Report: Edmonton Oilers interested in defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson

Jonathan Willis
June 25 2012 01:30PM

It’s been clear for a few weeks now that the Chicago Blackhawks were interested in moving some of their higher-salaried depth defenseman to other teams. On Sunday, a report out of Chicago suggested that the Edmonton Oilers were investigating the possibility of making a pitch for Niklas Hjalmarsson.

From Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson continues to be in play, and the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers are said to be among the teams doing their homework on him… [General manager Stan] Bowman said the Hawks aren’t looking for anything specific on the trade market. But adding size, a proven center and defensive depth are needs.

Hjalmarsson was a top-four defenseman with the Blackhawks for much of the season, but saw himself moved largely to the third-pairing down the stretch and in the playoffs. A pair of concussions late in the season cost him 13 games and reduced his role when he was healthy, with the duo of Johnny Oduya and Nick Leddy moving above him on the depth chart. Last month, the Blackhawks inked Oduya – who they picked up at the trade deadline – to a three-year contract extension.

Hjalmarsson was one of the entry-level contracts on Chicago’s team when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. With the Blackhawks struggling to keep pieces from that team long-term, the San Jose Sharks inked the defender to an offer-sheet, a four-year contract worth $14 million. Chicago matched, hoping that the young Hjalmarsson (who had just turned 23) would continue to improve.

Instead, Hjalmarsson has stayed at more or less the same level. He’s a competent defensive defenseman with negligible offensive impact who gets regular work at even-strength and on the power play. He adds size (6’3”, 207lbs) but is more of a positional defender than a crash-and-bang style player – though he’s certainly willing to step up and make the big hit when the opportunity arises. He’s also a high-end shot-blocker. Thanks to the presence of Duncan Keith in Chicago, Hjalmarsson has never been leaned on to be the team’s primary shut-down defender, though he’s done a pretty good job against secondary threats.

Hjalmarsson is a legitimate top-four defenseman and would undoubtedly aid the Oilers’ defense corps. He doesn’t seem an ideal fit, however – he’s very much in the same role as Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz, and like those two he has primarily played on the left side over the course of his NHL career.

One possibility is that the Oilers really believe they are in the running for Justin Schultz. The young defenseman plays an offensive game and is a right-handed shot; conceivably the Oilers could have three pairings with a defensive option (Smid, Schultz, Hjalmarsson) and three pairings with an offensive option (Petry, Whitney, Schultz). That still leaves them with four left-shooting defensemen, but Whitney paired with Schultz down the stretch and they presumably could make it work. In this hypothetical scenario, there would only be room for one or possibly two of Andy Sutton, Corey Potter and Theo Peckham on the NHL roster.

On the other hand, the possibility simply exists that this is nothing more than the Oilers doing due diligence on an available defenseman with top-four ability. Nothing in Jahns’ report suggests that a deal is imminent or even probable.

This week by Jonathan Willis

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Haywood Jablome
June 25 2012, 01:33PM
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I won't be shaking my FIST at management if they grab a proven Dman.

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#2 vetinari
June 25 2012, 01:44PM
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To me, Hjalmarsson would be an upgrade over Peckham, Potter or Sutton on the backend. And in any event, he would be great insurance for when the injury bug inevitably strikes our defensive corps (such as when Smid gets hit by an asteroid or Schultz gets sideswiped by a zamboni driven by Jay Feaster or Taylor Hall uses his face to carve open a defenceman's leg in the pre-game warm up).

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#3 Jason
June 25 2012, 01:48PM
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LOVED your suggestion of Tobias Enstrom a few weeks ago. Not sure if he's available, but he'd probably be my #1 guy.

Still, Niklas Hjalmarsson is capable, affordable, and not a bad option. I actually like the idea of him better than I do Keith Yandle (who played soft minutes, and was only fourth among Coyotes defensemen in ice time during the playoffs... huge red flags for a big ticket player).

Other guys I'd inquire about if I were the Oilers: Nikita Nikitin (Columbus), Fedor Tyutin (Columbus), and free agents Michael Rozsival, and Bryan Allen. And of course, Justin Schultz.

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#4 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 25 2012, 01:48PM
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Hjalmarsson for a 2nd and a 3rd, get it done.

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#5 Jason
June 25 2012, 01:49PM
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I really did love the pairing of Smid/Petry last year, so I'd have no problem with them replicating that with Hjalmarsson/Schultz and Whitney/Schultz. Could provide some stability and depth.

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#6 A-Mc
June 25 2012, 01:51PM
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The only thing i worry about, is that the Oilers might need to trade something of value on the Offensive end, in order to insert a less-than-ideal body on the defensive end.

If you're going to make a sacrifice by trading say.. Sam Gagner .. for a guy like Hjalmarsson, he better fit well into the plan.

If 3.5M were to come Edmonton's way from Chicago, and Chicago needed atleast a 2.5M insert back, The only thing i can think of that would make sense is like Ryan Jones + Peckham for Hjalmarsson.

Ideally i would rather the Oilers pickup 1 decent defender with out trading anyone for him, and hope that Fedun can make his way into the line up this year as well. Oiler Defensive prospects are fairly deep right now, so i dont know that I'd be moving a solid 3rd line RW line jonesy for anything D related at this point in time

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#7 Jason
June 25 2012, 01:55PM
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I still don't know why the Oilers re-signed Corey Potter and Andy Sutton. Both are pressbox guys, and may very well push Theo Peckham out of the organization.

At least Peckham is young and has room for growth. Sutton only has a couple years of pro hockey left, isn't much of an improvement IMO, and while Corey Potter likely can be sent to Oklahoma, he's on a one-way deal that seems highly unnecessary at this point. Didn't like the deals at the time, and don't like them now.

Oh well... no where to go but forward.

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#8 Lexi
June 25 2012, 01:57PM
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If Chicago thinks it needs cap space for Suter, why don't we swing for the fences with Seabrook? Gagner and PRV plus whatever draft picks are needed. Then sign Kyle Weldwood, unless somehow we can get Bolland in the trade as well.

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#10 Dog Train
June 25 2012, 02:02PM
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I like Hjalmarsson. If we add him and a right handed shooter with an offensive tilt on the backend, then I would be pretty happy about our off-season as far as the blue is concerned. He seems like he would come cheaper than some comparable free agents out there and might not cost us as many assets as other trade options might. This is the kind of relatively young, yet already broken in dman that I would like to see the Oilers acquire. The question is what goes the other way? Is Magnus Paajarvi enough on his own? They might have some interest in Gagner but if we move him then we just created a hole at second line centre. Nice to hear that we are at least exploring our options.

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#12 will
June 25 2012, 02:05PM
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I predict management has seen a health improvement in Whitney, and hopes he returns to form as our top end puck mover. I would also wonder if the rumors are true and Shultz is headed here. That means one more defensive defenseman to round it out. I think this makes our D one where there's no top end stud dman, but solid depth throughout. Each pairing wouldn't necessarily be better than the other. Whitney, Hjalmarsson / Shultz, Shultz / Petry, Smid / Peckham, Sutton on 7. I don't mind this at all. A little light on the physical defenders (though Peckham and Sutton can always lay huge hits). But it's just kind of a good mix of passers and shut down guys.

I truly think our biggest hole on 'defense' is Habby. A 1A 1B goal tending situation with anyone that has an average save percentage over .914 wold immediately improve this team.

I still don't think we make the playoffs this year, but we now have a really solid core to build around, and plug holes here and there, maybe we get good development from a few players, or we pick up some size for the very few spots we have open. I wonder if Paajarvi learns to play with his size, or if Lander becomes the solid two way guy he looks like he could be?

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#13 misfit
June 25 2012, 02:09PM
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Hjalmarsson became a lot less effective when Campbell left. Or rather, he didn't have a smooth skating offensive defenseman making him look good.

Hjalmarsson would make a lot more sense for the Oilers to aquire had they not made the Gilbert/Schultz swap at the deadline, but as of now I wouldn't bring him in unless he came really cheap. Especially considering he comes with a $3.5M cap hit. If Smid/Schultz are our 1 and 2 LDs, that's a lot of coin for a 3rd pairing guy.

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#14 A-Mc
June 25 2012, 02:11PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don't think Chicago needs any money back, really.

Are you saying the return has to be a high value Entry Level type guy? and/or a high draft pick?

ie: Oilers 1st rounder next year for Hjalmarsson? I couldn't see them giving up on Hjalmarsson for absolutely nothing.

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#15 dawgtoy
June 25 2012, 02:13PM
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Off topic, qualifying offers go to.

Devan Dubnyk Sam Gagner Linus Omark Theo Peckham Jeff Petry Alex Plante Chris VandeVelde

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#16 Will
June 25 2012, 02:15PM
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Jason wrote:

I still don't know why the Oilers re-signed Corey Potter and Andy Sutton. Both are pressbox guys, and may very well push Theo Peckham out of the organization.

At least Peckham is young and has room for growth. Sutton only has a couple years of pro hockey left, isn't much of an improvement IMO, and while Corey Potter likely can be sent to Oklahoma, he's on a one-way deal that seems highly unnecessary at this point. Didn't like the deals at the time, and don't like them now.

Oh well... no where to go but forward.

The Potter deal was done at the beginning of the year when Potter suddenly 'emerged' as the answer to our prayers. He was really good in the beginning of the year, then kind of dropped off after that. I still like the Sutton signing purely because he's a better defender than Peckham, but still lays bug hits. Make no mistake, he is our size on the back end. He is a great number 7 on any night where it looks like size is needed to compete. I hated all the suspensions for doing little else than being a really big guy. He never hit from behind, never hit into the boards, all he did was hit. Had he not gotten the suspensions, all he would have done all year was wreck people. I'm sure we has told to dial it back after all that though. I do agree that Peckham can still develop, but with his contract you can't send him back down to develop in the AHL, he has to be up and play. But there comes a point when his playing is causing too many penalties, and is hurting the team instead of helping them. Maybe he can spend the summer working hard on his game. I think he provides good physicality and a bit of depth for when one or all of our defense is injured.

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#17 derrickhands
June 25 2012, 02:15PM
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Jonathan Willis what a load of horse crap, Hjalmarsson does not like to hit period. He has given out less then 60hts per year in the last 3 years. He's a good shot blocker, but Schultz and Smid are a lot better then he is. 3.5mil is a lot to pay a 3rd pairing D that might not make the team. He was getting about 17mins TOI, if he was top 4 with the Hawks he would be getting closer to 20min TOI. The Hawks D was about as good as Edmontons, but they had the 27th best PK. The Oilers problem is not the D but even strength scoring and the need of a PMD and Hjalmarsson is not that.

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#18 Jason
June 25 2012, 02:15PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Are you saying the return has to be a high value Entry Level type guy? and/or a high draft pick?

ie: Oilers 1st rounder next year for Hjalmarsson? I couldn't see them giving up on Hjalmarsson for absolutely nothing.

My guess it is revolves around Gagner, who is set to get a contract probably in the $3M range.

It seems like a steep price to pay though. I'd almost want another piece back for Gagner. I wonder if the Oilers could work something like Hjalmarsson and McNeill for Gagner and Musil.

The other problem is that Gagner moving creates a hole at centre on the second line. Perhaps a second trade like Paajarvi for Dubinsky out of New York might be an option?

It'll take some work. This is where Tambo can prove he is worth the extension he signed.

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#19 etownman
June 25 2012, 02:15PM
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Jason, as far as I recollect, Potter was quarterbacking the #1 PP in the NHL before he got hurt! I don't know why everybody is so negative on this guy? Sutton has proved his worth to this team & yes he may sit a third of the season in the press box but you know exactly what your getting when you put him in the line up, something we could never figure out with Eager!

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#20 Jason
June 25 2012, 02:18PM
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@Will

Theo Peckham has to clear waivers. I would bet he doesn't make it to Oklahoma City... there are a lot of teams who would take a chance on him, especially if they don't have to pay for his full contract. I expect he'll be traded.

Andy Sutton was fine last year, but he's not really a piece moving forward, he's not a part of this team's future. If we are choosing between #7 guys, I don't like sacrificing Peckham for him.

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#21 etownman
June 25 2012, 02:19PM
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A question for you Jonathan & maybe you have answered this in the past but I would be interested in knowing how many goals were scored against from direct goaltender give-aways? I would shudder every time I saw Dubnyk or Khabby come out of the net to handle the puck. In my opinion this is the one area of the Oiler break outs that needs to improve the most!

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#22 Will
June 25 2012, 02:20PM
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Also, why is it expected the Oilers have to give up pieces like Gagner or Paajarvi in oder to get back mid level defense? The Islanders just got Visnofsky for a second round pick. I think if this guy is as you say, a salary dump, then why give up something really good for it? If we're trading Gagner, it better be for a big return. I'm not talking about Webber or anything, but Yandle could fit the mold.

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#23 Will
June 25 2012, 02:29PM
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Jason wrote:

Theo Peckham has to clear waivers. I would bet he doesn't make it to Oklahoma City... there are a lot of teams who would take a chance on him, especially if they don't have to pay for his full contract. I expect he'll be traded.

Andy Sutton was fine last year, but he's not really a piece moving forward, he's not a part of this team's future. If we are choosing between #7 guys, I don't like sacrificing Peckham for him.

Ya, I get what your saying. I meant that Peckham not being 2 way was the reason he had to stay in the press box as opposed to getting the chance to develop. It sucks because, like you, I want to see Peckham shore up his game and become the big physical presence with discipline. I also agree that Sutton's contract makes that difficult, but I don't dislike the contract because even though Sutton isn't going to be around for too long, he helps us in the short term while we wait for our other prospects to develop. Peckham has a tough road (if he gets qualified) but he could get back into the line up if he demonstrates to management he's worked on the things that got him out of the line up.

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#24 the big GRIGowski
June 25 2012, 02:35PM
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Peckham's a bum. He's too slow and not smart enough to make up for that lack of quickness.

The faster he's out, the sooner we can give someone else a chance.

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#25 A-Mc
June 25 2012, 02:37PM
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Jason wrote:

My guess it is revolves around Gagner, who is set to get a contract probably in the $3M range.

It seems like a steep price to pay though. I'd almost want another piece back for Gagner. I wonder if the Oilers could work something like Hjalmarsson and McNeill for Gagner and Musil.

The other problem is that Gagner moving creates a hole at centre on the second line. Perhaps a second trade like Paajarvi for Dubinsky out of New York might be an option?

It'll take some work. This is where Tambo can prove he is worth the extension he signed.

From what I'm hearing and reading, the idea behind putting Hjalmarsson up for trade, is to free up cap space for a few higher priced UFA's they are looking at. Gagner is likely too expensive for a straight up trade.

Sitting here playing the arm chair GM is tough because there are so many ??'s right now.

Are the Oilers truly gunning for 1 or 2 of these Available Defensemen or are they waiting for prospect payoff?

Can Taylor Hall move to Center? is that something they are looking at.

Can Nail Yakupov play Left Wing? If he makes the team next year, where does he fit? I would argue Ryan Jones is likely a better 3rd line RW than Yakupov (Considering the 3rd line responsibilities).

Do we trade Gagner for HJalmarsson, Put Hall at Center and Yakupov on the Left side of him? For this to work, there are a lot of "What If"s that would need to fall into place perfectly.

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
June 25 2012, 02:38PM
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The Oilers have plenty of these type of D'men already. Pass on Charmelson or wtf his name is.

Sit tight for 8 months and blow the wad on Shea Weber. Things could be falling apart in Nashville if Ryan Suter leaves them at the alter. Radulov, and now Suter leaving, this could send Weber heading to the exits at the trade deadline, or sooner.

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#27 pelhem grenville
June 25 2012, 02:41PM
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there's only one problem with getting this guy ...and it's our incompetent GM...PERIOD! MacT needs the GM gig soon...

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#28 Scott Jones
June 25 2012, 03:06PM
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The Hawks most likely want Gagner or no deal. They need a 2nd line center

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#29 Dman09
June 25 2012, 03:26PM
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I would rather take Peckham and Omark + a pick and try to get Tyutin from CLB.

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#30 Evilas
June 25 2012, 03:39PM
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I don't like the salary that Hjalmarsson comes with, but I see him as a stop-gap, when the young D come on their own, when they are ready, or soon-to-be, he might bring value in 2 yrs as a trade deadline asset.

If Schultz is signed, I like that there are puck movers paired up with stay-at-homers.

I would gladly give up Peckham and parts for Hjalmarsson. Not Gagner or PRV, I think PRV needs another year to see what he brings.

I think Yandle for Gagner and PRV is an overpay as well. I am glad Yandle wasn't picked up.

If the Oil are going to deal, then I prefer Sekera, Tyutin or Nitkinin.

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#31 Rama Lama
June 25 2012, 03:46PM
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This guy is soft like a bag of soggy mini-donuts!

If a team want to get rid of a top-four defenseman there are usually reasons behind it....cap space is a poor excuse.

Sounds like another Barker coming..............yipeeee!

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#32 Reg Dunlop
June 25 2012, 03:57PM
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@RamaLama

Let me guess. If we hide those delicious mini-donuts in the corner Charmelson will never find them?

I did like the promotional video for him though. We should have a similar video prepared for Linus; too late though our coaches misuse of him last year killed any value he had.

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#33 Rocknrolla
June 25 2012, 04:14PM
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Pass on this guy...heard some bad things from Chicago based people. Sounds like other teams cast offs again.

Go hard instead for Enstrom from Winnipeg...I like him much better, and speaking of Justin Schultz...

What can be our Competitive advantage...Was thinking of this today. These offers are all going to be sitting there in front of the young guy, with 5 of his agents/managers telling him what to do. What can we do that no one else can, that would make a big difference. Put us over the top. With all being equal, the piece that just is irresistible.

----Paul Coffey---

What young player wouldn't want to be able to meet with Paul. Also, what if Katz was able to do a deal with Paul that saw him come on board as a special coach for defense, and be able to work with Schultz for his first year as a D man. This would be something no one could compete with, and as an offensive D, other than having Bobby Orr come skate with you, this would be a dream come true.

Tell me I'm crazy, but if you are going to go for the guy, go big, or go home. We need to win this negotiation!

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#34 Acumen
June 25 2012, 04:30PM
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Can I have Bolland instead?

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#35 Reg Dunlop
June 25 2012, 04:44PM
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@Rocknrolla

I won't call you crazy but I really don't get Schultz. He was never even a Hobey Baker finalist. He is a very slender 185lbs. He has not played 1 second of pro and has never had to go through the travel grind of major jr. I know he is 'free of charge' but that used car guy on the radio says "if its free its a piece of junk" and he wouldn't lie.

As for Coffey, I doubt any young guys care. To them he is ancient history and irrelevant, but to me... I will bore you with a Paul story

In the '83 playoffs there was a scramble in Moog's crease with Tonelli whacking away. He clipped Coffey in the face and while he continued whacking at Moog Paul skated over to the end glass to check his reflection for damage.

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#36 Brownlee loves the word meow
June 25 2012, 04:57PM
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Meow this would mean we would have a second pairing that would actually be a second pairing? Thats a dramatic improvement.

WHITNEY PETRY

SCHULTZ HJALMARSSON

SCHULTZ SMID

I dont know if he is worth Gagner tho.

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#37 Brownlee loves the word meow
June 25 2012, 04:59PM
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Meow as long as we get Schultz!!! Otherwise we are sooo F'd

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#38 Wäx Män Riley
June 25 2012, 05:14PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

@RamaLama

Let me guess. If we hide those delicious mini-donuts in the corner Charmelson will never find them?

I did like the promotional video for him though. We should have a similar video prepared for Linus; too late though our coaches misuse of him last year killed any value he had.

I think Omark's lack of NHL ability killed any value he had.

Couldn't make the team.

Couldn't make the WHC team either.

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#39 Rama Lama
June 25 2012, 05:17PM
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I don't want to burst any ones bubble, but there is NO way in hell.........Schultz signs here in Edmonton!

He has never played hockey in any tough league and he is suppose to change our fortunes? This guy has played college hockey where physical contact is no where near as aggressive as it is in major junior or the ECHL, or the AHL!

The last time I checked he was around 190lbs if he had is weight belt on. I know the fans are screaming for some defense out there to come and help us..........but we have Tamby leading the charge and he will not or cannot make a deal of this magnitude.

As for Harjmellson he is another softie that will make Cam Barker look like Shea Webber. If any one wants to know what NOT to do, simply ask Tamby and Lowe what they would do.

Our chance to get a defenseman is over, Tamby could not get another pick, even though NYI was offering all their picks for a chance to move up, nor did he doo the right thing with the second round draft choice.........and take Moroz way too early.

I for one felt embarrassed for MacGregor having to explain their decisions as to why they were not able to get another pick, or use the picks correctly!

We need new management if our fortunes are going to change.........I'm starting to get annoyed with the usual suspects telling us that they have a plan........yea picking first Three years straigh is not a plan.

The emperor has no clothes........plain and simple!

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#40 Wäx Män Riley
June 25 2012, 05:18PM
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Brownlee loves the word meow wrote:

Meow as long as we get Schultz!!! Otherwise we are sooo F'd

I really, really want to read your posts, but starting with "Meow" just makes my eyes skip right over.

Now if you were offering a frickin' litre-cola, it might be a different story.

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#41 russ99
June 25 2012, 05:57PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

I think Omark's lack of NHL ability killed any value he had.

Couldn't make the team.

Couldn't make the WHC team either.

Omark has plenty of NHL ability.

Are we forgetting his play 2 seasons ago, especially on the wall or behind the net?

It's not his fault Renney blacklisted him for not buying into our backwards defensive system last year, and for showing a little shoot out flair.

Also, he had rotten luck with his injury (broken leg) and missed a good part of the season, with the expected slow rehab to game-ready so there is a real reason for his drop-off..

Sad that so many fans have bought the company line on Omark... BTW: Yakupov has a very similar "attitude"... Are we going to punt him in 3 years for the same ridiculous reason?

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#43 Rocknrolla
June 25 2012, 06:44PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

@Rocknrolla

I won't call you crazy but I really don't get Schultz. He was never even a Hobey Baker finalist. He is a very slender 185lbs. He has not played 1 second of pro and has never had to go through the travel grind of major jr. I know he is 'free of charge' but that used car guy on the radio says "if its free its a piece of junk" and he wouldn't lie.

As for Coffey, I doubt any young guys care. To them he is ancient history and irrelevant, but to me... I will bore you with a Paul story

In the '83 playoffs there was a scramble in Moog's crease with Tonelli whacking away. He clipped Coffey in the face and while he continued whacking at Moog Paul skated over to the end glass to check his reflection for damage.

Great story Reg! My favorite Coffey story is more recent. It was the Stanley cup finals in 2006. The jumbotron cut to Paul sitting up in the press box. All he did was point to the rings on his hand.

The crowd went Berserk!

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#44 Oilerman53
June 25 2012, 10:01PM
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I like the post earlier about swinging for the fences on a deal with Chicago. I'd like to see them go for Seabrook and Bolland for Gagner, Jones, Peckham and next years 1st rounder. Then put together a package revolving around Paajarvi and Eager for Dubinsky.

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#45 Reg Dunlop
June 25 2012, 10:03PM
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@Rocknrolla

Coffey was the finest skater I ever saw and the closest thing to Orr since...Orr.

@RamaLama

Even though JW spanked your peepee I agree with you. Slender college kid, not toughened by bus trips to Prince George, already screwed the team that drafted him... I am not sold.

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#46 @Oilanderp
June 25 2012, 10:43PM
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Yes, I think we should go and think about possibly going ahead with this move, potentially maybe. Let me think and assess the situation for a few years. Get right back to you on that.

Poise.

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#47 striker777
June 26 2012, 07:16AM
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I always liked his solid positional play. Would not hesitate to offer Chicago our 3rd round pick + L.Omark. Suggestions of us giving away Sam Gagner + Paajarvi are completely rediculous.

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#48 Rama lama
June 26 2012, 09:27AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

@Rocknrolla

Coffey was the finest skater I ever saw and the closest thing to Orr since...Orr.

@RamaLama

Even though JW spanked your peepee I agree with you. Slender college kid, not toughened by bus trips to Prince George, already screwed the team that drafted him... I am not sold.

Well finally some common sense here.........we are over rating this guy, because we are desperate!

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#49 Rama Lama
June 26 2012, 09:29AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

a) Your take on Schultz is out of line with the consensus of virtually every expert who has ever seen him play.

b) Plenty of good, physical players come form college. Matt Greene, for instance, was a college player. So was David Backes. College may be less physical but for a young guy they're also playing against older competition - instead of playing 16-20 year olds like in major junior, they're playing against 17-24 year olds. It's a big difference.

I'm not saying college is a better development setup than major jr. - they play fewer games, for one thing - but going 'AHH! Small! College player!' is a silly thing to do.

c) I suspect Jason Pominville would disagree with you on Hjalmarsson. Hjalmarsson is primarily a positional defender, but soft he ain't. As for making Cam Barker look like Shea Weber by comparison, I'd advise dialing down the rhetoric a little bit - Hjalmarsson has been a top-4 guy on a Stanley Cup contender; Cam Barker at his best has never been more than a 5/6 guy in the NHL, and he was a long way from his best when the Oilers picked him up.

Well JW.......I respectfully disagree with you........the experts are often wrong, and only time can prove me right or wrong.

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#50 KHR
June 26 2012, 12:54PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I don't want to burst any ones bubble, but there is NO way in hell.........Schultz signs here in Edmonton!

He has never played hockey in any tough league and he is suppose to change our fortunes? This guy has played college hockey where physical contact is no where near as aggressive as it is in major junior or the ECHL, or the AHL!

The last time I checked he was around 190lbs if he had is weight belt on. I know the fans are screaming for some defense out there to come and help us..........but we have Tamby leading the charge and he will not or cannot make a deal of this magnitude.

As for Harjmellson he is another softie that will make Cam Barker look like Shea Webber. If any one wants to know what NOT to do, simply ask Tamby and Lowe what they would do.

Our chance to get a defenseman is over, Tamby could not get another pick, even though NYI was offering all their picks for a chance to move up, nor did he doo the right thing with the second round draft choice.........and take Moroz way too early.

I for one felt embarrassed for MacGregor having to explain their decisions as to why they were not able to get another pick, or use the picks correctly!

We need new management if our fortunes are going to change.........I'm starting to get annoyed with the usual suspects telling us that they have a plan........yea picking first Three years straigh is not a plan.

The emperor has no clothes........plain and simple!

I have to tell you I'm not sure I understand your position in this post.

Your first line seems to indicate that you are disappointed that there is no way in hell that Schultz signs here.

Your next line goes on to basically slag the kid as being an over-rated who couldn't play his way out of a wet paper bag.

Next you continue on with your criticism of the kid but then shift into a statement of how Tamby couldn't pull off a deal of this magnitude. If you think he is crap I would think that you would be happy about that, not angry at Steve about not having the skill to do what you don't want him to do. And how can you think that this would be a deal of magnitude if you think the kid is crap? I don't follow your logic . . . just saying.

Then you really take a step off the deep end and accuse the Steve of being a crap manager because he couldn't move up "even though NYI was offering all their picks for a chance to move up". Well if NYI were offering every pick they had for 1 pick what the heck did you expect Steve to offer to move up? Given your bouncing around here I am thinking that you would be wagging your finger at him for giving up too much even if he had moved up. They said they tried to move up for one particular guy, and a number of other teams also tried for the same player but guess what . . . they couldn't do it either. So I guess the option of moving up isn't so easy is it?

Dude you need to relax! And unless you have season tickets and are pissed about seeing your money wasted (if that is what you are thinking) I'm not sure you should be ready to pop a vein over this. You have lots of time yet to type really loudly on the computer about the crappy coach they hire, the UFA's they do or don't sign, who they put in line combinations at training camp, there are just so many things to get worked up about yet. Save some energy for this fall. :-)

PS. I do have season tickets and even I don't get this worked up :-)

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