End of Roster Forwards

Jonathan Willis
April 09 2014 07:00AM

51-Lander-1

This late season run was supposed to be an opportunity for some of the Oilers top AHL prospects – players like Anton Lander and Tyler Pitlick – to show they belonged in the NHL.

Instead, Lander’s floundering in a feature role and Pitlick can’t string half a dozen healthy games together. But that doesn’t mean nobody’s taking advantage of the opportunity.

13-Pinizzotto-1

Steve Pinizzotto’s in a rough spot. He turns 30 this summer, and while he’s a scrappy, do-it-all kind of forward he’s at an age where a lot of teams are going to look right past him. When the Oilers first traded for him and assigned him to Oklahoma, I asked him something along the lines of how vital it was to make an immediate impression on the organization.

“I’m getting to an age now where there are guys that I am probably 10 years older than,” he replied. “The door can’t stay open forever. I can’t look at next year; like you said I have to worry about this year and hopefully catch some eyes.”

Through four games, he’s been pretty decent for the Oilers. He’s not a pure enforcer, but like Matt Hendricks he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty (HockeyFights.com has him at eight tilts this year, after he fought six times last season) and at the AHL level he’s been a secondary scorer and a penalty killer. He’s tougher than Tyler Pitlick and a better hockey player than Luke Gazdic.

36-Larsen-4

Surprising, at least for me, has been the play of Philip Larsen. Over his last five games, all at right wing, the Oilers’ fourth line has had a slight edge in scoring chances (8-7) with Larsen on the ice. He has three points in that span, too, and has looked better as a forward than he did at any point this year as a defenceman.

There’s a part of me that really likes the idea of the last skater on the roster being a swingman who can play on either the back end or on a forward line. I find myself wishing the Oilers had tried him at right wing earlier in the year – though of course there was no way Dallas Eakins and company could have known he was going to make the transition so seamlessly.

41-Acton-2

Finally, Will Acton’s had a pretty reasonable five games, too. He’s not producing any offence, but the fourth line has done a far better job of late in terms of out-chancing the opposition, and he’s been around for that. Like Lander, Acton got stuck at the start of the year with lousy linemates; unlike Lander he doesn’t have the pedigree that would get him a cameo on the higher lines. I’m not saying that’s wrong – Lander had earned his shot with strong AHL play – but any fair evaluation of Acton notes who he’s played with.

My Guesses

Craig MacTavish2

I don’t know what’s going to happen with the five fringe players – Pitlcik, Lander, Pinizzotto, Larsen and Acton – currently getting NHL minutes up front.

I do think that Pinizzotto – a pending unrestricted free agent – would be a really nice fit on a two-way contract next year, and it wouldn’t bother me at all to see him in the fight for one of the bottom spots in training camp next fall. Worst case scenario, he’s a useful AHL’er and a reliable call-up; best case scenario he can fill a depth role in the NHL.

Larsen, Lander and Pitlick are RFAs. My expectation is that the Oilers decline to qualify Larsen, but retain both Pitlick and Lander (unless one or both find their way into a summer trade). The wrinkle here is that both players should probably be in the same boat as Pinizzotto: signed to two-way deals and asked to come in and win a job in training camp.

Acton’s the lone guy under contract for next season, and he looks like a nice fit for the Chris Vande Velde role: the checking line in Oklahoma City and occasional call-ups if/when injuries warrant.

But those are just my guesses, and with only one of the five guys under contract the Oilers have the ability to go in an entirely different direction.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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.
Avatar
#1 michael
April 09 2014, 10:28AM
Trash it!
44
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Hall Awaits wrote:

Steve Pinizzotto has been fairly impressive in a small role to me. I think a fourth line of him, Hendricks and Gordon would be just fine. Commissioner Gordon with two guys who can bring it. They also can play a little bit more then the Gazdics and Macs of the world.

To me the entire 3rd line needs an overall. And that D corps to....

I like my 10-13 fwds to be MH,BG,SP and LG. With Gazdic and SP platooning.

My 3rd line would consist of Leon Draisatl or Rheinhart centering one FA veteran and Lander.

I believe we need more scoring out of the third line and we need to develop a 2cd line option to replace Gagner when/if he is traded.

I do not see Gagner being traded this summer. I'll say it till I 'm blue in the face.Arcobello cannot be your 2cd line center option in September. Retaining Gagner and giving him a mulligan on this years performance is more in line with what I think management will do this off season.

MacT believed that Gagner was a core player when he signed him.I do not think that mindset has changed. I believe MacT and Eakins have a heart to heart with Gagner at seasons end clear the air. Gagner may be a defensive liability but MacT always believed he could teach defence more readily than he could teach someone skill.

My thought is that MacT will go after Dion Phaneuf this summer.Phaneuf has worn out his welcome with Leaf fans and management. The deal he signed was done to appease the TML fan base who would have cried bloody murder had he been dealt.At the time the Leafs playoff hopes were still alive. With the emergence of Morgan Reilly I think the Leafs will look to add up front to bolster their second line scoring.

The TML management will be under pressure to sign Bolland and it will be looking to add a scoring winger.

There is a hometown appeal for Phaneuf. The Oil need a player of his caliber to center the defense.

would not surprise me to see either Yakupov or Perron head to Toronto this off season.

Avatar
#2 kgo
April 09 2014, 08:13AM
Trash it!
27
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Last night during MacT's interview, when he said J schultz was playing like "a veteran" my heart dropped.

It's too bad after playing in 4 playoff games (losses), however long it takes to get there....management will relaize this team is far too soft...and will have to rebuild again.

Avatar
#3 mr common sense
April 09 2014, 09:50AM
Trash it!
14
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers

We need to go after UFA's Steve Ott and Dave Bolland. Exactly the type of players we need.

Avatar
#4 Lochenzo
April 09 2014, 12:32PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

To your point on Sam Gagner, you know he can deliver 50-60 points in the #2 centre hole when he's healthy. It's hard to give up the point production when the Oilers are in the bottom third in league scoring year in and year out.

You would have to hope that the mix of more size in the top six, more skill on the 3rd line and a top 2 mobile defenceman will help not only replace the offence of Gagner, but also add to it. Tall order.

Avatar
#5 oprah sucks
April 09 2014, 12:00PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

people that think lander is a bust are idiots. he could be and should be oilers 4th line center next yr!

Avatar
#6 Oiler Al
April 09 2014, 08:39AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
68
cheers

At this point Lander is a total NHL bust and Pitlick is a china doll and not that good of player.. I'd say two way deal only or move on.

I would sooner sign Larsen, for a forward position, he's not a good NHL D Man. He's a great skater, can handle the puck, goes to the net and can play on the Power Play. Needs to beef up a bit. Be a good third liner.

Avatar
#7 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 09 2014, 07:20AM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
57
cheers

Must be hard to write this stuff at this point. I barely care to read it.

Good job, JW. And thanks, 6Rings, for the "inspiration".

Avatar
#8 David S
April 09 2014, 08:40AM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
51
cheers

Larsen >>>>>>>> Lander.

That's the nub of it.

Avatar
#9 Brian
April 09 2014, 05:45PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

Pitlick, lander, Larsen, Petry, Pinnizoto, Gazdic....Yawn.

Wake me when we have 2 Line Center, a #1 and/or #2 D Man ( not a turnstile) and a fired KLowe so no more gas can be poured on this out of control fire.

Call me burned out. No excitement to this "team" anymore.

And get Smyth his precious goal in the next two games otherwise he may be back next year, God forbid.

Avatar
#10 Sevenseven
April 09 2014, 08:56AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
25
cheers

Almost sound like we need a past his prime Ryan Smyth again next year. And keep him on the wing! Arcobello sounds like a better option than anyone else on your list jw.

Please reward our 8 year struggle as loyal fans oh hockey gods. Guide mac t to the best free agents, allow him three moves like the perron move. Guide our players to career years. Have both fasth and scrivens look like number ones. And if trots gets let go in Nashville, overpay that man to get him as an assistant here!

Avatar
#11 Sevenseven
April 09 2014, 09:04AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
39
cheers

Oh, and Lowetide wondered why Oiler fans have no love for Will Acton? Maybe because he doesnt look like an NHLer. Why is he here? Most fans think its cause daddy is on the coaching staff. Fair or unfair, hes going to have to really impress to gain any respect.

Avatar
#12 GCW
April 09 2014, 06:06PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

If Pinizzotto is taking a contract spot from a college free agent, or heaven forbid a real NHL player, oilers management really are idiots.

Sign him to an AHL only deal with an out cause. Otherwise, pass.

Avatar
#13 mesa
April 09 2014, 10:30AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

us oilers fans is like somebody asked by his wife to sell his stuff that he bought over the years and never used in the basement in a garage sale .

Avatar
#14 Dog Train
April 09 2014, 06:49PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I say qualify Pitlick and Lander and let Larsen walk. Pinizotto has played well so I wouldn't be too upset if they gave him a two-way deal but it's not a priority at this point in time. Bottom line, best way to improve the fringe positions is to upgrade the top 9 and push other guys down the lineup.

Avatar
#15 Greenlingj
April 09 2014, 09:32AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

Pitlick, Lander, Larsen,

Guys like this are not on any ones depth chart on the other 29 clubs in the NHL.

Cut your losses and move on, or, Accept the fact that most depth players don't become decent NHL products till they are 25 very rarely do you find players who can produce at the NHL level at 20-25, does not mean they are not good players.

I would sign Lander and Larsen to two way contracts and keep them down in OKC until they need to be called up.

Pitlick is a train wreck poor kid can't stay healthy and that hurts your development at any level. He is a bust I would cut my losses and focus on the other players going forward.

Avatar
#16 Tikkanese
April 09 2014, 11:37AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

Pinizzotto - agree with JW, looks good so far and is at worst a depth callup

Larsen - whether he's better going forward as a Winger or D is unknown at this point. Is it ever a good idea to cut loose 24 year old Defensemen?

Lander - I've said before, he needed at least a full year in the AHL. All these callups are ruining his confidence. I'd still resign him to a two-way

Pitlick - Despite the injuries, still has enough pedigree to take a chance on a 1 year two-way.

Acton - Sadly is signed already to another year. On the bright side, the farm team needs veterans

Avatar
#17 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
April 09 2014, 02:13PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

@Manfly

I think it's interesting how people are ready to stamp the Perron deal as a clear win for the Oilers.

It's true that right now, Edmonton has the best player and is ahead on winning the trade, but it remains to be seen how Paajarvi will develop and how the 2nd round pick they gave up (i.e. the 33rd overall pick) will pan out.

It's entirely possible that in a couple years St. Louis winds up with 2 serviceable roster players which isn't a bad return when they were essentially forced into dealing Perron for cap relief.

Obviously nothing is guaranteed, but that 30-34th overall pick might make the trade look a lot more even in the long run...

Avatar
#18 j
April 09 2014, 08:16AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
62
cheers

I struggle with Acton on every level. He just hasn't made any impression that is worthy of being in the discussion of NHL employment. I appreciate that the 'fourth line' has received far too much press given the actual impact on the game but surely we can do a bit better than a 30 year old AHLer and Acton? I'd rather have Steve Downie and Matt Cooke out there. Really.

Avatar
#19 Dave
April 09 2014, 11:52AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers

Just a short editorial comment. It is difficult to evaluate players from TV broadcasts. I was at the game last night and was impressed by Larsen on the PP etc. He is definitely worthy of a second look next year. The same goes for Arcobello.

Let us hope that Gagner is traded . I also think that Ryan Smyth is done.

Avatar
#20 Oilergasm
April 09 2014, 12:14PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

Sadly, the only one I think they should potentially keep for next year is Larsen. I think the roster spots are more valuable than fringe NHLers. We'd be better off filling out the 4th line on the waiver wire during training camp, like we did with Gazdic.

Avatar
#21 godot10
April 09 2014, 12:34PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

@Manfly

Paajarvi is still 2 years younger than Gustav Nyquist.

Paajarvi was the key asset in obtaining David Perron. Is David Perron a bust?

Half of the Red Wings roster is guys who many Oiler fans would have called busts at 21 or 22.

Avatar
#22 God
April 09 2014, 03:07PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

The bottom 3 are not nearly as important as the top 6.

Avatar
#23 DT
April 09 2014, 09:51AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Lander looks much better in the most recent call-up. He is far less tentative and actually holds onto the puck to make a play, instead of dumping the hot grenade into the corner. He's not producing any points, but outside of the top line, who is? Perron and Gagner (relatively) have gotten points, but when is the last time that Jones contributed, or Smyth? So, I would give him another contract, a short two way. Acton does not keep up to NHL pace and doesn't really do anything else to contribute when he's not producing. I would part ways with him. Larsen could be resigned as a forward.

Avatar
#24 Ed in Edmonton
April 09 2014, 12:40PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers
Lochenzo wrote:

To your point on Sam Gagner, you know he can deliver 50-60 points in the #2 centre hole when he's healthy. It's hard to give up the point production when the Oilers are in the bottom third in league scoring year in and year out.

You would have to hope that the mix of more size in the top six, more skill on the 3rd line and a top 2 mobile defenceman will help not only replace the offence of Gagner, but also add to it. Tall order.

Gag's highest point total has been 47, so how would ne "know" he can deliver 50 to 60 points?

Avatar
#25 Digger
April 09 2014, 03:49PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Regarding Lander, I think there's at least a chance that if the Oilers are going to try to get him to a sign another two-way deal, he could take the option to sign a deal with the SEL or KHL, especially if he comes to the conclusion that his opportunity for advancement with the Oilers has run its course...and I honestly wouldn't take fault with either Lander or the Oilers if that's what ends up happening, sometimes that's just how things work out with a team.

I'm sure he's already gotten feelers from the SEL trying to entice him to come back, he was very popular back in Timra.

Avatar
#26 Tikkanese
April 09 2014, 03:49PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
Scrivy wrote:

By my eye, Larsen has looked like a smooth skating, excellent passing, playmaking dman all year.

And yet everyone in the msm has dumped on him all year.

I believe the numbers back me up when I say, please re-sign Phillip Larsen. He is a very good Petry-esque player, underappreciated, overperforming.

If Petry and Larsen are overperforming, the Oilers D is in much worse shape than everyone thinks.

Avatar
#27 HardBoiledOil
April 09 2014, 09:16AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers
Oiler Al wrote:

At this point Lander is a total NHL bust and Pitlick is a china doll and not that good of player.. I'd say two way deal only or move on.

I would sooner sign Larsen, for a forward position, he's not a good NHL D Man. He's a great skater, can handle the puck, goes to the net and can play on the Power Play. Needs to beef up a bit. Be a good third liner.

i agree. Lander looks like a bust and i wonder as well if Pitlick can ever stay healthy enough to realize his potential? if Lander were traded and Pitlick not re-signed, it wouldn't bother me. not a fan either of Acton. don't really want him back next year. Larsen i do like and the Oilers should re-sign just because of the fact he's looked better up front, can play on D if he has to, and can pot a few points. he also skates well. Pinizzotto is a good, tough skater who can drop the gloves if he has to, but can't get a point to save his life. i'd re-sign him to a two way as well.

Avatar
#28 vetinari
April 09 2014, 09:22AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers

If I had to guess:

Two way, one year contracts to Lander, Pinizotto, Larsen

Release Acton (average at most things but above average at nothing) and Pitlick (injury history and his skills can be replaced by other prospects)

Avatar
#29 ColourMeImpressed
April 09 2014, 10:17AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
46
cheers

That Will Acton has a contract next season over Lander, already, is a travesty.

The guy is so bad at hockey.

Avatar
#30 alledmonton
April 09 2014, 10:41AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

@j

Completely agree. Acton is not an NHL player. When he gets the puck, he gets rid of if immediately or loses it. Linemates are not the problem.

Avatar
#31 Shredder
April 09 2014, 10:43AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

My feelings towards any of these guys and whether or not they get brought back next year:

meh.

Does it make a difference? I'd say no. After the Canucks on Saturday, and the lottery on Monday, it's going to be really tough to find anything to discuss that's interesting, other than maybe other NHL teams...apathy for this team set in months ago, now what happens when the offseason gets boring because we've already discussed it so much (who to draft/trade the pick/ufa's to sign).

I, regrettably, renewed my season tix next year. It's going to take a miracle to get me to do it for another year after.

Avatar
#32 oilredemption
April 09 2014, 11:03AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

@Bi-Curious Gord

So funny! Thinking the same thing!!!!

Avatar
#33 godot10
April 09 2014, 11:57AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

At a similar age and similar point production in the AHL, without any significant NHL production to Lander, Detroit qualified and then signed Gustav Nyquist to a 2-year one way NHL deal, and he spent 1.5 years of that contract in the AHL.

That is what a good NHL organization did with a similar prospect to Lander at a similar age and production at the AHL level.

Avatar
#34 Ed in Edmonton
April 09 2014, 01:03PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Manfly wrote:

the whole 2009 draft has been a bust for the Oilers! Paajarvi has been less than impressive offensively, for a guy who went 10th overall and was said to be ranked even higher. Lander is a step too slow in my opinion to play a scorers role in the NHL. add to that the stellar picks of busts like Troy Hesketh, Cam Abney, Kyle Bigos, the so-so goaltending of Olivier Roy and the talented, but ultra small Toni Rajala, and the Oilers really got burned (or burned themselves) at that draft.

I would agree that to this point the players taken have been a bust, although Paajarvi was yet show he can be a useful NHL player. But as pointed out before, as Perron is now a product of that draft it is far from a bust for the Oil.

Avatar
#35 Oil Can
April 09 2014, 01:41PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
Lochenzo wrote:

To your point on Sam Gagner, you know he can deliver 50-60 points in the #2 centre hole when he's healthy. It's hard to give up the point production when the Oilers are in the bottom third in league scoring year in and year out.

You would have to hope that the mix of more size in the top six, more skill on the 3rd line and a top 2 mobile defenceman will help not only replace the offence of Gagner, but also add to it. Tall order.

So you are basically saying that the Oilers should change the entire team and keep Sam Gagner, and then Sam Gagner will be great. Are you related to Gagner in some way.

Avatar
#36 Manfly
April 09 2014, 01:59PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
godot10 wrote:

Paajarvi is still 2 years younger than Gustav Nyquist.

Paajarvi was the key asset in obtaining David Perron. Is David Perron a bust?

Half of the Red Wings roster is guys who many Oiler fans would have called busts at 21 or 22.

yes, i realize Paajarvi is still young, and it doesn't matter what Nyqvist or any other player is doing, Magnus hasn't developed yet, it he does at all and you can't say because player X took this long to develop, player Y will too.

and where in my article did i say Perron was a bust? re-read it. Paajarvi got us Perron because apparently the Blues needed to dump a salary and the Oilers wanted to *upgrade*, and Magnus was the player they wanted. i firmly believe that if the Oilers ever saw a 30 goal man in Magnus they would have kept him. they didn't so i stand by what i said.

Avatar
#37 Mason Storm
April 09 2014, 03:10PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers
Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'm a big fan of Detroit's development model.

The problem with both Lander and Pitlick is that they have to clear waivers to be demoted next season. Right now I'd be in favour of bringing both back and (potentially) sending them down out of training camp, but the reality is they might not make it to the minors.

Certainly there's no reason to just cut bait, though.

I don't think the Oilers have to worry about losing either to a waiver claim. Pitlick can't stay healthy and Lander can't produce at the NHL level. I don't think a team uses up a roster spot for either.

Avatar
#38 oilredemption
April 09 2014, 10:25AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Anyone know where I can find the macT presser?

Avatar
#39 Bi-Curious Gord
April 09 2014, 10:48AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
56
cheers
mesa wrote:

us oilers fans is like somebody asked by his wife to sell his stuff that he bought over the years and never used in the basement in a garage sale .

Big Props for being able to post a comment while having a stroke.

Avatar
#40 Oilergasm
April 09 2014, 12:16PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
oprah sucks wrote:

people that think lander is a bust are idiots. he could be and should be oilers 4th line center next yr!

why? has he proven to be more capable than Arcobello this year? Arcobello isn't isn't even suited to be the 4C. Hendricks is best suited for the job but he's playing up 3W because of the lack of depth in the bottom 6.

Avatar
#41 Manfly
April 09 2014, 12:24PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
24
cheers
oprah sucks wrote:

people that think lander is a bust are idiots. he could be and should be oilers 4th line center next yr!

the whole 2009 draft has been a bust for the Oilers! Paajarvi has been less than impressive offensively, for a guy who went 10th overall and was said to be ranked even higher. Lander is a step too slow in my opinion to play a scorers role in the NHL. add to that the stellar picks of busts like Troy Hesketh, Cam Abney, Kyle Bigos, the so-so goaltending of Olivier Roy and the talented, but ultra small Toni Rajala, and the Oilers really got burned (or burned themselves) at that draft.

Avatar
#42 Oilergasm
April 09 2014, 12:48PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

@godot10

Detroit has a luxury of using an organizational system of developing depth, When you have Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall and previously Lidstrom, they have no reason to rush players along. Your comparison is unfair. Apples to Oranges.

Perhaps using Colorado or Chicago is more fair. Was Wolski or Stewart a bust? How about Kyle Calder or Tyler Arnasson?

Sometimes teams have players that will never flourish within their organization. Paajarvi was one for us, as was Cogliano.

Perron was a salary dump, they then turned around and used some the cap space to get Miller and Ott... Terrible asset ustilization? Highly doubtful!

Avatar
#43 Manfly
April 09 2014, 02:08PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I would agree that to this point the players taken have been a bust, although Paajarvi was yet show he can be a useful NHL player. But as pointed out before, as Perron is now a product of that draft it is far from a bust for the Oil.

the 2009 draft was far from a success either! the fact that Paajarvi got us Perron does not make that draft a success at all. Magnus did very little *with* us so that was one of the worst drafts for us in recent memory.

Avatar
#44 Scrivy
April 09 2014, 02:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

By my eye, Larsen has looked like a smooth skating, excellent passing, playmaking dman all year.

And yet everyone in the msm has dumped on him all year.

I believe the numbers back me up when I say, please re-sign Phillip Larsen. He is a very good Petry-esque player, underappreciated, overperforming.

Avatar
#45 Soccer Steve
April 09 2014, 08:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers

Any conversation about depth in the Edmonton Oilers is a good one to have. But, no offense to these guys, they are what they are, I just wish we were talking about actual players. It always seems like we're on about these fringe-types.

Avatar
#46 Hall Awaits
April 09 2014, 09:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
35
cheers

Steve Pinizzotto has been fairly impressive in a small role to me. I think a fourth line of him, Hendricks and Gordon would be just fine. Commissioner Gordon with two guys who can bring it. They also can play a little bit more then the Gazdics and Macs of the world.

To me the entire 3rd line needs an overall. And that D corps to....

Avatar
#47 Spaceman Spiff
April 09 2014, 10:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

I'd say that, of those four, I'd definitely keep Larsen. He's definitely got NHL wheels and if his hands can catch up (even a little bit), he might be useful as a fourth-liner. He's not physical at all, so that's a drawback. But moving him up to defence (where he was a ticking time-bomb a la Grebeshkov) probably has given him a Second Act as an NHLer. Worth a longer look next year.

I'd probably also consider keeping Pitlick because I still think there's a lot of "there" there even though his string of injuries is worrisome. Not too late to turn it around but the clock is ticking on him.

Acton is an AHLer and Lander is starting to look like what the baseball guys called a "4A" player - one who's probably too good for the top minor-league but not good enough for the majors.

Avatar
#48 MattL
April 09 2014, 10:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

I thought I heard somewhere that Larsen was a centre until he was 16. I also like the idea of him and Arcobello as two utility guys, like the guy every baseball team has on the roster. Outfield? Sure. Shortstop? Sure. Batting .300? Nope.

Avatar
#49 etownman
April 09 2014, 10:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

I'm hoping the Oilers bring Pinizzotto back next year, from what I've seen I think he has something to contribute towards the team. What role & where he fits in will obviously be determined in pre-season.

I also think Lander & Pitlick will be retained, probably on 1 year contracts at this point in their careers. Both have a solid chance to contribute towards the team as long as their roles are defined at beginning of year & they're used appropriately. Pitlick has to get over the injury bug to have a long time future in the NHL but he's definately a player who will come along under the tutelage of Hendricks.

Larsen has played well in his 'swing man' role from RW to D when needed. Wouldn't hurt my feelings if the Oilers defined his role as such & used him accordingly. Which means he would fill the 13/14 forward & probably get into about 40 to 50 games next year. He isn't big but he's not afraid to go to the hard areas to make plays.

Avatar
#50 Ed in Edmonton
April 09 2014, 12:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
kgo wrote:

Last night during MacT's interview, when he said J schultz was playing like "a veteran" my heart dropped.

It's too bad after playing in 4 playoff games (losses), however long it takes to get there....management will relaize this team is far too soft...and will have to rebuild again.

He didn't say what kind of veteran dman.

Comments are closed for this article.