Jim Vandermeer and Anthony Stewart placed on waivers

Jonathan Willis
January 21 2013 12:59PM

The waiver wire includes a pair of interesting names today. In Jim Vandermeer, there’s a physical depth defenceman; in Anthony Stewart a former first-round pick with a few intriguing seasons behind him. Is either guy worth taking a flyer on?

Jim Vandermeer

Vandermeer’s been a nomad for a couple of years now. Presently with the Vancouver Canucks, over the last six years he’s played in Chicago, Philadelphia, Calgary, Phoenix, Edmonton and San Jose. The bad news is that nobody sees him as an essential element of their team; the good news is that lots of teams see him as a useful stopgap at the bottom of their defensive depth chart.

That’s exactly what he is at this point in his career. Offensively, Vandermeer is a non-factor, but he can hold his own in the defensive zone. He didn’t fit in overly well with the Sharks, and he’s probably not a guy that a contending team wants on their roster every day, but there are definitely teams where he could be considered an upgrade on some of the current talent. For example, the New York Islanders are playing in a game today where waiver-wire pickup Brian Strait is on the second pairing while Matt Carkner and another waivers acquisition (Joe Finley) hold down the third pairing. The case for Finley is that 6’7” can’t be taught; the case for Vandermeer is that he hasn’t spent a healthy chunk of time in the ECHL at any point in the last three years.

For a team needing some a guy who can play 10 minutes a night without embarrassing himself, Jim Vandermeer could be a big help. On the other hand, some of the teams that could really use a guy like Vandermeer might be thinking more about this summer’s draft than they are about the waiver wire.

Anthony Stewart

Stewart, superficially, looks like a great reclamation project. Former first round pick? Check. Size? 6’3”, 230lbs, check. Reasonably young? Just turned 28, sort-of-check. Decent numbers? Picked up 39 points for Atlanta in 2010-11, check.

The problem is that he isn’t a very good player.

For years and years, Stewart was a mediocre scorer at the AHL level. In three seasons between 2006-2010, he never topped 31 points in the minors. One of those years was spent in the NHL; he had seven points. He was a 20-point guy last season; during the lockout this year he got outscored in the U.K. by David Ling and a whole list of players less famous than David Ling.

There’s a whole raft of statistical points I could make to demonstrate that 2010-11 was an aberration, but there’s not much need. A cursory glance at Stewart’s career confirms it. He’s not an above average player defensively and despite his size he’s not a consistent physical presence either; without the scoring, he just doesn’t bring a lot to an NHL roster.

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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 Senator Theo
January 21 2013, 01:03PM
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Neither of those guys gets me interested right now. Other than size, are they an upgraade over anyone currently on the roster?

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#2 The Goalie 1976
January 21 2013, 01:04PM
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I would have waived Barker before Vandy if I was Vancouver

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#3 Hammers
January 21 2013, 01:09PM
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Obviously Canucks can't keep 3 extra "D" up as they desperately need forwards and playing Van on left wing makes no sense .Oil needs to pass on both of these .

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#4 justDOit
January 21 2013, 01:12PM
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Can Stewart skate better than Harski? Hartikainen's stride, based on last night's impressions, looks to be that of a career AHLer. If Stewart can top that, send Harski back and take a flyer on the former 1st rounder - you can't teach 6'3", 230 lbs.

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#7 Sloppy Joe
January 21 2013, 01:32PM
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I don't think Vandermeer adds much at this point - especially with Fistric already in the pressbox to start the season. I really like Vandermeer - easy guy to cheer for. I'll always remember his beauty pass to set up Eberle on the breakaway for his 1st goal.

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#8 Stewzy
January 21 2013, 02:38PM
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These guys are plugs. I can't see them being signed....just saying

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#9 Fresh Mess
January 21 2013, 02:42PM
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Too bad the Oilers have no room for Vandermeer. He'd be a good replacement for Sutton. I like the player and his game.

He's useful as a number 7 on the blue, and he can pinch hit on the fourth line wing.

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#10 The Goalie 1976
January 21 2013, 02:45PM
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The better question is... would you rather pick up Vandy and waive Peckham? Hmmmmm

I don't see Vandy as an upgrade over Fistric or Potter, Peckham on the other hand won't be an Oiler after this season.

What happens when Peckham gets off the IR. We are not going to keep 8 defensemen are we???

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#11 iccemaan
January 21 2013, 02:58PM
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justDOit wrote:

Can Stewart skate better than Harski? Hartikainen's stride, based on last night's impressions, looks to be that of a career AHLer. If Stewart can top that, send Harski back and take a flyer on the former 1st rounder - you can't teach 6'3", 230 lbs.

I am not sure your fasination with his skating? Did you watch any OKC games? He plays his size well and will be a NHL'er for the foreseeable future as a good 3/4 line guy.

What you are saying would be crazy to do.

Teemu also isn't tiny by any stretch, 6' 220 Lbs or so.

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#14 The Goalie 1976
January 21 2013, 03:49PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I expect they would keep eight defenders and dispatch Paajarvi to Oklahoma.

It's refreshing to see attention paid to defensive depth. All 8 guys will see 15 games minimum over the course of the season when injury hits

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#15 Johe
January 21 2013, 03:56PM
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The Barons also signed Brett Clark today. Had a rough season with TB last year, but prior to that had several very solid seasons. So with the additions of Fistric and now Clark, the Oilers have 9 NHL capable defensemen. That lets Teubert stay in the A likely the whole year. Nice to see these depth moves.

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#16 ANTONY TA
January 21 2013, 04:01PM
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I think it wouldn't hurt to have Vandermeer back. That would free up the Oilers to not rely on Alex Plante as a first callup...

I also like Stewart only insomuch that he has NHL experience and that allows Hartikainen or Paajarvi to go back to OKC for the remainder of the regular season. Barons are hurting pretty bad right now! Especially if Hartikainen's ice time against Vancouver is indicative of the kind of minutes he will play this year, might as well have him play a bigger role in OKC.

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#17 BlueMile
January 21 2013, 04:01PM
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Puzzles me as to why they sent Vandermeer down before Barker but hey, its the Canucks, not complaining if they make their team worse :D

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#18 gr8one
January 21 2013, 04:06PM
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It's too bad Stewart isn't more physical, a big man that can skate and take a pass is pure gold for a fourth liner if they bring physicality to the table, especially if they have a little bit of offensive touch which it looks like he might.

I'd be tempted to claim him and at least give it a go.

No ty on Vandy.

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#19 dougtheslug
January 21 2013, 04:11PM
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iccemaan wrote:

I am not sure your fasination with his skating? Did you watch any OKC games? He plays his size well and will be a NHL'er for the foreseeable future as a good 3/4 line guy.

What you are saying would be crazy to do.

Teemu also isn't tiny by any stretch, 6' 220 Lbs or so.

Plus Teemu is a great name. A Hall-of Fame name. You can't teach that either.

I have no idea why I posted that. Except seeing a 3-2 Oilers win Jan.20 rather than a 3-0 Vancouver win April 7 makes me giddy.

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#20 Antony Ta
January 21 2013, 04:17PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Plus Teemu is a great name. A Hall-of Fame name. You can't teach that either.

I have no idea why I posted that. Except seeing a 3-2 Oilers win Jan.20 rather than a 3-0 Vancouver win April 7 makes me giddy.

:-D !

Doesn't hurt that Teemu hits everything.

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#21 vetinari
January 21 2013, 04:39PM
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I think that the team has moved past Vandermeer but Stewart could be a decent reclamation project so long as you don't expect him to be the missing piece on the big team's roster... claim him and send him to help OKC to get some time in and maybe... just maybe.... be a late season call up.

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#22 Rob...
January 21 2013, 04:50PM
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I can't think of Vandermeer without getting flashbacks of the TSN gag video where he's upset about the lack of recognition over his beauty bank pass to Ebs for the game of the year goal.

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#23 Russ99
January 21 2013, 04:57PM
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Wouldn't mind either of these guys - in the AHL.

Since we'd need to pass either through waivers again to send them down, to OKC, probably a waste of time and cash.

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#24 PeOiler
January 21 2013, 05:05PM
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I like Vandy, and am glad the Canucks waived him.

This way I can still cheer for him as long as he doesn't end up in Calgary or Carolina.

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#25 Dog Train
January 21 2013, 09:51PM
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After adding Fistric, I see no need for Vandermeer to come here and sit in the press box. Stewart seems too one-dimensional to fit in the lineup right now.

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#26 Intro
January 22 2013, 10:41AM
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Not to mention that David Ling is 38 years old..

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