Anton Belov Demoted

Jonathan Willis
December 05 2013 03:48PM

 

The Oilers have announced the demotion of Anton Belov to the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons.

Key Questions

1. Did the Oilers need the roster space with their recent call-ups?

The Oilers official roster currently shows 14 healthy forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders. That's a full NHL roster, but Boyd Gordon could easily be shuffled off to retroactive injured reserve (joining Tyler Pitlick, Ilya Bryzgalov and Richard Bachman on the list). As Bruce McCurdy pointed out on Monday, Gordon could go on injured reserve and be eligible to return for Saturday's game.

So unless Gordon plays tonight, no the Oilers didn't need the roster space. And even if Gordon's ready to go, Edmonton could have avoided this situation by just leaving Martin Marincin in the minors. 

2. This saves Edmonton money, right?

Yes it does. Assuming that neither player hits his performance bonuses, Marincin's roughly $200,000 cheaper. It's difficult to imagine that $200,000 being decisive in this move, though.  

3. Does Belov need to clear waivers?

No. Belov is on his entry-level contract, so there is no risk of losing him on the waiver wire. 

Why It's A Bad Idea

The simple answer is this: there are not seven better defenders on the Oilers roster than Anton Belov. Here's what the depth chart looks like today, based on total minutes handed out by the coaching staff:

  1. Jeff Petry: 640 minutes
  2. Andrew Ference: 595 minutes
  3. Anton Belov: 528 minutes
  4. Justin Schultz: 457 minutes
  5. Nick Schultz: 435 minutes
  6. Philip Larsen: 170 minutes
  7. Denis Grebeshkov: 96 minutes
  8. Corey Potter: 85 minutes
  9. Taylor Fedun: 49 minutes

We could point to Belov's strong underlying statistics, his size and strength and ability to move the puck, or any number of other items, but the biggest point here is that the only left-side defender ahead of Belov in total minutes is Andrew Ference. The coaches have made it clear, by their ice-time decisions, that Belov is seen as a top-four defender on this team.

Now, nothing says the coaches can't scratch a top-four defenceman, to try and get him to improve his game. But one does not simply demote a top-four defenceman for a guy who has never played an NHL game. It's bizarre. 

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Rama Lama
December 05 2013, 05:44PM
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OK just to set the record straight, I just got off the phone with Mac T and KLowe.......the reason for demoting Belov was because he is not fit. This was also the reason for trading SMID.

We were far too heavy in the position and this makes us smaller and faster and now fitter.

Everything will be OK now.......relax people, Mr. Fitness is in charge.

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#52 terranq
December 05 2013, 05:47PM
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I find it helps to read all Oilers news while listening to Yakety Sax

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#53 admiralmark
December 05 2013, 05:47PM
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Ference= 2nd Pairing D man Belov=2nd Pairing Dman Shultz JR= 2nd Pairing D man Shultz Sr= 3rd pairing D man Petry=2nd Pairing Dman Larson 3rd pairing Dman Potter= AHL Dman Fedun=3rd Pairing Grebishkov=SEL Dman(maybe)

When a team like the Oil decide to roll with a lineup like this it means 2-3 D men are playing at positions high above their abilities. What this ultimately means is players are going to go through these major periods of struggles... To think it will end is foolish. The question is can this do damage to a players progression long term?

This rebuild game plan of scorching the earth is showing to be a horrendous concept. Upcoming, even potential superstars would be much better served with a veteran skilled player "still" in his prime to show the way somewhat. I don't think theres an option here.. MacT HAS to get a 1st pairing d man on this team before next season.

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#54 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 05:49PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

OK just to set the record straight, I just got off the phone with Mac T and KLowe.......the reason for demoting Belov was because he is not fit. This was also the reason for trading SMID.

We were far too heavy in the position and this makes us smaller and faster and now fitter.

Everything will be OK now.......relax people, Mr. Fitness is in charge.

As sad as it is...there is most likely some truth behind your sarcasm. Eakins should try and get some skates on a dozen marathon runners and see how they work .Fitness isn't everything.

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#55 Taylor Gang
December 05 2013, 05:58PM
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Wheres the GDB?

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#56 mlcselli
December 05 2013, 06:04PM
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Belov is in the minors, Petry is in the press box and Smid is in Calgary. They're not the best defenders in the league, but they're the best we have or had. Icing an AHL team on an NHL roster is undoubtedly one of the most moronic, nonsensical decisions made by this foolish group of managers to date.

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#57 mlcselli
December 05 2013, 06:25PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Wheres the GDB?

I'll do the honour of providing the GDB--- Obvious prediction--we suck and we lose. Not so obvious.--- Taylor Hall sits in the middle of the ice half way thru the second and cries his eyes out. What I like to see--Captain Ference skating over to the bench at the start of the third and punching Eakins in his big ugly yap. The camera pans to the press box and shows Petry laughing at the idiot that just got knuckled.

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#58 David S
December 05 2013, 06:29PM
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Now Belov is out too? WHAT THE H3LL IS GOING ON HERE???

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#59 madjam
December 05 2013, 06:38PM
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BENCHING AND DEMOTING ? IS THAT THE ONLY TOOL FOR MOTIVATION EAKINS HAS ? What's with these clowns , who's making these bonehead decisions ?

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#60 T&A4Flames
December 05 2013, 06:40PM
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Tanking again......already???

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#61 6 ring circus
December 05 2013, 07:07PM
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Is it just me or does anyone else think the Oilers coaching and management group don't know WTF They are doing !!!

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#62 Serious Gord
December 05 2013, 07:08PM
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Bizarre.

There is no better word to describe the last 24 hours and for that matter the goings on back to the trading of smid.

Seems to me that greatly weakening the defense of the team is going to do nothing positive on the scoresheet, in the standings and to the morale and the development curve of the team.

Especially when - as has been noted be several others here and elsewhere - there are clearly other, higher profile players on the team who are arguably more deserving of a 'time out'.

WHAT A MESS. The oil are the new generation New York islanders.

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#63 D-Unit
December 05 2013, 07:29PM
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Don't quite understand why people are upset about this. No matter what the Oil do on defence they have 4 AHL D on the roster. Might as well rotate them all through the AHL. They are also no better or worse with Belov on the team. He isn't a win or lose difference maker. None of the D are n

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#64 Joy S. Lee
December 05 2013, 08:35PM
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oilerjed wrote:

A couple of hours ago it was VERY important to the coach that he see the game from upstairs. Looks like they feel he can get the same instruction as the rest of us.

Yeah, you're absolutely right about his earlier statement, and the real unfortunate part is that it's so.....Oilers'ish. Don't worry, the secret is safe...the Oilers suck. Don't worry, no one realizes what you're up to, Dallas....

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#65 Smokey
December 05 2013, 10:09PM
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Is this a healthy scratch or he hurt?

If he scratched we just pulled another Hejda. He will look good in Pittsburgh next year. Guess we are not resigning him. Lol. Good Golly management sucks.

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#66 **
December 05 2013, 11:39PM
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mlcselli wrote:

Belov is in the minors, Petry is in the press box and Smid is in Calgary. They're not the best defenders in the league, but they're the best we have or had. Icing an AHL team on an NHL roster is undoubtedly one of the most moronic, nonsensical decisions made by this foolish group of managers to date.

Except for PHillip Larsen (who was caught puck watching a couple of times) the D corps tonight played really well, specially the third pairing of Potter and Marincin. There's a player there with Belov, but he looks overwhelmed. Being in the AHL will be good for him. Petry is not a top 2 dman. Spreading the ice time today between all 6 defenders worked much better for the Oilers than throwing Petry to the wolves. Smid I like, but like Petry he was being used in the wrong situations in Edmonton.

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#67 **
December 05 2013, 11:42PM
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It seems that management is finally listening to the statistics and probability and have officially declared the season lost. Time to see what they got on the prospects. Expect to see Klefbom and Davison up at some point before the Olympics break.

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#68 **
December 05 2013, 11:44PM
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Now that Belov has been demoted, maybe Marincin was brought up instead of Klefbom, Fedun, or Davidson to shoecase him because there's about to be a trade involving him.

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#69 John
December 06 2013, 01:31AM
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Ha...you Sour Pete's were so wrong. 8-2 booya

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#70 jeremywilhelm
December 06 2013, 07:17AM
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Trade him to the Flames!

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#71 T&A4Flames
December 06 2013, 07:56AM
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@jeremywilhelm

May as well send us Yakaflop as well. Seriously, -1, 0 pnts in an 8-2 win??! We can send you 2 C+ prospects again for Yaks and Belov. Deal?

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#72 Dan 1919
December 06 2013, 08:01AM
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D-Unit wrote:

Don't quite understand why people are upset about this. No matter what the Oil do on defence they have 4 AHL D on the roster. Might as well rotate them all through the AHL. They are also no better or worse with Belov on the team. He isn't a win or lose difference maker. None of the D are n

WOW, I was going through these comments wondering if ANYBODY in Edmonton actually realizes that this team has been a bottom dweller for a reason, or they think it’s just hockey magic.

You are 100% correct, all they Oiler’s defencemen are AHL caliber, and rotating through them means nothing. Petry is probably one of the most overrated things this town has seen since those silver balls on Whitemud. He would have trouble, or probably just not be able to crack a good team’s line-up, yeah he can move alright and has flashes where everyone sees him, but at the end of the day he is terrible in his own zone and a liability.

Smid and Belov, seriously? 5-6 or more like 6-7 dmen on a good team.

Don’t get me wrong, it is still a bad thing that we can swap out our apparent top 3 dmen with no ill affects, but at this point we can do it.

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#73 Andy P
December 06 2013, 12:34PM
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oilerjed wrote:

WTF did he say to Eakins?

Something like this: Вы канадцы играть, как девчушки мальчиков. Позвольте мне удар плохого человека с конька, он не даритель нам неприятности снова

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#74 He Who Knows
December 06 2013, 05:10PM
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Mac T is an effin clown as well. These guys have no plan. They never had a plan. They do not know what a plan means.

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