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 Team 1260.
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#51 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 09:53AM
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Previous Gregor Post

"By my count in the 47-year history of the draft, only seven [players picked top-5] have emerged as elite defenders. Brad Park, Denis Potvin, Dave Babych, Larry Murphy, Scott Neidermayer, Chris Pronger and Ed Jovanovski. Drew Doughty looks like he’ll join that group and the jury is still out on Bogosian, Hedman, Suter, Phaneuf, Johnson and Johnson."

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#52 Oil Can
March 06 2014, 09:59AM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Yes I agree that there are some players that should never be traded before the teams see what they have. But with Klefbom the Oil know what they have and he would seem to be a quality defence prospect and should be a 3 or 4 d-man in the NHL in a year or so. But the Oil have to many top defence prospects and Klefbom would be better served if he was packaged and traded for a need for the Oil. But it will also take a lot more than him and Gagner to get a number one d-man. Personally I don't think that anybody is going to give up a number one d-man period, but if someone was to give one up it would take Hall or RNH, just to get to talks started. And Erhoff or Cambell are not the defenceman that the Oil need. Sutter or Weber are the type of d-man that the Oil need and they are not available and if they were available it would be a bidding war that the Oil probably would not win any way.

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#53 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 10:53AM
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Oil Can wrote:

Yes I agree that there are some players that should never be traded before the teams see what they have. But with Klefbom the Oil know what they have and he would seem to be a quality defence prospect and should be a 3 or 4 d-man in the NHL in a year or so. But the Oil have to many top defence prospects and Klefbom would be better served if he was packaged and traded for a need for the Oil. But it will also take a lot more than him and Gagner to get a number one d-man. Personally I don't think that anybody is going to give up a number one d-man period, but if someone was to give one up it would take Hall or RNH, just to get to talks started. And Erhoff or Cambell are not the defenceman that the Oil need. Sutter or Weber are the type of d-man that the Oil need and they are not available and if they were available it would be a bidding war that the Oil probably would not win any way.

Yeah.....and there's a snowballs chance in hell that Slats can trade for last years Art Ross Trophy winner at the deadline. Also....Erhoff and Campbell are miles ahead of ANY defensemen the Oilers currently have. Don't let the perfect come at the cost of the good. Do so and you risk ending up doing nothing.....and the COST of doing nothing is that you further erode the development of the core talent.

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#54 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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 Smokey
March 06 2014, 07:44AM
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the tikk wrote:

So he's like Teubert, but less durable?

Except Teubert skated like he was in cement.

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#58 Rob...
March 06 2014, 09:24AM
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Remove the two concussions and cut by a skate, injuries that can happen to anyone, and you're left with two shoulder injuries over the last 3 years. Those are a concern but there's not a team out there that has more expertise than the Oilers when it comes to shoulder injuries.

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#59 Jack
March 06 2014, 09:42AM
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Why do sportswriters blogs TSN ESPN have the Hemsky trade wrong?

They should be embarrassed.

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#60 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 09:43AM
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Previous Gregor post

"In the last 20 years, the only true elite D-man chosen in the top five who spent significant time with the team that drafted him was Scott Niedermayer. Mike Rathje, Chris Phillips and Rotislav Klesla have spent at least ten years with the team that drafted them, but none of them are elite."

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#61 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 11:04AM
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Is Fasth here yet?

Edit: Update...Victor Fasth Has arrived in Edmonton and is taking part in the morning skate.

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#62 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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#63 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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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 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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#69 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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