JEFF PETRY: WORTH THE WAIT

Robin Brownlee
January 21 2013 06:37PM

Patience, the saying goes, is a virtue in the development of NHL defensemen. Rush, and you can ruin them. We've seen it happen. Resist the rush, ease them along the learning curve and, if the kid has the game and the gumption, you get rewarded. What you get, if you're lucky, is Jeff Petry.

It's been six years since the Edmonton Oilers selected Petry 45th overall in the 2006 Entry Draft as a string bean blueliner from the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL, so it's not like he's been fast-tracked. Petry spent three years at Michigan State University after draft day. He's had stints in the minor leagues with Springfield and Oklahoma City.

Anybody who has watched how Petry, now 25, performed at the end of the 2011-12 season, and just as notably in logging more than 22 minutes of ice time in Edmonton's 2012-13 season-opener against the Vancouver Canucks Sunday, can see it's been time well spent.

Petry, with the benefit of time to develop, grow into his game and learn the ropes in the NHL, is only now entering prime time on a team that's come up woefully wanting when it comes to developing defensemen from within the organization. He's arriving right on time.

How good might Petry become?

COMING ON

Petry, a rakish six-foot-three and about 200 pounds, still has room to grow physically and in terms of his game, but the player we saw at the end of last season and Sunday against the Canucks paired with Ladislav Smid is already becoming a bigger factor than many thought him capable of when we first got a glimpse of him in Edmonton silks during the 2010-11 season.

Petry, who scored 2-23-25 in 73 games and averaged 21:46 in ice time last season, definitely has an offensive component to his game, but producing points probably isn't going to be his calling card. The ability to cover a lot of ice and bang a little – maybe a lot if he fills out some more – and face the best forwards the opposition has is going to be his ticket. Already is.

Paired with Smid, the native of Ann Arbor, Michigan is morphing into that shutdown defenseman every team covets and needs. Better still, Petry can take care of his own end and moves the puck well enough to turn it back the other way in transition behind the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ales Hemsky.

You can count the number of defensemen the Oilers have has with as many components to their game on one hand in the last decade – and on a finger or two if you're talking about blueliners they've drafted and developed.

A year or two from now, might Petry be as important to the resurgence of the Oilers as all those blue chip first-rounders up front? Might his journey along the learning curve intersect perfectly with Edmonton's return to contention?

We're watching it unfold now.

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

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
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 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 09:30AM
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DSF - as much we all love to have our secret hopes and dreams crushed by your overzealous reality checks .... this time you are 100% correct.

If I am to summerize your points, Mr. Petry is a good option as a #3 d-man on a contending team. He does not have J.Schultz offensive potential (I agree) which will hold him at the #3 spot.

Currently he is paired with another good #3/4 partner in Smid. Why can't we all just enjoy a really good 2nd pairing that was home grown from young teenagers. About 20-25 other teams would love to take that 2nd pairing from us.

Both Simd and Petry are very good NHL defensemen that are affordable and in the right age cluster .... lucky us!

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#52 Ryan2
January 22 2013, 09:31AM
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I posted this in Gregor's thread, but I was at the first game he played during the call up a couple of years ago and you could see from that game that he had the potential to develop into a top 4, maybe top 2 if his offense were to improve. You could see from the first shift that 1) he was a very good skater, 2) was calm with the puck, and most importantly 3) has good hockey sense and reads the play well. What struck me was how good he was at changing angles when he had the puck and holding onto it until a passing lane opened up to hit a forward up ice. The Oilers were down 2 or 3 nothing by the early 2nd, and all of the goals were due to experienced d-men making horrible rush/panic plays with the puck. Petry did not - he made a subtle move or delayed until a forward had curled or passing lane opened up.

It was kind of funny (and a sad display or how bad the teams blueline was) to see Petry, in his first game, showed more poise than the "veterans" on the blue line.

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#53 Jprime
January 22 2013, 09:36AM
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Clyde Frog taking Oilers Nation by storm.

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#54 book¡e
January 22 2013, 09:38AM
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The Goalie 1976 wrote:

DSF - as much we all love to have our secret hopes and dreams crushed by your overzealous reality checks .... this time you are 100% correct.

If I am to summerize your points, Mr. Petry is a good option as a #3 d-man on a contending team. He does not have J.Schultz offensive potential (I agree) which will hold him at the #3 spot.

Currently he is paired with another good #3/4 partner in Smid. Why can't we all just enjoy a really good 2nd pairing that was home grown from young teenagers. About 20-25 other teams would love to take that 2nd pairing from us.

Both Simd and Petry are very good NHL defensemen that are affordable and in the right age cluster .... lucky us!

It's more about understanding what constitutes a 'first' and 'second' pairing in the NHL. If you can only identify 20-30 players who qualify as 'first pairing' defensemen, then there is a problem with your approach because in reality, there would need to be 60 'top pairing' defensemen.

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#55 DSF
January 22 2013, 09:45AM
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book¡e wrote:

It's more about understanding what constitutes a 'first' and 'second' pairing in the NHL. If you can only identify 20-30 players who qualify as 'first pairing' defensemen, then there is a problem with your approach because in reality, there would need to be 60 'top pairing' defensemen.

By definition, any player currently playing on a top a pairing is just that but talent is not equally distributed and the Oilers are one of the best examples of that.

Remember, I said earlier "on a good team".

If you take a look at the points put up by the top two defensemen on each of the playoff teams you'll see immediately what I mean.

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#56 Jason Gregor
January 22 2013, 09:55AM
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DSF wrote:

Petry is a great #3 D on a good team.

Doesn't have the offence to be a top pairing offensive D.

He doesn't? You sure about that? He was 61st in scoring amongst D-men last year...In his FIRST full NHL season.

If he improves by a measly four points he is 44-47th territory. Not a big stretch.

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#57 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 10:04AM
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book¡e wrote:

It's more about understanding what constitutes a 'first' and 'second' pairing in the NHL. If you can only identify 20-30 players who qualify as 'first pairing' defensemen, then there is a problem with your approach because in reality, there would need to be 60 'top pairing' defensemen.

That's fine. I think the point myself and others were making was some teams have up to 4 'top pairing' defensemen, and other teams have zero. The theory that 60 1st line defensemen exist today IMO is suspect. If you want to win a cup, or contend for the playoffs, and players like Petry, Corvo, Daley, Salo, Bouwmeester, all very close to Petry in points, or even players on the same team like Smid and N.Schultz. You won't be a contending team if players like that are the top of your defense pool.

I feel that there are 20-30 players that are real bonafied 1st line players, and another 30 players that are being cast in roles that are above their talent level due to organization deficiencies.

If you feel Petry is a 1st pairing defensemen just because he finished 61st in points, well I feel there is a problem with your approach, because in reality your team would never make the playoffs.

IMHO Petry at 61st in points one of the best #3's in the league. He was only 1 points ahead of M.A. Bergeron, and I don't by default believe he is a 1st pairing d-man. Do You??

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#58 Clyde Frog
January 22 2013, 10:05AM
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DSF wrote:

By definition, any player currently playing on a top a pairing is just that but talent is not equally distributed and the Oilers are one of the best examples of that.

Remember, I said earlier "on a good team".

If you take a look at the points put up by the top two defensemen on each of the playoff teams you'll see immediately what I mean.

DSF Cackles with mad glee, the fools have stumbled into his logic trap!

There is no escape for them, they will have to see his view now.

With a few quick key strokes his masterpiece is revealed…

He sits back wishing Mother would hurry up with his Dr. Pepper order, casting idle glances around his room for something tasty to drink.

He will have to have a long talk with Mother once she gets back, he needs his sustenance! Who else shall defend the internet from those who like things for no logical reason.

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#59 tileguy
January 22 2013, 10:05AM
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Everytime I see DSF comments and the ensuing attacks on him I tune out the blog, that act is getting very tiresom, time to change the format.

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#60 geoilersgist
January 22 2013, 10:08AM
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@DSF

Petry put up more points last year on a 29th place team than the second highest scoring dman on the stanley cup winning LA kings.... If he scores 30 points over 82games he fits onto almost every top two spot of all the western conference teams that were in the playoffs last year

Western Conference top two scoring dmen on each team

Van 49, 44

Chi 40, 37

StL 51, 43

Phx 43, 32 (next closest was 13)

Nash 49, 46

Det 36, 34

SJ 48, 37

LA 36, 24

Eastern Conference

NYR 41, 32

BOS 52, 25

FLR 53, 33

PIT 42, 27

PHI 43, 38

NJ 18, 17

WAS 46, 32

OTT 78, 37

Basically Petry could be a top two pairing dman on over half these teams if he wasn't on the 29th place team and in his first full season.

Dear DSF, I know you just pull random S#!t out of the air hoping nobody looks it up but come on man give your head a shake

*Edit* I should note that I believe over the next full season Petry will put up around 34 points and with that note he could easily be on 9 of these teams top pairing

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#61 justDOit
January 22 2013, 10:14AM
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tileguy wrote:

Everytime I see DSF comments and the ensuing attacks on him I tune out the blog, that act is getting very tiresom, time to change the format.

It's a pity that you've missed Clyde Frog's Shakespearean comic interludes - they're worth the price of admission alone!

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#62 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 10:19AM
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geoilersgist wrote:

Petry put up more points last year on a 29th place team than the second highest scoring dman on the stanley cup winning LA kings.... If he scores 30 points over 82games he fits onto almost every top two spot of all the western conference teams that were in the playoffs last year

Western Conference top two scoring dmen on each team

Van 49, 44

Chi 40, 37

StL 51, 43

Phx 43, 32 (next closest was 13)

Nash 49, 46

Det 36, 34

SJ 48, 37

LA 36, 24

Eastern Conference

NYR 41, 32

BOS 52, 25

FLR 53, 33

PIT 42, 27

PHI 43, 38

NJ 18, 17

WAS 46, 32

OTT 78, 37

Basically Petry could be a top two pairing dman on over half these teams if he wasn't on the 29th place team and in his first full season.

Dear DSF, I know you just pull random S#!t out of the air hoping nobody looks it up but come on man give your head a shake

*Edit* I should note that I believe over the next full season Petry will put up around 34 points and with that note he could easily be on 9 of these teams top pairing

That's fair. Petry had only 2 goals and 25 pts last season. To compare to guys like Bogosian, Gardiner, and Girardi (the 30 pts players)he would only need 5 more points, but all of them would HAVE to be goals not assists to fairly compare to that next level of offensive production. And he would leapfrog 30 players to do that.

Offense from the backend is tough to do, and Petry is above average at it. But personally I'm looking for more than 25-30 pts from a guy on the 1st line, UNLESS I have 3 or 4 of those players on my line-up. Contribution by commitee works as well, and that seems like the approach the Oilers are employing.

Whatever happened to that Tom Gilbert guy and his 40 pts LOL

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#63 Oiler Al
January 22 2013, 10:21AM
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Right on Tile Guy!! Recall the kid in the school yard with thick glasses, with plastic pen protector in his pockets, always saying and doing dumb things to get attention.. = DSF.

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#64 DSF
January 22 2013, 10:31AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He doesn't? You sure about that? He was 61st in scoring amongst D-men last year...In his FIRST full NHL season.

If he improves by a measly four points he is 44-47th territory. Not a big stretch.

Petry had 1 goal and 19 points at even strength last season.

While I am sure he can bump that a bit on a higher scoring team, with Schultz getting the PP push, it could be pretty tough for him to do a whole lot more.

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#65 book¡e
January 22 2013, 10:52AM
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@The Goalie 1976

Ok, if there are only 20-30 top pairing defencemen (1st line players) in the league by your definition, then you are using the wrong phrase/term. By definition, there has to be 60 top pairing defensmen. If you want to use some other comparison, such as Top Pairing defensemen on playoff teams, then fine, that cuts the number to 32 defensemen. Or 'highly competative defensemen', then you can use whatever phrase you would like.

It's like saying that five of the top ten ranked heavyweight boxers don't belong on the list of the top ten because they are not as good as the top five. The point is that unless there are 5 others who are better than they are, they get on the list of the top ten.

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#66 match16
January 22 2013, 10:55AM
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I don't get it, why are we talking about point production? Smid-Petry are our 1st line pairing because they can shut down the opponents top lines. Petry can move the puck out of the zone and make a good first pass. The points will come as the Oilers improve. One thing I would like to see an improvement on is his point shot. He needs some pointers from J. Schultz on how to get the puck through to the net. Everytime he has the puck at the point he blasts it straight into the defender's shin pads.

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#67 Walter Sobchak
January 22 2013, 11:50AM
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DSF wrote:

Petry had 1 goal and 19 points at even strength last season.

While I am sure he can bump that a bit on a higher scoring team, with Schultz getting the PP push, it could be pretty tough for him to do a whole lot more.

To be honest, I think this is the start of the Whitney conversation, I see Petry taking his PP minutes very soon.

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#68 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 11:51AM
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book¡e wrote:

Ok, if there are only 20-30 top pairing defencemen (1st line players) in the league by your definition, then you are using the wrong phrase/term. By definition, there has to be 60 top pairing defensmen. If you want to use some other comparison, such as Top Pairing defensemen on playoff teams, then fine, that cuts the number to 32 defensemen. Or 'highly competative defensemen', then you can use whatever phrase you would like.

It's like saying that five of the top ten ranked heavyweight boxers don't belong on the list of the top ten because they are not as good as the top five. The point is that unless there are 5 others who are better than they are, they get on the list of the top ten.

My point is that I love Petry as my #3. He could easily be described as an elite #3 option in the NHL.

But he finished 134th overall in goals scored with only 2. If I'm Tambellini trying to build a cup contender, well then I need more than 2 goals from a guy considered to be my first line player.

It's kind of like how Gagner finished 38th in points last season. He was really really close to being a 'first line center' by your default definition. But in reality most people who follow the team (not necessarily myself) feel the team needs an upgrade on the 2nd line center position. If we look at his points the Oilers have a better 2nd line center than 22 other teams. In reality, not really.

If you look at one of the previous posts he outlined the points of the defensemen on playoff teams. Petry would only make 3 of the 16 teams 1st line.

Stats are all in how each individual reads them (waiting for Willis to smite me LOL)

Is Petry the 61st best defensemen in the league? He was only 134th overall in goals, but 45th overall in assists.

Is Sam Gagner the 38th best center in the NHL?

Who really knows the answer to either question.

IMO I don't feel Petry brings enough offense (currently) to play on a top line. But I feel his true calling is a shutdown line with Smid, playing other teams best players, and being a out-scorer with a plus rating. I don't think he's a great option on the PP, as the Oilers have players with more offense for that role.

He should finish always in the top 4 in ice time, and even sometimes in the top 2, depending on the game situations, PK and road games ect.

Teams without one of the top 20 defensemen are doing what the Oilers will do, run a strong top 4-5 and spread the minuites pretty evenly.

Whats the true definition of a 1st line player? Goals? Assists? Points? +/-, Ice Time? Last season he did finish top 2 in 3 of those 5 stats for the Oilers.

I'm having a hard time calling a guy who only scored 2 goals (1 even strenght) and took 111 shots for a 1.8% shooting percentage a 1st line defensemen.

P.S. I really actually like what Petry and Gagner both bring to the team. Big fan of both guys.

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#69 JL
January 22 2013, 11:55AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He doesn't? You sure about that? He was 61st in scoring amongst D-men last year...In his FIRST full NHL season.

If he improves by a measly four points he is 44-47th territory. Not a big stretch.

I tried Gregor. I honestly said the exact same thing you said, pretty much word for word to no avail

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#70 Dave Lumley
January 22 2013, 11:59AM
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tileguy wrote:

Everytime I see DSF comments and the ensuing attacks on him I tune out the blog, that act is getting very tiresom, time to change the format.

Exactly! Boring, repetitive and very tired. Did I mention repetitive?

I beleive Lowetide has fixed it on his blog. I find I want to spend less and less time here. I am sure that Tile guy and I are not the only ones that feel that way.

I would advice that DSF spend a bit more time on Flames Nation. They are in need of his wisdom much more than we are.

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#71 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 12:03PM
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match16 wrote:

I don't get it, why are we talking about point production? Smid-Petry are our 1st line pairing because they can shut down the opponents top lines. Petry can move the puck out of the zone and make a good first pass. The points will come as the Oilers improve. One thing I would like to see an improvement on is his point shot. He needs some pointers from J. Schultz on how to get the puck through to the net. Everytime he has the puck at the point he blasts it straight into the defender's shin pads.

I think we are actually in agreement without knowing it. The only true critisism of Petry on this thread is his inability to score goals, even-strenght or PP. His point shot you illustrated is likely the cause.

If he could score 6-9 goals a year on the same 111 shots he took, I think everyone would have zero complaints.

Truth is, Petry is very very good at everything BUT scoring goals in the NHL.

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#72 keilan
January 22 2013, 12:10PM
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The Goalie 1976 wrote:

My point is that I love Petry as my #3. He could easily be described as an elite #3 option in the NHL.

But he finished 134th overall in goals scored with only 2. If I'm Tambellini trying to build a cup contender, well then I need more than 2 goals from a guy considered to be my first line player.

It's kind of like how Gagner finished 38th in points last season. He was really really close to being a 'first line center' by your default definition. But in reality most people who follow the team (not necessarily myself) feel the team needs an upgrade on the 2nd line center position. If we look at his points the Oilers have a better 2nd line center than 22 other teams. In reality, not really.

If you look at one of the previous posts he outlined the points of the defensemen on playoff teams. Petry would only make 3 of the 16 teams 1st line.

Stats are all in how each individual reads them (waiting for Willis to smite me LOL)

Is Petry the 61st best defensemen in the league? He was only 134th overall in goals, but 45th overall in assists.

Is Sam Gagner the 38th best center in the NHL?

Who really knows the answer to either question.

IMO I don't feel Petry brings enough offense (currently) to play on a top line. But I feel his true calling is a shutdown line with Smid, playing other teams best players, and being a out-scorer with a plus rating. I don't think he's a great option on the PP, as the Oilers have players with more offense for that role.

He should finish always in the top 4 in ice time, and even sometimes in the top 2, depending on the game situations, PK and road games ect.

Teams without one of the top 20 defensemen are doing what the Oilers will do, run a strong top 4-5 and spread the minuites pretty evenly.

Whats the true definition of a 1st line player? Goals? Assists? Points? +/-, Ice Time? Last season he did finish top 2 in 3 of those 5 stats for the Oilers.

I'm having a hard time calling a guy who only scored 2 goals (1 even strenght) and took 111 shots for a 1.8% shooting percentage a 1st line defensemen.

P.S. I really actually like what Petry and Gagner both bring to the team. Big fan of both guys.

Great post Goalie 1976!!

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#73 Oilfred
January 22 2013, 12:20PM
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DSF wrote:

Petry had 1 goal and 19 points at even strength last season.

While I am sure he can bump that a bit on a higher scoring team, with Schultz getting the PP push, it could be pretty tough for him to do a whole lot more.

You're silly man to not think his output should increase on a team that added more weapons on forward and more overall depth.

The Oiler's GF totals are sure to increase and by extension alone so will Petry's.

I think its reasonable to expect even more than than a 4 point increase.

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#74 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 12:23PM
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@keilan

Thanks!

It feels wierd that the Oilers finally have enough defensive depth, and players with different skillsets, that we finally don't have to force them into roles that they may not be ready for yet. We have 6 REAL nhl defensemen, and 5 that should be able to play 18-22 mins. When have we been able to say that since 2006?

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#75 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 12:29PM
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@Oilfred

I agree that he should be able to get a bump in points. I see it happening at evens. Passing to the wonder 5 should result in more assists, plus if samwise and hemmer continue to play well.

He is in really tough to get many PP mins, and he isnt really a goal scoring threat. The forwards are taking his PP min from last season.

Kreuger seems to really trust him at evens, thats a good thing.

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#76 Oilfred
January 22 2013, 12:31PM
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The Goalie 1976 wrote:

Thanks!

It feels wierd that the Oilers finally have enough defensive depth, and players with different skillsets, that we finally don't have to force them into roles that they may not be ready for yet. We have 6 REAL nhl defensemen, and 5 that should be able to play 18-22 mins. When have we been able to say that since 2006?

First time! It looks good, not terrific like if Whitney could return to form. His regression to a bottom pairing guy mean we are one injury away.

Its true we need more help on D to be a contender but its definitely the best We've had.

Hands down.

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#77 Oilfred
January 22 2013, 12:32PM
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The Goalie 1976 wrote:

I agree that he should be able to get a bump in points. I see it happening at evens. Passing to the wonder 5 should result in more assists, plus if samwise and hemmer continue to play well.

He is in really tough to get many PP mins, and he isnt really a goal scoring threat. The forwards are taking his PP min from last season.

Kreuger seems to really trust him at evens, thats a good thing.

True for now but if(when) Whitney gets hurt, or at least next season when he is gone I think Petry picks up those mins.

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#78 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 12:37PM
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@Oilfred

I'd take whitney off the PP now if it was me. We have sooo much depth at forward I'd keep running 1 D and 4 F out there.

If this is Whitney at 100%, I'm worried .... It's only 1 game (fingers crossed)

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#79 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 22 2013, 12:47PM
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DSF wrote:

Petry had 1 goal and 19 points at even strength last season.

While I am sure he can bump that a bit on a higher scoring team, with Schultz getting the PP push, it could be pretty tough for him to do a whole lot more.

Are you suggesting Schultz is getting the very opportunities everyone (except you) was referencing last summer when he was a free agent and edmonton was in the mix?

**insert Carl Lewis "uh oh" audio clip here**

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#80 justDOit
January 22 2013, 01:00PM
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GDB 2.0: Worth The Wait?

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#81 FunHater
January 22 2013, 01:04PM
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@The Goalie 1976

@The Goalie 1976

Obviously you have big time respect for Petry, but let's do some analysis to find out why some people would disagree with DSF and yourself about his status as "top pairing".

I think the problem is how some people are defining a top pairing defender. It appears that the requirements would be roughly 5 goals and 25 assists? I'm assuming at least 5 goals, since 2 obviously wasn't good enough. And total points apparently needs to be higher than 25, so I bumped it up to 30. If we strictly follow that criteria then we are left with 36 players from the 2011-2012 season. In a perfectly balanced, 30 team league there should be 60 top pairing defenders. So we are 24 players short. Obviously then we can't use those requirements for defining a top pairing defender. If you wanted to really get crazy then I'd throw in that a top pairing defensemen should hold a positive +/- rating. If we throw that into the mix above as an additional requirement, we're left with less than 30 players. I would agree that the definition would be close to the definition of a #1 blueliner, but not a #2.

Even if we strip the requirements down to 30 points by any means, we're only left with 43 defenders, still 17 short and still a poor way to define a top pairing defender. I believe people on internet (not just you) are guilty of repeatedly setting standards far too high for what constitutes a top pairing defender. If there are never 60 players capable of meeting the definition of top pairing defender, never even 50 players, then the definition is wrong.

Strangely enough, the whole "Sam Gagner is not a #2 centre" thing comes from an opposite line of thinking. Rather than argue that Sam Gagner isn't a #2 centre by using a point requirement as a definition, the critics argue that it is also a low faceoff percentage and lack of size that make him unsuitable for the job. People are purposefully defining a second line centre in a way that makes Sam look poor. Nevermind that he was one of only 28 centres in the top 40 scoring that had a positive +/-. Let's ignore a positive +/- because otherwise there are some good players eliminated from our list right off the bat. Let's say that a "true" second line centre to these people should be at least 6' tall, win 48% of his faceoffs and score between 50 and 65 points (no more than that or else we'd be forced to start to forgive size and faceoff% due to increased point production). Is that what people expect? There are 10 guys in the league that meet those criteria. Crazy right? Is Sam Gagner the perfect #2 centre? Of course not, but to suggest that there are all these massive upgrades out there is folly.

In conclusion, let us now and forevermore agree that cherry picking stats to define a player is dumb. Thank you.

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#82 FunHater
January 22 2013, 01:10PM
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Oops, forgot to note that the Sam Gagner rant above wasn't supposed to be directed at The Goalie 1976. 'Twas just a general observation.

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#83 keilan
January 22 2013, 01:36PM
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@FunHater

Hey Funhater

Do you believe Sam Gagner is a playoff #2 centre by any definition?

Of the 16 teams projected (TSN) to make the playoffs which 2nd line centre from those teams would Gagner be ahead of?

Personally I like Sam but imo he lacks physical toughness and probably isn’t fast enough…..one game into the season and the Oiler’s biggest achilles heal is the 2nd line

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#84 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 01:42PM
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@FunHater

Fair enough. I agree that cherry picking stats to define a player is dumb also.

I always hated the Gagner haters that only look at the negetives. There is more to him than size and faceoff wins. And Petry is more than a defensemen that can only get assists.

Neither is Crosby or Weber, but they both are pretty darn good players, that play important roles.

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#85 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 01:49PM
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keilan wrote:

Hey Funhater

Do you believe Sam Gagner is a playoff #2 centre by any definition?

Of the 16 teams projected (TSN) to make the playoffs which 2nd line centre from those teams would Gagner be ahead of?

Personally I like Sam but imo he lacks physical toughness and probably isn’t fast enough…..one game into the season and the Oiler’s biggest achilles heal is the 2nd line

It depends on what you feel is more important. Gagner is 38th in points. That is an elite level of 2nd line center production. It would be better if the Oilers had some beef on his wings, but we can't blame Gagner for that.

He certinely does try hard. He fights, I wouldnt consider him soft, he has heart. He's gonna give 100%. But his skating could improve for sure.

Every team is so different. He is a plus player, not a minus as well. It would also depend on who you are playing against in the playoffs too. There is not a lot of upgrades out there. Do you want to sacrifice a lot of offense for size?

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#86 keilan
January 22 2013, 02:28PM
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@The Goalie 1976

Just for a moment make your argument for Sam without considering points. I’ll ask you the same question as asked of Funhater.

Of the 16 teams projected (TSN) to make the playoffs which 2nd line centre from those teams would Gagner be ahead of?

Tries hard - check He fights – go back and watch his only fight last year (Beauchemin) Isn’t Soft – just not physically strong almost anywhere on the ice. As a whole the Oilers are soft to play against. Again not Sam’s fault but of the top 6 forwards who’s offence are you willing to sacrifice? Heart – check Give 100% - so does Horcoff but either is a playoff 2nd line centre icemen

Since we play San Jose tonight I’ll list their centre’s, though some of them play on the wings as well….

Joe Thornton Logan Couture Joe Pavelski Patrick Marleau Scott Gomez

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#87 Clyde Frog
January 22 2013, 02:32PM
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DSF wrote:

Petry had 1 goal and 19 points at even strength last season.

While I am sure he can bump that a bit on a higher scoring team, with Schultz getting the PP push, it could be pretty tough for him to do a whole lot more.

Sighing DSF sits back in chair, they still don’t get it!

Even with his maliciously elegant trap, the internet still has the gall to like something it has no right to like. Taking a long drink of Dr.Pepper (While thanking and cursing mother both for the delivery and how long it took) he absently plays with the small pile of Cheetos he was just recently using to reenact all the possible combinations and permutations of the coming NHL season.

By painstakingly acting out each and every coming game, he has bridged the gap between statistics and reality! He can now with all certainty detail exacting predictions for all of the internet to enjoy.

Now all he must do is translate his genius to the internet, surely everyone will understand the work he put and take his posting at face value; quickly discarding all other theories posited on the internet! Once they see his theories, he will WIN! The non-factual liking of Jeff Petry will stop! The world will once again be righted and the crisis that is enjoying Jeff Petry shall be at an end!....

Cackling with a mad glee he sets to work, ignoring Mother calling downstairs for him to help with the garbage; there is important work to do! Someone on the Internet is wrong and does not know it!

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#88 Salvo
January 22 2013, 03:09PM
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DSF wrote:

Petry had 1 goal and 19 points at even strength last season.

While I am sure he can bump that a bit on a higher scoring team, with Schultz getting the PP push, it could be pretty tough for him to do a whole lot more.

I understand some your points DSF and if it is simply your opinion and/ or concern that Petry will not become the point getting, playoff contending type of top shelf D-man the Oilers need - I get it.

However, I look at it like this and it may be something your overlooking.

Take a macro approach for a moment. We watched a 29th place team with multiple variables of not good bloody enough. One of them was scoring - makes sense.

Once this team begins TO CONTEND, I believe Petry, as he is currently scaling will get into the lower end of that top thirty that's been bandied about here. As the team gets better - his numbers may reflect that.

I mean, I think it's pretty great that right now - after one full season - he's already ascending as a bona fide 3.

Your points may hold true this year - his numbers, if they remain relatively low, may reflect a team not in the playoffs come April.

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#89 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 03:14PM
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keilan wrote:

Just for a moment make your argument for Sam without considering points. I’ll ask you the same question as asked of Funhater.

Of the 16 teams projected (TSN) to make the playoffs which 2nd line centre from those teams would Gagner be ahead of?

Tries hard - check He fights – go back and watch his only fight last year (Beauchemin) Isn’t Soft – just not physically strong almost anywhere on the ice. As a whole the Oilers are soft to play against. Again not Sam’s fault but of the top 6 forwards who’s offence are you willing to sacrifice? Heart – check Give 100% - so does Horcoff but either is a playoff 2nd line centre icemen

Since we play San Jose tonight I’ll list their centre’s, though some of them play on the wings as well….

Joe Thornton Logan Couture Joe Pavelski Patrick Marleau Scott Gomez

I'm not trying to say Gagner's the perfect 2nd line center. He's not.

Nuge and Gagner are both on the small size to match up against that lineup.

That being said I feel (all offensive skill aside) that Thornton and Marleau are the biggest choker/dissapointing/heartless examples you could have gived.

Do you think either of those guys has the heart to win a cup?? I don't.

I'm all for upgrading Gagner into some sort of Getzlaf clone, but I can't think of any players available that are much of an upgrade, that won't cripple the team in other areas (financially also) via trade.

Who's available via trade for Gagner straight up or with minor parts added???

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#90 JitanPren
January 22 2013, 04:43PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Sighing DSF sits back in chair, they still don’t get it!

Even with his maliciously elegant trap, the internet still has the gall to like something it has no right to like. Taking a long drink of Dr.Pepper (While thanking and cursing mother both for the delivery and how long it took) he absently plays with the small pile of Cheetos he was just recently using to reenact all the possible combinations and permutations of the coming NHL season.

By painstakingly acting out each and every coming game, he has bridged the gap between statistics and reality! He can now with all certainty detail exacting predictions for all of the internet to enjoy.

Now all he must do is translate his genius to the internet, surely everyone will understand the work he put and take his posting at face value; quickly discarding all other theories posited on the internet! Once they see his theories, he will WIN! The non-factual liking of Jeff Petry will stop! The world will once again be righted and the crisis that is enjoying Jeff Petry shall be at an end!....

Cackling with a mad glee he sets to work, ignoring Mother calling downstairs for him to help with the garbage; there is important work to do! Someone on the Internet is wrong and does not know it!

Bloody marvelous! Such keen insight.

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#91 Oiltimer
January 22 2013, 05:49PM
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@ large

Can't beleive you all get sucked into that black hole every time!!!

There were a lot of good points re: #2 tho

I guess the best defence is a good offence as in "offensive".

We still wacked the girls in their own building on opening night. With our little centre getting an assist on the tying goal and a goal in the shoot-out.

There's trolls and sometimes they hide under the bridge.

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#92 David
January 22 2013, 06:17PM
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And here I was thinking that a defenseman's priority was defense. I don't think scoring will be a problem with the future oilers team and Petry is good at moving the puck up to forward who can then get to work on the offense. He looks like he's going to progress even more and his recent defensive work has been fantastic. He also looks like a guy that can eat minutes if he has too as I think he lead the team in TOI last year. Defense was and still is the biggest concern of this team and people are worried that about a stud Defensemen that he won't get more than 30 points?

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#93 keilan
January 22 2013, 07:59PM
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@Oiltimer

Sam would have his lunch handed to him if this team somehow made the playoffs this year..... I've been a season ticket holder and fan of the Oilers since the WHA days.

No troll here - lets try to have a little balance to our discussion

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#94 keilan
January 22 2013, 08:14PM
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The Goalie 1976 wrote:

I'm not trying to say Gagner's the perfect 2nd line center. He's not.

Nuge and Gagner are both on the small size to match up against that lineup.

That being said I feel (all offensive skill aside) that Thornton and Marleau are the biggest choker/dissapointing/heartless examples you could have gived.

Do you think either of those guys has the heart to win a cup?? I don't.

I'm all for upgrading Gagner into some sort of Getzlaf clone, but I can't think of any players available that are much of an upgrade, that won't cripple the team in other areas (financially also) via trade.

Who's available via trade for Gagner straight up or with minor parts added???

Sorry that I wasn’t able to convey my point better but you have kinda made it for me. As inept as the Sharks are and they are total underachievers, Sam Gagner couldn’t crack their line-up!!

If somehow Getzlaf were available at the trading deadline or next summer the Oiler’s would be wise to move heaven and earth to get him without giving up the young stars… so not likely I know.

Couldn’t help noticing neither you nor Fanhater could name a 2nd line centre-man behind Gagner from any of the projected playoff teams…..

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#95 Quicksilver ballet
January 22 2013, 08:35PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Sighing DSF sits back in chair, they still don’t get it!

Even with his maliciously elegant trap, the internet still has the gall to like something it has no right to like. Taking a long drink of Dr.Pepper (While thanking and cursing mother both for the delivery and how long it took) he absently plays with the small pile of Cheetos he was just recently using to reenact all the possible combinations and permutations of the coming NHL season.

By painstakingly acting out each and every coming game, he has bridged the gap between statistics and reality! He can now with all certainty detail exacting predictions for all of the internet to enjoy.

Now all he must do is translate his genius to the internet, surely everyone will understand the work he put and take his posting at face value; quickly discarding all other theories posited on the internet! Once they see his theories, he will WIN! The non-factual liking of Jeff Petry will stop! The world will once again be righted and the crisis that is enjoying Jeff Petry shall be at an end!....

Cackling with a mad glee he sets to work, ignoring Mother calling downstairs for him to help with the garbage; there is important work to do! Someone on the Internet is wrong and does not know it!

But, the internets is very serious bizness, sir. Half truths and loosely based opinions are always filtered.

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#96 FunHater
January 23 2013, 12:31AM
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keilan wrote:

Sorry that I wasn’t able to convey my point better but you have kinda made it for me. As inept as the Sharks are and they are total underachievers, Sam Gagner couldn’t crack their line-up!!

If somehow Getzlaf were available at the trading deadline or next summer the Oiler’s would be wise to move heaven and earth to get him without giving up the young stars… so not likely I know.

Couldn’t help noticing neither you nor Fanhater could name a 2nd line centre-man behind Gagner from any of the projected playoff teams…..

Well, for some reason couldn't find the list of projected playoff teams and didn't remember all of them from watching the preview show. However, if I look at last years teams there aren't many that I can say with confidence that Gagner is better than. Also, I don't watch enough of any other team's play to really know what each of those projected playoff teams 2nd line centres bring to the table. However, based on quick take I'll say that Gagner could possibly takeover for Turris in Ottawa. He could possibly perform similarly to a Stepan or a Vermette (as I said I don't watch enough non-Oiler games to make a real judgment). One could even wager that in 5 years a 28 year old Sam could easily be performing as well as a currently 28 year old Filppula.

But you've completely derailed the point of my original post, which was to illustrate that Sam Gagner IS a second line player in this league. There are 30 teams in this league, just because he wouldn't be a better option as a second line centre on half of them doesn't mean he isn't a second line centre on the other half. There is only so much talent to go around.

What Sam does not have are the skills and physicality to play an effective 3rd or 4th line role. He doesn't produce enough to be a first liner. However, he does fit on a second line. Would I be incorrect in saying that a second line is generally used to provide secondary scoring against softer opponents? I believe Sam can do this. I think that to suggest otherwise is to suggest that he doesn't have a proper place in the NHL, which to me is absurd.

I don't have a problem with the thought that this team could use a better option at the position if they want to be better. But I do have a problem with all the "get rid of Gagner" commenters who seem to think it is incredibly easy to find an upgrade.

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