LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER

Lowetide
March 23 2013 10:26AM

This deadline is going to tell us a lot about the Oilers blue in 2013-14. How much are the Oilers counting on Oscar Klefbom?

The fact that the Oilers have Laddy Smid hanging out to dry a little as we approach the deadline suggests to me that the club may feel Oscar Klefbom can stick in a big way come fall. If you read his draft day scouting report it does make some sense in terms of skill set:

  • Redline Report: Klefbom is a real Red Line favorite. He’s certainly the most overlooked of the top prospects, but is the best pure passer of the bunch, and his skating ranks only behind Murphy. He already makes pro style passes — crisp and with touch — and excels at breaking the trap with tremendous stretch passes through the neutral zone, showing great vision. He was also the natural leader on Sweden’s national under-18 team. All this comes wrapped in a 6-3, 196-pound package, and Klefbom has really stepped up the physical aspect of his game over the last 12 months. At Red Line, we believe he might ultimately become the best all-around balance of offensive upside and physical strength in this year’s class.

That part that I've underlined puts Klefbom on another level from Smid if he play against the other team's better players and be an effective defender. That's a massive item: Klefbom has never skated in the NHL and is probably years away from being able to handle the workload Smid faces every night--if ever.

Defensemen like Smid do not grow on trees, and are rarely free agents when they're 27. Why? Good teams lock them up with long term deals before they push the free agent button.

Why did Edmonton wait? I hear crickets at my house.

LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER

When it comes to throwing rookie defensemen into the deep end, the Edmonton Oilers have been eager to move in lock, stock and barrel and get things going right away. As a for instance, the club didn't wait more than a heartbeat after Jeff Petry showed an ability to play good opps at par before offloading Tom Gilbert, and Justin Schultz has been playing big (and tough) minutes as a rookie.

I think the club wants a more mobile, passing savvy option on LD for the top 4, someone like Klefbom who has a wider range of skills. The problem is that when it comes to rookie defensemen--and I've been watching this for 40 years--mistakes happen until the game slows down and they become comfortable with multiple sorties and making good decisions at speed.

The smart plan (imo) is to sign Smid to a long term deal and enter the fall looking something like this:

  1. Smid-Petry
  2. Schultz-Schultz
  3. Klefbom-veteran RH D

It's going to cost a lot, very likely north of $4M a year to sign Smid. That is the price of waiting this late to sign a capable 27-year old defenseman. When Klefbom finds his way, the club can move him up to the second pairing--maybe as Nick Schultz has his contract expire--and then Klefbom can move up with someone like Marincin arriving.

The problem isn't that Klefbom can't handle NHL defense, the problem is that he isn't proven. It's like Smid in 2006 fall, or Justin Schultz now; Schultz is flagging and struggling but there's no real option that allows coach Krueger to put Schultz in the pressbox for a night or two. It just isn't available.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Playing NHL defense is a damn difficult job, and if you don't do it well there a millions watching who know what you did wrong. The only real way to succeed is through this simple equation: skill married to experience. The Oilers have the skill, but the moment Ladislav Smid leaves they'll take another hit in the experience department.

It won't work. It never has.

Today at noon Edmonton time, we hit the airwaves of Team 1260 with two hours of hockey talk. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Cullen from tsn. We’ll talk about first half surprises, Oilers who are kicking butt, Calder chances for Yakupov and Schultz, and of course your questions are welcome.
  • Ellen Etchingham from Back Hand Shelf. We’ll talk about Ellen’s unique view of the game, what fascinates her these days and her unusual relationship with the rabid fandom that is Oilers Nation.
  • Corey Graham from team 1260′s Oil King broadcasts. Corey’s the hardest working play by play guy in junior hockey, because the Oil Kings keep winning! A massive blowout last night kicked off the playoffs for the OK, we’ll talk about the game, the incredible depth and the Memorial Cup.
  • Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. Travis is the Senators columnist for the buzz, and he’s exceptional. His tee up for today’s game is here. We’ll talk Senators, Oilers, playoffs and the impact of coaching on a roster.

Hope you can tune in. Questions and comments welcome, best way to get hold of me (even during the show) is on twitter @Lowetide_ but I check the blog too for questions and comments.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 TSN 1260.
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#1 freeze
March 23 2013, 11:00AM
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This management team makes way too many big gambles. Let Klefbom grow organically. Sign Smid to the most reasonable deal you can. If things don't work out then offload him for assets later. You can never have too many quality D.

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#2 a lg dubl dubl
March 23 2013, 10:37AM
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I hope Klefbom goes to the AHL next season, at least to start off, with his shoulder problems this year and not playing for most of this season pushing him into the line up would hurt his process.

If Dithers chooses to trade or let Smid walk, and Klefbom makes the team out of training camp, that will tell me that he is happy being in the lower end of the conference every year and doesntwant to help this team win when it matters most.

The time is now to get players that push the team into the next level, not picks.

Dithers must go!!

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#3 Jon
March 24 2013, 05:37AM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Considering that the contract we sign Laddy to will ultimately be fullfilled by another NHL team on the backend who really cares if we give him a top loaded contract now?

We will ultimately be baited into trading one of the kids sooner or later, we can pretend it isnt going to happen but it will happen sooner than later if we start next year off loseing. It will be done via this managment team or the new one we will need to bring in if we dont turn the corner.

The Kid gloves are off with this organisation, yes we need to sign Smid and no we cant replace him for a reasonable cost now or ever because he is so young, Smid is still years away from his prime which for d-men is later than forwards. Smid fits our template for d-men quite well and its that simple so the Oilers must put up the money now, they realise one of the core group of kids will be in play next year if this team doesnt start to win games so they will pay now to keep the defense we have intact knowing full well they will be demanding a top d-man back if they are forced to pull the trigger next year.

The Oilers cant afford to rock their own boat right now, they need to wait to see where the other shoe drops after this shortened season, players like Hall have a few years behind them now and are defineable quantitys, Halls results for example make him a huge trade asset next year, in fact maybe our top asset overall.

We will never be in a position to keep this core intact , the only chance this team had to do that was this shortened season, a winning season would have forced the PTB to close ranks and solidify the roster. Ultimately the players always decide their own fates, if they want to be winners then they better buckle down right now and win for each other to try to keep this group together for a few years, the longer it takes them to get their acts together the higher the likelyhood we see one of them traded before this team hits its stride.

Smids value is really defined by the type of d-man he is and that is a big,shot blocking stay at home tough as nails slightly nasty defneceman , exactly what we need, and exactly what every team in the NHL needs, no we cant afford to let him go just yet.

We cant even support J. Shultzes offense this year, we have issues with keeping players in their optimal individual stylistic comfort zones within the system we use, Laddys chances of being signed sucessfully are quite high, he knows the system well enough that he can provide consistant results within it like Gagner and Horcoff and a few others can do.

We waited to sign Laddy long term because of our cheap ass negotiating practices this managment team prefers to use over integrity based operations. This Oilers organisation invests in long term character and performance assasination to escalating degrees as a form of fiscal control at contract negotiation time, it is really bush league. We did the same thing to Gagner and are taking it hard on that one, as we will all soon see. We couldnt forsee all the #1 picks we would aquire and werent set up to make the fiscal model we have in place now work, not at all.

I dont envy this managment group because most of the key decisions they arent making right now are curative decisions that are corrective in nature, these dirty jobs must be done before this team can move forward in a healthy way.

All roads lead to Rome and all roads in Hockey lead to managment. We are so far behind in taking curative action to revamp the organisation as a whole that we are trying to fix things from ten years ago today and the organisation cant seem to find a way to make the jump to realtime with its projection of resources and influence. All the players including Laddy are caught in this time tunnel type of situation. The players all project accurately and the player managment team has a decent take on all of them but the system and upper managments wants constantly change and alter course preventing asset optimisation hence the lack of system optimisation and the resulting lack of consistancy.

This is why so many people are calling for a realignment in managment, they see the source but maybe not the influences that lead them there. Fans see the disconnect but dont understand that most of it is caused by HISTORICAL problems we cant seem to shake, we are managerially trying to maintain an idealism that has utterly failed us and because the key players at the Round Table all are grizzled old veterans they all believe that holding the line is the best decision to make, and because they are old and grizzled and have nothing to lose and they are willing to let the team sit and rot while they get their bearings and adjust their eye-glasses and nodd at each other affirmatively in a Santa Clause type reassureing feel-good manner.

I have surrendered the season to the players ability to work for each other , the system has shown it can work, the coaches have shown they can work the system, now its up to the players to show each other that they are all worth the 60 mins of hard work it takes to win one game at a time.

Managment gets no more attention from me this year and system and individual player critiques are out the window, its gutcheck time and this means its finally the Witching Hour and the Players will take the ship in from here or will go down with it as marks on their resumes. Ones that as a group they can never erase. Its time to sit back and see who has matured and who hasnt, all the marbles are in play every night.

Anyone ever watched the video for the song "Jesus take the Wheel"? Well the Players have the wheel now and this is surely a runaway train, but the right hands are in control now, I wonder how the story is going to end?

This is a comment section, not a thesis section. If people were interested in your painfully lengthy posts you'd have your own blog. I'm not trying to be a dick, but Jesus - dial it back.

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#4 The Soup Fascist
March 23 2013, 10:55AM
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Thanks LT. Matt Foley, More Cowbell, Celebrity Jeopardy and Chippendales are my favorite SNL skits. Hadn't seen this in awhile. If Tambo thinks Klefbom can walk in to this lineup without a Smid type in the lineup, he will soon be living in a van by the river.

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#6 Chet134
March 23 2013, 10:56AM
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Why hasn't tambo put a defense core together to give time for kleffbom, Musil, maurancin, garnet, etc to develop in the AHL. Oh stupid me, our management hasnt made a tough decision for five years. Expect to go with the same squad next year. Maybe kleffbom in the squad. Crickets crickets......

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#7 Eulers
March 23 2013, 11:00AM
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It's not crickets you are hearing, but fans like me pulling their hair out!

Klefbom needs at least another year in Sweden or the AHL before being thrown to the sharks---especially given his injury.

This tendency to push the Blue into service too early is a strong argument in a large case for tossing management.

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#8 Rama Lama
March 23 2013, 11:01AM
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This kid comes highly touted.........we all get that and for all the reason mentioned. JS was also very highly touted, and for the most part worth the praise.

Playing in the NHL is difficult especially coming from the European system and size of ice surface..........there is much less time and space to make decisions here at the NHL , and spending time in the AHL should be seriously considered for Klefbom. Give him some time to get use to the NA game in the AHL........just makes too much sense. Please let's not rush this kid because Mr. Dithers is incapable of making a deal for a left shooting defenseman.

I'm with AM on this one..........great article on an exiciting prospect.

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#9 DSF
March 23 2013, 11:03AM
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I would think the success of Jonas Brodin, who is playing 22 mins a night on Minnesota's top pairing and keeping his head above water (I'm sure playing with Suter helps a lot), provides some hope that Klefbom may arrive as an option sooner rather than later.

Having said that, paying Smid anywhere north of $4M as an insurance policy would be a huge mistake.

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#11 schrotes27
March 23 2013, 11:50AM
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As long as you dont try and tell us that cloutier is a smart guy ill take your word

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#12 Quicksilver ballet
March 23 2013, 11:51AM
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We'll soon find out if this Klefbom is more hype than talent. He must be good if they're giftwrapping a roster spot for him. Justin Schultz wasn't even gifted one of those on this mostly vacant blueline.

I'm all for moving out multiple bodies to make room for new blood on this team. Get what you can for Smid,Whitney,Khabby,Jones. Save the Gagner/Hemsky/Paajarvi types for a present day top pairing blueliner if that developes. Maybe Kevin Lowe is this summers Paul Holmgren at the entry draft, if they're finished with this intentional tanking stuff finally.

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#13 Ales Hallsky
March 23 2013, 10:31AM
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*crickets*

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#14 Brutis
March 23 2013, 10:33AM
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This wont be the FIST dumb move that Tambi makes.

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#15 OilersBrass
March 23 2013, 10:44AM
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I remember Tambi saying that Klefbom was guaranteed a spot on the roster if he leaves Europe to come play for the Oilers. I really want to see Klefbom on the team next season, but after coming off an injury that put him out for a year, it would be best for his development to spend one more year in Europe or the AHL. I really hope they don't screw up with this kid.

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#16 Smokey
March 23 2013, 11:15AM
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Citizen David wrote:

I've become more a fan of Fistric and less a fan of Nick Schultz. I wouldn't be surprised if Klefbom's ready to step in as a third paring D next season. But Smid doesn't play on our third pair so that's not a good swap. Everything I've every read about Klefbom makes me so excited for him come dominate. Injuries scare me though.

I think we reversed ice team and Fistric was getting more then the 16-18 minutes a night and essentially changed roles with Schultz we may see more problems in his game. I love the fact that a guy like Fistric can handle the Joe Thorton's as a third pairing guy. I like how Fistric's being used, Schultz on the other hand is playing a little too much and has never seemed terribly comfortable here. Both are solid 5/6 guys.

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#17 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 23 2013, 11:20AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Travis is a really smart guy. I know you'll give him a chance and would love to hear what you think after the interview.

i dont discount what he brings, i think it is more a guilty by association type issue i have.

if he is that good hopefully someone else snaps him up and he can wash off the hockeybuzz stench.

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#18 Mikey
March 23 2013, 11:46AM
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DSF wrote:

I would think the success of Jonas Brodin, who is playing 22 mins a night on Minnesota's top pairing and keeping his head above water (I'm sure playing with Suter helps a lot), provides some hope that Klefbom may arrive as an option sooner rather than later.

Having said that, paying Smid anywhere north of $4M as an insurance policy would be a huge mistake.

4 mil to Smid is too much just like 6 mil is too much for Hall and Eberle.

Just think how much 3 mil could help us in the next 4 years. (3.25 for Smid, 5 for Hall and 4.75 for Ebs)

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#19 DSF
March 23 2013, 11:56AM
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Mikey wrote:

4 mil to Smid is too much just like 6 mil is too much for Hall and Eberle.

Just think how much 3 mil could help us in the next 4 years. (3.25 for Smid, 5 for Hall and 4.75 for Ebs)

Yep.

The next 3 years, as the cap recovers are a critical time.

Overpaying anyone right now is dumb.

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#20 lostdog82
March 23 2013, 12:52PM
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Do the oilers not need to sign Smid just to have some roster depth ? You know what you get with Smid. Instead we are to roll the dice on some free agency signing to replace him ? How much faith do you have in our ability to sign free agents ? our track record is not strong there. Sign Smid so the kids can develop in the minors.

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#21 lostdog82
March 23 2013, 01:04PM
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I would like to see some actual names being mentioned as replacements for this defence. Fans continue to say there is someone better out there for cheaper. Who are these players ?

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#22 Bonvie
March 23 2013, 03:14PM
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DSF wrote:

I would think the success of Jonas Brodin, who is playing 22 mins a night on Minnesota's top pairing and keeping his head above water (I'm sure playing with Suter helps a lot), provides some hope that Klefbom may arrive as an option sooner rather than later.

Having said that, paying Smid anywhere north of $4M as an insurance policy would be a huge mistake.

Agreed that it would not be a wise move to go much over 4m, he should sign for 3.5 over 4years.

I think comparing the situation is Minnesota only points out the recipe to succesfully bring in a rookie Dman, and that is to pair him with a very good veteran as a partner, and on this team that would be Smid.

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#23 @Oilanderp
March 23 2013, 03:39PM
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If the Oilers are trying to come out of the rebuild, then really they have to sign Smid at whatever the cost. If they are fine dithering at the bottom of the league for another couple of years then trade Smid now for picks.

As I see it, it really is that black and white.

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#24 NewAgeSys
March 23 2013, 03:47PM
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Considering that the contract we sign Laddy to will ultimately be fullfilled by another NHL team on the backend who really cares if we give him a top loaded contract now?

We will ultimately be baited into trading one of the kids sooner or later, we can pretend it isnt going to happen but it will happen sooner than later if we start next year off loseing. It will be done via this managment team or the new one we will need to bring in if we dont turn the corner.

The Kid gloves are off with this organisation, yes we need to sign Smid and no we cant replace him for a reasonable cost now or ever because he is so young, Smid is still years away from his prime which for d-men is later than forwards. Smid fits our template for d-men quite well and its that simple so the Oilers must put up the money now, they realise one of the core group of kids will be in play next year if this team doesnt start to win games so they will pay now to keep the defense we have intact knowing full well they will be demanding a top d-man back if they are forced to pull the trigger next year.

The Oilers cant afford to rock their own boat right now, they need to wait to see where the other shoe drops after this shortened season, players like Hall have a few years behind them now and are defineable quantitys, Halls results for example make him a huge trade asset next year, in fact maybe our top asset overall.

We will never be in a position to keep this core intact , the only chance this team had to do that was this shortened season, a winning season would have forced the PTB to close ranks and solidify the roster. Ultimately the players always decide their own fates, if they want to be winners then they better buckle down right now and win for each other to try to keep this group together for a few years, the longer it takes them to get their acts together the higher the likelyhood we see one of them traded before this team hits its stride.

Smids value is really defined by the type of d-man he is and that is a big,shot blocking stay at home tough as nails slightly nasty defneceman , exactly what we need, and exactly what every team in the NHL needs, no we cant afford to let him go just yet.

We cant even support J. Shultzes offense this year, we have issues with keeping players in their optimal individual stylistic comfort zones within the system we use, Laddys chances of being signed sucessfully are quite high, he knows the system well enough that he can provide consistant results within it like Gagner and Horcoff and a few others can do.

We waited to sign Laddy long term because of our cheap ass negotiating practices this managment team prefers to use over integrity based operations. This Oilers organisation invests in long term character and performance assasination to escalating degrees as a form of fiscal control at contract negotiation time, it is really bush league. We did the same thing to Gagner and are taking it hard on that one, as we will all soon see. We couldnt forsee all the #1 picks we would aquire and werent set up to make the fiscal model we have in place now work, not at all.

I dont envy this managment group because most of the key decisions they arent making right now are curative decisions that are corrective in nature, these dirty jobs must be done before this team can move forward in a healthy way.

All roads lead to Rome and all roads in Hockey lead to managment. We are so far behind in taking curative action to revamp the organisation as a whole that we are trying to fix things from ten years ago today and the organisation cant seem to find a way to make the jump to realtime with its projection of resources and influence. All the players including Laddy are caught in this time tunnel type of situation. The players all project accurately and the player managment team has a decent take on all of them but the system and upper managments wants constantly change and alter course preventing asset optimisation hence the lack of system optimisation and the resulting lack of consistancy.

This is why so many people are calling for a realignment in managment, they see the source but maybe not the influences that lead them there. Fans see the disconnect but dont understand that most of it is caused by HISTORICAL problems we cant seem to shake, we are managerially trying to maintain an idealism that has utterly failed us and because the key players at the Round Table all are grizzled old veterans they all believe that holding the line is the best decision to make, and because they are old and grizzled and have nothing to lose and they are willing to let the team sit and rot while they get their bearings and adjust their eye-glasses and nodd at each other affirmatively in a Santa Clause type reassureing feel-good manner.

I have surrendered the season to the players ability to work for each other , the system has shown it can work, the coaches have shown they can work the system, now its up to the players to show each other that they are all worth the 60 mins of hard work it takes to win one game at a time.

Managment gets no more attention from me this year and system and individual player critiques are out the window, its gutcheck time and this means its finally the Witching Hour and the Players will take the ship in from here or will go down with it as marks on their resumes. Ones that as a group they can never erase. Its time to sit back and see who has matured and who hasnt, all the marbles are in play every night.

Anyone ever watched the video for the song "Jesus take the Wheel"? Well the Players have the wheel now and this is surely a runaway train, but the right hands are in control now, I wonder how the story is going to end?

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#25 @Oilanderp
March 23 2013, 06:56PM
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Go dangle yourself in a van down by the river!

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#26 A-Mc
March 24 2013, 10:28AM
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I agree. The newagesys posts are retarded long.

The irony of it all is that, while putting so much work into making posts like that, no one reads them because they are far too long.

His posts need to be 10% of what they are.

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#27 justDOit
March 23 2013, 10:39AM
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How many GMs does it take to rush a European player into the most difficult job in the NHL?

Well apparently, four - but there's still time to add more. Does the trade deadline apply to management too? Hmmmm - better get Ricky to google that!

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#28 Jay
March 23 2013, 10:40AM
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Still, my only question remains.... In 2 years when he's our third pairing guy, will you be able to find a team willing to trade for him at 4mill a year with 2/3 years left, without taking a contract back?

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#29 Citizen David
March 23 2013, 10:58AM
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I've become more a fan of Fistric and less a fan of Nick Schultz. I wouldn't be surprised if Klefbom's ready to step in as a third paring D next season. But Smid doesn't play on our third pair so that's not a good swap. Everything I've every read about Klefbom makes me so excited for him come dominate. Injuries scare me though.

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#30 Rama Lama
March 23 2013, 11:03AM
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BTW the funniest clip from SNL.........off all time. RIP Chris!

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#31 Smokey
March 23 2013, 11:03AM
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Klefbaum is a year of seasoning before he steps in, so I don't think he factors into the equation. If he steps in the Oilers are making a real mistake. I expect Smid to be signed to a 5 year 3.75 contract. You don't replace top 5 in block shots in the league easily,. I think if you have to go to 4 mil so be it, because a contract like Smid could be off loaded easily enough if cap room is needed for other pieces. You either sign him or you sign a comparable for the same money. Problem is you set the bar for Petry next contract.

In two years you could conceivable have a defence of Smid-Petry, Schultz-Klefbaum, Musil, Maricin, Gernat, Bigos or Free Agent. You last pairing needs to be on the cheep....

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#32 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 23 2013, 11:05AM
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not gonna lie lowetide. a small part of me died inside seeing someone associated with hockeybuzz mentioned on the nation and being a featured guest on your fine show.

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#34 Jay
March 23 2013, 11:14AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

not gonna lie lowetide. a small part of me died inside seeing someone associated with hockeybuzz mentioned on the nation and being a featured guest on your fine show.

I think a larger part of me died? I didn't even know that cr@ptastic website was still operating! come on LT! you're better than that!

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#35 Mikey
March 23 2013, 11:39AM
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Smokey wrote:

Klefbaum is a year of seasoning before he steps in, so I don't think he factors into the equation. If he steps in the Oilers are making a real mistake. I expect Smid to be signed to a 5 year 3.75 contract. You don't replace top 5 in block shots in the league easily,. I think if you have to go to 4 mil so be it, because a contract like Smid could be off loaded easily enough if cap room is needed for other pieces. You either sign him or you sign a comparable for the same money. Problem is you set the bar for Petry next contract.

In two years you could conceivable have a defence of Smid-Petry, Schultz-Klefbaum, Musil, Maricin, Gernat, Bigos or Free Agent. You last pairing needs to be on the cheep....

As much as I love Smid, you can replace Top 5 in shots and hits. Montreal did it when they let komisarek go.

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#36 Chet134
March 23 2013, 12:02PM
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Come on guys. You have to understand that Edmonton is a franchise that has to overpay to keep players. Smid 5yrs 22 million. Crickets crickets

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#37 Serious Gord
March 23 2013, 12:12PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I understand your point, but the new CBA does allow a team to take on a portion of the deal they're sending away. Way more wiggle room.

Whatever we keep of his salary to make a trade goes against our cap. Essentially you are conceding that signing smid is a deal that could be a loser for the team right about the time when the oils cap troubles will be acute.

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#38 Rocket
March 23 2013, 12:18PM
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I just hope the Oilers don't rush him to the NHL like they did with their other hyped prospects.

Starting in the AHL is the obviously smart move.

So of course Tambo & Lowe will start Klefbom on the Oilers first pair D.

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#39 StHenriOilBomb
March 23 2013, 12:28PM
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3 things:

1) I really hope they start him in the AHL and use him as the first injury call up, and plan that he'll have serious troubles adjusting, so if he doesn't it's a pleasant surprise.

2) In that first pic he looks a little like a young Pronger. Could be a good sign. (checks advanced stats for a look-alike-rating)

3) What the heck happened to Nation Radio? Is it happening? Will it be back? I miss it.

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#40 Hayek
March 23 2013, 12:28PM
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I hope Klefbom is good, and everything we have hoped for, but it's going to be a tough road for him as a rookie defenceman, and probably one that won't put up a lot of points.

The positive is the team should be better next year, and hopefully in a spot just outside the playoffs. Less losing will hopefully have the fans less opportunity to get negative on him.

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#41 nuge2nail
March 23 2013, 12:59PM
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I have never really like Smid, hes a dumber, slower version of Jason Smith.

Puck moving defenseman are valued more than stay at home, so that brings his contract down to 3.5 and than the fact he has zero offence should drop him to the 3.0 range.

If we bring in a top 4 via free agency or trade, Smid would drop down to #4/#5 on the team.

We have two move puck movers on the right side in Shultz and Petry. We have Nick Shultz and Fistric. We have Klefbom coming up as a left handed shut down guy.

J Shultz, ______, Petry, N Shultz, Klefbom, Fistric.

The blank should not be filled with Smid, it should be filled by someone who can move the puck and log heavy minutes.

Smid is good, but if we upgrade our D finally this offseason, Smid replaces Klefbom in the rotation above and becomes our #5. Do we really want a 4 million dollar #5 dman?

Please do not overpay this overated dman. The only reason he blocks so many shots is because he cant get the puck out the zone. He is too slow to remove the player from the puck and is forced to put his body infront of shots. He is a warrior but his hockey iq isnt there, or he would have more than 2 points this year.

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#42 nuge2nail
March 23 2013, 01:12PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Shot blockers do not make 4/16 million.

1. Brook Orpik (88bs, 7pts, +14) 3.75m

2. Andrew Macdonald (84bs, 7 pts) 550k

3. Niklas Grossman (82bs, 7 pts) 3.5m

4. Ladislav Smid (81bs, 2 pts)

5/6/7/8. Girardi, Carlson, Hainsey, Zanon

All these defenseman are more offensive than Smid and do not make the kind of money Smid is looking for.

Looking at the comparisons, and the fact Smid claims to want to stay in Edmonton he should sign for 13/4 years Max. Anything else is a gross overpayment and will come back to hurt the team.

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#43 nuge2nail
March 23 2013, 01:17PM
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lostdog82 wrote:

I would like to see some actual names being mentioned as replacements for this defence. Fans continue to say there is someone better out there for cheaper. Who are these players ?

Oiler Domination To Follow

Girardi is a better dman and signed for 3.25.

Marc Staal is night and day better than Smid, signed for 3.95.

Both long term deals, so please do not suggest paying Smid 4 Million over 4 years would be a good deal.

It would be another classic overpayment to keep an average player on the team out of desperation. Not being able to upgrade the top 4 since 06-07 is resulting in us believing Smid is a top 4 dman, and as such paying him for that. He is a #5/#6 on a contending team... please refer to DSF examples if you dont believe it. Mark Streit, Jbo, Gardiner all come to mind in D upgrades. Possibly trading for Ryan Mac from the Rangers when they have cap issues this offseason. Be creative, we have tons of drafts picks we can make some moves to upgrade the D this year.

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#44 Hayek
March 23 2013, 01:17PM
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Why is the shotblock even a useful stat? Pretty sure goals, assists, giveaways, takeaways, +/-, corsi, fenwick, are all more important. yet someehow we are talking about shotblocks.

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#45 DSF
March 23 2013, 01:24PM
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Hayek wrote:

Why is the shotblock even a useful stat? Pretty sure goals, assists, giveaways, takeaways, +/-, corsi, fenwick, are all more important. yet someehow we are talking about shotblocks.

Because it fits the narrative off those who think Smid is a bonafide top 4 defenseman.

The flip side of the shot block stat is that the player doing the blocking is spending way too much time in his own end.

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#46 messy Eh!
March 23 2013, 01:51PM
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@nuge2nail

^^^^^what this guy said!

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#47 messy Eh!
March 23 2013, 01:57PM
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Give Smid 8 years 24 million. That takes him until 35. And a 3 million a year cap hit. Salary will likely 100 million by then. I think he would sign because it's pretty much his retirement deal.

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#48 Klima's Mullet
March 23 2013, 01:59PM
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DSF wrote:

I would think the success of Jonas Brodin, who is playing 22 mins a night on Minnesota's top pairing and keeping his head above water (I'm sure playing with Suter helps a lot), provides some hope that Klefbom may arrive as an option sooner rather than later.

Having said that, paying Smid anywhere north of $4M as an insurance policy would be a huge mistake.

I like your line of thinking here...Suter is a gifted player but Brodin looks so solid in that pairing. Do you think J Schultz/Klefbom ultimately becomes the top pairing? Anything over $3m for Smid seems like an overpay.

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#49 DSF
March 23 2013, 02:07PM
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Klima's Mullet wrote:

I like your line of thinking here...Suter is a gifted player but Brodin looks so solid in that pairing. Do you think J Schultz/Klefbom ultimately becomes the top pairing? Anything over $3m for Smid seems like an overpay.

Klefbom was rated slightly below Brodin in his draft year but who knows how his injury will affect him.

The jury is still out for me on Schultz.

He's obviously very gifted offensively but his defensive game is a mess.

Reminds me a great deal of Jack Johnson...in more ways than one.

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#50 Raine
March 23 2013, 02:07PM
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Klefbom marred by injuries the past couple years, he won't play a single game this season, never has put up any kind of points and many fans think he's going to step in next season and become our future Pronger. I don't think so. Klefbom is on track to be Ladislav Smid, nothing overly special ... and he might be behind schedule due to injuries and the inability to develop his game.

AS a prospect scouts on Smid often said this about him "He's a smooth skater, excellent puck-handler and has great vision on the ice." ... this didn't exactly translate to the NHL.

I wouldn't get overly excited about Klefbom until he's back on the ice and we can see how he progresses. All this positive talk about a guy on the injury reserve for a duration of a season is comical.

I highly doubt the Oilers are waiting on Klefbom to fill in Smid's boots next season, as being suggested by Lowetide.

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