OILERS RECALL GREBESHKOV

Lowetide
November 27 2013 07:36PM

The Edmonton Oilers recalled Denis Grebeshkov from the minors today, placing Phil Larsen on IR and changing up the roster look a little on the back end. Edmonton's defensemen have been under siege for the entire season, and there appears to be no relief in sight—can Grebeshkov help this time?

When Grebeshkov was signed by the Oilers during the off-season, there was a very specific idea about his role and how the veteran might be able to help:

  • MacT: “What I see with him is he had a bit of a rocky year last year in the KHL. But he’s coming back as soon as we get his immigration (worked out) and he’ll be training virtually the whole month of August here. He’s going to be highly motivated on just a one-year deal and I’m sure he wants to make a career over here. He’ll be a good role model for Yak (Russian forward Nail Yakupov). Denis is a hell of a guy.”

Well, as it turned out, Grebs was a little rusty, a little slow and a little addled, and the result was some fairly chaotic hockey at the NHL level.

  • 3, 0-0-0 +1 11:36 2pims 2 shots 42 shifts

That's not much, folks. Coach Dallas Eakins nursed him through those games and it became obvious that the Russian was rushing back to the big leagues and not in game shape.

HE'S BACK!

Grebeshkov did have something to offer last time he was in the NHL, but this season the Oilers had a lot of options and didn't need to suffer through while he rounded into shape. Grebs went to the AHL and performed thusly:

  • 11, 2-3-5 E 13shots

That's the kind of boxcar you would expect from a healthy Grebeshkov based on our previous viewings of him (before he skipped town for Russia). Ten days ago, our own Jonathan Willis had this observation about Grebeshkov:

  • Willis: He needed time in Oklahoma City to stabilize his game, but the results of late have been encouraging and if he keeps playing as he has the last little bit he will work his way back to the majors.

Grebeshkov has been recalled, and may get another shot on this road trip to show what he can do.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

If Grebeshkov has done the work—and it sounds like he's worked hard in OKC—then this opportunity should see him get a full look to see if he can help. So far this season, Anton Belov has moved up the depth chart to grab more minutes, and maybe the other Russian in the race can do it too.

We're about to find out.

(Grebeshkov photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 Ducey
November 28 2013, 09:18AM
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BOBO wrote:

Sometimes (almost always) I don't understand the logic of the Oilers management, it is apparent that Fedun would be a player to develop for the future and he has earned that right and then some... why waste time on an old Russian player who can't get in shape?

Because you want to keep your young players playing, not eating popcorn in the pressbox as the 7th D.

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#52 Reg Dunlop
November 28 2013, 09:27AM
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Ducey wrote:

Wow, a lot of you fellas need to settle down. Grebs will be in the pressbox as the 7th D.

He is a vet who can fly back and forth between OKC and the Oilers, can play a game here and there, and is cheap.

Its called depth, and it ensures that the kids don't have to be called up to sit in the pressbox/ get thrown into the fire before they are ready.

Depth? I have to question that. He is 'depth' just like Cam Barker is 'depth'. A boarderline 3rd pairing guy in the KHL last year. Signing him was simply a bad move and continuing to give him a push, opposed to admitting the mistake and sending him back to Stalingrad, compounds the error. Keeping the prospect D away from this team this year makes sense but playing Denis clearly demonstrates that the tank is on or that mgmt. are buffoons.

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#53 Serious Gord
November 28 2013, 09:30AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

That one still makes me shake my head.

I think the reason freakinGrebeshkov has been called up ahead of Fedun or Klefbom is purely financial. Fedun and Klefbom make 70 grand in the AHL. Grebeshkov makes 1.5 million no matter where he plays. Makes sense to have the NHL salary in the NHL. Maybe they can showcase him for a waiver claim.

Grebs and smid moves are purely financial it seems...

If so it a whole bunch about how Mr. Katz is going to run this team going forward - spending dough on players only if it will generate higher returns in the short-term. And that - if true - is a very troubling thing.

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#54 Smokey
November 28 2013, 09:41AM
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Ducey wrote:

Wow, a lot of you fellas need to settle down. Grebs will be in the pressbox as the 7th D.

He is a vet who can fly back and forth between OKC and the Oilers, can play a game here and there, and is cheap.

Its called depth, and it ensures that the kids don't have to be called up to sit in the pressbox/ get thrown into the fire before they are ready.

Whats cheep about a number 8 defender in your organization making 1.5. If MacT did not hand out stinker contracts to Grebby, Jones he would of had dough for a goalie. Instead he dumped a 4 NHL defender.

MacT signed a player on personal history and because he said he was a nice guy. If that does reek of poor judgement then I don't know what constitute bad decision making. Bringing back players with a declining skillset because of personal history is another problem this organization has. They do it because they can't fill their roster with NHL caliber talent because who wants to play for buffoons.

Fire Lowe, Fire MacT. I'm almost willing to go to Rexall to start the chant once Bryz implodes. But I won't buy tickets for this product.

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#55 S cottV
November 28 2013, 09:44AM
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@Spydyr

Thanks for the welcome. To get one of a #1 d man and or a 200 ft 2C, I agree Eberle could go instead of Yak. Just think Yak might generate more bargaining power, that actually might fill one of those holes. Not sure about the "draft the best player philosophy" when its a winger involved - too many times. What good are high end wingers, with no depth in the middle and back end? You cant seem to deal them without getting raped, they get frustrated playing mostly in their own end, underperform, lose value and then you really can't deal them.

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#56 Smokey
November 28 2013, 09:47AM
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Ducey wrote:

Because you want to keep your young players playing, not eating popcorn in the pressbox as the 7th D.

Only if that was true?????

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#57 Smokey
November 28 2013, 09:58AM
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Smokey wrote:

Only if that was true?????

Arco is exibit A this team doesn't live by thatripe strategy.

You get paid you get played.

If there was true accountability then Fedun and Arco would play. I say this nicely cause Fedun has proven to be a guy who deserves a shot, I know he is not in the equation cause getting paid and pedigree and now nepotism are reasons you get a shot at the Oilers. Accountability is a catch phrase with the Eakins. but merely its a concept missing in his superiors as well. For once I wish it meant something.

Those suggesting bring up Klefbom. I say leave him in OKC to develop. Bring him up whe he is over-ripe. Fedun deserves a real look as a 6th defender.

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#58 Spydyr
November 28 2013, 10:02AM
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S cottV wrote:

Thanks for the welcome. To get one of a #1 d man and or a 200 ft 2C, I agree Eberle could go instead of Yak. Just think Yak might generate more bargaining power, that actually might fill one of those holes. Not sure about the "draft the best player philosophy" when its a winger involved - too many times. What good are high end wingers, with no depth in the middle and back end? You cant seem to deal them without getting raped, they get frustrated playing mostly in their own end, underperform, lose value and then you really can't deal them.

Exactly , most teams build defense first as they take longer to develop then up the middle with the wing last.

The team also has to have a badly needed upgrade of the most important player on the ice. Goalie.

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#59 pkam
November 28 2013, 10:33AM
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Smokey wrote:

His turnovers are always of the grade A variety. I've always admired his ability to turn over the puck in such a smooth,unique and costly way. Then later in the game he will send 120 foot stretch pass up the ice with a quarter inch of clearance past a sprawling defender, or make a sick backdoor play on a slap pass that make you wonder how he can be so jekyll and hide. Im looking forward as are you to the horrow show, hope he gets two assist for every goal he gives up.

He has skill, no question about it. Those no look high risk turn over passes a few years back is bad habit like what we see in Hall. The question is whether he can clean up those mental mistake.

He has one give away in 3 games so it doesn't look too bad so far this season. So why not give him at least half a dozen of games before we determine if he is the same players 4 years ago.

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#60 Ducey
November 28 2013, 10:48AM
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Smokey wrote:

Whats cheep about a number 8 defender in your organization making 1.5. If MacT did not hand out stinker contracts to Grebby, Jones he would of had dough for a goalie. Instead he dumped a 4 NHL defender.

MacT signed a player on personal history and because he said he was a nice guy. If that does reek of poor judgement then I don't know what constitute bad decision making. Bringing back players with a declining skillset because of personal history is another problem this organization has. They do it because they can't fill their roster with NHL caliber talent because who wants to play for buffoons.

Fire Lowe, Fire MacT. I'm almost willing to go to Rexall to start the chant once Bryz implodes. But I won't buy tickets for this product.

Sorry, I forgot. The Oilers lost the last game. That means we must be enraged about who sits in the pressbox and fire everyone!

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#61 pkam
November 28 2013, 11:20AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Exactly , most teams build defense first as they take longer to develop then up the middle with the wing last.

The team also has to have a badly needed upgrade of the most important player on the ice. Goalie.

Build defense first doesn't mean you use your 1st overall on defense for at least 2 reasons.

1st, defense takes longer to develop, like you said, means they are less ready or more immature at 18, therefore it is more risky to spend your 1st overall on a defense.

2nd, chances of drafting great defensemen in later round is much higher than drafting great forwards. The top 3 defensemen Chara, Weber, and Keith are all 2nd and 3rd rounders. Erik Johnson is the only 1st overall defenseman drafted in the last 10 years. Would you rather have Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom, Phil Kessel over Erik Johnson? Those are the 2nd to 5th overall in that year.

Goalie is the same. There are many great goalie in very late rounds. Lundqvist is 7th rounder, Rinne is 8th rounder, Kippa is 5th rounder, Halak is 9th rounder, Bobrovsky and Niemi are even undrafted.

This year, Seth Jones is considered number 1 in draft ranking, what happened? So 3 teams are as dumb as the Oilers? And out of those 3 teams, 2 of them are equally bad in defense as the Oilers.

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#62 camdog
November 28 2013, 11:30AM
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@pkam

When was the last time the Oilers drafted an AllStar player outside of the first round? Everybody can talk about what other teams are capable of but the fact is the Oilers haven't drafted anybody significant outside the first round since the 80's.

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#63 S cottV
November 28 2013, 11:42AM
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Lofty wrote:

Is using Weight and Guerin as an example of success wise? If this rebuild equates to their record it will be another oilers failure.

Well - I think a lot of other factors were at play that made it tough in that era. Weight 1C and Arnott 2C, were not part of the problem. Guerin was certainly not part of the problem either. Other critical parts like the back end - that was the problem. Weight - like, with an Arnott - like - 1 and 2C would be a beautiful thing in this era. We have one potential - RNH, but a long ways from the other.

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#64 Smokey
November 28 2013, 12:12PM
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pkam wrote:

He has skill, no question about it. Those no look high risk turn over passes a few years back is bad habit like what we see in Hall. The question is whether he can clean up those mental mistake.

He has one give away in 3 games so it doesn't look too bad so far this season. So why not give him at least half a dozen of games before we determine if he is the same players 4 years ago.

Got no issue with Dennis. He just had 4 mediocre to bad seasons in a row. 1 in the NHL and 3 in the KHL. So if you need 6 more games to believe he's going to return to form you will get it cause it looks like they will role with him till Larson returns. It was a idiotic signing. A bandaid.

He use to be reasonable defender. Decent on breaking the cycle, ok a dzone coverage. But he has been chaotic since his Islander days on breakouts, and doesn't shoot, which is lovely.

He will be back in OKC by January.

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#65 pkam
November 28 2013, 12:14PM
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camdog wrote:

When was the last time the Oilers drafted an AllStar player outside of the first round? Everybody can talk about what other teams are capable of but the fact is the Oilers haven't drafted anybody significant outside the first round since the 80's.

Does the fact our scouting sucks make my argument invalid?

Because our scouting sucks, we have to use our 1st overall to draft a defenseman or goalie over a forward?

The fact our scouting sucks make it even more risky to draft a defenseman than forward with our 1st overall.

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#66 Smokey
November 28 2013, 12:21PM
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Ducey wrote:

Sorry, I forgot. The Oilers lost the last game. That means we must be enraged about who sits in the pressbox and fire everyone!

Ill rant and rave rebardless. The season is over baring Bryzgalov going batshyte crazy and literally becoming unconscience in goal.

Ill rant till Katz dumps this cronistic backward inept management. Its a mess, put your head in the sand. Im a passionate fan who wants to go games.

Ill try to bytch and moan on days then win so I don't get accused of only moaning when they loose.

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#67 pkam
November 28 2013, 12:46PM
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Smokey wrote:

Got no issue with Dennis. He just had 4 mediocre to bad seasons in a row. 1 in the NHL and 3 in the KHL. So if you need 6 more games to believe he's going to return to form you will get it cause it looks like they will role with him till Larson returns. It was a idiotic signing. A bandaid.

He use to be reasonable defender. Decent on breaking the cycle, ok a dzone coverage. But he has been chaotic since his Islander days on breakouts, and doesn't shoot, which is lovely.

He will be back in OKC by January.

Well, nobody believed Acrobello will work before the season started. The signing of Acrobello is probably dumber than signing Grebeshkov. Who knows. All I know is 3 games is too small a sample size to make any judgement.

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#68 camdog
November 28 2013, 01:03PM
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@pkam

So if we get another lottery pick, do we take another skilled winger?

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#69 Ducey
November 28 2013, 01:08PM
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camdog wrote:

When was the last time the Oilers drafted an AllStar player outside of the first round? Everybody can talk about what other teams are capable of but the fact is the Oilers haven't drafted anybody significant outside the first round since the 80's.

In the last 11 years, Jeff Petry, Kyle Brodziak, Stoll and Greene are all pretty good picks outside the 1st round. Most of the guys in the last few years have not had time to develop.

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#70 hockeycrazed
November 28 2013, 01:09PM
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Wait a minute, I think I finally figure out what the Oil are thinking, they found out there's someone they like on the next draft, probably will need a top five position to claim him, and they are sabotaging the season with a purpose, that's it!!!! otherwise why letting Fedun rot in AHL? When he can contribute top 4 minutes right now!!???

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#71 Ducey
November 28 2013, 01:11PM
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Smokey wrote:

Ill rant and rave rebardless. The season is over baring Bryzgalov going batshyte crazy and literally becoming unconscience in goal.

Ill rant till Katz dumps this cronistic backward inept management. Its a mess, put your head in the sand. Im a passionate fan who wants to go games.

Ill try to bytch and moan on days then win so I don't get accused of only moaning when they loose.

If the season is over, then whats the big deal about seeing what they might have in Grebs?

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#72 S cottV
November 28 2013, 01:14PM
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pkam wrote:

Does the fact our scouting sucks make my argument invalid?

Because our scouting sucks, we have to use our 1st overall to draft a defenseman or goalie over a forward?

The fact our scouting sucks make it even more risky to draft a defenseman than forward with our 1st overall.

No question you have to hit a homer and pull what turns out to be a high quality d or g after the first round or two - every now again. Oilers haven't done that. There are times to take a d man awfully high in the first round. LA didnt do too bad with Doughty #2 overall in 2008. Doubt they win the Stanley Cup without him. Seth Jones looks like the real thing as well, and some of the teams that passed on him will likely regret it. Looking back at recent Oiler picks with 20 20 hindsite - 2007 Gagner over Couture? (bigger C), 2008 - Eberle small winger but probably the thing to do, 2009 - Paajarvi soft winger but at least we got Perron, 2010 Hall a winger over Sequin a centreman?, 2011 Hopkins a good size high skill centreman - was the thing to do but he is going to take time to develop into a #1 guy who can dominate. 2012 - Yak a winger on team with no depth at centre and no bonafide #1 d men in the system? vs some pretty high end d men available like Murray and Reinhardt? Maybe you trade that #1 pick for something and pick up Reinhardt or get even more and go a little later and grab Dumba. Both will be top pairing d men in the future. 2013 - Nurse looks good. Overall - too many wingers playing mostly in their own end...

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#73 pkam
November 28 2013, 01:31PM
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camdog wrote:

So if we get another lottery pick, do we take another skilled winger?

My choice is BPA.

If equally talented, center first, wings second, defense last, and never a goalie.

Because it is easier to move a center to wings than the other way, and a forward is more predictable than a defense.

From 2001 to 2010, 8 out of 10 1st overall are forwards and all of them (including Hall) are selected in the TSN top 50 NHL players. The other 2, a goalie and a defense, are not.

In 2008, there are 4 defensemen drafter 2nd to 5th after Stamkos. 2 work out as top pairing, the other 2 mostly likely 2nd pairing.

Can you imagine giving up a top 50 NHL player for a 2nd pairing defense?

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#74 pkam
November 28 2013, 02:16PM
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S cottV wrote:

No question you have to hit a homer and pull what turns out to be a high quality d or g after the first round or two - every now again. Oilers haven't done that. There are times to take a d man awfully high in the first round. LA didnt do too bad with Doughty #2 overall in 2008. Doubt they win the Stanley Cup without him. Seth Jones looks like the real thing as well, and some of the teams that passed on him will likely regret it. Looking back at recent Oiler picks with 20 20 hindsite - 2007 Gagner over Couture? (bigger C), 2008 - Eberle small winger but probably the thing to do, 2009 - Paajarvi soft winger but at least we got Perron, 2010 Hall a winger over Sequin a centreman?, 2011 Hopkins a good size high skill centreman - was the thing to do but he is going to take time to develop into a #1 guy who can dominate. 2012 - Yak a winger on team with no depth at centre and no bonafide #1 d men in the system? vs some pretty high end d men available like Murray and Reinhardt? Maybe you trade that #1 pick for something and pick up Reinhardt or get even more and go a little later and grab Dumba. Both will be top pairing d men in the future. 2013 - Nurse looks good. Overall - too many wingers playing mostly in their own end...

The problem with scouting is after you replace them, you have to wait at least 6-7 years before you know if they work. And then the GM has the final said so we don't really know if it is the GM's fault or the scouting's fault. To make it even worse, the development also plays an important role. Even the GM and the scouts draft the right guy, the development can still screw it up.

We know we were unable to develop young players before 2008. It may be bad GM, or poor scouting, or lack of development, or all of them. My believe is the lack of development. Even the GM and scouting is bad, you think they will hit a homer once or twice in so many years. When I look back, almost all our players now are either coming from Europe, College, or from CHL. Not even one are coming from AHL before 2010.

We'll see if our scout and our farm team OKC is working for us pretty soon.

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