July 28 2014 02:55PM

gernat ferguson 4

There are plenty of hopeful candidates (but very little actual hope) among the outsider defensemen on the Oilers 50-man roster. A summer of signing free agents has effectively pushed back the prospects and made surprises unlikely—but not impossible.


  1. Mark Fayne
  2. Justin Schultz
  3. Jeff Petry
  4. Andrew Ference
  5. Nikita Nikitin

The only possible movement from this list being cast in stone is the Justin Schultz contract negotiations. I don't see it as being a huge issue (despite the fact it's taking awhile) and once it's done these five are locked and loaded for 2014-15.


  1. Keith Aulie—There's a 70% chance Aulie makes the team. There's no doubt in my mind Aulie makes the final roster, I've pegged it here for conversation. Dallas Eakins ran Will Acton opening night a year ago and Ryan Hamilton shortly after—Marlies go to the front of the line.
  2. Martin Marincin—Marincin has a 70% chance of making the Oilers. I'd like it to be higher, but something tells me the Oilers really like Klefbom's style and Aulie's size. Marincin's impressive NHL debut should mean he plays an extended period in the NHL in 2014-15, but he is not a lock for opening night.
  3. Oscar Klefbom—There's a 50% chance Klefbom makes the team. I'm factoring in both percentages and chances of injury here, so the % total will be more than 100 for the two remaining positions. I would not be surprised if the Oilers keep Klefbom and send out Marincin—think they like him a lot.
  4. Darnell Nurse—He has a 20% chance to make the team. I think he'd have to do something incredible in a late pre-season contest for Edmonton to keep him. There's just too much competition, and he would be applying for a feature role. If he makes it, the training camp stories will have a lot of Darnell in them.
  5. Brad Hunt—He has a 10% chance to make the team. Hunt can fill a very specific role—power-play quarterback. If Craig Ramsay sees him good, it could happen. Not a massive opening, but there's a little daylight.
  6. Brandon Davidson—He has a 5% chance to make the team. Jason Gregor's recent conversation with Rocky Thompson was very insightful, and about a part of the game we can't see or measure. Davidson's progress has impressed some important people. There's a chance.
  7. David Musil—He has a 3% chance. Jonathan Willis mentioned Musil on the Lowdown today, suggesting foot speed is the only major issue (he's developing on pace in all other areas).
  8. Martin Gernat—He has a 2% chance. Mobile defenders are more in style than ever, and despite some chaos Gernat can use his speed and wingspan to recover defensively.

There's a chance an injury will allow Edmonton to keep Marincin and Klefbom, but for me that's going to be the final cut of training camp. Dallas Eakins will have to choose.

    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.
    #51 Joy S. Lee
    July 29 2014, 01:45PM
    Trash it!
    The Last Big Bear wrote:

    I'm not sure how people here are gauging Petry's trade value, but as a comparable, a slightly older, slightly bigger, slightly better Andrej Meszaros on an expiring $4m contract was moved at the deadline this year for a conditional 3rd rounder.

    That's about where id peg Petry's trade value right now. He's a perfectly adequate player, and his salary isn't bad, but he's a pending UFA. I don't see too many teams throwing 2nd line centers at you just to get a few of months of Jeff Petry.

    If you could trade Petry for a 25 year old Sutter, a centreman with 400+ games of NHL experience, who consistently scores at a 15 goal pace, plays brutal minutes, and is an RFA coming off a $2m deal, you take that and run, and don't answer your phone for a week after.

    Sutter is comparably good to Petry, but is younger, cheaper, and an RFA.

    You are significantly undervaluing Jeff Petry and the tools he brings. In fact, I expect this will be his breakout year. More than anyone, he has gone through the toughest transition period with this team in learning his position. Which would be a good indicator of what will happen when he "gets it."

    I would still trade him... but I'd want plenty back. A 3rd rounder? Not a frigging chance. Thanks, but if that's all anyone will give you for the guy, then keep him, and let him continue his developmental curve here. He has a tremendous upside of unrealized potential. If Petry himself, or this organization, ever gets around to having him fulfill it, we've got ourselves a gem. Don't kid yourself, other teams like his upside, too, but they won't say so until they have him for the pittance guys like you are willing to get in return. Personally, while I would deal him in the RIGHT trade to fill a need, I hope he comes in and shows his full potential this year, and it just might happen. If it does, our D grading goes from a D where the season ended, and from the C it climbed to with summer acquisitions, to a B overnight. And then we await Klefbom and Nurse to heavily influence the grade once more.

    #52 Serious Gord
    July 29 2014, 02:39PM
    Trash it!
    madjam wrote:

    He will probably not be the only one. MacT. Lowe , etc. will immediately may be replaced with Nicholson and a new crew . Suspect if Eakins goes so does MacT .. Kreuger ( Still paid for this year I believe ) could be bought back in return/interim to see if youth can get going in forward progression again under his system . If not still advancing, then blowup of youth might be in order . I suspect Katz bought in Nicholson in case he wants to change direction of club if it still remains a cellar dweller . Katz has certainly given more than ample/ patient time to turn this club around . Wonder what it would cost to acquire Nill on executive to work with Nicholson ? Well that's maybe a worse case scenario for management if they continue to under achieve . Speculative only if results are very poor once again .

    I don't think Katz brought Nicholson in for that purpose at all. He wants all of his old boys together. Nicholson and Lowe are very tight. I think players and coaches will be removed and Klowe will not be fired - rather be given a chance to resign (again). But that would be a disaster scenario - a ruining of Katz' dream and he could just abandon the whole project and be a detached owner living in van and la and raking in the revenues regardless of how the team does.

    #53 Quicksilver ballet
    July 29 2014, 03:09PM
    Trash it!
    Craig1981 wrote:

    I honestly believe any player that is drafted is a solid hockey player. Most of them are drafted on skill, and NHL players can handle the young 'heavies'. If they can handle the NHL John Scott's they can handle some 19 year old CHL player.

    Eager did not get hurt in a preseason game by Kirill Tulupov as Tulupov was trying out for the Oilers. How did you arrive at 50% less injuries as a number????? Or do you have zero facts to support that number?

    There are around 2000 CHL players and about 100 of them get drafted a year. I wouldn't say they get a silver platter, I would say they earned 1-3 weeks with the best.

    You bring in your prospects for development. So they see what it takes, get motivation to come back and be part of the NHL, see their flaws that get exposed, and get trained by the best.

    Where in any of my statements did I claim Tulupov took Eager out in an NHL pre-season game? He's just another shining example of a rub-a-dub player on your training camp roster taking out one of your NHL regulars.(The basis of my point).

    50% fewer players at camp usually equates to 50% fewer injuries. Only common sense, no?

    Jason Gregor did a study last year that helped arrive at the fact that 93% of players drafted fail to have a resemblance of an NHL career. Call those 93 "solid hockey players" anything you want. Oilers should get rid of them/the rif raf and get to the task at hand. 70+ player T/C's are a terrible waste of two weeks.

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