Oilers Future On Display?

As the reality of another summer spent without addressing center ice adequately sinks in, I thought it might be a good time to introduce you to a possible future.

Sean Couturier is 17-years old, born in Phoenix and the next Hockey Jesus. LAST SEASON–16 years old at the beginnng of the year–the young man (man?) ripped up the QMJHL to the tune of 68gp, 41-55-96. At that age, it is a stunning total. Other impressive numbers? He’s 6.03! 193! Won the Beliveau trophy (leading scorer!). Plus he was doing it while playing the other team’s best! Already! Has his own tsn player page!

Couturier told tsn: "I had a great offseason last year. I got a lot of experience and I matured from that. And going to the Under 18s (last year) gave me a huge boost of confidence and I carried that for the rest of the season."

Couturier is currently turning heads at the Canadian World Junior summer camp (which goes through Saturday night so watch tsn for updates) and there’s a very strong chance we’ll see him at the Christmas tournament.

He’s the closest thing we’ve seen to Sidd Finch since, well, Sidd Finch. So the next time some other NHL team addresses need and gives their roster balance, remember Sean Couturier. He’d be a nice fit to the current Oilers department of youth.

  • Hemmercules

    @ cableguy. Probably got him on the cheap and I’m sure management wasn’t looking at signing a big ticket goaltender for a rebuild year. He probably plays AHL until Bulin has his token injury for the year and needs surgery again. Does this mean they have cut DD or JDD loose?

    • Ender

      I agree. I think the Oil are preparing to part ways with Khabi and that they are hoping that of DD/JDD/Gerber that two of them can be solid enough to form a starting tandem. For the odd guy out, if it’s Gerber he gets sent to the minors on the cheap and if it’s one of the other two, they still get sent to the minors but now the Oilers don’t care so much if they get picked up off waivers. Either way, if whoever the cast-off is clears, he’ll be an upgrade on Pitton.

      • BBOil

        Other thing to think about is that this is probably Gerber’s last opportunity to have any chance in the NHL again, so that may play into any pay cut between KHL/NHL/AHL, and maybe, just maybe he has something to prove.

        If he still sucks though, pretty low risk signing.

      • Jason Gregor

        Boys,

        If the Oilers really are preparing to part ways with Khabi, which I don’t think they are, do you really think Gerber is the best option?

        Wouldn’t they have looked at Niemi then or Hell even 33 year old Jose Theodore.

        This is a protection plan.

        When JDD gets sent down after camp, if a team claims him then the Oilers have Gerber to start in OKC. Bryan Pitton is not an AHL starter.

        And then during the year, at some point Khabby will be hurt for at least two or three games, so rather than risk JDD getting claimied on re-entry waivers, they could bring up Gerber to sit on bench for a few games and watch DD play.

        I don’t see this as a sign Khabby is out. It is protecting themselves if they lose one of the kids.

        • Jerk Store

          Agree that Gerber is a safety valve. Assuming Jeff Two-names is sent down, he knows he has almost ZERO chance of coming back up to the big club at any point during the year as his Kryptonite (great term Ball buster) contract gets cut in half on re-entry. He can’t be happy. I guess I wonder at what point do you cut bait with him and focus on Olivier Roy? Answering my own question (very likely incorrectly) it is if/when Dubnyk establishes himself as a seviceable NHL Goaltender. If it is as a starter – wonderful, if it is as a backup, then ST had best save some capspace for a tender. What this tells me is JDD is screwed unless he has a huge camp – and is at best Plan C.

      • Jerk Store

        Interesting signing, but not a good one… Unless they’re expecting Khabby to either a) be sitting in jail at season opening, b) retire from his bad back or c) the Oil are buying him out, we already have too many goalies with 1 way contracts and are somewhat capable at the NHL level… The only thing that makes sense with this deal is the $$$. Even if the contract is 2-way, do we really want a 35 year goalie playing in Oklahoma during a re-build??

        • BBOil

          Considering we aren’t exactly deep with young, high end goalies to play at the AHL level, I see no reason not to have a cheap vet to play there until say Roy is ready to make the jump. What is the other option for the AHL goalie situation? Sign a slightly younger AHL vet for a bit more.

  • Ball Buster

    It’s a Barons pickup right?

    Dubnyk and DesLauriers to start the year as Oilers?

    Then when Khabibulin recovers from his back injury (which I think is more of an issue than potential prison time), DesLauriers gets sent down with his kryptonite $1M contract and takes over the #1 spot in Oklahoma.

  • DJ Dynasty Handbag

    Completely Off Topic, but this just caught my eye on kukla’s korner….

    Courtesy Evgeni Nabokov –

    “Let me ask you, would you want to play for the Edmonton Oilers, for example?” [laughter] “Let me tell you that when you have a choice and you have something to choose from, you always want to play for a good team, compete for medals and such. I will speak for myself, but the situation was such that I had no choice of a good team to play for and to play at the high level. To me it was very important to play for a good team, to try to win.”

  • IMO…

    Gerber is an insurance policy.

    a) If they send down JDD or DD, they won’t be able to call that guy up for the whole year without him first clearing re-entry waivers at half price… THAT is no sure thing; they’d likely be snatched up. So, in the case of an injury to one of the two up here, they need another guy they can call up – Martin Gerber.

    b) If either JDD or DD gets picked up on waivers after training camp & is unable to show up in OKC, they have no goalie for OKC – Martin Gerber.

    c) If Nikki Rehab is in jail, they need another goalie, whether for here or for OKC – Martin Gerber.

    Bottom line: they needed an insurance policy of sorts… nothing wrong with Martin Gerber for that role. Who betta…Barry Brust? Andy Chiodo? Scott Munroe?

  • Salsa Shark

    Think its a solid move as well. Safe and responsible move once again showing commitment to OKC.

    Dellow is throwing a twit-fit over it but he seems to be the only one. Did anyone think Pitton could have carried a part-time AHL load?

  • Glad to hear about Gerber. The best situation is to have Gerber and Khabby play up here in the men’s league while the sieve sisters hone their games and crush team morale in Oklahoma. Maybe they could use a lottery pick this year.

  • Ender

    I don’t normally follow Tencer, but Dellow’s rage about the Gerber signing on Twitter was amusing and one of Millhouse’s comments caught my eye:

    As was just pointed out to me…Tamby wasn’t lying when he said he wouldn’t go to camp with 3 goalies. Lol

  • @ Lowetide,

    I’d be more excited if Couturier’s comparable was ERIC not JORDAN Stall.

    From what I’ve seen he’s also comparable to Paul Stastny or Anze Kopitar.

    A #1 center (Seguin) would be great but I’m in favor of Adam Larsson.

    • book¡e

      Yes, but he is not really a wanted quantity unless some team wants him for the AHL. If the Oil lose him in that manner, its no great loss. Losing JDD or DD caries more risk because those goalies have potential to be something better in the future (there are a range of opinions on what that potential actually is).

      • book¡e

        He still has to clear waivers.

        The formula for being required to clear waivers includes Age, Age of signing first NHL contract, and number of games played in the NHL (or something like that). Gerber is old and has played in lots of games so – he has to clear.

        However, he does not have to clear re-entry waivers even though his AHL Salary is well clear of the $105,000 season mark (the standard for re-entry being a requirement) because he is a Goalie who has played in more than 180 professional games AND he did not play more than 40 games on an NHL roster last year.

        Ok, with me so far? Now, he does have to go all the way to Reading Railroad and can collect $200 if he passes go, but only if he roles a 00 following a 20 role. This does not count however if he is holding the 2 of spades or if he roles five 6s after already counting a role of five 5s for his Yatzee spot. On the other hand, if he leaves the 9 pin up when kicking a try he loses 17 hit points unless his pawn has been crowned already.

        Don’t blame me – I didn’t write the CBA…

  • Petr's Jofa

    Just got back from the Red and White Game.

    I missed the 1st period so here’s what I thought:

    Seguin looked mediocre I think it will take him a while to adjust to the NHL.

    -Roy was solid in his 30 minutes of play. Let in 1 goal in which his defense got lost and let 2 players skate into the blue. Other than two good saves, his white team seemed to control the play and not give up many quality scoring chance.

    -Hamilton didn’t get alot of ice time and looked a little like a lost kid. He’s listed at 6’3″ 202 but he’s scrawny and slightly awkward looking on the ice. His red team lost 6-3 but he wasn’t on the ice for any of the goals I saw. He did win most puck battles, but he always seemed to be sacrificing offense for defensive responsibility. He was moving the puck in the right direction, but I think he may have been slightly intimidated and scared to make mistakes or be caught out of position. Not sure how he played in the 1st.

    -Cody Eakin caught my attention a few times. He dangled and the puck just seemed to follow him.

    -Couturier got a nice goal and make a great shoot out move.

    -Ryan Rishaug (sp?) is taller than I thought 6’3 ish.

  • I like this signing… it’s small time at the NHL level, but at the AHL level its fan-flipping-tastic. That was our biggest weakness since Dubnyk was called up. I’m glad that has been addressed.

    At this point, I don’t really care which goalie(s) get sent down. At best, we’re only going to save $300k by sending Gerber down, so he *could* stay up here (although I suspect he’ll go down). We’ve got to pay JDD $1.05M or Dubnyk 800k either way, so i don’t see it as too big of a deal if either of them go down too. Yes, its a waste to pay an AHLer that much, but it is what it is.

    At any rate, any of our 4 goalies will make very good AHLers (ironically every one of them is questionable at the NHL level, however, for one reason or another). So yah… great move for OKC as it affords us a choice in who we re-assign and gives us more security that we’ll be able to send at least ONE guy down there.