July 02 2013 01:58PM
Theo Peckham's future with the Oilers will be decided today. The Oilers have to submit qualifying offers to Peckham, Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi, Colten Teubert, Alex Plante, Teemu Hartikainen, Taylor Fedun, Antti Tyrvainen, Philippe Cornet and Niko Hovinen.
Gagner, Paajarvi, Hartikainen and Fedun are easy decisions. During his end of the season presser, MacTavish stated Ryan Whitney wouldn't return, and hinted the same for Peckham, but will he stick with that plan.
I don't expect both Plante and Teubert to get qualified, Plante looks to the be the odd man out, but I won't be surprised if they let both of them walk. They will have Davidson, Fedun and Marincin in OKC next season, and they will likely sign an AHL veteran. There isn't room for both Plante and Teubert, and the Oilers could let all three D-men walk, but if you had to pick one of the three to stay it definitely would be Peckham.
I think Peckham can be an effective 3rd pairing D-man. Peckham has quicker feet than people realize, and he moves the puck well enough to stay in the league. When he's playing with confidence he can be an effective PK guy, play physical and block shots.
He'll get signed by another team, if the Oilers don't qualify him.
Keep in mind Peckham played well up until getting Ko'ed by Nathan Horton near the end of the 2010/2011 season. He suffered a concussion, and when he returned he lost some of his swagger. Of course, he is to blame for not being in great shape last January, although his body fat % and other tests weren't much different than in September of 2011.
Either way he didn't do himself any favours by electing to stop working out weeks before the end of the lockout. Keep in mind he was in great shape in September, and the Oilers knew that. Will they take that into account when deciding on his future?
It will be up to Peckham to prove that he is ready and willing to be a professional. If he proves that, I believe he can stick on an NHL roster. He is a very good athlete, he just needs to re-dedicate himself. Not being qualified would be a good motivator, and if the Oilers keep him then should show him they still believe in his ability.
My gut tells me they let him walk, but I know MacTavish likes him...If it was me, I would qualify Peckham.
***The Oilers have elected to let Peckham, Teubert, Plante and Cornet become free agents. They didn't qualify them.***
- The Oilers and the other 29 NHL teams can start talking to free agents at midnight tonight. This year teams will have a 48-hour window to convince UFAs to sign with them, but they can't "officially" sign until Friday. If a team "unofficially" lands a UFA tomorrow that could lead to a few more compliance buyouts.
- The compliance buyout period ends at 5 p.m. EST on Thursday.
- Teubert's play away from the puck is good. He's hard to play against, is physical and his footspeed is decent, but he needs to improve his ability to make plays under pressure. At this point he has more upside than Plante, and that is why I expect the Oilers to let Plante walk. Unfortunately concussions have set his career back, and I'm 50/50 on Teubert. MacTavish talked about needing guys who can move the puck, and considering that is Teubert's biggest weakness it would make sense if they let him go.
- The Oilers summer prospect camp starts tomorrow, physicals, but the players won't be on the ice until Thursday. The on-ice workouts will be at Millenium Place in Sherwood Park and they are open to the publice. The first on-ice session is Thursday morning at 9:30.
- Here are my thoughts on Craig MacTavish's weekend in New Jersey. He'll be disappointed, but it is way too early to say he failed to deliver on "bold" moves. He has another month before we can rip him for not making any moves. The next three weeks should give us a better view of what the Oilers' roster will look like in October.
- Fedun had a very good 2nd half of the season, and he will get lots of minutes in OKC next year. He's incredibly smart with the puck, and if he continues to regain his footspeed he will get a look in Edmonton sometime in the next few years.
- Mark my word, Greg Chase will be the best late round draft pick in years. Chase was ranked higher, and should have gone higher based on his skills. He's a shift disturber on the ice, and some scouts worried that he was a bit mouthy. If that is the reason teams passed on him, then they will be regretting it. The kid has skills, but he also is fearless on the ice. He is great at annoying the opposition. He is exactly the type of pest the Oilers need, but don't downplay his skills. He had 49 points this year as a 17-year-old with limited PP time. He'll play significant minutes in Calgary this coming season and I see him scoring 35-40 goals. I suspect Oiler fans will really like him.