NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY

Robin Brownlee
July 03 2012 02:28PM

The Edmonton Oilers are building some reasonable depth on defense in terms of quantity, but it seems to me there's still room to add quality and that's why it seems likely GM Steve Tambellini will make another move to bolster his blue line this off-season.

Even after added prized unrestricted free agent Justin Schultz to a blue line that includes Ladislav Smid, Ryan Whitney, Jeff Petry, Nick Schultz, Corey Potter, Andy Sutton Theo Peckham and Colten Teubert, Tambellini is open to adding another proven piece. Tambellini said so today.

"If we have a chance, regardless of who we have, we're going to do it," Tambellini told Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now on 630 CHED. "There's no question about that."

Tambellini's take, given how lack of depth on the back end – particularly as it pertains to defenseman ready to play in coach Ralph Krueger's top two pairings -- has been exposed the last couple of seasons, is welcome. You can't have too many real NHL defensemen. You can, as we've seen, have too few.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

While every one of the players I've listed above is or projects as an NHL defenseman, it seems to me there's two tiers in the group the Oilers have in the fold and under contract now.

Petry, Smid, Whitney, Nick Schultz and Justin Schultz, if all the hype has merit, are legitimate options for top-four duty, although the extra body count does hinge on how Whitney's troublesome ankle rehabs and if Petry doesn't go sideways after making big strides at the end of last season.

As a group, the foursome of Potter, Sutton, Peckham and Teubert looks capable of rotating through the final two spots, with one in the press box. That said, it's hardly an untouchable bunch, given Sutton's age and that Teubert has yet to prove he can play beyond spot duty. Not a lot of margin for error.

It makes all the sense in the world for Tambellini to pursue another top-four guy. While that won't be big deal UFA Ryan Suter – the Oilers won’t get near his short list of U.S. teams – he might be able to move some of the usual suspects up front to get what he needs. If that bumps somebody in that first group of five down, so be it. If either Schultz, for example, is in Krueger's third pairing, the Oilers will be in pretty good shape. Tambellini will be taking calls and making some.

Sort them out later.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 Ronald
July 03 2012, 06:38PM
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Ive read all the comments and not one person has even mentioned taylor fedun. Before his unfortanate "accident" during pre - season last yr he was almost a garuntee to make the team. He's calm under fire, doesnt throw the puck away, doesnt panic, and makes very smart intelligent plays both with the puck and more importantly without the puck. If both fedun and schultz make the team this season and whitney returns to form of a few seasons ago, then our back - end looks just fine with trhe emergence of petry, the development of smid and sutton being his usual self.

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#52 Walter Sobchak
July 03 2012, 07:02PM
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@dietflannel @ jasmine

Sorry Brownlee I usually agree with you.

Bouwmeester would be huge if we got him. He is a true top pairing defensemen.

That guy played on a miserable team and played tougher minutes, his defensive zone starts are extremely impressive and far better then Yandle, blocks more shots and hits more while taking almost no penalties.

Yandles minutes are more sheltered then Bouwmeester, I am not saying I don’t like Yandle, I just don’t think you need him as bad on this team with three players all having the same like skill set, Petry-Schultz and Whitney.

Bouwmeester career point totals are close to the same as Yandels, as for the cap hit your looking at 1.4 million in difference.

I also like the fact that Bouwmeester is an Edmontonian, while Yandle is an American. I know it shouldn’t matter.

We would be so lucky to get a player like Bouwmeester.

P.S I say sell the farm and go after Weber myself!

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#53 Wax Man Riley
July 03 2012, 07:17PM
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@Walter Sobchak

You think "sell the farm" in the sense of trade Eberle or Hall for him?

That is the only way I see a trade working out. I don't know that Hemsky and Gagner do it for him. Plus you know he is going to demand $7M+ and probably 10 years....

Not sure it's worth it...

How about Nail? Trade him before he plays a game?

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#54 nuge2nail
July 03 2012, 07:58PM
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Oiler Domination to Follow -

Dominoes - Suter signs in Detroit, Carle signs in Chicago, Hjarlmsson gets traded to Edmonton for Anaheims second + Peckham.

Smid, Petry, Shultz, Whitney, Hjarlmsson, Schultz, Sutton, Potter, Teubert.

Replace Martin with Hjarlmsson if Suter signs with the Pens.

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#55 Walter Sobchak
July 03 2012, 09:33PM
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@ Wax Man

No, I should have clarified that none of the fame 5 would be in play. My bad on that. I am just kidding around on Weber too. The cost would be outrageous.

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#56 @Oilanderp
July 03 2012, 10:44PM
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@John Chambers

Good points but does this mean that if Jbo was given the soft parade in Calgary and lots of offensive zone starts, he would outscore Yandle? I'm not so sure.

One thing I DO know is that I am SO glad I am not a Calgary Flame fan right now. Those guys are so far in denial they are completely screwed. In Edmonton we are getting close to 'OK we have many pieces now maybe we can package a bunch to meet our needs'. In Calgary they are arse deep in 'OMFG we have nothing quick sign all the free agents to ridiculous overpriced contracts and give them no movement clauses.' Screwed with a capital S.

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#57 andrewmk20
July 04 2012, 01:07AM
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@John Chambers

As unfair as it is sometimes salary does come into play when judging a player. Because it is the same as anything. Is the worth of the commodity in line with the cost. In business no one would implement a procedure or machinery that would cost more money than it would make. It's the same in hockey. For dmen that make 6+ million they have to produce because with that high a cost in a cap system it would handicap a team to have to pay a defensive dman that much and then try to land a high end offensive defenceman for 6M+, and then have to round out your defense with 2-3 other top 4 dmen for 3 to 4 plus million per dman. It would be really bad formula for holding together a contending team. Take Chicago for example, if Florida hadn't come around and taken Brian Campbell off Chicago's hands, then guaranteed this offseason or the next one of the big 5 in Chicago would be gone (Kane, Toews, Hossa, Keith, Seabrook) because Chicago mishandled the allocation of their salaries.

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#58 Cody anderson
July 04 2012, 09:53AM
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@ John Chambers I don't think we need Yandle or Boumeister unless Whitney struggles. I agree if cap hit, tade cost and salary length were the same I take Boumeister over Yandle.

The fact that we are not close to a cap team today does not matter. We will be in a couple years. If you are only brining them in for 1 or 2 years how much do you give up to get them? Certainly not part of your future I would hope.

In a trade because of his draft position (Should not matter) his name, age, and expectations Boumeister would likely cost us more assets then Yandle. When the contract is up if we wanted to resign them I would think Boumeister would be at a much larger cap hit then Yandle.

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#59 rc hobby
July 10 2012, 11:55PM
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If so,how can I find more information about that?

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