Reasonable Expectations: The Blue

A year ago the Edmonton Oilers defense seemed to adopt the signature line from this young woman: "resistance is futile."

Steve Tambellini has turned over a large part of the blueline roster since the beginning of March: gone are Denis Grebeshkov (Mar 1 for the draft pick that turned into Curtis Hamilton), Lubomir Visnovsky (Mar 3) and Steve Staios (Mar 3). The club still has several experienced defensemen as we head into training camp. Here’s the complete list of possible defensemen and their NHL career games played:

  1. Sheldon Souray 650
  2. Jason Strudwick 631
  3. Jim Vandermeer 374
  4. Ryan Whitney 354
  5. Tom Gilbert 258  
  6. Kurtis Foster 257
  7. Ladislav Smid 253
  8. Taylor Chorney 44
  9. Theo Peckham 31
  10. Richard Petiot 13
  11. Shawn Belle 11
  12. Alex Plante 4
  13. Johan Motin 1
  14. Jeff Petry 0

In terms of actual NHL experience, the top 7 defensemen are very good (2,777 games). Opening night 2005-06 Edmonton boasted 3,333 NHL games experience but the following season (fall 2006) the opening night lineup could manage only 1,871. And it showed.

Now the current group has a lot more 6’s and 7’s than the 2005-06 group and there are only a couple of Jacks and no Kings. Having said that, there’s a working group here and an addition of a veteran defenseman in exchange for Sheldon Souray would go a long way to making this group successful.

Over at Lowetide, I’ve just completed my look at the forwards (the rookies were featured at ON here) and today I’ll post the boxcars for the blue in this post. A couple of things: I’m not going to use Sheldon Souray in the group. I don’t think he stays here. If he does, I’ll update this post later into the fall and we’ll have a more impressive offensive projection. Second, the Oilers group of blue isn’t offensively gifted, so some of the PP minutes were devoted to forwards (one of the  F’s on defense during the PP) which will account for the lower number.

  1. Tom Gilbert: A very impressive season one year ago, in which the coach asked him to spend some time out of his comfort zone and he delivered at a high level. Tough opposition with mid-to-poor help from his own mates, Gilbert’s secondary numbers (RelCorsi, etc) were top drawer. Gilbert played a more comfortable role after the trade deadline and went 21gp, 3-17-20 in March and April and his final 7 games saw him deliver 2-10-12 totals. Before that, it was a matter of Pat Quinn trying to turn him into Don Awrey. Reasonable expectations: A complete season on the 1PP and a quality partner in Whitney means Gilbert should have his best NHL season. Of all the players on the 2010-11 Edmonton Oilers, I’d bet on Tom Gilbert to have a season that exceeds expectations. He’s experienced, he has exceptional skills and he has been an effective NHL player two years running. 24 minutes a night, he plays in all situations and he flourishes. 80gp, 9-33-42.  Total Minutes: 1920.
  2. Ryan Whitney: I knew we were going to like Whitney the first time I heard him speak about coming to the Oilers. He told the gathered media that he was looking forward to coming here, being a leader on a young group and building something worthwhile. Agents should record his first media conference and use it as a template. He followed it up with a solid performance on the ice and really shone in a tandem with Tom Gilbert. He’s an exceptional passer and can help the powerplay. There are many reports about his coverage gaps, but he is an experienced NHL player with a solid track record. Whitney has a nice range of skills, meaning he can play in any situation. Reasonable expectations: 24 minutes a night, plenty on the PK and quite a few on the PP. He and Gilbert will face the toughest forwards in the game, meaning lots of Sedins. This isn’t a top flight shutdown pairing, but certainly good enough to compete based on their late season showing. 70gp, 8-26-34.Total Minutes: 1680.
  3. Kurtis Foster: He is a very important piece to the Oilers D puzzle this year. Foster played easy minutes a year ago, delivering some very nice numbers. Edmonton will need him to perform in a top 4 role (meaning he’s not going to see many easy minutes) and Foster will be under the gun far more often than he was a year ago. It’s a very good bet, but not a sure thing. If Foster can increase his level of difficulty and deliver at a reasonable level, Edmonton’s blue will be much better than last season. Reasonable expectations: More minutes at even strength and fewer on the powerplay, so we should expect lesser boxcars this coming season. Foster was on for only 13 EV minutes a night one year ago (4 a night on the PP) so that’s a pretty drastic ratio. We know about his injury history but he’s coming off a solid NHL season. 64gp, 6-12-18. Total Minutes: 1280.
  4. Ladislav Smid: Ladislav Smid gets hurt a lot. These aren’t small injuries and no one questions his toughness. However, when your resume includes concussions, a broken hand, a neck injury, arm injury, knees, legs, shoulder it isn’t a stretch to suggest that the hits will keep on coming. When looking at Ladislav Smid, injuries are a major consideration. Laddy played in the best possible circumstances a year ago (Lubo was his partner and they played the soft parade) and delivered very well (RelCorsi and plus minus are excellent). He`s now an NHL defenseman with experience and may be ready for more difficult minutes. If he can handle second toughest opposition and be a solid PK contributor the Oilers will have a nice top 4: Gilbert-Whitney; Smid-Foster. None of them are old men and all of them have legit NHL experience. These are nice arrows. Reasonable expectations: There will be difficult moments, this is a step up in terms of competition and we can`t forget the injury worries. Still, the things that kept me from endorsing him as an NHL player (experience, making the same mistakes over and over) seem to be fading with that experience. 53gp, 0-6-6. Total Minutes: 1113.
  5. Jim Vandermeer: He brings toughness, grit and effort to every game. He can play defense, although footspeed exposes him at times when those fleet wingers do their outside flybys.Vandermeer is one of those guys who everyone thought would be long gone from the ‘new NHL’ but they always survive when the rubber hits the road because coaches like preventing goals. I slotted him 5th because he’s ideal for the role. He could be moved up when Smid or Foster have injury troubles and he can spend a few nights in the pressbox when the kids below are on a good run. I like this player for that role. Reasonable expectations: In baseball terms, he’s an innings eater. Maybe a knuckeballer who goes 11-11 and pitches in 3 blowouts so his ERA is 5.11 but the manager loves him. 60gp, 1-3-4. 1080 minutes
  6. Theo Peckham: I’ve chosen Peckham over Chorney, Belle and Plante because the organization is very concerned with the physical element. Also, Peckham has enough AHL experience and should arrive in training camp in shape, healthy and ready to go. His time is now. The organization has been very vocal about Peckham. Last fall, Rob Daum was on Bob Stauffer’s show and suggested conditioning was an issue. He even mentioned conditioning was an issue when Peckham was healthy. I think the problem may have come from not being able to workout due to the pre-training camp injury (ankle) but either way it was enough of an issue for management to say it out loud and that’s a pretty big deal. Later on in the year, Pat Quinn: "When I first saw him (in an Oilers uniform), the scouting report was that he was a tough kid who didn’t really know how to play. When he came back (on his most recent call-up), he showed us that he had a little bit more than just being a tough guy. As he played and gained our confidence, he was gaining his own as well. They were really good minutes for him."  I thnk Peckham gets the push if everything checks out. A very confident player. Reasonable expectations: A 5-7 slot on the 10-11 Oilers D. He can bring some attitude and a mean streak to every game and he doesn’t hesitate to drop them. He’ll be a waiver problem if he doesn’t make it, but I think Peckham earns his way onto to the roster. Not yet an everyday player, he’ll be in the mix for playing time all year long. 50gp, 1-1-2. 800 minutes.
  7. Taylor Chorney: My pick for first recall, Chorney needs to fly more AHL sorties with a team that knows what it is doing. His pro numbers are awful, but he’s never played with a team that was any good since turning pro. Chorney paired with a veteran (not Strudwick and not facing tough minutes) should be able to turn things around and get them going in the right direction. I don’t think he makes the big club, but gets called up when Strudwick retires. Reasonable expectations: A regular shift after his recall and a nice improvement from the disaster that was last season. Oilers will give him sheltered minutes, which is what they should have done a year ago. NOTE: More than anyone else on this list, Chorney’s position depends heavily on what EDM does with Sheldon Souray. If the team trades him for a veteran defender, then Chorney spends the season in the minors or is traded. 34gp, 1-4-5. 544 minutes.
  8. Jason Strudwick: I have a hard time getting him onto the roster. I think Strudwick may see some time at forward, especially on the PK. It seems that his role is somewhat duplicated on the roster by Vandermeer and that the team signed him as counsel as much as what he brings to the ice. My guess is that he starts the season in the pressbox, plays a few games and then in mid-season joins the coaching/scouting staff. Everyone thinks highly of Jason Strudwick, but I think this is his final season. Reasonable expectations: 42gp, 0-1-1. 546 minutes.
  9. Shawn Belle: The more I think about Belle’s signing the more I think he might end up having a career in Edmonton. The Oilers have been spending high picks on skill forwards forever, and really haven’t devoted a top selection on a defender (save Alex Plante) in forever. So, the forwards (who mature quickly compared to defense and goal) are going to be pushing the puck in a good direction in a couple of seasons. By that time, Edmonton will still be bringing along their young D. Belle is 25 and has played over 300 AHL games. There’s a real opportunity here, and it begins in the fall. Reasonable expectations: There’s a chance he makes the big club out of camp (especially if Souray isn’t here) but I’m betting he’s a recall due to injury. I wonder how much he’s played on the PK in the minors. 40gp, 1-3-4. 520 minutes.
  10. Alex Plante: Of all of the Oilers men who turned pro a year ago, Alex Plante did the most to improve his standing in the organization. Plante had a solid year in difficult circumstances in Springfield, and there is some evidence he was playing tough minutes by the time he was called up to the NHL. Once in Edmonton, he played well and made many of us question some of the words in his original scouting report ("raw", "awkward", "lacks coordination") based on his solid play. It could be that he’s just developed a lot in that area after his draft day. We haven’t seen him much, but Plante deserves another look this season. Reasonable expectations: A mid-season callup or trade deadline recall that sees him spend an extended period in the NHL. 16gp, 0-0-0. 240 minutes. 
  11. Jeff Petry: His much anticipated pro debut came in the spring, and Petry (like so many of the Oilers college kids) seemed overwhelmed in the AHL. In fairness, the same problem that plagued Taylor Chorney (unable to adjust quickly to the physical style and forced into the deep end of the pool in terms of toughness of minutes) may well have applied to Petry. The organization thinks very highly of him, and he would be a likely callup during the season if only to give him an idea about what awaits him at the NHL level. Reasonable expectations: If he can show some ability to keep up at the AHL level, I think the Oilers call him up for an extended look. 15gp, 1-1-2. 177minutes.

As you can see, there will likely be a lot of turnover at the NHL level again this season. Sheldon Souray is not on the list, but should he and the Oilers mend fences or if they trade him (more likely) we’ll have to amend these projections.

Since I’ve pubslished all of the offensive numbers now, lets have a look and see how the projections match up against last season’s totals:


  • 09-10 Stats: 32 goals, 108 assists
  • 10-11 RE: 28 goals, 90 assists


  • 09-10 Stats: 174 goals, 246 assists
  • 10-11 RE: 184 goals, 290 assists

Last season, the Oilers scored 206 goals. This season, I’m projected them to score 212. I suspect this total is easily the most conservative estimate available. My reasons include extreme youth, injuries (again. This team still has a large list of the injury prone) and the amount of time the puck will be in Edmonton’s end. The Sheldon Souray trade and any other transactions may change things in the next few weeks and I will adjust accordingly.

I know this was a long item, so if you’re still here thanks for reading. I look forward to your input.

  • Yah, it’s nice to have a bit of cap space for once, isn’t it? I also thought that this offseason’s “addition by substraction” will have some benefit not only salary wise, but on the team as a whole.

    It’s also nice that Tambellini has given up on landing the home-run free agent. That was something I’ve never really agreed with. I think the team has turned a corner, despite the obvious holes we can both see. And you’re right, I don’t think we really disagree on much here. If anything, I think I lean a bit too much towards the kool-aid drinking side of things at times though.

  • Lowetide

    Yeah, me too. 🙂 That’s actually why I started the reasonable expectations thing. Because honestly I believe Taylor Hall is going to rip it up and Gagner is going to blossom and and and.

    And after a few years I figured out that as fans we’re all in a hurry. Fricking Gretzky ruined us for a normal bell curve. 🙂

  • Revamping Oilers first line and PP . The Hemsky Horcoff duo has to go .They are both the same type of player . Neither drives the net and they have always relied on Smyth (in the past)and now Penner to do that for them while they both play a periphery game . They are just to predictable and easy to defend . Horcoff did his contract year and became an all-star , but thats not the game he wants to play anymore . So it’s time to break them up . Hall is a better bet for Hemsky as he will drive the net , and he has a far better touch when it comes to scoring making for a better PP as well, with many more dynamics and unpredictability !

    Omark and Svensson both drive the net well on a second PP, and have shown exceptional chemistry and results in recent worlds . That allows Horcoff to still play his periphery style but more in a deep slot area instead of on the side beyond the face off circle . This should be a very effective line and PP combination .

    That still leaves us plenty of talent to divy up on other two lines . But so far the chemistry and dynamics are to much the same as last years failures as lines . and they also have to change . We know what didn’t work in he past , so how about coming up wth some new combo’s for the rest that dynamics will work and make them more effective .

    Where would Fraser and perhaps a Hartikainen fit in , as opposed to Gagner and a Brule/ Cogliaqno at center ? Hart and Fraser definitely add more size to center position for starters . If they can handle the center position then new dynamics that might work can and maybe should develop making us very hard to play against and defend .

    Oilers can really change the dynamics of the team simply by breaking up the Horcoff Hemsky duo .

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    My third and forth lines might look like this, going with top nine to perhaps top 12 for starters . Gagner , Fraser and Eberle . Forth Brule , Cogliano and Stortini / Hartikainen . Biggest if ,is can all four lines also be defensively responsible as well ? Strudwick carried as additional forward or defenceman .

    Of concern is the Oilers inability to make trades . Seems like Oilers ability to even make bad trades is questionable ? We seem to have an abundance of roadblocks even trying to give away players ? Oilers , i believe have the pieces offensively already to be upper eschillon this season in retrospect , but still look bottom of the league on backend by quite a margin .

  • D-Man

    Not sure I’d have Chorney ahead of Strudwick on the depth chart… He really hasn’t proven much of anything at the NHL level… Unless he’s “lights out” in the AHL, I’m not sure he’d be my first call-up. Plante or Petry would be my first choices, depending on who is hurt and who plays well in Oklahoma….

    Also not sure we’d want a forward playing the point this year on the PP… I think we’re all in agreement that Foster, Gilbert and Whitney should see time on the first two units, but I’m not sure we have any forwards strong enough to play the back end. Considering we won’t be too close in fighting for playoffs, we can’t afford to lose many games from giving up those brutal PK goals against. We might need to see if Smid is ready to take a step forward on the PP. Granted, he’ll be a fish out of water for the first twenty games on the 2nd unit, but at least we won’t be giving up too many PK’s against… Thoughts Oilersnation??

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Why Burke would move Schenn is beyond me. Schenn is still very young and would be a corner piece of their defense for years to come, or has that been given to Phaneuf now?

      As for a trade, I don’t know. I can’t see the Oilers moving any of the kids just yet, does something around Penner get it done? Do we want to move Penner before knowing what Hall and MPS bring to the left side?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Keeping Souray and adding a defenceman like a young Schenn would be nice . Even adding a Mitchell , Biecksa or Kaberle would also make for a reasonable back end and PP . Only problem is, Oilers unlikely to keep Souray or add any of the others . I would probably think the Oilers have probably tied to add the odd one with no success . Not looking very good on the backend, with current personnel offensive thrust .

    • Ender

      Schenn looks decent, but I’m a bit skeptical of anything that looks shiny in TO. Does he just look better by contrast to what he’s surrounded with? Where is he on the depth chart on a real team? I know he was drafted fifth overall, but that doesn’t always translate to NHL success and defensemen blossom late so it could be a long time before you figure out if you bought a stud or a dud.

      I’d give him a shot in Edmonton, but I wouldn’t pay the world to get him. If Burke hit his head again and TO were giving him away for parts, I’d do a Cogs or a goalie or something. I’m not giving up a substantial piece for him, though, so I’m guessing I’m offering nothing TO would take.

      • Schenn (20 years old) played 3rd pairing minutes last year, not sure how shiny he looked.

        Gunnarsson (23 years old) looks a little better by the numbers.

        Played much tougher comp and got 1.06pts/60 5v5 whereas Schenn got .90pts/60. Gunnarsson also got 5v4 time and did ok there.

        Could be an age thing. 23 years old is physically and mentally much more likely to handle the NHL than 20 years old even if they are the same size.

        Here is the list of Toronto Dman from toughest minutes to easiest minutes last year, and how many years they have left on their contracts after last year:

        Phaneuf 4 years
        Beauchemin 2 years
        Gunnarsson 1 year RFA
        Komisarek 4 years
        Kaberle 1 year
        Finger 2 years
        Schenn 1 year RFA
        Excelby Gone


        Brett Lebda 2 years

        I would imagine that the emergence of Gunnarsson may make Schenn expendable for the right return.

        Being a top draft pick he would bring a better return than Gunnarsson, even if Gunnarsson is currently the better player.

        I would wager at 23 Schenn would be pretty good too, but he’s already burned 2 years of his EL deal at 20 years old. Just when he’s going to be a top player (25 years old) he could be UFA.

        If Toronto wants to shop a Dman, I’d go after Gunnarsson, cheaper return, probably cheaper on the next contract, and more prime years potentially under contract.

        Carl Gunnarsson (23 years old) played 2nd pairing minutes last year

  • Ross: would love to see Schenn here. I think he would be that missing piece we could use for the rebuild. Well, other than a goaltender that can not only stop the puck, but play more than 40 games a year.

    As for what to give up, it would probably be difficult, given how Burke can be.

  • Ender

    How about Penner and JDD for Schenn, along with Toronto’s first round picks in 2012 and 2013?

    This type of deal structure is one that Burke seems comfortable with.

      • Ender

        Allow me.

        ………../(_….”~,_……. .“~,_………………..,:`…….._/

    • Ender

      Milbury might have made this deal. But typically GM’s don’t want your garbage + a nominal draft pick for one of their top prospects.

      Don’t you wish everybody else was a world-class rube?

      • You never start your offer with your top bid for chances are you might get your person with lowest STARTER Bid ! It’s a reasonable starting bid . Lets not forget , all those offered could be part of our starting lineup this year as well, and they are still young . What starter bid would you make to try and get Gagner away from Oilers , or even Plante who was a first rounder (15th )?

        • D-Man

          You’re right about low-balling when you start negotiating, but you still have to come in with somewhat of a realistic offer (to avoid the phone getting slammed in your face). Schenn still has a lot of upside as a defense man and is young. Burke would maybe listen if you were throwing a Cogliano (potential top six forward) and a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the mix. He’s looking to win now to avoid giving Boston another top two pick. Jones/Jacques/Reddox is not going to accomplish that.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Take my first offer and see how he reacts . My next offer might be Smid with only one choice of my first offer . Now that should really peak Burke’s interest for either Schenn or Kaberle . From an Oiler perspective i would not go much beyond a second offer . If another Oiler would make the offer attractive enough for Burke or Oilers it would have to be an elder AHL’er . I keep Cogliano either way , unless Burke prefers Cogs over Smid as the major name in trade .

        • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

          Sorry Madjam, I didn’t realize we were waxing theoretical about an actual trade negotiation for Luke Schenn with Brian Burke.

          To your point, yes – you should begin a negotiation by ‘holding back’ your best offer.

          However, the art of any successful deal is convincing the other party that they are benefiting by making the deal, and that you’re not just unloading trash like JF Jacques + a nominal draft pick in exchange for a true asset. Perhaps, as others have suggested, offering a young forward like Cogliano who could play in the top 6 would be a way of making your trade partner feel like they got a good return for their asset, allowing them to address a need while costing us asset in which we seem to have a surplus (ie. young, underweight scoring wingers).

          Make no mistake, Luke Schenn is viewed by the Maple Leafs, and every astute hockey mind on the planet as a rare asset. You can’t have him for a bag of pucks, no matter how nicely you ask.

  • D-Man

    Schenn would be a decent addition; but only if TO would take Souray off of our hands… I can’t see that happening unless we throw in Cogliano or maybe a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick (which in my eyes is now too much)… Burke isn’t too bright, but I can’t see him doing that.

    Why would we want Kaberle (assuming he’d waive his no-trade clause)? Granted, he’d be an upgrade for our #1/#2 pairing offensively, but he’s a UFA next year. Even with the NHL owners tightening their chequebooks, he’s not going to want to sit around here during a re-build. He’s pushing 33 and will probably want to be on a legitimate cup contender before he’s 35….

      • D-Man

        Perhaps… But realistically, we can’t have both Schenn and Souray on our roster – first, because of cap space and second, the current lineup. Both players would arguably be in our top six – meaning Smid, Vanderbeek, Foster and Peckham don’t see any icetime (or as much as they’d see now). Don’t get me wrong Souray and Schenn are definitely better options; but now you have a similar issue like we have with our goaltending… Who do you trade/waive/buyout etc.??

        But then again, Toronto is NOT trading Schenn without getting a top-six forward in return. And if the Habs could unload Gomez’s contract (like we would with Horcoff’s) they’d be laughing… Maybe you and I can start a Horcoff for Gomez trade rumor??

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Why on earth couldn’t we have Souray and Schenn on the same roster? We’ve got lots of cap space.

          And passing on Schenn to give minutes to “Vanderbeek” and even Peckham is flat out ridiculous.

          • D-Man

            You’re right – we will have cap space now… But not in 3 years when MPS, Eberle and Hall are past their entry level contracts… If each player delivers as advertised, they’ll all command $3 to $5 million/year. Of course, time will tell whether that assumption is correct of course. Also – Schenn does not give any toughness to his game that Vanderbeek or Peckham bring. Is he a better puck mover/offensive defensemen? Definitely. But remember Schenn will need top four minute icetime along with Souray. Are you willing to pay a number 5 defensemen (which Foster would be) $2 million/year?? For the cap, I certainly hope not. Maybe if we were on the fringe of challenging for a cup – then that would be worth considering…

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            ….and in 3 years time Souray’s contract is done (2 years actually). So that isn’t even a consideration.

            “Vanderbeek” could be sent out to pasture at any time. Scheen is younger and far better then Peckham.

          • D-Man

            Correct – but now, you have to re-sign Gilbert and Whitney? Unless you believe Schenn will be a better player than both of them (which I don’t think he is), he won’t be more than a #3 defensemen. I’m guessing at that time Gilbert and Whitney are commanding $4 to $5 million each and again – you run into cap problems.. But then again a) if that trade could feasibly happen and b) Schenn isn’t as good as we think he is – you could sign him for $2.5 million, cheap out on some 3rd line grinders and your fifth and sixth defense and then make room in your cap…

  • Interesting on Schenn… I was wondering what kind of names would get thrown out. I was thinking I’d get Cogliano or Brule perhaps, but was curious whether names such as Gagner, Eberle or Paajarvi would get mentioned at all (not saying they should, just curious if they would).

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      The worse thing is regardless of what one thinks Schenn is worth you have to wonder if Burke thinks the same. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear him wanting Gagner, after all wasn’t Schenn some sort of untouchable that he wouldn’t move to get Tavares last year?

  • Ender

    So not like it’s a big deal or anything, but what do you guys think of the new end-of-regular-season tie-breaker criteria? Shoot-out wins don’t help you anymore. Personally, I think it’s overdue; the league finally got one right.

  • D-Man

    I don’t think Burke would listen past your initial offer, but putting Smid on the table would definitely draw a bit more interest. Toronto is in dire need of someone to help Phil Kessel; so I don’t think Burke listens unless one of our young forwards is offered.

    For argument’s sake – which player would you take – Kaberle or Schenn (that is if you had the choice) and why?

    • D-Man

      Schenn with plenty of room to grow in a young rebuild. Kaberle is a UFA that might not stay . No way i offer or give up Smid and a Cogliano for either . Two for two is questionable considering Kaberle’s UFA status at seasons end . Who is going to have the upper ceiling down the line ? Schenn or Smid – tough call right now ?

      • D-Man

        I don’t know – I think you need to look at team need more than anything… I think with Foster, Gilbert and Whitney – we have three somewhat established puck moving defensemen. Whitney plays with grit, but not nearly as much as Smid. Overall, Schenn is definitely the better player, but is not physical like Smid. Considering our top three defense (excluding Souray), I’d say you stick with Smid.

        You’re definitely right about not dealing Smid and Cogliano. Schenn took a bit of a step back last year and isn’t worth both. Cogliano and a 3rd rounder would seem about right; that is if the Oilers went in that direction.

  • D-Man

    @ Pabst and D-man . Depending on how much you like Schenn , and how much Burke covets him ( which he’ll probably bloat anyways ) a deal would be close .Does Burke covet Smid or Cogs for beginners ? Take Cogs or Smid, with third rounder , and one of my throwins and i think Burke would go for it . Burke’s no dummy, even though the Kessel deal is making him look bad . Is Schenn worth that much to Oilers down the line ? If he is then it’s a good deal for both parties . Thats my third and final offer ( slightly over the top than i wanted to pay )if i covet getting Schenn .

  • Jerk Store

    I like Schenn and would love to have him on the blue line. But my big concern is I missed the fact we appartently traded for the blond kid from Dawson’s Creek and no one told me WTF his Corsi is! Anyone … Anyone … Bueller?