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 a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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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#51 Alsker
December 05 2013, 05:31PM
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After Tuesday night this one could end up being a couple feet under the rock bottom...as for Belov maybe OKC has a coach that can actually explain and teach this system??

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#52 John
December 05 2013, 05:32PM
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The real head scratcher for me is bringing up both Larsen and Marincin over Fedun. I like both, but right now Fedun is killing it in the AHL, and had a great first 3 games in the NHL. If the idea is to just get Marincin a few games and some $$ i get that, but doesn't seem to be the best player coming in. I actually think Marincin will be better in a few years, but Fedun has clearly earned another call up.

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#53 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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#54 Taylor Gang
December 05 2013, 05:58PM
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Wheres the GDB?

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#55 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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#56 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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#57 **
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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#58 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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#59 Young Oil
December 05 2013, 03:50PM
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I'm getting real tired of this circus.

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#60 tileguy
December 05 2013, 03:56PM
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more stupidity!

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#61 Danger Pay
December 05 2013, 04:00PM
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All I've got to say is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM-7Ts-3wmY

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#62 HugThePost
December 05 2013, 04:01PM
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Huh??!!

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#63 ValleyviewSports
December 05 2013, 04:04PM
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Belov should be in before Potter at absolutely all times.

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#64 tileguy
December 05 2013, 04:14PM
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Belov was actually quite calm on the puck. Yeah he got stripped once in a while but that was part of his learning game on the small ice. He made good strides in the north american game early on and was still growing today. He is the one player on the oilers capable of learning on the job.

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#65 HugThePost
December 05 2013, 04:16PM
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where is today's GDB?

Or have we reached the point where it is pointless to even consider the outcomes of the games have any uncertainty to them.

Sigh. Following this team is grimness.

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#66 chmilhouse
December 05 2013, 04:21PM
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HugThePost wrote:

where is today's GDB?

Or have we reached the point where it is pointless to even consider the outcomes of the games have any uncertainty to them.

Sigh. Following this team is grimness.

Gregor is on vacay... he's not on the radio all week either.

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#67 mayorblaine
December 05 2013, 04:51PM
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allow me the privilege:

GDB Number who cares:

Gregor had a baby. He's a dad! Great news.

GDP: OILERS LOSE!

OGDP: OILERS LOSE!

NOGDP: OILERS TIE!

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#68 CMG30
December 05 2013, 04:56PM
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I have to admit that I'm confused by this move. I also have to admit that I've not been watching the games lately but when I did catch a game, Belov did not seem to be my first candidate for demotion. In fact, going forward I kind of saw him as part of the solution (Not a top 2, but valuable none-the-less) Maybe they saw value in allowing him to play top paring minutes in OKC for a while?

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#69 Naky
December 05 2013, 05:01PM
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Nothing about this makes sense. You might have beef with Belov's play at times this year, but he's still a better (by far) defenceman than Potter and Marincin at this point in his career. This literally boggles the mind. Either this is completely inept roster management with no foresight or it's a serious punishment for something behind the scenes we don't know about.

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#70 pkam
December 05 2013, 05:12PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I don't think the Oilers really send him down to OKC. Probably another way to buy a roster spot for a few days instead of putting a player on IR, like what they did before with Acrobello. Perhaps it is easier to demote a player than to put a player on IR?

If it is bizarre to scratch Belov base on TOI, then is it even more bizarre to scratch Petry? If you don't think it is bizarre to scratch Petry, then why is it bizarre to scratch Belov?

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

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#72 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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#73 Frank the dog
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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