OSCAR NOMINATION

Lowetide
May 11 2013 05:53PM

One of the things Oiler fans should look for this summer is massive overhaul and improvement on the blue. One of the key indicators may be where Oscar Klefbom ends up this fall. If he's in Edmonton as a top 6D, it'll be very hard to argue the rebuild is over and the turn north secure. Should he start in OKC? Best for player, best for team.

At age 20, Tom Poti was playing defense for Boston University in the NCAA. The next season, he was an NHL rookie with the Edmonton Oilers. He was so good with the puck that Poti made the jump, but he had major issues defensively and never did develop into the player expected when he arrived in the NHL.

Part of the problem for Poti was he'd never had to play in a game where there were men more talented; that changed in a quick hurry when he arrived in the NHL.

The Edmonton Oilers current blue features young Justin Schultz, who at age 22 made his debut in the NHL this season. Although it's clear that he's an outstanding talent, it's also true that the learning curve is a steep one even for a highly touted prospect like Schultz.

THE KIDS KEEP ON ARRIVING!

In the case of Oscar Klefbom, there's an added issue: injury. First, his most recent injury in the fall was serious.

  • Ryan DittrickBack on Oct. 9 in a Swedish Elite League game vs. Vaxjo, Klefbom was nudged from behind with what he deemed to be a “dirty hit,” sending him heavily into the boards. On the six-hour, through-the-night bus ride home to Karlstad, the defenceman experienced bleeding in the surrounding muscle and required the use of a sling.

All is well now according to reports but the young man hasn't played in months and has lost some valuable development time. The prudent thing would be for the organization to send him to OKC and wait for him to force his way up the depth chart, possibly earning a callup for an injury replacement or struggling regular.

I think Craig MacTavish put the Klefbom situation into perspective recently when discussing improving the defense.

  • MacT: "Klefbom is a guy everybody is anxiously awaiting to come into our lineup. It's always dangerous to have too high of expectations for a young player, but he's a very complete player for such a young player, so I think he's going to really help back there"

That's a very reasonable take, one that suggests he's going to have an impact, but also saying immediate results are unlikely.

IT WORKED FOR BRODIN

Klefbom (above) was a teammate of Jonas Brodin back in Farjestad, and Brodin's impressive NHL debut has some believing that Oscar can do the same thing. The problem with that idea is this: Brodin was paired with Ryan Suter, one of the NHL's best defensemen. I've read in several places (mostly Minnesota, though) that Brodin inspired the Suter turnaround this season. However, this graph indicates that Suter is far more effective without Brodin than with--which makes sense based on their experience and ability.

Still, that's an excellent pairing--veteran blue with rookie D--but surely if Edmonton acquired a "Ryan Suter" type they would pair him with Schultz the younger--still a developing talent and in need of mentoring.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

In the first installment of this series (Hartikainen--A False Spring?) we discussed the possibility that Harski doesn't deliver enough offense to merit NHL employment. The issue with Klefbom is twofold--experience and readiness--but the long term answer is far more promising.

There is little doubt Oscar Klefbom will have an NHL career. Only injury or a trade will keep him from being an Oiler.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 EricOG
May 11 2013, 08:43PM
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Could we all just agree to pay zero attention to DSF?

The blogs tend to die down with this guy.

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#2 Magisterrex
May 12 2013, 08:00AM
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The quality of the comments have dropped precipitously with the anti- and pro-DSF forces filling the comments with what amounts to spam. What I enjoyed most about this site in the past was the high calibre discussion that followed an article. Now...there is just too much nonsense to sort through to follow a serious in-comment discussion. Very disappointing.

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#4 djc
May 11 2013, 09:45PM
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I wish there could be just one article on this site where someone didn't propose a Shae Weber trade.

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
May 12 2013, 08:03AM
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If Edmonton is fortunate to land the famed #6. Him and Klefbom would make an awesome pairing, much like the dominant pairing provided by Ms. Christina Hendricks.

There's no getting around those two. They'll draw you in like a tractor beam, resistance would be futile. Damn you Christina!

What were we talking about again?

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#6 dougtheslug
May 12 2013, 07:24AM
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DSF wrote:

The Texas Stars D killing the Barons.

Jamie Oleksiak, Joe Morrow and Kevin Connauton all with points tonight.

Considering they also have Jordie Benn and Brendan Dillon in the system, they look like they'll be a force in the future.

Thanks for sharing. But most knowledgable hockey people consider that a pretty middling group of prospects. Connauton is from Edmonton, played for Spruce Grove. He was pretty decent in Tier 2 Junior, and we all thought he might have a pro career, but nothing about him suggests he'll be"a force" in the future. Depth Dman maybe. Oleksiak isn't as good as Martin Maricin, problems with footwork and speed with his large frame. May or may not make the jump. Jordie Benn? Come on DSF, he'e 26 and played a total of 29 NHL games. He has career minor leaguer written all over him. You're mistaking him for his brother Jamie.

Anyway, you're welcome to your opinion such as it is. But anybody with any hockey knowledge would rate the Oiler D prospects (Klefbom, Marincin, Mucil, Gernat, and who knows, maybe Darnell Nurse) a much better group overall.

And by the way, Texas and OKC are tied 1-1 after 2 games heading back to OKC. Both games were 2-1. "Killing" the Barons? Give your head a shake.

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#7 Dub t
May 12 2013, 10:22AM
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Start him in the minors on the top pairing with marincin. I don't care how good he is in camp, rookie seasons are roller coaster rides. Let him make mistakes in the ahl.

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#8 Greg Stink | ESPN
May 11 2013, 09:23PM
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DSF wrote:

And you would be Howe.

"The talent that OKC Barons have graduated Petry, Schultz, Paajarvi, etc..."

That's a pretty sorry record.

You might to throw an elbow to make that group look great.

I'll take the Dallas D prospect group over that bunch any day.

Two bottom pairing defensemen (on a good team) and an AHL level forward is pretty sad.

pissant

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#9 gongshow
May 12 2013, 08:28AM
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Magisterrex wrote:

The quality of the comments have dropped precipitously with the anti- and pro-DSF forces filling the comments with what amounts to spam. What I enjoyed most about this site in the past was the high calibre discussion that followed an article. Now...there is just too much nonsense to sort through to follow a serious in-comment discussion. Very disappointing.

Agreed. DSF and NewAgeSys are different types of Mosquitos that make it less enjoyable to come to ON. Please, is there some way we can add ignore or hide buttons?

I am all for the spirit of open minded discussion, as there have been several posters on ON who I, or others, may have had different ideas, but the collegial give and take can be great for pushing the discussion forward in a meaningful way. Along with the quality of writers, thats what has always been great about your site. DSF is simply a troll and his posts lead to shouting matches that are no different from spam - and a waste of my time.

I like the method of thumbs up/down on Freakonomics.com whereby the crowd can collectively police itself and much like graffiti artists, the trolls eventually leave when their work can't be seen by the masses.

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#10 TeddyTurnbuckle
May 12 2013, 10:30AM
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Lets not forget Smid was a number 9 overall pick and Klefbom was 19 overall. Smid took 5 years to become an average defenseman so lets not get too high on Klefbom until he is making an impact at the NHL. The same people who are talking up Klefbom like he is a savior were saying the same thing about Anton Lander two years ago. Saying how he was part of the untouchable 5. Aka Bob Stauffer.

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#11 Unhealthy scratch
May 11 2013, 07:18PM
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That is an excellent pairing, right there.

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#12 DSF
May 11 2013, 07:18PM
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Gleason and Streit would hardly be much of a step up.

Streit is the #5D on the Islanders based on TOI/G in the playoffs.

While he led the D in ice time in the regular season, he was also -14...by far the worst Islander D.

Gleason was 5th on the Hurricanes in TOI/G and was nothing special.

The Oilers are not going to improve their D by adding another layer of 4-6 defensemen who are getting close to their best before date.

They need TWO top pairing defensemen, otherwise you're just shuffling the deck chairs.

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#13 FSD
May 11 2013, 09:55PM
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Trade Kevin Lowe for Shea Weber.

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#14 They're $hittie
May 12 2013, 03:11AM
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now that the wild and canucks are out

DSF SUCK ME RAW!

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#15 They're $hittie
May 12 2013, 03:15AM
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granlund had 10 ponts and coyle is junk so eat my shi!t

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#16 Spydyr
May 12 2013, 08:23AM
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As long as Klefbom MAKES the team and is not ordained. Some higher ups are already saying he will be on the team next year. In the past too many players were given spots. Make everyone earn a spot.

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#17 Walter Sobchak
May 12 2013, 05:42PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Go for the center's, anything else makes little sense unless they trade that pick for an already established center.

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#18 DonDon
May 11 2013, 06:57PM
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Lowetide, you state:

"One of the things Oiler fans should look for this summer is massive overhaul and improvement on the blue."

I hope you are right, but how is this possible, a massive overhaul and improvement? Obviously, there are a couple of promising defencemen on the farm and Klefboom. This may equate to a bit of an overhaul, but not a massive overhaul and improvement. A massive improvement would mean the replacement of four or five of the current D, with just Smid, Petry and J. Schultz returning.

The NHL UFA pool of D is very shallow and probably expensive. Where do you expect MacTavish will find this talent?

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#19 Hisam Saleh
May 11 2013, 10:27PM
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Kevin Lowe has 6 Stanley Cup rings!

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#20 15w40
May 12 2013, 09:54AM
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If Klefbom is obviously in the top 5 defensemen at camp, then he should make the roster.

If he is not then send him to OKC to get top 4 minutes in all situations.

If he legitimately beats out an incumbent for the Oilers - then good for him.

I get what is being said, in that if he does make the everyday roster that does likely speak to the current roster's makeup.

Unless of course he is actually THAT good.

Here's hoping!

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#21 Jay Gray
May 11 2013, 06:26PM
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Looking forward to this FIST rounders FIST season in the show.

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#22 madjam
May 11 2013, 06:35PM
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How far along J.Schultz might be will determine Klefboms fate I suspect . Whom else we might acquire could leave him develop in AHL for a while . How fast can he adjust to NHL and N.American lifestyle ?

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#23 Jim
May 11 2013, 06:38PM
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Here's hoping he does well and sticks with the Oil! I'm curious though, why I haven't been reading much about David Musil today. Last night's performance was AWESOME!

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#25 Smokey
May 11 2013, 06:56PM
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If I was allowed to cheat on my wife with one girl, it would be Christina Hendricks.

Oh yeah, The Bomb will start in OKC hopefully, but I think he will be in Edmonton in a short time making tasty passes to the kids. I remember Bobby Mac quoting scouts who said he makes a better first pass and is better skater the Larsson. I can't wait.

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#27 voom04
May 11 2013, 07:09PM
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with the playoffs streit is having i dont see the isles letting him go

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#28 EricOG
May 11 2013, 07:10PM
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NASSAU IS ROCKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

3-2 Isles with 17 mins remaining.

Take that, 6cuplowe

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#29 EricOG
May 11 2013, 07:16PM
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@Lowetide,

Mr. Lowetide, could you make a series that looks into the differences between the way the Barons are run and the way the Oilers are run?

The Barons are in the second round for the second year in a row and have been given every chance to succeed as opposed to this gong show called "rebuild" for the last few years.

What say you?

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#31 Lexi
May 11 2013, 08:09PM
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All I ask is they do.what they think is best for Klefbom's long term development next year. If they think he is ready for top 6 play, I have no problem with him playing here. If they think he is better playing some time in OKC than I would rather see Barker back than rushing him. I think Klefbom is by far the most important prospect they have and they can't afford the mistakes they have made on guys like Lander and Tuebert. I sure hope someone's job is to properly communicate to him what expectations are.

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#32 DSF
May 11 2013, 08:12PM
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The Texas Stars D killing the Barons.

Jamie Oleksiak, Joe Morrow and Kevin Connauton all with points tonight.

Considering they also have Jordie Benn and Brendan Dillon in the system, they look like they'll be a force in the future.

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#33 DSF
May 11 2013, 08:23PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Stars are down 1-0 in games and have a 2-0 lead in G2. If framing the issue were a skill you'd be Gretzky.

And you would be Howe.

"The talent that OKC Barons have graduated Petry, Schultz, Paajarvi, etc..."

That's a pretty sorry record.

You might to throw an elbow to make that group look great.

I'll take the Dallas D prospect group over that bunch any day.

Two bottom pairing defensemen (on a good team) and an AHL level forward is pretty sad.

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#34 madjam
May 11 2013, 09:20PM
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Will Klefbom turn out to be a Dynasty player for us ? Raising our expectations !

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#35 Josh Oiler
May 11 2013, 09:37PM
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I've had the pleasure of watching Mr Oscar "the bomb" Klefbom live!!! This guy while he stands out amongst the kids... I don't think he's anywhere close to ready for the big Leagues!

Mr. MacTavish couldn't scout talent if it bit him in the arse.

Mr. Streit as good as he is will be 37 years old this summer ladies and gentlemen. What the oilers need is a humongous splash!!!

Maybe a Shea Weber.. Cough up 2 1st rounders Gags and a prospect or 2... Shea will bring Stanley home to Edmonton.

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#36 David Johnson
May 11 2013, 10:00PM
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"However, this graph indicates that Suter is far more effective without Brodin than with--which makes sense based on their experience and ability."

I think you are misreading that chart.

Suter with Brodin: 50.2CF% Suter without Brodin: 46.0CF% Brodin without Suter: 59.6CF%

Brodin actually made Suter better and was better when apart from Suter.

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#37 Hisam Saleh
May 11 2013, 10:12PM
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I SAY WE TRADE THE WHOLE TEAM FOR SHEA WEBER. Then promote the entire OKC Barons up to Edm......

Hey can't be any worse than where we have been?

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#38 Jonas Brodin
May 11 2013, 10:17PM
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Would I love to see Shea in Oil Silks. I read on another post earlier today the Yak City could be in play for Weber.

Trading away future Pavel Bure/ Alex Ovechkin type guy will make me puke.. Yak City will rule this league in a couple of years... Possibly as early as next season'

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#39 Hisam Saleh
May 11 2013, 10:20PM
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Kevin Lowe is actually a Calgary Flames fan in disguise as an Oiler Exec!

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#40 Hisam Saleh
May 11 2013, 10:21PM
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Kevin Lowe smells like vinegar

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#41 Gary Sears
May 11 2013, 10:24PM
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Haha you are right.... Twice I met and shook hands with Kevin Lowe ... He actually does smell like vinegar.

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#42 Josh Oiler
May 11 2013, 10:30PM
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I've never been to a game. Mainly because I can't afford to. According to Kevin Lowe I am a second Tier Dan!

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#43 Josh Oiler
May 11 2013, 10:30PM
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I've never been to a game. Mainly because I can't afford to. According to Kevin Lowe I am a second Tier Dan!

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#44 oilers2k10
May 11 2013, 10:31PM
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I think Hall, Eberle and Schultz should be playin in the AHL playoffs right now instead of being benched at the worlds by mr.ruff! woof! They could practice growin their playoff beards instead of sleepin with swedish escorts (which I presume is the main reason NHLers love to go over there)

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#45 oilers2k10
May 11 2013, 10:36PM
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Jonas Brodin wrote:

Would I love to see Shea in Oil Silks. I read on another post earlier today the Yak City could be in play for Weber.

Trading away future Pavel Bure/ Alex Ovechkin type guy will make me puke.. Yak City will rule this league in a couple of years... Possibly as early as next season'

Yak City goes nowhere! Not even for Weber, we will groom our own defence no need to give up a future 35+ goal scorer...people who make proposals like that are morons or jealous fans from other teams (also morons)..Yak is a 1st overall pick..1st overalls are special, like that hot blonde dragonborn chick from Game of Thrones special, they are,irreplacable damnit!

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#46 oilers2k10
May 11 2013, 10:36PM
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Jonas Brodin wrote:

Would I love to see Shea in Oil Silks. I read on another post earlier today the Yak City could be in play for Weber.

Trading away future Pavel Bure/ Alex Ovechkin type guy will make me puke.. Yak City will rule this league in a couple of years... Possibly as early as next season'

Yak City goes nowhere! Not even for Weber, we will groom our own defence no need to give up a future 35+ goal scorer...people who make proposals like that are morons or jealous fans from other teams (also morons)..Yak is a 1st overall pick..1st overalls are special, like that hot blonde dragonborn chick from Game of Thrones special, they are,irreplacable damnit!

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#47 a lg dubl dubl
May 11 2013, 10:41PM
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Klefbom needs to develop down in OKC next season.

Hey DSF, whats Shultzs stats so far at the worlds again?

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#48 madjam
May 11 2013, 10:42PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong , but isn't this new gutting same as template we were drawn into four years ago ? I notice they do not call it that this time , however . Will LowMac succeed where LowTam had failed ?

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#49 clyde
May 11 2013, 10:57PM
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Risk versus Reward. Is there any reason to risk a potentially very good NHL defenders confidence and development? Trust the minor league coach for a year. Kleffbom can be called up for a taste and/or the playoffs if the Oil are there.

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#50 Kevin
May 11 2013, 11:06PM
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The further Klefbom gets away from Kevin Lowe the better.

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