murray closely and he never really stood out. Yakupov however did! The guy can just absolutely fly. I have never been a fan of drafting Russians. I don't know why, maybe just a bad stereotype I guess.

I know the Oilers need to draft a Murray, but I know Gregor has often said that a top 4 defense man can be picked up by trade or UFA.

The only way the Oilers get a top 4 dman via trade or FA is they need a new gm that will actually do that, ST just knows how to walk up to the mic on draft day.

Edit: I didn't realize Suter was a FA this summer, u are right giving up a 1st for him right now would b Tom foolery

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#37 FastOil
January 06 2012, 09:19PM
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The Oilers only problem with D is that they didn't develop them in the lower leagues well or draft the right type player previously.

There are very few D in a generation that live only on offense for long, and very few that are small and can be dominant. For me, that is why you see so many elite D from the second round. Big guys that aren't obviously offensive, or smaller guys that are and can defend as well.

Speed and mobility is the underlying factor usually.

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#38 Walter Sobchak
January 06 2012, 09:19PM
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@a lg dubl dubl

I'm with you on ST. He's got to make a move.

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#39 Speeds
January 06 2012, 10:30PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

LT..If the Oilers keep sliding and there's no reason why they wont at this point.

If the Oiler's once again hold last spot, do the Oilers take Nail Yakupov?

I watched Murray closely and he never really stood out. Yakupov however did! The guy can just absolutely fly. I have never been a fan of drafting Russians. I don't know why, maybe just a bad stereotype I guess.

I know the Oilers need to draft a Murray, but I know Gregor has often said that a top 4 defense man can be picked up by trade or UFA.

I think the oilers could easily tell themselves that rw yakupov replaces rw hemsky, and move hemsky at the deadline. Granted, they won't know where they're picking at the deadline, but be wondering aloud to themselves.

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#40 Walter Sobchak
January 06 2012, 11:40PM
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@Speeds

I think by the deadline the Oilers will know exactly were they will be picking. Trading Hemsky for what I will guess is going to be a pick, will also hurt/help the team for the rest of the year. I still say the Oilers end up picking 3rd, unless they win/lose the lottery.

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#41 PaperDesigner
January 07 2012, 01:21AM
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I think the frustrating thing is that defencemen take longer than forwards, and if you look at the forward core they've assembled through the draft... the help coming there is a little older than the help at D. Paajarvi, Eberle and Gagner all have at least a fair amount pro experience under their belt, and Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, fall under the Most Talented Draft Eligible Player Of Their Year And Thus Become Productive FAST clause. In short, they have a cluster that is arriving very quickly.

On the other hand, the Oilers have Musil, Klefbom, Marincin and Gernat. They're all tracking well. There's probably a minute-munching defender in there, who can play first or second pairing. Maybe a quality specialist that can be a 4, 5 or 6 guy.

But how long is it going to take for them to emerge?

Smid took seven years to go from having been drafted, very high mind you, to establishing himself as a high quality, consistent defenceman. SEVEN YEARS!

You know when they drafted Marincin, Gernat, Musil, and Klefbom? Marincin in 2010, and the rest in 2011.

If they're on the Ladislav Smid development path, then we could be waiting until the 2018-2019 for the kids to emerge. And if the Oilers are going to "grow organically" as Stauffer keeps suggesting, then we might be looking at 2019 as the first legitimate chance they have at a Stanley Cup.

But what about Petry? Remember when you were talking about the three college kids, and expecting one of them to turn out? Well, I think it's safe to say the one that turned out was Petry. He has... been tracking well since they drafted him, minus one poor year. And yet, here we are, FIVE YEARS after he was drafted, still waiting for him to establish himself as an everyday, reliable NHL defenceman. Still waiting for him to be as good as you see he is capable of being.

I think the only hope is that Petry emerges as a top-pairing defenceman, Whitney regains his health, they have the foresight to keep both Gilbert and Smid, and one of the kids is ready to play at least some role on the team in a couple years, and they sign a couple of veteran defencemen to play for them

Okay, so not every defenceman takes seven years to turn into the player they become. And perhaps you could argue that Petry took the long way to the NHL, and that Smid was rushed. But the point is this; it is not uncommon for an NHL defenceman to take seven years to develop fully. And as for highly touted defencemen, guys who could perhaps become all situations defencemen, they only have one that hasn't been drafted in the past two years.

Meanwhile, they have Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Omark, Paajarvi, Hall and Gagner, all as NHL quality players right now.

So... yeah. I just don't see how the time-line works out.

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#42 speeds
January 07 2012, 01:41AM
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PaperDesigner wrote:

I think the frustrating thing is that defencemen take longer than forwards, and if you look at the forward core they've assembled through the draft... the help coming there is a little older than the help at D. Paajarvi, Eberle and Gagner all have at least a fair amount pro experience under their belt, and Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, fall under the Most Talented Draft Eligible Player Of Their Year And Thus Become Productive FAST clause. In short, they have a cluster that is arriving very quickly.

On the other hand, the Oilers have Musil, Klefbom, Marincin and Gernat. They're all tracking well. There's probably a minute-munching defender in there, who can play first or second pairing. Maybe a quality specialist that can be a 4, 5 or 6 guy.

But how long is it going to take for them to emerge?

Smid took seven years to go from having been drafted, very high mind you, to establishing himself as a high quality, consistent defenceman. SEVEN YEARS!

You know when they drafted Marincin, Gernat, Musil, and Klefbom? Marincin in 2010, and the rest in 2011.

If they're on the Ladislav Smid development path, then we could be waiting until the 2018-2019 for the kids to emerge. And if the Oilers are going to "grow organically" as Stauffer keeps suggesting, then we might be looking at 2019 as the first legitimate chance they have at a Stanley Cup.

But what about Petry? Remember when you were talking about the three college kids, and expecting one of them to turn out? Well, I think it's safe to say the one that turned out was Petry. He has... been tracking well since they drafted him, minus one poor year. And yet, here we are, FIVE YEARS after he was drafted, still waiting for him to establish himself as an everyday, reliable NHL defenceman. Still waiting for him to be as good as you see he is capable of being.

I think the only hope is that Petry emerges as a top-pairing defenceman, Whitney regains his health, they have the foresight to keep both Gilbert and Smid, and one of the kids is ready to play at least some role on the team in a couple years, and they sign a couple of veteran defencemen to play for them

Okay, so not every defenceman takes seven years to turn into the player they become. And perhaps you could argue that Petry took the long way to the NHL, and that Smid was rushed. But the point is this; it is not uncommon for an NHL defenceman to take seven years to develop fully. And as for highly touted defencemen, guys who could perhaps become all situations defencemen, they only have one that hasn't been drafted in the past two years.

Meanwhile, they have Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Omark, Paajarvi, Hall and Gagner, all as NHL quality players right now.

So... yeah. I just don't see how the time-line works out.

If the only avenue to acquire D were the draft, sure, the Oilers might have problems. But it's not.

I don't expect the Oilers to be able to land Suter this summer (although I do think they have a better chance than some might think, provided the $$$ is right), but if the Oilers go into next season with a D of:

Whitney Gilbert Smid 4 mil UFA/trade 4 mil UFA/trade/Potter Petry Teubert Potter/Peckham/superior UFA

Is that notably better than what they entered this season with? Starting the season with a 13/8/2 mix?

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#43 Maggie the Monkey
January 07 2012, 01:43AM
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That is a gorgeous photo of Monica Vitti. I mean, I know she's a beautiful woman, but it's also a great shot.

On a side note, LT, if you write anything about Josh Green and do not include a picture of his sister Eva I'll be deeply disappointed. Hell, it might be worth writing something about him just so you have an excuse to show her off.

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#44 rob
January 07 2012, 09:44AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

The only way the Oilers get a top 4 dman via trade or FA is they need a new gm that will actually do that, ST just knows how to walk up to the mic on draft day.

Edit: I didn't realize Suter was a FA this summer, u are right giving up a 1st for him right now would b Tom foolery

I agree,get a g.m. to make a move,we have tons of talant upfront,more on the way up,bunz to help in net with dubnyk,but our defence needs work(sutton,smid,potter and gilbert are the only ones to keep)that gives us a solid 3,4 and 5,6 pairing,resign barker for the 7th spot,trade hemsky with a first round pick of 2012 for someone,and trade ganger with a 2nd round pick of 2012and 2nd of 2013 to bolster our defence and help this team.once hall,eberle,rnh,pajarrvi need new deals,plus hartikkinan,lander and add our defence prospects come up we will not have salary for more superstars(first round picks)we need a solid top 2 defencman and a bigg banger for 3rd or fourth line,and at least let us watch some solid hockey untill the kids get us to the cup

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#45 thebiggestmanintheworld
January 07 2012, 10:51AM
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We are going about this rebuild backwards. Pittsburgh and Chicago started drafting their defenceman first, then their forwards.

I really wonder how the Oil will manage these contracts when they come up. We will either have to trade one of our good forwards for a dman or just keep waiting it out for Marincin, Gernat, Musil, and Klefbom to develop.

Please Hockey Gods, may a new GM guide the Oil towards the promised land......

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#46 Jason Gregor
January 07 2012, 11:00AM
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@misfit

@freeze

Klefbom has another year after his on his deal. He'll be in the WJC again next year, just like Eberle was two years after he was drafted.

No need to rush Klefbom. You will see him at Oiler camp in the fall of 2013.

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#47 Rama Lama
January 07 2012, 11:44AM
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PaperDesigner wrote:

I think the frustrating thing is that defencemen take longer than forwards, and if you look at the forward core they've assembled through the draft... the help coming there is a little older than the help at D. Paajarvi, Eberle and Gagner all have at least a fair amount pro experience under their belt, and Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, fall under the Most Talented Draft Eligible Player Of Their Year And Thus Become Productive FAST clause. In short, they have a cluster that is arriving very quickly.

On the other hand, the Oilers have Musil, Klefbom, Marincin and Gernat. They're all tracking well. There's probably a minute-munching defender in there, who can play first or second pairing. Maybe a quality specialist that can be a 4, 5 or 6 guy.

But how long is it going to take for them to emerge?

Smid took seven years to go from having been drafted, very high mind you, to establishing himself as a high quality, consistent defenceman. SEVEN YEARS!

You know when they drafted Marincin, Gernat, Musil, and Klefbom? Marincin in 2010, and the rest in 2011.

If they're on the Ladislav Smid development path, then we could be waiting until the 2018-2019 for the kids to emerge. And if the Oilers are going to "grow organically" as Stauffer keeps suggesting, then we might be looking at 2019 as the first legitimate chance they have at a Stanley Cup.

But what about Petry? Remember when you were talking about the three college kids, and expecting one of them to turn out? Well, I think it's safe to say the one that turned out was Petry. He has... been tracking well since they drafted him, minus one poor year. And yet, here we are, FIVE YEARS after he was drafted, still waiting for him to establish himself as an everyday, reliable NHL defenceman. Still waiting for him to be as good as you see he is capable of being.

I think the only hope is that Petry emerges as a top-pairing defenceman, Whitney regains his health, they have the foresight to keep both Gilbert and Smid, and one of the kids is ready to play at least some role on the team in a couple years, and they sign a couple of veteran defencemen to play for them

Okay, so not every defenceman takes seven years to turn into the player they become. And perhaps you could argue that Petry took the long way to the NHL, and that Smid was rushed. But the point is this; it is not uncommon for an NHL defenceman to take seven years to develop fully. And as for highly touted defencemen, guys who could perhaps become all situations defencemen, they only have one that hasn't been drafted in the past two years.

Meanwhile, they have Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Omark, Paajarvi, Hall and Gagner, all as NHL quality players right now.

So... yeah. I just don't see how the time-line works out.

It does not take every defenseman 7 years to develop........this is just someone's theory.

If you look at the top draft picks when selecting dmen there are many that play after their draft year. I suspect Doug Hamilton will be playing in the NHL next year......and we will be wishing we drafted him.

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#48 treblecharger
January 07 2012, 03:29PM
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Petry took awhile but he is a solid 3-4 D, esp. in 2 years. Whitney gets rest of season off, gets fixed. Klefbom in 2013. Plante arrows up. Tuebert arrows up. Laddy and Gibby are great this year. Learn from mistakes of Sutton and Barker and add a REAL veteran D man for now.I can live with that lineup for the next 2 years.

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#49 rryan1968
January 08 2012, 08:05AM
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Did you really think we were making the playoffs this year? That would mean a 14 place jump in the standings. We were arguing whether or not Nuge was big enough for the NHL not if an injury was going to wreck his lock on the Calder. Did anyone see Eberle being in the top 10 in scoring. This is for everyone screaming for Tambelini's and/or Reney's blood; What did you expect!? The other teams found out that the Oilers could no longer be taken lightly. I've watched these games during their current woes and I can say, with a few exceptions (often due the leagues retarded schedualing), they've played well. On many nights they have deseved to win. It's a process people, it takes time. In three years when the Oilers are sitting on top of the Western conference with 3 players in the top 10 in scoring remeber the heads you wanted to see roll were the ones that put this team together.

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#50 rryan1968
January 08 2012, 08:08AM
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Over Nuge?

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