Drafting Defensemen: The Lessons of 2008

Jonathan Willis
March 26 2012 01:21PM

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft boasted one of the strongest groups of high-end defensemen that we’ve seen in a long time. After Steven Stamkos went first overall, the next four picks were defensemen. After that group was picked, there were still defensemen like Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner and John Carlson available in the first round.

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The Red Menace

Jonathan Willis
March 26 2012 10:02AM

Oilers fans are, as has been noted here and myriad other places, in an interesting position. If the team loses, it does a better job of securing the second overall pick. If the team wins enough between now and the end of the season, they could conceivably slide out of the draft lottery entirely.

One thing that seems to be making it easier for fans is the so-called “Russian Factor.” The consensus top pick in this year’s draft is Nail Yakupov. The likely second pick – though there is some debate on this – is Mikhail Grigorenko. For many fans, that makes it easy to drop down – they want to see the Oilers pick a defenseman anyway, and they really would prefer the Oilers not draft a Russian.

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Theo Peckham and NHL Concussion Protocols

Jonathan Willis
March 25 2012 08:50PM

In today’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, defenseman Theo Peckham suffered what Tom Renney confirmed as a concussion on a hit from Rick Nash. In and of itself, that’s unfortunate but not uncommon in the NHL.

What’s more interesting is the fact that between taking the hit and being removed from the game, Peckham played five more shifts.

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Recent Run Puts Lottery Position In Jeopardy

Jonathan Willis
March 24 2012 02:34PM

It’s been an awfully nice 10-game run for the Edmonton Oilers. The team has gone 5-2-3 in that span, and with Devan Dubnyk between the pipes (5-1-1 in that stretch) there’s a possibility that the team finishes the year strongly.

That’s good news for a lot of people – particularly for Tom Renney, in the last year of his contract; for Steve Tambellini, who publicly stated that the team should finish outside the NHL lottery. Let’s face it, it’s nice for fans too, who have seen a lot of losing hockey since that run to the Finals in 2006.

How much impact has it had on the standings?

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A Dozen And Counting For Cam Barker

Jonathan Willis
March 24 2012 11:59AM

Last night, the Edmonton Oilers played the Florida Panthers. It was their 12th game in the month of March. Cam Barker did not dress; he has not dressed for any of the dozen games the team has played this month.

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