GDB 29.0: SHARK HUNTING...UPDATE RNH OUT

Jason Gregor
March 20 2013 10:47AM

Breaking News: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is sick and will not play tonight...Rishaug just reported from the rink. So Oilers will have to dress two non-centres tonight. Ouch.

After a gutsy third period got them a win over Nashville on Sunday, the Oilers need to attack the struggling San Jose Sharks early tonight and get them on their heels. The Sharks have been one of the worst teams in the league since February 1st.

The Sharks are a woeful 5-10-6 after starting the season with seven straight wins. The Sharks outscored their opponents 27-12 in their first 7 games, but they've been outscored 59-36 in their last 21.

They Sharks are struggling and if the Oilers want to stay in the playoff hunt tonight is a game they need to win.

The Sharks don't have any offensive depth. Joe Thornton (27), Patrick Marleau (23), Logan Couture (21) and Joe Pavelski (17) are the only forwards with more than ten points.

The Oilers have way more scoring depth. Sam Gagner (27), Taylor Hall (26), Jordan Eberle (20), Ales Hemsky (17), Nail Yakupov (14) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (11) are in double-digits, while Magnus Paajarvi has 6 points in his last 8 games.

The Sharks are ahead of the Oilers in the standings, but right now they are not playing like a superior team.

LINEUP

Hall/Horcoff/Hemsky
Paajarvi/Gagner/Yakupov
Jones/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

Smid/Petry
Whitney/J.Schultz
N.Schultz/Fistric

Dubnyk

The only change might be Hartikainen coming in for Jones, but after listening to Ralph Krueger yesterday I think he'll stick with Jones. Jones couldn't do any activity for the entire month of January, due to his eye injury, and that hurt his conditioning. Krueger feels Jones is getting better every day and feels the extra time between games has allowed him to improve his cardio. It sounds like he wants to give him a few more games and see if the improved conditioning will help Jones.

TRADING WHITNEY

The Oilers are in the midst of their first playoff run in four years and yesterday Jonathan Willis and David Staples suggested it would be wise to trade Ryan Whitney. Let's look at this a little closer.

There is no doubt Whitney struggled early this season, but lately he has played better, especially offensively.  After the nine-game road trip, where Whitney scored three goals, he admitted that despite his offence coming around he still needed to work on his gaps and his overall defensive game. No one is arguing he can't improve there.

He'll never be considered a great defensive D-man, however, he does excel on the powerplay and that is why trading Whitney at this point of the season would be a step backwards.

  • 37% of the Oilers goals have come on the powerplay. They rely on their PP more than any other team in the NHL, and Whitney is the best PP D-man they have. The Oilers have no adequate replacement on the roster, and considering they rely that much on the PP to score, I don't see why you would risk trading away your best PP D-man while you are at the start of a playoff run.
     
  • Staples ad Willis suggested Corey Potter could fill in. The same Potter who has 0 points this year. First off he shoots right, and the Oilers 2nd PP unit is set up so a left shooting D-man quarterbacks the powerplay. So, outside of replacing Whitney with an inferior PP player, you are now going to adjust their system, even though the Oilers PP has been very effective at 22.9%. I say, pardon.
     
  • Staples suggested Potter was great on the PP early last season, but then he lost PP time to Whitney. Let's look at that. 

Player  Team Pos  GP  PP TOI PP TOI/G 
 
Corey Potter EDM D 62 153:24:00 2:28
Ryan Whitney EDM D 51 115:02:00 2:15
Jeff Petry EDM D 73 93:26:00 1:16
Cam Barker EDM D 25 58:01:00 2:19

  • In fact, Potter averaged more PPTOI/G and he had 38:36 more PP time all season. Potter finished with 11 PPP, while Whitney had 10. Potter had six of his PPP in the first 9 games of the season, and then produced only 5 in the remaining 57. He had a great start to the season, but I don't think we should use a good nine-game stretch as the basis that Potter is an above-average PP player. 
     
  • In the 21 games Whitney has played this season the PP is 21 for 78, 26.9%. Whitney has been on the ice for ten of those goals and has five points. In the 7 games he sat, the PP was 4 for 31 at 12.9%.
     
  • In the six games Potter played while Whitney sat, Potter played 11:48 on the PP scoring no points and he was on for one PP goal. He averaged 1:58 of PP time in those games, while Whitney plays 2:38.
     
  • It is clear that Whitney has a much bigger impact on the PP than Potter. 
     
  • Whitney is even better than Justin Schultz when you look at PP time=production. Whitney has played 55 minutes of PP TOI and he's been on the ice for 10 PP goals. Schultz has 155 minutes of PP TOI and he's been on for 15 goals. Schultz is a rookie and he's already a very good PP player, and I expect he'll be even better in the future, but right now Whitney is still more productive.
     
  • Unless you believe the Oilers are suddenly going to become a productive ES team, I see no reason why you trade Whitney. The organization wants their young players to experience "playoff-like" games, and if they want that to happen they should keep Whitney because he helps the PP. And right now the Oilers can't win without a successful powerplay.
     
  • The other suggestion was that you could replace Whitney with Jeff Petry. Petry is already playing 22 minutes a night, and he isn't dominating. Adding more minutes and giving him less rest won't make him play better, nor will it make the PP more effective.
     
  • Trading him for a draft pick is pointless, absolutely pointless, at this juncture of the season. The Oilers need to play meaningful games, and stay competitive now, rather than add another 2nd round pick that might, slim chance, help them in four years.
     
  • It is clear Whitney is very good on the PP, and considering how much production they need from their PP to win games, it makes little sense to move Whitney him. The Oilers do not have an adequate replacement. If the Oilers are out of it after the next seven games, then for sure you look at moving him, but if they are in the mix I wouldn't move him for a draft pick.

 QUICK HITS

  • Last night Daniel Alfredsson become only the 57th player in NHL history to record 1,100 career regular season points. He is also one of the rare players who had his best offensive season between the age of 30-35. He had 78 points at 30 years of age, 80 at 31, lockout at 32, 103 at 33, 87 at 34 and 89 points as a 35-year-old. Impressive.
     
  • He's likely to become only the 11th player with 1,100+ points to play for only one team/organization for his entire career. Can you name the other ten? *Answer below.
     
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are 7-0-4 in their last 11 games and are now tied for 8th place. They only way they keep winning is if Sergei Bobrovsky keeps standing on his head. The Jackets were outshot in 9 of the 11 games, by a margin of 297 to 362. They are giving up 33 shots against in this unbeaten streak. They also played 9 of those games at home and a whopping nine of them went to OT.  They were 3-2 in SO and 2-2 in OT. It is great for fans in Columbus to have their team in the hunt, but they will need to tighten up defensively to stay competitive. Bobrovsky has a .966 SV% in their last nine games. Incredible.
     
  • The Oilers had almost a perfect last few days, and they didn't even play. There were no 3-point games involving teams in the playoff hunt, and the Sharks, Predators, Flames, and Coyotes (twice) all lost. Now it is up to the Oilers to win.
     
  • Carey Price is getting a lot of hype for the Vezina, and deservedly so, but Tukka Rask has been stellar with for the Bruins with a 1.92 GAA and 0.928 SV%. If Bobrovsky continues his stellar play he'd have to be considered.  

PREDICTIONS....

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers score three minutes in, and skate away with a 4-2 win led by two goals from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Devan Dubnyk is much better in the first frame tonight than he was when the Sharks lit him up for six goals in 20 minutes in the home opener. (Easiest prediction ever.)

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: With only one goal in his last 20 games, Nail Yakupov is the second one on the ice for warm up. As he is circling the ice he stops at the top of the right faceoff circle and motions to Paajarvi to come over. Paajarvi stops and after a brief moment, he smiles and laughs. Yakupov looks at him seriously and then Paajarvi mouths something to him. Yakupov smiles and says something back, then he skates away. Paajarvi looks a bit perplexed, but then continues his warm up.

Yakupov scores a PP goal in the 2nd period, and after the game he explains the what happened during warm up. It turns out Russian are very superstitious. Yakupov asked Paajarvi to say, "ни пуха ни пера!" which roughly translates to "neither fur, nor feather!" which means good luck.  Then Yakupov replied, "К чёрту!" which means, "To the Devil," which is a way of securing good luck. Yakupov explains Russians do this before important tests, and since he tonight was considered a "good test" for the Oilers he thought he'd try it. 

TRIVIA ANSWER

** Daniel Alfredsson is now the 11th player in NHL history to play for only one team/organization and score 1,100 points.

Alfredsson sits 57th all-time in scoring with 1,100 points. Senators
Mike Bossy:            52nd with 1,126. Islanders
Nicklas Lidstrom:  50th with 1,142. Red Wings.
Bobby Clarke:         42nd with 1,210. Flyers
Jean Beliveau:       39th with 1,219. Canadiens.
Alex Delvecchio:    33rd with 1,281. Red Wings.
Gilbert Perreault:   32nd with 1,326. Sabres.
Stan Mikita:             14th with 1,467. Blackhawks
Joe Sakic:               9th with 1,641. Nordiques/Avalanche
Mario Lemieux:      7th with 1,723. Penguins
Steve Yzerman:      6th with 1,755. Red Wings. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2013, 12:43PM
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DSF wrote:

Hey, remember when the Oilers could have picked up Cody Franson (2G 15A 17P +11) for peanuts but everyone here thought a 24 year old defenseman had no room to improve.

How would a 6'5" 215 lb smooth skating defenseman look on the Oilers blue line about now?

That Burke sure is a dummy.

Mike Komisarek was put on waivers today; if he clears he'll join Tim Connolly with the Marlies. I don't think Burke's a dummy, but this isn't the day I'd pick to trumpet his incredible accomplishments.

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#2 TayLordBalls
March 20 2013, 11:02AM
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while I am not an expert, it seems to me that most major injury takes 3-4 months playing time, for the player to get back to previous strengths.

Whitney is just coming around now and is an asset, not a liability.

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#3 K_Mart
March 20 2013, 11:15AM
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No Fistric? nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I get that Krueger doesn't want guys sitting for too long, but I also don't care.

Fistric hasn't been nearly as slow as his reputation. He's quick enough to get there for the hits.

His defensive game is good. He leads the team in +/-. And when he starts hitting, it seems the rest of the team follows.

Potter on the other hand... fail.

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#4 rubbertrout
March 20 2013, 11:43AM
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Boobs.

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#5 Kent Wilson
March 20 2013, 11:16AM
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The only issue for Whitney on the PP is...the Oilers generate the least amount of shots per hour when he's on the ice of any other PP option on the team (25.2/60). To put that in perspective, the worst PP shot rate in the league is this year is 38.3/60.

The reason he has decent PP point total is the Oilers have scored on over 26% of their shots at 5on4 with him on the ice. Really, really effective units score on about 15% of their shots long-term and the league average is about 12%.

Now, you can assign that sky high conversion rate to something Whitney does, but that would make him the most effective PP quarterback in the league by a very wide margin. In reality, he's probably been fortunate, particularly since the team doesn't generate a high volume of shots when he's out there.

I don't know if Potter or Petry would be better in his stead though. This year no one other than Schultz has spent enough time on the PP to make a meaningful comparison.

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#6 Truth
March 20 2013, 11:51AM
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I think the key point is missed on the Whitney trade item. Whitney is a free agent in the off-season and is likely not to be re-signed prior to going to market.

Also, last place Colorado is 4 pts lower than the Oilers and 6 out of a playoff position, and Calgary is 2 pts lower than the Oilers and 4 pts out of a playoff position with 1 game in hand on the Oil. Everyone is in a playoff race.

Losing Whitney to free agency for nothing in return is horrible asset management. Does anyone believe the Oilers are going to win the cup this year with Ryan Whitney? How much do the odds change when Whitney is removed?

It would not be worth it to trade him for a pick outside of the first round. However, if the Oilers could possibly get a 1st for him or a legitimate hockey player in return they do it.

I realize fantasy trade proposals are often just that, but I would like to see Whitney be moved for a player like Drew Stafford out of Buffalo.

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#7 ghostofberanek
March 20 2013, 11:59AM
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Hey all, long time reader of Oilersnation, and finally decided to sign up and chime in. I really don't think trading Whitney is a good move right now, the Oil simply won't get enough for him to make it worth it. Also, why all the talk of trading Gagner? He's our first point-a-game center since Doug Weight (if I'm not mistaken) who's still years away from his prime. He's small, but if he produces, then so what?

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#8 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 12:01PM
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Unless the Oilers are going to re-sign Whitney then they HAVE to trade him. Yes, its nice that they are in a playoff race but Whitney has been good (better) for 2 weeks. He could go back to being a complete liability as soon as this little warm streak ends.

If he walks for nothing then all the Oilers get out of keeping him is 20 games of mediocre hockey. This is being touted as a very deep Draft year. A 2nd round pick is a good return and with so many teams bunched up I doubt there will be many sellers. The Oilers could potentially get VERY good value for Whitney.

Will not having Whitney in the lineup really negatively affect the team? Maybe, but he wont be here next year so they better learn how to play without him now.

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#9 Truth
March 20 2013, 12:10PM
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Gusher wrote:

Let's claim Komisarek

Well would you look at that, there are members of Leafsnation reading the articles over here at Oilersnation.

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#11 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 01:21PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Jusdoit.....We all agree the oilers need some size and grit up front (we have a glut of small skilled forwards). My point is that ultimately I would like a top 1/2 center, but that will cost you. Likely Gagner+prospect+pick or Hemsky +++. If Gagner is the player out, then a center needs to be coming back, If it is Hemsky going out then you have a little more flexibility. Gagner is not a natural center and while he is having a good year points wise, he still struggles significantly in the defensive zone as well as in the dot. If Gagner is not the player moved, then the Hemsky +++ nets the center and Gagner moves back to the wing where I suspect he would be even better as he no longer has the D and F/O responsibilities. I like Gagner, but tough decisions need to be made to move this team forward and he is the one of only 2 assets in the top 6 that would/could be moved.

What leads you to the conclusion that Gagner is not a natural center?

Beyond that, I think you should re-think two assumptions:

1) that a lack of "size and grit" are what ails this team; and

2) whatever it is you expect from a 22 year old 2nd line Center that allows you to perceive Gagner as coming up short.

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#12 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 01:43PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

No kidding. People bash Gagner just because of size and grit factor. It's ridiculous. Any mention of Gagner's PK numbers this season? NO! Any mention of his point-per-game scoring? Nope. If the Oilers traded Gagner for a big center, the fans would complain because production had decreased at 2C.

Gagner needs to improve 5v5 play and faceoffs. He is still young and can do this, imo.

I would like the team to focus on possession metrics when evaluating potential trade targets -- not be so blinded by size and grit alone.

Agreed.

Gagner's put up some sub-par possession numbers (shot differential and corsi) this year and has benefited from some puck luck. These are clearly areas of concern.

But he's a committed player who is still very young and manages to produce.

you don't sneeze at that, unless you hate winning and the future.

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#13 106 and 106
March 20 2013, 10:54AM
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Let me be the FIST to say Whitney has served his time admirably as an Oiler and the two points tonight are the biggest ones yet! Fire it up BOYS!

(PS: First FIST, super-pumped!)

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#14 Chilly Canadian
March 20 2013, 11:06AM
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Thank you for defending Whitney! He's been doing much better lately. Going to my first Oilers game this year tonight, can't wait!

GDP: Oil win off the back of Hallsy, 5-3 OGDP: Rishaug gets Thornton going with a pre-game interview NSOGDP: Mike Brown gets his first Gordie Howe Hat-trick, with a fight in the first, an assist in the second, and an insurance goal in the third. After the game, reports come from OKC of Ben Eager weeping in the corner of his hotel room.

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#15 Baresnake
March 20 2013, 11:06AM
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The "Not-So-Obvious" Game-Day Prediction seems PRETTY OBVIOUS to me. Come on Gregor, be better. When does Yakupov NOT do that???

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#16 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2013, 11:06AM
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In fairness, I suggested Jeff Petry and Corey Potter as possibilities for PP#2, and on Twitter subsequently made it clear that my preference would be to see Petry in that role.

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#17 Bucknuck
March 20 2013, 11:44AM
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If Sam Gagner plays 13 more seasons with the Oilers (up to age 36) and averages 60 pts a season, he will break the 1000 pts mark.

It just shows what an impressive accomplishment that Alfredsson has acheived.

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#18 Oil4Life
March 20 2013, 11:51AM
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So excited for tonight. Going to be a great game. my perdictions. Eberle with the hat trick, Thorton injured, sharks pull their goalie after the 1st.

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#19 DieHard
March 20 2013, 12:00PM
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If he's not part of next year's team, then trade him. It's very marginal having him on PP verses what he provides at ES.

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#20 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 12:01PM
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@ghostofberanek

Welcome to the Comment section!

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#23 justDOit
March 20 2013, 12:18PM
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When you combine the years of losing (and losing horribly), with the sniff of opportunity this season and the approaching trade deadline, and then factor in all the sideways opinions of rabid fans, you really need to be wary of falling victim to the Dopeler effect - which is the tendency of stupid ideas to appear smarter when they come at you rapidly.

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#24 johnnyshaka
March 20 2013, 12:30PM
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Gregor, why can't Whitney be dealt for a pick to a playoff team and that pick (and other picks and prospects) get dealt for a better, younger NHL player from a seller at the deadline who would be here going forward?

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#25 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 12:32PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

"37% of the Oilers goals have come on the powerplay. They rely on their PP more than any other team in the NHL, and Whitney is the best PP D-man they have. "

Is it just me or is everything about this sentence INSANELY ALARMING????

Even more alarming when you realize how piss-poor our PP has been of late.

The fact that we are still riding an obscenely hot PP start, however, shouldn't delude us.

Variance is swinging back against us and it will to Whitney too.

Trade him while the showcase is fruitful.

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#26 DieHard
March 20 2013, 12:43PM
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DSF wrote:

Hey, remember when the Oilers could have picked up Cody Franson (2G 15A 17P +11) for peanuts but everyone here thought a 24 year old defenseman had no room to improve.

How would a 6'5" 215 lb smooth skating defenseman look on the Oilers blue line about now?

That Burke sure is a dummy.

Is it just the Oilers?

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#27 justDOit
March 20 2013, 12:55PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Apologies justdoit, I couldn't remember if he was restricted or not. But my comments of him still bringing the better return stand.

I really can't see how trading away a player who has finally turned the corner and is proving to be a valuable 2C is a good idea. And if you trade him for a 'power forward', as you say, and then can't just sign him back in the summer, this leaves the Oilers with less depth in their weakest position - center.

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#28 GVBlackhawk
March 20 2013, 01:35PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

What leads you to the conclusion that Gagner is not a natural center?

Beyond that, I think you should re-think two assumptions:

1) that a lack of "size and grit" are what ails this team; and

2) whatever it is you expect from a 22 year old 2nd line Center that allows you to perceive Gagner as coming up short.

No kidding. People bash Gagner just because of size and grit factor. It's ridiculous. Any mention of Gagner's PK numbers this season? NO! Any mention of his point-per-game scoring? Nope. If the Oilers traded Gagner for a big center, the fans would complain because production had decreased at 2C.

Gagner needs to improve 5v5 play and faceoffs. He is still young and can do this, imo.

I would like the team to focus on possession metrics when evaluating potential trade targets -- not be so blinded by size and grit alone.

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#29 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 06:21PM
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EHH Team wrote:

If only they had given Magnus or Hall a shat at centre in OKC

If only they'd picked Adam Hall up on waivers last week.

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#30 geoilersgist
March 20 2013, 10:59AM
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I don't understand why all the Whitney hate. The guy came off a big surgery and looks by eye to be rounding into a comfortable/confident game.

Hopefully the boys can pull out a win here and turn it into a 4game streak. Just win in regulation tonight thats all they need.

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#31 TayLordBalls
March 20 2013, 11:14AM
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now if Potter could learn to skate over the oppositions face rather than our own players....

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#32 StHenriOilBomb
March 20 2013, 11:17AM
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Here are my guesses: Lemieux, Yzerman, Sakic, Beliveau, Richard, Stasney, Bossy Lidstrom, Esposito (did he play anywhere other than Chi?), Brind'Amour (Hartford/Carolina only?)... can't think of any others... Probably another Hab in there...

now to look at the answers...

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#33 Will
March 20 2013, 11:19AM
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I think the argument for trading Whitney is about not losing a player for nothing. True a second round pick might turn out to be nothing in four years. But relying on Whitney to get better, or any one on the team for that matter seems like a bad way to run a team. Especially after so long of a wait.

Also, as the season goes on, don't the whistles get put away? Thus negating Whitney's effectiveness due to less penalties?

I mean how effective is a guy who is leaky defensively, bu happens to play half a power play each night?

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#34 dawgbone
March 20 2013, 11:22AM
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The question regarding Whitney then becomes how much of the PP succeeding is because of him and how much is it because of plain old luck?

For instance, the puck is going in with Whitney on the ice, but the Oilers aren't generating a heck of a lot of shots, nor is Whitney contributing many points on the PP (right now he's 8th on the team in PPP/60). He's also benefitted from a 26.67 shooting % while he's on the ice.

So is this just a hot shooting phase while Whitney is on the ice or is it something more?

I don't disagree that, right now, he's one of the 2 best D options for the Oilers PP... but I'm not sure I agree with your sentiment that the Oilers have to keep him because of that. You have to counter that with the fact that he's still bleeding a lot at ES.

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#35 Racki
March 20 2013, 11:25AM
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I honestly don't see why Petry doesn't get more PP time and less PK time. He has a pretty balanced skill set, but he's heavily used in defensive situations. This time could probably be eaten up by Fistric or N. Schultz instead.

I'd also say that Justin Schultz is our best powerplay d-man, not Whitney. Yes, Schultz is likely bagged, and he can't possibly get any more powerplay time. But to say Whitney is our best powerplay defenseman is a fallacy, IMHO, and seems like you just forgot we have Justin Schultz.

That said, I wouldn't go trading away Ryan Whitney for the first thing we can get... but if he can address other needs, I'd still say you have to consider it. Jeff Petry or another d-man can replace the whopping 5 power play points Whitney has brought us this year.

Ryan Whitney is hot, and that is bumping up his value and enamoring fans to him again. But after watching him struggle the past couple years and the injury problems, I'd say it's not a bad idea to consider moving him.

The Oilers powerplays should be largely driven by Hall, Yakupov, Nuge, Eberle, J. Schultz, and to a lesser extent Horcoff (since someone has to gain puck possession). Whitney fits in there, but I don't think he's an irreplaceable part.

Edit: also of course Gagner and Hemsky key players on the PP too

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#36 ghostofberanek
March 20 2013, 12:01PM
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Also, Oilers win 2-1 tonight, Jones with the winner.

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#37 jeanshorts
March 20 2013, 12:20PM
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"37% of the Oilers goals have come on the powerplay. They rely on their PP more than any other team in the NHL, and Whitney is the best PP D-man they have. "

Is it just me or is everything about this sentence INSANELY ALARMING????

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#38 Dallylamma
March 20 2013, 12:33PM
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I don't think you trade Whitney now unless he's part of a package that brings back something spectacular in return (not likely). Besides, it's not like the team really loses anything if they keep him and he signs somewhere else in the summer...they will gain his cap room for another player.

Also, if Whitney does finish strong for the Oilers this year would the Oil consider offering him a one year, vet-minimum type deal? He's been a good Oiler despite his injuries and he seems to want to continue to be an Oiler.

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#39 Truth
March 20 2013, 12:35PM
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@Jason Gregor

"And tell me why trading him for a 2nd round pick, which has a 15-20% of working out makes sense."

I'll take a crack at it, however I am no stats/odds expert.

Bodog currently has the Oilers odds for a Stanley Cup at 50/1, or 2%. Say 10/1 of that is their margin, leaving 40/1, or a 2.5% chance that the Oilers win the cup this year. If the Oilers lose Whitney from the lineup for the rest of the year I would argue that the 2.5% chance does not get cut by any significant amount. At 2.5%, who cares, they aren't doing it this year with or without Whitney.

I would rather see Whitney shipped away for a 15-20% chance of acquiring an NHL player than to be kept on the roster to the end of the year and lost to free agency for nothing. It is true that Whitney is on a nice run at the moment, but what happens when he returns to the form he was in at the beginning of this season? He ends up not in the lineup and the Oilers get nothing in return.

I don't think the odds for picks developing into players in the later rounds would be worth it, however. If Whitney makes that much of a difference to a team, as you are alluding to, a team (such as Pitt, who are being given a 5/1 shot at the cup) would be more than willing to offer something of value for his services in the playoffs this year alone.

Of course, a trade for an actual NHL player would be best. But losing him for nothing is inexcusable at this point in the Oilers rebuild.

Edit: I apologize, I didn't see that you replied to me prior to me posting this. But, yes I am fully assuming the Oilers are not re-signing Whitney. Stafford for Whitney just an example of something the Oilers should try to acquire, throw in a pick.

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#40 Will
March 20 2013, 12:44PM
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It really is a shame he's turning things around now. A littler earlier in the season and it could be shown he finally has turned a corner and he can contribute to our team, or any other team interested in acquiring him.

Yes, it would be bad management to see him walk for nothing, but sometimes that's the risk you take when in a payoff race. Much like how Dallas had to let Richards go for nothing a few years back, teams in a playoff race have a tough choice to make.

If he plays well down the stretch, and then helps in the playoffs, then I suppose the conversation switches to trying to resign him.

Finally, I doubt, we could get a second round pick for him as very few teams seem to be buyers this year. Everyone's just in kind of a holding pattern looking to see how the next few games go.

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#41 Ducey
March 20 2013, 12:54PM
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@Jason Gregor

And deep draft, deep schmaft...The 2nd round pick, might, big might, be a player in four years. The Oilers need to compete now, and stop hoping for more kids to help them. Go look at teams that continually lose...they trade away NHL players for picks, and never get better.

Great teams trade away NHL players for picks all the time!!

In June Philly traded Bobrosky to CLB for three picks, ANA traded Vishnovsky to NYI for a pick. In July STL trade Crombeen for two picks. Recently, Dallas traded EDM Fistric for a third.

Last Feb WPG traded Oduya for two picks. CHI traded Scott for a pick, Buffalo traded Gaustad for a first round pick, DET traded Mike Commodore for a conditional pick.

The Oilers have a surplus of 5/6 Dmen. Trade the one you can.

The second round pick the Oilers could get might be the player that puts them over the top in 2 or 3 years.

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#42 Jay Kreye
March 20 2013, 01:04PM
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Is Fistric still hurting or flu maybe? I sure like his game when he plays but he can't stay in the lineup for some reason. Nice to have him play against a big team like the sharks. Don't understand why Toby Peterson, I mean Corey Potter continues to play as much as he is. Brutal.

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#43 Mr. Sense Common
March 20 2013, 01:15PM
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@DennyB

oh man...now you're talkin.....STEVE OTT baby.....he would be the most loved player in Edm since Mark Messier. write that down. I guess we need to hope and pray lightning strikes Tammy and he thinks of Ott

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#44 Dog Train
March 20 2013, 03:11PM
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I totally agree about Ryan Whitney. We should be past the point of shipping out useful players for draft picks every year.

Huge game tonight. Lots of teams in the hunt for the 8th spot seem to really be struggling right now with the exception of Columbus who are bound to come back to earth sooner than later. It seems like the top 6 or 7 teams are kind of separating from the pack so we need to keep our recent success going. I'll say 3-2 Oilers.

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#45 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 04:24PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Who in their right mind would give up a first for WHITNEY?

Tambo can't trade with himself you know.

True story, the EXACT same thing was said about Penner.

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#46 OilClog
March 20 2013, 04:30PM
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Whoever thinks replacing any D-man with Potter is a solution.. Maybe you should just watch Basketball or something.

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#48 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 05:01PM
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@Jason Gregor

Jason, that draft pick is 15-20% potential of something. What the Oilers get on July 1 when Whitney signs for another club is guaranteed 100% going to be nothing.

Conversely they could get a prospect who is more of a known commodity or choose to re-sign Whitney themselves.

In any of those scenarios the Oilers Franchise ends up ahead of what happens when they let someone walk for nothing.

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#49 DSF
March 20 2013, 05:02PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

All what ifs...just like the draft pick...And it isn't excellent value, it is 15-20% potential of something...I don't deem that excellent, you do. Fine.

What are the chances that Whitney plays well enough to get the Oilers into the playoffs?

Considering their chances right now are about 19.8 percent WITH Whitney, I wouldn't think they'd be significantly different without him.

If the Oilers plan to re-sign him (which would be a big mistake in my opinion) then, keep him for the rest of the season.

If not, see ya later.

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#50 Lawndemon
March 20 2013, 05:16PM
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Keeping a pending FA when you are in a playoff hunt is the same as trading prospects for one. You don't expect them to re-sign at the end of the season but you want the push to potentially make the dance.

Being part of a playoff push, and having management show confidence in the core, has way more general value than a 2nd round pick. Asset management includes maximizing the assets you plan to retain. Having Whitney in the lineup does more to develop the core than sticking Potter on the ice.

Enough loser talk. It's time for a push.

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