SHOULDER THE LOAD

Lowetide
March 05 2014 11:10PM

klefbom ferguson2

Today's deadline deal that sent away Nick Schultz opens up a big league job for a left defender. Oscar Klefbom was to receive the call today, but suffered an injury and his NHL debut is delayed.

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Statistically, Klefbom has shown progress in his first pro season. If we split his season in half, it's easy to see the progress:

  • Oct-Dec: 27, 0-3-3 -10
  • Jan-Mar: 18, 1-5-6 +1

That's progress! Recently, Jonathan Willis wrote an interesting item on Klefbom and I think pointed us to the reason why the Oilers want to see Klefbom now.

  • Willis: Klefbom    has been the third most-impressive AHL blueliner, and his numbers back that up. He’s been playing mostly on a pairing with David Musil too, so his results have not been goosed by having a difference-making partner. He’s almost the exact opposite of Fedun as a player: Fedun has average speed, below average size, but computes the game brilliantly while Klefbom’s extremely fast and has a pro frame but gets in trouble because his decision making could be better.

I spoke to Jason Strudwick about Klefbom today, and he mentioned something that benefited him when he was Klefbom's age, gave him an indication about how much was still to be done: a game in the NHL.    


klefbom ferguson1

Klefbom's injury history is growing, and word today (from MacT, and vague) about another injury is a concern. He's missed time this season and lost most of last season to injury back in Sweden. Klefbom's injury history is fairly long for such a young man:

  • Sept 2/11: Swedish Oil: Klefbom was unlucky enough to get cut on his thigh by an ice skate, the wound was sewn with ten stitches, and when the stitches were removed there was an infection. Now Klefbom is on penicillin which also prohibits him from playing. 
  • Nov 14/11: Sami Hoffrén: Klefbom was hit to the head by a Russian forward and he had to leave the game. Didn’t play in the tournament after that hit. I assume Klefbom suffered a concussion.
  • Oct 9/12: he lost his season to a shoulder injury.     Oscar Klefbom: “It happened on Oct. 9 playing against Vaxjo,” Klefbom said. “I dumped the puck in the offensive zone and I got a small hit from behind and I lost my balance and I flew into the boards. I had to catch myself with my left arm. Afterwards, I couldn’t feel my arm, it was like a dead arm. I didn’t know what happened.”
  • Sept 12/13: Oilers announce they are following concussion protocol after Klefbom is injured in the U of A game.
  • 2013-14: He spent various portions of the season out of the lineup with injury. 

Injuries are now a pretty large issue with this player—not Pouliot-level yet—and he hasn't played his first NHL game.

THE LATEST

westcott klefbom

This is unwelcome news. It's important not to overreact—MacT's word and tone didn't suggest anything major and Klefbom finished the game—but it's worth noting as the news cycle winds down for the day.

Oscar Klefbom has been on the horizon for a couple of years now, and the injury concerns have been marching in lock step. We wait for more information on Klefbom. 

(photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

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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 TSN 1260.
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#51 2004Z06
March 06 2014, 11:40AM
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Mclick wrote:

Why trade an up and coming defensive prospect, and for what, nothing at the trade deadline. Hemsky got us a few picks...Klefbom would have got us a hockey bag and some sock tape at this point in his career and go on to likely be a top D a few years down the road on another team.

The article makes you think it is a long and horrible injury history and that we should be concerned about it.

His leg was sliced which is not a normal wear and tear injury.

He was pushed form behind into the boards which is not based on his play, just circumstance.

A few head hits aren't going to likely knock this guy out. They likely have more protocol to follow now with respect to head hits so it seems like a bigger deal.

How long was Petry out after his head hit the glass? I expect Klefbom to get a look before the season is over for sure.

Hence the reason I stated he should be packaged.....Please read if you are going to rebut my posts.

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#52 Jeffff
March 06 2014, 11:42AM
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"The New Jersey Devils will now be entitled to the 30th selection overall in the 2014 NHL Draft (the last pick in the first round), regardless of the Devils' final standing following the 2013/14 season."

The fix is in.

NJ knew this was going to happen before the 2012 draft. NJ finished 29th that year and that would have been the perfect year to forfeit their pick. They didn't. Why? Fixed

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#53 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 11:50AM
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Oil Can wrote:

With all due respect St.Louis is not one of the top centres or forwards in the game and he is 38 years old and he requested a trade and would only go to New York. That is a whole lot different than trying to get a big tough number one defenceman in his prime. Both Erhoff and Cambell are to soft and offensive d-men only. Yes they are better than what the Oil have now, but they will not make the Oil better enough to even think about the playoffs.

Respectfully, you're saying that the Art Ross Trophy winner is not one of the top forwards in the game? Erhoff and Campbell are too soft to play for the Oilers....seriously...the Oilers?....You've got a lengthy list of Dmen who are not "better enough"?........respectfully....it sounds like you're holding out for one of the 8 Dmen from Team Canada......IMO you're letting your pursuit of perfection get in the way of the Good. We are a 30th place team! A Cellar Dweller! While you wait for perfection the development trajectory of your young talent is being eroded. There is a cost to doing nothing.....there is a cost to holding out for perfection.

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#54 Ryan2
March 06 2014, 12:10PM
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As I said here in pre-season when everyone was ready package him anywhere they could, Marincin was the only one on the farm that was ready and had higher end potential. It has shown this year - look at his poise, hockey sense, positioning, stick work, etc. Add in his skating and size, and he could develop into a decent #2 in time (might need to

Klefbom's injuries aside, he looks like he will be a second pairing d-man at best if he makes it. There is nothing wrong with that - if he can become a solid shut-down second pairing d-man in 3 or 4 years it will be great for the team. However, everyone needs to be patient and just let him develop. A full year on the farm, and even some time next season, will not hurt him. The organization needs to take the same approach they did with Marincin and let Todd Nelson and crew develop him, not Steve Smith......

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#55 Harry
March 06 2014, 12:24PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

As I said here in pre-season when everyone was ready package him anywhere they could, Marincin was the only one on the farm that was ready and had higher end potential. It has shown this year - look at his poise, hockey sense, positioning, stick work, etc. Add in his skating and size, and he could develop into a decent #2 in time (might need to

Klefbom's injuries aside, he looks like he will be a second pairing d-man at best if he makes it. There is nothing wrong with that - if he can become a solid shut-down second pairing d-man in 3 or 4 years it will be great for the team. However, everyone needs to be patient and just let him develop. A full year on the farm, and even some time next season, will not hurt him. The organization needs to take the same approach they did with Marincin and let Todd Nelson and crew develop him, not Steve Smith......

Very well said. The guy is just getting comfortable in NA so why trade him now while his stock is at its lowest? I really hope EDM lands Markov this offseason to ancor the D until Marincin Klef Nurse and god willing Ekblad are ready for 20 mins per game.

If Mac is gonna shore up the back end via trade id much rather him do it by dealing a forward. Hate to say it but that forward has to be Eberle. Gagner and Yak wont get you anything. And even if he does try to strengthen the D via trade no one is giving up a Weber or Doughty a true #1 Dman unless Hall and Nurse are part of that package going back. Maybe Eberle gets you Bogosian + from WPG in the summer who knows.

But if they can sign Markov + one or two other 3,4 guys and draft Ekblad theres no need to make a massive trade for a defenceman. Then I do believe Eberle needs to be traded for a big power forward

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#56 Rob...
March 06 2014, 12:40PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I prefer the term Mercenaries to Soldiers. Soldiers do what they do because they have heart, character etc. Mercenaries do what they do because they are being paid by the highest bidder!

I think you're really cherry picking the reasons people join the military. There are many reasons to join that aren't altruistic.

They also have special ways of dealing with soldiers who attempt to go Marty St. Louis on them.

I respect our military, and our veterans, but people are people, and there are few, if any jobs out there that deserve high pedestals that place people beyond scrutiny.

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#57 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 01:23PM
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Rob... wrote:

I think you're really cherry picking the reasons people join the military. There are many reasons to join that aren't altruistic.

They also have special ways of dealing with soldiers who attempt to go Marty St. Louis on them.

I respect our military, and our veterans, but people are people, and there are few, if any jobs out there that deserve high pedestals that place people beyond scrutiny.

Exactly, I have a couple of relatives via marriage that are a-holes that were in the military and did not see any action, there are great people in all walks of life and of course some not so much.

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#58 GoCanadaGo
March 06 2014, 01:38PM
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cut by a skate, hit to the head, hit from behind, concussion.

the concussion is the only one that would be bothersome because the head is delicate. all the other injuries are from dumb plays that seem like they couldnt have been avoided.

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#59 Wintoon
March 06 2014, 01:41PM
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When Eakins first got to the Oilers he stated that fitness level was absolutely one of his priorities. This season I have not seen any evidence that the Oilers are 'uber fit'. As a matter of fact, I have seen them looking totally gassed when it comes time to make a line change. They almost always coast to the bench.

Then today I read a post where both Wild and Flames practices are much faster paced than those of the Oilers. It gives me cause for concern. During the glory days Sather and his staff ran the most up tempo practices that observers had ever seen and it translated into the speed of play on the ice during games.

This is one part of coachingthat Eakins should have down pat, but does he?

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#60 Zarny
March 06 2014, 01:48PM
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Yes, Klefbom should be given a taste of the NHL to close out the season to both evaluate him and provide first hand experience at the NHL level.

Long term however, I echo the sentiments that some of the Oilers D prospects need to be packaged to fill holes in other areas.

First, it would be an unmitigated disaster to plan for a blueline in 1-2 years that includes Petry, Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse and maybe Ekblad. Petry would be the only D with more than 400 games experience. 4 of the D would have less than 160 games experience. Losing for another 4-5 years would be the only result.

Second, Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom and several other prospects all play the left side. If Nurse projects to be a top pair D that leaves Klefbom and Marincin fighting for the same spot on the 2nd pair.

Third, you have to be realistic about what the Oilers actually have. Klefbom has 9 pts in 45 AHL games. Marincin only has 7 pts in 24 AHL games. Justin Schultz, for comparison, had 48 pts in 34 AHL games last season .

So the concerns that Klefbom or Marincin will turn into top pairing D on another team are unfounded. They both project to be 3-4 D not top pair. One is likely part of the long term solution but they are redundant assets.

Whether it's at the draft, over the summer or after next season one of Klefbom or Marincin and possibly Gernat, Musil or Simpson should be packaged and moved to fill other holes.

Unless you want to see the same disaster we've seen playing young forwards prone to making mistakes with other young forwards prone to making mistakes repeated on defense.

Only it will be uglier since the D is the last line of defense and the first line of offense coming out of your own zone.

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#61 Taylor Gang
March 06 2014, 02:29PM
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As the years go by, I'm starting to lean towards the trade Klefbom camp. With the Oilers almost CERTAINLY picking #1 or #2 this year, the pick will most likely be spent on Ekblad. If that is the case, Ekblad immediately passes Klefbom on the prospect depth chart. With Marincin, Schultz, Nurse, and Ekblad as a potential top 4, that is an extremely young defensive core. A more veteran presence would be needed on defense. Considering the pedigree of Schultz, Nurse, and Ekblad, and the experience that Marincin already has, not to mention the increasing concern for injury associated with Klefbom, that makes him the odd man out. Trade Klef in a package for some centre depth, preferably a two way forward in the mold of Dubinsky. Also, when MacT said he was going to make some "bold moves", I don't think what he meant was a full identity change. (See Hall, Taylor or Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan) I believe what he meant was more Tyler Myers, Keith Yandle types for Yakupov or Eberle.

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#62 Taylor Gang
March 06 2014, 02:34PM
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Zarny wrote:

Yes, Klefbom should be given a taste of the NHL to close out the season to both evaluate him and provide first hand experience at the NHL level.

Long term however, I echo the sentiments that some of the Oilers D prospects need to be packaged to fill holes in other areas.

First, it would be an unmitigated disaster to plan for a blueline in 1-2 years that includes Petry, Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse and maybe Ekblad. Petry would be the only D with more than 400 games experience. 4 of the D would have less than 160 games experience. Losing for another 4-5 years would be the only result.

Second, Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom and several other prospects all play the left side. If Nurse projects to be a top pair D that leaves Klefbom and Marincin fighting for the same spot on the 2nd pair.

Third, you have to be realistic about what the Oilers actually have. Klefbom has 9 pts in 45 AHL games. Marincin only has 7 pts in 24 AHL games. Justin Schultz, for comparison, had 48 pts in 34 AHL games last season .

So the concerns that Klefbom or Marincin will turn into top pairing D on another team are unfounded. They both project to be 3-4 D not top pair. One is likely part of the long term solution but they are redundant assets.

Whether it's at the draft, over the summer or after next season one of Klefbom or Marincin and possibly Gernat, Musil or Simpson should be packaged and moved to fill other holes.

Unless you want to see the same disaster we've seen playing young forwards prone to making mistakes with other young forwards prone to making mistakes repeated on defense.

Only it will be uglier since the D is the last line of defense and the first line of offense coming out of your own zone.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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#63 tealyn
March 06 2014, 02:51PM
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@Mclick

Boooo, are you really that high on yourself? Im dead tired today and still need to let you know that your nit picking is childish, oh, wait, i was just using dead tired as an expression, hope i didn't offend you, actually i really don't care...

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#64 The Soup Fascist
March 06 2014, 03:14PM
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Jeffff wrote:

"The New Jersey Devils will now be entitled to the 30th selection overall in the 2014 NHL Draft (the last pick in the first round), regardless of the Devils' final standing following the 2013/14 season."

The fix is in.

NJ knew this was going to happen before the 2012 draft. NJ finished 29th that year and that would have been the perfect year to forfeit their pick. They didn't. Why? Fixed

Agree. When the Devils did not give up the 29th pick in a comparatively weak year it was a "not very subtle" signal to everyone that "The Count" waffled and had given Lamoreillo the wink.

Not forfeiting that pick was the equivalent of hitting 20 in Blackjack. It is absolutely insane - unless the dealer shows you that the Ace is coming.

Leapin' Lou knew the Ace was coming.

Let's see .... The Spano debacle, the "Boots Biaggio caper", the Phoenix Coyotes bungle, the John Rigas saga, two lockouts and now Kovalgate - all under "The Count's" watch.

Has their EVER been a greasier commissioner in North American team sport?

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#65 Zarny
March 06 2014, 03:21PM
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Mclick wrote:

Why trade an up and coming defensive prospect, and for what, nothing at the trade deadline. Hemsky got us a few picks...Klefbom would have got us a hockey bag and some sock tape at this point in his career and go on to likely be a top D a few years down the road on another team.

The article makes you think it is a long and horrible injury history and that we should be concerned about it.

His leg was sliced which is not a normal wear and tear injury.

He was pushed form behind into the boards which is not based on his play, just circumstance.

A few head hits aren't going to likely knock this guy out. They likely have more protocol to follow now with respect to head hits so it seems like a bigger deal.

How long was Petry out after his head hit the glass? I expect Klefbom to get a look before the season is over for sure.

Your argument fails as soon as you suggest a prospect like Klefbom or Marincin would be traded for a hockey bag and some sock tape.

MacT packaged Magnus Paajarvi and 2nd round pick for David Perron.

The same type of deal utilizing Klefbom or Marinicin would best serve the Oilers blueline.

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#66 Al Low
March 06 2014, 05:43PM
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Al Low wrote:

That's unfortunate. Hopefully, Klefbom's good to go soon. Anything would be better than the D that we're looking at right now. As bad as Justin Schultz has looked some nights, I think he's still got lots of potential. But I see him as a no 3-4 dman in the future. Petry and Ferrence (albeit a very overpaid bottom pairing guy in Ferrence) are 5-6 on most teams. I do think Nurse will eventually be a top 2 guy. It would be great to see where Klefbom would fit into this potential future group. Obviously, a top dman is still needed and something MacT needs to address in the offseason. I think Fedun could take a 5-6 spot if the Oil decided to unload Petry in a package after the season. Larson and Belov don't really cut it as NHL dmen, in my opinion. And, it's good to see Nick Schultz and Corey Potter will not be options going forward.

I did forget to mention Marincin. He's a guy who could potentially be a top 4 guy, as well. MacT needs to shop for at least 2 dmen in the offseason. He will get one of those guys when he offloads Eberle this summer.

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#67 Al Low
March 06 2014, 05:47PM
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John B wrote:

That's the biggest problem this defense corp has had to deal with for about 7 years now isn't it; half a dozen #3-#7 defensemen trying to play above their heads! One day this franchise will have to get over their inferiority complex & start putting guys into positions where they are designed to fit (eg, bonafide #1 NHL defencemen in first pairing), then they don't have to do a job they aren't cut out for.

The other advantage to putting the right defenceman into the right spot is they don't have worry about doing their partners job as well as their own which is what happens a lot right now.

Totally agree with you. Other than Nurse, I don't think they have anybody who's capable of being a top 2 dman. And, it's difficult to say how long it will take Nurse to become that guy. I don't think he's coming into the NHL next year and playing 1st pairing minutes, that's for sure. MacT needs to acquire at least one big name, top pairing guy in the offseason.

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#68 2004Z06
March 06 2014, 08:27PM
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Rob... wrote:

I think you're really cherry picking the reasons people join the military. There are many reasons to join that aren't altruistic.

They also have special ways of dealing with soldiers who attempt to go Marty St. Louis on them.

I respect our military, and our veterans, but people are people, and there are few, if any jobs out there that deserve high pedestals that place people beyond scrutiny.

I wasn't cherry picking a thing or placing anyone on pedestals. I was simply stating that hockey players have become mercs. Not all necessarily their own doing, but mercs none the less.

Referring to them repeatedly as soldiers is completely inaccurate.

I respect our military personnel as well, but the intent of my post was not a reflection on our military as much as it was an opinion of our current NHL player market.

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#69 Wonger
March 07 2014, 08:39AM
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GREAT GAME MARK FRASER!!!! Please lock this gentleman up for at least 3 more years MACT! He is a perfect 5-6-7 D! He even scares me in the warm up! HE LOOKS TOUGH AND IS TOUGH AS NAILS!!!!!!!! GO MARK FRASER!!!!

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