The Third Pairing

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2013 11:11AM

If, as expected, the Edmonton Oilers add at least one top-four (ideally left-side defenceman) to round out a group that already includes Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz and Ladislav Smid than there will need to be some decisions made on the third pairing. Who stays? Who goes?

The Overview

Assuming the top four outlined in the opening paragraph, that likely leaves three roster spots – at most four, but likely three – for other NHL defencemen. The Oilers have a lot of in-house candidates for those positions, even after we remove unrestricted free agent Ryan Whitney from consideration. Here’s the list:

  • Nick Schultz – one-way deal, $3.5 million cap hit
  • Anton Belov – two-way deal, $1.5 million cap hit
  • Mark Fistric – unrestricted free agent; likely signable on a 2-3 year deal somewhere between $1.5 and $2.0 million
  • Corey Potter – one-way deal, $775 thousand cap hit
  • Oscar Klefbom – two-way deal, $1.24 million cap hit
  • Theo Peckham – restricted free agent; would likely accept qualifying offer just over $1.0 million
  • Martin Marincin – two-way deal, $870 thousand cap hit
  • Taylor Fedun – restricted free agent; would likely accept two-way contract well below $1.0 million

It seems safe to assume that Theo Peckham will not be retained, and that Martin Marincin and Taylor Fedun will start the year in the minors. That isn’t certain, but those all seem likely. That leaves five players for three roster spots, and that assumes the team doesn’t add somebody like Paul Ranger to the mix.

The Players

Nick Schultz. Looking at the list above, the one thing that really stands out is Schultz’s contract, which is more than double any of the other players on this list. He’s being paid as a top-four defenceman, and it seems unlikely that the Oilers see him in that role next season. With a weak defensive market, are there teams out there that would see him as a fit in that role on their own blue lines? If the Oilers can add that upgrade to their top-four, I would expect them to move Schultz out for help elsewhere. Veteran defencemen – especially defencemen like Schultz – hold their value well and teams looking for blue line help will not have a lot of options. If he is not dealt, than he’s the number five defenceman by a fair margin.

Anton Belov. Technically on a two-way contract (all entry-level deals have a minor-league component) it seems safe to project Belov on to the NHL roster on opening night. A top defenceman in the KHL, the Oilers almost certainly wouldn’t bring him over just to stick him in the minors. He gets one of the three spots unless he crashes and burns in training camp.

Mark Fistric. He isn’t a fit with Craig MacTavish’s puck-possession mantra, but he played well in a third-pairing role last season and adds things (size, skillset) that aren’t in ready supply on the Oilers’ blue line. Most teams have a guy like this on the third pairing; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back.

Corey Potter. I have a lot more time for Corey Potter than most people – he doesn’t excel in any one area but he has a range of skill and more puck-moving ability than a lot of depth defencemen. I think he’s on the bubble in Edmonton – he could be dealt, he could be retained and then sent to the minors, or he could be retained and hold any of the three open defensive spots. His low-dollar contract gives the Oilers options; I’d guess he gets penciled in for the number seven role but that a strong performance from a prospect or the addition of a player like Ranger would bump him off the roster.

Oscar Klefbom. The Oilers are obviously excited about Klefbom as a prospect, and he’s a guy that has to be considered a serious candidate to start the 2013-14 season on the Oilers’ roster. Should he? Probably not; he’s never played North American hockey and he lost most of last season to injury and got buried on his Swedish team’s depth chart for much of the year before that. He turns 20 next month; he seems a great candidate to start the year as Oklahoma’s number one defenceman and the Oilers’ first call-up option. With that said: everything the Oilers’ brass have said publicly indicates he’s going to have a shot at an NHL job on opening night.

My Guess

I think we’re looking at an incomplete picture and that the Oilers will add one more guy to the mix. It might be a very good high minors player like Paul Ranger, it might be a free agent like Ian White, it might be someone brought over in trade after falling out of favour in another city (Jamie McBain got some play at the deadline and has been mentioned at this site previously). In this scenario, Nick Schultz and Corey Potter are both sent away, Oscar Klefbom starts in the minors, and the Oilers start the season with Mark Fistric, Anton Belov, and our unnamed addition rotating through the 5-6-7 slots on the depth chart.

Recently around the Nation Network

Corban Knight, a top prospect who got some love as a potential Oilers trade candidate this week, has been dealt to Calgary instead

Knight is a good addition to the Flames prospect pool. In the current top-15 rankings, he'd likely slot in the top-5 at the very least.

Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 18 2013, 11:15AM
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CLINCHED HAND

Edit:
Inner voice: You just made all the F*STers look like idiots, cause you're an idiot. Good job......

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#2 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 18 2013, 11:24AM
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You can't say F*stric either???

I wrote a thoughtful comment about what I think of the Oilers options for the 3rd pairing. It didn't get posted because I mentioned F*stric.

I can't even be funny about this. #truth

Edit: Oh look, and now it's there................. Maybe it wasn't that thoughtful, but that's not the point.

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#3 Quicksilver ballet
June 18 2013, 11:53AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

CLINCHED HAND

Edit:
Inner voice: You just made all the F*STers look like idiots, cause you're an idiot. Good job......

Your pronunciation is off just a tad, it's clenched hand.

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#4 OilersBrass
June 18 2013, 12:40PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Gregor+centre+Corban+Knight+could+really+help+Edmonton+Oilers+with+this+skill/8533403/story.html

Bob McKenzie tweeted that he agreed to a two year entry level deal with the Flames already. Too bad.

Those darn Flames...

That's okay, the Oil will just spank the Flames all next year, and Knight will realize that he made a mistake.

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#5 Truth
June 18 2013, 12:42PM
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I can't see them parting with N. Schultz unless it's for an upgrade on D. He was brought in for his character around the young guys and he is one of the few actual NHL defencemen on the team. I can't imagine him holding too much trade value, which is why I don't think he goes anywhere.

Potter is Renney's project as a PP option and a shot at a hidden gem. I hope he gets flushed as he's an AHL level player at best. A few games with the Barons would prove to MacT and the brain trust that he is on par with the rest of the players down there but without the upside. Paul Ranger would immediately replace Potter. At worst he is the same player.

I believe the Oilers should be signing Fistric as long as he doesn't want a whole lot of $ and they realize he is a 5/6 PK guy. He may find himself out of position from now and then, but so did Scott Stevens. Not that Fistric belongs in the same sentence as Stevens, but physicality is the element Fistric brings and also one of the major elements missing on the backend in EDM. If they don't sign Fistric they must find a replacement with the same physicality. Being a hometown boy he should be a cheap pickup, especially considering the Oilers don't lose a piece in trade.

Klefbom should stay in the minors for at least half a season. Even if he's putting up J. Schultz AHL numbers.

Ideally, the Oilers acquire an actual top 2 defenceman to push the rest down the depth chart. I would be satisfied with a player like Tyutin until hopefully one of the young guys can take his place or they can acquire one.

What would work for me to start in the NHL this year:

Tyutin - Smid

N. Schultz - J. Schultz/Petry

Belov - J. Schultz/Petry

Fistric

Not great, but a realistic goal.

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#6 StHenriOilBomb
June 18 2013, 12:43PM
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@Oilerbrass

"Seemed like the Oil had him in the bag, he had lots of talks with them and it was sounding like he wanted to play in Edmonton."

"Read an article, i'll go track down the link. "

"Cant find the article now, I think it may have been an interview with Gregor, he would know.

Basically just said he talked with Mac T on the phone."

Having a phone conversation is not "lots of talks with them", nor does it give the impression that he "wanted to play in Edmonton"

good try though. Too bad someone asked you for a source.

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#7 Tikkanese
June 18 2013, 01:03PM
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Oilergasm wrote:

Wow, I thought we needed to improve the D?

N. Schultz is one of only 2 NHL proven D we have and is the only reason why J. Schultz didn't get more exposed on the backend and you think we should get rid of him?

That being said N. Schultz and Smid would be a good third pairing, J. Schultz has top 4 potential and beyond that we have massive holes to fill.

I'm not sold on Petry yet, and the rest (Peckham, Fistric, Potter, Belov, Klefbom and Ranger) are 7th or AHLers.

I 100% agree. I'm not sold on Petry either. In a perfect world, Smid and Petry would be our bottom pairing. Hopefully all that is said about Belov is true and he is a legit top 4 guy. I.e. more of a Brunner than a Dopita.

Please no rookies on D this year MacT/Eakins. None of ours are ready, including Klefbom.

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#8 Eddie Shore
June 18 2013, 01:06PM
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Nick Schultz was horrible last year.

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#9 madjam
June 18 2013, 01:14PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Nick Schultz was horrible last year.

Covering for Justin didn,t help him either .

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#10 cabaj
June 18 2013, 01:20PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Your pronunciation is off just a tad, it's clenched hand.

That's spelling, not pronunciation.

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#11 Gordie Wayne
June 18 2013, 01:20PM
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Hmmmm...how about Nick Schultz for Tom Gilbert (a puck mover)- would Minny even do that trade today?

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#12 Cody anderson
June 18 2013, 01:29PM
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Smokey wrote:

Why not give Minny a fifth rounder next year for the last year of Gilbert.

Then you go with

Petry Smid Schultz Gibby Schultz(SR)Belov

I read yesterday that they may look at buying Gilbert out. I thought he was playing top pairing minutes and doing ok. If he wants to come back and we could get him on the cheap that would be one hell of a pickup.

Those pairings look pretty descent. No glaring weakness with the exeption of no solid # 1 Dman.

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#13 rickithebear
June 18 2013, 01:38PM
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For me a player's measure is performance versus the league Average in Goal differential. you need to be Even in GD to make the playoffs. if your 3 d pairs can achieve this you stand a good chance of making the playoffs.

there are 47 Even minutes and 13 Special team minutes about 6.5 for Pp and 6.5 for PK. the average even GF & GA is 2.33/60 the Average ST GF & GA is 6.00/60

Petry Even 1st comp 17.31 min GF 2.53 (2.53-2.33)*((17.31*82)/60 is +5 Goals to average GA 2.24 (2.33-2.24)*(17.31*82)/60 is +2 goals PK 3.26 min @ 4.22 GA (6.00-4.22)*(3.26*82)/60 +8 Goals Petry was +15 goals versus the league average facing first comp and PK in a 82 game season.

Smid: 1st Comp 16.58min EVEn 2.34GF +.25G or Even 2.26GA +2 goals PK 3.14min @ 4.78 +5 Goals Smid was a +7 Dman facing the other teams best and pk.

Fistric 2nd/3rd comp 13.13 min 2.01 GF -6 Goals 1.46 GA +16 goals PK 2.06min @ 3.49 +7 goals Mark fistric is a +17 goal differential Dman playing lower 2nd even and pk.

Potter: 3rd comp 14.3 min GF 2.29 -1 Goal GA 1.27 +21 goals PK: 1.67 @ 5.45 +1 Goal PP 1.07 @ 5.08 -1 Goal Corey potter was +20 goal differential dman playing 3rd Comp even and Pk/PP

N. schultz 3rd comp 15.38 MIN GF 2.03 -6 goals GA 3.25 -19 goals PK 2.42 @ 4.12 +6 goals N schultz wasa -19 goal differential Dman. at 3rd comp Even and PK

J. schultz 3rd Comp 16.92min GF 2.22 -3 goals GA 3.47 -26 Goal A -29 goal differential @ even. PP 2.96 @ 6.75 +3 goals Justin schultz was a -26 goal differential Dman.

Smid and Petry were +4 Dpair facing the best. Fistric/potter were +18 d pair facing 3rd comp. Schultz and Schultz were a -23 D pair facing 3rd comp.

Pretty obvious who cost us the playoffs! but with the need for dominate front net D the S/S pair lackeda physical abilty in front of the net.

We ar going to continue to play J. schultz.

Would love to see Fistric's physical presence paired with J. schultz to face the 3rd Comp.

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#14 Tikkanese
June 18 2013, 02:12PM
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Klefbom has missed significant time 2 of the 3 last years. Klefbom also has to learn the N.A. game on N.A. ice. He will not start the year on the Oiler blue line and if he does, we are in serious trouble and may ruin yet another prospect.

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#15 Quicksilver ballet
June 18 2013, 11:17AM
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So now the Flames are on the clock to get him signed by when?

Could he be a UFA soon if he suddenly becomes audibly challenged (ignores the team who has his rights)?

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#16 Twoskidoos
June 18 2013, 11:18AM
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I think with what you've suggested JW, the Oilers blue will look and perform better. It's almost addition by subtraction with Belov aside (Klefbom was already ours).

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#17 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 18 2013, 11:22AM
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By the way, I'm not ready to give up on Teddy.

Hope it turns out like this: Ladi, Petry, J-Schu, Ranger, Belov, Fistric, and Teddy.

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#18 Will
June 18 2013, 11:25AM
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I look at our defence this year like I looked at our goal tending last year. By virtue of having Habby not play nearly as many games, we were better in that position. True there are still question marks for Dubnyk, but no one can question our goal tending was better this year than it was last.

In the same way, by not having Whitney stink up the third pairing, our defence will be better, no matter who we get.

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#19 Bushed
June 18 2013, 11:31AM
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Good overview.

I don't disagree with your assessments, but maybe it's time for a Lowetide 3 (or more)for 1 deal to bring in a top 2 guy for the longer term? Even if MacT trades Schultz Sr., Fistric, Peckham, and Potter, don't we have enough young D who will be pushing for spots as soon as this fall?

Fedun might have a better chance than some think, as he is the mobile style D that MacT has mentioned, and was oh-so-close to making the team before the horrific injury?

As long as we keep Petry and Schultz Jr, I'd be OK with big change on D. I'd like to keep Smid, too, unless there is something very nice in return.

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#20 Bushed
June 18 2013, 11:51AM
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I'd like to see MacT get aggressive with the D makeover.

Belov seems like an interesting idea--I'm curious to see what he can bring.

I'm not sure Ranger is the answer, based on descriptions of his play posted on earlier threads, but as depth, OK.

Potter is cheap, but you get what you pay for sometimes.

I like Fedun's skating, but his size/physical play may be an issue (hope not, I really hope he makes it).

I like Fistric's physical play, but mobility is not a strong point.

Mobile D is great, but size and toughness are also great to have, especially when you have a Lucic or similar in front of your net. (Keep Smid?)

I've really found a new appreciation watching Keith and Seabrook recently: size, mobility, skill--nice. Too many of our current D seem too one-dimensional in comparison. I know these types are few and far between, but does Tyutin get us part way there?

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#21 Oilergasm
June 18 2013, 11:59AM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

Wow, I thought we needed to improve the D?

N. Schultz is one of only 2 NHL proven D we have and is the only reason why J. Schultz didn't get more exposed on the backend and you think we should get rid of him?

That being said N. Schultz and Smid would be a good third pairing, J. Schultz has top 4 potential and beyond that we have massive holes to fill.

I'm not sold on Petry yet, and the rest (Peckham, Fistric, Potter, Belov, Klefbom and Ranger) are 7th or AHLers.

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#22 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 18 2013, 12:05PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Your pronunciation is off just a tad, it's clenched hand.

Thanks. I'm an idiot.

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#23 Dangilitis
June 18 2013, 12:07PM
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I have been crying out on the sites for the last month now about Schultz's bad contract. He also doesn't fit with MacT's mantra, and isn't even that good at what he is lauded for (defensive ability), often making sloppy plays which was not helpful with J Schultz needing a strong mentor on the other side. It would also dispose of another bad return on a Tambellini trade.

But I am not sure if I would be happy trading him with nobody to replace him. Belov may be that guy. Signing Ranger may help. But I would prefer Grant Clitsome from the Jets - UFA this year and is 28 I think, so in prime of D career. Would they be able to snag him for 2 million/yr x 2-3 yrs? He faced decent competition and relative corsi was in top half of D-men playing >30 games this season, while providing more offense than N Schultz could ever bring. More than serviceable #5 that could probably slide up to the #4 spot if injury bug hits (or compete with Belov for this).

But bringing in a top 4 D-man is going to be the big test for MacT - hope Columbus is willing to listen to offers for Tyutin.

Also, shame about Knight. If Flames really were talking to Panthers about this one from early 2013, then Oilers missed out (and MacT's job was scouting college talent, was it not?). Would have much rather had him than Smithson or Brown for our 4th round draft pick. Thanks Tambellini...

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#24 OilersBrass
June 18 2013, 12:07PM
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I'm hoping Corban Knight pulls a J. Schultz and goes to the Oilers. Seemed like the Oil had him in the bag, he had lots of talks with them and it was sounding like he wanted to play in Edmonton.

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#25 OilersBrass
June 18 2013, 12:09PM
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Oilergasm wrote:

Wow, I thought we needed to improve the D?

N. Schultz is one of only 2 NHL proven D we have and is the only reason why J. Schultz didn't get more exposed on the backend and you think we should get rid of him?

That being said N. Schultz and Smid would be a good third pairing, J. Schultz has top 4 potential and beyond that we have massive holes to fill.

I'm not sold on Petry yet, and the rest (Peckham, Fistric, Potter, Belov, Klefbom and Ranger) are 7th or AHLers.

There is no way Belov is a 7th or an AHLer...

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#26 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 18 2013, 12:11PM
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Oilergasm wrote:

Wow, I thought we needed to improve the D?

N. Schultz is one of only 2 NHL proven D we have and is the only reason why J. Schultz didn't get more exposed on the backend and you think we should get rid of him?

That being said N. Schultz and Smid would be a good third pairing, J. Schultz has top 4 potential and beyond that we have massive holes to fill.

I'm not sold on Petry yet, and the rest (Peckham, Fistric, Potter, Belov, Klefbom and Ranger) are 7th or AHLers.

I really believe N. Schultz plays an old school game and the game is changing. He's terrible for trying to play a puck possession game. Of the boards and out is not where the NHL is headed. And he's king of that.

I love Petry. I think he's the best all-around d-man the Oilers have. He's not quite ready for the top line role though. That's why he was exposed a few times last year, IMO.

Ranger played top line minutes in TB for a couple of years before he decided to quit hockey. I'm hoping he can regain that form.

But you're right, there are a lot of unproven players there. But unless MacT lands a true #1 d-man, I can go with this line up, at least to start the season.

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#27 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 18 2013, 12:12PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

I'm hoping Corban Knight pulls a J. Schultz and goes to the Oilers. Seemed like the Oil had him in the bag, he had lots of talks with them and it was sounding like he wanted to play in Edmonton.

Where did you hear/read this?

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#28 Taylor Gang
June 18 2013, 12:13PM
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There is a massive log jam for young defensemen in the bottom pairing, and not enough high end talent on the back end. I'm not suggesting trade all of them for Weber but maybe a deal here for a centre and a deal there for a higher quality defenseman, both deals backed by our young defensemen... It's not out of the question.

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#29 Oilergasm
June 18 2013, 12:14PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

There is no way Belov is a 7th or an AHLer...

Is this based on his 0 games of NHL experience?

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#30 OilersBrass
June 18 2013, 12:15PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Where did you hear/read this?

Read an article, i'll go track down the link. He's also training with Eberle during this summer.

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#31 OilersBrass
June 18 2013, 12:24PM
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Oilergasm wrote:

Is this based on his 0 games of NHL experience?

Hahah. Zero NHL experience doesn't mean he has zero experience playing the game.

Did you watch him play in that World Tournament last month? He is actually pretty good.

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#32 OilersBrass
June 18 2013, 12:25PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Where did you hear/read this?

Cant find the article now, I think it may have been an interview with Gregor, he would know.

Basically just said he talked with Mac T on the phone.

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#33 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 18 2013, 12:29PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Cant find the article now, I think it may have been an interview with Gregor, he would know.

Basically just said he talked with Mac T on the phone.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Gregor+centre+Corban+Knight+could+really+help+Edmonton+Oilers+with+this+skill/8533403/story.html

Bob McKenzie tweeted that he agreed to a two year entry level deal with the Flames already. Too bad.

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#34 Oilergasm
June 18 2013, 12:31PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Hahah. Zero NHL experience doesn't mean he has zero experience playing the game.

Did you watch him play in that World Tournament last month? He is actually pretty good.

Not everyone can adjust to the NA game, I hope as much as everyone else that we hit a home run with him, but I think expecting him to be the second coming of Chris Pronger and taking us to the cup finals is unrealistic.

All I am saying is that with our current D minus N. Schultz we aren't getting better.

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#35 Smokey
June 18 2013, 12:34PM
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Why not give Minny a fifth rounder next year for the last year of Gilbert.

Then you go with

Petry Smid Schultz Gibby Schultz(SR)Belov

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#36 Oilergasm
June 18 2013, 12:38PM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

I agree somewhat with your assessment of N. Schultz, but we still need our D to play D.

I think that where Mac T is going to really help is getting back to the blue collar hard work, mainly in the bottom 6 up front, but N. Schultz is a great example of that on the back end, and he was given an A for some reason...

If he can be used to upgrade via trade great, I think we need a bonafide top pairing guy much more than we need what Nick brings to the table.

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#37 vetinari
June 18 2013, 12:39PM
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Defence is a priority and has been badly neglected the last few years. Of course, trading away a puck moving defenceman like Gilbert and watching Whitney free fall off the roster really stings, although the J. Schultz signing will help out long term.

Ideally, MacT could use some combination of Hemsky/Horcoff/Gagner and Nick Schultz to land us a true #1/2 defenceman. Tyutin would be great but I suspect that Columbus will drive a hard bargain for him.

Personally, I suspect that Peckham and Fistric are goners and Potter is 50/50 to be on our opening night roster.

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#38 OilersBrass
June 18 2013, 12:43PM
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Oilergasm wrote:

Not everyone can adjust to the NA game, I hope as much as everyone else that we hit a home run with him, but I think expecting him to be the second coming of Chris Pronger and taking us to the cup finals is unrealistic.

All I am saying is that with our current D minus N. Schultz we aren't getting better.

I didn't say he was the next coming of Chris Pronger.. I just said he wasn't a 7th or an AHLer.

Give the guy a little credit, look at his credentials and watch how he plays before throwing him under the bus.

Wait until puck drop next season before judging the D. Go OIL!!

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#39 madjam
June 18 2013, 12:45PM
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Haven't we been scrapping the bottom of the barrel long enough on defence ? We used to go after good at the time NHLers Like Pronger , Visnovsky , Pitkannen and even Souray that could actually shoot the puck and play prominent roles with our offense . Now you people seem to want to rid our team of Smid and N.Schultz that are more defensive stay at home defencemen . J.Schultz last half of last season was a defensive liability and not very effective physically either . So long as we keep scrapping and skimping on bottle of the barrel defencemen and prospect /suspects, we'll remain a non competitive /non playoff team .

At center we appear to be doing same thing with (Horcoff) and maybe Gagner , getting rid of an asset to create another hole that still remains unfilled . What kind of lunacy are we creating here ?

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#40 The Other Ron Burgundy
June 18 2013, 12:51PM
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Dangilitis wrote:

I have been crying out on the sites for the last month now about Schultz's bad contract. He also doesn't fit with MacT's mantra, and isn't even that good at what he is lauded for (defensive ability), often making sloppy plays which was not helpful with J Schultz needing a strong mentor on the other side. It would also dispose of another bad return on a Tambellini trade.

But I am not sure if I would be happy trading him with nobody to replace him. Belov may be that guy. Signing Ranger may help. But I would prefer Grant Clitsome from the Jets - UFA this year and is 28 I think, so in prime of D career. Would they be able to snag him for 2 million/yr x 2-3 yrs? He faced decent competition and relative corsi was in top half of D-men playing >30 games this season, while providing more offense than N Schultz could ever bring. More than serviceable #5 that could probably slide up to the #4 spot if injury bug hits (or compete with Belov for this).

But bringing in a top 4 D-man is going to be the big test for MacT - hope Columbus is willing to listen to offers for Tyutin.

Also, shame about Knight. If Flames really were talking to Panthers about this one from early 2013, then Oilers missed out (and MacT's job was scouting college talent, was it not?). Would have much rather had him than Smithson or Brown for our 4th round draft pick. Thanks Tambellini...

Hooray for this! While I will not go so far as to say I have been crying out for this, I am a fan of Clitsome. [Insert joke here/That's what she said.] He's worth a couple million of Katz's money just for the pure juvenile joke factor alone, not to mention all those sciency numbers in Dangilitis' post and the fact that he's a decent bottom-4 hockey player.

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#41 WhattaMike
June 18 2013, 12:51PM
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Personally....I believe it won't matter as much on which defenceman the Oilers go with this year due to it's gonna be more on how Coach Eakins positions them strategically.

IMO, I see the following trial type pairings....

Top type #2/#3 New Guy(Trade/UFA) plays with J. Schultz,..

(Hoping for trade to get Tyutin or Nikitin from Columbus)

Petry plays with Klefbom

Belov plays with Smid or N. Schultz (if not traded)

Extra - Ranger (if signed), Potter

First Callups - Fedun, Marancin

Gone: Whitney, Peckham, Fistric (Belov signing takes over for him I think).

There are 82 games this year so I think this is how it will start out to until about game 30 before MacT possibly goes for a new defenceman deal.

It comes down to the new guy deal...aside from a Ranger signing.

Also, It sucks to hear Calgary picked up Corban Knight...where was MacT on that deal??? unless he has another centreman in mind already

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#42 Taylor Gang
June 18 2013, 12:54PM
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madjam wrote:

Haven't we been scrapping the bottom of the barrel long enough on defence ? We used to go after good at the time NHLers Like Pronger , Visnovsky , Pitkannen and even Souray that could actually shoot the puck and play prominent roles with our offense . Now you people seem to want to rid our team of Smid and N.Schultz that are more defensive stay at home defencemen . J.Schultz last half of last season was a defensive liability and not very effective physically either . So long as we keep scrapping and skimping on bottle of the barrel defencemen and prospect /suspects, we'll remain a non competitive /non playoff team .

At center we appear to be doing same thing with (Horcoff) and maybe Gagner , getting rid of an asset to create another hole that still remains unfilled . What kind of lunacy are we creating here ?

You know what's lunacy is thinking that we can get great players for squat. Like Nick Schultz being traded for a defenseman? Who's going to do that? Teams are looking for defensemen like Schultz, sure, but the Oilers ARE ONE OF THOSE TEAMS. Why would we trade defensemen for more defensemen? Why wouldn't we trade from a position of strength, like say, small forwards who are offensive juggernauts? That's how you get good value out of a team!

I hate this idea of untradeables. The only untradeable should be Schultz, because he's going to be the next Karrlson in the next 2-3 years and our defense blows. Out of the kids, somebody's got to go. Be it Gagner, or Eberle, or... Dare I say it? One of the 1st overalls?

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#43 Smokey
June 18 2013, 12:58PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

Personally....I believe it won't matter as much on which defenceman the Oilers go with this year due to it's gonna be more on how Coach Eakins positions them strategically.

IMO, I see the following trial type pairings....

Top type #2/#3 New Guy(Trade/UFA) plays with J. Schultz,..

(Hoping for trade to get Tyutin or Nikitin from Columbus)

Petry plays with Klefbom

Belov plays with Smid or N. Schultz (if not traded)

Extra - Ranger (if signed), Potter

First Callups - Fedun, Marancin

Gone: Whitney, Peckham, Fistric (Belov signing takes over for him I think).

There are 82 games this year so I think this is how it will start out to until about game 30 before MacT possibly goes for a new defenceman deal.

It comes down to the new guy deal...aside from a Ranger signing.

Also, It sucks to hear Calgary picked up Corban Knight...where was MacT on that deal??? unless he has another centreman in mind already

Corbin's dad is a Flames/Stamps chaplain...Flames talked to him before the deal , they knew they could get him, an paid a good price knowing they could actually sign him.

Oilers could of traded for a third and had no clue if he would sign. Kid waited out the Panthers and everyone knew he was going to Calgary. Fell into Feaster's lap.

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#44 madjam
June 18 2013, 01:12PM
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Max Domi - the next D.Brown , and should fit well with our smaller forwards and teach them how to play physical. Guess what , he's a centerman .Waiting impatiently to see Oilers deal for players and draft picks with Buffalo .

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#45 Oilergasm
June 18 2013, 01:17PM
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@OilersBrass

I don't see how calling a guy who has never played a game in the NHL a potential 7th D or AHLer (but I'm hoping for more) is throwing a guy under a bus, I apologize for not drinking the Kool-Aid but I think I'm being a realist.

I stopped wearing my rose coloured glasses when I turned 15 hopefully you will too.

We are in for a long rough season next year if we start purging what few NHL quality players we have, so far its been said that Horcoff and Hemsky are on the way out, with Whitney and Khabibulin already done, suggestions that we trade N. Schultz now!!!

Mac T is a GM not the messiah, so far all we've added is an unknown in Belov, this years UFA crop is less than stellar and unless we can get better by adding other teams castaways I guess we haven't hit rock bottom yet.

At least the one thing we can agree on is: Go OIL!

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#46 Oilcan
June 18 2013, 01:32PM
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Would nick Schultz and 7th get the 5th from Carolina? Overpayment? I'd do it if barkov dropped to 5.

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#47 Kosmo Kramer
June 18 2013, 01:33PM
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I like the idea of trading for Tyutin from Columbus, maybe something like the 7th pick plus a prospect for him. I am one that likes Petry, so I would team Petry with Tyutin on the top pairing. On the second go with Justin Schultz and Ladi Smid and on the third paring do Anton Belov with Nick Schultz. Add Potter as a cheap number seven defense.

Start Klefbom down with Oklahoma. Watch him progress and he should be able to catch onto the North American game. At the trade deadline, trade Schultz the elder for another needed piece and bring up Klefbom onto the third pairing.

We trade the number 7, because we need help now not in two or three years.

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#48 Dangilitis
June 18 2013, 01:40PM
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Oilcan wrote:

Would nick Schultz and 7th get the 5th from Carolina? Overpayment? I'd do it if barkov dropped to 5.

Would do this in a heartbeat if Barkov was still there. In my opinion N Schultz is replaceable as a #5/6 with any of the other guys Willis mentioned. However, this hinges on MacT's ability to bring in a top 4 guy. If he can't, then N Schultz would have to stay in the top 4, which he shouldn't, but he has shown that he can play there and hopefully J Schultz's game will have come around a bit more. But N Schultz is definitely worth the price of an upgrade from Monahan/Lindstrom to Barkov.

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#49 Young Oil
June 18 2013, 01:44PM
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I would love to get Kulikov and Nikitin via trade, as well as sign Ranger. Nikitin would pair very well with Belov, and there have been many trade rumors mentioning Kulikov.

Problem is, I don't know what we could offer up to get them. Would some combination of Hemsky (with half of salary retained), N. Schultz, Musil, Rajala, and any second round picks from 2013 or 2014 be good enough to get one or both of them?

In an ideal world, we could have:

Smid-Petry

J.Schultz-Kulikov

Belov-Nikitin

Ranger/Potter/Klefbom

I would say that those are 3 second pairings, a well rounded group, with some depth. I realize there's no first pairing, but it's much better than it has been in the past, and in my opinion more realistic than getting Weber/Tyutin.

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#50 StHenriOilBomb
June 18 2013, 01:45PM
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Gordie Wayne wrote:

Hmmmm...how about Nick Schultz for Tom Gilbert (a puck mover)- would Minny even do that trade today?

I don't think Minny would have done that trade the first time around...

neither would I.

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