February 19 2012 10:07AM
Since arriving in the NHL, Theo Peckham has given the Oilers some "crust." Steve Tambellini's off-season added more (Eager, Hordichuk, Sutton) and as the trade deadline approaches Teddy Peckman may be on the outside looking in.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun has maintained for some time now that Wreckum is on the trade block, and Jonathan Willis has also addressed the situation. Peckham offers size, toughness and a mean streak, all of which are highly valued in the NHL. He also comes with the usual chaos you can expect from a young defender with under 200 NHL games on his resume (he's at 148).
Peckham has been out of action recently, but Jason Gregor told us the other day the big man is ready to go and we should see him soon. I'm usually the guy who wants to trade defensemen who struggle without the puck, but the lesson of Ladislav Smid is fresh in my mind and sometimes it takes these young men extra time to learn the position.
I have a feeling the Oilers are happy with the crust suppled by Ladislav Smid and Andy Sutton on the blueline. The club is also very likely (this is my strong belief) to add a big minutes defenseman at the deadline or over the summer. He might be a puck mover or a Jason Smith-type, but said player would impact even strength minutes and play a prominent role on at least one of the special teams disciplines.
All of which makes Peckham expendable. Colten Teubert is on the horizon and Alex Plante may still have a career if he can cut down on the number of times he's being used for target practice.
The depth chart for next season looks like this:
- Ryan Whitney
- Tom Gilbert
- Ladsilav Smid
- Jeff Petry (RFA but an emerging talent)
- Andy Sutton
- Corey Potter
- Theo Peckham (RFA)
In order for the Oilers to add that big minutes defender I've suggested, something has to give. The obvious candidate would appear to be Peckham. His skillset is covered on the roster, he has enough NHL experience to have value across the league and is young enough to be projected into the future.
I have no idea about what might be coming back, but he would appear to be both reasonable playoff insurance and a guy another NHL team would consider more than adequate in the 5-7 rotation along the blue.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This Oiler team is miles from being a dynasty, but making the right call on men like Theo Peckham is vital. Trading him now looks like a distant bell, an impossible task. Garrioch's article tells us he is in play, suggesting at least one NHL team is interested. The Andy Sutton signing may have signaled Peckham's exit.